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Albania passes anti-slander law despite media protest calling it censorship – National Post

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TIRANA — Albania’s parliament on Wednesday passed an anti-defamation package criticized by journalists and the Council of Europe as an attempt to muzzle the media while the government countered it was merely regulating “a jungle of misinformation and hate.”

Parliament adjusted two laws to empower the Albanian Media Authority (AMA) and the Authority of Electronic and Postal Communications to hear complaints about news websites, demand retractions, impose fines of up to 1 million leke ($9,013.88), and suspend their activity.

The journalists, who protested by wearing black scarves outside parliament, said that the measures were tantamount to censorship.

More than a dozen media organizations condemned the law and said they would start an information campaign that would also aim to kill those bills or nullify them with litigation.

“We call on journalists to keep working by reporting truthfully and correctly and fear not the existence of these regressive laws,” the media organizations said in a statement.

The package was initially meant to cover some 700 to 800 online news sites that have sprung up over the last decade, but may also apply to TV stations, according to last-minute changes.

“This law says ‘if we do not like your news story, we can remove it and fine you’,” said editor Enton Abilekaj.

Prime Minister Edi Rama told parliament the move intended to stop fake news or slander from causing loss of life or pressing businesses for bribes by shaming the quality of their products.

The law did not violate at all the right to free speech and opinion, but restored dignity to the slandered, Rama added.

“This is a jungle that takes money right and left … A jungle that produces hate, misinformation and despair,” he told the chamber.

Dunja Mijatovic, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, said the laws were in urgent need of improvement.

The powers given to AMA, the possibility of excessive fines and the blocking of media websites without a court order “may deal a strong blow to freedom of expression and media.”

“Several provisions are indeed not compatible with international and European human rights standards which protect freedom of expression and freedom of the media,” she said. ($1 = 110.9400 leke) (Reporting by Benet Koleka; editing by Grant McCool)

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Connor McDavid Deserves More Respect From Hockey Media – The Hockey Writers

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The NHL announced the first tranche of its 2020-21 award winners from Sept. 6-13. We still have to wait until Sept. 21 to find out the rest of the winners, almost a month altogether. If you don’t remember what awards were already announced or who won them, don’t worry. You’re excused. After superbly handling the management of this year’s playoffs in Edmonton and Toronto bubbles, the NHL has made this year’s awards forgettable.

McDavid Not Even Nominated

What’s not forgettable is the disrespect shown to Connor McDavid. Of the multiple awards being given, the acknowledged best hockey player in the world will win none of them. We know this because he wasn’t even in the top three for nominations for any. This, of course, isn’t the NHL’s fault. It’s the Professional Hockey Writers Association’s (PHWA). Some NHL awards — like the Maurice Richard, Art Ross, and William Jennings – for top goal-scorer, top points leader and goalies with the best team goals-against total, respectively, are purely statistical.

Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid (THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Ross D. Franklin)

Of the awards related to players exclusively – i.e. not executives or coaches — the PHWA does the voting for most. The exceptions are for the Ted Lindsay Award for Most Outstanding Player and the Mark Messier Leadership Award. Those are decided by the National Hockey League Players Association (NHLPA) and Mark Messier himself, respectively.

Historical Bias by Hockey Media

This oversight and lack of respect is not limited to this year. McDavid has been in the NHL since 2015, or five seasons. In that time, he has won the following NHL awards:

2016-17: Art Ross, Hart and Ted Lindsay

2017-18: Art Ross and Ted Lindsay

The Hart Trophy (Dave Kuhn/Flickr)

Do you notice a pattern? Combined with no chance of winning an award this year, only one of the five awards McDavid has won over his career – the Hart, for Most Valuable Player to his team, in 2016-17 — was awarded to him by the media.

No Calder Trophy in 2015

Despite coming into the NHL in 2015 with a reputation as a “phenom,” and a “generational player,” the PHWA has shown McDavid a lack of appreciation and respect from the beginning.

Related: Connor McDavid & The Revival Of The Erie Otters

Artemi Panarin won the Calder Trophy for best rookie in a year when it stretched imagination to regard him as a rookie. In 2015, McDavid had just three years of amateur, major-junior hockey in Canada under his belt. He entered the NHL as an 18-year-old and had never played professional hockey before. Panarin, 24 years old, had already played nine years of professional hockey in the European and Asian-based Kontinental Hockey League, generally considered the top league in the world outside of the NHL.

Artemi Panarin Blackhawks
Artemi Panarin, while playing for the Blackhawks (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

In 2015-16, the seasoned pro, Panarin, scored 77 points in 80 games as a “rookie” with the Chicago Blackhawks. McDavid, never having played professional hockey, scored 48 points in an injury-shortened, 45-game season. Panarin won. McDavid came in third.

Letter vs. Spirit of the Law

By the NHL’s definition of “rookie,” Panarin was eligible to win the award:

To be considered a rookie, a player must not have played in more than 25 NHL games in any preceding seasons, nor in six or more NHL games in each of any two preceding seasons. Any player at least 26 years of age (by September 15th of that season) is not considered a rookie.

The NHL’s current definition of rookie

The NHL has tweaked its definition of rookie, however, six times since the league was formed in 1917. The reason for this has been to ensure fairness, that players without substantial professional playing experience didn’t unfairly compete against other, seasoned players.

The 1991 changes for the definition of “rookie” came about after Russian superstar and Hall of Famer Sergei Makarov won the Calder playing for the Calgary Flames at the age of 31 after playing 13 professional seasons, and years of elite international competitions. He clearly wasn’t a rookie by the general understanding of the term.

Sergei Makarov
Sergei Makarov won the Calder despite years of success on the famed Soviet “KLM” line, one of the most famous ever in hockey (THW Archives)

Panarin, with nine years of pro experience, comparable to Makharov’s 13, is also the second-oldest winner in the years since the age limit was changed in 1991. Of the 28 winners in that time period, two were 25 years old (both goalies), one was 23 (another goalie), three were 22, four were 21, and the rest were all 20 or under. By giving the Calder to Panarin, with his substantial pro experience at the age of 24, the PHWA was within the letter of the rules, but many observers thought it stretched the spirit of the award.

History Repeats Itself

Many scholars have observed that history repeats itself. Karl Marx added the caveat, “the first time as tragedy, the second as farce.” The reasons some members of the PHWA have given for not honouring McDavid’s accomplishments go beyond disrespect to the farcical.

McDavid, the argument goes, didn’t deserve to win the Hart Trophy in seasons 2017-18 or 2018-19 because he wasn’t good enough to help the Oilers make the playoffs. Those years, he placed fifth and third in Hart voting, with Taylor Hall and Nikita Kucherov winning, respectively.

Is the 2019-20 season somehow different than those years? When the NHL shut down on March 11, the Oilers were in a playoff position. The New York Rangers weren’t. McDavid had 97 points in 64 games at that point. Panarin had only 95 points in 69 games. Read that again. Panarin scored two fewer points than McDavid did in five more games. McDavid’s team was in a playoff position. Panarin’s wasn’t.

Edmonton Oilers' Connor McDavid
A happy Connor McDavid (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson))

The Hart Trophy is based solely on performance in the regular season. Hart voting should have been based only on what happened up to the end of the abbreviated season. By the PHWA’s own previous reckoning, Panarin should have been penalized for not being good enough to take his team into the playoffs, like McDavid had been the previous two seasons. 

COVID-19 changed many things and the Stanley Cup playoffs were one of them. The NHL decided to change their playoff format and add a qualifying round, making 24 teams eligible for the postseason instead of 16. The Rangers were suddenly no longer out of the playoffs and were promoted to the qualifying round. The Oilers were just as suddenly demoted from being playoff eligible to the qualifying round. To illustrate how unfair this was, consider that the Oilers had more points when league play stopped than the Stanley Cup-finalist Dallas Stars did. Both the Oilers and Rangers lost in the qualifying round, and neither team officially made the 2020 playoffs.

Related: 2020 NHL Playoffs Qualifying Round Upsets Described in One Word

Somehow, the PHWA’s “we-have-to-penalise-players-on-non-playoff-teams” reasoning changed this season. Their members gave enough votes to the non-playoff Panarin to put him in the final three nominees for this year’s Hart Trophy, but not McDavid.

Some writers are justifying their votes by saying that they already placed fellow Oiler Leon Draisaitl high on their ballot and couldn’t vote for two players on the same team for the Hart. Why not?

The Hart Memorial Trophy is given “to the player adjudged to be the most valuable to his team.” There is nothing in the letter of the eligibility rules prohibiting two players from the same team reaching the top three in nominations. Indeed, in the 2000-01 season, Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr did just that (Joe Sakic won it).

Joe Sakic (THW Archives)

2019-20 is another year when two of the most valuable players played on the same team. Consider that Draisaitl and McDavid had the league’s two best points per game averages, 1.55 and 1.52, respectively. Panarin averaged only 1.38. Both Draisaitl (10) and McDavid (6) had more game-winning goals than Panarin (4). Both averaged more time on ice per game – a clear indication of which players coaches value most – than Panarin did.

2019-20 Nominations McDavid Should Be Higher In

What awards should the PWHA have voted McDavid higher for in this year? As shown, you can certainly make a case for the Hart. If you honestly feel you can’t place him higher on the ballot because you already put Draisaitl there, then McDavid (only 28 total penalty minutes) should have been in the top three for the “consolation” Lady Byng for gentlemanly conduct. That’s what the PHWA did by awarding it to Nathan MacKinnon. Why not have McDavid at least third in nominations for the Lady Byng also then?

Nathan MacKinnon Colorado Avalanche
Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

But the main award the PHWA should have given McDavid more consideration for this year was the Masterton Trophy. Not to slight any of the three finalists for this year’s award won by Bobby Ryan, but how can you not consider McDavid in the top three given the devastating and debilitating injury he suffered in the last game of the 2018-19 season? No one who watched the NHL’s documentary “Whatever It Takes” can possibly doubt he fully demonstrated all three of “perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication” in spades over the offseason to make it back in time for the first game of 2019-20. All he did after that was immediately perform as well as if not better than he did before the injury.

Does McDavid Himself Feel Disrespected?

Ever the gentleman, he’ll never say so, but one only has to read between the lines from the comments he made regarding his teammate Draisaitl’s chances of winning the Hart and Ted Lindsay awards this year to know how McDavid feels:

“I don’t have a lot of faith in the media voting so I don’t know who’s going to win, but it should be Leon,” McDavid said, according to TSN. “I think the players will get it right and vote Leon [the Ted Lindsay], but you never know about the media [the Hart].”



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Calgary restaurateurs say anti-maskers are causing social media headaches – The Guardian

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Anti-maskers are causing a headache for local restaurants that are facing online harassment and in-person aggression for upholding COVID-19 safety measures.

Stephen Deere, owner of Modern Steak in downtown Calgary, said comments on their social media pages have spiralled in recent days with some calling for the boycott of the fine dining restaurant.

“Over the last 24 to 48 hours, it’s like there has been a full moon of some sort and people are just losing their minds now about having to wear a mask,” said Deere.

“Calgary has always been the hospitality of the west. Like, how we act at Stampede, how we treat visitors, how we help people when their cars break down — we’re known in Canada as such a friendly, helpful place. And now we’re doing this to our own people? I’m absolutely disgusted and upset about it.”

He said the threat of anti-maskers causing a stir at their restaurant is adding to the stress of his staff, who are already coping with existing anxiety of serving numerous guests in the midst of a pandemic. Deere said he’s coping but is afraid members of his team might quit if things get worse.

The restaurant is considering hiring security.

Other restaurants in Calgary are facing similar issues, some of which have turned violent. Deere said his friend Jason Shukuda, who manages KABUKU Downtown, had a group of men throw objects in the restaurant after being refused service without masks.

Shukuda did not respond to request for comment.

“This anger is so misdirected at hourly retail and hourly hospitality workers. We don’t make the rules,” said Deere. “I believe you can have your opinion about hating masks and all that but taking it out on the industry that are the ones following the rules is not the way to do it. Contact city council, contact your MLA, MPs and fight the ‘battle’ properly.”

Ernie Tsu, who owns Trolley 5 Brewery on 17th Avenue S.W. and is a board member with the Alberta Hospitality Association, said restaurants across the province are seeing these type of problems.

He believes the anti-mask movement is gaining momentum in part due to “contradicting” messages coming from Alberta’s top doctor and the provincial government but adds that the majority of interactions are positive.

In schools across Alberta, students are not mandated to wear masks while sitting at their desks and schools do not need to enforce physical distancing when students are sitting in classrooms.

Meanwhile, restauranteurs are following public health guidance in asking guests to mask up unless they are seating at their table and eating.

“That’s where public distrust comes from,” said Tsu.

“But at the end of the day, the public needs to understand that restaurants and restaurant owners livelihoods depends the safety of the general public. So if you’re going to refuse to wear a mask, don’t go to a restaurant. It’s pretty simple.”

Hinshaw said previously masks can be a barrier to communication and learning, which is why there are different public mask requirements for retail stores, or restaurants, for example.

Tsu’s message to Albertans who are against wearing masks is simple: Stay home.

“If you want to have the luxury of still being able to go out and have some normalcy then understand this is coming from medical experts,” he said.

“Numbers never lie. There is no emotion in numbers. The amount of cases are going up right now and everybody has to do their part.”

alsmith@postmedia.com

Twitter: @alanna_smithh

Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2020

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Media celebrates Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s life, legacy

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“We never expected the film to generate the reaction that it did. Many people were unfamiliar with her pre-judicial career as a lawyer for the ACLU and how she played such an essential role in securing equal rights, particularly for women, which meant all Americans benefited,” she wrote. “The stories of her personal struggle to become an attorney makes her singular contributions to the law that much more poignant. And her enduring marriage to Martin Ginsburg touched and moved audiences of all genders and generations.”

This CNN Films documentary will be broadcast Sunday on CNN at 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. Eastern. The film is also available via CNN on demand with cable and satellite subscriptions beginning Sunday, and for streaming on CNNgo platforms, also beginning Sunday until Sept. 26.

The documentary is available for streaming on Hulu, Apple TV and for rent on Amazon Prime Video and in the iTunes store.

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A NEW MAGAZINE COVER

Time magazine will feature Ginsburg on one of multiple special covers for an October double issue presenting the 2020 Time 100 list of the world’s most influential people. It will include a special tribute to the justice, who was featured on the list in 2015.

The issues will be available on newsstands in the U.S. beginning Sept. 25.

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“ON THE BASIS OF SEX”

The 2018 biopic focusing on Ginsburg’s law school years and early legal career is available for purchase on Amazon Prime Video and in the iTunes store.

Felicity Jones, who portrayed the young law student and fighter for justice, told the AP in an email Saturday that Ginsburg was a beacon.

“Ruth Bader Ginsburg gave us hope, a public figure who stood for integrity and justice — a responsibility she did not wear lightly,” she wrote. “She will be missed not only as a beacon of light in these difficult times but for her razor sharp wit and extraordinary humanity. She taught us all so much. I will miss her deeply.”

Other distribution plans for the movie were pending Saturday.

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KATE McKINNON AND “SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE”

McKinnon, who has played Ginsburg in a series of “Weekend Update” segments on the NBC show stretching back to 2015, appeared on Thursday’s online 2020 National Constitution Event honouring Ginsburg.

She praised the trailblazer in a statement Saturday.

“For so many of us, Justice Ginsburg was a real-life superhero: a beacon of hope, a warrior for justice, a robed crusader who saved the day time and again,” McKinnon said. “Playing her on SNL was a profound joy because I could always feel the overwhelming love and gratitude that the audience had for her. It was one of the great honours of my life to meet Justice Ginsburg, to shake her hand, and to thank her for her lifetime of service to this country.”

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NEWS & TRIBUTES

Tributes and re-broadcasts are trending on streaming services and the apps of major networks, with more to come.

Plans for “CBS Sunday Morning,” beginning at 9 a.m. Eastern, include journalist Erin Moriarty looking back on the life and times of the justice. Rita Braver, who covered Ginsburg, will offer an appreciation. John Dickerson of “60 Minutes” will report on the political implications of her death and “60 Minutes” correspondent Bill Whitaker will have a tribute at the end of the Sunday night broadcast.

The network’s “CBS This Morning” with co-hosts Gayle King, Anthony Mason and Tony Dokoupil will dedicate much of Monday’s broadcast to remembering Ginsburg and also look at the fight for who will replace her on the court.

At NBC, the news division and those of its other networks, are already out with special reports. On MSNBC, a past profile, “Justice Ginsburg,” was re-broadcast as word of her death spread. The NBC streaming service Peacock is streaming the National Constitution Center virtual gathering for Ginsburg.

Sunday on ABC’s “This Week,” George Stephanopoulos will go one-on-one with former President Bill Clinton on the trailblazing icon he nominated to the Supreme Court. Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Ted Cruz will discuss the fight to fill Ginsburg’s seat.

Throughout Saturday, Fox News shows “FOX & Friends,” “CAVUTO Live” and “America’s News HQ” will discuss the legacy and historic career of Ginsburg. Joining the live coverage will be Chris Scalia, a son of Ginsburg’s close friend and colleague, late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

Fox News Channel will present a one hour special on the life and legacy of Ginsburg on Sunday at 10 p.m. Eastern, anchored by Shannon Bream.

Leanne Italie, The Associated Press

Source: – battlefordsNOW

 

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