Talk of maintaining new rules for foreign journalists after Olympics is greeted with scepticism

first_img Reporters Without Borders said it took note of yesterday’s statement by State Council information office minister Cai Wu that the new rules for the foreign press that were introduced in January as part of the preparations for next August’s Beijing Olympics could remain in force after the games are over.“So far this is just a promise like so many other promises that have been made,” the press freedom organisation said. “The authorities need to start respecting the new regulations first. We have monitored 65 cases of foreign journalists being arrested, beaten, prevented from doing a report or threatened since the new rules were supposed to take effect on 1 January. And the day before the minister’s statement, an Associated Press reporter was detained in southern China.”Speaking at a news conference yesterday, Cai said: “No document says that when this new regulation expires on 17 October next year we are going to return to the previous regulations. If practice shows that it will help the international community know better about China and if it is in the interests of China’s efforts of reform and opening up, it is not at all necessary for us to change a good policy.”Jocelyn Ford heads the press freedom committee of the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China, which wants the new regulations made permanent. She told Reporters Without Borders: “The minister’s statement is encouraging. I would be surprised if China went back to tighter restrictions on foreign correspondents. But we are still waiting to see whether the regulations giving foreign correspondents reporting freedom will be more fully respected by Chinese authorities. In 2007 the FCCC received reports of 180 violations of the rules, ranging from surveillance of journalists to detentions.”This is not the first time that a Chinese official has hinted that the former regulations, under which foreign reporters had to request permission every time they wanted to travel within the country or interview Chinese citizens, would not be restored after the Olympics.Wang Wei, a member of the Beijing games organising committee, promised in 2001 that there would be “total press freedom” before and during the games. But there have been many incidents involving foreign reporters this year and the Chinese media are still under the Propaganda Department’s control.The latest incident was the arrest and expulsion on 26 December of an Associated Press reporter from a village in southern China where there have been protests again the confiscation of land for a power plant. News Reporters Without Borders said it took note of yesterday’s statement by State Council information office minister Cai Wu that the new rules for the foreign press that were introduced in January as part of the preparations for next August’s Beijing Olympics could remain in force after the games are over. Follow the news on China ChinaAsia – Pacific Organisation June 2, 2021 Find out more China’s Cyber ​​Censorship Figures Help by sharing this information to go further News News December 28, 2007 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Talk of maintaining new rules for foreign journalists after Olympics is greeted with scepticism ChinaAsia – Pacific Democracies need “reciprocity mechanism” to combat propaganda by authoritarian regimes China: Political commentator sentenced to eight months in prison Receive email alerts April 27, 2021 Find out more News RSF_en March 12, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

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5 Favorite Trailheads Accessible Without a Vehicle

first_imgIn the age of Uber, it’s easier than ever to get around without your own set of wheels, but reaching some far-flung outdoor destinations still presents a challenge for carless adventurers. With a little research and creativity, however, you can still get out and about. Check out these options for a few regional public lands you can visit without a car.WEST VIRGINIA  |  Harpers Ferry National Historical ParkIt’s no coincidence that this town at the intersection of two rivers also serves as a crossroads of transportation, which makes it super simple to access. Each day, Amtrak’s Capitol Limited route stops at the Harpers Ferry station en route from Washington, D.C. and Chicago, and the train offers walk-on bike service as well as educational opportunities about the region’s natural and cultural heritage through the National Park Service’s Trails & Rails program. On weekdays, the MARC Train’s Brunswick Line stops in Harpers Ferry as it travels between D.C and Martinsburg, West Virginia. A park shuttle bus connects the Lower Town with the park’s Visitor Center. A short walk from these access points will connect you to multiple trails (including the Appalachian Trail) as well as adventure guide companies that offer rafting, tubing, kayaking, zip lining, and mountain biking.MARYLAND  |  Assateague State Park and Assateague Island National SeashoreGreyhound offers bus service to Ocean City, Maryland, and a short Uber or taxi ride from there gets you to either Assateague State Park or Assateague Island National Seashore. Both sections of the island offer campsites, swimming beaches, crabbing and fishing sites, nature trails, and feral horses meander throughout. Consider renting a bike in Ocean City (they’re an expensive hassle to transport by Greyhound) so you can explore more of the island.VIRGINIA  |  The Blue Ridge Parkway and Roanoke’s Mill Mountain Park and Explore ParkRoanoke’s greenways and its placement along the Blue Ridge Parkway make the city an ideal starting point for a variety of outdoor adventures, and since both Amtrak and Greyhound offer bus service to Roanoke, it’s a great option for a weekend getaway from urban centers throughout the region. Several bike shops in town offer rentals, and walkers and bikers alike can take the Mill Mountain Greenway from downtown Roanoke to Mill Mountain Park, which features the city’s iconic star. This 568-acre regional park also offers 10 miles of multiuse trails, a zoo, a wildflower garden, a playground, picnic sites, a discovery center, two overlooks that provide spectacular views of the city.The Roanoke River Greenway hugs the river on the south side of the city and terminates before it reaches Explore Park, but by continuing along neighborhood streets in the city’s Rosewood Park neighborhood, visitors can access Explore Park’s 1,100 acres, 14 miles of trails, and Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor’s Center. The park is located at milepost 115 on the Blue Ridge Parkway, which dedicated cyclists can also access from downtown Roanoke via virtually any major road heading east or south out of the city.SOUTH CAROLINA  |  Sesquicentennial State ParkAmtrak serves downtown Columbia, and citybound nature seekers can then walk a few short blocks to catch the city’s Comet 55x bus toward Sesquicentennial State Park. The bus stops at Wal-Mart on Columbia’s Two Notch Road, and parkgoers can then walk or catch a taxi/Uber for the last two miles into the heart of the park. Sesquicentennial sprawls for more than 1,400 acres under the canopy of a pine forest and features 84 campsites, 12 miles of hiking trails, a six-mile bike loop, a dog park (although dogs are not permitted on Columbia city buses), a sand volleyball court, a softball field, two playgrounds, geocaches, and picnic shelters. Additionally, the park offers kayaks, canoes, fishing boats, pedal boats and stand-up paddleboards for rent.GEORGIA  |  Chattahoochee River National Recreation AreaThe Chattahoochee River meanders just a few miles north and west of downtown Atlanta, creating plenty of access points, but watercraft rentals and shuttles take a bit more planning. Greyhound and Amtrak both have stations in downtown Atlanta, and once there, river runners can take the MARTA’s Red Line train to North Springs, then transfer to Bus 85 and get off at the first stop (Dunwoody Place). From there, a 20-minute walk will get you to Shoot the Hooch, an outfitter and guiding company that offers half- and full-day rentals and guided trips to get you rafting, tubing, kayaking, canoeing, or stand-up paddleboarding on the Chattahoochee.last_img read more

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Deer Park Man Charged With Manslaughter

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A suspect was arrested for stabbing a 25-year-old Brentwood man to death near the suspect’s Deer Park home this week, Suffolk County police said.Christopher Chavez, 21, was charged with first-degree manslaughter.Homicide Squad detectives said Chavez fatally stabbed Marlon Velasquez on Old Country Road in Deer Park on Thursday.The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. Investigators believe he was killed several hours before his body was found.Chavez will be arraigned Saturday at First District Court in Central Islip.last_img

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Fears of new COVID-19 cluster at North Sumatra University as rector tests positive

first_imgThe rector of the North Sumatra University (USU) in Medan, Runtung Sitepu, along with deputy rector Rosmayati and the university’s board of trustees member Darma Bakti have tested positive for COVID-19, local authorities confirmed on Sunday. “There are three USU executives who tested positive for COVID-19. To contain the spread of the virus, we urge all those who have been in close contact with them within the last 14 days to take a swab test at the USU hospital or other swab test centers located in North Sumatra,” USU hospital director Syah Mirsya Wali said on Sunday.The three confirmed cases in USU have raised concerns of a new COVID-19 cluster in the region as the campus remains open, with computer-based exams (UTBK) as part of the annual state university entrance test (SBMPTN) set to continue until the end of the month with as many as 35,794 participants. USU spokesperson Elvi Sumanti said the matter was “still being coordinated with the executive board,” adding that all campus activities would continue normally.“The rector tested positive, without showing any symptoms, based on the independent swab test that he took,” she told The Jakarta Post. Runtung himself confirmed his health status to the press via phone on Sunday. “I am fine and I don’t feel like I am sick,” he said.He also urged anyone who had been in close contact with him to take a COVID-19 swab test immediately. “I don’t want to cover it [positive COVID-19 result] up, that is why I am asking this matter to be published.”Meanwhile, North Sumatra COVID-19 task force spokesperson Aris Yudhariansyah called on USU to do comprehensive tracing and implement strict health protocols to curb the spread of the virus in one of the biggest and most prestigious universities in the region. According to the official government count, North Sumatra has 2,323 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 123 deaths as of Sunday.(trn)Topics :last_img read more

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