TIME Sports

The French World Cup Team Made a ‘Yo’ Account to ‘Yo’ With Fans

Ecuador v France: Group E - 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Rio de Janeiro
Olivier Giroud of France applauds during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group E match between Ecuador and France Ian MacNicol—Getty Images

So it can "Yo" after every goal

Yo—an über viral new app that was programmed in eight hours, has already had a major security breach, and literally only lets people send the message “Yo”—probably isn’t the future of communication. But the French soccer team decided to take part in the cultural zeitgeist and send the message to their fans during the World Cup.

French social media agency KRDS created an “EquipedeFrance” account for the French team that aimed to say le Yo to its followers every time they scored a goal Thursday against Ecuador. (Which happened, not one time. The score was 0-0.)

“A single ‘yo’ can mean many things,” KRDS head of mobile strategy Emilien Coquard told Digiday.

Maybe fans will have a chance to unpack its many meanings when France plays again in round 16.

Now if only Uruguay’s team had made a Yo account that alerted fans every time Luis Suarez bit somebody…

TIME World Cup

Suarez Bite Victim Calls Penalty ‘Excessive’

Italy's Giorgio Chiellini shows his shoulder, claiming he was bitten by Uruguay's Luis Suarez, during their 2014 World Cup Group D soccer match at the Dunas arena in Natal, Brazil on June 24, 2014.
Italy's Giorgio Chiellini shows his shoulder, claiming he was bitten by Uruguay's Luis Suarez, during their 2014 World Cup Group D soccer match at the Dunas arena in Natal, Brazil on June 24, 2014. Tony Gentile—Reuters

Less than a week after being bitten during a World Cup match by Uruguay forward Luis Suarez, Italian defender Giorigo Chiellini appears ready to move on.

“Now inside me there’s no feelings of joy, revenge or anger against Suarez for an incident that happened on the pitch and that’s done,” Chilleni wrote on his Facebook page Friday. “I have always considered unequivocal the disciplinary interventions by the competent bodies, but at the same time I believe that the proposed formula is excessive.”

The bite, viewed live by millions of viewers worldwide, provoked a wide range of opinions, including many who argued for harsh penalties. FIFA, the organization that oversees international soccer, ultimately banned Suarez from competition for four months and fined him more than $100,000.

TIME movies

Strike Up the Banned: 5 Films That Sparked International Incidents

"BORAT: Touristic Guidings to Minor Nation of U.S. and A. and Touristic Guidings to Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan"
Borat Sagdiyev, played by actor Saha Baron Cohen, attends a signing for his new book "BORAT: Touristic Guidings to Minor Nation of U.S. and A. and Touristic Guidings to Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan" on November 7, 2007 in Los Angeles. Vince Bucci—Getty Images

The Interview was far from the first film to spark the ire of the country that it depicts. A brief history of films that have struck a nerve with global leaders

According to the trailer for their upcoming film, The Interview, James Franco and Seth Rogen (or at least the characters they play) will be sent to North Korea to assassinate Kim Jong Un. As you might imagine, the Supreme Leader isn’t exactly taking this in stride and has promised “merciless retaliation” against the U.S. for the faux assassination.

Extreme? Maybe, but then again you’ve never been fake-killed for millions of people around the world to see — and by Seth Rogen and James Franco no less. Maybe if it had been Jackie Chan or Jean-Claude van Damme (two of Kim’s favorite movie stars), things would be different, but no, it’s the guy who starts Twitter fights with Justin Bieber and the guy who posts the world’s most awkward selfies on Instagram.

And we’re not talking about any old leader here. This is Kim Jong Un, grandson of a god and friend to Dennis Rodman. He isn’t accustomed to being fake-insulted, let alone fake-killed. How would he explain it to all the friends who have to be his friends or else they’d be real-killed? Just something to consider.

Regardless of how you feel about Kim’s reaction, it is by all accounts the most outspoken response to a movie by the state (or in this case, head of state) that is the subject of the film. It is not, however, the first. Here are five other films that have been denounced, condemned or otherwise banned by governments who find that the movies hit too close to home.

Cry Freedom (1987)

Nominated for three Academy Awards in 1988, Cry Freedom chronicled the relationship of journalist Donald Woods (Kevin Kline) and activist Steve Biko (Denzel Washington) during apartheid-era South Africa in the late 1970s. Unsurprisingly, South African officials were somewhat uncomfortable with a film that depicted rampant discrimination, political corruption and racial violence in the segregated country. Though the movie was initially approved by South African censors, explosions and bomb threats accompanied the film’s debut, which may have helped spur the government to action. Stoffel van der Merwe, the Minister of Information, called Cry Freedom “crude propaganda” and said that the portrayal of South African security forces would undermine their public image.

Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (2003)

The sequel to Angelina Jolie’s first Tomb Raider film sparked the ire of Chinese officials, one of whom said, “After watching the movie, I feel that the Westerners have made their presentation of China with malicious intention.” The movie was partly filmed in Hong Kong, and was criticized by Beijing for making the country appear to be without a functioning government and instead run by secret societies. “The movie does not understand Chinese culture. It does not understand China’s security situation. In China there cannot be secret societies,” one official said.

District 9 (2009)

Neill Blomkamp’s allegorical film about aliens — or apartheid-era South Africa, if you look just a little closely — was nominated for four Oscars but was not a hit in Nigeria. According to the country’s Information Minister, Dora Akunyili, the Nigerian characters were portrayed as criminals and cannibals, and government officials also took exception to the fact that “the name of our former president was clearly spelt out as the head of the criminal gang and our ladies shown like prostitutes sleeping with extra-terrestrial refugees.” The film was banned in the West African country.

Argo (2012)

The 2013 Oscar winner for Best Picture told the story of the CIA’s mission to retrieve Americans trapped in Tehran during the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis. Though the film was widely criticized for historical inaccuracies, it was the Iranian government itself that had the strongest “Argo f— yourself” reaction. Mohammad Hosseini, the Iranian Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance, denounced the movie as “an offensive act” that was motivated by “evil intentions.” Argo was banned in Iran and plans were made for the state-affiliated Arts Bureau to produce The General Staff, a film that would tell the true story of American hostages held in the country. Though the “big production” film was announced in January 2013, there have been few updates in the past year.

Borat (2006)

Borat presents the most complicated case of these controversial films. Borat the character — a misogynistic, homophobic and anti-Semitic news reporter from Kazakhstan, played by British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen — had been around since even before Baron Cohen’s Da Ali G Show debuted in the U.S. in 2000. The character quickly gained notoriety and garnered even more attention once it was announced that he would get his own movie. Initially, Kazakh officials were not at all pleased. “We do not rule out that Mr. Cohen is serving someone’s political order designed to present Kazakhstan and its people in a derogatory way,” Kazakh Foreign Ministry spokesman Yerzhan Ashykbayev said in 2005, a full year before the movie’s release.

As the film’s release neared, however, Kazakhstan seemed to soften its stance, in spite of threatened lawsuits and rumored bans. Though officials strongly urged that it not be distributed in the country (and it wasn’t), Erlan Idrissov, the Kazakh ambassador to the U.K., said he found the movie amusing in parts and wrote that it “placed Kazakhstan on the map.” In 2012, Foreign Minister Yerzhan Kazykhanov credited the movie with increasing visa requests to visit Kazakhstan by tenfold: “I am grateful to Borat for helping attract tourists to Kazakhstan.”

Though Kazakhstan ultimately changed its opinion of Borat, that seems unlikely to happen with The Interview and North Korea. Kim Jong Un’s repudiation is far from the country’s first condemnation of a film. The 2009 disaster film 2012 was reportedly banned by then-leader Kim Jong Il because it depicted a series of catastrophic natural disasters in 2012 — the very year that North Korea was meant to “open the grand gates to becoming a rising superpower,” coinciding with the 100th birthday of Kim Il Sung, the nation’s founder. Anyone caught with a bootlegged copy of the film was allegedly charged with “a grave provocation against the development of the state,” which could carry a prison sentence of up to five years.

If the punishment for holding a copy of a film that didn’t have anything directly to do with North Korea inspired that still a punishment, it would likely be wise for North Korean citizens to stay as far away from The Interview as possible.

TIME China

7 Reasons Chinese Censors Don’t Like Hillary Clinton’s Hard Choices

Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrives to sign copies of her book "Hard Choices" at a Barnes & Noble book store in Los Angeles
Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrives to sign copies of her book "Hard Choices" at a Barnes & Noble book store in Los Angeles, California on June 19, 2014. Lucy Nicholson—Reuters

Though careful in her handling of domestic political hot potatoes, the former Secretary of State holds little back when it comes to China

The publisher of Hillary Clinton’s new political memoir, Hard Choices, told Buzzfeed Thursday that sales of the book have been effectively banned in China.

The reasons are not hard to figure out. Clinton’s book, though notable for its careful treatment of controversial domestic issues, is full of criticism of the Chinese regime and its existing policy of state censorship. She also goes into great detail about her interactions with senior Chinese officials on some of the most sensitive issues for China, and maintains a consistent tone of disapproval for the regimes suppression of Democratic rights.

Here is a cursory glance at seven passages from the book that may be the most offensive to the Chinese:

She knocks China for blocking a U.N. resolution to call out North Korea for sinking of a South Korean naval vessel.

“Here was one of China’s contradictions in full view. Beijing claimed to prize stability above all else, yet it was tacitly condoning naked aggression that was profoundly destabilizing.” (Page 56)

She details China’s recent domestic suppression efforts.

“Things had only gotten worse in 2011. In the first few months, dozens of public interest lawyers, writers, artists, intellectuals, and activists were arbitrarily detained and arrested.” (Page 63)

She describes the work of Chinese censorship efforts on her speeches.

“In China, however, censors went right to work erasing mentions of my message from the Internet.” (Page 64)

She describes confrontations with President Jiang about China’s treatment of Tibet.

“‘But what about their traditions and the right to practice their religion as they choose?’ I persisted. He forcefully insisted that Tibet was a part of China and demanded to know why Americans advocated for those ‘necromancers.’ Tibetans ‘were victims of religion. They are now freed from feudalism,’ he declared.” (page 68)

She questions the power of former Chinese President Hu Jintao

[H]e lacked the personal authority of predecessors such as Deng Xiaoping or Jiang Zemin. Hu seemed to me more like an aloof chairman of the board than a hands-on CEO. (Page 72)

She tells the story of dissident lawyer Chen Guangcheng taking refuge in the U.S. embassy.

Bob hustled Chen into the car, threw a jacket over his head, and sped off. Bob reported back to Washington with an update from the car, and we all held our breath, hoping that they wouldn’t be stopped before reaching the safety of the embassy grounds. (Page 87)

She describes the Chinese crackdown on speech, and the nation’s censorship regime.

“The ‘Great Firewall’ blocked foreign websites and particular pages with content perceived as threatening to the Communist Party. Some reports estimate that China employed as many as 100,000 censors to patrol the web.” (Page 548)

TIME Ukraine

More Than 100,000 Ukrainians Have Fled to Russia

Ukrainians Flee to Russia
Children sit in a bus as they flee from fighting in Slaviansk, Ukraine on June 7, 2014. Gleb Garanich—Reuters

UN refugee agency notes an increase in people displaced by the deteriorating situation in Eastern Ukraine

About 110,000 Ukrainians have fled to Russia in the wake of tensions between the two countries, while thousands more are internally displaced, the United Nations refugee agency said Friday.

A spokesperson for the United Nations High Commission on Refugees said at a news conference in Geneva that the UNHCR estimates about 54,400 people have been displaced within Ukraine due to rising fears over abductions, human rights violations and a general deterioration of law and order in the country.

The UNHCR says that while many have fled, few—about 9,600—have applied for asylum status in Russia for fear of reprisals should they return to Ukraine.

The news comes just as Ukraine signed a historic trade pact with the European Union, deepening its ties to the West and further irritating pro-Russian separatists in the East. A fragile week-long ceasefire is also set to expire Friday, which is likely to cause an uptick in refugees.


Pictures of the Week: June 20 — June 27

From the US advancing to the knockout round of the 2014 World Cup and the growing crisis in Iraq to selfies with Queen Elizabeth and Batman’s California VIP appearance, TIME presents the best photos of the week.

TIME Military

Armed U.S. Drones Flying Over Baghdad

Baghdad Aerial Kerry
A picture taken on board a helicopter shows a US State Department helicopter flying over the Iraqi capital Baghdad as it transports US Secretary of State John Kerry on June 23, 2014, in Baghdad. Brendan Smialowski—AFP/Getty Images

Primary mission is to defend Americans on the ground

Armed U.S. drones are flying over the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, an American official said Friday, primed to defend U.S. troops and diplomats on the ground—or to attack insurgents challenging the Iraqi government if President Barack Obama orders such strikes.

“We have the necessary forces not only to protect our own forces, but to be prepared should the President make a decision to do something more,” a senior Pentagon official said Friday. “We’ve got both manned and unmanned over Iraq, and it shouldn’t surprise anybody that some of our drones have armaments.”

The drone flights don’t necessarily portend a change in policy from Obama, who has sent military advisers to help the struggling Iraqi army fight Sunni militants taking control of swaths of the country but has said they’ll only be involved in training, not combat.

“This doesn’t mean necessarily that were going to use them—the President hasn’t made a decision to use any sort of direct action—but could the armed ones be used for protection of our advisers on the ground, of course they could be,” the military official said of the drones. “They’re also there looking for targets of opportunities. If the President decides they merit striking, sure, they’re there for that, too, but the President hasn’t made any of those decisions.”

The official likened the drone deployments to “due diligence.” Likewise, the up-to-300 U.S. troops Obama has ordered into Iraq to help the tottering government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki “aren’t going into combat, but they sure are going in armed,” the official added.

MQ-1 Predators, outfitted with Hellfire missiles, have begun flying missions over Baghdad and elsewhere in Iraq from an airbase in Kuwait, a military official said.

Manned and unmanned aircraft are flying “around-the-clock coverage” over Iraq, Rear Admiral John Kirby, the Pentagon’s top spokesman, said last Friday. They are flying between 30 and 35 sorties daily. “We’re not looking at the whole country,” he added. “We’re looking at parts of the country that are obviously of greatest interest.”

TIME World Cup

32 Most Memorable Moments of the 2014 FIFA World Cup

Strikes, blocks, headers, corner kicks and penalties -- these are the best moments of the 2014 FIFA World Cup so far


Russian Rocket Launch Aborted Due To ‘Technical Issues’

The first launch of Russia's flagship Angara space rocket has been automatically stopped minutes before take-off

Russia has postponed Friday’s historic test launch of an Angara space rocket, Russia Today reports. The second attempt will take place Saturday.

The Defense Ministry said the launch was automatically stopped just moments before countdown. Reports from Russian space agency Roscosmos claim “technical issues” are to blame for the scrapped launch.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who had been due to watch the launch from the Kremlin via video link, reportedly told Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu: “Carefully analyze everything and report to me after an hour.” So far, no further details of the failure have emerged.

The Angara rocket, which has been in development since 1994, is Russia’s first new rocket design since the fall of the U.S.S.R. The program has already cost Russia over 100 billion rubles, or $3 billion.

Russia hopes the Angara rocket could revitalize Russia’s once-pioneering space industry, which has suffered several funding cuts.

The rocket was due to be launched from a base in Mirny, 500 miles north of Moscow. From there it would have traveled to a new spaceport in Kamchatka, a peninsula in Russia’s Far East, reaching it in an estimated 21 minutes.

[Russia Today]

TIME Photos

Feel Good Friday: 19 Fun Photos to Start Your Weekend

From swamp soccer to baby giraffes, here's a handful of photos to get your weekend started right

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