Belarusian media under pressure over election coverage

first_img(Photo : to go further May 27, 2021 Find out more News RSF_en Follow the news on Belarus News June 2, 2021 Find out more Help by sharing this information BelarusEurope – Central Asia Russian media boss drops the pretence and defends Belarus crackdown RSF at the Belarusian border: “The terrorist is the one who jails journalists and intimidates the public” News Receive email alerts BelarusEurope – Central Asia May 28, 2021 Find out more As the Belarusian elections approaches, Reporters Without Borders deplores the efforts of the authorities to censor media coverage of the campaign and stifle political discussion.“The campaign for the elections on 23 September has ended as it began, with the harassment of critical voices. Any attempt to inject a political dimension into the elections, which the authorities would prefer to be seen as a formality, is at best censored, if not violently repressed.Televised debates, largely pre-recorded for later broadcast, are heavily censored. The crux of the problem is a call for a boycott of the ballot by several opposition parties. The chairwoman of the Central Election Commission, Lidziya Yarmoshyna, announced on 11 September that seven pre-recorded debates would not be broadcast because some of the candidates had used them to call for an election boycott. Anatol Lyabedzka, leader of the United Civic Party, told Reuters Without Borders that 32 of his party’s candidates had their campaign broadcasts censored on television and radio. The official press refused to publish the campaign statements of 11 candidates, in contravention of the law. Furthermore, he said, most of the UCP candidates had been forced to make changes to their statements after the authorities threatened to ban them from the media. “Censorship of the boycott appeals is politically motivated and completely illegal,” Lyabedzka said. Section 47 of the electoral code clearly sets out the reasons why a candidate could be refused access to the media and an appeal for a boycott is not among them. Two days ago, the Belarus Association of Journalists, a partner organization of Reporters Without Borders, submitted its findings after monitoring the campaign between 2 and 15 September. The report concluded: “The state-owned media did not only try to marginalise key actors (in the campaign), i.e. candidates, but also intended to prevent the voters from obtaining information about the candidates’ agendas and block their discussion.” The official media have tried to depoliticise the election campaign by marginalising candidates and political discussion and concentrating on the technical aspect of the ballot. As a general rule the state media have given the elections a marginal place in their programming. Thus, during the period under study, the news programme “Panarama’’ on Belarus 1 television devoted 1.88 percent of its coverage to the elections, compared with 2.82 percent for the weather and 14.7 percent for sports news. Three days ago, seven journalists were roughly questioned in the capital Minsk as they were covering a protest by activists of the opposition Zmena movement. The cameramen Pavel Padabed (BelaPAN news agency) and Alyaksandr Barazenka (Belsat), as well as the photographers Syarhey Hryts (Associated Press), Tatsyana Zyankovich, Vasil Fedosenka (Reuters), Dmitry Rudakov and Aleksei Akulov (ZDF) were taken in an unmarked vehicle to a police station, where they were split up. As they were being questioned, an official struck Hryts, breaking his glasses and drawing blood.The journalists were released about an hour-and-a-half later without charge and without explanation. The police deleted most of the images of the demonstration from their cameras before returning the equipment. The next day, the Zmena demonstrators went on trial in a closed session at the Frunzenski district court in Minsk. The journalists were prevented from talking to the friends and families of the accused.Reporters Without Borders has also learned that Moscow correspondent for the German television station ZDF, Anne Gelinek, was refused a visa to travel to Minsk to cover the elections. She was given no explanation for the refusal. Her experience recalls the case of Gesine Dornblüth, a correspondent in Moscow for Deutschlandradio, who was the victim of a similar refusal in August.Belarus is ranked 168th of 179 countries in the 2011/2012 World Press Freedom index compiled by Reporters Without Borders. It is also figures on the organization’s list of Internet Enemies because of its systematic use of Internet censorship. “We welcome opening of criminal investigation in Lithuania in response to our complaint against Lukashenko” RSF says September 21, 2012 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Belarusian media under pressure over election coverage Organisation Newslast_img read more

Limerick schools close over Rachel’s Red Alert

first_imgTHE Red Alert weather warning issued by Met Eireann has forced a number of Limerick schools to confirm that they are to close on Thursday. Following a direction from the Department of Education and Skills that closures were to be decided upon locally, it is understood that the following schools have indicated that they will be closed;Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up Christ the King boys school, Caherdavin;Scoil Mhuire Banríon na hÉireann, Caherdavin,Carnane NS.Caherline NS;Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh,Scoil Carmel,Parteen NS,Knockea primary school,Gaelscoil Sheoirse Clancy,Southill;Desmond College, NCW;Presentation NS,Salesian primary, Fernbank;Crecora NS,St Nessans Community College,Ballybrown NS;Colaiste Chiarain, Croom;Colaiste Mhuire, Askeaton;St Patrick’s Boys NS, Dublin Road;Scoil Dean Cussen, Bruff;Cappamore NS,Croagh NS,Colaiste Ide agus Iosef, Abbeyfeale;Mungret NS,An Mhodhscoil,SMI secondary School, NCW;Laurel Hill Colaiste, SCR;St Brigids,St Nessans,Salesians Pallaskenry,St Mary’s,St Patricks Girls NS,Monaleen NS,Kilfinane NS,Ardpatrick NS,Patrickswell NS,Glenbrohane NS,Foynes NS,St Nessans, Mungret;Crescent College Comprehensive,Killmallock NS,Milford NS,JFK, Ennis Road;Shauntrade NS, Adare;Scoil na Trionoide Naofa, Doon;Colaiste Iósaef, Kilmallock;Manister NS and Donoughmore NS. Twitter Advertisement Print Email WhatsAppcenter_img Linkedin Facebook Previous articleLimerick on Red Alert weather warningNext articlePublic appeal to help locate missing woman Staff Reporter NewsLimerick schools close over Rachel’s Red AlertBy Staff Reporter – January 14, 2015 700 last_img read more

Why run unless something is chasing you?

first_img The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news. Harvard program gives students valuable insight into how body works A groundbreaking researcher in running turns his attention to walking, with and without shoes Related Lab learning scores with teen athletes GAZETTE:  How can people get around these natural instincts?LIEBERMAN:  Since medicalizing and commercializing exercise is obviously not working, I think we can do better if we think like evolutionary anthropologists. Here are three things people can do. The first: Don’t be mad at yourself. Don’t feel bad for not wanting to exercise, but learn to recognize these instincts so you can overcome them. When I get up in the morning to go running, it’s often cold and miserable, and I have no desire to exercise. My brain often tells me all kinds of reasons why I should put it off. I sometimes have to force myself out the door. My point here is to be compassionate about yourself and understand that those little voices in your head are normal and that all of us, even “exercise addicts,” struggle with them. A key to exercising is to overcome them.The second way in which we can kind of help ourselves is to remember we evolved to be physically active for just two reasons (and this is what a lot of the book is about). We evolved to be physically active when it was necessary or socially rewarding. Most of our ancestors went out to hunt or gather every day because they would otherwise starve. The other times they were physically active was for fun pursuits like dancing or playing games and sports. These are fun things to do and have some social benefits. If we want to help ourselves exercise, we need to have that same mindset. Make it fun, but also make it necessary. One of the most important ways to make it necessary is to do it socially, like being part of a running group. The obligation makes it fun, social, and necessary.The final anthropological approach that can help is not worrying about time and how much exercise you need. There is a myth that we evolved to be perpetually active, run marathons, and be so bulked up we can lift giant rocks with ease. The truth is far from that. Our ancestors were reasonably but not excessively active and strong. Typical-hunter gatherers engage in only about 2¼ hours a day of moderate to vigorous physical activity. They aren’t extremely muscular, and they sit as much as we do, nearly 10 hours a day. Further, a little bit of physical activity is enormously salubrious. Dose response curves show that just 150 minutes of exercise a week — only 21 minutes a day — lowers mortality rates by about 50 percent. Knowing that, I think, can help people feel better about doing just a little exercise instead of none.,GAZETTE:  You explore some other big myths in the book with anthropological evidence backing you. Let’s talk about a few. Will running eventually wreck your knees?LIEBERMAN:  That one’s an old chestnut, and it’s just so distressing to hear over and over again. It is true that knee injuries are the most common running injuries. So yes, there’s an association between running injuries and knee problems. But most of the knee injuries that people get from running can be treated and, even better, can be prevented by learning to run properly and adapting your body, especially by strengthening muscles in your hips and legs. I think we could avert a lot of injuries by treating running as a skill. The other problem that people mistakenly worry about is osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis, unfortunately, is untreatable and a serious problem, but the notion that running causes knee osteoarthritis is not supported by the evidence. There are multiple compelling scientific studies which show that runners are not at greater risk of getting this disease and, if anything, running is slightly protective. Of course, once you do have arthritis, then running can be very painful and can exacerbate it. But let’s dispel the scary myth that running will give you arthritis.GAZETTE:  Is it normal to exercise less as we age? Leave those calluses alone Do you tell yourself when you don’t feel like exercising that you’re just being lazy? Actually, Harvard evolutionary biologist Daniel E. Lieberman ’86 says, we’re nearly hard-wired to avoid unnecessary exertion. In his new book, “Exercised: Why Something We Never Evolved to Do Is Healthy and Rewarding,” Lieberman explores this idea while using anthropological evidence to bust other myths and misunderstandings about exercise. The Gazette spoke with Lieberman, the Edwin M. Lerner II Professor of Biological Science, about the book and tips for getting motivated to do something as unnatural as exercise.Q&ADaniel LiebermanGAZETTE:  The biggest myth you address in the book is that it’s normal to exercise. Introduce this idea.LIEBERMAN:  We live in a world where everyone knows that exercise is good for you, and yet the vast majority of people have a hard time doing it. According to government statistics, only about a quarter of Americans actually exercise in their leisure time. For me, it’s clear we’re asking people to choose to do something that’s inherently abnormal in the sense that we evolved not to do it. Humans evolved to move. We evolved to be physically active. But exercise is a special kind of physical activity. It’s voluntary physical activity for the sake of health and fitness. Until recently, nobody did that. In fact, it would be a kind of a crazy thing to do because if you’re a very active hunter-gatherer, for example, or a subsistence farmer, it wouldn’t make sense to spend any extra energy going for a needless five-mile jog in the morning. It doesn’t help you. In fact, it actually takes away precious calories from other priorities. All in all, humans have these deep-rooted instincts to avoid unnecessary physical activity, because until recently it was beneficial to avoid it. Now, we judge people as lazy if they don’t exercise. But they’re not lazy. They’re just being normal. “The [Harvard Alumni Study] found that older Harvard alums who were exercising had about 50 percent lower mortality rates than their classmates who were sedentary, and that the benefits of exercise were much higher in older than younger alumni.” LIEBERMAN:  I think this is the most important myth that I bust in the book. We invented the concept of retirement in the modern Western world, and along with that the notion that once we hit 65 it’s normal to take it easy. But that was never true for our ancestors. There was no such thing as retirement in the Stone Age. In fact, until recently, it was the opposite, because hunter-gatherer grandparents often work harder than parents foraging for surplus food that they provide to their children and grandchildren. We evolved to be physically active throughout the entire lifespan. And in turn lifelong activity helps us live longer and stay healthy as we age. This is because physical activity turns on a broad range of repair and maintenance mechanisms that counter the effects of aging. A consequence of this evolutionary legacy is that of all the times to be less physically active, probably the worst is as we get older, because being sedentary deprives us of all those anti-aging mechanisms activated by exercise. Study after study shows that the health benefits of physical activity become more important, not less important, as we age. In fact, the first major study to show this definitively was the Harvard Alumni Study led by Ralph Paffenbarger. That study found that older Harvard alums who were exercising had about 50 percent lower mortality rates than their classmates who were sedentary, and that the benefits of exercise were much higher in older than younger alumni.GAZETTE:  Is sitting really that bad for us?LIEBERMAN: This is another example of how the oversimplified way we think and talk about health and physical activity can create confusion. We’ve so demonized being a couch potato that sitting has been called “the new smoking” and it is widely assumed that until recently no one sat very much. But surprise, surprise, when researchers study modern-hunter gatherers, they sit about 10 hours a day, just as much as most Americans. Demonizing something as normal as sitting isn’t very helpful. A much better approach, a more sophisticated approach (which I explore in the book) is to realize that there are better and worse ways to sit. One is to sit more actively. While we evolved to sit a lot, we didn’t evolve to sit motionless for hours on end, and there is compelling evidence that it is helpful to interrupt your sitting on a regular basis. If you are working at a desk, get up every once in a while, fidget, go get yourself a cup of tea, whatever. Those regular, frequent interruptions turn on your muscles and other aspects of your metabolism just enough to lower levels of blood sugar and fat and counteract other negative effects of being sedentary. It’s bit like turning on your car engine. However, it is true that sitting is a problem if that’s all you do. Leisure-time sitting is far more strongly associated with poor health outcomes than work-time sitting. So, if you sit a lot during work but also sit a lot in the mornings, evening, and on weekends, all that sedentism is going to be a problem. All things considered, it’s unhelpful to equate sitting with smoking. Unlike smoking, it’s perfectly normal to sit. It shouldn’t be a source of shame to use a chair and a standing desk isn’t a substitute for exercise. Just don’t spend all your day in a chair. But who doesn’t know that?Daniel Lieberman will discuss his new book, “Exercised: Why Something We Never Evolved to Do Is Healthy and Rewarding,” at a virtual event 7 p.m. Tuesday.  The Harvard Science Book Talks series is a collaboration between the Harvard University Division of Science, Harvard Library, and Harvard Book Store. This event is co-sponsored by The Leakey Foundation.This interview has been edited and condensed for length and clarity.last_img read more