A pro-Democracy newspaper has been raided again, and the editorial team warns press freedoms in Hong Kong are under threat like never before.
Nine months after the Apple Daily newsroom was raided, hundreds of officers again swept the office and arrested five top executives under national security charges.
The paper and its jailed owner Jimmy Lai have long been a thorn in Beijing’s side with unapologetic support for the financial hub’s pro-democracy movement.
Five hundred police sifted through reporters computers and notebooks.
Hong Kong police said 500 officers raided the anti-government tabloid’s Tseung Kwan O office,, going through reporters’ documents and notes.
Apple Daily streamed the event live online.
More than 500 officers conducted a dawn operation which authorities said was sparked by articles Apple Daily had published “appealing for sanctions” against Hong Kong and China’s leaders.
Pictures published by Apple Daily showed police sitting at reporters’ desks and using their computers.
A person streaming a live feed for Apple Daily’s Facebook page said reporters were prevented from accessing certain floors or getting their equipment or notebooks.
In a message to readers, Apple Daily warned Hong Kong’s press freedoms are “hanging by a thread”.
Police say at least 30 articles published in 2019 may have breached national security by calling for foreign sanctions against the Hong Kong government.
This is the first time where authorities said news articles could potentially violate the security law.
Supt Li, who heads the police force’s national security department, said Secretary for Security John Lee had issued an order to freeze HK$18 million worth of assets.
After the raid, reporters returned to a semi-gutted newsroom with the paper saying 38 computers were taken away.
Five executives of Apple Daily and Next Digital – editor-in-chief Ryan Law, chief executive Cheung Kim Hung, Chief Operating Officer Chow Tat Kuen, Deputy Chief Editor Chan Pui Man and Chief Executive Editor Cheung Chi Wai were detained.
The raid is the latest blow to media tycoon Jimmy Lai, the tabloid’s owner and a staunch Beijing critic.
Security Secretary John Lee describes the newsroom as a “crime scene” and says the operation is aimed at those who use reporting as a “tool to endanger” national security.
“We are talking about a conspiracy in which these suspects try to make use of journalistic work to collude with a foreign country or external element to impose sanctions or take hostile activities against Hong Kong and … China,” Mr Lee said.
Hollywood set for transformation with new WGA contract
We know what our words are worth at Netflix on 9/20. Photo: J.W. Hendricks
A recently ratified Writers Guild of America (WGA) contract is poised to revolutionise the landscape of Hollywood.
This monumental agreement brings forth fundamental alterations in the way the entertainment industry operates. In a nutshell, the contract redefines compensation structures, solidifying fair pay for writers and creators across various platforms.
One notable change is the integration of more equitable profit-sharing mechanisms, guaranteeing writers a more significant slice of the proverbial pie. Additionally, the contract underscores the importance of proper crediting and recognition for writers, ensuring their vital contributions are acknowledged and duly compensated.
Artificial intelligence was of course another major point of discussion with agreements outlined below stating:
“We have established regulations for the use of artificial intelligence (“AI”) on MBA-covered projects in the following ways:
- AI can’t write or rewrite literary material, and AI-generated material will not be considered source material under the MBA, meaning that AI-generated material can’t be used to undermine a writer’s credit or separated rights.
- A writer can choose to use AI when performing writing services, if the company consents and provided that the writer follows applicable company policies, but the company can’t require the writer to use AI software (e.g., ChatGPT) when performing writing services.
- The Company must disclose to the writer if any materials given to the writer have been generated by AI or incorporate AI-generated material.
- The WGA reserves the right to assert that exploitation of writers’ material to train AI is prohibited by MBA or other law.”
The WGA contract also takes steps to address issues of diversity and inclusion within the industry, fostering an environment that welcomes voices from all backgrounds and experiences. This shift towards a more inclusive landscape is seen as a crucial step towards rectifying historical disparities within the entertainment realm.
See a summary of the entire campaign here
Deepfakes are taking over Hollywood
Deepfakes are the online phenomenon changing the way in which we consume and trust social media
Have you ever scrolled through social media and found a celebrity selling something a bit left of centre?
Chances are you have fallen victim to a deepfake.
These images and videos are a type of artificial intelligence, which promises to create doctored videos, which are almost impossible to tell apart from the real thing.
They have typically been used in pornographic clips and for celebrity endorsements.
Prince Harry involved in ‘near catastrophic’ car chase
Harry has long spoken out about his anger over press intrusion, which he blames for his mother’s death
Prince Harry, his wife Meghan and her mother were involved in a “near catastrophic car chase” involving paparazzi photographers in New York.
The incident took place after they left the Ms. Foundation for Women, where Meghan was honoured for her work.
“This relentless pursuit, lasting over two hours, resulted in multiple near collisions involving other drivers on the road, pedestrians and two NYPD (New York Police Department) officers,” said Prince Harry’s spokesperson.
The chase involved paparazzi driving on the sidewalk, running red lights and driving while taking pictures.
“I thought that was a bit reckless and irresponsible,” New York Mayor Eric Adams said.
Harry has long spoken out about his anger over press intrusion, which he blames for his mother’s death.
Princess Diana was killed when her limousine crashed as it sped away from chasing paparazzi in Paris in 1997.
Harry and Meghan stepped down from their royal duties in 2020, partly over what they described as intense media harassment.
Harry is currently involved in numerous court cases in London where he has accused papers of using unlawful methods to target him and his family.
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