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Trump campaign and media tussle over Tulsa rally turnout

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Trump campaign and media tussle over Tulsa rally turnout | The Thaiger
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“In an increasingly globalised online world, the world’s youth have started getting involved in the narrative for this November’s US Presidential election.”

In the days leading up to Saturday night’s election rally for US President Donald Trump – his first since March – the campaign management were touting figures suggesting that as many as 1 million people had signed up to attend. But the crowds, both inside and outside Oklahoma’s BOK Centre in Tulsa, didn’t emerge. In the wake of the event the reasons being touted vary from threats of protesters, fears of Covid-19, hacks from K-Pop and TikTok users, and poor management by Trumps’ re-election team.

There were large sections of seating left empty in the 19,000 seat venue, and plans for an additional Presidential speech in an outdoor overflow area were cancelled when few attendees filled the spaces made available. The President spoke to his enthusiastic crowd of supporters for around 90 minutes.

Tulsa Fire Marshal’s Office claimed that there were just under 6,200 people in the arena on the Saturday night event. But Trump campaign adviser Mercedes Schlapp, during an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” claimed that turnout was lower than expected because Mr. Trump’s supporters were afraid of protests outside the venue turning violent.

“People were concerned about the demonstrations, so we saw that have an impact in terms of people coming to the rally. There were people and families that couldn’t bring their children because of concerns of the protesters.”

But media reports from the venue didn’t report any major protests or disruption although one group of protesters blocked one of the venue’s three entrances for about 15 minutes after most people had already entered the arena.

Flexing their online muscle, K-Pop and TikTok social media users bombarded the event’s website reserving seats for the event but never turned up. In an increasingly globalised online world, the world’s youth have started getting involved in the narrative for this November’s US Presidential election. But Mr. Trump’s 2020 campaign manager, Brad Parscale, said that the campaign had weeded out “tens of thousands” of bogus mobile phone numbers ahead of the rally.

“The fact is that a week’s worth of the fake news media warning people away from the rally because of Covid-19 and protestors, coupled with recent images of American cities on fire, had a real impact on people bringing their families and children to the rally.”

By the time President Trump made his way onto the stage, there had been some tense verbal confrontations outside the arena but no reports of violence. With event attendees and protesters ever-ready with their phones to capture any fracas, all they captured were civilians carrying military-style rifles and pistols wandering amid the crowds claiming they wanted to keep people safe. Tulsa police and US National Guard troops kept opposing sides apart.

Media reports today that, on the flight to Tulsa, Oklahoma, Mr. Trump was “unhappy with television images of the sparse crowds and vacant seats”. He had complained that his campaign aides should have known about the efforts to embarrass him, and argued that potential attendees were further scared away by his campaign’s public confirmation that six members of the advance team tested positive for Covid-19.

Democrats yesterday criticised the Trump campaign’s decision to hold the rally at all, amid the escalation of coronavirus cases in the US. Last week it was publicised that the sign-up page for the rally contained a disclaimer that attendees… “voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to Covid-19” and agree not to hold the campaign or venue liable should they get sick.

The Oklahoma Supreme Court last week denied a request that everyone attending the indoor rally at the BOK Centre wear a mask – few at Saturday’s event appeared to be wearing them.

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    C Clark

    Monday, June 22, 2020 at 12:09 pm

    K-Pop saves lives!

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Politics

Japan may stop assistance projects to Myanmar in response to coup

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Japan may stop assistance projects to Myanmar in response to coup | The Thaiger

Japan may stop assistance projects to Myanmar in response to the military coup, which has received major international backlash. As a major donor to Myanmar, Japan joins other advanced nations in condemning the coup which has seen security forces using violence against peaceful protesters.

Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi was quoted as saying in a phone call that “Japan will strongly urge the Myanmar military to release Suu Kyi and other detained individuals, and to swiftly restore democratic government.”

But it may not impose sanctions like the rest of the other developed countries as its longtime ties with the armed forces, ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s party, the National League for Democracy and investment promoting policy in the country may serve as a barrier in doing so. Britan and the United States have imposed sanctions in recent days which include the US freezing military funds.

A Japanese Foreign Ministry official says stopping its support of building projects would give China a chance to move in, increasing its clout in Myanmar. Around 450 Japanese companies operate in Myanmar with Japan being the 5th largest investor in the Southeast nation. Singapore has the most companies, followed by China, Hong Kong and Vietnam.

The Foreign Ministry says Japan spent about US $1.8 billion in official development assistance in the fiscal year of 2019, making it the largest among the Development Assistance Committee of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. But it is unknown what China has poured into it as it has refused to disclose its expenditures.

The Japanese government plans to continue coronavirus emergency assistance to Myanmar through international organisations and non-governmental organisations. The World Bank, however, has stopped payments to projects in the nation indefinitely, after the coup on February 1, which disrupted the democratic elections last November and saw the arrest of top leaders including Aung San Suu Kyi, whose party, the National League for Democracy, won the elections in a landslide victory.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Law

Australia sets worldwide precedent by passing pay‐to‐play legislation for social media giants

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Australia sets worldwide precedent by passing pay‐to‐play legislation for social media giants | The Thaiger

In a landmark decision, Australia is now requiring global digital giants, such as Facebook and Google, to pay for using local news content on their websites. The move sets a precedent that many global companies have been anticipating.

The law passed yesterday after Facebook and Google reached an agreement to pay local Australian news organisations for using their stories on their websites. 1 week ago, Australians woke up to a blackout after Facebook temporarily banned local news, which included emergency notifications. The blackout was in response to the legislation being put forth for approval, with Facebook spokespeople saying it seemed to be their only choice at the time.

The new law sets the stage for other countries worldwide to gain more revenue for local media companies by making such social media giants pay to use content. Google’s “Showcase” product will now feature paid local news with Facebook showing such paid news under its “News” category.

Companies like Google and Facebook pushed back against the legislation, saying such a law could threaten their companies’ business models, with Google saying it could make their search engine website “unworkable.”

But local news organisations have rebuked the reasoning, citing that social media giants claim a large percentage of online advertisin, leaving local news companies out of the revenue game. Citing that news is gathered by reporting and fieldwork, the companies say it is unfair for social media companies to profit largely off of the work of local, smaller companies.

The law, called the News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code, aims to protect such local companies and to sustain public interest journalism. Thousands of journalists have lost their jobs over the past decade as local media outlets have seen the bulk of their advertising revenues flow to digital companies’ sites after using their content.

Australia’s competition watchdog says that for every $100 invested by Australian advertisers, $49 is sent to Google and $24 to Facebook. Now, both online businesses say they will each invest around US $1 billion in local news content globally in the next 3 years. Facebook and Google now have 2 more months to reach solid agreements before being subjected to binding arbritations.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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World

Lady Gaga offers US $500,000 reward for stolen bulldogs

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Lady Gaga offers US $500,000 reward for stolen bulldogs | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Instagram/Lady Gaga

Who knew that finding 2 french bulldogs would earn US $500,000? That is the case for the lucky person that finds Lady Gaga’s equally lucky stolen dogs. The dogs, Koji and Gustav, were stolen in Los Angeles, California while out on a walk with their dog walker.

But that’s not all. The employee in charge of keeping the dogs healthy was shot and wounded by a gunman who left the scene in a car, but not before allegedly shooting another man in this 30s. That man was hospitalised according to LA police.

Asia, Gaga’s 3rd dog was luckily found by police at the scene and was taken home by the singer’s staff. It isn’t clear if the frenchies were targeted due to their owner’s famous status or if they were taken simply because they were an expensive pedigree breed that can be sold for thousands of dollars.

Gaga, however, has offered the hefty reward for their return with “no questions asked.”

SOURCE: CNN

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