Call for dialogue with government in letter to new information minister

first_img Two journalists murdered just days apart in Venezuela Organisation News News June 15, 2020 Find out more VenezuelaAmericas March 13, 2006 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Call for dialogue with government in letter to new information minister New wave of censorship targeting critical media outlets Mr. Willian LaraMinister of Communication and InformationDear Minister,Reporters Without Borders would like to take advantage of your installation as Minister of Communication and Information on 9 March to refer to recent exchanges between the government you represent and our organisation. Our hope is to establish the basis for a real dialogue.As a press freedom organisation, we recently issued two releases about cases currently before the courts that appear to be causing a controversy in the news media and public opinion in Venezuela. The first, on 27 February, took the form of an open letter to your predecessor, Yuri Pimentel, querying contempt of court proceedings against several news media. The second was about the detention on 7 March of Televisora del Táchira presenter Gustavo Azócar Alcalá on charges of fraud and embezzlement.We were both astonished and shocked at the violence if the statements issued by your ministry on 1 and 9 March in response to our releases. We even posted – on the Spanish-language version of our website – Mr. Pimentel’s response to our open letter to him.We were shocked because these statements contained many false accusations against Reporters Without Borders. The 9 March statement charged us with being “in the pay of the US government and secret services” and with undertaking “the media sabotage against the Bolivarian Revolution”; In the eyes of your government, we were guilty of “defaming the Venezuelan people, despising Venezuela and meddling in its internal affairs”. All this was said to be “with the complicity of the seditious opposition and the privately-owned media, in a new media offensive that is part of the psychological war operations of the Empire – the United States – designed to justify its aggression against Venezuelan democracy”.In both cases, we just expressed our concern about specific legal issues without questioning the principle of the proceedings and without in any way denigrating the authorities responsible. Concern does not mean condemnation.It is the job of every NGO to question democratic governments about the principles or causes they claim to defend. We have, it is true, criticised parts of the law on the social responsibility of the news media and the criminal code reform law. We fear that some of the provisions of these laws restrict press freedom. But have we said there will be no more press freedom in Venezuela? No, we have not. And criticising a law is not the same as condemning a government.This is the reason for our astonishment. On the one hand, we know that the situation of journalists is much more dramatic in countries such as Mexico and Colombia in which, unlike Venezuela, they are exposed to reprisals from armed groups. On the other hand, we also condemned the imprisonment of Judith Miller of The New York Times from July to September 2005 in the United States just for refusing to reveal her sources to the judicial authorities.We have also paid a great deal of attention to the case of Al-Jazeera cameraman Sami al-Hajj, who has been held for nearly four years on the US naval base at Guantánamo Bay without specific charges being brought against him and in conditions that violate all international human rights conventions. We urge you to read our recent report, available on our website, which has a title that could not be clearer about its content: “Camp Bucca and Guantánamo : when American imprisons journalists”. We are ready to send you a copy.We have not failed to understand the role of certain privately-owned Venezuelan news media during the period of the April 2002 coup, and we stressed this at the time. We therefore find it all the harder to understand why your government is the only one to be unable to tolerate any criticism at all.Finally, we do indeed receive funding from the National Endowment for Democracy. This financing represents 3 per cent of our budget – our accounts are public – and, aside from the fact that it comes from the US congress and not the White House, it is assigned to our activities in support of imprisoned African journalists. It has nothing to do with western hemisphere.I very much hope your will heed our appeal.Sincerely,Robert MénardSecretary-General RSF_en Receive email alerts to go further News News January 13, 2021 Find out more Follow the news on Venezuela VenezuelaAmericas August 25, 2020 Find out more Two recent Reporters Without Borders releases about controversial cases elicited scathing responses from communication and information minister Yuri Pimentel, accusing us of plotting “media sabotage against the Bolivarian Revolution”. In a letter to his successor, Willian Lara (photo), who was appointed on 9 March, we answer the charges and call for dialogue. Coronavirus “information heroes” – journalism that saves lives Help by sharing this information last_img read more

Cognitive-enhancing drug abuse on the rise

first_imgThere are claims that Oxford undergraduates are part of the increasing trend amongst UK university students to turn to cognitive enhancing drugs to stay on top of academic work.Drugs such as Ritalin (methylphenidate), Adderall and Modafinil are prescription stimulants usually used to treat neurological conditions such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Narcolepsy.However, there is a growing demand amongst students for these drugs to help them get through exam revision, or weekly essays.Earlier this month, Professor John Harris, of the Institute for Science, Ethics and Innovation at the University of Manchester has called for these “smart drugs” to be available over the counter to students.A study by Cambridge academics has identified that it is now more common for students, and even tutors, to turn to drugs aiding memory, concentration and planning for non-medical purposes.One student from Lincoln College explained that they would never normally consider taking illegal substances but stated that she could “definitely understand why students would look for something more than Red Bull to keep them going when they’re in the library at four am.”Cambridge’s study speculated that the drugs, readily available on the internet, could come to replace caffeine as a means of raising energy levels.However, it also noted that the effects of “long-term use has not been monitored in healthy individuals”.A spokesperson for Oxford University stated that the University would “strongly advise students against” taking drugs that have not been specifically prescribed to them, calling it “dangerous” and “illegal”. They also urged students to report to the police anyone trying to sell drugs.Professor Philip Cowen of the Psychopharmacology Research Unit at the University of Oxford stated that use of the drug raised the “ethical question” as to whether everyone would be starting off on a “level playing field”.However, some Oxford students have dismissed this question. One student commented, “I don’t feel it’s cheating because if some people get extra time, why can’t I take performance-enhancing drugs?”A spokesperson for Oxford University stated that students who are struggling with stress and are tempted to turn to drugs should instead use the “range of support” offered by the University’s welfare systems.He said, “They should talk to their tutors, their college welfare officers, OUSU, their GP, or the University Counselling Service.”last_img read more

Pope denounces violence against women, demands protection

first_imgROME (AP) — Pope Francis is denouncing the verbal, physical, psychological and sexual violence women endure and is demanding greater protections and attention for them. Francis dedicated his February prayer intentions to women victims of violence, and said those who commit such abuses are cowards.  He said: “It’s shocking how many women are beaten, insulted, and raped. The various forms of ill-treatment that many women suffer are acts of cowardice and a degradation of all humanity. Of men and of all humanity.” He praised those women who “dare to break their silence” to seek help and said the church cannot look away. The statements were made in a video prayer message released Monday.last_img

Coach Joe Bena was a significant influence

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion I would like to thank The Daily Gazette for its Feb. 27 front page coverage about the life of Coach Joe Bena. I had the privilege of coaching against Coach Bena when he was coaching in Duanesburg and developed a relationship with this great man over the course of his tenure there.It’s evident through Coach Bena’s positive demeanor how he was able to influence so many students, athletes, coaches, peers and community members. Coach Bena always had sage advice, not just about wrestling but about life as well. He served as an inspiration for me to be a better coach, a better teacher and a better person. I would like to send my condolences and prayers to the Bena family. I would also like to again say “thank you” to The Gazette for sharing the story of Coach Bena’s life with the community so that the readers of The Gazette were able to get a glimpse into the accomplishments and legacy of this great man.DAVID RUSSELLCobleskillMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censuslast_img read more

Cricket News Surgical Strike 2.0: How is the Josh, says Virat Kohli ahead of final T20 against Australia

first_imgNew Delhi: Ahead of the final T20 match against Australia, the Indian captain, Virat Kohli came up with a thrilling post on Facebook where he shared a picture of the Indian team practicing with the caption, “How’s the Josh?”. The Indian Air Force carried out pre-dawn airstrikes on Tuesday and destroyed major launch pads of terrorists in Pakistan’s Balakot. More than 10 bombs were dropped by the multi-role fighter jet Mirage 2000 at around 3:30 am. The attack was confirmed by the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi. India said the attacks targeted the biggest training camp of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) which claimed responsibility for the suicide terror attack on a CRPF convoy in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district on February 14, killing over 40 personnel.  Earlier, the Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar took to the twitter and said, “Our niceness should never be comprehended as our weakness. I salute the IAF, Jai HindVirendra Sehwag emulated his idol and responded in his style and said, “The boys have played really well. #SudharJaaoWarnaSudhaarDenge #airstrike”India’s left-handed batsman Suresh Raina salutes Indian Air Force for their great effort and said, “My salute to #IAF for showing great courage in the face of adversity. A fitting reply to cowardice! #JaiHindAjinkya Rahane also took to Twitter and said, “Bravo to the #IndianAirForce! They have sent a much-needed message against terror. We are proud of you. Jai Hind!” Yuzvendra Chahal said, “Indian Air Force Bohot Hard Bohot Hard #IndiaStrikesBack #JaiHind” For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.last_img read more

SBOBET and Borussia Dortmund deal “a huge step” for Asian fans

first_img UKGC data reveals ‘notable recovery’ for sports betting July 6, 2020 Related Articles Submit Share StumbleUpon MySportwetten: What German players want from a bookmaker July 10, 2020 SBOBET has agreed to become Borussia Dortmund’s official betting partner in Asia, a deal described by the Head of the Ruhr giants’ Asia office as “a huge step” that will help the club get “even closer” to its Asian fans. In a landmark deal, the Celton Manx-operated SBOBET and BVB‘s partnership will kickoff at the start of the 2018-19 Bundesliga season.The agreement will see SBOBET promoted across BVB‘s various advertising channels.SBOBET, for its part, will align itself with the club to offer exclusive promotions and activities in Asia, allowing its fans in the continent to get a more intimate BVB football experience.SBOBET will also support the Black and Yellows with their global profile and social initiatives in the region.Borussia Dortmund’s Suresh Letchmanan, Head of BVB‘s Asia office, highlighted the importance of the partnership for the club, especially in their quest to further tap the ever-growing Asian region.“This partnership is a huge step for Borussia Dortmund to get even closer to our Asian fans. Our supporters from Asia have always sought new and exciting opportunities to engage with the club, and we believe SBOBET is the ideal partner to spread the BVB brand of football in the region,” Letchmanan said.“SBOBET’s trustworthy reputation and strong presence in the Asian market also bodes well for our concentrated efforts to get the Borussia Dortmund name to the minds of passionate Asian football fans as their first-choice club to support in Europe.”Meanwhile, Celton Manx Executive Director Bill Mummery expressed his excitement with the partnership and pointed out his hopes for a mutually successful relationship with the German team.“The Bundesliga continues to rise in Asia and we are delighted to have one of its best teams, Borussia Dortmund, as our partner. They have an amazing fan base, not only in Europe but all over the globe,” Mummery added.“We admire Dortmund’s rich history and what they have built throughout the years, establishing themselves as regular fixtures in Europe’s top competitions. And while we are delighted to have Dortmund grow with us in Asia, we are more excited for our Asian fans and what this partnership will bring them in the near future.” Leeds United nets record breaking SBOTOP sponsorship for EPL comeback August 11, 2020 Sharelast_img read more