News “At a time when Americans desperately need a steady stream of consistent evidence-based information, President Trump has turned the press briefing room into a political circus full of misinformation and self aggrandizement,” said Dokhi Fassihian, Executive Director of Reporters Without Borders USA. “More abhorrent is the vitriol with which the president is treating the journalists who are risking their health to bring Americans information about their government’s response to this public health emergency. Each of these incidents represents a sinister attempt to scapegoat the press with hateful rhetoric designed to distract, deflect, and dodge critically important questions about the administration’s response to COVID-19.” Help by sharing this information Organisation After abandoning the daily press briefing for more than a year, the White House decided to conduct daily COVID-19 task force briefings once the pandemic swept through the United States. President Trump has, however, exploited these briefings for political gain and attacked at least eight journalists from NBC, ABC, FOX, CNN, PBS and CBS since the briefings started airing daily on March 16. The briefings sometimes last for more than two hours, and much of the time is spent with President Trump at the podium lodging insults, contradicting himself and his administration’s messaging on the pandemic, and even sharing unsubstantiated medical information. Several major networks, including CNN and MSNBC, have at times chosen not to air the briefings live or in full due to the legitimate concern of accidentally spreading misinformation. As part of Tracker 19, an RSF project to evaluate COVID-19’s impact on journalism by documenting state censorship, the targeting of journalists, and disinformation related to the pandemic, RSF USA has compiled a list of major incidents in which President Trump has attacked journalists for their work covering his administration’s response to the pandemic. April 8, 2020 RSF calls on Trump to end attacks on journalists, encourages news outlets to assess coverage of COVID-19 briefings MANDEL NGAN / AFP RSF_en WhatsApp blocks accounts of at least seven Gaza Strip journalists The United States is ranked 48th and 177th respectively out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2019 World Press Freedom Index. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on President Donald Trump to end the vicious attacks on reporters covering the White House’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. RSF also encourages news organizations to assess their live coverage of the COVID-19 briefings. Receive email alerts June 3, 2021 Find out more Facebook’s Oversight Board is just a stopgap, regulation urgently needed, RSF says United StatesAmericas Protecting journalistsMedia independence June 7, 2021 Find out more Follow the news on United States The below list seeks to highlight noteworthy incidents from the last month and is not exhaustive: News to go further United StatesAmericas Protecting journalistsMedia independence On March 17, a White House official called COVID-19 the “Kung-Flu” to CBS News reporter Weijia Jiang’s face.On March 20, after being asked about a message he had for Americans worried about the coronavirus, President Trump attacked NBC News reporter Peter Alexander in a rant in which he said, “I say that you are a terrible reporter. That’s what I say.”On March 25, CBS News reporter Paula Reid asked the president whether his goal to reopen the country by Easter was rooted in personal political interests, and he shot back at her, saying: “I think there are certain people that would like it to do financially poorly because they think that would be very good as far as defeating me at the polls. And I don’t know if that is so, but I do think it’s so that there are people in your profession that would like that to happen, I think it’s very clear.”On March 27, President Trump tweeted about New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman: “She is a third rate reporter who has nothing going. A Fake News ‘journalist’.” This was in response to a tweet by Haberman quoting the president saying “I want them to be appreciative, referring to governors criticizing the administration’s response to COVID-19.On March 29, PBS reporter Yamiche Alcindor asked President Trump to clarify comments he made about how requests for supplies from governors were overblown and unnecessary, and he responded by accusing Alcindor of being “threatening” and telling her to “be nice.” In addition, CNN reporter Jeremy Diamond asked the president whether he had instructed Vice President Mike Pence not to call governors he felt were unappreciative of federal assistance during the coronavirus crisis, despite video evidence to the contrary. President Trump attacked Diamond, calling him “fake news” and telling him he was “lying.” That same night, President Trump bashed the media on Twitter, saying “The Lamestream Media is the dominant force in trying to get me to keep our country closed as long as possible in the hope that it will be detrimental to my election success.”On March 30, President Trump attacked CNN reporter Jim Acosta after he asked him a question about coronavirus testing per capita in the United States, calling his question “snarky.”On April 1, PBS reporter Yamiche Alcindor attempted to clarify President Trump’s comments on governors requesting medical equipment they don’t actually need. President Trump interrupted her twice, saying “that’s a nasty, snarky question.”On April 3, CBS News reporter Weijia Jiang asked President Trump about a comment Jared Kushner made regarding a federal stockpile of medical equipment. President Trump attacked her, saying “Why are you asking me? What’s that a gotcha? A gotcha? You use the word ‘our.’ Our — you know what ‘our’ means? The United States of America.” President Trump added that she asked her question in a “very nasty tone.”On April 6, President Trump attacked two reporters during the nightly briefing. When Fox News reporter Kristin Fisher asked about the lag in hospitals receiving COVID-19 test results, a visibly frustrated President Trump told her, “You should say, ‘Congratulations, great job’ instead of being so horrid in the way you ask a question.” He also called ABC reporter and White House Correspondents’ Association President Jon Karl a “third-rate reporter” who will “never make it.” News News NSO Group hasn’t kept its promises on human rights, RSF and other NGOs say April 28, 2021 Find out more
EDITORS NOTE: Posted below is a Letter to The Editor Of The City County Observer written by Mayoral candidate Gail Riecken on October 7, 2015. At that time we posted her letter without bias, opinion or editing. Today we re-post it with opinion. Our opinion is that it looks like Gail Riecken Letter to the Editor was track on. Bottom line, it looks like what Mrs. Riecken wrote on October 7, 2015 has proven to be a correct concerning the future financial challenges of our city.During the City election of 2015 Mayor Winnecke, his Controller Russ Lloyd Jr and his hand picked City Council candidates put a successful political spin that discredited Gail Riecken comments about the city having a looming budget crisis. In fact all we heard during that campaign from Mayor Winnecke and his hand picked council candidates was that City of Evansville financial condition was in excellent shape.What’s even more amazing is that current City Council members Connie Robinson, Dan McGinn, Dr. Dan Adams, Jonathan Weaver and Missy Mosby all knew that Evansville was facing a major budget shortfall concerning the Employee Healthcare program during the 2015 city election. They also were aware that the General Fund was in trouble because of the City excessive spending practices on capital projects. We know for a fact the former Councilman and Finance Chairman John Friend CPA told all of them on numerous occasions about the looming financial crisis that the City of Evansville faces.We hope after you read Mrs. Riecken October 7, 2015 letter you will stand up and demand that our elected city officials start practicing ‘Good Public Policy” concerning the future spending of our heard earned tax dollars!Please take time and vote in todays “Readers Polls”. Today question is: Are you getting sick and tired of our elected and appointed City officials playing political games with our hard earn tax dollars?RIECKEN CHARGES THAT WINNECKE CONTINUES TO DENY CITY HAS SERIOUS FINANCIAL PROBLEMSReading the article from the September 29th newspaper about the transfer of casino and rainy day money reminds me yet again that the city has a serious financial problem that Mayor Winnecke continues to deny. He uses the bond rating and audits to proclaim a solid financial situation. He is confused on the issues. In his September 12 Letter to the Editor he said, “It has been confirmed time and time again by the state’s independent audits and the independent bond rating agencies that the city has operated in a financially sound, efficient and prudent manner.”Even if you take Winnecke’s position, he cannot make that claim. The audit for 2014 has not been completed by the State Board of Accounts, so no one has any idea where we stand. Also, it was the dissention over the 2013 audit last year that caught many people’s attention, including mine, that something is wrong with the finances. As for the hotel bonds, why weren’t they higher? After all, payback is guaranteed with casino and COIT (local income tax) monies, just like the arena, which was rated higher than the hotel.The reality is the city is not financially sound. During his term, the Mayor has decreased the city reserves – with the starting general fund balance going from approximately $4,000,000 to $307,000 in in just three short years. At the same time, the Mayor has increased the city’s debt from $396 million, to $514 million by the end of this year. That is $4,278.32 dollars of debt for every man, woman, and child in the city of Evansville.Just to stay in the black for 2014 and continue to paint the picture that all is well, the Mayor shored up the general fund with a $2,400,000 advance from the water and sewer utility. Now, we see the Mayor had to borrow from the casino monies and emergency rainy day fund. He has no reserves, he cannot control spending and he does not plan to.One indicator of government spending is efficiency. There is a table of comparisons on the Gateway Indiana website. From 2012 to 2014, looking at the per person efficiency rates of the top four cities of comparable size to Evansville, Fort Wayne cut their per capita spending by 1.66%. South Bend raised their per-capita spending by .72%. Indianapolis cut their per-capita spending by 4.82%. Evansville increased per capita spending by 4.98%! That is spending $1,877.14 for every man, woman, and child in the city of Evansville. Not only are we the highest in spending, we are way out in front, and the spending is spiraling out of control.The other issue that came to mind about the City Council meeting on Monday was how the administration refused to tell us exactly how the monies to the casino and rainy day fund will be repaid. If you spend more than you take in (about $600,000 per month) and the November tax monies must help pay the bills till next property tax monies, you tell me how the Mayor is going to pay back the monies.You can’t ignore the fact there is a shroud that covers the details, whatever the issue, such as why the administration left one accounting method that gives a true picture of the finances or why the council and the public could not get solid financial information on the hotel project.Time and time again we hear Mayor Winnecke say that “Since taking office, our administration has spent less than what has been budgeted by our City Council every year.”This has been the rallying cry of Mayor Winnecke in 2015. However, the details are that he absolutely spent more money than he has brought in (from controller’s financial books). He greatly over-projects revenues during budgeting, and then recognizes the over projection later in the year. However, the problem is, when the revenues are reduced and not coming in, the Mayor does not address reducing spending to be in line with the actual revenues the city is receiving.Evidence is a budget meeting in the mayor’s office in August or early September of 2014. Mr. Hedden of Umbaugh was on the phone with Councilmembers Dr. Adams, John Friend and Conor O’Daniel, the Mayor. Controller Russ Lloyd and Steve Schaefer. There was one more person from the Controller’s office. In that meeting Mr. Hedden said that the Mayor Needed a spending plan. There has been none to date and it is over a year later and millions more wasted.The Mayor has nothing in his checking account, and rather than trying to curtail the spending, he simply looks for other bank accounts he can borrow money from to continue his spending spree. If we truly want to get our city back in strong financial standing, we must change the philosophy of government and that means starting with a thorough assessment to find out exactly where we stand financially, department by department. Then we must create a spending plan and a strict budget to make sure that we know where every dollar is. To move forward we must have the continued resources to do so. That means conserving and spending wisely.Our “cash flow” issue that was addressed at the September 28th City Council meeting is not a cash flow issue at all. The Mayor cannot boldly claim we are financially strong when all evidence is to the contrary. There is an over-spending problem that Mayor Winnecke must face.Please take time and vote in today’s “Readers Poll”. Don’t miss reading today’s Feature articles because they are always an interesting read. Please scroll at the bottom of our paper so you can enjoy our creative political cartoons. Copyright 2015 City County Observer. 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British artisan baker Wayne Caddy has won an international award and a place in exclusive culinary club Elite de la Boulangerie Internationale (EBI). Caddy, head of baking at The School of Artisan Food, has been given the prestigious Elite de la Boulangerie Internationale award, automatically making him a member of the invite-only EBI culinary club“Baking is a passion for me. I’m always trying to discover more about the science of bread baking and how to develop the techniques to make a better bread,” said Caddy.He has represented the UK previously at Paris-based artisan baking competition Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie, and has judged on a select panel at The Masters de la Boulangerie earlier this year, where professional bakers competed for the sought-after ‘World Master Baker’ title. The event was held in conjunction with the Europain exhibition, the largest exhibition in the field of bakery, pastry and chocolate.Caddy uses his 20 years of industry experience to teach pupils at the School of Artisan Food, a registered charity that offers an Advanced Diploma and courses in artisanal baking.Dubbed ‘Daddy Caddy’ by his students, he shows them how to make products including traditional baguettes and wood-fired pizzas.He said more than 90% of the school’s graduates go on to find employment, with many becoming head bakers or business owners.