Guyana has been elevated five places on the Reporters With Borders (RSF) 2018 World Press Freedom Index, which the Guyana Press Association (GPA) said comes amidst “significant hurdles” yet to be overcome.From among 180 countries, Index of Press Freedom ranking worldwide puts Guyana at 55 compared to 60 in 2017. The country was given zero under the category of “abuse score”; and 26.25 for “underlying situation score”.Guyana’s position has placed it below its neighbour Suriname which was in spot 21, but above its other two bordering neighbours, Brazil and Venezuela, which were placed in the 102 and 143 positions, respectively.The GPA on Wednesday said it welcomes this improved ranking but with some reservations.According to the Association, while this may seem somewhat of an achievement, there are still significant hurdles to be crossed before Guyanese can feel that an improved ranking really matters.These include the removal of existing criminal defamation laws in line with globally accepted standards; the deletion of offending sections in the Cybercrime Bill that could result in further entrenchment of criminal defamation; the amendment to the Broadcasting Act to remove direct intervention in the programming schedule of radio and television stations, except in cases of emergencies; political interference in the State-owned and privately-owned media by Government and the Opposition.In fact, the GPA went on to highlight the removal of the two outspoken columnists from the State-owned Guyana Chronicle; a situation, which it said, appears not to have bothered the coalition Government and its professed commitment to press freedom and freedom of expression.To this end, the Association is calling for remedial actions to be taken by the relevant authorities to further enhance Guyana’s ranking on the Reporters Without Borders’ World Press Freedom Index in 2019.Meanwhile, the RSF said on Guyana’s profile in the World Press Freedom Index that while the country’s Constitution guarantees free speech and the right to information, officials often use its defamation laws – which provide for fines and up to two years in jail – to silence Opposition journalists.“The members of the media regulatory authority are appointed directly by the President. This restricts the freedom of certain media outlets, which are denied licences. Recent attempts to improve regulation of the broadcast industry involved no consultation with any broadcasters. Journalists are still subjected to harassment that takes the form of prosecutions, suspensions, and intimidation. A draft Cybercrime Bill could penalise whistleblowers and media for publishing information collected ‘illegally’,” the RSF highlighted.Back in August, the RSF had issued a statement urging President David Granger not to assent to the Broadcasting Bill that was adopted by Guyana’s National Assembly, and called for consultations with broadcasters in order to take into account their recommendations. The current bill, which was adopted without such consultation, raises multiple press freedom concerns.
The delays in court have been difficult, says Jim Lequiere, Josh’s father, but adds that the lengthy process is to be expected.[asset|aid=3131|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=976199fb0c7e11752480d0769f7c4b1b-Lequiere – Court 2_1_Pub.mp3] He says the whole City has been supportive which is making the process easier.Josh’s sister, Brittany, says the process has been very difficult, especially knowing how much more time both cases may take to go through the court system.Advertisement [asset|aid=3132|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=976199fb0c7e11752480d0769f7c4b1b-Brittany Lequiere 1_1_Pub.mp3] Lequiere’s family members say they will be at all court dates for the two accused, including if and when Moore applies for bail. Photo: (From Left) Josh Lequiere’s parents and sister stand outside the Fort St. John courthouse after learning the arraignment hearings have been delayed for the two people charged in relation to his murder./Kimberley MolinaThe arraignment hearings for Pamela Moore and Andre Paul Dupas have been adjourned until Sept. 29.- Advertisement -Dupas had been charged with second degree murder in the stabbing death of Josh Lequiere on May 20 and is currently in custody in Prince George. Moore was charged with being an accessory after the fact and is in custody in Burnaby.Moore was quiet while she appeared by video link at the Fort St. John courthouse, on Wednesday. Her defence attorney, Sigrid Thompson, says Moore has been cooperative with police during the investigation and has completed a polygraph.Thompson told the court that Moore has still not had a bail hearing which will be something they will be looking into. She added that it is still taking time to review the 3,300 pages of electronic documentation and that Moore has not yet seen the disclosure of information.Crown Counsel Paul Swartz told the court that someone had come forward in the investigation and that information would be provided to the defence shortly.Advertisement
CHICAGO — Roughly 24 hours after one of their worst performances, the Brooklyn Nets produced one of their best on the night of Dec. 21.Brook Lopez had 21 points and 12 rebounds, Thaddeus Young added 16 points and 13 rebounds and the Nets beat the Chicago Bulls 105-102 to end a five-game losing streak.“We came in focused, we were energetic and our bench did a great job of coming in keeping the energy high and responding to runs,” Lopez said. “We were all there for each other. We were pulling for each other.”It was quite a contrast from Dec. 20 when the Nets suffered a 100-85 home loss to Minnesota.“We just did everything better,” Brooklyn coach Lionel Hollins said. “I thought we came out from the start with a lot of fight and purpose.”Jimmy Butler had 24 points, Pau Gasol added 20 points and the Bulls lost their third straight.Butler said before the game that he didn’t regret his critical comments of first-year coach Fred Hoiberg two days earlier following a loss in New York. He was 11 for 20 from the field in this one.Hoiberg was surprised his team didn’t respond with a better effort.“It’s very disappointing,” he said. “This is a tough loss. You have to win your home games. We’ve dropped a couple in a row now. It’s a bad, bad loss.”Brooklyn led by as many as 12 points before taking an 85-78 advantage into the fourth.Chicago opened the final quarter with four quick points to pull within 85-82, but the Nets responded with a 9-2 spurt to make it a double-digit advantage once again.The Bulls rallied again and Gasol hit a pair of free throws with 20.9 seconds left to make it 101-99.With the shot clock off at that point, the Bulls had to foul and Jarrett Jack sank both free throws for a 103-99 edge with 10.6 seconds to go.Lopez then blocked Butler’s shot attempt, grabbed the loose ball and was fouled with 4.8 seconds remaining. He iced the game with a pair of free throws. Butler hit a meaningless 3-pointer with a tenth of a second left.“Butler made some tough shots, obviously, but for the most part we stuck together and clamped down defensively, limiting them to one shot,” Lopez said. “That gives you a lot of confidence when you’re coming down the other end in control of the game.(JOHN JACKSON) TweetPinShare0 Shares