March 11, 2021 Find out more News Afghanistan : “No just and lasting peace in Afghanistan without guarantees for press freedom” June 5, 2018 Unpunished murder encourages more violence against woman journalists to go further News Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls for a new, in-depth and impartial investigation into the murder 11 years ago today of Zakia Zaki, an Afghan woman journalist who ran Sada-e-Solh (Voice of Peace), a radio station in Jabal al-Sirāj, 85 km north of Kabul in Parwan province. Her killers have yet to be publicly identified and brought to justice. Help by sharing this information News RSF asks International Criminal Court to investigate murders of journalists in Afghanistan Receive email alerts Follow the news on Afghanistan News May 3, 2021 Find out more June 2, 2021 Find out more Organisation AfghanistanAsia – Pacific Condemning abusesProtecting journalists WomenImpunityViolence “The 11 years of impunity for those responsible for Zakia Zaki’s death have been 11 years of encouragement for violence against women journalists,” said Reza Moini, the head of RSF’s Iran-Afghanistan desk. “Although Afghanistan’s national unity government has taken encouraging measures to defend the freedom to inform, above all the creation of coordinating committees for the safety of journalists and media, her death has never been properly investigated. RSF also asks the authorities to explain how the case file disappeared and why the perpetrators and instigators of her murder continue to enjoy impunity.” Zaki and her team, who started Sada-e-Solh before the Taliban were expelled from Kabul in 2001, had often been threatened by local warlords prior to her murder by gunmen who entered her home on the night of 5 June 2007 and shot her seven times in front of her two-year-old son. Contradictory statements, missing case file Abdul Manan Farahi, the head of the interior ministry’s anti-terrorism department, announced on 7 June 2007, within hours of her murder, that six suspects had been arrested and that two of them, linked to Hezb-e-Islami (a militant Islamist group founded and led by Gulbadin Hekmatyar), were the ones who shot her. But all of them were released a year later. According to the information that RSF recently obtained and to the coordinating committees for the safety of journalists and media, the Parwan prosecutor’s office confirmed that it arrested two people the day after Zaki’s murder but provided no details. Since then, nothing has been reported about the case being pursued any further, and the security services have yet to conduct any serious investigation. In a March 2014 report on press freedom and impunity in Afghanistan, RSF said the murderers were believed to be followers of Hekmatyar and that the leading suspect, the head of the commando that carried out the murder, had been killed a year later by foreign forces. “He was one of the assailants who attacked a military base in the region,” a senior police office told RSF at the time. “The government knew full well that he was one of the local Hezb-e-Islami leaders but did not know he was involved in Zakia Zaki’s death. We determined that when we found his gun on him. It was the gun that was used to kill the journalist. As for the other two assailants, one is in prison for other crimes and the third is also apparently in prison.” Since Zaki’s murder, dozens of women journalists have threatened, attacked or reduced to silence. Many of them have been forced to abandon their media jobs because of the growing threats and the dangerous climate for women working in the media. Survey of women in the media The findings of the first-ever survey of women journalists and media workers in Afghanistan was unveiled by the Centre for the Protection of Afghan Women Journalists (CPAWJ), an RSF local partner, at a press conference on 10 March. To carry out the survey, the CPAWJ interviewed 324 national and local media outlets in 32 provinces: 83 TV stations (including three cable networks), 159 radio stations, four news agencies and 78 print media (including 19 daily newspapers), as well as four NGOS that defend journalists and the freedom to inform. The CPAWJ found a total of 1,741 women working in these media, of whom 764 are professional journalists. Kabul, Herat and Balkh are the provinces with the most women journalists. Khost and Wardak have none. The survey confirmed that the decline in the security situation in Afghanistan has had a direct impact on the presence of women journalists in the media. Afghanistan is ranked 118th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2018 World Press Freedom Index. RSF_en Situation getting more critical for Afghan women journalists, report says AfghanistanAsia – Pacific Condemning abusesProtecting journalists WomenImpunityViolence
Three Harvard research teams have been recognized by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) with funding to support their open source software projects, considered to be “essential to biomedical research.” These grants will support software maintenance, growth, development, and community engagement.Open source software is publicly accessible so that anyone can modify or share it. This approach to building tools for data analysis is widely acknowledged to be crucial to modern scientific research, as it allows scientists worldwide to advance biology and medicine swiftly while providing reproducibility and transparency.Harvard-led projects include DeepLabCut: An Open Source Toolbox for Robust Animal Pose Estimation, led by Mackenzie Mathis.“DeepLabCut is an open-source software package that efficiently performs 3D pose estimation on animals from fruit flies to primates,” said Mathis, a Rowland Fellow and a principal investigator at the Harvard Brain Initiative. “We are delighted to receive a grant from CZI to support this software, which is used by hundreds of labs across the world. We are very excited to continue to build new tools, run user training workshops and hackathons, and interface with other open-source modules to aid in developing pipelines for behavior-focused neuroscience and medical research.”Rory Kirchner, a research scientist in the Department of Biostatistics of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, received an award for the bcbio-next project and its work on “Maintenance and Improvement of Validated, Community Developed Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) Analyses.”“If you want to be on the cutting edge of genomics, you need to be involved with open source software,” said Kirchner. “Commercial, closed-source solutions exist for many analyses but they are often far behind state of the art, at times lagging by years from what is known to be best. Our goal is to help researchers spend more time thinking about and working on the biology of their experiments and less time struggling with the unimportant and scientifically boring computational processing of their data.”At the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Bhanu Gandham, senior computational associate, was awarded by CZI for the project GATK (Genome Analysis Toolkit), to further develop GATK Methods for Bacterial Variant Discovery and Evaluation.“The world’s most pressing needs should be addressed by humanity’s collective scientific talent,” said Gandham. “By providing a platform that improves data sharing and collaboration, we hope to empower researchers with computationally reproducible and interoperable bacterial variant analysis methods.”In this round of funding, CZI granted $5 million over 32 projects in total. In addition to supporting the improvement of software tools, the organization will offer the awardees opportunities to connect with other open source software developers, technical experts, and members of the broader scientific community.In an announcement, CZI Head of Science Cori Bargmann said, “Open source software accelerates the work scientists carry out each day, whether it’s searching a genome sequence for a disease gene, tracking a disease outbreak, or counting cells in a microscope image. Scientists are only as good as their tools, and we’re thrilled to support open source projects that will benefit the entire scientific community and help every scientist be a better scientist.” Read Full Story
Morpeth Golf Club this week announced they have been awarded a £50,000 grant by Sport England’s Inspired Facilities Programme. The grant will support the development of new Practice and Academy facilities at the club and some refurbishment of the ladies and girls changing facilities. Morpeth, a traditional members club in the heart of beautiful Northumberland was founded in 1906. Six years ago the members celebrated its centenary, 3 years ago they fulfilled a long term ambition to buy the property and 3 years later in 2012 the c900 members are celebrating again. Keith Davidson, Club Chairman said “After the purchase of the freehold in 2009, this and the award of ‘Golf Mark’ status in 2011 provide clear recognition of the club’s drive, determination and ambition. We believe we are building a lasting legacy for future generations of golfers in the town. The club is one of the best in the county and this award helps to build on the momentum we have created – we hope our members and the community will be inspired to use and be proud of the new facilities. To be the only golf club awarded a grant in the first round of funding is a fabulously satisfying achievement and a fantastic endorsement of our club and its passion to develop the sport. There are too many people to thank on this page, but they know who they are and I hope they feel as proud as I do of what they have helped to achieve. The clubs ambition and professional approach are being recognised. We are proud to be part of the Olympic legacy in 2012. The schedule of work is currently being finalised and we are aiming to open the facilities for use before the Olympic Torch visits the town on 15 June 2012.” Sport England chose the club as the only golf club in the country to be receive an award in the first round of funding released in December. Terry Minett, General Manager of the club and a member of the Golf Club Managers Association national executive committee said” I always thought Morpeth was a special golf club, but the award of this funding has proven that it is unique…. The only golf club in the country to be awarded funding in the first tranche of £10 million of the “places people play legacy programme” delivered by Sport England. The support for the development of our practice/academy facilities is testament to the work started four years ago at the club to involve new people into the sport. We have had excellent support from our County Development Officer at the County Golf Partnership and the improvement in our practice facilities will ensure we can encourage greater numbers of people to play and improve their game. Golf is a unique sport that can be played competitively for 70 plus years. Golf can span generations and grandparents can compete against their grandchildren. We have members from 5 to 85. Golf is no longer an elite sport played by a minority affluent people. Golf is in my opinion an unrivalled sport for involvement of all ages and sex. The award by Sport England is recognition of the changes made in golf over the last twenty years”. The clubs mantra to provide a facility where ‘Golfers Matter and Tradition Counts’ that is supported by a clear focus on development of the sport, at all levels, for all ages and across the local community. Wider participation and the nurturing of talent are core aims of the Club, these facilities will help the club drive that agenda. The sport has undertaken reform in recent years driven by changes in legislation and at its governing body. The drive for inclusion and equality is a core aim of this change and the facilities at Morpeth demonstrate how that can be put into practice. The project will provide year round practice facilities including a covered Dry Range, artificial playing surface, 5 short par 3 practice/academy holes, a new putting green and chipping green, all within the existing boundary of the course. Terry Minett, General Manager at the club is clearly delighted as he concluded “I believe that the new facilities will be among, if not the best, practice facilities at any traditional members club in the county. Our members are excited about the developments at the club there is a vibrant atmosphere and I hope the new members who have joined us over the past 12 months will be joined by many more in the weeks to come. What will our members be celebrating in 2015 – time will tell but the omens are good!” Picture shows, left to right: Jason Budd, Regional Development Officer England Golf and Terry Minett, General Manager Morpeth Golf Club. 27 Feb 2012 Inspired Golfers!