Reporters Without Borders condemns new attacks against the independent press ahead of elections

first_img Receive email alerts RSF_en BelarusEurope – Central Asia to go further BelarusEurope – Central Asia Reporters Without Borders has protested after the information minister ordered a three-month closure of the independent weekly Novaya Gazeta Smorgoni in Smorgon, western Belarus.Moreover in the run-up to legislative elections several large stores in Minsk have been refusing to sell the independent press since the beginning of the week.”It is unacceptable for the independent media to be silenced on the eve of elections that are of major importance to the country” said Reporters Without Borders in a letter to information minister, Vladimir Rusakevich. “Everything points to the fact that Novaya Gazeta Smorgoni is a victim of official abuse. We call on you to reconsider your decision to suspend this newspaper and to abstain from similar steps against other media throughout the pre-election period,” the international press freedom organisation added.The information minister, who suspended the paper on 16 August, has accused the founder of de Novaya Gazeta Smorgoni, Ramuald Ulan of failing to comply with registration procedure.Ulan, as well as several other independent specialists, has contested the legal basis for the ruling. They have pointed up contradictions in the media law in connection with the possibility of being both sole proprietor and editor of a newspaper.Novaya Gazeta Smorgoni has come under official pressure for several years. In the run-up to the local elections in 2003, the Grodno regional commercial court decided to suspend Ulan’s trading licence, thus closing the newspaper.The weekly has been carrying regular news about independent candidates for the Smorgon region ahead of the October 2004 legislative elections.Elsewhere, the three major independent newspapers such as Belorussky Rynok, Belorusskaya Delovaya Gazeta (BDG), Belorusskaya Gazeta and Narodnaya Volya, said on 23 August that seven major stores in Minsk have stopped selling their papers without any advance notice.Viktor Bondarenko, editor of Belorusskaya Gazeta, and his BDG colleagues, quoted by the Belarus Association of Journalists (BAJ), said the local authorities had apparently “recommended” to the owners of the major stores that they should not sell the newspapers in the pre-election period. According to BDG, advertisers had reportedly come under similar pressure. Russian media boss drops the pretence and defends Belarus crackdown May 27, 2021 Find out more “We welcome opening of criminal investigation in Lithuania in response to our complaint against Lukashenko” RSF says News Newscenter_img Help by sharing this information May 28, 2021 Find out more News News Follow the news on Belarus Organisation June 2, 2021 Find out more RSF at the Belarusian border: “The terrorist is the one who jails journalists and intimidates the public” August 25, 2004 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Reporters Without Borders condemns new attacks against the independent press ahead of electionslast_img read more

Houston Food Bank tosses almost $3 million in fresh food after ammonia leak

first_imgiStock(HOUSTON) — Houston Food Bank is seeking volunteers to help with donations after it was forced to throw away nearly 2 million pounds of fresh food worth almost $3 million.An ammonia leak Tuesday night happened after one of the fans used to cool a refrigerated area “caved into the actual unit,” Brian Greene, president of Houston Food Bank, told ABC Houston station KTRK-TV.The food that was tossed was worth an estimated $2.7 million, Greene said. Fresh produce that was en route to the warehouse is being stored in refrigerated trucks as repairs continue inside the facility.Video taken inside part of the facility’s 28,000 square feet of refrigerated space shows aisles and aisles ceiling-high shelves completely bare.Greene said volunteers are needed urgently so the organization can continue to accept donations from “all over the country.”The food bank operates 24 hours a day and serves about 1.1 million people who are struggling with food insecurity, he said.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Long Island Reps Call For Investigation Into Alleged Russian Hacking

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Several Long Island congressional representatives have joined a growing chorus of elected officials urging an investigation into Russia’s purported interference in the presidential election and alleged hacking of the Democratic National Committee and the Republican National Committee, even as disagreements remain regarding the veracity of recently leaked intelligence assessments.The calls for a probe come amid news reports of a secret CIA assessment concluding that Russia interfered in the election to boost now President-elect Donald Trump’s chance of winning—instead of simply undermining the United State’s electoral system—and on the heels of his announced pick for secretary of state, Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson, who has close business ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.The reports in the Washington Post noted that the agency has not yet uncovered evidence that Russian President Vladimir Putin directed the attack. The paper also acknowledged “minor disagreements among intelligence officials about the agency’s assessment, in part because some questions remain unanswered.”Shortly after the publication of the explosive WaPo story, The New York Times reported that Russia had infiltrated the Republican National Committee during the election campaign but did not publicly release any documents from that purported hack.Further muddying the intelligence assessment are disagreements between the federal intelligence agencies, such as the CIA and FBI. The latter has said it has yet to find evidence supporting the notion that the Russian hack was intended to support Trump. Underscoring the contrasting points of view, the CIA, WaPo reported, told several U.S. Senators in a private security briefing that it was “quite clear” Russia interfered to improve Trump’s chances of winning.Congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle now say they support an investigation into allegations that Russian interfered in the 2016 presidential election.“Congress’s national security committees have worked diligently to address the complex challenge of cybersecurity, but recent events show that more must be done,” a group of senators, including incoming Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC), said in a statement. “While protecting classified material, we have an obligation to inform the public about recent cyberattacks that have cut to the heart of our free society.”Long Island Reps. Peter King (R-Seaford), Kathleen Rice (D-Garden City), Gregory Meeks (D-Queens) and retiring Rep. Steve Israel (D-Dix Hills) all said they welcome a probe into potential Russian intrusion. The office of Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) did not respond to a request for comment. For his part, Trump says he has scrutinized the intelligence reports and does not believe the Russians interfered, calling the analysis “ridiculous.”Questions regarding how Russia was able to hack into the Democratic National Committee’s system, and, perhaps most consequential, who directed the alleged intrusion into the DNC, as well as Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta’s email, are high on the list for politicians aghast at the brazen pilfering of correspondences passed along to WikiLeaks during the election.The constant drip of leaked emails prior to the Nov. 8 election, many of them mundane but others more damaging to Clinton, contributed to public concerns that the former US Secretary of State and First Lady was dishonest.“Russia’s reported interference in our elections—regardless of whether their motivation was to undermine the integrity of the process or, as the CIA has concluded, to help a specific candidate—is a direct attack on the foundation of our democracy, and it demands a rigorous bipartisan investigation,” said Rice, a minority member of the House Homeland Security Committee, in a statement.King, also a member of the House Homeland Security Committee and Chairman of the Sub-Committee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence, told the Press that there’s little doubt that the Democratic National Committee was hacked by Russians. But he remains unconvinced that Russia was behind the breach into Podesta’s email or that the series of election-related attacks were managed by top officials inside the Kremlin in an attempt to swing the election in Trump’s favor.“It’s the pretty solid consensus that they did hack into the Democratic National Committee, also that they attempted to hack into the Republican National Committee but did not succeed,” said King, adding that the recent disclosures amounted to “selective leaking” by people with an agenda.Still, King acknowledges that intelligence agencies may not have all the facts yet, thus he supports an investigation, which he said should be conducted by the Homeland Security Committee because special select committees often take months to get off the ground.As for Trump’s outright rejection of the intelligence agencies’ assessments, King said he disagreed.“I’m no expert on cyber security or hacking, I try to be an expert on knowing who to rely on,” he said, adding that there’s consensus the Russians hacked the DNC. “Why Donald Trump doesn’t accept that, [he’d] have to explain that.”The intelligence leaks came just hours after President Barack Obama ordered a full review of the Russians’ hacking efforts during the presidential election.Trump’s choice of Tillerson, who received Russia’s “Order Of Friendship” from Putin in 2013—one of the highest honors that country can bestow upon a foreigner—has also received growing criticism. Sen. McCain called Putin “a thug and a murderer” on CNN Monday, repeated the description on NPR, and said, “I don’t see how anybody could be a friend of this old-time KGB agent.”(Top Photo: Russian President Vladimir Putin/Courtesy Maria Joner)last_img read more

Salah the star African performer in Europe

first_imgParis, France | AFP | Mohamed Salah was the star African performer in Europe at the weekend, netting twice to close within one goal of Harry Kane in the English Premier League leading scorer race.The Egypt sharpshooter and 2017 African Footballer of the Year twice gave Liverpool the lead in a dramatic 2-2 draw with Tottenham Hotspur, whose second equaliser came from Kane.Gabon striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang — third behind Salah and Senegalese Sadio Mane in the Footballer of the Year poll — scored on his debut as Arsenal triumphed 5-1 against Everton.ENGLANDMOHAMED SALAH (Liverpool)The Egypt winger struck twice, including a stoppage-time goal, but Liverpool were denied as Tottenham rescued a 2-2 draw at Anfield. Salah punished a mistake from defender Eric Dier to put Liverpool ahead with a cool finish in the third minute. He restored Liverpool’s lead with a superb solo effort — his 21st league goal this term.PIERRE-EMERICK AUBAMEYANG (Arsenal)He marked his Arsenal debut with a goal in the Gunners’ 5-1 demolition of Everton at the Emirates Stadium. Aubameyang joined Arsenal from Borussia Dortmund for a club record £56 million (about $79.1 million/63.5 million euros) last week and didn’t waste time making a good impression on his new fans. He capped a lively performance by scoring Arsenal’s fourth goal with a cool finish late in the first half, although replays showed he was fortunate not to be flagged offside.WILFRIED BONY (Swansea City)The Ivory Coast striker has been ruled out for the rest of the season after suffering a serious injury in a 1-1 draw at Leicester. Former Manchester City star Bony tore a cruciate ligament in his knee after coming on as a second-half substitute.AHMED HEGAZI (West Bromwich Albion)The Egypt defender scored his first goal since August, but it wasn’t enough to boost his side’s hopes of avoiding relegation as they lost 3-2 at home to Southampton. Hegazi put Albion in front with a fourth-minute header from Chris Brunt’s cross.VICTOR WANYAMA (Tottenham Hotspur)Wanyama set up a dramatic finish at Anfield with an incredible 25-yard piledriver into the top corner for Tottenham’s first equaliser 10 minutes from time. The Kenyan had been on the pitch only a minute before smashing home his first goal of an injury-plagued season.RIYAD MAHREZ (Leicester City)Algerian Mahrez was again absent from the Leicester squad in a 1-1 draw against Swansea after his displeasure at the Foxes’ refusal to let him move to runaway league leaders Manchester City last week. MOHAMED DIAME (Newcastle United)Senegalese midfielder Diame headed home his second goal of the season to earn Newcastle a 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace to lie just a point above the relegation zone.SPAINEMMANUEL BOATENG (Levante)The 21-year-old Ghanaian marked only his fourth La Liga start with his first goal in the Spanish top flight against floundering champions Real Madrid. Boateng latched onto a loose ball to coolly slot in Levante’s first equaliser of a 2-2 draw and cap an enterprising individual display.ITALYKALIDOU KOULIBALY (Napoli)Bottom club Benevento were awarded a penalty for Senegalese defender Koulibaly’s clumsy tackle only for it to be revoked by VAR (video assistant referee) due to an earlier offside position. Napoli won 2-0 to stay top of the Serie A table.AFRIYIE ACQUAH/MBAYE NIANG/JOEL OBI (Torino)Ghanaian Acquah equalised and was sent off as Torino settled for a 1-1 draw against European qualification rivals Sampdoria. Acquah levelled in the 25th minute before being red-carded for a second bookable offence after 75 minutes. Senegalese Niang missed a chance to pull Torino ahead three minutes after Acquah’s goal, but his lob was off target. He was substituted to his obvious displeasure and Nigerian Obi went off injured.GERMANYSALOMON KALOU (Hertha Berlin)Once again, the Ivory Coast veteran rescued a point for Hertha when he headed home a second-half equaliser for his eighth Bundesliga goal of the season in a 1-1 draw against Hoffenheim. It was the fourth time this season that Kalou, 32, pulled Berlin level after also netting in draws against Bayern Munich, Freiburg and Augsburg.FRANCEKEITA BALDE (Monaco)The Senegal international endured a night of contrasting emotions as Monaco came from two goals down to beat Lyon 3-2. Balde used his strength to hold off a series of defenders and drill in a low strike to cut the deficit on 31 minutes that helped spark his side’s recovery. But his role in the fightback ended prematurely as he was sent off for a second yellow card shortly before half-time for a wild challenge on Ferland Mendy, having been booked minutes earlier for kicking the ball away in frustration.Share on: WhatsApplast_img read more

Nations Cup team picked for British championship

first_img English champion Kelly Tidy will team up with Georgia Hall and Charley Hull to represent England Golf in the Nations Cup event at the women’s British amateur championship at Carnoustie, from June 26-30. Kelly Tidy, 20, (image © Leaderboard Photography) won the English title earlier this month at her home club, Royal Birkdale, when she beat Georgia Hall, 16, (Remedy Oak) in a play-off. Kelly is a past winner of the British championship. Georgia was also a semi-finalist in this season’s French Lady Junior Championship, has won the Roehampton Gold Cup and shared the honours in the Hampshire Rose. Charley Hull, 16, (Woburn) has been as high as third in the world amateur golf rankings this season. She was fifth in the Turkish Airlines Ladies Open on the Ladies European Tour and had a top 40 finish in the first women’s Major of the year, the Kraft Nabisco Championship in California. Kelly, Charley and Nations Cup team reserve Holly Clyburn (Woodhall Spa) are all members of the GB&I Curtis Cup team for the match against the USA at Nairn from June 8-10, while Georgia is a reserve. 29 May 2012 Nations Cup team picked for British championship last_img read more