When Nancy Daamen’s beloved nephew died of COVID-19 last month, she immediately lost patience with COVID deniers.
She said she couldn’t take the false information being spread on social media, so she began removing people from her list of friends.
“I just couldn’t look at it anymore.”
She said it was painful to know that friends and family members were spreading “misinformation that I know could very well lead to other people dying.”
Miles Copeland died of COVID-19 on Oct. 11. He was 47.
Eight days later, Daamen tweeted: “If what has happened to our family doesn’t change their mind, I’m not sure what will and reading their nonsense hurts right now. Family, friends.. people I’ve known 30 minutes or 30 years. I just can’t.”
Daamen and Copeland were born just a few months apart — and grew up together in the Chipman area, about 100 kilometres northeast of Fredericton. They graduated together from high school, and Copeland even lived with Daamen’s family for a while.
“He was probably one of my best friends in the entire world. I always said he was my brother from another mother.”
She said Copeland was a well-respected trades person, “a lover of Christmas and a pretty darn good homemade bread-maker. He was fun-loving, energetic. He could be quite silly at times and also could be incredibly stubborn.”
Just before Thanksgiving, he collapsed at his Edmonton home and had to be taken to hospital by ambulance. He was put on a ventilator, but his condition continued to worsen.
Daamen said she felt helpless being so far away, having to wait for other family members to keep her posted on his condition.
He died Thanksgiving morning.
Daamen said her nephew was a healthy 47-year-old who didn’t smoke or do drugs.
“That’s kind of the point we want to drive home … this really can happen to anybody. And you won’t see it coming until it’s too late,” said Daamen.
“No one thinks it’s going to happen to them until it does. And then, once it’s done, it’s done. You can’t take it back. You can’t fix it.”
After she posted about his death, the negative messages started coming in.
Some denied the existence of COVID-19. Others claimed that as many people die from the vaccine as from the disease.
If you are too important to somebody in your life to put your life at risk, just take the plunge. Get vaccinated.– Nancy Daamen
“Well, no, they don’t,” Daamen said “And you know, people need to stop spreading that because that’s the kind of information that people take to heart and then make poor choices.”
Daamen said Copeland was “vaccine hesitant, just like a lot of people.”
She said he believed if he got infected, that he would get over it.
Daamen said a “handful” of people have reached out to her and explained that they were previously vaccine hesitant, but booked their first shots after hearing what happened to Copeland.
Others are sharing his story with those who haven’t been vaccinated in an effort to prevent this from happening to someone else.
Daamen said there’s been a lot of tears over the last month, and everyone is grieving in their own way.
Copeland’s 19-year-old son, Chase, got a tattoo on Wednesday in his father’s honour.
“It is beautiful, I’m sure that [Miles] would have absolutely loved it,” said Daamen.
“It’s actually a quote from the song Patience by Guns N’ Roses. And it says, ‘All we need is a little patience.'”
Daamen wants people to remember that getting vaccinated isn’t just for themselves. It also protects loved ones from having to mourn someone important in their lives.
“If you are too important to somebody in your life to put your life at risk, just take the plunge. Get vaccinated. Do whatever you can to protect not just yourself, but your family from having to go through a loss like this for no real reason.”
U.S. financial regulators investigate Trump social media deal – The Globe and Mail
Wall Street’s top financial regulators are investigating former U.S. President Donald Trump’s $1.25 billion deal to float his new social media venture on the stock market, a filing showed.
Digital World Acquisition Corp, the blank-check acquisition firm that agreed to merge with Trump Media & Technology Group Corp (TMTG), disclosed in a regulatory filing on Monday that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) were probing the deal.
TMTG did not respond to Reuters requests for comment.
Digital World said the SEC asked for documents in early November relating to communications between Digital World and TMTG, meetings of Digital World’s board, policies and procedures relating to trading, the identification of banking, telephone, and e-mail addresses and the identities of certain investors.
The SEC stated in its request that its investigation does not mean that the regulator has concluded that anyone violated the law, Digital World added.
Senator Elizabeth Warren had asked the SEC to investigate TMTG’s proposed merger with Digital World over potential violations of securities laws, including whether they had sufficiently disclosed when deal talks began.
The SEC declined to comment on Monday.
The investigations come amid excitement among Trump supporters and retail investors over the planned deal. Frantic trading of Digital World’s shares has driven TMTG’s valuation from $875 million in October to close to $4 billion.
Digital World, whose shares were down 1.8% to $44.14 at 1824 GMT, said FINRA had asked for details in late October and early November about “surrounding events,” including a review of trading, that preceded the announcement of the merger.
FINRA said in its request that its inquiry should not be construed as an indication that any violations of Nasdaq rules or federal securities laws have occurred, Digital World added.
FINRA declined to comment.
TMTG said on Saturday it had entered into agreements to raise about $1 billion from a group of unidentified investors, bringing the deal’s total proceeds to $1.25 billion.
But TMTG will only receive this money if the deal is completed. A vote required for Digital World shareholders to approve the transaction has yet to be scheduled.
Some on Wall Street have been reluctant to associate with Trump, and the Digital World filings did not disclose which investors backed the $1 billion fundraising.
Trump was banned from top social media platforms after the Jan. 6 attack by his supporters on the U.S. Capitol amid concerns he would inspire further violence. [USN LINK]
The Capitol attack was based on unsubstantiated claims of widespread fraud in last year’s presidential election.
In its first financial projections since the announcement of the merger, Digital World said it expected the average revenue per user of Trump’s social media app, TRUTH Social, to grow to $13.50 in 2026, with 81 million total users.
That is despite the app not having reached even trial mode. TMTG plans to launch the beta version of Truth Social in the first quarter of 2022.
Digital World also said it expected TMTG to reach 40 million total subscribers by 2026. By comparison, social media platform Twitter Inc has over 200 million daily active users.
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Media Release – December 6, 2021 – Guelph Police – guelphpolice.ca
Another resident loses thousands in Bitcoin scam
For the second time in as many weeks, a Guelph resident has lost thousands of dollars after falling victim to a scam involving Bitcoin.
Saturday afternoon, the Guelph Police Service was contacted by a 68-year-old city resident. He reported he had been contacted by someone claiming to represent the Canada Border Services Agency, who claimed a package with the male’s name on it had been intercepted at the border and contained illegal substances.
The male was instructed to deposit $3,900 into a Bitcoin ATM and did so while keeping the caller on the line. When the caller then demanded the male pull additional funds from a line of credit, the male got suspicious and hung up.
The report comes less than two weeks after a 27-year-old Guelph female lost nearly $8,000 in the same scam.
Payments made via Bitcoin or other crypto currencies are nearly impossible to trace. To avoid falling victim to similar scams:
- Do not provide any information to a caller you don’t know.
- Do not click on links provided or follow directions from a caller you don’t know.
- If the caller claims to be from an agency such as Canadian Border Services or the Canada Revenue Agency, hang up and call the agency back directly before following any instructions. Look up the number yourself rather than using a number provided by the caller.
- The caller will use various means, including threats, to try to force you to act quickly. Don’t fall for it.
- No government agency will demand payment by gift cards or crypto currency. If they ask for this, hang up.
Two impaired driving arrests on weekend
Two motorists were arrested for impaired driving in Guelph over the weekend.
Approximately 2 a.m. Saturday, officers on patrol observed several parties getting into a vehicle outside a licensed establishment on Silvercreek Parkway South. This included three people who entered through the rear hatch and occupy positions without seatbelts.
A traffic stop was conducted and officers detected an odour of alcoholic beverage on the driver’s breath. The driver registered a fail on a roadside screening device and was taken to the police station, where further testing confirmed he had more than the legal limit of alcohol in his system.
A 20-year-old Guelph male is charged with impaired operation. His driver’s licence was immediately suspended for 90 days and his vehicle was impounded for seven days. He will appear in a Guelph court December 17, 2021.
Approximately 11:45 p.m. Saturday, police were called to a report of a male passed out in a running vehicle on Water Street near McCrae Boulevard. Officers attended and detected an odour of alcohol and marijuana coming from the vehicle. The driver registered a fail on a roadside screening device and was taken to the police station, where further testing confirmed he had more than the legal limit of alcohol in his system.
A 44-year-old Fergus male is charged with impaired operation. His driver’s licence was immediately suspended for 90 days and his vehicle was impounded for seven days. He will appear in a Guelph court December 21, 2021.
The Guelph Police Service would like to encourage the public to always consume alcohol and cannabis responsibly. Please don’t drive if you are going to consume alcohol or cannabis, and please ensure that you plan ahead so that you have a safe ride home.
Male fired, charged after internal theft
A Guelph male is unemployed and facing a criminal charge after he was caught stealing from his now-former employer.
On Saturday, the Guelph Police Service received a call from the loss prevention officer of a west-end business, who reported an employee had been let go. During a two-week period in November, the male was caught on camera eating more than $70 worth of product without paying. The total loss is believed to be much higher.
A 21-year-old Guelph male is charged with theft under $5,000. He will appear in a Guelph court January 28, 2021.
Three drivers taken off road during RIDE checks
Three motorists had their driver’s licences suspended for 72 hours during weekend RIDE checks.
Officers stopped 750 vehicles at two locations Saturday night. Almost 50 drivers were asked to provide breath samples into approved screening devices, with three of them taken off the road after registering between 50 and 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood. The legal limit is 80 milligrams.
As well, one driver was charged under the Cannabis Control Act with having cannabis readily available and another was charged under the Highway Traffic Act with failing to surrender a driver’s licence.
Drivers will notice increased enforcement until early January during the Festive RIDE season. The Guelph Police Service would like to encourage the public to always consume alcohol and cannabis responsibly. Please don’t drive if you are going to consume alcohol or cannabis, and please ensure that you plan ahead so that you have a safe ride home.
Total calls for service in the last 72 hours – 619
Trump Media & Technology Group social media could have 81M users by 2026 – CTV News
NEW YORK –
Regulators are asking questions about the deal to bring Donald Trump’s new social media company to the stock market, one that has attracted both legions of fans of the former president and people looking to make a quick profit.
The company partnering with Trump Media & Technology Group acknowledged the inquiries in a filing it made with regulators on Monday. It also gave some financial forecasts for the company, which is hoping to rival Twitter and other platforms that banned Trump, along with Netflix and other streaming video services.
Digital World Acquisition, which is often referred to by its trading symbol of “DWAC,” said it is cooperating with “the preliminary, fact-finding inquiries” by the Financial Industry Regulation Authority and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The Financial Industry Regulation Authority, or FINRA, asked in late October and early November for a review of trading in DWAC’s stock before the Oct. 20 merger deal was announced. That announcement sent the stock surging from US$9.96 to $94.20 in just two days as Trump supporters and investors looking to make a fast buck piled in. The shares have since pulled back to roughly $43.
The Securities and Exchange Commission made a request in early November for documents related to meetings of DWAC’s board, trading policies and other things. According to DWAC, the SEC’s request said the commission’s “investigation does not mean that the SEC has concluded that anyone violated the law or that the SEC has a negative opinion of DWAC or any person, event, or security.”
DWAC said over the weekend that it has lined up $1 billion in promised investments for the former president’s new venture from a group of unnamed institutional investors, and it filed a copy of the presentation used to pitch investors and analysts.
The presentation included forecasts that the company’s Truth Social service may have 81 million users by 2026, or nearly 7 million more people than voted for Trump in the last U.S. presidential election.
In five years, Trump Media is forecast to generate nearly $3.7 billion in revenue, according to the filing. That is more than the annual revenue of retailer Restoration Hardware, RV maker Winnebago Industries and entertainment giant iHeart Media, which owns more than 800 radio stations.
DWAC was shaky in Monday morning trading following the filing. It opened with a slight gain before falling to a 2.2% loss.
AP Writer Bernard Condon contributed
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