The virtual Kehilla of Orthodox Jewry of Greater Montreal

Biden vows to keep working to end Gaza war, free hostages in last months as president

US leader addresses newly rebranded Harris campaign HQ from quarantine, in first remarks since quitting race; VP's office touts her backing of Israel ahead of meeting with Netanyahu

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Defamation Suit Against Fox News By Head Of Dismantled Disinformation Board Tossed By Federal Judge

A defamation suit against Fox News by a government official who served on a short-lived U.S. government media disinformation board was dismissed Monday by a federal judge. The lawsuit from Nina Jankowicz alleged that Fox News had defamed her on numerous occasions, leading to waves of online attacks and threats of violence after the formation of the Disinformation Governance Board, where she served as a director. In May of 2022, just weeks after its launch, the Department of Homeland Security paused the board’s work and accepted Jankowicz’s resignation. The board was officially dissolved and its charter rescinded in August of that same year. In rejecting Jankowicz’s claims, the judge said that 36 of the 37 statements made on Fox News programs were about the disinformation board and not Jankowicz. The judge ruled that the remaining statement — which was also a reference to the board and not Jankowicz, despite showing an image of her as it was said — was not disinformation because it was a factual statement that matched the wording in the board’s own charter describing its purpose. “This was a politically motivated lawsuit aimed at silencing free speech and we are pleased with the court’s decision to protect the First Amendment,” Fox News said. The disinformation board was launched by the Department of Homeland Security in an effort to counter disinformation coming from Russia as well as misleading information that human smugglers circulate to target migrants hoping to travel to the U.S.-Mexico border. Dozens of Republican lawmakers and conservative pundits took to social media immediately after the board’s launch, calling for it to be disbanded. They described the board as an Orwellian body that could be used to suppress free speech. In April of last year, Fox News agreed to pay Dominion Voting Systems nearly $800 million to avert a trial in the voting machine company’s lawsuit that would have exposed how the network promoted lies about the 2020 presidential election. (AP)
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US-Russian Journalist Convicted in a Rapid, Secret Trial, Gets 6 1/2 Years in Prison, Court Says

A court has convicted Alsu Kurmasheva, a Russian-American journalist for the U.S. government-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, of spreading false information about the Russian army and sentenced her to 6½ years in prison after a secret trial, court records and officials said Monday. The conviction in Kazan, the capital of Russia’s central region of Tatarstan, came on Friday, the same day a court in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg convicted Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich of espionage and sentenced him to 16 years in prison in a case that the U.S. called politically motivated. Kurmasheva, a 47-year-old editor for RFE/RL’s Tatar-Bashkir language service, was convicted of “spreading false information” about the military after a trial that lasted just two days, according to the website of the Supreme Court of Tatarstan. Court spokesperson Natalya Loseva confirmed Kurmasheva’s conviction and revealed the sentence to The Associated Press by phone in the case classified as secret. Kurmasheva was ordered to serve the sentence in a medium-security penal colony, Loseva said. “My daughters and I know Alsu has done nothing wrong. And the world knows it too. We need her home,” Kurmasheva’s husband, Pavel Butorin, said in a post Monday on X. He had said last year the charges stemmed from a book the Tatar-Bashkir service released in 2022 called “No to War” — “a collection of short stories of Russians who don’t want their country to be at war with Ukraine.” Butorin had said the book doesn’t contain any “false information.” Matthew Miller, the U.S. State Department spokesman, said Kurmasheva is being “targeted by Russian authorities for her uncompromising commitment to speaking the truth and her principled reporting.” “We continue to make very clear that she should be released,” Miller added. Asked about the case, RFE/RL President and CEO Stephen Capus denounced the trial and conviction of Kurmasheva as “a mockery of justice.” “The only just outcome is for Alsu to be immediately released from prison by her Russian captors,” he said in a statement to the AP. “It’s beyond time for this American citizen, our dear colleague, to be reunited with her loving family,” Capus said. Kurmasheva, who holds U.S. and Russian citizenship and lives in Prague with her husband and two daughters, was taken into custody in October 2023 and charged with failing to register as a foreign agent while collecting information about the Russian military. Later, she was also charged with spreading “false information” about the Russian military under legislation that effectively criminalized any public expression about the war in Ukraine that deviates from the Kremlin line. The legislation was adopted in March 2022, just days after the Kremlin sent troops into Ukraine, and has since been used to target Kremlin critics at home and abroad, implicating scores of people in criminal cases and sending dozens to prison. Kurmasheva was initially stopped in June 2023 at Kazan International Airport after traveling to Russia the previous month to visit her ailing elderly mother. Officials confiscated her U.S. and Russian passports and fined her for failing to register her U.S. passport. She was waiting for her passports to be returned when she was arrested on new charges in October that year. RFE/RL has repeatedly called for her release. RFE/RL was told by Russian authorities in 2017 to register as a foreign […]
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Israel LGBTQ+ Medical Society launches course on transgender-friendly protocols

25 family physicians learn how to help trans patients at the first-ever workshop in Israel; endocrinologist expert says wait for hormone treatments can be cut by months

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Meeting hostage families in US, Netanyahu says conditions for deal ‘coming together’

Biden vows he’ll keep pushing to end Gaza war, free the captives after quitting race * Schedule update shows he'll return on Tuesday to White House from quarantine in Delaware

The post Meeting hostage families in US, Netanyahu says conditions for deal ‘coming together’ appeared first on The Times of Israel.

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