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Austrian coalition deal includes headscarf ban

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VIENNA — A deal between Austria’s conservatives and Greens to form a governing coalition includes banning headscarves in school until the age of 14 and preventive custody for potentially dangerous immigrants, several Austrian media reported on Thursday.

The measures are part of what conservative leader Sebastian Kurz describes as his tough stance on illegal immigration and “political Islam,” aimed at appealing to his base but also to disillusioned former supporters of the far right, whose coalition with his party collapsed in May.

Kurz and Greens leader Werner Kogler said on Wednesday they have reached a deal that should make Kurz chancellor again and bring the Greens to power for the first time. They have said it includes strong measures on Kurz’s core issues and will “ecologize the tax system.”

The two parties were due to publish details of their agreement at 4 p.m. (1500 GMT) on Thursday. The parties have declined to provide details of their plan before then.

The deal includes raising the age until which girls are banned from wearing a headscarf in school to 14 from around 10, media including newspaper Die Presse and broadcaster ORF said.

It also includes reviving a disputed plan for preventive custody of potentially dangerous individuals, even if they have not committed a crime, which was put forward by Kurz’s coalition government with the far right after a fatal stabbing apparently committed by an asylum seeker in February.

“A lot of turquoise and a bit of green,” tabloid Kronen Zeitung headlined its story, referring to the parties by their colors, saying the preventive custody plan is aimed at refugees.

If confirmed, such measures will be hard for many Greens supporters to swallow, and the coalition deal must still be approved by the Greens’ top decision-making body, the Federal Council, on Saturday.

While few expect the Federal Council, which comprises various within the party such as its local and national lawmakers, to block the deal, immigration and security are likely to be constant sources of friction within the coalition.

While Kurz has insisted on keeping his trademark hard line on immigration, the Greens have called for a fiscal overhaul to make products and services with a large carbon footprint more expensive.

Fewer specifics on environmental measures leaked on Thursday. Die Presse said carbon emissions would be made more expensive but there would be no carbon tax. Tabloid Oesterreich said that move would be gradual, quoting one coalition deal negotiator as saying: “But that is only phrased very vaguely.” (Reporting by Francois Murphy Editing by Frances Kerry)

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Pompeo says U.S. designates six more Chinese media firms as foreign missions – Reuters

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Wednesday the State Department was designating the U.S. operations of six more China-based media companies as foreign missions, a move he said was aimed at pushing back against communist propaganda.

FILE PHOTO: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library, Thursday, July 23, 2020, in Yorba Linda, California. Ashley Landis/Pool via REUTERS

Pompeo also told a State Department news conference the United States would launch a dialogue on China with the European Union on Friday and that on Sunday he would begin a trip to India, Sri Lanka, the Maldives and Indonesia.

He said he expected the meetings would include discussions about how “free nations can work together to thwart threats posed by the Chinese Communist Party.”

The State Department named the newly designated publications as the Yicai Global, Jiefang Daily, the Xinmin Evening News, Social Sciences in China Press, the Beijing Review, and the Economic Daily. It brought to 15 the number of Chinese media outlets so designated this year.

It was the latest U.S. step to curb Chinese activity in the United States in the run-up to the Nov. 3 presidential election, in which President Donald Trump has made a tough approach to China a key foreign policy theme.

Pompeo said the move was part of efforts to push back against “Chinese communist propaganda efforts” in the United States.

“They are also substantially owned, or effectively controlled by a foreign government,” he said.

“We are not placing any restrictions on what these outlets can publish in the United States; we simply want to ensure that American people, consumers of information can differentiate between news written by a free press and propaganda distributed by the Chinese Communist Party itself. Not the same thing.”

The State Department has previously required Chinese media outlets to register as foreign missions and announced in March it was cutting the number of journalists allowed to work at U.S. offices of major Chinese media outlets to 100 from 160.

In response, China expelled about a dozen American correspondents with the New York Times, News Corp’s Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post.

The United States also said last month it would require senior Chinese diplomats to get State Department approval before visiting U.S. university campuses or holding cultural events with more than 50 people outside mission grounds.

China’s embassy did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Washington designated four major Chinese media outlets as foreign embassies in June and five in February. The designation requires the outlets to inform the U.S. State Department of their personnel rosters and real-estate holdings.

Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk, Doina Chiacu and David Brunnstrom; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Andrea Ricci

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InvestorChannel's Media Watchlist Update for Wednesday, October 21, 2020, 16:30 EST – InvestorIntel

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InvestorChannel’s Media Stocks Watchlist Update video includes the Top 5 Performers of the Day, and a performance review of the companies InvestorChannel is following in the sector.
Sources Include: Yahoo Finance, AlphaVantage FinnHub & CSE.
For more information, visit us at InvestorIntel.com or email us at info@investorintel.com

Watchlist Companies:
– ZoomerMedia Limited (ZUM.V) CAD 0.06 (9.09%)
– Postmedia Network Canada Corp. (PNC-A.TO) CAD 1.71 (6.88%)
– Corus Entertainment Inc. (CJR-B.TO) CAD 3.14 (6.44%)
– Lingo Media Corporation (LM.V) CAD 0.09 (5.88%)
– Network Media Group Inc. (NTE.V) CAD 0.14 (3.57%)
– MediaValet Inc. (MVP.V) CAD 2.55 (2.0%)
– Adobe Inc. (ADBE) USD 495.96 (0.28%)
– Stingray Group Inc. (RAY-A.TO) CAD 5.51 (0.18%)
– GVIC Communications Corp. (GCT.TO) CAD 0.14 (0.0%)
– Media Central Corporation Inc. (FLYY.CN) CAD 0.01 (0.0%)
– Moovly Media Inc. (MVY.V) CAD 0.07 (0.0%)
– Quizam Media Corporation (QQ.CN) CAD 0.50 (0.0%)
– QYOU Media Inc. (QYOU.V) CAD 0.07 (0.0%)
– HubSpot, Inc. (HUBS) USD 308.06 (-0.56%)
– Wix.com Ltd. (WIX) USD 271.54 (-2.55%)
– Thunderbird Entertainment Group Inc. (TBRD.V) CAD 2.06 (-3.29%)
– Zoom Video Communications Inc. (ZM) USD 513.19 (-4.44%)
– Slack Technologies Inc. (WORK) USD 28.87 (-6.3%)
– Glacier Media Inc. (GVC.TO) CAD 0.20 (-6.82%)
– WOW! Unlimited Media Inc. (WOW.V) CAD 0.35 (-7.89%)

InvestorChannel

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New Centre for Media, Technology and Democracy launches at McGill's Max Bell School of Public Policy – McGill Reporter

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The Max Bell School of Public Policy has launched a new Centre for Media, Technology and Democracy at McGill University. Collaborating with leading researchers, policy thinkers and journalists, the Centre works to understand the impact of emerging technology and media on policy and public life.

“The benefits that technology brings to our world are undeniable, but we are now at a critical point where we need to make changes in the way we govern our media and tech infrastructure,” says Director Taylor Owen, a leading voice in technology governance in Canada and Associate Professor at the Max Bell School of Public Policy. “Our research will inform the public debate and policy makers so that we as a society can create policies aimed at maximizing the benefits and minimizing the harms embedded in the design and use of emerging technologies.”

“We believe in the power of the public to mobilize for a different future, and to hold governments and technology companies to account for that future. It’s time to collectively reclaim the problems that technology was promised to solve,” says Sonja Solomun, the Centre’s Research Director.

The Centre is committed to public-facing work through a range of eventspodcasts and workshops aimed at translating cutting-edge research for broad public audiences and policy makers. Its research program focuses on three core streams: technology governance, information ecosystems, and media and journalism.

In addition to projects focused on pressing issues such as facial recognition policy, children and technology, surveillance technology, platform governance and journalistic support the Center’s projects include:

“While existing initiatives tend to focus either on technology, or on media and communication, this Centre will examine how both impact policy and public life. We are thrilled to support such innovative work which will inform public debate and engage policymakers,” said Professor Chris Ragan, Director of the Max Bell School of Public Policy at McGill.

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