to go further Organisation Damascus TV presenter arrested under cyber-crime law RSF_en “We are relieved to learn that the trial of Mazen Darwish and his colleagues has ended with their unconditional release under this amnesty,” Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Christophe Deloire said.“These journalists and human rights activists were not guilty of any crime and paid the high price of more than three years in prison for legitimate activities. The decision to apply the 2014 amnesty to their case is good news although long overdue. We ask the authorities to free all the journalists who are unjustly detained in Syria.”Darwish was awarded the Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Prize in 2013 and was on the Reporters Without Borders list of “100 Information Heroes.” He and his colleagues were facing up to 15 years in prison under article 8 of the 2012 anti-terrorism law on a charge of “publishing information about terrorists acts.”Two of the five defendants were released provisionally in February 2013, while Darwish and the other two, Hani Al-Zitani and Hussein Ghreer, had been granted a provisional release in the past six weeks – Zitani and Ghreer in mid-July and Darwish, who was being held by a different security department, on 10 August.All of them should have been included in the June 2014 general political amnesty, which authorized the release of all activists arbitrarily held in connection with legitimate activities. The amnesty, legislative decree No. 22 of 9 June 2014, covered the charge on which Darwish and his SCM colleagues were held.According to our sources, the decision will take official effect on 16 September after the final wording has been drafted. It has to take account of the fact that Zitani and Ghreer were not present at the trial.According to a Reporters Without Borders tally, at least 30 journalists and online information activists continue to be held by the Syrian government while at least 29 others (including nine foreigners) are either missing or being held hostage by Islamic State or other armed extremist groups.Ranked 177th out of 180 countries in the 2015 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index, Syria is the world’s most dangerous country for journalists. News Follow the news on Syria News Toll of ten years of civil war on journalists in Syria August 31, 2015 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Belated amnesty for Syrian “information hero” Mazen Darwish SyriaMiddle East – North Africa News Receive email alerts Wave of Kurdish arrests of Syrian journalists March 12, 2021 Find out more Help by sharing this information SyriaMiddle East – North Africa March 8, 2021 Find out more News Reporters Without Borders welcomes today’s ruling by an anti-terrorism court in Damascus that Mazen Darwish and four members of his staff at the Syrian Centre for Media and Freedom of Expression (SCM) are covered by a political amnesty issued in June 2014. February 3, 2021 Find out more
News News VietnamAsia – Pacific Online freedomsMedia independence Freedom of expressionCitizen-journalistsInternet Vietnam sentences journalist Tran Thi Tuyet Dieu to eight years in prison April 27, 2021 Find out more Follow the news on Vietnam June 14, 2018 – Updated on August 23, 2019 RSF calls for repeal of Vietnam’s new cybersecurity law RSF_en Another alarming provision requires online platforms such as Google and Facebook to censor any content regarded by the government as contentious, to store Vietnamese user data in Vietnam, and to hand the data over to the Vietnamese authorities on request. The law is due to take effect next January. Three more independent reporters arrested in Vietnam The new cybersecurity law was one of the targets of the tens of thousands of Vietnamese protesters who took to the streets last Sunday in many parts of the countries including (here) in Ho Chi Minh City (photo: Kao Ngyuen / AFP). Resisting China’s counter-model Organisation Help by sharing this information “We know that the Vietnamese cybersecurity police are trained in China,” Manh Kim wrote in a post on 11 June. “We cannot rule out that China has helped Vietnam to design and equip its cybersecurity infrastructure (…) This reflects Party Chief Trong’s determination. Never before has the intention to push Vietnam into China’s orbit been as clear as it is now.” News Even if none of the traditional media, which are subservient to the Party, has been able to discuss the new law, many well-known Vietnamese figures, including Party members, have voiced serious reservations about it. Articles 8 and 15 criminalize “denying the revolution’s achievements,” “offending national heroes” and “providing misleading information liable to cause confusion among the population” – vague formulations that could be applied to almost anyone posting information online that displeases the authorities. Approved by 423 votes to 15 by the national assembly on 12 June, without any changes, the new law is largely a copy-and-paste version of the cybersecurity law that took effect in China in June 2017. Intellectuals, lawyers, war veterans and even parliamentarians have not only condemned the drastic nature of the curbs on the right to inform but have also, and above all, pointed that implementation of the new law could have a devastating effect on the country’s economy. More than 63,000 people have already signed a petition to this effect. Vietnam continues to languish near the bottom of RSF’s World Press Freedom Index, and is ranked 175th out of 180 countries in the 2018 Index. Receive email alerts “We urge Vietnam’s legislators to quickly repeal this draconian new law, which reinforces government control over access to information,” said Daniel Bastard, the head of RSF’s Asia-Pacific desk. “Despite the jailing of around 30 bloggers, surveillance of online activity and the military’s use of troll armies, the Internet continues for now to be the only place where Vietnamese citizens can exchange reliable, independent information. It is this pocket of the resistance that the Party’s current leadership wants to crush. We also urge online platforms not to yield to this law’s unacceptable blackmail.” to go further On 10 June, tens of thousands of people took part in street protests throughout the country that were prompted by the concerns about Vietnam’s economy and sovereignty arising from the new law. “We will fight until the end,” is one of the new slogans now circulating on social networks. News Other intellectuals, such as the blogger Manh Kim, have voiced concern about China’s growing influence. VietnamAsia – Pacific Online freedomsMedia independence Freedom of expressionCitizen-journalistsInternet April 22, 2021 Find out more RSF laureates support jailed Vietnamese journalist Pham Doan Trang April 7, 2021 Find out more
IranMiddle East – North Africa Receive email alerts to go further October 9, 2014 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Twelve arrested over mobile phone message content Iran: Press freedom violations recounted in real time January 2020 IranMiddle East – North Africa WhatsApp, Viber and Tango“The intelligence services (will go after) people who circulate insulting comments about Ayatollah Khomeini online,” Kamal Hadifar, the head of Iran’s cyber-police force, FETA, warned on 12 September. “Private messages on Viber and WhatsApp can be monitored by the FETA police.”WhatsApp, Tango and Viber allow you to send a message from your mobile phone via the Internet to anyone in your address book. These messages are exposed to the same hazards as any data passing through the Internet, including blocking, interception and surveillance, and are apparently being monitored by the Iranian authorities.Of the three apps used to circulate the jokes about Ayatollah Khomeini, only WhatsApp encrypts the content of messages. IT security experts have nonetheless revealed flaws in WhatsApp’s security. With enough effort, anyone controlling the Internet (fixed line, 3G or Edge) is capable of accessing message content. In Iran, the Revolutionary Guards control the main Internet Service Providers through the Telecommunication Company of Iran, while the three leading mobile phone operators are government offshoots.Just two weeks after Hadifar’s warning, Ebrahim Raissi, the Islamic Republic’s prosecutor-general announced “the arrest of those responsible for these insulting messages on certain social networks.”Reporters Without Borders is concerned about the widespread use of these apps and the lack of information about the dangers attached to their use by journalists and netizens, so we contacted WhatsApp, Tango and Viber with the aim of finding out more about their security measures. As none of them has so far responded, we recommend not using these apps to transmit sensitive information.Iran’s Internet – crackdown or developmentAfter the sarcastic messages about the Revolution’s former Supreme Leader went viral, government supporters began talking of a “conspiracy” and calling for more controls over the Internet in Iran.The imam of the city of Mashhad, who is close to the current Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, accused the communications minister of causing havoc by trying to improve Internet access. “The Leader announced that high-speed Internet should be avoided, but we know that his recommendation has been overlooked and all our young people now have Internet in their pockets, and this on its own promotes corruption,” the imam said.Several government members including information and communications technology minister Mahmoud Vaezi have referred to the need to find alternatives to WhatsApp, Viber and Tango. “As long as we don’t have a substitute for these applications, we will oppose blocking them,” Vaezi said.” He added that, “the government has signed a contract with three universities for a 100 per cent domestic product that will be ready in six months.”Ever since President Hassan Rouhani’s election in July 2013, the level of Internet controls has been the subject of much debate in the highest government circles. The authorities have continued to develop Internet infrastructure for economic reasons. According to official figures, Iran has 36 million Internet users and an Internet penetration rate of 49 percent, making it one of the region’s most connected countries. The Rouhani administration has not abandoned the idea of a “Halal” (national) Internet but clearly wants a fair amount of flexibility in its implementation.According to figures published by the Tehran chamber of commerce, Iran’s imports of mobile phones and other IT equipment from China and the United Arab Emirates last year – 1392 in Iran, running from 21 March 2013 to 20 March 2014 – totalled nearly 4 billion dollars (2.3 billion from China and 1.6 billion from the UAE).Around 100 Iranian companies import IT equipment and most of them are owned by the Revolutionary Guards, who presumably do very well out of the trade.A total of 20 journalists and 28 netizens are currently detained in Iran, which is ranked 173rd out of 180 countries in the 2014 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index. Organisation Help by sharing this information Call for Iranian New Year pardons for Iran’s 21 imprisoned journalists Follow the news on Iran News News After Hengameh Shahidi’s pardon, RSF asks Supreme Leader to free all imprisoned journalists June 9, 2021 Find out more The Iranian authorities keep a close watch on electronic messages. When jokes about Ayatollah Khomeini, the Islamic Republic’s founder and former Supreme Leader, began circulating in Iran via the WhatsApp, Tango and Viber mobile phone apps in mid-September and were posted on Facebook and Twitter, a response from the authorities was not long in coming. Twelve netizens were arrested. In the light of these developments, Reporters Without Borders recommends the utmost care when using these apps. March 18, 2021 Find out more News News RSF_en February 25, 2021 Find out more
By News Highland – December 15, 2013 WhatsApp News 75 positive cases of Covid confirmed in North Main Evening News, Sport and Obituaries Tuesday May 25th Pinterest Twitter Facebook Google+ Previous articleDerry bookies robbed at gunpointNext articleDonegal is among the worst affected counties by food poverty News Highland Twitter Facebook Man arrested on suspicion of drugs and criminal property offences in Derry Google+ Further drop in people receiving PUP in Donegal RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR WhatsApp 365 additional cases of Covid-19 in Republic Health Minister Dr James Reilly and Justice Minister Alan Shatter are to be quizzed this week over why reports are still not ready on how paedophile Michael Ferry continued to have access to children for years after he was placed on a sex register.The 58-year-old received an extra seven years last week to run concurrent to 14 years in jail imposed in 2011.All the convictions are for sex offences against schoolboys and production of child pornography in the west Donegal Gaeltacht between 1984 and 2005.TDs now want to know what happened to reports from the gardai and the HSE which are under preparation for more two years.The reports were launched to establish why Ferry was still able to work as a school caretaker even after a 2002 conviction when he received a six-month suspended sentence and was placed on the sexoffenders’ register.Donegal TDs Pearse Doherty and Thomas Pringle said they are putting questions down in the Dail this week.Sinn Fein’s Doherty the delay was unacceptable in such a serious matter. Answers were needed as to how Ferry was able to return to work as a school caretaker.Mr Pringle, said he had also asked questions about the Garda inquiry before.He said he would be putting down more questions this week, including to the Health Minister, to establish what’s happening the HSE report which was expected 20 months ago.A statement from the HSE today(Sun) said its report is still not ready for publication.A spokesperson added that the draft format was currently undergoing a verification process. The HSE was not in a position to comment further pending the outcome of that process. Pinterest Health Minister to be quizzed over Michael Ferry report delay Gardai continue to investigate Kilmacrennan fire
Comments are closed. BT IT skills chase turns to virtual headhuntingOn 8 Feb 2000 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. BT is trying to recruit people with rare IT skills by tracking them down tospecialist “chat rooms” on the Internet.The company is gearing up for a second trial of software which allows it tolocate virtual forums visited by people with sought-after programming skills.The firm will then trace the individuals through e-mail addresses.”We are trying to translate what a headhunter does into the virtualworld,” said Frank Douglas, manager of new wave solutions at BT UK’scentral personnel department.”The most likely place to find someone with Java programming skills isin a Java chat room where they can collaborate with 400 other Java experts. “They can go in and pose questions, like ‘Does anyone know how tode-bug this programme?’ That is a fertile recruiting ground.”A preliminary six-week trial was carried out in July 1998. Four people wereinterviewed but no-one was taken on as they lacked the business skills BT waslooking for.”Technical forums may not be the place to find strategic candidates,but we have learnt from that and next time will be using it to look forsoftware developers,” said Douglas.BT is particularly keen to find mobile phone and web design softwaredevelopers, who are in short supply.”We and everyone else would love to get more people with these skillsthan we need, but we can’t and that is why we are exploring alternative methodslike this.”No date has been set for the next trial.They are also looking into holding a virtual jobs fair.• BT has announced the loss of 3,000 managerial jobs – just weeks afterdeclaring “redundancy is a thing of the past”.Head of employee relations Charlie McKay told the Anuman conference lastmonth a policy of reskilling had virtually removed the need for redundancies.A BT spokeswoman said McKay had been referring to non-managerial staff. By Dominique Hammond Previous Article Next Article
New research claims the British are getting angrier. Road rage is now only one symptom of a nation increasingly prone to red mist. Not surprisingly, work has not been immune from the trend, although fury does not always surface in the most predictable situations. Who would have thought, for instance, that to some of the nation’s workforce an employee attitude survey can be the equivalent of a bad jam on the M25?Staff surveys have made the art of listening to employees easy. Attitude surveys just about guarantee reliable, objective feedback to what staff are thinking ñ an invaluable foundation for future strategy. But spare a thought for those opening the reply-paid envelopes. Because every staff opinion poll is likely to carry startlingly physical evidence of an often ignored dimension of attitudes ñ rage. Take the experience of a seasoned member of The Industrial Society’s staff surveys team, specialists who poll employee attitudes for a wide range of organisations. Properly completed questionnaires have not been the only things to emerge from the thousands of reply envelopes in recent months. A small but unforgettable number of envelopes have also produced a packet of condoms [unused], a razor blade [unguarded], syringes, pornographic pictures, and a collection of short, curly hairs that might just have been canine. Other employees opt for straightforward abuse. Despised managers, unfair treatment and inadequate pay seem most likely to spark the staff surveys’ equivalent of hate mail ñ angry comments added as replies to “open” questions that typically round off a questionnaire. Expletives, racist or sexist language, and personal insults about colleagues ñ usually managers ñ all feature regularly in a minority of responses. Arguably more deadly are the survey responses designed to settle a score, rather than simply register anger or resentment. The knowledge that “insiders” won’t see the response regularly prompts a minority of those surveyed to reveal or claim cases of personal harassment, bullying or discrimination that they’re unwilling or unable to raise elsewhere. Even more explosively, be prepared for staff surveys to throw up allegations of actual corruption. A recent such case to emerge during one of our surveys uncovered major theft and led to police intervention and eventual imprisonment for the offender. The hardest symptom of survey rage to interpret is silence. How angry are the staff who choose not to respond at all, or are they simply too contented to bother?Luckily, however chilling some of the responses are, opinion surveys remain a useful safety valve for employee anger, quite apart from being a vital communications asset. And razor blades notwithstanding, pollsters agree on one key piece of advice for organisations considering a survey ñ don’t do it unless you’re prepared to act on what it tells you. By Patrick Burns, policy director, The Industrial Society Previous Article Next Article Our survey said: staff surveys are usefulOn 16 Jan 2001 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.
A phenomenal amount of blood, sweat and tears have gone into establishingdiversity and equality schemes across the UK. The effort, investment andcommitment among many public and private employers have been impressive in sucha short space of time. But what difference has it made to progressing towards more diverse andequitable workplaces? Judging by the latest damning Commission for RacialEquality report, it has had little impact on the police, with more than 90 percent of their race-equality schemes failing to meet minimum legal requirements.The private sector is also grappling with the practicalities. There has beena plethora of creative initiatives, but achieving culture shifts andmainstreaming diversity and equality into organisational structures is provinga hard nut to crack. There’s been success in getting business leaders to authorise and sponsoractivity, but we still have a long way to go in getting line managers toreinforce and own it. Chucking diversity training at the problem may have beenthe response by certain less than committed constabularies, but it is quiteobviously not the answer. Industry chiefs understandably want to know how much transformation hasoccurred down the line on race and equality because the development money theyhave put in isn’t instantly recognisable on the ground. For the police, improvements have not been substantial in the past fiveyears since the Stephen Lawrence inquiry, and good intentions haven’t beenmatched by sufficient action. In the private sector, the big challenge isbuilding diversity and equality strategies into business plans and performancemeasures, and then assessing the impact on organisational results. Line managers, as always, are the key to embedding new behaviours into thewiring and plumbing of an organisation. They often want to respond positivelyto diversity and equality, but need help in addressing it properly with theright skills. Some are disadvantaged twice over when they are led by seniormanagement teams who are at best neutral about it, and at worst, see it as aload of nonsense. ‘Stealth racism’ is emerging as a new term to describe those who areprejudiced, but know how to hide it and avoid breaking the law. Clearly, we’reentering a new tough phase in tackling racism. Zero tolerance is the onlysensible response if the Race Relations Act is to mean anything at all. By Jane King, editor Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Achieving equality was never going to be easyOn 22 Jun 2004 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.
Governor DouglasVisiting Troops Serving in War on Terror His visit to Iraq today included stops in several parts of thecountry—including a visit with the 172 Armor Battalion of the VermontNational Guard in Ramadi—meetings in other areas with more troops from Vermontand briefings by Gen. George Casey, the top U.S.commander in Iraq,and U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad. Governor Douglas has been in the Middle Eastsince Monday. His first stop yesterday was at Camp Arifjan,Kuwait, where he had dinnerwith soldiers from Vermont. ### BAGHDAD, Iraq– Governor Jim Douglas is making a surprise visit to Vermont troops serving in the Global War on Terror thisweek beginning with visits to Kuwaitand Iraq. “This is an important opportunity to meet with our troops and to communicateVermont’ssupport for them and the important work that they are doing to bring stabilityand security to this fledgling democracy. It is also an excellent opportunityto hear from them, and see first-hand that they are properly equipped toachieve their mission. I want them all to know that my administration will dowhatever it can to be sure they’re successful and return home to thehonor that they have earned,” Governor Douglas said. The Governor’s trip began Sunday with classified briefings at thePentagon regarding the Global War on Terror, the efforts of al-Qaeda and areview of current intelligence from the region. Governors Phil Bredesen (D – Tennessee), Kenny Guinn (R-Nevada)and Tim Kaine (D-Virginia) are also visiting the region. Details of the restof the Governor’s trip will be released by the Governor’s office asconditions permit. He is expected to return to Vermont Friday evening. Governoris currently in Iraq
Being a movie extra is an endurance event, a bit like running an ultra. For me, it all began with a simple conversation about books. My daughter is an avid reader and ever since catching her at age ten with a contraband copy of Twilight under her pillow, I’ve tried to stay on top of her reading selections. This time, she was into another questionable series. As she described the plot, which involved teenagers being forced to fight to the death for public entertainment, I became a bit concerned. Pondering the suitability of this theme for an eleven year old, I decided the only way to know for sure was to read the book myself. I picked up a copy for myself and the obsession began. The Hunger Games had entered our household, and things would never be the same. We had frequent debates over the virtues of Gale versus Peeta and argued over whether Effie Trinket was evil or just plain stupid.Our mania increased with the news that the big screen adaptation was to be filmed in Western North Carolina, practically our own backyard. In fact, the famous tree that served as shelter for Katniss during a critical scene was taken from our neighbor’s backyard. (Tree huggers, no need to worry – it was already dead.) Then the greatest news of all – casting agents were searching for local extras! Emma and I sent in our headshots and resumes, making sure to highlight my starring role as Dorothy in the 5th grade production of “The Wizard of Oz”, as well as my ultrarunning experience, figuring that the casting agents might want actors who are fit and possess endurance.The process of mailing in our applications was a little bit like registering for a race. There was the anticipation and the excitement of looking forward to a new adventure. Just like arriving at the start line of an event I haven’t run before, there was the uncertainty of whether it would go as I’d imagined and whether I’d be up for the challenge. And just as family members and friends quickly tire of hearing athletes go on and on about training sessions and upcoming events, my husband had to remind me that there were other things to talk about around the dinner table besides “the movie”.Little did I know how much my ultrarunning background would serve me in filming. The days were long and sweltering, requiring as many as twelve hours on our feet in bright sunlight. More than a few extras experienced symptoms of heat exhaustion and ended up in the medical tent. Crew members passed out cups of Gatorade, misted us with cool water, and handed out towels to mop our sweat. Getting up before dawn and finishing long after sunset, I actually felt as if I was in an endurance event. There were moments that I felt exhausted and just wanted the day to be over, yet I knew that I’d look back on the experience with fantastic memories.The film’s director’s role was similar to that of a race director, providing last minute instructions and encouragement, yet when the cameras rolled we were on our own, relying on our own talent and training. Yet just like in an ultra, I never felt truly alone. By the end of a long race, I always feel as if my competitors have morphed into friends, and this “ultra” was no different. Although Day 1 of filming consisted of a fair amount of jockeying for position in effort to get in front of the cameras, by the end of the process we were comrades with a “we’re all in this together” attitude.The film’s premiere in Asheville was our awards ceremony. All of the extras were there, psyched to be reunited and full of our individual stories about the experience. We compared costumes just as athletes check out each other’s digs. Some of us showed up in the final version of the film, others did not, but just like in a race, it’s really the experience that counts, not the outcome. We all knew that Jennifer Lawrence and her costars were the real celebrities, just as in competition there is only one official winner, but in our minds, we were all VIPs for that one day.
If Virginia is for Craft Beer Lovers, then the Brew Ridge Trail is the cradle for this craft civilization. The original beer destination of Virginia showcases a self-guided tour of six breweries crafting local libations in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Since 1999, founding member Starr Hill Brewery has helped to pioneer the state’s craft beer scene, playing a key role in its growth and impact.Born in a music hall, Starr Hill Brewery came together in Charlottesville out of a passion for bringing people together through great beer and live music. Working to establish the Virginia Craft Brewers Guild and pass the landmark bill allowing breweries to sell beer from their own Tap Rooms, Starr Hill helped open the door to the now 200 breweries operating in the Commonwealth, contributing nearly $10 billion in annual economic impact. Starr Hill is also the state’s largest independent craft brewery and shares the love for Virginia beer across the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions.Virginia Craft Beer Month is a celebration of the passion, creativity and local values that make the craft beer scene in the Commonwealth so unique and exciting. Starr Hill Brewery is hosting several events throughout the month of August at their Crozet Tap Room with a unique combination of beer, music and community outreach.National IPA Day kicks off Virginia Craft Beer Month at Starr Hill on Thursday, August 3rd. Known for their hoppy offerings and the IPA JamBEERee festival, the brewery will feature a diverse lineup of new and limited release India pale ales in an exclusive sample flight. Hop heads can try the dank, yet silky Resinate Imperial Red IPA, the hopped-up saison-style Debut Farmhouse IPA, or an exclusive cask IPA brewed just for the event.Music fans, don’t miss Starr Hill’s LOCKN’ Rewind events on Thursday nights in August beginning August 3rd. The Tap Room will screen past performances from some of the most exciting past LOCKN’ artists, including My Morning Jacket, Gov’t Mule and Phish. The LOCKN’ crew will be on-hand as attendees cast their votes on Starr Hill’s new official beer name for the festival as well as ticket giveaways.Starr Hill will also host Color Crozet on Sunday, August 6th. This community-focused event invites local residents to help paint a mural of the Blue Ridge Mountains both inside and outside the brewery. Volunteers will put their own personal touch on the walls of Starr Hill while supporting local non-profit, The Bridge Progressive Arts Initiative.As part of Starr Hill’s ongoing Cheers for Charity program, one dollar for every pint sold throughout the month of August in the Tap Room will support the Women’s Initiative and their work to provide vital mental health services to women regardless of ability to pay. Each month, the Cheers for Charity program partners with a different local non-profit organization to support the essential work they do in the community.For more information on Starr Hill Brewery and Virginia Craft Beer Month events, visit www.StarrHill.com.