Organisation March 16, 2017 In Syria, 211 journalists killed in conflict that began six years ago March 8, 2021 Find out more Help by sharing this information News News Syria has for years been the world’s deadliest country for journalists and citizen journalists, who are caught between the Assad regime and its allies, Islamic State and many other radical Jihadi groups, and the Kurdish forces.Acts of intimidation, arrests, kidnappings and murders are all frequent and constitute a gruesome tableau.Journalism in Syria in figures :Number of journalists killed: 211 journalists and citizen journalists since 201119 journalists and citizen journalists in 2016Currently imprisoned:At least 26 journalists and citizen journalistsHeld hostage or missing:At least 21 journalists and citizen journalists, and seven foreign onesSyria is ranked 177th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2016 World Press Freedom Index. February 3, 2021 Find out more Receive email alerts RSF_en Damascus TV presenter arrested under cyber-crime law to go further SyriaMiddle East – North Africa Protecting journalists Armed conflictsViolence News Follow the news on Syria SyriaMiddle East – North Africa Protecting journalists Armed conflictsViolence Toll of ten years of civil war on journalists in Syria A total of 211 journalists and citizen journalists have been killed in the course of Syria’s civil war, which began with a wave of protests exactly six years ago. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) urges all parties to the conflict to protect the journalists who cover it on the ground. March 12, 2021 Find out more Wave of Kurdish arrests of Syrian journalists News
But this is a guy who intentionally turned his back on Americans in the face of a national emergency. A quarter million Americans are dead, and hundreds of thousands more are likely to die, because he prioritized his own reelection prospects over saving American lives. He lied about the danger of COVID-19, over and over, causing other people to lie as well. That’s not forgivable—it’s actually beyond any reasonable capacity to forgive, or forget.And yet 70 million or so Americans supported that, tried to rationalize it, and they went right back and voted for Trump. That’s what I can’t get past. Is there anything, in fact, that this person could have done that would have been a bridge too far for them?And what he’s doing right now is unforgivable as well. There’s nothing unusual about this election, other than the fact that it’s occurring during a pandemic. There has been no “fraud” or any cause for bringing 10 lawsuits to try to stop votes from being counted. It’s simply anti-American behavior. If it weren’t so dangerous, it would actually be embarrassing.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – One thing I noticed about the campaign was the preponderance of the “in-your-face” element of Trumpism. From the flags draped on pickup trucks to the obnoxious, oversized signs in their yards, to the fact that half of the voters in my precinct showed up in some type of Trump garb, whether it was a stupid hat or a T-shirt, it made me realize that these people were making known their aggression toward me. Whereas Joe Biden voters certainly supported their candidate, it was evident that Trump supporters wielded their allegiance like a bludgeon. It was intended to offend, to threaten; not only to hurt others, but to negate their existence.In other words, it was just what you’d expect by taking a magic marker out and scrawling the word “FASCIST” across huge swaths of the country. And like spoiled, full-grown infants, they were proud of themselves, as they basked in their imagined power. But there was another type, too, like the GOP poll observers I worked next to on Tuesday. Buttoned up in Oxford shirts and sweaters, they kept their nature well-disguised. Gay also talks about these types, the doctors, the lawyers, the so-called educated among Trump’s base of support.The ones who want to seem urbane. The ones who want to be invited to all the good parties. They lie to pollsters. They lie to family and friends. And when they fill out their ballots, they finally tell the truth.The truth, as Gay observes, is that what we’re seeing is all about identity politics—just not the kind conservatives would prefer to talk about. As she puts it, “There is no greater identity politics than that of white people trying to build a firewall around what remains of their empire as this country’s demographics continue to shift.”So we continue to have two Americas: one which respects democratic institutions and is willing to work for the betterment of society as a whole; and one willing to dispense with those same institutions for their own gain, by surrendering whatever shred of decency and integrity they have to someone like Donald Trump.And as Gay notes, the past few days have proved they’re still out there. They’re not going anywhere, no matter what words of solace or unity are offered.They are not concerned with the collective, because they believe any success they achieve by virtue of their white privilege is achieved by virtue of merit. They see equity as oppression. They are so terrified, in fact, that as the final votes were counted in Detroit, a group of them swarmed the venue shouting, “Stop the count.” In Arizona, others swarmed a venue shouting, “Count the votes.” The citizens of this version of America only believe in democracy that serves their interests.It will be a relief to have a president who I can comfortably refer to as a “President.” Who actually works for the good of the American people, and who doesn’t spend all his time trying to divide us all with hatred. It will be a relief not to wake up each day to some new horror or angry, monstrous tweet from an unbalanced sociopath.But I won’t have any more illusions about my fellow citizens. I won’t forget this or forgive them for putting the rest of us through this nightmare. As Gay says, by now, I know exactly who they are. And yet, people are supporting him in this.I guess I’m wondering—and I’ve wondered this a lot over the past four years—what the hell happened to these folks? Did they learn nothing in high school? Or college, if they went? Didn’t their parents give them some sense of what it means to be an American citizen?Roxane Gay, writing for The New York Times, is shaking her head at this naive white boy.This is America. This is not an aberration. This is indeed our country and who the proverbial “we” are. The way this election has played out shouldn’t be a surprise if you’ve been paying attention or if you understand racism and how systemic it really is. Polling can account for a great many factors, but unless they ask about the extent to which racism motivates voters — and find a way to get honest answers on this topic — they will never be able to account for this.Some Trump voters are proud about their political affiliation. They attend his rallies. They drive around with their cars draped in Trump posters and flags and other paraphernalia. They proudly crow about America and pride and nationalism. They are the subjects of fawning profiles that aim to explain their voting tendencies as the result of “economic anxiety,” as if they are tragically misunderstood. They aren’t. We know exactly who they are.- Advertisement – This was a close election, far closer than it should have been, and there is simply no excuse for that. Yes, suburban women turned against Trump and so did a smaller group of college-educated white men, but by and large, in the face of record-shattering turnout, most of the same people who voted for him in 2016 voted for him again. And that is just sick—there is no other word for it.I can understand people voting for a scumbag like Trump because their 401ks did well over the past four years. I get the fact that most Americans don’t give a damn about anything but themselves; that’s been true forever, and it isn’t news.- Advertisement –
OAKLAND — Khris Davis hasn’t batted sixth in the A’s order since the 2016 season. But that’s where he’s hitting Wednesday against the Seattle Mariners as manager Bob Melvin hopes a different spot in the lineup can spark the A’s slumping designated hitter.With the A’s looking for their fifth straight win, Melvin has Davis hitting sixth in the order Wednesday, right behind Ramón Laureano, in the second of a two-game series against the Mariners at the Coliseum.Mark Canha will hit fourth …
A Habitat for Humanity chapter in Kalamazoo, Michigan, is among six “grand award” winners in a Department of Energy Zero Energy Ready Home competition this year, proving that high performance doesn’t necessarily come with a high price tag. The annual contest recognizes innovative residential building in five categories, according to the DOE. Habitat Kalamazoo picked up the award for its entry in the Affordable Non-Profit category. Thrive Home Builders of Denver was the top winner in the Affordable For Profit category. In all, 23 builders from around the country earned innovation awards. The grand winners were announced in San Diego in October. Habitat for Humanity chapters in Venice, Florida, and Hickory, North Carolina, also were recognized.RELATED ARTICLESHabitat Chapter Sees an Energy-Efficient FutureHabitat for Humanity’s Net-Zero CommunityA New Guide for Net Zero BuildersEvery New Home Should be Zero-Energy ReadyFinally, a Right-Sized Furnace What separates Kalamazoo’s entry from the other top prize winners is its low cost, according to a post at LinkedIn by Philip Beere. While other winning entries carried price tags ranging from $400,000 to $1.6 million, Kalamazoo Habitat built its three-bedroom, 1,000-square-foot entry for less than $150,000. The design decisions that guide Kalamazoo’s building program are the work of Tom Tishler, the director of construction operations, who joined the program in 2008. At the time, the houses that the local chapter were building were Energy-Star-certified and had an average HERS Index of 78, meaning they were 22% more efficient that a code-complaint house, Beere writes. Now, Habitat Kalamazoo’s new homes get a HERS score of 50 or better. With certification from the Zero Energy Ready Home program, the houses should be able to hit net-zero performance with the addition of a renewable energy system (for example, a PV array). A push beyond Energy Star In a telephone call, Tishler said that the program had been building Energy Star homes until the Zero Energy Ready Home program came along. About the same time, Michigan updated its energy code, and Tishler realized that state codes and Energy Star weren’t all that different, meaning they had to try harder. “When I read through the Zero Energy Ready checklist, it was like we’re doing all but four things,” he said, “so it was not an easy jump, but it wasn’t a massive quantum leap for us, either. … We’ve always wanted to push a little big. We want to build really, really good homes for our homeowners.” The chapter built its first Zero Energy Ready home in 2015. Each of the four to six houses it builds each year are now built to that standard. Habitat for Humanity serves people without a lot of money, so low energy bills and high comfort makes an appealing package. For the prize-winning house, the Habitat crew built its own insulated concrete forms for the perimeter of the foundation with 2-inch thick foam donated by Dow, he said, and also placed 2 inches of foam under the slab. Walls are framed with staggered 2x4s, 24 inches on-center, on 2×6 top and bottom plates. Corners are reinforced with 1/2-inch CDX plywood, and the house is otherwise sheathed with 2-inch foam. The 5 1/2-inch thick walls cavities are insulated with 2 inches of rigid foam and R-13 fiberglass batts, for a total wall R-value of about 33. The roof is insulated with 18 inches of blown-in cellulose (the trusses have a 16-inch high energy heel). All penetrations through the ceiling are sealed with spray foam, Tishler said, an approach that has drastically reduced air leakage. A house the program just finished, for example, tested at 1.8 ach50 with a blower door. The house that won the award tested slightly higher than that. Tishler provided these additional building details: Windows: Pella 250 series with triple-pane argon-filled glazing (U-factor of 0.21 or 0.22). Siding: Vinyl attached with 3 1/2-inch long roofing nails driven through the exterior foam. Getting volunteers not to pound the nails too tightly into the foam can be a challenge, Tishler said, but the siding is easy to install and relatively inexpensive. Whole-house ventilation: A Venmar F8 heat-recovery ventilator provides 80 cubic feet per minute of fresh air. Tishler said that the program is likely to begin using a Broan model with slightly more capacity in the future (Broan has purchased Venmar). Although the Venmar unit provided enough outdoor air to meet ASHRAE recommendations, Tishler said he though the house might still be slightly underventilated. Domestic hot water: Navien model 150 gas-fired tankless. Gas-fired furnace over minisplit The house is heated with a gas-fired furnace made by Dettson, a Canadian company. That may come as a surprise to the many advocates of ductless minisplit heating and cooling systems, but Tishler had good reasons for the choice. Chief among them is heating capacity, or rather too much heating capacity. The program had been using Amana furnaces, but the smallest one they could find was rated at 30,000 Btu/h (21,000 Btu/h on low-fire), while the heating load at the house was just 13,000 Btu/h at a design temperature of 0° to 4°F. The “Chinook” model from Dettson modulates down to 5,000 to 6,000 Btu/h and comes with a fan that can run as low as 150 cubic feet per minute. The ductwork consists of an 8-inch round main trunk line that feeds 2 1/2-inch miniducts to individual rooms. The furnace runs almost continuously in winter. The heating contractor they use recently installed a Dettson system on a for-profit job for between $17,000 and $18,000. Although the furnaces aren’t cheap, Tishler said, the payback is quick, and the systems are very efficient. Last December, for example (the coldest December in Michigan in the last 75 years), a Habitat homeowner spent just $105 for heat and electricity. Tishler said that the Habitat chapter has used ductless minisplits in the past, with mixed results. “The big thing is the cost for the homeowner,” he said. “They’re super-efficient, but in the dead of winter the heating bills are outrageous. It’s so cold that those things are running continuously. The dirty little secret of those things is that they go into a defrost cycle. It’s like running a toaster, or a couple of toasters, nonstop 24 hours a day.” A family might get a heating bill for the month of $300. Summertime electricity use is very low, and a monthly budget plan might even out spikes like that. But when a low-income family gets a heating bill of $300, the result is “catastrophic.” The other issue with a ductless minisplit is uneven heat distribution, Tishler said. Homeowners complained that the main living area might be a balmy 70°F while bedrooms were a chilly 55°F. The program tried a number of fixes, including transfer grilles and using Panasonic bath fans to distribute warm air around the house. But in the end, switching to the Detttson furnace solved a lot of problems. Market cost of less than $150,000 Tishler said that they can build a house like the one that won the award for about $80,000. That figure does not include the $10,000 or so in donated materials that come from manufacturers such as Dow and Square D. And it doesn’t include a number for the volunteer labor the program gets, accounting for about 75% of the labor total. With that in mind, Tishler estimates the house could be built at market rates for under $150,000. Tishler said that he’s the kind of person who loves tinkering with WUFI software and actively looks for ways to make his houses better. He’s eyed the Passive House building standard, but recognizes that he probably won’t get all the way there on his very tight budget. The Kalamazoo program has been lowering the HERS scores for the houses it builds. The last house earned a score of 42. But, Tishler added, he’s becoming more focused on putting health, safety, and indoor air quality ahead of playing the “HERS point game.” “If your HERS rating is 5 points higher but we’re providing extra ventilation or something to help occupants’ health,” he said, “that’s the angle we’re taking now.”
“It’s an adjustment for us. We know that our chemistry will be a bit affected with Jio and Ping’s entry, but I need to do that for our future games,” he said. “The only way we’ll get their timing and chemistry back is for me to play them. It’s a small sacrifice we’re willing to take.”Star seeks to bounce back against fierce rival Ginebra on Sunday. LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH ‘Dehydrated’ Almazan taken to hospital after helping ROS win MOST READ View comments WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Read Next Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Star stared at a 20-point deficit, 32-52, midway in the third quarter but pulled to within three, 72-75, before Jericho Cruz restored order for Rain or Shine.Though the Elasto Painters, once again, brought the lead back up by 11, 88-77, with 1:29 remaining, the Hotshots refused to quit as Malcolm Hill, Paul Lee, and Allein Maliksi kept the team fighting up to the final buzzer.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“You can’t say anything else on how the players fought. It’s just that we’re not making our shots,” Victolero said, putting the spotlight on Star’s 38 percent shooting from the clip. “I also give credit to Rain or Shine’s defense because they were prepared for us.”Victolero also sees the game as a good building block for the Hotshots as they try to bring in Marc Pingris, who is recovering from a hip injury, and Jio Jalalon, who is fresh from Gilas Pilipinas duty in the 2017 Fiba Asia Cup, back in the lineup. Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses Marc Pingris. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netDespite losing for the first time this 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup, Star coach Chito Victolero remains upbeat seeing how his team fought back from a large deficit.“We’re okay. You can see that the players gave their best effort. Even if Rain or Shine led by 20, we still came back. It just so happened that we fell short in the end,” he said in Filipino after the Hotshots’ 88-92 defeat to the Elasto Painters on Sunday.ADVERTISEMENT Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC LATEST STORIES
Forget movies, it’s the clash of the trailers this season.According to a leading daily, come August 15, trailers for both movies – Aamir Khan’s PK and Shah Rukh Khan’s Happy New Year – will release. This reportedly, is also when Ajay Devgn’s Singham Returns hits theatres.The game only gets more tense considering both Khans last appeared in respective mega-grossers – Shah Rukh in Chennai Express and Aamir in Dhoom 3. Understandably, the two may already be planning a big launch for their respective movies’ trailers.Aamir Khan, Shah Rukh KhanInterestingly, Aamir’s PK is set to release on December 18, while Happy New Year will hit theatres on October 23. What plan does Aamir have up his sleeve this time?Remember back in 2008, when Shah Rukh’s Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi released on December 12? Aamir, whose movie at the time, Ghajini, was to release on Christmas, had usherers apparently sport the Ghajini hairstyle. Let the hunger games begin.
APTN National NewsOpposition MPs pounced on the Harper government following findings by the Office of Privacy Commissioner that Aboriginal Affairs and Justice Canada officials spied on First Nations children’s advocate Cindy Blackstock.Aboriginal Affairs was also recently called out for claiming the privacy watchdog didn’t plan on opening an investigation after receiving the department’s internal investigation in Blackstock’s allegations that federal officials were spying on her.APTN’s Annette Francis has this story.
Mahatma Gandhi’s India suddenly started hearing the clamour about Godse for reasons that must be dissected to comprehend the polity pushed to the brink of crumbling in this just-concluded election season. Nathuram Godse was a right-wing advocate of Hindu nationalism belonging to RSS whose fundamentalism drove him to plot Mahatma Gandhi’s murder (along with seven others) and shoot him down at point-blank range in New Delhi January 30, 1948. He believed that Gandhi favoured the political demands of India’s Muslims during the Partition. This ideology is a crucial takeaway: intolerance for demands of Indian Muslims and allowing them a kind of privileged status. The ghost of this ideology, irrespective of who endorses it, haunts the culture of Indian politics even today. Muslim appeasement is a potent tool in electoral politics. When an entire community is reduced to a count of votes, they are already violated and parenthesised for their religion. Development and upliftment do not figure in this scheme of affairs. On the flipside, intolerance for this approach can be rationalised for diversion of resources. Either way, at the receiving end is the vote-bank community that continually has games played upon it. From the very inception, Muslim appeasement was an incorrect approach to perpetuate. Had there been genuine assimilation, the unsettling issue of appeasement through preferential treatment and (supposedly) positive discrimination of a significant part of society would not have been a tough struggle today. Also Read – A strong standpointGodse walked into the picture with Kamal Hassan, while campaigning in Tamil Nadu’s Aravakurichi, when he said that “India’s first extremist was a Hindu”, referring to Nathuram Godse. Subsequently, 76 complaints are reported to have been received against him. At least two police complaints were filed against the actor-turned-politician and he was accused of “promoting enmity between different groups”. As expected, Hassan’s remark prompted sharp reactions from political parties. BJP and the ruling AIADMK said he was trying to “incite communal hatred in a Muslim-dominant area”. Tamil Nadu Minister KT Rajenthra Bhalaji, in reaction to this comment, said that Kamal Haasan’s “tongue should be cut off”. “Extremism has no religion, neither Hindu nor Muslim nor Christian,” he had said. It was also demanded that Makkal Needhi Maiam chief Kamal Haasan should be sacked for such a comment. The Election Commission also denied permission to Kamal Haasan for campaigning in Sulur after Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan, the state BJP chief, complained to the election body. On his part, Kamal Haasan denied the allegations and claimed that his speech was “misquoted with malafide intent”. He told the High Court that his comments on Nathuram Godse are a “historic fact”. He also said that in his seven-minute long speech, he had only attempted to explain that “extremists are in all religions” and that he was focusing on the need of “religious co-existence”. In agreement with Kamala Hassan, the comment on Nathuram Godse is indeed a historic fact and that extremism can exist anywhere irrespective of religion. Affirming this is the BJP’s controversial candidate from Bhopal, Pragya Singh Thakur, who praised Godse and hailed him a patriot. As is politically correct, she has been cornered by her fellow party members who are embarrassed by her senseless remark. Notwithstanding the level of discussions that has hit historical lows this time, peaceful co-existence and respect for difference and diversity are the needs of the hour.