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Around Red Deer May 30th…..

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5 minute read

3:09 pm – A reminder from the Penhold Fire Department to not discard smoking material in gardens or planters. This, after a flower garden fire in Penhold today that caused ,000 damage to a garden and the adjacent home on Harvest Close just before 1:00 pm. Fire Chief Jim Pendergast says the flames spread to the vinyl siding on the outside of the house and up onto some electrical lines. Luckily there were no injuries, as everyone evacuated safely.

11:20 am – Red Deer College is inviting central Albertans to celebrate the best films of the year at Film Works 2017. This annual event features films created by RDC’s latest student actors, directors, cinematographers and all-around filmmakers. The event runs Friday, June 2nd and Saturday, June 3rd. Read More.   

11:15 am – RDC is getting set to hold it’s 53rd annual Convocation Ceremony on Friday, June 2nd. Read More.

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11:04 am – RCMP are looking for two suspects after a truck was stolen in Erskine and a break-in soon afterwards at the Erskine Grill May 5th. Read More.

10:25 am – Some road closures are in place throughout the Town of Innisfail today. Read More.

10:15 am – Temporary Road Closures are now in place at many rail crossings throughout Lacombe County over the next several days. CP Rail is doing some work at these locations. Read Where.

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10:08 am – Farm Vehicle Safety Checks are taking place in Lacombe County over the next couple of days. Read More.

9:54 am – It’s Vibrant Neighbourhoods Week and the Crossroads Church in Red Deer will be the site tonight to host a Rural evening with Jim Diers who will share his passion for getting people engaged with their communities. It runs from 7:30 – 9:00 pm. Read More.

9:43 am – The 2017 Summer Clash Against Cancer wrestling fundraiser is moving locations from Sylvan Lake to Red Deer on August 12th. Read More.

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9:25 am – Week 1 is in the books for the Central Alberta Bucaneer’s 2017 season. The Bucs emerged victorious with a final score of 44-14 over the Grande Prairie Drillers on Saturday, May 27th. Read More.

9:17 am – It’s Business After Hours at Westerner Park tonight, while the Southside RV Centre Spring Event continues on site. Read More.

8:56 am – The City of Lacombe has released it’s 2017 Spring Coffee with Council Resident Feedback Summary Report. Read More.

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8:45 am – Municipal property tax notices for the 2017 taxation year were mailed out to Lacombe residents on May 26th. Read More.

8:35 am – Grade 8 students in Red Deer will participate in a Track & Field Day at École Secondaire Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School today!

8:27 am – To celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday, every school in the Red Deer Catholic Regional School Division will celebrate on the 150th day of the year. That’s today, so all students are encouraged to wear Red and White to mark the occasion. Click here to see what the Catholic schools are doing!

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8:14 am – It’s the final concert of the season at Hunting Hills High School in Red Deer tonight. There will be performances by Concert Band, Jazz Band, Rock Band, Steel Drums, Drumline and Dance students. Tickets $10 each, available at Hunting Hills music room or at the door.

8:07 am – STEM Subjects, coding, 3D modelling and printing and robotics are all part of the Makerspace Open House from 5:30 – 7:30 pm at Mountview Elementary School tonight!

7:58 am – Students at Red Deer’s Glendale Science and Technology School have their Outdoor Education Spring Camp today and overnight into tomorrow. They will be at the Alford Lake Conservation Education Centre participating in fishing, camping activities, wildlife identification, archery and survival training!

For more local news, click 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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