By Stelios OrphanidesCyprus posted a seasonally adjusted 16.1 per cent unemployment rate in January, the fourth largest in the European Union and third largest in the euro area, down from 16.4 per cent the month before and 15.7 per cent a year ago, Eurostat said today.You May LikeLivestlyChip 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 ArePopularEverythingUndoYahoo 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
Authorities in the north have arrested three men, a Turkish national and two Turkish Cypriots, suspected of smuggling Syrian refugees arriving from Turkey to the government-controlled areas through the north, reports said on Thursday.Phileleftheros, citing exclusive information, reported that the three men were arrested in the north a few days ago after Turkish Cypriot authorities have been collecting information on them for the past few months.The daily said the Republic’s authorities have been informed that the arrest took place a few days ago in the Morphou area when the Turkish man, believed to be the mastermind, had a meeting with the other two.The group are believed to have been smuggling migrants from the coast of Turkey to Cyprus and especially to the Tylliria and Chrysoschous areas, over the past two years.The two Turkish Cypriots were reportedly waiting for the boats arriving from the Turkish coast carrying refugees at the Limnitis beach in the north and were using torchlight to guide the vessels to the spot where the passengers would disembark and were then led on foot to the government-controlled areas.Even though this was not the only group organising such activities, the daily said, it is believed they were the main source for transfer of migrants to the Tylliria and Chrysochous areas.Cyprus police on Thursday told the Cyprus Mail they had no information on the case.You May LikePopularEverythingColorado 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 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
The foreign ministry on Monday expressed its sorrow over the death on Saturday, of former Ambassador Andreas Mavrommatis, who was “one of the leading figures of Cyprus diplomacy and a tireless advocate of the interests of Cyprus abroad”, it said.Mavrommatis, 86, it said, had left an “indelible mark” in the ministry of foreign affairs, having served there in a senior position from 1982 to 1989, and previously, from 1975 to 1978 he served as Cyprus’ Permanent Representative to the Office of the UN in Geneva. From 1979 to 1982 and from 1989 to 1992, he served as the Permanent Representative of Cyprus to the United Nations in New York.Mavrommatis also served as Vice President and then President of the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, and for many years as a member and later as chairman of the UN Commission on Human Rights. He was also elected to the position of president of the UN Convention against Torture committee, while was a UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iraq.He was also at various times over the years in Cyprus a minister of labour, the government spokesman, a judge, president of the media complaints commission and a negotiator on the Cyprus talks.His funeral will be held on Wednesday in Engomi, Nicosia.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 Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoPensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCypriot tycoon launches ‘Bank of Cannabis’Undoby Taboolaby Taboola
A 21-year-old man was seriously injured in a car accident in Vrysoulles on Friday night, police said on Saturday.According to authorities, the man was driving a quad-bike on Acheritou road in the town at approximately 8pm, when he lost control of the vehicle. He then hit into metal pole, and subsequently a pole belonging to the EAC.He was taken to Famagusta General in an ambulance, where doctors determined he had sustained serious head injuries.The 21-year-old is being kept in intensive care, as his condition is considered serious.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 AboutLivestlyUndoLonnyThis Is What A Lake House Looks Like When You’re A BillionaireLonnyUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoPensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCypriot tycoon launches ‘Bank of Cannabis’Undoby Taboolaby Taboola
A long-term legislative plan to fix the state’s roads and bridges by allocating more than $1 billion annually within the next four years has been unveiled by Michigan House Republicans.“I’m very pleased that the House has taken the initiative to begin this discussion,” said state Rep. Dave Maturen, R-Vicksburg. “We must continue to make roads a priority and help to advance a plan that works for all of Michigan.”The plan unveiled Wednesday places a special focus on ensuring that quality work is done by contractors. Rep. Maturen said that placing accountability on road builders is a vital part of creating a healthy infrastructure for a recovering economy.“From the perspective of economic development, we must keep roads in mind to foster our state’s growth,” Rep. Maturen said. “As a caucus, we are ready and willing to stay here as long as needed to ensure that this issue is resolved in a careful and accurate manner.”Committee discussion on the plan will begin as soon as possible.### 14May Roads plan unveiled by House GOP lawmakers Categories: Maturen News
10Feb Representative Johnson announces February office hours Categories: News,Steven Johnson News State Representative Steve Johnson invites residents of the 72nd House District to join him during local office hours:Monday, February 13thAllegan CountyBig Boy1180 W Superior St. in Wayland8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.Kent CountyMr. Burger1750 44th St. SE in Kentwood10:30 a.m. – 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.
12Dec Rep. Farrington supports credit freeze bill to protect Michigan residents from fraud Categories: Diana Farrington News,News State Rep. Diana Farrington today voted to advance a bill proposed by state Rep. Joseph Bellino, of Monroe, which offers residents the ability to request a free credit freeze.Placing a freeze on a credit report through a consumer credit-reporting agency reduces the risk of fraud. Those looking to impersonate an individual when trying to open a credit card, mortgage or additional form of credit are unable do so when a freeze is active, as lenders are unable to access or pull credit information.Fees can be charged by reporting agencies for each action that a consumer takes related to their credit report, such as one charge for imposing a freeze, another to discontinue it and additional fees if a freeze is needed to be put back in place.“The current method we have in place is nonsensical,” said Farrington, of Utica. “Less residents end up being protected because there will always be a percentage of individuals who feel something like this isn’t worth their money. That opens them up to fraudulent activity and we have seen it happen on a large scale. This is common-sense reform that ensures businesses are keeping private information safer for more consumers, especially when consumers have no say over who their information is getting shared with.”Nearly 700,000 people had private information stolen during a breach that impacted reporting agency Equifax from mid-May through July. Customers were asked to provide a database with information to verify their identities when disputing credit reports, including their driver’s license, Social Security number, address and bank information. That information was accessed in a cyberattack and available for fraudulent actions.Farrington, who chairs the House Financial Services Committee, was part of a unanimous bipartisan vote to advance the bill to the House floor on Dec. 6.
Share5TweetShareEmail5 SharesJune 24, 2015; Open Society FoundationsSandra Coliver reports for the Open Society Foundations that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden is unlikely to get the legal treatment he deserves if he were to return to the U.S. That is despite the Congressional enactment of the USA Freedom Act, which Coliver indicates validates Snowden’s disclosures.Across the Atlantic, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe passed a resolution that requested the U.S. “to allow Mr. Snowden to return without fear of criminal prosecution under conditions that would not allow him to raise the public interest defense.” According to Coliver, “that’s legalese for saying that he should have the opportunity, if prosecuted, to prove that the information he revealed was valuable for informing public debate. The prosecution would then have the burden of showing that the disclosures caused significant harm. The judge or jury would decide if the benefit outweighs the harm.” That is a public interest defense, the public interest benefit outweighs the harm, but Snowden faces prosecution under the Espionage Act, which doesn’t allow a public interest defense.Somehow, the U.S. isn’t owning up to the fact that Snowden faces prosecution for having revealed secrets about a program that violated the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution. Snowden would be prosecuted for having told the truth about the NSA when government officials straight-out lied in congressional testimony about the nature and scope of NSA surveillance activities. But Snowden wouldn’t be permitted to offer a public interest defense. It’s absolutely ludicrous. That’s basically the point of the Council of Europe resolution. Snowden performed a public service, but under the Espionage Act, he wouldn’t be allowed to present a case for it.If he did present a public interest defense, the government would have to specify the harm that Snowden’s revelations purportedly caused to national security. To date, information released by the U.S. government has failed to provide evidence that revealing the out-of-control nature of the NSA’s meta-surveillance activities damaged national security.Coliver concludes:“It would be unrealistic to think that the United States might allow Snowden or any other national security whistleblower to raise a public interest defense in the foreseeable future. But public awareness of the increasing acceptance for such a defense around the world could well contribute to efforts to promote greater attention to the public interest in classification and declassification decisions and, in general, to reduce secrecy concerning matters that should be the subject of informed and robust public debate.”That public awareness Coliver references might be important within the U.S. nonprofit sector as well. Defending citizens’ rights, defending democracy is part and parcel of what the nonprofit sector should stand for. Whether one likes or dislikes what Snowden did, his prosecution under the Espionage Act precluding a public interest defense violates what nonprofits typically believe.—Rick CohenShare5TweetShareEmail5 Shares
Share68Tweet14Share10Email92 Shares“D.C. Women’s March” by Liz Lemon. Public Domain.January 27, 2017; Washington Post and National GeographicA week after thousands of women and their families gathered at the Capitol to rally for women’s rights, anti-abortion advocates held the 44th annual March for Life on Friday, organized by the nonprofit March for Life and supported vocally by the Trump administration. The rally was eclipsed, at least in national headlines, by the many protests across the country popping up spontaneously over the weekend in response to the president’s executive orders pertaining to immigration issued last week.U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and administration advisor Kellyanne Conway addressed the pro-life crowds on Saturday, promising that President Donald Trump would end taxpayer funding of abortion and nominate a like-minded justice to the Supreme Court. The annual gathering saw renewed interest and energy with the election of Trump (who quickly reinstated the Global Gag Rule to stop nonprofits receiving federal aid from performing or promoting abortion abroad) and as a counter-protest to the Women’s March on Washington, which made headlines after several million people rallied across the world.After higher-than-expected attendance at the Women’s March on Washington, including the second-highest subway ridership in the Metro’s history, the Washington Post reported that the Metro had normal ridership over the weekend, although extra trains were added to prepare for the March for Life.March for Life organizers were characterized by the New York Times as feeling pressured to compete with the incredible Women’s March numbers from the week before. Official crowd numbers were not available, but Students for Life posted a two-minute time-lapse video of the march from the Washington Monument to the Capitol.Meanwhile, it seems that the success of the Women’s March—and the rolling thunder of the Trump administration’s executive orders over the past week—has sparked renewed interest in civic engagement. In today’s social media age, millennials in particular have been accused of “slacktivism,” as online petitions and hashtags flourished but organizers didn’t see a similar interest in real action.Now, scientists are speaking out and getting ready to stand up, with a March for Science in Washington in the works. As NPQ reported last week, several rogue Twitter accounts were set up by the National Park Service and the Environmental Protection Agency after Trump’s administration ordered a media blackout.“Since the election, there’s been a kind of boom of efforts by scientists to look for ways to constructively engage in anticipation of…what the [president] and others on his team have said about climate change and other issues,” says Peter Frumhoff, the director of science and policy at the Union of Concerned Scientists. “Many thousands of scientists are engaged and energized…by a desire to do something constructive and fear that the worst may be yet to come.”The March for Science invitation on Facebook already has nearly 300,000 likes, and the official website promises a date to be announced soon for supporters to join the rally for “the responsible application of science to government.”As National Geographic reported:Doubters of science in general date to Galileo. Climate scientists have been an outspoken voice for as long as the government has been studying climate science… But the speed and ferocity with which controls on science appeared in the opening days of the Trump administration set off the fury on Twitter and inspired scientists from Maine to California to join a scientists’ march on Washington.But will peaceful protest actually create change under the new administration? The #NoBanNoWall movement might be a timely test. ThinkProgress recorded more than 50 protests at airports, congressional offices, and city squares over the weekend. Although President Trump didn’t appear to personally back down from his order, Politico reported that “a growing number of Republican lawmakers came out Sunday in opposition to his refugee directive” and a White House official said people with green cards could return to the United States.All of this “showing up” is also accompanied by other kinds of action (see feature), making the actions financially impactful and continuous. But there is no doubt that showing up counts.—Anna BerryShare68Tweet14Share10Email92 Shares
Digital switchover begins in London this week with the switch-off of BBC 2’s analogue transmissions, with other channels to follow on April 18.The London switchover is the last significant part of the UK’s digital switchover process, which kicked off six years ago.John Cresswell, CEO of Arqiva, which has managed the switchover process, said: “ The switchover to digital TV is a television landmark for the UK, giving everyone a greater choice of TV programmes than they’ve ever had before. At completion in October it will have involved more than 1,200 man years of effort and the construction of five new TV masts, one the height of 70 double-decker buses. In only five years, we have transformed this vital public service into a modern platform that is delivering the best of British TV into over 20 million homes across the UK and meeting the evolving TV viewing needs of the UK population.”
Italy’s Mediaset is increasing the scope of its cost-cutting plan, according to wire reports.Quoting union officials, the reports said that the Berlusconi family controlled broadcaster will increase the scope of savings to be made under the three year plan by 60%, meaning total cuts of about €400 million. The commercial broadcaster is suffering the effects of a depressed economy and a decline in advertising sales revenue.
French cable operator Numericable has launched new social TV features on its LaBox advanced set-top.LaBox subscribers can now scan a QR code on the TV screen with their smartphone to interconnect their set-top with Twitter or Facebook.Numericable has also enabled a feature called ScreenshotTV whereby users can take screengrabs from Twitter and Facebook and share them on their TV screens.Other features of Numericable’s recently launched LaBox include the ability to distribute cannels to tablets via WiFi and to display home media on the TV.Numericable has also said it will launch 200Mbps internet services via fibre-to-the-building networks in Lyon, Marseille and Nantes sometime in the next few months. The service is already available in Paris.
UK cable operator Virgin Media has added 21 new channels to its TV Anywhere multiscreen service taking the total number of channels available on the service to 66.Virgin Media is adding new channels from BSkyB, Channel 4, Discovery Networks, NBC Universal, Turner Broadcasting and Viacom International Media Networks to its multiscreen line-up.The complete list of new live channels comprises Animal Planet, Cartoonito, Channel 4, Discovery Channel, Discovery History, Discovery Home & Health, Discovery Science, Discovery Shed, Discovery Turbo, Dmax, I.D., More 4, Viacom’s MTV, Nick Jr and Nickelodeon, Quest, Sky 2, Sky Arts 1, Sky LivingIt, Syfy and Universal Channel, with Discovery’s TLC to join when it launches in the UK on April 30.The Viacom and Sky channels are currently only available on PCs, with the remainder also available on Apple iOS devices to Virgin Media TiVo subscribers.The majority of Virgin Media’s TV Anywhere channels are available live online and on iOS devices, with a minority providing on-demand services only.Scott Kewley, Virgin Media’s multiscreen product director, said: “We know our customers love being able to watch whatever they want at a time that suits them, and by adding 21 live channels to Virgin TV Anywhere at no extra cost we’re also enabling them to watch their favourite shows wherever they want too. Whether our customers are looking for something to keep the kids happy, an enthralling drama or a cutting-edge documentary, the new line-up on Virgin TV Anywhere really does have something for everyone.”
More than 75% of MPEG-DASH deployments are due to take place either the second half of 2013 and the first half of 2014, according to a new study by the DASH Industry Forum. Based on a survey of major European broadcasters, the forum found that much of this adoption is expected to take place under the HbbTV 1.5 standard, with the majority of deployments due to take place in the second half of this year.The biggest challenge noted was the availability of DASH clients – which are expected to be largely available in the second half of 2013 – while the availability of content packaging tools was the second biggest concern.Live and on-demand services will be offered by almost all European broadcasters using the standard, while time-shifted content delivery will be deployed by half of them, according to the survey.DASH allows delivery of both non-protected content and content encrypted with multiple concurrent DRM schemes. The polled broadcasters indicated that while some content will be delivered without DRM, Playready and Marlin were the two DRM solutions that they were considering most, followed by Widevine and Verimatrix.
Liberty Global shares rose sharply yesterday on speculation that Vodafone could use cash freed up by its exit from the Verizon Wireless joint venture in the US to acquire the international cable giant. Liberty Global shares rose by almost 4% in late trading, peaking at US$79.14 (€59.58) a share before closing at US$78.59, after Macquarie Equities analyst Amy Yong published a note speculating that Verizon could use some of the cash freed up by an agreement to sell its stake in the US venture to bid for Liberty Global.“Given the need for scale and scarcity of European cable assets, there are likely significant synergies in a Vodafone-Liberty Global combination,” said Yong in the note.Vodafone and Liberty Global recently competed to bid for Germany cable leader Kabel Deutschland, with Vodafone emerging as the winner. Liberty Global already owns the other major regional operator in Germany, Unitymedia Kabel BW.The note came after yesterday’s confirmation by Vodafone that it is in talks with US telco Verizon over the sale of its 45% stake in the wireless joint venture. According to recent reports, Verizon could have to pay a massive US$130 billion for the stake.“Vodafone notes the recent press speculation and confirms that it is in discussions with Verizon Communications Inc. regarding the possible disposal of Vodafone’s US group whose principal asset is its 45% interest in Verizon Wireless,” said Vodafone in a statement. It added that “there is no certainty that an agreement will be reached”.
The BBC Trust is to change the way that temporary BBC services are approved.Under the new arrangements, proposals for temporary services, which must not exceed 28 days in duration and must keep within existing budgets, will still be subject to any necessary regulatory assessment, including an assessment of their significance, but this will be carried out by the BBC Executive Board, not the Trust.The BBC will be required to publish annually a list of the temporary services it plans to introduce, and publish further information about each service 28 days before it launches.The Trust will still have the right to approve, suspend or close a temporary service if it considers that there are grounds for such action in any particular case.The Trust said the change is consistent with the commitments made by the BBC Trust and BBC Executive in the joint governance review published in December 2013.Examples of temporary services include the Radio 5live Olympics Extra service which broadcast on a temporary basis during the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Leading Russian pay TV operator Tricolor TV has begun testing a new audience measurement system from its technology supplier GS Group.The TAM people-meter, developed by GS Group ad sales unit Agency 2, has been launched in test mode, with a view to a commercial launch early next year.According to GS Group, Agency 2 has developed a TAM system that significantly improves the accuracy of the data on the TV audience volume, TV viewers characteristics and their preferences. Resulting analytical data will be a subject to the regular international audit by independent media authorities.GS Group said the new people-meter would enable Tricolor TV to measure viewership on smaller channels where the ‘affinity index’ is exceptionally high, allowing more targeted campaigns and enabling advertisers to reach an additional audience, as well as enabling the operator to make additional revenue from advertising on its range of HD services.Russia’s current audience measurement system only measures audiences in cities with over 100,000 people, and a group of media organisations are currently in the process of tendering for a replacement.Agency 2 has already deployed 1,050 devices, with about 5,000 to be installed in the course of the year.“Advertisers need a quality toolkit that will allow them to manage investments in TV advertising effectively. Only a peoplemeter system, which best suits the current situation on the Russian market and takes into account its continuous development, can become such a tool,” said Ilya Sorokin, general director of Agency 2.
By 2020, the average person will watch TV and video content at least once a month on 2.13 devices, up from 1.14 in 2010, according to Digital TV Research’s Multiscreen TV & Video Forecasts report.By 2020, 3.98 billion people will watch content via a PC or laptop over a fixed broadband connection; up by 80% on 2013, according to the report. Smartphones viewers will total 1.53 billion people; triple the 2013 total. Tablet viewers will be 1.10 billion by 2020; five times the 2013 total. Although it will continue to be the dominant device, both by viewers and by duration watched, TV sets’ share of total viewers will fall from 73% in 2010 to 42% in 2020.According to the report global gross multiscreen viewers – with one individual watching video on two devices defined as two ‘viewers’ – will reach 11.32 billion by 2020, up from 5.6 billion in 2010.In these terms, China will have 2,890 million ‘viewers’ by 2020, up from 1,483 million in 2010. India will supply a further 2,347 million by 2020. India will add nearly one billion gross viewers between 2014 and 2020, with China adding 897 million.“By 2020, the average person will watch TV and video content [at least once a month] on 2.13 devices, up from 1.14 in 2010 and 1.53 in 2014 – to put it another way, people will view content on more than two devices in 2020, up from just over one in 2010. Australia (2.88) will be the leading country by viewing devices per person in 2020. In fact, 13 countries will be above 2.80,” said report author Simon Murray.
Telefónica and Disney have struck an agreement that will bring all of the Star Wars movies to Movistar+ subscribers in Spain.The deal, signed by Walt Disney Company Spain and Portugal CEO Simon Anselem and Movistar+ and Telefónica Spain director Ignacio Fernández Vega at the San Sebastián film festiva, will see the Spanish telco bring all Star Wars movies to its customers, including Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens, immediately after its theatrical release on December 18.Telefónica is also creating a dedicated pop-up channel, Movistar+ Star Wars, which will air content related to the movies including documentaries in the series over a two-week period ahead of the release of the new movie.
YouTube contributed a “meagre” 4% of music sales and streaming revenue last year, despite representing nearly 20% of total music consumption, according to a damning report by the BPI. The British Phonographic Industry (BPI), which represents the UK’s recorded music industry, accused YouTube of profiting at the expense of artists and called on the UK government to “fix music’s ‘value grab’”.According to the BPI’s stats, there was an 88% rise in music video streaming last year, though these pure ad-supported platforms, of which YouTube is the dominant player, generated just £24.4 million.This compares to £146.1 million contributed by audio streaming services like Spotify, while total music industry revenues last year came to £688 million – a dip of 0.9%.“The fact that sales revenues dipped in a record year for British music shows clearly that something is fundamentally broken in the music market, so that artists and the labels that invest in them no longer benefit fairly from growing demand,” said BPI chief executive, Geoff Taylor.“Instead, dominant tech platforms like YouTube are able to abuse liability protections as royalty havens, dictating terms so they can grab the value from music for themselves, at the expense of artists. The long-term consequences of this will be serious, reducing investment in new music, making it difficult for most artists to earn a living, and undermining the growth of more innovative services like Spotify and Apple Music that pay more fairly for the music they use.“In 2015, UK fans streamed almost twice as many music videos as the year before; tens of billions more views. Yet artists and labels did not benefit from the increased demand for what they created. This is wrong.”The BPI described 2015 as a “stellar year” for British music, with UK artists accounting for roughly one in every six albums sold worldwide – a 17.1% global share.