Custom officers have seized counterfeit fur coats worth €500,000 in Limassol, they announced on Friday.During a search of a Limassol warehouse 223 fake fur coats marked with the Hermes trademark were found.The customs department is investigating the case.You May LikeDr. Marty ProPower Plus Supplement3 Dangerous Foods People Feed Their Dogs (Without Realizing It)Dr. Marty ProPower Plus SupplementUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoUltimate Pet Nutrition Nutra Thrive SupplementAdd This One Thing To Your Dog’s Food To Help Them Be HealthierUltimate Pet Nutrition Nutra Thrive SupplementUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoOur View: Argaka mukhtar should not act as if he owns the beachUndoby Taboolaby Taboola
A traditional Boxing Day swim will get underway in Paphos next week which sees tens of fundraisers plunge into the sea to raise money for charity.For the tenth year, the sponsored swimmers will enter the water at Vardas Beach in Kissonerga at 11am and will have to stay in the water for 15 minutes. Many of the participants are pensioners and all are raising money for various Paphos-based charities.Dot Bailey, 76, has taken part in the swim for the last six years and is hoping to raise €2,000 for her chosen charity Paphiakos and CCP animal welfare, where she started as a volunteer in 2008.“We all run into the water together, its great fun and we have to stay in the water up to our neck for fifteen minutes before we can get out,” she said.Paphiakos and CCP animal welfare is a non-profit charity founded in 1982. It provides numerous ser-vices including veterinary clinics in Paphos and Polis, a tea shop, charity shops and a rescue line and a rehoming service. The shelter is a home to numerous donkeys, horses, dogs, cats, rabbits and goats.No wet suits are permitted, she said, although swimmers may wear t- shirts and leggings over their swim suits. Another Paphiakos swimmer, is an octogenarian, said Dot, adding that “none of the youngsters supporting the charity had the guts to participate this year.”Some of the swimmers will wear fancy dress, including Graham Angel from the UKCA Club spon-sored swimmers group. He is swimming to raise funds for the Cancer Patients support group Pa-phos, which provides funds for Pasykaf. Pasykaf was founded 30 years ago and provides help and support for cancer patients and their families.“It’s my ninth or tenth year and I am hoping to raise €1,000 which will go to the homecare nurses, they are similar to Macmillan nurses in the UK. Nurse Rachel and her team are doing a wonderful job here in Paphos,” he said.Paphiakos will also provide free transport to their centre after the swim and are offering homemade soup, a hot roll and a glass of wine, beer or a soft drink for €4 to raise funds for the charity.In addition, the UKCA will open its doors to the public after the event, also providing hot soup and rolls, drinks and entertainment, which is free for the swimmers, and with a small fee to members of the public.“I hope there will be some sunshine and the water won’t be too cold,” he said.You May LikeDr. Marty ProPower Plus Supplement3 Dangerous Foods People Feed Their Dogs (Without Realizing It)Dr. Marty ProPower Plus SupplementUndoSecurity SaversWindows Users Advised To Do This TodaySecurity SaversUndoYahoo SearchThese SUVs Are The Cream Of The Crop. Research Best Compact SUV CarYahoo SearchUndo Turkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoConcern over falling tourism numbersUndoPensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoby Taboolaby Taboola
Organisers of the Cyprus Rally on Tuesday said the maps they used for the routes and special stages of the event are those used internationally after they were put on the spot for including the unauthorised Turkish names for some areas in the north.The issue was raised by the Greens’ MP Giorgos Perdikis, who asked Interior Minister Constantinos Petrides whether he was planning on taking any measures against the organisers of the Rally for using such maps, given that the event in question is sponsored by the Cyprus Tourism Organisation and shown by state broadcaster CyBC.The use of geographical names not registered by the Republic of Cyprus is an offence, Perdikis said in his written question to the minister.In response, Petrides said that indeed on some of the maps found on the Cyprus Rally website the names of some communities and municipalities in the occupied areas appear with both their Greek and “illegal” names.“Some of these are ‘Yigitler’ intead of Arsos Larnacas, ‘Haspolat’ instead of Mia Milia, ‘Düzova’ instead of Exo Metohi, ‘Pasaköy’ instead of Askia, ‘Demirhan’ instead of Trachoni, ‘Balikesir’ instead of Palekythro, ‘Erdemli’ instead Tremithousa, ‘Aslanköy’ instead Angastina, etc,” the letter said.It added that based on the law, the alteration of geographical names of areas of the republic is criminalised. The same applies, for “illegal publication, import, circulation and distribution of maps, books or other documents, digital or conventional on which geographical names of areas of the republic are shown differently from those provided according to the law or from those included in the official dictionary of geographical names.”The authority responsible however for the application of the law in question is the minister of education, Petrides said.The Cyprus Automobile Association (CAA), which organises the rally, said the designation on the map of the special routes is done by a special office abroad, which is approved by the International Automobile Federation (FIA).“The maps used by the office in question are the international maps of the country (Cyprus) as they are mapped on Google Earth,” the CAA said in a written statement.The association said it was taken aback by “the predisposition of some to question the seriousness and commitment of the organisers to serve the interests of our country and consequently to tarnish the event.”Based on existing legislation, violating the law concerning geographical names of the Republic is a criminal offence with up to three years imprisonment and or up to €50,000 fine and all documents are subject to confiscation and destruction.You May LikeFood PreventThis Is What May Happen When You Eat Oatmeal DailyFood PreventUndoCollegebook15 Best Public Colleges In U.S.CollegebookUndoYeah! MotorIs Your Favorite Car In Seinfeld’s Garage? His 40 Best CarsYeah! MotorUndo Britain preparing for a no-deal BrexitUndoFilm review: Child’s Play ***UndoProtest outside the House over foreclosures lawUndoby Taboolaby Taboola
THE health ministry has identified four scenarios concerning the financing of the planned national health scheme (Gesy), minister Giorgos Pamboridis said on Thursday.Of the options under consideration, the minister said he favoured that which provides for contributions of 2.85 per cent from employers, employees, pensioners and rentiers; 4.55 per cent from the state; and 4.09 per cent from self-employed persons.Pamboridis told MPs he would initiate a new round of meetings with all stakeholders – employers and employees unions – in a bid to come to a mutually acceptable formula.Should his efforts fail, he added, he would defer to the House health committee, which is currently reviewing the government’s bills.In parliament, officials from the Employers and Industrialists Federation and the Chamber of Industry and Commerce complained that fixing the contributions percentages would be premature at this stage, since as of yet the cost of the system is unclear.The scenario referred to by the minister is the fourth option laid out in a 2013 actuarial study carried out by Mercer for the government.Co-payments would amount to €40 million – the lowest co-pay of the four scenarios.For outpatient care, the maximum co-pay fees are €300 per person, and €75 for beneficiaries of guaranteed minimum income and low-income pensioners.Per service, the fees are set per visit at €3 for personal general practitioners, €6 for specialists, €6 for MRIs and CT scans, €0.50 for medicines, €0.50 for clinical laboratories, €6 for other healthcare professionals, and €10 for accident and emergency wards.According to Mercer’s report, the “base case scenario” for the financing method involves financing through contributions and at a lesser extent via co-payments.The study notes: “The main components of contribution income under the NHS is contributions paid by active insured population and pensioners, primarily of the General Social Insurance Scheme (GSIS). Other smaller sources of NHS income include contributions from rent, interest on deposits, etc.”The full Mercer report:http://www.moh.gov.cy/moh/moh.nsf/EEBCAF0CDB3C0C4FC22577BB0026941E/$file/2013_10%20MERCER%20Actuarial%20Study%20of%20Cyprus%20National%20Health%20Expenditure%20and%20National%20Health%20System.pdfYou May LikeInsured Nation – Auto Insurance QuotesNew Rule in Rowland Heights, California Leaves Drivers FumingInsured Nation – Auto Insurance QuotesUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoPlarium I Vikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 minute and see why everyone is addictedPlarium I Vikings: Free Online GameUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoPensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoby Taboolaby Taboola
A 47-year-old woman from the Philippines has admitted having bought a baby in her home country and presenting a fake a birth certificate naming herself as the mother and a Cypriot man as the father, the Nicosia criminal court heard on Wednesday.The woman was arrested last month after suspicion that two men in a same sex partnership had illegally adopted a baby brought to Cyprus by a woman from the Philippines.Police told court on Wednesday that the woman had given a false statement that she was the mother of an infant born in July 2017 in the Philippines and had presented a fake birth certificate that said she was the mother of the child and a Cypriot man the father.The woman admitted to buying the baby in the Philippines and bringing it to Cyprus to be illegally adopted and that the documents she had presented to the Cypriot authorities were fake, the court heart.She is facing 19 charges concerning child trafficking. If found guilty of child trafficking, she could be sentenced up to 20 years in prison.The court procedure has been adjourned until March 13.Police are still searching for the whereabouts of the two men, against whom European arrest warrants have been issued.The couple, a Greek Cypriot and a Turkish national, were believed to have fled to Turkey with the baby, after authorities detained the woman.An Interpol Red Notice has also been issued on the request of the Cyprus police which is a request to locate and provisionally arrest an individual pending extradition. You May LikePopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoYahoo SearchYou’ve Never Seen Luxury Like This On A Cruise Ship. Search Luxury Mediterranean CruisesYahoo SearchUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCruise passenger airlifted to Paphos hospitalUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboola
A multi-million movie starring Nicolas Cage will be filmed in Cyprus, it was announced on Friday.Cage has starred in such well-known movies as Rumblefish, Raising Arizona, Moonstruck, Guarding Tess, and Leaving Las Vegas.The Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency (Invest Cyprus) announced that the first international film production is to take place on the island after the coordinated effort to attract important players from the film industry.The film, starring the Academy Award winner is titled ‘Jiu Jitsu’ and is to be filmed entirely in Cyprus while production cost is estimated at €24.6m. It is a science fiction and martial arts film, whose cast includes “established Hollywood actors” Frank Grillo, Alain Moussi, Rick Yune, Marie Avgeropoulos and JuJu Chan, Invest Cyprus said.Producers are Martin J. Barab and Dimitri Logothetis, who will also be the director.“This development is crucial for the growth of the Cypriot audiovisual industry, but also for the Cypriot economy as a whole, since it is a significant investment with multiple benefits that will promote our country worldwide,” the agency said.It said that Cabinet recently gave Invest Cyprus exclusive responsibility for the development of the audiovisual industry and the chair of the Incentive Plan application committee (EASO).The agency said it considers it particularly important that shortly after the assignment to them by the state of these new competencies, it was possible to attract, through targeted and well-coordinated efforts, the first cinematographic production.“This film production will place our country on the global cinema map and will be the first and essential step for the further development of the field,” Invest Cyprus said.Invest Cyprus in cooperation with the Cyprus Tourism Organisation, and the government’s press and information office organised last year, the first-ever film summit in which over 120 delegates participated including producers and directors from Hollywood, Pinewood and Bollywood.During the summit, the island promoted itself internationally to investors, dubbing the incentive plan ‘Olivewood’.In statements to the press, Georgiades said efforts are ongoing at all levels and sectors and that both the public and private sectors had been mobilised.During their stay in Cyprus, participants were taken to Paphos, Troodos, Larnaca and Limassol to find inspiration on possible film locations.Last September, the government launched a scheme for the promotion of the film industry providing Cypriot and foreign producers with incentives, cash rebates and/or tax credits of up to 35 per cent on qualifying production expenditures and also predicts tax allowances of 20 per cent for investment in infrastructure and equipment.The scheme aims to allow inflows of capital from international productions to Cyprus and to support the local industry.An online platform has been launched with information for foreign and Cypriot film industry professionals concerning the competitive advantages of Cyprus in the sector.Visitors to the platform can also learn about the locations of the island that can be used in audio-visual productions, and access a list of local professionals.The move comes after a long debate on the absence of state support to the film industry that pushed foreign producers to other countries in the area to film their movies.In 2016, MPs heard that a BBC production on Cypriot migration to the UK was to be filmed in Malta instead of the island as it would cost less to do so.The then Chairwoman of the Directors’ Guild of Cyprus Alexia Roider, had said that a large part of the film was set in Cyprus and the producers had asked the government for information on what facilities and incentives it offered to film on the island, but decided to shoot in Malta instead, after they were told nothing could be offered.You May LikeLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoVikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 min and see why everyone is addicted!Vikings: Free Online GameUndoYahoo SearchYou’ve Never Seen Luxury Like This On A Cruise Ship. Search Luxury Mediterranean CruisesYahoo SearchUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCruise passenger airlifted to Paphos hospitalUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboola
House prices, as measured by the House Price Index, rose by 4.2 per cent year-on-year in both the euro area and the EU in the fourth quarter of 2018 and by 1.6 per cent in Cyprus, according to Eurostat.On a quarterly basis, house prices rose by 0.7 per cent in the euro area, 0.6 per cent in the EU, and 3.5 per cent in Cyprus in the fourth quarter of 2018.Among the Member States for which data are available, the highest annual increases in house prices in the fourth quarter of 2018 were recorded in Slovenia (+18.2 per cent), Latvia (+11.8 per cent) and Czechia (+9.9 per cent), while prices fell in Italy (-0.6 per cent).Compared with the previous quarter, the highest increases were recorded in Slovenia (+6.5 per cent), Latvia (+4.3 per cent) and Malta (+3.8 per cent), while decreases were observed in Denmark (-1.7 per cent), Belgium (-0.5 per cent), United Kingdom (-0.4 per cent), Sweden (-0.2 per cent), Italy (-0.2 per cent) and France (-0.2 per cent).You May LikePopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoYahoo SearchYou’ve Never Seen Luxury Like This On A Cruise Ship. Search Luxury Mediterranean CruisesYahoo SearchUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCruise passenger airlifted to Paphos hospitalUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboola
Foreign investments are the safest and most rational means for Cyprus to achieve economic stability and viable growth, President Nicos Anastasiades said on Monday during the International Investment Awards ceremony held at the presidential palace.The awards were organised for the sixth year running by Cipa (Cyprus Investment and Promotion Agency).Anastasiades told guests that following the tumultuous economic troubles during the banking crisis, efforts from both the private and public sector have resulted in an economy that “has achieved a strong and sustainable recovery”.“A new approach has been adopted which sees foreign investments as the safest and most rational means to achieve economic stability and viable growth. Through foreign investment, Cyprus not only safeguards its competitive advantages, but it utilises them in the most effective way.”Although it has still not reached its full potential, Cyprus is on the right track Anastasiades said however the country must “maintain discipline and reform momentum”.Through the continuation of these efforts “we shall succeed in making Cyprus a world class destination for business and investment,” he added.The winners of this year’s awards were Fattal Hotel International, Bouygues Batiment International, CNP Assurances, SMT Shipping (Cyprus) Ltd, The Nielsen Company, Coast2Coast Capital, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and Eni.Panos Panayi, corporate vice president for Surface Computing at Microsoft Corp received an honourary award for his contribution in the field of technology and innovation.During his speech, Anastasiades boasted new investment opportunities on the island including the marinas, sea-ports and the casino resort set to be built in Limassol.“We have promoted significant reforms in the welfare system, the health care system, the management of public finances, in tax administration and, very importantly, in the banking sector.”The island’s competitive tax regime and incentives for business and investments are reaping results, he added, highlighting investor demand for an €850 million, seven-year bond with an interest rate of 2.75 per cent is at its highest since Cyprus’ return to the international bond markets three years ago.“This is the best confirmation of the restoration of investor confidence towards our country.”Additionally, Anastasiades said Cyprus is now one of the fastest growing economies of the EU, currently with a GDP growth rate above three per cent and employment levels are on the rise, with a 3.4 per cent increase, compared to 2016.“Our banking sector now stands on a much healthier footing, having undergone ambitious restructuring, while the restructuring of nonperforming loans has gained momentum.”Cipa’s chairman Christodoulos Angastiniotis said Cyprus has a bright future ahead of it, adding that a 9.1 per cent increase in foreign direct investment in 2016 compared to the previous year was impressive for a country like Cyprus.“Cipa is exerting every possible effort to carry out its mission, operating as a bridge of communication between the public and private sector, utilising the rich knowledge of the country and serving the needs of investors,” Angastiniotis said.The 3.3 per cent growth rate is just one of the indisputable examples of Cyprus’ success story, h added.Main sponsor for the awards was PwC Cyprus while the gold sponsor was Eurobank Cyprus. Silver sponsors were TFI Markets and Chivas Regal Extra.You May LikePopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoModernizeIf Your Home Has Old Roofing, Read ThisModernizeUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCypriot tycoon launches ‘Bank of Cannabis’UndoThree arrested in connection with hotel theftsUndoby Taboolaby Taboola
Citing problems of understaffing, the Securities and Exchange Commission (CySec) has asked parliament to release more funds to enable it to hire 18 additional persons.Speaking in parliament on Monday, CySec chairwoman Demetra Kalogirou said the organisation cannot cope with the workload with its current staff.She said the market watchdog’s tasks have expanded due to the proliferation of investment services firms but also due to the fact that CySEC often has to coordinate with its counterparts abroad.CySEc’s budget for 2018 will turn a deficit, with revenues estimated at €8.3m and expenditures at €9.2m.The budget does not incorporate fines levied for stock market violations, as these are deposited into the state’s Consolidated Fund.CySec is funded by own resources to the tune of 62 per cent, the rest consisting of state grants.Quizzed by MPs, Kalogirou said CySec has completed its probes relating to the 2013 financial meltdown and has submitted all its findings to the attorney-general.Regarding these probes, CySec has imposed administrative fines, but the majority of cases are under appeal in the courts. You May LikePopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoSmart Tips DailySeniors With No Life Insurance May Get A $250,000 Policy If They Do ThisSmart Tips DailyUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoPensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCypriot tycoon launches ‘Bank of Cannabis’Undoby Taboolaby Taboola
Accelerating the reduction of non-performing loans continues to be a key objective, a senior Central Bank official said Saturday, noting however that a new legal framework that could have helped is largely unenforceable.Acting Senior Director, Supervision Division, Yiangos Demetriou, said NPLs at the end of last year were around €20bn, down €4bn from the previous year and €7bn from 2014.Speaking at a roundtable discussion organised by the economists’ association, Demetriou said the reduction was “remarkable but it must be accelerated.”The Central Bank official said the loan restructuring rate has slowed down in recent months “perhaps a sign that the NPL portfolio that has not been restructured to date is harder to resolve only through restructuring.”Demetriou said it was the supervisor’s belief that the new legal framework – foreclosures, insolvencies, sale of loans — put in place after 2013 has become largely unenforceable. He said the CB has prepared a study and a report conveyed to all parties involved, listing the weaknesses of the legislation and other obstacles to the swift resolution of NPLs.Banks and borrowers should proceed with courageous and decisive solutions with any losses shared by the two sides where there was no other way of resolving the problem, he said.“Delay in resolving the problem is against both parties,” he added.Demetriou said the current NPL level hindered the growth of banks because it reduced their profitability and depleted their capital and other resources.In turn, banks cannot finance the country’s recovery through new loans.The island’s banking sector has shrunk following the 2013 crisis but it was still quite big.Total assets, including overseas, at the end of 2012 had reached €123bn whereas at the end of 2017 they were down to €67bn.Despite the steep reduction, it represents 350 per cent of the country’s GDP.You May LikePopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoSmart Tips DailySeniors With No Life Insurance May Get A $250,000 Policy If They Do ThisSmart Tips DailyUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoPensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCypriot tycoon launches ‘Bank of Cannabis’Undoby Taboolaby Taboola
ELIAS Neocleous & Co LLC was the only law firm in Cyprus to be awarded the prestigious Tier 1 ranking by the IFLR1000, the guide to the world’s leading financial and corporate law firms and lawyers.IFLR is one of the most respected organisations researching and ranking the legal services market. It has been researching legal markets for 29 years with an experienced research team based in London, New York and Hong Kong.Commenting on the news, Elias Neocleous said: “It is very gratifying to be recognised by such a respected organisation as IFLR, and I should like to thank my colleagues for their efforts in achieving this success and our clients for entrusting us with their business. There is no room for complacency in today’s fast-moving business world: we are committed to renewing our clients’ trust in us every day by constantly striving to improve and providing them with the best possible service.”IFLR published its first rankings in 1990 and it currently researches more than 120 jurisdictions worldwide. Rankings are based on evidence of transactions undertaken, and on feedback from peers and clients. IFLR’s reputation is based on the independence, objectivity and rigour of its research.You May LikeCalifornia Earthquake AuthorityWe protect our home with earthquake insuranceCalifornia Earthquake AuthorityUndoLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoPensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCypriot tycoon launches ‘Bank of Cannabis’Undoby Taboolaby Taboola
21Feb Rep. Kahle supports more money for road repairs Categories: Kahle News Roads in Lenawee County would benefit from legislation approved today by Rep. Bronna Kahle.The $175 million bill provides additional funding for road preservation and construction across Michigan as early this summer.“Dodging potholes is one thing, but when they are everywhere, some are just unavoidable,” said Kahle, of Adrian. “Drivers are getting tired of this. With the repeated freezing and thawing we’ve experienced this winter, the situation will only get worse. We have the money available to fix potholes and it should be spent now.”In addition to state projects, the bill includes money for county, city and village roads throughout Michigan. Estimated local allocations include:Lenawee County ($792,457)Addison ($5,929)Adrian ($144,747)Blissfield ($25,307)Britton ($4,429)Cement City ($5,066)Clayton ($3,954)Clinton ($15,948)Deerfield ($7,741)Hudson ($20,103)Morenci ($18,001)Onsted ($7,579) andTecumseh ($63,317).The money is left over from a previous state government budget cycle and is already available, meaning no budget cuts or additional fees or taxes are required for the investment. The money included in the bill approved today comes in addition to previous changes that provide more funding for road and bridge projects across the state.House Bill 4321 now advances to the Senate for further consideration.
04Jun Rep. Reilly welcomes Lake Orion students to testify at Capitol Categories: Reilly News,Reilly Photos State Rep. John Reilly of Oakland Township today welcomed middle school students from Lake Orion Community Schools to the state Capitol to testify in the House Natural Resources & Outdoor Recreation Committee.The group from Waldon Middle School were in Lansing to urge legislators to adopt the eastern wild turkey as the official game bird for the state of Michigan. Jon Gray, an eighth-grade science teacher at Waldon, developed an innovative way to ‘kill two birds with one stone’ that allowed the students to learn about aviary science and how state government works at the same time. He joined the students in front of committee members as they presented their arguments.“I was proud to watch students from our community make their case in support of this bill and directly participate in our legislative process,” Reilly said. “They provided superb testimony that was well-communicated and researched to the members of the House Natural Resources & Outdoor Recreation Committee.”House Bill 4589 was introduced by State Rep. Gary Howell of North Branch and would designate the eastern wild turkey as the official state game bird. Michigan currently does not have an officially designated game bird and has seen the eastern wild turkey make a remarkable comeback in recent years due to dedicated restoration efforts.If passed out of committee, House Bill 4589 would move to the House floor where the entire chamber would weigh in on its approval.
ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares January 7, 2015;MSNBCWhen we first heard about the barbaric terrorist attack on the offices of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, our first thoughts went to Punch, the venerable British satirical journal, and, stateside, The Onion. How many times during the century and a half of Punch did it lambaste politicians with wit and cartoons (Winston Churchill was famously outraged and hurt by a Punch cartoon in 1953 that he considered savagely malicious)?The number of times the Onion has eviscerated in completely outrageous terms Presidents George W. Bush (as in this column about the “Long National Nightmare of Peace and Prosperity”) and Barack Obama (for example, this column about a “loud black guy” asking a Chicago crowd for change) is huge. There is the famous story about how outraged presidential candidate John Kerry was about a Jay Leno joke in which Kerry walks into a bar and the bartender asks, “Why the long face?” Neither Churchill, Bush, Kerry, nor Obama responded by killing the writers, photographers, comedians, or cartoonists involved.But the editor and some staff members of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo were killed in a terrorist attack aimed apparently not only at the magazine’s cartoon images of the Prophet Mohammed, but at freedom of speech. As former Onion editor Joe Randazzo wrote for MSNBC, the Charlie Hebdo staff “were cartoonists and editors and humorists. People whose job in life was to point at hypocrisy and laugh at it; to ridicule hate; to make us all try to see our own failings as humans. And they were killed for it.” Randazzo wrote about threats he and others at The Onion received over the years, but they never would have imagined something like the terrorist attack in Paris.Randazzo worries, and rightly so, that while the terrorists’ attack on freedom of speech—that is, an attack on an idea—cannot be accomplished by murdering innocent people, it can be “nudge[d]…toward suicide.” By that, he means that our societies might respond to the terrorists in ways that help accomplish their attack on free speech for them. FREE DOWNLOAD: Social Media Strategies for Amplifying Social Justice Issues One way is through self-censorship. Like The Interview, the satirical movie about North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, some might suggest that Charlie Hebdo would have been smart to simply avoid satirizing Islam and the Prophet Mohammed (today’s issue of Charlie Hebdo depicted an ISIS militant about to behead Mohammed as an infidel if the prophet were to return today), just like some thought Seth Rogen might have been wiser to have used a made-up country and dictator for his movie rather than identifying the Hermit Kingdom and its ruler as its satirical targets. Those thoughts are understandable, but ultimately don’t work. The target of the Paris attacks wasn’t just the magazine, but free speech itself. If the terrorists wanted to attack free speech, they could find or manufacture other pretenses to carry out their murderous intent. People motivated by hatred of ideas and values can always generate rationales to justify their violence.Moreover, when does the self-censorship end? Cartoons about other religions? About politicians? About corporations and their leaders? Remember that Charlie Hebdo was born as a result of censorship, its predecessor publication banned by the French government for a time due to its having made fun of Charles de Gaulle. Given the worldwide efforts to restrict free speech, particularly freedom of the press—witness the three Al Jazeera journalists who still languish in an Egyptian prison due to trumped-up charges that they aided the Muslim Brotherhood—it is all too easy to spark momentum that restricts free speech and clearly very difficult to reverse it.The other side of the coin is to respond to the Paris killings with attacks on Muslims. Marine Le Pen’s Front National in France, Britain’s UKIP, and even Pegida in Germany are all but guaranteed to use the horrible events at the Charlie Hebdo offices as an opportunity to call for restrictions and worse on Muslims in Western Europe. As Randazzo notes, imagining that ISIS or Al Qaeda or whoever these terrorists might have been stand for all Islam is like suggesting that the Westboro Baptist Church speaks authoritatively for Christianity. If the terrorists achieve that kind of response, they will have succeeded in more than attacking free speech and freedom of the press. They will have nudged us to the suicide of freedom of speech that Randazzo warned about.For all of us in the U.S., particularly those of us in the nonprofit press who stand for journalism that afflicts the powerful and comforts the afflicted, we stand with Charlie Hebdo, honor the people who were gunned down in Paris, and proudly say, “Je Suis Charlie.” —Rick Cohen [View the story “Global community mourns martyred “Charlie Hebdo” journalists” on Storify] ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
Share8TweetShareEmail8 SharesJanuary 26, 2016; Washington PostOn the heels of the U.S. Supreme Court decision for juvenile offenders on Monday, President Barack Obama has come forward with executive orders calling for the ban on solitary confinement for juvenile offenders. The Washington Post published an op-ed by the president in which he rehashes what many criminal reform advocates having been saying for years, not only about the detriment of overusing solitary confinement, but also the need to treat juvenile offenders differently from adult inmates:Last summer, I directed Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch and the Justice Department to review the overuse of solitary confinement across U.S. prisons. […] The Justice Department has completed its review, and I am adopting its recommendations to reform the federal prison system. These include banning solitary confinement for juveniles and as a response to low-level infractions, expanding treatment for the mentally ill and increasing the amount of time inmates in solitary can spend outside of their cells. These steps will affect some 10,000 federal prisoners held in solitary confinement—and hopefully serve as a model for state and local corrections systems. And I will direct all relevant federal agencies to review these principles and report back to me with a plan to address their use of solitary confinement.NPQ has written about the overuse and the damaging effects of solitary confinement, including the penchant for inmates who have been confined to solitary to reoffend if released. The UN reported in 2011 that just 15 days in solitary qualifies as torture. The longest serving American prisoner in solitary confinement has spent more than four decades alone—and he’s still there, despite efforts for his release.Obama and the DOJ’s recommendations do not say that solitary confinement should be eliminated entirely, but rather that it should be used sparingly and in certain situations, such as when its use is protecting the prison staff and inmate population. DOJ recommendations also indicate that the longest an inmate can be held in solitary confinement for a first offense is 60 days, not 365, as the rule currently stands. The recommendations say low offense inmates should not be held in solitary confinement at all, regardless if it’s their first or subsequent offense. Vox.com has a good delineation of further policy changes in the recommendations.Since Obama does not have authority or jurisdiction over state inmates, the changes would only impact federal inmates, of which only 26 are juveniles. However, he does say he hopes the changes will serve as a model and trickle down to states.The initial responses to the president’s op-ed have been positive, remarking on how his voice is a powerful one in the criminal reform effort.“It’s absolutely huge,” said Amy Fettig, staff counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union, on Obama’s call for changes to solitary confinement policies. “We rarely have presidents take notice of prison conditions.”While the police changes are limited to the federal level, states have adopted reforms to solitary confinement usage individually. According to the Washington Post, Illinois and Oregon have both had to respond to lawsuits and change their policies on housing mentally ill inmates in solitary. Last month, New York also announced a major effort to overhaul the solitary confinement usage in its prisons, in a $62 million lawsuit agreement with the New York Civil Liberties Union. While glacial, reform is taking place, and these recommendations will persuade states to clean up their prisons.“This is a game changer,” said Fettig. “There’s no question that the Bureau of Prisons is the largest, most influential prison system in the country. What they do has influence on what the states do and what’s considered best practice in the field. So to have them dramatically change their system, there’s no question that is going to be leadership that some states and local jurisdictions are going to follow.”The recommendations and the op-ed align with Obama’s efforts to enact criminal justice reform before he leaves office. He has said he wants to spend his last year in office addressing several issues, including mandatory drug sentences and helping ex-felons re-enter society. Particularly in light of the publicized shootings of young black Americans, criminal reform has permeated the social consciousness, a fact that Obama can capitalize on in reforms coming this year.—Shafaq HasanShare8TweetShareEmail8 Shares
Intelsat has successfully launched the Intelsat 22 satellite.The satellite took off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan this morning. It will provide C- and Ku-band capacity for media, government and network services customers in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Once operational in May, it will replace Intelsat 709 at 72° East and is expected to have a useful life of approximately 18 years.“Intelsat delivers broadband infrastructure everywhere, and the successful launch of Intelsat 22 delivers enhanced satellite capacity for telecommunications leaders in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe, such as the UAE’s Etisalat and Ethio Telecom of Ethiopia,” said Intelsat CEO Dave McGlade.
Distrify is launching movies from the UK Jewish Film Festival on its on-demand service.The festival is currently underway, is screening 81 Jewish films at venues throughout the UK.“Distrify was created as a distribution platform to help filmmakers find audiences and, equally important, to help audiences find films,” says Kobi Shely, Distrify’s head of marketing partnerships.Distrify will make the movies available, in full, on its on-demand service on a download to own or rent.Shely said he wants Distrify to expand its work around film festivals. “We want to see this model working with other festivals because helps a festival to capitalise on its brand and audience relationship and extend the value of its curation skills year-round. We see the UK Jewish Film Festival very much as a pioneer in the film festival arena.”
Jose TolosaThe international arm of US media giant Viacom has appointed Jose Tolosa COO. Tolosa replaces Pierluigi Gazzolo who shifted from COO to head of Lat-Am at VIMN last year.Tolosa takes up his new role with immediate effect, reporting to VIMN’s President and CEO, Bob Bakish, and will relocate from Miami to New York.Viacom said that Tolosa will be focused on accelerating the company’s international growth strategy, including extending its pay TV footprint in key growth markets and increasing TV everywhere and digital efforts.Bakish said: “Jose is one of the most strategic and forward-thinking executives I’ve worked with and is well-suited to assume the role of COO at this point in VIMN’s evolution.”Tolosa was senior VP, strategy and business development at VIMN from 2009-to-2013 before being upped to executive VP, strategy, business development and operations.
TalkTalk became the most complained-about UK pay TV provider in the second quarter, according to new stats released by broadcast regulator Ofcom.TalkTalk’s complaints volume increased from 0.12 per 1,000 customers in Q1 2015 to 0.14 in Q2, pushing BT into second place.BT, which was the most complained-about operator in Q1, saw a reduction in complaint volumes from to 0.15 in Q1 to 0.11 per 1,000 customers in Q2.“The only provider to generate fewer complaints than the industry average was Sky (0.01 per 1,000 customers), which remained the best-performing pay TV provider,” said Ofcom.Overall, the total volume of telecoms and pay TV complaints made to Ofcom continued to decrease in Q2 2015, even as the number of consumers taking up these services increased, according to the regulator.The latest report covered the three-month period from April to June 2015.
Deutsche Telekom-owned Croatian service provider T-Hrvatski Telekom has launched a promotional offer combining fixed internet and its MAXtv service for HRK1 a month for six months.In addition, customers who choose the company’s top-tier mobile tariff with a two-year contract will pay only HRK1 a month for the first six months.Customers who sign up for T-Hrvatski Telekom’s MAX2 and MAX3 packages and choose one of three top-tier TV services – HBO Premium, Pickbox of MAX Arena, will also pay only HRK1 a month for the first six months.