Never-ending decline of Macedonia’s media

first_img North MacedoniaEurope – Central Asia June 25, 2012 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Never-ending decline of Macedonia’s media Follow the news on North Macedonia May 29, 2015 Find out more News Journalists repeatedly attacked in Macedonian political crisis April 22, 2015 Find out more Help by sharing this information News News Organisation center_img Outspoken columnist threatened, his car torched to go further Receive email alerts March 8, 2017 Find out more News RSF_en North MacedoniaEurope – Central Asia Sinister threat to Macedonian journalist and his family A year after the shockwaves from the closure of the opposition TV station A1 and several leading national dailies, Reporters Without Borders reiterates its deep concern about freedom of information in Macedonia.The country has entered an area of turbulence with no end in sight. The media landscape is marked by the appearance and disappearance of newspapers in a manner totally unrelated to the needs of the market. At the same time, the fundamentals remain the same – journalists with no economic security and polarized media that are funded from unclear sources.Against a backdrop of an increasingly common hate messages and mounting community tension between Macedonians and Albanians, two recent developments have reinforced concern about media freedom – the withdrawal of A2 TV’s licence and the flawed decriminalization of media offences.A1’s closure followed by A2’s“The reason given by the Broadcasting Council for withdrawing A2’s licence was absurd and dishonest,” Reporters Without Borders said. “It was forced to close on the grounds that it was not broadcasting enough news at precisely the moment when it was going to produce more news!This only reinforces suspicions about the independence of the council, which was brought under the government’s control by a reform in July 2011.”The Broadcasting Council withdrew A2’s licence on 13 June on the grounds that it had not respected its licensed status as a TV news channel. A1’s little sister, A2 was an over-the-air channel owned by Velija Ramkovski, whose arrest last year on tax fraud and money laundering charges paralyzed the activities of a third of the country’s media, all controlled by his company,Plus Produkcija.A2 was forced to concentrate on music and entertainment programmes by a lack of cash because, like A1, its bank accounts were frozen. A2’s accounts have continued to be frozen although the courts have since ruled that it is not subject to a tax adjustment.Despite its funding problems, A2 had announced last month that it intended to resume broadcasting news and current affairs programmes with an editorial line critical of the government, in order to fill the gap left by A1’s sudden disappearance. It had begun to recruit journalists to broadcast news bulletins and political talk shows.It was at the end of May, around 10 days after this announcement, that the Broadcasting Council took A2 to task for “not respecting its official status as a news channel” and ordered it to dedicate at least 5 percent of its airtime to news programmes. Its licence was withdrawn three weeks later as it was unable to comply within such a short period.Like A1, which launched the A1 ON (www.A1on.mk) web TV station, A2 is now limited to posting its content online.Decriminalization agreement – an illusory reform?After six months of intense debate, the government and Association of Macedonian Journalists reached an agreement on a proposed legislative reform that would decriminalize defamation and insulting comments. The bill will be examined by the Council of Europe and will be the subject of a public debate before being submitted to Macedonia’s parliament.“The decriminalization of media offences is a big advance but it would be largely negated by the deterrent effect of the size of the fines that would replace prison sentences,” Reporters Without Borders said. “While we welcome the bill’s promotion of media self-regulation and the fact that fines are envisaged only as a last resort, the international principles to which Macedonia has subscribed would still not be translated into national law.“The European Union, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights all stress that the fines imposed for insult and defamation must be proportional both to the harm caused and to ability of the journalists and media to pay. How would badly-paid journalists be able to combat the already widespread scourge of intimidation and self-censorship when faced by the possibility of a fine that is ten times the size of their average monthly salary?”According to the bill, defamation would no longer be a crime punishable by imprisonment and the publication of an apology or retraction could pre-empt a lawsuit. With the aim of limiting the potential for arbitrary decision-making by judges, the bill sets ceilings for fines but they are very high – 2,000 euros for the journalists who writes the offending article, 10,000 euros for the editorwho publishes it and 15,000 euros for the media owner.“A lot depends on how the courts implement a law but the law should at least minimize the dangers,” Reporters Without Borders added. “We urge the Council of Europe to ask Macedonia to ensure that fines are proportional to the ability of journalists and news media to pay.”Several other legislative proposals crucial for the media are languishing. A proposed media law that would replace the one in effect since 2005 is still being drafted. At the same time, no timetable has been made public for the adoption of a proposed foreign media law. Opposition parliamentarians have filed amendments to article 18 of the bill, implying a ban on opinion polls,and article 21, under which any foreign TV station wanting to send a crew to Macedonia would have to request permission from the foreign ministry a month in advance. last_img read more

Maxine Waters Voices Concerns With Community Reinvestment Act

first_img Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Home / Daily Dose / Maxine Waters Voices Concerns With Community Reinvestment Act About Author: Mike Albanese The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago January 16, 2020 2,287 Views Mike Albanese is a reporter for DS News and MReport. He is a University of Alabama graduate with a degree in journalism and a minor in communications. He has worked for publications—both print and online—covering numerous beats. A Connecticut native, Albanese currently resides in Lewisville. Community Reinvestment Act House Financial Services Committee Opportunity Zones 2020-01-16 Mike Albanese Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, sent letters to the Comptroller of the Currency and the Chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, requesting information on the systems and policies for the Community Reinvestment Act rulemaking process. “The Committee is concerned by reports alleging that certain special interest groups have submitted comments in other rulemakings while posing as consumers, small business owners, and other stakeholders,” Water wrote. “These fraudulent comments undermine legitimate debate on proposed rules by creating the false appearance that a position has widespread, grassroot support. …Given the critical importance of CRA to low- and moderate-income communities, the Committee is interested in ensuring any amendments to the CRA are made with full and accurate input from all interested parties.”The House Financial Services Committee said as the OCC and the FDIC have advanced proposals has the Community Reinvestment Act is implemented. The release states Waters and Committee Democrats have worked to ensure that the implementation of the law is not weakened. The Committee is concerned by reports alleging that certain special interest groups have submitted comments in other rulemakings while posing as consumers, small business owners, and other stakeholders,” Waters said in her letter. “These fraudulent comments undermine legitimate debate on proposed rules by creating the false appearance that a position has widespread, grassroots support. Such misrepresentations have been increasing in frequency and complexity in recent years.” Waters said in late 2019 that the Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton quoted comments that were submitted under “suspicious circumstances” in a recent rulemaking. “In 2016, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s efforts to receive comments regarding its payday lending rule were frustrated by an influx of over a million comments, many of which were allegedly created by trade groups to appear as if they came from concerned consumers,” she said. The Financial Services Committee will hold a hearing on January 29 titled, “The Community Reinvestment Act: Is the OCC Undermining the Law’s Purpose and Intent?”On December 19, 2019, the IRS published final regulations on Opportunity Zones. In a commentary on Bloomberg Tax, Forest David Milder partner in the law firm Nixon Peabody, LLP, discusses the highlights of the 544-page regulation publication.Key details Milder notes include the 180-day investing period, the “100% Substantial Improvement Rule,” and tax consequences of sales after 10 years, which Milder notes is the “biggest challenge of all.” Previous: FHFA: PACE Loans a Threat to GSEs? Next: HUD Releases $8.2B in Aid to Puerto Rico Maxine Waters Voices Concerns With Community Reinvestment Act 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 agocenter_img  Print This Post Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Share Save Related Articles Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, News Subscribe The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Sign up for DS News Daily Tagged with: Community Reinvestment Act House Financial Services Committee Opportunity Zoneslast_img read more

Three millionth passenger at Split Airport

first_imgSplit Airport is connected with more than a hundred flights a day during the summer months by direct flights of about 60 European airlines, which connect Split as the main center of Dalmatia with 108 destinations in Europe. For the past eight years, Split Airport has seen an increase in the number of passengers every year. Their number rose from 1,2 million in 2010. to last year’s record of 2,8 million, and this year the three millionth passenger and a new record were recorded.Thus, last week, on October 25, the three millionth passenger was welcomed at Split Airport for the first time in history, and he arrived on flight OU 413 of Croatia Airlines from Frankfurt.This is the result of a positive growth trend in the number of passengers and air traffic, especially in the summer. Namely, Split Airport in the first nine months recorded an increase in passenger traffic of 10% compared to the same period last year. In July alone, almost 700.000 passengers passed through Split Airport, which is also a record number of passengers in one month in the history of not only Split Airport but also other airports in Croatia.Low cost carriers are the most important group in Split, bringing as many as half of passengers to Resnik. Works on the reconstruction and upgrade of the passenger terminal, which is being expanded by an additional 35 square meters, for which the Airport has partially provided its own funds, should be completed by the 2019 season.According to previous announcements by airlines, the growth trend in passenger and aircraft traffic will continue in the off-season.Tourist records of Split-Dalmatia CountyAccording to the eVisitor system and the SDŽ Tourist Board, 431.504 arrivals and 2,117.324 overnight stays were realized in commercial accommodation in Central Dalmatia in September, which is an increase of 9 percent in arrivals and 1 percent in overnight stays.In the first nine months, 3.231.624 arrivals (an increase of 8 percent) and 16.928.079 overnight stays (an increase of 5 percent) were realized in commercial accommodation. The most numerous guests in the first nine months are Poles with 308 thousand arrivals and 2,3 million overnight stays and Germans with 2 million arrivals, which grew by 6 percent in arrivals and 2 percent in overnight stays. Significant growth in arrivals and overnight stays in the first nine months compared to last year was recorded from the US market, with 25 percent in arrivals and 23 percent in overnight stays, as well as Scandinavian, British and French guests.Split-Dalmatia County is a record holder in Croatian nautical tourism with 1,34 million overnight stays by boaters in the first nine months, or almost half of all nautical overnight stays made in Croatia.last_img read more