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Terrible blow to what is left of Russian editorial independence

first_imgNews RussiaEurope – Central Asia Protecting journalistsMedia independence Conflicts of interestFreedom of expression Two Russian journalists persecuted for investigating police corruption AFP Organisation Receive email alerts Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is dismayed by the latest blow to editorial independence in Russia, in which two journalists at the leading Moscow business daily Kommersant were fired, 11 of their colleagues resigned in protest and then more than 200 of the newspaper’s journalists issued a joint warning that its readers would now be denied unbiased coverage. Читать на русском / Read in RussianYesterday’s turmoil at the newspaper began when it was confirmed that two of its journalists had been fired over an article about a Kremlin ally, and 11 of their colleagues in the newspaper’s politics section then resigned en masse in solidarity. Reporters Maxim Ivanov and Ivan Safronov were dismissed for reporting that Valentina Matviyenko, an influential politician allied to Russian President Vladimir Putin, could be replaced as speaker of the Federation Council (the Russian parliament’s upper house) in the coming months.“I am leaving the Kommersant publishing group not of my own volition but as a result of a decision by the shareholder, who was extremely critical of the article about Federation Council speaker Valentina Matviyenko’s possible resignation,” Safronov wrote in a Facebook post.A spokesperson for the newspaper’s owner, influential billionaire businessman Alisher Usmanov, said Usmanov did not take “decisions on the firing or hiring of journalists.” But the information gathered by RSF confirms that Ivanov and Safronov were indeed fired as a result of pressure from Usmanov, who was critical, inter alia, of the fact that they did not name their sources for the story.Yesterday evening, more than 200 Kommersant journalists posted a joint letter on Facebook confirming the owner’ interference and emphasizing the professionalism of their two dismissed colleagues and the importance of the confidentiality of journalists’ sources.The joint letter added: “Our readers, partners and advertisers will be deprived of high-quality and unbiased coverage of a number of domestic political issues (…) for a long time now.”“This editorial meddling in the Kommersant newsroom by the owner is a terrible blow to what is left of journalistic independence in Russia,” RSF’s Eastern Europe and Central Asia desk said. “Respect for the confidentiality of journalists’ sources is an essential principle for which there is provision in Russian law. Reporters Without Borders would also like to express its total solidarity with journalists who mobilize to defend independent, quality journalism, which is threatened by increasingly blatant political interference.”The Journalists’ and Media Workers’ Union issued a call for a strike, saying it was “deeply concerned by the situation” and condemning what it called a “brutal interference by shareholders in editorial policy.” The Russian Union of Journalists, too, pointed out that “shareholder meddling in editorial policy violates the constitutional right to free speech.”Kommersant was once regarded as the flagship of the Russian press but its prestige has declined steadily since 2008, when Usmanov bought the company that publishes it. After two editors were fired in late 2011 for publishing comments that supposedly insulted then Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, 35 Kommersant journalists signed an open letter accusing Usmanov of trying to “intimidate” them.When Maria Karpenko was fired as its Saint Petersburg correspondent in March of this year, Kommersant said it was because her comments on the Telegram social network had “violated the newspaper’s editorial policy.” But Karpenko said she was convinced that the real reason for her dismissal was her critical coverage of Saint Petersburg acting governor Aleksandr Beglov during his election campaign.Russia is ranked 149th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2019 World Press Freedom Index. May 21, 2019 – Updated on May 22, 2019 Terrible blow to what is left of Russian editorial independence RSF_en News News to go further Russian media boss drops the pretence and defends Belarus crackdown RussiaEurope – Central Asia Protecting journalistsMedia independence Conflicts of interestFreedom of expression News May 21, 2021 Find out more Help by sharing this information Follow the news on Russia Related documents cp_russie_demission_kommersant_rus.pdfPDF – 177.32 KB Listed as a “foreign agent”, Russia’s most popular independent website risks disappearing May 5, 2021 Find out more June 2, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

Woman falls to death from balloon

first_imgParamedics tried to revive the woman, Rosemary Wooley Phillips, 60, in a dirt field where she fell. She was pronounced dead a short time later at University of New Mexico Hospital. Bill Birkley of Albuquerque was driving to visit a client when he saw the balloon flying low and fast, then getting snagged in the utility line “like a fish hook.” He stopped his vehicle and was standing about 100 feet from the trapped balloon when he saw Phillips fall. “She was screaming and flailing her arms,” Birkley said. “It was the most helpless feeling in the world. There she was, coming down through the air, and there wasn’t a thing you could do for her.” The balloon, meanwhile, came free and drifted across a road near Interstate 25. It crash-landed, inflicting injuries on the other passengers and a pilot. Bruno said two women had broken legs and another had minor bumps and bruises. The three, Sheryl Diaz, 60; Susan Simpson, 57; and Doris Currier, 52, were admitted to University Hospital, he said. The pilot sustained minor scratches and was treated at the scene. The women booked the flight through Rainbow Ryders, a concessionaire contracted to provide flights from the fiesta’s launch field. A company official, Scott Appleman, said pilot Tom Reyes had 30 years’ experience and more than 1,900 flying hours. Authorities were careful not to assign immediate blame on winds, saying an investigation was continuing. Yet hot air balloons are entirely subjected to the wind. “Wind is part of the unknown. Weather is part of the unknown, relative to hot air ballooning, all the time,” Appleman said. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The woman who died and the other three women were from Oceanside. “Our balloon community is a close-knit family, and a time like this is difficult for all of us,” said Gary Bennett, president of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. The balloon – named Heavenly Ride – became caught on a utility line at 7:45 a.m. The pilot threw down a tether to a pickup truck on the ground in an apparent attempt to reel the balloon down and free it, a state police spokesman said. But the tether broke and the balloon bounced back up, causing its gondola to tip. The woman fell more than 70 feet. “It probably was a lot higher than that,” state police Sgt. Kevin Bruno said. “That’s just an estimate.” ACCIDENT: Pilot was trying to free the hot-air craft from a utility line in New Mexico. By Tim Korte THE ASSOCIATED PRESS ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – A California woman fell at least 70 feet to her death Monday and three other women were hospitalized, two with broken legs, after a morning joyride on a hot air balloon turned tragic, casting a pall over the city’s annual balloon fiesta. last_img read more

Gallipoli visit inspires Australia ahead of 2019 ICC World Cup

first_imgTheir World Cup preparations in full swing, defending champions Australia made a four-day stopover in Turkey on their way here to visit the storied Gallipoli peninsula.The Australian team touched down in England on Friday but decided to bond as a unit in the Gallipoli peninsula in southern part of East Thrace, the European part of Turkey, which holds great significance in Australia’s history as this was the battleground where 11,000 Australian and New Zealand soldiers lost their lives in a disastrous Allied military offensive during World War I.Vice-captain and star pacer Pat Cummins described the exercise as a “really special moment”.”Just before we left, we laid a wreath and recited the ode and just had a minute’s silence,” Cummins was quoted as saying by www.cricket.com.au from Turkey this week.”Just had a really special moment. One I’ll remember for the rest of my life. Just spending time together in a place like this, you can’t help but learn something about yourself, about your teammates. Just learning about the ANZAC spirit — the fight, the mateship, just the incredible values they held here in 1915.”When you hear some of the stories (of Australians fighting at Gallipoli), a lot of them aren’t necessarily best mates, but you know they’ve got each other’s back when the going gets tough,” Cummins said.”Just sticking it out, punching above their weight, doing all those things — no doubt there’s going to be times during the World Cup when we’re going to be up against it,” he added.advertisementAs much as the tour helped build team chemistry, Cummins said the World Cup that’s “been in our diaries for years” dominated the discussions.”It feels so close. I just can’t wait. Now it’s here, we’re just excited to get out there, train, play a couple of warm-up games. It’s only a couple of weeks away so we’re all pumped, it’s all we talk about, the games. We can’t wait to get it started,” Cummins said.Australia hit the training track at its regular base south of London this weekend before the first of three warm-up games — two official ICC practice matches and one unofficial game against the West Indies at Southampton’s Ageas Bowl on Wednesday.Australia World Cup squad: Aaron Finch (captain), Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey (wicketkeeper), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Adam Zampa.Also Read | All-rounders will have a say in 2019 ICC World Cup: Clive Lloydlast_img read more