Turkmen president lines up reelection victory: « Long live one-party rule ! »

first_img TurkmenistanEurope – Central Asia News Berdymukhammedov has talked of reforms since taking over as president in December 2006, on his predecessor’s death, but nothing has really changed in what is one of the world’s most repressive countries.At the same time that the authorities were cracking down on those who had managed to let the world know about a deadly explosion in an arms deport in a suburb of the capital, President Berdymukhammedov undertook to introduce pluralism and hold free elections, a first for this totalitarian regime.Officially, the one-party system has been abandoned but no opposition party has been authorized. Government opponents in exile have not dared to return. The incumbent is running against seven complete unknowns, for the most part obscure provincial officials. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe has already announced that it will not observe the election on the grounds that the conditions are totally unsatisfactory.The most eccentric aspects of the reign of his predecessor, Saparmurad Niyazov, known as Turkmenbashi (Father of the Turkmen), have been scrapped, and the days and months are no longer named after members of the Niyazov family. But Berdymukhammedov has introduced his own personality cult and he is officially known as Arkadag (Protector).His smiling portrait has replaced his predecessor’s everywhere, his books are bestsellers and, on 8 February, a military unit and a museum were renamed after his father, for having brought up a son who is “infinitely loyal to the people.” Several sources have said Berdymukhammedov is writing a new “holy book” to replace the Rukhnama, a collection of the late dictator’s sayings that are part of the school curriculum at all levels.Independent journalism is unthinkable in this environment. All the media are directly controlled by the state, which uses them to relay its propaganda and severely punishes any departure from the official line. Only a few media based abroad, such as Radio Azatlyk (RFE/RL’s local service) Khronika Turkmenistana, Gündogar and Fergananews, broadcast uncensored news. But they are not available to most of the population, which can only access a completely sanitized Intranet called Turkmenet.The risks are enormous for independent journalists, who have to operate clandestinely. At least two journalists, Sapardurdy Khadjiyev and Annakurban Amanklychev, have been held for more than five years in a prison in a desert area near the western city of Turkmenbashi. Ogulsapar Muradova, a woman journalist who was arrested at the same time as them, died in detention in September 2006, almost certainly as a result of mistreatment. A Radio Azatlyk correspondent, Dovletmyrat Yazkuliyev, was sentenced to five years in prison on trumped-up charges last October before finally getting a presidential pardon a few weeks later. His crime was to have covered the explosion at the arms depot in the Ashgabat suburb of Abadan that killed many civilians.The arms depot explosion shed light on the relative strengths of the forces at play in the new media battleground over news and information. Photos and video footage recorded by ordinary citizens on their mobile phones thwarted the government’s attempts to censor this event but the authorities showed they were ready to react. Many netizens and bloggers were arrested, as well as Yazkuliyev, and Khroniki Turkmenistana, a website that had posted images and information about the explosion, was hacked shortly afterwards. The hackers pirated the details of subscribers and posted the identity of contributors and commentators on the site.President Berdymukhammedov has much to do if he really wants to give some substance to all his talk about democracy. Allowing independent media to operate and the immediate release of all the detained journalists and human rights activists are essential first steps for any evolution in the system of government. The international community, which has eyes only for Turkmenistan’s impressive natural gas deposits, should remind him of this at every opportunity. Four-year jail term for independent website’s correspondent in Turkmenistan TurkmenistanEurope – Central Asia to go further RSF_en News Coronavirus off limits in Turkmenistan Help by sharing this information #CollateralFreedom: RSF now unblocking 21 sites in 12 countries Follow the news on Turkmenistan Organisation Receive email alerts December 18, 2020 Find out more February 11, 2012 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Turkmen president lines up reelection victory: « Long live one-party rule ! » March 31, 2020 Find out more News News Reporters Without Borders congratulates President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov in advance on succeeding in his bid to be reelected tomorrow with 90 per cent of the votes.“This victory translates the Turkmen people’s full recognition of their undisputed leader, and the accomplishment of the promised democratic reforms,” Reporters Without Borders said. “Invited to cast their ballots in the third presidential election in 20 years, voters have resolutely demonstrated their opposition to the spurious idea of a change of government through the polls. Long live one-party rule!”Reporters Without Borders takes this opportunity to apologize to the entire Turkmen people for its mistake in ranking Turkmenistan 177th out of 179 countries in its latest press freedom index.—–This could be the front page of a Turkmen newspaper on the eve of Turkmen dictator Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov’s programmed “reelection” tomorrow. March 13, 2020 Find out morelast_img read more

Police arrest two teens who escaped from Nashville jail; two remain on the loose

first_imgDanHenson1/iStock(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) — Police have caught two of the four teenagers who escaped from a juvenile detention center in downtown Nashville, Tennessee, over the weekend. Two of those who escaped were charged with murder, with one of them being caught Tuesday evening.Murder suspect Morris Marsh, 17, remains free after he and three others allegedly ran out of the Davidson County Juvenile Detention Center at around 10 p.m. Saturday night. Brandon Caruthers, 17, also remains free, according to authorities. The Metro Nashville Police Department shared photos of the two other suspects after they were rearrested on Tuesday night in Madison, a suburb of Nashville.The teens were on a work detail when their staff supervisor left them to address a fight at another location inside the facility, according to police. They managed to get onto an elevator and used staff protocols to ride to the ground floor where they went through a series of doors and exited to the outside.Authorities said they are considered dangerous and are asking for the public’s help in locating them. Authorities said at least 35 minutes elapsed before the Metro Nashville Police Department was notified of the escape.Marsh is suspected of killing 19-year-old Charles Easley in April, according to police.Caruthers had been transferred to adult court on an August 2018 armed robbery case in south Nashville, according to police.The department had said it reviewed surveillance footage from a store in Clarksville, Tennessee, located about 50 miles northwest of Nashville, in connection to a possible sighting, but investigators later determined that it was unrelated.“After further review of the Clarksville market video from multiple angles by an MNPD Juv Crime Task Force officer in Clarksville it has just been determined that the persons in the video are not the escaped teens,” the department said in a tweet Sunday. “The investigation is continuing in Davidson County.”ABC News does not normally name juveniles, but are doing so because police said they are dangerous individuals and have released their names and photos. Anyone with information about the remaining two escapees are asked to call Nashville’s Emergency Communications Center at 615-862-8600 immediately.Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

From janitor to health care hero at the same hospital, nurse practitioner shares her decadelong journey

first_imgJaynes AndredesBY: HALEY YAMADA AND ERIC NOLL, ABC NEWS(SPRINGFIELD, Mass.) — When Jaynes Andredes arrived at her new job at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Massachusetts, she stepped foot into a familiar place, but with a very different role.On Sept. 28, Andredes took to Facebook to proudly share her decadelong journey from working as a janitor to a newly hired nurse practitioner at the same hospital.“I learned as a custodian that every part of the hospital and every person who works in the hospital is important,” Andredes told “World News Tonight.”After putting herself through five years of nursing school, Andredes was rehired two weeks ago at Baystate Medical Center as a nurse practitioner in trauma surgery.Andredes shared her journey of hard work in a simple photo of her three work badges: a janitor badge, registered nurse badge and her newly minted nurse practitioner trauma surgery badge.She wrote, “10 years of work, but worth it.”Andredes told “World News Tonight” she wears all of those badges proudly.“I hope that my story can inspire people who feel maybe discouraged by their past or where they come from,” she said. “I just want to let them know, if I can do it, anyone can.”Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

‘Boogaloo Bois’ member charged in attack on Minneapolis police building during George Floyd protests

first_imgBlakeDavidTaylor/iStockBy ALEXANDER MALLIN, ABC News(MINNEAPOLIS, Minn.) — A self-described member of the ‘Boogaloo Bois’ has been charged with participating in a riot after he allegedly shot 13 rounds from an AK-47 style assault rifle into a Minneapolis Police Department building during the civil unrest following the death of George Floyd in late May.Ivan Hunter, 26, is accused of traveling from Texas to Minneapolis to meet up with other members of the ‘Boogaloo Bois’ with the goal of carrying out acts of violence during the riots.The FBI describes the ‘Boogaloo Bois’ as a loosely-connected group driven by militant anti-government sentiments. Members of the group regularly refer to the ‘Boogaloo’ as an impending civil war they expect will be incited by accelerationist acts of terror.Federal investigators said they reviewed video of Hunter firing rounds with his AK-47 style assault rifle into the Third Precinct building while looters were still inside and that he also helped assist them in setting the building on fire.According to an FBI affidavit, after shooting into the building Hunter hi-fived another individual and while walking towards the camera yelled, “Justice for Floyd!”The affidavit additionally states that Hunter was pinned as the shooter by an unidentified cooperating defendant.Hunter is the third ‘Boogaloo Bois’ member to face federal charges for his role in the Minneapolis riots, along with Michael Solomon and Benjamin Teeter — who were previously indicted on charges of conspiracy to provide material support for a foreign terrorist organization. All three were communicating and coordinating their movements regularly through the night of the riots, according to the FBI affidavit.During the course of the FBI’s investigation of Hunter they additionally found he was connected to Boogaloo Bois member Steven Carillo who has been separately charged in the murder of a Federal Protective Officer in Oakland, California.The two are alleged to have exchanged messages immediately after both the arson of the Third Precinct building and the murder of the FPS officer where Carillo stated he was “currently in hide mode.” Responding to a message from Hunter where he stated Carillo should “go for police buildings,” Carillo allegedly responded, “I did better lol.”After the riots, Hunter also posted to Facebook bragging about his actions in Minneapolis writing, “I helped the community burn down that police station in Minneapolis,” adding, “I didn’t’ protest peacefully Dude … Want something to change? Start risking felonies for what is good.”He also wrote that BLM protesters “loved me [sic] fireteam and I.”The U.S. attorney’s office in Minnesota said Hunter was taken into custody Wednesday. It was not immediately clear as of Friday afternoon whether he has had an attorney assigned to his case.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Watch out for money laundering surge during Coronavirus, RICS warns estate agents

first_imgHome » News » COVID-19 news » Watch out for money laundering surge during Coronavirus, RICS warns estate agents previous nextCOVID-19 newsWatch out for money laundering surge during Coronavirus, RICS warns estate agentsInstitution says the financial chaos and business uncertainty created by the pandemic will lead to more attempts to circumvent AML and other rules.Nigel Lewis26th May 20200799 Views Estate agents face an increase in money laundering and terrorist finance activities within the property market during the Coronavirus crisis, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has warned.The organisation has issued a guidance document to alert firms that they made face extra anti-money laundering (AML) and corruption risks at this time, and to help them maintain appropriate controls.“In particular, firms should consider whether the current economic climate may make them or their customers more susceptible to financial difficulties or other pressures, thus creating risk and potential weaknesses for criminals to exploit,” the document says.This includes being put under pressure to ignore or circumvent due- diligence checks in order to speed up transactions, being offered bribes, greater exposure to mortgage fraud and criminals using their ill-gotten gains to buy property.Agents are also warned to keep an eye on their lettings activities too including tenants trying to sell properties they do not own and landlords leaning on agents to circumvent regulations and in particular property licensing schemes.RICS says estate agents should be particularly careful about the risks of cybercrime as more communication with clients and within firms is done digitally during the crisis, and to be wary of intercepted emails and criminals posing as solicitors.Christine O’Rourke, Head of Conduct Standards at RICS, says: “Last year, we set mandatory professional standards following our work with the UK Government and Transparency International to reduce the risk for the UK property market and increase market confidence.“When money laundering is estimated to account for up to 5% of global GDP, our updated guidance supports RICS professionals to uphold their standards through COVID-19 challenges as they adapt to the new business and economic climate.”Read the RICS guidance.  coronavirus RICS Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors May 26, 2020Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021last_img read more

Russia: CF Ships Finish Scheduled Exercise

first_img View post tag: Navy View post tag: Exercise Russia: CF Ships Finish Scheduled Exercise View post tag: ships Caspian Flotilla (CF) surface ships have finished a scheduled exercise which included anti-mine, counter-terror, antiaircraft, and antiboat drills…(rusnavy)[mappress]Source: Russian Navy, August 22, 2012; Image: Flot View post tag: CF View post tag: News by topic Share this articlecenter_img View post tag: Naval View post tag: finish Training & Education August 22, 2012 View post tag: scheduled Back to overview,Home naval-today Russia: CF Ships Finish Scheduled Exercise last_img

Irish Navy rescues 111 in the Med. Recovers two deceased

first_img June 17, 2016 View post tag: Op Sophia Two migrants died while 111 were rescued when Irish Navy’s offshore patrol vessel LÉ Róisín located a long rubber vessel located 37 nautical miles northwest of Tripoli on June 16. The vessel’s crew started the operation early in the morning but two female migrants could not be saved, the navy said.LÉ Róisín is now proceeding towards the Port of Lampedusa where the migrants will be transferred over to Italian authorities.The ship has so far contributed to the rescue of 893 persons from the Mediterranean Sea while deployed to the EU mission Operation Sophia.LÉ Róisín departed Naval Service Headquarters in Haulbowline, Cork to assist the Italian Authorities in the humanitarian search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean on May 2 and began operations May 11, 2016. Authorities Irish Navy rescues 111 in the Med. Recovers two deceased View post tag: Irish Navy Back to overview,Home naval-today Irish Navy rescues 111 in the Med. Recovers two deceased View post tag: LE Roisin Share this articlelast_img read more

Skatepark Advocate Wants Lights for Facility

first_imgBy DONALD WITTKOWSKISteve Beseris says that even during the coldest days of winter there is one place in town that is always bustling with activity – the Ocean City Skatepark.“On days I would never be outside, they’re out there all day long,” Beseris said of the skateboarders.He hopes that the park’s popularity in the daytime will persuade city officials to install permanent lights to give skaters even more time to enjoy an attraction that everyone agrees has become a big hit.Beseris, a local educator and advocate for the skatepark, appeared at the City Council meeting Thursday night to urge the governing body to consider adding lights to the facility. He immediately received the backing of at least three Council members who spoke in favor of installing lights.“I think there’s value in that. It’s just so well-used when it’s open,” Councilman Michael DeVlieger said of the possibility of adding lights.DeVlieger, who was one of the park’s chief proponents when it opened in 2015, said the facility has become a widely accepted part of the community, even among people who originally were against it. Other Council members agreed.“I don’t think I’ve heard a complaint about it, I really don’t,” Councilman Keith Hartzell said.Some Council members say the city should consider adding lights at the skatepark.Hartzell characterized the skatepark as “just one more jewel” the city has for children and teenagers. He believes the skaters deserve to be “rewarded” with new lights for transforming the park into a popular attraction.“I’m just overwhelmed with the participation there,” Hartzell said.Councilwoman Karen Bergman joined with DeVlieger and Hartzell to support installing lights at the park. She said nighttime skating would give kids another option for recreation.“That would be a plus for us as a community,” Bergman said.Mayor Jay Gillian said in an interview after the Council meeting that he also supports the idea of having lights at the park. Gillian, though, indicated that he first wants to see what type of infrastructure would be needed for the lights.“We’ve got to investigate it,” the mayor said. In his remarks to City Council, Beseris said the skatepark is a community asset that gives young skaters a positive outlet for their energy. He believes it will become an even greater attraction by adding lights for nighttime skating.“I feel the infrastructure is there. Clearly, the interest is there,” he told the Council members.Skatepark advocate Steve Beseris believes the facility would become even more popular with permanent lighting.Beseris runs the library at the Ocean City Intermediate School and also teaches video production. In an interview, he said he has been working with a school club to help skaters edit their videos shot at the park.Beseris also told Council that the skatepark helps young people build character and to transition into leadership roles as they become adults.Noting that he recently attended the funerals of two young people who died of drug overdoses, Beseris said the skatepark creates a healthy diversion for teens to help keep them out of trouble. The Ocean City Skatepark is a popular attraction. (Photo courtesy of Ian Crowley)last_img read more

Subway signs new petrol station deal

first_imgSubway, the sandwich retailer, has announced plans to open further stores on petrol forecourts via MRH, one of the largest independent operators in the UK.The first joint store was opened in Bellshill, Glasgow.Subway, the BB75 leading retailer, has ambitious growth plans and in recent years has teamed up with Welcome Break and Applegreen. Earlier this year, it announced plans to grow to 3,000 UK and Ireland stores by 2020.To find out where the retailer sits in the annual BB75 tracker you can purchase the Bakery Market Report here.last_img

Harvard increases financial aid to low-income students

first_imgHarvard College will expand its investment in undergraduate financial aid this year by more than $10 million, providing a record $166 million in need-based scholarships to undergraduates. Beginning in the fall of 2012, financial aid will be further increased for low-income students by raising the income level under which parents pay nothing for the cost of attendance.To make its generous aid program easy to understand for potential applicants, Harvard College also launched today a “Net Price Calculator” on its financial aid website, customizing financial aid information for individual students and their families, in accordance with the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008. With the new calculator, applicants and their families can enter their financial data to estimate the net price they will be expected to pay for a year at Harvard.Since 2007, Harvard’s investment in financial aid has climbed by more than 70 percent, from $96.6 million to $166 million. More than 60 percent of Harvard College students receive financial aid, and the average grant this year is $40,000. Families with students on scholarship pay an average of $11,500 annually toward the cost of a Harvard education.“Access and affordability, enabled by generous financial aid, are fundamental to Harvard’s identity and excellence,” said Harvard President Drew Faust. “We admit students without regard to their financial need, and we make sure that they are given the means to attend and take advantage of the Harvard College experience. This is a bedrock commitment.”In 2004, Harvard inaugurated a financial aid initiative for low-income students under which families with incomes below $40,000 pay nothing toward the cost of their child’s attendance at the College. Just two years later, this benefit was extended to families with incomes below $60,000. Beginning next fall, this ceiling will be raised to $65,000. These measures place Harvard’s financial aid policy among the most generous in higher education.The new calculator’s individualized estimates will replace the broad income bands that Harvard currently employs to describe its financial aid policy. As students from the Class of 2016 use the calculator, they will see that families with incomes between $65,000 and $150,000 will contribute from 0 to 10 percent of income, depending on individual circumstances. Beginning with the Class of 2016, families with incomes between $150,000 and $180,000 will be asked to pay slightly more than 10 percent of income. Families at all income levels with significant assets will pay more, as under current policy.“We will continue to evaluate every student’s financial need on an individual basis,” said William R. Fitzsimmons, Harvard College dean of admissions and financial aid. “We do not consider home equity or retirement assets in calculating aid at any income level, and we work with every student and family to develop a workable financial package. Our commitment to individualized attention and strong financial support, combined with our user-friendly calculator, will ensure that our financial aid program continues to be implemented with sensitivity to every student’s needs.”last_img read more