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

Commentary: Hate Crimes Another Casualty Of Gerrymandering

first_imgCommentary: Hate Crimes Another Casualty Of GerrymanderingJanuary 4, 2019  By John INDIANAPOLIS – The decision by the Indiana Senate President Pro Tempore Rodric Bray to bottle up hate crimes legislation in a caucus is instructive in so many ways.John Krull, publisher, TheStatehouseFile.comIt’s secretive.It’s high-handed.It’s an affront to principles of good and open government.And it’s just wrong.But none of that has stopped Bray, R-Martinsville, from doing it.The question is why.And the answer is – because he can.Gerrymandering allows him to get away with it.The surgical precision with which Republicans have drawn the legislative maps in Indiana produces several results, none of them good.One is that it warps election results and thus often thwarts the will of the people.Indiana is a solidly conservative, Republican state. But it is not an 80 percent Republican state, as the makeup of Bray’s Senate would suggest. It is not even a 67 percent Republican state, as the representation in the Indiana House of Representatives suggests.The best guess is that Indiana is a 55 percent to 58 percent Republican state. It’s only a guess because there are legislative districts in which candidates run unopposed – another unfortunate consequence of gerrymandering – and this distorts the numbers.That they come from districts cherry-picked for their comfort and convenience allows legislators, year after year after year, to ignore broad public mandates in favor of, for example, sensible gun laws or better school funding. Gerrymandering builds a firewall against public pressure for lawmakers and at the same time makes them more susceptible to the blandishments, enticements and pressures offered and exerted by special interests.This, in turn, leads to the final and frustrating consequence of gerrymandering.It creates a political culture in which amazing levels of arrogance can take root and flower.Crafting hate-crimes legislation that addresses the problem of the increasing incidence of offenses motivated by bias without violating constitutional protections of freedom of conscience and speech will require effort. This likely will anger the most committed activists on both sides of the question, but there are plausible arguments to be made and reasonable concerns to be advanced both for and against hate-crimes laws.For that reason, it is exactly the sort of public issue for full and open discussion.But that’s exactly what Bray’s decision to keep the debate that matters locked behind closed caucus doors will deny us.In doing so, Bray – an official elected, in theory, to serve the public – has decided to have other public officials determine what is in the public’s interest away from the public’s eyes and ears.And, he’s doing it, again, because he can.Gerrymandering allows him to get away with it.There have been attempts in recent years to take the practice of drawing their own maps and thus selecting their own voters out of the hands of the state’s lawmakers. Because, though, such a reform must be approved by the legislators themselves, such efforts inevitably die.In fact, all too often, they don’t even receive a vote in the legislative committee to which they have been assigned.A committee chair from – you guessed it – a safely gerrymandered district just slips the redistricting reform bill into his pocket and offers a sly smile of contempt to the citizens’ howls of outrage.Because he can.Gerrymandering allows him to get away with it.Our state has some genuine and significant challenges to meet. Crafting an effective and sensible hate-crimes law is only one of them, but, in this case, it’s symptomatic. So long as we have a political system and culture in place that rewards legislators for ignoring public concerns rather than addressing them, we’re not likely to make the progress we should.As Rodric Bray’s decision to bottle up hate-crimes bills in caucus demonstrates, our lawmakers will continue to do public business in secret and act as if we work for them rather than the other way around without thinking twice about it.Because they can.Gerrymandering allows them to get away with it.FOOTNOTE: John Krull is director of Franklin College’s Pulliam School of Journalism, host of “No Limits” WFYI 90.1 Indianapolis and publisher of, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.Print Friendly, PDF & EmailFacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

Live like rugby star James Horwill

first_img9 Harriet Street Red Hill Qld 4059Horwill, who picked up the property in February 2009, this week had it listed at $800 a week, which is the same rent he was asking in 2011.The home has two bathrooms and two car spaces and sits within minutes of Suncorp Stadium and the Caxton Street precinct, and just 2km from the CBD. More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home3 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor9 hours agoJames Horwill of Harlequins gives the fans the thumbs up. Picture: Dan Mullan/Getty Images for Harlequins.His three-bedroom home at 9 Harriet Street, Red Hill, was built in 1920 according to CoreLogic records, but has had extensive renovation work done to modernise it over the years. Former Reds and Wallabies captain James Horwill, who has extended his contract with Harlequins, has put his Brisbane home on the rental market. Picture: Dan Mullan/Getty Images for HarlequinsRUGBY superstar James Horwill has put his Red Hill home on the rental market after ruling out a return to rugby on home soil this year.The former Wallabies and Reds Rugby captain recently extended his contract through to 2020 with famed English club Harlequins – ultimately sealing his fate to play out his last days in rugby in England. 9 Harriet Street Red Hill Qld 4059It has views to the North across the Kelvin Grove according to agents Ray White – Sherwood, and Horwill has thrown in garden maintenance as part of the rent.“This contemporary Queenslander is not only lovely with its high ceilings, stylish light neutral palette and warm polished timber floors throughout – it is also versatile. It makes for a wonderful quiet retreat, spacious entertainer, great family home with the perfect blend of indoor and outdoor lifestyle all on one level.” 9 Harriet Street Red Hill Qld 4059last_img read more

Rotary Club donates four audiometers to Health sector

first_imgHealthLifestyleLocalNews Rotary Club donates four audiometers to Health sector by: – May 2, 2012 Share Sharing is caring! Share 145 Views   no discussionscenter_img Share Tweet (L-R) Adina Bellot-Valentine, Nurse DeAnne Graham, Dr. Martin Christmas, Marvlyn Birmingham ang Glen Ducreay at Wednesday’s presentation ceremonyThe Rotary Club of Dominica in keeping with their mandate of providing service above self has collaborated with two local companies to donate four audiometers to the Ministry of Health.An audiometer is a standard equipment which is used for evaluating hearing or the loss thereof and is an essential tool for the ministry particularly in assessing students ability to hear and whether they need hearing aids.Rotary Club President Marvlyn Birmingham told the presentation ceremony on Wednesday that the project began after she was informed by the mother of a “particularly challenged young woman” that her daughter needed replacement hearing aid but she was unable to meet the cost of the device.As a result Birmingham “networked and partnered” with Dr. Susan King of the Ross University School of Medicine to source hearing aid for that young lady and later to bring a “hearing mission” to Dominica. AC Shillingford & Company Limited and New India Assurance donated one audiometer while DOMLEC donated four to the Rotary Club’s “Touching Lives with the Gift of Hearing” project.Nurse DeAnne Graham who is responsible for administering the screening tests in the primary health program commended the Club and the sponsors for the donation as they have been unable to conduct screening for three years due to a lack of audiometers.“We have been really looking forward to having these audiometers. Every year all over the island, the school health care program which is the primary health program, we screen children for hearing in addition to other areas for vision and growth and so on. Over the last three years we have been unable to do so”.Audiometers which will be dsitrubuted to Marigot, Castle Bruce and La Plaine health districts.Nurse Graham also underscored the pertinence of the audiometers as “every year after screening we have approximately 3% of our children failing the screening” in the Roseau district.“We are almost on our third year and many of these children have fallen through the cracks and we know what poor hearing can do to the school child; it can really affect the way they learn and this is just Roseau three years almost, the other six health districts, many of them have been without a screening audiometer for many years”.Manager of AC Shillingford Glen Ducreay noted his company’s delight in partnering with the Club to “give back to customers and by extension the community”. “Being able to hear is critical to the process of living one’s life to the fullest. In developing countries like ours the burden of hearing impairment is estimated to be twice as large as in developing countries probably because of a lack of audiometers to identify the problem, therefore untreated ear infections continue to plague our lives. This service justifies our donation of an audiometer to the health sector in Dominica,” Ducreay said. DOMLEC’s Communications and Marketing Manager Adina Bellot-Valentine whose company sponsored three audiometers explained that her company “had no hesitations in pledging support to this timely gesture” having heard the “telling story of a young man who was able to hear for the first time through the intervention of the Rotary Club”. Director of Primary Health Care Services and Rotarian Dr. Martin Christmas who accepted the audiometers on behalf of the Ministry of Health noted the importance of health care particularly hearing and commended both businesses and the Rotary Club for the donation.Rotary Club President Marvlyn Birmingham also announced that AC Shillingford/New India Assurance requested that the audiometer which they donated go towards the Roseau health district and the others will be distributed one each to the Marigot, Castle Bruce and La Plaine health districts.The cost of one machine is estimated at US$15, 000.00Dominica Vibes Newslast_img read more


first_imgView Roundup in a larger mapThe following incidents were reported in the USC Dept. of Public Safety incident report summary from Monday, April 8.Crime Against Propertyat 6:30 P.m., a suspect entered an unsecured study room in Ray and Nadine Watt Hall of Architecture & Fine Arts and removed an unattended laptop computer.Miscellaneous incidentsat 10:15 P.m., DPS officers responded to a report of a student behaving erratically at the Annenberg House and, upon arrival, observed him running up and down the street shouting incoherently. The student was physically restrained by the officers because of his combative behavior and a Los Angeles Fire Department Rescue Ambulance unit was requested. RA Unit #15 responded and examined the student, then transported him to California Hospital for medical 3:59 P.m., DPS officers on a routine patrol observed two tents set up on a sidewalk blocking pedestrian traffic near 31st and Hope streets. The officers detained three suspects inside the tents and a check of their names revealed that one of them was a parolee at large. The suspect was then arrested and transported to 77th station for booking. The other suspects were advised to remove the tents and 3:16 P.m. , DPS officers responded to a report of an emergency shower that could not be shut off and was flooding the seventh floor of the Vivian Hall of Engineering after a student used it to rinse a chemical off his hand. Facilities Management Services personnel were requested and responded by shutting off the shower and cleaning up the 2:04 a.m., DPS officers responded to a report of a suspect prowling in the bike racks at University Gateway Apartments and detained him for investigation. The suspect was found in possession of a bike that did not belong to him, but the officers were unable to locate the owner to determine if a crime had occurred. The suspect was then released and the bike was turned over to a security guard at Gateway.last_img read more

Bahamas Chief Justice Stephen Gerard Isaacs dies two weeks after being…

first_imgThe Bahamas government has confirmed the death of Chief Justice Stephen Gerard Isaacs.In a statement expressing the government’s “profound regret” it said the head of the judiciary, who was sworn into office just two weeks ago, died in hospital on Friday.A “judge’s judge”The statement gave no details about his illness, but noted that “throughout Justice Isaac’s career (he) was universally lauded as being a “judge’s judge”; of being, in all things, the epitome of the highest standard of conduct of a judicial officer; and for upholding the Rule of Law, justice, order and proper decorum in his courtroom.”Justice Isaac, 63, was called to the Bahamas Bar in 1982 and began his judicial career in 1994 when he was appointed Assistant Registrar of the Supreme Court.“During an illustrious career, Chief Justice Isaacs served also as Registrar of the Court of Appeal, and on the Industrial Tribunal, before being appointed to the Higher Judiciary as a Supreme Court Justice in September 2002, when he assumed office as an Acting Justice of the Supreme Court and was stationed in Freeport, Grand Bahama.,” the government statement noted.In 2015 he was promoted to the rank of Senior Justice of the Supreme Court, and in December 2017 was appointed Acting Chief Justice. He was confirmed to the substantive post of Chief Justice of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, by Governor General, effective the July 9, this year.A cruel ironyOpposition Leader Philip Davis described his death as a cruel irony, noting that Justice Isaacs was a “good Bahamian”, who had done his best to administer the law without fear or favor. “His life was not easy.  He rose up from difficult personal circumstances to reach the top of his profession. It is often one of the cruel ironies of this life that just as you reach the top, the final curtain is drawn,” Davies said in a statement.last_img read more