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    Man United will not change their mind over £21.4m star despite impressive FA Cup final display


    Man United will part ways with Fiorentina loanee Sofyan Amrabat this summer and are not expected to change their minds in light of the midfielder’s impressive display in the FA Cup final.

    The Morocco star joined the Manchester club on loan from Fiorentina last summer and the 2023/24 campaign was an underwhelming one for the 27-year-old.

    Amrabat featured in 30 matches for Man United this season, 17 of which came from the start.

    The Fiorentina loanee was not a big part of Erik ten Hag’s plans throughout the campaign as the rise of Kobbie Mainoo meant the youngster was one of the first names on the Dutch coach’s teamsheet.

    However, the Moroccan gained more minutes as the term was coming to its conclusion and Amrabat put in an impressive display in the FA Cup final as Man United defeated Man City 2-1.

    Despite this, the Premier League giants will not change their minds about the midfielder and will send him back to Fiorentina reports Football Insider.

    Sofyan Amrabat will not stay at Man United

    Sofyan Amrabat faces uncertain future following Man United rejection

    The report states that the reason Man United will not sign Amrabat permanently this summer is because they believe that the midfielder is not suited to Premier League football. The Red Devils had a £21.4m option-to-buy clause in his loan deal, which is not a lot of money for a club the size of the Manchester outfit.

    The Moroccan now faces an uncertain future as his contract with Fiorentina expires in 2025. This summer would be the ideal time for the Italian club to sell him as they will not want to lose the player for nothing next summer.

    The 27-year-old captured the attention of a lot of clubs with his displays for Morocco at the 2022 World Cup, but Amrabat has never reached those heights since.



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    Identity of Prince Harry’s mole that’s leaking royal stories exposed


    Identity of Prince Harry’s mole that’s leaking royal stories exposed

    Prince Harry’s mole is reportedly leaking stories to the press, and experts have just branded it ‘fascinating’.

    Everything has been issued by royal commentator and expert Rebecca English.

    She weighed in on things during one of her most recent appearances on the Palace Confidential podcast.

    There she touched on the ‘fascinating’ that is going around, and it claims one of Prince Harry’s pal is the reason news of his inability to meet King Charles made headlines.

    She started by saying, “Prince Harry issued a statement, which was quite pithy, saying, ‘I really wanted to see my father, but effectually he was too busy to see me’.”

    “Now, people close to him are briefing, well, actually, you know, the king did offer him a place to stay, I believe that place to be St James’s Palace, but Harry felt he couldn’t stay there, because it wasn’t secure enough for him.”

    In the eyes of Ms English, “What I find extraordinary is people close to Harry leaking this story, think it paints him in a good light, because I don’t think it does.”



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    PFL, Atletico Madrid join hands for Pakistan football’s betterment

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    The flag of Atletico Madrid. — Reuters/File

    Ahead of the launch event of the Pakistan Football League next week, the PFL has joined hands with Spanish giant Atletico Madrid.

    The Atletico Madrid Academy was deployed from 2016 to 2020 in Lahore as part of its strategic international expansion plan.

    For several years the Atletico Madrid Academy has successfully landed in over 40 countries with different development football programs for young players and coaches who have had the opportunity to be trained by the academy’s sports professionals.

    Adolfo Guerrero Gunther, Manager in the Academy Internationalisation Unit, Atletico Madrid Academy, said: «Atletico Madrid Academy are thrilled to have been invited to the unveiling of PFL and to be back again to Pakistan, as it is a huge market full of opportunities, where we wish to explore different possibilities to develop the Academy programs, thanks to the PFL and Golden Ball Global, as part of this tour between 3-5 June 2024.»

    Melanie Grace, Director of Communications, said: «We are privileged to have Atletico Madrid Academy among our guests and look forward to find opportunities to cooperate in Pakistan thanks to the successful Sports and Educational programs promoted by the Academy.»

    The objective of PFL is to sensationalise football in a country of 250 million population and to serve the long-enduring appetite of the football-loving nation.

    The three-day launching event will start on June 3 from Islamabad, the capital city of Pakistan, and concludes in Karachi – The City of Lights, on June 5.

    The visit foresees a series of high-profile meetings scheduled with top brass officials, fandom engagements in malls and schools, grassroots in Kakri Football Stadium in Lyari to celebrate a football carnival, recognise the unsung heroes of Pakistan’s football and the unveiling of franchise teams.

    The Pakistan Football League is being unveiled in a ground-breaking ceremony in Lahore on June 4, followed by a series of farewell dinners in each city before send-off by the British Deputy High Commissioner who will host a farewell reception in Karachi on June 5.



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    Mbappe´s Madrid move nears but Deschamps focused on France collective – Soccer News


    Kylian Mbappe will draw plenty of attention as speculation swirls over an impending move to Real Madrid, but France head coach Didier Deschamps is not one to place much focus on his superstar forward.

    The France international is reportedly readying to complete his switch to Madrid, after announcing the 2023-24 campaign will be his last with Paris Saint-Germain.

    Los Blancos are not expected to confirm the deal until after Saturday’s Champions League final against Borussia Dortmund, though focus will swiftly turn to Euro 2024 later next month.

    Addressing a press conference on Wednesday, Mbappe dominated the line of questioning – but Deschamps remains unbothered by the speculation and acknowledged he is content to “adapt” to the situation.

    “It doesn’t depend on me,” the Les Bleus head coach said as impatience grows for Mbappe’s move to be announced in the Spanish capital.

    “They will decide when it will be time to make it official. As far as possible, I will adapt to the collective and the French team.”

    Mbappe leaves Paris with 256 goals across his seven seasons, including 42 in the Champions League, as Luis Enrique prepares for life without the 25-year-old.

    Adding in 96 assists for the Ligue 1 champions, Mbappe’s 352 goal involvements rank as the most for PSG this century – ahead of Edinson Cavani (236) and Zlatan Ibrahimovic (210).

    “You don’t think he’s in good shape… He only scored 44 goals in the season, he could have done better,” a teasing Deschamps added.

    “He played in a Coupe de France final, he’s active.”

    Though Mbappe remains the focus of European football interest, Deschamps has no intention to treat the attacker any different to his France team-mates.

    “The context in the French team is different, I’m not going to pay more attention to him in relation to that aspect,” the veteran boss continued.

    “But I understand that from the outside, the media aspect in relation to [the club’s] decisions and the announcement, it takes up a lot of time.”

    Deschamps will hope his France team can focus solely on their upcoming Euro 2024 campaign soon, which they start against Austria on June 17.

    The Les Bleus manager wants to have qualification sealed by defeating Austria and Netherlands, before a final group-stage meeting with Poland.

    “I am a positive person, and I am driven by the idea that every day that goes by brings us closer to a positive response,” he said. “Everything will be done to make sure things go as smoothly as possible.”





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    NPR News: 05-29-2024 4PM EDT



    NPR News: 05-29-2024 4PM EDT

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    King Charles to give unexpected surprise in absence of Kate Middleton?


    The Princess of Wales is unlikely to attend the Royal Family’s Trooping the Colour 

    King Charles is expected to welcome Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice to step in for Kate Middleton, sources claimed to GB news.

    Sources have claimed that Princess Eugenie, Princess Beatrice, and Zara Tindall may join King Charles in the absence of Princess Kate. 

    The Princess of Wales, 42, is unlikely to attend the Royal Family’s Trooping the Colour on Saturday, June 15, as she stepped back from public duties at the beginning of the year following her cancer diagnosis.

    Kate has not been seen in public throughout 2024 as she recuperates at Adelaide Cottage in Windsor.

    Trooping the Colour, celebrating the monarch’s birthday, is set for next month, with King Charles confirmed to attend. Other senior royals, including Queen Camilla, Prince William, Princess Anne, and the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh, are also expected to be present.

    During Queen Elizabeth II’s reign, extended Royal Family members, including non-working royals and their young children, would appear on the Buckingham Palace balcony. 

    However, since Prince Andrew stepped down from royal duties in 2019, King Charles III has not allowed non-working royals on the balcony at official events. This policy was observed for Trooping the Colour in 2023 and following the Coronation.

    Consequently, Zara, 43, Beatrice, 35, and Eugenie, 34, have not appeared on the Buckingham Palace balcony since 2019. However, with Kate’s anticipated absence next month, sources suggest the King might reverse his stance and allow non-working royals on the balcony to fill the space.

    Last week, the Prince of Wales delighted royal fans by inviting his cousins, Beatrice, Eugenie, Peter Phillips, Zara, and her husband Mike, to join him at a Buckingham Palace garden party.

    Additionally, the King has reportedly asked Lady Gabriella Windsor to attend the Trooping the Colour celebrations with the royals, following the unexpected death of her husband, financier Thomas Kingston, earlier this year.



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    The state of journalism in South Asia


    Representational image. — Reuters/File

    In recent years, the safety of journalists in South Asia has come under severe threat, with numerous instances of violence, persecution, and even murder. In this collaborative effort from Pakistan, India, and Sri Lanka, we will outline the problems faced by journalists belonging to minority groups.

    On March 18, 2021, Ajay Lalwani, a local news correspondent for the Urdu-language Daily Puchano, was sitting in a barber shop in the Salehpat area of Sukkur. Two motorcycles and a car with four passengers drove by and opened fire, striking Lalwani in the stomach, arm, and knee. He was taken to Civil Hospital in Sukkur, where he later died due to blood loss.

    Naresh Kumar, a prime witness in the case, subsequently died in a road accident considered suspicious and potentially linked to the accused in Ajay’s murder. Ajay Lalwani, a Hindu journalist, was known for exposing the deeds of influential local leaders.

    Similarly, in Sri Lanka, where the minority Tamil-speaking community resides in the North East, numerous journalists have fallen victim to murder or disappearance.

    The ‘Committee to Protect Journalists, an organisation advocating for journalists based in the United States, has reported that 25 journalists lost their lives during the civil war, particularly between 1992 and 2022.

    In India also, authorities are increasingly targeting journalists and online critics for their criticism of government policies and practices, including prosecuting them under counterterrorism and sedition laws, coupled with a broader crackdown on dissent and no group is more vulnerable than Muslim journalists.

    Recently, the number of journalists charged under draconian laws or different sections is an indication of the perilous state of free speech in India.

    The persecution of journalists grew by more than four times in the Modi years. According to data collected by the Committee to Protect Journalists, 36 journalists were imprisoned in India between 2014 and 2023. During the UPA years, this figure stood at eight.

    The latest Press Freedom Index has also revealed concerning trends for South Asian countries, including India, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan, indicating a significant decline in press freedom levels.

    Sri Lanka, for instance, saw a steep drop from its previous position of 135 in last year’s Reporters Without Borders (RFS) report to a worrisome 150 within just one year.

    Similarly, India’s rank stands at 159 out of 180 countries in the Press Freedom Index, highlighting ongoing challenges in the media landscape. Pakistan follows closely behind at number 152.

    These rankings shed light on the obstacles faced by journalists in the region. Journalists in these countries often encounter a myriad of difficulties, including threats, censorship, legal hurdles, and physical as well as mental challenges. Tragically, some journalists have even lost their lives while carrying out their professional duties.

    It is noteworthy that these challenges are not limited to any specific group of journalists but are pervasive across the profession. However, journalists belonging to minority groups face additional hurdles and are particularly vulnerable to heightened risks and difficulties.

    ‘Terrorist’ journalists

    “There are two cases against me, one being the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and the other is the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) case. I have a charge sheet of 5,000 pages and it’s been almost 3-4 years that I haven’t even received my charge sheet. There are only allegations against me and no evidence has been found. Still, my job, health, finance, and everything else suffers,” says Siddique Kappan, a journalist from India’s Kerala who was arrested in October 2020 on his way to Hathras and was released on bail in February 2023 after more than two years following his arrest.

    Similarly, K Kumanan, a journalist from the Mullaitivu district of Sri Lanka says, “for a prolonged period, we’ve been unjustly labelled as terrorists. Whenever we report for the rights of the Tamil people, we’re unfairly branded as such. Consequently, many journalists have suffered tragic fates, including murder, abduction, and forced disappearance. Even today, such perceptions persist about us. We continue to be categorised within the general stereotype of terrorists, seen as undesirable elements by the state, perceived as accomplices, and even as instigators of terrorist activities. We are called for investigation under the Prevention of Terrorism Act and have become a new normal.»

    Similar to Sri Lanka’s Prevention of Terrorism Act India has Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Meer Faisal, a 23-years journalist tells how Tripura Police booked 102 social media handles for allegedly posting content to disturb communal harmony under the UAPA.

    “Many of us were booked for raising critical questions over institutionalised planned violence and there was no fact-check on which report I was booked. It was just because we were highlighting the matter at that time. Currently, there is a stay on my case,» says Faisal.

    In India UAPA is used against journalists who seek to investigate and report on a range of issues, it seeks to criminalise their legitimate work and stigmatise them as “terrorists” as well as having a chilling effect on the professional at large.

    False cases to silence dissent

    Shams Tabrez Qasmi, the editor-in-chief of the multilingual digital media platform, ‘Millat Times’ has been booked for tweeting videos of the communal clashes in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh’s Kanpur in 2022 and no written notice has been sent to him yet. He also mentions his colleagues who have suffered harassment, abuse, and FIRs because of their Muslim identity.

    In 2017, Zakir Ali Tyagi was arrested and spent 42 days in jail for a case registered against him under the IT Act over two of his social media posts on Facebook against Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. Later in 2020, he faced another FIR filed against him by a person claiming to be a farmer in Aminabad who had alleged an instance of cow slaughter in his field.

    “I was being targeted repeatedly for doing my work and I had no connection to cow slaughtering. They have not found any evidence to this date against me which supports any claims,” Tyagi said.

    Meanwhile, the arrest of a fact-checking Indian website Alt News’s co-founder, Mohammad Zubair by the Delhi police in June 2023. The police alleged that a 2018 tweet by the fat-checker “hurt religious sentiments’. In July, fresh charges of criminal conspiracy, destruction of evidence, and foreign funding were added to the case.

    While talking to a media outlet, Zubair says, “A Muslim man asking for accountability and working as a journalist is not a crime. I have to tell my younger colleagues that their work matters, and bearing witness to horrors that would otherwise be forgotten is not a crime. You should be present on social media and write your own stories. Don’t let the propaganda around you go unchallenged. If every district has an individual who can fact-check, flag hate speech, and challenge the propaganda of the godi media channels, things will ultimately get better.”

    Religious fundamentalism vs journalism

    Durainayagam Sanjeevan, a journalist from Trincomalee district, explains, «When we cover religious matters, we confront threats from religious fundamentalists. Buddhist monks often clash with us and resort to violence, particularly when we report on unlawful encroachment in the name of Buddhism. They exert influence over our reporting, dictating what should and shouldn’t be covered. When we resist this control and report, we face police investigations and threats, accusing us of causing racial tensions.»

    In the northern and eastern parts of Sri Lanka, the native lands of the Tamils, where Hindu temples are located, are grabbed in the name of archaeology, and Buddhist temples are constructed afterwards.

    Also, there are incidents where the majority forcefully takes over the native lands of the minority people. Such incidents are taking place, especially in Vedukkunaari Malai Athi Sivan Myamar temple in Vavuniya, Kurundurmalai Temple in Mullaitivu, Thirukoneswaram in Trincomalee, Arismalai, and Thaiitti in Jaffna.

    “Buddhistisation is currently underway in the North and East. It is an act of deliberate demographic change. Buddhist temples are built in Tamil areas. With the support of government departments such as the Forest Resources Department, Archaeology Department, Army, and Police, the Buddhist priest acts as a strongman and carries out all the activities there. When we report such issues, we are often depicted as instigating religious tension, with accusations that we are challenging the rights of Sinhala Buddhists to practice their faith.»

    «We have been arrested, assaulted, threatened, photographed, and threatened. As a person who has faced all kinds of threats, I was threatened with arrest when I went to report on the protest in 2022, and in 2019, when I went to report on the Buddhist conversion at Neeraviyyadi Pilliyar Temple, the police officer attacked me and knocked down my camera such threats have happened to all minority journalists like me in the North-East,» journalist K Kumanan says.

    On April 4, 2022, during an event called the ‘Hindu Mahapanchayat’ organised in India’s national capital, New Delhi, five journalists, including four Muslim reporters, were allegedly beaten up by a right-wing mob.

    Recalling the horror of that day, Meer Faisal says, «People surrounded me, snatched my camera, and beat me up. Somehow, the Delhi police rescued me and the other journalists. I was beaten up because of my identity. Somebody came to me and asked my name. When I told them, they called me ‘‘Jihadi.’ We face such difficulties. So, if there is a communal issue or riot, it becomes really difficult to report from such areas because, in those times, it doesn’t matter whether you are a journalist or not; only religion matters to them.»

    Online censorship

    «The latest incident happened the last year when my Twitter account was withheld in India, without giving a proper reason. Then, I wrote an email to the IT Ministry and they gave the reason that I was spreading hatred against one community,» says Meer Faisal.

    He asserted further stating, “I had a Twitter which had a very good reach due to which I was able to reach out to more people on whatever fake narrative and propaganda was created against Muslims. The biggest weapon for me was Twitter because through it I was able to counter their propaganda and show them the ground reality. But, after my Twitter account was withheld, I created another account but it doesn’t have that many followers to be able to reach out to more people.”

    Shams Tabrez Qasmi says that Facebook deleted the official page of Millat Times in September 2021 without giving any notice/reason. The page had more than one million followers. Also, Millat Times’ YouTube channel has been previously put on a 90-day ban after the outlet published a news video on protests in Maharashtra against COVID-19 lockdown.

    “YouTube has deleted our videos even before. One was a story about the mob lynching of a Muslim man over allegations of eating beef, and another was on the Delhi riots [of February 2020]. The riots were ugly and we had attempted to show its brutality as it is. But it was deleted,” he added.

    In a democracy, journalists are being silenced due to their reportage and commentary on important issues and the democratic rights of citizens. The Modi government’s legislation to regulate the internet has not been received well by India’s digital media. The Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, opens up digital media to discretionary powers of the government, including censorship.

    Due to the government’s tight control on the media in Indian Illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, the situation of journalists in the predominantly Muslim region has sharply declined since the government in August 2019 repealed Article 370 and 35a of the Indian Constitution, which gave the occupied region significant autonomy.

    In 2021, India had the highest number of internet shutdowns with 106 incidents in the country, 86 were in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), which lasted 552 days. It recounts the restrictions and challenges faced by Kashmiri journalists as they were denied access to information, and local journalists were unable to gather, verify, or disseminate news.

    In Manipur in northeast India, which was reeling under a violent ethnic conflict from May 2023, the internet was shut down for seven months and continues to be patchy in designated areas.

    Purportedly a measure to curb disinformation and the circulation of inflammatory videos and messages on social media, particularly WhatsApp, it has also effectively prevented journalists from verifying information and publishing credible news.

    The Modi years have also been marked by government surveillance and the use of spyware against journalists, spiked stories, income tax “surveys” on newsrooms, and intimidating morning raids at the homes of young journalists.

    Independent news outlets are being criminalised for critical reporting and journalists and their organisation are hounded by the authorities for doing their job.

    Shams Tabrez, the Editor-in-Chief of Millat Times said that there is a risk of his YouTube or Facebook channels being banned anytime soon. I received notice several times. I got the first notice in 2018 which asked us to delete the video. But, we didn’t do it as our story was reality and truth from the ground, he said.

    Journalism has been criminalised

    In today’s world, if you speak out for justice, a troll army will target you regardless of your name. However, if you have a Muslim name, the first thing you are advised to do is to go to Pakistan, says Ziya Us Salam, a senior journalist, and author of books like Lynch Files, Being Muslim in Hindu India, Madrasas in the Age of Islamophobia, and Of Saffron Flags and Skullcaps.

    He further adds, “There has been a concerted attempt at the marginalisation of minorities in general and Muslims in particular. Being Muslim in many circles gives you a free pass to do whatever you want to do with Muslims, you won’t be held accountable. This has been happening post-2019 in India. Before 2019, there were lynchings of Muslims who were allegedly involved in cow slaughter or the transportation of cattle for possible slaughter. But post 2019, Muslims are being attacked simply for being Muslim. Minorities are the direct victims of Hindutva politics. Wherever the BJP is in power, minorities suffer. When the BJP does well, Muslim representation in Parliament diminishes. When BJP and its sister organisations do well politically, minorities suffer, not just Muslims but Christians as well.”

    “In 2014, when Narendra Modi came to power, he raised the slogan ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas.’ We had 23 Muslim MPs, which was as low as we had at the time of Indian independence when we had 21, but the population was much less then.

    In 2022, for the first time, there was not a single Muslim minister in the Union Cabinet. There was not a single Muslim MP in the BJP in the Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha. On one hand, BJP says ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas,’ and on the other hand, there is not a single representation of India’s biggest minority group.”

    An Independent Indian journalist Zakir Ali Tyagi shares his thoughts on the current situation of journalism in India, He says, “For Muslim journalists, writing has now become like walking on a double-edged sword. If we want to write, we have to walk a difficult road. That is why some journalists have changed their field while there has also been an increase in the numbers of people choosing journalism as their professional field.”

    Meanwhile, the homegrown journalists have had it worse, eight are in jail including Kashmir journalist Aasif Sultan, who had been jailed since 2018 and secured bail in the UAPA case in August 2022. Also, occupied Kashmir’s Sajad Gul has been in jail since 2022, Jharkhand reporter Rupesh Kumar Singh since 2022, Kashmiri reporters Irfan Mehraj and Majid Hyderi since 2023, and Punjab independent journalist Rajinder Singh Taggar was arrested on March 20.

    Newsclick founder Prabir Purkayastha has been in jail since 2023 and is now out on bail.

    Purkayastha’s arrest, notably, involved raids across Newsclick employees’ houses and workplaces, placing a target on the backs of all individuals who had dared to be associated with the site.

    Also, BBC offices in India have been raided by tax department officials, just weeks after the release of a documentary critical of the prime minister, Narendra Modi, which was later blocked by the government.

    The editor of IFJ South Asia Press Freedom Report, Laxmi Murthy highlights how Pakistan set a global precedent by enacting specialised laws aimed at safeguarding journalists.

    “The Pakistan government introduced the Sindh Protection of Journalists and other Media Practitioners Act 2021, swiftly followed by the National Assembly passing the Protection of Journalists and Media Professionals Act 2021. The coming together of these outlets in the 26-member Digital Media Alliance of Pakistan (DigiMAP), represents a consolidation of the digital news media business and a healthy challenge for Pakistan’s legacy media,» added Laxmi Murthy.

    Lack of funding for independent media

    There is often a lack of funding and financing for independent media which forces them to turn to bigger groups, such as larger media conglomerates, government, or political parties, to support their economic viability resulting in a lack of editorial independence, excessive concentration of media ownership and the unfair and non-transparent distribution of public subsidies.

    Advertisements are the main source of revenue for India’s news industry. Government data shows that between 2014 and 2017, the Modi government hiked advertising in print and television media, compared to the second term of the UPA government. But since 2017, this figure has consistently fallen.

    As the owner of an Indian organisation “The Observer Post’, Meer Faisal says, “I earn through freelancing for some international organisations, but it is very difficult to run it or to support myself because journalism is the most underpaid job. Journalists are paid very little and it becomes important to do some other work too.”

    Also, journalists like Shams Tabrez find it difficult to develop their own app for their organisation ‘Millat Times’. He said, “If our YouTube or Facebook gets blocked, we will become absolutely zero. So, we have started focusing a little on the website, and also plan to develop our own app. It needs to be a professional application which requires a big budget, so we are not able to do it.”

    Zakir Ali Tyagi suffers between the thought of leaving the field and speaking for the oppressed. He says, “Sometimes, I feel like moving away from this field of journalism. But, suddenly there is some other incident in front of you which forces you to write about it again. You are forced to speak again.”

    The FCRA is a source for not-for-profit entities to receive foreign funds. However, in 2024, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs cancelled the Foreign Contribut on Regulation Act (FCRA) registration of the Centre for Policy Research (CPR). The action has had a debilitating impact on the institution’s ability to function by choking all sources of funding for the independent media, which is generally critical of the government.

    Increasing inaccessibility for journalists

    Narendra Modi, who was elected to power in 2014, has not appeared in a single press conference in India since he took office. Abroad, he has done so in at least two instances — during state visits to the UK in 2015 and the US in 2023.

    The last press conference by an Indian PM was held a decade ago with 62 unscripted questions answered with 100+ journalists present. Congress leader Manish Tewari, who was the minister of information and broadcasting between 2012 and 2014, claimed former prime minister Manmohan Singh participated in 117 press conferences in his decade-long tenure.

    Journalists have also faced obstacles in their access to Parliament and union ministries. For instance, in 2019, the Ministry of Finance introduced a system of prior appointments for journalists who wanted to meet officials. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, restrictions have been placed on the entry of journalists into parliament.

    Foreign journalists in India have also faced a permit regime in the Modi years. In 2018 and 2019, respectively, they need permission from the Ministry of External Affairs and the Ministry of Home Affairs to report from occupied Kashmir and Assam. Their visas, permits, and access are increasingly rejected by Indian authorities.

    Meer Faisal shares his experience while covering the Delhi riots, Shaheen Bagh Protest, and Hindu Mahapanchayat and says, “As a Muslim journalist, it is difficult to report incidents that have happened in the Hindu community. When you go to report a communal incident, people avoid talking about it to a journalist because of his Muslim identity.

    In 2022, Ismat Ara was among 20 Muslim women journalists whose pictures and personal information were posted for a virtual “auction” by an online app called Bulli Bai, a derogatory term to describe Muslim women.

    Ara filed a police complaint which led to the arrest of the app’s makers. She is often chased by a mob due to her Muslim identity and says, “I think it helps not to be visibly Muslim,” adding that she removed a picture of herself in a hijab on X after a BJP aide asked for her handle to check for “negative stories.”

    Recently, a journalist Raghav Trivedi who works with the digital outlet Molitics, was beaten up and locked in a room allegedly by BJP workers while covering Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s rally in Rae Bareli, Uttar Pradesh over a “clip” about women being paid to attend the rally. He said that the attackers used anti-Muslim slurs against him and called him “mullah (Muslim)” and “attanki (terrorist)’.

    Dr Tauseef Ahmed, a retired professor of journalism from Pakistan, states that journalists with minority religious connections in Pakistan face difficulties when conducting investigative stories, as they are easily accused and subjected to caution and disruption in their professional work.

    What should be done?

    The CPU’s India representative Kunal Majumder says that it is important for the journalist fraternity itself to really start focusing on their issues and their safety because India does not have a culture of safety for journalists. There is no conversation about how you keep your journalist safe.

    Recently, CPJ’s Emergencies Response Team (ERT) has compiled a safety guide for journalists covering India’s election. The guide contains information for editors, reporters, and photojournalists on how to prepare for the election and how to mitigate digital, physical, and psychological risks.

    He further says, “The fraternity itself has to take the responsibility of care towards their reporters and they have to be mindful of them and they have to implement a lot of preventive measures, which unfortunately at this point is completely missing out of Indian newsrooms.

    But, once you start putting these preventive mechanisms in place, the number of journalists being protected will definitely go up.”


    Muhammad Amin Anwar is a broadcast journalist based in Karachi. He works for Geo News and covers issues related to religious minorities, human rights, and the judiciary in the city.

    V. Priyatharsan has been working as a journalist in Sri Lanka for over 15 years and is currently serving as an Assistant Editor at Express Newspapers Pvt Ltd.

    Rohit Upadhyay is a Journalist, Documentarian and YouTuber known for his in-depth reports on environmental issues, public health, and minority rights.



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    Jurgen Klopp appears to take a subtle dig at Erik ten Hag for his treatment of Jadon Sancho



    Jurgen Klopp appeared to take a parting swipe at Erik ten Hag for his treatment of Jadon Sancho. 

    Klopp returned to Liverpool yesterday to take part in a Q&A event in front of over 10,000 fans at the M&S Bank Arena.

    It was an emotional event for the German who was brought to tears as the audience welcomed him with a stunning rendition of his “I’m so glad Jurgen is a Red” chant.

    During the question answer sessions, he spoke about the importance of proper management, before appearing to take a jibe at Erik ten Hag for his role in the Jadon Sacha saga.

    He said (quotes via Goal):

    “If the whole world loses trust and faith in the player, the manager has to be the one behind the player. I cannot just buy into that ‘he’s useless’, like other clubs did by the way – buying a player for £80 million and then sending him out on loan!”

    What happened between ten Hag and Sancho?

    Sancho joined Manchester United in 2021 for a substantial fee of around £73 million.

    In Ten Hag’s first season, the Dutch manager provided considerable support to the young English winger, both on and off the pitch.

    However, the relationship soured in the second season due to Ten Hag’s dissatisfaction with Sancho’s training efforts. He publicly questioned Sancho’s commitment in a post-match interview.

    He was eventually loaned back to Borussia Dortmund during the January transfer window.

    However, this move has proven beneficial for Sancho, who has been instrumental in helping Dortmund secure a place in the Champions League final.

    Dortmund are now set to face Real Madrid at Wembley for Europe’s most prestigious trophy.

     



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    Man reveals how it was like to be swallowed by large snake


    Man shares experience of being eaten by a large snake. — Reuters

    A horrifying experience was shared by a reality show contestant where he recalled the moments of feeling his head inside a snake’s mouth.

    According to a New York Post report, a man Paul Rosolie agreed to be eaten by a large snake during a show in 2014, where the reptile started gradually swallowing his body starting from his head.

    Within minutes, Rosolie gave his call to end the stunt and now he revealed to the media publication what the experience was like.

    He said: «The last thing I remember was her mouth open wide and everything went black. I went limp and let it constrict.»

    “She wrapped around me and I felt my suit cracking and my arms ripping out of their sockets.»

    «I came inches away, moments away from having my rib cage explode,» he said.

    He added: «It was really all about showing people the power of these snakes with the mission of protecting their habitats.»

    The large-sized snakes can swallow animals larger than humans, and digesting such creatures won’t be a challenge for these egg-laying species.

    He went on: «Every time you exhale, you never get that space back, you never take that breath in again. So you exhale and the snake squeezes, and then when you try to breathe in, there’s nothing. And so I couldn’t even call for help. It was terrifying.»



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    Riley Gaines talks to West Virginia female middle-schoolers who declined to compete against biological male

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    Riley Gaines, a former collegiate swimmer, has been outspoken about transgender athletes’ participation in women’s sports.

    Gaines, an OutKick contributor who hosts the «Gaines for Girls» podcast and is the director of the Riley Gaines Center at the Leadership Institute, spoke with a group of middle school girls who recently pulled out of a track and field competition due to their refusal to compete against an athlete who was a biological male.

    Gaines praised the four student-athletes, saying they «set the precedent and the standard for many girls to come.»

    CLICK HERE FOR MORE SPORTS COVERAGE ON FOXNEWS.COM

    Former University of Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines hosts the «Gaines for Girls» podcast. (OutKick)

    The Bridgeport, West Virginia, middle-schoolers stepped into the circle for the shot put and discus competitions and then stepped out in protest of the transgender athlete who was competing against them, according to OutKick.

    RILEY GAINES REFLECTS ON WHEN SHE BECAME ADVOCATE FOR WOMEN’S SPORTS: ‘WHAT IN THE WORLD ARE WE CLAPPING FOR?’

    While Gaines addressed the backlash the young athletes were subjected to following their actions, she also discussed the outpouring of support they received. 

    «So have you guys felt pretty overwhelmed by the support that you’ve received since taking a stand?» Gaines asked.

    «I think it was way more than we expected,» one of the student-athletes responded. «I think we kind of gave a voice for those people that were scared and they’re not scared anymore, so I’m excited about that.»

    Riley Gaines at a presser

    Riley Gaines speaks at a news conference with West Virginia AG Patrick Morrisey. (Sceenshot)

    Gaines previously spoke out in support of the four middle-schoolers.

    «I could not be more proud of these girls,» Gaines told America Reports co-anchor Sandra Smith on Fox News Channel in April.

    «Again, 13, 14 years old, they’re in middle school, yet they’re the ones who are forced to be the adults in the room to advocate for their own rights to quality opportunity, safety and privacy, which were once ensured by Title IX, but now, of course, are under threat and which were once ensured by the law here in West Virginia. But now, with the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling, it’s all under threat, which sets a terrible precedent.»

    West Virginia’s «Save Women’s Sports Act» was signed into law in 2021. It required student-athletes to compete and play against those of their biological gender. The law was challenged on the basis that it violated the 14th Amendment and protections under Title IX.

    Riley Gaines in November 2023

    Former University of Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines speaks at an event. (Michael Clevenger/Courier Journal/USA Today Network)

    U.S. District Judge Joseph Goodwin ruled in January 2023 that the law did not violate Title IX protections. However, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 to reinstate a preliminary injunction.

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    West Virginia was one of at least 24 states that had laws barring transgender women and girls from competing against the gender they identify as.

    Fox News’ Ryan Gaydos contributed to this report.

    Follow Fox News Digital’s sports coverage on X, and subscribe to the Fox News Sports Huddle newsletter.





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