Parliament cancels creation of information ombudsman

first_img June 4, 2021 Find out more Reporters Without Borders has strongly condemned a parliamentary vote on 21 December that overwhelmingly overturned a plan to create an ombudsman for news and information.With just one dissenting vote, parliament amended its constitutional law, adopted in 2005 on the advice of the Council of Europe, with the effect of cancelling the creation of both an ombudsman and of an institution with the role of addressing issues relating to public access to information.As a result of neither of them seeing the light of day, the job will go to an existing mediator, responsible for protecting the rights of citizens, Elmira Suleymanova. The amendments, examined by the parliamentary committee for legislative policy, state construction and human rights were initiated by President Ilham Aliyev. The Azerbaijan authorities therefore flew in the face of the Council of Europe’s recommendations. The amendments will reduce the Azerbaijan people’s right of access to information, the worldwide press freedom organisation said. The turnaround on the part of the authorities also represents a serious backward step in the protection of the rights of media and journalists that are already largely being flouted. They simply abolish the body responsible for mediating between journalists and the authorities, to avoid resort to the courts, as recommended by the Council of Europe. This means that current ombudswoman, Elmira Suleymanova, will have to defend both the rights of citizens and the rights of journalists. Some members of parliament pointed out that this expansion of her powers could complicate her already heavy workload, or more seriously still destroy the spirit of the 2005 law, turning it into an empty shell. The detractors of the information ombudsman argued that its creation could mean splitting up the roles of the different ombudsman. Elmira Suleymanova illustrated this point with the example of Sweden which originally had nine ombudsmen but now has no more than four. Such a mandate however appears to be too important to be filled by a single person. All the more so since the question of the rights of citizens is very different from that of access to information and the rights of journalists.Moreover, the current ombudswoman has pro-government leanings, which is incompatible with the Council of Europe recommendations. These call on member states to ensure that the ombudsman has complete independence, sufficient financial means and equipment, access to information required for the job, presentation of an annual progress report to parliament, and as far as possible for his or her decisions to be applied. As in any constitutional law, the application of the amendment will require a second vote in six months time. Reporters Without Borders urges the Council of Europe and member governments to call on Azerbaijani members of parliament to vote against it. Follow the news on Azerbaijan News Receive email alerts Russian peacekeepers deny foreign reporters access to Nagorno-Karabakh News AzerbaijanEurope – Central Asia AzerbaijanEurope – Central Asia News Organisation center_img “We’ll hold Ilham Aliyev personally responsible if anything happens to this blogger in France” RSF says June 8, 2021 Find out more Help by sharing this information RSF_en News RSF calls for a fully transparent investigation after mine kills two journalists in Azerbaijan to go further January 10, 2011 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Parliament cancels creation of information ombudsman April 9, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

Polamalu the latest coaching departure

first_imgAn offseason of scapegoating, finger-pointing and holding everyone besides USC head coach Lane Kiffin accountable continued last Friday. USC fired running backs coach Kennedy Polamalu in a stunning move apparently one month in the making. For those keeping score at home, USC has now nudged out four assistant coaches this offseason.In response to the head-scratching news, redshirt freshman fullback Soma Vainuku posted on his Twitter account, “Not only did we lose the best coach, we lost the only Trojan who was on staff. Sad day.”Freshman running back Ty Isaac offered a more succinct reaction via Twitter: “Disappointed.” To Kiffin’s credit, however, it appears the Under Armour All-American was kept abreast of the possible move before national signing day, even though Polamalu still visited him days before the deadline to complete the recruiting pitch.Of all the coaches on staff, perhaps the only ones I might have guessed enjoyed more job security than Polamalu are defensive line coach Ed Orgeron and wide receivers coach Tee Martin — both ace recruiters whose position groups also exceeded expectations in 2012.Unfortunately for Polamalu, the USC rushing attack rarely gained traction in most games, mostly because of play calling. By the end of the season, USC ran the ball on 46 percent of its plays — a fairly balanced offensive approach, to be sure. Kiffin did not become overly pass-happy, as many have charged. But the run plays were rarely imaginative and failed to utilize his running backs’ strengths.Many of senior running back Curtis McNeal’s big plays in 2011 came on pitches where he could use his shiftiness to motor outside the tackles and down the sidelines. So why did Kiffin often call for him to run between the tackles like a conventional workhorse running back 40 pounds heavier? Of course, former left tackle Matt Kalil helped spring McNeal for several of those runs in 2011, but Kiffin rarely even gave McNeal a chance to succeed before relegating him to the bench.Regardless of the suspect play calling, there is no question that the underperformance of USC’s veteran offensive line also betrayed the running game. Simply put, USC recently hasn’t produced the road-graders along the offensive line that can compare to the ones at, say, Stanford — a team that has transformed from an anemic, outgunned offense to one of the nation’s most punishing frontlines.Moreover, in his three years, Polamalu never inherited a bona fide star running back he could coach into a force.Among the cast of McNeal, Marc Tyler, Allen Bradford, redshirt sophomore D.J. Morgan and even junior Silas Redd, Polamalu never coached a player at USC with the combination of speed, vision and tenacity that could take over a game. All four of his running backs this past season were injury-prone and unable to shoulder 20-plus carries per game consistently.Now, after bringing in two blue-chip, national running back recruits, Polamalu must leave without the opportunity to coach the young stars from the ground up.Speaking of McNeal, Polamalu’s tough love and mentorship helped bring the 2011 savior back from the brink of losing his scholarship when the diminutive running back failed to qualify academically for the 2010 season. The die-hard Trojan and former USC fullback was a relatable figure for the running backs group, whose words of experience packed an extra punch.On an offensive staff led by a coach who buries his head in a laminated play sheet and sports an inscrutable expression, Polamalu offered a much-needed spark of energy.Polamalu is the one who berated Redd in his first USC practice for running in the wrong direction on one play, even though the former Penn State star had only just picked up a playbook days before. He held everyone accountable and pushed them to achieve their potential.Emphasizing accountability, attention to detail and hard work will be the avenue through which USC can return to former glories. Unfortunately, the Trojans just gave up a coach with the ability to extract that kind of effort from his players.“Leveling the Playing Field” runs Mondays.  If you would like to comment on this story, email Sean at [email protected] or visit dailytrojan.comlast_img read more

Edmonton Oilers’ Zack Kassian receives four-year contract extension

first_imgKassian: “If Tkachuk has the puck and I can hit him clean, I’m not going to pass on it”Kassian has 28 points (13 goals, 15 assists) in 44 games this season. His biggest impact has been felt as an enforcer, especially in the infamous Dec. 27 meeting against the Flames when he laid a beating on Tkachuk after the Flames forward took two sizable — and confrontational — hits on him.The nine-year veteran is expected to demolish his career-high 29 points (2013-14) as he is on pace for 49 despite missing five games this season. Everyone is eagerly awaiting what happens on the ice between the Edmonton Oilers’ Zack Kassian and Calgary’s Matthew Tkachuk after their last meeting in the Battle of Alberta resulted in a two-game suspension for the former. But before puck drop, the rugged forward became the benefactor of an off-the-ice decision as he earned assurances that he is a member of the Oilers’ long-term plan. Kassian signed a four-year contract extension worth an average annual value of $3.2 million on Wednesday.MORE: Everything to know about the Kassina/Tkachuck feud Set to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason, the 29-year-old forward had his future looming with the expectation of hitting free agency. Instead, he will receive a pay raise; he is currently finishing out a three-year deal worth $1.95 million AAV. Kassian was traded to Edmonton on Dec. 28, 2015, by Montreal in return for Ben Scrivens.With the trade deadline looming, the Oilers are likely to be buyers as they vie for a playoff spot, but now there’s no doubt that Kassian will be a part of that run. Oftentimes, players set to become UFAs are viewed as possible rentals for other teams.last_img read more

Is Business Headed for a Cognitive-First Future?

first_imgFollow the Puck Brad AndersonEditor In Chief at ReadWrite How Data Analytics Can Save Lives Related Posts AI: How it’s Impacting Surveillance Data Storage Tags:#data#Trending Brad is the editor overseeing contributed content at ReadWrite.com. He previously worked as an editor at PayPal and Crunchbase. You can reach him at brad at readwrite.com. As the world generates more and more data — at a clip of 2.5 quintillion bytes each day — it simultaneously struggles to manage it. With humans unable to manually process such large amounts of data and analyze its implications, the business world has to turn to machines to take on some of the load.Smart machines can transform data points into patterns and insights; imbuing these machines with human knowledge and allowing them to “learn” from the additional information they gather can speed up the computations needed by businesses. Cognitive machines aren’t just reactive, however. With enough data, they can anticipate problems, suggest solutions, and carry them out without human intervention.Cognitive predictive maintenance for the Industrial Internet of Things, an arena in which machines detect failures in other machines, is poised to influence whole industries. Empowering machines to perform unsupervised (or partially supervised) techniques to identify equipment failures quickly and accurately will save money for businesses. From preventing downtime to freeing up employee time for higher-level issues, cognitive predictive maintenance will revolutionize how enterprises handle asset management.Thy Machine’s Will Be DoneCognitive predictive maintenance uses sensors and artificial intelligence to monitor operations of complex systems, giving early warning in the form of anomaly detection. This early detection can help address minor issues before they turn into more serious problems.Deep reinforcement learning, a component of many cognitive predictive maintenance systems, uses algorithms to determine which pieces of information — gathered from resources such as manuals and operator notes or through real-time happenings — are relevant. Combining these with feedback received from a company’s techs, these autonomous solutions will create a library of knowledge without human input — beyond the manual feedback, of course.“The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is unlocking new possibilities for asset-intensive industries. … Sadly, almost 85 percent of these industries let this data sourced from trillions of data points go unused,” explain the experts at DataRPM, a Progress company, considered a cognitive disruptor in the IIoT maintenance space. “Only the remaining 15 percent possess the capabilities to derive insights from the limited data sourced from a select few sensors. This leads to building generalized models that encompass only a few assets, which are then extrapolated to the entire asset population.”And that’s a big deal: DataRPM has calculated that a 1 percent improvement in productivity across the manufacturing industry can result in $500 million in annual savings. Predicting anomalies can result in a 70 percent elimination of breakdowns, the firm says. With McKinsey predicting the IoT industry will have an economic impact of approximately $11 trillion by 2025, that’s a lot of potential money left on the table without cognitive-first processes.Which Industries Will Benefit?The saying that “data is the new oil” has gained momentum in recent years, and even the oil industry should feel that way. It’s one of a handful of industries that stand to quickly benefit from cognitive predictive maintenance.Oil and gas. With decades-old pipelines, old technology, and dangerous terrain, the oil and gas industry is ripe for machine intervention. Its outsized impact on the environment underscores the importance of predicting failures before they happen. Updated sensors and data analysis can result in not only avoided tragedies, but also 10 percent cost savings through enhanced performance.Manufacturing. Factories are constantly on the lookout for ways to improve their analytics and equipment effectiveness. Cognitive predictive maintenance can help with both these areas, as well as with conducting cognitive visual inspections. Deloitte’s findings suggest that cognitive predictive maintenance helps manufacturing equipment achieve more than 90 percent effectiveness.Automotive. Just like other manufacturing arenas, automotive companies are searching for ways to increase the uptime of their assembly lines and decrease malfunctions and subsequent recalls. Although only 8 percent of automotive manufacturers currently use cognitive predictive maintenance, these companies could save more than $1 million per day by issuing recalls sooner.Aviation. Unsurprisingly, nearly every transportation and logistics industry can benefit from cognitive-first solutions, and aviation’s tight regulations, safety concerns, and replacement schedules make cognitive predictive maintenance a perfect fit. With an aircraft like the A350-900 costing nearly $305 million, it’s clear that downtime for any part of an airline’s fleet can be devastating. Cognitive predictive maintenance can help airlines take care of problems before they need to ground flights.Energy and utilities. With the environment and climate changing rapidly, extreme weather power outages doubled between 2003 and 2012; extreme weather is considered the culprit behind 80 percent of outages. In a society becoming further chained to the internet and machines on a daily basis, energy and utility companies would do well to adopt cognitive predictive maintenance, which can help them predict and manage blackouts and brownouts before they happen.Producing enormous amounts of data means we also need to build systems that can absorb and use that data. Industries that need to process such data before major problems occur likely have a cognitive-first future ahead of them, led by machines smart enough to fix what isn’t yet broken. Leveraging Big Data that Data Websites Should T…last_img read more

Ankle arthroscopy

first_imgDefinitionAnkle arthroscopy is surgery that uses a tiny camera and surgical tools to examine or repair the tissues inside or around your ankle. The camera is called an arthroscope. The procedure allows the doctor to detect problems and make repairs to your ankle without making larger cuts in the skin and tissue. This means that you may have less pain and recover more quickly.Alternative NamesAnkle surgeryDescriptionYou will likely receive general anesthesia before this surgery. This means you will be asleep and unable to feel pain. Or, you may have regional anesthesia. Your leg and ankle area will be numbed so that you do not feel any pain. If you receive regional anesthesia, you will also be given medicine to make you very sleepy during the operation.During the procedure, the surgeon does the following:Inserts the arthroscope into your ankle through a small incision. The scope is connected to a video monitor in the operating room. This allows the surgeon to view the inside of your ankle.Inspects all the tissues of your ankle. These tissues include cartilage, bones, tendons, and ligaments.Repairs any damaged tissues. To do this, your surgeon makes 1 to 3 more small incisions and inserts other instruments through them. A tear in a muscle, tendon, or cartilage is fixed. Any damaged tissue is removed.At the end of the surgery, the incisions will be closed with stitches and covered with a dressing (bandage). Most surgeons take pictures from the video monitor during the procedure to show you what they found and what repairs they made.advertisementYour surgeon may need to do open surgery if there is a lot of damage. Open surgery means you will have a large incision so that the surgeon can get directly to your bones and tissues.Why the Procedure Is DoneArthroscopy may be recommended for these ankle problems:Ankle pain: Arthroscopy allows the surgeon to explore what is causing your ankle pain.Ligament tears: A ligament is a band of tissue that connects bone to bone. Several ligaments in the ankle help keep it stable and allow it to move. Torn ligaments can be repaired with this type of surgery.Ankle impingement: Tissues in your ankle can become swollen and sore from overuse. This makes it hard to move the joint. Arthroscopy can remove the tissue so you can move your joint.Scar tissue:This can form after an injury to the ankle. This surgery can remove scar tissue.Arthritis: Arthroscopy can be used to help reduce pain and improve movement.Cartilage injuries: This surgery can be used to diagnose or repair cartilage and bone injuries.Risks Risks of general anesthesia are:Allergic reactions to medicinesBreathing problemsRisks of ankle arthroscopy are:BleedingInfectionBlood clotFailure of surgery to relieve symptomsFailure of repair to healWeakness of the ankleInjury to tendon, blood vessel, or nerveBefore the ProcedureTell your health care provider what medicines you are taking. This includes medicines, supplements, or herbs you bought without a prescription.During the 2 weeks before your surgery:You may be asked to stop taking medicines that make it harder for your blood to clot. These include aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Naprosyn, Aleve), and other medicines.Ask your health care provider which medicines you should still take on the day of your surgery.If you have diabetes, heart disease, or other medical conditions, your surgeon will ask you to see your doctor who treats you for these conditions.Tell your health care provider if you have been drinking a lot of alcohol, more than 1 or 2 drinks a day.If you smoke, try to stop. Ask your health care provider or nurse for help. Smoking can slow wound and bone healing.Tell your doctor about any cold, flu, fever, herpes breakout, or other illness you may have before your surgery.On the day of surgery:You will likely be asked not to drink or eat anything for 6 to 12 hours before the procedure.Take the medicines your health care provider told you to take with a small sip of water.Your health care provider will tell you when to arrive at the hospital. Be sure to arrive on time.After the ProcedureYou can usually go home the same day after you recover from the anesthesia. You should have someone drive you home.Keep your ankle elevated above your heart for two to three days to help reduce swelling and pain. You can also apply cold packs to reduce swelling.Keep your bandage clean and dry. Your health care provider can show you how to change the dressing.You can take pain relievers, if needed, as long as your doctor says its safe to do so.Youll need to use a walker or crutches and keep weight off your foot.Outlook (Prognosis)advertisementArthroscopy uses small cuts in the skin. Compared to regular surgery, you may have:Less pain and stiffnessFewer complicationsFaster recoveryThe small cuts will heal quickly, and you may be able to resume your normal activities in a few days. However, if your doctor had to repair a lot of tissue in your ankle, it may take several weeks to heal. How quickly you heal depends on how complicated the surgery was.You may be shown how to do gentle exercises as you heal. Or, your doctor may recommend that you see a physical therapist to help you regain the full use of your ankle.ReferencesIshikawa S. Arthroscopy of the Foot and Ankle. In: Canale ST, Beaty JH, eds. Campbells Operative Orthopaedics. 12th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Mosby; 2012:chap 50.Miller M, Hart J. Surgical Principles. In DeLee, JC, Drez D Jr, Miller MD, eds. DeLee and Drezs Orthopaedic Sports Medicine. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2009:chap 2.Review Date:5/15/2013Reviewed By:C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.last_img read more

Minister Duncan dismisses Dakota claim theyre governed by law of the land

first_imgAPTN National NewsAs the Dakota in Manitoba continue their fight against the provincial government to sell cheap cigarettes, they also continue to claim their tribe is a sovereign nation.They’re calling on the federal government to come to an agreement over their rights.Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan was in Winnipeg Thursday and APTN National News reporter Meagan Fiddler found out what the minister had to say about the situation.last_img

Dawson Creek officials win this round against rising floodwater

first_imgDAWSON CREEK, B.C. – Officials with the City of Dawson Creek say they’ve managed to stem the rise of floodwaters in the creek at bear’s the city’s name.The City’s General Manager of Development Services Kevin Henderson said that the 17th St. Bridge has reopened after workers were able to divert some of the creek’s water. He said that maintenance workers brought in pumps to divert the flow of water over the culverts where Dawson Creek passes underneath 102nd Ave.Henderson said that the action of the pumps along with a smaller amount of snow melt that travelled downstream into the city yesterday meant crews were able to keep the flow of water from cresting any of the roads in the city. Henderson said he suspects the reason for the so-far intense snow melt is due to the higher than normal snow pack in the Peace Region this year, and because the region didn’t see a mid-winter similar to the past three winters. Henderson added that just because crews beat Mother Nature this time around, that doesn’t mean the city will be getting complacent, as there is still some time before all of the snow still blanketing the Northern Rockies is completely melted.last_img read more

Full pipelines new services propel Enbridge to street beating 117B income

first_imgThe Calgary-based company says its results were enhanced by operating performance, optimization of deliveries on existing pipelines, synergies from the Spectra Energy acquisition and $7 billion of projects brought into service in 2018.It says its $9-billion Line 3 export pipeline replacement project is expected to be in service before the end of 2019, as it is nearing completion on the Canadian side of the border and has moved into the permitting phase in Minnesota.Enbridge has a $16-billion inventory of projects which are scheduled to come into service between 2019 and 2023. CALGARY, A.B. – Enbridge Inc. says full oil and gas pipelines and the addition of new services led to fourth-quarter earnings that beat analyst expectations.Canada’s largest pipeline operator says adjusted net income was $1.17 billion or 65 cents per share in the last three months of 2018, beating analyst estimates of $1.12 billion or 62 cents per share as noted by Thomson Reuters Eikon.A year ago, Enbridge reported adjusted earnings of $1.01 billion or 61 cents per share for the fourth quarter of 2017.last_img read more