SERBIA : Cartoonist fired then reinstated, both times at PM’s request

first_img Reporters Without Borders (RSF) regards well-known cartoonist Dusan Petricic’s dismissal by the leading Serbian daily Politiko – although later rescinded – as unacceptable political censorship by the government.When Politika fired Petricic on 30 September, editor Zarko Rakic said it was because of his “excessively high fees” and “delays in handing in his work.” But Petricic had previously refused to comply with verbal requests not to criticize Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic so often.After an outcry about Petricic’s dismissal, Politica did a U-turn and told him he could return to work at once. But the Serbian Independent Association of Journalists (NUNS) described Politica’s response as “trick” designed to defuse the controversy.The association said it was clear that both Petricic’s dismissal and reinstatement were orchestrated by the prime minister himself, who makes every effort to silence all journalists critical of the government.RSF regards the censorship of political cartoons and the Serbian government’s grip on the country’s media as intolerable.“The Serbian prime minister’s meddling in a daily newspaper’s internal affairs is extremely disturbing,” said Pauline Adès-Mével, the head of RSF’s Europe-Balkans desk. “The way the prime minister’s staff took the liberty of intervening in the running of a newspaper and the editor then complied is indicative of an outrageous level of collusion between the government and some of the media in Serbia.”Ironically, Petricic’s cartoons had been cited several times in the past by the prime minister, who insists there is no censorship. In July, Vucic went so far as to stage an exhibition of “uncensored lies.”It consisted of 2,523 cartoons, articles, tweets and TV broadcasts critical of the government that were carefully chosen by Vucic’s Serbian Progressive Party and were displayed in gigantic gallery in downtown Belgrade as evidence that there is no governmental censorship of the media.Serbia is ranked 59th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2016 World Press Freedom Index. June 7, 2021 Find out more Serbia and Montenegro: Are judges protecting journalists or their aggressors? Serbian daily newspaper Politika/ AFP SerbiaEurope – Central Asia Media independence Freedom of expression Follow the news on Serbia News Receive email alerts News July 2, 2020 Find out more SerbiaEurope – Central Asia Media independence Freedom of expression Help by sharing this information Respect judicial independence in cases of two leading journalists in Serbia and Montenegro, RSF says Nearly half of UN member countries have obstructed coronavirus coverage October 7, 2016 SERBIA : Cartoonist fired then reinstated, both times at PM’s request Organisation RSF_en June 29, 2020 Find out more News to go further Newslast_img read more

Bear bursts through wall ‘like the Kool-Aid Man’ to escape Colorado home, police say

first_imgEstes Park Police Department/Facebook(ESTES PARK, Colo.) —  A bear that broke into a Colorado home made a wild escape to avoid being taken into custody when law enforcement arrived.The bear may have been attracted to the scent of garbage when it entered a home near Fall River Road in Estes Park, Colorado, Friday night, according to a statement from the Estes Park Police Department.When an officer arrived at the home, the bear then “forcibly breached in the wall like the ‘Kool-Aid Man,’” police said, referring to the mascot in the shape of a pitcher who would burst through walls before saying the catchphrase “Oh yeah!” in Kool-Aid commercials.Photos police posted to Facebook show a large hole next to the home’s door, which the bear created to make its getaway.Officials from Colorado Parks and Wildlife advised residents to routinely close and lock all doors and windows to their homes and vehicles.Bears in the area are so habituated to retreiving food from vehicles that some are going car to car to see if they are unlocked, even if they don’t see or smell food, according to the department.Some vehicles that bears have broken into were clean of any attractants — “not even a crumb,” wildlife officials said, describing the animals as “extremely smart.”“Make it a routine to check everything is closed up before you go to bed or leave the house to do errands,” department officials said. “Please do your part to keep bears wild.”Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

ND closes for first time since 2000

first_imgNotre Dame closed Wednesday due to winter weather for the first time in 10 years. Students, faculty and staff were notified of the decision through the University’s emergency alert system around 6:30 a.m. Wednesday. “Because of dangerous weather conditions, classes have been cancelled and the campus will be closed for business today,” the alert said. ” Snow Essential Personnel are asked to report to work, but to use caution.” Notre Dame last closed due to winter weather on Dec. 12, 2000, according to University spokesman Dennis Brown. Final exams were postponed for one day. Before the 2000 snow day, Notre Dame closed due to a snowstorm in January, 1997. University offices were closed Wednesday, but North and South Dining Halls, LaFortune Student Center and Reckers remained open for students. RecSports recreation facilities, including Rolfs Sports Recreation Center, Rockne Memorial and Rolfs Aquatic Center also held regular hours. Classes were also cancelled Wednesday at Saint Mary’s, where the Noble Family Dining Hall and C-Store remained open. South Bend Mayor Luecke declared a “snow emergency” at 6 a.m. Wednesday, prohibiting non-emergency traffic on all streets throughout the city. He advised residents to stay home and restrict travel. The City of South Bend lifted the “snow emergency” at 4 p.m., but parking was prohibited on snow routes until Thursday morning. “City crews have been working 24/7 to clear the snow and will continue to do so until all streets are complete,” a Wednesday afternoon media advisory from the City stated. The Associated Press reported tens of millions of people stayed home Wednesday due to the winter storm, which spread from Oklahoma to New England. Chicago, where 20.2 inches fell, experienced the most snow in the storm, which was a result of the rare clashing of two air masses, according to the Associated Press.last_img read more

Colchester’s Benefit Group merges with Digital Insurance of Atlanta

first_imgDigital Insurance Inc. (www.digitalinsurance.com(link is external)), the nation’s leading employee benefits agency specializing in insurance for small businesses and mid-sized companies, has merged with The Benefit Group of New England LLC (BGNE), based in Colchester. The regional firm’s owners and all staff members will continue operating the company and clients will have access to more robust resources, sophisticated technology, price advantages and proprietary solutions available through Digital’s national platform.‘The new relationship with BGNE is part of our company’s continuing growth strategy to partner with leading agencies throughout the United States that have strong community roots,’ says Adam Bruckman, president and chief executive officer of Digital Insurance. ‘Digital gains experienced leaders with regional insights and relationships that cannot be easily replicated. At the same time, BGNE acquires resources and tools to help them prosper and better meet employer needs, particularly during this era of health care reform.’‘This partnership is the next step in our evolution and delivers tremendous advantages to our clients,’ says BGNE partner Deb Loughlin. ‘No other employee benefits agency in our region has the capabilities we now offer.’ New services include compliance assistance, in-depth communications and resources related to health care reform. In addition, employers benefit from access to a Customer Advocate Center which handles individual employee calls, an online Benefits Resource Center to assist with human resource issues and an online Wellness Management Center to help create a healthier workforce.‘The relationship with Digital also provides our firm with an optimal platform for continued growth,’ says BGNE partner Bob Gaydos. ‘We’ve been expanding into new municipalities in Vermont, New Hampshire and upstate New York, and this accelerates our plans to open a new office in Fort Myers, Fla.’Founded in 1990 and based in Colchester, Vt., BGNE is a group insurance agency and employee benefits consulting firm serving more than 300 New England and northern New York employers. With an annual growth rate of 23 percent over the last decade, the firm has experienced tremendous success and has a reputation for its progressive approach to creating benefits strategic plans that deliver long-term advantages for employer groups.Digital is in an aggressive growth mode and pursuing four specific revenue strategies in the small and medium business market (SMB) during 2011:Agency Acquisition: Digital recruits a top-performing firm’s entire employee benefits portfolio and retains its personnel to deploy a local market solution. Agencies gain a cash infusion, while clients experience enhanced service.P&C Growth Acquisition: Digital acquires and manages the agency’s employee benefits segment, freeing the P&C firm to focus on core business and/or pursue strategic growth plans.Block Acquisition: Digital purchases a block of the agency’s employee benefits book — often smaller accounts. This arrangement enables firms to grow more profitable business, and clients benefit from a more advanced service platform.Digital also is pursuing partnerships in which the local agency retains its customers. Through a shared commission arrangement, Digital manages a specified portion — or all — of the employee benefits business. Firms working with the company in this capacity are interested in growth and gaining efficiencies to better service their more profitable clients.About Digital InsuranceDigital Insurance is the nation’s leading employee benefits agency specializing in insurance for small businesses and mid-sized companies. The firm’s national footprint, technology, resources and benefits expertise help customers control costs and simplify the health care journey. Digital levels the playing field for employers and employees, delivering the same advantages experienced by large organizations. Respected for its industry leadership and responsive service by knowledgeable professionals, the privately owned company’s innovative solutions empower customers to navigate the complexities of health care reform and guide individuals to become better health care consumers. ATLANTA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Digital Insurance Inclast_img read more

Colombia Honors Ecuadorean Soldier Killed in FARC Attack Posthumously

first_img Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzón gave the Ecuadorean Ambassador in Colombia, Raúl Vallejo, Maldonado’s posthumous award during the Ministry of Defense’s anniversary celebration, an official from the Ministry reported. On August 14, the Colombian Ministry of Defense honored Ecuadorean Soldier Diego Maldonado with a posthumous military award. Maldonado died last week during an attack by the Colombian FARC guerrillas on the border with Ecuador. By Dialogo August 16, 2013 The Colombian government blamed the FARC for the attack, in which five guerrillas were also killed, and another Ecuadorean soldier was wounded. Maldonado’s award was the Ministry of Defense’s Military Medal for Distinguished Service. Furthermore, Pinzón sent his condolences to the deceased officer’s family. The minister also praised the “good will” of the Ecuadorean and Colombian governments for working jointly on border security. Maldonado, a 28-year-old lieutenant, died on August 8 during the attack by an illegal group against the Ecuadorean Army on the border with Colombia. last_img read more

When a Leader Just Won’t Go

first_img“He cannot bear being the loser and so now is doing everything within his power to assault the reality he hates,” said Joseph Burgo, a clinical psychologist who has studied Mr. Trump and written about his appeal to voters. “Once he has exhausted all possible avenues to challenge the election, he will spend the rest of his life insisting the system conspired to deprive him of his victory,” said Dr. Burgo, the author of “The Narcissist You Know: Defending Yourself Against Extreme Narcissists in an All-About-Me Age.” “He will take refuge in blame, self-pity and righteous indignation to shore up his sense of self, thereby warding off the humiliation of true defeat.” – Advertisement – Meanwhile, many Republican legislators, loath to upset Mr. Trump, are helping to prop up the illusion that he is still somehow in power, in a way reminiscent of the courtiers who flattered, lied and enabled their way through the final days of Emperor Haile Selasse’s reign in Ethiopia in Ryszard Kapuscinski’s “The Emperor.” Interestingly enough, there appears to be some precedent for this within the Trump family itself. When the president’s father, Fred, developed Alzheimer’s, the family reportedly conspired to help him believe that he still ran the Trump organization. According to Vanity Fair, the elder Mr. Trump would show up for work every day, signing blank papers and using an office phone connected only to his secretary’s line. “Fred pretended to work,” a family friend told the magazine.With his vast coterie of enablers willing to believe his baseless assertions about the election, Mr. Naftali said, Trump might be better compared to the Wizard in “The Wizard of Oz.” – Advertisement – – Advertisement –center_img “Many of us assumed that Trump’s behind-the-curtain moment — when Dorothy arrived and, thanks to Toto, found out that the Wizard was a humbug — would come because of his handling of the Covid emergency,” he said. “But one of the reasons the president is able to continue this fantasy that he won a second term is that 73 million people don’t agree that he was a humbug. Even though the Wizard is on his way out, Oz still exists.” All these things raise the question (asking for a friend): How do you get someone to face reality and get out of the White House? last_img read more