January 17, 2008 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Statement of the International press freedom mission to Nepal News NepalAsia – Pacific Organisation Follow the news on Nepal MISSION STATEMENTInternational Press Freedom and Freedom of Expression Mission to NepalAt a press conference today in Kathmandu marking the end of the fourth International Press Freedom and Freedom of Expression Mission to Nepal, the mission members welcomed the progress on reforming the media environment since April 2006, whilst noting that much remains to be done and support must be made available for the continued development of the media. Moreover, the International Mission raised serious concerns about press freedom violations taking place throughout the country, particularly as impartial and independent media coverage will be essential for holding free and fair elections and promoting the democratic process.Press Freedom ViolationsJournalists, media workers and media institutions continue to be harassed and threatened within a growing culture of impunity. The Federation of Nepali Journalists has recorded 652 incidents of press freedom violations between April 2006 and December 2007. The International Mission condemns the murders of Birendra Sah and Pushkar Bahadur Shrestha, and the disappearance of Prakash Singh Thakuri, and calls for the prompt and thorough investigation of these cases by the judicial authorities with full assistance of all relevant individuals and groups, in order to bring those responsible to justice. In particular, the Mission urges the Maoist leadership to form a committee of investigation into the disappearance of Prakash Singh Thakuri, as was done in the case of Birendra Sah. The International Mission stressed the crucial importance of the trials of those accused in these cases being fair and transparent.Constituent Assembly ElectionsThe International Mission spoke with government ministers, political party leaders, community leaders and the security forces about the importance of the elections proceeding as scheduled and supporting an independent and unobstructed media to ensure a free and fair vote. Attacks, threats and interference in the media are unacceptable and deny the public’s right to access independent and diverse information. The Mission calls for the government and political parties to undertake and publicise measures to ensure the safety of journalists and media workers. The Mission will send a short-term observation team during the elections to focus on the media situation.The International Mission urges the national and local media to provide independent and impartial coverage of the elections, avoiding biased content. In this regard, the Mission calls on the media to abide by professional standards in accordance with international principles, and to engage in an open and constructive dialogue with the Election Commission and other relevant groups for delivering fair and impartial content.The International Mission is very concerned about reported cases of hate speech and violence-promoting content, and strongly appeals to all media throughout the country to work professionally, in a manner conducive to ensuring lasting peace.Legal ReformThe International Mission welcomes the amendment of the Working Journalists Act and the enactment of the Right to Information Act, noting the need to ensure their prompt and proper implementation.The International Mission also stressed the need for strong constitutional protection of freedom of expression and press freedom, as well as the reform of the broadcast law and transformation of the state media into public service media, offering diverse programming serving the needs of all in society. The Mission calls for the recommendations of the High Level Media Advisory Commission to be implemented, bringing clarity to the management of broadcasting frequencies, creating a three-tier (commercial, community and public) broadcasting system, administration of licenses, allocation of public advertising and governance of public service media. An enabling environment should also be created for internet-based media.Journalists’ and Media Workers’ RightsThe International Mission requests media institutions to provide journalists and media workers with fair and decent working conditions, as well as calls for negotiations between trade unions, media management and media workers to be held in a constructive manner. The expression of workers’ demands should not unnecessarily interfere with the public’s right to information.Inclusion of Marginalised GroupsThe International Mission calls upon media managers to ensure women are provided equal opportunities for employment, pay and promotion. The Mission also asks media institutions to ensure staffing at all levels representing diversity, including marginalised groups such as Dalits, indigenous nationalities, Madhesi and religious minorities.Follow-Up to the MissionThe International Mission will be releasing a full report in the coming weeks, including a list of recommendations for media development as discussed with the various stakeholders in Nepal. Together with the national media actors, the International Mission will work towards the creation of a comprehensive coordinated ‘roadmap’ for media development. Organisations represented on the Mission are ready to provide support to the Nepali stakeholders as requested in their efforts to ensure press freedom and media development and will call upon other media support organisations to join.Information about the MissionThe International Mission met with government ministers, political party leaders, community leaders, the election commission, police, armed forces, civil society, international community and a broad cross-section of the media in Kathmandu. The Mission also visited the Bara and Parsa Districts (where Birendra Sah and Pushkar Bahadur Shrestha were murdered) and Kanchanpur District (from where Prakash Singh Thakuri disappeared). Prior International Missions to Nepal occurred in July 2005, March 2006 and September 2006.The International Mission incorporates a dozen international organisations, including UN agencies, global media associations, freedom of expression advocates and media development organisations. Those organisations participating in the January 2008 mission included ARTICLE 19, Hirondelle Foundation, International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), International Media Support (IMS), International Press Institute (IPI), Internews, Reporters Without Borders (RSF), Open Society Institute (OSI), UNESCO, World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC) and World Press Freedom Committee (WPFC).The International Mission thanks the Federation of Nepali Journalists and other national organisations involved in preparing and hosting the visit, acknowledging the crucial importance of close cooperation with national actors and ensuring a nationally driven process. For more information contact any of the participating international organisations or IMS at:Jesper Højberg, IMS Executive Director, [email protected], +45 25 31 00 15Binod Bhattarai, IMS South Asia Consultant, +977 9851 025230 May 17, 2019 Find out more Help by sharing this information NepalAsia – Pacific June 8, 2020 Find out more RSF_en to go further Receive email alerts Under Chinese pressure, Nepal sanctions three journalists over Dalai Lama story News Nepal: RSF’s recommendations to amend controversial Media Council Bill May 29, 2019 Find out more News News Nepalese journalists threatened, attacked and censored over Covid-19 coverage
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Hold onto your spleen if you can. The lowly organ, “known as much for its metaphoric as its physiological value, plays a more important role in the body’s defense system than anyone suspected.” Natalie Angier reported in the New York Times that Harvard researchers found that the spleen acts like a fort for disease-fighting monocytes, at the ready when infection strikes. It’s like a standing army. “You don’t want to have to recruit an entire fighting force from the ground up every time you need it,” said Matthias Nahrendorf, an author of the report. This is apparently a surprising discovery about an organ known since Galen studied anatomy in Roman times. The spleen can even protect against heart attacks by surrounding the heart with millions of monocytes. It’s a rapid-response repair team – a “sensible, desirable, an excellent display of emergency preparedness.” Because a person can survive without it, some Darwinists had considered it a vestigial organ – a leftover from our evolutionary past. Angier wrote that this finding “sounds a cautionary note against underestimating a body part or dismissing it as vestigial, expendable or past its prime.” Dr. Nahrendorf quipped, “Evolution has an edge on us. I would be very careful about saying, ‘You don’t need this organ, get rid of it.’”That last silly line with Evolution as the clever wizard should be enough to vent your spleen. Evolution got medicine into this mess. Don’t let Evolution become the hero of the story. Evolution is a wizard, all right: the blunderful Wizard of Flaws (09/05/2008).(Visited 15 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
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Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest We are finally getting some long overdue rain. We got two inches yesterday. We got just shy of 300 acres of beans off. We parked the combine at the end of last week and switched over to spread fertilizer, work ground and we got all of the wheat and barley planted just in time for that nice rain shower. It was a million dollar rain two months too late. Now it looks like we’ll get a little heat this week.We started harvest Sept. 28 cutting beans. We cut for a while then quit to grind feed. We got a good start on the first early beans. The beans were very dry — 8% or 8.5% across the board. Even with the draper head we were still getting some shatter. Yield wise, we have beans that should have been 70 bushels and they were 50. The top pods were not there. They weren’t filled out.In talking to others around here, I don’t feel too bad about our bean averages compared to everyone else. We planted beans late because it was wet and we didn’t get the late moisture for them. We’ve been seeing a range but mostly around 50 bushels.Before this last rain, the last substantial rain we had was the middle of August. We had the wettest July and the driest September on record here. I heard they dug a grave in town and had to go three or four feet down until he hit moisture in the ground.There are some around here who are ahead of us with harvest, but most everyone around here has been getting after it. A couple of guys have switched over to corn. I have heard some better yields with corn. We may start shelling corn here in the middle of the week when things dry out. We need some corn for feed. As dry as it was, the ground is a little tacky after two inches of rain. It is not even sticking to my shoes.
One of the advantages to being part of the GreenBuildingAdvisor team is an invitation to Joe Lstiburek’s Building Science Summer Camp (that’s Joe, on the right, and me in the photo). This is an invitation-only gathering of 200 of the top building scientists, engineers, and architects in America. Of course, builders and remodelers are invited, too. I was there as a member of Peter Yost and Dan Morrison’s new GreenBuildingAdvisor project. Lstiburek is on the advisory team, too. The experience was absolutely amazing.Summer camp seems to be largely an indulgence-of-curiosity project for Lstiburek. He just looks at the building science community and asks himself, “Who is doing interesting research these days?” He calls them up and offers them a chance to speak about what they are passionate about. The talks can range over a pretty wide area.An engineer from Johns Manville talked about how the fiberglass insulation of today is different on a micro-structural basis to the fiberglass of five years ago and why that matters.Pierre-Michel Busque, P.Eng., talked about window leaks in western Canada and various pressure-assisted rain-screen strategies that can help keep walls dry.Ren Anderson from the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) talked about the reconstruction of tornado-ravaged Greensburg, Kansas. NREL is value engineering advanced energy performance into the new homes being built there. Anderson says they have found a way to get 58% better-than-code performance at no extra cost. They can get to 90% better-than-code at no extra cost by balancing energy savings against higher mortgage payments and factoring in a 40% increase in fuel costs.The BSC summer camp lecture was held for 200 from 8:30 a.m. ’til 3:30 p.m. each day. A presentation by Henry Gifford was particularly earth shattering. Recently the USGBC (http://www.usgbc.org/) had published a report from the New Buildings Institute (http://www.newbuildings.org/) that showed that LEED certified buildings perform 25% better than non-LEED certified “CBECS” buildings (www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/cbecs). Gifford is a building efficiency expert in New York City and he sees these all-glass LEED buildings going up and he wonders how they can possibly perform better than the CBECS average. So he downloaded the data and discovered they were comparing mean data for all age CBECS buildings to median data for new LEED buildings. He made some adjustments and was able to demonstrate that the new LEED buildings were actually performing 30% worse than other buildings of the same age. His point was that using models to predict is a good start, but until we go back and test our work, we’re not doing building science—we’re doing building theory (and getting pretty close to religion if we just take things on faith).GreenBuildingAdvisor.com is announced! This was a great setup for Peter Yost to step in and announce that Building Green Inc. (publisher of Environmental Building News) and The Taunton Press (publisher of Fine Homebuilding magazine) had partnered to build GreenBuildingAdvisor.com. One of their (our) initiatives will be to publish case studies of energy-efficient and green homes; the main difference is that they’ll get the energy bills of these houses and talk about actual energy used, rather than predicted. I’m starting with four of Chandler Design-Build’s recent homes as part of the first wave. It’s an exciting project to see how the theory really works out over time as compared with other excellent builders across the country, if a little intimidating.Energy Star for Homes’ recent spec boost is announced! Not to be outdone, the national director of Energy Star for Homes, Sam Rashkin, announced the latest “version three” release from Energy Star and their newest program, Advanced New Home Construction. The version three adds new ventilation, humidity control, water management, thermal bridging, HVAC installation testing, radiant barriers, and overall size limitations to Energy Star’s specs. Rashkin is a guy who likes to knock beehives with a stick, and his announcement that Energy Star for homes was going to get a whole lot harder set the whole room to buzzing. His announcement of size limitations drew applause from the summer campers.He went on to show what would be required to meet the Advanced New Home Construction standard: 50% better than code, triple-glazed windows, super HVAC, and size limits… Even I was thinking this will work at $10/gallon, but maybe America’s not ready to go there yet. Saying “no more Hummer houses” is one thing but it feels like he’s taking Energy Star away from the market. It’s a very interesting time to be part of the green-building movement.After class we reconvened at the clubhouse for feasting, drinking, and science discussion until late in the evening. I was welcomed to the clubhouse by Betsy Pettit, the renowned architect/writer/speaker who is a partner at Building Science Corporation (http://www.buildingscience.com/). Pettit and Lstiburek renovated the 150-year-old Massachusetts farmhouse into a very energy-efficient building. You can read about the process at Fine Homebuilding online (http://www.taunton.com/finehomebuilding/how-to/articles/remodeling-for-energy-efficiency.aspx?ac=fp).Is Shismaref the new Greensburg? There was a significant Alaskan contingent who told me they are really getting hit hard by global warming. The pack ice that protects barrier islands in the northern Bering Sea is coming too late in the season. The shores, which are a composite of sand and permafrost, are exposed to fall storms that they never experienced before and the islands are melting into the sea. This is problematic when there are villages on the island.I spoke with people who were working on the social and logistical challenge of relocating villages to the mainland. Building durable, healthy, and energy-efficient homes for people who have been subsistence living on remote islands is challenging enough; the social implications are very knotty. Many of the elders would prefer to sink into the sea with the rest of their way of life. The ethical and moral complications are mind boggling and the folks who are working on them, awe inspiring. To bring home the reality of what they are dealing with they brought along a gift from the community, raw bowfin and beluga whale and seal jerky with seal oil dip. I couldn’t bring myself to sample the seal oil but the raw bowfin was quite good. The rest may be an acquired taste…—Michael Chandler is a builder, master plumber, and electrician near Chapel Hill, North Carolina. His website is www.ChandlerDesign-Build.com
Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Pengilly, who is British, was one of only two IOC members who didn’t support the decision allowing Russians to compete in Pyeongchang in the wake of a massive doping scandal.Pressed to explain why the British official was expelled while other IOC members facing investigations are allowed to take part in activities in Pyeongchng, International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams on Friday said it was because the incident happened during the games and because Pengilly had acknowledged his behavior.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“Because this involved … security during the games,” Adams said. “It’s obviously very important for the operations. All the other cases are in process, being discussed.”Adams repeatedly described the security guard involved as a volunteer, but officials later said it involved a paid security guard. Pengilly, who competed in skeleton at the 2006 and 2010 Winter Olympics, has apologized to the organizers and written an apology to the guard.The International Bobsled and Skeleton Federation issued an apology to Pyeongchang officials for Pengilly’s behavior.While Pengilly has denied making physical contact with the guard, Adams and Pyeongchang spokesman Sung Baik-you said he did.Both men said they had not seen closed-circuit evidence of the incident, and that footage has not been made public.Adams said Bach made an “unreserved apology” to local South Korean organizers and had asked to meet with the guard.ADVERTISEMENT John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding FILE – In this Feb. 28, 2009 file photo, Britain’s Adam Pengilly pumps his fist after finishing second in the men’s Skeleton World Championships in Lake Placid, N.Y. The International Olympic Committee says it is sending home Pengilly, who is one of its members, following an altercation with a security guard at the Pyeongchang Games. The IOC said Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018, that Pengilly has apologized to the security guard and will leave the Olympics immediately. (AP Photo/Peter Morgan, File)PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — An IOC member expelled from the Pyeongchang Olympics over a run-in with a security guard is also one of the only members openly critical of President Thomas Bach’s move to allow Russian athletes to compete at the games.Adam Pengilly, a vice president of the International Bobsled and Skeleton Federation, apologized and acknowledged running through the security checkpoint at his hotel and using course language on Thursday. He denied accusations that he pushed the guard in the incident.ADVERTISEMENT The IOC has been much slower to act on other ethics cases involving Sheikh Ahmad al-Fahad as-Sabah of Kuwait and Alex Gilady of Israel.Sheikh Ahmad has been identified as a co-conspirator in a United States corruption investigation. He is also the subject of an investigation by FIFA, the international governing body for soccer.He has denied any wrongdoing.Sheikh Ahmad heads the powerful Association of Olympic Committees, a grouping of more than 200 national Olympic federations.Adams said “our ethics commission is aware of this case” but Adams added that Sheik Ahmad “hasn’t been charged.”Gilady has faced accusations of sexual harassment and assault. He denies the charges but has stepped away from business positions in Israel.Adams said “we are aware of that (Gilady) situation. We take note there is on-going legal action at the moment.”Adams said both cases were being investigated by the IOC’s chief ethics and compliance officer Paquerette Girard Zappelli, who handled the expulsion of Pengilly.At the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, IOC member Patrick Hickey was arrested by Brazilian authorities on charges of ticket scalping. He denies the charges.Carlos Nuzman, the president of the Rio organizing committee, quit last year as an honorary IOC member after being charged by Brazilian prosecutors with corruption, money laundering, tax evasion and running a criminal organization. Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises MOST READ He was held in prison for several weeks and is fighting the charges. 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. 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