JERUSALEM (AP) — An Israeli rights group has released an amateur video of Israeli soldiers surrounding and questioning a terrified 8-year-old Palestinian boy in the tense West Bank city of Hebron.
The group B’Tselem, which posted the video, said the soldiers led Sufian Abu Hitah around the neighborhood to identify other boys whom they suspected of having thrown stones and a firebomb at a nearby Jewish settlement.
At one point, he is seen being led through a Hebron street surrounded by seven soldiers. Eventually, several Palestinian women approach, a shouting match ensues and they walk away with the boy.
On the video, the boy is heard telling the soldiers in Arabic, “Which boy? I don’t know who he is.” Later, one soldier leads him up an outside staircase of a building and they walk around the roof.
The military denied Friday that the boy was asked to identify suspects in Sunday’s incident.
It said a firebomb was thrown at the settlement and that Israeli forces caught a suspect. It said that “due to the fact the suspect was a minor he was taken to his parents’ home.”
The military did not respond to further questions, including whether it was referring to Sufian.
The boy’s mother, Amani, told B’Tselem that she asked a soldier to return her son, but he refused.
“I was really scared and worried about Sufian,” she said. “I started crying and ran after the soldiers as they moved from house to house, to try and get them to let him go.”
Hebron, the largest Palestinian city in the West Bank, has been a flashpoint for decades, including in the recent wave of Israeli-Palestinian violence.
The city is divided, with about 850 Israeli settlers living in heavily-guarded enclaves in an Israeli-controlled center while the rest of the area is under Palestinian self-rule, making it the only Palestinian population center in the West Bank with a major Israeli army presence. Friction is amplified by what Palestinians and Israeli rights activists say is systematic harassment by settlers.
The biblical city is home to a holy site known to Jews as the Tomb of the Patriarchs and to Muslims as the Ibrahimi Mosque.
LA CROSSE, Wis. (AP) — A Wisconsin high school student is being called a hero for using the Heimlich maneuver to rescue a choking friend in the school cafeteria.
Video of the incident shows several students at La Crosse’s Central High School eating lunch when one of them, Will Olson, begins to choke on a cheese curd. After several seconds his friend, Ian Brown, calmly walks over, put his arms around Olson’s abdomen, and presses upward several times before successfully dislodging the food from Olson’s airway.
Brown learned the technique in a youth program put on by the La Crosse Police Department. He tells ABC News , “I was just doing what I was trained to do.”
Olson says he’s thankful to have a friend “who had the training to do what he did.”
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey man who interrupted a street fight between two teenagers in a video that has drawn millions of views and wide praise said Wednesday that he’s saddened that his act of peacemaking isn’t a more frequent occurrence.
“I’m crying because, this whole situation, it deeply saddens me,” Ibn Ali Miller said after being honored by Atlantic City’s council along with the boys. “It deeply saddens me, the fact that it’s unbelievable. This should be very believable, this should be a norm and this should be regular.”
The video had been viewed millions of times after being posted on Facebook on Monday. It starts with a fistfight in Atlantic City between two boys while others record it on their phones.
Miller then walks up, gets between the two and tells the onlookers that they’re cowards for recording the scuffle.
“Look, they laughing. Look,” Miller says while gesturing to the gathered crowd. “He’s got a big smile on his face. … He’s supposed to be your man.”
The stranger then tells the teens they are “almost men” and need to start acting like it.
Miller broke down in tears while thanking his mom, who stood beside him, in Atlantic City Wednesday night. He said that she forced him to read books and write a short story or poem each time he was punished as a child. He also thanked the mothers of the two boys, who stood next to him.
“They raised them to be young men of reason, which seems to be a very, very rare trait in today’s youth,” he said.
One of the boys, Jamar Mobley, thanked Miller for intervening and told CBS Philly that the fight could have gone “a whole other way” if Ibn Ali Miller hadn’t stepped in.
“He was minding his business and just came out of the car,” Mobley said. “He said I will not leave until you guys shake hands.”
Miller has drawn wide praise, including a message of support on Twitter from LeBron James, who saluted the man “who stepped in and spoke real to our young generation.”
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — AT&T, Verizon and several other major advertisers are suspending their marketing campaigns on Google’s YouTube site after discovering their brands have been appearing alongside videos promoting terrorism and other unsavory subjects.
The spreading boycott confronts Google with a challenge that threatens to cost it hundreds of millions of dollars.
YouTube’s popularity stems from its massive and eclectic library of video, spanning everything from polished TV clips to raw diatribes posted by people bashing homosexuals.
But that diverse selection periodically allows ads to appear next to videos that marketers find distasteful, despite Google’s efforts to prevent it from happening.
Google depends largely on automated programs to place ads in YouTube videos because the job is too much for humans to handle on their own. About 400 hours of video is now posted on YouTube each minute.
Earlier this week, Google vowed to step up its efforts to block ads on “hateful, offensive and derogatory” videos.
“We know that this is unacceptable to the advertisers and agencies who put their trust in us,” Philipp Schindler, Google’s chief business officer, wrote in a Tuesday blog post.
As part of Google’s solution to the problem, Schindler promised to hire “significant numbers” of employees to review YouTube videos and flag them as inappropriate for ads. He also predicted YouTube would be able to address advertisers’ concerns through Google’s recent advancements in artificial intelligence — technology parlance for computers that learn to think like humans.
But that promise so far hasn’t appeased AT&T, Verizon Communications and an expanding global list of advertisers that includes Volkswagen, Audi, HSBC Holdings, the Royal Bank of Scotland and L’Oreal.
“We are deeply concerned that our ads may have appeared alongside YouTube content promoting terrorism and hate,” AT&T said in a statement. “Until Google can ensure this won’t happen again, we are removing our ads from Google’s non-search platforms.”
By extending its ban to everything beyond Google’s search results, AT&T is also effectively pulling its ads from more than two million other websites that depend on Google to deliver ads to their pages.
In its statement, Verizon said it decided to pull ads from YouTube to protect its website while it investigates the “weak links” among its digital advertising partners.
Both AT&T and Verizon may have an ulterior motive to make YouTube look like an untrustworthy spot for marketers because both companies are trying to sell more digital ads in their own networks.
YouTube has become one of the fastest growing parts of Google’s ad system, which generated $79 billion in revenue last year. Google doesn’t disclose how much of that came from YouTube ads, but the research firm eMarketer estimated that the video site accounted for $5.6 billion that amount. EMarketer projected YouTube’s advertising will rise 26 percent this year to $7 billion, but that prediction came before marketers began to suspend their spending.
The YouTube boycott began late last week after an investigation by The Times in London revealed the ads of major brands were appearing in videos delving into contentious themes.
A viral online video imagines lovable “Sesame Street” character Elmo getting fired due to budget cuts to PBS.
The video shows an unseen man delivering the news to Elmo in a nondescript room. Elmo doesn’t take the news well, complaining that he’s worked at “Sesame Street” for 32 years. He also wonders what’s going to happen to his medical insurance, given that he has a pre-existing condition.
The man suggests Elmo take pictures with tourists in New York’s Times Square for his next job.
Elmo isn’t the only “Sesame Street” character laid off in the scenario, the man mentions Cookie Monster and Telly have also been let go.
President Donald Trump’s proposed budget seeks to eliminate funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which helps fund PBS.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Inmate advocates say a recent disturbance at the long-troubled New Orleans jail appears to have been far worse than jail officials initially let on — including inmates freeing other inmates from cells, fights among inmates, at least one fire and two serious inmate injuries.
In weekend press releases, the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s office said about a dozen inmates barricaded themselves in an area of the jail Friday night in an incident that lasted about an hour. It happened “while a deputy on duty was temporarily out of the housing units,” one release said.
“That is inconsistent with everything we have learned of the situation,” attorney Emily Washington said in a letter, dated Sunday, to Gary Maynard. Maynard was appointed with federal court approval last year to run the jail and oversee extensive court-ordered reforms.
Rather than an hour-long disturbance, Washington’s letter says, there was a series of incidents that began Friday afternoon on one tier of the jail. They included a prisoner threatening to jump from a mezzanine of the tier, a prisoner obtaining a sheriff’s office-issued radio, prisoners using computerized door controls to free other prisoners, fights, at least one fire and the use of force including striking of inmates with batons.
“It is our understanding that what has been reported as a deputy being ‘temporarily out of the housing unit’ was in fact a complete lack of adequate or mandated supervision on the tier over the course of several hours,” wrote Washington, a lawyer for the Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center.
The sheriff’s office declined to comment Monday, saying the investigation was ongoing.
Friday’s Sheriff’s Office news release said deputies entered the area where inmates were barricaded through a fire exit Friday night. It said a food cart was knocked over and hit an inmate in the head. The release said the inmate was evaluated at a medical clinic. Four other inmates were also treated for minor injuries.
Washington said the MacArthur Center’s information is that at least two prisoners were taken to hospitals.
She also wrote that the reported incidents coincide with a stretch of time Friday afternoon when MacArthur investigators were told they couldn’t see their jail clients because deputies were responding to incidents and the jail was on lockdown.
Washington noted that the jail, which opened in September 2015 is about half empty, with New Orleans prisoners being held in other jurisdictions. That was done so the jail could replenish and train staff.
Maynard was appointed “compliance director” at the jail last year as MacArthur lawyers, New Orleans city officials and other critics of Sheriff Marlin Gusman decried slow progress in implementing reforms in an agreement settling a lawsuit filed by inmate advocates and the U.S. Justice Department.
“The public representations surrounding this incident cause great alarm for us as representatives of the prisoners in the jail,” Washington wrote.
Her letter includes a request for video from various locations in the jail and documents including jail staff assignments.