News Help by sharing this information TurkeyEurope – Central Asia News April 28, 2021 Find out more Turkey’s never-ending judicial persecution of former newspaper editor Organisation to go further News June 9, 2008 – Updated on January 20, 2016 YouTube blocked for more than a month is an “unacceptable” act of censorship April 2, 2021 Find out more Receive email alerts The blocking of access to the video-sharing website YouTube in Turkey since 5 May as a result of orders issued by three Ankara magistrate courts is “unacceptable,” Reporters Without Borders said today“YouTube is not the only file-sharing site that is blocked in Turkey,” Reporters Without Borders said. “Official decisions of this kind to censor the Internet constitute serious violations of freedom of expression and information. Turkish Internet users can no longer share their videos with the outside world or view other people’s videos. We reiterate our appeal to the authorities to act judiciously by asking YouTube to remove the offending videos. Blocking the entire site is unacceptable.”An Ankara magistrate court issued orders on 24 and 30 April for the blocking of YouTube without giving its grounds for these decisions. Another Ankara magistrate court issued a similar order on 5 May. YouTube representatives have said the website’s editors have taken the necessary steps to withdraw the offending videos that appear to have prompted these decisions. Human rights groups warns European leaders before Turkey summit The photo-sharing website Slide has been inaccessible since 25 March as a result of a court’s decision in Çivril (southwest of Ankara) that was prompted by “photos and articles considered insulting to Atatürk.” Google Groups, Google’s discussion site, has been inaccessible since 10 April as a result of an action brought by religious leader Adnan Oktar claiming he was defamed in comments posted on the site.Law 5651 on “the organisation of online publications and combatting offences committed by means of such publications,” in force since November 2007, enables prosecutors to block access to websites within 24 hours if their content is deemed liable to incite suicide, pedophilia, drug usage, obscenity or prostitution or violate a law forbidding any attacks on the memory of the Turkish republic’s founder, Atatürk. Follow the news on Turkey The blocking of access to the video-sharing website YouTube in Turkey since 5 May as a result of orders issued by three Ankara magistrate courts is “unacceptable,” Reporters Without Borders said today Journalists threatened with imprisonment under Turkey’s terrorism law April 2, 2021 Find out more TurkeyEurope – Central Asia News RSF_en
Rules panel asks for DNA testing extension October 1, 2003 Gary Blankenship Senior Editor Regular News Rules panel asks for DNA testing extension Senior EditorAfter hearing an impassioned plea from two law professors, a Bar rules committee has voted to seek an emergency extension giving inmates more time to seek DNA testing that could exonerate them.The Criminal Procedure Rules Committee voted 23-10 on September 5 to seek the rule change. It filed an emergency petition with the Supreme Court on September 17 to extend the filing deadline for testing DNA evidence from October 1, 2003, to October 1, 2004. The committee met in Tampa during the Bar’s General Meeting.Acting days after the committee vote, the Bar’s Executive Committee endorsed the change, with Bar President Miles McGrane thanking rules committee Chair Judge Olin Shinholser “for the courage of what your committee did.”And state Sen. Alex Villalobos, R-Miami, filed SB 44, a shell bill, stating that, “The legislature intends to revise laws relating to DNA evidence following conviction.” Villalobos, who chairs both the Senate Judiciary and Criminal Justice committees, said he intends to have a joint meeting of the two panels later this month to address the issue.Two and a half years ago, the rules panel voted to seek an amendment allowing convicted inmates to seek DNA testing of evidence that could exonerate them. The committee recommended the two-year deadline.Shortly afterward, the legislature passed its own law, setting a two-year limit expiring October 1, 2003, for seeking the DNA testing. Noting the law and the committee’s majority vote, the court set the two-year limit.The problem, according to Nova Southeastern University law Professor Catherine Arcabascio and Florida State University law Professor Sandy D’Alemberte, is two years wasn’t enough time to review all of the cases. The two professors head the Innocence Project at their respective schools, which seeks DNA testing in criminal cases when it could lead to exoneration.D’Alemberte said the debate over the extension usually gets tied up in emotions involved in delaying death penalties, but the two schools work only with noncapital cases. There are hundreds which have not been reviewed, he added.“The sentence of everyone in the Florida Innocence Project is being carried out. The sentence is not being delayed,” D’Alemberte said. He added there’s no reason for attorneys representing the inmates to delay seeking the DNA test, either.The problem has come from inadequate resources to screen cases. Both law schools use volunteer law students to examine cases, but they have hundreds to tackle, and it can be an involved process.D’Alemberte said the volunteers have to track down files, determine whether DNA testing would make a difference, and see if the evidence still exists. Then they have to find a pro bono attorney to take the case.He also argued that the extension would improve the administration of justice. Without the longer date, inmates will flood the courts with last-minute petitions for testing, including mostly cases where testing won’t help — and the courts will have to sort through the cases, he said.So far, D’Alemberte estimated that screening has shown DNA testing won’t help or the evidence isn’t available in the overwhelming majority of the cases, which saves valuable court time. Nationally, of the cases that have been screened and gone through court, about 40 percent have resulted in exonerations, he said.Committee member Abe Laesser, who chaired a subcommittee which studies the exemption, questioned whether it would do any good because one year wasn’t enough time to deal with the backlog.D’Alemberte didn’t disagree.“I don’t want to represent to you it can be done in a year,” he said. “But not one of these cases and lawyers has any interest in delay.”He estimated it would take $5 million and three years to work through the backlog.Arcabascio said her Nova project has screened 800 cases, which has led to the filing of seven cases, and she expected another 15 would be filed by the October 1 deadline. There are still 300 cases that need to be screened there, she said. FSU has 297 cases awaiting screening.Committee member George Tragos said he had just accepted a screened case, and knowing someone had already reviewed the records will help meet the filing deadline.“The time limit was artificial when we set it,” he said. “It was set because we didn’t have any time records or statistics to show us whether that time was reasonable. They now have the history to show that time wasn’t reasonable.”A one-year extension is like a sunset, he said, noting the Innocence Project will have to justify any further continuance.Laesser said his subcommittee originally voted 3-2 in favor of a one-year extension, but then one member, who thought he could not vote, discovered he could, and that made it a 3-3 tie. Laesser said as chair he would vote to break the tie by opposing the extension.He said he was concerned about delays and the lack of guarantees the backlogs could be addressed in a timely fashion.“I don’t have a strong way of knowing how many of those hundreds of cases that are in the pipeline are going to be closed if we agree to an extension,” Laesser said. He added if the extension failed, his subcommittee would look at lowering the standards in existing rules that would allow waiving the time standards.Committee members also had questions whether the Supreme Court had the authority to change the time limit when it had been established in law by the legislature. D’Alemberte argued that under Allen v. Butterworth, (case no. SC00-113), decided by the court in 2000, that the justices could amend the rule.Following Chair Shinholser’s ruling that the subcommittee had voted 3-3 to not recommend the rule change, the panel voted 20-10 to reject that recommendation. It then voted 23-10 — three votes more than the two-thirds required — to seek the one-year extension. By a majority vote, the committee decided to seek an emergency amendment since waiting for the normal two-year cycle rule review would render the one-year extension moot.Bar Executive Committee members, when they met September 16, also expressed concern about whether the court could amend the rule without further legislative action. Bar General Counsel Paul Hill told the members that’s a borderline question depending on whether the change is seen as procedural — which is under the court’s purview — or substantive, which is under legislative oversight.The committee, which acts for the Board of Governors between its meetings, voted 11-0 to endorse the change and to support seeking an emergency rule amendment from the Supreme Court.McGrane reported that as a courtesy he had informed the Governor’s Office and the Attorney General’s Office about the proposed amendment. He said the Attorney General’s Office indicated they would not take a position on the extension.Villalobos said he was approached by attorney Barry Scheck during the last week of the session. Scheck, who runs the national Innocence Project, asked Villalobos to introduce a bill to extend the deadline — the first time the senator knew there was a problem.He said he told Scheck it was too late in the session to introduce legislation.Then a few weeks later, D’Alemberte and Arcabascio visited to further explain, and Villalobos said that was the first time he realized virtually everyone affected by the deadline was not on Death Row.The original two-year deadline was a time frame agreed to by prosecutors, the three Capital Collateral Regional Counsel offices. “When we were doing the hearings [on the bill], no one complained about the time limits,” Villalobos said.He agreed with Arcabascio and D’Alemberte that there is a legitimate concern, and consequently scheduled the rare joint meeting of the two Senate committee’s concerned with legal matters.“We will invite them, and state attorneys, and the attorney general and all interested parties and see if we can come up with language to solve this,” Villalobos said.He added the bill now contains no details because “I really want to wait and see what the testimony airs out. For all I know, there might be some other unforeseen circumtances. That’s why it’s important to get everyone together at one place.”The committees’ meeting is set for October 21.
Former vice president Joe Biden is expected to attend the funeral of George Floyd, the black man who was fatally arrested by Minneapolis police.The lawyer for Floyd’s family said Tuesday that Biden will attend. “And we understand Vice President Biden will be in attendance” at the funeral, said Crump.The lawyer, Ben Crump, said Floyd’s family will hold the funeral in Houston, Texas, on June 9, after holding memorial services in Minneapolis on Thursday, and another memorial in North Carolina on Saturday.Biden is the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.A spokesman for Biden’s campaign has not confirmed.The White House also had no response when asked by a reporter, if Trump would attend.
By Jenna Moldaver |NSW EARLE – “Our primary purpose is to furnish ammunition to the fleet; all else is secondary.” That was the motto of Naval Ammunition Depot Earle’s first commanding officer, Capt. Burton H. Green, in 1943.Despite all that has changed since it was first commissioned to support World War II operations, 75 years later that message still rings true at Naval Weapons Station Earle.Ceremonies, entertainment and reflection commemorated the milestone.In acknowledgement of the facility’s steadfast commitment to protecting America, the base invited people affiliated with the military to celebrate its anniversary June 8 on Ballfield #1 in the Colts Neck section of the base. Guests could pay $10 to attend.Built entirely in a year, NWS Earle first took shape as World War II operations demanded an ammunition depot away from densely populated areas. Providing most of the ammunition for the Allies in the Battle of Normandy, the station was invaluable during the war and has continued to provide all ordnance for the Atlantic Fleet Carrier and Expeditionary Strike Groups.A stone marked the time capsule.The anniversary event featured a formal ceremony, entertainment from the United Service Organization’s Show Troupe and information booths from the Navy, Marine Corps and federal and local agencies. Among those displays was a time capsule that had been buried during the 50th anniversary of the station in 1993, the contents of which included posters and mementos from the celebration 25 years ago. A new capsule will be buried to be unearthed when the station celebrates its centennial anniversary.After the formal ceremony, the celebration continued with a carnival featuring inflatables, face painting, games and a petting zoo, all free for military personnel and Department of Defense cardholders.
McConnell said his department contacted the officer who runs the program in that Texas city. Most of the volunteers were at the borough council meeting July 24 when the program was unveiled. Boris Kofman, a native of Belarus whose first language is Russian, said he had heard about the interpreter program through Triggiano. “This was something that we started working on back in January,” said councilwoman and police commissioner Kate Triggiano, who brought the idea to Red Bank. “I believe this might be the first program of its type in the state.” “They would never becalled out to a scene that’snot secured,” said police Lt.Juan Sardo, who oversees theprogram. “We won’t put themin jeopardy in that way. Theywill not be interviewing anysuspects in any crimes.” “So since I have that skill,I felt it’s my responsibility tohelp,” he said. “And he kind of helped us and guided us through how they set it up,” McConnell said. The police department has had a policy to first turn to one of its bilingual officers on duty to aid in translation; police also can use an interpreter service, called language line, via telephone. The volunteers would supplement that in any police-involved situation where authorities cannot communicate in English with members of the public. As with Kofman and Ortega, Red Bank is also Sardo’s second home. Originally from Venezuela, he came to the United States in 1979 when he was 6 years old, unable to speak English. Red Bank, where he grew up, was a different placethen. He remembered therewere a few Puerto Ricanfamilies at the time. That’sall changed, however. RED BANK – The Red Bank Police Department has a group of bilingual borough residents serving as volunteer interpreters to aid authorities when they deal with members of the public who do not speak English. Communicators on patrol, based on a similar program used by police in Houston, is made up of eight volunteers: seven Spanish speakers and one Russian speaker. They had to go through a background check and training and will be available to police on a round-the-clock basis. By Philip Sean Curran Red Bank police Chief Darren McConnell said he sees the volunteers also helping with community outreach, like with pedestrian bicycle safety. “And like many of the residents that make up the demographics of Red Bank, I had to adapt to a new culture and language,” he said. Sardo, who joined the police department in 1997, recalled that he used to get calls from fellow officers, on his days off, to interpret for them. Today, the department has five Spanish-speaking officers, Sardo said. The borough said it is looking to grow the program to have volunteers who speak other languages or are fluentin American Sign Language. “I feel the need to helpmy community out,” saidCarla Ortega, a volunteeroriginally from Mexico.“If I’m needed, I feel like Ishould be able to help.” When he was still on the road as a police officer, McConnell took Spanish classes at Brookdale Community College to help him at work. “As the Spanish community grew in Red Bank, it became very difficult for us to communicate, even to get through minor calls like traffic stops and first aid calls and things like that, because we didn’t have many Spanish-speaking officers,” he said. “It was constantly an impediment.” Hispanics or Latinos make up 36.7 percent of the borough’s population of roughly 12,000, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. Houston, the city Red Bank modeled its program after, introduced its communicators on patrol program last July, said Jodi Silva, a spokeswoman for the Houston Police Department. In that department, volunteers must provide at least four hours of service per shift, be at least 18 years old and a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident and be fluent in English and either Spanish, Vietnamese, Chinese, Arabic or Urdu/Hindi, among other criteria. Mayor Pasquale Menna, born in Italy, shared at the council meeting how he came to America as an immigrant who could not speak English. He said the interpreter program is one that the borough has never had. Police made clear that interpreters would not ride along with officers on patrol duty, interview criminal suspects or be put in harm’s way. “And many municipalities, I’m sure, have never even thought of doing it,” he said.
Ouch, did that ever hurt.Castlegar Rebels waltzed into the NDCC Arena and put a good old fashion 8-2 whipping on the Green and White in Kootenay International Junior Hockey League action Saturday night in the Heritage City.The loss was especially disappointing for a Leaf team that appeared to be turning the corner in the Murdoch Division — registering points in its last five games to climb into second spot in the standings.
The Farmer Union Network of Liberia (FUN), with support from the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) through the Italian government, has commissioned 17 extension officers(agriculture workers) to four counties of Liberia to work with local farmers.The counties are Grand Bassa, Montserrado, Cape Mount and Bomi.The commissioning ceremony was held on November 12 in Kingsville, rural Montserrado County after completing a five- day training workshop.FUN is a national farmer organization that serves as the voice of farmers across the country.Giving an overview of the program on Tuesday, November 12, the program officer of FUN, Alphanso Perkins, said that the program is intended for 2 years and is meant to increase the knowledge of local farmers on improve farming methods.“The extension workers will work in helping the farmers to learnt the new idea of growing their crops to improve their productive capacities,” he said.According to Mr. Perkins, the lacked of skills of many Liberian farmers has caused them to remain in abject poverty.“If our farmers are going to improve in farming, they must learn how to plant their crops in the best way. The old method of farming, which is the traditional or subsistence method, will not help the farmers,” he stated.Also speaking, president of FUN, Josephine Francis, said that her institution is working with the government and partners to ensure that the country becomes food secure.“We have initiated such program so that in the next few years, rice, which is the country’s staple food importation can reduce to at least 40%.She underscored the need for increase extension services for the many farmers in the country to be reached.Meanwhile, Madam Francis, who also Montserrado County Representative and Chairperson on the Houses’ Committee on Agriculture, used the occasion to called on all Liberians to go back to the soil and produce more food.“It is only by doing so the country will become food secure,” the Montserrado County lawmaker stated.For his part, the Agronomist at the Ministry of Agriculture, Abu Konneh stressed the need for a network of extension workers in the country.He called on the extension workers to collaborate as they carried out their duties in the assigned counties. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
OTTAWA – Oxfam Canada says hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims, who have been fleeing violence in Myanmar in recent weeks, are without shelter and clean water in flooded refugee camps.The international development agency says nearly 480,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh and more than 70 per cent are without adequate shelter, while half have no safe drinking water.It said in a release Wednesday that heavy rains and floods in camps have left people facing extreme hardship, and have slowed down the building of emergency shelters and clean water tanks, and the delivery of aid.Oxfam says is has reached nearly 100,000 people with clean drinking water, emergency toilets, water pumps and food rations and is planning to help more than 200,000 people during the first phase of its response.Oxfam Bangladesh’s humanitarian co-ordinator Paolo Lubrano says most of the families are huddled under sarongs and urgently need help.Due to the volatile and chaotic situation, Oxfam says it is concerned about abuse and exploitation of women and girls.“Women and children are particularly vulnerable, sleeping under open skies, roadsides, and forest areas with little or no protection,” Lubrano said.The head of the U.N.’s migration agency said Wednesday there are increasing reports of sexual violence directed at Rohingya Muslims.Director-general William Lacy Swing of the International Organization for Migration said he was “shocked and concerned” about the reports of sexual and gender-based violence among Rohingya in Bangladesh.IOM said rape, sexual assault, domestic violence, child marriage and other forms of gender-based violence have been identified. It did not specify who was responsible for the violence.An agency statement on Wednesday said IOM doctors have treated dozens of women who experienced “violent sexual assault” since August, but that the known cases likely represent only a “small portion” of actual cases.The military in Myanmar is accused of burning down the homes of Rohingya Muslims, forcing members of the persecuted minority to flee to neighbouring Bangladesh.-with files from The Associated Press
OTTAWA – The Trudeau government’s efforts to streamline its budgeting process mean $7 billion in new spending commitments would be subject to far less parliamentary scrutiny — and the money could technically be spent elsewhere, says the federal spending watchdog.Tuesday’s report from the parliamentary budget officer focused on the government’s proposed changes to better align Ottawa’s budgetary spending plan with the main estimates document, one of the mechanisms that give departments and agencies the authority to spend public funds.The concerns raised by Jean-Denis Frechette follow recent complaints from the Liberal government’s political foes who say the adjustments have opened up a $7-billion “slush fund.”The Liberals are trying to meet their 2015 election promise to improve Parliament’s financial processes by bringing more consistency and clarity to the government’s accounting of how it spends public money.But speeding up the implementation of budget measures will come at a cost, the report says, warning of incomplete information and weaker legal powers for parliamentarians who have better oversight of the money under the existing system.“It will help the government in being able to fund its measures faster this way because they get the (spending) authority ahead of time — but it reduces the scrutiny and control of Parliament,” deputy parliamentary budget officer Mostafa Askari said of the changes.The government could follow the detailed spending table presented in its February budget, Askari noted. However, he said he saw nothing in the wording of the new law that would compel the government to spend according to its budget plan.Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre has attacked the government over its legislation to streamline the accounting process, arguing it lacks legal enforceability on how Ottawa spends “this $7 billion no-strings-attached Liberal slush fund.”“Governments can only spend what Parliament has approved and only on the specific purposes approved, except this slush fund will allow the Liberals to move the money wherever they want,” Poilievre said recently during question period.“How is that accountable to taxpayers?”Treasury Board President Scott Brison has rejected Poilievre’s accusations, saying the measures are laid out in the budget, line by line and with detailed descriptions, on how the money will be spent.A spokesman for Brison insisted Tuesday that, by law, the funds must be allocated to specific budget measures.“Treasury Board will not have any discretion to use the funds for any other purpose, as this would be an unauthorized use of public funds,” Farees Nathoo wrote in an email.The Liberal government has already improved transparency and accountability by including an item-by-item table in the budget, he added.“We are showing Parliament exactly where in the budget the funding for the new budget implementation vote comes from and how it will be used,” Nathoo said.“Parliamentarians can now literally follow the money from this new central vote to a specific line in the budget and the main estimates.”A departmental official, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly, strongly disputed the findings in Frechette’s report, and insisted the government is enhancing control for parliamentarians.The main estimates clearly tie the budget implementation vote to the items in the budget annex, which lists the commitments by department, measure and dollar amount, the official said, adding that any allocation beyond what’s listed in the budget annex would not be permitted.On Tuesday, a separate report by the C.D. Howe think tank graded the fiscal transparency and reliability of Canada’s federal, provincial and territorial governments. The analysis gave Ottawa an “A-” compared to a grade of “A” last year and a “B+” in 2016.— Follow @AndyBlatchford on Twitter