Ailing Cameroonian journalist must be freed before it is too late

first_imgNews RSF_en News April 23, 2021 Find out more CameroonAfrica Condemning abuses ImprisonedJudicial harassment Cameroonian reporter jailed since August, abandoned by justice system CameroonAfrica Condemning abuses ImprisonedJudicial harassment News News Follow the news on Cameroon Receive email alerts Case against Amadou Vamoulké baseless, French lawyers tell Cameroon court to go further Help by sharing this information November 20, 2019 Ailing Cameroonian journalist must be freed before it is too late Held for the past three years and three months in Yaoundé’s Kondengui prison on an unsubstantiated charge of misusing state funds to benefit CRTV, Vamoulké is due to appear before Cameroon’s Special Criminal Court (TCS) for the 24th time today. At tomorrow’s hearing, the court is expected to rule on his lawyer’s request for his provisional release on the grounds of the extremely worrying deterioration in his health, which RSF saw for itself when it visited him in Kondengui prison. Vamoulké told RSF that he has “pains in both feet that keep him awake at night” and that he has received no treatment for the neuropathy, a condition affecting the peripheral nerves, that was diagnosed in September.RSF has copies of the two medical reports issued in September, one by Yaoundé’s central hospital and the other by the American Hospital of Paris, that describe his neuropathy as “severe” and say he needs tests and treatment that are not available in Cameroon.“In the absence of appropriate medical care, this journalist is reduced to treating himself with vitamins that he buys with his own money after reading online that they could help to relieve his pain, said Arnaud Froger, the head of RSF’s Africa desk. The authorities must free Amadou Vamoulké before it is too late. If the denial of medical care continues, he could lose the use of his legs. Regardless of the substance of the case, which has dragged on for years in the absence of evidence, the court has at the very least an obligation not to put this eminent journalist’s life in danger. His medical evacuation is a moral obligation.”On 12 November, RSF used an emergency procedure to refer his case to the UN special rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, enclosing copies of the two medical reports.In September, RSF referred Vamoulké’s detention to two special rapporteurs at the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights – the special rapporteur on freedom of expression and access to information and the special rapporteur on prisons and conditions of detention.CRTV’s director-general from 2005 to 2016, Vamoulké was arrested in July 2016 on a charge of misusing several millions of euros in state funds, not for personal ends but with the sole aim of benefitting CRTV. No evidence to support this charge has been produced at any of the 23 trial hearings so far held.Vamoulké was the only African journalist nominated for this year’s RSF Press Freedom Prize. A staunch campaigner for the decriminalization of press offences in Cameroon and for opening up broadcasting to the private sector for the sake of diversity, Vamoulké was the first president of the Union of Cameroonian Journalists.Cameroon is ranked 131st out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2019 World Press Freedom Index. Cameroonian journalist Paul Chouta sentenced and fined in defamation case May 31, 2021 Find out more May 19, 2021 Find out more After visiting Amadou Vamoulké, the detained former director-general of Cameroon’s state-owned radio and TV broadcaster, CRTV, in prison, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is alarmed by the continuing decline in his state of health and calls for him to be medevacked to receive the specialized hospital care he badly needs. Organisation last_img read more

Third woman comes forward with harassment allegations against Cuomo

first_imgSETH WENIG/POOL/AFP via Getty ImagesBy MATT ZARRELL and IVAN PEREIRA, ABC News(NEW YORK) — A third woman has alleged unwanted advances by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.Anna Ruch told the New York Times Monday that Cuomo placed his hands on her face during a wedding reception in New York City in September 2019 and “asked if he could kiss her.” A photo of the alleged incident was taken and shared with the paper.The revelation came on the same day New York Attorney General Letitia James announced her investigation into previous allegations of sexual harassment.James’ office told ABC News Monday evening it read Ruch’s account in the Times and will decide whether to incorporate it into the just-launched investigation into the governor’s conduct.Cuomo formally referred the case into allegations against the governor to AG, the governor’s office announced Sunday night.This decision enables an investigation with subpoena power for the attorney general’s office.“The Governor’s office wants a thorough and independent review that is above reproach and beyond political interference. Therefore, the Governor’s office has asked Attorney General Tish James to select a qualified private lawyer to do an independent review of allegations of sexual harassment,” Beth Garvey, special counsel and senior advisor to the governor, said in a statement Sunday night. “The lawyer shall report publicly their findings. The Governor’s office will voluntarily cooperate fully.”James earlier Sunday rejected a proposal from Cuomo to select an independent investigator to conduct a review, she said on Sunday afternoon.After two former aides came forward last week with accusations against Cuomo, Garvey at first announced that an independent review would be launched, led by former federal Judge Barbara Jones.But after critics argued Jones was inadequate given her business ties to Cuomo’s top aide, Steve Cohen, the governor’s office released a statement on Sunday morning that James and the chief judge of the court of appeals, Janet DiFiore, would jointly select an “independent and qualified lawyer in private practice without political affiliation to conduct a thorough review and issue a public report.”“We had selected former Federal Judge Barbara Jones, with a stellar record for qualifications and integrity, but we want to avoid even the perception of a lack of independence or inference of politics,” the statement said. “The work product will be solely controlled by that independent lawyer personally selected by the Attorney General and Chief Judge.”Later on Sunday, James rejected the governor’s call for the appointment of an outside lawyer and repeated her request for a formal referral from the governor’s office so she can lead an investigation with subpoena power.“To clarify, I do not accept the governor’s proposal. The state’s Executive Law clearly gives my office the authority to investigate this matter once the governor provides a referral. While I have deep respect for Chief Judge DiFiore, I am the duly elected attorney general and it is my responsibility to carry out this task, per Executive Law,” James said in a statement. “The governor must provide this referral so an independent investigation with subpoena power can be conducted.”“I urge the governor to make this referral immediately,” James said.State and U.S. senators, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and others are calling for a completely independent investigation. Some, including state Sen. Alessandra Biaggi, have called for Cuomo’s resignation.Allegations made against CuomoTwo former aides to Cuomo made allegations of sexual harassment against the governor last week.On Wednesday, Lindsey Boylan made claims of “sexual harassment and bullying” against the governor, saying it lasted “for years.”In a post on Medium, Boylan described one incident aboard a flight with Cuomo, aides and a New York state trooper in October 2017 where Cuomo suggested they play “strip poker.” She also complained to friends that Cuomo “would go out of his way to touch me on my lower back, arms and legs.”Boylan, who began working in the state office in 2015 and was later promoted to deputy secretary for economic development and special adviser to the governor, accused Cuomo of creating “a culture within his administration where sexual harassment and bullying is so pervasive, that it is not only condoned but expected.”Months before her Medium post, Boylan, saying she was compelled to go public after seeing Cuomo’s name floated as a potential U.S. attorney general candidate, began tweeting allegations against Cuomo on Dec. 13.“Yes, @NYGovCuomo sexually harassed me for years. Many saw it, and watched. I could never anticipate what to expect: would I be grilled on my work (which was very good) or harassed about my looks. Or would it be both in the same conversation? This was the way for years,” she tweeted.Boylan, who is currently running for Manhattan borough president, resigned from the governor’s office in September 2018.After Boylan’s Medium post, Cuomo’s office issued a statement denying her allegations against the governor.“As we said before, Ms. Boylan’s claims of inappropriate behavior are quite simply false,” according to a statement from press secretary Caitlin Girouard.The statement also denied Boylan’s allegations of what happened on the October 2017 flight.Calls for an independent investigation and for the governor to resign have increased after a second accuser came forward with allegations against Cuomo on Saturday.Charlotte Bennett, another former aide to Cuomo, told The New York Times that the governor harassed her last spring, including one incident on June 5, 2020, where Cuomo allegedly asked her questions about her personal life, romantic interests and stated that he was “open to relationships with women in their 20s,” the Times reported.Bennett left Cuomo’s administration in November, she told the Times.“I understood that the governor wanted to sleep with me, and felt horribly uncomfortable and scared,” Bennett told the Times, adding that she told Cuomo’s chief of staff, Jill DesRosiers, a week after the June 5 incident and was transferred from the role of executive assistant to a health policy adviser.Cuomo has denied the allegations but said in a statement Sunday night that some of the things he has said “have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation.”“At work sometimes I think I am being playful and make jokes that I think are funny. I do, on occasion, tease people in what I think is a good natured way,” Cuomo’s statement said. “I do it in public and in private. You have seen me do it at briefings hundreds of times. I have teased people about their personal lives, their relationships, about getting married or not getting married. I mean no offense and only attempt to add some levity and banter to what is a very serious business.”“I now understand that my interactions may have been insensitive or too personal and that some of my comments, given my position, made others feel in ways I never intended,” Cuomo’s statement said.Cuomo released a statement after the Times story was published, calling Bennett a “hardworking and valued member of our team during COVID” but denied making any advances towards Bennett.On Twitter, Bennett wrote “I stand with Anna Ruch. Anna — I hear you, I see you. I’m so sorry. His inappropriate and aggressive behavior cannot be justified or normalized. Thank you for your courage and strength. Here for you always.”Cuomo said he never intended to act in any way that was inappropriate and was trying to be a supportive and helpful mentor.“The last thing I would ever have wanted was to make her feel any of the things that are being reported,” he said.“This situation cannot and should not be resolved in the press; I believe the best way to get to the truth is through a full and thorough outside review and I am directing all state employees to comply with that effort. I ask all New Yorkers to await the findings of the review so that they know the facts before making any judgments. I will have no further comment until the review has concluded,” he added.Cuomo also under fire for nursing home deathsCuomo is also being investigated by the FBI and federal prosecutors, who are looking at the governor’s coronavirus task force, with a particular focus on his administration’s handling of nursing homes early in the coronavirus pandemic, two sources familiar with the matter told ABC News.The investigation, first reported by the Albany Times Union, is in its initial stages. Subpoenas have been issued, the sources said.The FBI has declined to comment, as did the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.The full scope of the investigation is not immediately clear, but the sources said there was a particular interest in nursing homes, which have been a source of increasing frustration for Cuomo.The number of New York nursing home residents who died from the virus may have been undercounted by as much as 50%, according to an investigation conducted by the New York attorney general’s office, which said that many of those patients died after being moved to the hospital and were thus not counted as nursing home deaths.Investigators asked 62 nursing homes for information about on-site and in-hospital deaths from COVID-19 beginning the week of March 1, 2020, and found significant discrepancies between those figures and the numbers reported to the Department of Health. In one instance, according to the report, a facility reported to the DOH that on-site fatalities totaled five confirmed COVID-19 deaths and six presumed COVID-19 deaths, but told the AG’s office there were actually 27 deaths at the facility and 13 hospital deaths — a discrepancy of 29 deaths.Earlier this month, a Cuomo aide conceded the administration withheld the nursing home death toll from state lawmakers out of fear it would be used against the state by the Trump administration.“He starts tweeting that we killed everyone in nursing homes,” Cuomo’s top aide, Melissa DeRosa, said of Trump on the conference call recording, a transcript of which was provided by DeRosa to ABC News. “He starts going after [New Jersey Gov. Phil] Murphy, starts going after [California Gov. Gavin] Newsom, starts going after [Michigan Gov.] Gretchen Whitmer. He directs the Department of Justice to do an investigation into us.”Cuomo conceded his handling of nursing home fatality data created a “void” that became filled by misinformation and conspiracy theories — but he declined to apologize.“The void we created by not providing information was filled with skepticism and cynicism and conspiracy theories which fueled the confusion,” Cuomo said during a news conference Monday. “The void we created disinformation and that caused more anxiety for loved ones.”Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Are you ready to run the best 10 miles of your life?

first_imgFor the latest news and information via social media, follow the ATM and post using #RunArmyRunStrong at Facebook.com/armytenmiler, @ArmyTenMilerATM on Twitter and @armytenmiler on Instagram. Individualregistration is $79 and includes the official, long-sleeve technical raceshirt. Runners may also purchase tickets for the General Dynamics Pasta Dinnerfor $33. Additional processing fees apply. For additional information, including photos, please contact Maida Johnson, Army Ten-Miler Deputy Race Director at 202-685-3361 and/or at [email protected] or visit ArmyTenMiler.com. The Army Ten-Miler (ATM) General Registrationpresented by General Dynamics opens at 7:00 a.m., EDT on May 15, to the general public, Veterans, Active DutyMilitary, ROTC and others. The Army’s 35th Annual Race takes placeon Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019 at 8:00 a.m. EDT in Washington, D.C. and will cap at35,000 participants. Runners are encouraged to register early as the race sellsout quickly. Individuals must be at least 15years old on race day to enter. U.S. Army Specialists(SPC) Frankline Tonui and Susan Tanui were the First Overall Male and Femalefinishers at the 34th annual Army Ten-Miler last October, with SPCTanui successfully defending her title as the top female finisher. SPC Tonui ledthe All-Army Team that captured its fifth straight International Cup and sweptthe top three overall spots in the race. The top team finishers were also partof the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program (WCAP). Morethan 600 military and civilian teams were among the 35,000 runners from all 50U.S. states, the District of Columbia and 20 countries that competed in lastyear’s ATM, which is recognized as one of the nation’s premier running events.The race was supported by nearly 2,000 volunteers. last_img read more

Lucy A. Smith Dorrel, age 95 – Brookville

first_imgLucy A. Smith Dorrel, of Brookville was born on March 25, 1924 in Springfield Township, a daughter to Milton and Mattie Shiplet Smith.  She married Herbert Dorrel and he preceded her in death on May 19, 1977.  She served for many years as a 4-H leader and loved gardening, sewing, and cheering for the I.U. basketball team.  On Sunday, January 26, 2020 at the young age of 95, she passed away at her residence surrounded by family.Those surviving who will cherish Lucy’s memory include her son, Daniel (Arlene ) Dorrel, and daughter, Sara Jane Dorrel, both of Brookville; grandchildren, Angie (Dave) Kroll, Jodi (Dave) Amrhein, and Denny (Sarah) Dorrel; seven great-grandchildren, Howie and Joey Kroll, Eli and Ella Amrhein, and Kate, Dexter and Dylan Dorrel, and many nieces and nephews.  Besides her husband, she was preceded in death by a son, Dwane.Friends may visit with the family on Thursday, January 30, 2020 from 4 until 7 p.m. at Cook Rosenberger Funeral Home, 929 Main Street, Brookville.  Services, officiated by Pastor Steve Rundel will begin at 10:30 a.m. on Friday at Whitcomb United Methodist Church and burial will follow in Big Cedar Cemetery.Memorial donations can be directed to Big Cedar Cemetery.  To sign the online guestbook or to leave a personal memory, please visit www.cookrosenberger.com.  The staff of Cook Rosenberger is honored to care for the family of Lucy Dorrel.last_img read more

Janitors march for contract negotiations

first_imgHundreds of janitors and union workers gathered in front of Bovard Auditorium and marched down Trousdale Parkway on Thursday afternoon to protest possible changes to their contracts and to make their voices heard as negotiations draw to a close.“Justice for janitors” · A protest leader riles up the crowd of protesting janitors and service employees on Trousdale Parkway at the march and demonstration Thursday. – Mindy Curtis | Daily TrojanUSC’s janitors are contracted through an outside company, Aramark. The university’s current contract with Aramark ends Friday at midnight and workers said current negotiations for the renewed contract include improved health care benefits.“Our priority is health insurance,” said David Mendoza, an Aramark-contracted employee who has been working on campus for 14 years. “They need to pay our complete insurance.”According to Service Employees International Union member Raphael Leib, who led the rally and procession down Trousdale, workers hope the new contract will require a flat co-payment of $10 for most medical visits rather than a percentage of total medical costs. This change would also apply to their families.“There are a lot of issues going on that affect us as working people,” Leib said. “Policies that affect working people affect their families as well.”Sociology associate professor Veronica Terriquez, who has researched labor rights, said the janitor’s union has been instrumental in helping shape the fight for better working conditions throughout Los Angeles for the past 20 years, but there is a still a struggle for fair rights.“I hope they get a fair contract and get what they deserve,” Terriquez said. “Health care is critical for people who do such hard work. It’s physically demanding and puts them in contact with dangerous chemicals.”Jose Ramirez, who has been working on campus for 13 years, said the need for improved health care goes beyond just physical medical needs. He wants to see benefits comparable to those of other university employees.“People get in accidents because of psychological pressure on the job,” he said. “We want to get the best we can for our workers. We’re trying to get the same coverage for medical, visual and dental insurance.”Details of the new contract were not available to workers and union members at the time of the protest, but other complaints include consideration of salary and tuition benefits for children of Aramark-contracted janitors who work on-campus.“We live check-by-check,” said Salvador Hernandez, who has been working on campus for 21 years. “USC can afford this program. Why are they going to strangle us [in negotiations]?”Leib said part of the goal of protesting was to make the USC faculty and students more aware of their grievances.“We’re members of the USC community,” he said. “We deserve the same respect.”Several students attended the rally to show their support in the new contract negotiations.“I talked to one of [the workers]. They have to work limited hours and don’t get health care,” said sophomore psychology major Mayra Morales. “It’s kind of unfair.”Junior neuroscience major Samantha Castillo said she is concerned that workers will lose some of the rights and benefits they already have.“I know they were cutting a lot,” she said. “I don’t want them to cut down on anything they already have.”University administration could not be reached for comment at press time.last_img read more

Ex-players sue NFL over use of painkillers

first_imgIn this Oct. 7, 2011 file photo, President Barack Obama, left, looks towards quarterback Jim McMahon, wearing headband, as he honors the 1985 Super Bowl XX Champion Chicago Bears football team during a ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington. A group of retired NFL players, including McMahon, says in a lawsuit filed Tuesday, May 20, 2014, that the league illegally supplied them with risky painkillers that numbed their injuries and led to medical complications. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)WASHINGTON (AP) — Opening another legal attack on the NFL over the long-term health of its athletes, a group of retired players accused the league in a lawsuit Tuesday of cynically supplying them with powerful painkillers and other drugs that kept them in the game but led to serious complications later in life.The lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages on behalf of more than 500 ex-athletes, charges the NFL with putting profits ahead of players’ health.To speed injured athletes’ return to the field, team doctors and trainers dispensed drugs illegally, without obtaining prescriptions or warning of the possible side effects, the plaintiffs contend.Some football players said they were never told they had broken bones and were instead fed pills to mask the pain. One said that instead of surgery, he was given anti-inflammatory drugs and excused from practices so he could play in games. Others said that after years of free pills from the NFL, they retired addicted to painkillers.NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, in Atlanta for the league’s spring meetings, said, “Our attorneys have not seen the lawsuit and obviously I have been in meetings all day.”The case comes less than a year after the NFL agreed to pay $765 million to settle lawsuits from thousands of retired players who accused it of concealing the risks of concussions. A federal judge has yet to approve the settlement, expressing concern the amount is too small.The athletes in the concussion case blamed dementia and other health problems on the bone-crushing hits that helped lift pro football to new heights of popularity.The new lawsuit was filed in federal court in San Francisco and names eight players as plaintiffs, including three members of the NFL champion 1985 Chicago Bears: quarterback Jim McMahon, Hall of Fame defensive end Richard Dent and offensive lineman Keith Van Horne.More than 500 other former players have signed on, according to lawyers, who are seeking class-action status for the case. Six of the plaintiffs also took part in the concussion-related litigation, including McMahon and Van Horne.“The NFL knew of the debilitating effects of these drugs on all of its players and callously ignored the players’ long-term health in its obsession to return them to play,” said Steven Silverman, an attorney for the players.As a result of masking their pain with drugs, players developed heart, lung and nerve ailments; kidney failure; and chronic injuries to muscles, bones and ligaments, the lawsuit alleges.According to the lawsuit, players were routinely given drugs that included narcotic painkillers Percodan, Percocet and Vicodin, anti-inflammatories such as Toradol, and sleep aids such as Ambien.Toradol, which can be injected, was described as “the current game-day drug of choice of the NFL.” The medication may raise the risk of heart attack, stroke, kidney failure or intestinal bleeding.After receiving numbing injections and pills before kickoff, players got more drugs and sleep aids after games, “to be washed down by beer,” the lawsuit says.Kyle Turley, who played for three teams in his eight-year career, said drugs were “handed out to us like candy.”“There was a room set up near the locker room and you got in line,” Turley said. “Obviously, we were grown adults and we had a choice. But when a team doctor is saying this will take the pain away, you trust them.”McMahon said he suffered a broken neck and ankle during his career, but instead of sitting out, he received medication and was pushed back onto the field. Team doctors and trainers never told him about the injuries, according to the lawsuit.McMahon also became addicted to painkillers, at one point taking more than 100 Percocet pills per month, even in the offseason, the lawsuit says.Van Horne played an entire season on a broken leg and wasn’t told about the injury for five years, “during which time he was fed a constant diet of pills to deal with the pain,” according to the lawsuit.Former offensive lineman Jeremy Newberry retired in 2009 and said that because of the drugs he took while playing, he suffers from kidney failure, high blood pressure and violent headaches.On game days, Newberry said, he and up to 25 of his San Francisco 49ers teammates would retreat to the locker room to receive Toradol injections in the buttocks 10 minutes before kickoff. The drug numbed the pain almost instantaneously.“The stuff works. It works like crazy. It really does. There were whole seasons when I was in a walking boot and crutches,” Newberry said in an interview. “I would literally crutch into the facility and sprint out of the tunnel to go play.”Newberry said he never considered not taking the drugs because he knew he’d be out of a job if he didn’t play hurt, and the only side effect he was warned about was bruising. He said he could tell which players on the opposing team had used Toradol because of the bloodstains on their pants.After he retired, Newberry said, he saw a specialist who reviewed his medical records and found that for years, the protein levels in his urine had been elevated, a precursor to kidney problems. Newberry said he got blood work during a team-sponsored physical every year but was never told about any problems.“They said, ‘You’re good to go, you passed another one. You’re cleared to play,’” Newberry said.___Associated Press sports writers Barry Wilner in Atlanta and Larry Lage in Detroit contributed to this report.___Follow Ben Nuckols on Twitter at https://twitter.com/APBenNuckolslast_img read more