first_img September 29, 2014 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Are the Congolese authorities planning to expel all the journalists who do their job? March 31, 2021 Find out more The latest victim, Brazzaville-based Cameroonian journalist Elie Smith, was the victim of an attack in his home earlier this monthFour days after expelling independent journalist Sadio Kante Morel, the Republic of Congo (Congo-Brazzaville) has done it again, this time deporting Elie Smith, a Brazzaville-based Cameroonian journalist. The interior ministry accused him of subversion.Employed as a producer and programme host on MNTV (a station owned by the president’s brother, Maurice Nguesso), Smith was expelled on 26 September with a “strict prohibition” on returning.Speaking in the Cameroonian city of Douala, Smith told Reporters Without Borders: “A dozen plainclothes policemen came to my office to get me. They didn’t let me take anything except my passport. They escorted me like a criminal to the airport where they showed me an expulsion order signed by the interior minister.”The deportation order accused him of “many seditious and subversive acts,” “secret dealings with foreign powers working against the Republic of Congo’s interests” and “excessive political activism.”“Smith’s deportation is not only outrageous but also very disturbing for the future of freedom of information in Congo-Brazzaville,” said Cléa Kahn-Sriber, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Africa bureau. “Are the Congolese authorities planning to expel, one by one, all the journalists who do their job? We urge the government to end this wave of censorship, which casts serious doubt on its readiness to provide its citizens with democratic guarantees during the coming referendum and elections.”Smith was the victim of a violent home invasion on 10 September, three days after posting photos on his Facebook page of badly injured activists who, he said, had been beaten up by members of a special police unit as they left an opposition meeting.Police director-general Jean-François Ndenguet initially said he would find the perpetrators of the home invasion. But Smith’s repeated calls on the police to also arrest those who gave the orders must have annoyed Ndenguet, known for having already threatened journalists, including Smith. The home invasion was unanimously condemned by media organizations and several international organizations. The European Union delegation and the embassies of EU member countries issued a joint statement voicing the hope that Smith would be able to “continue working with his characteristic professionalism, without fearing a new attack on himself or a member of his family.”The first person to report that Smith had been the target of an attack at his home was Kante Morel, the journalist who was herself expelled on 22 September, shortly after being held at the police general-directorate for several hours.The message is clear – it is hard being a journalist in Republic of Congo, which is ranked 82nd out of 180 countries in the 2014 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.(photo: Elie Smith) Organisation RSF_en Congo-BrazzavilleAfrica May 4, 2021 Find out more Follow the news on Congo-Brazzaville News March 5, 2021 Find out more Receive email alertscenter_img Congo celebrates World Press Freedom Day by sentencing a journalist to six months in prison Help by sharing this information Congo-BrazzavilleAfrica to go further Joint call for Brazzaville journalist’s release News News Ailing magazine editor held illegally in Brazzaville for more than a month Newslast_img read more

first_imgWhile many students were savoring the dwindling days of relaxation before the spring semester’s grind, Harvard freshmen Josh Palay and Andrew Mauboussin were back on campus last week, already putting in long hours of work.The two were designing a new, unofficial, online interface for Harvard’s Q Guide, the website where students can find evaluations of Harvard courses written by past students in the class. While the site is a good resource for students considering taking a course, it contains data that’s not easily accessible, such as a comparison of course evaluations over several years, according to Palay. Palay and Mauboussin want to put that information at students’ fingertips.“I felt kind of frustrated with the original interface,” Palay said. “We’re making it easier to find courses, nicer to look at. We’ve added charts to view [instructional] trends.”Palay and Mauboussin formed one of 17 student teams participating in Hack Week, an intense, immersion-style incubator for student computer science projects. Sponsored by the Harvard student group Hack Harvard, the “week” was held over 10 days, from Jan. 18-27, mixing 21 seminars on topics intended to help students advance their projects, visits to area technology companies, and work sessions to push projects to completion.Held at the Harvard Innovation Lab (i-lab), students regularly worked until 1 or 2 a.m. and pulled at least one all-nighter, Friday night’s “hack-a-thon” — a 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. push to help students finish their projects in time for “demo day” on Sunday.Josh Palay (left) and Andrew Mauboussin talk about their collaboration during Hack Week.Hack Harvard’s president, Lexi Ross, and Zach Hamed, a member of the group’s organizing board, said the purpose of Hack Week is not just to push students to finish projects, but also to get them thinking about how to get the projects out to the real world, to consider not only software issues, but also business plans, financing, and the steps needed to take a project from the dorm room to Main Street.Hack Harvard began two years ago with the first Hack Week, Ross said. Today, the group hosts events throughout the year, with weekly Hack Nights featuring a speaker from the computer technology community, periodic Hack-a-thons lasting from several hours to several days, and the annual Hack Week.“It’s an incubation program to turn student projects into startups,” Ross said. “It’s an intense week for computer science students, particularly first- and second-year, and gives them a taste of being an entrepreneur.”Hack Week draws back alumni from previous sessions, including senior Peter Boyce, who was a founder of the first Hack Week and served as a mentor this year. Boyce, who with Hamed and five students from other colleges began a startup called Rough Draft Ventures, offered a seminar on how to become part of the Boston tech scene.“It’s really important to share my experience, having been part of a startup,” Boyce said. “All this stuff thrives on the pay-it-forward model.”Projects selected for Hack Week include the Q Guide redesign, video games, health and fitness programs, and a project to enable instant in-store communication between retailers and their customers.The last project, worked on by freshmen Nithin Tumma and Neel Patel, is creating a way for businesses to push a variety of content — maps to a store, discount coupons, and the like — to customers’ mobile phones. Customers, in turn, can live chat with store personnel if, say, they need help in an aisle where no clerks are available.For example, Tumma and Patel said, a grocery store could push out a coupon giving discounts on produce that, while still fresh, isn’t moving as quickly as it should. It could reach customers who were shopping in the store at the time and prompt them to make a purchase. The businesses would also be able to harvest analytics from the system to learn more about their customers.By midweek, Tumma and Patel had the basic infrastructure designed. Once completed, they hope to test it with local businesses.“It lets businesses address customers’ needs within the store,” Patel said. “The Hack Week support, just being around people working on similar projects, is awesome.”last_img read more

first_imgVIRUS OUTBREAK-SPORTSBaseball fans return in South Korea, cricket fans in EnglandUNDATED (AP) — Masked fans hopped, sang and shouted cheers in baseball stadiums in South Korea on Sunday as authorities began allowing spectators to return to professional sports amid the coronavirus pandemic. South Korea’s delayed 2020 baseball season began in early May without fans in the stands. On Sunday, the Korean Baseball Organization allowed a limited number of fans – 10% of the stadium capacity – to watch games live. They entered stadiums after their temperatures and smartphone QR codes were checked. During the games, they were required to wear masks and sit at least a seat apart while being banned from eating food and drinking any alcoholic beverages in line with the KBO guidelines.Two of the five baseball games Sunday were held without fans because they were held in area where stricter social distancing guidelines are in place. South Korea has seen an uptick in virus cases since it eased its rigid social distancing rules in early MayIn other news related to the coronavirus pandemic: Associated Press Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditMLB-SCHEDULESeveral pitchers make long-awaited returns; Urena a late scratchUNDATED (AP) — Miami Marlins starter Jose Urena is a late scratch against the Philadelphia Phillies. The Marlins did not disclose the reason. Urena was Miami’s opening day starter in 2018 and 2019. July 26, 2020 Update on the latest sports — The Washington Nationals are waiting to see how World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg reacts to an injection to help his right hand heal. The right-hander was scratched from what was supposed to be his first start of the season on Saturday night because of a nerve issue. Nationals manager Dave Martinez announced about four hours before the scheduled first pitch against the visiting New York Yankees that Strasburg would be replaced.— Rick Porcello makes his Mets debut against Atlanta at Citi Field. He won the 2016 AL Cy Young Award with Boston and went 14-12 last season. Porcello signed a $10 million, one-year deal with New York in December. Left-hander Sean Newcomb goes for the Braves in the nationally televised night game.NBA-NEWSClippers’ Williams will serve 10-day quarantine, miss gamesLAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — The NBA said Sunday that Lou Williams of the Los Angeles Clippers is being quarantined for 10 days because of his trip out of the league’s bubble last week to attend a family member’s funeral. He will miss at least two of the Clippers’ seeding games, including their July 30 opener against the Los Angeles Lakers. It’s possible he could miss more than two since his likely release will be Aug. 4, the day of the Clippers’ third seeding game.The issue was not that Williams left the bubble but that he also went to a club on that trip to Atlanta, and photographs of that visit appeared on social media. That prompted an investigation by NBA security, and ultimately the 10-day ruling. Williams visited a club that he has often described as being his favorite restaurant. The establishment has chicken wings that are named for him on the menu.In other NBA news:— Joel Embiid (joh-EHL’ ehm-BEED’) is hurting, and that’s a cause for concern as the Philadelphia 76ers get set to restart their season this week. The All-Star starting center sat out Philadelphia’s scrimmage against Oklahoma City on Sunday with right calf tightness, something 76ers coach Brett Brown hopes is merely a minor blip. Embiid has an extensive injury history. He has never appeared in more than 64 games in a regular season and missed 21 of Philadelphia’s 65 games this season before the March 11 shutdown. The Marlins will start right-hander Robert Dugger against Philadelphia’s Vince Velasquez in the series finale. Dugger made seven starts last year as a rookie. He made the Marlins this season as a long reliever/spot starter.Elsewhere around the majors Sunday:— Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani (SHOH’-hay oh-TAH’-nee) is set to make his first appearance on the mound since Sept. 2, 2018, after not pitching all last season following elbow surgery. Ohtani is under no restrictions when he faces the Athletics in Oakland. Ohtani was the Angels’ designated hitter in the season opener Friday night and didn’t play Saturday. Mike Fiers (FY’-urz) will start for the A’s in his first appearance since revealing to The Athletic in November that his former team, the Houston Astros, had stolen signs using a camera in center field during their run to the 2017 World Series championship.— Carlos Carrasco’s inspirational comeback reaches another milestone as the Cleveland right-hander makes his first start since May 30 last season, shortly before he was diagnosed with leukemia. Carrasco will face the Kansas City Royals in the finale of a three-game series in Cleveland. Despite undergoing medical treatments that kept him away from the club, Carrasco was able to return last season and made 11 relief appearances. He wanted to start again, however, and secured a spot in Cleveland’s rotation this spring. The 33-year-old understood he might be at greater risk this season because his immune system has been compromised due to the disease. But after talking to his family and Cleveland’s medical personnel, he felt comfortable enough to play.— Two-time AL Cy Young winner Corey Kluber (KLOO’-bur) makes his first major league start in 15 months when debuts for the Texas Rangers at home against the Colorado Rockies. Kluber’s last big league start was for Cleveland on May 1, 2019, when he suffered a broken right forearm struck by a comeback liner in Miami. He hurt an oblique during rehab and never started again for Cleveland, which traded him to Texas in December. Kluber won 20 games for Cleveland in 2018, capping a five-year stretch with at least 203 innings pitched and 222 strikeouts each season. He went 98-58 with a 3.16 ERA in 208 games with Cleveland. — Spectators have been allowed into a sporting event in England for the first time since March when coronavirus prevention measures were tested at a cricket match between Surrey and Middlesex at The Oval ahead of a planned wider reopening of stadiums in October. Alternate rows were used across two stands and advisory signs were on show for the friendly match being watched by 1,000 people. A limited number of members were in assigned seats in the stadium in south London. Surrey chief executive Richard Gould said the club received 10,000 calls for the available places within an hour of the tickets being made available to members.— The Spanish soccer league says a second-division game postponed because of an outbreak of coronavirus cases will not be played. The league has made the announcement after new test results this weekend took the total number of COVID-19 cases at club Fuenlabrada to 28. The team’s final-round match against Deportivo La Coruña had been suspended last Monday after six people at the club had tested positive just hours before kickoff. The league says the club accepted the decision to have the match canceled as it was virtually impossible to try to reschedule another date for it. The club said it “was not renouncing” the playoff spot and wants other soccer entities to weigh in.last_img read more