UK general election: political party manifestos present a mixed bag for press freedom

first_img The Conservative party manifesto, launched on 18 May, contained one significantly welcome provision, which was that the party would not proceed with implementing the second stage of the Leveson Inquiry, and would repeal Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013 – both measures that RSF has campaigned for. RSF and other free expression groups viewed Section 40 as threatening to press freedom, particularly its cost-shifting provision that, if implemented, could have held publishers that did not join the state-approved regulator liable for the costs of all claims made against them, regardless of merit.In contrast, both the Labour and Liberal Democrat manifestos stated that the parties would move forward with stage two of the Leveson Inquiry.“RSF welcomes provisions in the political party manifestos that would strengthen protection of press freedom, such as the Conservatives’ plans to repeal Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013, and the Liberal Democrats’ plans to end mass snooping powers and oppose attempts to undermine encryption. However, a number of other threats to press freedom remain, and this election takes place amidst a worrying overall trend of moves to restrict the media. We call on the next government to ensure that its policies and practices contain respect for press freedom at their core”, said Rebecca Vincent, RSF UK Bureau Director.The Conservative party manifesto made it clear that plans to scrap the Human Rights Act would be revisited in the future, which would have serious implications for the protection of all human rights and fundamental freedoms, including press freedom. The Conservative manifesto stated that the party “will not repeal or replace the Human Rights Act while the process of Brexit is underway but we will consider our human rights legal framework when the process of leaving the EU concludes”, pledging only to “remain signatories to the European Convention on Human Rights for the duration of the next parliament”.Both Labour and the Liberal Democrats pledged to protect the Human Rights Act, with the Liberal Democrats adding they would oppose any attempts to withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights.Also significant is the Liberal Democrats’ pledge to “roll back state surveillance powers by ending the indiscriminate bulk collection of communications data, bulk hacking, and the collection of internet connection records”, as well as “oppose Conservative attempts to undermine encryption” and “notify innocent people who have been placed under targeted surveillance where this can be done without jeopardising ongoing investigations”.These provisions align with RSF’s calls in the context of the adoption and implementation of the Investigatory Powers Act. Also known as the ‘Snoopers’ Charter’, and drafted by Theresa May when she was Home Secretary, the law has been referred to as the “most extreme surveillance legislation in UK history”, and RSF has cautioned it could serve as a potential “death sentence” for investigative journalism in the UK as it does not contain sufficient safeguards to protect whistleblowers, journalists, and their sources.Other threats to press freedom remained unaddressed in the manifestos; for example, all three parties failed to clarify their positions on the Law Commission’s alarming proposal for a new ‘Espionage Act’ that would make it easy to label journalists and others as ‘spies’ and jail them for up to 14 years for simply obtaining leaked information. RSF views this proposal as one of the most significant potential threats to press freedom in the UK.In the UK general election context, RSF has already reacted to reports of worrying treatment of journalists by the Conservative and Labour campaigns, as well as the refusal of Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn to participate in televised debates. RSF reiterates its call on all candidates to respect press freedom in their campaigning.The UK dropped two places in RSF’s 2017 World Press Freedom Index, and is now ranked 40th out of 180 countries.Press contact: Rebecca Vincent at [email protected] or +44 (0)7583 137751 Worrying moves under May’s leadership lead to dropped UK ranking in RSF’s 2017 World Press Freedom Index May 19, 2017 UK general election: political party manifestos present a mixed bag for press freedom News to go further RSF_en In the run-up to the 8 June 2017 snap general election in the UK, political parties have released manifestos outlining their plans for governing in the event they are elected. The Conservative, Labour, and Liberal Democrat party manifestos contain a number of pledges with both positive and negative implications for press freedom. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has analysed these provisions as below. 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World Cup 2019: How the teams prepared in the warm-up games

first_imgWith the World Cup set to begin in just a day, we have gotten a fair idea of where the teams stand after seeing their best combinations tried out in the warm-up games. World Champions Australia showed they are prepared to defend their title while England looked set to win the cup for the first time.Here is a look at how the 10 teams performed in their Warm-up games.AustraliaAfter a disastrous 2017-18 season, Australia have sent a firm warning to all the World Cup teams of their formidable return as they are the only team to fetch a 100 percent result in the preparatory World Cup games.In the first warm-up game, the 5-time world champions Australia had set a 297-run target riding on the back of a phenomenal century from Steve Smith and the bowlers followed it up well to defend the target. Jason Behrendorff and Kane Richardson chipped in with 2 wickets apeice.Australia then thrashed Sri Lanka as they achieved the 240-run target with 31 balls remaining as Usman Khawaja starred in with his 89 runs.EnglandGoing into the World Cup as the favourites, hosts England stumbled against a tough Australiam side in the first warm-up game but came back stronger to brutually thrash Afghanistan in the next game.Liam Plunkett enjoyed a four-wicket haul against Australia while Jos Buttler continued his rich form as England fell short of just 12 runs of a win. Jofra Archer, a recent addition to the England side, and Joe Root restricted Afghanistan to just 160 in the other game as Jason Roy remained unbeaten at 89 to win the game in just 17 overs.advertisementIndiaAfter a batting collapse against New Zealand, India crushed Bangladesh in the second game . Beating Bangladesh by 95 runs might not be that huge a good news for India but the match defnitely gave them something they were in search for since last couple of years-their number 4. After a series of trials and errors, KL Rahul ended the No. 4 spot debate with his classy century. Another best thing that happened for India was the return of their out-of-form spinner Kuldeep Yadav as he put up a heartening performance with the ball, claiming 3 for 47. However, the form of opening pair of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan still remains a worry for India.South AfricaOpening batsman Hashim Amla provided a relief to the side as he got his form back just the right time with 61-ball 65 in their only chance to prepare for the World Cup.Faf du Plessis shone with his 88 runs before Andile Phehlukwayo scalped 4 wickets to bundle out Sri Lanka at 251 and hand South Africa an 87-run win. In the absence of their star bowler Dale Steyn, the South Africa side looked stable with the likes of Kagiso Rabada and Imran Tahir along with Phehlukwayo.New ZealandAfter some spectacular bowling by Trent Boult and James Neesham, New Zealand packed off mighty India for 179 in just 39.2 overs but couldn’t come up with any answers against West Indies’ batting fireworks. Tent Boult once again picked 4 wickets but wasn’t offered any support from the spinners stop West Indies from setting on a mammoth 421-run target.Tom Bundell went on to score a century against West Indies and staked a claim for New Zealand’s first game against Sri Lanka. Kane Williamson enjoyed half-centuries in both the warm-up games while opener Martin Guptill looked to struggle a bit.PakistanAfter going down against Afghanistan in the first game, Pakistan didn’t get a chance to try out their combinations again, as rain washed out their second warm-up game against Bangladesh. Pakistan’s fast-bowling, which used to be their strength in the past years, failed to defend 262 runs that were amassed on the back off Babar Azam’s hundred.Shaheen Shah Afridi has failed to impress lately as he went wicketless in the warm-up, along with experienced Mohammad Amir. Pakistan’s fast bowlers have to get back in the groove if they want to see themselves going far in the tournament.BangladeshAfter a washed out first game, Bangladesh lost the second one to India. After winning the Tri-series against West Indies recently, Bangladesh look to be an improved side going in the World Cup but will be needing a consistent performace from their bowling unit to stand strong against the stronger teams.In the absence of their regular opener Tamim Iqbal, Liton Das impressed with 73 runs while Mushfiqur Rahim (90) stood upright against a strong Indian bowling unit.Afghanistan After coming into the international cricketing arena quite late, Afghanistan have sprung up surprises on every other occasions. They edged out Pakistan in the first warm-up game before being beaten by a powerful England in the second. With world’s best bowlers like Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi in the side, Afghanistan could be a difficult side to score runs against in the World Cup.advertisementSri LankaAfter losing both their warm-up games against South Africa and Asutralia, Sri Lanka have a lot of things to reflect upon before starting their World Cup campaign.Lahiru Thirimanne, Dimuth Karunaratne and Angelo Mathews took the batting onus one them on of the occassions but the there wasn’t much to be seen from the bowlers. Venteran Lasith Malinga didn’t show up in the warm-up games but will play a crucial roel to guide the inexperienced bowling unit in the World Cup.West IndiesThe West Indian side boast of a very strong batting line-up as was seen massive in the warm-up game against New Zealand. Shai Hope once again showed his phenomenal show with bat as his side piled up 421 runs. They have power-hitters like Andre Russell, Chris Gaylea nd Evin Lewis to leave any side clueless in search of bowling options.Kemar Roach would be the West Indies’ favoured bowler to defend big totals while Carlos Brathwaite could also pick wickets in intervals. Without a doubt, West Indies are going into the World Cup as a threat to the other 9 teams.Also Read | World Cup 2019: Batting with MS Dhoni is a dream, says KL RahulAlso Read | Virat Kohli has amazingly matured as captain: Kapil DevAlso Seelast_img read more