TOKYO — Tokyo’s top prosecutor was set to resign after a report that he gambled illegally during Japan’s coronavirus state of emergency, media said on Thursday, in a blow to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, whose support has been hit over his handling of the pandemic.
Hiromu Kurokawa, the chief of the Tokyo High Public Prosecutors Office, was due to resign, public broadcaster NHK said, citing a source. Other media had similar reports.
Kurokawa was hit with a social media backlash over a media report that he allegedly played mahjong for money during Japan’s state of emergency, potentially flouting social distancing guidelines. Gambling is illegal in Japan, with some exceptions.
Reuters was not immediately able to confirm the report or reach anyone at the prosecutors office for comment. No one was immediately available at the justice ministry outside of normal business hours.
Kurokawa, who is seen as close to Abe, has been at the center of a furore over the government’s efforts to raise the retirement age for prosecutors after he was allowed to stay in his post beyond retirement age of 63.
Earlier this week, Abe’s government gave up its push to enact a bill during the current session of parliament that would raise prosecutors’ retirement age to 65 from 63, and allow the cabinet to defer retirement of senior prosecutors for a further three years.
Critics said the change threatened judicial independence by allowing government-friendly prosecutors to be kept on.
Opposition party lawmakers and others also said the legislation was aimed at giving a retroactive legal basis to the decision to keep Kurokawa in his post.
“Naturally, there will be criticism (over Kurosawa),” independent political analyst Atsuo Ito said. “Certainly, it will be damaging.”
Public support for Abe has slipped over what critics say is his clumsy handling of the coronavirus outbreak, which has tipped the world’s third-largest economy into recession.
Abe was expected to lift the state of emergency in more regions on Thursday as new infections decline, moving to resume sorely needed economic activity.
Japan has not had the explosive surge seen in many other countries, with 16,433 confirmed cases including 784 deaths as of Wednesday, according to NHK. (Reporting by David Dolan and Linda Sieg; Editing by Sandra Maler and Stephen Coates)
Edited By Harry Miller
Trump tweets threat to shutter social media companies after Twitter warning – CBC.ca
U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday threatened to regulate or shut down social media companies, one day after Twitter Inc. for the first time added a warning to some of his tweets prompting readers to fact-check the president’s claims.
Trump, without offering any evidence, reiterated his accusations of political bias by such technology platforms, tweeting: “Republicans feel that Social Media Platforms totally silence conservatives voices. We will strongly regulate, or close them down, before we can ever allow this to happen.”
He added: “Clean up your act, NOW!!!!”
….happen again. Just like we can’t let large scale Mail-In Ballots take root in our Country. It would be a free for all on cheating, forgery and the theft of Ballots. Whoever cheated the most would win. Likewise, Social Media. Clean up your act, NOW!!!!
Representatives for Twitter and Facebook could not be immediately reached for comment on Trump’s tweets. Shares of the companies were down in pre-market trading following his posts.
In the pair of early morning posts, the Republican president again blasted mail-in ballots as being rife with fraud — though there is no evidence that’s the case, and many Americans have used mail-in ballots in previous elections. Five states currently use only mail-in voting for all elections.
Trump posted similar tweets about the ballot topic on Tuesday, which had moved Twitter to add an alert, signified by a blue exclamation mark, below the tweets to warn his claims may be inaccurate or unsubstantiated, and direct readers to a page of news articles and information about the topic.
Twitter said it was the first time it had applied a fact-checking label to a tweet by the president, in an extension of its new “misleading information” policy, which was introduced earlier this month to combat misinformation about the coronavirus.
The dramatic shift by the tech company, which has tightened its policies in recent years amid criticism that its hands-off approach has allowed misinformation to thrive, had prompted Trump to accuse it of interfering in the upcoming U.S. presidential election.
Social media isn't a one-size-fits-all marketplace. This training explains it all – The Next Web
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Torstar buyer says Canso picked to provide financing because of media experience – OrilliaMatters.Com
TORONTO — A private investment company that is a major backer of Postmedia Network Corp. has agreed to provide financing for NordStar Capital’s acquisition of Torstar Corp., the owner of the Toronto Star and other newspapers.
NordStar said in a statement it considered several sources of outside funding and chose Canso Investment Counsel Ltd. because of its experience in the Canadian media industry.
The statement also addressed long-standing speculation that there might be a move afoot to merge Torstar and Postmedia, which own two of the country’s biggest media businesses.
“The financing arrangements for the NordStar bid are not, in anyway whatsoever, connected directly or indirectly with any other media company.”
Canso didn’t immediately respond to a request for information about its involvement with the NordStar deal.
However, talk of an eventual deal to consolidate Canada’s newspaper industry was fuelled by the involvement of Canso — which provided $93.5 million after fees in September for a refinancing of Postmedia’s debt.
NordStar’s statement said it didn’t include Canso in the initial press release but “their participation would have been disclosed in due course as part of customary public fillings.”
NordStar is a new company formed by Toronto businessmen Jordan Bitove and Paul Rivett, whose backgrounds are in corporate finance.
In order to buy Torstar, they required the support of five families that have controlled the company for decades — the Atkinsons, Hindmarshs, Campbells, Thalls and Honderichs.
The five stepped in to run the Star after founder Joseph Atkinson died in 1948, leaving the paper to a charitable foundation to be run by trustees.
In announcing the deal on Tuesday, Torstar chair John Honderich said it was “time to pass the torch.”
Unifor national president Jerry Dias says his big concern is that Canada could lose the Toronto Star’s voice for the progressive social issues if it’s combined with the company that owns the National Post, which has taken a more conservative stance.
“Let’s be candid, people are nervous with Canso being the money behind the National Post and now the Star. For us, the broader issue is how comfortable are we eliminating progressive voices in this country? That’s what the big issue is.”
Torstar holds an investment in The Canadian Press as part of a joint agreement with subsidiaries of the Globe and Mail and Montreal’s La Presse.
— with files from Tara Deschamps
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 29, 2020.
Companies in this story: (TSX:TS.B)
The Canadian Press
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