Dissident artist Ai Weiwei released conditionally after three months incommunicado

first_img Follow the news on China March 12, 2021 Find out more News RSF_en April 27, 2021 Find out more News June 2, 2021 Find out more Reporters Without Borders is relieved that the dissident artist and filmmaker Ai Weiwei (艾未未) was released conditionally today after being held for nearly three months. The official news agency Xinhua said the Public Security Bureau freed him because of his good behaviour, his “admission” of the “tax fraud” charges that had been brought against him, his health problems and other factors that were not specified.“We hope that Ai’s health has not deteriorated too much and we wish him a swift recovery,” Reporters Without Borders said. “However, we are worried about some of the Public Security Bureau’s claims, especially regarding a confession. Given the length of the time he was held incommunicado, light must be shed on the circumstances in which this confession was obtained. Cases of violence against people held incommunicado have been reported. And Ai?“His release does not mean the end of his problems. We fear that the authorities will deploy an entire legal arsenal in order to convict him of an ‘economic crime.’ As they have done with others in the past, the Chinese authorities could try to sentence him to a spell in prison or an exorbitant fine.“By employing such methods, the authorities are usually trying to legitimize the harassment that prevents the victims from continuing their former activities and undermines them psychologically and financially. The authorities also think that bringing charges of an economic nature will spare them protests by human rights activists in China or abroad.”Ai was arrested on 3 April at Beijing international airport as he was about to board a flight to Hong Kong. Eight of his employees were also briefly detained the same day at his studio in the northwestern Beijing district of Caochangdi and were questioned for several hours before being released.The police visited his studio several times during the week prior to his arrest. Ai was previously harassed by the authorities last November, above all in connection with his documentaries about corruption in the Beijing judicial system.Reporters Without Borders is also worried about the former Global Times reporter Wen Tao, who also disappeared on 3 April. Aged 38 and a native of Sichuan, Wen was last seen in the Beijing district of Caochangdi, where Ai’s studio is located.The organisation published a report on 3 March about house arrests, disappearances and other methods used by the Chinese authorities to persecute those who defend free speech.A total of 76 cyber-dissidents and 30 journalists are currently detained in China, which is ranked 171st out of 178 countries in the press freedom index that Reporters Without Borders released last October. China: Political commentator sentenced to eight months in prison Receive email alerts ChinaAsia – Pacific center_img Democracies need “reciprocity mechanism” to combat propaganda by authoritarian regimes China’s Cyber ​​Censorship Figures ChinaAsia – Pacific Help by sharing this information News Organisation News June 22, 2011 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Dissident artist Ai Weiwei released conditionally after three months incommunicado to go furtherlast_img read more

Texas’ power outages, water shortages put bigger strain on hospitals

first_imgAdam Calaitzis/iStockBy EMILY SHAPIRO and SASHA PEZENIK, ABC News(NEW YORK) — As a historic winter storm knocks out power and bursts pipes across Texas, hospitals in the lone star state are facing additional stress.Hospitals, already contending with COVID-19 patients, are now helping people whose supplemental oxygen tanks have run out, or those whose home medical equipment requires electricity and must now seek power in emergency departments, Lori Upton, vice president of the Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Council, told ABC News.The Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Council covers 187 hospitals and 25 counties in the state and helps coordinate between providers, responders and health care partners.With power out and supplies running thin, people are turning to hospitals for what they’re accustomed to getting homebound, like a feeding tube or an external defibrillator that needs batteries to recharge, Upton said.As of Wednesday, about 800 people were being held in emergency departments for oxygen or electricity for their equipment, she said.Over 600,000 customers in Texas remained without power Thursday morning.Galveston Mayor Craig Brown told ABC News’ Good Morning America Thursday that the city’s hospital “ran dangerously low on water” due to burst pipes. Now that they’ve been able to refill the tanks, they’re back up and running, he said.Brown called the electricity and water crisis “worse than a hurricane.”“In a hurricane you can go to the mainland and get away from this. In this particular situation, no matter where you go in Texas, you still have a concern that is similar to what we have here,” he said.In Houston, hospitals are operating but many have reduced water pressure, ABC Houston station KTRK-TV reported.Two Austin area hospitals have also faced water outages, ABC affiliate KVUE-TV reported.Boil water advisories were issued in Houston and Austin.There’s also the issue of icy roadways, making it more treacherous for ambulances to transport patients to safety.Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Greencore growth

first_imgIrish food and sugar producer Greencore expects its convenience foods division will drive further growth in 2007, despite recent raw material cost increases and an electrical fire at its largest sandwich facility, Manton Wood.The fire happened in December 2006, when a switchboard failed and blew out all the power, meaning the site was unable to produce for a few days.The division also continued to face strong inflationary pressure on raw material pricing, chairman, Ned Sullivan told the Greencore annual general meeting last week.Sullivan said: “We are aggressively pursuing a broad set of Total Lowest Cost, product innovation, pricing and new channel initiatives to offset these impacts and deliver on our expected growth.”The convenience foods division, which accounted for 92% of the group’s continuing operating profits in 2006, saw sales up by 8.3% and operating profit up by 5.7%, he said. Margins were broadly maintained (7.7% in 2006 versus 7.8% in 2005) despite divisional energy cost increases of more than E5 million year-on-year.But the new EU sugar regime, announced in November 2005, posed an insurmountable challenge to profitable sugar beet-growing in Ireland, Greencore said. The group responded with an early commitment to exit sugar production and a strong defence of its entitlement to restructuring aid under EU law.last_img read more

Erdelyi finishes first as USC takes third overall

first_imgSenior Zsofia Erdelyi led the USC women’s cross-country team to a third-place finish at Saturday’s Cal State Northridge Invitational by claiming first place overall in the 6K race in Van Nuys, Calif.Setting the pace · Senior Zsofia Erdelyi finished in first place for USC, which took third place in the Cal State Northridge Invitational. – Photo courtesy of USC Sports Information Erdelyi’s fifth career first-place finish came in relatively easy fashion, as the senior standout crossed the finish line more than eight seconds ahead of her closest competitor. Erdelyi took the overall lead with just more than a mile to go before cruising the rest of the way.“It definitely looked pretty easy for her,” USC coach Tom Walsh said. “I was happy with the way she picked it up in the second half of the race and finished strong. There’s definitely more in her than there was at this time last year.”The race represented a strong team performance by the Women of Troy, as the squad’s second and seventh runners finished only 35 seconds apart. Ironically, Erdelyi was the only runner of those seven for USC who failed to record a personal best time on Saturday.“I always say you’re only as good as your fifth or sixth runner,” Walsh said. “We wanted to make sure we closed the gaps between our runners and we did a good job of that on Saturday.”Senior Christine Cortez bested her personal record by 20 seconds and finished second for the Women of Troy and fourth overall. Junior Leah Gaeta followed Cortez with a 12th place finish, with senior Dina Kitayama close behind in 18th place.Senior Zara Lukens rounded out USC’s scoring runners by finishing 25th overall. Junior Jessica Lundin and sophomore Kelly Owen came in 27th and 33rd, respectively.Walsh had set a goal for his team to finish in second place at the meet. The Women of Troy fell just short of that goal with 56 points, one more than second-place Cal State Fullerton and 14 more than meet winner UC Riverside.“That was the only disappointment I had,” Walsh said of the near second-place finish. “It ended up being a matter of one [individual] place. Overall, I thought we competed very well.”USC will next compete at the Titan Invitational in Fullerton, Calif., before heading north to run in the Pac-10 championships in Seattle, Wash. The Women of Troy’s early-season success has their coach thinking the team could surprise when the runners toe the line in Seattle.“We’ve had two good races in a row,” Walsh said. “We’re bringing in a lot more momentum to the Pac-10s than we have the past couple of years. We’ve stayed healthy, and that’s given us a chance to be successful.”last_img read more

USA Loses to Germany But Advances

first_imgECIFE, Brazil (AP) — Thomas Mueller scored his fourth goal of the World Cup on June 26 as Germany defeated the United States 1-0 to win Group G ahead of the Americans, who also advanced to the knockout stage of the World Cup despite losing.With two wins and a draw, Germany topped the group with seven points, while the U.S. progressed with four. Portugal beat Ghana 2-1 but both were eliminated.Mueller scored in the 55th minute with a side-footed shot from the edge of the area as tropical downpours drenched the Arena Pernambuco.Both teams knew before kickoff that a draw would see them through, but neither held back. The game pitted Germany coach Joachim Loew against his good friend and predecessor Juergen Klinsmann, now in charge of the U.S. team. TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Keyshawn Johnson Is Taking 11 California HS FB Recruits On A Huge Trip This Weekend To Texas, A&M, OU, Nebraska

first_imgKeyshawn Johnson during a broadcast.There will be quite a football posse traveling through Texas and the Midwest this weekend. According to Clarence Hill of the Star-Telegram, former NFL wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson will be taking the “California 11,” a group of 11 California-based high school football recruits, on a recruiting trip this weekend. The group, which includes Johnson’s son, Keyshawn Jr., a four-star WR, will be visiting Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma and Nebraska, before traveling back to the West Coast. I can confirm that Keyshawn Johnson is headed to Austin to barnstorm the state with 11 recruits from Cali, including his highly touted son— Clarence Hill (@clarencehilljr) March 6, 2015Keyshawn Johnson @Thromedamnball and the California 11 will hit Texas A&M Fri practice, visit Texas Sat, OU Jr day Sun and Nebraska Mon— Clarence Hill (@clarencehilljr) March 6, 2015The California 11 led by @Thromedamnball are flying into Austin and driving to College Station for the Texas A&M Friday Night practice— Clarence Hill (@clarencehilljr) March 6, 2015The California 11 led by @Thromedamnball will drive back to Austin and spend Saturday visiting with @TexasFB and coach @Strong_TexasFB— Clarence Hill (@clarencehilljr) March 6, 2015The California 11 led by @Thromedamnball will then make the 6-7 hour drive from Austin to Norman for the Oklahoma Junior Day on Sun— Clarence Hill (@clarencehilljr) March 6, 2015The California 11 led by @Thromedamnball will leave OU and head to Nebraska to visit the Cornhuskers, then fly back to Cali from Lincoln— Clarence Hill (@clarencehilljr) March 6, 2015Among 2016 recruits in the Cali 11 are Michael Pittman, Marquel Dismuke, Isaiah Hayes and Khalil Tate— Clarence Hill (@clarencehilljr) March 6, 2015Among the 2017 recruits in the Cali 11 are WR Keyshawn Johnson Jr., WR Terrell Bynum, CB Darnay Holmes, CB Jermani Brown, QB Tristan Gebbia— Clarence Hill (@clarencehilljr) March 6, 2015That sounds like one heck of a trip. Be on the lookout for some top football prospects, Longhorns, Aggies, Sooners and Huskers.last_img read more

New local media outlets crop up as traditional community papers close

first_imgTORONTO – Dave Bidini asks “what if” a lot.As in, what if the mainstream press didn’t care about George Clooney building a house on Lake Cuomo? Maybe, just maybe, he says as he sprinkles in a few profanities, communities would be better off.Next month, the prolific musician, author and general man-about-Toronto, will be trudging door to door delivering his most recent creation: a 20-page broadsheet newspaper called the West End Phoenix. It will be a community rag, served without advertisements every month or so, with a focus on a few west-end neighbourhoods.“We used to have a whack of really, really great community papers, but they’re all glorified flyer-mobiles now,” Bidini says, his voice rising.“Goddammit, we’re in Toronto, we’re in this amazing city and we’re in this catchment in the west end where there are so many stories and we need a paper that will focus on the community. And you know what, the lane is wide open for us.”Bidini is betting on the community where he lives to respond. He has budgeted about $300,000 for the first year for eight to 10 issues and says he’s raised about 40 per cent of the funds needed. The money comes from a mixture of what he calls patrons, those who have shelled out $500 to $25,000. Count artists Margaret Atwood, Yann Martel and Serena Ryder among the donors.He says he has about 1,100 subscribers thus far and is hoping for 5,000 within a year. He’s going local.“We, as of a society, have to punch open those front doors and roll open those garages,” Bidini says. “In our times, it’s important for us to better know each other.”There is a paucity of community newspapers in Canada, according to research by a Ryerson University journalism professor. April Lindgren runs the Local News Research Project that puts numbers to the mass extinction of news organizations. Her research has led her to dub the situation across Canada as “local news poverty.”Since 2008, 194 news organizations have closed in Canada, either outright or due to mergers, her research shows. Only 62 new ones have popped up over the same time period. She is continually updating the numbers, she says.“News is becoming a luxury item for a community,” Lindgren says.Someone like Bidini finds himself in the perfect position to launch a newspaper, she says.“You need money, education, background and contacts,” Lindgren says.Bidini can tick off some of those boxes and is using his contacts to find money.“I’m having dinners and coffees with potential patrons trying to shake the trees,” he says.Lindgren points to American research that shows people who live in more affluent communities tend to have more access to more local news than people who live in poorer communities.Yet she’s excited for any new news outlets, especially if it’s local.“Research shows the availability of local news is as important to a well-functioning community as a functioning sewer system, good roads, public health services and good schools,” she says.Nearly 700 kilometres north of Toronto, Jeff Elgie speaks of his burgeoning local news empire from Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. He runs Village Media and his crown jewel is SooToday.com, a digital-only news organization based in the northern Ontario city.They have news sites in four other Ontario cities: North Bay, Barrie, Timmins and Guelph, and they’re expanding. They’ve built their own publishing software that powers their sites and they also license it to other news organizations in Sudbury and Thunder Bay where they take a cut of digital sales, he says.Elgie is bullish on local news. He says on an average weekday, SooToday.com sees about 90,000 hits and 42,000 unique visitors, totalling about 15 million hits a month. This from a community with a population 73,368, according to the 2016 census.He says about 97 per cent of traffic is from local stories.“What we’re just doing is what a community newspaper did 20 years ago,” Elgie says. “It’s not that brilliant, really, we’re just focusing on local.”He says he won’t go anywhere near Toronto, Montreal or Vancouver, but is targeting small- to medium-sized cities with populations from 40,000 people to 200,000. He also targets areas that have their own distinct persona, learning from their struggles in Barrie, Ont.“Barrie seems to act a little differently and in some ways behaves a bit more like (a) commuter community where there is not as much interest in engagement in purely local news, so we struggle there,” he says.Another important factor is the competition. He’s looking for places with a weak media landscape. He points to Guelph as a good example. They had already planned to go in there because it fits the profile, but when the local paper, the Guelph Mercury, closed in early 2016, they raced to enter the market and opened up shop eight days later with two former Mercury reporters in tow.The next experiment is to test an even smaller market: Elliot Lake, Ont., with a population of 10,498.They’ll leverage SooToday’s site since it’s so close and they’re already covering issues like crime and health care. He says he already has commitments from companies to buy ads that have nearly covered the new operations launch costs.Like newspapers of yore, his company is making money off obituaries, which they post for free but make advertisement dollars off of their popularity, and classifieds.“In the Soo, we have more used vehicles than Auto Trader does,” Elgie says.Back in Toronto, Bidini already has a few shoestring budget stories to tell. An old high school friend “who’s done very well” will cover printing costs. There is no rent for the newsroom space because they are considered artists in residence at the Gladstone Hotel.He’s pumped for the first issue, which will feature “massive photos and massive illustrations” to go along with both short and long stories.“We do whatever we want to do,” Bidini says.Then it’s back to the what ifs. What if the West End Phoenix is no different than the scores of news outlets that died?“Who knows, maybe we’ll be that, man,” he says, “but we’re gonna try.”Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version misstated the number of issues the West End Phoenix will publish per year.last_img read more

Nova Chemicals appeals ruling that it pay Dow US106billion in damages

first_imgCALGARY – Nova Chemicals has appealed an Alberta judge’s order that it pay US$1.06 billion in damages to Dow Chemical Canada in a dispute over a massive ethylene plant in the province.The dispute centres on a production facility in Joffre, Alta. known as E3 that Nova started operating in 2000.Dow Canada alleged breach of contract over the E3 joint venture agreements, claimed that Nova took part of the ethylene and other products that belonged to Dow and failed to run the facility at full production.Nova said it faced an ethane shortage and ran the facility as fully as it could, subject to mechanical issues that constrained production.Justice Barbara Romaine of the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench ruled in favour of Dow in June, and against a counterclaim filed by Nova in a case that included claims and counterclaims for damages between 2001 to 2012.Nova Chemicals says in its appeal that the trial judge “fundamentally misapprehended” the project agreements, including the context they were entered into, and so mistakenly awarded the damages.(Companies in this story: TSX:NCX)last_img read more

Surerus and Macro joint ventures selected by TransCanada to build Coastal GasLink

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – TransCanada Corp. announced today that it has conditionally awarded contracts to the Surerus Murphy and Macro Spiecapag joint ventures, as well as SA Energy Group and Pacific Atlantic Pipeline Construction Inc. to build the proposed Coastal GasLink Pipeline.TransCanada said that the contracts are conditional pending a positive final investment decision by LNG Canada to build a proposed LNG export terminal in Kitimat. TransCanada said that the cumulative value of the four contracts will total approximately $2.8 billion.“The selection of our construction team is an important milestone for the Coastal GasLink project,” said Coastal GasLink Pipeline Project president Rick Gateman. “The project will create significant employment opportunities for Indigenous communities in northern B.C. as well as local skilled labourers and businesses. Our pipeline, connecting prolific Northeast B.C. gas to high value, international end-use markets via the LNG Canada liquefaction facility in Kitimat, will allow British Columbians and Canadians alike the opportunity to more effectively benefit from the responsible development of our valuable natural gas resources.”The four contractors will be directly responsible for hiring a projected 2,500 workers over the four-year construction period, and TransCanada said there will be a special emphasis placed on hiring locally first, giving priority to qualified local and Indigenous businesses in northern B.C. To date, Coastal GasLink has spent approximately $60 million locally in northern B.C., including over $3 million on community investment initiatives, education and skills training initiatives.last_img read more

School District 60 looks at making upgrades to lighting

first_imgBefore signing any documentation with Radiance, the District was seeking support from the Board to move forward with the project.The Board voted in favour to receive more information before signing documentation and making the upgrades to the lighting. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – At a special School District 60 board meeting on Monday, Trustees looked into the matter of upgrading lights at all School District facilities.According to School District Secretary-Treasurer, Brenda Hooker, they have been in discussions with Radiance Energy for the past six months regarding an LED lighting upgrade to all facilities.Hooker says other Districts have been working with Radiance to upgrade lights and say the new lighting bring benefits such as improving the classroom environment and lowering hydro costs when compared to the standard fluorescent lighting.last_img read more