The handshake between US President Barack Obama and Cuban leader Raul Castro at a memorial service for Nelson Mandela could provide an opening for an easing of ties between the Cold War foes, analysts say.Some however cautioned that the significance of the brief encounter in South Africa should not be exaggerated, noting that courteous gestures do not necessarily translate into policy changes after 50 years of enmity.“It’s extraordinarily symbolic, and this opportunity must not be missed. Now the next step is to start talking,” Cuban political scientist Esteban Morales told AFP.“What happened is a sign that the two countries are ready to negotiate.”Peter Schechter, director of the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin American Center in Washington, agreed but said the process could be a slow one.He said the gesture was “perhaps a telling sign” that Obama “may be willing to continue to implement small, incremental steps to engage with Cuba even if it comes with spending some political capital.”But he also emphasized that Obama had struck a “good balance” between openness and skepticism, by taking a swipe in his eulogy for Mandela at states like Cuba for claiming kinship with Mandela but eschewing his message of tolerance.“The handshake came with finger-wagging,” Schechter noted.The encounter at the stadium in Soweto between Obama and Castro involved the exchange of a few words, according to images broadcast on South African television.Deputy US national security advisor Ben Rhodes told reporters on Air Force One that the handshake was not “planned” and that Washington still had “grave concerns” about the human rights situation in Cuba and the continued detention of American Alan Gross.“The president’s focus was on honoring the legacy of Nelson Mandela,” Rhodes said.In Cuba, the official Granma newspaper carried the photo of Obama and Castro in its online edition, without comment.The government website Cubadebate.cu also ran a photograph of the moment with the caption: “Obama greets Raul: May this image be the beginning of the end of the US aggressions against Cuba.”The United States and Cuba have not had diplomatic relations since 1961, two years after Fidel Castro came to power in the Cuban revolution.Washington has imposed a strict embargo on the Communist-run island for a half-century, and Havana is on the US State Department’s list of sponsors of state terrorism along with Sudan, Iran and Syria.While Washington is incensed at the ongoing jailing of Gross, a State Department contractor who was sentenced to 15 years for crimes against the state, Cuba has railed constantly over the conviction of the so-called “Cuban Five” on espionage charges in 2001.Nevertheless, Obama has sought to lower tensions since taking office in 2009, easing restrictions on visas, remittances and travel.Last month, speaking at a fundraiser at the home of a Cuban-American activist in Miami, Obama said: “We have to continue to update our policies” toward Havana.“Keep in mind that when Castro came to power, I was just born. So the notion that the same policies that we put in place in 1961 would somehow still be as effective as they are today in the age of the Internet and Google and world travel doesn’t make sense,” he said.Arturo Perez-Levy, a professor at the University of Denver, said the importance of “a simple handshake must not be exaggerated,” recalling that former US leader Bill Clinton and Fidel Castro exchanged greetings in New York on the sidelines of a summit of world leaders in 2000.Frank Mora, director of the Latin American and Caribbean Center at Florida International University, agreed.“We should not read too much into this handshake. I don’t think that it is a signal of rapprochement or a change in US politics nor a change in Cuba policy,” Mora told AFP.Analyst Jorge Gomez Barata said the Obama-Castro handshake was simply a result of “Mandela diplomacy” – and a testament to the example set by the anti-apartheid icon and South Africa’s first black president.“Mandela did not know that such a meeting was going to occur… But he most certainly cleared a path that allowed for the avoidance of confrontation and created the basis for such an important meeting.” Facebook Comments Related posts:Freedom eludes Cubans Cuba’s Raúl Castro takes a big chance on currency reform Fonseca, Martínez embody new breed of Cuban music Venezuela’s Maduro said to cancel U.S. trip over Cuban plane
New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies How men can have a healthy 2019 Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Top Stories Sponsored Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean BERLIN (AP) — Prosecutors in Germany have indicted a 92-year-old former Auschwitz guard on charges of accessory to murder.German news agency dpa reported Wednesday the man has been indicted before a juvenile court in Hanau, near Frankfurt, because he was between 19 and 20 years old at the time of the alleged crimes.The suspect, who wasn’t named, is alleged to have played a part in the deportation of prisoners from Nazi transit camps in Berlin, Drancy in occupied France, and Westerbork in the occupied Netherlands. According to dpa, prosecutors say at least 1,075 of those prisoners were gassed to death shortly after arriving in Auschwitz. Comments Share Mesa family survives lightning strike to home The move comes on the same day a German court convicted former SS sergeant Oskar Groening of accessory to the murder of 300,000 Jews in Auschwitz.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The difference between men and women when it comes to pain
April 25, 2014 671 Views Home Equity Home Values Homes.com 2014-04-25 Tory Barringer Share Six New Markets Rebound Fully in February in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Headlines, News The number of markets around the nation that have seen home values recover fully rose by six in February, according to data from Homes.com.The company’s February Local Market Index, released Wednesday, shows annual home value gains in all 300 of the country’s top markets. For the ninth straight month, California dominate the list of the top 10 markets, with Los Angeles leading the way at an appreciation rate of 25.8 percent over the last year.Based on the month’s gains, three more of the top 100 largest markets have now achieved a full price recovery as of February: Salt Lake City, Utah; Albany, New York; and Chattanooga, Tennessee. The addition of those three metros—plus three others in Missouri and North Carolina—brings the total number of fully recovered markets on Homes.com’s list to 98.In addition, nearly two-thirds of the top 300 markets nationwide have rebounded more than 50 percent from their lowest price points since the crash.“February’s rebound progress illustrates how home prices in most markets across the country are appreciating, even in the depths of winter,” said Brock MacLean, EVP for Homes.com. “This is unusual given harsh weather conditions in most markets, but a positive sign as we enter peak season.”With more areas recovering to full health and more homeowners returning to positive-equity positions, MacLean says there’s greater hope for consumers to sell or refinance as the market stabilizes.Most of the top rebounding markets in February were in the South, including six in Texas, two in Oklahoma, and one in Louisiana (the exception being Pittsburgh).On the other hand, nearly all of the markets with the worst rebound percentages were located in states that have struggled since the crash, illustrating how far they still have to climb; out of the bottom 10, six were in Florida, two were in California, one was in Nevada, and one was in Massachusetts.
Go back to the enewsletterAlliance Airlines will offer seasonal scheduled services between Melbourne and Kununurra in the heart of Western Australia’s Kimberley region between May and August 2020.The thrice-weekly operation was announced by Alliance Airlines in partnership with Wyndham East Kimberley and the East Kimberley Marketing Group. Four years in the making, the venture aims to lure visitors from the Victorian capital to the northern region of Western Australia.Flights will be operated by Alliance Airlines’ Foker 70 aircraft, seating 80 passengers.Tourism Stakeholders at an event in Kununurra to celebrate the partnership – From left: Mollie Hill, Tourism WA; Alex Ananian-Cooper, National Charter Sales Manager, Alliance Airlines; The Hon Alannah MacTiernan, WA Minister for Regional Development ; Cr David Menzel, President of the Shire of Wyndham/East Kimberley; Michael McConachy, Chair East Kimberley Marketing Group and Angus Tandy, APT.The air service is supported by luxury tour and cruise operator, APT, who have committed to the pre-purchase of a substantial number of the available seats, providing greater access to their guests, the Shire of Wyndham East Kimberley said.“Alliance Airlines is pleased to be able to offer Victorian and south-eastern states travellers the ability to flydirectly to the famous Kimberley region, as well as providing direct and affordable air services for residents ofthe East Kimberley region to travel to Melbourne and other cities on the East Coast of Australia via ourpartnership with Virgin Australia,” said the regional airline’s CEO Lee Schofield.Paul Scurrah, CEO and Managing Director of Virgin Australia Group said: “We look forward to codesharingwith Alliance Airlines on this new route, allowing eligible guests to earn Velocity Frequent Flyer Points andStatus Credits. The Melbourne-Kununurra flight will also connect onto our extensive domestic andinternational network out of Melbourne.”Flights between Melbourne and Kununurra are expected to go on sale in the coming months through localtravel agents and via www.virginaustralia.comLead image: Lee Schofield, Alliance Airlines CEOGo back to the enewsletter
Categories: News 21Jan Local superintendent joins Rep. Bumstead for State of the State State Rep. Jon Bumstead, R-Newaygo, was joined on the House floor by his guest, Stiles Simmons (left), at the governor’s State of the State address. Simmons is the superintendent of Baldwin Community Schools in Lake County.The governor outlined his plans for his second term during the annual speech.###
State Rep. Triston Cole, R-Mancelona, today introduced legislation that will remove unnecessary regulations for morel mushroom enthusiasts to obtain a mandatory certification to be able to pick and sell morels to local businesses.House Bill 5532 will remove morel mushrooms from the food code that requires harvesters to be certified to sell.“Finding, picking and selling morel mushrooms is a favorite northern Michigan activity,” Rep. Cole said. “The 105th House District hosts two festivals a year, one in Boyne Falls (54th Annual Morel Festival in Boyne City will be held May 12-15, 2016.) and one in Lewiston (Lewiston’s Annual Morel Mushroom Festival & Spring Craft Show Saturday, May 7th, 2016) dedicated to morel mushrooms. Tourists flock to the very rural areas of northern Michigan to hunt for morel mushrooms. This brings a great deal of revenue to my district.”“I can still remember as a kid going mushroom hunting and selling buckets of morels to local restaurants. Under our state’s current law the government has made this an illegal practice. The commonality and unique identification of morel mushrooms make them ideal for exemption to this burdensome regulation and a mandatory certification course that costs participants $175 per class.”HB 5532 has been referred to the House Agriculture Committee. Tags: #SB, Cole, HB 5532, morel mushrooms Categories: Cole News,Featured news,News 24Mar Rep. Cole’s bill will allow morel mushrooms to be picked and sold without certification
WHY: State Rep. Peter Lucido. To discuss issues relevant to Utica Community Schools and hear thoughts and questions from the community. Topics will include school funding, safety, and security. He will be joined by Utica Community Schools administrators, teachers, parents, students, union representatives, and area state legislators. WHO: WHEN:Tuesday, March 27 at 7 p.m.; doors open at 6 p.m. WHAT:Town hall meeting on Utica Community Schools. WHERE:The Palazzo Grande, 54660 Van Dyke Ave. in Shelby Township. Categories: Lucido News 27Mar Rep. Lucido to host town hall
Share52TweetShare29Email81 SharesFebruary 13, 2016; Seattle Times and Education NextA study first published in January 2015, “The Effects of School Spending on Educational and Economic Outcomes: Evidence from School Finance Reforms,” by C. Kirabo Jackson, Rucker C. Johnson and Claudia Persico, sheds some light on a subject that has troubled many who are engaged in the effort to build a better public school system.John Higgins, the Seattle Times’ education writer, highlighted the study’s findings to look at the challenges faced by Washington legislators dealing responding to McCleary vs. State of Washington, a 2012 state Supreme Court ruling: “Washington’s lawmakers must devote more tax dollars to our public schools to meet their constitutional responsibility. How much more? The justices didn’t say. But the case presumes that more money will lead to a better education—and thus better college and life prospects—for every student in the state.”This goes against the conventional wisdom that says spending levels do not affect educational outcomes. That notion comes from a landmark study by John Coleman completed in 1966. As described by Jackson, Johnson, and Persico,Coleman found that variation in school resources (as measured by per-pupil spending and student-to-teacher ratios) was unrelated to variation in student achievement on standardized tests. In the decades following the release of the Coleman Report, the effect of school spending on student academic performance was studied extensively, and Coleman’s conclusion was widely upheld.Using data related to school districts where court actions mandated increased levels of educational spending, the 2015 study takes a fresh look at the question of how funding levels funding relate to educational outcomes. The researchers concluded, “Money alone may not lift educational outcomes to desired levels, but our findings confirm that the provision of adequate funding may be critical. Importantly, we also find that how the money is spent matters. Therefore, to be most effective, spending increases should be coupled with systems that help ensure spending is allocated toward the most productive uses.”The study also found that children from low-income families benefited from increased spending in a dramatic way. Students in districts where spending increased by 10 percent each year over the 12 years of public school “earned about 13 percent more at age 40, on average.”The researchers found that students in districts with bigger windfalls did better, on average, than students from other districts in the same state that got less. They spent more time in school, for example, and had higher wages as adults. They also were more likely to graduate and stay out of poverty.One of the study’s authors, C. Kirabo Jackson, said their study is important because “it demonstrates long-term results and uncovers flaws in many past studies. If you have people going out there testifying to legislators that money does not matter and there’s no evidence out there that money matters, then it’s germane to the conversation.” While not the first to find positive effects from more money, said Linda Darling-Hammond, emeritus professor at Stanford, “It’s probably the most substantial study to follow students for so long.”The study does offer some targeted guidance for policymakers. From their analysis of their data set, the researchers “found that a 25 percent increase in per-student spending over the course of a student’s school-age years could eliminate the gaps in income and years of education between children from low-income families and those making at least twice the poverty line.” They noted that districts given influxes of new funding “tended to raise teacher salaries, lower class sizes and increase instructional time, which previous research has linked to better student results.”“Effects of School Spending on Educational and Economic Outcomes” should provide the basis for a more informed discussion by legislators and educational leaders. It should spur further research to refine what we know. But to have a positive impact requires the ability to move the debate from fixed positions of political argument to one actually interested in solutions that work.—Martin LevineShare52TweetShare29Email81 Shares
TiVo’s European business helped the DVR technology specialist grow its total subscriber base by 524,000 to 2.5 million in the 12 months ending April 30.The company has seen strong growth at UK cable operator Virgin Media. “Virgin Media continues to be a wonderful example of how strategically important our product has been in bolstering pay TV offerings,” said Tom Rogers, CEO and president of TiVo. “Virgin Media recently reported it added another 242,000 TiVo subscribers, bringing the total to 677,000, or 18% of its entire base in just over a year’s time. Virgin Media is growing its pay TV subscriber base faster than its key competitors, which is a significant reversal in trends and remarkable given the tough economy in the United Kingdom. We believe this is evidence that TiVo is fuelling a substantially improved competitive position for Virgin Media.”TiVo also delivers its service via Spanish cable operator Ono, which doubled the number of TiVo customers since the previous quarter.At last week’s Cable Show, TiVo announced a deal with Pace to devlop the TiVo-Pace XG1 set-top box, a six tuner gateway. Rogers said the device would enable operators to use TiVo’s whole-home solutions, including support for traditional and IP services. “We feel this will be a real potential accelerant for deployment of TiVo,” he said.TiVo posted first quarter service and technology revenues of US$54.5 million (€43.8 million), up 40% per year. A one-off payment relating to a Dish Network settlement meant TiVo reported a net loss of US$20.8 million for the quarter.
The CSA’s Michel Boyon & Aurélie FilippettiFrance’s six new HD DTT channels – HD1, L’Equipe 21, 6ter, Numéro 23, RMC Découverte and Chérie 25 – have gone on air.French media regulator the CSA launched the channels at an event yesterday in the presence of the country’s culture minister Aurélie Filippetti.The channels are currently available to about half of France’s households in total, according to the regulator, including 29% of DTT households. On DTT the channel is available in the Ile de France, Bourgogne, Aquitaine and Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur regions, with a further 1,500 transmitters sett to distribute them in 12 phases between now and June 2015, ultimately giving 97% terrestrial coverage.In addition to the terrestrial network, the channels are available via satellite, ADSL and cable.
The BBC is gearing up for “the most digital Glastonbury ever,” with live multi-feed coverage, similar to that seen at the Olympics, planned for the iconic music festival. The BBC said it will air more than 120 live performances over the three days of this summer’s festival on TV, red button, online and radio and will live-stream footage from the six main stages for the first time.The cross-platform online coverage will give viewers access to 250 hours of live coverage on PC, mobile, tablet and connected TV – including smart TVs and games consoles. The festival will also feature on TV channels BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Three and BBC Four.Mark Friend, BBC Controller, multiplatform across radio and music, said: “Just as we did with sport at the Olympics, our ambition this year is to bring our audiences even closer to the music they love at Glastonbury.”Additionally, the BBC’s commercial arm, BBC Worldwide, will broadcast the festival on its bouquet of international channels around the world. A six-hour live broadcast of the iconic festival will run on its final day, Sunday, June 30.The live stream and a 1x90mins highlight package will be carried on the BBC Entertainment channel in Asia, Latin America, Poland, Nordics and South Africa.It will also be on the BBC Knowledge channel in parts of Asia and BBC HD in the EMEA region and Latin America.In Australia and New Zealand the music festival content will be carried on UKTV.Tracy Forsyth, VP commissioning, content, BBC Worldwide, ordered the festival coverage for the international channels.She said: “The scale and quality of Glastonbury and its consistently stellar line-up of music acts have given it a well-earned reputation as one of the world’s not-to-be-missed events, so we are excited to be bringing our viewers closer than ever before.”The Glastonbury 2013 highlights and live coverage will be produced by BBC Music Television and Glastonbury Festivals Limited.
Telekom Austria has announced that it has achieved data rates of over 1Gbps over its existing copper network for the first time using G.fast technology from Alcatel Lucent.In test operations, Telekom Austria subsidiary A1 achieved data rates of up to 1Gbps for a short distance of 100 metres.The technology is designed to deliver ultra high-speed broadband over existing copper lines within buildings served by fibre. According to Telekom Austria, G.fast is particularly well suited for short loops of roughly 100 metres and for use in multi-dwelling units.“As a leader in fixed broadband and a pioneer of vectoring – being the first vendor to ship 1 million VDSL2 vectoring lines – Alcatel-Lucent is ideally placed to help Telekom Austria understand the potential of G.fast and vectoring. G.fast underlines the specialist expertise Alcatel-Lucent brings to customers like Telekom Austria as they expand their footprint of ultra-broadband access coverage. While this is only a trial, the impressive results show the enormous potential of G.fast for service providers around the world,” said Federico Guillen, Leader Business Line Fixed Access Alcatel-Lucent.G.fast is currently undergoing standardisation and will be commercially available within the next few years, according to the company.
Russian DTH provider Orion Express has launched a regional multiplex, providing regional TV channels as part of its offering from the 85° East position.The multiplex currently provides 10 regional channels – Pervyy Tul’skiy, Yurgan, NTM – Pervyy Yaroslavskiy, Stavropol Regional TV, BST, Kuray , Mir Belogor’ya, 12 Kanal – Omsk, Ekspress and Don – with others to follow.A number of Russia’s regional TV channels could be threatened with the loss of terrestrial distribution when the country completes digital switchover, leaving satellite and cable as their only viable options.
The BBC still has a “long way to go” before looking to deploy 4K as part of its online video service the iPlayer, with its focus still on improving its support for existing technology like HD, according to iPlayer executive Henry Webster.Speaking at the OTTtv World Summit in London, Webster, who is executive product manager, media services at the BBC’s Future Media division, said that though the likes of 4K represented a “great step” in quality, the BBC still had progress to make “even within existing standards.”“iPlayer is HD now, but it is only 720p. We did our first live streaming in HD last year, but that’s very, very basic. So in terms of IP distribution, I think we’ve got a long way to go before 4K becomes really important, because the bandwidth to the home is not there yet. I think we could do a lot in terms of improving quality and taking things to improve what we do today,” said Webster.Though he said that 4K, also known as Ultra HD, is a “great technology” that the BBC will look to use in the future, he said that he is focused on the iPlayer backend system and “turning around some of the things that we haven’t always traditionally done so well.”This is especially so in terms of events, said Webster, “making sure that we’ve got the kind of business continuity and the resilience in place and more in line with the broadcast operation , than the online world, that we’ve traditionally been in.”Speaking onstage at the conference, Webster also discussed the BBC’s recent replacement of its aging iPlayer infrastructure with live processing in the cloud through a new in-house system called Video Factory. Switching to the cloud means the BBC doesn’t have a fixed amount of storage so it does not have to limit the hours of content it can process or limit the hours of HD content it can handle.
Swedish cable operator Com Hem has said that it will raise gross proceeds of up to SEK6.237 billion (€688 million) through its IPO, with the offering valuing the equity of the firm at SEK10.637 billion to SEK12.437 billion.In the prospectus for its stock market floatation, Com Hem said that it expects to set the price for the offering at between SEK44 and SEK62 per share and sell between 91.4 and 128.9 million newly issued shares.The application period for the offer to the Swedish public is expected to start on June 4, 2014 and close on June 13, 2014. Private placements to institutional investors, including a private placement in the US to qualified institutional buyers will start on June 4 and end June 16.Com Hem is expected to begin trading on the NASDAQ OMX Stockholm on June 17, 2014 under the trading ‘COMH’.“Significant investments have been made in order to strengthen our business and I am convinced we have a compelling value proposition to customers,” said Com Hem CEO, Anders Nilsson.“Together with the management team and all our employees we are ready to embark on this exciting journey. We have created a solid platform, now it’s about execution. We welcome new shareholders to take part in Com Hem’s future as a listed company.”Com Hem said that after years of private ownership the IPO will help support the firm’s “future growth and operational strategy” and provide financial flexibility and improved access to public capital markets.Com Hem is offering shares that will raise gross proceeds of SEK5.67 million. However, it has also granted its joint global coordinators an ‘over-allotment option’ to purchase an additional 10%-worth of new shares. Assuming that this option is exercised in full, the offering will amount to SEK6.237 billion.Com Hem first announced its intention to launch an IPO on May 23, 2014.
Numericable’s LaBox offeringFrance’s competition authority is to set out its analysis of cable operator Numericable’s acquisition of larger rival SFR and hear the views of competitors on October 8, ahead of its deadline of ruling on the deal by the end of the month. The regulator is expected to set out remedies relating to a number of areas before giving a green light to the deal. It is expected to demand that Numericable sell off its French overseas territories operation, Outremer Telecom to prevent the pair from holding an overwhelmingly dominant position in the Mayotte and Réunion markets.A question mark hangs over whether the authority will require SFR and Numericable to open up their fixed network to competitors. The combined company will have a leading position in the ultra high-speed internet market and the regulator may rule that it should give access to competitors in certains parts of the country ahead of rivals building out their own fibre nets.The competition authority is also expected to study the role of Vivendi, which will hold a 20% stake in the combined group. The authority is likely to seek ways of limiting Vivendi’s influence given the dominance of the pair together in the pay TV market.The acquisition of SFR by Numericable’s owner Altice, the investment vehicle of Patrick Drahi, will create the number two telecom operator in France, with revenues of around €11.5 billion, 18 million mobile subscribers and 6.7 million fixed customers.
Satellite services company SES is beaming an educational channel designed to help educate people in West Africa about the Ebola virus, across the region.Fight Ebola will be beamed into pay TV and free-to-air DTH homes as parts of West Africa continue to deal with the worst-ever outbreak of the deadly virus.The channel helps spread the message about protecting against Ebola and will give viewers a greater understanding of the virus with content endorsed by the Luxembourg Ministry of Health and contributions from groups including UNICEF, Doctors Without Borders (MSF), and End Ebola Now.There will also be endorsements and appeals from British Premier League football players including Didier Drogba, John Obi Mikel, Samuel Eto’o and Emmanuel Adebayor.“Many people do not understand this disease and therefore, tragically, do not seek the medical care they need,” said Ibrahima Guimba-Saidou, senior VP, commercial Africa at SES.In related news, Discovery Networks UK has commissioned a one-off doc about the deadly virus, Ebola Exposed (pictured). A copro between Discovery and Sky Vision, the fast-turnaround doc will look at the science behind the virus that has killed thousands of people in West Africa.David Morrissey (The Walking Dead) narrates the doc, which is billed as ‘an all-you-need to know film’ about Ebola.Dan Korn, senior VP & head of programming, Discovery Networks Western Europe, ordered the special, which will go out on November 22. He said: “Discovery is dedicated to providing new scientific insight into domestic and international events. Ebola Exposed does exactly this, uncovering brand new scientific research about this virulent disease from those at the forefront of the fight against it”.
MTV mobile, the mobile offering of Swiss service provider Sunrise, has launched a YouTube channel aimed at young people in Switzerland.The Youniverse channel will report on student issues, cover festivals and events and cover topics that are “of genuine interest to young people,” according to Sunrise.MTV mobile held a casting call for new talent in the spring, and has selected a team of eight students from Switzerland to work on the channel – six video journalists and two producers.“Eight students from throughout Switzerland will now be publishing videos regularly with news, background articles and entertaining reports for their age group on the Youniverse Channel,” said Sunrise.“The editorial team is responsible for the first Swiss YouTube channel which functions under the slogan “by students for students.”
Channel provider SPI International has struck a deal to offer its FashionBox HD and 360TubeBox HD services on California-based Xumo’s new app-based OTT TV service.SPI International said that other channels could be added to Xumo in the future.Xumo’s recently launched service is available via Vizio, LG and Panasonic smart TVs as well as mobile and desktop applications.The deal is the latest in a series of OTT agreements for SPI, which has launched services on the Roku and Amazon Fire TV platforms.“We are delighted to partner with SPI International to bring innovative brands such as FashionBox and 360TuneBox to over 20 million smart TVs in the US,” said Colin Petrie-Norris, CEO of Xumo. “We are democratising the process of becoming a television channel and are excited to add these channels to Xumo’s content lineup of free premium content.”Stacey Sobel, executive VP at SPI International, said: “With the number of connected TV households growing every year, SPI’s partnership with Xumo is all about positioning the company to deliver our top entertainment content where our audience is seeking it.”
Tumblr Terell Bailey Bio Coming Soon NewsWatchState News Equifax to pay up to $700M in data breach settlement By Terell BaileyJul 22, 2019, 15:48 pm 140 0 Previous PostScout Move-In Day Two: 25,000 International Scouts Arrive Linkedin Home NewsWatch Equifax to pay up to $700M in data breach settlement Google+ NEW YORK (AP) — Equifax has agreed to pay $700 million, potentially more, to settle with the federal authorities and states over its 2017 data breach that exposed the Social Security numbers and other private information of nearly 150 million people, roughly half of the U.S. population.The settlement with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission, as well as 48 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, would provide up to $425 million in monetary relief to consumers, a $100 million civil money penalty, and other relief.The breach was one of the largest ever to threaten the private information. The consumer reporting company, based in Atlanta, did not detect the attack for more than six weeks. The compromised data included Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, driver license numbers, credit card numbers and in some cases, data from passports. The breach resulted in the abrupt dismissal of Equifax’s then CEO, as well as numerous other executives at the company.“The (settlement) that we are announcing today reinforces our commitment to putting consumers first and safeguarding their data – and reflects the seriousness with which we take this matter,” said Equifax CEO Mark Begor.Equifax stock, which plunged 30% in the days following the disclosure of the breach, have returned to levels where they traded before the incident. Shares of Equifax rose 2% to $140.26. A share cost $141.45 in the hours before the breach was disclosed on Sept. 7, 2017.The relief is coming in multiple forms. Equifax will pay initially $380.5 million into a fund to cover potential identity theft that was caused as a result of the breach, as well as any costs that a potential victim had to pay for credit monitoring. An additional $125 million would be paid additionally by Equifax if victims’ out-of-pocket expenses end up depleting the initial fund. Equifax could also potentially pay $2 billion to cover credit monitoring services if all 147 million victims sign up for credit monitoring services.Victims of Equifax’s breach will be eligible for up to 10 years of credit monitoring services for free, seven years of identity-restoration services, and six free copies of Equifax’s credit reports per year for the next seven years. That’s on top of the free credit reports each U.S. resident is eligible for from the credit reporting companies under U.S. law.If consumers choose not to enroll in the free credit monitoring product, they may seek up to $125 as a reimbursement for the cost of a credit-monitoring product of their choice. Consumers must submit a claim in order to receive free credit monitoring or cash reimbursements.Equifax will have to spend at least $1 billion over five years to enhance its cybersecurity practices.On top of that, Equifax will have to pay a $100 million fine to the CFPB, and pay tens of millions of dollars to states and territories to settle those lawsuits as well.“Companies that profit from personal information have an extra responsibility to protect and secure that data,” said FTC Chairman Joe Simons. “Equifax failed to take basic steps that may have prevented the breach that affected approximately 147 million consumers. This settlement requires that the company take steps to improve its data security going forward, and will ensure that consumers harmed by this breach can receive help protecting themselves from identity theft and fraud.”Consumer advocates were generally positive on the settlement, but had concerns on the timescale of the settlement. Because the thieves stole permanently identifiable information like Social Security numbers and birthdates, the data could be used for decades to commit identity theft.“What happens if a consumer is the victim of ID theft in the fifth year resulting from the breach, which costs the consumer tens of thousands of dollars?,” said Chi Chi Wu, staff attorney at National Consumer Law Center.The settlement must still be approved by the federal district court in the Northern District of Georgia.For information on the terms of the settlement, as well as to file a claim, potential victims should go to https://www.equifaxbreachsettlement.com .Click here for more information from the Federal Trade Commission. Twitter Mail Facebook Next PostDeputies Discover Human Remains in Raleigh County Pinterest