Al Jazeera cameraman’s lawyer, speaks with Reporters Without Borders about his client’s ordeal in Guantanamo Bay

first_img Facebook’s Oversight Board is just a stopgap, regulation urgently needed, RSF says April 28, 2021 Find out more News WhatsApp blocks accounts of at least seven Gaza Strip journalists June 3, 2021 Find out more June 7, 2021 Find out more Smith also thanked Al Jazeera, the Qatari and Sudanese governments as well as organizations such as Reporters Without Borders, for tiredlessly advocating for the release of Sami Al-Haj. Al-Haj was charged with running an extremist Islamic website, connecting him to Al-Qaeda in his attempt to interview Osama Bin Landen.”(The US military) alleged that he was a terrorist because he had trained in Al Jazeera. The precise words were, ‘the detainee admitted that he had trained in the use of the camera with Al Jazeera,’ and that is meant to be understood as some sort of terrorism,” Smith said.”There’s no legal basis. They would come up with new allegations and we would prove that the allegations were rubbish.”Watch the video (part 2) Organisation Based on Smith’s testimony, there were no clear reasons as to why al-Haj was not release before. In fact, according to Smith, al-Haj is still considered a terrorist by US authorities.During his imprisonment in Guantanamo Bay, interrogators coerced al-Haj into becoming a witness against Al Jazeera, accusing the network television of receiving funds directly from Al Qaeda.” I think it’s just an assault on Al Jazeera, I mean its very, very sad – speaking as an American – we are meant to support free speech… Al Jazeera in the beacon of free speech in the Middle East,” Smith explained.He also commented on al-Haj’s health saying that he arrived at hospital in Khartoum, Sudan very weak after facing a long and tough flight. He was not allowed to use the toilet for twenty hours and al-Haj kept the hunger strike until he arrived in Sudan – that meant no food and water. He was also in shackles and was blinded with a hood.”The doctors (in Sudan) were worried that he wouldn’t survive,” Smith said. “On the other hand, within two or three days he was doing a lot better.”In addition to being tortured during his captivity in Guantanamo Bay, doctors informed al-Haj that he had cancer, but he could not see a specialist. Sudanese doctors who examined al-Haj upon his arrival, said he tested negative for cancer.As for al-Haj’s professional life, Smith said that for the time being his client has no intention of traveling to a war zone again. He also said that the US has tried to put pressure on the Sudanese government to prevent al-Haj from traveling or working again with Al Jazeera.”He would rather stay in Guantanamo ten years rather than signing any such papers,” Smith said. “When he was being release, the admiral who came to see him tried to get him to sign a document, and he told him that the advice of his lawyer was not to sign anything.”On the allegations of torture, which the US authorities deny, Smith said his client was interrogated a 130 different occasions, out of which 120 of the interrogations focused on trying to get al-Haj to say that Al Jazeera is a terrorist organization. Smith also discussed the methods by which he was force-fed in the prison- guards pulled the tube inserted through the nose – explicitly to try to press prisoners to come off the hunger strike, “I think that’s inhumane,” he said. Al-Haj also went under a total of 478 days of a hunger strike. “You think about the IRA hunger strikers back in the 1980s – the maximum anyone did was 70 (days)”Smith himself was subject to accusations by the US government, alleging that he incited three prisoners to commit suicide. “I think it’s pretty disgusting that they accuse me of trying to get my clients to commit suicide.”In regards to the future of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Smith said that we face more danger today than before September 11th. “No sane person can look you in the eye and say that Guantanamo Bay has made the world a safer place.”According to Smith, “Guantanamo Bay is going to close.” But the real issue is that the US has about 27,000 prisoners and other secret jails where prisoners are in worst conditions than those in Guantanamo Bay. United StatesAmericas Receive email alerts Follow the news on United Statescenter_img Human rights lawyer Clive Stafford-Smith gave a candid interview on Monday, May 19 to Reporters Without Borders about his client, Al Jazeera cameraman Sami al-Haj. Al-Haj had spent the last six years detained in Guantanamo Bay before being released earlier this month. RSF_en Human rights lawyer Clive Stafford Smith gave a candid interview on Monday, May 19 to Reporters Without Borders USA Director Lucie Morillon about his client, Al Jazeera cameraman Sami al-Haj. Al-Haj had spent the last six years detained in Guantanamo Bay before being released earlier this month. Smith arrived in the United States this week to testify before Congress on the situation in Guantanamo. In the interview, he explained al-Haj’s health condition and his future as a journalist after being released.Watch the video (part 1) Help by sharing this information to go further News United StatesAmericas News News NSO Group hasn’t kept its promises on human rights, RSF and other NGOs say May 22, 2008 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Al Jazeera cameraman’s lawyer, speaks with Reporters Without Borders about his client’s ordeal in Guantanamo Bay last_img read more

Step-father faces sexual abuse charges

first_img Pinterest Facebook By admin – March 23, 2018 WhatsApp Local NewsCrime Facebook Twitter WhatsApp Step-father faces sexual abuse charges Pinterest Previous articleBBQ & Baked Potato FundraiserNext articleStorm season is rolling in admin Twitter A pre-trial hearing is set for this morning for a man charged with sexually abusing his two step-daughters for two years.The hearing is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. today in the 161st District Court of Judge John Smith. Court records list Tony Chavez as David Anthony Cortez’s court-appointed attorney.A report of sexual abuse against the defendant, 34-year-old Cortez, was first made to the Ector County Sheriff’s Office in December of 2016, a probable cause affidavit stated. The offense reportedly occurred several times between the dates of 2015 and through 2016 in the 12800 block of Jasper Avenue.The report detailed that the two victims were Cortez’s step-daughters, ages 7 and 5 at the time the report was made. They had initially told their mother about the incident, and later again during a forensic interview through Harmony Home Children’s Advocacy Center.An exam conducted by a sexual assault nurse examiner confirmed the two girls’ reports, the document stated.Cortez was interviewed by detectives and admitted to the offense, the affidavit detailed.Deputies charged Cortez in January 2017 with two counts of continuous sexual abuse of a child, a first-degree felony, and Cortez was indicted by a grand jury on the charges in March 2017.Jail records show Cortez was taken to the Ector County Detention Center in January 2017 and was released more than a year later on Jan. 25 on two bonds totaling $150,000.Should Cortez be found guilty of the charges, he could face anywhere between five and 99 years in prison.Court records show Cortez has a jury trial scheduled for 9 a.m. April 2.last_img read more

Council may discuss reinstatement of US trips on St Patrick’s Day

first_img Main Evening News, Sport and Obituaries Tuesday May 25th Facebook Further drop in people receiving PUP in Donegal Facebook WhatsApp Pinterest 365 additional cases of Covid-19 in Republic 75 positive cases of Covid confirmed in North Twitter RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Twitter Google+center_img News Gardai continue to investigate Kilmacrennan fire Previous articleProtests for Letterkenny and Gweedore ahead of Budget 2013Next articleSchool bus off road in Moneymore – No injuries reported News Highland Man arrested on suspicion of drugs and criminal property offences in Derry Council may discuss reinstatement of US trips on St Patrick’s Day Pinterest Google+ WhatsApp By News Highland – December 5, 2012 The Mayor of Donegal says the the possibility of reinstating the tradition of sending the mayor to New York and Philadelphia for Saint Patrick’s Day is a bridge that should be crossed when the council comes to it.Cllr Frank Mc Brearty attended the Golden Bridges event in Boston last month, and will return to the US this weekend to attend the Tipp O’Neill Centenary Celebrations.The council voted in favour of the return, despite Fianna Fail opposition.Cllr Mc Brearty was  non-commital ab0ut the question of St Patrick’s Day, but says the Boston trips over the past three years  have paid dividends, particularly in terms of the link up between LYIT and Lasell College……[podcast][/podcast]last_img read more

U.S. miner Contura Energy looks to accelerate exit from thermal coal market

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):Contura Energy Inc. is speeding up the exit of its thermal coal operations to focus on metallurgical coal as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the broader coal sector.The company recorded a second-quarter net loss of $238.3 million, or a loss of $13.02 per share, down year over year from a net profit of $24.3 million, or $1.25 per share. The company also noted a noncash asset impairment charge of $162 million. Contura, which completed its exit of the Powder River Basin earlier this year, continues to streamline operations and focus on coal used by steelmakers rather than power generators.“We recognize that the world is transitioning toward an economy that relies less on fossil fuels for power generation, and we therefore have accelerated our strategic exit from thermal coal mining,” CEO David Stetson said during an Aug. 7 earnings call. “To put a finer point on our strategic direction for the next couple of years, I expect our portfolio optimization initiatives … will make us the leading pure-play met coal company by the end of 2022.”Stetson said the transition is well underway and that once the company’s portfolio is optimized, Contura expects to be able to ship up to 14 million tons of metallurgical coal annually, with less than 1 million tons of thermal coal shipments per year.Earlier in the year, the company announced it was shortening supply agreements for coal from its Cumberland mine and would not invest in a new impoundment project at the site. Contura will continue to market the Pennsylvania thermal coal mine for sale until the end of 2022, when its customer contracts expire, and will cease production if it does not find a buyer.The company also said it plans to idle its Kielty mine and the Delbarton prep plant in West Virginia due to uneconomic pricing and cost structures. The mine is expected to cease production in the next six weeks. At the same time, the company has made progress on three of its new metallurgical coal mining operations, Stetson noted.[Taylor Kuykendall]More ($): Contura accelerates exit from thermal coal due to global pivot from fossil fuels U.S. miner Contura Energy looks to accelerate exit from thermal coal marketlast_img read more

Crisis In Iraq Hits Home For Decatur County Man

first_imgAbbas Altemimi, of Greensburg, with Maj. Gen. R. Martin Umbarger in this undated photo taken in Balad, Iraq.For many of us, the current conflict in the Middle East is something we see only on television. It is not having a direct impact on our family or community; however, it is a different story for one local man.Abbas Altemimi, 28, of Greensburg, was born and raised in Iraq. When violence was ongoing a decade ago in his home country, he joined the fight against the insurgents. He enlisted as a member of the U.S. Army, and was utilized for his military experience and ability to speak Arabic. He assisted military operations from 2003-2008.Under immigration law, those who help the U.S. armed forces may be eligible for citizenship in the United States.Altemimi relocated to Decatur County following military service.Now, half a world away from his native country, he is feeling the impact of the turbulence in Iraq.  The breakout of violence has claimed the life of six of his cousins.“My family is a few hours east of Baghdad and it is real bad now there,” Altemimi said. “The [rebels] are trying to take over the country again.”The Iraqi government has shut down internet and phone service in some parts of country.“The last time I talked to my family was a week ago but now that the government shut down the internet servers and phone service, the last time I talked to them was last Sunday, but I know the situation there is real bad,” Altemimi said.The conflict is due to Al Qaeda affiliated rebels, known as the Islamic State of Iraq (ISIS, also known as ISIL) attempting to gain territorial control in the country as they march toward the capital city of Baghdad.Adjusting to a farming community was not difficult for Altemimi, whose family also farms in Iraq. “They are trying to make up for Saddam’s lies, but it is just not going to happen anymore. People just want to live free and enjoy freedom,” Altemimi commented.To local friends, Altemimi is also known by his nickname, VanDam. He has been awarded with numerous medals for his service to the United States military.last_img read more

Warriors welcome students, faculty from Parkland shooting at shootaround

first_imgKlay Thompson subscribes. You can too for just 11 cents a day for 11 months + receive a free Warriors Championship book. Sign me up!MIAMI – The Warriors gathered together for morning shootaround on Wednesday, and talked about more important things than basketball.Besides preparing for when the Warriors (43-17) visit the Miami Heat (26-33) on Wednesday, they also welcomed students and faculty from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and Miami Northwestern Senior high school. Just over a year …last_img

Little Colorado Grand Falls Much Younger Than Thought

first_imgThe Little Colorado River makes a dramatic drop over a lava cliff in Arizona after going around a lava flow.  Previous estimates dated the lava at the falls at 150,000 years old (150ka).  Now, a team of geologists publishing in GSA Bulletin1 used multiple methods that dated it at no more than 19,600 years old (19.6ka) – one eighth the earlier age estimate.  Here were some of their reasons for the revision:The ca. 150 ka age of the Grand Falls flow provided by whole-rock K-Ar analysis in the 1970s is inconsistent with the preservation of centimeter-scale flow-top features on the surface of the flow and the near absence of physical and chemical weathering on the flow downstream of the falls.  The buried Little Colorado River channel and the present-day channel are at nearly the same elevation, indicating that very little, if any, regional downcutting has occurred since emplacement of the flow. (Emphasis added in all quotes.)Many people might expect radiometric dating of lava to be straightforward, but the authors began by casting doubt on the most widely-used methods: “Dating Quaternary mafic volcanic materials has proven to be challenging in many cases,” they said.  “K-Ar and 40Ar/39Ar are the most common dating methods, but results may be difficult to interpret because so little potassium is present in these rocks and because the rocks may also contain excess Ar from mantle or crustal sources.”    They employed four independent methods that more or less converged on the approx. 20,000 year figure.  That would seem to settle the matter, but in their discussion, they said: “The question remains of how to decide what relative weight to apportion to each dating technique in trying to accurately define when the lava dam formed.  Each technique includes its own set of assumptions and uncertainties.”    Perhaps eyeball dating should be given more weight.  The authors took notice of how little erosion had occurred in this area.  They estimated downcutting rates, but then said of four lava flows in the area, “These emplacement units lack evidence of physical erosion or chemical weathering, both within the stack of flows and at the basal contact of flows with underlying columnar basalt.  The flows may simply represent overlapping lobes of a single lava flow.”  Speaking of dust on top of the flow, they said, “All features not covered by eolian [wind-blown] sediment appear to represent original or nearly original surfaces of lava that have been little weathered or eroded, if at all, since their formation.”    Considering that whole cities have been embedded in dust in recorded history, perhaps even 20,000 years is too much.  They ended by discussing possible reasons why the earlier estimate was so much older, and warned of misinterpretation because excess argon may be a bigger problem than previously realized.  Even so, “However common excess Ar may be in lava of the volcanic field, caution is advised in all time-related generalizations about the growth of the field, including interpretation of the 100 m/m.y. rate of regional downcutting calculated from whole-rock K-Ar ages for samples from the two older lava dams along the Little Colorado River.”  Does anybody really know how old this lava flow is?1Champion et al., “Multiple constraints on the age of a Pleistocene lava dam across the Little Colorado River at Grand Falls, Arizona,” Geological Society of America Bulletin, doi: 10.1130/B25814.1, : Vol. 118, No. 3, pp. 421�429.Unless you subscribe to the Creation Research Society, Institute for Creation Research or the Creation Technical Journal, you may have been completely unaware of the quality of young-earth creation research that has been independently published for decades.  Such research is so completely barred from the usual journals, creation geologists, astronomers and biologists have continually published their own work, with a few exceptions making it into the mainstream.  Many of their papers are just as rigorous and scholarly as those in the secular journals.  They would be indistinguishable except for the rags they’re printed in.    Recently, Carl Froede and Emmett Williams investigated the same Grand Falls area.  This gives you an opportunity to compare one example of OEE (old-earth evolutionist) and one example of YEC (young-earth creationist) interpretations of the same spot.  Publishing in Creation Research Society Quarterly, Froede and Williams found much more evidence for youthfulness of the area than admitted in the GSA paper.  They found delicate structures, very little erosion of the basalt, and lack of evidence of substantial weathering.  Their common-sense approach based on clear, observable features was supported by photographs and measurements.  They challenged,The flow appears to be of a recent origin by nature of its excellent preservation.  This is empirical evidence.  Why do uniformitarians force the time issue by adopting inappropriate age-dates?.  Unfortunately, they are forced to interpret and skew data in an attempt to bolster an archaic, unrealistic, and nonscientific model of Earth history.Note that the Grand Falls lava flow does not appear any older than lava flows known to have been emplaced within historic times.    One other thing.  How many earth science students were told confidently by evolutionary geologists in the 1970s that this lava flow was 150,000 years old?  Did any of the students question the Biblical chronology based on what is now known to be false?  Should any of today’s students trust the new estimate of 20,000 years, when the authors admit that “caution must be exercised in interpreting” dating methods?  When fallible experts cannot agree, when they keep changing their numbers, when they are forced into their positions by a priori assumptions about the age of the earth, and come up with conclusions that go against common sense, shouldn’t new ideas be given a fair hearing?(Visited 41 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Aids: Mandela calls for leadership

first_img16 July 2004Just days short of his 86th birthday on 18 July, Nelson Mandela made an urgent call for strong leadership, from all countries and from all sectors of society, to turn the tide of the Aids pandemic.Addressing delegates at the 15th International Aids Conference in Bangkok on 15 July, Mandela said the world had to meet four main challenges in fighting HIV/Aids: increasing funding; harmonising funding efforts; developing more comprehensive national treatment programmes; and, as a matter of urgency, providing strong leadership.“And I speak not only of political leaders”, Mandela said, “but also of leaders from every sector of society.”Leadership, Mandela said, involved both personal commitment and concrete actions. Leaders had to lead the response to HIV/Aids “with clear vision and imaginative action.“They must dare to be different, and they must be prepared for the course to be difficult. They will be faced with tough decisions, and they must come up with bold and innovative responses. This is what leaders are for, and the Aids epidemic will test their leadership skills to the limits.”Prisoner number 46664Mandela’s address followed a screening of a one-hour special on 46664 Cape Town, an all-star concert that took place in South Africa on 29 November 2003 as part of an ongoing music-led campaign to raise global awareness about HIV/Aids and to raise funds for fighting the epidemic in South Africa.The former Robben Island prisoner number 46664 said that during his incarceration, he and his fellow inmates “were kept alive by our strong sense of hope and the firm knowledge that the world would not forget us … Despite the efforts of the apartheid regime to reduce us to prison numbers and so reduce our humanity, the world did not forget.“Today, I call upon all of you – every global citizen – not to forget. We must seize this opportunity to demonstrate that we share a common humanity … We must never reduce the issue to statistics.”The 46664 campaign, Mandela said, would continue to create global awareness of HIV/Aids, to advocate for and support HIV/Aids care, treatment and prevention, and to raise the funds urgently needed to fight the epidemic.It would also continue to pressurise governments and other agencies to meet their responsibilities, Mandela said, but added: “We cannot leave this matter only to governments and others. We must ask ourselves the question: What can I do as a global citizen?“The more we create awareness, the more we advocate for more resources, the more we remind others of their responsibilities, the more we must never forget our own responsibilities.”Mandela had high praise for the “extraordinary example of leadership” by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, who announced on the same day an additional US$50-million donation to the Global Fund to Fight Aids, TB and Malaria,He added, however, that it was going to take “much more than the resources of the Gates Foundation to achieve the scale-up required to fund the fight against Aids, TB and Malaria. We need to build the public-private partnership that is the vision of the Global Fund. We challenge everyone to help fund the Fund now.”Mandela concluded: “In a world that is divided along many lines, we now have a unique opportunity to bring us all together around a common challenge. In ensuring that the millions of people who are infected and affected by HIV and Aids are not forgotten, we will not only make a difference to their lives, we will also make a difference to our lives as well. We owe this at least to humanity.“Give one minute of your life to Aids. Support the 46664 campaign.” reporterlast_img read more

Free calls for emergencies, services

first_imgMusa Mkalipi Seventy free call lines have been installed by the City of Cape Town in disadvantaged areas.(Image: City of Cape Town) The free call lines are located in municipal buildings such as housing offices, cash offices, libraries and community facilities.(Image:790tv)MEDIA CONTACTS• Emma PowellCity of Cape TownExecutive support to mayoral committee+27 21 400 4331Some 70 free call lines have been installed by the city of Cape Town in outlying areas and disadvantaged communities in an effort to bring services closer to residents. The lines can be used by residents to contact the city with queries or requests about services such as accounts, refuse collection, illegal dumping, water leaks, sewer blockages, street lights, pot holes and damaged roads.“The purpose of the free call lines is to improve service delivery by increasing access to the city’s call centre,” explains Demetri Qually, the mayoral committee member for corporate services. “We are extending the network of free call telephones to areas where low volumes of service complaints and requests are currently being registered.”This, he says, is due to a lack of cellphone airtime or available telephone lines in these areas. Located in Cape Town’s customer relations department within its corporate services directorate, the call centre helps residents as well as businesses.The free call lines are located in municipal buildings such as housing offices, cash offices, libraries and community facilities. But after criticism from residents that these offices were not open 24 hours a day, the city changed tack. “The customer relations department then created the free call lines that give access to service delivery without having to dedicate a full-time resource to the Strand Offices,” explains Emma Powell, executive support to mayoral committee.When a call is made using a free call line – simply by lifting the receiver – the caller is automatically connected straight to the call centre, where an agent responds to the customer’s query or complaint. Complaints are logged by means of the city’s service request system. The customer receives a reference number to follow up his or her query. There is no cost to the caller.“The lines connect directly with the city’s call centre number, and residents are encouraged to report faults, register complaints and make enquiries at no cost to them. They will also now receive an acknowledgement SMS with a reference number for follow up,” Qually says.Complaints are tracked by a specialised monitoring team. They are uploaded on to an integrated virtual dashboard which is monitored by the management teams in the respective departments.Lines have been installed in suburbs such as Athlone, Atlantis, Belhar, Lwandle, Mitchells Plain, Gugulethu and Phillipi, among others. Qually says that in a city as large as Cape Town, residents are encouraged to help in identifying municipal problems for response and maintaining a high standard of service delivery.The first free call lines were installed in July 2009, the first four of which were in the Strand municipal offices in Lwandle and Khayelitsha. Cape Town receives an average of 50 000 calls annually, mostly coming from disadvantaged areas.Call centre hours for corporate issues are from 7am until 9pm, while water and electricity centres are open 24 hours.Service delivery and educationCape Town has also worked to bring emergency services closer to the people, especially those in disadvantaged areas. Its 107 single emergency telephone number is a toll free number that visitors and residents can call to ask for help when their lives or property are in danger.Emergency calls such as for police, medical, traffic, and mountain and sea rescue go through 107. All calls to this number are answered within 10 to 20 seconds, the city says, and services are available seven days a week throughout the day. Callers can choose to be helped in English, Xhosa or Afrikaans.The 107 communication centre has been running since 2000, staffed by professional call agents to help callers with emergencies. According to The Guardian, a monthly community publication, the city’s mission is to enhance residents’ quality of life by handling all calls for service in a prompt, courteous, professional and correct manner.When a call is made on the 107 number, the emergency communication centre is able to see where the call is coming from and the telephone number that is used. The call is then directed to the relevant police, fire or ambulance service.The city holds annual public awareness and education programmes to teach people about the number, to eliminate abuse of emergency numbers. These programmes are presented at schools, libraries as well as community events. The line’s mascot, Wally 107, travels around the city educating children about the emergency toll free number. In 2010, for example, Wally visited over 120 school pupils in Western Cape.last_img read more

Valve: We Have A “Steam Machine” Prototype, Vague Plans For More Hardware

first_imgRelated Posts readwrite Tags:#now#STEAM#SteamOS#Valve#video games Following up Monday’s announcement of SteamOS, Valve today announced plans for a “new category of living-room hardware”—that is, gaming consoles that run SteamOS. Only without actually providing any actual details.(See also: With SteamOS, Valve Is Taking On The Xbox One And PlayStation 4)Valve’s vague announcement provided no information about what the products will be, what hardware specifications Valve has in mind or who its “multiple partners” might be. The company said it has designed a prototype game machine and is inviting 300 users as initial beta testers. 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe Appcenter_img 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People… 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex…last_img read more