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Polish lawmakers pass bill seen as limiting media freedom – Alaska Highway News

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WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland’s parliament voted Wednesday in favor of a bill that would force Discovery Inc., the U.S. owner of Poland’s largest private television network, to sell its Polish holdings and is widely viewed as an attack on media independence in Poland.

The draft legislation would prevent non-European owners from having controlling stakes in Polish media companies. In practice, it only affects TVN, which includes TVN24, an all-news station that is critical of the nationalist right-wing government and has exposed wrongdoing by Polish authorities.

Lawmakers voted 228-216 to pass the legislation, with 10 abstentions.

The bill must still go to the Senate, where the opposition has a slim majority. The upper house can suggest changes and delay the bill’s passage, but the lower house can ultimately pass it as it wishes. It would then go to President Andrzej Duda, an ally of the right-wing government.

Discovery said it was “extremely concerned” and appealed to the Senate and Duda to oppose the project. “Poland’s future as a democratic country in the international arena and its credibility in the eyes of investors depend on this,” it said.

The vote in parliament followed two days of political upheaval that saw the prime minister on Tuesday fire a deputy prime minister who opposed the media bill.

The ruling party appeared earlier Wednesday not to have the votes, but found them after all.

There was also tension on the street after the vote, with protesters gathering in front of parliament. Some clashed with police and were detained.

The media bill is viewed as a crucial test for the survival of independent news outlets in the former communist nation, coming six years into the rule of a populist government that has chipped away at media and judicial independence.

The ruling party has long sought to nationalize media in foreign hands, arguing it is necessary for national security. Ejecting TVN’s American owner from Poland’s media market would be a huge victory for the government, coming after the state oil company last year bought a large private media group.

Its political opponents, however, believe that TVN’s independence is tantamount to saving media freedom and see the survival of Poland’s democracy as being on the line.

TVN’s all-news station TVN24 is a key source of news for many Poles but it is also a thorn in the government’s side. It is often critical and exposes wrongdoing by officials. The government’s supporters consider it biased and unfairly critical.

Government critics have long feared that Poland was following a path set by Hungary, where Prime Minister Viktor Orban has gained near-total control over the media as private outlets have either folded or come under the control of the leader’s allies.

TVN represents the largest ever U.S. investment in Poland. The company was bought for $2 billion by another U.S. company, Scripps Networks Interactive, which was later acquired by Discovery.

The draft bill was adding to strain between Poland and the United States.

On Wednesday, the parliament also passed another bill opposed by the U.S. and Israel — a law that would prevent former Polish property owners, among them Holocaust survivors and their heirs, from regaining property expropriated by the country’s communist regime.

Ahead of the vote, State Department spokesman Ned Price said the matter was being closely watched by President Joe Biden’s administration.

“When it comes to the media, we know that a free and independent media makes our democracies stronger, it makes our transatlantic alliance more resilient, including to those who would seek to divide the alliance and divide us,” he said. “And it is a fundamental component of our bilateral relationship with Poland. And that is why we have urged the government of Poland to demonstrate its commitments to these principles.”

___

AP Diplomatic Writer Matthew Lee contributed to this report.

Vanessa Gera, The Associated Press
























































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Reviewing Pick-Me-Ups, a Toronto pop-up that uses social media as currency – Varsity

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Reviewing Pick-Me-Ups, a Toronto pop-up that uses social media as currency  Varsity



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Social Media Buzz: Meng Back in China, U.K. Gas Shortage, Huobi – Bloomberg

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What’s buzzing on social media this morning: 

Chinese social media users gave a hero’s welcome to Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies Co., as she returned to the country three years after her arrest in Canada.

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Media Release – September 25, 2021 – Guelph Police – guelphpolice.ca

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Residential Break In

On September 3rd, 2021, between 4pm and 4:49pm, three males with a white SUV were involved in a break in at a residence located near the intersection of Kortright Road East and Gordon Street in the City of Guelph. Entry was gained through an unlocked basement window.

Numerous items were taken including:
-Nikon D90 Camera With 18-200mm Lens (Valued at $1,500)

-Sony A6000 Camera In Black Rectangular Foam Case With Orange Accents (Valued at $1,300)

-99% Pure 312.5g Gold Bar With Chinese Stamped Engraving On The Back (Valued at $22,800)

-Various Chinese Silver Coins (Each valued at $150)
 
-Louis Vuitton Bag In Azure-Beige-Blue Colour And 25x14x4cm In Dimension (Valued at $900)

-Various Ancient Bronze Chinese Coin Collectables

-Cash In Canadian, American, European And Chinese Currencies
-Various Pieces Of Jewelry
-Various Electronics

The first male is described as:
-Caucasian
-Tall
-Wearing a grey/green shirt, light pants, white shoes and baseball cap
-Carrying a back pack

The second male is described as:
-Caucasian
-Short
-Wearing a blue sweater, dark grey pants, and white and black shoes
-Carrying a back pack

The third male is described as:
-Caucasian
-Wearing black shorts, black hat, white shirt and a reflective vest

Anyone with any information is asked to contact Constable Paul Hinchliffe at 519-824-1212 ext. 7408, email him at phinchliffe@guelphpolice.ca, leave an anonymous tip at CRIME STOPPERS 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or submit an anonymous tip online at www.csgw.tips.

The Guelph Police Service would like to encourage the public to always ensure that all the doors and windows of your residences are locked.

Stolen Vehicle Investigation

On September 4th, 2021, at 7:23pm, members of the Guelph Police Service High Enforcement Action Team observed an adult female driving a motor vehicle near the intersection of Willow Road and Edinburgh Road North in the City of Guelph without a front licence plate. A traffic stop was initiated.

Further investigation revealed that the licence plate attached to the rear of the vehicle was registered to another vehicle.

At the time of the traffic stop, police were unable to reach the registered owner of the vehicle in order to confirm whether or not the female had permission to be driving it. Ultimately the female was sent on her way and the vehicle was seized.

Prior to the vehicle being towed, an inventory was taken and several items believed to be stolen were located including:
-Financial cards
-Vehicle ownerships
-Various pieces of mail

None of the above mentioned items were in the name of either the female or the registered owner.

Police later made contact with the registered owner who confirmed that the vehicle was stolen.

On September 24th, at 10:32am, police found the female outside a residence located near the intersection of Fife Road and Wellington Street West. She was subsequently arrested.

A 37 year old Guelph female has been charged with:
-Possession Of Stolen Property Over $5,000
-Possession Of Stolen Property Under $5,000
-Occupant Of A Stolen Vehicle
-Unlawfully Possess Credit Card
-Use Plate Not Authorized For Motor Vehicle
-Driver Fail To Surrender Licence

She will appear in court on January 7th, 2022.

Update Regarding Home Invasion Investigation

On the morning of September 16th, 2021, three adult males and an adult female forced their way into an apartment in a residential building located near the intersection of Speedvale Avenue East and Stevenson Street North in the City of Guelph.

An adult male resident was struck with a firearm, and other weapons were brandished during this incident. The male resident and an adult female resident were ultimately able to lock themselves in a room and contact the Guelph Police Service for assistance. The three males and female fled on foot.

The male resident was transported to hospital, treated for his injuries and released.     

Police later located the three males inside another apartment in the building and they were subsequently arrested.

Through investigation, police identified the female involved and a warrant was issued.

This was a targeted incident and there is no concern for public safety. 

A 26 year old Guelph male has been charged with:
-Disguise With Intent
-Break, Enter And Commit Indictable Offence

He was held in custody pending a bail hearing on September 24th.

A 27 year old Guelph male has been charged with:
-Disguise With Intent
-Break, Enter And Commit Indictable Offence
-Use Firearm While Committing Offence
-Possession Of A Weapon For A Dangerous Purpose x2
-Breach Probation
-Fail To Comply With Judicial Release Order

He was held in custody pending a bail hearing on September 24th.

A 33 year old Guelph male has been charged with:
-Disguise With Intent
-Break, Enter And Commit Indictable Offence
-Possession Of Weapon For A Dangerous Purpose
-Fail To Comply With Judicial Release Order

He was held in custody pending a bail hearing on September 29th.

On September 23rd, just before 9:46am, police observed the female as a passenger in a motor vehicle driven by an adult male near the intersection of Wellington Street West and Fife Road. As police began following the vehicle, the male began driving at a high rate of speed, passing vehicles by crossing over the centre line and proceeded to run a red light at a nearby intersection. Shortly after proceeding through the intersection, the vehicle came to a stop due to mechanical issues. A traffic stop was initiated, and the male fled the area on foot.

The female was subsequently arrested.

A search incident to arrest revealed 1.18 grams of Fentanyl.

Further investigation revealed that both the vehicle and the vehicle plates were stolen.

A 30 year old Guelph female has been charged with:
-Disguise With Intent
-Break, Enter And Commit Indictable Offence
-Use Firearm While Committing Offence
-Possession Of Weapon For A Dangerous Purpose
-Assault With A Weapon x2
-Breach Probation
-Fail To Comply With OIC Undertaking
-Possession Of A Controlled Substance – Schedule I
-Possession Of Stolen Property Under $5,000 x2

She was held in custody pending a bail hearing on September 24th.

Please note that police located a second adult female in the vehicle during the traffic stop. She was also subsequently arrested.

A 23 year old Guelph female has been charged with:
-Possession Of Stolen Property Under $5,000 x2

She will appear in court on January 14th, 2022.

Police conducted a search for the male, however he was not located at that time.

On September 24th, at 11:10am police located the male at a nearby residence. He was subsequently arrested.

 A search incident to arrest revealed a small amount of Cocaine.

A 34 year old Guelph male has been charged with:
-Operate Motor Vehicle While Prohibited x6
-Dangerous Operation Of A Motor Vehicle
-Flight From Police Officer
-Red Light – Fail To Stop
-Possession Of Stolen Property Under $5,000 x2
-Possession Of A Controlled Substance – Schedule I
-Breach Probation x2

He was held in custody pending a bail hearing on September 27th.

Bitcoin Scam

On September 24th, 2021, an adult female victim received a phone call and subsequent text messages from an adult female who pretended that she was a government employee. She advised the victim that there was a warrant out for her arrest, due to a parcel that was shipped into Canada in the victim’s name containing illegal items. The victim was told that the only way to have this matter resolved was to send in all her money via a Bitcoin machine.

The female followed the instructions, and between 5:30pm and 5:49pm, deposited $4,900 into a Bitcoin machine in a store located near the intersection of Woolwich Street and Speedvale Avenue West in the City of Guelph.

She contacted the Guelph Police Service when she realized that it was likely a scam.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact Constable Mason Melitzer at 519-824-1212 ext. 7278, email him at mmelitzer@guelphpolice.ca, leave an anonymous tip at CRIME STOPPERS 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or submit an anonymous tip online at www.csgw.tips.

The Guelph Police Service would like to remind the public that no police officer or government official will ever instruct you to deposit money into a Bitcoin machine. Please be very vigilant and cautious whenever you are speaking with someone you don’t know, especially online or over the phone. Please also seek advice from a family member, coworker, trusted friend or the Guelph Police Service at 519-824-1212 before following through on instructions received from a person that you don’t know.

School Zone Traffic Enforcement

On September 24th, 2021, at 8:07am, a member of the Guelph Police Service began conducting school zone traffic enforcement in the area of elementary schools located near the intersection of Willow Road and Westwood Road in the City of Guelph. In just over an hour, a Provincial Offence Notice was issued for disobeying a sign.

The Guelph Police Service would like to encourage the public to slow down and follow all the rules of the road to help ensure everyone arrives to their destination safely.

Calls for Service in the last 24 hours: 256

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