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Media City gets grant from The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences – Windsor Star

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Windsor’s Media City Film Festival, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, has been awarded a grant from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Media City is one of several organizations, including the Toronto International Film Festival, receiving an undisclosed share of US$2.5 million from The Oscars.

“It’s not an insignificant amount and it’s going to make a big difference for Media City especially during this trying time we’re going through,” said Oona Mosna, Media City’s program director.

“We’re incredibly honoured and super excited obviously about this because it’s huge news.”

Media City applied for the grant, the first time it had done so.

“The academy’s first priority remains to help those in our film community most impacted by the current global crisis,” Academy governor and education and outreach committee chair Nancy Utley said in a news release.

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Trump's social media regulation push faces key hurdle at the FCC – National Post

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WASHINGTON — U.S. President Donald Trump’s effort to regulate social media companies’ content decisions may face an uphill battle from regulators who have previously said they cannot oversee the conduct of internet firms.

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Ajit Pai did not endorse Trump’s proposal on Thursday but said in a written statement “this debate is an important one” and added the FCC “will carefully review any petition for rulemaking.”

In August 2018, Pai said he hoped social media companies would embrace free speech but did not see a role for the FCC to regulate websites like Facebook, Alphabet’s Google and Twitter.

“They are not going to be regulated in terms of free speech,” Pai said at a forum. “The government is not here to regulate these platforms. We don’t have the power to do that.”

Another Republican on the five-member commission, Mike O’Rielly, expressed mixed feelings.

“As a conservative, I’m troubled voices are stifled by liberal tech leaders. At same time, I’m extremely dedicated to the First Amendment which governs much here,” O’Rielly wrote on Twitter.

Trump signed an executive order Thursday directing the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration to petition the FCC to write rules clarifying social media companies’ legal protections under Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act.

Former FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell, a Republican, wrote on Twitter that the review is “based on political #speech management of platforms. So many wobbly parts to this govt ‘nudge.’ I don’t see how it survives.”

Another barrier is timing. The FCC will spend at least a few months reviewing and likely seeking public comment before potentially drafting proposed regulations. It could take a year or longer to finalize any rules, long after the November presidential election.

Section 230 protects internet companies from liability for illegal content posted by users and allows them to remove lawful but objectionable posts.

Trump wants the FCC to “expeditiously propose regulations” to determine what constitutes “good faith” by firms in removing some content. He also wants Congress to repeal the Section 230 protections.

FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr, a Republican, said he expects the commission will seek public comment on the forthcoming NTIA petition to provide clarity on what “good faith conduct” by companies means and draw a line between permissible and improper behavior.

“When a final decision is reached, my hope and expectation is that it will provide clarity about that line,” Carr said.

Twitter called Trump’s executive order “a reactionary and politicized approach to a landmark law…. Attempts to unilaterally erode it threaten the future of online speech and Internet freedoms.”

Alexandra Givens, chief executive of the Center for Democracy & Technology, said the order “not only violates the Constitution, it ignores 20 years of well-established law. The Executive Order is designed to deter social media companies from fighting misinformation, voter suppression, and the stoking of violence on their services.”

FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, a Democrat, suggested turning the FCC “into the president’s speech police is not the answer. It’s time for Washington to speak up for the First Amendment.” (Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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In China, U.S. protests a hot topic on state, social media – TheChronicleHerald.ca

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By Huizhong Wu

BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese state media is giving extensive coverage to violent protests roiling cities across the United States, while the unrest has also featured widely in Chinese social media.

The death of George Floyd, a 46-year old black man, while in police custody last week has sparked demonstrations and unrest across the politically and racially divided country.

China’s state-run CCTV aired parts of an interview that his brother, Philonise Floyd, gave to U.S. news channel MSNBC in its noon broadcast on Monday, where he said U.S. President Donald Trump did not give him the opportunity to speak during a phone call and where he cried at the mention of his brother.

While the unrest in U.S. cities has been widely reported by international media, China’s interest comes at a time when relations between the two are particularly strained.

CCTV featured reports from one of its reporters running with protesters in Minnesota, as well as short videos shot by Americans depicting police violence against protesters.

On China’s social media platform Weibo, at least five news items on the protests were among the top 20 trending topics by midday, led by reports Trump had been temporarily taken to a bunker as protesters surrounded the White House.

On Twitter, the protests also featured widely among the top 20 trending items, with the hashtag #BunkerBoy at a prominent second place.

For some analysts, the Chinese media coverage of the protests echoed their reporting on the coronavirus situation in the United States.

“The number one thing they want to show is that the Communist Party is doing a better job in terms of fighting the coronavirus and managing society,” said Alfred Wu, associate professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore.

“That’s the main message: the U.S. is not doing good.”

Some Chinese media have made comparisons between the U.S. protests and those in Hong Kong, the latest flashpoint in U.S.-China tensions. Trump has begun the process of eliminating special U.S. treatment for Hong Kong to punish Beijing’s decision to impose new national security laws on the territory.

The state-run China Daily posted a political cartoon showing a coronavirus patient saying “I can’t breathe” – the dying words of Floyd – as a figure resembling Trump walks away after cutting the line to an oxygen tank labelled “WHO”.

That was a reference to his decision to withdraw the United States from the World Health Organization on Friday.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying wrote on Twitter on Saturday “I can’t breathe” in response to a tweet from U.S. State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus criticising China’s actions in Hong Kong.

(Reporting by Huizhong Wu; Editing by Tony Munroe and Ana Nicolaci da Costa)

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Japan considering re-opening door to some foreigners: media – Cape Breton Post

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TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan is considering re-opening its borders to travellers from selected countries which have low levels of coronavirus infections, as it begins to ease restrictions put in place earlier this year to control the outbreak.

As schools, cinemas, sports clubs and department stores reopened in the nation’s capital Tokyo on Monday, media have reported that the government is also planning to allow travellers from Thailand, Vietnam, Australia and New Zealand into the country in the coming months.

There was no immediate comment from the foreign ministry.

Around 17,000 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Japan as of early Monday, with roughly 900 deaths.

Since February, Japan has banned entry by foreigners to limit the spread of the virus from overseas visitors.

The government is considering allowing business travellers from the four countries to enter if they test negative for COVID-19 in two separate tests conducted upon departure from their home country and arrival in Japan, the Asahi Shimbun reported, citing unnamed sources.

Once permitted into the country, visitors’ movements would be restricted to areas including place of stay, company offices and factories, the newspaper said, adding that use of public transportation would be banned.

Along with Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, Australia and New Zealand are members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP-11), and have strong trade ties with Japan.

Southeast Asia accounts for just 4.4% of global COVID-19 infections, according to the World Health Organisation, much lower than the Americas or Europe, which each account for roughly 40%.

Vietnamese youth are the fastest-growing group of foreign workers in Japan. Many arrive as part of a technical trainee programme set up by the Japanese government, which is widely seen as a way to bring in blue-collar labour in immigration-shy Japan.

(Reporting by Naomi Tajitsu; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)

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