TIME France

U.N. Human Rights Group Condemns Chelsea Fans Over Racist Incident

"It is important to build on the outrage created by this snapshot of the ugly face of racism"

The United Nations human rights group has condemned the Chelsea soccer fans who shouted racist chants and prevented a French citizen of African descent from boarding a train before a Champions League game in Paris this week.

A video showing the incident has gained worldwide attention, and renewed calls for racism to be stamped out of the world’s most popular sport.

“In recent years we have been engaging in discussions with [football associations] about exploring ways to enhance the effort to drum racism out of football after numerous examples of racist behavior by football fans, especially inside stadiums,” said Rupert Colville, a spokesman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, on Friday. “It is important to build on the outrage created by this snapshot of the ugly face of racism, to re-energize the effort to combat it in all its forms wherever it occurs,” he added.

The episode occurred on Tuesday in a Paris Metro station before a game between Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain. Chelsea suspended three people from its Stamford Bridge home after the incident and called the behavior “abhorrent.”

International soccer leagues have attempted for years to counter racism evident on and off the field, with mixed success.

 

 

 

 

TIME Canada

Canadian Boy Dies After Spending Several Hours in the Cold

Elijah Marsh.
Toronto Police/EPA Elijah Marsh.

3-year old Elijah Marsh wandered away from an apartment building in Toronto

A young boy died Thursday after spending several hours outdoors in frigid Canada temperatures.

Security footage showed three-year-old Elijah Marsh wandering away from his Toronto apartment wearing a T-shirt, diaper and winter boots around 4:20 a.m., the Toronto Star reports. Police found the boy around 10 a.m., when he showed no vital signs. He was taken to a hospital and later declared dead.

The temperature in Toronto at the time was around -4° F.

[The Toronto Star]

TIME Behind the Photos

How a Chinese Organization is Helping Photographers Win Awards

Mask Boy Poyi winner
Liyang Yuan At a rental house in a village in the city of Wuhan, Hubei Province on Dec. 5, 2014, nine-year-old boy Tan Zhouyu is too cold to fall asleep. This photo won first prize in the News Pictures Story category at Pictures of the Year.

Li Qiang, a veteran Chinese photojournalist, helps his country score the photo industry’s most prestigious awards

Ever since Shaoming Yang became the first Chinese photographer to win a World Press Photo award in 1988, his peers have tried to follow in his footsteps. They have done it so religiously that it has been dubbed the “Photo Olympics” in China.

Winning such awards means a lot: victors have their names announced and praised on China Central Television’s 7 o’clock news and are often awarded additional cash prizes by their state-owned newspapers for bringing good publicity.

During this year’s award season, photojournalist Liyang Yuan received first prize in News Pictures Story category at Pictures of the Year, an international photo award run by the Missouri School of Journalism. Chinese photographers also snatched six prizes at last week’s World Press Photo awards, an unprecedented tally.

Behind some of those winning images is a team called Yihe Media Training Workshop, an organization based in Beijing.

The workshop has helped more than 100 Chinese photographers enter top international photo competitions since its launch last December, founder Qiang Li tells TIME. Before submitting their work, Li and his partner Sunny Yang, a news assistant at USA Today’s Beijing bureau, help photographers select their best images, sometimes out of a pool of hundreds, crop them, write captions and enter them on most contests’ English-only websites. They also work with the Italy-based photo enhancement studio, 10b, for professional toning.

“Most Chinese photographers use online dictionaries to translate their captions,” Li says. “It’s a pity many good photos were [kicked out of contests] just because of their bad captions.”

Besides helping photographers enter competitions, for which the organization charges a small translation fee, Li says the workshops they offer, both online and on-site, also teach Chinese photographers about international photo trends. “The photography industry in China is still an isolated island,” says Li. “We don’t have professional photography museums, we don’t have professional photography foundations. Because of the language barrier, many excellent documentary photographers can’t make their voice heard in the world.”

A veteran photojournalist himself, Li is well aware of the pressure photographers are under in the country. “Almost all journalists in China have a low-base salary,” Li tells TIME. “They are like workers on the assembly lines who have a piece-rate system.”

Plus, since most Chinese photojournalists are employed at government-owned media organizations, where their jobs are more stable, few feel compelled to learn new skills. “The documentary and photojournalism industries in China are at a different stage of development to other countries with a more open media landscape,” says Panos photographer Adam Dean, who taught a workshop on photo editing and freelance photography at Yihe.

“There are so many talented and committed photographers in China who don’t really have an outlet for their work, [where] the state controls and censors much of the media,” says Dean, who is based in Beijing. “The problem for [Chinese photographers] is that there is an understandable element of self-censorship, [therefore] there is little motivation for them to invest time, energy and money in a sensitive story or issue that cannot be published in China and could potentially cause them problems.”

The Yihe Media Training Workshop also emphasizes international media practices and ethics in its lessons, with competing in international contests an integral part of the organization’s teachings. “I think there is a standard for a good photo that is beyond countries and ideologies,” Li says. “The affirmation of the works from the most authoritative organizations in the world could give [Chinese photographers] a reason to [stay] in the industry.”

Qiang Li is a photojournalist based in Beijing who has won many national photo awards in China.

Ye Ming is a contributor to TIME LightBox. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

TIME Australia

Cyclone Marcia Batters the Coast of Queensland

The storm ripped apart roofs and uprooted trees and power lines

Tropical Cyclone Marcia made landfall in Queensland, Australia, on Friday morning, battering coastal communities before heading south.

The cyclone moved across the coast as a Category 5 storm with wind speeds of up to 296 km/h. On Friday morning it tore through the towns of Yeppoon and Rockhampton, ripping apart roofs and uprooting trees and power lines, reports the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Marcia has now been downgraded to a Category 3 storm with sustained winds of 150 km/h and is reported to be weakening as it moves south.

Residents are being urged to remain indoors and avoid using roads.

The cyclone brought with it higher-than-normal tides and some areas are liable to tidal and flash floods.

Meanwhile, in the country’s Northern Territory, Cyclone Lam made landfall as a Category 4 system and has now been downgraded to a Category 2.

[ABC]

TIME Australia

Former Gitmo Inmate ‘Relieved’ After Terrorism Conviction Quashed

Former Australian Guantanamo Bay inmate David Hicks, right, in Sydney on February 19, 2015
Saeed Khan—AFP/Getty Images Former Australian Guantanamo Bay inmate David Hicks in Sydney on February 19, 2015

U.S. court says Australian David Hicks did not commit a war crime

Australian David Hicks announced relief after a U.S. court overturned his terrorism conviction Wednesday.

The court declared that the former Guantanamo Bay inmate did not commit a war crime, therefore his conviction was not eligible to be heard in a military court, reports the BBC.

“It’s a relief because it’s over,” Hicks said in a Sydney news conference.

Hicks, 39, pleaded guilty in 2007 to charges of providing material support to terrorism. In 2000, Hicks trained with Lashkar-e-Taiba in Pakistan and participated in an attack against Indian forces. In 2001, the Northern Alliance captured Hicks in Afghanistan, where he met Osama bin Laden and enrolled in Al-Qaeda training camps, the BBC reported.

In a rare move, the U.S. Court of Military Commission Review overturned his conviction in a unanimous ruling. Under new rules, providing material support for terrorism no longer qualifies as a war crime for events prior to 2006.

Hicks was sentenced to seven years in Guantanamo Bay, but after pleading guilty, he was allowed to return to Australia after nine months. Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has said, “Let’s not forget whatever the legalities… he was up to no good on his own admission.”

[BBC]

TIME North Korea

Someone Has Hacked Into Kim Jong Un’s Hair

NKOREA-POLITICS-KIM
KCNA/AFP/Getty Images North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un attends a meeting of the political bureau of the central committee of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) in Pyongyang, Feb. 18, 2015.

The evolution of the the North Korean leader's hairstyle continues

The Supreme Leader of North Korea appears to be changing things up stylewise, even as his government comes under renewed fire for human rights abuses.

At a politburo meeting on Wednesday, Kim Jong Un displayed a new haircut that appears to be the latest in his evolving style. The upward trapezoid-shaped hair is even more pronounced than previous hairdos, and his eyebrows aren’t getting any larger.

READ MORE Watch North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un Take the Controls of an Airplane

North Korea observer Frank Feinstein called out the makeover on Twitter.

TIME europe

Germany Says ‘Nein’ to Greece Bailout Request

Greece Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras listens to Greek President Karolos Papoulias during their meeting at Presidential Palace in Athens, Greece on Feb. 18, 2015.
Thanassis Stavrakis—AP Greece Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras listens to Greek President Karolos Papoulias during their meeting at Presidential Palace in Athens, Greece on Feb. 18, 2015.

Climb-down still leaves doubts in Germany that Athens is serious about implementing reforms

Greece caved in to pressure from the rest of the Eurozone Thursday and asked for an extension of its bailout program.

But euphoria in financial markets lasted less than two hours before the German finance ministry said the request wasn’t “substantial” and didn’t offer enough guarantees that it would continue to implement reforms.

Berlin’s rejection came barely an hour after Dutch finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem had confirmed that the Eurogroup’ (comprising the Eurozone’s 19 finance ministers) would meet again Friday in Brussels to discuss the request.

The statement was unusual in that, while Germany has traditionally led the group of creditors driving a hard line at bailout negotiations for six countries over the last five years, it has rarely done anything to pre-empt discussions so thoroughly.

A deal on Friday would buy time for the new Greek government to validate its promise of cracking down on corruption and collecting more taxes, particularly from the business elite that has successfully avoided them in the past. Greece’s government hopes it could then agree a new and less onerous deal with the creditors that would allow it to recover faster.

Greece’s €240 billion program is due to expire at the end of the month, after which it will lose access to over €10 billion ($11.5 billion) of aid. On Monday, the Eurogroup had given Greece an ultimatum on extending the deal, telling finance minister Yanis Varoufakis to either take it or leave it.

A text of the request published by Reuters Thursday indicated that the government pledged to abide by all its previous commitments and recognize the bailout as legally binding. However, the wording of its first point implied that Greece wants to haggle over implementing reforms demanded by the original bailout agreement–an impression reinforced this week as Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras promised to introduce new laws rolling back some of the agreement’s key provisions.

A spokesman for Germany’s finance ministry dismissed it as “not a substantial proposal for a solution. In reality, it aims for a bridging loan without fulfilling the demands of the program.”

Even so, the request is still a major climbdown for the new government, led by Tsipras’ radical left-wing Syriza party, which swept to power on a pledge to overthrow the bailout agreement in January and subsequently declared it “dead”. It pledges to honor all of Greece’s debts and, just as importantly, to continue accepting monitoring visits from the three institutions that have overseen Athens’ implementation of the bailout to date, the hated “troika” of European Central Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the European Commission.

The request comes less than a day after the ECB subtly, but nonetheless significantly, increased the pressure on Greece by voting only a minimal increase in the amount of cash that Greek banks can access from it.

Greeks have reportedly been pulling deposits out of the banking system in increasing numbers recently, scared at the prospect of their country being forced out of the Eurozone. The increase of only €3.3 billion in the ceiling on Emergency Lending Assistence might have left banks unable to honor requests for withdrawals. The banks are already effectively barred from the ECB’s regular lending operations because the ECB no longer considers Greek government debt as good enough collateral.

The German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung had reported earlier Thursday that the ECB would rather impose capital controls on Greece than allow its banking system to continue being drained of resources. However, the ECB later denied this, saying that: “There was no discussion on capital controls in the Governing Council and any reporting on this is incorrect.”

This story updates an earlier version published before the German government issued its statement.

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com.

TIME United Kingdom

Watch Prince William Wish China a Happy New Year in Mandarin

The Duke of Cambridge will visit China in March

Prince William gave his best wishes for the Chinese New Year in Mandarin in a video broadcast on Chinese television

After a brief greeting, the British Prince concluded his message in Mandarin. “I wish you a happy Chinese New Year and good luck in the Year of the Sheep,” he says, according to a Xinhua translation.

The Duke of Cambridge will arrive in Beijing on March 1 to launch a cultural exchange program as the two countries aim to mend ties that were upset in 2012 after Prime Minister David Cameron met with the exiled Dalai Lama. Chinese President Xi Jinping is expected to visit Britain later this year.

TIME United Kingdom

U.K. Defense Secretary Says Russia is a ‘Danger’ to Baltic States

British Defence Minister Michael Fallon arrives at the Cabinet Office in central London in 2015.
Leon Neal—AFP/Getty Images British Defence Minister Michael Fallon arrives at the Cabinet Office in central London in 2015.

The same day, Russian jets were spotted off the UK coast

The U.K. Defense Secretary said there is a “real and present danger” of Russia trying to destabilize the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

Michael Fallon told reporters Wednesday, “I’m worried about Putin. I’m worried about his pressure on the Baltics, the way he is testing Nato,” BBC reports. Fallon said he was concerned that Putin would use the same tactics he’s been testing in Ukraine on Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, so Nato must be prepared for more Russian aggression.

The three Baltic states, like Ukraine, were once part of the Soviet Union and have significant Russian-speaking minorities.

Fallon’s statements came the same day as two Russian military aircraft were coas off south-west England. Royal Air Force jets escorted the Russian bombers away from the UK.

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