Laid off for implicating Emirates Airlines

first_img October 29, 2009 – Updated on July 21, 2016 Laid off for implicating Emirates Airlines United Arab EmiratesMiddle East – North Africa News Organisation to go further News RSF joins Middle East and North Africa coalition to combat digital surveillance RSF_en Follow the news on United Arab Emirates Help by sharing this information United Arab EmiratesMiddle East – North Africa center_img The exclusive account of Courtney C. Radsch, a US journalist who recently lost her job at the Al Arabiya news website (www.alarabiya.net) in the United Arab Emirates for posting information about safety violations by the national air carrier, Emirates Airlines. “ On Sunday Oct. 4 one of my reporters asked me if we could write about a report on safety concerns at Emirates Airlines following a report about pilot fatigue. Since the report was from a respected Australian paper based on a Freedom of Information Request (FOIA) for a report from the FAA (Federal Aviation Authority) and I assessed that the story was newsworthy and in the public interest. We sought and received a response from the airline which we featured in the lede and devoted an entire section of the story to. The story was on the site for about 4 hours before I received a call from Dawood al-Shirian, the manager of AlArabiya.net, telling me to remove the story from the site.He provided no explanation and I refused to remove the story without a discussion about its merits explaining that to do so would compromise my journalistic principles. I have built a reputation as a journalist based on my professionalism, credibility and refusal to compromise on journalistic standards. I spoke with Nakhle al-Hajj, who had also expressed concern over the story, but was willing to discuss its merits. He asked me if I had spoken to a pilot or anyone else who could corroborate some of the issues in the report and I agreed to do so and add this to the story. I asked whether if I were to do that it would alleviate the need to remove the story. I interviewed an EA employee on the record anonymously who confirmed that fatigue among pilots and crew was a problem and that the airline was not adhering to the required rest time between legs and I added this to the story. I hoped that this would assuage Dawood’s concerns and attempted to call him 15 times, sent 2 text messages and an email but never received a response. He refused to take my calls and told the Arabic editor, when he called on my behalf, that he was in a meeting. I spoke to my Arabic colleagues and they explained that they had been told a few months ago not to publish anything about the airline. This had never been conveyed to me or my English team and I told them this. As it turns out the head of Emirates Airlines is also the head of the aviation authority and an al-Maktoum, a member of the ruling family. About 6 hours after posting the story I agreed to take it down out of concern for my and my fellow journalist’s personal safety (it was a dual byline story). We did not want to land in jail or be fined, which according to the new media law, was a real possibility. I decided that if Al Arabiya was unwilling to standup for what’s right and publish an important article that I was not willing to go to jail for Al Arabiya. But an hour later we saw that Gulf News, considered a state mouthpiece that provides guidance on which stories are acceptable to publish, and Arabian Business had both published articles about the report and the airline’s denial. I called Dawood, got no answer, and texted him to let him know that other Emirati papers had published the story. I got no response. I wanted to put the story back up, but I did not have access to the CMS at home and did not want to ask my fellow reporter to put her neck on the line. The next day when I got into the office I emailed him to express my disappointment that a critical story with major pubic safety implications had not been published. The media plays an important role in putting the spotlight on companies that are not abiding by regulations or are cutting corners that put the public at risk. About an hour later I was requested to attend a meeting with Dawood and the head of Human Resource where I was informed that I had been “made redundant” effective immediately. They said the English website was being “restructured.” Less than 24 hours after publishing the story I had lost my job and have 30 days from the cancellation of my work visa to leave the country. Residency visas in the UAE are tied to one’s job. Upon termination the employee provides the visa for cancellation to the company and is given 30 days to leave the country. If you have paid rent in advance – most landlords require rent be paid in one to four checks meaning that one has paid for at least 3 months at a time – then you will loose your money, since there is no protection for such cases and there would be no time to go to court“.She left the UAE today. RSF joins other NGOs in amicus brief in WhatsApp suit against NSO Group Receive email alerts News NSO Group hasn’t kept its promises on human rights, RSF and other NGOs say News June 8, 2021 Find out more April 28, 2021 Find out more December 23, 2020 Find out morelast_img read more

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Paddy Power gets ‘supersized’ for Trump Inauguration

first_img Related Articles Paddy Power raises awareness of Missing People with Motherwell ‘silhouette’ stand August 7, 2020 StumbleUpon Flutter moves to refine merger benefits against 2020 trading realities August 27, 2020 Share Ahead of this Friday’s US Presidential Inauguration, bookmaker Paddy Power has loaded up an array of Donald Trump betting specials.Seeking to recover some of its six figure losses on Trump’s surprise 2016 US Election victory, Paddy Power opens it ‘supersized’ Inauguration Day markets offering 11/1 for Trump’s first Presidential speech to last 22:30 minutes or longer. Further markets, see the Irish bookmaker price 5/4 on Trump mentioning his catchphrase ‘Make America Great Again’. Paddy Power marketing details value in Trump mentioning ‘Fake News’ at 10/1 and even prices Trump berating ‘Crooked Hillary’ at 50/1.Paddy Power is also paying attention to which celebrities will brave turning up to the Trump Inauguration. Rapper Kanye West tops the bookmakers market at 3/1, with wrestling icon Hulk Hogan offered at the same price.Not shying away from fashion gossip, Paddy Power has priced 12/5 on Melania Trump wearing a white dress ‘to match her new home’. Opening its supersized Inauguration Day specials, Paddy Power spokesman Patrick ‘Paddy’ Power commented; “Trump has had so many celebs turn down his invite to the big party I genuinely thought I might get the call-up. Alas, it hasn’t happened so I’ll be tuning in from home and I’m hoping for some serious entertainment.”“Controversy is never far away when it comes to The Donald and it will be fascinating to see if he can keep tight-lipped during his hotly anticipated inauguration speech.”To view all Paddy Power ‘Inauguration Day’ markets click here… Bakhshi and Shaddick launch ‘Art of the Possible’ podcast tracking US 2020 developments August 10, 2020 Submit Sharelast_img read more

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Chelsea said to be leading Man Utd and Man City in race for Roma star

first_imgChelsea are favourites to sign Roma defender Mehdi Benatia despite interest from Manchester United and Manchester City, the Express claims.Bayern Munich are also said to be interested in the Morocco international, who has been touted as a possible replacement for David Luiz at Stamford Bridge.The Express also reports that Chelsea are favourites with bookmakers to sign France international Antoine Griezmann from Real Sociedad.Griezmann, 23, is apparently rated at £25m and also wanted by Liverpool.There continues to be speculation that Chelsea could pip Arsenal to the signing of Real Madrid midfielder Sami Khedira.Reports in Spain suggest Blues boss Jose Mourinho telephoned Khedira and urged the Germany star, who played under him at Real, to snub the Gunners and move to west London instead.Meanwhile, reports in Kenneth Omeruo’s native Nigeria suggest QPR – who are set to sign Rio Ferdinand and are also in talks with Steven Caulker – are interested in taking the centre-back on loan.Omeruo ended last season on loan at Middlesbrough and the Championship club are keen for him to return to Teesside.For more transfer speculation, including John Mikel Obi being linked with a move to Italy, see this morning’s Paper Talk.See also:Mikel linked with move to Italy and Van Aanholt tipped to move onFollow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

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Africa’s first biofuel flights take off in South Africa

first_imgHistory was made in mid-July. Africa’s first sustainable biofuel powered flights successfully flew between Johannesburg and Cape Town.The South African Airways (SAA) and Mango Boeing 737-800s used biofuel to power their engines on 15 July 2016. The fuel is made from a tobacco plant cultivated in Limpopo. Under Project Solaris, the plant, also named Solaris, produces small leaves, flowers and seeds which are crushed to extract a vegetable crude oil. It is a nicotine-free, hybridised tobacco plant.Growing the crops locally had contributed to the country’s National Development Plan of economic and rural development, said Musa Zwane, SAA’s acting CEO. He also noted that the project had established a regional bio jet fuel supply chain, something of which we could be proud.Nico Bezuidenhout, Mango CEO, echoed Zwane’s pride. “The project also shows how, when various role players come together and collaborate, success is imminent,” he said.Environmental impactThe World Wildlife Fund South Africa (WWF-SA) said the aviation industry was one of the fastest growing sectors but it was also responsible for much of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.Biofuels could play a key role in the move of the aviation industry from using hydrocarbon fuels.“These are fuels manufactured from oils, sugars and biomass from plants, rather than from fossil fuels,” the organisation said of biofuels. “Because plants remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere biofuels typically can reduce the emissions from flights by between 25% and 75%.”It noted a study from the Stockholm Environmental Institute which estimated that “biofuels could feasibly reduce aviation’s emissions by as much as 9% between 2020 and 2035, while still being produced in a responsible manner”.While the biofuel industry is tiny at present, concerns have been raised about the land used to harvest these plants, water consumption and other agricultural impacts. WWF-SA and the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) are studying the sustainability of biofuel crops.“This means factoring in the population growth and agricultural demand within the region [since the displacement of food crops has been a key concern of first-generation biofuels], the protection of endangered species and critical ecosystems, and the securing of essential water resources as the climate changes.”Project Solaris has RSB certification.WWF-SA’s James Reeler said: “By using RSB-certified feedstock, SAA has demonstrated its concern with not only reducing its carbon footprint, but also ensuring that the biofuel supply chain reduces other social and environmental risks.”Project Solaris received RSB certification in September 2015 for producing the crop in line with the RSBs global standard. It is a GMO-free plant that yields significant amounts of sustainable oil.RSB is an independent global multi-stakeholder coalition that works to promote the sustainability of biomaterials. Its certification scheme verifies that biomaterials are ethical, sustainable and credibly sourced.South Africa.info reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using SouthAfrica.info materiallast_img read more

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The hills are alive…

first_imgThe beauty of the Eastern Cape: rolling hills near Msikaba.  By Anne Taylor18 October 2013Science and Technology Minister Derek Hanekom is in the Eastern Cape today to officially hand over Mdavuza Senior Primary School to the Qumbu community today. As he made his way to the school, the minister couldn’t help himself from tweeting about the beautiful Eastern Cape landscape:The Mdavuza Senior Primary School is one of the schools built through the Accelerated Schools Infrastructure Delivery Initiative (Asidi), an extension of the broader Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission. The objective of Asidi is to address infrastructure backlogs in the country – especially inappropriate, unsafe and mud schools.Mdavuza school was built at a cost just under R10-million. It has new classrooms, a multimedia centre, a library, a science laboratory and a computer laboratory.Follow Derek Hanekom on Twitter: @Derek_HanekomRead more on SouthAfrica.info: Eastern Cape schools roll-out continueslast_img read more

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Lightworks for Windows: Your Next Video Editing App?

first_imgAfter months of anticipation, Lightworks is out of beta and sees it’s full Windows release.Although many new editors may not recognize the Lightworks name, they’ll surely be familiar with some of the popular films cut on this video editing application – Hugo, The Kings’s Speech, The Departed, Braveheart and Pulp Fiction to name a few.  Lightworks was originally created in 1989, during the dawn of digital non-linear editing, but when Avid and Final Cut Pro usage exploded, the hardware/software based Lightworks took a backseat.That may soon change though, with the recent release of Lightworks for Windows, an open-source video editing application “designed for editors, by editors.”  The new Lightworks is a full featured video editing application that includes the following features:Drag and drop timelineResolution and codec independent (mix and match formats)AutoSync trimmingMixed format multicam editingSupport for 3D / stereoscopic workflowsPowerful metadata and media management toolsAutosave projectsA dedicated editing console is one of the foundations of the Lightworks system.  All of the well-known feature films to date that were cut on Lightworks have utilized this editing console.  A paddle and hotkeys allow you to use the console to complete most common editing functions.  It can be purchased separately from the Lightworks store for $2,800.Lightworks seems to really excel in project sharing capabilities with the ability to share media, bins and edits with controlled permissions.   These realtime collaboration features work with any network storage, and make Lightworks a good solution for larger post production environments.Lightworks for Windows is free, but a pro version is also available for $60. Lightworks Pro offers additional features, format support and inclusion in the Lightworks Pro Community.  Be on the lookout for Mac and Linux versions…slated to be released later in 2012.  As many editors transition from Final Cut Pro 7 to other applications it will be interesting to see if Lightworks has what it takes to shake up the video editing market.Get more information and download Lightworks at lwks.comlast_img read more

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Kidambi Srikanth striving for consistency ahead of Denmark Open Super Series Premier

first_imgAce Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth has expressed his desire to win every single match he plays as he looks forward to make a winning start in the Denmark Open Super Series Premier, which begins on Tuesday.”Nothing much has changed, everything’s still the same and I want to win every match I play,” Srikanth told ANI.Srikanth will start as hot favourite, following three back-to-back final appearances out of which he won two titles at Indonesia and Australia.The 24-year-old, who will head into Denmark Open as eighth-seed, had also made two quarterfinal finishes at Glasgow World Championship and Japan Open.Now, he would be looking to add another title into his account when he opens his campaign in Denmark against a qualifier.Talking about his strategy, Srikanth insisted that he is looking forward to reduce his easy mistakes and make a plan according to his opponent.”I think I learned to play confidently and those wins definitely gave me a lot of confidence. There’s no set strategy and I want to plan according to my opponent. I want to be more consistent and reduce easy mistakes,” Srikanth said.If Srikanth manages to cross the first two rounds, he might face a familiar foe in World Champion and local favourite Viktor Axelsen in the quarter-finals of Denmark Open.Besides Srikanth, B Sai Praneeth and HS Prannoy will also be seen in action in the men’s singles events.Rio Olympics and World Championship silver medalist PV Sindhu will kick start her campaign against world No. 10 China’s Chen Yufei, while Saina Nehwal will be looking for her first Super Series win in 16 months when she faces fifth-seeded Spaniard Carolina Marin in the opening round.advertisementMeanwhile, Indian men’s doubles pairs of Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy as well as Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty are also in the fray.In women’s doubles event, the Indian duo of Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy will also look for a good outing, while Satwiksairaj and Ashwini, who made it to the semi-finals of the Dutch Open last week, will also aim to continue their good run.last_img read more

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a month ago​Arsenal keeper Leno moves into esports

first_img​Arsenal keeper Leno moves into esportsby Ian Ferrisa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveArsenal keeper Bernd Leno has reportedly made the move into esports by setting up his own FIFA 20 team, reports, www.sportspromedia.com/.According to Bild, the stopper has put together a squad made up of two professionals and three up-and-coming players to compete for Leno eSports. TagsPremiership NewsAbout the authorIan FerrisShare the loveHave your saylast_img

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2 days agoFerdinand: Man City winger Sterling among world’s top five players

first_imgFerdinand: Man City winger Sterling among world’s top five playersby Paul Vegas2 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveRio Ferdinand says Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling is one of the top five players in football.The 24-year-old netted his first Champions League hat-trick in Tuesday’s 5-1 win over Atalanta.”We are running out of great words to say about him,” England and Manchester United legend Ferdinand said on BT Sport.”He is a young English player who has played a lot of games. He is still improving and adding more to his game. He has a striker’s nose to get into certain areas.”He is in the top five players in the world now. Definitely! I don’t care who you mention. The effect he is having, the goals he is scoring, it is impossible to keep him out.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

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In a record year the movie theatre strikes back

first_imgNEW YORK — The movie theatre was dead, they said. After ticket sales slumped in 2017 , due largely to the worst summer season in more than a decade, pundits far and wide predicted the hastening demise of moviegoing, an inevitable casualty to the rise of streaming.This year, the movies flipped the script.This weekend, as “Aquaman,” ”Bumblebee” and “Mary Poppins Returns” arrive in theatres, ticket sales will reach a new record for the year, passing the previous 2016 high of $11.4 billion. Driven in part by zeitgeist-grabbing cultural events like “Black Panther,” ”Crazy Rich Asians” and even documentaries like “Won’t You Be My Neighbour?” the box office is expected to end up around $11.8 billion for the year. The overall domestic gross is up nearly 9 per cent from last year; ticket sales are up about 6 per cent.And it’s not just in North America. Propelled by Chinese moviegoers, global ticket sales should, for the second time ever, exceed $40 billion. Saudi Arabia declared itself open for business to Hollywood, after more than 35 years without theatres. In the United Kingdom, cinemas are headed to their best year since 1971.“This year serves to confirm that the movie theatre business is strong and growing in the long term, even though it can be cyclical in the short term,” said John Fithian, president of the National Organization of Theater Owners, the trade organization known as NATO. “Last summer of 2017, when there just weren’t very many movies coming out that had any traction, we confronted the inevitable story about the impending death of the movie theatre business. And we said back then: It’s all about short-term product supply.”“We knew that once the movies came back, we would be fine,” said Fithian.Even in a year where “Star Wars” flopped, the hits have indeed returned, even if they’ve come from some predictable places. All of the year’s top 10 movies were either sequels, reboots or based on a comic book. Even this year’s Oscar front runner, “A Star Is Born” ($376.6 million worldwide and counting for Warner Bros.), is a remake. The top three films of the year — “Black Panther,” ”Avengers: Infinity War,” ”Incredibles 2″ — all come from market-leader Disney, which is also in the process of gobbling up 20th Century Fox.But there were some less likely hits, too. Mid-budgeted films like “Bohemian Rhapsody,” ”Halloween,” ”Creed II” and the year’s bestselling original movie, “A Quiet Place,” had a significant role in driving the record box office. For the first time ever, four documentaries — “RBG,” ”Free Solo,” ”Three Identical Strangers,” ”Won’t You Be My Neighbour” — each cleared $10 million. Surprise successes — a franchise-birthing “Spider-Man” spinoff (“Venom”), a well-reviewed “Transformers” movie (“Bumblebee”) — outnumbered the disappointments (“Skyscraper,” ”Robin Hood”).Above all, the movies were often in the centre of the cultural conversation, never more so than with the history-making “Black Panther,” which became the third-highest grossing domestic release ever ($700.1 million) not accounting for inflation.Hollywood executives say the year has demonstrated that 2017 was an aberration.“When the experts out there were talking about the end of theatrical moviegoing, I just didn’t buy that to begin with,” said Jim Orr, distribution chief for Universal Pictures, which had hits in “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom,” ”The Grinch” and “Halloween.” ”It was just some scheduling moves that happened along with some movies that just underperformed. People want to go out. They want the social experience. They want to be in theatres. And we proved that exponentially this year.”The box-office rebound came in a year during which Netflix launched its most ambitious original movie slate, premiering some 70 new films. Though Netflix this fall relented to a degree by playing three of its films (“Roma,” ”The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” and “Bird Box”) exclusively in theatres before premiering on its streaming service, Netflix and exhibitors remain at odds over the benefits of the traditional theatrical window.Yet there is a growing sense that Netflix may not be public enemy No. 1 for movie theatres, after all. In 2018, Netflix has gained millions of subscribers, just as movie theatres have surged. Co-existence is possible. Last month, a NATO survey found that 33 per cent of moviegoers who see nine or more movies a year also spend 15 hours per week on streaming platforms.“We have maintained for years that streaming in the home is not taking away from the moviegoing experience,” said Fithian. “If anything, streaming in the home is damaging other forms of home entertainment. Cable television, for example. DVD sales, for example.”Streaming will only be more omnipresent in 2019, when Disney and Warner Bros. are set to debut their own Netflix-like services. But both studios remain resolutely devoted to exhibition and in releasing some of their biggest releases in traditional slow periods on the calendar. The year’s biggest movie, “Black Panther,” opened in February. Three of Warner Bros.’ top performers — “The Meg,” ”Crazy Rich Asians” and “The Nun” — benefited from the typically quiet dog-days of summer.“There were some really good movies that were spread out through the year,” said Jeff Goldstein, Warner Bros. distribution chief. “That’s the real takeaway: Make good movies, people will come.”But disruption is still at the door. Subscription services remade the moviegoing experience, led by the swift rise and fall of MoviePass, which took credit for the box-office revival before its inexpensive pricing structure proved unsustainable. MoviePass ran out of cash, repeatedly revamped its business model and descended into chaos, lawsuits and even a fraud investigation.The box office still chugged along (Fithian calls MoviePass’ impact “overblown”) and other subscription services (notably one by AMC , the world’s largest chain) entered the fray.Other threats to the movie theatre loom. When Disney’s acquisition of Fox is made official, there will be one less major studio in Hollywood. Further consolidation is expected, something Fithian grants “poses a challenge” for exhibitors that depend on a steady supply of movies. But he pointed to others that have picked up the slack: STX, Annapurna, A24, Bleecker St., Amazon and Apple, which last month partnered with A24 for a slate of films.Whether 2019 will continue the box-office trend or see a repeat of last year will come down, as it always does, to the movies. Analysts are bullish, predicting another record-setting year thanks to a Disney-heavy lineup including sure-fire blockbusters “Avengers: Endgame,” ”Captain Marvel,” ”Frozen 2″ and “Star Wars: Episode IX.”“On paper, that year is going to make this year look like small potatoes,” says Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for Comscore.Of course, similar predictions were made for 2017, too. That’s the problem with movie scripts. They can always be rewritten.___AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr contributed to this report.___Follow AP Film Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jakecoyleAPJake Coyle, The Associated Presslast_img read more

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