Congolese government shows double standard over media concentration

first_img Joint call for Brazzaville journalist’s release Ailing magazine editor held illegally in Brazzaville for more than a month News March 31, 2021 Find out more Organisation Help by sharing this information The dismantling of the Talassa media group follows its publication in March of several articles that shed light on strange goings-on, such as a huge increase in the numbers of voters is regions that were sympathetic to the president, and the lack of a judicial investigation into the deaths of some 20 people in Brazzaville when the army arrested Colonel Marcel Ntsourou in December last year. Last year, the biweekly newspaper Talassa was twice banned from publishing, first in June along with three other known for keeping their distance from the government, on grounds of “publishing seditious articles, disseminating false news, manipulating opinion and inciting violence, and defamation”, and then for four months in February this year for repeatedly failing to respect the council.In December, three newspapers, La Griffe, Le Nouveau Regard and La Vérité, were also banned from publishing indefinitely for “undermining national security and a repeat offence of misrepresenting and distorting facts in order to abuse people’s good faith”. The Republic of Congo is ranked 82nd of 180 countries in the 2014 World Press Freedom Index compiled by Reporters Without Borders. Congo-BrazzavilleAfrica Follow the news on Congo-Brazzaville Congo-BrazzavilleAfrica Receive email alerts to go further News Congo celebrates World Press Freedom Day by sentencing a journalist to six months in prison News News RSF_en May 22, 2014 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Congolese government shows double standard over media concentration Reporters Without Borders is alarmed at the Congolese authorities’ biased treatment of media groups that are critical of the government.On 5 May, the chairman of the Talassa group, which includes a business newspaper, a bi-weekly, a monthly, a website and a printing plant, as well as an communication agency, was informed that its “certificate of declaration”, granted by the High Council for Freedom of Communication (CSLC) in November 2001, had been withdrawn. The decision, based on a 2011 law on freedom of information and communication which bans concentration of ownership in the communication and information business, could lead to the group’s closure. “Reporters Without Borders is astonished that such an offence appears to target only groups whose publications are critical of the government,” said Cléa Kahn-Sriber, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Africa desk.“Similar groups headed by people close to the Congolese government have not been punished. Is this meant to silence critical voices on the eve of the planned referendum on the amendment of the 2002 constitution which could allow President Denis Sassou-Nguesso, in office since 1997, to serve another term?” For example, the group Bassin du Congo-SA, which is led by a close ally of the president, owns the Adiac news agency, which is mostly financed by the government, as well as a daily newspaper, a website and a printing plant. The group DRTV, owned by a senior government official, General Norbert Dabira, has a radio station and two television stations. May 4, 2021 Find out more March 5, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

In 1st Visit to US Mosque, Obama Calls Hateful Rhetoric ‘Inexcusable’

first_img“The notion that they would be filled with doubt, questioning their place in this great country of ours…that’s not who we are,” Obama said of Muslim Americans. “We’re one American family, and when any part of our family starts to feel separate or second class or targeted, it tears at the very fabric of our nation.”Obama’s visit will no doubt spark criticism. Surprisingly, he made a not-so-veiled dig at detractors who claim Obama is a closet Muslim by invoking similar attacks thrust against Thomas Jefferson, who along with John Adams, owned a Koran.“I’m in good company,” he said, drawing laughs.While some may assail Obama from visiting a mosque because of a perceived threat its congregants pose, he isn’t the first modern day US president to do so. The Democratic president’s Republican predecessor made a similar plea after deadlier terror attacks.President George W. Bush, six days after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, paid a visit to the Islamic Center of Washington D.C. It was during that meeting with Islamic leaders that Bush famously said, “Islam is peace.”“The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam,” Bush said that day. “That’s not what Islam is all about.” “Islam is peace. These terrorists don’t represent peace. They represent evil and war.” Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York In his first visit to a mosque since he was elected to the White House nearly eight years ago, President Barack Obama called anti-Islamic sentiment rampant in the United States today “inexcusable” and said such rhetoric has no place in American society.A stoic Obama told the congregation at the Islamic Society of Baltimore that he was inspired by the successful lives they’ve built for themselves in America as scientists, doctors, US soldiers, and noted that he is comforted by the mosque’s service to the city.But the president’s most impassioned comments came when, without naming any presidential candidate in particular, he lamented anti-Muslim rhetoric propagated by politicians—which he directly linked with attacks on Muslim communities throughout the country.“Recently we’ve heard inexcusable political rhetoric against Muslim Americans that has no place in our country,” Obama said Wednesday. “No surprise then that threats and harassment of Muslim Americans have surged.”Two threats were made against the Islamic Society of Baltimore, he said. Women wearing hijabs—traditional Muslim head coverings—have been targeted, Obama told the crowd.“We’ve seen children bullied; we’ve seen mosques vandalized,” the president continued.The president put the onus on Americans of all religions to stand up against hate.Obama appeared to be referencing comments made by Republican presidential hopefuls, such as Donald Trump, who called for a ban of all Muslims entering the US. Another candidate, Jeb Bush, said all Syrian refugees seeking to come to the US should undergo a religious test before entering.The national Muslim advocacy group Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said in December that there had been more attacks against mosques in 2015 than they’ve ever previously recorded.Muslim Americans were once again viewed as suspicious following the horrific attacks in Paris that killed 130 and the shooting in San Bernardino by a Muslim couple that killed 14 and injured 22.“You’ve seen too often people conflating the horrific acts of terrorism with the beliefs of an entire faith,” Obama said.The president said the far majority of Muslims around the world are peace-loving and blamed a small fraction for perverting a religion followed by 1.6 billion people worldwide in order to justify their violence and land grabs that have further destabilized regions in the Middle East and Africa.Obama sought to allay concerns of many Muslim Americans, especially parents, who’ve been forced to have tough discussions with their children about how they fit into the fabric of American society. One mother wrote to the president and said her heart “cries every night” thinking about how her daughter might be treated at school.In letters and in direct talks with Obama, Muslim Americans shared deep-felt beliefs that they are being treated like second-class citizens.center_img Obama’s relationship with the Muslim community is a complicated one.While he has repeatedly decried attacks against Muslims, Obama has also been at the helm of ever expanding drone wars that have killed terror suspects but also innocent civilians living in Muslim-dominated countries.It’s also the Obama administration that has promoted a controversial community-driven approach to fighting radical ideology called Countering Violent Extremism (CVE). When the White House hosted a summit on the topic last March, human rights groups and Muslim advocacy organizations criticized it for essentially reinforcing the stereotype that Muslim communities should be under constant suspicion.The human rights groups wondered why the supposed extremism summit focused on Muslims and did not address attacks by right wing extremists. Since 9/11, right wing extremists in the US have killed 48 people and 45 have been slain by Muslim extremists, according to the New America Foundation.“CVE’s focus on American Muslim communities and communities presumed to be Muslim stigmatizes them as inherently suspect,” the groups wrote in a joint letter to Obama three months before the summit. “It sets American Muslims apart from their neighbors and singles them out for monitoring based on faith, race and ethnicity.”On Wednesday, Obama did not shy away from acknowledging that some Muslims commit atrocities—which he blamed partly on groups like al Qaeda and the self-declared Islamic State, who use a warped ideology and falsely claim that the US is at war with Islam to bolster their ranks.Obama also called on the media—the TV and film industry, in particular—to feature Muslims in non-terror roles, arguing that most Americans’ views of Muslims are shaped not by direct interaction with Muslims but by what they see on the news and in entertainment.“An attack on one faith is an attack on all our faiths,” Obama said. “And when any religious group is targeted we all have a responsibility to speak up.”last_img read more

107-Year-Old Volunteer at Delray Medical Center Celebrates Birthday

first_imgThursday was quite a special day for a volunteer at Delray Medical Center.Charles Carroll, who is the oldest volunteer at the hospital, turned 107 years old and received a drive-by parade party for the occasion.Volunteers are currently not allowed to visit the hospital due to the coronavirus pandemic.Nonetheless, workers there wanted to make sure Carroll knew they were thinking about him.They surprised him with a party outside his home, using social distancing guidelines.The Delray Fire and Police departments also dropped by and added to the fun.Photo courtesy: WPTV NewsChannel 5Staff at the hospital say Carroll is beloved by everyone for his smile, quick wit and positive attitude.He attributes his long life to those elements.Delray Medical Center CEO Maggie Gill said everyone misses seeing Carroll around the hospital.“We are grateful for him and can take a lot of joy from his spirit,” said Gill.Carroll is a World War II veteran who served all over the world for a total of 27 years.He started volunteering at the hospital 12 years ago in order to give back to others, after recovering there from a heart attack.last_img read more

Breaking: Over 300,000 ganja plants destroyed during raid

first_imgA team of law enforcement officers conducted a drug-eradication operation at Ebini, Upper Berbice River. The operation which lasted in excess of fifteen hours saw an estimated 300,000 cannabis plants ranging between 6 inches to 5 feet in height, 150,000 kilograms of dried cannabis, a number of nurseries with about 100,000 seedlings and four camps being destroyed by fire.A single barrel shotgun, three live cartridges, a water pump and a chain saw which were found during the operation, have been seized and lodged.More details in Friday, February 9th edition of Guyana Times.last_img read more

Call for recognition of sign language

first_img19 January 2012The National Institute for the Deaf (NID) has called for sign language to be recognised as one of South Africa’s official languages.According to the NID, sign language is the fifth most used language in the country, with more people using it, for example, than those who speak SiSwati, IsiNdebele and TshiVhenda.The NID said that about four-million South Africans had hearing difficulty, while 1.5-million were “profoundly deaf”, with 93 percent of the deaf being unemployed.This was revealed during public hearings on the South African Language Bill hosted by Parliament’s portfolio committee on arts and culture in Cape Town on Tuesday.Several organisations and individuals were set to add their input into the Bill. These include the Pan South African Language Board, the Law Society of SA, Afrikaanse Taal en Kultuur Vereniging, Vriende van Afrikaans, and FW De Klerk Foundation.Ernest Kleinschmidt, one of the board directors at the NID, was one of those invited to add his voice to the Bill. He made a compelling appeal for the recognition of sign language.“I’m a deaf person. I’m proud of the language I use,” Kleinschmidt told the house, asking if there were people who did not use sign language in their daily life. He said people used sign language to express themselves, adding that “without communication, we are all deaf and dumb”.Avoidable sufferingHe asked that the Bill be crafted to include sign language as one of the official languages in the country.The NID said many deaf children suffered both at school and at home as they were not understood.Committee chairperson Thandile Sunduza said the South African Constitution had to be amended to accommodate the language.Among other things, the South African Language Bill seeks to provide for the “regulation and monitoring of the use of official languages by national government for government purposes”. It calls for the adoption of language policies by national government departments, national public entities and national enterprises.It also proposes the identification of at least two official languages that “a national department, national public entity or public enterprise will use for government purposes”.Indigenous languagesDuring his submissions, Dr Neville Alexander of the Xhosa Africa Network called for government and non-profit organisations to preserve indigenous languages.“If we are serious about democracy, we should take indigenous languages seriously,” Alexander said, indicating that democracy depended on people being able to communicate with each other.He said the government should review the “language dispensation in this country”.“Languages can cause conflict, but they can also reconcile people,” he said, cautioning that the language debate should not be a racial one.He said languages such as Afrikaans, IsiZulu and IsiXhosa were equal, and called for each province to have a Language Act. Currently, only the Western Cape and Limpopo had legislative pieces governing languages.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

“Zero Emission” GC234PG Geocache of the Week – March 14, 2011

first_imgNear the geocache “Zero Emission”The icy, austere beauty of Antarctica is home to one of the most remote geocaches on the globe. “Zero Emission” (GC234PG) challenges adventurers to brave a journey to the bottom of the world to find the traditional cache. Leovinci81 placed the small geocache in January of 2010 outside a Belgian research station.Leovinci81 explains the story on the cache page for Zero Emission: “I created this geocache for people to find in one of the greatest places I ever visited. During the first quarter of 2010 I visited the Belgian research station on Antarctica.“After the first explorers Adrienne de Gerlache & A. Cook, 110 years later, Belgium returned to the South Pole with the team of Alain Hubert.   It’s the first zero emission research station on South Pole, running on solar and wind power.”Belgium research stationThe difficulty three, terrain five cache waits patiently in its extreme environment for the next geocacher. Could it be you?Continue your exploration of some of the most engaging geocaches from around the world. Explore all the Geocaches of the Week on our blog or view the Bookmark List on Geocaching.com.Share with your Friends:More SharePrint RelatedNo Further South From Here — Geocache of the WeekJanuary 31, 2018In “Community”Getting warmer… — Fire and Ice (GC4TXB2) — Geocache of the WeekJanuary 8, 2015In “Geocache of the Week”Selfie Letterbox — Geocache of the WeekMay 23, 2018In “Community”last_img read more