New cruise guide sets sail

first_imgFind out which ships will be calling Australia home, when lines will be launching their new ships and even get some packing tips in e-Travel Blackboard’s first ever OBrochure Cruise Experience Guide.Based on an independent survey of the cruising habits of both consumers and the travel trade, the OBrochure Cruise Experience Guide reveals your ports of choice, your top three loyalty schemes and offers some insight into cruising trends.“We are extremely excited to launch our first ever OBrochure Cruise Experience Guide for travel agents to use and consumers to peruse,” e-Travel Blackboard Anthony Valeriano said.“As the weather gets chilly in the Southern Hemisphere, Australians are either planning future cruises out of Australia in our summer, or are taking advantage of a strong Aussie dollar to cruise from overseas ports.“This guide is perfect for agents to have cruise information at their fingertips or to give to those travelling to (or even considering) a cruise – you can email it or print it and include with travel documents, Mr Valeriano said.Download the OBrochure Cruise Experience Guide here. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: G.Alast_img

Refinance Applications Fall as Rates Rocket

first_img Mortgage applications continued to fall last week following a sizable spike in interest rates, the “”Mortgage Bankers Association””:http://mbaa.org/default.htm (MBA) reported in its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey.[IMAGE]The survey’s Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, dropped 3.0 percent (both seasonally adjusted and unadjusted) for the week ending June 21. The Refinance Index fell 5 percent from the previous week, dipping to its lowest level since November 2011. The refinance share of total mortgage activity also declined, falling to 67 percent–the lowest level since July 2011.[COLUMN_BREAK]Meanwhile, the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index actually rose, increasing 2 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis and 1 percent unadjusted. Last week’s Purchase Index was 16 percent higher than the same week last year.””Interest rates moved up sharply following the Federal Reserve press conference last Wednesday where it was indicated that the Fed could begin tapering their asset purchases later this year,”” said Mike Fratantoni, VP of research and economics for MBA. “”Mortgage rates increased by the most in a single week since 2011, and refinance application volume dropped to its lowest level in almost two years.””Fratantoni also noted that government purchase applications declined further last week–“”likely a function of the recent increase in FHA [Federal Housing Administration] mortgage insurance premiums””–to a share of 28 percent, the lowest level in the history of that series.The average contract interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 4.46 percent last week, MBA reported, the highest rate since August 2011. Points fell to 0.35 for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio loans. application,Refinance Applications Fall as Rates Rocket Share Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Applications Mortgage Rates Purchase Loans Refinance Service Providers 2013-06-26 Tory Barringercenter_img in Origination June 26, 2013 430 Views last_img

Frederik Meijer Gardens opens new rooftop attracti

first_imgFrederik Meijer Gardens opens new rooftop attraction AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in western Michigan has opened a new attraction — on the roof.The Stuart and Barbara Padnos Rooftop Sculpture Garden is located atop the recently completed 22,000-square-foot (2,045-square-meter) Covenant Learning Center.The rooftop garden is part of the $115 million “Welcoming the World: Honoring a Legacy of Love” expansion project. It’s designed to enhance the mission of the Grand Rapids-area attraction of promoting an appreciation for gardens, sculpture, the natural environment and the arts.The rooftop garden offers a habitat for birds, butterflies and insects. It has four long-term loans from the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington.The Associated Presscenter_img by The Associated Press Posted May 27, 2019 7:53 am PDTlast_img

Printing of ballots to be completed on Wednesday

first_imgBallots for the January 28 presidential elections will be ready on Wednesday, Head of the Election Service and Deputy Chief Returning Officer Demetris Demetriou told the Cyprus News Agency (CNA).Printing for the 580,000 allots began on Sunday and will be completed on Wednesday, he added.He also said that the election centres have not been finalised yet, adding: “we are at the final stages”.Regarding prison voters, Demetriou said the election service had already received a list from the central prisons.As far as the Greek Cypriots in the north were concerned, Demetriou said that he was expecting the final information from the Office of the Commissioner for Humanitarian Issues on Tuesday.In another development, the Central Election Service has announced that the election booklets of new voters were ready and had already been given to the local community officers where voters can pick them up.The booklets will be available until January 25. However, those who fail to pick them up, can also vote using their identity cards, provided they are on the electoral list.The Chief Returning Officer also announced on Monday the number of registered Turkish Cypriot voters. There are 115 Turkish Cypriots registered in the Nicosia district, 235 in Limassol district, 128 in Larnaca district, 174 in Paphos district and 5 in Famagusta district.You May LikeDr. Marty ProPower Plus Supplement3 Dangerous Foods People Feed Their Dogs (Without Realizing It)Dr. Marty ProPower Plus SupplementUndoYahoo SearchThe Early Signs Of Type 2 Diabetes. Search Type 2 Diabetes TreatmentsYahoo SearchUndoSecurity SaversWindows Users Advised To Do This TodaySecurity SaversUndo Turkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoConcern over falling tourism numbersUndoPensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img

Fire service rescues two from blazing building

first_imgThe fire service had to rescue two people in Dherynia early on Saturday after a blaze broke out in their house apparently from a household appliance.Firefighters got the call some 30 minutes after midnight that a fire had broken out at a two-storey residence located in a housing block.The blaze was raging on the ground floor, trapping four people – two girls aged 18, and two 20-year-old men on the first floor.Two of them were rescued by neighbours while the other two were pulled out of a window in the first floor.None of the group was injured.Firefighters brought the blaze under control shortly before 1am after it caused extensive damage to the house.Investigators ruled out foul play as the cause, as initial indications pointed out to a faulty appliance as being the culprit.You May LikeBuzzSuperTake a Look Inside Oprah Winfrey’s MansionBuzzSuperUndoBrowserguides.com for BraveA Browser that’s 200% Faster than ChromeBrowserguides.com for BraveUndoLuxury African SafariTailor Made Luxury African Safaris | Luxury Safari in AfricaLuxury African SafariUndo Two of serial killer’s victims buried in PhilippinesUndoMorphou bishop now claims gay men have a ‘nasty smell’UndoFresh case of Blue Nile virus in northUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img

Paphos bus driver is also psychologist and friend to passengers

first_imgAn unassuming Cypriot father of two from Marathounda in Paphos is a rare creature: a bus driver who’s much loved by all of his passengers.Over the last 15 years, Panicos Chrysanthou, 41, has loaded up his bus and driven his passengers to their destinations across the island, five days a week, going over and above what could reasonably be expected from any bus driver anywhere in the world.Chrysanthou is the driver of the Pasycaf (the Cyprus Association of Cancer Patients and Friends) bus, a free bus service that transfers all cancer patients, irrespective of their financial status, to other towns for treatment and back.Every morning, the modest driver gets up at 4.30am, arriving at the Pasycaf centre in Paphos to take his passengers for oncology treatment in Limassol and Nicosia.Almost painfully shy about being interviewed by the Sunday Mail, Chrysanthou divulged the reason he became involved with the charity in the first place.“I lost my mum to cancer when I was quite young and I wanted to help these patients who are experiencing what we went through, but we didn’t have any help,” he said.His said that his mother Ellie, began to feel unwell and was diagnosed with a brain tumour. She underwent an operation but died eight months later.“It was very hard, I was 18 years old and very close to my mum. It made me sensitive to people in this situation and going to Pasycaf is my way of helping,” he said.The charity’s bus service started in 1998 with another bus driver and Panicos joined some years later, first working in the office. When the original driver retired in 2003, the charity offered him the job, as he is a qualified mechanic.Panicos and wife Karen“Being the bus driver can be a difficult job. I get to know the patients, but I don’t think that I do anything special for people. I am just doing my job.”His wife, Karen, a teacher at the International School of Paphos, disagrees“He does everything he can for his passengers, gets them on and off the bus, gets medication for them. If someone has to stay overnight and they have no-one to go and see them, he will go and sit with them for a little while just to keep them company. He will phone them to see if they’re OK, his phone doesn’t stop ringing. He doesn’t really finish work,” she said.And his passengers must agree with her, as for the last six years he has been nominated for a Heart of Gold Cyprus award scheme, founded eleven years ago to recognise both children and adults who are extra special in some way.On December 2, at the annual ceremony SEK in Paphos, he was announced as the 2018 winner. The entire room erupted into spontaneous applause and gave him a standing ovation.“I am happy to receive this award but I really don’t think I’m doing anything special,” he said.His wife explains that a couple of days before the ceremony, bad weather caused a landslide which devastated the couple’s garden and almost thundered into their house. Trees, rocks, mud and water came crashing down a hillside behind their property.Chrysansthou was up until 3am trying to clear it and then went straight to work to drive his passengers“He didn’t really feel like coming to the awards. We weren’t in the mood and feeling down, but we went and I had no idea that he would win. He is so modest but I know he is happy about it.”The couple has two daughters, Ellie, 17, named after Chysanthou’s mother, and Angelina, 13.When one of Ellie’s school friends, Jasmitha Marharaja Singh, who had fought a long battle with cancer was taken ill for the last time, he took great care of her family and those close to her. They all praise him highly for helping them through a terribly dark period. Jasmitha died aged just 15.The couple met at school when Karen was 13 and Panicos, 14 and they have been together ever since.Karen said that her husband’s phone is always ringing with cancer patients calling for all sorts of reasons.“They ring for reassurance. He is like a security blanket in a way, helping them to do things when they’re at the hospital too, I know it can be very stressful for them.”A regular day for Chrysanthou sees him getting up at 4.30am, arriving at Pasycaf in Paphos at 5am to leave with the bus at 5.40am.He drives the bus five days a week, leaving from Paphos and travelling to the general hospital in Limassol, then onto two further stops in Limassol to collect patients, and then on to the general hospital in Nicosia and the Bank of Cyprus oncology centre. If patients need to go for an MRI, he will take them.“I drive them back too. The time depends on how long things take. People’s situations affect me andI go for a jog and let it all out, it’s my way.”The charity currently has two buses, a 13 and 22 seater are hoping to raise the funds to purchase a larger one. The International School of Paphos is trying to raise money to help with this.“It can be very hard. You make friends with the patients and then you lose them. For months or a year or more, you have patients that go every day and you get close to them. They chat to me, open up to me and tell me their problems.”Sometimes he attends their funerals.“He is their bus driver but also like a doctor, pharmacist, psychologist and friend. He gets very close to them and goes above and beyond. It’s not just a job and it can get to him and is a constant reminder of his mum. It can be difficult,” Karen added.The best part of the job, he said, is when patients are waiting for their results and get the ‘all clear’.“That is the absolute best,” he said.Chrysanthou’s experience with his mother and now as the Pasycaf bus driver has really made him appreciate life and he is an advocate for a healthy lifestyle.His Heart of Gold award sits displayed on a dresser at home alongside his trophies for 4×4 racing, his passion.He competes with his team Kofa 4×4 and started in 2008. But even here, modesty reigns. It is his wife who notes that all of his trophies are for first, second or third place.You May LikePlarium 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 SearchUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndo Three arrested in connection with hotel theftsUndoPensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img

The One Who Holds the Heart a history of midwifery in Cyprus

first_imgBy Iole Damaskinos–VernhesFor years the figures have told the same tale: Cyprus’ caesarean rates are far too high, the highest in Europe.The average caesarean rate in the EU is 27 per cent. In Cyprus, it is 58.5 per cent in the private sector and slightly lower at 55.3 per cent in the public sector. In close to 40 per cent of those cases, the mother chose to have a c-section.All of which, I hope, makes my research both more poignant and more necessary.Over the summer I had the pleasure of working on a project with the wonderful Eleni Hadjigeorgiou, professor of midwifery at the Cyprus University of Technology, drafting the beginnings of a written history of midwifery in Cyprus.Terracotta childbirth statuettes for the 6th century BC in LapithosMy research took me on a wild ride from the Bronze Age all the way into recent times. From the luscious ‘Lady of Lemba’ to the amazing terracotta birthing depictions from ancient Lapithos (both housed in the Cyprus Museum), I met the ancient protectresses of childbirth: Hero, Artemis, Leto, Eleftheia.I learned that Ottoman practices included placing a nazar (ammatopetra) on the newborn as we still do in Cyprus today. I read that Jewish, Muslim and Greek midwifery all included the idea of ‘posarantoma’, the 40-day period of post-partum confinement, rest and recuperation for mother and infant.I found out that Turkish Cypriot mammouthes (midwives) used to put a pinch of salt into the baptismal font (a practice that seems to link back to post-partum rites from Hippocratic times).I read in horrified fascination about Ignaz Semmelweis, the tragic Hungarian obstetrician, who in the mid-1800s already held the key to ridding Europe of childbed fever – for obstetricians to wash their hands – but no one in the entrenched medical establishment believed him.The Lady of LembaI found stories of Cypriot midwives, trained by the British colonial administration in the 1950s and 60s (midwifery was the first formal female profession in the Cypriot civil service – even before nursing).And lastly, I had the delightful experience of interviewing one such midwife, Antigoni ‘Pyrgou’, a sprightly 94-year-old from Pyrgos Tyllirias (as well as her husband, who couldn’t help putting in his 2 cents worth, beaming with pride about his wife’s accomplishments).The more I researched and spoke with midwives the more I felt in awe of this ancient profession, at once simple and profound, which for centuries was such a commonplace aspect of our lives as women.I was touched by the raw intimacy of the work itself; by its universality across cultures and time; by how crucial birthing support has been to society, and how inextricable it is from women’s rights and empowerment.I was also struck by how recent the phenomenon of hospitalised birthing actually is. Until the upheaval of 1974 there were still community midwives travelling and working around Cyprus. Birthing, for so very long, has been a domestic, exclusively female affair.My summer investigations barely scratched the surface and much remains to be discovered, understood and recorded. The work of piecing together, as much as possible, the Cypriot story of birthing, is important for all women living in Cyprus today. If we can search out, safeguard, and pass on this knowledge, we can recover a central part of our herstory before it gets lost.To begin the process, I offer here a compilation of ‘snippets’ of traditional Cypriot midwifery practices. I encourage readers to approach them like looking through a pile of old photographs – bearing in mind that some of the details may have faded and context may be missing. These ‘snapshots’ are not in any particular order; they range from amusing to puzzling, delightful to profound.Since ancient times in Cyprus, as elsewhere in the world, mammouthes used a birthing stool (sellin) to help women birth in an upright position. The birthing woman could bear down using the armrests and the midwife would be ready to catch the baby below her. The midwife would massage warm olive oil or honey wax onto the vaginal walls and perineum to ease the birth.The midwife was often accompanied by a so-called karkiovastousa or ‘one who holds the heart’.  She was usually an apprentice whose job was to give courage to the birthing woman, holding or supporting her from behind. (This exact configuration can be seen in the ancient clay depictions from Lapithos).According to records found at the dispensary of Machairas monastery, midwives associated with the monastery and prepared (or gave instruction for the preparation of) treatments for infertility among other things. Particular use was made of the placenta from a sow, which would be dried and ground into a powder. Women would be instructed to drink a broth made of this powder at the completion of their monthly menses to increase chances of conception.Ignaz SemmelweissFolkloric tradition held that a pregnant woman should be promptly given whatever she wanted in terms of food or drink, to avoid miscarrying. It was said that if a pregnant woman were denied the food she craved, a birthmark, in the shape of that food, would appear on the newborn.In the case of dystocia, or slow labour progression, the woman would be lifted up and made to walk with the help of other women. Folk wisdom maintained that such walking would help the baby to ‘walk out of the womb’.In the event of a stalled labour, the woman would be held by her hands and feet and rocked back and forth to ‘dislodge’ the baby. Another approach was that the midwife would call in the husband (men were usually banished from the birthing event). The husband would be asked to stand astride his wife and repeat in front of her: ‘I put you in and I will get you out!’ ‘Egio s’evala tzie’gio enna se vkalo!’At the start of birth, the custom was to request women in the family to unlock every door and cupboard in the house to invite an easy delivery.Cypriot women traditionally would work in the fields, cook, or finish whatever task they were engaged in during the early stages of their labour. As labour progressed they would bathe, if possible, and only then call for the midwife and confine themselves for birthing.After birth, midwives would often tie the woman’s waist with a special girdle so as ‘not to leave a belly’. Sometimes a red thread would be tied around the woman’s waist. The mother’s head would be dressed with a red headscarf (tsemberi). A small charm against the evil eye, along with a medallion depicting Saints Constantine and Helen, would be attached to the newborn.On the fifth or seventh day post partum, the midwife would raise the woman up and ceremonially walk her around the house together with her infant in the shape of a cross, blessing the space with a sanctified candle.Midwives were paid very little. Often their reward was in the form of food that the family farm produced, such as a chicken, cheese or sausages. In some regions the midwife would cut the umbilical cord by grinding it with a coin and this coin would be given to the midwife to keep.New mothers were encouraged to drink wine for the first few days following delivery. It was believed that this would strengthen the woman, as well as promote lactation.In some mountain villages, during post-partum visits, the midwife would place hot water in a big earthen pot (pythari) and encourage the new mother to sit over it covered by a sheet. Warming the woman with heated stones or tiles placed in the bed near her, was also a traditional practice for aiding recovery.Mary the Liberator (Panayia I Eleftherotria) and Ayios Eleftherios were the patron saints of childbirth. Ancient Greek Cyprus is unique in counting Ariadne among the deities protecting women during labour.It is clear that until relatively recent times birthing – and by extension midwifery – were recognised as acts requiring collaboration with the sacred forces of nature. Entering the birthing space a woman and her companions, both human and divine, were entering the space between this world and the other. This liminal space had to be acknowledged and respected. (In Hellenic times it was believed that newborns sleep so much because they are still travelling to fully arrive into our world of Being, from the world of non-Being).Women were accompanied on their journey by other women who were familiar faces to the new mother. Birth was mediated through communal ritual in which the midwife officiated.In this sense, the midwife was not merely a ‘technician’. Although part of her role was technical, (midwives performed massage, applied compresses, turned breech babies), her role extended beyond this to the woman’s primary psychological support system, at a time that was recognised as a female rite of passage – an encounter with mortality. The support offered by the midwife came from her organic position within the wider context of the woman’s life and community.With the advent of technology and hospitalised birth one cannot help but wonder what has been lost. While foetal monitoring and the sterile protection of the hospital setting may seem to be improvements, the routine use of reclined birthing position, artificial induction and medicated pain relief, have taken the place of a deeper kind of care and reverence for the birthing process.Our modern rituals consist of being fitted with an IV drip, having our privates shaved, being administered an enema and putting on a hospital gown. Instead of incantations for safe delivery and having our ‘hearts held’ we hear the hustle and bustle of busy hospital staff and electronic monitors. And what of our post-natal rituals of support and recovery?In exploring the practices of the past it is, of course, important to acknowledge the context and the limited resources within which early Cypriot mammouthes worked. Yet, it is also important to suspend judgement – at least momentarily – to see if anything can be learned from the centuries’ old traditions, anything precious, in the deep, experiential knowledge of our foremothers. To sense if there is anything here that perhaps we ourselves have collectively longed for, as birthing women in hospitals and clinics across Cyprus.Getting to know the past might help us to return to that ancient, bone-deep recognition: that entering the birthing space means crossing over a threshold. That it means crossing over into the unavoidable liminality which is female time and sacred time. And that this time demands to be honoured. Iole Damaskinos-Vernhes is an independent writer-researcher and women’s wellness instructor. If you have any family background of midwifery in Cyprus and would like to contribute to the project of preserving this history please contact iole@rocketmail.com.You May LikeDirectExposeWorld’s First Surviving Octuplets Are All Grown Up. 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Rep Garcia resolution honors birth defect awareness efforts

first_img Categories: Garcia News,News 25Jan Rep. Garcia resolution honors birth defect awareness efforts A resolution introduced by state Rep. Daniela R. Garcia, of Holland, to honor and recognize families affected by an abdominal birth defect received unanimous support on the House floor today.The resolution declares Tuesday, Jan. 31, as Omphalocele Awareness Day in Michigan.An omphalocele is a birth defect that prevents the abdominal wall from closing properly during the course of a pregnancy, which allows for organs to partially or completely protrude outside of the baby’s body. Typically discovered during an ultrasound, the defect affects 1 out of 5,000 pregnancies with a small protrusion, 1 out of 10,000 for a large protrusion.“Too many children in Michigan and across the United States are born with an omphalocele,” Rep. Garcia said. “Though the challenges faced by these babies and their families can be significant, many children often go on to live happy, healthy lives. The more we educate people about this defect and honor the efforts of the families affected by this condition, the better it is for everyone.”House Resolution 10 specifically mentions the Mothers of Omphaloceles (MOOs) as “a group of parents from around world created to provide hope, support and information to families with babies diagnosed with an omphalocele.”Six guests impacted by an omphalocele were in attendance for Rep. García’s dedication, including Ellie Hopke and her mother Mindy Hopke of Zeeland. They were joined by Brianna Steffen and her mother Kim Steffen of Chesterfield Township, as well as Brianna’s grandparents Keith and Sallie Rengert of Richmond.“These children and their families should know we stand with them on Tuesday and every day,” Rep. Garcia said. “An omphalocele does not limit their strength and character. That is proven by what they do to draw attention to this and show it does not dictate what they do day-to-day.”Jan. 31 will be the sixth observance of Omphalocele Awareness Day.last_img

Rep Cole bill allows private marriages between minors to be made public

first_img Local couple celebrating 50th anniversary wants to see their marriage on public recordState Rep. Triston Cole (left) testified with Bonnie and Doug Dean in support of his bill to allow private marriages between minors to be made public after both parties are at least 18.The House Families, Children, and Seniors Committee today approved legislation authored by state Rep. Triston Cole to allow private marriages between minors to be made public after both parties are at least 18.Under current law, only persons at least 18 years of age may be married without parental consent. However, a probate judge may marry, without publicity, minors between the ages of 16 and 18 years old if these individuals have their parents’ permission.There is nothing in the statute allowing these individuals’ marriage records to be made public once they both reach 18 years of age. The bill would allow the court to unseal the record of their marriage.Bonnie and Doug Dean testified with Cole about having a “secret marriage.” Last summer they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. The only gift they were asking for is the ability to see their marriage on public record.“These marriages should not be hidden away based solely on the age of the individuals,” said Cole, of Mancelona. “The bill would allow for these secret marriages to be made public after both parties involved are no longer minors.”The legislation will allow marriage licenses to be unsealed upon the following conditions:·         All petitioners were married without publicity under section 1 of the act.·         The petitioners are both at least 18 years of age at the time of the filing.·         Both of the petitioners wish to unseal the record of the marriage.Once the petition has been received and the court determines the above qualifications are met, the court shall forward a copy of the license and certificate of marriage to the clerk in the county the license was issued. The court shall also forward a copy of the marriage record to the state registrar.House Bill 4802 moves to the full House for consideration.### 05Oct Rep. Cole bill allows private marriages between minors to be made public Categories: Cole Newslast_img

Local residents can meet with Rep McCready on May 7

first_img Categories: McCready News State Rep. Mike McCready will host an open office hour on Monday, May 7 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Baldwin Public Library, 300 W. Merrill St. in Birmingham.“I always encourage residents to share their thoughts and concerns on matters of state government,” Rep. McCready said. “As a legislator, I continue to strive for solutions that help us work toward a better Michigan for our children and grandchildren.”No appointment is necessary. Those unable to attend may contact Rep. McCready at 517-373-8670 or via email at MikeMcCready@house.mi.gov. 25Apr Local residents can meet with Rep. McCready on May 7last_img

AntiAbortion Protestors Move In on Clinics after SCOTUS Buffer Zones Decision

first_imgShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesJune 28, 2014; Boston GlobeOn Thursday, in McCullen v. Coakley, the Supreme Court unanimously struck down a Massachusetts law that provided for a 35-foot “buffer zone” around clinics providing abortions. The Saturday after, protestors showed up in greater numbers in Boston and Worcester, pushing beyond that previously established line.The “buffer zone” was established to keep protestors at a distance from women seeking to enter clinics.In Boston, where the Saturday protests at a Boston Planned parenthood clinic were expected, protestors pushed past the 35-foot lines to yell at women entering. “Please don’t kill your baby! You can celebrate a birthday next year!” They waved signs, some depicting infants in their mothers’ arms and a bloody baby in hands marked by stigmata.The decision only applies to Massachusetts at this point, but it could set a precedent for similar actions in other states where there are smaller buffer zones in place. For instance, San Francisco’s law is virtually identical but with a 25-foot zone—recently raised from eight feet, which city officials saw as inadequate.Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley said that she, Gov. Deval Patrick, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, and state lawmakers were working to establish a plan that would protect women’s access to the five affected clinics and that officials would seek court injunctions against any protestor that threatened a woman’s safety. Meanwhile, the clinics are beefing up on their number of escorts to accompany women through the gauntlet of protestors. They had been using them on Saturdays but now will make them available on other days as well.—Ruth McCambridgeShareTweetShareEmail0 Shareslast_img

In Louisiana Lack of Public Defender Funding Systematically Threatens Sixth Amendment

first_imgShare9Tweet15Share1Email25 SharesApril 7, 2016, WDSU (New Orleans, LA)In New Orleans, private attorneys have been appointed as pro bono counsel due to the lack of funding for public defenders, and are going to court in an effort to halt prosecutions until the Public Defenders Office can provide adequate funding for defending seven people charged with serious crimes.The cost to prepare a proper defense goes beyond paying for an attorney, and often includes costs for investigations, expert witnesses, locating and testing evidence. Pam Metzger, a professor at Tulane Law School and one of the pro bono counsel asking the court to halt prosecution, states, “We have seven people charged with the most serious crimes whose cases cannot move forward because we cannot fund their defense. You can ask lawyers to give their time, but you cannot expect them to pay out of pocket the enormous cost of defending a case like this.”This action by the appointed pro bono attorneys in New Orleans comes just months after the ACLU filed a class action lawsuit against the Orleans Parish Public Defenders’ Office and the Louisiana Public Defender Board on behalf of three clients who were placed on a wait list for an attorney because they cannot afford a private attorney, violating their Sixth Amendment Rights.Marjorie Esman, executive director of the ACLU of Louisiana, argues that the funding for public defenders is “unreliable and prone to crippling shortages in a system that makes public defenders dependent on excessive policing and draconian sentencing that work against the people they defend.”In early 2015, the Louisiana Public Defender Board declared that by the end of fiscal year 2016, at least 25 of the state’s 42 Public Defender Offices would become financially insolvent. This is in large part due to the perverse way that Louisiana has funded their local public defender offices. Almost 2/3 of the funding is based on a funding stream that is unpredictable—fines from traffic tickets and court costs. This lack of funding has forced public defender offices to place a limit on the cases they accept, leaving criminal defendants without adequate counsel and on a waitlist until a public defender can take their case.In response to the ongoing budget crisis, the Orleans Public Defenders Office put forth a restriction of services plan that outlined their process for meeting an approximately $1 million budget shortfall that included restricting services and continued cutting of an already minimized budget. One of the proposed solutions was appointing pro bono lawyers for defendants charged with serious crimes, leading to the court action taking place this week.Projections for the next fiscal year are even bleaker, with the proposed budget slashing funds for indigent defense by more than 60 percent.This budget crisis has put an already overloaded system into free-fall, with public defenders overloaded and pro bono attorneys without the financial support to mount an appropriate defense. Defendants are left with inadequate defenses and spending time behind bars without anyone to represent them, and victims are left waiting for justice that may never come.—Kari ThiererShare9Tweet15Share1Email25 Shareslast_img

AsiaSat 7 the Hong Kongbased satellite operator

first_imgAsiaSat 7, the Hong Kong-based satellite operator’s latest satellite, is scheduled for launch on November 26 onboard an ILS Proton Breeze M vehicle from Baikonur in Kazakhstan.AsiaSat 7, with 28 C-band and 17 Ku-band transponders, will replace the AsiaSat 3S satellite at 105.5° East, and will deliver C-band services over the Middle East and central Asia as well as Australasia, with Ku-band coverage over East Asia and South Asia, as well as via a steerable beam.last_img

Polish pay TV operator Canal Plus Cyfrowy has hire

first_imgPolish pay TV operator Canal Plus Cyfrowy has hired Marta Szwakopf as director of children’s channels.Szwakopf will head up MiniMini Plus, TeleToon Plus and Hyper Plus.Swakopf, who was previously head of Nickelodeon Poland and was responsible for the launch of the Nickelodeon HD channel in the CEE region, amongst other things, will replace Jolanta Adamowicz, who has left the company.last_img

Swedish cable operator Com Hem reported flat year

first_imgSwedish cable operator Com Hem reported flat year-on-year revenues for SEK1.145 billion (€135 million) for the fourth quarter, while EBITDA grew by 14% to SEK577 million.The number of connected households grew slightly to 1.749 million, while the number of unique subscribers fell by 3,000 to 828,000.CEO Tomas Franzén said the company had seen the decline in subscribers level off in the fourth quarter. He said Com Hem had managed to deliver stable results in a competitive market.last_img

German cable operator Primacoms partent company M

first_imgGerman cable operator Primacom’s partent company Medfort has appointed Lutz Freitag, the president of housing group association Immobilien-Spitzenverbandes GdW to its board. Medfort chairman Harald Stöber said that Freitag’s experience in the housing industry made him an ideal addition to the board.Freitag said that Primacom had overcome earlier challenges and emerged as a provider of attractive and affordable products with a modern network. He said he wanted to support and strengthen the operator’s role as a reliable partner for the German housing industry.last_img

Open source online video platform provider Kaltura

first_imgOpen source online video platform provider Kaltura is planning to implement direct support for MPEG-DASH by the end of the year, according to director of product Michael Dale.Speaking to DTVE at IBC, where Kaltura has been running a proof-of-concept MPEG-DASH demo, Dale said that the firm was pushing forward on emerging standards for live video distribution and that MPEG-DASH support would follow as the industry begins to adapt to the technology.“We recognise this is where the industry is going so we will be ready to turn it on as soon as the browsers support it,” said Dale.“We’re waiting for Internet Explorer 11 to ship, we’re waiting for Google to ship Chrome updates to all their Android devices. Once it does, you want to have a platform that’s ready to roll.”He added that many clients had been requesting MPEG-DASH support, because “for Android Live web delivery, we don’t have a lot of good options today.”The news comes in the same week that Kaltura announced a partnership with LiveU – a specialist in video-over-cellular solutions that allow live video transmissions in HD and SD from any location.Through the deal, LiveU live HD video feeds to be imported and transmitted directly to Kaltura’s video player and range of video applications. Kaltura said that this will allow customers to have an end-to-end, live-to-VOD video solution from ingest to streaming.This includes uploading, transcoding and processing, video management, video publishing, multi-rate video playing, video syndication, monetization, distribution, including OTT (over-the-top), and video editing tools.last_img

US technology trade organisation the Consumer Ele

first_imgUS technology trade organisation, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), has updated the core characteristics for Ultra High-Definition (UHD) TVs, monitors and projectors for the home. The expanded characteristics – voluntary guidelines that are due to take effect in September 2014 – are designed to address various attributes of picture quality and help move toward interoperability, while providing clarity for consumers and retailers.The guidelines relate to display resolution, aspect ration, up-scaling HD video, digital input, colour processing and bit depth.“Ultra High-Definition TV is the next revolution in home display technology, offering consumers an incredibly immersive viewing experience with outstanding new levels of picture quality. These updated attributes will help ensure consumers get the most out of this exciting new technology and will provide additional certainty in the marketplace,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the CEA.The new approved characteristics build on the first-generation UHD characteristics released by CEA in October 2012.last_img

ProSiebenSat1s deputy chief finance officer Gunn

first_imgProSiebenSat.1’s deputy chief finance officer Gunnar Wiedenfels will take over the role of CFO of ProSiebenSat.1 Media from Axel Salzmann, effective April 1, 2015. Announcing the move, ProSiebenSat.1 said that Salzmann will leave the company at his own request on March 31, 2015. He has been CFO of ProSiebenSat.1 Media since June 2008, and for a brief period in 2009 was acting CEO.Effective of his new position, Wiedenfels will be appointed to the Executive Board of ProSiebenSat.1 Media.He joined the ProSiebenSat.1 Group in 2009 and became deputy CFO in March 2014.At the same time, ProSiebenSat.1’s executive vice president of mergers and acquisitions and chief investment officer, Ralf Schremper, also takes a place on the board, assuming the newly created “Corporate Strategy and Investments” executive department.“I am delighted that again two colleagues from the company’s ranks, Dr. Gunnar Wiedenfels and Dr. Ralf Schremper, will be appointed to the Executive Board of ProSiebenSat.1 Media AG. Both have been contributing to the company’s success for years,” said Werner Brandt, chairman of the supervisory board of ProSiebenSat.1 Media.“On behalf of the Supervisory Board, I thank Axel Salzmann warmly for his outstanding commitment to ProSiebenSat.1. In recent years, Mr. Salzmann has made a crucial contribution to putting the company on today’s sound financial foundation.”last_img

Russias GS Group has developed a device that is d

first_imgRussia’s GS Group has developed a device that is designed to combine the functionality of a games console and a digital HD receiver.The set-top box maker and technology firm presented a prototype of the device at the Winter Nights Mobile Games Conference 2015 in St. Petersburg last week, having first unveiled it at the CSTB television and telecoms expo in Moscow in January.GS Group said that the console supports video game playback on the TV, various channels in HD and is currently being developed in cooperation with Eastern European video game developer, Sperasoft.“The new console is close in the technical characteristics to the flagship models of modern mobile device manufacturers, which support today’s games. The console has a high performance CPU and powerful graphics accelerator,” said GS Group.last_img