Mexico Manhunt on after drug lord El Chapo Guzman escapes

first_imgGuzman climbed down a hole 10 meters (30 feet) deep that connected with a tunnel about 1.7 meters (5 feet-6 inches) high that was fully ventilated and had lighting, said National Security Commissioner Monte Alejandro Rubido said.Authorities also found tools, oxygen tanks and a motorcycle adapted to run on rails that they believe was used to carry dirt out and tools in during the construction.The tunnel terminated in a half-built barn-like building in a farm field, according to radio transmissions among authorities, who cordoned off the structure that sits atop a small rise with a clear view of the prison.One woman who lives near the barn-like structure where the tunnel emerged, said outsiders bought the surrounding land about a year ago and immediately started building. The woman, who did not want to be identified for fear of reprisals, said that her son had been employed as a construction worker on the surface buildings and that the builders paid well.Guzman faces multiple federal drug trafficking indictments in the U.S. as well as Mexico and he was on the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s most-wanted list.After Guzman was arrested on Feb. 22, 2014, the U.S. said it would file an extradition request, though it’s not clear if that happened. Sponsored Stories FILE – In this Feb. 22, 2014, file photo, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, head of Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel, is escorted to a helicopter in Mexico City, following his capture overnight in the beach resort town of Mazatlan. Mexico’s security commission said in a statement late Saturday, July 11, 2015, the top drug lord Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman has escaped from a maximum security prison, the second time he has fled after being captured. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo, File) How men can have a healthy 2019 MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico mounted an all-out manhunt Sunday for its most powerful drug lord, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, who authorities said escaped from a maximum security prison through a 1.5-kilometer (1 mile) tunnel from a small opening in the shower area of his cell.The elaborate underground escape route, allegedly built without the detection of authorities, allowed Guzman to do what Mexican officials promised would never happen after his re-capture last year — slip out of one of the country’s most secure penitentiaries for the second time. “This represents without a doubt an affront to the Mexican state,” President Enrique Pena Nieto said while on a previously scheduled trip to France. “But I also have confidence in the institutions of the Mexican state … that they have the strength and determination to recapture this criminal.”Guzman’s escape is a major embarrassment to the Pena Nieto administration, which had received plaudits for its aggressive approach to top drug lords. Since the government took office in late 2012, Mexican authorities have nabbed or killed six of them, including Guzman.If he is not caught immediately, Guzman lord will likely be back in full command and control of the Sinaloa Cartel in 48 hours, said Michael S. Vigil, a retired U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration chief of international operations.“We may never find him again,” Vigil said. “All the accolades that Mexico has received in their counterdrug efforts will be erased by this one event.”Thirty employees from various part of the Altiplano prison, 55 miles (90 kilometers) west of Mexico City, have been taken in for questioning, the federal Attorney General’s Office said. He finally was tracked down to a modest beachside high-rise in the Pacific Coast resort city of Mazatlan, where he had been hiding with his wife and twin daughters. He was captured in the early morning of Feb. 22, 2014, without a shot fired.Before they reached him, security forces went on a several-day chase through Culiacan, the capital of Sinaloa state. They found houses where Guzman supposedly had been staying with steel-enforced doors and the same kind of lighted, ventilated escape tunnels.___Associated Press writers Cristian Kovadloff in Toluca, Mexico, Maria Verza in Almoloya, Mexico, Christopher Sherman in Mexico City and Alicia A. Caldwell in Washington contributed to this report.___Katherine Corcoran on Twitter: Eduardo Castillo on Twitter: © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. It was difficult to believe that such an elaborate structure could have been built without the detection of authorities, though photographs show the corrections facility surrounded by construction, with large open ditches and lots of metal drainage pipes that could have camouflaged such a project.Guzman’s cartel is known for building elaborate tunnels beneath the Mexico-U.S. border to transport cocaine, methamphetamines and marijuana, with ventilation, lighting and even railcars to easily move products.He was first caught by authorities in Guatemala in 1993, extradited and sentenced to 20 years in prison on drug-trafficking-related charges. Many accounts say he escaped in 2001 in a laundry cart, although there have been several versions of how he got away. What is clear is that he had help from prison guards, who were prosecuted and convicted.During his first stint as a fugitive, Guzman transformed himself into arguably the most powerful drug trafficker in the world. His fortune was estimated at more than $1 billion, according to Forbes magazine, which listed him among the “World’s Most Powerful People,” ranked above the presidents of France and Venezuela. Comments   Share   Men’s health affects baby’s health toocenter_img When the escape was discovered late Saturday, a widespread manhunt began immediately for Guzman, whose cartel is believed to control most of the major crossing points for drugs at the U.S. border with Mexico.Guzman’s Sinaloa Cartel empire stretches throughout North America and reaches as far as Europe and Australia. The cartel has been heavily involved in the bloody drug war that has torn through parts of Mexico for a decade, taking an estimated 100,000 lives or more.Guatemala’s Interior Ministry said a special task force of police and soldiers were watching its border with southern Mexico for any sign of the fugitive drug lord.To the north, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch issued a statement offering “any assistance that may help support his swift recapture.”Associated Press journalists near the Altiplano prison saw roads being heavily patrolled by federal police, with numerous checkpoints and a Black Hawk helicopter flying overhead. Flights were suspended at Toluca’s international airport near the penitentiary in the State of Mexico, and civil aviation hangars were being searched.Guzman, who is 58 according to Interpol, was last seen about 9 p.m. Saturday in the shower area of his cell, according to a statement from the National Security Commission. After a time, he was lost by the prison’s security camera surveillance network. Upon checking his cell, authorities found it empty and a 20-by-20-inch (50-by-50 centimeter) hole near the shower. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies The Mexican government at the time vehemently denied the need to extradite Guzman, even as many expressed fears he would escape as he did in 2001 while serving a 20-year sentence in the country’s other top-security prison, Puente Grande, in the western state of Jalisco.Then Mexican Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam told the AP earlier this year that the U.S. would get Guzman in “about 300 or 400 years” after he served time for all his crimes in Mexico.He dismissed concerns that Guzman could escape a second time. That risk “does not exist,” Murillo Karam said.Mexico’s extraditions of drug suspects to the United States have dropped under Pena Nieto’s administration, with Mexico preferring to try them at home.Rep. Filemon Vela, a Democrat from Texas, wrote that Mexico’s failure to extradite Guzman and other figures facing charges in the United States “is an insult to the law enforcement and prosecutorial personnel who have worked for years to build criminal cases against these drug profiteers.”“The United States needs to exercise stronger diplomatic muscle” to ensure Guzman and others are sent north to face charges, Vega wrote. 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Top Stories Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywalllast_img read more

Republic of Turkey updates eVisa application rules

first_imgIndian nationals having the supporting document (visa or residence permit from Schengen or from the U.S., UK and Ireland) are eligible for Turkish e-Visa. Turkish e-visa is equivalent to the sticker visa issued at Turkish missions.E-visa kiosks at any airports in Istanbul will not be available after October 28, 2018. One needs to get e-visa before departure to Turkey and those with not a valid U.S., UK, Ireland and Schengen visa, can apply at the consulate.Turkish e-visa is only valid when the purpose of travel is tourism or commerce. For other purposes, such as work and study, the Turkish Embassy or Consulates will issue the visa.All Indian passport holders travelling to Turkey will have to procure the visa before departure. Going forward, there will be no visa-on-arrival service in Turkey.last_img read more

Cloud Technology Developed for Loan Applications

first_img in Headlines, journal, News, Technology May 29, 2019 288 Views Cloud Technology Developed for Loan Applications Using AI and rules engine, PerfectLO assists borrowers in completion of the loan application and then builds a smart checklist for them. Secondary and tertiary level questions that do not live on a 1003 are presented to borrowers through a unique, unintimidating approach.  LendingPad LOS will then import completed applications automatically so that MLO’s and processors use the information to complete the loan process through closing.Both systems are cloud-based, which allows loan officers to easily work remotely. Both products are built by former mortgage executives who understand where the pain and slowdowns happen on the front and back end of the loan process.”We both understand technology and built this integration together to allow our mutual clients to focus on mortgages and give them the ability to spend more time selling and the technology to close loans faster,” said Derek Malila, President of PerfectLO.”LendingPad is proud to be at the forefront of lending technologies by working with powerful platforms like PerfectLO to enhance the loan origination process,” said Wes Yuan, LendingPad’s Managing Director. “Our mutual customers will enjoy LendingPad’s award-winning cloud-based LOS to streamline lending operations and PerfectLO’s comprehensive suite of Point-of-Sale tools for borrowers and originators.”The Virginia-based PerfectLO developed an interactive questionnaire that finds every detail through the loan process. It provides a detailed document checklist to the borrower based on their answers, text/email milestone notifications to clients and agents, and an easy to read document for the LO with all of the borrower’s answers. A Document Center for securely downloading and uploading documents between the Borrower and LO is also included. PerfectLO works in every language and queues up the questions in the borrowers preferred language.Residential mortgage professionals created LendingPad’s innovative LOS to help lenders make better lending decisions, provide exceptional user experience, and enhance individual originators’ ability to succeed.  Leveraging a cloud infrastructure, LendingPad offers origination features that streamline the origination process while lowering the total cost of mortgage lending. center_img AI cloud technology Tecnhnology 2019-05-29 Mike Albanese Sharelast_img read more

July 27 2018

first_imgJuly 27 , 2018 From the pages of Produce Business UKAt the end of 2017, Tesco pledged to end edible food waste by March 2018, becoming the only UK retailer to no longer waste food fit for human consumption.With 6,553 stores serving 50 million shoppers each week, the supermarket chain now claims that less than 1 percent of food at Tesco is indeed wasted. To make this a sustained reality, it works with farmers and suppliers to adjust crop specifications as well as local charities and community groups through their Community Food Connection programme.According to a recently released supermarket scorecard done by London-based campaign and research group Feedback Global, Tesco ranked No. 1 among the top 10 UK retailers for its food waste initiatives. Feedback Global lauded Tesco for being:• The first supermarket to publish third party audited food waste data. • The first supermarket to sign up to the Sustainable Development Goal of halving food waste from farm to fork by 2030. • Committed to extending transparency to include measurement of food waste in its supply chain. • Significantly increased quantity of food redistributed to people in need; donating 7975 tonnes in 2017/17 representing a 40 percent increase on the previous year.With the third quarter of 2018 underway, Tesco is continuing to take its pledge seriously. Off with the ‘Best Before’ labels In June, Tesco announced it will remove the “best before” label date off approximately 70 fruit and vegetable lines. The fruits and vegetables include popular items such as apples, potatoes, tomatoes, lemons and other citrus fruit and onions — all perfectly edible food that is thrown away daily throughout the UK. To put this into perspective, the produce waste nationwide amounts to 35 percent of the national food waste. The move comes as a result of the label’s confusing indications, as well as the detrimental effects of throwing edible food in the bin. Originally, retailers introduced ‘best before’ labels in the UK to put on foods as a quality indication to show that although food is no longer at its best, it is still good to eat. According to The Food Standards Agency, “the best before date, sometimes shown as BBE, is about quality, and not safety. The food will be safe to eat after this date but may not be at its best.” But the labeling seemed to confuse UK consumers. A recent campaign by the National Federation of Women’s Institutes (NFWI) challenged the actual meaning of “best before” by putting out a survey to 5,000 of its members. It found that less than half of respondents understood what “best before” means, and 90 per cent of respondents are happy to buy fruit and veg that is imperfect, regardless of whether it is cheaper. In another study by London-based market research company Mintel that surveyed 1,500 UK consumers, two-thirds said they rely on their own senses – such as smell, taste and sight – rather than dates to decide if a product is still suitable to eat. Tesco’s solution: Let’s get rid of the labels “We know some customers may be confused by the difference between ‘best before’ and ‘use by’ dates on food and this can lead to perfectly edible items being thrown away before they need to be discarded,” says Tesco head of food waste Mark Little. “We have made this change to fruit and vegetable packaging as they are among the most wasted foods. Many customers have told us that they assess their fruit and vegetables by the look of the product rather than the ‘best before’ date code on the packaging.” The industry is turning heads at Tesco’s bold move.  U.K.: Tesco trials removing plastic from fruit and … David Moon, The Waste and Resources Action Programme’s (WRAP) head of businesss collaboration says, “This change by Tesco provides a good opportunity to learn about the customer response, and we anticipate Tesco will share their findings. “With all fresh produce, appropriate storage including use of the refrigerator is essential in giving the customer more time to use their food, so clarity of storage advice on pack and in-store will be vital. Through the Courtauld Commitment 2025, WRAP is working with the food and drink sector to review all the evidence on date labeling for fresh produce and agree on best practices.” Green days for lemonsTesco’s labeling is the second grand initiative by the supermarket chain this year to reduce food waste. Lemon shortage in the UK has become a growing concern. Caused by a significantly reduced end-of-season volume in Spain — from where the UK gets the bulk of its lemons until the end of spring — and a huge jump in demand in the UK by nearly 10 percent, lemons are becoming sparse. To help reduce the potentially overwhelming loss of lemons, Tesco has put a greener version of the fruit on its supermarket shelves, introducing South African lemons — that usually hit the UK market in June – a few months earlier, in their green days. The green fruit is still as crisp and zesty, despite the color difference.Not only are the green lemons perfectly edible, they actually last longer, gaining approximately two days’ shelf life as they turns yellow, and becoming a natural food waste reducer.Tesco citrus fruit buyer Savia Weidinger explains: “These greener lemons that we now have on sale are already mature and perfect tasting inside but need longer for the skin to turn yellow. “With the South African crop that happens towards the end of June as evenings cool which helps the fruit to color up. The move not only means that shoppers will again be easily able to buy a fruit that is growing in popularity, but they will gain extra freshness.”The greener lemons are now available in 800 Tesco stores across the UK.Tesco’s track record on food wastage initiatives Tesco’s commitment to reducing food waste began in 2016, when the supermarket launched its ‘Perfectly Imperfect’ range of wonky fruit and vegetables — a produce line, including apples, pears, potatoes, parsnips, cucumbers, courgettes, strawberries and frozen mixed berries, that were perfectly edible but didn’t look as perfect and glam as the others.The results: Exceptional popularity with customers. Their perfectly imperfect strawberries quite literally flew off the shelves, accounting for 15 percent of its total strawberry sales.  Tesco also has worked to absolve the high supply that can occur from crop flushes — when an unexpected bumper crop of say, strawberries, happens. To make sure all the strawberries got sold, Tesco marked them at leading price points in kilo boxes.Finally, Tesco’s Community Food Connection programme, launched in 2016, in partnership with food redistribution charity FareShare and social enterprise FoodCloud, connects Tesco stores to local charities and community groups, enabling the supermarket to redistribute food that is left over at the end of the day. What’s more, food that is not taken by charities, is offered to colleagues, dramatically reducing food going in the bin.In a May 2018 press release, Tesco declared it collectively donated 7,975 tonnes of food (19 million meals) to almost 7,000 charities from their stores and distribution centers nationwide. U.K.: Greenyard Frozen and Tesco announce new part … U.K.: Tesco adds plant-based meals to its meat ais … You might also be interested inlast_img read more

Cavusoglu zero guarantees and troops is a pipe dream

first_imgAnyone who dreams of zero Turkish guarantees and troops in Cyprus need to wake up because it will never happen, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu was quoted as saying on Tuesday.According to CNA, Cavusoglu was giving a speech at the Turkish National Assembly during the budget debate.“I remind those who dream of zero guarantees and zero troops. Let’s wake up from this dream, let it go, such a thing will never happen,” he was reported to have said.He called for “honest efforts” to reach a Cyprus solution and accused the Greek Cypriots of not meeting Turkey’s “sincere efforts” half way.“Now there is no question of starting negotiations just to talk. We will define what, why, in what parameters, in what context will we discuss,” he added.On hydrocarbons, he said, Turkey’s position is clear. “We now have a drilling rig. We are not only surveying, we are drilling, and we will continue to take the necessary measures with our ships and troops.”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 roadUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoThe Deniz boat incident showed clearly the intentions of the Turkish sideUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

Suspect schemes for wind farms

first_imgInsufficient reasoning, missing documents and seemingly arbitrary government decisions are just some of the findings in an Audit Service report released this week on government subsidies for renewable energy sources (RES), focusing primarily on wind farms.The report, which was the result of an administrative probe, found that final government decisions on the subsidy schemes, under which the state has undertaken to subsidise all of the electricity produced by licensed investors in RES at fixed prices for anywhere from 15 to 20 years, deviated from the suggestions of experts almost invariably in favour of the investors, often without reasonable justification.The subsidies are, in part, funded by a ‘green tax’ of 0.5 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) on electricity consumption, collected by the state-owned Electricity Authority (EAC) and paid into the state’s RES fund. The rest of the subsidy is financed by the EAC in the form of its ‘avoidance cost’, which is basically what it costs the power company to produce a kWh in any given month. Obviously, the lower the EAC’s cost of production (that is, the avoidance cost), the more strain is placed on the RES fund, as it has to cough up more to investors producing ‘green’ electricity.Thus, with the EAC’s avoidance cost at very low levels due to unusually low oil prices (unofficially estimated at 5 cents per kWh for 2016, down from over 11 cents – considered the viability threshold for the RES fund – and a peak 16 cents in July 2012) the RES fund now has a €22 million shortfall, which the government wants to cover by temporarily almost tripling the ‘green tax’ on electricity bills to 1.35 cents per kWh consumed.The main decisions for the schemes in question were made in late 2008, following a March 2007 European Union decision for member-states to produce 20 per cent of their energy needs through RES by 2020. A study by Athens Metsovian Polytechnic professor Arthouros Zervos in November 2007 proposed, among other things, subsidy levels for wind farms and photovoltaic parks.For wind farms, the study recommended subsidies from 10.8 to 14.2 cents per kWh, depending on the sums of own-money invested (i.e. excluding borrowed capital), in order to meet the goal of 12 per cent internal rate of return (IRR), set by the European Union.For PV parks, given similar parametres, the proposal was for subsidies to range from 41.2 to 48.9 cents per kWh.Following months of deliberations, a cabinet decision in December 2008 set feed-in tariff rates – subsidies per kWh – for various RES schemes (contracts valid for 20 years) at 16.6 cents for wind, 36 cents for PV up to 20 kW and 34 for PV from 21 to 150 kW, 26 cents for solar thermal, 13.5 cents for biomass, and 11.45 cents for biogas.Auditor general Odysseas MichaelidesBut crucially, auditor-general Odysseas Michaelides’ report said a previously proposed clause for the reduction of the wind-farm tariff by 0.5 cents every four years was left out of the cabinet decision – meaning the wind-farm price was locked at 16.6 cents for the entire duration of the 20 years.“According to the Permanent Undersecretary of the Energy ministry, a signed copy of a study on the creation of a plan to support RES electricity-production systems, prepared by a ‘group of experts’ in September 2008, could not be found (an unsigned copy was found), nor is it known which individuals comprised the group, other than the fact that they represented the ministries and departments involved, nor were any minutes from the group’s sessions found,” Michaelides said.“Not keeping this essential information on file, on such a crucial issue, is unthinkable and unacceptable.”This study’s proposals were used as the basis for a ministerial committee’s final recommendation to the cabinet, which was subsequently adopted in full – minus the 0.5 cents reduction every four years in wind-farm tariffs.“The crucial difference of the cabinet’s decision with the ministerial committee’s recommendation relates to the feed-in tariff for wind-farms, since it does not include the clause for a tariff reduction of 0.5 cents every four years,” Michaelides said.“No document supporting the removal of the clause has been found in department files. It is our view that the handling of an issue as serious as this was substandard, since the recommendation of the group of experts was removed without any argumentation.”Additionally, Michaelides found a clause initially recommended by the experts capping subsidized wind-farm power production at 1,500 kWh per year, with renegotiation of the terms of the subsidy deal every four years if annual average production exceeded the cap, was amended in the final cabinet decision, raising the cap to 1,750 kWh and limiting any renegotiation to a possible minimum of 1,500 kWh. In other words, renegotiation can only be permissible if a wind farm produces more than a per-year average 1,750 kWh after four years, and the new deal cannot limit the subsidy to less than 1,500 kWh.“The amendment of the renegotiation clause in the final subsidy scheme has effectively tied the RES fund to paying 16.6 cents per kWh for 20 years for the sum total of energy produced by wind farms, since only one (out of six licensed and operational) has exceeded the cap of 1,750 kWh per year,” Michaelides said.Meanwhile, the only argument backing the government decisions found by the Audit Service was that the scheme had to be attractive enough for investors to take on large projects, as previous efforts to encourage wind farms as early as 2004 had failed to attract interest.However, Michaelides found, the main reason for the previous scheme’s failure had been the fact that by 2008 the Cyprus association of wind-farm energy (SAEK) had “made overtures to have the feed-in tariff increased”, and thus “all interested investors waited for the new subsidy schemes before investing, which would have brought them more profits”.In light of these findings, the auditor-general suggested that the only way out of the ironclad contracts signed might be the actual rate of return the wind-farm owners enjoy on their investments, which, in about half of the cases exceed the “12 to 13 per cent” mark the European Union set as a reasonable return before approving Cyprus’ subsidy scheme.“I couldn’t say – if there were overtures to anyone, I wasn’t part of them,” wind-farm owner Makis Ketonis told the Cyprus Mail.“But, anyway, there is nothing wrong with the government listening to stakeholders on any given issue.”Ketonis feels that the Michaelides report has unfairly focused on wind energy, painting a misleading picture.“Photovoltaics, which I love and believe could be the answer to future energy needs, actually cost the RES fund four times as much as wind energy does – per kilowatt hour,” he said.“Why the auditor-general has chosen to attack wind energy like this, I have no idea. But it’s generally easy to judge after the fact, in hindsight.”Personal and professional indignation notwithstanding, the RES fund has a big hole in it, and the money needs to be found somewhere. In a letter dated July 2, 2009, approving Cyprus’ proposed subsidy scheme, the European Commission said that “if the funds raised through the [‘green tax’] levy should prove insufficient to finance the scheme, the State will cover the balance”.“We want everything for nothing in this country,” Ketonis said.“Everyone is asking why Germany or Italy don’t have shortfalls in their RES funds. But Germany has a green tax of 7.5 cents per kWh, and we have half a 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 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 Taboolalast_img read more

McCready bill fights for consumer protections when buying or adopting pets

first_img Measure will set new standards for breedingState Rep. Mike McCready recently introduced legislation to better protect both consumers and animals by requiring large-scale commercial dog breeders to register with the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.House Bill 5095 also establishes guidelines to help ensure the humane treatment and health of both the dogs and puppies and defines large-scale breeding kennels as a facility with over 15, but not more than 50, females.“We have seen too many sad stories recently about animals being kept in unsafe or inhumane conditions by people simply looking to turn a profit,” said McCready, R-Bloomfield Hills. “The majority of breeders in our state maintain clean, safe facilities and breed healthy dogs, but the few that do not must be held accountable. This legislation will ensure the health of dogs and cats up for adoption while also protecting the families looking to bring home a new pet.”Michigan Humane Society President and CEO Cal Morgan applauded the introduction of the bill.“Michigan’s compassionate residents expect that facilities breeding puppies will provide humane care and treatment of all of their animals,” Morgan said. “House Bill 5095 will go a long way to ensuring that those large commercial breeders are adhering to basic standards of care that are already in place for animal shelters like MHS.”The bill also changes requirements for pet shops, animal shelters and large-scale breeders when importing and selling animals, prohibiting the import or sale of animals less than 8 weeks old. Vaccinations, inspections and proper documentation would also be required under the legislation.“It’s important to make sure facilities across the state are following the same guidelines,” McCready said. “Getting a new pet should be a fun and exciting experience, not one that brings additional vet bills with it because of improper care or missing vaccinations.”HB 5095 also creates standard hold times for animals brought in to a shelter and establishes a record-keeping system for shelters and breeding facilities.The measure was referred to the House Regulatory Reform Committee.### 24Oct McCready bill fights for consumer protections when buying or adopting pets Categories: McCready Newslast_img read more

Rep Cox water lien extension bill passed by House

first_img Categories: Cox News 24May Rep. Cox water lien extension bill passed by House A bill introduced by state Rep. Laura Cox, R-Livonia, to increase the number of years a municipality can collect on a lien that has been placed on a property due to unpaid water bills was passed today by the Michigan House of Representatives.In the state of Michigan, under the Municipal Water Liens Act, a water lien can be enforced for no more than three years before it is dismissed. Under House Bill 5113, this period of enforcement would be extended from three years to five.“Several municipalities have expressed that three years is not enough time to act on these liens,” said Rep. Cox. “Allowing a greater period of time to act on these liens would provide greater flexibility to both a municipality and a property owner.”Rep. Cox says the issue was brought to her attention by a constituent who wanted to pay back a water lien but was unable because it had expired.“She wanted to do the right thing and that’s commendable,” said Rep. Cox. “I want to ensure that in the future individuals are given the chance to do so.”The bill now moves to the Senate for further consideration.###last_img read more

Rep Hooker hosts Byron Township public safety director for 911 ceremony

first_img Todd Szakacs, public safety director of Byron Township, was the guest of State Rep. Tom Hooker for the House of Representatives’ annual 9/11 ceremony Thursday at the state Capitol.“I appreciated having Todd Szakacs in Lansing as we honored all first responders,” said Rep. Hooker, R-Byron Center. “These are the people that are protecting our families and homes during the most difficult of times. They each deserve to be honored.Szakacs was among the guests as House members invited first responders and military members from their respective districts to the noon event, which included the ringing of a ceremonial bell for each of the 15 Michigan-based law enforcement, fire department, emergency medical personnel and members of the military who lost their lives in the line of duty since Sept. 11, 2015. Family members of the deceased were also in attendance. 09Sep Rep. Hooker hosts Byron Township public safety director for 9/11 ceremony Categories: Newslast_img read more

Rep Bermans transparency plan approved by Michigan House

first_img Categories: Berman News,News 19Mar Rep. Berman’s transparency plan approved by Michigan House Legislation extends open record requirements to governor, LegislatureState Rep. Ryan Berman’s plan to make state government more accountable to the people of Michigan was unanimously approved today by the Michigan House, 107-0.Berman, of Commerce Township, said Michigan is one of just two states that still exempts its governor and state legislators from open records laws. His legislation is part of a bipartisan plan to end these exemptions and increase transparency in state government.“Government exists to work for the people, and residents can’t have faith in their government if it fails to set an example of openness and honesty,” Berman said. “We must make sure people have all of the information they need to hold us accountable.”The proposal will subject the governor and lieutenant governor to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and hold state representatives and senators to the same high standard by creating the Legislative Open Records Act (LORA).While LORA mirrors FOIA in many ways, there are exemptions for constituent inquiries to ensure that personal information is protected and kept private. Other communications lawmakers have with state departments and lobbyists would not be exempt.House Bills 4007-13 and 4015-16 now advance to the Senate for consideration.last_img read more

New Report Exposes Clevelands Pattern of Excessive Police Force

first_imgShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares December 5, 2014; Cleveland Plain DealerAmid waves of countrywide protests against police brutality, the U.S. Justice Department has released a damning report on the continued misconduct of Cleveland’s police, highlighting issues that have become prominent across the states in recent weeks.The 58-page document paints a depressing picture of a police department that has run wild with the power entrusted to it. Examining nearly 600 use-of-force incidents from 2010-2013 along with thousands of related documents, the investigation found that a host of systemic problems and practices run throughout the department: insufficient accountability, inadequate training, ineffective policies, and inadequate engagement with the community.The report was the result of a two-year investigation into the Department’s use-of-force practices, which have been frequently criticized. Officers have frequently fired at suspects without justifiable cause, used excessive force on the mentally ill, and beat helpless suspects that had already been handcuffed—sometimes as punishment. The report further detailed the extreme and unnecessary use of guns, Tasers, pepper spray, and physical force as commonplace.“The use of force by police should be guided by a respect for human life and human dignity, the need to protect public safety, and the duty to protect individuals from unreasonable seizures under the Fourth Amendment,” the report said. “A significant amount of the force used by Cleveland police officers falls short of these standards.” The report also mentioned the city for failing to adequately investigate and discipline the officers involved in using excessive force.Cleveland’s population is 53 percent black and 37 percent white—a reverse image of the imbalance in its police department, which is 65 percent white and only 25 percent black.The report is particularly significant after last week, when Staten Island grand jury decided not to indict the officer responsible for the death of Eric Garner, and just over two weeks after Missouri’s grand jury failed to indict the white police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown. The questions brought to the fore surrounding racial profiling and police brutality are particularly painful in Cleveland where, just more than a week prior, 12-year-old Tamir Rice was shot and killed by police as he held a pellet gun. The incident caused widespread anger and peaceful protests throughout the city.These cases have starkly highlighted the delicacy of our liberty, freedom, and democracy. The systemic bias that has evidently penetrated the U.S. criminal justice system has exposed the fine and fragile line between assertive and repressive policing, and makes clear the need for reforms throughout this institution. The recent protests have made clear the widespread hope for a new political reality, and perhaps the report can be viewed as the first step to acknowledging these difficult questions.U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, for one, took a constructive attitude. “The reality is that there are problems, but I also think the people of Cleveland should have a sense of hope…that these problems have been identified and that they can be rectified.”—Hannah ButlerShareTweetShareEmail0 Shareslast_img read more

More homes in Europe now receive TV services via s

first_imgMore homes in Europe now receive TV services via satellite than terrestrial or cable networks, according to SES.The satellite operator’s Satellite Monitor report for 2011 found that 84 million TV homes in Europe used DTH as their primary TV reception mode, a rise of 22% in four years. Terrestrial TV services were received by 79.4 million homes, down 5% on 2010, while cable services were delivered to 69.2 million homes, a decrease of 3%. IPTV services saw a 33% increase in homes, but accounted for just 16 million in total.Satellite is also the leading digital infrastructure, reaching nearly 44% of all 186 million digital TV homes in Europe. The digitisation rate for satellite is 97%, compared with 70% for terrestrial reception and 48% for cable.According to SES, the main growth markets for satellite in 2011 were the UK, Germany, Ukraine, Poland and Italy.“This success confirms our view that satellite reception is the most attractive and future-proof mode for households to watch TV”, said Norbert Hölzle, senior-vice president commercial Europe. “The trend in Germany, where satellite overtook cable for the first time in history, is confirmed in the UK as well as in Europe overall, where satellite outgrew the other reception modes. The number and variety of channels, the quality of the broadcast, and the large reach of satellite remain compelling arguments for households to decide for a satellite dish.”SES’s Satellite Monitor is based on more than 62,000 interviews, conducted by market research institutes under the lead of TNS Infratest, Germany.last_img read more

UPC Poland has launched its digital TV and broadba

first_imgUPC Poland has launched its digital TV and broadband internet services in the city of Kraśnik in south-eastern Poland.The move means that Kraśnik residents will be able to access on-demand services and high-speed internet at speeds of up to 150Mbps. UPC offers about 170 digital channels, includuing HD, sports and movies packages.last_img

Zappware will exhibit at ANGA COM on Stand R9 Hal

first_imgZappware will exhibit at ANGA COM on Stand R9, Hall 10.1 Home operating platform provider SoftAtHome has teamed up with interactive TV specialist Zappware to build a next-generation platform for cable operators. SoftAtHome’s SOP5 software for set-top boxes and home gateways will be integrated with Zappware’s Nexx, its latest TV User Interface, which supports features including animation and gesture control.The new solution will be HTML5-based and will help cable operators tackle the challenges of IP migration, according to the pair.“By adding SoftAtHome’s embedded software expertise to our Design capabilities, we are excited to bring the most innovative solutions for the TV User Experience to the cable market,” said Patrick Vos, Zappware’s CEO.“Our new joint offering, with a pre-integration of our widely deployed SOP5 software platform and Zappware’s feature-rich Nexx, vastly reduces time-to-market for new cable TV deployments,” said Michel Degland SoftAtHome’s CEO.last_img read more

Bert De Graeve is to succeed Frank Donck as indepe

first_imgBert De Graeve is to succeed Frank Donck as independent chairman of Belgian cable operator Telenet.Liberty Global-backed Telenet has named De Graeve and Stéfan Descheemaeker as new independent directors of Telenet Group Holding, subject to confirmation by the company’s shareholders’ meeting on April 30.De Graeve represents IDw Consult while Descheemaeker is the representative of SDS Invest.Three of the company’s four independent directors – Donck, Alex Brabers and Julien De Wilde – will see their mandate conclude on April 30.The new board is expected to comprise 10 members, including three independent directors.last_img

Russian pay TV operator Orion Express has signed a

first_imgRussian pay TV operator Orion Express has signed an agreement with Discovery Networks CEEMEA to carry the latter’s Eurosport 1 HD and Eurosport 2 HD.Orion Express will distribute the two channels in the Russian and CIS markets from the Horizons 1 satellite at 85° East. The agreement is the development of an existing carriage deal signed in September 2014.The deal follows a September agreement whereby Orion Express agreed to distribute Discovery Channel, TLC, ID Extra and Animal Planet.Orion Express currently offers about 250 channels via the Horizons 2, Intelsat 15 and Express AM-5 satellites at 85° East and 140° East, having added 80 services in the course of last year. The operator has set a target of 300 channels by the end of this year.last_img

Multichannel networks Endemol Beyond UK and Channe

first_imgMultichannel networks Endemol Beyond UK and ChannelFlip are to continue operating separately under the Endemol Shine UK umbrella.The two companies come from different sides of the Endemol Shine Group merger, with Endemol Beyond UK previously part of Endemol and ChannelFlip part of Shine Group.As part of a restructuring Endemol Shine UK executive producer Jules Fuller has been named creative director of ChannelFlip, taking control across the firm’s digital programming, with Jamie Lennox stepping down from the post alongside commercial director Matt Rook early this summer.Lennox and Rook plan to launch a new venture. Details of this will follow in “due course”, according to Endemol Shine.Caroline Reik becomes director of branded content at Endemol Shine UK, working across both brands, with Endemol Shine UK commercial director Laurence Jones in charge of both companies.“ChannelFlip and Endemol Beyond have outstanding teams in place which encompasses the entire spectrum of creative digital programming, talent management and brand partnerships,” said Jones.“Jamie and Matt have done a fantastic job helping shape ChannelFlip in their roles, and in the last few months bringing the company under one roof. They are leaving the business in great shape for Jules and Caroline, who have the commercial and production experience to step into these new roles as part of an enhanced digital offering.”Fuller, who joined Endemol Shine subsidiary Initial in 2004 after running music net Channel [V] and launching Turner’s Indian kids net Pogo, and Reik, who joined Endemol Shine UK last year, report into Jones.Elsewhere, Riyad Barmania has been promoted to ChannelFlip’s content director.Endemol Beyond UK is part of Endemol Beyond, Endemol Shine Group’s digital arm which launched in November 2013. Its slate includes digital shows such as ICON UK, Rule’M Sports and Legends of Gaming.ChannelFlip became part of Shine in January 2012. It has around 180 channels and 20 million online subscribers. Lennox and Rook have been running the company since the departure of managing director Claire Tavernier last year, who in turn had replaced co-founders Justin Gayner and Wil Harris.The changes are latest the mass restructuring that’s taken place since Europe-based production giants Endemol and Shine pacted with US-based Core Media Group to create the world’s largest non-studio content group at the turn of the year.last_img read more

Multichannel network BroadbandTV is to partner wit

first_imgMultichannel network BroadbandTV is to partner with Bertelsmann stablemate music publisher BMG on an initiative to push the emerging artists to YouTube and digital audiences.The two firms have created Windfall, which they say is “a model set for the digital age, providing an end-to-end solution to find, develop, and service artists across all platforms”.In practice, RTL Group-owned BBTV will create professionally-produced programming for emerging BMG artists, which will then be piped through managed digital channels – both free and premium. BMG will provide rights management and other music-related services.BBTV will also monitor the careers of emerging YouTube music stars, as part of a push to double its size in online music channels network.The MCN already operates two leading YouTube music-themed channels, hip hop network Opposition and EDM net WIMSIC. Select stars from these networks will be given the opportunity to join Windfall.European broadcast group RTL first invested n BBTV back in US$36 million (€33 million) to take a 51% majority share.BBTV turned acquirer earlier this year, paying an undisclosed amount for kids-focused YouTube content producer YoBoHo. It alsooperates also owns gaming vertical TGN and female-focused lifestyle brand Kandesa.RTL’s MCN stable comprises BBTV, currently the world’s third largest MCN by SocialBlade statistics, StyleHaul, SpotXchange and Divimove.BBTV also manages fan-uploaded content related to FremantleMedia-owned properties such as American Idol, The Price is Right, Got Talent, Baywatch and The X Factor.European conglom Bertelsmann owns FremantleMedia, BBTV parent RTL and BMG.last_img read more

TiVo has unveiled the BOLT a 4K settop box that

first_imgTiVo has unveiled the BOLT+, a 4K set-top box that includes six tuners, 3TB of recording capacity and is due to launch in the US later this week.The device, which is the latest addition to TiVo’s BOLT family of set-top boxes, will retail for US$499.99 and is described by TiVo as a “best-in-class, all-in-one entertainment device”.“With the TiVo BOLT+, our goal is to deliver the best DVR ever sold to consumers and continue to deliver a product with features that provide great value for our resell partners. The 4K TiVo BOLT+ is the all-in-one video system people have been waiting for,” said Ira Bahr, general manager of TiVo retail products.“The ultimate multi-room video set up, TiVo BOLT+ eliminates some of the install hassle resellers run into including expensive matrix switchers, while providing the unified entertainment features that users have come to expect and are excited about.”TiVo will showcase the BOLT+ at Dallas-based trade show CEDIA 2016 this week and will start selling it nationally in the US from September 15.last_img read more

Middle East SVOD provider Icflix is extending its

first_imgMiddle East SVOD provider Icflix is extending its reach in Kuwait by striking a deal with local telecom operator Viva.Under the terms of the agreement Viva Kuwait customers will be able to sign up for Icflix for a monthly fee of KD2.40 (€7.42) with a one-month free trial, or a weekly subscription of KD0.70. The offers are available to both pre-paid and post-paid Viva customers.The deal means that Viva customers will be able to watch content including Arabia’s first teen female superhero animated series Duna, Arabic movies including L’Orchestre De Minuit, Fatima and I Am Najoom: Aged 10 and Divorced, and Hollywood titles including The Last Days on Mars, American Hustlie and The Prince.“This partnership with Icflix, preeminent internet streaming provider in the region, reaffirms our continued commitment with our customers to keep them up-to-date with the latest in media and technology and to meet their expectations and aspirations,” said Viva’s corporate communications director, Abdulrazzaq Al-Essa.“We are glad to be partnering with Kuwait’s fastest-growing and most developed telecom operator, Viva, who will ensure their customers receive the best of Icflix content with ease and uncompromising quality whether it’s at home or on the go on their smart phones or tablets,” said Amine Lalami, chief commercial officer, Icflix.last_img read more