Nine-year jail term for Vietnamese blogger

first_img VietnamAsia – Pacific WomenImprisonedFreedom of expressionCitizen-journalistsInternet April 22, 2021 Find out more Receive email alerts Vietnam sentences journalist Tran Thi Tuyet Dieu to eight years in prison April 7, 2021 Find out more Help by sharing this information At the end of a one-day trial yesterday, the blogger Tran Thi Nga was sentenced tonine years in prison followed by five years of probation on a charge of “anti-statepropaganda.” Three more independent reporters arrested in Vietnam July 24, 2017 – Updated on August 23, 2019 Nine-year jail term for Vietnamese blogger to go further Organisation Follow the news on Vietnamcenter_img Tran Thi Nga. photo : danlambao RSF_en VietnamAsia – Pacific WomenImprisonedFreedom of expressionCitizen-journalistsInternet News News News ————————————————————————–Update : “We condemn this travesty of justice and summary way it was dispensed,” Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said. “The sole aim of this disproportionate sentence is to silence those who still defy a one-party state that tolerates no criticism. It is more than cruel because Tran Thi Nga’s health has worsened steadily ever since her arrest. We call for her immediate release so that she can receive appropriate medical care as quickly as possible.”————————————————————————–Detained since 21 January, when she was arrested at her Phu Ly home, this mother of two is facing up to 12 years in prison on a charge of violating article 88 of the penal code by “using the Internet to spread propaganda videos and writings.”Blogging under the name of Thuy Nga, she defends migrant workers and people whose land has been seized by the state. She is also a member of Vietnamese Women For Human Rights, which supports and helps human rights defenders.In September 2013, Nga walked into a complaints bureau in Phu Ly and accused several people there of being plainclothes police officers who had persecuted her and other citizens. She took care to film the scene and the video can be seen on YouTube, where it is has been reposted many times under different pseudonyms.Although detained since January, Ngo saw her lawyer for the first time in May. He reported that her health has worsened steadily in prison. She is suffering from complications from an injury in May 2014, when five men beat her with steel rods after she visited Nguyen Tuong Thuy, a blogger who had just spoken about human rights at visiting US President Barack Obama’s residence.“We are outraged by the detention of this activist, who has always fought courageously to protest against Vietnamese government persecution,” RSF said. “The authorities must free Tran Thi Nga, who has committed no crime and whose health is very worrying. She is not receiving adequate medical care and is eating very little.”Vietnam’s one-party state is cracking down more and more on bloggers and activists, who are the only source of independently-reported news and information for the public. As a result, Vietnam is now the world’s second biggest prison for citizen-journalists, after China.Last month, the dissident Pham Minh Hoang was deported to France after being stripped of his Vietnamese citizenship, and the blogger Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh was sentenced to ten years in prison. The media are entirely government-controlled and just provide state propaganda.Vietnam is ranked 175th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2017 World Press Freedom Index. News RSF laureates support jailed Vietnamese journalist Pham Doan Trang April 27, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

Hong Kong reports first death of coronavirus patient

first_imgHong Kong on Tuesday became the second place outside mainland China to report the death of a coronavirus patient as restrictions on movement were imposed on two more cities far from the epicentre, including the home of Alibaba.The death of the 39-year-old man in Hong Kong came as the semi-autonomous city closed all but two land crossings with the Chinese mainland to slow the spread of the virus.On Sunday the Philippines reported the death of a Chinese man who had come from Wuhan, the central city at the epicentre of China’s health emergency. With more than 20,400 confirmed infections, the mortality rate for the new coronavirus is much lower than the 9.6 percent rate for SARS.Hong Kong media said the man who died had underlying health issues that complicated his treatment. He had visited Wuhan last month.China has struggled to contain the virus despite enacting unprecedented measures, including locking down more than 50 million people in Hubei province where the outbreak emerged.Restrictions have also been imposed far from the epicentre.The city of Taizhou and three Hangzhou districts — including the area home to the main office of Chinese tech giant Alibaba — will allow only one person per household to go outside every two days to buy necessities, city officials said, measures that will affect nine million people.Another city in Zhejiang province, nine-million-strong Wenzhou, enacted the same measure at the weekend.- ‘Shortcomings and difficulties’ -China’s Communist leadership made a rare admission of fallibility on Monday as it acknowledged “shortcoming and difficulties exposed in the response to the epidemic”.The elite Politburo Standing Committee called for improvements to the “national emergency management system” at the meeting, according to the official Xinhua news agency.”It is necessary to strengthen market supervision, resolutely ban and severely crack down on illegal wildlife markets and trade,” the Politburo said.The government also said it “urgently” needed protective medical equipment such as surgical masks, protective suits, and safety goggles as it battles to control the outbreak.Most of the deaths have been in Wuhan and the rest of surrounding Hubei province, which has largely been under lockdown for almost two weeks.A 1,000-bed field hospital in Wuhan built from scratch within two weeks to relieve overburdened medical facilities started receiving patients on Tuesday.A second makeshift hospital is due to open later this week.- Economic woes -Global fears about the virus have risen, with cruise lines worldwide expected to deny boarding to passengers and crew who have recently travelled to China.Japan has quarantined a cruise ship carrying 3,711 people and was testing those on board for the new coronavirus Tuesday after a former passenger was diagnosed with the illness in Hong Kong.The virus is also taking an increasing economic toll, shutting down businesses, curbing international travel and impacting production lines of major global brands.The government extended the Lunar New Year holiday by three days in an effort to keep people indoors.But many provinces and major cities — including Shanghai — have called on companies to remain closed for an extra week. Schools and universities have delayed the start of new terms.The Shanghai stock market plunged almost eight percent on Monday on the first day of trading since the holiday, but shares were on the rise by midday on Tuesday.Topics : The virus has so far spread to more than 20 countries, prompting the World health Organization to declare a global health emergency, several governments to institute travel restrictions and airlines to suspend flights to and from China.Hong Kong has been particularly on edge over the virus as it has revived memories of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak of 2002-03, which killed nearly 300 people in the financial hub and 349 people in the mainland.China earlier Tuesday reported 64 more fatalities — a single-day high — from the new coronavirus, raising the toll to 425, with more than 20,000 infections across the country.The disease is believed to have emerged in a market in Wuhan that sold wild animals, spreading rapidly as people travelled for the Lunar New Year holiday in late January.last_img read more

Henderson, Sullivan survive wild fall spectacular finishes

first_imgSubmitted to the Times-StandardIt was a wild and crazy 2018 season finale Saturday night at Redwood Acres Raceway. The 26th annual Mid-City Motor World Fall Spectacular once again concluded racing at the 3/8-mile paved oval with champions being decided in all of the Acres’ divisions. In addition, the North State Modified Series raced for the third time at RAR this year.The Thunder Roadster cars returned to race with Paul Baker setting fast time with a 17.658. Katina Baker won the trophy dash …last_img read more

The blood, sweat and cheers that made Stephen Curry the player he is today

first_imgJust when you thought you knew everything about Stephen Curry, he sits down for a conversation with Brazilian soccer deity Neymar and reveals the blood, sweat and cheers that set him on the path to be a transcendent NBA figure.The Players Tribune was on hand at a YMCA in France — said to house the oldest basketball court in the world — in September when the two stars met. The first question from TPT was simple: What was the exact moment when you realized you wanted to do this for a living?“T …last_img read more

Anatolian dogs protect cheetahs

first_imgAnatolian dogs are constantly on the lookout for predators threatening the herd of goats.Puppies are put into the pen with lambs when they are six to eight weeks old.(Images: Elanza van Lente)MEDIA CONTACTS • Elanza van LenteProject manager, Namaqua Dog Project+27 27 672 1948.Lucille DavieFor centuries, in cultures as diverse as Laplanders and Aborigines, dogs have been man’s best friend. They have been companions, hunters and guards, and in many cultures have even played an important spiritual role. Now they have become cheetah’s best friends, too.Anatolian shepherd dogs, bred in Turkey for 6 000 years, have been imported to South Africa where they are being used to protect livestock and cattle. In the process, they protect cheetahs, which would normally prey on the livestock. When cheetahs take their livestock, farmers respond by shooting the cheetah, or laying snares for them, which then trap smaller predators like caracal and jackal.Cheetahs are endangered. According to Cheetah Outreach, at the turn of the 20th century, there were an estimated 100 000 cheetahs in Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. Today there are just 7 500 cheetahs left and in South Africa there are fewer than 1 000.Anatolian dogs were first introduced to southern Africa in 1994, when farmers in Namibia started using them. Based on this success, a trial programme was launched by De Wildt’s Wild Cheetah Management Project and Cheetah Outreach, in 2005. Since 2008, Sanparks –South African National Parks – has run its own breeding programme in the Namaqua National Park. “The purpose of the project is to breed and train Anatolian shepherd dogs and to provide them at an affordable price to farmers who cannot afford to pay the full market price for the dog. This is in an effort to protect both the farmers’ livestock and the wildlife in the vicinity,” it says.Anatolian dogs can now be found across all nine provinces. Outside Turkey, they are used as guard dogs in the US, UK, Australia, Canada, and Botswana. They are mostly used to guard sheep and goats, but recently they have been used successfully to guard cattle, and also wild game. With their introduction, farmers have stopped laying traps, which has meant that, besides cheetah, other animals like aardwolf, genet, fox, honey badger and tortoise have not been caught in snares either, so being saved a slow and painful death.Protection from bears and wolvesIn Turkey, Anatolian shepherd dogs were originally bred to protect livestock from bears and wolves. They were bred to withstand harsh conditions – extreme heat and extreme cold, in dry, arid areas of Central Anatolia, conditions not unlike those found in South Africa. It’s believed that they were even used during times of war to dismount enemy riders from their horses.The dogs are tough and hardy – they stand about 90cm at the shoulder, and weigh up to 75kg, though the females are slightly smaller and lighter. They have a medium-length, tan- or beige-coloured coat, which allows for cooling but maintains warmth in winter. They have good eyesight, sharp hearing, and an excellent sense of smell. They are calm and confident, intelligent and independent, and will stay with the herd in times of danger, or when a sheep or goat is in distress.They can run at 75km/h, and have a loud bark, which is their first means of defence, followed by attack if sufficiently provoked. Like predators, they will latch on to the throat, killing the predator. But crucially, they will not chase predators over long distances, leaving the herd unguarded. Their size and loud bark are usually enough to chase away most potential threats.TrainingAn animal’s training as a guard dog begins when it is a puppy of six to eight weeks. The puppy is placed in an enclosure within the pen of the sheep or goats initially. It is taught not to play with the lambs or to hunt, and soon is taken for short walks with the herd, accompanied by the farmer or handler, says Elanza van Lente, the project manager of the Namaqua Dog Project in Northern Cape.“Each day they go further, rest, then catch up with the herd,” she explains. They are walked along the fences, allowing them to get a sense of their boundaries. Van Lente says they mark their area with urine, and demarcate two areas: A is an area close to the herd; and B is a bigger area. If a predator comes within B the dog will bark and chase it; if it enters the smaller A area, the dog will attack and kill a caracal or jackal. She says it will take on a leopard but it will probably not survive.“Normally, a farmer would lose 30 to 40 lambs a year, but now he loses nothing,” she adds. Although the Anatolian dogs have mostly been used for goats and sheep, they are now beginning to be used for cattle too. Van Lente says that she has trained and placed 49 dogs. She has three breeding pairs, plus another female. All dogs that are placed with farmers are sterilised at six months.An untrained dog from Sanparks costs about R1 000 (US$97), but up to R6 000 ($580) on the open market. Van Lente and her team will give the farmer training, providing a manual, and be on call throughout the day and night if a problem arises. Training can take between three and nine months. “The dogs are very clever, and operate best in grassland, mountain areas and open spaces.” She has a long waiting list for dogs.Once trained, the dogs are happy out on their own. They will bring the herd home at the time they were trained to, but if they stay overnight in the veld, it is usually because there is a problem. The farmer will be alerted and will be prompted to search for the herd and dog. The dog will never leave an injured goat or sheep on its own – it will keep the whole herd in the veld until the farmer comes looking for them.Remarkable storiesThere are some remarkable stories of dogs’ devotion to their herds. A dog called Beska was in a fight with a caracal and was badly injured, but still managed to bring its herd safely home. Crickey was attacked by a leopard and sustained serious injuries, but it didn’t lose a single animal in its herd. On its return from the vet, Crickey was kept indoors to recover, but broke out on the first night, and walked 14km to its herd in the veld.One night Boleyn did not return with its herd, only coming in later with a goat and a newborn kid. The dog had carried the kid back to the farmhouse. Its herd repaid Boleyn’s good deed some time later. It managed to get a snare wrapped around its neck and was unable to move. The farmer spent a day looking for Boleyn when it didn’t return with the herd. He came upon the herd huddling around it, protecting it and saving its life.Uthaya had an old and sickly ewe in its herd. One very hot day the herder noticed the dog gently taking the ewe by the back of its neck and dragging it from the heat into the shade. “Anatolians possess the three main behaviour traits that an effective livestock guarding dog must have: trustworthiness, attentiveness and protectiveness,” says De Wildt.Van Lente adds that the dogs make good pets too. They will be protective, but can be aggressive if the owner is not on the property, as their natural guarding instincts kick in, much like Rottweilers or Dobermans.last_img read more

Campaigning ends for Pithoragarh bypoll

first_imgCampaigning for the by-election to Pithoragarh Assembly seat came to an end on Saturday with both the BJP and the Congress trying to woo the voters. While the BJP sought a mandate describing itself as a party that believes in serving people quietly, the Congress raked up the issues of “growing unemployment, rising prices and stalled development schemes” initiated during its government’s tenure. Addressing a meeting for party nominee Chandra Pant at the Ramlila ground in Pithoragarh, Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat said his government released ₹350 crore for the development of the constituency in the last two years — the highest by any government for the district.Highlighting various steps taken by his government to boost the road and air connectivity, Mr. Rawat said the Tanakpur-Pithoragarh stretch, which is the part of an ambitious all-weather road project, is nearing completion. He said his government is in talks with several aviation companies to streamline air services from Pithoragarh to Hindon and Dehradun. The bypoll was necessitated due to the death of Prakash Pant, whose wife Ms. Chandra is contesting from the seat.last_img read more

Cricket fraternity mourns Pataudi’s death

first_imgIndian cricket fraternity on Thursday reacted with shock and sorrow on the demise of former captain Mansur Ali Khan Patuadi, who died here due to lung infection, describing him as a “great human being” and “shrewd leader” who inspired a generation of players in the country.Former and current stalwarts of the game remembered how Pataudi had influenced their careers in different ways and said his demise has left a void in Indian cricket.India’s batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar termed his demise as a terrible loss for cricket world. “I had an opportunity to him (M.A.K. Pataudi) once,” Tendulkar told Headlines Today.Rahul Dravid, who met Pataudi at the presentation ceremony of the India-England series, expressed shock.”Wish I had spent more time with him. Even though I had heard of him being not well, this comes as a shock”, he said Dravid adding, “Pataudi was a personality who influenced Indian cricket in many ways. As a leader, he was someone who changed the way the game was played. He lived with dignity even after retirement.”BCCI president N Srinivasan expressed shocked at Pataudi’s demise. In a statement, he said, “I am shocked to hear the news of Tiger Pataudi’s demise. He was an exemplary individual, who guided Indian cricket to unprecedented heights, as batsman, fielder and captain.””He revolutionised fielding standards in the Indian team, and across the country. In an age wherein a draw was considered as good as a win, Tiger Pataudi encouraged his players to go flat out for victory. He was an aggressive batsman who excelled in crisis situations, and showed the nation how to combat adversity. I join my colleagues in the BCCI to express my condolences at his passing away. His services to Indian cricket will never be forgotten,” Srinivasan added.advertisementThere were condolence messages from cricket’s governing body ICC as well. ICC chief Sharad Pawar mourned passing of one of India’s greatest captains. “On behalf of the International Cricket Council (ICC), I condole the passing of “Tiger” Pataudi who was one of India’s greatest, most charismatic and flamboyant captains. Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi was a man of exceptional talent who turned out to be an inspiration to millions of cricketers, not only in India but across the globe. It was an honour and privilege to have known him,” said Pawar. “Mansur Ali Khan became a true darling of India cricket due to his on the field heroics and off the field easy manners. After retirement, he maintained his close association with the game in different capacities, including as a commentator. Whenever he shared his views on the game, they were taken seriously as they were considered to be coming right from the bottom of the heart of one of India’s greatest servants of the game. He will be sorely missed,” Pawar added in an ICC statement.ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat said: “I was sad to learn of the demise of India’s iconic former Test captain Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi. I had grown up as a young cricketer hearing about his achievements and had only met him for the first time during The Oval Test on 22 August where he had come to present the Pataudi Trophy to the England team while I presented Andrew Strauss with the Reliance ICC Test Championship mace.”During the Test, I had the privilege of discussing with him the past, present and future of Test and 50-over cricket. It was absolutely fascinating to hear his views and confidence in these formats.”Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar described Pataudi as the “most charismatic cricketer of his generation”.”To bat with almost zero vision in one eye and still to score nearly 3,000 runs and half a dozen centuries in Test cricket tells you what a genius he was,” Gavaskar said.Former Pakistan captain Imran Khan echoed a similar sentiment. “Anyone who knows batting, knows that it’s difficult to play with one eye, specially (to play) fast bowling. What he achieved with one eye, the sort of ability he had, what sort of a player he could have become,” he said.”For me, he was by far the best cricketer, I have seen in my life,” former India captain Ajit Wadekar told India Today Online. Pataudi’s team-mates Bishen Singh Bedi and Erapalli Prasanna praised Pataudi identifying that India’s strength lay in spin, which ultimately led to the formation of the lethal spin-quartet that included Bhagwat Chandrasekhar, Srinivas Venkataraghavan apart from Prasanna and Bedi. “His faith in the spinners was absolute and we all prospered under his captaincy. We won’t find the likes of him in a long, long time. His voice cannot be filled. A great, great chapter of Indian cricket has come to a close,” Bedi said.advertisement”It’s very shocking and sad news. A few weeks ago I saw him give away the Patuadi trophy to England,” Prasanna told Headlines Today.England defeated India in the Test series 4-0 and Pataudi gave away the trophy to winner, which has been named after him.”He gave a different dimension to Indian cricket. He analysed the strengths and weakness of the team. He had a lot of confidence in me. He said if we have to bowl 100 overs, I will have to bowl 80 very effective overs,” Prasanna said about his captain Tiger.”He countered the West Indies fearsome foursome with our fearsome spin (the famous spin quartet of Erapalli Prasanna, Srinivas Venkataraghavan, Bhagwat Chandrasekhar and Bishan Singh Bedi).””For him it was an equal balance of batting and bowling. He proved to the world that you need not have fast bowlers if you have an effective spin attack,” added the former India spinnerSpeaking about his marriage to actress Sharmila Tagore, he said, “He was brought up in England and he was independent. He transformed and translated that in his marriage and it proved successful till the very last date.”Fomer India cricketer Chetan Chauhan called him a “Tiger on field”. “He was very agile and used to chase down and stop boundaries, that’s why he was called the Tiger.”Former opening batsman Gundappa Viswanath described Pataudi as his guide in early years of his career and somebody who had always helped the youngsters.”It is a terrible news for me, he brought me up and guided me. I cant even express myself, it is one of my saddest days. He was a great human being, a great cricketer, a great fielder, shrewed captain, it is really sad,” he said.”He always guided the youngsters, I was very close to him, so I cant really forget the way he brought me up. He was my first captain under whom I played. Whatever career I had, it stands on him,” he added.Former captain and current selection panel chairman Krishnamachari Srikkanth said Pataudi was the one cricketer who ushered in style and aggression to Indian cricket.”It is a great loss for Indian cricket. He is one fellow, so stylish and aggressive. He achieved so much at the age of 21, he played an aggressive brand of cricket. He was very friendly and a fun loving person, he had very subtle and good sense of humour,” said Srikkanth.”His greatest quality was the way he hit those sixes. He is called Tiger because of his extraordinary fielding at covers. He lost one eye but still went on to score so many runs. He expresses his views but never tried to impose them. One thing I like to inculcate from him is his determination and aggressiveness,” he said.advertisementCricketing fraternity apart, Indian Olympic Association secretary general Randhir Singh on Friday paid tribute to late former cricket captain Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi, saying he would always be remembered for leading the Indian team to its first overseas series win.”He (Pataudi) was an outstanding sportsman and a great human being. He would forever be remembered for leading India to their maiden Test series triumph abroad. He will be deeply missed among the Indian sports fraternity,” Randhir said in his condolence message.last_img read more

College Football Playoffs Set

first_imgGRAPEVINE, Texas — The playoff picks are in: Top-ranked Alabama will play No. 4 Ohio State at the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, and No. 2 Oregon will play No. 3 Florida State at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.And after all the discussion about whether Baylor or TCU was better, neither Big 12 team will get a chance to play for the national title.The College Football Playoff Committee’s selections for the first playoff were released Dec. 7 after weeks of debate, setting off plenty of questions about whether the new process was fair and if it needed some tweaks.“We’re smarting today,” Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said.The winners of the New Year’s Day semifinals will advance to the national championship game to be played Jan. 12 at the home of the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington, Texas.The playoff contenders did not make it easy on the committee by all winning on Dec. 6.Committee Chairman Jeff Long said the top three teams were clear and the final spot came down to a “spirited debate” between the Buckeyes and Big 12 co-champs Baylor and TCU.” Among those three, Long said: “It was decisive for Ohio State.”Baylor and TCU finished fifth and sixth, respectively. The Big 12 is the only conference among the Big Five that does not play a championship game. With only 10 members, NCAA rules prohibit it, though the Big 12 and Atlantic Coast Conference are in the process of trying to change those rules.Long said Ohio State’s playing a quality opponent in a 13th game, the Big Ten championship against Wisconsin, and winning decisively added to the Buckeyes’ case against the Big 12 teams.“It had an effect,” Long said. “It was an additional game that we could see Ohio State’s strength.”Bowlsby said it appears the conference was penalized for not having a conference championship game, and will likely re-address how it decides its champion and the possibility of playing a title game.The great debate for weeks was whether TCU or Baylor would make it into the final four. The Bears beat their Big 12 rivals 61-58 in Waco back in October, but from the start the committee ranked TCU ahead of the Bears, who lost at West Virginia by 14 and played a particularly weak nonconference schedule.“This will be catalyst for discussion for sure,” Bowlsby said.The College Football Playoff is replacing the Bowl Championship Series this season. The BCS matched the top two teams in the country in a national championship game.The committee has been ranking the top 25 weekly since late October’s rankings and last week had Alabama and Oregon at the top, followed by TCU and Florida State.The committee has said it would start each week with a blank slate and that as the bodies of work changed the ranking could change dramatically.That’s different from the way polls traditionally work and led to some of the surprise when the Frogs dropped after a 52-point victory on Saturday against lowly Iowa State. The Big 12 further muddled the issue by not designating a champion by a tiebreaker.The commissioners who put together the playoff thought long and hard about whether the committee should do weekly rankings, at first leaning against it. They make for good television, though, and ultimately it was decided that fans were used to having a way to track the progress of the playoff race from week-to-week.Whether they stick with weekly rankings will be addressed. “I think that the committee will look at this year, look at this season, look how the entire process went,” Long said.Ohio State has had the longest climb to reach the playoff, overcoming an early loss to Virginia Tech to make a strong run. The Buckeyes were 16th in the first rankings, but their final statement was a doozy: 59-0 against the Badgers.Florida State’s unbeaten record hasn’t gotten the respect the Seminoles believe it deserves from the committee. The defending national champions are the only undefeated team in FBS. But numerous close calls and comebacks have led the committee to drop the Seminoles in the rankings.Ultimately, though, the ‘Noles will get to defend their championship in the first playoff.Also, the committee announced the other bowl matchups in the playoff rotation. Mississippi State will play Georgia Tech in the Orange Bowl; Arizona will play Boise State in the Fiesta Bowl; TCU will play Mississippi in the Peach Bowl, and Baylor will play Michigan State in the Cotton Bowl.(RALPH D. RUSSO, AP College Football Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Fitness tips: spinning for beginners

first_imgShare on LinkedIn Fitness Health & wellbeing Fitness tips Fitness tips: yoga to relieve tense shoulders Share on Messenger features … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay. Whether we are up close or further away, the Guardian brings our readers a global perspective on the most critical issues of our lifetimes – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. We believe complex stories need context in order for us to truly understand them. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. When should I eat?Leave at least a couple of hours between eating and starting a class, or you’ll feel queasy. Afterwards, have a snack within half an hour: a banana, say. Drink plenty of water before, during and after your class. Any decent studio will be air-conditioned, but if there are a lot of people, it can get hot. Prepare to sweat.How do I adjust the bike?This is the number one mistake beginners make. People will often have the saddle crazily low and the handlebars really high, which is a terrible way to ride. Stand next to the saddle facing the handlebars and bend your knee to 90 degrees; the saddle should be parallel with the top of your thigh. The handlebars should be level with your saddle, unless you’re pregnant or have back problems, in which case they should be a bit higher. Once on the bike, make sure that when your foot is at the lowest point of the pedal stroke, you have a very slight bend in the knee. Share on Twitter Since you’re here… Support The Guardian Share on Pinterest Share on Facebook Share on WhatsApp Reuse this content Topics What should I wear?Nothing loose, as it could get caught in the pedals. Leggings or shorts and a T-shirt are good. I’d advise against very short shorts – the chafing can get a bit much.Where should I sit?For beginners, it’s good to be brave and sit near the front. You won’t be expected to keep up with the pace the instructor sets, it’s all about getting used to the bike and learning the terminology. Good luck!• Muireann Carey-Campbell, aka Bangs, is a writer and head instructor at Boom Cycle.• This article was amended on 16 November 2018 to remove an incorrect reference to “spinning”. Read more Cycling Share via Emaillast_img read more