Uganda creates unit to spy on social networks

first_img Ugandan president threatens to “bankrupt” leading daily UgandaAfrica Online freedomsProtecting sources Judicial harassmentFreedom of expressionCitizen-journalistsInternet June 30, 2017 Uganda creates unit to spy on social networks Follow the news on Uganda News to go further UgandaAfrica Online freedomsProtecting sources Judicial harassmentFreedom of expressionCitizen-journalistsInternet RSF_en Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is concerned about the Ugandan government’s creation of a team of experts to closely monitor social networks, fearing that it will be used to restrict freedom of expression and silence critics. In a country where social networks are nowadays widely used to circulate news and views, do the authorities want to monitor better in order to punish better? The Uganda Media Centre, the media regulatory authority appointed by the president, announced on 27 June that a team of state security officers and IT experts has been set up to scan profiles on Facebook and other social networks in order to find posts critical of the government and the nation. Defending the special unit’s creation to an audience of citizen-journalists at a news conference, Uganda Media Centre executive director Ofwono Opondo said: “We have realised that social media users are bitter and depressed people who are always complaining on their pages about the government and everything in the country, but they rarely get responses from the targeted ministries.” “Increasing surveillance in order to better track down any criticism of the government is in itself a violation of freedom of information, said Elodie Vialle, the head of RSF’s Journalism and Technology Bureau. This measure is all the more worrying in a country that is in the habit of silencing critical journalists.” Social networks – new hunting ground for journalists RSF is all the more concerned about the possible repercussions of this unit’s creation on the work of the media because the organisation has noted an increase in recent years in harassment of journalists critical of President Yoweri Museveni’s government. TV reporter Gertrude Uwitware was kidnapped and badly beaten by unidentified assailants in April for posting a comment online in which she defended a well-known university academic accused of insulting the government. Uwitware was made to delete all of her Twitter and Facebook posts for being too critical. The university academic, Stella Nyanzi, was herself arrested on a charge of online harassment and insults under the 2011 Computer Misuse Act, the law that was used in June 2015 to convict Robert Shaka, an activist accused of leaking classified government information on Facebook under the pseudonym of Tom Voltaire Okwalinga (TVO). RSF fears that this law, which criminalizes the use of electronic communication to “disturb the peace, quiet or right of privacy of any person,” could be used to prosecute journalists identified by this new surveillance unit. Ben Byarabaha, the editor of the Red Pepper newspaper, was accused of violating this law when he was interrogated on 20 June by the Ugandan police Media Crimes Unit in connection with a story about on the health of Uganda’s Inspector General of Police. Blocking social networks to silence criticism The leading social networks were blocked in Uganda on the eve of President Museveni’s swearing-in for a fifth term in May 2016. Ugandans suddenly had difficulty in accessing Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp, the three social networks routinely used by the country’s journalists to circulate news and information as it happens. WhatsApp, in particular, is also used by journalists to discuss how they cover news developments and organize their work. The authorities said the blocking, which continued throughout the afternoon, had been carried out for reasons linked to national security. When the authorities previously disconnected social networks during the presidential election on 18 February 2016, President Museveni said it was to prevent people “telling lies.” He added: “If you want a right, then use it properly.” In May 2016, the authorities also threatened to close down broadcast media outlets that provided live coverage of opposition activities. Uganda is ranked 112th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2017 World Press Freedom Index, after falling ten places in the space of a year. Ofwono Opondo, at the time Ugandan government spokesman speaks to journalists on November 11, 2013 ©AFP/ ISAAC KASAMANI Receive email alertscenter_img News Help by sharing this information Uganda urged to free two journalist held since last week on libel charges Uganda blocks social media and messaging apps, isolating election News June 4, 2021 Find out more January 13, 2021 Find out more March 12, 2021 Find out more Organisation Newslast_img read more

Poet reads reflections from “American Urn”

first_imgThe Saint Mary’s English Department hosted poet Mark Irwin for a reading and book signing Tuesday. Irwin read from his newest book of poems, “American Urn: New & Selected Poems (1987-2013),” a collection of what he said he considers to be his best work.Assistant Professor of English Aaron Moe introduced Irwin, whose poems and essays have been published in numerous literary magazines, including The American Poetry Review, The Atlantic and The Kenyon Review. Irwin holds a Ph.D. in English and Comparative Literature from Case Western Reserve. He has also taught at various colleges and universities across the country.Irwin’s collections include “Against the Meanwhile” (1989), “Quick, Now, Always” (1996), “White City” (2000), “Bright Hunger” (2004), “Tall If” (2008), “Large White House Speaking” (2013) and “American Urn” (2014). “Just as there are endangered species, there are endangered forms of thought,” Moe said. “Reading through ‘American Urn,’ one quickly recognizes how Irwin has revived and created his own forms of thought and gives us, as readers, the opportunities to dwell and linger within those forms, and as those several distinct forms recur throughout the collection, one can settle into those forms and wander in them and discover a new largeness.”Irwin read a number of his poems from “American Urn” and from his next, unpublished book. Among the poems he read were “Go,” “Poem Beginning with a Line by Milosz,” “My Father’s Hats” and “Lucky Boy.” “I never really plan a reading,” Irwin said. “I kind of listen to what people are saying and compose it around the moment. I was talking to [Moe] and he said, ‘I think Big Bang is still going on at this moment. That we are moving out and that’s actually what the present is. That we’re one with the Big Bang which is continuous.’ So a lot of my poems are about the present tense.”After reading his poem “Ars Poetica,” meaning the art of poetry, Irwin said, “I’m just realizing that there are all these advertisements in Los Angeles all on the freeways. Everything is reduced to a stock phrase. We have to fight against the pollution of language. That woke me.” Irwin said he draws inspiration for his poems from everything around him. When he taught Humanities for Veterinary students at Colorado State, he witnessed a professor perform a spay on a labrador retriever, which he used in one of his poems, titled “The Death.” His poem “My Father’s Hats” was written in part when Irwin’s father was alive and finished in a matter of minutes after his father’s death.Irwin said he was able to draw inspiration from the most mundane aspects of life. He said he named one of his books “Bright Hunger” after waking up to the bright sun and realizing he was hungry. His poem “Tomato Soup” depicts life in the suburbs, which he found in a can of tomato soup.“The gift of poetry is the gift of wakefulness,” Moe said after the reading. “Thank you [Irwin] for your gift to help us be more awake.” Tags: American Urn, Mark Irwinlast_img read more

Brazilian Operation Combines Defense Training with Medical Assistance to Citizens

first_imgMore than 90,000 people live in the municipality of Cáceres, which is surrounded by the Paraguay River. In Operation Celeiro, the part of the population furthest from the city center received medical and dental treatments from the Navy, which used the Tenente Maximiano Hospital Assistance Ship. During the 19 days of Operation Celeiro, authorities inspected 340 vessels, 25 of which were issued citations, mainly because the pilots did not have all the necessary documents. Three vessels were seized: one for not having lifebuoys and an unlicensed pilot, and the others because the vessels weren’t licensed to operate as transportation vehicles. Another operation along the same lines is being planned for the second half of the year in Mato Grosso do Sul, according to RADM Petronio. “The intent is for it to be even larger, involving more service members and covering a greater area.” After they departed from the municipality of Ladário, Mato Grosso do Sul, on March 29th, the ships and service members headed to Cuiabá, Cáceres, and Santo Antônio do Leverger, in Mato Grosso state. During the trip, they performed patrol activities and ship inspections, with the goal of preventing crimes and saving the lives of those who work or travel on the rivers, or use them for recreation. For the security portion of the event, service members were divided into two groups on the shores of the Paraguay River between Brazil and Bolivia. While the “Red Team” represented an enemy occupying a portion of the river’s shore, the “Blue Team” portrayed Brazilian forces that were required to devise and execute a plan to retake control of that territory. But there was also a civic assistance element that provided free medical services to the local populations. The confrontations were performed with real weapons but using blanks. “Training is accompanied by a monitoring group, which acts as a sort of judge, analyzing each side’s impacts and engagements,” RADM Petronio said. “Based on this evaluation, we can learn lessons from the positive and negative points on the actions conducted by our Troops. This is done during and primarily after the operation.” By Dialogo May 10, 2016 During the exercise, the group playing the enemy role was formed by Marines, using two ships and one aircraft. Those representing the national forces consisted of Marine and Army personnel, using seven ships and one aircraft. center_img “We are always holding this sort of training, but this was the first time that we have combined Troop training with navigation security actions and medical assistance all in one operation held at the same time,” said Rear Admiral Petronio Augusto Siqueira de Aguiar, Commander of Brazil’s Sixth Naval District. “It was excellent in terms of its productivity. We were able to do more with fewer resources.” Operation Celeiro was divided into four sub-operations: “Celeiro Sul” trained Troops on how to retake territory; “Celeiro Norte” focused on patrols and inspections of ships on rivers in the Pantanal; “ASSHOP Cáceres” provided medical treatments to riverine populations; and “Navegação Segura” (Safe Navigation), which is ongoing, carries out readings to update nautical maps for a 100-kilometer stretch of the Paraguay River. Personnel also scheduled to fix or replace any damaged signs along the stretch of waterway by May 9th. Sub-operations Nearly 600 Brazilian Navy and Army personnel with the Navy’s Sixth Naval District Command executed a multi-faceted training exercise called Operation Celeiro from March 29th to April 16th. Headed by the Sixth Naval District Command, the combined initiative took place throughout Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul states, located on the country’s western border with Bolivia. Medical treatments “We provided 625 medical and dental treatments,” RADM Petronio said, adding that primary illnesses impacting the population were hypertension, skin infections, and viruses, as well as dental cavities. Authorities also distributed 11,000 doses of medication.last_img read more

Sarri fears Chelsea ban will ruin title hopes

first_imgWith Real Madrid expected to make a move for Blues star Eden Hazard, who is out of contract next year, Sarri could be forced to sell a player he would prefer to keep rather than risk losing him for nothing when his deal expires.That would further weaken his options, but the Italian remains intent on staying with Chelsea next term.The former Napoli manager insists he would be able to survive without new signings at Chelsea next season, despite the obvious impact on his team’s development.Asked if he would be ready to promote youth talents to the senior squad, Sarri said: “I like to play with young players, so for me it’s not a big problem.“At the moment, we spoke one month ago about the pre-season, the program of the next season.“But we didn’t speak about the market, also because at the moment we don’t know if we’ll be able to go into the market.”Meanwhile, Eintracht manager Adi Huetter revealed Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has sent the Bundesliga club a good luck message.Klopp urged underdogs Eintracht to follow Liverpool’s example after the Reds’ stunning Champions League semi-final comeback against Barcelona on Tuesday.Liverpool overturned a 3-0 first leg deficit with a 4-0 win and, while Eintracht don’t have to author such a dramatic escape, Huetter was happy to get the greeting from Klopp.“He wished everything for Eintracht Frankfurt, and I did congratulate him for reaching the final,” Huetter said.“If you really believe in something it shows you can put that across to your team.“His team played the way they had all year, and I hope that’s what my team can do.“Everything is possible. The favourite is Chelsea but once you get this far you want to get into the final.Share on: WhatsApp FILE PHOTO: Maurizio SarriLondon, United Kingdom | AFP | Maurizio Sarri said Chelsea have no chance of competing with Manchester City and Liverpool next season unless their two-window transfer ban is overturned.Chelsea were hit with the ban for breaches of the international transfer rules on minors and FIFA threw out their appeal against the decision on Wednesday.The Blues will take their fight against the transfer embargo to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), but it was the worst possible news for Sarri ahead of Thursday’s Europa League semi-final second leg against Eintracht Frankfurt.Having booked a place in next season’s Champions League after securing a top four finish in the Premier League, Chelsea are bidding to win the first trophy of Sarri’s reign in the Europa League.They are favoured to reach the final after drawing 1-1 in Frankfurt in the first leg last week.But Sarri is concerned that a potentially uplifting end to hs troubled first season would be erased if Chelsea are unable to sign the players he believes are needed to fight City and Liverpool in the Premier League.“It’s very difficult to cover the gap at the moment; we need to work, probably we need to do something from the market,” said Sarri, whose third-placed team are 24 points behind leaders City.“So it’s not easy, because the level of the top two is very, very high. As we can see in Europe, so it’s not easy.“Of course, we have to work and we have to try. In my opinion we can reduce the gap.“I think that we have to buy only one, two players, otherwise it’s very difficult to improve immediately.“I think we are a very good team, so we need only one, two players, no more.”– Young talent –FIFA confirmed it has “partially upheld” Chelsea’s appeal, but only in allowing the club to sign European players aged under 16.The ban on signing over-16s remains in place, leaving Chelsea unable to make changes to Sarri’s squad unless they win the CAS appeal.last_img read more

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