Hundreds throng DUs open day session for their queries

first_imgNew Delhi: Over 1,200 parents and students took part on the second day of open day session organised by Delhi University, for clearing doubts regarding various courses, colleges and admission process.After a presentation by the University officials, participants asked questions about the newly introduced EWS quota and their certificates issues. “I had some question about evaluation and to make edit at the portal, I have registered because the portal was not displaying the significant switch while filing the form,” said Rohit Verma, an applicant from the Baraut. Also Read – Cylinder blast kills mother and daughter in Karawal NagarLike Verma, there were many students who had queries on the certificates required for admission under the extracurricular activities category. “I had received a number of certificates in extracurricular activities and from the regional level,” said Tavleen Sethi, who glad to over their query resolved. Moreover, many parents and students had queries about the newly introduced EWS category. Some aspirants also complained that their SDMs were not even aware about any EWS certificate, which they were required to issued. Also Read – Two persons arrested for killing manager of Muthoot Finance”The DU administration has demanding EWS certificate but our regional administration is not addressing our problem, if we would not get any certificate than we are compel to registered as general candidate and will miss the benefit,” said Rohit, from Bhiwani, Haryana. “The authorities are saying that they are not aware about the EWS certificate. DU is saying that it’s not their prerogative. It is disheartening to know this. I had a subject engineering graphics in Class 12 and I wanted to know whether the marks I secured in that subject can be added to the best of four,” she said. An admission official said some 24-25 students who have registered themselves on the admission portal have uploaded EWS certificates and if any government official is saying they do not know about it, the varsity is helpless. Many other students and their parents had queries about the OBC certificate, which they said had been issued last year, while the Delhi University mandates that it should be dated March 31, 2019 or later. Some students also said that the district authorities were refusing to reissue certificates as they queried if they could upload income certificate along with a copy of the OBC certificate of last year. The University will hold the next sessions on June 8 at the conference center near gate number 4, while on June 4, 6, 7 and 10 will have at Kamla Nehru College, Rajdhani College, Ramlal Anand college, Zakir Hussain College and Maharaja Agrasen College. Meanwhile, members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad and NSUI set up help desk of their own near the Arts Faculty.last_img read more

Former MLB allstar Alomar swings for fence on Edmonton ballparks behalf

first_imgEDMONTON – A baseball legend who helped the Toronto Blue Jays capture back-to-back World Series titles in the early 1990s is stepping up to the plate to try to keep Edmonton’s river valley ballpark from the wrecker’s ball.Hall-of-Fame second baseman Roberto Alomar has written a letter to Edmonton’s mayor and city council after hearing that the 9,200-seat park may be demolished some day to make room for future redevelopment in the neighbourhood where it’s located.Alomar offered to write the letter when he spoke last month at a fundraising dinner for the Edmonton Prospects, a collegiate summer team that plays in the Western Major Baseball League, and learned the facility’s days may be numbered.Mayor Don Iveson says the ballpark, situated next to the North Saskatchewan River, is not in any immediate danger of being torn down.The Prospects hold a lease on the stadium for at least the next two seasons.A report outlining potential options for the area in which it sits is expected to come before city council near the end of this year or early next year.Alomar wrote in his letter that baseball is on the upswing in Alberta, due largely to organizations such as the Prospects that work with local players and coaches to improve their skills.He said the ballpark — once home to championship-winning Triple A baseball teams — inspires kids throughout Western Canada by showing them they can have a chance to play in front of thousands of fans who respect their skill and accomplishments.“I can’t emphasize enough the importance of this ballpark for baseball in Alberta and, more importantly, how devastating it would be to the baseball community and the many young players if it were demolished,” he penned.Iveson said Alomar’s letter isn’t necessary right now, but he plans to keep the former major leaguer in the loop.“Attendance numbers (for Prospects games) are coming up and that’s very positive. We’re still an awful long way from a sustainable cost model there. The ballpark is aging and it’s going to require a lot of investment,” he said.Jordan Blundell, the Prospects’ assistant general manager, said any decision on the ballpark is years down the road and the team is planning to play there long term. He also said when Alomar offers to volunteer on your behalf, you don’t say no.“It kind of falls in line with what he’s doing now as a baseball philanthropist, teacher and builder.”A statement posted Tuesday to the team’s website from managing partner Pat Cassidy said the Prospects are pleased with Iveson’s comments, but they “want to clarify that our concerns emanate from city administration comments that three or four concept plans may go to council by year’s end and one may not include the ballpark.” (CTV Edmonton, The Canadian Press)last_img read more

Malaysia says Goldman Sachs must pay apology not enough

first_imgPUTRAYAJAYA, Malaysia — Malaysia’s Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said Friday that an apology by Goldman Sachs for its role in the alleged multibillion-dollar ransacking of state investment fund 1MDB was insufficient and that it must pay $7.5 billion as compensation.Goldman CEO David Solomon apologized Wednesday to the Malaysian people for its former banker Tim Leissner’s role in arranging bond sales for 1MDB. Those sales provided a means for associates of former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak to allegedly steal billions over several years from the fund.Solomon has said the investment bank conducted due diligence but was misled by Leissner and former Malaysian government officials.The Associated Presslast_img read more

Morocco: San Leon Energy finds shale oil in its Timahdit permit

Marrakech – San Leon Energy reported encouraging signs for shale oil extraction at its Timahdit permit which is 240 kms  south East of Rabat. This is the second largest shale oil  deposit in Morocco. The company is still carrying out tests in the area and updating its feasibility study on its options for extracting the shale oil. Timahdit site is located near Ifrane National Park and Haut-Atlas Oriental National Park and environmental control will be an  important consideration.Oisin Fanning, executive chairman of San Leon Energy said, according to Oil Review Africa: “Our Timahdit oil shale project continues to show its long-term potential to generate up to 11,000 bpd for 30 years and the current work is designed to build the business case to attract capital investors.” The company is reported to have signed an MOU  in January 2014 with Chevron Lummus Global on developing technologies to produce synthetic crude oil from the shale deposit in the Timahdit  licence area. Sample evaluation of the shale oil layers and possible shale oil yield is being conducted in Frankfurt.In addition, San Leon Energy has also started drilling a well on the Nour prospect offshore Morocco. The well is targeting 300mn barrels of oil equivalent  according to San Leon Energy.San Leon has interests in the Tarfaya and Zag licence areas and two offshore licences – Foum Draa and Sidi Moussa. The company is also developing an in-situ oil shale (In-Situ Retort) technology in Tarfaya. read more

Globe-Trotting Moroccans Complete 17,000 Kilometer Train Trip

Rabat – Anass Yakine first made national headlines when he walked across Morocco. Travelling from Dakhla to Tangier on foot, including many zig-zags on the route, he covered over 5,000 kilometers during his 2-year adventure.Driven by curiosity and wonder, people from around the world began following his journey, including dozens who actually joined his daily marches through rural Morocco. It was like a scene from Forrest Gump – Anass leading his band of followers to experience simple, slow-paced travel.yakinsOne of the frequent visitors during his long walk across Morocco was a young student from Rabat named Amal, who walked over 700 kilometers with him in various segments. They married in 2015 and have since expanded their adventurous vision to global proportions. This year the Yakines completed the world’s longest train journey: 17,000 kilometers from Portugal to Vietnam—travelling through a dozen countries in a span of five months.They spent time in Europe, watched Morocco compete at the World Cup in Russia, spent 54 hours straight on the train across Siberia, climbed the Great Wall of China, and enjoyed exploring their favourite country—Mongolia!Read Also: Moroccans Spend $1.7 Billion on Foreign TravelHow do they afford to do all this?The Yakines are not a rich family, and they do not work “normal jobs” to save a large sum of money before embarking on their adventures. Instead, they are digital nomads: Creating content like photos, blogs, and videos which companies can use for their social media and branding efforts.They also live simply. They spend less than MAD 100 per night for accommodation and often stay with their fans and followers. They prepare most of their own food, and they only spent MAD 15,000 dirhams in total for the train tickets. Is it just a phase before facing reality?The Yakines often face negative comments and criticism about their chosen lifestyle. Many Moroccans cannot understand how and why they are travelling full-time and expect that they will soon quit and become part of “normal” society. The Yakines completely disagree.Yakines Rather than settling down, the Yakines have big plans to continue their globe-trotting ways. Next on their list? Travelling across all of Africa by bicycle!Even if they have children, they plan to continue their adventurous lifestyle and home-school the kids, believing, “Travel is the best school.” They recognize that the nomadic life is not for everyone, but they do spread the message that “everyone should be doing what they love.” The Yakines are more focused on their emotional stability than their physical stability. Travelling makes them happy, and they are willing to sacrifice the comforts of a stable salary and a permanent home to make it happen.They are also quick to point out that this is also a career. Though it is not easy to earn a living as a digital nomad from Morocco it is possible, and they are blazing a trail for a new generation that looks up to them, and admires their passion for adventure.With over 230,000 followers on Facebook and a new YouTube series ready to be released soon, surely more Moroccans will follow in their (many) footsteps around the globe. read more

Urn containing ashes of deceased child stolen in Midland

Ontario Provincial Police are investigating after an urn containing the ashes of a young child was reported stolen in Midland. Police say the urn was taken sometime between Sept. 11 and 14 from a business on Elizabeth St. The ceramic urn is blue, with light blue butterflies and flowers on the side and top. The base is brown with a gold rim on the lid.OPP are asking anyone with information to contact them.

2 press briefings in 3 years GPA endorses criticisms of President

…says side-line interviews cannot be substituted for press conferencesGPA President, Nazima RaghubirOn the heels of criticisms made against President David Granger for his continuous lack of engagement with members of the media, the Guyana Press Association (GPA) on Wednesday endorsed those reproaches, labelling the brief side-line interviews allowed as “limited cosmetic media access.”“The GPA sends a clear message to the President and the wider Ministry of the Presidency that these side-line interviews cannot be substituted for press conferences, and are at best limited cosmetic media access,” the entity said in a press statement on Wednesday.Among other concerns raised the Press Association said that President Granger “barely speaks to the media for five minutes after any official engagement. This was evident when the President was approached on Monday, July 16th, 2018 for a reaction to accusations of non-fulfilment of promises by the National Toshaos Council. The Head of State barely afforded reporters a 1 minute opportunity until they were forced out of the way as he hopped into his car.”Furthermore, the GPA recounted that when Granger acted in the capacity of the Opposition Leader; the media were summoned to weekly press conferences or told that he was available for public comments and interviews. However, as President, the GPA noted that this is not the case.As such, the Association said that it is awaiting “the announcement of frequent press conferences with the Head of State.”Just last week, Opposition Leader and former President, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo asserted that President David Granger’s constant excuses to not host press conferences is a clear indication that he is “abdicating his responsibilities.”Recently, in defending why he has not held a press conference in months and why there were fewer formal engagements with the media, Granger said that his schedule was a major factor.President David Granger“My heart is in the right place, but right now, I’ve had a really difficult period of public engagement and overseas travel,” the President told the media on the sidelines of an event.He added that “this time last week, I was in Montego Bay, the week before I was in Da Nang, Vietnam. It could be a very challenging period and soon as I get the opportunity I will engage with the press, but I’ve been travelling quite a lot … I’m asking the media to be tolerant.”However, on Wednesday last during his weekly press briefing, Jagdeo lambasted this, saying that Granger’s “sojourn abroad” has resulted in nothing significant for Guyana or its people.The President also said that he was preoccupied with dealing with several local issues.“It could be a challenging period and as soon as I get the opportunity, I would engage with the press, but I’ve been travelling quite a lot and then to deal with domestic issues – the sugar industry, we have to deal with the petroleum industry, I have to deal with crime and security,” he had explained.Opposition Leader, Dr Bharrat JagdeoHowever, according to the Opposition Leader, this is a baseless statement.“He claimed that he was busy… travelling quite a lot and have to deal with domestic issues, petroleum and sugar industry…and crime…He shamelessly cites the Petroleum industry [when there are so many unanswered questions]. What is he dealing with in the Sugar Industry? [He] laid off thousands of people, there’s no social safety net, people can’t feed their families…they raised $30B through SPU and not saying what they will spend the money on…The President has been addressing the sugar industry so much that he can’t even name a board…but he’s busy…When this country is being ravaged on a daily basis by criminals and we have a hopelessly misguided British consultant…We don’t see any specific measures being rolled out…They can’t move ahead with the appointment of  a substantive Police Commissioner,” Jagdeo chided.After two years in office, President Granger held a press conference in December 2017, only the second since the coalition came into Government in May 2015. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedPresident promises to host press conference after almost one year of not having anyJune 21, 2017In “latest news”After such a long wait President provided no clarity, direction at presser- Opposition LeaderSeptember 6, 2018In “latest news”2 press briefings in 3 years: President Granger abdicating his responsibilities- JagdeoJuly 11, 2018In “latest news” read more

Comcast successfully protects accused BitTorrent pirates from lawsuits

first_imgFaceless internet service provider Comcast takes a lot of heat for poor customer service and high prices. But what can you do when the interests of the business and the consumer are so often at odds? Well, in an Illinois courtroom this week, Comcast was on the side of the little guy, but maybe for its own reasons. Comcast has successfully blocked an effort to sue dozens of users accused of BitTorrent piracy.In recent years, copyright holders have started filing mass P2P lawsuits, wherein dozens, or even hundreds of defendants are named by IP addresses. The copyright holder gets the addresses from a torrent swarm that is hosting its content, but it needs the ISPs to translate that number into a real person that can be sued. The practice was pioneered by the makers of the award-winning film The Hurt Locker. The courts have been happily passing subpoenas along to ISPs all this time, but now Comcast has had enough.It takes time and money to process these court ordered requests for information, and the volume of lawsuits is staggering. Hundreds of thousands of IP addresses have been added to these lawsuits. When Comcast or another ISP hands over user information, the copyright holder uses that to seek an out of court settlement. None of the cases have gone to court, which Comcast used to argue against the subpoena.Comcast cited the intimidation tactics employed by the copyright holders, many of which produce adult content, as a rationale for blocking the subpoena in this newest case. Comcast successfully argued to the judge that these lawsuits are being used as a “shakedown” operation to force settlements. Like other similar cases, according to Comcast, the plaintiff simply wanted personal details and had no intention of going to court.The judge sided with Comcast and quashed the subpoena. The case associated with it was also dismissed, much to the chagrin of AF Holdings, the plaintiff in this case. It’s unclear if Comcast will continue to oppose these lawsuits, but plaintiffs might not bother going after Comcast subscribers at all in the future based on this outcome.via TorrentFreaklast_img read more

Snow falls around Vancouver slick roads expected Monday

first_imgAn inch or so of snow fell in the Vancouver area late Sunday. It was the first wintry weather since Christmas and set the stage for what will likely be slick roads on Monday morning.Because Monday is Presidents Day, schools and government offices are closed, reducing traffic. But motorists should be prepared for snow and black ice. The overnight low for Vancouver was forecast as 27 degrees.The National Weather Service in Portland wasn’t predicting significant additional overnight snowfall, at least as of 10:30 p.m. Instead, the night was expected to become clear and cold. Those conditions should persist Monday.For more information on the Monday commute and forecast, check columbian.com early Monday.Do you have photos of Sunday’s snow that you’d like to share? Email them to metrodesk@columbian.com.last_img read more

Tow boat crews free stuck sailboat in shallow water in Fort Lauderdale

first_imgFORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) – A sailboat was stuck in shallow waters for a time in Fort Lauderdale.Tow boats could be seen surrounding the 190-foot vessel in the intracoastal waterway, just south of the 17th Street Causeway, Wednesday.After some hard work, the boat was freed from the shallow waters.No injuries were reported.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img

TCS to Train 1 Lakh Employees on Digital Technologies

first_imgIndia’s largest software firm Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) will give training to more than 1 lakh employees this year in the fast growing digital technologies. Towards providing this, the company has rolled out a new learning platform.TCS chief executive N Chandrasekaran said that the company has invested huge money in offering the training programme. Some of its employees seem to have already making use of the new learning platform.The Mumbai-based IT firm has an employee base of 3,24,935 at the end of June quarter. It aims to increase its revenue from digital segment to $5 billion over the next five years.”Digital is the fastest-growing business vertical now; we have got a huge traction. It occupies for 12.5 per cent of overall revenue on a ‘conservative basis,” Chandrasekaran said.TCS revenue rose 16.1% to ₹25,668 crore in the first quarter of FY, while net profit stood at ₹5,684 crore, up 2.1% compared to previous quarter. TCS handed out a massive dividend of ₹15,474 crore in the fiscal year 2014-15, emerging as the highest dividend-paying company in the country.Last month, the company had said that it saved about $16 million in costs by automating a part of its training programme for freshers, apart from reducing training time by almost 20%, The Economic Times reported.Besides, the IT services firm said that it had deployed digital learning tools to pick out “high-performers” during the training period.TCS has given job offers to about 35,000 freshers in the current financial year. It has rolled out a online learning portal for the freshers to do a part of the coursework before joining the company.last_img read more

Nach Baliye 9 Anita is highest paid contestant SanamAbigail to perform in

first_imgAnita Hassanandani with husband Rohit ReddyAnita Hassanandani/InstagramFans are eagerly waiting for Nach Baliye 9 to go on air soon. Backed by Salman Khan’s production house, the upcoming season of the celebrity dance reality show is set to take the entertainment quotient a notch higher by spicing it up with ex-couples, who will be grooving together and compete against current partners to win the coveted trophy. While makers have already revealed a few contestants – Urvashi Dholakia, Vishal Singh, Anita Hassanandani, Shraddha Arya, Aly Goni – it has been reported that Anita, who is participating with her husband Rohit Reddy, is the highest paid celebrity this year.Anita, popular for her roles in Yeh Hai Mohabbatein and Naagin, was offered the show previously as well. “Anita was approached even in the earlier seasons, however, it didn’t materialise. This year, the makers have offered her a good amount to participate in the show, which she couldn’t refuse,” BollywoodLife quoted her as saying.In an interaction with IANS, Anita had opened up about her desire to be a part of the show and was quoted as saying, “I love to dance and I always wanted to be a part of Nach Baliye but couldn’t take it up earlier owing to prior commitments. Now that I have more time on hand with fewer commitments, I can focus entirely on the show and do justice to all the performances. I am dancing after a long time, so I am right now working on myself and warming up my body. I’m trying to give my best in everything my choreographers are teaching me.” Meanwhile, preparations for the grand premiere of Nach Baliye 9 are going on in full swing. Contestants are also busy rehearsing for their performances. The opening episode will see Sanam Johar and Abigail Pande, who were runners up in the last season, performing an act on a hot air balloon.The two are quite excited about getting back on the stage with each other. Sanam said, in a statement, “Our performance had a hot air balloon as a part of it! After years of experience, I have reached a level of confidence. However, Abigail got a bit nervous as we had to perform with the hot air balloon being suspended from the top of the stage. I am sure that the audience will love our act more than the fun we had while performing” Nach Baliye 9Twitterlast_img read more

LaFontaine hosts veterans town hall

first_img Categories: News 28Mar LaFontaine hosts veterans town hall State Rep. Andrea LaFontaine, R-Columbus Township, and Macomb County Commissioner Kathy Vosburg invite local veterans to attend a town hall meeting.Veterans Town Hall6:30-9 p.m., Wednesday, April 9Lempke-Blackwell VFW Hall35011 23 Mile Rd., New BaltimoreGuest speaker Jason Allen, senior policy advisor for the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, will share information and answer questions regarding veteran services. Veterans will also learn about Camp Liberty from retired Major Rick Briggs, U.S. Air Force.“Michigan offers many benefits and services to our veterans as a small way of repaying their service to our country,” LaFontaine said. “I’m hosting this town hall meeting to make sure veterans in District 32 are aware of these opportunities.”The town hall will provide updates on many issues affecting veterans, including current legislation and policy changes, veteran treatment courts, taxes, fishing and hunting licenses, occupational licensing changes and education benefits. Agency representatives will be available to provide additional information and discuss local services offered to veterans.Veterans who have questions or cannot attend the town hall meeting may contact Rep. LaFontaine’s office toll-free at 866-347-8032, via email andrealafontaine@house.mi.gov or online at replafontaine.com.last_img read more

Three generations at the Capitol

first_img25Feb Three generations at the Capitol Three generations of the Saylor family of Midland recently toured the state Capitol in Lansing and were introduced from the floor of the state House of Representatives by Rep. Gary Glenn, R-Midland. Back row left to right: Rep. Glenn, Diane Saylor, and her daughter Krista Saylor. Front row left to right, Krista’s children Torianna, Daniel, and Hannah Saylor. The photo was taken in the House gallery with the floor of the House visible one floor below in the background. Categories: Glenn Newslast_img read more

Rep Lucido announces fall office hours

first_img State Rep. Peter J. Lucido today announced upcoming fall office hours for residents and families of the 36th District, which includes the townships of Shelby, Washington, Bruce and the Village of Romeo.“My job as state representative for the 36th District involves bringing the concerns and ideas from local residents and families with me to Lansing,” said Rep. Lucido, a Republican from Shelby Township. “Having office hours allows me to hear from constituents so I can better represent their needs at the Capitol.”Fall office hours will be held at the following times and locations:Monday, Sept. 28Washington Township Senior Center57880 Van Dyke in Washington9-10:30 a.m.Monday, Oct. 26Romeo Senior Center361 Morton St. in Romeo9-10:30 a.m.Monday, Nov. 30Washington Township Senior Center57880 Van Dyke in Washington9-10:30 a.m.No appointment is necessary and there is no cost to attend. More office hours will be announced throughout the fall.Rep. Lucido represents the families and residents of the 36th District, serving the townships of Shelby, Washington, Bruce and the Village of Romeo. Categories: Lucido News 22Sep Rep. Lucido announces fall office hourslast_img read more

Rep Hauck continues call for affordable car insurance following State of the

first_img Categories: Hauck News,News State Rep. Roger Hauck, of Union Township, reflected on Tuesday night’s State of the State address by reiterating the need for lowering Michigan’s out-of-control car insurance rates.The state’s controversial no-fault system forces more than seven million Michigan drivers to pay the highest car insurance rates in the country. A special committee has been formed by Republican leadership in the Michigan House to pursue a solution, with the authority to report legislation directly to the House floor for consideration.“There’s always a lot of topics to dissect and sift through in an address like this, but I was hoping the governor would provide more specifics on how she’ll work to lower these rates,” Hauck said. “The fact remains that our state’s auto insurance setup offers very little choice and continues to take money out of the pockets of hard-working Michigan residents. It’s forcing families and seniors living on fixed incomes into making difficult decisions – one of which is potentially driving uninsured in order to save money. That’s simply ridiculous and a telltale sign of a broken system. We need to come together in this new term to find a meaningful solution.”Hauck is in his second term in the Michigan House representing residents in Isabella County and portions of Midland County. 13Feb Rep. Hauck continues call for affordable car insurance following State of the State addresslast_img read more

MADD Says No to Courtordered Donation

first_imgShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares April 16, 2014; WPRI (Providence, RI)NPQ just ran an article online that addressed the issue of “tainted donors.” There is no doubt that deciding what to do relative to such a benefactor is difficult for many nonprofits—but not, by the looks of it, for MADD.When police went to the home of Jayne Donegan in North Kingstown, Rhode Island, in January, they found more than a hundred teens in attendance at a drinking party. Donegan was charged with violating the social host law, simple assault on an officer, and obstructing an officer, but in a deal made with police and accepted by the court, Donegan, who has no prior record, was to have the charges dropped if she stayed out of trouble for the next year and made a $500 donation to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).Only one problem with all of that: MADD does not want her money, because it’s part of a deal made to reduce the charge and thus, in their opinion, doesn’t holding Donegan properly accountable. This makes sense; MADD’s mission includes the prevention of underage drinking, and it is well known for its pursuit of criminal penalties.Assistant Town Solicitor Terrence Simpson will select another charity to which the judge can order payment. The police department prefers that it be one dealing with substance abuse.—Ruth McCambridgeShareTweetShareEmail0 Shareslast_img read more

After Supreme Courts ACA Ruling Whats Next for Healthcare Advocacy

first_imgShare19TweetShare3Email22 SharesAACAJune 25, 2015; U.S. News and World ReportTake a big sigh of relief. Our nation’s perpetual crisis over the Affordable Care Act has been stanched by the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in King v. Burwell that the subsidies provided for people who purchase insurance through the state exchanges are also permissible for insurance purchasers participating in the federal exchange. An alternative decision by the Supreme Court was possible, but it would have been ludicrous. The notion that a state’s choice to punt to the federal exchange could mean that its citizens lose access to subsidies is nonsensical. Imagine that Congress would deny health insurance subsidies to people based on where they live, with no rational legislative purpose for the denial.Now that the Roberts court has twice stood up for the Affordable Care Act, defending first the individual mandate in 2012 and now the insurance subsidies of roughly $272 a month helping pay the insurance premiums of some 8.7 million people, 6.4 million of whom could have lost their subsidies because they live in states without health exchanges, the question of whether the Affordable Care Act can and should continue has been called, answered, and put to bed. Though some, like Justice Antonin Scalia, might be beside themselves that the Supreme Court under Chief Justice John Roberts has saved President Obama’s signature social legislation (Scalia testily suggested in his dissent that “Obamacare” should be renamed “SCOTUScare”), it is now time for the cottage industry of conservative think tanks and their lawyers filing challenges of all sorts to the ACA to go out of business and to focus on how to improve the health care delivery system rather than concocting schemes to bring national health insurance reform to a halt.So what’s next on the ACA docket?If this is basically the end of the major end-all-and-be-all challenges to the ACA, it is a historical moment comparable to the right wing’s opposition to Social Security in the 1930s and Medicare in the 1960s. Slowly, now, you’ll see a change as conservatives turn into reminted defenders of health insurance reform, as though it was their Congressional initiative in 2010 to provide subsidies to the near-poor, to eliminate the pre-existing conditions barrier, and to enhance insurance portability. Just wait and see. In short order, after the last vestige of Ted Cruz-like opposition to the ACA adjusts to reality, Republicans will be defenders of the program—albeit, probably like their attitude toward Social Security, occasionally pitching ideas for increased privatization. Although in response to the SCOTUS decision Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell railed about the “multitude of broken promises,” the conservative opposition will now have to cease creating problems that cause broken promises and try to make the system work, else the political blowback hits them at the ballot box.King v. Burwell wasn’t a constitutional challenge to the law; the court had already ruled it constitutional in 2012. It was a matter of access to subsidies for the residents of the 36 states whose governors and legislatures had decided not to run state exchanges. But there is a different access question ahead—access not just to insurance coverage, but to healthcare, and particularly for populations that have been historically underserved by healthcare institutions due to poverty, geography, ethnicity, or race. For example, in the wake of the decision, staff members of the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services in Dearborn, Michigan were pleased with the SCOTUS decision, because, as Madiha Tariq, the public health manager at ACCESS, put it, “We’re working with an immigrant community that has linguistic and cultural barriers. That increases the effort needed to build trust. [A negative decision by the Supreme Court] would have been like starting over for them.” Moreover, for families that are now receiving health insurance coverage, either through Medicaid or through private insurance purchased on the exchanges, there is now the ability to seek treatment that might have been put off before for a variety of ailments, and surprisingly, as the Oregon Medicaid experiment demonstrated, newly covered individuals might simply continue going to safety-net hospitals rather than individual primary care doctors (and about half of the newly insured will be on Medicaid), so support for healthcare delivery that reaches people in need is a continuing challenge that isn’t simply “solved” by the availability of health insurance. It becomes imperative, in the wake of the decision, to invest in safety-net institutions—nonprofit hospitals and nonprofit clinics—in urban and rural neighborhoods that ought to be assisted to reach people in need.There is still a need for access to health insurance itself in the form of expanding Medicaid. Too many states have left the near-poor, those with incomes just above the federal poverty line but too low to qualify for exchange-related subsidies, in a donut hole of distress. States such as Virginia are case studies of the need to expand Medicaid. Governor Terry McAuliffe described the issue succinctly: “This historic decision is a victory for the 286,000 Virginians who will now keep affordable health care that is essential to economic success,” McAuliffe said in a statement. “It is also a clear sign that now is the time to drop cynical efforts to prevent families from accessing care that will make their lives better. With this issue decided, I hope we can now put partisan politics aside and help 400,000 Virginians get access to health care by bringing our taxpayer dollars home to close the coverage gap.” While there are lots of justifications states have drummed up to reject the expansion of Medicaid, the underlying reason is fundamentally that Republican governors and legislature used the denial as one more arrow in the quiver of making the ACA dysfunctional. With the SCOTUS decision made, nonprofits have to redouble their efforts to get states to do the right thing on Medicaid expansion. Over the long run, the investment in expanded Medicaid will pay dividends in improved healthcare treatment available to the nation’s poor and near-poor.Reducing the cost of health care in the U.S. remains a challenge. Now that the Court has stabilized the nation around the ACA insurance structure, nonprofits can and should turn their attention to questions of healthcare cost and quality. Writing for the Dallas Morning News, staff writer Jim Landers noted that some hospitals such as Medical City Dallas have operating margins of 30 percent and pharmaceutical manufacturers average 20 percent profits. Americans spent nearly three times as much as Canadians in outpatient care on average, but the results are hardly three times better. To the contrary. Amidst the confusing Republican reactions to the Supreme Court decision, many pledging to repeal the ACA yet again after more than 50 votes that have failed to do that, Senator Pat Roberts of Kansas stumbled into a moment of truth: “I will continue to fight for real reforms to our healthcare system that lower costs, lift the burden on our job creators, and restore the all-important relationship between a doctor and their patient. We don’t need to fix Obamacare, we need to fix healthcare.” Added Kansas Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins, “While the healthcare delivery system had problems prior to the president’s healthcare law, under this fundamentally flawed law it is still not working and remains just as burdensome, confusing, and expensive as the day it came into existence.” Now that the Court has dealt with the subsidy question, it might behoove the likes of Roberts and Jenkins to get past ideological soapboxes and work on fixing the healthcare delivery systems that newly insured Americans should be able to access without the obstacles and costs that current make the system less than functional.Drew Altman, the president and CEO of the Kaiser Family Foundation, summarized the next challenges in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act following the King v. Burwell decision: “reaching those who are uninsured, a generally more difficult population to connect to insurance; stabilizing premium increases in the marketplaces as insurers get a better handle on their risk pools; and determining which of the Medicare payment and delivery reform projects implemented under the ACA are working and should be scaled up.”Despite the work still to be done, the tally for the Affordable Care Act leans toward the positive: As of the end of March of 2015, 10.2 million Americans had paid their premiums to activate coverage they purchased through the health insurance marketplace; 16.4 million previously uninsured people have gotten coverage since the enactment of the ACA, due to purchases in the health exchanges, keeping young adults on their parents plans until they turn 26, and through expanded Medicaid; the uninsured rate has declined 9.2 percent for African Americans, 12.3 percent for Latinos, and 7.7 percent for women; and since 2013, 12.3 million people have been enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP. Now the challenge for the government implementers of the ACA and the nonprofit advocates supporting improved healthcare is to generate more positive accomplishments in terms of health insurance coverage and show progress in areas of healthcare delivery, access, cost, and quality. And the challenge for opponents is to cease and desist from purely disruptive and unproductive court challenges like King. If opponents have something useful to suggest about healthcare delivery, then it’s time to bring those constructive ideas to the table.—Rick CohenShare19TweetShare3Email22 Shareslast_img read more

Connected TV services are TVlike experiences an

first_imgConnected TV services are “TV-like experiences” and should be subject to a higher degree of regulation than internet content access through a PC, according to Ed Richards, CEO of UK media regulator Ofcom.Richards, speaking at the Oxford Media Convention, said: “Converged or connected TVs, which incorporate broadcast, video-on-demand and open internet services, are considered to be closer to a TV-like experience. Audiences therefore expect content over these devices to be more regulated than internet content accessed through PCs and laptops.”Referring to a study carried out by Ofcom with 200 members of the public to assess attitudes, Richards said that “protecting minors from harmful content is seen as one of the most important parts of existing regulation” and was ranked as a higher priority than protecting privacy.Richards raised the possibility that this could include a second look at the partial self-regulation of video-on-demand services by ATVOD, the industry body set up to watch over such services.“It seems undesirable for these [connected TV] services to be subject to full broadcasting style regulation – by and large they belong to a different form of service and come from a very different context,” said Richards. “But we do need to consider whether to develop the approach in relation to existing co-regulation for video-on-demand to offer greater assurance and to ensure there is public trust in the approach to regulation as these services become more and more pervasive and significant.”Richards said there was a case for common media standards to cover all digital media, including TV, internet video and the digital activities of print publishing groups. “In this context I wonder therefore whether there may be a fairly simple opportunity to establish a core set of principles and aims which are held in common across a diverse media terrain with different regulatory environments.”Richards said that, while Ofcom should not be given responsibility to police the newspaper industry, it could play a role in producing a common set of principles for journalists across media following the Leveson inquiry, currently investigating the practices of newspapers in the wake of the UK’s phone hacking scandal.last_img read more

French content creators society SCAM has called fo

first_imgFrench content creators society SCAM has called for an increase in the licence fee to finance France Télévisions and end uncertainty over the public broadcaster’s future.The SCAM has called for an increase of €5 per household for 2013 and above inflation increases of €3 per year for each of the four years thereafter.SCAM president Jean Xavier de Lestrade said that an increase in the licence fee was the only viable solution and that the government had to tackle the taboo surrounding the notion of an increase in the fee.The SCAM, which publicised a series of proposals following the Auteurdevue 2012 event for audiovisual professionals, has also condemned a cut in the budget of the Centre National du Cinéma (CNC), which supports audiovisual production in France, of €150 million, as excessive. The SCAM said it believed the state was penalising an organisation that contributed significantly to growth and employment and called for a ringfencing of the organisation’s budget.The SCAM also joined with producers organisations to call for a reform of the COSIP, the fund for the support of French cinema production, to ensure continued support for high-end productions.Finally, to combat piracy, the SCAM has also called for a reduction in exclusivity windows for documentary films from the current four years and a revision of rules applying to the theatrical distribution windows for documentaries.last_img read more