Demystifying Jury Duty: Essential Information and Tips for New Yorkers

Staten Island, New York – Jury duty is an essential civic obligation for Americans, but it is often met with reluctance. Prospective jurors in Staten Island have been known to resort to all sorts of unconventional excuses, such as claiming their skin spontaneously combusts every month or insisting they are unable to multitask due to being in a relationship. To ease the burden of jury service and address common questions, Gothamist, an online publication, has provided answers to some of the most pressing inquiries regarding jury service in the city. The first question many people … Read more

Congo Journalist Stanis Bujakera Released After False Information Charges

KINSHASA, Congo — Journalist Stanis Bujakera has been released from detention in Congo after being held since last September on charges of spreading false information, according to his lawyer. Bujakera, who works for international media outlets including Reuters and Jeune Afrique, was released on Tuesday evening from the prison in Kinshasa, the Congolese capital. The court in Kinshasa had recently found Bujakera guilty of spreading false information and sentenced him to six months in prison, along with a fine of 1 million Congolese francs ($364). However, he was released on Tuesday after serving his sentence. … Read more

Government Transparency Undermined: Officials Ignore Sunshine Laws, Blocking Public Access to Information

Miami, Florida – Sunshine Week, an annual celebration of transparency laws, is shedding light on the continued efforts of government officials to undermine those very laws. This nationwide event serves as a reminder that while transparency may be championed for one week, the remaining 51 weeks often tell a different story. Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida has come under scrutiny as two officers from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement claimed that his office blocked the release of publicly-funded travel records. These officers allege that they faced retaliation for asserting that these records should be … Read more

Oregon Public Records Advocates Defeat Attempt to Create Broad Taxpayer Information Exemption

Portland, Oregon – Public records advocates in Oregon have successfully campaigned against legislation that would have created a new exemption to state transparency laws, potentially limiting access to important taxpayer information. House Bill 4031 contained a provision that sought to prevent local governments from disclosing any taxpayer information they possess. The proposed exemption, which faced strong opposition from advocates, raised concerns about the potential impact on government accountability and transparency. Critics argued that the provision would have created significant barriers for journalists, researchers, and the public in accessing vital information. The victory for public records … Read more