first_img Receive email alerts Covid-19 emergency laws spell disaster for press freedom News El SalvadorAmericas Organisation Reporters Without Borders has mixed feelings about the guilty verdicts and sentences ranging from four to 30 years in prison that a court in San Salvador passed yesterday on 11 of the 31 people, mainly gang members, who were tried for the September 2009 murder of Franco-Spanish documentary film-maker Christian Poveda .“The sequence of events and the immediate motive seem clear but was a two-day trial sufficient to establish exactly who did what and to shed light on all the unexplained aspects of this case?” Reporters Without Borders said. “Did it reconstruct the entire story of what happened between Poveda and the young people who appeared in his film? And why was there such a big difference between the sentences requested by the prosecutors and those handed down?”The press freedom organization added: “We greet this verdict with a mixture of relief and frustration. It marks a victory in the fight against impunity but as an attempt to establish the truth, it may have been too hasty.”As instigators and perpetrators of Poveda’s murder, alleged gang leaders Luis Roberto “El Tiger” Vásquez Romero and José Alejandro “El Puma” Melara were each sentenced to 30 years in prison while a female associate, Keiry Geraldina Mallorga Álvarez, was given a 20-year sentence on a charge of complicity.Seven alleged gang members – Javier Amilcar Fuentes, Daniel Cabrera Flores, Juan Anastacio Jiménez, José Mateo Cruz, Armando Rivera, Carlos Peraza and Salvador Peraza – and a former policeman, Juan Napoleón Espinoza Pérez, were each sentenced to four years in prison on criminal association charges.The prosecution had requested 50-year jail terms for 30 defendants on charges of aggravated homicide, instigation and conspiracy, and 56 and a half years for Espinoza, the former policeman, on a charge of criminal association. Two other suspects were never found.Unanswered questionsThe testimony given during the two-day trial and reported in the Salvadoran press should be treated with considerable scepticism. Furthermore, the special court began the trial behind closed doors and did not allow journalists to attend until the second day.Poveda was accused of breaking his promise to provide financial help to the members of the “Mara 18” gang in exchange for being allowed to film them for 16 months for his documentary, La Vida Loca. The gang also allegedly felt betrayed when a pirated DVD version of the film began circulating. They claimed that Poveda had promised not to release the film in El Salvador and to edit out a couple of scenes that were compromising for some of the gang’s members.There is no longer any way of establishing whether Poveda really did promise La Vida Loca’s protagonists any financial aid. Claims of this kind are unfortunately often made to discredit a victim. The pirated DVD does not seem to be a credible motive inasmuch as Poveda had no interest in seeing a version of his film circulated and sold without his agreement. Who pirated it and with what purpose are questions that have yet to be answered.These developments clearly undermined the trust that had previously existed between Poveda and the gang members but fail to account for his murder. According to the prosecution, the decision to kill him was taken when Espinoza, who was then a policeman, told the gang that Poveda was acting a police informer against them. But what motive would Espinoza have for telling the gang this? Another unanswered question.According to the testimony given in court during the trial, 15 gang members met in a house on the outskirts of the capital on 25 August 2009 and sentenced Poveda to death in his absence. He was asked to come to a meeting five days later but was out of the country. The sentence was finally carried out on 2 September 2009 in La Campanera, the neighbourhood on the outskirts of the capital where La Vida Loca was filmed.“I have a meeting in La Campanera with four furious crazies,” he told Carole Solive, the film’s producer, and his close friend Alain Mingam, a member of the Reporters Without Borders board, shortly before his death.Despite its reservations about the outcome of this case, Reporters Without Borders is well aware of the difficulty of combating organized crime and rendering justice in such circumstances. Read the report on organized crime that Reporters Without Borders released on 24 February . April 11, 2020 Find out more El SalvadorAmericas Follow the news on El Salvador News to go furthercenter_img RSF_en March 10, 2011 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Mixed feelings as court jails 11 people for Franco-Spanish filmmaker’s murder October 7, 2020 Find out more Salvadorean president’s alarming hostility towards independent media News Salvadorean authorities must not obstruct coronavirus coverage News Help by sharing this information June 12, 2020 Find out morelast_img read more

first_imgWhatsApp Twitter Linkedin Previous articleLISTEN: Camogie manager “looking forward to having a crack off Galway on Sunday”Next articlePeople’s Museum all set for summer opening date Alan Jacques Séighin Ó’Cheallaigh, and Malachy McCreesh, Sinn Féin. Photo: Cian ReinhardtTHE waiting time for driving tests in Limerick is “completely unacceptable”.That’s the view of Sinn Féin councillor Séighin Ó Ceallaigh, who was responding to figures obtained by his party this week which show the target is not being met in up to half of the State’s test centres.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up The average waiting time in Limerick is 12 weeks.“This does not include the figure of 1,084 who are awaiting a scheduled test date for a test,” the City East representative said.“The RSA (Road Safety Authority) say they aim to have a national average waiting time for a driving test of no longer than 10 weeks. The longest number of weeks people in Limerick waiting for a driving test is 20 weeks, nearly half a year to do a driving test.”According to Ó Ceallaigh, the main factor causing this is the shortage of testers to deal with the demand.“A significant number of testers have retired in recent years. This is foreseeable, and I do not accept that new testers could not have been recruited to ensure that these retirements did not affect the service.“The recruitment process has been slow and is simply not good enough. The Minister needs to support the RSA in recruiting significant numbers of new testers to cope with demand.“This situation has been ongoing for a long time and it is completely unacceptable that this hasn’t been resolved to date.“People in County Limerick, and even in parts of the city are completely reliant on driving to get to work or education. Public transport is simply not an option for many people with either a shortage of services, or no service at all within walking distance.“Many commuters would have to take two buses and walk to their place of employment or education, and often the times don’t suit their need. It very important that these waiting times be resolved, in order to facilitate those who are ready to take their test and are reliant on driving to go about their daily business,” he concluded. Emailcenter_img NewsPoliticsWaiting times for driving tests in Limerick ‘completely unacceptable’By Alan Jacques – March 8, 2019 992 Print Facebook Advertisementlast_img read more

first_imgIndianaLocalMichiganNewsSouth Bend Market Pinterest Pinterest Twitter Twitter By Brooklyne Beatty – October 8, 2020 0 321 WhatsApp Facebook Local Girl Scout troops in need in volunteerscenter_img (Photo Supplied/ The Girl Scouts of Northern Indiana-Michigan is in need of volunteers.St. Joseph County residents interested in becoming a girl scout troop leader are encouraged to fill out an application form online.If approved, applicants will be notified of a list of local volunteer opportunities.Troop leaders impact the lives of girls by teaching them about positive values, healthy relationships and how to develop a strong sense of self.You can learn more by visiting the local girl scout website, Facebook TAGSapplicationgirl scoutsIndianaleadersMichianaMichigantroopvolunteers Google+ Previous articleFirst of eight voting murals to wrap up in Benton HarborNext articleA more civil tone during Vice-Presidential debate Brooklyne Beatty WhatsApp Google+last_img read more

first_imgDriven by that passion for research, she expanded her work with Golden and began a collaboration with Milind Tambe, Gordon McKay Professor of Computer Science, for a senior thesis project at the intersection of math, medicine, and social science.Annapragada applied mathematical modeling and machine learning techniques to a large, cross-sectional study of social, community, ecological, and economic factors to better understand how nonclinical variables can predict malaria and anemia in patients in Madagascar.It is estimated that more than 30 percent of women in Madagascar are anemic, and nearly 10 percent of the population suffers from malaria, though these figures are substantially higher in some regions. If malaria is untreated, the parasite lyses red blood cells, while anemia leads to a decrease in red blood cells. Patients who suffer from both conditions face fatality rates above 50 percent.“And this is often an emergent situation happening in a place that is very far from a health care system. So having the ability to predict the coincidence of the two, so we know where the malaria and anemia hot spots are, is really important from the perspective of saving lives,” she said. “By using these nonclinical variables, which don’t require a hospital or a blood draw to gather, we are able to start thinking about what might be driving malaria and anemia in Madagascar.”The work has shown that access to water, sanitation, and certain nutrients are major contributors to high malaria and anemia rates.“We took the most sophisticated mathematical models in the world, neural networks and regression analysis, and in some ways, found out what we knew all along — poverty, and the unfortunate conditions that come with it, have a big role to play in disease,” she said. “We are going to have to address those factors in addition to coming up with better medicines.”As she prepares to graduate, Annapragada is looking forward to using her Harvard training to continue making an impact on global human health. She plans to pursue an M.D./Ph.D. at the intersection of bioengineering and computer science, with the goal of creating better tools to help patients, both on an individual level through her medical practice and with a broader, public health mindset.The events of the spring term that transformed the home stretch of her senior year have impressed even more upon Annapragada the critical role that math can play in solving global health crises.“My favorite place on campus, and probably one of my favorite places on Earth, is Pforzheimer House. It has been really tough to not be there finishing senior year the way I thought I would be,” she said. “But the idea that social distancing is a public health tool that will stop a pandemic comes directly out of mathematical modeling. To see the things that I care about reflected in everyday practice really inspires me.” This is one in a series of profiles showcasing some of Harvard’s stellar graduates.Deep in the rainforests of Madagascar, Akshaya Annapragada was counting chickens.Then, as a first-year, Annapragada traveled to the African island nation to conduct field work with a team of researchers led by Christopher Golden, assistant professor of nutrition and planetary health at the Harvard Chan School of Public Health.They studied the impact of vaccinations on poultry flocks kept by Malagasy community members. The team set out to determine how vaccinating chickens against the deadly (for poultry) Newcastle disease could create a healthy, sustainable food source for communities that have relied on increasingly scarce wild meats for centuries.Armed with firsthand chicken population data, Annapragada built and analyzed predictive mathematical models to identify vaccination level targets that would produce herd immunity.“For me, that experience brought home this idea that the really intense mathematical tools I was learning, when you took a broad, systems view, you could really use them to help answer big, important questions, like how can we make nutrition work in very poor communities that are adversely affected by climate change?” she said.“My favorite place on campus, and probably one of my favorite places on Earth, is Pforzheimer House,” said Akshaya Annapragada, who is pictured in its dining hall. “It has been really tough to not be there finishing senior year the way I thought I would be.”Even as a high school student in Houston, it was the big-picture questions that appealed to Annapragada. For instance, while shadowing physicians at the Texas Medical Center, she saw how the tools at their disposal played an outsized role in whether patients lived or died.So Annapragada, who is simultaneously pursuing an A.B. in applied mathematics and an S.M. in engineering sciences-bioengineering, with a secondary in global health and health policy at the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, arrived at Harvard eager to develop better medical tools.Working in the lab of Jennifer Lewis, Hansjorg Wyss Professor of Biologically Inspired Engineering, she helped 3D print muscle tissues using real cells. That research sought to create artificial muscles with such realistic properties that they could be used in surgeries and transplants.“3D printing is supposed to be very precise, so we had an idea of what printed muscle is supposed to look like. But when you are working with actual cells, it isn’t so simple. Cells are vital for all these incredible human life functions, but they don’t print in straight lines,” she said. “Trying to figure out how to reconcile this really precise notion of what 3D printers should do with the reality of what biology looks like was really challenging, but also a really rewarding way to bring two disciplines together.”From making muscles, Annapragada found more vexing medical research problems in the lab of Samir Mitragotri, Hiller Professor of Bioengineering and Hansjorg Wyss Professor of Biologically Inspired Engineering.She and her collaborators worked to produce nanoparticles with similar properties to blood platelets. Their goal was to use the drug-carrying nanoparticles to mimic the properties of platelets as they circulate through the blood stream, which could enable the precise delivery of drugs to specific areas of the body.“I really love the idea of trying to come up with knowledge that nobody else has,” she said. “All of these big problems in health care, I think most people would agree we should try to do something about them. But as a researcher, you can read the literature, think a lot about it, have a unique understanding of the problem, and apply technical skills to fix that problem and do something that no one else has done before.” “I really love the idea of trying to come up with knowledge that nobody else has.” — Akshaya Annapragadalast_img read more

first_imgRudy Gestede has completed his move to Aston Villa as Tim Sherwood continues the summer overhaul of his squad. Press Association “He is only 22 years old but he is vastly experienced for someone that age. “He has played over 140 games in Ligue 1 and is a really exciting young player. “I know he is very highly rated over in France so we are delighted to get this deal over the line.” There was further good news for Villa fans as the club announced that defender Nathan Baker had signed a new four-year contract. The 24-year-old academy product, who has played 87 times for the club since his first-team debut in 2011, said: “I am delighted to sign a new contract here at Villa.” “I am determined to impress the gaffer and get in that side,” he added. “The competition is going to be fierce here at centre-half but that’s what the gaffer wants. There’s a lot of choice for him. But you can’t do well as a club without competition for places.” The Villa manager said he had long been impressed by the striker, who shone alongside Jordan Rhodes in the Championship. Sherwood told Villa’s website: “I’ve known about Rudy since he was at Cardiff City and he is a player I’ve always admired. “His goalscoring ratio last season was fantastic and he is someone who certainly knows how to find the back of the net. “He’s a big, physical striker but he can play and I’m pleased to welcome him to the football club.” The arrival of Gestede was preceded by the news that French midfielder Veretout had also signed on a five-year contract, arriving from Nantes. The 22-year-old had been regularly linked with a move to the Premier League, but Villa fought off competition from domestic rivals to land the former youth international. A regular at the Ligue 1 club, Veretout scored seven times in 39 appearances last season and arrives at the midlands club as Sherwood looks to refresh a squad that finished just three points above the drop zone last season. “I’m really pleased Jordan decided to choose Aston Villa over the other options he had and opt to continue his development with us,” Sherwood said. The 25-year-old striker passed a medical to finalise his move from Blackburn to Villa Park on a five-year deal for an undisclosed fee on Friday, soon after Jordan Veretout joined the Premier League outfit. Villa manager Sherwood had been looking to bolster his attacking options after the sale of Christian Benteke to Liverpool, and turned to Benin international Gestede who found the back of the net 22 times for Blackburn last season. last_img read more