News Help by sharing this information OmanMiddle East – North Africa ImprisonedFreedom of expression © Al Balad Oman Organisation Oman: Court postpones verdict of “Azamn” journalists, in a trial held below international standards, according to trial observation report October 18, 2016 Find out more December 27, 2016 – Updated on December 29, 2016 Appeal court lifts ban on daily, but confirms jail for two journalists A Muscat appeal court yesterday lifted a ban on Oman’s main opposition newspaper, Azamn, but upheld prison sentences for its two most senior journalists, although it reduced the length of their terms. News News Follow the news on Oman Omani newspaper journalists freed pending outcome of appeal OmanMiddle East – North Africa ImprisonedFreedom of expression RSF_en to go further Joint letter to the Sultan of Oman on the right of press freedom and the targeting of journalists and human rights defenders Receive email alerts News The sentences of editor Ibrahim al-Maamari and deputy editor Youssef al-Haj were reduced to six months and a year, respectively. The two journalists were originally sentenced to three years in prison for “undermining the prestige of the state and misusing the Internet.”The appeal court quashed the conviction of a third Azamn journalist, Zaher al-Abri, who was given a one-year jail term at the original trial in September. And the appeal court rescinded the order issued at the original trial confirming the information ministry’s 10 August decision to close the daily. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) welcomes the possibility of Azamn resuming publication in the near future but deplores the fact that the jail terms of two of the journalists were reduced rather than overturned. Maamari and Haj committed no crime and should therefore not be in prison.The journalists’ lawyer, Yaqoub Al-Harithy, appealed the decision to the Supreme Court. Reporters Without Borders joins Al-Harithy in demanding the release of the two journalists as they await the start of the appeal trial, which could take up to one year. The Gulf Center for Human Rights confirms that Ibrahim al-Maamari and Youssef al-Haj were transferred to the central prison to serve their sentences, following the issuance of the appeal court’s verdict on 26 December.It remains to be seen whether Azamn will really be able to resume functioning. Khaled Ibrahim of the Gulf Center for Human Rights said the information ministry could still block its reopening. RSF is also concerned about its ability to operate properly with its editor and deputy editor still in prison.The newspaper was closed after publishing a story about alleged government corruption and pressure on judges to grant privileges to persons in positions of influence. Following their arrests in July and August, the three journalists were given their jail sentences on 26 September.The Sultanate of Oman is ranked 125th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2016 World Press Freedom Index. November 25, 2016 Find out more October 10, 2016 Find out more
The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Twitter’s own homepage is still the most popular tool for users to update their status on Twitter. Around 46% of all updates are made directly on the site. Social media analytics and monitoring service Sysomosanalyzed 500 million tweets it collected over the past 5 months and found that TweetDeck is the most popular third-party client. TweetDeck has a comfortable lead with a 8.48% share of the market, followed by Tweetie, Twitterific and Seesmic.Update: There was a mistake in Sysomos’ report. Twitter.com’s share actually grew slightly from 45.7% in June to 46.7%. We apologize for the confusion.Compared to Sysomos’ last study of Twitter clients in June, Twitter.com’s share fell from 55% to 46%. As Twitter’s growth is slowing down, these numbers make a lot of sense. New users tend to use Twitter’s web interface at first and then migrate to a third-party client. If Twitter.com’s market share among Twitter clients is dropping, then this can be seen as a strong indication that the number of new signups is going down as well. frederic lardinois How Many Clients Do You Use?Sysomos also analyzed how many third-party clients Twitter users normally use. Looking at active Twitter users only – those with at least 50 tweets in the last 5 months – the study found that 82% only used a single application. 14% used two applications, 2.35% used three and then the numbers drop off quickly. Only 0.01% of all active users used 6 or more clients. Chances are that a lot of active users use different mobile and desktop clients (Tweetie on the iPhone and Seesmic on the desktop, for example). This would explain why quite a large number of users use two clients. Related Posts Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification TweetDeck: The Client of Choice for Active Twitter UsersTweetDeck doesn’t just have the largest number of users, it is also the tool of choice for the most active Twitter users. Sysomos analyzed the number of tweets posted by active users based on their primary Twitter application. On average, TweetDeck users send out 1.24 tweets per day, followed by Seesmic users (1.18 tweets/day) and HootSuite (1.11 tweets/day). Users of all the other popular clients like Tweetie, Twhirl and Twitterific update their status less than once a day. Those who prefer Twitter’s own web interface only send out 0.67 tweets per day. Tags:#twitter#web A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro…
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say HE’S BACK! Fergie on Man Utd training pitch today with Solskjaerby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveFormer Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson will be on the training pitch with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer today.The Daily Mail says Ferguson is expected at United’s training ground on Saturday after Solskjaer invited his mentor to visit him at the club.Ferguson will be greeted by Solskjaer and his coaching staff at Carrington as United prepare for Sunday’s game at home to Bournemouth.Ferguson is believed to have had a say in the decision to appoint Solskjaer as caretaker boss on loan from Molde until the end of the season alongside his old No 2 Mike Phelan.The former United striker acknowledged Ferguson’s influence over his career as a player and manager when he started the job last week.
Man City attacker Sterling: Victory a massive step for usby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester City attacker Raheem Sterling says victory at Southampton has them back on track.After two successive losses over the festive period, it was vital City bounced back and to a man the Blues delivered an impressive all-round display on the South Coast.“It’s a massive step and what we needed to do. We had two poor games and we knew we needed to win here today to give ourselves a chance,” said Sterling. “But we were really motivated to give ourselves a chance and that’s what we did.“We had to bring that level that we know we can bring – we had a bit of luck but we played some great football and controlled the game which we know we can do.“Now its down to us to keep this focus and go onto the next one.“ About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Twitter/@GaryPinkelNot every member of the Missouri football program is thrilled with the team’s boycott in response to racial issues on campus. An anonymous Mizzou player tells ESPN’s Brett McMurphy that the team and coaching staff is very split on the issue, and that if the Tigers had a better record, they would not be taking this course of action.Mizzou player tells @ESPN, MU players & coaches “are pissed (about halting football practices). If we were 9-0 this wouldn’t be happening.”— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) November 9, 2015McMurphy has more on how the team is handling the week in preparation for BYU, should the game occur.Monday are regular off days for the football team and the coaches told the players to watch film on their own iPads and keep preparing for Saturday’s game against BYU in Kansas City, the player said.The player indicated they had been aware of Butler’s hunger strike for several days. However, some black players didn’t decide to take any action until Butler met with some players Saturday night.“Not everyone agrees with the decision (to stop all football activities),” the player said. “Most people are pissed, including the black guys (on the team).”Earlier today, the athletic department expressed support for the team’s decision, and Mizzou took a team photo to show solidarity. Even so, it shouldn’t come as a major surprise that this nearly-unprecedented decision does not have unanimous support within the team. It will be very interesting to see how the team proceeds as we near game day.[ESPN]
PYONGYANG, North Korea – Beachfront, five-star hotels? Skyscrapers just blocks from Kim Il Sung Square?North Korea is racing forward with major development projects some experts believe are aimed at expanding a market for rented or privately owned real estate to help fortify the finances of Kim Jong Un’s regime against the bite of sanctions over its nuclear program.A swelling market for private property doesn’t sound very socialist, and it’s not.But the chronically cash-strapped government appears to be nurturing a fresh source of revenue — sales of property to the newly affluent class of North Koreans who have made their fortunes on the country’s growing, but still largely unofficial, market economy that has come into its own since Kim assumed power.The pressure on Pyongyang is growing as the Chinese investors who traditionally have propped up its economy are retreating amid tougher than ever restrictions imposed by Beijing.The construction projects, which could cost well over a billion dollars to complete, have a lot of momentum behind them. They are part of a six-year building spree under Kim that has transformed the Pyongyang skyline. North Korean officials told The Associated Press they hope to have at least some of the developments ready to show off for celebrations in September marking the country’s 70th anniversary.“Since 2012, we have been building a new project each year, so I think one year from now a lot of changes will have been made in the city,” said Kim Kum Chol, an architect with the Paektusan Academy of Architecture, the centre for architectural research and design in North Korea. “We have a lot of construction plans.”He said there are three main projects this year:— First, to redevelop the centre of Pyongyang by replacing low-rise housing built after the 1950-53 Korean War with more space-efficient new skyscrapers, offices, public buildings and residential high rises. “For the centre of the city there are many old residences, so we are trying to turn that into new ones,” Kim explained.— On the east coast’s Wonsan-Kalma area, more than 10 hotels, thousands of units of residential housing and a number of recreational facilities are either planned or underway, Kim said. He said the hotels would range from relatively modest three-star facilities to luxury five-star resorts. Kim Jong Un has already built a new airport to serve the area known as his home away from home.— The third focus is near the Chinese border in Samjiyon, a scenic town at the foot of Mount Paektu, the spiritual home of the ruling Kim dynasty. The area is to become an “open-air museum for education in revolutionary traditions,” according to state-media reports, and a centre of mechanized potato farming “envied by the people the world over.”North Korea has often used ostentatious projects to inspire nationalistic pride, reward loyalty and enhance the prestige of the ruling regime. But Kim Jong Un seems to have a penchant for spearheading the completion of high-rise neighbourhoods and modern, seemingly quite functional recreational facilities.In theory, housing, education and health care are provided free to all in socialist North Korea, where the state owns all capital, including the buildings, factories and land. Selling property outright, or collecting rents, would pull money out of the pockets of those who can afford it, putting it back into the coffers of the regime. Demanding prepayment could help finance projects underway or in the planning stages.North Korea has been doing this to some degree for years.Chinese investment has generally been seen as the key source of funds. So has slow but steady growth in the North’s domestic economy, helped along by a swelling sector of entrepreneurs who have savings in foreign currencies like the U.S. dollar and Chinese yuan.These people, known as “donju,” or money masters, have been more visible since Kim Jong Un assumed power, creating a natural market for better housing that didn’t exist in the past. Most live in Pyongyang and the Wonsan area, where construction is most active. A big part of the building boom is focused on high-end properties in prime locations, like the Pyongyang city centre or along riversides or ocean fronts that might be expected to appeal to them most — and have a higher market value.Whether such projects would ever pay for themselves is unclear. That could help explain why Kim has made diplomatic overtures over the past few months to Seoul and Beijing — two potentially huge pools of investment and aid if the political tensions on the peninsula ease.Before stepped up sanctions kicked in last year, North Korea made a massive sell-off of minerals to China that coincided nicely with the building boom.William Brown, an economist at Georgetown University, said the “liquidation” of some state property makes fiscal sense, despite the cost to socialist principles, especially given North Korea’s chronic trade deficit with China.The downturn in Chinese trade and new investment since about September and Kim’s inability to get foreign loans or woo other investors has cast serious doubt on the future of the economic boom and is jeopardizing funding for the military, said Benjamin Katzeff Silberstein, a scholar with the U.S.-based Foreign Policy Research Institute think-tank and co-editor of the North Korea Economy Watch website.Dwindling trade with China is not only sucking foreign reserves away from the regime, but also hurting businesses the “donju” rely on as well, a one-two punch to the economy that could get significantly worse in the months to come, possibly undermining demand for luxury property.“The state really doesn’t have any sustainable revenue source as of now,” Silberstein said.___Talmadge is the AP’s Pyongyang bureau chief. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram: @EricTalmadge
WASHINGTON — Lawmakers have reached an agreement on the farm bill, a mammoth package that will fund key safety net programs for the next five years.The conference report signed Monday by members of the House and Senate is the result of months of negotiations. The bill has a price tag of $867 billion over a decade and is expected to be brought to a vote this week in the House, possibly as soon as Wednesday.The legislation reauthorizes crop insurance and conservation programs and legalizes the cultivation of industrial hemp.It does not make significant changes to the food stamp program that serves nearly 40 million low-income Americans. President Donald Trump and House Republicans had pushed to create new work requirements for food stamps, but negotiators rejected them.Juliet Linderman, The Associated Press
New Delhi: Job creation dropped by 1.73 per cent in February to 15.03 lakh compared to 15.30 lakh in the same month last year, according to the latest payroll data of the Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC). The data showed that during September 2017 to February 2019, nearly 3 crore new subscribers joined the ESIC scheme. According to the data, the gross new subscribers addition remained the highest at 19.81 lakh in July 2018.
The Imperial New Delhi joined hands with Hotel Association of India (HAI) to observe the 6th HAI Hand Hygiene Day by creating awareness amongst both associates and guests about the importance of hand hygiene.This year, the overarching theme for World Hand Hygiene Day by W.H.O was “Clean care for all – it’s in your hands”, focusing on the achievement of universal health coverage (UHC) which includes access to quality essential health care services, and access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all. Hand hygiene is critical to achieve UHC as it has a direct impact on the quality of care and patient safety across all levels of the health system. Also Read – The Puja carnivalIncorporating the same message, The Imperial conducted various activities to inculcate greater responsibility towards hand hygiene by engaging associates and creating substantial awareness about the issue. Speaking on the occasion, Vijay Wanchoo -Sr Executive VP and GM, The Imperial New Delhi said, “Hand hygiene is vital to a healthy lifestyle which is why we at The Imperial strive to maintain best practices and my aim is to promote initiatives like these so they reach the grass root level. When we are operating in the service industry it becomes our prerogative to prioritise health in every way which is why the message of clean hands as the foundation of a healthy system is reiterated every year in the hotel. Like last year, this year too, we had organised focused activities to emphasise on keeping hand hygiene at all times and shall continue to do so in near future to make our country aware, safe and healthy”. HAI intends to create awareness among the local communities, schools, orphanages, public institutions, guests, visitors and employees of hotels and the people who handle food by including them in a series of activities under the program. It aims to spread the importance of washing hands with soap and water or using a hand sanitiser as the simplest and most cost-effective way of promoting community health and well-being.