Journalist gunned down in Rawalpindi, TV station attacked in Quetta

first_img April 21, 2021 Find out more Receive email alerts Help by sharing this information News Follow the news on Pakistan January 26, 2009 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Journalist gunned down in Rawalpindi, TV station attacked in Quetta Reporters Without Borders urges the Pakistani authorities to adopt energetic measures following the murder of a journalist and an attack on a privately-owned TV station in the past 48 hours. On 24 January, Aamir Wakil, 40, a married man with four children, was murdered close to his home in Rawalpindi, near Islamabad. Today, an angry crowd ransacked the studios of Samaa TV in the southwestern city of Quetta.The press freedom organisation offers its condolences to Wakil’s family and colleagues, including his brother Kamal Asfar, who is also a journalist.“We strongly condemn Wakil’s murder,” Reporters Without Borders said. “Although there is so far no evidence that it was linked to his work as a journalist, we call for the deployment of additional resources for the investigation and the prosecution of those responsible. Similarly, the authorities must consider new measures to protect privately-owned media after the attack on Samaa TV in Quetta.”The press freedom organisation added: “If the climate of violence is not quickly brought under control, the government will not be able to say it is doing everything possible to ensure that Pakistani journalists can work in free and safe environment.”Three journalists have been killed in Pakistan since the start of January, while seven were killed last year, making it the deadliest country in the world for the media after Iraq.Wakil, who worked for Awami Inqilab (People’s Revolution), a regional daily based in Kohat, south of Peshawar, was shot in the back, near the neck. “He was just a few metres from his home when he was killed,” his brother, Kamal Asfar, told Reporters Without Borders.“Aamir told me two hours before he was murdered that he had received threats from unidentified persons,” Asfar said. “It was a targeted murder. I do not think the authorities did it. His killers were not government people.”Rawalpindi-based journalists told Reporters Without Borders that Wakil was a “professional journalist” and that “there was no rivalry.” Their comments contradicted initial claims by the police that Wakil’s murder was linked to “personal disputes.” The National Union of Journalists of Pakistan has begun its own investigation in an attempt to identify the motives.The police officer in charge of the investigation said he had questioned a witness and was confident the killer would be arrested. The police are also investigating the murder of a young man in the same neighbourhood on the same day. The other victim was killed by two unidentified individuals who tried to take his money and mobile phone.Today’s attack on Samaa TV’s premises in Quetta, the capital of Balochistan province, was carried out by a crowd that was angered by the murder of a local politician. The Samaa TV bureau chief told Reporters Without Borders the protesters fire shots and threw stones at the building, damaging a vehicle and equipment. Pakistani TV anchor censored after denouncing violence against journalists RSF_en PakistanAsia – Pacific News to go further News News June 2, 2021 Find out more On 24 January, Aamir Wakil, 40, a married man with four children, was murdered close to his home in Rawalpindi, near Islamabad. Today, an angry crowd ransacked the studios of Samaa TV in the southwestern city of Quetta. PakistanAsia – Pacific Organisation January 28, 2021 Find out more Pakistani supreme court acquits main suspect in Daniel Pearl murder Pakistani journalist critical of the military wounded by gunfirelast_img read more

Ocean City’s $100 Million Capital Plan Wins Council Approval

first_imgBy Donald WittkowskiCity Council on Thursday night approved a $100.1 million, five-year capital plan that includes an array of major drainage, roadway and dredging projects to address Ocean City’s critical infrastructure needs.The plan spreads projects across the entire town and builds on the momentum started in the last few years to help the city catch up on badly needed improvements, Mayor Jay Gillian said.“The plan commits more than $100 million to tackling long-overdue projects in every part of the island. It’s a lot of money, but I’m confident that the plan is responsible,” Gillian said in a statement.The mayor explained that the city’s AA bond rating, low interest rates and a growing ratable base make this “an ideal time” to invest in infrastructure improvements.“Most importantly, the work will contribute to the quality of life we’ve all come to expect in Ocean City,” he said.Mayor Jay Gillian says the capital plan tackles long-overdue projects across the island.On average, the capital plan would cause the local property tax rate to increase by about a penny per year. On a home assessed at $500,000, that would mean about an extra $50 annually in local taxes, said Frank Donato, the city’s chief financial officer.“We feel this plan is manageable and affordable for the taxpayers of Ocean City,” Donato told Council.The plan runs from 2018 to 2022 and represents a nearly $12 million decrease compared to the five-year, $112 million capital program that Gillian proposed in 2017.Altogether, the new capital plan calls for $38.7 million in construction in 2018, including paving projects to improve the road network, drainage work to reduce flooding and dredging along the shallow lagoons in the back bays.For the first round of projects to be funded for 2018, Council also introduced a $5.7 million bond ordinance Thursday.A beach replenishment project in the north end and a series of improvements to public buildings and recreational facilities are among the projects funded by the bond ordinance, Donato said.Other key projects in the funding ordinance include improvements to the Music Pier and the pool inside the Ocean City Community Center. New lighting and landscaping upgrades are also among the capital projects that are funded, Donato said.Overall, proposed spending is down compared to the record-high, five-year capital plan submitted last year because a series of major projects were started or finished in 2017. They included road construction across the city, dredging in three bayfront neighborhoods and the Boardwalk’s facelift between 10th and 12th streets.The capital plan proposes spending $4 million for new dredging projects in 2018. Vince Bekier, aide to the mayor, said the city still must decide which lagoons will be dredged this year. Those areas will be announced later during a town meeting.In 2018, the plan calls for $4 million worth of dredging projects to clear out the shallow lagoons along the back bays. (Courtesy Ocean City Public Information Office)Road and drainage projects to reduce flooding across the island continue to be a major part of the capital plan. In 2018, the plan calls for $7.7 million worth of road and drainage construction.The single-most expensive project is the city’s proposed $17.5 million public safety building. Gillian, though, said the fate of the existing public safety building still must be decided before the city moves ahead with the project.Gillian originally proposed tearing down the building last year and replacing it with an all-new public safety complex to house the police department and municipal court. Later, he proposed renovating and expanding the old building as the most cost-efficient option. But now, he believes the project must be analyzed even further before any decisions are made.During the public comment portion of Thursday’s Council meeting, John Flood, a former councilman, urged the governing body to delay voting on the capital plan to allow for what he called “a reconciliation” of the city’s capital spending. Council gave its approval anyway.Former Councilman John Flood, who is potentially running for mayor in the May 8 municipal election, wants more information on the city’s capital spending.Flood, who potentially is running for mayor against Gillian in the May 8 municipal election, questioned whether the city actually funded all of the projects that were proposed in the capital plan in recent years.In an interview after the Council meeting, Flood said he wasn’t opposed to the city’s capital projects, but believes more information is needed about how much money was actually spent on construction.“There’s never been a reconciliation, not one that I found, for the capital plan in 2015, 2016 and 2017,” Flood said in the interview. “There were supposed to be $120 million in projects, but $72 million is actually what happened. Where was the other $48 million?”Donato, however, assured Council that “at least 95 percent” of the projects in the capital plan were funded in the past five years.Councilman Keith Hartzell, echoing the comments of other Council members, thanked Gillian and Donato for presenting Council with a comprehensive capital plan. Hartzell noted that when he first joined Council in 2006, the city’s capital plans were never as detailed as they are now.The full capital plan is available for the public to review on the Ocean City municipal website at http://www.ocnj.us/projects/ On Tuesday June 5th, Landberg Construction, LLC will begin installing drainage improvements at the intersection of 41st Street and West Avenue. (Pictured is another drainage project previously completed in Ocean City.)last_img read more

Mexico police take refuge from Ciudad Juárez drug gangs

first_img CIUDAD JUÁREZ, Mexico – About 2,000 police are hunkering down in hotels in Mexico’s most violent city of Ciudad Juárez after a drug gang threatened to kill an officer per day if their chief refused to resign. Eight police officers have already been killed this year in the city across from El Paso, Texas. The mayor of Ciudad Juárez this week ordered police to use several local hotels as temporary barracks to protect themselves from attacks on the way home from work in the city at the heart of the drug violence in Mexico, which has claimed the lives of at least 50,000 I five years. Mayor Héctor Murguía said on Feb. 1 that police would stay in hotels for at least three months, with approximately US$1.5 million put aside to pay for it. Murguía stood by his police chief, Julián Leyzaola, a controversial former soldier who has been asked to resign by human rights groups for his alleged heavy-handed policing. “The chances that [Leyzaola] resigns or that they force him to resign are zero percent,” the mayor told journalists. At the entrance to the Rio motel, on Las Torres Avenue, several patrols stand guard to protect access to the improvised barracks, as others monitor vehicles pass by. Last week, several banners signed by the “New Cartel of Juárez” appeared around the city of 1.3 million, to announce the killing of a police officer each day as long as Leyzaola stayed in charge of the local police. Some of the messages also accused the police chief of protecting another group, “New Generation,” allied to powerful Sinaloa drug cartel of fugitive Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán. According to the mayor, the threats only showed how concerned the drug gangs were in the face of Leyzaola. Murders fell to fewer than 2,000 in the city last year – when Leyzaola took control – from 3,100 in 2010. Key leaders of city gangs like “the Aztecas” also were apprehended. Leyzaola already provoked controversy when he led police in another border city, Tijuana in northwest Mexico. Authorities lauded him for reducing crime there but organizations such as Amnesty International sought to put him on trial for the alleged torture of prisoners, backed by witness accounts from at least 25 police. [AFP (Mexico), 01/02/2012; Eluniversal.com.mx (Mexico), 01/02/2012] By Dialogo February 02, 2012last_img read more