How Brazil’s media resist “Bolsonaro system” harassment

first_imgOn 26 May, after the latest of many episodes of verbal violence and attacks by Bolsonaro supporters, the Globo group (which includes TV Globo, the O Globo and Valor Econômico newspapers and the G1 news website), the Bandeirantes media group, Folha de São Paulo (Brazil’s leading daily) and the Metropoles news website all decided to temporarily stop attending government press conferences. Family system with tentacles Aside from the battle over the daily coronavirus figures, many scientists, doctors, researchers and NGOs have complained about the difficulty in obtaining information about the public health situation in general and information about every other kind of government activity. The issue has been the subject of dispute between various institutions. Follow the news on Brazil A survey entitled “Transparency to overcome the crisis,” which the NGO Article 19 Brazil published on 30 May to mark the eighth anniversary of the law on access to information, examined the secrecy culture and the obstacles encountered in trying to get information about Covid-19 test protocols, the number of tests carried out and hospital capacities. The year has begun terribly for Brazil, which is embroiled in a serious political and institutional crisis and has been hit badly by Covid-19. During the second quarter, the Brazilian press – which has had to adapt to an increasingly hostile climate ever since Bolsonaro’s election in October 2018 – was the target of new attacks by the president and even more so by his family, his closest ministers and loyal online supporters. July 13, 2020 – Updated on July 14, 2020 How Brazil’s media resist “Bolsonaro system” harassment This overview looks at the most significant moments in the second quarter, how the media reacted and how Brazilian society in its entirety has responded to the government’s authoritarian excesses and to the hate-filled, anti-media rhetoric coming from the highest level of government. In so doing, they joined the O Estado de S. Paulo (also known as Estadão) and Correio Braziliense newspapers, which had taken a similar decision shortly before on the grounds that their reporters’ safety was not guaranteed. RSF and its allies meanwhile used the violence as grounds for a court action calling for better security measures for reporters covering the president’s appearances before the media. The constant attacks by the so-called “Bolsonaro system” continued throughout the second quarter of 2020, with RSF registering at least 21 attacks by President Bolsonaro himself against journalists and the media in general, somewhat fewer than in the first quarter (which saw 32 cases). Several of the ministers closest to the president, such as now-former education minister Abraham Weintraub (18 attacks) and minister for human rights, women and the family Damares Alves (4 attacks) also played a major role in the concerted efforts to destroy the credibility of Brazil’s leading media, reinforcing the perception of the media as a common enemy.Attacks from the “Bolsonaro system” during the second quarter of 2020On 8 July, Facebook reported that it had deleted 35 accounts, 14 pages, a group and 38 Instagram accounts identified as constituting a disinformation network in Brazil that had recently spread disinformation about the Covid-19 pandemic. Although those responsible had disguised their identities and any coordination, Facebook said its security policy desk suspected links between these accounts and members of Bolsonaro’s Social Liberal Party and with his sons Eduardo and Flavio.This hostility coming from the heart of the Bolsonaro system has inevitably had significant consequences. The government’s supporters have felt encouraged to follow suit and step up their threats against the press. The best example has been the Alvorada Palace, the seat of the federal government, which has been the setting for repeated public humiliations of journalists. The Forum on the Right to Public Information, an alliance of several Brazilian civil society NGOs, issued a report in May about the impact of the president’s provisional measure. It said that at least 24 requests to the federal government for information from 27 March to 27 April had been rejected on the grounds of the pandemic. Brazil is ranked 107th out of 180 countries and territories in RSF’s 2020 World Press Freedom Index. News Covering pro-government demonstrations in Brazil’s main cities also became very dangerous. Several Estadão reporters were physically attacked by Bolsonaro supporters in Brasilia on 3 June. Among other incidents, graffiti saying “Kill a journalist a day” appeared on14 May and a TV Integraçao crew was attacked on 20 May in the state of Minas Gerais. April 27, 2021 Find out more It is ironic that, at this chaotic and unprecedented time in which the government’s authoritarian excesses are testing Brazil’s democratic institutions to the limits, the country seems to be discussing and debating freedom of expression and press freedom more than ever before. The Comptroller-General’s Office (CGU), which is tasked with protecting state property and combatting corruption, decided on 8 June to reduce the number of documents that can be requested under the law on access to information. Some documents, such as ministerial legal advice to the president on whether to approve or veto laws passed by congress, are now confidential. In this, the second of its quarterly overviews of the press freedom situation in Brazil in 2020, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) analyses the strategy used by President Jair Bolsonaro and his closest allies to keep stoking mistrust of journalists and their work, and how the media have been fighting back. News Transparency and access to information Several parliamentary and civil society initiatives have emerged in response to the hostility. On 28 May, congress announced the creation of the first cross-party Parliamentary Front for the Defence of Press Freedom. Its aim is to “guarantee free expression of thought, free exercise of journalism and free access to information” and to organize public debates on press freedom in close coordination with civil society, and exchanges on press freedom with parliamentarians in other countries.The second quarter saw the submission of more than 40 formal requests for President Bolsonaro’s impeachment to the speaker of the chamber of deputies, who is in charge of analysing them. (The Pública agency lists them here.) They were filed by political parties, civil society organizations and citizen groups, and most of them cite the government’s attacks on the media. This slight fall contrasted with intense activity by the president’s sons, especially on social media. During the second quarter, Rio de Janeiro municipal councillor Carlos Bolsonaro, (43 attacks), Senator Flavio Bolsonaro (47 attacks), and federal parliamentary representative Eduardo Bolsonaro (63 attacks) acted as the system’s armed wing, stepping up the offensive against journalists who are seen as a problem for the family and government.center_img RSF begins research into mechanisms for protecting journalists in Latin America to go further A survey published by the Poder360 website on 15 June reported a marked decline in the number of interviews on the coronavirus crisis that government ministers and health ministry representatives have been giving as the pandemic progressed in Brazil. More responses from institutions and civil society War over Covid-19 figures Reports Interim health minister Eduardo Pazuello – Brazil has not had an official health minister since 15 May – referred the next day to over-reporting of Covid-19 cases, rather than under-reporting, and ordered several major changes in the way the pandemic figures are counted and announced. Receive email alerts Annoyed by figures showing Covid-19’s alarming progression in Brazil and, in particular, by a death toll now exceeding 1,000 a day, President Bolsonaro personally issued orders to the health ministry on 5 June for its daily bulletins to be given to the media at 10 p.m. instead of 7 p.m. so that the figures could not be reported during the prime time evening newscasts. “It’s over for the news on the ‘Jornal Nacional’,” he told TV Globo, one of the Bolsonaro family’s favourite targets, which he calls “TV Funeral.” Reports May 13, 2021 Find out more A “provisional measure” signed by President Bolsonaro on 23 March amended the law on access to state-held information, suspending response time deadlines and imposing a requirement for information requests to be renewed during the coronavirus crisis. The members of the Federal Supreme Court (STF) voted unanimously to suspend this measure on 30 April. Help by sharing this information 2011-2020: A study of journalist murders in Latin America confirms the importance of strengthening protection policies AmericasBrazil Activities in the fieldReports and statisticsProtecting journalistsMedia independence Covid19WomenImpunityFreedom of expressionPredatorsViolence In response to these decisions, an unprecedented alliance of leading media outlets was created on 8 June. UOL, O Estado de S. Paulo, Folha de S. Paulo, O Globo, G1 and Extra said they would henceforth work closely together to get their information directly from the local authorities in Brazil’s 26 states and the Brasilia federal district, and would announce the figures in their own news reports. Organisation AmericasBrazil Activities in the fieldReports and statisticsProtecting journalistsMedia independence Covid19WomenImpunityFreedom of expressionPredatorsViolence RSF_en Alarm after two journalists murdered in Brazil April 15, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more


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Driving the message home

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Employers have been slow to recognise driving as a major risk factor to staff. But with shocking new statistics, practitioners are being forced to sit up and take noticeWhen George Orwell was researching the coal industry in the 1930’s he was shocked to discover a rubber stamp with the legend “Death Stoppage” used to mark service records. Casualties in the coal mines were taken for granted almost as they would be in a minor war. But times change, and as Health and Safety Executive/Department of Transport figures reveal, spending long hours behind the wheel today is just as hazardous as working down a coal mine. So it makes sense to treat the dangers as any other workplace hazard.Highway codeThe Government has made a start. In March, health and safety minister Lord Whitty promised a “highway code” for employers who have staff drivers.In its road safety document the Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions conceded, “We do not have reliable statistics about casualties connected with work-related traffic accidents. But company cars are more frequently involved in accidents and the number of people killed as a consequence of work activities, including driving, on our roads, could be significant.”A government task force is to draw up minimum standards for employers with driving staff, and look at closer liaison between health and safety officers and those responsible for road safety.The TUC would go further, arguing that, as in other dangerous occupations, employers should have a safety certificate before being allowed to let staff clock up the miles. It has launched a major document on the issue, Driven to Death. Increasingly, unions offer legal services for members injured in road accidents.“We want employers to play their part,” says TUC general secretary John Monks. “Some have negotiated excellent agreements with their unions to deal with the risks involved in driving for work. Others need the clarification of the existing common law duty of care.”Road safety experts predict it is only a matter of time before an employer has to pay a huge sum to a widow whose husband was forced to drive excessive hours.Sobering statisticsThe statistics are sobering. About 300 of the 1,200 drivers killed on Britain’s roads each year are driving for work. To put that in context, the number of train drivers killed in a year is in single figures, and is sometimes zero, as in 1998. Yet driving a company car is not seen as being a safety-critical occupation. “The car is not seen as a risk factor in a job,” says Gail Cotton, president of the Association of Occupational Health Nurse Practitioners. “Some companies are aware of the dangers but most are not.”OH consultant Cynthia Atwell adds, “It is the most lethal piece of equipment one ever gets into. I would like to see a restriction on the number of hours that anyone can drive. There is a restriction on HGV drivers, with the tachograph, but people like you or I could drive all day for work if we wanted to.“My experience shows that a lot of people will get up very early in the morning, go on site, do eight, nine or 10 hours’ work and then drive for two, three or four hours. This is totally unacceptable. I do not think any employer should expect people to do that.“Some people say they are happy to do that and it does not affect them. I would argue that if you were tested for reactions you would not get a good result.”Atwell also wonders how many important decisions are made by business leaders following a long day and a long drive. “It clearly needs to be looked at more in relation to when people do have accidents. It brings in the issue of drugs – not just drugs of abuse but prescribed or over-the-counter drugs,” she adds.Atwell recommends that drugs-testing procedures should be extended to people driving company cars for long periods, much as they are in place for train drivers. Though she adds, “I think that will be contentious as people who drive company cars tend to be more senior management positions, and that probably would not go down well.”Occupational health advisers need to point out the dangers to the rest of the company and encourage the establishment of a driving policy. This would set maximum journey lengths, above which the driver should be able to book into a hotel, and maximum stints at the wheel without a break. “People need to know what is expected of them,” says Atwell.Moreover, the guidelines must be reflected in timetables and working arrangements, so that they are not merely a statement of intent with little real effect. “There is pressure on drivers to make meetings; there are time management and organisational issues,” says Cotton.She adds that there are dozens of serious health risks associated with driving for long periods, in addition to the dangers of accidents. The two issues are linked, as some ailments such as stress or poor vision heighten the risk of a crash.Road safety pressure group Brake carried out a survey two years ago which found that two in three people admitted having fallen asleep at the wheel. About half of those interviewed had nodded off while driving more than twice during the year before the survey. “Professional drivers and company car drivers are particularly at risk, due to the high mileages they travel,” the agency concluded.Fitness levelsLoughborough University has carried out research which concluded that tiredness is responsible for up to 20 per cent of serious crashes on monotonous roads, such as motorways. Yet many drivers exaggerate their capacity and stamina.“A car has to be serviced regularly but you do not bother about the driver,” says Cotton. “Men especially would not keep a car without a regular service but they are quite happy to run their own bodies doing none of those things. You need to do an MoT for the body as part of the risk assessment.Driving for long periods can cause or aggravate poor health, Cotton argues. “We have people driving as part of their job, so should we not assess their fitness to drive?”Even road rage comes into the equation. It is more likely that a tired, stressed individual flies into a fit of temper than someone who is relaxed – especially if he or she is in physical pain. Driving the message homeOn 4 Jul 2000 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. last_img read more

Navy Dive Southern Partnership Station 2011 Joins PANAMAX

first_imgBy Dialogo August 22, 2011 U.S. Navy divers assigned to Mobile Dive and Salvage Unit Two (MDSU 2) company 23, joined divers from Panama, Belize and Canada to exchange knowledge and tactics in Panama City, Panama. MDSU 2 divers are deployed as a part of Navy Dive Southern Partnership 2011 (ND-SPS 11) and are joining PANAMAX during this part of their deployment. This engagement will include an exchange of information with the multinational divers on dive medicine, chamber operations, and cutting and welding techniques, while conducting a salvage survey as part of PANAMAX. “This is a great experience for our new divers, and a chance for them to gain knowledge and experience from the U.S. divers,” said Sgt. Abel Dominguez, a diver for the Panamanian forces. “Those of us with experience look forward to learning salvage diving and underwater cutting and welding.” ND-SPS 2011 is a joint subject matter exchange, allowing divers of different nations to learn tactics of other nations and share experiences, increasing interoperability amongst the nations. “We have a small dive team and are not experienced in many dive tactics,” said Ensign Ray Good, a Belize coast guard diver. “We look forward to increasing or knowledge of diving and learning new tactics during this engagement.” MDSU 2 members look forward to the subject matter exchange and building a lasting partnership with the divers of Panama and Belize. “The opportunity for us to work and engage with the divers of the Panamanian forces is a great honor and opportunity,” said Chief Warrant Officer James Hordinski, officer in charge of MDSU 2 company 23. “Being able to operate with multinational forces as part of SPS and PANAMAX speaks volumes to strengthening partnerships and increasing interoperability with our partner nations in the region.” PANAMAX 2011 is an annual multinational training exercise sponsored by U.S. Southern Command focused on the security of the Panama Canal being held Aug. 15-26. Participating during the 12-day event are 3,500 civil and military representatives from Argentina, Belize, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and the United States. The exercise is being held off the coasts of Panama and U.S.last_img read more

Williams edges out strong field to win Burnham Memorial Two-Stage Cycling Race

first_imgA FIRST-place position by former Caribbean Senior Road Racing champion, Marlon Williams, in Stage One was enough to give him an overall victory against a strong field yesterday in the Forbes Burnham Memorial Two-Stage Cycling Race.Forty-two of the country’s top cyclists competed from Linden to Georgetown yesterday morning, before 30 of them (those who did not complete the first stage could not start the second) rode from Carifesta Avenue to Belfield on the East Coast of Demerara and back for the finish.Team Evolution cyclist, Williams, who clocked 2:59:50 from Linden to Georgetown, but who faded to sixth position in the afternoon leg, had still done enough to finish with an overall time of 4:14:28.Curtis Dey, who finished third yesterday morning and fourth in the afternoon, was two seconds behind in the overall count at 4:14:30, while Marcus Keiler, who won the Courts Mashramani 50-mile Road Race on Sunday in Berbice, placed third overall.Keiler had made ground in the afternoon with a third-place finish.  He tallied 4:14:34. Christopher Griffith won the East Coast leg in 1:14:30. He was followed by Andrew Hicks and Keiler; with Dey, Kemuel Moses and Williams making up the top six.Hicks placed fourth overall in a time of 4:14:35, while Paul DeNobrega finished fifth (4:14:36) and Stephano Husbands sixth (4:14:38)Meanwhile, Paul Cho-Wee-Nam won the veterans battle ahead of Alex Mendes and Jaikarran Sookhai, while Mario Washington was the overall Junior winner.  David Hicks finished second and J. Thom third.The race was organised and sponsored by the Forbes Burnham Foundation and supervised by the Flying Stars Cycling Club.last_img read more