Plain-clothes police threaten independent journalist Slim Boukhdir

first_img RSF_en December 26, 2019 Find out more News Forum on Information and Democracy 250 recommendations on how to stop “infodemics” Reporters Without Borders is very concerned about independent journalist Slim Boukhdir following his arrest in the southern city of Sfax on the night of 20 September by four plain-clothes policemen, who threatened him because of his articles and then dumped him 10 km outside the city. It was the first serious incident since his release from prison two months ago.“Boukhdir went back to work soon after coming out of prison,” Reporters Without Borders said. “At first he wrote about his trying prison experiences, then he resumed writing his political columns. His commitment to free expression has not weakened despite serving seven months of an abusive 12-month sentence. Last weekend’s attempt to intimidate him proves that both his work and his private life are still being closely monitored.”Boukhdir was arrested in Sfax (230 km south of Tunis) as he left an Internet café which he often visits in the early evening. Four policemen forced him into a car and initially drove him to a police station.“We did not spend more than 10 minutes there,” Boukhdir told Reporters Without Borders. “We left in the car again for an unknown destination. On the way, the four men told me I was lucky not to have been raped while in prison and that it was not always like that. They also threatened me with the same fate as Daif Al Ghazal (the Libyan journalist murdered in 2005).”Boukhdir is becoming more and more concerned about his physical safety. “I would not be surprised if the authorities did not prosecute me again on new trumped-up charges,” he added.Aged 39, Boukhdir was arrested in Sfax on 26 November 2007 during an ID check of the passengers in a collective taxi bound for Tunis. He was summarily tried a few days later before a court in the Sfax suburb of Sakiet Ezzit and was sentenced to a year in prison on charges of “insulting behaviour towards an official in the exercise of his duty,” “violating decency” and “refusing to produce identity papers.” Since his release on 21 July, Boukhdir has written more than 20 articles about Tunisian government human rights violations, including its censorship of the social networking website Facebook and the arbitrary arrests of political and labour activists. Most of the articles were published on websites based abroad.An article he wrote for the Egyptian website Al-Mesryoon on 10 September, after a visit to Tunisia by US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, called on President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali to “step up the pace of political reforms.” Read the article: TunisiaMiddle East – North Africa News Receive email alerts Tunisia : RSF asks Tunisian president’s office to respect journalists Help by sharing this information Eleven organizations from civil society create the Forum on Information & Democracy, a structural response to information disorder Newscenter_img TunisiaMiddle East – North Africa Follow the news on Tunisia November 11, 2020 Find out more to go further Reporters Without Borders is very concerned about independent journalist Slim Boukhdir following his arrest in the southern city of Sfax on the night of 20 September by four plain-clothes policemen, who threatened him because of his articles and then dumped him 10 km outside the city. It was the first serious incident since his release from prison two months ago. September 23, 2008 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Plain-clothes police threaten independent journalist Slim Boukhdir Organisation November 12, 2019 Find out more News Related documents Boukhdir_Al-MesryoonMSWORD – 34 KB last_img read more

City of Burlington receives “Excellence for Sustainable Community Development” award

first_img— 30 — The City of Burlington announced today that it has received the 2nd annual Home Depot Foundation Award of Excellence for Sustainable Community Development, in partnership with the Champlain Housing Trust. The award recognizes cities that are incorporating real-world sustainability initiatives into their day-to-day operations, with a focus on efficient use of municipal budget funds while increasing the livability of the community for all residents. Burlington won the ‘small city’ award and joins Tacoma, Washington, winner of the large city award, as one of two national winners of this prestigious honor. Mayor Bob Kiss and Sustainability Coordinator Jennifer Green accepted the $75,000 award ‘ to be shared between the City and Champlain Housing Trust ‘ at the National League of Cities ‘Congress of Cities’ December 3 in Denver, Colorado. A video was produced for each winner and presented with the award.‘Burlington’s acknowledgement as the top small city in the country promoting the environment, equity, education, and the economy together for a sustainable future is the result of years of commitment and the common goal of meeting people’s needs,’ said Mayor Bob Kiss. ‘The Legacy Project’s long-term vision for the city, combined with the mission of the Champlain Housing Trust and the model of the Burlington Co-Housing project, underpin this exceptional recognition. Congratulations to Burlington!’Burlington was recognized for the creation and implementation of the Legacy Project Action Plan and the highlighted Burlington Co-Housing East Village project. East Village is directly aligned with the goals of the Burlington Legacy Project Action Plan and demonstrates best practices in housing, natural resources, land use, and development. The Champlain Housing Trust was a partner in the Co-Housing East Village development as part of its mission of creating perpetually affordable housing.”The City of Burlington has been a tremendous partner for us over so many years. Our shared commitment to equity, the environment, and sustainable economic development helps us all achieve success where others would surely fail,” said Brenda Torpy, CEO of the Champlain Housing Trust.‘The City was an active partner in the Co-Housing project, which brought a new sustainable housing model to Burlington along with several affordable housing units,’ said Joan Knight of Burlington Co-Housing. ‘With the vision of the Legacy Project, this was a key to making the project happen.’‘What makes the Burlington Legacy Plan special,’ said Joe Speidel, Legacy Steering Committee Co-Chair and UVM’s Director of Local Government and Community Relations, ‘is the comprehensive way it captures our community’s vision ‘ and integrates all the elements of equity, education, economic development, and the environment. This is a good example of how the Legacy Plan helped to realize an important project in the City of Burlington.’ The Foundation’s award to Burlington was part of a rigorous selection process, drawn from projects by cities throughout the United States. The award recipients were selected by an advisory committee of experts based on a number of criteria, including environmental sustainability, economic vitality, social equity, community engagement, as well as how well the highlighted project exemplifies the city’s sustainability plan and meets the needs of the local community while maintaining affordability for the residents. Population of the city was the determination of categorical division. Based on national standards, the Home Depot Foundation defines a large city as 150,000 population or greater.‘Cities around the country are feeling the profound impacts of the current economic downturn. As a result, many are finding innovative and successful ways to save money by implementing sustainable practices into their policies and operations,’ said Kelly Caffarelli, president of The Home Depot Foundation. “We hope that identifying, recognizing and showcasing Burlington’s success will offer insight, inspiration and a roadmap for other cities to follow as they face the economic challenges that still lie ahead.’ Source: December 6, 2010. City of Burlington. More information about the Home Depot Foundation and full case studies is available at is external) and is external).  Burlington’s video can be found at: is external). More information about the Burlington Legacy Project, Champlain Housing Trust, and Burlington Co-Housing is available at: is external), is external), and is external), respectively.The City will hold an event on December 13 to recognize project partners, discuss plans for community engagement to follow up on the award, and show the Burlington video. More details about the event will follow later this week.last_img read more

Ex-Coal Exec Says Solar Is the Future of Energy

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Time:Jim Lamon is the kind of businessman that Donald Trump would like. And Lamon is the kind of businessman who likes Trump. The CEO of Depcom Power grew up in Alabama, served in the Air Force for six years and spent decades constructing the kinds of coal-fired power plants Trump likes to tout. He’s contributed thousands of dollars to Republican causes, including Trump’s victory fund.But a few years ago, Lamon saw that coal’s future was bleak, and he switched to building solar power plants. Now he’s worried that a pending decision by Trump will imperil his business. The Trump Administration is weighing a tariff on solar panel imports — essentially taxing them more than panels made in the U.S. — a move that analysts say could abruptly raise the price of building new solar power plants in the U.S., potentially killing a rapidly growing industry that primarily employs blue collar workers.That would hit Lamon — and his employees — hard. Depcom Power employs more than 1,600 people designing, building and operating solar farms with projects spread across the country from blue states like California to red states like Mississippi.Trump’s disdain for renewable energy sources was no secret during his campaign for president — the candidate spoke on several occasions about energy saying solar was “not working so good” and wind power “kills all your birds” — but Lamon believed that low-cost solar would continue to serve as a more affordable energy source than coal and often natural gas no matter what came policy emerged from the White House. Indeed, that’s why he began building solar power plants in the first place. Without subsidies, electricity from large-scale solar power plants currently costs about a third the cost of coal and is about even with natural gas, according to data from the financial advisory firm Lazard. It’s even cheaper with subsidies. But a tariff changes the numbers in ways that Lamon could not have anticipated.The Trump Administration has until Jan. 26 to decide on a solution, and all indicators suggest the president favors a tariff. Throughout his campaign and presidency, he has promised to crack down on China, sought to revive coal and touted his desire to restore U.S. manufacturing. A solar tariff can achieve all of those objectives, or at the very least Trump can argue that it does.Lamon, whose company has lobbied the Trump administration, says he thinks the jobs message is resonating in the White House. “They’re all listening,” he says of top officials. “We want American energy dominance,” says Lamon, borrowing a phrase from Trump. But “when the facts are laid out, it’s kind of comes to light why coal is not coming back.”More: Ex-Coal Exec Says Solar Is the Future of Energylast_img read more

UK books Qatari LNG cargo

first_imgImage courtesy of Al MayedaUK’s South Hook liquefied natural gas terminal is expected to receive a cargo of LNG next week from Qatar. Shipping data from the Milford Haven Port Authority shows that the Q-Max Al Mayeda is scheduled to dock at the import terminal in the Milford Haven waterway on July 20.The AIS data provided by Vesselsvalue shows the vessel is currently sailing in the Mediterranean.Natural gas flows from the South Hook LNG terminal to the UK’s national grid on Friday was around 5.06 mcm per day, according to the data from the National Grid. LNG World News Stafflast_img

FedEx to no longer partner with Amazon

first_imgFedEx has announced that it will no longer serve as a carrier service to Amazon starting next month. The company reported Wednesday that it plans to let its ground shipping contract expire at the end of August just as it did with it’s air shipping contract in June.While FedEx has been on of Amazon’s biggest partners, Amazon’s push to serve as it’s own delivery network to allow for even faster deliveries has essentially been cutting out the middle man.FedEx reported that in 2018, Amazon accounted for less than 1.3% of its total revenue. The company also noted that it has been successful in taking steps to allow them to “focus on the broader e-commerce market.”Neither company seems scorned about the change. Amazon released it’s own statement saying that they are thankful for their partnership with FedEx:“We are constantly innovating to improve the carrier experience and sometimes that means reevaluating our carrier relationships,” an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement. “FedEx has been a great partner over the years and we appreciate all their work delivering packages to our customers.”last_img read more

Ag Credit/Country Mortgages opens new Mt. Gilead Facility

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Ag Credit/Country Mortgages, an agricultural lending cooperative serving farmers and rural residents and agribusinesses in northern Ohio, has moved their Mt. Gilead branch to 5362 US Hwy. 42 in Mt. Gilead.“We’re looking forward to serving our community in the new ag service center,” said Joseph Erb, “We will continue to provide the same superior customer service in our new facility.”The building currently houses five Ag Credit team members:  Branch Manager, Joseph Erb; Account Officer, Andrea Bayles; Mortgage Loan Originator, Michael Kleinknecht; and Operations Support Specialists, Kristen Redmond and Brandy McKinney.“We are very excited about our new facility in Mt. Gilead and believe it will help us better serve the rural and agricultural community in Morrow and surrounding counties,”  said Brian Ricker, CEO, at the  ribbon cutting ceremony and open house on September 16, 2015.The cooperative purchased the property in March 2014.  Jim Brucker of Mt. Gilead designed the new 11,700 square foot building and 2K General Company, Inc. was the lead contractor.  The new Ag Credit offices opened on Sept. 9, 2015. The initial tenants will also include:  Morrow Soil and Water Conservation District, OSU Extension, Community Tax Service LLC, and Community Bookkeeping LLC.“I feel the new facility plays an intricate role in community by bringing a plethora of businesses, organizations and services under one roof,” said Brandon Miller, Morrow County Development Director. “The new facility is a direct reflection of Morrow County moving forward and investments in our future coming to life.  This is an exciting time for Morrow County residents, business owners and organizations as we shift into a growth and expansion phase of our community development.” The Ag Credit/Country Mortgages offices, in Suite 100, are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. or by appointment.  To contact the Mt. Gilead team call 419-947-1040 or go online to read more

Noxious weeds in cover crop seed and seed germination

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Alexander Lindsey, Laura Lindsey, Mark Loux, Anne Dorrance, Stan Smith, John Armstrong, Ohio State University ExtensionSeed quality is key to establishing a good crop (or cover crop). Some of the critical components of seed quality are percent germination, mechanical analysis for purity (% other crops, % inert, and % weeds), and a listing of noxious weeds identified by scientific/common name and quantity found. As producers are looking for seed sources to provide living cover on acreage this year that was previously earmarked for corn or soybeans, it is important to pay attention to the quality. These tests may also be required on seed lots for use in some relief programs as well. Commercial or certified seed used for cover crops should have a seed tag that shows variety and the seed quality measurements above. However, if the seed is sourced from out of state, the noxious weeds listed (or NOT listed) on the tag by name may differ from those had the seed been sourced from Ohio.Only the noxious weeds for the state where the seed was originally going to be sold are required to be listed on the tag by name and quantity (Federal Seed Act, part 201.16). Each state determines which species are included on this list, and can differ from state to state. If seed is outside of Ohio for use on-farm, producers may want to have the seed tested for an “all state noxious-weed exam” prior to planting if this was not done previously on the seed lot. Only 1.1 to 1.2 pounds of seed is needed for the test, but it is critical the sample is representative of the lot to ensure quality test results. This test would screen the seed sample supplied for the weed contained in this list:, and may serve as a more comprehensive exam than was conducted at the time of initial seed lot labeling. One service provider that can conduct this exam is Central Ohio Seed Testing (a subsidiary of the Ohio Seed Improvement Association; Samples can also be sent to ODA for an Ohio noxious weed exam ( Depending on the source of seed and the planned use, a seed lot may be eligible to be tested for free through ODA between June and December (up to three per farmer). Conducting a noxious weed exam could help slow the movement of problematic weeds throughout the state and minimize future weed problems.Another issue to consider is the quality of seed in storage that was not planted this year due to weather. Storing seed in an environment where the temperature (in F) plus the % relative humidity are less than 100 (Harrington’s rule) helps to minimize the rate of seed deterioration (or loss in germination and vigor). Seed germination is an important consideration for determining seeding rate to ensure the critical final stand for yield is achieved for crops like corn and soybeans. Most seed germination percentages on a seed tag for agricultural seeds (like corn and soybeans) are valid for 12 months from the last date of the month in which they were completed, with the exception being cool season grasses which are valid for 15 months beyond the month of testing (Ohio Revised Code, Chapter 907.07). Be sure to check the seed tag for both the date of the test as well as the germination when planning seeding rates.last_img read more

What’s In A College Degree? Maybe Not As Much As You Think

first_imgThis post is part of Hire Education, an ongoing series in which ReadWrite examines technological innovation in education and how it’s reshaping universities that are preparing students for a transformed workforce.One of Matt Damon’s best lines in Good Will Hunting came when he chastised a booksmart Harvard scholar, “You just spent 150 grand on an education you could have gotten for $1.50 in late fees at the public library.”Will Hunting needed real dedication to wrangle an education out of library textbooks, but he’d find it a lot easier these days. The blue collar genius would likely boggle at the number of people piecing together college-like educations using today’s free online tools. Thanks to modern technology, self-motivated learning has become easier and more prevalent than ever. With total student loan debt now at more than $1.1 trillion in the U.S., it’s no wonder people are seeking out cheaper options. According to Going the Distance: Online Education in the United States 2011, the most comprehensive study on online learning to date, more than 6.1 million people have turned to online tools to further their own personal and professional development—often enough, to improve their own job prospects. That number is undoubtedly even higher, given a profusion of new online options.See also: The Traditional College Lecture Is DeadWhat you can’t typically get from online study—yet—is the resume-burnishing effects of a degree from a reputable and accredited university. Which means that today’s online students are placing their bets on other benefits of online study, such as the following.Study Anything You WantWhen you enroll at a college or university, the institution you’ve chosen determines your field of study, at least to an extent. There’s a vast difference in the types of classes offered by a liberal arts university and a technical institution. If you’re an aspiring computer scientist with an itch to learn more about the ancient Greeks, you could be out of luck. Same for a business major who wants to know something about biology, or an architect who wants a better grounding in civil engineering.Online, however, anything goes. At Coursera, one of the Web’s largest providers of online courses, the offerings run from accounting to “moralities of everyday life” to “Web intelligence and Big Data”—and everything in between. The company currently boasts 448 free courses spanning a breadth of subjects you’d be hard pressed to find taught at any given academic institution.That almost ridiculous level of diversity is often the strongest selling point for many online learning tools. That’s the case with StudyBlue, a free online flashcard tool. According to CEO Becky Splitt, user make flashcards for everything from English class to yoga poses. “The majority of our users come to us initially while they’re in a traditional class session. Like they’ll start for a science class, and then they’ll make a set of flashcards that’s the entire IHOP menu [for a waitstaffing job],” she said. “They don’t stop learning when they walk off a campus or out of a classroom. We have decks on how to tie a parachute for troops, to yoga poses, to wine sommeliers.”The Classroom Is Open—All The TimeThe Web’s 24-7 mentality is a given for online education tools. Online-course provider Udacity, for example, doesn’t offer live lectures that students have to follow as they’re happening, but rather videos users can watch whenever they have a spare moment. Then, if and when it’s time to interact with the professor, students can comment in the class forum and expect a response within hours. But it’s not just student-professor relationships that can benefit from an always-open classroom. It also helps students find study buddies, even if they’re on the other side of the world. As Splitt notes about StudyBlue users:We’re breaking down the barriers of social inhibition, even language inhibition. Anyone around the world could be studying what the economy was like in Egypt during the Arab Spring, and be commenting on other students’ notes and cards. They don’t have to have a scheduled time or find the other person who they’re interested in sharing information with.Learners can find courses, professors, and one another even if they’re not physically near one another, and even if their schedules aren’t close to compatible. That makes online education a snug fit in anyone’s busy schedule. Better ProfessorsAnother fortunate side effect of a classroom with no commute: There’s one less barrier for course teachers around the world. If an expert professor is in one country and you’re in another, you can still virtually attend her online course. This is the primary selling point of creativeLive, a company that offers free, live lectures about photography, filmmaking, Web design, and other creative fields. CEO Mika Salmi said it’s the instructors that set the startup apart. “These are not community college instructors,” he said. “They’re reknown experts at the top of their fields. Some are best-selling authors.”In a previous era, students would have been limited by geography. Living nearby an expert was the only way to get lucky. And that’s only if the expert was interesting in taking on a protege. But with creativeLive, hundreds of thousands of students can freely partake in an expert’s knowledge at a time, making it worth the expert’s while.“Even if you can’t get to MIT or Stanford, you can still get incredible professors,” said Salmi. “It’s changing what’s available for people when they consider their career path and even their life path.”Get Skills, Not CertificatesTraditional education still has one big advantage over online resources when it comes to future employment prospects: a diploma. Most online tools offer an unofficial certificate or nothing at all. However, just how long is that piece of paper going maintain its relevance? The Gates Foundation, a huge player in educational reform, blogged in August that the future lies in skill based hiring:It is increasingly seen as a more reliable alternative to traditional hiring practices that focus on a candidate’s degree, resume and experience to predict his or her potential to succeed on the job.Google has already moved on to skills based hiring, according to a New York Times interview with Laszlo Bock, senior vice president of people operations. Bock told the NYT: “One of the things we’ve seen from all our data crunching is that G.P.A.’s are worthless as a criteria for hiring, and test scores are worthless.” This is probably why so many online education resources focus on making sure learners exit the program with skills instead of a certificate. At University of the People, the Web’s most notable free college, graduates don’t receive a diploma. At online programming school Treehouse, CEO Ryan Carson said student success is by how long Treehouse users get hired stay employed after completing particular courses. See also:Why Citizen Developers Are The Future Of ProgrammingSalmi, who serves on the board of a graduate school, said he hopes traditional programs will move in the same direction.“You don’t know if students do well because of a piece of paper,” he said. “The most important thing is making sure graduates have real skills, so that should be our top priority.” A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… lauren orsini Tags:#Hire Education#online education Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…center_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more