SERIOUS questions being asked about the handling of telecommunications frequencies hint that there is a deeper context to the decision by seven TV broadcasters to surrender their licences. To many observers, it no longer appears to be a simple matter of businesses abandoning ventures that failed to earn a profit. The National Council for Peace and Order – the military junta – invoked Article 44 of the interim constitution to enable the seven broadcasters to return their licences to the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC). Observers have since begun questioning the background of the matter and surmising that telecommunication signals continue to be regulated under the “state-capital patronage” system – at great cost to the public interest. Critics have said the manner in which the state has agreed to accept the returned licences could send the process of media reform back to square one. The government in 2013 … [Read more...] about REPORT: Why Article 44 rode to DIGITAL TV’S RESCUE
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Thirty years after the crackdown on Tiananmen protesters, the tanks that lined Beijing’s central avenue have been replaced by countless surveillance cameras perched like hawks on lampposts to keep the population in check. The Chinese Communist Party has gone to great lengths to prevent another pro-democracy movement, clamping down on student activists, labour movements and lawyers with the help of high-tech surveillance. But the party has also pushed economic reforms that have made millions of people wealthier – and less interested in rebelling like the students whose protest ended with hundreds killed on June 4, 1989. Over the past decade, small police booths have been set up block by block across the country to monitor neighbourhood disputes, prevent crime, and keep tabs on anyone suspected of disturbing social order. Now China’s obsession with artificial intelligence and facial recognition adds another layer of sophistication to this intricate surveillance … [Read more...] about Why another Tiananmen is ‘impossible’ in China
By Marieke Walsh iPolitics Mon., May 6, 2019 Ontario’s big city mayors were joined by some of their rural cousins Monday to amplify calls for a reversal of planned public health cuts. The cuts, buried in Premier Doug Ford’s April budget, will see the province download funding responsibility for vaccinations, infection prevention and control and well-baby programs (among many others) on to the municipalities. At the same time, the province is also whittling down the number of health boards in Ontario from 35 to 10 — but other than saying Toronto will have a stand-alone health agency, it hasn’t said what the boundaries of the new health agencies will be or who will run them. [READ MORE: Backlash to public health cuts grows in Ontario ] All of this leaves municipalities unable to respond to the cuts they know are coming, according to municipal officials from York Region, Peterborough and Eastern Ontario who spoke at a press conference at … [Read more...] about Ontario municipalities unite in opposition to public health cuts
By Anthony Morgan Opinion Tues., April 30, 2019 “One of us goes in, and we all go through it …” — Drake, “Headlines” Incarceration is seldom a solo affair. It’s true that the individual person subjected to carceral control bears the brunt of the physical, emotional, psychological, social and financial costs of being forced to surrender their freedom to the state. However, this painful price isn’t paid by the incarcerated person alone: their friends, family members and others who care about them suffer their own sizeable share of loss, sadness, fear and frustration precipitated by their loved one’s incarceration. My family, that is my mom, my sister, Toni, and I, know this reality viscerally well. I have a younger brother, Theo (not his real name), who is currently serving a multi-year sentence in one of Ontario’s federal correctional institutions. This latest stint follows more than a decade of … [Read more...] about My brother’s in jail. Why does talking to him require hundreds of dollars a month and 1990s technology?
MANILA, Philippines — It is unclear where a bridge symbolizing the fusion of two cultures—or ties of two states—is leading, as its construction faces opposition from local and international organizations and from some government agencies. The construction of China-funded Binondo-Intramuros "Friendship" Bridge last year made headlines as the proposed project is feared to overstep the edge of the San Agustin Church’s buffer zone in the walled historic area of Intramuros in Manila. Encroachment of the buffer zone, required by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, could lead to the delisting of the church and three other baroque churches in the country as world heritage sites. The San Agustin Church, officially known as the Church of the Immaculate Conception of San Agustin, was inscribed as a World Heritage Site in 1993 under the serial declaration of the Baroque Churches of the Philippines. It is Manila’s sole UNESCO World … [Read more...] about Bridge burning bridges: Why the China-funded Binondo-Intramuros structure is controversial