Few rules govern treatment of transgender prisoners in Costa Rica

first_imgRelated posts:Costa Rica’s Supreme Court orders release of Nicaraguan unjustly imprisoned for 17 months Costa Rica’s justice minister: ‘We are not releasing inmates’ Latin America’s prisons in critical condition Costa Rica court refuses to hear sex reassignment case Mónica Navarro pulls her long black hair behind her ear and lets it fall down her back where it stops just above her waist. Mascara gives her eyes a kohl look. She has high cheek bones. The way she carries herself, she might be a model if she weren’t serving 10 years for armed robbery.Navarro, 25, is one of 10 transgender prisoners serving time in San Rafael Prison.Last year, the Ombudsman’s Office decried a lack of access to health services and education for trans prisoners at San Rafael. At a time when the Costa Rican prison system finds itself bursting at the seams after a decade of overcrowding, there are few set criteria governing how transgender inmates should be handled by the prisons. The Ombudsman’s Office is expected to release a report on the issue later this month.Transgender prisoners are sent to either a men’s prison or to Costa Rica’s only women’s prison, El Buen Pastor, based on the sex assigned to them by the court system at the time they are sentenced, according to Justice Ministry spokesman David Delgado.Once prisoners like Navarro, who was born male, are processed they are typically sent to men’s prisons where they live among the general inmate population. Reynaldo Villalobos, director of the Costa Rican Penitentiary System, said that trans prisoners were once isolated in prisons but a court decision ordered the system to integrate transgender prisoners, arguing that segregation violated their human rights.Villalobos admitted that being assigned to gen pop was a frightening prospect for many trans prisoners.“They come in with a lot of fear,” said Villalobos. “We try to reassure them.”He said there were no reports of violence against any of the transgender prisoners in San Rafael.Navarro said she would prefer to be separated from the general population in San Rafael. She said that while she hasn’t suffered any physical violence she and other trans inmates have been verbally harassed by other inmates. A transgender inmate shares the same communal space with male prisoners at La Reforma prison. Alberto Font/The Tico Times“There’s a lot of homophobia, transphobia,” Navarro said. “I don’t push back against it. We have to keep quiet, just let them yell at us, treat us like they do. We can’t do anything.”Mariela Matarrita, who worked on the forthcoming investigation from the Ombudsman’s Office, said her interviews with San Rafael’s transgender prisoners provided no consensus on the issue.“It’s very relative,” when it comes to trans prisoners’ housing preference, Matarrita said. “From the interviews we’ve conducted, some say they would prefer to be housed with women prisoners. Others say they prefer to stay where they are now,” in gen pop at San Rafael.Unsurprisingly, prisoners like Navarro stand out from the prison crowd. In 2012, a prisoner at La Reforma Prison — just down the road from San Rafael — successfully petitioned the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court for the right to dress as he liked, including in women’s clothing. The court said discrimination based on a person’s sexual orientation was unconstitutional and that establishing an “arbitrary limitation” on how the prisoner dressed violated his (the court considered the prisoner male) right to equal treatment and human dignity.The court did say the prisoner’s clothing choice could not be “scandalous,” call undue attention, or risk the security of the other inmates. (An earlier, 2003 court case ruled that high heels were not appropriate prison wear.)Navarro, the trans prisoner at San Rafael told The Tico Times that conditions there were “terrible.” The prison population is nearly 80 percent over capacity. Overcrowding is one of the impediments to any prisoner getting access to health services, let alone a prisoner potentially with special needs, said Kattia López, spokeswoman for Proyectos en Salud Integral, which runs sexual health workshops at San Rafael on a regular basis.López said that PSI has been offering health classes at the prison for five years now. She said the group’s services address the general prison population, not just transgender prisoners, but that the organization had held separate meetings for trans prisoners to express any needs or questions that they might otherwise feel uncomfortable addressing in front of others.“The conditions that create vulnerable situations in prisons for the trans population are very similar to those that they are exposed to outside of the penitentiary,” López said.López said that beyond transgender prisoners, the group also addresses health issues for men who have sex with men, who may not identify as gay, with a focus on HIV prevention and testing.She said some transgender prisoners worked in the sex trade prior to their incarceration and if they continue to offer those services in prison they need to be aware of the risks. Ideally, she said, they would have access to condoms for sex work or consensual relations between inmates.Inmate Mónica Navarro told The Tico Times that she could not get access to condoms at San Rafael.Along with the pending report from the Ombudsman’s Office, Justice Ministry spokesman David Delgado said that the penitentiary system would be starting a study this month to collect more information about transgender, gay and lesbian inmates. Such information is currently not tracked by the ministry, he said in an email.Mariela Matarrita of the Ombudsman’s Office said that the prison has made progress addressing access to health services, educational opportunities and gender expression for transgender prisoners at San Rafael.“Prison officials have been very open to recommendations and observations from the Ombudsman’s Office when it comes to this very special, specific population and the specific needs they require,” Matarrita said.Mónica Navarro said that her family was “marvelous” and has always supported her decision to come out as a girl, which she did at age 9. But beyond her family, many of the negative stereotypes and confusion about transgender people have followed her into prison.“Lots of people are uncomfortable,” she said. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Malaysian Airline System Berhad Administrator Appointed MAS

first_imgMedia statement from Malaysian Airline System Berhad (Administrator Appointed) (“MAS) – MH370With regards to the MH370 Tripartite Communique issued by the governments of Australia, China and Malaysia, Malaysian Airline System Berhad (Administrator Appointed) (“MAS”) stands guided by the decision of the three governments to suspend the search for the missing MH370 flight. The search has been a thorough and comprehensive effort spanning over 120,000 square kilometres of the South Indian Ocean and we share in the sorrow that the search has not produced the outcome that everyone had hoped for.MAS remains hopeful that in the near future, new and significant information will come to light and the aircraft would eventually be located.MAS would also like to express our sincere appreciation and thanks to the governments and entities involved in the search, especially JACC who have been relentless in leading this international effort for almost three years. The airline appreciates the untiring efforts that have been put into the search for MH370 by many brave men and women from around the world.Our thoughts and prayers are with all those who are affected by this tragedy. We have lost a part of our family and they will forever be remembered.Source = Malaysia Airlineslast_img read more

Luxury Market Showing Strength in New York and Miami

first_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Company News Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2012-05-15 Abby Gregory Share May 15, 2012 432 Views Luxury Market Showing Strength in New York and Miamicenter_img In New York and Florida, sellers appear to be gaining an advantage in the marketplace. [IMAGE]According to data “”Manhattan Miami Real Estate””:http://manhattanmiami.com/, both states demonstrated significant pricing increases during the first quarter.In Manhattan, per square-foot home prices rose by 8 percent in the luxury sector and condo prices were up by 9 percent for the year’s opening quarter. Additionally, the company’s statistics indicate that the city’s inventory level stands at an estimated 9 months of supply.[COLUMN_BREAK]Miami made pricing headlines as well, with residential prices in the luxury sector increasing by 13 percent on a per square-foot basis, as inventory levels descended to four month’s supply. Breaking down the city’s areas, the real estate group reported that South Beach pricing rose by 20 percent, Miami Beach pricing by 27 percent, and pricing in downtown was up by 19 percent.Both cities racked up record-making, high-end sales for the first quarter, with a penthouse on Manhattan’s Central Park West selling for $88 million. Meanwhile, Miami boasted a $20 million sale at St. Regis Bal Harbour and a $21.5 million sale at the Setai.Though pricing was the primary focus of the company’s recent study, their findings also showed a new emerging trend for down payments for foreign buyers in Miami. Using a practice that’s common in Brazil, developers in Miami are now “”requiring 50 to 60 percent in progress payments”” on a two-year continuum with payment in full due at closing, versus the previous 10 percent down payment model for those buying pre-construction property.Manhattan Miami Real Estate’s Richard Mello explains, “”Declining inventory levels has caused multiple bids on certain properties. While multiple bids are not widespread, since many prime neighborhoods now have a shortage of inventory, bidding wars, a boom-era phenomenon, are on the rise.”” in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing, Technologylast_img read more

The 5 Takeaways from the Coyotes introduction of

first_img The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact And of course, the opinionated Dockett already alluded to his decision on his Twitter. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Arizona Cardinals defensive end Darnell Dockett (90) motivates the fans during the first half of an NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts, Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Comments   Share   Nearly 17 months after the Arizona Cardinals released Darnell Dockett, the defensive end is expected to announce his retirement.ESPN’s Josh Weinfuss reported Sunday that one of the team’s best defensive linemen in its history will officially hang up his football cleats Monday. The Cardinals will hold a press conference with Arizona head coach Bruce Arians, president Michael Bidwill and Dockett at 2:30 p.m. on Monday. Dockett, 35, was released by the Cardinals in February 2015 after tearing his ACL during 2014 training camp. He signed with the San Francisco 49ers heading into 2015 but was cut before the regular season.The three-time Pro Bowler tallied 40.5 sacks with the Cardinals, who drafted the defensive tackle in the third round (64th overall) in 2004. Dockett closes his career with 459 career tackles, seven forced fumbles, 14 fumble recoveries and four interceptions.Dockett tied a Super Bowl record with three sacks against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLIII and earned second team All-Pro status in 2009.Dockett was not only productive but dependable. In each year from his 2004 rookie season to 2013, he played in 16 regular season games all but two years. And in those seasons, the tackle played 15 games. Top Stories Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires I’m bout to get back voicing my opinions on Twitter now I’m gonna retire so I can really say what I want! #nofilter— DARNELL DOCKETT (@ddockett) July 22, 2016last_img read more

Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson 31

Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson (31) during an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Johnson responded to his coach’s comments by saying it’s good because it serves as motivation, and then acknowledged that he did make mistakes that need to be corrected.Still, Johnson did run for 45 yards and catch three passes for another 98, giving him 143 yards of total offense on the afternoon. Entering Week 3, he is tied for eighth in the NFL in rushing yards, with 134, and 29th in receiving yards, with 141.While Arians and Johnson may not be impressed by what the running back has accomplished thus far, the same cannot be said for Bills coach Rex Ryan.“Probably equally,” he said when asked if Johnson is more dangerous as a runner or a receiver. “He’s outstanding as a runner when he’s running the football and out of the backfield too. He’s one of those rare guys that can do both.”A third-round pick out of Northern Iowa last year, Johnson really emerged late in the season as a dynamic force. His presence allows the Cardinals’ offense to do so many things, and the runner is quickly gaining a reputation for being difficult to bring down.According to ProFootballFocus, he has an elusive rating of 158.6, which crushes the next closest player — Doug Martin, at 67.2 — with 25 or more carries. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact 0 Comments   Share   Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo TEMPE, Ariz. — Cardinals coach Bruce Arians made sure on Monday to downplay running back David Johnson’s performance against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and even went as far as to say that he “played poorly” other than a couple of big plays.In fact, Arians made sure to point out how had it not been for some mental errors by the second-year back, the team would have tallied 100 or so more yards and another two touchdowns. The 6-foot-1, 224-pound runner does it with a variety of quick moves as well as power, and against Tampa Bay gave a couple of defenders stiff-arms that were, in a word, nasty.“I think the best is yet to come,” Cardinals QB Carson Palmer said. “I think he’s really starting to learn how to use that. That’s not something we saw a bunch last year.“I think he’s starting to realize what a weapon it is, what a tool it is. I think he’s such a fast learner and he picks up things so quickly, that I think we’re going to see even better in the games to come. But, there are two that stick out in my mind that are vicious stiff arms, but we’re going to continue to see that.”Ryan, a defensive-minded coach, is well aware of what Johnson brings to the table.“Well I’m glad I don’t have to try and stop him,” he said. “Like I said, he’s an all-around guy, an all-around back, and then you have Chris Johnson behind him. It’s like, ‘Holy cow!’ and then the kid from Clemson (Andre Ellington).“This is a loaded football team. There’s no doubt. You put in the passing attack, so it’s feast or famine. You put eight guys down there; they can throw it all over the place on you. You put seven-man spacing; they can run it all over you. It’s ugly. There’s a reason why that team leads the league in offense.” Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling The Cardinals indeed have a bevvy of weapons on offense, and under Arians they have done a good job of utilizing them. Against Tampa Bay it was actually Chris Johnson who led the team in rushing yards with 54. He also scored a touchdown.While David Johnson is clearly the starter, Chris — who Ryan coached with the New York Jets in 2014 — is someone the defense must worry about, too. Ryan said the running back did a great job for him in the Big Apple, and used the adjectives “unbelievable” and “great” to describe him.He also made sure to note Johnson is not just a speed guy.“No, that’s the thing that’s unusual about Chris,” he said. “Obviously everybody knows the great breakaway speed he has. But he’s a tough cat now, I’m just telling you. He can run it inside as well as he can outside.”Follow Adam Green on Twitter Top Stories read more

TORONTO – A major music festival says it is steeri

first_img TORONTO – A major music festival says it is steering clear of a downtown Toronto venue whose owner has been charged with sexual assault.Organizers for Canadian Music Week say they’ve rescheduled bands tentatively booked at the Smiling Buddha after learning of the case.Festival manager Dave Henry says the festival is “dedicated to providing a welcoming and safe environment.”He said they learned of the allegation recently and “immediately pulled all shows at the venue.” Three CMW showcases had been earmarked for the venue, involving about nine bands.A staff member with the Toronto promoter Collective Concerts said they were also rescheduling shows at the venue but did not elaborate.Toronto police charged Lucan Wai with one count of sexual assault on Feb. 15. Wai said he is “looking forward” to clearing his name.In an emailed statement, he also said that before he was charged, an attempt was made to “extort” money from him and the venue, and that he sent a cease and desist letter to the accuser.CMW, an annual music festival and industry conference, runs from May 7 to May 13.“Our goal has always been to create a fun atmosphere that is respectful and tolerant,” Henry said Wednesday in a statement.The allegation has prompted other bands to scramble for alternative venues.Jafar Hassan says his band Howlin’ Circus is scheduled to play at Smiling Buddha on Monday but is now considering pulling out.“We don’t feel comfortable playing there,” said Hassan.“We’ve been trying to figure out how we can move our show or whether we postpone it. Obviously it’s a shame that it inconveniences the band but I think it’s kind of necessary to show solidarity with people who are brave enough to come out and say something about this.”—With files from Nicole Thompson Canadian Music Week pulls out of venue after owner charged with sexual assault by Cassandra Szklarski, The Canadian Press Posted Mar 14, 2018 11:53 am PDT Last Updated Mar 14, 2018 at 12:40 pm PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Emaillast_img read more

Rep Idens bill streamlines state ridesharing regulations now heads to governor

first_img Categories: Featured news,Iden News,News 12Dec Rep. Iden’s bill streamlines state ridesharing regulations, now heads to governor Tags: #SB, Iden, Lyft, Uber center_img The Michigan House of Representatives today approved state Rep. Brandt Iden’s bill to create a more uniformed set of rules across the state regarding transportation network companies.State Senate passed House Bill 4639 earlier today and was returned to the House for a concurrence vote where it was approved and will now head to Gov. Rick Snyder for consideration.“Uber and Lyft are transportation companies (TNCs) that have gained tremendous traction in the past few years as access to ride share apps have become more prevalent on mobile devices,” said Rep. Iden, R-Oshtemo.This bill package will create a statewide uniform system for all forms of ridesharing and transportation for hire, and drivers to operate under.“The safety and protection of our Michigan residents as both passengers, as well as, drivers who operate under TNCs, needs to be the forefront of concern among lawmakers,” said Rep. Iden. “Clarification is key here and by creating a unified, statewide law for TNCs we support ride share companies and encourage the entrepreneurial free market spirit these companies embody.“We need to support these companies by providing a framework to thrive in and allow these companies to connect with people who are in need of their ride share service.”#####last_img read more

Rep Wendzel to host local coffee hour

first_img State Rep. Pauline Wendzel announced plans to meet with residents of Southwest Michigan during her scheduled coffee hour.The coffee hour will take place on Monday, February 4 at The Mason Jar Café, 210 Water St. in Benton Harbor from 9 to 10 a.m.“Hosting coffee hours will keep me focused on the issues that matter most to people in our community,” Wendzel said. “Talking to my neighbors, listening to their concerns, and answering any questions they may have about our government continues to be one of the most important parts of my job.”No appointment is necessary. Those unable to attend are invited to contact her Lansing office by phone at 517-373-1403 or email PaulineWendzel@house.mi.gov.### Categories: Wendzel News 25Jan Rep. Wendzel to host local coffee hourlast_img read more

A Tale of Two Moralities The NFL on Racial Team Names and

first_imgShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares February 9, 2014; Sports IllustratedAt the Super Bowl, National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell gave his “State of the NFL” speech and then took questions. In response to a question about whether he would feel comfortable calling a Native American a “redskin” to his face, Goodell explained clearly where the NFL has come out on the controversy regarding the team name of the Washington, D.C. NFL franchise:“I spent the last year talking to many of the leaders of the Native American community. We are listening and we are trying to make sure we understand the issues. But let me remind you: This is the name of a football team, a football team that has had that name for 80 years. That has presented the name in a way that is honorable to Native Americans. We recognize that many don’t agree with the name. And we respect that. But if you look at the numbers, including the Native American communities, the Native American community poll, nine out of 10 prefer the name. Eight of 10 Americans in the general population would not like us to change the name. So we are listening and being respectful to people who disagree. But let’s not forget that this is the name of a football team.”With none of the wiggle room from his statements of past years, Goodell’s new answer isn’t hard to understand.The Washington team’s owner, Dan Snyder, has won his case with the NFL establishment to keep the current name of the franchise intact, but not necessarily with other constituencies. In Congress, Republican Tom Cole and Democrat Maria Cantwell have written to Goodell to sway him toward changing the name of the league’s Washington, D.C. franchise. Despite Goodell’s contention that the derogatory name is actually popular, their joint letter to Goodell notes that national civil rights organizations such as the National Congress of American Indians, NAACP, the Anti-Defamation League, the Rainbow Coalition, and the League of United Latin American Citizens have come out condemning the team’s name and calling strongly for a change.Contrary to some of the commentary on sports talk radio, the letter doesn’t explicitly threaten the NFL’s tax status. The relevant line in the letter reads, “It is not appropriate for this multibillion dollar 501(c)(6) tax-exempt organization to perpetuate and profit from the continued degradation of tribes and Indian people.” However, separately, Cantwell said she would look into changing the NFL’s tax status in order to convince the NFL to change its position. “You’re getting a tax break for educational purposes, but you’re still embracing a name that people see as a slur and encouraging it,” she is quoted to have said.Redskins spokesman Tony Wyllie responded, in an emailed statement, “With all the important issues Congress has to deal with, such as a war in Afghanistan to deficits to health care, don’t they have more important issues to worry about than a football team’s name? And given the fact that the name of Oklahoma means ‘Red People’ in Choctaw, this request is a little ironic.”Probably equally ironic is that the name of the Washington team was given to it by its legendary owner, George Preston Marshall, who was considered the leading racist owner in the NFL. He was the last owner in the NFL to integrate his team, and did so only after the intervention of attorney general Robert F. Kennedy, who made the extension of the team’s lease for what would later become RFK Stadium contingent on breaking the racial barrier in Washington professional football.On the heels of the Cole/Cantwell letter, University of Missouri defensive end Michael Sam, entering the upcoming NFL draft, announced what his Mizzou teammates already knew, that he was gay. Predicted to be drafted in the middle rounds—maybe the third round of the draft, because Sam is a little undersized at 6’2” and 260 pounds for a defensive end—Sam’s joining the NFL will break the sexual identity barrier in America’s most macho sport.Unlike its stance on derogatory names of racial groups, the NFL issued a politically correct statement on Sam’s announcement: “We admire Michael Sam’s honesty and courage. Michael is a football player. Any player with ability and determination can succeed in the NFL. We look forward to welcoming and supporting Michael Sam in 2014.” The statement underscores the idea of the NFL, in player teams, as the ultimate meritocracy—if you can play, that’s all that matters.But not quite.Eight NFL coaches and executives told Sports Illustrated—off the record, however—that they expected “a significant drop in Sam’s draft stock” as a result of his statement, even though he was and will be the same player despite his Sunday evening revelation. One former general manager said that teams would drop Sam’s standing in the draft “unless he’s Superman.” SI reported that many NFL execs were questioning what prompted him to do that, suggesting that his future earnings would be negatively affected. “Not a smart move,” according to one NFL assistant coach.On one issue, the tax-exempt NFL (though not quite an “educational” institution, as Sen. Cantwell mischaracterized it) chooses to defend and perpetuate a racially insulting name as a team name. On another, it issues a brief but appropriate statement about a gay football player, though executives from around the league make it clear that the NFL’s public PC stance doesn’t match the underlying sentiment among many teams. Regarding both Native American team names and gay players, the NFL shows that it has a long ways to go before it really catches up to the big leagues of open, tolerant, and accepting contemporary society.—Rick CohenShareTweetShareEmail0 Shareslast_img read more

UK Advocate of Social Impact Bonds Declares Them Clunky

first_imgShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares September 4, 2014;Social FinanceThe last time we heard Nick Hurd speak in the U.S., it was at the Hudson Institute’s Bradley Center for Philanthropy and Civic Renewal in a dialogue with the inestimable Bill Schambra. At that time, Hurd was the charities minister in the government of Prime Minister David Cameron and was in the U.S. giving a detailed discussion of the upside of Social Impact Bonds, the financial innovation first tried in the U.K. in the Peterborough Prison project aimed at reducing recidivism.Although Hurd offered a number of cautions about the limitations of SIBs, he nonetheless lauded investors interested in a “double bottom line” and concluded that in the UK and in the U.S., “there is, again, a lot of momentum around Social Impact Bonds, and there is a healthy set of issue areas where we think Social Finance can really advance social good, and also draw in capital from impact investors.”Now out of the Cameron cabinet and functioning as a Conservative Party Member of Parliament, Hurd recently voiced a somewhat different take on SIBs. At a Westminster Hall debate on social economy, Hurd declared that Social Impact bonds were “clunky, take too long, and are too expensive to set up.” It isn’t that Hurd has abandoned innovation in social finance. To the contrary, he described SIBs as a kind of instrument that it intended to create “space for social innovation in a system that is risk-averse,” but that SIBs “are at the bottom of the S-curve of the development of that instrument.”At his January 2013 discussion with Schambra, Hurd outlined four considerations for making SIBs useful. Two of the four seem to be behind Hurd’s description of SIBs as “clunky.” At Hudson, Hurd said that for SIBs to work, “the economics have to be there, meaning that the value created from the system has to be larger than the cost of the intervention itself.” And, he added, “we want to protect against perverse incentives and unintended consequences.”When do financial innovations in the social sector really work, to the point that they add significant value beyond traditional funding schemes? That’s really one of the major limitations currently in the SIBs debate. Their promoters are hot and heavy with public relations about the hitherto dubious argument that private business can be a superior alternative to government and nonprofit in the production of social value. But public relations doesn’t make the case, especially when the PR often comes from the consultants and intermediaries with anticipated financial stakes as the all but indispensable middle-men who will—at some cost—facilitate the matchmaking and perform the marriage ceremonies between private investors, the social programs they will invest in, and the government agencies that will pay for program costs, intermediaries’ costs, and the investors’ profit in successful SIBs.And when do financial innovations lead to “perverse incentives and unintended consequences”? Much of U.S. governmental programming is conducted through financial incentives to induce behavior and investment on the part of private sector players. The widely used Low Income Housing Tax Credit program and the New Market Tax Credit program are examples of government tax incentives to promote private sector investment in affordable housing and inner city economic development, both of which could have been supported by direct governmental expenditures as opposed to indirect federal inducements. They have been widely adopted and have produced many positive outcomes in needy communities, but there are questions about their efficiency (the proportion of the tax credit dollar that actually gets deployed toward the social end), their benefits to intermediaries (including tax credit syndicators), and their consequences (for example, tax credit investors’ preference for senior citizen housing as opposed to family housing).Like SIBs, where Goldman Sachs is in line to receive a hefty profit (enhanced by a generous guarantee from Bloomberg Philanthropies) from its investment in the Rikers Island ABLE project, questions about the return on investment to private corporations that purchase LIHTC tax credits lead to legitimate discussion of how much of a return is too much—and potentially too perverse.As experienced by some nonprofits, there are governmental programs themselves that are “clunky” and “take too long” to get going to respond to community needs. If SIBs end up adding to the clunkiness, they may be attractive to the promoters of SIBs who anticipate that they will be the deal-makers able to earn a percentage of the investment, but they will need a lot of work before they make the grade as a significant advancement over what government and nonprofits know how to do and, despite the anti-nonprofit language of some social entrepreneurs, do well—implement social programs to benefit people and communities in need.—Rick CohenShareTweetShareEmail0 Shareslast_img read more

What Should a Populist Movement Ask of its Followers

first_imgShare7TweetShare1Email8 SharesKony 2012 mural (#0301) / regan76September 16, 2016; SalonNPQ covered it. You likely saw it. Salon staff writer Christina Cauterucci offers a thoughtful analysis of what caused the viral video to “quickly became a punchline” and also teach “a generation of activists how to harness the power of social media for good.”The short documentary film Kony 2012 was produced by Invisible Children. The objective was to make Ugandan war criminal and International Criminal Court fugitive Joseph Kony globally infamous in order to have him found and placed into custody by the end of 2012. As of today, the film has received over 101,268,670 views. Joseph Kony is still at large.With “Gangnam Style” by PSY at nearly three billion views, Kony 2012 is a quaint memory even as a viral video. Nevertheless, Kony 2012 was a nonprofit sector phenomenon, so worth this recollection. Here is Cauterucci’s astute assessment of what sparked Kony 2012’s viral sharing and its subsequent downfall.Kony 2012 spread because it was easy—easy to understand, easy to donate, easy to promote. It taught a generation of would-be activists some hard lessons—chiefly, that activism that begins and ends with social media posts (posting an ice bucket video, changing a profile photo to the Human Rights Campaign logo) performs more good for the doer than the cause. It tells your social network that you did this thing; you believe this thing; you are a charitable, good-hearted, aware human being, just like all of your friends who’ve posted the same exact thing. It’s activism so quick and easy that you don’t need to know much about the cause to join in, just a modicum of trust in the friend who posted it first.The film’s director, Jason Russell, experienced a personal downfall during the Kony 2012 controversy that he discusses here with Oprah. He recovered. Here is his Twitter bio: “The truth will set us free; and sometimes getting naked expedites the process. Co-founder of Invisible Children and founder of Broomstick Engine.” Broomstick Engine is a marketing firm that leads with the Kony 2012 film. There are serious charity brands on display as clients, so hopefully he has embraced the lessons Kony 2012 taught. As Cauterucci writes, “Watching the movement wither under public scrutiny showed these young people the value of asking questions and looking for the telltale signs of white people making other people’s suffering all about themselves. It’s difficult to imagine Invisible Children’s tactics flying today, just a half-decade later.”Kony 2012 failed in part for its use of simplification and sensationalism to draw viewers into its emotional story of enslaved children. The film’s inaccuracies caused immediate criticism and disappointment, especially by Ugandans. Cauterucci’s analysis in Salon goes in several interesting directions well worth reading. She concludes her article this way: “Kony 2012 left a lasting mark on young people’s political consciousness. That the mark has nothing to do with human rights atrocities in Uganda is a lesson in the limits of awareness pursued at the expense of truth.”—James SchafferShare7TweetShare1Email8 Shareslast_img read more

UK public broadcaster the BBC has launched its BBC

first_imgUK public broadcaster the BBC has launched its BBC News connected TV app on Sony TVs in the UK.The app was first released on the Samsung Smart TV platform in June 2011 for UK and international consumers, with a later launch on Panasonic Viera devices for the UK only.The app offers video and text content drawn from BBC News operations in the UK and around the world.“I’m delighted that we’ve been able to get the product…onto three sizeable platforms so quickly after launch; audience response has been fantastic,” said Aaron Scullion, executive product manager for the BBC News app for connected TV.last_img

Cable TV technology provider Arris has announced t

first_imgCable TV technology provider Arris has announced the IPv6 readiness of its C4 CMTS, supporting EuroDOCSIS 3.0 features, and its Touchstone TG862S wideband cable modems.Arris said it had successfully demonstrated interoperability for IPv6 services over a weeklong period in the test labs of Excentis in Ghent, Belgium.“The Cable industry has been preparing for the important and necessary transition from IPv4 to IPv6 for some time now and, due to our members’ rapid growth, Cable Europe Labs has increased our focus on validating technical solution and transition strategies,” said Peter Percosan, managing director of Cable Europe Labs.  The recent interoperability event hosted by Excentis, successfully demonstrated the great strides made by key vendor partners.  It is a major industry milestone.”The Arris CMTS and CPE products showed IPv6 interoperability in the areas of ED2.0+IPv6, ED3.0 and eRouter. Several IPv6 migration techniques, like Dual-Stack Lite, NAT64/DNS64 and NAT444, were also successfully demonstrated.last_img read more

Online video service Netflix has launched the Netf

first_imgOnline video service Netflix has launched the Netflix ISP Speed Index, a new website that it says will give consumers insight into which internet service providers delier the best Netflix streaming experience.The website, ISPSpeedIndex.Netflix.com, currently provides data for the US, Mexico, Ireland, the UK, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland.Netflix said that Google Fiber in Kansas City in the US currently offers the highest average Netflix streaming bit-rate of 3.35Mbps, followed by Sweden’s Ownit with an average 2.99Mbps. Netflix members in Finland receive, on average, the highest bitrates, while members in Mexico have the slowest connections, on average. All ISPs in Denmark, Sweden and Finland averaged above 2Mbps.last_img

Vdio a new video rental service for movies and TV

first_imgVdio, a new video rental service for movies and TV shows from Skype co-founder Janus Friis, has launched in the UK and US. The service, which was developed by the same team behind the 2010-launched music subscription service Rdio, is now available to Rdio Unlimited subscribers ahead of a wider rollout.Vdio is designed to let users buy, rent and share content with friends on a pay-per view basis, with Rdio subscribers to receive US$25 (€19.50) of credit to try out the service.Though the pay model differs from Rdio’s unlimited access approach, the firm claims that this allows it to offer new release titles – including Skyfall, Life of Pi, Zero Dark Thirty, Lincoln and The Hobbit.“TV shows are available the day after they air and you can subscribe to seasons at a discount. We plan on adding new titles and bonus content daily, so be sure to check back regularly to see what’s new,” the firm said in a post on the official Rdio blog.The Vdio design centres around playlists for TV shows and movies, called ‘sets’, which are designed to make it easier for users to share lists of their favourites and discover new content. At launch the service is available to access through iPad or PC.“When we launched [Rdio] in 2010, our ambition was to design the best experience for the watch-and-listen-anywhere, share-everything, stream-it-now era of content distribution,” the firm said. “Today, we’re previewing our next step on that journey.”The launch follows reports that music streaming rival Spotify is also mulling a push into the video space – even though the firm has stressed that its current focus is on its music offering.Rdio is headquartered in San Francisco and was founded by Janus Friis, one of the creators of Skype. Drew Larner is CEO of both Rdio and Vdio and previously worked at firms including Twentieth Century Fox.last_img read more

Companion screen app provider Shazam has launched

first_imgCompanion screen app provider Shazam has launched a new version of its app for iPad, with a range of new features.Shazam’s app now provides a new discovery home screen, displaying what TV shows and music are currently tagging, a new layout for tag results for both TV and music and a new way to browse what friends have been watching and listening to, according to the company.The app also features a new auto-tagging feature that is designed to enable users to recognize and engage with any music, TV shows or adverts playing around them automatically.The iPad app also enables users to see in real time and explore songs people are currently listening to, with the same funcationality enabled for TV shows in the US and selected content in the UK. A LyricPlay feature displays lyrics onscreen in time to music.Other new features including interactive mapping, enabling fans to zoom in to any city in the world to discover, buy and share the most popular music people are listening to in that location, integrated streaming with Rdio online radio and a streamlined sharing feature.The app is available on all versions of the iPad, with subsets of features available on other iOS devices. An Android version is expected to be launched soon.last_img read more

Screen Media Venturesowned US free movies videoo

first_imgScreen Media Ventures-owned US free movies video-on-demand service Popcornflix is launching in the UK, Ireland, Scandinavia, Australia and New Zealand as part of a push into international markets.Popcornflix’s advertising supported service is now available on the web, connected TVs and on Android and iOS mobile apps in all eight markets, while users in the UK and Ireland can also view Popcornflix movies on Roku and Google TV.In the US, the service about 1,000 titles and passed the five million viewer download milestone in December last year.The service is financed by pre-roll, spot ads and banner ads.“International expansion is the future of our company. Because we own our own content, Popcornflix is uniquely positioned to launch this global programme to deliver the best in free movies to fans around the world,” said David Fannon, executive vice-president at Popcornflix.“Movie fans love to watch films on their own schedule, and now we’re able to offer original films starring the very best fan-favourite talent to new audiences on a wide range of devices, all for free.”last_img read more

Telecom Italia Media has changed the name of its C

first_imgTelecom Italia Media has changed the name of its Cubovision OTT TV offering to TIMvision.The branding is effective immediately on smartphones and tablets, and Telecom Italia Media plans to introduce it later for the offering on smart TVs, PCs and streaming media devices.Telecom Italia Media also plans to strengthen the contention the OTT service with the addition of new sports content , movies and TV series. The service is currently airing the sixth season of US series Mad Men, marking the first time a top-tier show has debuted on-demand rather than on a linear channel.The telco’s media arm has also integrated the offering into its TIM 4G portfolio.last_img

Liberty Globalowned UPC Romania and satellite TV

first_imgLiberty Global-owned UPC Romania and satellite TV sister-company Focus Sat have secured rights to show national Liga 1 football matches and matches from secondary club tournament the Cupa Ligii for the next five years.Thanks to an agreement with rights-holder Intel Sky Broadcast, matches from the tournaments will be aired on the Cluj-Napoca-based Transilvania Media Group-owned Look TV and Look Plus channels.UPC Romania chief marketing officer Robert Redeleanu said that as a result of the deal UPC and Focus Sat customers would be able to watch the most important matches from Romanian football competitions for the 2014-19 period.last_img

Liberty Globalowned UPC Czech Republic has added

first_imgLiberty Global-owned UPC Czech Republic has added a string of Asian channels to its line-up, primarily aimed at the country’s Vietnamese and Chinese communities.UPC is adding two Vietnamese, three Chinese and one South Korean channel, along with a new Czech cooking and lifestyle channel called Mňam TV (Yummy TV).The two Vietnamese channels are VTC10 and VTV4 and will both cover topics including Vietnamese culture, entertainment and cuisine.The three Chinese channels are: CCTV-4, a Chinese-language channel featuring documentaries, series, sport, music and children’s programmes; CCTV-9, an English-language channel airing documentaries about Chinese heritage and nature; and CCTV News, an English-language Chinese news channel.These five channels will be available to digital cable TV customers as part of an Asian package from February 17, priced at CZK99 (€3.58) per month.CCTV News will also be available to subscribers of UPC’s Classic and Comfort tariffs, as will Mňam TV and the new Korean channel KBS World HD – an entertainment and documentary channel.last_img read more