Karoui, leader of the second-largest party in Parliament, to face charges of tax evasion and money laundering, state media says.
A judge has ordered the detention of Tunisian media mogul Nabil Karoui on suspicion of financial corruption, a spokesman for the judicial court has said.
“The jailing warrant has been issued against Karoui in a case related to money laundering,” a Tunis court spokesperson, Mohsen al-Dali told the DPA news agency on Thursday.
The order was issued after Karoui had earlier been summoned for questioning, the official said.
Karoui, 57, is the leader of the Heart of Tunisia party, the second-largest party in Parliament, and has previously run for president. His party is one of three that support the technocratic government in Parliament.
If the pro-government parliamentary coalition breaks down it would weaken the government of Hichem Mechichi, which is already facing unprecedented economic hardships and protests in many regions demanding better job opportunities.
The Heart of Tunisia party said in a statement Karoui had not been found guilty and called on its supporters to remain calm.
It condemned what it called “campaigns on social media to try to direct the case”.
TAP state news agency said Karoui was to face charges of tax evasion and money laundering.
A member of Karoui’s support committee, lawyer Nazih Souii, said he was “surprised and shocked” by the arrest, and alleged the judge acted under “political pressure”.
Dali, the Tunis court spokesperson, said Karoui can appeal his arrest. Karoui’s brother Ghazi is also facing charges but was not arrested because he enjoys immunity as a parliament deputy, the spokesperson said.
Karoui spent most of last year’s presidential campaign in jail for the same charges, which he called politically driven.
He was arrested in August 2019 but released a few months later on October 9, in the middle of the election, though investigations into his case continued.
Last year, Karoui said he was confident of his innocence and that his political opponents, specifically the Ennahdha Party, were behind his imprisonment. Karoui is now an Ennahdha ally in Parliament.
The case against Karoui was opened after a complaint four years ago by an anti-corruption group.
Karoui, a populist media mogul, founded Nessma TV. He was runner-up in last year’s presidential election, won by Kais Saied, a conservative professor who has promised to root out corruption that has contributed to Tunisia’s economic struggles.
Both candidates rode to the presidential runoff on the disenchantment of Tunisians, particularly young people and the poor, who felt the governing class has not fulfilled the promises of Tunisia’s 2011 revolution, which unleashed revolts around the Arab world.
Other prominent figures have also been targeted recently in corruption investigations.
Different types of gambling, media converging for growth – 570 News
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — The many different types of gambling are quickly coming together with each other and with media outlets — and Wall Street is taking notice.
Casino gambling, internet gambling, sports betting and daily fantasy sports are no longer separate silos with unique audiences: Gambling companies are increasingly combining them and partnering with media companies to expand the reach of gambling.
This expansion is leading Wall Street analysts to predict fast-growing revenue in the U.S. over the next five to 10 years. Morgan Stanley sees a $15 billion sports betting and internet gambling market by 2025, and Macquarie Research says that same market could be $30 billion by 2030.
“The once disparate categories of online gaming, media and sports are joining teams to create powerful partnerships that we believe will grow viewership, increase overall fan engagement, and drive significantly higher market values for all those connected,” Macquarie wrote in a report issued Tuesday.
It cited numerous examples of deals between sports betting and media companies last year, including Bally’s and Sinclair Broadcasting; Flutter Entertainment and FOX; PointsBet and NBC; William Hill and CBS; DraftKings and Caesars Entertainment partnering with ESPN; Penn National and Barstool Sports; BetMGM and Yahoo; and Turner Sports’ deals with FanDuel and DraftKings.
David Schwartz, a gambling historian with the University of Nevada Las Vegas, said combinations like these “seem to be the wave of the future.”
“With geographic expansion nearly complete in the U.S. — Texas is the biggest unserved market still out there — casino companies are looking to grow their revenues by expanding into new forms of gambling, (and) online and sports betting are the most prominent,” he said. “Even daily fantasy sports is seen as a viable route, as seen by recent moves by Bally’s and Caesars. The media partners get more content and more eyes on their product.”
Bill Miller, president of the American Gaming Association, the gambling industry’s national trade association, said deals like these are “a logical extension” of the industry’s desire to keep pace with customer expectations.
“Responsibly growing these verticals will be essential to the industry’s continued success,” he said.
In a report last week, Morgan Stanley forecast a $15 billion market for sports betting and internet gambling by 2025, an increase of 27% over current levels. As much as $10 billion of that is likely to come from sports betting, the company said.
Most analysts expect at least half the country will have legal sports betting by the end of 2021, with continued expansion after that.
Morgan Stanley said sports betting and internet gambling revenue reached $3.1 billion in the U.S. last year, well outpacing its forecast of $2 billion. While some of the growth in online wagering was undoubtedly helped by months of casino closures during the coronavirus pandemic, Morgan Stanley says there’s a durable market taking shape in these industries.
“We see legalized U.S. sports betting and iGaming as a once-in-a-generation shift for what was a mature gaming industry,” Morgan Stanley wrote. “It is clear to us that Americans’ interest in sports and gambling should lead to higher revenue (per) adult than we previously expected.”
Follow Wayne Parry at http://twitter.com/WayneParryAC.
Wayne Parry, The Associated Press
Rittenhouse, mother fixated on social media treatment – 570 News
MADISON, Wis. — An Illinois teen accused of killing two people during unrest in Wisconsin and the teen’s mom were fixated on social media comments about them in the hours after his August arrest, newly released police video shows.
Police in Antioch, Illinois, on Monday released four hours of video taken after Kyle Rittenhouse turned himself in hours after the Aug. 25 protest in Kenosha, the Chicago Tribune reported. The protest was part of a series of chaotic demonstrations that ensued after a white Kenosha officer shot Jacob Blake, who is Black, in the back seven times during a domestic dispute. Rittenhouse is white.
Prosecutors say Rittenhouse, who was 17 at the time, opened fire during the protest, killing Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber and wounding Gaige Grosskreutz. Rittenhouse faces multiple charges, including intentional homicide. He has argued he was protecting businesses and fired in self-defence. Conservatives have rallied around him, generating enough money to make his $2 million cash bail.
Cellphone video shows Rittenhouse walking past police in the moments after the shootings, his rifle slung over his shoulder and his hands in the air. Officers let him go, and he turned himself in to police in his hometown of Antioch the next day.
The Chicago Tribune reported that the police video shows Rittenhouse sobbing and hyperventilating. Investigators reminded him of his right to remain silent. Rittenhouse, who once participated in programs for aspiring offices, replied, “I know Miranda,” and said he wanted a lawyer.
Police left him in the interrogation room with his mother, Wendy Rittenhouse, who spent the next several hours scrolling through her phone. At one point she put her head in her hands and lamented about people posting derogatory remarks about both of them on Facebook.
His mother told him he needed to deactivate his social media accounts.
“’I have to get rid of social media?” he asked.
“Yep … ‘Cause they’re going to harass you if they can find you anywhere,” she said.
Rittenhouse said he couldn’t give her access to some accounts because the passwords were stored in his phone, which police had taken. He later asked an officer if detectives could delete his accounts. The officer said he would look into it.
In the audible portions of the video, Rittenhouse didn’t ask about the men he shot. He also didn’t appear to understand the seriousness of the situation, asking an officer if he could go home and if he could get counselling to help him cope.
“I don’t want to be one of those people that lives with PTSD the rest of their life,” he said.
Last week, a judge ordered ordered Rittenhouse to have no contact with known white supremacists after he was seen drinking in a bar in Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin, and posing for a photo with two men who made hand gestures used by white supremacists. Prosecutors also alleged men at the tavern serenaded Rittenhouse with the anthem of the Proud Boys, a neo-fascist group.
The legal drinking age in Wisconsin is 21 but Rittenhouse could legally drink alcohol because he was with his mother.
Rittenhouse is due back in court in Kenosha on March 10.
The Associated Press
Opinion | New study shows social media is dumbing-down news consumers – StCatharinesStandard.ca
The digital dream darkens further.
A recent study by PEW Research Center, Journalism and Media (PEW) shows that news consumers who rely upon social media are less knowledgeable and less engaged than those who use other news sources.
“The analysis of surveys … finds that those who rely most on social media for political news stand apart from other news consumers in a number of ways. (They) tend to be less likely than other news consumers to closely follow major news stories … (and) this group also tends to be less knowledgeable about these topics,” according to PEW.
The study found that social media news consumers tend to pay less attention to news than those who rely on most other sources. As of early June 2020, just eight per cent of U.S. adults getting most of their political news from social media said they were following news about the election “very closely,” compared with cable TV (37 per cent) and print (33 per cent). This difference is alarming for democracy.
“This relative lack of attention to news goes hand in hand with lower levels of knowledge about major current events and politics … respondents were asked 29 different fact-based questions that touch on a variety of topics … Across these 29 questions, the average proportion who got each question right is lower among Americans who rely most on social media for political news than those who rely most on other types of news sources, except for local TV,” the study says.
Demographically, adults who rely most on social media for news are younger and have lower levels of education than those who mainly use several other platforms.
One study index measured political knowledge — high, middle, and low — against seven different source types; news website, radio, print media, cable TV, network TV, social media and local TV. Only 17 per cent of social media users scored high, compared to 45 per cent using news websites, 42 per cent radio and 41 per cent print media.
On six political stories, social media users demonstrated the lowest awareness of any group. Social media users were also far less engaged in the coronavirus pandemic coverage, and more likely to have heard about conspiracy theories and other false claims.
How large is the problem then?
Another PEW study conducted in 2018 measured social media news sourcing among 38 advanced and developing countries globally. It found that a global median of 35 per cent use social media to get news daily. About half say they never use social networking sites to get news.
Responding to the question “How often do you use social networking sites to get news?”, Canada ranked second highest among advanced nations with 42 per cent — behind South Korea at 57 per cent, and ahead of the U.S. at 39 per cent.
Facebook is the king of social media news, with 36 per cent of Americans regularly logging on to obtain their news.
The Shattered Mirror: News, Democracy and Trust in the Digital Age, is a landmark Public Policy Forum report published in January 2017. It looks at the state of a much weaker news media in Canada, severely disrupted by the digital age.
“The digital revolution has made for a more open and diverse news ecosystem — and a meaner and less trustworthy one. It has also upended the model of “boots on the ground” backed up by a second platoon in the office upholding such hallowed standards as verification and balance. Established news organizations have been left gasping, while native digital alternatives have failed to develop journalistic mass, especially in local news,” the report found.
Between 2010 and 2017, 225 weekly and 27 daily newspapers were lost to closure or merger.
“Anyone who views news as a public good will see that this decline damages civil discourse,” the report concluded.
According to “The State of Social Media in Canada 2020,” published by the Social Media Lab at Ryerson University — 94 per cent of online Canadians have a social media account, 83 per cent on Facebook.
There are only 75 remaining daily newspapers in Canada, with paid circulation just over 11 million copies weekly.
The age of post-truth couldn’t exist without the fact-free and emotive ecosphere of social media, wherein confirmation bias and selective exposure reinforce individual world views while dismissing contradictory information.
On social media, there is no one to fact-check the story.
As the most trusted man in America once said, “Journalism is what we need to make democracy work.”
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