News AzerbaijanArmeniaEurope – Central Asia Protecting journalists Armed conflictsImpunity AzerbaijanArmeniaEurope – Central Asia Protecting journalists Armed conflictsImpunity June 8, 2021 RSF calls for a fully transparent investigation after mine kills two journalists in Azerbaijan Organisation News Receive email alerts June 2, 2021 Find out more Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the Azerbaijani authorities to shed all possible light on the exact circumstances in which two Azerbaijani journalists were killed by a mine last week in a region near the Nagorno-Karabakh, the disputed region that was the subject of a war with neighbouring Armenia last autumn. Help by sharing this information to go further News Siraj Abyshev, a cameraman with state-owned AzTV, and Maharram Ibragimov, a reporter for the state news agency AzerTag, were on their way to report in the village of Susuzlug when their vehicle ran over an anti-tank mine in Azerbaijan’s Kalbajar region a few kilometers from the Armenian border shortly before midday on 4 June. The explosion also killed an Azerbaijani official and injured four other people.Hundreds of people attended funeral services for the two journalists on 5 June in the capital, Baku, and the city of Sumgait.“The deaths of these two Azerbaijani journalists is tragic news for the entire media profession,” said Jeanne Cavelier, the head of RSF’s Eastern Europe and Central Asia desk. “Other journalists wanting to report in this region could suffer the same fate or could be deterred from going. We remind the Azerbaijani authorities that they have a duty to protect journalists when they are working, and we ask them to shed all possible light on this tragic accident and to conduct a fully transparent investigation.”They are the first journalists to be killed in the territories taken over by Azerbaijan near the Nagorno-Karabakh, since the end of last autumn’s war over the disputed region, which is located within Azerbaijan but has a mainly Armenian population. At least seven journalists were injured during the war.Despite the signing of a Russian-brokered ceasefire and the deployment of Russian peacekeepers, tension is still high in the region, with the two countries disagreeing over border demarcation.It is regarded as one of the world’s most heavily-mined regions and Azerbaijan says its attempts to demine the areas it now controls are being hampered by Armenia’s refusal to provide maps showing where it placed mines. The Armenian authorities contacted by RSF have not responded to these accusations and have not commented on the deaths of the two Azerbaijani journalists.Armenia is ranked 63rd out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2021 World Press Freedom Index while Azerbaijan is ranked 167th. June 7, 2021 Find out more Respect judicial independence in cases of two leading journalists in Serbia and Montenegro, RSF says Follow the news on Europe – Central Asia News Russian media boss drops the pretence and defends Belarus crackdown June 4, 2021 Find out more “We’ll hold Ilham Aliyev personally responsible if anything happens to this blogger in France” RSF says Two Azerbaijani journalists were killed in a mine explosion in Kelbadjar, a few kilometers from the Armenian border, on Friday June 4. (credit: Turan.az) RSF_en
Tickets are now available for the National Association of Master Bakers (NAMB) conference, to take place at the De Vere Hotel, Blackpool, from 27-30 May 2011.Attendees are free to enjoy the hotel facilities, and take in the sights in Blackpool, on the Friday. The Neil Houliston Golf Tournament will take place on the Saturday morning, and the evening will kick off with a cocktail party. President Ian Storey will be giving a speech, and there will be entertainment from The Parish Music Box.The AGM will take place on the Sunday, and will be followed by two speakers – John Slattery, Slattery Patissier and Chocolatier; and Kevin Binns, Puratos.Clive Williams will be installed as the 117th NAMB president, before the evening’s festivities begin – a cocktail party with a ‘favourite TV show’ theme. There will also be entertainment from the Zeta & Lee Experience.For more information contact the NAMB on 01920 468061 or visit www.masterbakers.co.uk.
40 members of the Brazilian youth band Meninos do Morumbi arrived on campus Tuesday to visit the University and perform during the halftime show on Saturday at the Notre Dame-Stanford football game. In English, Meninos do Morumbi means “Kids of Morumbi,” the neighborhood in SÃ£o Paulo, Brazil, where the band is based. The students will remain on campus until Sunday and are lodging at the Sacred Heart Parish Center. According to the Notre Dame Band website, in 2011, 66 members of the Notre Dame band toured Brazil and performed for Meninos do Morumbi in SÃ£o Paulo, the country’s largest city and Dr. Ken Dye, director of bands, said he enjoyed the visit to Brazil. “They were very gracious hosts and shared their exciting music with our band,” Dye said. The band later invited the youth band to Notre Dame to perform and experience campus life. Dye is looking forward to the interaction between the Notre Dame Band members and the young performers from Brazil. According to their website, Meninos do Morumbi is a social project that gives youth an alternative to delinquency, violence and drugs through music. “We attend around 2,000 children and young from 22 slums of SÃ£o Paulo,” Ana Paula Costa, the band’s spokeswoman,said. According to Costa, Meninos do Morumbi has had 14,000 youth participants thus far. Musician and current director FlÃ¡vio Pimenta founded the band in 1996. “I originally invited children from the slums and poor communities found begging on the streets of my neighborhood to teach music in my studio in my house,” Pimenta said. “The idea was not and is not charity.” According to Pimenta, the band has greatly impacted the students’ lives. “Not only the music, but the experience of good values. We are a place for good values,” Pimenta said. According to a press release, the group provides an escape from situations of personal and social risk through many expressions. “We offer them a range of activities in the areas of culture, music, arts, education and sports,” Costa said. The band has performed for former U.S. President George W. Bush as well as singer Madonna, according to Costa. They have also performed in the United Kingdom and France. The band’s style of music interprets songs of Brazilian and African folklore. According to Costa, the youth play music from Brazilian genres including jongo, maracatu, funk and samba. Sandra Teixeira, a Notre Dame Portuguese professor originally from Brazil, is excited for the band’s visit. “The Portuguese and Brazilian studies program is very excited about this incredible opportunity,” Teixeira said. “The visit will share an important aspect of Brazilian culture, as well as our love for music and dance, with the entire Notre Dame community.” Meninos do Morumbi will participate in many events throughout Notre Dame’s campus. The band is holding a performance today and a Brazilian instrument and dance workshop at the Ricci Band Rehearsal Hall from 8 to 9 p.m. Thursday, the Brazil and Portuguese Language Clubs of Notre Dame will host a welcome reception and social hour in the ballroom of Lafortune Student Center from 3:30 to 5 p.m. “Besides having the unique opportunity to watch a vibrant and culturally infused show, students will be able to witness a very successful story of the determination and talent exemplified by these kids and mentors,” Teixeira said.
Paddlers plunge down the narrows section of the Green River in the epic Green River Race each November.High noon. First Saturday in November.Those six words will raise the heart rate of any class V kayaker in the Southeast. The Green River Narrows Race continues to be the most competitive and challenging paddling race in the country.I have competed in the past eight Green Races, and it never gets any less intimidating or intense. My relationship with this river began when I was 15, on my first run of the Green River Narrows. As I stepped out of my boat at the takeout that day, I knew that I had just achieved a milestone in my paddling career.I participated in my first Green Race a year later and started paddling and training with some of my kayaking idols, includng Tommy Hilleke and Andrew Holcombe. At one memorable run, I jumped into the starting gate in front of all of the superstars. As I set my watch and prepared to take off, Tommy Hilleke, six-time winner of the Green Race, yelled at me, “I’m giving you ten seconds!” There is nothing quite like the knowledge of one of the world’s best that close behind you to keep you motivated on a practice run.The river has a way of humbling anyone who becomes complacent with its power. A few years ago, I made the mistake of paddling the river for a timed race lap after a brutal Crossfit gym workout. My body was already spent, but my desire to train as hard as possible for the race prevailed. As I approached the midway rapid, Go Left and Die, I realized that I had nothing left, but I kept paddling through the rapid. I entered the rapid’s first drop, misjudged my angle, and suddenly I was flailing off the cascade in completely the wrong place. I slammed into the rock, flipped, and entered the spin cycle that every kayaker dreads. Go Left is notorious for holding paddlers for severe beatings if they don’t stick the line, and this experience is exacerbated when you are lactic, exhausted, and your lungs are screaming.As I gasped for oxygen, I did barrel rolls, backflips, and cartwheels, desperately trying to escape the hole. As the beating intensified, I realized that it was time to surrender. I let go of my paddle while upside down in the maelstrom, pulled my sprayskirt, and swam out of my boat, deep into the chaos. Everything got dark around me, and I was slammed to the bottom of the river. I rounded a big boulder underwater, and finally popped up 40 feet downstream of the rapid, too weak to do anything but float. A friend pulled me to safety above the next rapid.We never found my boat that day. It stayed pinned underwater, and pieces of it were recovered downstream during the following weeks as the river pounded it to shreds. The three-mile hike out of the gorge that day was a lonely, demoralizing slog. As fear and self-doubt overtook me, I didn’t know if I had it in me to jump back in and race three weeks later.Fortunately, the Green Race paddling community epitomizes camaraderie. As race day approached, my paddling friends rallied behind me and helped me to work through my reservations about bombing into that gorge once again, with 1,000 spectators watching. My next lap down the river was with paddling legend and two-time Green Race winner, Andrew Holcombe. Even though I was a fellow competitor, Andrew gladly shared some experimental race lines with me. Flying down the river close behind him enabled me to push the negative thoughts aside. I was making progress, but Go Left continued to haunt my consciousness.Even after hundreds of practice runs, race day is always full of queasy nervous energy. It doesn’t matter how smooth I was yesterday, or how I placed last year, or how bad my swim was. It is just me, a river, and a clock. One run per year is what I get. I start one minute behind the person in front of me, and one minute in front of the person behind me. That is my slot in which I put everything that I know and am capable of on the table. It is the perfect test of physical endurance, skill, and mental fortitude.I had been thinking about Go Left all morning, but I forced myself to visualize only good lines as the start timer counts down: 3…2…1…0. I heard my friends cheering as I took off from the starting line, but my focus was downstream. Breath, heartbeat, whitewater. There was nothing else in the world. The energy and noise of the starting line was quickly replaced by the quiet of the river.It is often said that the Green Race is won in these easier early rapids and lost in the crux rapids downstream, Go Left and Die and Gorilla. The challenge is always balancing your fatigue with the fact that the most difficult race moves are at the end of the course. It is the ragged edge of control, and sometimes the best paddlers are the ones in the most danger, because they are putting every last energy reserve into their run.Whitewater is a funny thing, because confidence is absolutely mandatory. If you hesitate the slightest bit at a crucial time, a class V rapid will toss you off line. As I approached Go Left, I commited myself completely to the moment and set my angle for the main drop.Two powerful strokes, and my kayak slid across the face of the seven-foot cascade, around the hydraulic that beat the living daylights out of me, and out of the exit slot to safety. Relief and adrenaline flooded my body.My reprieve was short-lived, however, as the toughest rapid of the Green Race, Gorilla, waited just downstream. I was gasping for air between the rapids.Despite my tunnel vision on the whitewater ahead, I caught a quick glimpse of the entire side of the gorge engulfed with spectators. The roar of the rapids was matched by the roar of the crowd.I charged into the 30-foot waterfall, experiencing complete lactic fatigue. But I also felt another powerful force of nature: the positive energy from my friends and family on the bank. As I flew off the launch pad of the beast, I embraced the clarity that only comes in such moments: the realization that we are all in this together, that we owe everything to everyone, and that shared experience is the only catalyst of a life worth living.I bounced safely out of the Gorilla’s grasp, and, as if on cue, the final four rapids were bathed in sunshine. Moments later, I was sitting on the finish line rock trying to catch my breath. After one of the more intense gut checks of my paddling career, I was elated to be finished and in a respectable fourth place position.Battling personal demons. Pushing self-imposed limits. Developing lifelong friends through shared experiences. These are things that we all strive for in life, and they happen every single year, to every single paddler who dares to paddle the Green River.