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Australia's Seven West Media strikes deal with Google for news – The Guardian

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By Byron Kaye

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia’s Seven West Media Ltd became the country’s first major news outlet to strike a licensing deal with Google, as the government pushes ahead with a law that would force the internet giant to pay media companies for content.

At an earnings announcement on Tuesday, Seven, which owns a free-to-air television network and the main metro newspaper in the city of Perth, said it would supply content for Google’s News Showcase platform. It did not disclose terms.

The deal shows Seven splitting from rivals News Corp and Nine Entertainment Co Holdings Ltd which have failed to reach agreements with Google and instead backed laws, set to be passed this week, where the government sets the online giant’s content fees in the absence of a private deal.

So far in Australia, only specialist online publishers and one regional newspaper have struck deals to receive payment for their content appearing on the new Google platform which went live in the country this month. Outside Australia, Reuters is among news outlets with similar Google deals.

“The negotiations with Google recognise the value of quality and original journalism throughout the country and, in particular, in regional areas,” said Seven West Chairman Kerry Stokes in a statement.

Google’s Australia CEO Mel Silva said the U.S. company was “proud to support original, trusted, and quality journalism” by featuring Seven on its platform.

Last month, Silva told a parliamentary hearing Google would pull its search engine from Australia if the so-called News Media Bargaining Code became law. A Google representative declined to comment on the effect of the Seven deal.

Hours before Seven revealed its plans, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg told the Australian Broadcasting Corp he still planned to introduce the laws, but added: “I think we’re very close to some significant commercial deals and, in doing so, that will the transform the domestic media landscape”.

The way the law is worded, the government only imposes a negotiator to set fees if the media company and Google can’t come to an arrangement privately.

A Seven spokesman told Reuters the company still supported the law.

A Nine spokeswoman declined comment, while a News Corp representative in Australia was not immediately available for comment.

“The signs are that the Australian government and Google are close to a compromise,” said Paul Budde, an independent media and telecommunications industry analyst.

“This allows the government to claim victory, while the damage to Google will be limited. Publishers will in one way or another be paid for news.”

Seven separately reported a 26.5% jump in underlying profit for the six months to end-December, helped by strong performance in its advertising market.

Seven shares jumped as much as 10.6% to their highest level since May 31, 2019 in early trade, while the broader market was up 0.9%.

($1 = 1.2887 Australian dollars)

(Reporting by Byron Kaye in Sydney and Shriya Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru; Editing by Diane Craft and Richard Pullin)

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Myanmar police launch most extensive crackdown; one woman dead, media say – TheChronicleHerald.ca

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(Reuters) – Police in Myanmar launched their most sweeping crackdown in three weeks of protests against military rule on Saturday in towns and cities across the country, with media reports of a woman shot dead and dozens of people detained.

The violence came after Myanmar’s U.N. envoy urged the United Nations to use “any means necessary” to stop the Feb. 1 coup.

Myanmar has been in turmoil since the army seized power and detained elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi and much of her party leadership, alleging fraud in a November election her party won in a landslide.

Uncertainty has grown over Suu Kyi’s whereabouts, as the independent Myanmar Now website on Friday quoted officials of her National League for Democracy (NLD) party as saying she had been moved this week from house arrest to an undisclosed location.

The coup has brought hundreds of thousands of protesters onto the streets and drawn condemnation from Western countries, with some imposing limited sanctions.

Police were out in force in cities and towns from early on Saturday in their most determined bid to stamp out the protests.

In the main city of Yangon, police took up positions at usual protest sites and detained people as they congregated, witnesses said. Several journalists were detained.

Confrontations developed as more people came out to demonstrate despite the police operation.

Three domestic media outlets said a woman was shot and killed in the central town of Monwya. The circumstances of the shooting were not clear and police were not immediately available for comment.

Earlier, a protester in the town said police had fired water cannon as they surrounded a crowd.

“They used water cannon against peaceful protesters – they shouldn’t treat people like that,” Aye Aye Tint told Reuters.

A big crowd of protesters later surged through town streets chanting defiance, an activist video feed showed. One protester told Reuters the crowd was demanding the release of people detained by the security forces.

Junta leader General Min Aung Hlaing has said authorities were using minimal force. Nevertheless, at least three protesters had died over the days of turmoil up to Saturday. The army says a policeman was killed in earlier violence.

In Yangon, crowds came out to chant and sing, then scattered into side streets and slipped into buildings as police advanced, firing tear gas, setting off stun grenades and shooting guns into the air, witnesses said.

Some protesters threw up barricades across streets. Crowds eventually thinned but police in Yangon were still chasing groups and firing into the air in the late afternoon, witnesses said. Numerous people were seen detained and some beaten through the day.

Similar scenes played out in the second city of Mandalay and other towns from north to south, witnesses and media said. Among those detained in Mandalay was Win Mya Mya, one of two Muslim members of parliament for the NLD, media said.

‘PREVAIL’

At the U.N. General Assembly, Myanmar’s Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun said he was speaking on behalf of Suu Kyi’s government and appealed for “any means necessary to take action against the Myanmar military and to provide safety and security for the people”.

“We need further strongest possible action from the international community to immediately end the military coup … and to restore the democracy,” he said.

Delivering his final words in Burmese, the career diplomat raised the three-finger salute of pro-democracy protesters and announced, “Our cause will prevail.”

Reuters was not immediately able to contact the army for comment.

U.N. Special Rapporteur Tom Andrews said he was overwhelmed as he watched the ambassador’s “act of courage”.

“It’s time for the world to answer that courageous call with action,” Andrews said on Twitter.

China’s envoy did not criticise the coup and said the situation was an internal Myanmar affair, adding that China supported a diplomatic effort by southeast Asian countries to find a solution.

In more bad news for the generals who have traditionally shrugged off diplomatic pressure, Australia’s Woodside Petroleum Ltd said it was cutting its presence in Myanmar over concern about rights violations and violence.

“Woodside supports the people of Myanmar,” the company said.

Nobel Peace laureate Suu Kyi, 75, spent nearly 15 years under house arrest during military rule. She faces charges of illegally importing six walkie-talkie radios and of violating a natural disaster law by breaching coronavirus protocols.

A lawyer for her, Khin Maung Zaw, told Reuters he had also heard that she had been moved from her home in the capital, Naypyitaw, but could not confirm it. Authorities did not respond to a request for comment.

The lawyer said he had been given no access to Suu Kyi ahead of her next hearing on Monday and he was concerned about her access to justice and legal counsel.

(Reporting by Reuters Staff; Writing by Robert Birsel; Editing by William Mallard and Clarence Fernandez)

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Myanmar police crack down on protests; one woman killed, media say – National Post

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Police cracked down in Myanmar on Saturday to prevent opponents of military rule gathering and one woman was shot and killed, media reported, after the country’s U.N. envoy urged the United Nations to use “any means necessary” to stop a Feb. 1 coup.

Myanmar has been in turmoil since the army seized power and detained elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi and much of her party leadership, alleging fraud in a November election her party won in a landslide.

Uncertainty has grown over Suu Kyi’s whereabouts, as the independent Myanmar Now website on Friday quoted officials of her National League for Democracy (NLD) party as saying she had been moved this week from house arrest to an undisclosed location.

The coup has brought hundreds of thousands of protesters to Myanmar’s streets and drawn condemnation from Western countries, with some imposing limited sanctions.

Police were out in force in the main city of Yangon and elsewhere on Saturday, taking up positions at usual protest sites and detaining people as they congregated, witnesses said. Several media workers were detained.

Three domestic media outlets said a woman was shot and killed in the central town of Monwya. Police there were not immediately available for comment.

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Earlier, a protester in the town said police had fired water cannon as they surrounded a crowd.

“They used water cannon against peaceful protesters – they shouldn’t treat people like that,” Aye Aye Tint told Reuters from the town.

In Yangon, despite the police presence, people came out to chant and sing, then scatter into side streets as police advanced, firing tear gas, setting off stun grenades and firing guns into the air, witnesses said.

Similar scenes played out in the second city of Mandalay and several other towns, including Dawei in the south, witnesses and media said.

Among those detained at a Mandalay protest was Win Mya Mya, one of only two Muslim members of parliament for the NLD, media said.

Junta leader General Min Aung Hlaing has said authorities were using minimal force. Nevertheless, at least three protesters have died in the weeks of turmoil. The army says a policeman was also killed.

‘PREVAIL’

At the U.N. General Assembly, Myanmar’s Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun said he was speaking on behalf of Suu Kyi’s government and appealed for “any means necessary to take action against the Myanmar military and to provide safety and security for the people.”

“We need further strongest possible action from the international community to immediately end the military coup … and to restore the democracy,” he said.

Kyaw Moe Tun appeared emotional as he read the statement on behalf of a group of elected politicians that he said represented the legitimate government.

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Delivering his final words in Burmese, the career diplomat raised the three-finger salute of pro-democracy protesters and announced, “Our cause will prevail.”

Reuters was not immediately able to contact the army for comment.

Coup opponents hailed Kyaw Moe Tun as a hero and flooded social media with messages of thanks. U.N. Special Rapporteur Tom Andrews said he was overwhelmed as he watched the ambassador’s “act of courage.”

“It’s time for the world to answer that courageous call with action,” Andrews said on Twitter.

China’s envoy did not criticize the coup and said the situation was part of Myanmar’s “internal affairs.” China supported diplomacy by southeast Asian countries, he said.

But in more bad news for the generals who have traditionally shrugged off outside pressure, Australia’s Woodside Petroleum Ltd said it was cutting its presence in Myanmar over concern about rights violations and violence by security forces.

“Woodside supports the people of Myanmar and we hope to see a peaceful journey to democracy,” the company said.

‘LOSS OF RIGHTS’

A lawyer for Suu Kyi, Khin Maung Zaw, told Reuters he had also heard that she had been moved from her home in the capital, Naypyitaw, but could not confirm it. Authorities did not respond to a request for comment.

The lawyer said he had been given no access to Suu Kyi ahead of her next hearing on Monday and he was concerned about her access to justice and legal counsel.

Nobel Peace laureate Suu Kyi, 75, spent nearly 15 years under house arrest during military rule. She faces charges of illegally importing six walkie-talkie radios and of violating a natural disaster law by breaching coronavirus protocols.

The army has promised an election but not given a date. It has imposed a one-year state of emergency.

The question of an election is at the center of a diplomatic effort by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, of which Myanmar is a member.

Indonesia has taken the lead but coup opponents fear the effort could legitimize the junta and what they see as its bid to annul the November election. (Reporting by Reuters Staff; Writing by Robert Birsel; Editing by William Mallard and Clarence Fernandez)

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Prince Harry blames ‘toxic’ U.K. media for royal exit with Meghan Markle – Global News

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Prince Harry said he and his wife Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, stepped back from their royal duties because of the toll that British tabloids were taking on their mental health, in his first interview since the couple’s high-profile move to North America.

“It was destroying my mental health,” Harry told British TV host James Corden during an interview that aired Thursday on CBS’ Late Late Show. “I did what any husband and what any father would do. It was like, I need to get my family out of here.”

Read more:
Prince Philip being treated for infection, will remain in hospital

Harry discussed his exit, his new life in Los Angeles and his plans for the future during the interview, which was shot on an open-topped double-decker bus in Los Angeles. The video aired less than a week after Buckingham Palace finalized the couple’s departure.

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“We never walked away, and as far as I’m concerned, whatever decisions are made on that side, I will never walk away,” Harry told Corden. “It was stepping back rather than stepping down.”

Prince Harry also stressed that he remains committed to public service, which was a core element of his life as a working member of the Royal Family.


TV host James Corden, left, interviews Prince Harry on a bus in Los Angeles in this image from video aired on CBS’ ‘Late Late Show’ Feb. 25, 2021.


Via CBS

The prince denounced the British media as “toxic,” and said he had to leave the country for the sake of his wife and their young son Archie.

Harry’s dislike for the British tabloids is well documented in public statements and several recent lawsuits. He has blamed U.K. media in the past for the death of his mother Diana, the Princess of Wales. He has also railed against coverage of his courtship and marriage to Meghan, which sometimes verged into racism in the U.K.

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Harry, Meghan and Archie moved to North America in early 2020 after announcing plans to step back from their roles as working royals. They initially lived in B.C. before securing a more permanent home in Santa Barbara, Calif., where they now live.

Queen Elizabeth stripped the couple of their remaining royal duties on Feb. 19, saying it wasn’t possible for them to “continue with the responsibilities and duties that come with a life of public service” after they stepped away from the work of the Royal Family. Harry and Meghan replied by saying “service is universal” and underscoring their commitment to the U.K., a response seen by some as disrespectful to the queen.

Harry told Corden that he’s settling in nicely since the move, and is looking forward to the arrival of his second child. He also described fatherhood as “hysterical,” and shared that Archie’s first word was “crocodile.”

Corden, who is well-known for his “Carpool Karaoke” segments with celebrities, managed to get Harry singing the theme song to The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air during a visit to the mansion where the show was shot.

Corden also briefly spoke to Markle via FaceTime, during which she revealed her pet name for her husband.

“Haz, how’s it going?” she asks him.

“I didn’t know we were calling you Haz now,″ Corden says.

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“You’re not my wife,″ he replies.

Corden tried to convince the couple to buy the mansion, if only so that “Haz” could become the Prince of Bel-Air.

“I think we’ve done enough moving,” Markle said.

Read more:
Queen Elizabeth says COVID-19 vaccine ‘didn’t hurt at all’

Harry told Corden that he remains in touch with Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip. He added that the queen sent Archie a waffle maker for Christmas at the boy’s request.

Corden eked out Oprah Winfrey for the couple’s first interview after their royal departure. The segment was light-hearted throughout and did not touch on the commercial ventures that the couple have on the go.

Oprah’s interview with Harry and Markle is scheduled to air on March 7.

With files from The Associated Press

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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