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RCMP have denied report about been prepared to shoot Indigenous activists

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RCMP officers clear a barricade set up by Wet’suwet’en members at a checkpoint near Houston, B.C., in January, 2019.

AMBER BRACKEN/The New York Times News Service

The RCMP are challenging a recent report that said its members were prepared to shoot Indigenous activists at a January, 2019, protest in northern B.C., saying it has found no documents or references that support that and other assertions in the report.

The RCMP statement, released Monday, was made in response to an article in the British-based Guardian last week that said Canadian police were prepared to shoot protesters and that RCMP commanders told officers to “use as much violence toward the gate as you want” in relation to a roadblock at the site.

The article was in relation to a protest where police enforced a B.C. Supreme Court injunction to clear a blockade that was built to protest the Coastal GasLink pipeline.

The proposed $6.6-billion Coastal GasLink pipeline would transport natural gas from northeast B.C. to a new $18-billion export terminal being built in coastal Kitimat, and it has been opposed by some Indigenous and environmental activists.

The report, published Friday, refers to documents it described as notes from a strategy session.

In its initial response Friday, the RCMP said it had asked to see the documents referenced in the Guardian article before it was published, but was denied, and had not had the opportunity to determine “in what context any of the alleged statements may have been made or by whom.”

On Monday, the force went further, saying it had since looked for any references that would back up assertions in the report but to date, hadn’t found any.

“The RCMP has commenced a review of all documents relating to the enforcement of the court-ordered injunction and to date, can find no documents or references, which reflect statements made in the [Guardian] article,” the RCMP statement says.

“Whatever the source, the assertions made in the article do not in any respect reflect the spirit and intent of the direction of the RCMP commanders charged with planning and carrying out the court’s direction, nor does it reflect what actually occurred,” the statement added.

The RCMP called the report “unsubstantiated, incomplete and inflammatory” and said it had damaged relationships between police and Indigenous communities.

The Guardian did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

On Monday, federal NDP safety critic Jack Harris called on the Canadian government to conduct a “full and independent investigation and inquiry” into police strategies and tactics used at the January protest.

“I trust that you were as disturbed as I was to read that senior members in the chain of command of the RCMP had discussed such extreme violence … in response to a civilian protest,” Mr. Harris said in a Monday letter to Public Safety Minister Bill Blair.

“We are committed to protecting the constitutional right to peaceful protest and are concerned by the unacceptable words and phrases that the Guardian reported were used,” Scott Bardsley, a spokesman for the minister said in an e-mail. He added that Mr. Blair’s office has raised the matter with the RCMP.

In a separate request, NDP MP for Skeena-Bulkley Valley, Taylor Bachrach, on Friday asked the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission to conduct an independent review of the RCMP’s planning and actions related to the protest.

Karla Tait, director of programming at the Unist’ot’en healing lodge, near the site of the protest, and a spokeswoman for some of the protesters, on Monday said a federal inquiry would be appropriate, given that the RCMP is funded with public money and has a duty to protect all members of the public, including Indigenous people.

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Pompeo says U.S. designates six more Chinese media firms as foreign missions – Reuters

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Wednesday the State Department was designating the U.S. operations of six more China-based media companies as foreign missions, a move he said was aimed at pushing back against communist propaganda.

FILE PHOTO: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library, Thursday, July 23, 2020, in Yorba Linda, California. Ashley Landis/Pool via REUTERS

Pompeo also told a State Department news conference the United States would launch a dialogue on China with the European Union on Friday and that on Sunday he would begin a trip to India, Sri Lanka, the Maldives and Indonesia.

He said he expected the meetings would include discussions about how “free nations can work together to thwart threats posed by the Chinese Communist Party.”

The State Department named the newly designated publications as the Yicai Global, Jiefang Daily, the Xinmin Evening News, Social Sciences in China Press, the Beijing Review, and the Economic Daily. It brought to 15 the number of Chinese media outlets so designated this year.

It was the latest U.S. step to curb Chinese activity in the United States in the run-up to the Nov. 3 presidential election, in which President Donald Trump has made a tough approach to China a key foreign policy theme.

Pompeo said the move was part of efforts to push back against “Chinese communist propaganda efforts” in the United States.

“They are also substantially owned, or effectively controlled by a foreign government,” he said.

“We are not placing any restrictions on what these outlets can publish in the United States; we simply want to ensure that American people, consumers of information can differentiate between news written by a free press and propaganda distributed by the Chinese Communist Party itself. Not the same thing.”

The State Department has previously required Chinese media outlets to register as foreign missions and announced in March it was cutting the number of journalists allowed to work at U.S. offices of major Chinese media outlets to 100 from 160.

In response, China expelled about a dozen American correspondents with the New York Times, News Corp’s Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post.

The United States also said last month it would require senior Chinese diplomats to get State Department approval before visiting U.S. university campuses or holding cultural events with more than 50 people outside mission grounds.

China’s embassy did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Washington designated four major Chinese media outlets as foreign embassies in June and five in February. The designation requires the outlets to inform the U.S. State Department of their personnel rosters and real-estate holdings.

Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk, Doina Chiacu and David Brunnstrom; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Andrea Ricci

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InvestorChannel's Media Watchlist Update for Wednesday, October 21, 2020, 16:30 EST – InvestorIntel

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InvestorChannel’s Media Stocks Watchlist Update video includes the Top 5 Performers of the Day, and a performance review of the companies InvestorChannel is following in the sector.
Sources Include: Yahoo Finance, AlphaVantage FinnHub & CSE.
For more information, visit us at InvestorIntel.com or email us at info@investorintel.com

Watchlist Companies:
– ZoomerMedia Limited (ZUM.V) CAD 0.06 (9.09%)
– Postmedia Network Canada Corp. (PNC-A.TO) CAD 1.71 (6.88%)
– Corus Entertainment Inc. (CJR-B.TO) CAD 3.14 (6.44%)
– Lingo Media Corporation (LM.V) CAD 0.09 (5.88%)
– Network Media Group Inc. (NTE.V) CAD 0.14 (3.57%)
– MediaValet Inc. (MVP.V) CAD 2.55 (2.0%)
– Adobe Inc. (ADBE) USD 495.96 (0.28%)
– Stingray Group Inc. (RAY-A.TO) CAD 5.51 (0.18%)
– GVIC Communications Corp. (GCT.TO) CAD 0.14 (0.0%)
– Media Central Corporation Inc. (FLYY.CN) CAD 0.01 (0.0%)
– Moovly Media Inc. (MVY.V) CAD 0.07 (0.0%)
– Quizam Media Corporation (QQ.CN) CAD 0.50 (0.0%)
– QYOU Media Inc. (QYOU.V) CAD 0.07 (0.0%)
– HubSpot, Inc. (HUBS) USD 308.06 (-0.56%)
– Wix.com Ltd. (WIX) USD 271.54 (-2.55%)
– Thunderbird Entertainment Group Inc. (TBRD.V) CAD 2.06 (-3.29%)
– Zoom Video Communications Inc. (ZM) USD 513.19 (-4.44%)
– Slack Technologies Inc. (WORK) USD 28.87 (-6.3%)
– Glacier Media Inc. (GVC.TO) CAD 0.20 (-6.82%)
– WOW! Unlimited Media Inc. (WOW.V) CAD 0.35 (-7.89%)

InvestorChannel

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New Centre for Media, Technology and Democracy launches at McGill's Max Bell School of Public Policy – McGill Reporter

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The Max Bell School of Public Policy has launched a new Centre for Media, Technology and Democracy at McGill University. Collaborating with leading researchers, policy thinkers and journalists, the Centre works to understand the impact of emerging technology and media on policy and public life.

“The benefits that technology brings to our world are undeniable, but we are now at a critical point where we need to make changes in the way we govern our media and tech infrastructure,” says Director Taylor Owen, a leading voice in technology governance in Canada and Associate Professor at the Max Bell School of Public Policy. “Our research will inform the public debate and policy makers so that we as a society can create policies aimed at maximizing the benefits and minimizing the harms embedded in the design and use of emerging technologies.”

“We believe in the power of the public to mobilize for a different future, and to hold governments and technology companies to account for that future. It’s time to collectively reclaim the problems that technology was promised to solve,” says Sonja Solomun, the Centre’s Research Director.

The Centre is committed to public-facing work through a range of eventspodcasts and workshops aimed at translating cutting-edge research for broad public audiences and policy makers. Its research program focuses on three core streams: technology governance, information ecosystems, and media and journalism.

In addition to projects focused on pressing issues such as facial recognition policy, children and technology, surveillance technology, platform governance and journalistic support the Center’s projects include:

“While existing initiatives tend to focus either on technology, or on media and communication, this Centre will examine how both impact policy and public life. We are thrilled to support such innovative work which will inform public debate and engage policymakers,” said Professor Chris Ragan, Director of the Max Bell School of Public Policy at McGill.

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