first_img Organisation Download the full version RSF calls for a fully transparent investigation after mine kills two journalists in Azerbaijan News RSF_en January 25, 2012 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Europe “We’ll hold Ilham Aliyev personally responsible if anything happens to this blogger in France” RSF says Related documents Индекс свободы прессы 2011-2012PDF – 229.8 KB June 8, 2021 Find out more News June 7, 2021 Find out more Follow the news on Europe – Central Asiacenter_img Receive email alerts June 4, 2021 Find out more Europe – Central Asia Differences increase in EuropeЧитать по-русскиEuropean Union more heterogeneous, Balkans facing EU entry challengeWhile Finland and Norway again share first place, Bulgaria (80th) and Greece (70th) have kept their status as the European Union’s bad performers. Targeted attacks and death threats against journalists marked the past year in Bulgaria, where concerns about print media pluralism grew. In Greece, the economic crisis highlighted the fragility of its media while photographers and cameramen covering demonstrations were exposed to conditions resembling war zones. Hungary fell 17 rungs to 40th place after adopting a law giving the ruling party direct control over the media and amending its constitution in December. The precedent set by this legislation, adopted with little comment from other EU member states, has further dented the European model’s credibility.France is still in a disappointing position (38th), as concern continues about protection of the confidentiality of sources and the ability of investigative journalists to cover influential figures close to the government. Italy (61st), which still has a dozen or so journalists under police protection, has turned the page on several years of conflict of interest with Silvio Berlusconi’s departure. But this year’s ranking still bears his mark, especially another attempt to introduce a gag law and an attempt to introduce Internet filtering without reference to the courts, both narrowly rejected. Against the extraordinary backdrop of the News of the World affair, the United Kingdom (28th) caused concern with its approach to the protection of privacy and its response to the London riots. Despite universal condemnation, the UK also clings to a surreal law that allows the entire world to come and sue news media before its courts.The contrast among the three Baltic countries sharpened. Estonia (3rd) stayed at the top of the index but Lithuania and Latvia fell to 30th and 50th respectively as a result of grotesque court rulings and increased interference by the security services. Relations between the government and media have improved somewhat in Slovakia (25th) since Robert Fico, who was heavy-handed in his methods and crude in his language with journalists, ceased to be prime minister.The economic crisis accentuated the Balkan media’s problems – use of the media for private or criminal interests, unfair competition in very small markets, and self-censorship by a growing number of badly paid journalists. Judicial officials – many of them poorly trained, allied with the government and often corrupt – seem more interested in harassing the media than ending impunity for those who threaten or physically attack journalists. This was the case, for example in Bosnia-Herzegovina (58th), Montenegro (107th), Albania (96th) and Macedonia (94th), which lost 40 per cent of its media with the closure of Plus Produkcija, a company that owned three dailies and the leading privately-owned TV station.Turkey back to old habits, Azerbaijan and Belarus locked into repressionTurkey continued its descent, this time falling 10 places to 148th. Despite the diversity and energy of its media, 2011 saw a dramatic escalation in the judicial harassment of journalists. Under the pretext of combating terrorism, dozens were jailed before being tried, above all in the investigations into the Ergenekon conspiracy and the KCK, an alleged political offshoot of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party. The unprecedented extension of the range of arrests, the massive phone taps and the contempt shown for the confidentiality of journalists’ sources have helped to reintroduce a climate of intimidation in the media.In Russia (142nd), the media freedom panorama continues to be gloomy. The conviction of a couple for the double murder of Anastasia Baburova and Stanislav Markelov raised hopes but aspects of the case remained unclarified and impunity is still the rule for those who murder or attack journalists. Tougher sentences for such crimes and the decriminalization of media offences were both good news but the impact of these reforms remains to be determined, especially in the absence of an overhaul of anti-terrorist legislation. The unprecedented demonstrations in December 2011 augur a period of uncertainty – while some newsrooms seem to be becoming more outspoken, the state’s repressive apparatus has so far been able to cope with the unrest.After cracking down violently on pro-democracy protests, both Belarus (168th) and Azerbaijan (162nd) have fallen sharply and are approaching the bottom of the index. Their leaders, Alexander Lukashenko and Ilham Aliyev, are both predators of press freedom and both made the media pay for the way their authority was challenged on the streets – in Belarus, more than 100 journalists and bloggers arrested (and around 30 of them given jail sentences), increased harassment of independent media and deportation of foreign journalists. Not content with this indiscriminate repression, Belarus’ self-styled “Batka” (Father) went on to turn the media into the scapegoat for all of his country’s problems. Similar methods were used in Azerbaijan, where special emphasis was put on surveillance of social networks and where netizens were jailed just for issuing online calls for demonstrations. Violence is back in a big way there, with threats, beatings, and abduction of opposition journalists and, for the first time in five years, an Azerbaijani journalist murdered.No longer the leader in the southern Caucasus, Georgia (104th) is paying the price for the violent dispersal of an opposition demonstration in May and the persistent harassment of journalists and bloggers suspected of sympathizing with Russia. Armenia’s 24-place rise in the index seems spectacular, but in fact it has just gone back to where it was three years ago, before the brutal crackdown after the disputed 2008 elections. The media are nonetheless subject to constant judicial harassment and the size of the damages demanded in lawsuits is intimidating. Self-regulation is a major challenge that still needs to be tackled.In Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan turned the page on a 2010 marked by a cruel dictatorship’s violent death throes and inter-ethnic massacres in the south and achieved the region’s best ranking (108th). The media freedom situation nonetheless continues to be very fragile, with physical attacks on journalists and repressive initiatives by parliament. It was a bad year in neighbouring Tajikistan (122nd), where the authorities continue to brandish the spectre of civil war and radical Islamism to try to gag the independent media.Kazakhstan’s ranking (154th) improved only because so many other countries plunged on the index this year. In reality, in a bid to maintain a facade of stability at all costs, the Kazakh authorities have stepped up their persecution of the few independent voices and are trying to gain control of the Internet. Online content also focused the attention of the dictatorships in Uzbekistan (157th) and Turkmenistan (177th), which made no progress. The Turkmen public have access only to a highly-censored national Intranet, but the war of information 2.0 has now begun with the few Turkmen online resources based abroad.Ukraine (116th) rose a few rungs after its all-time low in 2010, marked by journalist Vasyl Klymentyev’s disappearance, but the negative’s tendencies seen since Viktor Yanukovych’s installation as president in February 2010 – return of censorship and many physical attacks on journalists that have gone unpunished – have continued. Respect judicial independence in cases of two leading journalists in Serbia and Montenegro, RSF says News Help by sharing this information Europe – Central Asia News to go furtherlast_img read more


With rent due, millions of Americans can’t — or won’t — pay

first_imgAndreiPopov/iStockBy WILL CARR, ALYSSA PONE, AND ELLIE SMITH, ABC NEWS(NEW YORK) — It’s the first of the month — the time when so many start counting their dollars, making sure they have enough to pay rent.“I’ll be able to make rent next month, but then after that, if unemployment doesn’t kick in, I’m definitely in trouble,” Gabby Namm, an unemployed cook in New York, told ABC News.More than 30 million Americans have filed for unemployment since mid-March as the novel coronavirus hit the U.S., leaving many filled with anxiety, not knowing when they’ll get another paycheck. That’s sparking rent strikes across the country from New York to Philadelphia to Chicago to Los Angeles.“The choices that we have right now is we pay rent, and we’re left without any money for food,” Manuel Antonio Rodrigues told ABC News.Rodrigues lost his job in March. He joined a socially distanced protest in Los Angeles this week, asking the mayor to cancel rent for May.“So many of us here have had to make that decision whether we’re going to use up a little bit of money that we have on rent or whether we should save it for medicine for food and other essential needs right now,” he said.Others, like Alex Mercier, who also lost his job in March, have teamed up with the tenants in their buildings to forgo their rent payments together.“There are people I’ve been talking to who are sick and need their medicine and putting them in a situation where it’s pay rent or medicine, that’s just ridiculous,” Mercier, who lives in Los Angeles, said.But renters aren’t the only ones struggling. Landlords have bills to pay too.“These are my children,” Darryl Marshak, a landlord in Los Angeles, said, talking about his tenants. “I’m still shy on April’s rent on some of them, but I understand, they’re usually great.”Marshak is a mom-and-pop building owner with six tenants.“Maybe I got two months total of my mortgage if I have to come up with it myself,” he told ABC News. “Not to mention water, power, sewage, gardener.”“It’s not a fight with the landlords, it’s a fight with the banks who need to understand that they were bailed out about ten years ago, and now we need a bailout for the working people,” Rodrigues was quick to point out while protesting on the steps of Los Angeles’ City Hall.Across the country, there are patchwork policies for housing protection, creating widespread confusion. Eight states — Georgia, Arkansas, Idaho, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming and Oklahoma — currently have not implemented any statewide orders to suspend evictions and foreclosures during the pandemic, according to an analysis by Princeton.“Lost jobs and lost wages — combined with rents that were unaffordable even before coronavirus — leaves millions of people struggling to figure out how to make rent and scared of being evicted during a public health emergency,” Diane Yentel, the President of the National Low Income Housing Coalition, told ABC News.“In this moment when our collective health depends on our ability to stay home, it’s never been more obvious that housing is health care. Congress should be doing everything they can to keep people stably housed during and after this public health emergency by implementing a national moratorium on evictions and providing at least $100 billion in rental assistance,” she said.For many home owners under financial stress, the federal rescue package signed in March, known as the CARES Act, allows up to a year to skip or delay mortgage loan payments. According to Black Knight, a data and analytics firm, 3.4 million homeowners will do just that, skipping payments for the immediate future. But others without mortgages backed by the federal government are left uncovered.So, what can you do?For starters, talk to your landlord or lender. Times are hard right now, and many may be willing to negotiate or workout a payment plan.Also, make sure you know your rights. Eviction laws are different across the country. Make sure you’re familiar with yours. Remember, what you’re told by a landlord or lender is not always what’s factually accurate.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more


Damian Collins: emergency legislation needed for a snap general election

first_imgCalls for reform to rules on election campaigning had been made following the Facebook–Cambridge Analytica data scandal in 2018. Mr Collins did not go so far as to oppose the idea of holding a snap general election later in the year: “An election would only take place if parliament cannot sustain itself. If this happens, then a general election must take place.” In an interview with Cherwell, Collins, who chairs the parliamentary Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee, expressed doubt over whether current electoral rules would prevent a repeat of the 2016 scandal surrounding Cambridge Analytica’s use of Facebook data. “If a snap election were called, we would need emergency legislation to amend our electoral law to create rules on social media campaigning that are fit for purpose,” Collins said. Conservative MP Damian Collins has expressed concern over whether electoral rules have been sufficiently strengthened in time for a snap general election later this year.  “Current rules and limits around political donations can be easily evaded through making online donations from multiple countries using different currencies – we urgently need new electoral rules to change this.” “Mark Zuckerberg is ultimately responsible for what is going oninside Facebook,” Collins told Cherwell.center_img “The time for open ended debate has come to an end. We need to makea decision about what to do, not just spend more time talking about it.” “Those who have been sent to the committee as representatives ofFacebook have been unable to answer many of our questions, which is why we needZuckerberg himself to come to Parliament to answer them.” The Conservative MP had previously written to co-founder of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg, requesting that he travel personally to Westminster to answer questions from MPs. So far, Mr Zuckerberg has not accepted this request. Mr Collins expressed support for the Prime Minister’s decision to prorogue parliament. “What the Prime Minister is seeking to do is force parliament to make a decision,” he said.last_img read more


Broadway Grosses: Book of Mormon Braves the Snow, Outside Mullingar Officially Takes a Bow

first_img FRONTRUNNERS (By Gross)
 1. The Book of Mormon ($1,660,267) 2. The Lion King ($1,608,611) 3. Wicked ($1,598,920)
 4. Kinky Boots ($1,385,078) 5. Motown the Musical ($1,115,402) Read below to find out who was on top and who was not for the week ending January 26:
 5. Rock of Ages ($350,837) 4. A Night with Janis Joplin ($314,542) 3. Outside Mullingar ($225,870)* 2. Machinal ($189,739) 1. Bronx Bombers ($157,099)**
 1. The Book of Mormon (102.63%)
 2. Twelfth Night/Richard III (100.02%) 
3. The Lion King (98.71%) 4. Wicked (98.30%)
 5. Matilda (96.94%)

 UNDERDOGS (By Capacity)
 5. Jersey Boys (72.46%) 4. Cinderella (65.46%) 3. Bronx Bombers (63.25%)** 2. A Night with Janis Joplin (63.13%) 1. Machinal (62.43%%)

center_img View Comments The polar vortex made things chilly this past week with snow, slush and below freezing temperatures, and the theaters on the Main Stem felt it too. While the box office suffered, long-running stalwarts The Book of Mormon, The Lion King and Wicked stayed hot, keeping a hold of the top three spots in grosses. Meanwhile, Outside Mullingar, starring Emmy winner Debra Messing, officially opened to respectable crowds at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, and A Night with Janis Joplin announced it would be departing Broadway’s Lyceum Theatre. *Number based on 3 preview performances and 5 regular performances **Number based on 8 preview performances last_img read more


Fridays on the Fly | Too Tight for Tenkara?

first_img“You can’t fish with a rod that long in these mountain streams”. I’ve heard that more times than I can shake a long rod at.  The idea of heading out to the waterline with a twelve foot fly rod sounds crazy to many people. There was a time when I thought the same thing. Knowing the places I fish and how “tight” that creek line is, extra long rods seemed counter-intuitive. When I first ventured into the world of tenkara fly fishing I kept my distance from the trees and stayed in wide open spaces.  Very quickly I began to get control of these longs rods and witness firsthand the wide range of benefits they are touted for. The level of confidence I was gaining with this angling tool took me from the open shoreline right into the thicket.Along with my fellow tenkara anglers here in the Appalachian Range, we have been dissecting these waters with twelve foot rods for some years now. This includes the cold waters coming off Mount Mitchell and the swift flow on Catoctin Mountain. It is true, we all have some hide-away blue lines that get silly tight and become almost too hard to fish at all. I’ll acknowledge that and follow it with that is the exception, not the rule.  Stop and take a look around at the area around you next time you are “out in the woods” fishing the high country water. Do you see what I see? 2First, I would like you to notice how high the canopy is. On most streams in the mountains the trees push their branches high toward the sky.  The hardwood varieties limit lower branches and use the high level limbs to compete for sunlight.  The typically offers an amazing amount of space for casting in general and affords ample room for my long tenkara rod and fixed length of line. Once you add horizontal casting to your vertical casting lanes, and every angle variation in between, you’ll have a great ability to perform. For my second point, take a look at the water’s edge. Where is the root line for all these trees?  This typically is many feet from the actual water.  The high water line, or wash zone, prevents foliage from growing long term right at the water. Since the trees are growing farther back, you have gained more additional space for casting a long rod.  I concede that rhododendron and laurel will grow right to the edge and hang out over the sweetest holes sometimes. Treat that as a challenge on how to penetrate that spot. For the most part, you’ll see wide open spaces along your favorite waterways.DSCF0462-003The condition found in mountain streams are often more favorable than the ones you will see in the Piedmont waterways in our region. Warm water streams and rivers can have heavy vegetation growth right up banks. This puts scrub brush and weeds in our way.  Haven’t we all tried to make casts through the years in a small pocket cutout on the shoreline? The one place must be a perfect casting spot because the earth is well trodden there because so many other anglers have used the same idea. Then you realize that it is beat down because we are all making the same mistake, it isn’t a good spot to fish from. That isn’t something you find very often high up in the hills.Tenkara rods range from about nine feet up to about fourteen feet.  That starting point is right at the same mark that many fly fishers are holding now in their nine foot nymphing rods. Fixed line fly fishing is a departure from the conventional training most fly fishermen have received and read about. There are few limitations to this ancient Japanese style, but not when it comes to tight areas. I routinely carry a nine foot and twelve foot rods with me everywhere I go. They are telescopic and collapse to near twenty inches. They each weight about 2.5 ounces. I can successfully angle fish from four inches to twenty inches with casting lengths from at my feet to thirty plus feet away.  Whether I’m in downtown Charlotte or at home high on Grandfather Mountain, I take every advantage with my long rods. I rarely find myself in “tight” areas where I can’t make the casts that I want to.  We don’t let the tight areas scare us away from tackling that water.Tenkara Gets Around!last_img read more


Bash Ali begs Sports Minister over Guinness book fight

first_imgRelatedPosts Nigeria dying under Buhari’s jackboot, by Tunde Odesola Edo poll: APC supporters commend Buhari for providing level playing field Buhari holds closed-door meeting with Ghana’s President Former boxing champion, Bash Ali, has sent a passionate appeal to the Minister of Youth And Sports, Sunday Dare, to approve his age-long fight. The ageless boxer, who was denied approval by the legal department of the ministry, made the appeal in another letter to Dare. Ali wrote: “I recall vividly that on 4th of November, 2019, we had a meeting in the Ministry for the purpose of accomplishing my dream Guinness World Boxing Project and the key decision in the said meeting was that in as much as President Muhammadu Buhari has directed you to host the historic event, we should first settle out of court the pending case with the Ministry in the Court of Appeal. “As soon as I returned from the meeting, I instructed my lawyers to write to the Ministry expressing my sincere intention to have the matter withdrawn from court. We have written to you our offer of settlement. So far, so good, we have not received any response from the Ministry regarding the said offer after six weeks of submitting same.” The boxer, otherwise known as Ajagungbade, also revealed that the fight has received the blessing of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, late President Musa Yar’ Adua, former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and that of President Muhammadu Buhari. Ali, however, accused mischief makers for the misinformation flying around in respect of the fight. He said: “It is the work of mischief makers who want to sow hatred between me and Honourable Minister. I therefore sincerely apologise for any such misinformation. “I humbly appeal to you to quickly approve the out of court settlement to enable us move ahead so that we can achieve this age long dream which i sincerely know will bring glory, honour, financial growth and better opportunities to my fatherland.”Tags: Bash AliGuinness World Boxing NightMuhammadu BuhariSunday Darelast_img read more