first_img Receive email alerts The Arab Spring has given new impetus to an increasingly active online diaspora’s hope for change. The regime, which has totally cordoned off the country and continues its indiscriminate repression of the population, is somewhat overwhelmed by the Net’s influence on Eritreans based abroad. It is now waging its propaganda war on social networks. Pro-opposition websites have been targeted for cyberattacks on an unprecedented scale. News Help by sharing this information RSF urges Swedish judicial authorities to reverse Dawit Isaak decision Swedish prosecutors again refuse to investigate Dawit Isaak case October 27, 2020 Find out more News EritreaAfrica Organisation Follow the news on Eritrea to go further Self-censorship, difficult Web access, and limitless terrorIn this totally freedom-deprived country whose privately owned media were shut down in September 2001, the Internet remains the only space left where Eritreans are free to voice their opinions. Its use, however, is still very limited. Dictator Isaias Afewerki has imposed a climate of terror that has led the few Eritreans brave enough to connect despite technical obstacles and surveillance in the cybercafés to rely on self-censorship (Read the Eritrea chapter of the 2011 “Enemies of the Internet” report).Leading diaspora websites such as, and are inaccessible mainly because of the slow bandwidth speed. No independent site is currently operated from Eritrea. Those living abroad who post writings on “banned” websites often have to do so anonymously as a security measure.Not just content to terrorize his country’s population, the President is trying to target exiled dissidents with the assistance of certain friendly foreign governments. Sudan-based Eritrean editorial writer and journalist Jamal Osman Hamad, editor of the Internet website, was released by the Sudanese security forces in Khartoum on December 16, 2011 after being detained more than eight weeks. Known for his criticisms of his country’s leader, he was arrested on October 24, 2011, less than a week after Eritrean President Isaias Afewerki paid an official visit to Sudan – a visit during which the latter and his Sudanese counterpart inaugurated the opening of a road linking their two countries. On October 17, 300 Eritreans had been expelled to their native country without their cases being referred to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.Are the new media generating an Eritrean Spring?The regime took a very dim view of the Arab uprising and the fall of presidents Hosni Mubarak and Mouammar Kadhafi, whom it supported. It forced the state-owned media to ignore these events and was prepared to cut off Internet access, just as the Egyptian regime had done during the height of the Revolution, in the event of domestic unrest. The regime also has been concerned about the social networks’ potential as a rallying tool for diaspora Eritreans. Unlike their fellow citizens who remained in the country, diaspora Eritreans are much more up-to-date on the latest Arab revolution developments, which is reviving hopes for a political change in Africa’s “North Korea.” The movements organized by the opposition in the last few months in streets around the globe, and in diplomatic channels, are a new phenomenon.From March to May 2011 in particular, exiled Eritrean communities held peace rallies to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the country’s independence and to protest against the dictatorial regime. In Australia, Great Britain, the United States, Egypt, and Ethiopia, the slogan was “ENOUGH!” These demonstrations were coordinated primarily by the Facebook group “Ashab Yourid Isqat Isaias Afewerki” (“The People Want Isaias Afewerki to Step Down”).Opposition Eritreans living abroad have also decided to involve Eritreans who had remained at home in a special way. Youth groups such as Eritrean Youth for Change (EYC) and Eritrean Youth Solidarity for Change (EYSC) called upon Eritreans in the homeland to “empty the streets” of Asmara as part of the “Arbi Harnet” (Freedom Friday) campaign launched in early February 2012.Daniel Gebremichael, one of the campaign organizers, stressed on “We also needed a channel of communication between diaspora activists and the people back home to begin to open up a bit. So you can say that (this movement) was inspired by the Arab Spring, but was heavily influenced by the political culture in Eritrea.” He added that hundreds of phone calls were made by volunteers to Asmara and other cities in the country, and text messages and emails were sent to inform Eritreans about this campaign and invite them to rally. The 10,000 plus subscribers of the EYSC and EYC Facebook pages were contacted. YouTube video clips were uploaded to convince people to take part in this call for democratic changes in the country. Daniel Gebremichael believes that the effort produced positive results. The initiative apparently received messages of support from people contacted on-site. Most of them who could be reached were so frightened that they just listened. But the important thing is that the message got through. The announced goal was to call 5% of Eritrea’s more than 230,000 telephone lines. Yemane Gebreab, the President’s top political advisor, and leader of the incumbent party, was cornered after being spotted in a Manhattan pub by young Eritreans who wanted to question him about people gone missing in the country, and who criticized his support of the dictator. The event was filmed, posted on YouTube, and – to the authorities’ consternation – relayed by thousands of members. According to, various forms of the video have been viewed tens of thousands of times: a hard blow for the regime’s propaganda machine. Start of a cyberwar?The government is still waging an online offensive against such criticisms. Eritrean Information Minister Ali Abdu, and Yemane Gebreab, are coordinating online propaganda, disinformation initiatives on the Internet, cyberattacks against opposition sites, and crackdowns and pressure on the regime’s opponents. They have decided to occupy the social networks’ terrain and to confront their opponents there by disseminating their own pro-regime messages. One of the Facebook pages concerned is Eritrea First, which, as of early March 2012, boasts 2,500 friends and whose motto is “The nation always comes first.” An unprecedented wave of cyberattacks struck several websites critical of the regime in early December 2011. Most of the opposition sites, including,,, were blocked for several days. Hackers allegedly attacked these sites’ databases in a vain attempt to delete their archives, but pro-government sites such as,, and were spared – a new censorship episode with which it would be difficult not to connect the Asmaran regime.These attacks were perfectly timed, when the targeted sites were speculating on the President’s end-of-year speech, and the UN Security Council was broadening the sanctions imposed on Eritrea for its presumed support of Somalia’s Islamist insurgents. Prisoner of Conscience Since 2001 – Why has Sweden not managed to bring Dawit Isaak home? March 12, 2012 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Eritrea EritreaAfrica January 13, 2021 Find out more April 14, 2021 Find out more Reports News RSF_en last_img read more


Bringing Christmas cheer to children in Limerick hospital

first_img Previous article€18 million development breathes new life into Limerick city centreNext articleRusangano Family: Choice Gig of the Week Editor Linkedin Twitter WhatsApp Advertisement Facebookcenter_img Ryan Heaney from the Old Cork Road, Limerick, meets Bonnie the therapy dog in the play room at the ChildrenÕs Ark, University Hospital Limerick.A range of activities at the Children’s Ark in University Hospital Limerick will bring the magic of Christmas to children staying in or visiting hospital at this time of year.A purpose-built paediatric facility, the Children’s Ark is the only inpatient facility for sick children in the MidWest. It incorporates 49 beds in the Sunshine and Rainbow wards, a high-dependency unit, a cystic fibrosis unit and the Caterpillar day ward.  There is also a classroom so those well enough can keep up with their school work.December can be a busy time for the unit with children being treated for respiratory and other winter-related infections and conditions. However staff work with children and families to ensure that as many children as possible are discharged in the run-up to Christmas.   Only children with the most serious illnesses are kept in hospital at Christmas and those well enough are discharged.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up Everyone who works in the Ark – including play therapists and teachers; doctors, nurses, healthcare assistants, clerical staff and hygiene attendants  – try to make the Christmas experience as magical as possible for these children. This extends to the catering staff preparing seasonal fare and the electricians in the maintenance department who have put up the Christmas lights.The UL Hospitals Group extends its thanks to the musicians and entertainers, charitable partners, community/volunteer and other groups and individuals who have visited the Ark to raise spirits at this special time of year as well as those who have supported the Ark all year round.Some of the activity taking place on the Ark this week includes:Monday, December 18: Magician Leon Anderson in the play room and on the wards. Irish therapy dog Bonnie with her handler Emma Hogan.Tuesday, December 19: Stryker Gift Drop for children in hospital over Christmas.Wednesday, December 20:  Music session with Limerick Music GenerationThursday, December 21: Liam Mulcahy, Santa and members of the Defence Forces from Sarsfield Barracks visit the Ark courtesy of Sophie’s Journey. Irish Chamber Orchestra performing in the Ark School and on the wardsFriday, December: Liam and Ben from Wild Encounters bring their menagerie to the play room.Christmas Day: Santa to visit children on the wards courtesy of Des Begley and Jim Keogh. Santa and Mrs Claus will bring a special guest.More health news here Email Print NewsHealthBringing Christmas cheer to children in Limerick hospitalBy Editor – December 20, 2017 1972 last_img read more


2014 time capsule: integration

first_imgby: Samantha PaxsonWhen we think back on 2014, what pivotal moments will we recall? As we’ve said many times, this year has been extraordinary for innovation, inspiration and change. Ideas that have been brewing for years suddenly gained momentum in 2014. And new ideas (can you say “Apple Pay?”) materialized and found traction in record time.This month, Insight Vault takes another look at a few of our key topics for 2014 – how they developed, and where they might be heading in the year to come. First up: Integration.The Omnichannel Revolution This year’s integration conversation began as an exploration of the omnichannel member experience. As consumers become increasingly connected – online, on mobile devices and through the Internet of Things – the member experience is evolving to include a multitude of interactive channels.How did we track the omnichannel revolution? These posts help tell the story:Do Credit Unions Deliver on Omnichannel? Read MoreMeet the Omnichannel Generation Read MoreWhy Retail Trends Count Read MoreDoes Self-Service Equal Empowerment? Read MoreIs Technology Rewiring Our Brains? Read More continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more


How to develop your financial institution’s COVID-19 return-to-work policy

first_img continue reading » While many stay-at-home orders have been extended, some states are allowing at least some businesses to reopen. It is important for organizations to realize the need for advanced planning of their return-to-work strategy to ensure a smooth transition.The following best practices will provide guidance to consider while creating your institution’s return-to-work policy. While this guidance is not legal advice, it is a helpful source for getting started and can help you create a measured approach to your policy.Review Federal, State and Local PlansFirst, it is important to review any applicable federal, state and local recovery plans, including each state’s local stay-at-home orders. Some states may even have a posted recovery plan that your institution may leverage. If you are a larger multi-state institution, you may want to include the proposed recovery plan from the CDC and the White House in your decision-making process. Or, if you are a smaller institution located in a single state or in a handful of states, you may want to consider looking at a specific state’s recovery plan, such as the state of Missouri’s plan. Both plans incorporate and rely on guidance from medical professionals, which is important as you may not want to rush employees back too soon. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more


‘Storm Eta ruined my home’

first_imgStorm Eta has brought torrential rain and high winds to Central America and has devastated the home of 22-year-old Honduran Aileen. Luckily her family, which include her 75-year-old grandmother, mother, two brothers, sister and two dogs, were able to escape before the floods hit. – Advertisement – When she returned two days later, her house was still standing but everything inside was ruined. Now she is trying to rebuild her life. – Advertisement –center_img – Advertisement –last_img read more


Happy New Year 2020!

first_imgDear readers,Offshore Energy Today team wishes you a happy and prosperous New Year 2020! Thank you for reading and for coming back for your daily dose of the latest offshore energy industry news.Offshore Energy Today wishes you a wonderful New Year filled with abundance, joy, and treasured moments. May the year 2020 be your best year yet!Looking ahead, the Offshore Energy Today team promises to continue with keeping you up to date with the latest news from the offshore oil and gas sector.We’ll be taking it slow with the news in the next two days. On January 1 and 2, we’ll be releasing our most-read articles by each quarter of 2019, and you’ll be able to revisit our published galleries as well as an overview of the major oil and gas discoveries of the past year. Cheers!Offshore Energy Today Stafflast_img read more


Wenger says Arsenal to blame over Sanchez’s ‘missed test’

first_img“I think it is a special event for him to miss a drugs test because he was somewhere else,” he said.“I’m quite relaxed because we have nothing to hide here, we always try our best to co-operate with doping control. He has been tested so many times here that it’s no worry for me that he has any doping problem.”Rules drawn up by England’s Football Association state an individual player must inform the authorities if they are set to miss a scheduled training session.That also means providing “notification (which) must include your name, your club, and an address and time where you will be available for at least one hour during the day you are absent.”Players or clubs who commit three ‘whereabouts’ violations within a 12-month period are at risk of disciplinary action.Last year both Manchester City and Bournemouth were fined £35,000 after they each failed to provide accurate information for doping officials.Premier League leaders City were interested in signing Sanchez before hearing of the Gunners’ reported £35 million ($50 million, 40 million euros) price tag and the player’s wage demands.That paved the way for United to clinch a straight swap deal that saw Henrikh Mkhitaryan join Arsenal.Sanchez could make his United debut later Friday after being included in the squad selected by Jose Mourinho for the FA Cup fourth-round tie away to fourth-tier club Yeovil Town.Share on: WhatsApp London, United Kingdom | AFP | Arsene Wenger insisted Arsenal were at fault if Alexis Sanchez had missed a routine drugs test on the same day as he was completing his transfer to Manchester United but insisted both the player and the Gunners had “nothing to hide”.Reports in the British media late Thursday suggested the Chile forward had contravened the Football Association’s ‘whereabouts’ rule by missing a doping test scheduled for Monday — the same day as a move to Premier League rivals United was being completed.The ‘whereabouts rule’ in the Premier League gives players a responsibility to update their individual details.The system aims at making it easier for anti-doping authorities to conduct tests.Sanchez’s ‘whereabouts’ changed on Monday when he moved to Manchester United, although it appears the Chile forward was still technically a registered player with London giants Arsenal when the possible infraction of anti-doping rules took place.“It is just a bad day for him to be tested,” Arsenal manager Wenger told reporters on Friday. “Honestly, on the administration side it would still be our responsibility because he had not moved.– ‘Special day’ –“The most important is the intentions are right. The intention of Alexis was certainly not to hide, nor was our intention to hide anything. We have nothing to hide.”Wenger, Arsenal’s manager since September 1996, added: “I pushed always for football to do more against doping, so I don’t see why we should not co-operate.“We try our best, but this was a special day. On Monday there was a lot going on, it is a special day for Alexis Sanchez – you have to do paperwork and travel.last_img read more


U.S. Marshals Arrest Man in Miami for Shooting 8 People at Texas Bar

first_imgThe charges stem from a shooting that occurred last Friday in which a man with a rifle, who is believed to be Crew, began shooting at a group of people in the parking lot of a venue called Rebar.San Antonio police Chief William McManus says the man was part of a group that had been turned away from the bar due to being “inebriated.”McManus explains that the man asked: “Don’t you know who I am? I’m a UFC fighter from California.”He then obtained a gun from his car.Crew was arrested without incident and is in being held without bond at the Miami-Dade County Jail, according to jail records. Federal agents in Florida have arrested a man who is charged in a shooting that injury eight people outside a Texas bar last week.U.S. Marshals arrested 37-year-old Jenelius Crew on Thursday morning as he left a Miami hotel, San Antonio police announced in a statement.He faces eight counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, according to police.last_img read more


Half-time: Aston Villa 0 Chelsea 1

first_imgEden Hazard’s early goal was enough to give Chelsea a half-time lead as Jose Mourinho looked to end his winless streak at Villa Park.It took only eight minutes for the Blues to strike, as Oscar escaped down the right, pulled the ball back for Willian and his ball was turned in by Hazard.Oscar had a near post shot saved by Villa keeper Brad Guzan, who also gathered Gary Cahill’s header from the resulting corner.But Paul Lambert’s men, without a goal in their last six Premier League matches, did apply some pressure to the Blues defence, forcing several corners, and Gabby Agbonlahor headed over the bar.Chelsea came close to adding a second when Hazard led a quick break and Ramires was played in on goal, only for Ciaran Clark to produce an outstanding recovery tackle.With Diego Costa in the middle of a three-match ban, Didier Drogba started up front, while Cahill was restored to the defence alongside John Terry.Kurt Zouma and Loic Remy were named on the bench along with new signing Juan Cuadrado. Aston Villa: Guzan, Hutton, Okore, Clark, Cissokho, Westwood, Delph, Cleverley, Agbonlahor, Weimann, Gil.Subs: Given, Vlaar, Bacuna, Sinclair, Cole, Benteke, Sanchez. Chelsea: Courtois; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta; Ramires, Matic; Willian, Oscar, Hazard; Drogba.Subs: Cech, Zouma, Ake, Mikel, Loftus-Cheek, Cuadrado, Remy.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more


German star signs for MTN Qhubeka

first_img20 August 2013South African Professional Continental cycling team MTN Qhubeka announced the high-profile signing of German star Linus Gerdemann on Monday. He has joined the team for the 2014 and 2015 seasons.Gerdemann rose to fame in 2007 when he won a stage of the Tour de France and earned himself the Yellow (race leader’s) and White (best young rider’s) jerseys.Since then, his successes have included victories in events like the Bayern Rundfahrt and Tour of Luxembourg. The 30-year-old will now use his experience to grow the momentum within Africa’s first Professional Continental team.“I am really happy to join the team,” he said in a statement. “We have a huge opportunity to make the sport big on the African continent and you don’t have this opportunity every day. I see huge potential for African cycling and it’s an honour for me to join the team.”Strategic moveGerdemann’s signing is a strategic move by the management team to use his experience to fast-track the development of the African athletes on the team. It is an approach that has already proved its worth and it is something the German star is relishing.“I see that as part of my job here, to make African cycling bigger. The racing in Europe at the moment is tougher and bigger, so it’s important to have the experience to share. From what I’ve seen, though, the guys are motivated and with my experience I think I definitely want to help African cycling to grow.”Chief Marketing Officer for MTN SA, Brian Gouldie, expressed his delight with Gerdemann’s signing. “MTN is excited that Linus Gerdemann will be joining Team MTN- Qhubeka p/b Samsung for the 2014 and 2015 seasons,” he said in a statement.Proudly South African“Our Proudly South Africa Brand is making ground-breaking strides in Europe through a very successful partnership with Team MTN-Qhubeka.“Part of the dream of taking a South African team to the Grand Tours of cycling represents the pioneering spirit MTN SA has become well-known for entering new markets and facing new challenges. The teams’ performance and getting a South African team to the highest levels of world cycling is in essence a reflection of the character of MTN SA and why we have become the most successful African Brand,” he explained.“We are incredibly happy to have Linus join our team,” added Team Principal Douglas Ryder. “With eight Grand Tours under his belt, he will really strengthen our team in our Grand Tour aspirations for 2014 and 2015.“We have shown that we are able to support and build talent from the African continent, as well as resurrect riders’ careers due to the team’s high performance culture, management and sponsor support.Qhubeka Project“Our focus of racing for the Qhubeka Project inspires our riders to do so much more on the bike and give back to the sport they love. Their success makes a huge difference to so many other people.“A GC (general classification) rider like Linus will bring our team more opportunities as we aim to take African cycling to the highest levels of world cycling.”Left without a contract for 2013, Gerdemann was left to look for motivation and keep fit with no set goals. He said MTN Qhubeka team captain’s Gerald Ciolek’s victory in the Milan-San Remo Classic was a major motivator in his decision to join the South African line-up.“I’ve trained for a long time with him. For me, he is like a young cycling brother as we spend a lot of time together on the bike and off the bike.“It was such a great moment for me,” he said, recalling Ciolek’s huge win, “because I knew he had that potential and I was really happy to see him use it in one of the most important races on the calendar, and that was very inspiring and motivating for me.”Seamless transitionGerdemann said he expected joining a team registered in South Africa would be a seamless transition.“I have travelled a lot but, for me, South Africa is probably the nicest country I have been to. I’ve spent one entire summer in Cape Town for three or four months and really loved it.“Another time I spent a few weeks in Crystal Springs for altitude training, which isn’t too far from Johannesburg.“For me South Africa is fascinating and an amazing place.”SAinfo reporterlast_img read more