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Sask. government apologizes after HIV post featuring photo of gay couple slammed as homophobic – CBC.ca

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Saskatchewan Health Minister Paul Merriman says the use of a photo of a gay couple in a government social media post about HIV numbers in the province is “disappointing,” but did not go as far as agreeing with criticism that the post was homophobic.

“I recognize it is very disappointing that that was the image that people were seeing when we put out an image of what people with AIDS, on a day that should be celebrated, of how far we’ve come with the treatment of AIDS,” Merriman said at the legislature on Wednesday.

The posts were shared on the provincial government’s Twitter and Facebook feeds on Tuesday, which was World AIDS Day. The post featured an image of two men and the message that HIV is treatable and urged people to get tested.

It drew criticism in hundreds of comments responding to the post. 

On Wednesday morning, it was deleted and an apology was posted to the same social media accounts. 

“Yesterday in marking World AIDS Day, Government of Saskatchewan social media pages used a photo that stigmatized HIV/AIDS and those that live with the disease,” said the statement.

“The photo has been deleted, and we unreservedly apologize.”

Merriman said he did not approve the post. It was shared by an official within the Ministry of Health. 

“I will be speaking with [Saskatchewan Health Authority CEO] Scott Livingstone later on this afternoon to see what processes he has in place to make sure this doesn’t happen again.” 

Saskatchewan has the highest rate of HIV transmission in Canada. 

The most common risk factor for transmission in Saskatchewan is injection drug use, which accounts for 67 per cent of cases. 

In 16 per cent of cases, the primary exposure risk is heterosexual sex. In nine per cent of cases the risk factor was in men who have sex with men. 

Jack Saddleback, the interim co-director of Out Saskatoon, said the posts reflected poorly on the government’s understanding of the issue.  

“This is an archaic viewpoint, an outdated one … and quite honestly a homophobic kind of mentality when it comes to how we view HIV and AIDS,” said Saddleback. 

He said the province should focus its efforts on reducing HIV rates on harm reduction. 

Prairie Harm Reduction executive director Jason Mercredi says the government’s social media post was ‘tone deaf.’ (Chelsea Laskowski/CBC)

Prairie Harm Reduction, formerly known as AIDS Saskatoon, requested $1.3 million from the provincial government to support its safe injection site, which opened this year in Saskatoon, but did not receive the funding. 

Executive director Jason Mercredi said the World AIDS Day post was “tone deaf” and fails to recognize good work that has been done in Saskatchewan toward reducing the HIV rate. 

“It just further reiterates that the government’s not taking addictions at the same level of seriousness as other issues,” said Mercredi. 

“And it’s not getting the right attention. Harm reduction messaging should have been at the forefront of any World AIDS Day messaging in Saskatchewan.”

Indigenous rates higher in Sask.

Statistics on HIV in Saskatchewan also show that Indigenous people account for 79 per cent of new cases. 

Margaret Kisikaw Piyesis, CEO for the Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network, said solutions from within the Indigenous community are needed to address the high rates of HIV in this province. 

She plans to bring up the social media post at an upcoming meeting with provincial officials. 

“This really reflects the fact that the government doesn’t care about what is happening here in this province,” said Kisikaw Piyesis. 

“The government has not addressed this in ways that would help Indigenous people to look at solutions for what we are seeing in our communities.”

She said grassroots organizations are not receiving enough funding to provide support for people with HIV and AIDS, and that Indigenous people are less likely to seek help from provincial authorities due to systemic racism. 

New diagnoses of HIV in Saskatchewan jumped 27 per cent in 2019, to 213 cases, up from 168 in 2018. Early data shows at least 118 newly diagnosed HIV cases in 2020.

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Reminder: Deadline for RNAO's Media Awards is Feb. 26 – Canada NewsWire

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TORONTO, Jan. 18, 2021 /CNW/ – COVID-19 dominated the news headlines in 2020 and journalists worked exceptionally hard to bring us the news on the thousands of people who have died from the virus, the nurses who take care of the sick and the key policy issues that need our attention. To honour the media, the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) is inviting journalists to submit their outstanding coverage on COVID-19 and other nursing and health-care reporting for its Media Awards competition.

Stories published or broadcast in Ontario in 2020 will be judged by a committee of journalists and nurses selected by RNAO, the professional association that shapes health and nursing policy.

Previous winners include journalists from major media outlets such as CBC’s The National, Global News, Ottawa Citizen, as well as smaller media outlets such as The Manitoulin Expositor and Arnprior Chronicle-Guide. Their work shed light on issues such as the opioid crisis, elder assault, alcohol consumption, funding for life-savings drugs, and a revolutionary dementia screening tool developed for Indigenous populations.

Nominations for the Media Awards must be received via the online submission form no later than Friday, Feb. 26, 2021.

Categories for the competition include:

Community newspaper

  • Best news coverage
  • Best in-depth feature or series

Daily newspaper

  • Best news coverage
  • Best in-depth feature or series

Radio

  • Best news coverage
  • Best in-depth feature or series

Television

  • Best news coverage
  • Best in-depth feature or series

Online

  • Best story
  • Best in-depth feature or series

Winners will be announced online in the spring, and presented with their awards during RNAO’s Annual General Meeting in June 2021. Please note that journalists may only submit one entry per person. For the complete list of criteria and to fill out an entry form, visit RNAO.ca/MediaAwards. Eligible stories must have been published or broadcast during the 2020 calendar year.

The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) is the professional association representing registered nurses, nurse practitioners and nursing students in Ontario. Since 1925, RNAO has advocated for healthy public policy, promoted excellence in nursing practice, increased nurses’ contribution to shaping the health system, and influenced decisions that affect nurses and the public they serve. For more information about RNAO, visit RNAO.ca or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

SOURCE Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario

For further information: about the awards, please contact: Marion Zych, Director of Communications, Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO), Phone: 416-408-5605 / 1-800-268-7199 ext. 209, Cell: 647-406-5605, [email protected]; Victoria Alarcon, Communications Specialist/Coordinator, Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO), 1-800-268-7199 ext. 211, 416-408-5610, [email protected]

Related Links

https://rnao.ca/

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Blocked from social media, extremists discuss turning to radios to plan attacks, FCC warns – CTV News

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The U.S. government is warning that groups could rely on radio equipment as an alternative to social media to plan future criminal activities.

In a stark warning Sunday, the Federal Communications Commission’s enforcement bureau said people coordinating or conducting criminal activity over radio waves are breaking the law.

“The Bureau has become aware of discussions on social media platforms suggesting that certain radio services regulated by the Commission may be an alternative to social media platforms for groups to communicate and coordinate future activities,” the FCC said in its warning Sunday. “Individuals using radios in the Amateur or Personal Radio Services in this manner may be subject to severe penalties, including significant fines, seizure of the offending equipment, and, in some cases, criminal prosecution.”

The FCC licenses certain signals for people to broadcast over radio waves. Those messages are generally protected by the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment. But the FCC reminded radio licensees and operators that it is prohibited to transmit “communications intended to facilitate a criminal act.” People are also not allowed to encode their messages to obscure their meaning from law enforcement.

The laws governing airwaves apply to amateurs broadcasting with personal ham radios, which can reach long distances. But they also apply to people using Citizens Band (CB) radios commonly used for communication between truckers — or even walkie-talkies.

In the wake of the January 6 Capitol riots, Facebook, Twitter and other mainstream social networks have become more vigilant about policing people who use their platforms to plan or incite attacks. They have booted off several high-profile radicals and thousands of groups and users who the platforms say engage in harmful conspiracy theories and other violence or hate speech.

Similarly, Amazon, Apple and Google effectively took Parler off the internet. Parler, the alternative social network popular with conservatives, had been surging in popularity in recent months. But the platform failed to rein in hate-filled, violent speech, Big Tech companies allege. Amazon, Apple and Google said that unmoderated speech could lead to another violent attack.

In response, Parler sued Amazon last week, alleging an antitrust violation, breach of contract and interference with the company’s business relationships with users. The complaint calls Amazon Web Services’ decision a “death blow” to Parler.

“Without AWS, Parler is finished as it has no way to get online,” the complaint said. “And a delay of granting this TRO by even one day could also sound Parler’s death knell as President Trump and others move on to other platforms.”

Amazon said that Parler’s lawsuit has “no merit.”

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Chinese and Malaysian Media and Think Tanks Discuss Sci-Tech Cooperation to Empower the Future – Canada NewsWire

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BEIJING, Jan. 18, 2021 /CNW/ — A report from Science and Technology Daily | IUSTC:

Sponsored by China International Publishing Group, Malaysia-China Friendship Association and Science and Technology Daily, and organized by China Report Press, the “Technology Empowering the Future: China-Malaysia Think Tank and Media Cooperation Forum” was held on January 15, 2021.

Representatives from Chinese and Malaysian media, think tanks and sci-tech enterprises conducted in-depth discussions on “Empowering the Future through Technology—New Prospects for Digital Cooperation between Think Media in the 5G Era”.

Chen Shi, the Deputy Editor-in-Chief of CIPG and President of China Report Press, indicated that the “fourth industrial revolution” represented by 5G and other digital technologies had provided a new approach to resolving and responding to global development issues and challenges. Currently, sci-tech cooperation has been an international trend. In face of complicated and changeable forms of international communication, the digital collaboration between Chinese and Malaysian think tanks and media possesses broad prospects. Both parties should actively integrate into the global innovation network and promote scientific and technological development through open cooperation.

“Technology, which is the theme of our deliberation today, is another emerging sector of our bilateral cooperation and this includes the cooperation on 5G…Our two countries have extended cooperation, support and assistance to each other to mitigate the effects of this pandemic,” said Dato’ Abdul Majid Ahmad Khan, President of Malaysia-China Friendship Association. He expressed that under the influence of the epidemic, Malaysia is accelerating emerging technologies in the industry and advancing its national digital strategy. “It is said that digital transformation is like a machine with data as its fuel and 5G as its digital fabric…5G will change the landscape of media and entertainment in the next decade.” In his view, China’s experience in the application of advanced new technologies such as short video, live streaming sales, online games, and other forms of entertainment tactics have yielded great results during the crisis. These experiences have also made important reference value to Malaysia. He expected the media and think tanks of China and Malaysia to strengthen digital cooperation in the 5G era.

Fang Hanting, Vice President of Science and Technology Daily, expressed his views on the forum. He claimed that it is of great significance for China and Malaysia to discuss the prospects of smart media digital cooperation in the 5G era. 5G is an epoch-making information transmission and connection technology, which has affected the development of the entire media industry, especially the intellectualized media industry. In the era of intellectualized media, 5G technology will accelerate the data-driven, intelligent connection and think tank of media, promote the construction of scene-oriented immersion, pan-centralization and ecological construction of media, provide a powerful supporting force for the innovation and development of the media industry, and enhance the reconstruction of everything as a medium in many aspects. China and Malaysia should seize the opportunity and jointly explore new prospects for think tank media cooperation.

During the forum discussion, representatives from several media and enterprises conducted discussions on three topics: “Application of Digital Technology in the Field of International Communication“, “Media Development Trends in the 5G Era” and “Media Think Tanks Promoting China-Malaysia Technical Cooperation”.

After discussion, it is widely thought that digital technologies such as 5G are reconstructing the industrial structure of science and Technology and leading media industry changes. Media, think tanks, and technology enterprises of China and Malaysia should seize opportunities for cooperation, strengthen cooperation and exchanges, promote the construction of digital information platforms and the cooperation of digital information, and enhance media integration to expand media influences, thus bringing practical collaboration between the two countries.

SOURCE Science and Technology Daily | IUSTC

For further information: Haoyuan Yu, +86-13621282870, [email protected]; Linlin Fang, +86-13911995172, [email protected]

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