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Beijing Olympics Blocking Foreign Media Coverage, Group Says – BNN

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(Bloomberg) — China’s foreign press corps urged the International Olympic Committee for greater access to the Beijing Winter Games, complaining that organizers have “continuously stymied” them from covering preparations for the event.

Foreign media staff have over the past year been excluded from news conferences, venue visits and other routine events that were open to domestic media, the Foreign Correspondents Club of China said in a statement Tuesday. Journalists have been denied access for numerous reasons, including venue capacity, Covid-protocols and security concerns, the group said.

“There is still tremendous uncertainty over how and if foreign correspondents will be able to cover the Games,” the FCCC wrote in a statement. 

The behavior failed to uphold IOC charter provisions requiring the body to “ensure the fullest coverage by the different media and the widest possible audience in the world” as well as China’s own pledge to give media the freedom to report the games and their preparations, the group said.  

The Beijing Organizing Committee and IOC didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment about the statement. China’s foreign ministry has dismissed similar complaints by the FCCC in the past, saying the group distorts facts and doesn’t represent foreign journalists working in the country. 

The statement is the latest sign of tensions between China and the global community over the international sporting event, slated to begin in little more than three months. Unlike when China welcomed a flood of overseas visitors before the Beijing Summer Olympics in 2008, the Winter Games have been marked by closed borders and calls for boycotts over the country’s human rights practices in places including Xinjiang. 

The Beijing Organizing Committee previously said it would establish “bubbles” for foreign media to minimize the risks of a Covid outbreak, without clarifying whether reporters would be required to quarantine and prevented from reporting outside of the venue. Several foreign correspondents have been expelled or forced to leave China since early 2020, in response to coverage and a broader dispute between Washington and Beijing over journalist visas. 

The FCCC included in its statements several anonymous comments from reporters who said they were ignored by organizers or harassed by police when attempting to cover events. The sensitivity to foreign scrutiny raises questions about how China will handle political statements by athletes, which have been permitted under a new IOC policy.  

“This is a stark contrast to the coverage which was possible during the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics and deprives the world of informative coverage from across China,” the FCCC said.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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U.S. financial regulators investigate Trump social media deal – The Globe and Mail

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Wall Street’s top financial regulators are investigating former U.S. President Donald Trump’s $1.25 billion deal to float his new social media venture on the stock market, a filing showed.

Digital World Acquisition Corp, the blank-check acquisition firm that agreed to merge with Trump Media & Technology Group Corp (TMTG), disclosed in a regulatory filing on Monday that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) were probing the deal.

TMTG did not respond to Reuters requests for comment.

Digital World said the SEC asked for documents in early November relating to communications between Digital World and TMTG, meetings of Digital World’s board, policies and procedures relating to trading, the identification of banking, telephone, and e-mail addresses and the identities of certain investors.

The SEC stated in its request that its investigation does not mean that the regulator has concluded that anyone violated the law, Digital World added.

Senator Elizabeth Warren had asked the SEC to investigate TMTG’s proposed merger with Digital World over potential violations of securities laws, including whether they had sufficiently disclosed when deal talks began.

The SEC declined to comment on Monday.

The investigations come amid excitement among Trump supporters and retail investors over the planned deal. Frantic trading of Digital World’s shares has driven TMTG’s valuation from $875 million in October to close to $4 billion.

Digital World, whose shares were down 1.8% to $44.14 at 1824 GMT, said FINRA had asked for details in late October and early November about “surrounding events,” including a review of trading, that preceded the announcement of the merger.

FINRA said in its request that its inquiry should not be construed as an indication that any violations of Nasdaq rules or federal securities laws have occurred, Digital World added.

FINRA declined to comment.

Total proceeds

TMTG said on Saturday it had entered into agreements to raise about $1 billion from a group of unidentified investors, bringing the deal’s total proceeds to $1.25 billion.

But TMTG will only receive this money if the deal is completed. A vote required for Digital World shareholders to approve the transaction has yet to be scheduled.

Some on Wall Street have been reluctant to associate with Trump, and the Digital World filings did not disclose which investors backed the $1 billion fundraising.

Trump was banned from top social media platforms after the Jan. 6 attack by his supporters on the U.S. Capitol amid concerns he would inspire further violence. [USN LINK]

The Capitol attack was based on unsubstantiated claims of widespread fraud in last year’s presidential election.

In its first financial projections since the announcement of the merger, Digital World said it expected the average revenue per user of Trump’s social media app, TRUTH Social, to grow to $13.50 in 2026, with 81 million total users.

That is despite the app not having reached even trial mode. TMTG plans to launch the beta version of Truth Social in the first quarter of 2022.

Digital World also said it expected TMTG to reach 40 million total subscribers by 2026. By comparison, social media platform Twitter Inc has over 200 million daily active users.

Be smart with your money. Get the latest investing insights delivered right to your inbox three times a week, with the Globe Investor newsletter. Sign up today.

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Media Release – December 6, 2021 – Guelph Police – guelphpolice.ca

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Another resident loses thousands in Bitcoin scam

For the second time in as many weeks, a Guelph resident has lost thousands of dollars after falling victim to a scam involving Bitcoin.

Saturday afternoon, the Guelph Police Service was contacted by a 68-year-old city resident. He reported he had been contacted by someone claiming to represent the Canada Border Services Agency, who claimed a package with the male’s name on it had been intercepted at the border and contained illegal substances.

The male was instructed to deposit $3,900 into a Bitcoin ATM and did so while keeping the caller on the line. When the caller then demanded the male pull additional funds from a line of credit, the male got suspicious and hung up.

The report comes less than two weeks after a 27-year-old Guelph female lost nearly $8,000 in the same scam.

Payments made via Bitcoin or other crypto currencies are nearly impossible to trace. To avoid falling victim to similar scams:

  • Do not provide any information to a caller you don’t know.
  • Do not click on links provided or follow directions from a caller you don’t know.
  • If the caller claims to be from an agency such as Canadian Border Services or the Canada Revenue Agency, hang up and call the agency back directly before following any instructions. Look up the number yourself rather than using a number provided by the caller.
  • The caller will use various means, including threats, to try to force you to act quickly. Don’t fall for it.
  • No government agency will demand payment by gift cards or crypto currency. If they ask for this, hang up.

Two impaired driving arrests on weekend

Two motorists were arrested for impaired driving in Guelph over the weekend.

Approximately 2 a.m. Saturday, officers on patrol observed several parties getting into a vehicle outside a licensed establishment on Silvercreek Parkway South. This included three people who entered through the rear hatch and occupy positions without seatbelts.

A traffic stop was conducted and officers detected an odour of alcoholic beverage on the driver’s breath. The driver registered a fail on a roadside screening device and was taken to the police station, where further testing confirmed he had more than the legal limit of alcohol in his system.

A 20-year-old Guelph male is charged with impaired operation. His driver’s licence was immediately suspended for 90 days and his vehicle was impounded for seven days. He will appear in a Guelph court December 17, 2021.

Approximately 11:45 p.m. Saturday, police were called to a report of a male passed out in a running vehicle on Water Street near McCrae Boulevard. Officers attended and detected an odour of alcohol and marijuana coming from the vehicle. The driver registered a fail on a roadside screening device and was taken to the police station, where further testing confirmed he had more than the legal limit of alcohol in his system.

A 44-year-old Fergus male is charged with impaired operation. His driver’s licence was immediately suspended for 90 days and his vehicle was impounded for seven days. He will appear in a Guelph court December 21, 2021.

The Guelph Police Service would like to encourage the public to always consume alcohol and cannabis responsibly. Please don’t drive if you are going to consume alcohol or cannabis, and please ensure that you plan ahead so that you have a safe ride home.

Male fired, charged after internal theft

A Guelph male is unemployed and facing a criminal charge after he was caught stealing from his now-former employer.

On Saturday, the Guelph Police Service received a call from the loss prevention officer of a west-end business, who reported an employee had been let go. During a two-week period in November, the male was caught on camera eating more than $70 worth of product without paying. The total loss is believed to be much higher.

A 21-year-old Guelph male is charged with theft under $5,000. He will appear in a Guelph court January 28, 2021.

Three drivers taken off road during RIDE checks

Three motorists had their driver’s licences suspended for 72 hours during weekend RIDE checks.

Officers stopped 750 vehicles at two locations Saturday night. Almost 50 drivers were asked to provide breath samples into approved screening devices, with three of them taken off the road after registering between 50 and 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood. The legal limit is 80 milligrams.

As well, one driver was charged under the Cannabis Control Act with having cannabis readily available and another was charged under the Highway Traffic Act with failing to surrender a driver’s licence.

Drivers will notice increased enforcement until early January during the Festive RIDE season. The Guelph Police Service would like to encourage the public to always consume alcohol and cannabis responsibly. Please don’t drive if you are going to consume alcohol or cannabis, and please ensure that you plan ahead so that you have a safe ride home.

Total calls for service in the last 72 hours – 619

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Trump Media & Technology Group social media could have 81M users by 2026 – CTV News

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NEW YORK –

Regulators are asking questions about the deal to bring Donald Trump’s new social media company to the stock market, one that has attracted both legions of fans of the former president and people looking to make a quick profit.

The company partnering with Trump Media & Technology Group acknowledged the inquiries in a filing it made with regulators on Monday. It also gave some financial forecasts for the company, which is hoping to rival Twitter and other platforms that banned Trump, along with Netflix and other streaming video services.

Digital World Acquisition, which is often referred to by its trading symbol of “DWAC,” said it is cooperating with “the preliminary, fact-finding inquiries” by the Financial Industry Regulation Authority and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Financial Industry Regulation Authority, or FINRA, asked in late October and early November for a review of trading in DWAC’s stock before the Oct. 20 merger deal was announced. That announcement sent the stock surging from US$9.96 to $94.20 in just two days as Trump supporters and investors looking to make a fast buck piled in. The shares have since pulled back to roughly $43.

The Securities and Exchange Commission made a request in early November for documents related to meetings of DWAC’s board, trading policies and other things. According to DWAC, the SEC’s request said the commission’s “investigation does not mean that the SEC has concluded that anyone violated the law or that the SEC has a negative opinion of DWAC or any person, event, or security.”

DWAC said over the weekend that it has lined up $1 billion in promised investments for the former president’s new venture from a group of unnamed institutional investors, and it filed a copy of the presentation used to pitch investors and analysts.

The presentation included forecasts that the company’s Truth Social service may have 81 million users by 2026, or nearly 7 million more people than voted for Trump in the last U.S. presidential election.

In five years, Trump Media is forecast to generate nearly $3.7 billion in revenue, according to the filing. That is more than the annual revenue of retailer Restoration Hardware, RV maker Winnebago Industries and entertainment giant iHeart Media, which owns more than 800 radio stations.

DWAC was shaky in Monday morning trading following the filing. It opened with a slight gain before falling to a 2.2% loss.

——

AP Writer Bernard Condon contributed

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