Legal harassment and harsh verdicts for media and information providers

first_img February 4, 2021 Find out more March 20, 2014 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Legal harassment and harsh verdicts for media and information providers Forum on Information and Democracy 250 recommendations on how to stop “infodemics” Lebanese journalist found shot dead in car News November 11, 2020 Find out more News to go further RSF_en Organisation LebanonMiddle East – North Africa center_img Lebanon : Violence against reporters becoming more frequent in Lebanon Help by sharing this information Reporters Without Borders expresses concern over recent verdicts against journalists and media organizations by the country’s publications court. The court was established to settle disputes over defamation and libel cases.The press freedom organization calls for comprehensive reform of all laws concerning the practice of journalism in Lebanon. Currently, the press law (adopted in 1962, amended in 1977, 1994 and 1999), covers print media only. Journalists working for broadcast and digital media are covered by criminal law. In addition, a judge has recourse to other laws that can be applied to journalists. Criminal law aside, these include the national defence law. All of these laws include provisions that authorize restrictions on journalists’ work, a Lebanese NGO representative told Reporters Without Borders last year.But no law guarantees freedom of access to information. Also lacking: a law ensuring that reporters’ can protect a source’s identity.To be sure, only one journalist has been sentenced to prison in recent years – Rami Aysha, who was charged in military court. Otherwise, judges have levied fines. However, the press law does authorize prison terms for journalists.On 26 February, Journalist Mohamed Nazzal was fined 12 million Lebanese pounds (5,800 euros). Al-Akhbar, the newspaper for which he works, was fined the same amount. In addition, damages and interest of 15 million Lebanese pounds (7,200 euros) were levied against each.Nazzal had published on an article on judicial corruption last May. The report centred on the freeing of a drug trafficker whose father is a well-known businessman. The magistrate in the case sued for defamation. She also claimed that the article contained falsehoods. Subsequently, then-Justice Minister Chakib Kortbawi, opened judicial misconduct proceedings against the magistrate, leading to his demotion.Even so, the journalist and newspaper were both found guilty of defamation on 14 February.Meanwhile, journalist Rasha Abou Zaki, a former contributor to the economics section of Al-Akhbar, was sentenced on 26 February to a fine of 4 million Lebanese pounds (1,900 euros) on a conviction for slander. She had published an article on 27 January concerning corruption and embezzlement in the Finance Ministry. She had also questioned why some elected officials were opposing any investigation of the ministry’s accounts.Fouad Siniora, former finance minister in 1992-1998 and 2002-2004, sued Abu Zaki, alleging insult and contempt.At trial, the judge praised the journalist’s objectivity, citing the article’s balanced tone. Nonetheless, she was sentenced on 26 February to a fine of 4 million Lebanese pounds (1,900 euros) on a finding that she had treated Siniora with contempt amount to slander. “Slander, seen as an attack on dignity and honor, is grounds” for conviction,” the verdict added. Abou Zaki, who had presented more than 100 documents in her defense, refused to pay the fine. Ibrahim Al-Amin, the newspaper’s editor in chief, was also sentenced to a fine of 4 million Lebanese pounds.Following these defamation verdicts, the management of Al-Akhbar has announced that it will not appear in the press court as long as Rokez Razk sits as presiding judge. He is the judge who entered guilty verdicts against Nazzal, Abou Zaki and other journalists for defamation or falsehood.Mohammed Zbeeb, another reporter for Al-Akhbar, was sued for slander by Michael Wright and the Spinneys firm. The charge was prompted by an article published in January of last year. Zbeeb, in refusing on 26 February to appear in the press court, said that journalists were facing a campaign of vengeance. Razk was violating the constitutional separation of powers, Zbeeb added. His trial date was continued to 21 May.The day after an openly anti-Hezbollah televised speech by the country’s president on 2 March, Al-Amin, the Al-Akhbar editor, published an article entitled, “Lebanon Without a President”. The article denounced alleged corruption by the president and the justice minister. One day later, Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi issued a press release announcing that he was suing the journalist. The minister said the article was filled with insults, accusations of treason, and contemptuous language directed at President Michel Suleiman. The article, Rifi charged, also incited civil resistance and attacks against security and military institutions. “These attacks on the dignity and office of the president of the republic have nothing to do with freedom of the press, which is guaranteed by the constitution and law,” Rifi said. “They amount to an attack on State institutions and open the door to criminal attacks on officials.”.Prompted by these lawsuits and convictions, journalists and activists have launched a support campaign – “Not a criminal” – to draw attention to the legal perils facing information providers.In addition, blogger and activist Imad Bazzi was interrogated for three hours on 13 March by the Cyber Crime Bureau as the result of a complaint filed by a former minister. The complaint was prompted by an article of 11 December of last year on Bazi’s Trella.org blog, which cited an abuse of power by the public figure. According to Al-Akhbar, the case has been referred for prosecution.The LBC News network has devised an original way of denouncing the flurry of lawsuits and convictions of journalists. On 14 March, when Bazzi had been invited to appear on the “Nharkom Saeed” (Have a Good Day) political program, the broadcast was cut off eight minutes after it began. The host then told the blogger that he would not be allowed to express his views on the President of the Republic, on judicial authorities, religion, the and the new government. Otherwise the network, and Bazzi himself, could face prosecution. The bottom line: the blogger and the host blacked out the program themselves because there was no political topic on which they could speak freely. Receive email alerts News January 14, 2021 Find out more News LebanonMiddle East – North Africa Follow the news on Lebanonlast_img read more

Watch Yonder Mountain String Band Cover Pink Floyd’s ‘Sheep’ At NWSS

first_imgAmong the many great sets scheduled for Northwest String Summit, the Yonder Mountain String Band led tribute to the classic 1975 album Animals by Pink Floyd was easily one of the biggest highlights. Bringing out special guests, the band faithfully played the music of Animals, fueled by their one-of-a-kind bluegrass twinge. By all accounts, it was a great set of music.Fortunately, the band has shared footage of their rendition of the song “Sheep.” They nail it! Watch the group at work, streaming below.Keep on rockin’ it, Yonder!last_img read more

Examining community health workers’ role in fighting HIV in Africa

first_img Read Full Story Community health worker (CHW) programs can play a key role in providing HIV services in Africa. But such programs are often fragmented, poorly integrated into national health systems, and lack support, according to a new study from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.The study was published Aug. 8, 2017 in PLOS Medicine.Researchers interviewed government officials, expert observers, and donors in four African countries — Lesotho, Mozambique, South Africa, and Swaziland — between August 2015 and May 2016, and looked at published studies, country reports, national health plans, and policies. After analyzing all the data, they offered five policy recommendations to strengthen and sustain the role of CHWs in providing HIV services.They recommended that decision-makers in countries where HIV is commonly found further develop government CHW programs; officially recognize nongovernmental CHW programs; standardize CHW training, incentives, and services; provide an organizational structure dedicated to community health initiatives; involve the community in decision-making; and provide adequate and long-term resources for CHW programs for HIV.Lead author of the study was Harvard Chan School researcher Jan-Walter De Neve. Other Harvard Chan authors included Kathryn Andrews, Chantelle Boudreaux, Pascal Geldsetzer, Maria Vaikath, Till Bärnighausen, and Thomas Bossert.last_img read more

NCS issues standard operating procedures for sports activities to resume

first_imgKampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The National Council of Sports-NCS has issued standard operating procedures guiding on the recommended minimum requirements that competition organizers and participants should consider if the government okays resumption of sports activities.World over, the sports industry is one of the areas that were greatly affected by the global outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) disease which saw several events, competitions and activities were canceled or postponed.However, there has been an urge to resume or kickoff the events under strict guidelines following aspects like social distancing, regular checkups and playing behind closed doors.Dr. Donald Rukare, the chairperson of NCS says although sports activities are yet to get clearance to restart, they wanted to act proactively and also show the authorities how ready they are but also assuring safety and health of all people involved in different games.The NCS general secretary Dr. Patrick Bernard Ogwel notes that while developing the guidelines, the council has made risk categorization of sports activities based on transmission risk determined by social distancing capability, the number of players involved, nature of facilities, ventilation of facilities, level of physical contact, equipment use and attendance of fans.There are three categories; low, medium and high-risk sports. Low-risk sports are said to be activities that can be conducted with social distancing, individually with no sharing of equipment or the ability to clean the equipment between use by competitors.This area has a total of eighteen activities including; athletics, motorsport, swimming and golf among others. According to Dr. Ogwel, the council has recommended that activities in this category can be allowed to restart soon than later.“We think that they don’t present many risks. As the ban is to be lifted, we think sports activities also need to restart and can be done gradually starting with low-risk sports moving forward,” he stresses. He said golf has been allowed by the state to restart and motorsport is also being considered. There are also medium category sports that involve sustained close contact, but with protective equipment in place that may reduce the likelihood of respiratory particle transmission between participants, intermittent close contact or group sports or sports that use equipment that can’t be cleaned between participants. This category has gymnastics, lawn tennis, weightlifting, hockey, badminton, chess among others.In the third category are higher-risk sports that involve close, sustained contact between participants, a lack of significant protective barriers and a high probability that respiratory particles will be transmitted between participants like football, baseball, netball, rugby among others.Dr. Ogwel shares that when the government allows sports activities to be staged, they expect each federation or association to also develop specific standard operating procedures that are unique to the individual sports.Some of the general requirements put in place before sports activities can resume include availability of hand-washing sanitizers on numerous points at a given sports facility, putting in place signage of hygiene facilities, providing first aid and designated medical services that can trace for signs and symptoms of COVID-19.In the same development, Ogwel notes that although several federations have been requesting for sports relief funds, currently the council doesn’t have funds to this effect but they have initiated discussion with the government to offer support where necessary more so in providing personal protective gears.Sports is one of the fast-developing industries in Uganda employing tens of thousands both directly and indirectly. In recent years, the industry has been moving in the right truck attacking investments. However, there are fears that the pandemic will greatly harm the  sector which largely depends on supporters who may for long not be allowed to be part of different games.******URNShare on: WhatsApplast_img read more

Nikhat Zareen calls for a trial bout against Mary Kom to decide who will…

first_imgAdvertisement 6l8qaNBA Finals | Brooklyn VsbfdWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre E1kxr( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) b4ysttWould you ever consider trying this?😱4di1bCan your students do this? 🌚yRoller skating! Powered by Firework Nikhat Zareen has called for a trial bout against Mary Kom in the category of 51Kg Boxing to decide who will represent India in the Tokyo Olympics next year. The rule of Boxing Federation of India states that only gold and silver medalists will be extempted from the trial round of Olympics qualifiers. However, BFI has now decided to send the Bronze medalist Mary Kom directly in the Olympics qualifiers.Advertisement According to Nikhat Zareen, it is going to be unfair. All should be given equal chances to represent his/her country at the biggest stage and the rule should be same to all. The rule can not change overnight to favour someone. Nikhat demands for fair play in this case.Advertisement Today, Nikhat Zareen wrote a letter to the Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs, Kiren Rijju to look into this matter. According to her, the gold medalists like Michael Phelps also had to go through trial before the qualifying round. So, there should not be any problem for Mary Kom to participate in the trial round.The gold medalist in shooting for India, Abhinav Bindra openly supported Nikhat Zareen in Twitter. However, both of these sportspersons are attached with JSW group.India suffers double elimination in World Athletics Championships with Javelin and 4×400 relay teams failing to make the cut Advertisementlast_img read more

UPDATED: Rockies rain on Leafs parade, outlast Green and White 7-4

first_imgIt’s been that kind of season for the Nelson Leafs.Just when hockey fans are ready to book seats on the Leafs bandwagon, the Green and White falter.Ryan Skytt scored twice to lead the Columbia Valley Rockies to a 7-4 victory over the Leafs in KIJHL action Saturday night in Invermere.The loss, the eighth in nine games, saw the Leafs split the two-game road swing through the Eddie Mountain Division. Friday, the Leafs shutout Golden Rockets 4-0.After allowing the first goal of the game 16 minutes into the game, the Rockies struck for four goals in a span of four minutes on the game clock to take a 4-1 lead and never look back.The four goals chased Leafs netminder Jason Sandhu from the Leafs goal in favour of backup Ben Kelsch. Sandhu was in goal to shutout Golden Friday 4-0.Columbia Valley held period leads of 2-1 and 5-3.Peter Matthews, Jagger Thiessen, Carter Beaston-Will, Colby Sherlock and Riley Knott also scored for Columbia Valley.Nicholas Wihak led the Rockies with three assists.Sawyer Hunt, Jordan Unger, Colum Mcgauley and Eamonn Miller replied for Nelson, which out shot the Rockies 36-34 in the game.Connor McKay picked up the win in goal for Columbia Valley. Nelson remains in fourth spot in the Murdoch Division behind Grand Forks Border Bruins, which also lost Saturday, 7-2 to Kimberley Dynamiters.Nelson returns to action Wednesday in Castlegar against the Rebels.Next home game for the Leafs is Saturday, November 26 against Grand Forks Border Bruins.Sandhu backstops Leafs back into win columnNovember has not been very kind to the Nelson Leafs.Losers of seven straight, the Green and White rode the shutout goaltending of Jason Sandhu to dump the hometown Rockets 4-0 in Kootenay International Junior Hockey League action Friday night in Golden.Sandhu, who was exceptionally sharp during the third period when the Rockets outshot the Leafs 14-6, finished the game stopping 32 shots to register the shutout and the first win for the Leafs since October 22.Andy Fitzpatrick, Jordan Unger, Colum Mcgauley and Dash Thompson scored for Nelson, which held period leads of 1-0 and 3-0.The win was key as 9-11-0-0-2 Leafs look to keep pace with the rest of the Murdoch Division. Beaver Valley, winners of 12 straight leads the division with 32 points.Second place Castlegar, two points in front of the Leafs in the standings, have been just has hot winning six consecutive games. The Rebels and Grand Forks Border Bruins are tied for second, each team with 22 points.Nelson continues its two-game road swing through the Eddie Mountain Division Saturday in Invermere against the Columbia Valley Rockies.In the only meeting between the two clubs, Nelson edged Columbia Valley 3-2 in overtime — which just happens to be the last win for the Leafs.Next home game for the Leafs is Saturday, November 26 against Grand Forks Border Bruins.last_img read more

Confed Cup ticket sales accelerate

first_img28 May 2009Ticket sales for the 2009 Confederations Cup are fast approaching the 400 000 mark, with just three weeks left before the kickoff of Fifa’s “Tournament of Continental Champions”.Some 383 506 tickets, or 63% of the total 640 000 tickets available, had been sold by 21 May, according to Fifa. Of those sold, 25 000 had been bought over the counter since the opening of ticketing centres in the four host cities of Johannesburg, Pretoria, Bloemfontein and Rustenburg.Johannesburg is in the lead, with 33 509 tickets purchased and collected at its ticketing centre at the Sandton Isle, in Sandton.According to Fifa, tickets for several matches in various categories are sold out:Match 1 (South Africa vs Iraq): category 3 and 4;Match 3 (Brasil vs Egypt): category 4;Match 4 (USA vs Italy): category 4;Match 7 (USA vs Brasil): category 2, 3 and 4;Match 11 (Brasil vs Italy): all categories;Match 14 (semifinal, Johannesburg): category 4; andMatch 16 (final, Johannesburg); category 4Category four tickets are the cheapest tickets and are available exclusively to South African residents in rands. For the group matches and the third place match, category four tickets go for R70 only. Categories one to three tickets are available in American dollars to football fans living outside the country.Category one tickets are for seats alongside the pitch, between the goal lines. Category two tickets are for seats next to category one seats, in the corners; and categories three and four tickets are for seats behind the goals or in the corners.TeamsNew Zealand, Iraq and Spain and host nation South Africa will slug it out for top spot in Group A, while the United States, Egypt, Brazil and Italy will fight it out in Group B.The opening and final matches of the tournament, which kicks off on 14 June, will be played at Johannesburg’s Ellis Park Stadium, while Tshwane’s Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Mangaung’s Free State Stadium, and Rustenburg’s Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace will host group and semifinal matches.People can still apply for tickets through FNB branches. At bank branches, buyers must:Collect official ticket application forms from any FNB branch across the country;Fill out the application form, subject to the household limitations on ticket purchases – a maximum of four tickets per household, up to a maximum of seven matches. You must also choose which games you would like to attend, as well as supply personal details of the main applicant and guests;Return the ticket application form to an FNB teller, keeping the ticket purchase card as proof of payment;Wait to receive an SMS confirming the outcome of your application;Pay for tickets when advised that the request for tickets was successful; andCollect your tickets using your card at various points in the four host citiesTickets can also be bought online:On the Fifa website, register your request for tickets;Monitor the outcome or status of your ticket application online;Go online when advised that your ticket application was successful; andCollect tickets using your Visa payment card from various points in the four host citiesTickets can also be bought over the counter at ticketing centres in each host city. Simply walk into a ticketing centre with cash, credit or debit cards and buy tickets over the counter or through vending machines. The vending machines, which take only credit and ticket purchase cards, give customers step-by-step instructions on buying tickets, which are printed out.Once ticket applications have been approved, the tickets can be collected from inside FNB branches during normal FNB trading hours, as well as other designated collection points available at each host city.At all locations, customers need to bring along:Their payment card, if they used the card to buy their tickets via the Fifa website;Their ticket purchase card from their hard ticket application form, if they used the paper application form to buy their tickets; andProof of identity to confirm they are the person who ordered the ticketsSource: City of Johannesburglast_img read more

Minister Chabane and Brand South Africa to highlight South Africa’s competitiveness in the UAE

first_imgJohannesburg, 3 December 2013 – Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane will on Wednesday 4 December 2013 profile South Africa’s competitiveness to Emirati business and tourists when Brand South Africa hosts a roundtable discussion in Dubai.Brand South Africa Chairperson Chichi Maponya, CEO Miller Matola and Transnet Freight Rail CEO Siyabonga Gama will join Minister Chabane in deliberations with participants at the round-table which will profile South Africa’s infrastructure.As the country’s reputation management and marketing agency, Brand South Africa will bring together a range of stakeholders in Dubai ranging from South Africans who are now resident in the country as well as Emirati businesspeople and investors to deliberate on South Africa’s value proposition. This includes, amongst others, our favourable investment climate, developed transport and telecommunications infrastructure, and a social structure that is free of gender or religious discrimination.The discussion in the UAE complements Brand South Africa’s recent hosting of the country’s inaugural Competitiveness Forum which aimed to ignite the conversation around what needs to be done to improve the country’s reputation domestically and internationally.Speaking from the UAE, Brand South Africa CEO Miller Matola said, “South Africa’s competitiveness and reputation must be driven by what we do rather than what we say. Each citizen in the country and outside therefore has a role to play in improving our country’s reputation. We each need to play our part and do best so that South Africa is seen as a reliable destination for international investors and tourists. Through this we can ensure our country’s grows economically and our social conditions can improve through the creation of jobs generated from these inward flows of investment.”The conversation in the UAE can be followed on @Brand_SA on hashtag #SA_UAETalk.Note to editorsSouth Africa’s infrastructure build programmeSouth Africa’s investment in infrastructure gained momentum in the years leading up to the 2010 Soccer World Cup, and is set to expand as the foundation of a national growth and development strategy. The country’s electricity, water, transport and telecommunications networks are being extended, education and health capacity is being expanded, and human settlements are being built and upgraded to strengthen the fabric of communities.Over the medium-term expenditure framework (MTEF) period, budgeted and approved public-sector projects total R844.5 billion. As announced in the State of the Nation Address 2013, the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission gives new impetus to the planning and implementation of major capital projects, raising the level of investment spending and contributing to industrial and regional development. All public-sector infrastructure projects will be subject to rigorous assessment to determine their feasibility and government chooses the most cost-effective projects that provide optimal long-term benefits.In response to the challenge of facilitating fast-tracked government-led infrastructure investment, cabinet established the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission (PICC).The PICC is mandated by Cabinet to plan and coordinate a National Infrastructure Plan. It is driven by the highest levels of political will and dedication to harmonise infrastructure planning and implementation across all spheres of the Government of the Republic of South Africa, State agencies as well as social partners. PICC interventions are cross-cutting yet targeted, seeking to crowd-in investment and mobilise efforts.South Africa is integrating and phasing investment plans across 18 Strategic Infrastructure Projects (SIPs) which have five core functions: to unlock opportunity, transform the economic landscape, create new jobs, strengthen the delivery of basic services and support the integration of African economies.About Brand South AfricaBrand South Africa is the official marketing agency of South Africa, with a mandate to build the country’s brand reputation, in order to improve its global competitiveness abroad. Its aim is also to build pride and patriotism among South Africans, in order to contribute to social cohesion and nation brand ambassadorship.Further resources from Brand South AfricaMedia are invited to visit http://www.southafrica.info/ for further resources which can be reproduced without any copyright infringement.  Kindly attribute to Brand South Africa. Follow Brand South [email protected]_SA (https://twitter.com/Brand_SA)Tell us how you Play Your Parthttp://www.playyourpart.co.za/[email protected] #DoBestFor more information or to set up interviews, please contact: Arahna SinghBrand South Africa Communications Tel: +27 11 712 5061 Mobile: +27 (0) 82 491 2332 Email: [email protected] Endslast_img read more

Ohio Ag Weather and Forecast — October 17, 2017

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Ryan Martin 10-17-17We have no changes to the forecast this morning, and our pattern is on track for the rest of this week through Saturday. Sunshine and blue sky will dominate and we will see temps slowly but surely move upward. We will be near normal by midweek (tomorrow) and above normal to finish the week and weekend. Winds kick up late week, and we will see low humidity levels alongside excellent evaporation rates.Our next front does try and move in late Sunday into Monday, but we feel it still has very little left in the tank as it arrives. As such, we are leaving our forecast basically alone, except we are dropping our coverage down to about 20% for Sunday night. We will stay warm and windy that day.Next week still looks mostly dry. However, we have one time frame we are watching closely this morning. Some models late yesterday tried to bring a secondary surge of moisture up that old Sunday frontal boundary, bringing in some light rain for Monday evening and Tuesday. The model that is jumping on this the most is keeping most of the action over the northern half to third of Ohio, but even with that caveat, we think this “second wave” is unlikely. Our main thought right now is that we will have a very dry atmosphere, and if the original front is not strong enough to maintain moisture coming in from the west, then any second wave will have just as much trouble. At this time, we are leaving our forecast alone. However, if we see some other models jump on the bandwagon, it will be worth another look. So, for now, we are just running with the status quo, and looking for a dry week right on through the start of next weekend.We do still see a nice strong front for the start of the extended period, for the 29th and 30th. This front looks potent. It could bring anywhere from .25”-1” of moisture to about 80% of the eastern corn belt, including Ohio. There will be significantly colder air coming in behind that front, and there is a chance we start of November a bit below normal.But, for the rest of this week, we continue to see a significant harvest window opening, one that needs to be taken advantage of.last_img read more