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Around Red Deer June 5th…..

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6 minute read

2:47 pm – Imagine if every Canadian did three things for their neighbourhood, their nation, and their world this year. With Canada celebrating its 150th year of Confederation in 2017, Red Deer Mayor, Tara Veer, has accepted the challenge placed by Calgary Mayor, Naheed Nenshi, to do “Three Things for Canada”. Read More.

1:08 pm –  Lab results from Health Canada have confirmed that drugs seized in Red Deer in March were a mixture of Carfentanil, fentanyl and caffeine, making this the first known seizure of the deadly opioid Carfentanil in the Red Deer area. Read More.

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12:56 pm – The Town of Sylvan Lake will celebrate it’s annual summer fair this weekend. 1913 days starts on Friday! Read More.

12:54 pm – Paving work will result in some road closures in Sylvan Lake tomorrow. Read More.

12:43 pm – Police in Lacombe are looking for suspects after some recent graffiti incidents. Read More.

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11:59 am – Lacombe Police say thefts appear to be on the rise in the community. Read More.

11:45 am – High School students can check out their career options at a Career High School Info session at the Penhold Regional Multi-Plex today. Read More.

11:15 am – Find out what Alberta’s new requirements are for children in car seats and booster seats. Read More.

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11:07 am – Red Deer’s School and Playground Zone times are set to change starting August 1st. Read More.

11:02 am – Red Deer City Councillor Lawrence Lee was elected on Sunday to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) board, which develops policy and advocates in the interests of municipalities to the federal government. Read More.

10:55 am – The Town of Blackfalds is gearing up for “Blackfalds Days” later this month. Find out more.

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10:46 am – Ponoka RCMP have arrested 37 year old Mark Carr in connection with an alleged sexual assault on June 2nd. Read More.

10:32 am – Landscaping work will result in some road closures from 39th Street to 37th Street on Red Deer’s south hill on Tuesday. Read More.

10:19 am – Grade 5 students at Red Deer’s St. Teresa of Avila School in Red Deer will perform songs they have learned this school year in a band concert in the gymnasium starting at 1:00 pm. While band and choral students from Ecole Secondaire Notre Dame High School in Red Deer will share their musical talents at a concert at the Red Deer College Arts Centre tonight at 7:00 pm.

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10:04 am – St. Gregory the Great Catholic School in Blackfalds will benefit from a Provincial Grant to help build a playground at the new school set to open this fall! Read More.

9:50 am – An Edmonton-based, door-to-door sales company must pay $15,000 for three tickets it received from The City of Red Deer for operating without a business license. Read More.

9:24 am – Red Deer College celebrated its 53rd Convocation ceremonies on Friday, June 2nd. More than 580 out of 1,900 eligible graduates crossed the stage to celebrate their achievements. Three special award recipients were also recognized. Dr. Bernie Pauly was presented with an Honorary Degree. Red Deer College Foundation Outstanding Student Award was presented to Ben Fleury for his leadership and commitment to RDC. The Governor General’s Academic Medal (Collegiate Bronze Level) was presented by Earl Dreeshen, Member of Parliament for Red DeerMountain View to Kelsie Bakker. Bakker had the highest academic standing of all RDC students this year, as she completed the final year of her diploma-level post-secondary program in Business Administration.

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9:05 am – You can help support the United Way of Central Alberta by dining out at some local restaurants! Read More.

8:50 am – A Rimbey resident has won the lottery after buying a Western 649 ticket in Red Deer! Read More.

8:38 am – Visitors to the Red, Deer, Lacombe and Stettler areas will now be able to get tourism information in more innovative and easier ways. It’s all thanks to some new grants being offered by the provincial government. Read More.

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8:28 am – Red Deerians are taking part in the Commuter Challenge this week. It’s a week-long event that takes place during Canadian Environment Week from June 4-10, 2017 and features free transit services! Read More.

8:13 am – The City of Red Deer is honouring seniors in our community by offering free admission and discounted monthly passes to City recreation facilities this week. It’s Senior’s Week! Details Here.

8:07 am – The Town of Sylvan Lake and the Sylvan Lake Chamber of Commerce have teamed up to host a Customer Service Workshop from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm at the NexSource Centre today. It’s a great opportunity for business owners, managers and front line staff to learn how to improve the level of customer service in your business. Details Here.

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International

Former GOP Republican Presidential Candidate Buys Activist Stake In Left-Wing Outlet

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From the Daily Caller News Foundation

By JASON COHEN

 

Former Republican presidential candidate and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy purchased an activist stake in BuzzFeed, according to a May Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

Ramaswamy purchased a 7.7% stake consisting of 2.7 million shares between March 14 and May 21 at costs ranging from $1.47 to $2.51 per share, according to the filing. The businessman asserted in the filing that he feels the company’s shares are “undervalued and represent an attractive investment opportunity.”

Ramaswamy “will seek to engage in a dialogue with the Issuer’s Board of Directors (the “Board”) and/or management about numerous operational and strategic opportunities to maximize shareholder value, including a shift in the Company’s strategy,” according to the filing.

Buzzfeed has been laying off employees since late 2022 as it has struggled with digital advertising, according to The Associated Press. The company closed down its BuzzFeed News in early 2023.

The company also recently reported a loss of $35.7 million in the first quarter of 2024 as advertising revenue plunged 22%, according to the AP.

“It’s an interesting bet,” an individual who is close to Ramaswamy told Mediaite. “Vivek, the anti-woke warrior, buying a material stake in one of America’s most woke media entities would signal to this long time investor that he intends to make it a free speech platform … If he turns it around financially, he would have serious street cred for another conservative political move.”

Ramaswamy in January suspended his presidential campaign and endorsed former President Donald Trump as the 2024 Republican nominee. The businessman also recently visited Trump at the New York courthouse where he is currently on trial.

“The most remarkable part was the one thing you get from being in that courtroom is a sense of the depressing atmosphere, which matches the depressing nature of what’s happening in there. It’s sort of like a concrete poem for the decline of America, actually. You get like a third-world visual, atmospheric courtroom, open wires sticking out, temperature regulation nonexistent, stuffy air a thick scent. And in the same place is happening. It’s not just third-world atmospherics, but a third-world proceeding,” Ramaswamy told the Daily Caller.

Online news outlet The Messenger shut down in January after less than a year of operations; the outlet started out with $50 million in May 2023, but it was hemorrhaging tens of millions of dollars while only taking in about $3 million in revenue last year. The Washington Post planned to eliminate roughly 240 jobs as of December 2023 amid its financial struggles and NPR has similarly been laying off workers since 2022.

BuzzFeed and Ramaswamy did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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International

Julian Assange wins right to appeal extradition to US, remains in UK prison for now

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Julian Assange, Embassy Of Ecuador on May 19, 2017 in London, England.

From LifeSiteNews

By Frank Wright

On Monday Julian Assange won the right to appeal his extradition to the United States, where he would face espionage charges, on the grounds that he could not be guaranteed a defense under the First Amendment.

In a hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice to decide his fate, imprisoned journalist Julian Assange has won the right to appeal his extradition to the United States.

The May 20 ruling means his transfer to the U.S. to face charges under the Espionage Act is delayed. He was granted the right to appeal, in his absence, on the grounds that he could not be guaranteed a defense under the First Amendment in the United States.

The move came despite assurances from U.S. lawyers and could see Assange face months more imprisonment whilst an appeal is prepared.

Leave to appeal welcomed

Assange’s lawyers have questioned assurances that he will not face the death penalty if extradited to the U.S. to face 18 charges claiming his publications through WikiLeaks damaged U.S. national security and endangered the lives of U.S. agents.

No agent has been harmed as a result of Assange’s disclosures.

The U.K.’s National Union of Journalists welcomed the move.

READ: Julian Assange’s show trial could determine the future of press freedom in the West

At this crucial juncture, this judgment serves as a positive step forward for Assange and for every journalist seeking to reveal truths through their reporting… We welcome today’s judgment and hope it is the first step in victory for Assange.

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, appealed for Assange’s immediate release:

President Biden should do the right thing now and clear the way for Assange’s release.

Five years and counting

“The U.K. and U.S. are happy to talk about political prisoners abroad,” said Stella Assange, in a moving video account of Assange’s ordeal published on the morning of the hearing. “But they have created a political prisoner of their own.”

She points out that whilst war criminals such as former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair are free and very prosperous, Assange has been denied the right to appear at his own trials since 2021. What is more, she says, “Julian did nothing wrong. He exposed war crimes.”

She explained why he was imprisoned – as a punishment for revealing war crimes through his organization, WikiLeaks.

Julian is in prison because WikiLeaks is a publisher which specializes in the secrets that states keep the most hidden.

She went on:

Julian revealed war crimes committed by the superpower, the United States. That superpower has punished him.

She argues that the case extends the right of states to suppress press freedom beyond its own borders. This, she says, provides a precedent for critics of any regime worldwide to be targeted and silenced in the same way.

Stella Assange, a human rights lawyer, says evidence held by WikiLeaks shows that 30 former intelligence agents have said there was a plot to assassinate Assange by the CIA.

The plot was revealed in October 2021 and documented in a piece from the same month by Patrick Cockburn titled “The CIA plot to kidnap or kill Julian Assange in London is a story that is being mistakenly ignored.”

The beginning of the end?

The current head of WikiLeaks, the outlet formerly headed by Assange, branded the court’s decision as a win, according to Consortium News.

‘This was a watershed moment in this very long battle,’ said WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief Kristinn at an event following the hearing. ‘Today marked the beginning of the end of the persecution. The signaling from the courts here in London was clear to the U.S. government: We don’t believe your guarantees, we don’t believe in your assurances.’

Keeping Assange ‘caged’

Yet independent journalist Glenn Greenwald saw a darker motive in the long, drawn-out process of Assange’s continuing confinement.

His post on X (formerly Twitter) referred to the initial removal of Assange from the London Embassy of Ecuador, in which he had taken refuge in 2012.

Following accusations now withdrawn, an arrest warrant had been issued for Assange in 2010. His retreat into the Ecuadorian embassy saw him confined there for seven years.

However, 24 hours after WikiLeaks published details of high-level corruption in Ecuador, he was handed over to British police on April 11, 2019. He has been in custody or prison ever since.

Greenwald added:

The real purpose of pressuring Ecuador to remove its asylum protection for Assange, and now Biden’s relentless extradition demands, is not to bring Assange to the US for trial – the [White House] does not want that – but to keep Assange caged and destroyed.

The United Nations has long condemned his treatment, saying the British government was “arbitrarily detaining” him without charge.

Responding to one X user who said the courts were simply “kicking the can” by postponing a judgement, Greenwald replied again:

Yes, but Assange quite reasonably views extradition to the US as the worst of all options, because if that happens, he will be disappeared into a dungeon, tried in E. Virginia with national security judges who convict everyone, and then will die in a US cage.

Appeals and hope for release

With this grim fate in mind, the Defend Assange Campaign released the following appeal for his immediate release on X:

Julian Assange will remain isolated, in a cell in the UK’s harshest prison for the foreseeable future, following today’s granting of an appeal by the UK high court[.]

For over 13 years detained in one form or another – it is time to bring this charade to an end…

Hopes that President Biden, seeking to reconcile his tarnished image with younger voters, would drop the charges against Assange seem to be fading.

What remains in this box is not hope, as with that of Pandora, but a man who dared expose the crimes of the rulers to the ruled.

His treatment is an example to us all, and it is one which speaks a dark truth about those who remain in power.

Former U.K. ambassador Craig Murray, a longtime supporter of Assange, spoke outside the courtroom following the news:

“We haven’t got Julian out just yet… But we are on the way… to victory in this battle,” he said.

Murray, who recalled the 12 years he has spent in supporting Assange, gave the crowd a resoundingly confident message:

And we are seeing at last an acknowledgement of the crucial importance of freedom of speech, freedom of information, and of the public’s right to know.

And those are the grounds on which we will win this case.

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