#WeeklyAddress June 19-25: Will the White House become silent?

first_imgNews Receive email alerts United StatesAmericas RSF’s #WeeklyAddress on US press freedom: Week of June 19-25 RSF_en Facebook’s Oversight Board is just a stopgap, regulation urgently needed, RSF says While this #WeeklyAddress may appear quieter than those in the past, RSF is concerned that this is a result of the silence that has been coming from the White House briefing room recently…Of the White House’s four press briefings last week, only one was held on camera. The rest of the briefings were off-camera and banned live audio recording. This follows a trend away from press access in the Trump White House; while Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s briefings initially pulled in millions of viewers, in recent months press briefings have been less frequent, and with fewer questions addressed. In the past two weeks, only two briefings have been on-camera.When asked on Friday why the briefing was off-camera, Press Secretary Sean Spicer said: “It’s great for us to come out here and have a substantive discussion about policies. I don’t think that the be-all and end-all is whether it’s on television or not.”Though news organizations appear to be abiding by the White House’s new rules, many are doing so with reluctance. CNN senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta expressed his concerns following June 19’s off-camera, no-audio briefing. “I don’t know why everybody is going along with this,” Acosta said. “It just doesn’t make any sense to me.It just feels like we’re sort of slowly but surely being dragged into a new normal in this country where the president of the United States is allowed to insulate himself from answering hard questions.”The Washington Post has been keeping a close eye on the Trump administration’s dwindling interactions with the press. In a June 13 article, The Post reported: “During Trump’s first 100 days in office, Spicer and Sanders held 53 official briefings and ‘gaggles,’ informal, untelevised Q&As with small groups of reporters — a rate of about once every two days. In the 43 days since then, just 15 such sessions have been held, or once every three days. The briefings are getting briefer, too: Early on, Spicer engaged with reporters for an hour or longer; during his May 30 briefing, he took questions for just 11 minutes.”Since early on in his term, President Donald Trump has been cold to the media, skipping the White House Correspondents’ Dinner and participating in few interviews. In a tweet on May 12, he wrote: “…Maybe the best thing to do would be to cancel all future ‘press briefings’ and hand out written responses for the sake of accuracy???” White House Correspondents’ Association is not pleased with these recent changes, either. WHCA President Jeff Mason wrote that he met with Spicer and Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders to discuss these issues: “The WHCA’s position on this issue is clear: we believe strongly that Americans should be able to watch and listen to senior government officials face questions from an independent news media, in keeping with the principles of the First Amendment and the need for transparency at the highest levels of government.” Help by sharing this information United StatesAmericas NSO Group hasn’t kept its promises on human rights, RSF and other NGOs say News to go further June 3, 2021 Find out more Organisation June 27, 2017 #WeeklyAddress June 19-25: Will the White House become silent? News Follow the news on United States April 28, 2021 Find out more News WhatsApp blocks accounts of at least seven Gaza Strip journalists June 7, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

Creeslough group faces huge bill after Leader funding issue remains unresolved

first_img Pinterest Creeslough group faces huge bill after Leader funding issue remains unresolved Min HoganThe Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government has been heavily criticised for failing to resolve funding issues facing the Doe Community Association/ Cresslough Tidy Towns Committee.With the assistance of Donegal County Council and the approval of  LEADER Grant Funding by DLDC, the group’s Creeslough Enhancement Project was completed last year at a cost of 400 thousand euro.However, due to a difficulty with a technical aspect of the tendering process the project was deemed retrospectively ineligible for the €372,000 LEADER funding by Minister Phil Hogan’s Department.Deputy Pearse Doherty says the group is now facing the threat of legal action as well as huge financial and emotional costs.He says he is disgusted by Minister Phil Hogan’s inaction on the issue:[podcast]http://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/creeslEADER.mp3[/podcast] 365 additional cases of Covid-19 in Republic Facebook Previous articleDonegal Deputy slams government over its book rental schemeNext articlePlans to redevelop the Brandywell take a major step forward News Highland Twitter Further drop in people receiving PUP in Donegal Main Evening News, Sport and Obituaries Tuesday May 25th By News Highland – December 13, 2013 Google+ Google+center_img Facebook Twitter Man arrested on suspicion of drugs and criminal property offences in Derry RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Gardai continue to investigate Kilmacrennan fire WhatsApp News 75 positive cases of Covid confirmed in North WhatsApp Pinterestlast_img read more

Major moral decisions use general-purpose brain circuits to manage uncertainty

first_imgHarvard researchers have found that humans can make difficult moral decisions using the same brain circuits as those used in more mundane choices related to money and food.These circuits, also found in other animals, put together two critical pieces of information:  How good or bad are the things that might happen?  What are the odds that they will happen, depending on one’s choice?  The results suggest that complex moral decisions need not rely on a specific “moral sense.”Graduate student Amitai Shenhav and assistant professor of psychology Joshua D. Greene of present the findings this week in the journal Neuron.“It seems that our capacity for complex, life-and-death decisions depends on brain structures that originally evolved for making more basic, self-interested decisions about things like obtaining calories,” says Shenhav, a doctoral student in psychology at Harvard.  “Many of the brain regions we find to be active in major moral decisions have been shown to perform similar functions when people and animals make commonplace decisions about ordinary goods such as money and food.”Some researchers have argued that moral judgments are produced by a “moral faculty” in the brain, but Shenhav and Greene’s work indicates that at least some moral decisions rely on general mechanisms also used by the brain in evaluating other kinds of choices.“Research in neuroeconomics has identified distinct brain structures responsible for tracking the probability of various outcomes, the magnitude of various outcomes, and for integrating these two kinds of information into a decision,” says Greene.  “Our work shows that the parts of the brain people use for this last task — combining assessments of outcome probability and magnitude into a final decision — closely coincide with the brain regions we use daily when deciding how to spend money or choose foods.”Using real-time brain imaging, Shenhav and Greene presented 34 subjects with hypothetical choices between saving one life with certainty or saving several lives, but with no guarantee that this latter effort will succeed.  The experiment systematically varied the number of lives at risk and the odds of success.The authors found that a brain region called the ventromedial prefrontal cortex tracked the “expected moral value” of the uncertain option, integrating information about the number of lives to be saved and the probability of saving them.  Other brain regions separately tracked outcome magnitude and outcome probability.The work advances our understanding of how people make decisions affecting the lives of others.  Many of the most consequential such decisions are made by policymakers:  In some cases, a single choice can impact thousands of lives.“For example, how did President Truman decide to deploy nuclear weapons against Japan in 1945, ending World War II, but at an enormous cost?” asks Greene.  “Our results suggest that such decisions employ the same basic mechanisms our brains use when we evaluate whether it’s worth spending a few hundred dollars for an extended warranty on a new car.”Truman’s historic decision shows parallels to ones made by ordinary people every day.  It involved trade-offs among outcomes of different magnitude:  How many lives would be lost?  How many saved?  Second, Truman’s decision was made under uncertainty.  He could, at best, assign probabilities to possible outcomes.Likewise, ordinary decision-makers must compare the relative sizes of costs and benefits, as when a car buyer balances the cost of a warranty against the cost of repairs.  The consumer doesn’t know at the outset whether she will have to pay for expensive repairs down the road.“Truman, like ordinary decision-makers, had to put information about probability and magnitude together to reach a decision,” Shenhav says.  “And like the car buyer, Truman likely relied on his ventromedial prefrontal cortex to evaluate his options.”Shenhav and Greene’s research was funded by the National Science Foundation.last_img read more

Harris Auto Racing in 13th year as title sponsor for Modified Race of Champions

first_imgHarris Auto Racing provides a portion of the purse to be paid out in the Modified Race of Champions on Saturday, Sept. 7 at Boone Speedway. “Harris Auto Racing has become synonymous with the Modified Race of Champions and we couldn’t handpick a better partner as the title sponsor,” commented IMCA Marketing Director Kevin Yoder. “The race never disappoints and will be a career highlight for one Modified driver at this year’s IMCA Super Nationals.” The Boone manufacturer and high performance parts retailer has been sponsor of the event for 13 years and an IMCA sponsor for 24 years. Qualifying for the 12-car, 12-lap, $1,000 to win race is Thursday, Sept. 5 and is open to top drivers in local track standings competing at Super Nationals, former national, regional and Super Nationals champions, and to previous race winners. Two hundred and four different drivers from 24 states and Canada have qualified for the Modified Race of Champions since 1989. Jason Wolla of Ray, N.D., is the defending race winner. BOONE, Iowa – A chassis builder synonymous with IMCA and the Modified division continues title sponsorship support for one of the most popular and prestigious events at the upcoming IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals fueled by Casey’s. “With Harris Auto Racing being known for our top quality and a race featuring only champions at such a renowned event as the IMCA Super Nationals, it’s only fitting for Harris to title sponsor and an honor that we’re able to be a part of such a prestigious race,” Brown said. Information about Harris chassis, parts and services is available by calling 515 432-6972, on Facebook and at the www.harrisautoracing.com website. Harris is owned by IMCA Modified and Stock Car driver Kyle Brown.last_img read more