Freedom of information shrinks during president’s first year

first_img Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the restrictions that the authorities are imposing on journalists’ access to information in Salvador, where President Salvador Sánchez Cerén has just completed his first year in office.Salvador is ranked 45th out of 180 countries in the 2015 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index, a fall of seven places from its position in the previous year’s index. News Organisation El SalvadorAmericas News June 12, 2020 Find out more News April 11, 2020 Find out more to go further Covid-19 emergency laws spell disaster for press freedom Receive email alerts Related documents ley_de_acceso_a_la_informacion_publica-3.pdfPDF – 270.85 KB center_img Follow the news on El Salvador El SalvadorAmericas Help by sharing this information October 7, 2020 Find out more The president’s relations with the media have been distant and he has shown little interest in answering questions. He even displayed hostility on 15 April, when media that had just published violent crime figures for March were accused by Sánchez of participating in a “psychological terror campaign” against his government.That takes the cake in country where, according to the police, there were 481 murders in March (or an average of 16 a day), making it one of the deadliest months in a decade.And media personnel are among those falling victim to the generalized violence. Reporters Without Borders has registered three murders of journalists in Salvador since Sánchez took office on 1 June 2014. So far it has not been possible to establish whether any of these murders was directly linked to the victim’s journalistic work.Journalists and media outlets that have investigated corruption, public finances or violence have been the targets of hostile comments, accusations and pressure from government officials.They include the newspaper La Página, which was ordered by Tovías Armando Menjívar, the head of the Financial Investigation Unit in the prosecutor-general’s office, at the start of May to take down a story about former President Francisco Flores and to stop publishing any more articles on the subject on pain of prosecution. A few days later, the prosecutor denied that any attempt was being made to suppress information.When the Police Anti-Drug Division (DAN) detained Oscar Martínez of the El Faro newspaper for questioning in July 2014, they said they were “acting on orders from above” and wanted to know if he was the reporter covering organized crime for his newspaper and who his sources were. Jorge Beltrán Luna, a journalist with El Diario de Hoy, was also arrested by DAN police officers when returning from doing a report in San Ignacio in November 2014.The head of the Association of El Salvador Journalists (APES) condemned Martínez’s arrest and voiced concern about the spread of censorship.“The authorities have a responsibility towards journalists and media outlets,” said Claire San Filippo, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Americas desk. “They must set an example by displaying a respectful attitude towards reporters, or else they will encourage abuses against the media.”“We urge President Sánchez Cerén’s government to adopt a more open attitude towards the media and to end practices that violate the 2012 Law on Access to Public Information (LAIP).”The Declaration on Principles of Freedom of Expression issued by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) says: “Access to information held by the state is a fundamental right of every individual. States have the obligation to guarantee the full exercise of this right.”Three years after the LAIP took effect, it is clear that high-ranking officials are limiting transparency and blocking the publication of information that could be compromising or problematic for them.Many Salvadoran NGOs such as Grupo Promotor have condemned these abuses. Financial information such as the cost of state advertising or the cost of official visits is classified as confidential, with the result that the public is denied access for long periods.Paragraphs 4, 11 and 13 of Article 10 of the LAIP nonetheless state that information about state spending is part of the information that should be made accessible to the Salvadoran public.The fact that the president himself breaks the rules does not encourage senior officials to change their practices on the provision of information.Salvador is ranked 45th out of 180 countries in the press freedom index that Reporters Without Borders published in February.(Logo AFP) RSF_en Salvadorean authorities must not obstruct coronavirus coverage News June 4, 2015 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Freedom of information shrinks during president’s first year Salvadorean president’s alarming hostility towards independent medialast_img read more

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Dawn Foods gets set to purchase Unifine F&Bi

first_imgDawn Foods looks set to acquire Unifine Food & Bake Ingredients, following the announcement in December that Unifine’s parent company Royal Cosun was investigating its potential sale.The intended transaction would include the acquisition of all seven of the pastry ingredients business Unifine’s manufacturing sites, 10 sales offices in Europe and the brands of Sucrea, Fruibel, Caullet and Dethmers.”We see this as a very positive move,” Simon Solway, MD of Unifine F&Bi UK told British Baker. “Unifine has gone from strength to strength in the past 10 years by doing all the right things where it matters to our customers. This has created a highly saleable business, and acquisition by Dawn Foods makes perfect sense if we want to have a greater presence in the European marketplace.”US-based bakery manufacturer and ingredients supplier Dawn Foods said the intended acquisition would provide significant benefits to both businesses. Dawn Foods president of global commercial and international Laurence Saul told British Baker: “Our foundation 90 years ago was in bakery ingredients, then mixes, which is very complementary to the way Unifine will fit our business. This intended acquisition will provide our team, customers, joint venture partners and suppliers with global market access through the Dawn Foods family network and enable long-term growth opportunities.”Robert P Smith, president and CEO of Netherlands-based Royal Cosun, explained the firm decided to divest its fine bakery operations “as these do not fit in our core strategic focus which is on the processing of arable crops”.Subject to approval, the transaction is due to be concluded in the second quarter of 2011.last_img read more

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Don Nelson, Stephen Jackson and J-Rich remember ‘We Believe’ Warriors

first_imgOAKLAND – Seven minutes into his pregame availability prior to Thursday’s matchup against the Kings, former Warriors head coach Don Nelson was asked about his whereabouts since he last coached in 2009.“Well, I’ve been smoking some pot,” said Nelson, who has his own strand of marijuana called “Nellie Kush.”More than a decade after the Warriors’ ‘We Believe’ team upset the top-seeded Mavericks in the 2007 playoffs, Nelson and former franchise cornerstones Jason Richardson and Stephen Jackson …last_img

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GLIDE Announces 2018 Auction For Power Lunch With Warren Buffett

first_imgGlide is pleased to announce the 19th Annual eBay for Charity Auction for Power Lunch with Warren Buffett.Offered through eBay for Charity, bidding for this year’s auction opens on Sunday, May 27 and runs until Friday, June 1. The 2017 auction brought in $2,679,001 for the winning bid to support GLIDE’s mission of providing San Francisco’s most vulnerable residents with unconditional support and love.The annual Power Lunch with Warren Buffett is made possible through the support of eBay for Charity — one of the world’s largest charitable platforms, which helps millions of eBay users support the causes they care about. To date, more than $26 million has been raised, which is the only charity power lunch offered by Mr. Buffett. The winning bidder and up to seven friends will have the opportunity to dine with Mr. Buffett at Smith & Wollensky in New York City.“We are grateful to Warren Buffett and eBay for enabling us to reach thousands with our programs and support,” said GLIDE’s Co-Founder and Minister of Liberation Reverend Cecil Williams. “In a world filled today with discord and division, GLIDE offers unconditional love, unconditional support and welcomes every person from every background to our community so that they can heal, learn, live and thrive.”Bidding for this year’s Power Lunch begins at 7:30 pm PDT on Sunday, May 27 and ends at 7:30 pm PDT on Friday, June 1. Bidding starts at $25,000 and all bidders must be pre-qualified prior. To pre-qualify, visit: eBay.com/GLIDE.For over 50 years, regardless of the political environment or changes in the economy, GLIDE has stood with the most vulnerable, including poor people, those with illness, people of color, immigrants, as well as all families and children fleeing war and oppression. Despite the rhetoric and fear in the world today, GLIDE remains a place for all of those in need to find a warm meal, access to health care and shelter, childcare and family services, and someone to advocate for them. GLIDE serves roughly 750,000 meals a year through its Daily Free Meals program.“We help the most marginalized become stable and lift themselves out of poverty, addiction and social isolation – regardless of gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation and socioeconomic background,” said GLIDE President and CEO Karen Hanrahan. “Warren Buffett’s generosity provides direct support to help the disenfranchised transform their lives. It allows GLIDE to remain a driving force for racial and economic equity in this city and beyond, and to reinforce our efforts to build legions of change agents.”“GLIDE really takes people who have hit rock bottom and helps bring them back, said Warren Buffett. “They’ve been doing it for decades. If I can help out by raising some money for them, then I enjoy doing it”“eBay enables consumers to shop with purpose, and through our platform tens of thousands of non-profit organizations raise funds for a wide range of causes and issues. We are honored to continue our partnership with GLIDE for this iconic auction and help in its mission of alleviating the suffering of those under the debilitating grasp of poverty,” said eBay’s President and CEO Devin Wenig. “eBay’s community embodies the steadfast dedication to our goal of raising a billion dollars for charities by 2020.”As host of the annual Power Lunch with Warren Buffett since 2004, Alan Stillman, founder of Smith & Wollensky, has generously donated at least $10,000 each year. Smith & Wollensky has been called “the quintessential New York steakhouse” by Gourmet Magazine and “the steakhouse to end all arguments” by The New York Times.The Annual Power Lunch with Warren Buffett Charity Auction was conceived in 2000 by the late Susie Buffett, who long maintained a strong affinity for GLIDE’s efforts to provide dignity and opportunity to all people, regardless of income, gender, religion, political persuasion or any other factor. Over the past 18 years, the winning bids have ranged from $25,000 (prior to eBay’s involvement) to $3,456,789. The Power Lunch often brings in over 10% of GLIDE’s budget. Funds raised go directly to support GLIDE’s programs, which help people overcome hunger, poverty, homelessness and debilitating health challenges as well as social isolation and disempowerment. Last year’s auction brought in $2,679,001; the past decade has seen all winning bids come in at more than $1 million.eBay, which will host the auction for the 16th year in a row, will augment its support for GLIDE in 2018 with additional donations and an employee volunteer event.For more information about GLIDE’s 19th Annual eBay Auction for Power Lunch with Warren Buffett, please contact GLIDE at (415) 674-6060, [email protected] or visit eBay.com/GLIDE. For more information about GLIDE please visit GLIDE.org..last_img read more

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The rich live very different from you and me—F

first_img“The rich live very different from you and me”—F. Scott Fitzgerald to HemingwayThe Pebble Beach Concourse d’Elegance is a classic auto show and auction held at the fabulous Pebble Beach golf course. I spent a full day at this year’s extravaganza.I drive a Corvette, but my car is nothing compared to the rarefied collection of multimillion-dollar exotics on display at this show. The event has become huge. This year, investors and collectors spent $428 million to buy 791 cars. The average sale was $540,324, up 32.2% from last year.The show was an eye opener for me. I compiled a short photojournal to demonstrate just how crazy high-end car valuations have become.1953 LanciaThe 83-year-old owner has owned this car for 43 years. He told me that he spent the last 10 years restoring it, and came all the way from Florida to cash in.It sold for $1.1 million later that day.SOLD: $1.1 million1957 Buick Caballero Estate WagonJay Leno drove this car onto the stage and donated it to the George W. Bush Institute’s Military Service Initiative. The car, which cost $3,167 in 1957, was auctioned off for $300,000. I took this fuzzy picture of Jay with my iPhone:SOLD: $300,000But that’s not all…The buyer then turned around and re-donated the car back to Jay, to be re-auctioned to the second-place bidder for $280,000. I’ve never seen somebody give $300,000 away. These people have money.SOLD (again): $280,000A Pierce Arrow (like my dad’s)I took this picture of a 97-year-old Pierce Arrow before the auction:After the auction, while looking through my photos, I recognized the man and his wife who bought it. They were sitting next to me. They bought it for only $170,000. I congratulated them for getting what I thought was one of the better bargains of the show.SOLD: $170,0001932 Lancia Dilambda Torpedo SportThe guy in the seat in front of me bid this one up to $640,000. It wasn’t enough. He went home disappointed after another collector outbid him for $715,000.SOLD: $715,0001967 Volkswagen Type 2 CamperI own a VW bus for windsurfing. I’ve never thought of it as an investment. But I’ll take better care of it after watching this one sell for $99,000.SOLD: $99,000Is a Ferrari Really That Valuable?Jaguar XKE cars that retailed for $3,700 in the 1960s sold for low six figures. Porsches went for $200,000-$400,000. Mercedes Gull Wing 300 SLs were in the $1-3 million range, and a Tucker sold for $2 million.But Ferraris were the really big movers. A whopping 39 Ferraris sold for over $1 million each, for a total of $205.9 million. That’s $12 million more than the total value of all the cars sold in Monterey in 2011.This particular Ferrari—a 1962-‘63 Ferrari 250 GTO Berlinetta—fetched a fortune. Take a guess at how much it sold for.SOLD: $38,115,000That’s right: over 38 million dollars. Ferrari prices have been rising fast in the last few years, but this one hit a new high by a staggering margin. In fact, it was the most expensive car ever sold at auction.These cars have been fabulous investments for those who can afford them. They’re helping the rich get richer.Some wonder if this is a bubble. It looks like one to me. If you think these cars are expensive, try to guess how much this painting, The Card Players, sold for in 2011:$250 millionYou can’t do much with a painting besides hang it on the wall. At least you can drive a car. Personally, I like to see past technology honored, so I find cars a much more meaningful and better investment than art. But after compiling the data on recent sales of high-end paintings, it’s clear that the richest of the rich don’t agree with me:Compared to rare paintings, even a $38 million Ferrari is cheap.The Difference Between the Extremely Rich and Everyone Else Is GrowingLife is great for the top 0.1%. While California suffers a crippling drought, the Pebble Beach golf course has no trouble obtaining water to keep its grass immaculate:The Infinity, Cadillac, and Lexus booths at the show offered free wine and cheese. Party on!Attendees were what you’d expect: mostly male, mostly white, and older than the usual Silicon Valley crowd. I couldn’t see the bidders who were phoning in from around the world, but rumor had it that Europeans were some of the biggest spenders.These people are in the extreme minority. Most Americans are not doing well. Household income has been declining since 1999. Offshoring, unemployment, and underemployment have decimated the middle class.The disparity between the rich and the middle class is masked by averages. The richest 1% hold 40% of the wealth:What’s so bad about the rich getting richer?It’s a fair question. Of course people who work hard and succeed deserve what they earn. But this extreme disparity is unnatural. The GINI Index, which measures the difference between rich and poor, shows that we’re approaching extremes not seen since just before the Great Depression:Government paper money is the culprit. The poor and middle class save in dollars, but dollars aren’t a safe store of wealth, because the government is always creating more of them. New dollars have been flowing to the rich as returns on financial and real assets, especially high-end ones.Car investors don’t talk about the Fed and dollar debasement. But their actions of buying high-end items suggest that they understand what’s going on, if only implicitly.What Does Wealth Divergence Tell Us About the Future?I worry that the ultimate outcome of increasing inequality could be ugly. This photo, published under the headline Smash involves 8 Ferraris, 3 Mercedes, a Lamborghini, a Skyline and a Humble Toyota Prius, provides a worthwhile juxtaposition—and a warning that things can go wrong fast, even for the rich:The Pebble Beach Concourse d’Elegance is just one example of how the US has changed since the egalitarian times after World War II. Thomas Piketty’s new book Capital in the Twentieth Century suggests that the rate of return on capital, such as stocks or real estate, outpaces that of economic growth. Piketty claims that this will cause wealth to become ever more concentrated in the hands of the few.I only skimmed Piketty’s 695-page tome, so I can’t comment in depth on his intellectual framework or methods; but I’m not enamored with his idea of using the tax code to change society. More importantly, he ignores central banks’ crucial role in creating inequality via inflation. Printing money benefits the rich because: those in finance get the money first, before it causes price to rise; and the rich own the financial and high-end assets that benefit from inflation.But regardless of its cause, inequality is rising. And history has shown us the effects of high inequality include:Social unrest—Ferguson was not a single incident, but an indication of a wider discontent.Dampened economic growth—because the middle class can’t purchase as much output.Worsening of the boom-bust cycle—The less affluent have to borrow to keep up with the Joneses, as we saw before the housing crisis. Many Americans not only borrowed to buy homes, but they also borrowed against their homes’ equity to make up for slow income growth.This was my first and certainly not my last foray into the world of exotic cars. I highly recommend the experience. As Yogi Berra said, “You can observe a lot by just watching.” To me, the fun weekend outing was a signpost that suggests imbalances in America are growing more extreme… and could undermine our future.I write a monthly article for The Casey Report, our flagship publication dedicated to bringing you strategies and specific investments to help prepare, protect, and even profit from these economic imbalances. You can take it for a 100% risk-free test drive by clicking here. Our generous trial allows you to read the current issue plus two more new ones—as well as all back issues—before deciding if it’s for you. If not, no hard feelings. Just let us know within 90 days for a full and prompt refund.last_img read more

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