Avoid repeating errors with NetzDG and its updatesReporters Without Borders takes a positive view of the introduction of new transparency obligations for companies with regard to their handling of user reports. Science, politics and civil society are dependent on comparable and meaningful data from companies. The growing influence of AI-controlled content moderation must also be transparently traceable. Facebook and YouTube in particular are increasingly relying on the automated detection of illegal content and are accepting a possible increase in error rates. RSF calls for a fully transparent investigation after mine kills two journalists in Azerbaijan June 7, 2021 Find out more AustriaFranceGermanyEurope – Central Asia Online freedoms InternetFreedom of expression News RSF_en “We’ll hold Ilham Aliyev personally responsible if anything happens to this blogger in France” RSF says News Organisation September 4, 2020 Austrian platform law: Government should avoid errors made with NetzDG The package also includes a new platform responsibility for large online forums (excluding encyclopedias such as Wikipedia, trade portals and national media forums). In a fast-track procedure, those affected can obtain the deletion of insulting and reputation-damaging forum contributions. In future, platforms with more than 100,000 users and an annual turnover of more than 500,000 euros will have to provide a registration form to report criminal hate speech. The operators of the sites are then obliged to check reported violations within 24 hours (or seven days in ambiguous cases) and, if the law applies, to block them if necessary. June 8, 2021 Find out more News Receive email alerts AustriaFranceGermanyEurope – Central Asia Online freedoms InternetFreedom of expression Worry about “Overblocking”Reporters Without Borders welcomes the fact that the Austrian government has anticipated central points of criticism of the German NetzDG with regard to the protection of freedom of opinion and freedom of the press. To protect against possible “over-blocking”, i.e. platforms carrying out too many and intransparent deletions due to inadequate specifications, the users concerned have a right to appeal. This is still being negotiated in Germany. In addition, those affected should be able to contact an independent complaints office. RSF has been emphasizing for some time now the necessity of not leaving the decision-making authority over the legality of content to companies alone. Users must be able to turn to independent bodies and, in the final instance, to appeal to the courts, so that fundamental freedoms are preserved in the digital public sphere. Denis Charlet / AFP “It is crucial that platforms will no longer be able to delete contributions without explanation. The right to freedom of information must be safeguarded,” said Rubina Möhring. The existing Austrian Communications Platforms Act (KoPl-G) ultimately creates one-sided financial incentives for companies to delete contributions once too often in cases of doubt, because only systematic misconduct in removing illegal content leads to substantial fines, but not the deletion of contributions covered by the freedom of opinion. Austria is now ranked 18th in the World Press Freedom Index. Reporters Without Borders warns against a repetition of the mistakes made by the German federal government in the new Austrian bill to combat hate speech in social media and online platforms, which was presented yesterday in Vienna. No waiting for BrusselsThe European Commission published the draft already on Wednesday 2 September after the obligatory notification by the Austrian government. Work is also currently underway at European level on a fundamental reform of Internet regulation in the form of the Digital Services Act, which is intended to create a uniform set of rules for online platforms. However, it could take years before it is adopted and implemented in the member states. It remains to be seen how the European Commission will react to the renewed national solo effort. In the case of the French law, the Commission had sharply criticized the fragmentation of the digital single market. It now has up to three months to evaluate the national draft that has been presented. Respect judicial independence in cases of two leading journalists in Serbia and Montenegro, RSF says Follow the news on Europe – Central Asia Following the controversial German Network Enforcement Act (NetzDG) and the “Loi Avia” in France, which was declared unconstitutional in June, it is the next attempt by an EU member state to force especially powerful platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to quickly delete illegal content. The key point of the package is that hate speech will be easier to punish in the future and affected users will be able to defend themselves quickly and with low thresholds. June 4, 2021 Find out more Help by sharing this information to go further News “We welcome the initiative’s objective of better protecting people in the digital space from hate speech. Media professionals are particularly exposed to this phenomenon. At the same time, despite some positive adjustments, the law pursues similarly problematic approaches as those already adopted in France and Germany and could also lead to restrictions on freedom of expression and freedom of the press in these countries,” says Rubina Möhring, President of Reporters without Borders (RSF) Austria. International solution neededIn the view of Reporters Without Borders, an international set of rules that promotes democratic debate and diversity on the internet, while emphasizing the protection of information and press freedom, would be urgently needed to counteract the increasing censorship efforts in the digital space, as RSF is currently observing in Russia and Turkey, among other countries. In the last two years, numerous states issued extensive Internet laws with reference to the German NetzDG, partly with devastating consequences for the liberty of the press. In July, for example, the Turkish government used the German law as an excuse to increase pressure on international platforms, to grant state removal orders and to store user data locally to facilitate state access to it. Significant data protection issues remain, however, with regard to the obligation to store user data for better prosecution of illegal contributions. Corresponding proposals within the framework of the drafting of the German law to combat right-wing extremism and hate crime went in some cases much further than necessary and earned criticism from data protection activists and Reporters Without Borders. The Austrian government should therefore draw conclusions from the German debate and take up constructive suggestions, for example from the Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information.
Katherine Carscallen’s livelihood depends on seasonal sockeye salmon fishing in Bristol Bay, Alaska, but she fears COVID-19 may cause history to repeat itself. – (Courtesy Katherine Carscallen)By KAYNA WHITWORTH, CONNOR BURTON and JENNA HARRISON, ABC News(BRISTOL BAY, Alaska) — “It’s just how the earth is supposed to be,” says third-generation commercial fishing boat captain Katherine Carscallen. She’s talking about her homeland, Bristol Bay, Alaska. Every June and July, more than half of the world’s supply of sockeye salmon are pulled from these waters.It sounds excessive, but it’s not; in a highly regulated practice, thousands of fish are left to return home and spawn, allowing the industry to support the region for generations.The yearly salmon fishery brings in an estimated $200 million in direct revenue to the community of Bristol Bay, says Norm Van Vactor, president and CEO of Bristol Bay Economic Development Corporation.“Overall, it’s a multi-billion dollar fishery,” he says of the thousands of fisherman who come from all over the world to fish for salmon. On average, 10,000 fishermen come each year — but oftentimes that number is upwards of 15,000. In addition, 6,000 fish processing workers also descend on the tiny community.Fishing has dangers of its own, but this year the peril is invisible. The isolated community of Bristol Bay has only recorded three cases of COVID-19 as of June 20, and now many of those arriving could be carrying the deadly virus. As a result, some local fishermen wanted this year’s fishery to be canceled.“There’s no doubt that this is putting the region at risk. And if it was our choice, it likely wouldn’t be happening,” says Carscallen.The commercial fishery hasn’t even begun and it’s already seeing an outbreak at a fish processing plant. On June 22, 12 of the 52 workers screened tested positive. They were immediately isolated.Bristol Bay is home to only 6,500 people, and most are Alaskan natives who feel their safety is at risk if the fishery were to commence.“The vast majority of our economy is the heart of the commercial fishery,” said Alannah Hurley, executive director of United Tribes of Bristol Bay. “It was a hard decision to make but it was a necessary one.”For the locals, it’s their land — but not their call.In an official COVID-19 Health Mandate sent out by his office in April, Gov. Mike Dunleavy laid out guidelines for independent commercial fishing vessels to follow while the industry begins its fishing season.“The State of Alaska acknowledges the importance of our commercial fishing fleet to our economy and lifestyle as Alaskans,” the statement said. “In order to ensure a safe, productive fishing season this year, while still protecting Alaskan communities to the maximum extent possible from the spread of the virus, the State is establishing standardized protective measures to be followed by all independent commercial fishing vessels operating in Alaskan waters and ports.”Dr. Catherine Hyndman, clinical director of Bristol Bay Area Health Corporation, says, “testing should be mandatory, and people should get tested on a number of occasions.”The first planeloads of fisherman began arriving June 1. Carscallen picked up her uncle who comes every year. Wearing a mask, he hopped into the bed of her pickup truck. She dropped him off at a converted shipping container, where he plans to disappear, ready his nets in solitude, and then hit the water with a small crew.A 14-day quarantine is mandated by the state but not enforced, and testing is available. Hurley tells ABC News that they are seeing people “completely disregard quarantine and safety measures.”“It’s all based on the honor system,” said Van Vactor. “There’s no follow-up, there are no real penalties in place if you don’t comply. There’s no way they’re even checking to see if you’re complying.”Vactor said he and others have been “banging their heads against the wall for months,” asking the state for mandated pre-quarantine testing, post-quarantine testing and help enforcing the rules.“To date, the state has virtually done none of that,” he said.For those who decide to get tested, Hyndman says she has seen a few cases where fishermen initially test negative “and then 10 or 12 days into their quarantine they test positive after a second test.”One of the largest fishing companies in the United States, Trident Seafoods, told ABC News in a statement that they have implemented their own stringent protocols throughout all operations. A representative tells ABC News they “require 14-day, monitored quarantines in hotels with security guards that we provide for all of our Alaska shore plant and large vessel workforce, with PCR testing before safe secure transfer to the destination work site.” They also offer daily health screenings.Once the fish are caught, they are sent directly to fish processing plants in Bristol Bay. Here workers prepare the fish, freeze them and then send them all over the world. A former processing plant manager himself, Vactor says in a typical year the common cold is a huge problem. “Now you interject this? It’s definitely very, very concerning,” he said.In a processing plant, thousands of workers stand shoulder-to-shoulder working 16- to 20-hour shifts, eating together in mess halls and then bunking together — in some cases, six to eight people to a room. Vactor wonders how a virus like COVID-19 can possibly be kept from spreading.“There were a lot of other things that used to keep me up at night, Vactor said, “but boy, this one is a pretty daunting task.”If the concern among locals is high, it may be because many of the village elders were raised by orphans of the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918. A food processing worker brought the flu into the community, and “It decimated the population,” says Hurley.Many of the people who are asking that this year’s fishery be canceled are direct descendants.Hurley also fears that the local community is extremely susceptible and that the virus would quickly spread out of control. The largest hospital in the region has just 12 beds, and anyone who gets sick is transported by Medevac to Anchorage for care. As a result, arriving fishermen are being encouraged to get Medevac insurance.Carscallen has been on a boat since the day after she was born, and began running her own crew at age 13. For her, the fishery is all she knows and she now fears her way of life could be threatened; it’s not a question of whether the coronavirus will hit her region, but how bad it will be.“I really just hope we’re not forgotten about once the spread happens,” she said.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.
ITV secures three-year British racing broadcast deal August 5, 2020 SportCaller teams up with Coral for Racing Super Series launch August 12, 2020 GVC absorbs retail shocks as business recalibrates for critical H2 trading August 13, 2020 Submit Share Related Articles StumbleUpon Share With 11 days to go until the racing industry descends on Cheltenham Racecourse, SBC has been getting the run-down from major betting operators on what to look out for at The Festival. We’ve been asking whether we could be seeing a ‘wednesday wipeout’ and what the chances are of Willie Mullins retaining the Gold Cup title.Speaking to Harry Aitkenhead, PR Executive at Coral, we gained insights into the operator’s new Fail to Finish promotion, and learnt that the strength of this year’s runners could be the reason behind an increase in ante-post betting.SBC: Three of the shortest-priced favourites of the week have been lined up to race on the Wednesday of Cheltenham Festival – is this a worry for Coral? and how does Coral plan to mitigate the risk of a ‘wednesday wipeout’?Harry Aitkenhead: It is always a worry when a few favourites line-up, and Envoi Allen, Appreciate It and Tiger Roll who all run on Wednesday are three of our worst results at the moment across the whole week. However it’s important to remember that there are also some incredibly competitive races on the day too which punters are torn over.The Champion Chase this year looks a fantastic race on paper with Altior, Defi Du Seuil and Chacun Pour Soi all jostling for favouritism, and this is a race where in the last three years the favourite has gone off at 4/11, evens and 2/9. The Coral Cup had 148 entries when the lists were revealed last week and the favourite is currently a 9/1 chance so that provides a stern test for punters too.It might be unfortunate that three of the most backed horses are running on the same day but we’ve seen plenty of favourites lose before at Cheltenham and the racing at the festival is always incredibly competitive so it should prove to be an exciting week and we aren’t running scared just yet.SBC: Data has suggested that this year’s Cheltenham Festival has attracted – on average – 40% more ante-post punting in comparison to last year. Why do you think this is?Harry Aitkenhead: It’s hard to pinpoint a reason for the increased ante post betting but it’s most likely down to the strength of a couple of the popular horses who are running. Paisley Park has been a constant attraction for punters and he is possibly the most popular horse in training at the moment with the story behind his owner and also his great partnership with Aiden Coleman. Also the likes of Envoi Allen and Appreciate It, who are mentioned above, have proved incredibly popular. No matter how far away it might be some punters always have eyes on Cheltenham and any impressive performances through the season will always prompt surges on these horses at to win at the festival.SBC: The Gold Cup hasn’t been defended since 2004, what are the chances of current joint favourite Al Boum Photo doing it for Willie Mullins this year?Harry Aitkenhead: Al Boum Photo has as good a chance as most of retaining his crown, that’s for sure. He’s had the same preparation as last year, running and winning at Tramore, and now aged 8 he looks to be at his absolute peak. 8 year olds have won this race four times out of the last seven editions and everything seems to be boding well for him.Native River’s injury was a shame as he would have had a genuine chance at regaining his title but in terms of the dangers to Al Boum Photo’s chances, it is Santini that we think should be most feared. He is our slight favourite and has an excellent chance of delivering Nicky Henderson’s first win in the race since 2013.SBC: What role will request a bets and promotional offers play in engaging punters with this year’s festival?Harry Aitkenhead: It’s always great to be able to offer our punters some special treats around the biggest week of the year for racing fans, and this year our big offer is our Fail to Finish promotion. Our customers will get their money back as a free bet, up to £10, should their horse fail to finish the race. We could see plenty of free bets being handed out if the rain continues and the ground is soft, or heavy!We will also be providing our #YourCall service through the festival meaning that punters can request any bets they like and this is a great tool for us to ensure that we keep our customers happy throughout the week and making sure that we’ve got whatever they might want to bet on available online. All of these promotions and tools are great in our aim to provide our loyal punters with the best possible service for the best week of racing on the calendar.SBC: And finally, are there any runners that SBC readers should be keeping an eye on?Harry Aitkenhead: Aside from the obvious favourites, a couple of horses that punters have been very keen to back with us recently have been Samcro, and Solo and Goshen who are both entered in the Triumph Hurdle on Friday.Samcro is now a 7-1 chance for the Marsh Novices Chase and would be one of our worst results of the week if he were to win. It’s probably a combination of his impressive win on chase debut, although he has disappointed since, and also just his popularity. He had such a good few years running over hurdles and has a real following behind him.In that race Annie Mc is entered for the Coral Champions Club, a free club for members to enter that we set up to provide people with the thrill of owning a racehorse without the expensive costs. She’s been absolutely fantastic for us, winning brilliantly over hurdles at Newbury live on ITV last season and remaining unbeaten over fences since switching. Everybody is really excited for her to run at Cheltenham and it should be a memorable day for the Coral Champions Club.Goshen goes for the Triumph Hurdle on Friday and is unbeaten over hurdles so far which has prompted punters to stick their faith in him. He won his most recent race by 11 lengths and the horse than finished second that day has since won by 16 lengths, so it’s impossible to ignore his credentials. However last weekend then saw Paul Nicholls’s French horse Solo romp home at Kempton on his first appearance in the UK and now we are seeing punters back him off the boards to win the first race on the final day of the festival. It could be a fantastic battle between the two and one to certainly keep an eye on.