Liberal Senator Gerard Rennick has quickly become the federal parliamentarian with the busiest Facebook page, thanks to his frequent posts about vaccines and COVID-19 lockdowns, which some experts have labeled as dangerous.
More interactions are now recorded on his posts than even those on the pages of Prime Minister Scott Morrison and opposition leader Anthony Albanese.
The Queensland senator, little known until recently, has become a key figure in parliament this week after declaring that he will withhold his vote on legislation if the federal government does not intervene in the state government’s mandates for workplace vaccines, what he is against.
Facebook data suggests the issue has been fertile ground for Senator Rennick for some time now to increase his presence on the social media platform.
The ABC has tracked posts from federal lawmakers this year, collecting data showing how often Facebook users responded to each post before noon the day after it was posted.
Over the past two months, Senator Rennick’s Facebook engagement has grown very rapidly.
The increase in engagement means that his page is suddenly attracting more interactions every day than the leaders of both major parties.
Both leaders averaged fewer than 20,000 interactions on their Facebook pages per day over a two-week period, but Senator Rennick’s page currently logs more than 30,000.
Facebook’s data doesn’t reveal how many people saw each post, as the company doesn’t publish that information. Rather, it counts the number of comments, shares, and comments on posts.
It’s also unclear where the users interacting with his posts are, or if any particular MP has a large following outside of Australia.
Rennick’s rapid audience growth
Looking at the activity on the Prime Minister’s page, Senator Rennick’s relatively higher user engagement is partly due to the fact that he posts more frequently than Scott Morrison, with about 62 posts since the beginning of the month on Mr. 21. Morrison.
This month, the senator ranks third in parliament for average number of interactions per post, behind Pauline Hanson and the prime minister. One Nation’s Malcolm Roberts is in fourth place.
While we don’t know exactly how many people view each politician’s posts, increased engagement is a factor in social media algorithms that can push posts to a wider audience.
We can also see Senator Rennick’s audience growing rapidly, with a following that has increased by more than 350 percent since the beginning of October.
Digital campaigners working for the coalition bragged about their strategy of using “boomer memes” as a weapon to win “the battle of the thumbs” after the 2019 election.
Vaccine ‘injury’ claims dominate Rennick’s feed
At least 80 percent of Senator Rennick’s Facebook posts between Nov. 1 and Nov. 23 directly mention COVID-19 vaccines.
Many of those are stories sent to him by members of the public who claim they have had adverse reactions from vaccines. Health experts have warned that this is potentially dangerous because such stories could undermine public confidence in vaccines.
Senator Rennick said he has spoken on the phone with the people who submitted the most stories and he speaks with about half a dozen of them daily.
“I kind of say, ‘Can you send me some pictures, give me some more details’…I’m trying my best but it does worry me, I’ll be honest, I don’t want to talk shit for lack to a better expression too,” he said.
“I thought it was important to highlight the risks of both choices. It is my duty to promote the health and well-being of all Australian people. It is also to protect minority groups.”
He said no one within the federal government had spoken to him “directly” about his Facebook posts this month. “Until about four, five weeks ago, I had said very little about the vaccine rollout. I wasn’t undermining it to some degree. COVID.”
Senator Rennick this week apologized for and deleted a message featuring a woman who had previously called for the execution of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
“Am I required to be as accurate as possible?” he said. “Absolutely, and I try to do that as best I can.”
Facebook tries to find the ‘right balance’
Nearly every other post on his page this month has been about lockdowns and state governments’ management of the pandemic. His views were critical.
Since early November, Senator Rennick has only posted once on a topic unrelated to the pandemic: a memorial day message on November 11.
Health Secretary Greg Hunt did not respond to questions about Senator Rennick’s Facebook activity, but sent the ABC a statement announcing a decision to lower the threshold for making a claim under the Commonwealth’s vaccine waiver scheme from $5,000 to $1,000.
The government says this will give people who have yet to be vaccinated more “comfort” to do so.
Senator Rennick has said he will now support the government in procedural votes in parliament, but is still standing by in support of government laws.
Facebook said it is trying to strike the right balance between supporting free speech and protecting the community from harmful misinformation.
“We will not allow anyone, including public figures, to share misinformation about COVID-19 that could lead to imminent bodily harm or misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines that has been debunked by public health experts.” a Facebook spokesperson said.
They declined to confirm whether any of Senator Rennick’s posts had been removed, citing privacy concerns: “Pages or accounts that repeatedly break these rules will have restrictions on their page and repeat offenders will be removed from Facebook.”
Conservative MPs dominate Facebook engagement
Sentor Rennick may have made his way to the top of Facebook engagement rankings, but conservative and fringe politicians are often in a similar position.
When politicians are ranked by their total Facebook interactions, One Nation’s Malcolm Roberts and Pauline Hanson are usually at the top of the list.
In November, they are in second and third place so far, respectively.
Mr Morrison’s page draws the fourth highest number of interactions, with Anthony Albanese behind him.
Senator Jacqui Lambie and Queensland Coalition MP George Christensen follow, with Labour’s Richard Marles, Nationals Senator Matthew Canavan and Sydney Labor MP Tanya Plibersek rounding out the top 10.
This isn’t a new pattern: MPs on the political fringe also dominated Facebook conversations in the run-up to the 2019 election.
However, that strong engagement on Facebook didn’t necessarily translate into strong electoral support at the ballot box.
Senator Rennick said he thinks vaccines and mandates are things that will change that.
“This has now become one topic for many people, and I think in the next election this will be the topic they vote on,” he said.
“In all my time I’ve never had a problem that just got people excited.”
Weather: West Coast’s SH6, near Harihari, closed due to flooding
The Wanganui River at Harihari on the west coast. State Highway 6 near Harihari is closed due to flooding (File photo)
State Highway 6 on the west coast has been closed at Harihari due to flooding, as a cold spell engulfing the country is causing heavy downpours in many areas.
MetService issued a series of warnings and warnings for heavy rain on Sunday, as well as a severe thunderstorm for Canterbury.
At around 3pm, police and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency confirmed that State Highway 6, near Harihari, was closed due to flooding. Motorists are advised to avoid the area, which is approximately halfway between Hokitika and Franz Josef.
A cold front is expected to move northward across the South Island on Sunday and into the lower North Island on Monday, where it will move slowly, MetService says.
Ahead of this front is a humid northern airflow that will bring heavy rainfall to parts of central and southern areas. This is then followed by a cooler southerly flow which can also cause heavy rain in places, MetService says:.
* Severe thunderstorm and orange heavy rain warning for Canterbury High Country
* Gloom in hospo: ‘We stare into the course of a dead summer’
* Taranaki remains at the top of NZ .’s sunniest region
* Taranaki fishing season expected to start early thanks to ‘warmer than usual’ sea
The main areas that can see rain are parts of the west coast and northern areas of the South Island, and lower parts of the North Island, which extend as far as Mount Taranaki. While Canterbury also expect thunderstorms on Sunday.
Thunderstorms are coming
AN watching a storm is in place for the Canterbury Plains and Canterbury Uplands on Sunday afternoons, between 3pm and 8pm.
Thunderstorms in parts of Canterbury are expected during the afternoon and evening, with heavy local rain and strong winds between 90 km/h and 110 km/h.
The national forecaster says there is a moderate risk of severe thunderstorms south of Rakaia, with the possibility of damaging winds in excess of 110 km/h, as well as the risk of a small localized tornado.
Gusts of this strength can cause structural damage, including trees and power lines, and make driving dangerous. If tornadoes do occur, they will only affect highly localized areas, MetService says.
Sunday and Monday there will be a change to cooler weather to all places south of Taupō, but further north, warm and humid weather will continue.
Heavy rain warnings in place
Heavy rain warnings are in effect for Mount Taranaki and the Tararua Range from 9:00 PM Sunday to midnight Monday. Between 120 and 180 mm of rain is expected in these areas, especially on Monday morning.
Also for the Westland, between Otira and Haast, a warning for heavy rain applies all Sunday and until 8 p.m. Between 120mm and 180mm of rain is expected to fall across the ranges on top of what has already fallen, bringing rain totals for the event to 400mm – 500mm or possibly more, MetService said. Coastal areas can expect an additional 60 to 90 mm of rain.
A further warning is in effect for the headwaters of Canterbury’s lakes and rivers around and south of Arthur’s Pass all Sunday until 8pm. An additional 100 to 150mm of rain is expected around the canyon and 50 to 70mm within 15km east of the canyon.
Where the heavy rain watches are
Some rain is set to fall at the top of the South Island, with heavy rain forecast for Tasman, west of Motueka, between 4pm Sunday and 3am Monday.
There is another watch for the Richmond and Bryant ranges, including the Rai Valley and the northern parts of the Marlborough Sounds, between 6pm Sunday and 11am Monday.
There is a watch for Buller all Sunday, until midnight.
Wellington and Wairarapa, south of approximately Greytown, can expect some possible heavy rain Monday morning. There is a watch on Monday between 3:00 AM and 9:00 AM.
Live Score: 2021 AAC Championship Match
No. 21 Houston and No. 4 Cincinnati will face each other in the 2021 American Athletic Conference Championship Game on Saturday afternoon at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Follow our live score updates during the game:
Final: Houston 20, Cincinnati 35
Cincinnati closed the game and won the AAC Championship for the second consecutive season.
Ford was the highlight of the night for the Bearcats as he amassed 187 yards on 18 rushes and two touchdowns, while Knight finished the game with 11 completions for 190 yards and three touchdowns.
Tune finished the game with 17 completions for 250 yards and two touchdowns with one interception, while Dell registered nine receptions for 152 yards and one touchdown.
Fourth Quarter (6:06): Houston 20, Cincinnati 35
After going scoreless in the third quarter and first half of the fourth quarter, the Cougars came back on the scoreboard with a 13-play, 90-yard drive capped by a 7-yard touchdown pass from Tune to senior wide receiver Jake. Herslow to narrow the deficit to 35-20 with 6:06 left in the game.
Third Quarter (7:38): Houston 13, Cincinnati 35
After forcing the Cougars to pedal, the Bearcats kept their foot on the pedal and scored on the third play of the drive when Ford broke out on a 42-yard touchdown rush for Cincinnati’s third touchdown in the last five minutes to to place the Bearcats. to 35-13.
Ford’s second touchdown marked his fifth multi-score game of the season and the first since his four-touchdown appearance against UCF.
Third Quarter (11:04): Houston 13, Cincinnati 28
After Tune was intercepted deep in UH territory by graduate linebacker Joel Dublanko, Cincinnati capitalized 58 seconds after the final score when Ridder hit senior wide receiver Alec Pierce for a 21-yard touchdown pass to extend the lead to 28-13.
Pierce has now caught a touchdown in each of his last three games and has eight on the season.
Third Quarter (12:02): Houston 13, Cincinnati 21
After no scores between the two teams in the final 14:38 of playing time, the Bearcats took the first score of the second half when Ridder found senior tight end Leonard Taylor on an 8-yard touchdown pass to extend their lead to 21- 13 .
Taylor’s touchdown reception is his fourth of the season and his second in back-to-back games.
Second Quarter (11:40 AM): Houston 13, Cincinnati 14
After UH drove into enemy territory with as many possessions for the third time, the Cougars settled on a 46-yard field goal from Witherspoon to narrow the deficit to 14-13.
First Quarter (4:06): Houston 10, Cincinnati 14
On the first game after the UH score, Cincinnati came right back 17 seconds later when junior running back Jerome Ford was released on a 79-yard touchdown run for a Bearcats 14-10 lead.
The scoring game was the seventh time this season where Cincinnati scored on the first game of a drive.
Ford’s score matched his longest run of the season and was his 18th touchdown this year for the Bearcats.
First Quarter (4:23): Houston 10, Cincinnati 7
After bringing his first offensive possession to a halt, UH found the endzone on its next drive when junior quarterback Clayton Tune found sophomore wide receiver Nathaniel Dell in the center on a 16-yard touchdown pass to regain the lead at 10-7 .
Dell now has 12 receiving touchdowns on the season.
First Quarter (9:38): Houston 3, Cincinnati 7
Cincinnati’s response was immediate as it stormed 82 yards through the field in five plays, finishing the drive with a 25-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Desmond Ridder to sophomore wide receiver Tyler Scott for the Bearcats’ first game lead.
The score was Scott’s fifth touchdown of the season.
First Quarter (11:55): Houston 3, Cincinnati 0
On UH’s first possession of the game, the Cougars capped off a seven-play, 50-yard drive with a 37-yard field goal by senior kicker Dalton Witherspoon to put the Cougars first on the board with a 3-0 lead.
Violent Crime Wave in LA, Jacqueline Avant Kills Result of Liberal Reforms: Critics
A day after a career criminal was arrested in the fatal shooting of philanthropist Jacqueline Avant in the lavish Beverly Hills home she shared with her husband Clarence, a 90-year-old music producer who was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame this year, her family released a statement that read, in part, “Now let justice be done.”
But in Los Angeles, where left-wing lawmakers and activists have enacted a litany of progressive reforms that help violent criminals spend less time behind bars, justice isn’t just fleeting — it’s twisted, critics say.
“It’s not visible here,” LAPD-det said. Jamie McBride, a director of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, a police union. “Burken are being released faster than we can finish the paperwork, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.”
The Avants — whose daughter Nicole is a former ambassador to the Bahamas and married to Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos — have lived comfortably for decades in their sprawling 4,000-square-foot, $7 million home in the upscale Trousdale Estates neighborhood, said friends.
But the elderly couple’s quiet life was turned upside down around 2:23 a.m. Wednesday when police said career criminal Aariel Maynor broke into their home and fatally shot Jacqueline Avant, 81. Clarence Avant was at home but was not injured.
The couple also employed a security guard, who was shot at by the suspect but not injured in any way, according to Beverly Hills Police Chief Mark Stainbrook.
The Avants hired the guard to protect them from a different type of LA invader — fans of the recent Netflix documentary about Avant called the “Black Godfather” who passed by the house uninvited, he said.
The alleged Avant killer was arrested Thursday in the murder of Jacqueline Avant after he was caught in another botched robbery in nearby Hollywood, shooting himself in the foot.
Maynor, who is currently under armed guard in hospital, was violating his parole at the time of his arrest and “it didn’t sound like he was reporting to his parole officer at all,” Stainbrook said. Police say he will be charged Monday.
The 29-year-old was no stranger to the criminal justice system, data shows. In 2013, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, he was sentenced to five years in prison for second-degree robbery and bodily harm.
And he recently served a four-year sentence for second-degree robbery with improvements for a previous offense and was released on parole on September 1.
“With this man’s history, with his previous prison terms, he should definitely still have been in prison,” McBride said. He should have been given a longer sentence. For his criminal record and the violent crimes he has been involved in, he should never have been offered a plea deal.”
Police still don’t know if anything was taken from the Avant home, authorities said. The suspect then drove to a house in Hollywood home to a father and his 17-year-old daughter, Stainbrook said.
The suspect allegedly took things from the house before shooting himself in the foot in the backyard, prompting someone to call the police, Stainbrook added.
Stainbrook, McBride and others say liberal justice reform policies, spurred by groups like Black Lives Matter and California Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom, have made it increasingly difficult for police to do their jobs.
“The criminals know they can do whatever they want,” Stainbrook told The Post. “Then multiply that by all the inmates who have been released from prison because of the coronavirus and bail and it’s a nightmare and very frustrating on our part of it.”
Many blame the recent spike in crime across the state, including a spate of looting, on criminal justice reforms, including Proposition 47, a 2014 law designed to keep non-violent criminals out of overcrowded prisons. and treat low-level criminals with more compassion. The law doubled the amount a suspect could steal to be considered a felony from $450 to $950.
Activist groups, along with celebrities such as Brad Pitt, John Legend and Jay Z, famously supported the reform, arguing that African Americans had been unfairly targeted for years and that the measure would help the state save tens of millions in incarceration costs for small children. criminals.
The reform was backed by Newsom, then-Lieutenant Governor of California, along with LA Attorney General George Gascon, and other Democrats.
“Proposition 47 has supported criminals because they know that if they are caught stealing, the consequences will be minimal,” said Mark Powell, a former reserve police officer in San Diego, in a recent op-ed in the San Diego times.
McBride said in recent weeks he has caught many suspects entering the prices of stolen items into their phone calculators to pay no more than $950 for a one-time robbery.
“You can essentially walk into a store here, grab up to $1,000 worth of items, walk out, get a ticket and be released,” Stainbrook said. “We keep arresting the same people.”
Last year’s election of 40-year-old top agent Gascon, 67, to the position of LA District Attorney was the icing on the cake, some say. Like the prosecutors elected in Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Chicago and Fairfax County, Virginia in recent years, Gascon was backed in part by left-wing billionaire George Soros.
Cuban-born Gascon, who moved to the US with his family in 1967, delivered a inaugural address in December 2020, in which he sounded more like a social justice activist than a law enforcement officer.
“Our rush to incarcerate generations of children of color,” he said in his speech, “has torn the social fabric of our communities. The status quo has not made us safe.”
Avant’s home invasion is far from an isolated incident in LA’s wealthy showbiz enclaves.
Last month, BET host Terrence Jenkins was gunned down near his home in Sherman Oaks. In October, robbers made off with about $1 million in jewelry stolen from the “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” home mainstay Dorit Kemsley.
On Friday, Avant’s neighbor in Trousdale Estates, nestled in the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains, told of other violent incidents in the area.
“Today there was another incident on Bedford Drive,” said Vida Ardebilchi in an interview. “Someone entered the house at 7 am and got stuck in a room. The SWAT team was called and then he [the intruder] slit his wrists when he realized he couldn’t get out. He slit his wrists and died in the house. There was another incident where a man was attacked on Sunset Strip and shot in the head for his Rolex watch.
Ardebilchi said community members now want to build gates for their street and hire more private security.
Trousdale Estates does not have a security gate like some of the newer ultra-wealthy gated communities in the area. Police sources told The Post that Maynor could have entered the neighborhood without being stopped by guards.
“It’s disappointing and the government’s fault.” Ardebilchi continued. “We all say it’s terrible and no one is doing anything about it. I no longer feel safe in our neighborhood.”
Friends of Avant, a former Queens model, were shocked by her death in what is considered one of the safest and wealthiest parts of Los Angeles.
Former UN ambassador Andrew Young, a longtime friend of the couple, said in an interview.
“I have been tormented about what happened, how it happened, what the meaning of it all is. Jacqui and Clarence had a guard at the gate. I wonder how it could have happened. This is a great mystery. They had no enemies in the city. Everyone loved Clarence and Jacqui.”
And criminals love Beverly Hills.
“It’s a bigger target,” McBride said. “We’re arresting these crooks, but they won’t stay in jail. If they know it’s a property crime, they think nothing will happen to them. So why not go for the big bucks in Beverly Hills?” In recent years, the LAPD had to set up a special unit for home invasions in the enclave, he said.
“People are followed home and then robbed,” McBride told The Post. “The only thing missing from LA is Kurt Russell driving in with an eye patch, like in ‘Escape From New York’. It all goes back to our liberal politics.”
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