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Kadri Gürsel freed but four other Cumhuriyet employees still held

first_img Organisation Credit: YASIN AKGUL / AFP Receive email alerts TurkeyEurope – Central Asia Protecting journalists Judicial harassmentImprisonedFreedom of expression Turkey’s never-ending judicial persecution of former newspaper editor After an Istanbul court freed well-known newspaper columnist Kadri Gürsel on 25 September but kept four colleagues in detention, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) joins ARTICLE 19 and the International Press Institute in calling for the release of all journalists held for political reasons in Turkey. News Human rights groups warns European leaders before Turkey summit Related documents jointstatementcumhuriyet.pdfPDF – 191.73 KB April 28, 2021 Find out more September 27, 2017 Kadri Gürsel freed but four other Cumhuriyet employees still held TurkeyEurope – Central Asia Protecting journalists Judicial harassmentImprisonedFreedom of expression News RSF_en News to go further Read the joint statement here or below Gürsel and his four colleagues are part of a group of 17 members of the staff of the opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet who are the subject of a controversial trial. The four still held provisionally are editor Murat Sabuncu, investigative reporter Ahmet Şık, executive board president Akın Atalay and accountant Emre İper. Because of the newspaper’s criticism of the government, the 17 journalists and staff members are facing up to 43 years in prison on charges of being accomplices to terrorism. In particular, they are alleged to have “defended” three organizations that are branded as “terrorist” in Turkey – the Gülen Movement, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the small, far-left group, DHKP/C. The next hearing in the trial is scheduled for 31 October. “This Kafkaesque trial, in which journalists are being treated as terrorists, cannot go on,” RSF said. “Kadri Gürsel’s release is no more than a very partial achievement. These absurd proceedings must be abandoned and all of the Cumhuriyet employees and journalists must be freed.” Turkey is ranked 155th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2017 World Press Freedom Index. The already worrying media situation has become critical under the state of emergency proclaimed after a coup attempt in July 2016. Around 150 media outlets have been closed, mass trials are being held and more than 100 journalists are currently in prison – a world record.Turkey: Kadri Gürsel released, four remain behind bars in Cumhuriyet caseARTICLE 19, the International Press Institute (IPI) and Reporters Without Borders welcome Monday’s release of Cumhuriyet columnist and IPI Turkey representative Kadri Gürsel after more than 11 months in pre-trial detention. Gürsel was freed following a third hearing in the trial of over a dozen journalists and staff working for Cumhuriyet, one of Turkey’s last remaining national opposition papers. All three organisations, representatives of which attended Monday’s hearing at Istanbul’s Çağlayan courthouse, repeat their call for the release of the four Cumhuriyet journalists still behind bars – Chief Executive Akin Atalay, Editor-in-Chief Murat Sabuncu, investigative journalist Ahmet Şık and accountant Emre İper – and all other journalists detained in Turkey on politically motivated charges. “The ruling is bittersweet,“ IPI Director of Advocacy and Communications Steven M. Ellis said. “We’re extremely glad that Kadri Gürsel was released after nearly 11 months, but equally disappointed our other colleagues were not. Monday’s proceedings, with a parade of witnesses offering irrelevant commentary instead of facts, demonstrated again how absurd this case is. And this ruling, while a step forward, is a reminder of the extreme pressure those who fight for press freedom and government accountability still face in Turkey.” The Cumhuriyet journalists and staff are charged with aiding a terrorist organisation without being a member and face between 7.5 years and 43 years in jail. Among other allegations, they are accused of supporting the Gülen movement, despite Cumhuriyet’s long track record as a leading critic of the movement. Evidence cited in the indictment includes an alleged change in the editorial policy of the paper in addition to comments, interviews and social media posts of the journalists. “Gürsel’s release is a welcome relief, but he should never have been there anyway,” said Katie Morris, Head of Europe and Central Asia Programme at ARTICLE 19 “Any celebrations are undermined by the continued detention of his colleagues at Cumhuriyet, not to mention all the other journalists spending yet another night in jail in Turkey, for no reason other than doing their job” she added. Three witnesses gave testimony at the third hearing, which related to a separate civil case regarding a dispute within Cumhuriyet’s board. Despite their disagreements, the witnesses stated that they did not believe that the defendants should be charged with aiding a terrorist organisation, and urged the court to release them. “This Kafkaesque trial, in which journalists are being treated as terrorists, cannot go on,” Reporters Without Borders said. “Kadri Gürsel’s release is no more than a very partial achievement. These absurd proceedings must be abandoned and all of the Cumhuriyet employees and journalists must be freed.” Other circumstantial evidence against defendants lacks credibility. Notably, the indictment lists the number of “Bylock” users with whom the defendants allegedly had contact. Bylock is a secure messaging mobile application allegedly used by members of the Gülen movement, which Turkish authorities blame for last year’s failed coup. Use of the application is now considered evidence of membership in a terrorist organisation. The defendants in the Cumhuriyet trial are not themselves accused of having used the application, but rather of having entered into contact with individuals who did. The indictment against Gürsel cites as evidence text messages from Bylock users to which Gürsel did not reply. While the evidence that the journalists did contact Bylock users is slim at best, international standards on the right to freedom of expression protect journalists’ right to communicate with a wide range of sources in order to cover stories in the public interest. Merely communicating with a terrorist group can not be interpreted as support for that group, just as criticism of the government cannot be interpreted as sympathy for a terrorist organisation. At least 170 journalists and media workers are in jail in Turkey. The Turkish government claims that no journalists are in jail in relation to their work. However, as in the Cumhuriyet case, indictments frequently cite mainly newspapers articles, columns or interviews as proof of terrorist or similar activity, in addition to circumstantial evidence lacking in credibility. Journalists threatened with imprisonment under Turkey’s terrorism law Help by sharing this information April 2, 2021 Find out more Follow the news on Turkey News April 2, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

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Financial institutions are leaving the coal industry behind—Buckley

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Power Technology:For more than two centuries coal has powered homes, businesses, and economies, providing the fuel of the industrial revolution and becoming an essential part of the world’s fuel mix. However, the days of thermal coal use could be numbered according to a recent Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) report.The report shows more than 100 leading global financial institutions had effectively pulled the plug on funding, imposing restrictions on investments into the sector and making the climate significantly more challenging. This “progressive strangulation” is resulting in “coal companies’ inability to access capital markets for expansions, mergers or acquisitions,” as well as cutting the avenues for insurance it said.The World Bank was the first to announce this type of policy back in 2013; the end of 2018 saw the 100th such announcement coming from European Bank of Reconstruction and Development. Since then five more – including Barclays Bank UK, Export Development Canada, Nedbank of South Africa, Varma of Finland, and Austria’s Vienna Insurance Group – have announced policy rethinks. From a slow beginning the pace of policy announcements has ramped up significantly, now coming as frequently as every other week.“You always have the leaders and the market generally ignores them, calling them idealistic or whatever,” says the report’s author and Director of Energy Finance Studies for Asia Pacific, Tim Buckley. “Once you start to get 108 or 109 globally significant financial institutions all exiting the door, and doing it faster than expected, everyone seems to evaluate and ask, ‘what are they seeing that we’re missing?’ That has happened in the last six months and that is globally significant.”Buckley says there are three trends, each building in momentum, all relating to the thermal coal market. The first is India and its growing hunger for renewable power, something he thinks is a considerable factor given the strong growth of the country’s population and economy today. “India is the third largest electricity market in the world and has absolutely embraced the huge energy security opportunities of renewables. They are now the low-cost source of supply…That is an absolutely critical fact.”The second significant factor is climate change, or more precisely, a changing climate for corporate and social responsibility. “Banks are not altruistic entities. They are very profit motivated, without a doubt,” Buckley says. However, they are being pushed, today with great vigour, by investors and regulators to wake up to their responsibility, he argues. Particularly given the majority of them signed up to acting by way of the Paris Agreement. Slowly, one by one, they’re realising that saying you’re committed to something actually brings about a fiduciary duty to have policies consistent with what you’ve said you’re going to do. Particularly around something as globally relevant as climate change.”The third significant factor, according to Buckley, is Japan. “Japan is going from a global laggard to a global leader. It’s a hypothesis of mine and I’m a bit of a lone voice on this, but I look at what countries and companies do, not what they say they’re going to do.”More: The big exit: why capital is deserting coal Financial institutions are leaving the coal industry behind—Buckleylast_img read more

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House moves JNC bill

first_img April 1, 2001 Managing Editor Regular News House moves JNC billMark D. Killian Managing Editor A bill that does away with the Bar’s appointments to judicial nominating commissions and gives the governor the power to select all nine members of each JNC passed the full House March 22. Bar President Herman Russomanno said the measure would set the state back 30 years in the way it selects judges and would reintroduce party politics into the selection process. The first to speak against the bill on the House floor was Rep. Arthenia Joyner, D-Tampa, who has been a lawyer for 32 years and served on a JNC. “I oppose a scheme that would put one person in control of the judicial selection process,” Joyner said. “I oppose a proposal that guarantees our judges are selected in the most partisan manner possible. I oppose this bill, my fellow colleagues, because I remember what it was like before we created a system that sought to reduce partisanship and take our judges out of the spoils system.. . . Don’t take us back. I’ve been there. And it’s no place that you want to be.” The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Fred Brummer, R-Apopka, however, said judicial selection is an executive function, and the governor’s role should not be limited by giving the Bar some of the appointments. Brummer also said CS/HB 367 which passed by a vote of 65 50 would make the process more accountable since the governor is directly elected by the people, and the Bar’s Board of Governors is not. Under current law, the Bar selects three members, the governor selects three, and then those six select three more to fill each of the state’s 26 JNCs. The Brummer bill would allow the governor to make all nine appointments to each commission, but would require that five of the governors appointments be lawyers. The terms of each JNC member also would expire with the governor who appointed them. Rep. Jack Seiler, D-Ft. Lauderdale, said couching this bill as a way to bring diversity into the process is disingenuous, because 47 percent of the 234 JNC members statewide now are made up of women and minorities. Seiler also said laymembers now have a leadership role in the JNC process, even chairing two commissions. “I submit to you that this is going to be a very dangerous bill,” Seiler said. “This bill serves as an attack on the independence of our judiciary, an attack on our bench and an attack on our Bar.” House Majority Leader Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, spoke in favor of the bill that would dilute the role of the Bar in nominating judges. “At least when the governor, whomever it may be, a Republican or a Democrat, makes appointments, he or she will be accountable for their actions to the people back home. But that special interest group, The Florida Bar, is accountable to no one.” While Rep. Jeff Kottkamp, R-Cape Coral, supported the bill, he also defended the Bar. “When we attack a group like The Florida Bar, we detract from the substance of the debate,” Kottkamp said. “One of the reasons I support this bill is because it ensures that five members of the Bar sit on the JNCs, and who better than the people who are in court every day to play an active role in deciding who should be nominated for judge?. . . We should view the Bar as our partner in this process, and not the adversary they have been made out to be.” In advocating for the passage of the bill that gives greater power to the governor to appoint the judiciary, Kottkamp continued: “We hear arguments all the time that this is going to make it more political. There is already plenty of politics in the process. This simply brings it out in the open. And we’re all about government in the Sunshine. The bill — which came to a vote under a closed rule which allowed for no amendments from the floor — has no Senate companion, but is similar to SB 1470, sponsored by Sen. Anna Cowin, R-Leesburg. That bill had yet to be assigned to a committee as this News went to press. “Any reasonable person who looks at this bill can see its only purpose is to give the governor more power over the selection of judges,” said Rep. Doug Wiles, D-St. Augustine, who also spoke against the bill. Wiles said Gov. Bush has been “fairly good” about making appointments in the best interest of the state and not to reward political patronage. But, Wiles said, Bush will not always be governor and that is where the danger lies. “Some may say this is a little bill that makes a little change in the process of appointing judges,” Wiles said. “But I say there are no little changes in the judiciary, that anything we do risks injecting politics into the process and opens it up for something that we all will regret.” Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Dania Beach, said the Bar does a fine job representing the people of this state and Florida’s JNCs are a model for the nation. “Don’t support a punitive and retaliatory effort to pack the JNCs,” Ryan said. “Florida’s judiciary is highly respected, let us not regress with this bill.” Rep. Dan Gelber, D-Miami Beach, said Florida needs a judicial system free of partisanship and urged: “Don’t go back to something we were ashamed of.” Representatives of the Florida Chamber of Commerce and Florida Retail Federation also supported the bill. Speaking a week earlier before the House Council for Smarter Government, Wade Hopping, Jr., lobbying for the chamber, said the bill “seems reasonable” in that it still ensures lawyers are represented on the commissions. Brummer said the bill also addresses a “separation of powers conflict” wherein Bar members, who are officers of the judicial branch, make appointments to an executive branch function. “With the public sentiment about the bench not being partisan, why are we giving the governor all the appointments and allowing it really to become a spoils system?” asked Rep. Ken Gottlieb, D-Miramar. Russomanno said the JNC system which was established when voters amended the constitution in 1976 has worked well and produces high quality judges. He also said there has been no public outcry to change the system and that you “can count on one hand” the problems that have arisen with the system in the past 30 years. “The Bar is proud to be involved in this process, and we work so closely with the governor from the standpoint of selection of candidates that are sent to the governor for his selection,” Russomanno said, noting Gov. Bush’s former general counsel, Carol Licko, and his current general counsel, Charles Canady, work with the Bar in its JNC member education efforts. “And since there has been no data that we have seen, no public call for change that the system is not broken why fix it?” Russomanno also said, like the governor, the Bar is committed to diversity and has done a good job in increasing the number of minority representation on the JNCs. Council Chair Gaston Cantens, R-Sweetwater, who is a former director of the Cuban American Bar Association, asked why then did it take the Bar 30 years to appoint the first Hispanic lawyer to the 11th Circuit JNC. “It is inexcusable, and there is no explanation,” Russomanno responded. “And I would state the same question if you went back to our governors. If a governor took so long to do it. . . . No one should be proud of that because we believe in diversity.” Russomanno did, however, note the makeup of the current 11th Circuit JNC consists of five Hispanics, three African-Americans, and one white women. “Do you feel that a person of the stature of the governor of the State of Florida is incompetent to make nominations to the nominating commissions, but yet some attorneys of The Florida Bar board are competent to make such a determination?” asked longtime Bar critic Rep. Jerry Melvin, R-Ft. Walton Beach. “Absolutely not,” Russomanno said. “This governor is committed to having a diversified bench, a bench that has the vision of the State of Florida. But the governor himself, in an open letter to the members of the Bar, talked about how his administration respects and will do nothing to interfere with the integrity and independence of the judicial nominating commissions.” Russomanno said Gov. Bush has made no public pronouncements that the JNC process is in need of amending, and the proponents of the bill have shown no evidence that the system as it now stands is not working. Responding to a question from House Majority Leader Fasano, Russomanno said the Bar would be willing to participate in a legislatively created task force to examine the JNC system much like it did in last year’s Supreme Court Workload Study Commission. But without any supporting data of any abuses, he said, it would be a “rush to judgment” to amend the JNC process now. Rep. Stacy Ritter, D-Coral Springs, said when she was growing up her mom taught her that if you didn’t have anything nice to say, you should say nothing at all. “Therefore, I’m going to make my mom proud today and say to the sponsor of this bill, `I have nothing to say,’” Ritter said. House moves JNC billlast_img
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Is the fear of a financial education widening the wealth gap in America?

first_imgIdeally, by the time they graduate high school, young adults should be skeptics about offers that seem too good to be true, like those interest-only mortgages. That’s no guarantee that they’ll land a job and make enough to retire on, or even to pay off their student loans. But it should at least help prevent mistakes that could cost them dearly. continue reading » Americans are undereducated and uncomfortable about the dangers of managing their own finances, a new survey has found, even as inequality takes center stage in a presidential election and the stakes mount higher for young people.The alarmingly wide wealth gap in the United States has no simple fix, but knowing the difference between a stock and a bond, whether a mortgage is a good deal or toxic, and the calculus of repaying a loan are small, significant steps toward bringing 90% of Americans closer to their wealthy fellows.If, by the time students finish middle school, they do not fear balancing a checking account, that’s great. If, by the time they’re in their mid-teens, they can grasp the magic of compounding – that savings accumulate because every penny an investment earns can create a profit of its own – then they might do what’s better, and set aside a retirement account that is sheltered from taxes. 14SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

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Germany and Spain open World Cup with tense wins as Norway cruise.

first_imgGiulia Gwinn fired the only goal of the game through a forest of Chinese defenders.Rennes, France | AFP |  The women’s World Cup moved up a gear on Saturday with three matches including a narrow German victory over China that left the winners complaining that they were roughed up, but Sunday’s three-match programme finishes with a new chapter in the oldest international football rivalry, as England take on Scotland in Nice.Germany beat China 1-0 in Rennes on Saturday with a 66th-minute goal by 19-year-old Giulia Gwinn.Later, Spain came from behind against first-time participants South Africa to win 3-1 and join Germany at the top of Group B.In the evening, Norway found there is life after Ada Hegerberg, scoring three times in 20 minutes in the middle of the first half to beat Nigeria 3-0 in Group A.The Germans complained that the Chinese had aimed for their ankles.“They were often late in the tackles and kept catching our feet,” said German captain Alexandra Popp.Coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg said she had not been sure at one stage if star Dzsenifer Marozsan would finish the match.“A lot of our players were caught on the ankle today, and it doesn’t look good for some of them. What Dzseni Marozsan suffered today was brutal.”“We were a little surprised by the assertive approach of the Chinese, but it’s a competitive game, not a friendly,” she said.In Le Havre, South Africa took a shock lead with their first ever shot on target at a Women’s World Cup when Thembi Kgatlana, who plays for Beijing BG Phoenix in China, curled a right-foot shot into the top corner in the 25th minute.Spain dominated possession, but needed 69th and 82nd-minute penalties, both converted by Jennifer Hermoso, to regain control of the game.Guro Reiten scored Norway’s first goal and gave a player-of-the-match display to suggest Norway can thrive without Lyon striker Hegerberg who refused to come to the tournament.“I don’t think I have played better,” Reiten said.The victory puts Norway level with France at the top of  Group A. On Sunday evening, England and Scotland meet for the first time in a Women’s World Cup.– Pressure and expectation –England lost in the semi-finals in 2015 and at Euro 2017 but those runs attracted attention and they won the prestigious SheBelieves Cup in the United States earlier this year.“For us as players, we know that there is a lot more interest in our team, and obviously with the results and the success that we have had with the SheBelieves, of course that brings a little bit of pressure and a little bit of expectation,” said the captain, Steph Houghton.Scotland kick off their first World Cup match with memories still fresh from their 6-0 humbling at the hands of England at Euro 2017.The Scots are much-changed since the 2017 humiliation. Former Arsenal boss Shelley Kerr has taken over as coach and key players who missed that game are set to feature this time.“Probably of all the teams we’ve got in the group stages this is our toughest game by far. I think Scotland can go a long way in the competition with the quality they’ve got,” said England coach Phil Neville, even though Group D also contains Japan, winners in 2011 and England’s semi-final conquerors four years ago.Leading Scotland into a World Cup puts Kerr in a privileged position. After all, the men have not been to a major tournament since 1998.“Obviously it is our first World Cup, we are the first Scottish team to play at a World Cup for over two decades,” said Kerr.Earlier on Sunday, there are two games in Group C.Australia, a constant force in women’s football take on a rising power, Italy, in Valenciennes.Then the Samba football of Brazil encounters the Reggae Girlz of Jamaica in Grenoble. While former finalists Brazil still boast the greatest woman footballer, Marta, Jamaica, appearing for the first time, are the lowest ranked team in the tournament.Share on: WhatsApplast_img read more

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Good News from CARI, But…

first_imgThe  Team Manager of the Central Agricultural Research Institute (CARI), Aaron Marshall, recently laid out some impressive plans for the Institute’s work over the next few years.  First and foremost among them is human development.  Our Bong County Correspondent, Marcus Malayea, following an interview with Mr. Marshall last week, reported that CARI is poised to receive shortly an additional six Liberian Master’s degree holders in specialized agricultural areas.They will return and help to improve crop production and assist farmers in growing more food to enhance the nation’s food security.This is good news, but!  What about Animal and Soil Scientists?  How many veterinary doctors and soil scientists have we trained since Christian Baker, and J.T. Phillips–both of whom, now deceased, returned home in the 1950s?Unfortunately, cattle production never took off in Liberia, even though cattle can grow in many places, including Grand Cess, Grand Kru County and Foya, Lofa County.Government should encourage the few Liberian vets (veterinary doctors) and soil scientists working in the United States to return.  The handful of Liberian cattle raisers should also be encouraged.Today, after 167 years of independence, we are still importing beef from rain-starved Mali.This newspaper has always called the nation’s attention to Grand Cess, the natural habitat for cattle, that onetime had more cattle than people!  Yet neither has the government, nor Liberians with money, like the Tubmans, whose Maryland County once controlled Grand Cess, nor the well-to-do sons of Grand Cess, like Cletus  Wotorson and Blamo Nelson, ever attempted to develop a viable cattle ranch there.  Besides, we are still importing chickens and eggs–one of the simplest husbandries to develop.  What is CARI doing about that?  Can CARI find one or two trained Liberian Poultry experts–on the ground and abroad–and encourage them to end Liberia’s dependence on foreign chickens and eggs?In Mozambique it is the market women that supply poultry and eggs to the whole country.  Market Association President Lusu Sloan, are you listening? We suggest that you lead a delegation to Mozambique to see what the women are doing there.  Thelma Awori can put you in touch with them.It is noteworthy that CARI has developed 20 different varieties of cassava that can dramatically increase the present yield, compared to the traditional cassava known as “Bassa Girl.”Can CARI and MOA work with the Booker Washington Institute in undertaking a crash course to train 100 Agricultural Extension Agents to carry the benefits of research to farmers throughout the country?Moreover, it is upon CARI and its scientists that we must now depend to organize, at long last, the nation’s agriculture. Government needs to send some of our experts to Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya and South Africa to see how they have been able to organize their agriculture and become food and flower-exporting nations.One more challenge CARI must face: researching and further developing our tree crops. During our long civil war Liberia lost to Cote d’Ivoire the edge as Africa’s leading rubber producer. We need to develop a crash program to encourage our rubber farmers to return to their farms and replant.  It takes money, yes, but government should find it and reach out to rubber farmers, working with the Rubber Planters Association of Liberia (RPAL). The Rubber Development Unit should be reestablished to produce high yielding rubber scions and go on to manufacture rubber cups, buckets and other implements farmers need to reopen their farms.  RPAL, with the cooperation of Morris American Rubber, can initiative this manufacturing initiative.  The Chinese can help us to do it. Firestone could help–will they?  Firestone, Guthrie, Cavalla and Morris American Rubber should also be deliberately encouraged to intensify their replanting programs.  As always, of course, Firestone is already ahead.  But it still has hundreds of thousands of acres of their one million-acre concession area that remain unused.  All of our rubber planters–and even new ones–must know that we are in a race, and we can become number one again.Coffee and cocoa, too, are challenges awaiting CARI’s intervention.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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