President Obama visits the Philippines : Open Letter

first_img June 1, 2021 Find out more Organisation Mass international solidarity campaign launched in support of Maria Ressa May 3, 2021 Find out more Mr. President,As you are about to make an official visit to the Philippines on November 18 and 19 for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, Reporters Without Borders would like to draw your attention to its concerns about the safety of journalists in the country.November 2 marked the United Nations’ International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists and Reporters Without Borders asks that you remind your Philippine counterparts of their obligations to protect journalists from violent attacks and murder. As an important economic partner of the Philippines, the United States can and must urge the Philippine government to follow through on its promises to protect journalists and freedom of the press, which is one of the pillars of a vibrant democracy, itself a building block of sustainable development. The Philippines are ranked 141st out of 180 countries on Reporters Without Borders’ 2015 World Press Freedom Index, with a total of 7 journalists killed this year, 3 of which have been confirmed to have been killed in relation to their work. November 23 will mark the 6-year anniversary of the 2009 Maguindanao Massacre, when 32 media professionals were murdered by a private militia owned by the local governor’s family on the southern island of Mindanao. Despite efforts to obtain justice for the victims’ families, the trial of those believed to be responsible for the murders has yet to produce any convictions. As this anniversary approaches, it is important that you raise the serious issue of journalists’ safety and the need to end impunity with your Philippine counterparts. In 2015, three journalists were killed in just 2 weeks. On the evening of August 27 2015, radio presenter Cosme Diez Maestrado was shot and killed near a shopping center in the city of Ozamiz, approximately 500 miles from Manila. Maestrado died before reaching the hospital. The police have reportedly identified four suspects through footage they recovered from a CCTV camera near the scene of the murder. According to the Special Investigation Task Group (STIG), the assailants were hired killers from Metro Manila. The suspects have yet to be taken into custody. Maestrado worked for the local radio station dxOC in Ozamiz. He was known for his hard-hitting comments and scathing criticism of corrupt local officials. He had survived a similar attack in 2011. The police opened an investigation into Maestrado’s murder but no action has been taken since. Maestrado was just 46 years old when he was killed.One week earlier, on August 19, Teodoro “Tio Todoy” Escanilla was shot multiple times in front of his doorway. Escanilla was 59 years old and a presenter for the radio show “Pamana ng Lahi” on DZMS. He was also the spokesperson of Karpatan, an NGO defending human rights in Sorsogon province, as well as the local representative for the Anakpawis party, a populist political party supporting farmers’ rights. The day before, on August 18, another journalist was murdered: 65 year-old Gregorio “Loloy” Ybañez. He was the president of the Davao del Norte Press and Radio-TV Club (DNPRC) and editor of the weekly publication Kabuhayan News Services. He, too, was shot multiple times as he was coming home. The Philippines must act to make sure these murders do not go unpunished. Reporters Without Borders urges you, Mr. President, to press upon your counterparts that this climate of impunity is intolerable in such an important US ally and economic partner. I thank you in advance, Mr. President, for the careful attention you give to this letter.Sincerely, Follow the news on Philippines RSF_en to go further Christophe DeloireSecretary-General News Help by sharing this information November 17, 2015 – Updated on January 20, 2016 President Obama visits the Philippines : Open Letter Philippines: RSF and the #HoldTheLine Coalition welcome reprieve for Maria Ressa, demand all other charges and cases be dropped President Barack Obama The White House1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NWWashington, DC 20500 News Reporters Without Borders has written President Barack Obama an open letter while he makes an official visit to the Philippines for the APEC summit November 17-20. We ask that Obama remind the Philippines of its obligation to protect journalists. News News February 16, 2021 Find out more PhilippinesAsia – Pacific Receive email alerts Filipina journalist still held although court dismissed case eleven days ago PhilippinesAsia – Pacific last_img read more


Covid-19: PetroTal shuts down Bretana oilfield in Peru

first_img PetroTal shuts down Bretana oilfield amidst covid-19 crisis. (Credit: 272447/Pixabay.) US-based oil and gas company PetroTal has announced temporary shut-in of Bretana oil field in Peru due to covid-19 pipeline closure and storage capacity limitations.The move comes after the state-owned company Petroperu announced the shut down the Northern Oil Pipeline (ONP), after the health department of the Peruvian government issued a directive for covid-19 prevention in high risk areas and for high risk individuals.On 27 May 2019, PetroTal entered into a pipeline transportation service contract with Petroperu to gain access to Peru’s ONP.PetroTal stated: “Although Petroperu has filed an appeal with the Peruvian government to allow the pipeline to resume operations on the basis that it is an essential service, it is not clear how long the pipeline operations will remain suspended.“PetroTal has commenced steps to temporarily shut down oil production at the Bretana oil field due to storage capacity limitations.”The company has also updated the market on financing initiatives to accommodate the impact of oil price reductions on oil sales at the Bretana field in Peru’s block 95.Planned capital expenditure of PetroTal for 2020 continues to be deferredPetroTal said its planned capital expenditure for 2020 remains deferred and has reduced overall general and administrative costs by approximately 20%.The cost reductions includes company-wide salary cuts, including cash compensation reductions of 20% for management and directors.The company added that the oil field shutdown would lead to cost reductions for operating, transportation and general and administrative expenses.PetroTal president and CEO Manolo Zuniga said: “PetroTal continues to support initiatives to ensure the Peruvian government provides the support needed during this pandemic, just as other countries have done. “In the meantime, we continue to work on securing the necessary financial backing to ensure we are properly funded and emerge stronger from this crisis. “PetroTal appreciates the ongoing dedication of all employees and the support for our business during these challenging times of the pandemic impact.”In April, PetroTal had completed its third horizontal well 6H in the Bretana oil field. The company has temporarily shut down the pipeline as a result of a directive from the Peruvian government intended to combat the spread of COVID-19 last_img read more


USC sees rise in parking permit forgery

first_imgParking spots — always elusive in Los Angeles — are a prized commodity on USC’s campus, and many students have been attempting to grab a spot by whatever means necessary.This spring and summer have seen a rash of students forging or altering the monthly parking permits that allow access to parking structures on campus. According to DPS Capt. David Carlisle, there have been 18 reports of falsified parking permits since April, with six so far this month.“It’s a common report,” Carlisle said. “Students try and create a fake parking permit or alter an existing permit, trying to make accurate copies of the permit in order to avoid the monthly parking fee.”Carlisle said USC Transportation, which patrols the parking lots around campus regularly, has a simple system to catch altered permits. All USC-issued parking permits have corresponding barcodes, which transportation officials can scan to determine their veracity.If a student’s permit is found to be false or tampered with, USC Transportation immobilizes the car by placing a boot on it, which can only be removed when the owner pays existing parking fees and fines for the fake permit — USC Transportation’s website lists fines as anywhere between $100 and $1,000.Students whose cars have been booted are also referred to Judicial Affairs for further action.Carlisle said the influx in permit modifications could be a combination of more forgeries and stricter  enforcement on the part of transportation officers.last_img read more


Athletics: Rusmir Malkocevic won the Semifinals and broke the State Record

first_imgYoung athletes of B&H finished their performance at the European Junior Championship in the Swedish city Eskilstuna.Out of three BH representatives, the best was members of AC Sloboda from Tuzla, Rusmir Malkocevic, who won the participation in the semi-final race on 400 meters hurdles, in which he achieved the 19th time.In the qualifying race, Malkocevic run his personal and the state junior record with the result of  53.05 seconds.In the qualifying race at 800 meters, Marko Jovicic achieved the 32nd time – 1:55.87, while our third representative, Nikolija Stanivukovic, was 24th in heptathlon with 4516 won pints.The most successful participants of the 23rd European Championship were young athletes of Great Britain with five gold and five silver medals won.(Source: faktor.ba)last_img read more


State Drops Charges Against Pastor Arrested Over Stay-at-Home Order

first_imgState officials dropped misdemeanor charges late last week Friday against a Florida pastor who was accused of violating stay-at-home orders by holding Sunday services in March, during the rise of the coronavirus pandemic.Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren said in a statement that the prosecution of Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne, who serves at the River at Tampa Bay Church, would not proceed.Warren added that the pastor has conducted worship operations “responsibly” since he was arrested.Howard-Browne had been charged with unlawful assembly and violating quarantine orders during a public health emergency. The pastor reportedly held services at the church despite local orders to limit gatherings to no more than 10 people, according to authorities. “Our office has determined that further prosecution or punishment would not provide increased protections for our community and is not needed to achieve any additional change in Pastor Howard-Browne’s behavior,” Warren added.Mat Staver, founder and chairman of the Liberty Counsel that represents Howard-Browne, released a statement on Friday that calls the arrest “politically motivated”and adds that the case should never have been brought.“Neither the pastor nor The River at Tampa Bay Church did anything wrong,” Staver said. “We are pleased that all the charges have been dropped. It is now time to move forward with healing and restoration.”Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis exempted houses of worship from a statewide stay-at-home order shortly after the arrest.last_img read more


An open expression of gratitude for an extraordinary 15-year-old named Coco

first_imgby Vernon WilliamsThanks, Coco. We needed that.Your timing could not have been more perfect. Your youthful smile and enthusiasm is infectious. Your sensible articulation is a throwback to a time when it was common for parents to take pride in well-mannered offspring. Your incredible skills are mind-boggling, but almost incidental. There is so much about you to like.You are a soothing elixir bringing relief at a time during which Black folk are – in the words of Fannie Lou Hamer – are sick and tired of being sick and tired.CocoPeople much older are equally wowed by Coco’s amazing tennis acumen and her intellectual capacity that far exceeds her adolescence. Right now, she doesn’t fully get it. There is no way to make a 15-year-old – no matter how bright – comprehend the depth of the impact of her meteoric rise for people whose good news moments these days come far and few between.To be clear, it’s not that wonderful accomplishments are not being achieved by Black Americans of all ages from coast to coast. It’s just that the media conveniently ignores them; waiting for more sensational negativism. On the stage which Coco is rising, ignoring her ascent wasn’t an option for the press. It was Wimbledon, for God’s sake!To fully grasp the importance of this refreshing young tennis player’s “out of the blue” rise and reactions among people of color, you have to put things in context; you have to be familiar with a time when African Americans were not bombarded with the level and frequency of negative media that they experience today.While this country has never been Utopia for people of color, measuring the level of current-day stress requires application of the concept found in the title of the Les McCann song, “Compared to What?” In other words, pain and suffering are relative.There are still Black folk alive who had to pick cotton as children – or watch parents work the field. Though not slavery, the agonizing drudgery of sharecropping was a thinly-veiled incarnation of that diabolical institution.Then into the 1940s and 1950s, Black people traveling through the South couldn’t even contemplate pulling into one of the roadside hotels for a night’s rest during a weary point of a family road trip. Even Black entertainers performing to adoring crowds in hotel showrooms didn’t enjoy that accommodation.And there was a reason that Black families traveling by car always packed a hearty container of food and drinks. They knew pulling off the road into a restaurant would only bring them the frustration of “white only” signs and glares from people whose snarling expressions said they would rather starve than sup in the presence of people of color.Even entering the 60s, years after Rosa Parks, Freedom Riders were greeted by barbaric brutality by those incensed at the notion of integrating interstate transportation. As in most cases, law enforcement showed up to either participate in the beat down or arrest the bloodied victims in the aftermath. Lynching and violence were bitter realities of a hateful Jim Crow period. Some evildoers wistfully contemplate the resurrection of that horrendous spirit under the guise of returning to a “great” America.Racial affronts in 2019 affirm that mindset as Blacks witness a resurgence of those polarizing times. In media, constant reminders of glaring inequities cut like a knife, leaving viewers the choice of either to ‘grin and bear it’ or turn off disheartening news. Then came this one amazing story — for which there could be no possible negative slant.So inspired were African Americans by Coco’s feat that luminaries in their own right could not contain their enthusiasm. Coco was ecstatic to get a tweet from First Lady Michelle Obama, whom she considered her inspiration. And, there were accolades from so many others—like Magic Johnson, Jalen Smith, and Joel Embid—who compared the excitement of watching Coco play to the seventh game of an NBA championship.American tennis prodigy Cori “Coco” Gauff is the youngest player to advance through qualifying to reach Wimbledon’s main draw; where she defeated compatriot Venus Williams. The Delray Beach, Florida, resident, who’s been touted as the next Serena Williams, told an interviewer for Wimbledon, “I’m still in shock.”In subsequent matches, she proved her first win was no fluke, outplaying the competition. She has reason to feel good about herself, but Coco is confident without an ounce of cockiness. Maybe having mother and father – who also coached her – sitting in the stands was all that was required to ignite her masterful performance.Not even the ugly behaviors and “tweets” of ridiculous racists protesting the choice of a Black actress to portray the main character in the live action version of “The Little Mermaid,” could detract from the moment. The outcome of Wimbledon was secondary. Clearly, Coco emerged from the experience with a sustainable victory. She has won all our hearts.last_img read more


Leafs rebound to grab series lead against Spokane; Hawks steamrolling Rebels

first_imgPaxton Malone scored the only goal for Spokane less than two minutes into the game.However, Malone’s goal was the lone blemish on a stellar night for Leaf goalie Adam Maida, who stopped 25 of 26 shots.Nelson was better turning the other cheek than in Game two of the series where Spokane scored three power play goals, only taking three minor penalties.Meanwhile in Castlegar, the Hawks continue to roll past the Rebels, scoring five second-period goals en route to the convincing victory.Sheldon Hubbard and Walker Sidoni each scored twice to lead the Hawks to its third win in as many nights over the Rebels.During the three games, Beaver Valley has out scored Castlegar 18-5.Mitch Foyle, Dan Holland, Ryan Edwards and Braden Fuller also scored for the Hawks.Chase Reddin and Kody Disher replied for Beaver Valley.Brett Clark stopped 36 shots to register the win in goal.Patrick Zubick and Nate Rabbitt shared the netminding duties for Castlegar.Game four of the series goes Sunday at 7 p.m. in Castlegar.ICE CHIPS: For the third consecutive game, Nelson was missing its leading scorer Jamie Vlanich. The Trail product has been missing from the lineup since February 14 with an upper body injury. No word on when the KIJHL leading scorer will be back on the ice although Vlanich did make the trip to Spokane. . . . Creston Valley Thunder Cats lead the Eddie Mountain Semi Final against Columbia Valley Rockies 3-0 after scoring an 8-1 victory Friday in Invermere. Fernie edged Kimberley 3-1 to climb back in the other Eddie Mountain series, and now trail 2-1 with Game four Saturday in Fernie. . . .Kamloops (2-1), 100 Mile House (2-1) North Okanagan (2-1) and Osoyoos (3-0) all lead their respective series in the Okanagan/Shuswap Conference. The Beaver Valley Nitehawks are within a game of booking a ticket to the Murdoch Division Final after hammering the Castlegar Rebels 8-2 Friday in the Sunflower City.So the Nelson Leafs had better take care of business, and quick in their Murdoch Semi against the Spokane Braves.The Leafs took a step in that direction, getting a pair of goals from Linden Horswill to outlast the Braves 4-1 in Kootenay International Junior Hockey League playoff action Friday in the Lilac City.The win gives Nelson a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series with Game four set for Saturday back in Spokane.Horswill, who did not play in the first two games of the series where Nelson scored a combined five goals, was a welcome addtion for the struggling Leaf offence.The Nelson Minor Hockey grad scored the winning goal late in the first period, combining with Carsen Willans to beat Jon Manlow with eight seconds remaining in the period.In the third Rayce Miller and Horswill, on the power play, secured the victory for Nelson.Willans led the Leafs in scoring with three points, including Nelson’s first goal.last_img read more


49ers report card: Offensive errors trigger Week 1 loss at Vikings

first_imgGet 49ers news in your inbox. Sign up now for the free 49ers HQ newsletter.MINNEAPOLIS – An undefeated season is out of the question. An 0-9 start like last year is improbable. So what should we make of the 49ers’ 24-16, season-opening loss Sunday at Minnesota? Here are our ratings:PASS OFFENSE: D+ Jimmy Garoppolo’s first loss as a starter coincided with his first three-interception game, including a pick-six when Kendrick Bourne ran the wrong route on a still-risky throw. …last_img read more


Hundreds gather outside Mandela’s home

first_img6 December 2013 Hundreds of South Africans began gathered outside Nelson Mandela’s home in Houghton, Johannesburg on Friday morning as news spread of the great man’s passing. The mood was sombre but also celebratory as the crowds sang freedom songs and the national anthem. Others, many of whom were still in their pyjamas, were laying down flowers near the property, while others lit candles and clutched pictures of the struggle icon. There is a high police presence, and roads leading to the home have been blocked off. President Jacob Zuma announced the death of Madiba just before midnight on Thursday in a televised address to the nation. He said Madiba had died peacefully at 8.50pm. Meanwhile, tributes are pouring in from all corners of the world. United Kingdom Prime Minister David Cameron said Madiba was a towering figure in our time, a legend in life and now in death – a true global hero. “Across the country he loved, they will be mourning a man who was the embodiment of grace. Meeting him was one of the great honours of my life.” Former US president Bill Clinton tweeted a picture of himself holding hands with Mandela, saying: “I will never forget my friend Madiba.” The president of Fifa, world football’s governing body, Sepp Blatter, also took to the social network, saying: “My respects to an extraordinary person, probably one of the greatest humanists of our time.” Zuma said flags around the country would be flown at half-mast from Friday until after the funeral. Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more