Nikkiso Clean Energy & Industrial Gases Group Announces a Complete Liquid Hydrogen Bunkering Installation for Unitrove

TEMECULA, Calif., Dec. 07, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Nikkiso Cryogenic Industries’ Clean Energy & Industrial Gases Group (Group), a subsidiary of Nikkiso Co., Ltd (Japan), is proud to announce our participation in the bunkering installation design of a new complete Liquid Hydrogen (LH2) Bunkering installation with Unitrove.

Nikkiso CE&IG and Unitrove are working together to develop solutions for the future, particularly regarding LH2. For this project, the Group provided custom equipment from two of its Functional Units: a sump from its Heat Exchangers unit (Cryoquip) and Cryogenic Pumps unit (ACD).

“We are excited and proud to be part of one of the world’s first liquid hydrogen (LH2) bunkering facility projects and the drive toward more energy-efficient solutions for the Marine market,” according to Ole Jensen, Vice President, Europe, Nikkiso Clean Energy & Industrial Gases Group.

The Bunkering system is being showcased at the United Nations COP26 Environmental Conference in Glasgow, which runs through November 12, 2021. The installation is expected to be completed sometime in 2022.

This will be the first of several expected projects to be delivered in 2022.

ABOUT CRYOGENIC INDUSTRIES
Cryogenic Industries, Inc. (now a member of Nikkiso Co., Ltd.) member companies manufacture engineered cryogenic gas processing equipment and small-scale process plants for the liquefied natural gas (LNG), well services and industrial gas industries. Founded over 50 years ago, Cryogenic Industries is the parent company of ACD, Cosmodyne and Cryoquip and a commonly controlled group of approximately 20 operating entities.

For more information, please visit www.nikkisoCEIG.com and www.nikkiso.com.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Anna Quigley
+1.951.383.3314
aquigley@cryoind.com

Delphix, Unisys Transform California State University’s Digital Strategy With Fast, Secure Data for Application Development

Hybrid-Architecture Strategy Includes Data Migration to AWS for All 23 Campuses

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., Dec. 07, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Delphix, an industry-leading data company for DevOps, and Unisys Corporation (NYSE: UIS), a global IT solutions company, today announced that they have accelerated California State University’s (CSU) digital strategy by providing quick and secure access to data to support student application development.

The nation’s largest four-year public university can now provide its 23 campuses with data on-demand to implement their own digital strategies. This kind of rapid access has enabled software engineers at the campuses to quickly develop innovative applications to enable Graduation Initiative 2025, an ambitious project that aims to increase graduation rates while eliminating opportunity and achievement gaps. The project also includes applications that enable students to check their grades, financial aid, graduation status, etc.

The initiative is a part of the university’s larger hybrid architecture strategy aimed at improving graduation rates, student experience and satisfaction, and eliminating equity gaps in graduation rates.

Hybrid architecture Strategy
Unisys enables CSU to leverage the Delphix DevOps Data Platform to accelerate and simplify its Hybrid-Architecture enablement. The platform’s ability to easily spin up, refresh, and tear down private and public cloud-based data environments dramatically enhances the university’s application delivery pipeline.

“Using Delphix and Unisys to implement our hybrid architecture strategy allows us, for the first time, to create a unified and secure data lake, populated daily with data from all 23 campuses. This makes the data easily accessible and quickly consumable at a large scale. Our data analysts, data scientists, and developers can now drive faster innovation and proactively establish student support programs to improve graduation rates,” said Michael Berman, CIO at CSU.

The university’s hybrid architecture strategy includes data migration from an on-premise Common Management System (CMS) to Amazon Web Services (AWS), across all campuses. The CMS serves nearly 500,000 students and 56,000 faculty and staff, and is critical to everything from student enrollment, student management, scheduling, and registration to human resources, financials, and employee compensation.

“We are pleased CSU and Unisys selected AWS as a strategic cloud provider to power its digital transformation,” said Kim Majerus, Vice President, US Education, State and Local Government at AWS. “Moving to AWS can help CSU become more agile and empower them to use data more strategically to gain valuable insights that will improve the student experience. In addition, it can help the university system scale faster, reduce technical debt, realize cost savings, and manage operations more efficiently.”

Impact on Cost and Efficiency
Delphix and Unisys work together with CSU to help the university reduce costs and improve operational efficiency.

Using Delphix and Unisys, CSU has saved over $4.5M per year and avoided future costs of over $7M per year in data storage expenditures, thus freeing up resources to fund innovation. The initiative has also significantly improved CSU’s productivity measures.

  • The Delphix DevOps Data Platform delivers virtual masked copies of the CMS production data on-demand, using a fraction of the storage space compared to physical data storage. This has helped Unisys reduce CSU’s physical storage consumption while allowing its campuses to use self-service to clone and manipulate their data.
  • Delphix’s data automation helps Unisys deliver data faster and more frequently to CSU’s campuses. The application teams can now instantly refresh copies with updated production data, rewind data to any previous point in time, and branch out data copies so data versions align with release versions, all of which dramatically improve productivity.

“We are proud to partner with Delphix to enable CSU’s hybrid architecture strategy to provide improved data delivery, data access, and data integration to better support the digital strategies at CSU,” said Rudy Gonzalez, Unisys CSU Program Director. “We remain committed to helping CSU have much greater agility to execute digital cloud strategies to better serve the campuses and improve the student experience.”

Jedidiah Yueh, Delphix CEO, added, “Transformational automation is a game-changer, enabling 100x increases in innovation velocity. Modern data automation with integrated security and compliance enables CSU to improve student outcomes and experiences, spend less on infrastructure, and invest more in strategic initiatives.”

About Delphix
Delphix is the industry leading data company for DevOps.

Data is critical for testing application releases, modernization, cloud adoption, and AI/ML programs. We provide an automated DevOps data platform for all enterprise applications. Delphix masks data for privacy compliance, secures data from ransomware, and delivers efficient, virtualized data for CI/CD.

Our platform includes essential DevOps APIs for data provisioning, refresh, rewind, integration, and version control. Leading companies, including Choice Hotels, J.B.Hunt, and Fannie Mae, use Delphix to accelerate digital transformation. For more information, visit www.delphix.com or follow us on LinkedInTwitter, and Facebook.

About Unisys
Unisys is a global IT solutions company that delivers successful outcomes for the most demanding businesses and governments. Unisys offerings include digital workplace solutions, cloud and infrastructure solutions, enterprise computing solutions, business process solutions and cybersecurity solutions. For more information on how Unisys delivers for its clients across the commercial, financial services and government markets, visit www.unisys.com.

Follow Unisys on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Contact information:
Orlando de Bruce
VP of Corporate Marketing & Brand
Orlando.Debruce@delphix.com

Lantronix Named Member of the Qualcomm Automotive Solutions Ecosystem Program

A long-time member of the Qualcomm Advantage Network, Lantronix joined the invitation-only program to help accelerate automotive innovation

IRVINE, Calif., Dec. 07, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Lantronix Inc. (NASDAQ: LTRX), a global provider of secure turnkey solutions for the Intelligent IT and the Internet of Things (IoT), today announced it has been named a member of the Qualcomm® Authorized Design Center Program’s automotive program. A long-time Qualcomm® Advantage Network member, Lantronix joined the invitation-only program, which assists companies in accelerating innovation by connecting customers with an ecosystem of businesses that provide tools and deep expert design services. Lantronix will participate in the automotive program, referred to as the Qualcomm® Automotive Solutions Ecosystem Program, by providing access to tools that are built around the 3rd Generation Snapdragon® Automotive Cockpit Platform, a product of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.

“We are proud to be named a member of the Qualcomm Authorized Design Center’s Automotive Solutions Ecosystem Program, which will bring engineering and design expertise to our mutual customers while helping fast-track innovation,” said Paul Pickle, CEO of Lantronix. “With the program, Lantronix is positioned to accelerate the commercialization of automotive products, which will include customization, optimization and other design and integration services built around the 3rd Generation Snapdragon Automotive Cockpit Platforms.”

The 3rd Generation Snapdragon Automotive Cockpit Platforms are artificial intelligence (AI)-based and some of the most advanced automotive platforms from Qualcomm Technologies. Designed to support software-rich integrated cockpits engineered to meet stringent automotive industry standards, 3rd Generation Snapdragon Automotive Cockpit Platforms are engineered with immersive graphics, multimedia, computer vision and advanced AI capabilities. The Snapdragon Automotive Cockpit Platforms also provide fully scalable architecture with differentiated experiences, utilizing the same software architecture and framework to allow consumers to enjoy a harmonized user experience independent of the vehicle tier while utilizing the same software framework.

Lantronix’s inclusion in the Qualcomm Automotive Solutions Ecosystem Program, as well as its team’s proven expertise and collaboration over the years, reinforces its commitment to providing cutting-edge development services with Qualcomm Technologies for its global customers focused on the Snapdragon Automotive Cockpit platform.

About Lantronix

Lantronix Inc. is a global provider of secure turnkey solutions for the Internet of Things (IoT) and Remote Environment Management (REM), offering Software as a Service (SaaS), connectivity services, engineering services and intelligent hardware.

Lantronix enables its customers to accelerate time to market and increase operational up-time and efficiency by providing reliable, secure and connected Intelligent Edge IoT and Remote Management Gateway solutions.

Lantronix’s products and services dramatically simplify the creation, development, deployment and management of IoT and IT projects across Robotics, Automotive, Wearables, Video Conferencing, Industrial, Medical, Logistics, Smart Cities, Security, Retail, Branch Office, Server Room, and Datacenter applications. For more information, visit the Lantronix website.

Learn more at the Lantronix blog, which features industry discussion and updates. Follow Lantronix on Twitter, view our YouTube video library or connect with us on LinkedIn.

“Safe Harbor” Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Any statements set forth in this news release that are not entirely historical and factual in nature, including without limitation statements related to our solutions, technologies and products. These forward-looking statements are based on our current expectations and are subject to substantial risks and uncertainties that could cause our actual results, future business, financial condition, or performance to differ materially from our historical results or those expressed or implied in any forward-looking statement contained in this news release. The potential risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, such factors as the effects of negative or worsening regional and worldwide economic conditions or market instability on our business, including effects on purchasing decisions by our customers; the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on our employees, supply and distribution chains, and the global economy; cybersecurity risks; changes in applicable U.S. and foreign government laws, regulations, and tariffs; our ability to successfully implement our acquisitions strategy or integrate acquired companies; difficulties and costs of protecting patents and other proprietary rights; the level of our indebtedness, our ability to service our indebtedness and the restrictions in our debt agreements; and any additional factors included in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2020, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) on September 11, 2020, including in the section entitled “Risk Factors” in Item 1A of Part I of such report, as well as in our other public filings with the SEC. Additional risk factors may be identified from time to time in our future filings. The forward-looking statements included in this release speak only as of the date hereof, and we do not undertake any obligation to update these forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.

© 2021 Lantronix, Inc. All rights reserved. Lantronix is a registered trademark. Other trademarks and trade names are those of their respective owners.

Snapdragon Automotive Cockpit Platform is a product of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries. Qualcomm Authorized Design Center Program, Qualcomm Automotive Solutions Ecosystem Program, and Qualcomm Advantage Network are programs of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

Qualcomm and Snapdragon are trademarks or registered trademarks of Qualcomm Incorporated.

Lantronix Media Contact:
Gail Kathryn Miller
Corporate Marketing &
Communications Manager
media@lantronix.com
949-453-7158

Lantronix Analyst and Investor Contact:
Jeremy Whitaker
Chief Financial Officer
investors@lantronix.com
949-450-7241

Lantronix Sales:
sales@lantronix.com
Americas +1 (800) 422-7055 (US and Canada) or +1 949-453-3990
Europe, Middle East and Africa +31 (0)76 52 36 744
Asia Pacific + 852 3428-2338
China + 86 21-6237-8868
Japan +81 (0) 50-1354-6201
India +91 994-551-2488

Anova Elevates The Bar On Consumer Engagement And Empowerment With The Release Of Anova Connect™

A powerful, targeted marketing engine for LPG/Propane Marketers. 100% peace of mind for consumers. New carbon emissions information for a more sustainable world.

DUBAI, UAE, Dec. 7, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — LPG Week — Anova, a trusted innovator and leader in remote tank monitoring solutions, today announced the launch of Anova Connect™, a mobile app that delivers peace of mind for customers with on-demand tank level information and easy, 1-click delivery and service requests. Embedded in the solution, the Anova Mobile Marketer™ engine Anova Connect elevates the marketing bar on audience segmentation and event-based marketing, pinpointing multiple campaigns to dynamic audiences for very personalized end-consumer experiences – and highly productive marketing for providers. With new and unparalleled, in-depth automation and targeted marketing capability, Anova Connect not only helps build customer loyalty, it also delivers consumers insight on their impact on carbon emissions.

Anova Connect Mobile App

“Anova Connect & Mobile Marketer was borne out of our industry finally being in a position to respond to the ‘Mass Customization’ paradigm, through data-driven consumer engagement tailored to a demographic’s needs, aimed at supporting marketing, education and sales programs. Whether it’s ‘nudging’ will-calls to become automatic, or promoting renewable LPG as a sustainable future, or providing usage to inform touch-of-button reordering on a mobile app, Mobile Marketer provides the services and analytics, and Connect provides the channel to over a 1,000,000 monitored accounts,” says Chet Reshamwala, CEO of Anova. “Connect creates a new, two-way communications channel with the customer, digitizing the messaging and the response, relieving call centers and driving up Net Promoter Scores!” he adds.

“For the first time, LPG/Propane marketers truly have a way to engage their customers digitally with targeted, personalized, data-driven campaigns,” says Francisco Moreira, Software Product Manager, Anova. “Providers deserve the best, professional-level marketing automation capabilities, affordably, and seamlessly integrated with their existing tank monitoring operation. Anova Connect gives them a marketing competitive edge and the ability to provide customers information on their carbon footprint,” he says.

About Anova:
Anova is connecting the industrial world for better by digitizing the supply chains of the manufacturers and distributors of LPG/Propane, industrial gases, chemicals, fuels, lubricants, and other products. Through innovation in remote telemetry analytics and technology, including tank levels, pressures and temperatures, and predictive maintenance of related industrial equipment, Anova has enabled new levels of operational insight, efficiency, and consumer experience. Anova cloud-native solutions are used in over 80 countries around the world, providing insight on close to a million industrial assets, and support in 12 languages. The company’s 2,000+ clients run the gamut from small, regional businesses to the world’s largest LPG/Propane, industrial gases, and chemicals manufacturers and distributors. Anova is the only globally deployed company in the remote telemetry space, reflecting its long-earned trust and reliability, the breadth of asset type monitoring solutions, and its universal communication network and satellite communications support. For more information, visit https://www.anova.com

Media Contact:
Bridget Piraino
Anova
O: +1 908.373.5678
bridget.piraino@anova.com

Photo – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/1701264/Anova_Connect_Mobile_App.jpg

Anova relève le niveau d’engagement et d’autonomisation des consommateurs avec le lancement d’Anova Connect™

Un puissant moteur de marketing ciblé pour les distributeurs de GPL/propane. 100 % de tranquillité d’esprit pour les consommateurs. Nouvelles informations sur les émissions de carbone pour un monde plus durable.

DUBAÏ, EAU, 7 décembre 2021 /PRNewswire/ — LPG Week — Anova, un innovateur et leader de confiance dans les solutions de surveillance à distance des réservoirs, a annoncé aujourd’hui le lancement d’Anova Connect™, une application mobile qui offre aux clients une tranquillité d’esprit avec des informations à la demande sur le niveau des réservoirs et des demandes de livraison et de service faciles en un clic. Intégré à la solution, le moteur d’Anova Mobile Marketer™, Anova Connect, relève le niveau marketing en termes de segmentation de l’audience et de marketing événementiel, en ciblant des audiences dynamiques avec plusieurs campagnes pour offrir des expériences hautement personnalisées aux consommateurs finaux et un marketing très productif aux fournisseurs. Grâce à une automatisation approfondie inédite et inégalée et à une capacité de marketing ciblée, Anova Connect contribue non seulement à fidéliser les clients, mais fournit également aux consommateurs des informations quant à leur impact sur les émissions de carbone.

Anova Connect Mobile App

« Anova Connect & Mobile Marketer est né du fait que notre industrie était enfin en mesure de répondre au paradigme de la « personnalisation de masse », grâce à un engagement des consommateurs axé sur les données et adapté aux besoins d’une population, visant à soutenir les programmes de marketing, d’éducation et de vente. Qu’il s’agisse d’« encourager » les collectes sur appel à devenir automatiques ou de promouvoir le GPL renouvelable comme un avenir durable, ou encore de fournir la consommation afin d’informer d’une nouvelle commande par simple pression sur un bouton à partir d’une application mobile, Mobile Marketer fournit les services et l’analyse, et Connect fournit le canal à plus de 1 000 000 de comptes surveillés », a déclaré Chet Reshamwala, PDG d’Anova. « Connect crée un nouveau canal de communication bidirectionnel avec le client, qui permet de numériser les messages et les réponses, de soulager les centres d’appels et de faire monter les Net Promoter Scores ! », a-t-il ajouté.

« Pour la première fois, les distributeurs de GPL/Propane ont vraiment un moyen de faire participer leurs clients au moyen de campagnes ciblées, personnalisées et axées sur les données », affirme Francisco Moreira, gestionnaire de produits logiciels chez Anova. « Les fournisseurs méritent les meilleures capacités d’automatisation du marketing de niveau professionnel, abordables et parfaitement intégrées à leur mode de surveillance actuel des réservoirs. Anova Connect leur donne un avantage concurrentiel en matière de marketing et la capacité de fournir aux clients des informations sur leur empreinte carbone », a-t-il ajouté.

À propos d’Anova :

Anova connecte le monde industriel pour offrir le meilleur, en numérisant les chaînes d’approvisionnement des fabricants et des distributeurs de GPL/propane, de gaz industriels, de produits chimiques, de carburants, de lubrifiants et d’autres produits. Grâce à l’innovation dans l’analyse et la technologie de télémétrie à distance, notamment les niveaux, les pressions et les températures des réservoirs, ainsi que la maintenance prédictive de l’équipement industriel connexe, Anova a permis d’atteindre de nouveaux niveaux de connaissances opérationnelles, d’efficacité et d’expérience des consommateurs. Les solutions Cloud natives d’Anova sont utilisées dans plus de 80 pays à travers le monde, fournissant des informations sur près d’un million d’actifs industriels et une prise en charge dans 12 langues. Les plus de 2 000 clients de l’entreprise couvrent toute la gamme, des petites entreprises régionales aux plus grands fabricants et distributeurs de GPL/propane, de gaz industriels et de produits chimiques. Anova est la seule entreprise déployée à l’échelle mondiale dans le domaine de la télémétrie à distance, ce qui reflète sa confiance et sa fiabilité acquises de longue date, l’étendue des solutions de surveillance des types d’actifs, son réseau de communication universel et sa prise en charge des communications par satellite. Pour en savoir plus, rendez-vous sur https://www.anova.com

Contact pour les médias :
Bridget Piraino
Anova
Bureau : +1 908.373.5678
bridget.piraino@anova.com

Photo – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/1701264/Anova_Connect_Mobile_App.jpg

Competition Between US, China Continues in Africa

Tyson Nuthu works in the outdoors industry in Nairobi and sees the presence of China everywhere.

“Just look at all the construction projects, from Ngong Road to the western bypass. Everywhere you look, China is active here in Kenya,” he said.

Kenya is along the path of Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative, which is financing infrastructure projects and developing trade routes linking China to the world.

Africa is increasingly being seen as a technology hub that is getting the attention of the world’s superpowers, including China and the United States.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken made his inaugural visit to the African continent in mid-November. He started his tour in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, an American ally deeply indebted to China. His four-day tour also included visits to Senegal and Nigeria.

US-China competition

A study by the Brookings Institution, a nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, described the trade relationship between the U.S. and sub-Saharan Africa as “underdeveloped,” despite the U.S. prioritization of sub-Saharan African exports under the Generalized System of Preferences.

According to the China Africa Research Initiative at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies, annual U.S. foreign direct investment (FDI) flows have been declining since 2010.

The first Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), which was held in Beijing in November of 2006, welcomed the adoption of a declaration and action plan for a “new type of strategic partnership.” Since then, Chinese foreign direct investment (FDI) flow to Africa grew significantly, exceeding that of the United States since 2013.

African views of China’s presence

But how do those on the African continent view this inflow of Chinese investment?

In an interview with VOA, John Calabrese, the director of American University’s Middle East-Asia Project, said discernment between government and society is critical.

“African perceptions of Chinese investment vary greatly,” he said. Chinese companies have imported laborers and inundated markets with cheap items, which has “bred some resentment at the societal level,” especially among small and local African businesses.

“Wide reporting –– and to some extent, the exaggeration of cases –– of Chinese ‘debt trap diplomacy’ have created something of a backlash,” Calabrese said in an email. “To repair the reputational damage as well as to protect and further advance its economic penetration on the continent, Beijing has attempted to ‘revise’ its lending practices.”

African views of US presence

Josh Maiyo, a lecturer at United States International University specializing in China-Africa political ecology, said in the aftermath of the war on terror, the U.S. has given up on the democratization process. Its primary focus now is on the security of the African continent.

“The rest of Africa has essentially been forgotten,” Maiyo said in a phone interview with VOA. “From the African perspective, the U.S. has been countering Chinese advancement more than anything else. It’s only been token engagements with no concrete programs to offer or coordinated, structural approaches.”

Sincerity is paramount for the U.S. to have successful relations with African nations, said Gustavo de Carvalho, a senior researcher at the South Africa-based Institute for Security Studies. When interviewed last month by the United States Institute of Peace, Carvalho said the African continent as a whole has too much experience with “the conditionality of engagements that reduce African voices to mere aid recipients rather than equal counterparts.”

“The U.S. should … equally engage on how its approaches are conducted and perceived by local and national actors,” Carvalho said. “Africans see very clearly that the United States is inconsistent in promoting transparency and anti-corruption policies — a principle it dilutes in its relationship with Saudi Arabia, for example. This can leave Africans feeling that the U.S. is condescending in its relations to them.”

“U.S. attention to Africa has waxed and waned over the years,” American University’s Calabrese noted.

Although commitments to global health threats such as HIV/AIDS, malaria and ebola have been instrumental, Calabrese’s concern about continuity persists.

“U.S.-Africa policy might amount to a collection of ad-hoc initiatives and not a coherent strategy,” he said.

US response

“As the United States and our partners further develop and implement the Build Back Better World initiative, we recognize that robust, meaningful partnerships will be critical to ensure that Build Back Better World delivers infrastructure that meets the needs of middle and lower-income countries,” a senior White House official said in a written statement to VOA.

In a November 19 speech in Nigeria, Blinken said his trip reflected “the breadth and depth of our partnerships in Africa – how we’re working together to find innovative solutions to new challenges, and how we’re investing in long-term sources of strength, rather than short-term fixes.”

In response to VOA’s inquiry, the U.S. State Department referred to Blinken’s November 21 interview with the BBC, where he said, “our Africa policy is about Africa, not about China…it’s premised on this basic reality Everything that we seek to do in the world to make progress for our own people cannot be done without Africa.”

“We’re delighted to have the U.S. back supporting the multilateral system,” said Geoffrey Onyeama, Nigeria’s foreign minister, in a press conference with Blinken.

“Our engagement in Africa, with Africa, our partnership with Nigeria, with many other countries is not about China or any other third parties. It’s about Africa. It’s about working together to make the investments in Africa, make the investments in its people,” Blinken said at a press conference in Nigeria.

Perception on the ground

The perception and popularity of the U.S. in Africa has been lukewarm by some, Maiyo said. “Traditionally, when the American secretary of state visited Africa, there was a lot of anticipation. This time it barely caused a stir.”

In contrast, analysts and people on the ground are much more aware of China’s presence as an investor in Africa.

“[China] has a shock effect that creates a sense of awareness,” Maiyo said. “In terms of project scale, U.S. investment in infrastructure is not nearly as visible.”

Source: Voice of America

Zimbabwe Court Clears Investigative Journalist Chin’ono

A Zimbabwe court has dropped a case against investigative journalist and government critic Hopewell Chin’ono, charged with inciting public violence last year for supporting banned demonstrations on Twitter.

The outspoken, award-winning journalist has been detained three times and spent two months in prison since he backed anti-government protests in July 2020, when he was first arrested and charged.

Two tweets landed him back in jail in November and January, for allegedly obstructing justice and publishing false information.

A high court in the capital Harare dropped the first charge on Monday, citing inexact wording in the charge sheet.

“The evident contradiction between the charge sheet and the state outline vitiates the charge sheet and renders it a nullity,” ruled Judge Siyabona Musithu.

The same court had cleared Chin’ono of publishing false information in April.

“It means my arrest was & my case were trumped up as I have always argued!” Chin’ono tweeted after the ruling.

“I spent the past 15 months in jails and courts for something that I didn’t do! It was cruel and tragic!”

Chin’ono still faces trial for alleged obstruction of public justice for posting a Tweet ahead of a judicial decision in November last year.

He has been freed on bail and banned from using his Twitter account to post anything that might incite the public to revolt against the government.

Source: Voice of America

Rwanda’s Assault on YouTubers Puts Journalists in Crosshairs

There is nothing glamorous about being a YouTuber in Rwanda, says John Williams Ntwali, whose channel Pax TV is a year old. The pay is poor, the threats frequent and the risk of prison all too real.

Ntwali has been arrested multiple times during his two-decade career as a journalist, but now fears that even YouTube, which had established itself as a rare outlet for critical reporting in Rwanda, is losing ground to an authoritarian government.

“We are leaning towards the closure of YouTube channels, not by shutting down YouTube or the internet but by imprisoning those who work on YouTube,” he told AFP in an interview.

YouTubers who discuss beauty, sports or shopping have little to worry about, but those who focus on politics and current affairs are in an increasingly precarious position, he said.

“It’s getting more restrictive.”

Unlike many YouTubers around the world, the 40-something is careful not to share any personal information about himself or his family, for safety reasons.

In fact, he rarely appears on Pax TV, which has secured 1.5 million views and is nicknamed the “voice of the voiceless” for its interviews with critics and dissenters in the national Kinyarwanda language.

The channel, which has 15,000 subscribers, features interviews with figures such as Adeline Rwigara, who accused the government of harassment. She previously accused the authorities of killing her husband Assinapol Rwigara, a high-profile industrialist who fell out with the ruling party and died in a car accident.

The channel also interviewed the Belgian lawyer of Paul Rusesabagina, the “Hotel Rwanda” hero turned outspoken government critic who was sentenced to 25 years in prison in September in what global rights groups branded an unfair trial.

“We want to talk to every citizen, we do investigative journalism, but we do it to advocate for human rights,” Ntwali said.

Several of his former compatriots are in jail while other YouTubers are increasingly afraid to broach controversial subjects.

Still, Ntwali is unbowed.

“It’s passion. It’s dedication. We live hoping that one day it can improve.”

‘Taken by Surprise’

President Paul Kagame has ruled Rwanda with an iron fist for nearly three decades, ever since his rebel army stopped the 1994 genocide which left some 800,000 mainly ethnic Tutsi dead.

While Kagame has won praise for bringing stability and economic growth to Rwanda, he has also come under fire for cracking down on political freedoms.

The country is ranked 156th out of 180 countries for press freedom by media watchdog Reporters Without Borders.

As media censorship has grown, forcing independent outlets to shut down, YouTube has stepped into the vacuum, its popularity receiving an unexpected boost when COVID-19 lockdowns left Kigali residents housebound.

Once a video is uploaded, it has a long life, often shared several times before anyone attempts to have it removed.

Furthermore, Kagame’s government cannot go after the Google-owned platform without risking the wrath of the Silicon Valley giant, which could block access to its other services in Rwanda, dealing a blow to the economy, Ntwali said.

‘Candidate for prison’

Nevertheless, in recent weeks, speculation has mounted that the government is in discussions with Google about shutting down a number of YouTube channels.

Neither Google nor the Rwandan authorities responded to AFP’s requests for comment on the reports, which follow a string of arrests of prominent YouTubers in recent months.

In November, star YouTuber Dieudonne Niyonsenga, better known by his online persona Cyuma (“Iron”), was sentenced to seven years in jail after being found guilty of forgery and impersonation.

Weeks earlier, Yvonne Idamange, a mother of four with a large online following, was jailed for 15 years for inciting violence online.

Aimable Karasira, a university lecturer with a YouTube channel, was arrested in June and charged with genocide denial, a serious crime in Rwanda.

The Rwanda Investigation Bureau in October urged citizens to be wary of social media commentators seeking to “undermine national security,” warning of arrests.

According to Human Rights Watch, “Rwandan law allows for overly broad and vague limitations on free speech” which pave the way for the “abusive prosecution” of YouTubers and other government critics.

In just a year, many of Rwanda’s top YouTubers have been silenced, and while Ntwali says he is careful not to publish anything that is “in contradiction with the law”, he knows his days online are numbered.

“It is inevitable,” he said.

“When you are an independent journalist, in the truest sense of the term, you are a candidate for prison.”

Source: Voice of America

US Imposes Sanctions on People in Iran, Syria and Uganda, Citing Rights Abuses

The United States on Tuesday imposed sanctions on more than a dozen people and entities in Iran, Syria and Uganda, accusing them of being connected to serious human rights abuses and repressive acts.

In an action marking the week of the U.S. Summit for Democracy, the Treasury Department said in a statement it was targeting repression and the undermining of democracy, designating individuals and entities tied to the violent suppression of peaceful protesters in Iran and deadly chemical weapons attacks against civilians in Syria, among others.

“Treasury will continue to defend against authoritarianism, promoting accountability for violent repression of people seeking to exercise their human rights and fundamental freedoms,” Andrea Gacki, director of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, said in the statement.

The action freezes any U.S. assets of those blacklisted and generally bars Americans from dealing with them.

Washington blacklisted two senior Syrian air Force officers it accused of being responsible for chemical weapon attacks on civilians and three senior officers in Syria’s security and intelligence apparatus, according to the statement.

Uganda’s chief of military intelligence, Major General Abel Kandiho, was also hit with sanctions over alleged human rights abuses committed under his watch. The Ugandan military said earlier on Tuesday that it was disappointed by the decision, which it said had been made without due process.

In Iran, the United States designated the Special Units of Iran’s Law Enforcement Forces and Counter-Terror Special Forces, as well as several of their officials, and Gholamreza Soleimani, who commands Iran’s hardline Basij militia. Two prisons and a prison director were also blacklisted over events that reportedly took place in the prisons.

Iran criticized the United States for imposing new sanctions days before talks are set to resume in Vienna on rescuing the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

“Even amid #ViennaTalks, US cannot stop imposing sanctions against Iran,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said on Twitter. “Doubling down on sanctions won’t create leverage — and is anything but seriousness & goodwill.”

The talks broke off on Friday as European officials voiced dismay at sweeping demands by Iran’s new hardline government.

The seventh round of talks in Vienna is the first with delegates sent by Iran’s anti-Western President Ebrahim Raisi on how to resuscitate the agreement under which Iran limited its nuclear program in return for relief from economic sanctions.

Source: Voice of America

Burundi Says Prison Fire Kills 38 Inmates in Gitega

Burundi’s government says 38 prisoners were killed in a fire Tuesday morning in Gitega, the country’s political capital.

Vice President Prosper Bazombanza announced the deaths. More than 60 other people have been injured and the death toll could rise.

The prison in Gitega is overcrowded with more than 1,500 inmates in cells designed to hold 400, according to local reports.

Source: Voice of America