June 8, 2021 Find out more Organisation EU member states must back proposed curbs on the export of surveillance equipment to abusive regimes, Access Now, Amnesty International, and Reporters Without Borders said, after leaked documents revealed that several EU countries, particularly Sweden and Finland, are pushing for weakening human rights protections in relation to European export controls of surveillance technology. The leaked documents were published earlier today by digital rights reporters at netzpolitik.org and Reporters Without Borders. Receive email alerts RSF calls for a fully transparent investigation after mine kills two journalists in Azerbaijan GermanyFranceSwedenFinlandEurope – Central Asia Online freedomsProtecting sources InternetCitizen-journalistsWhistleblowersFreedom of expression GermanyFranceSwedenFinlandEurope – Central Asia Online freedomsProtecting sources InternetCitizen-journalistsWhistleblowersFreedom of expression June 7, 2021 Find out more News Follow the news on Europe – Central Asia to go further News “We’ll hold Ilham Aliyev personally responsible if anything happens to this blogger in France” RSF says News October 29, 2018 – Updated on October 31, 2018 EU: Leak reveals states are ready to put human rights defenders at risk to protect surveillance industry News Respect judicial independence in cases of two leading journalists in Serbia and Montenegro, RSF says Help by sharing this information “The current EU system fails to hold European governments and companies to account. It is devastating to see that protecting the privacy of individuals and safeguarding freedom of expression around the globe are not on the list of priorities of the Council of the EU,” said Lucie Krahulcova, Policy Analyst at Access Now.“These leaks reveal that while the EU talks the talk on human rights in public, behind the scenes, member states are secretly ready to trade in their obligations to protect human rights defenders for the sake ofbusiness interests. They would give businesses free rein to sell to abusive governments technologies which can tap into the communications and whereabouts of those who speak up against them,” said Nele Meyer, Senior Executive Officer at Amnesty International’s European Institutions Office.Commercially available surveillance technology is used by governments around the world to spy on activists, journalists, and dissidents.“The willingness of some countries to go on with business as usual by supplying despotic regimes with tools to abuse human rights is shocking. Jamal Khashoggi’s death has highlighted the level of pressure and surveillance endured by journalists. The EU must end the sale of tools which are used to spy on, harass and arrest journalists. These technologies threaten the safety of journalists and their sources and thereby force them into self-censorship,” said Elodie Vialle, the head of Journalism and Technology desk at Reporters Without Borders (RSF).Amnesty International, Privacy International, Access Now, and Reporters Without Borders are urging member states to ensure that surveillance technology will only be exported if the sale complies with solid human rights criteria.BackgroundAfter surveillance technology was used to clamp down on Arab spring protests, international civil society organizations and EU parliamentarians called for a meaningful overhaul of export controls to prevent that EU companies provide repressive governments with the technology to abuse rights. In 2016, the European Commission proposed reforms to the current export control system – the Dual Use Regulation – intended “to prevent human rights violations associated with certain cyber-surveillance technologies.”The documents leaked today reveal how several member states are constantly watering down the human rights protections which the Commission and the Parliament proposed.Amnesty International, Privacy International, Access Now, and Reporters Without Borders were among the NGOs advocating for the strengthening of several of these protections, including: strengthened human rights protections, greater scope to cover new surveillance technologies, greater transparency, and protections for security research.Many of these reforms were reflected, in some form, in the proposal adopted by the European Parliament in early 2018.For the revision to come into effect, the three EU institutions must find agreement on a final text through inter-institutional negotiations called trialogues, once member states within the Council attain a joint position.As the leaked internal documents from the German government and EU Council show, a group of member states toppled the so-called catch all clause, a crucial safeguard requiring companies to inform the Commission in cases where they identify human rights risks linked to their surveillance exports.Currently, a growing group of member states – led by Sweden and Finland – is tackling another central element of the reform, a list of surveillance technology for which a licensing process would be mandatory.Legislators are working under a tight timeframe – if the revised regulation is not adopted by early 2019, it risks being delayed by at least another year due to the forthcoming EU elections. The next negotiations in the Council will take place in November 2018.>>> See RSF’s article in french <<<>>> See the article on NetzPolitik.org <<< RSF_en June 4, 2021 Find out more
Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolf SHARE TWEET November 17, 2016 By: Secretary Ted Dallas Energy, PSA, Public Health, The Blog The Wolf Administration wants to make sure that all Pennsylvanians are safe and healthy. So today, I would like to take the opportunity to remind Pennsylvanians that the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is here to help with energy bills.LIHEAP provides assistance for home heating bills to keep low-income Pennsylvanians warm and safe during the winter months. The program is available to both renters and homeowners. The support comes in the form of a grant, so the individual does not have to repay assistance, and goes directly to their utility company or home heating fuel provider.The LIHEAP cash and crisis program opened November 1, 2016 and is scheduled to close March 31, 2017.Applying is easy!Online applications can be completed by visiting www.compass.state.pa.us. Paper applications are still available through local county assistance offices, or interested applicants can download and print an application from the department’s website.For helpful tips on keeping warm throughout the winter while saving money on utility costs, visit www.energysavers.gov.For more information on the LIHEAP program, or to download an application, visit www.dhs.pa.gov. Need Help Heating Your Home This Winter? We can help. SHARE Email Facebook Twitter
judoka Saeid Mollaei The International Judo Federation (IJF) has announced a protective suspension of the Iran Judo Federation, following pressure applied to judoka Saeid Mollaei at the World Championships to avoid facing an Israeli athlete.The decision suspends the Iran Judo Federation from all competitions, administrative and social activities organised or authorised by IJF.The temporary suspension is in place until a final decision by the IJF Disciplinary Commission. It marks the first time Iran has faced sanctions from a sporting governing body over its stance relating to competition against Israeli athletes.The IJF Executive Committee began disciplinary proceedings following the incident involving former world champion Mollaei.He potentially could have faced Israeli judoka Sagi Muki in the men’s under-81-kilogram event at the World Championships in Tokyo last month.But before his third-round fight against the Olympic champion, Russian Khasan Khalmurzaev, Mollaei alleged he was called by the Iranian First Deputy Minister of Sport, Davar Zani.Zani reportedly ordered him to withdraw from the competition to avoid a potential contest between Iran and Israel.Mollaei also claimed Zani made threats against him and his familyThe Iranian athlete has since revealed he will seek asylum in Germany, with the IJF offering support.The incident at the World Championships was viewed by the IJF as a “gross contradiction” of a letter sent to the governing body on May 8, signed by the Iranian Olympic Committee President Seyed Reza Salehi Amiri and Iran Judo Federation President Arash Miresmaeili.According to the IJF, the document categorically confirmed the “Iran NOC shall fully respect the Olympic Charter and its non-discrimination principle and the I.R. Iran Federation shall fully comply with the Olympic Charter and the IJF Statutes”The IJF claimed the incident at the World Championships constituted a “serious breach and gross violation of the Statutes of the IJF, its legitimate interests, its principles and objectives as well as of, in particular, but not limited to, the IJF Code of Ethics and the Olympic Charter.”The IJF explained the breaches to their statutes include the respect of the principle of the universality and political neutrality of the IJF, as well as the rejection of all forms of discrimination.It was viewed the incident breached IJF Sport and Organisation rules relating to match fixing and competition manipulation.The IJF Disciplinary Commission claim they have a “strong reason to believe that the Iran Judo Federation will continue or repeatedly engage in misconduct or commit any other offence against the legitimate interests, principles or objectives of the IJF”.They noted similar incidents were reported in the past.“During the 2004 Olympic Games the actual President of the Iran Judo Federation, Mr. Arash Miresmaeili, has been instructed by the Iranian authorities to withdraw from competing to avoid a potential contest against an Israeli athlete,” the IJF said.“The same situation happened also during the 2019 Paris Grand Slam regarding Mr Saeid Mollaei.”The Iran Judo Federation can appeal the protective suspension to the Court of Arbitration for Sport within 21 days.Earlier this month, Iran NOC President Amiri claimed Mollaei would be greeted “like a champion” if he returned to the country, despite the judoka revealing he had been threatened.Amiri also claimed he sent four letters of complaint to the International Olympic Committee over the conduct of the IJF and its President Marius Vizer.At the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Iranian judoka, Arash Miresmaeili was disqualified for weighing in at nearly four pounds above the limit for his weight class of his under-66 kilograms match against an Israeli opponent Ehud Vaks in the first round.It was claimed Miresmaeili had gone on an eating binge to protest the International Olympic Committee’s recognition of the state of Israel.Iran does not recognise the state of Israel, and Miresmaeili’s actions won praise from high-ranking Iranian officials.Mohammad Khatami, the country’s President at the time, was quoted as saying Miresmaili’s actions would be “recorded in the history of Iranian glories”.He was later awarded $125,000 by the Government – the same amount given to Olympic gold medallists.6 AttachmentsShare this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
The Giants were clinging to a one-run lead one night in Pittsburgh and Reyes Moronta reclaimed the mound in the seventh inning to face Jung-Ho Kang leading off.First a pair of 96-mph fastballs followed by a pair of sweeping sliders put the count at 2-2. Moronta had flashed his standard flame, but a 90-mph changeup that twisted into the lower inside corner not only had Kang whiffing, but the entire Giants dugout fanning themselves in disbelief.It was the best pitch Tony Watson had seen all …
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest After grabbing international media headlines last winter, the Ohio Pork Council is pleased to launch their new-and-improved Bacon Vending Machine at Ohio Stadium just in time for football season. The Bacon Vending Machine was available for the first home game of the season for Buckeye fans to purchase ready-to-eat bacon, while supplies last, at Ohio Stadium all season long.“The Ohio Pork Council is proud to support Ohio State Athletics and could not think of a more fitting location to launch our new Bacon Vending Machine than Ohio Stadium,” said Nathan Schroeder, District 1 Director, a pig farmer from Putnam County, Ohio. “Thanks to the Bacon Vending Machine, fans can cheer the Buckeyes on to victory with a classic game day favorite — bacon.”Developed in collaboration with Innovative Vending Solutions, the custom machine features a variety of ready-to-eat bacon for fans to enjoy at an affordable price. The modern machine also features a touch screen interface with educational videos and facts about Ohio’s pig farming community on display — enabling consumers to learn more about responsibly raised pork.“In partnership with the We Care initiative, the Bacon Vending Machine serves as a unique conversation piece for Ohio’s pig farmers to educate consumers about their commitment to responsible animal care and providing quality pork products,” Schroeder said.The Ohio Pork Council invites Buckeye fans to visit the Bacon Vending Machine, located near section 37A in the south stands, at each home game for the remainder of the season.For more information about Ohio’s pig farming community, visit www.OhioPork.org.
The Passive House Institute US sees closer ties ahead with Massachusetts-based Building Science Corp., the widely respected building consulting firm led by Betsy Pettit and Joseph Lstiburek, in the development of new standards for energy efficient housing.According to Katrin Klingenberg, the executive director of PHIUS, the Building Science Corp. will help PHIUS develop a new Passive House standard that is more appropriate for North American climates than the Passivhaus standard developed in Darmstadt, Germany, by Dr. Wolfgang Feist.Building Science Corp. has been an important partner in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Building America and Challenge Home program, and Building Science President Pettit said the two organizations could help each other as Challenge Home “ratchets up” its requirements and PHIUS works on climate-specific standards. RELATED ARTICLES Redefining PassivhausNew Passive Building Standards for North AmericaA New Passivhaus Standard for North AmericaPossible Relaxation of Passivhaus Standard Stirs Debate A Petition Strives to Defend a Certain Definition of ‘Passive House’ A Proposed Passivhaus Amendment for New England “This is great news on multiple fronts,” PHIUS said in a news release. “It brings Building Science Corporation’s industry-leading expertise and resources to passive research. It marks the US DOE’s continued support for making passive the basis for future energy efficiency efforts. It continues the momentum of moving passive from novelty to best practice and into the mainstream market.” Energy efficiency goals are convergingThe proposed PHIUS standard, like its German Passivhaus counterpart, will set requirements for energy consumption and airtightness. Klingenberg said by telephone that PHIUS is working toward three or four standards that are tailored more precisely to different climates zones. The current standard of both the European and U.S. programs is suitable for a moderate, heating-dominated climate zones, she said, but not necessarily for the diversity of climates in North American.The first draft of a new PHIUS standard better adapted to North American climates is due to be released for public comment and peer review in September 2014, Klingenberg said, and the collaboration with Building Science Corp. would represent a “synergistic relationship” as it moves toward the goal.Pettit said the common goal of the PHIUS and Challenge Home programs is to find the lowest cost, highest performing assembly of building materials by climate zone. She called that the “sweet spot” of cost optimization, something that needed periodic review as costs and building materials both change.
TORONTO – Four men accused of arranging a brazen daytime killing at a crowded Toronto cafe as part of a feud among drug traffickers were found guilty of first-degree murder on Thursday.The convictions of Nicola Nero, Martino Caputo, Rabih Alkhalil and Dean Wiwchar carry automatic life sentences without parole eligibility for 25 years. The men were also convicted of conspiracy to commit murder.The four had been on trial for the death of John Raposo, who was shot on the patio of the Sicilian Sidewalk Cafe on the afternoon of June 18, 2012, as soccer fans gathered to watch a Euro Cup game.The men showed little emotion as their verdicts were announced in a packed courtroom. Jury members deliberated for two days before making their decision.Raposo’s family thanked the judge, the jury and the prosecutors involved in the case but said they were still mourning their loss.“Our hearts are broken. Justice cannot bring back the missing link in our family,” Raposo’s cousin, Helen Pacheco said outside court. “We ask everyone to remember John not how he died but how he lived.”Prosecutors accused Wiwchar of actually carrying out the killing of Raposo. They said the men on trial orchestrated the hit on their rival partly because they believed Raposo had ratted Nero out to authorities.Nero, Caputo and Alkhalil plotted to steal a 200-kilogram shipment of cocaine from Raposo, split the money between them, and have him assassinated, court was told.The Crown relied partly on encrypted messages it said were exchanged by the men in the months leading up to the shooting.In at least one message, Nero called Raposo a “rat” who deserved to die for the harm he had caused, court heard. Another message had Wiwchar calling himself a contract killer who warranted a $100,000 fee.But one of the defence lawyers said any talk of revenge in those messages was pure “macho trash talk” and should not be considered proof of a murder plot.Alan Gold, who represents Nero, told the court the group considered stealing the drugs from Raposo to be retribution enough.Prosecutors alleged Wiwchar travelled from Vancouver for the job, and donned an elaborate disguise in an effort to evade authorities.Witnesses described the killer as wearing a shoulder-length wig, sunglasses, a dust mask, an orange construction vest with a reflective X on it and a hardhat, court heard.The Crown said a hardhat, construction vest and skin-coloured face masks were among the items found in Wiwchar’s Vancouver home, while searches on his home in Surrey, B.C. netted a cache of firearms as well as wigs, liquid latex skin, theatrical makeup, fake moustaches and beards and other items.Other searches uncovered more than $60,000 in cash, the prosecution said.Wiwchar was arrested three days after Raposo’s death. Nero, who was arrested in a drug investigation roughly a month before the killing, was charged while behind bars in early 2013, around the same time that Caputo was arrested in Germany. Alkhalil was arrested in Greece the following year.The four men are to be sentenced on the conspiracy count at a still-to-be determined date but their lawyers will return May 23 possibly to make arguments about how long it took to get to trial.
MONTREAL – A new study suggests anglophone Montrealers drink more excessively than their francophone and allophone counterparts and that tippling habits are split along linguistic and cultural lines.The CROP survey commissioned for Educ’alcool, a non-profit that champions responsible alcohol consumption, indicates English-speaking Montrealers are harder drinkers than their francophone counterparts.The results unveiled Tuesday found that 46 per cent of the anglophones surveyed admitted to binge drinking (five or more drinks in one session) in the past year, compared with 39 per cent of francophones and 27 per cent of people whose mother tongue was neither French nor English.Anglophones also were more likely to drive drunk — about 15 per cent admitted to doing so compared with just four per cent of francophones and two per cent of allophones.“Anglophones drink more often, drink more, drink more in excess and drink and drive more than francophones, who in turn … (do the same) compared to allophones, who are the best consumers of the group,” Educ’alcool executive director Hubert Sacy said in an interview.While the poll doesn’t explain why, Sacy said there are several explanations for the numbers, including the link between income and drinking.“The more money they have, the more alcohol they drink,” Sacy said. “When you don’t have enough money to cover normal expenses, you don’t spend money on alcohol.”Sacy added that allophones often come from countries where alcohol isn’t consumed in large quantities, whereas anglophones stem from cultures that view drinking as more normal.Educ’alcool commissions the survey every two years to get a better idea of portrait of alcohol consumption and behaviours in the province.Sacy said a 2015 survey suggested a discrepancy between francophone and non-francophone drinkers, but the sample size was too small.This year, they tripled the number surveyed to 2,700 Quebecers, including 150 in Montreal from each of the three groups, revealing very distinct drinking habits.While the other groups preferred to drink with friends, 73 per cent of anglophones preferred drinking at home, the study suggested.Some 79 per cent of Montrealers in the survey considered themselves drinkers, but the consumption rate varied by group: 1.9 times a week for anglophones compared to 1.4 for francophones and 1.1 for allophones.For Ziggy Eichenbaum, owner of Ziggy’s Pub on Montreal’s bustling Crescent Street, there doesn’t appear to be a huge difference in drinking habits among patrons, except for their preferences.“The French have more tendency to drink more wine, the English have a tendency to drink more beer and alcoholic beverages,” Eichenbaum said of his clientele.Sacy said a number that struck him was the 18 per cent of Montrealers who reported encountering a police alcohol checkpoint in the Montreal area in a 12-month span.That 82 per cent have not is worrisome given that roadblocks are a proven deterrent, he added.“One can understand police in urban areas have plenty of other things to do,” Sacy said. “But still, the decrease from two years ago is unacceptable.”The telephone survey of 2,700 Quebecers between Feb. 20 and March 20 of this year is considered to have a margin of error of 1.9 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. The margin of error for results by region increased to eight percentage points.
ADC AUTHOR The White House has threatened to veto the House version of the fiscal 2020 National Defense Authorization Act in part due to PFAS regulation provisions the chamber decided to allow for consideration on the annual defense policy bill, Stars and Stripes reported.A White House statement issued last week listed several dozen amendments to the legislation it opposes, which included two specific PFAS regulation provisions proposed by the Democrat-led House. If the amendments opposed by the White House passed in the House NDAA, including the PFAS regulation provisions that the administration said unduly targeted the Defense Department, President Donald Trump would veto the measure, according to the White House statement.“At potentially great cost to and significant impact on DOD’s mission, the legislation singles out DOD, only one contributor to this national issue,” the White House statement said.Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.), whose Senate-approved NDAA provision was modified into a PFAS amendment for consideration in the House legislation, called the veto threat that includes opposition to PFAS provisions “outrageous,” according to the report.Udall called the administration’s statement that the military is only a small part of the PFAS contamination problem “flat out wrong,” charging that exposure around installations where large quantities of PFAS-based firefighting foam has been used is more concentrated.One of the opposed provisions would phase out military use of firefighting foam with PFAS by 2025. The other would require DOD to treat contaminated water near bases that are used for agricultural purposes, according to The Hill.More than 100 military sites across the country have known PFAS contamination in the drinking or groundwater, Udall said.The “forever chemicals” formally named perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl are common in firefighting foam used during training on military bases across the country. They have been in news reports in recent years as the cause of contamination of nearby groundwater.Research has found that exposure to PFAS can lead to conditions related to low infant birth weight, cancer, and impacts to the immune system in humans, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Amber Powell