Ahmed Mansoor and four other pro-democracy activists pardoned and freed

first_img United Arab EmiratesMiddle East – North Africa Follow the news on United Arab Emirates Receive email alerts Reporters Without Borders hails the decision by the president of the United Arab Emirates today to pardon blogger Ahmed Mansoor and four other pro-democracy activists a day after they were convicted of insulting the country’s leaders. All were expected to be released later in the day.After an unfair trial, the Federal Supreme Court in Abu Dhabi sentenced Mansoor to three years’ imprisonment for insulting the leaders of the UAE and calling for anti-government demonstrations.Each of his four co-accused, lecturer Nasser bin Ghaith, and activists Farhad Salem Hassan, Ali Al-Khamis and Ahmed Abdul Khaleq, was also convicted under the criminal code of insulting the leadership and received a two-year prison sentence.The UAE legal system treated the case as a matter of state security so there was no appeal against the verdict and the only hope of the accused was a pardon from President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. “This is excellent news for Ahmed Mansoor and the four activists who will finally be released after eight months in prison. The perseverance of their families and all those who supported them in their campaign deserves our praise,” Reporters Without Borders said.“The verdict of the court handed down on 27 November is nonetheless shocking and illustrates the repressive security policy carried out by the government since the uprisings began in the Arab world.“We should like to recall that no tangible proof was presented against Mansoor during the trial, which ended, however, with an extremely harsh sentence. He is innocent and his only crime is having encouraged the government to undertake democratic reforms,” the press freedom organization added. Organisation News November 28, 2011 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Ahmed Mansoor and four other pro-democracy activists pardoned and freed RSF joins other NGOs in amicus brief in WhatsApp suit against NSO Group News RSF joins Middle East and North Africa coalition to combat digital surveillance United Arab EmiratesMiddle East – North Africa “We urge the authorities to investigate the ill-treatment suffered by Mansoor and his co-accused in prison, as well as the threats received by his family. The UAE authorities have a duty to do all they can to protect all their citizens and guarantee their security.”The blogger and human rights activist was arrested on 8 April and charged in his capacity as administrator of the democracy discussion forum Al-Hewar (“dialog”), on which he and the four other activists – nicknamed “the UAE Five” – were accused of posting messages between July and October last year criticising the government’s policies.From 2 October this year, the five refused to attend hearings in protest against a trial they said was unfair and politically motivated, and was marred by numerous irregularities. They had been on hunger strike since 13 November. During the trial, the five were denied access to their lawyers who were prevented from interviewing prosecution witnesses. After their arrest, the UAE Five were the targets of a smear campaign launched on the Internet and carried by some local media outlets. Their critics, who accused them of treason, organised demonstrations outside the Abu Dhabi court and did not baulk at threatening the families of the accused.In a joint statement issued on 10 November the five accused the websites Lethal Character and Proud Emirati of being behind the campaign and of fanning a climate of hostility towards them and their families.In a statement issued on 9 November, Mansoor’s family said the campaign had intensified on the Internet, on television and in newspapers.At a trial hearing on 23 October, an audio recording of someone making death threats and calling for a demonstration against Mansoor was played in court. The blogger’s family issued a complaint against the person behind the recording, identified as the poet Saïd Bakhit Al-Kutubi, but so far no legal proceedings have been taken as a result. A relative of Nasser bin Ghaith was struck by a demonstrator outside the courtroom yesterday. The assailant was arrested. NSO Group hasn’t kept its promises on human rights, RSF and other NGOs say to go further Help by sharing this information June 8, 2021 Find out more News News Reporters Without Borders strongly condemns this campaign and regrets that no action has been taken against those orchestrating it.The organization calls on the UAE authorities to follow up the defence complaints and open an investigation, so that those behind the intimidation campaign are brought to justice. They must remain conscious of the duty to protect the safety of the five activists after their release.The UAE is among the countries under surveillance in the list of Internet enemies compiled by Reporters Without Borders in March this year. In recent months, the government has stepped up its pressure on netizens. RSF_en April 28, 2021 Find out more Photo copyright: ReutersRead our previous press releases about Ahmed Mansoor December 23, 2020 Find out morelast_img read more

Champion Roger Federer proposes ATP-WTA merger

first_imgLondon: 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer came up with a radical proposal regarding the future of international tennis. The Swiss superstar suggested a merger between men’s tennis body ATP and women’s governing body WTA.Federer believes this could be the right time for a merger between ATP and WTA for the betterment of the sport. The former World No.1 also explained that he isn’t asking for competitions being merged but only the governing bodies.“Am I the only one thinking that now is the time for men’s and women’s tennis to be united and come together as one?” Federer wrote on his Twitter handle.“I am not talking about merging competition on the court, but merging the two governing bodies (ATP and WTA) that oversee the men’s and women’s professional tours.”“It’s too confusing for the fans when there are different ranking systems, different logos, different websites, different tournament categories,” he wrote further.The entire sporting calender of the world is reeling due to Covid-19 pandemic and tennis is not different. The season has been put on hold with multiple tournaments being postponed or cancelled.The second slam of the year, French Open, has been postponed from May to September while the Wimbledon was cancelled earlier this month in the wake of coronavirus crisis. Wimbledon had only been cancelled twice before, because of World War 1 and World War 2. (IANS)Also Read: Roger Federer’s serve a hybrid of Sampras and Agassi: Andy RoddickAlso Watch: Quick Shoppe in Guwahati takes precautionary measures against the spread of Coronaviruslast_img read more

QPR boss hoping to keep Hoddle

first_imgQPR manager Harry Redknapp has told Sky Sports News he hopes to avoid losing Glenn Hoddle to Crystal Palace.The former England boss, who recently joined Redknapp’s coaching team at Loftus Road, has been touted as a possible contender for the vacant manager’s job at Selhurst Park.Tim Sherwood and Malky Mackay are currently seen as the frontrunners to succeed Tony Pulis, but Palace co-owner Steve Parish is reportedly keen to speak to Hoddle.“I brought Glenn in, it was completely my idea, and I’m hoping he stays,” said Redknapp.“But football’s football. I brought Steve McClaren and Steve Cotterill in and they went off and managed other clubs.“Hopefully they [Palace] appoint someone else very quickly. I’m hoping to have Glenn here. I really want him to be part of our team this season.”See also:Six reasons Hoddle is ideal for QPR Hoddle laid foundations at Chelsea and could do the same at QPRFollow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Tuscarawas Valley Pioneer Power Association Dover Steam Show

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Steam traction engines, antique gas and diesel farm and garden tractors and more will be at the54th Annual Tuscarawas Valley Pioneer Power Association Dover Steam Show August 18 to 20, 2017in Dover.The show will include many working exhibits including Sawmill, shingle mill, threshing, and bailing as well as food, arts and crafts, flea market, and entertainment. There will be a Sunday morning church service as well.On Friday night there will be a garden tractor pull at 6 p.m. Saturday night is the antique tractor pull at 5 p.m. A Peddle Tractor pull is open to all ages at 1 p.m. Saturday. Admission is $5 and 12 and under free. There is a membership available that gives admission for all weekend.last_img

Topping Up Prevented Planting

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Chris ClaytonDTN Ag Policy EditorOMAHA (DTN) — Farmers with prevented planting claims on a projected 19.6 million acres will receive a “top-up” payment on their claims from insurance providers starting in mid-October.USDA announced Thursday that all farmers with 2019 prevented planted claims will receive a bonus payment. Prevented planting indemnities will increase 15% for farmers who bought Revenue Protection policies. Farmers who bought Yield Protection and Revenue Protection policies with the Harvest Price Exclusion will receive a 10% increase in their indemnity payments.“It was a challenging planting season for many of our farmers,” said Bill Northey, USDA’s undersecretary for farm production and conservation. “We are doing everything we can to ensure producers receive the help they need.”The top-up payments will be automatically paid to farmers and will not require any additional paperwork to receive the payments.Northey said USDA is working with crop insurance companies to get the payments to farmers as soon as possible. USDA stated the payments would start going out in mid-October. After the initial payment, additional payments will be made in the middle of each month as more prevented planting claims are processed, USDA stated.Northey added, “We appreciate the AIPs (Approved Insurance Providers) for helping us help America’s farmers.”The higher indemnity payments will come as part of the disaster-aid bill passed by Congress during the summer.Martin Barbre, administrator of USDA’s Farm Service Agency, said crop insurance is an important program for many producers to help them manage their production and price risks. “We’re leveraging that system to efficiently and effectively deliver much needed support to our farmers,” Barbre said.According to Farm Service Agency numbers, prevented planting reached nearly 19.6 million acres, of which the lion’s share included 11.4 million acres nationally for unplanted corn acres and another 4.46 million acres for soybeans.House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson, D-Minn., said USDA’s announcement will help farmers without requiring any additional paperwork.“As weather continues to throw wrenches into farmers’ plans, both in western Minnesota and across the country, I appreciate USDA and crop insurance providers moving forward in delivering the prevented planting plus-up that Congress provided,” Peterson said.All 14 AIPs agreed to increase their payments to producers for prevented planting claims. Those companies include: ACE Property and Casualty (Rain and Hail) Insurance Company, American Agri-Business Insurance Company, American Agricultural Insurance Company, CGB Insurance Company, Church Mutual Insurance Company, Country Mutual Insurance Company, Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance Company, Great American Insurance Company, Hudson Insurance Company, NAU Country Insurance Company, Producers Agricultural Insurance Company, Rural Community Insurance Company, Stratford Insurance Company and XL Reinsurance America Inc.USDA pointed out that the prevented planting payments are different from direct disaster aid that farmers can receive from the Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program Plus (WHIP+) payments. For more information on WHIP+, visit https://www.farmers.gov/….Chris Clayton can be reached at [email protected] him on Twitter @ChrisClaytonDTN(ES/AG)© Copyright 2019 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Web Services and SOA rise — But So Do Over-Expectations

first_imgA number of recent announcements indicate that SOA and Web Services have reached a level of high acceptance.  But the worry is that the hype in the sector may be running equally high.A poll taken in May, 2006 of 139 members from the Society of Information Management and presented this week at their SIMposium conference showed that Web Services top the list of items most important to these technologists, with Security dropping back to third place.  Last year Web Services didn’t even rank. This year’s ranking is as follows:1. Web Services2. Business intelligence3. Security4. Business process management5. Customer portals6. Systems integrationJerry Luftman, the author of the report and SIM Vice President of Academic Community Affairs, attributed the reason for Web Services rising to the top was greater interest in both virtualization and SOA.  In the area of virtualization, they see a trend towards thin clients and virtualized servers.SOA Software is also reporting this week, somewhat reminiscent of McDonald’s “number of hamburgers sold here” advertising, that they have now processed more than 10 billion Web Service transactions for their large enterprise customers.SOA and Web Services clearly offer a better brand of technology, but it’s not without negatives.  They provide a great framework, but the execution/implementation of any technology is often more important to success than the technology used itself.  When even the MotleyFool has picked up on SOA and is offering advice for how best to play SOA as an investment, you may begin to wonder if the hype has gone too far. A backlash to the technology may be coming.  An InformationWeek article found a quarter of business tech pros responding that SOA projects fell short of their expectations, and 55% saying that SOA introduced added complexity.Web Services and SOA are excellent technologies to consider for adoption, but like any other technology, successful implementations require careful planning and analysis.last_img read more

10 months agoYoung happy Solskjaer keeping Man Utd coaching team together

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Young happy Solskjaer keeping Man Utd coaching team togetherby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United captain Ashley Young is happy to see Ole Gunnar Solskjaer keep together the majority of the coaching staff after Jose Mourino’s sacking.Solskjaer has retained the services of coaches Michael Carrick and Kieran McKenna, who were both promoted to the senior side’s coaching set-up by Mourinho in the summer.Goalkeeper coach Emilio Alvarez, who was drafted in to the club in 2016, has also stayed at the club on the basis of his strong bond with David De Gea.”Carras, Kieran and Emilio have been fantastic,” Young, who has made 16 appearances this season, said.”The training sessions they’ve put on have been fantastic, top notch.”I can definitely see Carras being a manager one day and Kieran has been brilliant stepping up to the first team [from the Under-18s].”He’s taken to it like a duck to water and Emilio is a fantastic goalkeeping coach. It’s nice for them to be here and work under Mick and Ole as well.” last_img read more

10 months agoWolves captain Conor Coady: Stop talking about Europe

first_imgWolves captain Conor Coady: Stop talking about Europeby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveWolves captain Conor Coady insists there’s no room for Europe talk.They go to rock-bottom Fulham on Boxing Day having dropped to 10th after Friday’s 2-0 defeat to Liverpool – but they are still just four points off sixth.“We’ve gone from being in the Championship and people are talking about Europe,” said Coady.“We need to make sure we’re level-headed. We want to make sure we look at it game by game.“It (European talk) just doesn’t happen, all the lads will tell you nothing like that has been said in the changing room.“We haven’t looked too much at the league, you can move so much if you win, lose or draw. We’re the same as the boss, we don’t look too much into that. We’ve started the season alright, we’re where we wanted to be, we wanted to keep momentum going from last season.“Up to now it’s been okay but you look at games like Friday, we want to win games. It doesn’t matter if it’s Liverpool or Fulham.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

9 months agoAgent: I urged Napoli to sign Pavard

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Agent: I urged Napoli to sign Pavardby Carlos Volcano9 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveAgent Francesco Di Frisco has revealed he tried to place Bayern Munich signing Benjamin Pavard at Napoli.The defender has just agreed to leave Stuttgart for Bayern this summer.“Did I try to take Pavard to Naples? We talked a lot and tried, but it wasn’t easy,” Di Frisco told Radio CRC.“Even Stuttgart didn’t know until a week ago that he had accepted a contract from Bayern Munich.“There was no offer from Napoli, but they liked him. How hard did Napoli try for him? Interest was there, both from the club and their scouts.“It was a name that Napoli verified immediately. Full-back or central defender? He’s normally a central defender plays as a full-back for his national team.“’Yes’ to Bayern but not a ‘no’ to Napoli? It’s dfficult to say. Ultimately, an offer never came from Napoli, although they conducted themselves very well, as did the lad.” last_img read more

2017 Global Citizen Festival To Feature Stevie Wonder Green Day And More

first_imgInternational advocacy organization Global Citizen today announced that headliners Stevie Wonder, Green Day, The Killers, The Lumineers and featuring The Chainsmokers will perform at the 2017 Global Citizen Festival, the annual free-ticketed event on the Great Lawn in Central Park, New York City on Saturday, September 23, 2017.Special guest performances will be given by Pharrell Williams, Big Sean, Andra Day and Alessia Cara, with more to be announced over the coming weeks.On September 23rd, Global Citizens will stand together to call on leaders in America and around the world to uphold their responsibility to end extreme poverty by 2030.Since last year’s Festival, Global Citizen has taken the movement and action-based model to Canada, India, and most recently on the eve of the G20 summit to Hamburg, Germany.The 2017 Festival will serve as a platform from which millions of Global Citizens around the world will demand that world leaders fulfill their obligation to take a stand around issues such as education, food security, healthcare, gender equality, and sanitation.Hugh Evans, CEO of Global Citizen, said, “Over the last year, we’ve seen voters around the world reject the nationalism and isolationism that keeps people living in extreme poverty. Now, we are calling on activists and music fans to use their voice to change the world. We couldn’t be more thrilled to be announcing this incredible lineup for Global Citizen. Now more than ever, we need to ensure we work together for the world’s poor.”Stevie Wonder said, “In this crucial time, there is nothing more exciting to me than having the honor of giving my gift of song, words and motivation to the Global Citizen Festival. When we commit ourselves to life issues, we are showing love of the Most High. I was, I am and will always be, a citizen connected to the spirit of everyone on this planet moving forward. Let’s go!”Green Day lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong said, “We’re grateful to be a part of this year’s Global Citizen Festival. American aid programs make a significant difference in the betterment of lives at home and around the world, and we should all want these programs to become stronger, not weaker. We all play a part in seeing this mission through and it starts with calling on all our leaders.”“Thanks to the passion of artists and their fans, music has the power to transcend borders and unite people. Live Nation is proud to help the music community come together to make the world a better place through efforts like Global Citizen Festival,” said Michael Rapino, President and CEO, Live Nation Entertainment.“We can’t wait to get back to our hometown of New York City and play for 60,000 people who have done amazing things to change the world. We are so thankful to our fans for getting online and taking action to support less fortunate people around the world. We’ll see you on September 23rd!” said The Chainsmokers.Big Sean said, “I look forward to joining these incredible artists and thousands of Global Citizens in Central Park as we shine a light on issues that need to be addressed, such as access to education, which is so important to helping everyone create a better life for themselves and their communities.”MSNBC President Phil Griffin said, “Global Citizen’s commitment to end extreme poverty by 2030 is a mission that’s very dear to us at MSNBC. That’s why we’re back again as the Premier Media Partner for the fourth year in a row. This work is even more important at this moment on the world stage and we look forward to even more successful efforts and positive change in the future.”Proud partners of the 2017 Global Citizen Festival include: presenting partner GUCCI and CHIME FOR CHANGE, premier media partner MSNBC & Comcast NBCUniversal, entertainment partner Live Nation, global health partner Johnson & Johnson, and other major partners Citi, HP, Cadillac, T-Mobile, iHeartMedia, and NYC Parks.For the fourth consecutive year, MSNBC & Comcast NBCUniversal will air a live simulcast of the Festival on MSNBC and MSNBC.com. The Festival will be produced by Emmy Award-winning producer Ken Ehrlich (Grammy Awards).The Festival will also be livestreamed on YouTube and Twitter.For the second consecutive year, the iHeartRadio Music Festival and the Global Citizen Festival will take place on the same weekend – allowing for unique in-show collaborations and a special cross-over performance by Big Sean who will perform on both stages in one night.Global Citizens can earn their admission to the free-ticketed Festival by joining the movement at globalcitizenfestival.com. Ticket draws will occur throughout the summer and fans will be notified by Global Citizen when they have been selected.Issue specific goals for the 2017 Global Citizen Festival campaigns include:• US Foreign Aid Assistance: Ensure the US Congress – including key senators such as Senator McConnell, Senator Corker, Senator Boozman, Senator Lankford, and Senator Rubio – protect the 2018 fiscal year budget from proposed cuts to critical foreign aid programs.• Education: Secure $3.1 billion in annual funding by 2020 for The Global Partnership for Education and an extra $30M in new commitments to the Education Cannot Wait fund to ensure all children, particularly girls and those affected by conflict and crisis, are in school and learning.• Food & Hunger: Secure commitments, including from the European Commission and Japan, to meet the UN’s $4.9 billion appeal for countries facing famine and severe food security.• Health: Secure commitments from world leaders, including those of the UK, Canada, the US and Uganda, towards universal health coverage, prioritizing investments in maternal and child health, vaccines, and addressing pandemic threats such as polio, HIV, TB, Ebola and Zika.• Girls & Women: Secure commitments from world leaders, including those of Cameroon, Tanzania, Nigeria and Papua New Guinea, to end reform or repeal laws that unfairly discriminate against women, to outlaw gender discrimination and gender-based violence, promote women’s sexual and reproductive health and secure from companies $1 billion in financial support for women-owned businesses – as critical steps forward in achieving gender equality by 2030.• Water & Sanitation: Secure commitments from the private sector, including PepsiCo, Danone, and Nestle, to donate 1 cent per litre of their bottled water sales to the Global Investment Fund for Water, and ensure the Government of Maharashtra in India will implement teachings of menstrual hygiene for schoolgirls into the education syllabus.This year, fans and activists will earn tickets to the Festival by participating in three Action Journeys: For Freedom, For Justice, For All. Today marks the launch of “Action Journey 1: For Freedom,” in which Global Citizens will complete actions in support of maternal health, polio eradication, girls’ education, increased foreign aid, and more.For more information about how to join the movement, please visit www.globalcitizen.org.last_img read more