Turkey Downs Syria Jet in Airspace 'Slap'

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Days after Recep Tayyip Erdogan's attempt at eradicating Twitter didn't go so well, the Turkish PM is confirming that his armed forces shot down a Syrian fighter jet after it violated Turkish airspace, reports the BBC. " A Syrian plane violated our airspace," he told a rally today, as per Reuters. "Our F-16s took off and hit this plane. Why? Because if you violate my airspace, our slap after this will be hard."
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Malaysia Airlines Flight 370: France Satellite Images Could Be Debris

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France today provided Malaysia with satellite images of the latest round of "potential objects" that could be from Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, this time "in the vicinity of the southern corridor"—thought to be close to areas of the Indian Ocean where Australia and China provided satellite images of objects that could be debris. Air and sea searches since Thursday in a remote area of the southern Indian Ocean to determine whether the objects were from the missing jet have been unsuccessful. The images had been sent to Australia, which is coordinating the search about 1,550 miles southwest of Perth.
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Russia's 'Eiffel Tower' Could Be Destroyed

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It's been hailed as a masterpiece of design and Russia's answer to the Eiffel Tower, but pretty soon the Shabolovka radio tower, also known as the Shukhov Tower, could disappear. Late last month the Russian State Committee for Television and Radio Broadcasting agreed to dismantle the tower, the New York Times reports, setting off a wave of debate and even protests in Russia.

The 50-story cone of metal spans was commissioned by Lenin in 1922 to spread communism to the masses through the then-new medium of radio. A shortage of materials kept it shorter than the Eiffel, and unlike the Eiffel it's in an area inaccessible to tourists—which helps explain why it's been allowed to rust.

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Twitter users ridicule Erdogan ban

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Twitter users ridicule Turkey ban

Leaked recordings shared on Twitter include one in which Erdogan allegedly instructs his son to dispose of cash [AP]

Turkish and global social media users have mocked moves by Turkey's government to restrict access to Twitter.

The hashtags, #TwitterisblockedinTurkey and #Turkey blockedTwitter became the top trending topics globally on Friday, just hours after the Turkish government imposed the ban.

The number of tweets from Turkey reportedly rose 138 percent, as savvy Internet users, including the country's president, Abdullah Gul, found it easy to circumvent the shutdown.

"The whole world is laughing at you #ErdoganBlockedTwitter," users tweeted, as dozens of images mocking the ban - including one showing Twitter birds covering the prime minister, Tayyip Erdogan's head in droppings - were shared on the platform.

Another popular tweet shared a poster of the prime minister on a Barack Obama campaign poster, with the message, "Yes, we ban".

Erdogan on Thursday night promised to "root out" and wipe out" the social media platform after users published claims of corruption against him.

Leaked recordings shared and linked on Twitter include one in which Erdogan allegedly instructs his son to dispose of large amounts of cash from a residence amid a police corruption probe.

Erdogan insists the recordings are fabricated "vile fakes" and part of a plot to discredit the government ahead of the March 30 election.

On Friday, Twitter users were forwarded a statement by twitter.com from Turkey's telecoms regulator, TIB, which cited court orders for the site's apparent closure.


Twitter also posted a message instructing Turkish users on how to continue using the service via SMS text message.

Many of the country's estimated 12 million Twitter users shared instructions on other workarounds for the ban, including via the use of a virtual private network, or a VPN, that hides the origin of tweets.

The ban was denounced as censorship throughout Turkey, including by Turkish President Gul, who tweeted that "the shutdown of an entire social platform is unacceptable".

"Besides, as I have said many times before it is technically impossible to close down communication technologies like Twitter entirely," Gul tweeted to his four million-plus followers.

The mayor of Ankara, Melih Gokcek, became the first member of Erdogan's own Justice and Development party to breach the ban. "I am able to tweet because my DNS settings allow it," he tweeted.

In response to the shutdown, Turkey's main opposition party, Republican People's Party, announced it would file a legal challenge to the court order.

The closure was also criticised globally, with the vice-president of the European Commission, Neelie Kroes, tweeting that the ban was "groundless, pointless, cowardly".

"Turkish people and intl community will see this as censorship. It is," Kroes said.

Source:Al Jazeera

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Ayatollah Ali Khamenei Denies Holocaust

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So much for the moderate new Iran. The nation's supreme leader today marked the start of the Persian New Year by denying the Holocaust, reports Haaretz. "The Holocaust is an event whose reality is uncertain and, if it happened, it's uncertain how it happened," Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told a crowd in Mashhad. Khamenei has said similar things in the past, and former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad nearly made a sport of it, but the anti-Israel rhetoric had cooled considerably under new President Hasan Rouhani, notes the International Business Times.

In fact, Foreign Minister Javad Zarif asserted in September that Iran had never denied the Holocaust and was never "against Jews." The ayatollah brought up the matter as a way of criticizing the West: "They passionately defend their red lines," he said. "How [do] they expect us to overlook our red lines that are based on our revolutionary and religious beliefs?"

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