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U.S. President Barack Obama's decision Wednesday to cancel the planned bilateral meeting with President Vladimir Putin in early September was the right thing to do for many reasons. It also marked much-needed corrections in Obama's "reset" policy toward Russia.

Nations in Transit 2013 - Romania

National Democratic Governance
The year 2012 began with a shakeup of Romania's government, followed by a power grab on the part of the country's new leadership. After the resignation of Boc and a no-confidence vote that ended the brief tenure of his successor, Prime Minister Ponta's government took numerous steps to circumvent checks and balances on its authority, including ruling by emergency ordinance, annexing state institutions, and seeking to alter the country's voting system.
Each year in May, Freedom House, a Washington, D.C.–based institute that specializes in research on global democracy, issues a report on the condition of press freedom around the world. The most significant—and disturbing—finding of Freedom of the Press 2013: A Global Survey of Media Independence was that the proportion of the global population that enjoys a free press continued to decline in 2012, falling to less than one in six, its lowest level in over a decade.

As President Barack Obama enters his second term, relations with Russia present him with a set of thorny problems. The first-term "reset," a fresh American posture toward the Kremlin that was designed to build productive relations by offering compromises on a range of political and geostrategic issues, has clearly run its course. The Obama administration had partly based its hope for improved ties on the ability of Dmitry Medvedev, who served as Russia's president from 2008 to 2012, to achieve liberal reforms, especially on freedom of expression, the rule of law, and the ability of civil society to function without state intrusion.

Freedom of the Press 2013

Middle East Volatility amid Global Decline

Ongoing political turmoil produced uneven conditions for press freedom in the Middle East in 2012, with Tunisia and Libya largely retaining their gains from 2011 even as Egypt slid backward into the Not Free category. The region as a whole experienced a net decline for the year, in keeping with a broader global pattern in which the percentage of people worldwide who enjoy a free media environment fell to its lowest point in more than a decade. Among the more disturbing developments in 2012 were dramatic declines for Mali, significant deterioration in Greece, and a further tightening of controls on press freedom in Latin America, punctuated by the decline of two countries, Ecuador and Paraguay, from Partly Free to Not Free status.

These were the most significant findings of Freedom of the Press 2013: A Global Survey of Media Independence, the latest edition of an annual index published by Freedom House since 1980. While there were positive developments in Burma, the Caucasus, parts of West Africa, and elsewhere, the dominant trends were reflected in setbacks in a range of political settings. Reasons for decline included the continued, increasingly sophisticated repression of independent journalism and new media by authoritarian regimes; the ripple effects of the European economic crisis and longer-term challenges to the financial sustainability of print media; and ongoing threats from nonstate actors such as radical Islamists and organized crime groups.

Continuarea aici

Freedom in the World 2013

The emergence of popular movements for reform were the driving force behind major gains in the Middle East last year, according to Freedom in the World 2013, Freedom House's annual report on the state of global freedom. However, a number of regions experienced setbacks due to a hardened and increasingly shrewd authoritarian response to these movements.

Freedom on the Net 2012

This report is the third in a series of comprehensive studies of internet freedom around the globe and covers developments in 47 countries that occurred between January 2011 and May 2012. Over 50 researchers, nearly all based in the countries they analyzed, contributed to the project by researching laws and practices relevant to the internet, testing the accessibility of select websites, and interviewing a wide range of sources.

Freedom of the Press 2012

The improvements in the Arab world were the most significant findings of Freedom of the Press 2012: A Global Survey of Media Independence, the latest edition of an annual index published by Freedom House since 1980. The gains came on the heels of eight consecutive years of decline in the global average press freedom score, a phenomenon that has affected practically every region in the world.

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Informații aduse din întuneric la lumină
Pentru mine, acordarea acestui premiu de către Freedom House reprezintă o asumare publică a acestei renumite entități non-guvernamentale a importanței aspectelor aduse din întuneric la lumină în legătură cu modul cum familia liderului (tânăr) celui mai puternic partid politic din România are contracte de zeci de milioane de euro cu statul, precum și a asocierii cu oameni de afaceri cunoscuți prin apropierea lor de șeful statului și de soțul pretendentei la șefia principalului partid de opoziție.
Daniel Befu este jurnalist la România Liberă. A câștigat premiul cel mare în cadrul proiectului "Supporting Investigative Journalism" pentru investigația Traseul banilor publici spre conturile familiei Ponta.

Freedom House România este o organizaţie non-profit, nepărtinică, ce promovează demnitatea umană, libertatea, egalitatea şi democraţia. Freedom House și-a câștigat un renume bine întemeiat, ca promotor al drepturilor fundamentale ale omului și al valorilor democratice, al statului de drept şi al bunei guvernări.

Libertatea este posibilă numai într-un sistem politic democratic ce garantează diversitatea opiniilor, libertatea de expresie, dreptul la liberă informare, libera asociere și credința, protecţia și respectarea drepturilor minorităţilor.

Freedom House România sprijină inițiativele civice non-violente din societățile în care libertatea este refuzată sau amenințată și contestă orice idei și inițiative care contravin dreptului de a fi liber al fiecărui om.

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