ISIS – major threat to media freedom in both Iraq and Syria

first_img IraqMiddle East – North Africa December 30, 2013 – Updated on January 20, 2016 ISIS – major threat to media freedom in both Iraq and Syria IraqMiddle East – North Africa RSF’s 2020 Round-up: 50 journalists killed, two-thirds in countries “at peace” Organisation Reporters Without Borders condemns the attacks that the Jihadi group known as Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) has carried out against news media and journalists in the past few days in both Iraq and the so-called “liberated” areas of Syria.“We are worried and appalled by the growing number of ISIS attacks on journalists in Iraq and Syria,” Reporters Without Borders said. “This Jihadi group uses all means possible to further its goal of controlling news and information, systematically targeting journalists and media that do not share its ideology. Intimidation, abduction, torture and murder – ISIS rules nothing out in order to impose a reign of terror. “The local media play a crucial role in Syria, where news gathering and dissemination is becoming increasingly dangerous. Nowadays they are virtually the only media reporting what is happing in Syria, so attacks on them are real crimes against freedom of information. We firmly condemn this armed group’s actions.”In a communiqué posted on Jihadi sites on 23 December, ISIS claimed responsibility for the suicide attack earlier that day on the headquarters of Salaheddin TV in Tikrit (180 km north of Baghdad), in which five of the TV station’s employees were killed.The communiqué said the TV station was targeted because it put out lies and gave a distorted image of Iraq’s Sunni community. The statement also described how the attack was carried out.ISIS carries out equally violent actions against journalists in the regions it controls in neighbouring Syria and has become one of the main threats to freedom of information in that country, as Reporters Without Borders noted in a report published on 6 November, entitled “Journalism in Syria, impossible job?” It also bans the circulation of publications it regards as “ungodly.” On 24 December, for example, it prohibited the distribution of the magazines Tlena Al-Huriya and Al-Ghirbal in the northern province of Raqqah and burned copies of them. Follow the news on Iraq to go further Help by sharing this information RSF_en On the night of 27 December, ISIS fighters stormed the premises used jointly by Shahba Press and Hanano News Network in the Aleppo district of Hanano, ransacking the offices, removing all the equipment, and kidnapping Milad Al-Shibahi, a reporter who has worked for both news outlets for more than a year.Although the offices are located just a few meters from the revolutionary police headquarters, the revolutionary police did not intervene. Receive email alertscenter_img December 28, 2020 Find out more Iraq : Wave of arrests of journalists covering protests in Iraqi Kurdistan News On 28 December, ISIS attacked Fresh FM radio and the Kafranbel administration press office, looting almost all of their equipment and abducting six citizen-journalists – Salah Abduladir Jaar, Ahmad Hamdo Al-Bayoush, Hamoud Jnaid, Abdullah Al-Salloum, Ahmad Muhammad Al-Jannack and Abdullah Mouafaq Al-Hamadi – who were released yesterday.ISIS is about to be added to the list of “Predators of freedom of information” which Reporters Without Borders updates every year and which already includes Jabhat Al-Nosra, another Jihadi group operating in Syria. ISIS has ransacked media offices and kidnapped many Syrian and foreign journalists. This practice has intensified in the past few days, with attacks on at least five Syrian news outlets.ISIS members attacked Shada Al-Huriya TV, an Aleppo-based pro-opposition TV station, on 26 December and kidnapped five of its employees – Amin Abu Mohamad, Maher Hasroumi, Abu Younes, Taim Shami and Sultan Al-Shami.The attack came just days after the station broadcast an interview in which Adnan Al-Araour, a famous salafi cleric, accused ISIS of treachery and murder. News February 15, 2021 Find out more Three jailed reporters charged with “undermining national security” News News December 16, 2020 Find out morelast_img read more

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Dismay at five-year sentence for human rights lawyer

first_img Reporters Without Borders condemned the five-year prison sentence imposed by the Damascus criminal court today on lawyer and human rights activist Anwar Al-Bunni for signing a joint statement calling for better relations with Lebanon. Held for the past 11 months, he was found guilty of “disseminating false information weakening the nation.”“On the same day as the start of a visit by UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon and a day after a sham election designed to maintain the Baath party’s grip on power, a compliant judicial system has passed an unacceptable sentence on Al-Bunni in order to set an example and to discourage dissident groups from pushing for democracy,” the press freedom organisation said.“Nothing has changed in Syria in recent years and President Bashar Al-Assad’s installation in 2000 did not mean a break with the previous regime,” Reporters Without Borders continued. “The authorities have closed the vice around activists and independent journalists. Al-Bunni’s conviction bodes ill for Michel Kilo and Mahmoud Issa, who are being prosecuted on the same charges. We urge the authorities to drop the charges against them.”Aged 48, Al-Bunni was arrested and taken to Adra prison near Damascus on 17 May 2006 during a wave of arrests of people who had signed the “Beirut-Damascus, Damascus-Beirut” joint statement advocating the need to “respect and consolidate the sovereignty and independence of Lebanon and of Syria as part of institutionalised and transparent relations.” Signed by more than 300 leading figures from both countries, it had been made public a week before in Beirut.Khalil Maâtouk of the Al-Bunni defence committee told Reporters Without Borders his client’s conviction was a “political decision aimed at punishing him for his human rights activism.” Al-Bunni played a key role liaising with international human rights organisations. His lawyers plan to file an appeal in the next few days. The trials of Kilo, a writer and journalist, and Issa, a Communist Party member, are due to resume on 7 May. SyriaMiddle East – North Africa SyriaMiddle East – North Africa RSF_en News Help by sharing this information Organisation March 12, 2021 Find out more Toll of ten years of civil war on journalists in Syria Follow the news on Syria News Lawyer and human rights activist Anwar Al-Bunni was sentenced to five years in prison today for signing the “Beirut-Damascus, Damascus-Beirut” joint statement last year. “A compliant judicial system has passed an unacceptable sentence on Al-Bunni in order to set an example and to discourage dissident groups from pushing for democracy,” Reporters Without Borders said. March 8, 2021 Find out more Receive email alerts Damascus TV presenter arrested under cyber-crime law News Wave of Kurdish arrests of Syrian journalists to go further April 24, 2007 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Dismay at five-year sentence for human rights lawyer News February 3, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

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Senator Schumer Stresses Need To Reopen Schools Safely In The Fall

first_imgNEW YORK – U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer is stressing the need to reopen schools safely this fall.Last week, the senator announced his plan to put nearly $180 billion into schools to limit the spread of COVID-19 and level the playing field when it comes to distance learning.While speaking downstate on Sunday, Schumer stressed the need to listen to scientists and come up with a nationwide reopening plan.He says it is vital to keep agencies like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to fight COVID-19. “We are going to do everything we can to make sure that the CDC is fully funded in the stimulus package,” said Schumer. “The administration is talking about, the Republican McConnell is talking about cutting it. That would be cutting your nose to spite your face. we need the CDC to help us fight COVID.”The State Education Department recently released guidelines for school districts to reopen. Students must wear masks when they’re within six feet of each other.Their faces also have to be covered when they’re in the hallways, restrooms, and on the bus.The state also wants schools to limit the number of visitors on school grounds. Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Clean Energy’s first-quarter income slides

first_imgImage courtesy of Clean Energy FuelsClean Energy Fuels, one of the largest providers of natural gas fuel for transportation in North America reported a slide in net profit for the first quarter of 2018.The company reported a net income of $12.2 million for the quarter under review, dropping 80 percent compared to the $61 million reported in the corresponding quarter in 2017.Revenue for the first quarter of 2018 was $102.4 million, a 14.4 percent increase from $89.5 million of revenue for the first quarter of 2017.The company delivered 85.1 million gallons in the first quarter of 2018 and 2017. Growth in CNG volumes was offset principally by a reduction in LNG volumes due to the non-renewal of two contracts and RNG volumes for non-vehicle fuel that were included in contracts sold to BP.Deliveries of liquefied natural gas dropped from 16 million gallons in the first quarter of 2017 to 14.3 million gallons in the quarter currently under review. Deliveries of the compressed natural gas (CNG) on the other hand rose from 68.5 million gallons to 70.8 million gallons.last_img read more

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Syracuse junior Eric Dungey breaks program rushing touchdown record for quarterbacks

first_imgIn Syracuse’s (4-5, 2-3 Atlantic Coast) 27-24 loss at Florida State on Saturday, Syracuse junior Eric Dungey broke the program record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback. Dungey’s 20 career rushing touchdowns are the most in program history, surpassing former All-Americans Donovan McNabb and Billy Hurley.Dungey, a 6-foot-4, 222-pound three-year starter, entered 2017 second among active ACC QBs in rushing yards (644) and rushing touchdowns (11), behind only Louisville Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson. Against the Seminoles, Dungey missed a quarter with an injury, yet still ran for 109 yards and a score. He has nine rushing touchdowns this season, only two shy of his combined total in 2015 and 2016.He added 278 yards through the air, two TD passes and one interception in the loss to FSU. Syracuse has three games left this season.Here is the Syracuse all-time rushing touchdown record for QBs:1. Eric Dungey — 20 rushing touchdownsT-2. Donovan McNabb — 19 rushing touchdownsT-2. Bill Hurley — 19 rushing rouchdownsAdvertisementThis is placeholder text Comments Published on November 4, 2017 at 4:27 pm Contact Matthew: [email protected] | @MatthewGut21 Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

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Penalties and physicality plague Syracuse in 2-2 tie with Penn State

first_img Published on November 11, 2017 at 7:38 pm Contact Anthony: [email protected] With 9:42 remaining in the third period, Syracuse defender Lindsay Eastwood and Penn State forward Hannah Ehresmann raced to the puck. In an attempt to get there first, Ehresmann dove forward and took out Eastwood’s legs, sending her to the ground and her stick flying out of her hands.This weekend’s series between Syracuse (2-7-2, 1-0-1) and Penn State (2-7-4, 0-2-4) was extremely physical. The Orange’s tough play lead to an increased number of penalties which hurt SU in Saturday night’s 2-2 tie against the Nittany Lions. There were a combined 19 penalties called against the Orange this weekend, 11 of which occurred in this matchup against PSU.“We really have to be better at managing our stick and staying away from those penalties,” said SU head coach Paul Flanagan.Despite the 11 penalties in Saturday’s game, SU was able to build off last night’s strong penalty kill performance by outlasting nine of PSU’s penalty opportunities. The Orange held the Nittany Lions to one power-play goal in 19 attempts overall in this weekend’s series.At the 10:48 mark of the first period, a cross checking penalty was called on SU’s Emma Polaski. PSU attempted to take advantage of the power-play opportunity but the Orange wouldn’t allow the Nittany Lions to enter the zone. The one time PSU generated an opportunity, SU’s bench shouted: “Get there, get there, get there!” Shortly thereafter, goaltender Abbey Miller made a sprawling save, using her legs to block what seemed to be a sure goal by PSU, off a shot that was taken straight on in front of the net.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAlthough SU improved with the penalty kill this weekend, limiting penalties will be essential in success for the remainder of conference play.With 4:24 remaining in the second period, Orange forward Brooke Avery was called for cross-checking. The call was made after taking a tough angle in retrieval for the puck, eventually slamming into a PSU player in front of the net.“We need to be more disciplined and watch our sticks,” said Orange defender Allie Munroe, “We need to go into corners smarter and angle ourselves better.”SU is working on discipline mainly avoiding penalties moving forward. Munroe said the Orange must avoid penalties because, “they kill us.”Orange defender Megan Quinn said she believes SU can improve with discipline.“Keeping our feet moving when we have the puck and don’t have the puck,” she said. “Keeping our sticks down and avoiding anything that can cause a penalty.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

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Valencia confident Uganda’s Cheptegei can break world record

first_imgHe continued his rise in long distance athletics by running the world’s fastest 15k in 41.05 minutes, taking 8 seconds off the previous mark set in 2010.He would become the first Ugandan to hold two world records if his race goes according to plan on Sunday.RELATED STORIES Share on: WhatsApp Cheptegei already in Spain. PHOTO @VCRunning Today 10.30 am Star to watch: Cheptegei WATCH LIVE here (click)<span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span><span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span>Valencia, Spain | THE INDEPENDENT & @VCRunning | The 10K Valencia Trinidad Alfonso, which will be held in parallel with the Valencia Marathon on the Sunday December 1, will be the last edition of this event in Valencia. That is why an attempt will be made to set a new world record over this distance to mark the occasion.The Organisers of the 10K — SD Correcaminos (running club) and Valencia City Council — have selected the Ugandan athlete Joshua Cheptegei to make the attempt to beat the world record, currently set by the Kenyan runner Leonard Patrick Komon (26:44) in Utrecht on the 26th of September 2010.Cheptegei is a member of the NN Running Team, the world’s first professional athletics team and has trained hard for two months to be in tip-top form to compete in Valencia City of Running, on the 1st of December.The Ugandan athlete said earlier: “I want to beat the world record in Valencia, Ciudad del Running. I know it is a very fast circuit and that it has an amazing Finish. That’s why I hope to make history in what will be the last edition of the 10K Valencia Trinidad Alfonso”.Cheptegei, who arrived in Valencia early Thursday, is the reigning World 10,000m champion and 2019 World cross country champion.He is confident he will break the record. (video below)“I have one goal in Valencia, and that is to be the fastest man in history over 10km”, said the Ugandan athlete. This means he will have to beat 26:44, the present world record set by Leonard Komon. Valencia’s circuit makes it the best place to try for a new world record.Johua Cheptegei became only the second Ugandan athlete after legend John Akii-Bua to set a world best time, with his stunning run last year at the 15km NN Zevenheuvelenloop (Seven Hills Race) in Nijmegen, The Netherlands.last_img read more

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Near $1M Expansion for Popular Skateplex in Long Branch

first_imgAnd because it’s so popular, it has been a challenge for park system members to hold private programs for the community. But now the park system will be able to keep the existing Skateplex open while hosting programs when appropriate at the new rink. According to Chris Robinson of Branded Skate Shop, located next to the skate park in Long Branch, the store has had “a pretty steady amount of younger kids coming into the shop to check things out and inquire about beginner boards.” Almost daily, he has a parent come in and say that their child has an interest in learning to skate, he said. The existing Skateplex, above, was last renovated in 2015. The park system will soon put almost $1 million of work to add features for beginners nearby on the property.Photo by Allison Perrine Dip benches, magnetic bells, weights, cables, pull-up bars, suspension trainers and more are some equipment pieces that will be installed. The outdoor workout area will be geared toward adults. According to Sardonia, he and other park system members noticed that people were using the lifeguard pull-up area after their runs or walks. “We said, ‘Well, hey, let’s give people an alternative here,’ ” he said. “I think it will be a real welcomed addition as far as the skaters are concerned and we’re concerned,” said Joseph Sardonia, supervising landscape architect. “This is going to be like a premiere facility on the East Coast.” He expressed mixed emotions about separating the beginners from the experienced skaters. “For the most part I think it is fine how it is, but there is definitely some times that would work nicely,” he said. “I don’t think it would have to be completely aimed toward beginners, but it would be very nice to have another facility with some smaller ramps. Even as an experienced skater of 20 years, I am still learning new tricks. It is still fun for me to skate a park that has smaller ramps. Overall, I do think another park for beginners would be nice.” There are other skate facilities available in Monmouth and Ocean counties. Aside from town skateparks in Hazlet and Atlantic Highlands, Kennelly noted new facilities in Neptune and Brick Township that could be good for younger users. “Brick is a more advanced park, but the new Neptune one is smaller and great for beginners,” he said. But Long Branch would be his best pick for younger children to learn to skate, he said. “It has the most to offer for all ages and levels. Even after skating there for almost 15 years now, I still have a blast at the age of 27.” The project will cost about $982,462 and will be done by Your Way Construction, Inc., of Irvington, as stated in a resolution approved by the Monmouth County Board of Recreation Commissioners Nov. 4. Sardonia estimated that work could begin at the beginning of next year and, based on the weather, the facility could open by March or April. Matthew Kenelly completed a “Backside Smith Grind” at the skateplex.Photo courtesy Matthew Kennelly “This is kind of a learning facility, so someone who’s just learning to use a skateboard might feel more comfortable,” said Spears. He said the current skate park attracts a wide range of users, some nationally recognized and highly skilled. That’s where they observed the need for a place for beginners and younger children to learn and practice. The existing Skateplex underwent “a massive redesign” in 2015 to update most of its features with a new concrete street course, according to the park system. It now offers grind rails, quarter pipes, skateable planters and more to its users. It is open year-round from 8 a.m. to dusk and admission is free. Kennelly added that he sees young children skating at the park, which he enjoys. “It’s very refreshing to see them out there trying to learn all the basics. I was in their shoes 20 years ago when I first started, so I know how it feels,” he said. “It can be intimidating at times, especially when you have the older, more experienced skaters around.” In 2017 the Monmouth County Open Space Plan Citizen Survey showed that skate parks were one of the most requested amenities by respondents. Surveys were distributed to over 40,000 people and drew 3,258 visits to the survey website. Of that total, 874 surveys were completed and 98 percent of responders lived in Monmouth County. Robinson said he is surprised there has not been a push to add a BMX – bicycle motocross – portion to the park or elsewhere. “There are a lot of bikers who try to use the park, but are not allowed to.” He said the park is great for the area and brings people in from all over the state and outside of New Jersey. “I think if a town has the money in their budget and there are enough people in the community fighting for a park and there isn’t one close, then it needs to be discussed. It gives a lot of these kids somewhere to go and helps keep them out of trouble,” he said. “There is always a great vibe there, never any issues with fights or anything like that. The older kids are very welcoming and supportive to newer, younger skaters being there and trying to learn. It’s verycool to see.” New features designed for beginner skaters will be implemented just behind the existing county Skateplex at Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park in Long Branch.Photo courtesy Matthew Kennelly Middletown resident Matthew Kennelly, 27, has been skating at the Long Branch Skateplex since it opened in 2005. He said the existing facility is “amazing” and “very enjoyable,” though he does sometimes miss park features present before it was revamped in 2015. LONG BRANCH – Youngsters and beginners looking to take up skateboarding will soon have a new facility at Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park. The county will expand the skate park and add outdoor fitness equipment in the spring. Aside from upgraded skateboarding facilities coming to Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park, there will soon be new amenities for athletes and fitness buffs. According to Spears, new outdoor workout equipment will be installed in the coming months. Because many people jog in the area and use the oceanfront park as a daily workout spot, he said it can be “another option for them to include on their daily run” and “a nice amenity for visitors trying to stay fit.” It will feature various cardio and weight training equipment. New skate features like small ramps and jumps are coming to the former inline skating rink that was damaged during Super Storm Sandy, according to Andrew Spears, assistant director with the Monmouth County Park System. It is located next to the existing Skateplex on Ocean Avenue North. “Personally, I do think it has something to offer for all levels,” said Kennelly. “It has many different obstacles varying in size and height, which I think is perfect for all the different types of experience out there.” The 2019 Park System Recreation Services Plan showed that fitness and sports have high participation rates nationwide and that young children, ages 6 to 17, seem to be focusing on outdoor activities. It also showed that fitness participation rates are increasing in several areas; running and jogging are up 7 percent and walking for fitness is up 2.7 percent. According to the Monmouth County Park System, the 38-acre Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park had about 625,918 visitors in 2018.last_img read more

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Wild night for Bombers, Baker thumps LVR 62-34

first_imgBy The Nelson Daily SportsThe Mount Baker Wild turned a close game into a rout in a hurry, out scoring the host Bombers 22-0 in the third period to go on to register a 62-34 victory in Kootenay High School Girl’s Basketball action Tuesday at the L.V. Rogers Hangar.Emily Elmo scored a game-high 24 points, including four hoops from three-point land, to lead the Wild to the easy victory.The contest the fifth in seven days for the Bombers following the Christmas holiday break.The Bombers started fast out of the gate, building a 9-0 lead before the Wild scored a basket.However, Baker outscored the Bombers 10-2 to cut the margin to 11-10 after one period.In the second quarter the game turned on an inadvertent play. Bomber point guard Sarah Fuhr became entangled with the Wild player and suffered an injured thumb. The injury proved costly as Fuhr runs the Bomber offence and leads the team in scoring, averaging 17 points per game.The Wild took advantage of LVR’s inability to score, turning a 23-19 lead into a 45-19 advantage after three quarters.Kiandra McLaren led the Bombers in scoring with 10 points while Kyndle Doolan added eight. Fuhr had seven points before leaving the game while Emily Klapstein had six.The Bombers are idle until January 20 when the club plays host to the J. Lloyd Crowe Hawks at the [email protected]last_img read more

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