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Peru: ​RSF condemns disproportionate penalties in defamation cases

first_imgNews October 5, 2016 – Updated on March 16, 2017 Peru: ​RSF condemns disproportionate penalties in defamation cases PeruAmericas Condemning abuses Judicial harassment Organisation PeruAmericas Condemning abuses Judicial harassment Help by sharing this information Ronald Daniel Ormeño , the editor of the weekly Prensa al Día, was jailed on 4 September for failing to pay 10,000 soles (2,600 euros) in damages in a libel case brought by Mirtha Nancy Toledo Morales, a lawyer and administrator of a university in the city of Chimbote, over an October 2013 article.The article, for which Ormeño was also given a suspended sentence of one year in prison, accused her of management irregularities and lying about her qualifications. He was freed two weeks later, after his family and friends succeeded in raising the money to pay the damages, but he is still the subject of the suspended jail sentence. Receive email alerts Latin American media: under control of families, economic and political elites RSF_en Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is concerned about the scale of the damages awarded or sought in two recent defamation cases against Peruvian journalists and calls on the authorities to decriminalize media offences without delay. Newscenter_img News to go further Follow the news on Peru April 1, 2020 Find out more China’s diplomats must stop attacking media over coronavirus reporting Latin America’s community radio – a key service but vulnerable February 10, 2017 Find out more The other case concerns Milagros Rodríguez Hidalgo, a journalist based in the northern city of Tumbes who reports for the Diario Tumbes 21 newspaper and presents the “En ContactoTV” programme on La Hechicera TV.Pedro Octavio Mejía Reyes, a senior official in the Tumbes regional government, brought a defamation case against her on 12 September demanding 100,000 soles (26,000 euros) in damages in connection with her coverage in May about alleged corruption within the regional administration.As a result of her reporting, Rodríguez has also repeatedly received anonymous threatening messages and she says she has been denied access for her coverage of local government matters.“We reiterate our appeal to the Peruvian government to comply with international standards on freedom of expression by decriminalizing media offences,” said Emmanuel Colombié, the head of RSF’s Latin America desk.“The damages awarded or sought in these two cases are utterly disproportionate. The cases against Ormeño and Rodríguez are typical of the way powerful Peruvian plaintiffs, often public officials, use the justice system to censor and retaliate against journalists. This sends an extremely negative signal for media freedom in Peru.”Peru must quickly clarify its position on the criminalization of media offences in order not to continue obstructing the work of journalists.In another recent case, TV reporter and presenter Rafo León was given a suspended jail sentence on 3 May in a defamation case brought by fellow journalist Martha Meier Miró Quesada. A higher court finally quashed the sentence on 8 September. Meir Miró Quesada is appealing.And the journalist Fernando Valencia was given a 20-month suspended jail sentence on 18 April for allegedly defaming former President Alan García. This sentence was also subsequently overturned, on 9 August.Peru is ranked 84th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2016 World Press Freedom Index. December 4, 2019 Find out more Newslast_img read more

Revisiting Lévy flight search patterns of wandering albatrosses, bumblebees and deer

first_imgThe study of animal foraging behaviour is of practical ecological importance1, and exemplifies the wider scientific problem of optimizing search strategies2. Lévy flights are random walks, the step lengths of which come from probability distributions with heavy power-law tails3, 4, such that clusters of short steps are connected by rare long steps. Lévy flights display fractal properties, have no typical scale, and occur in physical3, 4, 5 and chemical6 systems. An attempt to demonstrate their existence in a natural biological system presented evidence that wandering albatrosses perform Lévy flights when searching for prey on the ocean surface7. This well known finding2, 4, 8, 9 was followed by similar inferences about the search strategies of deer10 and bumblebees10. These pioneering studies have triggered much theoretical work in physics (for example, refs 11, 12), as well as empirical ecological analyses regarding reindeer13, microzooplankton14, grey seals15, spider monkeys16 and fishing boats17. Here we analyse a new, high-resolution data set of wandering albatross flights, and find no evidence for Lévy flight behaviour. Instead we find that flight times are gamma distributed, with an exponential decay for the longest flights. We re-analyse the original albatross data7 using additional information, and conclude that the extremely long flights, essential for demonstrating Lévy flight behaviour, were spurious. Furthermore, we propose a widely applicable method to test for power-law distributions using likelihood18 and Akaike weights19, 20. We apply this to the four original deer and bumblebee data sets10, finding that none exhibits evidence of Lévy flights, and that the original graphical approach10 is insufficient. Such a graphical approach has been adopted to conclude Lévy flight movement for other organisms13, 14, 15, 16, 17, and to propose Lévy flight analysis as a potential real-time ecosystem monitoring tool17. Our results question the strength of the empirical evidence for biological Lévy flights.last_img read more