first_img October 12, 2018 Find out more October 15, 2020 Find out more News Follow the news on Cuba Organisation Pressures and defamation campaigns against critical bloggersPro-government bloggers are waging a non-stop battle on the Internet against “alternative” bloggers critical of the authorities. The regime is preventing most of its citizens from gaining access to the Internet and is occupying the field in order to leave no cyberspace for dissidents (see the Cuba chapter in the 2011 “Enemies of the Internet” report). However, although less than 2% of Cubans have access to the World Wide Web, a growing number of them have found creative ways to connect with the Internet and visit the social networks. In March 2011, an official documentary programme named the “Las Razones de Cuba” (“Cuba’s Reasons”) ( TV series was broadcast which accused critical bloggers, labelled as “cybermercenaries,” of being manipulated by the United States, had been countered by the publication, on Viméo, of a dissident video entitled “Citizens’ Reasons”, in which blogger Yoani Sanchez explained that the “demonization of the Internet” was in full throttle because the government was “frazzled” and fearful that the Internet might play a role similar to that of the Arab Spring. The dissident later stated in an interview granted on 2 January to the Peruvian daily El Comercio that she was very “sceptical” about the likelihood of a Cuban protest movement of the sort observed in Tunisia or Egypt, in view of how “highly fragmented” Cuban society is and the “minimal” mobilisation capacity of its social networks. Yoani Sanchez founded a school of bloggers to break the tight grip on information imposed by official news sources. Other bloggers such as Claudia Cadelo, Laritza Diversent and Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo have also taken the initiative to defend “digital freedoms” and the Cubans’ right to be informed. The coverage of dissident Juan Wilfredo Soto Garcia’s death by “alternative” bloggers offended a government already displeased that its official version was being challenged. The authorities’ strategy about social networks In November 2011, the whole world witnessed what was probably the first direct confrontation between a member of the Cuban leader’s family – in this case Mariela Castro, Raul Castro’s daughter – and dissident Yoani Sánchez. In a baptism by fire on Twitter, Mariela Castro lost her composure while responding to the arguments of her critics, calling them parásitos despreciables (despicable parasites). During an interview for BBC, Yoani Sanchez later praised the social networks’ role as a dialogue facilitator: “On Twitter, no one gives lessons to anyone else. Presidents don’t order citizens around and neither do major personalities bully ordinary people. They all learn from each other.” She was once again prevented from leaving the country in February 2012. On 1 December 2011, Cuba’s Foreign Minister, Bruno Rodríguez, urged social networks to develop a new strategy which would allow them to rid themselves of the “dictatorship of the sector’s large U.S. groups” (…). A few days later, the government accused Twitter of having spread rumours about Fidel Castro’s death.Shortly afterwards, the regime launched RedSocial, a Cuban version of Facebook accessible only via the Cuban Intranet, Red Cubana. Conceived as “a virtual meeting place for Cuban academics,” it is nonetheless a surveillance tool. In order to register, the user must provide his or her e-mail’s password. This “Made in Cuba” social network boasted several thousand registered users by the end of 2011.The undersea Cable from Venezuela, a new hope?Much more is at stake now with the arrival of the undersea Alba fiber-optic cable which will link Cuba and Venezuela, multiplying by 3,000 the island’s capacity to connect to the rest of the world. Initially scheduled for the summer of 2011, its implementation was postponed without further explanation. In early 2011, the regime announced that this Web access would be reserved for “social use” by institutions, universities and certain professions such as doctors and journalists. It would also make it possible to continue setting up collective access centres. Contrary to expectations, in late January 2012, the Cuban Communist Party Congress carefully set aside the issue of Internet development.Although no one is banking on the fact that certain cable fibres will be diverted towards the Internet access black market, others believe that the cable will not create new opportunities for Cubans who wish to connect to the World Wide Web. Since the latter is rationed, as is the rest of Cuba, the cable could only enhance connection quality and bandwith speed for those who already have access. The regime remains ready to crush any attempt to bypass censorship. In November 2011, Cuba accused the United States of bolstering parallel Internet connections on the island by unlawfully importing equipment and making satellite connections available. An American citizen accused of involvement in these clandestine activities was arrested in December 2009. RSF and Fundamedios welcome US asylum ruling in favor of Cuban journalist Serafin Moran Santiago March 12, 2012 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Cuba News CubaAmericas News News Cuba and its Decree Law 370: annihilating freedom of expression on the Internet to go further RSF_en A digital cold war is being played out against a backdrop of demonizing the Internet and social networks, which are accused of having a destabilising influence and being orchestrated by the American enemy. Will the arrival of the Venezuelan fiber-optic cable call into question the “rationing” of the Internet, which remains out of reach for the majority of the population? The creation of a tightly controlled Cuban Web 2.0 tends to indicate that the regime has no intention of making any concessions with regard to communications. May 6, 2020 Find out more CubaAmericas Receive email alerts New press freedom predators elected to UN Human Rights Council Help by sharing this information last_img read more

From scorched lot to library park

first_img Inquisitive minds Ava Healy raises her hand during the Library Park Construction Club’s question-and-answer session held at the Honan-Allston Branch Library. Field work The children make an oval to mark a design on the park site. Library Park Construction Club Mapping the future Benjamin Ciliberto carries the park’s designs across the barren lot. It’s an exclusive club. Membership is hard to come by. Besides, it’s a lot of work.Make that fun.The Library Park Construction Club, an enthusiastic group of 7- to 10-year-olds, is taking the hands-on approach to watching its beloved Honan-Allston Branch Library get a facelift.About 20 kids braved the afternoon’s heat yesterday (July 7) to visit their neighborhood library and take part in an interactive session that took them beyond the storied stacks of the library and into a vacant field behind it.The field — a 1.74-acre of sun-scorched grass where a concrete plant used to sit — is about to become an inviting oasis of green through the creation of Library Park, slated to open next year. Construction is scheduled to begin next week with the help of Harvard University, its landscape architects and designers, and, of course, those local experts.“Is it going to be like a playground?” asked one eager child as designers Dennis Swinford and Emily Mueller De Celis showed the club architectural plans, including aerial photographs. “Is there going to be a fountain?” another asked. The park will be sort of like a playground, said Swinford, and there will be a fountain, the Harvard planner enthused. What’s a park without one?“A park and a library work really well together,” said Mueller De Celis, a senior associate at Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates. “We wanted to think about spaces where you could go and read a book.”“A lot of people said the back part of the library isn’t that pretty,” said Swinford referring to feedback received from the community during the park design process. “So there will be flowers everywhere. This is going to be a special park.”“There’ll be lots of trees, flowering trees like dogwoods, and multicolored plants,” added Mueller De Celis.The park’s plans paint it as a large green space, with a hill, winding paths, seating, and open lawns for reading and gatherings. A rain garden is even incorporated, a dedicated area where all rainwater is collected into a stream that will feed plant systems thriving on wet roots.Children’s librarian Sherry Eskin sees great potential in Library Park. “I think the park will provide a great educational space for story time and other programming. The library has a few courtyards, but it’s good to have more.”Swinford and Mueller De Celis invited the club outside to imagine what the field will soon become. With a map of the future park, the kids used landscape markers to flag landmarks like the event lawn and an outdoor classroom.This was the club’s first of six weekly sessions designed to introduce the children not only to the park, but to teach them about soil, trees, and other design and construction elements.Friends Kristian Eskew and Ricky Ciliberto were excited about their new stomping ground. “We’ll come here often,” said Eskew.“We just like to hang out and have fun,” added Ciliberto.Nearly all of the kids were imagining big future plans for the park’s use.“In this new park, I hope there’s lots of shade because it’s hot,” said 8-year-old Ava Healy. “The rain garden sounds really fun because I want to go in. And I might roll down the hill, and maybe I’ll read a book on the hill.”The sessions take place Wednesdays at 2:30 p.m. at the Honan-Allston Branch Library through Aug. 11. Sign up in advance by calling 617.496.6688, or e-mail [email protected] Building a Park 101 Emily Mueller De Celis (from left) and Dennis Swinford share park designs with the children. Board meeting During a presentation that shows the architectural plans for Library Park, the children discuss the merits of having a park on library grounds. Junior park planners Emily Mueller De Celis (left) tours the park site with the children. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographerlast_img read more

Cricket News Pakistan collapse after Mohammad Rizwan and Abid Ali tons, Australia win seventh ODI on trot

first_img New Delhi: Pakistan were on course to break their ODI rut against Australia in the fourth ODI with Mohammad Rizwan and Abid Ali scoring centuries. However, a sensational collapse of five wickets for 45 runs and the mounting run-rate got Australia back in the contest and they won the Dubai ODI by six runs in Dubai to take a 4-0 lead in the five-match series. This was Australia’s seventh consecutive ODI win and they head into the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 as firm favourites. Australia’s total owed much to the batting of Glenn Maxwell but Pakistan will be ruing the fact that they once again buckled under pressure.Chasing 278, Pakistan lost Shan Masood in the first over but Haris Sohail, along with Abid Ali, strung a crucial partnership. Abid Ali got going with four boundaries in two overs. Abid continued to find the boundary while Sohail played the sheet anchor role to perfection. The partnership of 74 was broken when Sohail chipped Nathan Lyon straight to cover.Rizwan started brilliantly by hammering Lyon for two boundaries but he really took apart Finch’s part-tie left-arm orthodox with two fours and a six. Both batsmen kept the scoreboard ticking and Australia were under pressure. Abid notched up the 100-run stand by cracking Kane Richardson to the deep point fence and in the 39th over bowled by Lyon, Abid became the third Pakistan player to score a century on ODI debut. Zampa, though, got the wicket of Abid when the batsman top-edged the slog sweep to fall for 112 but with Rizwan at the crease and with Pakistan needing 60 off 54 balls, it only seemed a minor blip. highlights For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps. However, Australia dried the boundaries up after the dismissal of Abid and when Umar Akmal was cleaned up by Nathan Coulter-Nile for 7, Pakistan still needed 49 off 41. The Australian bowlers had found the opening they wanted and when Coulter-Nile and Kane Richardson gave away just eight runs in two overs, Pakistan needed 16 off the last over. Stoinis held his nerve and despite Rizwan’s 100, they still lost the game.Earlier, Australia’s total was set up by a brilliant knock of 98 from Glenn Maxwell and a 134-run stand with Alex Carey for the sixth wicket. Australia chose to bat and once again Usman Khawaja and Aaron Finch gave them a solid start. The Australian skipper found the boundary at regular intervals and looked good for yet another fifty but on 39, he was trapped LBW by Mohammad Hasnain with an incoming delivery. Australia stuttered in the middle overs with Imad Wasim getting the wickets of Shaun Marsh (5) and Peter Handscomb (7). When Yasir Shah got the wicket of Marcus Stoinis for 2, Pakistan were dominant.Khawaja notched up yet another fifty by punching Wasim down the ground for a boundary while Maxwell got going with a straight six off Yasir down the ground. When Yasir trapped Khawaja LBW for 62, Pakistan had once again regained the initiative but Maxwell found good support in Carey. When the death overs approached, Maxwell reached his fifty and he raised the tempo by launching the spinners for a couple of sixes. Carey and Maxwell found the boundaries at will and the Australia wicketkeeper hit his fifty as Australia smashed 86 runs in the final 10 overs to give them a good total, a total which proved to be match-winning but only just. Abid Ali became the third Pakistan player to score century on ODI debut.Australia are on course for a 5-0 whitewash.This is Australia’s seventh consecutive win in ODIs.last_img read more