Crackdown continues in Bahrain, bloggers go on trial in Emirates

first_imgNews June 15, 2020 Find out more BAHRAINRegime officials have reportedly taken over the Facebook and Twitter pages of Rasad News, a major source of news about human rights violations in Bahrain, and are posting anti-protest and pro-regime material after the arrest on 9 June of Hussein Ali Makki, administrator of the pages. Rasad News has since opened a new Facebook page to continue its work.PalTalk, an audio and video chat group that was becoming increasingly political, especially one chatroom called Bahrain Nation, has been blocked since the beginning of the month. Access to a new anti-government news site, http://bahrainmirror.com, has been blocked since 5 June. Ali Omid, administrator of an online forum arrested on 10 May, was released on 22 May but is still liable for prosecution. Mattar Ibrahim Mattar, a member of parliament for the Al-Wefaq party and leading pro-democracy activist, was charged by a military court on 12 June with “calling openly for the overthrow of the ruling system, disseminating tendentious rumours and taking part in illegal gatherings.” He had been arrested on 2 May after warning of the possible arrests of opposition leaders in a interview with Al-Jazeera. Hussein Al-Durazi, a sports reporter for the daily Al-Ayam arrested after a police summons in Riffa on 23 May, was freed on 2 June. The paper has reportedly dismissed him.The trial of the editors of the newspaper Al-Wasat has been postponed until 19 June. (http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/meast/06/15/bahrain.journalists.trial/).UNITED ARAB EMIRATESThe trial of human rights bloggers Ahmed Mansour, Farhad Salem and Nasser bin Ghaith began on 14 June for undermining state security, disturbing public order and insulting the head of state, the vice-president and the crown prince of Abu Dhabi. He was arrested in early April after signing a petition calling for democratic reforms. He is being tried with two other signatories, Hassan Ali Al Khamis and Ahmed Abdul Khaleq.All pleaded not guilty and asked for a trial behind closed doors to avoid any pressure on the federal supreme court, which postponed the hearing until 18 July.Reporters Without Borders calls on the authorities to drop all charges against them and release them immediately. The United Arab Emirates is one of the countries “under surveillance” on the Reporters Without Borders list of worldwide “Internet enemies.”KUWAITA Kuwaiti Internet user, Nasser Abul, has been imprisoned since 7 June after strongly supporting online the rebellion in Bahrain. He reportedly has no access to a lawyer and has only been allowed to make one phone call to his family. Organisation October 14, 2020 Find out more News YEMENThe regime’s Republican Guard seized 5,000 copies of the daily paper Akhbar Al-Youm at the Qahaza checkpoint in Sanaa on 12 June as they were on their way to the Taiz, Ibb and Dhamar provinces. Security forces seized copies of the daily Al-Oula and the weekly Al-Sharia in Sanaa on 9 June, the ninth time Al-Oula had been seized since pro-democracy demonstrations began four months ago. LIBYA Reporters Without Borders welcomes the release on 13 June of Al-Jazeera cameraman Kamel Al-Tallou, a Libyan-born British citizen arrested on 19 March near Zawiya with three other Al-Jazeera journalists – Tunisian Lotfi Al-Masoudi (freed on 31 March), Mauritanian Ahmad Val Ould Eddin (released on 11 April) and Iraqi-born Norwegian Ammar Al-Hamdan (freed on 14 April). March 17, 2021 Find out more Coronavirus “information heroes” – journalism that saves lives Follow the news on Bahrain Receive email alerts German spyware company FinFisher searched by public prosecutors Help by sharing this information to go further RSF_en News BahrainMiddle East – North Africa News Tenth anniversary of Bahraini blogger’s arrest June 16, 2011 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Crackdown continues in Bahrain, bloggers go on trial in Emirates BahrainMiddle East – North Africa last_img read more

Bezos may step up charitable aid for climate and families

first_imgNEW YORK (AP) — Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ decision to step down as the company’s CEO, in part to devote more energy toward his philanthropic work, shows the multi-billionaire’s growing interest in charitable work. Bezos, 57, gave $10 billion – the largest charitable donation of 2020, according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy – to establish the Bezos Earth Fund to fight climate change. He also supports the Bezos Day One Fund, which donated $105.9 million in 2020 to organizations providing food and shelter to young families in need. In October, the Day One Fund opened the first Bezos Academy, a Montessori-inspired preschool geared toward low-income families in Des Moines, Washington.last_img read more

Melan pipped in McEvoy play-off

first_img England teenager Melan Dhaubhadel tied for the prestigious U18 Peter McEvoy Trophy at Copt Heath Golf Club, only to be pipped in a play-off.The title went to Ireland’s Tom McKibbin, who drove into a bunker on the second extra hole, but managed to get his ball greenside and then chipped in for a birdie three to win.Dhaubhadel, from Calcot Park Golf Club in Reading, had a birdie putt from about 20ft away to keep the play-off alive. However it failed to drop, as did the attempt of the third play-off member, Aaron Marshall, also from Ireland.Dhaubhadel, who trains with England Golf’s Thames Valley regional squad and the BB&O elite squad, commented: “I wanted to win and I gave it my best shot. I played really well so I can’t be too disheartened.”For him, the highlight of the championship was the second round, where he shot both his personal best and the low-round of the tournament with his seven-under 64. “It was just good course management and good decisions,” he said.Together with his opening 68 and his 74, 71 in rounds three and four, it gave him a 72-hole total of seven–under.Now, the 18-year-old looks forward to a busy season with his next tournament date in next weekend’s West of England Stoke Play Championship at Saunton, Devon.Click here for full scores Tags: boys’ golf, elite golf, Junior Golf 18 Apr 2019 Melan pipped in McEvoy play-off last_img read more

This Day in Sports September 27

first_imgSept. 27, 1996 — San Francisco’s Barry Bonds becomes the second player to hit 40 homers and steal 40 bases in a season. Jose Canseco is the other. Bonds, who had 42 homers, stole his 40th base in a 9-3 win over Colorado. Sept. 271894 — Aqueduct Race Track opens its doors. The building is torn down in 1955 and the new Aqueduct reopens on Sept. 14, 1959.1947 — Armed, then the world’s leading money-winning thoroughbred, meets 1946 Kentucky Derby winner Assault in the first $100,000 winner-take-all match race, held at Belmont Park. Armed earns an easy victory over Assault, who was not in peak racing condition.1950 — Ezzard Charles wins a unanimous 15-round decision over Joe Louis at Yankee Stadium in New York to retain the world heavyweight title.1975 — Kansas quarterback Nolan Cromwell rushes for an NCAA record 294 yards in a 20-0 victory over Oregon State.1992 — World champion Nigel Mansell sets a single-season victory record, leading from start to finish in the Portuguese Grand Prix for his ninth win of the Formula One season.1996 — San Francisco’s Barry Bonds becomes the second player to hit 40 homers and steal 40 bases in a season. Jose Canseco is the other. Bonds, who had 42 homers, stole his 40th base in a 9-3 win over Colorado.1998 — Mark McGwire gives baseball a new magic number, hitting two homers to reach No. 70 in the St. Louis Cardinals’ season finale against Montreal. It’s McGwire’s fifth homer in the season-ending, three-game series. McGwire’s 70th and final home run of the season was a line shot over the left-field wall on a first-pitch fastball from Carl Pavano in the seventh.2000 — The Women’s British Open is elevated to major championship status on the LPGA Tour, replacing the du Maurier Classic. The other majors are the Nabisco Championship, the LPGA Championship and the U.S. Open.2003 — B.J. Symons of Texas Tech throws for 661 yards — a school and Big 12 record — and six touchdowns, in the Red Raiders’ 49-45 win over Mississippi.2007 — Brazil and its star soccer player Marta put on a dazzling performance against the United States and cruises to a 4-0 victory in the semifinals of the Women’s World Cup. The Brazilians, advance to their first title match and end the Americans unbeaten streak at 51 games.2008 — Curlin becomes the first horse in North America to top $10 million in career earnings, winning the $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup at sloppy Belmont Park. The $450,000 winner’s purse pushes Curlin’s career bankroll to $10,246,800. Cigar held the old mark of $9,999,815, which stood for 12 years.2009 — Japan’s Kimiko Date Krumm becomes the oldest winner of a WTA Tour tournament since Billie Jean King in 1983. Date Krumm, who turns 39 on Sept. 28, beats second-seeded Anabel Medina Garrigues 6-3, 6-3 for the Korea Open title. King was 39 years, 7 months, 23 days when she won at Birmingham, England.2009 — With rookie quarterback Matthew Stafford leading the way, Detroit ends a 19-game losing streak with a 19-14 victory over the Washington Redskins. The Lions had not won since Dec. 23, 2007, and their skid matched the second longest in NFL history.2009 — Philadelphia’s Kevin Kolb passes for 327 yards in a 34-14 win over Kansas City to become the first quarterback in NFL history to pass for 300 yards in each of his first two career starts.2009 — New England beats Atlanta 26-10 for the 16th straight regular-season victory of the NFC. It’s the longest steak any team has posted against the opposite conference since the 1970 merger.last_img read more

Are Brains Evolving Bigger, or Fatter?

first_imgTwo papers in Science Sept. 9 claimed that human brains may still be evolving.  According to the authors, two genes related to brain size appear to be under “positive selection” in certain people groups.  One team said their variant occurred the same time as the emergence of art, music, religious practices and sophisticated tool use, though such inferences are subjective (see 11/12/2004 entry).  Michael Balter, commenting on these findings in Science,1 said that although the claims are “potentially dramatic,” caution should be exercised in interpreting the results.  Francis Collins of the Human Genome Project, warned in an AP story printed on LiveScience that “is totally unproven and potentially dangerous territory to get into with such sketchy data” because scientists don’t know when the variants arose or even what the genes do.  The BBC News, however, though admitting that the findings were merely a “tantalising prospect,” titled their version of the story, “‘Proof’ Our Brains Are Evolving.”  New Scientist announced cheerfully, “Human brains enjoy ongoing evolution.”1Michael Balter, “Evolution: Are Human Brains Still Evolving?  Brain Genes Show Signs of Selection,” <Science, Vol 309, Issue 5741, 1662-1663 , 9 September 2005, [DOI: 10.1126/science.309.5741.1662].Evolutionists are hastening to mention that the variants have nothing to do with “intelligence.”  This is apparently to avoid repeating the sins of the early Darwinists, who sought ways to rank humans on an IQ scale that ensured the Brits would remain on top.  But if the “haves” are better musicians than the “have-nots,” this might lead to ranking by MQ, the music quotient.  The world isn’t ready for a new form of Social Darwinism characterized by a battle of the bands and survival of the hittest.  Some of today’s musicians could use a little genetic engineering to reverse the descent of man, but that’s intelligent design, not evolution. (Visited 10 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Rice University’s Ze-Row Preview

first_imgThe Solar Decathlon team from Texas offers a peek at its entry for the fall contestWe’re still five months from the kickoff of the 2009 Solar Decathlon, which will run October 8-18 in Washington, D.C. But one of the 20 teams of university students selected to compete is offering the public a preview of its entry, an 800-square-foot structure called the Ze-Row House.It’s a short preview. From noon to 3:30 p.m. Friday (May 8), the Rice University team (the only Decathlon competitor from Texas) will lead tours of the house at its construction site on the Rice campus (6100 Main Street, near the corner of College Way and Alumni Drive, if you happen to be visiting or live in Houston).As we noted in a previous GBA news blog, Solar Decathlon teams are selected by a committee of engineers, scientists, and other experts from the Department of Energy and its National Renewable Energy Laboratory, who review prospective entrants’ proposals for creating highly energy efficient, solar-powered homes at relatively low cost. Over a two-year period, the 20 teams chosen to compete further develop their proposals and eventually bring them to life on the National Mall.Each Solar Decathlon team competes in 10 areas: architecture (for a maximum of 100 points), market viability (100 points), engineering (100 points), lighting design (75 points), communications (75 points), comfort zone (100 points), hot water (100 points), appliances (100 points), home entertainment (100 points), and net metering (150 points).It is not uncommon for teams to develop, transport, and assemble their projects at a cost of $500,000 or more. But because its house is designed to serve low-income residents in Houston’s Third Ward, the Rice team has been working with much narrower economic strictures. It’s Ze-Row House, which was developed in consultation with local nonprofit arts and culture group Project Row Houses, was created with a building and materials budget of about $150,000, so that its design and concepts could be replicated in six energy-efficient, one- and two-bedroom homes on two 50-by-80-foot lots in Houston’s Third Ward.More than 100 members of the Rice community, from a variety of disciplines, worked on the Ze-Row house, which is the latest project in an affordable-housing initiative and long-term collaboration between Project Row Houses and the Rice Building Workshop, a program that allows students to turn ideas into actual construction projects.last_img read more

10 months agoAWESOME! Pepe will leave Besiktas having covered wages for club staff

first_imgAWESOME! Pepe will leave Besiktas having covered wages for club staffby Carlos Volcano10 months agoSend to a friendShare the lovePepe will leave Besiktas with the gratitude of many of the club’s staff, it has been revealed.Due to the club’s financial problems, the former Real Madrid defender has agreed to terminating his contract this month.However, before Pepe’s departure, it’s emerged he paid the month’s wages of several of the club’s staff, including chefs and groundsmen, as Besiktas struggled to meet their obligations, reports Marca. Pepe is now set to become a free agent and can immediately sign for a new club. TagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

10 months agoCrystal Palace chairman Parish tribute to Charlton signing Williams

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Crystal Palace chairman Parish tribute to Charlton signing Williamsby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveCrystal Palace chairman Steve Parish has paid tribute to Jonny Williams after his departure yesterday.Williams has left Crystal Palace Football Club and joined League One side Charlton Athletic, bringing his 17 years at the south London club to a close.Parish said: “Jonny leaves today as a hugely admired, immensely popular and well respected figure. “He’s been with us since the age of 8, featuring heavily in our promotion winning season including starting in the final. He has great talent, and has always been a joy to have at the club. “I know we all hope he becomes a huge success at Charlton Athletic and continues to achieve great things with his beloved Wales.” last_img read more

Kim Kardashian sports maang tika to church slammmed

first_imgLos Angeles; Reality TV star Kim Kardashian West has courted criticism for wearing a traditional Indian maang tika, a jewellery piece worn on the head, for a church service. The 38-year-old mother-of-three shared her outfit on social media with the caption ‘Sunday Service Vibe’, but some Instagram users were unimpressed with her mishmash of cultural items, reported dailymail.co.uk. Kim, who boasts 133 million followers on Instagram, accessorised her flowing white dress with gold Indian-inspired jewelry, including the head piece typically worn at times of celebration. Also Read – I have personal ambitions now: Priyanka The photo made a stir when it was shared online. One user said that “culture is not a costume” and that it was wrong for Kim to adorn it. “This is not a Sunday Service Vibe, it’s an Indian vibe,” another complained. One user explained the cultural significance of the head piece and wrote in depth about how Kim had appropriated her culture. “For those of you who don’t know, the maang tika is a ceremonial head piece traditionally worn by the bride. Wearing white in India is traditionally reserved for funerals,” another explained. “On top of that she wore this to a Christian service. She probably thought it was just jewellery, but when that piece has literally been used for centuries wouldn’t you kinda think there must be some sort of significant meaning held towards it,” wrote another user. There was a different side to the coin as well, as not everyone found Kim’s look offensive.last_img read more

NFL Week 8 Elo Ratings And Playoff Odds

The Denver Broncos, who moved into the top slot in our Elo ratings last week, widened their advantage over the rest of the league in Week 7. Denver looked dominant in beating the San Francisco 49ers, who had been the No. 3 Elo team. The No. 2 Seattle Seahawks lost — greatly imperiling their playoff chances — as did the No. 5 San Diego Shargers. The No. 4 team, the New England Patriots, barely won against an awful opponent, the New York Jets.So, it’s time to pose the question Aaron Schatz asked at Football Outsiders. Is this Denver team merely the best in the league — or one of the best teams ever?The Broncos’ Elo rating is 1683, which translates to being favored by a touchdown in a neutral-site game against an average opponent. It’s also a fairly typical rating for the best team in the league at this point in the season. On average since 1970, the highest-rated team through Week 7 had an Elo rating of 1686, almost exactly matching Denver’s this year.Let’s pick some nits with the Broncos: They’ve lost once this year. They had a bye week. They fizzled in the second half against the Indianapolis Colts. And they were crushed in last year’s Super Bowl.Is this unfair? Except perhaps for the Super Bowl part, of course it is. Denver’s loss came on the road at Seattle and may have literally been the result of a coin flip. Beating Indianapolis by any margin looks more impressive given how well the Colts have played since. It’s not the Broncos’ fault that the schedulers gave them an early-season bye (and thereby one less opportunity to improve their Elo rating). More sophisticated statistical treatments — from Football Outsiders’ DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average) to Benjamin Morris’s assessment of Peyton Manning’s clutchness — tend to have a higher opinion of the Broncos than Elo does.But if we’re judging whether the Broncos are a historically great team, we have the right — nay, the duty — to be very, very picky.This is not just an academic question. In the table below, I’ve taken the teams that had the highest Elo rating through Week 7 in each season since 1970. Eleven of the 25 teams that rated higher than the Broncos — or 44 percent — would go on to win the Super Bowl. But just two of the 19 (11 percent) that rated below the Broncos did.A lot of this is because even small advantages can compound over time. It’s not as though we can say with all that much confidence whether this year’s Broncos are better than, say, the 1998 edition of the team under John Elway. (Elo would have the 1998 Broncos favored, but by only 1.5 points). But a team that’s ever-so-slightly better is more likely to make the playoffs as a division champion rather than a wild card, more likely to have playoff games at home and to get a first-round bye, and more likely to win those playoff games once they occur. A team that’s a 70 percent favorite in each playoff game, and that needs to win three games to win the Super Bowl because it gets a bye, has a 34 percent chance of winning a championship. A team that’s a 60 percent favorite and that has to win four times has just a 13 percent chance.Elo puts the Broncos’ chances of winning the Super Bowl at 18 percent, somewhere between the two groups. Their Thursday-night home game against San Diego will be highly informative. A win for Denver would put it in a dominant position in the AFC West — it’d be a game-and-a-half ahead of the Chargers and at least two games ahead of the Kansas City Chiefs (with a tiebreaker advantage against each division rival). A loss to the Chargers would instead place Denver half a game behind San Diego with a tiebreaker disadvantage (and with the remaining game between the teams to be played in San Diego).The Broncos will probably make the playoffs as a wild card even if they lose their division, but the Super Bowl is much harder to win under those circumstances. The Broncos would have to play an extra game, and they’d have to play on the road. In our simulations, the Broncos won the Super Bowl 23 percent of the time as division champs but just 4 percent of the time as a wild card team. There’s not only playoff leverage riding on this game; there’s a lot of Super Bowl leverage at stake.Here are the current playoff odds for the other NFL teams:The Colts, who were briefly underdogs to make the playoffs after starting off their year 0-2 (Seahawks fans can take solace in that), are now 95 percent favorites to do so after having won every game since. Some of this is because the Colts are very good, but just as important is their extraordinarily weak division. The Houston Texans project to a record of 7-9, the Tennessee Titans 6-10, and the Jacksonville Jaguars (despite finally winning last week) 4-12. In our simulations, the Colts won the AFC South 82 percent of the time they finished with a 9-7 record and 62 percent of the time they went 8-8. Even a 7-9 record would often be enough to get them in. Andrew Luck is both lucky and good.Otherwise, the AFC playoff chase is more scrambled than last week. The Cincinnati Bengals are winless in their past three games (they managed a tie against the Carolina Panthers) and down to a 54 percent chance of making the playoffs, in danger of being lapped by Kansas City (41 percent) and the Pittsburgh Steelers (33 percent). Their matchup this week, at home against the division rival Baltimore Ravens, is another high-stakes game.The NFC, almost inevitably, will feature a ferocious battle for the wild card positions. Dallas, Philadelphia, Green Bay, Detroit, Arizona, San Francisco and Seattle all have somewhere between a 22 and 32 percent chance of winning a wild card. Three of those teams (barring a miraculous run by a team like the Chicago Bears) will win their divisions, but that leaves four teams fighting for two slots.The Arizona Cardinals, incidentally, have a chance to become the first team to play a Super Bowl in its home stadium. Although Arizona is probably weaker than either San Francisco or Seattle, it has a leg up in the NFC West by virtue of its 5-1 start. Elo gives the Cardinals a 15 percent chance of making the Super Bowl and an 8 percent chance of winning it.Elo point spreadsRecord against point spread: 49-50-3 (8-7 in Week 7)Straight-up record: 74-31-1 (10-5 in Week 7)Even if we thought you should bet based on these odds — and we don’t — it wouldn’t be in cases where bookmakers have a team as a 2.5-point favorite and Elo has the same team favored by, say, two points. There are a lot of games like that this week and fewer differences between Vegas and Elo than in past weeks. The biggest split of the week is in an unwatchable game: Elo has the Titans favored by three points at home against Houston, while Vegas has the Texans as one-point favorites.The Washington Redskins are also a perpetual punching bag for Elo, and the system would have you take the Dallas Cowboys against them (even as 9.5-point favorites, as Vegas has the Cowboys). As Washington was on the verge of losing to the Titans last week — it pulled the game out but didn’t cover the point spread — The Wall Street Journal’s Neil King tweeted that Washington was struggling to beat “the third worst team in the league,” presumably referring to Tennessee. Actually, Elo has Washington rated as the third-worst team! Washington went 11-5 against the point spread in 2012 and perhaps is still getting too much credit for it; it’s 7-16 against the spread since then. The team’s straight-up record, 5-18, is even worse. read more