May 27, 2021 Find out more Help by sharing this information BelarusEurope – Central Asia RSF_en News Reporters Without Borders condemns the arbitrary arrests of journalists Ivan Roman and Ihar Bantsar in the past three days to prevent them from attending a demonstration which opponents of President Alexandre Lukashenko plan to hold on 14 October. Roman went on hunger strike after learning he has been sentenced to five days in prison.“We deplore the preventive arrests of journalists and opposition members and we call on the Belarusian authorities not to continue,” the press freedom organisation said.Roman, of Radio Racyja, was arrested at his home on 9 October by plain-clothes police. Bantsar, the editor of the magazine Polski na Uchodzstwie, was arrested on 10 October and sentenced to ten days in prison. The media were not allowed to attend Roman’s trial on 10 October, at which he was given the five-day sentence for “filthy language.”Reporters Without Borders managed to speak to Roman briefly by telephone before his trial. He said his imprisonment was “directly linked to the European march planned for 14 October in Minsk.” Andrey Bastunets, the vice-president of the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ), said the arrests were “ridiculous and their motives clearly identifiable – confining people who could attend the demonstration.”The police also arrested leading opposition figures on 9 and 10 October with the apparent aim of holding them for four or five days so that they cannot attend the protest march.Other journalists, including Andrey Pachabut and Alyaksey Saley of Polski na Uchodzstwie, Andrey Dynko of the newspaper Nasha Niva, Andrey Pisalnik, the former editor of the newspaper Glos znad Niemna and Andrei Shantarovich, the former editor of the weekly Mestnaya Gazeta, were the victims earlier this year of similar preventive measures against the government’s opponents.Belarus was placed 151st in the latest Reporters Without Borders ranking of 168 countries according to their respect for press freedom. “We welcome opening of criminal investigation in Lithuania in response to our complaint against Lukashenko” RSF says Organisation RSF at the Belarusian border: “The terrorist is the one who jails journalists and intimidates the public” Russian media boss drops the pretence and defends Belarus crackdown Follow the news on Belarus to go further News October 12, 2007 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Journalists and opposition members arrested to prevent them taking part in protest Receive email alerts June 2, 2021 Find out more BelarusEurope – Central Asia May 28, 2021 Find out more News News
This is one in a series of profiles showcasing some of Harvard’s stellar graduates.When Oren Varnai “checked in” on Facebook from a Budapest café, he didn’t expect to be having lunch a few minutes later with a classmate from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.But the School’s blended, mid-career master of public health program attracts a diverse set of students, many of whom are scattered across America and around the world, brought together by a mix of online and on-campus courses. So Varnai’s classmate being just down the block in Hungary was serendipitous, but perhaps not shocking.Varnai, a former paramedic and New York City marshal, is himself the kind of person classmates might not be surprised to come across in a far-flung capital. A Foreign Service officer working in the U.S. Embassy in Prague, Varnai came there from a two-year posting in Bratislava, the capital of nearby Slovakia. He’s anticipating a new posting, possibly somewhere in the Balkans, later this year as his term Prague comes to a close in July.Varnai said the Chan School program, which combines two intensive, three-week on-campus courses with online classes, kicks off with an on-campus session that lets classmates get to know each other face-to-face. After that, they engage remotely for team-based projects, and meet again on campus during the second intensive session.“Everybody definitely gets culture shock in the first three weeks when you’re there and the fire hoses open,” Varnai said. “The time and effort you put into this are definitely worth it.”Varnai’s family has roots in Central Europe. His parents left Hungary in 1956, the year the Soviet Union violently suppressed the revolt against Hungary’s communist government. They settled in Israel, where Varnai was born. He moved to New York at age 13.In 1994 Varnai began studying for his bachelor’s degree at Queens College. A year later, he decided to become a paramedic. He studied nights for his certification and worked full time as a paramedic while continuing his undergraduate studies. He graduated from Queens College with a degree in econometrics and medieval Hebrew literature.In 2000, when Varnai was working as a paramedic for Jamaica Hospital, he saw an advertisement for the LSATs. On a whim, he took the test, did well, and began studying law at St. John’s University School of Law. After he graduated, Varnai worked as a legal aid attorney, but continued as a paramedic to make ends meet.His professional paramedic career came to an end in 2007, when he was appointed a marshal of New York City. City marshals work independently from, but parallel with, the sheriff’s office, executing warrants and enforcing civil court orders. They’re also barred from having outside employment.Though many marshals keep their jobs for decades, Varnai found himself getting restless after a few years. Much of his work involved serving eviction notices, breaking down doors to gain access to properties, and arguing with those being served. Varnai described the job as being the instrument of someone else’s bad day.In 2010, he took the Foreign Service exam and two years later joined the diplomatic service. Today, he lives in Prague with his wife, Tamar, whose support he said has been critical to his success, both as a diplomat and a student. Foreign Service officers are considered generalists, he said, though they work in particular core areas. In Prague, Varnai works as an economics officer, which gives him a broad area of responsibility, since so many things involve money and finance.The job also gave him the flexibility to pursue his degree in epidemiology and biostatistics at the Harvard Chan School, which fed his continued interest in health and medicine and which he plans to apply in his Foreign Service work. Varnai said he also benefits from the network of classmates he’s met through the course.“I had a great time,” Varnai said. “I made more friends here than I did in college because it [Queens College] was commuter college. I still keep in touch with a lot of people.”
Lorraine Gridley, age 73 of Napoleon, Indiana passed away on Thursday, November 30, 2017 at Aspen Place Health Campus in Greensburg, IN. The daughter of Perry and Anna Lee (Collins) Sloane was born on January 18, 1944 in Kentucky.Lorraine retired from Hill-Rom and before that had worked for both Romweber and Union Furniture. She was a member at the Solid Rock Bible Fellowship in Napoleon and Little Memory Church in Sunman. Lorraine had a strong faith and loved her church. She enjoyed going to visit people and especially spending time with her sisters. She also really liked quilting and has quilted many different things over the years. Lorraine was a very giving person and all her neighbors loved having her around. She will be truly missed by many.She is survived by her sons John Anderson and Andy Gridley; daughter, Valarie Anderson; step-sons Scott, Allen and Robert Jr. Gridley; step-daughters, Susan Kirkham, and Runita Thomas; sisters, Bernelda Crowell, Ophelia Profitt, Elma Grossman and Henrietta Franklin; and brothers Harold & Lowell Sloan.In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by her husband Robert Gridley and her brothers, Elmer Sloan Sr. and James Sloan.Visitation will be Monday from 4-8pm with Funeral Services at 11:00AM on Tuesday, December 5, 2017 all at Meyers Funeral Home in Batesville, IN. Dennis Werner officiating with burial to follow at Little Memory Church Cemetery in Sunman, IN.Memorials may be given to The Solid Rock Fellowship c/o the funeral home. Online condolences www.meyersfuneralhomes.com.