Saudi media silent on RSF complaint against MBS RSF joins Middle East and North Africa coalition to combat digital surveillance Middle East – North Africa Saudi Arabia RSF_en Follow the news on Saudi Arabia March 9, 2021 Find out more News News Alaa Brinji, a journalist who writes for the Saudi newspapers Al Sharq, Al Bilad and Okaz, was sentenced on 24 March by a special criminal court for terrorism cases to five years in prison and fine of 50,000 riyals over a series of tweets deemed to have insulted Saudi Arabia’s rulers.Brinji was found guilty of mocking religious figures, “inciting public opinion,” “accusing members of the security forces of killing demonstrators” in the eastern district of Awamia, and violating article 6 of the cyber-crime law. The court asked the authorities to close his Twitter account.***********************************************************************Reporters Without Borders calls for the release of Alaa Brinji, 33, a Saudi journalist and blogger who has been held without trial or charge for more than a year for still unclear reasons and who is being denied any legal defence.“Alaa Brinji is being held arbitrarily, in violation of international legal standards, and we therefore call for his immediate and unconditional release,” said Alexandra El Khazen, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Middle East and Maghreb desk.“The Saudi authorities cannot silence all independent voices and critics by detaining them illegally and leaving them with no way of defending themselves. This is a grossly unfair and appalling procedure.”A journalist with the local online media outlet Al Sharq, Brinji was arrested on 13 May 2014 on returning from Bahrain with his family. After interrogation, he was transferred to Marabith prison in the eastern city of Dammam and has been there ever since, without any formal charge and without any date being set for a trial.He has not been allowed to speak to a lawyer and has been mistreated in detention. At one stage, he was denied access to daylight for three months despite suffering from a skin ailment.The reason for his arrest is said to have been the critical comments he posted on Facebook. According to our sources, his arrest was prompted by his comments about religious fatwas on a Facebook page that he created and then deleted for fear of reprisals.Other sources say he was arrested for criticizing and campaigning on social networks against some of the provisions of the anti-terrorism law that Saudi Arabia adopted in February 2014.Saudi Arabia is ranked 164th out of 180 countries in the 2015 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index and is on the Reporters Without Borders list of “Enemies of the Internet.” NSO Group hasn’t kept its promises on human rights, RSF and other NGOs say Help by sharing this information June 8, 2021 Find out more April 28, 2021 Find out more to go further Receive email alerts September 10, 2015 – Updated on April 4, 2016 Saudi journalist Alaa Brinji jailed over series of tweets Middle East – North Africa Saudi Arabia News News Organisation
Previous: Survey: Investors Prefer Flipping Over Renting Next: For Sale: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac MSR Portfolio – $3 Billion The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Brian Honea’s writing and editing career spans nearly two decades across many forms of media. He served as sports editor for two suburban newspaper chains in the DFW area and has freelanced for such publications as the Yahoo! Contributor Network, Dallas Home Improvement magazine, and the Dallas Morning News. He has written four non-fiction sports books, the latest of which, The Life of Coach Chuck Curtis, was published by the TCU Press in December 2014. A lifelong Texan, Brian received his master’s degree from Amberton University in Garland. Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Castro Responds to Questions About Effects of Defaults Related Articles Tagged with: FHA House Financial Services Committee HUD Julian Castro Mia Love Mortgage Defaults Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Share Save February 12, 2015 850 Views About Author: Brian Honea Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, News FHA House Financial Services Committee HUD Julian Castro Mia Love Mortgage Defaults 2015-02-12 Brian Honea Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Print This Post Sign up for DS News Daily Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Home / Daily Dose / Castro Responds to Questions About Effects of Defaults Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Subscribe While most Republican lawmakers grilled HUD Secretary Julián Castro on the recent lowering of the FHA mortgage insurance premiums and FHA’s MMI Fund Wednesday during his testimony to the House Financial Services Committee, Representative Mia Love (R-Utah) opted to cover a different subject: defaults and their potentially negative effect on their respective neighborhoods.While much has been made during Castro’s first seven months as HUD Secretary about increasing homeownership and getting people into homes, especially first-time buyers, little has been said publicly about how HUD and FHA intend to help the new owners sustain homeownership once it is attained. During her five-minute questioning period of Castro, Love questioned the secretary on the expected default rate of people gain homeownership as a result of recent housing policy changes enacted by HUD or FHA and on what he expected would happen to surrounding homes in neighborhoods where defaults occur.Castro did not have much to say regarding how the agencies planned to sustain homeownership, however. The majority of his answers to Love’s questions involved praising the work of HUD and FHA.Love presented a map that showed distressed residential areas from 2008 to 2012 to illustrate her point that she did not believe the recent housing policy changes were helping Americans achieve the goal of not only attaining homeownership but maintaining it once they are in the homes.”[T]he people who run these (distressed) areas have the same political view as you do,” Love said. “In the words of the president during the State of Union address, if it’s not working, it’s time to do something different. We need to do everything we can by not just worrying about just one family, but worrying about as many people as possible.”While Love began her questioning period by acknowledging that the questions Castro had been asked that day were “really hard” – Love’s questioning occurred within the final 15 minutes of a marathon four-hour long hearing – she quickly moved into asking the secretary about the expected default rate of people who gained homeownership as a result of lowering the insurance premiums.”We have a default rate of less than 10 percent,” Castro said. “It’s improved over the last couple of years. We also have seen serious delinquencies, which refer to 90 day delinquencies, drop by 27 percent since 2013 because 2013 and 2014 have been some of the strongest on the books.”In response to Love’s question about what happens when the loans go into default, Castro said, “That’s a great question. There’s a long process before that happens. In fact, I think to the credit of FHA, and in part to the committee, we have improved our loss mitigation process. We work with folks through housing counseling and through other measures to try and avoid default.”When Love turned her questioning toward what happens to value of homes in the areas where homes default and what happens to the people who have “gotten into their homes responsibly” when someone around them defaults. After Castro said he disagreed with the premise of the question, Love repeated her question as to the effect of defaults on surrounding home values.”I think the answer to that is that varies,” Castro said. “Sometimes those homes are sold, and somebody new moves in, so you have a variety of experiences out there in terms of what happens in that circumstance.”Love pointed out those effects by drawing from an economic review by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta: “Given that foreclosure properties generally sell at a discount, the natural question arises as to whether these distressed properties in turn put downward sale prices, pressure on neighborhood properties resulting in negative externalities.” She also quoted former HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, Castro’s predecessor: “Foreclosed and vacant homes have a debilitating effect on neighborhoods and often lead to blighted neighborhoods, decay, and reduced property values.” Love discussed the importance of looking beyond what is “seen” and stating that the issue goes beyond just simply getting people into homes.”What I’m trying to say is, this is not just a fiscal issue for me,” said Love, a former mayor in Utah who began her first Congressional term in January. “This is a moral issue. . . What do you say to the people who have gotten into homes responsibly, and all of a sudden, because of so many different foreclosures around that area, realize their neighborhoods are going into decay and they’ve lost the value in their home? What do you say to those people?”Castro responded with a plug for FHA.”I’d say first of all, if they’re in that neighborhood, chances are that those responsible homebuyers were through FHA, because we’ve been doing our work,” Castro said.Love wasn’t convinced that the secretary was seeing the bigger picture, however. She pointed out in her response that she knew Castro, a former mayor like herself, had seen the devastating effect that foreclosures have on neighborhoods, and how those communities turn into something “less than desirable” compared to what those families and individuals wanted when they moved into those communities.”This is about bringing people from the lowest common denominator up,” Love said.
Taking the stage for the first set in a splendid wine-colored jacket, Lightfoot still conveyed the presence of a star. His backing band from Toronto was a tight and talented bunch that has played with him for years. Guitarist Carter Lancaster’s electric licks complemented Lightfoot’s six- and twelve-string acoustic guitars. At 80 years of age, the signature voice fans came to hear was not as strong as it once was—how could it be?—but Lightfoot used it effectively, and the songs still resonated. A fan who seemed a bit young to have grown up listening to Gordon Lightfoot on the radio said the music actually brought them to tears.Returning for the second set after a change of wardrobe, Lightfoot continued his storytelling and career retrospective. The sea-chanty-inspired “Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” wound up being one of his most popular songs, which, he said, surprised him at the time. He leaned on the familiar “rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated” trope to add some levity to a history of substance abuse and health issues. Despite it all, he’s been incredibly prolific, even in his later years.Gordon Lightfoot’s current tour will continue with multiple dates across the country, culminating in two appearances at the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts in early August. For more details, visit the artist’s website. “The first time I played at Town Hall was in 1965,” Gordon Lightfoot told fans at his 80 Years Strong show on Wednesday night, May 15th. “We opened for someone very famous,” he said. “I wish I could remember who it was.”In addition to touching all the bases of his six-decade career, Lightfoot proved to be a charming and witty host. “I was part of the folk revival that began in 1960 and ended around 1963,” he said. He was indeed early on the scene, initially achieving greater success in his native Canada. He released his first album in 1965 to modest acclaim, with songs like “Early Mornin’ Rain” and “For Lovin’ Me” since becoming among his most popular. Some of his early tunes charted on the American country scene and were covered by legends such as Johnny Cash, but it wasn’t until 1970 that Lightfoot broke through to mainstream American audiences with the FM radio staple “If You Could Read My Mind”. His rich baritone and introspective lyrics helped define the decade’s new folk sound, and subsequent hits like “Sundown” and ‘Carefree Highway” solidified his reputation.
Even if you’re the most optimistic, upbeat and encouraging boss, you cannot assume your employees experience the same love, appreciation and dedication for the job that you do.Minda Zetlin, coauthor of “The Geek Gap,” summarizes the advice of author and innovative business coach Daniel Prosser in an Inc.com article, writing that words can be powerful motivators and de-motivators.Quoting Prosser, Zetlin writes, “Conversations in nearly 90 percent of companies are limiting, and they undermine and sabotage the company’s performance.” The worst part, she writes, is that most bosses have no idea these types of employee conversations are taking place.Zetlin summarizes 10 phrases that Prosser says bosses should take as danger signs if they overhear them coming from an employee. Here are some that caught my attention: continue reading » 5SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
Photo © Pixabay Rafael Nadal has the chance to win a record 10th French Open men’s singles title this afternoon.He takes on Stan Wawrinka in the final at Roland Garros.Nadal has been trying to play down the significance of achieving “La Decima” – saying he’s already made enough history. Stan Wawrinka believes playing Rafael Nadal in the final of the French Open is the biggest challenge in tennis.Wawrinka’s won the title in Paris once before.But he knows he’s got his work cut out against Nadal.
Whit Merrifield, Maikel Franco and Jorge Soler homered, and the Kansas City Royals stopped a six-game slide by pounding the Chicago Cubs 13-2 on Thursday night.Soler and Salvador Pérez each had three hits and two RBIs, helping Brad Keller to the win in his first major league appearance in nearly a year. Keller (1-0), who opened the season on the injured list after testing positive for the coronavirus, struck out seven in five scoreless innings.Kansas City finished with a season-high 18 hits. It scored a total of 14 runs during its losing streak.Chicago had won six in a row. Tyler Chatwood (2-1) allowed eight runs and 11 hits in 2 1/3 innings after winning each of his two starts this year in impressive fashion.Kansas City grabbed control with nine runs over the first three innings.Ryan O’Hearn singled in Soler in the first, and Merrifield connected for a two-run shot in the second. Franco added a two-run shot in Kansas City’s six-run third, and Nick Heath doubled home Nicky Lopez for his first career hit.Soler made it 12-0 with a solo drive in seventh against his former team.Struggling Cubs closer Craig Kimbrel worked the eighth, allowing a run when Alex Gordon singled in Brett Phillips.Victor Caratini and Nico Hoerner each had run-scoring singles in the ninth for Chicago.ROSTER MOVESThe Cubs signed right-hander Kelvin Herrera and left-hander Matt Dermody to minor league deals. Herrera and Dermody were assigned to the team’s alternate site in South Bend, Indiana.Herrera struggled in his first two appearances with the White Sox this year, allowing four runs in 2 1/3 innings.WORTH NOTINGThe Royals optioned catcher Meibrys Viloria, outfielder Eric Mejia and right-hander Scott Blewett.UP NEXTCubs: LHP Jon Lester (1-0, 0.82 ERA) starts at St. Louis on Friday night. He has given up one earned run in 11 innings this season.Royals: RHP Jakob Junis starts Friday night against Minnesota. In his first start of the season against the White Sox, he went 4 1/3 innings and was charged with two runs and six hits.Image credits: AP WATCH US LIVE LIVE TV Associated Press Television News First Published: 7th August, 2020 08:17 IST COMMENT Written By Last Updated: 7th August, 2020 08:17 IST Royals Beat Cubs 13-2, Stop 6-game Slide Whit Merrifield, Maikel Franco and Jorge Soler homered, and the Kansas City Royals stopped a six-game slide by pounding the Chicago Cubs 13-2 on Thursday night SUBSCRIBE TO US FOLLOW US