The White House has scheduled a social media summit for Thursday afternoon, but representatives from the industry’s largest platforms are not expected to be in attendance.According to reports, Facebook, Twitter and Google’s Alphabet were not invited. YouTube, which is owned by Google, apparently did not receive an invitation either.Based on the confirmed list of attendees, the event will most likely focus on exploring and discussing recent allegations of censorship and anti-conservative political bias by the aforementioned outlets.These are the confirmed attendees:Prager U: a conservative political nonprofit that produces short videos. Prager U filed a lawsuit against YouTube for allegedly censoring its content and discriminating against the organization, after YouTube put more than 100 PragerU videos on its restricted list for content that allegedly violates its terms of service.Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe: He is known for exposing alleged corruption on the left using undercover interview tactics.The Heritage Foundation: A conservative think-tank.The Media Research Center: A media bias watchdog which has a self-described mission to “expose and neutralize the propaganda arm of the Left: the national news media.”Turning Point USA: A conservative youth organization.Additionally, cartoonist Ben Garrison was reportedly invited and then uninvited to the summit. The White House rescinded the invitation due to criticism that his cartoons were anti-Semitic. In response, Garrison defended his cartoon, and added that his presence “would be a media distraction from the President’s message.”President Trump has repeatedly threatened to take legal and regulatory actions against various internet platforms, including Facebook and Google, as he believes they are attempting to influence voters against him leading up to the 2020 election. He has also accused Twitter of encouraging users to stop following him because he is a Republican.The Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission both recently opened investigations into Google and Facebook.Also, the White House launched an online reporting tool last May that allows social media users to report incidents of alleged political bias.
Dear Editor,While the APNU/AFC Government tries to brag that it has achieved a lot in its four-year tenure, its brag lacks credible substance.The APNU/AFC Government seems a bit confused as to why people are not rushing to congratulate them. What is there to congratulate them about? The fact that they are out to enrich themselves (reference: 50 per cent pay rise for doing nothing); the fact that thousands of people have lost their jobs in a country with high unemployment; the fact that they have not produced the evidence about rampant corruption under the PPP/C Government.The list goes on and on but you get the picture.Clearly, the APNU/AFC Government is not comfortable with their performance or they would hold general elections as required by the no-confidence vote. They are afraid to face the electorate.Faithfully,Sean Ori
Micro, small and medium-size enterprises (MSMEs) are being encouraged to utilise the variety of business support services offered under the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) Voucher for Technical Assistance (VTA) programme.“Persons are able to access grant funding, where DBJ pays up to 70 per cent of the cost,” said General Manager, Loan Origination and Portfolio Management at the DBJ, Edison Galbraith.“We have caps for each level, where if persons need a business plan to be done to improve their business, they can actually go on our website http://www.dbjvoucher.com, subscribe, apply for that voucher and receive that support,” he noted further.Mr. Galbraith was speaking recently on the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) ‘Issues and Answers’ television programme.Under the VTA, MSMEs that operate in the productive sectors may receive vouchers, in various denominations, to be used to access business support services provided by accredited business development organisations.Entrepreneurs who operate businesses in the traditional industries, as well as those operating in emerging sectors, qualify for assistance under the programme.The traditional areas include agriculture, agro-processing, tourism, energy, manufacturing, mining, and services, while emerging industries include animation and information technology (IT).Mr. Galbraith explained that funding for the MSMEs is dependent on the service required.“The cap is about $500,000 (from a minimum of $100,000). So, small businesses are able to get financial statements prepared, they are able to get accounting software, mentorship and patents done,” he pointed out.“It is not only for those who are seeking loan financing. If you have a small business and you simply want to improve your operations, then you can access that voucher at the DBJ,” he added.The DBJ has, so far, approved more than 800 such vouchers under the VTA programme.
Willow FiddlerAPTN NewsMore than 1,000 people are expected to be evacuated from Pikangikum First Nation Friday.A forest fire just a few kilometres away has been burning out of control since Wednesday.A Canadian Air Force transport plan has been enlisted to help members of the fly-in community near the Manitoba-Ontario border firstname.lastname@example.org@willowblasizzo