Follow the news on Tunisia Eleven organizations from civil society create the Forum on Information & Democracy, a structural response to information disorder TunisiaMiddle East – North Africa November 11, 2020 Find out more Tunisia : RSF asks Tunisian president’s office to respect journalists Reporters Without Borders said it was “amazed” by the “cynicism” of a 2.15 million euro European Union programme to support the Tunisian media and called on EU Commission President Romano Prodi to scrap it. Reporters Without Borders today urged the European Union to scrap a programme of support for the Tunisian news media, worth about 2,15 million euros, which is officially described as being designed to “strengthen the press as part of improving ties between the media and civil society in Tunisia.”In a letter to European Commission president Romano Prodi, Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Robert Ménard said the organisation was amazed by “such political cant and cynicism,” which gave the impression that those who conceived the programme knew nothing about the Tunisian media.All the media in Tunisia – press, radio and television – are subject to the whim of President Ben Ali and follow his orders, the organisation stressed in its letter. A close watch is kept on the Internet. Hundreds of websites cannot be accessed from Internet cafes. The dozen or so Internet service providers are controlled by the government or its associates. Journalists who try to express dissenting views are constantly harassed, silenced, forced into exile or just give up trying to work as journalists. Two journalist are currently languishing in prison.”No one who knows anything about the fate of freedom under Ben Ali’s rule will be amused by this so-called programme of support for the media,” Ménard said in the letter. “But does this mean nothing can be done to help Tunisian journalists? Not at all. On the contrary, for years the European Union helped Reporters Without Borders come to the aid of Ben Ali’s victims, whose names – such as Taoufik Ben Brick, Sihem Bensedrine and Zouhair Yahyaoui – are as a result well known.”Brussels used to have the decency, or the courage, to distinguish between Tunisia and the Tunisian regime, between the country’s successes and the turpitude of a ruling family that has the country in its grip, Ménard said. “Will we soon have to talk in the past tense of Europe’s boldness, which made it the best defender of Tunisia’s democrats? Will we have to resign ourselves to seeing the EU fall in with Jacques Chirac and his defence of the ‘democrat’ Bel Ali? It looks as though we will.”The only one honourable way out is to scrap this programme, Ménard concluded. “No one will find fault with that in these times of budgetary austerity. For once, saving money and moral imperative coincide.”An alternative way to help the Tunisian media, one that excludes the regime’s propaganda mouthpieces, has already been proposed to European bodies by Reporters Without Borders. This would be to help the few newspapers and TV stations that try to circulate alternative news from outside of Tunisia. News to go further February 4, 2004 – Updated on January 20, 2016 EU advised to save money by scrapping “cynical” aid programme Receive email alerts Help by sharing this information Forum on Information and Democracy 250 recommendations on how to stop “infodemics” TunisiaMiddle East – North Africa News November 12, 2019 Find out more Organisation News News RSF_en December 26, 2019 Find out more
LAS VEGAS, NV — Every year, a new show house — dubbed the New American Home — is built for the annual International Builders’ Show. Designed for energy efficiency, this year’s New American Home is an 8,500-square-foot Las Vegas mansion with 25 heating and cooling zones, four water heaters, and a swimming pool.The details of the show home were described in a sparsely attended workshop on the second floor of the Las Vegas convention center by Brad Oberg, chief technology officer at IBACOS, an energy consulting firm in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Oberg was instrumental in refining the design of the home’s energy-efficiency features.Although the home is equipped with a 10-kilowatt photovoltaic array — that is, about $90,000 of PV modules — it nevertheless requires an additional 4,239 kWh of grid-supplied electricity and $2,000 of natural gas per year. “The buyer of this New American House is in the position to buy a large house,” explained Oberg. “He bought a large house that uses much less energy than if he had bought a large house from another builder.”Describing the house for Popular Mechanics, reporter Harry Sawyers noted, “In its defense, the house cools itself using 39 percent as much fuel as a comparably sized structure, but using a rough Las Vegas average of $7 per million BTU in natural gas (the national average is $4.90), we estimate that this house consumes close to 300 million BTU in gas per year. At 293 kWh per million BTU, that’s getting up past 85,000 kWh per year — three times the average American home’s 27,022 annual kWh. Put simply, this house is bloated.”
OTTAWA – As Canadians celebrated the country’s birthday on Sunday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was on the road highlighting the stand he has taken against the U.S. government’s decision to impose tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum.Speaking in Leamington, Ont., Sunday morning, Trudeau thanked residents and Canadians for always standing up for one another and for Canadian values.“This is who we are, we’re there for each other in times of difficulty, in times of opportunity. We lean on each other and we stand strong and that’s what we do from coast to coast to coast,” Trudeau said.The Ontario town is one of three cross-country stops the prime minister scheduled on Canada Day, and one of two designed to reflect the looming trade war between Canada and the United States.Trudeau met with workers at a major canning and food processing operation in Leamington, where the tomato paste used in French’s ketchup is made. Later in the day, he visited a major steel refinery in Regina. The two industries are at the heart of the trade dispute.Trudeau’s counter-tariffs on a range of products took effect on Sunday — a month after the Trump administration slapped duties on U.S. steel and aluminum imports from Canada and other allies.Canada’s response includes imposing $16.6 billion worth of tariffs on a long list of consumer products that come from a wide range of sectors — from beer kegs, to ballpoint pens, to ketchup.On Friday, Trudeau spoke with U.S. President Donald Trump by telephone, reiterating that Canada has had “no choice” but to take countermeasures against the U.S. tariffs.It appears Trump, too, is not backing down.In an interview that aired Sunday morning, Trump said he will delay signing a revised version of the North American Free Trade Agreement until after the U.S. mid-term elections in November in hopes of reaching a better deal.He said he could quickly sign an agreement with Mexico and Canada, “but I’m not happy with it. I want to make it more fair.”In the interview on Fox News Channel’s “Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo,” Trump again threatened to impose tariffs on imported cars, trucks and auto parts, saying, “The cars are the big ones.” The move has been viewed as a possible negotiating ploy to restart NAFTA talks, which could resume following Sunday’s elections in Mexico.U.S. tariffs on auto imports would be a major blow to Canada’s economy because of the importance of the auto industry plays in the country. The U.S. Commerce Department is expected to hold hearings on auto tariffs in late July and to complete its investigation into auto imports later this summer.Despite the tense political rhetoric among leaders, Trudeau kept his remarks upbeat and patriotic on Canada Day as he spoke to a crowd in Leamington. He praised Canadians for their supportive attitudes in the face of a trade dispute with its largest trading partner.“There is so much to be proud of as a country, but the thing we always have to be most proud of is Canadians ourselves — the way we step, the way we lean on each other, the way we’re creative and optimistic about the future, the way we look at challenges as opportunities, to grow, to build, to be there for each other. That’s the message we’re celebrating on Canada Day,” he said.Trudeau was speaking on the front steps of Highbury Canco with CEO Sam Diab.Diab said in an interview that the tomato-processing facility will face increasing cost pressures as a response to the Canada-U.S. trade dispute.However, the company does not plan on laying off any workers or shrinking its production, Diab said.Trudeau got a tour of the facility and the two spoke about the trade environment and how Diab supports Trudeau’s retaliatory tariffs.“We just need closure so that we can move forward and companies can start investing again,” said Diab, adding that the prime minister’s visit to the company made him feel more “confident” in the market.“Our company will survive no matter what.”Later in the day in Regina, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said Canada’s tariffs were designed to offer a clear message that the Trump administration’s trade action against Canada is “illegal and absurd” and that Canada is responding, dollar-for-dollar, in retaliation.“We will not just be victims of American policy, we’re going to fight back.”He said Trudeau wanted to be on the ground with steelworkers at a family event on the day Canada’s counter-tariffs came into effect to “make it really tangible what this is about.“It’s not about corporate board rooms and decision-making at some 30,000-foot level. This touches families and lives and homes and communities.”Meantime, revellers on Parliament Hill who braved scorching temperatures to take in the festivities in Ottawa also expressed support for Trudeau’s hard line against Trump on trade.Angela Egan said she feels Trump is trying to “bully” Canada into submission.“I’m glad that Justin Trudeau is standing up to him, because I feel like that’s his modus operandi, he just tries to bully to get his way and we need to stand up for ourselves,” she said.“I think if you stand up to him, he’ll back down.”Ian Cross of Prince Edward Island said he does not believe Canada-U.S. relations are being damaged too deeply by the current trade spat.“I think we’ll get through this. Everybody has to go through different arguments and discussions. People do it, families do it, so I don’t think this is a big deal.”The prime minister ended his long Canada Day tour in the Yukon where he was greeted by an enthusiastic crowd of about 600 people in Dawson City.Arriving a little late, Trudeau waded slowly through the crowd that had gathered for a barbecue at the city’s Waterfront Park, shaking lots of hands and posing for photos and selfies.Premier Sandy Silver and Mayor Wayne Potoroka were there as Larry Bagnell, Yukon’s Member of Parliament, gave Trudeau a rousing introduction as “the first prime minister in decades who has been outside Ottawa on Canada day.”Sounding a little hoarse, but still energetic, after his cross-country day of speech making, the prime minister said it was great to be back in the Yukon.“Happy Canada Day, Dawson City,” he shouted to his cheering audience.“You know, I’ve been right across the country all day, starting in Leamington, Ontario, through Regina, Saskatchewan, and ending here, and the sun is a long way from setting, so we’ve got a lot of time to party still.”He then returned to his themes from earlier in the day, talking about Canadians being “there for each other,” looking to the future “with optimism and strength,” and “facing down any challenges that come our way.”—With files from Alanna Rizza in Leamington, Ont., Sam Maciag in Regina, Dan Davidson in Dawson City, and The Associated Press.Follow @ReporterTeresa on Twitter.
TORONTO – Ontario is offering to cover 80 per cent of the cost of installing electric vehicle charging stations for companies and commercial building owners as the province tries to expand its charging infrastructure.The program, announced today, will cover most of the capital costs of installing Level 2 charging stations, which take between four and eight hours to fully charge an electric vehicle.Employers and commercial building owners could get up to $7,500 per charging space.The Liberal government has earmarked up to $5 million for the program out of cap-and-trade auction revenues.It says there are more than 1,300 public chargers operating in the province, though that includes just two-thirds of 500 stations promised by March 31, 2017 under a $20-million Electric Vehicle Chargers Ontario program.The government says an incentive program for home charging stations has doled out about $2.2 million since January 2013 for nearly 2,600 chargers.
WASHINGTON – The Federal Reserve is set this week to raise interest rates for a third time this year to prevent the economy from growing too fast. But with President Donald Trump’s trade fights posing a risk to the U.S. economy, the Fed may soon be ready to slow its hikes.Many analysts expect the economy to weaken next year, in part from the effects of the conflicts Trump has pursued with China, Canada, Europe and other trading partners. The tariffs and counter-tariffs that have been imposed on imports and exports is having the effect of raising prices for key goods and supplies and potentially slowing growth.An economic slowdown would likely lead the Fed to throttle back on its rate increases to avoid stifling growth. In that scenario, it might raise rates only twice in 2019 and then retreat to the sidelines to see how the economy fares.Compounding the effects of the tariffs and retaliatory tariffs resulting from Trump’s trade war, other factors could slow growth next year. The benefits of tax cuts that took effect this year, along with increased government spending, for example, are widely expected to fade.Still, some analysts hold to a more optimistic scenario: That momentum already built up from the government’s economic stimulus will keep strengthening the job market and lowering unemployment — at 3.9 per cent, already near a 50-year low. A tight employment market, in this scenario, will accelerate wages and inflation and prod the Fed to keep tightening credit to ensure that the economy doesn’t overheat.Any light the Fed might shed on those questions could come in the statement it will make after its latest policy meeting ends Wednesday, in updated economic and rate forecasts it will issue or in a news conference that Chairman Jerome Powell will hold afterward.The modest rate increase that’s widely expected reflects the continued strength of the U.S. economy, now in its 10th year of expansion, the second-longest such stretch on record. Most analysts also expect the Fed to signal that it plans to raise rates a fourth and final time this year, presumably in December. The Fed’s rate increases typically lead to higher rates on some consumer and business loans.Should neither Powell nor the Fed itself clarify expectations for the months ahead, it could be because the policymakers are sharply divided and are coalescing into two familiar opposing groups — “hawks” and “doves.”Doves focus on the Fed’s mandate to maximize employment and worry less about inflation. Hawks tend to concern themselves more with the need to prevent high inflation. One Fed board member, Lael Brainard, a leading dove, earlier this month surprised some with a speech that emphasized her belief in the need for continued gradual rate hikes.This week’s expected hike will be the Fed’s eighth since 2015, when it began tightening credit after having kept its benchmark rate at a record low for seven years beginning in 2008 at the height of the financial crisis.Even so, the Fed’s key short-term rate, a benchmark for many consumer and business loans, remains in a relatively low range of 1.75 per cent to 2 per cent. By its latest reckoning, the Fed estimates its “neutral rate” — the point where it’s thought to neither stimulate nor restrain growth — at around 2.9 per cent. Two more hikes this year and two in 2019 would lift the Fed’s benchmark rate to that level.In her speech, Brainard suggested that the Fed might eventually see a need to exceed the neutral rate — an unexpected observation from an official who has never been seen as a hawk. But Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, said Brainard’s suggestion doesn’t seem all that surprising given the economic circumstances.“She realizes that the economy is in a different place,” Zandi said. “We have had massive tax cuts and massive increases in government spending that were not even on the radar screen in early 2017.”The economy, as measured by the gross domestic product, is expected to grow 3 per cent for 2018 as a whole. That would mark the strongest full-year gain in 13 years. For the first nine years of the economic expansion, annual GDP growth averaged only around 2.2 per cent.The robust job market has helped make consumers, the main drivers of growth, more confident than they’ve been in nearly 18 years. Business investment is up. Americans are spending freely on cars, clothes and restaurant meals.All the good news has helped fuel a stock market rally. Household wealth is up, too. It reached a record in the April-June quarter, although the gain is concentrated largely among the most affluent.It’s that strength that has convinced economists that there will be little debate about raising rates this week.“For 2018, both the economy and the stock market are sizzling,” said Sung Won Sohn, chief economist at SS Economics, a consulting firm. “That means the Fed will stay with the four rate hikes they have indicated they will make this year.Next year is far less clear. Many economists worry that Trump’s combative trade policies could significantly slow the economy. Trump insists that the tariffs he is imposing on Chinese imports, to which Beijing has retaliated, are needed to force China to halt unfair trading practices. But concern is growing that China won’t change its practices, the higher tariffs on U.S. and Chinese goods will become permanent and both economies — the world’s two largest — will suffer.Powell has so far been circumspect in reflecting on Trump’s trade war. The Fed chairman has suggested that while higher tariffs are generally harmful, they could serve a healthy purpose if they eventually force Beijing to liberalize its trade practices.In the meantime, economists are divided over how many Fed rate increases are likely in 2019. Sohn foresees three. But Diane Swonk, chief economist at Grant Thornton, said she thinks the Fed will slow its pace to two hikes next year.“I think the higher tariffs will start to impact the economy,” Swonk said. “But I don’t think the Fed will signal any changes in its expected pace of interest rates at this meeting. The Fed will want to wait and react to changes in the economy.”
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – With non-medical cannabis retail stores opening their doors around the region, the question is when will the first shop open their doors in FSJ.With five shops submitting their applications to City Council and being approved, the shops of FSJ seem to be in a holding pattern in different states of assessment with the Government.The third applicant in FSJ is Cannabis Corner to be located at #2 – 10108 100 Street, in the location of the old Playtime Toys. Once that is approved staff can be hired and product ordering from the BCLCB can begin. “We will open within days of receiving conditional approval,” shared Lepine. Danny Lepine, one of the three partners of Cannabis Corner says, “We have completed our security screening interviews a few weeks ago tho we have heard nothing further. We have no idea as to when we may receive approval,”Lepine is waiting to receive conditional approval so the company can go ahead and prepare the store floorplan as designed. There is then a physical store inspection to confirm that the store matches the floorplans submitted. With retailers already opening their doors in Pouce Coupe, Tumbler Ridge and Dawson Creek there is anticipation in Fort St. John to do the same.
New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister and AAP national convenor Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday said that after Delhi becomes a full state, the AAP-led government would come up with 2 lakh government jobs and 85 per cent of those jobs would be specifically for citizens of Delhi. In support of AAP candidates on Tuesday, the Chief Minister addressed nearly three rallies across the constituencies like North-West, Chandi Chowk and New Delhi.”Delhi government has 2 lakh vacancies but we have no power to give employment. You give us all the seven seats and I promise you that within two years Delhi will become a full state thereafter we will give 2 lakh employment and 85 per cent of that will be only for the Delhiites,” said the Chief Minister. From healthcare, housing, electricity, education, the safety of women to stopping sealing, Kejriwal made a host of promises if Delhi becomes a full state, which will be possible, he claimed, if Delhi chooses AAP candidates from all seven Lok Sabha seats. “While Delhi pays Rs. 1.5 lakh crore in income-tax every year, the Centre gives it only Rs 325 crore,” the chief minister said. Delhi government would have made many more schools and hospitals if the Centre had allocated more funds, he added. “Some works can’t be done till Delhi becomes a full state. Women feel unsafe and there is hooliganism everywhere because Delhi Police doesn’t listen to people,” CM Kejriwal said. “The police come under the PM and no one can meet the PM,” said the CM. If Delhi Police reports to Delhi government, he said, the law and order system will be such that girls will be able to go out at 11 pm without any fear. Sealing will also be stopped in 24 hours, CM Kejriwal promised. “For all these years, it is the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) that is responsible for housing in the city… and it has done nothing but to cut plots and hand it over to builders. If you make AAP win, then in 10 years, we will provide houses for every voter family in cheap and easy instalments,” he said. While also assuring 85 per cent reservation in jobs and colleges, the CM said that on gaining full statehood AAP would open many colleges and universities that even those Delhiites who get 60% would manage to get admission in good colleges. CM Kejriwal also alleged that the BJP and Congress people try to obstruct his rallies in Delhi.
New Delhi: Promoters and top officials of realty firm Amrapali Group diverted homebuyers’ money for personal benefits and building their own empire, said the forensic report submitted to the Supreme Court. The audit report reveals that around Rs 3,500 crore of homebuyers’ money was diverted by the Amrapali top brass. According to the auditors, the money was spent on houses, luxury cars and weddings among others and also invested in shares and mutual funds. Also Read – Odd-Even: CM seeks transport dept’s views on exemption to women, two wheelers, CNG vehicles The Supreme Court on Wednesday slammed both the Noida and Greater Noida authorities and the banks concerned for the diversion of funds by the group. Pointing to the diversion of Rs 3,500 crore by the Amrapali Group as estimated by the forensic auditors, Justice Arun Mishra said: “Rs 3,500 crore have gone away. Due to your inaction, cheating has taken place. The banks’ inaction has contributed to it. Had you taken action timely, this would not have happened.” Also Read – More good air days in Delhi due to Centre’s steps: Javadekar “It is your own doing. You have not done anything. If you had done anything, this would not have happened. If it is not hand in gloves then what it is,” Justice Mishra told the Noida, Greater Noida authorities and the banks. The forensic auditors’ report pointed to instances where money moved from one company to another company of the Amrapali Group. The court said that that “without the active support of the banks, this kind of large scale money laundering could not have happened”. However, as per the auditors, it is possible to raise the required funds to complete the Amrapali projects. For this, they said the money diverted will have to be brought back and several other assets of the group will have to be sold. A total of around Rs 9,590 crore can be recovered from the group, noted the auditors.
Tennis player James Blake arrives at City Hall in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)NEW YORK (AP) — The police officer who tackled retired tennis player James Blake in a mistaken arrest outside a Manhattan hotel testified Tuesday that he and his family have been getting death threats since the 2015 incident.Officer James Frascatore was part of an undercover operation targeting credit card fraud and mistakenly thought Blake was one of the suspects. A security video captured Frascatore tackling and handcuffing Blake, who was let go after officers realized their mistake. The mayor and the former police commissioner publicly apologized to the ex-tennis star.In his second departmental trial connected in the incident, Frascatore said he was just following orders to arrest a man who looked like Blake. He said his career had been destroyed and described the upheaval it brought to his life and family.“The best way to describe it is hell,” he said. “I had death threats coming in to my children, my wife, myself. We had to move numerous times.”Frascatore also accused Blake of creating a “false narrative about an out-of-control cop.”“He’s part black and I’m white and it turned into a racial issue,” he said.Blake’s mother is white, and his father is black. Blake has said he thought the incident was mostly about excessive force, but also about how communities of color are generally treated.In closing remarks Tuesday, prosecutor Javier Seymour said Frascatore broke department rules.At Frascatore’s first departmental trial, police watchdog lawyers said he should lose 10 vacation days as punishment for excessive force, but the police commissioner overruled that recommendation and docked him five vacations days. Blake said the punishment was too light.The second trial was initiated by allegations that Frascatore participated in the investigation and leaked a longer videotape of the incident to the media.Frascatore denied telling anyone to leak the longer tape, saying his sister-in-law gave it out in an attempt to stop the death threats. He said he was “disgusted” the NYPD didn’t release the extended video which showed him shaking hands with Blake and apologizing after the false arrest.“It was very upsetting considering only part of it had been released,” he said.Frascatore’s lawyer, Peter Brill, said the NYPD overreacted to the incident.“The department reacts by placing too much blame. He was simply doing his job.”
The Uruguay national team player was transferred today from Genoa to the Italian powerhouseAfter many rumors surrounding his pass from Genoa to AC Milan, winger-back Diego Laxalt has arrived for the team’s medical tests.The Uruguay national team footballer arrived at the Westin Palace Hotel, where the team houses their new signings, as reported by Football Italia.“Thank you, I’m happy,” he told Sportitalia while walking into the venue.The 25-yeard-old player did not say anything else to the press and is expected to sign soon for AC Milan.Serie A Betting: Match-day 3 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Considering there is a number of perfect starts so early in the Serie A season, as well as a few surprisingly not-so perfect ones….According to Calcio Mercato, the Uruguayan could make a move for €14 million plus €4 million in bonuses.The World Cup footballer started his professional career with Defensor Deporting C in Uruguay.After that, he was transferred to Internazionale in Italy, before being loaned to Bologna, Empoli, and Genoa.In 2016 Genoa bought his contract and now it can be acquired by AC Milan.