Monthly Archives: July 2012

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‘Foreign service not for failed politicians’

Furore over Baptiste-Cornelis’ speech

By Julien Neaves

FORMER foreign affairs minister Ralph Maraj and former Ambassador Reginald Dumas have described a speech by former health minister and ambassador Therese Baptiste-Cornelis as an embarrassment to the country.
“So I think the Prime Minister should really consider her position because that is not something that can be tolerated at all,” said Maraj.
“(If) she has not been performing and if she has been disastrous in other areas (as an ambassador) as well it might amount to an indictment against her and she might have to leave,” he said.
He was referring to a 37-minute address by Baptiste-Cornelis, Ambassador to Geneva, Switzerland, for a non-profit organisation in Geneva. The speech was posted on video sharing site Youtube and has received more than 30,000 hits and a slew of critical comments. Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley has called for her to be removed after viewing the video.
Dumas told the Express he was astonished by the speech, noting that a lot of remarks had absolutely nothing to do with the theme of cultural diversity and sustainable development.
“I can’t understand how this ambassador of ours could have made remarks like that,” he said.
Dumas also criticised her statements that she was wary that if she did not accept her ministerial appointment she might be fired from the University of the West Indies (UWI) by the Prime Minister, which gave the impression that this country was authoritarian.
He also disapproved of her “subliminal techniques” while as a UWI lecturer of flashing the face of Persad-Bissessar in her presentations to her students.
“This is not for a lecturer to do and that was quite wrong. Totally wrong. That is a misuse of the lecture room and the lecture hall,” he admonished.
He said she made a “serious” and “stupid error” but he noted there are a number of local ministers who had been accused of “missteps” and are still ministers.
Dumas said he did not want to rush to judgment and say because she embarrassed herself and the country she should be automatically dismissed. He noted that he was interested in how well she has been functioning as an ambassador and, if not, and if the speech was one element of her poor representation “she had better find something else to do”.
“But I would need to look at the entire picture rather than rush to judgment and try to hang her because of her stupidity,” he said.
Acting Foreign Affairs Minister Suruj Rambachan informed the Express that he would be speaking to Baptiste-Cornelis yesterday on the matter.
On the calls for her removal Maraj said some explanation has to be given by the ambassador and “certainly an apology to the nation should be the least that should be done”.
He also commented on the issue of failed politicians being given appointments in the foreign service.
“Especially under this administration it seems that the foreign service is being used as a dumping ground for failed politicians and that is not the right thing,” he said.



AND THE EMAIL SAID : Ryda crash him convertible a California
The End :nerd


Twitter suspends British journalist critical of NBC’s Olympics coverage
Social media site sparks wave of indignation for banning Independent journalist Guy Adams after complaint from NBC

Ed Pilkington in New York, Monday 30 July 2012 16.00 EDT
Jump to comments (139)

Some speculated that NBC had asked Twitter to remove Adams’s account after critical tweets. Photograph: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images
Twitter has brought down a hail of critical tweeting on its own head by suspending the account of a British newspaper’s Los Angeles correspondent following his acerbic reporting of NBC’s coverage of the Olympics.

The social media network hummed with the indignation of thousands of its users after the Twitter feed of Guy Adams of the Independent disappeared. The paper’s deputy editor, Archie Bland, confirmed the suspension, calling it “heavy-handed”.

NBC said it had complained to Twitter after Adams published the email address of one of its senior bosses. “We filed a complaint with Twitter because a user tweeted the personal information of one of our executives. According to Twitter, this is a violation of their privacy policy. Twitter alone levies discipline.”

Rachael Horwitz, a spokeswoman for the San Francisco-based firm, confirmed that it does not “actively monitor” users’ accounts, and added that it was company policy not to comment on individual users.

NBC acted after Adams published a tweet that included the email address of Gary Zenkel, the president of NBC Olympics, encouraging people to complain to him about the TV network’s delayed broadcast of the opening ceremony of the Games.

Twitter’s terms and conditions state that users must not post private email addresses, unless they are already available on the internet. Adams said the email was not a private one but a corporate account, and that Zenkel’s address is identical in form to thousands of other NBC employees.

The offending tweet was not the only one critical of NBC. Some of Adams’s comments fall in the camp of caustic criticism:

“America’s left coast forced to watch Olympic ceremony on SIX HOUR time delay. Disgusting money-grabbing by @NBColympics”

And some arguably went further than that:

“I have 1000 channels on my TV. Not one will be showing the Olympics opening ceremony live. Because NBC are utter, utter bastards.”

In a piece published by the Independent the reporter said that NBC’s decision to delay transmission of the Games so that it could maximise its advertising revenue in primetime had sparked “ridicule from TV critics and outrage from the US public”.

He also pointed out the timing of the suspension, which came very soon after a sharply-critical piece by Adams on NBC’s coverage of the Olympics opening ceremony was published.

The headline on the piece said “all the talk is about #NBCfail”. Adams also referenced several gaffes and insensitive remarks by NBC commentators, including the memorable remark that they “haven’t heard” of Tim Berners-Lee, the British inventor of the world wide web.

Suspicions that Twitter had over-reached itself and strayed into censorship were heightened by the fact that the firm has entered into a deal with NBCUniversal in which Twitter becomes the official narrator of live events at the Olympics.

Among the sharply-worded tweets coming from Adams were:

“Am I alone in wondering why NBColympics think its acceptable to
pretend this road race is being broadcast live?”

and: “Matt Lauer: ‘Madagascar, a location indelibly associated with a couple of recent animated movies.’ #tosspot”

Twitter users rallied to the defence of Adams. This from the Scottish novelist Irvine Welsh was typical:

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