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Freedom to inform curtailed amid protests in Togo

first_imgNews Manifestations de l’opposition au Togo, 6 septembre 2017, AFP/PIUS UTOMI EKPEI TogoAfrica Condemning abuses March 11, 2021 Find out more Receive email alerts News Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the restriction of freedom of information in Togo resulting from government’s disconnection of the Internet and its harassment of journalists covering the major anti-government protests that began a month ago in the capital, Lomé. Togolese authorities urged to lift newspaper’s four-month suspension News The authorities cut 3G mobile services early last week and Internet communications from 7 to 10 September, while some journalists have been subjected to intimidation with the aim of preventing them from covering the protests.The targets include Emmanuelle Sodji, the Togo correspondent of TV5 Monde and France 24, who has been threatened and whose accreditation as TV5 Monde correspondent was withdrawn on 6 September.Before withdrawing her accreditation, the communication minister sent several letters to TV5 Monde complaining about her coverage of the unrest in Togo and threatening to cut of TV5 Monde’s retransmission signal in Togo if she continued. She still has France 24 accreditation.Sodji has for several weeks been providing both TV5 Monde and France 24 with coverage of the street protests and the ensuing government crackdown. The authorities claim that video footage showing gendarmes arresting people dressed in red (the opposition party’s colour) or breaking up demonstrations are “false” and must have been filmed outside Togo.The authorities have even criticized reports in which she interviewed government supporters as well as opponents, arguing that she should only have covered pro-government demonstrations. As well as being threatened several times with reprisals if she does not stop covering the protests, she has also been offered money to report the “opposite” of what she has reported until now. “These attempts to control media editorial policy and the very disturbing acts of intimidation against journalists are unacceptable,” said Clea Kahn-Sriber, the head of RSF’s Africa desk. “This constitutes very grave interference by the Togolese authorities in the freedom to inform. We ask them to let the media do their job of informing the public about what is happening in Togo.”Other journalists have also been the targets of violence or intimidation since the current wave of street protests began. Some have been insulted on the Internet and calls have even been made on online social networks for journalists to be killed. Togo is ranked 86th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2017 World Press Freedom Index.Alors qu’un vaste mouvement de contestation populaire anime la capitale Lomé depuis le 9 août, les autorités ont coupé la 3G depuis le début de la semaine dernière et du 7 au 10 septembre, les communications internet étaient également inaccessibles. Les services reviennent lentement à la normale. Certains journalistes sont pour leur part sujets à des intimidations visant à les empêcher de couvrir ces manifestations. Dernier exemple en date, le retrait d’accréditation, le 6 septembre, et les menaces contre la correspondante de TV5 Monde et France 24 au Togo, Emmanuelle Sodji. Cette décisions fait suite à plusieurs courriers envoyés à TV5Monde par le ministère de la Communication togolais se plaignant du travail de la journaliste et menaçant de couper le signal de la chaîne si celle-ci continuait ses reportages sur le Togo. La journaliste demeure à ce jour accréditée pour France 24. Depuis plusieurs semaines, Emmanuelle Sodji couvre pour TV5 Monde et France 24 les manifestations de rues qui agitent le Togo, ainsi que la répression qui s’en est suivie. Selon les autorités togolaises, les images de gendarmes arrêtant des passants habillés en rouge (couleur du parti d’opposition) ou la répression des manifestations sont “fausses” et auraient été tournées ailleurs qu’au Togo. Les autorités reprochent même à la journaliste ses reportages où elle donne la parole aussi bien aux partisans du régime qu’aux opposants, au prétexte qu’elle n’aurait dû couvrir que les manifestations de soutien au régime. La journaliste a subi plusieurs menaces, afin qu’elle arrête de couvrir les marches de l’opposition, jusqu’à des propositions d’argent pour “inverser” les informations contenues dans son papier. “Ces tentatives de contrôler la ligne éditoriale des médias ainsi ques les intimidations très préoccupantes contre les journalistes sont inadmissibles, déclare Clea Kahn-Sriber responsable du bureau Afrique de Reporters sans frontières. Il s’agit là d’une grave ingérence des autorités togolaises dans la liberté de l’information. Nous demandons aux autorités congolaises de laisser les médias faire leur travail afin d’informer la population sur les enjeux actuels du Togo.” D’autres journalistes ont fait l’objet d’agressions ou d’intimidations depuis le début de cette contestation populaire. Plusieurs d’entre eux ont été insultés notamment sur la Toile, certains internautes appelant même à leur mise à mort sur les réseaux sociaux. Le Togo occupe la 86ème place au Classement de Reporters sans frontières sur la liberté de la presse. Help by sharing this information March 8, 2021 Find out morecenter_img to go further Organisation Togo court upholds “baseless and disproportionate” newspaper closures News Convicting “petrolgate” journalist of defamation would be disastrous, RSF says Follow the news on Togo RSF_en TogoAfrica Condemning abuses September 11, 2017 Freedom to inform curtailed amid protests in Togo September 15, 2020 Find out morelast_img read more

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Imagine: John Lennon on Long Island

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York By the time John Lennon and Yoko Ono purchased a secluded, sprawling mansion overlooking Cold Spring Harbor in November 1979, the Beatles had been broken up for nearly a decade and it’d been almost five years since John had released an album of his own.Following his notorious two-year “lost weekend” away from Yoko with May Pang and Harry Nilsson in California, he’d spent the past four years away from the spotlight, out of the studio, and for the most part, away from his rock and roll friends. He was mostly holed up at The Dakota, rearing their son Sean, born on John’s 35th birthday in 1975. Two days before Sean’s birth, a state Supreme Court judge had reversed a deportation order, granting John legal stay in the United States and ending a vicious campaign by the Nixon administration to have him sent back to England.He’d later describe himself during this period as a househusband, telling Playboy magazine that “I’ve been baking bread and looking after the baby.”“But what have you been working on?” the writer persisted.“Are you kidding? Bread and babies, as every housewife knows, is a full-time job.”The Lennons—well, Yoko—had been on a “massive real estate shopping spree” that fall, writes John’s personal assistant at the time, Fred Seaman, in a 1991 tell-all The Last Days of John Lennon: A Personal Memoir, who was sent to scout out potential homesteads in, among other places, upstate New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Long Island. (He’d later plead guilty to one felony count of grand larceny in connection with the disappearance of some of John’s personal journals, sentenced to five years’ probation in 1983.)ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE: Cannon Hill, the Cold Spring Harbor mansion where John Lennon and Yoko Ono spent time with their son, Sean.When the then-26-year-old saw that fantastical Long Island house on the hill, tucked away on a bluff off a private road in the secluded community of Laurel Hollow, Seaman was convinced it was the one. It just had to pass Yoko’s psychics.“Of the dozens of properties I scouted out for the Lennons in 1979, none seemed more suitable than a waterfront mansion overlooking Cold Spring Harbor on Long Island’s North Shore,” he writes. “The Tudor-style house, called Cannon Hill because of the cannon by its swimming pool, nestled at the bottom of a winding driveway and from a distance looked like a gingerbread house. From the moment I first laid eyes on the old ivy-colored wooden mansion I knew it would be ideal for John and Yoko.“It had more than a dozen rooms on three floors, including a large master bedroom with a balcony that offered a spectacular view of the harbor,” he continues. “There was even a small beach, as well as a private dock. John had begun to hint that he wanted to buy a boat, and this looked like the perfect place for it.”The last album John Lennon recorded, Double Fantasy, got its initial spark of inspiration from his time in Cold Spring Harbor.“The rambling wooden house dated from the Eighteenth Century whaling era and took its name from the antique cannon embedded beside the swimming pool,” concurs author Philip Norman in 2008’s John Lennon: The Life. “With it went a private beach and dock, looking out on a panorama of motorboats, sailboats, and skiffs, much like the scene Aunt Mimi saw from her bungalow in faraway Poole.”John’s “Aunt Mimi,” Mary Elizabeth Smith, was the older sister of his mother, Julia, who’d separated from John’s father, Alfred, and given her guardianship of the then-5-year-old. Mimi raised John for most of his childhood, though John had grown close to his mother (who’d taught him how to play the banjo and ukulele) before she was struck and killed by a drunken off-duty police officer when John was 17.Following the success of the Beatles, John bought Mimi a bungalow in Poole on the south coast of England. They remained close the rest of his life. He never got over Julia’s death.Biographers and former employees have painted myriad portraits of the Fab Four leader—paranoid acid-dope fiend, violent and tortured sexual deviant, depressed genius are but a few. The Beatle known for his humanitarianism and social activism was a complex man, but by all accounts, the secluded estate up on that bluff was a place of refuge for the then 39-year-old-turned-40 superstar-turned-caring father, who relished in its calm-yet-vibrant, new, seafaring environ.Cannon Hill was a retreat, somewhere to relax, escape, collect himself, break off a splinter of peace, find inspiration.That’s also the portrait painted by home video recordings of the family’s time there, taken by John (and Seaman), which found its way to You Tube in recent years. The footage offers rare, never-before-seen glimpses of the Lennons’ day-to-day life within its ivy-laced walls. It’s raw, uncensored, and personal.“Welcome, my dear!” says an ebullient, scraggly bearded John, scurrying to the door to greet Yoko. “Have a seat. Welcome to Cold Spring Harbor.”“This is a gorgeous place,” she tells him, while John pours her some tea.“It’s nice to wake up here, isn’t it?” he asks her the next morning as he lights a cigarette.“So different than waking up in New York,” she says, lighting a smoke, too.There’s footage of the two gazing out the window across the harbor, Yoko commenting about the seagulls. A mop-topped Sean is lying atop Yoko on a couch as they both laugh and squeal. The family is seated in lawn chairs out on the bluff, John, his hair pulled tightly back in a samurai bun, sketching diagrams for Yoko of a nearby house that’s “the most beautiful” one he’s ever seen. And then there’s John, acoustic guitar in hand, performing two takes of “Oh, Yoko!” to the camera, with tidbits of his trademark humor:“Welcome, Missus Lennon and your wonderful mother Baba,” he says as an intro to the first. “Welcome to Cold Spring Harbor. This is a recitation, which you might call ‘Oh, Yoko, Part Two,’ circa 1970, one, two, or three,” he adds, striking a chord. “Maybe this time we’ll get it.”“God bless you, mom, thank you, dad, peace on Earth, goodwill to all men, but don’t forget any women, of course,” he jokingly bows at the end of a second take.John would often go antiquing. He’d venture into Huntington for flowers and health food.It’s at Cold Spring Harbor, too, that John takes up sailing.“He was interested in sailing all his life,” Tyler Coneys, of Coneys Marine in Huntington, tells the Press.Tyler sold him a 14-foot O’Day Javelin, which John subsequently named Isis, after the Egyptian god of fertility, and was almost immediately enlisted to take John and—“against Yoko’s wishes,” he says—Sean for sailing excursions “frequently.”“I said, ‘Bring him, she’s not here,’” the then-25, now 59-year-old laughs. “And that was a good thing, because of the way things went down, that was a good decision.“We were always talking about stuff,” Tyler says of their time out on the water. “He was very interested in regular people.“He was a regular guy,” he adds. “One of the boys.”Little did Tyler know that he’d be one of just a handful to accompany John on a defining trip in rock history to Bermuda. Apparently, it was written in the stars.“In June, he was told by his better half that ‘you should go on a trip now,’” Tyler recalls, quoting Yoko. “‘Because it was in the stars,’ the astrology. ‘So it’d be good for you to go on a trip.’ And he did. So it had to be all put together really quickly.”Before long, John, Tyler and his cousins Kevin and Ellen Coneys were screened by one of Yoko’s psychics. Soon they were flying out of Republic Airport bound for Newport, R.I., where they boarded a 43-foot boat named the Megan Jaye and met its captain, a burly Beatles fan named Hank Halsted.What would normally have been a four- or five-day trip took an extra day “because we had a big storm,” says Tyler. “We were blown away from Bermuda for a little while, off-course.”What happened next cements the journey into rock and roll (and boating) mythology.John had mostly served as the cook on board, says Tyler, but when the ocean’s ferocity was at its worst and the experienced crew was overtaxed, somehow the musician from Liverpool managed to steer the ship safely through it.“At one point, he was the only person awake on the boat, at the helm, for a couple of—for awhile, during the storm, at the peak of the storm,” Tyler says. “It was the most exciting adventure you could have, without dying.”Once ashore, he says John was jubilant. They celebrated with a huge feast.“It was pretty amazing,” Tyler says of the trek. “He always wanted to do that and he finally did. He was forced to do it, almost.”It’s during that trip that John began writing music again, capitalizing on the prodding of a fierce, if imagined, rivalry between former bandmate Paul McCartney, whose hit single at the time “Coming Up” had also motivated him. Tyler says John had been jotting down notes throughout the journey. Once in Bermuda, his creativity was awakened, with a vengeance.He spent two months on the island: playing guitar, singing, writing, recording, and honing the songs that would comprise the bulk of Double Fantasy—released in November 1980 and named after a species of freesia he saw while on a trip with Sean to a Bermuda botanical garden—and 1984’s posthumous Milk and Honey.Tyler and crew’s fatefully epic journey made it onto the album, too—immortalized on the record and by John’s handwritten doodles and verses in the Megan Jaye’s logbook:“He’d write down my lick, it’s one of his album discs, and it’s in the diagram of the Megan Jaye: [Dear Megan,] ’There’s no place like nowhere, T.C., 1980,’” says Tyler. “That’s me, he put that in the log and quoted me. Yeah. That was on the Double Fantasy album, ‘When no place is the place to be.’”“Suddenly, I got the songs,” John later said in his last interview, given just hours before his tragic demise. “Suddenly I had, if you’ll pardon the expression, diarrhea of creativity.”On Dec. 8, 1980, after returning from the Record Plant Studio, John was entering The Dakota to say good-night to Sean when he was shot four times in the back by Mark David Chapman, a fan he’d signed an autograph for earlier that day.Tyler was at Cannon Hill when the fateful call came.“It was very eerie,” he recalls. “It was just pretty unbelievable. I look out the windows and there were crows everywhere.“All over, all over the yard,” Tyler says. “Until recently I never knew that that’s called a ‘murder,’ when there’s that many crows together…which kind of made my hair standup.”Imagine.last_img read more

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NAFCU reiterates CUs’ TCPA concerns today with FCC’s Clyburn

first_img continue reading » NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger, along with other senior staff, will meet with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioner Mignon Clyburn today to discuss the adverse effects some Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) provisions have on the credit union industry.Also in attendance at today’s meeting: NAFCU Vice President of Legislative Affairs Brad Thaler, Director of Regulatory Affairs Alexander Monterrubio and Regulatory Affairs Counsel Ann Kossachev.In July 2015, the FCC released a declaratory ruling and order that provides limited robocall exemptions under the TCPA for financial institutions making free autodialed calls to consumers. NAFCU has repeatedly told the FCC that the order has led to financial institutions ceasing important communications with members about their accounts over fear of inadvertently violating the rule.In light of this, NAFCU has urged the FCC to clarify language in the TCPA in order to ease the compliance burden many credit unions face when trying to contact their members. While the association has commended the FCC for its efforts to crack down on illegal robocalls, its efforts to modernize the TCPA have only increased the potential for frivolous lawsuits and made it more difficult for credit unions to serve their members. 9SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

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NHC Tracking Three Areas of Concern as Tropics Heat Up

first_imgA disturbance north of Hispaniola continues to move slowly northwest and currently has a 50 percent chance for tropical development in the next five days.Computer models indicate the system could become a tropical depression by Friday and then perhaps Tropical Storm Humberto by Sunday.It’s moving towards us, and while it likely won’t develop until it moves into the Gulf of Mexico, it will bring us an increased chance of rainfall this weekendOn and off rain, with partly to mostly cloudy skies is expected. Could see 1 to 2 inches of rain, locally heavier amounts possible in isolated areas.last_img

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Paratore leads Whitnell by 1 shot at British Masters

first_imgA victory on the Portugal Pro Golf Tour earned him five Challenge Tour invites in 2019 and he won the KPMG Trophy last September before claiming his European Tour card from the qualifying school.“I’ve been working hard on my game and this course suits me because it’s a little bit fiddly in places,” said Whitnell, who had not earned anything from five events in 2020 before the circuit shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic.“The peaks and troughs of the golf profession are very interesting. You’ve just got to try to deal with it the best you can,” Whitnell said. “I love the game, I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t and my amateur career speaks for itself.”South Africa’s Justin Harding fired a brilliant 63, the lowest round of the week so far, to sit alongside Whitnell on 10 under. Overnight leader David Law (69), Calum Hill (66), Ashley Chesters (66) and Rasmus Hojgaard (67) are a stroke further back. Associated Press Tournament host and club member Lee Westwood was in danger of making an early exit after a double bogey on the first, but the 47-year-old fought back to shoot 71 and make the cut on the mark of 1 under.The European Tour’s strict health protocols have been applauded, but did lead to the withdrawal of England’s Andrew Johnston after nine holes of his opening round.Johnston, who opened up last year about the mental health issues that followed his rapid rise to fame after winning the 2016 Spanish Open, said: “Being here and being confined to the hotel and course and not being able to bring my family is ultimately not what I want at this moment.“I’m struggling to get my head around it all. One minute I’m coming out of lockdown, going out for dinner, and then the next I’m back in lockdown in a hotel room.”Sweden’s Marcus Kinhult, the 98th-ranked defending champion and one of only three players inside the world’s top 100 featuring this week along with No. 82-ranked Eddie Pepperell, shot another 2-under 69. Pepperell (69) is on 6 under for a share of 13th place. Paratore leads Whitnell by 1 shot at British Masters Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditNEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE, England (AP) — English golfer Dale Whitnell had an eagle and five birdies for a 7-under 64 in the second round of the British Masters to move second at Close House Golf Course on Thursday.Whitnell is 10 under par at the halfway stage, a shot behind Italy’s Renato Paratore (66), on the European Tour’s full return to action.The 31-year-old Whitnell played on the 2009 Walker Cup team alongside Tommy Fleetwood but struggled to establish himself in the professional ranks and was forced to take on a courier job for 10 months to make ends meet.center_img July 23, 2020 Miguel Ángel Jiménez (71), making his 706th appearance on the European Tour to tie the record of Sam Torrance, is tied for 35th on 3 under.Former US Open champion Michael Campbell (80) missed the cut after a first-round 68.The tournament marks the start of the European Tour’s “U.K. Swing,” a series of six events played in England and Wales over the next six weeks devised primarily for ease of travel for players amid the coronavirus pandemic.The venues for the six events are all within a three-hour drive of one another, scrapping the need for air travel to which players have become accustomed on the increasingly global tour. Players and caddies have been tested on arrival, will have to check for symptoms and take a temperature test daily. Most of Europe’s elite are in the United States ahead of a World Golf Championship in Tennessee, where the prize fund of $10.5 million is around 7½ times that of the British Masters, and then the PGA Championship in San Francisco starting on Aug. 6. ___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sportslast_img read more

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Addition of Nebraska, Big Ten title game perfect situation for Badgers

first_imgDon’t you hate waiting?If you’re like me, and working a soul-crushing summer job with hours only a fascist would love, then you can’t wait for fall semester to begin. And once school begins, it’s a three-month wait-a-thon until said semester is finally over. All you young’uns are either mentally crossing off the days until you turn 21 and finally get that fishbowl at Wando’s you’ve heard so much about, or lying about the fact you’re mentally crossing off the days until you turn 21.There’s a lot of waiting involved when you’re a student here at Wisconsin. But let’s add one more thing to be anxious for: An annual Big Ten title game in football.See, in the over 100-year history of the conference, the Big Ten champion has received that honor due to regular season performance. When Penn State entered the fold 20 years ago, any thoughts of a title game died with the accuracy of the “Big Ten” moniker.But as Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany sat on his couch last Dec. 5 and noticed almost 18 million people tuned in to see Alabama take on Florida, while 12 million watched Nebraska play Texas in the SEC and Big 12 title games, it was the straw that broke the camel’s back: The Big Ten needed a title game too*.*I’m using this as a nod to Sports Illustrated columnist Joe Posnanski’s “Posterisks.” Yes, I realize a lot of Delany’s motive to expand the conference was to further the reach of the cash cow Big Ten Network. But if that was really the worry, the Big Ten wouldn’t have been so quick to jump on Nebraska and its population of 1.8 million, and would have tried to expand east with Pitt, Rutgers or Syracuse. A conference title game was the real motive in this move.Arguments have long been made about whether the nation’s oldest conference needed a 12th member so they could stage a revenue/viewer-generating championship bout. The Big Ten’s 21 BCS bowl appearances and nine at-large bids (both tops in college football) would say no. The fact that Big Ten football becomes irrelevant while its friends down south stage flashy title games evidently outweighs the former argument.So here’s the abbreviated version of events: Last December, the Big Ten announces it will pursue expansion. The Pac-10 and SEC respond similarly, threatening the existence of the Big 12 and Big East. By mid-June, the Big Ten and Big 12 needed to heavily consider trading names, and in the end, Texas was the tease at the party who flirted with everybody, but went home with nobody.The University of Nebraska became the Big Ten’s 12th member in June and is set to compete in athletics for the 2011-2012 season. Delany is pleased; UW Athletic Director Barry Alvarez is happy as well. Fans of Badger football should be, too.See, conference title games are tricky things. If you’re Florida in 2009, they can mean the difference between the BCS championship game and the Sugar Bowl. Or if you’re Wisconsin in 2006, it could mean the difference between the Rose Bowl and the Capital One Bowl.UW’s 2006 football team set program highs with 11 regular season wins and a 12-1 overall record, the only loss coming at the hands of Michigan. Due to BCS rankings, the Wolverines earned a BCS bowl bid, while the Badgers were left out of the picture because a conference can only send two teams to BCS games (Ohio State played in the national title game that year). At season’s end, Wisconsin was one of just five FBS teams to win at least 12 games. A conference title game in that season — depending on how divisions were aligned — gives UW a shot at Ohio State, and a chance to get to a BCS bowl and hurdle UM in the BCS standings.Or, if you’re the Buckeyes in that scenario, it’s one more hurdle to overcome en route to a possible BCS title game. A win — as expected — gets you there. A loss, well, that could ruin everything, which is why Texas fans were dumping their trunks in that game against Nebraska last year.But let’s look at it from the Badger perspective. As much as Wisconsin has improved since Barry took the team to a Rose Bowl in 1994, the program’s success essentially began with Alvarez. UW has been fighting to reach that top tier in the Big Ten hierarchy, but still hasn’t made the leap. Wisconsin will probably never attract the same level of recruits Michigan or Ohio State or even Penn State get year in and year out. Big Ten titles are dreamt of in Madison, but not expected every season.Let’s face it; Wisconsin is not an elite football program. A Rose Bowl berth this season — which is very doable in my eyes — would be a great step toward becoming part of the preseason Big Ten champion talk on an annual basis.That being said, a championship game gives the (typically) underdog Badgers a chance to swoop in and claim a title more often than it would in the current format. Sure, UW will likely have to deal with fighting Iowa and Nebraska for the division crown, but worrying about two other teams is better than worrying about 10.A conference title game might only offer a chance, an opportunity. But that’s all the 2006 team would have wanted.Adam is a senior majoring in journalism. Think expansion will play in Wisconsin’s favor? Excited about the Badgers’ chances this year? E-mail him at [email protected]last_img read more

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