Two Los Angeles Times journalists kidnapped by guerrillas were freed on 1 February after 11 days. They were handed over to International Red Cross officials. Their release, originally set for 31 January, was delayed because of fighting in the area. October 21, 2020 Find out more May 13, 2021 Find out more RSF begins research into mechanisms for protecting journalists in Latin America British reporter Ruth Morris and US photographer Scott Dalton (photo, CR El Tiempo), both on assignment for the Los Angeles Times, were freed on 1 February after being held 11 days by guerrillas of Colombia’s National Liberation Army (ELN). They were handed over to International Red Cross officials between the towns of Fortul and Tame, in the northeastern department of Arauca. Their release, originally set for 31 January, was delayed because of fighting in the area between the army and guerrillas. They told a press conference on arrival in Bogota that they had never feared for their lives and had been well treated, but had been worried about distress caused to their families. They were then taken to the embassies of their respective countries.Ruth Morris: ‘I’m afraid our abduction will dissuade some foreign journalists from covering the Colombian conflict.’ Testimony of Ruth Morris collected by Christine Renaudat, Reporters Without Border’s correspondent in Bogota.’I was out reporting with the photographer Scott Dalton in Arauca in north-east Colombia when we were abducted. I wanted to collect testimony from the victims of the latest guerrilla attacks in the region, for the Los Angeles Times. While we were driving in the sector, our taxi was intercepted at a FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) and ELN (National Liberation Army) guerrilla roadblock. Immediately, an ELN commander saw us and asked us to follow him. I presented my journalist’s papers and explained we were out reporting. I was sure they were going to let us through. But we had to follow him to meet one of his superiors. When the latter asked us who he had to inform if we were made prisoners, we understood we no longer had any choice. The guerrilla movement apparently intended to release us very quickly: the following day. But the press started to speak of an abduction and things started to get complicated: the front commander decided to detain us longer. We remained eleven days in the hands of the ELN Frente de Guerra Oriental commanded by the man called ‘Pablo’. Eleven days trekking through the region without knowing precisely where we were and with Colombian army helicopters buzzing above us. At no time were we afraid of being assassinated: we always thought we were important hostages for the guerrilla organisation, which always ensured we were well treated and safe. We learnt by means of the little radio we were carrying that other journalists were rallying for our release, in Bogata. I interviewed commander Pablo before being released. I think the rebels wanted to use us for their propaganda purposes, convening for our release a committee of several important people in Colombia. But we were finally handed over to the Red Cross. I’m afraid our abduction will dissuade some foreign journalists from covering the Colombian conflict. Many will think it over twice before reporting on the spot.’_________________________________________ Receive email alerts ColombiaAmericas 2011-2020: A study of journalist murders in Latin America confirms the importance of strengthening protection policies Follow the news on Colombia Help by sharing this information February 5, 2003 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Two Los Angeles Times journalists freed April 27, 2021 Find out more to go further News Organisation News News RSF, IFEX-ALC and Media Defence, support FLIP and journalist Diana Díaz against state harassment in Colombia 1st February 2003Army and guerrillas urged to allow release of kidnapped Los Angeles Times journalistsReporters Without Borders called today on all sides fighting in the Colombian department of Arauca to create the necessary conditions to free two Los Angeles Times journalists, reporter Ruth Morris and photographer Scott Dalton, who were kidnapped there by guerrillas of the left-wing National Liberation Army (ELN) on 21 January.A humanitarian committee, to which the guerrillas have said they will hand over the journalists, has been prevented from reaching the area where they are being held because of military operations in the oil-rich northeastern department.”The committee must be allowed in as soon as possible,” said Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Robert Ménard. “The longer their release takes and the more difficult it is, the more it will discourage journalists from reporting on the fighting. This would be a serious matter because a war without witnesses is open to the worst abuses, of which civilians are always the first victims.”He condemned the kidnapping as a “serious violation” of press freedom and said he was “shocked” by President Alvaro Uribe’s implication on 31 January that would not order a pause in the fighting to allow the journalists to get out. Fighting was going on in the area between the army and guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). The humanitarian committee, of civil society representatives, was trying to get to the town of Tame, where the journalists were.Ménard said the ELN’s statement that the kidnapping had been a “mistake” by a group of guerrillas who had “not realised the seriousness of what they were doing” was “preposterous and insulting.” He noted the ELN had kidnapped more than 20 journalists over the past five years, mostly to force the media to denounce abuses by the army and the paramilitary forces in the war. Reporters Without Borders has put ELN military chief Nicolas Rodríguez Bautista on its worldwide list of “predators of press freedom.”President Uribe said on 31 January he would take no decision in the matter that undermined the morale of the army, implying that the fighting would go on. He accused the ELN of trying to give the impression to international opinion that it respected human rights by saying it would free the journalists, while in fact it regularly kidnapped ordinary Colombians. Ménard said freeing the journalists “would fool nobody about the ELN’s human rights violations” and called on the Colombian government to fulfil its main duty to protect civilians. “If the journalists are wounded or killed by army gunfire, the president will not be able to wash his hands of the matter by blaming the ELN or blaming carelessness by the journalists, who are bravely trying to report on what is happening in Arauca.””Who will report on the abuses against the population by the armed groups, especially the ELN, if journalists no longer dare to go there?” he asked.The two journalists had gone to the area to report on the deployment of 60 US Special Forces officially training Colombian army units. An ELN spokesman said the pair had been detained near Tame on 21 January because they had gone into the ELN-controlled area without permission. Arauca is the scene of fierce fighting between all four parties in the Colombian civil war – the army, the ELN, the FARC and the paramilitary United Self-Defence Forces of Colombia (AUC).A report on the situation (“Arauca: News in Danger”) last 20 December by five organisations, including Reporters Without Borders, detailed the threats, harassment and obstruction of journalists by the guerrillas and paramilitaries and the army’s constant control of news put out by the local media. The report is online at www.rsf.org ColombiaAmericas Reports RSF_en
The Harvard Business School Action Plan for Racial Equity, an ambitious plan to advance racial equity both within and beyond the School, was announced today in a message from HBS Dean Nitin Nohria to the community. “This moment has made urgently clear that the School must redouble its commitment to combat racism — and anti-Black racism in particular — to create meaningful and enduring change that will enable every member of our community to thrive” said Nohria in a message to faculty, students, staff, and alumni. “Our Action Plan for Racial Equity reflects our highest aspirations for the School and the role it can play in business and society.” The plan was drafted by the Dean’s Anti-Racism Task Force, a group of 25 members of the community tasked with developing an action plan to advance anti-racism education and research, support the Black community at HBS and beyond, engage the broader business community, and change the School’s culture and organization. Chief Information Officer of HBS Ron Chandler, Senior Associate Dean for Culture and Community Jan Hammond, and Senior Associate Dean and Chair of the MBA Program Jan Rivkin led the effort. “Crafting the plan was a major effort undertaken in the midst of a long overdue racial reckoning across America and around the world,” said Rivkin. “I can’t recall a time when so many people at HBS came together with such a shared sense of urgency and conviction for real change. I think everyone understands that the work to which we are committing will make Harvard Business School better — for every member of our community. Now that it is launched, the hard but fulfilling work of executing the plan begins.” Creating a shared visionThe Task Force first met on July 1 to begin to build consensus around a common vision and identify the cornerstones of a plan for racial equity at HBS. It settled on seven key areas and set up work streams for each, casting a wider net to engage more members of the community. What began as a 25-person Task Force quickly expanded to 72. Each work stream was asked to generate two or three bold but achievable ideas for how the School could advance racial equity. The recommendations were discussed and refined through multiple iterations, and the Task Force co-chairs sought broad input from the community before finalizing the action plan. “The Task Force leaders were certain from the start that a successful action plan would emerge only by including, and carefully listening to, a broad set of voices of Black members of our community,” said Hammond. “The ideas the work streams developed emerged out of thoughtful, candid, and sometimes difficult discussions — the kind of discussions we will have to continue having to make progress and meaningful change.” Highlights from the planThe plan describes seven steps the School has committed to take to improve racial equity on its campus and in the business world more broadly, beginning with an unambiguous rejection of racism, and anti-Black racism in particular, and a vision for HBS to become an institution that exhibits racial equity itself and educates leaders who advance racial equity in other organizations.The second step calls for establishing enduring structures that will sustain HBS’s work on racial equity, beginning with hiring a Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer who reports to the highest levels of the School. The School will also establish and fund a Racial Equity Initiative to serve as a hub for research, course development, convening, and outreach related to race in business and the economy. The third step focuses on attracting additional Black talent to the School’s faculty, student body, and staff. Efforts include reaching more thoroughly into talent pipelines and pools, confronting current practices that impede diversity, reducing financial barriers for promising students of all backgrounds, developing programs that meet the professional needs of Black talent, and creating a culture that makes HBS a particularly attractive place for diverse faculty, students, and staff to do their best work. The fourth step involves supporting the development and dissemination of research and course material that advances racial equity in business. The Racial Equity Initiative will play an important role in this effort, working closely with HBS and visiting scholars to strengthen research, promote collaborations between HBS faculty and faculty at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), and develop more cases with diverse protagonists and course material relevant to racial equity. Step five calls for equipping HBS’s students to become leaders for racial equity by better training faculty to lead sensitive discussions about race, mandating program chairs to outline and improve how diversity, equity and inclusion issues are addressed in their educational programs, and increasing the diversity of speakers, panelists, and attendees at HBS convenings. The sixth step centers on engaging with the broader business community to promote racial equity. Initial steps will include adjusting purchasing practices to include a greater share of Black-owned businesses and enabling and encouraging companies that recruit at HBS to reveal how well they are performing on diversity metrics. Future steps may include, for example, convening roundtables of Black executives and allied leadership to deepen the community’s understanding of best practices for creating and managing a diverse workforce. Step seven describes how the School will hold itself accountable to meaningful, measurable progress. Ownership of every aspect of the plan has been assigned to a senior faculty or staff member responsible for launching the work and defining a timeline. A regularly updated public report and an internal dashboard will track HBS’s progress on its racial equity work. And a Board of Advisors will be assembled to review the School’s progress, advise HBS’s leaders, and keep the racial equity efforts on track. The path forwardThe Task Force leaders note that the most difficult work is about to begin. To support this critical work, Nohria has committed $25 million dollars during the next 10 years, and the School will seek additional support from donors to sustain the plan over time. “The plan is a really important step in what now has to be a sustained effort.” said Chandler. “I’ve seen firsthand the passion of our community for this work on racial equity. There is real recognition that we all own this.” “To be true to our mission, we must enlist the full spectrum of human talent and educate leaders who will make the most of the differences that enrich us individually, and societies globally,” added Nohria.The complete Harvard Business School Action Plan for Racial Equality can be found here. Read Full Story
Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error “I wasn’t surprised at all,” Harris said on remaining in the game. It was a tough play. Taj slipped. It felt like he was wide open. It seemed like he grabbed the ball and went up in slow motion.”Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni defended the decision, calling Harris a “better defender, longer and a better defender.” “We didn’t slide over to cover for him,” D’Antoni said. “It wasn’t his fault. It’s the team’s fault. He’ll learn from it.”That didn’t soften the frustration, with a visibly upset Gasol walking off the court. After all, the Lakers (16-26) snapped their two-game winning streak in a season where wins have come at a premium. They also rank 13th in the Western Conference. “You don’t lose a game on one play,” said Gasol, whose 20 points on 8-of-15 shooting and 19 rebounds was offset with five turnovers. “But to lose a game like that on a layup still hurts.” The Lakers hurt in other areas.They committed 21 turnovers, including Gasol (five) and Kendall Marshall (four) as the worst offenders. The Lakers allowed D.J. Augustin to score 27 points on 10-of-16 shooting. With the Lakers leading 98-93 with 2:59 left, Chicago went on a 7-0 run while the Lakers missed their next six shots and committed two turnovers.But in the place that Michael Jordan built, Young continued his emergence as the Lakers’ go-to-closer. He capped a season-high 31 points on 11-of-23 shooting with a baseline jumper that tied the game, 100-100, with six seconds left. He had also sank three consecutive free throws to force overtime. Lakers rookie Ryan Kelly then forced an out-of-bounds with .9 seconds left, suggesting the Lakers could thrive again in double overtime. Moments later, the game ended. “We fought too hard to lose like that,” Young said. “It’s heartbreaking. We both felt hard today. But we felt like we were going to go streaking.” Instead, the Lakers fell short. A season after never wavering on the Lakers’ playoff fortunes despite the endless injuries and infighting, Bryant offered said he has “no clairvoyant powers whatsoever” on this team’s postseason chances.Yet, the Lakers say they are clinging onto hope that the same determined effort will yield a different outlook, presuming, of course, they pay attention next time on the last-second inbounds play. “It’s encouraging and you have to continue the same spirit and energy we played the last few games,” Gasol said. “That’s how you give ourselves chances. But I don’t like losing. It’s a tough one to swallow.” CHICAGO >> The Lakers summed up their whole season in .9 seconds.The Lakers never give up, but a depleted roster remains usually overwhelming. Nick Young emerged as the team’s go-to-scorer without Kobe Bryant, but the Lakers still lack a closer. And the Lakers still can’t play consistent defense.Just when it appeared they could secure their third consecutive win, the Lakers squandered it all by allowing Bulls forward Taj Gibson to score on a wide-open inbounds pass from Mike Dunleavy just as time expired, ensuring the Lakers a 102-100 overtime loss to Chicago at United Center. A visibly upset Pau Gasol stood off the court, cognizant that wins this season come at a premium. The man responsible for guarding Gibson was Manny Harris, who had just played in the Development League last week. Harris guarded Gibson’s backside, believing he would pop out for a jumper. Instead, Gibson drove toward the basket. With Gasol defending the inbounds pass, he had little time to adjust.
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Woodcraft Rangers, the leader in after-school programs for Los Angeles at-risk youth, proudly celebrates their 90th Anniversary with a dinner, silent auction and entertainment on Wednesday, May 8, 2013, at La Plaza de Cultura y Artes in downtown Los Angeles. Kyra Sedgwick and Kevin Bacon serve as Honorary Co-Chairs.Actor, producer and director Dennis Haysbert will be an award presenter. One of the awards will be presented to Academy Award nominee for Best Actress for her role in the 2009 movie Precious, Gabourey Sidibe, for being an inspiration to today’s teens. Musical guests included a special performance by Scott Shriner from the hit band Weezer.“I’m really proud to be honored by Woodcraft Rangers,” said Sidibe. “Being able to inspire teens is really important to me. I’m excited to be a part of this great evening. Kids are my jam!”“Woodcraft Rangers gives youth the amazing chance to express themselves through music — this is a priceless gift,” said Shriner. “I’m thrilled to be performing with one of the talented kids who has benefitted from this great program. The 90th Anniversary celebration is a great way for people to get involved and have a blast.”“Woodcraft Rangers is literally shaping the lives of over 6,000 students every day,” said Sedgwick. “This organization provides an outlet for otherwise at-risk youth to follow their passions, everything from technology to music and from dance to the arts.”“We are very excited about our fundraising event this year,” said Woodcraft Rangers CEO Chris Johnson. “We have so much enthusiasm, passion and commitment this year from a lot of people who believe in our mission. All the funds raised at the dinner and auction will go to our Nvision program, which is one the most successful after-school programs in Los Angeles.”Since 1922, Woodcraft Rangers has provided innovative after-school programs to underserved youth in the greater Los Angeles area. These programs operate on 60 public school campuses and reach over 15,000 students annually by helping children, across all grade levels, mature into healthy, productive adults through positive experiences and age-appropriate challenges. Woodcraft Rangers serves at-risk youth in neighborhoods where access to positive, structured activities is limited and kids are left with little or no adult supervision during non-school hours. Woodcraft Rangers offers a positive alternative to the boredom and negative peer pressures that can lead to juvenile delinquency.The organization promotes self-discovery and supports academic achievement by involving youth in experiences that engage the imagination, stimulate thinking, uncover talents and reveal potential. WR’s signature after-school program is Nvision. Nvision consists of school-based afterschool club for youth designed to promote academic, social, and physical development with activities that include cooking, etiquette, jewelry making, drawing and painting, and computer skills.Within Nvision program is the youth in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education component that was singled out by Senator Barbara Boxer, the Afterschool Caucus Chair, in a speech on the Senate Floor recently stating, “Woodcraft Rangers exposes middle school students to cutting-edge STEM activities, including robotics. This highly engaging program allows students to configure high-tech robotics, enhancing their STEM skills, unlocking their imaginations, and exposing them to real-world problem- solving situations.”Recognition events, to which parents, faculty, and other youth are invited to celebrate participants’ accomplishments, are held at regularly. These events may include an exhibit, team competition, performance, or awards ceremony. WR also provides field trips to educational, cultural, and recreational venues. For more information on Woodcraft Rangers, click here.The event starts at 6:00 pm on Wednesday, May 8, 2013, La Plaza de Cultura y Artes at 501 N. Main Street, Downtown Los Angeles. For more details about the event and to purchase tickets, click here.
The Hasty Pudding Institute of 1770 held their annual Order of the Golden Sphinx Gala at the Plaza Hotel in New York City earlier this week.Legendary Music Producer and SONY Entertainment Music Chief Creative Officer Clive Davis was the 2015 recipient of the Order of the Golden Sphinx award, the highest honor bestowed by the Institute, which recognizes individuals in the entertainment industry for their extraordinary contributions to the performing arts.The evening included a number of lively and memorable performances, including the now traditional opening number “Your Lucky Night” written and composed by Larry O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin, and performed by CBS’s Mo Rocca with current and past cast members of the Hasty Pudding Theatricals and Harvard Krokodiloes. Larry, Nell and Mo are all alumni of the Hasty Pudding. The Harvard Krokodiloes showcased the impressive vocals and quirky choreography that has made them famous the world over with renditions of “I’ve Got the World on a String” and “Sing, Sing, Sing” arranged by the students themselves. The evening concluded on a high note with a special tribute song arranged by Larry O’Keefe and Dan Ring, “Clive Davis’ State Of Mind”, a mash up of Barry Manilow’s “Mandy” with Jay Z’s and Alicia Keys’s “Empire State of Mind” with new original lyrics hailing a “Music genius that dreams are made of ’, performed by the Theatricals and Krokodiloes and led by Pudding alum Matt DaSilva.Upon being presented with the Order of the Golden Sphinx award by Andrew Farkas, Chairman & Grand Sphinx of the Hasty Pudding Institute, Clive Davis gave a gracious and heartfelt thank-you speech and treated the audience with a wonderful surprise performance of “A Song For You” by his new artist Avery Wilson, 19, who brought the house down.In addition to being a celebration of talent, the Order of the Golden Sphinx gala is also the opportunity for the Hasty Pudding Institute of 1770 to present its philanthropic work and thank its supporters. This year the Pudding doubled its Philanthropic giving, expanding its grants to BAM’s Arts + Justice program, the Arthur Miller Foundation and Institute of Play, The West End House Boys & Girls Club, and renewing its Fellowships with The Black List and the American Repertory Theatre. The Institute also announced new grants and partnerships with Ghetto Film School (the first Film High-school in the land) and the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company’s Shakespeare OFF the Common program.In typical Pudding fashion, guests were served the traditional “Hasty Pudding” for dessert and the event concluded in a brisk 95 minutes. Attendees to the event included Clive Davis’s family, Adrienne Arsht, Tita Cahn, TruTV’s Rikki Klieman, Courtney B. Vance, Victor Garber, Dr. Mehmet Oz, Dr. Jennifer Mieres, Stanley Buchthal, Jeff Blau and Bruce Biel from RELATED (one of the evening’s main sponsors with Beacon Capital Partners, Equinox and Soul Cycle), Denise Rich, Ann and Andrew Tisch, and Arnold Stiefel, to name just a few. The Hasty Pudding Institute of 1770’s philanthropic mission is to provide educational and developmental support in all aspects of the performing arts for the underprivileged, to encourage satire and comedy, and to cultivate young talent around the world. The Institute is comprised of The Hasty Pudding Club (the oldest social club in the United States), The Hasty Pudding Theatricals (the third oldest theater group in the world, after the Comedie Francaise and the Oberammergau Passion Players) and the Harvard Krokodiloes (the foremost collegiate a cappella group in the United States). Over the last two centuries, it has grown into a premiere performing arts organization, a patron of the arts and comedy, and an advocate for satire and discourse as tools for change worldwide.For more information about the Hasty Pudding Institute of 1770, click here.