International community urged to react five years after prominent journalist’s murder

first_img GambiaAfrica News Gambia still needs to address challenges to press freedom Organisation News On the eve of the fifth anniversary of the still unpunished murder of Deyda Hydara, the joint editor of the Banjul-based daily The Point, on 16 December 2004, Reporters Without Borders condemns the investigation’s obstruction by President Yahya Jammeh’s government and the international community’s failure to do anything about it.“We express our solidarity with Hydara’s family and colleagues and with the Gambian press, which has been subjected to fear, silence and injustice since December 2004,” Reporters Without Borders said. “In view of the Gambian government’s lack of good faith, we urge the US intelligence services to release the information about Hydara’s death that they have at their disposal.”The press freedom organisation added: “We also appeal to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, which is currently located in Banjul, to move its headquarters to another African capital.”In an interview for the state-owned TV station GRTS in June, President Jammeh denied that the authorities were in any way involved in Hydara’s murder and suggested that his death was linked to his sex life. When six leading journalists, including the editor and publisher of The Point and the editor of the opposition newspaper Foroyaa, issued a statement on behalf of the Gambia Press Union calling the president’s comments “inappropriate” and “provocative,” they were sentenced to two years in prison on charges of defamation and “seditious publication,” spending a month in jail until freed on a presidential pardon.The Agence France-Presse and Reporters Without Borders Gambia correspondent as well as The Point co-editor, Hydara was shot dead by gunmen travelling in a taxi while he was at the wheel of his car in a Banjul suburb on the night of 16 December 2004.After carrying out its own investigation in Banjul, Reporters Without Borders issued a report in May 2005 entitled “Deyda Hydara, the murder of a journalist under surveillance” highlighting the serious grounds for suspecting that the Gambian security services and a semi-clandestine group of Jammeh supporters called the Green Boys were responsible for the murder.The circumstances indicated that Hydara, who headed the Gambia Press Union and was the doyen of the country’s journalists, was targeted because of his frequent critical comments about the government.The Gambian authorities promised to investigate Hydara’s murder but no serious investigation was ever carried out. A “confidential report” by the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) was given to the press in 2005 but it contained little aside from a number of mostly absurd theories about his death. It was the only official document about Hydara’s murder ever released by the authorities.Since then, most of the key potential witnesses have disappeared, including the then head of the NIA, Daba Marenah. There has been no word of Marenah since he was arrested after being implicated in an alleged coup attempt. GambiaAfrica January 27, 2020 Find out more Follow the news on Gambia December 15, 2009 – Updated on January 20, 2016 International community urged to react five years after prominent journalist’s murder RSF_en center_img August 6, 2020 Find out more July 23, 2019 Find out more Receive email alerts News Help by sharing this information News Gambia: former president must stand trial for journalist’s murder Three journalist arrested, two radio stations closed in Gambia to go furtherlast_img read more

Saint Mary’s valedictorian emphasizes community

first_imgEditor’s note: This is the fifth of a five-part series profiling the valedictorians of Saint Mary’s class of 2018.When asked to describe her experience at Saint Mary’s College in one word, valedictorian and elementary education major Kathleen Price chose “inspiring.”She referenced the Sisters of the Holy Cross, the novices, her fellow students, her professors, the education department and the four other women with whom she shares the title of valedictorian.“To have five of us is unbelievable,” Price said. “Congrats to the other four, and I know they’ve worked extremely hard to get where they’re at. That’s truly a testimony to this college and the endurance of the women here. I truly think it’s unbelievable.”Price said she was not expecting to receive the title since she transferred to the College after two years at East Carolina University, a state school in Greenville, North Carolina. Her first thoughts after hearing the news were revolving around if she wanted to speak at the commencement ceremony or not, she said, and the consequences of choosing to forgo a speech.“I knew if I was the only valedictorian not to speak, my mother was going to murder me, so I sucked it up and said I would talk,” Price said. “It’s an honor to be a valedictorian. I’m very much lie low, under the radar. I didn’t even tell anyone. I knew in February, and I didn’t say anything to anyone for the longest time. I told a close friend and my family of course, but no one knew. … It’s an honor and I’m delighted the College wants to recognize me. I get the honor of speaking, and it’s truly an honor. I just need to get over myself and get up there and talk.”Though Price likes to stray from the spotlight, she said the opportunity is one for which she is grateful. She said she also appreciates the close relationships she’s been able to create during her time on campus, specifically through the Friends With Sisters club.“My nun — I don’t own her, but I call her my nun — Sister Bernadette Mulick, a retired Sister of the Holy Cross,” Price said. “I’m in Friends With Sisters, and she is my partnering Sister. I can’t even go into words with what that woman has done for me. … She just gives me a smile and a hug every time I see her once a week. … [She’s] always supportive. Whenever I’ve gotten any award or anything that I’m recognized for, she’s right there, front and center. She’s there for me which is really touching. … She’s made this time here truly special.”All the close relationships Price has formed at Saint Mary’s as well as the familiar environment the campus promotes are some of the things she’ll remember the most, she said.“It’s truly a different environment here,” she said. “I’ve met so many terrific girls that have, with open arms, embraced me and helped me and have gotten me through so many things while I’ve been here. … I can’t even go into words how awesome my professors have been, especially in the education department. They’ve been saints over there. They go to the ends of the earth for their students. A professor took me to the ER. To have that love and care is just unbelievable.”Most of all, Price said she will always appreciate what Saint Mary’s has helped her learn about herself.“I’ve learned so much about myself and about my faith and how I want to serve in the future,” Price said. “I think it’s helped me a lot in seeing what kind of direction I want to take in my life, which has been amazing. I’ve met some amazing, incredible people, people I never would’ve thought I’d meet in a million years. To sum it up, it’s a blessing.”Tags: 2018 Commencement, class of 2018, saint mary’s valedictorians 2018, smc valedictorian, valedictorianlast_img read more

Ryanair announced a new line to Pula for spring next year

first_imgThis is the first announcement of a new line to Pula Airport for next year, but traffic will certainly depend on epidemiological measures in the next summer season. Line Pula – Vienna for now, it is planned from the first day of the summer flight schedule next year (March 28, 2021), twice a week, every Wednesday and Sunday, until autumn – specifically until the end of October (October 27, 2021). Lauda partner aircraft A320 aircraft have been announced on the route, and the capacity of the aircraft is 180 seats.center_img Irish low-cost airline Ryanair plans to launch a new route between Pula and Vienna in the spring of 2021, announced from Croatian Aviation.last_img read more

US, European COVID-19 vaccine developers pledge to uphold testing rigor

first_imgTopics : The other signatories were Johnson & Johnson, Merck & Co, Moderna, Novavax, Sanofi and BioNTech.The promise to play by established rules underlines a highly politicized debate over what action is needed to rein in COVID-19 quickly and to jumpstart global business and trade.Partners BioNTech and Pfizer could unveil pivotal trial data as early as October, potentially placing them at the center of caustic US politics before the Nov. 3 presidential election.”It is playing out to be a very bitter and emotionally-charged election,” said Joseph Kim, chief executive officer at San Diego-based vaccine developer Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc, which was not asked to sign the document. “The pledge, without being political, is saying we are going to put the safety and health of the public forward as the No. 1 priority.” Nine leading US and European vaccine developers pledged on Tuesday to uphold the scientific standards their experimental immunizations will be held against in the global race to contain the coronavirus pandemic.The companies, including Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca, issued what they called a “historic pledge” after a rise in concern that safety and efficacy standards might slip in the rush to find a vaccine.The companies said in a statement they would “uphold the integrity of the scientific process as they work towards potential global regulatory filings and approvals of the first COVID-19 vaccines”.center_img The head of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said last month COVID-19 vaccines may not necessarily need to complete Phase 3 clinical trials – large-scale testing intended to demonstrate safety and efficacy – as long as officials are convinced the benefits outweigh the risks.This prompted a call for caution from the World Health Organization (WHO).Developers globally have yet to produce large-scale trial data showing actual infections in participants, yet Russia granted approval to a COVID-19 vaccine last month, prompting some Western experts to criticize a lack of testing.The head of China’s Sinovac Biotech has said most of its employees and their families have already taken an experimental vaccine developed by the Chinese firm under the country’s emergency-use program.Chinese companies or institutions, which are involved in several leading vaccine projects, did not sign the statement.Promise on safety and efficacy”We want it to be known that also in the current situation we are not willing to compromise safety and efficacy,” said co-signatory Ugur Sahin, chief executive BioNTech.”Apart from the pressure and the hope for a vaccine to be available as fast as possible, there is also a lot of uncertainty among people that some development steps may be omitted here.”President Donald Trump has said it is possible the United States will have a vaccine before the November election.The nine companies said they would follow established guidance from expert regulatory authorities such as the FDA.Among other hurdles, approval must be based on large, diverse clinical trials with comparative groups that do not receive the vaccine in question. Participants and those working on the trial must not know which group they belong to, according to the pledge.BioNTech’s Sahin said there must be statistical certainty of 95%, in some cases higher, and that a positive reading on efficacy does not come just from random variations but reflects the underlying workings of the compound.The development race has intensified safety concerns about an inoculation, polls have shown.Western regulators have said they would not cut corners but rather prioritize the review workload and allow for development steps in parallel that would normally be handled consecutively.Sahin declined to comment on regulators specifically or on what events prompted the joint statement.The chief executive of German vaccine developer Leukocare, which did not sign the pledge, was more forthright.”What Russia did – and maybe also there are tendencies in the US to push the approval of a vaccine which has not been sufficiently developed in clinic – bears a huge risk,” said CEO Michael Scholl.”My biggest fear is that we will approve vaccines that are not safe and that will have a negative impact on the concept of vaccinations in general.”last_img read more

Chamakh injured after Palace winner

first_img A turn and shoot from Swansea’s Marvin Emnes launched the second half, but Palace were quickly back on the offensive. Chamakh marauded through midfield only to slip over of his own accord while under no pressure, although players from both teams had struggled for footing on the Selhurst Park turf. Palace substitute Glenn Murray was squeezed out by some robust defending, but Swansea’s rearguard was exposed in the 58th minute as the home side took a lead they fully deserved. Puncheon floated in a long free-kick into the left side of the penalty area where Dann rose high to nod the ball towards the spot where Chamakh was waiting. The unmarked Moroccan striker took the assist on his chest and directed it downwards before taking advantage of Swansea’s absent defenders to prod home. Sadly, his afternoon was then ended by a troublesome hamstring. Wilfried Zaha tormented Swansea as Palace poured forward in search of a second, but his incisive run ended with a low shot that struck the side netting and the visitors avoided conceding a second despite some anxious moments. Chamakh combined with Scott Dann in the second half to claim only his fourth goal of the season, but shortly after he crashed to the deck in agony after damaging his left hamstring while in full flight and he had to be helped from the pitch. The 1-0 victory over Swansea was the 10th win of Pardew’s 18 Barclays Premier League games as Palace boss and it brought down the curtain on a superb six months for the former Newcastle United manager. Pardew arrived at Selhurst Park in January with the Eagles stuck in the relegation zone but 18 matches later they have finished 10th, setting a club record for the Premier League. Palace could have scored more during a dominant second half, but Swansea keeper Lukasz Fabianski made some fine saves. The Swans were guaranteed to secure eighth place regardless of what happened in south-east London and while it was not the result they wanted, the loss failed to take the gloss off an impressive campaign under boss Garry Monk. With both teams certain to finish in mid-table there were no prizes at stake, but they started with intent even if there was little to trouble either keeper. A shot from Jason Puncheon sailed harmlessly over the crossbar before a Jack Cork header from a corner forced a smart save from Wayne Hennessey. It was then Fabianski’s turn to spring into action after Yannick Bolasie had been played in by James McArthur, but Pardew’s £40million man directed his shot straight at the Swansea keeper. Bolasie, a summer transfer target for Liverpool, showed expert control as he chested down a long pass before cutting inside to shoot with his attempt headed off target by Federico Fernandez. Palace continued to build pressure but Swansea defended stubbornly and on occasion darted forward themselves, probing for weaknesses on the counter. Marouane Chamakh fired a rare goal to complete Alan Pardew’s fairytale return to Crystal Palace, but it was a bitter-sweet experience for the Moroccan forward. Press Associationlast_img read more