Brussels triggers Article 7 but ignores Poland’s press freedom violations

first_img Use the Digital Services Act to make democracy prevail over platform interests, RSF tells EU Reporters Without Borders (RSF) welcomes today’s European Commission decision to trigger Article 7 of the European Union treaty against Poland, finally taking the strong action that RSF has urged for months. But RSF regrets that the decision only addresses Poland’s moves against judicial independence and ignores its repeated attacks on the media. January 28, 2021 Find out more to go further European Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans addresses a press conference announcing the triggering of the Article 7 procedure / AFP RSF_en June 2, 2021 Find out more Receive email alerts Follow the news on Poland News This is the first time in the EU’s history that the Commission has used Article 7 in an attempt to “safeguard the rule of law” in a member country. Triggering the article sets off a complex procedure that could result in Poland losing its voting rights within the Council of the European Union (comprising the 28 member states).”We welcome this decision, which shows a determination to defend the European democratic model,” said Julie Majerczak, RSF’s representative in Brussels. “After two years of a dialogue of the deaf between Brussels and Warsaw, triggering the Article 7 procedure was essential. “The Polish government has to understand that it cannot trample on European values and threaten democracy with impunity. We nonetheless regret that the Commission is only addressing the judicial issues and is ignoring the ultra-conservative PiS government’s attacks on the media.”The situation in Poland is alarming. As well as adopting judicial reforms that are liable to eliminate all judicial independence, the Polish authorities have been taking measures that threaten all checks and balances and fundamental freedoms, especially freedom of the press.After bringing the state media under its direct control, the government has been taking action to intimidate independent journalists who dare to criticize its policies, and has been trying to throttle critical media outlets by imposing astronomic fines on them.”These attacks cannot go unanswered,” said Pauline Adès-Mével, the head of RSF’s EU-Balkans desk. “This European Union measure should not be limited to Poland’s judicial reforms but should include the violations of all the European values cited in Article 2. The EU must reject the Polish government’s entire anti-democratic agenda.”Poland is ranked 54th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2017 World Press Freedom Index, seven places lower than in the 2016 index, in which it suffered a spectacular 29-place fall. Poland’s new social media law puts freedom of expression at risk, RSF warnscenter_img News News December 20, 2017 Brussels triggers Article 7 but ignores Poland’s press freedom violations Help by sharing this information News With firing of four editors, “repolonisation” under way in Poland May 10, 2021 Find out more PolandEurope – Central Asia Media independence Judicial harassmentEconomic pressure PolandEurope – Central Asia Media independence Judicial harassmentEconomic pressure Organisation last_img read more


Scoreboard roundup — 6/22/18

first_img Written by FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailiStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Here are the scores from yesterday’s sports events:INTERLEAGUEBaltimore  10  Atlanta 7   F/15AMERICAN LEAGUEOakland   11  Chi White Sox   2Cleveland   10  Detroit    0Tampa Bay   2  N-Y Yankees   1Boston    14  Seattle    10Chi White Sox   6  Oakland   4Texas   8  Minnesota   1Kansas City  1  Houston    0L-A Angels   2  Toronto    1 NATIONAL LEAGUEPhiladelphia  12  Washington   2Arizona    2  Pittsburgh   1    F/13Cincinnati   6  Chi Cubs    3L-A Dodgers   5  N-Y Mets    2Milwaukee   2  St. Louis   1Colorado   11  Miami     3San Diego   6  San Francisco   2 Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. June 23, 2018 /Sports News – National Scoreboard roundup — 6/22/18center_img Beau Lundlast_img read more


New study sheds light on why fetuses rarely get COVID-19

first_imgThe researchers found it lacked the instructions required to manufacture a protein called angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 or, ACE2, which is found throughout the body in adults.The SARS-CoV-2 virus is thought to enter the human body through its airways, then attack organs with high levels of ACE2 receptors, including but not limited to the lungs, blood vessels, kidneys and digestive system.The placenta’s genetic material also lacked the instructions to make an enzyme, called TMPRSS2, that SARS-CoV-2 uses to enter a cell.”The molecules that are required to make the cells susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection are rarely expressed in the placenta,” Romero told AFP.  Fetuses are rarely infected with COVID-19 because the placenta produces very small amounts of the receptor that the coronavirus latches on to when it invades human cells, according to a study.The placenta plays a role in stopping harmful substances from being passed down from a mother to her unborn child — but certain pathogens like the Zika virus are known to cross this barrier frequently.The new study, which was led by Roberto Romero at the US National Institutes of Health, and published in the journal eLife on Tuesday, sequenced genetic material taken from placental membranes that contain the fetus and amniotic fluid. To cross-check their methodology, the team then examined whether the genetic instructions used to create the cell receptors attacked by the Zika virus and cytomegalovirus were present, and found these were abundantly expressed.”This is a way to be sure that the experiments we are doing are meaningful,” added Romero.So-called “vertical transmission” of the coronavirus from a pregnant mother to her fetus has been the subject of intense interest since the start of the pandemic.On Tuesday, doctors in France said they had confirmed a case where this occurred in a baby boy born in March with brain swelling and neurological symptoms from which he later recovered.But the overall prevalence of such transmission is thought to be extremely rare — on the order of two percent or less.Romero’s team wrote in their paper that SARS-CoV-2 might infect fetuses by interacting with other proteins, not the ones they looked for — but further research was needed.center_img Topics :last_img read more


Angels comeback comes up short in loss to Seattle Mariners

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Jose Suarez’s rocky start sinks Angels in loss to Astros Angels’ Shohei Ohtani spending downtime working in outfield Mike Trout, with bat and glove, helps Angels end losing streak Six Angels relievers — including one they certainly hoped not to have to use — combined to hold the Mariners to one run over the final 8-2/3 innings, after Peña recorded just one out.“I don’t know how the bullpen got us to the ninth, to be honest with you,” Manager Mike Scioscia said. “These guys were stretched thin. They did a great job. If we had not gotten back into it, there’s no doubt we would have had to go to Plan B to save some guys.”Plan B was catcher Francisco Arcia pitching, which would have made him the first Angels position player to pitch in 25 years.Instead, the Angels relievers and hitters made it a game.Sign up for Home Turf and get exclusive stories every SoCal sports fan must read, sent daily. Subscribe here.Down 8-0 in the fifth, the Angels got on the board on a Justin Upton two-run homer. The Angels, who have the worst average in the majors against lefties, got nothing else in six innings against lefty Marco Gonzales. In the seventh, though, Gonzales was gone. Upton and Albert Pujols drove in runs and then Simmons was robbed by left fielder Denard Span of a three-run homer. Instead, it went for a sacrifice fly, pulling the Angels within 8-5.But the Angels could not finish the job. They came up empty in the eighth against Alex Colome and the ninth against Edwin Diaz.“Even though it’s a loss, it’s a good feeling knowing no matter what the score, we can catch up,” Simmons said.Simmons said the mood in the dugout was still upbeat, even after Peña gave up seven runs in a nightmare first inning.“It was night and day from what we had seen in his last start,” Scioscia said of Peña, who gave up two runs in six innings in his last outing. “Usually he’s around the zone, has good life, uses all his pitches. He never got comfortable. He missed his spots. Those guys had good looks at him, obviously.”Peña allowed hits to the first four hitters and then a walk. After a strikeout, he issued a walk and then gave up two more hits, accounting for seven runs.Peña, who had a 2.73 ERA in his first six big league starts, sounded undeterred after the game. He said he didn’t even review the outing on video to diagnose what went wrong.“I felt normal, like any other day,” he said through an interpreter. “It was just one of those days that things didn’t go your way.”The last time an Angels starter allowed seven or more runs while getting one out or fewer was Joel Piñeiro in 2011.Peña’s poor performance left the Angels to maneuver 26 outs with a shorthanded bullpen. Of the seven relievers on the roster, two of them were most likely to be used only in an emergency.Related Articlescenter_img Clippers, Mavericks brace for the unknown in Game 4 PreviousLos Angeles Angels’ David Fletcher, right, scores without a throw to Seattle Mariners catcher Mike Zunino, left, on a single by Justin Upton, during the seventh inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, July 29, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)Los Angeles Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons, left, catcher Jose Briceno, right, and first baseman Jefry Marte, center, have a discussion with starting pitcher Felix Pena during the first inning of a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, July 29, 2018. Pena did not last the first inning after facing nine batters. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)Los Angeles Angels relief pitcher Jim Johnson works against the Seattle Mariners during the first inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, July 29, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsSeattle Mariners starting pitcher Marco Gonzales delivers to a Los Angeles Angels batter during the first inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, July 29, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)Seattle Mariners’ Dee Gordon, right, slides in to steal second as Los Angeles Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons takes the late throw during the first inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, July 29, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia, left, pulls starting pitcher Felix Pena, with first baseman Jefry Marte watching during the first inning of a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, July 29, 2018. Pena did not last the first inning after facing nine batters. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)Los Angeles Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons turns two, stepping on second to force out Seattle Mariners’ Denard Span, then throwing to first to get Nelson Cruz during the fourth inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, July 29, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)Seattle Mariners center fielder Mitch Haniger uses his body to stop a line drive bounce hit by Los Angeles Angels’ Andrelton Simmons for a single during the fourth inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, July 29, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)Seattle Mariners’ Mitch Haniger is hit by a pitch during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, July 29, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)Los Angeles Angels’ Justin Upton, right, is congratulated by Mike Trout, left, with Seattle Mariners catcher Mike Zunino looking on after Upton hit a two-run home run during the fifth inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, July 29, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)Los Angeles Angels right fielder Kole Calhoun sprints to catch a fly ball hit by Seattle Mariners’ Jean Seguraduring the fifth inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, July 29, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)Seattle Mariners left fielder Denard Span leaps at the fence to catch Los Angeles Angels’ Andrelton Simmons RBI sacrifice fly ball, to score Justin Upton, during the seventh inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, July 29, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)Los Angeles Angels’ David Fletcher, right, scores without a throw to Seattle Mariners catcher Mike Zunino, left, on a single by Justin Upton, during the seventh inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, July 29, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)Los Angeles Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons, left, catcher Jose Briceno, right, and first baseman Jefry Marte, center, have a discussion with starting pitcher Felix Pena during the first inning of a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, July 29, 2018. Pena did not last the first inning after facing nine batters. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)NextShow Caption1 of 12Los Angeles Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons, left, catcher Jose Briceno, right, and first baseman Jefry Marte, center, have a discussion with starting pitcher Felix Pena during the first inning of a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, July 29, 2018. Pena did not last the first inning after facing nine batters. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)ExpandANAHEIM — Felix Peña left the Angels in a hole that would require an entire team effort to try to escape.They almost made it.Peña gave up seven runs before the Angels even came to bat on Sunday afternoon. They  trailed by eight before eventually losing 8-5 to the Seattle Mariners, snapping their four-game winning streak.“We didn’t get the win, but it’s a positive note that down a lot of runs early, we managed to make it a game still,” said Andrelton Simmons, who was robbed of a three-run homer that would have pulled the Angels within one. “We were a couple inches away from a different result.” Noé Ramírez threw 28 pitches in two innings on Saturday and Hansel Robles had pitched the previous two days. That left Jim Johnson, Cam Bedrosian, Justin Anderson, José Álvarez and Blake Parker to figure out a way to get through the rest of the afternoon.Johnson got seven outs while allowing one run. Bedrosian got four outs, Álvarez got three and Parker got four, leaving just Anderson with eight outs to go. He got five, before the Angels were left with no choice but to use Robles.The Angels rarely use a reliever three days in a row. The last one who did it was Keynan Middleton in April. Middleton soon thereafter wound up on the disabled list with an injury that required Tommy John surgery.“Everyone contributed, everyone did a great job of keeping us in it,” Parker said. “I think our offense did a great job of coming back and scoring some runs. That helps you get into the game a little bit… Just fell a little bit short.” Angels offense breaks out to split doubleheader with Astros last_img read more


Half-time: Wednesday 0 Fulham 0

first_imgFulham were level at the break after an uninspiring first 45 minutes of their Capital One Cup second-round tie at Hillsborough.Pajtim Kasami sent a 25-yarder over the bar, and at the other end Whites keeper Mark Schwarzer kept out a long-range effort from Michail Antonio.And Antonio missed the best chance of the first half when he burst into the penalty area only to fire over.Fulham were forced to make a late change to their team after Bryan Ruiz suffered an injury during the warm-up and was replaced in the starting line-up by Damien Duff.Summer signing Hugo Rodallega was handed his first competitive start for the Whites.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more


Impending deadline could stop rail shipments in their tracks

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Spring planting may seem quite far off, but farmers are already looking ahead with a wary eye on something that may derail all their plans — a nationwide railroad shutdown. Unable to comply with the looming Dec. 31 deadline for implementing positive train control, railroads are warning customers that they might stop rolling altogether — and soon, unless Congress gives them more time.Positive train control is a GPS-based train control system designed to prevent collisions and over-speed derailments. Under the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008, railroads are required to implement PTC systems by the end of this year on mainline tracks that carry “toxic by inhalation” materials like anhydrous ammonia — a key fertilizer ingredient — as well as passenger traffic.BNSF, Union Pacific and other large rail carriers say they’ve been working on PTC since the mandate was put in place in 2008, but it’s a very large, complex system made up of multiple independent technologies, many of which didn’t exist seven years ago.According to information from the Federal Railroad Administration and the railroads themselves, no Class I freight railroad will be in compliance with PTC requirements by the end of the year. At least one railroad — BNSF — has said if Congress doesn’t extend the deadline, it plans on stopping all traffic on lines that are required to have PTC installed, and they won’t wait until the end of the year to do so.To ensure there are no TIH shipments on their systems as of Jan. 1, 2016, many railroads plan on issuing TIH notices prior to Thanksgiving. Faced with the likelihood of fewer rail shipments in the last quarter of this year and potentially no shipments in early 2016, fertilizer manufacturers, who work around the clock to ensure an adequate supply for on-time planting, will probably cut way back on production, according to the Fertilizer Institute. And even if — and that’s a very big “if” — fertilizer manufacturers don’t slow down, fewer shipments in late 2015 will be a big problem for spring planting in 2016 because rail shipments of fertilizer are distributed equally across the year to meet demand.The American Farm Bureau Federation and other organizations, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Retail Federation, highlighted the catastrophic consequences that would follow a shutdown of large segments of the nation’s freight rail network, in a letter to Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. From farm inputs and goods to coal, automobiles, retail consumer goods and chemicals like those used to purify water for drinking, a major service disruption would have cascading impacts on the nation’s food, energy and water supplies, as well as transportation, construction and nearly every sector of the U.S. economy.As compliance with the PTC mandate is simply not achievable, the groups are urging Congress to act by Oct. 31 to extend the deadline to allow railroads enough time to put the system in place. In its multiyear highway bill, the Senate has given the railroads another three years to meet the PTC deadline, but the House has yet to act on its version of the bill.Unless Congress acts it’s not only rail shipments that will be grinding to a halt; farmers, ranchers and the rural communities and national economy they support will also be well off track.last_img read more


NAB 2016: DJI Releases a Cinematic Drone, New Ronin-MX, and More

first_imgNAB 2016: DJI follows up much-anticipated Phantom 4 with an incredible drone designed for cinema cameras.Hot off the release of the amazing Phantom 4, DJI has announced the latest Matrice drone. DJI also announced the new Ronin-MX and some new accessories for the Osmo. Here’s everything we’ve learned from NAB 2016.Matrice 600The original Matrice was designed as a “developer-targeted platform designed for customization.” The new model takes aim at the Freefly Alta series. The Matrice 600 is DJI’s new flagship cinema drone.The drone is designed to carry professional cinema cameras from ARRI, RED, and Blackmagic — but also still works with DSLR, mirrorless, and the company’s own Zenmuse series.The Matrice 600 was designed alongside the new Ronin-MX, the first DJI aerial-compatible gimbal. Attached to the Ronin-MX, the camera can rotate 360-degrees continuously. Those familiar with the Phantom series and Inspire 1 will recognize the Intelligent Flight Modes, of which the M600 offers Follow Me, Waypoints, and Point of Interest.The drone is powered by six intelligent batteries, designed for easy transport and replacement. With a 13.2 lb payload, the M600 can fly up to fifteen minutes. Using a lighter camera like the Zenmuse X5R, the Matrice 600 can fly a whopping 35 minutes. Video transmission is controlled by Lightbridge 2, offering a live video feed up to 1080p at 60fps from up to three miles away. The M600 also features an SDI output, allowing broadcasters to play a live feed from the drone during production. Specs:Body Weight – 20 lbs (with 6 batteries)Max Takeoff Weight – 33.28 lbs6 Intelligent Flight BatteriesFlight Time – 16 to 40 Minutes Based on Camera WeightRetractable Landing GearOperating Temperature – 14° to 104° F (-10° to 40° C)Max Angular Velocity – Pitch: 300°/s, Yaw: 150°/sMax Pitch Angle – 25°Max Speed – 40 mphA3 Flight Control SystemVideo Output – HDMI, SDI, USBPrice: $4,599 (M600 Only)$5,999 (M600 and Ronin-MX)Here is a look at the Matrice 600 on set. Osmo AccessoriesIn an attempt to salvage the Osmo, DJI has released a series of new accessories for the handheld stabilizer. While there’s potential for a better edition of the stabilizer in the future, these accessories only mask many of the Osmo’s issues. Most notably, bad audio and (ironically) stabilization issues. Accessories like the Z-Axis aim to eliminate the bounce of the operators steps.Accessories:Z-AxisExternal Battery ExtenderX5 AdapterExtension RodRODE VideoMicro HypercardioidManfrotto Lumie Art LED Light Operating Temperature – 5° F ~ 120° F (-15° C ~ 50° C)Price: $1599Here’s the Ronin-MX in action on set. Ronin-MXThe Ronin-MX is the latest version of the Ronin stabilizer series. The Ronin-MX was designed as a lightweight alternative to the Ronin and Ronin-M. While comparable in ability, the Ronin-MX was specifically designed to attach to the Matrice 600. The Ronin-MX will allow you to go from the ground to the air in minutes.The battery has been repositioned to better balance weight, and a second battery can be used to power the camera. The gimbal can tilt 135° on its vertical axis. The Ronin-MX can also communicate with GPS and compass modules, allowing it to stay level even in high speed situations.The DJI Go app has built-in camera profiles that automatically calibrate the gimbal with the push of a button. The systems uses Lightbridge 2, allowing you to control the camera up to three miles away — and even wirelessly focus — using the DJI Focus system. Adjust the joystick controls to slow down or speed up the pan and tilt sensitivity.   Specs:Weight – 6.11 lbs (with handle bar)Load Weight – 10 lbsControlled Rotation Range Pan axis control: 360°Tilt axis control: +45° to -135° Roll axis control: ± 25° Personal ThoughtsI’ve been very pleased with my DJI Inspire 1 and Phantom series flight experiences. I was excited for the Osmo when it was released — but after purchasing, I was dissatisfied with the logistics and customer experience of getting my hands on the Osmo, as well as its overall performance. I am pleased to see an effort to fix so many of the Osmo’s original issues.I am most excited that DJI is continuing to develop multipurpose tools. Being able to use my Inspire 1 camera as a handheld is what first drew me to the Osmo. Now that the company has integrated flight with the Ronin stabilizer series, I am thrilled at the possibilities for filmmakers and broadcasters. The major draw DJI has over Freefly’s Alta and MoVI is price. With the integration of the M600 and Ronin-MX, you’ll start seeing more of these high-end cinema drones on independent features, rather than the large-budget commercials and films that can afford Freefly gear.last_img read more


Interview: Behind A24’s Menashe with the Director and DP

first_imgHow shooting a guerrilla-style feature film with non-actors and limited resources brought us one of the best, most brilliantly crafted films of the year.All images via A24.One of the most engaging and talked-about films to come out of Sundance this year landed a stellar distribution deal with A24, cementing the film’s success and gathering praise for the film’s creators. Filmed entirely in Yiddish, Menashe is the story of a father forced to give up his son after the death of his wife. Due to the traditional standards of his Hasidic community, a parent cannot raise their child alone. The film is a funny yet emotional trip through the lives of Menashe and his son as they spend their remaining time together.We spoke with the film’s director, Joshua Weinstein, and the director of photography, Yoni Brook, about the grueling process of shooting a film with limited funds on the Canon C300.ProductionWe asked Weinstein why he and DP Yoni Brook wanted to shoot a film like Menashe.We were not interested in making Hollywood films … studio-type movies. We loved exploring New York City. Around every corner, there’s something new and unexpected.When you think of New York City, you think of three things. The Empire State Building, yellow taxis, and black-hatted Hasidic Jews.Weinstein knew that there was a film he could make in the thriving Jewish community. The journey through production was an arduous labor of love. Whether it was dealing with unreliable cast and crew, or finding the necessary funding mid-production, roadblock after roadblock only inspired the director to keep moving toward the finish line.The duo chose to shoot the film on the Canon C300. Its low-profile body and versatile performance allowed them to capture authentic Hasidic Jewish lifestyles. Making sure all the actors were comfortable was a top priority for Weinstein, stating that “as guests in their community it was important to make everybody feel safe and relaxed.”Brook recalls, “The ALEXA Mini wasn’t out yet, and I doubt we could have afforded it. [The Canon C300] was the best option that was mobile at the time.”Weinstein and Brook “wanted to make sure they way we captured the film would allow all this people who welcomed us into their homes to be the best actors they could. So many of them have never seen a movie, let alone acted in one … the camera had to make them feel comfortable, as we were guests in their community.”This meant they needed as little gear as possible. They couldn’t assemble a massive camera rig and still capture natural performances. Brook went on to say, “We didn’t want matte boxes, tripods, or infrastructure. We were also shooting in locations we weren’t sure we could film in. The camera had to be mobile.”Weinstein and Brook went on to discuss their familiarity with Canon cameras from previous shoots. With a run-and-gun shoot like this, knowing your equipment is an absolute must. The filmmakers refused to carry unnecessary equipment and weight around.As for lenses, Weinstein said, “We mostly used cheap Russian still lenses that we adapted.” Those allowed him to capture the creamy look he wanted, and they were easy to flare. Weinstein, “wanted the feel of neon and sodium vapor lights.”As for the rest of the gear, Brook quickly apologized: “Sorry, gearheads, there was no MoVI or Steadicam. No jib arms. We used shoulder mounts, handheld, and a monopod.”When asked about the decision to shoot this way, Weinstein exclaims, “The performance is the only reason people care … when you’re working with a budget like this, let the actors just do it.”Crafting a Foreign FilmOne of the standout features of this indie flick is that it’s entirely in Yiddish. Weinstein says, “Some movies have dinosaurs, some movies have Transformers, we have real Hasidic Jews.” Filming the movie in English was never even an option. Capturing real, authentic performances from real people was the key to the movie’s success.There were certainly challenges for Weinstein, who wasn’t a native Yiddish speaker. He explained that he “spent an entire month working on the subtitles.” In fact, Weinstein shot the whole film in Yiddish without truly knowing the language.To ensure his actors’ performances were hitting all the right lines and marks, Weinstein’s sound mixer split the audio to live translator. Also, they always had at least one person on the crew who spoke Yiddish and could serve as a translator while helping Yoni and Joshua communicate with the actors.Another major challenge for the film was the general lack of acceptance among the New York community for making the film. Weinstein says members of the community were not keen on the director and his DP documenting their society. Disapproving community members filmed the camera crew and kept tabs on them.So, even though one rabbi had blessed them, another rabbi a few blocks down did not condone the film. Working and directing under this kind of surveillance created a sense of accountability he’d not previously considered.Due to the dynamics of their culture, the actors were at risk of being excommunicated from their community for being involved with the film. The fact that Menashe was willing to put himself in this position just goes to show the level of trust the actor placed in Weinstein and Brook.Working with Non-ActorsIn order to find the right people to play the right roles, Weinstein spent the better part of a decade observing and learning about the community. He wanted to know which members were more approachable, and which to stay away from. The time and dedication Weinstein put forth led the actors to trust him and “take a leap of faith.” The lack of experience among the actors does not matter when it comes to performance. It’s all about building a relationship.A point Weinstein drives home is how important it is to be patient and understanding. When working with non-actors, it’s absolutely crucial to make them feel comfortable around the camera: “Let it play out, and trust them and your crew. Some scenes during production would take ten or more hours to get right, and that’s okay.”Sundance and BeyondOne of the most astounding features about this film is that the lead actor, Menashe, had never even been to a movie theater. Menashe was never entirely sure why anyone wanted to film him doing mundane everyday things. He could not understand why it was even interesting at all.His first experience in a theater was in Park City, Utah at Sundance. Weinstein recalls that his reaction was a sensational whirlwind of emotions ranging from confusion to wonderment to joy. After the screening, having heard people react with tears, laughter, and joy brought an indescribable feeling to Menashe: “Everyone has a story they want to share and be validated in their existence.” said Weinstein.  This speaks to how much care and attention the filmmakers paid to accurately and compassionately crafting a story that documents this lifestyle. At Sundance, the film was picked up by film distributor A24 and slated for a summer release. The future looks bright for these filmmakers, and I can’t wait to see what they come up with next.Menashe will be released on July 28th.What are your thoughts about creating indie films with minimal setups? Let us know in the comments.last_img read more


Poetry in Muslim ‘dialect’ kicks up a storm in Assam

first_imgA group of people accused of portraying the Assamese as xenophobic through poetry, in a dialect associated with Bengal-origin Muslims, has asserted that controversy was being manufactured at a time when the National Register of Citizens (NRC) was being updated in Assam.On July 11, the Assam Police registered an FIR against 10 people after receiving a complaint about a poem in Miyah — a dialect of Bengal-origin Muslims — lamenting the citizenship challenges faced by the religious minorities in the State.The poem titled I am a Miyah is written by Kazi Sharowar Hussain and translated into English by Shalim M. Hussain, both based in western Assam’s Barpeta district. They are named in the FIR along with eight others.Pranabjit Doloi, a freelance journalist, had filed the complaint on the basis of a viral video which shows the poem being recited. “They have the freedom to write poems, but I have objected to their use of certain terms conveying to the world that the Assamese people are xenophobic and hate Muslims,” Mr. Doloi asserted to The Hindu.“The real intention of this poem is to motivate and provoke their community against the system. This is a threat to the Assamese people and national security. The poem talks of their men being gunned down, and women being raped. Assam has no such history, and Assamese people were not involved even in the Nellie [February 1983] massacre,” he contended.Mr. Doloi also alleged that the poem had been “copied” from ‘ID Card’ by Arabian poet Mahmoud Darwish, with certain words replaced for local effect. “Instead of ID Card number used by Darwish, this poem uses NRC number, which is illegal,” Mr. Doloi asserted.The poet and the translator, who could not be immediately reached for comment, however, issued a statement along with the other accused on Friday, rubbishing the charges made against them.Protest poetry“Miyah poetry began in 2016 as a series of poems opposing the use of the ‘Miyah’ as a slang word for Assamese Muslims of Bengal-origin,” the group of 10 persons said. “Today, ‘Miyah poetry’ is an umbrella term for poems by many, mostly young poets, from within and even outside the Bengal-origin Assamese Muslim community. These poems include stories of humiliation and discrimination, love poems, poems spreading social awareness, etc.,” they explained.The current debate over Miyah poetry was “baseless” as a few lines of poems written three years ago were cherry-picked and taken out of context with malicious intent, they contended. “Not a single Miyah poem uses the word xenophobia,” they asserted.They also trashed the allegation that Miyah poetry was a threat to the Assamese language. “This is an utter lie. A huge majority of the Miyah poems are written in Assamese, some in English and Hindi and a handful in local dialects… the current controversy is absolutely needless and is being created by groups with vested interests at a very crucial time when the NRC update in Assam is nearing completion,” they said in the statement.Probe onDharmendra K. Das, the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Guwahati Central, said the police had been probing the case in coordination with their counterparts in the districts where the 10 accused live. “We are taking time since it involves the use of information technology,” he said.“We have not arrested [any one] yet,” he added.The 10 persons have been booked under sections 420/406 of the Indian Penal Code, read with various sections of the Copyright Act, 1957.last_img read more


London Olympics: Shiva Thapa knocked out of 56 kg category boxing

first_imgIndia’s young medal hope Shiva Thapa made a first round exit in the men’s 56kg category of the 2012 London Olympics at the Excel Arena in London Saturday after he was given a severe beating by Mexico’s Oscar Valdez Fierro.The 18-year-old, the youngest Indian boxer to qualify for the Olympics , saw his dream crushed by the Mexican fighter, who defeated him 14-9.Thapa lost the first round 2-4 but showed his mettle as he came back strongly taking the second 4-3. However, the third round was a one-way traffic as the 21-year-old Mexican decimated the Indian fighter 7-3.Shiva became the first Indian boxer to be knocked out of the mega-event.The young prodigy from Assam was expected to put on a good show, especially after winning the gold medal at the Olympic qualifying tournament in Astana.last_img read more