News News Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is appalled to learn that a court in Ferghana has sentenced Aziz Yusupov, the brother of a journalist working abroad for Radio Ozodlik, the Uzbek Service of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), to eight years in prison on a trumped-up charge of drug possession.The only evidence produced during the trial, held on 3 August, was the confession obtained by the defence lawyer assigned to Yusupov by the National Security Service (the Uzbek intelligence agency), who told him that his conviction was inevitable and that a guilty plea would help reduce his sentence.No material proof was submitted to the court to support the charge, which changed several times and became increasingly serious during the series of interrogations to which Yusupov was submitted prior to the trial.“Far from contenting themselves with complete control over the media, the Uzbek authorities keep on stepping up their persecution of the country’s few remaining independent journalists,” said Johann Bihr, the head of RSF’s Eastern Europe and Central Asia desk.“Yusupov’s conviction is yet one more example of their ability to always find something worse to do. Uzbekistan is a living hell for journalists. The reports reaching us from there are more and more alarming. It is high time the international community faced up to this situation, which threatens not only Uzbekistan’s citizens but also regional stability.”Since the massacre of hundreds of peaceful demonstrators by the army in the eastern city of Andijan in 2005, almost all of the country’s independent journalists have been imprisoned, silenced or forced to flee abroad.Independent national media outlets have completely disappeared within Uzbekistan and only media outlets based abroad such as RFE/RL and the news agency Ferghana continue to provide reliable and critical coverage of domestic political developments.At least nine journalists are currently jailed in Uzbekistan. The two who have been held the longest are Muhammad Bekjanov and Yusuf Ruzimuradov. They have languished in prison since 1999, the year that the last opposition political parties were suppressed.Solidzhon Abdurakhmanov has been held since 2008, when he was given a ten-year term on a trumped-up drug trafficking charge, while Uznews.net, a website he worked for, was closed down in December 2014. The other detained journalists are Dilmurod Sayid, Bakhrom Ibragimov, Davron Kabilov, Ravshanbek Vafoev, Botyrbek Eshkuzyev and Gayrat Mikhliboyev. Conditions are terrible in Uzbekistan’s prisons: torture is widely used and most detainees are ill, many of them with tuberculosis. Uzbekistan is ranked 166th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2016 World Press Freedom Index. Organisation More than six years in prison for Uzbek blogger who covered corruption May 11, 2021 Find out more UzbekistanEurope – Central Asia Condemning abuses Judicial harassmentExiled media New press freedom predators elected to UN Human Rights Council News Follow the news on Uzbekistan Receive email alerts to go further August 9, 2016 – Updated on August 10, 2016 Uzbekistan: exiled journalist’s brother convicted on trumped-up charge UzbekistanEurope – Central Asia Condemning abuses Judicial harassmentExiled media RSF_en October 15, 2020 Find out more Islam Karimov credit: AFP February 11, 2021 Find out more Uzbek blogger facing possible 10-year jail term Help by sharing this information News
As fall arrives and students prepare to return to school, many are looking at how to finance their education. Based on a survey completed by LendKey and YouGov Plc., 75% of borrowers said that getting approved for a student loan was very easy. However, the same study showed that more than half of the borrowers were not given sufficient information about their loan repayments.Many of these borrowers were presented limited to no additional financing options beyond federal student loans. Students turn to their university for advice, but nearly 43% were presented with just one option, and more than 23% couldn’t recall what information was provided. Credit unions are poised to help fill this educational gap for young borrowers. As trusted financial advisers and community leaders, credit unions are ideally positioned to educate their existing and potential members about their financing options and the terms of student loans. Furthermore, credit unions are able to provide private student loans to young borrowers and their parents to help fund education responsibly. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading »
A panoramic view of the land already cleared for Bushel Boy’s tomato growing facility between 43rd Street Southwest and the Avenue of the Saints on Mason City’s south side MASON CITY — Groundbreaking ceremonies were held this morning for a Minnesota tomato producer’s new growing facility on Mason City’s south side. Bushel Boy Farms of Owatonna produces hydroponic tomatoes, meaning that they are grown without soil but instead using mineral nutrient solutions in a water solvent. Bushel Boy is placing the new facility on an 80-acre development south of 43rd Street Southwest and east of Pierce Avenue. The $35 million development will include a 16 to 17 acre greenhouse along with a 50,000 square foot packing house that is expected to bring about 50 full-time jobs to the area. Bushel Boy president Steve Irland says it’s been a multi-year process to bring his company to Mason City, which he says was an attractive site for the company. “The available land, the available utilities, the great governmental support in terms of figuring out solutions to problems, and most importantly the citizenry of Mason City. It’s a skilled, knowledgeable, hard-working group of people that we’re looking forward to having an employment relationship with.” Irland says work on the site south of 43rd Street Southwest near Alliant Energy’s facility is underway and is the first of three phases for the project. “We’re pushing dirt right now more than anything else. Over the course of the rest of 2019, we’re going to prepare the site and get the footings in for a 16-and-a-half acre greenhouse which is Phase One of what we hope will eventually be 50 acres of greenhouses. Next year in the spring, we will start the actual construction of the greenhouse, complete that in September, we will plant our crops about eight to ten weeks after that. The first of November we hope to have tomatoes that were able to ship right out of this facility to grocery stores, food commissaries, hospitals, schools, everybody else who will enjoy locally-grown Mason City tomatoes.” Irland says they grow three specific types of tomatoes — vine-on tomatoes, beefsteak tomatoes and snacking tomatoes. “What makes these really special is we use seeds that predominantly are developed to deliver flavor. A lot of the growers that are in Canada and Mexico and places like that go for yield and the ability to ship tomatoes thousands of miles to far away places. We don’t have to do that, we only ship to a nine-state area surrounding Northern Iowa. Our tomatoes taste like a garden tomato, so they’re really something special. We’re sure the people are going to love them. They can find them right now in their HyVee stores here in Iowa and surrounding states.” State officials recently approved a Revitalize Iowa’s Sound Economy grant of up to $555,000 to assist in the expansion of South Monroe Avenue to provide primary frontage access to not only the Bushel Boy facility but also for potential other developments.