Serious doubts about abduction charge against journalist in court yesterday

first_img RSF_en News Guatemala. Don’t put the Guatemalan press in quarantine! A judge in the eastern city of Chiquimula renewed Internet journalist Vasni Vásquez’s pre-trial detention order when he appeared in court yesterday on a charge of participating in an abduction that he says he was trying to cover. Reporters Without Borders calls for his release in the absence of any evidence against him.Police used violence to arrest Vásquez during an operation on 9 April to release a kidnap victim he claims to know. The presenter of a Web TV programme for young people called Q’Rollo, Vásquez says he rushed to the scene of the police operation when someone reported on Facebook that it was taking place.Although he identified himself as a journalist and had accreditation from the Chiquimula Journalists Network (RCS) and although the five other suspects arrested in the case deny his involvement, the police continue to insist he was one of the kidnappers. He is currently in hospital, apparently still being treated for injuries received at the time of his arrest, the RCS told the Guatemalan press freedom organization Cerigua.Vásquez was formally placed in pre-trial detention on 18 May on a charge of “kidnapping, illicit association and conspiracy.” He was originally due to have appeared on court on 30 May but the hearing was postponed twice.He says he is innocent and has accused the police of conducting a negligent investigation. His lawyers have in vain asked the prosecutor’s office to produce certain evidence which they say will demonstrate his innocence. Although he has been held for two months, prosecutors have yet to produce any evidence demonstrating his guilt.“As a journalist, I think this case that I am in the process of living through is an attempt to intimidate the press and that there is no other motive,” Vásquez said in a message he sent to Reporters Without Borders.Reporters Without Borders points out that, according to Article 259 of the Guatemalan code of criminal procedure, pre-trial detention is an exceptional measure that can be envisaged only when there are reasonable grounds for thinking that a defendant committed a crime or participated in one, and when there is a risk that the defendant could try to elude justice.In the absence of evidence against Vásquez, Reporters Without Borders calls for his immediate release and demands that the authorities conduct an impartial investigation. Vásquez says he is ready to cooperate with the judicial authorities.According to the information available to Reporters Without Borders, two journalists are currently in prison in Latin America as a direct result of their journalistic activities. They are Paul Garay Ramírez and Oswaldo Pereyra Moreno, who are being held in Peruvian jails on defamation charges. Pereyra is due to be freed this month on completing a one-year jail sentence. News News Organisation News May 8, 2020 Find out more January 7, 2021 Find out more to go furthercenter_img Receive email alerts June 10, 2011 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Serious doubts about abduction charge against journalist in court yesterday GuatemalaAmericas August 21, 2020 Find out more Help by sharing this information Follow the news on Guatemala GuatemalaAmericas Red alert for green journalism – 10 environmental reporters killed in five years Guatemala: 51 Signatories Call For Authorities To Drop Criminal Charges Against Indigenous Journalist Anastasia Mejíalast_img read more

The space in between

first_imgKwee Boon Brandon Seah ’11 wants to teach his classmates a new way of listening. The Winthrop House senior practices the art of overtone singing, a technique that enables a performer to vocalize two notes at once. This week, Seah will give a class on the technique and says he hopes to pass on an appreciation of this central Asian vocal music to his fellow undergraduates.“In other cultures, people are aware of overtones in daily life,” he says. “I hope the participants in the class come away with different ears and learn to think of music in a different way.”Soundbytes: A sample of overtone singingSeah and his pupils are just a few of the undergraduates participating in nearly 100 activities —from stand-up comedy to public service — during Harvard’s inaugural Optional Winter Activities Week (OWAW), Jan. 16-23. Erin Goodman, manager of Winter Break operations for the College, says that OWAW is a response to the new academic calendar and to student interest in programming during the downtime between fall and spring semesters.“The calendar change implemented in 2009-10 offered students a broader set of possibilities for Winter Break,” she says. “Many undergraduates said that they wanted to pursue activities that they wouldn’t ordinarily have the chance to participate in during the school year. They also wanted an opportunity to build community and prepare for the spring term and the summer.”While many undergraduates will explore an area outside their regular studies, some are using OWAW to continue work begun in the classroom. Eric Hysen ’11 leads Hack Harvard, an “incubator for student life web applications,” most of which started as final projects for the Computer Science 50 (CS50) course. Hysen and his classmates hope that undergraduates who want an easier way to fill out financial aid forms, create study groups, or meet new people over lunch will soon find that “there’s an app for that.”“We provide resources, work space, and training for students who are working on web apps that improve student life,” Hysen says. “Participants are working in a collaborative work space that we designed after how companies like Google and Facebook set up their offices. The program will end with a public showcase of our work on Sunday, Jan. 23, at 2 p.m. in Fong Auditorium. During the spring semester, the Undergraduate Council will help promote the completed apps to the entire campus.”Most OWAW activities take place on the Harvard campus, but not all. Undergraduates in Phillips Brooks House Association’s alternative January break are on a Navajo reservation in New Mexico to help doctors from the Indian Health Service screen for hearing and vision problems, compile medical records, and pass on important information about clinics and resources. Organizer Angela Primbas ’12 says that she hopes not only to do some good for a chronically underserved population, but also to inspire a passion for service among her classmates.“We want to get students involved in domestic service,” she says of the trip, which receives some support from President Faust’s Public Service Fund. “We hope they see that inequality, social, and health problems don’t start at the United States border. There are people who need help here at home as well as abroad.”College officials say that it’s important to let students take the lead during OWAW because they drive the demand for Winter Break programming. At the same time, Harvard is offering classes and activities, in addition to those organized and led independently by undergraduates, faculty, and staff.“OWAW gives individual students a new forum to share some of their own interests, knowledge, and talents with their peers,” says Paul J. McLoughlin II, associate dean of Harvard College and senior adviser to the dean of Harvard College. “That said, the College and some departments across the University are planning courses, workshops, and other programs for students during OWAW. There are several courses being offered, some of which are supported by the President’s Innovation Fund, as well as arts intensives in theater, dance, and creative writing sponsored by the Division of Arts and Humanities in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and the Office for the Arts.”“Stand-up comedy is really an extreme form of public speaking, which is one of the most terrifying things to people, but also one of the most important,” explains Jimmy Tingle. “Our class will help anybody to present themselves in school, at work, or whatever capacity moving forward.”Among the programs funded by the College during OWAW is the Stand-up Comedy Intensive, a series of classes led by nationally renowned political satirist Jimmy Tingle and comedian Jane Condon, named audience favorite during the 2007 season of NBC’s “Last Comic Standing.” Tingle says that the hands-on approach of the course — students write and perform their own routines throughout the week — will build confidence and teach skills valuable at Harvard and beyond.“Stand-up comedy is really an extreme form of public speaking, which is one of the most terrifying things to people, but also one of the most important,” he explains. “Our class will help anybody to present themselves in school, at work, or whatever capacity moving forward. And unlike an open mic night, students have the support of teachers and like-minded individuals to help them develop and improve.”Tingle says that he and Condon also hope to help students understand the role that comedy plays in life and society.“Look at Stephen Colbert. Look at Jon Stewart. Look at Jay Leno or Conan O’Brien,” he says. “Their work has a big influence on our culture. Pardon the pun, but the power of comedy is not something you can laugh at.”last_img read more

Westport Winery Wins 2015 Best of the Northwest Wine Tour

first_imgSubmitted by Westport WineryWinemaker Dana Roberts gives a Backstage Wimemaker’s Tour at Westport Winery. Photo by Mike CoverdaleFor the fifth time Westport Winery won the King 5 Evening Magazine Best of the Northwest Competition. This time they won the Best Wine Tour category. The fun and interesting Backstage Winemaker’s Tour is offered every Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m. with Director of Winemaking Dana Roberts. Additionally, guests are invited to do their own self-guided tour every day through the winery’s many display gardens that include over 40 sculptures by local artists. Extensive signage is provided to make this a truly memorable and fulfilling experience.When you visit be sure to explore the resort’s unique sculpture garden, lavender labyrinth, musical fence, 9-hole executive golf course, giant chess set, outdoor scrabble game, and grape maze, all located on the corner of Highway 105 and South Arbor Road halfway between Aberdeen and Westport. You will see why Westport Winery was voted Best of the Northwest Wine Tour and Destination.Westport Winery Garden Resort’s award-winning wines are exclusively available at the resort. The tasting room, gift shop, produce market, plant nursery, bakery and gardens, are open daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The restaurant is open for lunch daily from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and for dinner on Friday and Saturday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. For more information contact Westport Winery at 360-648-2224 or visit the website at www.westportwinery.com. Facebook0Tweet0Pin0last_img read more

Crossroads: Results of First Editorial Meeting About Pedestrian Safety in the…

first_imgIN PROGRESS:Sen. Beck also recommended a pedestrian marketing campaign. RiverCenter Executive Director James Scavone has agreed to participate. Police Chief Darren McConnell said he believes any effort should be a collaboration with what he calls the “Three Es”: Education, Enforcement and Engineering and promised stepped up enforcement.Next steps:Assess progressDiscuss Shrewsbury Avenue and cut-through street trafficSpeed on Route 35 through Red Bank IN PROGRESS:The senator also suggested additional signage to keep drivers aware of the state law, requiring them to always yield to pedestrians. Red Bank RiverCenter, the management organization for the borough’s commercial special improvement district, will assist in promoting a safety program, including signage. IN PROGRESS:Mayor Pasquale Menna is asking the Borough Council approve a resolution that would allow the county engineer to study the traffic light at West Front Street and Broad Street intersections, where traffic is permitted to turn, while pedestrians have the crossing light. Freeholder Thomas Arnone said the county would evaluate requests, whether it be for traffic signals or other projects, made directly by municipal governing bodies. County engineering reports could take as long as eight weeks to complete. Senator Jennifer Beck said any initiatives borough or county officials agree upon, she would present and advocate for to the NJ Department of Transportation. The DOT has some already planned safety upgrades under consideration.last_img read more

Environmental Commission in Transition

first_img“Since then, we’ve haddiscussions and it seems likethey’d like us to keep going,”Broege added. “The environmental commission is an integral part of this community, like every other community in this area. As long as the authorities remain the same, we owe it to our neighbors to keep going.” Borough councilman Robert Proto said the council plans to adopt a resolution at its April 3 workshop meeting to direct the borough’s planning board secretary to submit all site plan applications to the environmental committee for review. The resolution will also make a recommendation to Oceanport Mayor Jay Coffey that he appoint a member of the environmental committee to the township planning board, ensuring that it will be business as usual for the volunteer group of environmental specialists. Thomas Cox, the environmental commission vice chair said that not commenting on the amended campus site plan should not be held against the commission. OCEANPORT – Council officials hope to quell a storm of protest by residents upset over the decision to change the municipal environmental commission to a committee, which could curtail its authority. Council president Stephen Solan said the decision to transition from a commission to a committee was because the group had “not been acting as a commission for a very long time.” “It’s a fruitless effort because they have the votes to override it, but it was more of a statement if nothing else,” Coffey said. “The way people are being treated at these meetings is wrong. When you have 50 residents show up to oppose you, and so many of them speaking passionately and intelligently against an ordinance, read the room and table it for further discussion.” Solan added that as acommission, the volunteergroup is expected to act asan arm of the government,but had not been providingmeeting agendas, minutesor annual reports. “One of the arguments we heard was that we should want an extra set of eyes on things like site plan applications coming before the planning board. Then we solicit comments from all of our professionals concerning the site plan amendment and never hear anything from the environmental commission? Shouldn’t they want to be heard on something as important as this?” Solan asked. center_img Broege said after thatMarch 21 meeting severalmembers of the volunteergroup said they were readyto step down from their postson the commission. Thosedecisions to potentially walkaway came after severalmembers of the commissionand other residents spokeout against the governingbody’s decision to adopt anordinance that appeared tobe stripping the group of itsoversight permissions. Broege said that, duringthe meeting, it seemed likethe council intended to “takeauthority away from thecommission, in terms of thesite plan review process.” Another resolution on the docket at Thursday’s workshop meeting is one that, if adopted, would override that veto. But what prompted the adoption of the ordinance was when the commission failed to provide comments on a controversial amendment to a site plan that proposed the construction of a satellite campus for New Jersey City University on a parcel of land located in the Oceanport section of Fort Monmouth. “The council heard two main concerns from the commission members. They wanted continued representation on the planning board and the ability to review plans going in front of the planning board. We’re putting these two into a resolution to assuage the concerns of our volunteers,” added Proto, who said he and other council members met with environmental commission chair Robert Broege following a heated public meeting March 21. Proto said the transition from a commission to a committee is a move that will relieve the group of regulatory burdens, such as providing minutes, agendas and annual reports, and merely formalize how the group has been regularly operating. Despite the public push-back, the borough council unanimously adopted the ordinance, leading Coffey to invoke a mayoral veto for the first time since winning the seat in the 2015 general election. last_img read more

SA to target organised crime

first_img1 July 2008While organised crime makes up a small percentage of total criminal activity in South Africa, it still wreaks havoc on society and is therefore being paid special attention by the government, says Safety and Security Minister Charles Nqakula.He was briefing the media in Pretoria this week, following the release of the latest crime statistics, which point to a continued decline in crime levels in the country – though the government has conceded that they still remain unacceptably high.“Organised crime continues to be a big problem because of the damage it inflicts on society. Firearms are used in many organised crime cases and people are killed, including innocent bystanders,” Ngakula said.“Organised criminal gangs are also involved in the illicit drug trade, which is affecting many of our people, especially the youth. The organised gangs also use their ill-begotten financial resources to corrupt people.”Organised crime groupsThe South African Police Service identified and investigated 145 organised crime groups during 2007/08, most of whom were involved in drug-related crime, motor vehicle theft and hijacking, fraud, corruption, and trafficking in non-ferrous metals, precious metals and stones.“[A total of] 131 syndicate leaders and 375 syndicate members (or runners) were arrested,” Nqakula said. “This means that 27.41% of the organised crime projects that were under investigation for the period under review were taken to court.”Of the total arrests of 1 274 062 made by the police during the period under review, 170 097 were for social related contact crimes and 24 592 for violent organised crime.Police analyst Chris de Kock said, however, that there had been a significant decrease in cash-in-transit robberies, which is a highly organised type of crime, with the number of cash-in-transit heists decreasing from 467 to 395 between 2007 and 2008.Shifting attention elsewhereHowever, De Kock warned that the gangs involved could have shifted their attention somewhere else, such as automatic teller machine (ATM) bombings.“One of the latest developments involves attacks or bombings aimed at ATMs. During 2005, only 12 such incidents were recorded, which escalated to 54 incidents during 2006, 386 incidents during 2007 and a projected total of 538 for 2008.” He said. “The increase between 2005 and 2007 alone stands at 374 cases, namely from 12 to 386 incidents.”De Kock said that during the past three to four months, since the successful strikes against cash-in-transit robberies, the nature of ATM bombings had advanced.The criminals involved had recently shifted their attention from less populated areas to the metropolitan areas or cities themselves, with more affluent areas also being targeted.Previously, the criminal gangs were only made up of two or three members, however, gangs of 10 to 14 heavily armed men in at least two vehicles were now carrying out these robberies. The bombings were also becoming more sophisticated as gangs were using double bomb blasts as opposed to only one.De Kock said these changes had resulted in more monetary gain and more police casualties.Positive resultsOn the whole, the crime trends show that the government has made various interventions to fight crime in the country, with Police stations being beefed up with more officers and better resources and community or geographic policing being increased to curb crime in informal settlements.Partnerships with communities, business, labour movements and religious sectors had also yielded positive results.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Sanlam Cape Town Marathon goes silver

first_imgThe Sanlam Cape Town Marathon is the only run in Africa to receive Silver Label status from the International Association of Athletics Federations. It’s also been declared as carbon neutral. The scenic run will take place on 20 September, and organisers hope to reach Gold Label status soon. The Sanlam Cape Town Marathon has received Silver Label status from the International Association of Athletics Federations. (Image: Sanlam Cape Town Marathon, Facebook) • Rugby’s full story: the Springbok Experience Rugby Museum • Watch: Giving South Africa the #HomeGroundAdvantage  • South Africa’s Rugby World Cup journey  • South Africa in top 20 best places to raise children • Clive Rice: South African cricketing icon dies at 66 Priya PitamberCape Town is world renowned for its tourist attractions such as Table Mountain and Robben Island.Now, the Mother City can add another accolade to its growing list: the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon has been granted Silver Label status by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). The race will be held on 20 September 2015; it is the first race in Africa to receive the status. In addition, it has been declared carbon neutral.Marathon ambassador Elana Meyer, an Olympic gold medallist, said the organisers were delighted that the marathon received the status. She was proud to be associated with an event that was sustainable, Meyer added.To receive the silver status, a race has to meet certain criteria, such as having international runners take part in the race running faster times than the IAAF’s guidelines; the race route should be closed to motor traffic; and using full electronic timing to generate the results. The highest level, with the strictest guideline is gold, followed by silver, then bronze.This means the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon met the international guidelines set out by the IAAF to make the race a world-class event. “The annual event, relaunched last year, achieved the necessary criteria to be listed among 22 road races around the world with second-tier status,” reports the Times Live website.“The Silver Label status puts the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon on the race calendar for the top tier international runners in 2015,” Meyer said. “We are excited to be planning a spectator-orientated event over the Heritage Day weekend.”As for sustainability, “the marathon endeavours to benchmark itself against leading international city marathons in order to pioneer and be seen as leaders in sustainability initiatives”, she added.“The marathon’s three core focus areas are to demonstrate concern for sustainability; to minimise its environmental impact and to maximise engagement of all key stakeholders.”The 2015 marathonThe IAAF noted the route for the 42.2km run has been designed to offer runners a view of the city’s natural and cultural attractions. “Our fast picturesque route sees you weave through the city centre’s sky-scrapers,” reads the marathon website.“Past the many masts of the Royal Cape Yacht Club, along the banks of the Liesbeek River, under the shaded canopy of the tree-lined Southern Suburbs, around the historic Rondebosch Common, the world famous Newlands Cricket ground, the President’s residence – Groote Schuur, Africa’s finest tertiary institution – the University of Cape Town, historic District Six, the Castle of Good Hope, the Cape Town City Hall, the Houses of Parliament, the City Gardens, St Georges Cathedral, and the Nederduitse Kerk all beneath the watchful gaze of Table Mountain.” Runners enjoy a scenic view of the Mother City as they run the marathon. Click on the image for a larger view. (Image: Sanlam Cape Town Marathon)Other than the 42.2km marathon, there is a 10km Peace Run, a 4.2km Community Fun Run, and 22km and 11km Peace Trail runs.Going for goldShortly after the silver status announcement, organisers and sponsors were already eyeing gold status.“The bar has certainly been raised quite high and as we launch this year’s event, the organisers have set yet another challenge – the IAAF’s Gold Label status for the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon,” said Carl Roothman, chief executive: retail of title sponsors Sanlam Investments. “We are confident that this will also be achieved in no time.”Besides achieving that, organisers would like the marathon to become popular all over the continent. “We want this to be the must-run marathon in Africa,” said Janet Welham, a member of the race’s executive committee to news website, Times Live.“We want it to become Africa’s largest running event and one of the biggest fundraising sporting events in South Africa.”Ready to runRunners have showed their excitement on social media, some even sharing their training tips.Its very close now, just days away, training done, just rest now #CTmarathon — Simon Cox (@akindofstranger) September 16, 2015Almost time for me and my legs to sit down and have a serious talk on whats waiting for them @ #[email protected] suuuper excited!! #pb — Stefan Wahl (@wahl_stefan)September 15, 2015Great last few weeks of running. Feeling ready for #ctmarathon this weekend. I may have done just enough mileage (long runs) +speed is there — Drew Fisher (@DrewFisher3) September 15, 2015Families and friends supporting their runners, and the public, can also make use of the supporter bus routes.Are you ready to support the @CTMarathon runners next Sunday? Get onto the FREE Sanlam hop-on-hop-off spectator bus. pic.twitter.com/KUOqO05GNq — Cape Town Marathon (@CTMarathon)September 12, 2015last_img read more

TNT takes 3rd win, sends Phoenix crashing to 6th straight loss

first_imgPBA IMAGESTNT bounced back and humbled Phoenix, 110-103, for its third win in the PBA Governors’ Cup Friday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.The KaTropa got out of the .500 plateau and improved to 3-2 and redeemed themselves after their humiliating 104-73 loss to Rain or Shine.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension LIST: Class, gov’t work suspensions during 30th SEA Games Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games PLAY LIST 01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:50Trending Articles00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:37Protesters 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 SEA Games: PH’s Alisson Perticheto tops ice skating short program SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chiefcenter_img MOST READ LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games Valdez: Vietnam really prepared for us Read Next Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Kelly Williams finished with 18 points to complement Rice’s scoring while Ranidel de Ocampo added 14.Pogoy and Jayson Castro also finished in double digits with 13 and 11 points, respectively for TNT.Brown lit up the Fuel Masters, who lost their sixth straight for a 2-6 record, with 49 points and 19 boards.ADVERTISEMENT Roger Pogoy gave TNT a late buffer after his inside bank shot put the KaTropa up 107-101 with 1:46 left in before import Glen Rice Jr. secured the victory after picking off Brandon Brown’s pass with 40 ticks to go.Rice not only willed TNT to victory with his 38-point, 9-rebound, 5-assist line, he also bounced back from his subpar PBA debut.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“We went to this game with the hope of Glen playing a lot better than he played the last game, and today he did,” said TNT head coach Nash Racela.Rice struggled mightily in his debut against the Elasto Painters chucking up numerous shots and finishing on a disastrous 6-of-22 clip for 19 points. WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s weddinglast_img read more

10 months agoArsenal hero Keown slams quality of Leno: Cech superior

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Arsenal hero Keown slams quality of Leno: Cech superiorby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveArsenal hero Martin Keown has slammed the quality of Bernd Leno.The Gunners lost 5-1 at Liverpool on Saturday.Keown slammed the defenders in their poor efforts for some of Liverpool’s goals, and he also questioned the quality of goalkeeper Leno.”Leno didn’t even make the German squad,” said Keown. “Is he better than Petr Cech? No I don’t think so, but Petr Cech hasn’t played since September.” last_img read more