“I condemn these horrific attacks in the strongest terms. Trying to silence the media will have a devastating effect on the nation’s vibrant media community,” said the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia, Augustine P. Mahiga. “These attacks must stop and the crimes must be fully investigated by the Somali and Somaliland authorities.” On Tuesday, Ahmed Saakin Farah Ilyas, a correspondent with Universal TV was shot dead in the town of Las-Anod in Somalia’s Sool region. Two days earlier, Mohamed Mohamud Tuuryare, a journalist working for the Shabelle media network in the capital, Mogadishu, was shot and is still in a critical condition, the UN Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS), which Mr. Mahiga heads, said in a news release. “I send my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Ahmed Farah Ilyas and I wish Mr. Mohamed Tuurayare a quick and full recovery,” Mr. Mahiga said. According to the UN, Somalia is one of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists to operate, with 2012 being one of the bloodiest years on record for the country’s media industry. Sixteen Somali journalists have been killed this year alone and more than 20 reportedly injured. The UN has repeatedly called on the Somali authorities to conduct independent and swift investigations into the killings and to bring and end to the cycle of violence and to impunity. “I call on the authorities to bolster their criminal investigation capacity and bring the perpetrators to justice. UNPOS stands ready to assist in this regard,” Mr. Mahiga added. After decades of factional fighting and lawlessness, the East Africa country has been undergoing a peace and national reconciliation process, with a series of landmark steps in recent months that have helped to bring an end to the country’s eight-year political transition period. These steps included the adoption of a Provisional Constitution, the establishment of a new Parliament and the appointments of a new President and a new Prime Minister. Until last year, most of the capital, Mogadishu, was, for several years, riven by a fluid frontline dividing the two sides – fighters belonging to the Al Shabaab militant group and troops belonging to the Government of Somalia, with the latter supported by the UN-backed African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). Since the Al Shabaab withdrawal from the capital in August last year, the frontlines have been pushed back to surrounding areas. However, the use of roadside bombs, grenades and suicide bombers still take place, as do armed clashes. In September, Al-Shabaab insurgents withdrew from the port city of Kismayo, their last remaining stronghold located a sizable urban area, but still control parts of the country’s south-central areas.
JSC Vorkutaugol, one of the largest coal mining companies in Russia, owned by PJSC Severstal, has begun the installation of a multifunctional security system at the Vorkutinskaya, Zapolyarnaya, Komsomolskaya and Vorgashorskaya mines.In December 2017, components of the security system Strata, developed in Russia, Kazakhstan, the United States and South Africa, were delivered to the mines. A month later, representatives from Alpha-Safety, the general supplier of equipment, arrived in Vorkuta to put the systems in place with help from specialists from Vorkutaugol.Alexei Borisov, Deputy Technical Director of Vorkutaugol, said: “Before we started the installation, we had already done a lot of the preparation. The first step was to draw up the detailed technical design and decide which factories would be used for the different components in. We then developed an efficient delivery chain using air transport . Finally, we trained the specialists who will be involved in the installation and operation of the system.”The installation of Strata at all Vorkutaugol mines follows a single schedule of progress. Weekly meetings will be held at the headquarters for monitoring the progress of work, solving problems and sharing experience. These meetings will include the mechanics of Vorkutaugol and representatives from the supplier.The installation is divided into two main stages: surface level and underground. On the surface specialists lay fibre-optic lines, connect them to the server and configure the software. Underground, fibre-optic lines also need to be put down in order to establish wireless communication nodes.Following the launch of the system in July 2018, three of the main functions will be complete continuous monitoring of the air and gas situation, locating each miner with an accuracy of up to 20 m, and underground wireless communication. Vorkutaugol will be the first company in Russia with mines fully equipped with the Strata system.
“HOMOPHOBIA IS ALIVE and well in Ireland.”That is the message being spread by Buzz O’Neill after he experienced it first-hand while on a night out with friends in Dublin this week.The well-known businessman and nightclub promoter was attacked by four men outside The George at about 1.15am Thursday morning. He suffered bruising and minor injuries. He recalls: “I left The George before it ended with a friend. We walked to the corner, where we stopped to chat as we were going in different directions.“We kissed each other goodnight and a person from the back of a taxi shouted ‘fucking faggot’ out the window.“I told him to ‘mind his own business’ but he spat at me. I wasn’t going to walk away from that so I responded. They piled out of the taxi. One of them came out the door of the taxi, and another came out the other side and approached me from behind. That one punched me.“Thankfully the staff from The George were able to intervene.”Gardaí have opened an investigation into the assault and CCTV footage of the incident has been gathered. The suspects are described as young men in their early 20s.“Unfortunately, it is not an isolated incident,” O’Neill told TheJournal.ie. “Many of these attacks go unreported so I decided to come forward and speak about it. I’ve had enough. I’m saying ‘No’.”According to O’Neill, he could name at least ten friends who have been beaten up as a result of a hate crime in the past five years.“Since Wednesday, I’ve heard from even more people,” he continues. “There is a fear of speaking out so they go unreported. People would be more inclined to come forward if they were regular assaults. In Ireland, we have no legislation which adequately covered hate crime.”Currently, France is experiencing a surge in homophobic assaults as the same-sex marriage debate receives widespread media and political coverage.The Irish debate on gay marriage is something that is also “niggling” at O’Neill right now.“These organisations that preach against gay marriage, they are preaching an anti-gay rhetoric. They have to be held accountable. In a twisted way, it gives these people a mandate,” he says.This weekend, the Constitutional Convention will vote on whether to make a recommendation to the government to provide marriage equality.Regardless of the outcome, O’Neill believes that Ireland still needs a “proper debate” about gay rights.“This government could legislate for gay marriage tomorrow if there was political will. They are looking for someone else to tell them, ‘You should do this’. They shouldn’t need the Constitutional Convention to tell them. Common sense should do that.”As the garda investigation continues, O’Neill must return to his job at the front of Dublin’s most popular gay nightclubs. He runs FAG in the Button Factory, as well as Bukkake and Sunday Social in Four Dame Lane.“It has knocked my confidence, no doubt,” he admits. “But I have to get back out there.”Earlier today, Buzz tweeted an image of his eye with the message: “Swelling gone down.. Blackening up nicely! #yestolove”Homophobic assaults surge in France amid gay marriage debate