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Caroline Flack, ‘Love Island,’ and industry of outrage surrounding star’s death

Flack, the 40-year-old former host of the hit UK reality show “Love Island,” died by suicide at her ..

Flack, the 40-year-old former host of the hit UK reality show "Love Island," died by suicide at her northeast London apartment as she awaited trial for an alleged assault of her boyfriend. Mental health organizations urge against assuming a single factor in cases of suicide. But reaction was nonetheless swift and often definitive.Social media, the British press and the Crown Prosecution Service have all been blamed for their treatment of the star, while celebrity well-wishers have been attacked for hypocrisy and politicians have mooted a reform of the media.Meanwhile, the same media cycle that aided Flack's rise to fame was condemned for tearing her down in her final months, and many reacted with fury as tabloids like The Sun moved swiftly to delete previous negative articles about the star.What's clear is that the reverberations from the death of Flack, a longtime staple of Britain's raucous tabloid press, are being widely felt — with fundamental questions raised about the symbiotic relationship between the media and today's television personalities.For some commentators, the instant reactions were premature."When we experience the tragic loss of someone, we often look around for someone to point the finger at," said Honey Langcaster-James, a television psychologist who has consulted on on-set welfare for shows including "Love Island." "We get consumed when someone dies in these circumstances by the question of why, and of what could have been done… but the important thing is we don't speculate," she told CNN.But in death, as in life, fascination about Flack has given rise to plenty of speculation — and it's highlighting the relentless industry of outrage that has both aided the rise of reality television personalities and swarmed them in their lowest moments.

Tabloids under scrutiny

Flack's career was boosted, at least in part, by a media ecosystem that thrives on judgment and is quick to identify winners and losers. She won a public vote to claim victory in "Strictly Come Dancing," one of Britain's most popular shows, and then helmed another breakout hit — "Love Island" — whose success relies heavily on its omnipresence on social media and on the homepages of tabloid news sites.But that same environment ensured the lows of Flack's career were as loudly amplified as the highs. Flack attracted criticism for dating a 17-year-old Harry Styles while she was 31. Years later, the details of the alleged assault in December on her partner, Lewis Burton, have been combed over online on an almost daily basis.Britain's top tabloids were already going after Meghan. Now they're twisting the knifeAfter she was charged, a front page of the Daily Star newspaper branded her "Caroline Smack," while The Sun published and then deleted a story about a "brutal" Valentine Day's card mocking her assault case. "She lived every mistake publicly under the scrutiny of the media," Laura Whitmore, Flack's friend and replacement as "Love Island" host, said on her BBC radio show the day after her death was confirmed. "To the press who demonize and tear down success: we've had enough." Several commentators have compared the coverage to that of Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.Now, commentators and politicians are asking whether such levels of media scrutiny should exist at all — and the fallout from Flack's death has reopened a long-running debate over press regulation in the country. "We welcome the public outcry for change. What happened to Caroline Flack will happen to vulnerable people again and again, until the government acts," Nathan Sparkes, policy director of the campaign group Hacked Off, told CNN. Hacked Off was formed in the wake of the 2011 British phone hacking scandal, which led to the closure of the News of the World tabloid and prompted a major inquiry into the British press."This applies to a minority of journalists overall … but we do need some form of accountability," said Sparkes.An online petition calling for a review into the media after Flack's death has attracted more than 200,000 signatures, and a campaign is urging for new legislation dubbed "Caroline's Law" to be implemented.But such calls have been resisted in the past, with fears they could threaten press freedom.Media law consultant David Banks has warned against identifying the media as culprits in Flack's death."To attribute her death to one thing is, in my opinion, and in my experience of 32 years reporting inquests, a mistake," he wrote on Twitter. "There were a number of things happening in her life that we know a little about — the upcoming trial for assault; her relationship with her boyfriend; her removal as a presenter of Love Island.""There may also be other things happening in her life that we know absolutely nothing about, but which contributed to what happened," he added. "The inquest *might* discover these things, but equally might not. We may never know."

Is social media fueling the fire?

Obsessive media coverage of celebrities is nothing new in Britain, a country whose tabloids are known for their relentless and unwavering pursuit of scandal.But on social media and in the streets, the dissection was often harsher still — and Flack had spoken about the difficulties of living in the public eye."People say you have to expect that kind of scrutiny because you work in television. Really? Why? Who says so?" Flack wrote in her 2015 autobiography."Perhaps the worst was Twitter," she wrote. "However vile they are, newspapers have to be careful because of libel and privacy. But Twitter is different. nobody censors that." CNN has contacted Twitter for comment.Caroline Flack on "Love Island."Langcaster-James, who works with television personalities on how to deal with online abuse, told CNN social media can be a lonely place for celebrities. "We hear the same things time and time again — social media has made a lot of things worse for people in the public eye," she said. "The public don't always see that people are struggling … we only ever see quite an unrealistic picture of someone's life online, and that's the same for celebrities." "It can be so difficult for them to be honest about how they're feeling, because they're worried it will affect their career prospects — we get told that from many clients," she added. "They don't want production companies to know that they're struggling."

Outrage at several targets

The media hasn't been the only target of anger over Flack's death.Even as the related hashtag #BeKind was trending, several Twitter users displayed their anger by sending abuse to the reporter who wrote a story in The Sun — headlined "Brutal Caroline Flack Valentine's Day card cruelly mocks troubled star with 'I'll f***ing lamp you' message" — that was published hours before she died.Decisions over whether to cover a story are usually taken by editors, with the story then assigned to a reporter, who often do not write the headlines. But such distinctions are lost in the whirlwind of social media outrage.Laura Whitmore announced as new  'Love Island' hostElsewhere, as celebrities shared messages of condolRead More – Source

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Europe

Kosovo highest court rules new government can be formed without snap elections

Issued on: 29/05/2020 – 03:25Modified: 29/05/2020 – 03:29

Kosovo's Constitutional Court ruled..

Issued on: Modified:

Kosovo's Constitutional Court ruled late on Thursday that a new government can be formed without holding a snap election, a decision opposed by the caretaker prime minister's party, which has vowed street protests.

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Albin Kurti's government was dismissed on March 25 after less than two months in office, following disagreements with its main partner, the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK), over its handling of the coronavirus pandemic and removal of tariffs on Serbian goods.

"The biggest political party does not have the exclusivity to propose the candidate of the prime minister to form the government," the court said in its verdict.

Kurti backed a snap election after seeing that other parties rallied together with his former coalition partner the LDK to form a new government. His party said it will organise protests in coming days.

The task to form the government is now given to LDK nominee Avdullah Hoti, former deputy prime minister and a past finance minister.

Hoti has promised he will return to negotiations with Serbia to normalise ties under EU and United States mediation. Such talks were halted in 2018 when a previous government introduced a 100% tariffs on goods produced in Serbia.

The move has angered the European Union and the United States, which backed Read More – Source

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Europe

The ICC says ex-Ivory Coast president Gbagbo can leave Belgium under conditions

Issued on: 28/05/2020 – 22:03Modified: 28/05/2020 – 22:03

The International Criminal Court on Thur..

Issued on: 28/05/2020 – 22:03Modified: 28/05/2020 – 22:03

The International Criminal Court on Thursday said former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo can leave Belgium under certain conditions following his acquittal last year over post-electoral violence that killed 3,000 people.

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Gbagbo and his deputy Charles Ble Goude were both cleared of crimes against humanity a year ago, eight years after the former West African strongmans arrest and transfer to the Hague-based court.

Belgium agreed to host Gbagbo, 73, after he was released in February under strict conditions including that he would return to court for a prosecution appeal against his acquittal.

However, Gbagbo and Ble Goude cannot “travel beyond the territorial limits of the municipality of the receiving State without the explicit and prior authorisation of the Court,” an ICC statement said Thursday.

Ble Goude, who lives in The Hague, was released under similar conditions as Gbagbo.

Gbagbos lawyers had in February appealed for his unRead More – Source

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Europe

Nissan to shut factory in Barcelona, thousands of workers affected

Issued on: 28/05/2020 – 21:53Modified: 28/05/2020 – 21:56

Japanese carmaker Nissan has decided to ..

Issued on: Modified:

Japanese carmaker Nissan has decided to shut its factory in Barcelona where 3,000 people are employed after four decades of operations, the Spanish government said on Thursday.

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The decision came despite government efforts to keep the plant open, Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya told the national radio station.

“We regret this decision by Nissan to leave not just Spain but Europe… to concentrate its business in Asia, despite the enormous efforts by the government to keep the business going,” she said.

Spain is one of the countries worst hit by the coronavirus fallout, a context that particularly stoked anger among workers at the Barcelona plant.

Shameful

“Its shameful that a multinational company like this one would drop us in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said 54-year old Jordi Carbonell who has been with Nissan for 32 years.

Carbonell said he had felt “cheated” by management in recent years. “No production site is profitable without a sufficient production volume and here they just let it die,” he said.

Spains car industry is the European Unions second-biggest after that of Germany, accounting for 10 percent of the countrys gross domestic product.

With Brexit, the Barcelona site became Nissans main one in the European Union. The Japanese company runs a bigger production facility in Sunderland in Britain.

In addition to 3,000 direct jobs, some 22,000 more depend indirectly on the site, according to unions.

The industry ministry confirmed to AFP that Nissans chief executive had informed it of plans to stop operations at the Barcelona site, which groups several production facilities.

Safeguard employment

Production there had already ground to a halt at the start of the month when some staff went on strike demanding an investment strategy for the site after plans were announced to cut 20 percent of the workforce.

Foreign Minister Gonzalez Laya said “all kinds of help” had been proposed to Nissan in the run-up to Thursdays decision and that the government would “not throw in the towel”.

The head of Nissans European operations, Gianluca de Ficchy, said “all that support was taken into account in order to have an overall economic equation going forward”.

Nevertheless, “weve reached the conclusion that the overall economic equation for the plant was not sustainable going forward,” he added.

But Gonzalez Laya said Spain would “explore all solutions, because our concern is to safeguard employment”.

She did not rule out the possibility of finding a buyer for the plant.

Economy Minister Nadia Calvino meanwhile said the government had invited Nissan to start talks “to see how this process could be managed”, to no avail.

The Madrid government has argued that the cost of closing Nissans Barcelona operation, which it put at more than one billion euros ($1.1 billion), was higher than the investmRead More – Source

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