Workers’ unity, struggle puts brakes on firing of School Bus Union 5

first_imgBoston, Oct. 23 — In an impressive display of strength and unity in the face of a state attack against a militant union, hundreds of Boston bus drivers, bus monitors and community supporters came out tonight in support of the School Bus Union 5: Andre Francois, Steven Gillis, Stevan Kirschbaum, Richard Lynch and Garry Murchison. Today’s events put the Veolia transnational corporation on the defensive, thwarting its hell-bent plan to break the union by attempting to unlawfully fire these long-time, respected members of Steelworkers Local 8751, the Boston School Bus Drivers Union.The first hit against Veolia’s plans to terminate Gillis, Kirschbaum and the three other defendants was the legal brief presented to the corporation from the Steelworkers International legal defense team on Oct. 21. It reads in part:  “As is explained herein, none of the named employees has engaged in any of the misconduct alleged against them inasmuch as the facts (as now known to the union) make clear that the events of October 8, 2013, amounted to an unlawful lockout by the Company and not a work stoppage by the employees and that, even if there were a work stoppage prior to the time when the Company locked the employees off the property, such work stoppage would have been a lawful unfair labor practice strike in any event.  Moreover, pursuant to the facts expounded herein, the five named employees did not plan or orchestrate any of the concerted activity that occurred on October 8 and thus have no culpability beyond that.”The 65-page document includes testimony, photos and other facts explaining that the company’s unfair labor practices were the real cause of the events on Oct. 8.But the real power that made Veolia nervous today was the workers’ strength. The company knew workers and community members would be gathering outside the meeting at the company’s executive offices.  That was why they announced early on that no one would be terminated today during the first disciplinary hearing against the Five. Another hearing is set for Oct. 28.Strength of workers’ powerAt the 3 p.m. start of the disciplinary meeting, the number of those gathered outside the building was understandably small because most workers were on their buses until 5:30. Union leaders demanded that all Five accused workers be present throughout the hearings.When the company handed over three copies of the charges against Steve Gillis, union representatives demanded copies for every worker in the room, as past practices dictate. The company was forced to call a recess while that was done. The Five took the opportunity to walk out to the assembled crowd and hold the first of four or five rallies that took place over the next several hours.Each time they walked out, Kirschbaum, chair of the union’s Grievance Committee, gave a report to a steadily growing crowd. Veolia management personnel drove in and out of the gates as the meeting progressed in order to report to their bosses the increasing size of the rally.By 7:15 p.m., the gathering, which had grown to more than 350 workers and supporters, was a virtual occupation of Veolia’s corporate headquarters. As Kirschbaum walked out the door, some of the workers picked him up and carried him to a makeshift stage on the back of a truck. The rest of the Five joined him, as well as Boston City Councillor Charles Yancey.Each member of the Five spoke during the last rally of the day.  Kirschbaum reported that the disciplinary meeting would be continued on Oct. 28. Decisions have been delayed, but Veolia’s attempt to fire the five union leaders is still on the table. Kirschbaum pointed out that the rank-and-file members’ willingness to mobilize in support of the Five has put Veolia on the defensive.Steve Gillis, USW local vice president, focused his remarks on the villainous role of the Veolia corporation as a worldwide imperialist pirate, more powerful than many governments. Through its four divisions Veolia does business in the trillions of dollars, has operations in 48 countries and employs more than 300,000 workers. It is trying to corner the world’s water supply; is an energy monster that even uses fracking, which is known to destroy the environment; and runs apartheid bus lines and Israeli-settler-only garbage dumps in the occupied West Bank.But, Gillis pointed out, the real, much stronger power is the power of the workers fighting for their rights in unity as a powerful workers’ assembly.Francois, Lynch and Murchison all thanked the assembled rank and file for demonstrating by their actions the time-honored motto: “An injury to one is an injury to all.” The three thanked the workers for showing by their solidarity that they would not allow a single union leader to be sacrificed to Veolia’s union busting. Then they told the workers they were living the 8751 motto: “Together we will win. Ansamb nou se yon fos. Todos unitos. De juntos somos forte!”Councillor Yancey told the drivers and monitors: “You offered to do the afternoon run and pick up the children [on Oct. 8], but the mayor refused and locked the gates. The mayor sided with Veolia. You love the children of Boston. You deserve respect for the work you do. If you win, all of Boston wins. If you lose, workers all over lose.”This reporter heard workers express a common belief: If the union leaders are terminated, their wages and benefits will go next. They must stop the company’s plans. Hands off the School Bus Union Five!Piette is a retired letter carrier from Philadelphia. WW photos by Stevan Kirschbaum and Liz Green.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Petition launched for release of two Burmese bloggers serving sentences of 20 and 59 years in prison

first_img Help by sharing this information News MyanmarAsia – Pacific MyanmarAsia – Pacific January 29, 2009 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Petition launched for release of two Burmese bloggers serving sentences of 20 and 59 years in prison Reporters Without Borders urges the international community not to forget Nay Phone Latt (http://www.nayphonelatt.net/), a Burmese blogger who was arrested exactly one year ago today and was sentenced on 10 November to 20 years and six months in prison, or Zarganar, one of Burma’s best known comedians, who is serving a 59-year jail sentence in appalling conditions for criticising the military government online. Follow the news on Myanmar News Thai premier, UN rapporteurs asked to prevent journalists being returned to Myanmar News Receive email alerts to go further Reporters Without Borders urges the international community not to forget Nay Phone Latt (http://www.nayphonelatt.net/), a Burmese blogger who was arrested exactly one year ago today and was sentenced on 10 November to 20 years and six months in prison, or Zarganar, one of Burma’s best known comedians, who is serving a 59-year jail sentence in appalling conditions for criticising the military government online. “On this sad anniversary for Nay Phone Latt, we are launching petition for his and Zarganar’s release,” Reporters Without Borders said. “They did nothing to deserve these punishments and must be freed. Nay Phone Latt’s only crime was to be caught in possession of a film regarded as subversive by the military government. Zarganar was convicted solely for expressing his views.” The press freedom organisation added: “Their trials were farces organised by special courts that take their orders directly from the government. The international community, especially UN secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon’s special envoy, Ibrahim Gambari, who is due to visit Burma shortly, need to pay close attention to what is going on.” Aged 28, Nay Phone Latt was arrested on 29 January 2008 with several members of the opposition National League for Democracy, who were released a few hours later. He received a combined jail sentence of 20 years and six months on 10 November from a special court inside Insein prison that was headed by judge Daw Soe Nyaam. The sentence consisted of two years for violating article 505 (b) of the Criminal Code (which punishes defamation of the state), three years and six months for violating article 32 (b) of the Video Act and 15 years for violating article 33 (a) of the Electronic Act. He is suffering from eye problems but has not been allowed to see a doctor. He is due for release in 2028. Zarganar, who kept a blog that was widely read by Burmese Internet users both in Burma and abroad, was arrested on 5 June 2008 for writing in his blog about the widespread criticism of the government’s relief efforts after the country was devastated by a cyclone the previous month. Sentenced to 45 years in prison under the Electronic Act by the Insein prison court on 21 November 2008, he was given an additional 14-year jail sentence for unspecified “offences” six days later. He is due to be released in 2067. Nay Phone Latt and Zarganar were awarded a special press freedom prize by Reporters Without Borders on 4 December.Sign the petition Organisation May 31, 2021 Find out more News RSF asks Germany to let Myanmar journalist Mratt Kyaw Thu apply for asylum US journalist held in Yangon prison notorious for torture May 12, 2021 Find out more RSF_en May 26, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

The death has occurred of Louis Mc Mahon

first_img Previous articleNightflyers will stream on Netflix from February 1Next articleLimerick is Ireland’s breastfeeding capital Staff Reporterhttp://www.limerickpost.ie Designed by BedneyimagesAFTER a short illness borne with great dignity and courage in the exceptional care of the critical care team in University Hospital, Limerick. Surrounded by his beloved family wife Patricia, daughters Louisa and Stephanie, sons David, Karl and Marcus, daughter-in-law Haidee, Marcus’s partner Fathom, Karl’s partner Louise, his cherished grandchildren Kyle, Adam, Conor, Emily, Charlotte, Louis, Katie, Indie and Bowie Belle, his sisters Geraldine and Marie, brother Kevin, sisters-in-law, brother-in-law, nephews, nieces, relatives, dear friends and neighbours.The late Louis Mc MahonReposing in St. John’s Church, Cratloe this Wednesday evening (16th January) from 6pm to 8pm. Funeral Mass Thursday (17th January) at 11am followed by burial afterwards in Craughran Cemetery, Cratloe. Family flowers only. Donations, if desired, to the Irish Lung Foundation.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up WhatsApp NewsThe death has occurred of Louis Mc MahonBy Staff Reporter – January 15, 2019 1744 Facebook Printcenter_img Advertisement Twitter Email Linkedinlast_img read more

Phoenix, Doyen partner for state of the art academy

first_imgOfficials of one of the world’s foremost sports investment agencies, Doyen Sports Group, and Arsenal Football Club are expected to sign an agreement with the Phoenix All-Star Academy this afternoon in Kingston.The deal, which is being hailed by Phoenix co-founder Craig Butler as a major development for Jamaican football, will see the agency, which, among other ventures, manages the certain affairs for some of the planet’s leading footballers, partner with Phoenix in the establishment of a state-of-the-art football academy just outside of Montego Bay, as well as prepare, market and place talent from the club into the European market.Doyen’s website lists names such as Neymar, Radamel Falcao, Mangala, Alvaro Morata, Alvaro Negredo, and Marcos Rojo, but does not outline the nature of their involvement with the players.The group is considered to be an investment-based organisation that facilitates player transfers.Phoenix already has several players on overseas contracts, with Belgium-based Leon Bailey, who is already in the Genk first team, and Kyle Butler, both doing well. But Craig Butler is confident that this partnership will create opportunities for more players and open another avenue to the international markets.”This partnership between Phoenix Academy and Doyen has many positives. They will partner with us in the building of an academy in Trelawny, as well as the marketing and placement of players in Europe,” Butler told The Gleaner ahead of today’s signing, which is scheduled to take place at the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston.”Phoenix have done extremely well over the years in terms of our standard of developing players in technical, tactical and personal development. We are creating players that are ready for the European market,” Butler added, while referring to Arsenal’s interest.”Leon (Bailey), at 18 years old, is already one of the best players in Belgium, and is already in the first team there. Kyle is also doing well and should be in the first team soon.”Arsenal have taken note of that and want to come and take a look and see what our other players are about,” added Butler.”This is huge for the country. I still believe that with development, Jamaica can become one of the teams that challenge for World Cups, not just strive to participate and make up numbers,” Butler said.Butler also underlined that a 14-acre property has already been secured by Phoenix All-Star Academy and will be developed to accommodate a full academy, in collaboration with Doyen Sports.last_img read more

Take Ian Links in the fourth

first_img The useful but unpredictable GENUINE FRIEND, with 3.0kg claiming apprentice Odean Edwards aboard, is weighed to win the third race over 1200 metres for five-year-olds and up. The 6-y-o mare from the stables of Linton Calder has come down 4.0kg in the weights and if getting it right at the start, should win from the front running EXPLOSIVE PRINCESS with top jockey Dane Nelson up and SEMPER FIDELIS in a field of 11. IAN LINKS, who beat all barring the promising SOL SENOR over 1400 metres in March 5, should go one better in the fourth race over a mile – for maiden three-year-olds – with former champion Omar Walker riding for 15-time champion trainer Wayne DaCosta. MR DOITBETTA and HEY CHAMP are twin dangers in a 14-strong field. Briefly, the last two races in the first Super-6 should be won by RAY RAY (Oneil Beckford up) and down in class UNCLE G with apprentice Patterson aboard. Their respective dangers are NO MONEY FRIEND and LEGAL ACCOUNT. With CAPTAIN GRANVILLE (21-1) and ZEEVA (10-1) scoring notable upsets at Caymanas Park last Saturday, the Pick-9 had no takers and the carry-over to tomorrow stands at $3.6 million. This should ensure a Pick-9 payout in excess of $5 million. Both Super-6s on the other hand were cornered and start anew with guaranteed minimums of $750,000. The Pick-9 will embrace races three to 11, the first Super-6 from race one to six, the late Super-6 from race six to 11. We look at the first Super-6, which gets under way with a $450,000-$400,000 claiming race over the straight five course to be contested by six starters. Despite the small field, the race promises keen competition, what with the presence of last Saturday’s course winner, ZEEVA, ROCKETEER, FRANKENSTOR and OFFICIAL REPORT, who has beaten better in the not too distant past. Trained by Philip Lee, OFFICIAL REPORT last won over this trip via the Stewards’ Room last August on the disqualification of WOMAN IS BOSS in overnight allowance company and with a mere 48.0kg with apprentice Javaniel Patterson aboard, gets the nod over FRANKENSTORM and ZEEVA. Next on the programme is a maiden condition race for four-year-olds and up, which will more than likely come down to a straight fight between BIG BUCK with apprentice Jerome Innis and MR. TOPPER TOP MAN with in-form Aaron Chatrie aboard. Both finished second and third, respectively, behind FREE RANGE over 1200 metres last Saturday, but with Chatrie replacing female apprentice Andree Powell aboard the Donovan Plummer-trained MR. TOPPER TOP MAN, he should reverse the placings as only three-quarter length separated them at the finish. (1) OFFICIAL REPORT/FRANKENSTORM (20 MR. TOPPER TOP MAN/BIG BUCK (3) GENUINE FRIEND/EXPLOSIVE PRINCESS (4) IAN LINKS (5) RAY RAY/NO MONEY FRIEND (6) UNCLE G/LEGAL ACCOUNT USEFUL BUT UNPREDICTABLE FIRST SUPER-6 FANCIESlast_img read more

Matt Chapman gets timetable for Cactus League debut with A’s

first_img“He’s doing everything. Still on schedule,” Melvin said. “His shoulder isn’t bothering him right now, it’s just making sure it doesn’t … MESA, Ariz. — Matt Chapman’s first spring training game could come even sooner than he anticipated.After taking batting practice for the first time in camp earlier in the week, A’s manager Bob Melvin said Friday morning that Chapman’s first appearance in a game could come early next week if all continues to go well in his progression from shoulder surgery.last_img

Why Academic Freedom Is Dangerous

first_imgBarbara Forrest has a tough case on her hands.  The veteran creationist-fighter has to convince the people of Louisiana that they did a bad thing by passing the Academic Freedom Bill, because academic freedom when it comes to discussing intelligent design and evolution is dangerous (cf. 05/12/2008, bullet 3).  The bill passed by 94-3 in the state House and unanimously in the Senate.    Amanda Gefter, reporting on New Scientist admitted Forrest has the deck stacked against her.  Those supporting the measure outnumbered her group and had more spirit.  Nevertheless, she empathized with Forrest’s anti-ID position, titling her article “New legal threat to teaching evolution in the US” and speaking of “hidden dangers” in the bill recently signed by Governor Bobby Jindal that protects the rights of teachers who wish to supplement their lessons with alternative material on controversial science topics such as evolution, human cloning and global warming, after first teaching the assigned textbook material.  It is the prospect of offering alternatives to evolution that has generated the most heated discussion.    What is it about the evolution issue that is so threatening to the time-honored tradition of giving voice to opposing views on controversial topics, and letting people think critically about the evidence?  In sum, here are the arguments as gleaned from the article for forbidding academic freedom on the evolution question:[Forrest] had spent weeks trying to muster opposition to the bill on the grounds that it would allow teachers and school boards across the state to present non-scientific alternatives to evolution, including ideas related to intelligent design (ID) – the proposition that life is too complicated to have arisen without the help of a supernatural agent.The act is designed to slip ID in “through the back door”, says Forrest, who is a professor of philosophy at Southeastern Louisiana University and an expert in the history of creationism.She adds that the bill’s language, which names evolution along with global warming, the origins of life and human cloning as worthy of “open and objective discussion”, is an attempt to misrepresent evolution as scientifically controversial.Jindal …. enjoys a close relationship with the Louisiana Family Forum (LFF), a lobbying group for the religious right whose mission statement includes “presenting biblical principles” in “centers of influence”.  It was the LFF which set the bill in motion earlier this year.The development has national implications, not least because Jindal is rumoured to be on Senator John McCain’s shortlist as a potential running mate in his bid for the presidency.The new legislation is the latest manoeuvre in a long-running war to challenge the validity of Darwinian evolution as an accepted scientific fact in American classrooms.…Forrest presented evidence that ID was old-fashioned creationism by another name….“Academic freedom is a great thing,” says Josh Rosenau of the National Center for Science Education in Oakland, California.  “But if you look at the American Association of University Professors’ definition of academic freedom, it refers to the ability to do research and publish.”This, he points out, is different to the job high-school teachers are supposed to do.  “In high school, you’re teaching mainstream science so students can go on to college or medical school, where you need that freedom to explore cutting-edge ideas.  To apply ‘academic freedom’ to high school is a misuse of the term.”“It’s very slick,” says Forrest.  “The religious right has co-opted the terminology of the progressive left… They know that phrase appeals to people.”….those who wish to challenge Darwinian evolution have “plausible deniability” that this is intended to teach something unconstitutional…. “They are better camouflaged now.”In a landmark 1987 case known as Edwards vs Aguillard, the US Supreme Court ruled the [balanced treatment] law unconstitutional, effectively closing the door on teaching “creation science” in public schools.Convinced that intelligent design is unconstitutional, Forrest is worried that the bill makes it harder for opponents of ID to sue schools and teachers who present what they feel is religious material.  “Because the law allows individual boards and teachers to make additions to the science curriculum without clearance from a state authority,” Gefter reported, “the responsibility will lie with parents to mount a legal challenge to anything that appears to be an infringement of the separation of church and state.”  Forrest complained that this is like starting a lot of local brush fires that have to be fought individually.  “This is done intentionally, to get this down to the local level,” she said.  “It’s going to be very difficult to even know what’s going on.”    Forrest says she doesn’t fight “academic freedom” for fun, but because it’s a duty.  Her next tactic is to get the word to teachers to be on the lookout for creationist material finding its way into science class.    Writing for National Review, Discovery Institute senior fellow John West denied that the Louisiana bill is a threat to science.  “The act is not a license for teachers to do anything they want,” he said.  “Instruction must be ‘objective,’ inappropriate materials may be vetoed by the state board of education, and the law explicitly prohibits teaching religion in the name of science, stating that its provisions ‘shall not be construed to promote any religious doctrine.’”  It is hypocritical for pro-Darwin lobbyists to fight this bill on religious grounds, he said, when many of them have a clear atheist agenda.  He pointed out that Barbara Forrest is a militant atheist and long-time board member of the New Orleans Secular Humanist Organization.    West countered that the real threat to science is to indoctrinate students and fail to teach them how to evaluate evidence.  The law was so carefully framed, he added, that even the head of the Louisiana ACLU has had to concede that it is constitutional as written.  He accused the “usual suspects” of mounting a “disinformation campaign” against the bill which turned out to be a massive failure in Louisiana.  Both political parties, he pointed out, were nearly unanimous in support of the bill, and some science professors came to the hearings to testify in favor of the bill.    West argued that students deserve to be taught more than the consensus views on controversial issues, because historically the consensus has often been wrong or subject to blind fanaticism (he cited the eugenics movement, supported by all the leading scientific societies of the early 1900s, as a particularly bad example).  Furthermore, scientific positions often have serious implications for society and government policy.  Students, therefore, need to be able to evaluate critically the evidence on which the claims are based.  “In truth, the effort to promote thoughtful discussion of competing scientific views is pro-science,” he concluded.    Michael Stebbins (co-founder of Scientists and Engineers for America) did not quite elevate the cordiality of the dialogue when he wrote in The Scientist about “Jindal’s Creationist Folly” and referred to intelligent design as “urine in the education pool.”  Meanwhile, Evolution News took time out for a reality check concerning the New Scientist article.Hallelujah!  The dogmatists are on the run.  Were you impressed by the scare tactics and loaded words used to support the idea that high school students are so dumb and pliable, they must be indoctrinated into lily-white evolutionary truths lest their pure minds get corrupted by evil religious ideas?  Were you attracted by the tender vitriol of their hate speech?    This is how you make freedom look dangerous.  You characterize the ones calling for freedom as evil.  Those sneaky, creepy (05/22/2008), creationists are just angry they lost at Dover.  So in retaliation, they look for new ways to set brush fires and wreak havoc on civilization (cf. 11/30/2005).  Thus black is white and white is black.  (Be sure to throw in a few big lies wherever needed, like defining ID incorrectly, mischaracterizing the Supreme Court ruling [it does not prevent teaching creation science but only laws that require teaching creation equally alongside evolution], and claiming there is no controversy among evolutionists; see 03/07/2008.  Also, keep holding up the Dover decision – an ACLU-plagiarized ruling by one unelected judge in one Pennsylvania school district – as the standard of jurisprudence for the entire world.)    Evolution, of course, is so “scientific” that it is the only contender for a science class (06/03/2008).  And of course, evolutionists have no bias or agenda (06/21/2008, 04/13/2008).  Why, those evolutionists, they are so smart, and so logical (04/14/2008, 03/12/2008) they know for a fact that people have bacteria ancestors (03/20/2008, 02/22/2008).  They only tell the honest truth (03/06/2008).  Their math is so good they get the whole universe out of nothing (01/15/2008).  Yes, we must protect students from challenges to those natural truths.  Nothing supernatural about their miracles.  And they just lo-o-o-o-o-ve the people of Louisiana (04/09/2008).  They would never do legal maneuvering and play politics to sneak around the will of the people (02/20/2008).    The dogmatists can’t win through the democratic process and town hall or through open debate on the evidence, so they use the courtroom and special-interest PACs.  To enforce their will on the people, they get unelected judges to tell us what science is, and get the ACLU and Americans United for “Separation of Church and State” (a misleading slogan, more properly United Against Academic Freedom) to slap parents, teachers and students with budget-busting lawsuits (intimidation, e.g., 01/06/2007).  Who has been setting those brush fires?  No wonder the people at the Louisiana hearing were wearing stickers, clapping, cheering and standing in the aisles.  No longer will they have to stay after class with Ben Stein, covering the chalkboard with “I will not question Darwinism.”    Let’s keep the pressure on Barb till she emigrates to a country she would really enjoy – Cuba.  There, she can stand and clap for little Elian Gonzalez – you remember the little boy denied freedom in America and captured at gunpoint and shipped to Castro’s evolutionary heaven?  Now, eight years older (high school age) and sufficiently indoctrinated with the consensus view, Elian is a proud young member of the Communist Youth Brigade (see New York Times).  He promised he will never let down the murderous Castro dictators.  Enough to make Forrest clap, cheer and stand in the aisle!  Sufficiently programmed, Gonzalez will have all the academic freedom he wants to be a good, loyal communist on an island where alternative views are systematically excluded.  Maybe he can debate (with his professional academic freedom) controversial topics like whether an annual pro-communist rally should be held on Fidel’s birthday or on Raul’s.  See?  We’re only trying to alleviate the anxiety that is wearing Barbara Forrest down.  Why not take your services to a place where they would be appreciated?    After reading the anti-ID smear piece on New Scientist, take a refreshing intellectual shower.  Read John West’s piece on National Review celebrating the fact that neo-Darwinism is no longer a protected orthodoxy in Bayou country.  He explains what academic freedom is really all about.  If you agree, get to work against the Darwin-only-Darwin-only DODOs in your state.(Visited 12 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

The press in South Africa

first_imgBrand South African reporterSouth Africa has a robust and free press. The country’s turbulent passage from apartheid to democracy made South Africans remarkably news hungry, fed by a robust, free and flourishing press.In 2013, there are 22 daily and 25 weekly major urban newspapers in South Africa, most published in English. There are around 400 regional and community newspapers, most delivered free of charge, as well as a range of general and specialised news websites on a par with the best in the world.About 10.5-million South Africans read the urban dailies, with around 17,5-million people – or 50% of South Africans over the age of 15 – reading newspapers, according to the South African Advertising Research Foundation’s All Media Products Survey (Amps) 2012.South African Audience Research Foundation: www.saarf.co.zaMore on this page:A free pressTrends in South African newspapers Ownership of South African newspapers A free pressSouth Africa has always had a courageous and opinionated press. For more than 40 years the apartheid state tried to gag the country’s newspapers, using legislation, harassment and imprisonment, culminating in the late-1980s States of Emergency. Through all of this, South Africa’s newspapers defiantly reported the news.With democracy in 1994, South Africa’s newspapers were freed from all restrictions. The country’s Constitution, adopted in 1996, explicitly protects the freedom of the press in its Bill of Rights. Section 16 states:Everyone has the right to freedom of expression, which includes:freedom of the press and other media;freedom to receive or impart information or ideas;freedom of artistic creativity; andacademic freedom and freedom of scientific researchThe right in subsection (1) does not extend to:propaganda for war;incitement of imminent violence; oradvocacy of hatred that is based on race, ethnicity, gender or religion, and that constitutes incitement to cause harm.Reporters Without Borders ranked South Africa 52nd out of 179 countries in its 2013 Press Freedom Index.South Africa’s print media subscribe to the Press Code. This has been adopted by the Press Council, which oversees the print media’s system of voluntary independent co- regulation. Members of the public can complain to the Council’s ombudsman.Read more:Press freedom in South AfricaThe Constitution of South AfricaConsumer help: advertising and the mediaWebsites:Reporters Without Borders: www.rsf.orgSouth African Press Council: www.presscouncil.org.zaSouth African Press Code: Full textTrends in South African newspapersThe development of the South African press since the end of apartheid has been marked by two disparate trends: the stagnation and decline of the traditional mainstream newspapers; and the rise of tabloids with a black, working-class readership.The downturn experienced by South Africa’s mainstream press mirrors the trend elsewhere in the world, where the internet has seriously disrupted the industry and free online news has eroded newspaper circulation.But South Africa’s industry also experienced a growth spurt when, in 2002, the country’s first tabloid was launched. Responding to a market created by steadily improving living conditions for many poorer South Africans, Media24 launched the Daily Sun.Aimed at the “blue collar worker”, it filled an enormous gap in the market and it wasn’t long before it broke through the 1-million reader mark. A decade on, it has more than 5.5-million readers, according to AMPS 2012.Daily Sun’s success led to the “tabloidisation” of the industry, with other tabloids being launched, including the Afrikaans-language Son and the Daily Voice, which both target working class readers in the Western Cape.The newspaper landscape was further redefined by the success of vernacular- language newspapers, such as Isolezwe and Ilanga, which are both isiZulu newspapers.However, even these cleverly targeted newspapers have not been immune to pressures facing the industry, and 2012/13 circulation and readership figures remain under pressure. South African media companies are grappling with the substantial challenges of having to reinvent themselves with varying success.Media analysis and commentary at www.grubstreet.co.za and Wits University’s www.journalism.co.zaOwnership of South African newspapersThere are plenty of small, independent media houses, which publish magazines as well as in-house and business-to-business journals. The newspaper industry is dominated by four main players: Media24, Independent Newspapers, the Times Media Group, and CaxtonCTP. Media 24: Africa’s leading publishing company, its operations include newspapers, magazines, digital businesses, printing and distribution companies. The company has a reputation for being adaptive and is especially agile in its approach to digital products. Media24’s majority shareholder is Naspers, one of South Africa’s most successful companies.Website: www.media24.com Independent Newspapers: Home to some of the country’s oldest titles, the group has 18 newspapers in its stable. Irish-owned Independent News & Media sold its South African business to a consortium led by Sekunjalo Investments in 2013. In terms of the deal, the Government Employees Pension Fund will aquire a 25% stake in the company.Website: www.theinc.co.za Times Media Group: With a name change from Avusa to the Times Media Group signalling cost-driven restructuring, the group has promised a focus on digital platforms. Owners of BDFM, which publishes Business Day and weekly business magazine the Financial Mail, as well as the Sunday Times, South Africa’s biggest newspaper. It has a magazine division, and stakes in the Home Channel and Summit TV.Website: www.timesmedia.co.za CaxtonCTP: While its primary focus is commercial printing, Caxton is the owner of the Citizen as well as 13 magazines and a large stable of community newspapers,many of which cover the smaller cities and towns in which the other big media houses have no presence. The company is also involved in packaging, stationery manufacture and book printing.Website: www.caxton.co.za TNA Media: Established in June 2010, TNA owns The New Age, South Africa’s newest daily. Unlike most other newspapers in South Africa, it is privately owned – by the Gupta family, with Bennett Coleman & Co (publishers of the Times of India) an investor and strategic partner.Website: www.tnamedia.co.za Mail & Guardian Media: Publishers of the weekly Mail & Guardian. The company is 87.5% owned by Zimbabwean entrepreneur Trevor Ncube’s Newtrust Company Botswana Ltd. Guardian Newspapers holds 10% of the company, with minority shareholders making up the rest.Website: www.mg.co.zaWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

Utility Seeks Fee for Rooftop Solar in Utah

first_imgRocky Mountain Power is seeking permission from regulators to tack on an extra $4.25 a month to the power bills of Utah customers with photovoltaic (PV) systems.According to a summary posted at Utilitydive.com, the utility has about 2,000 customers in the state with rooftop solar arrays who typically use 100 kilowatt-hours less electricity than non-solar residential customers.Rocky Mountain Power says the flat fee, which is part of a current rate case before the Utah Public Service Commission, would help pay the fixed cost of maintaining the electricity grid, which net-metered solar customers still need.Making a point that’s become familiar in similar rate cases around the country, Rocky Mountain spokesman David Eskelsen told ThinkProgress.org that as the number of solar customers grows, non-solar customers are picking up a greater financial share of grid maintenance.“It’s important to emphasize that this is all about rate design,” he said. “It doesn’t result in more revenue for the company, it doesn’t result in more profit. It’s about designing a rate structure for the future when more customers use their power in a very different way.”Under net-metering rules posted at Rocky Mountain Power’s website, solar customers are paid the full retail rate for excess power they generate.Eskelsen told The Salt Lake Tribune, “The main benefit of net metering is to lower the bill of the user. It doesn’t contribute to system peaks. It doesn’t forestall generation from power plants or supply energy to neighbors in any meaningful way. That’s the reason for the proposed charge.” Critics claim that the benefits of PV are overlookedOpponents of the proposed surcharge say Rocky Mountain is overlooking the benefits that rooftop PV systems and other forms of distributed generation provide, such as reducing the use of fossil fuels and easing the strain on utilities at times of high demand for electricity.Groups including Utah Citizens Advocating Renewable Energy, Utah Clean Energy, Healthy Environment Alliance of Utah and the Sierra Club, are fighting the proposal. They argue Rocky Mountain is unfairly singling out solar customers, and that the fee will dampen the state’s growing solar market.“Instead of working proactively to modify their current business model to accommodate a more efficient, more resilient, and more state-of-the-art energy system, RMP is not only trying to keep us stagnant, but to take us steps backwards,” Utah Clean Energy says at its website.Adds the Healthy Environment Alliance: “Rocky Mountain Power has offered no proof that rooftop solar owners cost the system money overall. The company willfully ignores for example, the many benefits that solar brings to the system.” Same debate rages elsewhereSurcharges for solar customers have been proposed or implemented elsewhere. In Maine, the state’s largest utility wants to add a “standby” rate of about $13 a month to the bills of residential customers with grid-tied renewables. It would affect about 1,000 institutional, residential and commercial customers.In January, the Arizona Public Service Company began imposing a surcharge of 70 cents per kilowatt (an average of $5 a month) on customers who generated some of their own power. The fee didn’t affect customers who already had installed renewables.The backdrop to these and other regulatory tussles is the struggle by electric utilities to protect their bottom lines as more customers add solar or wind. Key issues are net-metering rules and how utilities calculate the value of rooftop solar and small-scale wind. In Colorado and California, for instance, utility regulators are considering ways of replacing the current net-metering reimbursement rates with something else. In Massachusetts, utilities have agreed on a plan to retain net-metering incentives but would begin requiring owners of renewable energy systems to chip in for distribution expenses. The plan must still be approved by the state legislature.The stakes are especially high in Hawaii, which has the costliest electricity in the country. Rooftop solar is growing quickly, and regulators have been sharply critical of efforts by the Hawaii Electric Company to embrace renewables. The state has has a renewable energy portfolio goal of 40% by 2030.Lower costs and a variety of incentives are helping to grow the solar market. But net-metered customers still make up a tiny fraction of total utility customers, reports the Solar Energy Industries Association. In California, the state with the most installations in the country, less than 1% of all customers have net-metered connections. The only state where solar customers make up more than 1% of the customer base is Hawaii, the SEIA says, with just over 2% of the total.last_img read more

Generals stun Bombers to even slate

first_imgPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netEmilio Aguinaldo College banked on unlikely heroes in Jerome Garcia and Jeric Diego late to overcome Jose Rizal University, 88-84, Tuesday in the NCAA Season 93 men’s basketball tournament at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.The forwards combined for 18 of the Generals’ 31 fourth quarter points to complete the come-from-behind win and take solo fourth place with a 6-6 record.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Jed Mendoza led JRU (7-5) with 22 points, nine rebounds, and four assists, while Tey Teodoro got 18 markers, but committed three of his six turnovers in the final two minutes of the game.The scores:EAC 88 – Onwubere 28, Garcia 16, Diego 11, Tampoc 11, Munsayac 9, I. Mendoza 7, Bugarin 2, Guzman 2, Pascua 2, Corilla 0, J. Mendoza 0, Neri 0.JRU 84 – Mendoza 22, Teodoro 18, Grospe 15, Bordon 12, Poutouochi 6, Abdul Razak 4, Dela Virgen 3, Lasquety 2, Sawat 2, David 0Quarters: 24-22, 36-39, 57-61, 88-84.ADVERTISEMENT Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:37Even in death, Uighurs feel long reach of Chinese state01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  LATEST STORIES Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City MOST READ Mexico star Marquez back at Atlas after US drug sanctions LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Read Next E.T. returns to earth, reunites with grown-up Elliott in new ad  View comments ”I’m very thankful. I can’t say anything about my players but I’m thankful to the Lord and to my players because they’re doing their very best,” said EAC coach Ariel Sison.Garcia fired 16 points and had four rebounds, and three assists, while Diego got 11 markers, six boards, and two dimes.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutSidney Onwubere topscored for EAC with 28 points on top of eight rebounds, including a huge trey from the top-of-the-arc with 57.4 seconds left to take the air out of the Heavy Bombers.The Generals fought back from 14 points down and a seven-point deficit in the final five minutes as they staged a killer 17-5 tear to grab an 86-81 lead courtesy of a gutsy Francis Munsayac drive in the final 32 seconds.last_img read more