April 7, 2021 Find out more August 27, 2003 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Cyber-dissident gets five-year prison sentence Reporters Without Borders protested at a five-year jail sentence imposed on Vietnamese cyberdissident Pham Hong Son, who has already been in prison for more than a year and half. Dr Pham was first sentenced in June to 13 years in prison, allegedly for “spying.” Organisation News April 27, 2021 Find out more to go further VietnamAsia – Pacific RSF laureates support jailed Vietnamese journalist Pham Doan Trang RSF_en Receive email alerts News News Vietnam sentences journalist Tran Thi Tuyet Dieu to eight years in prison Follow the news on Vietnam News April 22, 2021 Find out more VietnamAsia – Pacific Three more independent reporters arrested in Vietnam Help by sharing this information Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières) protested today at a five-year jail sentence imposed on Vietnamese cyberdissident Pham Hong Son, who has already been in prison for more than a year and half.”Five years in jail for translating an article about democracy and posting it on the Internet is very heavy punishment,” it said, calling on the international community, especially the European Union (EU), to continue pressing for his release. Dr Pham, who works for a foreign pharmaceutical company, was sentenced in June to 13 years in prison and three years of house arrest, allegedly for “spying.” In an unusual move, the prison sentence was cut by eight years today by the Hanoi supreme people’s court on appeal, after the charges against him were reportedly changed to allow it.Reporters Without Borders said the reduction was a political decision and a sop to international criticism. Before the appeal, the organisation had called on the secretary-general of the Intergovernmental Agency of French-Speaking Countries, the French foreign minister and the European commission’s external relations commissioner to intervene and to ensure diplomats could attend the trial.The 26 August appeal, which lasted several hours, took place amid tight security. Journalists and a group of diplomats were not allowed in. Only the prisoner’s wife, Vu Thuy Ha, was permitted to attend.She said Pham left the dock in protest again the hearing being held in secret and that the judges had paid more attention to his lawyer’s argument, but added that her husband should have been declared innocent. he said she had been able to whisper to him in the courtroom that “we’re not alone. Many people are helping us.”Dr Pham has been held since March last year in a prison near the capital and his conditions of detention are not known. He was arrested on 25 March for translating and posting online an article from the local US embassy website called “What is democracy?” He has also written some articles himself which have appeared on Vietnamese online forums. He was held in secret for four months, during which neither his family nor his lawyer were allowed to see him.Five Vietnamese cyber-dissidents are in prison for their online activities. Two were sentenced last November and December to terms of four and 12 years in prison. A fifth is under house arrest.
DNY59/iStock(BOSTON) — It will be a parents’ day unlike any other as a group of wealthy mothers and fathers are scheduled to appear in Boston federal court on charges connected to a nationwide college entrance scam.At least 13 of the 33 parents indicted earlier this month in the stunning $25 million bribery and test-rigging scandal are expected to enter pleas on charges of racketeering conspiracy.The parents, including chief executive officers of major companies and two well-known actresses, allegedly paid bribes of up to $6.5 million to William “Rick” Singer, identified by authorities as the ringleader of the scam, to get their children into elite colleges, including Yale, Stanford and Georgetown universities, and the University of Southern California, federal prosecutors said.The procession of parents ordered to appear in federal court will come one day after a key defendant in the case, Rudolph “Rudy” Meredith, 51, the former head soccer coach at Yale University appeared in U.S. District Court in Boston.In a prearranged agreement with federal prosecutors, Meredith pleaded guilty Thursday afternoon to charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and honest services wire fraud.He faces a maximum prison sentence of 20 years and a fine of up to $250,000 although prosecutors say they plan to recommend a reduced punishment due to Meredith’s cooperation in the investigation. He is also expected to be ordered to fork over to a total of about $900,000 in bribes he accepted, officials said.Prosecutors said Meredith was paid more than $400,000 in bribes from Singer to accept student applicants to Yale as soccer team recruits even though they did not play soccer. Federal agents, who dubbed their investigation “Operation Varsity Blues” claim Meredith also solicited other bribes on his own, which eventually led to his downfall and prompted the Federal Bureau of Investigation to launch the probe that grew into the largest college cheating scam ever prosecuted by the U.S. Department of Justice.Meredith, who prosecutors said had been working with Singer since April 2015, resigned as Yale’s head women’s soccer coach in November after 24 seasons. At the time he said “it is time to explore new possibilities and begin a different chapter in my life.”The Wall Street Journal reported that Morrie Tobin, a Los Angeles financial executive, had sought leniency in an unrelated securities fraud case against him by tipping off federal investigators that Meredith had sought a bribe from him in return for getting Tobin’s daughter into the Yale. Tobin’s tip, according to The Journal, led investigators to uncover the widespread cheating scandal involving dozens of wealthy parents, including Hollywood actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, and Loughlin’s husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli.Earlier this week, Yale rescinded the admission of a student that officials at the school say was involved in an alleged college entrance scam. The ousted Yale student’s parents had allegedly paid Singer $1.2 million to get her into the Ivy League school, prosecutors said.Singer has pleaded guilty in a Boston federal court to charges of racketeering conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, conspiracy to defraud the United States and obstruction of justice.Tens of thousands of dollars in bribes allegedly went to a sham charity Singer set up called the Key Worldwide Foundation. Singer, according to prosecutors, would funnel the money to those working in cahoots with him, including coaches who listed college applicants as recruited competitive athletes despite some of them never having played sports, according to prosecutors.Singer also bought off college entrance test administrators and at least one test proctor who allowed Mark Riddell, a private school counselor in Florida, to allegedly take entrance exams for students or correct them on the sly, according to the indictment.Meredith isn’t the only college coach ensnared in the scam.Pleading not guilty on Monday in Boston were legendary USC water polo coach Jovan Vavic, who has been fired by the school; Laura Janke, the former USC women’s soccer coach; former Georgetown University tennis coach Gorden Ernst; former UCLA men’s head soccer coach Jorge Salcedo; Wake Forest head volleyball coach William Ferguson, who has been placed on administrative leave; and former USC women’s head soccer coach Ali Khosroshahin.(MORE: Yale rescinds student’s admission as defendants charged in alleged $25 million college entrance scam plead not guilty in Boston federal court)Martin Fox, president of a Houston-area tennis academy pleaded not guilty. Fox, who is also involved in guiding student basketball players to college, allegedly accepted at least $250,000 in bribes to help Singer with both athlete recruitment and test-taking fraud, prosecutors said.Donna Heinel, the former senior associate athletic director at USC, also pleaded not guilty to racketeering conspiracy on Monday.An undated photo of Yale University.John Vandemoer, the former sailing coach at Stanford University, pleaded guilty earlier this month to racketeering conspiracy in the case.The parents scheduled to appear in court on Friday include Michelle Janavs, 48, the inventor of “Hot Pockets” microwavable sandwiches and the former executive and founder of her family food manufacturing company; William McGlashan, Jr., 56, the fired senior executive of the private equity firm TPG; Gregory Abbott, 68, the founder and chairman of International Dispensing Corp., a food and beverage packaging company, and his wife, Marcia, 59.Other parents ordered to appear in court on Friday are former casino executive Gamal Abdelaziz, 62; Los Angeles sales executive Stephen Semprevivo Jr. 53; Napa Valley winemaker Austine Huneeus, 53; San Francisco entrepreneur Todd Black, 53, and his wife, Diana Blake, 55, an executive at a retail merchandising firm; Marjorie “Margie” Klapper, 50, the California co-owner of the California jewelry business M&M Bling; Marci Palatella, 63, CEO of the California liquor distribution company Preservation Distillery; and Robert Zangrillo, 52, a prominent Miami investor and real-estate developer.Huffman, Loughlin, and Giannulli are scheduled to appear in Boston federal court next month with the remaining parents charged in the probe.Huffman’s husband, actor William H. Macy, was not indicted, but according to court documents he and Huffman were caught on a recorded conversation with a corroborating witness in the case, allegedly discussing a $15,000 payment to ensure their younger daughter scored high on a college entrance exam.Huffman was indicted on charges stemming from the $15,000 she allegedly disguised as a charitable donation so her older daughter could take part in the college entrance cheating scam, the indictment reads. But Huffman and Macy apparently decided not to go through with the scheme for their younger daughter.Loughlin and Giannulli are charged with allegedly paying Singer a bribe of $500,000 “in exchange for having their two daughters designated as recruits to the USC crew team — despite the fact that they did not participate in crew — thereby facilitating their admission to USC,” according to the indictment.Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Education sent a letter to the presidents of eight universities linked to the scam advising it has launched a “preliminary investigation” into each of the schools, which also include UCLA, Wake Forest University, the University of San Diego and the University of Texas at Austin, according to the Politico.Spokespersons for the University of Texas and Yale confirmed to ABC News this week that the presidents of their schools had received the letter and were cooperating with the Department of Education.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
Photo: Josh Huver On Friday night, Oyster Bay, NY instrumental rockers TAUK slid into The Catalyst in Santa Cruz, CA. The jazzy, synth supported, drum-beat driven tour de force that is TAUK can be hard to pin down, but the eccentric combination fits Santa Cruz like a glove. Exmag helped opened the show, with a well-received set. In the 30 minutes between the end of Exmag’s set and the start of TAUK’s, the fan-count more than doubled. TAUK opened the show with the familiar groove of “Mokumba” from 2014’s Collisions. “Sweet Revenge (of Weenus)” followed, from the same release. The opening one-two punch spanned over 20-minutes and got the Catalyst room heating up. “Premises”, one of the tracks off TAUK’s 2018 EP Shapeshifter I: Construct followed, played out well with an almost reggae vibe that was quickly swallowed in a flurry of high energy, emerging again only at the end of the song. The full length counterpart to the EP, Shapeshifter II: Outbreak, was featured next with the new track “Pitter Pattern”. The quartet then dropped into “Realize”, a bonus recording from 2016’s Sir Nebula sessions that the band released on April 21, 2017. TAUK returned with another Collisions pairing, with “On Guard” and “Tumbler”. “On Guard” featured an otherworldly middle section that nearly brought the once lively room to an awe-inspired standstill, momentarily catching the room off guard.Always ready for a unique take on any cover, TAUK opted for a John Lennon original over a full Beatles track, treating the room to a version of “Jealous Guy”. “For Laughing Out Loud”, another track from the EP Shapeshifter I: Construct concluded the newly released tracks that TAUK brought to Santa Cruz. They ended the set with “Afro-Tonic” and “Friction”, two older, tried and true fan favorites. For their encore, TAUK returned with “Dirty Mouth” and the appropriately titled closer “Time’s Up”, the lone (proper) representation of 2016’s Sir Nebula.For a full list of TAUK’s upcoming tour dates and ticketing information, head to the band’s website here.Check out a gallery of photos from the show courtesy of photographer Josh Huver below.Setlist: TAUK | The Catalyst | Santa Cruz, CA | 10/26/2018Set: Mokuba, Weenus, Premises, Pitter Pattern, Realize, On Guard, Tumbler, Jealous Guy, FLOL, Afro-Tonic, FrictionEncore: Dirty Mouth, Time’s UpTAUK | The Catalyst | Santa Cruz, CA | 10/26/2018 | Photos: Josh Huver Load remaining images
15SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr As Twitter announced their new CEO last week, Jack Dorsey, the way in which the announcement was handled is a lesson for credit union staff and volunteers: use your own products and services.To announce Dorsey as the new permanent CEO, Twitter used its own service, not a press release. Are you using your own credit unions’s products and services? If not, it’s a missed opportunity to learn more and to improve by stepping into the shoes of your members. There have been several occasions in applying for a product or service through one of my credit unions that I uncover an obstacle that should be remedied for the sake of members convenience.If this seems like common sense, I can’t tell you how often I ask staff and volunteers of various credit unions if they have a loan with their credit union, and hands don’t go up. If you want members to be active members cooperating and participating in your financial cooperative, it starts with you and your team! continue reading »
The Scotsman 22 October 2017Family First Comment: Well, it’s our duty to warn them!www.protectgoodparents.nzCampaigners in New Zealand who organised to fight a ban on smacking introduced a decade ago claim it has had a “chilling” effect on parents.Family First NZ, a conservative Christian campaign group, called on Scots to oppose plans to introduce legislation at Holyrood which would ban smacking.The Scottish Government has said it will support a member’s bill brought forward by Green MSP John Finnie to scrap the legal defence of justifiable assault and add Scotland to the list of 52 countries worldwide where physical punishment of children is outlawed.The move has the support of all parties in the Scottish Parliament except the Conservatives, but has attracted criticism from some religious groups and parents’ rights campaigners in Scotland.Bob McCoskrie, the national director and co-founder of Family First NZ, claimed the move will criminalise good parents and harm children.“A decade on from the passing of the controversial anti-smacking law in New Zealand, the law has maintained its very high level of opposition, but most significantly the law has had a ‘chilling’ effect on parenting and rather than tackling rotten parents who are abusing their children, it has targeted well-functioning parents,” Mr McCoskrie said.Family First NZ quoted police statistics suggesting the law introduced in 2007 has had little wider cultural impact in New Zealand, with significant increases in reporting of child physical and sexual abuse since it was passed. A 2016 survey also found that two-thirds of parents in New Zealand say they would be willing to flout the law, while a 2011 study suggested a third of parents had been threatened by their children with being reported to the police if they were smacked.The earlier survey found one in four parents of young children reported feeling less confident dealing with ‘unacceptable behaviour’.“New Zealanders predicted all of this before the law was passed, but their concerns were ignored,” Mr McCoskrie added.“The politicians and anti-smacking lobby groups linked good parents who smacked their children with child abusers, a notion roundly rejected – and still rejected – by New Zealanders. We would warn Scottish parents that this law will harm and rip apart families..”The Scottish Government has said physical punishment can have “negative effects on children which can last long after the physical pain has died”.http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/new-zealand-christian-group-in-smacking-ban-warning-1-4593686Video: the Scottish Government’s smacking ban explainedThe Scotsman 23 October 2017Famous in Scotland
Katie Ledecky – the best is yet to comeAmerica’s newest star wrote her name in lights by uniting the 200m, 400m and 800m freestyle for the first time since 1968 — winning two of the races in world-record time. Ledecky, 19, has four gold medals overall including the 4x200m freestyle relay, plus silver from the 4x100m free.The most extraordinary stat for Ledecky is that she has never lost an individual final at a world championships or Olympics, compiling nine world titles before she has even reached her twenties. She burst onto the scene at the 2012 London Olympics, when she won the 800m at just 15. And she has confirmed every ounce of her promise with her feats in Rio, which include world records in the 400m and 800m.“I just wanted to lay it all out there,” Ledecky said after Friday’s 800m race. “It was my last swim here at the Olympics, the pinnacle of our sport, and I have to wait another four years to have that moment.” Ominously for her competitors, Ledecky may be reaching her peak for Tokyo 2020. Rafaela Silva – heroine defies racist tauntsRafaela Silva, who was brought up in Rio’s notorious City of God favela, was called a “monkey” after being disqualified from the London Olympics in 2012. Four years on, Brazil is hosting the Games and the 57kg category judoka is the heroine as the country’s first and only gold medal of the opening week of competition.“People taunted me, they said I was a monkey and my place was in a cage. But I proved my place is in sport and in judo,” said the gritty 24-year-old who has spoken forcefully about racism in her country whilst she is in the Olympic headlines. Her sporting skill also deserves attention. She beat world number one Sumiya Dorjsuren of Mongolia to take the title and prove that Brazil is a world force in women’s judo even if the country does not always treasure them. Simone Biles – pint-sized but up with the greatsRio de Janeiro, Brazil | AFP | With the Rio Olympics at the halfway mark, here are five sporting stars who left their mark on the first week of competition with their records, style and courage: Fiji – the capital of rugby sevens The South Pacific sevens rugby players came to Rio as favourites but no one expected them to trounce Britain 43-7 in such devastating fashion in the final as the sport made its Olympic debut. Sevens may come from Britain but Fiji has become its capital.The speed and passing of captain Osea Kolinisau and his team blew away all-comers and they saved the best for last. World Rugby believes that Fiji and even the teams that trailed them will bring in new adepts and hopefully a permanent Olympic status. Fiji reckons the country’s first ever gold medal will bring sporting glory and tourists and investment to a poor country of 900,000 people.Ironically, Fiji is especially hailing the work of coach Ben Ryan to lift the side in recent years. He of course is British. Simone Biles – pint-sized but up with the greatsSimone Biles lived up to her star billing as the gymnastics dynamo put herself on track for a record five gold medals in Rio by winning the all-around title after helping the United States to defend their team title.The 1.45m (4ft 9ins) Texan with a big smile gave a powerful display of gravity-defying tumbling and acrobatics to add the Olympic all-around crown to the three world titles she holds. She is unbeaten in the individual event since 2013.If Biles takes the vault, beam and floor over coming days she will have won more gold at one Games than any other woman, overtaking Soviet gymnast Larissa Latynina (1956), Czech Vera Caslavska (1968) and Romanian Ecaterina Szabo (1984), who have all won four.“I’m pretty sure I’ll just go on lockdown at my house. It won’t be exactly normal, but we’ll make it as normal as possible,” said 19-year-old Biles of how she will cope with her fame on her return home. Michael Phelps – more gold and more matureHe said his body ached, his legs hurt and he felt tired, but Michael Phelps still went out of the Olympics in spectacular style with four golds and a silver in a week — 22 golds in a five-Olympics career — and still one more title likely on Saturday. The Chinese medicinal practice of ‘cupping’ which left red circle marks on his body was the only apparent sign that at 31, Phelps is slowing down, and then barely. His victories in the 4x100m free and 4x200m free relays, 200m butterfly and 200m individual medley were all clear.The man who won eight golds at Beijing in 2008 has always come across as something of a medal machine. But Phelps has also shown his more mature side in Rio. Being in a three-way dead heat for silver in the 100m on Friday was “kind of cool”.“My body is in pain, my legs are hurting,” said Phelps after a crushing 200m fly win. “I think the biggest thing for me through the meet so far is I’ve been able to kind of finish how I wanted to,” added the American, who has insisted there will be no sixth Olympics. Share on: WhatsApp
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The Ohio Soybean Council (OSC) will be conducting a Board of Trustees election for District 9 from August 3 – 17, 2015. District 9 consists of the following counties: Delaware, Marion, Morrow and Union.To be eligible to vote in the election, soybean farmers must reside in one of the counties within district 9 and must be engaged in the growing of soybeans, owned or shared ownership and risk of loss of soybeans anytime during the three year period immediately preceding November 15, 2015.Soybean farmers casting ballots must fill out in entirety the Application for Ballot and the Ballot for Election. Both of these forms must be postmarked and mailed to the Ohio Department of Agriculture by August 17, 2015 and received by ODA by August 21, 2015. ODA will serve as the teller for this election and all voters will be kept anonymous.Ballots for the election will be available for pick-up August 3 – 17, 2015 from County Extension Offices in the four counties in District 9 (see list below). Ballots will also be available at ODA and the OSC office.OSU Extension Delaware County 149 N. Sandusky St. Delaware, OH 43015-1701 Office Hours: Mon. – Fri. 8:30 AM – 4:30 PMOSU Extension Marion County 222 W. Center St. Marion, OH 43302-3646 Office Hours: Mon. – Fri. 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM, Closes daily for lunch: 12:00 PM – 1:00 PMOSU Extension Morrow County 871 W. Marion Rd., Ste. 102 Mt. Gilead, OH 43338-1088 Office Hours: Mon. – Fri. 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM, Closes daily for lunch: 12:00 PM – 1:00 PMOSU Extension Union County 18000 State Route 4, Ste. E Marysville, OH 43040-8390 Office Hours: Mon. – Thurs. 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM
He made history, and the country proud, by being the first Indian to win an individual Olympic gold medal. Here, the ace shooter tells us that he never flies without books and ear plugs and loves to shop in New York and LondonMerlion Park in SingaporeYour last vacation:In Singapore. I particularly enjoyed it because I was there with my sister and brother-in-law on our first ever holiday with my little nephew.Newest thing tasted:Snake, at a restaurant in Clarke Quay in Singapore. It tasted like chicken.A souvenir you’ve just picked up:A coffee table book, The Fort Pupils, on the Scindia School, Gwalior and its students. It was presented to me by the students after our interactive session.Harrods in LondonDo you prefer travelling by trains, planes or automobiles:Although I love to visit new places, I do not particularly enjoy the journey. I prefer to travel by planes as it is the fastest mode of travel.Baggage check-how much do you carry:I usually don’t carry check-in baggage to avoid waiting at airports.What you carry to make flights comfortable:A good book and ear plugs.Ever done a spur of the moment trip-only credit card and no baggage:Something like this may happen once I have retired from active sport.A sculpture from The State Hermitage Museum in Saint PetersburgYou have to travel a lot for work. Does that take the fun out of travelling:Not really… although I have travelled to most parts of the world for competition, I haven’t seen much except the airports, hotels and the shooting range. In fact, this has created an urge to go back to a lot of these places.Favourite places to shop:In New York, it is 5th Avenue for clothes and accessories and in London, I visit Harrods and Bond Street. From Munich I pick up shooting accessories.advertisementPlaces on Abhinav’s wish list:The Himalayas for their sheer geographic diversity–the forested valleys, tropical jungles, flowering meadows and the rugged terrain.Saint Petersburg in Russia for its museums.The Serengeti National Park in Africa for its amazing wildlife. I would love to go up in a hot air balloon to get a bird’s eye view of the animals in their natural habitat.
Commonwealth champion Dinesh Kumar became the second Indian boxer to assure himself of a medal at the Asian Games by advancing to the light heavyweight 81kg semifinals after out-punching Korean Jinho Heo hereon Friday.The 23-year-old beat his rival 10-6 in a lopsided bout during which Heo went off-balance several times due to the sheer power of the blows thrown by the Indian.Paramjeet Samota was the first Indian to assure himself of a bronze by reaching the semifinals of 91+ weight category.Although Heo opened the scoring, it was Dinesh, an Arjuna awardee, who dominated with a power-packed performance that left the Korean dazed.Heo had the footwork and speed to dodge Dinesh initially but once the Haryana-lad began connecting his trademark jabs and hooks, his rival could only scurry for cover.Leading 5-2 in the opening round, Dinesh never really allowed Heo to claw back despite the Korean’s several valiant efforts at countering the Indian’s power.Dinesh will take on Nepalese Deepak Maharjan who stunned Thailand’s Kriangkai Sukkhum 4-0.In the other Indian bout, 18-year-old Vikas Krishan (60kg) too inched closer to the medal round, advancing to the quarter-finals with an 8-1 triumph over Amangeldi Hudaybergenov of Turkmenistan.Vikas will now take on North Korea’s Kim Chol Song who defeated Abdulla Mohammed 7-5 in his pre-quarterfinal bout.V Santhosh Kumar (64kg) then made it an all-win day for Indian boxers when he beat Malaysia’s Azmi Khir Akyazlan 6-1 to enter the quarterfinals.Santhosh will be up against Mongolia’s Byamba Tuvshinbat, who got the better of Filipino Boholst Delfin 8-1 in his pre-quarterfinal bout.advertisement
Los Angeles: Actor Joaquin Phoenix walked off from an interview on being asked if his forthcoming film Joker will incite violence. The actor walked out of the interview with The Telegraph film critic Robbie Collin when he was asked if he is worried that Joker might “perversely end up inspiring exactly the kind of people it’s about, with potentially tragic results”, reports indiewire.com. “Why? Why would you…? No, no,” he said before abruptly walking out of the interview. Also Read – ‘Terminator: Dark Fate’ has James Cameron’s fingerprints all over it: Arnold SchwarzeneggerAfter spending an hour talking to a press agent with Warner Bros., the studio behind the Todd Phillips-directed project, Phoenix returned to complete the interview. The outlet reports the actor returned and explained he panicked because he did not consider the question, and didn’t answer the question. Joker is based on the popular DC super villain of the same name. It follows the life of Arthur Fleck as an aspiring stand-up comedian and his transition into becoming the Joker. Joker had its world premiere in Venice on August 31. Since then, many film critics have wondered if the movie will encourage violence.