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  • Twitter CEO Gently Tells Trump: Your 'Lost' Followers Are Bots and Spam Accounts

    Photo Illustration by Lyne Lucien/The Daily Beast/Photos GettyOn Tuesday, President Trump hosted Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey in the Oval Office for a closed-door meeting, during which the leader of the free world spent an inordinate amount of time complaining about lost Twitter followers, according to a source familiar with the conversation.The Twitter chief, for his part, tried to reassure the president that the company’s staff merely wants his follower count to be as bot-free as possible.This is what the most powerful person in the world was preoccupied with Tuesday.A large percentage of the meeting, which included senior White House officials such as Trump’s social media director Dan Scavino, was spent addressing the subject of @realDonaldTrump’s follower count. The president stated his belief that he had lost some of his roughly 59 million followers in anti-Trump, anti-conservative Twitter purges, according to a source familiar with the meeting. Dorsey, according to this knowledgeable source, had to explain to the president that like other Twitter users, @realDonaldTrump periodically loses followers when the site deletes fake or bot accounts. Dorsey even said he himself had lost followers as a result of Twitter’s efforts to delete fake accounts.During this private gathering in the West Wing, Dorsey assured Trump that the company wants him, and everyone else on Twitter, to have only real followers, according to the source.Trump also said he’s heard from other prominent conservatives about problems with Twitter, though he declined to name names.The summit with Twitter’s CEO is unlikely to assuage the president’s concerns about tech giants and social media, of which he has many. Two people close to Trump previously told The Daily Beast that Trump has repeatedly griped to associates about how his predecessor, President Obama, has had more Twitter followers than he has, even though-by Trump’s own assessment-he is so much better at Twitter than Obama is.The Washington Post first reported that the president devoted much of the White House meeting to grumbling about his Twitter followers. Earlier in the day, Motherboard broke the news that Trump and Dorsey were meeting on Tuesday. Dorsey also used the meeting to promote Twitter’s efforts to fight opioid addiction, which include using a special emoji to promote National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. It is unclear how interested Trump was in discussing those efforts, at least compared to his time spent inquiring about the alleged purging of his followers.Beyond confirming that the meeting had indeed occurred, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders did not respond to The Daily Beast’s follow-up questions as of press time.The discussion came a few hours after early morning tweets from the president accusing Twitter of playing “political games” with his follower count and calling for congressional intervention against the company. “Constantly taking people off list,” Trump tweeted. “Big complaints from many people.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast here

  • Isil claims Sri Lanka attack as prime minister says there are militants with explosives on the run

    Sri Lanka's prime minister has warned there are more explosives and militants "out there" after the Easter suicide bombings that killed 321 people. Ranil Wickremesinghe made the comment Tuesday at a news conference, and said some officials will likely lose their jobs over intelligence lapses surrounding the attack. His warning came as Islamic State claimed responsibility for the terror attack on its official Amaq news agency. The group posted an image of seven masked attackers and the unmasked ringleader, Zahran Hashim, in front of its black flag. In a statement the men were named as Abu Ubaida - thought to refer to Hashim - Abu Khalil, Abu Hamza, Abu al-Baraa, Abu Muhammad, Abu Abdulla and Abu al-Mukhtar. Isis's official news agency, Amaq, posted this image of eight attackers, including the previously identified Zahran Hashim (centre) Sri Lanka's defence minister on Tuesday declared the attacks were retaliation for a recent attack on mosques in New Zealand, adding that two domestic Islamist groups were believed to be responsible. Ruwan Wijewardene’s comments were made as the South Asian island held its first mass funeral for about 30 of the victims of Sunday’s serial suicide bombings in three high profile churches and three luxury hotels. Sri Lankan intelligence has named the mastermind behind the Easter Sunday attacks as Moulvi Zahran Hashim, an extremist local cleric who incited his followers to violence with fiery sermons on his social media channels. CCTV video shows suspected suicide bomber entering St Sebastian's Church in Negombo Isil's brief statement said they targeted “nationals of the Crusader alliance and Christians”, but made no specific reference to the New Zealand mosque attacks. At the same time, AFP agency reported that two Muslim brothers carried out two of the hotel suicide blasts. The brothers, sons of a wealthy Colombo spice trader, blew themselves up as guests queued for breakfast at the Shangri-La and Cinnamon Grand hotels in the capital Colombo. The brothers, whose names have not been revealed, were in their late twenties and operated their own "family cell", an investigation officer said. A suspected suicide bomber carries a backpack on a street in Negombo, Sri Lanka The Sri Lankan government revealed in 2016 that 32 Sri Lanka Muslims had travelled to Syria to join Isil. “All these (Muslims) are not from ordinary families. These people are from the families which are considered as well-educated and elite,” Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, the country’s Justice Minister told parliament. said, adding that the government was aware of some foreigners coming to Sri Lanka to spread what he called Islamic extremism. A Syrian national was also arrested on Tuesday. It was not yet clear if he played a role in the attacks. Read more | Sri Lanka attacks Mr Wijewardene told the Sri Lankan parliament the massacre was carried out by the obscure local National Thawheed Jamaath group along with another group called the JMI, an apparent reference to a little-known radical Islamist group in India called the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen. Some experts have pointed out that the sophisticated nature of the attacks suggest that they would have required preparation that began before the Christchurch atrocity. Little is known about JMI, other than reports it was established last year and is affiliated to a similarly named group in Bangladesh. "The preliminary investigations have revealed that what happened in Sri Lanka was in retaliation for the attack against Muslims in Christchurch," said Mr Wijewardene. A suspected suicide bomber carries a backpack on a street in Negombo, Sri Lanka Fifty people were killed in shooting attacks on two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch on March 15, and horrific footage of the bloodbath was livestreamed on social media channels. The Sri Lankan authorities are still investigating how local militants gained the training and equipment to carry out an assault that is now considered to be one of the worst global terrorist atrocities since the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington. One theory is that Sri Lankan extremists could have been assisted by returning fighters from Iraq and Syria. It also emerged on Tuesday that Sri Lankan police are holding a Syrian national in custody for questioning over the Easter Sunday attacks. "The terrorist investigation division of the police arrested a Syrian national following the attacks for interrogation," a source told Reuters. Two other officials with knowledge of the investigation confirmed the detention. "He was arrested after interrogation of local suspects," a second source said. Police have now detained 40 suspects in connection with the attack. Sri Lanka attacks - Locator map The first mass funeral took place at St Sebastian church in Negombo, north of Colombo, which was one of the places targeted in Sunday's blasts. A moment of silence was observed at 08:30, to mark the timing of the first bomb on Sunday morning. Flags were lowered to half-mast and people, many of them in tears, bowed their heads in respect.

  • 'She took her last breath in my arms': Woman's tragic post after baby dies on flight

    "I immediately knew something was horribly wrong."

  • Stop Everything: Did Meghan Markle Secretly Give Birth to Baby Sussex?

    As the world celebrated the one-year birthday on Tuesday of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s third child, Prince Louis, idle gossip began to grow regarding another royal baby birthday. Did Meghan Markle secretly already give birth? And, if so, how long before she and Prince Harry announce the news? With mounting clues supporting the theory […]