New internet bill should be dropped

first_img Red alert for green journalism – 10 environmental reporters killed in five years August 21, 2020 Find out more ThailandAsia – Pacific Organisation News May 12, 2021 Find out more RSF_en News News Covid-19 emergency laws spell disaster for press freedom Help by sharing this information center_img ThailandAsia – Pacific to go further Receive email alerts Follow the news on Thailand June 12, 2020 Find out more October 28, 2013 – Updated on January 20, 2016 New internet bill should be dropped News Thai premier, UN rapporteurs asked to prevent journalists being returned to Myanmar Reporters Without Borders has asked the Ministry of Communications and Internet Technology to change its approach to updating the Computer Crime Act of 2007.The law already authorizes the government to arrest journalists and bloggers for political reasons. If a newly proposed amendment were adopted, the government would have even more latitude to muzzle the independent and opposition media.“We support the five journalists association which have protested the bill,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The bill – in addition to eliminating a requirement for a judicial warrant to block a website – would allow that action without approval from the Ministry of Communications and Internet Technology, thereby distancing the law even more from international standards.”The press freedom organization added, “We request that the legislation be withdrawn in its entirety.”Any official attempt to amend the Computer Crime Act should be undertaken after consulting with representatives of the media and information sectors – a move not made in this case – RWB said. A cooperative effort would ensure that the crime of lèse-majesté could not be charged for political purposes. And expression of opinion and offenses arising from online publication would be decriminalized, the organization said.In a joint press release on 24 October, the Thai Journalists Association, the Thai Broadcasting Journalists Association, Online News Providers Association, Information Technology Reporters and Academic Specialists on Computer Law Group declared that the bill would threaten the very infrastructure of the internet and would make website operators, internet service providers and users responsible for content.The government has defended itself by citing a referendum held before the bill was introduced. But the media associations said that neither they, nor any online businesses, were given any participation in drafting the proposed amendment.The 2007 law requires service providers to store individual data on web users for 90 days. Authorities may examine this information with no judicial oversight. The law also decrees prison terms for lèse-majesté, although this offense was not included in the first version of the law, in 2006.Thailand is ranked 135 of 179 countries in the 2013 World Press Freedom Index compiled by Reporters Without Borders.last_img read more

Violent undercurrent to Limerick City’s drug problem

first_img TAGSAlan JacquesAna Liffey Drug projectfeaturedheroinlimerickTony Duffin Limerick Ladies National Football League opener to be streamed live Previous articleThis weeks #LimerickPostNext articleAAA called to account over Limerick street collections Alan Jacques Advertisement Limerick Artist ‘Willzee’ releases new Music Video – “A Dream of Peace” Linkedin Twitter NewsLocal NewsViolent undercurrent to Limerick City’s drug problemBy Alan Jacques – February 12, 2015 1922 WhatsApp Predictions on the future of learning discussed at Limerick Lifelong Learning Festival center_img Print Vanishing Ireland podcast documenting interviews with people over 70’s, looking for volunteers to share their stories THE Ana Liffey Drug Project Mid-West have provided a positive response to substance abuse in the city through its ‘low threshold — harm reduction’ model since opening its doors in 2012. Limerick Post reporter Alan Jacques met with its outreach team who work with some of the city’s estimated 800 heroin users.Rachel Conway, Team Leader and Aoife Marshall, Project Worker with Mid-West Ana Liffey Drug Project. Picture: Don Moloney / Press 22WHILE the profile of heroin users around the country indicates that many become involved in drugs to cope with past traumas and hurts, a more disturbing picture has emerged on the streets of Limerick.At the height of Limerick’s gangland feud, one young man in a disadvantaged city estate made the “conscious decision” to start using heroin as an escape from the vicious cycle of violence in his community. He said he took heroin so as to be considered unreliable and escape pressure to be involved in gangland activity.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up “By using drugs, he would have been considered unreliable by these criminals and was then left alone and not bothered by the gangs. It would have been very difficult for young men in these areas to escape the feud. He thought he would probably get off heroin easily enough, but 10 years on he was still using,” Dawn Russell, Head of Services at Ana Liffey Drug Project told the Limerick Post.The Ana Liffey Drug Project was established as Ireland’s first ‘low threshold – harm reduction’ service during the height of the drugs epidemic that swept through Dublin’s North Inner City area in the early 1980s. The response to heroin use at the time was muddled at best and for those whose lives were being destroyed by substance abuse, the organisation founded by Jesuit priest Frank Brady must have seemed a ray of light in a time of dark despair.Since opening its doors in Limerick in May 2012, Ana Liffey has engaged with the most marginalised members of society and offered a hand of friendship to those who know little other than despair and chaos in their daily lives. The number using heroin in Limerick is estimated at about 800 and, since setting up in Limerick almost three years ago, Ana Liffey has engaged with 460 heroin users in the Mid-West, with all but about 20 of these located in the city.Based in the Fairgreen, the group operates in Limerick, Clare and North Tipperary, among people affected by problem substance abuse, their families and the wider community. Currently engaging with around 120 drug users locally, the organisation provides a range of services including assertive outreach, needle and syringe programme, medical services and assessment for residential treatment.The profile of drug users availing of Ana Liffey’s services nationwide is typically 70/30 in favour of men. However, in Limerick, Ana Liffey staff have noted these numbers balance out at 50/50 between the sexes.They have also noted that drug users in Limerick report issues, seemingly unique to the city.Where many drug addicts report violence and abuse in their past, in Limerick, people presenting to the Ana Liffey claim that this threat of violence and abuse is ongoing for them.“Compared to other regions in the country, we get much higher reports of physical attacks in Limerick. Drug users here are facing that threat of violence every day — it’s imminent,” said Ms Russell.“Be it domestic abuse, sexual abuse, violence, intimidation or family feuds, we have seen a trend in Limerick where substance users are particularly vulnerable. We’ve also heard horror stories from women in Limerick about men, often much older men, who appear to be kind and offer to take them in and give them a bed for the night, only later for these women to be opportunistically attacked or abused. It’s a hellish and chaotic existence,” she added.Director of the Ana Liffey Drug Project, Tony Duffin, agrees that the profile of its clients in the Mid-West region distinguishes it from other areas.Director of Ana Liffey Drug Project, Tony Duffin“Many of the women who access our services in the Mid-West report that they are victims of significant levels of abuse. Often they do not wish to report their experiences to the Gardaí for fear of reprisal from the alleged perpetrators or their associates — either immediately after reporting or in the years to come,” Mr Duffin explains.The situation for men in the region is also concerning, and they too often report being victims of violence.Mr Duffin said that the fear associated with violence could impact on the individual’s ability to make positive choices.“This is highlighted by the experience of the young man who reported to us that he made a conscious decision to take heroin so that he would be considered unreliable and untrustworthy. In this way, he hoped to escape the pressure he was coming under to be involved in organised crime,” he commented.While the levels of violence reported to the Ana Liffey in Limerick are high compared to other parts of the country, the other issues people experience are similar to those in other areas.“Both men and women are often homeless as well as using drugs problematically. The lasting solutions to these problems are appropriate housing with support, provided on a ‘housing first’ basis, and timely access to suitable treatment and rehabilitation,” Mr Duffin stated.But there’s a distinct lack of options in these areas.“Ultimately, Ireland has limited resources to deal with problem drug use and associated issues. Both nationally and locally, we need to target the resources we have towards evidence informed interventions that reduces the harm drug use causes to individuals, families and communities in cost effective ways.”Most of Ana Liffey’s clients are between 20 and 30 years old and also tend to present as poly-drug users. Funded predominantly by the State, Ana Liffey does not charge for any of its addiction services and team members emphasise the importance of treating its clients with “respect and dignity”.“A lot of the time we are the first to engage and have a real conversation with people. Drugs are a big part of their identity and they tend to isolate themselves, as they have not had very many positive experiences. They are very vulnerable and live totally chaotic and traumatic lives,” said Ana Liffey’s Team Leader in Limerick, Rachel Conway.A direct link has emerged in the city in the last couple of years between young people abusing benzodiazepines, known as ‘benzos’ and ‘upjohns’, and the increase of heroin use. ‘Benzos’ includes drugs such as Xanax and Valium and their more dangerous street versions such as ‘stick’.Ana Liffey have also seen evidence of Limerick drug users taking Lyrica, a prescription drug for controlling seizures and treating nerve pain.“I was on Xanax, I was on more than I should have been. I was out of my head going out doing very stupid things and then I started dabbling with heroin. My mother died three years ago and I got on Xanax first and then I went completely off the rails and pushed everyone that was near to me away,” 22-year-old Ana Liffey service user Carol (not her real name) told the Limerick Post.“I just constantly wanted to be stoned and live in a different world. I’d take anything at all just to take away that reality. My mother and her partner were heroin addicts so I had seen it from a very young age. I knew all about it and I swore I’d never go down that path, but you don’t know what’s in front of you. I had witnessed my mother on heroin since I was around seven or eight up till 18 when she died,” the young woman admits.Research undertaken by homelessness agency Novas Initiatives, revealed that in an 18-month period between May 2012 and November 2013, they responded to 34 overdoses — an average of one incident every two weeks. The first study of its kind in Ireland, it confirmed that benzodiazepines and heroin were the drugs most frequently used by those interviewed in Limerick, with one-fifth injecting daily.This week the Limerick Post joined Ana Liffey Mid-West’s outreach team in the city centre as they set out to provide clean needles and syringes to drug users; a health promotion intervention grounded in the organisation’s harm reduction philosophy.Team Leader Rachel Conway and Project Worker Aoife Marshall both carried plastic bags filled with injecting equipment and other drug paraphernalia such as needles, syringes, water, pots, bins and Vitamin C, available at no cost to those who might need it. The Mid-West outreach team also offers a wide range of advice and support regarding safer drug use and safer injecting techniques, tailored to the drug users needs. The aim of this service is to reduce the damage associated with sharing used injecting equipment.“This all helps the wider community,” Rachel explains.“You can’t just tell them to give up drugs altogether because they are not ready for that. We engage with them and if we get them to trust us, that’s a big thing. We work with them to find a way to be able to look after themselves and keep them safe by not overdosing,” she said.Ana Liffey Drug Project Mid-West team leader Rachel ConwayOne drug user we met begging on Denmark Street is freezing cold so the outreach team buys him a warm coffee and engages him in even warmer conversation to gage his wellbeing. This human interaction manages to bring a smile to the young man’s face and the team moves on happy in the knowledge that he has no pressing health issues.“It’s quiet today. Sometimes they come into town early, get their money and disappear then to buy their drugs,” Rachel points out.Set up as an alternative to the ‘just say no’ abstinence-based approach of the eighties, Ana Liffey works on the frontline engaging and supporting those who’ve slipped off the radar. The organisation’s work brings about positive change in the lives of substance users in a non-judgmental environment.For 22-year-old drug user Carol, this model has made a positive difference.“I made lovely friends here and the support is brilliant. They go out of their way to get you here. They give you help and I want to thank them because they are a very good group of people. God only know where half of us would be without them,” she says.As I depart the Ana Liffey Mid-West team on the city’s streets, the words of Dr Seuss spring into mind: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”For more details on Ana Liffey Drug Project log on to or call their Freephone number 1800 78 68 28. Limerick’s National Camogie League double header to be streamed live RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Email WATCH: “Everyone is fighting so hard to get on” – Pat Ryan on competitive camogie squads Facebooklast_img read more

Anthony Joshua to fight Pulev in December

first_imgRelatedPosts Tyson Fury to Anthony Joshua: Don’t risk fighting Usyk Dillian Whyte to face Povetkin in November rematch Anthony Joshua, Okolie plot world title double Eddie Hearn is splashing more than £5 million on his open-air but closed-doors Fight Camp, but his superstar Anthony Joshua will now have to wait until December for his return to the ring against Kubrat Pulev.So massively higher are the pay scales for truly elite boxers that while even Dillian Whyte will appear in next month’s last of Hearn’s four fan-less promotions in his (very large) back garden, even a discounted purse for Joshua cannot be met short of a crowded 02 Arena. Whyte is taking a wage cut for his world heavyweight championship eliminator against Alexander Povetkin at the end of August to accommodate the loss of a potential £1 million in gate revenue.But for Joshua to come even close to his usual eight-figure pay night will require at least a £5 million live attendance.Since crowd sizes for boxing are not expected to be raised by the government to 50 per cent capacity until mid-winter, Joshua’s defence of his world heavyweight titles has now been pushed back from October to December 5 or 12.By then he will have been out of action for a full year, since he regained those belts in his Saudi rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr.Hearn explains: “I’ve just spoken to Josh and although he’s champing at the bit to fight again he gets it. “The most we could hope for in October or November is a crowd of about 2,000. We can’t even rely on going somewhere abroad like Saudi for a big site fee because every country has a coronavirus problem.“One upside of December is that Fury will be having his trilogy fight with Deontay Wilder six days before Christmas so both events will spice things up for a fight between Tyson and AJ next year….as long as they both win.”Meanwhile Hearn is investing in helping to bring boxing back before the TV public.The garden setting for a ring beneath a Wembley-size canopy is hilltop in Essex with dramatic views over London.Tags: Anthony JoshuaDillian WhyteEddie HearnKubrat Pulevlast_img read more

Sancho be warned! – The curse of Man United’s number 7 shirt

first_imgThe Argentine was supposed to be Manchester United’s Messiah when the Red Devils paid a then club record £60 million to Real Madrid for his services. After a fine start, typified by a truly wonderful goal against Leicester, fans were rightfully excited. But it all went sour from there on as he failed to show up in the second half of the season, eventually being relegated to a place on the bench. He left after one season.Memphis DepayThe Dutch winger joined the Red Devils in 2015 in what looked like a very promising acquisition for Man United.But sadly the performances on the pitch were nothing close to the hype surrounding the youngster. After only 2 goals in 33 appearances over two seasons, Depay was sold to French side Olympique Lyon.Alexis SanchezAlexis Sanchez made a big move from Arsenal to Premier League rivals, Manchester United, in January 2018.The winger’s ime at United will probably go down as one of the biggest flops in modern day Premier league history. After only 3 goals in 32 league games, Sanchez was loaned to Inter Milan for the 2019/2020 season, and looks set to leave on a permanent deal this summer. Superstition and sports have a long lasting relationship. Stories of lucky numbers, lucky stadiums and forbidden jerseys are very common in football.One of such famous examples, was the sight of Laurent Blanc planting a kiss upon the shiny, bald head of the French goalkeeper Fabien Barthez before every game at the 1998 FIFA World Cup.It was for good luck, and France ended up winning the competition.In terms of lucky or unlucky jersey numbers, Manchester United’s number 7 shirt is slowly gaining the reputation for bringing ‘bad luck’ to the wearer.Dortmund winger, Jason Sancho, could yet become Manchester United’s next number 7, with United said to be close to the signing of the England international.But superstitious fans have begun urging the 20 year old, not to opt for the famous number 7 shirt if he signs, because of the recent history behind the performances of the players who wear that shirt.Cristiano Ronaldo is perhaps the last player to have been successful wearing the Man United number 7 jersey, even winning the Ballon d’Or with the Red Devils in 2008.The story, has however been the complete opposite for his predecessors.English forward, Michael Owen took over the jersey number when the Portuguese superstar left United in 2009. His time at Man United was plagued with injuries, with Owen playing a peripheral role as the club won one Premier League title and a league cup in his two seasons at Man United.Antonio ValenciaThe Ecuadorian winger enjoyed his first two seasons at Man United wearing the number 25 jersey.But he decided to switch to the famous number 7, after Owen left the club in 2012, and that was a decision he ended up regretting.Valencia scored just once in 30 Premier League appearances in what was perhaps his worst season at the club. Unsurprisingly, Valencia switched back to the number 25 shirt the following season, and held on to that jersey number till he left the club in 2019.Angel Di Marialast_img read more