July 17, 2009 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Politically-motivated harassment of news and opposition website Reporters Without Borders condemns the continuing threats against journalists working for the Charter 97 news and opposition website (charter97.org). In the latest case, site editor Natallya Radzina received a threatening email message on 15 July that was prompted by a report about a pro-Russian neo-fascist group.“It is time this persecution stopped,” Reporters Without Borders said. “We urge the government to recognise Charter 97 so that it can file complaints with the police and judicial authorities and obtain redress. If Belarus is to respect its own constitutional principles, it must ensure that this website and its bloggers enjoy freedom of action.”The email that Radzina received on 15 July said: “Achtung (in German), editor Radzina Natallya! (…) You’ve been warned that you should be quiet and not lash out at the patriots of the right.” Threatening violence of a sexual nature, it added: “Don’t you understand the Russian Language?” (See the entire text of the message in English here.)The 8 July report that prompted the threat was about a pardon accorded to a young leader of the neo-fascist Russian National Unity party in the southeastern city of Homyel on the 65th anniversary of Belarus’ liberation from German occupation, and the failure of the authorities to curb the RNU’s racist and xenophobic activities. The article, which carried no by-line, was first published on the Belarussky Partisan website.Radzina has often received threats in the past after posting articles criticising the authorities.Access to the Charter 97 website was blocked on 8 June by a distributed denial of service attack (DDoS), in which a site is bombarded with a massive amount of connection requests that overload its server.Radzina told Reporters Without Borders at the time: “The site is very popular in Belarus and abroad. We post a lot of articles critical of the government, which gets irritated.” Police overran the Charter 97 offices on 26 April, preventing the editors from updating the website on a day that opposition demonstrations were taking place (http://charter97.org/en/news/2009/4/26/17679/).The Belarusian Internet is dominated by Beltelekom, a state-owned Internet Service Provider, and most websites that report human rights abuses are inaccessible. President Lukashenko promulgated a media law in August 2008 that requires websites to be registered with the information ministry. Since then, their activities have been regulated by decree rather than by law. Article 22 of the constitution nonetheless says that “a state monopoly of the mass media (…) is forbidden” and “censorship is forbidden.”Video of the 26 April demonstrations:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zk8I7W0CDMchttp://belarus.indymedia.org/content/guest/16676.flv http://belarus.indymedia.org/content/guest/16669.flv Receive email alerts News News “We welcome opening of criminal investigation in Lithuania in response to our complaint against Lukashenko” RSF says May 28, 2021 Find out more Organisation Follow the news on Belarus BelarusEurope – Central Asia RSF_en to go further News BelarusEurope – Central Asia News RSF at the Belarusian border: “The terrorist is the one who jails journalists and intimidates the public” Help by sharing this information June 2, 2021 Find out more Russian media boss drops the pretence and defends Belarus crackdown May 27, 2021 Find out more
Retail bakery chain Greggs has seen an increase in average consumer spend since launching its mobile loyalty scheme, according to its chief executive.Whiteside said that since its release in February, “thousands” of consumers had joined Greggs Rewards.The app allows consumers to pay for purchases bought in-store, and offers rewards. Greggs has claimed the app is the first to be launched by a UK food-on-the-go retailer.He said: “Average spend is higher [for members], which is what we expected. We are happy with what was a soft launch. We wanted to make sure the technology was working, which it is. We are gearing up towards more aggressive recruitment marketing to bring people on board.”To persuade customers to spend more in-store, Whiteside said Greggs had focused on its promotional deals, such as its £2 breakfast meal deal with a hot drink and £3 sandwich deal.Whiteside added that despite the increasing retail price of coffee, which could impact in-store prices, he was confident that Greggs’ coffee would still be “exceptional value for money”.The business is also set to focus future openings away from the high street, which currently represents 80% of the chain’s stores. Due to the changing shape of the high street, Whiteside said the next five years will see Greggs aim towards 60%, with 40% opening in transport locations and industrial parks.Customer serviceAdditionally, Whiteside spoke to British Baker on Greggs’ use of social media for customer engagement. Last month, the bakery chain was named the second most popular brand on social media for young people, according to a report published by social specialist agency Headstream.“Our social success is based on great customer service, relevant engagement and our brand personality,” he explained.“When it comes to social media, we focus all of our attention on customer engagement – not sales. Content planning is an important part of what we do, and having the capacity to respond quickly to timely events is also important. We plan our content around a calendar, but the team aim to be as responsive as possible and consider what is going on in the wider social scene, keeping us front of mind for our customers.”
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is warning of a growing “cost of inaction” on his $1.9 trillion COVID relief plan. And the White House says the new administration is searching for “creative” ways to garner public support for a package that has gotten a cold shoulder from Senate Republicans. In the age of COVID, it’s not a matter of jumping on a plane to travel the country and try to gin up a groundswell. And at a time of deep polarization, Biden may struggle to convince Republican voters of the urgency at this particular moment after Congress already has approved $4 trillion in aid, including $900 billion last month.