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With a new guideline for bloggers, China steps up online controls

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With a new guideline for bloggers, China steps up online controls

On one of China’s leading microblogging sites, where he has 2 million followers, Ma Xiaolin has frequently written about current affairs. But recently, the Weibo platform called and asked him not to publish original content on topics ranging from politics to economic and military problems, he said in an article.

“As an international affairs researcher and a columnist, it seems that now I can only follow the path of entertainment, food and drink,” the professor of international relations wrote on January 31.

Ma, who has often reported on developments in the Mideast, is one of many prominent influencers working within the constraints of China’s heavily censored network, who finds that with the latest policy changes and a clean-up drive run by the powerful censors of the world, their room to talk is shrinking even further. He rejected an invitation for an interview.

Before they can publish on a wide range of topics, the Cyberspace Administration of China would require bloggers and influencers to have a government-approved credential beginning next week. Some fear that permission will only be obtained by state media and official propaganda accounts. Although permits have been required to write about subjects such as political and military affairs since at least 2017, compliance has not been widespread. The provision is applied to health, finance, education and judicial matters by the new regulations.

“The regulators want to control the whole information production process,” said Titus Chen, a Chinese social media policy specialist at Taiwan’s National Sun Yat-Sen University.

The latest change is in line with increasingly restrictive regulations under President Xi Jinping that limit debate to an already narrow space. The Chinese leader has made his law of “digital sovereignty” a core principle in which the authorities have set limits and expanded the digital realm’s power.

The new credential requirement could prohibit people from posting original material, including individuals like Ma who do not explicitly criticise the Communist Party’s ruling Xi line. Responding to Ma on the website, Weibo CEO Wang Gaofei said comments on news published by official media were allowed, but commentators could not “release news” themselves.

According to a statement released by the Cyberspace Administration, the policy revision is intended “to standardise and steer public accounts and information service platforms to be more self-aware in maintaining the correct direction of public opinion.”

“The administration held a nationwide conference on the importance of “strengthening order in online publishing” a week after the new rules were unveiled in late January. The head of the agency, Zhuang Rongwen, said the agency must “let our supervision and management grow teeth.

On Feb. 4, a month-long clean-up campaign targeting search engines, social media sites and browsers was publicly announced by the department. Such initiatives, in which businesses take action to meet government demands, are not fresh, but in the past, compliance was looser: in 2017, Weibo backed off from a pornography ban following allegations that it lumped gay content in.

In competition with a crackdown to enforce current rules, it seems to be happening.

“It’s a big deal, it’s a massive campaign,” said Xiao Qiang, an expert at the University of California at Berkeley on digital censorship. And there are people who have not written a sharp message. They are not purposely edgy about things.

In January, a notice on Sohu, which also hosts microblogs, said that public accounts without credentials do not issue or republish news about current affairs. Banned subjects include “articles and commentaries on politics, economics, military affairs, diplomatic and public affairs; Taking the content of the history of the Party and country out of context and distorting it; breaking news and commentary.” A similar warning was released by Internet giant Baidu, which also has a publishing website.

The degree to which bloggers will be disciplined if they post comments without qualifications is unknown.

“Last week, on “suspicion of offering an internet news information service,” a current affairs account on Tencent’s WeChat messaging app was shut down. It was controlled by Yu Shenghong, a former journalist at state broadcaster CCTV, nicknamed “August Old Yu.” He did not respond to a request for comment.

Baidu, Sohu, Weibo and Tencent representatives did not respond to requests for comment. There was no response to a faxed request by the Cyberspace Administration.

It seems that the coronavirus pandemic spurred the tightened regulations in part. Most of the news coverage was powered by online accounts and digital-only media outlets that spread both news and rumours in the early days of China’s outbreak.

The Cyberspace Administration said in a notice outlining the new policies during the pandemic, “” self-media ” maliciously created rumours and casually disregarded the privacy of others, severely affecting the stability and harmony of society and damaging the legal rights and interests of others.”

Ultimately, the new rules represent the fears of the censors, even though what they are so nervous about isn’t entirely obvious, said Xiao of Berkeley.

“Control has been so tight for the past year that hardly anyone can talk about anything,” Xiao said.

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MN Legislature running out of time — or is it?

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MN Legislature running out of time — or is it?

Facing a looming midnight deadline, the Minnesota Legislature sputtered on Sunday, leaving unclear whether a major series of tax breaks and long-sought spending plans — or anything of widespread significance — would get done.

Senior lawmakers’ opinions were all over the map Sunday afternoon, when asked to predict what was the most likely — or best — course of action. Finger-pointing and frustration broke out in some quarters, while guarded optimism persevered in others, and a spectrum of election-year political calculations hung in the air of the state Capitol in St. Paul.

Minnesota is one of two legislatures in the nation with control split among Republicans and Democrats, and lawmakers’ primary task was how to address a record budget surplus of more than $9 billion.

On Monday, Gov. Tim Walz, House Speaker Melissa Hortman, DFL-Brooklyn Park, and Senate Majority Leader Jeremy Miller, R-Winona, announced a grand bargain for how it all should work, but hammering out many of the details has proven problematic.

Perhaps the biggest question: Would a bipartisan $4 billion package of major tax breaks agreed to Saturday actually get done, or would it become legislative roadkill splattered by disagreements over unrelated spending plans?

Another question: Would a separate aspect of the grand bargain — $1.5 billion in public works projects — ultimately be approved, or would it fall by the wayside as well?

By afternoon Sunday, a few things had become relatively clear:

  • Not everything generally agreed to by the state’s top leaders last week in the grand bargain could get done. There simply wasn’t enough time for several large bills — hundred of pages of legal language — to be processed by the constitutional deadline at midnight.
  • Among the most likely casualty: a health and human services spending plan that had held the prospect of a range of initiatives, from increasing pay for caregivers and funding other programs to help keep nursing homes and long-term care centers afloat to approving millions of dollars for Ramsey County to stave off a feared burst in homelessness.
  • Vast swaths of the $4 billion in spending envisioned in the grand bargain had been agreed to. However, tens or hundreds of millions in sticking points threatened to upend it all.
  • Nothing has to happen. The state is operating under a two-year, $52 billion budget approved last year, so there’s no risk of parts of the government shutting down if no additional legislation passes this year.
  • There appeared to be a growing sense that the limited appetite for a special session — a legislative overtime of sorts — was fading. Only Walz, a Democrat, can call a special session. He has repeatedly said he doesn’t want to. Even if he changed his mind, he would most likely require buy-in from leaders of the House and Senate before doing so, and Republicans in the GOP-controlled Senate didn’t appear enthusiastic about the idea. It wasn’t clear where the Democratic-Farmer-Labor-controlled House stood.

Among the issues that remained in dispute:

  • Lawmakers struggled to agree on how to spend some $450 million in public safety, which could include recruiting hiring police officers, as well as funding community-based crime prevention strategies.
  • Negotiators appeared at loggerheads over how to spend $1 billion on schools, as demands for special education and mental health needs dominated discussions.
  • A years-long disagreement on transportation funding emerged as a potentially intractable sticking point: whether all proceeds from sales taxes on auto parts should go into the state’s dedicated trust fund for state highways. Currently, half of those funds do, while the other half goes into the state’s general fund.

Here’s a summary of many of the issues lawmakers were grappling with Saturday.

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Joey Gallo, Kyle Higashioka test positive for COVID-19

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Joey Gallo, Kyle Higashioka test positive for COVID-19

Before their Sunday doubleheader against the White Sox, the Yankees announced that Joey Gallo and Kyle Higashioka tested positive for COVID-19. Both players were placed on the COVID-19 injured list.

Both players are vaccinated, as they were able to travel to and play in the team’s series in Toronto.

Aaron Boone said in his pregame press conference on Sunday that Gallo had been feeling under the weather and was going to get the first day of the doubleheader off, with Boone saying that he’d probably get the start in the second game.

That is now out of the question.

Right-handed reliever David McKay was called up from Triple-A to take a spot on the active roster.

The Yankees also signed catcher Rob Brantly to a Major League contract and selected him to the 26-man roster.

Continuing the flurry of roster moves, catcher Ben Rortvedt was transferred to the 60-day injured list.

Rortvedt, who has only played in two minor league games this season, recently underwent arthroscopic surgery on his knee. He is expected to return to game action in six to eight weeks.

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J&K Police PET/PST Job Notification for Constables Posts: Download pdf

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J&K Police PET/PST Job Notification for Constables Posts: Download pdf

J&K Police PET/PST Job Notification for Constables Posts: Download pdf

J&K Police PET/PST Notification for Constables Posts Event Schedule for Physical Tests (PET/PST) for Recruitment of Constables in 02 Border Battalions of J&K Police under TRP-2019-20 (Kashmir Province) For the recruitment of Constables in 02 Border Battalions of J&K Police, advertised vide the above referenced notice, the J&K Police Recruitment Board (PRB) for 02 Border Battalions has formulated an event schedule (enclosed as Annexure “A” to this notification) for conduct of Physical Endurance Test (PET) and Physical Standard Test (PST) w.e.f 06.06.2022 in respect of candidates hailing from Kashmir Province (District Baramulla, Bandipora & Kupwara).

All the applicants conforming to the prescribed educational, Physical and other required standards as per the Advertisement Notice issued on the subject are advised to download their admit cards w.e.f. 25/05/2022, 0900 hours onwards from official Website of J&K Police i.e www.jkpolice.gov.in.

All the candidates are required to bring along-with them downloaded copy of admit card, valid ID proof, all original testimonials, latest Covid-19 free (RTPCR) certificate and no risk certificate on the date of test.

The Covid (RTPCR) test must have been conducted within 48 hours from the date of physical test.

The candidates are advised to adhere to Covid Appropriate Behaviour including wearing of face masks. The appearing candidates should reach the venue as per scheduled time & date reflected in their respective admits cards.

Day-Wise Event Schedule for PET/PST for 02 Border Battalions (Kashmir Province) Click Below :

OFFICE OF THE CHAIRMAN PRB 02 BORDER BNs CAMP OFFICE SDRF GROUND JAMMU

Download Notification Here

The post J&K Police PET/PST Job Notification for Constables Posts: Download pdf appeared first on JK Breaking News.

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