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Authoritarianism prevents press freedom progress in much of Asia

first_img Receive email alerts October 20, 2009 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Authoritarianism prevents press freedom progress in much of Asia Asia – Pacific Pakistani TV anchor censored after denouncing violence against journalists News News to go further Asia – Pacific Help by sharing this information RSF_en June 2, 2021 Find out more Related documents Graph_Asie-2.xlsVND.MS-EXCEL – 136 KB June 7, 2021 Find out more Follow the news on Asia – Pacific June 2, 2021 Find out more Mongolia : RSF urges presidential candidates to voice support for press freedom News Fiji falls furthest, but big advance by Maldives Political power grabs dealt press freedom a great disservice again this year. A military coup caused Fiji (152nd) to fall 73 places. Soldiers moved into Fijian news rooms for several weeks and censored articles before they were published, while foreign journalists were deported. In Thailand, the endless clashes between “yellow shirts” and “red shirts” had a very negative impact on the press’s ability to work. As a result, the kingdom is now 130th.The authoritarianism of existing governments, for example in Sri Lanka (162nd) and Malaysia (131st), prevented journalists from properly covering sensitive subjects such as corruption or human rights abuses. The Sri Lankan government had a journalist sentenced to 20 years in prison and forced dozens of others to flee the country. In Malaysia, the interior ministry imposed censorship or self-censorship by threatening media with the withdrawal of their licence or threatening journalists with a spell in prison.War and terrorism wrought havoc and exposed journalists to great danger. Afghanistan (149th) is sapped not only by Taliban violence and death threats, but also by unjustified arrests by the security forces. Despite having dynamic news media, Pakistan (159th) is crippled by murders of journalists and the aggressiveness of both the Taliban and sectors of the military. It shared (with Somalia) the world record for journalists killed during the period under review.The Asian countries that least respected press freedom were, predictably, North Korea, one of the “infernal trio” at the bottom of the rankings, Burma, which still suffers from prior censorship and imprisonment, and Laos, an unchanging dictatorship where no privately-owned media are permitted.The media in China (168th) are evolving rapidly along with the rest of the country but it continues to have a very poor ranking because of the frequency of imprisonment, especially in Tibet, Internet censorship and the nepotism of the central and provincial authorities. Similarly in Vietnam (166th), the ruling Communist Party targets journalists, bloggers and press freedom activists over what they write about its concessions to China.In the good news section, Maldives (51st) climbed 53 places thanks to a successful democratic transition while Bhutan (70th) rose another four places thanks to further efforts in favour of media diversity.Asia’s few democracies are well placed in the rankings. New Zealand (13th), Australia (16th) and Japan (17th) are all in the top 20. Respect for press freedom and the lack of targeted violence against journalists enable these three countries to be regional leaders.South Korea (69th) and Taiwan (59th) fell far this year. South Korea plummeted 22 places because of the arrests of several journalists and bloggers and the conservative government’s attempts to control critical media. The new ruling party in Taiwan tried to interfere in state and privately-owned media while violence by certain activists further undermined press freedom.Two Asian countries were included in the index for the first time: Papua New Guinea (56th), which obtained a very respectable ranking for a developing country, and the Sultanate of Brunei (155th), which came in the bottom third because of the absence of an independent press. China: Political commentator sentenced to eight months in prison News Organisation last_img read more

Islamophobia, Anti-Muslim Backlash & Domestic Terrorism

first_img“We are tired of your (expletive) and I (expletive) personally have a militia that is going to come down to your Islamic Society of Pinellas County and firebomb you and shoot whoever is there in the head,” a man said in a voicemail left for Islamic Center of St. Petersburg in Florida. “I don’t care if they are (expletive) 2 years old or 100.” It’s that same fear of reprisal—for merely adhering to a religion that extremists have bastardized to justify unfathomable bloodshed—which Muslims have dreaded since 9/11. Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York More than two weeks have passed since explosions and gunfire erupted in the streets of Paris, and the world remains transfixed on how gun-toting extremists were able to evade dragnet security before wreaking havoc on the City of Lights, killing 130 people.In the United States, the threat of terror has dominated the nation’s politics in an already bitter presidential campaign season. Presidential hopefuls seeking the GOP nod are flexing their muscles at the self-declared Islamic State in Iraq as well as at war-weary Syrian refugees fleeing the very same apocalyptic extremists these bellicose White House aspirants have pledged to defeat.Those vying for the nomination have chastised President Obama for failing to do enough to weaken ISIS. Driven by fear of the unknown, politicians have publicly come out against Obama’s plan to welcome 10,000 Syrian refugees into the country, despite the already rigorous, multi-layered screening process that already exists. Meanwhile, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said the United States should adopt a “religious test” so only Christian refugees would be permitted to enter the country, and Donald Trump has set his sights on Muslims at home, suggesting all Muslims carry IDs and be surveilled at mosques.The billionaire real estate magnate also claimed he saw “thousands” of Muslims in New Jersey celebrating the destruction of the Twin Towers on Sept. 11, 2001—a claim that has been debunked over and over by New Jersey’s elected officials and his fellow Republican challenger, Gov. Chris Christie.Aside from ISIS and Syrian refugees, it’s the millions of Muslim Americans—doctors, lawyers, professors, shop owners—who bear the brunt of rhetoric emanating from the stump, where the truth is often drowned out by grandiose proclamations, fist pumping, and enthusiastic roars from a sympathetic audience—an exercise in democracy that candidates from both parties enjoy. But since the Paris attacks, the backlash against Muslims in America has been swift and disturbing. Yet, in this country, it’s domestic terror that’s shattering lives.On Friday, three people, including a beloved police officer, were killed during a five-hour long siege at a Planned Parenthood healthcare facility in Colorado. The alleged gunman’s motive remains unclear, but multiple news outlets have quoted an unidentified law enforcement source as saying the suspect mentioned “no more baby parts” in an interview with authorities. Law enforcement officials in Colorado have yet to confirm if a reference to fetal tissue was ever made. But Planned Parenthood suggested in a Tweet that the attack was politically motivated, and its supporters have characterized the shooting as an act of domestic terrorism.Similarly, Black Lives Matters protesters in Minnesota said they too were victims of domestic terror, when five people taking part in a demonstration were wounded amid gunfire. In Texas, armed protesters congregated near a mosque under the auspices of stopping the “Islamization of America.”In Pittsburgh last week a Moroccan cab driver was shot after a passenger complained about ISIS.The door of a mosque in Pflugerville, Tx was covered in feces and verses from the Koran were ripped from its spine.In Cincinnati, a woman wearing a hijab was the victim of verbal attacks. Another woman in the same city was called a “terrorist” and nearly run over by an enraged driver before a group of people intervened and pulled her safely onto the sidewalk.In St. Petersburg, Fla. authorities are investigating a profanity-laced threat directed at an Islamic Center.A community forum in Spotsylvania County, Va. devolved into an anti-Muslim shouting match when a local engineer attempted to share designs of a new mosque to residents amid racist condemnations that “every Muslim is a terrorist” and “Muslims is evil!”center_img Tonight, white supremacists attacked the #4thPrecinctShutDown in an act of domestic terrorism. We need you here…Posted by Black Lives Matter Minneapolis on Monday, November 23, 2015 Four men have since been charged in connection with the shooting. Authorities in Minnesota said some of the men were filmed making derogatory comments about blacks and one man’s cell phone contained “racist images.”“They refer to African Americans in derogatory terms, say they are going to do some ‘reverse cultural enriching’ and ‘make the fire rise,’” according to a criminal complaint released in the case. In the video shot before the shooting, one of the men is seen brandishing a handgun and proclaiming: “Stay White.”The most severe terror attack on domestic soil this year was in Charleston, S.C., where a gunman attending Bible study at a historic black church in June gunned down nine God-loving people. Investigators later found photos of the alleged suspect posing with a Confederate flag and wearing South African apartheid-era patches on his clothes. A manifesto purportedly penned by the suspect paints a portrait of a man unhappy with progress made by African Americans over the years.Since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, right-wing extremists have killed more people (48) than radical Jihadists (26), according to terror statistics compiled by Washington D.C.-based New America Foundation.A report released by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Response to the Terrorism at the University of Maryland in July 2014 found that the chief concern among local authorities across the country was the right-wing “sovereign citizens” movement, not Islamic extremism, which ranked lower.Despite the growing body of data, domestic terror has gone largely unmentioned by Republican contenders on the presidential campaign trail. Talk of potential attacks on US soil has been aimed mostly at Muslim Americans, despite Islamic groups across the country continuing to condemn atrocities in the name of their religion that 1.6 billion people follow around the world. One Muslim leader on Long Island said a week after the attacks that the Islamic State is an “illegal state” and does not represent Islam.Trump recently lamented New York City’s decision to disband NYPD’s so-called Demographics Unit, which spied on Muslims in the five boroughs, New Jersey and on Long Island. When the unit was active, however, it did not open a single terrorism investigation on local Muslims.Muslims groups and their supporters insist that anti-Muslim sentiment and negative comments about Syrian refugees only plays into extremists’ hands.“We as Muslims strongly condemn these un-Islamic actions,” Dr. Isma Chaudry, president of the Islamic Center of Long Island, said one week after the Paris attacks. “This is not Islam. ISIS is not Islam. Muslims are not violent, barbaric people. This is a small group of criminals and we, by dividing ourselves, are making them big.”last_img read more

Tiger Woods Wins Tour Championship

first_img“I was having a hard time not crying on that last hole,” Woods said.“I just can’t believe I’ve pulled this off.”Thousands of fans spilled on to the 18th fairway to follow Woods to the green chanting “U-S-A” and “Tiger, Tiger” after his approach found a bunker on the edge of the green.Woods holed out for par to complete a final round of 71 for an 11-under total before holding his arms aloft in celebration of a brilliant win just days before the Ryder Cup gets under way in Paris.England’s Justin Rose lost his world number one ranking as a result of finishing tied fourth but secured the overall FedEx Cup which determines the season-long PGA Tour champion – the first Englishman to do so.Rose birdied the 18th at East Lake for a 73 to finish on six under and seal the top-five finish he needed to win the $10m (£7.6m) bonus on offer as FedEx Cup champion.Woods, who was two clear of compatriot Billy Horschel, said: “I had to suck it up and hit some shots. Once I got the ball on the green, it was done. I could handle it from there.”The 14-time major champion’s last tournament victory was in August 2013 at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, since when he has had surgery on his back four times“It was just a grind out there,” Woods added. “I loved every bit of it, the fight, the grind and the tough conditions.“At the beginning of the year, it was a tall order but as the year progressed and I proved I could play, I knew I could do it again.”He came into the final day of the tournament – the last of four FedEx Cup play-off events – with a three-shot lead over Rose and Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy, who faded from contention with a 74 to finish on five under in a tie for seventh.Woods birdied his first hole – one of two birdies and three bogeys – with his place at the top of the leaderboard in little danger during the final round.“It’s been tough. I’ve had a not-so-easy last couple of years,” he said. “I’ve worked my way back. I couldn’t have done it without the help of all the people around me.“Some of the other players knew what I was struggling with. It was really special to see them at the green on 18. It’s just hard to believe I won the Tour Championship.”The win for Woods, who is part of the United States team for next week’s Ryder Cup in Paris, means he is now two short of Snead’s all-time PGA Tour title record of 82.It comes less than a year since Woods said he might never return to competitive golf following multiple back operations.In April 2017 he had his third surgery in 19 months to try and cure pain in his back and leg.He returned to competitive golf in November 2017 and admitted he was “winging it” as he waited to see if his back would hold up.“I’ve been in bed for about two years and haven’t been able to do much,” Woods said before the Hero World Challenge, where he would finish ninth in the 18-man field.Back on the PGA Tour in 2018, Woods missed the cut in his second event but crucially felt fit enough to add tournaments to his schedule and the results soon followed, most notably when he led the Open Championship at Carnoustie with eight holes to play and then finished runner-up in the US PGA Championship.“All year long he’s looked like winning,” said Rose about Woods. “He’s played some great golf and he’s looked world class again.“It was just a matter of time and I’m so happy for him.”(BBC)Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram An emotional Tiger Woods completed an astonishing comeback to win the season-ending Tour Championship by two shots and record his first win in five years.The 42-year-old’s victory in Atlanta was his 80th PGA Tour title – only fellow American Sam Snead has more – but his first since August 2013.Less than a year ago he was 1,199 in the world after spinal fusion surgery – the latest of multiple operations.last_img read more

Lakers’ young core say they are accepting high expectations from Kobe Bryant, Byron Scott

first_img“Coach Scott had a tough season. I don’t know how he did it with the retirement and farewell tour,” World Peace said. “He’s not able to have a full practice at all during the season with the whole unit and then had to go out and coach that unit. On top of that, he’s having young guys you’re trying to teach and manage at the same time.”World Peace’s opinion might only mean so much since he does not represent the Lakers’ long-term future. Russell said he agreed with Scott’s recent admission that he could have communicated better with his younger players. In a season in which he lost his starting spot 20 games into the season, Russell chalked it up to a genuine learning curve. “Everybody was trying to get to know each other,” Russell said. “Everybody was just thrown into a pot and expecting gold to come out. We struggled all year trying to figure out roles and what guys could do. I felt like it was just the warmup.”That could start with how Russell commands the team. On Friday he dismissed talk that he lost any of his teammates’ trust after secretly recording a video of teammate Nick Young admitting to infidelities, something that inadvertently went public earlier this month. Yet, Russell said his exit meeting on Thursday with Scott and Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak centered on improving his work habits.“Maturity was more a topic of discussion as far as preparation, figuring out a routine and going into film sessions and practice and shootarounds with a more business-like approach instead of a ‘Let’s get through it’ approach,” Russell said. “I don’t feel like you can teach leadership qualities. You just have to have it. I’ve always tried to be a leader. But I think the great thing about our team is everybody wants to be a leader.”Russell also wants to become stronger so he can expand his post game.Despite averaging a double double, Randle believes he can become “great” if he perfects his mid-range jump shot, right hand and off-ball defense. After describing his defense as “horrible,” Clarkson plans to make that area a higher priority. Nance Jr. will focus on developing his mid-range game as a small forward. And with his injured right foot at “80 percent,” Brown hopes to increase reps after playing a mostly limited role. “I don’t think anybody’s walking around like they just walked on water,” Randle said. “ We all feel like we could do a better job.”To reach that point, Russell, Randle and Clarkson all vowed they will accept Bryant’s open invitation for feedback. They said they will plan to continuously seek his advice and drive down to his Orange County residence for informal workouts. Clarkson also joked he would drag Russell and Randle out of bed to the Lakers’ facility in El Segundo. Lastly, the Lakers’ young players suggested they will embrace Scott’s coaching.“They bought into it,” Clarkson said. “Next year is going to be totally different in terms of style and defensive schemes. Guys just have to buy into what coach is talking about.” Russell, Larry Nance Jr. and Anthony Brown plan to play in Summer League for the second consecutive year. Clarkson only expressed uncertainty because of his uncertain offseason as a restricted free agent. Randle remained noncommittal simply because he wanted to unwind.“With this organization, I feel like failure is not an option,” Russell said. “You can be replaced just like that”Just as the Lakers want to establish continuity with their young core, looming changes might arise. The Lakers could receive a top-three pick in the NBA draft lottery next month. The Lakers will have about $55 million to spend on free agents this offseason when accounting for expiring contracts to Bryant ($25 million) and Roy Hibbert ($15.5 million).And the Lakers (17-65) will have to reach clarity on coach Byron Scott, who enters the third year of a $17 million contract overseeing the worst record in franchise history for two consecutive years. Yet, Lakers veteran forward Metta World Peace argued that Scott “has my vote for Coach of the Year” because of so many extenuating circumstances. Once the buzzer sounded, Kobe Bryant hugged D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson at center court with the same emotion as if he had just won another NBA championship. In the locker room, Bryant’s teammates soon showered him with a champagne bath suggesting the same thing.Eventually, the euphoria died surrounding Bryant’s 60-point performance in his final game against the Utah Jazz on Wednesday at Staples Center. Then, Bryant offered one parting message after drilling countless other ones both on the court and in the locker room.“The most important thing during this offseason is for them to work together. It’s easy sometimes for them to break apart,” Bryant said before offering perspective on his 20-year NBA career. “ ‘It will go by fast. If you don’t give it your all, you will regret it. You’re absolutely going to regret it. Don’t be that guy. Get yourself in the gym. Work as hard as you possibly can.’ And hopefully they got the message.”A day later, it sounded as if they heard it. center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more