Appeal to the the candidates

first_img to go further Organisation News Follow the news on France In recent years, French courts have handed down a number of rulings particularly harmful to press freedom. They now frequently give priority to confidentiality of the preliminary examination of a case, to the principle of presumed innocence and to the confidentiality of professional and financial information over a journalist’s right to freely seek out and publish material. This trend was confirmed in 2001, in contradiction to rulings of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), which usually favours the right to inform the public on grounds that “safeguarding press freedom is in the interests of a democratic society.” A dozen journalists were convicted or prosecuted in 2001 for publishing articles investigating matters of public interest such as scandals. Libel writs are still regularly used. In the Falcone scandal about illegal arms sales to Angola, two national daily newspapers and four journalists were convicted by the Paris magistrates’ court for articles that were deemed “generally” defamatory. The court said the facts in the article were “not individually libellous, but taken together” they were “because of the implications that can be drawn from them.”Some journalists were prosecuted for “jeopardising the presumption of innocence.” A magazine that printed a photo of former Elf Aquitaine oil company chief Alfred Sirven in the Santé prison in Paris was fined the equivalent of 6,100 euros under the new article 35 (3) of the 1881 press law, added by the law of 15 June 2000 to strengthen the protection of presumption of innocence. The court said the law clearly took priority over the argument that the right to inform the public was more important in the case of a special event. The photographers cleared in 1999 of involvement in the accidental death of Britain’s Princess Diana faced new charges in 2001 of “invading privacy” for taking photos of the accident.More seriously, as well as the traditional limits on press freedom, imposed by the law to prevent and punish violation of people’s rights, there is a new practice by courts and judges that challenges the right of journalists to even possess certain kinds of information.The French supreme court confirmed in 2001 the existence of a new crime for journalists of being in possession of material violating the confidentiality of a preliminary legal investigation or of professional matters when it upheld the conviction of two journalists who revealed documents from an enquiry into the scandal of phone tapping ordered by the French presidency. But journalists are not legally bound by this confidentiality, as are judges, police and court clerks, or by professional secrecy, as are lawyers. The offence of “possessing” material breaching such confidentiality emerged with the political-financial scandals of the 1990s and has since been a regular feature of court cases.Journalist Arnaud Hamelin was charged under this heading in October 2000 in connection with the copying and passing of the “Méry cassette” as part of the preliminary investigation of former finance minister Dominique Strauss-Kahn and “others” for “removing a document from legal custody.” The supreme court confirmed this legal innovation even though the ECHR condemned France in 1999 in another case, saying that conviction of a journalist for possessing a document involving professional secrecy was undue interference by legal authorities in freedom of expression.This disturbing trend in the decisions of French courts also challenges the right of journalists accused of defamation to present proof of their allegations, details of their investigations and evidence of their good intentions. A journalist was convicted in May 2001 of having presented in his defence material from a judge’s preliminary investigation two years earlier.The Paris appeals court also confirmed in 2001 a decision against a daily paper for libelling Dr Michel Garetta in a French blood transfusion scandal. The paper’s lawyer said the court forbade the journalists to produce documents covered by legal confidentiality that proved the seriousness of the journalist’s investigations. Journalists are thus caught between being accused of libel if they fail to prove their assertions and of illegally “possessing information” if the material that may prove their case is part of an ongoing investigation.But if the journalist seems to know more than the judge and his investigations seem more thorough than the legal investigation, there is a great temptation for courts and judges to force journalists to reveal their sources. The right of journalists not to reveal their sources is regularly challenged in France. In September 2001, journalist and photographer Jean-Pierre Rey, a Corsican affairs specialist, was held for nearly the legal maximum of four days by the National Anti-Terrorist Service (DNAT) for lengthy interrogation under the unspoken but real threat that he could be charged.Over the previous 20 months, four other journalists were questioned in similar circumstances, to “give evidence” as part of enquiries into attacks in Brittany and Corsica or into political and financial scandals. Journalist Hubert Levet, who in 1999 had disclosed the half-yearly accounts of the firm Aérospatiale-Matra before they were officially released, was questioned at length by financial experts of the Paris magistrates’ court about the source of his information, which he refused to reveal. His paper’s offices were searched and his details of all his phone calls examined. He was finally left alone by the authorities in February 2000. In October 2000, journalist Arnaud Hamelin was detained for two days for questioning about how he had arranged to copy the “Méry cassette” and how its contents came to be published in the daily Le Monde. The June 2000 law says people cannot be held for questioning unless there are “reasons to suspect they have committed or tried to commit an offence.” The journalists who have been detained in this way over the past two years have denounced what they call a form of pressure to get them to disclose information covered by the right not to reveal sources. A journalist investigating possible criminal activity is thus often treated by the legal system on an equal footing with the suspected criminals. This assimilation, which has become commonplace in recent years by judges handling financial or anti-terrorist cases, is deplorable. Seeking out and publishing information is the essence of journalism. In matters of public interest that are under legal investigation but of special interest to the general public, the media must be able to continue freely playing its role, which is not to be confused with the role of the courts, and to freely exercise its responsibility in relation to the truth and reliability of information and its respect for individuals, as part and parcel of democratic debate.This issue is important enough to be tackled by the candidates in the French presidential election. The French National Press Federation and Reporters Without Borders urge that the Code of Criminal Procedure (article 109, paragraph 2) be amended to strengthen the protection of journalists being interviewed by courts and judges about material gathered in the course of their work. So far, such appeals have fallen on deaf ears. We now ask the candidates to formally pledge that they will ensure respect, legally and in practice, of the right of journalists to freely seek out and disseminate information without always having to account for such activity to judges and courts. Use the Digital Services Act to make democracy prevail over platform interests, RSF tells EU May 10, 2021 Find out more In recent years, French courts have handed down a number of rulings particularly harmful to press freedom. The French National Press Federation and RSF urge the candidates in the French presidential election to pledge that they will ensure respect of the right of journalists to freely seek out and disseminate information. Help by sharing this information April 16, 2002 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Appeal to the the candidates FranceEurope – Central Asia Receive email alerts News “We’ll hold Ilham Aliyev personally responsible if anything happens to this blogger in France” RSF says June 4, 2021 Find out more News RSF_en RSF denounces Total’s retaliation against Le Monde for Myanmar story June 2, 2021 Find out more FranceEurope – Central Asia Newslast_img read more

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Film Study Center offers fellowships

first_imgThe Film Study Center (FSC) at Harvard University offers fellowships for the production of original film, video, photographic, and phonographic projects, from the ethnographic to the experimental, which interpret the world through image and sound. FSC-Harvard fellowships are open to Harvard faculty, graduate students, teaching assistants, and postdoctoral and research fellows. Applicants must be affiliated with Harvard during the fellowship year for which they are applying.Fellows are part of a community of makers, and participate in monthly gatherings where works in progress are shared and discussed. Fellowships include access to cameras and other production equipment, postproduction facilities, and technical support, as well as some funding.The deadline is Feb. 15.last_img

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East Meadow Man Convicted of Murder

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York An East Meadow man has been convicted of fatally shooting a 46-year-old stranger in the stomach with a shotgun on a Hempstead street last year.A Nassau County jury found Herber Guzman guilty of second-degree murder and criminal possession of a controlled substance.Prosecutors said the 42-year-old was in his white Kia Sportage on Marvin Street when he fired a shotgun into the abdomen of Stanley Cater at 4:30 a.m. on April 26, 2012.Guzman was apprehended six days later when he was pulled over during a traffic stop during which authorities said they found a small bag of crack cocaine in the vehicle.He faces up to 25 years to life in prison when he is sentenced Nov. 22.last_img

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Avian flu suspected in ducks in Sweden, cat in Germany

first_imgFeb 28, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – Europe braced for further spread of the H5N1 avian influenza virus today in the wake of reports that the virus was suspected in the deaths of two wild ducks on Sweden’s Baltic coast and a domestic cat in Germany.The cat was discovered last weekend on Ruegen, the island off Germany’s north coast where H5N1 was first discovered on German soil, according to a Reuters report.Cats have been known to contract the H5N1 virus before. For example, a zoo near Bangkok, Thailand, lost 147 tigers to H5N1 and subsequent culling after they were fed chickens in October 2004, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in a statement issued late today.Albert Osterhaus, a virologist with the Erasmus Medical Center in the Netherlands, told Reuters he was not surprised by the cat case.”People should keep their cats inside in regions where the disease was found,” Reuters quoted Osterhaus as saying. “Cat-to-human transmission is theoretically possible and not to be excluded. We have seen cat-to-cat transmission in laboratory experiments.”But the WHO sought to allay concern about avian flu in housecats. “There is no present evidence that domestic cats play a role in the transmission cycle of H5N1 viruses,” the agency said today. “To date, no human case has been linked to exposure to a diseased cat. No outbreaks in domestic cats have been reported.”Avian flu apparently can spread from birds to cats, but there is no evidence that cats are a reservoir for the virus, the WHO said. There have been a few reports of infected housecats in recent years; in all of them, eating raw infected poultry was the most likely cause of infection, the agency said.In other outbreak news:Two wild birds in the south German state of Bavaria were found to have H5N1, Bloomberg News reported today, marking the spread of the virus in five of Germany’s 16 states.Iraq was investigating three possible human cases in Baghdad and one in the province of Diyala, in the northeast, Reuters reported. The WHO has already confirmed two human deaths from avian flu in Iraq.Ethiopia suspects an avian flu virus is behind the deaths of more than 6,000 chickens in the Southern Nation and National People’s state, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP). Samples are being sent to a laboratory in Italy to determine the virus subtype, said the agriculture and rural development ministry spokesman, Mulugeta Debalkew. The affected farm is 110 miles southwest of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital, AFP reported.Ethiopia’s southern neighbor, Kenya, has said that dead poultry found in Nairobi did not have H5N1, according to a separate AFP report from Nairobi today. However, the story did not mention what testing method was used, and Kenyan authorities did not say what did kill at least 400 chickens dumped in a residential area of the capital city last weekend.While Pakistan awaits test results to determine the neuraminidase type in its confirmed H5 cases, culling has begun at the two affected farms, according to the United Nations’ Integrated Regional Information Network (IRIN) today. About 25,000 birds were culled as a precautionary measure, according to Pakistan’slivestock commissioner, Dr. Muhammad Afzal. Pakistan has said that early tests found evidence of a mild H5 virus, but, Afzal told IRIN, “It’s better to take an international opinion as well, so we have sent the samples to Britain.”Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, was quoted by Reuters today as saying that the virus is spreading relentlessly.”Every day there’s another country . . . and it’s going to go all the way across (the globe), there’s no doubt about it,” Fauci said at a conference on avian flu in Washington, DC.WHO worried about NigerIn addition, the WHO today issued a situation update on the H5N1 poultry outbreaks in Niger. It reads like a grim prediction, echoing the concerns of many experts about the presence of the lethal virus in Africa:”Detection of the virus in Niger confirms fears that conditions in West Africa, including late detection of outbreaks, the fluid movement of birds across borders, and low population awareness of the disease, will favor spread to additional countries. Experience in all affected countries has shown how easily and rapidly the virus can become established in birds when detection is late and the introduction of control measures is delayed.”Possible outbreaks in other African countries are under investigation, the WHO noted, and many countries’ responses are hindered by nonexistent early-warning systems in people or humans, poor diagnostic capacity, and difficulties shipping specimens.In addition, WHO said the virus found in Africa is “virtually identical” to the viruses known to be lethal to people.Noting that Africa’s roughly 1.1 billion chickens are mostly produced on backyard farms, the agency said, “Concern that human cases may occur in affected parts of Africa is high, given the close contact between people and poultry. . . . Each additional human case gives the virus an opportunity to evolve toward a form that spreads easily from person to person.”FAO fears economic toll of avian fluThe WHO’s sister agency, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), voiced concern today about the global economic toll of avian flu. The FAO said unwarranted fears of disease transmission are reducing demand for poultry, undercutting prices and industry profits and hurting family livelihoods and job opportunities in developing countries.The agency said it “expects poultry consumption shocks this year in many countries in Europe, Middle East, and Africa that have been hit by avian influenza. As unfounded fears of disease transmission reduce consumption and imports, lower domestic prices are forecast to limit production growth.”FAO commodity specialist Nancy Morgan commented, “A steady erosion of previously expected gains in per caput poultry consumption will likely push down global poultry consumption in 2006, currently estimated at 81.8 million tonnes, nearly 3 million tonnes lower than the previous 2006 estimate of 84.6 million tonnes.”The agency said poultry consumption recently dropped 70% in Italy, 20% in France, and 10% in northern Europe after the discovery of avian flu in those places. In India, poultry prices have dropped about 12% as result of sinking demand. And in the United States, the price of broiler chicken parts dropped 13% as a result of declining shipments to Eastern Europe and Central Asia in November and December.About 200 million chickens have died of avian flu or been killed since the onset of the crisis late in 2003, the FAO said.Health authorities have said repeatedly that people run no risk of acquiring avian flu from eating poultry and egg products, provided they are handled and cooked properly. Yesterday, WHO Director General Dr Lee Jong-wook reaffirmed this, saying, “Globally, the evidence demonstrates that there is no risk of infection when birds and eggs are well-cooked, as this kills the virus. Poultry products are important sources of protein throughout the world.”See also:Feb 28 WHO statement on avian flu in catshttp://www.who.int/csr/don/2006_02_28a/en/index.htmlFeb 28 WHO statement on H5N1 in Nigerhttp://www.who.int/csr/don/2006_02_28/en/index.htmlNov 22, 2004, CIDRAP News story on tiger infectionshttp://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/influenza/avianflu/news/nov2204avflu.htmlFeb 28 FAO statementhttp://www.fao.org/newsroom/en/news/2006/1000240/index.htmllast_img read more

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Dina Hegab’s singles win sealed a 5-2 SU victory over Connecticut

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Dina Hegab walked across four courts and took a seat on the bench by herself.In the three short minutes between her doubles and singles match, Hegab sat quietly, alone with just her red tennis bag at her side. After moments of silence and solitude, she then walked over to the next court, where Sofya Golubovskaya shared a few words with her.Hegab and her partner Libi Mesh had just blown a 5-0 lead that cost Syracuse the doubles point. The Orange lost in doubles for the first time this season and found itself down to Connecticut. She said she channeled her anger into singles.“I like to have a few minutes to just relax and think myself,” Hegab said. “It was really nice to get out of the pressure and have a laugh with your teammate before singles.”Hegab and Mesh responded emphatically, both rallying in the singles to comfortably defeat the Huskies without either dropping a set. Syracuse (4-1, 0-1 Atlantic Coast) defeated Connecticut (3-2, 0-0 American) 5-2 on Friday afternoon in SU’s return home to Drumlins Country Club. SU entered the match with an 11-0 record in doubles, but this time, the Orange relied on Mesh and Hegab’s rebound to deliver the clinching points.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“I was very pleased with how they all reacted,” head coach Younes Limam said. “It’s always good to experience the different scenarios.”Playing together for the first time this season, Hegab and Mesh played flawless tennis for the opening five games of the match. Then, they said, they celebrated the finish line too early.Eager to finish the match, the two made error after error and saw the lead quickly evaporate as 5-0 quickly became 5-4. With a match point, up 5-4, the SU pair lost an extended rally to level the contest. Moments later, just when the Orange pair seemed to have found their form again, breaking to grab a 6-5 lead, they faltered again. Serving for the match and the doubles point, Mesh and Hegab were broken at love.Three errors by Mesh on the final three points led the duo to lose the match. As the two teams fought over control at the net, the Orange struggled to put away points with overheads. Once Mesh missed back to back overheads, the scoreboard flipped for Connecticut, capping off a comeback that included seven of the final eight games of the match.“We started rushing, we thought it was over before it was over,” Mesh said.  “We had to be more consistent and wait for the right ball in longer rallies.”That’s when Hegab went to go sit by herself. And she fired herself up to come out and earn the point she had just lost.Once she was by herself on the court, she thrived. From the opening serve, Hegab controlled the points to win 6-2, 6-3 and boost her record to 5-0 in singles play this year. Friday was the first time she played fourth singles and she outgunned her opponent by bludgeoning forehands up the line and serves up the middle.Even when she hit a rough patch early in the second set and found herself level at 2-2, Hegab found her form again, taking returns early and getting the break at 2-all to open up a lead. She cruised from that point forward, using her quick feet to run around to hit as many forehands as possible.“My fitness has improved a lot and I’m hitting the ball really well,” Hegab said. “My first shots have helped me, especially serves and returns.”While Hegab was unable to find those elusive final four points in the doubles, she held serve at love in the final game of the match, earning the fourth point that clinched a 10th consecutive win for the Orange over the Huskies.   Comments Published on February 9, 2018 at 10:38 pm Contact Anthony: [email protected]last_img read more

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Dodgers tickets going fast despite price increases

first_imgIf you build it they will come, as the old saying goes. If you pour $100 million into an old building the fans better come, otherwise you’ll find yourself in a ravine full of debt.If you’re the Dodgers, they’re coming — and coming back in record numbers.Dodger Stadium led Major League Baseball in attendance last season with an average of 46,216 per game. Season-ticket sales were capped just short of 32,000. The renovation project — not to mention the expensive product on the field — seemed to be paying off.David Siegel, the Dodgers’ vice president of ticket sales, couldn’t believe his eyes when 98 percent of 2013 season-ticket holders renewed their plans. Siegel believes the investments in infrastructure are having a direct result on demand.“I think it goes to show that the investments our owners have made on and off the field, whether it’s the stadium renovations, to what I think is the best promo calendar in sports, to the product on the field, is getting a lot of traction,” he said.A large renovation project doesn’t pay for itself. The cost of individual tickets on Opening Day and for “four-star games” rose in the vast majority of sections. The most expensive seat in the house, in the front row behind home plate, rose from $160 to $210 for Opening Day and starts at $110 for “one-star games.”The cheapest ticket one can buy — a top-row seat in a “one-star game” — rose from $8 to $10. A handful of seats are cheaper across the board and a few stayed the same; seats in the all-you-can-eat section will remain $30, for example.The four-, three-, two-, and one-star classification system also remains in place. Siegel said fans appreciated the transparency of the system, which replaced the more confusing variable-pricing format of years past.There’s one change. A game’s rating might change based on demand, a twist on the popular “dynamic pricing” system used by many teams.“If a game is trending particularly poorly, if we have a lot of available seats in a particular price category, we could lower the star,” Siegel said. “It could go from a two-star to a one-star. If a game is trending through the roof, it could move from a two to a three.“It’s a hybrid of variable and dynamic pricing.”Because of the dynamic pricing system, the Dodgers can’t say with certainty how much the average cost of a ticket has changed until the end of the season. Based on the early returns, demand (and ticket prices) are on the rise.The effects of new owners on the Dodgers’ player payroll are well documented. Guggenheim Baseball Management — a group including Kasten, chairman Mark Walter and Magic Johnson — has signed off on more than a billion dollars in player contracts since purchasing the team in April 2012. That includes contracts the Dodgers acquired via trade.What’s been the biggest change in the ticket sales department?“I think it comes down to the investment in the fan experience,” Siegel said, “whether you’re a season-ticket holder or individual-ticket buyer.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img “In a good year, a low 90 percent (renewal rate), teams are throwing parties,” Siegel said. “In tougher years, it’s a lot lower than that. For the Dodgers, a very good year would be in the 90-to-91-percent range.”As a result of the mass renewals, Siegel said the Dodgers had to cut off season-ticket sales for the coming season. More than 31,000 season tickets have already been sold. The team might choose to release more seats, but Siegel said that’s yet to be determined.“We’re currently re-evaluating how we can launch in very short order,” he said.The annual select-a-seat event for season ticket holders began Wednesday, and the team’s annual FanFest is Saturday at Dodger Stadium. More than half of the 40-man roster, and prominent alumni like Ron Cey, Fernando Valenzuela and Orel Hershiser, are scheduled to sign autographs.Fans will also get an early look at the construction behind the left- and right-field bullpens. Two bars, restaurants and concession stands are being added to a long list of stadium enhancements that were rolled out last year. Team president Stan Kasten expects a long-awaited wifi network to be in place by Opening Day.last_img read more

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