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Australia's coronavirus death toll reaches 100: local media/Reuters tally – The Telegram

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By Jane Wardell

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia’s death toll from the novel coronavirus reached 100 on Tuesday, according to a Reuters tally of official data, a fatality rate much lower than in North America and Europe despite its earlier exposure to the outbreak.

The 100th fatality was a 93-year-old woman from a care home outside Sydney, the origin of 19 deaths, media reported.

Australian officials have credited a decision in early March to close borders and restrict internal movements with keeping the disease relatively contained.

A three-step government plan to unwind lockdown measures is under way. Widespread testing has detected just over 7,000 cases among the 25 million population.

Australia reported its first coronavirus case on Jan. 25, weeks after China, the epicentre of the outbreak, recorded the first infections.

The rate of new daily infections in Australia peaked on March 23 with 430 cases, according to the Reuters tally. New cases have averaged about 15 a day over the past week.

Australia’s coronavirus mortality rate is 1.4%, compared with about 6% for the United States where about 9,000 people have died, 14% for Britain and Italy and 15% for France.

One of the few countries to provide detailed data on the progression of cases beyond death statistics, Australia’s recovery rate stands at just over 90%.

Officials have urged the public to remain vigilant about social distancing as restrictions are eased. The border remains closed and domestic travel is curtailed.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison is hoping to remove most restrictions within three months to boost an economy facing its biggest contraction on record.

The majority of Australia’s deaths were people aged 70 and over while the youngest was a man in his 40s.

Just under a third of deaths were linked to a cruise ship, Carnival Corp’s Ruby Princess, which was also the country’s biggest source of infection with almost 700 passengers testing positive.

(Graphic: Tracking and explaining the new coronavirus – https://graphics.reuters.com/HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/COUNTRIES/oakveqlyvrd/index.html?id=australia)

(Reporting By Jane Wardell; Editing by Richard Pullin)

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Sunday Reading: Social-Media Disrupters – The New Yorker

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Sunday Reading: Social-Media Disrupters

Elon Musk Ivanka Trump and others at a black tie event cheersing their drinks.

Photograph by Andrew Harrer / Bloomberg / Getty

This past week, Elon Musk declared that he would allow Donald Trump back on Twitter, then wavered over his planned purchase of the social-media behemoth. As billionaire tech magnates dominate the public square and transform how we consume information, we’re bringing you a selection of pieces about social-media disrupters and their impact.

<a aria-label="More from the Archive” class=”external-link external-link-embed__hed-link button” data-event-click=”"element":"ExternalLink","outgoingURL":"https://www.newyorker.com/newsletter/classics"” href=”https://www.newyorker.com/newsletter/classics” rel=”nofollow noopener” target=”_blank”>More from the Archive

Sign up for Classics, a twice-weekly newsletter featuring notable pieces from the past.

In “Plugged In,” from 2009, Tad Friend profiles an earlier incarnation of Musk, when the Tesla C.E.O. was focussed primarily on pitching his vision for electric cars and colonizing Mars. In “Can Mark Zuckerberg Fix Facebook Before It Breaks Democracy?,” Evan Osnos writes about the social-media platform’s evolution (or devolution) from a networking site to one of the leading disseminators of extremist rhetoric and propaganda. In “Reddit and the Struggle to Detoxify the Internet,” Andrew Marantz examines the destructive impact of rampant online conspiracy theories and hate speech. Finally, in “What Is It About Peter Thiel?,” Anna Wiener considers the influence of the first outside investor in Facebook—who, after serving as one of Trump’s biggest donors in 2016, continues to make forays into Republican politics, recently backing two Trumpian Senate candidates, J. D. Vance, in Ohio, and Blake Masters, in Arizona. For Thiel, Wiener writes, “the processes of liberal democratic life are either an obstacle or a distraction. . . . What’s on offer is a fantasy of a future shaped purely by technology.”

David Remnick


Musk and his children with clay model cars
Can Elon Musk lead the way to an electric-car future?

A GIF shows a stream of data materialize into a portrait of Peter Thiel.
The billionaire venture capitalist has fans and followers. What are they looking for?

Image may contain: Human, Person, Furniture, and Tabletop
How do we fix life online without limiting free speech?

Animated gif of a flashing, pixelated photograph of Mark Zuckerberg
The most famous entrepreneur of his generation is facing a public reckoning with the power of Big Tech.

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Health authority sues Brandon psychiatric nurse over allegedly defamatory social media posts – CBC.ca

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A Brandon, Man., woman who was a psychiatric nurse is being sued by her former employer over posts on TikTok, Facebook and Instagram calling fellow employees “idiots” and accusing the health authority of killing its patients. 

The case comes at a time when legal experts say the number of lawsuits filed over social media posts is growing rapidly.

In its lawsuit filed April 12, the Prairie Mountain Health authority is seeking a court injunction to prohibit the nurse from publishing defamatory statements about her former employer and make her remove existing posts.

Ten employees of the western Manitoba regional health authority are also plaintiffs in the lawsuit. They allege the nurse made false, malicious and defamatory social media posts about them, as well as the employer.

The psychiatric nurse’s Manitoba registration to practise was suspended on Jan. 12. The regulatory college’s website shows she then voluntarily surrendered her registration, effective Jan. 17.

The reason for the suspension is not stated on the Brandon woman’s listing on the College of Registered Psychiatric Nurses of Manitoba website. The college’s registrar, Laura Panteluk, said she cannot talk about a specific case.

CBC News is not naming the people in the lawsuit due to allegations in it about mental health. The defendant has not filed a statement of defence and the allegations have not been proven in court.

Staff called ‘lazy, incompetent’: lawsuit

The psychiatric nurse worked at the Brandon Regional Health Centre, according to the statement of claim filed in Court of Queen’s Bench at Winnipeg.

The lawsuit refers to the content of four videos the defendant posted on her social media accounts. 

In January, she posted a video on her TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram accounts that refers to some of the plaintiffs as “idiots, horrible nurses” who do not care about patients, the claim says. 

It alleges the nurse used defamatory words to say some of the other employees were “lazy, incompetent, unintelligent, and do not care about the [Brandon Regional Health Centre] patients.”

The claim alleges that in the video, the nurse said she was bullied at work and that a manager — who is one of the plaintiffs — questioned her mental health in a disciplinary meeting, causing her to go on sick leave.

The claim also alleges that in another video the nurse posted, she said Brandon health centre staff “were making fun of homeless people,” and that the health centre “protects abusers” and “kills its patients.”

The court document alleges the nurse said in a video that she intended to determine the identities of staff members working on a particular day, and then publish their names in a video on her TikTok account in an attempt to cause them to lose their jobs.

“As a result of the publication of the defamatory words, the plaintiffs have been subjected to ridicule, alienation, and contempt and have suffered damages to their reputation,” both personally and professionally, the claim alleges.

It says they’ve suffered “embarrassment, humiliation, fear, and anxiety.”

The nurse has refused to remove two of the videos from her social media accounts, the claim says, further aggravating the damage to the plaintiffs. 

Attempts by CBC to contact the defendant were not successful.

Prairie Mountain Health communications co-ordinator Blaine Kraushaar said the health authority has no comment on the case.

Social media suits becoming more common: lawyer

Toronto lawyer Howard Winkler, who specializes in defamation law, says the number of lawsuits about social media posts has grown “exponentially.”

“It’s becoming more and more common as people are becoming more comfortable with their use of social media,” said Winkler, who is not involved with the Manitoba case.

Toronto lawyer Howard Winkler says the number of lawsuits related to social media posts has increased ‘exponentially.’ (Submitted by Howard Winkler)

The unrestrained expressions of opinions and anger found on social media can be very harmful, he said.

But social media users should be aware that ordinary laws of defamation apply to those kinds of posts, said Winkler, meaning they can face financial damages in court.

“So people have to be very careful when they’re posting these kinds of messages.”

A person’s social media footprint can also affect future employment prospects, regardless of whether or not their criticisms were valid.

“If someone’s applying for a job and the employer does a social media search and they see that a person’s had an earlier dispute with an employer, that may be a red flag to an employer that there’s some risk associated with hiring that person,” Winkler said.

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NY governor rips social media sites in wake of Buffalo mass shooting – The Hill

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New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) slammed social media platforms on Saturday after a gunman opened fire at a Buffalo, New York supermarket while broadcasting on Twitch, a live streaming service.

During remarks hours after the shooting, which killed 10 people, Hochul said social media outlets must be “more vigilant” in monitoring content.

“These outlets must be more vigilant in monitoring social media content. And certainly the fact that this act of barbarism, this execution of innocent human beings could be live streamed on social media platforms and not taken down within a second, says to me that there is a responsibility out there,” Hochul said.

“And we’re going to continue to work on this and make sure that those who provide these platforms have a moral and ethical, and I hope to have a legal responsibility to ensure that such hate cannot populate these sites, because this is the result,” she added.

The governor also said there is a “feeding frenzy” in social media outlets “that has to stop.”

“Mark my words we’ll be aggressive in our pursuit of anyone who subscribes to the ideals professed by other white supremacists and how there’s a feeding frenzy on social media platforms where hate festers more hate, that has to stop,” she said.

The alleged gunman, identified as 18-year-old Payton Gendron from Conklin, New York, shot 13 people on Saturday at a Tops Friendly Market, killing 10 and injuring three. Eleven of the victims shot were Black.

Authorities are now investigating the incident as a hate crime.

The shooter was wearing military gear during the attack and broadcasted it from a helmet camera

Twitch said the video of the incident was taken down within two minutes of when the shooting started, according to The New York Times. A spokeswoman for the platform said the user has been suspended from the service indefinitely, and noted that the company “has a zero-tolerance policy against violence of any kind and works swiftly to respond to all incidents.”

The shooter also allegedly posted a manifesto on 4chan, an online forum. The statement outlined ideas to assault Black individuals, according to NBC News.

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