to go further Organisation FranceEurope – Central Asia News FranceEurope – Central Asia RSF_en Follow the news on France Use the Digital Services Act to make democracy prevail over platform interests, RSF tells EU News News Receive email alerts During the spring of 2003, Christine Blanc and Stéphanie Esposito, from La Provence, were personally singled out several times, including by the mayor himself. “As long as these two are there we cannot work,” town hall spokesman André-Yves Beck told Reporters Without Borders. “We don’t want them to lick our boots, but we want to be treated fairly and for them to stop spitting in our faces. It is our right not to give information,” he said.For editor René Gérard, who backs the two journalists it is a case of “intimidation”.Relations between the mayor and the local editorial team of La Provence have deteriorated constantly since 2002. The municipal council accuses La Provence of supporting the opposition and covering municipal affairs partially and inaccurately.On their side, the journalists say they are victims of a downright boycott and complain that they get no information from the registry office and do not receive town hall photos or press statements. In Spring 2003, the council openly boasted of its stance by putting up a board in front of its offices reading “Why you no longer find news about the town of Orange in La Provence”, and in several articles in the municipal journal like “Provprop” or Disinfoprov? How the press spreads disinformation…” June 2, 2021 Find out more May 6, 2004 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Reporters Without Borders condemns intimidation and boycott of La Provence by mayor of Orange June 4, 2021 Find out more RSF denounces Total’s retaliation against Le Monde for Myanmar story “We’ll hold Ilham Aliyev personally responsible if anything happens to this blogger in France” RSF says May 10, 2021 Find out more News Some 50 supporters of the far-right Front National (FN) marched against the local editorial office of the daily newspaper La Provence in Orange, Vaucluse, brandishing placards and accusing it of “disinformation”. Reporters Without Borders called on the mayor to halt intimidation and a boycott run for several months against journalists on La Provence. The 6 May march was led by the FN town mayor Jacques Bompard and his wife Marie-Claude Bompard, a departmental councillor.”Whatever differences of opinion there may be between the mayor and the daily, the journalists should be allowed access to information and be able to handle it freely, without suffering intimidation or discrimination from the local authorities,” the international press freedom organisation said.The demonstrators marched on the offices, brandishing placards reading “Provence Propaganda” and carried a banner reading, “Welcome to the house of disinformation”.They also handed out leaflets justifying the demonstration, that read: “For months La Provence has been carrying on an almost daily battle against the town of Orange and in particular its mayor, Jacques Bompard. (…) This real aversion is leading the newspaper to regularly dish up its readers with disinformation.”Christine Blanc, of La Provence’s local staff told Reporters Without Borders that the mayor’s behaviour was preventing journalists from working normally. She said, “The mayor does not tolerate us giving space to anyone who does not agree with them. In fact, they would like us to be municipal journal,” she complained. Help by sharing this information
BLUES RUGBY Worcester Warriors 26 Oxford 26 The Blues bid to regain their Varsity title looked decidedly promising on Monday night, as they forced an away draw with the Worcester Warriors at Sixways. Worcester, currently lying top of the first division, fielded a relatively strong side which included nine senior players as well as members of their development squad, while a series of minor injuries as well as World Cup commitments meant several key players were missing for the visiting team. Oxford were very quickly behind, as a combination of good passing by the Warriors and bad defence by the Blues led to two quick tries. Worcester winger Birchall’s pace exploited the narrowness of the Oxford back line, and after the first of several missed penalties for Oxford, Worcester fullback Hylton made it 14-0 in fourteen minutes. Far from beaten however, the Blues kept the pressure on, and their patience was rewarded when captain John Allen finished off a well-executed backs move with a powerful try. Having stopped the rot, Oxford’s defence seemed less shaky, and Adam Slade made an excellent tackle in the fortieth minute to prevent a third Worcester try. Fly half Jon Fennel’s last minute penalty ensured a creditable half-time score of 14-8. The Blues started the second half in style, with a quick try after a superb forward drive by winger John Bradshaw. A successful conversion would have handed Oxford the lead, but the score remained 14-13 as pressure on the Warriors’ defence increased. Another penalty took Oxford in front, before an excellent wide move in the sixtieth minute led to John Allen’s second try of the match, converted comfortably by Fennel. With the score now 14-23 to the visitors, the home side stepped up a gear, and a textbook dummy by Worcester winger Garrard gave Neil Mason an easy try. The conversion put the Warriors within two points of the Blues, when poor tackling by the Oxford defence gave Worcester captain David Officer another five points. Now three points ahead, the Warriors conceded another penalty, and Fennel’s conversion levelled the scores at 26-26. After a chaotic last few minutes, Worcester kicked for touch to take the draw. Far from being complacent, OURFC Chairman Martin Jackson was already focussed on progress and potential in the lead-up to Varsity: “We are testing the team at quite a high level, especially since a lot of players are new to the Blues squad. Our next match against Leicester will be vital, as they are also shortly playing Cambridge, so we’ll know where we are and what we want to do. A few silly mistakes cost us the game today.” However, with two consecutive draws against First Division teams, and an unprecedented sponsorship deal with Aggregate Industries, the atmosphere is optimistic.ARCHIVE: 1st Week MT2003
A big excavator sits on a mound of dirt during construction work in late June on the Speitel Commons affordable housing project. By DONALD WITTKOWSKIOcean City’s public housing agency has already jumped ahead of schedule in the early stages of a nearly $7 million project that will provide affordable housing for senior citizens now living in a flood-prone neighborhood.Construction began on the Ocean City Housing Authority’s Speitel Commons project on May 1 and is expected to take about 12 months to complete.In an encouraging sign, the authority’s contractor is already about eight to 10 days ahead of schedule and has made two adjustments that have reduced the cost by $180,000, a consultant reported Tuesday during the agency’s monthly board meeting.Construction has initially focused on completing the foundation, but will enter another critical phase in the next few weeks when work begins on the “main platform” to support the building’s superstructure.“Once they put the platform up, now you can build the building,” said Rick Ginnetti, owner of the Brooke Group, the authority’s development consultant.The 32-unit Speitel Commons project is being built next to the authority’s Bayview Manor housing complex at Sixth Street and West Avenue. The building is named in honor of the late Edmond C. Speitel Sr., a housing authority commissioner who helped to oversee the $6.9 million project from the conceptual phaseSenior citizens who now live in the authority’s flood-prone Pecks Beach Village housing complex on Fourth Street will be moved over to the Speitel Commons building when it is completed.The senior citizens portion of Pecks Beach Village, located on the north side of Fourth Street, will be torn down when Speitel Commons is finished. The housing authority has set aside $200,000 for demolition work.Pecks Beach Village also includes affordable housing for low-income families. The 40 family units are located on the south side of Fourth Street. The family units will stay for the time being, although there are longer-range plans to replace them with new housing construction.The Ocean City Housing Authority’s proposed Speitel Commons at Bayview Manor project will include 32 units of affordable housing for senior citizens. (Rendering courtesy of Haley Donovan architectural firm)At the same time Speitel Commons is being built, the authority had hoped to begin renovating the rooms this year at Bayview Manor, another affordable housing complex for senior citizens.However, the COVID-19 pandemic has delayed the renovation plan for Bayview Manor. Ginnetti explained that the authority did not want to jeopardize the health and safety of the senior citizens at Bayview Manor by allowing construction crews to enter their units.Ginnetti and the authority’s staff are collaborating on a “COVID policy” that will include safeguards to protect the Bayview Manor residents when renovations do get underway. No date has been set.Renovations are expected to begin with the building’s roof and the old electrical panels in the individual units. Residents will be moved out of their units into other parts of the building for several hours while work is done on the electrical panels.Before the residents are allowed back into their units, the rooms will be thoroughly sanitized, said Jacqueline Jones, the housing authority’s executive director.In 2019, City Council approved a $6.6 million bond ordinance to build or rehabilitate affordable housing sites for senior citizens and low-income families. The projects will help Ocean City meet its state-mandated obligation to provide its “fair share” of affordable housing as part of a court settlement in 2018.The city is expected to contribute more than $2 million toward the Speitel Commons project. The New Jersey Housing Mortgage and Finance Agency is providing $4.5 million in funding.The Ocean City Housing Authority and the city also plan to work together to build 10 affordable rental homes in locations across town. The authority will develop and manage the homes, Ginnetti said.Ginnetti estimated that the 10 houses will cost about $3.3 million. The city expects to pay $1.3 million, according to Ginnetti. During Tuesday’s board meeting, the housing authority approved plans to apply for a $2 million grant from the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs to help finance the homes.The funding application will be made through the Ocean City Community Development Corp., a nonprofit entity that was created by the housing authority in 2017 but never used. The nonprofit is being revived to apply for the money and to meet the legal requirements imposed by the Department of Community affairs on the grant, Ginnetti said.Renovation work on the residential units at Bayview Manor is delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.