Professor explores media, censorship in China

first_imgIn a lecture Tuesday titled “Journalism and the Coercive Power of the Chinese State,” associate professor Timothy Weston of the University of Colorado Boulder discussed the status of the press in modern China.Weston, who serves as associate director of the Center for Asian Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder, said recent protests in Hong Kong reveal a deep-rooted tension between the paternalistic actions of the Chinese government and the press.“The Beijing government’s approach to the press, as seen in the Hong Kong case but also in a myriad others in contemporary times, comes to be seen as the latest iteration of a longstanding feature of Chinese political culture rather than an expression of a sharp moment of communist censorship, pure and simple,” he said.Despite the government’s censorship of the media, the ideal of a free press is alive in China today, he said.“Article 35 of the Chinese constitution states clearly that ‘Citizens of the People’s Republic of China enjoy freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly of association, of procession and of demonstration,’” he said. “The normative ideal of press freedom is enshrined in China’s highest legal document.”However, he said, tension exists between the stated ideal of freedom of the press and the practices of the government — namely, censorship of events and “routine arrests of journalists in China, often on trumped-up charges.”Weston said the government’s censorship of the media arises from a distinct understanding of the nature of free press. The government does not condemn freedom of press, he said, but rather takes a paternalistic approach in regarding the press as a means of molding society.“No modern state is going to take a stand against the idea of press freedom any more than it will take a stand against the idea of human rights,” he said.He said the recent events in Hong Kong have prompted the government to adopt an offensive and defensive approach, consisting both of censoring the press and presenting an “alternative narrative” of events to Chinese citizens.This alternative narrative, he said, depicts the protesters in Hong Kong as “petty criminals engaging in illegal behavior.”Weston said the government has not been entirely successful in its efforts to suppress the dissemination of reports of protest in Hong Kong.“In the digital age it is impossible to enforce a total information embargo,” he said.Nevertheless, he said, the average Chinese citizen is unable to view internationally popularized images legally, such as the one of a protester holding an umbrella to shield himself from tear gas.He said the government’s treatment of the events in Hong Kong has focused international attention on the ‘Umbrella Revolution’ — so christened because of the image of the protester with the umbrella. The response of the Chinese government to the international spotlight has been to accuse foreign agents such as the United States of manipulating naïve students to incite rebellion, Weston said.“Blaming conspiring foreign agents also has the complicit effect of treating the Hong Kong protesters — of which there were tens of thousands in the early stages of the movement — as gullible children,” he said.Weston said although China maintains the ideal of a free press, the actions of the government undermine its realization.“The logic of the paternalistic state with regard to question of freedom of the press then is that the people are free to know everything, except when they are not,” Weston said.Tags: censorship, China, Journalism, Kellogg Institutelast_img read more

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UK accountants welcome SORP changes for pension fund accounting

first_imgIt deals with the preparation of financial reports by pension schemes.Updates to the 2007 guidance became necessary after the UK authorities consolidated UK GAAP into a single accounting standard, FRS 102.FRS 102 is a fundamental reform of financial reporting in the UK.In essence, it is a localised version of the International Financial Reporting Standard for Small- and Medium-sized Entities.Alongside this change, UK legislative and regulatory actions have also made a number of changes to the legal and regulatory environment for pension funds since 2007.In particular, the past seven years have seen the introduction of auto-enrolment, as well as an increasing number of pension schemes entering the Pension Protection Fund.The PRAG issued its draft SORP in April on a three-month comment period.The changes take the form of wide-ranging amendments to the 2007 SORP.Comments on the proposals closed on 16 July.The PRAG invited views from interested parties on a series of changes that affect annuities, investment-risk disclosures, the fair-value hierarchy, financial statement presentation, auto-enrolment, legislative disclosure requirements and concentration of investments.But despite widespread support for the PRAG’s approach in the document, experts who spoke with IPE cited areas for concern.In a recent press notice, the ACCA warned that the PRAG must “more fully” explain the concept of “significant” when it applies to a new requirement to account for matching annuities on the balance sheet.The accountancy body also called for the PRAG to include “an indication” of the “level of materiality applied to disclosures in the example financial statements” in the SORP.And in an interview with IPE, ACCA spokesman Paul Cooper warned that the new SORP would lead to inconsistencies between statutory reporting requirements for disclosures about investments and the requirements of UK GAAP.Urging the DWP to act, Cooper, a corporate reporting manager with the ACCA, said: “It is important changes can be made so the legal requirements are consistent with the revised SORP.”David Hutchings of Hymans Robertson said: “The SORP talks about information to quantify risk. A single number in the accounts could be misleading because that number in isolation might look large and yet say nothing about risk mitigation.“We would like to see a requirement for entities to provide a better explanation of risk – perhaps through the inclusion of an updated statement of investment principles as an appendix to the Report and Accounts to avoid putting big figures into accounts that might be misleading.” Pension fund accountants in the UK have broadly welcomed proposed new guidance from the Pensions Research Accountants Group (PRAG) dealing with the preparation of financial reports by pension funds.In a statement on the draft guidance, global accountancy body the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) said it thought the changes detailed in a draft Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP) would “bring clarity”.But the ACCA warned that interested parties must now lobby the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) to bring forward legislation to align investment disclosures under UK law with developments in UK generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).The draft SORP sets out a series of amendments to a 2007 SORP.last_img read more

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Pam Shively

first_imgYesterday I did an article on the practice of hiring men to officiate high school games over women even when the woman would be equal or better than the man.  This is the case for Pam Shively of East Central who is in much better condition and ability to referee high school boys games than many of her male counterparts.  I recently had a conversation with Pam, and she related the reluctance of most schools to give her the opportunity  to referee boys games.Pam not only referees basketball games, but she also is an accomplished official for volleyball.  She is a starter for both cross country and track meets.  When Pam is hired to do any of these events, you can bet that she is as prepared as any official can be.  Because of age and physical condition, many of her male counterparts cannot keep up with the pace of today’s basketball games.  Pam is able to do this because she is still very active as a physical education teacher and participant in adult sports.I hope Pam is given the opportunity to do boys games before she gets discouraged and does not keep up her license to officiate men’s contests.  Pam is also an accomplished collegiate official.  Keep it up, Pam!last_img read more

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Dodgers’ Rich Hill, Clayton Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu are on the mend

first_imgLOS ANGELES — Clayton Kershaw preferred to work in relative silence as he threw his final bullpen session before his 2019 debut.Rich Hill grunted and groaned his way through four simulated innings at Dodger Stadium on Friday. Good, bad or ugly, Hill followed each of his 46 pitches with a primal moan that wouldn’t have sounded out of place on the tennis courts of Indian Wells.You wouldn’t know if you were within earshot, but Hill left the mound feeling encouraged. Kershaw remains on track to start Monday. Hyun-Jin Ryu, who played long toss without impediment, didn’t appear too far behind his teammates. Friday was a good day for the Dodgers’ injured starters.“I didn’t feel anything. It felt great,” Hill said. “The ball came out great. Very good curveballs, fastballs, was able to shape my breaking ball better.” The manager had less incentive than usual to make a decision public. The Brewers started left-hander Wade Miley in Game 5 of last year’s NLCS, only to replace him with right-hander Brandon Woodruff after Cody Bellinger walked to begin the game.Roberts all but ruled out the possibility of an “opener” – a tactic the Brewers deployed against the Dodgers in the NLCS.  This strategy requires the first pitcher to record six outs or less, and another pitcher to record the plurality of outs in relief. Miley’s start in Game 5 was an extreme example.“You could” use an opener, Roberts said, “but with these guys, Cain hits in the 1, Yelich in the 2, and then they kind of flip-flop the third hitter. It’s really not ideal but you could do it. Yelich hits lefties. Cain hits righties. So this is not typically a team that an opener advantage is that beneficial.”ALSOCatcher Russell Martin (lower back stiffness) still hasn’t taken part in baseball activities since he went on the injured list Wednesday. … Max Muncy wasn’t in the starting lineup one day after a ground ball clipped his right index finger, causing swelling and a blood blister. Roberts said Muncy was available off the bench. … Three members of Jackie Robinson’s family – wife Rachel, daughter Sharon and son David – will participate in Jackie Robinson Day celebrations prior to Monday’s game against the Reds. Hill hasn’t pitched since spring training due to a left knee strain. He pitched to two minor leaguers and utility player Chris Taylor, and allowed two or three hits. (Since there were no fielders behind him, it was impossible to know for sure.) Hill threw an additional 15 pitches without a batter in the box, bringing his total to 61 pitches.The left-hander will make a four-inning rehab start in five or six days, Manager Dave Roberts said. The location is to be determined. Triple-A Oklahoma City begins a homestand next Tuesday. Double-A Tulsa and advanced Class-A Rancho Cucamonga begin homestands Thursday.Hill threw with a brace wrapped around his left knee. That will continue, he said, once he begins pitching in games. The brace holds one positive side effect when he throws sidearm, which Hill called a “silver lining.”“It forces me to throw the ball a little more correctly instead of getting out of sync with where my release point is,” he said. “The quality of the pitch is way better.”Speaking of silver linings, Ryu is expected to throw a bullpen in the coming days after straining his left groin Tuesday against the Cardinals. Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco center_img Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies “It’s probably been a best-case scenario since what transpired that first game in St. Louis,” Roberts said.GRANDAL RETURNSYasmani Grandal returned to Dodger Stadium for the first time since he signed a one-year contract with the Milwaukee Brewers. Grandal, who played 510 games for the Dodgers from 2015-18, received his National League championship ring. The catcher was greeted with a brief tribute video prior to his first plate appearance, eliciting mostly loud applause.“This is like coming back home,” Grandal said. “When hitting early BP, seemed like I was hitting at home. Only difference is I’m going to be in the other dugout.”It was an interesting about-face. The Dodgers dispatched the Brewers in a seven-game NLCS last October, though Grandal barely played after struggling to hit during the Division Series against the Atlanta Braves.He was benched in favor of Austin Barnes for all but two games in the NLCS. Grandal went 2 for 11 with six strikeouts in the series. He also committed two passed balls, an error, and a catcher’s interference in Game 2 alone.The Dodgers tendered Grandal a qualifying offer after the season, but he declined. Milwaukee gave him a one-year contract with a 2020 option that will pay a minimum of $18.25 million.“I knew they were going to make a qualifying offer,” Grandal said. “Besides a game, it’s a business, and they didn’t want to lose a draft pick. I also knew that there are other guys here who need to get their shots to play. Barnes has been up here for a while, and you have (Will) Smith and (Keibert) Ruiz in the minor leagues, a lot of guys who I worked with who I believe can do really good in the big leagues. Those guys need to get their shot at the big leagues. I was in their shoes not too long ago in San Diego.“I knew they believed in those guys and they need an opportunity to play, so knew there wasn’t going to be too much contact. I was prepared for that.”OPENING ACTRoberts still had not named Saturday’s starting pitcher when he addressed reporters prior to Friday’s game. The Dodgers will either rely on a “bullpen game” – using their existing relief pitchers to record 27 outs – or recall a starting pitcher from the minor leagues.Related Articleslast_img read more

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