Leading journalists and activists arrested at protest, mistreated

first_img Follow the news on Azerbaijan News RSF calls for a fully transparent investigation after mine kills two journalists in Azerbaijan Organisation News Russian peacekeepers deny foreign reporters access to Nagorno-Karabakh “We’ll hold Ilham Aliyev personally responsible if anything happens to this blogger in France” RSF says Reporters Without Borders is outraged by the arrest of many leading journalists and netizens during a demonstration in Baku on 26 January, and the mistreatment to which they were subjected before being released.“There seems to be no limit to the Aliyev regime’s contempt for fundamental freedoms,” Reporters Without Borders Christophe Deloire said. “The brutal treatment of leading figures in the fight for human rights and freedom of information was unacceptable and was clearly an act of personal revenge designed to teach a lesson. The authorities are trying to suppress and deter criticism by silencing those who often condemn the woeful human rights situation.“Coming just days after the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe rejected a resolution on Azerbaijan’s political prisoners, this new blow to the country’s civil society shows that the authorities think they can act with complete impunity.“The international community must urgently come to its senses and make the Azerbaijani government understand that such behaviour is incompatible with its membership of the Council of Europe and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and its association with the European Union.”Around 100 demonstrators were detained when the security forces dispersed the 26 January demonstration in Baku, which had been called to protest against the violent crackdown on a riot a few days earlier in Ismailly, 200 km west of the capital.As well as members of such opposition groups as the Popular Front, Musavat and NIDA, those detained included well-known journalists such as Khadija Ismayilova and Shahveled Chobanoglu, leading bloggers such as Emin Milli, Zaur Gurbanli and Bakhtiyar Hajiyev, and two journalists and human rights activists from the isolated region of Nakhchivan, Malahat Nasibova and Ilgar Nasibov. Mursel Aliyev, the head of the Telebe.az news website, and Zaur Rasulzadeh, a reporter for the 1News.az news portal, were also arrested.Wearing press vests or showing press cards did not spare other journalists, who were there to cover the event, from being the victims of violence by plain-clothes policemen.The police continued to act with brutality after the protest was dispersed, discharging tear-gas inside a truck that was taking about 30 detainees, including Nasibova and Nasibov, to a police station. Because the windows were closed, many people felt ill, including the driver, who caused an accident.An ambulance had to be summoned to police station No. 37 in the district of Khatai, where detainees were held for four hours. Other demonstrators were taken to police stations in the districts of Nasimi and Sabail.Most were released with a verbal warning. But some of the best-known detainees were punished under a new law on illegal demonstrations that is based on Russian legislation. Milli was sentenced to 15 days in prison, along with three opposition activists. Hajiyev was fined 600 manats (570 euros) while Ismayilova was fined 400 manats (380 euros).While the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe was in session last week in Strasbourg, a number of journalists and activists attended it to draw attention to the violation of civil liberties in Azerbaijan. The session ended on 23 January with the adoption of a resolution on the human rights situation in Azerbaijan but the assembly rejected a specific resolution on Azerbaijan’s political prisoners.Join the group “Support Azerbaijani Activists in Administrative Detention” on Facebook!(Picture: AFP / Tofik Babayev) to go further June 8, 2021 Find out more Help by sharing this information center_img Receive email alerts RSF_en AzerbaijanEurope – Central Asia January 29, 2013 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Leading journalists and activists arrested at protest, mistreated AzerbaijanEurope – Central Asia June 4, 2021 Find out more News April 9, 2021 Find out more Newslast_img read more

Jakarta’s COVID-19 rapid tests show positive results for 282 people

first_imgAs many as 282 people in Jakarta have tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus after thousands of rapid tests were carried out in the province, a city administration official says.The positive cases were found among a total of 17,534 people whose blood samples were taken for the rapid tests as of Tuesday, said Jakarta’s COVID-19 Task Force’s deputy head, Catur Laswanto.“The Jakarta administration has performed the rapid test across all five cities and the Thousand Islands regency,” Catur told reporters during a press briefing at the City Hall on Tuesday.  He said said the 282 people are to undergo further screening by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests using swabs to confirm the initial results.As of Tuesday, Jakarta — the country’s epicenter for the COVID-19 outbreak — has reported 741 confirmed cases, nearly half of the national tally of 1,528. Of the confirmed cases in Jakarta, 84 patients had died of the contagious disease while only 49 had recovered.The Jakarta administration has declared and extended a state of emergency over COVID-19 — which first emerged in Wuhan city of China in December last year —  until April 19.It closed offices and other business and suspended school, religious and public activities, forcing residents to stay at home. (dfr)Topics :last_img read more

What We Have Achieved

first_imgLike Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolf By: Mary Isenhour, Chief of Staff July 14, 2016 Economy,  Education,  Environment,  Government That Works,  Healthcare,  Human Services,  Liquor Reform,  Medicaid Expansion,  Memo,  Open Data,  Public Health,  Substance Use Disorder Over the past 18 months, Governor Wolf has achieved significant progress to move Pennsylvania forward. Working with a Republican dominated legislature, Governor Wolf has secured over half a billion dollars in new money for schools along with a fair funding formula that will help school districts that need it the most. He has also won reforms that have languished for decades like modernizing the sale of beer and wine, the legalization of Medical Marijuana, and the phase out of the capital stock and franchise tax. In just under two years, and with a sometimes adversarial legislative body, it is clear that Governor Wolf has secured significant victories and is making progress to move Pennsylvania forward.When Governor Wolf took office, he inherited a commonwealth moving backwards as a result of bad policies, misguided decision-making and budgets built on gimmicks and smoke and mirrors.Schools were suffering from devastating cuts that resulted in larger class sizes, mass layoffs of educators, and cuts to important programs.The commonwealth was 1 of 3 states that did not have a fair funding formula.Medicaid expansion was an unbridled maze of bureaucratic red tape.Pennsylvania’s heroin crisis had grown to represent our biggest public health crisis in our lifetime.Liquor reform had languished for decades.Medical marijuana had been debated for years with no action; andCitizen’s legitimate environmental concerns had been neglected.Our deficit had grown to more than $2 billion.Governor Wolf has fought hard to turn things around and worked with the legislature to move the commonwealth forward, and in less than two years, he has made significant progress.Putting Pennsylvania’s Schools Back on TrackGovernor Wolf has fought for more education funding since day one and he has made investment in our schools and our children his top priority. Working with the legislature, the governor has secured historic increases in his first two years:$415 million in basic education funding.$60 million for early childhood education.$50 million in special education funding.$14.6 million for early intervention$81.4 million for PASSHE and state-related schools.$16.4 million for Community Colleges.The new basic education funding included in the 2016-17 budget will be distributed using the fair funding formula, signed into law by Governor Wolf in early June. Prior to the passing of this bill, Pennsylvania was one of only three states that did not have such a formula in place, creating massive inequities in schools and hitting the most vulnerable students the hardest.Working to Reduce the Structural DeficitThe 2016-17 budget is an important step forward and includes sustainable, recurring revenue that makes significant progress toward reducing our structural deficit. When Governor Wolf took office, he inherited a deficit of more than $2 billion, and while we have more work to do, today, the commonwealth’s deficit has been significantly reduced.Expanding Access to Health CareIn February of 2015, Governor Wolf launched Pennsylvania’s transition to a simple, traditional Medicaid expansion plan. He simplified what had been unnecessarily made into a complicated process, and by doing so ensured hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians now have greater access to the health insurance they need.Today, as a result, of Governor Wolf’s leadership, more than 650,000 Pennsylvanians now have health insurance who did not before.Governor Wolf also worked to ensure that Children’s Health Insurance Plans program provides enhanced benefits so no family would have to worry about paying federal tax penalties or losing their insurance.Fighting the Opioid EpidemicGovernor Wolf has made the fight against the opioid abuse and heroin use crisis a top priority. He has traveled around the state to meet with state lawmakers, local officials, law enforcement, emergency personnel, health professionals and others, and everywhere he went, he heard about the need for more treatment.In the 2016-17 budget, Governor Wolf worked with the legislature to secure $20.4 million in the budget to combat Pennsylvania’s heroin crisis and expand treatment options for Pennsylvanians struggling with opioid use disorder. This critical funding will enable the Department of Human Services, during phase one, to implement 20 Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) Centers of Excellence that will treat approximately 4,500 people that currently are not able to access treatment.Modernizing the Sale of Beer and LiquorIn May, Governor Wolf urged the Liquor Control Board to “free the six-pack” and approve all applications from gas stations looking to sell six packs.And in June, Governor Wolf signed historic liquor reform into law, marking the most significant step the commonwealth has taken to reform our liquor system in 80 years. Liquor reform was bottled up in Harrisburg for years, and as the governor made clear, his goal was to modernize the sale of liquor and beer in Pennsylvania.These important achievements finally bring Pennsylvania’s beer, wine and spirits system into the 21st century.Legalizing Medical MarijuanaIn April, Governor Wolf signed into law the legalization of medical marijuana, a measure that was long overdue and had stalled in Harrisburg for years. The legalization of medical marijuana improves the quality of life for patients and their families throughout Pennsylvania. Governor Wolf spent much of his first year-and-a-half in office meeting with patients, families, and advocates, holding roundtables with medical professionals, and urging the legislature to send this important legislation to his desk.Making Government More TransparentGovernor Wolf has worked to make government more open and transparent to the people of Pennsylvania.On his first day in office, the governor signed executive orders banning gifts for executive branch employees and reforming legal contracting to ensure any contracts are awarded through a competitive process. Additionally, the governor has posted cabinet expenses and his daily schedule and weekly calendar online. The previous administration had to be sued before giving out the governor’s calendar.Protecting the EnvironmentGovernor Wolf fought to pass tough unconventional oil and gas regulations, which will better protect the health of our environment and our residents. These new safeguards improve the protection of water and public resources, as well as public health and safety, and also address landowner concerns, enhance transparency, and improve data management.Earlier this year, Governor Wolf announced a nation-leading strategy to reduce emissions of methane. With federal estimates that the natural gas and oil industries account for a quarter of U.S. methane emissions, reducing methane leaks from the oil and gas sector is one of the essential steps needed for government to work with industry to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions and reduce the impacts of climate change.Working to Create JobsIn early 2016, Governor Tom Wolf announced the successful January 1 phase-out of Pennsylvania’s Capital Stock and Foreign Franchise tax, calling it “an unfair tax on business” that he was committed to eliminating. The Capital Stock and Foreign Franchise tax dates to 1844. Its phase-out that had been scheduled by Governor Tom Ridge for elimination in 2008 was delayed by subsequent administrations.In June, Governor Wolf was notified by Shell that they would build their ethane cracker plant in Pennsylvania. The administration has worked to develop strategies for safe and responsible pipeline development that brings resources to markets and facilities and we have prioritized the Shell plant to show the world that Pennsylvania is a leader in energy manufacturing and downstream production.——In order to achieve these goals, Governor Wolf worked diligently with Democrats and Republicans in both the house and senate to find common ground and he made significant compromises.We have made great progress in just 18 months.We have more work to do and Governor Wolf knows that, and he look forward to continuing to make Pennsylvania even stronger.   SHARE  TWEET What We Have Achieved SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

El Segundo water tower gets a glow

first_imgThough an initially expensive investment – strands average $9 each – LEDs last longer than old-fashioned lights, and “in one Christmas alone they pay for themselves,” Lyon said. But El Segundo isn’t getting too far ahead of itself with its new holiday festivities. More than 25 years ago, lighting the water tower was apparently an annual holiday practice, McDowell said. And El Segundo loves tradition, so residents could be seeing a glowing water tower again next winter. “Why not?” McDowell said. “It’s energy efficient, and therefore low cost and has the tiniest of carbon footprints. It harkens back to a tradition to the past, and that’s always good in El Segundo.” El Segundo isn’t the only South Bay community to have an environmentally friendly bit of holiday cheer. Torrance has two Christmas trees illuminated with LED lights, and the recent King Harbor Christmas Boat Parade in Redondo Beach featured a vessel strung with LED lights. And for residents looking for an early start toward a green Christmas 2008, the South Bay Energy Savings Center will resume its light exchange program Jan. 2. Southern California Edison customers can exchange two strands of incandescent holiday lights for a couple strands of LEDs, Lyon said. Call 310-543-3022 for more information. [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan ClarksonEl Segundo city workers this month strung 24 strands of light-emitting diodes – about 1,680 individual lights – along the tower’s catwalk, Mayor Kelly McDowell said. The result is an icy-blue glow encircling the iconic 105-foot-tall structure in the 400 block of Lomita Street – sort of like the rings of Saturn. “It’s fairly bright given the modest number of lights because the LEDs are bright,” McDowell said. And they’re cheap. Running 300 incandescent holiday lights for a year would cost someone about $80, Lyon said; the same number of LED lights would cost 43 cents. El Segundo children shouldn’t worry about Santa Claus skipping over their tiny town tonight. If the big guy has any doubt where the sleepy community sits, he can just look for the city’s illuminated landmark water tower – an old tradition brought back this season after decades of darkness. And if El Segundo needed any help getting off Santa’s naughty list, the new light display might nudge it to the nice side: the city’s new holiday glow comes courtesy of energy-efficient, environmentally friendly LED lights. “It’s a very popular thing now to be moving toward green,” said Marilyn Lyon, program director of the South Bay Energy Savings Center, which provided El Segundo the lights gratis. “Not only is it good for the environment, it’s good for your pocketbook, too.” last_img read more