Reporters Without Borders (RSF) protested vigorously today against the jailing of journalist Oleg Liachko for allegedly libelling a “senior official of the chief state prosecutor’s office” and called for his immediate release. “The chief state prosecutor, Mihailo Potebenko, is clearly behind the legal pursuit and arrest of Liachko, one of his harshest critics,” RSF secretary-general Robert Ménard said in a letter to Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma, accusing Potebenko of being “the main obstacle to Ukrainian respect for its commitments to human rights.” He charged that he was “directly responsible for the obstruction in the past two years of investigations into the murders of journalists and serious physical attacks on them.” Ménard appealed to Kuchma to see that the journalist was freed at once “so he can escape the arbitrary behaviour” of Potebenko’s office and noted that imprisoning journalists for expressing opinions was “contrary to all European standards.” He said RSF would be “at Liachko’s side” in the weeks to come. RSF learns that the journalist, who is editor-in-chief of the privately-owned weekly Svoboda, was arrested on 15 April by police in Cherkassy when he went to the local state prosecutor’s office to answer allegations of libel against a “senior official” of the chief prosecutor’s office. He was charged with “abuse of authority,” “violating the right to privacy” and “resisting the police.” The driver of the vehicle delivering the paper was attacked on 24 March and most of the copies destroyed. Liachko was given a two-year suspended prison sentence on 7 June last year by a court in the Minsky district of Kiev and banned from editing the paper because of articles he wrote in 1997. On 18 October, the Kiev appeals court quashed his conviction on grounds that new clauses of the penal code had come into effect the previous month making libel no longer a criminal offence. Earlier, on 31 March 2000, Liachko had been attacked by two strangers in the stairwell of his apartment building in Kiev and was hospitalised with head injuries. RSF recalls that violence and threats against the media in Ukraine increased last year, despite pressure from the Council of Europe. The chief state prosecutor’s office and the interior ministry are both blocking any serious enquiry into the murder in 2000 of journalist Georgy Gongadze, who had accused them of threatening him. Despite the decriminalisation of libel, the state prosecutor’s office is still quick to demand heavy sanctions against media criticism of powerful figures in politics, the judiciary and business. Organisation Ukraine escalates “information war” by banning three pro-Kremlin media UkraineEurope – Central Asia Ukrainian media group harassed by broadcasting authority News Receive email alerts News Follow the news on Ukraine March 26, 2021 Find out more Help by sharing this information September 7, 2020 Find out more Crimean journalist “confesses” to spying for Ukraine on Russian TV April 18, 2002 – Updated on January 20, 2016 State prosecutor jails journalist who was his fierce critic News February 26, 2021 Find out more News RSF_en UkraineEurope – Central Asia to go further
IS IT TRUE we were contacted about an alleged transparency and conflict of interest issue concerning the political panel event at the Pan Hellenic Candidate Forum held at the Boys and Girls Club yesterday evening? …supporters of Vanderburgh County Commission candidate Sean Selby felt there was obvious favoritism shown by the moderator towards Vanderburgh County Commission candidate Ben Shoulders during this event?IS IT TRUE Supporters of Mr. Selby have told us that one of Mr Shoulders’ co-workers from Old National Bank moderated the Pan Hellenic Candidate Forum?IS IT TRUE This substantiated the claim of his supporters that there was an obvious conflict of interest?IS IT TRUE when we approached Mr. Shoulders, he substantiated this situation when he said and we quote: “I wasn’t in charge of choosing the moderator and we are both employees of Old National Bank. Each candidate had the same amount of time for both the introduction and Q and A”?IS IT TRUE it looks like Mr. Shoulders may have a little “MODERATOR GATE” issue facing him between now and election day?IS IT TRUE Mr. Shoulders should had been more open and transparent concerning this obvious conflict of interest concerning a fellow co-worker at Old National bank moderating the Pan Hellenic Candidate Forum yesterday evening?IS IT TRUE when Mr. Shoulders discovered that his fellow co-worker was the moderator of the event he should have immediately asked her to recuse herself from this panel?IS IT TRUE we respectfully request that County Commission candidate Sean Selby will come forward to give his side of the story?IS IT TRUE this is a developing story and please stay tuned?FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmail
That’s not a comparison I had expected to make when I walked into the theater, but I don’t think there’s a better one. The performances are exaggerated — the cast goes for more slapstick humor than wit or nuance. There’s a lot of falling over, pantomime fighting and more choreographed dance numbers than I would have expected (there’s only one, but I wasn’t expecting any.) It’s all loud self-caricature, which might have gotten on my nerves had I not been so busy laughing. But when taken all together, the changes add up. The jokes land more often and the lines become less stuffy. The show is grosser and sillier and, at times, dumber than any I have ever seen. And I couldn’t recommend it more. For those of you who did not read it in high school, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” follows a group of unlucky mortals stuck in a fairy-infested forest outside ancient Athens, Greece. Hermia (Deja Thompson) and Lysander (Sherrick O’Quinn) are fleeing the city to get married, while Hermia’s betrothed Demetrius (Brent Grimes) tries to stop them; Hippolyta (Abigail Coryell) is after Demetrius, who is far more interested in getting his fianceé back; and a troupe of players (led by Austen Parros as Bottom) is attempting to rehearse a play for the duke. The most spectacular performance, though, was Troy Witherspoon’s Oberon. He strutted around the stage with a sort of unnervingly quiet, laid-back anger, as though “Dazed and Confused” era Matthew McConaughey had taken a role as the King of the Faeries. His was certainly a melodramatic turn, but, unlike the rest of the cast, Witherspoon never tried for a laugh. The entire cast does an impressive job, especially considering they’re all performing three separate plays a week as part of their thesis project, but Parros was one of the clear standouts. He has one of the more ostentatious roles, playing Bottom as a scenery-chewing old Hollywood film star. Although hers was a much smaller role, Lea Lanoue got a lot of laughs as another one of the troupe’s inept actors. The School of Dramatic Arts’ MFA class imbued the play with millenial humor to appeal to modern viewers. (Photo courtesy of School of Dramatic Arts) The complicated setup basically boils down to a love triangle (or square, I guess) caused by a misplaced love spell from the fairy Puck (Nona Johnson). Most productions give the proceedings a light-hearted, rom-com vibe, which seems appropriate given the premise. But Professors of Theater Practice Andrei Belgrader and Natsuko Ohama, who adapted the play, chose to do something different: less “Sleepless in Seattle” and more “Wet Hot American Summer.” As in all versions, “Midsummer” folds in on itself at the end; the entire final act is occupied by a play-within-a-play, performed by the troupe of actors rehearsing in the woods. This performance, however, doesn’t just fold — it comes apart, adding new elements to the script. I won’t go into specifics here because you should see it for yourself, but it’s just as strange and funny as the rest of the performance. At times, watching “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is like sitting through a two-and-a-half-hour sex scene with your parents — painful, awkward and deeply, deeply uncomfortable. I have seen the play twice, across two Shakespeare festivals, and never have I felt more embarrassed while sitting next to strangers in a theater. But, while it may have been horny, chaotic and, yes, occasionally uncomfortable, it was also incredibly funny, joyous and fresh despite the script being well over 400 years old. The students of the School of Dramatic Arts’ Masters of Fine Arts program delivered the most over-the-top rendition I have ever seen. With a show like this one, I can think of no higher praise. Abigail Coryell (above), who plays Tatiana, delivers an electric performance in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” (Photo courtesy of School of Dramatic Arts) None of the changes — or performances, for that matter — are radically different on their own. The script is still the same, with only a few anachronistic lines added for comedic effect. The sets are non-existent, like usual, and the costumes fall within the “grab whatever you want from the rack” look of so many Shakespearean productions these days (at least the cast didn’t go for the even more overdone “vaguely military” look.) The play runs on select nights through March 7, sharing the stage with “Father Comes Home from the War” and “Guarded,” both with the same cast.