Follow the news on Iran February 25, 2021 Find out more Call for Iranian New Year pardons for Iran’s 21 imprisoned journalists The order was issued on 30 April at the behest of the Prosecutor’s Office for Culture and Media, which accused Telegram of “disrupting national unity, allowing foreign countries to spy on Iran by giving access to a great deal of information gathered about the country and its citizens, spreading insults about what is sacred and religious, disseminating anti-Islamic publicity and fake news designed to confuse the public [and] being used by Daesh [Islamic State] to endanger national security.” The court issued the ruling independently of the government, which implicitly disassociated itself from the measure in a statement released the next day. President Hassan Rouhani had repeatedly undertaken not to “authorize the blocking of social networks.” The court was clearly following the lead set by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who called for Telegram to be permanently blocked after a wave of protests in January, when several apps including Telegram were blocked for 12 days. An initial directive in mid-April banned universities, schools, state agencies and the media from using foreign messaging services for external communication purposes. It was at that moment that Supreme Leader Khamenei, President Rouhani and Vice-President Eshaq Jahangiri closed their Telegram accounts. Internet access in Iran has been badly disrupted since 1 May, the day on which mobile phone and Internet service operators were required by the court order to begin to “totally block Telegram and allow no other software to access it.” However, like Facebook and Twitter, which have in theory been banned in Iran for years,” Telegram is still accessible via Virtual Private Networks (VPNs). “The Islamic Republic of Iran continues to have a single overriding goal, which is to keep tightening its grip on news and information, deny its people the fundamental right to be informed and to allow no more than a limited vision of reality by means of a ‘Halal Internet’ under its complete control,” said Reza Moini, the head of the Iran-Afghanistan desk at Reporters Without Borders (RSF). The ban on Telegram has coincided with an increase in government attempts to promote the “Halal Internet,” which consists of a national online information network and of messaging services developed solely by Iran. For more than a month, the regime has been urging Iranians to switch from Telegram to Soroush, a messaging service created by companies linked to the national radio and TV broadcaster, which is under complete state control. Telegram, which allows users to encrypt their messages, had 40 million users in Iran, nearly half the population. It was constantly used by companies, politicians and the news media, as well as ordinary citizens. Iran is ranked 164th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2018 World Press Freedom Index. Organisation After Hengameh Shahidi’s pardon, RSF asks Supreme Leader to free all imprisoned journalists IranMiddle East – North Africa Condemning abusesOnline freedoms Judicial harassmentPredatorsFreedom of expressionInternet May 4, 2018 Iranian court imposes total ban on Telegram Iran: Press freedom violations recounted in real time January 2020 Receive email alerts Help by sharing this information News News to go further News March 18, 2021 Find out more IranMiddle East – North Africa Condemning abusesOnline freedoms Judicial harassmentPredatorsFreedom of expressionInternet RSF_en News An Iranian court has ordered a complete ban on Telegram, Iran’s most popular instant messaging service, in a decision that has further tightened the Islamic Republic’s grip on the flow of news and information as well as severely disrupting Internet traffic. June 9, 2021 Find out more
RoschetzkyIstockPhoto/iStock(TAOS, N.M.) — A skier has died after getting trapped in an avalanche at Taos Ski Valley in New Mexico on Thursday, a ski resort official said Friday morning.A second person was injured in the incident.Both men were trapped for 22 minutes after the avalanche sent snow pummeling down a mountain around 11:45 a.m. local time on Thursday, Chris Stagg, vice president of Taos Ski Valley, Inc., told ABC News.Rescuers dug the skiers out and transported them to the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque, Stagg said.Their names have not been released.After the avalanche, rescuers searched for other people possibly buried under the snow, ABC Albuquerque affiliate KOAT reported. The snow is so deep in some areas that probes being used to locate people cannot reach the bottom, Stagg said.It is unclear what triggered the avalanche, which occurred on the K3 shoot off Kachina Peak, the ski resort wrote on Twitter.The lift for Kachina Peak just opened on Wednesday, according to The Taos News. The lift rises to about 1,100 feet to take expert skiers and snowboarders to the top of the mountain, the newspaper reported. Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
The annual Miss Ocean City Pageant Parade will take place tonight (Wednesday, Aug. 10). The parade route starts on downtown Asbury Avenue at 6 p.m. The event showcases the 18 young women who will compete for the crown in Saturday’s pageant. The parade starts at Sixth Street and runs down Asbury Avenue to 14th Street. It then moves up onto the boardwalk and returns to Fifth Street. The pageant will be held at the Music Pier, Boardwalk and Moorlyn Terrace, starting at 7 p.m. Aug. 13. Shannon Wallace, the reigning Miss Ocean City, will preside over the pageant and relinquish her crown to the new Miss Ocean City. The pageant has been sponsored for 47 years by the Ocean City Exchange Club. Tickets are $15 and are available at ocnj.us/boxoffice (starting Wednesday afternoon) or at the Music Pier Box Office. For information, call (609) 399-6111.
GREGORY DIXON/Herald photoWith their 4-0 defeat of St. Cloud State on Saturday, the Wisconsin women?s hockey team built themselves an eight-game winning streak to start off the New Year.After getting swept in heartbreaking fashion by the Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs in late November, the Badgers haven?t dropped a game in close to two months, sweeping North Dakota, Minnesota State, Ohio State and now St. Cloud State to push their record to 18-6-2.With the top three teams in the WCHA all garnering sweeps this weekend, UW was unable to pick up any further ground on UMD and Minnesota, who are first and second in the conference, respectively.In Saturday?s game, which set a new NCAA record for attendance with 5,377 fans filling the lower bowl of the Kohl Center, the Badgers played brilliantly in front of the large crowd, downing St. Cloud 4-0. As was the case last year when UW and Harvard played in front of the then-record-sized crowd at the Kohl Center, senior Jinelle Zaugg stepped up, scoring two goals in the decisive win. Against Harvard last year, it was Zaugg?s overtime goal that sealed the win for the Badgers. Hillary Knight and Mallory Deluce also netted goals for Wisconsin.With the shutout, junior goaltender Jesse Vetter now has nine shutouts on the season, on pace to break her own mark of 15 from last season. She stopped all 18 shots she faced Saturday and made 22 saves Friday.But while the defense seems never to be as much of an issue for the Badgers, the offense?s struggles before the break were causing a lot of problems for the momentum of a team not used to having trouble lighting the lamp.?We had been getting our scoring opportunities, but now the puck is actually going in,? UW head coach Mark Johnson said following Friday?s game. ?It makes a huge difference when you can get the three, four, five goals. I?d say one of the biggest reasons we?ve been more successful the past eight games or so is because the team has been scoring much more than it did earlier in the season.?For a team that isn?t used to playing with a deficit, having their high-powered offense back in full swing certainly has helped the overall mentality of the team.Gaining an early lead eight seconds into the game also helped the offense, as was the case Friday when sophomore forward Jasmine Giles notched her goal faster than anyone in Wisconsin women?s hockey history, breaking a record of 11 seconds set by former Badger Lindsay Macy.After being away from the Kohl Center for close to two months, scoring early was going to be a top priority for the Badgers now that they have a series at home with North Dakota coming up this weekend.?[Giles? goal] is a great way to start a hockey game,? Johnson said. ?If we can patent that start for every game, we?ll take it.?Wisconsin was able to use that momentum to get on the board quickly again in the second period with a Mallory Deluce goal. Senior Jinelle Zaugg continued her recent hot streak by adding her own goal shortly after, with freshman Kelly Nash capping off the game with a wrist shot that singed the top of the net.Next weekend the Badgers are home for a series against the Fighting Sioux of North Dakota and will look to gain on the one-game difference in conference standing between themselves and Minnesota.