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UVic alumni take to social media to encourage struggling students – CityNews Vancouver

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VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) – The end of the school year is challenging and stressful for students at the best of times. During a global pandemic that has cancelled in-person classes and exams, it’s even tougher.

That’s why the UVic Alumni Association (UAA) is taking to social media to show support for students on the grind.

The association has started the UVic Digital Kind Mail Campaign, encouraging people to record short videos of encouragement and post them to Twitter and Instagram with the hashtage #kindmailuvic.

“Share a short video message of support and encouragement with students during these stressful times and let them know you care,” the association said on its website.

You can watch some of the videos here.

Meanwhile, two Langley Secondary School teachers have spearheaded a similar initiative, called Short Stories of Hope.

Gwen Thornburn said she’s encouraging people to “share something that’s very positive: a poem, or a story, or, because I teach math and science, maybe they wanted to share a math puzzle or riddle or something like that,” she said.

UBC president Santa Ono is among those who have responded to the call with a video posted to Twitter and Instagram.

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China media, Hong Kong government bristle at Trump's pledge of curbs, sanctions – Cape Breton Post

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By James Pomfret and Stella Qiu

HONG KONG/BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s state media and the government of Hong Kong lashed out on Sunday at U.S. President Donald Trump’s vow to end Hong Kong’s special status if Beijing imposes new national security laws on the city, which is bracing for fresh protests.

Trump on Friday pledged to “take action to revoke Hong Kong’s preferential treatment as a separate customs and travel territory”, and to impose sanctions on unspecified individuals over Beijing’s new laws on the Asian financial centre.

But China’s state media pushed back, saying this would hurt the United States more than China.

“The baton of sanctions that the United States is brandishing will not scare Hong Kong and will not bring China down,” China’s Communist Party mouthpiece, the People’s Daily, wrote in a commentary. It used the pen name “Zhong Sheng”, meaning “Voice of China”, often used to give the paper’s view on foreign policy issues.

The Global Times wrote, “China has already prepared for the worst. No matter how far the U.S. goes, China will keep its company.”

A Hong Kong government spokesman expressed regret the United States continued to “smear and demonise the legitimate rights and duty of our sovereign” to safeguard national security.

In a sign of diplomatic manoeuvring, the U.S. government said it would put one of its prime Hong Kong properties up for sale – a luxury residential complex worth up to HK$5 billion ($650 million).

A spokesman for the U.S. consulate in Hong Kong said this was part of a global programme that “reinforces the U.S. government’s presence in Hong Kong” through reinvestment in other areas.

China and Hong Kong officials have justified the laws that will be directly imposed by China to restore order to a city that has been wracked by sometimes violent anti-China, anti-government protests over the past year. They said the laws will only apply to a small number of “troublemakers.”

Protesters, however, have said they are railing against China’s deep encroachment on Hong Kong’s autonomy and freedoms despite Beijing’s promise to grant the city a high degree of autonomy under a so-called “one-country, two systems” formula since it reverted from British to Chinese rule in 1997.

More protests are planned in the coming weeks.

Countries including the United States, Canada and Britain have expressed deep concerns about the law, with Britain saying it may grant expanded visa rights to large numbers of Hong Kongers.

Demosisto, an advocacy group led by prominent young Hong Kong democracy activist Joshua Wong, said the security law will be “the death of freedom in Hong Kong”.

A senior Hong Kong official, Erick Tsang, said he couldn’t care less if he were sanctioned by the Washington. “I wouldn’t even go to Canada, just in case they try to catch me” there, Tsang told local radio.

Details of the laws remain unclear, even to Hong Kong officials, but are expected to be enacted by China’s parliament this summer. The laws will outlaw secession, subversion, terrorism and foreign interference in Hong Kong, and will be imposed without any local legislative scrutiny.

(Reporting by Hong Kong newsroom and Stella Qiu in Beijing; Writing by James Pomfret; Editing by Christopher Cushing and William Mallard)

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China media bristles at U.S. moves on Hong Kong over national security push

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HONG KONG (Reuters) – China’s state media lashed out on Sunday at possible retaliatory moves by the United States to impose sanctions and end Hong Kong’s special status if Beijing imposes new national security laws, as the city braces for fresh protests.

The state-backed China Daily said U.S. President Donald Trump’s pledge to “take action to revoke Hong Kong’s preferential treatment as a separate customs and travel territory”, and to impose sanctions on unspecified individuals, would hurt the United States, and unite Hong Kong with mainland China.

“China has already prepared for the worst. No matter how far the U.S. goes, China will keep its company. If Trump’s plan continues, Washington will soon run counter to the interests of most Hong Kong people,” the state-run Global Times tabloid wrote.

“The extreme tactics of a superpower like the U.S. are nothing less than chronic suicide.”

A Hong Kong government spokesman expressed regret the United States continued to “smear and demonise the legitimate rights and duty of our sovereign” to safeguard national security.

In a sign of diplomatic manoeuvring, the U.S. government said it would put one of its prime Hong Kong properties up for sale – a luxury residential complex worth up to HK$5 billion ($645.09 million).

A spokesman for the U.S. consulate in Hong Kong told Reuters this was part of the U.S. government’s global reinvestment programme that “reinforces the U.S. government’s presence in Hong Kong” through reinvestment in other areas.

China and Hong Kong officials have justified the laws that will be directly imposed by China to restore order to a city that has been wracked by sometimes violent anti-China, anti-government protests over the past year.

Protesters, however, have said they are railing against China’s deep encroachment on Hong Kong’s autonomy and freedoms despite Beijing’s promise to grant the city a high degree of autonomy under a so-called “one-country, two systems” formula since it reverted from British to Chinese rule in 1997.

They have said more protests are planned in the coming weeks.

Countries including the United States, Canada and Britain have expressed deep concerns about the law, with Britain saying it may grant expanded visa rights to large numbers of Hong Kongers.

Demosisto, the advocacy group led by prominent young Hong Kong democracy activist Joshua Wong, said the security law will be “the death of freedom in Hong Kong”.

Details of the laws remain unclear, even to Hong Kong officials, but are expected to be enacted by China’s parliament this summer. The laws will outlaw secession, subversion, terrorism and foreign interference in Hong Kong, and will be imposed without any local legislative scrutiny.

Authorities in Beijing and Hong Kong insist the legislation will target only a small number of “troublemakers” who threaten China’s national security.

(Reporting by Hong Kong newsroom and Stella Qiu in Beijing; Writing by James Pomfret; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Edited By Harry Miller)

 

Source: cape-breton-post

Edited by Harry Miller

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Tainted water series from Global News, media consortium wins Canadian Association of Journalists award – Globalnews.ca

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A nationwide investigation that exposed the prevalence of lead contamination in drinking water has been honoured by the Canadian Association of Journalists.

Tainted Water received the group’s award for data journalism during a ceremony hosted via Zoom on Saturday.


READ MORE:
Inside the investigation that exposed lead-laced drinking water in Canada

The series was produced by the Institute for Investigative Journalism (IIJ) at Concordia University, along with Global News and outlets such as Le Devoir, the Toronto Star, the Regina Leader-Post and the National Observer.

“We are incredibly honoured to be recognized alongside our partners and the IIJ with such a prestigious award,” said Chris Bassett, Global News’ national director for content and editorial standards.

“This series had an immediate impact across the country and was a collaborative effort supported by many outstanding journalists across the country to expose an issue impacting the health and safety of thousands of Canadians.”

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In total, more than 120 reporters were involved in the project, which was published and broadcast during the fall. More than 220 hours of interviews were recorded by members of the consortium and the journalists filed over 700 access-to-information requests.

READ MORE: Investigation into lead in Canada’s drinking water spurs calls for action across country

The investigation found that, out of 12,000 tests conducted by 11 cities, 33 per cent exceeded safe lead levels as defined by Health Canada.

The findings sparked immediate action from leaders. In Quebec, the government announced it would adopt stronger standards for acceptable lead content, in line with Health Canada guidelines. The mayor of Montreal vowed to test the water at more than 100,000 homes and accelerate a program for replacing lead pipes.

Halifax extended an offer to replace lead pipes on private property for free. And in Alberta, at least 50 school divisions contacted the provincial health authority asking for support or information regarding lead testing in the weeks following the investigation.

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© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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