Guinean journalist finally freed after being held for nearly three months

first_img News RSF calls for release of Guinean journalist held for insulting president GuineaAfrica Condemning abusesProtecting journalists ImprisonedFreedom of expressionJudicial harassment Receive email alerts Follow the news on Guinea Guinea : RSF and AIPS call for release of two imprisoned journalists News A reporter for state-owned radio and TV broadcaster RTG, Diallo was finally freed after a court in the capital Conakry today fined him 5 million Guinean francs (420 euros) for “insulting the Head of State,” the charge on which he had just spent 81 days in detention. He was convicted for comments about the president and ethnic violence in Guinea that he made on privately-owned Radio Lynx FM on 27 February.Detained ever since his arrest that very same day although Guinea abolished prison sentences for press offences in 2010, Diallo continued to be held even after a hearing on 13 April when the fine of 5 million Guinean francs was the only punishment requested by the prosecution.As Diallo was in poor health, he was transferred from prison to the rheumatology section of Conakry’s Ignace Deen Hospital on 2 March, but the conditions in which he was held in the hospital were very harsh, as RSF confirmed when it visited him there during a visit to Guinea in April. He was returned to prison on 26 April, two days before the date set for his trial, which was postponed because Guinea’s lawyers were on strike.“It is with relief that we welcome the end of this journalist’s imprisonment, which should never occurred in the first place because Guinean legislation has abolished prison sentences for press offences,” said Assane Diagne, the director of RSF’s West Africa office. “Amadou Diouldé Diallo was detained arbitrarily for more than 80 days for nothing more than an appearance in a radio programme. It is high time that the press law adopted in 2010 is finally respected, and that the authorities stop imprisoning journalists just for doing their job.”Diallo’s release comes after a series of action on his behalf by RSF. During a visit to Conakry, RSF met with information and communication minister Amara Somparé on 8 April and called for Diallo’s immediate release. A memo with RSF’s recommendations on how to improve press freedom in Guinea was also given to the minister.The same week, RSF and the International Sports Press Association (AIPS) issued a joint call for Diallo’s immediate release and for the Guinean authorities to respect the country’s law decriminalising press offences.In Guinea, journalists are often taken into police custody or jailed in connection with their work. On 4 February, the sports journalist Ibrahima Sadio Bah was sentenced to six months in prison and a fine of 500,000 Guinean francs (40 euros) on a charge of defaming the head of the Guinean Football Federation (FEGUIFOOT), Mamadou Antonio Souaré. After more than three months in prison, Bah was finally freed on 11 May following a series of campaign actions on his behalf.Guinea has fallen 24 places in RSF’s World Press Freedom Index since 2013 and is now ranked 110th out of 180 countries. RTG journalist Amadou Diouldé Diallo, released after three months of arbitrary detention. Help by sharing this information May 19, 2021 Guinean journalist finally freed after being held for nearly three months April 9, 2021 Find out morecenter_img Reporters Without Borders (RSF) welcomes Guinean journalist Amadou Diouldé Diallo’s release today after nearly three months in prison on a charge of insulting President Alpha Condé although Guinea has decriminalised press offences. The Guinean authorities must stop detaining journalists arbitrarily, RSF said. GuineaAfrica Condemning abusesProtecting journalists ImprisonedFreedom of expressionJudicial harassment News April 15, 2021 Find out more Organisation to go further Guinean journalist’s continuing detention is “incomprehensible,” RSF says RSF_en News March 17, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

Where There’s Smoking Demand, There’s Defect Risk Fire

first_img  Print This Post The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Where There’s Smoking Demand, There’s Defect Risk Fire About Author: Brianna Gilpin Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Home / Daily Dose / Where There’s Smoking Demand, There’s Defect Risk Fire The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago in Daily Dose, Featured, Market Studies, News Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago 2017-06-28 Brianna Gilpin Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago June 28, 2017 1,074 Views Related Articles The May 2017 Index reveals an increase in frequency of defects, fraudulence, and misrepresentation in the information submitted in mortgage loan applications by 2.5 percent, compared to April 2017.According to a report by First American, the index estimates the level of defects in submitted mortgage loan applications processed by the First American’s FraudGuard system. The findings are determined based on the frequency that defect indicators are identified. The Defect Index moves higher as greater numbers of defect indicators are found—increases representing a rising level of loan application defects.The Defect Index increased by 13.7 percent since last year. Refinance transactions increased by 3 percent month-over-month with a 9.7 percent increase and purchase transactions rose 11.1 percent in the same time frame.Mark Fleming, First American’s Chief Economist said the Loan Application Defect Index is now reaching levels of risk not seen since 2015.“While risk is growing in both purchase and refinance transactions,” Fleming said, “it’s important to recognize that loan application defect, fraud, and misrepresentation risk remains below the peak reached in 2013.”Fleming said the purchase transaction risk is 13 percent below the peak and refinance transaction risk is 32 percent below.”The purchase-pivot in the housing market continues to add fuel to the fire of the overall level of application, defect, and fraud risk,” Fleming said.According to Fleming, this Loan Application Defect Risk is creating a “heat wave” that is destroying several Southern markets.McAllen, Texas ranked first followed by Charleston, South Carolina; Birmingham, Alabama; Knoxville, Tennessee; and Augusta, Georgia. Fleming calls these cities “hot spots” for loan defect risk getting “hotter,” as the risk in these markets is increasing significantly.The defect risk in each market has increased by a minimum of 10 percent in the past year, and southern markets are experiencing some of the strongest growth in housing demand as people seek the lower cost of living compared to northeastern and western markets, according to Fleming.“Where there’s smoking demand, the flames of defect risk typically follow,” Fleming said.According to First American, the next release of the Loan Application Defect Index will be posted the week of July 24, 2017. Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Brianna Gilpin, Online Editor for MReport and DS News, is a graduate of Texas A&M University where she received her B.A. in Telecommunication Media Studies. Gilpin previously worked at Hearst Media, one of the nation’s leading diversified media and information services companies. To contact Gilpin, email [email protected] Previous: Lowest Home Appreciation in the U.S. Next: The Psychology Behind Why People Buy, And Where The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Share Save Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Sign up for DS News Daily Subscribelast_img read more

Legendary Composer Hans Zimmer Announces First Ever Tour Dates In America

first_imgAfter embarking on his first ever tour this year in Europe, legendary film composer Hans Zimmer has announced that he will bring this unique musical offering to the United States for a run of shows. The performances will showcase the greatest hits from his remarkable career, split into two sets: the first set will include the scores for The Lion King, Gladiator, Pirates of the Caribbean and more, and the second set will focus on Zimmer’s groundbreaking work with director Christopher Nolan on The Dark Knight Trilogy, Inception, and Interstellar.Zimmer has also promised that “special guests from the rock and pop world” will join him at select stops throughout the tour. Zimmer is excited to hit the road, saying via a press release that “performing a concert series like this is something that I have always wanted to do. I am very excited to get some of my very talented friends together and give our audiences an experience unlike any concert they have ever been to before.”To get an idea of the awesome audio-visual experience of this tour, check out this fan-shot video from one of his stops in Europe from this past summer, courtesy of YouTube user Justin Dijkshoorn. The video contains the majority of a show and features material from Driving Miss Daisy, Gladiator, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Thin Red Line, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, The Dark Knight, Aurora, Interstellar, and Inception.The tour will only make three stops in the United States, all of them on the West Coast. Zimmer will hit the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on April 14th, The Bill Graham Civic Auditorium on April 19th, and The Park Theater in Las Vegas on April 21st. The tour will then make a quick stop in Australia before returning to Europe for a lengthy tour that will take up most of May and June. See below for a full list of upcoming Hans Zimmer tour dates.Hans Zimmer 2017 Tour Dates:04/14 – Los Angeles, CA @ Microsoft Theater04/19 – San Francisco, CA @ The Bill Graham Civic Auditorium04/21 – Las Vegas, NV @ The Park Theater04/29 – Auckland, NZ @ Vector Arena05/02 – Sydney, AU @ Qudos Bank Arena05/04 – Melbourne, AU @ Rod Laver Arena05/06 – Brisbane, AU @ Brisbane Entertainment Centre05/08 – Perth, AU @ Perth Arena05/16 – Helsinki, FI @ Hartwall Arena05/18 – Stockholm, SE @ Ericsson Globe05/20 – Oslo, NO @ Forum Copenhagen05/22 – Copenhagen, DK @ Royal Arena05/24 – Leipzig, DE @ Arena Leipzig05/26 – Gdansk, PL @ Ergo Arena05/28 – Lodz, PL @ Atlas Arena05/30 – Krakow, PL @ Tauron Arena06/01 – Budapest, HU @ Papp Laszlo Sports Arena06/02 – Bratislava, SK @ Ondrej Nepela Arena06/04 – Prague, CZ @ O2 Arena06/06 – Vienna, AT @ Stadthalle D06/09 – Frankfurt @ DE @ Commerzbank-Arena06/11 – Paris, FR @ AccorHotels Arena06/13 – Dublin, IE @ 3Arena06/20 – Antwerp, BE @ Sportpaleis06/21 – Amsterdam, NL @ Ziggo Dome06/23 – Vienne, FR @ Theatre Antique06/24 – Nimes, FR @ Arenes06/26 – Zurich, CH @ Hallenstadion06/27 – Zurich, CH @ Hallenstadionlast_img read more

Governor Douglas addresses congressional committee about fiscal conditions of states

first_imgVermont Governor Jim Douglas, chairman of the National Governors Association, testified today before the Commercial and Administrative Law Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee.  The hearing, titled State Taxation: The Impact of Congressional Legislation on State and Local Government Revenues, focused on the impact of federal actions on state and local taxing and spending decisions. Douglas told the panel that, unlike the federal government, states need to balance their budgets. To that goal, congressional attempts to stimulate the economy must keep in mind that the states will play a vital role in the recovery effort and that Congress must first “do no harm.” Douglas went on to say that the states as a whole saw a 7.5 percent drop in revenues in the last fiscal year. And even though the downturn started in late 2007, the negative cumulative effect on state budgets will continue through 2010 and 2011.”What these budgets show,” Douglas told the committee, “is that from a state fiscal standpoint, the worst is yet to come.”Governor Douglas’ Remarks:Testimony of Vermont Governor Jim DouglasChair, National Governors AssociationBefore the House Judiciary CommitteeSubcommittee on Commercial and Administrative LawU.S. House of RepresentativesState Taxation: The Impact of Congressional Legislation on State and LocalGovernment RevenuesApril 15, 2010Chairman Cohen, Ranking Member Franks, and members of the Subcommittee, thankyou for inviting me to testify today. On behalf of the nation’s governors and theresidents of my home state of Vermont, I appreciate you holding this hearing to explorethe fiscal condition of states and the effect Congressional action can have on our fiscalhealth.The bottom line is this: decisions about state revenue systems and state taxation shouldbe made by elected officials in the states. This principle is particularly important now asstates are working to emerge from a recession that has reduced state revenues to pre-2006 levels. Unlike the federal government, states must balance their budgets. Thisrequires states to make up for lost or decreased revenues by either cutting services andspending or raising revenues. Both actions, cutting services or raising taxes, can slowrecovery. As this committee, and Congress as a whole, considers legislation to spur theeconomy, create jobs or promote competitiveness, it should do so with an eye towardsthe critical role states play in promoting recovery. More specifically, legislation thatwould impact state taxes or taxing authority should adhere to the principles of “do noharm,” preserve flexibility, be clear and find the win-win so that states may continue tomanage their fiscal futures.Fiscal Condition of StatesThe fiscal condition of states started deteriorating rapidly when the recession began atthe end of 2007. In fact, repeatedly since the downturn started, states have had tolower revenue projections and make spending adjustments to meet balanced budgetrequirements. Governors in most states are in the process of finalizing or have justcompleted their budgets for fiscal year 2011, and in some cases 2012. What thesebudgets show is that from a state fiscal standpoint, the worst is yet to come.Previous downturns have demonstrated that the worst budget years for a state are thetwo years immediately after the national recession is declared over. This lag occursbecause state revenues continue to decline and state expenditures for safety netprograms continue to rise until after unemployment levels peak. However, unlike therecession earlier this decade, states’ recovery from the current recession may be prolonged,with most economists projecting a slow and potentially jobless nationalrecovery. Moreover, even when recovery begins, states will continue to strugglebecause they will need to replenish retiree pension and health care trust funds andfinance maintenance, technology, and infrastructure investments that were deferredduring the crisis. They will also need to rebuild contingency or rainy day funds and bothimplement and eventually pay a portion of the Medicaid expansion under national healthcare reform. Taken together, these facts mean that many states will not fully recoverfrom this recession until much later this decade.The Current Situation – The recent national economic downturn started in December2007 and likely ended around September 2009, making it the deepest and longestdownturn since the Great Depression. The slowdown directly affected state taxcollections, which according to the Rockefeller Institute declined for five consecutivequarters beginning in the last quarter of calendar year 2008 and extending through all of2009, with reductions of 3.9, 11.6, 16.4, 10.9 and 4.1 percent respectively. Thesefindings are consistent with the NGA/NASBO Fiscal Survey of States estimate that staterevenues declined 7.5 percent in fiscal year (FY) 2009, which for most states endedJune 30, 2009.Similarly, Medicaid spending, which accounts for about 22 percent of state budgets,averaged 7.9 percent growth in FY 2009, its highest rate since the end of the lastdownturn six years ago. Medicaid enrollment is also spiking, with projected growth of6.6 percent in FY 2010 compared with 5.4 percent in 2009.What these falling revenues and increasing expenditures create are budget gaps –holes in state budgets that must be reconciled to meet balanced budget requirements.The Fiscal Survey of States shows states closed budget gaps of $72.7 billion in FY2009 and $89.8 billion in FY 2010. This includes tax and fee increases of $23.9 billion in2010. Even with cuts and tax increases, states continue to experience new budgetshortfalls including more than $18.9 billion remaining for FY 2010, $55 billion projectedfor 2011 and $61 billion projected for 2012. All told, the combined remaining budgetgaps that must be filled for 2010 through 2012 equal $136 billion.For fiscal year 2011, Vermont faces a shortfall of approximately $154 million – roughly14% out of a General Fund budget of approximately $1.1 billion. In just over a year,more than 10,000 jobs have been lost and last year median family income fell nearly$2,000 from the year before. Although Vermont’s unemployment rate is among thelowest in the nation, our workforce is shrinking and too many are underemployed. As aresult, state revenues are $20 million below 2006 levels and a staggering $100 millionbelow where they were at the height of the economic bubble in 2008.While Vermonters have found it harder to pay the bills, our General Fund programshave seen unsustainable increases and new pressures. Demand for human serviceswill grow by $50 million, pension contributions are projected to increase by $29 million,and $75 million in federal recovery funds relied on for this year will no longer beavailable. With revenues not expected to return to pre-recession levels until 2013, ourfiscal crisis extends far beyond today. Without sustainable reductions, the fiscal 2012shortfall will balloon to over a quarter billion dollars – more than we spend on economicdevelopment, environmental protection, public safety, and higher education combined.Governors are making and have already made tough but necessary decisions toaddress these daunting challenges, including streamlining services, cutting programs,and reducing the state workforce. In Vermont, we are getting close to the end of ourlegislative session and we’re debating controversial but necessary proposals such asalternatives to incarceration for non-violent offenders, and I’m fighting hard to resistlegislative proposals to increase taxes on struggling manufacturers.The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) – State fiscal conditions wouldhave been worse if not for the passage of ARRA. Of the $787 billion in ARRA funds,about $246 billion came to or through states in more than 40 programs. Most important,the $87 billion in Medicaid funds and the $48 billion in state stabilization funds wereflexible and allowed states to offset some planned budget cuts and tax increases.Specifically, the Medicaid funds allowed states greater flexibility to manage state fundsallocated for Medicaid while the stabilization funds targeted help for elementary,secondary, and higher education, which represents about one-third of state spending.Without these funds, state budget cuts and tax increases would have been much moredraconian. In fact, given the ongoing fiscal problems in states, 47 governors recentlysigned a letter supporting a two-quarter extension of ARRA’s enhanced FMAP funding.Such an extension would help states avoid some cuts or tax increases that wouldotherwise be necessary to balance 2011 budgets.My own state of Vermont has received more $700 million dollars in Recovery Actdollars; $500 million of which was paid out before December 31, 2009 and helpedsupport more than 2,000 jobs.The Recovery Period – While there is still uncertainty regarding the shape of therecovery, there is a growing consensus that it will be slow. Numerous studies projectthat state revenues will likely not recover until 2014 or 2015. A recent forecast by MarkZandi at showed that the national unemployment rate, which straddled5.5 percent during 2001–2007, will not attain that level again until 2014. Similarly,Zandi’s latest forecast indicated that state revenues will not return to the 2008 level inreal terms until FY 2013.Deferred Investments – Even when recovery begins in the 2014–2015 period, states willbe faced with a huge “over-hang” in needs and will have to accelerate payments intotheir retiree pension and health care trust funds, as well as fund deferred maintenanceand technology and infrastructure investments. They will also have to rebuildcontingency or rainy day funds. All of these needs were postponed or deferred duringthe 2009–2011 period and will have to be made up toward the end of the decade.According to a 2007 Pew Center on the States report, states have an outstandingliability of about $2.73 trillion in employee retirement, health, and other benefits comingdue over the next several decades, of which more than $1 trillion is unfunded.What all of this means is states will continue to struggle over the rest of this decadebecause of the combination of the length and depth of this economic downturn, theprojected slow recovery, and the additional Medicaid responsibilities. Even after statesbegin to see the light, they will face the “over-hang” of unmet needs accumulated during the downturn.With states having entered the recession in 2008, revenue shortfallspersisting into 2014, and a need to backfill deferred investments into core statefunctions, states will need maximum flexibility to manage their fiscal systems in order tofully emerge from the current recession.Principles for federal legislation related to state taxationGovernors believe federal action should favor the preservation of state sovereigntywhen legislating or regulating activity in the states. This is particularly true when itcomes to actions that affect the ability of states to manage their revenue systems. Theindependent ability of states to develop and manage their own revenue systems is abasic tenet of our federal system. Therefore, the federal government should avoidlegislation and regulations that would serve to preempt or prohibit, either directly orindirectly, sources of state revenues or state taxation methods that are otherwiseconstitutional.Since adoption of the U.S. Constitution, Congress has generally respected statesovereignty with regard to state taxes. Unfortunately, that trend has begun to changeover the last few years as Congress has increasingly restricted the rights of states todetermine their own tax structure. Recent legislative examples include the moratoriumon the taxation of charges for Internet access, prohibiting the taxation of nonresidentpension income, and the accelerated elimination of the state estate tax credit.As this committee considers whether to take up legislation related to state taxation,governors encourage the committee to review all proposals in light of the followingprinciples:• Do no harm: Legislation dealing with state taxing authority should notdisproportionately reduce existing state revenues. This principle is especiallyimportant at a time when states are cutting core services to meet balancedbudget requirements. Federal unfunded mandates or limits on state authority willonly exacerbate the fiscal problems states currently face.• Preserve flexibility: The fiscal crisis is forcing all governors and states to askfundamental questions about the role of government. These questions will leadto changes at the state level that could have long-term, positive effects on thedelivery of services, modernizing revenue systems and holding governmentaccountable. States should not be hindered in their pursuit of these reforms byfederal legislation that restricts a states authority to act.• Be clear: Federal legislation, especially in the context of state taxation, should beclear to limit ambiguity or the need for expensive and time-consuming legislation.• Find the win-win: The goal of all legislation should be to find a balance thatimproves the standing of all stakeholders. Especially in times such as thesewhere states are struggling with unprecedented budget gaps, Congress shouldonly consider legislation related to state taxation or state taxing authority that isbeneficial to all stakeholders.Conclusion:Congress, through its authority under the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution,has broad authority to regulate state taxation. The key questions are when and howshould that authority be used. Governors believe that the ability of states to developand manage their fiscal systems is a core element of sovereignty – one that should notbe interfered with unless absolutely necessary to preserve interstate commerce. Thecurrent fiscal condition of states underscores this basic principle and should heightenCongressional consideration of the impact proposed legislation could have on states.Thank you for the opportunity to testify before you today. On behalf of my fellowgovernors, I look forward to working with you and would be happy to take anyquestions.Source: Douglas’ office. 4.15.2010last_img read more

Unai Emery reveals he has FINALLY worked out Mesut Ozil’s best position for Arsenal

first_img Metro Sport ReporterSaturday 6 Apr 2019 9:28 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link837Shares Mesut Ozil appears to have won the confidence of Arsenal manager Unai Emery (Picture: Getty)Unai Emery believes he has finally worked out Mesut Ozil’s best position in his Arsenal team.The former Real Madrid playmaker has struggled to win the full confidence of Arsene Wenger’s successor and was left out of several high-profile matches earlier this season for tactical reasons.Ozil was also said to have frustrated Emery for a perceived lack of application in training and regular bouts of illness.The 30-year-old has started Arsenal’s last four matches in all competitions, however, culminating in Monday’s man-of-the-match performance against Newcastle which temporarily lifted Arsenal into third place.ADVERTISEMENTMore: 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 ArsenalEmery’s side can leapfrog Tottenham again on Sunday should they avoid defeat at Everton, where Ozil is likely to start a first away game in the Premier League since Boxing Day.AdvertisementAdvertisementAsked to explain to his previous reluctance to start Ozil away from home, Emery said: ‘Sometimes it’s because we need something different.‘Sometimes because he was injured. Sometimes he played because we need him and now it’s the same.Sorry, this video isn’t available any more.‘He is okay, he is training every day, he can play in two different systems, 4-2-3-1 which is probably his best position, or 4-3-1-2 and he is playing like a team player.‘In different systems I think we can use him. We can use him also on the right side or the left.‘The most important thing is to be ready to help us, and he is now in this way.’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 Unai Emery reveals he has FINALLY worked out Mesut Ozil’s best position for Arsenalcenter_img Advertisement Advertisementlast_img read more

NHL rules changes focus on coaches’ challenges, video review, player safety

first_imgNHL DRAFT 2019: Former Rangers GM Neil Smith on the process, mistakes and pressure on Ray SheroThe league instituted a third category for coaches’ challenges. In addition to offsides and goaltender interference, coaches will now be able to challenge any goal in which a play stoppage in the offensive zone should have occurred prior to the score. “This change will allow challenges of plays that may involve pucks that hit the spectator netting, pucks that are high-sticked to a teammate in the offensive zone, pucks that have gone out of play but are subsequently touched in the offensive zone and hand passes that proceed without a play stoppage and ultimately conclude in the scoring of a goal,” the league said in a press release.Basically the NHL has addressed the hand pass and blown major penalty calls from the playoffs, but not the missed trip from the SCF.— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) June 21, 2019Such challenges will only be allowed if the puck does not leave the offensive zone between the missed stoppage and the goal.Coaches will also be able to make as many challenges as they like, but those challenges will carry greater risks. Teams will now receive a minor penalty for delay of game on a first unsuccessful challenge and a double minor for each subsequent unsuccessful challenge. Previously, a team’s ability to challenge was based on the availability of a timeout. Bettman stresses #NHL does not want challenges in games, hence the penalties for an incorrect challenge. He says it shouldn’t be for “I hope it’s goaltender interference” or “maybe it looks like it’s close.” They are supposed to be for “crystal clear, unmistakable errors.”— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) June 21, 2019Another change concerning video review: Referees are now required to review all non-fighting major penalties and match penalties. Officials will not be able to nullify the penalty, however; they can only confirm it or reduce it to a minor penalty. The 2018-19 contract year isn’t yet over, but the NHL is already changing its rules for next season.The changes were approved this week by the league’s Board of Governors, general managers and the Competition Committee and announced Thursday by commissioner Gary Bettman in Vancouver, site of this weekend’s NHL Draft. The most notable adjustments: Coaches’ challenges and video review have been expanded, and enhanced player safety initiatives have been taken. Referees will also be able to check the video after a double minor penalty for high-sticking to confirm the call and ensure the correct player is penalized. Such reviews are not mandated, however.To enhance safety, a player who loses his helmet must return to their team’s bench or replace the helmet before returning to the play. Any player who attempts to take off an opponent’s helmet will receive a minor penalty for roughing.Offensive teams will now be able to select which faceoff circle they would like to start from following icings and at the beginning of power plays as the league looks to increase scoring opportunities. Goalies are also no longer allowed to intentionally dislodge the goal on a breakaway. Doing so will result in a goal for the offensive team.last_img read more

Two sentenced for making child porn

first_imgOfficials in Rigby, Idaho have sentenced two people to 15+ years in prison for making child porn with a 4-year-old.32-year-old Joseph Lavern Harris and 28-year-old Elizabeth Dawn Evans were sentenced Tuesday after officials discovered video and images during an investigation.It is unclear what led authorities to investigate the pair, however, it was reported that Harris appeared in the film with the child and that investigators discovered several sexually explicit images of the child on electronic devices that belonged to Evans.Officials also found a list of people that Harris desired to have sex with. The 4-year-old girl was number 5 on the list.During a police interview, Evans admitted that the list was his, but says that he wanted to engage in sexual acts with the child when she came of age.He also denied appearing in the video with the child but later admitted that he could tell it was him in the video due to his tattoo but says he was under the influence of narcotics and the time and does not remember the incident.Both have been sentenced for crimes related to owning and making child pornography. Harris was sentenced to 25 years, while Evans was sentenced to 15 years.They will both also be required to register as sex offenders.last_img read more

Steelers lose home field advantage

first_imgCoach Mike Tomlin showed absolutely no confidence in his backup quarterbacks, Charlie Batch and Dennis Dixon, as he started a severely injured Ben Roethlisberger and played him the entire game despite him being terribly ineffective, which led to an embarrassing 20-3 defeat at the hands of the San Francisco 49ers. SACKED—Ben Roethlisberger (7) is sacked by San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith during the fourth quarter in San Francisco, Dec. 19. Smith had 2-1/2 sacks for San Francisco’s stingy defense. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma) Three interceptions and one lost ball led to 20 unanswered points by the 49ers that pushed the Steelers out of the driver’s seat into the back seat of the AFC race.After the San Diego Chargers slaughtered the Baltimore Ravens 34-14, Steelers’ victories over the 49ers, the St. Louis Rams (2-12) and the Cleveland Browns (4-10) would have given them home field throughout the playoffs. But instead of going with one of his backup quarterbacks, Tomlin stayed with the banged up Roethlisberger, who could barely walk, let alone play the quarterback position. He couldn’t plant his feet because of the pain which caused inaccurate throws leading to three interceptions, and his inability to move in the or out of the pocket, led to a fumble. In essence, he made good defensive players look like Hall of Famers. Just about every turnover led to San Francisco scores.San Francisco also became the first team in NFL history to hold an opponent without a rushing touchdown through each of the first 14 games. The 49ers also have gone 36 games without allowing a 100-yard rusher. Rashard Mendenhall had 15 carries for 64 yards.“It’s very frustrating to feel like you let down your team and your fans and your coaches. It’s tough,” Roethlisberger said. “I’m not going to make excuses. I played a bad football game, I turned the ball over and that one’s on me.”Once again the defense played outstanding ball but without James Harrison, and LaMarr Woodley for most of the game, but with the offense showing absolutely no life, they could not pull off the victory.Even the announcers in the booth wondered why Roethlisberger played the entire second half despite being totally ineffective, and the game being out of reach late in the fourth quarter.If the Steelers are going to be a factor in the playoffs, Tomlin needs to make some tough decisions. The first is to bench Roethlisberger so he can be healthy for the playoffs. Batch and Dixon showed last season that they can do the job if given the chance. Now it’s time to give the ball to one of them dropping Ben down to third string for the final two regular season games. Why even suit him up.The Steelers, Ravens and Houston Texans losses put the New England Patriots in first place. Their final two games should be easy wins, against the Miami Dolphins and the Buffalo Bills. The Ravens have a tougher schedule against the Cleveland Browns and the Cincinnati Bengals. But they would have to lose both games for the Steelers to have a chance of winning the AFC North title.“I think we need to acknowledge that was 49er football tonight,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said.“We played the game on their terms. They created turnovers, they got turnovers, they got us with a few concept plays, they controlled the ball offensively. We had an opportunity and we didn’t seize it. We’ll evaluate this performance and make the necessary corrections. We’d better make them quickly and be prepared to move on here when we get back into Pittsburgh.”“He (Roethlisberger) was healthy enough to play,” Tomlin added.“We always like what Ben provides us, not only from his quality of play, but his leadership. This guy is a tremendous competitor. We appreciate his efforts, obviously we fell short tonight.”last_img read more