Online freedoms threatened by another step towards treaty’s adoption

first_imgNews Receive email alerts Signatories:Oslobodjenje (1993), Taslima Nasreen (1994), Wei Jingsheng (1996), Salima Ghezali (1997), Nurit Peled-Elhanan (2001), The Belarusian Association of Journalists (2004), Reporters sans frontières (2005), Damas de Blanco (2005), Hauwa Ibrahim (2005), Aliaksandr Milinkevich (2006), Salih Mahmoud Mohamed Osman (2007), Hu Jia (2008), Memorial (2009) Organisation RSF_en The signatories, winners of the Sakharov Prize and members of the Sakharov Network, call on all MEPs to take a stand and to refuse to adopt ACTA when they are asked to vote on it in the coming days. RSF calls for a fully transparent investigation after mine kills two journalists in Azerbaijan A free and open Internet is now essential for expression and communication, and for the sharing of knowledge and democratic participation. Forcing companies into private-sector censorship of the Internet with no judicial oversight in order to protect mostly outdated economic models would be a disproportionate violation of freedom of expression, information and communication. Going down such a path is against the very principles on which the European Union was founded. In particular, Reporters Without Borders condemns:- The requirement that signatory countries establish private policies for copyright enforcement online through cooperation mechanisms- The right accorded to the relevant authorities to ask Internet Service Providers to transmit personnal data identifying their clients- The requirement to criminally prosecute suppression of metadata (data identifying a file’s content and origins) and circumvention of Digital Rights Management (DRM).- The possibility for governments to define legal exceptions to DRM circumvention. At a time when many governments and private-sector actors seek increased control over this global network, any legislation hampering the free flow of information and knowledge should be treated with the outmost caution. June 8, 2021 Find out more Europe – Central Asia Statement by the Sakharov LaureatesAppeal to Members of the European Parliament Europe – Central Asia Help by sharing this information The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) was negotiated in secrecy and is now being forced on elected representatives as a done deal to which they are asked to assent. This approach represents a dangerous bypassing of the democratic process. Thirteen members of the Sakharov Network of winners of the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought appeal today to MEPs to reject the agreement in order to protect freedom of expression and of information. to go furthercenter_img “We’ll hold Ilham Aliyev personally responsible if anything happens to this blogger in France” RSF says June 7, 2021 Find out more News Reporters Without Borders (itself a winner of the Sakharov Prize in 2005) supports the Sakharov laureates’ statement. The organization, which defends freedom of information, repeatedly voiced its concerns about ACTA, calling on the negotiators “not to sacrifice online free speech and access to information for the sake of combating piracy and the counterfeiting of works protected by copyright”. EU Parliament must protect freedom of expression and of information by rejecting ACTA As Europe grapples with a major crisis of identity and values, the European Parliament has an historic responsibility. By rejecting ACTA, EU elected representatives would help preserve the infrastructure that is needed for the future of our societies and our democracy. According to the advocacy group La Quadrature du Net, “by privatizing online censorship in the name of copyright, ACTA would have a dreadful impact on our freedoms online, but also on innovation and growth for Internet companies. The European Parliament is our last chance to reject ACTA.” The Council of the European Union announced today that it will adopt the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). The agreement will be formally signed by EU governments during a World Trade Organization meeting that is due to take place in Geneva from 15 to 17 December. It will then be up to the European Parliament to adopt or reject it. News The last two points have the effect of banning censorship circumvention resources that are indispensible tools for ensuring the flow of news and information in countries such as Iran or China (see detailed article). The content of this agreement is no less worrying. In the name of copyright enforcement, the European Union and other signatories would be bound to put pressure on Internet actors, compelling them to monitor and police the network. The pressure will be reinforced by the threat of criminal sanctions on the vague grounds of abetting and aiding infringement. June 4, 2021 Find out more December 15, 2011 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Online freedoms threatened by another step towards treaty’s adoption “In the name of copyright enforcement, the European Union and other signatories would be bound to put pressure on Internet actors, compelling them to monitor and police the network,” the Sakharov laureates warned. See the full text of their appeal below. News Follow the news on Europe – Central Asia Respect judicial independence in cases of two leading journalists in Serbia and Montenegro, RSF sayslast_img read more

Coronavirus takes this boomer where his iPhone has never gone before

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading » The coronavirus — not to make light of perhaps the most widespread, devastating disease to sweep the planet since the Spanish Flu of 1918 — has finally gotten me to go where this boomer has never gone before: I’ve made my first remote check deposit.That seems ironic, considering I’ve been writing about financial services technology since long before remote deposit checking (RDC) was introduced, much less widespread.But like I said, I’m a boomer. Born in 1956, that puts me right in the not-so-sweet spot where health experts advise staying at home and keeping your distance.I’m not a tech-averse dinosaur, really, I’m just a creature of habit and have been depositing checks in person at the teller line or in the drive-through since getting my first paycheck now nearly 50 years ago.last_img read more

Marek Dolezaj’s career outing propels Syracuse past Wake Forest, 73-64

first_imgNEW YORK — Everything was settled, but freshman forward Oshae Brissett understood there was one thing missing in this moment.The orange sea of fans writhed in the Barclays Center lower bowl. The players knew they got to play tomorrow. The team’s unlikely star, though, had a near-perfect night. Near. Brissett walked up to Marek Dolezaj and told him what he needed to do.“You’re not leaving here with 19 points,” Brissett told him. “You need to get 20.”On the next in-bounds, Brissett found Dolezaj, who was fouled and went to the line with 31 seconds left. He followed Brissett’s instructions to post a new career-high, but not before missing the first free-throw and hitting the second. Two games ago, Dolezaj didn’t attempt a shot and Tuesday night his game-high 20 complemented his four rebounds and one assist to lead No. 11-seed Syracuse (20-12, 8-10 Atlantic Coast) to a 73-64 victory over No. 14-seed Wake Forest (11-20, 4-12).This was the first-ever ACC tournament victory for the Orange and snapped a four-game losing streak on this court. The win sent Syracuse into a second-round matchup with No. 6-seeded North Carolina on Wednesday night at 9 p.m. at the Barclay’s Center.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textDolezaj was an instrumental part of that, Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim said, adding, “He was very, very good today.”As Dolezaj spoke at his locker after the game, the Slovakian freshman seemed transported back to Europe. Each time someone asked him, “Have you ever done…” he smiled shyly and said that, yes, he had done something like this before, but not since coming to the United States last fall. Back in Europe, back with the under-18 national team, he said, he once scored 48 points, once dunked three times in one game and once played like the flying, slamming, swatting bulldozer he became Tuesday night.When asked how his performance felt, Dolezaj said seriously, “It was a little fun. I enjoyed this game. I’m going to get some rest for tomorrow’s game.”All of it started with a simple jumper from the high post.It was the shot fans in the Carrier Dome have begged Dolezaj to put up all season. It was the shot Boeheim has frantically motioned him to take. It was one of the Dome’s main frustrations during Syracuse’s Saturday win over Clemson, because when Dolezaj got the ball in the high-post, he refused to shoot. He heard their urging, but he adhered to Boeheim’s instructions.“A lot of people told me shoot the ball,” he said, “but I’m trying to focus on my game and what I can do.”Early in the first half, Dolezaj drilled one from the high-post. Then he fell into a funk. He threw the ball away, missed his follow-up jumper and picked up a foul boxing out. Then Wake Forest big man Doral Moore whacked him in the face with his elbow and Dolezaj transformed.After that play, which had Dolezaj holding his head for several possessions afterward, he finished an and-1 despite getting stonewalled by two larger defenders. He tear-dropped a floater and the bench mob sprang to its feet to emulate his shot. He finished at the rim and, once, when a pass from Chukwu deflected off a defender’s hands, he snared the ball from midair and jammed it home.Courtesy of Shea R. KastrinerWhen asked when he knew Dolezaj was turning a few baskets into a bona fide career night, Brissett grinned.“He caught like three bodies,” Brissett said, referring to the trio of defenders Dolezaj dunked on. “So, probably the first one. I haven’t really seen him dunk on someone like that before.”Late in the first half, Wake Forest switched from a man defense to a zone. Boeheim saw defenders departing Dolezaj in the middle and the short corner to leave him open. Methodically, Syracuse dissected Wake Forest’s zone and bludgeoned the Demon Deacons into submission with passing inside between center Paschal Chukwu, who had three assists, and Dolezaj.Wake Forest started to press late in the game and Dolezaj became the primary breaker. In that scenario, he dunked twice. Boeheim told him since the defender always ran out to stop the ball, Dolezaj would have an open lob to Chukwu. On the last time he carried the ball up, with the game winding down, and with the Orange’s lead stretched to nearly 20, that’s exactly what happened and Chukwu flushed Dolezaj’s alley-oop to essentially bang the gavel on Wake Forest’s fate.On each basket Dolezaj finished or facilitated, Syracuse assistant head coach Adrian Autry reacted with a harder fist pump or clap. By the time Dolezaj sank that last free throw, Autry was on his feet.Of all his plays, though, no moment was more revealing than his and-1 dunk, when he launched himself through contact to jam. His team bounced and hollered in disbelief. “I was pretty impressed to see that,” Tyus Battle said, “because we know he has the one-foot bounce, but I was surprised about the two feet.”As he came down from the rim, Dolezaj himself broke the blank, impassive face he’d worn nearly every minute of this season. He appeared to yell over to the same bench that had egged him on earlier and betray a quick smile, a window that closed as quickly as it opened. On this night, on this stage, the young, lightly recruited, Flat Stanley-thin foreigner played his best game of the season.After it was over, as the quiet settled like a fog and the team hurried off the court and the fans, who had been shrieking for him moments earlier, shuffled back to the exits and real life, the bright light of an ESPN camera found Dolezaj. The reporter put the microphone in Dolezaj’s face. The player disappeared; the person withdrew. Dolezaj didn’t think he spoke English well enough to give a national TV interview. He felt uncomfortable. Autry, standing beside him, waved away the camera. Dolezaj walked to the locker room.He showed everyone everything they needed to see. Comments Published on March 6, 2018 at 11:29 pm Contact Sam: [email protected] | @Sam4TR Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Carifta trials set to excite

first_imgTHE country’s top junior athletes will be in action today and tomorrow inside the National Stadium as they seek places on the country’s team to the Carifta Games, which is scheduled to take place in George Town, Grenada between March 26-28.Fans are in for a treat as with the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls Championships just a few days away, top performances are expected in both the Under 18 and Under 20 categories.Today’s opening day will see the finals of the 100m in the Under 20 section with St Elizabeth Technical’s Nigel Ellis commanding most attention here. He is expected to compete in both the Under 20 100m and 200m events.While Ellis will start favourite the likes St. Jago’s Raheem Chambers, Waseem Williams of Jamaica College along with the Calabar duo of Xavier Angus and Fabian Hewitt will be hoping for a major upset.After dominating the sprints all season, Calabar’s young sprinters including Dejour Russell, Michael Stevens and Tyreke Wilson, will get their first big test this season when they face Kingston College’s outstanding sprinter Jhevaughn Matherson in the boys Under 18 100m.KC’ 400 metres standout Akeem Bloomfield will finally make his first appearance on the track this season.Bloomfield, the Carifta Under 20 champion has been absent all season but looks set to control the event here as there has not been any special performance so far in the event this season.An exciting battle looms in the Boy’s Under 20 400m hurdles as the likes of St. Jago’s, Tmor Barrett and KC’s Sherwayne Allen, who both have gone sub 53 seconds so far this season are expected to have their hands full as Calabar’s Akyeme Francis and the talented Jauvaney James of St. Elizabeth Technical should make it an interesting affair.Calabar’s Christopher Taylor should continue his great form this season and score an easy win in the Boy’s Under 18 400m.Undoubtedly, all eyes will be on the Girls Under 20 400m as Junelle Bromfield of St Elizabeth Technical will square off with Tiffany James of the Mico University College and Shannon Kallawan of Edwin Allen.In the Under 18 Girl’s 100m, Kimone Shaw of St Jago and Shellece Clarke of Edwin Allen will renew their rivalry when they clash in the event. At Central Championships, it was Shaw who drew first blood after defeating Clarke in a close finish and Clarke will be hoping to avenge that defeat.last_img read more

National parks, wilderness areas in California could expand under sweeping new bill

first_imgIn the largest land conservation bill passed by Congress in 10 years, vast areas of California’s desert are headed for new protections that would prohibit mining, roads and off-highway vehicles, and enlarge two national parks, Death Valley and Joshua Tree.The bill would designate 1.3 million acres of federal land across the American West as wilderness, the highest level of protection, establish four new national monuments, and set aside more than 600 miles of rivers from dams and other …last_img

AirAsia introduce a simpler way to fly internationally

first_imgAirAsia/AirAsia X  passengers who transit through the airline’s Fly-Thru hubs,  Kuala Lumpur (klia2) or Bangkok-Don Mueang (DMK) will now receive an onward flight boarding pass from the first point of check-in, be allowed to bypass immigration clearance and have all baggage checked through to the final destination.  With the exception of a few routes, AirAsia and AirAsiaX pasengers previously had to collect their luggage at Kuala Lumpur or Bangkok airports, clear immigration, collect their bags and then re-check in again and collect their next boarding pass. In another positive for the airline and its passengers, Fly-Thru guests are also able to enjoy guaranteed connection. In the event delays caused by the airline results in the missing of consecutive flights, AirAsia will automatically accommodate affected Fly-Thru passengers on the next available flight without any additional charges.AirAsia Berhad CEO Aireen Omar said, “The Fly-Thru service reflects our continuous effort to innovate and enhance our service offerings, presenting utmost convenience to our guests and making multiple-city flights easier and more efficient. Fly-Thru also allows guests to leverage on the strength of our network and connectivity to various destinations in Asean and beyond.”last_img read more

New conservation practice could reduce nitrogen pollution in the Gulf of Mexico

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Every summer, a “dead zone” forms in the Gulf of Mexico. Plumes of oxygen-robbing algae, fed by excess nitrogen coming in from the Mississippi River, kill off marine life and threaten the livelihoods of those who fish the Gulf. States bordering the Mississippi River are putting strategies in place to limit nitrogen from wastewater treatment plants, surface runoff, and agricultural fields. In a new study, University of Illinois scientists have estimated that a new conservation practice known as saturated buffers could reduce nitrogen from agricultural drainage by 5 to 10%.“It might not sound like much, given that agricultural drainage only represents a portion of the nitrogen getting into the Mississippi. But 5 to 10% is pretty good for an inexpensive, passive system that farmers can put in and forget about,” said Reid Christianson, research assistant professor in the Department of Crop Sciences at U of I and co-author of the study.Saturated buffers are vegetated strips of land — as little as 30 feet across — between tile-drained agricultural fields and waterways. Ordinarily, tile pipes carrying drainage water from the fields empty directly into ditches or streams. With a saturated buffer, the water is re-routed to a perforated pipe running below the surface and parallel to the stream. Water then flows through the soil of the saturated buffer into the stream. Along the way, soil microbes naturally remove up to 44% of the nitrogen.“Saturated buffers don’t take a lot of land out of production, and are fairly inexpensive at $3,000 to $4,000 to treat drainage from a field-sized area (roughly 30 to 80 acres). Farmers have to be willing to not farm right up to the creek, but in terms of edge-of-field conservation practices, I think saturated buffers fit easily with farming and provide additional benefits like wildlife and pollinator habitat,” said Laura Christianson, assistant professor also in the crop sciences department and co-author of the study.To arrive at their nitrogen reduction estimate, the Christiansons and doctoral student Janith Chandrasoma looked at publicly available digital maps of crop, soil, and stream types to estimate the total number of saturated buffers that could be installed across the Midwest: 248,000 to 360,000, which could treat up to 9.5 million acres of drained land. With other studies showing average nitrogen removal rates between 23 and 44%, this number of saturated buffers would reduce the total nitrogen load in agricultural drainage by 5 to 10%.Laura says the approach required a lot of assumptions. For example, there are no satellite images or maps for tile drainage systems across the entire Midwest, so the researchers made the assumption that corn or soybeans fields on soil characterized as “poorly drained” were most likely tiled. However, Reid notes tile drainage systems are installed under many corn and soybean fields in the Midwest, not just poorly drained ones.“Overall, our assumptions were relatively conservative. We probably underestimated our figures as a result,” he said.Saturated buffers are a new conservation practice, with the first Natural Resources Conservation Service standard published in 2016. So far, they have not been adopted on anywhere near the scale shown possible in the Christiansons’ study. For example, Laura estimates there are probably fewer than 50 saturated buffers currently operating across the entire Midwest region.“Adoption on the scale we estimated in the paper is likely a long way off,” she said, “but anything we can do to reduce nitrogen flowing to the Gulf, especially if it fits relatively easily with current on-farm management practices, warrants attention.”The paper, “Saturated buffers: What is their potential impact across the US Midwest?” is published in Agricultural and Environmental Letters [DOI: 10.2134/ael2018.11.0059]. Authors include Janith Chandrasoma, Reid Christianson, and Laura Christianson, all from the Department of Crop Sciences in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences at U of I. The work was funded through the USDA Farm Service Agency.last_img read more

Alphabet Soup

first_imgAmbassador cars on Indian roads will be sporting a new, spacey look from August 2011 and will cost between Rs 5 lakh and Rs 7 lakh.Belgian Shepherd dogs, known as Malinois, have been imported by the ITBP for anti-Naxal operations.Canada is concerned that a ship carrying illegal immigrants on the way,Ambassador cars on Indian roads will be sporting a new, spacey look from August 2011 and will cost between Rs 5 lakh and Rs 7 lakh.Belgian Shepherd dogs, known as Malinois, have been imported by the ITBP for anti-Naxal operations.Canada is concerned that a ship carrying illegal immigrants on the way to its western coast has LTTE activists on board.Indian banks are owed Rs 755.45 crore as dues from forward trading in foreign exchange contracts.New Zealand, worried about security issues, has refused to put its athletes at risk during the CWG and may pull out of the Games.Potassium and sodium-rich foods are good for parents wanting a daughter, says new research.Subrata Roy, also known as Sahara Sri, will join as a volunteer for the Commonwealth Games 2010.Tiger Woods is in bad form and will not be playing at the US PGA Championship.UFOs were reportedly seen by Hong Kong residents during a lightning storm, says a local broadcaster.Wipro says that technology spending budgets remain low, though it posted a strong June quarter.last_img read more

Don’t like to mix captaincy and batting: Mandhana ready to lead India in Harmanpreet’s absence

first_imgA small goal already achieved, Indian women’s team opener Smriti Mandhana has now set her sights on winning a World Cup title with the national team.Mandhana became the number one ODI batter in the ICC Women’s Rankings last month following her exemplary run of form.Mandhana, who will lead India women in the three-match T20 series against England starting here on Monday, said her goal now is to stay at the top and win a World title.”As a kid when you start playing, you always think of winning the World Cup. Obviously, there are individual targets like, getting to ICC world no.1 spot. And reaching there was really pleasing but now I have to work even harder. To stay there is much more important than getting there,” said Mandhana, who replaced injured Harmanpreet Kaur as the T20 captain.”As a batter the most important thing is to reach the ICC world no.1 position. Definitely it was one of the small goals for me, but my major goal is definitely to win the World Cup,” she added.The upcoming series will provide Indian women’s team a chance to finalise a core group of players ahead of the T20 World Cup early next year but Mandhana said their primary aim is to win the series, which in turn will throw up new players.”Definitely we are looking to win the series and not just trying out new faces. We really have a very exciting team. It is important for us to believe that we are going into the series to win it rather than experimenting,” the skipper said.advertisement”Captaincy and batting are completely different aspects. I don’t like to mix the two as it complicates things,” says @mandhana_smriti in her first media interaction as Captain of the Indian Women’s Cricket Team. #INDvENG pic.twitter.com/abQVbDp1kBBCCI Women (@BCCIWomen) March 3, 2019″First goal is to win the series and if we can achieve that we will definitely be able to find new faces for the World Cup. It would be much easier rather than thinking the other way.”The ICC Women’s T20 World Cup will be held in Australia from February 21 to March 8 next year.Mandhana said they have already started their preparations for the T20 World Cup and a fair bit of idea about the composition of the side will come in next 6-8 months.”Me and Raman sir (coach WV Raman) have spoken about the things which we lacked in New Zealand tour and the way our batting order will be shaping for the next World Cup.”So, it’s a really exciting time because we have such a young side. We will have to wait for 6-8 months to see where all the players are,” she said.Asked about all-rounder Harleen Deol, who replaced Harmanpreet in the squad, Mandhana said: “I think it was a selectors’ decision but I think she is a brilliant player and for T20 format she is a perfect all-rounder.”She can bowl that 2-3 crucial overs and gives a lot as a batter. She is also a brilliant fielder. Definitely, she will have a huge role to play in T20s for India in the future.”Mandhana said on the personal front her approach towards her game won’t change much after becoming captain.”The preparation won’t change because as a vice-captain for the last 2 years I have been attending all the meetings of strategy. I know already what we are going to do before the match when I was not the captain. But I will make extra effort to speak to bowlers,” she said.”I have been playing under a lot of captains in the last 4-5 years and I have tried to learn everything from them. I don’t really like to mix captaincy and batting…as it will complicate me more,” she added.Mandhana praised the BCCI for taking the matches to smaller venues as it attracts more crowd, which according to her is a must for the development of women’s cricket.We got an amazing reception when we landed in #Guwahati. All the players are very happy with the response we are getting here: @mandhana_smriti #INDvENG pic.twitter.com/ZhL09lso07BCCI Women (@BCCIWomen) March 3, 2019″It’s a brilliant initiative. The time we have landed in Guwahati the reception has been really amazing. All the players are really happy with the kind of response people are giving to us. This will help women’s cricket in a big way,” she said.advertisementAlso Read | Smriti Mandhana to lead India in three-match T20I series against EnglandAlso Read | Smriti Mandhana retains top spot in ICC Women’s ODI rankingslast_img read more

Lobby Continues for Support of Wage Restraint

first_imgMinister with responsibility for the Public Service, Hon. Horace Dalley, says efforts are continuing to lobby support for the public sector wage restraint agreement by unions not yet on board.The three-year agreement, which was signed earlier this month, will see the island’s civil servants forgoing major wage increases for the period 2013 to 2015.This forms part of the stipulations outlined by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for the Government of Jamaica to fulfill, in their efforts to conclude a four-year IMF Extended Funding Facility (EFF), to support the country’s economic programme.To date, unions representing over 80 per cent of the public sector workforce have signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) formalizing this arrangement.Responding to questions about a possible timeframe in which the remaining unions are anticipated to sign the agreement, Mr. Dalley said the Ministry will continue discussions with them in the hope that “the national interest will prevail and that they will understand the need to come on board.”Regarding unions deemed to be “sticking to their ground” and not wanting to endorse the agreement, Mr. Dalley said based on the prevailing developments, “there is no group that can receive any increase in wages during this period.”“The eighty-odd per cent of the public sector workers who have agreed to sign on…to the call from the government, to help in this difficult period, we (greatly) appreciate, and that sacrifice is monumental. (However) no other group can, or will be treated differently,” he stated. By Douglas McIntosh, JIS Reporterlast_img read more