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Government needs 'intestinal fortitude' to save media from tech giants – parrysound.com

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Haligonians answer call on social media to show struggling eatery some love – CTV News Atlantic

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HALIFAX —
Dozens of people answered the dinner bell Tuesday in support of a struggling Mexican restaurant in Halifax’s north end.

A social media message about the difficulties facing Tako Loko prompted hungry Haligonians to line up down the street for a bite to eat.

On Wednesday, there was some extra prep work taking place in the kitchen at Tako Loko.

“Sold out, everything, so we’re going to do again … everything,” said owner Vicky Ruiz.

The spike in business was the result of one tweet that made the rounds on social media saying the owner is really struggling to keep the lights on and the doors open.

The result was a lineup of people down the street.

“I almost cried, I was happy, very happy because the people support us,” Ruiz said. “We had Uber Eats and we couldn’t take orders from Uber Eats and we couldn’t answer the phone because the line was two blocks here.”

Megan Smith and Nicole Carruthers live in the neighborhood and have been coming for months.

“It’s excellent,” they say.

It was so busy Smith and Carruthers couldn’t even place their usual order.

“I tried calling before five and they couldn’t take my order because they were that busy, it was awesome,” Smith said.

Some who couldn’t show up in person took up a neighbourhood collection and dropped the money off in a card.

The restaurant was scheduled to close at 9 p.m. but they actually ran out of food before that. Ruiz spent this morning at the grocery store, stocking up for tonight.

“It makes you proud of your local community, proud of Halifax and proud of people in the north end,” Carruthers said. “A lot of challenges have come out of this pandemic. It’s really nice to see people come out and supporting each other in a challenging time.”

Ruiz opened in March, just at the beginning of the pandemic. They stuck it out, but as COVID continued, the restaurant, like many others, started to struggle.

Ruiz has no plans to close her kitchen, and after the response yesterday, staying open will be much easier.

“I am a very hard worker and the people depend on this restaurant, they need a job,” Ruiz said.

Ruiz doesn’t know the person who put the post on social media but she has a message for him.

“Thank you, thank you, and free tacos for him,” she said.

He may however have to wait in line.

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Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai denied bail on fraud charge – The Globe and Mail

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Jimmy Lai arrives at a court in Hong Kong, on Oct. 15, 2020.

Kin Cheung/The Associated Press

Outspoken Hong Kong pro-democracy advocate and media tycoon Jimmy Lai was refused bail on Thursday on a fraud charge amid a growing crackdown on dissent in the semi-autonomous city.

Jimmy Lai of Next Digital, which publishes the Apple Daily newspaper, was among 10 people arrested Aug. 10 on what police said was suspicion of violating a national security law and collusion with a foreign country.

Lai, 73, was later released on bail but police raided his company’s offices in October and took away documents.

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On Wednesday, Lai and two Next Digital executives were charged with fraud over accusations that they violated lease terms for Next Digital office space.

Lai appeared in court Thursday and was denied bail. His case has been adjourned till April 16.

Hong Kong police said in a statement Wednesday that it had arrested three men on charges of fraud, without naming them. It also said that one of them had been suspected of violating the national security law, and that it was still under investigation.

Beijing imposed the national security law in response to protests in Hong Kong that began in June 2019 over a proposed extradition law and expanded to include demands for greater democracy in the former British colony.

The sweeping legislation prompted more public protests and led to complaints that Beijing is violating the autonomy promised to Hong Kong when it returned to China and damaging its status as a business centre.

Apple Daily criticized the law on its front page on July 1, calling it the “final nail in the coffin” of the territory’s autonomy.

The British government had slammed Lai’s August arrest and said the security law was being used to crush dissent.

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The law is “being implemented in a way that undermines freedom of speech,” the British government said in a report this month on the status of the 1984 agreement for Hong Kong’s return to China.

“It is imperative that this freedom is fully respected,” the report said.

Lai was earlier arrested in February and April on charges of taking part in unauthorized protests. He also faces charges of joining an unauthorized vigil marking the anniversary of the June 4, 1989, crackdown on pro-democracy protests in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.

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South Korea reaches deal to buy AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine candidate: media – TheChronicleHerald.ca

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By Hyonhee Shin

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea has reached a deal with AstraZeneca PLC to purchase its coronavirus vaccine candidate as it seeks to secure supplies amid a resurgence of outbreaks, local media reported on Thursday.

The government has said it was in final talks with global drugmakers including AstraZeneca, Pfizer Inc and Johnson & Johnson over their experimental vaccines, and launched a preliminary review of AstraZeneca’s product in October for potential fast-track approval.

The JoongAng Ilbo newspaper said health authorities signed a contract with the Britain-based company on Nov. 27, and were nearing agreements with Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson, citing an unidentified government official.

“The AstraZeneca deal has been done, and a memorandum of understanding was reached with both Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson. But further negotiations are needed to finalise the amount of supplies and the timing of shipment,” the official was quoted as saying.

The Yonhap news agency also reported, citing an unnamed health official, that an agreement with AstraZeneca was inked recently and the government would make an announcement as early as next week after completing negotiations with other firms.

The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said that the JoongAng report was not the government’s official position but that it would finalise talks and unveil comprehensive results shortly.

The KDCA has said 172 billion won ($157 million) was set aside to buy an initial 60 million doses this year, enough to vaccinate about 60% of the country’s population of 52 million, around the second quarter of 2021.

It has secured 20 million doses via the COVAX facility, an international COVID-19 vaccine allocation platform co-led by the WHO.

($1 = 1,097.0800 won)

(Reporting by Hyonhee Shin)

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