Melanesia: Facebook algorithms censor article about press freedom in West Papua Receive email alerts IndonesiaAsia – Pacific News IndonesiaAsia – Pacific Follow the news on Indonesia to go further August 6, 2010 – Updated on January 20, 2016 How was investigative reporter pushed to kill himself? News Help by sharing this information Reporters Without Borders is saddened to learn of the death of investigative journalist Ardiansyah Matra’is, whose body was found in a river in the eastern province of Papua two days after he was reported missing. The cause of death has not yet been official determined, but his mental state suggests it was suicide.Employed by Merauke TV, a local station in the south of the province, Matra’is had been seriously depressed for months after being threatened by soldiers because of his coverage of illegal logging. His body was found by a search and rescue team in the River Gudang Arand near Merauke at 6:30 a.m. on 30 JulyReporters Without Borders calls for a serious and impartial investigation into the link between his death and the harassment to which he had been subjected. Coming after the flight of a journalist who investigated an illegal logging ring in Simeuleu, in the western province of Aceh, the death of Matra’is seems to confirm the dangers of covering deforestation in Indonesia.The press freedom organisation also urges the Papua provincial authorities to guarantee the ability of the local media to work freely. In the run-up to local elections, journalists have been exposed to frequent threats in the province.Before joining Merauke TV, Matra’is had worked for ANTV, a national television station, Jubi, a magazine based in Jayapura (the provincial capital), and Rajawali, a regional daily. Last year, he wrote a series of reports for Jubi about illegal logging by local military officers, and managed to take photos of their operations.Local sources told Reporters Without Borders that a member of the national intelligence agency, posing as a journalist, subsequently contacted Matra’is and suggested they should work together on a story on the same subject. Matra’is was then kidnapped and threatened by army officers, who urged him to return to Merauke, the town where he born. “Or else we will kill all the members of your family,” they reportedly told him.Matra’is had received treatment several times in a psychiatric hospital and stopped working several weeks before his death.Local journalists in the region, to which the foreign media are denied access, have meanwhile reported receiving threats by SMS, apparently in connection with the forthcoming local elections. Jojo, the editor of the daily Rajawali, told the Kompas.com news website that some journalists had been getting threatening text messages for week.“To cowardly journalists, never play with fire if you do not want to be burned,” one message said, adding: “If you still want to make a living on this land, do not do weird things.” According to Jojo, messages warned that journalists in Papua would be killed and “no action will be taken by the police or the military.” A letter apparently written in blood was also placed outside the Merauke home of Lala, a reporter for the daily Bintang Papua.The electoral commission disqualified a candidate after local journalists investigated the destruction of another candidate’s banners, Jojo noted. Papua police spokesman Wachyono confirmed that journalists had filed complaints about the threats and that an investigation was under way. News RSF_en Organisation On eve of the G20 Riyadh summit, RSF calls for public support to secure the release of jailed journalists in Saudi Arabia Red alert for green journalism – 10 environmental reporters killed in five years August 21, 2020 Find out more November 19, 2020 Find out more News August 12, 2020 Find out more
USC researchers recently discovered a cellular mechanism that accounts for at least 10 percent of each amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia cases. The gene mutation in the C9 gene increases the risk of ALS and frontotemporal dementia cases. Photo from USC Keck School of Medicine News Release.The mechanism limits the number of “cellular janitors,” like lysosomes, in the nervous system leading to increased risk for the two neurodegenerative diseases.Yingxiao Shi and Shaoyu Sebastian of the Justin Ichida Laboratory at USC said that a mutation in a gene labeled “C9ORF72” leads to toxicity in nerve cells, which is a factor in at least 10 percent of both ALS and frontotemporal diseases.The C9ORF72, or C9 gene, produces a protein required to make lysosomes that grab and remove toxic proteins and garbage, according to Ichida, an assistant professor of stem cell and regenerative medicine at the Keck School of Medicine. It acts as a cellular chain reaction. Without a normal number of lysosomes, the motor nerve cells collect toxic garbage, which includes a large toxic protein produced by the C9 mutation and molecules that receive signals from the glutamate and die.“We figured out how the most common form of ALS causes nerve cell death, and nerve cell death is what causes patients to become paralyzed or lose control of neuromuscular functions,” Ichida said in a news release from Keck.To understand the process, the researchers removed blood from ALS patients carrying the C9 mutation and reprogrammed these blood cells into motor nerve cells that degenerate and die in the disease, according to the news release. In addition, they extracted blood from healthy patients, reprogrammed these blood cells into motor nerve cells and used gene editing to delete the C9 gene, according to the news release.Both groups with the mutated motor nerve cells had a reduced number of proteins normally made by the C9 gene. By adding the supplemental C9 protein, the researchers were able to stop the motor nerve cells from degenerating.The Ichida Lab is now using the patient-derived motor nerve cells to test potential drugs, focusing on those that affect lysosomes. They are looking to find potential drugs that slow or stop degeneration of these motor nerve cells, and hope to eventually use these drugs on patients, according to the news release.
When the 2017 season ends, the college football playoff committee will be looking to replace six of the 13 members of its committee. That includes current chair Kirby Hocutt, former chair Jeff Long, Clemson athletic director Dan Radakovich, Tyrone Willingham, Tom Jernstedt. and Steve Wieberg.One name that could be on their list of possible replacements is former Oklahoma Sooner head coach Bob Stoops. It’s something Stoops told ESPN earlier this week, he would consider “a great opportunity.”“I guess I would have to do a lot of visiting with people on what all the commitment would be, and what the expectations would be,” Stoops said to ESPN, “but it’d sure be worth listening.”Whether the committee asks Stoops or not, he has the vote of at least one Big 12 coach.“Stoops would be perfect for that,” said Mike Gundy in his press conference on Friday.“Guy’s been around forever. He’s originally from up north. He’s been in this part of the country. He sees it. He’s pretty squared away and level headed. That’s what it takes to be on that committee in my opinion. He’s coached so he can go in there and give them good input. He can say, ‘I know this is what you’re seeing, but this is what it really is because I’ve lived that life.’ And he’s done it recently.”Gundy is right, Stoops would be a great pick for the committee. More importantly, he would be a great representative for the Big 12.“It would be really good for us to have a guy on there that’s from our culture in this environment and the life we live. Because it is different. It’s no different from politics in Washington D.C. There’s a reason the right wants the right and the left wants the left. So when it comes time to vote, they vote for them. So I think he’d be great.”Since the committee was formed, there have been only two members with Big 12 ties — West Virginia Athletic Director Oliver Luck, and current committee chair and Texas Tech AD Kirby Hocutt.Meanwhile the Big 10 and Pac-12 have each had four members with ties to their conferences, while the SEC has had three. Add to that, some of those representatives have been seen as the “strong voices” in the committee. It’s no coincidence that the perception of the rise of the Big 10 has coincided with certain individuals with Big 10 ties joining the committee. Well that and Urban Meyer.Having someone with the respect and sway Bob Stoops would demand would pay huge dividends for the Big 12. I’m not saying he would play favorites, but his voice would carry weight and you have to believe he would be a voice for the level of competition with which the Big 12 plays.A strong voice in the Big 12’s corner can’t hurt. Yes, Hocutt is the chair, but he’s one man compared to multiple for other conferences. Despite how much the members might try to stay unbiased, they’re still human.“Human nature is to always be swayed,” said Gundy. “You build a committee of … 13 people. They have human nature that sways it one way or another. They say they’re not supposed to. When they pick a jury in trial, they make sure they’re not partial one way or another.”No matter how you feel about OU or Bob Stoops, having a guy like him in the Big 12’s corner on the committee could go a long way to helping repair the so-called damaged image of the conference.If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!