first_imgNews See the World Press Freedom Index and the 3-dimensional map “freedom of the press worldwide”The 2014 Reporters Without Borders World Press Freedom Index spotlights major declines in media freedom in such varied countries as the United States, Central African Republic and Guatemala and, on the other hand, marked improvements in Ecuador, Bolivia and South Africa. The same trio of Finland, Netherlands and Norway heads the index again, while Turkmenistan, North Korea and Eritrea continue to be the biggest information black holes, again occupying the last three positions.“The World Press Freedom Index is a reference tool that is based on seven criteria: the level of abuses, the extent of pluralism, media independence, the environment and self-censorship, the legislative framework, transparency and infrastructure,” said Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Christophe Deloire.“It makes governments face their responsibilities by providing civil society with an objective measure, and provides international bodies with a good governance indicator to guide their decisions.”Reporters Without Borders head of research Lucie Morillon said: “This year, the ranking of some countries, including democracies, has been impacted by an overly broad and abusive interpretation of the concept of national security protection. “The index also reflects the negative impact of armed conflicts on freedom of information and its actors. The world’s most dangerous country for journalists, Syria, is ranked 177th out of 180 countries.”The index’s annual global indicator, which measures the overall level of violations of freedom of information in 180 countries year by year, has risen slightly. The indicator has gone from 3395 to 3456 points, a 1.8% rise. The level of violations is unchanged in the Asia-Pacific region, but has increased in Africa.The index is available in print for the first time. An enhanced version is being published (in French) by the French publishing house Flammarion in its Librio collection. The index, together with regional and thematic analyses, continues to be available in English, French and other languages on the Reporters Without Borders website (rsf.org). Reporters Without Borders has also introduced a three-dimensional visualization of the performances of the 180 ranked countries.This year’s index covers 180 countries, one more than the 179 countries covered in last year’s index. The newcomer is Belize, which has been ranked in the enviable position of 29th.See the 2014 World Press Freedom Index on rsf.orgArmed conflicts, political instability and national securityThe 2014 index emphasizes the negative correlation between armed conflicts and freedom of information. In an unstable environment, the media become strategic goals or targets for groups or individuals trying to control news and information in violation of the guarantees enshrined in international conventions.Syria (177th) is rubbing shoulders with the last three countries in the index. Around 130 professional and citizen-journalists were killed in connection with the provision of news and information from March 2011 to December 2013. They are being targeted by both the Assad government and extremist rebel militias. The Syrian crisis has also had dramatic repercussions throughout the region.In Africa, Mali continued its fall and is now ranked 122nd. Progress in the conflict in north of the country has stalled, preventing any real revival in media activity. Central African Republic (109th) has followed suit, falling 43 places. In Egypt (159th), President Morsi’s ouster by the army led by Al-Sisi freed those media that the Muslim Brotherhood had gagged ever since coming to power, but it marked the start of a witchhunt against journalists suspected of supporting the Brotherhood.Far from these conflicts, in countries where the rule of law prevails, security arguments are misused as grounds for restricting freedom of information. Invoked too readily, the protection of national security is encroaching on hard-won democratic rights.In the United States (46th, -13), the hunt for leaks and whistleblowers serves as a warning to those thinking of satisfying a public interest need for information about the imperial prerogatives assumed by the world’s leading power. The United Kingdom (33rd, -3) has followed in the US wake, distinguishing itself by its harassment of The Guardian.There are many examples of governments abusing the “fight against terrorism.” In Turkey (154th), dozens of journalists have been detained on this pretext, above all those who cover the Kurdish issue. In Israel (96th), which regained some of the places it lost in the previous index because of Operation Pillar of Defence’s impact on freedom of information, the territorial integrity imperative often suppresses freedom of information about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Organisation In Sri Lanka (165th, – 2), the army shapes the news by suppressing accounts that stray too far from the official vision of “pacification” in the former Tamil separatist strongholds.A few noteworthy developmentsCentral Africa Republic, currently the site of a violent conflict, suffered the biggest fall, losing 43 places after a year marked by extreme violence and repeated attacks and threats against journalists.Aside from the 13-place fall by the United States (46th, -13), Guatemala’s dizzying plunge (125th, -29) was due to a sharp decline in the safety of journalists, with four murders and twice as many attacks as the previous year.In Kenya (90th, -18), the government’s much criticized authoritarian response to the media’s coverage of the Westgate Mall attack was compounded by dangerous parliamentary initiatives. Chad (139th) fell 17 places after distinguishing itself by abusive arrests and prosecutions in 2013.Suffering from the effects of the economic crisis and a surge in populism, Greece (99th) fell 14 places.Violence against journalists, direct censorship and misuse of judicial proceedings fell in Panama (87th, +25), Dominican Republic (68th, +13), Bolivia (94th, +16) and Ecuador (94th, +25), although in Ecuador the level of media polarization is still high and often detrimental to public debate.The past year was marked by laudable legislative developments in some countries such as South Africa (42nd, +11), where the president refused to sign a law that would have threatened media freedom.Contrasting with South Africa’s improvement, other countries regarded as regional models registered no progress or even significant declines.Read more on rsf.org RSF_en February 12, 2014 – Updated on January 25, 2016 Reporters Without Borders releases 2014 Press Freedom Index Help by sharing this informationlast_img read more


first_imgThe Ocean City Police Department was part of an investigation leading to the arrest of a former high school teacher for an alleged sex assault on a student. The Ocean City Police Department Detective Bureau is investigating an assault and luring attempt of a girl that occurred on Sept. 5 at 11:45 a.m. in the area of 18th Street and Central Avenue.In addition to assault, the suspect attempted to lure the girl to his vehicle, police said in a Facebook post.The suspect is described as a white male, approximately 50-60 years old, approximately 6 feet tall and 230 pounds.The suspect is described as 6 feet tall and in his 50s-60s. (Photo provided by Ocean City Police Department)He was driving a newer model, black Jeep Grand Cherokee, bearing an unknown Pennsylvania license plate, police said. The vehicle has dark front and rear window tint.Anyone with information on the identity of the suspect is asked to contact Detective Matt Crowley at (609) 525-9133 or [email protected] or Sgt. Dan Lancaster at (609) 525-9128 or [email protected] Tips may remain anonymous.The suspect was operating a newer Jeep. (Photo provided by Ocean City Police Department)last_img read more


first_imgBy Brian Homewood ZURICH, Switzerland (Reuters) – FIFA is still struggling to regain the trust of soccer fans, with more than half those interviewed saying they had no confidence in the sport’s governing body, according to a survey published yesterday.Corruption watchdog Transparency International, which conducted the survey jointly with Swedish-based Forza Football, added that FIFA’s image may have been hurt by its attempts to increase revenue.Fifty-three percent of 25 000 fans interviewed from 50 countries said they had no confidence in FIFA, which is trying to regain credibility after a corruption crisis in 2015 that saw dozens of officials indicted in the United States of America. Even so, that was an improvement over 69 percent last year, the survey said.“For any organisation that relies so much on the fans — without the fans football is dead, it’s commercially dead, its passion is dead — that is a rather serious situation,” Transparency head Cobus de Swardt told Reuters.“We don’t underestimate the toughness of the job, but in that sense so far the news has been only moderately good.”He added that FIFA’s struggle to attract new sponsors was another symptom of its troubles.FIFA has signed only one top-tier partner, China’s Wanda Group, since Infantino took over. Russia’s Alfa Bank has agreed to be a regional sponsor.“FIFA hasn’t been really rebuilt to the extent where sponsors are falling over their feet to be associated with the FIFA name,” said de Swardt. “I’ve had sponsors telling me that they would love to be associated with football but not with FIFA.”Only 34 percent of those interviewed thought FIFA was actively fighting corruption. Sixty-six percent said that match-fixing was the type of corruption which most worried them.Meanwhile, 43 percent said they disapproved of next year’s flagship World Cup being staged in Russia.FIFA president Gianni Infantino, elected one year ago to replace the disgraced Sepp Blatter, said the body has taken steps to make officials more accountable. But de Swardt said the public did not see it that way.“FIFA puts out 50-page brochures talking of reform, but to the average fan, when I talk to them about what has changed in FIFA, they shake their heads,” he said. “They have no idea what has really changed.”Shortly after Infantino took over, FIFA said it had revised its projected revenue for the 2015-2018 cycle upwards from $5 billion to $5.65 billion, with projected investments amounting to $5.55 billion.However, de Swardt said this might have been perceived negatively.“For the average fan, the problem is not that there is too little money in football, but there is too much, and fans see this in what they have to pay for tickets, merchandise, etc,” he said.last_img read more


first_imgWhat any fool with a basic cable package could have deduced a month ago was confirmed by Raiders owner Mark Davis on Sunday after his team’s 20-6 loss to the San Diego Chargers.It’s all his fault.“I always look in the mirror, and the buck stops with me,” Davis told ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez. “Where this team is right now is my fault.”Right now the Raiders are 1-8, on a five-game losing streak, with quarterback Derek Carr looking too often dazed and confused, with projected offensive play-makers …last_img


first_imgSANTA CLARA – So much of the 49ers season hinges on so many comeback stories, especially those involving knee injuries, and, specifically, Jimmy Garoppolo’s.After Monday night’s dud in Denver, Garoppolo makes his encore Saturday in Kansas City, where he tore his anterior cruciate ligament 11 months ago. A few other ACL comebacks also merit attention in this third exhibition, and that leads us into the top five questions to answer:San Francisco 49ers’ Kwon Alexander (56) drills on the team’s …last_img


first_imgCatriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Management and coaching staff wasted no time and has shopped around for a replacement, their third import in the season-closing conference, who has turned out to be Watson and is expected to plane in either late Tuesday or early Wednesday from the United States.But a ranking team official told the Inquirer that the Beermen would likely play Bridgeman against the Elasto Painters because coaching staff doesn’t feel that Watson would be able to have at least one practice with the team.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games View comments LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Read Next MOST READcenter_img Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa WATCH: Derrick Rose moved to tears after watching video tribute from Chinese fans SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief San Miguel Beermen. Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games San Miguel Beer, chasing to complete a rare Triple Crown sweep, will most likely play Terik Bridgeman against Rain or Shine in the 7 p.m. PBA Governors’ Cup contest on Wednesday as the Beermen await the arrival of new import Terrence Watson.Bridgeman, who came in to replace Wendell McKines, was a huge disappointment in his debut last Saturday, scoring just two points and grabbing six rebounds in a 79-90 loss to Alaska in Angeles City in Pampanga.ADVERTISEMENT Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PHlast_img read more


first_imgzoom Since the beginning of 2016 the Athens-based containership owner Costamare Inc. has completed debt financing transactions of over USD 760 million, according to the company.In August 2016, the company entered into a loan agreement with a European financial institution for the financing of the third and fourth 11,000 TEU vessels on order, acquired under the JV with York Capital. The facility is for an amount of up to USD 87 million which will be repayable over 3 years. Costamare said that the proceeds are expected to finance the remaining yard installments for the two vessels.During the same month, the shipowner finalized the refinancing of two credit facilities secured with the 2006-built vessel Cosco Beijing and the 2000-built ships Sealand New York and Sealand Washington. Under the new financing arrangements, balloon installments of USD 90 million, due in the second and third quarter of 2018, have been extended to be amortized over three years.Furthermore, the company finalized the refinancing of its USD 1 billion facility in September 2016. Under the new agreement, the balloon payment of USD 270 million, due in the second quarter of 2018, has been extended to be amortized over three years.“Our goal is to strengthen the company and enhance long term shareholder value. Managing our debt repayment schedule, minimizing our capital commitments and adjusting the dividend are necessary steps in today’s market environment,” Gregory Zikos, Chief Financial Officer, said.Out of the USD 760 million worth of debt financing transactions, around USD 400 million involve the extension for 3 years of debt maturing in 2017 and 2018, some USD 175 million relate to the financing of Costamare’s newbuild program, USD 150 million relate to the refinancing of existing facilities, and USD 40 million relate to new financings.“We have no debt maturities in 2017, we have reduced our 2018 balloons from approx. USD 440 million to approx. USD 80 million and we have minimized our capital expenditure requirements,” Zikos said.last_img read more


first_imgCALGARY – Imperial Oil Ltd.’s commitment to begin construction this year on its $2.6-billion Aspen oilsands project in northern Alberta comes less than a week after it received long-awaited approval from the Alberta government.The speed of the announcement Tuesday surprised observers who have watched Calgary oilsands rivals including Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., Cenovus Energy Inc. and MEG Energy Corp. announce production cuts to avoid steep discounts currently being paid for Western Canadian Select bitumen blend oil.Imperial’s project would add 75,000 barrels per day of bitumen production to current output of about 300,000 bpd but won’t start up until 2022, by which time many observers predict that new pipeline capacity will ease export bottlenecks and restore normal pricing levels.“As we look at a three-and-a-half-year construction project execution period, we think the dust will settle in some of these areas and a project that has as many advantages as Aspen does, we’re confident it will be a globally competitive investment,” CEO Rich Kruger told media on a conference call following Imperial’s investor day in Toronto on Wednesday morning.He acknowledged that the company is counting on government to ensure pipelines are built in time for project startup.Enbridge Inc.’s Line 3 replacement oil pipeline project is expected to be in service in late 2019 and one or both of TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL pipeline or the federal government’s Trans Mountain expansion are expected to be in service a year or so later.Meanwhile, crude-by-rail exports from Canada rose to a record 230,000 barrels per day in August.Imperial has signalled it will increase rail use to 170,000 bpd in the first quarter of 2019, up from an average of about 80,000 bpd over the summer, from its co-owned railway terminal near its Edmonton refinery.In situ oilsands projects which produce bitumen from wells have an advantage over open pit mines such as Imperial’s nearby Kearl project that opened in 2013 and was expanded in 2015, Kruger said.“Our view is with the large resource base, with the history of innovation and responsible development, that the highest quality oilsands can and will be competitive on a global basis, not all oilsands,” he said during his investor day presentation.“We see in situ as having fundamental advantages today over new greenfield mining developments.”Imperial decided to go ahead with construction during a slow time in the oilsands because it hopes less competition will save money on labour and component costs, said Theresa Redburn, senior vice-president of commercial and corporate development.Aspen is being designed to add solvents along with steam into horizontal wells to melt the heavy sticky bitumen, a technology tested in a seven-year pilot project, she said.Imperial expects to save about 25 per cent in capital costs per barrel and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and water use intensity by about the same amount compared with traditional in situ projects that use steam alone.In a report, analysts at Tudor Pickering & Holt questioned the project’s cost of about $35,000 per barrel per day versus previous company estimates that the entire 150,000-bpd project could be built for $27,000 per flowing barrel.It said the cash-rich company can afford to ramp up spending next year and still buy back about $2 billion worth of its shares.The approval process for the project and its 75,000-bpd second phase has been a bone of contention with Kruger, who has complained it was taking too long to win approval from the Alberta Energy Regulator since application was first made in 2013.The AER, however, has said the review period was prolonged due to Imperial’s application changes, with the latest version submitted in May 2017, and First Nation consultation adequacy requirements.The Aspen project is expected to create about 700 jobs during peak construction and more than 200 jobs during operations.Follow @HealingSlowly on Twitter.Companies mentioned in this article: (TSX,IMO, TSX:CVE, TSX:CNQ, TSX:MEG)last_img read more


first_imgThe City’s Communications Coordinator Ryan Harvey said that the sewer upgrades were supposed to have been started earlier this year, but a number of multi-government agencies at multiple levels – including Transport Canada – needed to give their approval for the City’s plans.Harvey wasn’t able to say whether the sewer replacement would be completed before the end of the year, or whether the delay would cause the City to postpone widening 100th St. up to the East Bypass Road until 2020. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The City of Fort St. John is now accepting tender submissions for sewer upgrades along 100th St. under the CN Rail tracks near Northern Lights College.The work, which involves installing 200 metres of 1.5-metre diameter storm main under the CN Rail tracks at the north end of 100th St. is part of the City’s plans to widen the road next summer.The City had originally planned to continue widening the road this summer, but during 2018 Capital Budget discussions, the City postponed that work until 2019 so that the storm drain near NLC could be replaced and upgraded.last_img read more