News News January 21, 2021 Find out more Receive email alerts RSF_en Reporters Without Borders today called for a thorough and impartial investigation into a traffic accident in which Sok Serei, one of the Cambodia correspondents of Radio Free Asia’s Khmer-language service, was knocked off his motorcycle and seriously injured in Phnom Penh on the evening of 13 December.“As there are witnesses who say a vehicle deliberately struck Sok Serei’s motorcycle, it would seem the authorities should urgently explore all leads and try to identify the vehicle involved as quickly as possible,” the press freedom organisation said. “If nothing is done, the entire journalistic community in Cambodia could feel threatened.”At least four Cambodian journalists have received death threats this year because of their reporting on corruption.Sok Serei was hit by a 4WD vehicle in the centre of Phnom Penh. Some witnesses said he was struck from behind. Others said the driver opened the door of his vehicle in order to knock Sok Serei off his motorcycle. Sok Serei hit his head hard against the ground in the fall which left him in a coma over night. He continues to receive hospital treatment.Sok Serei is known for his investigative reports into allegations of corruption by government officials, which were broadcast by Radio Free Asia.Radio Free Asia’s correspondent in northeastern Cambodia, Sok Rattha (who is better known by the pseudonym of Rattha Visal), was meanwhile threatened by the governor of Rattanakiri province at the end of last month. “He told me he wanted to wanted to verify reports before they were broadcast,” he said. News Help by sharing this information December 28, 2020 Find out more December 15, 2006 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Radio Free Asia correspondent in coma after suspicious road accident CambodiaAsia – Pacific Google experiments drop Australian media from search results News February 24, 2021 Find out more Organisation RSF decries Cambodian plan for Chinese-style “Great Firewall” to go further CambodiaAsia – Pacific Cambodian journalist gets 20 months in jail for livestream Follow the news on Cambodia
“In a crime scene, all that’s left are shells, so we want the investigation police to be able to track each shell back to the manufacturing batch and back to the person who bought them,” Chacón explained. This means that if passed, both the UN treaty and Costa Rica’s proposed law would require the participation of gun manufacturers around the world. The United States, Japan, China, Russia and Brazil remain the world’s largest gun-producing countries and compliance with new requirements would be necessary for these initiatives to have a broad impact. “It may be difficult for them to agree,” said Castillo. “But it would have to start with the manufacturers themselves, reporting their production and sales in detail such as number, type, buyer’s identity and inventory.” New gun-control laws spring up throughout the region Costa Rica is not the only country in Central America striving for better gun-control mechanisms. In 2012, Guatemala passed a reform that extended the registration period of guns by two more years, while Panama changed its penal code to double the penalty for illegal arms purchasing and sales, as well as for possession of drugs. El Salvador is now working on new gun-control legislation, with help from the UN Development Program. And in Honduras, that nation’s congress is discussing changes to its arms law, after a recent study showed that 81 percent of guns there are illegal. Nicaragua’s particular social system, in which communities organize themselves to keep the organized crime out of their neighborhoods, has also worked as a shield from violent gangs, protecting Costa Rica and Panama to the south. “As a region, in this way, we are divided: the countries in the north are caught in a bloody fight where they must attack the criminals that have already permeated society, while the rest of us in the south have to strengthen our prevention programs,” Chacón said. In 2011, the Central American Integration System (SICA) approved a single security strategy that offers countries a guide on how to tackle escalating homicide rates. But so far, only the countries in the south have lowered their homicide rates, while Central America’s so-called “northern tier” remains the most violent region on the planet outside a war zone. Treaty is a wake-up call for the world, say advocates The isthmus’s geographic location is both a blessing and a curse, said Morataya of CASAC. “It’s attractive for its rich natural resources and for facilitating trade,” he said. “But among other merchandise, drugs are traded from the south to the north and guns are traded down from the north to the south.” Organized crime is not just in the business of drug trafficking, says Costa Rica’s Chacón. Illegal arms dealing, money laundering and human trafficking also help diversify criminals’ income. She said “forced labor and human trafficking now constitute the second-highest source of income for organized criminals in this region.” Despite the increased presence of criminals in Central America, Chacón remains optimistic now that the highly visible UN resolution is shining a light on the global gun-control debate. “Regardless of what happens from here on, what matters is that this vote is the first in history to back up a global consensus that says that the weapons market should be regulated in some form, and it establishes criteria to do it,” she said. “This tells us that 154 countries agree something must be done so that guns are not taken to countries where they would be used in crimes against humanity — and that really matters.” SAN JOSÉ, Costa Rica — Central American security officials hope that an international arms treaty which has just been approved by the United Nations will aid their struggle against a drug war that has exponentially increased the influx of guns into the region. On April 2, the UN General Assembly approved the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) by a vote of 154-3, with only Iran, Syria and North Korea blocking it. Another 23 countries abstained, including China, Russia, Bahrain, Myanmar and Sri Lanka. The historic ATT — which took seven years to negotiate — aims to regulate the global weapons market, estimated at $60 billion to $70 billion a year. The treaty’s goal is to ban the transfer of weapons when there are substantial reasons to believe their use would violate human rights or impair social and economic development, Costa Rican Foreign Minister Enrique Castillo explained. Costa Rica is among the seven countries that first proposed such a treaty at the UN in 2006. The ATT would also block the transfer of guns if there is a risk of gender-based violence, or if the weapons might fall into the hands of organized criminals. It does not, however, “interfere with domestic arms commerce or the right to bear arms in Member States; ban the export of any type of weapon; harm States’ legitimate right to self-defense, or undermine national arms regulation standards already in place,” according to the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs. Gun-control advocates praise ATT’s passage “This agreement could prove particularly helpful to Central American nations, where one of the biggest problems is the illegal traffic of guns. So we would hope that this could contribute to putting an end to the consequences of this trade,” said Hefer Morataya, director of the Nicaragua-based UN Coordinating Action on Small Arms in Central America program (known by its Spanish acronym CASAC). “Of course, the fact that the treaty has been approved doesn’t mean that it will start working immediately,” he added. “It’s going to take time and ratification by individual governments.” In fact, ATT needs at least 50 countries in order to be put into action, with all the challenges and setbacks that could entail. But Central America has no time to waste, said Marcela Chacón, the vice-minister for security in Costa Rica, where a heated public debate on arms regulation is now underway. President Laura Chinchilla is pushing lawmakers to pass a new arms law that would tighten gun-holding permits as well as rules on the importation and sale of ammunition. “A gun with no ammunition is simply a useless metal bludgeon,” Chacón said. Illegal weapons flooding Central America, says UN Of the 2.9 million firearms that have poured into Central America, only one million are legal, according to the 2010 UN Human Development Index. But officials say that for every registered firearm, as many as four more unregistered — and therefore illegal — guns are in circulation. And that number, they say, is rising as drug traffickers expand their business south of Mexico and depend on weapons to operate. Costa Rica’s proposed law would prohibit arms dealers from selling bullets without gun permits, while limiting the sale of bullets only to people who fit those permits’ profiles. It also would forbid the importation of ammunition that is not individually registered by the manufacturer. By Dialogo April 22, 2013
Customer care seems to be on the forefront of everyone’s mind as more organizations shift their focus to elevate the experiences their customers have with their brands. A survey released by Gartner states that 89% of companies expect to compete mostly on the basis of customer experience, compared with 36% four years prior. Whether you realize it or not, your members are forming opinions about your credit union as they utilize your products and services. And these interactions with your brand, whether positive or negative, are shaping their member journey. Unfortunately for many credit unions, there are discrepancies between what the members are saying about their experiences versus what their metrics may report, making it challenging for institutions to optimize their members’ journeys. According to a report from Lee Resources, 80% of the companies say they deliver “superior” customer service while only 8% of the people think these same companies deliver “superior” customer service. To truly understand the member journey, institutions need to view the member experience from an individual’s perspective. One way to achieve this is to implement a new management process called the episode which can incorporate a variety of shopping, usage or service activities. When carried out properly, this new management process will help you to better understand the member’s perspective, and successfully optimize the member journey – improving your market competitiveness. What’s an Episode?When a member interacts with your institution, that’s an episode. An episode has a clear start and end, and it can range from a single interaction to a series of interactions over time. The culmination of all the episodes results in the member experience with your brand so your institution needs to make sure each episode results in a delightful encounter. For most organizations, episodes can be categories into three groups: By effectively implementing episodes, organizations are able to gain a holistic view of the member experience, and as a result, address the member experience when necessary.How to Manage EpisodesEffective episode management succeeds on a self-directing and self-correcting workforce and trusted partners. Instead of developing lots of company policies, management should devote time to empower your employees to constantly make course corrections on their own by providing timely feedback. This allows employees and external partners the freedom to make decisions and take necessary actions. To avoid duplicating work and to successfully manage episodes, consider the following: When member experience weighs just as heavily as your core products, you should only partner with organizations that offer the highest member experience that aligns with your values. It’s crucial for your partners to treat your members in manners that reflect your own institution’s standards. Generali Global Assistance, an organization with decades of experience in protecting millions of identities and trusted by leading Fortune 500 companies, is committed to offering the highest customer service, and our award-winning resolution team goes above and beyond to empathize, assist, and take immediate action on your behalf. If you’re ready to partner with an organization which encompasses similar values to your own institution’s, request a demo of our people-first identity and data protection product and services. 36SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Paige L. Schaffer Paige L. Schaffer is President & COO of the Identity and Digital Protection Services Global Unit for Generali Global Assistance. Ms. Schaffer leads sales & marketing strategy and revenue growth … Web: us.generaliglobalassistance.com Details
Holidays, The Blog The holidays have arrived and Pennsylvania has plenty to keep you in the spirit of the season while giving you a break from the usual hustle and bustle. Bundle up, hit the road, and pursue your happiness at the various charming attractions open now across the state.Christmas Magic – A Festival of Lights, York, York CountyWarm up with some hot chocolate and enjoy a stroll through 600,000 Christmas lights, holiday scenes, train displays, and more during Christmas Magic – A Festival of Lights at York County’s Rocky Ridge Park. The half-mile walking trail, accessible to anyone, wanders through a forest nestled on a quiet mountaintop. The annual holiday celebration has earned acclaim in The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Wall Street Journal. The event runs through December 31, but is closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.Shadrack Christmas Wonderland, Prospect, Butler CountyThe second annual Shadrack Christmas Wonderland at Big Butler Fairgrounds in Prospect is the world’s largest drive-through, fully synchronized light and music show of its kind. Featuring hundreds of thousands of environmentally friendly LED Christmas lights, guests can sync their radio with the show and watch the lights dance in perfect harmony with the music. Shows are held nightly through January 8.Winter Lights Spectacular, Schnecksville, Lehigh CountyDuring the holiday season, the Lehigh Valley Zoo transforms into the Winter Lights Spectacular. The winter wonderland boasts giant snow globes, “snowballs” for children to toss, and milk and cookies with Santa. The annual event will be open Wednesday to Sundays through January 1, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.Hershey Sweet Lights, Hershey, Dauphin CountyExperience NOEL in Hersheypark, a breathtaking light show featuring more than 200,000 dancing lights synchronized to your favorite Christmas music. Nightly shows take place every half hour starting at 5 p.m. in The Hollow of Hersheypark. For those who want to stay warm in the car, explore Hershey Sweet Lights. This two-mile wooded driving path provides a twinkling journey where visitors can view more than 600 animated displays.Illuminaire Nights in Scenic Skippack Village, Skippack, Montgomery CountyThe annual Illuminaire Nights in scenic Skippack Village takes an already picturesque main street and dusts it with extra holiday charm. Hundreds of candles line the pathways and retail spaces of this alluring Montgomery County spot, where shoppers and carolers tap into the warm feeling of the holidays. See the spectacle Wednesdays and Fridays until December 23.Winter Flower & Light Show at Phipps Conservatory, Pittsburgh, Allegheny CountyGet into the spirit of the holiday season at the Winter Flower & Light Show at Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh. Go on a magical stroll through the vibrant holiday light displays throughout the Conservatory, and marvel at the holiday decor illuminating the Outdoor Garden. This enchanting celebration of the winter season will be open until January 8.Koziar’s Christmas Village, Bernville, Berks CountyThe night sky above Pennsylvania’s Americana Region is brightened each holiday season thanks to the beautiful light displays of Koziar’s Christmas Village in Bernville. Koziar’s is an extraordinary seasonal attraction filled with delightful displays, a train, a kissing bridge, and thousands of twinkling lights. Koziar’s is open seven nights a week through January 1.Overly’s Country Christmas, Greensburg, Westmoreland CountyMake a new holiday memory at Overly’s Country Christmas. In Greensburg, the event features a Christmas Village for visitors to explore that’s filled with an array of old-fashioned traditions and treats. Sing carols around the bonfire, revel in the model train display, have your picture taken with Santa, take a horse-drawn wagon or sleigh ride, and shop for gifts in the General Store.To stay connected with more holiday ideas, follow Pennsylvania’s updates on our social media channels (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube) and use the hashtag #PAHolidays to help spread the word about this special time of the year. Or signup for our monthly newsletter for PA road trip ideas and events that are happening across our great state. December 07, 2016 Visit PA to Enjoy the Spirit of the Holiday Season HOLIDAYS SHARE TWEET By: First Lady Frances Wolf Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolf SHARE Email Facebook Twitter
The Passion (5-0) lived up to its billing as the hottest team in the Women’s Football Alliance League by shutting out the Pittsburgh Force 66-0, at Steel Valley High School’s Campbell Field May 19.The day began very badly for the Force and got progressively worse. First, the honorary captain for the game was supposed to be Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders. However, Sanders was a no-show, just like he was for much of the 2011 season.After receiving the opening kickoff, the Force surprised the Passion by moving the football easily to mid-field. The team and the crowd were pumped up until a center to quarterback exchange was fumbled and recovered by the Passion.Passion first year head coach Harvey Smith designed an offensive scheme as potent as any in the country. The players studied hard to learn this new offense and picked it up without the help of Rosetta Stone. Through five games the Passion is averaging 52-points per game.Defensively the Force decided to gamble by double teaming star receiver Tammy Spencer, who is also the Passion’s community relations director. But concentrating on Spencer left the team’s other receiver with one-on-one coverage. Amanda Haeg caught four touchdown passes from quarterback Lisa Horton and ran for another.“We’ve got a really exciting offense,” owner Teresa Conn said. “We’ve got so many people back there. The same people can run it and pass it. We can do all the so-called trick plays. We just keep our opponents guessing.”If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Troy Polamalu has the utmost respect of his professional peers. Michelle Brevard-Wilkerson, a surgical technologist, wears the same number and plays the same position as Polamalu. Brevard-Wilkerson is an 8-year veteran and all-star, but the Most Valuable defender had to go to Olivia “Prime-Time” Griswold, who intercepted a pass and high stepped 50-yards and did a full body flip into the endzone.Griswold also had a couple quarterback sacks and a forced fumble and recovered a fumble.Fullback Melinda Henderson, yet another great football player from Aliquippa, made a lot of great blocks and bulldozed her way into the end zone for a touchdown.“It was a force of passion,” said Delana Williams, CEO of Eyes of Jordan. “Whatever boys can do girls can do better!”The best all-around player may have been Tia “Monti” Montgomery of the Force. The former Westinghouse High School all-star was all over the field. Montgomery blocked a kick, forced a fumble, recovered a fumble and had a lot of big hits.“We are disappointed but we’ll bounce back,” said owner and head coach Kathy “Kat” Ferrari. “Everybody gets their butt kicked once in a while. Even the New England Patriots gets beat bad sometimes. Only difference is they get millions.”The Force don’t have enough players yet who can step up their “Swag” enough to compete with a team like the Passion.“Our goal is to win a national championship,” said Passion defensive coach Jerry Lee. “The national championship game is at Heinz Field and we expect to be there.”Heinz Field will host the 2012 Silver Sport Women’s Football Alliance National Championship on Saturday, Aug. 4. It will be the first time a women’s football championship will be played in an NFL stadium.Could the Pittsburgh Passion be America’s team? The Passion was the first women’s football team to have a game shown on ESPN.As keeper of the Passion, the important thing for Conn is to always be prepared. The flame must not be allowed to burn out, or even flicker.As a gladiator centuries ago once said, “What we do in life, echoes in eternity!” Dreams don’t end on the football field, it’s where they begin.Teresa Conn’s life has been one from which books of encouragement are conceived and movie deals end up on the big screen. But the dreams and achievements of this remarkable woman reach far beyond a fantasy story or cinema agreement.Last year Heinz Field hosted a football championship in the Batman movie of Gotham City.Coach Smith, Teresa Conn and the Pittsburgh Passion expect to win another championship, so get your popcorn ready. PRIME-TIME PERFORMER—Most Valuable Defender Olivia “Prime-Time” Griswold intercepted a pass and high stepped 50-yards and did a full body flip into the end zone. (Courtesy Photos/Pittsburgh Passion) There is no new thing under the sun, according to Ecclesiastes, but as football fans, we’d be better off had we been told, there is not now, nor will there ever be, anything like the Pittsburgh Passion. The Passion is Women’s Football’s Rock of Gibraltar—so solid or permanent, it can never be broken.