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Cape Breton man jailed and banned from social media for repeated harassment of ex – TheChronicleHerald.ca

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SYDNEY, N.S. —

A Sydney man who relentlessly harassed a former girlfriend by sending multiple unwanted texts and other social media messages along with explicit sex videos and pictures is to serve additional jail time.

Bradley Shane Axworthy, 43, of Thomas Street, is to serve 10 months in a provincial jail followed by a 30-month probation period during which he is prohibited from accessing all social media platforms along with accessing anonymous apps.

Axworthy, who has already spent 68 days on remand, was sentenced after pleading guilty to eight counts of breaching court orders, two counts of criminal harassment and a single count of assault. The offences are alleged to have occurred in Sydney between 2018-19.

Prosecutor Peter Harrison told provincial court Judge Alan Tufts that Axworthy and his former partner were together for about three years and have no children together. Both have children from previous relationships. They separated in October 2018.

The assault occurred in 2018 when Axworthy smashed the woman’s face into a bedroom wall after an argument.

After being charged with the offence and released on conditions that included he have no contact with the woman, Axworthy persisted in sending the woman multiple text messages using a host of anonymous apps in a failed bid to disguise his identity. He also threatened to post intimate pictures of the woman online.

In other instances, Axworthy would make as many as 22 calls after midnight to the woman during which he would call her disparaging names. He also sent her a picture of her then new boyfriend.

The woman told police Axworthy was also following her to and from work.

Even while at the Cape Breton Correctional Centre, Axworthy continued to reach out and call the woman while under a court order to have no contact.

A more disturbing aspect of Axworthy’s behaviour was sending the woman and her daughter explicit videos and photos of him engaging in same-sex intercourse.

Harrison told the court that Axworthy urged the woman to get tested for HIV noting he had been having unprotected sex with individuals who were HIV-positive.

Over the course of events, Harrison said the woman had blocked 15 numbers being used by Axworthy.


“I do not feel like me anymore.”


When arrested on a breach of conditions for failing to abide by a curfew, Axworthy told police he was late coming home because he was at work with a local towing company. A call to the company noted the service was no longer in business and Axworthy did not work for them.

In a victim impact statement, read in court by Harrison, the woman said she continues to be stressed and anxious and is constantly looking over her shoulder in case Axworthy is lurking in the shadows.

She has undergone several medical tests to ensure she is not HIV-positive and has moved in a further bid to escape any and all contact by Axworthy.

“I do not feel like me anymore,” said the woman, adding the entire relationship has left her sad, mad and confused.

Harrison said Axworthy’s flagrant and deliberate breaches of court orders have left an emotional, physical and financial impact on the victim.

Defence lawyer David Iannetti said his client is prepared to move on and has in fact begun a new relationship with another woman.

In accepting the joint sentencing recommendation, the judge told Axworthy he needed to understand what and why he did what he did.

“You have to move on,” said the judge, adding Axworthy’s behaviour has been over the top.

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Indonesia approves large-scale social restrictions for Jakarta: media – TheChronicleHerald.ca

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JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesia’s health ministry has approved a request by the government of Jakarta to impose large-scale social restrictions in the city to curb the spread of the new coronavirus, media on Tuesday cited a ministry official as saying.

A health ministry spokeswoman, however, subsequently told Reuters that Jakarta’s request has yet to be approved.

Several news outlet, including news website Detik.com, quoted Busroni, who heads the media and public opinion department at the health ministry, as saying the Jakarta government can decide on the restrictions it wants to impose after approval.

(Reporting by Gayatri Suroyo, Fanny Potkin and Stanley Widianto; Editing by Tom Hogue)

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COVID-19 crisis: Most Canadians support bailout for media organizations, poll finds – National Post

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The majority of Canadians support government bailouts for media organizations that are facing a collapse in advertising revenue since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down businesses across the country, according to a new poll.

The survey was conducted by Nanos Research for FRIENDS of Canadian Broadcasting, a non-partisan media watchdog, and was released Monday.

It found that seven in 10 Canadians support (26 per cent), or somewhat support (41 per cent) the federal government sending financial aid to failing news organizations.

A majority of Canadians also agree (36 per cent), or somewhat agree (26 per cent) that Ottawa should treat media bankruptcies and layoffs as an emergency because journalism is essential to “keeping Canadians safe” during this crisis.

A country that can’t talk to itself ceases to be

The survey notes that Canadian media outlets have seen advertising revenues fall by as much as 60 per cent, and nearly 500 journalists were laid off in the first two weeks of the lockdown.

Torstar, which publishes several daily newspapers including the Toronto Star, announced on Monday that it would eliminate 85 positions and cut its operating budget to offset advertising revenue losses.

The government previously announced a $30-million COVID-19 awareness advertising campaign in an effort to support Canada’s struggling media industry. And Ottawa said it was moving closer to implementing long-promised tax credits for newspapers.

However, the measures were widely criticized as too little to make a real difference, including Mark Lever, the president of SaltWire Network, a newspaper chain in Atlantic Canada that laid off 240 employees — or about 40 per cent of its workforce — last month and shuttered several of its publications.

“Many of our most prominent journalism outlets face imminent failure, even after the government’s proposed tax credits and wage subsidies are factored in,” FRIENDS’ Executive Director Daniel Bernhard said. “This is an acute emergency and Canadians want Ottawa to intervene quickly to save these trusted institutions from mass extinction.

“Our democracy and our future as an independent country are at stake. A country that can’t talk to itself ceases to be. If we lose our media, we lose our country.”

When the stakes are this high, only professional journalists can be trusted to deliver the truth

The survey also found that most Canadians trust traditional media more than social media outlets to deliver accurate information during a crisis. Almost three-quarters (74 per cent) think content in social media posts is less accurate. Only 10 per cent believe social media is as accurate as traditional media, while four per cent think it is more accurate.

“Canadians are very clear that when the stakes are this high, only professional journalists can be trusted to deliver the truth,” Bernhard said. “It’s time for Ottawa to end the unfair advantages and preferential tax policies that help untrusted companies like Facebook sink Canada’s newsrooms.”

Canadians also support (41 per cent), or somewhat support (31 per cent) increasing funding for the CBC.

The survey was conducted over landlines, cellphones and online between March 30 and April 2 as part of an omnibus survey. Nanos Research carried out a random survey of 1,036 Canadians aged 18 and over. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points 19 times out of 20.

— With files from The Canadian Press

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Top Tabloid Exec Dylan Howard Out at American Media Inc. (EXCLUSIVE) – National Post

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LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) – American Media Inc. executive Dylan Howard is out after more than a decade at the publishing company, Variety has learned exclusively.

Howard’s contract, which expired on March 31, was not renewed. Reasons for his departure were not immediately clear, though rumors of his exit had been brewing internally at the owner of Us Weekly and InTouch magazines for weeks, multiple sources said. Howard, an unflinching tabloid editor, became the subject of media storms surrounding Harvey Weinstein and Donald Trump in recent years.

Howard and American Media did not immediately respond to Variety’s request for comment.

Howard most recently served as a senior vice president in corporate development, where he was said to be conceiving scripted and unscripted projects in the true crime arena. Prior to that, Howard spent six years as the editor in chief of AMI digital gossip property RadarOnline, and previously served as chief content officer for all the David Pecker-run publications including the National Enquirer, Closer, Life&Style and InTouch.

Numerous media reports over the past year suggested Howard had been sidelined at AMI with his editorial role being minimized, as he’s switched his focus to TV and literary projects.

The Australian-born journalist rose to prominence as a tabloid reporter by exposing major stories like Mel Gibson’s anti-Semitic rants and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s secret child. He was a key figure in Ronan Farrow’s reporting regarding Weinstein’s enablers with Farrow reporting that Howard was a Weinstein accomplice who dug up dirt on women accusing the fallen movie mogul, who is now serving a 23-year prison sentence for rape and sexual assault.

Howard famously threatened to sue the Pulitzer Prize-winning Farrow and his publisher over his best-selling book, “Catch & Kill,” which is about a journalist being threatened by systems of powerful men. (The phrase “catch and kill” refers to the practice of tabloid editors buying stories and then burying them, so they never see the light of day.)

Howard was also accused by Farrow and The Wall Street Journal of burying stories about President Trump with Farrow writing that the Australian tabloid executive shredded incriminating documents about Trump when he oversaw the Enquirer, which never published the documents.

In 2019, Bezos, who owns the Washington Post, accused Howard and American Media of extortion and blackmail after the Enquirer published an expose about his extramarital affair and included racy texts to his now-girlfriend, Lauren Sanchez, which forced Bezos to publicly announce his divorce. The Amazon founder made his accusations known in a lengthy written piece, where he said Howard threatened to print a nude photo of Bezos and Sanchez, unless the Bezos-owned Washington Post eased up on their “politically motivated” coverage of AMI.

American Media Inc. paid $150,000 to Playboy model Karen McDougal, who claimed an affair with Trump, to buy the exclusive rights to her story, which never ran. Following scrutiny for the McDougal hush money payout and fallout from the Bezos expose, AMI made a $100 million deal to sell the National Enquirer to James Cohen, the heir to Hudson News, which as of today, has still not closed. A source says the much-delayed deal has not been called off, and prior to the COVID-19 crisis, the buyer was still working through details, but with the economic crisis spurred by the pandemic, business across all industries is on pause.

Howard’s departure comes as American Media announced company-wide salary cuts, in the wake of the coronavirus, though the publishing company was financially troubled long before the viral outbreak. All of the company’s titles, such as Us Weekly, cut employees’ salary by 23% on Apr. 1.

When announcing company-wide pay cuts last week, American Media Inc. released a statement to media, noting that no layoffs have occurred. “American Media is committed to doing everything we can during the COVID-19 crisis to ensure our staff maintain their employment and health benefits,” a spokesperson for the company said.

Prior to the coronavirus-prompted salary cuts at AMI, both RadarOnline and Men’s Journal underwent sweeping staff reductions with the men’s lifestyle magazine relocating to the west coast and laying off New York-based employees. Insiders say RadarOnline was hit the hardest, among the company’s layoffs.

American Media’s pay cuts come as the advertising business has been shaken by coronavirus’ impact, causing other publishing company to slash salaries, including Buzzfeed, which recently announced temporary cuts.

The entire entertainment industry has been deeply affected by the pandemic with production shut down across television and film and deal-making halted in Hollywood, resulting in the talent agencies being particularly hit hard with layoffs and staff-wide salary reductions. Mega corporations, like Disney, have furloughed employees, as theme parks remain closed and chairman Bob Iger gave up his multi-million annual salary.

After a brief departure from American Media when he ran the celebrity site CelebBuzz, Howard had been back with AMI since 2013 and became editor-in-chief of RadarOnline, and later was named editor of the National Enquirer. During his rise at AMI, Howard was a key lieutenant to Pecker, who remains atop the publishing company.

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