Since 2009, Cyprus has submitted 327 food safety notifications to the EU’s Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF), 245 of which were sent in by the island’s health services, Health Minister Giorgos Pamporidis said on Tuesday.Addressing a food safety workshop in Larnaca co-organised by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the National Food Safety Council, Pamporidis said Cyprus had succeeded in establishing a robust food safety control system based on EU legislation.Citing the figures, he also said that during the same period there had been nearly 18,000 applications for foodstuffs imports, 69 of which had been rejected.“These remarkable figures in comparison to Cyprus’ small population, have placed Cyprus among the leading countries in the RASFF notification system,” he said.RASFF enables information to be shared efficiently between its members states, Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland and Switzerland, and provides a round-the-clock service to ensure that urgent notifications are sent, received and responded to collectively and efficiently.Pamporidis said the state lab had established a risk assessment unit and has developed its own risk assessment model to fully utilise all analytical results to protect consumer health.The island has also succeeded in getting approximately €500,000 for implementing seven projects coordinated by the state lab under the ministry of health.“Our efforts transcend EU borders since food safety is a global issue,” the minister said.In 2010, he added, Cyprus had co-organised with DG SANTES a training programme for 13 neighbouring third countries on EU legislation and implementation of food control systems.“But to reach to tangible results in a world facing many challenges and to ensure that safety and health standards are not only duly taken into account but even improved, we should strengthen ventures and promoting programmes that provide capacity building assistance to all stakeholders in the food chain and strengthen collaboration that will further initiatives for harmonisation,” Pamporidis said.“The new global environment places considerable obligations on both importing and exporting countries to strengthen their food control system and to implement and enforce risk-based food safety strategies on harmonised regulations.” You May LikeLuxury Crossover SUV I Search AdsThese SUVs Are The Cream Of The Crop. Search For 2019 Luxury Crossover SUV DealsLuxury Crossover SUV I Search AdsUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoEditorChoice.comIf You Have Any Of These 20 Toys Around, You Just Became RichEditorChoice.comUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoPensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoby Taboolaby Taboola
Michigan students would get a leg up on earning a job in a high-skilled career or continuing their education under legislation turned in on Thursday.The Senate and House measures would allow a student to receive a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) certification on their high school diploma. The STEM endorsement would also be visible on student transcripts for future technical training, community college and college application review.“Michigan’s economy is growing and creating jobs, yet many of these positions remain unfilled. This initiative is the next step in ensuring Michigan students are prepared for success and to meet our growing skilled-workforce needs,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “We worked together to enact legislation last year that encourages schools to establish programs that award credit toward a college degree or an industry-recognized professional certificate.“I am proud that we are giving students a chance to receive on-the-job training, and this certification is an excellent way to highlight a student’s accomplishments.”Senate Bills 169 and 170 are sponsored by Proos and Sen. Phil Pavlov. Rep. Amanda Price is the bill sponsor in the House of Representatives.If the bills are enacted, Michigan would be the first state in the nation to institute such a STEM certification opportunity.“We recognize that education is unique to each child, and we have worked hard to ensure our schools give every student a chance for a successful career,” said Pavlov, R-St. Clair, chair of the Senate Education Committee. “Allowing students to earn this STEM certification and place it on their diplomas and transcripts helps them improve their college resume and their chances to land a well-paying job.”Gov. Rick Snyder has repeatedly called for an increased focus on STEM education in Michigan.“The Legislature has worked hard to ensure that our students can pursue their own career opportunities in high school and beyond, because we recognize that education is not one-size-fits-all,” said Price, R-Park Township. “By giving students the option to pursue this certification on their high school diplomas, we are helping them take the next step in their educational careers and encouraging them to pursue their own brighter futures.”Proos said, “STEM education plays an important role in giving everyone an opportunity for success. It can also help provide students with the training needed to fill thousands of positions currently available in Southwest Michigan and throughout the state.”### Categories: News 26Feb Bills would allow STEM certification on Michigan diplomas
State Rep. Jim Runestad, R-White Lake, today praised the federal government for finally declaring ISIS actions to be genocide against Chaldeans, and other Christian and religious minorities in the Middle East.Rep. Runestad is sponsoring a House resolution urging the federal government to declare ISIS activities as an act of genocide. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday announced the administration’s decision to support such a declaration.“Although it’s unfortunate it took immense public pressure for the federal government to do the right thing, Secretary Kerry’s announcement is welcome news to many families in our area,” Rep. Runestad said. “A genocide designation commits international resources to protect and restore property and lands taken from the minority groups and opens up more avenues for international aid, asylum an eventual return to their homelands.”Rep. Runestad introduced House Resolution 197 in January, urging the president to declare that the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham is committing genocide against Chaldeans, and other Christian and religious minorities in the Middle East.##### 18Mar Declaration of Acts as Genocide Supported by Rep. Runestad Tags: #SB, genocide, ISIS, Runestad Categories: Featured news,News,Runestad News
06Jun Rep. McCready encourages residents to take part in Free Fishing Weekend State Rep. Mike McCready is encouraging residents of the 40th House District to enjoy Michigan’s abundant natural resources during Free Fishing Weekend on June 11 and 12. During these two days, anglers can cast a line without purchasing a fishing license, but all other fishing rules – such as size and species limits – still apply.“The fishing opportunities in our state are endless. Oakland County alone has more than 350 lakes,” said Rep. McCready, R-Bloomfield Hills. “I encourage people to take advantage of Free Fishing Weekend, and enjoy the natural resources Michigan has to offer.”A list of activities planned for Free Fishing Weekend, as well as suggested locations for family-friendly fishing can be found online at www.michigan.gov/dnr.##### Categories: McCready News
Site was destroyed in 2014 tornado 15Jun Rep. Brann votes for funding to rebuild Ideal Park State Rep. Tommy Brann today voted in favor a bill to approve funds for Natural Resources Trust Fund projects, including the money to rebuild a park in Wyoming that was decimated during a tornado in 2014.Brann, of Wyoming, said the House approved the funding – Trust Fund money and local matching funds – including appropriations to restore and improve Ideal Park. The $808,300 project include trails, parking area, a picnic pavilion, playground, fishing dock on Buck Creek, a basketball court and directional signage. The park serves as a trailhead to the Inter- Urban Trail that links to the greater regional trail systems.“This park was a fantastic family attraction until it was severely damaged in the tornado,” Brann said. “The reconstruction project includes many prospects that were not demanded when it was built in the 1970s, including handicap accessibility. This is good news for people in the Wyoming area.”The funding is comprised of revenue from the lease of state land and is designated on an annual basis in partnership with local governments for the projects.The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.#####The bill is Senate Bill 76. Categories: Brann News,News
The Michigan House and Rep. Matt Hall today approved a plan to help farmers whose crops have been delayed or damaged by this spring’s record-setting rain.The plan would help private lenders provide low-interest loans to qualified farmers at no financial risk to the state.“This plan takes important steps to stabilize our state’s agricultural economy and protect individual, hard-working farmers amid one of the worst growing seasons in history,” Hall said. “Many Michigan farmers have been unable to complete planned planting or, in some cases, even plant at all, which could have a devastating impact on our farm economy.”Michigan has had very few days suitable for field work this spring. As a result, only about 63 percent of corn seeds and 43 percent of soybean seeds have been planted, which means yields will be low. Many farmers will be facing financial trouble as this crop season continues.House Bill 4234 provides $15 million to help private lenders run the loan program and keep interest rates low for farmers. The state does not provide the loans, so there is no financial risk or liability to the state with this program.Similar low-interest loan programs were approved for Michigan farmers in 2002 and 2012. 20Jun Rep. Matt Hall, Michigan House approve plan to help farmers devastated by record rain Categories: Hall News
ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares August 2, 2014; New York PostIn the New York Post article on John McEnroe’s charity, the Johnny Mac Tennis Project, reporters Isabelle Vincent and Melissa Klein write that although the charity advertises itself as working in city schools and providing scholarships to “expose young athletes…to the sport of tennis,” what it really does is comp elite players on the junior circuit for their lessons and travel costs at Sportime, a Randall’s Island tennis club where the John McEnroe Tennis Academy is located.It cites a Sportime insider as saying that the for-profit club started the Johnny Mac Tennis Project in 2011 to build its prestige. “It’s really a scam…All the money goes to the for-profit business. Now we get reimbursed for our good deeds.” Of the $266,826 raised in 2012, $242,625 was handed over to Sportime to fund lessons for 20 players.The Post’s insider source claims that the scheme was developed by “Claude Okin, the owner of the Sportime chain of clubs, and Mark McEnroe, the tennis champ’s younger brother who was the general manager of the Randall’s Island Sportime club and president of the separately incorporated nonprofit.”John McEnroe is on the nonprofit’s board of directors and he takes $750,000 a year to teach at the academy at Sportime that carries his name.Mark McEnroe, who is Sportime’s corporate development officer, admits the charity was established to build the academy. “In our efforts to build our academy, we wanted to find a way that we could pay our bills and train the best kids and at the same time expose lots of other kids—like the hundreds of kids who come here in our community program—to the game.”The Post reports that Noah Rubin, the 18-year-old who just won the junior title at Wimbledon, received $32,200 from the Johnny Mac Tennis Project in 2011 alone, and Susan Loeb, mother of Jamie Loeb, the national college player of the year, said that John McEnroe pursued Jamie to provide a “full ride” scholarship to his academy when she signed on in 2011.—Ruth McCambridgeShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
Share10TweetShare4Email14 Shares“Blue Sky Twitter.” Photo Credit: HTSABOJuly 11, 2017; NiemanLabThe Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University announced today that it had filed suit against President Donald J. Trump for blocking people who cross, mock, or criticize him from his Twitter account. The suit claims that it is a violation of the Constitution to block people because @realDonaldTrump, boasting 33 million followers, is essentially a public forum. Also named in the suit, which was filed in the Southern District of New York, were Sean Spicer and social media director Dan Scovino.This is exactly the kind of definitional work for which the Institute was designed. A jointly and well-funded partnership between the Knight Foundation and Columbia University, the Institute’s particular niche is defense of the First Amendment in the digital age. It has filed a number of suits recently, including a FOIA lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security for records on searches of cellphones and laptops at the border and another one against the White House for not making visitor logs available.Speaking of the Twitter-blocking case, Jaffer says,The Supreme Court has held that there are certain forums that the First Amendment recognizes as public forums, like town halls and open city council meetings. The rule at those kinds of forums is that the government can’t exclude people based on their political views. That’s probably the most well-settled rule in First Amendment jurisprudence: the rule against viewpoint discrimination. That rule is very well settled, but how it applies—or whether it applies—to new communications platforms like Twitter or Facebook is an open question. That’s not something that’s really been litigated before.Legislators and public officials all over the country are increasingly using social media to engage with their constituents. So we really see these questions as the social media-era equivalent of the town hall and city council meeting questions that came up 20, 30, 40 years ago. It really does affect the vitality of our democracy if local politicians are blocking their critics on Twitter and thereby preventing those critics from engaging with the public officials who are supposed to be representing them. That’s why we took on this particular issue.Jaffer says that the Institute is not arguing that all social media accounts run by public officials are public forums. However, the way that Trump uses his makes it so. “He uses it to make official announcements, he uses it to engage with foreign leaders, he uses it almost exclusively to comment on government policy. Based on a whole list of factors, we conclude that this is a public forum under the First Amendment.”The New York Times reports that the Supreme Court may actually agree with this cutting-edge argument, pointing out a recent unanimous ruling that a North Carolina law barring convicted sex offenders from using Twitter or Facebook violated the First Amendment.Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, writing for a five-justice majority, said the law violated the First Amendment because social media had become “the modern public square.” Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., joined by two other justices, concurred with the result but expressed reservations that Justice Kennedy’s language was too sweeping and loose.—Ruth McCambridgeShare10TweetShare4Email14 Shares
Scandinavian online movie service Voddler has launched a movie app for Nokia’s Meego platform and the Nokia N9 phone. The app is free of charge and available via the Ovi Store.Voddler has recently released apps for Nokia Symbian, iPhone, iPad and Android devices. The Meego app will have about about 250 movies activated for mobile viewing initially, including both pay-per-view ‘Rent’-titles and ad-funded ‘Play’-titles.
Pan-European broadcast group RTL has confirmed Thomas Rabe as its new chairman and Guillaume de Posch and Anke Schäferkordt as co-CEOs.The appointments were confirmed in the wake of the company’s annual general meeting after the co-CEO appointments were first announced last month. Rabe succeeds Siegfried Luther who has been RTL chairman since 2004.RTL Group CFO Elmar Heggen was also promoted to the board and Bernd Kundrun and Rolf Schmidt-Holtz appointed non-executive directors.
South African broadcaster Siyaya has won a test licence to develop a satellite TV service aimed at rural areas of the country.Siyaya vice-chairman Kgosi Nyalala Pilane told local press that the service was aimed at reaching parts of the country that had yet to access digital TV. The service will offer eight channels, including SABC and e.tv, according to the reports.In the initial test phase, the service is being made available to 275 households for evaluation.
Lifestyle and fashion channel Fashion One has signed a multi-year carriage deal with Swiss cable operator Naxoo. The deal means that Fashion One HD will be carried on Naxoo’s Intense and Excellence packages. Naxoo operates in the Geneva area.Fashion One’s CEO, Ashley Jordan, said: “Fashion One is a truly global channel, and our priority is to provide the stylish female audience in Switzerland with high quality fashion, entertainment and lifestyle content that represents that. Western Europe continues to be an important region for the channel, and we are looking forward to a long term partnership with Naxoo.”
Digital TV technology firm Advanced Digital Broadcast Group (ADB Group) has seen earnings and and revenue climb in 2012 thanks to increased demand for services and further US market penetration.The firm, which offer solutions to distribute digital pay-TV and multimedia services to the connected home through cable, satellite, terrestrial and IP networks, reported full year revenue of US$452 million, up 13% compared to 2011, while net profits came in at US$8.46 million, compared to a US$12.3 million loss in the previous year.“Year 2012 saw the digital TV penetration worldwide exceeding the 50% threshold. This figure is expected to reach 78% by 2016. While the competition from various forms of internet-carried television poses a serious challenge, the ‘traditional’ pay-TV continues to gain ground as it still remains a popular form of accessing entertainment content,” the firm said.
Seachange’s Siraj Marzban discusses the challenges and revenue opportunities facing operators in the multiscreen age.
Eutelsat Communications has appointed former McKinsey & Company and Bouygues Telecom executive Jean-Hubert Lenotte as the group’s director of strategy. He takes over the role from Yohann Leroy who has been appointed deputy chief technical officer and director of engineering.Lenotte started his career at Bouygues, where he was part of the team that created Bouygues Telecom in 1994. In 1997 he joined management consulting firm McKinsey & Company in Paris, where he was made partner in 2004.“Jean-Hubert has acquired an exceptional wealth of knowledge and understanding of telecommunications and media markets during his career, helping companies across the full spectrum of the TMT sector to grow, from content creation and network management to consumer electronics. His 360 degree vision will be a great asset for Eutelsat at a juncture when satellites are well positioned to seize growth opportunities,” said Michel de Rosen, CEO of Eutelsat.
TV manufacturers are “abandoning support” for smart TVs once they are a few years old, “potentially leaving people with obsolete TVs,” UK consumer body Which? has warned.The report claims that as TV manufacturers pay licences to host apps such as the BBC iPlayer and Netflix, they may choose to only cover app licences for newer products – meaning that in the event that either app maker or manufacturer changes technology or software, the end user will lose access.“Consumers have every right to a reasonable lifespan for the products they buy, and this should extend to support for the services these products are marketed with in the first place. It’s good to see the Consumer Rights Bill bringing the law into the 21st century and making consumers’ rights clearer on digital content,” said Which? editor, Richard Headland.Which? claims that in some cases manufacturers refuse to guarantee the availability of apps on their smart TVs, acknowledging that they may be removed without notice.The body is supporting the UK’s Consumer Rights Bill, which is designed to merge all existing UK consumer protection laws and regulations and is currently under review by Parliament.
Russian service provider ER-Telecom, which operates under the Dom.ru brand, is to acquire Yaroslavlteleset, a leading cable operator in the Yaroslavl region in western central Russia, according to local press.According to the trade new site ComNews, ER-Telecom is to pay RUB305.5 (€4.4 million) for Yaroslavlteleset, with the deal expected to close imminently.Yaroslavlteleset is currently owned by the Yaroslavl city authorities. Local politicians have been critical of the sale, according to ComNews, with Yaroslavl Oblast deputy Sergey Balabaev claiming that the asset was undervalued in the sale.The deal is expected to make ER-Telecom, which already operates in the city, with an 18% share of the broadband market and a 12% share in pay TV, the leading cable operator in Yaroslavl, which has a total population of about 600,000.
The Last PanthersPan-European pay TV operator Sky is to premiere its new crime drama The Last Panthers simultaneously to its 21 million customers in the UK, Ireland, Italy, Germany and Austria.The series, set to debut on November 12, is a joint pan-European commission from Sky and Canal+ in France, featuring Samantha Morton, Tahar Rahim, Goran Bogdan and John Hurt and directed by Johan Renck (Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead).“We’re hugely excited to be launching The Last Panthers simultaneously to our 21 million customers from across Europe next month. This drama has worldwide appeal with international talent on and off screen and is the latest example of Sky’s commitment to commissioning high quality and break-through original drama,” said Gary Davey, managing director of Sky Content.
Snapchat is reportedly working on an initial public offering (IPO) that could value the firm at upwards of US$25 billion.According to a Wall Street Journal report, Snapchat – which recently renamed the company Snap Inc – is preparing paperwork for its stock market debut with a view to floating as early as the end of March.The WSJ said that if all goes according to Snap’s plans, the IPO could be the biggest on a US exchange since China’s Alibaba made its debut in 2014.According to predictions by research firm eMarketer, Snapchat will generate US$366.7 million in worldwide ad revenue this year, with that figure expected to jump 155.1% to US$935.5 million (€836 million) next year.Some 95% of Snapchat’s revenues are expected to come from the US this year, with that share shrinking to 75.0% by 2018 as it expands to other markets.By the end of 2016, eMarketer predicts that Snapchat will have 58.6 million users in the US, 31.6% of all social network users, with that number expected to rise to 66.6 million people next year.
Question Time, The Andrew Marr Show and Doctor Who were the first, second and third most-tweeted about BBC TV shows of 2018, TV Licensing has revealed.According to the TV Licensing’s stats, BBC news and current affairs programmes regularly sparked opinion and debate on social media, with nine of the twenty most-tweeted about shows falling into these categories.The Daily Politics was the fourth most-tweeted about BBC show, Newsnight came in at number six, BBC Breakfast at eight, Victoria Derbyshire at 10 and the Daily Politics at 11.Elsewhere, BBC entertainment shows and events like the Eurovision Song Contest, Eastenders, Strictly Come Dancing and The Apprentice all ranked among the top 12 most-discussed BBC shows on the social network.“Throughout 2018 unmissable TV moments have united fans, sparked debate and compelled viewers to join the conversation on social media, with watching and tweeting going hand in hand as part of the viewing routine,” said TV Licensing spokesperson, Michael Collins.“Whether it’s predicting the ending to Killing Eve, judging Eurovision contestants, or dissecting the debate in Question Time, our top 20 shows just how engaged audiences are by all types of BBC content.”The most talked about BBC TV shows on Twitter in 2018 were:Question TimeAndrew Marr ShowDoctor WhoDaily PoliticsEurovision Song ContestNewsnightEastEndersBreakfastStrictly Come DancingVictoria DerbyshireSunday PoliticsThe ApprenticeCountryfilePolitics LivePanoramaTop of the Pops 2 (TOTP2)CasualtyKilling EveThe One ShowImagine