AFP bureau chief’s accreditation not renewed

first_img Organisation SyriaMiddle East – North Africa Damascus TV presenter arrested under cyber-crime law RSF_en News News February 3, 2021 Find out more March 12, 2021 Find out more SyriaMiddle East – North Africa April 30, 2002 – Updated on January 20, 2016 AFP bureau chief’s accreditation not renewed Receive email alerts Toll of ten years of civil war on journalists in Syria Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières – RSF) protested today against the Syrian government’s refusal to renew the accreditation of Maher Chmaytelli (see photo), the Damascus bureau chief of the French news agency Agence France-Presse. “This shows once again that the regime bears down with full force on any media that dares to criticise it,” said RSF secretary-general Robert Ménard. “The hopes raised when Bashar el-Assad succeeded his father have been dashed and Syria remains one of region’s most repressive regimes.”Syria has exerted strong pressure on foreign media correspondents over the past year, forcing some to stop working for these media. Last autumn, a very harsh press law was introduced. RSF has put President Assad on its worldwide list of predators of press freedom.Chmaytelli was summoned at the beginning of this year by the information chief at the communications ministry, who accused him of having “ill will” and putting out “negative reports” about the internal political situation. He was told his accreditation would not be renewed when it expired at the end of March.The AFP office continues to operate without a bureau chief and Chmaytelli has left the country. “Mr Chmaytelli has always worked in a professional manner and respected Syrian laws concerning the press,” an AFP spokesperson said.The visit to Damascus in November 2000 by the head of AFP, Bertrand Eveno, to install Chmaytelli as bureau chief, was seen as a strong indication of Syria’s willingness to open up in media matters. Help by sharing this information The Syrian authorities have not renewed the accreditation of the AFP bureau chief (see photo) in Damascus. This is part of standard hostility towards those working for the foreign media, who face numerous pressures from a regime that does not tolerate criticism. Wave of Kurdish arrests of Syrian journalists March 8, 2021 Find out more Follow the news on Syria to go further News Newslast_img read more

Top Birmingham agents plan new niche firm

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Cole conquers IMCA Modified foes at Tri-State Kegger

first_imgPOCOLA, Okla. (March 27-28) – Tate Cole got the answers to a lot of questions Saturday night at Tri-State Speedway.Cole led all 30 laps of Saturday’s IMCA Xtreme Motor Sports Modified Cecil Harlan Memorial Kegger main event. The victory paid $1,500, put Cole on the ballot for this September’s Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational and came in his first start of 2015. “I was kind of wondering about this weekend because I have a crate motor and this was my first night out because we didn’t get to practice on Thursday (because of rain),” he explained. “I converted my open car from last year to IMCA and this was my first time on Hoosiers in that car. I wasn’t sure how things were going to work out. They worked out pretty good, though.” Runner-up to Dan Womack in Friday’s qualifying feature, Cole started outside row one on Saturday and was ahead in the first corner. He used multiple lines in staying in the lead and pulled away on each restart, taking the checkers ahead of Ronny Gould, Brint Hartwick, 11th starting Van Gemmill and Steve Muilenburg. “It was pretty neat because last year was my first full year with IMCA and I won my first night out then, too,” said Cole, who piloted a Wheeler Metals-sponsored Shaw chassis. “I had a lot of help getting this win. We’ll run here weekly and at Outlaw Motor Speedway whenever we can this season.” Cole was a four-time feature winner and also raced at the IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals for the first time last year. Feature Results Modifieds – 1. Tate Cole; 2. Ronny Gould; 3. Brint Hartwick; 4. Van Gemmill; 5. Steve Muilenburg; 6. Zane Hunter; 7. Mikey Bell; 8. Daniel Tarmington; 9. Dan Womack; 10. Chuck Bumgarner; 11. Andy Milliken; 12. Allen Owen; 13. Jason Payton; 14. Brandon Henry; 15. Jeff Joldersma; 16. Brandon Wilson; 17. Nick Lawrence; 18. William Gould; 19. Harry Palmer.last_img read more

Dancing in the Dome

first_img Published on March 24, 2010 at 12:00 pm Facebook Twitter Google+ 12 Cornell (29-4)First round (Jacksonville, Fla.): Def. 5 Temple (78-65)Second round (Jacksonville, Fla.): Def. 4 Wisconsin (87-69)Johnathan Gray scanned the Cornell locker room for even the tiniest opening, searching for a place to stand quietly and absorb this moment. He settled for a nook in the corner, tucked against a side wall near the entrance to the team bathroom. There, amid a sea of bright lights and television cameras, he could finally breathe.His teammates were suddenly celebrities. Reporters who Gray knew only from TV were treating the Ivy League champions like one of college basketball’s elite programs. Surrounded by urinals and a row of shower heads, Gray, a freshman who began the season as a team manager, watched in awe. ‘Do they all know that this is Cornell?’ Gray said, laughing. ‘We never had more than maybe one camera in here after our games all season. This is unbelievable.’But it was no mistake. Twelfth-seeded Cornell has become the Cinderella story of this year’s NCAA Tournament and the primary attraction at this weekend’s East Regional at the Carrier Dome. By dominating Temple and Wisconsin in the Tournament’s first two rounds, the Big Red has established itself as a legitimate force and transcended the cute, cuddly image often held by mid-majors that reach the Sweet 16.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textToday marks Cornell’s greatest challenge, when it takes on top-seeded Kentucky, arguably the best team remaining in the Tournament (9:57 p.m., CBS). No. 11 Washington plays No. 2 West Virginia to undercard the evening’s festivities (7:27 p.m.).It’s the classic David vs. Goliath — The Big Red’s collection of unknowns against the Wildcats’ slew of All-Americans and projected NBA first-round draft picks. And Cornell has made its intentions eminently clear: It has come to Syracuse intending to win.‘I’m enough of a fan of college basketball to understand why this is so intriguing to everybody,’ Cornell head coach Steve Donahue said at Wednesday’s introductory press conference. ‘I get it. I don’t know if our guys really understand it. They believe that they’re a good enough basketball team without all the other things that go along with it to play with anybody in the country.’It seems the crowd will be on the Big Red’s side. The normally orange Dome turned red for the team’s open practice, with a large group of fans making the 60-mile trek from Ithaca to Syracuse. The Big Red took the court to rowdy applause, while Kentucky was inundated with boos from both Cornell and SU supporters.And though Cornell has never played in the Sweet 16, it is no stranger to facing tough opponents. It nearly upset then-No. 1 Kansas on the road in January, maintaining a one-point lead with just 49 seconds remaining. That experience gave the Big Red all the confidence it needs as it looks to continue shocking the country and advance to the Elite Eight.‘I think we’re a much better team than when we played Kansas,’ center Jeff Foote said. ‘I think we’ve come a long way. We’re a much more improved team.’1 Kentucky (34-2)First round (New Orleans): Def. 16 East Tennessee State (100-71)Second round (New Orleans): Def. 9 Wake Forest (90-60)John Wall trailed behind a group of teammates scurrying into the Carrier Dome tunnel as a chorus of boos came pouring down from a nearby crowd. Despite being the No. 1 seed in the East Regional, the crowd’s aggression was evident as the Kentucky players exited the court following a practice session at the Carrier Dome on Wednesday.‘Every game is like that,’ UK guard Eric Bledsoe said. ‘Every game we’ve played so far, they have something negative to say about us. But we don’t even think about it, we just keep playing.’With Cornell’s campus not far from the Dome, the Wildcats (34-2) will likely have to overcome a daunting sea of Big Red — and the hostilities of neutral fans wanting to see an upset of Northern Iowa-proportions — if it hopes to advance past Cornell (29-4) and on to the Elite Eight. During an open locker room media session, UK freshman superstar DeMarcus Cousins said he’s fully expecting the game environment to be unfriendly. And that has Cousins and Kentucky prepared for the worst. ‘That’s basically how it is,’ he said. ‘I mean, coming into this game, it’s going to be just us and Syracuse fans and Cornell fans. It’s going to be a tough game.‘But I believe the best games we’ve played have been on the road, when the crowd is against us. So I think we’ll be ready for it.’Including Bledsoe and Cousins, Kentucky’s squad has anywhere from four to six NBA first-round draft picks. For Cornell, it would be difficult to find one or two players that will get more than a second look from NBA scouts.‘They’re used to playing games on national TV, big-time spotlight,’ Cornell center Jeff Foote said. ‘John Wall has been the No. 1 overall pick in a lot of people’s minds for a while now.’As a result, Kentucky naturally gets roped into the stereotype of one-and-done prima donnas of which college basketball fans generally despise. Cornell is viewed by the general public as a team that plays the ‘right way.’ Kentucky simply has loads of NBA-caliber talent.It’s that kind of negative attention that has made UK the target of some harsh criticism this season, giving the players an ‘Us against the World’ kind of mentality in the midst of this Tournament.And in the process, Kentucky wouldn’t mind silencing those who keep reminding them that Cornell is the team with the ‘smart guys.’‘I think it’s stupid,’ Cousins said. ‘But I’m not going to let it get to me. I mean, we’re here to play basketball, it’s not a spelling bee.’2 West Virginia (29-6)First round (Buffalo): 15 Morgan State (77-50)Second round (Buffalo): 10 Missouri (68-59)A wide-eyed Joe Mazzulla took the stage to address the media Wednesday, still trying to comprehend his new role. He learned Tuesday he would see significant action running West Virginia’s offense against Washington in the Sweet 16 after regular point guard Darryl ‘Truck’ Bryant suffered a season-ending foot injury.‘It’s very difficult,’ said Mazzulla, who averages just 15 minutes per game this season. ‘I’ve never been in a Sweet 16 game before. I don’t really know what to expect.’He’ll have to learn quickly. Bryant fractured the fifth metatarsal in his right foot during the Mountaineers’ practice in Morgantown on Tuesday. He said Wednesday he started feeling pain during WVU’s win against Missouri on Sunday in the second round but played through it. He felt a pop in his foot within the first 30 minutes of practice two days later.The injury is a blow to West Virginia’s meticulous half-court offense. Bryant started 31 of 35 games this season, averaging 9.3 points and 3.1 assists. He served as the primary distributor to scoring threats Da’Sean Butler, Kevin Jones and Devin Ebanks.‘It’s tough, actually,’ Bryant said. ‘Of course I want to play. The lights are on. It’s a big time of year. I just wanted to be a part of it.’West Virginia coach Bob Huggins did not reveal his plans to adjust for Bryant’s absence. The most probable scenario puts Mazzulla in the starting lineup, but Huggins did not rule out the possibility of using a five-forward lineup he tried briefly earlier in the season. Nevertheless, Huggins acknowledged that Mazzulla would need to play considerably more than usual for the Mountaineers to win.‘I don’t know if he can go 40, but I think he can go 35,’ Huggins said. ‘We’re still trying to figure out the best way to go.’Bryant’s injury is about the only thing that has gone wrong for the Mountaineers in the last month. West Virginia comes to Syracuse riding an eight-game winning streak and two weeks removed from winning the Big East tournament championship.But Washington, its opponent, enters the game having won nine straight, earning an automatic bid to the NCAAs by sweeping through the Pac-10 tournament. Not the best time to lose your starting point guard.‘We are definitely going to miss him,’ Ebanks said. ‘We have to pick up the psyche of the team. I think that’s why we’ve been ranked so high during the season, just because of our depth. We still have players on the team that can contribute, so everybody has to step up.’11 Washington (26-9)First round (San Jose, Calif.): Def. 6 Marquette (80-78)Second round (San Jose, Calif.): Def. 3 New Mexico (82-64)For the Washington Huskies, the doubters still exist. Recent accomplishments go unnoticed. And the skepticism remains.Ignored at nearly every turn during the final weeks of the regular season and in both of its postseason tournaments, the Huskies head into Thursday’s matchup with West Virginia with the hopes of remedying that situation.‘Not a lot of people here are really paying attention to us,’ UW guard Elston Turner said. ‘But we feel like we can make a Final Four run. And if we can do that, maybe people will start paying some attention.’Turner’s comments come just four days after the No. 11-seeded Huskies dispatched No. 3-seeded New Mexico in convincing fashion, 82-64. The win gave UW its ninth consecutive victory, dating back to a 29-point win over UCLA on Feb. 20. Yet, despite being one of the hottest teams in the nation, the Huskies have yet to feel the love. Collectively, bracket prognosticators advanced the No. 6 seed Marquette with little hesitation. On ESPN.com, 11-of-12 prognosticators picked the Huskies to fall in the first round. But UW took care of the Golden Eagles before cruising against New Mexico.‘Once we had a couple wins under our belt, we got a little confidence and we started playing a lot better,’ Huskies guard Isaiah Thomas said. ‘That was the secret.’Aside from a renewed confidence and some serious momentum, Washington has the element of surprise still in its favor. Regardless of how many times WVU says it respects the Huskies, there’s still an audience out there that is expecting to see West Virginia versus Kentucky in the next round Saturday.Having won in five consecutive single-elimination games, the season has come full circle for the Huskies. They are playing their best basketball of the season and are clicking at the right time. Now in the Sweet 16, they’re one of the few teams still completing for the ultimate prize. Despite that, they’re the team nobody is talking about in the East Regional. But that doesn’t seem to bother the guys in the UW locker room. If anything, the lack of attention has allowed them to sneak under the radar and has reinforced a desire to reach the next round. Maybe then some people will start to take notice.‘We always feel like we can beat anybody in the country and we still feel like that,’ Turner said. ‘And so far in this Tournament, that mentality has worked.’[email protected]@syr.educenter_img Commentslast_img read more

Angels end homestand with narrow loss to Boston Red Sox

first_imgThe Angels’ frustration boiled over in the ninth inning, when Manager Brad Ausmus was ejected for arguing a non-call against the Red Sox.With two outs, pitcher Brandon Workman hit Trout on the arm with a curveball. A pitcher working out of the stretch with a runner on base is required to come to a full stop before throwing the baseball. In Ausmus’ opinion, Workman never came to a full stop.The manager also believed Workman was improperly permitted to balk when the Angels visited Boston in August, and again Friday. This was his second ejection of the season.“It makes it very difficult, in this case with Trouty, to steal second to get the tying run into scoring position,” Ausmus said. “If you’re not going to enforce it, get it off the rule books. That’s how I look at it. There’s too many pitchers who aren’t coming to a stop when the rule says you have to come to a stop. At least he heard me, though. He started stopping after the fact.”In his 177-game major league career, Workman has only had one balk called against him.“I think (the balk) is pretty obvious to everybody watching,” Goodwin said. “You watch the game, you know the rule of the game, you should know that’s basically illegal what he’s doing. Nobody says anything about it. I think Brad did the right thing. All he can do is yell it, address it, that’s what he did. How they choose to react is on them. You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.”Down 4-0, the Angels began chipping away. After Pujols’ double scored Trout in the third inning, Red Sox pitcher Travis Lakins got Justin Upton to ground out, ending the inning.In the fourth inning Kole Calhoun walked, went to third base on a single by Rengifo, then tagged up and scored on a Max Stassi flyout. The Angels trailed 4-2.A solo home run by Upton in the eighth inning against Matt Barnes gave the Angels their final run. The home run was Upton’ s 10th this season, and the 296th of his career.Heaney slogged through five innings and allowed four runs, all earned. For the 28-year-old left-hander, it was a substandard effort. Heaney had allowed four earned runs in his last three starts combined.Heaney threw four curveballs in the dirt in the first inning alone. Two resulted in wild pitches, allowing Mookie Betts to advance from first to third base. Betts ultimately scored on Bogaerts’ single, and Heaney did not throw a curveball in the dirt again.With one out in the third inning, Rafael Devers pummeled a Heaney changeup into left field for a single. The next batter, Bogaerts, also waited on the changeup and got one over the plate on 1-and-1. Four hundred and 18 feet later, the ball came to rest over the center field fence, a two-run home run.On Heaney’s very next pitch, Martinez took advantage of a curveball hanging over the plate for a home run of his own, his 34th this year. The back-to-back blasts left the Angels in a 4-0 hole.“It definitely wasn’t my best effort,” Heaney said. “It was kind of a grinder. But I tried to limit damage, especially after the third inning and try and keep us in it. That’s what we’ve done the last couple of games. We haven’t gotten great starts but guys have done a great job of trying to limit damage and keep us in the game.”By wins (9) and losses (18), August was the Angels’ worst month of the season.Their first game of September was not a blowout, but a disappointment nonetheless.“If we continue to stay here and continue to battle, and everybody has each other’s backs, you’ll start seeing a lot of those games, close games, we’ll end up being on the right side of,” Goodwin said. PreviousBoston Red Sox starting pitcher David Price throws to the plate during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Boston Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts, right, makes a catch on a ball it by Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols as second baseman Brock Holt gets out of the way during the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Boston Red Sox’s J.D. Martinez, top, heads to third after hitting a solo home run as Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Andrew Heaney stands on the mound during the third inning of a baseball game Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsLos Angeles Angels starting pitcher Andrew Heaney, right, beats Boston Red Sox’s Andrew Benintendi to first to force him out during the third inning of a baseball game Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Boston Red Sox’s J.D. Martinez, top, gestures as he scores on his solo home run as Sam Travis, bottom, waits to congratulate him during the third inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Andrew Heaney throws to the plate during the first inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox, Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Boston Red Sox starting pitcher David Price throws to the plate during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Boston Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts, right, makes a catch on a ball it by Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols as second baseman Brock Holt gets out of the way during the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)NextShow Caption1 of 6Boston Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts, right, makes a catch on a ball it by Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols as second baseman Brock Holt gets out of the way during the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)ExpandANAHEIM – Brian Goodwin got a 3-and-1 slider down the middle of the plate from Boston Red Sox pitcher Hector Velazquez in the seventh inning Sunday. He thwacked the pitch a cool 100 mph down the first-base line, potentially a critical hit with Mike Trout on first base.Sam Travis, the Red Sox first baseman, stuck out his glove. The ball found the webbing more than the webbing found the ball. When Travis stepped on the white canvas bag to retire Trout, another Angels rally was dead in its tracks.A few times en route to a 4-3 loss, hope was a fleeting feeling for the Angels. They went 1 for 6 with runners in scoring position and left nine runners on base – painful numbers that don’t include Goodwin’s exasperating lineout.“It was a huge moment,” Goodwin said. “We were rallying right there, get Trouty on early. You know what we do, we come on late in games, it seems like. That was our time. It felt like it was just right. It didn’t kill the energy. Obviously we stayed in the game, had some good ABs. We just need those to fall sometimes.” The Red Sox won two of three games in their only visit to Angel Stadium this year. Back-to-back home runs by Xander Bogaerts and J.D. Martinez in the third inning made the difference in the series finale. Bogaerts also broke open the scoring with a first-inning RBI single against Andrew Heaney (3-4).Goodwin and Luis Rengifo each had two of the Angels’ eight hits. Albert Pujols drove in a run with a double, and finished the series 7 for 16 with seven RBIs.Pujols now has 3,185 career hits, passing Cal Ripken Jr. for 14th on baseball’s all-time list. His only hit Sunday came in the third inning. It almost drove in two runs.With Trout on second base and Goodwin on first, Pujols hit a line drive off the foul chalk in left field. Trout scored easily. Goodwin believes he could have scored, too. But when the ball bounced into the seats in foul territory, Pujols was forced to stop at second base with a ground-rule double. Goodwin was forced to stop at third.“In hindsight, yeah, it would have been great to have that,” Goodwin said. “Just some bad bounces today.”center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more