“It is completely unacceptable that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s government is censoring many of Bangladesh’s news media with less than three weeks to go to an election that is vital for the functioning of its democracy,” said Daniel Bastard, the head of RSF’s Asia-Pacific desk. “These sites must be unblocked at once for the sake of freedom of expression and journalistic pluralism, without which the election will have no legitimacy.” December 12, 2018 – Updated on August 23, 2019 RSF decries blocking of 54 Bangladeshi news sites before election Organisation The list of blocked sites includes such well-known ones as risingbd.com, dhakatimes24.com and reportbd24.com. Some, such as bnpnews24.com, support the opposition. Officials warned that “similar shutdowns will continue against news portals that publish and circulate fake and baseless news.” The information ministry accused the websites of spreading “anti-government propaganda and fake news” and said they were being blocked ahead of the election on “national security” grounds. Receive email alerts Information minister Hasanul Haq Inu (left) accused the websites of spreading “anti-government propaganda and fake news” (photo: STR / AFP) RSF_en The Rapid Action Battalion, an elite police unit, meanwhile arrested the editor of the Daily71 news website, Sheikh Riad Muhammad Noor, on 8 December for allegedly “posting seditious, false and baseless news” on social networks. He was placed in pre-trial detention under the controversial Digital Security Act on 10 December. News Help by sharing this information Bangladeshi writer and blogger dies in detention After initially announcing on the evening of 9 December that 58 websites were being blocked, the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) rescinded the order the next morning only to reintroduce it that evening, albeit with the number of sites reduced from 58 to 54. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the Bangladeshi government’s decision to block 54 news websites with the declared aim of preventing the spread of “rumours” in the run-up to the general election scheduled for 30 December. This act of censorship will damage the election’s credibility, RSF warned. BangladeshAsia – Pacific Online freedomsMedia independence InternetFreedom of expression News RSF calls for the release of Bangladeshi journalist Rozina Islam, unfairly accused of espionage to go further BangladeshAsia – Pacific Online freedomsMedia independence InternetFreedom of expression News May 19, 2021 Find out more Bangladesh is ranked 146th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2018 World Press Freedom Index. News February 26, 2021 Find out more February 22, 2021 Find out more Bangladeshi reporter fatally shot by ruling party activists Follow the news on Bangladesh
Randy Weston’s first recordings as a band leader began in the mid-1950s; he has released more than 40 recordings over five-plus decades. Compositions such as “Hi-Fly” and “Little Niles” have become jazz standards. A poster from a State Department tour of Africa in 1967. Weston’s tours of the African continent aimed to bring traditional African music to the consciousness of its Western descendants, and bring the best of American jazz music back to Africans. The legendary jazz pianist and composer Randy Weston spent a lifetime using music to tell stories that crossed cultures and continents. On Wednesday, Harvard will honor the 90-year-old for his extraordinary body of work and the University’s acquisition of his personal archive during a celebration at Agassiz Theater.“Man, how did I get here?” the spirited entertainer said during a phone call from his New York home last week. “When I trace my life and the musicians I’ve played with — I’m so blessed. I’ve met almost everyone in my life through music.”Weston’s archive reads as a “Who’s Who” of jazz greats, literary luminaries, pioneering performers, and social activists. In one breath, Weston ticked off collaborations with Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Melba Liston, and John Lee Hooker, then recalled meeting Marshall W. Stearns, his correspondence with Langston Hughes (whose poem inspired Weston’s 1960 landmark album “Uhuru Afrika”), and his travels to Nigeria with Nina Simone as part of a U.S. delegation.Jazz pianist Randy Weston at HarvardJazz pianist Randy Weston performs live as part of the Learning from Performers program at the Office for the Arts at Harvard in 1999. “I felt perfectly at home in Africa,” recalled Weston, who grew up in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, where his father taught him a deep love for his ancestral roots and an appreciation for collecting journals and historical papers. “It was like I had never left.”His time in Africa is one compelling aspect of the archive that Ingrid Monson, the Quincy Jones Professor of African-American Music, is particularly excited to use in her own research and in teaching future courses.“He is one of the key people to link jazz and Africa. He ran a jazz club in Morocco for many years, and worked with many African musicians there. I knew in these materials there would be a lot of things documenting that time. When Sarah Adams [the Richard F. French Librarian of the Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library] and I went to look at the archive, it was astonishing, and extremely well-organized. There are materials about him, but also jazz as a whole,” she said. Randy Weston with his longtime collaborator Melba Liston in 1985. Liston was a jazz trombonist, musical arranger, and composer, as well as the first female trombonist to play in American big bands during the 1940s. The archive includes a wealth of original flyers, handbills, announcements, and visually evocative posters that reflect the jazz scene of the 1960s and ’70s. Images courtesy of Randy Weston Weston, his daughter Pamela, and his son Azzedine Niles in Morocco in the late 1960s. The Weston archive, which includes an estimated 300 manuscript scores and 1,300 audio and visual media, will reside in the Music Library and will be available to the public. It marks the first archival collaboration among the Jazz Research Initiative, the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research, the dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and the Harvard Library.“When Ingrid brought this as a proposal, I could see why it was of interest to her and of greater interest to Harvard. It’s a very deep archive that has multidisciplinary implications,” Adams said. “The archive offers such a detailed picture of the jazz world over a long period of time. I have the sense that he had, from early on, a sense of history and his place in it — his connection to ancestors, the places he’s been, and the people he’s been connected to.”The visit is a coming home of sorts for Weston, who feels connected to the University and to Massachusetts. As a young man, he worked as a dishwasher and landscaper in the Berkshires (“I got my first traffic ticket in Pittsfield”), and he performed with the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1981. He recorded Count Basie’s “Harvard Blues” in 1993 with Johnny Copeland singing the George Frazier (’32) lyrics about social life on campus.“I’ve always loved this piece,” said Weston, who came to campus in 1999 when he took the stage with Tom Everett and the Harvard Jazz Band as part of the Office for the Arts’ Learning from Performers program.These days, the pace of his performance schedule moves only slightly slower than it did in decades past, and his hands are ever nimble. Along with a performance Wednesday with his African Rhythms Quintet, the elder jazz statesman will also play the role of scholar, speaking about life on a global music stage and the social history he witnessed.“He’s a natural-born teacher,” said Adams. “He loves to share, and having him available to put his archive in context is as amazing as the archive itself.”Harvard will celebrate Weston and the acquisition of his archive at 7 p.m. on Wednesday in the Horner Room in Agassiz Theater. Admission is free, but tickets, available through the Harvard Box Office, are required. 617-496-2222.SaveSave Weston performing with Dizzy Gillespie. Weston emerged from a thriving musical scene in 1950s Brooklyn. His most enduring musical influence was Thelonious Monk, who welcomed Weston into his home in the early ’50s and nurtured his talent.