June 11, 2021 Find out more Call for Iranian New Year pardons for Iran’s 21 imprisoned journalists Esmail Jafari, a journalist based in the southwestern city of Bushehr who keeps a blog called Rah Mardom (“Voice of the People” – http://www.poutin.blogfa.com), was released from Bushehr prison on 18 March on payment of 50 million toman (about 40,000 euros) in bail. He was arrested on 15 December after being sentenced to five months in prison on charges of anti-government propaganda and threatening national security.——————11.12.2008 – Authorities step up Internet surveillance, cyber-dissident sentenced to five years in prisonReporters Without Borders condemns recent government moves to reinforce repression of the Internet. In the latest move, Tehran prosecutor general Said Mortazavi announced yesterday that the “special prosecutor’s department for Internet crimes” will henceforth work directly with the intelligence services.The press freedom organisation also deplores the heavy prison sentence imposed on a cyber-dissident last weekend for covering a demonstration.“In the absence of the ability to control more than 18 million Internet users, the government has chose intimidation,” Reporters Without Borders said. “Mortazavi’s decision is indicative of the Internet’s situation in Iran – under control and regarded as a dangerous area.”The organisation added: “The creation of a special prosecutor’s department for Internet crimes is part of a broader project by the authorities designed not only to monitor online content but also to impose extremely severe sentences, including the death penalty, for Internet crimes. We deplore this department’s increased power, which is a formidable repressive tool and an excellent way to get people to censor themselves.”In an interview for the government news agency Fars, Mortazavi said the government had reinforced “all resources for prosecuting websites that do not follow religious principles and are immoral.” Since 2003, the government has had a commission dedicated to compiling a list of “illegal” websites, which includes YouTube, Facebook and Orkut.The special prosecutor’s department, which decides on censorship measures, consists of a team of computer specialists. Mortazavi said it was now envisaged that “two special inspectors will work with the security services.” This department “is already responsible for dismantling several groups acting against the government on the Internet,” he said, adding: “The Internet will be made safe because anti-religious and immoral activities will be prosecuted.”A Mortazavi adviser said on 19 November that the authorities were responsible for filtering out “five million websites.” In recent weeks, the WeChange website http://www.wechange.info) was blocked for the 18th time this year and the FeministSchool website (http://www.feministschool.com) was blocked for the eighth time. The Zhila.net blog (http://www.zhila.net) is also inaccessible. It is kept by women’s rights lawyer Jila Bani Yaghoub, the editor of the WomenIran.com website. to go further Receive email alerts Help by sharing this information News IranMiddle East – North Africa News News April 6, 2009 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Blogger freed on bail after being held for three months Organisation News Nasrin Sotoudeh, a lawyer who represents several journalists and cyber-dissidents, was prevented from leaving Iran yesterday to go to Italy, where she was to receive an international human rights prize. Her passport was confiscated by ministry of intelligence officials. Jafari’s blog (http://www.poutin.blogfa.com) is called Rah Mardom, which means “Voice of the People.” He also reports for the local weeklies Nassr Bousher and Baharestan.“We condemn this court ruling that has made Jafari the third cyber-dissident to be threatened with imprisonment in Iran this year,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The way Internet users are being persecuted is intolerable. We call for his conviction to be overturned.”The two online journalists currently detained in Iran are theologian Mojtaba Lotfi, who is imprisoned in the religious city of Qom, and Shahnaz Gholami, editor of the Azar Zan blog (http://azarwomen.blogfa.com/) and member of the Association of Women Journalists (ARZ), who has been imprisoned in the northwestern city of Tabriz since 9 November.The warrant for Gholami’s arrest said “articles were found at her home that jeopardised national security.” The warrant also said that: “The defendant clearly stated that she posted these articles on her blog, accessible to everyone.” She has not been able to see her lawyer or her 9-year-old daughter since her arrest. Esmail Jafari, a blogger and journalist based in the southwestern city of Bushehr, was meanwhile sentenced to five months in prison on 6 December on charges of “anti-government publicity” and “disseminating information abroad.” He is still free pending the outcome of an appeal.He was arrested on 7 April for covering a demonstration by some 20 workers outside the Bushehr prefecture in protest against their dismissal. He was released 17 days later on payment of 50 million toman (about 45,000 euros). At that time, the two charges brought against him were “disseminating information abroad” and “spying.” Follow the news on Iran June 9, 2021 Find out more RSF_en Iran: Press freedom violations recounted in real time January 2020 IranMiddle East – North Africa Iran is stepping up pressure on journalists, including foreign journalists, in run-up to election March 18, 2021 Find out more
Indianapolis, In. — Officials from the Indiana Republican Party say Vice President Mike Pence and Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel will kick-off the party’s Right Track Results Tour, which will cross all corners of the state heading into this year’s critical midterm election.“Hoosiers looking at their state leaders see results – balanced budgets, a growing workforce and record job creation. Indiana’s on the right track,” said Kyle Hupfer, chairman of the Indiana Republican Party. “That Indiana way is making its way to Washington, where Republicans like Vice President Mike Pence are working to get America back on track. Our Right Track Results Tour will take our results-focused message statewide with the proven Hoosier leaders who are delivering those results daily.”The tour, which continues through Election Day, will feature local and statewide Republican leaders including U.S. Senate nominee Mike Braun, Secretary of State Connie Lawson, Auditor Tera Klutz and Treasurer Kelly Mitchell. Vice President Pence and RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel will attend the Right Track Results Tour Kickoff Rally at the JW Marriott in downtown Indianapolis on Saturday — their only appearance of the tour.Governor Eric Holcomb will join the tour in its final two weekends, and additional special guests — including national political figures, Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch, Indiana’s Republican Congressional delegation and local legislators — will also make appearances along the way.“At any stop on the Right Track Results Tour, you’ll see Hoosier Republicans in all corners of Indiana fired up about this year’s midterm elections. The energy is electric,” said Hupfer.“Hoosiers are ready to defeat Democrat Joe Donnelly and elect results-oriented Republican leaders like Mike Braun statewide.”The Right Track Results Tour will be previewed this Friday at the Indiana Republican Party Fall Dinner, which also features Vice President Mike Pence as its keynote speaker.Below is a list of the first weekend’s Right Track Results Tour stops. Visit RightTrackResults.com as additional tour stops are announced.WHO:Vice President Mike Pence (Indianapolis only)RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel (Indianapolis only)U.S. Senate nominee Mike BraunIndiana Secretary of State Connie LawsonIndiana Treasurer Kelly MitchellWHAT:Statewide tour highlighting Indiana’s Right Track Results teamWHERE:Right Track Results Tour Kickoff RallyOctober 13Indianapolis, IndianaDetails & RSVPKnox County Spot ShootOctober 13Vincennes, IndianaDetails & RSVPDubois County Early Vote RallyOctober 13Jasper, IndianaDetails & RSVPVigo County Early Vote RallyOctober 13Terre Haute, IndianaDetails & RSVPMorgan County Fall Foliage ParadeOctober 14Martinsville, IndianaDetails & RSVPAdditional stops to be announced on RightTrackResults.com
Dwarfs coach J.E Sarpong has urged Hearts of Oak to show support to their beleaguered keeper Soulama Abdoulaye after his howler against Kotoko.The keeper cast a figure of a crestfallen person after his error gifted his former employers all three points and for Sarpong, the Burkinabe requires massive support.“If you look at the match they played you don’t blame the goalkeeper,” he told Asempa Sports “Maybe there was a bad communication between him and his defender or maybe he wanted to give out a pass to another defender but he should have recognized that Dauda Mohammed is coming but he was unfortunate because he was solely concentrating on the ball and he missed to clear the ball out but it doesn’t mean he is a bad goalkeeper.”“To me I will play him in my team because what he did does not mean he is a bad goalkeeper because if you fail to play him you are rather shutting down his career and we should remember he is the national team goalkeeper for the Burkina Faso national team.”“It a matter of psyching him up and he will not repeat his mistakes again because goalkeepers learn from their mistakes and am humbly appealing to the supporters of Accra Hearts of Oak to forgive him because they should remember he played for Kotoko and moved to Hearts of Oak and there is no possibility that he will take bribe from Kotoko and for us to promote our football we should take out bribery allegations.” –Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @JoySportsGH. Our hashtag is #JoySports
The Padres are among several teams looking at Mets righty Noah Syndergaard.San Diego — which may have more assets to deal than any team looking to buy at the July 31 trade deadline — has inquired with the Mets about acquiring the man nicknamed “Thor” via trade, according to MLB.com. Phillies All-Star J.T. Realmuto interested in signing extension, report says MLB All-Star Game 2019: Cleveland scoreboard didn’t have Gold Glove night MLB trade rumors: Astros, Brewers monitoring availability of Mets’ Noah Syndergaard Sources: #Padres have inquired to #Mets recently on the availability of Noah Syndergaard. San Diego, with a strong farm system, has been looking for veteran starter since the offseason. Updated story coming shortly to @MLB.com. @MLBNetwork— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 10, 2019The Astros and Brewers also have interest in Syndergaard, according to the report, but if the Padres go all out for the 26-year-old, they likely can outbid any team.San Diego has eight top-100 prospects, according to MLB Pipeline, and four ranked within the top 50. Lefty MacKenzie Gore is the team’s best prospect, ranking third in all of MLB. Related News The Padres likely will not deal Gore, who they drafted with the third-overall pick in 2017 out of Whiteville, North Carolina, but several teams have inquired about another lefty in the system before, and he may be a man on the move.Adrian Morejon is the No. 49 prospect in MLB and several teams have inquired about him over the last few months, as well. As of right now, the Padres have not been willing to give him up, but for Syndergaard would they do it?Syndergaard is a former top-10 prospect himself and with two years of arbitration remaining he may be worth that kind of return in addition to other pieces. As for the Astros and Brewers, both teams have good systems, but the Padres have a larger assortment of elite players. Houston could include Kyle Tucker in a deal, but they seem unwilling to part with the lefty hitting brother of former Astros, Braves and Reds outfielder Preston Tucker.For Syndergaard, who has both postseason and World Series experience and two years of team control, maybe they would be willing to part with him.The Mets have yet to say they will be willing to move Syndergaard, who has a 6-4 record with a 4.68 ERA this season.
Sign up for the CommonHealth newsletter to receive a weekly digest of WBUR’s best health, medicine and science coverage.Carol Martin is 67 and has advanced, inoperable pancreatic cancer.”I have a particularly virulent form of that disease,” she said. “I have squamous carcinoma, which means, according to my doctors, ordinarily the diagnosis to death is usually two months.”This June is two years out from my diagnosis.”Not only is Martin back at work as a Harvard research administrator, she also finished this year’s Boston Marathon amid the high winds and pouring rain.”We had headwinds, we had crosswinds, they had water running on the street,” she recalled. “They had people dropping out like flies.”But she made it. She speed-walked the course and reached the finish line in just over seven and a half hours.Clearly, Martin is no ordinary pancreatic cancer patient in her response to treatment. But what is the key to her medical superpowers?That’s the type of mystery that a project called the Network of Enigmatic Exceptional Responders will try to solve.Based at Harvard Medical School, the project aims to become the first national registry for exceedingly rare cancer patients who beat overwhelming odds and respond mysteriously — even uniquely — well to treatments that failed to help others.Researchers will gather masses of data on just about everything about these patients in hopes of finding patterns that can explain what went right.Their responses are “so different, so outlying from any other clinical experience,” said Dr. Zak Kohane, co-founder of the new network and chair of Harvard Medical School’s Department of Biomedical Informatics. “It’s a dramatic signal. So we know there’s something there — but what is it?”Hypotheses abound.”There are theories around your genome,” Kohane said. “There are theories around how your immune system is reacting. Maybe it’s the way your environment reprogrammed your immune system. It could be your diet, your exercise pattern, it could be any combination thereof, or maybe which drugs you took before — it’s hard to know.”So the idea behind the new network is: Look at everything you can. That begins with deep analysis of the patient’s DNA, and the tumor DNA, and other biological features — proteins, metabolism, gut microbes.Add in medical records. And lifestyle, including attitude, even religion; and ZIP code to check for environmental factors like air and water pollution; and even posts on social media.That’s a lot of disparate data, but Kohane said that’s not an obstacle.”We’re able to look across multiple data types these days,” he said, “and make computers sweat at what they’re good at, which is lining up the data and looking for patterns.”This big a data crunch has only become possible recently, said Dr. George Q. Daley, dean of Harvard Medical School.”We can sequence the DNA of not just an individual but of 100,000 cells within a tumor,” he said. “And that gives us an enormous advance in the concentration of data. There are many other analytics that today are sophisticated [and] five years ago weren’t.”Daley believes the data can point them to important lessons.”We hope that with the collective of information, and the power of data-driven science, that we’ll be able to glean associations that we wouldn’t have imagined,” he said.You control your dataThe National Cancer Institute announced an “Exceptional Responder Initiative” in 2014, and reached out to cancer specialists to collect cases. It gathered tissue samples to analyze from more than 100 patients, and NCI says it has stopped accepting new samples.But this is the first attempt to create a national registry of exceptional responders across cancer types. It’s also the first to reach out directly to patients and offer them control of their own data, so they can download it and share it with other researchers if they choose.Which patients are accepted to the project will vary, Kohane said, depending on the cancer.”If it’s 10 years out from your breast cancer diagnosis, and you’re doing fine, thank God, you’re not that unusual,” he said. “If you’re 10 years out from a metastatic lung cancer, and you’re alive, you are a miracle. And so these statistics have to be done per cancer, per treatment.”The new network is also a first in that it plans to invite pharmaceutical companies into one arm of the project.Japanese pharma giant Takeda, whose cancer unit is headquartered in Cambridge, Mass., has already joined and provided a million dollars, which was added to initial funding from Harvard. The project will be open to other companies as well, with the idea that they will enroll their own patients and share their data in a common registry.Traditionally, exceptional responders have gotten little attention from pharma because they were anomalies: A drug trial fails if it only gets one good response.”It is time to look at the math a little bit differently and say that, back in the day, an outlier was just an outlier, but something is going on,” said project co-founder Eric Perakslis, formerly at Takeda and now at the health data firm Datavant. “There’s some reason they got better. We may or may not be smart enough to figure it out, but we’re not going to know unless we look.”Takeda has many examples of patients who “have either stable disease for a really long time, or they are in almost complete remission,” said Sunita Badola, director of functional Genomics at Takeda. “And some of these drugs didn’t make it to the market. Those are the patients who would qualify in this initiative.”‘I think I’m alive to do this’Dr. Vinay Prasad, an oncologist at the Oregon Health and Science University and a prominent public skeptic among cancer specialists, said it’s a worthy goal to try to learn from the luckiest patients — but the unluckiest need studying as well.It’s important in science to learn from the extremes, he said, and that’s what the network is trying to do.”So I encourage them to do that,” Prasad said. “But I think you should look at both extremes — the people we don’t do a good enough job for — and I’ll tell you, as an oncologist, I think they’re very easily forgotten.”For now, even looking only at the best responses to treatment, no one expects this project to be simple.Take Carol Martin and her pancreatic cancer. She thinks one key element for her was her treatment protocol, including a new chemotherapy. Her Harvard Medical School colleagues were advocating for her, she said, and “this is a leading, bleeding, cutting-edge place for medicine.”But she cited other possible elements: She meditates. She gets massages, and lots of exercise and loves connecting people. When other patients facing pancreatic cancer ask her advice, she tends to give them a list of everything she’s done. But she hopes the new network can turn up more specific insights that could help others.”If my life were to end next week — because the nature of the disease that I have, it’s possible that it could do that — I want to feel like I have made a contribution,” she said. “I think I’m alive to do this thing, to help people in this way that I’m uniquely positioned to be able to do.”Several other exceptional patients like Martin have already caught word of the project and reached out to join the network, Kohane said. Now that official enrollment is beginning, he hopes a few hundred more will enroll in the coming months, and that their data will lead to new insights within the next couple of years.The original version of this story ran on WBUR’s CommonHealth. Copyright 2018 WBUR. To see more, visit WBUR.
Writer and director Tamara Jenkins was in her early 40s and struggling with infertility when she and her husband began what she calls a “by any means necessary” campaign to have a child.It was an emotionally draining time. They looked into international adoption and also began in vitro fertilization treatment. A friend in whom Jenkins confided encouraged her to write about her experiences, but Jenkins demurred.”I was horrified and just repulsed,” she says. “I would never write about this stuff.”It was only after a successful IVF cycle and the birth of her daughter that Jenkins began reconsidering. At some point, she says, it began to seem “emotionally legal” to fictionalize her own story.Jenkins began working on what she calls a “buddy movie” about a couple, also in their 40s and living in New York City, who are desperate to have a child. Private Life, which begins streaming on Netflix and playing in select theaters on Friday, stars Kathryn Hahn and Paul Giamatti.”The two of them are set off on this caper with the intention of having a baby, and they’re both responding to it in their independent ways,” Jenkins says. “It was important to me that it was a mutual crisis — that it wasn’t just her problem. They’re both falling apart. You know, they’re hitting up against the limitations of being a human being simultaneously.”Interview HighlightsOn how Kathryn Hahn’s character blames second-wave feminism for her infertility It’s such a demented thing to do, but I sort of understand what she’s saying. … I get why she feels betrayed by some notion of “be independent and pursue your career,” and it’s not like Gloria Steinem ever said that, exactly. She really can’t be blamed, but I know what Kathryn’s character is talking about, some sense of, like, license to pursue the other part of your life — not the wife part, not the mother part, but the other part. And then suddenly she feels like the rug has been pulled out from under her and this thing that she delayed is now possibly not available to her.On why Jenkins waited until her 40s to have a childMarriage and having babies didn’t look so good from my childhood’s point of view, so maybe I wasn’t rushing to do it anyway. But that combined with pursuing a career and being a writer — I was a performance artist and then I was an actor … then I decided to go to graduate school and film and then trying to make films — and it was all very consuming and not conducive to having a kid. I didn’t have the money, for one, and I lived by the skin of my teeth and didn’t have the health insurance and … I wasn’t doing anything that seemed particularly stable.On being an older parent in New York CityOne thing about New York is that there are a lot of older parents. … Also, there’s a lot of older dads. There’s a lot of second marriages, so suddenly you feel young in terms of the men. But I mean it’s certainly something you notice, but something about New York blurs that a little bit.If I was in the Midwest maybe it would seem a little different. But I guess maybe [there are more older parents] because people moved to New York because of their careers. And I think that I’m not the only person that delayed having children in this town. I mean, jeez, go to those fertility clinics. They’re packed.On her unconventional childhood, in which her older brother became her legal guardianOur family was super fractured. We lived with our father, then we lived with our mother a little bit, then we moved to Cambridge [Mass.] and my big brother became my legal guardian. …My brother was getting his Ph.D. and me and my little brother lived in this Harvard housing, and we lived on food stamps and student loans that my brother took out. Our lives improved and we became much better students at school, which was ironic because of course everybody from the outside thought, “Oh, they don’t have any parents. It must be wild over there.” But we were the opposite. We were really like monks. We were so happy not to be in a chaotic place. We were trying to find sanity.Lauren Krenzel and Thea Chaloner produced and edited this interview for broadcast. Bridget Bentz and Molly Seavy-Nesper adapted it for the Web. Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.
The parliamentary authorities should do far more to make the House of Commons accessible, according to a disabled MP who has faced a series of major barriers in his first weeks since being elected.Jared O’Mara, who has cerebral palsy, has had to rely on support from other Sheffield MPs to secure some of the adjustments he needs to do his job.But nearly a month into his new role, he is still having to miss some debates in the House of Commons chamber because he cannot stand for longer than five or 10 minutes and there have been no seats free.He told Disability News Service (DNS): “There has been a couple of times where I have not been able to get a seat and so I have not been able to attend.“The thing is with the Commons chamber, it is 650 MPs but there’s not 650 seats, so for busy events… there’s not enough seats for everybody. It’s ridiculous in this day and age.”He is full of praise for the speaker, John Bercow, who has given him permission to wear a tee shirt, and no tie, because he cannot do up buttons.That decision came as the speaker made a separate decision to allow all male MPs to remove their ties in the Commons chamber, a ruling which led transport minister John Hayes to warn that he would refuse to take interventions when speaking from any male MPs who were not wearing ties.A spokesman for Hayes assured DNS yesterday (Wednesday) that this warning did not apply to O’Mara.Labour’s whips have allocated O’Mara an office in the House of Commons, when most new MPs are given space in nearby Portcullis House.This is because – if he was in Portcullis House – he would not be able to reach the Commons division lobbies within the necessary eight minutes when a vote is called.But because the front door requires the use of two hands to unlock it, he is having to use the back door to enter his new office, at least until the Commons authorities change the lock to one that is more accessible.Another access issue – and one for which he has not been granted an adjustment – has arisen around his need to stay in an accessible hotel.Because the hotel allowance for MPs is only £150 a night – set by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) – he has not been able to find an accessible hotel closer than Hammersmith, in west London, which means an hour-long journey to parliament every morning.He is not likely to find permanent accommodation in London until the summer recess.An IPSA spokesman said he could not “discuss an individual’s circumstances” but that the costs for “disability assistance” that can be claimed by disabled MPs can include “any necessary [additional] costs relating to accommodation”.O’Mara is clearly annoyed that he is still facing obstacles that are making it harder for him to do his job than non-disabled MPs, weeks after he secured his election victory.And he is mystified about why there is no form which new disabled MPs can fill in to tell the Commons authorities about any adjustments they might need, which he says could easily be included in the information pack they are handed immediately after their election victory.He also points to the Equality Act, which says parliament has an “anticipatory” duty as a public organisation to think in advance about the adjustments it should make for disabled people, such as improving the signs and information around the Houses of Parliament.He said: “They should really have clear, proper signage, of where everything is and what all the rooms are and the purposes, and they don’t.“The amount of times I keep walking past the lift to get up to my office because there isn’t a sign saying ‘lifts’. That’s something they need to really think about.”He said: “I have had to pursue these adjustments with the help of colleagues, some of the other Sheffield MPs, and with the help of the whips office, and I am finding there are more coming up.“All of this should have been in place. I shouldn’t have had my friends and the whips office chasing all this for me. It should all have been in place for day one. That’s the law.“Maybe I have to be in the vanguard for this and I have got to grin and bear the fact that it’s not perfect for me, and try and make it perfect for future disabled MPs.“I want to get more of us here. I’ve got to make it a better place for them.”But he says his experience would have been “a lot worse” if he had not been able to rely on advice from Lord [David] Blunkett, another disabled politician who represented Sheffield as an MP.He said: “He’s a lovely, lovely man. Some of the stuff he went through [as an MP]… He’s a fighter as well, like I am.“My ambition during my time here is to make it perfect for future disabled MPs, where it’s proper equal from the day they land here.”A House of Commons spokesman said he could not comment on the dress code arrangements because “we cannot comment on the contents of private conversations”.He has so far refused to comment on the issue of seating in the Commons chamber, the lack of signage across the parliamentary estate, the access problems with O’Mara’s office front door, and the lack of a form for new MPs to request reasonable adjustments before they attend parliament for the first time.But he said that step-free routes and accessible toilets and lifts in the Palace of Westminster and Portcullis House are marked on maps in a handbook given to MPs, while “the Parliamentary Health and Wellbeing Service can also advise on accessibility issues”.He said: “The House of Commons aims to provide a positive, inclusive working environment where people are valued for the skills and experience they bring to work, whilst being representative of the society they serve.“This means making parliament more accessible, diverse and free from discrimination and meeting the requirements of the Equality Act 2010.“We are committed to this target and have implemented a number of initiatives to ensure we are compliant with the terms of the act.”