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Awards to recognize youth, Indigenous heritage

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Two new categories have been introduced as nominations open for the 2018 Alberta Historical Resources Foundation (AHRF) Heritage Awards.

Awards recognizing the contributions of youth in support of heritage preservation and appreciation, and projects protecting and showcasing the heritage of Alberta’s Indigenous peoples will be presented along with awards for heritage conservation, heritage awareness and outstanding achievement.

“From the stories of our past, we find the inspiration to build an even stronger, brighter future for our province and its people. The AHRF Heritage Awards represent an opportunity to pay tribute to those who are keeping Alberta’s history alive and vibrant for the generations of Albertans to come. You can help us honour those efforts by nominating a heritage hero in your community.”

Ricardo Miranda, Minister of Culture and Tourism

The AHRF Heritage Awards are presented every two years and recognize the outstanding achievements of Albertans engaged in heritage preservation, protection and promotion. Since 2005, 58 awards have been presented to recipients from across the province.

Full details and nomination forms are available at alberta.ca/heritage-awards. Deadline for nominations is July 15. The 2018 recipients will be recognized at an awards ceremony, to be held in Edmonton Oct. 12.

Recent recipients have included:

  • Don Hepburn (Red Deer, Outstanding Achievement): Hepburn was one of the founding members of the Central Alberta Historical Society. His knowledge and passion have helped to sustain the historical society as one of the most active in the province. Hepburn volunteers his time freely for projects including the Central Alberta Heritage School Fairs, Red Deer Centennial Committee and Remembering the Children.
  • Glen Leslie Church Preservation Group (County of Grande Prairie, Heritage Conservation): Both as a house of worship and local schoolhouse, the Glen Leslie Church near Bezanson was the centre of its rural community for 49 years. The same cooperative spirit that led to its construction in 1915 guided the Glen Leslie Church Preservation Group in the restoration of this cherished landmark.
  • Crowsnest Heritage Initiative (“Discover Crowsnest Heritage” Signage Program, Heritage Awareness): A thoughtfully designed initiative, the coordinated signage program supports a self-guided heritage driving route and walking tours throughout the Crowsnest Pass. The program employs a comprehensive scope that includes multimedia, printed maps, brochures and a web portal with bold professional branding. Highly visible, the signage stands out to visitors travelling on the highway and is easily identified on buildings and orientation kiosks. The signs are well-written and presented with illustrations from the exceptional archival resources of the Crowsnest Museum. Through this signage program, locals and tourists alike will discover much of the region’s rich history.

Addressing the affects of deterioration of the parged concrete finial is part of the conservation of the Crowsnest Pass Polish Hall in Coleman. Built in 1927, the hall was home to the Polish Society of Brotherly Aid, an organization dedicated to supporting miners and providing social and cultural services.

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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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