India: RSF calls for ban on Hindu nationalist group threatening journalists

first_imgIndia is ranked 138th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2018 World Press Freedom Index. The group says it wants to purge all “anti-national” and “anti-government” content without distinction. IABM’s “vigilantes” subject targeted journalists to online harassment and malicious phone calls, report them to their employers and accuse them of sedition in complaints filed with courts around the country. March 3, 2021 Find out more News News RSF_en to go further IndiaAsia – Pacific Religious intoleranceMedia independence Judicial harassmentEconomic pressureFreedom of expression Receive email alerts In a highly explicit tweet, he added: “If some media kingpin thinks #IABM is shooting the Messenger. Yes we are shooting the messenger but people know we are shooting the ‘One’ who spread lies and fears so deserve this treatment only.” IABM claims that it is apolitical but a quick look at Saxena’s Twitter profile leaves little doubt about its affinities. His profile displays a large photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Saxena boasts of having Modi among his Twitter followers. In the second case, around 25 legal complaints have been filed against freelance journalist Dhruv Rathee for criticizing the prime minister in a YouTube video. Instead of a journalist, the target of the third case is the actress Swara Bhaskar, against whom a similar number of legal actions have been filed for tweeting a photo showing an Indian army human rights violation in Kashmir. Earlier this month, two senior journalists at the TV channel ABP News – managing editor Milind Khandekar and Punya Prasun Bajpai, the presenter of the current affairs programme Master Stroke – were forced to resign after its executives asked them to avoid any comments or reports critical of the government or prime minister. A third ABP News journalist, Abhisar Sharma, was fired for objecting to similar instructions. “We call on the Indian government to ban this group, which is openly inciting murder and whose verbal violence against journalists poses a serious threat to their physical safety,” said Daniel Bastard, the head of RSF’s Asia-Pacific desk. “The harassment of Indian journalists who do not toe the ruling party line is reaching alarming proportions, while the government’s response to this phenomenon is a deafening silence. With less than a year to go to a general election, journalists must be able to express themselves without having to fear for their physical or professional survival. Otherwise, Indian democracy will be nothing more than a distant illusion.” IndiaAsia – Pacific Religious intoleranceMedia independence Judicial harassmentEconomic pressureFreedom of expression Later, Bajpai wrote an exposé about the circumstances of his departure and the official diktats that preceded it. The TV channel’s management allegedly received pressures from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and the BJP apparatus, including jamming satellite signals and the withdrawal of advertising by businesses close to the government. A week before the two journalists were forced out, BJP leader Amit Shah told parliament he was going to “teach ABP News a lesson.” Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the Indian authorities to ban a group of pro-government Hindu nationalists who have launched an online campaign against “biased” journalists. RSF also urges the authorities to guarantee the physical and professional survival of journalists threatened by these militants. Follow the news on India The three cases in which IAMB members report filing complaints in the past few days clearly reflect Hindutva, the far-right Hindu nationalist ideology that inspired the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). In one of these cases, a score of complaints have been brought against journalists who covered a recent shooting attack on Umar Khalid, a student leader loathed by Hindu nationalists. April 27, 2021 Find out more This online militia has emerged at a particularly worrying time for the editorial independence of journalists who tackle issues involving the prime minister and the ruling party. Help by sharing this information Organisation This online militia unveiled its existence on Twitter last week, calling itself “India Against Biased Media” and using the hashtag #IABM to recruit volunteers. Its programme – which, at the very least, can be described as radical – is to rid India of “biased or fake” news and to target those responsible. News In rural India, journalists face choice between covering pandemic and survival The online harassment of journalists is particularly disturbing in India, where Hindu nationalists are behind harassment that can lead to murder, as was the case with Gauri Lankesh, a newspaper editor shot dead outside her home a year ago. June 10, 2021 Find out more “Teach a lesson” RSF demands release of detained Indian journalist Siddique Kappan, hospitalised with Covid-19 IABM says it is apolitical but a quick look at its founder’s Twitter profile leaves little doubt about its affinities (photocredit: DB / RSF). August 22, 2018 India: RSF calls for ban on Hindu nationalist group threatening journalists Deafening silence News India: RSF denounces “systemic repression” of Manipur’s media One of its founders, Vipul Saxena, identified the group’s targets as journalists responsible for “biased content resulting in hurting religious sentiments of people aiming to disturb social harmony.”last_img read more

Top five Dutch schemes ride equity rally to boost funding levels

first_imgThe latest figures became evident as industry schemes PFZW, ABP (civil service), PMT, PME (both metal) and BpfBouw (construction) published their annual and quarterly reports. Not only did the funds generally benefit from higher share prices, they also benefited from interest rates rising. Although the interest rate fell slightly in the last quarter of 2017, the discount rate for liabilities rose from 1.3% to 1.5%.Despite the boost to funding levels, only BpfBouw was able to increase its pensions for this year, as its funding level was above the required 110%. The scheme decided to index pensions by 0.59%. The other funds are damping expectations when it comes to indexing or averting cuts.“In all likelihood we will not be able to increase pensions much, if at all, in the coming five years,” ABP chair Corien Wortmann wrote in a press statement.“At the end of 2019 our scheme’s policy funding ratio has to reach at least 104.3%,” PME chairman Eric Uijen said. “We are not there yet. For this reason we cannot rule out pension reductions in 2020.”PFZW also warned of possible cuts if their policy funding ratio remained below 104.2% until the end of 2020.The differences in investment returns appeared to be large, with the lowest return almost half the amount of the reported highest return.With a 4.1% return PMT achieved the lowest result. ABP saw its assets grow by 7.6%. Interest rate and currency hedges have been included in these figures.ABPThe civil service scheme – the largest pension fund in Europe – showed the biggest increase in its policy funding ratio. It rose by almost 10 percentage points to 101.5%, mainly due to the returns on shares and real estate. Its total assets were worth €409bn at the end of 2017.PFZWThe healthcare workers fund booked a return of 5.1%. PFZW suffered losses on its insurance portfolio (-13.3%) due to the severe hurricanes hitting the US last year. The scheme also had to write off millions on structured loans, following an adjustment of the valuation model.BpfBouwBpfBouw’s assets increased by €3bn due to a return of 6.4%. Equities accounted for 10.9% and real estate for 9.9%. BpfBouw invests a relatively large portion of its capital (17%) in real estate. The scheme lost 1.2% on its interest rate hedge. The policy funding ratios of the Dutch pension schemes for metal workers PMT and PME have risen above 100% for the first time in years.Other large pension funds in the Netherlands also reported a boost to their policy funding ratios, mainly due to rising equity markets.The policy funding ratio is the 12-month average funding level upon which Dutch pension funds must base their policy decisions – in particular whether they can grant inflation-linked uplifts. Healthcare sector scheme PFZW was the only one of the Netherlands’ top five with a policy funding ratio below 100%, recording 98.6% at the end of December. Metal industry schemes PME and PMT hit 100% funding in 2017PMEPME recorded a return of 4.7%. The scheme achieved a 15.3% return on shares, and 7.3% on real state. The matching portfolio, which accounts for almost half PME’s assets, lost 2.8% of its value.PMTPMT showed an outcome comparable to that of PME, although this pension fund achieved somewhat lower returns on equity and real estate. On the other hand, the losses on its matching portfolio were as high as PME’s, resulting in a lower return overall (4.1%).last_img read more

MLB Winter Meetings: Everything you need to know about the MLB off-season’s busiest time

first_img Where: Hilton San Diego Bayfront When: December 8-12 LIVE TV Last Updated: 7th December, 2019 17:20 IST MLB Winter Meetings: Everything You Need To Know About The MLB Off-season’s Busiest Time The MLB winter meetings are set to happen at San Diego on Sunday, December 8, 2019. Here’s everything to know about the busiest week of the MLB off-season COMMENT Written By The MLB winter meetings are all set to kick off on Sunday in San Diego. Traditionally, the winter meetings are the four busiest days of the offseason. Last season, there were four trades and ten free-agent signings including the likes of Andrew McCutchen, Charlie Morton and the three-team trade of Carlos Santana and Edwin Encarnacion. MLB winter meetings main events: First Published: 7th December, 2019 17:20 IST Modern Era Hall of Fame Class announcement: Tommy John, Don Mattingly, Steve Garvey,  Marvin Miller, Dale Murphy, Dave Parker, Dwight Evans, Ted Simmons, Thurman Munson, and Lou Whitaker are the candidates to be deliberated by the Modern Baseball Era Committee to receive the Hall of Fame honour in the Class of 2020. Professional Baseball Employment Opportunities (PBEO) Job Fair: The PBEO Job Fair is a prospect for job hunters to come across team representatives and even have an interview. The agenda and registration info can be found on the official PBEO website. The majority of available positions are entry-level with minor league teams. Baseball Trade Show: The trade show is one of the most exciting parts of the MLB winter meetings. Dealers from around the country show off their products ranging from equipment to concessions to bobbleheads. You can find out more about the trade show on their official website. Bob Frietas Business Seminar and Awards Gala: The seminar features guest lecturers from both inside and outside the world of baseball alongside informal workshops. The Awards Gala consist of the presentation of the Bowie Kuhn Award, the Baseball America Organization of the Year award and a variety of Scout of the Year awards amongst other things.center_img SUBSCRIBE TO US WATCH US LIVE The MLB and minor league teams are presently negotiating a new Professional Baseball Agreement. MLB has suggested disregarding 42 minor league teams as part of a sizeable overhaul of the minor league. The minor league teams are quite understandably not in agreement with the proposal. The PBA terminates after next season and this week’s negotiations could be quarrelsome.Also Read: MLB Trade Rumours: Zack Wheeler, Philadelphia Phillies Agree To 5-year DealThe first-ever All-MLB Team to be unveiled at the 2019 MLB Winter meetingsThe 2019 MLB Winter Meetings will see the revelation of the first-ever All-MLB Team. The All-MLB Team will mirror performances from last season, and there will be one solitary All-MLB Side covering both the leagues. The American League and the National League won’t have separate teams. The team will be selected through a combination of fan voting and a panel including journalists, former players and baseball officials. Fan voting closes a week earlier. The All-MLB team will be announced on Tuesday and will include a catcher, a first baseman, a second baseman, a shortstop, a third baseman and three outfielders regardless of their outfield positions, a DH, five starting pitchers and two relief pitchers.Also Read: New York Yankees Owner Hal Steinbrenner Believes Brett Gardner Would Be Perfect FitMLB winter meetings: A window for potential tradesThe winter meetings are the busiest days of the offseason because of the potential trades that could happen. All officials, including the team owners, general managers, president of baseball operations are at the meetings, meaning there will be a whole lot of face-to-face discussions and trading buzz. A lot of free-agent signings and trades take place.All MLB managers interact with the media during the MLB Winter Meetings to provide a “state of the team” press conference. It’s generally the first time that the managers are quizzed on their new acquisitions. A position change or injury update comes out once in a while during these sessions.Also Read: MLB Trade Rumours: New York Yankees Consider Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg MoveMLB winter meetings: The Rule 5 draftThe annual Rule 5 Draft will signal the unofficial end of the Winter Meetings next Thursday. Players selected in the Rule 5 Draft must continue to be on their new team’s active 26-man MLB roster during the entire 2020 season or be placed on waivers and offered back to their former franchise. Players not on any 40-man roster are eligible for Rule 5 draft selection. It serves a medium to give minor leaguers blocked in their current organisation, a shot at the big leagues. This year’s pool of qualified players includes: Sreehari Menon Also Read: MLB Trade Rumours: Texas Rangers Could Sign New York Yankees Player Miguel AndujarHere’s everything to know about the 2019 MLB Winter Meetings Players recruited out of high school in 2015 or earlier. Players enrolled out of college in 2016 or earlier. Players contracted as international free agents in 2015 or earlier. FOLLOW USlast_img read more