Foreign media barred from covering Australia’s refugee processing centre

first_img Papua New GuineaAsia – Pacific Receive email alerts August 30, 2012 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Foreign media barred from covering Australia’s refugee processing centre Melanesia: Facebook algorithms censor article about press freedom in West Papua RSF_en Follow the news on Papua New Guinea Help by sharing this information Papua New GuineaAsia – Pacific August 23, 2019 Find out more News August 12, 2020 Find out morecenter_img News to go further News reporting hit by Internet blackout in West Papua News April 16, 2020 Find out more Organisation News Reporters Without Borders condemns Papua New Guinea’s decision to temporarily ban visits by foreign journalists wanting to cover Australia’s plans to reopen an old detention centre on Manus Island – an island belonging to PNG that lies off its northern coast – and use it for processing asylum seekers.”It is vital that journalists should be able to cover this kind of development, especially when it concerns such as sensitive subject as refugees,” Reporters Without Borders said. “We urge the PNG government to lift this ban at once so that reporters can cover the reopening of the centre.” Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced on 13 August that her government would start sending asylum seekers to Christmas Island (an Australian territory) for processing by the end of September, and to Manus Island at a later date.Australia’s announced use of PNG territory to detain asylum-seekers is still very controversial in PNG. “There’s no law in PNG that allows people to be detained without being charged,” said National Capital District governor Powes Parkop, a former member of the ruling coalition.Sydney-based Fairfax Media has reported that two of its journalists submitted visa applications to visit Manus Island on 15 August. Their applications were approved by the PNG prime minister’s office within 24 hours but were then denied by the Immigration and Citizenship Service.A spokesperson for the Immigration and Citizenship Service subsequently told Fairfax that the foreign minister had banned “the issuance of visas to foreign media personnel until further notice.” Fairfax has appealed.Foreign minister Rimbink Pato cited national security when defending the temporary ban in an interview on 24 August, saying it would prevent misreporting that could be ‘‘misinterpreted.’’ There was “no need for the access” at the moment, he said, adding that eventually “everyone will be invited to come and see what we’ve achieved.” PNG was ranked 35th out of 179 countries in the 2011/2012 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.More information Papua New Guinea: Government minister calls for two reporters to be fired over Covid-19 coveragelast_img read more

Wet-Marsers Win, But Life Unlikely

first_imgThe discovery of evidence for past water on Mars made Science magazine’s Breakthrough of the Year.1  Most recently, the Spirit rover found goethite, an iron oxide that forms most readily in water, announced a JPL press release Dec. 13.  Although Richard A. Kerr at Science feels this second discovery on the opposite side of Mars from the Opportunity Rover provides a “second chance for life,” he admits it’s a long shot: “Mars was taking a different environmental path [from Earth], one too stressful for any life that might have managed to take hold.  Even at Meridiani [where Opportunity is roving], the most habitable site found so far, the water was acidic, briny, and, at least at the surface, intermittent—not a promising place for life to originate.”Update 09/21/2007: Data from the Mars Reconnaisance Orbiter indicates that Mars probably never had much water: see 09/21/2007.1Richard A. Kerr, “On Mars, a Second Chance for Life,” Science, Vol 306, Issue 5704, 2010-2012, 17 December 2004, [DOI: 10.1126/science.306.5704.2010].Life does not just “originate” any more than a castle will “originate” on an outcrop of marble.  So Mars may have had intermittent, briny, acidic pools of water that stunk.  Sounds like a graveyard for organic chemicals, not a Garden of Eden.(Visited 12 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Homo naledi finds its home at Wits vault

first_imgThe Homo naledi fossils have been carefully placed in the highly secure Phillip V Tobias Fossil Primate and Hominid Laboratory, which houses most of the world’s information on human evolution. We take you on an exclusive tour. Homo naledi fossils has been relocated to the Phillip V. Tobias Fossil Primate and Hominid Laboratory where further tests will be done. (Images: Shamin Chibba) The gallery • Local researchers honoured at their ‘Oscars’ • Space science can solve socio-economic problems• Hanli Prinsloo: ‘Fall in love with the ocean, to save it’ • New push for careers in science and innovation • DNA detective work could end poaching  Shamin Chibba The Homo naledi fossils, which were recently discovered in the Dinaledi Cave in Gauteng, have been given a new home at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.The fossils are now housed in the vault at the Phillip V Tobias Fossil Primate and Hominid Laboratory on campus, after spending a month on display at the Cradle of Humankind in neighbouring Mogale City.The new species, Homo naledi, was named after the chamber in which it was discovered, in the Rising Star caves. The underground room where the fossils were found was called the Dinaledi Chamber, which means “chamber of stars” in SeSotho.At a recent Forum on China-Africa Co-operation (FOCAC) media tour hosted by Brand South Africa, local and foreign journalists were given exclusive access to the vault.Archaeologist Lee Berger, an American based at Wits’ world-renowned centre, said the vault was home to almost 60% of the world’s fossils, including the recently discovered Homo naledi. Berger and his team of excavators were on hand to show and explain their experiences during their discovery of the Homo naledi fossils.At its opening in July, Berger said the vault held more scientific information on how humans evolved and where we came from than any other facility worldwide. “Right here in this vault, this word-class vault, is the majority of their assemblage. It’s held in high security because this is all of human heritage.”“This is a very special place,” he told the journalists on the FOCAC tour earlier this month. “We don’t allow anyone other than scientists to enter here.”But the press members were given a chance to view the Homo naledi remains up close.And now, we present to you exclusive pictures from the vault taken during that media tour.  Pictured is the inside of the vault at Wits University. Berger said there was an “extraordinary spike in discoveries across Africa over the last decade” and that there is still more to find on the continent. Berger believes that this young woman’s curved hand could have been shaped that way for climbing. What startled Berger and his colleagues is that the Dinaledi Cave where the homo naledi fossils were found was just 1.5-kilometres away from Sterkfontein, a site that is rich in hominid fossils. Homo naledi had the ability to move its arms and legs like modern humans. The homo naledi fossils were on display at the Cradle of Humankind between September and October this year. Schoolchildren were given the chance to view the remains of the homo naledi when it was kept at the Cradle of Humankind earlier this year. The bones showed no traces of their being in fights with carnivores or other hominins. This suggests that the Dinaledi Cave was where the homo naledi disposed of their dead, a sort of burial site. This is an indication of their sophistication and what Berger said was a recognition of their own mortality. “It is what separated us from the animal kingdom.” Berger said fossils of 15 individuals of various ages were found 12 metres into the Dinaledi Chamber. Taung Child, pictured above, which is a fossilised skull of a young Australopithecus africanus, is also housed in the vault at Wits University. It was discovered in 1924 by quarrymen working for the Northern Lime Company in Taung, North-West province. An illustrated representation of the Dinaledi Cave where the homo naledi fossils were found. (Image: Wits University)last_img read more