British comedy fans and anyone who watched PBS during the 90s know what we’re talking about here. As if things weren’t already tough enough for Julian Assange. The resemblance is uncanny. Thanks BoingBoing.
After learning that Apple was tying Siri exclusively to the iPhone 4S, we wondered whether the jailbreak community would be able to change that. Within a day or two, Siri’s user interface was successfully ported to the iPhone 4, but Apple’s servers weren’t responding, rendering it non-functional. The same developer now has Siri fully working on other devices. However, piracy will be required if the port is ever publicly available.The port, by developer Steven Troughton-Smith, is seen working 100% on both the iPhone 4 and on an iPod touch. As it required licensed files and a live validation token from a 4S in order to communicate with Apple’s servers, it’s considered to be pirated content. It was made possible because of a preliminary (not yet public) jailbreak for the iPhone 4S. The developer says he did it to understand the technology that makes it work, and has no intention of distributing the pirated content. He did add that he has no doubt that others will package and distribute it “quasi-legally.”Whatever your thoughts are on the eventual distribution of the port, this further narrows down the possible reasons for Apple’s keeping Siri off of other devices. As you can see in the video below, Siri appears to work just as well on the iPhone 4 as it does on the 4S. This rules out performance concerns as a reason for the exclusivity:The two most likely remaining motives for Apple’s snubbing of older devices are: wanting to spare the Siri servers from millions of older devices, and having a sexy ‘killer feature’ to help sell the 4S.So will Apple be able to identify and block the older devices from accessing their servers? I would imagine that they will do anything in their power, including sending lawyers after the distributors. But, as they haven’t exactly been able to squash the distribution of cracked App Store apps for jailbroken devices, we’ll see how successful they are in that. If nothing else, we may see jailbreak exploits patched quicker than ever by the Cupertino company.Below is one more video, showing the port working on an iPod touch:via 9to5Mac
Share223 Tweet Email EVERY YEAR, BEMUSED tourists stand outside closed pubs in Temple Bar in Dublin on Good Friday.They don’t understand or haven’t heard that there are two days in the calendar year that Irish pubs close – and one of them is around Easter time. Source: TheJournal.ie/YouTubePublicans have long campaigned for the law to be scrapped. Every year, the Minister for Justice of the day is asked if it will happen on their watch.Today, the two main representative groups, the Licensed Vintners Association (LVA) and the Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI) have called on the government to immediately introduce legislation to treat Good Friday as an ordinary trading day for pubs, restaurants and hotels.Last year, they made a similar call, arguing that there was a particular impetus to lift the ban due to the 1916 centenary celebrations and the Ireland versus Switzerland friendly soccer international.However, the Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald didn’t budge on the issue and ruled out any changes.Speaking at the launch of their campaign, Donall O’Keeffe, Chief Executive of the LVA said the rationale for a change to the law was compelling. Deirdre Devitt, President, LVA and Pat Crotty, President, VFI. Source: Shane O’Neill PhotographyHe said the law hasn’t been changed in 90 years, stating that it is “no longer appropriate for a modern era”. Last year, O’Keeffe said tourists were dumbstruck to find that after paying for flights to Ireland, they could not buy a drink in an Irish bar.“One man from the United States pointed out that in his country there was a separation of Church and State and that’s what one would expect in a modern democracy. Others pointed out the negative effect on local business. So this shows the fallacy of the government’s claim to be pro-business,” said O’Keeffe.The group’s estimate businesses lose between €30 and €40 million by closing on Good Friday.Padraig Cribben CEO of the VFI said the public view the law as being completely out-of-date and publicans believe there is broad support for the law to be amended. Feb 6th 2017, 6:00 PM Publicans say Good Friday alcohol ban has no place in a modern Ireland Publicans have made a fresh appeal for the ban on selling alcohol on Good Friday to be lifted. In 2017, consumers should have the option to go out for a drink on Good Friday if they so choose. Indeed many are choosing to drink at home or organise house parties on the day. Friday itself is a very important trading day – for many publicans it accounts for 30% of their weekly business – and this is especially true of bank holiday weekends.“Publicans have been engaging with politicians on this issue for the last six years but the constant response is the issue will be addressed as part of a new Sale of Alcohol Bill. It’s as if ministers are living in never-never land while the rest of us have to live in the real world,” he said. Source: Shane O’Neill PhotographyCribbens said now is the time for politicians to show the political will to make the change, and made an appeal to the Minister for Justice, Frances Fitzgerald to introduce the necessary legislation in time for Easter 2017. O’Keeffe said the groups have not received any negative feedback from either the unions or from health lobbyists on the issue.He added that publicans are only campaigning for pubs to be allowed serve on Good Friday and said they were happy to remain closed on Christmas Day.Read: Where can I get a drink today?Read: As the off-licences were closing, we hit the streets to ask about the alcohol ban There is no case for the licensed trade to be treated differently to other retail businesses. Easter is a huge tourism weekend right across the country. Forcing pubs and all licensed hospitality businesses to close sends a very negative signal to tourists and visitors who are left baffled and disappointed by the measure. https://jrnl.ie/3224777 Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Short URL 20,176 Views By Christina Finn 145 Comments Monday 6 Feb 2017, 6:00 PM
Marx Wayne Coonrod denied robbing the same Vancouver Umpqua Bank branch twice and trying a third time over a three-month span in 2016 through the very end of his criminal case.“My right to a fair trial was taken from me. I’m sorry about what happened to these people, but it wasn’t me,” Coonrod said during sentencing Friday.“You’re a bank robber,” Clark County Superior Court Judge Daniel Stahnke replied, moments before he handed down a more than 14-year prison sentence.Coonrod, a 62-year-old from Scappoose, Ore., robbed the bank Feb. 1, 2016, and March 16, 2016, and tried to do it again April 22 of that year, court records say.The first robbery was carried out by a man wearing a dark-colored, hooded jacket, a dark beanie and scarf. He walked into the bank shortly after 10:30 a.m., according to an affidavit of probable cause. Witnesses described the robber as being an average height, with a heavy build and distinctive, almost limping walk, Senior Deputy Prosecutor James Smith said. The robber demanded bills in $50 and $100 denominations. He didn’t show a firearm.
Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#Jamaica, September 30, 2017 – Kingston – The Heart Foundation of Jamaica launched its annual PROVEN Run for Your Heart on September 27 as part of efforts to promote heart health. The lapathon and fun day event will be staged at Stadium East in Kingston on November 26 from at 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Activities include running, walking, aerobics sessions, rock wall climbing, football and netball as well as demonstrations by the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) and the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).Now in its 38th year, Run for Your Heart aims to raise funds to maintain its subsidised heart healthcare services. Proceeds from the event are also used to educate primary and secondary students on healthy lifestyle choices. The event is geared towards all members of the public, including primary, secondary and tertiary students, companies and sport clubs.Speaking with JIS News at the launch of the event at Emancipation Park in Kingston, Allie McNab, Special Advisor to the Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia Grange, said the Government fully endorses the initiative.“Healthy lifestyle is important right across the board. The Ministries of Culture and Health fully endorse this initiative. [A] healthy lifestyle extends your life and gives you a good quality of life. We want persons to take up the challenge of living a healthier life in terms of diet and exercise and, hopefully, this will combat some of the illnesses common in society,” he said.For her part, Executive Director of the Heart Foundation of Jamaica, Deborah Chen, said that the event is an important tool in the fight against cardiovascular disease, adding that 25 per cent of the population suffer from high blood pressure with another 33 per cent being pre-hypertensive.“Exercise is one of the activities that we can use to try and prevent ourselves from becoming overweight, along with healthy eating. Healthy eating means avoiding foods with too much salt, sugar and trans fats. What we are trying to do at this event is to encourage persons to start or continue a healthy lifestyle,” she said.Interested persons can register for the event by contacting the Heart Foundation of Jamaica at 906-9407 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp
Manchester United full-back Luke Shaw believes Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has already made huge strides since he replaced Jose MourinhoThe Red Devils named Solskjaer as interim coach for the remainder of this season following Mourinho’s dismissal this month.Under the Norwegian, United have secured convincing wins over Cardiff City and Huddersfield Town over the past week.Now Shaw, who himself had a difficult relationship with Mourinho at times, believes Solskjaer has made an instant impact on the squad.“I think you can see from the outside how much he has changed things in such a short space of time,” Shaw told Sky Sports.“He is just a really positive manager, he knows what the club needs and also what the fans want in the way we are playing.Maguire says United need to build on today’s win George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Harry Maguire wants his United teammates to build on the victory over Leicester City.During the summer, Harry Maguire was referred to as the ultimate…“He’s bringing that attacking, quick play back to Old Trafford. I’m sure the fans are going to appreciate that as much as we [the players] do.”As for how he found out about Solskjaer’s appointment, Shaw said: “The truth? My girlfriend told me.“I woke up in the morning and had a shower and she ran out of the room and told me.“I did not have a clue, I didn’t look at my phone or anything. That’s how I found out… from my girlfriend.”Solskjaer will take charge of his third game on Sunday when United host Bournemouth at Old Trafford.
Camron Rowen, 12, a student in Mike Holland’s math class at La Center Middle School, starts work on math problems on his iPad. The La Center School District expanded its iPad program this year. LA CENTER — As Mike Holland paced the front of his seventh-grade math class at La Center Middle School, his students settled into their seats, touch screens in hand.There was no click-a-tat of three-ring binders opening or the rustling of glossy textbook pages turning. There was just the silent unsheathing of tablet computers from their cloth vessels and the chatter of excited voices.This is the new classroom.As touch-screen gizmos become ubiquitous tools for everyday life, they’re also becoming mainstays of Clark County classrooms. Districts as far afield as La Center, Battle Ground, Vancouver and Washougal use, or have used, iPads at one time or another. This school year, school districts are expanding their iPad programs. In La Center, the program started as a pilot program in 2012.Holland, 63, is in his first week of incorporating the tablets into his daily lessons, and he’s enthusiastic about what he’s seen. He supplements the traditional math curriculum with interactive lesson plans from a website called Khan Academy that was recently featured on CBS’ “60 Minutes.”Khan Academy provides interactive tutorials, while Holland provides the hands-on teaching, which involves roaming the room and answering questions. What this means is a more fragmented form of learning, he said, but one that’s based on doing rather than listening to teacher lectures.
NORTH MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) – It was a day of giving back to dozens of dedicated schoolchildren for one Miami Heat star.Udonis Haslem hosted his sixth annual Christmas Honor Roll Event in North Miami Beach, Saturday morning.The 13-year Heat veteran invited out 80 underprivileged students who made the honor roll for a shopping spree at the Toys R Us near Northeast Fifth Avenue and 167th Street.Haslem said bringing joy to these hardworking pupils is the least he can do. “With all the negativity going on in the world, I see these kids doing positive things, so being a leader for me is just to show these kids, if you stay on the right path and continue to work hard and you work hard at school, anything is possible,” he said, “and I just want to reward those kids for that.”Haslem, a Miami native, has been a longtime advocate of education in the Miami community.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Comment Now playing: Watch this: TV and Movies 2:52 And yes, that means no cameos for Wonder Woman or Flash, or some random tease for a Wayne Industries truck. If Aquaman is worth watching, we won’t need a last-minute tease in a post-credits scene. Also, don’t worry about the legacy movies. I don’t want to have to watch the last several DCEU films to understand Aquaman. Yes, I watched them, but I also want to forget about them.Consistent toneAquaman could be epic or just hokey. I’m hoping for the former. Warner Bros. Pictures Justice League was clearly the product of directors with competing visions, with Zack Snyder wanting to go one way and Joss Whedon offering a different direction. The result was a hodgepodge movie that felt like it was partially directed by a series of notes from studio executives. Aquaman’s trailers promise an epic story on the scale of Game of Thrones, in which political intrigue mixes with massive undersea battles as multiple characters vie for the throne of Atlantis. Hopefully we’re not getting a bait-and-switch on the level of Suicide Squad, which in its commercials seemed to offer an offbeat, humorous take, only to end up as a film that took itself too seriously. Let’s actually see a little humor and levity in this film — hopefully the dead-serious Snyder motif is over. And please, no more climaxes with a giant beam shining down from the sky. It’s been done. To. Death.Characters I care aboutMomoa’s Aquaman in Justice League showed a little charisma, even if it was one-note. There’s potential for a lot of depth — here’s a character who’s the product of two worlds yet can’t fit into either. I want to see his struggles, even if that means getting away from the splashy battles, with their computer-generated effects, and spending time on developing his character arc. Beyond Momoa, Aquaman has a stacked cast. Amber Heard, Willem Dafoe and Patrick Wilson have the potential to add more texture to the film, and Nicole Kidman, recently off of Emmy and Golden Globe wins for Big Little Lies, has the potential to offer a little class as Arthur Curry’s mother.Show of forceMomoa offers a physically intimidating presence, but let’s face it, what did he do in Justice League? (No, seriously, can you tell me? I slept through a big chunk of it.) He seemingly just punched and stabbed people. Oh, and stood there as waves crashed over him. I have to admit, this looks pretty badass. Warner Bros. Pictures Aquaman can talk to sea creatures, and he boasts super strength and the ability to control waves. But we’ve never really seen a great demonstration of these powers. Why is Aquaman so badass? This film is the perfect opportunity to answer that question. In the eternal debate between Batman and Superman, almost no one will volunteer Aquaman as an alternative. Hopefully, that changes after Aquaman hits theaters.A distinct villain who’s not CGPatrick Wilson plays the villain Ocean Master. Warner Bros. Pictures OK, I get that this is a knock on virtually every comic book film. I’d love to see a worthy villain who has a well-developed character with a relatable motive. It’s not impossible. Black Panther pulled it off with Erik Killmonger, and so did Avengers: Infinity War, with Thanos. And though Marvel had a surprisingly effective computer-generated character in Thanos, I wouldn’t recommend DC go that route. Between Justice League’s Steppenwolf and Wonder Woman’s Ares, I’d rather the ending of Aquaman not feel like a terrible video game cut scene. That’s it. If Aquaman can nail these five elements, there may be hope for the DCEU yet. Aquaman hit theaters in the UK and other non-US markets on Dec. 14, and opens in the US on Dec. 21. Sorry, folks: Why you can’t buy every phone you want from AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint.Infinite Guide to Marvel: From the Avengers and MCU to the X-Men and everything in between, our biweekly newsletter will help you stay up to date on all things Marvel. The Aquaman film looks surprisingly good. Will this turn the DCEU around? Warner Bros. Pictures I’m genuinely excited about Aquaman. And I’m as surprised as anyone about that opinion. If you’d asked me even a year ago about the latest film in the DC Extended Universe, I would’ve shook my head or offered a little chuckle. How could the punchline character of Superfriends ever serve as the centerpiece of a good film? Yet early social media reactions from the first screenings were overwhelmingly positive (I know, they almost always are), our CNET reviewer Rich Trenholm called it thoroughly entertaining and I find myself looking forward to seeing this one on the big screen. You get the vibe that this film is different from past DCEU movies. That can only be a good thing. DC and Warner Bros. could use a win. With the exception of Wonder Woman, the DCEU has been a disaster. From the dour Man of Steel to the hacked-together mess that was Justice League, it’s been a rough time for DC fans (my favorite superhero growing up was Superman). If Aquaman actually sticks the landing, it would be the unlikeliest of victories. But here we are, with Jason Momoa offering a new, more likeable (if bro-ish) take on the submarine savior, and Aquaman as one of the most anticipated films of the holiday season. Here are five things that could truly make it epic.Make it self-containedI could repeat this advice to the makers of virtually any blockbuster movie these days: STOP laying the groundwork for future films. It was cute when films offered a little tease here and there, but it’s turned into an epidemic where each movie is essentially a commercial for half a dozen future movies. Just focus on making one solid film — the DCEU has shown it’s struggled to do even that. 77 Photos Share your voice 1 2019 movies to geek out over Tags Top 5 things we want to see in the Aquaman movie DC Comics Time Warner
More movies and TV shows Netflix 0 Share your voice Jason Momoa’s Aquaman is the superhero the world needs right now Black Panther composer to score Star Wars series The Mandalorian New Die Hard trailer calls it the ‘greatest Christmas story ever told’ Culture: Your hub for everything from film and television to music, comics, toys and sports.Star Wars at 40: Join us in celebrating the many ways the Force-filled sci-fi saga has impacted our lives. 50 Photos Tags The special could be the highly anticipated choose-your-own-adventure experience hinted at earlier this year.It’s set in 1984. In the trailer, a computer programmer turns an adventure fantasy novel called Bandersnatch into a video game. But in true dark Black Mirror fashion his task turns into a warped nightmare where the lines between reality and fiction blur. Netflix’s Black Mirror: Bandersnatch stars Fionn Whitehead, Will Poulter and Asim Chaudhry. Netflix A pixelated video game, a mysterious fantasy adventure book, VHS tapes, ’80s music and a whole lot of surreal horror make the upcoming Black Mirror: Bandersnatch on Netflix look like a retro treat.The trailer landed Thursday for the new 90-minute Black Mirror special debuting Friday, Dec. 28. TV and Movies Post a comment The Bandersnatch special is named after a creature in author Lewis Carroll’s sequel to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland called Through the Looking-Glass, which also uses nonsensical language and surreal plot points to tell a story.Black Mirror is a modern and darker version of the original Twilight Zone TV series. Creator Charlie Brooker often adds social commentary to compelling science fiction storytelling. 2019 TV shows you can’t miss
Oil, naira drag on Nigeria216 viewsOil, naira drag on Nigeria216 views00:00 / 00:00- 00:00:0000:00Oil, naira drag on Nigeria216 viewsBusinessNigeria’s economy had been motoring. But weaker oil prices and a slide in the currency has forced the government to trim expenditure. Economic growth for 2014 is now seen at 5.5 percent down from aVentuno Web Player 4.50Nigeria’s economy had been motoring. But weaker oil prices and a slide in the currency has forced the government to trim expenditure. Economic growth for 2014 is now seen at 5.5 percent down from a
Five years ago this week, just after thousands of garment workers had settled in behind their sewing machines, a poorly built eight-story Bangladeshi factory complex called Rana Plaza buckled and collapsed. More than 1,130 people, mostly young women, died; 2,500 were injured, reports Reuters.In the years since the worst disaster ever in the apparel industry, Bangladesh has become a laboratory for testing factory safety. Western brands and retailers that source low-priced clothing in Bangladesh have inspected 2,300 active factories and pressured suppliers to make real improvements. Dozens of shoddily built facilities have closed altogether.But the Bangladesh experiment has been only partially successful. The European and American companies limited their reach and left thousands of factories untouched. The Bangladeshi government, meanwhile, has demonstrated little willingness to change its lackadaisical attitude toward regulation. Millions of garment workers remain at risk, especially those working for subcontractors-small second- and third-tier factories often completely unknown to Western brands.The turmoil in the wake of Rana Plaza constituted a public relations crisis for Western brands and retailers. Some 250 companies have formed a pair of initiatives: the European-dominated Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, whose leadership includes trade unions, and the American-led Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety. These groups inspect factories, oversee remediation of safety problems, and collectively cut off any suppliers that fail to comply.Within their self-assigned jurisdictions – defined as the body of factories with which their members directly do business – the Accord and the Alliance have performed impressively. The Accord reports that 85 per cent of the hazards its inspectors identified have been fixed. These include blocked exits, inadequate sprinkler systems, faulty electrical wiring, and unstable support pillars. The Alliance reports an 88 per cent remediation rate.Catastrophic accidents have declined in Bangladesh. In 2013, there were 17 accidents, including Rana Plaza, that resulted in five or more deaths and/or 10 injured workers. Each year from 2014 through 2017, this number has hovered between two and five such accidents, according to data analysis contained in a new report by the NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights.But the mission of making factories safe in Bangladesh isn’t even close to done. The Accord and Alliance will not continue indefinitely. The Alliance plans to wrap up its work by the end of 2018. The Accord will renew its mandate every six months, but only through mid-2021. At some point, the factories that the two initiatives have overseen will return to the supervision of the Bangladeshi government, which is notorious for having ignored death traps like Rana Plaza and Tazreen Fashions, where a November 2012 fire killed 112.Subcontractors present a big challenge. These smaller shops help “mother” factories handle sudden volume increases and changed orders. No one has an exact count of subcontractors, most of which operate with little or no regulation. While the NYU Stern Center estimates that there may be as many as 3,000 of these factories, the government denies a subcontracting system even exists.But on a recent fact-finding trip, researchers from the NYU Stern Center visited two subcontracting factories of 150 and 200 workers each. They weren’t hard to find. At one, the owner told of receiving a list of fire-safety mandates from a government inspector. The owner said he’d lost the list and, in any event, didn’t have the money to install sprinklers or a fire alarm. He didn’t seem in the least concerned.It’s vital that the Bangladeshi government recognises the presence of garment subcontractors – as well as its larger long-term duty to regulate the industry with vigour. In the short term, though, those with an interest in the country’s apparel business ought to band together and finance a task force devoted to finishing the work the Accord and Alliance have begun.A “shared responsibility” task force could seek to address human rights challenges by means of the collective action of major stakeholders. Variations on the model have been used for years by international organizations that convene donor conferences to respond to refugee crises. In the supply-chain context, the goal ought to be protecting workers and spreading the benefits of globalisation more evenly.The task force should be Bangladeshi-led and include Western brands and retailers that have profited from selling Bangladeshi-made clothes. Western governments also need to step up, recognizing that their citizens benefit from the opportunity to buy these clothes at low prices. Traditional international funding agencies like the World Bank also ought to do much more to protect the workers in this sector. There is a role for private philanthropies, too.A rough estimate of how much such a task force should seek to raise is $1.2 billion. This represents an approximation of the number of factories that haven’t been renovated multiplied by $250,000 – a ballpark figure for an average remediation.Whatever budget the task force sets for itself, the amount should be understood as paying for the attainment of safety today. Once current gaps have been addressed, responsibility ought to shift to the government of Bangladesh. The fifth anniversary of Rana Plaza calls for a renewed and collective commitment to a safe and secure garment industry.According to British charity War on Want, garments exports account for 80 per cent of Bangladesh’s total export revenue, reports AFP.But even today, garments workers’ rights remain far from guaranteed, with many working 14 to 16 hour days at some of Bangladesh’s 4,500 factories, the organisation says.- ‘Never again’? -As Western consumers grow more socially and environmentally conscious, the fashion houses that have long relied on factories like those in the Rana Plaza have battled to redeem themselves.Primark, for one, says it “continues to support those who were affected and … has contributed a total of over $14 million in aid and compensation”.It also says it launched a programme of building inspections “to assess its suppliers’ factories against international standards” six weeks after the building collapse, and that it “remains committed” to improving the Bangladeshi garment industry as a whole.Swedish retail giant H&M, which says it never used the Rana Plaza factories to produce garments, is nonetheless committed to ensuring greater “social and environmental progress” in Bangladesh.On 19 April, H&M said in a statement that 450,000 textile workers at 227 factories in Bangladesh that produce garments for its stores worldwide “are now represented by democratically elected representatives”.The role of these representatives is to “speak on behalf of the workers when discussions are held about for example working hours, working conditions, health and security issues”, the statement said.- ‘Appalling’ conditions -More broadly, the International Labour Organisation launched a programme following the disaster, to “enhance safety in factories so that the country should never again experience a tragedy like the Rana Plaza collapse”.The ILO programme includes training for local producers in chemical safety, inspection of over 1,500 factories for building and fire safety, labour inspection, and an improved culture of safety in the workplace.Celine Choain, a garment industry specialist at the Paris-based Kea Partners consultancy, said that while there has definitely been progress, much remains to be done.”The incident definitely acted as a catalyst for brands” to put in place changes in the way they produce their garments, Choain told AFP.She noted that two thirds of the 1,700 Bangladeshi factories inspected following an ILO-sponsored safety agreement successfully corrected 75 per cent of the breaches that were identified.However, wages remain dismally low, according to War on Want, which last week described working conditions for the vast majority of Bangladesh’s garment factory workers as “appalling”.Many garment workers earn little more than the minimum wage of 5,300 taka ($65, 53 euros) per month.
National Liberation Party (PLN) lawmaker Rolando González Ulloa on Wednesday morning filed an appeal with the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court, or Sala IV, that challenges a directive by the Legislative Assembly’s directorate prohibiting officials from providing information or statements to the press without approval by the Assembly’s executive director.Assembly President Henry Mora Jiménez, from the ruling Citizen Action Party (PAC), and secretaries Jorge Rodríguez Araya and Luis Vásquez Castro, from the Social Christian Unity Party, signed the directive on Dec. 10, 2014. It was disclosed to Assembly officials in an internal memo this week.The memo explains that all information required by members of the media must be approved and channeled through the Assembly’s executive director, Antonio Ayales Esna.“The measure aims to provide effective, official, clear and concise information. It does not intend to block communication bridges. The goal is to maintain order and unity in the delivery of official documentation,” the document states.Vázquez denied that the move limits access to information.“We are enforcing a 2009 agreement that is currently being used in all public offices; we are simply naming an official spokesperson. The move is necessary because some people here have distributed information and documents regarding decisions that haven’t yet been approved,” he said.Earlier on Wednesday, González filed the complaint asking Sala IV justices to revoke the directorate’s policy because “it constitutes a threat to freedom of expression, of accessing information and of the press in our country,” he said at a press conference later that day.González told reporters that the directorate’s latest agreement “is one of 11 consecutive decisions – all related to the government and to PAC and its allies – where threats to press freedom are evident.”The legislator cited a directive by Casa Presidencial last year to filter all public agencies’ communications to the media. He also mentioned criticisms, negative remarks and calls to boycott media outlets made by Presidency Minister Melvin Jiménez, PAC President Kattia Martin and former Broad Front Party presidential candidate José María Villalta.In addition, González said he filed a separate appeal with the Sala IV against minister Jiménez for refusing to comply with a request to deliver a report on the log of Casa Presidencial’s incoming and outgoing visitors from December to January.“The Constitutional Chamber will tell us if that information is confidential or not,” the Liberation legislator said. Facebook Comments Related posts:Legislative Assembly reverses order restricting access to information Costa Rican lawmakers reject 2015 budget, Assembly president passes it anyway Less-than-impressive: It’s been a year of few achievements by Costa Rica’s Legislative Assembly Setback for Solís: Opposition parties gain control of Costa Rica’s legislative directorate
Two National Police officers were detained this week after being accused of robbing foreigners, Costa Rica’s Public Security Ministry confirmed Thursday.The incident occurred in Garabito, a canton within Puntarenas province best known for housing the beach city of Jacó.“We received an alert of people who had apparently been the victims of robbery on the part of the officials,” said Rodrigo Alfaro, the regional assistant director for National Police in the Central Pacific.According to the daily La Nación, two officers with surnames Falcón and Faerron allegedly picked up the victims in downtown Jacó, robbed them of about $400 and their cell phones, and dropped them off at nearby Clarita Beach.Alfaro said that upon learning of the allegations, his team immediately communicated with the officials’ supervisors and with the prosecutor’s office. The two National Police officers were then detained.“They are being investigated at this moment by the Garabito prosecutor’s office,” Alfaro said.Know your rightsUnder the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, Costa Rican authorities are required to send any communication you address to your country’s embassy or consular office. While an embassy cannot investigate crimes, it will connect you with resources that can.Global Affairs Canada, a branch of the Government of Canada, provided an overview of Costa Rica’s criminal law system for visitors:You cannot be held in detention longer than 24 hours without a court order. In most cases, only a prosecutor can order the continued detention of an individual. During the arrest, all personal items, including travel documents, are held in custody by the authorities. You will be informed of your rights, including the right:to know the cause of your detention, the name of the officer that requested it, and be shown the warrant issued against you;to immediately inform the person or institution of your choice that you have been arrested and detained;to be assisted from the beginning of the proceedings by the lawyer of your choice, otherwise by a public defender;to be presented to the prosecutor (from the office of the prosecutor or Ministerio Público) or the court (tribunal), and to be informed of the acts you are alleged to have committed;to remain silent. In case you decide to make a statement, you have the right to have your lawyer present when you do so;not to undergo any technique or method that could induce or alter your free will or undermine your dignity; andnot to be subject to any means that impair your free movement, other than those restrictions ordered by the prosecutor or court.The United States Embassy recommends that victims of a crime contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate, report the incident to local police and request a copy of the ensuing police report.This story was made possible thanks to The Tico Times 5 % Club. If only 5 percent our readers donated at least $2 a month, we’d have our operating costs covered and could focus on bringing you more original reporting from around Costa Rica. We work hard to keep our reporting independent and groundbreaking, but we can only do it with your help. Join The Tico Times 5% Club and help make stories like this one possible.Support the Tico Times Facebook Comments Related posts:Central America arrests break up major human trafficking ring, police say National Police increase street surveillance ahead of holiday season Government announces increased security measures to curb recent crime wave Police officers suspected of robbing tourists under investigation by OIJ, MSP
Virtuoso’s Luxury Marketplace White Paper reveals 77% of Virtuoso agency members in the Asia-Pacific region are seeing growth in the business, but it’s not all rosy. Luxury travel agencies believe there is opportunity to connect more effectively with luxury clients through co-operative marketing beyond pure discounting.Key insights from Virtuoso’s white paper include:Luxury travel suppliers are willing to spend more from their marketing budgets but they don’t believe current joint marketing campaigns portray their brand wellLuxury travel agencies believe there is opportunity to connect more effectively with luxury clients through co-operative marketing beyond pure discountingRepeat business accounts for more than 70% of most Virtuoso advisor business and new client acquisition is attained overwhelmingly through referrals, but relationship marketing holds a small share of existing marketing spendMost luxury supply marketing is aimed at new customer acquisition which is least likely to convert and often fixated on discountsThe APAC market craves localised marketing and personal messaging, rather than those repurposed from larger international markets“The luxury travel segment is thriving both here in our region and globally. Consumers are trading up to the best experiences the industry has to offer and our business grew over 20% in 2017, making this one of Virtuoso’s fastest growing markets globally,” Virtuoso’s Managing Director – Australia, New Zealand and Asia, Michael Londregan said.“While desire is high, we feel our industry is lagging behind the consumer when it comes to the way we market luxury travel. We found a strong belief amongst both luxury travel suppliers and advisors that there are few viable and effective marketing channels to communicate their message and support their brands.“There is a lot of activity in the travel marketplace but most of it is distress marketing – promoting our “brown bananas” – and very little communicates the luxury value proposition in a way that connects with luxury clients. Our research shows this is something our luxury suppliers and agents are craving.”Mr Londregan said following the white paper’s findings, Virtuoso will make a significant investment in marketing resources for the region in order to better service supply partners and agency members.As a direct result of the research Virtuoso is delighted to announce that Adrian Clarke, will join Virtuoso’s APAC team in a marketing role in March 2018.“Transitioning from the member side of the program into Virtuoso itself is an exciting progression,” Mr Clarke said.“I’ve always admired Virtuoso’s clear market position and look forward to working with the best suppliers and advisors in the region to grow engagement and revenues through better marketing programs.”Mr Clarke has held numerous senior marketing roles in the travel sector including most recently as the Head of Marketing with Travel Associates, one of Virtuoso’s valued members.IMAGE: Adrian Clarke luxuryVirtuoso