Philippine journalist forced to apologize for criticizing coronavirus “inaction”

first_img Joshua Molo is the editor of UE Dawn, the student newspaper at Manila’s University of the East (image: Ralph de Jesus / Far Eastern University Advocate).. Mass international solidarity campaign launched in support of Maria Ressa Organisation Their victim was Joshua Molo, the editor of UE Dawn, the student newspaper at Manila’s University of the East, who had posted criticism of the government’s “inaction” on Facebook. Molo was summoned before the “barangay” (community council) in the San Fernando Sur district of his hometown, Cabiao, 95 km north of Manila, for a “mediation” meeting at midday on 5 April in response to a complaint by three of his former high school teachers, who are Duterte supporters. RSF_en Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is appalled to learn that supporters of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte pressured a student newspaper editor into issuing a public apology and, in effect, renouncing his right to free speech after he criticized the government’s handling of the coronavirus epidemic. PhilippinesAsia – Pacific Online freedoms Covid19Freedom of expressionJudicial harassment May 3, 2021 Find out more Totalitarian practice News to go further Molo said the teachers threatened to sue him for libel, while barangay officials threatened to have him arrested if he did not issue an apology and pledge not to criticize the government again. Unable to afford the legal costs of defending himself in a lawsuit, he gave a public apology in a video posted on Facebook at around 1:30 pm. Two other journalists, Mario Batuigas and Amor Virata, are facing the possibility of up to two months in prison as a result of charges brought by the police on 28 March under a new law penalizing “false information” about the coronavirus crisis although “false information” is not legally defined. “It is absolutely intolerable that a student journalist has been harassed by his elders in this way to the point of having to renounce his right to freedom of expression,” said Daniel Bastard, the head of RSF’s Asia-Pacific desk. February 16, 2021 Find out more Help by sharing this information April 7, 2020 – Updated on May 6, 2020 Philippine journalist forced to apologize for criticizing coronavirus “inaction” Receive email alerts “Forcing dissidents to make public apologies is the prerogative of totalitarian regimes. That this practice is taking place in the Philippines today speaks volumes about the current state of democracy in this country under President Duterte.” News News June 1, 2021 Find out more Filipina journalist still held although court dismissed case eleven days ago The Philippines is ranked 134th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2019 World Press Freedom Index. PhilippinesAsia – Pacific Online freedoms Covid19Freedom of expressionJudicial harassment Philippines: RSF and the #HoldTheLine Coalition welcome reprieve for Maria Ressa, demand all other charges and cases be dropped News Follow the news on Philippineslast_img read more

Editorial – Home help cuts a false economy

first_imgPrint Email AS hundreds of home help care workers, supporters, trade unions and political representatives march on Dail Eireann to demand the Government and HSE reverse the cuts to home help hours, it begs the question yet again – what is a false economy? The people who have home help are in a position where they can have a much better quality of life with minimal cost to the taxpayer. Small things, which most of us take for granted but which are impossible for people with reduced mobility, are the very things that are being taken away.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up The difference between being able to stay in the home which the elderly or infirm have loved all their lives and going into care could be as little as being able to wash the dishes.Cuts to an already sparse home-help service will leave many clients in a position where they have no choice but to go into institutionalised care. And it is well known that the cost of paying for a person in nursing home care runs to thousands each month.Compare that to the €14 per hour it costs to have a home help come in and make a house livable.  With clients getting between ten and twelve hours home-help a week, it’s not rocket science to choose the most cost-effective solution.Already at the start of this year, 500,000 hours were taken out of the home-help system, which has huge ramifications for both the clients and the home-helps who were on a part-time footing already.And that’s just the economics. Personal security and the knowledge that someone will be calling during the day is an integral part of the home-help system. The friendly housekeepers bring much more than a clean sweep.They bring company, conversation and human contact to people who may be otherwise isolated and alone. Facebook Linkedin Twittercenter_img Advertisement WhatsApp NewsLocal NewsEditorial – Home help cuts a false economyBy admin – October 22, 2012 549 Previous article“Munster are not contenders” – Donal LenihanNext articleJanesboro takes Gold adminlast_img read more

ND professor uses nuclear physics to fight COVID-19 in Armenia

first_imgCourtesy of Ani Aprahamian The ozone generator nuclear physics professor Ani Aprahamian and her team at the Alikhanyan National Laboratory in Yerevan, Armenia created sterilizes rooms by using ozone gas.Aprahamian said the prototype for the generator was built in three days by piecing together scrap parts in the laboratory, and the team confirmed the success of the prototype by testing it on live viruses. “Everybody worked day and night … They were working until four or five, every morning,” Aprahamian said. “This is a project we started to help Armenia given the coronavirus.”In less than two weeks since the start of the initiative, Aprahamian said the device was delivered to the Armenian Ministry of Health, which was invested in its creation. “We delivered [the prototype] to The Ministry of Health two weeks ago … The Ministry thought it was useful and asked us to build 20 more,” Aprahamian said. The additional generators were “much better quality” than the prototype, Aprahamian said, and can now be used to sterilize hundreds of spaces. Aprahamian’s team consists of eight people working remotely. While the shelter in place order in Armenia has made collaboration challenging, the various expertises of the group have allowed them to execute the various aspects of the project in a timely fashion while still maintaining social distancing.The inspiration for the program originated with a patent on an old ozone generator from one of Aprahamian’s colleagues.“I gathered a group of [people] and said, ‘Can we think about something to do?’,”  Aprahamian said. “Together they looked at the old [generator] and improved the designs … They built something so much better.”The ozone generator sucks the air from a room and then exposes it to high voltage which breaks down oxygen to ozone gas. While ozone protects the earth from space radiation, it also breaks down viruses and bacteria by oxidation. The molecule itself then breaks down in 10-30 minutes. However, ozone is harmful to breathe. The generator must be placed in an empty room to sterilize for an hour, and the generator must be removed for an additional hour to give the ozone time to fully break down so people can safely enter later. Aprahamian’s team consists of division leader professor Albert Avetisyan, engineers Ando Manukyan, Gevorg Hovhannisyan and Vahan Elbakyan, graduate student Kim Hovhannisyan, physicists Arthur Mkrtchyan and Armen Gyurjinyan and instruction writer Hripsime Mkrtchyan.“They have different areas, they’re doing different kinds of work,” Aprahamian said. “… Everyone here works at the [National Science Institute of Armenia] … on the cyclotron, a new thing that’s starting nuclear medicine in Armenia.” A cyclotron is a type of particle accelerator which can be used to create radioactive isotopes which can be applied in nuclear medicine, agriculture, fisheries, cognac production and testing objects for cultural heritage.The team has also built an ultraviolet C sterilization box to sanitize used masks and personal protective equipment, and they plan to develop an improved and accessible respirator system to alleviate the respiratory distress of afflicted patients.“This kind of project is very important nowadays,” Mkrtchyan said. “I think it will change a lot of things, including the view of the government towards science … here in Armenia. When you are doing something useful for the entire country, all of them are starting to be interested and take notice.”Tags: Armenia, COVID-19, freimann life science center, nuclear physics, ozone generator Through the use of nuclear medicine, ozone generators and ultraviolet lamps, Ani Aprahamian and her team have successfully initiated a program to combat COVID-19 in Armenia. Aprahamian, a professor of experimental nuclear physics, has taught at Notre Dame for 30 years and also serves as the director of the Alikhanian National Science Laboratory in Yerevan, Armenia. Having recently been awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to continue her research in Armenia, Aprahamian, along with her team, developed an ozone generator which can sterilize areas of up to 140 cubic meters every hour to help fight COVID-19.“It depends on exposure time, [and] how long you turn on it, then bigger places can be sterilized,” program engineer Ando Manukyan said. last_img read more