Disturbing wave of prosecutions on eve of national dialogue

first_img News German spyware company FinFisher searched by public prosecutors BahrainMiddle East – North Africa Organisation October 14, 2020 Find out more Reporters Without Borders accuses the authorities of continuing to crack down on journalists and media freedom in violation of the spirit for the national dialogue that King Hamad Ben Issa Al-Khalifa wants to begin tomorrow with the aim of relaunching political reforms after the unrest that began last March and the ensuing repression.Journalists and media are still being prosecuted before military courts, although the state of emergency was lifted on 1 June. The authorities are also maintaining strict control over the circulation of news and information and are pumping out propaganda aimed at both Bahraini and foreign media.Reporters Without Borders calls for a response from the international community that includes the dispatch of a United Nations special rapporteur to Bahrain.Bahrain Society of Photography president Mohamed Salman Al-Sheikh, a freelance photographer who was arrested on 11 May, was brought before a military court in Riffa, the second largest city, on 28 June. His family was not told about at the hearing and therefore was unable to organize his defence. No information has been released about the charges being pressed against this journalist, who has won many international awards.Abbas Al-Murshid, a freelance journalist and writer who was arrested on 16 May, was brought before a judge on 27 June and was told that he was charged with participating in illegal demonstrations, disseminating false information on online forums and inciting hatred against the government. His request to be freed on bail was denied. Security officers present in the courtroom refused to let his wife and lawyer talk to him although the judge had given his permission. He is to be tried by court martial on 7 July.Abdullah Alawi and Jassem Al-Sabbagh, two journalists who were arrested after being forced to resign from the newspaper Al-Bilad, are being prosecuted on charges of publishing false information and photos, and participating in illegal demonstrations. The second hearing in their trial was held on 23 June.As already reported, a military court imposed jail sentences on 22 June on 21 people accused of belonging to terrorist organizations and trying to overthrow the government. Eight of them, including the human rights activist and blogger Abduljalil Al-Singace, were given life sentences. The other 13 got sentences ranging from two to 15 years in prison. The blogger Ali Abdulemam, who was tried in absentia, got 15 years (http://en.rsf.org/bahrain-one-blogger-sentenced-to-life-22-06-2011,40507…).The authorities are keeping reporting about the ongoing trials under strict control, maintaining a ban on coverage of national security cases. The government news agency BNA publishes a daily summary of some of the ongoing trials, but trials involving any journalists other than those with Al-Wasat are usually ignored.The authorities announced on 14 June that they were going to bring a lawsuit against British journalist Robert Fisk, the London-based Independent’s Middle East correspondent, in the United Kingdom for waging a “defamatory and premeditated media campaign” against Bahrain and for alleged bias and unprofessionalism in his coverage of recent events.Fisk has repeatedly criticized the trials of doctors and nurses accused of supporting the anti-government protests. He also reported that Saudi military forces invaded Bahrain without waiting for an invitation from the Bahraini authorities.Reporters Without Borders hails the release of Faysal Hayyat, a sports journalist who was arrested on 8 April, although he is still facing charges of “sports crimes.” A military prosecutor issued a statement saying he would be tried according to established legal procedures. No trial date has so far been announced.The blogger Ali Omid has also been released but seven other netizens and eight journalists, including three photographers, continue to be detained. Receive email alerts BahrainMiddle East – North Africa RSF_en Coronavirus “information heroes” – journalism that saves lives to go furthercenter_img March 17, 2021 Find out more News News News Help by sharing this information Follow the news on Bahrain Tenth anniversary of Bahraini blogger’s arrest June 30, 2011 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Disturbing wave of prosecutions on eve of national dialogue June 15, 2020 Find out morelast_img read more

Flying high to face fears

first_imgNewsFlying high to face fearsBy Staff Reporter – June 19, 2015 1105 Limerick Post Show | Shannon Airport route announcement with Aer Lingus NAPD give tips to avoid Leaving Cert anxiety. TAGSAnxietyAtlantic AirVenture Aviation CentrefearFear of flyingflyingholidayslimerickphobiasShannonsummertravelworldtravel Read Your Mind launches in Limerick City and County Libraries Advertisement Before take off in the simulator – Cockpit of Boeing 737 Reporter  Aoife McLoughlin with Pilot Melanie Rogan Atlantic Venture , Shannon.Picture Brendan GleesonWITH a spate of aviation disasters in the last 18 months, the nightmarish “what-if’s” seem all the more possible for some nervous passengers. Aviophobia affects around 30 per cent of the population and often prohibits them from experiencing some of life’s happier moments. Reporter Aoife McLoughlin visited Atlantic Airventure in Shannon for the first step in her journey to conquer her fear of flying.IT’S summer – or so the calendar shows – and with it comes the exciting prospect of jetting off to holiday destinations across the globe. Sun, sea and sand and are just some of images one conjures up at this time.But for some, like me, the image of hurtling to certain death from 30,000 feet while trapped in a fiery tin can with 300 other terrified and screaming souls can spring to mind. So I settle for Kerry instead.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up Thirty per cent of  us are said to suffer with some form of fear of flying.Defined as aviophobia, this fear not only stops the fearful from travelling, but for those who do, it can act like an instant allergy, causing symptoms such as sweating, nausea, palpitations, shakes and heightened senses.Personally, besides the panic attacks, I cry and mentally type goodbye texts to my family while visualising my plummet to the sea.“It’s just not supposed to be up there,” is the phrase often used by us aviophobes and sometimes that can be the best explanation to justify this fear.With five high-profile fatal aviation disasters in just over a year and some less documented incidents in that same time, it’s no wonder the fearful feel they have a very good argument when it comes to not getting in those flying tin cans.But with three possible flights looming before me this year (one that will be a minimum of 15 hours), I have decided to try and combat the relentless terror that grips me and so many others as it sucks the joy out of any adventure outside our little isle.I have tried counselling, I have tried anti-anxiety medication, I even tried several glasses of wine on a flight to Japan, but this only proved to be an unpleasant experience for both me and the Japanese man sitting beside me who didn’t need to be told 50 times that it was my first long haul flight.So, I am adopting an ‘if you can’t beat them join them’ attitude and have gone straight for the jugular.Diving into the world of aviation seems like the next appropriate step to try and overcome the crippling fear that prohibits so many from seeing the world.So with that image of sun, sea and sand so desperately trying to poke its way through the dark thoughts conjured up by my aviophobic mind, I decide to take a trip to Shannon’s Atlantic Airventure Centre where founder Jane Magill has kindly offered to let me take part in their Fear of Flying course.The course involves flying in the flight simulator and a talk with a pilot in a pre-flight classroom lesson.I meet with Melanie – a real life pilot – who is going tell me the what’s-what with those tin cans in the sky. Sitting in a classroom, I am surrounded by mini aeroplanes, parts of wings and aviation equipment. Pieces from old jets are proudly on display along with three small aircraft parked outside.With this my anxiety starts to kick in.Pilot Melanie Rogan, originally from New Jersey, USA, has more than 33 years experience flying planes and has surpassed 15,000 hours in the sky so far.She gets straight to the point and asks me why I am afraid of flying. Having focused on the issue so much since my first flight in 1999, I really wasn’t able to give her a definitive answer. It’s a combination of claustrophobia, lack of control, a fear of heights and a lack of understanding of aerodynamics.The dying thing doesn’t help either.I guess trying to figure out how a 400-tonne metal tube has the ability to safely stay in the air for hours travelling at speed just doesn’t compute.Melanie gives me some examples of the kind of fears women have expressed to her and says she feels men are less likely to admit a fear of flying.“When I was flying small aeroplanes, one of the WWE wrestling show gentlemen get on. He was called Andre the Giant.“It was a small 30-seat aircraft and he was huge, twice my height, twice my width, just a massive human being. He looked at me and said ‘I can’t do it’.It freaked him out. So I pulled him aside and said: ‘My mamma didn’t raise no fool. If I didn’t think that aeroplanes were safe and flew well, I wouldn’t be doing what I am doing’. So he did it and he was fine.”I question her on how it all works, almost expecting her to tell me it’s magic, because to me at this point that has to be the only explanation.“Do you ever remember as a little child, sticking your hand out the window of a car and you could feel the wind beneath your palm? And when you turned your hand (90 degrees), the wind pushed it back? And when you just tilted it up slightly it would lift your arm back? That is why aeroplanes fly,” she says.Melanie then describes thrust and drag, low pressure and high pressure and how all that combined with the force of the wind makes a plane fly.“It’s still miraculous to me that the thing flies but it does and it does it very well,” she says.And with around 60,000 passenger flights in the air every day, the statistics would indicate that aircrafts, in fact, do fly very well.“Getting in your car is far riskier than getting in an aircraft, but what causes a fear of flying in people’s minds is that when there is an accident, hundreds of people die and that’s what makes it a global news event.”Melanie tells me pilots are checked every six months on their ability to fly, ability to handle emergencies, cockpit procedures, and they receive an Electrocardiogram (EKG) examination annually, once they reach 40 years of age.She tells me how engineers check different parts of the plane before takeoff and how pilots recheck these parts once on board.She describes the situations people are most afraid of happening and gives a procedure or names a component to counteract each and every possible fault.I start to realise that there are back-ups for the back-ups in all of these scenarios, which in themselves have a miniscule chance of occurring.For example, Melanie explains that in the unlikely event of an engine fail, there are two more engines. If they all fail, which is even more unlikely, the plane becomes a glider because engines are used to push the plane at speed and it’s the wings that cause it to fly.I think of my hand out the car window and the penny starts to drop.She then pulls up a map of the Atlantic on her computer and begins to show me wind currents, flight paths and pockets of turbulence categorised by colour.“Turbulence, it’s not dangerous and we avoid it. Turbulence is low pressure and high pressure from warm and moist air meeting. It’s updrafts and downdrafts. The only dangerous part is that you can over-stress the aircraft when flying in extreme turbulence, but they are designed to exceed their stress limits. Turbulence doesn’t bother pilots but we will know where the bracket of it is and we can be routed around it if we need.”After almost two hours of explaining the main factors involved in flying, the role of airport control, wind currents and weather, I am beginning to gain some insight into the whole aircraft-flying thing but I wonder is all this information going to feed my fear when I am on a plane in two weeks’ time. I could know too much. I start writing that text message to my family in my mind. Anything could still happen.It’s now time to move on to the simulator and the thoughts of being in simulated sky on a simulated plane still make my stomach flip and my palms break out in a cold sweat.I find myself sitting in the captain’s seat of a Boeing 737 cockpit, equipped with original instrumentation. Lights, buttons, levers and knobs surround me from head to toe and each one is operating through a computer with a huge curved screen acting as our view outside.Melanie starts her up and that familiar and terrifying whirling sound kicks in. The simulator plays every noise a passenger would hear as if on a real plane. As each shudder-inducing grind and whirl occurs, Melanie explains what they are. “That’s just the engine starting up like in your car…That’s just the landing gear,” and so on.Once the plane is up and running we are ready to go. “I am going to let you take off,” she says.In front of me on the screen is a lifelike runway from Shannon Airport. I follow Melanie’s instructions to accelerate and begin to taxi down the runway. My eyes have now tricked my brain into thinking I am travelling at speed and my body reacts. “Look ahead and push your foot on the pedal, now pull the yoke back to your belly, a little more, a little more, that’s it.”I ascend towards the sky over Shannon Airport. The view and feeling is extraordinary. It’s liberating. I follow Melanie’s instructions as she co-steers and we fly over Limerick city, turning the plane a few times and eventually landing back on the runway.It may not have been the best landing as the autopilot alerted me that I was coming in too steep, but there can be no harm done in a simulator.I am surprised that I feel disappointed that my time has come to an end but I realise I have a new sense of appreciation, wonderment – and dare I say thrill.On leaving the centre, Jane meets me at reception and asks how I got on. I tell her that to my surprise I enjoyed the piloting bit.She asks me to see how the course has helped when I travel to the UK as a passenger in a fortnight. It is only then that I will be able to put my experience of the day to the test.And if all goes relatively better than my usual anxiety-riddled ride, Jane has offered me to go one step further taking to skies along side another pilot. Real skies. That text message appears in my head again but this time I save it in drafts.I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. Print Email WhatsAppcenter_img Linkedin Previous articleCouncil rejects Dock Road traffic studyNext articleCall to extend Limerick City sewerage network to Ballyclough Staff Reporterhttp://www.limerickpost.ie Psychology expert gives advice on coping with an ‘anxiety pandemic’ Facebook RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Twitter Information evening to be held about new youth club in Kilcornan Aviation course takes off at LITlast_img read more

Women of Troy fall in Pac-10 semis

first_imgA comeback bid by the USC women’s basketball team fell short Saturday against UCLA in the semifinals of the Pac-10 tournament. USC (19-12, 11-7) bowed out of the tournament with a 59-53 loss to its crosstown rival.Two free throws by junior center Kari LaPlante with six minutes remaining helped the Women of Troy grab their first lead since the opening minutes at 50-49. USC would push the lead to 53-51 moments later on a 3-pointer by senior guard Heather Oliver before UCLA closed the game on an 8-0 run.Defender · Sophomore guard Briana Gilbreath was named the Pac-10’s Co-Defensive Player of the Year before the women’s Pac-10 tournament, and played well on both sides of the ball. – Tim Tran | Daily Trojan“Tough losses like this hurt, but they only make you a better team, and we’ve learned from some things we didn’t do tonight to make us a better team in the future,” USC coach Michael Cooper said.USC had an opportunity to win late in the game but gave up an offensive rebound on a missed free throw. UCLA forward Markel Walker grabbed her own missed shot with 30 seconds left and got the ball to teammate Doreena Campbell, who extended the lead to 57-53 with a pair of free throws.USC sophomore guard Ashley Corral missed a 3-pointer on the next possession.The Women of Troy battled all the way back from a double-digit deficit but were unable to overcome an ice-cold shooting start. USC made just three of 16 3-pointers and shot 28 percent overall in the first half.“We’ve [been] shooting like that all year,” Cooper said. “I wasn’t concerned because it was early and usually we’re pretty good in the second half.”The Women of Troy trailed 30-24 at halftime but stormed back in the first four minutes of the second half to tie the game up at 34. From there the lead seesawed until the final minute.After the game, Corral expressed disappointment at the loss.“They didn’t really do much to make us lose,” Corral said. “It was just things we had control over such as hitting open shots, making layups, boxing out.”Corral led USC with 15 points on five 3-pointers. Senior forward Aarika Hughes added 12 points and six rebounds for the Women of Troy.In their opening game against Oregon, the Women of Troy rode a 9-0 run in the second half to an 80-76 victory.Sophomore guard Briana Gilbreath, who earned Pac-10 Co-Defender of the Year honors last week, keyed the run with seven points and a huge blocked shot. USC trailed 64-59 before going on the run.Oregon drew within one at 72-71 on a pair of free throws by guard Micaela Cocks before USC senior guard Hailey Dunham came up with a clutch play.Dunham tracked down a missed free throw by Hughes and dived out of bounds to save the ball, knocking over two computer monitors in the process. The extra possession ended in a 3-pointer at the shot clock buzzer by Corral.Redshirt junior guard Jacki Gemelos made four pressure-packed free throws after that to seal the win for USC.Gilbreath led USC with 19 points and seven rebounds. LaPlante knocked down her first seven shots en route to 15 points and six rebounds. Corral added 16 points and six rebounds.Following their semifinal exit from the Pac-10 tournament, the Women of Troy waited for last week’s selection Monday to see whether they had made the NCAA tournament.The Women of Troy were not selected to the 64-team tournament and declined an invitation to the Women’s National Invitational Tournament early last week, ending USC’s season.last_img read more