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RSF calls on US immigration authorities to release Cuban journalist seeking asylum

RSF calls on US immigration authorities to release Cuban journalist seeking asylum

first_img Paul Ratje / AFP July 27, 2018 RSF calls on US immigration authorities to release Cuban journalist seeking asylum Follow the news on United States Cuba continues to be Latin America’s worst media freedom violator year after year. Arbitrary arrests and imprisonment, threats, smear campaigns, confiscation of equipment and closure of websites are the most common forms of harassment, all of which are reinforced by an arsenal of restrictive laws. Mexico remains the western hemisphere’s most dangerous country for journalists, where more than 100 journalists have been killed since the year 2000, and 20 have disappeared. Serafin Moran Santiago’s case echoes that of two recent cases of Mexican journalists. Martin Mendez approached the US border in 2017 seeking asylum from the dangers of reporting in Mexico, but eventually gave up his request after spending months in an ICE detention facility with unlivable conditions. Emilio Gutiérrez Soto, a journalist who was taken along with his son into ICE custody in December 2017, was held in a detention center near El Paso, Texas, until his release on July 26. He is still awaiting a decision in his asylum request. News United StatesAmericas to go further An independent reporter for media outlets including Univision 23, Telemundo, Primavera Digital and TVMarti, Santiago told RSF he was targeted by the authorities for covering political issues, including police misconduct and human rights. Santiago alleges that he was kidnapped and beaten in June 2016 by Cuban state security officers after he criticized government actions in his reporting. Santiago was again arrested and his equipment confiscated on September 2, 2017, on his way to interview one of the leaders of a socialist dissident movement in Cuba. June 3, 2021 Find out more “Serafin Moran Santiago came to the US seeking refuge from the Cuban authorities and has instead been detained by ICE for more than three months,” said Margaux Ewen, RSF’s North America director. “His deportation to Cuba, where independent journalists are targeted and harassed by the authorities, is not an option. Therefore we call on the US government to release Serafin immediately while he awaits resolution of his request for asylum.” RSF_en United StatesAmericas Organisation WhatsApp blocks accounts of at least seven Gaza Strip journalists After being kidnapped, jailed, and persecuted by the Cuban government for his reporting, Santiago approached the US border seeking political asylum on April 13. He was detained and has since been held at the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) South Texas Detention Center while his asylum application is pending. Santiago fears he will be attacked or even killed if he returns to Cuba, and has already passed a credible fear screening, which the US authorities use to determine whether there are grounds that a real threat exists. He is next due to appear in court on October 12, 2018. News News Facebook’s Oversight Board is just a stopgap, regulation urgently needed, RSF says Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls for the immediate release of Serafin Moran Santiago, an independent Cuban journalist who has been held in a detention facility in Pearsall, Texas, for more than three months. June 7, 2021 Find out more Receive email alerts Santiago eventually fled Cuba for Guyana and then Mexico, where he stayed in a migrant refugee center for a little more than a month until the Cuban Embassy in Mexico began to target him. Seeking political asylum, he approached the US border in April and was immediately detained by ICE.  Santiago is receiving pro-bono legal assistance through a non-profit organization dedicated to helping refugees and immigrants, and is in regular contact with RSF. The United States ranks 45th out of 180 countries on RSF’s 2018 World Press Freedom Index. Cuba ranks 172/180. For the latest updates, follow RSF on twitter @RSF_en. News Help by sharing this information NSO Group hasn’t kept its promises on human rights, RSF and other NGOs say April 28, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

Athletes in Arms: Individuals should not be blamed for the mistakes of leaders

Athletes in Arms: Individuals should not be blamed for the mistakes of leaders

first_imgWhen I hear the word “baseball,” particularly MLB, all five senses are activated in my memory. What could be more endearing than the smell of sausages and beer mixed with a cacophony of screaming adults? Although I cherish my memories of baseball, that’s all it is to me now: just memories.  The same can be said for our country. Individuals should not be blamed for the spread of a virus. Yes, some people continue to be excessively irresponsible. But our country’s decision makers who failed to exhibit leadership when it was needed the most are the real cause of the pandemic’s consequences. When it mattered most, leaders decided that it would be too much to prevent an outbreak, so now we are stuck not knowing what to do next. Back in March 2016, Bryce Harper, then playing for the Washington Nationals, was criticized for saying, “Baseball’s tired. It’s a tired sport, because you can’t express yourself. You can’t do what people in other sports do.” The league has made efforts to speed games up to make watching them more appealing, but MLB has still seen declines in both TV ratings and attendance since the early 2000s. The league clearly shows that it has recently shifted its focus to the fan experience, but now in the face of the pandemic, that shift has left no room for consideration about its players and staff. Going into the 2020 season, MLB’s priorities were still stuck on getting fans to the ballpark instead of the safety of players, and now the league must work to correct itself. Baseball, traditionally known as “America’s pastime,” has struggled in recent years to find the energy it once created in the country. This year threw MLB a curveball, and the league now sits in between a rock and a hard place, asking itself: What are franchises yearning for more energy supposed to do in a pandemic? On the other hand, many countries — just like the NBA — invested heavily in safety protocols. Citizens took these precautions seriously and listened to informed advice from national leaders. Unsurprisingly, these investments were effective and countries have begun to recover.  Now the United States, like MLB, is stuck between a rock and a hard place. Fortunately, MLB may just be losing millions of dollars. The United States, however, has lost nearly 200,000 lives.  “If there’s any group that understands the seriousness of what we’re dealing with, it’s our group, because we’ve seen how it’s gone through our clubhouse,” Derek Jeter, Chief Executive Officer of the Marlins, said to The New York Times. “It comes down to discipline. I don’t think there’s any secret formula for a team to be successful through this. You have to be extremely disciplined.”center_img In MLB, however, players are feeling the effects of the league’s lack of precaution and preparation. The league failed to see how important investing in sanitation resources is to continuing a season without a hiccup. Now, because of the attitude of league officials and the shortcomings of MLB’s policies to protect players, ball clubs are frustrated with the consequences of positive cases. Just on the Miami Marlins alone, 17 players have tested positive for the coronavirus this season.   The discipline in the league should not be on players but on club owners, managers and franchisees — the people making decisions. The players continued their lives like every other American but with more traveling and social interaction. These players were not afforded the option to work from home or in a bubble, so blame should not be placed on them if the coronavirus spreads throughout the league.   Like MLB, the United States had more than adequate time to respond to the threat of the coronavirus and build a plan around it. However, it refused to invest the resources needed and left decisions to be made by individual citizens. Now, individuals are being held responsible for the recklessness of their elected leaders.  In just under three months, the NBA was able to approve a $170 million “bubble” to continue the season that had been shut down in March. MLB had not even started its 2020 season, giving the league ample time to coordinate a strategic effort to hold a season and keep players safe. The bubble has proven to be successful for the NBA, which enters its seventh straight week without a player testing positive for coronavirus. Because of the NBA investing in the safety of its players and the players’ compliance with strict guidelines, the season has resumed without much issue.  MLB is struggling to grow, especially compared to the NBA. It should have looked to the NBA for a way in which to progress into current times. Instead of being proactive to prevent complications from the pandemic, MLB gives the impression that it was just going to be reactionary once an issue arose. Hopefully, when the time comes, the NFL goes in the direction of the NBA and not MLB — the latter has proven to be the wrong route.last_img read more

Fort Pierce police officers shot at over the weekend

Fort Pierce police officers shot at over the weekend

first_imgThe Fort Pierce police department says officers were shot at while conducting a traffic stop.The incident was reported around 3:00 am on Sunday in the 500 block of Orange Avenue.Officials say that during the traffic stop, the passenger of the vehicle exited the vehicle and fled the scene on foot.In the process of attempting to evade authorities the suspect then fired several shots at officers prompting them to fire back.The suspect then barricaded himself in a nearby building where he shot himself, according to police.The suspect was rushed to a nearby hospital where he is now listed in critical condition.None of the officers were injured in the shooting. They have since been placed on administrative leave, which is standard protocol in police-involved shootings.last_img

New Castle, Beaver Falls capture WPIAL crowns with easy victories

New Castle, Beaver Falls capture WPIAL crowns with easy victories

first_imgSHAWN ANDERSON of New Castle scored 16 points to lead the Red Hurricanes to a 68-53 win over Hampton in the WPIAL Class AAAA championship game. (Courier Photos/William McBride) The New Castle boys basketball team has been flying high the last two seasons and Saturday night became the first team in WPIAL history to record back to back undefeated season’s in league play.New Castle beat Hampton (21-5) in last year’s WPIAL Class AAA title game. The two moved up in class this year and now met in the AAAA final at the Palumbo Center and the Red Hurricanes easily won, 68-53.Shawn Anderson scored 16 points for No. 1 seed New Castle, Antonio Rudolph had 15 and Anthony Richards added 12.Anderson was good in the regular season, but the senior forward is averaging nearly 25 points in four postseason games while making a push for WPIAL player of year honors.  Anderson has committed to the Naval Academy.Ryan Luther had 17 points for Hampton, which was making its fourth WPIAL title game in the past five seasons.  Luther is considered one of the WPIAL’s best players and has scholarship offers from Duquesne and Dayton. He is 6 feet 7 and can play inside or outside.The win pushed undefeated New Castle record to 26-0, and the Red Hurricane will now have to face Gateway in the first round of the PIAA state tournament.New Castle recently ended Gateway’s three-year run appearances in WPIAL title game.“If you give New Castle a big man to go with the players they have, they can compete with anyone in the country,” Gateway head coach Mitch Adams said.  “They have quickness; they can shoot well and defend.  They do everything you need to win games.  Still, I relish the opportunity to play them again.”Beaver Falls (23-3) blew out Burrell (19-7), 61-33, to win the Class AA championship Saturday night at Palumbo Center. The top-seeded Tigers raced to a commanding lead and kept extending it as they routed the Bucs.  The pressure and intensity continued, despite the large advantage.With the win, Beaver Falls got its second consecutive title, the ninth in school history and coach Doug Biega got his 300th career win.Senior guard Drew Cook led the Tigers with 20 points, Elijah Cottrill had 14 and Danny Stratton added 13.Burrell senior Cole Bush knows people are going to compare him to former Bucs star Joey Meyers. Meyers was 1,000-point scorer before going to play at Duquesne University and was an eighth-round draft pick of the New Jersey Nets in the 1983 draft.In the 1979 title game against Beaver Falls, Meyers had 22 points, but Burrell was defeated, 55-54, by a great Beaver Falls team led by Dwight Collins, Damon Bryant, Ron Rowan and Forest Grant.“Joey Meyers is a legend at our school and a lot people are comparing our team to their team and me to him. We are a football, wrestling and baseball school,” said Bush, a 6-foot-2 senior forward, who is averaging a “double double”. “I didn’t play basketball last year but I’m playing this year to stay in shape for football. Next year I’ll be playing running back or tight end for St. Francis.”last_img read more

Washington PTAC to Host First Local Procurement Forum June 6

Washington PTAC to Host First Local Procurement Forum June 6

first_imgFacebook10Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Thurston Economic Development Council | Center for Business & InnovationWashington Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) has been one of the Center for Business & Innovation’s most successful programs in supporting businesses. PTAC helps businesses find, bid and win government contracts with the federal, state and local governments. Counselors in 9 locations around the state work with businesses one-on-one or through workshops on all aspects of doing business with the government. Each year, Washington PTAC assists an average of 1400 businesses throughout the state in pursuit of both local and federal government contracts. In the last two years. Those firms won nearly half a billion dollars in government contracts and subcontracts.Just in Thurston County last year, 194 businesses were served and won $24 million in government contracts and subcontracts.The success of the Thurston County PTAC office leads clients to create jobs and increase the tax revenues for the community that we serve.PTAC also partners with other Center for Business & Innovation programs such as the Washington Center for Women in Business to give clients EXACTLY what they are looking for. Off Planet Research, a new research consortium here in Lacey has gain international success with NASA thanks to the assistance from PTAC and the WCWB.On June 6, Washington PTAC is hosting its first Local Procurement Forum to encourage local small businesses to engage with government. This free event will feature a networking breakfast, panel discussion, and information tables from local government agencies.The event will take place at the Thurston EDC Center for Business Innovation which is home to the Washington PTAC program. Washington PTAC will be bringing the purchasing representatives from the Thurston County area to one place to connect with local firms. Government agencies at this event include:City of TumwaterCity of OlympiaCity of LaceyThurston CountyOlympia Public SchoolsPort of OlympiaSouth Puget Sound Community CollegeThe Washington PTAC business counselors will be there as well to answer small business owners questions, including how to register, where to find solicitations, and how to get certified.“We are delighted to offer an event that helps connect local government agencies to qualified firms from our region.  It’ll be a great opportunity for everyone to learn from each other.”  Commented Tiffany Scroggs, Washington PTAC Program ManagerWashington PTAC offers no-cost assistance to businesses throughout the state.  Last year, businesses who worked with Washington PTAC won $300 million in government contracts and subcontracts.For more information, visit the Washington PTAC website.Featured photo credit: Martin Leonlast_img read more