Blocking of elections monitoring website seen as dangerous move amid electoral tension

first_img April 20, 2010 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Blocking of elections monitoring website seen as dangerous move amid electoral tension SudanAfrica Help by sharing this information Organisation News to go further News SudanAfrica Follow the news on Sudan Coronavirus infects press freedom in Africa April 6, 2020 Find out morecenter_img Access to the Sudan Vote Monitor website, a collaborative platform created by Sudanese civil society with the aim of facilitating independent monitoring and reporting of the current elections and their results, has been partially or totally blocked for the past six days.The elections, which began on 11 April and which are the first multiparty general elections in Sudan since 1986, have been marked by allegations of irregularities.“We demand the immediate and total unblocking of this website, which is used by NGOs, journalists and ordinary citizens to report fraud and irregularities in these historic elections,” Reporters Without Borders said. “Respect for freedom of expression is an essential condition for the holding of free and fair elections.”The press freedom organisation added: “At time when criticism is coming from all quarters, this act of censorship is reinforcing doubts about the transparency of these elections. It sets a dangerous precedent for other upcoming votes, such as the crucial referendum on self-determination for the south that is supposed to be held by next January.”When connections are working properly, Sudanese citizens are able to be able to send information to Sudan Vote Monitor by going to the website, or by sending email or SMS messages. Visitors to the site can upload video and establish links to social networks or to sites such as to one of the site’s spokesmen, Fareed Zein: “Our technology is the closest thing to a real-time snapshot of what is happening on the ground during the elections. Users will have access to up-to-date information including streaming video from all over Sudan, everywhere from an election centre in Khartoum to a polling station in Juba, or a remote corner of the country.”Operated by various Sudanese NGOs such as Sudan Vote Monitor and the Asmaa Society for Development, Sudan Vote Monitor uses volunteers and open source software provided by that allows distributed data to be gathered and visualized on a map or timeline. Created in 2008 to enable Kenyans to locate post-election violence, the Ushahidi platform has since been used in other countries such as Haiti to assist post-earthquake relief work.Ushahidi was the recent winner in the Best Webblog category of the Best of the Blogs competition organised by Deutsche Welle in partnership with Reporters Without Borders. Sudan : Press freedom still in transition a year after Omar al-Bashir’s removal RSF_en News Covid-19 in Africa: RSF joins a coalition of civil society organizations to demand the release of imprisoned journalists on the continent April 10, 2020 Find out more News Receive email alerts March 29, 2020 Find out morelast_img read more

Magnetic local time, substorm, and particle precipitation-related variations in the behaviour of SuperDARN Doppler spectral widths

first_imgSuper Dual Auroral Radar Network (DARN) radars often detect a distinct transition in line-of-sight Doppler velocity spread, or spectral width, from 200 m s(-1) at higher latitude. They also detect a similar boundary, namely the range at which ionospheric scatter with large spectral width suddenly commences (i.e. without preceding scatter with low spectral width). The location and behaviour of the spectral width boundary (SWB) (and scatter boundary) and the open-closed magnetic field line boundary (OCB) are thought to be closely related. The location of the nightside OCB can be inferred from the poleward edge of the auroral oval determined using energy spectra of precipitating particles measured on board Defence Meteorology Satellite Program (DMSP) satellites. Observations made with the Halley SuperDARN radar (75.5degrees S, 26.6degrees W, geographic; -62.0degrees Lambda) and the Tasman International Geospace Environment Radar (TIGER) (43.4degrees S, 147.2degrees E; -54.5degrees Lambda) are used to compare the location of the SWB with the DMSP-inferred OCB during 08:00 to 22:00 UT on 1 April 2000. This study interval was chosen because it includes several moderate substorms, whilst the Halley radar provided almost continuous high-time resolution measurements of the dayside SWB location and shape, and TIGER provided the same in the nightside ionosphere. The behaviour of the day- and nightside SWB can be understood in terms of the expanding/contracting polar cap model of high-latitude convection change, and the behaviour of the nightside SWB can also be organised according to substorm phase. Previous comparisons with DMSP OCBs have proven that the radar SWB is often a reasonable proxy for the OCB from dusk to just past midnight (Chisham et al., 2004). However, the present case study actually suggests that the nightside SWB is often a better proxy for the poleward edge of Pedersen conductance enhanced by hot particle precipitation in the auroral zone. Simple modeling implies that the large spectral widths must be caused by similar to10-km scale velocity fluctuations.last_img read more

YouTube Android app to get speed controls for videos

first_imgGoogle is working on to add speed controls for videos played on YouTube Android app. While the YouTube’s desktop site already had this feature, the YouTube app users on Android will also be able to play videos faster or slower soon.Similar to the desktop site, user can slow down the played video to 0.25x, 0.5x, or 0.75x its normal speed, or faster the video to 1.25x, 1.5x, or 2x. “Changing the speed won’t affect the labelled duration of the video you’re watching, but it will decrease or increase the playback at the rate you’ve selected,” says a 9To5Google report.To access the feature, user has to go the three dots given at the upper right corner of the app. It will show the menu to change the playback speed along with other options like viewing the app in Cardboard, playback quality and access to YouTube’s Help and Feedback.Google recently said that it would stricter measures to check on the terrorist content and videos that are uploaded on YouTube. The company has even added AI ability to YouTube which reportedly flags the extremist content 75 per cent more than a human can. ” We are also hiring more people to help review and enforce our policies, and will continue to invest in technical resources to keep pace with these issues and address them responsibly,” reads the YouTube Blog.  Also Read: Google takes on Facebook with YouTube live streaming service for mobilesYouTube  earlier this year also rolled out live streaming from mobile devices for its more than 10,000 subscribers. It also launched the Super Chat that allows users to highlight their message by paying a fee. “Super Chat is like paying for that front-row seat in the digital age,” says YouTube.advertisementLive video is becoming an important feature on social media. Not only for sports or shows, people also use Live videos to share their real time experiences while travelling or on holiday. Facebook also have a Live while Twitter started the live feature only last year. YouTube’s Live video aims to take on Facebook majorly which is currently ruling the segment.last_img read more

MacDonald says Soulpepper rejected her concerns over actress auction

first_imgTORONTO – Acclaimed writer Ann-Marie MacDonald says leaders at the Soulpepper Theatre Company “bullied and harassed” her after she raised concerns about a fundraiser that auctioned dinners with a cast of actresses.Without their knowledge, the women who starred in “Top Girls,” were “sold” to the highest bidder by Soulpepper organizers under the guise they were willing participants, MacDonald alleged in an interview Friday.It led the author of 1996 novel “Fall on Your Knees” and former host of CBC’s “Doc Zone” series to raise the issue first with the theatre company and then with her union.“I was outraged, personally, and on behalf of my colleagues,” she said while recounting the incident, which happened nearly a decade ago.“To my mind, not only was it an egregious infraction of (union) rules, it was unbelievably disrespectful, arrogant and presumptuous.”MacDonald said she decided to come forward after hearing about the sexual assault and harassment allegations levelled against Soulpepper founding artistic director Albert Schultz earlier this week. She was also motivated by Soulpepper’s recent decision to sever ties with longtime guest artist Laszlo Marton after allegations of sexual harassment surfaced against him in late 2015.MacDonald was among the women starring in Soulpepper’s 2008 version of “Top Girls,” a British play about a career woman who celebrates her work promotion with a dinner party of prominent women from throughout history.The all-female cast included an array of other Canadian actresses, including Megan Follows, Diana Donnelly and Robyn Stevan, a founding member of Soulpepper.MacDonald was the production’s equity deputy, responsible for raising workplace issues that arose among union members.She said the cast had “a strong wish” to skip the dinners, although the actresses were concerned about repercussions.Soulpepper leaders also discouraged her from contacting board members and supporters who purchased the dinners, she said, adding that she was “laughed off” by a board member when she raised her concerns.Soulpepper did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday.MacDonald also filed a formal complaint with her union, the Canadian Actors’ Equity Association.The union’s executive director, Arden Ryshpan, said she told her that perceived volunteering, without getting actual permission from the participant, is outside the terms of an artist’s contract.Soulpepper ultimately issued an apology to the cast, MacDonald said, although the dinners went ahead as planned without her attendance.Schultz resigned Thursday in the wake of four lawsuits filed by actresses against him and Soulpepper alleging sexually harassment.None of their allegations have been tested in court and neither Schultz nor Soulpepper have filed a statement of defence. Schultz said he will “vigorously defend” himself against the allegations.MacDonald said her pursuit of answers wasn’t tied to the most recent developments.“I had no idea these things were happening in terms of the sexual assault claims and lawsuits,” MacDonald said.“I was simply doggedly, in my own small way, trying to pursue something that I thought, ‘There’s a loose end there.’”MacDonald said she hopes adding her story to the voices of other women who have worked at Soulpepper will help in the long run.“If we are really talking about a healthier and new era, I think I have something to contribute about the importance of making links among different types of abuse,” she said.“If I can be brushed off, stonewalled, laughed at by a board member when I persisted in reporting what I knew I had to report … Just imagine how a 24 (or) 25-year-old woman feels fresh out theatre school.”—Follow @dfriend on TwitterNote to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version said a union spokeswoman spoke to MacDonald. In fact, it was Arden Ryshpan, the executive director of the union.last_img read more

House votes to ensure speedier care for US vets

first_imgWASHINGTON — United in response to a national uproar, Congress is suddenly moving quickly to address military veterans’ long waits for care at VA hospitals.The House unanimously approved legislation Tuesday to make it easier for patients enduring lengthy delays for initial visits to get VA-paid treatment from local doctors instead. The Senate was poised to vote on a similar bill within 48 hours, said Democratic leader Harry Reid.The legislation comes close on the heels of a Veterans Affairs Department audit showing that more than 57,000 new applicants for care have had to wait at least three months for initial appointments and an additional 64,000 newly enrolled vets who requested appointments never got them.“I cannot state it strongly enough — this is a national disgrace,” said Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Miller, R-Fla., chief author of the House legislation. Miller made his comments minutes before the House completed the first of two votes on its measure. Lawmakers approved the bill 421-0, then re-voted a little over an hour later, making sure no one was left out on the politically important vote, with five more in favor and no one against. Miller sheepishly admitted the reason for the second vote: He was in his office and missed the first tally.last_img read more