News October 20, 2010 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Asian Communist regimes still hold the lowest rankings News Mongolia : RSF urges presidential candidates to voice support for press freedom Asia – Pacific Organisation to go further In rural India, journalists face choice between covering pandemic and survival Democratic Asian countries gain groundAsia-Pacific country rankings can be impressive. New Zealand is one of the ten top winners and Japan (11th), Australia (18th) and Hong Kong (34th) occupy favourable positions. Two other Asian democracies, Taiwan and South Korea, rose 11 and 27 places respectively, after noteworthy falls in the 2009 Index. Although some problems persist, such as the issue of the state-owned media’s editorial independence, arrests and violence have ceased.Some developing countries have managed to make solid gains, particularly Mongolia (76th) and the Maldives (52nd). As a rule, the authorities have been respectful of press freedoms, exemplified by their decriminalisation of press offences in the Maldives.An occasional ranking in this Index can be deceptive. Fiji (149th), for example, rose three places, even though the government has passed a new liberticidal press law. The year 2009 had been so tragic, with soldiers invading news staff offices, that the year 2010 could only seem to be somewhat more tranquil. Sri Lanka (158th) jumped four places: less violence was noted there, yet the media’s ability to challenge the authorities has tended to weaken with the exile of dozens of journalists.In this Index based upon violations of press freedoms, Asia, has earned a low ranking for yet another year. Even when a country’s press enjoys freedom, too often it also has to endures violence from non-governmental actors. When the press lives under the control of an authoritarian regime, it is obliged to censor and to self-censor. Chinese intellectual Liu Xiaobo was sentenced to eleven years behind bars for denouncing this situation – a struggle which was rewarded by the Nobel Peace Prize – bringing new hope to the Asia-Pacific area. Help by sharing this information June 10, 2021 Find out more Asia’s four Communist regimes, North Korea (177th place), China (171st), Vietnam (165thj) Laos (168th), are among the fifteen lowest-ranked countries of the 2010 World Press Freedom Index. Ranked just one place behind Eritrea, hellish totalitarian North Korea has shown no improvement. To the contrary: in a succession framework set up by Kim Jong-il in favour of his son, crackdowns have become even harsher. China, despite its dynamic media and Internet, remains in a low position because of non-stop censorship and repression, notably in Tibet and Xinjiang. In Laos, it is not so much repression which plagues this country of Southeast Asia as its single party’s political control over the whole media. On the other hand, Vietnam’s Communist Party – soon to hold its own Congress – and its open season against freedom of speech is responsible for its worse than mediocre ranking.Among the last thirty countries of Reporters Without Borders’ Index are ten Asian nations, notably Burma, where the military junta have decided that the prior censorship system will be maintained despite the upcoming general elections in November.India’s and Thailand’s rankings drop due to a breakout of serious violencePolitical violence has produced some very troubling tumbles in the rankings. Thailand (153rd) – where two journalists were killed and some fifteen wounded while covering the army crackdown on the “red shirts” movement in Bangkok – lost 23 places, while India slipped to 122nd place (-17) mainly due to extreme violence in Kashmir. The Philippines lost 34 places following the massacre of over thirty reporters by partisans of one of Mindanao Island’s governors. Despite a few murderers of journalists being brought to trial, impunity still reigns in the Philippines. Also in Southeast Asia, Indonesia (117th) cannot seem to pass under the symbolic bar separating the top 100 countries from the rest, despite remarkable media growth. Two journalists were killed there and several others received death threats, mainly for their reports on the environment. Malaysia (141st), Singapore (136th) and East Timor (93rd) are down this year. In short, repression has not diminished in ASEAN countries, despite the recent adoption of a human rights charter.In Afghanistan (147th) and in Pakistan (151st), Islamist groups bear much of the responsibility for their country’s pitifully low ranking. Suicide bombings and abductions make working as a journalist an increasingly dangerous occupation in this area of South Asia. And the State has not slackened its arrests of investigative journalists, which sometimes more closely resemble kidnappings. News Asia – Pacific June 2, 2021 Find out more News June 7, 2021 Find out more Follow the news on Asia – Pacific Pakistani TV anchor censored after denouncing violence against journalists RSF_en Receive email alerts
Myriam Borzee/iStockBy MORGAN WINSOR, ERIN SCHUMAKER and IVAN PEREIRA, ABC News(NEW YORK) — A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now infected more than 63.3 million people and killed over 1.4 million worldwide, according to real-time data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.Here’s how the news is developing Tuesday. All times Eastern:Dec 01, 5:56 amPfizer, BioNTech seek vaccine approval in EuropeU.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech said they have submitted an application for conditional approval of their COVID-19 vaccine with the European Medicines Agency.The submission, which occurred Monday, completes the rolling review process that the two companies initiated with the regulator on Oct. 6.“Today’s announcement marks another key milestone in our efforts to fulfill our promise to do everything we can to address this dire crisis given the critical public health need,” Pfizer chairman and CEO Albert Bourla said in a statement Tuesday. “We have known since the beginning of this journey that patients are waiting, and we stand ready to ship COVID-19 vaccine doses as soon as potential authorizations will allow us.”If the vaccine candidate, called BNT162b2, is approved, the companies said it could potentially be available for use in Europe before the end of the year.“As a company located in the heart of Europe, today’s milestone is important to us as we continue to seek to enable a worldwide supply upon potential approval of BNT162b2,” BioNTech CEO and co-founder Ugur Sahin said in a statement Tuesday. “We will continue to work with regulatory agencies around the world to enable the rapid distribution, should the vaccine receive the approval, contributing to the joint efforts to let the world heal and regain its normal pace of life.”Dec 01, 5:27 amUS reports over 157,000 new casesThere were 157,901 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in the United States on Monday, according to a real-time count kept by Johns Hopkins University.It’s the 28th straight day that the country has reported over 100,000 newly diagnosed infections. Monday’s count is down from a peak of 205,557 new cases last Friday.An additional 1,172 fatalities from COVID-19 were also registered nationwide on Monday, less than the all-time high of 2,609 new deaths on April 15.COVID-19 data may be skewed in the coming days and weeks due to possible lags in reporting over Thanksgiving followed by a potentially very large backlog from the holiday.A total of 13,545,017 people in the United States have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since the pandemic began, and at least 268,087 of them have died, according to Johns Hopkins. The cases include people from all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C. and other U.S. territories as well as repatriated citizens.Much of the country was under lockdown by the end of March as the first wave of pandemic hit. By May 20, all U.S. states had begun lifting stay-at-home orders and other restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. The day-to-day increase in the country’s cases then hovered around 20,000 for a couple of weeks before shooting back up over the summer.The numbers lingered around 40,000 to 50,000 from mid-August through early October before surging again to record levels, crossing 100,000 for the first time on Nov. 4 and reaching 200,000 for the first time on Nov. 27.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.