Receive email alerts SyriaTurkeyMiddle East – North Africa Europe – Central Asia Condemning abusesProtecting journalists Armed conflicts RSF joins Middle East and North Africa coalition to combat digital surveillance The convoy had set off from Qamishli with the aim of attending a protest in Ras Al-Ayn against the Turkish incursion. The Union of Syrian Kurdish Journalists told RSF that at least eight other journalists were injured. All were local journalists working for regional media outlets such as the Kurdish news agencies Hawar News and Firat News (ANF), the Syrian news agency North Press Agency (NPA), the Kurdish TV channel Sterk TV and the Iraqi Kurdish TV channel Rudaw. June 3, 2021 Find out more “Northeastern Syria is liable to lose its journalists and become a black hole for news and information if the Turkish and Syrian authorities do not do everything possible to guarantee their safety and allow them to work,” said Sabrina Bennoui, the head of RSF’s Middle East desk. “Any attack on journalists is strictly prohibited under international law, which requires belligerents to protect media personnel along with humanitarian personnel and all other civilians.” RSF_en SyriaTurkeyMiddle East – North Africa Europe – Central Asia Condemning abusesProtecting journalists Armed conflicts Saad Ahmad, a reporter for the Kurdish news agency Hawar News (ANHA), and Mohamed Hossien Rasho, a reporter for Çira TV, a Kurdish TV station based in Germany, were killed when Turkish forces bombarded a convoy of civilians accompanied by Kurdish soldiers and journalists near Ras Al-Ayn (Serekaniye) on 13 October, killing and injuring dozens of people. June 9, 2021 Find out more Organisation Iran: Press freedom violations recounted in real time January 2020 October 15, 2019 – Updated on October 22, 2019 Northeastern Syria turning into news black hole to go further Help by sharing this information In response to the increase in risks for journalists, RSF calls on media outlets to take all necessary measures to ensure the best possible level of protection and urges those going to the region to consult its Safety Guide for Journalists, which is available in English, French, Spanish and Arabic. The many journalists who have fled the region since 13 October include BBC correspondent Feras Kilani, who reports that he has gone to Iraqi Kurdistan. The collapse in the security situation in Syrian Kurdistan is due to a Turkish offensive and now a counter-offensive by the Syrian government, which has begun deploying its forces in the northeast after reaching an accord with the local Kurdish authorities. Follow the news on Middle East – North Africa Journalists at Semalka Border Crossing, October 14. (Photo: Hejar Seyid) News Syria is ranked 174th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2019 World Press Freedom Index, while Turkey is ranked 157th. A France 2 TV crew consisting of Stéphanie Perez, Nicolas Auer and Yan Kadouch was at the back of the civilian convoy targeted by Turkish forces on 13 October, but none of them was injured. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is very concerned about local journalists still in Kurdish northeastern Syria, which many reporters have fled since 13 October when two were killed by a Turkish bombardment. RSF calls on all belligerents to respect their international obligations to protect the media in the region, where the security situation continues to worsen and which could become another black hole for news and information. June 8, 2021 Find out more News The Internet was meanwhile temporarily disconnected in northeastern Syrian in the night of 13 October, making it even harder to access news and information, according to the Rojava Information Centre. News News WhatsApp blocks accounts of at least seven Gaza Strip journalists
American Cancer Society Relay for Life luminary ceremonyAfter six years in Ocean City, the annual American Cancer Society Relay for Life will move to the mainland.The event is an all-night celebration that honors the lives of people battling cancer, remembers those who have died of the disease and raises money in the search for a cure. The local Relay for Life has raised almost $500,000 since it started.This year, the event will be held at Amanda’s Field in the Petersburg section of Upper Township on June 26 and 27.A kickoff party will be held noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 11 at Whippoorwill Campground on Route 9 in Marmora. Anybody is invited to attend to get a taste of what the event is like and to learn more about how to participate.________________________________To sign up, donate or find more information: relayforlife.org/uppertownshipnj________________________________ Courtney Keenan, the local leader for the event, said the renovation of the track at Carey Stadium, where the event was held in Ocean City, was one of the reasons the Relay sought a new location.She said it will be essentially the same event at the new location. Amanda’s Field is at 10 Sunset Drive in Petersburg.Kirby Reed, the community manager for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, said Ocean City event had been decreasing in the number of participants and the amount of money raised over the last two years.She said she hopes the new location will help spark a renewed interest, and she said Upper Township officials have been as supportive as those in Ocean City.“Everybody in Ocean City has been so lovely and easy to work with,” Reed said.Keenan said no decision has been made yet on whether the Relay for Life will remain in Upper Township in 2016 or return to Ocean City.During the event, participating teams solicit pledges and take turns walking or running around the track from 6 p.m.Friday (June 26) to 6 a.m. Saturday (June 27).Participants camp out all night and enjoy an array of activities and entertainment, including live music, Zumba classes, classes in a new hybrid of Pilates and yoga. This year’s theme is “Dr. Seuss,” and the event will include laps around the track related to the theme.One of the most emotional segments takes place after dark when participants display candlelit bags decorated to honor loved ones lost to cancer. This “Luminaria Ceremony” also includes a slideshow of friends and family affected by the disease.Anybody is invited to attend the event, to donate and to remember. There is no registration fee, and individuals are welcome to participate in any of the events for any length of time during the 12 hours of the Relay.The kickoff on April 11 will be “almost a mini Relay,” Reed said.The kickoff will include a barbecue and bonfire, entertainment and a presentation on how to participate and how the proceeds will help fight cancer. Whippoorwill Campground is at 810 Route 9.“Come out and meet us to get a feel for what it’s going to be like,” Keenan said.“It’s a great event for anybody who’s been touched by cancer,” she said. “Our motto is, ‘Cancer never sleeps and neither will we.’ ”The local event was founded by Ocean City High School graduate Brittany Ang and a friend who lost her mother to brain cancer, Allison Iudica.
Bakery suppliers to JD Wetherspoon are looking forward to a surge in orders after the pub chain announced it will open 250 pubs over the next five years, taking its total number of outlets in the UK to nearly 1,000.Wetherspoon plans to invest £250m and create 10,000 jobs in the expansion, which will lead to increased orders for muffins, brownies, ciabattas, paninis and baguettes. “Food is a massive part of the Wetherspoon offer, worth £260m a year. Increasing the estate by a third will increase food sales by the same amount,” said a spokesman. “The bakery side of things is a big market for us.”Wetherspoon sells around 18,000 muffins a week, 26,000 paninis and 25,000 ciabattas or baguettes. Total annual sales of these three bakery categories is estimated to be at least £9.5m.Bakehouse, which supplies Wetherspoon with stone-baked ciabattas and multigrain baguettes for its sandwiches, has seen sales with the chain increase by 30% this year, according to Nicky Cracknell, national account controller for foodservice. “Both breads have performed really well and have been extended into seasonal and limited-edition products, such as a meatball marinara ciabatta and traditional ploughman’s,” said Cracknell. “The news that Wetherspoon is expanding means things certainly look healthy for the future. We are currently working on another bread line for them, as well as developing their offer in airport locations.”Wetherspoon is holding a strategic meeting with all its suppliers this week to discuss its purchasing strategy and future growth plans.The group’s new pubs will be located across the UK, inclu-ding sites in Sheffield, Livingston, Leominster, Otley, New Malden, Liverpool, Haverfordwest and Newcastle.
HONG KONG (AP) — Prominent Hong Kong democracy advocate and newspaper founder Jimmy Lai has returned to court to contest an attempt by the government to keep him in jail while facing charges under a sweeping new national security law. No verdict was announced following the hearing Monday and Lai remains in custody. Lai was sent to the Court of Final Appeal in a prison van and entered through an inflatable tunnel as journalists sought to capture the scene. Lai was arrested last month in a sweep against pro-democracy activists accused over their involvement in 2019 anti-government protests. Lai was first refused bail, but released on appeal, leading to attacks on Hong Kong’s judiciary by the ruling Communist Party newspaper People’s Daily.
The UK’s Pensions Regulator (TPR) is seeking to accelerate pension scheme consolidation to raise governance standards. In a consultation paper launched today, TPR said it wanted to ensure all pension savers were in schemes with “excellent standards of governance that deliver good value” – which would mean “fewer but better governed schemes”.The regulator’s consultation, titled The Future of Trusteeship and Governance , set out a number of questions and proposals aimed at improving trustees’ knowledge and understanding. Among the areas being explored by TPR were diversity on trustee boards, a potential requirement for every scheme to have at least one professional trustee, and higher training and qualification requirements for all trustees. David Fairs, executive director of regulatory policy, analysis and advice at TPR, said there was “a subset of disengaged trustees that are either unable or unwilling to take action to improve scheme governance”.Some trustees, particularly those responsible for the smallest schemes, “believe the standards don’t apply to them”, he added, while others treated their role as a pension fund trustee as “peripheral” or “symbolic”.“Things need to change,” Fairs said. “We want all savers to have access to well-run schemes. The trustee model isn’t broken but it does need to work better. This will require attention from TPR, employers, advisers, trustee representative bodies and trustees themselves.”Some consolidation has already taken place in the UK’s defined contribution (DC) market, mainly through multi-employer master trusts such as The People’s Pension and Smart Pension acquiring smaller schemes. However, TPR said there were still 32,000 “small or micro schemes”, including DC, defined benefit (DB) and other forms of pension fund.TPR is working with the UK’s Department for Work and Pensions to set out a regulatory regime for commercial DB consolidators.Fairs added: “There is stark evidence that the current system doesn’t work for all and there is a clear disparity between the experience of savers in well-run and badly-run schemes. If trustees cannot meet the standards we expect, we believe they should wind up and consolidate savers into a better run scheme.”The consultation will be open for 12 weeks, closing on 24 September.Industry reactionLaura Andrikopoulos, head of governance consulting, Hymans Robertson“We welcome this consultation as it opens up further industry debate on the standards of trustee knowledge and understanding (TKU), whether accredited professional trustees should sit on every board and whether the pace of DC consolidation for schemes unable to meet current standards is sufficient.“While the merits of the new accreditation regime for professional trustees are as yet untested, in our experience many boards do benefit from having a professional trustee. They are able to bring wider market knowledge and a greater level of in-depth expertise to pension scheme trusteeship.“The diversity that comes from the additional lay members on the board, however, is also valuable. Currently, for lay trustees not subject to the new professional standards and accreditation regime, there is little formal guidance for TKU requirements beyond the existing code of practice and the expectation of completion of [TPR’s] Trustee Toolkit within six months.”Lesley Carline, president, Pensions Management Institute“Given the number of pension scheme members suffering from poor scheme governance, this consultation is very welcome. It has pulled no punches in asking the hard-hitting and provocative questions that schemes and their trustees need to answer, positing pragmatic solutions to take the industry forward.“As we strive for ever-improving standards of governance… we hope that many people proactively engage with this consultation to deliver better outcomes for members across the country.”Vassos Vassou, professional trustee, Dalriada Trustees“Raising scheme standards and governance for all pension schemes can seem like a never-ending challenge. The regulator’s consultation focuses on important areas such as trustee knowledge and understanding, diversity, sole trusteeship and consolidation of DC schemes.“The consultation also raises the possibility of having a professional trustee on every board. This in particular would be something of a game changer for the industry improving governance standards and driving more robust discussions between boards, sponsors and the regulator.”
“Mahigitna anim na taon na itong modernisasyon ng transport sa Boracay. Hindi natin dapati-delay itong programa. May tricycle operators na hindi nag-renew ng kanilang franchises dahilalam nila matutuloy ang e-trike program,” he added. KALIBO, Aklan – Amid the campaign forjeepney modernization, the local government of Malay is looking to graduallyphase out tricycles next. “Isasa mga advantage ng e-trikeproject ay mabawasan ang problema natinsa environment, health atpollution,” Bautista said. (With a reportfrom Akean Forum/PN) The Municipal Traffic Code requires e-trikedrivers and operators to secure franchises with the Municipal Transport andFranchising Regulatory Board before they are allowed to operate. “Kailanganmay total phase out na ng mgatricycles sa Boracay mula Nov. 19 hanggang Dec. 31 this year. Impound natin ang mga ito pag mahuli sa Enero at i-transport sa mainlandMalay,” Bautista said. He said that then former mayor CecironCawaling issued Executive Order No. 007 on Feb. 1, 2018 for the full enforcementof the e-trike program, but the Sangguniang Bayan requested for the suspensionof the implementation due to the temporary closure of Boracay. Bautista has issued Executive Order No.40 series of 2019 on Nov. 11 enforcing the guidelines and policieson electric tricycles (e-trike) program. The gradual replacement of conventionaltricycles in Malay, Aklan was introduced in 2013 to promote cleaner andefficient vehicles, lessen noise pollution and environment-friendly mode oftransport. According to Malay acting mayor FloribarBautista, gasoline-fueled tricycles plying in Boracay Island and the town’smajor thoroughfares will be replaced by electronic tri-wheels.
Rota, Spain — A 2008 Royal Oak High School graduate and Greensburg, Indiana, native is serving in Spain at U.S. Naval Hospital Rota in support of ballistic-missile defense ships forward-deployed to Naval Station (NAVSTA) Rota.Petty Officer 3rd Class Mark Sia is a Navy hospital corpsman working at U.S. Naval Hospital Rota and is responsible for maintaining medical readiness of our forces, assisting medical providers in administering care to active duty service members, their families and local nationals.Sia credits success in the Navy with lessons learned growing up in Greensburg.“Communication is what got me this far in the Navy,” said Sia. “”Having great communication skills definitely helped me reach my goals in my Navy career.”Naval Station Rota is operationally equipped with four forward-deployed Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers tasked to enhance the ballistic missile defense of the European region.These four destroyers have a critical NATO mission, specifically to provide full coverage protection for all NATO European populations, territories and forces against the increasing threats posed by the ability to acquire ballistic missiles capabilities.According to the NATO website, many countries have, or are trying to develop ballistic missiles. The ability to acquire these capabilities does not necessarily mean there is an immediate intent to attack NATO, but that the alliance has a responsibility to take any possible threat into account as part of its core task of collective defense.Ballistic Missile Defense is a key defensive capability for the U.S., providing protection against the threat of short and medium-range ballistic missile attacks. Stationing four ballistic missile defense ships in Spain provides an umbrella of protection to forward-deployed forces, friends and allies while contributing to a broader defense of the United States.Situated on a 6,100-acre Spanish Navy base, Naval Station Rota provides cargo, fuel and logistics support to units transiting the region, supporting U.S. and NATO ships; U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force aircraft with a 670-acre airfield; and the largest weapons and fuels facilities in Europe. Under the guidance of the Agreement on Defense Cooperation (ADC), the U.S. and Spanish navies work together and share many facilities.The Kingdom of Spain is a very important ally to the United States for projecting military power into the Mediterranean, North Africa and Middle East. The United States has significant shared security interests. Spain has traditionally supported U.S. forces’ deployments and operations, enabling U.S. forces to depart from Spain directly into international air and sea space.“U.S. Naval Hospital Rota understands the unique demands and challenges that the fleet, forces and families of our community face,” said Capt. Judy Cynthia, commanding officer U.S. Naval Hospital Rota. “We are honored to provide operationally relevant medical care and support that not only meets all of the civilian healthcare quality standards, but is highly specialized and tailored to meet the needs of those we serve.”Sia is also proud of earning three Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals at his first duty station, as well as being selected as his command’s Sailor of the Year twice.As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied upon assets, Sia and other servicemembers at Naval Station Rota know they are a part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nation needs.“Serving in the Navy has helped me finish my associate’s degree and create a stronger work ethic,” said Sia.Living in Spain while serving at U.S. Naval Hospital Rota has been a positive impact on sailors, including Sia.“My favorite part about serving in Spain is getting to experience their culture,” said Sia. “”Spain has a rich history and culture. Learning their way of life, eating the local food and seeing the beautiful cities of Spain has been the highlight of my tour.”