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maze runner death cureMaze Runner: The Death Cure is a 2018 USA action Sci-Fi thriller by Wes Ball.
Starring Rosa Salazar, Thomas Brodie-Sangster and Dylan O’Brien. BBFC link IMDb

In the epic finale to The Maze Runner Saga, Thomas leads his group of escaped Gladers on their final and most dangerous mission yet. To save their friends, they must break into the legendary last city, a WCKD controlled labyrinth that may turn out to be the deadliest maze of all. Anyone who makes it out alive will get the answers to the questions the Gladers have been asking since they first arrived in the maze. Will Thomas and the crew make it out alive? Or will Ava Paige get her way?

BBFC advised category cuts were required for a 12A rated cinema release in 2018. 2D and 3D version were then passed 12A for moderate violence, threat, language.

The BBFC commented:

  • This work was originally seen for advice. The company was advised that the film was likely to receive a 15 certificate but that their preferred 12A classification could be achieved by making some changes. The company was advised to reduce moments of threat and ‘horror’ involving zombie-like characters. When the film was formally submitted, changes had been made and, consequently, the film was passed 12A
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padmavatPadmavati is a 2017 India historical romance by Sanjay Leela Bhansali.
Starring Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor. IMDb

Rani Padmavati (aka Padmini) is said to be one of the most beautiful women to ever exist. This real life story is epitome of Love and sacrifice between Rajput Queen Padmavati and Rana Rawal Ratan Singh, the Rajput ruler of Mewar. Their perfect life took unfortunate turn when Allauddin Khilji’s lustful eyes gazed upon Queen Padmavati. Alauddin Khilji is known as one of the most brutal rulers of the Khilji dynasty, who ascended the throne by killing his father-in-law, his brother-in-laws and their uncles. He was known for attacking states, only for their land and women. And, the motive behind the attack on Mewar was none other than royal Rani Padmavati. Chittorgarh fort, today, stands as an epitome of the true Rajputana spirit, loyalty, fidelity and bravery and a symbol of women power.

The controversial historical movie Padmaavat looks all set to arrive in cinemas on January 25 but members of the Bharatiya Janata Party continue to make threats about its release?

The film has now been passed by the Central Board of Film Certification with a U/A certificate and five cuts. The title has been changed from Padmavati to Padmaavat as per the board’s recommendation. Viacom Pictures put out a press release on Saturday confirming a worldwide release in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu.

However, despite the censor board’s green signal, the movie has been banned in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat, all of which are BJP-ruled states. This is entirely legal. State governments have the power to block a film’s release even after censor clearance.

There has been no end to protests by the Rajput Karni Sena, the community organisation that has been leading attacks on the movie since early 2017 on the grounds that it distorts history. On Friday, over 130 Rajput Karni Sena members were arrested in Mumbai for staging a protest outside the CBFC headquarters in Mumbai. The organisation has demanded that the certification be revoked until its leaders have watched the movie, and have threatened to burn down cinemas that screen the film.

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House of Commons logoCustoms officers are to gain permission to enter and search people’s homes without a warrant in a law change a minister warns would allow them more powers than the police.

Kit Malthouse, a Conservative MP who became a minister in this week’s reshuffle, said he is concerned about new powers for HM Revenue and Customs in the Finance Bill which is currently going through Parliament.

The changes were an extension of the old excise men’s powers to deal with smugglers in ports and airports he said, questioning whether such powers are appropriate today.

He said: I hope that Ministers will think carefully about whether it might be more appropriate for a warrant to be obtained to access someone’s premises, in the same way that the police do when they have suspicions.

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In the latest undercover Project Veritas video investigation, eight current and former Twitter employees are on camera explaining steps the social media giant is taking to censor political content that they don’t like.

American Pravda A new undercover video from a group of conservative investigative journalists appears to show Twitter staff and former employees talking about how they censor content they disagree with.

James O’Keefe, Project Veritas founder, posted a video showing an undercover reporter speaking to Abhinov Vadrevu, a former Twitter software engineer, at a San Francisco restaurant on January 3.

There, he discussed a technique referred to as shadow banning, which means that users’ content is quietly blocked without them ever knowing about it. Their tweets would still appear to their followers, but it wouldn’t appear in search results or anywhere else on Twitter.  So posters just think that no one is engaging with their content, when in reality, no one is seeing it.

Olinda Hassan, a policy manager for Twitter’s Trust and Safety team, was filmed talking about development of a system for down ranking shitty people.

Another Twitter engineer claimed that staff already have tools to censor pro-Trump or conservative content. One Twitter engineer appeared to suggest that the social network was trying to ban, like, a way of talking. Anyone found to be aggressive or negative will just vanish.

Every single conversation is going to be rated by a machine and the machine is going to say whether or not it’s a positive thing or a negative thing, Twitter software engineer Steven Pierre was filmed on December 8 saying as he discussed the development of an automated censure system.

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house of lords red logoTheresa May today vowed to overturn a disgraceful bid by peers to muzzle the press.The House of Lords yesterday voted to force the vast majority of papers – including the struggling local press – to pay all legal costs in data protection cases even if they win.

Peers voted by 211 votes to 200, a majority of only 11, to introduce the new legal fees costs on the media.

Critics have pointed out that it will hamper the media’s ability to investigate wrongdoing and corruption as criminals could drag the press through expensive courts without having to pay a penny themselves.

The PM said:

I think that the impact of this vote would undermine high-quality journalism and a free press.

I think it would particularly have a negative impact on local newspapers, which are an important underpinning of our democracy.

I believe passionately in a free press. We want to have a free press that is able to hold politicians and others to account and we will certainly be looking to overturn this vote in the House of Commons.

The Lords also voted by 238 votes to 209 for a new probe effectively mirroring the second part of the Leveson inquiry. This also attempts to punish the press by denying them justice by making them pay regardless of the merits of the case.

New Culture Secretary Matt Hancock also weighed in against the lords saying that the proposed changes would be a hammer blow to the local press and made clear he would seek to overturn the changes in the elected House of Commons

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german night buck innIt is interesting to note that ASA now uses American spellings in preference to UK English spellings

Two Facebook posts for the Buck Inn, a pub in Darlington:

a. The first post, dated 8 September 2017, stated German Grub Night at The Buck Inn Dont mention ze war!. The post included an image of a poster titled german night with text stating Set 3 Course Meal Including Popular German Dishes 2£19.95pp, Graham Ze Chef, Don’t Mention Ze War!. The poster also showed a black and white image depicting a uniformed Nazi soldier performing a Nazi salute with the right arm, and a swastika on the left sleeve. A smiling, caricature-style, sketched image of the face the chef had been superimposed on to the Nazi soldier. The text font of the headline german night and colour scheme in the poster also resembled the stylisation and colours typical of Nazi imagery.

b. The second post, dated 12 September 2017, showed that the Buck Inn had updated their Facebook profile picture to an image of a newspaper article about the german night poster. The article featured an image of the poster and was titled Pub’s German night ‘Nazi’ poster criticised. The Buck Inn had also liked a number of comments by other individuals on their Facebook page in relation to the posts.

Three complainants challenged whether the ads were offensive.

The Buck Inn said that Dont mention ze war was a quote from Fawlty Towers and the use of this phrase in the ad, in conjunction with a cartoon image of their chef’s head on a German soldier, was intended to be light hearted and humorous. They said that the poster advertised a German cuisine night and that the design of the ad was inspired by the comedy in this particular episode of Fawlty Towers. They also stated they were not promoting the Nazi party in the ad and it was not intended to mock the Second World War in any way.

The Buck Inn also said that the ad was seen on Facebook by over 500,000 people, and the fact that only three complaints were received indicated most people had interpreted the ad in the way they had intended.

With regard to the Buck Inn liking a number of comments by other individuals on their Facebook page, they said they liked every comment by users on their page as they considered that it helped to improve their interaction with consumers on Facebook and that the users would be more likely to see the their future Facebook posts.

ASA Decision: Complaints upheld

The ASA acknowledged the phrase Don’t mention the war was a fairly well known quote from the sitcom Fawlty Towers. However, we considered that the use of an image of a Nazi soldier wearing a swastika and performing a Nazi salute to advertise the pub’s German cuisine night, in a humorous tone, was inappropriate and trivialised the events of the Second World War and actions of the German Nazi party. Furthermore, the ad appeared to link German culture intrinsically with Nazi Germany and the war. We therefore considered that ad (a) was likely to cause serious or widespread offense.

We also considered that the Buck Inn’s activity on Facebook in ad (b) trivialised the reported offense that ad (a) was likely to cause, particularly in the use of the newspaper article as a Facebook profile picture. In particular we considered that the Buck Inn’s liking of various comments by other users on their Facebook page, many of which contained distasteful jokes and puns in reference to the Holocaust, was also likely to cause serious or widespread offense.

The ads must not appear again in their current form. We told the Buck Inn to ensure that they did not cause serious or widespread offence by using Nazi references or imagery in their advertising, or by trivialising the events of the Second World War and actions of the German Nazi party. We also told the Buck Inn to ensure that comments made by other users on their Facebook page, which in themselves were likely to cause serious or widespread offense, were not liked.

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matt hancockMatt Hancock MP was appointed Secretary of State for Digital, Censorship, Media and Sport on 8 January 2018. He was previously Minister of State for Digital from July 2016 to January 2018.Matt Hancock is the MP for West Suffolk, having been elected in the 2010 general election.  Since July 2016 he has served at DCMS as Minister of State for Digital and is responsible for broadband, broadcasting, creative industries, cyber and the tech industry.

The Secretary of State has overall responsibility for strategy and policy across the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

The department’s main policy areas are:

  • arts and culture
  • broadcasting
  • creative industries
  • cultural property, heritage and the historic environment
  • gambling and racing
  • libraries
  • media ownership and mergers
  • museums and galleries
  • the National Lottery
  • sport
  • telecommunications and online
  • tourism

Hancock has already been working on the new law to serve up porn viewers on a platter to scammers, fraudsters, blackmailers and identity thieves, so there is unlikely to be a change of direction there.