COVID-19 and press freedom: Europe must oppose measures proposed by Viktor Orbán

first_imgAssociation of European Journalists (AEJ) March 26, 2020 COVID-19 and press freedom: Europe must oppose measures proposed by Viktor Orbán Receive email alerts Kenzo TRIBOUILLARD / AFP Help by sharing this information Secondly, our organizations are also concerned about the proliferation of enhanced surveillance measures introduced to monitor the spread of the virus. While we understand the potential benefits, the use of surveillance must have proper oversight and be clearly limited to tackling the pandemic. Unchecked surveillance endangers privacy and data rights, while journalists’ ability to protect sources is undermined and self-censorship rises. News June 4, 2021 Find out more Reporters Without Borders (RSF) Index on Censorship Were this law to pass it would set a fearful precedent for other European Union member states tempted to follow Hungary’s example – troubling signs exist in other states as well – and do untold damage to fundamental rights and democracy as well as undermining efforts to end the pandemic. Follow the news on Europe – Central Asia 2.    Demand that governments ensure full access for media professionals to decision makers and actors on the front line of the health crisis as well as the broader workings of government, We are in the early stages of the pandemic where, for the most part, governments and media are cooperating closely as they struggle to respond to this unprecedented threat to public health. They both have a duty to ensure the public are fully informed and the response to the pandemic is as effective as possible. While we appreciate that certain emergency measures are needed to combat the pandemic, all such measures must be necessary, proportionate, strictly time-limited and subject to regular scrutiny, in order to solve the immediate health crisis. Unfortunately, numerous governments around the world are already using the pandemic to claim excessive powers that can undermine democratic institutions, including the free press. These dangerous developments could easily outlive the current health crisis unless we act urgently to stop them. Dear, 1.    Robustly oppose the measures currently before the Hungarian parliament and make it clear that the European Union will not accept the application of Emergency legislation that undermines fundamental human rights and media freedoms Our organizations are acutely aware of the dangers of disinformation and how it is used by unscrupulous groups to spread panic and division. However, this does not justify draconian powers that risk being used against journalists whose work is indispensable in protecting public health and ensuring accountability. Charles Michel, President of the European Council At the same time many governments are restricting access to officials by reducing the physical presence of journalists to press conferences. Slovenia and the Czech Republic for example announced ending them altogether. Such measures must not be allowed to restrict media scrutiny of government. June 7, 2021 Find out more 3.    Declare journalism and the free flow of information as essential to Europe’s efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic Kind Regards, It is little surprise that Hungary, with its record of undermining media freedom, should be the first EU member state to make such an extreme and opportunistic power grab. The few remaining independent media outlets in the country are regularly attacked and accused of spreading “fake news” for raising simple questions about the government’s preparedness and strategy for tackling the pandemic. If approved, this new law would grant the Hungarian government a convenient tool to threaten journalists and intimidate them into self-censorship. We fear this is a step toward the complete repression of media freedom in Hungary that could outlive the pandemic. In particular we ask you to We, the undersigned press freedom and freedom of expression organisations, are writing to express our profound concerns about the dangers of governments taking advantage of the Covid-19 pandemic to punish independent and critical media and to introduce restrictions on the access of media to government decision making and action. In a period when our citizens’ fundamental rights are being suspended around Europe, the need for media scrutiny to ensure no abuse of these new powers are stronger than ever. June 8, 2021 Find out morecenter_img Ursula Von der Leyen, President of the European Commission  ARTICLE 19 European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) Free Press Unlimited (FPU) David Sassoli, President of the European Parliament News Respect judicial independence in cases of two leading journalists in Serbia and Montenegro, RSF says “We’ll hold Ilham Aliyev personally responsible if anything happens to this blogger in France” RSF says to go further Organisation International Press Institute (IPI) HungarySloveniaCzech RepublicEurope – Central Asia Condemning abusesProtecting journalistsOnline freedomsMedia independenceProtecting sourcesInternational bodies Council of EuropeInternetFreedom of expressionEconomic pressureJudicial harassment Thirdly, our organizations are concerned about media access to government officials, decision makers, medical experts and those on the front line of the pandemic. Many countries have introduced restrictions on freedom of movement which we insist must not be used to prevent media from bearing witness to the crisis. RSF calls for a fully transparent investigation after mine kills two journalists in Azerbaijan However, we are acutely aware that as the crisis persists, the death toll mounts and as widespread job losses and a certain global recession loom, the actions and decisions of government will come under intense examination. The temptation for some governments to abuse new found emergency powers to stifle criticism will, in some cases, be overwhelming. This must not be allowed to happen. International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) The free flow of independent news is more essential than ever, both for informing the public on vital measures to contain the virus as well as in maintaining public scrutiny and debate on the adequacy of those measures. News This week, the Hungarian government is demanding an indefinite extension of the state of emergency and the power to impose prison sentences of up to five years on journalists and others for promoting false information related to COVID-19. News European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) Reporters Without Borders (RSF) joins eight other organisations for the defense of freedoms in order to express its profound concern about the risk that governments use the COVID-19 pandemic to undermine fundamental rights and free flow of information. The draft law discussed in Hungary is a step towards a complete repression of press freedom. Yet, the need for media scrutiny is now stronger than ever. In this respect we support the joint statement put out by the three global and regional special rapporteurs for freedom of expression, David Kaye (U.N.), Harlem Désir (OSCE) and Edison Lanza (OAS), that the “right to freedom of expression, ……, applies to everyone, everywhere, and may only be subject to narrow restrictions”. HungarySloveniaCzech RepublicEurope – Central Asia Condemning abusesProtecting journalistsOnline freedomsMedia independenceProtecting sourcesInternational bodies Council of EuropeInternetFreedom of expressionEconomic pressureJudicial harassment RSF_en We therefore call on you to use the power of your offices to ensure that fundamental human rights and press freedom will be guaranteed as the European Union strives to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.last_img read more

Federal Reserve Delays Rate Hike: Industry Reacts

first_imgSign up for DS News Daily Tagged with: Banking Federal Reserve Interest rates Mortgage-Backed Securities Citing a strong labor market, increased household spending, and a lower unemployment rate, the Federal Reserve announced that it will be keeping the federal funds rate at 2.25 to 2.50 percent. Wednesday’s statement announced that The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System voted unanimously to set the interest rate paid on required and excess reserve balances at 2.35 percent.“The Fed held rates steady today,” said Chief Economist Danielle Hale. “Data since the last FOMC meeting has been positive, with stronger than expected readings on March jobs and first quarter GDP.  The only laggard is inflation, which continues to fall below the Fed’s target. While the late 1970s were characterized by stagflation — weak economic growth and stubbornly high inflation — the late 2010s are notable for the opposite — decent economic growth and stubbornly low inflation. The playbook for responding to these conditions is less-well developed, hence the need for patience.”The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) directed the Open Market Desk at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to roll over at auction the amount of principal payments from the Federal Reserve’s holdings of Treasury securities maturing during each calendar month that exceeds $15 billion. Additionally, the Desk is to continue reinvesting in agency mortgage-backed securities the amount of principal payments from the Federal Reserve’s holdings of agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities received during each calendar month that exceeds $20 billion.According to LendingTree Chief Economist Tendayi Kapfidze, the Fed’s previous outlook may have been an overreaction resulting from December’s market volatility and the recent government shutdown.“In our interpretation, the Fed may be overreacting to market volatility that occurred in December and distortions to economic activity and data from the government shutdown,” Kapfidze stated. “While many measures of economic growth have slowed, sentiment data which is more timely has rebounded from those declines. There are also seasonal distortions that have been occurring in the first quarter, with the economy often accelerating in the second and third quarter.” Subscribe Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Related Articles Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago About Author: Seth Welborn Previous: Mortgage Professionals Unite to Support Cancer Charity Scholarship Gala Next: Preventing Disaster-Related Mortgage Defaultcenter_img The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Federal Reserve Delays Rate Hike: Industry Reacts Share Save Banking Federal Reserve Interest rates Mortgage-Backed Securities 2019-05-01 Seth Welborn Seth Welborn is a Reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of Harding University, he has covered numerous topics across the real estate and default servicing industries. Additionally, he has written B2B marketing copy for Dallas-based companies such as AT&T. An East Texas Native, he also works part-time as a photographer. Home / Daily Dose / Federal Reserve Delays Rate Hike: Industry Reacts The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, News, Secondary Market The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago  Print This Post May 1, 2019 2,419 Views last_img read more

Computer time is modern parents’ bribe and threat

first_imgBBC News 22 January 2015The Childwise survey, which has been tracking family life in the UK since the 1990s, shows a surge in the number of tablet computers used by children.But it suggests that parents use time on tablet computers as a way of rewarding or punishing their children.The study shows young people spend more time online than watching television.This latest report from Childwise, the 21st annual survey, shows children’s lives suffused with technology, using tablet computers, laptops, videogames and smartphones.Tablets ‘modern treat’  The study, based on a representative sample of more than 2,000 children across the UK, aged 5 to 16, shows that two of the most popular destinations are YouTube and the online game Minecraft.The use of tablet computers is overtaking laptops among young children, says the survey – and it suggests they have become important bargaining chips in family negotiations“Parents like tablets because they are controllable – a tablet can be given or taken away to reflect good or bad behaviour, in a way that is not possible with a conventional television set or computer,” says the research.“Apps can be purchased as rewards, and, with the growing use of tablets in primary schools, there are strong perceived educational advantages.”Research director Simon Leggett says tablet computers are particularly likely to be seen as the young person’s personal possession, making the arguments about restrictions even more fraught.Access to the internet is now so integrated into young people’s lives, he says, that they see access as a fundamental right rather than a privilege.This will strike a chord with many families, suggests Cathy Ranson, editor of the Netmums parenting website.“Banning screen time is the modern version of “grounding” kids,” she said.She said a study of Netmums users had found many parents using limits on computers as a punishment or reward, replacing “traditional treats”.But she warned that too much emphasis on access to screen time could prioritise computers “to the exclusion of real family life”. read more

Hundreds of African Migrants Captured in Libya

first_imgAt least 300 African migrants have been detained in Libya while attempting to board boats headed to Europe according to Libyan Officials.A majority of the migrants are said to be from Sub-Saharan Africa were found on the beach in east of Tripoli.“This is the largest group we have ever caught at once,” Said the Military spokesperson Mohammed Al-ShamyLibya’s internal disorder has been an enabling environment for smugglers to flourish, transporting thousands of smugglers across the Mediterraneanlast_img read more

Football regaining momentum in Essequibo

first_imgBy Elroy StephneyFOOTBALL fans are still passionate and devoted to the sport on the Essequibo coast. Despite this however, placing the ball within the nets has been quite a herculean task for the administrators.President of the Essequibo Football Association,Compton HaynesPresident of the Essequibo Football Association,Compton HaynesPreviously, very little was done to sustain the development of the sport either through school competitions, systematic coaching or having adequate infrastructural facilities,so as to create a stimulating environment.I vividly recalled the golden moments during the mid-80s and 90s when the game reigned supreme in the Region. Quite a number of clubs became popular and captivated the imagination of the public.Too close to call were the strength and charisma of Scramblers and Queenstown United Football clubs,since they both were skillful teams. I even remember witnessing the wizardry of Joseph Livan, Dexter Stephney, Compton Haynes, Ken Hercules and Albert Belfield among others who had Ronaldo- like status when they were on top of their game.The clubs then were also continuously engaged in games and functioned efficiently. It was during the 2000s and beyond though that the sport began to wane as the Essequibo Football Association (EBA) became dormant, if not decimated beyond recognition.It was only in 2014 that there was an attempt to resuscitate the Association with the installation of an Interim Management Committee (IMC) under the stewardship of Mr. Walter Joseph.Former President of the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) Mr. Christopher Matthias was instrumental in this regard and there was some interest shown once again. Subsequently,a fully constituted body was formed in 2016 and elected former Scramblers’ left wing defender and Coach Mr. Compton Haynes as President.The Association once again became a constituted member of the GFF, a position they had relinquished due to their inactivity. Upon his elevation to the post and given his commitment and technical expertise, Mr. Haynes has been a tower of strength in having the sport resurrected beyond the sidelines.Competitive football is now ongoing through competitions at various levels as the ball weavers now enjoy some degree of hope and satisfaction while playing.A visit to any of the venues,either the Anna Regina Community Centre Ground or along the Coast line leading to Charity in the North or Queenstown to the South, one would be captivated by the enthusiasm and skills on display.This is indeed quite an encouraging prospect since I am convinced of the talent which exists in Essequibo given my observation and even intimate interaction with a wide cross section of the community based clubsI have also noted that coaching is being done at these venues in the afternoons and this is a welcome development.Commendations must therefore be extended to the Essequibo Football Association for their proactive approach since there was an element of despair that previously stymied the sport within the Region.In fact,teams from the interior are now being integrated; a distant thought which seemed beyond the comprehension of previous Administrators.Such vision is responsible for the renewed interest in football and this is due mainly to the astuteness of Mr. Haynes’ leadership and his keen focus on capacity building within the clubs.His approach has been quite resolute in trying to encourage various stakeholders including the business community and schools to remain active in the sport.Only recently, a quantity of equipment was donated by the GFF through its President Mr. Wayne Forde during his visit to the Region.Indeed,I can only view this as a positive correlation between the two bodies and for football in Essequibo as I envisage the outcome to produce national players and even Coaches and Referees.I am proud to mention Mr. Sherwin Moore who is now a national and international Referee and who has his roots in Essequibo.Those in the Region have been impressive as well during local matches and from all indication they are keen to perform at the next level too.I was also informed that four Under- 17 players were called to trials in a bid for national selection. The signals therefore are encouraging. Notwithstanding the continued challenges though and while not many goals have been scored thus far, the net is becoming increasingly vulnerable for the Essequibo Football Association to score in a big way as I am optimistic they will and endure beyond ninety minutes of success.last_img read more