News Wave of Kurdish arrests of Syrian journalists February 3, 2021 Find out more Receive email alerts News Read in Arabic (بالعربية) March 12, 2021 Find out more Damascus TV presenter arrested under cyber-crime law News Follow the news on Syria SyriaMiddle East – North Africa RSF_en August 21, 2012 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Japanese reporter killed in Aleppo, two Al-Hurra TV journalists missing March 8, 2021 Find out more Help by sharing this information SyriaMiddle East – North Africa to go further Mika Yamamoto, a Japanese reporter for the Japan Press agency, was killed yesterday in Aleppo while covering fighting between government forces and rebels in the eastern district of Suleiman Al-Halabi. The Japanese foreign ministry confirmed Yamamoto’s death. Her body has been transferred to Turkey.Fellow Japan Press reporter Kazutaka Sato, who was with her at the time, told Japan’s NTV that they were caught in a shoot-out and ran into “soldiers in camouflage fatigues.” Sato said: “The one in front was wearing a helmet and I immediately thought they were government troops. I told (Yamamoto) to run. At the same moment, they opened fire. We must have been just 20 or 30 metres away. We scattered in different directions. After that, I didn’t see Yamamoto again. Then they told me to go to the hospital and I found her body.” Another Japanese TV station, TBS, quoted Sato as saying Yamamoto was shot in the neck.Reporters Without Borders offers its heartfelt condolences to Yamamoto’s family, friends and colleagues. Aged 45, Yamamoto was a seasoned journalist who was used to covering wars. Her death is a reminder that Syria is now the world’s most dangerous country for media personnel.Yamamoto was the fifth foreign journalist to be killed since the start of the war in Syria, following Gilles Jacquier, a French reporter for France 2, on 11 January 2012 in Homs; French photographer Rémy Ochlik and Marie Colvin, a US reporter for the Sunday Times, on 22 February 2012 in Bab Amru, and Ali Chaabane, a Lebanese journalist working for Lebanon’s Al-Jadeed TV, on 9 April 2012. Anthony Shahid, a US journalist with the New York Times, died from an acute asthma attack on 16 February during a clandestine reporting visit to Syria.Around 30 Syrian journalists and citizen-journalists have also been killed since the start of the war.Middle East Broadcasting Networks, the non-profit organization that operates Al-Hurra TV, reports that contact was lost yesterday with two Al-Hurra journalists – Palestinian reporter Bashar Fahmi and Turkish cameraman Cuneyt Unal – who were with Yamamoto in Aleppo.According to a video posted by the rebel Free Syrian Army, they were seized by government forces. News Toll of ten years of civil war on journalists in Syria Organisation
Associated British Foods, the group behind Kingsmill, has announced that group revenue is down 2% to £6.2bn in the 24 weeks to 1 March, due to food commodity deflation.It revealed in its interim report that revenue in its food business was lower than last year, with sugar prices being a major cause. However, Allied Bakeries made progress in the UK bread market, with volumes and margins both ahead of last year.The Kingsmill 50/50 range continued to be the main stimulus of growth, while the smaller Allinson brand also made “significant gains”. Both brands had received television advertising support during the period.A new bread plant was commissioned at West Bromwich as the company approached the end of a major capital investment programme in its UK bakeries. The programme aims to deliver less waste, better control of processes, consistently high-quality bread and lower energy usage.The report also revealed that adjusted operating profit was up 1% at £497m, adjusted profit before tax was up 4% at £468m and adjusted earnings per share were up 10% at 45.8p.Shares liftedMeanwhile, dividend per share was up 4% to 9.7p, net debt was £827m after net capital investment of £328m and operating profit rose 2% to £463m. Profit before tax was up 6% at £434m and basic earnings per share were up 12% to 43.2p.George Weston, chief executive of Associated British Foods, said: “The group as a whole has delivered a very resilient operational and financial result at a challenging time of transition for our European sugar business.“I am pleased to report interim results for the group that deliver adjusted earnings growth of 10% in the face of a strengthening of sterling and much lower sugar prices.”
Many students take years to pay off their loans after earning degrees, but Notre Dame offers families a way to preemptively finance their children’s higher education by pre-paying future tuition bills through the Private College 529 Plan. Notre Dame is one of 271 institutions that participate in the plan, which sets up a risk-free method for families to anticipate college costs and finance tuition payments, according to executive director of student financial strategies Thomas Bear. Families can purchase tuition certificates at current prices that are redeemable at any of the participating institutions after three years. “This plan is great for a family because you assume no risk. Once you lock into that price and pay tuition for future years, it’s guaranteed,” Bear said. “As a family who is going to invest, when you buy tuition [through the plan] you’re buying it at all 271 schools.” Bear said OppenheimerFunds, Inc., manages money put into the plan and the anticipation is that Oppenheimer’s investments will make up the dollar difference in tuition between the time of the original payment and the point where the family is ready to redeem their tuition certificates. “If they don’t make up the difference [with the investments], here’s where it’s really good for families: The institution assumes the risk, so we, the University of Notre Dame, would pay that difference,” Bear said. To illustrate this point, Bear said if a family bought tuition at $10,000 and the school increased it to $15,000 over time while the investments only grew to $11,000, the University would assume the $4,000 difference. “Hopefully, as Notre Dame, we want to see that investment grow to $15,000 as well so it’s a win-win-win for everybody,” Bear said. “There are years when we’ve had growth and we’ve come out even, but there are some years where we had to absorb that risk.” Bear said Notre Dame participates in the plan despite the financial risks to encourage families to be proactive in their efforts to pay for college. “Saving for college gives you a resource as a family so when your son or daughter is accepted, you already have options available for that child,” Bear said. “It’s not just where your child is admitted but also where you can afford to send him or her. “We’d rather see you save preemptively, upfront, instead of trying to manage loans on the back end,” he said. Notre Dame was one of the original schools that signed on to the plan when it began in 2006, and it has more redemptions to date than any other institution, Bear said. This means more families use their prepaid tuition certificates at Notre Dame than at any other institution included in the plan. “Among the private colleges [in the plan], we’ve had about 99 students who have turned in their certificates,” Bear said. “Over these seven years [since 2006], that’s about 14 or 15 families per year who have taken advantage of this benefit.” Bear attributes this success partially to the financial aid office’s work to publicize the opportunity to alumni and other affiliated families, but also to the strong sense of community around Notre Dame. “There’s that affinity to Notre Dame from generation to generation in many families, and within that context there’s the sense that this is a great plan, so let’s go ahead and invest in it so our sons and daughters can also have that opportunity,” Bear said. The real value of the plan comes from the fact that the investment is completely guaranteed, Bear said. “If our tuition goes up two, three, four, five percent every year, and you have a guaranteed investment like this, you can look at that and say ‘Well, my investment is going up two, three, four, five percent every year,’” he said. “There’s no other guarantee like that out there, so it’s a very safe investment.” Bear said the guarantee makes this investment a wise move for any family in a position to prepay tuition in this way. “Tuition here is about $42,000 a year, and most families don’t have that to just shell out,” Bear said. “What you can do here is put down say, $5,000 this year, so you would be buying 12 percent of tuition, redeemable in the future. “Even if you’re just putting in $200 now, maybe you’re giving up that brand new color TV, but it’s better to do that than to pay the loans off in the future,” he said.
Nora Jane Struthers didn’t take the most direct path to Nashville. She started out as a Jersey girl. Her dad taught her to sing traditional country and bluegrass songs, and the family pastime was extended with trips to fiddle conventions in the mountains of Virginia and North Carolina.“That was a life-altering experience,” Struthers said of attending the Old Time Fiddler’s Convention in Galax, Va., among others. “I became aware of this wide community of people who are passionate about music and have this beautiful thing in common.”Music, though, wasn’t an immediate career choice. Struthers earned a degree in English education at New York University. But after a couple of years of teaching at a charter school in Brooklyn, she eventually packed up her belongings and moved to Nashville.“At a certain point I fear regret more strongly than I fear change,” she recently reflected. “When I realized being a professional musician was an attainable goal, I knew if I didn’t try, I would forever regret it.”After arriving in Music City she started working with producer Brent Truitt (Dolly Parton, Alison Krauss) and recorded a well-received self-titled debut album with backing support from ace players like Bryan Sutton, Tim O’Brien, and Stuart Duncan. She also put together a road band and started working the acoustic music touring circuit. In 2010 her group won the prestigious Telluride Bluegrass Festival Band Contest, which put her in elite company with acts like the Dixie Chicks and Nickel Creek.Struthers then took an opportunity to join lauded Alaska cum Nashville bluegrass outfit Bearfoot. Despite gaining a wealth of experience with a seasoned group of players, she ultimately resigned and set out to record the batch of songs that became her latest album, Carnival. Fans helped Struthers get the record made by funding it through a Kickstarter campaign, which raised $22,000 and supported recording sessions, once again with Truitt at the helm, in Nashville last fall.The album, released last April, is a bold, varied Americana effort. With a set backing band, The Party Line, behind her, Struthers put together a concept album of thought-provoking story songs delivered with her alluring tender vocals and a mix of old-time strings and driving rock edge. She can evoke both the smooth grace of Krauss and the emotional grit of Brandi Carlile.The willingness to mingle the past with the present has enabled Struthers to fit into a variety of circles in the acoustic music world. Just last month she performed at both the Americana Music Festival in Nashville and the International Bluegrass Music Association’s World of Bluegrass Conference in Raleigh.“I wanted to move into a more contemporary sonic space,” Struthers said of her latest album. “The success of Mumford and Sons and the Lumineers has opened a lot of doors for artists who are using stringed instruments to try and create new sounds. The community of Americana musicians is raging right now. It’s strong and exciting.”With a firm direction in place for her solo career, Struthers is focused on bringing her sound to stages across the country. She has a hearty slate of dates booked into next year, including stops this month in North Carolina, Tennessee, and Washington, D.C., and an open mind about the new songs in her head.“The sound is going to keep evolving,” Struthers said. “For the next record I’m thinking pedal steel and distorted guitar tones. That can be strange for listeners, especially in the acoustic genre, but as an artist I need my music to grow.”Asheville Electronic SummitPeople with certain interests might already call Asheville, N.C., a mountain oasis, but a new festival is making it official. Mountain Oasis, which is being billed as an Electronic Music Summit, will fill five venues around downtown Asheville during the weekend of October 25-27 with a full line-up of electronic and experimental rock acts. Headliners include Nine Inch Nails, Bassnectar, Pretty Lights, Animal Collective, and a recently reunited Neutral Milk Hotel. The festival, created as a spin-off by the former promoters of Moogfest, will bring approximately 50 acts to venues of varying size, including the Exploreasheville.com Arena, Thomas Wolfe Auditorium, the Orange Peel, Diana Wortham Theatre, and Asheville Music Hall.mountainoasisfestival.com
By Lorena Baires/Diálogo September 01, 2020 The Guatemalan National Civil Police (PNC, in Spanish) reported the seizure of 335 kilograms of cocaine on the Pacific coast on July 5. “We received information about a suspicious vessel, and together with international agencies that provide us with information, we proceeded to deploy a vessel from the Pacific Naval Command, specifically from our Naval Special Force to intercept it,” Guatemalan Army Major General Hugo Urbina, chief of the National Defense General Staff, said on Facebook on July 5. “We intercepted this vessel with three Guatemalan nationals on board.”On July 6, the Guatemalan Army reported in a press release that the PNC and the Guatemalan Office of the Attorney General proceeded to prosecute the detainees. “Since we recovered our primary radar capabilities to detect suspicious movements in 2016, the air platforms we have for flyovers and the good communication with other countries in the region […] have enabled us to carry out seizures successfully,” Army Colonel Juan Carlos de Paz, Guatemalan Army spokesman, told Diálogo on July 9. “The majority of the leads are aerial, but this is the first seizure we’ve made at sea this year.”This operation is part of an array of strategic actions known as Cooperative Security, promoted to strengthen international cooperation and information exchange. “The training and instruction that [U.S.] Southern Command provided to the [Guatemalan] Naval Special Force in 2017 was solid, and these actions reflect this,” said Col. de Paz. “There is also cooperation in this fight, with partner nations such as the United States and Colombia, with whom we seek to exchange information and establish common protocols and strategies to facilitate a comprehensive offensive against this scourge [of narcotrafficking].”“Central America continues to be a bridge to smuggle drugs into the United States, and military authorities continue to direct their efforts to increasing operational capabilities,” Col. de Paz concluded. “We think that now we need to have air capabilities that will enable us to be more agile in reaching the places where light aircraft land or fly over the sea; there are large amounts of land and water that we need to cover.”
Talk about an innovation you need but didn’t know you were missing. The Anytongs flatware converter turns two utensils into kitchen tongs, replacing multiple sets of tongs. So you’ll always have tongs ready when you need to serve salad or pasta. This gadget lets you save space and reduce clutter, meaning you no longer have to find a convenient spot to store those awkward tongs that don’t close. Compatible with pretty much any type of flatware, this utensil converter lets you slide a spoon or fork in either side and pull it taught. Thanks to the rubberized slot, the Anytongs will keep your flatware secure. Plus, this flatware converter also has a rubberized grip so you keep ahold of it even when you open it wide to grab something large. Whether you’re grilling or serving, flipping or stirring, the Anytongs will make your time in the kitchen so much easier. – Advertisement –
– Advertisement –
– Advertisement – Traders work before the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on November 14, 2019 in New York City. Global economic worries on Thursday caused Wall Street to retreat from record highs following sour economic data from major economies and signs of persistent deadlock in US-China trade talks.JOHANNES EISELE | AFP | Getty Images – Advertisement – The market rally and rebound into cyclical stocks following this week’s vaccine news was a “taste of things to come,” according to one U.K.-based investor — just not yet.The rotation away from growth stocks into cyclicals — stocks that would benefit from an economic recovery driven by an effective coronavirus vaccine — followed Pfizer and BioNTech‘s announcement that their Covid-19 vaccine was 90% effective. But the trend appeared to reverse course by mid-week, with tech stocks rebounding on Wednesday.In fact, Freddie Lait, chief investment officer and founder of Latitude Investment Management, told CNBC that you shouldn’t be “rushing to fill your boots” just yet and instead outlined a different strategy to make “very, very nice” returns. – Advertisement –
Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionI’m so happy that good will is not dead. For many years my neighbor has cleaned the property for me and I’m grateful. While there was much traffic on my street due to a local fire, much to my amazement one young gentleman parked his car, got out and offered to finish shoveling. When I asked his name, he said “Chris,” which was my dad’s name, and that he owned Cusato’s Pizzeria on Altamont Avenue.While he finished shoveling, I spoke with his wife and daughter who were waiting patiently in the car and thanked them for their patience and Christmas kindness.He absolutely refused any payment and offered to send help if I would just call him and said I reminded him of his “nonna” (grandma).All I could offer were my grateful prayers and “Merry Christmas.” Truly, the spirit of Christmas giving goes on in this young business man of Rotterdam. Buon Natale.Helena CalvanoRotterdamMore from The Daily Gazette:Rotterdam convenience store operator feels results of having Stewart’s as new neighborEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?
Exercise extreme patience today is you are planning on traveling anywhere. According to Airlines for America, 2.9 million travelers will be flying today and tomorrow alone. That above the 2.4 million who travel on U.S. airlines on a normal travel day. Thursday will also be the worst time to be on the road according to the American Automobile Association. AAA projects that trips will take double the time to travel in major U.S. cities.An estimated 104 million holiday travelers are expected to drive to and from their holiday destinations from Saturday, Dec. 21 through Wednesday, Jan 1. That’s the highest number on record.“With kids out of school and many Americans taking extended time off for the holidays, drivers will experience only incremental delays throughout the week. Although congestion will be lighter than normal, knowing when and where major delays will likely happen will help save time and reduce stress this holiday season,” said transportation analyst Trevor Reed in a post on the website of INRIX, a location-based data and analytics firm.