Wiki Actu en

July 4, 2006

Switzerland accuses Israel of breaking international law in Gaza

Switzerland accuses Israel of breaking international law in Gaza

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Tuesday, July 4, 2006

Bookmark-new.svg


The Swiss government has said Israel has “not taken the precautions required of it in international law” in their offensive in Gaza. The Federal Department of Foreign Affairs believes Israeli actions “are to be seen as forms of collective punishment.”

Israel has said their operation in Gaza is to free a kidnapped Israeli soldier.

Flag of Switzerland

Switzerland, the state where the international convention on human rights, the Geneva Conventions, were signed, claims it is neutral in international affairs.

The rules, which Switzerland say Israel has broken, prohibit the deliberate targeting of services, including water and electricity, which are essential to the civilian population. On June 28 Israeli forces destroyed a power station that provided most of the power to residents of the Gaza Strip.

“There is no doubt that Israel has not taken the precautions required of it in international law to protect the civilian population and infrastructure,” said a Swiss Foreign Ministry Spokesman

“The destruction of a power station, the attack on the offices of the Palestinian prime minister, the arbitrary arrests of a large number of democratically-elected representatives of the people and ministers… cannot be justified,” he continued.

The Israeli ambassador to Switzerland in Bern, Aviv Shir-On, replied to the Switzerland statement. “We are disappointed that the Swiss government did not issue such statements when Israel’s civilian population was constantly under attack from the Gaza Strip,” he said.

It is not the only time the Swiss government has commented in the midst of Middle Eastern turmoil.

Earlier this year, the 2006 Swiss President Moritz Leuenberger said the international block on funding to the Palestinian authority was a mistake, a claim Israel rejected.

Leuenberger said that the newly elected Hamas government should have been given the chance to prove it could work, a statement echoed by some aid agencies. Israel, the EU, and the United States have described Hamas as a terrorist organisation.

Humanitarian concerns

The statement from Switzerland comes amid concern among aid agencies at the humanitarian situation in Gaza. UNICEF have said there have been elevated levels of stress and trauma in young children.

The World Health Organization reported that essential medical supplies have run low and doctors and nurses have found it hard to get to their workplace. Israel defence forces have put restrictions on movement in Gaza.

These agencies have expressed concern that the military operation by Israel could create serious humanitarian consequences for people living in the region.

The power station that was destroyed by the Israeli forces on June 28 provided 43 per cent of Gaza’s electricity. Around 700,000 people have been affected by the power cuts.

Water supplies have also been badly hit as not all water pumps can continue to work normally, and there is a lack of gasoline and other fuels, according to the Swiss government.

In response to the situation, the Swiss government has earmarked one million Swiss Francs for essential medical supplies for the civilian population in Gaza.

Switzerland also gave one million Swiss Francs for medicines in June 2006 through the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).

A Swiss expert has been deployed to Gaza to ensure the smooth running of the humanitarian operations.

Sources

This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

Speeches of Canada\’s PM Stephen Harper rank as top-downloaded podcasts

Speeches of Canada’s PM Stephen Harper rank as top-downloaded podcasts

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Tuesday, July 4, 2006

Canada
Other Canadian stories
…More articles here
Location of Canada

A map showing the location of Canada

Wikinews Canada.png

To write, edit, start or view other Canada articles, see the Canada Portal

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is currently at the top of charts for iTunes. The PM tops the list of the most downloaded podcasts at the on-line iTunes music store.

The Harper podcasts are speeches, rather than songs. Since April 4 the speeches can be downloaded for free. While the speeches are available on the Tory party’s website, putting them on iTunes has reverberated through cyberspace.

“Refusing to speak to the media, refusing to answer the tough question, but releasing canned speeches? What country is this? China? iTunes should be ashamed of distributing state-sponsored propaganda,” wrote the Devil’s Advocate.

But some people think that Harper has an idea. People say that they would probably download Harper.

The Prime Minister’s Office said that they do not spend a dime on the podcasts, which are simply computer files of the speeches. An official said the Prime Minister’s Office records all the speeches for the archives and then only has to flip a copy to iTunes. “We recognize the fact that the media environment is changing and we want to find ways to communicate directly with Canadians,” said a PMO (Prime Minister’s Office) official.

“Politicians are historically quick to ride new media. He said the Tories under John Diefenbaker were the first to exploit television in Canadian politics.” said University of Ottawa political historian Michael Behiels. “This is part and parcel of having brought in a younger generation of business-oriented Conservatives,” he said. “The Conservatives are leading the way the other parties will soon have to catch up.”

How It works

You can download them individually or buy the whole album.

A lot of the tunes start off the same way, they are in French or English. Things like:

“Mr. Speaker, thank you.”

“Thank you, thank you very much honoured head guests of the head table and the members and sponsor of the Indo-Canadian Chamber of Commerce.”

“Well, thank you very much, David, for that introduction … I want to thank CanWest.”

“Thank you very much, good morning.”

Harper mixes it up. There are a few iTunes in French, a few in English and every one is a live performance.

He even shares the bill with Gov. General. Michaelle Jean.

There are 17 iTunes altogether.

Sources

Bookmark-new.svg


Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.

This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

Space Shuttle Discovery launches for mission STS-121

Space Shuttle Discovery launches for mission STS-121

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Tuesday, July 4, 2006

Mission Insignia

Launch of STS-121

The Space Shuttle Discovery has been launched from Kennedy Space Center, on mission STS-121. This is 115th Space Shuttle Flight and the second since the loss of Space Shuttle Columbia on February 1, 2003.

The ascent was described as “smooth”, however NASA engineers will be looking for traces of damage to the shuttle’s heat shield that may be caused by foam falling from the external tank.

Launch occurred on schedule at 2:38 p.m. EDT (18:38 UTC), with the spacecraft reaching orbit 8 minutes later.

Around 3 minutes into the launch, an on-board camera showed numerous pieces of insulation foam break away from the fuel tank. However, they are not thought to have caused any damage to the shuttle. NASA’s shuttle program chief N. Wayne Hale Jr. said the foam had fallen “after the time we are concerned about.”

This is the first time an American manned spacecraft has added its own launch fireworks to Fourth of July celebrations in the United States.



Related news

Sources

Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

Report into whether Australian Big Brother breached online content laws to be handed down today

Filed under: Australia,Original reporting — admin @ 5:00 am

Report into whether Australian Big Brother breached online content laws to be handed down today

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Tuesday, July 4, 2006

Australia
Related articles
Location of Australia
Australia (orthographic projection).svg
Collaborate!
  • Pillars of Wikinews writing
  • Writing an article

Australia’s Federal Communications Minister, Senator Helen Coonan said on Monday that Australia’s media watchdog would be handing a report into an alleged sexual misconduct incident which occurred on the set of Big Brother on July 1. The incident was not broadcast on television but was streamed across the Internet.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) are investigating the incident to determine if a breach of Australian online content laws occurred. The show’s website streams footage from the house over the Internet 24 hours a day to subscribers aged 18 and over.

Senator Coonan assured the public that the incident would not be broadcast on television. “I have sought and obtained an undertaking from Channel 10 that they will not broadcast or promote this incident. However, prior to this undertaking, footage of the incident had already been streamed on the Internet to a limited audience via a paid service which is restricted to subscribers over the age of 18,” she said.

Senator Coonan said the ACMA would investigate the Internet broadcast and hand down a report today. Under the Australian Broadcasting Services Act, 1992, it is illegal for content which would be refused classification or given a rating of X18+ to be broadcast via the Internet.

The communications minister said she was also concerned that media outlets provided access to footage of the incident on their websites. “I have asked that AMCA also assess this distribution of the material, and I have written to the media outlets in question this afternoon requesting that they immediately remove the material pending ACMA’s findings,” she said.

Despite Channel Ten being barred from showing the footage, both Channel 7 and Channel 9 have aired footage of the incident.

Forum users on the Big Brother fan site – Behind Big Brother seem to be split on the incident. Forum users said they thought the media had hyped the incident. “The way it was described in the papers I pictured Camilla really being pinned down and struggling with Ashley having his way with her. In reality it was much more light-hearted and foreshadowed before it occurred. If that happened to me I wouldn’t class that as sexual assault, but maybe a little annoyed!” they said.

Another user said that the behaviour was unacceptable. “I’ve seen it and I still think it is unacceptable behaviour. I don’t care how much she was laughing before and after. Young girls need to know that that is not acceptable, they don’t have to laugh along with it if their mates are doing it to them.” they said.

Related Wikinews

Sources

Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
  • Media Release. ““Big Brother”” — Australian Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, July 3, 2006
Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

North Korea test-fires missiles

North Korea test-fires missiles – Wikinews, the free news source

North Korea test-fires missiles

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Tuesday, July 4, 2006

LocationNorthKorea.png
Wikipedia
Wikipedia has more about this subject:
North Korean missile test, 2006

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) has test fired seven ballistic missiles including the long-range Taepodong-2 on Tuesday. The tests were criticised by officials from several countries, particularly Japan, Republic of Korea (South Korea) and the United States. The UN Security Council held a closed meeting today to discuss the developments.

A North Korean foreign ministry official, Lee Byong Dok, acknowledged the tests while speaking to reporters in Pyongyang. Japan’s NHK television quoted the official as saying, “This is an issue of national sovereignty, and other countries do not have the right to judge. We are not bound by any agreement regarding missiles.” North Korean media made no mention of the launches.[1]

Australian foreign minister Alexander Downer said Wednesday that “there could be one or two more” launches of short or medium-ranged missiles.[2]

Major South Korean newspaper reported Thursday that Pyongyang got three or four missiles on launch pads. The missiles are thought to be short- or medium-range.[3]

The missile launches comes five days after US president George W Bush, after talks with Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, warned North Korea on test-launching a long range missile.[4]

The Tests

North Korea Missile Launches
(Source: CNN)[5]
# Type Time (Local) Time (UTC)
1 Scud-C 03:33 am 18:33
2 Nodong or Scud-C 04:04 am 19:04
3 Taepodong-2 05:01 am 20:01
4 Scud-C 07:12 am 22:12
5 Nodong 07:31 am 22:31
6 Nodong 07:32 am 22:32
7 (unknown) 05:20 pm 8:20

The first missile was launched at 3:33 a.m. JST Wednesday (1833 UTC Tuesday) and fell into the Sea of Japan, between the Korean peninsula and the Japanese mainland.

According to CNN, at least three missiles were launched including a Taepodong-2, which failed (or was aborted) in less than a minute. The Taepodong-2 is an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) with an estimated range of up to 6,000 km (3,730 miles). This would bring parts of the United States like Alaska and Hawaii within striking range of the missile. The ability to achieve this range has so far not been demonstrated in a test.

A fourth short-range missile was launched at 7:12 a.m. JST (2212 UTC), according to CNN.

Contrary to information given by US officials, Russia says that Pyongyang launched as many as ten missiles yesterday. This was also earlier reported by the South Korean agency Yonhap.

The launch of the seventh missile was reported by South Korean and Japanese officials on Wednesday. Media reports said the latest launch was at 17:22 JST(8:22 UTC). The missile landed six minutes after the launch according to Japan’s Kyodo News agency.

Two of the missiles were launched from a site other than the one intelligence officials have watched for weeks ahead of a possible long-range missile test, a senior United States State Department official said. Two senior U.S. State Department officials said on Tuesday that fuel trucks had departed the site where the Taepodong-2 sits on a launching pad, indicating that a test may occur in the near future.

The North Korean removal of the fuel trucks and other auxiliary equipment meant the North Koreans may have finished fueling the missile, said the officials, who did not want to be named because of the sensitivity of the information. Should the North Koreans have completed the fueling “all they would need to do now is press the button,” one source said.

Reactions

The test launches were criticised by many countries and led to an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council the day after the initial launches.

The US National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley called the test launches “provocative behaviour” and confirmed that the Taepodong-2 went down just 35 seconds after being launched.

“It’s the Fourth of July, and they know we are watching and they like to play with us,” said one senior US official, who has followed the North Korean program for years.

Japanese and South Korean military have been placed on high alert following the tests. The Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said that continued talks are needed to defuse the current standoff, adding “We need both pressure and dialogue, … There will be no solution without dialogue.”

NORAD was put on heightened alert in the past two weeks and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency told CNN that two missiles for interception of ballistic missiles were activated in California prior to test launches.

The South Korean Senior Security Secretary, Suh Choo-Suk said that the tests have deepened North Korea’s isolation and called for a halt to the “provocative activity” and a return to the six-party talks and international efforts for nuclear non-proliferation, adding “North Korea should be held responsible for all the consequences.”

In a closed meeting today Japan, Britain and the United States prepared a UN resolution that demanded that all nations withhold technology, goods and funding that potentially could be used for North Korea’s missile program. It also called on the North Korea to immediately stop the development, testing and deployment of ballistic missiles. No voting on the resolution is expected today.

Japan announced Wednesday that they would suspend charter flights between the two countries as well has bringing a ferry service to a six-months halt. This means that the only passenger and trade link would be closed for half a year. The country is also considering a call for sanctions through the UN.

The South Korea has said that that it will withhold 500,000 tons of rice and 100,000 tons of fertilizer aid to their northern neighbours.

The United States, the Republic of Korea and Japan have stressed that the test launches will not bring an end to any diplomatic negotiations.

China, the North Korea’s closest ally, called the tests “regrettable”, but indicated that they would favor a more lenient UN statement. However, they did not defend the launches in the UN meeting on Wednesday.

Stocks and currencies fell in Asia after the test launches, but investors considered it a short-term impact based on experiences from previous North Korean launches. [6]

Related new

  • “North Korea to test missile that could reach U.S. mainland” — Wikinews, June 14, 2006

Sources

External links

Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

New Zealand diplomats: Fiat using Maori haka in television ad is insensitive

Filed under: AutoArchived,New Zealand — admin @ 5:00 am

New Zealand diplomats: Fiat using Maori haka in television ad is insensitive

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Tuesday, July 4, 2006

New Zealand
Related articles
Location of New Zealand
New Zealand (orthographic projection).svg
Collaborate!
  • Pillars of Wikinews writing
  • Writing an article

Italian car company, Fiat, has used the haka to advertise its new car and New Zealand diplomats says it is culturally insensitive. The ads have gone to air in Italy and are viewable on their website.

The ad features woman wearing black and performing the haka: Ka Mate, which was written by the chief of Ngāti Toa, Te Rauparaha. It is also the haka that is performed before every rugby game played by the New Zealand team, All Blacks.

The women perform the haka beside the new Fiat car and crowd noise is in the background to simulate the atmosphere in an All Blacks rugby match. As the haka is finished a woman drives away in the Fiat car and a boy in the back of the car pokes out his tongue, which is the action used to finish the haka.

The New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) said that they were told in April that an advertising company was planning to use the haka. Yesterday (July 3) Brad Tattersfield, a spokesman for MFAT, said “at the time we advised the advertising company that the use of Ka Mate in this way was culturally insensitive and inappropriate. MFAT advised the advertisers to either use a Maori group or a haka composed for women. However, the advertising company indicated they were proceeding despite this advice.”

Garry Nicholas, general manager of Te Toi Aoteroa, which promotes and protects Maori art and culture, said that he felt mixed feelings about the ad. “This isn’t a haka in my view but is certainly based on haka. It’s meant to be in fun and the little boy poking his tongue at the end of the clip makes that very clear.”

Sources

Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

NASA to launch Discovery despite crack in insulation foam

NASA to launch Discovery despite crack in insulation foam

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Tuesday, July 4, 2006

Space Shuttle Discovery is rolled out to the pad, for mission STS-121.

NASA officials decided late Monday to go ahead with the planned launch at 2:38 p.m. EDT on July 4 of the space shuttle Discovery. The launch, from Cape Canaveral in Florida, had previously been delayed twice due to poor weather conditions. The expected 13-day mission has been described as critical to the future of the International Space Station (ISS) as well as the shuttle and the entire NASA fleet.

There were concerns over a 5″ by 1/2″ crack in the insulation foam that was found late last night. NASA officials dismissed the crack saying it was less than the size required to cause damage at launch.

The Discovery mission is to deliver critical supplies to the ISS, test shuttle-inspection techniques and to drop off European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Reiter for his 6-month stay in the ISS.

Over the last three years, NASA has spent an estimated $1.3 billion to remedy the foam problem. When asked about the foam concern, NASA Associate Administrator Bill Gerstenmaier said, “We’re about the same risk as we were before … I don’t think we’re taking any additional risks.” Officials have said that they expect foam to fall during the launch though. A few senior NASA safety and technical officers have their voiced opposition to the launch, claiming that they need more time to work on the foam-shedding problem. Foam debris coming loose was the cause of the Columbia disaster in 2003.

It is widely expected that another major problem with the launch would lead to the entire NASA fleet being grounded. A grounded fleet, in turn, will put the $100 billion International Space Station in a difficult situation, since the shuttle has been the major means of delivering supplies to it.

This mission is to be one of the last few flights of the space shuttle Discovery, which is set to retire in 2010.

Sources

Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

Italy score two late in Extra Time to advance to finals, hosts Germany to play in third place match

Italy score two late in Extra Time to advance to finals, hosts Germany to play in third place match

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Tuesday, July 4, 2006

World Cup 2006 logo.png

Two stylish Italian goals minutes from the end of the second period of Extra Time prevented a penalty kick shootout and sent Germany out of the FIFA World Cup in Dortmund on Tuesday.

Signal Iduna Park

Despite the best attacking efforts from the two teams, the score had remained level during 90 minutes of regulation time and the 28 overtime minutes that preceded the game winner.

Moments after Jens Lehmann had dived to put Andrea Pirlo’s 25 yard drive behind for a corner, the German keeper was helpless. With the clock on 119 minutes Fabio Grosso, found in the area by Pirlo, circled a left foot shot across him just inside the far post.

Just two minutes later, Alessandro Del Piero got Italy’s second with the last kick of the game when he clipped high past Lehmann’s left hand at the end of a fast break-away with Alberto Gilardino.

Lehmann had the busier match and made eight saves while Gianluigi Buffon was troubled by two. The Arsenal goalkeeper had also to deal with twelve corner kicks, many of which he plucked easily from the Italian heads.

Germany played the game without ball winner Torsten Frings, whom FIFA had suspended from the match for a punch thrown in a melee after the penalty shootout in the quarter-final against Argentina.

In the 90 minutes the better chances fell to Germany. On half an hour Bernd Schneider was free on goal but did not keep his shot down. After an hour Lukas Podolski, right of goal, spun and shot but was denied by Gianluigi Buffon.

The Italian defence had not conceded a goal for four games, and were to go on to record a fifth shut out in six games at the World Cup finals.

The statistics suggest Italy were the most attacking side in the match with eight more corners, nine more offsides and 14 per cent more ball possession than their opponents.

Italy played overtime with a vigorous intent to win and nearly cracked the Germans in the first two minutes. Gilardino cut back from the goal line and got away a sneaky near post shot but it bounced off the inside of Lehmann’s left post. Gianluca Zambrotta drove one from the edge of the area but was denied by Lehmann’s crossbar.

The Germans who had gone the full 120 minutes in their last game appeared the more tired team but had a chance to go 1-0 in front. Lukas Podolski was found unmarked at the near post, but his header from ten yards was about ten yards wide.

Italy had an emotional history of penalty kick shootout losses at the World Cup, including a defeat in the 1994 World Cup final, but Marcello Lippi’s team’s persistence was eventually rewarded. There were no penalties to overcome. Germany has won a total of five World Cup penalty shootouts in a row.

Fifa world cup org.jpg

Semi-finals

Match 61

July 4, 2006
21:00
Flag of Germany.svg Germany 0–2 Flag of Italy.svg Italy Signal Iduna Park
Grosso 119′
Del Piero 121’+

Attendance: 65’000

Formations

Germany

Flag of Germany.svg
Right wing Right Center Left Left wing
Flag of Germany.svgJens Lehmann (GK)
Flag of Germany.svgArne Friedrich Flag of Germany.svgPer Mertesacker Flag of Germany.svgChristoph Metzelder 56′Yellow card.svg Flag of Germany.svgPhilipp Lahm
Flag of Germany.svgBernd Schneider Flag of Germany.svgMichael Ballack (C) Flag of Germany.svgSebastian Kehl Flag of Germany.svgTim Borowski 40′Yellow card.svg
Flag of Germany.svgMiroslav Klose Flag of Germany.svgLukas Podolski

Substitutes

  • 73′ Bastian Schweinsteiger for Borowski
  • 83′ David Ondonker for Schneider
  • 111′ Oliver Neuville for Klose

Coach: Jürgen Klinsmann

Soccerball.jpg denotes one goal scored.


Italy

Flag of Italy.svg
Right wing Right Center Left Left wing
Flag of Italy.svgGianluigi Buffon (GK)
Flag of Italy.svgFabio Cannavaro (C) Flag of Italy.svgMarco Materazzi
Flag of Italy.svgGianluca Zambrotta Flag of Italy.svgGennaro Gattuso Flag of Italy.svgFabio Grosso Soccerball.jpg
Flag of Italy.svgMauro Camoranesi 90′Yellow card.svg Flag of Italy.svgAndrea Pirlo Flag of Italy.svgSimone Perrotta
Flag of Italy.svgFrancesco Totti
Flag of Italy.svgLuca Toni

Substitutes

  • 74′ Alberto Gilardinho for Toni
  • 91′ Vincenzo Iaquinta for Camoranesi
  • 104′ Alessandro Del Piero Soccerball.jpg for Perrotta

Coach: Marcello Lippi

Soccerball.jpg denotes one goal scored.

Officials

Flag of Mexico.svg Referee: Benito Archundia Yellow card.svgRed card.svg

Flag of Mexico.svg Assistant referee: Jose Ramirez

Flag of Canada.svg Assistant referee: Hector Vergara

Flag of Japan (bordered).svg Fourth referee: Toru Kamikawa

Flag of Japan (bordered).svg Fifth referee: Yoshikazu Hiroshima

Related news

France beat Portugal 1-0 and reach Fifa World Cup final

Sources

Bookmark-new.svg


This article is about the 2006 World Cup; for more World Cup news visit the World Cup portal.

This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

Chinese media face fines for disaster reporting

Chinese media face fines for disaster reporting

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Tuesday, July 4, 2006

Bookmark-new.svg


The Chinese Government has announced plans to impose fines of over US$12,000 on media outlets if they report domestic disasters without permission.

Two years in the planning, the law is expected to be in force by the end of the year and would affect reporting of natural and industrial disasters or anything that could “jeopardize the handling of emergencies,” or threaten social order.

In a country which is infamous for its censorship there’s been outcry from press freedom campaign groups, but the Chinese government insist that the laws are primarily to give local governments more control in releasing information to the public. A government spokesperson said: “Journalists and media organisations have worked very hard to contribute to covering emergencies but I must say that some individual journalists have filed wrong reports or even fabricated facts.”

Chinese journalists on the mainland Hong Kong have criticised the law, calling it a “step backward.” The Xin Kuaibao (New Express) said it was concerned that local government would control information saying “there is no way of verifying that the information in the hands of the government is the truest and most accurate.”

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) meanwhile has expressed its concern. “The media have an important and potentially life-saving role in reporting health crises, natural disasters and other incidents of public concern that officials often have an interest in concealing,” CPJ director Ann Cooper said last week.

The proposed law is a worry for some in light of the Chinese government’s handling of previous disasters that were widely criticised. In 2004 several officials resigned for their handling of the SARS outbreak, after public pressure sparked by domestic media.

According to the Committee for the Protection of Journalists, China imprisons more journalists than any other country, including two from the Southern Metropolis News for their reportage of the SARS crisis.

Related stories

  • “Chinese government levies hefty ‘sudden event’ fines” — Wikinews, June 27, 2006

Sources

This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

Pirates attack UN ships in the Malacca Strait

Pirates attack UN ships in the Malacca Strait

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Tuesday, July 4, 2006

According to a maritime regulator, pirates have attacked two UN-contracted ships in the Malacca Strait.

Reports say that no personnel on the ships were harmed, but the pirates took money and building materials belonging to the UN’s World Food Programme.

Noel Choong, of the International Maritime Bureau’s piracy centre in Malaysia, said the two ships were sailing from Sumatra to Aceh when the pirates struck. “The attacks took place not far apart from each other. There is a possibility that they were carried out by the same pirates,” Mr Choong revealed.

The attacks have boosted fears that piracy is escalating in the area. “We hope the two attacks are isolated incidents and not a start of more attacks,” Mr Choong added.

The Malacca Strait is one of the busiest sea lanes in the world, and for centuries, piracy has been a notorious threat in the Strait.

In 2005, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand announced they would start air patrols in a bid to tackle the threat from piracy.

Sources

Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.
Older Posts »

Powered by WordPress