King rolls back 15 years of press freedom gains in four days

first_img to go further Help by sharing this information Nepalese journalists threatened, attacked and censored over Covid-19 coverage News Reporters Without Borders voiced outrage today at the drastic manner in which King Gyanendra and his army have wiped out the press freedom gains of the past 15 years, along with other democratic gains, since the coup d’etat on 1 February.The state news media and ten privately-owned media have been put under direct military control. Dozens of news media have been closed in the provinces. The authorities have banned any negative reporting about the regime for six months. Dozens of journalists are pursued by the security forces, including the president of the Federation of Nepalese Journalists (FNJ). And foreign news media correspondents are being prevented from working freely.”By criminalizing the right to inform and by bringing a vibrant and courageous independent press to its knees, the king is responsible for the most important setback to freedom in 15 years,” Reporters Without Borders said, voicing support for the FNJ’s call for demonstrations to defend Nepalese democracy.The press freedom organization said it urged the international community to freeze aid to the Nepalese government immediately. The aid should be conditioned on respect for basic freedoms including freedom of expression, it said.Reporters Without Borders has identified King Gyanendra as a predator of press freedom for the past three years. He has defended the abuses which eight UN experts described as extremely serious in 2004, above all because of the increase in torture and detention in undisclosed locations. Some 400 journalists were arrested or imprisoned by the security forces in 2004.Nepal has been cut off from the world since 1 February. The few reports getting out indicate a very severe clampdown on both state and privately-owned media. Military are in charge of censoring state TV programmes. Army officers have moved into the offices of the main privately-owned newspapers, including the daily Kantipur. The premises of the weekly Janaastha, known for criticising the monarchy, were overrun on 1 February by around 20 soldiers who sequestered the journalists there for the first 24 hours. An officer has stayed to censor reports.Kantipur’s famous editorialist, Khagendra Sangraula, who is known for his criticism of the palace, has been detained in an army barracks in Kathmandu.The work of the few foreign press correspondents has been blocked. The news agency Reuters said hotel owners have refused to let foreign TV crews install their satellite dishes on hotel roofs. The military police briefly detained about 10 Nepalese and foreign journalists today, confiscating equipment. They included the correspondents of the Associated Press, who were covering the arrests of some 50 Congress Party activists.The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) said FNJ president Tara Nath Dahal had been in hiding since the security forces tried to arrest him at his home. The FNJ had condemned what it called a “coup d’etat against democracy” and called on journalists to fight with courage and determination to guarantee the right of the Nepalese people to news and information.The IFJ said the military has imposed censorship throughout the country. All the media were closed down in the central town of Pokhara, where the army fired on a crowd of students. “You can no longer publish news, that is the responsibility of the newspapers in Kathmandu,” an officer reportedly told a Pokhara journalist.All of Nepal’s community radio stations have been closed, while the oldest community station, Radio Sagarmatha, is now controlled by the army. News programmes have been banned. The military ordered two FM radio stations and four local newspapers to close in the western district of Rupandehi. May 29, 2019 Find out more May 17, 2019 Find out more Organisation News Nepal: RSF’s recommendations to amend controversial Media Council Bill Receive email alerts The main newspapers in Kathmandu are under direct army control, while dozens of news media have been closed in the provinces. A famous editorialist has been arrested and the president of the Federation of Nepalese Journalists is on the run. Reporters Without Borders condemns the criminalization of the right to inform. News Under Chinese pressure, Nepal sanctions three journalists over Dalai Lama story News June 8, 2020 Find out more NepalAsia – Pacific NepalAsia – Pacific Follow the news on Nepal February 5, 2005 – Updated on January 20, 2016 King rolls back 15 years of press freedom gains in four days RSF_en last_img read more

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‘Spider-Man,’ the scavenger hunt

first_imgWhen Sony Pictures contacted the Harvard Museum of Natural History about doing something fun to accompany the release of the new movie “The Amazing Spider-Man,” museum officials had a creative idea.The museum drew thousands of new visitors last year with its Harry Potter Scavenger Hunt. Its new Spider Sense! Scavenger Hunt promises to entertain fans of Spider-Man and natural science alike. “We took a pop culture theme and used it as a segue into natural history and science,” said Janis Sacco, director of exhibitions at the museum. “It’s an interesting way to introduce people to science.”The scavenger hunt helps visitors to understand the relationships between the fictional superhero and the natural world. Visitors can pick up a scavenger hunt sheet at the front desk and explore the spider exhibit and others that relate to Spider-Man’s powers, and see a live tarantula.“We took a pop culture theme and used it as a segue into natural history and science,” said Janis Sacco, director of exhibitions at the museum. “It’s an interesting way to introduce people to science.”The film is a refreshed take on the classic Marvel comic book series, in which Peter Parker, a young photographer, is bitten by a radioactive spider and gains superpowers, such as the ability to make webs of strong silk and to crawl on walls, as well as a “sixth sense” that allows him to sense and locate danger.Although the sixth sense is a fairly common premise for science fiction, the ability for an animal to have such a sense and similar extraordinary powers is not fictional at all.“We humans understand five senses,” said Sacco. “However, other animals do use other senses. It’s not at all impossible for Spider-Man to have the sixth sense because other animals do.” For example, certain fish have the ability to sense danger; they can anticipate encroaching predators and escape quickly. Spider-Man’s ability to shoot super-strong cables from his fingers is not wholly unrealistic either. Pound for pound, spider silk is tougher than Kevlar and stronger than steel, noted Sacco.Mariah O’Brien, 9, a student at the Bates School in Salem, Mass., looks at a preserved sea spider as part of the Spider Sense! Scavenger Hunt.The scavenger hunt will run daily from now until Sept. 3, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  According to museum officials, wall-crawling ability and tolerance to numbing toxins are not required.last_img read more

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Three cups of milk a day? That may be too many

first_imgFederal dietary guidelines recommending that Americans of all ages consume three cups per day of reduced fat milk or other dairy products may be influenced more by lobbying from the dairy industry than by scientific evidence, according to a new commentary co-authored by Walter Willett, Fredrick John Stare Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health. He and co-author David Ludwig of Boston Children’s Hospital argue that a broader range of recommendations for milk consumption may be more appropriate.The commentary was published online July 1 in JAMA Pediatrics.Adults who eat a healthy diet may already be getting sufficient vitamin D and bone-building calcium from other sources such as kale or fortified orange juice, according to the researchers. Children may need the recommended daily glasses of milk if they have poor diets; however whether they should be drinking whole or skim milk is up for debate.While federal guidelines call for fat-free or reduced fat milk to protect against obesity, the researchers counter that it may have the opposite effect. Fats are digested slowly, leaving people fuller for longer. Reducing dietary fat may prompt some to eat more in order to feel satiated, they write. Read Full Storylast_img read more

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Baby Sens, Kinrade suffer overtime heartache

first_imgBinghamton had jumped to a 3-0 first period lead only to watch the Monarchs outscore the Sens 4-1 to force overtime.Binghamton held period leads of 3-0 and 3-2.Kinrade, a graduate of Nelson Minor Hockey, is in his second season of professional hockey in Binghamton, has yet to gain a point in the three games.Game four is set for Tuesday in Binghamton with game five also being played in the Sens’ arena.Friday Derek Grant scored in extra time to give the Sens a road split of the two games in Manchester. Bud Holloway scored in overtime to lift the Manchester Monarchs to a 5-4 victory over the Senators in American Hockey League Calder Cup playoff action Sunday in Binghamton.The win gives the Monarchs a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series after the Baby Sens evened the set Friday with a 4-3 overtime road win of their own in Manchester.Sunday’s loss was tough to swallow for Nelson’s Geoff Kinrade, a defenceman with the NHL Ottawa farm team, and the rest of the Sens.last_img read more

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SA scoops World Wine Awards

first_imgSouth African red and white wines have taken top honours at the prestigious Decanter 2009 Wine Awards. (Image: MediaClubSouthAfrica.com. For more free photos, visit the image library) South Africa wines have trounced all international competition in both the red and white single varietal categories at the 2009 Decanter World Wine Awards, held in London under the auspices of Decanter magazine.While the results are released to the trade earlier in the year, the rest of the world has to wait for the traditional September award issue to find out which are the wines to seek out.Kaapzicht Steytler Pinotage 2006 was named the world’s top red single varietal over £10 (R122), while Beaumont Wines Hope Marguerite 2008 took the trophy for the best single white varietal over £10.South African wines scooped 11 regional trophies and 23 gold medals. Local wines also came home with 130 silver medals, 246 bronze medals, and 131 commended certificates.Home-grownSouth Africa’s own home-grown Pinotage grape variety has come into its own in recent years. The grape was created in 1925 by the chemist Abraham Izak Perold, also first professor of Viticulture and later Dean of Agriculture at Stellenbosch University in the Western Cape. Perold bred a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault, both varieties of Vitis vinifera, the common grape vine.Cinsault is known as Hermitage in South Africa, hence the blending of the names of the two parents to form Pinotage.The first Pinotage wine was made in 1941 by CT de Waal, a lecturer at the Elsenburg Agricultural College in the Stellenbosch district.However, it was only in 1959 that a Pinotage from winemaker Pieter Krige “PK” Morkel of Bellevue estate won the first of many awards for the variety. Morkel’s wine took the coveted General Smuts trophy for the best young wine at that year’s Cape Young Wine Show (now known as the South African Young Wine Show).Bellevue estate, still run by the Morkel family, continues to produce award-winning wines, among them the famous Pinotage.Farmers subsequently stampeded to plant Pinotage vines, but even so the variety never quite took off until 1991 when Kanonkop’s Pinotage earned winemaker Beyers Truter the Winemaker of the Year award at the International Wine and Spirit competition in the UK. Truter was the first South African to achieve this.Making historyFittingly, Kaapzicht’s award for the Steytler Pinotage 2006 award comes 50 years after that first Cape Wine Show coup.Kaapzicht estate lies between Stellenbosch and Kuils River and since 1946 has been in the capable hands of the Steytler family.Kaapzicht’s reds are no strangers to international recognition. In 2004, at the International Wine and Spirits Competition in London, the estate’s Steytler Vision 2001 became the first Cape Blend (a 40% Pinotage blend) to win the title of overall world’s best red blend.Grapes from those same vines have now been used to produce the 2009 Decanter winner. Kaapzicht Steytler Pinotage 2006 lay for two years in new French oak barrels before going to the bottle.“Pinotage is a very versatile red wine variety,” commented cellarmaster Danie Steytler, “and the Kaapzicht Steytler Pinotage from those vineyards is a shining example of the serious, well-oaked, full-bodied style to be enjoyed with food, especially venison, red meat and traditional South African dishes and cheeses.”Decanter judges agreed, commending it for its “voluptuous, heady nose with very precise black fruits, plums, mocha and tar. Full-bodied and opulent in the mouth, ripe and supple fine-grained tannins with plenty of spice to enliven the finish”.Made from the oldest vinesThe winning white single varietal Beaumont Wines Hope Marguerite 2008 is a Chenin Blanc made, as the vineyard claims, only from fruit harvested from the oldest vines.The winery is located in Bot River in the Western Cape’s Overberg region. For the past few years Beaumont has concentrated solely on producing Chenin Blanc, having discontinued its Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.The results speak for themselves. Named after the matriarch of the Beaumont clan, Hope Marguerite Beaumont, the winning wine, was glowingly described by Decanter judges as having a “stylish spicy floral character, supple orchard fruits, white almond and grass. Soft and broad on the palate, lifted citrus fruits with some glycerol and honey at the end”.“Our Chenin really illustrates the diversity of the grape as well as its strong roots in the Beaumont soils,” commented winemaker Sebastian Beaumont.Hope Marguerite is matured in 400l French oak barrels using only natural yeasts.“We allow the grape to express itself in very hands-off wine-making – this has been the essence of the Hope Marguerite,” Beaumont added.Leading wine magazineDecanter magazine, the UK’s leading wine magazine, is sold in 92 countries and for the past six years has presented the prestigious World Wine Awards. A record 10 285 entries from 2 240 producers poured into the Decanter offices for the 2009 event, more than for any other wine event.Wines compete according to region and in eight price brackets, ranging from less than £4.99 (R61) to over £40 (R487). Once the initial rating has been given, the gold medal-winning wines are re-tasted for confirmation, and then go forward to the regional taste-off.The regional winners then compete for an array of international trophies, which are judged in two sections for each wine style, under £10 and over £10.The judging panel is chaired by veteran British wine consultant and journalist Steven Spurrier, who is assisted by a number of regional chairs. This year the South African section was chaired by the respected John May, a senior wine master in the UK.South African regional trophy winners:•    Beaumont Wines Hope Marguerite 2008 – South African White Single Varietal over £10 Trophy•    Bouchard Finlayson Galpin Peak, Pinot Noir 2008 – South African Pinot Noir over £10 Trophy•    Cederberg Private Cellar Five Generations Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 – South African Red Bordeaux Varietal over £10 Trophy•    Cederberg Private Cellar Cederberg Sauvignon Blanc 2008 – South African Sauvignon Blanc under £10 Trophy•    Kaapzicht Estate Steytler Pinotage 2006 – South African Red Single Varietal over £10 Trophy•    Paul Cluver Weisser Riesling Noble Late Harvest 2008 – South African Sweet over £10 Trophy•    Perdeberg Rex Equus Shiraz 2007 – South African Red Rhone Varietal over £10 Trophy•    Pongracz Desiderius 2001 – South African Sparkling over £10 Trophy•    Rustenberg Chardonnay 2007 – South African Chardonnay over £10 Trophy•    Schalk Burger & Sons Welbedacht Hat Trick 2006 – South African Red Blend over £10 Trophy•    Swartland Winery Indalo Shiraz Nature’s Way 2006 – South African Red Rhone Varietal under £10 Trophylast_img read more

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Amnesty says Hong Kong police using excessive force

first_imgHong Kong: Amnesty International on Friday accused Hong Kong police of using excessive force against pro-democracy protesters, in some cases amounting to torture, criticising a “disturbing pattern of reckless and unlawful tactics”. In a report based on interviews with nearly two dozen activists, most of whom were hospitalised after their arrests, the global rights watchdog said the city’s police officers routinely went beyond the level of force allowed by local law and international standards. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince Salman ‘snubbed’ Pak PM Imran, recalled his private jet from US: Report “In an apparent thirst for retaliation, Hong Kong’s security forces have engaged in a disturbing pattern of reckless and unlawful tactics against people during the protests,” Nicholas Bequelin, East Asia Director at Amnesty International, said. “This has included arbitrary arrests and retaliatory violence against arrested persons in custody, some of which has amounted to torture.” The rights group backed calls for an independent inquiry into police brutality, a key demand of protesters but one that has been rejected by government officials and police top brass. Also Read – Iraq military admits ‘excessive force’ used in deadly protests Hong Kong’s police force dismissed Amnesty’s findings and rejected allegations it had used excessive force. In a statement issued on Friday, police said their officers “exercise a high level of restraint at all times in the use of force”. In response to specific allegations contained within the report, police said they “do not comment on individual cases” and said those alleging abuse should make a complaint with the police watchdog instead. Frequently violent demonstrations featuring hundreds of thousands of protesters have raged in Hong Kong for more than three months. Anti-government protesters have hurled rocks, bottles and petrol bombs as well as used slingshots in their battles with police who have responded with tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannon. Videos of police baton charging and beating protesters have frequently gone viral online. Amnesty interviewed 21 people who had been arrested, 18 of whom were later hospitalised for injuries. “Almost every arrested person interviewed described being beaten with batons and fists during the arrest, even when they were not resisting and often already restrained,” the report’s authors wrote. Most interviewees reported the violence stopped once in custody. But one detainee said he was assaulted for being uncooperative and another described seeing police shine a laser into the eye of a young detainee — a tactic protesters have employed against police. Two defence lawyers also claimed their clients were beaten. Multiple suspects described lengthy delays in receiving medical attention or access to defence lawyers. Hong Kong’s police denied those allegations, saying officers “respect the privacy, dignity and rights” of those arrested. Hong Kong’s protests were sparked by a now-abandoned plan to allow extraditions to the authoritarian Chinese mainland. But after Beijing and local leaders took a hard line, the protests snowballed into a wider movement calling for police accountability and universal suffrage. Amnesty’s Bequelin said he believed the city’s police “is no longer in a position to investigate itself and remedy the widespread unlawful suppression of protesters” and called for an independent inquiry.last_img read more

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New Delhi Infighting in the Haryana Congress reac

first_imgNew Delhi: Infighting in the Haryana Congress reached the doorstep of party president Sonia Gandhi with former PCC chief Ashok Tanwar and his supporters protesting on Wednesday outside her 10 Janpath residence here alleging corruption in distribution of tickets for the upcoming assembly polls. As his supporters raised slogans against management committee chief Bhupender Hooda, Tanwar alleged that tickets were being distributed on whims and fancies and were being “sold”, ignoring those who had worked for years. Also Read – Personal life needs to be respected: Cong on reports of Rahul’s visit abroadPeople are saying that the ticket for the Sohna Assembly seat has been sold for Rs 5 crore, he said. “Some people said in Rohtak that the party had lost its way. When something is given to them, then the party is on the right path,” Tanwar said in reference to Hooda’s remarks at the August 18 ‘Maha Parivartan Rally’ in Rohtak where he had said that the Congress had “lost direction”. “For five years and eight months we have shed blood and sweat,” he said. In a bid to end factionalism in the party ahead of assembly polls in Haryana, the Congress last month named Kumari Selja chief of its state unit, replacing Tanwar, and appointed Hooda as chairperson of the election management committee. Also Read – Firms staying closed 10 days a month due to recession, govt doing nothing: Priyanka GandhiHooda had openly come out against Tanwar, who is known to be close to Rahul Gandhi and had been state unit chief since 2014. Tanwar’s remarks came ahead of the release of the list of nominees by the party for the Assembly polls. Hooda’s supporters have claimed the situation in the Congress worsened due to Tanwar and he is blaming the former CM as he is upset at being removed from his post. Congress president Sonia had appointed Hooda the Congress Legislative Party (CLP) leader, and by virtue of that leader of opposition in the state assembly.last_img read more

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Noida A rickshaw driver and a passenger were kill

first_imgNoida: A rickshaw driver and a passenger were killed while another passenger was critically injured after an unidentified four wheeler rammed into the e-rickshaw in phase-II area of Noida on early Wednesday morning. Police are yet to identify the accused driver who fled away from the spot after the incident.According to police, the rickshaw driver identified as Santosh, a native of Jhansi and a passenger Hussain Ali of Uttar Dinajpur district in West Bengal died on the spot while another passenger identified as Riyajul suffered injuries in the incident and has been admitted to the hospital. Also Read – More good air days in Delhi due to Centre’s steps: JavadekarThe incident occurred around 2 pm on Wednesday near Panchsheel baalak inter college in phase-II area. Farmood Ali Pundeer, Station House Officer of Phase-II police station said that the four wheeler was being driven rashly on the wrong side of road when it collided with the e-rickshaw. “A passerby conveyed information to police and police took the victims to nearby Yatharth hospital where doctors declared two persons as dead on arrival while another man has been admitted to the hospital for treatment.” “Initial investigations into the case showed that the four wheeler involved in the incident was being driven on the wrong side of the road. We are trying to identify the vehicle by checking the CCTV footage of nearby area and are also questioning the nearby shopkeepers,” added Pundeer. Meanwhile police are yet to receive any complaint into the matter.last_img read more

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Los Angeles Miley Cyrus is back to making music

first_imgLos Angeles: Miley Cyrus is back to making music, two weeks after her split from Kaitlynn Carter. The 26-year-old singer took to Instagram to share a photo of herself inside the studio, indicating that she is working on new music. “Back in the yo! I am so f***ing inspired right now… Thank You NEW MOON,” she captioned the photo. In late September, it was reported that Cyrus and Carter, 31, have gone their separate ways, a little over a month after they started dating. Also Read – ‘Terminator: Dark Fate’ has James Cameron’s fingerprints all over it: Arnold Schwarzenegger According to Us Weekly, the relationship ended as the singer went to Las Vegas on September 21, with her mother, Tish Cyrus and her elder sister, Brandi Cyrus to attend the iHeartRadio Music Festival, where Miley was set to perform. Kaitlynn of “Hills: New Beginnings” fame stayed home where she was seen relaxing as per her Instagram Stories. The duo were first linked in early August, when they were spotted kissing on vacation in Italy. Also Read – Salman pays tribute to Vinod Khanna on ‘Dabangg 3’ wrap upTheir photographs started doing the rounds on social media hours before Miley confirmed her separation from actor, now former husband Liam Hemsworth on August 10 after less than eight months of marriage. Carter and her longtime boyfriend Brody Jenner had announced their own split just a week earlier. Kaitlynn was also seen wearing a ring with the letter ‘M’ when the former couple attended New York Fashion Week in early this month.last_img read more

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