Rouhani government suspends reformist newspaper

first_img Help by sharing this information IranMiddle East – North Africa Call for Iranian New Year pardons for Iran’s 21 imprisoned journalists to go further June 9, 2021 Find out more Organisation February 25, 2021 Find out more News Receive email alerts Reporters Without Borders condemns yesterday’s decision by the Press Authorization and Surveillance Commission, which is run by the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, to suspend the reformist daily Bahar for an article deemed to have “insulted Islam’s sacred texts.”RWB also deplores the long jail terms that a Tehran revolutionary court has passed on well-known documentary filmmaker Mahnaz Mohammadi and on actress and blogger Pegah Ahangarani. Mohammadi was notified of her five-year sentence on 23 October. Ahangarani was notified of her 18-month sentence yesterday.“Despite moderate-conservative President Hassan Rouhani’s election promises, the reformist newspaper Bahar’s suspension shows that the regime’s reform priorities are reducing tension with the international community, not reducing the suppression of freedoms or the persecution of news and information providers,” Reporters Without Borders said.Confirming Bahar’s suspension under article 12 of the press code over an article published on 23 October, the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance accused the newspaper of “falsifying history” and “trying to create differences among the country’s clerics.”Headlined “Ali, the Shiites’ first Imam, was a religious leader before being a political leader,” the article was fiercely criticized by media that support regime hardliners and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, which interpreted it as a criticism of Khamenei.Bahar itself published several comments criticising the article in its next day’s issue, along with an apology for its “grave error.” It even suspended publication for an indefinite period on its own initiative. But the hardline media are still campaigning for it to be closed down for good.The filmmaker Mohammadi has been arrested twice in the past four years, on 29 July 2009 and 26 June 2011, each time spending a month in prison before freed on bail. Since then, she has been subject to constant harassment and has been summoned several times for questioning by intelligence ministry officials.Ahangarani was arrested at her Tehran home by intelligence ministry officials on 10 July 2011 and was held for 17 days before being released on bail of 100 million toman (75,000 euros). Meanwhile, in a report published on 23 October, Ahmed Shaheed, the UN special rapporteur on the human rights situation in Iran, said the situation “continues to warrant serious concern, with no sign of improvement in the areas previously raised,” including the number of executions and violations of freedom of expression.The Iranian government, which continues to ban Shaheed from visiting Iran, said the report, “describes the human rights situation in Iran in a completely unfair manner and with political motivations.”Stressing that the government did not recognize the special rapporteur, foreign ministry spokesman Marzieh Afkham said in a statement carried by state radio and TV that Iran would not permit that “such partial reports become the measure by which the human rights situation in Iran is judged.”Reporters Without Borders added: “We urge the Iranian government to make a real break with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s policies, to cooperate unconditionally with the United Nations and to allow a visit by the special rapporteur. The international community must press the Iranian authorities to submit to the special rapporteur’s mandate.”RWB is also very concerned about two Kurdish journalists based in the western city of Mahamabad – Khosro Kourdpour, the editor of the news website Mokeryan, and his brother, Masoud Kourdpour, a reporter for the site – whose trial ended yesterday in Mahamabad.Sentence has not yet been passed but the charges on which they were tried – “mohareb” (being an enemy of God), anti-government activities and propaganda, and publishing information about the situation of prisoners and human rights – carry the death penalty.Arrested in early March, they were held illegally by the intelligence services for 111 days before being charged. Newscenter_img News Iran: Press freedom violations recounted in real time January 2020 October 29, 2013 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Rouhani government suspends reformist newspaper After Hengameh Shahidi’s pardon, RSF asks Supreme Leader to free all imprisoned journalists News March 18, 2021 Find out more RSF_en Follow the news on Iran IranMiddle East – North Africa last_img read more

Bakers fear impact of revalued business rates

first_imgBakers fear a business rates hike will put even more pressure on their already precarious fortunes.Business premises are revalued every five years to ensure that rateable values reflect changes in the property market. However, the next revaluation due to take effect in April 2010 is based on rent prices from April 2008, before the recession and when property prices were high.The Forum of Private Business expects an average rise of 3% next April, and policy represen-tative Matt Goodman said it would prove difficult for many firms. “With no transitional relief in 2009/2010 and a 5% rise in the multiplier used to calculate their bills, small businesses are feeling the impact of changes in their business rates,” he said.Mike Holling, retail and sales manager for Birds of Derby, said the rates issue was a major concern for bakers around the country. “It’s another unwelcome cost we could all do without,” he said. “It affects everyone, but I don’t think a lot of companies will have realised the situation until the re-evaluation drops on to their mat. There may be some improvement in the economic situation but no-one is feeling very confident.”London mayor Boris Johnson has called on the government to rethink the proposed rise, which would mean a 10% increase in business rates for London companies over the next five years.Igor Bekaert, MD at the nine-strong Belgique Bakery chain which has stores in the capital, said: “I hope the rates will be frozen, but it’s a big worry. Our shop in Brentwood has been re-evaluated at £14,500 up 5%. This is a massive jump and it will be a challenge to find the money.”Bekaert is contesting the rise, using an agency to try and get the rateable value reassessed. “They get 50% of the saving if they succeed, but it would be worth it,” he added.last_img read more

A simple core strategy for any credit union to be a relevant “core” in your community

first_imgYour credit union needs to be relevant to the core if it is going to continue to exist in (or more likely reclaim) its privileged position as an epicenter of your community.Correction, your credit union needs to be relevant from the core. Your core technology, and a business strategy built around that technology, should be the primary engine and energy driving your institution deeper into your community.  By that, I mean it should be empowering you to increase and strengthen your credit union’s position as a gravitational force on consumers, businesses, merchants, and other organizations in whatever community you serve.Despite the various, manifold, and predictable outcries I’ll inevitably receive from (irrelevant) core vendors as a result of writing this piece, I assure you of the following: this idea of core driven relevance is not a theory, it’s an easily verifiable fact.To understand the immediacy of this fact, all you have to is turn on your smart TV, your phone, your laptop, or whatever digital device you prefer and use your favorite non-financial services/non-banking technology.  Better yet, turn on your favorite non-financial services app on all of the above devices at the same time.Their formula for success and consumer satisfaction is not complex:Amass and control data about you as a customer in a centralized, person-centric, extensible/accessible database.Use that data profitably, and protect it as if it were gold (because it is).Extend that data out to the consumer via consistent, unified, adaptable digital experiences. The third prong of this common sense strategy is where things tend to get tricky for credit unions.  Put simply and succinctly, this is because most credit unions control very little when it comes to their ‘best of breed’ digital channels and modern member services.  We are now living in what DaLand CUSO is calling the Platform Predisposed or Platform Saturated era.  This era is largely the result of the ways in which the same tired, traditional, and aged core vendors (struggling to support steps 1 and 2 above) also (temporarily) solved your online, mobile, and digital channel demand problems (in the 90s and 00s) by buying and/or reselling bolt-on solutions (which then came to be known as ‘best of breed’ options) around their core.  Rather than looking ahead and supporting/anticipating a need to modernize your operations from the core, most core vendors created complex and cluttered universes of platforms around your core.  The result for your institution is expensive, inefficient, high-friction operations and fragmented/siloed (less profitable) data.  The result for your member is the functional equivalent of needing two different remote controls and an AOL dial up modem to access/view their favorite shows on-demand, on a limited few of the devices they desire (only after receiving a one-time pass code from a free Wi-Fi enabled toaster they received for opening a free checking account!).The bottom line for your bottom line is this: if your core isn’t empowering you to follow a common sense roadmap for relevance in the digital era, then it’s not a relevant core.  More accurately put, if you find yourself (especially as an executive of a financial institution) constantly confronting reasons why your business objectives and strategic initiatives can’t be accomplished, then you’re allowing your outdated, overcomplicated core to drive your financial institution into irrelevance.And yes, there are relevant core technologies and vendors serving the credit union marketplace which can position your financial institution to develop and execute a strategy around the three-step formula above.  There are at least three of them.  No, they’re not (necessarily) the three you ran into at your favorite annual or regional vendor or governmental affairs conference.  If you would like a map to get to one of them, we can help. And no, we won’t charge you a portion of your core contract or savings to get there.  That’s also an antiquated mode of business.I recently read an article by an industry peer which mentioned the usual suspects and players, and profiled the challenges they’re facing modernizing their cores and keeping their client bases relevant (the other author’s opinion, btw, not only mine).There were two things which struck me as core issues (pun intended) in the above mentioned article:The article spent an excessive amount of time predictably pontificating on how these vendors might solve their problems of relevance (and thereby the financial institutions’ crises of survival!) by simply adding some new features, new screens, and some desired new buttons and screens (or, what we affectionately refer to as obsession with button clicking and screen surfing).The author (astutely) remarks on the current trend of evaporation and consolidation happening in the community and small bank market.  Further, he connects this to the struggles and limitations these local financial institutions are facing as a result of their core platforms and core vendors. Regarding point one, above: your future as a credit union will not solidify or strengthen by talking to your core vendor about button clicking or teller screen surfing.  Sure, this stuff is important; but, it doesn’t amount to a strategy or IT road map to keep you relevant. Further, can we as an industry finally agree to dispense with the dogma, stigma, and excuses around the intricacies of commercial services and business loans and why that’s an alleged reason to remain on outdated solutions!? These alleged complexities of the commercial business universe don’t seem to be preventing outside players (like fin-techs) from foraying into commercial accounts, investments, financial services, and lending.  I would suggest that if you find a relevant core processor who has modern architecture and can amass and use data in an efficient and adaptable way (see non-financial/non-banking IT strategy steps 1-3 above), then that core can also support your aspirations and ambitions to dip your toes into commercial banking in your community. We know this, b/c we’ve seen it (and helped our clients actualize this reality!).Concerning point two: your credit union is no different.  Sticking by your antiquated legacy core is going to drive you into irrelevance. This will impact the lives of your members and the vibrancy and financial future/opportunities of the community around you.  That said, the fact community banks are evaporating (in part because of irrelevant core vendors) is good news for your credit union. Perhaps the best news our industry has heard in 100 years. Savvy, sustainable, technologically sound credit unions can cement their position as an epicenter in their community using modern digital tools and strategies driven from their core.  The evaporation of local banks is creating a vacuum into which your credit union should be attempting to expand its gravitational influence and mass.  As consolidation occurs in community banking, and as more consumers are forced into relationships with mega/big banks and national players, there’s a pool of potential members likely looking for a relevant, digitally savvy, competitively priced, local steward for their data and financial future!Don’t drop the ball!  Or, rather, don’t lose the opportunity to strategically pick up the local data, keep it stored locally, and put it to use (profitably) in and for your local community!!In an era of rapid technological innovation, modernization, and democratization (increasingly affordable, accessible, and usable to the general public) of powerful technology, there are only a few valid reasons to continue to tolerate technical limitations from your core processor: (1) an expensive termination clause in your existing contract; (2) broader benefits or strategic relationships with the parent vendor of the core processor; (3) a personal preference for awesome games of golf and great steak dinners the core showers upon you when they make their annual or quarterly visits!The first two are easily overcome, especially if you have a strategy and map to move past them and offset their impacts to your institution.  The third one … well, enjoy the steaks and tee times while they last! Hopefully your favorite steakhouse isn’t a local one in need of a capable local financial institution partner to keep them thriving.center_img 5SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Jon Ungerland Jon Ungerland believes the core philosophy underlying credit unions is the plausible and sustainable model for preserving healthy financial institutions and promoting financially dignified and strong communities in the 21st … Web: Detailslast_img read more

Arsenal prepared to listen to offers for Chelsea & Man Utd target Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

first_img Comment Advertisement Aubamayang wants to be paid on par with top earner Ozil (Picture: Getty)Aubameyang appears to have many suitors and is reportedly eager to play Champions League football next season.Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy (19) is the only player to score more in the Premier League than Aubameyang this season.Aubameyang has bagged 17 goals and is challenging to win his second successive Premier League Golden Boot.More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityThe forward would presumably fetch a big fee despite his age due to his remarkable goalscoring record.Since joining Arsenal from Borussia Dortmund in a £56million deal in January 2018, Aubameyang has scored 61 goals in 97 games for the Gunners.Arsenal’s rivals including Chelsea believe the London club will be forced to sell their star striker in the next transfer window.MORE: Chelsea target Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as Arsenal’s rivals believe striker will be soldMORE: Arsenal targeting £35m-rated Celtic ace Odsonne Edouard as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s replacementFollow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. For more stories like this, check our sport page. Aubameyang has many suitors (Picture: Getty)Arsenal are ready to listen to offers for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after shelving contract talks with the striker, according to reports.Aubameyang has been the subject of intense transfer speculation this season, with Barcelona, Inter, Manchester United and Chelsea linked with the goalscorer.Discussions over a new deal have ground to halt since Aubameyang demanded £300,000 a week to stay at the club.Read the latest updates: Coronavirus news liveADVERTISEMENTArsenal have already convinced most of their first-team squad to take a 12.5 per cent pay cut for the next 12 months amid the coronavirus pandemic.Aubameyang’s current deal expires next year and the Daily Mail claim Arsenal have decided to stop negotiations with the Gabon International.AdvertisementAdvertisementThe club’s financial problems appears set to have an effect on contract talks, as well any potential transfer business.Arsenal are prepared to field offers for Aubameyang, as the Gunners bid to avoid losing the 30-year-old on a free transfer next year. Metro Sport ReporterFriday 24 Apr 2020 5:35 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link5.6kShares Arsenal prepared to listen to offers for Chelsea & Man Utd target Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Advertisementlast_img read more

Kongsberg Supplies Sonars to Finnish Defence Forces

first_imgKongsberg Maritime has secured a contract by Finnish Defence Forces (FDF) to deliver ST2400 variable depth sonar (VDS) upgrades to the SQ2000MLU program for the Hamina-Class Corvettes fleet. The ST2400 VDS is designed to provide accurate and highly reliable performance for detecting submarines, mines and unmanned underwater vehicles in Littoral waters.The ST2400 VDS upgrade will enable the Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) capability on all four Hamina-Class Corvettes operating in the Baltics, the company said.The ST2400 VDS is a medium-frequency sonar, featuring a compact design, weighing under 3 tonnes and can be rapidly deployed for high speed manoeuvring in addition to full stop (dipping mode).Thomas Hostvedt Dahle, director of Sales, Kongsberg Maritime Subsea Naval, said: “The Finnish Navy has been our key partner from the early development of the first ST240 VDS in the 90’s to the latest version of the ST2400 VDS that we have today. It has been field tested in challenging conditions in the very shallow parts of the Baltics where reverberation issues and layers are dominant. We look forward to continue to improve and develop our system to operate in probably the world’s toughest ASW environment, together with the Finnish Navy.”last_img read more

Are the ICE Raids On or What?

first_imgMIAMI – The prevailing question in Miami and the other cities where it was announced by the Trump administration that immigration raids were to commence on Sunday, July 14, is did the raids actually happen?Small scale operationsAccording to Weston based immigration attorney Caroly Pedersen, the raid did occur over the announced weekend, but they were only small scale operations and were mostly unsuccessful. She cited, “Agents fanned out into immigrant neighborhoods in many major cities, only to find that either no one would answer the door, or, that the occupant inside told them they were refusing to open the door because they knew their rights!”Aggressive promotion backfired Pedersen believed the planned July 14 raid was not successful was because they were aggressively promoted raids. “ICE had long been planning secret raids to catch unsuspecting immigrants off-guard, apprehend thousands and then publicize the success of their operations across the news.But the by the White House announcing and publicizing the raids ICE officials lost the element of surprise and even worse news for them, immigrant communities were becoming more educated about their rights and armed with knowledge, better able to avoid apprehension. Immigrants have now come to understand that they are not required to open their doors to ICE agents or roll down their car window and can simply ignore them, unless they present a warrant signed by a judge, which most agents do not have.”The New York Times reports that a teenager in New York who had seen “know your rights” posts on the internet took the advice to heart when ICE agents knocked on the door at 1 a.m. on Sunday.  She recounted: “They said, ‘We need to talk to you, can you come outside, can you open the door?’ I said, ‘Do you have permission to come inside my house, do you have a paper?’” she recounted. “They said, ‘We’re not trying to come inside your house, we just want to speak with you.’ And I said, ‘No I’m not coming outside.” The agents left, then returned again at  5 a.m., “surrounding the house with flashlights and banging on the door and window” The girl went upstairs to be with her parents and hid with the lights off, “too scared to look outside,”. And miraculously, ICE eventually left, presumably defeated.However, Pedersen cautions that just because these raids were unsuccessful, does not mean ICE isn’t already reorganizing and planning secret, quiet raids hoping to catch immigrants when they are off guard.ICE constrained by lawThe law requires ICE agents to wait for their targets to come outside voluntarily in order to arrest them. Pedersen said ICE could be most likely planning creative tactics to try and lure their unsuspecting targets outside, for instance by carrying decoy photos to hold up to the windows of immigrants who are being targeted,  pretending ICE agents are looking for someone else in order to persuade them to open the door. Or ICE agents claim to be police officers responding to a domestic disturbance or gas leak.The New York Times also reports that the agency has even used social media like dating sites to try and lure targets into “dates” where they can be apprehended.ICE to utilize creative means“They are coming up with more and more creative means every day. So don’t think its over, not by a long shot. Keep vigilant and safe… don’t open your door to strangers!” Pedersen cautioned.last_img read more

Nonprofit Animal Groups Receive Grants

first_imgBetsy Palazzo, left, president of the Purr’n Pooch Foundation for Animals, and her sister, foundation Vice President Koren Spadavecchia, right, pose with Sheila Dean, co-founder of the Marine Mammal Stranding Center, during the foundation’s second annual grantee awards breakfast on Tuesday, Feb. 26, at the foundation’s Tinton Falls headquarters. The foundation awarded $14,000 in grants to nine animal welfare and rescue groups from New Jersey. The foundation also made thousands of dollars in emergency donations of food and supplies in the aftermath of Super Storm Sandy. The organizations receiving awards are: All Fur Love Rescue; Monmouth County SPCA; Operation Kindness; Cat Assistance Network; ReRun Horse Rescue; Ramapo-Bergen Animal Refuge Inc.; MidAtlantic Bulldog Rescue; New Life Boxer Rescue, and the Marine Mammal Stranding Center.last_img read more

CSA red cards Quebec Federation for not allowing wearing of turbans/patkas/keski by players

first_imgIt’s a red card and it’s going to the Quebec Soccer Federation for their non-compliance to the directive of allowing the wearing of turbans/patkas/keski by soccer players.In a bold, but surprising move, the Canadian Soccer Association Board of Directors on Monday 10 June 2013 moved to immediately suspend the Quebec Soccer Federation for its decision to not allow the wearing of turbans/patkas/keski by soccer players.“The Canadian Soccer Association has requested on June 6 that the Quebec Soccer Federation reverse its position on turbans/patkas/keski with no resolution,” said Victor Montagliani, President of the Canadian Soccer Association, following the Board of Directors meeting. “The Quebec Soccer Federation’s inaction has forced us to take measures in order to ensure soccer remains accessible to the largest number of Canadians.”The suspension will be removed once the CSA receives demonstration that the Quebec Federation has lifted the ban and applies satisfactorily the Canadian Soccer Association’s policy in the matter.How the suspension impacts Quebec players is yet to be determined. However, according to Canadian Soccer News, the impact could be felt in a variety of ways unless the situation is resolved soon.The website said it could result in Quebec all-star teams being banned from playing outside the province, and even the cancellation of games within Quebec that involve a nationally certified referee.The Quebec Federation said the reason for its decision is due to safety.The Federation said its concerned about safety and points out that the rules of the world governing body, FIFA, don’t specifically allow turbans.Critics of the Quebec decision point out that FIFA’s rules don’t explicitly ban turbans, either.last_img read more

Bombers finish sixth overall at BC High School AA Girl’s Soccer Championships

first_imgThe L.V. Rogers Bombers finished the BC High School AA Girl’s Soccer Championship in sixth spot following a loss to Ballenas of Parksville in consolation round match Saturday.The Bombers dropped a 4-0 decision to the high-powered Vancouver Island squad. However, the sixth-place finish is one of the better results for the Heritage City school in provincial play.LVR opened the tournament Thursday with a 3-0 loss to St. Michael’s University of Victoria.The Bombers then reeled off three consecutive wins to reach in round-robin and playoff action over Crofton House of Vancouver, Brookswood of Langley, Holy Cross of Vancouver to reach Saturday’s five/six playoff showdown.Naomi Perkins led LVR in scoring with three goals. Emma and Jenna Wheeldon along with Ali Zondervan also scored for the Bombers.LVR advanced to the 16-team tournament as the Kootenay rep after defeating David Thompson of Invermere and J. Lloyd Crowe of Trail in the Zone Championship in May.last_img read more

Mallard’s Team of the Week — Trafalgar Thunder Volleyball Team

first_imgThe Trafalgar Thunder have been burning up the West Kootenay Junior Girl’s Volleyball scene as the team prepares for the upcoming West Kootenay Championships.Mallard’s Source for sports would like to showcase the Thunder as Team of the Week.The team includes Lauren Hartridge, Teigan Barnhart, Farrah Marzicola, Nicola Anderson, Sarah Shah, Ella Peloso, Abby Jackson, Alexis Dyck, Semegn Atkinson, Addis Atkinson, Ruby Linnen, Gabby Bobby and Jaylen Rushton.last_img