At the OAS General Assembly last week, the participating foreign ministers asked the Court to present its findings after a recent visit to Nicaragua, where more than 145 deaths and 1,000 injuries have resulted from anti-government protests, according to the Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights (Cenidh).Leaders of the opposition to Ortega’s government said Tuesday that nearly 70 percent of the country’s roads have been blocked to protect cities from attacks by pro-government paramilitary groups. Related posts:Truth Commission calls for support to investigate violence in Nicaragua Nicaraguan government and opposition agree on road map for talks Carlos Fernando Chamorro, a journalist who fights Ortega’s regime in Nicaragua La Prensa publishes blank front page to protest Nicaraguan government Fed up: Nicaragua’s uprising WASHINGTON, DC – As Nicaraguans and people of Nicaraguan descent protested once more in San José, Costa Rica, against the regime of President Daniel Ortega, Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado called on the government of Nicaragua to follow the recommendations of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR).In a speech before the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) in Washington, DC, Alvarado said that timely action by Ortega is “indispensable” because the situation there “is worsening every day.”“More and more deaths take place, and this difficult situation demands clear signs of true willingness by all parties to engage in dialogue and commit to a work schedule,” Alvarado said, adding that the situation in Nicaragua is “the cause of daily concern and consternation” for Costa Ricans. Facebook Comments Nicaraguan crisis leaves vital street market with economic bruises
Just five days before the end of the year, Miami International Airport (MIA) ended 2013 on a high after reaching the 40 million passenger milestone for the first time in its 85 year history, setting a new record for the fourth year in a row. “Hitting the 40 million mark – with half of that total being international passengers – speaks to MIA’s staying power as one of the top international hubs in the world and our strategy this year has been to aggressively seek out new international carriers to solidify our position as a truly global airport,” Miami-Dade aviation director Emilio T. González said. Source = ETB News: L.B. Since it welcomed its 35.7 millionth passenger in 2010, MIA’s annual passenger traffic has risen by more than 12 percent and since 1 December 2013, has seen more than a further 3.1 million passengers, including a new record of 139,940 passengers in one day on 21 December.
The Arizona Cardinals entered their 10-minute draft window with quarterback Josh Rosen on the roster. And after taking Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray first overall, Rosen remains a Cardinal for the time being.It appears Arizona has “no issues” keeping it that way unless it gets a “suitable” trade offer for Rosen, reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter.Trade talks involving Rosen seem to be minimal, as Schefter reported the only teams Arizona has spoken to in about a month regarding the quarterback are the New York Giants and the Miami Dolphins. He reported after Murray’s selection that the Los Angeles Chargers were also in contact with Arizona about Rosen. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling 33 Comments Share Top Stories Arizona Cardinals2019 Draft BoardRoundPick #PlayerPos.11Kyler MurrayQB21Byron MurphyCB230Andy IsabellaWR31Zach AllenDE41Hakeem ButlerWR51Deionte ThompsonS61KeeSean JohnsonWR66Lamont GaillardC734*Joshua MilesT735*Michael DogbeDE740*Caleb WilsonTE* = Compensatory Selection© STATS – 2019 – / 52 Earlier on Thursday, Schefter discussed Rosen trade possibilities on Boston radio station WEEI 93.7 FM.Related LinksArizona Cardinals pick QB Kyler Murray 1st in 2019 NFL DraftPink pinstriped Kyler Murray, swaggy Devin Bush win NFL Draft red carpetBlake Shelton kisses rather than strangles Cardinals GM Steve Keim“They do not have a trade and they do not have anything close to a trade,” Schefter said. “The only two teams that they’ve spoken to over the last few weeks, last month, has been the Miami Dolphins and the New York Giants.”He added that the Cardinals spoke to the Los Angeles Chargers “maybe a month ago,” but LA is not interested..@AdamSchefter joined @MutWEEI @GerryCallahan & @AlexReimer1 this morning & discussed the possibilities of Daniel Jones or Josh Rosen going to the Pats tonight: pic.twitter.com/Skf5gn4W7x— Mut & Callahan (@MutCallahan) April 25, 2019The Cardinals and Dolphins have not had contact “in days,” Schefter said.Miami signed veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick in March shortly after trading Ryan Tannehill to the Tennessee Titans.Fitzpatrick is a capable journeyman but no franchise quarterback. The Miami Herald reported the Dolphins are “very serious about possibly trading” for Rosen and have talked to Arizona, though it was “unclear how far that conversation went or when it happened.” Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen drops back to pass against the Seattle Seahawks during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 30, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren) Schefter believed the Giants were waiting to see how the draft unfolded before getting into serious conversation. Sure enough, New York selected Duke quarterback Daniel Jones with the No. 6 pick.It’s unclear what the Cardinals will do and what lies in store for Rosen’s future.Schefter confirmed, though, that no deal was imminent at the time of the Thursday morning radio appearance, and there appears to be no change since.“If there was a team that wanted Josh Rosen that badly, they would have traded for him on April 1 so he could go though the offseason program and the new offense and get familiar with that,” Schefter said. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo
Categories: Sheppard News 28Apr House panel approves Rep. Sheppard bill to support Michigan farmers Legislation gives preference to biobased products for state purchasesA bill introduced by state Rep. Jason Sheppard to ensure the state is supporting Michigan farmers was approved today by the House Committee on Agriculture.House Bill 4850 adds products certified as biobased by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to the list of items given preference when purchased for state government, if all other factors are equal. Biobased products are already given preference in the 2015-16 budget, and HB 4850 will codify the practice into law.“Purchasing biobased products helps support Michigan farmers who produce crops like soybeans and corn,” said Rep. Sheppard, R-Temperance. “In addition, biobased products are environmentally friendly because they are produced with renewable resources.”#####
State Rep. Jason Wentworth, R-Clare, takes the ceremonial oath of office administered by Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Stephen Markman on the House floor today.Joining the 97th House District lawmaker for the event, from left, were his wife, Heather; daughters Alexa, Makayla and Kiley; and his mother and father, Robin and Leonard.This is Wentworth’s first term representing Clare, Gladwin and Arenac counties, and much of eastern Osceola County. He can be contacted by calling 517-373-8962, emailing JasonWentworth@house.mi.gov or by mail at Anderson House Office Building, S-1286, P.O. Box 30014, Lansing, MI 48909. Categories: Wentworth News,Wentworth Photos 11Jan Wentworth sworn into office in Lansing
State Rep. Beth Griffin today announced plans to meet with residents of Southwest Michigan during her first scheduled office hours of 2018.“Hosting office hours throughout the district will continue to be one of my top priorities in 2018, “Griffin said. “These face-to-face meetings are a great way for me to be accessible and accountable to people in the community.”The office hours for January will take place at the following times and locations:Monday, Jan. 88:30 to 9:30 a.m. at Java Joint, 23890 City Center Circle in Mattawan;10:30 to 11:30 a.m. at South Haven Memorial Library, 314 Broadway St. in South Haven;1 to 2 p.m. at Hartford City Hall, 19 W. Main St. #1 in Hartford; and3 to 4 p.m. at Cooper Township Hall, 1590 D Ave. in Kalamazoo.No appointment is necessary. Those unable to attend are invited to contact her Lansing office by phone at 517-373-0839 or by email at BethGriffin@house.mi.gov. 02Jan Rep. Griffin hosts district office hours Categories: Griffin News,Griffin Photos,News
11Dec Chatfield, House approve plan forming new oversight panel for Line 5 tunnel Categories: Chatfield News,News State Rep. Lee Chatfield speaks in support of Senate Bill 1197 today before the Michigan House of Representatives.State Rep. Lee Chatfield said a plan approved today in the Michigan House with bipartisan support will protect the Great Lakes by providing the proper oversight for the new underground infrastructure corridor in the Straits of Mackinac.Chatfield, of Levering, said the plan creates a new, independent authority – not the Mackinac Bridge Authority – to provide oversight and take ownership of the new multi-use utility tunnel in the Straits. The new body will be called the Mackinac Straits Corridor Authority.“This is the best solution we need to protect our beautiful Great Lakes and ensure Northern Michigan families continue to have the resources they need to heat their homes,” Chatfield said. “This has been discussed for years, and doing nothing is not an option. It’s time to move forward.”Chatfield said Enbridge, not taxpayers, will pay for 100 percent of design, construction, operation and maintenance of the tunnel. Once the company reaches an agreement with the newly created Mackinac Straits Corridor Authority, the authority would own the tunnel and provide proper oversight, including a public, transparent process for ongoing operation of the tunnel.“When you consider that Enbridge has agreed to pay for the underground corridor at full cost, this is a no-brainer for the people of Michigan,” Chatfield said.Chatfield said he pushed to create an entity separate from the Mackinac Bridge Authority to oversee the tunnel after weighing feedback from Northern Michigan residents, as well as members of the bridge authority.“By creating an independent authority to oversee the tunnel project, we ensure the bridge authority can continue doing an outstanding job maintaining one of Michigan’s truest gems, the Mackinac Bridge,” Chatfield said. “That was extremely important to me, as well as the residents of Northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula.”The legislation, Senate Bill 1197, is expected to move to the governor for consideration later today.###
ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares August 4, 2014; EurekAlertAccording to a national study published yesterday in the journal Health Affairs, “For-Profit Medicare Home Health Agencies’ Costs Appear Higher And Quality Lower When Compared To Nonprofit Agencies,” not only do for-profit home health agencies charge more than nonprofits to Medicare, but their quality of care is worse, causing a higher level of repeat hospitalizations.Researchers at the City University of New York School of Public Health came to their conclusions after examining the Medicare Cost Reports of 7,165 home health agencies in 2010-2011 and the quality rankings from Medicare’s Home Health Compare database, which measures 9,128 agencies.Specifically, the researchers found that the operating costs at for-profit agencies were 18 percent higher, with two-thirds of the difference being charged to administration. The profits at for-profit agencies added 15 percent on top of operating costs, compared to a 6.4 percent surplus at nonprofit agencies.On the other hand, for-profits met each quality standard only 77.2 percent of the time, vs. 78.7 percent for nonprofits, and rehospitalizations occurred more frequently with clients of the for-profits—28.4 percent vs. 26.5 percent at nonprofits.In the South, where for-profit firms provide the overwhelming majority of care, the differences were even more extreme. Despite the fact that they do worse for more with a very vulnerable population, an astounding 88 percent of home healthcare agencies are for-profit businesses and they care for 81 percent of Medicare home care patients.Dr. Steffie Woolhandler, an author of the study, writes that “for-profit home care agencies are bleeding Medicare; they raise costs by $3.3 billion each year and lower the quality of care for frail seniors.”“Letting for-profit companies into Medicare was a huge mistake,” she continued, “that Congress needs to correct.”William Cabin, the study’s lead author, added, “While our study is the first to show that profit-making has trumped patient care in Medicare’s home health program, that’s no surprise. A large body of research on hospitals, nursing homes, dialysis facilities, and HMOs has shown that for-profits deliver inferior care at inflated prices…. Our findings show once again that the free-market, private-sector managed care model has failed.”Cabin believes that the industry might better serve the public if it were restricted only to nonprofits, as it was prior to 1980.—Ruth McCambridgeShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares“Dissonance” by Payton ChungSeptember 25, 2017; Vermont Public RadioIt’s called “the great wealth transfer”: $30 trillion in assets, 60 percent more than the nation’s annual gross domestic product, are expected to change hands as baby boomers pass on their wealth to their heirs. But where are these assets? The answer, it turns out, is that baby boomer assets permeate nearly every sector of the economy, including business ownership, home ownership, and commercial real estate ownership, such as manufactured housing (mobile home) parks, as Vermont Public Radio reports.Manufactured housing, often sited in mobile home parks, is kind of the Rodney Dangerfield of housing—it gets no respect. And yet, as a 2015 policy brief from Prosperity Now (at the time, CFED) notes, manufactured housing is “America’s largest single source of unsubsidized affordable homeownership in the country; it is the de facto source of affordable housing in many of the nation’s most persistent poverty regions and high-cost housing markets.”An estimated 17.5 million Americans live in manufactured housing, or about 9 million households. By contrast, only 1.1 million households in the United States are in public housing, and only about 4.5 million households receive any form of government housing subsidy at all. In other words, manufactured housing as a sector is twice as large as all federal housing assistance programs combined.For many, however, there’s a challenge that comes with living in manufactured housing: the lack of security of tenure. You may own your own home, but a good third of the nine million households that own manufactured homes do not own the land underneath, making them, as one real estate website puts it, “vulnerable to the whims of their land-lease owners to raise lot rents, change community rules, or order eviction due to a ‘change of use’ when the land becomes more valuable.”Decades ago, cooperative land ownership was developed as an alternative. Through a resident-owned cooperative, manufactured home owners can pool capital to gain control of and title to the land under their homes. In Vermont, according to a 2016 state report, at present there are 11 cooperatively owned mobile home parks (out of a total of 241 sites). Nationally, the ROC (Resident-Owned Communities) USA network has supported the creation of 200 cooperatively owned mobile home parks in 14 states.One reason why the number of co-ops is modest is simple: A co-op can’t buy the land unless the owner is willing to sell. What is happening in Vermont, though, is that as mobile home park owners age, far more are starting to look for buyers, and owners are increasingly entertaining selling the mobile home parks to current residents.In a normal year, only two or three mobile home parks in the entire state of Vermont might go on sale. But according to Jonathan Bond, director of the mobile home program at the Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity, eight mobile home parks are changing hands this year, with more expected to come on the market in coming months. Howard Weiss-Tisman, reporting for Vermont Public Radio, adds that:Bond says that as some mobile home park owners age and look to get out of the business of running a park, they are putting the land up for sale, and it is creating an opportunity for the residents to take over ownership.For park residents, when a park comes up for sale, it is their opportunity for potentially a generation to be able to purchase the park and have more control than they would ever have otherwise.Vermont law also encourages sales of mobile home parks to residents. Under Vermont law, “when a landowner wants to sell a park, the law says residents have to be told before a sale goes through, and the residents also get about five months to organize and make an offer.”An example of residents organizing to buy land is currently taking place at St. George Villa, a mobile home park about 20 minutes south of Burlington. With 120 mobile homes, it is one of the largest parks in the state. As Weiss-Tisman explains, residents found out about the fact that the park was going to be put up for sale “on the Friday before the July Fourth holiday weekend.” Backed by the Cooperative Development Institute, or CDI, a nonprofit that helps park residents work through the purchasing process, residents quickly organized and now hope to purchase the St. George Villa mobile home park and make it their own. Over the past six years, CDI has helped seven parks in Vermont become co-ops, and four more conversion efforts are in process.Brenda Thibault, a resident who has lived in the mobile home park for 23 years, confesses that she had never thought about cooperative ownership before. “But she, and the rest of the residents of St. George Villa, have been learning about the process over the past few months and the group is now moving ahead with a plan to purchase the property.”Weiss-Tisman adds that “Thibault acknowledges that there is a stigma around living in a mobile home park—while she knows the public at large may not change the way they think about the parks, she says that inside the park, owning the land and knowing it is yours will make all the difference.”“I don’t want it to be ‘that trailer trash place,’” Thibault says, “As a co-op, when we have a say, we can kind of change that.”The conversion is still under review, so it’s too early to know for sure if the deal will go through. Lining up financing is usually not a major obstacle, but the cost of needed upgrades sometimes can be. One positive sign is that residents seem to be determined to make it work.“We have good people that live here, and this is their goal and this is what they want,” Thibault says.—Steve DubbShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
Russian pay TV operator NTV Plus has added five new channels to its line-up.Youth channel 2X2 airs edgy series from the US, Europe and Asia, including Family Guy, South Park and The Simpsons.Music channel Europe Plus TV is a joint venture between Russia’s European Broadcasting Media Group and thematic channels distributor Red Media. It airs pop and chart music videos and programming from Russian and European artists.Healthy lifestyle channel Live! airs yoga, dance and aerobics classes, while educational channels Education and First Education offer arts and science programmes.
Greek pay TV operator OTE has launched a new low-cost package for its DTH service, including free decoder and satellite dish.For €14.99 per month, subscribers can access over 45 thematic channels, including 10 HD channels, along with domestic channels. OTE said the free decoder and satellite dish are worth €175.“OTE TV continues to enrich its product proposition with new competitive services and quality content designed to meet consumers’ needs,” the operator said.
International fashion and entertainment channel Fashion One has launched on Polish cable operator Inea’s network.The channel offers lifestyle news, celebrity profiles, holiday programmes and red carpet events.“We are excited to launch Fashion One with our valued partner, Inea, and provide contemporary viewers with quality programming that plays prominence to female-driven content in Poznan, Poland. Fashion One’s fashion related stylish variety content will definitely indulge the mind and senses of today’s cosmopolitan urbanites and be their choice of entertainment,” said Ashley Jordan, CEO, Fashion One.
A US federal appeals court has ruled that Netflix has been getting preferential treatment for the delivery of its TV series and movies through the post.The court agreed with video games delivery service Gamefly, which had complained that an extra charge was being levied by the US Postal Service for handling its deliveries because the material in question could not go through the automated sorting system.Netflix’s deliveries also bypass the system, but it has not been subject to the extra charge.The Postal Regulatory Commission must now come up with a fair system, the court ruled.However, Netflix stock rose in the immediate aftermath of the ruling as the Commission said that the amount the Postal Service charges to deliver its DVDs will not be increased for the time being.The Postal Service said the pricing structure it has for different clients were reasonable and fair and that it is studying the court’s decision. Netflix is the Service’s largest DVD delivery customer.
Swedish public broadcaster SVT has launched an open archive initiative to make its back-catalogue of programming available to the general public.The pubcaster says it ultimately aims to make over 10,000 hours of programming available via the oppetarkiv.se portal. Currently about 800 episodes of 200 different shows are available, and SVT has said it aims to add 50 new titles each month.The initiative will see a range of drama series, kids shows, entertainment programmes, documentaries and culture and sports events made available. The move follows changes to the law governing copyright and an agreement between SVT and the country’s rights organizations concerning the broadcaster’s self-produced programmes delivered before June 30 2005.The move is the latest in a series of digital initiatives by the Swedish broadcaster. In February, SVT made its complete line-up of five channels – SVT1, SVT2, Barnkanalen, Kunskapskanalen and SVT24 – available on the web.
Oasys Automated Playout Limited is due to launch and showcase its new line of playout software called Chameleon at IBC.The new product consolidates relevant Oasys software into a single configuration for a variety of channel playout requirements, the firm said.Chameleon is designed to adapt to the broadcast workflow environment in which it is deployed so that operating parameters for specific environment are configured to their most efficient use.“Chameleon is the best example yet of the flexibility and value-added strength of our software solution architecture. We believe it is the ideal way to ensure optimal performance and functionality, unique to every facility in which it is installed,” said Fraser Jardine, vice president of global sales at Oasys.Oasys said it will also use IBC to featuring its strategic partnerships with key broadcast vendors such as Loft London Solutions.Chameleon will present at IBC on stand 8.B16
Sir Howard StringerThe BBC’s governing body the BBC Trust said the corporation is due to undergo a major management shakeup, at the same time as it appointed former Sony chairman and CEO Sir Howard Stringer to its executive board.Announcing the conclusions of a governance review, the BBC said that there would be a series of changes to the working relationship between the BBC Trust and Executive, claiming that there is currently “confusion about who is responsible for what in certain key operational areas.”Part of the plans, which are due to come into effect on April 1, 2014, include a “radical reconfiguration” that will see 60% of the BBC’s pan-corporation boards removed. The Trust said this will “eliminate duplication, speed-up decision-making and ensure that all staff understand where responsibility lies.”The BBC said that it aims to establish greater separation between the Trust and Executive, with the Trust responsible for setting the overall strategic framework for the BBC and the Executive responsible for delivering this. This will mean that the Trust will no longer be involved in operational decision making, creating a “change in the working culture on both sides.”The BBC said that it will hire more non-executive directors, who will take six seats on the board rather than the current four. These non-exec directors provide external expertise and adopt a “more prominent public-facing role.”In line with this, the BBC said that Stringer will be joining the BBC Executive Board as a non-executive director from January 1, 2014, marking the first in the series of new non-exec appointments which will continue in the new year.“People don’t just expect the BBC to produce great programmes, they want it to be run well. While much has gone well in the past, the last 15 months have seen a number of significant failures,” said BBC Trust chairman Lord Patten.“As a result Tony Hall and I have agreed some very sensible changes to how the relationship between the Trust and Executive works, so we are clearer about who does what, and we are accountable and transparent. It means the BBC can get on with the job of running the BBC, and the Trust can rightly focus on holding the Executive to account on behalf of licence fee payers.”
OTT TV provider Viewster has seen the number of unique viewers for its mobile apps grow by 1,200% this year, according to the company. Viewster says that its Android app is now in the top 20 entertainment service apps globally and the number three app in Germany.Viewster’s iOS and Android apps now support Google Chromecast, while its mobile website is adaptively scaling for all screens, according to the company.
Canal+ Group-owned channel distributer Thema is launching its Motors TV channel on Dish Network’s OTT service, Sling International, in the US.As of this week, Motors TV will be included in Sling’s World Sports Package, alongside five other channels, which is charged at US$10 per month.“I am delighted that our Motors TV North Am channel is now available on the new OTT Sling platform’s World Sports Package, distributed by one of the main TV operators in the United States, DISH,” said Jean-Luc Roy, Motors TV founder and CEO.“This important agreement will give motorsport fans across the USA access to The High Speed Television Channel, the world’s first dedicated motorsport television channel, adding to its 32 million-strong subscribers across 42 European countries.”Sling International offers global programming from nearly 200 channels in 18 languages to US households. The service launched in August follows the rollout of the Sling TV over-the-top offering which launched earlier this year.
TV viewing time among people aged 16 to 24 dropped 7% year-on-year in 2015, though television still remains “by far the most popular form of video” for this age group, according to Thinkbox.The marketing body for commercial TV in the UK said that 16-24s watched an average of 2 hours, 24 minutes a day of TV in 2015 – just 10 minutes of which was watched on devices other than the TV.However, TV now only accounts for 57.5% of people in this age group’s total video viewing time, which averaged out at 3 hours and 25 minutes per day, according to the research.Those aged 16-24 also watched more than twice as much broadcaster VoD, YouTube and SVoD content compared to the average UK TV viewer.“Younger people are spending more time watching TV and other forms of video online thanks to screens like tablets and smartphones; 38% of 16-24s’ video viewing is on devices compared with 20% for all individuals,” said Thinkbox.Overall, the average TV viewer in the UK watched a total of 3 hours, 51 minutes of TV a day in 2015, 1% less than in 2014 but 5% more than in 2005, said the research.YouTube has grown as a proportion of total video in the last year, accounting for 4.4% in 2015 compared to 3.5% in 2014. Viewing of subscription video-on-demand services like Netflix and Amazon Prime also grew to 4% of total video in 2015, up from 2.3% in 2014.“These new figures show that TV dominates the video world for all age groups,” said Thinkbox CEO Lindsey Clay.“Today’s young people watch on-demand forms of video more than the generations before that didn’t grow up with them. This makes sense as they do not tend to have control of the TV set and so turn to their personal screens to watch what they want.“What is remarkable is that in the last decade, when so many new technologies and services have arrived that could have disrupted TV, TV viewing has remained so dominant.”
Michael ShaneBloomberg has upped its managing editor of Bloomberg Digital, Michael Shane, to the new role of global head of digital innovation.Shane will remain based in New York but will spend time in each region looking at new opportunities to grow audience, engagement, and revenue – focusing on six months to two-years or more into the future.According to a memo sent to staff by Bloomberg’s global head of digital, Scott Havens, Shane will also continue to partner with and work across many diverse teams – including editorial, product, engineering and sales – where he will help drive a “more aggressive slate of global innovation”.“Michael’s remit will also include business model and commercial innovation and he’ll have his keen eye on disruptive threats and opportunities that our industry poses,” said Havens.Shane joined Bloomberg in 2014, prior to which he worked at Vox Media, where he was part of the team that drove the growth of tech site The Verge.