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Social media took too long to address COVID-19 misinformation, experts say – Yahoo Canada Finance

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Newsom taps California election chief Padilla for US Senate

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California Gov. Gavin Newsom selected Secretary of State Alex Padilla on Tuesday as the state’s next U.S. senator, a historic pick that sends a Latino to the Senate for the first time in the state’s history.While Padilla had been the favourite, a video released by Newsom’s office shows him getting emotional after Newsom offered him the job, reflecting on the hard work of his parents, who came to the United States from Mexico and worked as a cook and a housekeeper.“It’s a hell of an important perspective to bring to Washington,” he told Newsom.Padilla, 47, was appointed to fill out the remainder of Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris’ term. She plans to step down from the seat in January ahead of Inauguration Day, on Jan. 20. Padilla will need to run for a full term in 2022. The appointment gives him an advantage but he’s still likely to face challengers; California’s top-two primary system allows two Democrats to face off in a general election.“Through his tenacity, integrity, smarts and grit, California is gaining a tested fighter in their corner who will be a fierce ally in D.C., lifting up our state’s values and making sure we secure the critical resources to emerge stronger from this pandemic,” Newsom said in a statement.Padilla’s appointment gives a new level of representation to Latinos, who make up the state’s single largest demographic group at nearly 40% of the population. But Newsom’s choice of Padilla also means there will be no Black women in the 100-member Senate. Harris, who is Black and Indian, was the only Black woman in the Senate, and Black leaders had been lobbying Newsom to appoint either Reps. Karen Bass or Barbara Lee to replace her.“Secretary Padilla has a track record as a skilled legislator and a steadfast advocate for justice, and I believe he will be a powerful voice in the Senate for those who continue to be denied our country’s promise of equality,” Lee said in a statement.Padilla was first elected as California’s top elections official in 2014 and won a second term four years later. In that position, he’s overseen California’s vast elections apparatus, including the rollout of a more robust vote-by-mail system. In the November election, California mailed a ballot to every registered voter. Prior to that, he oversaw the implementation of the Voter’s Choice Act, a 2016 law that allowed counties to mail all registered voters a ballot. The state now has 22 million voters.Padilla lives in Los Angeles with his wife and three sons, ages 5, 7 and 13.His appointment will bring geographic diversity to California’s representation in Washington. Dianne Feinstein, California’s other senator, is from San Francisco, and politicians from Northern California have held some of the state’s highest political offices for decades. Harris built her political career in San Francisco before moving to Los Angeles.Feinstein, whom Padilla once worked for, announced her support for his nomination in early December.He and Newsom have a long relationship. When Newsom first ran for governor in 2009, Padilla chaired his campaign. Newsom dropped out when former Gov. Jerry Brown entered the race and instead ran for lieutenant governor, a job he held for eight years. When he ran again for governor in 2018 in a competitive primary, Padilla endorsed him over other prominent Democrats, including former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.The campaign arm of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and the Latino Victory Fund were among the groups advocating for Newsom to select Padilla.“This marks a long-overdue milestone for the Latino community, and it’s a bold step towards having a Senate that looks like the communities it serves,” Nathalie Rayes, Latino Victory Fund president & chief executive officer, said in a statement.Padilla has been on the state’s political scene for more than two decades. He was first elected to serve on the Los Angeles City Council in 1999, at age 26.He represented a Los Angeles-area district in the California state Senate from 2006 to 2014, where he chaired the Committee on Energy, Utilities and Communication. He authored a wide range of legislation, including a law to make restaurants list their calorie counts and another to create California’s earthquake early warning system. He has an engineering degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and he previously served on the school’s governing board.Padilla, having won twice statewide, starts with an advantage going into the 2022 campaign. In 2018, he won reelection with 7.9 million votes, more than Newsom and the second highest total for any statewide officer behind Controller Betty Yee.But a generation of California politicians are hitting term limits in their current jobs or seeking to move up in the state’s political pecking order. Underscoring the quick pivot to a reelection campaign, Padilla released a nearly two-minute video Tuesday doubling as a bio spot and a campaign ad, paid for by “Alex Padilla for Senate.”Republicans quickly criticized Newsom’s announcement.“Through the looking glass of California politics, our state’s top elections official will now become a U.S Senator without an election,” Republican state Assemblyman Kevin Kiley, a frequent critic, tweeted.Padilla also faced criticism this year for awarding a $35 million contract to SKDKnickerbocker for a voter education campaign ahead of the November election. SKDKnickerbocker had ties to Joe Biden’s presidential campaign, prompting criticism that Padilla was using taxpayer dollars with a political agenda. Then Yee, the state’s controller and a fellow Democrat, refused to authorize payment of the contract, saying her office didn’t have authority.In choosing Padilla, Newsom gives himself yet another appointment. He’ll be able to select California’s next secretary of state. He’s also weighing his choice for California’s next attorney general, as President-elect Joe Biden has named California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to head the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.Kathleen Ronayne, The Associated Press

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Turkey slaps ad ban on Twitter under new social media law – The Guardian

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By Can Sezer and Daren Butler

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Ankara has imposed advertising bans on Twitter, Periscope and Pinterest after they failed to appoint local representatives in Turkey under a new social media law, according to decisions published on Tuesday.

Under the law, which critics say stifles dissent, social media companies that do not appoint such representatives are liable for a series of penalties, including the latest move by the Information and Communication Technologies Authority (BTK).

The law allows authorities to remove content from platforms, rather than blocking access as they did in the past. It has caused concern as people turn more to online platforms after Ankara tightened its grip on mainstream media.

The latest decisions in the country’s Official Gazette said the advertising bans went into effect from Tuesday. Twitter, its live-streaming app Periscope, and image sharing app Pinterest were not immediately available to comment.

Deputy Transport Minister Omer Fatih Sayan said Twitter and Pinterest’s bandwidth would be cut by 50% in April and by 90% in May. Twitter said last month it would shut down Periscope by March due to declining usage.

“We are determined to do whatever is necessary to protect the data, privacy and rights of our nation,” Sayan said on Twitter. “We will never allow digital fascism and disregard of rules to prevail in Turkey,” he said, echoing tough comments by President Tayyip Erdogan.

On Monday, Facebook Inc joined other companies in saying it would appoint a local representative, but added it would withdraw the person if it faced pressure regarding what is allowed on its platform.

YouTube, owned by Alphabet Inc’s Google, said a month ago it would abide the new law, which the government says enhances local oversight of foreign companies.

In previous months Facebook, YouTube and Twitter had faced fines in Turkey for not complying. Companies that do not abide the law will ultimately have their bandwidth slashed, essentially blocking access.

Erdogan said last week that those who control data can establish “digital dictatorships by disregarding democracy, the law, rights and freedoms”. He vowed to defend what he described as the country’s “cyber homeland”.

(Reporting by Can Sezer; Writing by Daren Butler; Editing by Michael Perry and Jonathan Spicer)

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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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