The Church Pension Fund Invests $20 Million in Impact Investment Fund Designed to Preserve Workforce Housing Communities Nationwide Church Pension Group Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR Bags of food are piled ready for distribution at St. Jude’s Episcopal Church in Fenton, Michigan, where a spring break meal ministry served about 400 students on March 28. Photo: St. Jude’s[Episcopal News Service] Spring break is a big deal at St. Jude’s Episcopal Church. Each year for more than a decade, the congregation in Fenton, Michigan, has organized a food distribution ministry on the first Saturday of the break, offering a week’s worth of free food to hundreds of families who rely on free and reduced-cost school lunches to help keep their children fed while school is in session.Those students have never experienced a spring break like this one, with the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting both instruction and vacation, but on March 28, St. Jude’s served up its spring break lunch program as promised – with a healthy helping of social distancing to go with its bags of food.“Normally, we set the church hall up like a grocery store, if you will,” outreach coordinator Dave Rayner told Episcopal News Service by phone. This year, all the food was bagged in advance by church volunteers, and the bags were distributed, one family at a time, to about 400 students in three area school districts.This is the 12th year that Rayner, 67, and his wife, Denise Rayner, have led the team of St. Jude’s volunteers in this feeding ministry in Fenton, a city of 11,000 about 20 minutes south of Flint and about an hour northwest of downtown Detroit.They usually start in January purchasing nonperishable food items at steeply discounted prices from the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan, of which St. Jude’s is a member agency. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is another source of inexpensive food. It is all stored in a basement room at the church.St. Jude’s then coordinates with the three school districts to inform families that food will be available at the church at the start of spring break. Since the congregation can’t contact the families directly, the districts distribute invitation letters on behalf of St. Jude’s. This year, nearly 1,800 letters went out, inviting about 4,000 students.Then the coronavirus outbreak hit. Cases across the United States grew exponentially in March, now topping 150,000. More than 5,000 of those cases were reported in Michigan, particularly in Detroit, and at least 158 have died in the state, according to The New York Times.School closings are widespread in the country, as public officials advocate social distancing precautions to slow the spread of the virus. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ordered all schools in the state to suspend in-person instruction at least through April 13, and it’s “very unlikely” they will return to classes this school year, she said March 27.School districts in Fenton have continued to offer lunches to students who qualify for free or reduced-cost lunches through bagged meal distribution outside schools on school days. To bridge the gap during spring break, St. Jude’s adjusted its ministry to follow public health guidelines.Because large public gatherings can accelerate transmission of the virus, the four Episcopal dioceses in Michigan have suspended in-person worship services, and smaller gatherings also risk spreading the virus. In the past, 20 to 25 volunteers would gather at St. Jude’s to sort the food for distribution, Rayner said, but “this year with the social distancing guidelines, you couldn’t do that all at once.”Instead, he broke the work into shifts with smaller groups, and unless the volunteers were in the same family, they were required to work at least 6 feet apart, as recommended by health experts. The volunteers, one at a time, moved the food from the storage room to tables in the parish hall, where they were each assigned to a table to assemble bags of food, while wearing rubber gloves.Among the items included were peanut butter, jelly, spaghetti, soup, cereal, raisins, applesauce, rice and tuna. Additional bags contained household items, such as laundry detergent, paper towels, shampoo and toothpaste.Because of the multiple shifts, “It took two or three days to do all of that,” Rayner said.On distribution day, a rainy March 28, Rayner again kept his groups of volunteers small. The five people in charge of setup installed canopy tents and patio umbrellas outside a side door of the church to incorporate 6-foot distancing into the queueing system for families who would be picking up food. A table was placed just inside the door, and bags for the families were placed there for pickup.Volunteers prepare bags of food for pickup at St. Jude’s Episcopal Church in Fenton, Michigan, during the congregation’s annual spring break meal ministry on March 28. Photo: St. Jude’sAnother shift of volunteers worked from 9 a.m. to noon, with four volunteers filling additional bags and a fifth volunteer carrying them to the distribution table. A sixth person recorded the number of families coming for food. A similar shift of volunteers worked from noon to 3 p.m.The congregation also took requests for food delivery, and two drivers brought bags to those families at home and left them outside their doors.No verification was required, Rayner said. “Our view has been for several years now: If you need food, you get food,” he said.Rayner said the families who picked up food followed the social distancing recommendations without complaint, and they seemed upbeat and thankful. In the face of a growing public health crisis, he feels the community coming together to support each other.“Despite the fact that we’re in pretty crummy times, everybody everywhere wants to help,” he said.That help went beyond the church volunteers who turned out for the March 28 food distribution. A local bakery and restaurant, Crust, had to close to all but takeout and delivery orders, but it offered 100 loaves of bread for the spring break meal program at St. Jude’s. It also allowed St. Jude’s to store cartons of eggs in an unused cooler at the restaurant.Rayner also received a last-minute donation from Oakland University. The assistant athletic director called him and offered 350 cartons of chocolate milk, which had been purchased for a swim meet that later was canceled.Now, St. Jude’s is building on its annual spring break ministry and will begin April 4 with a weekly distribution of smaller bags of food: a can of soup, a box of cereal, granola bars – enough to get the students through the weekends, while the schools continue to distribute lunches on weekdays.– David Paulsen is an editor and reporter for Episcopal News Service. He can be reached at [email protected] Seminary of the Southwest announces appointment of two new full time faculty members Seminary of the Southwest Health & Healthcare Rector Martinsville, VA Cathedral Dean Boise, ID Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT Director of Administration & Finance Atlanta, GA Associate Priest for Pastoral Care New York, NY Assistant/Associate Priest Scottsdale, AZ Press Release Service Rector (FT or PT) Indian River, MI In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 Ya no son extranjeros: Un diálogo acerca de inmigración Una conversación de Zoom June 22 @ 7 p.m. ET Director of Music Morristown, NJ Course Director Jerusalem, Israel Featured Events Curate (Associate & Priest-in-Charge) Traverse City, MI Rector Washington, DC Rector Bath, NC New Berrigan Book With Episcopal Roots Cascade Books Rector Collierville, TN 400 students served by spring break feeding ministry as Eastern Michigan church adjusts to pandemic COVID-19, Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET Remember Holy Land Christians on Jerusalem Sunday, June 20 American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem Rector Albany, NY Family Ministry Coordinator Baton Rouge, LA Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Hires Reverend Kevin W. VanHook, II as Executive Director Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Youth Minister Lorton, VA Rector Hopkinsville, KY Rector Tampa, FL The Church Investment Group Commends the Taskforce on the Theology of Money on its report, The Theology of Money and Investing as Doing Theology Church Investment Group Rector Pittsburgh, PA Canon for Family Ministry Jackson, MS Priest-in-Charge Lebanon, OH Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC Rector Shreveport, LA Rector Belleville, IL Featured Jobs & Calls Curate Diocese of Nebraska Submit a Press Release Tags Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ This Summer’s Anti-Racism Training Online Course (Diocese of New Jersey) June 18-July 16 Associate Rector Columbus, GA Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL Rector/Priest in Charge (PT) Lisbon, ME An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET Associate Rector for Family Ministries Anchorage, AK Rector Smithfield, NC Virtual Celebration of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center Zoom Conversation June 19 @ 12 p.m. ET By David PaulsenPosted Mar 30, 2020 AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis TryTank Experimental Lab and York St. John University of England Launch Survey to Study the Impact of Covid-19 on the Episcopal Church TryTank Experimental Lab Missioner for Disaster Resilience Sacramento, CA Submit an Event Listing Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DC Submit a Job Listing Join the Episcopal Diocese of Texas in Celebrating the Pauli Murray Feast Online Worship Service June 27 Food and Faith, Rector Knoxville, TN
Free webinar for job seekers on best interview answers, hosted by Goodwill June 11 Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Mike Gilland is Operations Manager for The Shepherd Radio Network, a group of radio stations in Florida that features the “Christian Teach/Talk” format. Mike hosts a daily talk radio show in the 2 PM hour called “Afternoons with Mike”, talking to local pastors and newsmakers. In Orlando, The Shepherd is heard on WIWA, AM 1270. In addition to his broadcast experience, Mike spent 36 years in full-time ministry as a pastor and worship leader. As a guitarist, Mike performs at concerts, restaurants, private parties, etc. He is married to Cindy, the father of four grown children and grandfather to seven grandchildren. Share on Facebook Tweet on Twitter The Anatomy of Fear InspirationBy Mike GillandThis past September, Cindy and I celebrated 43 years of marriage – and I couldn’t love her more. We celebrated at one of our favorite restaurants…what a delightful memory we enjoyed.Such occasions always cause me to think back to those first years in our marriage. Our first anniversary was celebrated with the purchase of our first home. It was a very old bungalow-style house, built-in 1930 and set in a neighborhood of much older couples. Many of our neighbors had lived in their homes for over 30 years, including our next-door neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. Brown. We quickly fell in love with them, and later when our children were born, they became “Nan and Po” to both our kids…and to us.A couple of months after moving in to our home, I was preparing to leave for work. Mr. Brown caught me and commented that one of my plants could use a trim. He wondered if I would like for him to prune it back for the winter. I thought it was a delightful and hospitable offer! At that point in my life as a young homeowner, I really didn’t know what kind of tree it was (it was actually a Crape Myrtle, and it had been shaped to be more like a tree). I told him to have at it and expressed my appreciation. In my mind, I thought that cutting back and rounding those limbs would be a great thing. What a neighbor! But…I had no idea what was coming…As I pulled into our driveway that night, there was enough light outside to see that my little tree had been cut back…WAY back. In fact, there seemed to be very little of it left! All that remained was the “trunk”, and nubs for where the branches used to be. I was shocked, disappointed and confused. Why would my neighbor do that? I wondered if he had made one bad cut, and then decided to whack it all down? The next morning, I saw him outside, and mustered up as much grace and tact as my youthful experience knew, and asked him about the “trim” that left my tree looking more like a dead stick. He read my concerns, and then smiled, assuring me that what he did was what the plant needed. He explained that Crape Myrtles have to be pruned back each year, in order for them to maintain their shape and form. It was hard for me to understand that such a radical pruning could be a good thing, but time proved him to be exactly correct.I have thought about that experience many times over these years, especially when God would cut back an area of my life. Often, my first response would be identical to how I reacted when I first saw my tree. I would be shocked at the circumstances and confused as to why God allowed something like that to happen. But very soon I would see the wisdom in His actions, and grateful for those radical cuts, the pruning that was designed by the Lord, to bring greater growth in my life.Feature photo by Fran Hogan on Unsplash. You have entered an incorrect email address! Please enter your email address here Please enter your comment! Please enter your name here TAGSInspirationMike GillandThe Shepherd Radio Network Previous articleThe circle of life is an endless storyNext articleGroups sue to protect Florida Panther from deadly road projects Denise Connell RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR LEAVE A REPLY Cancel reply Support conservation and fish with NEW Florida specialty license plate
Architects: Randy Brown ArchitectsText description provided by the architects. This AIA National Housing Award recipient was designed by Randy Brown Architects for Hidden Creek—their eco-friendly development. Crabapple is an eco-friendly home that offers incredible views of the adjoining wildlife preserve. It also features a home movie theatre and access to walking trails. Project description, images, and drawings after the break. Save this picture!Courtesy of randy brown architectsRecommended ProductsPorcelain StonewareApavisaSlabs – ConcreteCoffee tablesBoConceptMadrid Coffee Table AD23CompositesULMA Architectural SolutionsPolymer Concrete Facade in Vertical Slat HomeRandy Brown Architects was challenged to create a new type of suburban housing development that responds to both the demands of single-family homebuyers and addresses the problematic nature of sprawling cookie cutter housing developments. 12 homes have been designed that offer an affordable modern eco-friendly environment.Save this picture!Courtesy of randy brown architectsProject gallerySee allShow lessKew Gardens Hills Library / WORKacArticlesDesign and Virtual Reality Educational Complex / OIII architectenArticles Share Projects “COPY” ShareFacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsappMailOrhttps://www.archdaily.com/115666/crabapple-randy-brown-architects Clipboard ShareFacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsappMailOrhttps://www.archdaily.com/115666/crabapple-randy-brown-architects Clipboard CopyHouses•Omaha, United States ArchDaily Houses “COPY” Crabapple / Randy Brown United States Crabapple / Randy BrownSave this projectSaveCrabapple / Randy Brown Save this picture!Courtesy of randy brown architects+ 16 Share CopyAbout this officeRandy Brown ArchitectsOfficeFollowProductConcrete#TagsProjectsBuilt ProjectsSelected ProjectsResidential ArchitectureHousesDabasOmahaWoodHouses3D ModelingUnited StatesPublished on February 28, 2011Cite: “Crabapple / Randy Brown ” 28 Feb 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 12 Jun 2021.
9 total views, 1 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis Breast cancer “chic” outshines other cancers Howard Lake | 9 April 2001 | News A report from Macmillan Cancer Relief confirms that breast cancer has the highest media visibility. A report from Macmillan Cancer Relief confirms that breast cancer has the highest media visibility. A tribute largely to the successful work of Breakthrough Breast Cancer, it can nevertheless mean that the 200 other cancers are not accorded sufficient public attention.Read The biggest C by Anita Chaudhuri at SocietyGuardian. Advertisement About Howard Lake Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world’s first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of GoodJobs.org.uk. Researching massive growth in giving.
Added 17 November 2014:[youtube height=”450″ width=”800″]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1jeiC-JEsI[/youtube] 181 total views, 2 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis3 Tagged with: Celebrity charity single christmas music About Howard Lake Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world’s first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of GoodJobs.org.uk. Researching massive growth in giving. Charity singles that are aiming to raise funds and reach the number one spot in the Christmas 2014 charts are starting to appear.1. God Only KnowsBBC Children in Need is benefiting from a version of The Beach Boys’ 1966 song ‘God Only Knows‘. It was recorded by 27 singers, musicians and performers, together with the BBC Symphony Orchestra.[youtube height=”450″ width=”800″]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XqLTe8h0-jo[/youtube] Howard Lake | 12 November 2014 | News The single costs 99p and is available on iTunes. 3. Steadfast[youtube height=”450″ width=”800″]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5dszSU0tcA[/youtube]Steadfast has been released by Classic FM to raise funds for Global’s Make Some Noise, a charity backed by the radio station that helps children and young people with problems such as physical and mental disabilities, cancer and bereavement.It was composed by the station’s composer-in-residence Howard Goodall and includes performances from singers Katherine Jenkins, Alfie Boe and Laura Wright, from Milos on the guitar, and Myleene Klass on the piano. Presenter John Suchet also takes part on his trombone. 6. Do They Know It’s Christmas 30[youtube height=”450″ width=”800″]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0D2stoT0k0A[/youtube]Band Aid is back to mark the 30th anniversary of this fundraising campaign, and with a new roster of singers.One Direction will be joining in, as will Bono (who will sing the same line he sang in the 1984 version), and Ed Sheeran, Emili Sande.This will be the fourth recording of the single. This time the funds raised will be used to counter the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.The recording will take place on 15 November with the single on sale two days later. Bob Geldof described the new single as “the worst kept secret in the world” at a press conference in London. 4. Real LoveTom Odell’s cover of John Lennon’s Real Love is the soundtrack to John Lewis’ Christmas TV advert featuring #MontyThePenguin. All proceeds of the CD sales will be donated to WWF’s Adopt a Penguin programme.[youtube height=”450″ width=”800″]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iccscUFY860[/youtube] Have we missed any charity singles aiming for the top spot this Christmas? Let us know in the comments below. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis3 There is also an app (on iOS and Android). The app is free to download but you then have to make a one-off donation in order to access the content. 2. Say SomethingActor Samuel L Jackson has called in a few favours from musicians to record a single to raise funds for One for the Boys, a men’s health charity that he supports.The single will be a cover of A Great Big World’s hit Say Something. Musicians and performers said to be involved include Sir Paul McCartney, Tinie Tempah, Paloma Faith, and Jennifer Hudson. 7. All Together NowThe Peace Collective. Photo: James SharrockThe team behind 2012’s Christmas No.1 by The Justice Collective are producing a new version of The Farm’s 1990 hit ‘All Together Now’ which will raise funds for the British Red Cross and the Shorncliffe Trust.The song will be performed by music performers and young footballers from the Premier League, performing as ‘The Peace Collective’. It is being executively produced by Suggs (who produced the 1990 original) and Mick Jones of The Clash.It is designed to mark 100 years since the Christmas Day Truce on the Western Front during the First World War.It will be released on 15 December. 8. Wake Me UpChoirmaster Gareth Malone has assembled an “All Star Choir” to record Avicii’s Wake Me Up which will be the official BBC Children in Need single for 2014.Actresses Alison Steadman and Linda Robson perform together with John Craven, Jo Brand, Larry Lamb, Fabrice Muamba and others.[youtube height=”450″ width=”800″]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ghScc6KDD0[/youtube] 8 charity singles competing for the 2014 Christmas number one 5. TryWaitrose’s Christmas TV advert uses a version of Dolly Parton’s Try which was recorded by members of the public who responded to the Donate Your Voice appeal.All profits from the sale of the song will be divided between Age UK, The Trussell Trust, and Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital.[youtube height=”450″ width=”800″]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypQh8uZ8pSo[/youtube] Advertisement
At the end of 2017, millions around the world celebrated the near defeat of Daesh (ISIS/ISIL/IS) by the Syrian Arab Army and its allies as heralding the end of the genocidal U.S.-led war against Syria. It certainly was a turning point in the war, but many feared that the imperialist powers and their allies couldn’t afford to lose the linchpin of their strategy to destabilize West Asia.At that time obvious dangers still remained, including thousands of U.S. soldiers occupying parts of Syria, a Turkish presence in northern Aleppo, pockets of other contra groups, and ceaseless Israeli aggression. Developments in 2018 have proved these fears well founded, with a new shift, imposed by escalations on the part of the imperialists, taking place.On Jan. 19 Turkey announced Operation Olive Branch, expanding its invasion of Syria from northern Aleppo into Afrin using mercenaries and contras backed by auxiliary support from the Turkish army and airforce. Turkey’s stated goal is to destroy the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), who they claim pose an existential threat to Turkey. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated that Olive Branch may encompass all of northern Syria. “From Manbij, we will continue our struggle up to the border with Iraq, until no terrorist is left.” (trtworld.com, Jan. 26)Many analysts insist that this brings Turkey into direct conflict with its NATO ally the United States. However, there is no evidence to suggest that the U.S. didn’t coordinate this aggression with Turkey, and the U.S. has done nothing to put real pressure on Turkey. It appears the U.S. was simply using the SDF to keep former Daesh land out of Syrian hands. Now that Daesh is marginalized and the rest of the contra groups are on the ropes, the U.S. is handing the SDF over to Turkey so that more contras can flood into Syria.Turkey was a primary supporter of Daesh and likely still fulfills that role. Syria’s President Bashar Al-Assad rejected the concept that Turkey’s role has changed in an official statement. “The brutal Turkish aggression on the Syrian town of Afrin cannot be separated from the Turkish regime’s policy from the first day of Syria’s crisis, which was essentially built on supporting terrorism and terrorist organizations, whatever their names.” (presstv.com, Jan. 21)Where the oil isU.S.-led coalition jets bombed pro-government forces near Deir ez-Zor in Eastern Syria on Feb. 7. Reports vary widely on the number of casualties, from a few dozen to hundreds. Corporate media openly bragged about claims that Russian private military contractors were killed in this attack, but according to Russian foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova it was not hundreds but just five Russian nationals. (24-my.info, Feb. 15)The U.S. was quick to blame Russia and Syria for deaths caused by the bombardment, claiming that the SDF was being attacked and the U.S. was acting in self-defense. (cnn.com, Feb. 8) Even if the SDF were under direct threat by Syrian forces, the U.S. has no right to strike Syrian soldiers. In fact, according to international law the U.S. has no right to be in Syria. Suspiciously this attack occurred in the same region where U.S. airstrikes on the besieged Syrian Arab Army killed over 100 soldiers and laid the basis for a Daesh offensive in 2016, which exposed the U.S. role as the de facto airforce of Daesh. (foxnews.com, Sept. 17, 2016)The attack by coalition jets on Feb. 7 near Deir ez-Zor marks the most serious direct aggression against Syria by the U.S. since Tomahawk cruise missiles were launched at Syrian airfields last April. In this most recent aggression, the U.S. used the SDF, which it is allowing Turkey to attack in Afrin, as a hollow pretext for the massacre.This part of Syria holds most of its oil resources. The Pentagon’s willingness to maintain an aggressive occupation of this area exposes part of the reason the U.S. is in Syria in the first place. The Russian Foreign Ministry, often reluctant to level accusations, could not help but point this out in the aftermath of the airstrikes. “The true aim of the illegal presence of American forces on Syrian territory is not the fight against the Islamic State,” but the “capture and retention of economic assets.” (nytimes.com, Feb. 8)Israeli jet shot downIn a completely unprecedented move, Syria shot down an Israeli military jet targeting its territory on Feb. 7. Israel has violated Syrian airspace throughout the entire war, bombing wherever it pleases without military retaliation. It has also directly supported contra groups from the occupied Golan Heights in southern Syria. This is the first time Syria has shot down an Israeli jet since the 1982 war on Lebanon. In doing so, Syria has exposed Israeli vulnerability.One of Syria’s most important allies, the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah, declared the downing of the Israeli jet the “start of a new strategic phase.” (english.almanar.com, Feb. 10) This defensive action by the Syrian state must also be put in the context of increased Israeli aggression toward Lebanon. Israel has been building fortifications inside south Lebanon and has been challenging Lebanese airspace on a routine basis.Hezbollah has grown exponentially more powerful in the years since Israel suffered defeat at its hands in 2006. While Israel may feel it must confront Hezbollah sooner rather than later to prevent Hezbollah from becoming too strong to defeat, Israel is extremely timid in confronting this challenge to its occupation of Arab lands. Syria’s willingness to challenge Israeli air superiority at this decisive moment poses huge risks to Israel’s plans in the Levant.Syria fights imperialist escalation Despite these escalations, Syria and its allies are continuing to push for liberation and the territorial integrity of Syria. Syria sent 2,000 volunteer soldiers from the National Defense Forces (NDF) militia into Afrin on Feb. 19 to fight Turkey alongside the SDF. As the convoy of volunteers entered Afrin it was immediately shelled by Turkey. (english.alarabiya.net, Feb. 20)Subsequent convoys into Afrin have also been shelled following the deployment of the pro-government NDF. (reuters.com, Feb. 23) Turkey’s president has promised to lay siege to Afrin: “Preparations in the field take some time. In the coming days we will lay siege to Afrin city. It’s very important that everywhere we go remains secure.” (rt.com, Feb. 20)In the midst of confrontation between Syria and Turkey, the U.S. led the charge against Syria with claims that the Syrian government was creating a humanitarian disaster in the Damascus suburb of eastern Ghouta.The offensive in eastern Ghouta led by the Syrian government is an effort to stabilize the area around Syria’s capital. Death squad groups use Ghouta as a base for attacks against Damascus, killing hundreds of civilians with indiscriminate shelling. Jaish al-Islam, the biggest contra group in the region, has been holding hundreds of thousands of civilians hostage for a number of years.The U.S. is using this offensive to distract the corporate media from U.S. abandonment of the SDF in Afrin and Syria’s stepping up to defend it. The diplomatic pressure on Syria also consistently serves as an attempt to justify imperialist occupation.The imperialists are in a massive struggle to shift the correlation of forces back in their favor. The war against Syria is potentially in its most dangerous phase, with powers that once fought only through proxies now increasing their direct aggression against Syria and its allies.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare this
News RSF’s recommendations for protecting press freedom during Côte d’Ivoire’s elections Côte d’IvoireAfrica May 26, 2011 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Newspaper executive freed amid reprisals against pro-Gbagbo media The 2020 pandemic has challenged press freedom in Africa Organisation Reports Help by sharing this information to go further Receive email alerts Reporters Without Borders is relieved to learn that Nina Bolou, the personnel director of the company that publishes the daily Le Temps, was freed on the evening of 24 May after being arrested in the morning by forces loyal to President Alassane Ouatarra and questioned about her work for the newspaper, which supports former President Laurent Gbagbo’s Ivorian Popular Front (FPI).The press freedom organisation reiterates its condemnation of her arrest, which resembled an abduction and seemed designed to intimidate all the staff of a newspaper that is due to resume publishing in the next few days. It is unacceptable that news media should be the target of reprisals because of their support for Gbagbo.Her arrest coincided with the news that Sylvain Gagnetaud, a pro-Gbagbo presenter on Radio Yopougon and a leading member of the Organization of Côte d’Ivoire Professional Journalists, was murdered in the Abidjan suburb of Yopougon in early May.—————25.05.2011 – Pro-Gbagbo journalist murdered, newspaper hounded as reprisals continueReporters Without Borders is shocked to learn that Sylvain Gagnetaud, a journalist who openly supported former President Laurent Gbagbo’s Ivorian Popular Front (FPI), was killed two weeks ago in Yopougon, a suburb of Abidjan, which has seen frequent post-election violence and clashes in recent months between pro-Gbagbo militiamen and forces loyal to President Alassane Ouattara.Deputy editor and presenter at Radio Yopougon and a leading member of the Organization of Côte d’Ivoire Professional Journalists, Gagnetaud was arrested during a sweep by pro-Ouattara forces through the Yopougon neighbourhood of Koweït on or around 8 May and was executed soon afterwards along with youths suspected of being militiamen, several different sources say.This devastating development has fuelled concern about the future of the media in Côte d’Ivoire. Despite the encouraging reappearance of opposition newspapers, journalists and media that remained loyal to Gbagbo throughout the post-election violence continue to be hounded by the country’s new authorities. Nina Bolou, one of the directors of Cyclone, the company that publishes the opposition daily Le Temps, was arrested by armed men at the newspaper yesterday. She had gone there with a lawyer and a court official to survey the damage from an attack on its premises several weeks ago. Le Temps was due to resume publishing in the next few days.“We are very disappointed to see that the situation continues to be very tense and delicate for many journalists and that reprisals are becoming more frequent,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The ability of the security forces to shed light on Gagnetaud’s murder will be a test for the newly-installed authorities. We urge the judicial system to identify and try those who were behind this journalist’s murder in order to end the impunity. We also call on President Ouattara’s government to keep its promises and to create the conditions for a free and independent press.”After Gbagbo’s ouster, Radio Yopougon was attacked and set on fire on the night of 13 April and Gagnetaud had tried to flee Yopougon, where fierce fight was taking place. Precise information about the circumstances of his arrest and death is not available. News Côte d’IvoireAfrica October 29, 2020 Find out more News November 27, 2020 Find out more Follow the news on Côte d’Ivoire October 16, 2020 Find out more Threats against journalists in run-up to Côte d’Ivoire’s presidential election RSF_en
Democracies need “reciprocity mechanism” to combat propaganda by authoritarian regimes Organisation June 2, 2021 Find out more April 27, 2021 Find out more Receive email alerts Reporters Without Borders called for the urgent release of two journalists against whom it said there was “a crying lack of evidence” as both trials were separately adjourned on 22 February 2006.The authorities agreed to a one-month adjournment of the trial of New York Times contributor, Zhao Yan, at the request of his lawyer Mo Shaoping so that the file could be re-examined.Simultaneously, the file of The Straits Times journalist Ching Cheong, who has been in prison since April 2005, was sent back to the State Security Department for a more thorough investigation.The press freedom organisation also called on the international community to campaign for the two.Shaoping, speaking for his client Zhao Yan – a 2005 Reporters Without Borders press freedom laureate, said, “We have asked the court of appeal for several witnesses to be brought to court as well as a revision of the conclusions of the investigation report.”He said he thought the journalist’s trial would begin before 20 March, even though no date had yet been confirmed.Zhao, who has been under arrest since 20 October 2004 for “divulging state secrets” and “fraud”. He is falsely accused of having revealed the political retirement of Jiang Zemin to his newspaper before the official announcement.On the same day, the prosecutor in charge of the case of Hong Kong journalist, Ching Cheong, decided to send his file back to the State Security Department for it to produce further evidence. This step means the trial will be delayed for at least one month.”In the Zhao Yan and Ching Cheong cases, the authorities, and in particular the State Security Department, seem to be having the greatest difficulty in demonstrating the guilt of the accused,” said Reporters Without Borders.Paul Lai, spokesman for the journalist’s campaign group of friends and former colleagues, said he thought it was a good sign that the file had been sent back to State Security. However it did not at all mean that it would not come back to the court, he added.For the time being, the journalist has refused to sign the investigation report prepared by State Security, and his detention without trial is a violation of Chinese legal procedure.First held on 22 April 2005 and put under arrest on 5 August, he is accused of spying for Taiwan. He faces life imprisonment for “endangering national security”.Reporters Without Borders supports the initiative of Hong Kong lawmakers, including Allen Lee, to take Ching Cheong’s case before the National People’s Congress which is to be held in Beijing in March.The organisation has also jointly launched a petition for his release in conjunction with the Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA). It has already been signed by more than ten thousand people. Reporters Without Borders called for the immediate release of journalists Zhao Yan and Ching Cheong after both their trials were adjourned for a last least one month on 22 February 2006, because of a lack of real evidence against them. ChinaAsia – Pacific News Follow the news on China News China: Political commentator sentenced to eight months in prison RSF_en March 12, 2021 Find out more News News China’s Cyber Censorship Figures ChinaAsia – Pacific February 22, 2006 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Trials of Zhao Yan and Ching Cheong adjourned for lack of evidence Help by sharing this information to go further
UK Counter-Terrorism Bill threatens press freedom and the protection of journalistic sources News RSF_en Help by sharing this information Nine organisations call on House of Lords to amend threatening Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Bill United KingdomEurope – Central Asia JihadismFreedom of expressionJudicial harassment With support from Doughty Street Chambers, RSF provided briefings for both the House of Commons and House of Lords, outlining press freedom concerns in specific clauses, and recommending that they be amended or struck from the bill. RSF also joined a group of broader freedom of expression and human rights NGOs in calling for amendments to the bill.A number of the measures RSF advocated were reflected through amendments. Specifically, journalistic protections were added to Clauses 3 and 4, which pertained to the criminalisation of the repeated viewing of extremist content online, and the designation of ‘no-go’ zones overseas, which now will not apply to journalists. However, a number of problematic clauses remained, including Clause 1, pertaining to expressions of support for a proscribed organisation; Clause 2, which criminalises the publication of certain images of clothing or other items; Clause 7, which significantly increases maximum sentences connected with expression and the collection and dissemination of information; Clause 13, providing for increased powers to enter and search home addresses; and Clause 21 and Schedule 3, which give authorities new powers to stop, question, search, and detain persons at ports and borders to determine whether someone is engaged in overly broadly defined “hostile activity”.“We welcome the inclusion of specific journalistic exemptions in some clauses of the bill, which would have created ‘no-go’ zones for journalists and otherwise restricted their ability to do their jobs. However, other provisions of the bill remain threatening to the protection of journalistic sources and broader press freedom, which is worrying indeed given other ongoing legislative moves that could further restrict press freedom in the UK”, said RSF UK Bureau Director Rebecca Vincent.The adoption of this legislation takes place against the backdrop of an overall worrying climate for press freedom in the UK. Another problematic bill, the Crime (Overseas Production Orders) Bill, is in the final stages of parliamentary debate, and could put journalists’ data at risk. At the same time, a recent proposal by the government intelligence organisation GCHQ, would force an encryption backdoor, further threatening journalists’ ability to communicate securely and guarantee source protection.The Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Bill will take effect once it receives Royal Assent.The UK is ranked 40th out of 180 countries in Reporters Without Borders 2018 World Press Freedom Index. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) welcomes the inclusion of journalistic protections in specific clauses of the UK Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Bill, but remains concerned about the press freedom implications of a number of problematic provisions that were retained in the final version of the bill. The bill passed after a ‘ping-pong’ debate between the House of Commons and House of Lords, which reached final stages on 22 January 2019. July 6, 2018 Find out more RSF urges House of Lords to amend Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Bill to protect press freedom Receive email alerts United KingdomEurope – Central Asia JihadismFreedom of expressionJudicial harassment to go further Reports October 26, 2018 Find out more Organisation Follow the news on United Kingdom October 8, 2018 Find out more News News February 5, 2019 New UK Counter-Terrorism legislation contains some journalistic protections, but threatens press freedom