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National Enquirer lawyer Jon Fine used to work for Jeff Bezos at Amazon

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Jon FineJon Fine, the former Amazon exec who’s now a lawyer for the National Enquirer.Priyanka Parashar/Mint via Getty Images

  • A lawyer at the heart of the National Enquirer’s war with Jeff Bezos used to be a loyal servant of the billionaire at Amazon, The Wall Street Journal reports.
  • American Media Inc’s Deputy General Counsel Jon Fine worked at Amazon from 2006 to 2015, and was focused primarily on publishing and the company’s Kindle business.
  • Fine took up a job at AMI in November 2018. He wrote two of the emails published in Bezos’ explosive blog post last week, in which he accused the Enquirer of extortion.

A lawyer for the National Enquirer, who sent emails to Jeff Bezos which the billionaire described as “extortion,” used to work for Amazon.

The Wall Street Journal spotted that Jon Fine worked at Amazon from 2006 until early 2015. This is confirmed by Fine’s LinkedIn profile, which features his nine years of employment at Amazon, where he primarily worked in publishing and marketing the Kindle.

A former colleague of Fine’s told the Journal that Fine and Bezos’ families spent time together socially outside of work. The old colleague added that he was “shocked” that Fine had “put himself into this position.”

Fine joined the Enquirer’s publisher American Media Inc (AMI) in November 2018, evidenced in a press release at the time, which also refers to his time at Amazon. He is the firm’s deputy general counsel, media.

In his explosive blog post from last week, Bezos published two emails which appear to have been sent by Fine, both addressed to Bezos’ lawyer Martin Singer.

The first email lays out terms, demanding among other things:

“A public, mutually-agreed upon acknowledgment [sic] from the Bezos Parties, released through a mutually-agreeable news outlet, affirming that they have no knowledge or basis for suggesting that AM’s coverage was politically motivated or influenced by political forces, and an agreement that they will cease referring to such a possibility.”

Previously Bezos’ private investigator Gavin de Becker had told The Daily Beast that he suspected political motivations were behind the leak.

The second email is a cease and desist letter, which asserts that any implication that the Enquirer’s reporting on Bezos was politically motivated is false. Fine makes reference to the intimate photos which Bezos claims he was threatened with, saying:

“If your client agrees to cease and desist such defamatory behavior, we are willing to engage in constructive conversations regarding the texts and photos which we have in our possession. Dylan Howard [AMI’s chief content officer] stands ready to discuss the matter at your convenience.”

Fine did not reply to requests for comment when contacted by the Journal.

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More groups join in support of women in STEM program at Carleton

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OTTAWA — Major companies and government partners are lending their support to Carleton University’s newly established Women in Engineering and Information Technology Program.

The list of supporters includes Mississauga-based construction company EllisDon.

The latest to announce their support for the program also include BlackBerry QNX, CIRA (Canadian Internet Registration Authority), Ericsson, Nokia, Solace, Trend Micro, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, CGI, Gastops, Leonardo DRS, Lockheed Martin Canada, Amdocs and Ross.

The program is officially set to launch this September.

It is being led by Carleton’s Faculty of Engineering and Design with the goal of establishing meaningful partnerships in support of women in STEM.  

The program will host events for women students to build relationships with industry and government partners, create mentorship opportunities, as well as establish a special fund to support allies at Carleton in meeting equity, diversity and inclusion goals.

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VR tech to revolutionize commercial driver training

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Serious Labs seems to have found a way from tragedy to triumph? The Edmonton-based firm designs and manufactures virtual reality simulators to standardize training programs for operators of heavy equipment such as aerial lifts, cranes, forklifts, and commercial trucks. These simulators enable operators to acquire and practice operational skills for the job safety and efficiency in a risk-free virtual environment so they can work more safely and efficiently.

The 2018 Humboldt bus catastrophe sent shock waves across the industry. The tragedy highlighted the need for standardized commercial driver training and testing. It also contributed to the acceleration of the federal government implementing a Mandatory Entry-Level Training (MELT) program for Class 1 & 2 drivers currently being adopted across Canada. MELT is a much more rigorous standard that promotes safety and in-depth practice for new drivers.

Enter Serious Labs. By proposing to harness the power of virtual reality (VR), Serious Labs has earned considerable funding to develop a VR commercial truck driving simulator.

The Government of Alberta has awarded $1 million, and Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) is contributing an additional $2 million for the simulator development. Commercial deployment is estimated to begin in 2024, with the simulator to be made available across Canada and the United States, and with the Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA) helping to provide simulator tests to certify that driver trainees have attained the appropriate standard. West Tech Report recently took the opportunity to chat with Serious Labs CEO, Jim Colvin, about the environmental and labour benefits of VR Driver Training, as well as the unique way that Colvin went from angel investor to CEO of the company.

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Next-Gen Tech Company Pops on New Cover Detection Test

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While the world comes out of the initial stages of the pandemic, COVID-19 will be continue to be a threat for some time to come. Companies, such as Zen Graphene, are working on ways to detect the virus and its variants and are on the forefronts of technology.

Nanotechnology firm ZEN Graphene Solutions Ltd. (TSX-Venture:ZEN) (OTCPK:ZENYF), is working to develop technology to help detect the COVID-19 virus and its variants. The firm signed an exclusive agreement with McMaster University to be the global commercializing partner for a newly developed aptamer-based, SARS-CoV-2 rapid detection technology.

This patent-pending technology uses clinical samples from patients and was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. The test is considered extremely accurate, scalable, saliva-based, affordable, and provides results in under 10 minutes.

Shares were trading up over 5% to $3.07 in early afternoon trade.

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