Government throttles media with new tax on advertising

first_img February 10, 2021 Find out more Use the Digital Services Act to make democracy prevail over platform interests, RSF tells EU June 2, 2021 Find out more Hungary’s leading independent radio station taken off the air News June 12, 2014 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Government throttles media with new tax on advertising HungaryEurope – Central Asia News Help by sharing this information Follow the news on Hungary HungaryEurope – Central Asia Organisation The measure is likely to increase the problems of Hungary’s already embattled media sector and seems designed to hit RTL Klub, an entertainment channel owned by the German media group RTL, particularly hard. Currently the channel with the most viewers, it will have to pay more tax than any other media.Fuelling concern that RTL is the deliberate target, János Lázár, the head of the ruling Fidesz party’s parliamentary group, told the media: “RTL is threatening the country (…) It would be good if they would practice this at home, in Germany, and not in Hungary.”At the same time, TV2, a commercial channel regarded as pro-Fidesz, has been granted a special dispensation that allows it to offset part of its tax deficit from previous years against the new tax. Hungary’s left-wing opposition coalition has filed a complaint with the European Commission accusing the government of favouritism.For the most part, the Hungarian media have been very critical of the new law. On 5 June, three days after it was submitted, 16 TV stations broadcast blank screens for 15 minutes in protest. The next day, several newspapers and magazines published issues with blank pages and the words: “We protest against the introduction of the tax on advertising revenue.” And around a thousand people protested outside parliament on 9 June.“We note with regret that this new law reinforces the repressive legislative arsenal that Viktor Orbán’s government has developed since 2010,” Reporters Without Borders said. “Hungary is undergoing economic difficulties that justify new taxes, but media pluralism is already too fragile to permit a new tax on the media.“Fidesz is continuing its methodical demolition of Hungary’s democratic foundations. An important part of this process is bringing independent media into line. All that was missing was economic strangulation. Thanks to Fidesz, this is now the law.”Orbán’s Hungary continues its war on independent mediaThe new law comes after Fidesz has reinforced its political position. After winning a record 45 per cent of votes in parliamentary elections in April, Fidesz has a two-thirds majority in parliament thanks to the skilful readjustment of electoral boundaries.The law’s adoption also comes on the heels of a new demonstration of the continuing erosion of freedom of information in Hungary. The editor of Origo.hu, a news website that has often broken stories about government abuses, was recently fired by its owner, the phone company Magyar Telekom, for reporting that Orbán’s chief of staff received more than 6,000 euros to stay in a luxury hotel during a foreign trip. Many of the website’s staff members resigned in response to the editor’s supposedly “negotiated” departure.Fidesz has continued down the road it chose in 2010, when it adopted a media law that was widely condemned as repressive by Hungarian civil society and international and intergovernmental organizations. This new form of economic pressure is designed to further weaken media that have yet to be brought under the government’s political control.Hungary seems not to have awoken to the dangers of the loss of democracy since Fidesz took over the government in 2010. It has fallen 45 places in the Reporters Without Borders press freedom index in just three years and is now ranked 64th out of 180 countries.The OSCE criticized the irregularities of the April elections, which strengthened the position of Prime Minister Orbán and his party. The European Union must now react as a matter of urgency. Receive email alerts May 4, 2021 Find out more News RSF_en to go further Swedish Reporters Without Borders awards press freedom prize to a Hungarian news site Hungary’s parliament passed a law yesterday that will tax the news media’s advertising income, with taxation levels increasing according to the volume of earnings and with a ceiling of 40 per cent for earnings of more than 65 million euros. Newslast_img read more

Read More →

Handcuffed suspect on the run after allegedly shooting Pennsylvania police officer

first_imgiStockBy: BILL HUTCHINSON, ABC News (NEW YORK) — A massive search for a fugitive shown on security video shooting a Pennsylvania police officer three times while in handcuffs stretched into its second day on Monday as authorities warned that the runaway suspect is a danger to the community.As police fanned out across suburban Pittsburgh in search of Koby Lee Francis, 22, authorities came under scrutiny over how the suspect had the gun he used in the shooting despite being arrested, searched and placed in the back of a police SUV patrol vehicle.Investigators also struggled to explain how Francis, who was handcuffed from behind when he was taken into custody on suspicion of violating a protective order, managed to get his cuffed hands in front of him and ambush the officer.“We can only speculate,” Allegheny County Police Superintendent Coleman J. McDonough said during a news conference Monday when asked if he suspects the 6-foot-2-inches Francis contorted his body to enable him to get his cuffed hands in front of him while being driven to a police station. “He’s not the first person to do that. It happens.”McDonough identified the wounded police officer as Gerasimos “Jerry” Athans, 32, a four-year veteran of the McKeesport, Pennsylvania, Police Department. Athans was in stable condition Monday at UPMC Presbyterian hospital in Pittsburgh, where he is being treated for gunshot wounds to his neck and shoulder, officials said.“We’re very happy that he’s going to be able to spend Christmas with his family rather than what could have been a very tragic event,” McDonough said.During the news conference, McDonough played security video of the shooting that occurred just after 4 p.m. Sunday outside the McKeesport Police Department.The footage shows Athans exiting the patrol vehicle and walking around to the rear passenger-side door. As soon as he opened the door, gunshots rang out, and Athans doubled over as he staggered to the front of the vehicle for cover. Francis is seen emerging from the vehicle and firing at least one more shot at Athans, who drew his gun and returned fire.McDonough said Athans emptied his gun, but there was no evidence that Francis was hit as he ran from the scene.Following the exchange of gunfire, Athans radioed a police dispatcher that he had been shot and that the armed suspect was on the run and still in handcuffs, McDonough said.“We can easily see from the video, this is an armed subject who is obviously dangerous, he fled still armed,” McDonough said. “There is a danger to the community. We want it to end right here. We want this to be the last harm inflicted by that individual.”He implored anyone with information on Francis’s whereabouts to contact the police immediately.“We strongly encourage him to turn himself in, so he can face justice,” McDonough said, adding that Francis faces charges of criminal attempted homicide, escape, aggravated assault and violation of the Uniform Firearms Act.McDonough said that earlier on Sunday, Francis went to the McKeesport Police Department to be served with a protective order. He alleged that Francis left the police department angry and went to pick up his infant son, in violation of the protective order.Police were called to the Harrison Village public housing complex in McKeesport at about 3:55 p.m. Sunday after Francis was accused of going there, McDonough said. By the time officers arrived, Francis was gone.A short time later, police responded to another call alleging Francis violated the protective order again at a different public housing complex also in McKeesport, McDonough said.He said that when Athans and another officer arrived, they found Francis at the location sitting in his parked car and took him into custody.“He was searched, obviously,” McDonough said of Francis.He said that while officers seized a gun from Francis’s car, they failed to find the firearm the suspect had hidden on him.McDonough said investigators reviewed surveillance video and confirmed Francis was placed in the back of Athans’s patrol vehicle with his hands cuffed behind him.Asked how the officers missed finding the weapon on Francis, McDonough the answer to that question will be up to an internal investigation by the McKeesport police administration.“That’s not our priority here,” McDonough said. “Our priority is bringing Mr. Francis to justice.”Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Read More →

Umphrey’s McGee Announces “From The Hip” Full Set Of Improvisation With Joshua Redman

first_imgOn January 28th, 2016, Umphrey’s McGee hit the Orpheum Theater in Madison, WI and delivered their first ever set of full improvisation. Joined by saxophone master Joshua Redman , the band worked through an entire set of music without any setlist or even any songs. It set was a huge triumph for the band, pushing themselves outside of their comfort zone and delivering something truly unique and awesome. Then, they repeated the impressive feat at UMBowl 2016 with great success.Now, the band has announced another “From The Hip” set, taking place on Friday, January 27th at the State Theatre in Portland, ME. Umphrey’s McGee will once again be joined by Joshua Redman for the occasion, guaranteeing that the show will be a master class in jazz-fusion improvisation.Check out some pro-shot footage from the first “From The Hip” set below, courtesy of TourGigslast_img read more

Read More →