Systematic use of torture by security services

first_img Receive email alerts News Damascus TV presenter arrested under cyber-crime law News March 8, 2021 Find out more Reporters Without Borders firmly condemns the Syrian regime’s appalling repressive methods, which continue unchanged while the world’s media turns its attention from Syria to the battle for Tripoli.The famous cartoonist Ali Ferzat’s torture while abducted for several hours today in Damascus and the woman journalist Hanadi Zahlout’s torture while in detention are typical of the way the regime treats those who challenge its propaganda and express views different from its own.Ferzat was subjected to several hours of hell after being abducted by masked members of the security services at around 4:30 a.m. in Omeyyades Square, in the city centre, as he drove home from his office. His captors broke his left hand, which he uses to draw, and burned his body with lit cigarettes. He was finally dumped at the side of a road near the airport with a bag over his head. Some of his drawings and other personal effects were confiscated. He is currently in Al-Razi Hospital. Organisation August 25, 2011 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Systematic use of torture by security services RSF_en SyriaMiddle East – North Africa Aged 60, Ferzat has been very critical of President Bashar Al-Assad and his government ever since the start of the protests in March. “In 2003, his inspiration and the insolence of his drawings led the Syrian authorities to ban his satirical magazine Al Domari, which they had permitted a few years earlier,” former diplomat Ignace Leverrier wrote in his Le Monde blog today.It has emerged that freelance journalist Hanadi Zahlout has been tortured since her arrest on 25 July. She continues to be detained.Reporters Without Borders has meanwhile learned that Myriam Haddad, a journalist with the magazine Mouqarabat who was kidnapped from the Havana Café in central Damascus on 11 August, was released on 23 August. The press freedom organization was not surprised to also learn that all the Internet cafés have installed software that spy on their clients’ online activities. At the same time, telephone communications are now almost always cut as soon as the army enters a city. March 12, 2021 Find out more Related documents _.farzat.zipZIP – 79.07 KB Follow the news on Syria to go further Toll of ten years of civil war on journalists in Syria Plantu’s drawing Help by sharing this information Wave of Kurdish arrests of Syrian journalists News News SyriaMiddle East – North Africa February 3, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

California Gov. Gavin Newsom pushes COVID-19 vaccination efforts as cases increase across US

first_imgBrittany Murray/MediaNews Group/Long Beach Press-Telegram via Getty ImagesBY: ZOHREEN SHAH AND ARIELLE MITROPOULOS, ABC NEWS(NEW YORK) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom patiently waited for the day that all Californians 50 and older became eligible for a COVID-19 vaccination, and on Thursday he received a dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine.Newsom told ABC News’ Zohreen Shah- in an exclusive interview that he was thrilled to be “one and done,” as he recalled the first vaccine administered in Southern California, to nurse Helen Cordova, on Dec. 14.“Eighteen million doses later, it’s finally my turn,” he said. “Today we’re making it eligible for everyone 50 and over. In two weeks, everybody 16 and over. We have that supply now.”Newsom received his vaccine in hard-hit south Los Angeles to emphasize vaccine equity in a community that’s suffered immensely throughout the coronavirus pandemic.According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, California has reported more coronavirus cases — more than 3.57 million — and virus-related deaths — 58,269 — than any other state.In Los Angeles County, residents identifying as Hispanic of Latino have accounted for approximately 53% of COVID-19-related deaths despite accounting for 48.6% of the population.“This is why all our work has to be focused, mindful of the issue of equity, not just as a platform, not just as a promotion, not just as a promise,” Newsom said. “It’s tough. It’s gritty work. It’s hard. It’s stubborn. We know that as it relates to the issue of testing. Seven, eight months ago, that was our biggest issue — equity on testing and access to testing opportunities. Now it’s the same with vaccines.”Last month, the CDC issued a report that measured county’s vaccine rollouts with regards to “social vulnerability.” The vulnerability index included several factors, including race, education, poverty level and housing, which the agency noted has also been linked to higher coronavirus rates.The report examined roughly 49 million shots distributed between Dec. 14 and March 1. Of the 48 states surveyed, California ranked 44th when it came to vaccinations among residents in the most socially vulnerable counties.To date, California has delivered nearly 19.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine, more than any other state. However, it ranks 30th for vaccines administered per 100,000 people.Newsom also added that getting children back to school will be of critical importance in returning to “normal,” especially children in minority communities that have been among the hardest hit during the pandemic.“We have a unique moral responsibility to address systemically, once and for all, not just as a state, but I expect as a nation,” he added.As California takes step to ease restrictions, coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths across the state have all declined significantly after peaking earlier this year. Since mid-January, the state’s seven-day average of cases has declined by over 94%.But other states have seen surges recently — two dozen have seen cases increase by at least 10% over the last week while 18 also have seen 10% increases in reported hospital admissions.And cases are increasing elsewhere. In France, for instance, said Newsom, schools and businesses are closing once more because of the virus’s mutations and community spread.“We have to be mindful this disease is not going away. It’s not disappeared. It’s as virulent. It’s as deadly as it’s ever been,” Newsom said.Newsom also addressed the mounting controversy over his handling of the pandemic, which has resulted in an attempted recall election.“I don’t think it advantages the state of California,” he said. “Forget the Democratic Party. Forget the current occupant that happens to be the current governor. And so, for me, this is really an assault on California — California values — and I hope we can stay united.”Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Victims Protection Legislation Passes Indiana House Senate Bill 551 approved 92-4

first_imgSenate Bill 551, authored by Sen. Mark Messmer, R-Jasper, and sponsored by Rep. Wendy McNamara, R-Evansville, cleared the full House of Representatives Tuesday afternoon by a vote of 92 to 4.With today’s passage, SB 551 has now been passed by both the House and the Senate. The bill was approved unanimously by the Senate earlier this session.“I’m pleased to see this important legislation moving through the General Assembly,” Messmer said. “If signed into law, SB 551 would impact every Hoosier community by working to better protect and respect the privacy of victims and ensure offenders are justly punished for their actions.”The bill makes several important changes to Indiana law with regard to victims of crimes, specifically victims of sex crimes. It allows parents to seek a protective order against persons who are making inappropriate contact or contacts with their child after one Indiana mother found herself unable to do anything after an adult sent more than 1,000 text messages to her 14-year-old daughter. SB 551 also plugs a loophole in current law that potentially allows adults to engage in inappropriate sexual relations with a person 13 or 14 years of age.“This legislation is an important step in protecting victims of child sex crimes and domestic violence from their abusers,” McNamara said. “Those facing these dangerous, threatening situations deserve to have their rights protected, and their abusers should receive apt punishment.”“The passage of Senate Bill 551 is a victory for crime victims and other vulnerable Hoosiers and prosecutors are happy to see it has passed both the House and Senate,” said David Powell, executive director of the Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council. “We would like to thank Sen. Messmer for all his hard work on this bill and Rep. McNamara for sponsoring the legislation in the House. Their leadership was vital to the success of this bill.”SB 551 supports criminal investigations and prosecutions of child abuse cases by restricting disclosure of sensitive information about the child victim and defendant during the criminal investigation or prosecution of the case. The bill also addresses a gap in the current kidnapping and criminal confinement laws by creating an offense when the kidnapping or criminal confinement results in moderate bodily injuring to the victim.  Current law only provides for offenses that include “bodily injury” or “serious bodily injury.” The legislation also eliminates the current practice where an offender who is convicted of felony domestic battery has the ability to reduce the penalty to a misdemeanor and it toughens penalties on strangulation charges. The bill includes a provision that changes how victims of crimes are identified, doing away with the use of victim initials in official documents.Powell also commended the many local prosecutors who worked with lawmakers on the provisions in the bill and came to the Statehouse to testify in support earlier this session.The bill would also task an interim study committee with looking at the issue of discovery depositions. FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

Children with malaria face gaps in care across sub-Saharan Africa

first_imgChildren diagnosed with malaria in nine sub-Saharan African countries often did not receive recommended care, and as many as 20 percent of children diagnosed with malaria in these countries received no antimalarial at all, according to new research from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute.The study, published on Sept. 14 in PLOS Medicine, focused on data from Uganda, Rwanda, Namibia, Kenya, Malawi, Senegal, Ethiopia, Tanzania, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The findings showed that the proportion of children who were diagnosed with malaria by blood test and received appropriate antimalarial treatment ranged from 3.4 percent to as high as 57.1 percent across the nine countries. Nearly two-thirds of children with a malaria diagnosis either did not receive a blood test diagnosis or were not given a recommended antimalarial, according to the findings.The study, led by Jessica Cohen, Bruce A. Beal, Robert L. Beal, and Alexander S. Beal Associate Professor of Global Health at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, also found that nearly 10 percent of children diagnosed with malaria received oral artemisinin monotherapy, which is not recommended due to concerns with drug resistance.Significant gaps in clinical care persist even though malaria tests and effective antimalarial medications have become more accessible in the countries studied, the researchers noted. Read Full Storylast_img read more

Governor, UVM President sign Vermont Climate Collaborative Charter

first_imgGovernor, UVM President sign Vermont Climate Collaborative CharterMONTPELIER – Governor Jim Douglas and UVM President Daniel Mark Fogel have formally adopted the Vermont Climate Collaborative framework, which will guide Vermont’s effort to address climate change and further develop the green tech economy.At a charter signing at the Statehouse Wednesday, Governor Douglas called the Collaborative a signature partnership that brings together the state’s higher education institutions, businesses, legislators and nonprofit organizations to allow the state to forge ahead with confidence in protecting and enhancing Vermont’s quality of life.”This charter spells out a foundation and framework for action,” the Governor said. “The Collaborative’s mission is simple: to see that Vermont stays green, leads the nation in environmental policies and creates job opportunities for a thriving green economy.”Douglas created his Commission on Climate Change in 2005, asking its members to enter into a wide-ranging discussion on initiatives that will safeguard Vermont’s way of life, where economic prosperity goes hand in hand with environmental stewardship.Hundreds of Vermonters offered their assistance and expertise to the Commission. In the end, the Commission’s final report focused on six main themes, including this collaborative partnership.Creation of the Vermont Climate Collaborative would be essential to meeting the five other goals, and to implementing policy recommendations contained in the Plenary Group Report, the Commission concluded.”Vermont, as the greenest state in the nation, is again leading the way by developing a far-reaching blueprint that creates and maintains a climate-friendly green infrastructure where man and nature co-exist and thrive together – and because of each other. And that’s what it’s really all about in Vermont,” Douglas said.Now that the Collaborative charter is signed, its members will begin to hold regular public meetings with the first order of business to be writing bylaws and defining the criteria to measure success.UVM President Fogel said Vermont has a robust foundation of environmental research and scientific capabilities that will be meaningful to the Collaborative’s work.”Addressing climate change will not be easy,” said Fogel. “But the Collaborative will become the ‘clearinghouse’ that will help set priorities for action and measure results.”The Collaborative will serve as a coordinating hub to provide connections to appropriate resources and individuals to foster climate change research and activities, Fogel said.”Numerous research efforts are already underway in Vermont to help us understand the impacts of policies designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” Fogel said. “The Vermont Climate Collaborative gives us the opportunity to harness our collective ongoing effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while also strengthening the green economy in Vermont. The Collaborative framework will enhance the speed at which Vermont is able to move forward with green initiatives.”Fogel pointed to climate change research already taking place at Vermont’s higher education institutions, including the work of Lisa Aultman-Hall and Richard Watts at UVM’s Transportation Research Center, the Carbon Reduction Initiative at Middlebury College, and the work of UVM’s Jennifer Jenkins and William Keeton on biomass, forest dynamics, and carbon storage.The Collaborative members include: UVM Provost John Hughes and ANR Secretary George Crombie will oversee the Collaborative; Dean Domenico Grasso of the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences; Dean Lawrence Forcier at the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources; Dean Thomas Vogelmann at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; Frances Carr, Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies; Chancellor Robert Clarke at the Vermont State Colleges; Paul Fonteyn, President of Green Mountain College; William Wooten, President of Sterling College; Commerce Secretary Kevin Dorn; Transportation Secretary David Dill; Agriculture Secretary Roger Allbee; Public Service Commissioner David O’Brien; Senate President Peter Shumlin; Rep. Margaret Cheney of Norwich; Gregg Marston of the Vermont Business Roundtable; Mark Snelling from the Governor’s Council of Environmental Advisors and Scott Johnstone, Executive Director of Vermont Energy Investment Corp.last_img read more

UPDATE: Weather warning forces change to Men’s County Finals format

first_img26 Sep 2019 UPDATE: Weather warning forces change to Men’s County Finals format The format for this year’s Men’s County Finals has been revised with heavy rain due to batter the Yorkshire venue on Sunday.Kent, Nottinghamshire, Northumberland and Somerset are at Huddersfield GC ready to fight it out for the right to be hailed as county champions.However, with rain forecast to sweep in on Saturday night and linger into Sunday morning, the Championship team has taken the sensible decision to pre-empt a problem with waterlogging.Instead of a round-robin format featuring foursomes and singles matches across Friday, Saturday and Sunday the championship will now be played to a conclusion over just two days.All four counties will still play each of their rivals, but the matches will now consist solely of seven singles games.Each county will play one match on Friday and follow this up with matches two and three on Saturday morning and Saturday afternoon.Archive photograph credit: LeaderboardKeep track of the live scores here. Tags: Men’s County Finalslast_img read more

Youth Tennis Coach Indicted Sexual Assault, Child Porn Charges

first_imgBy Jay Cook |FREEHOLD – A Colts Neck youth tennis teacher has been indicted on varying charges of sexual assault and other misconduct involving a student and other local children.A 15-count indictment was handed up by a Monmouth County grand jury on Feb. 2 charging Terry Y. Kuo, 26, of Colts Neck, according to a statement by Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.The charges against Kuo, who also went by the name “Victor Lee,” stem from a police investigation during the summer and fall of 2017 after a 13-year-old tennis student accused Kuo of sexual misconduct, said Gramiccioni.An investigation by the Marlboro Township Police Department and the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victim’s Bureau and Computer Crimes Unit allegedly turned up child pornography on Kuo’s electronic devices and improper conduct with other children, according to police.Kuo is scheduled to be arraigned on Feb. 20 before Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Vincent N. Falcetano.Kuo is represented by Mitchell Ansell, a criminal defense lawyer and partner at the Ocean Township-based Ansell, Grimm & Aaron, PC law firm.In an interview with The Two River Times, Ansell said his client refutes the charges.“On behalf of Terry and his family, he vehemently denies these charges,” said Ansell. “He plans on vigorously fighting these charges in court.”Ansell added, “There’s a lot more to this story than what’s been printed in the media.”Kuo was charged in the indictment with one count of first degree attempted aggravated sexual assault, one count of second degree attempted sexual assault, one count of first degree causing or permitting a child to engage in child pornography, one count of second degree manufacturing child pornography, one count of third degree possession of child pornography, one count of fourth degree lewdness, two counts of third degree aggravated criminal sexual contact, one count of fourth degree stalking, one count of second degree endangering the welfare of a child, two counts of third degree endangering the welfare of a child and two counts of third degree obscenity, Gramiccioni said.If convicted on the attempted aggravated sexual assault charge, Kuo could face up to 20 years in state prison. The sexual assault is punishable by up to 10 years.According to Kuo’s LinkedIn page, he is the founder and chief operating officer at ATS Tennis, 36 Artisan Way in Colts Neck, which Ansell confirmed. The address is also the location of the Colts Neck Racquet Club.Ansell said he expects the case to be heard within the next six months.“We’ll probably have a lot more to say as the case progresses,” Ansell said.Anyone with information is asked to contact either Detective Edward Ungrady of the Marlboro Township Police Department at 732-536-0100 ext. 1099 or Detective Shawn Murphy of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office at 732-431-7160 ext. 7032.This article was first published in the Feb. 8-15, 2018 print edition of The Two River Times.last_img read more

Two River Politicians In The News

first_imgBy Jay Cook |In the midst of the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica personal privacy and data release scandal which has dominated the 24-hour news cycle in recent weeks, one of New Jersey’s own federal representatives were questioned and challenged Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg during his second consecutive day in Washington, D.C.U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (NJ-6), the ranking member of the federal Committee on Energy and Commerce, was given the floor and delivered a critical opening statement to Zuckerberg on Wednesday morning.“Facebook is just the latest in a never-ending string of companies that vacuum up our data but fail to keep it safe,” Pallone said as Zuckerberg sat in front of him. “This incident demonstrates yet again that our laws are not working.”On Wednesday, U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (NJ-6), of Long Branch delivered the opening remarks at a hearing at which Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before the federal House Energy and Commerce Committee. Pallone is the ranking member.The hearings come after Facebook came under fire for not protecting who can access its personal privacy data. A third-party app created by Aleksandr Kogan collected data from over 80 million Facebook users which was then given to Cambridge Analytica for use in the 2016 presidential election.To prevent that from happening again, Pallone pushed for more legislative oversight.“We need comprehensive privacy and data security legislation,” said Pallone. “We need baseline protections that stretch from internet service providers to data brokers to app developers and to anyone else who makes a living off our data. We need to figure out how to make sure these companies act responsibly even before the press finds out.”Zuckerberg, who was questioned at length on Tuesday by representatives from both political parties, doubled down on the positive impact Facebook has had on the world. He said 70 million small businesses use the social media site to grow and it’s helped organize social movements like #MeToo, March for our Lives and Hurricane Harvey relief efforts last summer.“It’s clear now that we didn’t do enough to prevent these tools from being used for harm as well, and that goes for fake news, foreign interference in elections and hate speech, as well as developers and data privacy,” said Zuckerberg. “We didn’t take a broad enough view of responsibility and that was a big mistake. It was my mistake and I’m sorry.”Holmdel’s DiMaso Pushing for More Gun LegislationSince being sworn in four months ago, Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso (R-13) is making one of her first pushes for legislation in Trenton. Last week, DiMaso, along with Assemblywoman Nancy Munoz (R-21), made a call for legislators to take action on 10 bills designed to make New Jersey schools safer.The bills were drafted with guidance and information learned through hearings after the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. The legislative push also comes nearly two months after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting on Feb. 14 where 17 students and staff were gunned down by a former student.“Many school districts are doing everything they can to ensure their schools are as safe as possible, but the state can do more to help ensure those districts are using the best practices,” DiMaso said in a news release.The bills call for additional supervision over student and staff identification in schools, more enhanced communication and better training for school staff.“Everyone should feel safe at school: students, parents, and teacher alike,” said DiMaso. “Making sure that all our schools are using the best plans will ease all concerns.”Here is a list of the proposed bills:• Requiring the attorney general and Education Department to share best practices on school security with school districts (AR154), based on recommendation No. 4 of the 2015 N.J. School Security Task Force report.• Training for all school employees and local police on how to handle a school emergency (A3787 and A3793), based on recommendation No. 5 of the 2015 N.J. School Security Task Force Report and recommendation No. 5.10 of the 2013 N.J. SAFE Task Force Report.• Create a 24-hour State Police hotline for tips that must be shared with local police and school officials (A3789), based on recommendation No. 5.1 of the 2013 N.J. SAFE Task Force Report.• Better real-time communication between school security, emergency responders and law enforcement during emergencies, and procedures to notify parents (A3788), based on recommendation No. 10-12 of the 2015 N.J. School Security Task Force Report.• Require all school employees and students to carry identification cards (A3790), based on recommendation No. 27-31 of the 2015 N.J. School Security Task Force Report.• The Department of Education must review and rate all school safety and security plans and school district emergency communications policies (A3791).• Require DOE and Homeland Security to develop online forum for schools to share best practices (A3792), based on recommendation No. 5.12 of the 2013 N.J. SAFE Task Force Report.Stoler Suspends Primary Race Against Incumbent SmithInstead of a head-to-head race with longtime Republican incumbent U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-4) in the June primary elections, his challenger and fellow Republican Felicia Stoler bowed out of the race earlier this month, so she can face Smith in the November general election.Stoler is now running as The Inclusion Candidate and has focused her campaign on term limits, tort reform, family law, health care, education affordability and taxes.“I want to give people in the district a real choice in November,” Stoler said.“I want to hear from all of you,” Stoler continued. “I want to hear what’s important to you, I want to address your issues so that you have fair representation regardless of what party you are a registered voter for.”Stoler, 51, is a registered dietician professional with offices in Red Bank. She’s been featured on national broadcasts with Fox & Friends, ABC News, CBS News and NBC News.To keep Two River area residents up to date on the political movements countywide and in their respective towns, The Two River Times will be compiling local coverage and notices of different happenings from now up until the November 2018 elections. Please send additional tips, notes or information to reporter Jay Cook at [email protected] article was first published in the April 12-19, 2018 print edition of The Two River Times.last_img read more

Mallard’s Source for Sports Team of the Week — Team WH2O

first_imgA quartet of Whitewater Skiers will be in Vernon later this month to compete at the 2012 B.C. Winter Games.The foursome made the grade during a qualifying race earlier this season and is now off to represent the Kootenay Zone at the provincial competition.Staff at Mallard’s Source for Sports wants to add to the celebration with Team of the Week accolades. The Whitewater skiers include, from left, Jessie Thruston, Liam Jones, Haley Mitchell, Savannah Leishman.The B.C. Winter Games are being held Feburary 23-26 in Vernon.last_img

Bombers too hot to handle en route to Kootenay Zone AA Girl’s Soccer title

first_imgThere was no mistake on the better team at this tournament.The L.V. Rogers Bombers outscored the opposition 21-1 to capture the Kootenay High School AA Girl’s Soccer Championships. The Bombers rocked Stanley Humphries Rockers 10-1 before trouncing David Thompson Lakers of Invermere 11-0 to coast to the title.Bomber keeper Kat Garbula had very little work in both games, registering the shutout against the Lakers.It’s the second time in as many years LVR has won the Kootenay Zone tournament.The Bombers are off to the AA Championships May 30 to June 1 at Mark R. Isfeld High School in Courtney.The tournament draw has yet to be released.last_img