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Secret police tap phones of two journalists

first_imgNews Follow the news on Romania News RomaniaEurope – Central Asia May 26, 2021 Find out more December 2, 2020 Find out more Legal confidentiality rules blocked any further details. An intelligence service spokesman said only that there was “some evidence” about the journalists’ “involvement in gathering information for foreign intelligence agencies and being paid for it.” It was the first time since the intelligence service was founded in 1990 (replacing the Ceaucescu regime’s dreaded Securitate) that it had publicly admitted tapping journalists’ phones, though it has often been accused of spying on the media. Under the communist regime, about 700,000 people are thought to have had their phones tapped. News RomaniaEurope – Central Asia Receive email alerts Organisation Help by sharing this information center_img to go further January 28, 2005 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Secret police tap phones of two journalists The Romanian intelligence service admitted on 26 January it had tapped the phones of two Romanian journalists working for foreign media because it suspected they were spying. The authorities refused to name them or their employers, pleading legal secrecy rules. RSF and 60 other organisations call for an EU anti-SLAPP directive RSF_en News Romania: In an open letter, RSF and ActiveWatch denounce judicial pressures on investigative journalists following a complaint from a Bucharest district mayor Ten RSF recommendations for the European Union Reporters Without Borders today criticised the tapping of the phones of two Romanian journalists working for foreign media as a violation of the right not to reveal journalistic sources and called on the government to comply with European standards in the matter.Intelligence service chief Radu Timofte admitted on 26 January to the Mediafax news agency that he had tapped the phones of two journalists, whose names and employers he refused to disclose, because they were suspected of spying.”The right not to reveal sources of information is a cornerstone of press freedom too important for any exceptions to be made,” the worldwide press freedom organisation said. “Romania must observe European standards, notably article 10 of the European Human Rights Convention, be open about phone-tapping and end outdated habits of secrecy,” it said in a letter to justice minister Monica Macovei.The revelation came two days after the Bucharest daily Ziua published a copy of an October 2003 letter from the interior ministry’s intelligence chief, Virgil Ardelean, to the national anti-corruption bureau proposing that the phones of Mediafax and the AM Press news agency be tapped. He said he needed to verify reports about an inspector he said was leaking details of investigations to “unauthorised people” at the two news agencies.The interior ministry admitted on 24 January the letter was genuine but said that in the end neither the phones of the two agencies or any other had been tapped. The disclosure caused outrage and press freedom groups such as the Media Monitoring Agency, as well as members of parliament, called for an enquiry. Interior minister Vasile Blaga said on 25 January he would sack Ardelean if he had broken the law. Intelligence chief Timofte then admitted he had tapped the phones of the two unnamed journalists, saying only that they worked for “little-known magazines” and “foreign media.” November 23, 2020 Find out morelast_img read more

Scrap triple lock for UK state pension, says review

first_imgCridland’s report recommended an additional increase to 68 to be phased in between 2037 and 2039.The triple lock – which guarantees that payments increase by the higher of inflation, average earnings increases, or 2.5% – should be abandoned in order to reduce the impact on future government finances, Cridland argued.According to the review’s estimates, the UK would spend the equivalent of 6.7% of its GDP on the state pension in the 2066-67 financial year if it adopts the review’s age increase. Abandoning the triple lock and just linking pension increases to earnings data would reduce this figure to an estimated 5.9% of GDP.Cridland acknowledged that future increases in the state retirement age would be “harder to bear for the least advantaged, and for others like carers, who are less able to work for longer”.  He proposed re-introducing a form of means testing a year before retirement, once the pension age hits 68, “for a defined group of people who are unable to work through ill health or because of caring responsibilities”.“Working together, we have a duty to those who come after us to try and make the future both fair and sustainable,” Cridland said.A separate report from the Government Actuary’s Department (GAD), also published today, outlined two scenarios for the state pension age, one of which could see it raised to 70 by 2054. This was in part due to an expected doubling in the ratio of pensioners to people of working age by 2064.The Cridland review’s other recommendations included the introduction of a “Mid-Life MOT” (a reference to the UK’s annual testing regime for road vehicles). The proposal was aimed at helping workers to review their retirement prospects and provisions.The review also recommended that all employers introduce a “basic care policy” for retirees, and that the government introduce more support and flexibility for carers.Graham Vidler, director of external affairs at the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association, welcomed the review’s main recommendations but expressed concern that it would increase the state retirement age too quickly.“This proposal will hit people in their late 30s and early 40s – the very group who are too young to have benefitted from final salary pensions and too old to benefit in full from automatic enrolment,” Vidler said. “The government needs to fully consider the consequences of this early rise for those who cannot stay in work until their late 60s.”Gregg McClymont, head of retirement savings at Aberdeen Asset Management and a former shadow pensions minister, said increasing the state pension age “raises huge issues of fairness”.“For those who spend their working lives doing hard manual work, 50 years on the job will often be impossible,” he said. “It would be much better to set the entitlement to a state pension on the number of years a person has paid their National Insurance contributions, rather than on age. This would mean that those going to work straight from school will reach their retirement age earlier.”The government is set to consider the findings and recommendations of the Cridland review and the GAD’s report.Announcing both reports, the Department for Work and Pensions said: “No new changes to state pension age will come into effect before 2028 and the government is committed to maintaining a state pension that is fair for all generations and helps to provide for the cost of living in retirement. Part of this commitment to fairness includes providing 10 years’ notice of any changes to the state pension age.” The UK should increase its state pension age to 68 and scrap the so-called ‘triple lock’ that decides increases in payments, according to a report published today.The widely anticipated review of the taxpayer-funded state pension recommended that the age at which people can claim benefits should be increased further than the government has planned so far, wrote John Cridland, author of the review and former director general of the Confederation of British Industry, a business organisation.He said: “A sustainable state pension means a later retirement age together with a longer working life, so that on average going forward, people living longer spend the same proportion of time in work and retirement.”Under current plans, the state pension age will increase to 66 for both men and women by October 2020. It will rise again to 67 between 2026 and 2028.last_img read more

Freedom of London for Mokoena

first_img26 October 2010Aaron Mokoena’s services to football and charity will be recognised when the Bafana Bafana and Portsmouth captain receives the Freedom of the City of London on 10 November.Mokoena was nominated for the honour by Alderman Andrew Parmley, who met the South Africa skipper during President Jacob Zuma’s state visit to the UK earlier this year.“I was impressed by what Aaron has achieved in his football career as captain of South Africa and Portsmouth FC and by his determination to ensure young people in South Africa have access to sport and education opportunities through his charitable foundation, which he established in 2009,” Parmley said in a statement.‘I am honoured’Mokoena said he was honoured by the award. “London is such a fantastic city, and to be presented this award as a South African playing football in the UK is a very proud moment for my country, my family and myself.”Portsmouth Football Club’s CEO David Lampitt described Mokoena as “a great role model for young people and all Portsmouth fans.“The club has been fully supportive of the work Aaron is undertaking in South Africa through his foundation,” Lampitt added. “The club congratulates him on this wonderful accolade.”Kaizer MotaungKaizer Chiefs’ owner Kaizer Motaung told The Sowetan: “I believe it is a good thing to follow the successes of the likes of Doctor Steve ‘Kalamazoo’ Mokone, a legend that represented the apartheid-oppressed talent of South African football abroad,” Motaung said.“We must also not forget the towering Lucas Radebe, who carved a name for himself in the City of Leeds when he played there. There have been a lot of South African exports to other countries, and one can only marvel at how they set up new arrivals to fly our country’s flag.“Aaron Mokoena’s achievement has therefore crowned a successful career in the tough English football fraternity, and is worthy of receiving our fullest respect,” Motaung said.“I just hope other youngsters will emulate such heroic feats that demonstrate the quality of our exports that have raised the standard of our football abroad.”History of the awardThe Freedom of the City of London is believed to have begun in 1237 and enabled recipients to carry out their trade. Today, people are nominated for the Freedom because it offers them a link to the historic City of London and one of its ancient traditions.The Freedom is also offered to individuals by the City of London Corporation to help celebrate significant achievements.CareerMokoena became the the first South African to play in 100 internationals when he ran out against Guatemala in May this year.He captained South Africa on home soil in the 2010 Fifa World Cup, the first World Cup to be held in Africa.During his club career, he has played for Ajax Amsterdam, Germinal Beeerschot, Racing Genk, Blackburn Rovers and Portsmouth.SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Hammer & Hand Shares Its Construction Guide

first_imgHammer & Hand, a well-known construction company in the Pacific Northwest, has posted its Best Practices Manual online.Used by Hammer & Hand carpenters in the field, the guide includes 180 step-by-step illustrations on dealing with a range of details, including crawl spaces, rainscreens, window installation, and wall penetrations.“We’re launching this section of our site in the spirit of collaboration,” co-owner Sam Hagerman wrote. “The details contained within have been developed through extensive in-the-dirt experience and informed by our building science training and research. They’re details that we have found combine durability, performance, and constructability in our Pacific Northwest climate.”The company, founded in 1995 by Hagerman and Daniel Thomas, has offices in both Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington, where it’s housed in the Bullitt Center. The company has tackled a variety of high-performance, high-end designs, including projects built to the Passivhaus standard, and also makes custom wood doors for Passivhaus buildings.Hammer & Hand has won a number of awards, including Custom Builder of the Year in 2014 from Earth Advantage.last_img read more

7 Directors Who Made the Jump from Music Videos to Feature Films

first_imgEveryone starts somewhere. Before they found big-time Hollywood success, these directors were making the most out of small budgets and developing their techniques on the sets of music videos.Image via Annapurna PicturesThere are plenty of paths into the larger world of filmmaking. Corporate video. Wedding video. Agency ad work. While these jobs aren’t exactly glamorous, they do offer an opportunity to get your hands dirty and get paid to shoot some actual footage.Music videos are another excellent first step for aspiring film and video creatives. You’ll learn how to work with crews and shooting schedules and likely make a few solid connections. Best of all, making a music video provides a little wiggle room. Even with a low budget and time and gear constraints, you can still make something inventive and engaging while demonstrating your hard-earned skills and ability to execute a vision.If you do put yourself out there and book a music video gig, know that you are in good historical company; some of the biggest feature-film directors working today got their start making music videos.1. Antoine FuquaAfter working as a production assistant in NYC and shopping his first short film to record labels, Antoine Fuqua found himself helming music videos for artists like Prince, Arrested Development, and CeCe Peniston. Fuqua was soon approached by none other than Jerry Bruckheimer about directing a music video for Coolio’s “Gangster’s Paradise” from the soundtrack of 1995’s Dangerous Minds. Sure enough, the video was a hit, eventually winning Best Rap Video at the 1996 MTV Video Music Awards.Fuqua went on to direct the gritty crime drama, Training Day, for which Denzel Washington took home the Academy Award for Best Actor.2. David FincherOne of David Fincher’s earliest impressions on the mainstream might just be the most David Fincher thing ever: a 1985 American Cancer Society commercial featuring a fetus smoking a cigarette.Before moving on to become one of the most respected directors in Hollywood, Fincher enjoyed massive success and acclaim in the music video industry, working with a who’s who of 80s/90s music superstars like Madonna, Aerosmith, Paula Abdul, Billy Idol, and The Rolling Stones.His impact and influence was substantial — in addition to winning two Grammys for Best Music Video and three MTV Video Music Award for Best Direction, the production company he co-founded (Propaganda Films) helped shape the careers of some of the most talented directors in the business, including Gore Verbinski, Michael Bay, and Zack Snyder.3. Francis LawrenceWielding possibly the most stacked music video resume of this list, Francis Lawrence has worked with some of the biggest acts on the planet, like Akon, Jay Z, Third Eye Blind, Justin Timberlake, Will Smith, Beyonce, Lady Gaga, and many, many more.After working as a second camera assistant on the 1990 film Pump Up the Volume, Lawrence would grind for many more years before breaking into the mainstream as the director of films like I Am Legend and the final three adaptations of The Hunger Games.4. Spike JonzeLike David Fincher, Spike Jonze made his name by pushing boundaries with a surreal, outside-the-box approach to storytelling. After honing his chops through skateboarding photography and video work, Jonze ventured into music video just in time for the alternative-music explosion of the early 1990s, working with some of the era’s most influential artists, like Sonic Youth, Beastie Boys, Weezer, Dinosaur Jr., and R.E.M.His first feature film, 1999’s Being John Malkovich, earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Director. He picked up several more industry nominations for 2013’s Her — and took home the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, the Golden Globe for Best Screenplay, and the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Original Screenplay.5. Michel GondryGondry’s first forays into film were music videos he created for his French pop band, Oui Oui. Those wildly inventive clips caught the eye of Icelandic avant-garde powerhouse Björk, resulting in the iconic Gondry-directed music video for “Human Behavior” (and seven other music video collaborations.)Gondry went on to work with musical acts like The Rolling Stones, Foo Fighters, Beck, and Daft Punk before directing his feature film debut, the Charlie Kaufman-scripted Human Nature. His second film, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, led to a Best Actress Academy Award nomination for Kate Winslet, with Gondry (and fellow co-writers Kaufman and Pierre Bismuth) winning the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.6 & 7: DANIELSDANIELS —Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert — is a recent phenomenon. In addition to their viral (and deceptively profound) short films and engaging brand work, the unconventional duo is responsible for some of the most original music videos in recent memory, working with acts like Foster the People, Battles, Tenacious D, and The Shins.With the recent big-screen release of their feature-length Swiss Army Man, the story of DANIELS serves as an excellent example of the power a modern filmmaker wields with resources like YouTube and Vimeo at their disposal.Got any music video work experiences you’d like to share? Do so in the comments below!last_img read more

Usain Bolt’s stint with Central Coast Mariners ends without professional contract

first_imgUsain Bolt has finished his football trial at Central Coast Mariners and will leave the club after failing to agree commercial terms, the A-League side said on Friday.The Olympic sprint champion’s mission to win a professional contract in Australia at the age of 32 dominated the A-League’s pre-season and proved a marketing boost to the sleepy Central Coast region north of Sydney.But his performances in training and trial matches over the last two months did little to remove doubts about the eight-time Olympic gold medallist’s chances of making the grade.Central Coast Mariners make contract offer, says Usain Bolt’s agentMariners owner Mike Charlesworth said the Mariners had been “thrilled” to have worked with the Jamaican.”Despite the fact that we could not come to an agreement that would continue Usain Bolt’s football journey with the Central Coast Mariners, we’ve been thrilled to have the Olympic champion sprinter and world record holder as part of our Club for these past eight weeks,” he said in a joint statement with Bolt.READ – Usain Bolt scores brace in crucial football matchThe Mariners said they had worked with Bolt and his agent Ricky Simms to engage with external partners in a bid to strike a commercial deal.”Despite several promising potential partners, both Bolt and the Central Coast Mariners have amicably concluded that they will not be able to settle on a suitable deal in a timely manner,” the statement said.READ – Usain Bolt surprised with drug test notice in AustraliaadvertisementBolt thanked the club and wished them well for the new season.”I would like to thank the Central Coast Mariners owners, management, staff, players and fans for making me feel so welcome during my time there. I wish the club success for the season ahead,” he said.READ – Usain Bolt rejects Maltese club to stay with Central Coast Mariners in AustraliaBolt drew thousands of fans to Mariners’ pre-season games that would normally struggle to draw a few hundred, and his two goals in a match against a local amateur side generated headlines worldwide.However, it was not enough for the Mike Mulvey-coached club to produce a contract before the season started last month.With the league’s next registration period not opening until Jan. 3, that left Bolt as little more than a high-profile cheerleader.Football Federation Australia CEO David Gallop also said he would not dig into the A-League’s marquee fund to secure a contract with Bolt.(With Reuters inputs)last_img read more

World Cup 2019: Khawaja survives scare after being hit by Russell bouncer

first_imgAustralia opener Usman Khawaja was cleared of serious injury after taking a nasty blow to the head and being forced to retire hurt from a World Cup warmup against West Indies in Southampton on Wednesday.Khawaja underwent scans on his jaw after being struck by an Andre Russell bouncer in the second over of Australia’s innings and escorted from the Rose Bowl’s Nursery Ground. Australia went on to win the match by seven wickets.”It was very scary,” Australia batsman Shaun Marsh, who scored 55 not out batting at number five, told reporters.”It copped him on the side of the cheekbone, I think. The main thing is he is okay and can bounce back pretty quickly.”Obviously (he was) a bit shaken, as you are when you get hit on the head, but Uzzy’s a tough cookie and he’ll be ready to go.”Marsh and returning former captain Steve Smith put on 109 for the third wicket as Australia chased down West Indies’ tally of 229 inside 39 overs.Smith hit seven fours and two sixes in his 76 and Marsh said it was good to see him and former vice captain David Warner, who scored 12, back in the groove after the end of their one-year bans for the Newlands ball-tampering scandal.”(Smith) has just come back and just done what he’s usually does and scored runs,” Marsh added.”It’s just fantastic to have them both back in the team. They are both really valuable players for us.”With Smith and Warner back, Marsh is not certain of a place in the side for the World Cup opener against Afghanistan in Bristol on June 1 but he thought his versatility might work in his favour.advertisement”I think I’m nice and flexible,” Marsh said. “I’ve batted from one to six over my career so I’ll just enjoy the last two warmup matches and we’ll see.”The defending champions’ next warmup is against World Cup hosts England, who top the world rankings, at the main Rose Bowl ground on Saturday.”I think it’s going to be a great challenge and we’ll see where we’re at,” Marsh concluded.Also Read | Made sure I trained well after IPL: Vijay Shankar before departing for World Cup 2019Also Read | Ajinkya Rahane becomes 3rd Indian batsman to hit hundred on County debutAlso Seelast_img read more

Overweight Dont ponder over it all the time

first_img“Realising you are an overweight individual, in itself, is likely to be quite stressful and results in making healthy choices in your lifestyle more difficult. It is a tricky finding for doctors,” said Dr Eric Robinson from the University’s institute of psychology, health and society.The team found that those who identified themselves as being “overweight” were more likely to report overeating in response to stress and this predicted subsequent weight gain. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The researchers looked at the lives of 14,000 adults in the US and Britain.They analysed data from time periods after the children had reached adulthood to find out their perception of their own weight —whether or not it was correct —and their subsequent weight gain over time. You would hope that making a person aware they are overweight would result in them being more likely to adopt a healthier lifestyle and lose some weight.“What is important is to tackle stigma in society. People with a heavier body weight have body image challenges. That is not surprising given the way we talk about weight as a society,” Robinson added in a paper published in the International Journal of Obesity.There are ways of encouraging people to make healthy changes to their lifestyle that don’t portray obesity as a terrible thing, the authors concluded. IANSlast_img read more