to go further News Receive email alerts February 22, 2021 Find out more January 21, 2021 Find out more Follow the news on Australia March 12, 2010 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Australia RSF condemns Facebook’s blocking of journalistic content in Australia RSF_en AustraliaAsia – Pacific News Under the guise of fighting child pornography, the government wants to set up a filtering system never before seen in a democracy. The State of South Australia has passed a law prohibiting online anonymity in an electoral context.A draconian filtering systemAfter a year of testing conducted by the government in joint cooperation with Australian Internet service providers, Telecommunications Minister Stephen Conroy reaffirmed, on December 15, 2009, that the government plans to call for a vote on a bill that would impose mandatory filtering of what it considers “inappropriate” websites. The decision to block access to a website would not be made by a judge, but by a government agency, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). Such a procedure, without a court decision, does not satisfy the requirements of the rule of law: the ACMA classifies content secretly, compiling a website blacklist by means of unilateral and arbitrary administrative decision-making. The filtering would target websites featuring “refused classification” (RC) content, a category already applied to the traditional media, and would therefore apply to content completely unrelated to government efforts to combat child pornography, defamation or copyright, thus creating an obvious potential for overblocking. Subjects such as aborigines, abortion, anorexia, or laws governing the sale of marijuana would all risk being filtered, as would media reports or medically related information on these subjects. Moreover, although the government has announced that filtering would be 100% effective – a claim highly disputed by experts – the Wikileaks website has revealed the blacklist of filtered sites that had nothing reprehensible in their content, such as YouTube links, poker games, gay networks, Wikipedia pages, Christian sites, etc.An unpopular billEven though a true national debate on the subject is needed, Stephen Conroy has made such a discussion very problematic by branding his critics as child pornography advocates. A poll of 20,000 Australians conducted by Fairfax Media in December 2009 showed that 96% of them are strongly opposed to this bill. The U.S. company Google has also voiced strong reservations, explaining that this filtering system is “heavy handed and can raise genuine questions about restrictions on access to information.” On January 28 and 29, hundreds of Australian Internet websites participated in a national “Internet Blackout” day to oppose this measure.The announcement of this bill’s approaching introduction came soon after the current administration terminated the program launched by the previous government, which procured free filtering systems for Australian families. In fact, child pornography content is already banned by the Broadcasting Services Act of 2000. The Australian Broadcasting Authority is empowered to require that access providers of the sites concerned to block access to them.Anti-terrorist legislation is already leading to serious breaches of private e-mail confidentiality. Since 2001, the ACMA is lawfully entitled to intercept any suspicious e-mail message and conduct investigations without prior judicial authorization.Online anonymity is threatened in the State of South AustraliaAt the federal level, Australian law guarantees Internet users the right to post anonymous comments, but this is not necessarily the case at the local level. By virtue of new amendments to the State of South Australia’s electoral law, any comments posted on news sites discussing the local elections to be held on March 20, 2010 must be signed by their author’s real name, or the latter may have to pay a fine ranging from AUD 1,250 to 5,000 (USD 1,114 to 4,456). These websites are required to retain, for a period of six months, all information that would permit an Internet user who has written any statement on the site to be identified. Organisation On eve of the G20 Riyadh summit, RSF calls for public support to secure the release of jailed journalists in Saudi Arabia November 19, 2020 Find out more Google experiments drop Australian media from search results Help by sharing this information News AustraliaAsia – Pacific News
Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) Agent Ines Beltran, of University of Georgia Cooperative Extension in Gwinnett County, recently combined two of her favorite things — teaching people how to improve their health and visiting her home country of Colombia.As a FACS agent, Beltran teaches people how to become, and stay, healthier. Last January, she was awarded first place in the UGA Extension Winter Conference poster presentation competition for her work to increase the number of Gwinnett County women who get screened for cancer and change their behavior to help prevent cancer. The project was a collaboration with FACS agents from several counties across Georgia.Shortly thereafter, Beltran’s sister Adriana Beltran, a researcher at the University Corporation God’s Minute (UCGM) in Bogotá, Colombia, met with her colleagues to discuss the curriculum of the university’s preventive medicine programs. The university’s office of virtual and remote programs was planning a conference and needed experts to present.“We were planning the ‘cycle of conferences’ in which well-known panelists of national and international importance participate with different topics of interest for our students,” said Margarita Palma, director of the university’s Occupational Health Administration program. “We needed someone to present on the issue of nutrition and aging in a healthy way, so when we received Ines’ vitae, we proceeded to contact her.” Before accepting the invitation, Beltran got approval from her district head, Sheldon Hammond, who wholeheartedly supported the venture.“Ines works in brain health, and by making an international presentation, not only is she raising awareness, she’s also bringing scientific, academic and outreach-minded individuals to the table to effect real change,” said Kisha Faulk, UGA Extension FACS program coordinator for the Northwest District. “Many of us in Family and Consumer Sciences often teach about health and well-being, but we’re usually focusing in on the body and not the mind. As professionals, we know that brain health and the effects of aging on the brain, such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, can significantly affect the whole family.”Beltran then used prize money from her award-winning poster to help pay for her plane ticket to Colombia. She spent the week of June 15 teaching UGA Extension’s Healthy Brain program, which she developed, to more than 220 Colombian occupational health and psychology students and staff in UCGM’s distance learning division.The number of students initially overwhelmed Beltran, who is accustomed to teaching Gwinnett County residents in small groups. But she soon realized that although there were more students, they were just as eager to learn as her clients back home in the U.S., and these students would soon graduate, become professionals and apply the information she taught them in their own careers.Beltran taught the Healthy Brain program, which includes a recipe preparation demonstration and tasting session designed to encourage participants to add more fish to their diets. During the class, participants use a risk calculator to assess their lifestyle and future potential for keeping their brain healthy. Beltran explains the differences between dementia and Alzheimer’s and helps the students determine their own risk factors through the risk calculator handout.“Each student is given a drawing of the brain divided in nine different areas. Each area identifies the risk factors for dementia,” Beltran said. “Participants color in the areas for which they respond ‘YES’ to the associated risk factors.”If most of the areas are colored in, the participant sees that they may be at increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease and poor brain health as they age, she said.“This interactive activity includes an explanation of the life behaviors that may lower their risk for dementia,” she said.At the end of the class, data is collected from each participant using a specific evaluation tool designed to determine their knowledge before and after the lesson.“They loved the program, which is very interactive,” said Beltran who presented the information in Spanish. “I found the handouts in Spanish through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and we saw great results through the students’ evaluations. I also created a Spanish version of the recipe handout to use during the program. They received all the information, and they learned something, too.” The Colombian university’s distance education program would like Beltran to teach more programs virtually from Georgia.“It is valuable to (UCGM) to raise its mobility indicators of international experts that allow us to carry out research projects related to the area of nutrition and aging healthy,” Palma said. “Our mode of study (distance and virtual), allows us to carry out activities with teachers from other countries without them moving physically to our institution.”Although Beltran would love to return to Colombia and see her elderly father, presenting the classes virtually via the Internet is a much more efficient method, and she won’t have to tackle the “awful” traffic in Colombia.(Beltran received two first places poster awards at the State FACS conference in August. On Sept. 2, she received the Epsilon Sigma Phi Alpha Beta Chapter’s International Service Award for her work in Colombia.)
The large media contingent, the packed house and the undoubtedly big TV audience indicated something important went down in Sin City on Friday night.For the Lakers and their frustrated fans, it was a glimpse into a bright future they pray begins immediately. One that will be anchored by the dynamic abilities of Russell and Clarkson, a pair of guards that offer youth, length, athletic ability, play-making skills, long-range shooting and slashing drives to the basket. “We (can have) a scary backcourt,” Russell said.And while all of those components were on display Friday night — wrapped around the rust, sloppiness and steep learning curve typically associated with summer league games — what they offer most is hope.And we all know the Lakers need plenty of that.With Kobe Bryant likely entering the final year of his illustrious career, and the Lakers now full-throttle in an uncertain rebuilding phase, they need to hit big on Clarkson and Russell.They provided an entertaining glimpse of what might be possible Friday night, and there were a few stretches and sequences when it wasn’t hard at all to imagine them meshing into the kind of dynamic backcourt NBA success requires these days.“It felt good,” Clarkson said. “We’ve been beating each other up in practice, so it was nice to play against someone else.”Clarkson, the Lakers’ surprise second-year guard, looked mid-season ready with 23 points and drew ohhs and ahhs with a resounding dunk and a handful of drives to the hoop.Russell, their 19-year-old, first-round pick from Ohio State, finished with eight points, six assists and three steals.But he also a few hiccups, like the three turnovers and the backcourt violation he was cited for late in the game when he mistook the college rule for the NBA version.“I didn’t know you couldn’t do that,” he said, sheepishly.The self critique didn’t end there.“I had a lot of mental mistakes. Not paying attention to my guy. Sleeping a little bit defensively,” Russell said. “Just little things you can do in college but you can’t get away with in the pros.”All of which is expected for a rookie playing his first professional game.But there were also comforting signs, especially as it relates to Clarkson and Russell as backcourt mates.They seemed comfortable playing with each other, with Russell at point guard finding Clarkson in transition for easy layups or out of half-court sets for open jumpers.“I think there were stretches where they looked very, very comfortable playing together and there was a lot of synergy,” said Lakers summer league coach Mark Madsen. And while their skill-sets are different, they offer enough similarities they can be interchangeable. And that gives the Lakers tremendous versatility.Both can handle the ball — either in transition or out of the half court — and with Clarkson’s outside shot improving, both can be spot-up shooters or put pressure on a defense standing on the perimeter as threats to shoot, drive to the basket or create open looks for each other and their teammates.“It’s going to be fun, “ Russell said, smiling.In a big-picture sense, it might the game-changer the Lakers desperately need.It’s difficult enough finding one guy who can do all those things, let alone two.And with Russell checking in at 6-foot-5 and Clarkson 6-4, they provide unique length to see over smaller guards and lanky coverage defensively.If Russell is everything he’s advertised, and if Clarkson continues to grow from his surprising rookie season, the Lakers have the kind of young, multi-faceted guard tandem that doesn’t just help win games, it also attracts the interest of free agents eager to play alongside teammates who make the game easier for them.Barely a week into his first summer league, Russell is already flashing some important skills necessary for a Lakers turnaround.“It might be a little too early to tell, but I’ve seen some gifts that he has that are special,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said. “His vision on the court is special. Every practice he does something that your eyes just kind of get a little bit wider.” All the more intriguing when you put him alongside Clarkson.It was only one summer league game.But you get the sense the Lakers and their young guards are selling more than just hope. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error LAS VEGAS >> As initial steps go, this was a doozy.Gathered on one stage just off the Las Vegas strip you had the next Lakers superstar making his professional debut, a matchup between the first two overall picks in the NBA draft, the long-awaited return of Julius Randle and the first glimpse of the talented backcourt the Lakers hope will lead them to their next dominant era.And it all played out in front of a packed Thomas & Mack Center filled primarily with Lakers fans thirsty for something positive to cling to after spending the last few years in the very unfamiliar surroundings of NBA purgatory.The intrigue hung as thick as cigarette smoke in one of the nearby casinos. But for one of the main characters on this opening night, separating the hype of what seemed more like a playoff game than just a summer league game involving mostly rookies and second-year players was as easy as one of those effortless flick-of-the-wrist bounce passes he’s mastered. “I was just trying to break a sweat,” D’Angelo Russell summed up after playing his first game as a member of the Lakers.If only it was that simple.But the throng of reporters surrounding him suggested this was much more important than just a rookie dipping his feet in professional waters for the first time.Same goes for the media wrapup that proceeded it, this one involving Russell’s new running partner, Jordan Clarkson.