Costa Rica ended 2015 with a negative inflation rate, thanks in large part to lower fuel and electricity costs, according to figures released by the National Statistics and Census Institute (INEC) on Friday.It marks the first time Costa Rica has registered negative inflation since 1965 – exactly 50 years ago.In eight of the 12 months last year, the prices of various products and services used to make up the index were in the negative, leading to an end-of-the-year variation of -0.81 percent.“We saw an important decrease in electrical services and fuels such as gasoline and diesel in the first and second halves,” said Oddet Navarro, spokeswoman for the Price Index program at INEC.Food products, namely produce, also saw decreases, along with bus fares, she said.In 2014, annual inflation was 5.13 percent. Costa Rica’s highest rate of inflation in the past decade was registered in 2008 at a rate of 13.9 percent. Facebook Comments Related posts:Costa Rica should expect 4.3 percent GDP growth, World Bank says Despite a growing deficit for Costa Rica, no new taxes planned for 2015 Eurasia Group downgrades Costa Rica’s short, long-term outlooks to ‘negative’ Costa Rica to drop interest rates in attempt to jump-start economy
The vital role family plays in society “They are the first line of defense for global collective security and they are pillars, essential pillars, for regional security,” Guterres told The Associated Press at a regional World Economic Forum conference. “If they fall, the consequences will be dramatic for the whole world.”Close to 15 million people already have been uprooted by conflicts in Syria and Iraq, Guterres said, adding that “many of those displaced live in absolute misery.”At the same time, international aid agencies and governments of refugee host countries struggle with a growing funding gap for efforts to alleviate the crisis. They requested $8.4 billion for this year, including $2.9 billion for work inside Syria and $5.5 billion for refugees and their host countries.Both programs so far have received only about one-fifth of the needed funds, U.N. officials have said.Guterres said the world can show greater solidarity by giving more support to host countries and by opening borders.“We cannot ask these countries to keep their borders open and to close other borders,” he said. “So it is also absolutely essential that borders are open to Syrians everywhere, that more legal avenues are created for people to come to Europe,” such as resettlement and family reunification programs. Sponsored Stories Comments Share Top Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies He said this would be a “clear expression of burden-sharing with these countries to … allow them to feel that they are not alone with this tragic impact of the Syrian crisis in their own lives.”European governments are sharply divided over the issue, including proposals to set country quotas for absorbing refugees as a way of sharing the burden more evenly. Only a few European countries, including Germany, have taken in Syrian refugees.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. SOUTHERN SHUNEH, Jordan (AP) — Borders must be “open to Syrians everywhere,” including in Europe, to help ease the logistical burden of Middle Eastern countries that have absorbed close to 4 million Syrian refugees, the head of the U.N. refugee agency said Saturday.Antonio Guterres also appealed to the international community to boost development aid to refugee host countries such as Jordan and Lebanon. Top holiday drink recipes 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches
JERUSALEM (AP) — U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham says allowing the United Nations to decide the Israeli-Palestinian peace process is a “mistake.”The South Carolina senator is a Republican foreign policy hawk and critic of President Barack Obama’s handling of the Middle East. He was visiting Israel on Wednesday ahead of an expected announcement on a run for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. Top Stories Sponsored Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches Comments Share Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Following remarks by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before March elections that he would not allow the establishment of a Palestinian state, Obama has said he would reassess U.S. policy toward Israel. That means the Security Council could be a potential place to act on the conflict. France also has said it would take a resolution on the conflict to the council.Visits to Israel are common for U.S. presidential hopefuls.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Men’s health affects baby’s health too Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies
Go back to the e-newsletter >Marriott Hotels has expanded its portfolio in China with the opening of the 340-room Shenzhen Marriott Hotel Nanshan in Shenzhen. Under a long-term management agreement with its owner Centralcon, the hotel is situated in the top floors of SCC Building, an iconic landmark that offers 360-degree views of the sea and city landscape.The 340 luxurious guestrooms of the hotel are located in the 45th to 60th floor of the 300m-high SCC Building. Ranging from 40sqm to 70sqm, all guestrooms feature views of Shenzhen Bay and Hong Kong border. Each guestroom is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and amenities such as high-speed internet access, IPTV, iPod, deck Nespresso coffee machine, comfortable beds with high-quality linen and room control unit.Shenzhen Marriott Hotel Nanshan offers a total of 2000sqm of meeting space, including a 900sqm grand ballroom, 7 function rooms and 3 boardrooms. The grand ballroom can be partitioned into 3 smaller rooms and accommodate functions of different scales. It embraces a huge foyer and a built-in LED display wall.Guests can enjoy a variety of local and international culinary delights at the Shenzhen Marriott Hotel Nanshan. Nanshan Kitchen is the highest all-day dining restaurant in Nanshan featuring sumptuous buffets; Man Ho Chinese restaurant offers authentic Cantonese cuisine, providing guests with a traditional yet sophisticated dining experience; Lobby Lounge is a bar that transitions from a coffee and pastry hub in the day to alcoholic beverages and snacks in the evening; The Café offers freshly brewed coffee, tempting pastries, handcrafted sandwiches and desserts.Go back to the e-newsletter >
Measure naming portion of U.S. 10 heads to governorThe Senate today approved legislation sponsored by state Rep. Jon Bumstead, R-Newaygo, designating a Lake County portion of Highway U.S. 10 as the “Sheriff Robert Radden Memorial Highway.” Before passing away in the line of duty nearly 45 years ago, the former Lake County sheriff served the community for four years.“Honorable law enforcement officers like Sheriff Radden risk their lives daily to protect their communities,” Bumstead said. “Tragically, not all of our great heroes return from the line of duty. Memorializing Sheriff Radden in this way will help us remember his sacrifice and honor his dedication to our Lake County community.”In 1969, Sheriff Robert Charles Radden gave the ultimate sacrifice after responding to reports of a bar fight. He passed away a month after being struck by a vehicle in the line of duty, as he had suffered coma-inducing injuries. Radden was survived by his wife and two children.“Offering condolences to family and friends of those who have lost loved ones in the line of duty is equally as important as memorializing those same heroes who have made immense sacrifices protecting public safety in our communities,” Bumstead said.The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C. also recognizes Sheriff Radden’s sacrifice.House Bill 4601 passed the Senate with overwhelming support and now awaits the governor’s signature.### Categories: News 16Dec Senate approves Bumstead bill honoring late Lake County Sheriff Robert Radden
Categories: News 13Feb Rep. Jacobsen announces fishing free-for-all State Representative Brad Jacobsen of Oxford announced today that the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is sponsoring a license-free weekend of fishing, Feb. 14-15.The department is waiving fishing license requirements for the upcoming weekend so residents and tourists across the state looking to drop a line will be able to enjoy Michigan’s premier fishing waters.“This is a great reason to get out of the house this weekend and inhale some cold crisp Pure Michigan air!” Rep. Jacobsen said. “I encourage everyone to take advantage of this no-license fishing event and to get outdoors to see what Michigan has to offer.”During the weekend all other fishing rules and requirements, such as size and species limits, apply. The next free fishing weekend is June 13-14.For more information, please visit the Michigan DNR website at www.michigan.gov/dnr.##### Tags: #SB
Categories: Hornberger News,News 05Jun Rep. Hornberger’s measure streamlining tax-exempt purchases signed into law Rep. Pamela Hornberger’s measure making it easier for schools, non-profits and qualified businesses to complete tax-exempt purchases in Michigan has been signed into law.The new law assists buyers who qualify for sales use and tax exemptions on certain purchases but don’t claim the exemption at the time of purchase. Buyers now will be able to file for a refund directly with the state Treasury.“This change will make the process of seeking a refund simpler and clearer for everyone involved in the transaction,” said Hornberger, of Macomb County’s Chesterfield Township.Hornberger sponsored the legislation with state Rep. Sue Allor of Wolverine.Michigan law already allows nonprofits and certain businesses – including many schools, churches and some agricultural producers — to claim a sales and use tax exemption on purchases of tangible personal property. Under the revised law, buyers who don’t claim the exemption at the time of purchase would need an exemption certificate and a record of the sale to qualify for the refund directly from Treasury.After Gov. Rick Snyder’s approval, House Bills 5620-21 have become Public Acts 167 and 168 of 2018. ###
Legislation establishes juvenile mental health courtsState Rep. Ben Frederick today voted to support an innovative plan to create specialized juvenile mental health courts in Michigan.Frederick, of Owosso, said mental health courts successfully help struggling adults address their problems through court-based treatment programs, reducing recidivism in Michigan. A mental health court for adults is expected to begin in Shiawassee County next year, while a drug treatment court was launched in 2016.“The results are clear – treatment courts are helping people,” Frederick said. “It’s time to expand these opportunities and help troubled young people turn their lives around.”Frederick said Michigan’s current procedures for mental health courts were established with the adult court system in mind. The juvenile system uses different terms and expects different results than the adult system.The plan laid out in House Bills 5806-08 uses the well-established adult mental health court system as a framework, with modifications to address the needs of juveniles in Michigan.“The earlier we can help troubled kids and their families get to the root cause of their problems, the more likely kids are to grow up to lead healthy, successful lives,” Frederick said.The plan now moves to the Senate for consideration.### Categories: Frederick News 05Dec Rep. Frederick supports plan to help troubled Michigan youth
12Mar Rep. Sheppard celebrates March is Reading Month with Bedford Public Schools State Rep. Jason Sheppard of Temperance visited students at Douglas Road Elementary last week and read to them in honor of March is Reading Month. Categories: Sheppard News,Sheppard Photos
State Rep. Bronna Kahle invites Lenawee County residents to join her for local office hours on Friday, April 12.“My priority is making Lenawee County a better place to live, work and raise a family and that starts by listening to people and understanding their experiences,” Rep. Kahle said. “Your input is truly appreciated because it helps me better serve our community.”Rep. Kahle will meet with residents at the following times and locations:11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Lenawee District Library, 4459 W. US Highway 223 in Adrian; and1 to 2 p.m. at Addison Branch Library, 102 S. Talbot St. in Addison.No appointments are necessary to attend office hours. Those unable to attend may contact Rep. Kahle’s office at (517) 373-1706 or BronnaKahle@house.mi.gov. Categories: Kahle News 03Apr Rep. Kahle announces office hours on April 12
19Apr Rep. Leutheuser welcomes local pastor to lead House invocation Categories: Leutheuser News PHOTO INFORMATION: State Rep. Eric Leutheuser of Hillsdale welcomed Pastor Dave Pierce (center) of First Baptist Church in Coldwater to the state Capitol to lead Thursday’s invocation for the Michigan House of Representatives. House tradition allows a representative to invite a clergy member to begin each day’s session with prayer. Speaker Lee Chatfield (left) joined them at the rostrum.
Share42Tweet2Share8Email52 SharesNo Exit / The Wandering Angel September 13, 2016; WWLP-TV (Western Massachusetts)In 1967, filmmaker Frederick Wiseman filmed a documentary called Titicut Follies about Bridgewater State Prison for the Criminally Insane in Massachusetts. The film would soon become notorious, but not because everyone flocked to see it. In fact, it was banned for years.In 1968, after two showings in New York, Massachusetts Superior Court judge Harry Kalus ordered all copies of the film pulled from distribution and destroyed. Many believed that the censorship had less to do with trying to protect the rights of the inmates, who were often filmed naked even while being taunted and abused by guards, and more to do with the need to cover up the terrifying human rights abuses it exposed. (The film can be viewed here.)Over the years, the institution has taken on a more hybrid stance, badly spanning the mental health and “corrections” roles, but it remains in the same location. Now, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has called for another round of reforms that will emphasize treatment over incarceration. In fact, no guards will be allowed to interact with the inmates at all, and the state plans to put the contract for managing the institution out for bid. This, to us, sounds like a bad plan.Earlier this week, on Tuesday, the Secretary of Public Safety and Security, Dan Bennett, said to the Committee on Mental Health and Substance Abuse, “The goal in this case is to take Bridgewater State Hospital and transition it from what it is now into more of a mental health facility.…This has been what Bridgewater State Hospital should have been all along.”Bennett calls this “a bold step that Governor Baker instructed me to take almost a year ago.” But is it really so bold? After all, regardless of the changes, the facility remains a Department of Corrections facility, as Bennett reminds us.Prisoner advocates had pushed to transfer control of the facility to the Department of Mental Health. “The need is for large, systemic change,” said Christine Griffin, executive director of the Disability Law Center. She said, “We’re looking for [the Department of Mental Health] to be in there in a much bigger way.” The DLC called for the institution to be placed in receivership in June after it finished an investigation into a case where an inmate died after having ingested large amounts of toilet paper.But other advocates might argue the entire site should be abandoned, tortured ghosts and all, to make an entirely new start from a brand new set of precepts. In this case, the symbolism would help the skeptics among us believe that real change is going to be required by the state, that there would be no going back.Jim Pingeon of Prisoners Legal Services said he has been visiting Bridgewater for thirty years, and his reaction to it is unchanged over that period. “How can you possibly expect someone with a serious mental illness to get better in a place like this? It is a prison that’s called a hospital. But it’s not a hospital.”Pingeon also points out that for the fifty inmates who will be transferred to another prison, the shift will be akin to “taking them out of the frying pan and throwing them into the fire.” Pingeon alleges that correctional officers, acting out in “frustration” or “sadism,” encourage patients to kill themselves.Now, Bennett disputes that “100 percent.” Still, why do we feel we have heard this before?—Ruth McCambridgeShare42Tweet2Share8Email52 Shares
German pay TV operator Sky Deutschland wants to bid for all rights to the next round Bundesliga football rights, including the online and mobile rights currently held by Deutsche Telekom, according to CEO Brian Sullivan.Sullivan told Focus magazine that Sky wanted to distribute coverage of German football to mobile phones and tablets as well as to TV subscribers.Sullivan said that Sky might be able to accept a free-to-air highlights show at 18:30 as part of the next round of rights. Sky has previously said it would only consider paying more for the next set of rights if free-to-air highlights were aired later in the evening.The German Football League will launch bids for the next round of Bundesliga rights before the end of this year.
African sports broadcaster SuperSport is launching a pan regional 24 hours football channel after winning a raft of international soccer rights.The broadcaster won the rights to the Euro 2012 Championships and the Africa Cup of Nations. SuperSport will launch the channel to air all 32 Africa Cup of Nations games live in high definition as well as the majority of Euro 2012 games.The Afcon deal will cover the tournament in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea as well the next two editions of the tournament in 2013 and 2015 as well as the Africa Nations Championships in 2014, the African Youth Championships in 2013 and 2015, the annual CAF Super Cup and the CAF Confederations Cup.
Over 750,000 households have registered with UltraViolet to create digital lockers for their content, according to the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE), the consortium behind the standard.UltraViolet-enabled DVDs and Blu-rays are currently on sale in the US and UK. Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Universal Studios Home Entertainment and Warner Bros Home Entertainment Group plan to release hundreds of additional UltraViolet-enabled titles in 2012. UltraViolet-enabled titles planned for the UK in 2012 includes Crazy Stupid Love, Midnight in Paris and Dolphin Tale.Warner Bros-backed US service Flixster and Sony and Universal’s dedicated UltraViolet websites currently provide access to movies to view on Android and iOS devices and PCs and Macs. Samsung has also announced that its Smart Blu-ray players will stream movies and TV shows stored in the cloud through a new Flixster application coming this year.
Portuguese pay TV operator Zon Multimédia has launched a new publicity campaign based on the fact that it is now offering over 50 channels on its Restart TV service.Restart TV enables Zon’s Iris advanced TV subscribers to restart shows if they miss the beginning. The service is used by more than 85% of customers with access to it, with over two million restart plays since its launch in September last year.The company’s campaign highlighting the service comprises adverts on TV, the cinema, press, web and on billboards. Zon is offering Restart on 52 channels.
TV technology provider RGB Networks has expanded its Enhanced Video Intelligence Architecture (eVIA) to include the newly-upgraded TransAct encoder/transcoder.Adding integrated encoding to RGB’s existing TransAct Transcoder product, the new TransAct encoder/transcoder now offers the ability to ingest uncompressed SDI-sourced live content, as well as IP and file input, for live or on-demand IP video delivery to smartphones, tablets, PCs and connected TVs, as well as traditional set-top boxes.The enhanced TransAct encoder/transcoder offers a variety of input/output choices, including SDI input and output for live video, packaged formats such as Apple HLS, Microsoft Smooth Streaming, Adobe HDS, MPEG DASH or RTMP, or mezzanine format for just-in-time packaging. Offering density of up to four HD-SDI inputs per one rack unit platform, the scalable TransAct Encoder/Transcoder can fit into various environments, according to RGB.“The addition of the newly revamped TransAct encoder/transcoder to our eVIA ecosystem, gives providers the key building blocks they need to stay on the leading edge of multiscreen video delivery,” said Nabil Kanaan, senior director, product marketing for RGB Networks. “The strengthening of eVIA opens up new opportunities for video service providers to develop compelling live and on-demand services, which increase both subscriber retention and revenue-generation, and ultimately ease their transition to a monetised, multi-device video environment.”RGB will be exhibiting at IBC on Stand 4.C78
Pay TV’s dual revenue stream model faces a number of challenges that could have a severe adverse impact on it, according to Bill Roedy, former chairman and CEO, MTV International and author of What Makes Business Rock.Interviewed by BBC journalist Raymond Snoddy at the CTAM Europe EuroSummit in Vienna this morning, Roedy said that the growth in à la carte, on-demand and OTT viewing could have an adverse impact on pay TV subscription revenues.The bundling model, which had delivered solid revenue streams to pay TV channel providers, was now facing considerable pressure, he said. “Bundling inherently is a negative consumer proposition, but it’s worked for the industry,” said Roedy.The advertising business of pay TV channels is also under threat from disruptive technologies, Roedy told EuroSummit attendees. “Advertising on TV isn’t hitting the target audience. Agencies are always the last to respond. The smart box now gives you complete information and there will be a lot more scrutiny,” said Roedy. The use of data from intelligent devices could threaten the advertising business model, he said.Roedy said DVRs could also threaten the advertising business, in this case in part because no mechanism was yet in place to provide accurate viewing numbers that broadcasters could monetise with advertisers, he said.Nevertheless, said Roedy, cable had strong advantages and would continue to prosper if it adapted to change. There was room to grow in Europe, he said, where penetration and ARPUs were much lower than in the US. Roedy said he believed OTT services such as Netflix could struggle as the prices of content accessible to them rose. He said Netflix would find it difficult to compete with established pay TV content businesses. “OTT services are getting into original programming but it’s not easy to produce hits,” he said.
Almost half of US pay TV subscribers have used TV Everywhere services but relatively few know the term and the majority view authentication requirements as a significant hurdle to take-up, according to a survey by research group GfK.According to the survey, about 43% of pay TV customers have used multiscreen TV services from their pay TV provider or a TV broadcaster, with slightly more – 37% – using broadcasters’ services than that of their service provider – 30%. Over two third of users said their TV Everywhere viewing was additional to regular TV viewing rather than a substitute for it.Despite the popularity of such services, only 22% knew the term “TV Everywhere” while only 34% had awareness of the term “authentication”. A majority – 70% – said the authentication process would deter them to some extent from using a service, with 25% saying they would be deterred “a lot”.Despite TV Everywhere being seen as a churn reduction tool by service providers, only 25% of users said such services made them more likely to stay with their current provider.GfK said that authentication required the creation of a standardized process and logo if consumer hesitation was to be overcome.
RTL Group has acquired a minority stake in StyleHaul, a YouTube fashion and beauty network that was co-founded by Machinima CEO Allen DeBevoise.With the investment, Giles Drew from RTL Group’s Corporate Strategy team will join StyleHaul’s board of directors, RTL confirmed.Though details of the agreement were not disclosed, StyleHaul is reported to have raised US$6 million (€4.66 million) through the deal, which follows an earlier reported investment by RTL parent Bertelsmann via its digital media investments arm earlier this year.RTL Group said the StyleHaul investment underlines its strategy to become a leading player in all segments of the rapidly growing online video market, and complements FremantleMedia’s portfolio of more than 100 YouTube channels.“Stephanie Horbaczewski is building a very exciting business at StyleHaul, and we’re extremely pleased to be a part of it,” said Giles Drew, Vice President Strategy at RTL Group.“Online video is at the very heart of RTL Group’s strategy, and this investment is a great fit for our vision. StyleHaul’s highly engaged global community of like-minded video viewers supports both our ambition to be a leader in online video, and our strategy to develop our portfolio of brands targeting specific demographics and interest groups.”StyleHaul was founded in 2011 by former Saks Fifth Avenue marketing director Horbaczewski, along with Allen and Aaron DeBevoise – the team that founded video-game focused multichannel YouTube network Machinima.StyleHaul consists of more than 2,000 style channels and claims to be the largest original network on YouTube for fashion and beauty, ranking 16th in terms of video views among YouTube partners with more than 300 million video views per month. The business employs some 40 people and is headquartered in LA with an office in New York.