#HoldTheLine Coalition Condemns Third Criminal Cyber Libel Charge Against Maria Ressa and Rappler

first_img PhilippinesAsia – Pacific Condemning abuses WomenFreedom of expressionJudicial harassment Receive email alerts Organisation July 9, 2020 Find out more to go further Follow the news on Philippines On 11 January, a new cyber libel charge and arrest warrant were filed against Rappler CEO and founder Maria Ressa in the Philippines, marking the 10th arrest warrant Ressa has faced in under two years. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) joined the #HoldTheLine Coalition in condemning the new case and calling for an end to pressure against Ressa and Rappler. RSF_en News Help by sharing this information #HoldTheLine campaign launched in support of Maria Ressa and independent media in the Philippines July 20, 2020 Find out morecenter_img News Maria Ressa waves to members of the media after attending a court hearing in Manila on July 22, 2020 (Maria Tan / AFP). December 3, 2020 Find out more News PhilippinesAsia – Pacific Condemning abuses WomenFreedom of expressionJudicial harassment #HoldTheLine Coalition calls for criminal tax charge to be dropped as Maria Ressa returns to court January 14, 2021 – Updated on January 15, 2021 #HoldTheLine Coalition Condemns Third Criminal Cyber Libel Charge Against Maria Ressa and Rappler #HoldTheLine Coalition calls for new cyber libel charge to be dropped and pressure ceased against Maria Ressa In reaction to the new cyber libel charge and arrest warrant brought against award-winning journalist Maria Ressa in the Philippines on 11 January, the #HoldTheLine Coalition issued the following statement:“The #HoldTheLine Coalition stands with Maria Ressa and Rappler as they stare down yet another criminal cyber libel charge amid escalating legal harassment in the Philippines. This state-enabled harassment campaign serves one purpose: to silence critical journalism aimed at holding power to account and exposing corruption,” said the steering committee.“The abuse of the Philippine legal system to go after Maria Ressa and Rappler with spurious cyber libel charges further emphasises the need to scrap criminal libel and let the news media get back to its job of reporting on the global health pandemic and other issues of critical public interest.”This latest move marks the third criminal cyber libel charge against Ressa, the last of which was filed less than two months ago, indicating an alarming new trend of the state exploiting the criminalisation of libel in the Philippines. The coalition of more than 80 groups led by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ), and Reporters Without Borders (RSF) stands with Ressa to #HoldTheLine and defend independent journalism in the Philippines. Sign and share the #HoldTheLine petition calling on the Philippine government to drop all charges against Ressa and Rappler.Note: This statement is issued by the #HoldTheLine steering committee but it does not necessarily reflect the position of all or any individual Coalition members or organisations. For further details, contact Courtney Radsch ([email protected]), Julie Posetti ([email protected]), and Rebecca Vincent ([email protected]). Newslast_img read more

Latest: Shocking details of Berkshire agents cartel case laid bare

first_imgHome » News » Latest: Shocking details of Berkshire agents cartel case laid bare previous nextRegulation & LawLatest: Shocking details of Berkshire agents cartel case laid bareIncriminating and sometimes naive discussions between agents published by CMA in its latest update on case.Nigel Lewis24th January 20202 Comments1,792 Views The detailed discussions between the four estate agents involved in the Berkshire cartel case have been published by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), along with shocking evidence given by the individuals involved.These are largely emails sent between people working at Michael Hardy, Prospect, Richard Worth and a branch of Romans and are the lion’s share of the evidence gathered by the CMA to come to its decision on the cartel case.The discussions took place between September 2008 and May 2015 and were part of a ‘concerted effort’ to fix and maintain a level of commission fees for property sales in five areas.These were Wokingham, Winnersh, Crowthorne, Bracknell and Warfield.The combined £605,519 fines levied on three of the companies, Michael Hardy, Prospect and Richard Worth were revealed in December following a year-long investigation.Highlights of the report include inconsistencies in the evidence given by a Romans director during two interviews, who was also accused during the investigation of not cooperating with the CMA during it early stages.A director of Richard Worth initially refused to be interviewed but later relented.The cartel was prompted largely by the severe downturn in the economy and property market created by the financial crash of 2008 and started around the time of the failure of Northern Rock building society.The initial agreement was to set a minimum fee of £2,500 or 1.75% and a multiple agency fee of 3%. The average fee was between 1.7 and 1.8% but did drop down to 1.5% where competition was weakest.At least one of the agency directors believed their agreement ‘stopped short of cartel’.Romans put one smaller agency, Prospect, under severe pressure to join the cartel or suffer severe consequences. It was told that Romans could easily survive a downturn but that smaller agencies would not as the market contracted.Evidence shows agents emailed each other to point out when different branches were not ‘playing ball’ and had been charging clients 1.25% commission, for example, rather than the agreed 1.75% and above.Ignorance played a role – one agent says in an email “‘I’m not sure the exact definition of a cartel, but I do think the top 3 or 4 agents could quite easily agree a higher minimum fee.”One Romans director told other agents that agreeing common fees ‘was fine’ because not all agents in the area were involved.Wokingham was the focus of the cartel because it was where the four agents competed hardest for instructions.The agents kept the cartel going after 2012 when the recession ended because of competition from low-fee online agents.Four meetings a year held to discuss fees and keep branches in line continued until 2015.Within at least one of the agencies all the branch managers were aware of the minimum fee arrangement.Directors told staff who emailed in about the cartel ‘not to put things in writing’ and delete emails ‘like it never arrived’.All parties spent considerable amounts of time and effort monitoring competitors within the cartel ‘being sneaky’ over commission rates, as one email puts it.The cartel operated a fine system via invoices that forced participants who did not stick to the fee agreement to compensate competitors for lost business, although not all participated.The cartel (and exploring the setting up of similar arrangements in other areas,) was made part of a personal performance objective for one Romans director.Following the investigation, and the admission by all four agencies of their involvement in the cartel, Michael Hardy was fined £142,843, Prospect £268,765 and Richard Worth £193,911. Romans was not fined because it had come forward to the CMA about the cartel and therefore was able to benefit from the authority’s ‘lenience’ rules.Read the latest CMA document in full.CMA Competition and Markets Authority January 24, 2020Nigel Lewis2 commentsRobin Bruce, HelpHound HelpHound 24th January 2020 at 11:04 amNext: the first agent to be fined by the CMA for breaching their rules on reviews.Log in to ReplyNick Pope, Brownfields Ltd Brownfields Ltd 24th January 2020 at 9:40 amHaving worked in Wokingham and knowing the agents involved I am not the slightest bit surprised.Log in to ReplyWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles Letting agent fined £11,500 over unlicenced rent-to-rent HMO3rd May 2021 BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021last_img read more

Credit unions: Big believers in small business

first_img 11SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr by: Christina PontissoA Smarter Choice would like to give special thanks to Lancaster Red Rose Credit Union for contributing the article below to our blog. They provided a very insightful article focused on how credit unions are focused on working with small business start-ups by providing financial assistance. Enjoy!The benefits of doing your personal banking with a credit union over a large financial corporation have been outlined numerous times.  And the public has been ready to make the move, as credit unions passed the 1 million member mark in 2014.  But it’s not only personal savings and lending where credit unions can make a difference.   Credit unions are big fans of small business!Small business optimism is at it’s highest in several years.  In addition to an increase in the overall optimism index score, small businesses have big plans for capital investments. Half of all small-business owners surveyed said they plan to make investments next year, up from 43% in 2013 and 41% in 2012. continue reading »last_img read more

Šibenik connects its fortresses by minibus

first_imgAs part of the European project “Revitalization of the fortress of St. Ivan ”, the City of Šibenik procured a midibus with the aim of conducting educational programs and workshops, ie, for the needs of transfers and tours of archaeological sites in the Šibenik-Knin County, as part of the field work of the educational campus of St. Ivan. Also, all three Šibenik fortresses will be connected by bus.”We will connect all three fortresses by bus, and will serve in carrying out various educational activities intended primarily for children, the domicile population, but also tourists. Our goal is to extend the season, and just one of the facilities at the Fortress of St. Ivana is an educational campus intended for educational programs that will last all year round. Fortress of St. Ivana will be the starting point, and all cultural and archaeological assets in the city of Šibenik and its surroundings will be the subject of visits and various activities.Said the mayor of Sibenik, Zeljko Buric.Midibus, Otokar Navigo C brand, has a total capacity of 40 people, including wheelchairs. The total financial value of the project “Revitalization of the Fortress of St. Ivana ”amounts to HRK 50.014.742,95. The European Union co-finances the project with HRK 41.486.646,05 from the European Structural and Investment Funds within the Operational Program Competitiveness and Cohesion, while the rest of the funds are provided by the City of Šibenik.last_img read more