Tribute to Sardasht Osman

first_img Receive email alerts A year has passed since Sardasht Osman was murdered. A year since this 23-year-old journalist was kidnapped by gunmen outside the foreign language department at Salahaddin University in Erbil on 4 May 2010 only to be found dead four days later in Mosul with a bullet in his head. A year of freedom and impunity for his murderers.Reporters Without Borders pays tribute today to Osman, who despite his youth had already written many articles, including an op-ed piece for the Kurdistan Post at the end of 2009 entitled, “If only I were Massoud Barzani’s son-in-law.”Our thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues on this sad anniversary. At the same time, we question the Kurdistan Regional Government’s determination to shed light on this murder and condemn the lack of transparency surrounding its investigation.The anniversary comes at a time of tension. The security forces of the two political parties that control Kurdistan’s government keep harassing journalists covering the street protests that have been taking place in the region since mid-February. Press freedom violations have increased in recent weeks. Journalists are constantly the targets of death threats, acts of intimidation, physical attacks and murder attempts. Their offices have also been attacked and ransacked. Kurdistan’s president, Massoud Barzani, appointed a special commission under interior ministry control to investigate Osman’s abduction and murder. But Osman’s family quickly challenged the commission’s independence.During a fact-finding visit to Kurdistan in July 2010, a Reporters Without Borders delegation tried to establish the status of the investigation and sought in vain to meet with members of the commission. None of the people the delegation spoke to was able or willing to name any of its members. The flagrant lack of transparency was highlighted in the report that Reporters Without Borders released on 4 November.The commission issued its initial findings on 15 October. It said in a press release that Osman’s murder had nothing to do with his activities as a journalist. It stemmed, it said, from his refusal to cooperate with Ansar Al-Islam, a radical Islamic group linked to Al-Qaeda. Hicham Mahmoud Ismail, a driver and mechanic living in Beji who had been arrested on suspicion of carrying out Osman’s abduction had confessed to transporting him from Shargat (near Tigrit) to Mosul at the group’s behest without knowing he was to be killed, the press release said.The family immediately disputed the findings. “We not only reject the results of the enquiry but we also condemn its actions and voice our anger at these attempts to portray Sardasht as a terrorist who cooperated with Ansar Al-Islam,” the family said in a statement. “Anyone who knew Sardasht or read his articles knew that he was a secular person far removed from terrorist ideology.”Ansar Al-Islam issued a statement on 23 October denying any role in his murder.So, one year after his death, his murderers are still at large. And he is not the only young journalist to have been murdered in Iraqi Kurdistan in recent years. Soran Mama Hama, who worked for Lvin Magazine and who was also 23, was gunned down at his home in Kirkuk on 21 July 2008.On 15 May, Reporters Without Borders will publish a Kurdish-language version of the Handbook for Journalists, which was produced in partnership with UNESCO. The Kurdish-language version is being brought out with help from the Aras publishing house. February 15, 2021 Find out more News News Help by sharing this information Follow the news on Iraq May 4, 2011 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Tribute to Sardasht Osman RSF_en Iraq : Wave of arrests of journalists covering protests in Iraqi Kurdistan to go furthercenter_img RSF’s 2020 Round-up: 50 journalists killed, two-thirds in countries “at peace” Three jailed reporters charged with “undermining national security” IraqMiddle East – North Africa News News IraqMiddle East – North Africa Organisation December 28, 2020 Find out more December 16, 2020 Find out morelast_img read more

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Balliol celebrates 750th anniversary with art installation

first_imgA new art installation has been placed on the flag tower of Balliol College to celebrate its founding of the college 750 years ago.The temporary installation was commissioned by artists Roger Perkins and Kay Sentence, and is named 1263 after the year that the college was founded.Taking the form of two illuminated hearts, the commission is a testament to the founder of Balliol College, John de Balliol, and his wife, Dervorguilla.The installation, constructed from LED lighting, steel, and clear plastic tubing, forms a visual reminder of this piece of Balliol’s history.When viewed from various positions on Broad Street, 1263 can appear to be both abstract shapes and complete hearts.One Balliol student commented that the installation is, “a charming and boundary-pushing modern sculpture that looks a bit different depending on where you look at it from.”They also called it “a touching testament to John de Balliol and Dervorguilla’s love that made the college possible.”Another student, however, said that it was “a bit of a weird idea executed in a weird way”.last_img read more

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Caterers are seeking an extension of CES support for job preservation

first_imgThe data of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce show that caterers recorded a turnover at the level of 10 to 30 percent of what was realized in the same period last year. Due to the difficult situation of the Association of Hospitality Services, the Croatian Chamber of Commerce sent a letter to the Ministry of Tourism of the Republic of Croatia to extend assistance measures for accommodation and food preparation and serving for July for those with a drop in turnover of more than 50 percent. Boban added that the quick reaction of the Government of the Republic of Croatia should be commended, which very effectively implemented a number of health measures aimed at preventing the spread of the infection and adopted a number of economic measures to preserve jobs and liquidity of companies engaged in hospitality, but the current situation measure necessary. “As Croatia is being promoted as a tourist country, and caterers in this period generate most of their income from tourists, which according to eVisitor data in the first five months of 2020 decreased by 80 percent compared to the first five months of last year, it is clear why such dataand “, said the president of the Association of Caterers of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce Dražen Boban. Since the beginning of March 2020, the catering sector has recorded an extremely large decline in turnover, and the continuation of operations did not bring even an approximate level of turnover in May and June 2019. Photo: Pixabay.comlast_img read more

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Football hits the road for critical rivalry game

first_imgThere is no doubting the historical appeal of the Notre Dame-USC rivalry, which dates back to 1926. But this weekend’s game carries a little extra juice than normal. No. 11 USC and No. 13 Notre Dame both enter highly ranked and with one loss, with Saturday’s game acting not only as a rivalry matchup but also as a College Football Playoff eliminator. “It’s really neat to have the two teams where we are right now,” head coach Clay Helton said. “Nationally ranked, a big game with a lot on the line. It reminds me a lot of how our game versus Penn State was in the Rose Bowl. It’s two teams when they’re playing well, it’s great for the game.” For USC, the question will be if it can turn in its first complete game against a ranked opponent since its Week 2 romping of Stanford. Against Utah last week, the Trojans fumbled three times in the first quarter and trailed by 14 at the half, while Utes running back Zach Moss gashed USC’s defense for 113 first half rushing yards. But in the second half, the team as a whole turned a switch. Redshirt sophomore quarterback Sam Darnold did not turn the ball over for the rest of the game, captaining three long scoring drives, while the defense gave up just one score. “I look forward to putting a full game together, like we did in that second half,” Helton said. “Showing that type of football, that clean, hard-nosed attitude that those kids had … It’s going to be needed in this game.” Perhaps the biggest challenge for the Trojans as they play on the road in South Bend, Ind., will be containing an elite Fighting Irish rushing attack with a depleted defensive line. While Helton expects junior defensive lineman Rasheem Green to play through an ankle injury suffered against Utah, it was a rough week for the nose tackle position. Having already lost highly touted freshman Marlon Tuipulotu to season ending back surgery, junior Josh Fatu suffered a concussion after being involved in a car accident and redshirt senior Kenny Bigelow officially transitioned to a non-football role after two previous knee surgeries. Now starting at nose tackle is Alaskan freshman Brandon Pili. In his first career start, Pili will be tasked with penetrating an experienced Irish offensive line and curtailing a ground attack led by junior running back Josh Adams and junior quarterback Brandon Wimbush. Adams has rushed for 776 yards on nine yards per carry, while Wimbush has run for 402 yards and eight touchdowns in a dual threat role. “[Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly] had DeShone Kizer the last couple of years and leaned on the passing game,” Helton said. “This year, you can tell he’s got two runners — one is the quarterback and one’s the big back. They’re spreading you out in three wide sets and running for 308 yards per game.” Compounding Notre Dame’s revamped ground and pound offense, is a stout run defense that has given up just one rushing touchdown all year. In their 20-19 loss to Georgia, the Irish held both Nick Chubb and Sony Michel to under 100 yards. Junior tackles Chuma Edoga and Toa Lobendahn are expected to play through various injuries, but freshman running back Stephen Carr remains out with a foot injury. With the Irish secondary ranking No. 78 in passing yards allowed per game, Saturday’s clash may come down to Darnold’s arm. In addition to the emergence of freshman wide receiver Tyler Vaughns as a threat over the past three games, USC’s deep tight end corps has done an excellent job of alleviating pressure on go-to slot man Deontay Burnett. Helton has confidence in four players, who will all play a significant number of snaps against Notre Dame. “[Sophomore tight end Daniel Imatorbhebhe] helped us for about 12 plays last week,” Helton said. “We look forward to that number increasing as he gets healthy and more confident …That position right now is really stockpiled when you look at it with a lot of great talent. Not only do you have Daniel but you have Tyler [Petite], who’s having his best year by far, you’ve got the emergence of Josh Falo, who’s made two touchdown catches in the last two games and then you’ve got Erik Krommenhoek, who’s done the dirty work.” When USC heads to South Bend, Ind., for the 86th edition of a storied rivalry, more than the Jeweled Shillelagh hangs in the balance, as both schools fight to remain alive in the national title conversation. “It’s the best intersectional rivalry in all of college sports today,” Helton said. “Everybody wants to win this so they can leave their mark in history.”last_img read more

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AS Monaco welcomes Team Kinguin as partner

first_imgAS Monaco has announced a partnership with Kinguin, which will see the organisation’s logo on the chest pocket and back of the AS Monaco esports jersey.AS Monaco expanded into esports in 2016, with the acquisition of Nathan “Sneaky” Nayagom – a professional FIFA player for Epsilon. The sports team uses its facilities to help its esports competitors psychically, psychologically, and nutritionally. This approach, according to the announcement, is what helped win Kinguin over.Viktor Romaniuk Wanli, CEO and Founder, Kinguin said the following in a statement: “We are very happy to share this experience with AS Monaco in the eSports sector. This partnership is proof that sports and gaming share the same fundamental values and the same passion. We are convinced that this is a fine opportunity to forge a place in the eSports community in France, which is growing and becoming increasingly professional.”Juli Ferre Nadal, Commercial Director, AS Monaco also commented on this new-found partnership: “We are delighted to welcome Kinguin on board with the AS Monaco eSports project. This partnership consolidates our ambition to become a leading player in the sector and accelerate the growth of our eSports team. The diversification of the AS Monaco brand is a key priority for the future and we intend to continue our development in this area.”Team Kinguin is an esports team that represents Kinguin, a global online video games market. The company has valuable experience in esports, competing in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, and League of Legends.Esports Insider says: Kinguin is an ideal partner for AS Monaco, especially if they’re looking to increase their commitment within esports. It’s great to see a football team show an increased interest in the industry after dipping their toes initially.last_img read more

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Why the XFL blocked Steelers, Lions from signing quarterbacks to NFL contracts

first_imgThe short-lived Alliance of American Football (AAF) league made its mission very clear: It wanted to serve as a developmental league for the NFL. That desire ultimately played a big role in its demise as the NFL wasn’t that interested in partnering with a developmental league.The XFL learned from the AAF’s failure, commissioner Oliver Luck said in a recent interview with the Tampa Bay Times. He used the example of Josh Johnson, who was the first overall pick in the AAF’s quarterback draft. Johnson never played a snap in the AAF because he was signed by the Redskins just a few weeks after being picked. Luck says once the season is over, he hopes these players can find jobs in the NFL. He’s not about preventing his players from ever joining the big leagues, but doesn’t want them constantly rotating in and out of the league. As he says, they are “a league of opportunity.”Taking such a hard stance should pay off for Luck in the long run. It might make some players disinterested in joining the league, but it’s a good way of keeping your talent. Especially at the quarterback position, which is so important to the success of a team.”If there’s one thing we learned from watching the Alliance it was that quarterback play is critical,” Luck said. “In the game of football today — whether it’s pro, college or even high school arguably — your quarterback play is determinative.” “A good example is Josh Johnson, who last year signed a contract to play in the Alliance,” Luck said. “Then — and this was a bit of a mystery to me why they did this — the Alliance allowed the NFL’s Redskins to sign him. He played and won a game toward the end of the season, but the Redskins never released him. Josh would have been one of the Alliance’s better quarterbacks, and they missed having him. That first year is critical, in terms of quality of play.”MORE: Trent Richardson headlines list of surprising names not taken in XFL DraftLuck says he was put in a similar situation as the AAF, but made the opposite decision as the AAF.”The Detroit Lions wanted to sign [Johnson] when they lost Matthew Stafford to injury,” Luck said. “We said, ‘No, we’re keeping him. He ours. He signed a contract. He’s committed to us.’ He’s probably going to be the starting quarterback for the Los Angeles team.”Once any player signs with the XFL, they are under contract until the XFL season ends. This is completely different from the AAF’s contract, which had an opt-out clause in case an NFL team was interested. Luck believes letting your players leave for the NFL does nothing but damage the product on the field.In addition to Johnson, Luck said he was contacted about two other quarterbacks. After the Steelers lost Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh wanted to know about a pair of quarterbacks.MORE: Every player selected in the 2019 XFL Draft”This happened to Landry Jones,” Luck said. “Ben Roethlisberger got hurt, and Landry had backed up Ben for years. First phone call was, ‘Can Landry come to the Steelers?’ ‘Nope, sorry. He’s ours. We signed him.’ “It even happened with Phillip Walker, who’s now with the Houston Roughnecks. The same team, the Steelers, called and said, ‘We’d like to have Phillip for a week because we’re playing the Ravens and Phillip’s a little bit like Lamar Jackson. We’ll sign him to a one-week contract so we can get accustomed to that kind of quarterback.’ We said, ‘Thanks for the compliment, but we’re not going to let him go.'”last_img read more

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Pate to deploy full-timer to review list of felons barred from voting

first_imgDES MOINES — Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate says hackers have not compromised any Iowa voting systems, but Pate says the Russians are waging a “war of public opinion” on social media to sow doubt about the U.S. election process.“I think, if anything, the Russians proved they were very active on that front and the things they’ve done, cyber-wise, has been to create the doubt, not to really get a result or impact an election directly,” Pate says. “…That’s as damaging as if they did get in.”Pate says Russian military officials visited some public websites for Iowa counties before the 2016 election, but did not access any private information. Pate says his office is working on another election-related project — to improve the flawed list of people who are barred from voting because of a felony conviction.“We’ll probably end up having one full-time person doing this and monitoring it because bad information in is bad information out,” Pate says. “We have to make sure that when we get information from other government entities, we have to ensure that it’s the most accurate and up-to-date.”The Des Moines Register has reported some Iowans who are not felons have wrongly had their ballots rejected. Pate says his office doesn’t maintain the list, but the court system sends a list of felons to his office and that list is passed along to county auditors, who have the power to add and remove names from the list of eligible voters. Pate admits people convicted of felonies in other states aren’t all being added to the list.last_img read more

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