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ANALYST VIEWS: HOW HAS BABCOCK DONE SINCE IT BOUGHT VT GROUP?

first_imgTuesday 25 January 2011 7:16 pm KCS-content ANALYST VIEWS: HOW HAS BABCOCK DONE SINCE IT BOUGHT VT GROUP? whatsapp Tags: NULL whatsapp PAUL JONES | PANMURE GORDONThe order book remains stable, with the bid pipeline showing some growth and expected to grow steadily during the course of the year. Cash generation appears to remain strong, with the integration of VT progressing well.MIKE MURPHY | NUMISThis positive third-quarter management statement should bash the Babcock bears. We see fears over the growth rate and its net debt position receding over the next 12 months driving a major re-rating of the shares.KEVIN LAPWOOD | SEYMOUR PIERCEThe trading update was a comforting mixture of stability in the UK defence businesses and strong cash flow combined with encouraging growth overseas. The integration of VT Group continues according to plan. Read This Next’A Quiet Place Part II’ Sets Pandemic Record in Debut WeekendFamily ProofHiking Gadgets: Amazon Deals Perfect For Your Next AdventureFamily ProofYoga for Beginners: 3 Different Types of Yoga You Should TryFamily ProofAmazon roars for MGM’s lion, paying $8.45 billion for studio behind JamesFamily ProofIndian Spiced Vegetable Nuggets: Recipes Worth CookingFamily ProofBack on the Rails for Summer New York to New Orleans, Savannah and MiamiFamily ProofThe Truth About Bottled Water – Get the Facts on Drinking Bottled WaterGayotChicken Bao: Delicious Recipes Worth CookingFamily ProofCheese Crostini: Delicious Recipes Worth CookingFamily Proof Share Show Comments ▼last_img read more

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Shire expects sales growth in 2011

first_img whatsapp whatsapp KCS-content by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeMisterStoryWoman Files For Divorce After Seeing This Photo – Can You See Why?MisterStoryUndoPeople TodayNewborn’s Strange Behavior Troubles Mom, 40 Years Later She Finds The Reason Behind ItPeople TodayUndoMoneyPailShe Was A Star, Now She Works In ScottsdaleMoneyPailUndoNight DailyHe Was The Smartest Man Who Ever Lived – But He Led A Miserable LifeNight DailyUndoThe Sports DropForgotten College Basketball Stars: Where Are They Now?The Sports DropUndoJournalPregnant Woman Takes a Nap – You Won’t Believe What She Discovered When She WokeJournalUndoBetterBe20 Stunning Female AthletesBetterBeUndoZen HeraldNASA’s Voyager 2 Has Entered Deep Space – And It Brought Scientists To Their KneesZen HeraldUndoWanderoamIdentical Twins Marry Identical Twins – But Then The Doctor Says, “STOP”WanderoamUndo Thursday 10 February 2011 8:08 pm Sharecenter_img Tags: NULL Shire expects sales growth in 2011 Show Comments ▼ PHARMA firm Shire said it would sustain the strong sales growth of 2010, when its rare disease business reaped a windfall from problems at US rival Genzyme.Shire, which also makes hyperactivity and gastrointestinal drugs, said sales would again rise by about 16 per cent in 2011, against its target to grow revenue in the mid-teens, after it posted fourth-quarter profit matching in-house forecasts.“We are increasingly confident about achieving our aspirational growth targets,” chief executive Angus Russell said. “It’s a marginal improvement on people’s expectations.”Shire posted a seven per cent drop in fourth-quarter non-Gaap earnings per American depository share to $1.03, in line with analysts’ forecasts. Total revenue for the final three months of the year rose four per cent to $931m (£578m). Read This Next’A Quiet Place Part II’ Sets Pandemic Record in Debut WeekendFamily ProofHiking Gadgets: Amazon Deals Perfect For Your Next AdventureFamily ProofAmazon roars for MGM’s lion, paying $8.45 billion for studio behind JamesFamily ProofYoga for Beginners: 3 Different Types of Yoga You Should TryFamily ProofIndian Spiced Vegetable Nuggets: Recipes Worth CookingFamily ProofBack on the Rails for Summer New York to New Orleans, Savannah and MiamiFamily ProofChicken Bao: Delicious Recipes Worth CookingFamily ProofCheese Crostini: Delicious Recipes Worth CookingFamily ProofNew England Patriots’ Cam Newton says no extra motivation from Mac Jones’Sportsnautlast_img read more

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Kenya Airways Limited (KQ.ke) HY2019 Presentation

first_imgKenya Airways Limited (KQ.ke) listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange under the Transport sector has released it’s 2019 presentation results for the half year.For more information about Kenya Airways Limited (KQ.ke) reports, abridged reports, interim earnings results and earnings presentations, visit the Kenya Airways Limited (KQ.ke) company page on AfricanFinancials.Document: Kenya Airways Limited (KQ.ke)  2019 presentation results for the half year.Company ProfileKenya Airways Limited is the flag carrier airline of Kenya operating domestic, regional and international flights to destinations in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Europe. The company was founded in 1977 after the dissolution of East African Airways and was wholly-owned by the government of Kenya until 1995 after which it was privatised. Kenya Airways is a public-private partnership where the largest shareholder is the government of Kenya (48.9%). Kenya Airways wholly-owns Jambojet, a low-cost carrier which was created in 2013; and African Cargo Handling Limited. Companies partly owned by Kenya Airways include Kenya Airfreight Handling Limited (51%) which handles perishable goods cargo; and Precision Air (41.23%) which is a Tanzanian carrier operation. Kenya Airways head office is in Nairobi, Kenya with its main operations based in Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. Kenya Airways Limited is listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchangelast_img read more

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Leprosy Mission to promote monthly giving through volunteer talks

first_img  13 total views,  1 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis2 About Howard Lake Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world’s first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of GoodJobs.org.uk. Researching massive growth in giving. Leprosy Mission to promote monthly giving through volunteer talks The figure of £6 represents the average cost to transport medication, which is provided free of charge by pharmaceutical company Novartis, to a patient. A Direct Debit mandate form is put on the chair of each supporter attending the talk, but they can also sign up online.Donors signing up to the Cure Partners Direct Debit will receive separate mailings from the charity in order that they are not overloaded by requests to give.Meanwhile the charity will launch a national volunteer recruitment drive next month.National Director of The Leprosy Mission England and Wales, Peter Walker, said: “We have some fantastic and extremely loyal supporters.  But gone are the days when we can be complacent about receiving regular donations, in particular from younger givers. By giving people the knowledge that their monthly payment will help cure a person affected by leprosy, we are empowering them to give with the realisation that they are doing something life-changing each month.” The Leprosy Mission is planning to increase its total of monthly donors by increasing its volunteer network and providing them with a short video that makes the ask for them.Feedback from the charity’s network of volunteers found that, while many were happy to talk in public about its projects and achievements, they were reluctant to ask supporters to give more money. So The Leprosy Mission has commissioned a short film in India which illustrates the volunteer’s talk and includes the request for a regular donation of £6 a month via Direct Debit.The film, ‘Cure Partners’, shows a young girl, Roopwati, who has just been diagnosed with leprosy, and then an older woman, Uma, whose life has been blighted by disability and the stigma surrounding leprosy. Advertisement Howard Lake | 23 August 2013 | News AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis2last_img read more

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Princess Alice Hospice wins JustGiving Christmas Campaign award

first_imgPrincess Alice Hospice wins JustGiving Christmas Campaign award Advertisement Tagged with: Awards Justgiving AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis1 Princess Alice Hospice in Esher has won the JustGiving Christmas Campaign Award for a fundraising campaign for its 2018 Santa Fun Run, an annual event held in three local parks.The campaign, which exceeded its fundraising target by nearly a fifth, was singled out as an example of how to achieve great results by the platform, and has won a custom-built webpage worth £4,000 and a £500 donation. It has also become the subject of a case study on the JustGiving website.The success of the event was due in part to the move towards more digital interaction with participants. This saw the hospice set up a new Campaign Page on JustGiving, to which it directed its existing fundraisers so they could create Fundraising Pages linked to the campaign. Having the pages connected to the campaign made it easier for staff to track overall funds raised in their JustGiving Reports, and also meant fundraisers and supporters could visit the Campaign Page any time to see how much others were raising to encourage some friendly competition.Princess Alice Hospice also created a dedicated microsite to register people to the Santa Runs, and providing on-the-day information, and fundraising tips and advice as well as a JustGiving Button, prompting new runners to set up a Fundraising Page for the run when they signed up. This achieved 130 new JustGiving Fundraising Page with the hospice also showcasing the top 10 fundraisers through the JustGiving Fundraising Leaderboard widget.Another key aspect of the campaign was to grow awareness and engagement within local communities by using social media and generating stories and features to increase press coverage.The hospice’s fundraising target was exceeded by 18%, raising £76,600: £10,000 more than the original target.Angela Grimes, Deputy Director of Fundraising at Princess Alice Hospice, said:“The uplift in fundraising and number of participants was in large part due to the digital element of a bigger push overall. We receive limited NHS funding, and rely heavily on the generosity of the community in which we deliver our services; increased revenue on the scale of the Santa Fun Run success is vindication of using every tool in the box.” Melanie May | 14 January 2020 | News  423 total views,  3 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis1  422 total views,  2 views today About Melanie May Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via www.thepurplepim.com.last_img read more

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Don’t let them use Paris as a pretext!

first_imgNov. 14 — Just counting recent catastrophes, Workers World mourns the tragic loss of 30 people killed by U.S. airstrikes on a charity hospital in Afghanistan; the 224 passengers and crew lost on a Russian plane that exploded over Egypt; the 102 lives cut short by an attack on a Peace Rally in Ankara, Turkey; the 34 killed in Beirut; the many, many families blasted by U.S. drone attacks on wedding parties across West Asia and Africa, and the thousands who have died trying to cross the Mediterranean as they flee war and the loss of lives and homes. We mourn the loss of hundreds of African-American lives to racist police in the United States. And we mourn the killing of at least 120 mostly young people in Paris on the night of Nov. 13-14.This latest massacre has produced the greatest threats — from the U.S., France and NATO. Even more war and destruction perpetrated by these highly militarized powers is the greatest threat to workers and peoples around the world, including those in the new civil rights movement inside the United States. Who is ultimately responsible for what happened in Paris, what new aggression is being planned right now, and how can we counter it?The media report that the French regime blames the Islamic State for the killings and that the I.S. has claimed responsibility. That story will dominate. But from beginning to end, it is U.S., French, British and other NATO imperialist powers and their client regimes in Israel and Saudi Arabia that are ultimately responsible for creating the unbearable conditions that led to these attacks. The ongoing U.S.-NATO wars across Western Asia and North Africa have destroyed that region’s stable states and societies, killed millions of people and uprooted tens of millions from their homes. As they wage constant warfare, leaving the people in turmoil and misery, the imperialists have deliberately stirred up religious and national antagonisms and also driven hundreds of thousands to seek asylum in Europe.There are three obvious threats following the Paris attack:The first is that the rulers of France, the U.S. and other NATO powers will use the attack as a pretext to step up their already dangerous military intervention in Syria. This could open up a regional war involving Iran and Russia.The second is that the racists will heat up Islamophobia and the hatred of all foreigners to bolster their violent campaigns against migrants, in Europe against Africans and West Asians, in the U.S. against Latin Americans.The third, within the U.S., is that the cops challenged by the Black Lives Matter movement will use the Paris attacks to excuse their ongoing war against Black and Brown people. “Homeland security” and the Wall Street interests it serves will try to expand surveillance and repression against protest movements.Those who want to combat these threats must use their own and social media to expose the crimes of the U.S. and French ruling classes. We must also stand in solidarity with the migrants on all continents; they are our fellow workers and oppressed peoples. We must stand in solidarity with the movements to win rights and justice as they resist the pressure of the rich and powerful, trumpeted through their bought media, to retreat from struggle. It is the super-rich who have demanded the wars against Syria, Libya, Afghanistan and Iraq. Don’t let them use the horrors they have created as an excuse to drag us into ever more destructive conflicts. No to U.S., French, NATO, Saudi or Israeli intervention in Syria, Iraq, Yemen or the rest of West Asia!Defend the rights of migrants on all continents!Solidarity of all workers and oppressed against imperialism and reaction!FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

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Justice for Ramarley Graham, victim of police brutality

first_imgRamarley GrahamTwo demonstrations were held March 27 in New York City to protest the white New York Police Department cop who killed an unarmed Black teenager, Ramarley Graham, in front of his grandmother and brother on Feb. 2, 2012, in the bathroom of their Bronx home.The cop, Richard Haste, decided to resign on March 26 rather than face being fired on March 27. What many in the movement are asking is: Why didn’t a grand jury indict Haste and his partner, Morris McCoughlin, for Graham’s murder? Haste chased Graham into his home without a warrant, claiming to be looking for “drugs” before fatally executing the 18-year-old.Graham’s mother, Constance Malcolm, responded to this development, saying, “Mayor de Blasio has once again shown his unwillingness to hold police accountable to our communities with his administration giving deference to Richard Haste in allowing him to resign. This is not accountability after de Blasio and the NYPD dragged their feet for years, especially while all the other officers involved in the killing of my son continue to be employed by the department, enjoying pay raises every year.” (New York Daily News, March 26)On the anniversary of Ramarley’s 24th birthday, April 12, his family filed a lawsuit against the NYPD for refusing to comply with the state’s Freedom of Information Law to release police files about his death. Malcolm stated, “With this lawsuit, we are demanding that the de Blasio administration and NYPD stop hiding the truth of what happened to my son and release the names and files related to the many officers who were responsible for misconduct. For over five years, it seems there has been a continued effort by the NYPD to cover up what really happened to my son and protect the officers involved from accountability.” (Amsterdam News, April 13)FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

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U.S. activates new phase of violence against Venezuela

first_imgThe U.S accuses Venezuelan President Maduro of “narcoterrorism” but the people defend him.The Platform of Venezuelan Social Movements Against the Blockade issued the following statement on March 26. To the People of the World and Friends of the Bolivarian RevolutionIn the midst of the most recent attacks of the United States against Venezuela, the government of Donald Trump today [March 26] designated President Nicolás Maduro as part of a supposed narco-terrorist structure and named a price for his arrest or assassination, along with other leaders of the revolutionary Venezuelan process. Without any evidence or any proof, Washington accuses Venezuela of having responsibility in narco-trafficking. The reality is that we are actually the victims of this plague, and Washington’s close ally and our neighbors, the Republic of Colombia, is one of the world’s biggest drug producers, especially of cocaine, a fact certified by the UN and U.S. authorities themselves.But let us put the decision in context: Under the leadership of President Maduro, Venezuela has been carrying out an effective struggle against Coronavirus, managing until now to contain the virus to a great extent. It was our country that was the first in the region to decree quarantine, and thanks to the cooperation with China, Russia, and Cuba we have all of the medical capacities to respond to this pandemic. Such decisions have had the support of the majority of the Venezuelan people, including broad sections of the opposition. There have been advances in an important process of dialogue with the democratic sectors of the opposition, many of which in the context of the pandemic have expressed to be in favor of working with the government and in demanding an end to the unilateral coercive measures (improperly referred to as sanctions) that affect our economy and our people. From different parts of the globe, there are more and more voices speaking out against the blockade suffered by Venezuela, among those we highlight the recent declarations of the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrel; the General Secretary of the UN, Antonio Guterres, and Michelle Bachellet, High Commissioner for Human Rights of the UN. Last March 23, the transit police in Colombia seized an arsenal of war weapons, and due to our efficient work of our intelligence services, we knew that their final objective was to go to Venezuela to carry out terrorist actions against President Maduro and other authorities. The whole network of this conspiracy, that has support from the U.S. and from Colombia, was denounced yesterday with details by our Communications Minister Jorge Rodriguez.After the miniscule opposition mobilizations called for by Mr. Juan Guaidó during 2020, from Washington they have decided to opt for violent ways to achieve their anxiously awaited “regime change” in Venezuela.This dangerous, irrational and criminal decision announced today by the Trump administration occurred in a context where the Bolivarian Government is being strengthened and a crisis is erupting in the U.S. due to the pandemic that is rapidly spreading in that nation. They clearly support violence and terrorism, as it has clearly been manifested in the declarations released today by a traitor, former Venezuelan soldier, General Cliver Alcalá Cordones, who from Colombia confessed that the weapons seized were indeed planned to be used to carry out attacks in Venezuela. This plan had the approval of Juan Guaidó and the U.S. government, through functionaries and mercenaries of military contractors. Among other things, Alcalá points out that the purchase of weapons was ordered by Guaidó and he has a contract that proves it.It is important to highlight that for the last several years, especially since August 4, 2018, when there was an attempt of magnicide in Caracas against President Maduro through the use of drones loaded with explosives, there have been frequent denouncements made of these terrorist groups operating from Colombia. The information, even of the locations where the terrorists are trained, has been sent to the competent authorities, but the government of Iván Duque has yet to speak on the matter. Following this, we have proceeded to denounce the situation of complicity of the Colombian government with the terrorists before the General Secretary of the UN.This is a very dangerous moment, especially taking into account the upcoming presidential elections in the U.S., which are ripe — as we have seen historically — for actions that help guarantee the re-election of the sitting presidentWe therefore ask for your solidarity with the Venezuelan people and to remain alert in the face of this new phase of aggression. We will win!     #SanctionsAreACrime    #MaduroBraveryandDignityFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

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Indiana Farmers Getting Close to a Flurry of Planting

first_img Previous articleFood vs. Fuel Debate Still Alive and WellNext articleFarmers Save with Propane Andy Eubank SHARE Indiana Farmers Getting Close to a Flurry of Planting planting time nearIn Indiana the pace of planting is behind after a very eventful winter and spring weather wise. In the southern part of the state where planters would normally be in high gear, Glen Murphy, Technical Agronomist for Asgrow and DEKALB says farmers are about 2 weeks behind the norm.“But I do like the overall demeanor of our farmer customers in terms of not getting out there and forcing things before they need to take place,” he told HAT.And that demeanor, avoiding planting before the soil is ready, leads to better seed beds.“There is plenty of data to support that you can plant corn in June,” Murphy added, “and have an exception year of corn yields. A lot of that is out of our hands, but what is in our hands is good common sense, patience that we’re not getting out there too soon because a good seed bed is critical for uniform emergence, and uniform emergence of any row crop is one of those critical steps for optimal yield potential.”Friday Murphy told HAT field work was in full swing in Kentucky and the very southern tip of Indiana. With 7-10 forecasts projecting warmer temperatures he expects a flurry of activity in the southern half of Indiana this week, especially where they missed any Easter weekend rains.“In fact, I would expect planters will be rolling all over Indiana if we can just miss the rains through Easter weekend.He hasn’t noticed anything different with spring weeds, other than a delay in their emergence, and now that they’re coming up he figures to see a lot of sprayers this week. Murphy strongly encourages farmers to get a pre-emergence residual weed program in place if they haven’t already.“With the exception of those individuals who are going strictly post-emergence programs for very unique reasons, every farmer ought to be considering a pre-emergent herbicide. It’s just a great way to get the crop a head start on the weeds and that goes for both corn and soybean.”A check around the state over the weekend confirms that farmers in most sections of the state are close to getting into the fields, so rural motorists are encouraged to be prepared to slow down as the big farm machines again roll out. Facebook Twitter SHARE Facebook Twitter By Andy Eubank – Apr 20, 2014 Home Indiana Agriculture News Indiana Farmers Getting Close to a Flurry of Plantinglast_img read more

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Only peace protects freedoms in post-9/11 world

first_img RSF_en October 22, 2008 – Updated on January 25, 2016 Only peace protects freedoms in post-9/11 world News Help by sharing this information Organisation center_img Democracies embroiled in wars outside their own territory, such as the United States or Israel, fall further in the ranking every year while several emerging countries, especially in Africa and the Caribbean, give better and better guarantees for media freedom. Dangers of corruption and political hatredThe other disease that eats away at democracies and makes them lose ground in the ranking is corruption. The bad example of Bulgaria (59th), still last in Europe, serves as a reminder that universal suffrage, media pluralism and some constitutional guarantees are not enough to ensure effective press freedom. The climate must also favour the flow of information and expression of opinions. The social and political tensions in Peru (108th) and Kenya (97th), the media politicisation in Madagascar (94th) and Bolivia (115th) and the violence against investigative journalists in Brazil (82nd) are all examples of the kinds of poison that blight emerging democracies. And the existence of people who break the law to get rich and who punish inquisitive journalists with impunity is a scourge that keeps several “great countries” – such as Nigeria (131st), Mexico (140th) and India (118th) – in shameful positions.Certain would-be “great countries” deliberately behave in a manner that is brutal, unfair or just disturbing. The examples include Venezuela (113th), where President Hugo Chávez’s personality and decrees are often crushing, and the Putin-Medvedev duo’s Russia (141st), where state and opposition media are strictly controlled and journalists such as Anna Politkovskaya are killed each year by “unidentified” gunmen who often turn out to have close links with the Kremlin’s security services.Resisting the taboosThe ranking’s “soft underbelly” also includes countries that waver between repression and liberalisation, where the taboos are still inviolable and the press laws hark back to another era. In Gabon (110th), Cameroon (129th), Morocco (122nd), Oman (123rd), Cambodia (126th), Jordan (128th) and Malaysia (132nd), for example, it is strictly forbidden to report anything that reflects badly on the president or monarch, or their family and close associates. Journalists are routinely sent to prison in Senegal (86th) and Algeria (121st) under repressive legislation that violates the democratic standards advocated by the UN.Online repression also exposes these tenacious taboos. In Egypt (146th), demonstrations launched online shook the capital and alarmed the government, which now regards every Internet user as a potential danger. The use of Internet filtering is growing by the year and the most repressive governments do not hesitate to jail bloggers. While China still leads the “Internet black hole” ranking worldwide, deploying considerable technical resources to control Internet users, Syria (159th) is the Middle-East champion in cyber-repression. Internet surveillance is so thorough there that even the least criticism posted online is sooner or later followed by arrest.Only a few countries have risen significantly in the ranking. Lebanon (66th), for example, has climbed back to a more logical position after the end of the bomb attacks on influential journalists of recent years. Haiti (73rd) continues its slow rise, as do Argentina (68th) and Maldives (104th). But the democratic transition has halted in Mauritania (105th), preventing it from continuing its rise, while the slender gains of the past few years in Chad (133rd) and Sudan (135th) were swept away by the overnight introduction of censorship. читать на русскомIt is not economic prosperity but peace that guarantees press freedom. That is the main lesson to be drawn from the world press freedom index that Reporters Without Borders compiles every year and from the 2008 edition, released today. Another conclusion from the index – in which the bottom three rungs are again occupied by the “infernal trio” of Turkmenistan (171st), North Korea (172nd) and Eritrea (173rd) – is that the international community’s conduct towards authoritarian regimes such as Cuba (169th) and China (167th) is not effective enough to yield results.“The post-9/11 world is now clearly drawn,” Reporters Without Borders said. “Destabilised and on the defensive, the leading democracies are gradually eroding the space for freedoms. The economically most powerful dictatorships arrogantly proclaim their authoritarianism, exploiting the international community’s divisions and the ravages of the wars carried out in the name of the fight against terrorism. Religious and political taboos are taking greater hold by the year in countries that used to be advancing down the road of freedom.”“The world’s closed countries, governed by the worst press freedom predators, continue to muzzle their media at will, with complete impunity, while organisations such as the UN lose all authority over their members,” Reporters Without Borders added. “In contrast with this generalised decline, there are economically weak countries that nonetheless guarantee their population the right to disagree with the government and to say so publicly.”War and peaceTwo aspects stand out in the index, which covers the 12 months to 1 September 2008. One is Europe’s preeminence. Aside from New Zealand and Canada, the first 20 positions are held by European countries. The other is the very respectable ranking achieved by certain Central American and Caribbean countries. Jamaica and Costa Rica are in 21st and 22nd positions, rubbing shoulders with Hungary (23rd). Just a few position below them are Surinam (26th) and Trinidad and Tobago (27th). These small Caribbean countries have done much better than France (35th), which has fallen again this year, this time by four places, and Spain (36th) and Italy (44th), countries held back again by political or mafia violence. Namibia (23rd), a large and now peaceful southern African country that came first in Africa, ahead of Ghana (31st), was just one point short of joining the top 20.The economic disparities among the top 20 are immense. Iceland’s per capita GDP is 10 times Jamaica’s. What they have in common is a parliamentary democratic system, and not being involved in any war.This is not the case with the United States (36th domestically and 119th outside its own territory) and Israel (46th domestically and 149th outside its own territory), whose armed forces killed a Palestinian journalist for the first time since 2003. A resumption of fighting also affected Georgia (120th) and Niger, which fell sharply from 95th in 2007 to 130th this year. Although they have democratic political systems, these countries are embroiled in low or high intensity conflicts and their journalists, exposed to the dangers of combat or repression, are easy prey. The recent provisional release of Moussa Kaka, the Niger correspondent of RFI and Reporters Without Borders, after 384 days in prison in Niamey and cameraman Sami al-Haj’s release after six years in the hell of Guantanamo serve as reminders that wars sweep away not only lives but also, and above all, freedom.Under fire from belligerents or intrusive governmentsCountries that have become embroiled in very violent conflicts after failing to resolve serious political problems, such as Iraq (158th), Pakistan (152nd), Afghanistan (156th) and Somalia (153rd), continue to be highly dangerous “black zones” for the press, places where journalists are targets for murder, kidnapping, arbitrary arrest or death threats every day. They may come under fire from the parties at war. They may be accused of taking sides. Any excuse will do to get rid of “trouble-makers” and “spies.” Such is the case in the Palestinian Territories (163rd), especially the Gaza Strip, where the situation got much worse after Hamas seized power. At the same time, in Sri Lanka (165th), where there is an elected government, the press has to face violence that is only too often organised by the state.Bringing up the rear are the dictatorships – some disguised, some not – where dissidents and pro-reform journalists manage to open cracks in the walls that enclose them. The year of the Olympics in the new Asian power, China (167th), was the year that Hu Jia and many other dissidents and journalists were jailed. But it also provided opportunities to those liberal media that are trying gradually to free themselves of the country’s still pervasive police control. Being a journalist in Beijing or Shanghai – or in Iran (166th), Uzbekistan (162nd) and Zimbabwe (151st) – is a high risk exercise involving endless frustration and constant police and judicial harassment. In Burma (170th), run by a xenophobic and inflexible junta, journalists and intellectuals, even foreign ones, have for years been viewed as enemies by the regime, and they pay the price.Unchanging hellsIn Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali’s Tunisia (143rd), Muammar Gaddafi’s Libya (160rd), Alexander Lukashenko’s Belarus (154th), Bashar el-Assad’s Syria (159e) and Teodoro Obiang Nguema’s Equatorial Guinea (156th), the leader’s ubiquitous portrait on the streets and front pages of the newspapers is enough to dispel any doubt about the lack of press freedom. Other dictatorships do without a personality cult but are just as suffocating. Nothing is possible in Laos (164th) or Saudi Arabia (161st) if it does not accord with government policy.Finally, North Korea and Turkmenistan are unchanging hells in which the population is cut off from the world and is subjected to propaganda worthy of a bygone age. And in Eritrea (173rd), which has come last for the second year running, President Issaias Afeworki and his small clan of paranoid nationalists continue to run Africa’s youngest country like a vast open prison.The international community, including the European Union, endlessly repeats that the only solution continues to be “dialogue.” But dialogue has clearly had little success and even the most authoritarian governments are still able to ignore remonstrations without risking any repercussions other than the inconsequential displeasure of the occasional diplomat.last_img read more

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