Iran: Press freedom violations recounted in real time January 2020 IranMiddle East – North Africa Call for Iranian New Year pardons for Iran’s 21 imprisoned journalists Help by sharing this information Organisation News News After Hengameh Shahidi’s pardon, RSF asks Supreme Leader to free all imprisoned journalists News March 18, 2021 Find out more Reporters Without Borders is outraged by the extremely long jail sentence that has just been passed on Iranian blogger and journalist Hossein Derakhshan. He has been sentenced to 19 and a half years in prison followed by a five-year ban on political and journalistic activities. He has also been fined the equivalent of more than 30,000 euros.“Such a long jail term has never before been imposed on a blogger in Iran and is indicative of a desire to make an example out of Derakhshan,” Reporters Without Borders said. “He is the victim of political rivalry within the government and the case against him was fabricated. We urge President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to intercede personally in order to obtain his release without delay.”The press freedom organisation added: “Derakhshan defended the Islamic Revolution’s principles, supported Ahmadinejad’s policies and returned to Iran from Canada after being assured by people close to the president that he would not be arrested. Canada and the rest of the international community must press for this harsh sentence to be quashed and for Derakhshan to be freed at once.”Derakhshan’s partner, Sandrine Murcia, said the judge in charge of the case telephoned the family today to confirm the verdict and sentence, details of which had been published on the pro-government website Asriran.Derakhshan was convicted of collaborating with enemy states, propaganda against the Islamic Republic, propaganda in support of counter-revolutionary groups, “insulting what is holy” and creating immoral websites. He can appeal against the verdict.Arrested by Revolutionary Guards on 1 November 2008, Derakhshan was given a trial without due process and had remained in detention even since awaiting the court’s verdict. He is a collateral victim of in-fighting between the Revolutionary Guards and the Iranian intelligence services. Sign the petition for his release: www.freetheblogfather.org News RSF_en to go further Receive email alerts June 9, 2021 Find out more IranMiddle East – North Africa Follow the news on Iran September 28, 2010 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Longest-ever sentence for Iranian blogger – 19 and a half years February 25, 2021 Find out more
Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionStay informed on the issues and then voteReading the May 21 edition, “In Ohio, blue-collar workers stick with Trump,” a quote jumped out of the page at me.“The Democratic Party has lost its voice to speak to people that shower after and not before work.” As if this country isn’t divided enough, has a new demographic been introduced? How about folks that shower before and after work? Who represents them?It’s time to start talking about the things all Americans can agree on (and there are many). Stay informed by reading, watching and listening to different sources and make sure you’re registered to vote. Don’t wait till the last minute. Every election is important.Edward VanderwallClifton ParkSAT adversity score undermines fairness The SAT “adversity score” assigned by the College Board has been piloted since 2015 in response to rampant cheating in the Middle East, Asia, and most notably in the Singer scandal.It also strives to increase campus diversity by crediting students with their racial and social backgrounds, and fears that an unreliably conservative Supreme Court may strike down affirmative action have prompted 150 institutions to adopt the measure.Comparisons have been drawn to Harvard’s long-used “personality factor,” which has disadvantaged otherwise stellar Asian applicants. Aside from the possible cultural discrimination, every institution accounts for a student’s extracurricular activities, whether or not they give arbitrary categories such as “likability.”The adversity score, however, is beyond anyone’s control and stigmatizes students based on superficial factors.Given state-control over K-12 education, one doesn’t need to come from “privilege,” as a score below 50 would indicate, to make school a priority.Nonetheless, such privileged students may face undetected adversities including caring for a family member, bouts of depression, unreported domestic violence or bullying.This unfair stereotyping at best nullifies the academic performances of middle-class whites while providing a disincentive for students of all backgrounds to perform. It also provides a cheap excuse for a sub-par public school system.Primary education should require teachers to have a masters in their subjects and encourage parents to have strong connections to religious institutions.Both would provide students of all backgrounds a strong academic and moral foundation necessary to build stable careers and families, regardless of where they are admitted.Stephen DansereauAlbanyMotorists need to abide by safety rulesI needed a ride in the Duanesburg ambulance to Ellis Emergency Room.Every single car behind the ambulance tailgated us, and all of the cars happened to be SUVs.The ambulance driver had to stop several times for potholes, construction, traffic, etc.The back doors of an ambulance have no protection from tailgaters.My heart was in my mouth the whole way.We should all hear car safety rules on the local news, maybe a different rule along with the weather, and repeat often.Peg LapoDelanson More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidation
Published on February 19, 2019 at 10:56 pm Contact Eric: [email protected] Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Two Harvard players watched from the sideline as their teammate, Rachel Lim, took on No. 67 Miranda Ramirez on Sunday afternoon. Ramirez easily took the first set 6-1.“This girl is sick,” one remarked to the other.Ramirez went on to win in straight sets on a slicing shot to the corner. The junior from Texas moved to 7-3 on the season for No. 19 Syracuse (6-4, 0-2 Atlantic Coast), including victories over No. 52 Jessica Failla (Pepperdine) and then-No. 36 Chiara Lommer (Michigan). With Sofya Golubovskaya dealing with a shoulder issue, per head coach Younes Limam, Ramirez played the past weekend at second singles for the first time this season. She went 2-0 in the stretch, including a pair of three-game comebacks.“Miranda’s been playing at a very high level,” Limam said. “… Freshman year, I think, she did play (first singles) most of her freshman year. So we know she can play at that level.”Ramirez credited her ability to adjust to different styles for her recent success. Limam said it’s been about her court positioning. She’s been more of an aggressive baseliner and has been finishing points at the net, Limam said. Ramirez’s serve has also improved, giving her “free points.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textOn Sunday, Ramirez faced Lim, a lefty. Ramirez was given an opportunity to use her one-handed backhand more. Gabriela Knutson said she can’t hit Ramirez’s backhand “at all” and Ramirez’s former coach, Thomas Finck, called Ramirez’s “money shot.” Ramirez has seen so many lefties in her career, pivoting to her go-to stroke is routine.“It’s always a slightly different game when I play against a lefty,” Ramirez said. “… I was able to adjust right off the bat, and it didn’t faze me at all.”Ramirez started the spring season unranked in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings while Knutson sat at No. 43, and Golubovskaya came in at No. 92. In the Feb. 6 iteration, Ramirez climbed to No. 67 while Knutson fell to No. 48, and Golubovskaya fell out of the top 125.Ramirez, who finished with Knutson as No. 8 in the Oracle/ITA Doubles Final Rankings, is used to the spotlight. Last year, the pair earned All-American honors in doubles. The pair has not been as dominant this season at 6-3, with one match that was left unfinished. Knutson said she believed their match against Purdue on Jan. 27 was on of the best of their careers. But they lost 7-5.With Ramirez thriving in singles, though, the duo may be just beginning their ascent again after a dominant 6-2 win against Harvard. Their shared history has led them to believe that it’s only a matter of time before the wins in doubles come. As Syracuse rebounds from its four-match losing streak, Ramirez’s play will be crucial.“So extremely proud of her,” Limam said. “… She’s been playing extremely well for a while now, so good to see.”
“I like to talk. I admit it. If I can’t talk, I’m crippled, blind, deaf and dumb.”— Former NFL tight end Shannon Sharpe to Sports Illustrated before Super Bowl XXXIIIt appears Sharpe can’t talk and think at the same time. On Tuesday morning, appearing on FS1’s “Undisputed,” he gave birth to the most ridiculous Kevin Durant conspiracy theory so far. In fact, he just might have retired the trophy.Sharpe, based on nothing but the chirping of the birds in his head, asserted that the Warriors …
China’s women smashed Japan to win team gold in Olympic table tennis on Tuesday. Ding Ning, Li Xiaoxia and Guo Yue dropped just two sets to secure a 3-1, 3-0, 3-1 win over Japan’s Kasumi Ishikawa, Ai Fukuhara and Sayaka Hirano.”I feel we played outstanding this time, especially after 2010 when in Moscow our team lost, and so now in 2012, the whole team played very well,” Guo said, referring to the world championship defeat to Germany in the Russian capital.It was the second gold for Li Xiaoxia, who triumphed in women’s singles beating Ding in the final.The bronze went to Singapore, whose Kim Kyungah, Seok Hajung and Dang Yeseo ousted South Korea’s athletes 3-1, 3-1, 3-1.China will complete a sweep of the table tennis golds if its men’s team defeats South Korea in Wednesday’s final.
Campbell Soup Co. plans to focus on its core snacks and soup business in North America and sell its international business, paying down debt.The Camden, New Jersey, company said Thursday it’s working urgently to complete all the moves by next July.The planned sales will leave Campbell Soup with brands including Goldfish, Pepperidge Farm and Snyder’s of Hanover.The company announced a reorganization in May, along with the retirement of then CEO Denise Morrison, as it faces a mix of changing food trends and potentially costly tariffs on aluminum and steel.Campbell’s has been wrestling with declining soup and juice sales in a market crowded with competitors at the same time that many families are seeking foods they consider healthier and less processed.Earlier this year, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross famously held up a can of Campbell’s soup in a CNBC interview to make the case that the Trump administration’s steel and aluminum tariffs were “no big deal.” The company has said that it expects steel and aluminum costs to rise, pushing its overall costs higher.Fourth-quarter profit plunged 70 per cent to $94 million, or 31 cents per share, as surging costs outpaced a revenue boost. Still, the results topped Wall Street expectations.Sales rose 33 per cent to $2.22 billion, but fell short of forecasts.In premarket trading, shares of the company slipped 2.4 per cent to $39.05. Shares are down nearly 17 per cent in the year to date.
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — It may not come as a surprise some that live in the Energetic City, but the last seven months saw the most amount of precipitation that has ever recorded in Fort St. John during that timeframe.According to Environment Canada meteorologist Cindy Yu, the North Peace Airport weather station recorded a total of 403.8 millimetres of equivalent precipitation, making it the wettest fall/winter on record. The next-wettest September – March period in Fort St. John occurred 60 years ago. From September 1957 to March 1958, the airport weather station recorded 382.6 millimetres of precipitation. The fall and winter of 2014/15 ranks 6th in overall precipitation with 309 mm.Yu said that while the past seven months did see a record amount of precipitation, temperatures were fairly close to average, with several alternating stretches of warm and cold snaps. She explained that the higher than average number of snowy and rainy days means that the increased cloud cover reduces the potential for wild temperature swings. Fort St. John experienced its wettest and second-snowiest fall in 2017, though precipitation amounts during the three months of winter were close to normal. Environment Canada considers ‘fall’ as the entire months of September – November inclusive, with ‘winter’ comprising the months of December – February. March 2018 was also the wettest on record, with the North Peace Airport seeing nearly four times the average amount of precipitation.When it comes to the rest of the spring months, Yu said that the arctic airmass currently over the Peace Region is forecast to linger for the rest of this week before the airmass starts to move further east. She added that once that occurs, temperatures should return to near-seasonal with daytime highs back above the freezing mark.
New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) filed a supplementary chargesheet against former Haryana chief minister O P Chautala in connection with a money-laundering case on Thursday.The agency mentioned in the chargesheet that immovable assets worth Rs 3.68 crore were attached by it on April 13 in relation to four properties in Delhi, Panchkula and Sirsa. It said the investigation conducted so far under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) had revealed that Chautala laundered the disproportionate assets by depositing illegal cash in the bank accounts of his and his family members. The ED said this was done to avoid the back trail of money, merge the illegal cash with genuine income and show it as untainted. This laundered money was further used to purchase new properties or carry out construction on the already acquired properties. The chargesheet was filed before special judge Kamini Lau, who posted the matter for consideration on May 16. Referring to Chautala’s affidavits filed before the 2005 and 2009 Haryana Assembly polls, the agency said he had disclosed his assets to publicly project the tainted properties as untainted. “During the period between May 24, 1993 and May 5, 2006, O P Chautala, while functioning as a public servant (the CM of Haryana), allegedly acquired assets disproportionate to his income to the tune of Rs 6,09,79,026. The value of the disproportionate assets acquired by O P Chautala is in the form of various movable and immovable properties which constitutes ‘proceeds of crime’ in this case. “The calculation of these accumulated disproportionate assets of Chautala was based on oral and documentary evidence collected by the CBI during investigation and included all sources of income and expenses. Chautala had invested these disproportionately acquired assets mainly in the following properties…,” the chargesheet said.
Yangon: A Myanmar pilot saved the day after his aircraft’s landing gear failed, forcing the jet into an emergency landing with no front wheels on Sunday morning, an official said. The nailbiting touchdown — in which nobody was injured — was the second instance of a malfunctioning flight in less than a week within the country. The Myanmar Airlines flight UB-103 — an Embraer-190 model — was grounded at around 9 am in Mandalay (0230 GMT), a city popular among foreign tourists, with all 89 people on board including seven crew members, safe. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince Salman ‘snubbed’ Pak PM Imran, recalled his private jet from US: ReportAn unverified video circulated on social media showing a graceful landing before the nose of the jet tipped over and ground to a halt. Ye Htut Aung, deputy director general of Myanmar’s Civil Aviation Department, told AFP the pilot tried repeatedly to drop the landing gear at the front of the plane — first through its computer system, then manually. “They tried hard twice by flying around twice and asked to check whether the nose wheel dropped or not,” Ye Htut Aung said, calling it a “technical fault”. Also Read – Iraq military admits ‘excessive force’ used in deadly protests”So they had to land with the back wheels… The pilot could land it skillfully,” he said. “There were no casualties.” Myanmar National Airlines are now sending engineers to Mandalay to check on the aircraft, Ye Htut Aung said, adding that all jets get a daily flight check. Passenger Soe Moe told AFP: “Smoke came out a little when we landed… All passengers are okay.” Sunday’s incident comes just days after a Biman Bangladesh Airlines plane crash-landed and slid off a runway while landing in Yangon airport during a storm on Wednesday, leaving 11 passengers injured. Myanmar’s monsoon season has caused problems for commercial and military flights in the past. A military plane crashed into the Andaman sea in 2017 with 122 people on board — one of the deadliest aviation accidents in the country’s history — which authorities attributed to bad weather. And in 2015, a passenger plane by Air Bagan veered off the runway due to bad weather and heavy rain.