Call for really international support for Aubenas, Hanoun and three Romanian journalists

first_img IraqMiddle East – North Africa Follow the news on Iraq News News RSF_en Three jailed reporters charged with “undermining national security” News As Florence Aubenas and Hussein Hanoun enter their fourth month in captivity, Reporters Without Borders calls for a renewed international campaign on behalf of the journalists held hostage in Iraq. A statement signed by more than 100 European news media executives and editors has been given to the European parliament speaker. Reporters Without Borders will go to Bucarest the next day. News Iraq : Wave of arrests of journalists covering protests in Iraqi Kurdistan Receive email alerts April 5, 2005 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Call for really international support for Aubenas, Hanoun and three Romanian journalists December 28, 2020 Find out more IraqMiddle East – North Africa February 15, 2021 Find out more As Florence Aubenas of the French daily Libération and her Iraqi guide Hussein Hanoun enter their fourth month in captivity in Iraq, Reporters Without Borders today called for renewed expressions of support internationally for them and the three Romanian journalists who were taken hostage on 28 March.”Demonstrations of solidarity from everyone are not just helpful, they are essential,” the press freedom organization said. “Active support must be organized internationally at a time when more hostages are being taken and journalists of many nationalities are being targeted.”As part of the new drive, a statement signed by more than 100 European news media executives and editors has been given to European parliament speaker Josep Borrell. It calls on “all the European institutions and European Union member countries to step up efforts in support of the hostages.” This initiative was decided at a meeting of French news media executives and editors, with the support of Reporters Without Borders.At the same time, Aubenas’ father, Benoît Aubenas, will speak to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights this evening or tomorrow, using time allotted to Reporters Without Borders for addressing the commission, which is currently holding its annual session.Benoît Aubenas plans to say that Florence “was working in Iraq to tell us all, you and us, what happens in this country to men and women and children who are the victims of war, poverty, hunger and death (…) This is all Florence was doing in Iraq, like the recently kidnapped Romanian hostages, Sorin Dumitru Miscoci, Marie Jeanne Ion and Eduard Ovidiu Ohanesian. I appeal to your commission to immediately undertake all actions that will help bring this unbearable situation to an end. I am convinced that the governments present here will give your commission their full support in this respect.”As part of this desire to promote a really international campaign of support, Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Robert Ménard and Libération managing editor Antoine de Gaudemar will travel to Bucarest on 6 April to meet the families of the three Romanian hostages, the media they work for (Prima TV and Romania Libera) as well as representatives of the other leading Romanian news media and political leaders.In addition to these acts of solidarity, Reporters Without Borders called on the news media to begin reflecting together on the concrete measures that could be taken to ensure better protection for journalists working in Iraq and, in general, in war zones and other high risk areas. “Safety has a price,” the organization said. “Not all news media could meet such expenses. It is imperative that forms of cooperation and pooling of resources are considered in order to ensure better safety for reporters.”Reporters Without Borders added: “At the same time, governments must think about how to better protect journalists in war zones. The Geneva conventions must be scrupulously respected by governments, beginning with the democratic governments, which must show an example. Thought could also be given to how reinforce the provisions of the fourth convention on the protection of civilians in wartime and the two 1977 supplementary protocols in order to improve protection for journalists.” RSF’s 2020 Round-up: 50 journalists killed, two-thirds in countries “at peace” Help by sharing this information Organisation to go further December 16, 2020 Find out morelast_img read more

Maoists kidnap a third journalist, seven others assaulted in two weeks

first_img Nepal: RSF’s recommendations to amend controversial Media Council Bill May 17, 2019 Find out more Receive email alerts Nepal’s journalists are increasingly falling victim to the civil war between Maoist rebels and governmentforces. Reporters Without Borders calls on the Maoists to release journalist Shakti Kumar Pun, who waskidnapped in the west of the country. It also calls on the government to combat impunity. Pun, correspondent for the national daily Rajdhani, was kidnapped with five other people by a group of rebels in Rukum district in the mid-west of the country. It is not clear exactly when they were abducted but local journalists said it took place sometime around 18 November.The Maoists admitted kidnapping them to question them without giving any details about where they were being held. They suspected them of collaborating with the army in the arrest of five Maoist leaders last August.The same Maoist party is holding two other journalists hostage: Dhana Bahadur Rokka Magar, presenter on Radio Nepal, kidnapped in August 2002 by rebels in the west of the country and Kul Bahadur Malla, correspondent for the newspaper Karnali Sandesh in the west, abducted in June 2003.The Maoists murdered kidnapped journalist Dekendra Raj Thapa of Radio Nepal in August 2004 on the grounds that he was a “spy”.Reporters Without Borders is also dismayed by repeated violence against the media by members of the military and the police. “It is something of a paradox to see the government giving journalists’ associations financial help for reporters who are victims of abuse and then allow security forces to assault journalists with complete impunity,” it said in a letter to Prime Minister, Sher Bahadur Deuba. “The fight against impunity should be your government’s first priority, the organisation’s secretary-general added.Three journalists received death threats connected to their reporting in the week of 15 November from a criminal, Susheel KC, who is protected by some local authorities in Nuwakot, north of Kathmandu. They were: Dhruba Kumar Rawal, reporter on the daily Rajdhani and Radio Nepal, Devchandra Bhatta, of the daily Nepal Samacharpatra and Raju Mitra Khanal of the daily Himalaya Times. Pashupati Ghimire, editor of the weekly News Post published in Dharan, in the east of the country, was manhandled by agents of the security forces in a bus between Barahakshetra and Dharan. The journalist was then forced out and had to complete his journey on foot.Producer of the programme “Samay Chakra” on Radio Nepal, Prakash Pokharel, has suffered two recent attacks. Businessman Jaya Bhola Shrestha assaulted him on 7 November in Butwal in the west. Then a few days later soldiers in Gulmi, also in the west, assaulted him without any fault. Soldiers in civilian clothes assaulted and issued death threats against Prakash Mathema, a photographer with press group Kantipur in south-western Kapilvastu on 9 November. They were angry over publication of one of his photos (opposite) on the paper’s front page the previous day showing an army patrol in which one soldier was carrying a fellow solider who had been wounded in the leg.Finally, on 4 November, a group of police officers attacked Surya Bahadur Chanda, of government daily Gorakhapatra in Kanchanpur district in the far-west while he was on a reporting assignment, opposite the offices of the Nepal Electricity Authority. June 8, 2020 Find out more News to go further November 25, 2004 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Maoists kidnap a third journalist, seven others assaulted in two weeks Help by sharing this information NepalAsia – Pacific May 29, 2019 Find out morecenter_img NepalAsia – Pacific Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières) strongly condemned abuses inflicted on journalists in Nepal caught between rebels and government, as Maoists kidnapped a third journalist.Some seven journalists have been physically assaulted in the past two weeks and the worldwide press freedom organisation said it was very concerned about the plight of Shakti Kumar Pun abducted by the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist).It called on the party’s leadership not to abduct or harass, and to release Pun, whose kidnapping ran contrary to commitments made by Maoist leader Krishna Bahadur Mahara, who in September 2004 ordered his forces to release all journalist hostages and promised an end to violence against the press. RSF_en Nepalese journalists threatened, attacked and censored over Covid-19 coverage Follow the news on Nepal News News News Under Chinese pressure, Nepal sanctions three journalists over Dalai Lama story Organisation last_img read more

COVID-19 live updates: ‘Extremely unlikely’ virus came from Chinese lab, WHO says

first_imgOvidiu Dugulan/iStockBy JON HAWORTH, ERIN SCHUMAKER and IVAN PEREIRA, ABC News(NEW YORK) — A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now infected more than 106.5 million people worldwide and killed over 2.3 million, according to real-time data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.Here’s how the news is developing Tuesday. All times Eastern:Feb 09, 3:46 pmGrocery, meatpacking workers call for hazard pay, vaccine priorityGrocery store and meatpacking workers said they still feel just as vulnerable to contracting COVID-19 now as they did at any point during the pandemic. In an organized call, the United Food Commercial Workers union called for hazard pay and that food service workers be prioritized for the vaccine.At least 137 grocery workers and 132 meatpacking workers have died from COVID-19, according to the call.Guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that front-line essential workers, like grocery store employees, should be prioritized for the vaccine. But not every state has done so and union officials said their workers still can’t get the vaccine even when it’s being offered at the pharmacy in the store where they work every day.“What is inexplicable, given the threats and the risks that these essential workers face and the fact that a new report, it shows only 13 states currently prioritize access for food workers, which puts our food supply at risk,” said UFCW President Marc Perrone.ABC News’ Stephanie Ebbs contributed to this report.Feb 09, 2:03 pmBiden administration to send vaccines directly to community health centersThe Biden administration will start sending vaccines directly to community health centers across the country as early as next week, White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Jeff Zients said at a press briefing with Health Equity Task Force Chair Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith.The administration’s goal is to reach 250 community health centers and at least one in every state, Nunez-Smith said.The administration plans to issue 1 million doses during this initial phase: 500,000 first shots and 500,000 second vaccine shots.FEMA mobile units will also be going directly to these hardest-hit communities, Zients said. Earlier this week, FEMA announced that it had finalized a contract for 30 mobile vaccination units expected to begin next week.ABC News’ Matthew Vann contributed to this report.Feb 09, 1:36 pmNew variants discovered in UKA variant found last week in Bristol, England, has now been discovered in Manchester.The Manchester City Council announced Monday night that four cases were found in two unconnected households. Testing is underway in the Manchester area to track the variant.Separately, a new mutation was found in Liverpool.Public Health England said it has a high degree of confidence that the vaccines will work against variants.ABC News’ Zoe Magee contributed to this report.Feb 09, 1:15 pmTeacher union: ‘CDC standards still aren’t being met’As some students from Nashville to North Carolina return to the classroom, National Education Association President Becky Pringle says the in-person learning standards set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “still aren’t being met.”“Most schools, especially those attended by Black, brown, indigenous, and poor white students have severely outdated ventilation systems and no testing or tracing programs to speak of,” Pringle said in a statement. “It’s time to fund proven mitigation strategies — and it’s far past time for every governor to prioritize educator vaccinations.”In Chicago, 25,000 public school teachers will begin voting Tuesday night on a proposal for returning to classrooms, ABC Chicago station WLS reported.ABC News’ Sophie Tatum contributed to this report.Feb 09, 12:57 pmAthletes to be tested for COVID-19 every 4 days at Tokyo OlympicsAthletes will be tested for COVID-19 at least once every four days during their stay in Tokyo at the pandemic-delayed Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games, according to a “playbook” released by organizers Tuesday.Over the past week, Olympics organizers have released different playbooks for each group of key stakeholders that outline COVID-19 protocols and rules of conduct for before, during and after the Tokyo Games, which are slated to open July 23. The playbook released Tuesday, which is aimed at athletes and team officials, warns that individuals could be kicked out of their events if they break protocols.In addition to regular testing at the Games, athletes and team officials must take a COVID-19 test approved by the Japanese government within 72 hours of the departure time of their flight to the country, show proof of that negative test upon arrival and be prepared to take another test at the airport. Athletes will be barred from competing at the Games if they test positive for COVID-19.Athletes and team officials will only be permitted to leave the Olympic and Paralympic Village, or other designated accommodation, to carry out the activities detailed in their “14-day activity plan,” according to the playbook. They are not allowed to visit gyms, tourist areas, shops, restaurants and bars, among other places.The playbook also asks athletes and team officials to keep two meters away from others and avoid “unnecessary forms of physical contact such as hugs, high-fives and handshakes.”The 2020 Summer Olympics were supposed to kick off in the Japanese capital last year on July 24. But in late March, amid mounting calls to delay or cancel the upcoming Games, the International Olympic Committee and Japanese organizers announced that the event would be held a year later due to the pandemic. They have been outwardly staunch in their determination to go forward with the Games ever since, even as Japan — and much of the world — face a resurgence of COVD-19 infections.Feb 09, 10:36 amTrials to test combination of Russia’s vaccine and Oxford/AstraZeneca shotClinical trials testing a combination of Russia’s flagship COVID-19 vaccine, Sputnik V, with another developed jointly by England’s University of Oxford and British-Swedish pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca will begin in Azerbaijan later this month.The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which funded the production of Sputnik V and is responsible for its worldwide marketing, announced Tuesday that Azerbaijan’s health ministry has issued a permit to conduct the trials, which will commence before the end of February.“The research will be carried out over the course of six months in several countries with 100 volunteers recruited in each,” RDIF said in a statement.Feb 09, 9:52 am‘Extremely unlikely’ virus came from Chinese lab, WHO experts sayAn international team of World Health Organization experts investigating the origins of the coronavirus pandemic said Tuesday it’s “extremely unlikely” that the virus was leaked from a laboratory in the Chinese city of Wuhan.The Wuhan Institute of Virology, which is affiliated with the government-run Chinese Academy of Sciences, has collected extensive virus samples, sparking speculations that it may have caused the original outbreak by leaking the novel coronavirus into the surrounding community. The institute has strongly rejected that possibility.“The findings suggest that the laboratory incident hypothesis is extremely unlikely to explain the introduction of the virus into the human population,” WHO food safety and animal diseases expert Peter Ben Embarek said at a joint press conference with Chinese counterparts on Tuesday. “Therefore, [it] is not in the hypotheses that we will suggest for future studies.”The WHO team, which includes experts from 10 countries, is considering several possible scenarios for how the disease was transmitted to humans, leading to a pandemic that has claimed the lives of more than 2.3 million people worldwide. Embarek said it’s more likely that the virus jumped to humans from an animal.“Our initial findings suggest that the introduction through an intermediary host species is the most likely pathway and one that will require more studies and more specific targeted research,” he said.Transmission through the trade of frozen products was also likely, Embarek added.As part of their investigation, the WHO team has visited key locations in Wuhan, where the first cases of COVID-19 were detected in December 2019.A cluster of initial cases has been linked to a now-closed wet market in Wuhan. But Liang Wannian, the lead Chinese envoy who is working on the probe, said the market may not be the first location of the outbreak since transmission was also happening in other areas of the city at the time.A review of mortality data, antibody tests of blood in blood banks in Wuhan and genome sequences showed there was “no indication of the transmission of the Sars-Cov-2 in the population” prior to December 2019, according to Liang.There was also no evidence of “large outbreaks” in Wuhan or elsewhere before December 2019, according to Embarek.Feb 09, 8:24 amMajor US pharmacies start accepting COVID-19 vaccine appointmentsMajor U.S. pharmacy chains are rolling out their COVID-19 vaccination programs this week, as part of the first phase of the Biden administration’s Federal Retail Pharmacy Program for COVID-19 Vaccination.The program is a collaboration between the federal government, states and territories, and 21 national pharmacy partners and independent pharmacy networks to increase access to COVID-19 vaccinations across the country. The federal government will send an initial shipment of one million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to 6,500 locations across the country on Feb. 11.Starting Tuesday, Walgreens will begin accepting appointments for COVID-19 vaccinations as early as Friday, the company told ABC News in an exclusive announcement on Good Morning America. Health care workers, people over the age of 65 and individuals with preexisting conditions will be prioritized.“We’re just very excited to transition from Phase 1A to this next population and offer the vaccination to the communities we serve every single day,” Rina Shah, vice president of pharmacy operations at Walgreens, told ABC News.However, the Walgreens rollout will be slow, starting in just 15 U.S. states and jurisdictions with limited vaccine doses and appointments available.Meanwhile, CVS Pharmacy said it will begin accepting appointments on Thursday, with shots going into arms as early as Friday.Feb 09, 6:58 amUS reports under 100,000 new cases for second straight dayThere were 89,727 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in the United States on Monday, according to a real-time count kept by Johns Hopkins University.It’s the second straight day that the U.S. has reported under 100,000 newly confirmed infections. Monday’s case count is also far less than the country’s all-time high of 300,282 new cases on Jan. 2. Meanwhile, Sunday’s case count of 89,581 was the lowest the U.S. has reported since Nov. 2, Johns Hopkins data shows.An additional 1,596 fatalities from COVID-19 were registered nationwide on Monday, down from a peak of 5,085 new deaths on Feb. 4, according to Johns Hopkins data.COVID-19 data may be skewed due to possible lags in reporting over the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday weekend last month as well as during storm-related closures in some northeastern states last week.A total of 27,097,346 people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since the pandemic began, and at least 465,083 have died, according to Johns Hopkins data. The cases include people from all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and other U.S. territories as well as repatriated citizens.Much of the country was under lockdown by the end of March as the first wave of the pandemic hit. By May 20, all U.S. states had begun lifting stay-at-home orders and other restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. The day-to-day increase in the country’s cases then hovered around 20,000 for a couple of weeks before shooting back up over the summer.The numbers lingered around 40,000 to 50,000 from mid-August through early October before surging again to record levels, crossing 100,000 for the first time on Nov. 4, then reaching 200,000 on Nov. 27 before topping 300,000 on Jan. 2.So far, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has authorized two COVID-19 vaccines for emergency use — one developed by U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech, and another developed by American biotechnology company Moderna and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. More than 42 million vaccine doses have been administered nationwide, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Brazil carries out third test of MANSUP anti-ship missile

first_img View post tag: MANSUP View post tag: Brazilian Navy Photo: Youtube screengrab Share this article The Brazilian Navy has carried out a third test launch of the MANSUP anti-ship missile on July 10, targeting the hull of the former tugboat Tridente.The missile was launched by Niterói-class frigate BNS Independência on July 10 and was supported by a number of naval and aerial assets.The test was deemed a success by the navy.“The results confirmed the progress of the project and the improvements made after the first tests in November 2018 and March of 2019,” the navy said.MANSUP is a locally-developed missile measuring 5.6 meters in length, weighing about a ton and reaching a speed of 1000 km/h.Brazil is also developing an air-launched version of the anti-ship missile called MANAER.last_img read more

Jet Drive Exchange Offers Water Sports Fun

first_imgWith limited options currently available to enjoy the outdoors, how about getting into boating? Jet Drive Exchange offers unlimited access to their fleet of boats and jet skis all season long. With locations in Ocean City and Sea Isle City, members can enjoy the perks of ownership without the headache or expense traditionally associated with it. Boats and jet skis are available seven days a week for member use. Jet Drive also features contact free check-in and is sterilizing the watercraft between use as safety measures amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether it’s boating you love or jet skiing, wakeboarding or lounging, Jet Drive Exchange Boat and Jet Ski Club has a lot to offer water enthusiasts. (Photos courtesy Jet Drive Exchange)The fleet consists of ski boats, center consoles, a pontoon boat and a variety of jet skis. Members choose which watercraft they want to use for any given reservation. Their Spring Sale is currently going on, offering new members $1,000-$1,500 off new memberships. With only 10 spots remaining in Sea Isle City and eight spots in Ocean City for the 2020 season, don’t wait to reach out to the Jet Drive team for more information or to join.Visit or call (609) 224-1773.Water skiing and wakeboarding are popular activities Jet Drive Exchange members enjoy. Jet ski enthusiasts can spend a summer on the water as club members.last_img read more