Apple to Reevaluate Policy on Mapping ‘Disputed Borders’ After Crimea Outcry 

Apple says it will reevaluate how it identifies “disputed borders” after receiving criticism for displaying Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula as part of Russia on maps and weather apps for Russian users. 
 
Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller told Reuters on Friday that the U.S. technology giant was “taking a deeper look at how we handle disputed borders.” 
 
Muller said Apple made the change for Russian users because of a new law that went into effect inside Russia and that it had not made any changes to its maps outside the country. Review of law
 
“We review international law as well as relevant U.S. and other domestic laws before making a determination in labeling on our maps and make changes if required by law,” she told Reuters. 
 
Muller added that Apple “may make changes in the future as a result” of its reevaluation of the policy, without being specific. 
 
Russian and Ukrainian embassies in the United States did not immediately return requests for comment. 
 
When using the apps from the United States, Ukraine, and in parts of Europe, no international borders are shown around the peninsula. 
 
After the reports surfaced of the appearance of Crimea as part of Russia, the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington told RFE/RL that it had sent a letter to Apple explaining the situation in Crimea and demanding that it correct the peninsula’s designation. 
 
It also said on Twitter that “let’s all remind Apple that #CrimeaIsUkraine and it is under Russian occupation — not its sovereignty.” 
 
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystayko tweeted, “Apple, please, please, stick to high-tech and entertainment. Global politics is not your strong side.” Applause from Russia
 
Vasily Piskarev, who chairs the Russian State Duma’s Committee on Security and Corruption Control, welcomed Apple’s move, saying, “They have brought [their services] in line with Russian law.” 
 
“The error with displaying Crimean cities on the weather app has been eliminated,” Piskarev told reporters. 
 
Competitor Google Maps has designated Crimea differently over the years depending on the user’s location, listing it as Russian for Russian users and Ukrainian for most others. 
 
“We make every effort to objectively depict the disputed regions, and where we have local versions of Google Maps, we follow local legislation when displaying names and borders,” a Google spokesperson told Tech Crunch magazine. Troops entered in 2014
 
Russia took control of Crimea in March 2014 after sending in troops, seizing key facilities and staging a referendum dismissed as illegal by at least 100 countries. 
 
Moscow also backs separatists in a war against government forces that has killed more than 13,000 people in eastern Ukraine since April 2014. 
 
The international community does not recognize Moscow’s annexation of Crimea, and the United States and European Union have slapped sanctions on Russia over its actions against Ukraine. 
 Reuters and the Crimea Desk of RFE/RL’s Ukrainian service contributed to this report. 

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High-Ranking Taliban Official Killed In Northern Afghanistan 

A high-ranking Taliban official has been killed in clashes with security forces in Jowzjan province in Afghanistan’s north, a local official said Saturday. 
 
Qari Nuriddin and his four bodyguards were killed in the district of Mengajik, where the militant group has a strong presence, provincial government spokesman Abdul Maaruf Azar told RFE/RL. 
 
Four other militants were wounded in the clashes that erupted overnight, the spokesman said. 
 
There was no immediate comment from the Taliban. 
 
Azar also confirmed local reports that more than 25 members of the Taliban in Mengajik had recently cut ties with the militant group to return to civilian life. 
 
Azar told RFE/RL that all of them were young men from the Mengajik district. 
 
Most of them had left for Iran and Turkey in search of work, Azar said. He didn’t provide further details. 

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Maltese Prosecutors Charge Businessman in Reporter’s Killing 

Maltese prosecutors on Saturday charged a prominent local businessman as being an accomplice to the murder of anti-corruption journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia in a 2017 car bombing on Malta. 
 
Yorgen Fenech, a Maltese hotelier and director of the Maltese power company, was also charged in the evening courtroom hearing with being an accomplice to causing the explosion that killed the 53-year-old reporter as she drove near her home. 
 
Magistrate Audrey Demicoli asked Fenech to enter pleas. He replied that he was pleading innocent, and he was remanded in custody. MaltaThe reporter’s family has alleged that Fenech has ties to close associates of Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, including his recently resigned chief of staff. 
 
It wasn’t immediately clear if Muscat might resign amid increasing calls by citizens on the island, including Caruana Galizia’s family, for him to step down. Muscat, in power since 2013, has said he will speak after the investigative case is complete. 
 
“What we now expect is the prime minister to leave office and to leave Parliament,” Corinne Vella, one of the slain reporter’s sisters, told The Malta Independent after the arraignment of Fenech. Investigations urgedVella also called for Muscat as well as his former chief of staff, Keith Schembri. to be “properly investigated” for their “possible involvement in Daphne’s assassination.” 
 
Schembri quit his government post a few days earlier. He had been taken into custody for questioning but was later released. 
 
Two of Muscat’s ministers also were questioned and have resigned. They, along with Schembri, have said they are innocent of wrongdoing. 
 
Caruana Galizia wrote shortly before her death that corruption was everywhere in political and business circles in the tiny EU nation. 
An alleged go-between in the bombing has received immunity from prosecution for alerting authorities to Fenech’s purported involvement. 
 
Three men have been in jail as the alleged bombers, but no trial date for them has been set. 

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Ugandan Pageant Fights HIV Stigma

Nearly one-third of Uganda’s new HIV infections occur among 15-to-25-year-olds, who say that although there has been progress, stigma is still a problem. To raise awareness ahead of World AIDS Day on December 1, Uganda holds an annual fashion show and beauty pageant for young people infected with the virus that causes AIDS and calls them the Young Positives.The pomp, dance and fashion were on display November 22 at the pageant finale in Kampala. But the aim of this annual show is not just to display beauty and talent.
Ugandan Pageant Fights HIV Stigma video player.
Embed” />Copy Link”You’re HIV-positive — you’re a moving dead body, or you’re promiscuous,” said Nicholas Niwagaba, who is with the pageant organizer, the Uganda Network of Young People Living with HIV and AIDS. “We are trying to change that narrative to say that young people living with HIV or people living with HIV are  human beings. We want the community to accept them.”Education on HIV prevention is also a key part of the Young Positives pageant, which displays condoms and promotes safe sex.UNAIDS says about 6 percent of Ugandans are HIV-positive, one of the highest rates in East Africa. But there has been progress in Uganda’s fight against HIV. AIDS-related deaths dropped by nearly 60% in 2018, UNAIDS said. Mr. and Miss Y+ Beauty Pageant 2019-2020 in Kampala, Uganda, Nov. 22, 2019. (Halima Athumani/VOA)Reaching young teens and young adults is key to halting the spread of HIV, said Nelson Musoba of the Uganda AIDS Commission.”It matters how the message is packaged and who carries this message,” he said. “And the current generation — fashion, music, working with celebrities is one way to transmit the message to the young people. And we find this very attractive. You can see the attention it’s generating; you can see the participation.” Nineteen-year-old tailor Timothy Kabogoza and one of his five siblings were born HIV-positive. He said he tried to keep his status a secret, but his friends found out and started pointing fingers. Timothy Kabogoza, a tailor who won first runner-up honors in the 2019-2020 Y+ Beauty Pageant, operates a sewing machine in front of his home in Bwyogerere, a Kampala slum, Nov. 25, 2019. (Halima Athumani/VOA)”And for real, I tried to cover up that thing,” he said. “But when I come back in my room, I’ll be like, ‘My God, this guy has said something, oh, my God.’ “But participation in the Young Positives beauty pageant boosted Kabogoza’s confidence. And, at this year’s contest, he took second place.Kabogoza said he wants to pass on an upbeat message to other HIV-positive youth: Take your antiretroviral medication — something he acknowledges he has not always been consistent about — and stop the self-shaming.

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Ugandan Pageant Fights HIV Stigma

Nearly a third of Uganda’s new HIV infections occur among 15-to-25-year-olds, who say that despite progress, stigma is still a problem. To raise awareness ahead of World AIDS Day on December 1, Uganda holds an annual fashion and a beauty pageant for young people infected with HIV and calls them the Young Positives. Halima Athumani reports from Kampala.

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UN Tries to cut Numbers at EU-funded Migrant Center in Libya

The U.N. refugee agency plans to cut the number of migrants staying at an overcrowded transit center in Libya’s capital, a spokesman said Saturday.Libya is a major waypoint for migrants fleeing war and poverty in Africa and the Middle East to Europe.“The situation is very difficult, and we do not have the resources” because the center in Tripoli is at about twice its capacity, with some 1,200 migrants, Charlie Yaxley, a UNHCR spokesman, told The Associated Press.The UNHCR has asked those refugees not registered with the agency to leave the European Union-funded Gathering and Departure Facility, offering an assistance package that includes cash for an initial two months.“You will not be considered for evacuation or resettlement if you stay at the GDF,” the agency warned the migrants, according to a document obtained by the AP. It added that those seeking registration with the agency could only do so “outside” the facility.The UNHCR said it would phase out food distribution for the unregistered migrants, including dozens of tuberculosis patients, from Jan. 1.Yaxley said the agency also offered to facilitate returning the migrants to their home country or to a country they previously registered as asylum-seekers.Migrants, however, decried the move, fearing they would end up at detention centers or at the mercy of human traffickers.“The migrants are reluctant and have their concerns about leaving the GDF,” one person seeking shelter at the facility said, who spoke on condition of anonymity for his safety. The surrounding areas of Tripoli have seen heavy fighting between armed factions since April.The self-styled Libyan National Army, led by Gen. Khalifa Hifter, launched an offensive to capture the capital city in April, clashing with an array of militias loosely allied with the U.N.-supported but weak government there.The fighting has stalled in recent weeks, with both sides dug in and shelling one another along Tripoli’s southern reaches. They have also carried out airstrikes and drone attacks.In July, an airstrike hit a detention center for migrants outside Tripoli, killing more than 50 migrants held there. The Tripoli-based authorities blamed the LNA for the airstrikes. The LNA, however, said it was targeting a nearby military site, not the detention center.After the airstrike, hundreds of former detainees made their way into the GDF, the agency said. They were followed by another group of around 400 people from Abu Salim detention center in late October, as well as up to 200 people from urban areas, the UNCHR said.The gathering point, which was opened a year ago, has capacity for around 600 people.“We hope that the GDF will be able to return to its original function as a transit facility for the most acutely vulnerable refugees, so we are able to evacuate them to safety,” said UNHCR’s Chief of Mission for Libya Jean-Paul Cavalieri.There are some 40,000 refugees and asylum-seekers living in urban areas across Libya, some of whom are extremely vulnerable, face abuse in militia-run detention centers, and are in desperate need of support, according to the U.N. refugee agency.Separately, the Libyan coast guard said Saturday it intercepted at least 205 Europe-bound migrants off the western town of Zawiya. The African migrants, who included 158 men, 33 women and 14 children, were given humanitarian assistance and were taken to the detention center in Tajoura.Libya’s detention centers are rife with abuse and Europe’s policy of supporting the coast guard has come under growing criticism.

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