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US – Ahead of Election Day, dozens of candidates have pledged to protect press freedom by signing RSF’s Press Freedom Pact

first_imgNews WhatsApp blocks accounts of at least seven Gaza Strip journalists Organisation RSF / BETC United StatesAmericas Media independenceInternational bodiesEvents News April 28, 2021 Find out more A pledge of just under 50 words, RSF’s Press Freedom Pact urges US political leaders to use the opportunity of this election to begin to restore the nation’s press freedom record at home and abroad.The list of signatories includes three sitting incumbents — Representatives Adam Schiff (D-CA), Jamie Raskin (D-MD), and Gerald Connolly (D-VA) — along with more than 40 additional candidates from all parties vying for office nationwide. RSF is grateful to all candidates who have signed the pact and applauds their efforts to champion the vital role of the free press in American democracy. The full list of signatories can be viewed on the campaign landing page. “We are encouraged to have the support of dozens of candidates who have pledged to take leadership in beginning to turn the United States’ worrying press freedom record around. We challenge all candidates – regardless of party affiliation – to join them by signing the pact before Election Day. There’s never been a more urgent time for concrete action to protect journalists and defend press freedom at home and abroad,” said Rebecca Vincent, RSF Director of International Campaigns. In the past two weeks alone, government retaliation against independent journalism has grown. On 22 October, President Trump violated his agreement with CBS News, preemptively releasing his 60 Minutes interview in an effort to retaliate against journalist Lesley Stahl – who, along with her family, received death threats following the interview and are now reportedly living under a protective detail. Meanwhile, US Agency for Global Media CEO Michael Pack rescinded the editorial “firewall” regulation which protected the journalistic independence of Voice of America and other networks from political interference. Additionally, the Department of Homeland Security has nearly finalized a deeply concerning draft rule that restricts visas for foreign journalists from five years to just 240 days. RSF calls again for all candidates running for elected office to join the nearly 50 signatories of the Press Freedom Pact in defending the independent media from undue political interference, intimidation and attack. RSF also encourages the public to mobilise in calling for candidates running in their  local, state, or federal elections to pledge their support to protect press freedom by signing the pact. The United States is ranked 45th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2020 World Press Freedom Index.Notes:For more information on the #PressFreedom Pact, visit the campaign landing page on RSF’s website, or contact RSF USA communications manager Collin Boylin at cboylin(a)rsf.org or via telephone at (202) 813-9497, extension 3. RSF_en NSO Group hasn’t kept its promises on human rights, RSF and other NGOs say News United StatesAmericas Media independenceInternational bodiesEvents center_img Receive email alerts Help by sharing this information June 7, 2021 Find out more to go further November 2, 2020 US – Ahead of Election Day, dozens of candidates have pledged to protect press freedom by signing RSF’s Press Freedom Pact June 3, 2021 Find out more Follow the news on United States Facebook’s Oversight Board is just a stopgap, regulation urgently needed, RSF says News Ahead of the November 3rd election, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has obtained dozens of signatures on the Press Freedom Pact, a commitment from candidates running for elected office in the United States to publicly reaffirm the principles of press freedom enshrined by the First Amendment. last_img read more

NAB 2019: Blackmagic Design Announces New Battery Grip for the BMPCC4K

first_imgAt NAB 2019, Blackmagic Design just announced their new battery grip for the Pocket Cinema Camera 4K — and it looks awesome.During their Resolve 16 presentation, Blackmagic Design shared a few heavy announcements. Between “Object Removal,” the new “Cut” section of Resolve, and the Keyboard, Blackmagic is establishing itself as a one-stop production shop. Once they announced all this, they moved onto the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K’s latest accessory addition: the battery grip.There aren’t many specs or details, as the announcement was pretty brief, so I’ll keep it simple. There are two LP-E6 batteries that can power the camera up to two hours, and two mounting points for accessories — and it’s made of carbon fiber.Here’s what it looks like:Well, I’m sold. The design is pretty simple, and it’s a welcome addition to an already-fantastic camera. For the price, I’ll definitely scoop one up in August (only to probably finally get it in the mail near the holidays . . .).The grip was designed to last “hours,” so this is very exciting news for anybody using the camera for extensive shoots.Images via Blackmagic Design.Looking for more on film and video production? Check out these articles.Adobe Releases New Content Aware Fill Tool for After EffectsThe 6 Best Filmmaking Cameras Under $1,000Cheers to This Film-Developing Beer Made in Collaboration with KodakHands-on Review: Is Syrp’s Genie the Lone Filmmaker’s Ultimate Tool?Gear Roundup: The Top Three Audio Recorders Under $300,Looking for more on film and video production? Check out these articles.Adobe Releases New Content Aware Fill Tool for After EffectsThe 6 Best Filmmaking Cameras Under $1,000Cheers to This Film-Developing Beer Made in Collaboration with KodakHands-on Review: Is Syrp’s Genie the Lone Filmmaker’s Ultimate Tool?Gear Roundup: The Top Three Audio Recorders Under $300last_img read more

On Snake Oil and Medicine

first_img Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Now The people who sell snake oil stand on boxes and shout about it’s great value, how it has changed lives, how you will never be the same. They promise fast, effective, easy answers to serious problems. They’re great at their pitch. These hucksters want you to believe that the snake oil is going to cure what ails you, just like it has cured all the other people who have tried it.The snake oil itself often comes in a pretty package. Not only do the words sound good; the packaging is amazing. There are excellent graphics, inspiring images, and tons of facts and figures that the snake oil salespeople point to in order to prove that what they sell can and will help you. It’s a compelling picture.And, the snake oil tastes good, too. It’s a happy, bubbly, sugary substance. It’s high octane, and you can almost feel it working at first sip. You try it, and you want more.It’s easy to believe that there are easy answers. But for difficult, important, and serious issues, there isn’t.The medicine that heals you is different. Most of the time, your health is greatly improved by doing things that aren’t nearly as attractive as the snake oil. There is nothing sexy or magical about eating right, exercising regularly, eating well, drinking more water than you want to, and not drinking too much alcohol. There isn’t anything particularly sexy about making your calls, either.When you do need real medicine, it doesn’t come in a pretty package, and it doesn’t taste good. If you wait too long to take your medicine, you can miss the opportunity and suffer worse outcomes from failing to deal with a little discomfort when you had the chance.One of the reasons snake oil is so attractive is that the real medicine you need to take is so unattractive. But the snake oil will cost you time, money, and the overall results you really want.When you haven’t been doing what you should have been doing, you need to take your medicine. You’ve never heard anyone say, “You need to take your snake oil.”last_img read more

Politics not faith drives festivals in Mumbai

first_imgThis Thursday there is no official holiday and still Mumbai will come to a near standstill. No, there is no bandh called by Shiv Sena or Maharashtra Nav Nirman Sena.The city will be celebrating Dahi Handi, a festival that cherishes Lord Krishna’s childhood.Over the years, festivals, too, have been hijacked by political parties and Dahi Handi is no exception. Celebrations are on a gigantic scale and the economics, therefore, need much more than voluntary contributions.This is where the political parties come in the picture.But not all political parties celebrate every festival. It all depends on the hue the party has acquired and the community base it enjoys.So Dahi-Handi and Ganesh Festival in Mumbai belong to the Marathi Shiv Sena, Navratri (or daandia raas) is claimed by the Bharatiya Janata Party that is largely supported by the Gujaratis who account for more than 20 per cent of Mumbai’s 1.2 crore population and also hold the cash strings.There was a time when daandia was played mainly at Gujarati strongholds in suburbs such as Goregaon, Malad, Kandivali and Borivali in the west and Ghatkopar, Mulund in the east. It helped the local BJP connect with its voter base.Times have changed and with film stars and Bollywood composers jumping in the fray, the festival is no longer a mere congregation of families and friends.Celebrating Ganesh Festival in a public manner was Bal Gangadhar Tilak’s idea who led the Congress before the Gandhi- Nehru era. The idea was to rouse Indian public against the British.advertisementOver 60 years after independence, the festival is now firmly in the hands of Shiv Sena that used it to fund itself and its activities through contributions, often dubbed as annual extortion by the local traders who prefer to pay the bully rather than catching the bull by its horns.When they do, they pay much more than what they would otherwise pay as contribution.There was a time gutkha barons funded the celebrations, now it’s the builders who eye the redevelopment of old dilapidated buildings and want the residents to give a nod to their proposal.Dahi Handi has been a festival that had no such patronage, not so far. There are several disadvantages – it gets over in hours, unlike daandia and Ganesh Festival that run in nine nights and ten days respectively. Political parties had so far not paid much attention, except that die- hard sainiks saw it as an adventure sport that challenged their lads.Eyebrows were raised, therefore, when Sanjay Nirupam, who was in Shiv Sena in the 90s’, suddenly raised the stakes.He offered a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh to any mandal that would break the dahi handi organised by his mandal.It suddenly caught on as teams across Mumbai vied for the cash prize. Over a decade later, Nirupam has moved and settled in the Congress but the prize money is going up at a breakneck speed.Interestingly, two young NCP leaders Jitendra Avhad and Sachin Ahir are now ace dahi handi organisers and both offer cash prizes of over Rs 75 lakh. Ahir’s dahi-handi , that showcased belly-dancing, attracted controversy last year as NCP’s RR Patil is sternly opposed to dance bars.Similarly, Avhad was accused of not paying the promised prize, a charge he has stoutly refused.If you want to see how religion and politics go hand in hand, visit Mumbai for Dahi Handi on Thursday.Marathi prideShiv Sena and MNS vie with each other to pronounce themselves as the true guardian of Marathi pride. As a result, they often fight for credit over the same issue and the Congress- NCP government remains a mute spectator.Take the issue of Mumbai multiplexes not showing Marathi films.As the state government offered tax holidays to upcoming multiplexes a few years ago, it dictated that they must show Marathi movies. But the multiplex owners claim there is not much audience for Marathi movies and they either hold shows early in the day or not show them at all.MNS was first to act asking the owners to follow the policy in spirit or face the music.Sena followed suit, but as MNS had already attacked a few multiplexes, the party filed a Public Interest Litigation.But no Sena leader turned up for the hearing. Similarly, when Raj Thackeray went to see a Marathi movie, one expected him to sit through the film.But apparently he couldn’t take it beyond a point and left half- way through. So much for the love of Marathi from a man who possesses a huge collection of Western movies’ background tracks.  Wily Pawar can still fox his rivalsadvertisementNCP chief Sharad Pawar may be ailing, but he still has great political acumen. Realising that he was getting a bad name over the rising food prices even as he was getting ready take over as ICC president, he offered to relinquish a few portfolios.Pawar had said that he would give these away before the monsoon session of Parliament.It’s end of August and there is no sign yet.Meanwhile, realising that he was losing grip on the party, he held an extended executive session of the NCP in Mumbai over the weekend.Apart from the usual discourses, he made a couple of interesting observations about the opposition parties and Eknath Khadse in particular. He pointed how the Leader of Opposition (Khadse) made corruption allegations over development proposals in Mumbai and then entered an understanding with them.Khadse raised several issues in the legislature where he alleged that Chief Minister Ashok Chavan had committed several irregularities while granting NOCs to the construction proposals.Even as Pawar defended Chavan, his nephew Ajit Pawar,-a minister in Chavan’s cabinet-described him as selfish though without naming him. He told his audience in Satara that the Ashoka tree was quite selfish and doesn’t even offer shadow to others. ” It grows itself, without letting others grow,” he commented, leaving the audience in raptures.Chavan is not allowing several of the NCP proposals and has kept the administration on a tight leash, much like his father. A peeved Pawar returned the favour in public.The saga will not end here. Quaint plea to save Jinnah’s bungalowWhile the central government claims ownership over the bungalow as per the Enemy Property Act, his daughter Dina Wadia has been claiming right to the property that was also the venue where Mahatma Gandhi and Jinnah discussed the partition of India in 1944.As an act of goodwill to Jinnah, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru did not acquire the property under the Enemy Property Act and even offered rent to him. With Jinnah’s death in September 1948, the issue remained unresolved, only to be resurrected after his daughter staked her claim to the property.It’s not so much her claim to the property, but the basis of the claim that is quite interesting.Her lawyers have cited that Jinnah was not a mainstream Muslim, and that he was a Khoja Shia and therefore the Islamic Sharia does not apply in deciding the issue of inheritance of his property. They state that it is the Hindu law which should be applied.This claim is rather interesting and even amusing, since Jinnah, in his avatar as the leader of the Muslim League, had advocated that the Hindu majority and its representatives in the Indian National Congress will crush the Muslim minority. That was the foundation of his claim for a separate land for Muslims.advertisementAlmost six decades after his death and the birth of Pakistan.Jinnah’s daughter has turned the clocks back.It will be interesting to see how the courts view the argument. It will be some years, but the verdict will make headlines if the courts ruled Hindu law to decide the ownership of the property of the founder of an Islamic republic.last_img read more