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first_img October 21, 2020 Find out more RSF, IFEX-ALC and Media Defence, support FLIP and journalist Diana Díaz against state harassment in Colombia November 14, 2014 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Journalist investigating child prostitution attacked in Colombia Organisation RSF_en News Reports May 13, 2021 Find out more Follow the news on Colombia April 27, 2021 Find out more to go furthercenter_img RSF begins research into mechanisms for protecting journalists in Latin America News The journalist Oscar Castaño Valencia was assaulted and threatened by armed men four days ago as he was investigating the involvement of criminal gangs in child sexual exploitation in Antioquia department in North-West Colombia.For the past three months Castaño, director of the program “Oriéntese” on the TV station Cosmovisión, has been carrying out an investigation into child sexual exploitation activities by the criminal groups known as “combos” in the town of Bello in Antioquia. He was on his way to meet a source when he was attacked by three armed and masked men. He was tied up, threatened and beaten, then forced to sign a “confession” that he had gone there with the intention of raping an under-age girl. The attackers made a recording of the forced confession then let him go, telling him his life was at stake.After the attack, Castaño lodged a complaint with the state prosecutor’s office in Medellín, the capital of Antioquia department, and asked the government for protection. The journalist had previously been threatened when he was head of the trade union of the Colombian National University and was forced into exile for nine years in 1987. In 2011, he was threatened again after he made a documentary about disputes over mining activities. He says is now worried for his family. “Reporters Without Borders urges the National Protection Unit to ensure Oscar Castaño Valencia and his family are given effective protection as soon as possible,” said Claire San Filippo, head of the organization’s Americas desk. “The government must ensure that attacks on journalists do not go unpunished.”The combos are extremely violent and well known to the elite GAULA police units that specialize in cases of abduction and extortion. A GAULA unit carried out a raid in the area where Castaño was attacked a few days later. There has been an increase in threats against journalists in Colombia since the beginning of the year. The Office of the Defender of the Colombian People, a national body created to promote human rights, says it has recorded twice as many reports of threats against journalists this year compared with 2013. Colombia remains the second deadliest country for journalists in Latin America. It is ranked 126th of 180 countries in the World Press Freedom Index published by Reporters Without Borders News ColombiaAmericas ColombiaAmericas 2011-2020: A study of journalist murders in Latin America confirms the importance of strengthening protection policies Help by sharing this information Receive email alertslast_img read more


first_imgYou also want to choose the right fabric with the right fit, something that will keep you protected from virus exposure while easy on your face. “Cotton is a good product because it’s breathable,” said Dr. Newmark. “If you’re going to make your own mask, you definitely want to make sure you wash the fabric before you wear it because a lot of fabrics when they’re shipped, they’re sprayed with formaldehydes and things like that to keep bugs out so that can cause problems,” said physician assistant Julie Luckman. Dermatologists here in the Southern Tier are sharing tips on how you can protect your skin. Make sure you wash your mask before you put it on for the first time. “Plan your visit so you’re not wearing it for hours on end unless you’re in a job or position where you need to,” said Dr. Newmark. “Anything that’s abraded will end up healing better if it’s kept moist. So even using something like Vaseline on abraded areas will help a lot,” said Dr. Newmark. If it comes to the point where your skin gets irritated, there are some things you can do. Dermatologists always suggest calling your doctor if the irritation gets worse. First, they say only wear masks when you have to, to give yourself a break from the heat and moisture they trap. “If people are wearing their masks for an extended period of time, they’re going to get warm and sweaty,” said dermatologist Dr. Joseph Newmark. Especially if you’re a healthcare or essential worker, wearing one for hours. (WBNG) — While it’s necessary, wearing a mask can be uncomfortable. It’s also important to clean your mask after each wear. “Most of the masks we have, we’re reusing a lot because they’re hard to find. But theoretically, they’re supposed to be a one-time use. So yes, you should have several masks and if they’re cotton, wash them after you use it for the day,” said Dr. Newmark.last_img read more


first_imgA construction boom in recent years has added shopping malls, apartments and luxury hotels, some offering spectacular views of the sacred Kaaba, a cube-shaped structure in the Grand Mosque towards which Muslims around the world pray. But most premises have lain empty since the pandemic reached the kingdom.The virus, which hit Mecca hard, has also battered pilgrimage-reliant businesses that support hundreds of thousands of jobs, from travel agents to street barbers and souvenir shops.Many have reported sweeping layoffs, pay cuts or delayed salaries. Vacant religious sites. Abandoned pilgrim tents. Lifeless hotels. A stunning emptiness — and fears of economic ruin — haunt the usually bustling city of Mecca after Saudi authorities curtailed the haj pilgrimage over coronavirus.Islam’s holiest city usually hosts millions of pilgrims for the annual rite, but the kingdom has barred overseas visitors from this year’s event, scheduled for late July.The haj and the lesser umrah pilgrimage together rake in some $12 billion, keeping the economy humming in Mecca, home to two million people and marble-bedecked skyscrapers towering over Islam’s most sacred sites. “Zero sales, zero income,” said Ahmed Attia, a 39-year-old Egyptian who works for a travel agency in the city.”We’re not used to seeing Mecca empty. It feels like a dead city. It’s devastating for Mecca.”A tsunami of cancellations has also battered overseas haj operators who organize travel logistics for pilgrims, many of whom invest their life savings in the five-day ritual.Saudi authorities had already in March suspended the umrah pilgrimage, which can be performed at any time.Then, in a hugely sensitive but long-awaited decision, they said they would only allow around 1,000 pilgrims already present in the kingdom to perform the haj.That is a tiny fraction of the 2.5 million pilgrims who attended last year.”It will be a symbolic event, a photo-op that allows the kingdom to say ‘we didn’t cancel the hajj as many expected’,” said a South Asian official in contact with haj authorities.Saudi Arabia has stressed that the watered-down haj will be open to people of various nationalities.But the selection process for the few spots is expected to be hotly contested, as some Mecca residents expect to be given priority over outsiders.”I have gone to haj before and hopefully this year, with God’s will, I will be among the first pilgrims,” said Marwan Abdulrahman, a Saudi living in Mecca.Many feared the pilgrimage, which packs colossal crowds into small religious sites, could have been a massive source of contagion.The novel coronavirus has hit the kingdom with the highest number of cases in the Gulf — more than 178,000 confirmed infections including 1,511 deaths.But scaling the pilgrimage back will deepen the kingdom’s economic slump, analysts say.The move follows a sharp downturn in oil prices and coronavirus-led losses, which triggered austerity measures including the tripling of a value added tax and cuts to civil servants’ allowances.The haj decision “does compound Saudi Arabia’s economic difficulties”, Richard Robinson, a Middle East analyst at Oxford Analytica, told AFP.On Wednesday, the International Monetary Fund warned the kingdom’s GDP will shrink by 6.8 percent this year — its worst performance since the 1980s oil glut.The Saudi Binladen construction group, a bellwether known for vast mega-projects, has missed salary payments for thousands of workers in recent months, according to a source close to the company and employees complaining on social media.The Arabic hashtag “Delays in Binladen salaries” has gained traction as the slowdown impacts the firm behind a series of critical projects, including a $15 billion skyscraper hotel complex that towers over Mecca’s Grand Mosque.The company is seeking to charter a number of private jets to send many of its laid-off South Asian labourers home, according to the source.The company did not respond to a request for comment.The downturn has also disrupted Riyadh’s ambitious plans to build a tourism industry from scratch, a cornerstone of the Vision 2030 reform programme to reduce the kingdom’s reliance on oil.”The government has singled out tourism as a key area for growth under its diversification strategy, and the loss of haj revenues could set the sector back through lost investment or bankruptcies,” said Robinson.The kingdom began offering tourist visas for the first time last September in moves to open up one of the last frontiers of global tourism.”While Saudis are looking to diversify tourism revenues beyond religious tourism, their efforts still build from the haj,” said Kristin Diwan of the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington.”Not having it at this time of disruption in oil markets is a blow.”Topics :last_img read more


first_imgBosch Pensionsfonds – whose proposal for a new pension income structure led to a change in German law – was another big winner.Bosch took home no fewer than five awards, including those for Germany (bAV), Innovation and Active Management.Fellow German scheme Ärzteversorgung Westfalen-Lippe (AVWL) also took home three awards, winning the categories for Germany (Versorgungswerk), Infrastructure and Fixed Income.The Church Commissioners for England won three awards as well, including Climate Related Risk Management, with a nearly perfect score of 19.75 points out of a possible 20.Competition this year was particularly strong, with a record number of entries across all categories.For the first time in the history of the awards, a single category was won by three contenders, with Swedish buffer fund AP4 and the UK’s British Steel and Merchant Navy Officers pension funds sharing the Gold Award for Best Long-term Investment Strategy.The full list of the winnersGold Awards       Long-Term Investment Strategy: AP4, British Steel Pension Fund and Merchant Navy Officers Pension FundPension Fund Achievement of the Year: Fiona MillerOutstanding Industry Contribution: Bernhard WiesnerBest European Pension Fund: NEST (National Employment Savings Trust) The National Employment Savings Trust (NEST) was the big winner at IPE’s annual Awards & Conference in Berlin, taking home the coveted gold award for Best European Pension Fund.The UK defined contribution pension fund – launched just five years ago – also won the Best Small Pension Fund award.#*#*Show Fullscreen*#*# Mark Fawcett of NEST receives his Gold Award for Best European Pension Fund from Laurent Bertiau of AmundiFiona Miller won the Pension Fund Achievement of the Year award for her commitment to the recent pooling concept among the UK’s local authority pensions, while Bernhard Wiesner took home the final Gold Award for Outstanding Industry Contribution for his pioneering efforts at the Bosch scheme in Germany and Europe. Themed Awards       Climate Related Risk Management: Church Commissioners for EnglandDC & Hybrid Strategies: Bosch PensionsfondsDiversification: Santander UK Group Pension Scheme Common FundEmerging Markets: Royal County of Berkshire Pension FundESG: Church Commissioners for EnglandInfrastructure: Ärzteversorgung Westfalen-LippeIn-house Investment Team: British Steel Pension FundInnovation: Bosch PensionsfondsPortfolio Construction: PMTReal Estate: Church Commissioners for EnglandRisk Management: Trafalgar House Pension TrustSmart Beta: FRRSpecialist Investment Managers: FRR Bronze Awards Alternatives: SEB Life & PensionEquities: SEB Life & PensionFixed Income: Ärzteversorgung Westfalen-Lippe Silver Awards    Active Management: Bosch PensionsfondsPassive Management: KB First Pension Company JSC SkopjeBest Corporate Pension Fund: Bosch PensionsfondsBest Multi-employer/Professional Pension Fund: Almenni Pension FundBest Public Pension Fund: ABPBest Small Pension Fund: NEST (National Employment Savings Trust)Best Sovereign Reserve Fund: Pension Reserve Fund of the Republic of Srpska Country Awards winnersBest Pension Fund in Austria (Pensionskasse): APK PensionskasseBest Pension Fund in Austria (Vorsorgekasse): fair-finance VorsorgekasseBest Pension Fund in Belgium: AmonisBest Pension Fund in Central & Eastern Europe: Swedbank Pension Plan DinamikaBest Pension Fund in Denmark: Industriens PensionBest Pension Fund in Finland: Elo Mutual Pension Insurance CompanyBest Pension Fund in France: CRPNPAC Caisse de Retraite du Personnel Navigant Professionnel de l’Aéronautique CivileBest Pension Fund in Germany (bAV): Bosch PensionsfondsBest Pension Fund in Germany (Versorgungswerk): Ärzteversorgung Westfalen-LippeBest Pension Fund in Ireland: RetireSmart (ESB Defined Contribution Pension Scheme)Best Pension Fund in Italy: Solidarietà Veneto Fondo PensioneBest Pension Fund in The Netherlands: Stichting Pensioenfonds INGBest Pension Fund in Portugal: Fundo Pensões Santander TottaBest Pension Fund in Small Countries: Almenni Pension Fund and Frjálsi Pension FundBest Pension Fund in Spain (corporate scheme): Pensions Caixa 30 FPBest Pension Fund in Spain (multi-employer scheme): Caja Ingenieros Multigestión PPBest Pension Fund in Sweden: SPKBest Pension Fund in Switzerland: CPEG (Caisse de Prévoyance de l’Etat de Genève)Best Pension Fund in the UK: ICI Pension Fundlast_img read more