“Pressure from big media must not endanger proposed media law”

first_img Call for continuing transparency and dialogue in media law’s passage April 4, 2014 Find out more Reporters Without Borders supports a proposed broadcast media law, known as the SCA or Ley de Medios, which Uruguay’s Chamber of Deputies began considering on 22 May and which is due to be submitted to the Senate by the end of the year.The media freedom organization therefore regrets the pressure that some media groups have recently been exercising in an attempt to delay or block adoption of this bill, which could weaken their dominant position.The provisions and goals of Uruguay’s SCA recall those of Argentina’s SCA, which we supported in principle although its implementation continues to held up by a regrettable climate of polarization between the government and some privately-owned media.Uruguay has so far avoided similar polarization and we hope that examination of this bill will not provide any pretext.The dominant broadcast media groups are hostile to the proposed law, which would promote less concentrated ownership. Last week, the owners of Channels 4, 10 and 12 boycotted the digital broadcast licence allocation process until the last day, 8 July, although they had been assured that their licences would be renewed. Hoping to keep all their frequencies and, furthermore, get the government to do a U-turn on the proposed law, they finally agreed to renew their licences in return for a 10-day extension to the deadline for presenting their programme plan to the Regulatory Unit for Communication Services (URSEC).“This kind of blackmail is unacceptable,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The defence of a broadcast or print media company’s business interests must not be confused with the fight for freedom of expression or information. It is regrettable that the bill’s opponents are trying to confuse the two.“Promoting more pluralism includes expanding the availability of broadcast frequencies in a transparent and fair way, and we think the SCA will do this. We support legislation or legislative provisions in Uruguay and elsewhere in the western hemisphere that promote less concentrated ownership and a balance between state-owned, privately-owned and community media.“It should be recalled that Uruguay was a regional pioneer for community broadcast media, adopting a law in 2007 that assigned them a third of AM and FM radio frequencies and over-the-air television broadcast frequencies.”Reporters Without Borders particularly supports articles 44 and 45 of the SCA, which aim to prevent broadcasting oligopolies. Article 44 would limit each owner to no more than two AM, two FM and two over-the-air broadcast TV licences anywhere in Uruguay, while article 45 would limit ownership of subscription TV services.At the same time, no person or company would be able to have more than six licences anywhere in the country and no more than one in a single locality – a ceiling that would increase to three in Montevideo department.Initial concessions would be valid for 10 years for radio and 15 years for TV while, in both cases, the renewal period would be 10 years (article 117). They would be allocated on the basis of competitive bids that would be conducted transparently and would include public consultation, as in the 2007 community radio law. In a major safeguard against censorship, article 106 forbids “discriminatory use of the granting or renewal of permits and licences with the aim of exercising pressure in order to punish or reward journalists or media according to their news coverage or editorial policies.” Such a clause could usefully have been included in similar legislation in other countries in the region.While the SCA would restrict programming at certain times of the day to protect minors and would impose a nationally-produced content quota, it refrains from any other attempt to control or regulate content. In this, it is similar to Argentina’s SCA and quite different from Ecuador’s recently-adopted media law.Reporters Without Borders concluded: “In every respect, the future SCA is a model of media regulation for other countries in the region, where freedom of information suffers from glaring imbalances (see the Brazil report). The civil society debate that oversaw the drafting process was also exemplary.” Receive email alerts Reporters Without Borders welcomes the adoption of the Broadcasting Communication Services Law UruguayAmericas Follow the news on Uruguay December 24, 2014 Find out more July 9, 2013 – Updated on January 20, 2016 “Pressure from big media must not endanger proposed media law” UruguayAmericas Newscenter_img RSF_en Help by sharing this information Organisation to go further News News Deputies pass amended broadcasting law, new challenge ahead News December 12, 2013 Find out morelast_img read more

Sharper view of matter

first_imgIn a breakthrough that could one day yield important clues about the nature of matter itself, a team of Harvard scientists has measured the magnetic charge of single particles of matter and antimatter with unprecedented precision.As described in a March 25 paper in Physical Review Letters, the team — led by Gerald Gabrielse, the George Vasmer Leverett Professor of Physics, and including postdoctoral fellows Stephan Ettenauer  and Eric Tardiff and graduate students Jack DiSciacca, Mason Marshall, Kathryn Marable, and Rita Kalra — was able to capture individual protons and antiprotons in a “trap” created by electric and magnetic fields. By tracking the oscillations of each particle, the team was able to measure the magnetism of a proton 1,000 times more accurately than any proton had been measured before. Similar tests with antiprotons produced a 680-fold increase in accuracy in the size of the magnet in an antiproton.“That is a spectacular jump in precision for any fundamental quality,” Gabrielse said. “That’s a leap that we don’t often see in physics, at least not in a single step.”Such measurements, Gabrielse said, could one day help scientists answer a question that might seem more suited for the philosophy classroom than the physics lab: Why are we here?“One of the great mysteries in physics is why our universe is made of matter,” he said. “According to our theories, the same amount of matter and antimatter was produced during the Big Bang. When matter and antimatter meet, they are annihilated. As the universe cools down, the big mystery is: Why didn’t all the matter find the antimatter and annihilate all of both? There’s a lot of matter and no antimatter left, and we don’t know why.”Making precise measurements of protons and antiprotons, Gabrielse explained, could begin to answer those questions, by potentially shedding light on whether the CPT (charge conjugation, parity transformation, time reversal) theorem is correct. An outgrowth of the standard model of particle physics, CPT states that the protons and antiprotons should be virtually identical — with the same magnitude of charge and mass — yet with opposite charges.The predictions of CPT have been verified by experiments measuring the charge-to-mass ratio of protons and antiprotons, but further investigation is needed, Gabrielse said, because the standard model does not account for all forces in the universe.“What we wanted to do with these experiments was to say, ‘Let’s take a simple system — a single proton and a single antiproton — and let’s compare their predicted relationships, and see if our predictions are correct,’” Gabrielse said. “Ultimately, whatever we learn might give us some insight into how to explain this mystery.”While researchers were able to capture and measure protons with relative ease, antiprotons are only produced by high-energy collisions that take place at the extensive tunnels of the CERN laboratory in Geneva, which created a dilemma.“Last year, we published a report showing that we could measure a proton much more accurately than ever before,” Gabrielse said. “Once we had done that, however, we had to make a decision. Did we want to take the risk of moving our people and our entire apparatus — crates and crates of electronics and a very delicate trap apparatus — to CERN and try to do the same thing with antiprotons?  Antiprotons would only be available till mid-December and then not again for a year and a half.“We decided to give it a shot, and by George, we pulled it off,” he continued. “Ultimately, we argued that we should attempt it, because even if we failed, that failure would teach us something.” In what Gabrielse described as a “gutsy” choice, DiSciacca agreed to use the attempt to conclude his thesis research, and new grad students Marshall and Marable signed on to help.Though the results still fit within the predictions made by the standard model, more accurate measurements of the characteristics of matter and antimatter may advance our understanding of how the universe works.“What’s also very exciting about this breakthrough is that it now prepares us to continue down this road,” Gabrielse said. “I’m confident that, given this start, we’re going to be able to increase the accuracy of these measurements by another factor of 1,000, or even 10,000.”last_img read more

BOXING:FBI suspected Ali’s legendary 1964 victory over Liston was FIXED, documents reveal

first_imgFBI suspected Ali’s legendary 1964 victory over Liston was FIXED, documents revealFifty years on from the man then known as Cassius Clay beating Sonny Liston to become heavyweight champion of the world for the first time, new documents have come to light which reveal that the FBI long suspected that the shock result was really a fix. The fight between reigning champion Liston and brash young upstart Clay – later renamed Muhammad Ali – took place on February 25, 1964, in Miami Clay, just 22, entered the ring as a 7-1 underdog, but pulled off a shock victory which laid the foundations for his glittering career to follow.The memorable match, named the fourth-greatest sports moment of the 20th century by Sports Illustrated, ended when Liston quit after the seventh round and Clay started jumping and waving his hands, yelling ‘I’m the champ!’Now documents released to The Washington Times under the Freedom of Information Act reveal that the FBI suspected the fight may have been fixed by a Las Vegas figure tied to organized crime and to Liston. The memos, so sensitive that they were addressed directly to Director J. Edgar Hoover, show the FBI suspected Ash Resnick, a Las Vegas gambler with organized crime connections, of fixing multiple boxing matches, including the first Clay-Liston fight.The key new evidence is an FBI memo dated May 24, 1966, that details an interview with a Houston gambler named Barnett Magids, who described to agents his discussions with Resnick before the first Clay-Liston fight.Magids told them that Resnick strongly advised him against betting on Liston winning. The reports also reveal that Resnick and Liston both reportedly made over $1million betting against Liston in the fight.The documents show no evidence that Ali was in on the scheme or even knew about it, while nothing suggests the bureau ever fully corroborated the suspicions it investigated. Both fighters were controversial figures, Liston was an ex-con with ties to the mob ties, while Clay had joined the Black Muslims weeks before the fight and changed his name to Ali shortly afterwards.  Early in the fight Clay was in trouble early, losing his vision at one point, before he came back to convincingly beat Liston.The result was such a shock at the time that there was speculation that the outcome might have been manipulated.Liston said he quit because of a shoulder injury, while the Miami Beach Boxing Commission doctor reportedly diagnosed a torn tendon in Liston’s left shoulder. Florida State Attorney Richard Gerstein conducted a post-fight investigation, which concluded that Liston went into the fight with a bad shoulder. He determined there was no evidence that the fight was not ‘completely regular,’ according to The Palm Beach Post. Miami Beach Boxing Commission Chairman Morris Klein said commissioners were satisfied that there was ‘no wrongdoing’ and allowed Liston to collect his $370,000 purse. A US Senate subcommittee conducted hearings three months later but found no evidence of a fixed fight.Celebration: When Liston quit after the seventh round Clay started jumping and waving his hands, yelling ‘I’m the champ’last_img read more

2020 Iowa legislative session resumes after 11 week pause

first_imgDES MOINES — Most of the 150 members of the Iowa House and Senate are back in the capitol today after an 11 week hiatus as the governor asked Iowans to avoid meeting in groups of more than 10.As is their custom, lawmakers began their workday with a public prayer. In the House, Republicans who control the agenda invited Democrat Ako Abdul-Samad, a state representative from Des Moines, to deliver it.“Dear God, we come to you in trying times,” he began. “We come to you when our nation is in turmoil, when our state is in turmoil.”Abdul-Samad has been out in Des Moines area protests, trying to cool tensions and prevent violence.“Dear God, give us strength to be able to stand together, to work together. Give us strength to be able to reach out to one another no matter what ethnicity, no matter what religion, no matter what political discipline,” Abdul-Samad prayed. “Give us strength to be able to understand that we must respect and love each other.”Abdul-Samad also referred to those who’ve died and lost loved ones to COVID-19. Senate President Charles Schneider, a Republican from West Des Moines, opened senate business at nine o’clock and, after Schneider’s rap of the gavel, Senator Craig Johnson of Independence asked for a moment of silence in honor of those who’ve died of the virus.Most of the Democrats in the legislature are wearing face masks, including House Minority Leader Todd Prichard of Charles City.“Good morning, ladies and gentlemen of the House,” Prichard said. “I’m smiling underneath the mask.”The legislature has changed some of its rules, making the House and Senate floors off-limits to all but lawmakers and a few key staff. Normally the House and Senate chambers are jammed with clerks, pages and lawmakers.The House and Senate are now being used for all business, including committee meetings, to allow for social distancing among lawmakers. Legislators have reserved larger spaces for their private meetings, like the Capitol’s Law Library, which has 45 feet of space between the floor and ceiling.last_img read more