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Why would anyone think the Liberals want to control the media? Oh, I can think of a few reasons.By Andrew Coyne The Globe and Mail

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Wait, so the allegations in The Globe story were true? Our sources were not partisan coup-plotters? The Globe’s reporters and editors are not credulous half-wits?

Or what else are we to conclude from the Trudeau government’s decision to expel a Chinese diplomat, Zhao Wei, shortly after The Globe reported he had been gathering information on family members of Conservative MP Michael Chong, a prominent critic of the Beijing regime, with the intent of making “an example” of him.

The Globe cited “a top-secret intelligence assessment” and an unnamed “national-security source,” as it has in several previous stories on Beijing’s wide-ranging attempts to interfere in Canada’s politics – much to the Liberals’s embarrassment. To now the government and its proxies have spent considerable effort trying to dismiss these as unimportant, or unreliable or both – hearsay! innuendo! – without specifically denying anything. That campaign is now presumably at an end.

The story, it is now admitted, was true. Mr. Chong’s family was being targeted. The Globe’s sources were right, and The Globe was right to report what they had to say – even if they remained unnamed. Had it not, the matter would never have come to light, Mr. Chong would never have been told, and no Chinese diplomat would be going home.

And yet even as the Liberal government was tacitly endorsing The Globe’s use of unnamed sources, the Liberal Party was busy demanding the practice be outlawed. Resolution 472 at the party’s national convention, passed without debate, calls on the government to “explore options to hold on-line information services accountable for the veracity of material published on their platforms and to limit publication only to material whose sources can be traced.” How very tidy.

Understand: the government has no more business “holding” anyone “accountable” for the “veracity” of anything. But the second part, urging the government to ban all material whose sources cannot be “traced” – material like, say, The Globe’s reports – is frankly chilling. Any crank can present a motion of course. But it was the party at large, the party in power, that passed it.

(And not only that: a second motion passed at the convention, Resolution 437, calls on the government to regulate the content of political campaigns via “truth in political advertising legislation,” decrying, without apparent irony, the absence of federal laws “to prevent politicians from deliberately misleading the public”).

It will never happen, Liberal officials hastened to assure everyone. The government “would never implement a policy that would limit freedom of the press or dictate how journalists would do their work,” a spokesperson added.

Why, heaven forfend! However did anyone get the idea that it would?

Perhaps it was a few weeks ago, when it came to light that a senior government official had pressured Facebook and Twitter in 2021 to remove links to a newspaper article on immigration, claiming it risked “undermining public confidence in … the integrity of the refugee determination system.”

Perhaps it was the revelation that, over the last three years, the government has made more than 200 similar attempts to censor social media.

Perhaps it is the current proceeding before the CRTC, in which the broadcast regulator is considering whether to ban Fox News from Canadian cable carriers.

Perhaps it is the recent passage of Bill C-11, which will expand the CRTC’s purview to include much of the internet as well: every audio or video streaming service, large or small, domestic or foreign, offering curated or user-generated content.

The best-case scenario is that this unworkable law is aimed only at the supremely pointless objective of promoting “Canadian content” on the web, at a time when it is awash in it. The worst case is the CRTC takes the same micro-managing approach to the internet, for whatever reasons enter its head, that it has to traditional broadcasting (see: Fox News ban).

Also in the works is Bill C-18, whose contribution to a free and independent press is to hook it up to the large social media platforms, who will be forced to “compensate” the news media for the crime of linking to our stories. Fortunately, the platforms seem to be embracing the “logic” of this proposal and ending the practice – or rather unfortunately, since they will no longer be sending readers to our pages by the millions, for free.

Still to come, the Online Harms Act, with whatever ill-judged new limits on free expression it brings. And hovering over all, the original sin of this government’s approach to the news media – and of the news media’s approach to the government – the tax credits and other subsidies for “Qualified Canadian Journalism Organizations.”

Supposedly temporary, these now seem to be permanent, as anyone could have predicted: for having sought them so eagerly, we are not about to give them up, ever. As always, the tightest shackles are made of the purest gold.

 

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Kamala Harris spurs meme frenzy on social media as Biden endorses her – The Guardian US

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Kamala Harris spurs meme frenzy on social media as Biden endorses her  The Guardian US

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From Mansion to Moat: Drake’s Million Dollar Home Gets Soaked

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Toronto residents woke up to a soggy Wednesday morning after the city was pummeled by record-breaking rainfall on Tuesday. The downpour caused widespread flooding across the city, and even the opulent mansion of rap superstar Drake wasn’t spared.

 

Drake’s “Embassy” Flooded

Drake shared a video on his Instagram story showing the extent of the water damage at his Toronto mansion, nicknamed “The Embassy.” The sprawling 50,000-square-foot estate boasts an NBA-regulation basketball court and an art-deco theme, but on Tuesday, it was battling ankle-deep murky water flooding its halls.

The video shows Drake himself, clad in shorts and holding a broom, wading through the water. Someone else can be seen desperately trying to hold a large glass door shut as water surges in, presumably from a flooded patio or balcony.  Drake captioned the video with a touch of humor: “This better be espresso martini.”

The extent of the damage to the mansion remains unclear at this time.

 

Historic Rainfall Causes Citywide Flooding

The flooding at Drake’s mansion was just one symptom of the unprecedented rainfall that lashed Toronto on Tuesday. The city saw over 100 millimeters of rain in a single day, easily surpassing the average rainfall for the entire month of July (71.6 mm). This deluge makes it the fifth-wettest day ever recorded in Toronto’s history.

The heavy downpour overwhelmed the city’s drainage systems, leading to widespread flooding across neighborhoods. Emergency services were inundated with over 700 calls reporting flooded basements.  A major artery, the Don Valley Parkway, became an impassable waterway, with cars submerged almost entirely and some drivers forced to wait for rescue on the roofs of their vehicles.

 

Toronto Cleans Up After the Storm

As of Wednesday morning, the city is in cleanup mode.  Emergency crews are working to clear debris and assess the damage caused by the floods.  The extent of the financial losses incurred by homeowners and businesses is still being determined.

While Drake’s mansion may have gotten an unwelcome soaking, the true story of this weather event lies in the impact it had on ordinary citizens across Toronto. The city is now focused on recovery efforts and ensuring the safety and well-being of its residents.

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Ryan Reynolds BLEEDS for Deadpool! Sacrificed Salary to Keep Franchise Alive!

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Marvel fans, rejoice! After a whirlwind journey filled with setbacks and triumphs, Deadpool & Wolverine is finally clawing its way onto the silver screen. This highly anticipated pairing of Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman has had its fair share of challenges, from production delays due to Hollywood strikes to struggling to solidify a cohesive storyline. But through it all, Reynolds’ unwavering dedication to the project has shone through, proving that sometimes, the biggest victories come from the most unexpected sacrifices.

The road to Deadpool & Wolverine began in May 2023 with a triumphant start to filming. However, that momentum was abruptly halted by a wave of strikes that swept through Hollywood, forcing a hiatus until late winter. This wasn’t the only obstacle the project faced. The creative team, including Reynolds himself, wrestled with crafting a narrative that lived up to the outrageous charm of the Deadpool character while seamlessly integrating Wolverine into the fold. There were even whispers of the entire project being shelved altogether, leaving fans anxious about the fate of this dream team.

 

Reynolds’ Pockets Take a Hit, But His Vision Persists

But amidst these uncertainties, a heartwarming detail recently emerged, shedding light on Reynolds’ incredible commitment to the Deadpool franchise. In a revealing interview with The New York Times, Reynolds opened up about the financial sacrifices he made to ensure the success of the original Deadpool film.

“Deadpool wasn’t just a movie; it was a decade-long passion project,” Reynolds confessed. “Honestly, when they finally greenlit it, I wasn’t thinking about box office numbers. I just wanted to see this crazy character come to life on screen. I even gave up my acting salary for the project just to get it off the ground.”

 

However, Reynolds’ generosity didn’t stop there. The studio, it seemed, wasn’t convinced of the importance of having the film’s screenwriters, Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, readily available on set. “They wouldn’t allow my co-writers on set, which was a huge blow,” Reynolds continued. “So, I took what little money I had left after forgoing my salary and paid them myself to be there. We basically formed a makeshift writer’s room right there on set.”

This wasn’t the first instance of Reynolds’ financial commitment to the Deadpool universe. Writers Reese and Wernick had previously shared on the AMC show Geeking Out that Reynolds also personally financed aspects of Deadpool (2016) to ensure the film achieved the level of quality he envisioned.

 

A Commitment That Reaps Rewards

 

Looking back on the original film’s scrappy beginnings, Reynolds described it as a labor of love fueled by limited resources and boundless creativity. “There wasn’t a lot of money, but I poured my heart and soul into every detail,” he said. “That experience taught me a valuable lesson: the importance of having a strong creative team by your side, no matter the project.”

Reynolds’ unwavering dedication wasn’t just about financial backing; it was about safeguarding the film’s creative vision. His actions ensured that the core team behind Deadpool’s success – the writers, the director, and himself – remained on board to bring their vision to life. This commitment is sure to translate into Deadpool & Wolverine, a film that promises to be a landmark achievement in the wacky world of Deadpool. Mark your calendars, fans – Deadpool & Wolverine slashes into theaters on July 26th!

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