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Susan Smith-Harmon

Susan Smith-Harmon

Turkish PM threatens to ban Facebook, YouTube

Friday, 07 March 2014 04:02 Published in National News
   ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey's prime minister has threatened drastic steps to censor the Internet, including shutting down Facebook and YouTube, where audio recordings of his alleged conversations suggesting corruption have been leaked in the past weeks, dealing him a major blow ahead of this month's local elections.
   In a late-night interview Thursday, Recep Tayyip Erdogan told ATV station that his government is determined to stem the leaks he insists are being instigated by followers of an influential U.S.-based Muslim cleric. He has accused supporters of Fethullah Gulen of infiltrating police and the judiciary and of engaging in "espionage," saying that the group even listened in on his encrypted telephone lines. The Gulen movement denies involvement.
   "We are determined on the issue, regardless of what the world may say," Erdogan said. "We won't allow the people to be devoured by YouTube, Facebook or others. Whatever steps need to be taken we will take them without wavering."
   Asked if the steps could include shutting those sites down, Erdogan replied: "That included. Because these people or institutions are (using social media) for all kinds of immorality, all kinds of espionage and spying."
   Erdogan this week acknowledged some of the leaked recordings, including two where he is heard meddling in a court case against a media proprietor and in a tender for the construction of warships. He has rejected as "fabrication" five recordings purported to be of Erdogan instructing his son to dispose of large amounts of money on the day that prosecutors and police carried out raids on the homes of three former ministers' sons as part of a corruption and bribery investigation.
   Erdogan, claiming to be a victim of a Gulen-orchestrated plot, has taken a series of steps to stall the corruption investigation, including removing hundreds of police officers and prosecutors and expanding government controls over the judiciary and the Internet. The new Internet restrictions sparked violent protests in Istanbul.
Phase 1 of Ballpark Village is finally set to open its doors March 27.  
 
The entertainment complex across the street from Busch Stadium was originally supposed to open in 2009 when the Cardinals hosted the All-Star Game.  Several issues, including lease agreements, delayed construction.  
 
The Grand Opening ceremony will include a free concert from Third Eye Blind.  Other events are also planned leading up to the Cardinal's home opener April 7th.  
 
Ballpark Village Grand Opening Events Schedule
 
Thursday, March 27th
5 PM – Opening Ceremony
6 PM – Private VIP Party
9 PM – FREE Concert by National Recording Artist Third Eye Blind on the FOX Sports Midwest Live! Stage
 
Friday, March 28th
11 AM – Open for Lunch: Cardinals Nation, FOX Sports Midwest Live!, Budweiser Brew House & Drunken Fish
5-7 PM – Founders VIP Event honoring the Construction Workers
 
Saturday, March 29th 
6-8:30 PM – Cardinals Nation Restaurant Grand Opening Ceremony & Private Party
7 PM – St. Louis Blues Hockey Watch Party in FOX Sports Midwest Live!
8:30 – 10 PM – Budweiser Brew House Grand Opening
8:30 PM – Fireworks Display over Busch Stadium
 
Sunday, March 30th 
11 AM-5 PM – Ballpark Village Family Fun Event
9PM-1AM – Red Bull Hospitality Party
 
Monday, March 31st
11 AM – FOX Sports Midwest Live! Grand Opening
3:10 PM – Cardinals Season Opener Watch Party at FOX Sports Midwest Live!
 
Thursday, April 3rd 
6 PM – Throwback Thursday Debut at FOX Sports Midwest Live!
 
Friday, April 4th 
5-7 PM – Inaugural Fridays on Clark featuring Dr. Zhivegas
9 PM – PBR St. Louis – A Cowboy Bar Grand Opening Party
9 PM – The Barn at PBR St. Louis Grand Opening Party
 
Monday, April 7th – Opening Day in St. Louis
10 AM – Cardinals Nation Museum & Hall of Fame Grand Opening
Noon – Opening Day Rally on Busch II Infield & Ballpark Village Lot
 
   A suspect is now in custody in connection with threats made Thursday caused officials to place two Granite City schools on lock down.  
   Police say around 3:24 p.m. they received information that a suspect had made a specific threat to the Coolidge Middle School. Officers met with school officials and placed the school on a lockdown.  Granite City High School was also placed on lockdown as a precaution.
   Once investigators determined that the call wasn't in the vicinity of the schools, the lockdowns were lifted and students were allowed to go home.
   Assistant Granite City Police Chief Major Jeff Connor says a 55 year old man was tracked to a local bar where he was arrested without incident.
   The case will be presented to the Madison County States Attorney Friday for possible charges.
 

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