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Journalist freed after receiving suspended sentence

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first_img Receive email alerts MadagascarAfrica Condemning abuses Judicial harassmentImprisonedFreedom of expression RSF urges Madagascar to let journalists cover Covid-19 freely Follow the news on Madagascar Organisation UPDATE:After four and a half months in provisional detention, Radio Jupiter director Fernand Cello was freed on 26 September when a court gave him a suspended two-year jail sentence on charges of stealing a cheque and forgery. He was also sentenced to a fine (also suspended) of 720,000 ariarys (200 euros) – more than five times the average monthly salary.Cello and his lawyer said they would appeal against his conviction. He is still due to be tried on a charge of defamation under the communication code and on charges of “malicious allegations” and “verbal death threats” under the criminal code, which are punishable by imprisonment. His trial on these three charges is scheduled for 20 October.*************************************************Known for his investigative coverage of sensitive local stories, Cello has been held for more than four months on the basis of spurious accusations by persons he criticized on the air. Requests by his lawyers for his release pending the trial were rejected four times by the court.At the end of a three-hour hearing on 19 September, the court announced that it would issue a verdict on 26 September. The charges against Cello include stealing a cheque and forgery, for which he is facing a possible sentence of three months to five years in prison.This charge was brought by Andry Maherllah, the owner of the local power company, who was criticized by Cello on the air in August 2016. However, according to the bank, the check concerned – which was issued and cashed in 2015 – was never declared stolen.Cello is also charged with defamation but the court decided to put off hearing this charge until 20 October. His lawyer told RSF he did not know the reason for the postponement.“These proceedings on trumped-up charges are clearly designed to keep an innocent journalist in prison because his coverage of abuse of authority has caused displeasure,” said Cléa Kahn-Sriber. “The prosecution case file is empty. We call for an end to this travesty of justice and for Fernand Cello’s immediate release.”Radio targeted by local authoritiesIhorombe province’s only independent radio station, Radio Jupiter is located more than 700 km south of Madagascar’s capital, Antananarivo, in a mining region afflicted by trafficking and misgovernment. The station had paid dearly for its readiness to denounce collusion between private and public interests.Cello had to be evacuated to Antananarivo in February 2016 after being badly beaten and still suffers from the after-effects of the injuries he received. Maherllah, the owner of the local power company, reacted to being criticized in an interview by disconnecting Radio Jupiter’s power supply in August 2016 but the station was able to continue broadcast by installing solar panels.In December 2016, Radio Jupiter broadcast a report about the environmental damage resulting from the operations of the mining company Gondwana. A dozen solders confiscated its transmitter a few hours later on the pretext that it was “illegal” although the station had existed for 15 years. Cello went into hiding.After emerging from hiding four months later, on 21 April, when the ministry of mining finally ordered Gondwana to suspend operations for contravening the mining code, Cello gave interviews to various media outlets, criticizing the judicial and political authorities in Ihorombe province. He was arrested a few days later, on 6 May, as he left an Antananarivo hospital where he had been receiving treatment.Madagascar’s media landscape is pluralist but uneven. The leading media outlets are owned by businessmen and politicians who influence editorial policy. A new communication law adopted in July 2015 was widely criticized by journalists because of the chilling effect of its penalties for media offences.Madagascar is ranked 57th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2017 World Press Freedom Index. News News Reports Help by sharing this information Madagascar : Sabotage silences TV channel that criticized coronavirus measures RSF_en center_img November 27, 2020 Find out more The 2020 pandemic has challenged press freedom in Africa to go further April 30, 2021 Find out more News Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the continuing persecution of Madagascan journalist Fernand Cello, the director of Radio Jupiter in Ilakaka, a small mining town in the southern province of Ihorombe, whose trial finally began this week in Ihosy, the provincial capital. April 16, 2020 Find out more September 22, 2017 – Updated on September 28, 2017 Journalist freed after receiving suspended sentence Journalist Fernand Cello, photo: La dépêche de Madagascar MadagascarAfrica Condemning abuses Judicial harassmentImprisonedFreedom of expression last_img read more

Lakowe Agog as Eko Challenge Cup Tees off on African Tour

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first_imgThey will now join the six players that made the cut in Abuja at the first qualifying school in December 2018.Korblah shot 4 under par 68, while C. Ambe was two off the pace for second place.The players will be scheming to eclipse Mohammed Safuyanu Muazu, who held off Vincent Torgah to win the tournament.The President of the African Tour, Emeka Okatta, said the Tour will feature players from Ghana, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Spain and Germany.He said the first season of the African Tour will build on the achievements of the West African Golf Tour and offer the players more opportunities, incorporating new tournaments and new venues to the 2019 schedule.A total of 16 tournaments will be staged in eight golf courses across Nigeria with the total prize purse of $475,000 to be shared.“We are committed to grow the game of golf in Africa and offer professional players a platform to showcase their talent, ” said Okatta.In addition, the African Tour also intends to give women opportunity to play in all tournaments with men and compete for the same purse.“This shall not be the only innovation by the African Tour, new formats are incorporated to the 2019 schedule such as the Shoot-out golf tournament and the African Cup Championship. There will also be new host venues in addition to the existing ones, including Sagamu and Abeokuta Golf Clubs “.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Olawale AjimotokanThe first event on the African Tour- Eko Challenge Cup- will tee off today at Lakowe Lakes Golf Estate, Lagos with a field of 40 players.Eighteen players led by Emos Korblah secured their tour cards at the qualifying tournament held yesterday in Lagos.last_img read more

Former West Brom boss to rival Moyes for Real Sociedad job

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first_img Pepe Mel 1 Former West Brom manager Pepe Mel has emerged as a rival to ex-Manchester United boss David Moyes for the Real Sociedad job.It has been widely reported the Spanish club has identified Moyes as the man they want to succeed Jagoba Arrasate, who was sacked on Saturday night.The Scotsman, who left Old Trafford after ten difficult months, is reportedly considering the offer but now, according to sources in Spain, Mel is also in the running.The Spaniard has been without a job since leaving West Brom in May following four miserable months in charge, which yielded just three victories.But Mel’s stock remains high in Spain – thanks to his success with the likes of Rayo Vallecano and Real Betis – and he could be offered a route back in with Sociedad.It is understood that Moyes remains the club’s first choice but they think Mel could represent a more economically viable option.last_img read more

Ex-49ers coach Jim Harbaugh at it again, equates vanquished rival with ‘storm troopers’

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first_imgCLICK HERE if you are having a problem viewing the photos on a mobile deviceIf there is a more homely, avert-your-gaze, hide-the-children rivalry trophy in college sports than the Paul Bunyan trophy, I’ve yet to see it.The unsettling expression. The fright-wig beard. Hands on hips and leaning back as if about to…Let’s just say the prize was fitting given the competitive exercise: Michigan vs. Michigan State. They were still talking about Saturday’s inelegant game on Monday. (And not just …last_img read more

No bedbugs for early humans

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first_imgArchaeologists sorting excavated material at Sibudu cave. (Image: Christine Sievers) Leaves in a plaster jacket. In the latest discovery new evidence of well preserved and fossilised plant bedding, dating back 77 000 years, has been found.(Image: Marion Bamford) Sibudu sediments showing evidence for the burning of plants. (Image: Lyn Wadley) MEDIA CONTACTS • Lindsay Marshall   Maropeng  +27 14 577 9021 RELATED ARTICLES • Maropeng sets green standard • Maropeng top evotourism destination • Angola a fossil hotspot • SA varsity leads the way in geosciencesWilma den HartighArchaeological excavations have delivered yet another significant find – this time at a rock shelter near Durban in KwaZulu-Natal province. The fossil discovery, made by a team of researchers, reveals fascinating insights into the development of behavioural practices of early modern humans in Southern Africa.Archaeologists have been excavating the middle Stone Age site at the Sibudu cave, a sandstone cliff in northern KwaZulu-Natal about 40km north of Durban, since 1998.In the latest discovery new evidence of well preserved and fossilised plant bedding, dating back 77 000 years, has been found.The fossilised leaves and other artefacts discovered at Sibudu, such as the oldest bone and arrow, the oldest needle, and fossilised grass stems and leaves, are now on show in a new fossil display at Maropeng at the Cradle of Humankind in Gauteng.Evidence of modern human behaviourThe discovery is an important addition to South Africa’s existing archaeological collection.What makes the plant bedding discovery so significant is that it reveals new information about the evolution of modern human behaviour, and shows how early Homo sapiens lived.Lindsay Marshall, curator at Maropeng, says that similar evidence has been discovered elsewhere in the world, but these discoveries date back to a more recent period than that of the Sibudu caves.The newest discovery is 50 000 years older than earlier reports of preserved bedding.The fossilised leaves reveal that early humans were using plants with insect repellent properties and placing them on the ground to sleep on – and possibly to live and work on too.This discovery could also be the earliest evidence of modern floor coverings, such as the carpets that we have in our homes today.According to the research team, led by Wits University archaeologist Prof Lyn Wadley, the findings suggest that during the Middle Stone Age, 77 000 years ago, our human ancestors had the cognitive ability to choose plants that contained insect repellent to sleep on.The fossilised grass stems and leaves were most likely sourced from the uThongathi River near Sibudu. Wits botanist Marion Bamford identified the leaves as belonging to Cryptocarya woodii, also known as the Cape laurel or river wild quince.The leaves of this tree contain chemicals that are insecticidal, and would be suitable for repelling mosquitoes.Wadley says that the selection of these leaves for the construction of bedding suggests that early inhabitants of Sibudu had an intimate knowledge of the plants surrounding the shelter, and were aware of their medicinal uses.Microscopic analysis of the bedding, conducted by Christopher Miller, a junior professor in geoarchaeology at the University of Tübingen in Germany, suggests that the inhabitants repeatedly refurbished the bedding during the course of occupation.In what could be an early form of house cleaning, the microscopic analysis found that the inhabitants of Sibudu regularly burned the bedding after use, possibly as a way to remove pests.According to Miller, this would have prepared the site for future occupation and indicates a novel use of fire for the maintenance of an occupation site.A rare fossil displayMarshall says that this discovery is one of a long list of important finds at Sibudu over the past decade. Over the years, this rock shelter has become a highly valuable site for archeological research.Other items discovered during the excavations include perforated seashells, believed to have been used as beads.“It is interesting to wonder what the beads were used for,” she says. “They were probably used either as gifts or for exchanges with other communities. Either way they had value,” she says.Wadley considers the discovery of the fossil plants and the perforated shells as major career highlights.“Sibudu is only the second site in South Africa where these shells have been found,” she says. “The other is Blombos Cave in the Western Cape.”Sharpened bone points which could have been used for hunting were also found at Sibudu, and indicate some of the earliest examples of modern human technology.The exhibition consists of lots of smaller items such as pieces of stone tools, tiny shells and fossilised leaves that can be viewed with magnifying glasses placed in each display cabinet.At a glance it might seem like a random collection of bits and pieces of stone, but what you are actually looking at are rare finds that are usually not displayed in exhibitions open to the public.“In the exhibition you look at small things, but their historical significance is huge,” says Marshall. “These discoveries are usually reserved for laboratories and journals.”• The exhibition, What makes us human: The significance of the Sibudu cave shelter, runs until the end of May at the Maropeng.last_img read more

No new U.S. classic scrapie cases since April 2016

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first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest In the January 2017 National Scrapie Eradication Program (NSEP) report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service conveyed that no new positive U.S. classical scrapie cases have been reported in either sheep or goats in fiscal year 2017, which runs Oct. 1, 2016, through Sept. 30, 2017. Also, no new infected or source flocks have been identified in fiscal year 2017.In fact, the last case of classical scrapie was reported in April 2016. This is the longest period without a positive case since the beginning of the NSEP.As of Jan. 31, 2017, there were two open infected and source flock statuses for classical scrapie. One flock was designated as a Nor98-like source flock in October 2016 as a result of a sheep sampled in September 2016 that tested positive.RSSS started April 1, 2003. It is a targeted slaughter surveillance program which is designed to identify infected flocks. Samples have been collected from 531,701 animals since April 1, 2003. There have been 480 NVSL confirmed positive animals* (471 classical cases and 9 Nor98-like cases) since the beginning of RSSS. As of January 31, 2017, 11,197 samples have been collected in FY 2017, 9,551 from sheep and 1,646 from goats.The January report is available at www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health/animal_diseases/scrapie/downloads/monthly_scrapie_report.pdf.last_img read more