Press death toll reaches 83 as third anniversary of the start of the war approaches

first_imgNews News IraqMiddle East – North Africa Reporters Without Borders today condemned the murder of television reporter Monsef Al-Khalidi of Baghdad TV, who was shot dead at the wheel of his car by gunmen yesterday on the road from Baghdad to the northern city of Mosul. He was the 83rd journalist to be killed in Iraq since the start of the war in March 2003.“Journalists are continuing to pay the price for the appalling situation in Iraq three years after the start of the war,” Reporters Without Borders said. “We yet again call on the Iraqi authorities to carry out thorough investigations into these killings in order to quickly establish the circumstances.”The press freedom organization added: “Our thoughts go out to this reporter’s family and his employer. This is the third journalist that Baghdad TV has lost. The previous ones were reporter Maha Ibrahim in July 2005 and cameraman Mahmoud Zaal in January 2006.”In addition to the 83 journalists killed since the start of the war, a total of 38 journalists have been kidnapped. Five of them – four Iraqis and one Italian (Enzo Baldoni) – were killed by their abductors. The others were released safe and sound.US journalist Jill Carroll has been held hostage since 7 January. Two Iraqi reporters, Reem Zeid and Marwan Khazaal, have been held hostage since 1 February.The pan-Arab satellite TV station Al-Arabiya is the foreign news organisation that has sustained the highest losses in Iraq. Six of its journalists have been killed. The local TV station Al-Iraqiya is the hardest-hit Iraqi media, with 10 journalists killed. Iraq : Wave of arrests of journalists covering protests in Iraqi Kurdistan News IraqMiddle East – North Africa March 9, 2006 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Press death toll reaches 83 as third anniversary of the start of the war approaches Three jailed reporters charged with “undermining national security” News Follow the news on Iraqcenter_img RSF’s 2020 Round-up: 50 journalists killed, two-thirds in countries “at peace” Organisation RSF_en February 15, 2021 Find out more Receive email alerts Help by sharing this information to go further December 28, 2020 Find out more December 16, 2020 Find out morelast_img read more

House judicial oversight panel takes up legal practice issues

first_img February 1, 2002 Assistant Editor Regular News Amy K. Brown Assistant EditorThree bills passed last month by the House Judicial Oversight Committee are on track to change certain aspects of the way courts and attorneys operate.HB 205, sponsored by Rep. Ken Sorensen, R-Tavernier, and HB 502, by Rep. David Simmons, R-Altamonte Springs, would directly affect the courts, and HB 487, by Reps. Jack Seiler, D-Ft. Lauderdale, and Ken Gottlieb, D-Miramar, would allow lawyers to withdraw a challenged claim before court sanctions are imposed.Sorensen’s bill would require that each district court of appeal consist of at least one judge from each circuit within the district. Current sitting judges would not be removed to meet the requirements, rather, when current judges leave the bench, the governor and the JNCs would be required to choose replacements from a circuit that is not currently represented on the court.“The motivation behind this bill is there are several small counties that have never been represented on the district courts of appeal,” he said. “All this does is bring equity.”Sorensen brought the same bill before the Senate and House a few years ago, but the bill died before it reached the full chambers. While the bill passed the House committee on this run, several representatives questioned the logistics of the residency requirement, and how DCA judges felt about the issue.If a judge lives in Monroe County (16th Judicial Circuit), but sits on the Third DCA, he or she would have a daily commute of hundreds of miles, said Seiler. In addition, he questioned what provisions would be included in the bill for people who, to avoid the long commute, move out of the circuit they were appointed from.Sorensen noted that “none of the judges involved have had any problem with the bill.” However, Rep. Dan Gelber, D-Miami Beach, said the DCA judges he spoke with said it would be very critical for a judge to be involved with the court at every point along the way — “not just for oral arguments.”The bill passed the committee with Gelber dissenting and with the understanding that clarifying amendments would be added somewhere down the line. As this News went to press, HB 205 did not have a Senate companion. The bill’s next stop is the House State Administration Committee.Simmons’ bill is also a rerun, having passed unanimously through the committee last year before eventually dying. HB 503 would change the jurisdiction of certain felony cases to county court, and the jurisdiction of those appeals to the DCA. A portion of the bill would have required the clerks of court to create a system for electronic filing, retention, and retrieval of records by January 1, 2003, but was removed by amendment.The bill would amend Section 26.012 of the Florida Statutes to provide that certain felonies would fall under the jurisdiction of the county courts. At present, criminal cases in the county courts are limited to misdemeanors.This bill “seeks to reduce government waste,” Simmons said. “I believe it’s going to increase judicial efficiency.”A total of 14 offenses, such as a fourth or subsequent DUI, eluding police in a high-speed pursuit, or possession of a false driver’s license, would be moved to county court, shifting some of the workload from the already overburdened circuit courts, Simmons said.“These truly are not cases that belong in the circuit courts,” he said. These cases typically require more of the court’s time, and are “nothing other than an extension of the cases they already handle,” he added.Simmons also cited a 1998 study by the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability (OPPAGA) — “Review of the Efficiency of the Two-Tiered Trial Court System and the Process for Certifying Judges” — which found that, in the 35 single-judge counties, the combined caseload of those judges “translated into the equivalent caseload of 12 judges.” The cost to the state for these extra judges and their staff totaled more than $3.8 million.Transferring these cases would provide for accountability for those judges “who don’t have enough to do,” said Simmons.Several representatives, including Gelber and Seiler, questioned whether the bill would unfairly punish some of the larger, urban counties whose judges already have a full caseload. Simmons answered that this could be remedied as counties request more judges of the Florida Supreme Court.Tim Ryan, D-Dania Beach, noted the chief judge is empowered to have a county court judge hear cases in the circuit court, and this bill would remove that authority.“Why would you want to take away the flexibility?” Ryan asked. “Wouldn’t it be better to leave this flexibility with the chief judge?”The bill passed with Gelber, Seiler, and Ryan dissenting, and will now move to the Criminal Justice Appropriations Committee. Sen. Skip Campbell, D-Tamarac, filed a mirror Senate bill in mid-January.HB 487, which also has a mirror bill sponsored by Campbell, seeks to change Section 57.105 of the Florida Statutes to conform to current Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.“I’m hoping to make our sanctions section more compatible with Rule 11,” Seiler said.The bill would, effective July 1, 2002, “require a party seeking sanctions pursuant to §57.105, F.S., to serve motion on the opposing party at least 21 days prior to filing the motion with the court. If the opposing party withdraws the ‘challenged paper, claim, defense, contention, allegation, or denial’ or makes an appropriate correction within 21days after service, the motion may not be filed with the court,” according to the committee’s staff analysis.“This has existed in federal court for a substantial period of time,” said Seiler. “It’s time that we, as lawyers. . . get our feet held to the fire. If this is not a viable claim, let’s address it now.. . . If you’re right, you’re going to get your fees and costs.”Gelber added that the change would be an incentive for parties in circuit court to review their claims, adding the federal courts “get rid of frivolous claims a lot quicker than. . . [state] trial courts.”And moving cases through the judicial system quicker is a good thing, Seiler said.“This bill will end up saving judicial resources by making the. . . system more efficient,” he added.Both Seiler’s House version and Campbell’s Senate version passed their committees unanimously. Seiler’s is on its way to the House Council for Smarter Government, and Campbell’s is on the Senate calendar for second reading. House judicial oversight panel takes up legal practice issuescenter_img House judicial oversight panel takes up legal practice issueslast_img read more