Ten RSF recommendations for the European Union Receive email alerts A simple question about the pay that former parliamentarians receive proved dangerous for Daniele Lupo, a reporter with the commercial TV channel La7. Mario Landolfi, who was communications minister in Silvio Berlusconi’s government in 2005 and 2006, responded to the question on 19 April by slapping Lupo in the face. Landolfi subsequently apologized during a TV broadcast but did not explain his behaviour.Showing an embarrassing photo proved dangerous for Giorgio Mottola, a reporter for “Report,” a current affairs programme on the public TV channel Rai 3. Mottola showed a sheet of paper with a photo of allegedly illegal construction projects in Ostia, a coastal resort near Rome, on 19 April to the head of Federbalneari, the national association of resort companies, and pressed him for a comment. The businessman finally responded by crumpling the sheet of paper against Mottola’s face.“These acts of aggression are a disturbing reminder of how the climate of hostility and contempt towards journalists in more and more European countries dangerously facilitates the passage from words to action, said RSF. Responding with violence to ordinary questions from journalists is simply unacceptable and unworthy of politicians and businessmen in a democratic country. We call on the Italian authorities to react quickly in order not to allow this kind of attack to go unpunished, as it would just encourage more violence of the same kind.” Ranked 52nd out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2017 World Press Freedom Index, Italy is one of the European Union’s most dangerous countries for the media. Covering a mafia network or a criminal gang exposes reporters to often deadly risks. Help by sharing this information April 24, 2018 – Updated on April 25, 2018 Two Italian journalists attacked for asking questions RSF_en Screenshot from “Non e l’Arena” on TV channel La7 RSF and 60 other organisations call for an EU anti-SLAPP directive November 19, 2020 Find out more Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the unacceptable behaviour of an Italian businessman and a former government minister who, in separate incidents last week, reacted violently to embarrassing questions from reporters. RSF calls for a response from the Italian authorities. Follow the news on Italy On eve of the G20 Riyadh summit, RSF calls for public support to secure the release of jailed journalists in Saudi Arabia to go further December 2, 2020 Find out more Organisation News ItalyEurope – Central Asia Condemning abuses ImpunityViolence News November 23, 2020 Find out more News News ItalyEurope – Central Asia Condemning abuses ImpunityViolence
General Assembly Will Decide If Sports Wagering Is A Safe BetDecember 21, 2018, By James PolstonTheStatehouseFile.comINDIANAPOLIS—A lawmaker who plans to introduce legislation to legalize sports wagering wants Indiana to be able to cash in on the latest round of state-sanctioned gambling.“As we all know, there is illegal sports betting happening all over the place in Indiana. Some say it’s as high as $300 million,” said Sen. Jon Ford, R-Terre Haute. “So, if we keep the barriers to entry low and we keep the tax relatively low, we will capture more of that illegal business.”Gambling revenue from the state’s riverboats and racinos produced Indiana $87 million in the fiscal year 2019.Indiana took the first tentative steps in October when an interim study committee voted unanimously for the General Assembly to consider legislation that permits sports wagering. One of the goals is to attempt to reduce the size of the illegal gambling market.Ford authored legislation during the 2018 session, but it failed and is working on a proposal for the 2019 session.“I think we have a good chance,” Ford said of prospects for the session that starts in January. “I think my colleagues understand that to be competitive with other gaming states, this is something we’re certainly going to have to take a hard look at.”Ford said the General Assembly needs to look at protecting consumers and believes the age requirement to bet on sporting events should be 21. He added there should be a mobile component to sports wagering.“For mobile, they need to go to a physical casino and have their verification done there on site,” Ford said of what the proposed law should contain.If sports wagering is adopted by the General Assembly, Indiana would become the ninth state making it legal, joining Nevada, Delaware, New Jersey, Mississippi, West Virginia, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island.Although other states are wrestling with the idea, Ford believes Indiana is a leader, dating back to the regulations developed around daily fantasy sports sites three years ago.“You look at other states but I think we often forget our own path,” Ford said.Sites like FanDuel and DraftKings allow users to select a lineup of players from different leagues and join games against opponents across the globe. Participants can win registration money back by outscoring other teams in their given league.Christina Gray, executive director of the Indiana Council for Problem Gambling (ICPG), said her organization maintains a neutral position on sports wagering legislation. But ICPG is calling for at least one percent of revenue collected on sports wagering to be used for preventing and treating gambling addiction.“We’ve had so many things in the last 30 years that they’ve approved gambling wise that I just hope they do set aside money to handle people who have problems with gambling,” Gray said.The ICPG was founded in 1996 by a group of individuals and organizations with the goal to ensure that help was available for problem gamblers.The ICPG also wants legislation to require betting operators to implement responsible gaming programs, assign a regulatory agency to enforce those programs and regulations set by the law, conduct surveys focused on adults and set a minimum age requirement.In the past, professional sports leagues, particularly the NFL, have opposed legalizing sports wagering but have since softened their stance.Micah Clark of the American Family Association of Indiana said sports wagering is not at the top of his organization’s agenda but has opposed gaming in previous years.FOOTNOTE: James Polston is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmail
The chairman of Athletics Kenya (AK) has told Reuters that another “high-profile athlete” has failed a doping test, just weeks after it emerged Rio Olympics marathon champion Jemima Sumgong tested positive for performance enhancing drugs.Jackson Tuwei told Reuters that the IAAF, the sport’s global governing body, had found the positive test but said the identity of the athlete could not yet be revealed.Kenya’s middle and long distance success has been marred by doping cases involving elite athletes. Officials estimate the number of positive tests at about 50 in the past four years.”There is another high-profile athlete who has also failed a doping test but we have to wait for legal procedures to be followed,” Tuwei told Reuters in an interview on Thursday.”Obviously we cannot say who the athlete is.”News of the test comes after Sumgong, who last year became the first Kenyan woman to win Olympic gold in the marathon, tested positive for the banned blood-booster EPO (erythropoietin) in an out-of-competition test carried out by IAAF.Doping was made a criminal offence in Kenya in June 2016.Tuwei said the IAAF had rejected Sumgong’s explanation about the circumstances that led to her positive test.”Her explanation has been rejected and she has been ordered to send a more convincing explanation before further action is taken,” Tuwei said.Sumgong’s positive test came in the wake of a four-year ban handed to Kenya’s multi-marathon champion Rita Jeptoo, Sumgong’s former training partner, after she tested positive for EPO in 2014.”We also wish to send a very strong message to athletes representatives, doctors, coaches and all athletes support personnel that those found culpable or proved to be encouraging our athletes in this line of sporting subterfuge will be charged as prescribed by the law of the land,” AK said in a separate statement on Thursday.advertisementSumgong, 32, was among the six Kenyan gold medallists in Rio, which was the country’s best performance at an Olympics.
Aston Villa midfielder McGinn nets hat-trick in Scotland victoryby Freddie Taylor12 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveAston Villa midfielder John McGinn scored a hat-trick as Scotland trounced San Marino 6-0 on Sunday.McGinn scored all three goals before the half-time whistle as the Tartan Army swept aside the world’s lowest ranked team.Lawrence Shankland scored his first international goal after 65 minutes, with Stuart Findlay and Stuart Armstrong rounding out the victory.”It’s not often a Scotland team score six goals,” Clarke told Sky Sports. “It’s a nice reward at the end of a difficult week.”They’ve got character and resilience. They were on a hiding to nothing tonight. They showed the character to come back from a bad blow.”We’re working towards an end target, which is the play-offs in March. We go to Cyprus one point behind with a chance to go above them.” About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say
Although actor and activist George Clooney co-founded the Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP) as a way to systematically monitor threats to human security over Sudan and South Sudan, it is now also being used, in cooperation with ENOUGH Project and DigitalGlobe, to keep watch over elephants in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.There is good reason for this, according to the groups’ report Poachers Without Borders, which claims that Sudanese and South Sudanese poachers are killing elephants in Garamba National Park and selling their ivory tusks to the Asian black market.The lucrative return ($1,000 to $1,300 per pound, which means up to $175,500 per tusk for an adult male) is used as funding for weapons, ammunition and supplies. Using high powered weaponry to kill several elephants at once, and then quickly removing the tusks by chainsaw, the animals are being butchered at an unprecedented rate.Using satellite imagery and predictive analytics, SSP and its partners aim to assist park rangers in tracking the migrating herds through the vast park, as well as help focus patrol efforts on probable areas according to “historical geospatial trend analysis, cost surface travel analysis, key terrain analysis, and predictive analysis”.“If the application of the predictive analysis helps to slow the slaughter of elephants,” says the report, “the analytical method and tools could be used elsewhere in Africa to stem the increasingly rapid slaughter that is taking a heavy toll on the continent’s elephant population.”Copyright ©2015Look to the Stars
By Jorge BarreraAPTN National NewsOTTAWA–Foreign Affairs and Department of Justice bureaucrats advised U.S. officials on how to skirt privacy laws to get information on whether a businessman and politician intimately linked to the Syrian ruling regime was a Canadian citizen, according to a “secret” U.S. diplomatic cable obtained by APTN National News.The 2009 cable, originating from the U.S. State Department and signed off by then-U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, contained a request for Canadian officials to disclose whether a Syrian businessman and politician identified as Muhammad Hamshu had any legal status as a citizen or “resident alien” in Canada. The cable also listed several different spellings for his name.Foreign Affairs and Justice bureaucrats told U.S. officials that Canada’s privacy laws prevented the disclosure of that type of information, but suggested a way around the Privacy Act by making the request through “law enforcement channels,” the Jan. 7, 2009, cable said.University of Ottawa law professor Amir Attaran said department officials were essentially giving advice on how to break Canadian law and those involved should be reprimanded.“Whoever gave this advice was certainly conspiring to defeat the privacy law and that person should be severely reprimanded and probably fired,” said Attaran. “You are conspiring with a foreign government to violate Canada’s laws as a Canadian public servant.”If Canadian law enforcement agencies, like the RCMP or the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, provided the information to the U.S., they would have broken the law, said Attaran.“If the police disclosed it would have been illegal,” said Attaran. “I think the Privacy Commissioner should be looking at this.”The cable was among a batch of confidential and secret cables originating from or sent to the U.S. embassy and consulates in Canada obtained by APTN National News from whistleblower website WikiLeaks.CBC-Radio Canada also obtained the same batch of cables.Over 2,000 cables dealing with Canada have already been released.The cable, which was sent to the U.S. embassies in Damascus and Ottawa, contained a text specifically for Canadian officials outlining why the U.S. wanted the information.The cable said the U.S. wanted to add Hamshu to a black-list of Syrian individuals blocked from doing business with the U.S.“The United States intends to designate Muhammad Hamshu under Executive Order 13460 for being responsible for, having engaged in, having facilitated or having secured improper advantage as a result of, public corruption by senior officials within the Government of Syria,” said the text prepared for Canadian officials that was contained in the cable.Hamshu is a Syrian legislator and a businessman heading the sprawling firm Hamsho Group International and other businesses with interests in everything from construction to telecommunications and a satellite television station.Hamshu was also among 25 individuals black-listed by Canada as part of its recently announced sanctions against Syria for its brutal repression of its citizens involved in pro-democracy demonstrations. His name is spelled Mohamed Hamcho on the list, but an employee at one of his Canadian subsidiaries, who requested anonymity, confirmed it was the same individual.A similar spelling of the name also appears on another one of his company’s websites.The cable said the U.S. believed that Hamshu “may have legal status in Canada” and wanted the Canadian government to “determine his status if any” and provide “any supporting documentation.”Canadian officials at Foreign Affairs and the Department of Justice toldU.S. officials they could not provide information on Hamshu’s legal status in Canada, but they suggested making the request through law enforcement channels under the “mutual legal assistance treaty” between both countries.“A Canadian DFAIT official informed Embassy Ottawa that Canadian privacy laws prevent the government of Canada from disclosing information regarding Muhammad Hamshu’s legal status in Canada, including whether he is a Canadian citizen,” the cable said. “DFAIT and the Canadian Department of Justice advised Embassy Ottawa to request this information through Canadian law enforcement channels under the terms of the mutual legal assistance treaty (MLAT).”The cable also said the U.S. planned to publicly identify Hamshu with his Canadian legal status if Canada agreed.It’s unclear whether Canadian authorities provided the information.A spokesperson for Foreign Affairs said the department wouldn’t comment on “leaked information.”The Department of Justice was provided the section of the cable, but had issued no comment by late Wednesday afternoon.NDP MP Charlie Angus, the party’s critic on ethics and privacy issues, said he found the cable’s revelation “disturbing” and would bring up the issue during an upcoming planned meeting with Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart.Angus said the mutual assistance treaty wouldn’t allow for a circumvention of privacy laws.“I think we need to know what is going on in terms of how this government is handling Canadians’ private information,” said Angus. “We need to be wondering if this was a one-off, or if this is a pattern. We are going to ask a few questions.”A spokeswoman for the Office of the Privacy Commission said they did not have enough information to comment specifically on the cable.“The Privacy Act has provisions to permit disclosures and, just on the surface of it, we cannot say whether or not this is the case, in these circumstances,” said Anne-Marie Hayden. “Our office has argued for several years that provisions in the Privacy Act governing the disclosure of personal information by the Canadian government to foreign states should be strengthened.”An employee at PISC Canada Inc., a small, Hamshu-owned Canadian firmed in Mississauga, Ont., said he was not a Canadian citizen, but had obtained permanent residence status in Canada “a long time ago.”Samer Abboud, a history and international studies professor at Aracadia University in Pennsylvania, said Hamshu is a member of Syria’s ruling inner circle. Abboud said Hamshu inherited his business empire from his father and made his fortune off government contracts.“Once you achieve a certain kind of level (in Syria) you come in the orbit of the security complex,” said Abboud, who grew up in Ottawa. “There is nobody who is independently wealthy in Syria who is not deeply connected to the security apparatus.”Abboud said it was curious the U.S. would say Hamshu was involved in corrupting public officials since there is no line between the business and political elite in the country.“That is the way in which the economic networks in that country operate,” he said.Abboud said he doubted that Hamshu was a Canadian citizen or had any major financial interests in Canada, since most of his business would come through the Syrian government.Abboud said it was surprising that the U.S. would need to ask Canada to confirm Hamshu’s citizenship and it showed how weak American intelligence was on Syria. He said the U.S. was probably fed Hamshu’s name by opponents of the regime.“You would think the State Department would have a big file on this guy,” he [email protected] CableDownload (PDF, 12KB)
MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – Walmart Canada says it is starting to roll out one-hour grocery delivery today for customers in parts of the Greater Toronto Area.The discount grocer says it’s partnered with Instacart, a California-based company, to provide the service.Shoppers use the Instacart website or app to place their order, which is then picked out and delivered by Instacart employees.The one-hour delivery offering will expand to Winnipeg on Sept. 27, and possibly to other markets later.Walmart Canada already offers next-day delivery, as well as the option to order online and pick up in-store, in parts of the GTA.Many Canadian grocers have recently started to grow their e-commerce offerings as they face increased pressure after tech titan Amazon acquired Whole Foods Market.Loblaw Companies Ltd. also partnered with Instacart to offer home delivery and plans to “blanket the country” with online grocery services this year.Sobeys Inc., on the other hand, signed a partnership deal with British company Ocado Group to build a customer fulfillment centre that will store food and automate the food selection process. Its service will launch in the GTA in about two years.Companies in this story: (TSX:L)
NEW YORK — Stocks that moved substantially or traded heavily Monday:Nutrisystem Inc., up $9.48 to $43.68The weight loss company agreed to be acquired by Tivity Health for $47 a share in cash and stock.Yelp Inc., up $1.05 to $35.64A shareholder is seeking a shakeup of the board at the online review company.Nvidia Corp., up $4.25 to $151.86Technology companies held up better than the rest of the stock market.GoPro Inc., down 5 cents to $4.92The camera maker says it will move production of U.S.-bound cameras out of China by the summer over tariff-related concerns.Qualcomm Inc., up $1.25 to $57.24The U.S. chipmaker says it has won an order in a Chinese court banning some Apple phones in China over alleged patent infringements.Marathon Oil Corp., down 75 cents to $15.30The price of oil turned lower after rallying last week.Bank of America Corp., down 67 cents to $24.76Banks fell sharply as interest rates continued to drop.Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., down 97 cents to $18.44The Washington Post reported on alleged price-fixing by Teva and more than a dozen other generic drug companies.The Associated Press
Kolkata: The 158th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore was observed with great enthusiasm.Tagore was born on May 9, 1861 at Jorasanko and was the youngest son of Debendranath Tagore. State Information and Cultural Affairs department organised a function on Cathedral Road outside Rabindra Sadan. Noted Rabindrasangeet exponents paid homage to Tagore through their songs. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was present at the function. A function was held at Jorasanko Thakurbari in the morning. Noted Rabindrasangeet exponents and elocutionists paid their respect to Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaTagore. The statue of Tagore was garlanded by Sabyasachi Basu Roy Chaudhuri, the vice chancellor of Rabindra Bharati University. Later, he inaugurated an art gallery that has been named after Abanindranath Tagore. A total of 32 paintings including one by Tagore and the remaining by all well-known artists who were Tagore’s contemporaries were put up at the gallery. A function was held at Oriental Seminary, a school where Tagore had been enrolled as a student for some time. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayMinister of state for Women and Child Development and Social Welfare Shashi Panja garlanded the half-bust statue of Tagore at the school. Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation (HIDCO) organised a function titled “He Antartara” at Rabindra Tirtha where well known Rabindrasangeet singers including Ashis Bhattacharya, Enakshi Chattopadhyay, Dipak Rudra, Anindya Narayan Chattopadhyay, Chandrabali Rudra Dutta among others took part in the programme. Noted elocutionists Pranati Thakur, Bijoylakshmi Barman, Sovanshundar Basu recited poems wrote by Tagore. HIDCO will organise programs in all the Saturdays and Sundays except May 18 and 19 at Rabindra Tirtha in the evening. A programme was held at Jadavpur Laughing Club where singers Surajit, Agnibha Bhattacharya, Monomoy Bhattacharya took part along with elocutionist Satinath Mukhopadhyay. Nabanalanda High School organised a programme on Southern Avenue opposite the new school premises. Rammohan Mission School also organised a programme to pay tribute to Tagore. Programmes were held all over Bengal and thousands of artists, dancers, elocutionists took part in these programmes. Metro Railway observed the 158th birth anniversary of Kavi Guru Rabindra Nath Tagore in a solemn manner at Metro Rail Bhavan. P C Sharma, general manager, Metro Railway paid homage to Gurudev by garlanding his photograph on behalf of staff and officers of Metro Railway. Metro staff and officers paid homage to Kavi Guru by singing his songs and reciting poems. All officers and staff were present in this programme.