#ImWithKap: Celebrities and activists boycott Super Bowl - Lebanon news - أخبار لبنان
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#ImWithKap: Celebrities and activists boycott Super Bowl

Celebrities, fans, athletes and activists boycotted the Super Bowl on Sunday evening to protest what they see as the National Football League’s “racist treatment” of quarterback Colin Kaepernick. The American football player has not been offered a contract to play since sparking a wave of protests  in the US against racial injustice.  The New England…

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#ImWithKap: Celebrities and activists boycott Super Bowl

Celebrities, fans, athletes and activists boycotted the Super Bowl on Sunday evening to protest what they see as the National Football League’s “racist treatment” of quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

The American football player has not been offered a contract to play since sparking a wave of protests  in the US against racial injustice. 

The New England Patriots won a record-equalling sixth Super Bowl title, defeating the Los Angeles Rams 13-3 in Atlanta, Georgia. 

But before the teams took to the field, Kaepernick was the player being talked about. Calls to boycott the game in solidarity with the former San Francisco 49er trended on social media with the tag #I’mWithKap.

Kaepernick courted controversy in 2016 when he refused to stand during the pre-game US national anthem, choosing to kneel instead in protest police brutality, including the killings of unarmed African Americans. 

Other players joined his protest, drawing the ire of President Donald Trump, who called for team owners to fire them.

The NFL announced last year that teams will be fined an undisclosed amount if its members sat down or kneeled in protest.

Since opting out of his contract with San Francisco for the 2017 season, Kaepernick has failed to land a deal with any team.

On Sunday, several celebrities posted pictures on social media wearing Kaepernick’s number 7 jersey.

“I will not be a spectator, viewer or supporter of the Super Bowl today in protest of the NFL’s racist treatment of Kaepernick and its ongoing disregard for the health and well-being of all its players. To watch the game is to compromise my beliefs. It’s not worth it,” wrote award-winning director Ava DuVernay.

I will not be a spectator, viewer or supporter of the #SuperBowl today in protest of the @NFL’s racist treatment of @Kaepernick7 and its ongoing disregard for the health + well-being of all its players. To watch the game is to compromise my beliefs. It’s not worth it. #ImWithKap pic.twitter.com/fNEeke0crs
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) February 3, 2019

Shaun King, writer and civil rights activist, said he “just can’t support a product” that has “basically banned Kaepernick for taking a peaceful knee for families impacted by police brutality”.

More than 200 African Americans were shot and killed by police in 2016, sparking national protests and boosting the Black Lives Matter movement.

I haven’t watched a single game of football since the @NFL basically banned @Kaepernick7 for taking a peaceful knee for families impacted by police brutality.
I was a super fan, and have so many friends in the league, but I just can’t support a product that has done this.
— Shaun King (@shaunking) February 3, 2019

Haven’t watched a @NFL game all season and won’t be watching today. Can’t support an organization that tolerates all sorts of bad behavior from players, but systematically banned @Kaepernick7 for bringing injustice to light. #ImWithKap #Superbowl #SuperBowlLIII #SuperBowlSunday
— Jon Manuel (@JonManuel) February 3, 2019

Actress Piper Perabo, singer Goapele and many others also chimed in to show their support to the quarterback and condemn the National Football League. 

Super what? Nah! I’m with @kaepernick7 #imwithkap pic.twitter.com/TL2f2LdEof
— Goapele (@Goapele) February 3, 2019

I am in solidarity with @Kaepernick7 & the struggle for racial justice #ImWithKap pic.twitter.com/6kSRVPsI1q
— Piper Perabo (@PiperPerabo) February 4, 2019

Meanwhile, Kaepernick, who has devoted his time to charity work since the 2016 season, posted a photo of former Olympic athlete John Carlos, wearing a jersey with #ImWithKap written on it. 

“It means the world to me to have the support of John Carlos, an icon, who paved the way for myself and many others to continue to fight systemic oppression. Thank you for your sacrifice for us!,” he wrote.

American sprinter Carlos, alongside Tommie Smith, orchestrated the Black Power salute at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico as a silent protest against racism.

It means the world to me to have the support of John Carlos, an Icon who paved the way for myself and many others to continue to fight systemic oppression. Thank you for your sacrifice for us!✊???? pic.twitter.com/egc6mJEY6z
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) February 4, 2019

The Super Bowl is one of the most watched sporting events on TV in the US, but this year’s game drew the  lowest overnight ratings in a decade.  

Attendance at NFL games and TV ratings have also fallen in recent years, with some suggesting the protests have contributed to the negative trend.

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Saudi Aramco says customers unaffected by Houthi attack on Jeddah

Monday’s attack knocked out a tank that contained 10 percent of all fuel stored a the Jeddah plant, Saudi Aramco official says.Oil giant Saudi Aramco says customers were unaffected by an attack by Yemen’s Houthi rebels on a petroleum products distribution plant in Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea city of Jeddah. One of the facility’s tanks…

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Saudi Aramco says customers unaffected by Houthi attack on Jeddah

Monday’s attack knocked out a tank that contained 10 percent of all fuel stored a the Jeddah plant, Saudi Aramco official says.Oil giant Saudi Aramco says customers were unaffected by an attack by Yemen’s Houthi rebels on a petroleum products distribution plant in Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea city of Jeddah.
One of the facility’s tanks was hit by a missile in early on Monday.
The attack knocked out 10 percent of all fuel that was stored at the plant, a Saudi Aramco official said on Tuesday, adding that the tank – one of 13 at the facility – is currently out of action.
The official described the site as a “critical facility” that distributes more than 120,000 barrels of products per day.
A fire caused by the attack was extinguished in about 40 minutes with no casualties, he said.
The attack was confirmed by a Saudi official who told the Saudi state news agency (SPA) it was a “terrorist attack with a projectile”.
The oil company’s production and export facilities are mostly in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern province, more than 1,000km (621 miles) away from Jeddah, across the country.
Announcing the attack, a military spokesman for the Houthis warned that “operations will continue”.
Yahya Sarea said the attack was carried out with a Quds-2 type winged missile. He also posted a satellite image with the label: “North Jeddah bulk plant-Saudi Aramco”.
“The strike was very accurate, and ambulances and fire engines rushed to the target,” Sarea said.
That facility is just southeast of Jeddah’s King Abdulaziz International Airport, an important site that handles incoming Muslim pilgrims en route to nearby Mecca.
Renewed violence
Yemen has been mired in conflict since a Saudi-led coalition intervened in March 2015 to restore the Yemeni government, which had been removed from power in the capital Sanaa by Houthi forces in late 2014.
Cross-border attacks by Houthi forces have escalated since late May when a truce prompted by the novel coronavirus pandemic expired. The Saudi-led coalition has responded with air raids on Houthi-held territory.
The Houthis control most of north Yemen and most large urban areas. They say they are fighting a corrupt system.
Sarea said the attack was carried out in response to the Saudi-led coalition’s actions in Yemen.
The claimed attack came just after a visit by outgoing US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Saudi Arabia to see Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The kingdom also just hosted the annual G20 summit, which concluded on Sunday.

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US appoints first Venezuela ambassador in a decade amid tensions

The two nations have not exchanged ambassadors since 2010 when relations began to fray under late President Hugo Chávez.The United States has its first ambassador for Venezuela in 10 years despite Washington having no diplomats at its Caracas embassy amid a breakdown in relations. James Story’s nomination as ambassador was confirmed on Wednesday by a…

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US appoints first Venezuela ambassador in a decade amid tensions

The two nations have not exchanged ambassadors since 2010 when relations began to fray under late President Hugo Chávez.The United States has its first ambassador for Venezuela in 10 years despite Washington having no diplomats at its Caracas embassy amid a breakdown in relations.
James Story’s nomination as ambassador was confirmed on Wednesday by a US Senate voice vote.
The South Carolina native takes the job that he will carry out from the capital of neighbouring Colombia as Venezuela endures an historic economic and political crisis.
The US and Venezuela have not exchanged ambassadors since 2010 when relations first started to fray under late President Hugo Chávez.
The two nations totally broke diplomatic ties last year, each withdrawing its diplomats shortly after Washington backed Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó as the country’s leader.
Story, 50, will likely play a key role in helping guide US policy on Venezuela during the transition of President-elect Joe Biden.
Biden’s win has sparked debate among those who back President Donald Trump’s hardline approach of isolating his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro and others who say it is time for a new course.
The critics say heavy sanctions have failed to remove Maduro from power, opening Venezuela to US competitors such as China, Russia and Iran, while making life harder on millions of residents of the South American nation.
The US leads a coalition of dozens of nations that rejected Maduro following his election in 2018 to a second term in a vote Washington called fraudulent.
The US has since heavily sanctioned Maduro, his inner circle and the state-run oil firm, attempting to isolate them.
The Trump administration offered a $15m reward for Maduro’s arrest after a US court indicted him on drug charges.

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‘UAE, Israel can stamp out Islamophobia, anti-Semitism’

People to people contact, academic, civil society exchanges and cooperation will go a long way in change mindsets, Ban Ki-moon says. Countries like the UAE and Israel who have signed the Abraham Accords should stamp out anti-semitism and Islamophobia and devise curriculums to educate their youth on the significance of the peace deal, said former…

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‘UAE, Israel can stamp out Islamophobia, anti-Semitism’

People to people contact, academic, civil society exchanges and cooperation will go a long way in change mindsets, Ban Ki-moon says.

Countries like the UAE and Israel who have signed the Abraham Accords should stamp out anti-semitism and Islamophobia and devise curriculums to educate their youth on the significance of the peace deal, said former UN chief Ban Ki-moon.
He said that one of the major achievements of the deal – considered a huge political and diplomatic win – is that it opens up a “cooperative space not only for leaders but also for citizens of all the participating countries”
“The architects of this important agreement must ensure that the Accords is not an agreement just for their countries but for their people. Abraham Accords should serve as a launchpad for the sustainable peace and prosperity in the region,” Ban Ki-moon said while addressing a virtual conference on ‘The Abraham Accords: Advancing UAE-Israel, Regional, and Muslim-Jewish Cooperation’ organised by UK-based Emirates Society.
Stressing on the important role of education in building secure, peaceful, resilient and prosperous societies in both a short and long term, the Secretary General said it is his “sincere hope that the UAE and Israel and others redouble their sustained effort to educate their students and citizens – both young and old – about the significance of this important agreement and each other.”
“Devising curriculum and expanding global citizenship education as well as being aggressive about stamping out instances of anti-Semitism and islamophobia are important steps to take in this regard, he added.
He said people to people contact, academic, civil society exchanges and cooperation will go a long way in helping to change mindset and begin a dynamic new era of cooperation.
Palestinian cause
The UAE is the first GCC country and the third Arab nation to establish diplomatic relations with Israel by signing the US-brokered Abraham Accords on September 15. Bahrain and Sudan also followed suit and have signed peace deals with Israel.
The deal is considered a game changer for peace and stability in the region, as in exchange, Israel has agreed to temporarily halt annexations in the West Bank.
Reem Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation, said the UAE continues to consider the issue of a Palestinian state as the most important one but without impeding opportunities for dialogue and open communication.
She said Abraham Accords was born from a “desire to change the business as usual approach” that has mired the countries of Middle East in conflict for long.
Even as the UAE continues to work for its own national agenda, Al Hashimi said the country is “really looking to learn from each other and also to explain to one another who we are and what matters to us”.
“And it does matter to the Arab and the Muslim world that a Palestinian state in its rightful place … exists.”
Ban Ki-Moon said it would be difficult to forge lasting peace without addressing the Palestinian question as well as issues like the final status of Jerusalem and West Bank settlement.
“To truly advance the vision of peace throughout the Middle East, we should not forget that the Palestinians must be involved in determining a future that is based on security and prosperity for all people in the region. I hope that Abraham Accords can function as a springboard for invigorated action on ensuring a negotiated two-state solution aligned with the relevant UN security council resolutions.”
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Anjana Sankar

Anjana Sankar is a UAE-based journalist chasing global stories of conflict, migration and human rights. She has reported from the frontlines of the wars in Yemen and Syria and has extensively written on the refugee crisis in Bangladesh, Iraq and Europe. From interviewing Daesh militants to embedding with the UAE army in Yemen, and covering earthquakes, floods, terrorist attacks and elections, she has come out scathe-free from the most dangerous conflict zones of the world. Riding on over 14 years of experience, Anjana currently is an Assistant Editor with Khaleej Times and leads the reporting team. She often speaks about women empowerment on her Facebook page that has 40,000 plus followers.

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