News It is equally concerning that the rules also provide for the censorship of any content regarded as indecent, immoral or harmful to the “glory of Islam,” without giving any precise definition of these extremely vague concepts. The interpretation is left to the PTA, which thereby acquires arbitrary and almost infinite powers. It is also envisaged that all these procedures are activated in a completely opaque manner. The nature of content that is blocked and the identity of those who denounce “forbidden” content will remain confidential. This lack of transparency will prevent the public from knowing the scale of the censorship to which they are being subjected and the identity of their censors. PakistanAsia – Pacific Online freedomsMedia independenceProtecting sources InternetCitizen-journalistsFreedom of expressionEconomic pressureJudicial harassment Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has analysed the provisions of a new set of online content regulations that the Pakistani government decreed without any consultation with stakeholders, and which are clearly designed to impose draconian online censorship. Pakistani TV anchor censored after denouncing violence against journalists Organisation Pakistani supreme court acquits main suspect in Daniel Pearl murder In view of the complete lack of consultation, several stakeholders have said they will challenge the regulations in the courts. The new set of rules subjects online content to completely arbitrary censorship by the executive (image: D. Bastard). to go further “We urge the Pakistani government to reconsider this iniquitous decree which, as it stands, subjects online content to completely arbitrary censorship by the executive,” said Daniel Bastard, the head of RSF’s Asia-Pacific desk. “These rules will deprive Pakistani citizens of reliable and independent information on the Internet, which has become one of the few remaining spaces where this is still possible. As such, they are quite simply unconstitutional.” Follow the news on Pakistan The rules also empower the PTA to act as both plaintiff and judge. It is the PTA that decides, without reference to a court, whether content violates the criminal code and, worse still, it is the PTA that reexamines cases in the event of a challenge, and rules on any appeals. Finally, social media and Internet access providers are required to implement the censorship themselves. They are given 24 hours – or six hours in urgent cases– to delete or block content regarded by the PTA as contentious. In the event of failure to comply with one of its directives, the PTA can order the blocking of an entire website or social network. RSF_en Pakistani journalist critical of the military wounded by gunfire No transparency News This model of censorship and total content control is directly based on the model pioneered in neighbouring China, which is ranked 177th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2020 World Press Freedom Index. Pakistan is ranked 145th, six places lower than in 2018. Help by sharing this information News Receive email alerts December 18, 2020 Analysis: Pakistani government’s new online censorship strategy April 21, 2021 Find out more June 2, 2021 Find out more On national security grounds, the rules provide for the withdrawal or blocking of any content that “excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards the federal or provincial government” or “harms the reputation of any person holding public office.” In practice, this would mean that any comment critical of a government official could be immediately censored. News Platforms are also legally obliged to hand over user data when asked, including data from private and encrypted communications. And platforms with more than 500,000 users are required to open an office in Pakistan, install servers there and register with the authorities. PakistanAsia – Pacific Online freedomsMedia independenceProtecting sources InternetCitizen-journalistsFreedom of expressionEconomic pressureJudicial harassment Vague concepts Published last month by the information ministry and entitled “Removal and Blocking of Unlawful Online Content (Procedure, Oversight and Safeguards), Rules 2020,” the new regulations replace an earlier set of rules that were suspended in February because of a civil society outcry.The initial aim was to provide a legal framework for article 37 of the 2016 Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, but they have ended up going much further, granting disproportionate and discretionary powers to the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), the online content regulator, which is a direct government offshoot. January 28, 2021 Find out more
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Photo by Scott Legato/Getty Images(CHICAGO) — Singer R. Kelly was charged Friday with 10 counts of felony criminal sexual abuse involving four minors, according to the Cook County Prosecutor’s Office.The victims are between 13 and 16 years old, according to prosecutors.This is a developing story. Please check back for updates. Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
Eric Richelsen For Pamela Nolan Young, Notre Dame’s new director of academic diversity and inclusion, cultivating a diverse faculty is essential for any university.“There are lots of scholarly articles and research that point to the benefit of having a diverse faculty and student body — and staff, I would include professional staff in that as well,” Young said. “And some of them are very obvious. When you have different perspectives addressing the same issue, you have more enriched conversations. When you have different perspectives addressing scientific research, you approach that research differently. You’re able to be more creative and think about some of the solutions that you might propose.”In her role in the provost’s office, Young said four components — recruitment, retention, development and communication — work to increase faculty diversity.Jason Ruiz, an associate professor of American studies, said faculty diversity plays a central role in providing a well-rounded education.“I think our job as a University is to expose students to the diversity of the human experience across the disciplines,” Ruiz said. “In order to do that, you need a diverse faculty.”According to the most recent statistics from Notre Dame’s office of Institutional Research, as of 2011, U.S. minorities comprised 15 percent of Notre Dame’s faculty. This figure places the University 4.2 percent below the median for Association of American Universities (AAU) institutions. According to statistics from the National Center for Education Statistics, as of 2013, 21 percent of all full-time higher education faculty members were black, Hispanic or Asian/Pacific Islander.Despite the University’s relative lack of faculty diversity, professor of political science Darren Davis said the issue is not unique to Notre Dame.“I think the most important thing is for people to understand that although the numbers are low, these things are not unique to Notre Dame,” Davis said. “Other schools are in similar situations, and because of that, I don’t think there’s anything to be ashamed of. Because, relatively speaking, every other university is in the same situation. … So it’s an issue, but it’s not endemic to the culture at Notre Dame.“… It’s no different from many other universities,” Davis said. “There’s not anything unique to Notre Dame that makes it inhospitable to minority candidates.”Young, who has held similar diversity and inclusion positions at Smith College, North Shore Community College and in the private sector, said all colleges and universities grapple with similar issues.“Diversity and inclusion is difficult for every higher education institution,” she said. “Even those institutions that feel like they’re doing very well or feel that it’s very easy for them to attract top talent — so Harvard or Stanford or the University of Chicago — are all striving to do better.”Several factors present barriers to Notre Dame building a more diverse faculty, Davis said.“The first reason is that there are not many [minority] Ph.D.s to begin with,” he said. “So, if you look at the various disciplines, you don’t normally see a lot of minorities with Ph.D.s who are also interested in going into academia.”Ruiz said the overall lack of minority representation in higher education is a historical problem.“It’s definitely a product of history, including the ways in which institutions of higher education excluded non-white people for the vast majority of their histories,” he said. “Things have changed dramatically for undergraduate students and admission and recruitment, but, at the graduate level, we still see tremendous disparities in a variety of fields.”Davis also said Notre Dame’s high academic standing places it in a competitive market for all faculty, including minorities.“Many schools like a Notre Dame are interested in hiring people who will be successful, academics who will be successful,” he said. “So that means there are many other universities and colleges like Notre Dame who are competing for those candidates as well.”Ruiz said Notre Dame’s physical location may also prevent some minority faculty members from coming here.“I think one of the problems I hear again and again about Notre Dame when we’re hiring is location,” he said. “There’s a sense that South Bend is going to be a difficult sell for super strong minority faculty members who have opportunities to work in big cities, on the coasts.”These barriers, and more, may make it seem as if Notre Dame is in a bleak situation for faculty diversity, professor of political science and Africana studies Diane Pinderhughes said.“It’s hard to have confidence,” Pinderhughes said. “There’s more communication about the University’s commitment to diversity in the past year or so. … But when I think around the campus about the numbers and the progress [minority] people are making through the tenure ranks and the numbers of people and the fact that there’s not consistently a range of full professors or professors with chairs in the University, this is a problem. There are also very few African Americans in higher administrative levels.”Still, Ruiz said Notre Dame fosters faculty diversity in some fields, while others need more attention.“For Latinos, Notre Dame is considered a great place,” he said. “We have a relatively strong number of Latino faculty members and faculty members who do Latino studies. I think other ethnic studies are more obviously underrepresented among the faculty, especially African American faculty members and anyone interested in doing Asian American studies and American Indian studies.”In order to increase faculty diversity, Ruiz said he would advocate for “cluster hiring.”“My number one thing I think Notre Dame could do to increase faculty diversity would be to engage in cluster hiring,” he said. “I’ve seen other schools have tremendous success in hiring not one faculty member who does Asian American Studies, but hire seven across a wide array of disciplines, so a psychologist, an American studies person, a sociologist and a historian, all of whom are interested in the Asian American experience.”Ruiz said this practice would immediately impact recruitment, but also aid in retention efforts for minority faculty members.“I think the philosophy of the cluster hire is that people come in as cohorts who have similar backgrounds and are interested in similar intellectual questions and, therefore, feel more grounded here,” he said. “Because one thing that’s really hard as a faculty member is to be the only person on a campus from your background and to be the only person who does that type of work. You’re alone. You’re a lone wolf. It’s hard to see yourself represented here when you’re one of one. I think cluster hiring is the number one thing that could have immediate and dramatic impact on faculty diversity.”Davis said in order to generate a more diverse faculty, Notre Dame should emphasize its unique aspects, including its Catholic identity.“Our unique Catholic identity is and should be highly attractive,” Davis said. “Our focus on social justice, Catholic social teaching and being an inclusive community should be attractive — particularly attractive to minority candidates, not just Catholics, but across the board. That is something that intrigued me and convinced me to come here.”Highlighting these attributes that separate Notre Dame from peer institutions would help the University succeed in the competitive faculty market, Davis said.“The way that I see Notre Dame is we’re in a competitive market for the best faculty we can get,” he said.“Everyone is after them — everyone. And we have to figure out what we do better than other similarly situated universities.“Notre Dame is not the only with resources. Notre Dame is not the only place with a long sports tradition. Notre Dame is not the only place where you can go and have good colleagues. So we have to think about, in my opinion, what separates us from aspirational peers who are similarly situated economically and intellectually.”And while Young, who began her job earlier this month, said her brief time in the new position has prevented her from fully formulating recruitment and retention strategies, more effective communication will advance the mission of increasing faculty diversity.“When I interviewed for the job, someone said to me that the University tends to be very modest and that they’re not in the habit of advertising and boasting about their activities,” she said. “And this is an area where to attract top talent, they have to know and see that there is a commitment and that you’re already involved in doing the work. And so it requires a very public presence about your deliberate actions, and I think that’s one think I’ll try to encourage the University to do differently — to make known what’s currently happening on campus more prominent.”Ultimately, Young said, increasing faculty diversity will benefit all members of the Notre Dame community.“Oftentimes, individuals think about diversity and inclusion as an aside or an add-on,” she said. “The practices and changes that will come about based on my work, if they come into fruition, will help every faculty member on campus.”Tags: Darren Davis, Diane Pinderhughes, Diversity, Diversity and Inclusion, faculty, Jason Ruiz, pamela nolan young