Two TV journalists freed on bail after 44 days in prison

first_imgNews Lebanon : Violence against reporters becoming more frequent in Lebanon Organisation News Follow the news on Lebanon New TV journalists Firas Hatoum and Abdel-Azim Khayat and their driver Mohammed Barbar were released on bail today after being held for the past six weeks in Roumie prison northeast of Beirut. According to Agence France-Presse, they each had to pay bail of 500,000 Lebanese pounds (255 euros). They are still charged with “theft” for entering the apartment of a leading prosecution witness in the murder of former prime minister Rafik Hariri and for moving evidence that was “important for the investigation.” They face between three and eight years in prison.———————————————————–19.01.2007 New TV journalists held for past month on theft chargesReporters Without Borders has written to Lebanese information minister Ghazi Aridi urging him to do everything possible to obtain the release of New TV journalists Firas Hatoum and Abdel-Azim Khayat, and their driver Mohammed Barbar, who have been held since 19 December for entering the apartment of a key witness in the murder of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. “These journalists have been in prison for a month now,” the press freedom organisation said. “We will remain on alert until they are freed. We call on the authorities to stop considering this as a criminal case. These three men are not thieves but journalists who were acting in a professional capacity. If they must be punished, then it should be done according to the press law.”The staff of New TV, a satellite news station based in Beirut, staged a demonstration on 17 January outside the information ministry to demand the release of their colleagues. Other Lebanese journalists and cameramen participated in the protest. Aridi refused to come out and talk to them, and he said in a statement that there was no possibility of intervening in the case because it was not a press freedom issue. He also said it was hurting the international investigation into Hariri’s assassination in February 2005.New TV news director Mariam Bassam told Reporters Without Borders the authorities had no right to keep Hatoum, Khayet and Barbar locked up as they had just been doing their job as journalists. She said she was amazed by the rigidity of the justice ministry’s position on this case, especially as the station’s relations with the ministry had been good. The ministry had to be aware that the journalists’ intentions had not been bad, she said.The three New TV employees were arrested on 19 December for entering the apartment of Mohammed Zouheir Siddik, a leading prosecution witness in the Hariri murder. They had obtained Siddik’s permission to go to his apartment and there was no sign outside saying it was forbidden to enter.Instead of being prosecuted under the press law, they have been charged with theft under criminal law and face between three and eight years in prison. LebanonMiddle East – North Africa Lebanese journalist found shot dead in car News Forum on Information and Democracy 250 recommendations on how to stop “infodemics” to go furthercenter_img News January 14, 2021 Find out more RSF_en Receive email alerts Help by sharing this information LebanonMiddle East – North Africa January 31, 2007 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Two TV journalists freed on bail after 44 days in prison February 4, 2021 Find out more November 11, 2020 Find out morelast_img read more

McColl’s to buy 298 Co-op stores

first_imgConvenience store and newsagent operator McColl’s has agreed to buy 298 stores from The Co-operative Group, in a deal worth £117m.The deal, which is subject to shareholder and regulatory approval, would see all 3,808 members of staff currently working in the 298 stores in question transfer to McColl’s on the same terms and conditions, so no job losses are anticipated.The 298 stores sold to McColl’s represent the smaller stores in The Co-op’s estate, with an average size of 1,700sq ft.Co-op Food chief executive Steve Murrells said: “This announcement is completely in line with our strategy, as these stores did not allow us to provide a sufficiently compelling own-brand offer for our members going forwards. The proceeds will be re-invested to drive sustainable growth for our members.”McColl’s chief executive Jonathan Miller said: “I am delighted to announce the acquisition of 298 quality convenience stores in a transformational deal for McColl’s. This opportunity substantially accelerates our growth strategy and expands our neighbourhood presence for the benefit of our customers.“These stores are profitable, well-invested, and the perfect size for our operating model. We expect the transaction to be significantly earnings enhancing for our shareholders.”McColl’s claims to rank third in the number of owned convenience stores in the UK. The company said it sells 50,000 sandwiches every week, 30,000 £1 loaves of bread every week and 100m units of confectionery every year.In April The Co-operative Group reported 3.3% underlying profit growth in food sales, up to £250m for the 52 weeks to 2 January 2016.last_img read more

Paul Lock takes charge as Ellsworth boys’ soccer coach

first_imgELLSWORTH — Paul Lock isn’t afraid to be unconventional, and the Ellsworth boys’ soccer team knows it.It was late in the afternoon, and Lock was watching his team conclude its daily practice. After about 10 minutes, he hatched an idea — an unorthodox one, perhaps, but one that would test the Eagles’ sense of preparation.As the team went through three-on-three drills, Lock began to gather stray soccer balls the team had used earlier in practice. After he had gathered about 10 balls into a pile, he started throwing them onto field one by one.“Go!” Lock shouted. “Everybody go!”This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textHis players looked confused for a brief moment, but they quickly improvised. Just as the Eagles had done in three-on-three drills before, they focused on gaining possession and dribbling past one another.“That’s what I like to see,” Lock told his team. “You never know for sure what’s coming at you, but you’ve got to be ready for it.”Indeed, Lock, who took over as Ellsworth’s coach in July, has this Ellsworth team ready for whatever gets thrown its way. He’s replacing a legend — his predecessor, Brian Higgins, coached the team for 42 years and won a state-record 566 games — but he’s not afraid to introduce his own flair to the program.“You always have to be on your toes,” Lock said. “If you let your guard down, you’re not going to get very far. You can’t always predict, but you can certainly react.”Lock previously taught and coached soccer at the elementary and middle school level in Ellsworth from 1992 until 2014. He also developed a longstanding relationship with Higgins at Ellsworth’s Bootin’ Eagle camps, which the two had coached together since Lock first came to the middle school.Many current members of Ellsworth’s team are players Lock coached and taught before they reached the varsity level. For those players, one of whom is senior Colby Clarke, familiarity won’t be an issue.“It’s kind of easier because he’s someone we’ve known for a while,” Clarke said. “A lot of those drills, we’ve been doing them since we were in middle school with him, and he still always adds new tricks and twists to them.”A different twist has come in the team’s playing style. Lock prefers his own style of play, which Clarke said is more open and free-flowing, over Higgins’ more compact, tightly organized formations.It’s an adjustment that will take time for some, but the team as a whole has enjoyed learning and implementing something new.“With Higgins, we used to focus on playing down the wing, crosses, throw-ins and set pieces,” Clarke said. “Mr. Lock wants us to be a bit more open and use the middle [of the field] a little more, which I like. It’s got more of a European style to it.”Like most schoolteachers, Lock has the uncanny ability to see everything at once. He notices certain plays unfold before his players make them, and he’s quick to give coaching advice or give players feedback on mistakes a split second after they occur. Even with nearly two dozen players on the field at once, there’s little that escapes him.“He sees things we wouldn’t even think about,” Ellsworth senior Wyatt Alexander said. “His creativity, it’s just incredible. Mentally, it challenges us, but it’s also an exciting change.”Lock will coach his first official game Saturday, Sept. 3, when Ellsworth hosts Caribou at Del Luce Stadium. The game will take place following the conclusion of the girls’ team’s 1 p.m. game, which also is against Caribou.When Ellsworth kicks off that day, it will be a different moment for the program. After 42 years with Higgins, the transition wasn’t necessarily going to be easy. Yet Ellsworth’s players feel the adjustment to a new coach was about as smooth as it could have been, and they’re embracing the changes Lock has brought to the team.Lock will be the first to admit his new role comes with some added pressure, but no one wants to get the season started more than he does.“I’ve been thinking of that day for a while,” he said. “I couldn’t be more thankful to the people here for having confidence that I can take on such a big role. We can’t wait to get out there and show that Ellsworth soccer isn’t going anywhere.” Mike MandellMike Mandell is the sports editor at The Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander. He began working for The American in August 2016. You can reach him via email at [email protected] Latest Posts Latest posts by Mike Mandell (see all) Biocenter_img Ellsworth runners compete in virtual Boston Marathon – September 16, 2020 Hospice volunteers help families navigate grief and find hope – September 12, 2020 MPA approves golf, XC, field hockey, soccer; football, volleyball moved to spring – September 10, 2020last_img read more