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Coronavirus: Russia denies spreading US conspiracy on social media – BBC News

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Russia has flatly denied allegations that it is spreading disinformation about the new coronavirus outbreak on social media.

US officials said Russian-linked accounts were making unfounded claims that America started the outbreak.

Thousands of profiles on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram were peddling the theory, the officials said.

Responding to the allegations on Saturday, the Russian foreign ministry dismissed them as “fake”.

“This is a deliberately false story,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told Russia’s Tass news agency.

Over 2,000 people have died, mostly in China, and more than 76,000 people are confirmed to have the new coronavirus.

The virus, which originated last year in Hubei province in China, causes a respiratory disease called Covid-19.

Earlier, a senior US State Department official, Philip Reeker, said “malign” Russian actors were attempting to sow disinformation about origin of the coronavirus.

One conspiracy theory – circulating online in several languages – alleges the virus is an attempt to wage “economic war on China”.

“By spreading disinformation about coronavirus, Russian malign actors are once again choosing to threaten public safety by distracting from the global health response,” Phillip Reeker, acting assistant secretary of state for Europe and Eurasia, told AFP news agency.

The posts also accused Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates of involvement in the outbreak.

According to AFP news agency, the disinformation campaign was identified by US monitors in mid-January, shortly after the third death from the new coronavirus was announced.

“In this case, we were able to see their full disinformation ecosystem in effect, including state TV, proxy web sites and thousands of false social media personas all pushing the same themes,” said Lea Gabrielle, the head of the State Department’s Global Engagement Centre.

The accounts had been previously identified for sharing Russian-backed messages on events such as demonstrations in Chile and the war in Syria. It is alleged that the accounts are run by humans.

The US State Department said the claims were making some countries in Africa and Asia suspicious of the Western response.

Russian TV has also been reporting that Western elites, especially the US, are to blame.

One of the country’s main TV networks, Channel One, has launched a regular slot devoted to coronavirus conspiracy theories on its main evening news programme.

Conspiracy theories have also featured heavily on the Channel One’s main political talk show. It suggested that various Western actors – pharmaceutical companies, the US or its agencies – are somehow involved in helping to create or spread the virus, or at least in spreading panic about it.

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Media Advisory: Premier Furey to Announce Additional Measure to Address Recruitment and Retention of Physicians – News Releases – Government of Newfoundland and Labrador

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The Honourable Andrew Furey, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, will announce an additional measure to address recruitment and retention of physicians today (Tuesday, August 16) at 2:15 p.m.

He will be joined by the Honourable Tom Osborne, Minister of Health and Community Services, Dr. Sohaib Al-Asaaed, Post Graduate Medical Education Associate Dean, and Dr. Mikaela Murphy, a second-year family medicine resident.

The availability will take place in Room M5M101, Faculty of Medicine, St. John’s Campus, Memorial University.

The availability will be streamed live on Facebook.

– 30 –

Media contacts
Meghan McCabe
Office of the Premier
709-729-3960
meghanmccabe@gov.nl.ca

Laura Thomas
Health and Community Services
709-729-6986, 727-0341
laurathomas@gov.nl.ca

2022 08 16
9:10 am

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Media Release – August 16, 2022 – Guelph Police – Guelph Police Service

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Male arrested in theft of watches

A Guelph male has been charged in connection with the theft of more than a dozen watches during a break and enter last month.

Police were called July 6 to a business in the area of Silvercreek Parkway North and Woodlawn Road West. An employee had arrived to work to find a rear window smashed. Approximately 12 to 15 watches each valued at $150 were stolen.

A suspect was identified through surveillance video and arrested Sunday morning. A 66-year-old Guelph male is charged with break and enter. He will appear in a Guelph court September 23, 2022.

Arrest made following assault

A Guelph male faces assault and weapons charges after another male was attacked in the parking lot of a south-end business.

On July 9 two males known to each other were involved in a verbal altercation in a parking lot on Stone Road West. During the altercation one of the males was struck twice in the head with an object believed to be a flashlight. This caused a laceration which required stitches.

A suspect was identified and on Monday turned himself in to the Guelph Police Service. A 26-year-old Guelph male is charged with assault with a weapon, possessing a weapon for a dangerous purpose and failing to comply with probation. He will appear in bail court Wednesday.

Gassing up stolen car leads to charges

A Cambridge male who pumped gas into a stolen car in Guelph has been arrested.

On June 2, a male attended a gas station on Speedvale Avenue West driving a stolen Kia SUV. He pumped more than $49 in gas and attempted to pay using several prepaid credit cards, but was only able to cover $7.28 of the cost. The male said he would get another credit card from the vehicle but instead sped away without paying the remaining amount.

The male was identified via surveillance video and arrested Monday.

A 37-year-old Cambridge male is charged with possessing stolen property over $5,000, theft under $5,000, occupying a stolen motor vehicle and driving while suspended. He will appear in bail court Tuesday.

Total calls for service in the last 24 hours – 206

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Media are invited to attend the Mentor-Apprentice Program workshop in Yellowknife on August 17 – Government of Northwest Territories

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The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) is hosting a training workshop for Mentor-Apprentice Program (MAP) participants in Yellowknife. Media are invited to attend the last workshop taking place in the Yellowknife area, where they can experience the language program firsthand and talk to MAP participants and organizers with the Indigenous Languages and Education Secretariat.

The session will take place:

Yellowknife – Dene Kedǝ, Dëne Sųłıné, Dene Zhatıé and Tłı̨chǫ languages

Location: Aurora Tours.net /Aurora Teepee Lodge (Ingraham Trail – KM 12.4)

Date: August 17, 2022

Time: 10:15 -11:45 am

To attend one of the sessions, please RSVP to ecepublicaffairs@gov.nt.ca. High-resolution photos will be provided upon request for media use.

MAP is a way of learning a language where a fluent speaker of the language (a Mentor) teaches a language learner (an Apprentice) through immersion. The goal of the program is to have Apprentices improve their ability to understand and speak their language and help with the revitalization of Indigenous languages in the Northwest Territories.

For media requests, please contact:

ecepublicaffairs@gov.nt.ca

Public Affairs and Communications

Department of Education, Culture and Employment

Government of the Northwest Territories

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