RSF_en News ChinaAsia – Pacific News Reporters Without Borders has recorded 24 cases of journalists, cyber-dissidents or free expression activists being arrested or sentenced to jail terms since the start of the year. At the same time, at least 80 foreign journalists have been obstructed in the course of their work, above all in the Tibetan regions and in Sichuan. “Where is the opening so often promised by the organisers of the Beijing Olympic Games and the International Olympic Committee?” the press freedom organisation asked. “Instead of an opening, these games are being used, more than ever, as a pretext to arrest, harass and censor. This situation is unacceptable and reflects the IOC’s inability to guarantee a favourable environment for the games in accordance with the Olympic Charter.” Last year ended badly with the arrest of leading activist Hu Jia in late December, and the start of this year was marked by his sentence to three and a half years in prison. But at least 23 other journalists, online writers and free speech activists have been arrested or sentenced to prison terms. The authorities have made some concessions, such as the release of Ching Cheong and Yu Huafeng, but they have taken no account of the fact that the health of Zhang Jianhong, a writer better known as Li Hong, and Yang Maodong, a writer better known Guo Feixiong, has deteriorated in prison. The terrible earthquake in Sichuan has not helped to reduce the repression either. Journalist Qi Chonghuai was sentenced to four years in prison the day after the quake. And Huang Qi, a well-known activist who has a human rights website, was arrested on 10 June for reporting the arrest of a person who had been writing accounts of the quake and its aftermath. The harassment of activists who talk to the foreign news media or write articles for overseas Chinese media has also been stepped up. This campaign is being orchestrated by the public security and state security departments in order to intimidate human rights activists who might try to speak out before or during the games. Reporters Without Borders’ chief demand, as regards the Beijing Olympics, has always been the release of imprisoned journalists, cyber-dissidents and free expression activists before the start of the games. News News Help by sharing this information June 27, 2008 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Increase in pre-Olympic repression, with at least 24 journalists and cyber-dissidents arrested or sentenced since January Receive email alerts China: Political commentator sentenced to eight months in prison Follow the news on China to go further Organisation March 12, 2021 Find out more Reporters Without Borders has recorded 24 cases of journalists, cyber-dissidents or free expression activists being arrested or sentenced to jail terms since the start of the year. At the same time, at least 80 foreign journalists have been obstructed in the course of their work, above all in the Tibetan regions and in Sichuan. Democracies need “reciprocity mechanism” to combat propaganda by authoritarian regimes April 27, 2021 Find out more China’s Cyber Censorship Figures ChinaAsia – Pacific June 2, 2021 Find out more
Mitch Crisanti scored four times, twice during a five-goal first-period explosion, to spark the Vancouver Northwest Giants to an 8-3 decision over Kootenay Ice in B.C. Major Midget Hockey League action Sunday in Burnaby.The win completed a weekend sweep for the Giants over the Kootenay squad. Vancouver won the opener Saturday 4-0.Vancouver jumped all over the Ice to open the game, chasing Kootenay starter Brett Soles of Cranbrook from the net after scoring five on the n netminder.Jake Lucchini of Trail stopped a bit of the bleeding with a late first period goal for Kootenay.In the second, with back up Kimberley Newell now in goal for Kootenay, the hosts continued to pour it on the Ice as Crisanti scored two more times in the period along with Cole Todd to increase the advantage to 8-2.Will Lightfoot of Cranbrook scored in the second for Kootenay.In the third the Ice notched the final goal of the game as Nelson’s Brandon Sookro scored.Saturday, four different players scored for the Giants as Vancouver shutout the road-weary Ice.The Ice falls to 1-12-1 while the Giants climbed to within two points of league-leading Cariboo Cougars of Prince George.Kootenay returns to action Saturday when the clubs hosts the Fraser Valley Bruins in a pair of games at the Castlegar and District Community Complex.Game time Saturday is 7 p.m. Sunday puck drops at 9:30 a.m.Fraser Valley is tied for ninth in the 11-team league, seven points up on Kootenay.ICE NOTES: Jake Lucchini continues to lead the Ice in scoring with 15 points along with eight goals. Brandon Sookro has scored five times while Castlegar’s Darren Mederios has 10 [email protected]
Former West Ham midfielder Morgan Amalfitano Former West Ham midfielder Morgan Amalfitano has offers from three French clubs.The 30-year-old left Upton Park by mutual consent at the start of October after reportedly falling out of favour with new boss Slaven Bilic.Since then the Frenchman has been on the hunt for a new club in an attempt to kickstart his career once again.And, according to Calcio Mercato, Amalfitano now has offers from Bordeaux, Lorient and Guingamp.All three Ligue 1 clubs are keen to snap up the free agent and have presented his agent with a variety of proposals.Amalfitano is said to be keen on a return to France and it is now up to him to decide where his future lies. 1
Low-cost long-haul carrier, AirAsia X, has vowed to continue its expansion into Indonesia, despite botching the launch of its first service from Australia to Bali at the end of last year.The airline began notifying passengers of the service’s cancellation on Christmas Day – the day before the four-times-weekly A330 Melbourne-Denpasar service was to begin.A new division of AirAsia X, AirAsia Extra, has been formed to launch services from Indonesia to Asia-Pacific destinations – first from Bali and then from Jakarta. The venture had Indonesian government permission to operate the new Melbourne-Bali services, but it simply hoped that Australia would also rubber-stamp them in time for its proposed launch date.However, Air Asia Extra is using a completely new airline licence, its so-called air operator’s certificate, and Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has previously warned new airlines that their approvals can take six months or more.There are also unofficial reports that the crash of Indonesia AirAsia flight QZ8501 on December 28 – two days after the notional launch of AirAsia X flights from Melbourne to Bali – with the loss of 162 lives is weighing on the minds of Australian air safety inspectors.Internally, AirAsia X is in turmoil after losing more than $A100 million last year – nearly half of it on routes between the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur and Australian destinations.As AirAsia X began cutting back Australian services to stem losses, the seven-year-old airline’s founding chief executive Azran Osman Rani was sacked at the weekend.But new chief executive, Dendy Kurniawan, has reaffirmed the carrier’s strategy of building long-haul hubs in markets where its affiliate AirAsia’s subsidiaries have a domestic presence such as Indonesia (AirAsia Indonesia) and Thailand (Thai AirAsia).Even though the airline has had to indefinitely suspend the launch of Melbourne-Denpasar while CASA conducts its evaluation, Kurniawan, in answer to questions submitted by AirlineRatings.com, says the service will proceed.“Indonesia AirAsia X is still working closely with relevant authorities to get the required approvals in place,” he says. “The delay in receiving approval was unexpected. AirAsia has a good relationship with the relevant authorities and will continue to lodge applications as the group has done in the past.” Kurniawan says the airline is “very aware of and apologetic for the inconvenience this has caused guests”. “AirAsia has successfully been flying between Melbourne and Kuala Lumpur since late 2008,” he says. “Melbourne has been one of AirAsia X’s strongest performing routes in Australia and we’ve worked hard to build a good following. “We certainly aim to continue to provide a great affordable option between Australia and Asia and hope to resolve the Denpasar-Melbourne route as soon as possible.”CASA declines to provide details about AirAsia Extra’s case and won’t comment on reports that the crash of QZ8501 is material to its investigation.“CASA still needs to complete its assessment of safety and regulatory information relevant to that application and cannot make a decision about the matter until we have done so,” a spokesman says. “Indonesia AirAsia Extra (IAAX) is part of the AirAsia group, but it is not the same airline that operated the aircraft that crashed, QZ8501.”While it waits for its CASA permission, IAAX has begun a single weekly A330 service between Denpasar and Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, in preparation for the launch of four weekly flights from March 29 and says it will soon launch services from Jakarta.“Indonesia AirAsia X is currently in the final stages of preparing for a new route out of Jakarta and we expect to proceed shortly and will continue to look for other opportunities,” Kurniawan says.Meanwhile, the airline continues to develop its hub at Bangkok’s Don Muang airport. “Thai AirAsia X has been considering Australia closely whilst its initial focus has been on North Asia and existing AirAsia ports there,” Kurniawan says.
Lendl Simmons hit an unbeaten 82 off 51 balls as West Indies defeated India by seven wickets in the second semifinal of the World Twenty20 tournament on Thursday. Simmons, who joined the West Indies only after Andre Fletcher was injured in the last group match, was twice caught off no-balls but smacked seven fours and five sixes to guide his team to 196-3 in 19.4 overs. (Also read: Kohli scored 89, took a wicket only to end up on the losing side) India had relied on Virat Kohli’s unbeaten 92 off 47 balls – his third unbeaten half century in the tournament – to score 192-2 but Simmons and Johnson Charles (52) took up the charge in a disciplined run-chase after Chris Gayle was dismissed in the second over.West Indies, which won the 2012 tournament, will now take on England in the final at Kolkata on Sunday.Simmons showed his experience of playing for Mumbai Indians in the IPL at Wankhede Stadium by sharing 97 runs with Charles and then a splendid 80 off just 39 balls with Andre Russell, who remained unbeaten on 43.Kohli dismissed Charles off his first delivery to make it 116-2 in the 14th over but Russell continued to dominate the Indian bowling to the disappointment of 32,000 home fans, mostly wearing the Indian blue shirts.”We knew it was going to be a massive step, against a very good India team, but we knew halfway they were 10 runs short,” said West Indies captain Darren Sammy, who won his fifth successive toss in the tournament and opted to field.advertisement”I was just praying we won the toss, I surprised myself winning five out of five (toss).””Everyone said Chris (Gayle) is under pressure but I said it, we have 15 match-winners and today Charles, Simmons and Russell took that responsibility.”Earlier, Rohit Sharma (43) and Ajinkya Rahane (40) provided India its best start in the tournament by putting on 62 runs off 44 balls but West Indies should have got rid of dangerman Kohli on one.Kohli tried to steal a bye after he missed Dwayne Bravo’s slower delivery but first wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin’s underarm throw missed the stumps and then Bravo collected the ball midway down the wicket but his throw went past the leg stump with Kohli way out of his crease.The close miss didn’t stop Kohli from taking charge with his trademark brisk running between the wickets by converting singles into twos.Kohli added 66 runs off 49 balls with Rahane and then accelerated in the last five overs by adding 64 runs with captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (15 not out).Samuel Badree got 1-26 and Russell conceded 19 runs in his last over to finish with 1-47.”The only thing I am really disappointed with is the two no-balls,” Dhoni said. “There was not much on offer, we wanted our fast bowlers to make a game out of it but the conditions were very tough.”
zoomImage Courtesy: Grimaldi Group Grande Halifax, a pure car & truck carrier (PCTC) owned and operated by Italian Grimaldi Group, has been christened in Halifax, Nova Scotia.The christening ceremony for the 63,000-ton ship took place at Halterm/Autoport on May 16, 2018.Built at the Chinese shipyards of Jinling, the Grande Halifax has a length of 199.9 meters, a width of 32.26 meters, and a cruising speed of 19 knots.Italian-flagged, it can carry 6,700 CEU or alternatively 4,000 linear meters of rolling freight and 2,500 CEU.Equipped with four hoistable decks, the Grande Halifax is able to transport any type of rolling cargo with a height of up to 5.2 meters, according to the company.In addition, the Grande Halifax has a side ramp and a quarter stern ramp, the latter allowing the loading of freight with a weight up to 150 tons. The configuration of the various decks and the system for the internal ramps reduce to the minimum the risk of damage during the loading/unloading operations, the company said.What is more, the newbuild is fitted with an electronically-controlled main engine that allows complying with the new regulations for reducing NOx emissions, while the installed scrubber reduces sulfur oxide (SOx) emissions. It is also equipped with a ballast water treatment unit which will allow it to meet the future international regulations.The Grande Halifax, together with another four PCTCs, is deployed on the Mediterranean-North America weekly RoRo service operated by the group, serving the ports of Halifax, Davisville, New York, Baltimore, Jacksonville, Houston, Tuxpan, Veracruz, Antwerp, Valencia, Savona, Livorno, Salerno, Gioia Tauro.“ACL’s services to Halifax began in 1967 and have been continuously provided for over 50 years. Today, our group’s transatlantic services, including those of Grimaldi Lines, call Halifax about 140 times a year,” Emanuele Grimaldi, Managing Director of the Grimaldi Group, said.
FREDERICTON – Veterinarians say they’re seeing an increasing number of dogs sickened after ingesting marijuana, and are warning pet owners to take care as Canada prepares for cannabis legalization this year.Dr. Jeff Goodall, a veterinarian who runs the Sunnyview Animal Centre in Bedford, N.S., said he’s seeing a growing number of dogs with marijuana toxicity.“It profoundly affects the neurological system. It can progress to tremors and seizures, and they can go into a coma,” he said Tuesday.Goodall said his Halifax-area clinic saw five cases in 2017, three in 2016, and none the year before that.He said the tetrahydrocannabinol or THC in marijuana doesn’t make dogs high. Rather, it makes them very sick.“The THCs are very toxic to pets in the sense that they cause profound levels of confusion, then the dogs start to cry or vocalize and become hyperactive. They get through that period fairly quickly and then they begin to drool and become unable to walk properly,” Goodall said.“By the time they’re in the clinic it’s very clear that they have marijuana toxicity because the poor dogs have excessive or uncontrolled urination.”In rare cases it can lead to death.Goodall said in four of the five cases he saw last year, the owners were upfront about the cause of their dog’s illness and they were able to proceed quickly with treatment.However he said the owner in the fifth case was in denial.“She was accusing us of accusing her children of using recreational medication, when that wasn’t what we were saying at all. We were just saying, this is what the dog has,” he said.Goodall said cannabis edibles are also harmful to dogs.“One of our cases this year was cannabis-containing brownies. We also had another dog who ate a bag of suckers. The problem there wasn’t the cannabis, it was the xylitol. Xylitol is an artificial sweetener often used in sugar-free gum, and it is extremely concerning to pets,” he said.Goodall said he’d like to see warnings and greater public education on what marijuana can do to pets.In Colorado, where recreational marijuana was legalized in 2012, there was a four-fold increase in reported cases of toxicity in dogs between 2010 and 2015.An article posted on the website of the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association says dogs are proportionally more sensitive to the active compounds in marijuana than people, and in small dogs, excessive intake can easily result in signs of toxicity.It also says that cats are not immune to the toxic side effects but are more selective in what they eat. They also lack the sweet tooth that would make cannabis edibles as attractive as they are to dogs.Goodall said there are other components in cannabis that may eventually prove useful in treating some symptoms and illnesses in pets, but more research needs to be done.The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association says for now, marijuana is not approved for medicinal use in animals.“Giving products to your pet may have unknown side effects and unproven effectiveness. Especially exposing them to THC-rich recreational marijuana could put them in a life-threatening medical crisis,” its article states.
MOSCOW — The Latest on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s annual news conference (all times local):12:55 p.m.Russian President Vladimir Putin is warning about the rising threat of a nuclear war.Speaking at his annual news conference Thursday, Putin pointed at the U.S. intention to withdraw from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. He said that if the U.S. puts intermediate-range missiles in Europe, Russia will be forced to take countermeasures.He also noted that Western analysts are talking about the possibility of using low-yield nuclear weapons.Putin warned that “there is a trend of lowering the threshold” of using nuclear weapons, adding that “lowering the threshold could lead to a global nuclear catastrophe.”Putin also emphasized that the U.S. pondering the use of ballistic missiles with conventional warheads, saying that the launch of such a missile could be mistaken for the launch of a nuclear-tipped one and trigger a global catastrophe.___12:20 p.m.President Vladimir Putin is hailing another year of Russian economic growth after a previous period of stagnation.Putin said at an annual news conference summing up the results of the year that Russia’s gross domestic product is set to grow by 1.8 per cent this year, while industrial output has grown faster at 3 per cent.The Russian president noted Thursday that the nation’s hard currency reserves have increased from $432 billion at the start of the year to $464 billion now.The positive statistics follow a difficult period in recent years when Russia’s economy has suffered a combined blow of low oil prices and Western sanctions, resulting in stagnation.The Associated Press
There should have been a major announcement in some posh setting, maybe even a boxing ring in Las Vegas, with confetti ready to fall from the rafters and luminaries in the audience. That’s how a champion like Evander Holyfield should go out – with the people he entertained celebrating an accomplished body of work in general, and the heart of the man as a fighter in particular.Instead, there is no fanfare. Instead, most are saying, “Thank God. Finally.”Holyfield is 50, having fought probably 13 years past when he should have quit. The courage that he showed in being a smaller man fighting as a heavyweight was not matched by the wisdom to sit down when it was time. Worse, when those around him even questioned if he should continue, he fired them.For the past decade or more Holyfield, instead of existing as an exalted former champion, has been considered a misguided, delusional, punch-drunk ex-fighter desperate to compete when he was far beyond his prime. In his last 16 fights, mostly against boxers you’ve never heard of, Holyfield is 8-7-1 with a no contest. All of these came when he was 37 or older – a time when he should have gone back to school or spent his time fishing. Sad, that.His career record of 44-10-2 (one no contest) is more sparkling than it suggests. When he elevated in class from cruiserweight to heavyweight, a young, swift and determined Holyfield defeated elite fighters such as Riddick Bowe, George Foreman, Larry Holmes, Ray Mercer, Michael Moorer and Michael Dokes. Of course, his two victories over Mike Tyson are what set him apart.He pummeled Tyson in their first match, November 9, 1996, stopping him in the 11th round. A 24-1 underdog, Holyfield was atop the boxing world. They fought again in 1997, the infamous night Tyson resorted to biting off a portion of Holyfield’s ear because he could not compete with him.Two years later, Holyfield lost a second time to Lennox Lewis in a fight in which he made the bigger, younger man fight until the final bell. In truth, that was Holyfield’s last hurrah.He kept fighting, but accomplished little in the ring. He wanted to become a five-time heavyweight champion, but lost to someone named Nikolai Valuev, a 7-foot WBA champion from Russia. That was four years ago or nine years after his last commendable effort.If you ask him today, 48 hours from when he turns 50, he would say he could still take one of the heavyweight belts. But he’s only fooling himself. Most places around the world would not even sanction a fight featuring Holyfield, although his body remains the envy of most men.“The game’s been good to me and I hope I’ve been good to the game,” Holyfield said to Sports Illustrated. “I’m 50 years old (on Friday) and I’ve pretty much did everything that I wanted to do in boxing.”He made more than $200 million in the sport. But he also has squandered most of it. He pays more than $500,000 a year in child support of his 11 children fathered among nine women. His lavish compound south of Atlanta that featured 17 bathrooms, three kitchens, a bowling alley, an Olympic-sized swimming pool, fishing ponds, etc., is his no more, devoured in foreclosure.Much of his money also went to charity. He had a big heart. At his home each July 4th he would host hundreds of youths, providing food, games and entertainment, capped with a fireworks show when the sun dropped. He did not have to do it, but he did it because he felt it was his obligation to be a part of the community, a regular guy with extraordinary resources.In the end, Evander Holyfield will be remembered as a boxer of utmost resolve and determination, The Real Deal. His personal life has not been so prolific. But he still has some living to do to determine the final arc of who he is as a man.Curtis Bunn is a best-selling novelist and national award-winning sports journalist who has worked at The Washington Times, NY Newsday, The New York Daily News and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
OSU freshman forward Mason Jobst (26) during a game against Michigan on March 6 at Nationwide Arena. Credit: Samantha Hollingshead | Photo EditorIn a battle of top-15 teams, the No. 12 Ohio State men’s hockey team (13-7-6, 4-5-1-1) hosts No. 5 Minnesota for two home conference clashes this weekend.The Golden Gophers (17-7-2, 8-2-0-0) enter the series as the nation’s fourth-ranked offense with almost four goals per game, and rank seventh in power play offense. OSU and Minnesota split two games back on Dec. 3 and 4 — a 5-3 OSU loss on Friday night and an 8-3 win the next day. Since then, however, coach Don Lucia’s squad has won 10 of its last 12 games, and are on a three-game win streak that included a sweep of No. 10 Penn State last weekend.Between the two units, either side is ranked as one of the nation’s top-five offenses.Scarlet and Gray associate head coach Mark Strobel said the Gophers are a different team than 10 weeks ago that presents a lethal offense year in and year out. Moreover, Strobel said the Buckeyes have the capability to sweep this weekend’s game, but the wins will go to the team that executes and competes for all three periods. “It’s going to be a skating game, and for us, we have to take away time and space, and frustrate them with playing the body,” Strobel said. “For us, it’s a want, and it’s the ability to compete for 60 minutes and not just 20.”On the other side, OSU has had a difficult time keeping its opponent off the scoreboard in the first period of games as of late. The Buckeyes fell behind 2-0 and 1-0 in the first period of games against Wisconsin on Jan. 26 and 28, as well as 2-0 and 3-2 deficits in the first 20 minutes of both games at Michigan last weekend.In light of the slow starts, sophomore forward Mason Jobst said making sure the team does not come out flat has been a big emphasis this week in order to not give opponents the opportunity to take advantage of the game early on. Making adjustments mid-game will be key to success in this series.“We’ve got to change it,” Jobst said. “We can’t afford to keep digging (ourselves into) big holes. We can’t get out of them.”With just 10 games left, the Scarlet and Gray sit in fourth place in the Big Ten standings with 14 points — 10 behind the Golden Gophers, who are in a tie at the top with No. 17 Wisconsin.As the final stretch of the season begins with six conference points on the line this weekend, Strobel said the team’s focus needs to be set on playing “Buckeye hockey” by getting pucks deep, pressuring the defense and dictating the pace of play — starting with the first game Friday night.“Every weekend is a big series … we have to win hockey games,” Strobel said. “We can’t let points go south anymore. We have to stop the bleeding, if you will, and for us, it’s going to be Friday night, come eight o’clock, that we have to take our game to Minnesota.”Puck drop is slated for 8 p.m. at the Schottenstein Center both Friday and Saturday night.