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RSF urges concrete measures to protect journalists in Afghanistan

first_img The June violence began with the deaths of US photographer David Gilkey and his interpreter, Afghan journalist Zabihullah Tamanna, in a Taliban attack in southern Afghanistan on 5 June .But it is not just media freedom’s obvious enemies – the Taliban and Islamic State – who are responsible for violence against the media in Afghanistan. The police, intelligence services and local politicians have also contributed to the surge in violence, censorship and self-censorship.When three almost simultaneous bombings in Kabul on 21 June killed at least 23 people including 14 Nepalese and Indian citizens, journalists who were dispatched to the scene were the targets of aggression by policemen and intelligence officials. Most were insulted and several were beaten, including Ghazi Rasouli, a journalist with Afghanistan’s TV1, Khajeh Tofigh Sedighi of Afghanistan’s TV24 and Shamariz, a cameraman working for an international TV channel.Kefayatalah Saimi, a journalist with privately-owned Norin TV, was beaten by the bodyguards of the governor of the northern province of Badakhshan on 12 June. He said he was attacked for no apparent reason. One of the governor’s close associates denied that there was any physical violence but accused Saimi of speaking to the bodyguards in an inappropriate manner.In Jalalabad, the headquarters of Radio Enekas (which means “reflection” in Dari) and Cable TV Networks were bombed on the night of 7 June. Three powerful bombs were used but only two exploded and police defused the third. Journalists at the two media outlets, which are still broadcasting, said the blasts caused a great deal of damage but no injuries. No group claimed responsibility.There have been armed attacks on media outlets in Jalalabad for the past year. The regional bureaux of the independent Afghan news agency Pajhwok and US government-funded Voice of America were targeted on 12 June 2015. The building that houses Radio Safa, a local station, and the regional office of Radio Killid was targeted by a homemade bomb that destroyed the main door and part of a wall on the night of 10 October 2015.These attacks were not claimed but there had been threats against several media outlets and journalists by Islamic State, which is present in the region.Police attacked Radio Kavoon Gar director Mohammad Golab Ibrahimi in Mahtarlam, in the eastern province of Laghman, on 7 June when he tried to cover the distribution of Qatari aid to the local population for the month of Ramadan. Although he showed his press card and explained why he was there, the police roughed him up and broke his camera.BBC journalist Nemat Kryab was just passing though Jalalabad, in the eastern province of Nangarhar, on 29 may when he was arrested by members of the National Directorate of Security (NDS) and was held for two days. The governor’s spokesman, Atololah Koghani, confirmed that the NDS interrogated him but gave no further details.RSF also condemns irresponsible comments by politicians such as Amrolah Saleh, a former intelligence chief and current president of the Ravand Sabaz party, who in a Facebook post accused the independent news agency Pajhwok of taking government money and insinuated that it was being manipulated by the intelligence services.In a country where the Taliban and other armed groups are quick to kill journalists suspected of being government supporters, such an accusation is utterly irresponsible. Criticism of the media should of course be permitted and it can encourage them in their work and adherence to journalistic ethics. State subsidies for media outlets can also be criticized but, as many democracies show, subsidies in themselves are not evidence of manipulation. In such a critical situation as Afghanistan’s, the priority should be journalists’ safety.“These criminal attacks on the media are indicative of a desire on the part of media freedom’s various predators to impose a climate of terror in Afghanistan,” said Réza Moïni, the head of RSF’s Iran-Afghanistan’s desk.“Such violence endangers the right of journalists to inform the Afghan people. The police and security services have a duty to protect journalists and media outlets. We call on President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah and the information and culture minister to take concrete measures to end this violence, including the police violence.”L’Afghanistan est classé 120éme sur 180 dans le Classement mondial de la liberté de la presse 2016 établi par Reporters sans frontières. June 2, 2021 Find out more RSF_en May 3, 2021 Find out more News AfghanistanAsia – Pacific Condemning abuses Armed conflictsViolence News Help by sharing this information Organisation to go further RSF asks International Criminal Court to investigate murders of journalists in Afghanistan Receive email alerts News AfghanistanAsia – Pacific Condemning abuses Armed conflictsViolence Situation getting more critical for Afghan women journalists, report says June 29, 2016 RSF urges concrete measures to protect journalists in Afghanistan Follow the news on Afghanistan Afghanistan : “No just and lasting peace in Afghanistan without guarantees for press freedom” After registering at least ten cases of violence against journalists and media outlets in Afghanistan since the start of June, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reiterates its concern about the dangers to journalists and reminds the Afghan authorities of their duty to protect the media. March 11, 2021 Find out more Newslast_img read more

President says jailed TV host should be freed

first_img PeruAmericas News Latin American media: under control of families, economic and political elites December 11, 2008 – Updated on January 20, 2016 President says jailed TV host should be freed China’s diplomats must stop attacking media over coronavirus reporting Help by sharing this information RSF_en TV host Magaly Medina’s imprisonment yesterday after getting a five-month prison sentence in a defamation case was “dangerous and inappropriate,” Reporters Without Borders says. The organisation hopes Peru will follow the general tendency in Latin America to decriminalize press offences. President Alan García indicated yesterday he thought jailed TV presenter Magaly Medina should be released. He told a group of Medina supporters he thought the two months she has spent in prison were “sufficient” and that he would discuss the matter with justice minister Rosario Fernández.The host of a celebrity gossip show on privately-owned ATV, Medina has been serving a five-month jail sentence since 16 October for claiming on the air that soccer star Paolo Guerrero was having an extra-marital affair.The justice minister told privately-owned radio RPP Noticias yesterday that, while the president has the “constitutional power to pardon any citizen,” Medina is not yet in a position to receive a pardon as her sentence is not yet final. Although Medina was obliged to begin serving the sentence as soon as it was passed, an appeal has been filed by her lawyer, César Nakazaki.“The president’s reaction is step in the right direction and is therefore welcome, even if belated,” Reporters Without Borders said. “We hope his intervention will speed Medina’s release, as her sentence is out of all proportion to the charge on which she was convicted, and should normally have been suspended pending the outcome of the appeal.”——————————17.10.08 – Court’s decision to jail TV host for defamation called “dangerous and inappropriate” News Receive email alerts Newscenter_img February 10, 2017 Find out more Latin America’s community radio – a key service but vulnerable to go further April 1, 2020 Find out more PeruAmericas News Follow the news on Peru Reporters Without Borders condemns yesterday’s imprisonment of Magaly Medina, the host of a celebrity gossip show on privately-owned national television station ATV, after she was sentenced by a Lima criminal court to five months in prison for defaming Peruvian soccer star Paolo Guerrero. The organisation regards the sentence as totally inappropriate and calls for the decriminalization of press offences.“It is not our job to say whether we think Guerrero was defamed, although this seems to have been so,” Reporters Without Borders said. “But we think it is very dangerous that a prison sentence was passed in this case, especially as it is extremely rare in a country such as Peru, and that it was implemented although Medina filed an appeal, which normally suspends execution of the sentence.”The press freedom organisation added: “Imprisonment in a defamation case not only fails to redress the damage but can also end up harming the plaintiff’s reputation. This dangerous and inappropriate prison sentence runs counter to the tendency in countries that belong to the Organisation of American States to decriminalize press offences. We hope Peru will amend its legislation accordingly and that Medina will be quickly released.”Medina was escorted handcuffed from the Lima lawcourt building at around 7 p.m. yesterday, after receiving the five-month jail sentence, and was taken in a prison truck to Chorrillos women’s prison. Ney Guerrero Orellana, the producer of Medina’s show, “Magaly TeVe,” was also incarcerated after getting a three-month sentence in the same case. He and Medina were ordered to pay Guerrero 80,000 soles (19,000 euros) in damages.The popular and controversial Medina claimed in her show that Guerrero, a striker with the German team Hamburg, surreptitiously skipped a Peruvian national side training session on the eve of a match against Brazil in November 2007 in order to have a date with a young woman. The court ruled in Guerrero’s favour after he proved that did go out that day but had Peru coach José del Solar’s permission. December 4, 2019 Find out more Organisation last_img read more

String Cheese Incident Debuts Beats Antique Collab At Hulaween [Video]

first_imgString Cheese Incident & Beats Antique CollaborationSetlist: String Cheese Incident | Suwannee Hulaween at Spirit Of The Suwannee Music Park | Live Oak, FL | 10/27/2017Set One: Colorado Bluebird Sky, Search > Valley of the Jig, These Waves > Djibouti Bump > Rhythm of the Road > Sirens, Nothing But FlowersSet Two: Howard, Close Your Eyes > Black Clouds, Sweet Spot, Wake Up > Way Back Home > BeYOUtiful, Untitled Beats Antique collab[Cover Photo: Aaron Bradley] Suwannee Hulaween hosts and founders The String Cheese Incident brought the house down at the Spirit Of The Suwannee Music Park last night with two particularly jam-heavy sets. Greeted by thousands and thousands of costumed Hulaween revelers, the boys tore into their dual sets, offering the characteristic high energy and commitment the band has become known for. Backed by one of the best light shows they’ve ever had on their side, String Cheese Incident dazed and amazed the crowd with a sense-shattering display of power and joy.Mike Gordon Joins The Benevento Russo Duo At Hulaween [Full Video]Live For Live Music has two exclusive clips from last night’s revelatory second set. The first contains the band’s massive combination of “Close Your Eyes” into “Black Clouds”, which fell after Cheese’s set-opening rendition of “Howard”. Clocking in at just under the 30-minute mark, String Cheese Incident gave the songs the proper treatment, savoring the transition between the two numbers.Greensky Bluegrass Dedicates 20-Minute “Bring Out Your Dead” To EDM Fan At HulaweenThe second exclusive clip shows String Cheese Incident’s set-closing co-collaboration with Beats Antique. To close out the first day of Hulaween, the Colorado-born jam giants teamed with the world-fusion electronic group for String Cheese Incident’s debut of their Middle East-inspired co-collaboration with Beats Antique. With Beats Antiques’ belly dancer and percussionist Zoe Jakes front and center, the song served as a perfect ending to begin to close out the first day of Hulaween. Take a look and listen for yourself below!String Cheese Incident, “Close Your Eyes” > “Black Clouds”last_img read more

WHS boys tennis team places 4th, school track record broken in Caldwell…

first_imgWHS GolfFri., April 25W. Collegiate- Cherry Oaks3 p.m. Follow us on Twitter. WHS TrackFri., April 25Clearwater3 p.m. by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — The Wellington boys tennis team finished fourth out of eight teams in Circle on Tuesday; the WHS track team had success in the Caldwell Invitational including a new school record being set and the Wellington Middle School boys lost a tough one in Andover Central. Those details and the sports schedule through Monday are below:Wellington tennis: The Wellington boys tennis team finished fourth in the eight-team Circle Invitational. Augusta, Circle, Collegiate, El Dorado, Independence, Labette County, Parsons and Wellington were participating.“We went with new players in every event,” said Allen Keller, Wellington head boys tennis coach. “Instead of playing singles, Tyler Pettegrew teamed up with Dutch Brownlee for the first time this season. Since they had no “win/loss” record, the best we could do was a No. 4 seed.”Pettegrew/Brownlee beat No. 5 seed Collegiate team Van/Hoeckle in the first round 8-3, beat No. 1 seed Parsons team of Benevides/Wells in the semis 8-3, and then beat the No. 2 seed Circle team of Larson/Hunter in the finals 8-7 (7-4).“Potentially a very good team heading into the last week of the regular season,” Keller said.Instead of playing No. 2 singles, Brock Edwards stepped up into the No. 1 spot.  Again, with no record at that position, but with a 10-5 record at No. 2 Singles, Brock only got a six seed.He lost to No. 3 seeded Trewecke of Circle 8-0.  In the consolation bracket, he beat Stenseng of El Dorado 8-1 before losing his final match to Waugh of Labette County 8-5.“As a freshman, Brock played well in his first time at the top spot on the team and picked up his first varsity win at No. 1 Singles,” Keller said. “He was our only player to score points at the Maize South tournament last Friday and improves every time he steps on the court.”Moving into the No. 2 singles position for the first time this year was Will Long.   As the No. 7 seed, Will lost his first round to No. 2 seed Mathes of Labette County.  Will battled back in the consolation beating Harter of El Dorado 8-7 ( 7-4 tie-breaker).  In the final match for fifth place, Will lost to Parks of Collegiate 8-1.Also teaming up for the first time this season at No. 2 Doubles, Jon Ryberg and Weston Driskell were able to get a No. 2 seed and lived up to their reputation by taking second place beating Lowery/Lowery of Augusta 8-2 in the first round, Cooper/Hurley of Parsons in the semi’s before losing the championship match to the No. 1 seeded team of Cushing and Lowrie of Independence 8-1.“It was a good day of tennis for the Crusaders,” Keller said.•••••Wellington track: The Wellington girls tied for first while the boys took second in the Caldwell Invitational on Tuesday. Many of the Wellington track athletes did not participate in this track meet to save their legs for the Clearwater Invitational on Friday, April 25.The big highlight of the day was Cajen Shore, who finished first in the girls pole vault and set the new school record at 9’0” – breaking the previous record said by Megan Campbell, who leaped over the bar at 8’4” in 2012.Other placers include:Shelby McNamara second in Pole Vault.Boys 4×100 (Mason, Bruns, Rusk, Gilkey) first  in 4×100.Remington Gilkey second in 400m.Nick Franks third in 200m.Girls 4×100 (Shore, Haskins, Sober, Salvador) second.Girls 4×400 (Sober, Treadway, Haydon, Williams) second.Dietra Sober third in 400m.Dietra Sober third in 100m.Avery Lewellen first  in High Jump.Queen Barnes second in Triple Jump.Micah Rogers third in Triple Jump.Mariah Moore third in Discus.Caitlin Williams first  in Javelin.•••••WMS tennis team losesThe Wellington Middle School boys’ tennis team lost a tough meet last night against Andover Central.  Individual winners include No. 1 Singles Cade Phelps, No. 1 Doubles Cade Phelps and Jaden Adams, No. 4 Singles Grey Hatfield and No.10 Singles Avery Rademacher.The top six will be headed to the Goddard Invitational on Monday April 28th, starting at 9.Caldwell Invitational including a new school record being set and the Wellington Middle School boys lost a tough one in Andover Central. Those details and the sports schedule through Monday are below:•••••The sport schedule through Monday is as follows: WHS Girls SoftballMon., April 28Circlehome4:30 p.m. Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comments (2) Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close WordPress.com Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings Sort by: Date Rating Last Activity Loading comments… You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. +1 Vote up Vote down Redress · 329 weeks ago Congratulations to all students win or lose. Your are the best Report Reply 1 reply · active 329 weeks ago +1 Vote up Vote down Dana tompkins · 329 weeks ago I agree with Redress. GO BIG RED Report Reply Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! Reply as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Cancel Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Boys BaseballMon., April 28Circlehome4 p.m.last_img read more

Help Name the Next Geocacher of the Month

first_imgDhaulaghiri writes, “After overcoming the shock of moving to Houston, TX we met a great bunch of local cachers that have provided us with lot’s of caching fun. .Jpeg particularly stands out because of the ingenious nature of his hides and the variety of hides he’s put out, but also because of his wonderful, thoughtful and sometimes even downright funny logs on caches he finds..Jpeg is an inspiration to me and other cachers I know in the Houston area, always willing to help out a fellow cacher, go on a hunt on short notice and last but certainly not least a truly wonderful human being!” .Jpeg.Jpeg at Mount Rushmore. The earned, never for sale, Geocacher of the Month geocoinGeocachers are known for being adventurous, friendly, a little quirky, and just plain fun.June’s Geocacher of the Month nominees are no exception.In addition to earning an impressive number of smileys, these geocachers have hidden quality geocaches admired by many, and they never fail to bring laughter, joy, and helpful hints to all those they meet. If you’re out on the trail and need to Phone-a-Friend, these are the geocachers you want on speed dial.Each of the nominees below is an essential part of the global geocaching community and will receive a prize package from Geocaching HQ in Seattle, but only one will be the next Geocacher of the Month. A  panel from Geocaching HQ will use your comments, community input and other data to decide the winner.Now it’s your turn to help us select the next Geocacher of the Month: write a supportive comment for the nominated geocacher you feel should be awarded the title. If you know an outstanding geocacher who should be considered for the honor, simply fill out this webform.Share with your Friends:More SharePrint RelatedFebruary 2015 Geocacher of the Month NomineesMarch 8, 2015In “Community”December Geocacher of the Month Nominees – Add Your CommentJanuary 17, 2014In “Community”Help Name the April 2015 Geocacher of the MonthApril 29, 2015In “Community” Leftygator Leftygator says hi to a gator (and a lion).Afwingman writes, “Leftygator has been geocaching since 2003, before geocaching had become the hobby it is today with Pocket Queries and advancements in GPS technology. We first met leftygator just after we started geocaching in November 2009. We met for breakfast and have become great friends ever since. Leftygator has put out outstanding geocaches and does not hesitate to offer guidance and assistance to all the new geocachers in and around the Mississippi Gulf Coast area. Stumped on a cache? Call leftygator and he will go out his way to give you the nudge you need to get you back on track. With Keesler Air Force base located in Biloxi, he has taken airman under his wing that became interested in geocaching. They then take the hobby world wide in their travels and adventures and get other airman involved who get their friends into geocaching. He is a great asset and ambassador to the geocaching community and it would be an honor to have him considered for Geocacher of the Month.” gillywigGillywig finds GC1JPEQ.animalbiker67(ab67) writes, “The caches that gillywig puts out are interesting to do. [She is} always willing to assist in every way and is always bubbly and full of energy. Gillywig assists finders with her Puzzle ones too, but will still not give the game away – brilliant hints. She is a joy to communicate with and she never lets me down.”last_img read more

NU tops FEU to remain undefeated in PVL

first_imgGinebra nears top four, beats Rain or Shine Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:57US Defense chief says alliance with Philippines remains strong00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Bernadeth Pons led FEU with 18 points. Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding Read Next FILE PHOTO – National University’s Jaja Santiago. Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netNational University overcame Far Eastern University in four sets, 22-25, 28-26, 29-27, 25-22, to keep its unbeaten run in the group stages of the Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference Saturday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.The Lady Bulldogs improved to 3-0 to stay atop Group B while the Lady Tamaraws are in close second with a 2-1 card. ADVERTISEMENT BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. center_img Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC MOST READ E.T. returns to earth, reunites with grown-up Elliott in new ad  LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary “FEU is a very systematic and strong team so we really expected a good fight from them,” said NU head coach Babes Castillo in Filipino.“So I told my players to brace for a storm because a storm is what FEU will bring.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutThe two teams were dead even offensively, scoring on 56 spikes apiece, but the Lady Bulldogs had a slight edge on service aces, 10-8, and errors, 32-35. Jaja Santiago showed her might against FEU, putting up 25 points to lead NU while Aiko Urdas added 15. LATEST STORIES Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City View commentslast_img read more

10 days ago​Murphy questions Man Utd winger James for ‘weird’ acting

first_imgAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say ​Murphy questions Man Utd winger James for ‘weird’ actingby Freddie Taylor10 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveFormer Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy was not impressed with Wales’ concussion protocol in their game against Croatia.The Welsh were involved in a Euro 2020 qualifier, which finished 1-1.An incident involving Manchester United winger Daniel James took fans by surprise.The player appeared knocked out after a rough challenge, but eventually got up and carried on for the rest of the game.Wales manager Ryan Giggs later said that James was not concussed, but merely play acting to waste time.Murphy said on talkSPORT about the situation: “He wasn’t trying to stop them on the counter, it was Wales on a break, I don’t think he was tired. “So what was his reasoning?”If he is telling the truth, let’s believe the lad, if he is saying he made the most of it – why?”I’ve not seen that before, I think that’s a bit weird.” last_img read more

Video: Kansas State’s Band’s Formation Appears To Jam A Spaceship Into A Jayhawk’s Mouth

first_imgKansas State marching band as seen on a tv.kansas state marching band jayhawkUpdate: Kansas State’s marching band has issued a statement on the performance. We apologize for anyone offended by our halftime performance depicting the starship enterprise and the Jayhawk mascot.— KState Marching Band (@KStatePride) September 6, 2015 Earlier: Kansas State is having no trouble with South Dakota tonight. But its marching band might have some explaining to do come Sunday morning.During the halftime show, which you can view below, half of the band (on the right) formed the Starship Enterprise from the Star Trek series, while the other half (on the left) formed the Kansas Jayhawk – their main rival’s logo. Next, the spaceship entered the bird’s mouth. The video is NSFW, [email protected] your (and mine) favorite university just did this at halftime. #EMAW #Jayhawks #dickinthebeak pic.twitter.com/28RFMP1dBG— Scott Pufahl (@pufizzle) September 6, 2015Please no one get fired for this “coincidence” https://t.co/f2ZAHVVVJM— Doug Gottlieb (@GottliebShow) September 6, 2015We’ll see if they get away with it. Kansas fans likely won’t be amused.last_img read more

Video: ESPN Feed Of Peyton Manning’s Retirement Presser Cuts Out When Asked About Sexual Assault Allegations

first_imgESPN cuts out out Peyton Manning's retirement.Peyton ESPNDuring Peyton Manning’s retirement press conference this afternoon, the former Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos’ quarterback was asked about the sexual assault allegation from his time at Tennessee. The question was asked by USA Today‘s Lindsay Jones, who tweeted about her decision to ask the question. Manning deserved a chance to respond to what everyone has been saying about him for the last month. I had to ask.— Lindsay Jones (@bylindsayhjones) March 7, 2016Manning gave a somewhat lengthy answer that concluded with, “I did not do what has been alleged.” We didn’t get to hear him say that on ESPN, though. The feed of the press conference – suspiciously to some – cut out during Manning’s response. The NFL Network’s feed did not. Real subtle, @espn pic.twitter.com/CZkSiBKzEw— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) March 7, 2016You can view Manning’s full retirement speech here.last_img read more

Argentines seek soup kitchens barter markets amid crisis

first_imgBUENOS AIRES, Argentina – Men wait outside the metal-grill door of a soup kitchen in a slum, hoping to get a small serving of beef and mashed potatoes. At a barter market on the capital’s outskirts, a woman tries to persuade another to exchange for her granddaughters’ tiny shoes.Argentines are struggling in crisis in what was once one of the world’s most prosperous nations. Consumer prices are soaring, unemployment is high and the Argentine peso has plunged, bringing back haunting memories of the country’s economic meltdown in 2001 that pushed millions into poverty.A growing number of people arrive at the “Happy Kids” soup kitchen in the Villa 1-11-14 shantytown, where servers try to stretch out steaming pots of stew because many more than expected are lining up for food.“The city government gives us money for 440 rations a day, but we’re being forced to prepare smaller portions so that we can cover 600 rations,” said Cintia Garcia, who runs the soup kitchen.A series of events battered the economy.First, a severe drought damaged crop yields in the world’s third-largest exporter of soybean and corn. The situation worsened beginning in the first quarter of 2018 as world oil prices increased and then interest rate rises in the United States led investors to pull dollars out of Argentina.That caused jitters among Argentines, who have stashed away dollars as a cushion since the 2001 economic implosion, and a rush to buy scarcer dollars pushed the peso’s value down. Despite several interest rate hikes by the Argentine Central Bank, the peso has lost more than half its value in less than a year.President Mauricio Macri had to seek a $50 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund. Last week, he announced a series of austerity measures, including new taxes on exports and the elimination of several government ministries. He said he would allocate more economic aid and strengthen food plans for poor Argentines.With unemployment around 9 per cent and consumer prices surging, some Argentines are again turning to barter clubs, which first emerged during the collapse nearly two decades ago.The tumbling peso has pushed up prices for fuel and, in turn, transportation costs. That has affected food prices in a country where most grains and other goods are transported in trucks. Inflation is expected to reach an annual rate of more than 40 per cent this year, the Central Bank says.“To make doughnuts a month ago, I used to spend 150 pesos (almost $4) for oil and seven bags of flour. Now it’s more than 400 pesos,” complained Gladys Jimenez.Jimenez, who is from Paraguay, is one of those who rely on the “Happy Kids” soup kitchen in Villa 1-11-14, a slum crowded with tens of thousands of Argentines and immigrants from neighbouring countries.The price of beef has also increased in one of the world’s top meat-consuming countries. Nicol Alcocer, a teenager who attends an educational workshop where the food is distributed in the slum, said that previously she would eat roast every Saturday. “Now it’s every four months,” she said.The rapid fall in the peso brings frequent boosts in the prices charged by vendors, leading to anger. Some slum dwellers recalled that when the peso recently fell to 40 to the dollar, they lined up at small local stores but the owners refused to sell to them.“I told my husband: ‘Let’s go buy.’ People were all riled up seeing that businesses were closed,” said Martina Bilbao. “I remember the looting of 2001 … and I think it’s going to happen again.”The crisis 17 years ago was so bad that one of every five Argentines was out of work and more than half of the population fell into poverty. The peso, which had been tied to the dollar, lost about 75 per cent of its value.Banks froze deposits and barricaded behind sheet metal as thousands of protesters unsuccessfully tried to withdraw savings. More than 20 people died in protests and looting that swept Argentina in December 2001 as Latin America’s third-largest economy unraveled and eventually defaulted on a debt of more than $100 billion.The current economic woes are far from that collapse. But analysts say that poverty, which affects about a third of the population, will rise this year, and the economy will take a dive.Those forecasts are far from the promises of Macri. The conservative president took office in 2015 vowing that he would revive Argentina’s weak economy and end poverty.Although his market-friendly reforms were initially praised by international investors, who said they laid the groundwork for growth, they also brought pain to the country’s poor and stoked labour unrest.Since taking office, he has laid off thousands of state workers and cut energy subsidies, sending utility bills and bus fares soaring. Macri also dropped the previous government’s foreign exchange controls, ushering in the sharp devaluation of the peso.Many of Argentina’s poor live in slums known as “misery villages,” where they often lack access to transportation, running water or sewage. Argentina’s northern regions have chronically high rates of child malnutrition, even though the country remains a top global grain supplier.On a recent day, dozens of women gathered at a barter market in the outskirts of Buenos Aires to trade everything from pants and cosmetics to toys, bags of rice and cooking oil.“We’ve gone back to the same as before. We’ve gone back to bartering,” said Lucia de Leon, who had a table where she offered to trade canned food and used shoes.last_img read more

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