News RSF_en News Reporters Without Borders today urged the Pakistani authorities to act effectively to protect Kamal Asfar, journalist on the magazine Ash-Sharq (The East), who yesterday escaped a murder attempt. His brother, journalist, Aamir Wakil, was killed in Rawalpindi on 24 January 2009.“I am lucky to be alive today”, Asfar told the worldwide press freedom organisation. Two bearded men had fired several shots at his car near Kundyali in the Kohat district on Sunday, he said.“I was returning to Rawalpindi when a white car overtook us and tried to make us pull up. Two armed men turned towards us and opened fire. They first time they fired I didn’t stop. Then they shot again shattering the windscreen. I lost control of the vehicle and we left the road. Luckily we got out safely”, Asfar said, adding that he had reported the attack to police in Ghumbat, Kohat district.Asfar said he thought the attack may have been motivated by articles he wrote recently about the Pakistani Taliban in Ash-Sharq. He had also reported on religious parties, Kashmir and the situation in Afghanistan, he said.Police have made no arrests in connection with the murder of his brother Wakil (see the release) but Asfar said he had given two names of suspects – both hired killers – to the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) which they had passed on to the interior ministry.“Faced with the determination of the killers, the local and federal authorities should take the necessary steps to protect Kamal Asfar”, Reporters Without Borders said. “If the killers can target two brothers, both of them journalists, it is because they feel they can act with an impunity which has unfortunately become the rule in Pakistan”.Read the previous press release Help by sharing this information Receive email alerts PakistanAsia – Pacific June 2, 2021 Find out more Follow the news on Pakistan Pakistani supreme court acquits main suspect in Daniel Pearl murder Pakistani TV anchor censored after denouncing violence against journalists PakistanAsia – Pacific April 21, 2021 Find out more Organisation News Pakistani journalist critical of the military wounded by gunfire February 2, 2009 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Brother of murdered journalist escapes attempt on his own life News to go further January 28, 2021 Find out more
RSF_en October 22, 2004 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Journalism in the service of a totalitarian dictatorship Reports As doubt persists on North Korea’s “zero” coronavirus cases, RSF urges for transparency A Reporters Without Borders fact-finding mission learned that dozens of journalists have been re-educated or sent to camps for spelling mistakes or misquoting an official. Under Kim Jong-il’s direct control, the news media disseminate mind-numbing propaganda. The only way to get non-governmental news is to tune into the Korean-language broadcasts of foreign radio stations, but in North Korea, all radio and TV sets are pre-set and blocked onto the state media frequencies. Campaigns North KoreaAsia – Pacific Related documents Report North Korea in englishPDF – 407.18 KBPress release in chinesePDF – 63.38 KBPress release in koreanPDF – 109.38 KB North KoreaAsia – Pacific November 18, 2019 Find out more “Without independent journalism, this would be the news” – RSF’s new ad Receive email alerts to go further News News Organisation Follow the news on North Korea Journalists face archaic sanction of capital punishment in some parts of the world July 6, 2020 Find out more For the past three years, North Korea has come last in the Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières) worldwide ranking of countries by respect for press freedom. Yet, amid an international crisis linked to Pyongyang’s intransigence about its nuclear military programme, some observers have seen a cautious opening. Some international news media have even talked of a “Pyongyang spring.” What does this mean for press freedom?The information gathered from former North Korean journalists and from South Korean and international experts during a Reporters Without Borders fact-finding mission to South Korea shows there have been no positive changes for the news media, which are all controlled by the single party and, some say, by Kim Jong-il in person. The word “reform” has indeed been used very occasionally by the media, but the regime continues to feed the population the same mind-numbing propaganda.Journalists are press-ganged by the party into implementing a “permanent information plan,” which sets a strict hierarchy for media work. The first priority is publicising the greatness of Kim Il-sung and his son Kim Jong-il. Then comes demonstrating the superiority of North Korean socialism, denouncing imperialist and bourgeois corruption, and criticising the invasion instinct of the imperialists and Japanese.In this report, entitled “Journalism in the service of a totalitarian dictatorship,” Reporters Without Borders reveals that at least 40 journalists have been “revolutionized,” that is to say re-educated, for such “journalistic errors” as misspelling a senior official’s name. Others have been sent to concentration camps where some 200,000 North Koreans are held. This is what happened to TV journalist Song Keum Chul, who disappeared in 1996 for questioning the official version of certain historic events.The only non-governmental news sources are foreign-language radio stations which broadcast in the Korean language. But radio and TV sets in North Korea are pre-set and blocked to State media frequencies and those who listen to foreign radio stations risk imprisonment. At the end of 2003, the party launched a campaign to check radio sets, which have been designated as the “regime’s new enemies.”Reporters Without Borders calls on the international community to focus on the need for respect for the right of North Koreans to diverse news and information. April 1, 2020 Find out more Help by sharing this information
THE ECONOMIST: The wrong answer Facebook WhatsApp TAGSeconomyenergygasmarketsoilRay Perryman BusinessRay Perryman Pinterest By M. Ray Perryman – May 23, 2021 Ray Perryman is the head of The Perryman Group and serves as a distinguished professor at the International Institute for Advanced Studies. Texas recently opted out of federal unemployment compensation related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the $300 weekly supplement. The reason often given is that there are as many job openings as there are Texans receiving benefits, with the implication being that people will now be more eager to enter the workforce.This talking point seems thoroughly ensconced in our political rhetoric, and is unlikely to be dislodged. Nonetheless, it simplifies and obfuscates a much more complex issue. There are certainly some people choosing not to work at least partially because of the added benefits, but the limited available evidence suggests that their numbers are relatively small.Many job openings are indeed going unfilled. Recall, however, that there were widespread shortages before the pandemic. In early 2020 (pre-COVID), there were far more job openings in Texas than unemployed workers, despite the fact that 1.1 million undocumented people went to jobs every day. This situation reflects demographic patterns which haven’t materially changed.One inescapable aspect of this phenomenon is the aging of the baby boomers. We will be confronting a labor shortage throughout the decade and beyond, and reducing unemployment benefits won’t alter this trend. There are also skills mismatches; the abilities of workers and the requirements of jobs are frequently not in sync.Additionally, some workers continue to have safety concerns. With mask guidance still somewhat unclear and a mix of vaccinated and unvaccinated people in most workplaces, it will take time for these concerns to abate. Evidence suggests that this issue is quite significant.Another factor is the changing dynamics of many families, including remote school. Moreover, childcare is difficult to obtain and expensive. Employment in childcare remains below pre-pandemic levels and needs have escalated, suggesting that Texas requires additional capacity.Beyond these constraints is the issue of affordability, which was a problem before the pandemic. A 2018 study found average costs in Texas of center-based care of $1,080 per month for infants and $690 for toddlers, while home-based childcare was $840 for providers meeting minimum requirements. Based on federal standards, childcare is considered affordable if it costs 7 percent or less of household income ($437 based on median income for Texas). Quality varies across programs, with smaller class sizes and well-compensated teachers costing twice the average. In such circumstances, it is not surprising that staying home is often a better financial option. Correspondingly, those not reentering the workforce are disproportionately female.The solutions will ultimately involve investments in education and training, more affordable and available childcare, sensible immigration reform, and other notable initiatives. Eliminating an essential source of relief for many individuals and families under unprecedented circumstances will pose additional challenges, while not dealing with the real problem. Stay safe! WhatsApp Twitter Twitter Pinterest Facebook Previous articleGARDENING: Take a pro-active approach to conserve pollinatorsNext articleMASTER GARDENERS: Butterfly magnet a staple on any Texas pollinator plant list M. Ray Perryman
2SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Mark Arnold Mark Arnold is an acclaimed speaker, brand expert and strategic planner helping businesses such as credit unions and banks achieve their goals with strategic marketing insights and energized training. Mark … Web: www.markarnold.com Details Typically, individuals and businesses start the new year by taking an assessment of where they stand and setting challenges for the next 12 months. This could mean an exercise regimen for an individual or some new product initiative for a retailer.Why not get started early and begin that progressive thinking now, in the last few days of the year?An established business maxim goes something like this: “If you’re not experiencing failures, you’re not taking enough risks.”While this is not an open admonishment to fail, it is a terrific reminder that if we’re not trying new things, we’re not likely to experience either the learning aspect of failure or the success aspect of achievement. To challenge your credit union before the new year even starts, ask yourself a similar question: “Is our credit union taking enough risks to be successful in the rapidly changing financial retail environment?”Only you know the answer to this question. However, there are three key areas in which most credit unions could easily look to establish whether or not they are taking enough risks.Marketing: Are you pushing the envelope in reaching both members and potential members? Are you trying new things and using new tools to emotionally impact and persuade members to become a part of your credit union experience?If not, it’s likely you’re not taking enough risks in marketing. A terrific way to assess your current marketing risk-taking status is with a marketing audit. A marketing audit takes a deep-dive look at your entire marketing array, including traditional collateral materials, digital marketing, your website, as well as mystery shops of both your own branches and those of your competitors. A marketing audit provides both strategic and tactical recommendations to help ensure your marketing machine is well-oiled, efficient and taking enough risks to be successful.Member Experience: Are you confident you have your finger on the true pulse of what your members need and expect? If not, you’re likely not taking enough risks when it comes to your member experience.A great method to help better define, deliver and measure the success of your member experience is by going through a journey mapping exercise and subsequent member experience training. By doing this, you help ensure you are providing a member experience that offers clarity, consistency and constancy at all points of contact (including every branch, in the drive-throughs, via phone and email, etc.).Journey mapping and member experience training empower all staff to interact with each other (internal culture) and with members (external culture) in such a way that builds both camaraderie and deeper, more meaningful ties. Journey mapping and member experience training transforms all your employees from task-driven worker bees into culture-evangelizing brand ambassadors.Strategic Planning: Is your credit union taking enough risks when it comes to strategic planning? Even if your strategic planning session had already been completed this year, it’s never too early to think about next year. Many credit unions run the risk of slouching into a “strategic planning rut,” either sticking to what is safe and secure or setting up plans that far exceed practical reality (bandwidth, resources, etc).Setting your sights higher on a different kind of strategic planning session is a calculated and necessary risk. Your next planning session must accomplish progressive goals like engaging all participants to speak up, establish an actual strategic plan (and not just a glorified “to-do” list) and, critically, introduce the element of fun into the process. You’re not likely to accomplish much of any real strategic importance at your session unless you’re having fun as a group. Reaching out to a facilitator that can help achieve these goals can help put the zing back into your strategic planning sessions and empower the entire process.Taking risks can be scary. Taking risks is also necessary for success. Microsoft took a huge risk when it through its Xbox at the dominant video game platform in Sony’s Playstation. Apple gambled big when it decided to take on the cell phone world. Uber rolled the dice when it took on the entire taxi cab industry. Risks can pay big.What risks will your credit union take in the coming months and years?