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UN: Journalists violence is on the rise globally — “a crisis to preserve democracy”

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UNITED NATIONS – Journalists world wide are more and more seeing threats of violence, detention, and even dying merely for doing their job, a brand new press index discovered.

The state of journalism and press freedom world wide is declining in accordance with a brand new press index by Reporters With out Borders (RSF). 

Within the 2019 World Press Freedom Index, Reporters With out Borders (RSF) has discovered a worrisome decline in media freedoms as poisonous anti-press rhetoric have devolved into violence, triggering a local weather of concern.

“The scene this 12 months is concern. And the state of journalism and press freedom world wide is
declining… but in addition within the conventional press freedom allies—international locations in Europe and right here within the
United States,” mentioned RSF’s Govt Director Sabine Dolan in the course of the launch of the index.

RSF Secretary-Common Christophe Deloire echoed related sentiments in regards to the risks of declining press freedom, stating: “If the political debate slides surreptitiously or overtly in direction of a civil war-style ambiance, by which journalists are handled as scapegoats, then democracy is in nice hazard…Halting this cycle of concern and intimidation is a matter of the utmost urgency for all individuals of fine will who worth the freedoms acquired in the middle of historical past.”

Of 180 international locations evaluated in RSF’s index, solely 24 p.c have been categorised as “good” or “pretty good” in comparison with 26 p.c in 2018.

The Center East and North Africa (MENA) area continues to be essentially the most harmful space for journalists as they face violence resulting from ongoing conflicts whereas additionally being intentionally focused, imprisoned, and killed.

For instance, Emirati blogger Ahmed Mansoor was sentenced to 10 years in jail after criticising the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) authorities on social media.

He was accused of “publishing false info, rumours and lies” which might “harm the UAE’s social concord and unity.”

The persecution of MENA’s journalists has even prolonged previous its personal borders as seen via the brutal homicide of Jamal Khashoggi within the Saudi Consulate in Turkey.

Such chilling stage of violence has provoked concern among the many area’s journalists, inflicting many to censor themselves.

However of all of the world’s areas, it’s the Americas that has seen the biggest dip in its press freedom rating.

Nicaragua for example fell 24 locations to 114th, making it one of many steepest declines worldwide—and with good cause.

What began as protests in opposition to controversial social safety reforms has become one of many greatest crackdowns on dissent and media within the Central American nation.
Nicaraguans overlaying demonstrations have been handled as protestors or members of the opposition and have been topic to harassment, arbitrary arrest, and dying threats.

Some have been charged with terrorism together with Miguel Mora and Lucia Pineda Ubau, journalists for the information company 100% Noticias.

Additional north, the USA’ media local weather is now categorised as “problematic” on account of an more and more poisonous anti-media rhetoric.

Over the past 12 months, media organisations throughout the nation obtained bomb threats and suspicious packages together with CNN, forcing evacuations.

In June 2018, after expressing his hatred for the Capital Gazette newspaper on social media, Jarrod Ramos walked into the newsroom and killed 4 journalists and a workers member.

Most not too long ago, Coast Guard lieutenant Christopher Paul Hasson was arrested for planning a terrorist assault focusing on journalists and politicians.

Such anti-media sentiment is partially fuelled by U.S. President Donald Trump who has known as journalists “enemy of the individuals.”

“When this turns into fixed, it is virtually normalised and it percolates to massive segments of the
inhabitants. And that is the way it has contributed to create this local weather of concern for journalists,” Dolan mentioned.

In accordance with the Committee to Defend Journalists (CPJ), over 11 p.c of the president’s tweets have insulted or criticised journalists and information media.

In reference to a specific tweet by Trump which states that it’s “disgusting” that the press can write no matter they need, former White Home Correspondent Invoice Plante famous that the U.S. is in a really “harmful place” now.

“It’s one factor to steer information protection, by placing issues on the market or leaking sure tales or attempting to keep away from protection of different issues—it is totally one other to threaten reporters and to say that information protection should not be allowed,” he mentioned.

This rhetoric has not solely impacted journalists within the U.S., however has additionally spilled over overseas as world leaders from Venezuela to the Philippines use phrases like “faux information” to justify human rights violations and crackdowns on press freedom.

However it isn’t all unhealthy information.

Ethiopia made an unprecedented 40-place bounce within the Index after new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed took swift steps to enhance press freedom together with the discharge of all detained journalists.

Whereas such progress is promising, there’s a lengthy strategy to go to safe press freedom globally, particularly because it seemingly regresses.

“The one weapon we’ve is fact. The issue is that in right now’s media surroundings together with social media, we might be overwhelmed. So we’ve to return on the market with extra effort than ever to get the reality out,” Plante mentioned.

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Japanese compete to qualify in national pillow fighting tournament

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Individuals of all ages competed in certainly one of Japan’s quirkiest occasions on Saturday: a pillow combating contest.

Within the small fishing city of Ito, simply 150 kilometres south of Tokyo, groups gathered to qualify for a nationwide pillow combating championship subsequent yr in an occasion began by a gaggle of highschool youngsters in Shizuoka in 2013.

The pillow fighters begin by pretending to sleep on futons. However when the whistle sounds, they spring to their toes and race to get a pillow.

It is a combine between dodgeball and chess as groups throw pillows at one another whereas defending the ‘King’ from being attacked. Duvets can be utilized as shields by one participant on every staff. They play in two-minute units.

Saturday’s regional match contained 16 groups vying for the qualification for the nationwide competitors, which has 64 entrants and is held in February.

The groups draw from a variety of gamers. The gamers come from native companies, highschool basketball groups, and native athletic golf equipment.

“By observe and subject actions, the staff have been in contact a very long time,” stated Kazuteru Takigawa, who at 75 was the oldest participant on Saturday.

It was the staff that had the second youngest competitor — nine-year-old Soda Wamanobe — that gained the match, receiving native produce as their prize and naturally the qualification for subsequent yr’s match.

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Fine Gael and Green Party have strong showing in Ireland

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After two days of voting in Eire, exit polls confirmed the centre-right ruling social gathering Fantastic Gael (which can be a part of the European Individuals’s Social gathering) popping out on high for the European elections, in keeping with Europe Elects primarily based on nationwide Irish exit polls.

In 2014, the liberal Fianna Fáil social gathering (which might be a part of ALDE on the EU degree) had 425 extra votes than in 2014. This 12 months Fantastic Gael will take the plurality, in keeping with EU Elects.

The Inexperienced Social gathering additionally had a powerful displaying, overtaking the Labour social gathering to change into the fourth largest social gathering in Eire.

Eire’s Inexperienced social gathering obtained simply 4.9% of the vote in 2014 however is anticipated to get 14.8% this 12 months Europe Elects tasks primarily based on a Pink C exit ballot. It might be a 10 level improve for the social gathering which is about to win as many as three of the EU seats, in keeping with the RTE-TG4 RED C exit ballot.

That is the best outcome recorded for the Inexperienced social gathering since its creation in 1981. The Labour social gathering, in the meantime, solely obtained 3.5% of the vote, in keeping with exit polling.

This greatest shock was the Inexperienced Social gathering’s displaying in Dublin. Irish nationwide media RTE and TG4’s exit ballot confirmed Inexperienced candidate Ciarán Cuffe is more likely to high the Dublin constituency with 23 per cent of the vote, electing him on the primary rely.

The Inexperienced Social gathering result’s anticipated to stay constant regardless of the ballot’s margin of error in keeping with nationwide broadcaster RTE.

“There’s a inexperienced wave of public consciousness in Eire. It has been occurring all through Europe and it landed, I feel, in Eire and it’s these local weather strikes, it is these younger individuals standing up and saying we’ve to guard our future,” Inexperienced social gathering chief Eamon Ryan instructed RTE.

The opposite seats shall be shared amongst Fantastic Gael and opposition events Fianna Fáil and Sinn Fein. Counting is more likely to final for a number of days.

Fantastic Gael (EPP) seemed to come back out within the lead within the different two constituencies: South and Midlands North West, in keeping with Irish media experiences. Fianna Fáil (ALDE) noticed a 6 level drop from 22.3% in 2014 to 15.4% in nationwide exit polling.

Eire additionally voted on two divorce referendums and appeared to help easing restrictions on divorce, in keeping with a Pink C exit ballot.

Eire has roughly 3,200,000 eligible voters who elect 11 seats within the EU Parliament, a quantity that can improve to 13 post-Brexit.

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US President Donald Trump sends 1,500 troops to Middle East as tensions with Iran continue to rise

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Tensions between the US and Iran are rising as Trump sends 1,500 troops to the Center East and pushes by means of the sale of billions of {dollars}’ price of arms to Saudi Arabia

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