Press freedom violations recounted in real time (from 1st January 2012)

first_imgLast December, Behkish was sentenced to four-and-a-half years’ imprisonment by the 15th chamber of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran. She has been imprisoned several times and subjected to constant harassment.She and 33 other members of the “Mothers in Mourning” movement were arrested while demonstrating in Tehran’s Laleh Park in January 2010. Banned from leaving the country when she was freed on 17 March 2011, she was arrested again in Tehran on 12 June 2011 and spent a month in Section 209 of Evin prison.Behkish also belongs to the “Mothers of Khavaran,” a movement named after the south Tehran cemetery used as mass grave for political prisoners who were executed en masse in 1988. She has written several articles for various websites about the group, the ceremonies they organize commemorating the deaths of their loved ones, as well as the repression they have suffered. June 9, 2021 Find out more News Organisation —————–31.05.2012-Shargh journalist re-arrested over bail problemReporters Without Borders has learned that Sam Mahmoudi Sarabi, a journalist with the newspaper Shargh, was re-arrested on 28 May because the person guaranteeing his bail of 150 million tomans (120,000 euros) refused to continue acting as guarantor.Arrested on 9 January 2011 for the second time in less than two years, Sarabi spend five months in prison before being released on bail on 9 May 2011, pending trial.———— 5.12.2012- Kurdish journalist freed after six years, Canadian resident’s death sentence suspendedReporters Without Borders has learned that Abdolvahed “Hiva” Botimar, a Kurdish journalist who wrote for the weekly Asou and was an active member of the environmental NGO Sabzchia, was released on 22 November on completing a six-year jail sentence.Following his arrest on 25 December 2006, Botimar and fellow Asou journalist Adnan Hassanpour were sentenced to death by a revolutionary court in Marivan, in the northwestern province of Kordestan, on charges of spying, separatist propaganda and subversive activities against national security.Reporters Without Borders responded by organizing several campaigns calling for these death sentences to be overturned.On 22 October 2007, Iran’s supreme court upheld Hassanpour’s death sentence on the spying charge but quashed Botimar’s sentence on the grounds of procedural irregularities. He was nonetheless sentenced to six years in prison.The supreme court finally overturned Hassanpour’s death sentence in August thanks both to international pressure and to impressive work by their lawyer, Saleh Nikbakht. The court decided that Hassanpour could not be regarded as “mohareb” (an enemy of God).His case was sent to a court in Sanandaj, the capital of Kordestan province, for retrial. Hearings were held on 6 September 2008 and 30 January 2009 and finally, on 1 July 2009, he was given a 15-year jail sentence, which he continues to serve in Sanandaj’s main prison.Reporters Without Borders has meanwhile also learned that a court has suspended the death sentence that was passed on Saeed Malekpour, a 37-year-old Canadian resident and website designer, who was arrested by Revolutionary Guards while visiting his family in Iran in 2008.His lawyer, Mahmoud Alizadeh-Tabatabaie, told the Meh News agency on 2 December: “My client was sentenced to death by a revolutionary court and the sentence was confirmed by the supreme court. But he then repented and the sentence has been suspended. I hope it will be commuted.”Malekpour was held incommunicado in Tehran’s Evin prison for more than a year after his arrest and, according to his family, the “confession” that was used against him at his trial was extracted under torture.His arrest was prompted by the fact that he was the creator of an online photo-sharing application that was used to circulate pornographic photos without his knowledge. Passed in November 2010, his death sentence was confirmed by a Tehran revolutionary court in October 2011 and by the supreme court in January 2012.—————– Six of Behkish’s close relatives (four brothers, a sister and a brother-in-law) were executed during the 1980s.————03.06.2012- Wave of arrests and convictions of journalists undiminished in IranReporters Without Borders learned on 30 June of the arrest on of Mohammad Solimaninya, head of the social networking site u24, after he was summoned to Tehran’s Evin prison.The netizen had been previously arrested on 10 January this year then released on bail on 22 May on payment of a bond of 40 million tomans (about 4,500 euros).On 22 June, we received word of the arrest of the journalist Poya Dabiri Mehr who runs the blog Andishe Poys. The reasons for his arrest and where he was being held were not known. The journalist, who is close to the government of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, may have been the victim of high-level rivalry between supporters of the president and those of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.On 9 June, lawyer Farideh Gheirat was informed that his client, the feminist journalist Noushin Ahmadi Khorasani, had been handed a one-year suspended prison sentence by the 26th chamber of the Tehran revolutionary court. She is the founder of the Feminist School website and co-organizer of the “One Million Signatures for Equality” campaign calling for the reform of laws that discriminate against women.Since early March, just before International Women’s Day, the government has stepped up pressure on online feminists such as Khorasani, who are regularly the target of threats and arrests.The journalist Bahman Ahamadi Amoee, who had been held in Evin prison since 20 June 2009, was transferred on 12 June to Rajai Shahr jail in the northern town of Karaj after he took part in a ceremony organized by prisoners in an Evin prison dormitory in memory of the journalist and writer Hoda Saber, who died on 12 June after a hunger strike.Rajai Shahr is regarded as one of Iran’s harshest prisons because of its high number of cases of torture, rape and murder. Since his arrest, the journalist has been subjected to constant harassment by the judicial authorities. He appeared before the Tehran revolutionary court on 25 June and was placed in solitary confinement. Receive email alerts News 27.11.2012 – Poor prison conditions put lives of detained journalists at riskReporters Without Borders continues to be concerned about the conditions in which detained journalists and netizens are being held in Iran. On 19 November, the journalist Ahmad Zeydabadi, in prison since 14 June 2009, was admitted to a Tehran hospital. He is suffering from several lung complaints caused by conditions in prison. On the same day, the owners of two suspended newspapers, former prime minister Mir Hossein Mousavi and former parliament speaker Mehdi Karoubi, were taken to hospital under close guard from agents of the intelligence ministry and the Revolutionary Guard. Mousavi, owner of the newspaper Kalameh Saba, and Karoubi, who owns Etemad Melli, had both been under house arrest since 24 February 2011,After undergoing medical examinations they were again placed under surveillance. Their families have expressed concern in recent days about their state of health and the worsening conditions of their detention. Although they remain in their own homes, they are denied prisoners’ rights. On 24 November, Karoubi’s family said his health had not improved and he needed immediate hospital treatment. “Despite the authorities’ consent to the transfer of the two journalists to a hospital chosen by their families, nothing has been done,” said Karoubi’s son, Mohammad Taghi Karoubi. Reporters Without Borders said: “We urge Ali Khamenei, Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic, to take action to ensure there is no danger to the lives of the many journalists and netizens held in detention despite failing health. We shall hold him responsible should they come to any harm.” The press freedom organization is also concerned about the arrest of Behrouz Ghobadi, brother of the dissident Iranian filmmaker, Bahman Ghobadi. He was detained by intelligence ministry agents with two friends in the town of Sanandaj in Iranian Kurdistan. Bahman Ghobadi has lived in exile since May 2009. His latest film, “Rhinos Season”, was shot in Turkey and has been shown at several international festivals, including San Sebastian. The action takes place during the period between the Iranian revolution and the present day. It tells the story of a political prisoner who has been wrongfully convicted, an awkward subject for the Islamic Republic. Contacted by Reporters Without Borders, Bahman Ghobadi said he was extremely worried. “My brother has been arrested solely because he is my brother and because in the past he helped me make films in Iran.”The family has no information on the official reasons for Behrouz Ghobadi’s detention or where he is being held. —————-05.04.2012- More journalists and netizens arrested, sentenced to jail termsReporters Without Borders is appalled to learn that more journalists and netizens have been arrested or have been given long jail sentences in the past few days.Mehran Faraji, a journalist with the newspaper Shargh and the now-closed newspaper Etemad Melli, was arrested on 3 April in order to serve a six-month jail sentence on a charge go anti-government propaganda. Arrested on 12 December 2010 and then freed on bail on 4 February 2011, Faraji was originally sentenced by a Tehran revolutionary court in October 2011 to a year in prison, but an appeal court later reduced it to six months in prison plus six months suspended. He suffers from severe osteoarthritis and a long spell in jail is likely to exacerbate his condition.Rihaneh Tabatabai, another Shargh journalist, was notified on 2 April that a Tehran revolutionary court has sentenced her to a year in prison. Arrested at her home by intelligence ministry officials on 12 December 2010, she was freed on 16 January 2011 on bail of 10 million tomans (7,500 euros).The netizen Mansoureh Behkish has also just learned that a Tehran revolutionary court has sentenced her to four and half years in prison on charges of anti-government propaganda and creating the “Mothers in Mourning” movement in order to “meet and conspire against national security.”Aged 54, Behkish, has been campaigning for years about the arbitrary execution of political prisoners during the 1980s and has repeatedly been harassed and jailed. She and 33 other members of “Mothers in Mourning” were arrested while demonstrating in Tehran’s Laleh Park on 9 January 2010. Banned from leaving the country when freed on 17 March 2011, she was arrested again in Tehran on 12 June 2011 and spent a month in Section 209 of Evin prison.Bekhish also belongs to the “Mothers of Khavaran,” a movement named after the south Tehran cemetery used as mass grave for political prisoners who were executed en masse in 1988. Its members are harassed by the authorities for demanding justice and for holding ceremonies commemorating the deaths of their loved-ones.Six of Bekhish’s close relatives (four brothers, a sister and a brother-in-law) were executed during the 1980s. She posts articles on various websites about these groups, their ceremonies and the harassment to which they are subjected.Under Iran’s Islamic criminal code, Tabatabai and Behkish have 21 days to appeal against their sentences. News Help by sharing this information Follow the news on Iran 23.05.2012- Two online journalists convicted and another released on bailTwo journalists from the website of the Beheshti foundation (http://www.beheshti.org/), Meisam Mohammadi and Omid Mohadess, were each sentenced to four years’ imprisonment on 6 May, and banned from working in journalism and engaging in political activity for five years.They were arrested at their homes by plainclothes police in February 2010 and released on bail after two months, pending trial. Reporters Without Borders also learned yesterday of the release of Mohammad Solimaninya, director of the website u24, on bail of 40 millions tomans (about 4,500 euros). He was arrested on 10 January after being summoned before a revolutionary tribunal in Karaj, a town 20 km north of Tehran.——————-26.04.2012 Two journalists freedReporters Without Borders has learned that Ehssan Hoshmand, a journalist and sociologist who has specialized in the history of the Kurdish people, was released on bail of 150 million toman (140,000 euros) on 23 April. He was arrested at home on 7 January.The organization has also learned that Reza Taleshaian Jolodarzadeh, the editor of the weekly Sobeh Azadi, was freed on 17 April after being held for two and a half months. He suffers from a chronic illness resulting from an injury sustained during the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war. The Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance suspended his newspaper on 19 October 2011 after it ran a photo of former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.——— 16.04.2012 – Netizen freed on bailThe blogger and human rights activist Kouhyar Goudarzi, who kept a blog called Kouhyar, was finally released on bail of 100 million tomans (90,000 euros) on 12 April. Following his arrest on 1 August 2011 in Tehran, he spent several months in Evin prison without the authorities saying where he was being held.Last month, a Tehran revolutionary court sentenced Goudarzi to five years in jail and internal exile: he is supposed to serve his time in prison in the northeastern city of Zahedan.On 2 August 2011, his mother, Parvin Mokhtare, was arrested at her home in the eastern city of Kerman and was sentenced by a Kerman revolutionary court to 23 months in prison. She freed on 19 March. February 25, 2021 Find out more ———11.10.2012-Authorities arrest last free member of Centre for Human Rights DefendersReporters Without Borders condemns the detention of Mohamed Ali Dadkhah, a lawyer who has defended many journalists and cyber-dissidents. Arrested on 30 September to begin serving a nine-year jail sentence, he was one of the founding members of the Centre for Human Rights Defenders, along with Nobel peace laureate Shirin Ebadi.At the time of his arrest, Dadkhah was the only remaining member of the centre in Iran not already in prison. It was his membership of the centre that led a Tehran revolutionary court to sentence him in July 2011 to nine years in prison and an additional ten-year ban on working as a lawyer.Dadkhah had been harassed constantly and arrested several times in the past. After his arrest at his Tehran law office on 8 July 2009, he was held for two months until released on a bond of 500 million toman (450,000 euros) pending trial.The centre’s other detained members are Mohammad Seifzadeh, held since April 2011 and sentenced to nine years in prison, Abdolfattah Soltani, held since September 2011 and sentenced to 13 years in prison and a 20-year ban on practising law, and Nasrin Soutodeh, arrested in September 2010 and sentenced to six years in prison.The Centre for Human Rights Defenders had lawyers and human rights activists who defended political prisoners, including journalists, free of charge. The government declared its activities to be illegal in 2006 – a decision that Reporters Without Borders has always condemned.——————— December 5, 2012 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Press freedom violations recounted in real time (from 1st January 2012) ———Press freedom violations recounted in real time (June-December 2009) RSF_en ———-18 January 2012 – New wave of arrests in Tehran and provincesA renewed crackdown on journalists and bloggers is continuing in Iran, with two journalists and a blogger arrested in Tehran and another journalist arrested in the northwestern city of Tabriz in the past five days alone.Sahamoldin Borghani, a journalist who writes for the news website Irdiplomacy, was arrested at his Tehran home on 18 January. Members of his family, who were absent at the time of his arrest, found a note attached to the door saying: “We have taken Shama and his equipment.” They do not know why he was arrested or where he is being held. Irdiplomacy is headed by Mohammad Sadegh Kharazi, a former Iranian ambassador in France who is close to reformist former president Mohammad Khatami.Peyman Pakmehr, the editor of the Tabriz News website, was meanwhile arrested by local intelligence ministry officials in the northwestern city of Tabriz on 17 January on the orders of prosecutors in Tehran and was transferred to Tehran’s Evin prison. The reason for his arrest is still not known.Two women writers were arrested separately by intelligence ministry officials at their Tehran homes on 15 January on charges of anti-government propaganda. They were Parastoo Dokoohaki, a blogger and women’s rights activist, and Marzieh Rasouli, a journalist who writes for the arts and culture sections of several newspapers.center_img 19 January 2012 – Journalist arrested in late December in BushehrReporters Without Borders has learned of the arrests of two journalists late last month in the southwestern city of Bushehr. One was Esmail Jafari, a journalist, human rights activist and editor of the blog Rah Mardom (Voice of the People), who was arrested on 28 December to serve an eight-month jail sentence in Bushehr prison on a charge of endangering national security.Originally detained in April 2008 for covering a demonstration outside the Bushehr prefecture by about 20 workers protesting against their dismissal, Jafari was formally arrested on 16 December 2008 and was released on bail on 18 March 2009 after being sentenced. He was arrested yet again on 7 April 2009 and was freed 17 days later on bail of 50 million tomans (45,000 euros). He was finally told on 14 November 2011 that his sentence had been confirmed and that he would have to begin serving it. IranMiddle East – North Africa —–Press freedom violations recounted in real time (July-December 2010) Call for Iranian New Year pardons for Iran’s 21 imprisoned journalists IranMiddle East – North Africa —————11 January 2012 – New wave of arrestsArrests of netizens are meanwhile continuing. Simien Nematollahi, a contributer to the pro-Sufi website Majzooban (www.majzooban.org), was arrested at her Tehran home by intelligence ministry officials on 11 January on a charge of anti-government propaganda. Several members of the website’s staff were arrested on 7 and 8 September and were freed on bail on 4 October pending trial.Mohammad Solimaninya, the head of u24, a social networking website for Iranian professionals, was arrested on 20 January after being summoned before a revolutionary tribunal in Karaj, a town 20 km north of Tehran, on 10 January. Plainclothes intelligence ministry officials searched his home the same day, confiscating his computer, hard disks and CDs.His family still does not know why he was arrested or where he is being held. As well as running u24, Solimaninya has created and hosts the websites of many civil society organizations, NGOs and Iranian intellectuals.Journalists Fatemeh Khardmand, Ehssan Hoshmand and Saeed Madani, were arrested by plainclothes men at their Tehran homes on 7 January. Confirming their arrest the next day, intelligence minister Heydar Moslehi said they had “envisaged carrying out American plans to disrupt the parliamentary elections by using cyber-space and social networks.” This is a clearly trumped-up charge by a regime which, without any evidence, systematically accuses dissidents of being spies working for the United States or Israel.Madani, a sociologist as well as a journalist who has written dozens of articles in the independent media, was previously arrested and sentenced to six years in prison. Hoshmand, who is also a sociologist, has specialized in the history of the Kurdish people.Khardmand is a journalist with the monthly Gozaresh Sanat Chap. According to her husband, Masoud Lavassani, a journalist and blogger who was released in July after two years in detention, her arrest was carried out by four intelligence ministry officials with a warrant who said she was accused of “being in contact with the families of political prisoners.” Her state of health is a source of concern and their four-year-old son, who was already disturbed by his father’s long imprisonment, is in state of shock.Mehdi Khazali, who edits the Baran blog and has been arrested several times in the past, was arrested again on 9 January. According to his wife, he was injured in the course of his arrest, which was carried out in a very violent manner. Khazali is the son of Ayatollah Abolghasem Khazali, an influential member of the Council of Guardians of the Iranian Constitution for the past three decades. Despite his frequent run-ins with the authorities, Mehdi Khazali is very scathing about the government’s policies and human rights violations in his blog, which has been the victim of a cyber-attack and is no longer accessible. The newspaper Roozegar was closed down two days ago on the orders of the Tehran prosecutor responsible for the print media after it published a front-page interview and photo of the reformist leader, Mohammad Reza Khatami. It was the third time the daily had been banned. It was suspended for two months on 4 September 2011 and had earlier been closed down between 2007 and February 2010.Reporters Without Borders is seeking the release of Said Razavi Faghih, a journalist and former student leader who has worked for several reformist newspapers. He was detained at Tehran airport on 22 January after arriving in the country from France where he had lived since 2004. He was studying philosophy in Paris. The publications for which he has worked include the reformist newspaper Yase No, which was closed down in 2009. On 30 January 2009, officials of the intelligence ministry confiscated his passport and banned him from leaving the country. He was ordered to attend the revolutionary court the next day. He was released a month later, but the ban on leaving Iran remained in force.Faghih was detained for several months in 2003 with three other journalists from Yase No and spent more than 78 days in solitary confinement. March 18, 2021 Find out more ——19.11.2012 Two arrests and one releaseReporters Without Borders has learned that Alireza Roshan, a journalist who wrote book reviews for the newspaper Shargh, was arrested on 17 November after being summoned to the prosecutor’s office that is attached to Tehran’s Evin prison.He is to serve the one-year sentence he received from a Tehran revolutionary court following his arrest with other members of the Majzooban Nor website during a police raid on 8 September 2011. After being convicted on a charge of activities against state security, he was released provisionally on 3 October 2011 pending the outcome of an appeal. His sentence was eventually confirmed by a Tehran appeal court.Reza Entesari, another Majzooban Nor contributor who was arrested during the September 2011 raid, has been held ever since in Evin prison. He has several ailments and has been hospitalized in Tehran twice since his arrest.Reporters Without Borders has also learned Yashar Darolshafa, a netizen and contributor to several news media, has been arrested in order to serve the five-year jail sentence he received from a Tehran revolutionary court in March 2010. The sentenced was finally confirmed by an appeal court on 7 November. Darolshafa had originally been arrested on 2 November 2009 and 4 February 2010, when he was held for a month both times.Finally, Reporters Without Borders has also learned that Kashan news website editor Ali Moslehi was released on bail of 300 million toman (300,000 euros) on 10 September pending trial. He was arrested on 4 July.——-18.10.2012- Fears for life of jailed Iranian netizen taken ill in prison Reporters Without Borders is concerned about the health of Mohammad Reza Pourshajari, the jailed author of the blog Iran Land’s Report, who was taken ill on 3 October in his cell at Rajaishahr prison. His family says he is still in a critical condition. He is suffering from kidney failure, aggravated by a lack of medical treatment.Pourshajari, detained since September 2010, was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment in April 2011 by a revolutionary court in the city of Karaj, north of Tehran, for insulting the leadership of the Islamic Republic and anti-government propaganda. In December last year, he received a one-year sentence from the same court for insulting the holy scriptures of Islam. Both trials took place without the presence of his lawyer.In September last year, he was moved into a cellblock for common criminals. Common law prisoners are frequently used to harass political detainees in Iranian jails. Reporters Without Borders fears for the lives of a number of jailed journalists and netizens who are in poor physical and mental condition. ——–Press freedom violations recounted in real time (January-July 2010) Iran: Press freedom violations recounted in real time January 2020 ———-Press freedom violations recounted in real time (January-December 2011) 03.10.2012 – Another journalist arrestedReporters Without Borders has learned that Mohammad Mehdi Emami Naseri, the editor of the daily Maghreb, was arrested at his office on 1 October by officials from the Tehran prosecutor’s office, who confiscated his computer and questioned all of his colleagues.In a news conference later the same day, prosecutor-general Gholam Hossein Ejehi said Naseri’s arrest was not linked to his work as a journalist. The newspaper, which was launched at the beginning of September, may be the latest victim of the infighting between rival government factions.————–11.09.2012 – Two bloggers freedMohammad Reza Ali Pyam, a blogger and satirical poet openly critical of the government, was released on bail of 100 million toman (100,000 euros) on 9 September pending trial. The editor of the blog Halloo, Pyam was arrested at his home by men in plain-clothes on 14 August.Reporters Without Borders has also received confirmation that Esmail Jafari, the editor of the blog Rah Mardom (People’s Way), was released on 28 July on completing a seven-month jail sentence on a charge of endangering national security that an appeal court confirmed on 14 November 2011. He was arrested on 28 December 2011 to begin serving the sentence in Bushehr prison.—–13.08.2012 – Three netizens freed from prison Reporters Without Borders learned today of the release of three imprisoned netizens.Ahmad Shariat, the supervisor of a blog called Nedai az Daron (Internal Way), was released on bail on 7 August after 18 days in detention, after paying a bond of 100 million tomans (approx. 80,000 euros). He is still awaiting trial. The organization also learned of the release on bail of Mohammad Solimaninya, head of the social networking site u24, after he paid a bond of 500 million tomans (approx. 400,000 euros). He was arrested on 28 May for a second time after he was summoned to Tehran’s Evin prison.Iman Masjedi, released on 17 March after his sentence was reduced by a year and four months, was arrested in July 2010 with six other students, Amir Latifi, Mohammad Reza Gholizadeh, Ladan Mostoufi Ma’ab, Hanieh Sate Farshi, Hojat Nikoui and Sepehr Ebrahimi. In April last year a Tehran revolutionary court sentenced them to heavy prison terms – eight years in the case of Masjedi and Ebrahimi, seven years for Gholizadeh and Farshi, five years for Nikoui and Ma’ab, and seven years and 74 lashes for Latifi.Their convictions were upheld on appeal and they are still in prison. Several are ill or are suffering serious physical and psychological effects of their treatment.Narges Mohammadi, a journalist and spokeswoman for the Centre for Human Rights Defenders, was granted permission to leave prison for medical treatment on 31 July after paying a bond of 600 million tomans (approx. 480,000 euros). She was detained in the northern city of Zanjan on 21 April and taken to Tehran’s Evin prison. Her health is a cause for concern and she was admitted to the Vali Asar hospital in Zanjan on 9 July. 6 February 2012 – Blogger sentenced to jail, newspaper suspended The Tehran revolutionary court yesterday sentenced Mehdi Khazali, editor of the Baran blog, to 14 years’ imprisonment, 10 years’ internal exile in the south-western city of Borazjan and 70 lashes. He was arrested on 9 January for the third time in less than two years.Khazali is the son of Ayatollah Abolghasem Khazali, an influential member of the Council of Guardians of the Iranian Constitution for the past three decades. Despite his frequent run-ins with the authorities, Khazali is very scathing about the government’s policies and human rights violations in his blog, which has been hacked and is no longer accessible.According the Mashregh website, which is close to the intelligence services, Sharam Golshani, head of the currency conversion site Mesghal is reported to have been arrested two days ago, at the height of a currency crisis in Iran. The site, which gives exchange rates for the Iranian rial and foreign currencies, was accused of contributing to the fall of the rial against the U.S. dollar.On 1 January, U.S. President Barack Obama signed into law Washington’s toughest sanctions yet against Tehran. Subsequently the value of the rial fell by more than 20 percent, despite the intervention of the Iranian central bank.The website was unavailable for several days in early January. Golshani was accused of being a member of the Baha’i faith, which is not recognized as a religion by Iran, and of being and of working on behalf of Iran’s enemies.Reporters Without Borders has learned of the release on bail two days ago of Simien Nematollahi, a contributor to the website Majzooban, after the payment of a surety of 100 million tomans (about 90,000 euros). She was arrested on 7 January at her Tehran home by officials of the intelligence ministry on a charge of anti-government propaganda. to go further —————-24.07.2012 – Conservative blogger released, another arrestedReporters Without Borders condemns conservative blogger Mohammad Hassan Nobakhti’s recent detention for a total of 99 days. The editor of the news website Nosazi, he was finally released on 22 July. He was previously arrested in February 2008 after posting an article about Mullah Hassan Khomeiny, grandson of the late Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeiny.Ahmad Shariat, the supervisor of a blog called Nedai az Daron (Internal Way), was meanwhile arrested on 22 July after responding to a summons to report to the Tehran prosecutor’s office. He was detained because he was unable to arrange a bond of 100 million tomans (75,000 euros).Since the start of the Iranian year (on 21 March), a number bloggers who support President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have been hounded by the Tehran prosecutor’s office for criticizing associates of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the current supreme leader. Rivalry between the Khamenei and Ahmadinejad factions is taking a growing toll within conservative media circles.——–12.07. 2012- Online journalist and rights activist arrested, netizen sentencedReporters Without Borders has learned of the arrest on 4 July of Ali Moslehi, who runs the website Kashan News and also contributes to the Jaras site, which is close to Iran’s reformists. He was arrested in the street and his family were informed by local shopkeepers. The reason for his detention and his whereabouts are not known.The blogger and human rights campaigner Nasour Naghipour has been re-arrested and sent back to prison to serve a seven-year sentence handed down on 8 July. Naghipour, who runs the site http://www.nasour.net/, was initially arrested at his home in the city of Qazvin on 2 March. He was released on bail of 100 million tomans (75,000 euros) on 20 June.On 8 July, the lawyer of netizen Mansoureh Behkish was informed that her client had been given a six-month prison sentence by the 54th chamber of the appeal court for anti-government propaganda, and a suspended sentence of three-and-half years for conspiring against national security. —————-1st February 2012 – Two journalists freed on bailReporters Without Borders had learned of the release on bail on 3 January of the documentary film-maker Hassan Fathi, arrested on 12 November, and today of Fatemeh Khardmand, a journalist for the monthly Gozaresh Sanat Chap, who was detained on 7 January.They were released after paying a surety of 50 million tomans (about 45,000 euros) each.—————–30 January 2012- Four held over Facebook page Iran’s police responsible for Internet security have announced the arrest of two men and two women accused of creating a network aimed at corrupting Iranian youth by “promoting prostitution and immorality”.The cyber police have taken control of the Facebook page “Daf & Paf” which the group is alleged to have set up.The page, which has nearly 27,000 members, encouraged male and female participants to take part in an online beauty contest by submitting photographs of themselves. ————————- News After Hengameh Shahidi’s pardon, RSF asks Supreme Leader to free all imprisoned journalists —————-Reporters Without Borders has learned that two journalists, Ali Mousavi Khalkhali and Mehdi Khazali, and a jailed blogger’s mother, Parvin Mokhtare, were released on 19 March.Khalkhali, who worked for the Irdiplomacy news website, was held in Tehran’s Evin prison after being arrested by intelligence ministry officials at his home on 24 February. He is a nephew of Ayatollah Hakim, a senior Shiite cleric of Iranian origin in Iraq.The editor of the blog Baran, Khazali was arrested for the third time in less than two years on 9 January and was sentenced on 5 February to four years in jail followed by 10 years of internal exile in the southern city of Borazjan on a charge of insulting government officials. His family said his health deteriorated while detained.Mokhtare, the mother of the jailed blogger Kouhyar Goudarzi, was herself sentenced to 23 months in prison by a revolutionary court in the southeastern city of Kerman.———23.03.2012 -Two freed on bail Reporters Without Borders has learned of the release on bail on 10 March of Rahim Sarkar, editor of the weekly Hadiss Qazvin, after payment of a bond of 50 million tomans (about 45,000 euros).He was arrested on 8 March after being summoned to the revolutionary court in the city of Qazvin. He had been charged on 27 February with “publishing false information with the aim of disturbing public opinion”.According to the prosecution, “The newspaper published in its latest edition, images of prisons, poverty, executions, etc. in order to paint a bleak picture of the country. The accompanying article forecast a poor turnout at the parliamentary election on 12 March.”The press freedom organization has also been informed of the release on bail on 26 December last year of Ali Dini Torkamani, a writer and economist who contributes to the Tehran-based online magazine Alborznet. He was arrested on 2 August at his home in the capital. ————–28 February 2012 – Journalists arrested in January round-up released, photographer detainedReporters Without Borders has learned of the release on bail two days ago of Parastoo Dokoohaki, a blogger and women’s rights activist, and yesterday of Sahamoldin Borghani, a journalist who writes for the news website Irdiplomacy and Marzieh Rasouli, who contributes to the arts and culture sections of several newspapers.They were arrested on 15 and 18 January and held in solitary confinement in Sections 209 and 2A of Tehran’s Evin prison which are run by the intelligence ministry and the Revolutionary Guards.The journalists were freed after the payment of a bond of 300 million tomans each by Dokoohaki and Rasouli, and of 200 million tomans by Borghani.The day before their release, the organized crime unit of the Revolutionary Guards in a statement on the website Gerdab.ir, accused them of collaborating with the BBC, British intelligence and the foreign-based opposition.The Revolutionary Guards announced that an opération code-named “eye of the fox” had led to the break-up of a network that gathered information and produced content for the BBC in Iran. The British broadcaster denied it employed staff in Iran. In the past, satellite stations such as the BBC and Voice of America, have been jammed at regular intervals.The press freedom organization has also been informed of the arrest of photographer Tahmineh Monzavi by officials of the intelligence ministry at her workplace on 19 February.Her family does not know the reasons for her arrest or where she is being held.————last_img read more

An Uphill Climb

first_img The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Subscribe An Uphill Climb Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Previous: Rent and Affordability Next: Search for New Wells Fargo CEO Taking Shape Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago About Author: Tom Lamalfa Tom Lamalfa has spent the past 40 yearsstudying mortgage finance as a researcher,analyst, and consultant. Past interests haveincluded the revenue and expense structuresof the various mortgage production channels,mortgage brokers, the GSEs, and thedomestic economy. He has been a longtimechampion of GSE reform and followslegislative developments in Washington,D.C. LaMalfa’s firm, TSL Consulting,specializes in survey research.  Print This Post About Author: Edward J. Pinto Tagged with: Fannie Mae Freddie Mac American Enterprise Institute (AEI)Resident Fellow Edward J. Pinto is theCo-Director of AEI’s Center on HousingMarkets and Finance. He is currentlyresearching policy options for rebuilding theU.S. housing finance sector and specializesin the effect of government housingpolicies on mortgages, foreclosures, and onthe availability of affordable housing forworking-class families. Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Share Save Related Articlescenter_img The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Fannie Mae Freddie Mac 2019-04-16 Seth Welborn Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, News Sign up for DS News Daily Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Home / Daily Dose / An Uphill Climb Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago April 16, 2019 2,581 Views Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago In late January, Sen. Mike Crapo, the Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, released a Housing Reform Outline. The two over-arching goals presented were: make housing more affordable and protect taxpayers. The outline addresses five topics: guarantors, regulation of the guarantors, Ginnie Mae’s (new) role, the requirements necessary to transition to the new system, and a new plan to deal with affordable housing.Before laying out the numerous reasons why the Housing Reform Outline is flawed, a muchabbreviated review of Congress’ past efforts to make housing more affordable and protect taxpayers is in order (spoiler alert: they have all failed).Let’s start in 1954 when Congress first authorized the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to insure 30-year mortgages for the purchase of existing homes. Back then, the median home sold for about twice median income, the homeownership rate was about 60 percent, and foreclosures were virtually non-existent.Flash-forward to 1992 when the median home sold for 2.85 times median income, foreclosures were once again common (for example, the percentage of FHA loans in foreclosure was 7 times higher in 1992 than in 1954), and, while the home-ownership rate was up to about 64 percent, this increasingly required two incomes.Why focus on 1992? That was the year Congress passed the Safety and Soundness Act covering Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the GSEs). This act instigated a congressionally mandated explosion in leverage. Since 1995, we have had two gigantic housing booms. The first began in 1995 and crashed in 2006. The second began in 2012 and continues to grow.The Affordable Housing (AH) Mandates in the 1992 Safety and Soundness Act forced the GSEs to abandon their traditional role as the secondary market for prime loans and instead required them to go into direct competition with both FHA—then the government’s subprime lender—and private subprime lending. In 1992, the GSEs’ purchase loan stress event mortgage risk index (MRI) was 36 percent of FHA’s MRI in the same year. By 2007, the GSEs’ MRI had risen so it was now 80 percent of FHA’s 1992 rate. Congress had accomplished its unstated goal—it now had multiple subprime government mortgage insurers, all with the goal of making homes more “affordable.”However, Congress’ effort to make housing more affordable backfired; it had made them less affordable. The home-price-to-income ratio had risen from a reasonably affordable 2.85 in 1992 to an unaffordable 4.07 in Q1 2006. Further, the homeownership rate was now in a free-fall as millions of homes financed with unsustainable loans were foreclosed upon.Congress decided to double down. In 2008, it passed the Housing and Economic Recovery Act, which strengthened the GSE AH Mandates and gave the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), the GSEs’ new regulator, expanded powers to set GSE underwriting policy. Then, in 2010, it passed the Dodd-Frank Act, which gave substantial power over the mortgage market to the newly created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).By Q1 2012, the house-price-to-income ratio had returned to a more normal level of 2.93. In January 2013, using its newly minted powers under the Dodd-Frank Act, the CFPB exempted government agencies from key parts of its Ability to Repay rule. As my colleague Peter Wallison and I observed at the time, it was entirely foreseeable that this action would launch yet another unsustainable home price boom. By Q3 2018, the house-price-to-income ratio was back up to 3.51 and heading higher.These policies have driven up the price of low- and low-medium priced (largely entrylevel) homes the fastest. Since Q4 2012, prices of these homes have increased by 47 percent compared to 28 percent for medium-high and high-priced (largely move-up) homes. Said another way, entry-level buyers are now paying about an extra $21,000 to buy a low- or lowmedium priced home.As the chart below demonstrates, congressionally mandated credit loosening fueled these two booms, thereby making homes less, not more affordable. The parallels between these two housing policy-induced booms are striking.Given this history, let us now return to Senator Crapo’s outline to examine its flaws. First, it provides an explicit federal guarantee for all (FHFA) approved guarantors. This not only puts the taxpayers even more on the hook for losses, it has the potential to expand the scope of federal mortgage guarantees outstanding beyond the already massive $6.7 trillion. History teaches us that whenever a federal full faith and credit imprimatur is extended, moral hazard results, with taxpayers the likely losers.Second, this proposal provides a further expansion of the federal government’s role and control of residential mortgage finance, rather than a reduction of that role and control. It accomplishes this by privatizing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and setting them up as guarantors benefiting from the new explicit imprimatur. The GSEs enter the market with the inherent advantages of ongoing companies that have been operating in the sector for decades. Any and all other would-be guarantors would be starting from zero, almost assuring few, if any, competitors.Third, the newly proposed solution for affordable housing creates the same problems that the existing structure does—namely, merely substituting one type of subsidy for another. While eliminating the affordable housing goals and duty-to-serve rules is common sense for the reasons noted earlier, its proposed replacement, the Market Access Fund, suffers from the same flaws. Both approaches add leverage and thereby exert upward pressure on house prices, particularly, as noted, for entry-level buyers. It bears repeating: these affordable housing policies make homes less, not more affordable.A fourth flaw is setting Ginnie Mae up as operator of the securitization platform. By all accounts, Ginnie already faces serious operational difficulties and is in need of a major systems makeover. These include serious upgrades to its platform; an issuer portal; a more robust counterparty risk-management program; and upgraded safeguards against issuer failures. Is Ginnie Mae really up to the assigned task, which would likely quadruple its issuances? How much time and money will have to be spent to get Ginnie Mae fully up to speed?Last, the proposed new structure will cause Ginnie Mae securities prices to decline and FHA rates to rise if the explicit government guarantee—now exclusive to Ginnie Mae securities—is extended to all securities issued by all approved guarantors. Suddenly, the guaranteed market grows nearly threefold but at the expense of FHA borrowers. This may well lead to unseen economic consequences.Given the past congressional failures already noted, an appropriate path forward is to use the tools already granted to the administration and regulators to address the many failings of the current governmentcentric approach. This could be done by the Treasury Department working with the FHFA, the FHA, and the CFPB.With respect to the GSEs, the FHFA director/conservator might make the following additions/revisions to the GSE Single-Family Scorecard for 2019:»» Tightened GSE underwriting on primary purchase homes so as not to compete with FHA. This includes not acquiring high CLTV (greater than 95 percent) and high debt-to-income (greater than 43 percent) loans.»» Reduce GSE single-family financing activity not directly related to the acquisition of conforming mortgages made to purchase a primary residence, by setting a goal to substantially reduce such loans so that owner-occupied home-purchase loans at conforming loan limits account for 90 percent of GSE loan acquisitions for calendar year 2023. This goal would be achieved in annual steps and would be accomplished through tightened underwriting, increased guarantee fees, or restrictions on acquiring loans unrelated to the acquisition of conforming mortgages made to purchase a primary residence. Specifically, this would include cashout refinance (25 percent of 2017 acquisition volume), high-cost loan limit (3 percent of 2017 acquisition volume) and freeze conforming loan limit at $453,100 (2018 limit), second home and investor acquisitions (9 percent of 2017 acquisition volume), and non-cash out refinance (15 percent of 2017 acquisition volume).»» GSEs to submit justification for all program and product expansion approvals that have been given while in conservatorship. Those that compete with the private sector should be terminated.»» FHA and the CFPB have their respective roles also. In short, they need to end or revise policies that are procyclical during home price booms. In sum, there’s nothing new in this latest effort to restructure the mortgage finance system. It will not eliminate or reduce the amount or cost of the federal government’s debt. Neither will it reduce moral hazard or promote financial stability. It will certainly not assist low- and moderate-income households by making homeownership more affordable.Given the past failures of congressional action, the obvious solution is to take measured and deliberate administrative action now to implement GSE reform. In five years, the government’s role will have been substantially reduced without any significant market disruption. At that point, a reasonable legislative solution that helps first-time buyers and protects taxpayers will be more visible and doable legislatively. Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days agolast_img read more

Amazon Warriors begin training camp

first_img… Pakistani Babar Azam replaces injured Chris LynnTHE Guyana Amazon Warriors began a seven-day training programme yesterday as part of preparations for the August 4 start of the much-anticipated Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) T20 tournament.Fourteen of the 17 members started the training camp at the Guyana National Stadium under head coach Roger Harper, assistant coach Esaun Crandon, strength and conditioning trainer Clinton Jeremiah along with the Warriors technical support team.Under Harper, the Guyana Amazon Warriors will be looking to win the tournament for the first time.The Warriors have been the most consistent team in the history of CPL cricket, but never managed to win a single title after four years. They reached the final in 2013, 2014 and 2016, and were one of the semifinalists in 2015.Meanwhile, Crandon told media operatives that the camp is more than an acquaintance exercise for the players.Crandon, who is also the Guyana Jaguars head coach, pointed out that the camp, a customary practice for teams preparing for competitions, is a vital one for the local franchise.Pakistani Babar Azam has replaced Chris LynnHe further related that they will look to pack a heavy workload in the next week with the aim of getting to peak condition for the fifth edition of the League.“Preparation is always important. We have a week together so we will try and put in as much as we could together. We have an assessment in the morning (today) so there we will have a look with the guys and see where they are at present,” Crandon said.Meanwhile, it was confirmed from the Warriors management unit that Pakistani batsman Babar Azam has replaced the injured Australia middle-order batsman Chris Lynn.Azam is an exciting young batsman who has come up through the ranks of junior cricket in Pakistan and is already touted as one of the best young batsmen.Azam first made a mark when he captained the Pakistan team at the Under-19 World Cup of 2012, where he ended up as the highest run-getter for his side scoring 287 runs from six games. He is expected here on tomorrow.Further, Pakistani all-rounder Sohail Tanvir, New Zealand opener Martin Guptill, will arrive today.This year the Warriors have retained Tanvir, Guptill, Lynn (out injured), Trinidad and Tobago all-rounder Rayad Emrit, Trinidad and Tobago batsman Jason Mohammed, Guyanese trio of Veerasammy Permaul, Assad Fudadin and Steven Jacobs and Trinidad and Tobago wicketkeeper/batsman Steven Katwaroo.They have raked in six newcomers in their squad, Jamaican wicket-keeper/batsman Chadwick Walton, Afghanistan all-rounder Rashid Khan, ICC Americas opener Steven Taylor, along with Barbados all-rounder Roshon Primus and the Guyanese pair, batsman Gajanand Singh and fast bowler Keon Joseph.Joseph was called in as a replacement for the injured Ronsford Beaton in the Guyana Amazon Warriors squad in 2013. However, he did not play a match.Further West Indies Under-19 World Cup Champions player Keemo Paul has been selected as a replacement for Shimron Hetmyer.Hetmyer, who was initially selected by the Guyana Amazon Warriors as the West Indies Youth Player will be on West Indies Senior Team duties and as such Paul has been chosen as his replacement.The squad will depart for Fort Lauderdale, Florida on August 2. During the Florida leg, the Warriors will play St Kitts & Nevis Patriots in two games before returning to the Caribbean.Guyana home games are billed for August 17, 19, 20 and 22 at the Guyana National Stadium.The host team (Guyana Amazon Warriors) take on the Jamaica Tallawahs on August 17 from 20:00hrs; Trinbago Knight Riders on August 19 from 12:00hrs; Barbados Tridents on August 20 from 18:00hrs and St Lucia Stars on August 22 from 18:00hrs.last_img read more

Xiaomi Redmi 6, Redmi 6A India launch tipped for September

first_imgXiaomi launched the Redmi 6 series of phones which include the Redmi 6, the Redmi 6A and the Redmi Note 6 in China recently. The Chinese OEM is now gearing up to bring two of the three Redmi phones to India very soon. A new report suggests that Xiaomi will be launching the Redmi 6 and the Redmi 6A in India in September. However, it is important to note that Xiaomi India is yet to confirm the launch timeline of the phones.According to a report from 91Mobiles, some industry sources have confirmed that the Redmi 6 and the Redmi 6A will be launching in India in the next two months. There is, however, no word whether Xiaomi will launch the Redmi Note 6 in India alongside the Redmi 6 and Redmi 6A in September. Xiaomi usually launches the Note device in a separate event, the scenario may be the same with the Redmi Note 6. Meaning, the Note 6 may launch in India later in the year.Alongside confirming the launch month of the Redmi 6 and the Redmi 6A, the new report also reveals that the both these devices will come with MediaTek processors. Now, that’s a disappointing news to hear. Considering, the Redmi 5 runs on Snapdragon 450 and Redmi 5A on Snapdragon 425, seeing the Redmi 6 and the Redmi 6A running on MediaTek processors is disappointing. Other specifications of the two phones are expected to be the same as the China models.In China, the Redmi 6, which is the successor to the Redmi 5, comes in two variants, one with 3GB RAM and 32GB of internal storage and the second one with 4GB RAM and 64GB of storage which is expandable via a microSD card. The Redmi 6 sports a 5.45-inch display with HD+ with a resolution of 1440 x 720 pixels and aspect ratio of 18:9. The smartphone comes with AI-powered dual camera setup on the back consisting of 12-megapixel primary sensor and 5-megapixel secondary sensor. On the front, the Redmi 6 sports a 5-megapixel sensor.advertisementThe Redmi 6 is powered by a 12nm-based MediaTek Helio P22 processor clocked at 2GHz. Redmi 6 comes in two variants — one with 3GB RAM and 32GB storage, while the second one comes with 4GB RAM and 64GB of internal storage. As for the pricing, the Redmi 6 comes with a starting price tag of 799 Yuan (roughly Rs 8,500) for the 3GB RAM model. The price of the high-end variant with 4GB RAM is launched for a price of 999 Yuan (roughly Rs 10,500).The Redmi 6A, on the other hand, is an ultra-affordable phone. The Redmi 6A has been launched in China for 599 yuan (roughly around Rs 6,000) which is interestingly same as the Redmi 5A India price. The Redmi 6A comes with a 5.45-inch display with 18:9 aspect ratio. The smartphone comes with a 12-megapixel camera on the back, while on the front, the phone includes a 5-megapixel selfie shooter. The Redmi 6A runs the latest MIUI 10-based on Android Oreo. On the hardware front, the Redmi 6A is powered by a 12nm-based MediaTek Helio A22 processor and is backed by a 3000mAh battery.last_img read more

Progress in Pakistan with Nigeria on the Horizon

first_imgPosted on January 1, 2011June 20, 2017By: Faisal Siraj, Young Champion of Maternal HealthClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)This blog post was contributed by Faisal Siraj, one of the fifteen Young Champions of Maternal Health chosen by Ashoka and the Maternal Health Task Force at EngenderHealth. He will be blogging about his experience every month, and you can learn more about him, the other Young Champions, and the program here.My 4th month in the Young Champions Program was very busy. The New Year celebration, my birthday, and the visa process for Nigeria made it a little hectic for me but I enjoyed it. I am planning to finally physically join my work office in Nigeria on the 1st of March and have started my visa process. I have completed the 7th chapter of safe motherhood guidelines for training traditional birth attendants and health workers. I tried to gather material for safe childcare guidelines and for that propose I met the maternal and child health coordinator of my town. This meeting was very helpful. The 7th chapter is on the first stage of labour: the condition of fetus. Description of the chapter is as follows.ObjectivesWhen you have completed this unit you should be able to:Monitor the condition of the fetus during labourRecord the findings on the partogramUnderstand the significance of the findingsUnderstand the causes and signs of fetal distressInterpret the significance of different fetal heart rate patterns and meconium stained liquorManage any abnormalities which are detectedThe next chapter, which I am currently working on, is the overall management of the first stage of labour and will be completed soon.Following is the progress of the activities planned in the first quarter of the project.Activities Planned for 1st QuarterAdvocacy meetings with stake holders – Lagos State Agency for the Control of AIDS (LSACA), Association of traditional births attendant (TBA) Primary Health Centers and community leadersTraining of volunteers (maternal health activist)Training of traditional birth attendantsActivities ImplementedAdvocacy VisitsAdvocacy meetings: this activity is implemented with the objective to increase public commitment to maternal health and awareness for HIV and TB prevention, prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV, family planning and prevention of other infections.Training of Volunteers (Maternal Health Activists)Date: November 25-26, 2010Venue: WCH Conference HallTraining Goal: To provide the volunteers with reproductive health updates and enable them provide quality maternal health information, non-prescriptive contraceptives and referrals to create a synergy between primary health centers and other agencies implementing programs on maternal health.Facilitators: Eunan Enyia, Emeka Nwankwo, Lucy Attah, Dr. FaisalTopics Discussed: Introduction to maternal health; Safe motherhood; Causes of maternal mortality; Cultural causes of maternal mortality; The impact of maternal mortality in our societyTarget Location: The facilitators and participants identified and discussed about the location for the project activities which include the primary health centers, traditional birth attendants and private hospitals. There was an argument to include churches as part of project sites since it is discovered that some churches claim to have healed their HIV clients and they will restrict their clients to their own clinics without referring them to where they can obtain ARV drug or adequate information that will help them make informed decisions concerning their health, especially maternal health complications and sexually transmitted infections.Counselling and Referral Activities: In this reporting period, young women living with HIV and AIDS came to WCH to seek out information concerning their health. Some were seeking information for family planning, prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and adherence information on TB/HIV drugs. They were engaged in counseling. Forty eight clients (38 women, 10 men) were counseled and appropriate referrals made to PMTCT clinics.Challenges: The major challenge was that the training of the traditional birth attendants was rescheduled to take place in January. This is to allow time for people to go on holidays during Christmas period in December.Second Quarter Activities: The following list of activities would be scheduled to take place in the next quarter (2nd quarter):Counseling and ReferralsTraining of traditional birth attendantsAwareness / sensitization in communitiesTraining of health workers (Community Health Extension Workers-CHEWS)Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

College Spun’s Staff Picks For Week 7 Of The 2015 Season

first_imgCollege Spun's picks for week 7 of the 2015 CFB season.college spun staff picks week 7Week six of the college football season produced a few big upsets, like Washington over USC and Texas over Oklahoma, along with a few almost-upsets, like Michigan State vs. Rutgers, TCU vs. Kansas State and Florida State vs. Miami (FL). Week seven is shaping up to be the most interesting of the season thus far, however.This week, we’ve got UCLA vs. Stanford, Michigan vs. Michigan State, Alabama vs. Texas A&M, Florida vs. LSU and USC vs. Notre Dame. Currently, Matt Hladik and Dustin Tackett hold a slim lead over the field in our weekly competition. Here are our picks for this weekend’s games:staff picks week 7 1staff picks week 7 2staff picks week 7 3Who do you have?last_img

President, Vice President, PM extend Holi greetings

first_imgNew Delhi: President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Thursday greeted the nation on the occasion of Holi.”Greetings and best wishes to fellow citizens in India and abroad on the auspicious occasion of Holi,” tweeted Kovind, who had also released a statement on Wednesday.”The festival of colours, Holi is a celebration of spring and fraternity in our society. May it bring peace, joy and prosperity to everyone’s lives,” Kovind said. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c detailsNaidu tweeted that Holi was a celebration of the victory of good over evil and a festival that expresses joy, camaraderie and conviviality.Modi also extended greetings to the nation on the occasion of Holi and said that the festival of joy and gaiety would strengthen the colour of unity and goodwill.Extending wishes, Rahul Gandhi said: “Wishing you and your family a very Happy Holi. I pray to God that this festival brings colours to your life.”last_img read more

Schools re-open in Sri Lanka amid tight security

first_imgColombo: Schools in Sri Lanka resumed classes on Monday with few students arriving in classrooms, two weeks after the devastating Easter Sunday bombings forced the authorities to close the educational institutions. Amid tight security, the classes commenced for mid-to-upper stream (grades 6 to 13) and will be followed by lower grades (1 to 5) on May 13. “The second academic term for school children in grade 6 and above classes, commenced today (Monday). The three armed forces, police, civil security officers, parents and old boys gathered at their respective schools to provide protection,” News 1ST channel reported. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince Salman ‘snubbed’ Pak PM Imran, recalled his private jet from US: ReportNine suicide bombers, including a woman, carried out a series of devastating blasts that tore through three churches and three luxury hotels on April 21, killing 253 people and injuring over 500 others. Following the attack, the authorities closed the schools until further notice. Despite the tight security arrangements, most classrooms were near empty. Private schools, including Catholic institutions, remained closed. The attendance of teachers was also low, the report said. Also Read – Iraq military admits ‘excessive force’ used in deadly protestsAn extensive security programme has been implemented in schools. Special circulars have been issued by the Education Ministry about the security of the schools. Children will have to carry transparent or see-through school bags, lunch boxes and water bottles. Parking vehicles near schools have been completely banned. Separate places have been prepared to park school vans, buses. Special search operations will also be conducted from Sunday in schools. The Islamic State terror group claimed the attacks, but the government blamed local Islamist extremist group National Thowheeth Jamaath (NTJ). Sri Lanka banned the NTJ and arrested over 100 people in connection with the blasts. Sri Lanka has imposed a state of emergency since the attacks and given sweeping powers to soldiers and police to arrest and detain suspects for long periods.last_img read more

Can David Goffin Keep Winning

At a recent practice in Mons, Belgium, the country’s former leading man and its current top tennis player traded missiles from the baseline. Olivier Rochus grunted as he leapt into his classical one-handed backhand, while David Goffin quietly parried with groundstrokes into the corners. Goffin won most of the exchanges, and all 10 of the games.Rochus showed his frustration after it was done by sending a ball into the stands at the Lotto Mons Expo, where Belgium’s biggest men’s tennis tournament is taking place this week. But in a court-side interview afterwards, Rochus, who is 33 and retiring after this tournament, pointed out that he is in good company. “When my opponent is way better, what can you say? … It’s not only tough for me, it’s tough for everybody. I’m not the only one losing,” he said.Just about everyone is losing to the 23-year-old Goffin these days. From the start of July to the start of this tournament, Goffin won 34 of 36 matches, including the first 25, improving his ranking from 106th in the world to No. 31. In his 34 wins, he lost just four sets, and has been forced into just five tiebreakers. The rest of the sets he won decisively, seven by 6-0 and 11 by 6-1.Goffin’s glorious two and a half months had yielded nearly as much success as he had achieved in his prior four years as a pro. He’s won 17 tour-level matches and roughly $340,000 in earnings, increasing his career totals by about a half and a third, respectively.Goffin’s winning run is only matched in the last decade by the players who have been No. 1 during that time: Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. No one else since 2004 has won 25 straight matches at tour, tour qualifying or challenger events, according to ATP World Tour stats guru Greg Sharko.Evidently, there are two ways to pull off a 25-match winning streak in tennis today: Be one of the best players of all time, or do what Goffin has done — set yourself an easy schedule and combine it with luck and improved play. Tennis players, unlike, say, NFL teams, can decide which events they play. Goffin and his coach chose ones with relatively weak fields — just nine of Goffin’s 34 wins were against players ranked above him — and now the young Belgian is on a winning run usually only experienced by the game’s very best.Winning brings ranking points, which means easier draws. It also brings money, which can be invested in coaches, physical trainers and more comfortable travel. The downside of winning is that it leaves little time for rest and for major work in practice. And if it comes against easy opponents, it may not provide useful preparation for tougher ones.But there are psychological advantages to winning. “You don’t doubt, you just attack every ball and then you are sure the ball will be in the court. It’s a great feeling,” Goffin said.Before his recent run, Goffin had been most famous for his losses. He made his Grand Slam debut as a lucky loser, snagging a spot in the draw despite losing in the last round of qualifying. He parlayed that berth in the 2012 French Open into a fourth-round loss to Federer, his childhood idol, and attained fame for smiling through an on-court interview afterward with the man whose face adorned posters on Goffin’s childhood bedroom walls. Goffin’s later Grand Slam losses also were to top players: Six of nine came to players seeded in the Top 10, four of those in the first round. The lucky loser had become an unlucky loser.Goffin sensed he was improving before his results did. In March of this year he started working with his current coach, Thierry van Cleemput, and began enjoying tennis again, shedding the defensiveness and doubtfulness that had plagued his game. But he kept running into tough competition, culminating with what van Cleemput called a “nightmare” of a draw in Wimbledon, against defending champion Andy Murray in the first round.Goffin and his coach decided it was time to step down a level. As most of the tour’s top players either rested after Wimbledon or moved to hard courts to prepare for the U.S. Open, Goffin stayed in Europe, on clay, entering a tournament in each week of July: three challengers — a rung below tour level — and one at the bottom level of the tour. He won all four tournaments. (Up until then, he had never won more than eight straight matches.) Then he came to the U.S. and won seven of nine matches — taking a set 6-0 off No. 8 Grigor Dimitrov. Back in Europe, he won seven straight matches, to send Belgium back to the top level of the Davis Cup and to win his second career title, again at the bottom level of the tour.“We decided to play some challengers to try to win some matches and to get some confidence,” Goffin said. “The level was there in practice and against Murray, but what I needed was to win some matches and to play a lot of matches.” He added, “I didn’t expect to win so many matches.” After all, he hadn’t made it past the quarterfinals of the four prior challengers he’d played this year.Van Cleemput said he and his young charge have been “lucky.” The coach is setting expectations low, despite Goffin’s recent run. Van Cleemput said Goffin’s target is for a career like that of No. 23 Alexandr Dolgopolov, a player from Ukraine who has never reached a Grand Slam semifinal or been ranked in the Top 10. Goffin has earned more ranking points since Wimbledon than five members of the Top 10, but van Cleemput isn’t expecting him to join that group any time soon. “The first objective now is to confirm the level of top 40, and to come near the level of the top 30,” he said. “The reality is important, not to dream all the time.”Recent tennis history supports the coach’s caution. Federer, Nadal and Djokovic didn’t play any challengers during their 25-match winning streaks. Much less familiar names precede Goffin’s on the list of players to win three straight challengers in the past 10 years. None has ever been ranked in the Top 30.It’s not only luck and easy opposition that has propelled Goffin to new heights. It’s also his serve. He hit aces on more than one in nine service points in eight of his 14 tour-level matches on hard courts this summer. He’d done that in just three of 50 prior hard-court matches at that level. It’s a remarkable feat for a player who is 5’11.” Height translates into the ability to hit at a sharper downward angle without the net getting in the way, which makes it easier to hit serves that are both fast and in the box. No one under 6′ has won a Grand Slam title in the past decade.Dolgopolov, the tour’s best sub-6-foot server, raises his contact point by leaping into the air. Goffin’s service motion is striking for how little he gets off the ground. Van Cleemput said his main intervention was to change Goffin’s toss and to emphasize the follow-through.Van Cleemput wants to get Goffin leaping higher on his serve, and to improve his strength and fitness. But when his player keeps playing events late into each week, he doesn’t get much time to work with him. For now, most of Goffin’s practice sessions are live matches.Goffin is confident he’ll have plenty of chances to work on his game and to keep getting better. “I have a lot of years in the future to do some good things,” he said — though he may never do anything as good as his unbeaten late-summer run. read more

How Randall Cunningham Taught NFL Quarterbacks To Fly

4Michael Vick2002679218330 27Greg Landry1971861113200 9Steve Young19921,737142263 20Kordell Stewart2001610132217 5Michael Vick2010860202327 23Colin Kaepernick2013803125216 Embed Code 10Greg Landry1972547167256 26Donovan McNabb2000232178201 In the latest installment in our documentary podcast series Ahead Of Their Time, we examine how Cunningham frustrated defenses not only with his speed and agility but also with his ability to throw the ball. It was a combination of skills that no quarterback had ever really possessed before, and it helped Cunningham transform the way people thought about the game’s most glamorous position. 3Russell Wilson2014659225335 2Robert Griffin III2012847218347 8Cam Newton2015633169266 28Russell Wilson2012952111199 Scan a list of the NFL’s best quarterbacks nowadays, and you’ll find names such as Russell Wilson, Cam Newton, Tyrod Taylor and even that of rookie sensation Dak Prescott — dynamic passers who can run the ball, too. The question of whether a team can succeed with that kind of dual threat under center has basically been settled in today’s game; such a QB has led his team to the Super Bowl in each of the past four seasons.1Colin Kaepernick did it in 2012; ditto Wilson in 2013 and 2014, and Newton in 2015. And no five-year period in modern NFL history2Going back to the start of the Super Bowl in the 1966 season. has seen quarterbacks gain more rushing yards per game than they have over the past five seasons. The golden age for mobile passers is right now.In the not-too-distant past, a quarterback was supposed to stay in the pocket, survey the field and make the throw — not take off and run. Not only was rushing mostly absent from the job description, it was often seen as a bad habit that needed to be discouraged. But Randall Cunningham helped change all that when he took the NFL by storm in the mid-1980s. 17Steve Grogan1978484146224 16Michael Vick2011593140226 Source: Pro-Football-Reference.com 12Daunte Culpepper20001,558129239 Greatest dual-threat QB seasons, 1966-2016 13Kordell Stewart1997422159231 14Rich Gannon2000947129227 1Randall Cunningham1990750249374 6Cam Newton2011512224311 7Cam Newton2012608195295 18Steve McNair1998450149224 25Donovan McNabb2002419141211 YARDS ABOVE BACKUP 21Randall Cunningham1992445144217 22Tyrod Taylor2015682129217 More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed By Neil Paine After flashing abilities as a passer, runner and punter at UNLV, Cunningham was selected in the second round of the 1985 NFL draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. And almost immediately, his unique skill set grabbed his teammates’ attention.“You knew there was something special about Randall,” former Eagles defensive back Eric Allen said. “[He was] extremely athletic, played with a great sense of self, understood that he was good, understood that he could do a lot of things that other quarterbacks in the game could not do, and he had a great deal of confidence.”Despite his talent, Cunningham sat behind Ron Jaworski, a more traditional dropback passer, for most of his first two NFL seasons. But he became Philly’s starter after Jaworski was hurt late in the 1986 season — and the Eagles’ iconoclastic coach, Buddy Ryan, soon let Cunningham loose as the game’s first true dual-threat QB.“Buddy Ryan allowed me to be the player he believed I could be,” Cunningham told me. “He saw something in me and gave me an opportunity to flourish as an athlete, and not just a quarterback, but to really take it to a whole other level.”Cunningham wasn’t the first mobile QB in NFL history. Before 1986, six quarterbacks had put up 500 or more rushing yards in a season; in 1972 alone, two of them — Bobby Douglass of the Chicago Bears and Greg Landry of the Detroit Lions — combined for a whopping 1,492 rushing yards and 17 rushing touchdowns. Those were the two best pre-Randall QB rushing seasons according to my yards above backup QB (YABQ) metric, which assigns a value to a quarterback’s passing and rushing statistics in a way similar to Football Outsiders’ yards above replacement (and can also be calculated throughout history).3Specifically, YABQ converts Chase Stuart’s calculations for a QB’s passing and rushing value above average into a measurement of total value that uses as its baseline a backup-level quarterback, a la Football Outsiders’ YAR metric. But Landry’s days as a scrambler were limited — he only had a couple more 200-yard rushing seasons in his 15-year NFL career — and Douglass, as great as he was running the ball, couldn’t throw.4Douglass generated fewer passing yards that season than a backup-level QB would have in the same number of attempts. There was the occasional outlier, like Minnesota’s Fran Tarkenton, who was a strong passer and able scrambler, but before Cunningham, those players were seen as unicorns more than archetypes.Cunningham ushered in the age of the running QB. In 1987, his first full season as Philadelphia’s starter, he passed for 349 more adjusted net yards than a backup-level QB (16th best in the NFL that year) and rushed for an additional 125 yards above backup (which easily led the league). It was the third time in history a quarterback had hit both of those benchmarks in the same season, after Landry in 1972 and Steve Grogan with the New England Patriots in 1978.5Along with Landry and Douglass, Grogan was another of the few pre-Cunningham QBs who could run; in 1976, he scored 12 touchdowns on the ground, a record for QBs until Cam Newton scored 14 in 2011. And Cunningham was just getting warmed up.In 1988, he piled up 336 YABQ through the air and 171 on the ground, the first time in league history that combination had ever been achieved. In a “down” 1989 season, he notched 248/147, a combo that had only been reached twice before (by Landry in ’72 and Cunningham himself in 1988). And in 1990, Cunningham set a standard for dual-threat seasons that has yet to be eclipsed in the 26 years since. That year, he was 750 yards better than a backup through the air, and he tacked on another 249 YABQ on the ground; if we take the harmonic mean of those two numbers (a particular kind of average that emphasizes high values in all numbers being averaged, in order to capture seasons when a player produced a lot of passing and rushing value), it’s the single best combined passing-rushing season by a QB in the Super Bowl era: PLAYERYEARPASSINGRUSHINGHARMONIC MEAN 19Daunte Culpepper2002288181222 11Steve Young19981,474133244 29Steve Young19911,030110199 30Steve McNair20011,102109198 24Cam Newton2013423143213 15Randall Cunningham1988336171226 There have been better pure passing seasons by mobile QBs; Steve Young had more than a few of them. As Cunningham told me, “People cannot forget about Steve Young, because [he] and I were battling out every single year to be the No. 1 rushing quarterback.” There have also been better QB rushing seasons; in 2006, Michael Vick became the first quarterback to break the 1,000-yard barrier in a season, though his passing was below the backup level that year. But nobody combined the two aspects of quarterbacking in a more prolific way than Cunningham did during that magical 1990 season, one which earned him league MVP honors from the Pro Football Writers of America.Alas, Cunningham would injure his knee in the Eagles’ 1991 opener, and miss the entire season. He returned in 1992 to produce what was, at the time, the sixth-best dual-threat season in modern history (according to my method above),6It ranks 21st now. but ongoing battles with injury and inconsistent play eventually paved Cunningham’s way out of Philly in 1995. After a year away from football entirely,7He spent the season running a granite company. a rejuvenated Cunningham joined the Minnesota Vikings and, in 1998, he enjoyed the 25th-best passing season of the Super Bowl era, according to YABQ — a testament to his skills as a pocket passer after his athleticism had eroded with age and wear.Cunningham finished his 16-year NFL career with the 40th-most total YABQ of any quarterback since 1966 and the second-most rushing YABQ — trailing only Vick. (He also generated about twice as much value through the air as Vick did.) But Cunningham’s biggest football legacy might be in the number of dual-threat QBs that followed in his footsteps. Before Cunningham’s 1987 season, only four quarterbacks had produced at least 200 passing and 100 rushing YABQ in the same season: Tarkenton, Landry (twice), Grogan and Doug Williams. Afterwards, 16 different quarterbacks pulled off the feat in 36 seasons, not including Cunningham himself. And 21 of the 25 best dual-threat seasons in modern history have taken place since Cunningham’s banner 1990 campaign.There are still quarterbacks in today’s NFL who play like the traditional archetype of the drop-back passer. But there are also a number of top QBs whose playing styles resemble that of Randall Cunningham. By proving that a quarterback could dominate the game with both his arm and his legs, Cunningham opened up a new path to success for subsequent generations of signal callers. So anytime a passer rolls out and fires a dart to a receiver who broke free because the defense was worried about the QB running, remember that in some small way, that play was made possible by the influence of a Philadelphia Eagle who changed the game three decades ago.This is part of our new podcast series “Ahead Of Their Time,” profiling players and managers in various sports who were underappreciated in their era. read more