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Social Media Buzz: UK Variant Risk, Death Valley, UFC 264 – BNN

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(Bloomberg) — What’s buzzing on social media this morning:

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson continued to draw criticism on Twitter ahead of a planned easing of virus restrictions in the country next week.

  • Concern is rising about the fast-spreading delta variant of the virus, which was trending as the “Johnson variant” after Labour Party leader Keir Starmer blamed Johnson for the surge in infections.

Temperatures in Death Valley, California, reached an astounding 130 degrees Fahrenheit (54.4 Celsius) on Friday, according to the National Weather Service, tying the highest reading in over a century.

Fans of the Ultimate Fighting Championship are on edge ahead of the main event of U.F.C. 264 on Saturday, which pits American Dustin Poirier against Irishman Conor McGregor.

  • The fight will be a chance at redemption for 32-year-old McGregor, who was knocked out by Poirier during their last fight in January.

The city of Charlottesville, Virginia, removed a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee on Saturday, about four years after the city council stoked outrage among far-right groups by voting to take it down.

  • The statue became a national focal point in 2017 because of a white supremacist rally in defense of Confederate symbols, at which counter-protester Heather Heyer was killed when struck by a car.

At least one person was injured in a drive-by shooting on Friday night outside the Knott’s Berry Farm theme park in Buena Park, California.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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AJ Contrast wins One World Media Award – Al Jazeera English

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Al Jazeera Digital’s innovation studio site highlights challenges women with disabilities face in navigating megacities.

Al Jazeera’s immersive storytelling and media innovation studio, AJ Contrast, has won a top prize at the One World Media Awards in London.

One World jurors conferred the win in the Digital Media category for AJ Contrast’s interactive site, Inaccessible Cities.

The project brings audiences into the experiences of three women with disabilities as they struggle to navigate their cities – Mumbai, Lagos and New York.

Winners were announced across 15 categories during a ceremony in London on June 16.

The One World Media Awards recognise excellence in unreported stories from the Global South that “break stereotypes, change the narrative and connect people across cultures”.

Inaccessible Cities added the award to numerous other wins so far this year in the Drum Online, Gracie, New York Festivals and Telly Awards.

More than one billion people – 15 percent of the global population – experience some form of disability. Many live in urban areas.

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The Inaccessible Cities site begins with a simple question: “How would you get around a megacity if you couldn’t walk, see signs or hear cars passing by?”

“It’s a great honour to be recognised by the One World Media Awards,” said Zahra Rasool, head of AJ Contrast.

“Our aim has always been to highlight unreported stories about the people most impacted by inequality, often in the Global South.

“With Inaccessible Cities, we wanted to show how a lack of accessible public transport and infrastructure impacts people with disabilities – especially women – from fully and independently participating in society.

“Our aim is to continue inspiring a new standard for digital news content that’s fully inclusive of people with disabilities and to bring awareness to their challenges.”

In keeping with AJ Contrast’s emphasis on collaboration, the team worked closely with journalists with disabilities, local talent and the women who are the subject of the interactive experience.

“We are very proud of our AJ Contrast team,” said Carlos van Meek, Al Jazeera’s director of Digital Innovation and Programming. “Despite the production challenges brought on by COVID-19, this driven, talented team has continued to innovate and set the benchmark for immersive storytelling.”

Other Al Jazeera Digital teams made the One World long list, including the AJLabs series Visualising the Afghan War and two films by short documentary unit AJ Close Up – Russia’s Banned Youth and Norway’s Afghan Sons.

The Al Jazeera English broadcast channel also was long listed in the News category for the 101 East documentary India’s COVID Warriors. Jurors evaluated a record number of entries from 96 countries.

The complete list of One World winners can be found in the One World Media winners’ gallery.

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Toronto politician accused of homophobic social media posts resigns from city council – blogTO

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Rosemarie Bryan, a newly appointed city councillor for Toronto’s Etobicoke North district, resigned from her position just hours after several homophobic tweets were surfaced from her social media account. 

Bryan was meant to fill the seat of departing City Councillor Michael Ford who resigned his position after his recent victory in the provincial election.

Rather than have an election to fill the open seat, the convention is for the departing city councillor to recommend his or her replacement and as we learned this week, the current city councillors basically agree to the recommendation without any proper vetting or due diligence.

All was fine and well until a number of anti-2SLGBTQ+, Islamophobic and anti-Asian social media posts were surfaced by local journalist Jonathan Goldsbie.

Councillors quickly realized they might have been a tad too hasty to back the appointment which was done through a simple vote. Only two councillors voted against confirming Bryan.

“I want to state unequivocally that had I seen these posts before the vote, I would have never supported Rosemary,” wrote councillor Buxton Potts in a tweet. 

Many of the councillors who voted for Bryan now admit the process needs to change and that the confirmation of replacement councillors has relied too heavily on the recommendation of the departing one.

In this case, no councillors appeared to do any due diligence that could have possibly surfaced the social media posts before Bryan’s appointment was confirmed. 

Some of Bryan’s old posts include shared content from Tucker Carlson and statements from preachers that claim “homosexuality is wrong” and that “divine order is needed in [] churches,” along with comments of approval from Bryan that had, at one point, clearly supported these messages. 

Bryan’s social media posts were first uncovered by Goldsbie on Friday night when he tweeted that City Council’s newest member is a person who has “repeatedly shared anti-LGBTQ content on Facebook” which, the discovery shocking enough on its own, was found at the start of Pride weekend

Councillors began to weigh-in just moments after Goldsbie’s revelation, regretting not digging enough earlier to uncover what would later make a huge difference. 

Bryan issued a statement late Friday stating she was “so devastated” that past social media posts she made “are now being thrown against” her decades of commitment to the community. 

Bryan claims she will “remain committed to helping [her] community in every way that [she] can.”

Many people are still upset at the fact that Bryan was ever appointed in the first place.

People are also critiquing her “apology” or lack thereof, saying that the only apology issued was an apology about the fact that she was discovered. 

Mayor John Tory tweeted that he has now “asked City officials to review the overall appointment process ahead of future Council appointments.”

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Newest council appointment resigns after controversial social media posts surface – CityNews Toronto

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[unable to retrieve full-text content]

  1. Newest council appointment resigns after controversial social media posts surface  CityNews Toronto
  2. Newly appointed Toronto councillor resigns after controversial social media posts resurfaced  CTV News Toronto
  3. Toronto politician accused of homophobic social media posts resigns from city council  blogTO
  4. Toronto’s newest councillor resigns hours after she was appointed  Global News
  5. View Full coverage on Google News



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