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To Host World Press Freedom Day in 2011

To Host World Press Freedom Day in 2011
The United States is pleased to announce that it will host UNESCO’s World Press Freedom Day event in 2011, from May 1 - May 3 in Washington, D.C. UNESCO is the only UN agency with the mandate to promote freedom of expression and its corollary, freedom of the press. The theme for next year’s commemoration will be 21st Century Media: New Frontiers, New Barriers. Highlighting the many events surrounding the celebration will be the awarding of the UNESCO Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize at the National Press Club on May 3rd. The Newseum will host the first two days of events, which will engage a broad array of media professionals, students, and citizen reporters on themes that address the status of new media and internet freedom, and challenges and opportunities faced by media in our rapidly changing world. Related:  USA: Rights & Liberties

Israel Shamir and Paul Bennett: Assange Beseiged The plot thickens as our favorite hero of the Matrix; our own “Captain Neo” Julian Assange, faces danger yet again. When we last parted company with the legendary founder of WikiLeaks, he was breathing a sigh of relief after dodging spurious double-rape charges. The complaints were dropped, and our hero was free to roam the globe once again. But soap opera plots are repetitive; the story was quickly recycled and now our brave captain is again under threat of being castrated on Stockholm’s Stora Torget, or whatever the latest craven penalty is for molesting sacred Nordic virgins in a land where Vikings once ruled. In other words, the farcical rape charges have once again been leveled against the Pentagon’s Public Enemy Number One. The Swedes have a practical reason behind their deceptively slapstick police-work. The bullet can always come later, once the victim has been successfully isolated by the smear campaign. For a smear that really sticks, you need to get it from an ex-apostle.

Columbia University Reverses Anti-Wikileaks Guidance | Threat Level Days after Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) caused an uproar by warning its students against linking to WikiLeaks or discussing the secret-spilling website’s latest cache of diplomatic cables online, the prestigious training ground for future diplomats has changed tack and embraced free speech. Last week, the SIPA Office of Career Services sent an e-mail to students saying that an alumnus who works at the U.S. State Department had recommended that current students not tweet or post links to WikiLeaks, which is in the process of releasing 250,000 U.S. diplomatic cables — many of them classified — because doing so could hurt their career prospects in government service. “Engaging in these activities would call into question your ability to deal with confidential information, which is part of most positions with the federal government,” the Office of Career Services wrote. Now, SIPA Dean John H. Over the weekend State Dept. spokesperson P.J.

CDI - Center for Defense Information - Security Policy Research Organization - The irony... Note: The deadline for this Request for Proposals has passed. Department of State Public Notice Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Request for Proposals: Democracy, Human Rights, and Rule of Law in the Near East Region. The Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL) announces a Request for Proposals from organizations interested in submitting proposals for projects that promote democracy, human rights, and rule of law in the Near East region. PLEASE NOTE: DRL strongly urges applicants to access immediately in order to obtain a username and password. DRL invites organizations to submit proposals outlining program concepts and capacity to manage projects targeting the following issues: Empowerment and Protection of Persons with Disabilities in the Near East. Please refer directly to DRL’s posted Proposal Submission Instructions (PSI), updated in November 2012, available at

The arrest of Julian Assange: as it happened | News 8.47am: The WikiLeaks story continues to focus on the fate of Julian Assange as much as the contents of the leaked cables. Assange was meeting his lawyers Mark Stephens and Jennifer Robinson this morning and is expected to meet police within hours. He will release a video statement later today. Last night Robinson said: "We have a received an arrest warrant [related to claims in Sweden]. We are negotiating a meeting with police." Our legal affairs correspondent Afua Hirsch explains how Assange's legal team will fight extradition. Robert Booth reports on how the net has tightened around Assange since WikiLeaks began publishing thousands of classified cables. Meanwhile, the US attorney general Eric Holder said his justice department was examining ways to stem the flow of leaked cables, as PayPal and a Swiss bank took action against WikiLeaks. You can follow all the previous disclosures and reaction on our other live blogs about the cables. He says Assange's supporters suspect US dirty tricks:

Pirate Parties mirror Wikileaks to support whistleblowing worldwide Pirate Party spokespeople are always ready to give a lively, informed, and often provocative view on the issues of the day. Whether it's tech politics, civil liberties, the EU, local issues or anything else we'll have something to say. For interview requests, specific statements or quotes, or to automatically receive press releases email the Press Office at or call us on 0161 987 7880. You can find more contact details on our contact page if you would like to get in touch with a specific person or team. If you would like further information about a specific person you can find biographies and images on their profile page by searching our staff and volunteer list and you can access some of the many appearances online, in print, on TV and radio on our press archive.

Berkeley Blog: Wikileaks Is Boring; U.S. Gov. Should Hire Them Hackers I'd rather read People magazine -- at least they have the presumed scoop on real celebrities, not on some tired old world leaders for whom lying is a professional qualification. I can't say I was surprised by a single Wikileak...they all seemed so deja vu and utterly timeless, as if they could have been intercepted letters, hand-written by Napoleon-in-exile to his cohorts on the mainland. What Wikileaks demonstrates is the insecurity of our digital communications system, what with a young army recruit hacking into the files containing all these cables from our foreign diplomats. Rather than harassing and attacking Wikileaks founder Assange with the spurious Swedish rape charges, the U.S. State Dept. should have hired Wikileaks and its conscripts of hackers to create a more secure communications system for our government. Going after Wikileaks is bound to end badly.

US freezes Chicago Palestinian leader's bank accounts The US government has frozen the bank accounts belonging to Hatem Abudayyeh, a Palestinian community organizer and director of a social service organization serving the Arab community in Chicago, and his wife, Naima. Meanwhile, several members of Congress have written to the Obama administration to express their concerns about violations in civil liberties as a result of earlier government actions toward Abudayyeh and other activists. The freezing of the Abudayyeh family’s bank accounts on Friday, 6 May is the latest development in a secret grand jury investigation that has been launched by US District Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald’s office in Chicago. The freezing of the accounts has raised concerns that criminal indictments in the case may be imminent. “I was downtown [in Chicago] on Friday, I had parked my car in a garage and when I tried to use my debit card to get out, it was declined,” Hatem Abudayyeh, director of the Arab American Action Network, told The Electronic Intifada.

the sequel As Prepared for Delivery Good morning. I am delighted to be here to speak with you and through C-SPAN to the viewing audience around the United States. The daily briefings I do are on C-SPAN every day and feature snappy repartee with reporters who are a professional and talented group, who have been covering foreign policy in some cases longer than I have been in and around government. And this is my 34th year in some facet of national security policy. I came to appreciate the difference between the State Department Press Corps and journalists who cover other agencies or branches of the government. “Really,” the dean of the State Department Press Corps thundered. What I do every day is to enunciate the United States Government view on world affairs. Today we use a variety of media to communicate to governments and people around the world – formal briefings that are covered by traditional media, as well as social media to bypass governments and communicate directly with people.

Background Briefing on a Preview of the Open Government Partnership MODERATOR: Alright everybody. We are here to talk about tomorrow’s Open Government Partnership high-level meeting, which the President will participate in. We have two senior Administration officials for your records. We’re going to do something a little unusual today. Okay. SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL ONE: Good afternoon. This initiative really starts with a challenge that President Obama made at the last UNGA meeting, and I’m going to read to you what he said. So against this concept, what the Open Government Initiative tries to do is really bring countries together to be able to address precisely these three areas that are really the core principles of this effort for countries to – and governments to become, on the one hand, more transparent in the way in which they carry out their activity, and that more transparent basically means making more information available to the public about the operations of a government. And third is that it’s flexible. MODERATOR: Okay.