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

CDC says new virus spreading beyond travelers

first_imgApr 28, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – As the official count of US swine influenza cases rose to 64 today, top federal health officials said it’s becoming increasingly clear that the virus is spreading beyond people who recently traveled to Mexico, the epicenter of the outbreak.”The information we’re seeing from states and locals . . . is that this appears to be acting like a normal flu virus, which has a fairly high rate of transmission in families,” Dr. Richard Besser, acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said at a news briefing this afternoon. He said investigators are finding respiratory and flu-like illnesses in family members of case-patients.Besser said the only confirmed case of person-to-person transmission in the United States so far is in the two Kansas cases, which officials have said involved a husband and wife. But he said that probably only reflects the limited extent of testing, adding, “I expect we are seeing transmission within families.”Later he commented that while travel history is an important diagnostic clue in people who have a flu-like illness, “I wouldn’t limit it to that, because it’s really [in] a minority of cases to date that we’ve identified that travel history.”The signs of ongoing transmission seem to fit with the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) move yesterday to raise the pandemic alert level to phase 4, which means a new flu virus can spread efficiently enough to cause sustained community outbreaks.This morning the CDC raised its case count to 64, from 40 as of yesterday, including 45 cases in New York, 10 in California, 6 in Texas, 2 in Kansas, and 1 in Ohio. Besser said five patients have been hospitalized—three in California and two in New York—but provided no details on their illnesses.The Associated Press reported this afternoon that “several hundred” students who attend a New York City Catholic school that has been hit by swine flu are sick.Besser reported that the latest illness onset date in a confirmed swine flu case is Apr 24, but that doesn’t mean there has been no transmission since then.”We’re asking that if you are a confirmed case not only that you stay home, but that the rest of your family stay home as well,” to limit the virus’s spread, he said.States all want suppliesIn other comments, Besser reported that all states have now requested their shares of antiviral drugs and personal protective equipment from the Strategic National Stockpile, and the CDC is working to fulfill the requests. He called the requests “a forward-leaning step,” since most states don’t have any cases yet.In response to a question, he said the CDC has not yet identified anything that distinguishes swine flu from seasonal flu, aside from the possible clue of a travel history. He said it was an advantage that the new virus did not emerge in the middle of the regular flu season.”If this outbreak had occurred in January or February it would’ve been very difficult to detect because of all the flu activity going on,” he said.On vaccine issues, Besser called the possibility of adding a swine flu antigen to the seasonal flu vaccine “an attractive approach” in that one vaccine could protect against seasonal and swine flu infections. “We do know that seasonal flu vaccine production is moving forward, and we don’t want to delay that, but that is under consideration,” he added.The other possibility is to make a monovalent vaccine, containing just the swine flu strain, he noted.The CDC previously said it was developing a seed strain of swine flu virus for companies to use in making a vaccine. Besser said the seed strain has not yet been sent to the manufacturers.He also reported that the incubation period in US swine flu cases appears to range from 2 to 7 days, which he termed typical for flu.Earlier in the day, Dr. Keiji Fukuda of the WHO emphasized—as he did yesterday—that the swine flu represents “a serious situation” but that a pandemic is not yet inevitable. “We really are in a period in which countries should take this opportunity to really prepare themselves for the possibility of a pandemic,” especially countries not yet dealing with cases, he said.He said that as of today the WHO officially counted 79 cases, including 40 in the United States (the number reported yesterday), 26 in Mexico, 6 in Canada, 3 in New Zealand, 2 in Spain, and 2 in the United Kingdom.Later today, the WHO in an online statement reported that Israel has confirmed 2 cases. The numbers are confirmed cases reported by governments.Fukuda, the WHO’s assistant director-general for health security and the environment, stressed how much remains unknown about the new virus, including where it originated and why severe cases seem to be confined to Mexico.”We still do not have a good explanation for why the pattern of cases in other countries appears relatively mild while the pattern in Mexico appears to be much more severe,” he said. Besser said much the same in the CDC briefing.When asked about reports that the virus might have originated in Mexico’s Vera Cruz state, Fukuda said, “I think right now it’s not possible to really know where this virus originated.” He added that the swine flu isolates that have been analyzed have been very similar, suggesting that the virus emerged recently and has not been around long enough to branch into many variants.Fukuda cautioned that even if swine flu activity subsides sometime soon, it will be at least several months before experts can conclude that a pandemic won’t happen. “It’s very hard to know when something like this disappears. I don’t think we’ll be able to conclude that in the next few weeks.”He also warned not to forget how the great pandemic of 1918-19 unfolded. “It also started out as a relatively mild spread of illness that really wasn’t much noted in most places, but then it became a very severe pandemic in the fall,” he said.See also: CDC swine flu pagehttp://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/Apr 28 WHO updatehttp://www.who.int/csr/don/2009_04_28/en/index.htmlWHO swine flu pagehttp://www.who.int/csr/disease/swineflu/en/index.htmllast_img read more

Gov. Wolf: Pennsylvania Businesses Endorse Mask-Wearing to Protect Employees, Customers, Communities

first_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitter June 25, 2020 Economy,  Press Release,  Public Health Multiple research studies indicate the efficacy of mask-wearing to protect against the spread of COVID-19. Mask-wearing also has been called altruistic, a way to increase our freedoms, and a simple kindness. Today, Governor Tom Wolf’s call to wear masks has been endorsed by Pennsylvania businesses that see mask-wearing as vital to protecting customers, employees, communities and their bottom lines.“The COVID-19 guidance we provided to Pennsylvania businesses includes required mask-wearing by all who enter a business – employees and customers – because we know owners want to do all they can to protect those who help them maintain their bottom line,” Gov. Wolf said. “I’m pleased that employers both large and small have taken this guidance seriously and are joining me in a call to protect against the spread of COVID-19.”“The GIANT Company continues to take the necessary steps to keep our customers and team members safe in the ongoing fight against the coronavirus – from requiring team members to wear masks to checkstand partitions at registers, plus other social distancing and strict sanitation protocols,” said president Nicholas Bertram. “Everyone should continue to do their part as good neighbors to follow the mask-wearing guidance put forth by Governor Wolf to protect each other and help stop the spread of the virus.”“Businesses should model the importance of safety and precaution through their practices — including masks — to build customer trust and ultimately keep everyone safe,” Mallory Fix Lopez, owner, On Point Bistro in South Philadelphia said. “This also leads to more sustainable business. Safe employees mean a secure workforce. Additionally, customers have faith they are safe when patronizing the business. The use of masks is key to public health and business sustainability, and it’s essential that businesses are actively supporting the use of masks.”“As a hair salon owner, the safety of my customers is important to me,” said Georgeanne Huff-Labovitz, owner of Marie Huff Hairdressing in Tacony in NE Philadelphia. “I am taking every effort to ensure their safety. Wearing a face covering protects everyone and prevents the spread of COVID-19 and is a key part of safely reopening my business and serving my customers.”Gov. Wolf and Sec. of Health Dr. Rachel Levine made mask-wearing a requirement of businesses with in-person operations via the secretary’s order that grants her this authority granted by law.The governor and secretary of Health’s business guidance centered around reopening includes the mask-wearing requirement. The guidance states that businesses must “Require all customers to wear masks while on the premises. Businesses that provide medication, medical supplies or groceries must provide an alternate, no contact, means of delivering goods for customers who cannot wear a mask. However, individuals who cannot wear a mask due to a medical condition (including children under the age of 2 years per CDC guidance) may enter the premises and are not required to provide documentation of such medical condition.”Read more on Gov. Wolf’s Process to Reopen PA here.Ver esta página en español.center_img Gov. Wolf: Pennsylvania Businesses Endorse Mask-Wearing to Protect Employees, Customers, Communitieslast_img read more

Video Of 3-Year-Old At Ripley Co. Fair Goes Viral

first_imgAniah Ison, 3, goes by the nickname of “Monkey.” We have video evidence as to why.OSGOOD – The first time you watch the video of a 3-year-old on the funhouse at a carnival you’re really not sure what is going to happen. There are approximately 1.6 million viewers you felt the same.The girl held on with a death grip and is now getting quite a bit of attention for her accomplishment. The Youtube video has been featured on national television including Fox News, Good Morning America and The Talk.The video was captured at the Ripley County 4-H Fair on Wednesday, July 23. Aniah Ison is the star of the video and not surprisingly, her mother Cierra says Aniah goes by the nickname “Monkey.”“She is constantly climbing and hanging on everything, the refrigerator door, closet door, climbing on furniture and jumping off stuff. She is always saying and doing funny things- but this is definitely on top of her list!”The Milan natives have attended the fair in year’s past and the funhouse is always a favorite of Aniah’s, her mother says.“I took her last year on wristband night and she did the funhouse 15 to 20 times in a row and wouldn’t get off of it, but would walk through the tunnel. This year she was excited to go back and do it again, but I didn’t expect her to ride it the way she did,” Cierra Ison noted.After holding on for dear life Aniah took a tumble but was not injured. The boy in the video is Aniah’s brother, Rowan, as you hear Aniah announce, “I like that Mommy!”Thankfully, Cierra videotaped the impromptu performance by her daughter to share with family and friends. She uploaded it on Facebook and friends later urged her to post it on Youtube. Within one week, the video was viewed by 1.5 million users and appeared on national television.“I was excited but I was also scared because I had no idea [the video would be on television] because no one contacted me,” Cierra Ison recalled. “Since then all of the networks she has been on have contacted me.”Anytime a video goes viral you can expect some feedback. The Ison video has certainly seen plenty with both positive and negative remarks from anonymous internet users.“All local feedback has been positive. But the extent and crudeness of the negative comments are crazy.”“I think there have been just as much positive comments too, people sticking up for me who don’t even know me. So I think a lot of people that like the video are more level headed and just like [the video] and go on.”Cierra, an employee at Sharper Image in Batesville, added that any financial gains from the video will be put away for Aniah when she is older.“Really the experience overall has been awesome. I can’t wait to explain to her when she is older what is going on. She really has no idea what is going on right now she just likes watching the video.”last_img read more