Haiti’s Preval pledges elections for 2010

first_imgBy Dialogo April 15, 2010 Haitian President Rene Preval pledged in an interview with AFP to hold elections this year despite the massive difficulties of organizing a successful poll in his quake-devastated country. Legislative polls, originally set for February and March, were postponed after the January 12 earthquake that demolished the capital Port-au-Prince, killing more than 220,000 people and leaving 1.3 million Haitians homeless. Preval, who also served as president from 1996 to 2001, is constitutionally barred from seeking a third mandate. His current term expires in February 2011 and presidential elections are expected in December, though no firm date has been announced. Preval told AFP on Monday that he asked UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon “to send a technical team to evaluate the possibility to have elections with international standards in order for them to be credible.” Elections were important in order to “not leave a political vacuum” at the end of his mandate, he said. In the interview Preval urged Haitians to be patient during the reconstruction process. “This is the best way to help us help them,” he said.last_img read more

PREMIUMBicycle repair shops see orders jump to meet rise in commuters, lanes

first_imgbike-to-work bike-commuting commuting commuting-in-Jakarta cycling Bicycle repair shops are seeing more customers as a growing number of cycling enthusiasts benefit from the special lanes the Jakarta administration has built.Joko “Jack” Sulistio, a 40-year-old bicycle mechanic who has worked at Bredo Cycloworks since 2016, remarked that the workshop had seen a recent increase in customers seeking regular maintenance services – so much so that the shop sometimes had a long waiting list.Most of the repair shop’s customers are commuter cyclists, as it is located at City Plaza in Mampang Prapatan, South Jakarta.”A cooperative has been set up to facilitate employees who love cycling,” Jack told The Jakarta Post on Thursday, referring to people who work in the building. “Many of them have started commuting by bike…. LOG INDon’t have an account? Register here Log in with your social account Forgot Password ? Facebook Google Topics : Linkedinlast_img read more

Facebook’s dilemma: How to police claims about unproven COVID-19 vaccines

first_imgSince the World Health Organization declared the novel coronavirus an international health emergency in January, Facebook Inc has removed more than 7 million pieces of content with false claims about the virus that could pose an immediate health risk to people who believe them.The social media giant, which has long been under fire from lawmakers over how it handles misinformation on its platforms, said it had in recent months banned such claims as ‘social distancing does not work’ because they pose a risk of ‘imminent’ harm. Under these rules, Facebook took down a video post on Wednesday by U.S. President Donald Trump in which he claimed that children are “almost immune” to COVID-19.But in most instances, Facebook does not remove misinformation about the new COVID-19 vaccines that are still under development, according to the company’s vaccine policy lead Jason Hirsch, on the grounds that such claims do not meet its imminent harm threshold. Hirsch told Reuters the company is “grappling” with the dilemma of how to police claims about new vaccines that are as yet unproven. At the same time, free speech advocates fret about increased censorship during a time of uncertainty and the lasting repercussions long after the virus is tamed.Drawing the line between true and false is also more complex for the new COVID-19 vaccines, fact-checkers told Reuters, than with content about vaccines with an established safety record.Facebook representatives said the company has been consulting with about 50 experts in public health, vaccines, and free expression on how to shape its response to claims about the new COVID-19 vaccines.Even though the first vaccines aren’t expected to go to market for months, polls show that many Americans are already concerned about taking a new COVID-19 vaccine, which is being developed at a record pace. Some 28% of Americans say they are not interested in getting the vaccine, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted between July 15-21. Among them, more than 50% said they were nervous about the speed of development. More than a third said they did not trust the people behind the vaccine’s development.The UK-based non-profit Center for Countering Digital Hate reported in July that anti-vaccination content is flourishing on social media sites. Facebook groups and pages accounted for more than half of the total anti-vaccine following across all the social media platforms studied by the CCDH.One public Facebook group called “REFUSE CORONA V@X AND SCREW BILL GATES,” referring to the billionaire whose foundation is helping to fund the development of vaccines, was started in April by Michael Schneider, a 42-year-old city contractor in Waukesha, Wisconsin. The group grew to 14,000 members in under four months. It was one of more than a dozen created in the last few months, which were dedicated to opposing the COVID-19 vaccine and the idea that it might be mandated by governments, Reuters found.Schneider told Reuters he is suspicious of the COVID-19 vaccine because he thinks it is being developed too fast to be safe. “I think a lot of people are freaking out,” he said.Posts about the COVID-19 vaccine that have been labeled on Facebook as containing “false information” but not removed include one by Schneider linking to a YouTube video that claimed the COVID-19 vaccine will alter people’s DNA, and a post that claimed the vaccine would give people coronavirus. Facebook said that these posts did not violate its policies related to imminent harm. “If we simply removed all conspiracy theories and hoaxes, they would exist elsewhere on the internet and broader social media ecosystem. This helps give more context when these hoaxes appear elsewhere,” a spokeswoman said.Facebook does not label or remove posts or ads that express opposition to vaccines if they do not contain false claims. Hirsch said Facebook believes users should be able to express such personal views and that more aggressive censorship of anti-vaccine views could also push people hesitant about vaccines towards the anti-vaccine camp.‘It’s kind of on steroids’At the crux of Facebook’s decisions over what it removes are two considerations, Hirsch said. If a post is identified as containing simply false information, it will be labeled and Facebook can reduce its reach by limiting how many people will be shown the post. For example, it took this approach with the video Schneider posted suggesting the COVID-19 vaccine could alter people’s DNA.If the false information is likely to cause imminent harm, then it will be removed altogether. Last month, under these rules, the company removed a video touting hydroxychloroquine as a coronavirus cure – though only after it racked up millions of views.In March 2019, Facebook said it would start reducing the rankings and search recommendations of groups and pages spreading misinformation about any vaccines. Facebook’s algorithms also lift up links to organizations like the WHO when people search for vaccine information on the platform.Some public health experts want Facebook to lower their removal standards when considering false claims about the future COVID-19 vaccines. “I think there is a duty (by) platforms like that to ensure that they are removing anything that could lead to harm,” said Rupali Limaye, a social scientist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, who has been in talks with Facebook. “Because it is such a deadly virus, I think it shouldn’t just have to be ‘imminent.'”But Jacob Mchangama, the executive director of Copenhagen-based think tank Justitia who was consulted by Facebook about its vaccine approach, fears the fallout from mass deletions: “This may have long-term consequences for free speech when this virus is hopefully contained,” he said.Misinformation about other vaccines has rarely met Facebook’s threshold for risking imminent harm.However, in Pakistan last year, the company intervened to take down false claims about the polio vaccine drive that were leading to violence against health workers. In the Pacific island state of Samoa, Facebook deleted vaccine misinformation because the low vaccination rate was exacerbating a dangerous measles outbreak.“With regard to vaccines, it’s not a theoretical line … we do try to determine when there is likely going to be imminent harm resulting from misinformation and we try to act in those situations,” Hirsch told Reuters.To combat misinformation that doesn’t meet its removal criteria, Facebook pays outside fact-checkers – including a Reuters unit – who can rate posts as false and attach an explanation. The company has said that 95 percent of the time, people who saw fact-checkers’ warning labels did not click through to the content. Still, the fact-checking program has been criticized by some researchers as an inadequate response to the amount and speed of viral misinformation on the platforms. Fact-checkers also do not rate politicians’ posts and they do not judge posts that are exclusively in private or hidden groups.Determining what constitutes a false claim regarding the COVID-19 shot is much harder than fact-checking a claim about an established vaccine with a proven safety record, Facebook fact-checkers told Reuters.”There is a lot of content that we see and we don’t even know what to do with it,” echoed Emmanuel Vincent, founder of Science Feedback, another Facebook fact-checking partner, who said the number of vaccines in development made it difficult to debunk claims about how a shot would work.In a study published in May in the journal Nature, physicist Neil Johnson’s research group found that there were nearly three times as many active anti-vaccination groups on Facebook as pro-vaccination groups during a global measles outbreak from February to October 2019, and they were faster growing.Since the study was published, anti-vaccine views and COVID-19 vaccine conspiracies have flourished on the platform, Johnson said, adding, “It’s kind of on steroids.” Topics :center_img “There’s a ceiling to how much we can do until the facts on the ground become more concrete,” Hirsch said in an interview with Reuters, talking publicly for the first time about how the company is trying to approach the coronavirus vaccine issue.Tom Phillips, editor at one of Facebook’s fact-checking partners Full Fact, sees the conundrum this way: “How do you fact check about a vaccine that does not exist yet?”For now, misinformation ranging from unfounded claims to complex conspiracy theories about the developmental vaccines is proliferating on a platform with more than 2.6 billion monthly active users, a review of posts by Reuters, Facebook fact-checkers and other researchers found.The worry, public health experts told Reuters, is that the spread of misinformation on social media could discourage people from eventually taking the vaccine, seen as the best chance to stem a pandemic that has infected millions and killed hundreds of thousands worldwide, including 158,000 people in the United States alone.last_img read more

Layvin Kurzawa agrees deal to join Arsenal from Paris Saint-Germain

first_imgLayvin Kurzawa agrees deal to join Arsenal from Paris Saint-Germain Advertisement Metro Sport ReporterSaturday 18 Jan 2020 10:16 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link16.4kShares Layvin Kurzawa is set to join Arsenal on a free transfer (Getty Images)Layvin Kurzawa has reached an agreement to join Arsenal this summer, according to reports in France.The Paris Saint-Germain left-back is out of contract at the end of the season and would be available on a free transfer.The French champions are open to selling the 27-year-old during the January transfer window and Arsenal have held talks over a potential deal this month.But according to France Football, Kurzawa has now agreed a five-year contract with the Gunners and will join them in the summer.ADVERTISEMENT Layvin Kurzawa is out of contract at the end of the season (Getty Images)The report also claims that Mikel Arteta is a huge admirer of Kurzawa and has ‘repeatedly’ told Arsenal’s hierarchy to step up their efforts to sign him.AdvertisementAdvertisementInter were also interested in a deal for Kurzawa but the defender refused their approach and has opted to join Arsenal.More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityKurzawa was signed by PSG from Monaco for around £20 million in 2015 but the French defender has fallen down the pecking order and has started just six games in Ligue 1 this season.As he is out of contract at the end of the campaign, PSG have been demanding a fee between €5m and €7m (£4.2m – £6m) from Arsenal to complete a deal this month.More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenal Comment Advertisementlast_img read more

Time Machine: Syracuse defense comes through when needed most

first_imgEditor’s note: The article below is a republished story from The Daily Orange’s coverage of Syracuse and Wake Forest’s second matchup in football on Sept. 1, 2011.Kevyn Scott’s performance was a microcosm of the Syracuse defense.The senior got beat on a couple pass plays through the first three quarters. He had to leave the game in the third quarter with a leg injury. And later in that period, he took a bad angle on a quick hitch that allowed Wake Forest wide receiver Chris Givens to scamper down the sideline for a score.But, like the rest of his Orange teammates, he turned it around in the fourth quarter and overtime.‘I think Kevyn Scott, he showed resiliency,’ head coach Doug Marrone said. ‘He’s out there working, working. They win (some plays). Their receiver had a heck of a game in Givens. All of a sudden Kevyn Scott comes back with a great pick. That’s a fifth-year senior that never gives up.’AdvertisementThis is placeholder textScott picked off a pass late in the fourth quarter to deny the Demon Deacons a chance to win the game in regulation, as he and the rest of the SU defense pulled themselves together and defeated Wake Forest 36-29. The Demon Deacons torched Scott and the rest of the SU defense for 326 yards in the air and 406 yards total, but the fourth quarter belonged to the Orange.After the Syracuse ‘D’ showed no resemblance to the unit that ranked No. 7 in the country from a year ago for 45 minutes, the unit overcame exhaustion and injuries to make key stops in the fourth quarter.Scott in particular came up huge twice for the Orange.He cut in front of Givens to pick off a pass from quarterback Ted Stachitaswith less than five minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. Minutes later, on the last play of overtime, his blanket coverage sealed Syracuse’s come-from-behind win as he had perfect coverage to prevent a catch by Givens in the end zone.‘Usually, in the past, we get down and we give up,’ Scott said. ‘But those guys never gave up. I went down, (safety) Phillip Thomas went down, but we never gave up. We kept fighting.’Early on, some broken coverage led to big plays for Wake Forest that could have demoralized the SU secondary. It was Givens in particular that frustrated the Orange’s cornerbacks.He was left uncovered down the sideline on the Demon Deacons’ second possession for a 37-yard catch. Givens would have likely scored on the play had he not fallen down making the grab.In the second quarter, the junior receiver blew past Thomas for a 60-yard touchdown to put Wake Forest up 13-7. By halftime, he had already piled up 124 yards on just four catches.‘Givens, all respect goes to him,’ Scott said. ‘He’s a good receiver. He runs some solid patterns, and he got himself open.’The Demon Deacons held possession for over 20 minutes in the first half, whereas SU struggled offensively and repeatedly went three-and-out.That left an already weakened defense exhausted. Defensive end MikhailMarinovich threw up twice on the field. Three of the four starters in the secondary needed medical attention at some point during the game.’It was really tough,’ linebacker Marquis Spruill said. ‘Everybody was cramping. Then they had to throw (freshman cornerback Brandon Reddish) in for a little bit and everybody was like, ‘Oh, man.’ But everybody got back on track.’They didn’t get back on track, though, until the fourth quarter, when SU caught a break just before a Wake Forest field goal. SU defensive end Chandler Jones fell into the legs of Demon Deacons quarterback Tanner Price, knocking him out of the game.‘When the quarterback went down,’ Jones said. ‘I felt like that was our time to kick it up a notch and start to get this ball moving.’The Orange offense ignited itself and came back to tie the game, and the defense responded to suffocate the Demon Deacons and backup Ted Stachitas.SU held Wake Forest to just 37 yards of offense after Price left the game.Scott’s interception helped send the game to overtime, where SU got the ball first and scored.Wake Forest stalled at the 19-yard line and faced a fourth-and-four. And with Scott in one-on-one coverage with Givens on the outside, the Orange corner knew where the ball was going.Stachitas tried to squeeze a fade pass into Givens in the end zone, but Scott was in perfect position as the pass bounced away to seal the win.‘(Givens) was their guy,’ Scott said. ‘We were in man-to-man coverage. Last play of the game. And I seized the moment. I said, ‘Bring it on.’ And weprevailed.’ Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on September 10, 2015 at 11:17 pmlast_img read more