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Court cites need to protect confidentiality of journalists’ sources

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first_img FranceEurope – Central Asia News News June 2, 2021 Find out more Organisation May 11, 2011 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Court cites need to protect confidentiality of journalists’ sources News Reporters Without Borders hails the fact that a French court has cited the need to protect the confidentiality of journalists’ sources as grounds for ruling that a prosecutor acted illegally when he allowed the police to examine the phone records of two Le Monde reporters who were covering a high-profile case involving L’Oréal heiress Liliane Bettencourt. “This is a very positive signal that must be welcomed even if we regret that it has come so late,” the press freedom organization said.A Bordeaux appeal court ruled on 5 May that examination of the journalists’ detailed phone records on the orders of Nanterre public prosecutor Philippe Courroye violated article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights and a January 2010 amendment to France’s 1881 press law protecting the confidentiality of sources.The case was prompted by a report in Le Monde on 2 September 2010 that police had searched Bettencourt’s home. When Bettencourt’s lawyer complained that the confidentiality of a judicial investigation had been violated, Courroye ordered the police to scour the journalists’ phone records in a bid to identify who had told them about the raid.Explaining their ruling, the Bordeaux appeal court judges said: “The police investigation was in response to a claim – which was at the very least moot – by a private individual about the probability or even just the possibility that a violation of professional confidentiality had taken place. The requirement of an overriding public interest was therefore not satisfied.” Under the new French law, there has to be an “overriding public interest” for the police and judicial authorities to be able to investigate a journalist’s sources.“Prosecutor Courroye’s action was grave,” Reporters Without Borders said. “By compromising the confidentiality of journalists’ sources, he was jeopardizing the trust of their informers, the very basis of investigative journalism. All the more so in cases that upset the government or some of its powerful friends. We are relieved that a court has finally recognized that his action was illegal.“It was nonetheless always clear that the law had been broken and it is incredible that we have had to wait so long for such as obvious ruling. And that this was only on the initiative of a Bordeaux investigating judge who wanted to be sure that an investigation was legal. Ever since the spying on journalists first came to light in September 2010, no police or judicial official has condemned the seizure of journalists’ phone records.“Even more seriously, the prosecutor’s office shelved two complaints by Le Monde on the grounds that violating the confidentiality of sources was not a criminal offence. The newspaper filed a new complaint in March, this time formally registering itself as a civil plaintiff. We hope this complaint will be treated properly.”A judicial precedent has now been set as regards application of the law on the protection of journalists’ sources. But the damage has already been done in this case. More must be done in the future to ensure that journalists’ sources really are protected. As the European Court of Human Rights ruled on 4 September 2010 (Sanoma Uitgevers BV v. Netherlands): “It is clear, in the court’s view, that the exercise of any independent review that only takes place subsequently to the handing over of material capable of revealing such sources would undermine the very essence of the right to confidentiality.”To prevent such abuses recurring, violations of the confidentiality of journalists’ sources should be subject to criminal sanctions and the circumstances in which this confidentiality may be legally breached should be strictly defined. Unfortunately, the law does not define “overriding public interest.” Any official order endangering the confidentiality of journalists’ sources should be referred to an independent and impartial body before it is carried out. France is ranked 44th in the latest Reporters Without Borders world press freedom index. Its fall in the index in recent years is due in part to violations of the confidentiality of several journalists’ sources, including journalists working for Le Monde and Rue 89.Harassment of the Mediapart, Rue 89 and Bakchich.info news websites in connection with the Bettencourt case was part of the reason for France’s inclusion in the list of “countries under surveillance” in the latest annual Reporters Without Borders report on the Internet. Receive email alerts RSF denounces Total’s retaliation against Le Monde for Myanmar story FranceEurope – Central Asia center_img Follow the news on France RSF_en June 4, 2021 Find out more Use the Digital Services Act to make democracy prevail over platform interests, RSF tells EU Help by sharing this information News to go further “We’ll hold Ilham Aliyev personally responsible if anything happens to this blogger in France” RSF says May 10, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

500 Days in the Housing Industry

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first_img in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, News Share Save Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Home / Daily Dose / 500 Days in the Housing Industry The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Sign up for DS News Daily Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago  Print This Post Related Articles Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago 500 Days in the Housing Industry Subscribe Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days agocenter_img Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Radhika Ojha is an independent writer and copy-editor, and a reporter for DS News. She is a graduate of the University of Pune, India, where she received her B.A. in Commerce with a concentration in Accounting and Marketing and an M.A. in Mass Communication. Upon completion of her masters degree, Ojha worked at a national English daily publication in India (The Indian Express) where she was a staff writer in the cultural and arts features section. Ojha, also worked as Principal Correspondent at HT Media Ltd and at Honeywell as an executive in corporate communications. She and her husband currently reside in Houston, Texas. Tagged with: Banks Ben Carson Brian Montgomery Dodd-Frank Government Jerome Powell Lenders Mick Mulvaney mortgage President Trump Volcker Rule Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago About Author: Radhika Ojha June 7, 2018 1,530 Views Banks Ben Carson Brian Montgomery Dodd-Frank Government Jerome Powell Lenders Mick Mulvaney mortgage President Trump Volcker Rule 2018-06-07 Radhika Ojha The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago The Trump administration recently celebrated 500 days in office. How has the landscape of the housing industry changed during that time? In this piece, DS News will walk you through the key legislation and nominations that have impacted the industry since January 2017.The Big PictureThe tax reform bill, perhaps the administration’s key piece of legislation passed in these 500 days, was signed into law in December 2017. While the bill had major implications for many industries, several key provisions impacted the housing industry. From downsized mortgage interest rate reduction and limits on property tax deductions to tax break stays for homesellers, the $1.4 trillion tax cut bill impacted homeowners, buyers, and sellers.While the fall in unemployment is part of a larger revival in jobs predating the current administration, the latest numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated that the unemployment rate had fallen to 3.8 percent by the end of April. For the housing industry, which continues its struggle with the supply side, the latest job numbers also meant an increase in construction labor. The latest jobs report indicated that jobs in construction had risen by 286,000 over the past 12 months. When looking at the quality of life and housing across the country, OECD’s Better Life Index indicated that the U.S. ranked among the top countries in housing, income, and wealth, roughly at the same rank as when President Trump was sworn into office.A Look at LegislationIn May, the Dodd-Frank Reform bill—known officially as the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act—was signed into law by President Trump. The bill seeks to evolve and streamline regulations put in place by the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act and was passed by the House on May 22, by a vote of 258-159. “This is a moment years in the making, and I thank my colleagues in the Senate and the House of Representatives for their partnership and contributions to this effort over the years,” said Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID), Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee. “This step toward right-sizing regulation will allow local banks and credit unions to focus more on lending, in turn propelling economic growth and creating jobs on Main Street and in our communities. This is an important moment for small financial institutions, small businesses, and families across America.”While the Dodd-Frank reform bill was still being discussed, the House of Representatives passed a new bill in April that would streamline the Volcker Rule. Implemented as part of the larger Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the Volcker Rule limits the types of speculative investments banks can participate in, as a way to try and prevent some of the factors that contributed to the 2008 financial crisis. This new House bill, passed with a vote of 300-104, would make the Federal Reserve the sole regulator for Volcker Rule compliance. At the time, some proponents of the Volcker rule called for the bill to be rolled into the larger Dodd-Frank reform bill. However, the bill remains a separate piece of legislation and moved forward recently after the SEC voted on the overhaul. The SEC was the last of the five financial agencies required to sign off on the changes. According to Bloomberg, the changes are being viewed as a significant win for banks that have “long argued the original rule was overly complex and costly to comply with.”Noms, Noms, NomsIn the 500 days since the administration took office, many of President Trump’s nominees have been appointed to key positions. From the Fed Chairman to the most recent appointment of the head of the FHA (a position that had been vacant for the past four years), the nominations and appointments made by this administration are set to have a far-reaching effect on the housing industry.Most recently, in May, Brian Montgomery, who had been nominated by the President for the position of Assistant Secretary for Housing-Federal Housing Commissioner, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in November, was approved by the Senate by a vote of 74-33. “I’m honored to have the opportunity to serve with Secretary Carson and the team at HUD to further equal access to affordable rental housing and homeownership opportunities and seek solutions to restore vitality to the housing market,” Montgomery said in a statement. Montgomery, an industry veteran, served in the Executive Office of the President during the Administration of President George W. Bush before transitioning to his role as Assistant Secretary at HUD and FHA Commissioner under Presidents Bush and Obama. In recent years, he has served as Vice Chairman at The Collingwood Group, LLC, a Washington DC-based real estate finance consulting firm.In November 2017, President Trump nominated Jerome Powell for the position of Fed Chair “He’s strong, he’s committed, and he’s smart,” President Trump said during the official announcement. “And if he is confirmed by the Senate he will put his considerable talents and experience to work, leading our nation’s central independent bank, which has the critical responsibility to set monetary policy and our banking system as a whole.” Powell won the Senate over and was appointed to this position in early 2018. During his Congressional testimony in February after being confirmed, he backed further interest rate hikes.Around the same time, the President nominated Mick Mulvaney, the Federal Budget Director to the position of Acting Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). While the decision was a controversial one at that time, Mulvaney has brought in a slew of changes at the consumer watchdog. From requesting for $0 in funding for the CFPB in the second quarter to announcing that the Bureau had to be more “transparent and accountable,” Mulvaney has made quick changes to the way the Bureau works.In March 2017, Dr. Ben Carson was appointed as HUD secretary after a final Senate vote of 58-41.  “I am immensely grateful and deeply humbled to take on such an important role in service to the American people,” said Secretary Carson had said upon his appointment. Since then, despite the controversies, under his leadership, HUD has taken on several important initiatives such as announcing a major disbursement of funds to help communities still recovering from the 2017 natural disasters, partnering with the Department of Justice to end sexual assault in housing, and most recently commemorating 50 years of the Fair Housing Act. Previous: MBA Names New President & CEO: Industry Reaction Next: CFPB vs. PHH—An Unexpected Conclusionlast_img read more