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Hong Kong press body says new police media rules could limit scrutiny – TheChronicleHerald.ca

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By Yanni Chow and Carol Mang

HONG KONG (Reuters) – The Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA) said on Thursday a move by police to narrow the definition of “media representatives” allowed at public events such as protests could limit scrutiny on law enforcers.

The guidelines, officially changed on Wednesday, now exclude recognition of press passes issued by local media associations such as HKJA and Hong Kong Press Photographers Association (HKPPA), while accepting journalists from 205 bodies registered with the government and international media.

News associations say the move could limit the work of and raise the risks of arrest for freelancers and student reporters, who have captured some of the most striking scenes of the pro-democracy protests that roiled the city last year, including a video of a police officer shooting a demonstrator in October.

Police are suspicious of student reporters, who fit the age group of the most ardent protesters, and say they have discovered fake media badges and been attacked by fake reporters.

“All the police want is to limit us,” said HKJA chairman Chris Yeung, appearing next to representatives of HKPPA and six other media unions.

“Journalism students are the future of our industry,” he said, speaking in front of a banner reading “Defend the truth, no government vetting.”

Some students who said they were reporting for their student union publications have been arrested at protests for suspected crimes including rioting.

Late on Wednesday, Security Secretary John Lee said freedom of the media remained intact.

The change to internal guidelines meant that recognised reporters will be allowed in cordoned zones where media is not usually allowed and could also be offered interviews at the scene, which has also been rare, he said.

Lee said the guidelines do not attempt to change the definition of journalists who can conduct reporting outside cordoned areas.

The Foreign Correspondents Club (FCC) said on Wednesday the move was “another step in the erosion of Hong Kong’s once cherished press freedom as it would give the police — rather than reporters and editors — the power to determine who covers the police”.

The FCC expressed concerns that journalists not recognised under the new guidelines risked being arrested for unlawful assembly and rioting.

China’s foreign ministry branch in Hong Kong said on Wednesday that the club should “immediately stop meddling with Hong Kong affairs on the pretext of press freedom”.

“The truth is not to be distorted,” it said. “By anxiously whitewashing the fake journalists, FCC Hong Kong is attempting to endorse the rioters and condone their ‘burn with us’ violence, thus sowing more trouble in the city.”

Pro-democracy protests have been smaller and fewer this year due to coronavirus restrictions on gatherings and since the introduction of a national security law on June 30. There are calls for protests on Oct 1., China’s national day.

(Writing by Marius Zaharia; Editing by Michael Perry)

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MEDIA ADVISORY: Pickets throughout the Lower Mainland Postponed After Janitors Reach Tentative Agreement with Bee-Clean Building Maintenance – GlobeNewswire

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The tentative agreement was reached shortly after janitors had voted overwhelmingly in favour of striking. Unionized with SEIU Local 2, janitors were set to picket at several key locations throughout the Lower Mainland, including Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal.

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Oct. 30, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Janitors have reached a tentative deal for their first collective agreement with their employer Bee-Clean Building Maintenance. The tentative agreement has been reached a little over 36 hours after janitors had voted overwhelmingly in favour of commencing strike actions during the week of November 2nd.

Janitors unionized with SEIU (Services Employees International Union) Local 2 last year in response to poor working conditions. Janitors’ major concerns included the lack of adequate sick days, ensuring that all janitors were covered by paid health and dental benefits, and winning a fair wage increase. The new tentative agreement will be presented for a ratification vote early next week.

SEIU Local 2 represents workers in Nova Scotia, Ontario, Alberta, New Brunswick and British Columbia.

Contact:
Assya Moustaqim-Barrette
assyamb@seiulocal2.ca
416-274-4903

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Media Advisory – Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada to Kick off Canada's First Women-only Virtual Business Mission to South Korea – GlobeNewswire

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TORONTO, Oct. 30, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada (APF Canada) will launch Canada’s First Women-only Virtual Business Mission to South Korea on Tuesday, November 3, 2020, with keynote presentations from The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, and Mission Co-Chair Dr. Songyee Yoon, President of NCSOFT and CEO of NCWEST.

The two-day virtual conference will feature South Korean and Canadian women leaders from business, government, and technology, and company pitch sessions by delegates to showcase women-led Canadian innovation.

Date: Tuesday, November 3, 2020.

Time: 7:00 p.m. EST; 9:00 a.m. KST.

Notes: 

  • The two-day conference is open to media, and one-on-one interviews with Mission leaders and select delegates are available by request.
  • Media representatives are asked to register through this link and log on no later than 6:45 p.m. EST on Tuesday, November 3, 2020.

Contacts:

Information:
A.W. Lee, Program Manager,
Diversity and Inclusive Growth Strategy for Women Entrepreneurs in the Asia Pacific,
Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada
a.w.lee@asiapacific.ca

Media:
Michael Roberts, Communications Manager,
Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada
michael.roberts@asiapacific.ca

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House Oversight Committee moves to subpoena border agency over lewd social media posts – CNN

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Last year, media reports revealed the existence of secret Facebook groups with an apparent nexus to CBP that were discovered to contain vulgar and sexually explicit posts. One Facebook group, dubbed “I’m 10-15,” was exposed by the investigative reporting group ProPublica and reportedly included current and former Border Patrol agents.
The revelations sparked public backlash and prompted investigations by lawmakers, as well as a review within the administration.
House Oversight Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney criticized the border agency for not providing sufficient information to the committee about the incident, more than a year after the committee launched its investigation.
“Since that time, CBP has refused to produce any documents that identify these employees or the specific abuses they engaged in, instead choosing to withhold these documents or redact them to conceal this information from the Committee,” Maloney wrote in a memo to committee members Friday.
CBP previously told CNN that four employees were removed from service following internal investigations.
“The agency investigated 138 cases of inappropriate social media activity beginning July 2019. Of those, the agency found that 63 allegations were unsubstantiated, four employees were removed from service, 38 employees were suspended without pay, and the remaining were disciplined with reprimands or counseling,” an agency spokesperson told CNN in July.
While the agency shared similar information with the House Oversight Committee, Maloney is requesting more detailed information on the personnel who engaged in misconduct. The Trump administration, according to the memo, has withheld identifying information, citing privacy concerns.
In a statement Friday to CNN, a CBP official maintained the agency has provided documents, adding that some were publicly released by the committee without the agency’s consent, and provided a number of briefings.
“CBP leadership has offered to personally brief members of this committee and, at the Committee’s request, had made available certain individuals for transcribed interviews as well, though the Committee has not yet responded to these offers,” the official said. “Since the beginning of this investigation, CBP’s primary goal has been to provide transparency while still protecting the health and safety of our personnel, given the high degree of social unrest and the potential hostile targeting of employees for the nature of their employment.”
Maloney also raised concern about reduced punishment for some employees, saying in the memo: “Moreover, based on the limited information produced to the Committee, it is evident that the Trump Administration significantly reduced the punishment of many of these employees, while at the same time shielding them from Congressional oversight.”
The House Oversight Committee will issue a subpoena to compel acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan to turn over the requested documents by November 13.
This story has been updated with a statement from a Customs and Border Protection official.

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