Connect with us

Ticker Views

Putin’s strangle – crumbling Russia’s independent press | ticker VIEWS

Published

on

As a first generation Australian with two Russian parents, I have always found myself trapped between two ideologies – the east and the west

My mother and father spent a large chunk of their lives in Soviet Russia, living through its collapse and the turbulent transition to capitalism led by Boris Yeltsin.

When Vladimir Putin came into office, it was seen as a turning point for the country. A potential for stability brought by the hope that Russia could convert to resembling a Western nation.

While watching state television news, I was entranced by Putin. I was mesmerised by the propaganda that was fed through censored journalism and faked approval ratings. 

More than 20 years later and Putin is still in power as the democracy that was once promised, continues to creep further out of reach.

What was once a presidency full of possibility, it now has mutated into what some call – a dictatorship

This has bled into various sections of life from business to education, where corruption is rife.

Journalism has been one crucial industry impacted by the changing landscape of Russia, with press freedom gradually deteriorating through the silencing of journalists.

For independent journalists this has meant being labelled as “foreign agents” for any funding received from international organisations including small donations.

Putin insists that the Foreign Agents law works in favour of preserving the transparency of companies.

“I’m sure our people, who are taking the money, are honest and kind but those paying them, as a rule, are guided by an agenda of trying to restrain Russia – that’s the problem,”

Putin says

The president compares his country’s laws to the U.S, who has imposed similar legislations since 1938. He says Russia’s are more lenient as they do not ban companies from operating.

“These organisations do keep working and functioning, however they are required to report if they are engaged in internal political activity and receive funding from abroad, nobody’s rights are being infringed here whatsoever.”

Independent news channel, Rain TV labelled a ‘Foreign Agent’ as The Kremlin presses down on vocal journalists

Dozhd (TV Rain) is an independent news channel that has gained over 2 million followers since it launched in 2010 and one of the first Russian news organisations to report on the protests against the alleged rigging of the country’s parliamentary elections, but in August it was labelled a foreign agent.

Dozhd Editor-in-Chief Tikhon Dzyadko says the event was “very humiliating” for him as he views himself as a “patriot”.

He says “this legislation is to punish opponents” and to make “people afraid of speaking up”.

“We are completely sure that everything we have been doing for and with Rain TV, we have been doing for the good of Russia and Russians,” says Mr Dzyadko.

“Because a lot of young people, they do not watch the TV, they don’t watch the propaganda. They use YouTube, Telegram, TikTok, Instagram, other major platforms, and the problem is that there are two different realities.”

He says the gap between the government and independent media continues to widen with the foreign agent label highlighting “that our enemies are the state”

This comes amid the increasing silencing of journalists, with Novaya Gazeta newspaper fined on Wednesday for failing to properly label “foreign agents” in their news coverage.

The safety of media personnel is constantly threatened with Russia being the most dangerous European country for journalists.

Between 1992 and 2021, 58 journalists died in Russia, with 38 of them murdered, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

When asked why he chooses to stay within the country, Mr Dzyadko says he spent two years in the U.S. but is too deeply rooted within Russia to migrate.

“Everything I have, everything I know, is here and I want my kids to live in this country, and my goal is to make the life here better,”

“Of course it’s not very comfortable now, of course it is very unstable, but at the same time, I see that we have millions of our viewers here in Russia for whom it is very important that we’re reporting from Moscow because these people want this country to be better as well.”

Natasha is an Associate Producer at ticker NEWS with a Bachelor of arts from Monash University. She has previously worked at Sky News Australia and Monash University as an Online Content Producer.

Ticker Views

December time crunch – variants, deadlines and wild cards

Published

on

Let’s look ahead to the end of the year in Washington.  There are enormous issues, tests, and challenges across the board.  There is no certainty of the outcomes

Bruce WOLPE ON TICKER NEWS

The variants

The eruption of Omicron is a rude shock to a world struggling to recover from the pandemic.  For President Biden, while the quantum of this new health threat itself is not yet clear, the political danger is clearly visible. 

More people have died from Covid in the United States this year than in 2020.  Americans are still dying at a rate of around 1000 per day. 

The vaccination crusade has stalled at about 70 per cent of the population fully vaxxed.  Even before Omicron, the difference between the US at 70 per cent and the most populous states in Australia at 90 per cent+ is the very visible difference in overall public health. 

BIDEN CALLING FOR CALM

America’s vaccine deficit has been fuelled by the rancid politics spawned in the Trump days.  Biden’s appeal on taking office was that he would bring Covid under control.  It is under control for the vaccinated but not for those naked to the virus.  

Biden’s message of reassurance to the American people that the US can face this new threat, and manage it successfully without lockdowns, is designed to counter the uncertainty, fear, and choppiness across an economy infected with inflation and clots in the supply chains. 

The new variant – and all the uncertainties it presents – poses further tests for any rebound in Biden’s approval in the short term 

And that means that for the moment he has less political capital in shaping public opinion to get his legislative agenda done this year.

The deadlines

Funding for the Federal government runs out on December 3.  Unless Congress approves money for government operations (“supply” in the Australian context) the government will shut down next Saturday. 

While President Trump and Senate Republicans in the Obama presidency saw some virtue in playing the government shutdown card, there are no winners from such an exercise.  

The logical outcome is to punt and extend government funding until next March. This is what should happen, will likely happen- but simple logic is in short supply in Washington these days.

The debt limit of the United States expires any time after December 15.  This is the ceiling authorised by law for the United States to pay its debts – to its citizens and to creditors worldwide. 

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer speaks to the press after a lunch meeting with Senate Democrats at the Capitol on November 16.

The United States has never defaulted on its debt, but there have been many moments when this issue has been taken to the brink. Debt limit fights have in recent years been the played with the hardest of hardball tactics. 

Republicans have made clear there will not be any votes from their side on the debt limit; Biden and the Democrats have to own it all.  Tensions on this issue between the Republican and Democratic leaders in the Senate this year have run extremely high. 

It may be that the only alternative to passing the debt limit is to include it in the Biden mega-package on social programs and climate, now pending in the Senate.

The Biden package offers universal prekindergarten, generous subsidies for childcare, expanded financial aid for college, hundreds of billions of dollars in housing support, home and community care for older Americans, a new hearing benefit for Medicare and price controls for prescription drugs.

On climate there is more than half a trillion dollars to migrate the U.S. economy away from fossil fuels

In the words of one of President Nixon’s aides, this is “the whole enchilada” – Biden’s defining social and climate legacy.

But the only way this legislation passes the Senate is if every Democrat – all 50 – vote for it.  And those votes are not yet assured.  At least two Democrats – Manchin of West Virginia and Sinema of Arizona – are yet to pledge they will vote for this bill. 

If Democrats remain divided, the legislation will fail with immense damage to both their president, their party and themselves.

Wild Cards

Israel’s war in Gaza suddenly exploded in May. Biden’s expert management of the Gaza crisis may be tested again.  There are other ticking foreign policy bombs. 

There are heavy indications that Russia’s Putin wants to move on Ukraine, possibly occupying the country and overthrowing its president.  And in Iran, the European powers and the United States are at a make-or-break point as to whether negotiations to halt Iran’s nuclear program will continue or end.  

By Christmas, either issue could lead to a real fear that there will be military confrontation for the United States – perhaps imminently with Russia, perhaps in 2022 with Iran.

All of this – the course of the pandemic, the ability of the US government to function and pay its debts, the strength of the Biden presidency, and the state of peace in the world – is at stake this coming month.

Everyone still says this Christmas will be better than last Christmas.  Let’s hope so.

Continue Reading

Ticker Views

Is ending violence against women, up to women? | ticker VIEWS

Published

on

TALKING PARENTS

Violence against women and girls is one of the most widespread, persistent, and devastating human rights violations in our world today

Millions of girls and women around the world fear for safety and wellbeing each day, both online and offline. Violence against women doesn’t discriminate based on age, background, or level of education.

Globally, an estimated 736 million women or almost one in three, have been subject to intimate partner violence, non-partner sexual violence or both at least once in their life.

Most devastatingly, women are most unsafe in their own homes.

End violence against women

The United Nations is marking 16 days of activism against gender-based violence, from November 25, with “Orange the world: End violence against women now.”

The days will be dedicated to raising awareness and putting a stop to this crippling issue.

The statistics of violence against women are chilling, and the Covid-19 pandemic has sent the statistics skyrocketing. A new UN women report shows that the pandemic has eroded women’s feelings of safety, with significant negative impacts on mental and emotional well-being.

Violence against women shows itself in many forms, including physically, emotionally, and financially. It is vital to educate people that violence doesn’t always show itself in a physical bruise or scar.

Coercive control is a strategic form of ongoing oppression and terrorism used to instil fear. The abuser will use tactics, such as limiting access to money or monitoring all communication, as a controlling effort. This is a gradual process and possibly the most dangerous of all because there is often no obvious proof.

Until now, coercive control also referred to as ‘intimate terrorism’, is only punishable by Australian law if the victim has previously filed for a Domestic Violence Order.  There are also difficulties that persist in the ability for law enforcement to obtain evidence and for coercive control to be proven in court.

However, in the United Kingdom it coercive control is illegal, so there are constant pushes for the same laws to be imposed worldwide.

Violence against women is a pandemic of its own, that demands urgent attention. It is possible to end this catastrophe, but it needs to start at the root causes, social attitudes, and Government recognition.

“Intimate violence is prevalent… Impacting the lives of 1 in 3 women globally.”

Alethia Jimenez, UN Women Programme & policy advisor on ending violence against women

 

Putting a stop to violence against women

Often when it comes to stopping and avoiding violence against women, the responsibility is put on the women themselves. The attitude is that women shouldn’t walk alone late at night, or must carry their keys in their hands when walking to the car.

It’s on women to not dress provocatively or invoke any form of abuse on themselves. But, this attitude is the problem.

It isn’t the woman’s responsibility to walk in fear and avoid violence. The issue is embedded deep into today’s society and that’s where attention must be focused.

The process of addressing this issue needs to start with the perpetrator. We must look at addressing and educating the perpetrator’s behaviour more pro-actively and systemically before it eventuates into violence.

The attitude towards violence against women is far too normalised in society, and that must change before the problem can ever truly be eradicated. Let’s speak up, for the millions that can’t, because this abuse is not a way of life.

“The issue is that the violence is perpetrated. Why are men and boys perpetrating violence?”

“The issue is that we accept this abuse as a normal part of a woman’s life… So how do we change our attitudes towards this issue?” 

Alethia Jimenez, UN Women Programme & policy advisor on ending violence against women

*If you or anyone you know is experiencing violence or abuse in any way please contact your local helpline. 

Continue Reading

Climate

Floods, mudslides & deaths in British Columbia | ticker VIEWS

Published

on

CTV NEW VANCOUVER

Emergency crews continue their search for victims after flash floods and mudslides engulf areas in Western Canada

British Columbia has declared its third state of emergency in a year, after a month’s worth of rain fell in two days, engulfing towns and cities, blocking major highways, and leaving much of the area underwater.

More extreme weather events

Canada is experiencing the brunt of extreme weather events. Record rainfall, also known as an “atmospheric river”, has paralyzed parts of the province, leading to food and fuel shortages.

The rainfall blocked essential roads, washed-out essential railways, and cut off Vancouver from the rest of the country. The region has implemented temporary restrictions on fuel and travel to help the recovery process and alleviate supply chain issues.

https://twitter.com/boatwrangler2/status/1461201211571400704?s=20

World’s first electric ship

The world’s first self-steering and zero-emission container ship is officially up and sailing. The ship is owned by Yara, the world’s leading fertilizer company and a provider of environmental solutions. The company addresses global challenges and creates positive change in key areas. The Yara Birkeland ship will address the emissions challenges in the transport sector.

The ship is sailing around Norway and leading the way for other countries to adopt similar models.

“We are proud to be able to showcase the world’s first fully electric and self-propelled container ship.

It will cut 1,000 tonnes of CO2 and replace 40,000 trips by diesel-powered trucks a year.”

Svein Tore Holsether, CEO of Yara

 

The boat propels itself using GPS, radars, cameras, and sensors to navigate. The advancement in technology enables the ship to avoid sea traffic and dock on its own. The 80-meter-long and 15-meter-wide vessel can transport up to 120 containers, per trip, which is equivalent to about 40,000 trucks trips.

Ocean’s under threat

The world’s oceans are under threat, with scientists calling for tracking oxygen loss that causes dead zones. Ocean health is gaining increased recognition, and rightly so. The ocean plays a critical part in climate regulation.

The ocean covers 70 percent of the planet and absorbs a considerable amount of CO2 and heat. It is essential that we look after our oceans and everything inside it. The life inside the ocean produces half the oxygen we breathe.

Our sealife is under threat because of pollution, climate change and overfishing.

“We’re seeing increasing areas of the ocean that has a lack of oxygen- which is critical to life.”

Scott Hamilton, energy expert & Ticker Climate co-host

 

“Twiggy Forrest, the mining billionaire is involved in a recent study with how countries line up with overfishing… Australia got a D.”

Scott Hamilton, energy expert & Ticker Climate co-host

You can watch this week’s full episode here: 

Continue Reading

Trending on Ticker

Copyright © 2021 The Ticker Company PTY LTD