Prosecution testimony exposes weakness of evidence against website editor

first_img RSF_en to go further All the lèse-majesté charges that have been brought against Thai journalists, bloggers and ordinary members of the public constitute serious violations of the fundamental right to media freedom and free expression.Joe Gordon, a Thai-born US citizen who has been detained for nearly 90 days was formerly charged with lèse-majesté on 30 August for praising a biography of King Bhumibol Adulyadej on his blog and translating it into Thai. The biography, written by Paul Handley and entitled “The king never smiles,” is banned in Thailand. He was arrested during a visit to his birthplace in northeastern Thailand last May and has been denied bail ever since. Lèse-majesté carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.Channel 7 journalist Somjit Nawakruasunthorn is meanwhile the target of an intimidation campaign by members of the “Red Shirt” movement, who accuse her of addressing the prime minister in an inappropriate manner during an interview. “Her comments breached the code of ethics for the media,” said Nopporn Namchiangtai, the leader of a Red Shirt group that staged a demonstration outside the TV station on 30 August.The Bangkok Post reported on 26 August that a group of journalists sent an open letter to the prime minister drawing her attention to the “hate campaign” against Somjit. Emails are reportedly circulating among Red Shirt members with her name and photo and with instructions to “remember her face” and “take care of her when you see her.”In another worrying development, Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung, who also heads the Royal Thai Police Office, announced on 26 August that he intended to establish a “war room” to deal with websites with content constituting lèse-majesté.Reporters Without Borders also condemns the continuing detention of Somyot Prueksakasemsuk, the former editor of the Voice of Thaksin newspaper, who is facing a possible 30-year jail sentence on two lèse-majesté counts with which he was formally charged on 26 July.Norawase Yospiyasathien, a 22-year-old student at Kasetsart University, was arrested on 5 August for copying an article from Fa Diew Kan (Same Sky), a blog covering social and political issues, and posting it on his personal blog. The university’s deputy rector of student affairs filed a lèse-majesté complaint against him in order to protect “the university’s image.”See also the cases of Somsak Jeamteerasakul and Thanthawut Taweewarodomkul.Thailand is classified as a “country under surveillance” in the Enemies of the Internet list that Reporters Without Borders released on 12 March. Follow the news on Thailand News A prosecution witness at Chiranuch Premchaiporn’s trial on lèse-majesté charges revealed at the latest hearing on 9 September that it was a member of the royal family who alerted the police to the presence of messages criticising the monarchy on her website, Prachatai.The witness, Police Lt. Col. Boonlert Kullayanamit of the Crime Suppression Bureau, said then interior ministry inspector-general ML Panadda Disakul notified the police about the messages on 24 October 2008. The initials ML (Mom Luang) are a honorific that is given to the grandchildren of Thai kings. Panadda is now the governor of Chiang Mai province.It was as a result of Panadda’s information that an investigation was begun and the charges were brought against Chiranuch.Other revelations during the hearing highlighted the weakness of the evidence against her. It emerged that at least one of the allegedly defamatory comments, one posted by “Bento,” had been copied word for word from Hi5, another website. Lt. Col. Boonlert also revealed that the investigators worked with printed transcripts of the posts without ever comparing them with the originals.In comments to the media, Boonlert said if a new case were brought against Prachatai, the police would request the cooperation of foreign companies, as the media’s server has relocated overseas.——————————09.01.2011 – Website editor could get 20 years on computer crime chargesReporters Without Borders is very worried about Chiranuch Premchaiporn, the head of the news website Prachatai, whose trial in connection with comments posted on her site resumes today. Also known as Jiew, she is charged under articles 14 and 15 of the Computer Crimes Act.“Chiranuch is the victim of arbitrary use of draconian laws, namely the Computer Crimes Act and Section 112 of the criminal code, on lèse-majesté,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The new prime minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, and her government must prevent freedom of expression being curbed under the pretext of protecting the king’s image. We are waiting for a sign of a real political will to reform these repressive laws.“We take note of Judge Kampot Rungrat’s pledge to use purely technical and legal criteria when trying this case, namely whether or not Chiranuch contributed to the comments posted on the site and whether or not she deliberately waited before deleting them. We urge the authorities to drop the charges against her without delay.”Two police officers are due to testify for the prosecution when the trial resumes today before a Bangkok court after a six-month break. More prosecution witnesses are due to be heard on 2, 6, 7, 8, 9, 20 and 21 September. Witnesses for the defence will testify on 11, 12, 13 and 14 October.Chiranuch is facing a possible 20-year jail sentence for 10 comments damaging to the “royal court’s image” which were posted on her site from April to October 2010 and which, according to prosecutors, were not withdrawn quickly enough. Each comment could potentially result in a five-year sentence, but the overall maximum is 20 years. Chiranuch’s lawyers insist that she cooperated with the authorities and deleted the offending comments as soon as possible.The number of lèse-majesté complaints brought before Thai courts (often combined with charges under the Computer Crimes Act) has been growing steadily for years. Reporters Without Borders deplores the way this charge worthy of bygone age is used arbitrarily for political ends and points out that Prime Minister Yingluck has herself criticized “inappropriate” use of the lèse-majesté law.Chiranuch was arrested on 31 March 2010 in connection with another lèse-majesté complaint which, if it leads to prosecution, could potentially result in second sentence of up to 50 years in prison. Help by sharing this information ThailandAsia – Pacific May 12, 2021 Find out more September 14, 2011 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Prosecution testimony exposes weakness of evidence against website editor Red alert for green journalism – 10 environmental reporters killed in five years News August 21, 2020 Find out more ThailandAsia – Pacific Covid-19 emergency laws spell disaster for press freedom News News Thai premier, UN rapporteurs asked to prevent journalists being returned to Myanmar Receive email alerts Organisation June 12, 2020 Find out morelast_img read more

FHFA: Here’s What HAMP Borrowers Facing Resets Can Do

first_img Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Subscribe Tagged with: Fannie Mae Freddie Mac HAMP Loan Modifications Home / Daily Dose / FHFA: Here’s What HAMP Borrowers Facing Resets Can Do Fannie Mae Freddie Mac HAMP Loan Modifications 2016-06-15 Brian Honea Brian Honea’s writing and editing career spans nearly two decades across many forms of media. He served as sports editor for two suburban newspaper chains in the DFW area and has freelanced for such publications as the Yahoo! Contributor Network, Dallas Home Improvement magazine, and the Dallas Morning News. He has written four non-fiction sports books, the latest of which, The Life of Coach Chuck Curtis, was published by the TCU Press in December 2014. A lifelong Texan, Brian received his master’s degree from Amberton University in Garland.  Print This Post Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago About Author: Brian Honea Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Related Articles Share Savecenter_img FHFA: Here’s What HAMP Borrowers Facing Resets Can Do Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago in Daily Dose, Featured, Loss Mitigation, News Sign up for DS News Daily Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have offered several possible solutions for borrowers who received modifications through the government’s Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) who are facing increased monthly payments when the interest rates on their modifications reset, according to the FHFA’s 2015 Annual Report to Congress released on Wednesday.The government launched HAMP in February 2009 in response to the crisis as a way for delinquent borrowers to avoid foreclosure. Since then, the program has helped approximately 1.8 million families and completed approximately 2.3 million homeowner assistance actions. HAMP is set to expire at the end of this year.Under the terms of HAMP, five years after receiving a modification, homeowners will see the interest rate increase by 1 percentage point each year until it reaches the market rate in place at the time they received their modification. According to Treasury, the typical HAMP homeowner will experience two to three step-ups; the nationwide median payment increase after the first step-up is $93, while the median payment increase after the final step-up is around $206.According to the FHFA’s annual report to Congress, in January 2015, the Agency directed the GSEs to implement a $5,000 pay-for-performance incentive to reduce the outstanding principal for HAMP borrowers who have remained in good standing through the end of the sixth year of their modification. The FHFA then made two changes to its Streamlined Modification products; in March, the period of time for which a borrower who recently experienced an interest rate reset must have been delinquent in order to receive a modification was reduced from 90 days to 60 days, and then in May the sunset date for all Streamlined Modification products was eliminated.“One of the reasons for ensuring the continuing availability of this loss mitigation tool is its role as a solution for HAMP borrowers who face rate resets,” FHFA said in its report.Also according to FHFA, during 2015 Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac identified approximately 16,000 HAMP borrowers facing resets who were eligible for a refinance through the government’s Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP), which is also set to expire at the end of 2016. The GSEs provided servicers with information that would enable them to solicit these borrowers for HARP, according to FHFA.Treasury has been monitoring HAMP data closely and has created a three-pronged safety net to help borrowers should they struggle with a step-up to avoid re-defaulting. The prongs are one, requiring servicers to notify borrowers at two separate time points that a step-up is imminent (no less than 120 days from first rate increase and at least 60 days prior to first increase); the second is introducing post-modification counseling for borrowers who are at risk of re-default and have missed a payment; and the third is an enhanced suite of tools which include increased incentives for remaining current and improved HAMP Tier 2 modification options.Click here to view the entire FHFA Annual Report to Congress for 2015. Previous: Can Banks and Fintechs Live in Harmony? Next: Nearly Half of Foreclosures Wrapped up in Five States June 15, 2016 2,829 Views The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days agolast_img read more

Guardian recognises Oxford journalists

first_imgOxford publications and writers have been nominated in several categories at the 2011 Guardian Student Media Awards, as the panel drew up their shortlist this week.Cherwell itself is one of five contenders for Publication of the Year, and will go up against publications from Kingston, York and London universities. It has a history of success at the awards, having been nominated in the same category last year, and having won the award for Website of the Year in 2008.The Oxonian Globalist, the website of Oxford’s international affairs magazine, is nominated for Website of the Year in the 2011 awards, going up against publications from Birmingham, Warwick, Southampton and Liverpool.Individual Oxford journalists have also been recognised in the list of nominees. Lizzie Porter, who is editor of The Oxford Student for Michaelmas 2011, has been nominated for Reporter of the Year. Porter has already won the Anjool Malde Memorial Trust award for excellence in student journalism this year.If she wins the category, it will mark the second year running that an Oxford student is named Reporter of the Year, as Camilla Turner, former editor of Cherwell, won the accolade last year.In addition, Alex Dymoke, former joint editor of Isis, is in the running for Feature Writer of the Year, while Mehreen Khan (a History and Politics student at Trinity who writes a sports blog) and Helen Robb, a writer for Cherwell, are both contenders for Columnist of the Year.The final winners in each category will be announced at a ceremony on 23 November.last_img read more

Pandemic puts credit union business continuity plans to the test

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading » There isn’t a single aspect of life, work or play that hasn’t been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. And, many believe, we are only at the beginning. The upside – the people-helping-people spirit has remained healthy throughout, as the industry prioritizes the financial health of the nation’s 100 million credit union members.The NCUA’s unprecedented memo from March 16 is proof positive of the movement’s laser focus on members’ financial health. In case you missed it, the agency said it will give credit unions the flexibility to prudently adjust or alter member loan terms and will not subject those decisions to examiner criticism.A second silver lining is the number of important lessons the industry is learning, specifically as it relates to business continuity planning and preparedness. Chief among these lessons is that a business continuity plan (BCP) must be specific, tested and continuously updated to be meaningfully effective.Let’s look at each of these qualifiers individually…last_img read more

Special Congress to vote on changes to Hurling Championship

first_imgIt’s been confirmed that a Special Congress will take place on Saturday 30th September to vote on the proposed changes to the All-Ireland Hurling Championship.Counties and provinces have until mid-July to suggest changes to the new structure, before Central Council finalises the format that will be put to Congress.The structure would see the two provincial championships played in a round-robin format before the All-Ireland knockout stages.last_img

Blake Griffin strives to take his game to another level

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Griffin’s game has been evolving over the years. Strengthening of the mind would presumably accelerate that evolution, and he did that by reading book after book during the offseason, thanks in part to a pact with a childhood pal.“I have a buddy who’s in med school right now, one of my best friends growing up,” said Griffin, 26. “And I wouldn’t say a wild kid, but he was like super into basketball, that’s all he did. He didn’t really care a whole lot about school, super smart dude.‘Now, he’s like top of his class in med school and we just kind of had this thing where we always pushed each other to become better people, smarter, always trying to learn stuff, always trying to do stuff. He kind of was the one who sparked it for me. He told me about this book, I read it and the ball kept rolling from there.”Perhaps, or not, Griffin’s mind work has something to do with his start this season. He was averaging a career-high 24.7 points as well as 8.3 rebounds and 4.8 assists — the second-highest of his career — entering Saturday’s game against Orlando at Staples Center.As noteworthy as anything, he was shooting a career-best 43 percent from 16 feet and beyond out to the 3-point line, in a season when he is taking 42.5 percent of his shots from that distance — his highest such career percentage. He’s shooting 53 percent overall. They say variety is the spice of life. Take L.A. Clippers power forward Blake Griffin.He doesn’t want to be a one-trick pony on the basketball court, so he works on everything.He doesn’t want to just watch sports all day when he’s free, so he reads.It’s that strong mind, strong body thing.center_img To say the least, Griffin is owner of a sweet mid-range jumper. The way he sometimes glides into it and gracefully goes up to shoot has been a beautiful thing to watch.“Blake’s incredible,” Golden State Warriors interim coach Luke Walton said recently. “He’s another player that is an All-Star that has taken his game to another level. His jump shot looks better than it ever has because I know he’s put in a ton of work.“But now that he has those skills to go with his athleticism and his strength … he’s having a heck of a year so far.”Players who are 6-foot-10 and 250 pounds aren’t supposed to shoot as gracefully as Griffin. They’re not supposed to be able to facilitate the way he does, either. His vision and passing skills are superb.Clippers coach Doc Rivers recalls the story how Tony Brown, a former assistant when Rivers coached the Boston Celtics, first told Rivers of Griffin’s passing skills during a telephone conversation after Rivers took the Clippers job in 2013.“He said, ‘Hey, he’s a great passer. He’s not a good passer. And if you can figure out a way of using him, he’ll surprise you with his vision,’” Rivers said. “And he has. His handle has gotten better and all that with his work, but he just has great instincts. He has great feel. There are few bigs that can do that, but he’s one of them.”Indiana Pacers coach Frank Vogel points out this past postseason and how outstanding Griffin was with the ball in his hands.“What he did in the playoffs last year and in prior years … he’s not just a dump-it-down-into-the-post and score lobs like maybe his first, second year of his career,” Vogel said. “What he’s doing on the perimeter, you know, playing point forward a lot last year when Chris Paul was out, was just sensational.”Paul missed two of 14 playoff games a season ago. In one — a 117-101 win at Houston in Game 1 of the conference semifinals — Griffin had 13 assists.Griffin also totaled 21 assists with Paul on the floor in a pair of first-round games against the Spurs. In 14 playoff games, Griffin averaged 25.5 points, 12.7 rebounds and 6.1 assists while averaging a whopping 39.8 minutes.He does it all, and he works on it all.“As far as my workouts, just mixing it up and doing a lot,” Griffin said. “Not just concentrating on shooting, but doing a lot of stuff in the post, doing stuff off the dribble, getting into the lane, ball-handling. Just literally trying to do everything every day, as opposed to, ‘I’m just going to get some shots up today.’”Not surprisingly, because of how hard he does work to improve his game with all the body and soul stuff, Griffin is also his own worst critic. After a rare off-game Wednesday, during which he shot just 6 of 18 from the field and had four turnovers in a loss to Indiana, Griffin put the hammer down hard on himself.He said, in part, “I think you can’t really expect us to win a game when I play that poorly, shoot that badly and have that many turnovers. So it is on me. I have to be better.”He has been.THE GRIFFIN FILEHeight: 6-foot-10Weight: 250Age: 26College: OklahomaDrafted: No. 1 overall in 2009 NBA Draft.2015 stats: 24.7 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 4.8 apglast_img read more