Impunity keeps claiming victims, ten years after Zahra Kazemi’s still unsolved death in detention

first_img News Follow the news on Iran Reporters Without Borders pays tribute to Canadian-Iranian photographer Zahra Kazemi on the tenth anniversary of her death in detention in Tehran as a result of mistreatment, and reiterates its condemnation of the total impunity enjoyed by her torturers.They include Saeed Mortazavi, former Tehran prosecutor-general and one of Supreme Leader and “Predator of Press Freedom” Ali Khamenei’s most notorious lieutenants, who has been guilty of many crimes against news providers.“Zahra Kazemi embodies the violations of fundamental rights that have taken place since the clerics seized power in 1979,” Reporters Without Borders said. “She was a woman and a journalist who wanted to tell the world about the terrible conditions in Tehran’s Evin prison, a symbol of the regime’s relentless repression.“Kazemi photographed the relatives of political prisoners waiting outside the prison, political prisoners whose very existence the regime denied. She was the victim of a judicial system that is a complete contradiction of human rights values, a system that is corrupt and completely lacking in independence.“Under article 110 of the Iranian constitution, it is the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic who appoints the head of the judicial system. This aberration is one of the main reasons for the system’s failures and the generalized impunity they cause.”The institutionalization of this impunity partly accounts for the restrictions imposed on independent lawyers who defend prisoners of conscience. They include the lawyers Abdolfatah Soltani, Mohammad Seifzadeh, Mohamed Ali Dadkhah and 2012 Sakharov laureate Nasrin Sotoudeh, who have represented Kazemi as well as many other currently detained journalists and netizens.These lawyers were arrested arbitrarily and sentenced to long jail terms on such charges as “meeting and plotting against the Islamic Republic,” anti-government propaganda and “cooperating with the Centre for Human Rights Defenders,” led by Nobel peace laureate Shirin Ebadi.Born in Shiraz in 1948, Kazemi lived in Canada and had acquired Canadian citizenship. But she had gone back to Iran and was arrested on 23 June 2003 while photographing the families of detainees outside Evin prison. Badly beaten following her arrest, she was still in detention when she died of her injuries on 10 July 2003.The authorities issued a report on her death 10 days later that did not specify the cause of her death. Kazemi’s mother, an Iranian resident, was pressured into giving permission for the body to be buried quickly on 22 July 2003. Ever since then, Kazemi’s son, Stephan Hashemi, a Canadian resident, has been requesting the body’s repatriation to Canada so that an independent autopsy can be carried out.The Kazemi family’s lawyers have repeatedly condemned all the judicial proceedings in Iran as a sham. Their requests for senior judicial officials to appear in court have never been satisfied, depriving them of key witnesses. In particular, Mortazavi, the prosecutor who ordered Kazemi’s arrest and was present when she was interrogated in Evin prison, has never been questioned in court.On 23 June of this year, a Tehran court sentenced Mortazavi to a derisory five-year ban on working in the judicial system and a 60-dollar fine for his role in the death of demonstrators held in Kahrizak detention centre after the disputed June 2009 presidential election.Reporters Without Borders adds: “We fully support the civil lawsuit that Hashemi brought against the Iranian government before the Quebec high court, claiming damages for his mother’s arrest, detention, torture and death. We urge Canada and the European Union to support this legal action, in order to end the shocking impunity prevailing in this case.“We think that the now systematic impunity for torturers in the Islamic Republic of Iran is one of the reasons for the increase in violence, killings and repeated acts of torture and cruel and inhuman treatment in its prisons, and for the arbitrary arrests that are so common.”Kazemi is unfortunately not the only victim of the impunity enjoyed by Iran’s torturers. The victims include the blogger Sattar Beheshti, who was killed on 3 November 2012 while held at a centre run by the Iranian cyber-police, the FTA.The Beheshti family’s lawyer, Ghiti Pourfazel, has written to the new president, Hassan Rohani, accusing the judicial authorities of doing everything possible to block the complaint filed by the family and suppress the truth about the blogger’s death. “To get the complaint withdrawn, they intimidated the mother by threatening to have her daughter arrested, then they put psychological pressure on the father. These attempts failed and, although we know that Sattar was killed by a police officer, the investigation has been at a standstill for the past eight months.”Ahmad Shojai, the head of the Iranian organization of forensic doctors, said in an interview for the MeherNews agency on 9 July: “The forensic doctors’ report that was sent to the judicial authorities says the cause of (Beheshti’s) death was a series of blows and psychological pressure.”The Tehran prosecutor-general nonetheless reiterated at a news conference the same day that that “the investigation is finished and the investigating judge is in the process of taking down the latest version of the facts from the defendants.”In an open letter to President Rohani on 18 June, Reporters Without Borders wrote: “Mr. Rohani, you are now the Islamic Republic’s seventh president, elected thanks to massive support from Iranian reformers and progressives (…) Undertake to end arbitrary actions and impunity. The murders of dissident journalists must not go unpunished. They include the deaths of Ebrahim Zalzadeh, Majid Charif, Mohammed Mokhtari, Mohammed Jafar Pouyandeh and Pirouz Davani, all executed by agents of the Ministry of Intelligence and National Security in November and December 1988. “They also include the following deaths, in most cases in detention: Zahra Kazemi (2003), Ayfer Serçe (2006), the young blogger Omidreza Mirsayafi, the journalist Alireza Eftekhari (2009), the journalist and women’s rights activist Haleh Sahabi (2011), the Iran-e-Farda journalist Hoda Saber (2011) and the blogger Sattar Beheshti (2012). Those who ordered and carried out these crimes must be brought to justice.” June 9, 2021 Find out more RSF_en After Hengameh Shahidi’s pardon, RSF asks Supreme Leader to free all imprisoned journalists News Receive email alerts Help by sharing this information IranMiddle East – North Africa Organisation center_img to go further Iran: Press freedom violations recounted in real time January 2020 March 18, 2021 Find out more July 10, 2013 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Impunity keeps claiming victims, ten years after Zahra Kazemi’s still unsolved death in detention Call for Iranian New Year pardons for Iran’s 21 imprisoned journalists News IranMiddle East – North Africa News February 25, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

Is the CFPB Meting Out Justice or Inflicting Abuse?

Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Tagged with: CFPB Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Fines and Penalties Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago March 24, 2016 1,154 Views Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Share Save Subscribe Home / Daily Dose / Is the CFPB Meting Out Justice or Inflicting Abuse? Is the CFPB Meting Out Justice or Inflicting Abuse?  Print This Post Related Articles Richard CordrayThe controversial Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which was launched in July 2011 from the equally controversial Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, is nearing its fifth birthday.In slightly less than five years, the Bureau has handed out more than $5 billion in fines to companies who they deemed have violated federal consumer financial protection laws. A large chunk of that has been handed out to financial firms for violations in the mortgage servicing space; in December 2013, the Bureau ordered Ocwen Financial, the nation’s largest non-bank servicer, to pay $2 billion in consumer relief to underwater borrowers for alleged servicing errors that pushed borrowers into foreclosure.Whether you think the CFPB is meting out justice and protecting consumers from abusive financial practices or if the Bureau is the one that is actually inflicting the abuse generally depends on what side of the fence you’re on.If you’re on the Democratic side, you are probably among those who see the Bureau as a triumph for all that is good in the world of protecting consumers. In March 2015, House Financial Services Committee Ranking Member Maxine Waters (D-California) told the committee, “Mr. Chairman (Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas), your party pretends to care about the huge challenges of income inequality and minority access to credit, vilifying this agency as ‘hurting the very people we are trying to help.”In November, presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton tweeted, “The CFPB protects borrowers from unfair and deceptive Wall Street practices. Attacks against it are unfounded and outrageous.” Also in November, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts), the Bureau’s chief architect, tweeted, “So here’s my message to Wall Street and their GOP buddies: We’re ready to fight back to protect the CFPB.”If you’re on the Republican side, chances are you see the CFPB as an overreaching government bureaucracy with a lack of transparency and accountability. Both of the aforementioned Clinton and Warren tweets were sent in response to a TV commercial that ran during the nationally-televised GOP debate. The ad was sponsored by the American Action Network, a right-leaning Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group, and it painted the CFPB as a communist organization that even included a backdrop of gigantic red-shaded banners of CFPB Director Richard Cordray and Warren.Since the Bureau opened its doors, Republicans have asserted that the Bureau’s overreach has caused increased compliance costs to businesses, which has in turn resulted in costlier financial products for consumers. Critics of the Bureau say this process harms the very consumers it aims to protect.Last week in a House Financial Services Committee hearing in which Cordray testified, Hensarling told the committee that “Congress has made Mr. Cordray a dictator.”“Apologists for the Bureau, along with Mr. Cordray, frequently cite the tens of millions of dollars of fines they have imposed as proof they are protecting consumers,” Hensarling said. “But the Bureau operates as legislature cop on the beat, prosecutor, judge and jury all rolled into one. Fines imposed in such an abusive structure tell us nothing about justice or consumer welfare. Nothing.”Republicans have introduced several bills in an attempt to reform the CFPB, notably by Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wisconsin) and Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas), but none have made any headway.Should a Republican be elected president, what will be the future of the CFPB? Will it continue as is, or will the president make wholesale changes? Brian Honea’s writing and editing career spans nearly two decades across many forms of media. He served as sports editor for two suburban newspaper chains in the DFW area and has freelanced for such publications as the Yahoo! Contributor Network, Dallas Home Improvement magazine, and the Dallas Morning News. He has written four non-fiction sports books, the latest of which, The Life of Coach Chuck Curtis, was published by the TCU Press in December 2014. A lifelong Texan, Brian received his master’s degree from Amberton University in Garland. Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago in Daily Dose, Featured, News Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago CFPB Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Fines and Penalties 2016-03-24 Brian Honea About Author: Brian Honea The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Previous: Housing Advocates’ Applause of Trust Fund Contribution Comes With Caution Next: DS News Webcast: Friday 3/25/2016 Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Sign up for DS News Daily Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago read more

Key impacts of climate engineering on biodiversity and ecosystems, with priorities for future research

first_imgClimate change has significant implications for biodiversity and ecosystems. With slow progress towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions, climate engineering (or ‘geoengineering’) is receiving increasing attention for its potential to limit anthropogenic climate change and its damaging effects. Proposed techniques, such as ocean fertilization for carbon dioxide removal or stratospheric sulfate injections to reduce incoming solar radiation, would significantly alter atmospheric, terrestrial and marine environments, yet potential side-effects of their implementation for ecosystems and biodiversity have received little attention. A literature review was carried out to identify details of the potential ecological effects of climate engineering techniques. A group of biodiversity and environmental change researchers then employed a modified Delphi expert consultation technique to evaluate this evidence and prioritize the effects based on the relative importance of, and scientific understanding about, their biodiversity and ecosystem consequences. The key issues and knowledge gaps are used to shape a discussion of the biodiversity and ecosystem implications of climate engineering, including novel climatic conditions, alterations to marine systems and substantial terrestrial habitat change. This review highlights several current research priorities in which the climate engineering context is crucial to consider, as well as identifying some novel topics for ecological investigation.last_img read more

Kaizer Chiefs blunder gifts Mamelodi Sundowns victory

first_imgWits recovered from conceding a 43-second goal and being outplayed for much of the opening half to win 2-1 away to lowly Free State Stars in central town Bethlehem.Harris Tchilimbou from Congo Brazzaville nodded Stars ahead, Zimbabwean Terrence Dzvukamanja levelled before half-time before Elias Pelembe from Mozambique headed home 73rd-minute winner.“We really had to fight for those three points with a new team that is learning about me while I learn about them,” said Wits coach Gavin Hunt.Former African champions Orlando Pirates remain second, but fell five points behind Wits after drawing 2-2 at mid-table Highlands Park.A capacity 10,000 crowd witnessed a thriller in which promoted Highlands twice led during the second half only to be pegged back by resilient Pirates.Namibian Peter Shalulile scored Highlands’ second goal and Zimbabwean Kudakwashe Mahachi grabbed Pirates’ second equaliser nine minutes from time.“My boys gave it a real go, putting their hearts and souls into everything they did while showing no fear,” said proud Highlands coach Owen da Gama.Serbia-born Pirates coach Milutin Sredojevic said: “We had to take chances having fallen behind twice, including reducing our back four to just two defenders. The gamble paid off.”Share on: WhatsApp Johannesburg, South Africa | AFP | A disastrous mistake by Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Virgil Vries gifted Mamelodi Sundowns a 2-1 victory this weekend in a high-profile South African Premiership showdown.Namibian Vries came too far off his line and a seemingly aimless 81st-minute long pass from Lyle Lakay bounced over him, allowing Lebohang Maboe to tap home the winner.Liberian Anthony Laffor had given Sundowns a third-minute lead that Zimbabwean Willard Katsande cancelled out with a header 11 minutes later.Tearful Vries, deputising for injured first choice Itumeleng Khune, was consoled by team-mates after a match Chiefs deserved to win at Soccer City stadium in Soweto.“We were the better side and should have won”, said Chiefs’ recently-appointed German coach Ernst Middendorp.The fortunate victory was a timely boost for defending champions Sundowns, who are lagging behind in the title race and begin their CAF Champions League group campaign against Lobi Stars in Nigeria Friday.They are fourth in the South African Premiership, eight points behind leaders Bidvest Wits with three matches in hand.“Our winning goal came from unfortunate error by Chiefs’ goalkeeper, but that is part of football,” said Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane.last_img read more

Man wanted for shooting at police in North Carolina fatally shot in Miami

first_imgAuthorities in Miami are reporting that a fugitive from North Carolina was shot and killed by police in Miami after he reportedly opened fire on officers.The incident occurred on Saturday after authorities tracked down the suspect to a house on the 25500 block of Southwest 147th Avenue, according to the Miami Herald.Authorities say the suspect barricaded himself inside of the home and refused to surrender even after hours of negotiations.Officers eventually made the decision to enter the home and that’s when the suspected opened fire on them.One officer was shot in his bulletproof vest but was not seriously injured. The suspect was then fatally shot by police.Police did not provide any details regarding the suspect’s identity other than that the suspect was 56-years-old, however, other sources say the wanted suspect may have been James Justin Munro.last_img read more

OVERTIME

first_img:09 During the NBA MVP presentation two things became real clear. #1…Just because you have a zillion dollars doesn’t mean you know how to dress. LeBron, who told you to wear those sky blue, tight pants? Whoever it was fire them right now! C’mon man. And #2…Jordan, Magic, Byrd and others with three MVP’s but Kareem Abdul Jabbar won six. We forget how great the big fella was.:08 Now you all have heard me praise each and everything about the Savoy Restaurant…and I still do. But to the ladies that roll in around midnight (and I do mean “roll-in”) no matter what anybody tells you, including your Mama and your Man. Your Mama’s going to lie to you because you’re her baby and she has to…it’s the law. And your man’s going to lie to you cause he wants to keep the “Good and Plenty”…“Good and Plenty,” ONE-SIZE-DOES NOT-FIT-ALL!!! Listen I am a big man…been a big man all my life. So I get it. But my old man told me a long time ago…Son just because they make it don’t mean you can wear it. Ladies the only place you’re going to get the truth is the mirror. Please, please, please…let the mirror be your new best friend!! I am just saying!:07 Floyd “Big Money” Mayweather just took Miquel Cotto to the wire in their Las Vegas fight last week that brought in the biggest pay-day ever. Not because he had to but because he wanted to. Trust me, Mayweather ain’t fightin nobody that can beat him before the real payday with “The Pac-Man.” Don’t worry it’s coming. They ain’t stupid!:06 Speaking of fighters, and I was. (You’re finally getting how this works?) Rayco “War” Saunders just came home after another great 12 rounds. But the decision went to the other guy…Look, his hometown, he gets the decision, that’s just how it goes. Now here’s a couple things for you to chew on. #1. When you win the Light Heavyweight Title of the world, like Rayco did, you always have that title. #2. At the young “life age” of 36, but slightly old by boxing standards, Rayco is still called by top promoters around the country because he can still fight and fill the seats. And can still knock a XXXXXX out! #3. Having said that, if you think Rayco should stop fighting you tell him…I ain’t telling him. But if you do you better be standing back about twenty feet!! #4. He’s still a bbbbaaaddd man, he ain’t got a mark on his face. Stay tuned the next “War” fight promotion is coming soon. Bring on the “War Girls.”:05 Say what you want…and you will, cause that’s how you are…anyway. Your Pittsburgh Pirates are in the game. I mean they’re in it. Competing, down to the finish, no blowouts. Things are looking very interesting (look, I am just trying to make life better for everybody).:04 Kobe got the memo. Get the ball inside and you win. Try to hit your 30 point average and you lose. I’m not trying to make “The Black Momba” be something he’s not but you have to adjust your game accordingly. Keep your eye on the prize.:03 For all you so-called city leaguers. You Bulldogs…you Spartans, you Archers, you Dragons…all ya’ll. It’s time to join forces, circle the wagons and get this done. Everyone that played with or against the great Sam “Bam” Clancy, or if you happened to see him play as he almost single handedly took Pitt basketball to a special level it has never come back from, it’s now time to do the right thing. Call…write…e-mail…fax …whistle…use sign language or smoke signals, I don’t care but get to Pitt Athletic Director Steve Pederson and get Sam Clancy’s uniform retired. C’mon man this should have been done. Don’t worry, I am on it!! And you know how it is when I get on it? Now everyone pull them pants up!:02 Do yourself a favor. Go old school for a couple hours. Put on Superfly, Shaft, What’s Going On, Trouble Man, Bobby Womack or early Earth…Wind…and Fire! Man thank God we had that music. No hold up, don’t put the CD on, put on the LP’s…The vinyl baby. And just enjoy yourself. That was the stuff and you know it. Oh shut up you still got the vinyl, who you trying to kid!!!:01 You got to give the people what they want and that’s what I do. Here’s your “At The Buzzer.”•Speaking of old school you can get all you want at the Champions Old School Par-Tay Friday June 1st at the Holiday Inn in Monroeville. Across the street from the new UPMC—8:00 pm to 2:00 am, Cash Bar, Cash Kitchen, Dee Jay Mean Gee and Special Guest D.J. Ed Steve—The Fabulous Diamond Models, 50-50, Door Prizes and yes Eatin’…Drinkin’ and Dancin’…the way it’s meant to be. And the parking is free.•If you missed the first “Jazz on the Green” you missed a goodie, undercover on the Patio overlooking the magnificent rolling green country side. Cash Bar & Kitchen—Free Parking—Coming to the stage Friday May 25 LeRoy K. Wofford “The Blues Master” —Door Opens at 8 pm—The Blues Man starts at 9 pm until 11 pm. I am telling you…this is gonna be special!!! Limited seating. Get there early.•We’re looking for middle school boys teams for our New Connie Hawkins Youth Development League. Boys 7th, 8th, & 9th grade. Call in right now 412-628-4856.Hold Up…Wait A Minute…This Just In~ Double Overtime ~The Temptations tore the roof off the sucker. They’re still the greatest of all time!!!~ Game Over ~ BILL NEAL :10 Ok., ok., Okay…LeBron is the man. Not the king mind you, but the man! After all he just won his third MVP award, who am I to say anything. But I still don’t like the “Heat.” I know, I know…get over it. This just in…Chris Bosh is out…abdominal strain…Too bad!!last_img read more

SENSATIONAL STAR STAKES QUOTES – SATURDAY FEBRUARY 27, 2016

first_imgTRAINER QUOTES -30- FLAVIEN PRAT, RICHARD’S BOY, SECOND: “I had a good race today. Last time I rode him, I wasn’t on the lead and I think being on the lead today made all the difference. He’s so much better on the turf, he did a great job. It’s always sad to be beat by so little, but I don’t have any excuses.” GARY STEVENS, BOOZER, WINNER: “He loves this turf course. He runs well off the hill even though he hasn’t run off it for a while. Mark had him sharp today and he broke real sharp. I just followed Mike (Smith, aboard Forest Chatter) the whole way down the hill and when we crossed the dirt, I pushed the button and he just ground it out. He’s a lot of fun to ride, he’s a true professional.“I knew when I got up to the top of the hill before the race that he was sharp. He was on his toes; he was dancin’ and prancin’ around. He went into the gate aggressive. I told Mark this morning that I was going to try and put him on the lead, or close to it and he just smiled at me.” MARK GLATT, BOOZER, WINNER: “He comes with his game every time. Sometimes they’re a little bit better than him and sometimes we’re running him at a distance that he’s not at his best, because he’s a good Cal-bred, and to run against Cal-bred company, sometimes the distances fluctuate a little bit.“I think a mile, a mile and a sixteenth are his best distances, a mile and an eighth is a hair too far, and he runs good down the hill. I wasn’t really concerned about him shortening up. He’s pretty versatile.”center_img AL AND SANDEE KIRKWOOD, OWNERS, BOOZER, WINNER: “He’s definitely paid his way for us. We’ve had a lot of fun with him. He’s always competitive. He’s hardly ever off the board. He won a hundred -grander coming down the hill before (California Flag Handicap, Oct. 18, 2014). We ran him a mile-and-an-eighth last time, he ran third behind some real good horses, so we decided he had a little extra wind for this race and he sure did. Gary did a good job riding him and Mark Glatt’s done a good job training him.” NOTES: Winning owners Al and Sandee Kirkwood are from Ridgefield, Washington. They have been in racing since 1988. JOCKEY QUOTES last_img read more

Dear Geocaching Diary: Twice the Finds, Twice the Fun

first_imgDay 11: Community Manager Annika Ledbetter (Username: Lebbetter) was a hero on Sunday (coincidentally also her birthday). She says, “This dinosaur was saved from extinction. After almost being lost for 4 years on Bainbridge Island, I rescued Dino and brought him to Geocaching HQ. We gave him a warm welcome and a day full of fun.” Day 10: On Saturday, Partner Programs Manager Annie Love (Username: Love) decided to lead her family off the beaten path. She reports, “Even though the geocache was 100 feet away, our group decided that exploring the creek drain and jumping in the swimming hole was necessary before we started our search.” Dear Geocaching Diary,We thought Week #1 of 31 Days of Geocaching was pretty great, but it turns out that Week #2 was two times the fun! This week we learned that every day can be an adventure if you choose to make it one. Here is a photo recap from our HQ explorers: Day 12: These intrepid travelers journeyed for hours (mostly because they have terrible navigational skills) to a hidden marvel that (for once in their chatty lives) left them speechless.Day 13: Product Manager Joel Werdell (Username: Tieyak) takes his geo-parent responsibilities very seriously. His daughter Bennet says cheese after finding some sweet swag. Day 14: Watch out for Troll droppings! Today marked the release of the Geocaching HQ GeoTour. We created this Tour to help share our favorite places in the Center of the Universe with all of you out there in our geocaching galaxy.Day 15: Beering up for Block Party – our Keg Squad organized a refreshing get together at a local micro brewery. Armed with tiny beermugs, we made our way through Ballard’s breweries. As we crossed a busy street to our next refill, Geocaching Reviewer “The Leprechauns” remarked, “This is not jaywalking, this is urban bushwacking!”Day 16: UX Manager Nick Botner (Username: Whiskey Bones) and his team take the cake for best Team Trackable. (Yes, it is actually a flying shark. Jaws has nothing on this monster.) Less than 24 hours left in the count down to Geocaching Block Party and International Geocaching Day 2013! But don’t worry – we still managed to earn a smiley in the midst of all the party planning panic.Stay tuned for more adventures from Geocaching HQ. What are your favorite tales from the 31 Days of Geocaching trail? Tell us about them in the comments below.Click for a printable version of the 31 Days of Geocaching CalendarShare with your Friends:More Day 7: No hitting the snooze alarm this morning! A few caffeine-loaded Geocaching HQ explorers skipped up a mountain to catch sunrise over Mt.Rainier and grab an early morning Smiley before work. (Pssst…check out our new geocaching and Forest Service volunteer friend photo-bombing from the fire lookout.)Day 8: What do you call a race that involves running, biking, swimming, and geocaching? A geocachalon. This heart pumping adventure was the brainchild of Videographer Reid Kuennen (Username: reidsomething). Office Manager Maria McDonald (Username: AKprincesswarrior) jumps into ice cold Lake Union to celebrate sweet victory.Day 9: Copy writer Derek Hamilton (Username: scattermycaches) struggled to figure out this smarty-pants geocache hidden by one of our own,   Community Volunteer Support Coordinator Cindy Potter (Username: Frau Potter). Derek says, “Call Bill Nye! There’s science in this tube!” SharePrint RelatedDear Geocaching Diary: Orange Headbands for the WinSeptember 1, 2013In “Community”Dear Geocaching Diary: 31 Days of Adventure with Geocaching HQAugust 7, 2013In “Community”Geocaching HQ – The Land of Extreme CoincidenceOctober 7, 2013In “Community”last_img read more

Microsoft Profits Are Up, But Its Outlook For Windows May Be Down

first_imgTags:#Microsoft#Microsoft Office#tablet#Windows 8 Related Posts Microsoft had some news today: It confirmed plans for smaller “touch devices” in coming months — i.e., the rumored Smaller Surface — and preemptively blamed a presumably darkening outlook for Windows on the “declining traditional PC market.” It also reported growing revenues and profits for the quarter that ended in April.Just as important, though, might be what Microsoft didn’t say. It was mum about the performance of its flagship Windows 8 operating system, and wouldn’t say how well its Surface tablet has been selling. Hmm.By The NumbersMicrosoft reported net income of $6.06 billion (72 cents per share) on revenue of $20.49 billion for the quarter, an 18 percent increase in profits and an 18 percent increase in revenue versus a year ago. After adjusting for $1.66 billion in Windows Upgrade, Office and Xbox upgrades, and a $731 million fine assessed by the EU, Microsoft reported diluted earnings per share of 65 cents.Analysts polled by Yahoo had expected Microsoft to report earnings of 68 cents per share, up 13% from a year ago, and grow revenue by 18 percent to $20.56 billion. Microsoft also said that Peter Klein, the company’s chief financial officer, would leave at the end of the fiscal year, or June. Microsoft will name a replacement in the next few weeks.When all is said and done, Microsoft’s bottom line is healthy — every product division reported increased profits except for the company’s online business, where losses shrank. But as the company itself admitted, the outlook for Microsoft’s Windows division and Windows 8 remains, at best, uncertain.How Many Windows 8 Licenses? Redmond Sayeth NotMicrosoft reported $5.7 billion in revenue and $3.5 billion in profits for the Windows division, but once you set aside deferred revenue due to Windows upgrade offers, revenue was basically flat compared to a year ago. And then there was Microsoft’s continued silence on how many Windows 8 licenses it sold.Both IDC and Gartner blamed the slow uptake of Windows 8 for a stunning drop in first-quarter PC sales: 14% by IDC’s metrics, and 11% according to Gartner. Most of the top PC manufacturers saw sharply lower sales for the first quarter, according to both firms, with Lenovo the big exception.In January, Microsoft said it had sold more than 60 million Windows 8 licenses. That was up significantly over the number of pre-launch licenses it sold — 40 million in the first month, Microsoft said last year. And yet now the company has gone silent on the subject. This is not what you’d normally consider a good sign, particularly coupled with Redmond’s oracular statement about the declining PC market.On the other hand, Klein offered no shortage of happy talk about Windows on the analyst call. Check it out (MS Word doc).Surface Gets Small, But Sales Remain NumberlessOutgoing CFO Peter Klein confirmed rumors of a smaller Surface tablet in a backhanded sort of way. During Microsoft’s conference call with analysts, Klein declined to say how many Surface tablets the company had sold (again, not exactly heartening news). But, he said, the lineup will be refreshed with smaller “touch devices” in the coming months.IHS iSuppli estimated that Microsoft sold, at most, one million Surface tablets during the fourth quarter. That’s compared to a record 22.9 million Apple iPads, plus millions more Nexus 7s, Kindle Fires, and other 7-inch tablets.Separately, Klein said that Microsoft was looking ahead toward Windows Blue, the next iteration of Windows 8 and, possibly, Windows Phone. He told analysts that Blue is designed to “further advance” Windows 8 and “in response to customer feedback.” Rumors suggest that feedback may lead to the return of the Start button and an ability to boot directly to the Windows desktop, as opposed to the way Windows 8 forces all users into the tile-layout “Metro” interface.Return To The EnterpriseMicrosoft’s Office division returned to growth in the quarter, with revenues up 8% to $6.3 billion. In January, Office delivered a nasty shock — a 10% revenue decline — apparently because the company’s online service based version of the productivity suite, Office 365, hadn’t performed as expected.“Our enterprise business continues to thrive,” said Kevin Turner, chief operating officer at Microsoft, in a statement. “Enterprise customers are increasingly turning to Microsoft for their IT solutions and as a result, we continue to take share from our competitors in key areas including hybrid cloud, data platform, and virtualization.”Microsoft’s rock, its Server and Tools business, reported $1.98 billion in profits and $5.0 billion in revenues. Microsoft’s Entertainment business, which includes the Xbox, returned to profitability, reporting $342 million in profits and $2.5 billion in revenue. Online services only lost $262 million (versus $480 million a year ago) and reported $832 million in revenues. The next few quarters will be important for Microsoft, as the company’s large installed base of corporate customers still using Windows XP must either switch by April 8, 2014, or else risk losing support for both XP as well as Office 2003. Earlier this month, Microsoft offered small businesses a 15 percent discount for upgrading to Windows 8 Pro and Office 2013. 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo…center_img markhachman IT + Project Management: A Love Affair Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of…last_img read more

NFL Says Rice Probe Transparent

first_imgNEW YORK — The two NFL owners overseeing the investigation into how the league pursued and handled evidence in the Ray Rice domestic violence case pledged to make the findings of the probe public, and said their goal was “to get the truth.”New York Giants co-owner John Mara and Pittsburgh Steelers owner Art Rooney, both close confidants of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, said they would not be conducting or directing the investigation. They said it would have no timeline, and that former FBI director Robert Mueller was set to begin work immediately.They said the inquiry’s focus will be on what efforts were made to obtain video evidence of the three-time Pro Bowl running back striking his fiancee; if the video arrived at the league office; and what happened to it after it was delivered.“Our sole motive here is to get the truth and then share Mr. Mueller’s findings with the public,” Rooney and Mara said in a joint statement.The probe — which the league has called independent — was announced on Wednesday hours after The Associated Press reported that a law enforcement official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, sent a video to an NFL executive in April of Rice striking Janay Palmer at an Atlantic City casino.Goodell has claimed repeatedly the NFL didn’t see a full account of the fight until Monday, when TMZ posted it. Rice was released by the Baltimore Ravens after the video went viral. The team had previously stood by him.The law enforcement official said he wasn’t authorized to release the video, but wanted the NFL to have it as it decided on the Rice case. He played a 12-second voicemail confirming receipt of the video. A female voice expresses thanks and says: “You’re right. It’s terrible.”As Mueller begins to examine the case, he will likely start with Goodell’s top administrators, who help him run America’s most popular and profitable league. Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti could also be under the lens.Anyone at NFL headquarters could have known months ago that the video of Rice punching his then-fiancee in a hotel elevator had been sent to the league. To figure it out, Mueller will have access to anyone he wants to talk to, as well as internal NFL documents.Those on the roster of Goodell’s inner circle — and those likely to be on Mueller’s radar — are NFL General Counsel Jeff Pash; Director of Football Operations Troy Vincent; Security Chief Jeffrey Miller; Executive Vice president of Human Resources Robert Gulliver; and Senior Vice President of Labor Policy and Government Affairs Adolpho Birch.Mueller, who led the FBI for 12 years, is a partner at WilmerHale, a Washington, D.C.-based law firm with deep ties to the NFL and sports world. Familiar with the NFL, the firm has sent several members on to jobs with teams.Partner David Donovan spent 20 years at the law firm before joining the Washington Redskins, where he was general counsel and chief operating officer.From 1997 to 2004, current Cleveland Browns President Alec Scheiner was at WilmerHale, where he advised on various sports transactions, worked for current Baltimore Ravens President Dick Cass and did work for the Dallas Cowboys.The league has turned a critical lens on itself before. In two high-profile investigations under Goodell’s administration, the league found the New England Patriots guilty of spying on the New York Jets’ defensive signals, and the New Orleans Saints were found to have run a three-year bounty system for hits by defensive players.Both of those probes were conducted by the NFL, although several player suspensions in the Saints case eventually were overturned by an independent appeals officer — Paul Tagliabue, Goodell’s predecessor.The National Organization for Women said Goodell should resign and an independent committee should be appointed to suggest lasting reforms, calling the Mueller investigation “just window dressing.”___By Barry Wilner, AP Pro Football Writer. AP Sports Writer Ronald Blum contributed to this story from New York. Associated Press Writer Pete Yost contributed from Washington.TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more