Iraq: Reporters sorely tested in battle for Mosul

first_img IraqMiddle East – North Africa Condemning abusesProtecting journalists Armed conflictsViolence News News June 19, 2017 Find out more March 24, 2017 Find out more French video-reporter Stephan Villeneuve and Iraqi Kurdish fixer and reporter Bakhthiar Haddad were killed by an explosive device in Mosul’s old town the day after the final assault was launched to complete the recapture of the city, still partially held by Islamic State fighters. A handful of freelance reporters permanently based in Erbil, 85 km to the east, and several dozen Iraqi and foreign journalists continue to cover this decisive battle, adapting to an increasingly dangerous terrain. Yesterday, one day after the explosion that killed Villeneuve and Haddad and also injured Swiss journalist Véronique Robert and her French colleague Samuel Forey, the authorities restricted access to the old town, which is located in the western part of the city and is the main focus of the current fighting. Similar measures were taken in October 2016, in the wake of the deaths of two Iraqi journalists a few days after the launch of the military offensive that enabled the Iraqi government forces and its allies to retake control of the eastern part of the city. Since the start of the land offensive to retake the western part, a total of 226 media crews, 84 of them foreign, have registered with the Joint Operations Command (JOC), according to its spokesman, Brig, Gen. Yahia Rasoul. It is hard to know the exact number of journalists currently on the ground as they do not necessarily have to register with any central authority. However, so far as French journalists go, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) had been able to establish that there are currently six in the Mosul area or in Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan’s capital, which is the rear base of the battle for Mosul. Four of them are visiting and two are permanently based. They include Oriane Verdier, 25, an Erbil-based freelancer who works for RFI, Radio France, Libération and RTS. She based herself there in 2014 “not to be war reporter but rather to explain the region’s issues,” she said. She received training in security from France Médias Monde, which helps her “to think twice, to stay in control and always weigh whether the risk is worth the information that could be obtained.” Verdier has had to take this kind of decision with increasing frequency as a result of the marked deterioration in the security conditions in the region in the past three years. “The reporting conditions in Iraq are getting more and more difficult and complicated,” said Pierre Barbancey, a staffer at L’Humanité who has been covering the country for the past 17 years. In Mosul, which he visited in December 2016, “it is impossible to feel really safe because even when you think you are out of a combat zone, a car packed with explosives could appear out of nowhere or a mortar shell could land on you at any time.” Barbancey, who has covered wars in many other parts of the world, points out: “In Mosul, as elsewhere, we are not only targets to be killed but also kidnapped. This risk exists everywhere, but in Mosul’s maze of alleys, the danger is even greater.” Mosul’s old town, where Islamic State’s remaining forces have dug in, is a labyrinth for both the government forces and reporters. They have to advance on foot along narrow curved streets that are heavily-mined. At the same time, they are exposed to mortar shelling and Islamic State snipers posted inside houses or on rooftops. “Islamic State is past master at the art of targeting journalists (…) with bombs dropped from drones and with snipers at the front lines,” said Ziad Al-Ajili, the head of the Baghdad-based Journalistic Freedoms Observatory (JFO), shortly after Islamic State seized control of Mosul in June 2014. Three years later, the figures compiled by Al-Ajili are sad. “Nine journalists have been killed in the battle for Mosul (…) and nearly 46 Iraqi and foreign journalists have been wounded,” he said. This high toll is due not due solely to the ferocity of the fighting but also, in his view, to the lack of protective equipment for journalists, their lack of experience in covering this kind of war, and the lack of prior training. Laurence Geai, a freelance photographer who has been covering the battle for Mosul for Le Monde and who is there right now, is conscious of all these dangers. “You have to watch out for the mortars, the snipers and the mines,” she said. Covering the fighting in the old town in the coming weeks will be even tougher for journalists, “because that’s where the heart of Islamic State is located,” she added. This is going to be “a terrible battle,” said Frédéric Lafargue, a freelance photographer who has worked often in Iraq since the First Gulf War in 1991 and who covered the start of the battle for Mosul for Paris Match. “Neither side are novices, the level of commitment of both the Iraqi forces and Islamic State is very high and the nature of the terrain [the old town’s maze of alleys] is unfavourable, so covering this kind of situation necessarily entails an enormous risk,” he said. Lafargue added: “The presence of civilians renders the equation even more difficult and then there’s the fact the Islamic State fighters may feel that this is their Fort Alamo and they there to stay and cause as much damage as possible. All this makes you think twice about going there.” Islamic State has been holding ten Iraqi journalists and media workers captured in Mosul for nearly two years. The jihadi group seized all of the media outlets in Mosul in 2014, turning the city into a news and information black hole until the Iraqi army and its allies launched their offensive last October. RSF and the JFO published a joint report in October 2015 about the media freedom situation in Mosul since Islamic State seized control of the city. Iraq is ranked 158th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2017 World Press Freedom Index. In partnership with UNESCO, RSF publishes a Safety Guide for Journalists that is available in French, English, Spanish and Arabic. Written for reporters going to dangerous regions, it offers practical advice designed to help mitigate the risks. June 21, 2017 Iraq: Reporters sorely tested in battle for Mosul Mosul blast kills French and Kurdish journalists IraqMiddle East – North Africa Condemning abusesProtecting journalists Armed conflictsViolence Organisation Follow the news on Iraq Receive email alertscenter_img News RSF urges Iraqi authorities to protect journalists in the field RSF_en Kurdish journalist killed in northern Iraq October 26, 2016 Find out more Help by sharing this information News to go further Bakhtiyar Haddad, a Kurdish journalist working as a translator for France 2 TV, killed in a bomb explosion in Mosul on Monday 19 June 2017.  The deaths on 19 June of two journalists who were doing a story about the last phase of the battle for Mosul have highlighted the increasingly difficult conditions in which hundreds of Iraqi and foreign reporters have been covering the fight to retake Iraq’s second largest city since October 2016. last_img read more

Trail Blazers rally to oust Nuggets, advance to West finals for 1st time in 19 years

first_imgFrom front, Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard celebrates with guard Seth Curry and center Enes Kanter after the second half of Game 7 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series Sunday, May 12, 2019, in Denver. The Trail Blazers won 100-96. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)DENVER — CJ McCollum scored 37 points and the Portland Trail Blazers overcame a 17-point first-half deficit to beat the Denver Nuggets 100-96 on Sunday to advance to the Western Conference Finals for the first time since 2000.Evan Turner, who scored just four points in the first six games of the series, added 14 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter. The Trail Blazers advanced to face the two-time defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors, beginning Tuesday night in Oakland, California.ADVERTISEMENT PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. The first one gave Portland an 81-76 lead and the second one made it 92-85 and followed Lillard’s steal of Jokic’s outlet pass.Jokic led Denver with 29 points, but missed 15 shots. Jamal Murray had 14 points, but was 4 of 18 from the floor.HOOD HURTRodney Hood, whom Malone said he was most worried about heading into Game 7, injured his left knee in the third quarter and left the game. Hood was cleanly screened by Torrey Craig when none of his teammates warned him and crumpled at midcourt while Craig broke free for the basket that gave Denver a 60-55 lead.Before the game, Malone said that while Lillard is the superstar and McCollum an emerging All-Star, Hood concerned him the most after scoring 7 points in the fourth overtime of Game 3 and 25 off the bench in Game 5, both Portland victories. Hood finished with 6 points and 3 boards.Tip-ins:Portland: The Blazers didn’t manage back-to-back buckets until McCollum hit two straight baskets to pull Portland to 39-26.Denver: The Nuggets were 2 of 19 from beyond the arc and missed 11 free throws. Portland was 4 of 26 on 3-pointers and 20 of 24 from the stripe.UP NEXT:The Trial Blazers visit Golden State for Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals on Tuesday night. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Djokovic beats Tsitsipas to win his 3rd Madrid Open title Philippine Arena Interchange inaugurated Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles Turner corralled the rebound when Nikola Jokic’s desperation 3-pointer hit the rim and dribbled out the clock, sending the stunned crowd streaming to the exits at the Pepsi Center, where the Nuggets owned the best record in the league during the regular season but where they lost twice to Portland in the series.The Nuggets raced to a 39-22 lead and Game 7 was beginning to look a lot like Game 5, when Denver blew out Portland by 26 points in this building. But Blazers coach Terry Stotts called a timeout with 7:26 left in the second quarter and his team began chipping away.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logistics“There wasn’t going to be any quit,” Stotts said. “I didn’t think they ever stopped believing. … It was just about regrouping.”The Blazers were down 48-39 at halftime and trailed by just a point head into the fourth quarter. DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte MOST READ That’s when the Nuggets’ hopes of reaching their first Western Conference Finals in a decade died with a 7-of-24 shooting performance, including 3 of 10 from Jokic, who tearfully blamed himself in the locker room for the loss.Nonsense, said his coach, Michael Malone, who said Jokic proved to the world in these last 14 playoff games that he’s the best big man in basketball and he only petered out at the end because the Nuggets had to rely so heavily on their 7-foot All-Star.It was a devastating end to Denver’s season after the Nuggets ended a six-year playoff drought and earned the second seed in the Western Conference bracket.“I’m not going to allow Game 7 loss to take away from a magical year,” Malone said, “and it doesn’t feel that way right now but when I reflect, and when our players reflect, on what we were able to accomplish — hell of a year, couldn’t ask for anything more from our guys.”McCollum, who had 30 points in Portland’s Game 6 victory, came up big on a night Damian Lillard made just 3 of 17 shots for 13 points. But two of those buckets were crucial 3-pointers in the fourth quarter.ADVERTISEMENT Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue Hontiveros presses for security audit of national power grid LATEST STORIES View commentslast_img read more

9 months agoChelsea boss Sarri: Willian and Hudson-Odoi must stay

first_imgChelsea boss Sarri: Willian and Hudson-Odoi must stayby Paul Vegas9 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea boss Maurizio Sarri says Willian must stay after he proved the matchwinner against Newcastle.Willian is being linked with Barcelona.But Sarri says: “Willian, for us, is a very important player. As I said yesterday in the press conference, in my opinion he has to stay with us. He’s very important player, like Pedro.”Hudson-Odoi is becoming a very important player so with Eden like a striker today, we need wingers, so we need Pedro, Hudson-Odoi and Willian, of course. At this moment he’s a fundamental player.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

21 days ago​Robertson wants ‘complete performance’ from Liverpool against Leicester

first_imgAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say ​Robertson wants ‘complete performance’ from Liverpool against Leicesterby Freddie Taylor21 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool full back Andy Robertson wants to see his side give the perfect performance at the weekend.The Reds are facing off against high flying an in form Leicester City on Saturday afternoon.And Robertson believes that the Reds, who have a 100 percent record in the league so far, need to prove their title credentials against a tough opponent.He also spoke about their recent 4-3 win over RB Salzburg in the Champions League.Robertson told reporters: “At three-nil up and you think you are going to be comfortable but we started probably doing things we shouldn’t have done, we let them back into the game and they are a good team. That’s why that happened.”Then when we went to 3-3 and to show the character we did was important. But we need to sort out that 50-minute period when we weren’t good enough.”We have had a lot of away games but so far, so good but we need to get better and that is the pressure we put on ourselves.”We have got results but today could have been different, Saturday could have been different so we need to look at that and we need to play better.”But when you don’t play well it is important to get results and that’s what we have done. We were very good first half but we need a complete performance and we need that on Saturday.” last_img read more

Video: Joel Stave Misses On Crucial 4th Down Throw, Iowa Wins Heartland Trophy

first_imgWisconsin flag bearer runs across the field.LINCOLN, NE – OCTOBER 07: A cheerleader for the Wisconsin Badgers celebrates a score against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Memorial Stadium on October 7, 2017 in Lincoln, Nebraska. (Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images)Wisconsin entered the season as Big Ten West favorites, but after this afternoon’s game, things in that division have been thrown for a loop. The Iowa Hawkeyes pulled off an upset of the No. 19 Badgers in Madison, winning the Heartland Trophy for the first time since 2009. Wisconsin had a chance to take the lead, but Joel Stave fired incomplete on a 4th & 2, looking for tight end Troy Fumagalli on the play.Not the best throw here pic.twitter.com/bsIn9uOFBm— Dan Lyons (@Dan_Lyons76) October 3, 2015He looked for a pass interference call, and there was some contact, but the refs held their flags, and Iowa was able to take a knee and win the game.The Heartland Trophy comes BACK to Iowa City! #IOWAvsWIS I’m done bragging now. pic.twitter.com/di1hbirdu1— Y2Jason Strasburg (@Strasconsin) October 3, 2015Iowa is 5-0 with the win, and a favorable schedule ahead. This year could be a big one for Kirk Ferentz and his Hawkeyes.last_img read more

Feds launch review of officiallanguages law 50 years after its introduction

first_imgOTTAWA — The federal government is launching a review of the Official Languages Act, saying it is time to modernize the decades-old law.The 1969 law enshrined Canadians’ right to receive federal services in English or French.The last major reform of the law was in 1988 and there have been recent calls to update it again, including from a Senate committee that late last month said the act needs to be applied more effectively and consistently.Oversight mechanisms need to be beefed up to ensure rights aren’t trampled on, the report said, adding a veiled reference to a furor in Ontario that forced the government to backtrack on plans to abolish the independent office of its French-language services commissioner and shrink a francophone-affairs cabinet post.The Liberals plan a series of meetings, the first taking place Tuesday in Moncton, N.B., and an online consultation that’s to result in a final report in June.Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly said in a statement that the government wants a modernized act to help minority-language communities “meet the new challenges they face” and ensure the law “can continue to meet the needs of Canadians.”The latest census figures from Statistics Canada show that in 2016, the country’s bilingualism rate stood 17.9 per cent — an all-time high — mainly due to an increase in the number of people who can speak French.Statistics Canada had to revise the bilingualism rate down by one-10th of a percentage point after it found a computer error in about 61,000 online census responses: French-speakers were recorded as having English as their mother tongue, leading the agency to report an increase in anglophones in Quebec.The erroneously reported jump in English-language speakers caused emotional ripples in Quebec, with provincial politicians talking about legislative means to ensure the survival of the French language in the province.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

A lot riding on Whitehorse hearings for Inquiry says NWAC President

first_imgTodd Lamirande APTN National NewsThe inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women came under fire against today in Ottawa.For weeks, families have been complaining that there has been a lack of communications from the top commissioners.On Friday, head Commissioner Marion Buller promised to do better.She said if the Inquiry’s timeline was no longer achievable, it may need more time and money.But her efforts may not be enough for some very upset and frustrated family [email protected]last_img read more

Atlantic Canada trade mission hopes to bolster regions trade links to China

first_imgHALIFAX – A federal-provincial trade mission is heading to China this week with hopes of bolstering Atlantic Canada’s presence in one of the world’s largest consumer markets.Federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence McAulay, Treasury Board president Scott Brison, and the premiers of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador, will join more than 70 businesses, universities, and organizations participating in trade shows and business-to-business meetings.The aim is to promote Atlantic Canada’s food, education, clean growth, and tourism sectors.In an interview Monday, Brison said the co-operative effort is part of the Atlantic Growth Strategy launched by Ottawa and the four provinces in 2016.“A regional approach, where the federal government helps support the work of our businesses in Atlantic Canada and the work of our provincial governments, can make a real difference and take the level of trade and opportunity over time to a new level,” said Brison, a Nova Scotia MP.He said the goal is to build on the trust and relationships that have been established in the Chinese market.“That requires face-to-face interactions and meetings, and you can’t just go there once, you have to go there repeatedly over a sustained period.”Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil will be travelling to China for the second time this year — it will be his sixth trip overall.According to the federal government, exports to China from Atlantic Canada grew 37 per cent last year to more than $1.5 billion, with seafood exports having doubled in the past five years alone.Chinese tourism is also on the rise, while Atlantic Canadian universities currently get more than 30 per cent of their international students from the economic powerhouse.Brison said about 30 million Chinese enter the middle class every year, and that country’s consumer culture has developed tastes for such items as high-quality food and wine.He said they are trends that represent a great opportunity for Atlantic Canada, which is producing world renowned seafood, particularly lobster.“We have opportunities that simply didn’t exist 10 years ago in terms of the China relationship,” he said.In Nova Scotia’s case, China is the province’s second largest trading partner after the U.S., with exports having grown from $150 million in 2012 to $494 million in 2016.McNeil said opening China to products such as lobster has been key to keeping prices at higher market levels.“That has allowed the extra money received for that price to be spun around in every rural community across the province,” he said. “It’s one of the best rural economic strategies that we have.”Another key is convincing even more Chinese students to study in the region, the premier said.“They currently are the largest number of international students who come here. We believe that number can grow substantially to continue to help sustain our post-secondary institutions.”The trade delegation is to visit the cities of Qingdao, Shanghai, and Beijing, where it will take part in the China Fisheries and Seafood Expo, the China International Import Expo, and the Canada China Business Council Annual General Meeting and Business Forum.last_img read more

Crude by rail exports above 200000 barrels per day for the first

first_imgThe discount increase has been blamed on the difficulty in getting western Canadian oil to market because of tight pipeline capacity as three proposed export pipeline projects face ongoing delays.AltaCorp says the rate of growth in crude-by-rail volumes since the discount rose above US$25 per barrel last year has actually lagged behind that seen in 2011-12, the last time the differential was as wide.It attributes the slower growth to reluctance by rail companies to increase capacity and producers to sign long-term transport contracts to deal with market conditions that may only last until new pipelines come on stream, possibly as early as late 2019.(THE CANADIAN PRESS) CALGARY, A.B. – The National Energy Board says crude-by-rail exports from Canada set another record in June, rising to 204,558 barrels per day.That’s up almost three percent from 198,800 in May and 86 percent from 109,500 in June 2017.In a report Wednesday, analysts at AltaCorp Capital linked growth in railway oil shipments to the wider-than-usual discount being paid for Western Canadian Select crude compared with New York-benchmark West Texas Intermediate oil.last_img read more

Northern Development launches new website for Love Northern BC

first_imgThe Love BC Project helps to get a community involved and invested in itself by being able to be showcased on a platform they may not otherwise be able to do for themselves. The Love BC Project helps these businesses by offering media packages that;Featuring first-rate photography, storytelling and a variety of independent locally-owned businesses in each community.Offering a search bar and directory function to quickly find businesses online, and a map function that helps residents and tourists to the community locate and visit each business with ease.The program is available to communities located within Northern Development’s service region and participating communities receive ongoing program planning and implementation support from the Northern Development staff. Businesses that wish to participate in the program are required to pay a one-time registration fee of $100 per business.The program is open to independent locally-owned businesses (non-franchise). Certain kinds of home-based businesses are eligible, but direct sales home-based businesses that are distributing for a larger brand are not. Love Northern BC shares they are a marketing tool that works best for businesses that are focused on retail goods and services rather than industrial companies.For more information on the program; CLICK HERE To view the site; CLICK HERE PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. – The Northern Development Initiative Trust has developed the ‘Love Northern BC’ movement to help connect people with independent locally-owned businesses through unique marketing campaigns to keep more dollars in the local economy.Love Northern BC is the largest shop local program in Canada. With more than 74 northern BC communities participating, the program has helped to showcase more than 1,600 unique, locally-owned and independent northern B.C. businesses.The funding from the NDIT helps the Love Northern BC project by continuing to find and develop opportunities throughout the region to help to build connections between neighbours, shoppers, business owners, and visitors.last_img read more