Cronkite helped to  originate fake news

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion Re April 7 letter, “WRGB sold out its corporate integrity”: How ironic that the Rev. John A. Ekman mentioned Walter Cronkite in his letter critical of WRGB-6.“Old Cronky” came back after the Tet Offensive in Vietnam and said the conflict was helplessly lost — this after we had inflicted causalities of close to a 7-to-1 ratio on the NVA [People’s Army of Vietnam] and Viet Cong — all but wiping that group out.Cronkite’s commentary — not reporting — was an early example of the “fake news” prevalent today — 50 years ago.Bob BriggsSaratoga SpringsThe writer is a Vietnam Marine veteran.More from The Daily Gazette:Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationSchenectady, Saratoga casinos say reopening has gone well; revenue down 30%EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homeslast_img read more

Letters to the Editor for Monday, June 17

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionProject Dance was exhilarating, joyfulWhen, as a parent, a sibling, or grandparent, as part of the school putting on an annual performance, do you ever find yourself experiencing an exhilarating rush?Maybe that’s when you choke up a little watching in a suspended state, or start to move with the music because that’s what the capacity crowd is experiencing. This was a public school modern dance performance choreographed by three remarkable teachers.But Project Dance at Schenectady High School’s auditorium on June 6 far transcended the expected line-up of participating students who would not necessarily have received creative training in a private dance studio.And yet very little about that evening’s performance distracted the viewer.  Members of each dance performance not only knew their moves, but many injected energy and a personal flair into the instant. This year the costumes were great; the lighting moved and the dancing was remarkable. This was about artistic expression; about precise coordination and the mastery of complicated moves and gestures. All the performers got it. And in this precious context everyone in the theater got it. This event was about the result of young adults working together; about a moment under the lights; about determined pride that they can do this exceeding well.And, this SHS experience clearly has positive implications for what each performer can accomplish in the future. Congratulations.Frank F. GilmoreSchenectadyHearings needed to reveal Mueller factsMarc Thiessen’s May 31 column, “Americans don’t want impeachment, but Dems won’t listen,” is misleading regarding the Mueller report.Mueller stated, “Under long standing [Justice] Department policy, a President cannot be charged with a federal crime while he is in office. That is unconstitutional. Charging the president with a crime, therefore, was not an option. If we had confidence that the president did not commit a crime, we would have said so.”Mueller went on to say that the Special Council was not impeded from investigating and did find 10  instances of possible obstruction of justice, which was detailed in the report. He stated that even though the special counsel was prohibited from indicting the president, he implied that Congress could take the information and proceed accordingly.The report also contains grand jury and witness testimony corroborating the findings. Some of this is redacted and Congress has struggled to have the attorney general release the full report.Justin Amash, R-MI, held a town hall meeting in which he outlined the key parts of the report that informed him of his decision to impeach.An attendee said this was the first time she had learned of this information and only gets her information from conservative outlets.Because so few have actually read the report, it’s important for Congress to hold public committee hearings of witnesses so the people can have the information to determine the truth.Sandra J. NataleSaratoga Springs Grateful for student article on deafnessThank you for publishing the Student Gazette on June 7. We’d like to particularly thank Nia Roberts, who wrote “Five things you didn’t know about deaf people.”  It was outstanding, well-written, and hit home with our family.We have a deaf daughter, Kate, who attended the Capital Region BOCES Deaf and Hearing Impaired program from pre-school through 10th grade. In the spring of her sophomore year,  she visited a friend at the Model Secondary School for the Deaf. Kate left Schoharie that Friday as a deaf 10th-grade girl, but returned home a few days later as a young woman who identified as deaf. She was very articulate as to why she needed to be part of the larger deaf community, and there was no saying “no” to this young woman. Kate entered MSSD as a junior. She received her undergraduate degree from Gallaudet University and then earned master’s degrees in international relations from the University of Limerick, Ireland, and later from Gallaudet. After working for not-for-profit organizations serving the deaf, including in Haiti and Malawi, she is now on the faculty at Gallaudet University herself.We’ve attended Gallaudet University athletic events and theater productions over the years. If there is something that the deaf cannot do – except to hear – we have yet to discover it.Most deaf people we have met do not consider their deafness to be a disability. That, to us, is key. It’s about how you define yourself. Kudos to Nia for bringing deaf awareness to us all.Gail and Michael BreenSchoharie Isachsen will bring integrity to MiltonFor over 50 years, I have lived in the town of Milton. Elected town government officials have come and gone. Some of those folks have been very effective. Some, however, have not been. I was pleased to read that Ryan Isachsen, one of my fellow Ethics Board members in Milton, was running for Town Council. Ryan was part of the Ethics Board for a number of years, including one term as chairman.Ryan was always unbiased and fair in his assessment of the complaints brought before the board. Ryan never bowed to political pressure during his tenure on the Ethics Board.Ryan is a man of great pride in his work. He’s a local man with a wife and two children, not to mention his four dogs. He will work tirelessly for the benefit of all constituents of the town of Milton, with no partiality or favor to political party. He’s what we need in the town now. I’m a Democrat in a sea of Republicans; however, I have always voted for the folks I thought best suited for a position, not by party line. Please vote write in Ryan Isachsen on June 25. Polls open at noon.Suzanne CanellBallston Spa Get us Chick-fil-A and save the planetAccording to a National Geographic article, replacing the beef on your plate with carbon-light chicken will cut your dietary carbon footprint in half.The article states: “That’s according to a first-ever national study of U.S. eating habits and their carbon footprints.”Maybe now it’s time we fully embrace Chick-fil-A.There’s plenty of room up here in the north. Chick-fil-A, come on up. Oh, I’m sorry. Am I being politically incorrect? To heck with that. Let’s save the planet.John GentileDuanesburgMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusGov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationlast_img read more

Grimley moves into new Cardiff offices

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Against the odds

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H&B poaches Unisys corporate property boss

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Iraqis wanted to topple the system, but taboos fell instead

first_imgMocking clerics, falling in love at rallies and mending a broken society: even if Iraq’s young protesters have failed to overthrow entrenched politicians, they have scored by shattering decades-old taboos.Since October, the country of 40 million has been rocked by a historically large grassroots movement with big goals: ending corruption, unaccountable sectarian parties and overreach from neighboring Iran.Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi resigned in December, only to be replaced by ex-minister Mohammad Allawi, slammed by protesters as too close to the ruling elite.  Youth chant against a once-untouchable cluster of politicians and paramilitary commanders, and women spend nights in tents next to adult men. Students defy orders to return to class and neighborhoods once seen as dangerous are buzzing with people en route to demonstrate.Slogans like “Forget outdated traditions,” “End classism” and “No more differences” are trending on Twitter in Iraq. “Tahrir lets us dream,” wrote one activist whose friend — who ekes out a living driving a rickshaw — had fallen in love with a medic from a prestigious family. ‘More to life than surviving’ Since the 1970s, Iraq has endured Saddam Hussein’s authoritarian regime, back-to-back wars and devastating sanctions that isolated it from the world.There were few cellular phones and barely any internet access until the 2003 US-led invasion that collapsed Saddam’s nominally secular regime.Sectarian fighting gave rise to hardline Shiite and Sunni militias as society became more divided and religious.When Iraq defeated the Islamic State group in 2017 after years of fighting and displacement, many anticipated long-overdue peace and prosperity. “The young generation was in a coma for many years, but stability opened their eyes to the truth: there is more to life than just surviving,” said protester Ahmad Haddad, 32.”There’s living in dignity in a civil society, breaking conservative norms and loosening the grip of religious parties,” said Haddad.But instead of easing into normality, it was a sudden uprising that transformed Iraq.Hiyyam Shayea, a 50-year-old teacher in protest-hit Diwaniyah province, can testify to that. “There were some huge, surprising changes to a lot of social affairs,” said Shayea, wearing a traditional black robe at a recent rally in her hometown. Such a stance had long been unimaginable in the south, where tribal customs trump federal law and restrict women’s public role.But it has come at a high price. Around 550 people have been killed and 30,000 wounded in protest-related violence.”That was all for a homeland — one that’s civilized and civil, not backwards and outdated,” said Shayea. ‘In the end, what did you do?’Some are resisting the changes, describing rallies as hotbeds of promiscuity, alcohol and drugs, fuelled by the West.Leading Iraqi cleric Moqtada Sadr has tried to discredit the movement with such claims, insisting men and women stay separate and protests be “cleaned.” Women swiftly organized their own rally mocking Sadr, long untouchable because of his violent past as a militiaman and his diehard followers. In the protests’ early days, angry crowds slapped shoes against portraits of paramilitary leaders and Iranian general Qasem Soleimani, who held tremendous sway in Baghdad and was never publicly criticized.Soleimani was later killed in a US strike.Demonstrators also railed against “muhassassa,” the sectarian power-sharing system governing Iraq after Saddam.Few current protesters are old enough to remember Saddam — 60 percent of the population is under 25 — and blame their elders for Iraq’s slide into broken politics.The rallies exposed “a huge rift” between the two generations, Iraqi researcher Khaled Hamza told AFP.”We’re in the middle of a spontaneous movement by a group of youth who weren’t expected to be responsible for achieving what our generation couldn’t,” said Hamza, who is in his 60s.Protesters recognize it, too. In Baghdad, a woman in a pink headscarf carried a sign: “In the end, I made a revolution. What did you do?”Further south in oil-rich Basra, Heba, a protester in her 20s, said the rallies have changed her.”They strengthened our personalities, made us distinguish between right and wrong and demand our rights,” she said. The movement is now at a crossroads: numbers have dwindled as activists face an intimidation campaign and parties seek to recapture momentum with a new cabinet.”Now, it’s time to unite under a new vision, a plan that addresses Iraqis’ needs,” said protester Mohammad al-Ajeel.”What’s happening is huge, but it’s new for us. We can’t expect everything to happen overnight,” said Ajeel, a businessman living between Iraq and the UAE.”It may need years.” But what they have so far been unable to win politically, demonstrators have made up for with social change. “We scored one goal by bringing down the government, but socially we achieved much more,” said Ali Khraybit, 28.His best friend just proposed to a girl he met marching in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square, the anti-government movement’s epicenter. Like other squares across Iraq’s mainly-Shiite south, Tahrir has become a social experiment, a free space where conservative norms have been toppled. center_img Topics :last_img read more

China’s Xi writes thank you note to Bill Gates for virus pledge

first_imgTopics : Chinese President Xi Jinping has written a letter expressing thanks to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for the organization’s “generosity” and support tackling a deadly virus epidemic, state media said Saturday.The outbreak of the new COVID-19 strain has claimed 2,345 lives in mainland China and infected more than 76,000 people, with cases in more than 25 countries.Earlier this month the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation committed up to $100 million for the global response to the outbreak. “We have rallied the whole nation and adopted a string of unprecedented measures to contain and mitigate the epidemic and treat the sick,” Xi wrote. “These extraordinary measures are delivering substantial results,” he said.The Gates Foundation said the funding would be used to strengthen detection, isolation and treatment efforts, including protecting at-risk populations and developing vaccines and diagnostics.The foundation said it would direct $20 million to organizations like the World Health Organization, the US Centers for Disease Control and Protection, the National Health Commission of China and the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.center_img “I deeply appreciate the act of generosity of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and your letter of solidarity to the Chinese people at such an important moment,” Xi wrote in the letter, according to official news agency Xinhua.China is at a “critical moment” in the fight against the outbreak, he said.Millions remain under lockdown in central Hubei province, where the virus emerged in December, although new hotspots were found in several prisons and hospitals on Friday.Nearly 400 new cases were reported nationwide in China on Saturday — less than half the number of new cases the previous day.last_img read more

A mob out for blood: India’s protests pit Hindus against Muslims

first_imgPersecuted religious minorities including from Hindu, Sikh, or Christian communities are eligible for citizenship, but those from Islam do not enjoy all the same advantages.Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) says the new citizenship law is necessary to protect persecuted minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, and denies any bias against India’s Muslims.”They saw I was alone, they saw my cap, beard, shalwar kameez [clothes] and saw me as a Muslim,” Zubair told Reuters. “They just started attacking, shouting slogans. What kind of humanity is this?” A group of men chanting pro-Hindu slogans, beat Mohammad Zubair, 37, who is Muslim, during protests sparked by a new citizenship law in New Delhi, India, February 24, 2020. (REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui)”Everything will be fine”BJP spokesman Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga said his party did not support any kind of violence, including the attack on Zubair. He blamed rival parties for stoking the chaos during US President Donald Trump’s visit in order to damage India’s image.”This was 100 percent pre-planned,” he said of the violence, adding that his party or its policies had nothing to do with the chaos. Reuters has no independent evidence that the protests were planned in advance.Bagga said that the federal government, which controls Delhi police, moved to deploy paramilitary forces in order to bring the situation under control.”I believe within 24 hours everything will be fine,” he added.Delhi police were not immediately available for comment on the attack on Zubair.Since cruising back to power in May, Modi has pursued a Hindu-first agenda that has emboldened his followers and left India’s 180 million Muslims reeling. Hindus account for about 80 percent of the population.Now opponents and supporters of the law, largely divided between Muslims and Hindus, are facing off against each other. Some say the polarization evokes a dark chapter in India’s past.”The violence is now happening in tiny pockets of Delhi and reminds you of the beginning of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots,” said Yogendra Yadav, a political scientist who leads a small political party opposed to the BJP.He was referring to mob attacks on the Sikh minority after members of the community assassinated then-Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Thousands of Sikhs were killed in cities including Delhi in what Indian investigators said was organized violence.A slingshot and petrol bombs are pictured on the rooftop of a house in a riot affected area following clashes between people demonstrating for and against a new citizenship law in New Delhi, India, February 27, 2020. (REUTERS/Adnan Abidi)Appeal for calm Modi appealed for calm on Wednesday after at least 24 people were killed and hundreds more wounded in some of the worst sectarian violence in New Delhi in decades.The citizenship law behind the unrest is one of several steps taken by Modi’s government since its re-election that have appealed to the Hindu majority.In August, it stripped Kashmir, India’s only Muslim-majority state, of its special status, a move which Modi defended as a way of integrating the region with the rest of the country.In November, the Supreme Court handed Hindu groups control of a contested site in the city of Ayodhya that paves the way for a temple to be built on a site where a mosque once stood. That was a central election promise made by the BJP.Modi’s position as chief minister of Gujarat state during some of the worst riots in India’s independent history that took place there in 2002 has long stoked mistrust among some Muslims.Up to 2,500 people, mostly Muslims, were killed during riots sparked after 59 Hindu pilgrims were burned to death when their train was set alight by suspected Muslims.In the subsequent investigation, Modi was absolved of wrongdoing, even as dozens of people on both sides of the riots were convicted.Security forces patrol in a riot affected area following clashes between people demonstrating for and against a new citizenship law in New Delhi, India, February 27, 2020. (REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri)”Remembering my Allah”Before this week’s clashes in New Delhi, 25 people had been killed in running battles between protesters and police across the country.That number has now nearly doubled after two days of arson, lootings, beatings and shootings in parts of northeastern New Delhi that police forces have struggled to contain.Delhi police said in a statement late on Tuesday that they were making every effort to contain the clashes and urged people to maintain the peace.Witnesses said police and paramilitary forces were patrolling the streets in far greater numbers on Wednesday. Parts of the riot-hit areas were deserted.Several of those killed and injured had been shot, according to two medics at the Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, where many of the victims were taken. Reuters could not determine who had fired on them.Among them, Yatinder Vikal, a 33-year-old Hindu, was brought in with a gunshot wound to his right knee. His brother said Yatinder was driving a scooter when a bullet hit him.Reuters witnesses at a local hospital spoke to both Hindu and Muslim victims who were injured in the violence.An unconscious Zubair was eventually dragged to safety by fellow Muslims who came to his aid after throwing stones to disperse his attackers.The 37-year-old, who makes a living doing odd jobs, was rushed to hospital where he was treated for wounds to his head and released late on Monday. “I was thinking ‘I’m not going to survive this’,” he recalled. “I was remembering my Allah.” Mohammad Zubair was on his way home from a local mosque in northeast New Delhi when he came across a large crowd. He turned towards an underpass to avoid the commotion; it proved to be a mistake.Within seconds, he was cowering on the ground surrounded by more than a dozen young men, who began beating him with wooden sticks and metal rods. Blood flowed from his head, spattering his clothes. The blows intensified. He thought he would die.Zubair provided his version of events at a relative’s home in another part of the capital, his head wrapped in bandages. Topics :center_img The mid-afternoon attack on Monday, captured in a dramatic Reuters photograph, came against a backdrop of tension and violence.Near the area of the Indian capital where it occurred, Muslim and Hindu protesters had been fighting pitched battles for hours across a concrete and metal barrier that divided the main thoroughfare, throwing rocks and primitive petrol bombs.But the sight of a mob screaming pro-Hindu slogans suddenly turning on an unarmed individual, apparently because he was a Muslim, was a sign that growing tensions between members of India’s two dominant religions may be hard to contain.Unrest across India began in December with the passing of a law that makes non-Muslims from some neighboring nations eligible for fast-tracked citizenship – a move many Muslims say is discriminatory and marks a break from India’s secular traditions.last_img read more

Former VP Biden wins South Carolina primary: Networks

first_imgA South Carolina victory was seen as crucial to Biden’s hopes of challenging Bernie Sanders, the 78-year-old senator from Vermont, for the Democratic nomination and the spot on the ticket in November against Republican Donald Trump.Sanders has been the clear frontrunner in the race having won both New Hampshire and Nevada after finishing in a virtual tie in Iowa with former South Bend, Indiana, mayor Pete Buttigieg.Biden finished fourth in Iowa, fifth in New Hampshire and second in Nevada and he desperately needed a win in South Carolina ahead of next week’s “Super Tuesday,” when 14 states go to the polls.One-third of the delegates who formally choose the Democratic nominee at the July party convention will be up for grabs on Super Tuesday.Topics : Former vice president Joe Biden won the South Carolina primary on Saturday, reviving his flagging campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination.All of the major television networks projected the 77-year-old Biden as the winner just minutes after polls closed in South Carolina at 7:00 pm (0000 GMT).The networks did not provide any vote totals but the early projections were an indication that Biden had scored a decisive win in the state where he was counting on heavy support among African-American voters.last_img read more

Indonesia’s confirmed COVID-19 cases may spike in upcoming days, govt warns

first_imgThe government has warned that the number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Indonesia may spike in the upcoming days as they are set to receive more results from 12 laboratories across the country that were recently authorized to conduct COVID-19 tests.“We acknowledge that there might be a sharp increase in the number of COVID-19 confirmed cases since we have been very active in conducting [contact] tracing and people have become more aware about the disease,” Health Ministry disease control and prevention director general Achmad Yurianto said on Tuesday.He said authorities would continue to trace other people who may have been exposed to the disease more thoroughly.The government had so far tested more than 2,300 samples from patients suspected of being infected by the coronavirus, Yurianto claimed.Previously, the COVID-19 tests were only supposed to be performed by the Jakarta-based Health Research and Development Agency, since it was the only laboratory that had been authorized by the government.However, as of Tuesday the tests can be carried out in 12 laboratories as stipulated in Health Ministerial decree No. 01/2020.Read also: COVID-19: Indonesia suspends visa-free policy, expands ban for people from worst-hit countriesAs of Tuesday afternoon, he said, the government had already received specimens of six confirmed cases from Airlangga University, Surabaya, East Java, adding that the laboratory had performed its task very well.Yurianto also hoped that other authorized laboratories, such as the Eijkman Institute for Microbiology in Jakarta and the Health Ministry’s Environmental Health and Disease Control Centers in 10 cities across Indonesia, would also send their results to the government immediately.“We will also shorten the procedure for delivering specimens from hospitals to laboratories,” he said, without elaborating further about the current procedure.Yurianto also urged the public to promptly visit hospitals if they had been in contact with COVID-19 patients, and went on to advise people not to panic when the government announced a staggering increase of confirmed cases of the disease in the upcoming days.On Tuesday afternoon, Indonesia announced 38 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of confirmed infections in the country to 172. The death toll remains at five while nine have recovered from the disease, according to the government’s data. (glh)Topics :last_img read more