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Criticism after Trump tweets himself “punching CNN”

US President Donald Trump has ramped up his attacks on mainstream media, tweeting a mock video of himself tackling and repeatedly striking a man with a CNN logo in place of his head – a post described as “juvenile” by news organisations. The video appeared to be a modified version of a 2007 appearance by Trump at World Wrestling Entertainment’s WrestleMania 23 promotion, in which Trump “takes down” WWE Chairman Vince McMahon. In Sunday’s tweet, after Trump appears to beat on the CNN effigy, a logo reading “FNN Fraud News Network” appears at the bottom of the screen in script similar to that of CNN.

#FraudNewsCNN #FNN[1][2][3]

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 2, 2017[4]

Trump has repeatedly made known his disdain for some media, calling it “the enemy of the American people” and frequently referring to mainstream news organisations as “failing” or “fake news.” He has been particularly scathing of CNN. The video takes his criticism to a new level and drew criticism from news organisation and many social media users, with some accusing Trump of inciting violence against journalists.

“It is a sad day when the President of the United States encourages violence against reporters,” CNN said in a statement later on Sunday. “Instead of preparing for his overseas trip, his first meeting with Vladimir Putin, dealing with North Korea and working on his healthcare bill, he is instead involved in juvenile behavior far below the dignity of his office,” the network added. Bruce Brown, the executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, condemned the video as a “threat of physical violence against journalists”.

He said Trump’s tweet was “beneath the office of the presidency”. A White House aide, however, defended the tweet. “I think that no one would perceive that as a threat,” Tom Bossert, a homeland security adviser, said. “I hope they don’t.

But I do think that he’s beaten up in a way on cable platforms that he has a right to respond to.” Leonard Steinhorn, a professor of public communication at the American University in Washington, said Trump’s tweet was aimed at his supporters as part of his “permanent campaign” to get re-elected in 2020. “His base loves that,” he told Al Jazeera. “That is red meat on a July 4 barbecue for them, this is exactly what they want to hear,” Steinhorn added.

“Trump’s whole approach on all of this is you rouse the base, you keep the 40 percent loyal to you, and then when 2020 comes around you’ve got them rock solid on your side – all you need to do is to pry away enough voters by criticising your opponents, the way he is masterful at doing, to be able to get re-elected.” Steinhorn also said that the media should take some of the blame for building Trump up during the election in order to score high ratings. “The media certainly have responsibility when they were covering his antics and his entertainment value versus the content of what he was saying and applying some critical reporting to that,” he said, noting that news organisations have been “much better” in covering Trump since he became president.

“But turing the campaign, when you had an empty podium, and CNN was focused on an empty podium waiting for Trump for some sort of big splash which turned out to be nothing … then the media certainly has to take some responsibility on that,” added Steinhorn. This was a sentiment echoed by many on social media. Al Jazeera’s Kimberly Halkett, reporting from Washington DC, said that the president did not seem to have any intention to change his rhetoric despite the growing criticism towards him, including some voices from his own Republican Party.

“When speaking in Washington on Saturday evening, Trump said that the fake media is trying to silence him. He said he will not let them,” Halkett said. “The tweet certainly underscores the divide that remains in the US.

It appears has no sign of letting up. And the latest message in the president’s tweet is not unifying.” Trump’s Sunday tweet followed a crude and highly personal Twitter attack last week on MSNBC co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski – the president called Brzezinski “low I.Q.” and said he had seen her bleeding after a facelift.

That attack drew condemnation from Republicans, including Speaker of the House of Representatives Paul Ryan, and Democrats alike. Amid a torrent of criticism over his attack on Brzezinski, Trump doubled down on Saturday, tweeting: “My use of social media is not Presidential – it’s MODERN DAY PRESIDENTIAL. Make America Great Again!”

Al Jazeera[5]

Now read: Government wants to drop pass marks in school even further[6]


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  4. ^ July 2, 2017 (
  5. ^ Al Jazeera (
  6. ^ Government wants to drop pass marks in school even further (

Grohman broadband bill advances in Maine House

By ALAN BENNETT Staff Writer

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GrohmanGrohmanAUGUSTA — A bill put forth by Rep. Martin Grohman to protect access to high-speed internet at Maine Schools has advanced through the Legislature with bipartisan support.

The bill, LD 256, “An Act To Ensure Continued Availability of High-speed Broadband Internet at Maine’s Schools and Libraries,” passed the Maine House in a 115-31 vote on Monday.

Grohman, D-Biddeford, said the measure, if passed, will simplify and modernize funding of the Maine School and Library Network, or MSLN, by including wireless, mobile and cable phone usage into the MSLN’s funding mechanism.

Current funding for the MSLN is based on landline telephone use, which has been on the decline with the advent of mobile phones and smartphones.

As of 2016, Grohman said there were only about 330,000 landlines left in use in Maine, and the number continues to decline.

That means funding for the MSLN — a consortium consisting of nearly 1,000 schools and libraries across the state through which participants acquire high-speed internet access — is also on the decline.

The funding mechanism, created upon the consortium’s founding in 1996, is now outdated, Grohman said, because the number of landlines in operation is going down.

“At that time, telephone lines were how internet worked, and that made sense. Today, however, broadband is much more about cable and mobile, and less about landlines,” he said Thursday.
“In Maine, there are less than half as many landlines as there were back then.”

Because of this, Grohman said, the burden of funding for vital services such as access to the internet is now falling disproportionately on older Mainers and veterans, who are more likely to use landlines.

Landline users currently pay 27 cents per line per month in support of the MSLN.

Grohman, who is serving his second term in the Maine House, said his bill provides a sustainable funding source for statewide high-speed internet programs, and he is pleased that a majority of House legislators see the value in that.

“I’m very grateful to the many stakeholders who recognized the value of the (MSLN) and came to the table to work together on creative solutions,” Grohman said, noting the support of landline and wireless telephone providers, as well as cable companies, at a public hearing for the bill.

He said Thursday he was able to get many large-scale telecommunications companies, including Fairpoint, Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile, among others, to come to a compromise in lowering landline costs.

“I was looking for something that would reduce costs for landlines, which are much more likely to be held by veterans and seniors, and not cause problems for our growing mobile and cable industries,” he said. “As times change, and Mainers make fewer phone calls, and use more text and data, we needed to find a new, stable source of funding that responds to these changes.”

Library leaders agree on the importance of the MSLN, including Scarborough Public Library Director Nancy Crowell, who spoke in favor of the bill at its public hearing.

“For us and members of our community, the MSLN connection is more than just an information network,” Crowell said. “It’s a community connection with real, tangible value.”

Jeff Cabral, director of Biddeford’s McArthur Public Library, has also spoken to the importance of the MSLN.

“MSLN connectivity is the backbone to everything we do and ongoing sustainable funding for this is of paramount importance,” he said. “So many individuals rely on our public internet connection every day.”

LD 256 faces further votes in both the House and the Senate, but Grohman said he’s confident the rest of Augusta will respond positively. And while he hasn’t yet had the chance to speak with Gov.

Paul LePage, he said he believes even the governor will approve of the measure.

“The legislation is close to becoming law and if it does it will provide stability for the foreseeable future for the Maine School and Library Network,” he said. “Now let’s get online.”

— Staff Writer Alan Bennett can be contacted at 282-1535, ext.

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TSTT launches 4G LTE

Majority state-owned telecommunications provider, TSTT, yesterday launched a 4G LTE mobile broadband service in T&T, even as its chairman, Emile Elias, criticised the sector’s regulator for not making the spectrum for 4G LTE available to the company. In speaking about the new technology, company officials emphasized that TSTT is the first company in the country to provide the service, which delivers enhanced speeds for mobile data. Addressing a news conference at TSTT’s headquarters in Port-of-Spain, the company’s CEO Ronald Walcott said: “Our customers can now experience ultra-fast broadband speeds on their mobile devices, with speeds that are as much as ten times faster than you can get from anywhere else in Trinidad and Tobago right now. Our 4G LTE Mobile service is at worldwide standards.”

Last week Friday, in commemorating the first anniversary of the board’s stewardship, TSTT outlined a $1.9 billion financing agreement with Republic Bank Limited to support its $3.7 billion, five-year investment and transformation plan and the launch of the new converged bmobile brand. Walcott said yesterday: “I would like to remind everyone that we have had the only 4G LTE Wireless Broadband service throughout Trinidad and Tobago for quite some time.

That is fixed 4G LTE broadband for your homes and offices. What we are bringing to you today is a brand new mobile experience to the people of Trinidad and Tobago: Mobile 4G LTE for your mobile devices.”

He continued, “We invite you to go to our bmobile retail stores and distribution outlets today and sign up to enjoy this powerful new solution. All you need is a LTE compatible SIM card and mobile device and with our new 4G LTE Mobile service, you will be able to do everything that you are accustomed to at much faster speeds.”

4G means the fourth and latest generation of data technology for cellular networks. LTE, which stands for “Long Term Evolution,” is the fastest 4G technology available today for the transmission of data on mobile devices and is the go-to solution for people with smartphones, tablets and laptops who need very fast data speeds for Web browsing, app use and email when they’re on the move and out of the range of their Wi-Fi networks. Walcott said that TSTT was using its existing 1900 MHz spectrum to provide the 4G LTE service. This would allow the company to deploy the service in Port of Spain, San Fernando, Scarborough and their environs in phase 1 of the project.

For TSTT to provide national coverage it would need to get the 700 MHz spectrum that they applied for in 2014, Walcott said, adding: “I want to reiterate that it is our expectation that we will be able to continue to roll out our 4G LTE Mobile service in the 700 MHz band which is the most standard spectrum for the LTE deployment because of its propagating characteristics which includes the ability to have the type of geographic coverage that we want. This will ensure that we can provide this solution throughout the length and breadth of T&T so that everyone can be a part of this modern and exciting era.”

Speaking after Walcott, TSTT chairman Elias said he had message for T&T “and for those who have been conspiring TSTT.”

His message was: “TSTT is Trinidad and Tobago and Trinidad and Tobago is TSTT.”

Elias said TSTT has a plan, which is working “and anybody who stands in the way of that happening is going to come up against the very resolute board and management of TSTT.”

The company’s chairman said TSTT has demanded the 700 MHz spectrum from its regulator, the Telecommunications Authority of T&T and TSTT is contemplating legal action against TATT, if necessary, to ensure that the company gets the allocation of spectrum. He said three years ago elements of the previous boards of TATT and National Enterprises Ltd, which holds 51 per cent of TSTT for the government, “were involved in what I consider to be a conspiracy to damage TSTT. Whoever the cap fits let them wear it.

And if they get me damned vexed I might start naming names.”