Arrest of 4th online journalist in 16 months makes Syria the Middle East’s biggest jail for cyber-dissidents

first_img Damascus TV presenter arrested under cyber-crime law Organisation Follow the news on Syria RSF_en to go further March 8, 2021 Find out more News ————-Create your blog with Reporters without borders: www.rsfblog.org Press release in Kurdish Help by sharing this information Wave of Kurdish arrests of Syrian journalists March 12, 2021 Find out more News SyriaMiddle East – North Africa SyriaMiddle East – North Africa September 21, 2006 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Arrest of 4th online journalist in 16 months makes Syria the Middle East’s biggest jail for cyber-dissidents Reporters Without Borders called for the release of online journalist Muhened Abdulrahman, arrested on 7 September for posting articles on independent news websites and urged diplomats in post in Damascus to intervene on behalf of the four cyber-dissidents now in Syrian jails.”Syria is today the Middle East’s biggest prison for cyber-journalists. We know that prisoners of opinion are subjected to torture in prison. We must campaign urgently for these men before they are destroyed,” the worldwide press freedom organisation said.Abdulrahman, 25, was picked up by security services in Damascus on his return from the village of Qamishly in Syrian Kurdistan where he had interviewed a Kurdish political leader. His family has had no news of him since his arrest.The young graduate from Damascus University of journalism was working for independent news sites Rezgar.com and Syrianforum.org. His work included numerous interviews and profiles of Syrian political figures.The three other cyber-dissidents imprisoned since the beginning of May 2005 are: Habib Saleh, writer and contributor to news site Elaph.com, arrested in Mai 2005 and sentenced 15 months later to three months in prison; Mohammed Ghanem, who ran www.surion.org, arrested on 31 March; Ali Sayed al-Shihabi, editorialist on Rezgar.com, arrested on 10 August 2006. Receive email alerts News Reporters Without Borders called for the release of online journalist Muhened Abdulrahman, arrested on 7 September for posting articles on independent news websites and urged diplomats in post in Damascus to intervene on behalf of the four cyber-dissidents now in Syrian jails. Toll of ten years of civil war on journalists in Syria News February 3, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

Donegal campaigner’s delight as county gets new wheelchair accessible bus route

first_imgThe National Transport Authority has announced it is to add 40 new wheelchair accessible buses to rural routes including Donegal. The news has been welcomed by local disability campaigner Vicky Matthew who has been campaigning for a route from Ballyshannon in recent months.The Donegal woman had launched a petition calling for routes to be updated and is due to hand it to TDs at Leinster House next week. Vicky had revealed how she would be prevented from attending college in Sligo from SeptemberShe told him she aims to attend college in Sligo in September if Bus Éireann could not provide a wheelchair-accessible bus from Ballyshannon.However, the NTA has now revealed that 40 new wheelchair accessible buses are to be rolled out – the first of which comes to Donegal in August.The buses are due to be delivered by August. The NTA said Bus Éireann is also working on a ‘number of accessibility projects nationwide.’ Ms Matthew told Newstalk: “This means that me personally, I am going to be able to go to college,” she said.“But it doesn’t stop here. The petition is for wheelchair-accessible public buses on all routes nationwide so next week, I will be going up to the Dáil to hand this to the Minister for Transport.”She thanked everybody who has been involved with her campaign and signed or shared her petition.She said the campaign helped her raise her voice to “be heard that wheelchair accessible buses are a basic human right.”“I am grateful,” she said. “Today is a big step forward for people with disabilities getting the services they need.” “Please keep signing and sharing the petition. I will keep campaigning until every wheelchair user in the country is able to access public buses but today is a victory.“Thank you everybody.”The change has been welcomed by Donegal Deputy Thomas Pringle and Independent candidate for Donegal Electoral Area Valerie McNulty.Deputy Pringle said: “I’m delighted to see that after much campaigning particularly by activist Vicky Mathews that Bus Eireann have finally responded to the needs of people with disabilities. This is an important development as people with disabilities who live in rural Ireland suffer disproportionately from a lack of public transport.” Valerie McNulty also welcomed the news saying: “I worked hard alongside Thomas Pringle to get an answer from the relevant authorities for a number of months now on this issue. This move is setting a precedent for other areas to follow so that all barriers for people will disabilities can be removed.”“I look forward to the rolling out of the buses this August in time for the start of the new college year and will keep the issue of accessible transport on the agenda going forward” concluded McNulty.Donegal campaigner’s delight as county gets new wheelchair accessible bus route was last modified: April 5th, 2019 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Ballyshannonbus eireannbus routeDisabilitydonegalViky Mathewswheelchairlast_img read more

Grubbs, Tatum lead crabs to 36th win

first_imgBronson Grubbs had three hits and a RBI and the Humboldt Crabs defeated the visiting Bay Area Blues 9-4 Saturday night at the Arcata Ballpark. Saturday’s win was the third in a row for the Crabs (36-10), who can complete a three-game series sweep of the Blues with a win today. The game is slated for a 12:30 p.m. start time, and will be the 2018 season finale for the Crabs. The Blues drew first blood on Saturday after Hunter Schilperos hit a ground ball which gave fellow Blues player Anthony …last_img

Warriors-Bulls cheatsheet: Are they finally ready to play a complete game?

first_imgThe Warriors are winning but not exactly cruising.As Mark Medina spells out right here, Sunday’s matinee in Brooklyn might not have looked so good in the aftermath without the work of two guys named Curry and Durant.Dieter Kurtenbach broke things downs another notch, dubbing the Curry/Durant pick-and-roll the Warriors (6-1) refuse to label as The Play That Shall Not Be Named.Ultimately it was good for a 120-116 win over the Nets. But there is little time for rest as the Warriors take on …last_img

‘South Africa, look how far we’ve come’

first_img27 April 2011President Jacob Zuma, speaking during the Freedom Day celebrations in Pretoria on Wednesday, reminded South Africans of how far their country had come since they voted in the country’s first democratic elections 17 years ago, while acknowledging that much work remained to be done to reverse the long legacy of apartheid.Addressing a large crowd gathered on the lawns of the Union Buildings, Zuma said that Freedom Day “marked the liberation of blacks from subjugation and of whites from guilt and fear, leading to the formation of one South African nation, united in its diversity, colourfulness and vibrancy.“We are celebrating a freedom and democracy that were obtained through the blood, sweat, tears, and sacrifices of scores of freedom fighters, ordinary South Africans and freedom loving people in Africa and the world,” Zuma said.“Each Freedom Day, we remember that scores of South Africans laid down their lives so that we could be free.“We must therefore commit ourselves to not allow anyone or any grouping or structure in our society, to trivialise our freedom or to reverse the gains of our hard-won democracy.”‘We’ve done exceptionally well in 17 years’Reminding South Africans of the suffering caused by apartheid laws “that stripped away the dignity of millions of South Africans”, Zuma said the country had done “exceptionally well against all odds in just 17 years” in reversing this legacy.“We have established a solid, sound, stable, functional constitutional democracy” based on a Constitution that “enjoins all of us to heal the divisions of the past and to establish a society based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights.”The Constitution also enshrined socio-economic rights, Zuma said, including the rights to water, sanitation, electricity, roads, medical care, quality education and economic opportunities.“We are pleased with the achievements scored thus far in the provision of these basic services, although much more still needs to be done.“In 1994, only 62% of households had access to clean drinking water – today 93% do. In 1994, only 50% of households had access to decent sanitation – today 77% do. In 1994, only 36% of South Africans had access to electricity – today 84% do.”Service delivery achievementsThe majority of South Africans were now provided with free basic services in water and electricity, Zuma said, while by 2010 close to 15-million people, mostly orphans and vulnerable children, pensioners and people with disabilities, were receiving social grants.At the same time, the government was upgrading informal settlements in municipalities in order to provide security of tenure and access to basic services, and had committed to building 80 000 mixed-income rental housing units in the next five years in order to enable low-income earners to live closer to where they work.To broaden economic empowerment, the government was encouraging various forms of collective ownership of the economy, such as employee shareholding schemes, co-operatives and public ownership. “There is also increased assistance to small and micro enterprises, in both rural and urban areas.”Zuma said the government continued to expand access to education and to declare no-fee schools for children of the poor, while more than eight-million children benefited from school-feeding schemes, and more than 400 000 children had received a R12 to R15 subsidy for attending a government-registered Early Childhood Development Centre.At the higher education level, Zuma said, student loans were now being converted into bursaries for qualifying final-year students, while students in further education and training colleges who qualified for financial aid were now exempted from paying fees.Local government ‘needs fixing’However, much work remained to be done, particularly in improving service delivery at the local level.“Our research has indicated that we have to do a lot more to improve the way local government works,” Zuma said, adding that a number of issues would need to be attended to after the 18 May municipal elections in order to implement the local government turnaround strategy recently adopted by the Cabinet.“We have to provide more effective and direct support to municipalities in distress, in line with the needs of each municipality,” Zuma said. “We have to ensure the appointment of qualified and experienced personnel, the transparency of tender and procurement systems, and also improve the levels of financial management and accountability.”Urging South Africans to come out in numbers to vote in the 18 May elections, Zuma said that all South Africans, “black and white, must continue to work together to deepen the reconciliation and unity of the rainbow nation.“We must work together to create a more prosperous South Africa, which will be the best place to live in on earth, for all of us.“Happy 17th Birthday to a free South Africa!”SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? 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Pamela Power: What I learned from working on South African soapie, Muvhango

first_imgWriting for the local TV soapie, Muvhango, has exposed Pamela Power to South Africa’s rich culture. It has also shown her that we are more similar than we thought.Author and script editor Pamela Power feels blessed to be able to tell stories every day. (Image: Supplied)Priya PitamberWith a name like Pamela Power, you may assume it is a superhero alias. Although she is not a superhero, Power is doing good in her own way.Power, author of Things Unseen, has also been the script editor and writer of the local soapie, Muvhango, for the past 14 years. Prior to that, she worked on Generations.Working on these programmes has helped her learn more about different cultures in South Africa, and how similar people can actually be.The show“The show,” reads the about section on the Muvhango Facebook page, “became a true reflection of South African society with elements of culture, tradition, superstition and witchcraft infused into the characters’ lives.“The show popularised Venda culture, the main language used in the series.”By season four, it had moved from being a drama to a soap opera, but Muvhango is “about family values and the strength of families holding together. The show has also remained true to its vision of telling the real African renaissance story and culture.”Power says it is mainly a Sotho/Venda soapie, but there are also Zulu and Pedi characters. “We try not to do things superficially, so we bring in the whole family and deal with everyday rituals that occur in those families – birth, death, marriage, cleansing.”Because the show is so culturally rich, South Africans can learn a lot from it, she says.“We also have no alcohol or drugs on the show, and very rarely will characters kiss, plus violence has to be motivated. This is a family show.”Muvhango script editor Pamela Power says she has learned a lot about Venda culture from working on the show. Here’s chief Azwindini Mukwevho, played by Gabriel Temudzani, and his nephew, Vusi Mukwevho, played by Raphael Griffiths. (Image: Supplied)We’re more similar than we realise“On Muvhango, I may have knowledge about writing, (but) I don’t have knowledge about the culture and I have to listen to those who do.“I also needed to immerse myself in the different cultures to try to be as authentic as possible when I write.”She’s found that there are many similarities in her upbringing in a Roman Catholic house and Venda culture.“For example,” she says, “my father was Irish with a very dry sense of humour; it’s the type of humour that can be quite harsh. There are many times when I will say in writers’ workshops: ‘Oh, Vho-Makhadzi sounds just like my one aunt.’”Cultural advisers on the show do guide the writing team, Power says. “I also learn a lot listening to the writers at our workshops. Sometimes the discussions are hilarious.”Her career highlights, so far, have been seeing her name in the credits for the first time and getting her books published.What she finds challenging is the TV show rewrites. “Things happen on TV shows; people get sick, actresses fall pregnant, a storyline may not be working out, and then you have to rewrite,” she explains.But overall, she feels blessed to be able to tell stories every single day. “Very few writers earn their living from writing alone,” she says.Power’s latest book is published by Clockwork Books.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

Grooveshark Signs EMI Deal: Staring Down the Barrel of a Gun?

first_imgTags:#start#startups Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… dana oshiro Gainesville-based music startup Grooveshark just signed a major label agreement with EMI Music and EMI Music Publishing. While the company is unwilling to disclose the exact terms of the deal, Grooveshark VP of Marketing Josh Bonnain expressed that the agreement is fair and mutually beneficial. The surprise deal comes after EMI filed a June lawsuit against the company. While Grooveshark members gain access to EMI’s huge song catalogue including tracks from the Virgin, Blue Note and Astralwerks labels, it’ll be interesting to see if the agreement is actually a sustainable one. Although a number of music startups have established partnerships with smaller indie record labels, larger deals are rare as the cost of music licensing has proved prohibitive. For streaming music site Imeem, the road to signing major labels has been fraught with legal battles. Despite the fact that Warner music originally invested in Imeem, the company sued the startup to settle outstanding debt. In the end, it seems Grooveshark renegotiated licensing agreements while staring down the barrel of a gun. Due to the similar nature of the EMI / Grooveshark relationship, we can’t help thinking that this recent deal likely skews in favor of the labels and rights holders. As ReadWriteWeb covered in August, Grooveshark recently launched a $3 per month ad-free subscription service and continues to build out its artist tools. Nevertheless, the site’s key revenue stream is its advertising. With seminal albums like Miles Davis’ Birth Of The Cool, Radiohead’s OK Computer and Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, EMI will increase Grooveshark’s catalogue selection and popular draw. It will be interesting to see if the company’s revenue increase will be worth the licensing fees. To try Grooveshark visit listen.grooveshark.com. center_img Related Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Aldridge’s 21 leads short-handed Spurs by Bulls

first_imgTIP-INSBulls: Chicago had nine steals after averaging 10.3 in its previous three games. … The Bulls trailed by 22 points after the first quarter. It was the Spurs’ largest margin after the opening period since leading by 24 in Chicago in 2014. … Justin Holiday was 1 for 4 on 3-pointers, snapping a 15-game streak in which me made at least two 3s. … The Bulls have lost four straight in San Antonio. Chicago’s last victory at the AT&T Center was Jan. 29, 2014.Spurs: Forbes is the third undrafted player under 6-foot-4 player to start a game in franchise history, joining Avery Johnson and Anthony Carter. … Gay has 10-plus points in 10 of 13 games this season. Ginobili is the only Spurs reserve with more double-digit scoring through 13 games in the past 30 years. Ginobili had 10-plus points in all 13 games in 2008, when he won the Sixth Man of the Year. … The Spurs had two back-to-back games at home in the same month for the first time in franchise history. CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH LATEST STORIES San Antonio Spurs’ Patty Mills (8), of Australia, guards Chicago Bulls’ Bobby Portis. APSAN ANTONIO — LaMarcus Aldridge had 21 points and 10 rebounds and the short-handed San Antonio Spurs beat the Chicago Bulls 133-94, setting a season-high in points despite missing a third of their roster Saturday (Sunday Manila time).Dejounte Murray added 17 points and Davis Bertans had 16 points in 18 minutes for San Antonio.ADVERTISEMENT Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Porzingis returns to score 34, Knicks beat Kings Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 Bryn Forbes, who was making his first career start, had 13 points on 3-for-5 shooting from 3.San Antonio was also almost without Gay, who was “50/50” with an ailing back, but the veteran forward played 18 minutes.San Antonio raced to a 30-8 lead in the opening quarter, extending the margin to 22 points at the close of the period.The Bulls closed the gap by scoring on 10 straight possessions in the second quarter, but the Spurs regained their dominance in the third.Robin Lopez and Bobby Portis each had 17 points to lead Chicago.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion Chicago lost rookie forward Lauri Markkanen to a sprained left ankle late in the first half. The severity of the injury is unknown.The Spurs were without six players, including three starters. In addition to Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker, who have yet to play this season due to quadriceps injuries, San Antonio was also without Danny Green. Manu Ginobili rested on the second night of a back-to-back. The Spurs still had the depth to hand the rebuilding Bulls their fourth straight loss.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutSan Antonio had eight players in double figures.Rudy Gay and Brandon Paul each had 15 points as San Antonio closed out a six-game homestand with four victories. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Read Next View commentslast_img read more

Keys to Victory: San Miguel-TNT finals series

first_imgWhat ‘missteps’? The Beermen have ran roughshod over the competition as they have put the demons of the past behind to solve their woes in the second conference.Winning the Commissioner’s Cup, a championship that has eluded the franchise since 2000, will bring San Miguel closer to its quest for a rare Grand Slam, a fitting achievement for a powerhouse team that has lorded over the league for the better part of the last three years.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutHowever, a dangerous TNT squad wants nothing but to deny its fierce rival a crack at those feats and taste triumph again, as it hopes to reclaim the title it last won back in 2015.And the KaTropa have the tools to do just that. After all, they are just one of the three teams to deal the Beermen a rare loss this conference in a 112-103 win last May 5. With the finals two days away, here are INQUIRER’s keys to victory.Smith’s statusTristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netSituation surrounding reinforcement Joshua Smith looms like a bad cloud above TNT’s head.Exiting Game 3 of the KaTropa’s semifinals series against Ginebra, the burly import came back with a vengeance in Game 4 as he racked 18 points and five rebounds to close out the series.Still, doubts are casted on even if Smith himself vowed to be fine for the championship series.ADVERTISEMENT If Smith stays true to his word, TNT may just have the kryptonite to San Miguel’s June Mar Fajardo with his sheer size the perfect foil to the three-time PBA MVP.The KaTropa won the elimination duel with a different import in Donte Greene imposing his will down low to a 40-20 game.Smith isn’t expected to churn out those numbers, but if he can throw his weight around, the battle in the paint may just tilt toward TNT.Rhodes’ foul woesSpeaking of imports, San Miguel also has its own conundrum with Charles Rhodes.Though the mercurial import is averaging 27.8 points, 10.2 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.8 blocks, and 1.3 steals, he has often times found himself saddled on the bench due to foul troubles much to the chagrin of coach Leo Austria.Rhodes did show glimpses of him adapting to the officiating from time to time, but it’s yet to be seen, what version of him will show up in the title clash, which is a first for the 31-year-old Galveston, Texas native.Castro’s right hand manIt may be an import-laden conference, but Jayson Castro hasn’t shied away from the limelight as he remains to be the top guy for TNT.Case in point was him tallying an eye-popping performance to the tune of 38 points, seven rebounds, and 11 assists to steer the KaTropa to the Finals and arrange this date with the Beermen. As great as he is, Castro can’t do it alone, especially against San Miguel’s terror trio of Alex Cabagnot, Chris Ross, and Marcio Lassiter.RR Garcia has emerged as Castro’s best backcourt partner in the semis series, but Roger Pogoy, Ryan Reyes, and Kris Rosales must step up as well if TNT seeks to vanquish its fancied foe.Three’s aplentySan Miguel and TNT have embraced the power of three.That’s why it’s no surprise that the two finals protagonists rank in the upper half of the league when it comes to three-point attempts, with the KaTropa at first and the Beermen at third.Though we’ve already mentioned the guards, we haven’t even brought up TNT’s Ranidel de Ocampo, Troy Rosario and Mo Tautuaa, as well as San Miguel’s Arwind Santos and Ronald Tubid.The question now is which team will shoot themselves to the championship and which team will shoot themselves in the foot.Pandora’s boxGiven the star power of both teams, even the slightest of adjustments can make the biggest differences in the long run.And for coaches Leo Austria and Nash Racela, digging deep in their bench could be one of the moves which can swing the momentum to their side. WATCH: Firefighters rescue baby seal found in parking garage Racela has already done his, unleashing guys like Garcia and Anthony Semerad to play vital roles in TNT’s semifinals duel against Ginebra.Austria has made the same moves, albeit in a more minimal scale by fielding in Gabby Espinas and Brian Heruela to get some minutes in the Star series.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Jordan delivers on promise: 2 Cobra choppers now in PH LATEST STORIES 1 dead in Cavite blast, fire MOST READcenter_img World’s 50 Best Restaurants launches new drinking and dining guide Cornerstones of their own conglomerates, San Miguel and TNT clash anew as they renew their rivalry, this time in the 2017 PBA Commissioner’s Cup trophy.ADVERTISEMENT ‘Excited’ Terrence Romeo out to cherish first PBA finals appearance PLAY LIST 01:30’Excited’ Terrence Romeo out to cherish first PBA finals appearance00:51Racela keeps faith in TNT import Joshua Smith00:50Trending Articles02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Corbin wins Money in the Bank; Mahal retains WWE title Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. 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