Though the country’s gas pricescontinue to rise, Costa Rican roads are still ranked the worst in Central America according to a new report from the International Monetary Fund.The IMF’s 2014 Global Enabling Trade Report ranks Costa Rica’s roads 116th out of 138 countries, the worst in Central America and the fourth worst in all of Latin America – with only Colombia, Paraguay and Venezuela ranking lower. Costa Rica also ranked the third lowest in Latin America for port infrastructure, beating out only Venezuela and land-locked Bolivia. According to the report, the nation’s infrastructure is one of its largest competitive disadvantages.Since January, the price of “Plus” gasoline in Costa Rica has increased by $0.76 per gallon, according to data from the Costa Rican National Oil Refinery. In 2008, Plus gasoline replaced “Regular,”which had a lower octane rating. “Super” gasoline is higher octane and costs more. As of May 29, Costa Rica’s Plus gas prices were at approximately $5.13 a gallon. According to GlobalPetrolPrices.com, which compiles weekly gasoline data for most countries, this makes Costa Rican gas the second most expensive in Central America behind Belize at $5.32 per gallon. Panama has the cheapest gas in the region at $3.96 per gallon.The high fuel prices are due in part to Costa Rica’s 29 percent gas tax, which goes directly to the National Roadway Council (CONAVI) for roadwork, but the tax revenue hasn’t been able to improve the country’s roads. A 2013 study by engineers from the National Structural Materials and Models Laboratory found that between 15 and 20 percent of Costa Rica’s roads were paved with unsuitable materials. Construction of the deficient roads represented an investment of more than $23 million from CONAVI, 22 percent of the organization’s two-year budget. Facebook Comments Related posts:Gas prices go up again Why Waze is so incredibly popular in Costa Rica Regulator publishes ‘historic’ drop in gas prices amid global oil oversupply Costa Rica’s popular Highway 27 to Pacific at risk from rains
Top Stories Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Sponsored Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall With most of Mozambique’s rhinos extinct, police believe he poached the animal across the border in South Africa where 90 percent of the world’s rhinos reside.The officers and the poacher were arrested a day later, after a tipoff, said the press report. Police are still searching for the person who purchased the horn.In Namibia, the local press agency reported that a court has refused to grant bail to a Chinese national believed to be a central figure in the country’s largest rhino horn smuggling network.Wang Hui is believed to be linked to three other Chinese nationals who were arrested after they were caught with 14 rhino horns and a leopard skin hidden in their luggage as they tried to travel to Hong Kong, the Namibian Press Agency reported.The men will appear in court again later this month.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The vital role family plays in society Quick workouts for men Comments Share MAPUTO, Mozambique (AP) — Authorities in Mozambique arrested five police officers for colluding with a poacher in the illegal sale of a rhino horn, the state news agency reported Thursday.Rhino poaching is on the rise across southern Africa because the horn is much sought after for Asian traditional medicine. In South Africa alone, 1,200 rhinos were poached last year.Police came across the poacher at the Limpopo National Park, in the southern province of Gaza carrying the horn but instead of arresting him, they helped him sell it and pocketed half of the $24,500 he obtained. Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology
World’s three largest cruise ships meet for the first timeWorld’s three largest cruise ships meet for the first timeRoyal Caribbean International’s Oasis-class ships, Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas and the new Harmony of the Seas, struck a chord today, greeting each other at sea for the first and possibly only time. In a meeting of unprecedented proportions, the three record-breaking sisters came together to celebrate the U.S. arrival of Harmony of the Seas on the eve of the ship’s debut in her new permanent homeport of Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.The Oasis-class ships are architectural and engineering marvels, boasting industry-changing and unexpected onboard experiences. Each ship features seven themed neighborhoods – a distinctive feature of the Oasis-class ships – and a number of spectacular features, adventures and thrills, including the lush and tranquil Central Park with nearly 12,000 plants and trees, FlowRider surf simulators; a thrilling zip line 82 foot long that races guests nine-decks in the air, luxurious multi-level loft suites with expansive floor-to-ceiling windows, the outdoor AquaTheater that hosts dazzling high-diving, aquatic and acrobatic performances, a Boardwalk with a hand-carved carousel, and The Rising Tide Bar, the first moving bar at sea.The newest and youngest of the three ships, Harmony of the Seas, officially claimed the title of world’s largest cruise ship, beating her sisters by a mere foot in length and nearly 1,700 gross registered tons. The ship features a bold lineup of new thrilling experiences, imaginative dining, unparalleled entertainment and the latest technology, including VOOM, the fastest internet at sea. Harmony combines the iconic seven neighborhood concept with some of the most modern and groundbreaking amenities and offerings that will appeal to guests of all ages. From The Ultimate Abyss, a dramatic 10-story tall slide, to unparalleled entertainment including Broadway’s hit musical Grease, sophisticated dining in venues ranging from Jamie’s Italian Cuisine by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver to Royal Caribbean’s whimsical restaurant Wonderland, which is a unique culinary adventure for the senses, and robot bartenders, there is an adventure for everyone onboard Harmony of the Seas. Royal Caribbeanfor more information, visitSource = Royal Caribbean
australiaawardsevents & festivals At the 62nd Annual International Festivals & Events Association (IFEA) Convention, Expo & Retreat in Tucson, Arizona, USA, held last Thursday, 14 September, the NSW town of Coffs Harbour, the Port Macquarie Region of NSW, Sydney, and the Gold Coast were recognised as 2017 IFEA World Festival & Event City Award Recipients.The IFEA World Festival & Event City Award was designed and created as a way for the global festivals and events industry to openly encourage, support and recognise positive local environments for festivals and events worldwide. City entries were judged by an international panel of industry experts in the only recognition program of its kind. 2017 award winners include:Coffs Harbour, New South Wales, AustraliaDes Moines, Iowa, United StatesGold Coast, Queensland, AustraliaHadong-gun, Gyeongsangnam-do, South KoreaNew Taipei City, TaiwanPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania, United StatesPort Macquarie Region, New South Wales, AustraliaSydney, New South Wales, AustraliaTucson, Arizona, United States“The IFEA is pleased to recognize and highlight those cities and markets who have worked, through concerted efforts, to provide an environment conducive to successful festivals and events,” said IFEA President Steven Wood Schmader, CFEE, during the presentations. “Through this award, the IFEA hopes to create a continuing dialogue between events and cities around the world, at a time when each needs to be supporting the other more than ever. The quality of all the entries paints a bright picture for our industry and those cities recognized with this award are helping to build a strong foundation and example that we hope all cities, globally, will work to emulate.”
RelatedNew Czech Airlines route opened to service Prague and NovosibirskCzech Airlines’ decision to open a new route will increase the number of cheap flights from Prague to NovosibirskIncreased flights to Moscow as part of Czech Airlines’ winter scheduleCzech Airlines has launched new flights to destinations in eastern EuropeExtra flights to St Petersburg to be laid on by AeroflotAeroflot is planning to increase its number of flights to St Petersburg from Moscow from seven to nine a day Aeroflot and Czech Airlines have announced that they have started joint operations on flights between Prague and Zhilina and Prague and Skopie.Under the alliance, the Russian flagship carrier will see the Prague-Zhilina and Prague-Skopie routes become an addition to their flight network, with Czech Airlines already working alongside Aeroflot as a marketing partner on flights from Moscow to Irkutsk, Barnaul, Omsk and Kemerovo.The Prague-Zhilina flight will be operated by Czech’s ATR 42 aircraft, while the Prague-Skopie route will be serviced by Boeing 737s.Commenting on the new locations, an Aeroflot press release said: “Both destinations are popular tourist and business directions among Russian passengers.”Aeroflot now has 33 joint operation agreements on flights with both domestic and foreign carriers, which allows the Russian airline to expand its network and offer greater choice to its passengers.The airline offers between two and four daily flights from London to Moscow as well as two direct weekly flights between London and Tokyo. ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map
by The Associated Press Posted Feb 19, 2019 11:10 am PDT The top iPhone and iPad apps on App Store AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email App Store Official Charts for the week ending February 17, 2019:Top Paid iPhone Apps:1. Minecraft, Mojang2. Heads Up!, Warner Bros.3. Plague Inc., Ndemic Creations4. Facetune, Lightricks Ltd.5. iSchedule, HotSchedules6. Geometry Dash, RobTop Games AB7. Bloons TD 6, Ninja Kiwi8. NBA 2K19, 2K9. Dark Sky Weather, Jackadam10. The Game of Life, Marmalade Game StudioTop Free iPhone Apps:1. Color Bump 3D, Good Job Games2. Ball Mayhem, Voodoo3. YouTube: Watch, Listen, Stream, Google LLC4. Instagram, Instagram, Inc.5. Honey Smart Shopping Assistant, Honey6. TikTok – Real Short Videos, musical.ly Inc.7. Snapchat, Snap, Inc.8. Messenger, Facebook, Inc.9. IRS2Go, Internal Revenue Service10. Gmail – Email by Google, Google LLCTop Paid iPad Apps:1. Minecraft, Mojang2. Procreate, Savage Interactive Pty Ltd3. Notability, Ginger Labs4. GoodNotes 5, Time Base Technology Limited5. Amazing Frog?, FAYJU6. Geometry Dash, RobTop Games AB7. Toca Hair Salon 3, Toca Boca AB8. Bendy and the Ink Machine, Joey Drew Studios Inc.9. Toca Kitchen 2, Toca Boca AB10. Plague Inc., Ndemic CreationsTop Free iPad Apps:1. Color Bump 3D, Good Job Games2. Netflix,Netflix, Inc.3. Ball Mayhem, Voodoo4. YouTube: Watch, Listen, Stream, Google LLC5. Matchington Mansion, Firecraft Studios Ltd.6. Polysphere, Playgendary7. Sausage Flip, MADBOX8. Helix Jump, Voodoo9. Amazon Prime Video, AMZN Mobile LLC10. Roblox, Roblox Corporation__(copyright) 2019 Apple Inc.The Associated Press
State Rep. Bruce Rendon, R-Lake City, was joined by his wife Daire and guest Bill Benedetto, president of the Homebuilders Association of Michigan, for Gov. Rick Snyder’s 2015 State of the State address in the House chamber on Tuesday evening.“I was glad to hear the governor’s emphasis on increased vocational education and training opportunities,” Rendon said. “Helping individuals prepare for and find the many technical jobs that are available in our state will broaden the career options they can consider.” 21Jan Rendon on board with Snyder’s focus on voc ed/career training Categories: Rendon News
11Feb Nesbitt comments on Gov. Snyder’s budget proposal Categories: News House Majority Floor Leader Aric Nesbitt, R-Lawton, issued the following statement after today’s budget recommendation by Gov. Rick Snyder:“As the governor outlined today, Michigan’s economy is the strongest it has been in more than a decade. More people are working, income is growing, and government has become more efficient and effective.”“I will continue to fight for what matters most to Southwest Michigan families, as well as residents across the state: delivering a balanced, responsible budget on time that protects funding for education and law enforcement, as well as paying down long-term debt and liabilities that would otherwise be a significant burden on our children and grandchildren.”“As we work to craft this budget in the months ahead, I’ll be focused on talking with folks in our local communities to get their input on what they want to see in our budget proposal.”
14Feb New bills protect people who must defend themselves Legislation simplifies legal requirements for use and defense of using forceState Reps. Jeff Noble and Lana Theis today introduced bills to strengthen and simplify immunity for people defending themselves and loved ones in Michigan.“Every day in Michigan we have someone doing everything reasonable to defend themselves, yet they can face civil or criminal court prosecution for doing so,” said Noble, of Northville. “Nobody uses self-defense to hurt others. We need to protect these individuals from unwarranted legal action when they are merely protecting themselves.”The legislation shifts the burden of proof where it should be – to the individual or prosecution seeking to overcome the self-defense immunity – requiring evidence to show the force was not merited. The bills also establish standards for law enforcement officers, providing protection for the use of force if it was in their official duties or they were identified as a law enforcement official.“Few things are more misinterpreted in Michigan law than self-defense. It’s time to simplify it, while also establishing the standards for overcoming immunity,” said Theis, of Brighton. “Protecting your family should not be a criminal offense or result in a civil case. And we should not be afraid to protect ourselves.”House Bills 5558, sponsored by Noble, and 5559, introduced by Theis, have been referred to the House Judiciary Committee.### Categories: Noble News,Theis News
State Representative Steve Johnson invites residents of the 72nd House District to join him during local office hours:Friday, May 17, 2019Allegan CountyColonial Kitchen1825 142nd Ave. in Door8:30 – 9:30 a.m.Kent CountyChick-fil-A1545 Edgeknoll Drive in Gaines Twp.10:30 – 11:30 a.m.“Open and honest communication with residents is instrumental in holding state government accountable,” said Johnson, R-Wayland. “I invite all residents to attend a local office hour gathering to share their concerns and ideas.”No appointment is necessary and there is no cost to attend. Those unable to attend are encouraged to call Rep. Johnson’s office at 517-373-0840, email StevenJohnson@house.mi.gov or visit his website at www.RepJohnson.com. Categories: Johnson News 03May Rep. Johnson announces May office hours
Share9TweetShareEmail9 SharesAugust 26, 2015; Philadelphia Inquirer and Charlotte Post and CourierSchool choice is a key element of our national strategy to improve educational outcomes. By allowing families to select the schools their children will attend, school reformers believe the power of the marketplace will drive weak schools to improve, and those that do not will be replaced by better ones. The desire of all parents to see their children succeed will provide the energy to unleash the marketplace’s power.National, state, and local policymakers have used a variety of strategies to transform traditional school systems into open educational markets. Districts have eliminated neighborhood schools and allowed students to enroll in all schools within their boundaries. Nonprofit and for-profit charter schools have been encouraged to open. Families have been given vouchers to allow their children to attend private schools. Districts have created magnet schools whose targeted curricula provide unique and specialized learning opportunities. The more options available, the more effective the market will be in driving school improvement. That’s the theory of school choice.In practice, we see that this marketplace is not perfect. The pitfalls of choices are illustrated in the experience of schools in West Chester, Pennsylvania, and Charleston, South Carolina.In Pennsylvania, the problem seems to be that there is not enough money to support the marketplace options. In one district, traditional public schools and charters are in a tug-of-war over the limited pot of money they have to share. And for each, the issue seems to be about their very ability to continue to operate.Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf tried to rescue a local district from a crippling deficit by requesting court permission to change the formula that governs how funds are shared in the district’s marketplace. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported on the outcome of his efforts.A Delaware County Court judge ruled Tuesday that the Chester Upland School District must abide by the state’s charter school funding formula and keep paying the charter schools that now educate about half of the struggling district’s students. […] The ruling was a setback for the Wolf administration, [which] contended that Chester Upland schools might not be able to open next week without a change to the formula. The district pays local charter schools about $64 million in tuition payments—more than it gets in state aid—to educate about half of its 7,000 students.Charter school representatives opposed the a change because they believed it would it would help the school district at their expense and threaten their ability to operate. Chester Charter School for the Arts board of trustees president Donald Delson, conceding the allotment for special-education students was high, said the school was willing to negotiate—but if the proposed cuts were approved, he would recommend that the school close next year.In South Carolina, the Charleston Post and Courier highlighted the challenge that choice has posed for South Charleston High School and its students. With a service area that covers a diverse population on all dimensions, choice has left the school with a very unrepresentative student body:The school, which should house a diverse group of 1,141 students from across its attendance zone, instead enrolled just 450 this year—and shrinking. Nearly 90 percent of its students are black in an area that’s more than a quarter white, and virtually all left are poor.The cause here is the strategy selected to create a competitive educational market place by the local school district. The creation of public magnet schools with specialized curricula was supposed to give all students new opportunities and challenge traditional schools to up their game. But in allowing these schools to select which students they will teach, they have left some behind, and that’s had real consequences:Across the train tracks, a mile away [from South Charleston HS]…sits the joint campus of Academic Magnet High and School of the Arts, two of the state’s top-ranked high schools. Competition for admissions to both countywide magnets is so rigorous…most who get in are white and affluent. In a now-competitive school marketplace, they are the ones most likely to boast the capital—high test scores, artistic training, and active parents—needed to get in. That’s because the schools cherry-pick students from across the county. Nearly 50 top academic and artistic performers zoned to attend North Charleston High go there instead. Losing those students means losing their academic example—as well as their parents, the ones who tend to lead PTAs, organize carpools and fill sports stadiums. Left behind are many struggling students and their guardians….While a market-based educational system shifts much of the responsibility for each child’s educational success from local school officials to the family, it does not ensure education funding at the level required for success. Nor does it guarantee that every student has equal skill and opportunity to make effective choices when it comes to schooling. As implemented, it does not seem to clearly address the needs of students and families harmed by the market’s imperfections.Without being able to fix the flaws we now see, too many children will be the real losers in the educational market place.—Marty LevineShare9TweetShareEmail9 Shares
Share9TweetShare1Email10 SharesSeptember 2, 2015; Health AffairsA month ago, the nation celebrated National Health Center Week, celebrating 50 years of community health centers. Fifty years—get it? As in 50 years ago, it was the beginning of the War on Poverty, which among other things, gave birth to the neighborhood health centers that have evolved into the network of federally qualified health centers that serve low-income residents in all 50 states. As the rather low-key announcement on the website of HHS’s Health Resources and Services Administration revealed, in 2014, there were 1,278 community health centers that served 22,873,243 patients—that’s one in fourteen Americans, one in seven Americans below the poverty level, over one million homeless persons, almost 900,000 farmworkers, and despite the availability of VA hospitals and clinics, nearly 300,000 veterans.Fifty years ago, there were all of two of these clinics. If anyone wants to try to make the case for the purported “failure” of the War on Poverty, tell it to the millions and millions of patients who have received critically important health services at low or no cost in these health centers.Nonetheless, all is not well with public policy as concerns community health centers. For example, in the recent attacks on Planned Parenthood for its abortion services (which are not federally funded), critics have suggested that community health centers could absorb the demand for women’s health services that would be lost if Planned Parenthood critics succeed in their defunding campaign.Writing for the Health Affairs blog, Sara Rosenbaum, a nearly 40-year veteran of community health center work and a professor at George Washington University’s School of Public Health and Health Services, contends “a claim that community health centers readily can absorb the loss of Planned Parenthood clinics amounts to a gross misrepresentation of what even the best community health centers in the country would be able to do were Planned Parenthood to lose over 40 percent of its operating revenues overnight as the result of a ban on federal funding.” Noting Planned Parenthood’s provision of cervical cancer and breast cancer screenings as well as treatment for sexually transmitted infections, Rosenbaum says that the suggestion that “community health centers could step into a breach of this magnitude is simply wrong and displays a fundamental misunderstanding of how the health care system works.”There is neither excess capacity nor universal geographic coverage in the community health center system, as community health centers are supposed to exist where alternative providers are few. Rosenbaum also documents the stress on the system that could occur as a result of the loss of Planned Parenthood’s services, citing compelling predictions from California and actual data from Texas (which dropped its support of family planning clinics in 2012).How shocking! (Not.) It shouldn’t be surprising to encounter federal legislators attempting to enact punitive restrictions on health and human services delivery (by defunding Planned Parenthood) without possessing much or any understanding the nation’s healthcare delivery system for poor people.A particularly powerful case might be what’s happening in Louisiana. The New York Times reports that the potential loss of the state’s only two Planned Parenthood centers is of huge concern. Regarding sexually transmitted infections, Louisiana has the dubious distinction of ranking first in the nation in cases of gonorrhea, second in chlamydia, and third in syphilis and HIV. Although neither Planned Parenthood facility in Louisiana performs abortions, they do administer tests for STIs (20,000 last year) and provide gynecological exams, cancer screenings, and other services for about 10,000 mostly low-income patients. That isn’t stopping Louisiana’s mostly-Republican Congressional delegation from pushing for Planned Parenthood cuts, and at the state level, governor and putative presidential candidate Bobby Jindal has taken steps to end Planned Parenthood’s state contracts for treating Medicaid patients. (Last year, the two centers served 5,200 patients.) Louisiana is already classified as medically underserved, with specific impacts on low-income people due to the state’s restrictions on Medicaid income eligibility and the unwillingness of many private providers to accept Medicaid reimbursement—unlike Planned Parenthood, which does accept Medicaid patients.Oddly enough, it was President George W. Bush who was responsible for doubling federal financing for community health centers and leading to the growth that exists today. Now, the Obama administration is pushing through more funding for health centers, with plans for 266 new centers in 46 states, D.C., and Puerto Rico, on top of the funding in the Affordable Care Act that added more than 700 centers. It makes no sense whatsoever for Congress to expand the community health centers on one hand but defund the more than 700 Planned Parenthood centers and remove significant capacity from the health system to respond to and treat low-income women’s health issues on the other.Happy (belated) National Community Health Center week! But it should be an opportunity for nonprofits to educate legislators about the healthcare delivery issues that low-income people face, especially low-income women. Discussions of healthcare need to move from questions of coverage to access and quality of delivery. By trying to defund Planned Parenthood in a pique over comments by a tone-deaf Planned Parenthood doctor, legislators are overlooking a key lesson of success from the War on Poverty—the need for more, not less community-level health services resources—and an opportunity to begin thinking about healthcare delivery rather than just insurance coverage.—Rick CohenShare9TweetShare1Email10 Shares
Share27TweetShare10Email37 Shares“Black Lives Matter Mural.” Credited: PixaBay. Public domain.May 4, 2017; Washington PostBlack Lives Matter activists say the movement has entered a new phase where the strategic focus is policy change, particularly at the local level. The movement launched in 2012 after the death of Trayvon Martin in Florida as an ideological and political intervention to affirm the lives of Black people. Today, five years later, according to a Washington Post article last week, “The issue that galvanized the movement hasn’t subsided. So far this year, police have shot and killed 23 unarmed people, a higher rate than in 2016, when 48 unarmed people were killed all year. Both years, about one in three of those people has been black.”Trump’s unexpected victory brought with it an accompanying rise of binary thinking. In NPQ’s recent article, “How to Think Differently about Communication: Your Nonprofit’s Role in Reframing the Post-Election Discourse,” Nat Kendall-Taylor and Susan Nall Bales of the FrameWorks Institute write,Rather than considering the important issues facing our nation and how a range of approaches might address them, the electoral discourse has narrowed into polarities… The 2016 election discourse pulled three important cultural models to the foreground of American thinking: self-makingness; separate fates; and business knows best.According to the Post, the Trump administration is challenging the Black Lives Matter movement.During Sessions’ Senate confirmation hearing in January, he described federal investigations into police departments as damaging to officer morale and implied that the Justice Department’s scrutiny of police work had contributed to officer deaths.[…]In April, Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered Justice Department officials to review oversight agreements that the Obama administration put in place for police departments that showed wide racial disparities in policing practices. Since 2009, the agency has investigated 25 law enforcement agencies and entered monitoring and reform agreements with 14 of them.Advocates suspect Sessions plans to walk away from the Obama administration’s efforts to reduce the number of people killed by police and contend with the disproportionate toll such shootings take on black and Latino Americans.Pivoting to address this new narrative and reality, the young black activists of Black Lives Matter (BLM) and Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) have joined a new social change coalition called The Majority, a network of more than 50 groups, which brings “together activists, organizers, and groups with different missions—from the Fight for $15 to indigenous land rights.” A March article in the Nation announced that the new coalition “is challenging Trump’s agenda with a radical vision of their own.”The Majority’s first campaign, Beyond the Moment, took place between April 4th and International Workers’ Day on May 1st with “a series of actions across the country aimed at raising awareness around issues including white supremacy, economic justice, reproductive justice, immigrant rights, LGBTQ rights, indigenous rights, and attacks on Muslim communities.”In almost a mirror image to FrameWorks’ articulation of the Trump administration narrative, the new movement of movements highlights social and historical conditions, joined fates, and community knows best.Patrisse Cullors, one of the three founders of BLM, said “this new iteration of the movement is not just about “campaigns and strategic plans” but a broad-based movement that coalesces around the idea of sanctuary for all.”Alicia Garza, also a BLM founder, “helped develop the Women’s March political platform and is an organizer for the National Domestic Workers Alliance, a labor organization,” according to the Post. She said, “[O]ur communities are under attack…It’s a real opportunity for us to build a movement of movements.”As Janelle Ross and Wesley Lowery write, “Even before the election, some of the most prominent activists in the Black Lives Matter movement were expanding their focus to broader political efforts.”Much of the push for policy change is being driven by local chapters of Black Lives Matter…In Memphis and Atlanta, activists have focused on challenging the “money bail” system, their term for the widespread practice of holding people in jail who are unable to pay even small amounts required by courts to assure they will show up for trial.…Poor defendants—who stand to lose jobs, apartments and custody of their children as they sit in jail—often plead guilty to lesser crimes without seeing a judge or jury.And, they have had success.In recent controversial encounters between police and unarmed black people, law enforcement has responded faster and with more regret than seen in years past. In suburban Dallas on Tuesday, an officer was fired three days after he fatally shot a 15-year-old boy sitting in a car. The officer was later charged with murder… In North Charleston, S.C., former officer Michael Slager—who was charged with fatally shooting Walter Scott in the back after a traffic stop—pleaded guilty to using excessive force last week. And last month in Grand Rapids, Mich., police released body-camera footage a few weeks after officers held a group of unarmed black boys, ages 12 to 14, at gunpoint…Activists there say the fact that officers were even wearing body cameras was a result of community pressure.More recently, in Atlanta, local Black Lives Matter activists raised more than $33,000 to bail black mothers out of jail just before Mother’s Day.The organization also is pushing the city council to make possession of a small quantity of marijuana punishable by a $75 ticket rather than arrest, and it is demanding that Atlanta’s mayor examine how the police force has been “militarized.”…Activists note that these efforts rarely make local news, let alone receive the national attention.—Cyndi SuarezShare27TweetShare10Email37 Shares
Share26Tweet10ShareEmail36 Shares“Ilhan Omar speaking at worker protest against Amazon,” Fibonacci BlueApril 16, 2019; VoxVox reports on Rep. Ilhan Omar, who, in a historic first, became one of two Muslim women seated in the US House of Representatives this year.Omar’s opinions have not always been welcomed by the GOP—or by some Democrats, for that matter. In February, her criticism of the pro-Israel lobby in the United States was badly misinterpreted as anti-Semitism. That controversy ended with a strange condemnation of both anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim discrimination that barely sidestepped a sanction of the Minnesota Democrat herself.Often, the attacks against Omar have seemed to be much more about who she is than what she says. This week, she found herself under attack by President Trump for saying that not all Muslims should be held responsible for the 9/11 attacks. It might be worth remembering here that a total of 19 people carried out the 9/11 attacks. Pew has estimated that the Muslim population in the US is 3.45 million.In her speech—the one in which Omar got criticized for saying “some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties”—Omar also explained what this broad guilt-by-association has meant for the 3.45 million Muslim Americans. And it is not a pretty picture:It doesn’t matter how good you are. If you one day find yourself in a school where other religions are talked about, but when Islam is mentioned, we are only talking about terrorists. And if you say something, you are sent to the principal’s office. So to me, I say, raise hell. Make people uncomfortable. Because here’s the truth, here’s the truth, far too long we have lived with the discomfort of being a second-class citizen. And frankly, I’m tired of it. And every single Muslim in this country should be tired of it.Meanwhile, Trump predictably responded with a tweeted video that interspersed footage of Omar with the Twin Towers collapse. He has refused to take it down.The representative says death threats and anti-Muslim insults against her are spiking as a result. Other Democrats have stood up for her at this time, accusing Trump of inciting violence against another elected official.And Omar is by no means standing alone. According to the Federal Election Commission, Omar has raised $830,000 over this last quarter, most of it in donations of less than $200 and less than $10,000 from PACs. This outpouring places her among the top-earning Democrats over the last quarter. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), who has also been under attack, raised about $720,000, while House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer raised about $650,000 and $600,000, respectively. Democratic colleagues are among those donating; House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn and Ocasio-Cortez contributed $1,000 and $2,000 respectively.But the dynamic being set up is more than mildly alarming. In an article in the New Yorker entitled “The Dangerous Bullying of Ilhan Omar,” staff writer Masha Gessen says Omar was targeted early along with Rashida Tlaib, the other new Muslim representative:The first Omar controversy, in February, did not, contrary to popular perception, begin with an Omar tweet. (A piece by Matthew Yglesias, on Vox, did a handy job of untangling the whole story.) In the beginning was the House Republican leader, Kevin McCarthy, who, as the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) news service reported, planned to take action against the freshman representatives Omar and Rashida Tlaib, the first two Muslim women in Congress. It wasn’t immediately clear what he wanted them reprimanded for, but it seemed that the cause was the two representatives’ support for the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement, known as BDS. In the discussion that stemmed from the JTA report, Omar issued her infamous tweet, which she has since deleted: “It’s all about the Benjamins baby.” She followed up to clarify that the tweet referred to political donations from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, a body that exerts powerful—and well-financed—pressure on elected officials.Gessen writes that the whole picture smacks of classic bullying techniques.You know how bullying works. The victim is marked long before the bullying begins: it’s the kid no one really likes, the weirdo who is barely tolerated by the larger group. The defenseless, isolated kid. And when the bullying starts to happen, the rest of the children look the other way. Even the ones the victim thought were his friends go silent. Especially the ones he thought were his friends.Political violence can work the same way. In modern states ruled by autocrats, or aspiring autocrats, political violence is dispersed and delegated. Its first weapons are ridicule and ostracism. Once a person has been marginalized and discredited among allies, physical violence becomes a likely option.That this situation involves the anti-Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement explains some of the tactics, but it is indeed a dangerous game we are watching.—Ruth McCambridgeShare26Tweet10ShareEmail36 Shares
Greek telco OTE has launched the new satellite version of its Conn-x TV offering with a starting price of €14.90 for OTE customers, lower than that of competitive services.The satellite version of the service, now renamed OTE TV, broadcasts from Eutelsat’s Eurobird 9A satellite and includes over 40 channels, including eight HD channels. OTE TV Via Satellite offers two packages – a Family pack and a Full pack – with the former starting at €14.90 and the latter at €19.90. The Family pack includies free-to-air channels and a range of international entertainment, sports, documentary, kids, lifestyle, music and news channels. The Full pack includes, on top of these, OTE’s own sports channels OTE Sport 1, 2 and 3 and the new OTE Sport HD channel.OTE is deploying a hybrid satellite/digital-terrestrial decoder, allowing viewers to access DTT channels where these are available.The Conn-x IPTV service, now called OTE TV via Conn-x, will include the same packs as the satellite offering, with the addition of video-on-demand.
Ukrainian cable operator Volia is in talks to acquire PPF Investments-backed western Ukrainian operator Odek for about US$14 million (€11 million), according to local reports.Odek operates networks in the western Ukrainian cities of Lviv, Zaporizhzhya, Chernivtsi and Ternopil, serving about 183,000 customers including 35,000 internet subscribers, with turnover of around UAH80 million (€7.7 million), according to the reports.
Canal Plus France has created a new music site in partnership with Spotify.The service, called simply Music, will be accessible to all French households and will allow users to access all radio play music with features including album of the week, Le Grand Journal, La Matinale and live sessions feature Canal Street.The site will also allow users to access numerous playlists created by Canal Plus personalities including Stéphane Saunier, Emma De Caunes, Ariel Wizman, Michel Denisot, Mouloud Achour, Jules-Edouard Moustic and Vincent Glad.Music will be available on the Canal Plus website and will be accessible via PCs, Macs, tablets and smartphones, while Canal Plus playlists will also be available on Spotify’s site.
Canal+ Overseas, the international subsidiary for Canal+ Group, has acquired a 51% stake in Loret Group-owned ultramarine telecoms operator Mediaserv. Jacques du Puy, CEO of Canal+ Overseas said that its strategy is to grow by developing new markets like Africa and Vietnam and it is witnessing “unprecedented growth in broadband access and TV deals.”Mediaserv delivers digital TV, internet and telephony services in the French language territories of Guadeloupe, Martinique, French Guyana and Reunion.The deal is subject to competition authority regulation and is due to complete by the end of the year.
UK telco and pay TV operator BT has signed a deal with the NBA to air exclusive live TV coverage of top basketball games and programmes on BT Sports in the UK and Ireland.The deal begins on December 1, with BT Sports’ TV coverage to include weekly games that will air on Sundays in a primetime slot. Viewers will also be able to access selected games that will be streamed live on the BT Sport website and BT Sport App.The multi-platform agreement also includes highlights, magazine shows and behind-the-scenes programming.BT said that it will show up to 200 games throughout the season on BT Sport 1, BT Sport 2 and ESPN. This will include up to seven live games per week during the regular season and every game of the Conference Finals, culminating in the NBA Finals in June.“This is a very exciting step for the NBA and basketball fans in the UK and Ireland. With BT Sports’ first rate presentation and formidable portfolio of premium sports content, fans can now look forward to more NBA action than ever before in the UK and Ireland, including selected free streamed games,” said Dan Markham, NBA vice president, media distribution and emerging markets.
Arris has released a range of new solutions designed to help global providers meet the growing need for delivering fibre deeper into networks at ANGA COM this year.Its new solutions include: the Arris Ultra Compact 200 Optical Node and Amplifier series; the Arris Opti Max OM2741 fiber deep optical node solution; the Arris CHP CORWave 3, a high density 1.2 GHz analogue digital multi-wavelength optical transmitter; and the Arris CHP Quad Return Path Receiver.Arris says the solutions are designed to meet the challenges of expanding capacity and bandwidth while reducing costs, space, power requirements and operational complexity.“As service providers work towards expanding subscriber offerings and capacity while strictly managing costs, Arris brings a broad set of high density and highly efficient fibre deep product options to support extended HFC, RFoG, PON along with other solutions,” said John Caezza, president of Arris Access Networks.At the same time, Arris also unveiled five new CPE solutions aimed at European cable operators, which it said are designed to address consumer demand for quick and reliable content access on a variety of devices.For “superior wireless performance,” it released the Touchstone TG2492 EuroDOCSIS 3.0 wireless EMTA, and the Touchstone DG6800 EuroDOCSIS 3.0 wireless data gateway.For the shift to video digitisation it has released: the HMC4120 hybrid DVB-C/IP set-top; the HMC3000 which is designed to let cable operators deliver HD content and migrate subscribers to all digital and IP-based services; and the HMC2010, a digital terminal adapter.“Arris is driving the global transition to an all-digital content delivery platform and is at the forefront of developing a high performance broadband DOCSIS and DVB STB portfolio. The success of our set-tops and gateways in so many geographies speaks to service providers’ ever-growing need for innovative solutions to deliver tomorrow’s services on today’s networks,” said Steve McCaffery, senior vice president, EMEA and Asia Pacific.