Archive | May, 2012

CPJ Internet Channel: Computer crime laws belie Thai claim to modern society

31 May

At online discussion sites all over the world, comments are
posted on the Web as soon as they are written. People argue, inform, express
anger, and voice fears. Some say things in the heat of the moment that they
might go on to regret. Others are elliptical and obscure. The enabling of such
conversations is an important modern method of discovering and re-telling the
news, and encourages previously uninvolved readers of the news to help gather
and disseminate it–especially in times when traditional media is censored or
afraid.

from Committee to Protect Journalists http://cpj.org/internet/2012/05/computer-crime-laws-belie-thailands-claim-to-moder.php

CPJ welcomes Malawi’s repeal of news censorship law

31 May

The cover of local newspaper Daily Times last year, when the law was passed. (CPJ)

Nairobi, May 31, 2012–The Committee to
Protect Journalists welcomes Wednesday’s vote in the Malawi parliament that repealed
a sweeping amendment to the country’s penal code which had allowed the
government to ban any news “not in the public interest.”

from Committee to Protect Journalists http://cpj.org/2012/05/cpj-welcomes-malawis-repeal-of-news-censorship-law.php

Blog: 23 years after Tiananmen, China is still paying

31 May

The
annual crackdown
on commemorations of the June 4 anniversary of the brutal suppression of
student-led demonstrations based in Tiananmen Square in 1989 Beijing is under way,
according to Agence
France-Presse
. What’s concerning is the number of writers and activists for
whom “crackdown” is the new normal.

from Committee to Protect Journalists http://cpj.org/blog/2012/05/23-years-after-tiananmen-china-is-still-paying.php

South Africa Bullish on Nuclear Power, Pharma

31 May

While others learn and finally commit to applying the lessons of 3 Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima, South Africa is pushing hard for increased use of nuclear power. This is going to endear it to the IAEA, but ironically, will also attract greater interest from Iran.

South Africa possesses sound knowledge that makes it competent to run a large nuclear power plant, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe said on Tuesday.

In a video message to the National Nuclear Energy Conference, Motlanthe said the country had over 25 years’ experience in operating such a power station.

"South Africa has developed the complex overall systems required to competently operate and maintain a large nuclear power plant. However, South Africa’s nuclear history goes back much further than that – it actually goes back to the mid-1940s, a period of over 60 years.

"This makes South Africa one of the oldest nuclear countries in the world. We have a long, proud history in the field of nuclear science," said Motlanthe.

Currently, power parastatal Eskom runs the only nuclear power station in the country, Koeberg, located 30km north of Cape Town.

Government has committed itself to constructing an additional 9 600 Megawatts of nuclear power to add on to the country’s electricity grid.

"South Africa now possesses a sound base of nuclear competence," said Motlanthe, adding that coal will remain the mainstay of the country’s electricity supply.

Most of the country’s coal and electricity generation was clustered in the eastern parts of South Africa, which results in the requirement for very long, high voltage electricity supply lines being necessary to transport the electricity across vast stretches of the country.

"This scenario is strategically unwise over the longer term," said Motlanthe.

SA needed to produce electricity in other parts of the country to spread the electricity production points around the national grid.

"This is a strategically sensible approach, which requires us to use other energy sources in addition to coal. Nuclear power is ideal in this sense, because we can build large nuclear power plants at points around our southern coastline, and potentially elsewhere in the future," he noted.

The construction of a nuclear power plant was a major task that would bring economic benefits to local industry, which had shown itself to be competent in the construction of major coal fired power stations.

There was every reason to have confidence in the belief that South African industry could play a major role in the construction and fabrication of nuclear power plants, said Motlanthe.

"In fact, it is desirable that South African industry place itself in the position to be able to export nuclear power components internationally."

He urged local industry to forge international partnerships with companies in the nuclear industry. He called on companies wishing to gain entry into nuclear power construction to ensure that they acquired the necessary quality assurance culture and practice at an early stage.

"South Africa possesses a well-established system of nuclear facility operations. This includes construction and process licensing, nuclear construction and fabrication regulation, health and safety monitoring, and the training of the required skilled personnel. All of this is directly linked to general safety considerations."

Nuclear safety assurance was most important for public acceptance of the nuclear power industry. SA’s good record in this respect should be maintained and enhanced as a primary foundation of the industry, stressed the Deputy President.

South Africa is a world leader in the export of nuclear pharmaceuticals for medical use, exporting to some 60 countries. Nuclear analytical processes are used constantly in industry, in agriculture and elsewhere.

Source: BUA News

Blog: Mission tells Nepal: No excuse for deferring press freedom

31 May

As
Nepal’s constituent assembly failed to meet Sunday’s
deadline
for the passage of a new constitution, a new report released this
week on the risks to Nepal’s media should remind political parties that peace
and stability are not prerequisites to media freedom but rather that a strong,
independent press operating without fear is a requirement for a healthy civil
society.

from Committee to Protect Journalists http://cpj.org/blog/2012/05/mission-tells-nepal-no-excuse-for-deferring-press.php

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