Iraq : Wave of arrests of journalists covering protests in Iraqi Kurdistan IraqMiddle East – North Africa to go further Organisation Help by sharing this information IraqMiddle East – North Africa – Download the report :Reporters Without Borders called today for the reopening of the enquiry into who was really responsible for the US Army’s “criminal negligence” in shooting at the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad on 8 April 2003 and causing the death of two journalists – Ukrainian cameramen Taras Protsyuk (of Reuters news agency) and Spaniard José Couso (of the Spanish TV station Telecinco).The call came in a report of the press freedom organisation’s own in-depth investigation of the incident, which gathered evidence from journalists in the hotel at the time, from others “embedded” with US Army units and from the US military soldiers and officers directly involved.The report said US officials at first lied about what happened and then, in an official statement four months later, exonerated the US Army from any mistake or error of judgement. The report provides only some of the truth about the incident, which needs to be further investigated to establish exactly who was responsible.Pentagon spokespersons said right from the start that an M1 Abrams tank opened fire on the hotel in legitimate self-defence in response to “enemy fire” coming from the hotel or the area around it. This line was maintained and emphasised at the highest official level in the days that followed.Sgt. Shawn Gibson, the 3rd Infantry Division (3ID) tank gunner who fired the fatal shot, and his immediate superior, Capt. Philip Wolford, who authorised it, denied they had fired because of shooting from the hotel. They said the 4-64 Armor Company of the 3ID’s 2nd Brigade, which was stationed on the Al-Jumhuriya Bridge soon after US troops entered Baghdad, was in fact seeking to neutralise an Iraqi “spotter” monitoring and reporting on US military activity.Some of this data caused the US Army to change its line slightly in its official report released on 12 August 2003. It did not speak of direct shooting but of an “enemy hunter/killer team” which required a response in legitimate self-defence. This too was a lie – by omission.By focusing only on the rules of combat, the US authorities have remained silent about the real cause of the tragedy. The Reporters Without Borders investigation found that the soldiers in the field were never told the hotel was full of journalists.The US shelling of the hotel was not a deliberate attack on journalists and the media. It was the result of criminal negligence.At the bottom level, Capt. Wolford and Sgt. Gibson reacted as soldiers in a battle situation. They directly caused the death of the journalists and wounded three others, but should not really be held responsible because they did not have information that would have made them aware of the consequences of firing at the hotel.Their immediate superiors – battalion commander Lt. Col. Philip DeCamp and brigade commander Col. David Perkins – also appear not to blame. Their reactions and the accounts of embedded journalists indicate they too had not been properly informed by their own superiors.At a higher level, the headquarters of 3ID commander Gen. Buford Blount bears a heavy responsibility. The Division’s command had access to information from the Pentagon, from the US Central Command Doha base (in Qatar) and from the media. It is inconceivable that the massive presence of journalists at the hotel for three weeks prior to the shelling, which was known by any TV viewer and by the Pentagon itself, could have passed unnoticed. Yet this presence was never mentioned to the troops in the field or marked on the maps used by artillery support soldiers. The question is whether this information was withheld deliberately, out of contempt or through negligence. RSF_en News December 28, 2020 Find out more News Follow the news on Iraq At the top level, the US government must bear some of the responsibility. Not just because it is the government and has supreme authority over its army in the field, but also because its top leaders several times made false statements about the incident. They also talked regularly about the dangers journalists faced in Iraq. White House spokesman Ari Fleischer stressed on 28 February the Pentagon’s advice to the media to pull their journalists out of Baghdad before the war began. Asked whether this was a veiled threat to “non-embedded” reporters, he said: “If the military says something, I strongly urge all journalists to heed it. It is in your own interests, and your family’s interests. And I mean that.” The argument that journalists had been warned of the danger reappeared in the Army’s 12 August report. This amounted to creating two kinds of journalists – those who were “embedded” and so able to report on the fighting while under the protection of US forces and those who were advised to leave the war zone or face being ignored.The Pentagon thereby refused to accept any responsibility for the death of the two journalists.The Reporters Without Borders investigation was carried out by French journalist Jean-Paul Mari, with help from the French weekly magazine Le Nouvel Observateur, which Reporters Without Borders warmly thanks.- Download the report : RSF’s 2020 Round-up: 50 journalists killed, two-thirds in countries “at peace” Three jailed reporters charged with “undermining national security” Related documents Two murders and a liePDF – 3.58 MB Reports Following its investigation of the US Army’s firing at the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad on 8 April 2003, Reporters Without Borders called for the reopening of the enquiry into who was really responsible for the US Army’s “criminal negligence”. December 16, 2020 Find out more February 15, 2021 Find out more News Receive email alerts January 15, 2004 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Two murders and a lie
By Amlan ChakrabortyNEW DELHI, India (Reuters) – Afghanistan will play their inaugural Test match between June 14 and 18 in Bengaluru against neighbours India, the cricket boards announced yesterday.Afghanistan and Ireland joined the ranks of full-member nations of the International Cricket Council last June, taking the total number of Test-playing countries to 12.The Indian board (BCCI) has consistently backed Afghanistan, who played a home match against Ireland last year at a stadium in Greater Noida, on the outskirts of New Delhi.“Afghanistan and India have been traditional friends, even diplomatically, for ages and it’s only appropriate that Afghanistan opened its international innings in India,” BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary told reporters.Choudhary said Bengaluru was the obvious choice to stage the match bearing in mind the expected weather conditions in other parts of the country in June.“At that point of time in the year, there will be rains almost everywhere, and where there will not be rain, there will be such heat that cricket would be practically impossible during day time,” he said.Cricket has a long history in Afghanistan but the country only gained full one-day international (ODI) status in 2011.In 2015, still suffering from the impact of war and conflict, Afghanistan took part in their first 50-over World Cup and they have also played in the World Twenty20 competition.“The historic friendship and relations between India and Afghanistan go back to centuries. I‘m glad that cricket is now added as another layer,” Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) chairman Atif Mashal said.“The support BCCI has provided to ACB in the last several years has been tremendous – whether it’s backing Afghanistan in ICC while our application for full membership was under consideration or making the facilities available for us, technical assistance. We really recognise it and appreciate it.”ACB chief executive Shafiq Stanikzai said the June Test will be a dream-come-true for the Afghanistan players, and would trigger the sport’s growth.“Cricket has a bright future in Afghanistan. We have raw talents, the only thing is we need is to polish them and give them proper exposure,” he said.“Our target is to be a competitive side in Test cricket in the coming three years.”
Ice dropped a pair of close games to Greater Vancouver Canadians before grabbing three of four points in a weekend set against Thompson Blazers.Kootenay won 6-3 before playing to a 2-2 draw against the Blazers.Six different players —Tommy McConnachie of Trail, Hunter Flois of Vanderhoof, Conner Seib of Trail, Kaleb Comishin of Nelson, Shawn Campbell of Castlegar and Caige Sterzer of Kimberley— scored in the opener for Kootenay.Last weekend Kootenay was in tough against Vancouver Northeast Chiefs, losing 7-3 and 4-0.McConnachie scored twice and Floris added a single to complete the Ice scoring.“I like the makeup of our team this year. This is a really good group of kids,” Jones said.“We were short handed last weekend due to some last minute issues.”Kootenay is one of 11 teams in the BCMMHL.The league was established in 2004 to provide elite level 15, 16 and 17 year olds an opportunity to play within their own age group at a high level and be developed for the next level of hockey.These teams have an opportunity each year to compete for the National Midget Championship. The Kootenay Ice get a taste of some home cooking as the BC Major Midget Hockey League squad hosts its home opening weekend beginning Saturday at the NDCC Arena.The Ice, 1-4-1 open the season, play host to Valley West Hawks Saturday at 7 p.m. in the NDCC Arena.Sunday, puck drop on the second game of the series is at 10 a.m., also in Nelson.“We are very excited to have our first home games of the year this coming weekend,” said Ice head coach Brian Jones.Jones assumed the helm of the Good Ship Ice this season after spending the last few years as the assistant coach to Rob Wright.Kootenay began the season with three consecutive road trips to the Lower Mainland and Kamloops.
$75,000 MIZDIRECTION STAKES GOES TO ZIEBARTH HOME-BRED SO SWEETITIZ ARCADIA, Calif. (May 21, 2016)–With a lively pace to run at, Wild Dude skimmed the rail turning for home under Rafael Bejarano and overtook favored Subtle Indian in the final sixteenth of a mile to win Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 Kona Gold Stakes by one length. Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, Wild Dude, who broke from the rail, covered 6 ½ furlongs in 1:15.10.In a bizarre turn of events, Subtle Indian, who was riding a four-race winning streak at Oaklawn Park coming into the Kona Gold, broke sharply under regular rider Ramon Vazquez and when recent Los Angeles Stakes winner San Onofre was abruptly pulled up coming out of the seven furlong chute, Subtle Indian found himself on a lonely lead heading to the half mile pole and into the far turn. However, the field compressed approaching the quarter pole and Wild Dude, who was well back early, took command late.The third choice in the wagering in a field of eight older horses at 9-2, Wild Dude paid $11.20, $4.00 and $2.80.“We gave this horse a little time and he’s been training really well,” said Hollendorfer, who also co-owns the 6-year-old Florida-bred horse by Wildcat Heir with Green Smith, Jr. “I didn’t know if the number one post would hurt him, but he got real lucky and got through, so that was what won the race for him. He’s a real nice horse. He’s a millionaire now and we’re very proud of him.With the winner’s share of $120,000, Wild Dude’s career earnings zoomed to $1,095,232. In getting his fifth career Santa Anita win, Wild Dude improved his overall mark to 22-8-5-4.“I knew that (Subtle Indian) would go to the lead,” said Bejarano. “I thought other horses would go with him but I just took my time. I knew my horse would show me a big kick but I had to make sure by the three eighths pole that I had enough room. I let him go in the stretch, had a clean trip and my horse won.”Hammered to favoritism at 4-5, Subtle Indian fought off all challengers a quarter mile out, but couldn’t withstand the late charge of the winner and had to settle for second, a half length in front of Cautious Giant. Subtle Indian paid $2.80 and $2.40.“I think Subtle Indian ran a good race today,” said Vazquez. “He never quits and he tries really hard. I think he is better at six furlongs. Today, at six and a half, he had to go a little more. In this case, the other horse just ran better than mine.”Ridden by Santiago Gonzalez, Cautious Giant out-gamed Coastline late and finished third by a neck. Off at 14-1, Cautious Giant paid $4.20 to show.San Onofre, who was ridden by Edwin Maldonado, sustained two broken sesamoid bones in his right front ankle and had to be euthanized.Fractions on the race were 21.58, 44.37 and 1:08.76. Saturday’s co-feature, the $75,000 Mizdirection Stakes, for fillies and mares 3 and up at 6 ½ furlongs down the hillside turf course, was run immediately following the Kona Gold, as the 10th race on an 11-race card. Taken in gate to wire fashion, it was won by Pamela Ziebarth’s homebred So Sweetitiz, who won by a half length over Miss Double dOro while getting the distance in 1:13.70.Ridden by Mike Smith and trained by Marty Jones, So Sweetitiz, a 4-year-old Kentucky-bred daughter of Grand Slam, was off at 7-1 in a field of eight and paid $17.00, $7.00 and $4.20.“It’s been a process with this filly,” said Jones. “She’s had her ups and downs and she’s been real aggressive. It seems like once we got her on the turf, she started getting confident and doing things the right way. Mike rode a great race. I expected her to be up close, but with Mike you kind of just tell him what she’s like, and he takes care of the rest.”Miss Double d’Oro paid $3.60 and $2.40.Swift Lady, the 9-5 favorite, paid $2.60 to show.First post time for a 10-race card on Sunday at Santa Anita is at 2 p.m. Admission gates open at 11 a.m.