A Vancouver teen accused in a home-invasion shooting and two armed robberies was killed by police late Friday night in Vancouver’s Arnada neighborhood.Douglas E. Combs, 16, was shot at about 11:30 p.m. as he reportedly reached for a gun after running away from officers near the intersection of C Street and East 20th Street, according to police radio monitored at The Columbian.Combs was pronounced dead at the scene.The officer who fired the shots was from the Vancouver Police Department, spokeswoman Kim Kapp said early Saturday morning. The officer, who was placed on administrative leave per departmental policy, was not identified.A 16-year-old who was with Combs just before he ran from police was interviewed, arrested and booked into the Clark County Juvenile Detention Center for unlawful possession of a firearm. His name was not released.Combs was the suspect in a home invasion and shooting at 1 a.m. Friday at an apartment at 1101 N.E. Minnehaha St. in Hazel Dell that sent one man to the hospital. David Toohey told The Columbian the shooting victim was his brother, Bill Toohey. He was reported in the intensive care unit Saturday at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center. His condition was not available.
EXCLUSIVE: Credit reporting agency Equifax has launched online financial education for its 800 UK-based employees.The programme, provided by Nudge, was launched on 10 July 2018 as part of Equifax’s wider wellbeing programme, which is being implemented over 2018 and 2019. Called ‘AtYourBest’, the programme caters to employees based across Equifax’s UK offices in Leeds, London and Nottingham.John Garside, HR director, Europe at Equifax, said: “We’re introducing an extensive programme focused on improving the financial, physical and mental wellbeing of our people over this year and the next. It will see us rolling out training, workshops, events and new employee benefits initially across the UK, then Ireland and Iberia.“In July, we’re launching a personalised financial wellness platform, as well as employee workshops and manager training around mental health. This will be followed by mental health first aid training, changes to our pension scheme, nutritional and preventative health advice and more focused wellbeing workshops, for example around the menopause.”The financial education programme enables employees to access a personalised platform, which provides educational content as well as financial action plans. Employees also receive personalised notifications that provide tips and guidance around relevant lifestyle, legislative and organisation events.The programme is integrated with Equifax’s flexible benefits scheme, operated by JLT Employee Benefits.The new financial education was launched using a series of masterclasses across the organisation’s office sites, alongside emails, digital banners, a TV marketing campaign and desk drops.
ADC AUTHOR Congress has not yet funded an authorization that would allow for using the DoD Protected Critical Infrastructure Program (DCIP) to help get off-base infrastructure flood-ready. The authorization is a departure from the military’s traditional position that civilian instruction is “not their job,” said John Conger, former DOD comptroller and now director of the Center for Climate and Security.“This is very new,” Conger told The Post and Courier in Charleston, S.C. “I’ve never seen a thing with this much authority.” He added that Congress needs to fund the authorization before its “full potential” will be seen.South Carolina’s coastline is at risk from rising sea levels, and state and city officials are working on resiliency plans.The paper asked Charleston’s chief resilience officer, Mark Wilbert, if the city could use the extra funding as it prepares its infrastructure for weather changes.“The short answer is ‘yes,’” he said. Joint Base Charleston photo by Airman Joshua Maund
Share your voice Now playing: Watch this: Facial recognition is powerful technology that lets businesses and government agencies identify people based on an image alone. It’s primarily used by police, but businesses are increasingly adopting the technology. It’s being used at airports, concert halls and venues like Madison Square Garden, all without privacy regulations limiting what businesses can do with the data they’ve collected on people’s faces. If passed, the new bill would be the first federal law on facial recognition and privacy. The bipartisan proposal was introduced by Sens. Roy Blunt, a Republican from Missouri, and Brian Schatz, a Democrat from Hawaii. “Our faces are our identities. They’re personal. So the responsibility is on companies to ask people for their permission before they track and analyze their faces,” Schatz said in a statement. The call for regulation on facial recognition doesn’t come only from lawmakers; major Silicon Valley players have also warned about the technology’s potential to uproot your privacy. That includes Brad Smith, the president of Microsoft, who supports the bill. In a statement, Smith said facial recognition “needs to be regulated to protect against acts of bias and discrimination, preserve consumer privacy, and uphold our basic democratic freedoms.” Privacy advocates have also spoken out against facial recognition use, which has the potential to log a person’s location and shopping habits and track that info over time. Businesses also often share and sell that biometric data with one another, as there’re no limits on what they can do with it. The bill would also require companies to conduct mandatory testing to address accuracy and bias issues.If passed, it would prevent companies from selling facial recognition data to third parties without consent. “Consumers are increasingly concerned about how their data is being collected and used, including data collected through facial recognition technology,” Blunt said in a statement.Though this is the first proposed federal legislation looking to take on commercial facial recognition, there are state laws similar to Schatz and Blunt’s bill. Illinois has a Biometric Information Privacy Act, which prevents businesses from collecting data like your fingerprints and facial recognition info without your consent. Until a federal law passes on facial recognition, businesses can continue using the technology and selling that data. “We deserve clear rules and limits on how our faces can be analyzed, identified and tracked over time,” Chris Calabrese, the vice president for policy at the Center for Democracy & Technology, said in a statement.You can read the full bill here: 5:11 Tags Officials at Dulles International Airport near Washington, DC, with new biometric facial recognition scanners. Bill O’Leary/Getty Images Facial recognition is everywhere, but there aren’t any laws that limit what businesses can do with that data. At least not yet.On Thursday, two US senators introduced proposed legislation called the Commercial Facial Recognition Privacy Act, which would prevent businesses from collecting facial recognition data on customers without their knowledge or using it without their consent. That would mean businesses couldn’t use facial recognition to identify and track customers that walk into their stores unless the customers have given permission. Facial recognition: Get to know the tech that gets to… Comment 1 Politics Security
New Delhi: Congress leader P Chidambaram’s plea challenging the Delhi High Court verdict dismissing his anticipatory bail plea in the INX Media case will be heard on Friday by the Supreme Court bench headed by Justice R Banumathi. Chidambaram, who was arrested by the CBI on Wednesday in the case, had approached the top court against the high court’s August 20 verdict. Also Read – In his first after abrogation of Art 370, Army chief to visit Srinagar today Advertise With Us A Delhi court on Thursday allowed CBI the four-day custody of Chidambaram.The Congress leader was arrested after he failed to get protection on Wednesday from the Supreme Court which decided to hear on Friday his plea seeking stay of the high court order.His plea would be heard in the apex court by a bench comprising Justices R Banumathi and AS Bopanna. Also Read – Shah urges women to shun plastic bags Advertise With Us On Wednesday, Registrar (Judicial) of the apex court had informed Chidambaram’s lawyers that Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi has listed the matter for hearing on Friday. Chidambaram, who was home minister and finance minister in the UPA government from 2004-2014, had sought a stay on the Delhi High Court’s August 20 judgement which had dismissed his anticipatory bail plea, paving the way for his arrest in cases related to the INX Media scam. Advertise With Us The cases have been lodged by the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED). Repeated attempts were made by his lawyers Wednesday for seeking urgent hearing on Chidambaram’s plea the same day itself, but the CJI decided that the case will be heard on Friday.Solicitor General Tushar Mehta had opposed the plea of Chidambaram for hearing the matter on oral mentioning saying that the papers are not with him. Chidambaram had suffered a major setback on August 20 when the high court dismissed his anticipatory bail in the INX Media case describing him as the “kingpin”, and paved the way for the investigating agencies, CBI and ED, to arrest him.
The chief financial officer of China’s global telecommunications giant Huawei has been arrested in Canada and faces extradition to the United StatesFRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty ImagesIn a development that could further escalate the trade tussle between the United States and China, Huawei Technologies Co.’s chief financial officer was arrested in Canada on December 1, on behalf of the US. Meng Wanzhou, also known as Sabrina Meng and Cathy Meng, is reportedly suspected of violating US sanctions on Iran and now faces extradition to the nation.A Canada Justice department official on Wednesday, December 5, said that US Department of Justice had opened the investigation in April and was probing if the telecommunications brand sold gear to Iran despite a ban on exports to the region.”She is sought for extradition by the United States, and a bail hearing has been set for Friday,” the official said in a statement, according to Al Jazeera. However, he declined to give out further details of the case.Meanwhile, Al Jazeera’s John Hendren said that this could end up as a “huge blow” to the brand. “Huawei is one of the largest makers of smartphones. It uses parts from the US, which has sanctions against Iran, and it doesn’t want its parts being used there – so Meng was reportedly arrested in Canada on suspicion of circumventing those trade sanctions,” Hendren said, adding that Huawei “could lose access to the US parts it’s using to make its smartphones – that’s what happened last year to ZTE, another Chinese company, which paid $892m for violating US sanctions.”The US has been voicing concerns about Huawei operations since 2016, claiming that the brand could install back doors in their equipment, which would, in turn, let them monitor users of the device in the US. Even though the brand had categorically denied these allegations, the Pentagon had stopped providing Huawei devices to its armed forces and retailer Best Buy too stopped the sale of Huawei products, reported Bloomberg.Asian shares fallAfter the news of Meng’s arrest broke, Asian shares saw a sharp plunge in early morning trade on December 6. Hong Kong witnessed the steepest fall and the Hang Seng Index dropped more than 2 percent from December 5.Stocks related to the Chinese telecommunications brand were affected and rival ZTE, which has had similar issues with the US, also bore the brunt. ZTE stocks tumbled more than 6 percent at one time.With this, investors expect trade tensions between the US and China to escalate and hence sold quite a bit of their capital. “The trade issue between China and the U.S. is deep-rooted, and will likely continue to affect China-related shares,” Nikkei Asian Review quoted Yoshinori Ogawa, senior strategist at Okasan Securities as saying.”With such high volatility, investors are unable to fully inject their money into shares.”What Huawei has said Huawei, in a statement, said that Meng was arrested in Canada on behalf of the US and could be extradited to “face unspecified charges” in the Eastern District of New York. However, it clarified that the company was not aware of the accusations and did not know of any wrongdoing on Meng’s part.”The company has been provided very little information regarding the charges and is not aware of any wrongdoing by Ms. Meng,” Huawei said.”The company believes the Canadian and U.S. legal systems will ultimately reach a just conclusion. Huawei complies with all applicable laws and regulations where it operates, including applicable export control and sanction laws and regulations of the UN, U.S. and EU.”China demands release Meanwhile, China has demanded that Meng be released immediately and believes her arrest is in violation of human rights. At the request of the US side, the Canadian side arrested a Chinese citizen not violating any American or Canadian law. The Chinese side firmly opposes and strongly protests over such kind of actions which seriously harmed the human rights of the victim,” the spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy in Canada said in a statement.”The Chinese side has lodged stern representations with the US and Canadian side, and urged them to immediately correct the wrongdoing and restore the personal freedom of Ms. Meng Wanzhou. We will closely follow the development of the issue and take all measures to resolutely protect the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens.”
Muggers killed a cattle trader at Kukhandi bypass in Katakhali area of Rajshahi early Thursday and looted Tk 250,000, reports UNB.The deceased is Jarip Mridha, 36, son of Alal Mridha of Singra upazila in Natore district.Zillur Rahman, officer-in-charge of Katakhali police station, said Jarip along with his father and paternal uncle Mosharraf Hossain went to the cattle market in Rajshahi.Around 12:30pm, the trio boarded a truck to go to Singra without purchasing any cattle from the market. Three people boarded the truck at Shah Makhdum area of the city.At one stage, the miscreants tied up Jarip’s father and uncle with rope and hit him with a sharp weapon and took the money away. The man died on the spot.The muggers later dumped the victims on the road.A police patrol team found them and took them to Rajshahi Medical College Hospital.
Maternal morbidity rates in Harris County are rising, and rates are outpacing state and national trends.Researchers organized by the Houston Endowment heard from mothers and looked at data specific to Harris County.Houston EndowmentA graph taken from a Houston Endowment report shows rates of severe maternal morbidity (SMM) in Harris County compared to state and national trends.“The need for an ICU care, significant hemorrhage, hypertensive crisis, those types of things. It’s clear our patients are sicker in Harris County which makes them even more vulnerable for mortality,” said Dr. Sean Blackwell, who was involved with the report. He says mothers “often times get great care during pregnancy and then after birth but then they sometimes can not make that continuation for the help that they need.”Blackwell says a lack of access to continued care can cause problems well into a year after birth. “There’s definitely socio-economic and ethnic interactions here,” Blackwell said. “African American women have a much higher rate of maternal mortality and also probably have on average greater barriers to care.”Morbidity rates are also up nationally, and the U.S. Senate is expected to vote next month on a bill that would form state-level committees to investigate pregnancy-related deaths. Share
Kolkata: In a major stride towards product diversification, Sunderban Cooperative Milk and Livestock Producers’ Ltd (SCMLPL), which offers packaged milk and a plethora of milk products under the brand name Sundarini Naturals, will soon introduce two outlets for organic sweets.”People are becoming health conscious nowadays and demand for organic products is picking up. Organic vegetables are sold at departmental stores across the city and are quite popular. Exclusive outlets for organic sweets will be the first of its kind in the city, which is known for its love for sweets,” said a senior official of SCMLPL. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeIf everything goes as per plan, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will launch the two outlets from Gangasagar during her visit from January 26 to 28. The two stores that are being set up in PPP mode will be located at Kankurgachi and Manicktala. App-based delivery to households from these two stores will also be introduced soon. “We will first get an idea of the demand for such sweets in the first two months and then will go for advertisements to have more such ventures under PPP mode,” the official added. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThe special attraction will be the Fruit Delite and Orange Bangla varieties that will be priced at around Rs 25-30 per piece. There will be Rosogolla, Gulab Jamun, Rajbhog, Roshomalai and sandesh varieties like Golappatti, Barfi and Kalakand on offer. The prices will start from Rs 12-15 and will go up depending on the size and variety. A trial run for the sweets was successfully conducted, following which the decision of launching the product was taken.
Eating mostly plant-based and fewer animal-based foods may be linked to better heart health and a lower risk of dying from cardiovascular diseases, a study claims. “While you don’t have to give up foods derived from animals completely, our study does suggest that eating a larger proportion of plant-based foods and a smaller proportion of animal-based foods may help reduce your risk of having a heart attack, stroke or other type of cardiovascular disease,” said Casey M Rebholz, an assistant professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in the US. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe study, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, reviewed a database of food intake information from over 10,000 middle-aged US adults who were monitored from 1987 through 2016 and did not have cardiovascular disease at the start of the study. The researchers then categorised the participants’ eating patterns by the proportion of plant-based foods they ate versus animal-based foods. People who ate the most plant-based foods overall had a 16 per cent lower risk of having a cardiovascular disease such as heart attacks, stroke, heart failure and other conditions, 32 per cent lower risk of dying from a cardiovascular disease and 25 per cent lower risk of dying from any cause compared to those who ate the least amount of plant-based foods. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive”Our findings underscore the importance of focusing on your diet. There might be some variability in terms of individual foods, but to reduce cardiovascular disease risk people should eat more vegetables, nuts, whole grains, fruits, legumes and fewer animal-based foods. “These findings are pretty consistent with previous findings about other dietary patterns, including the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, or DASH diet, which emphasise the same food items,” Rebholz said. This is one of the first studies to examine the proportion of plant-based versus animal-based dietary patterns in the general population, noted Rebholz. Prior studies have shown heart-health benefits from plant-based diets but only in specific populations of people, such as vegetarians or Seventh Day Adventists who eat a mostly vegan diet. The study was observational, which means did not prove cause and effect.
News | Artificial Intelligence | August 13, 2019 Artificial Intelligence Could Yield More Accurate Breast Cancer Diagnoses University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) researchers have developed an artificial intelligence (AI) system that… read more The MD Anderson Proton Therapy Center expansion is expected to be completed in 2023. Rendering courtesy of Stantec. Related Content News | Radiation Therapy | August 16, 2019 Drug Accelerates Blood System’s Recovery After Radiation, Chemotherapy A drug developed by UCLA physician-scientists and chemists speeds up the regeneration of mouse and human blood stem… read more December 27, 2018 — RaySearch Laboratories released RayStation 8B, the latest version of the radiation therapy treatment planning system (TPS), with new advances including some automation applications using machine learning and deep learning. Other major news in RayStation 8B include a new module for evaluation of robustness of treatment plans and photon Monte Carlo dose.Machine learning means that the algorithms in these features learn from the data they are trained on, and they learn in a way that resembles human logic. The applications for automated treatment planning and automated organ segmentation will help improve efficiency and consistency in the clinic. The machine learning framework delivered with RayStation 8B allows for models to be trained on the clinic’s available data, and it is also possible to use pre-trained models provided by RaySearch.The new features have been developed by RaySearch’s in-house machine learning department in collaboration with Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto, Canada, and are the first machine learning applications in a TPS on the radiation oncology market today, according to the company.Robust evaluation is a new module in Plan Evaluation, which enables efficient evaluation of robustness of treatment plans with respect to uncertainties in patient setup and density interpretation of computed tomography (CT). Multiple scenarios with different uncertainty settings are easily created and the scenarios can be evaluated simultaneously for quick decision support. This is achieved through display of different robustness metrics connected to the clinical goals of the treatment.Improvements for photon planning include a Monte Carlo dose engine. The Monte Carlo dose algorithm brings improved accuracy and it is utilizing the graphics processing unit (GPU) to enable fast dose computation. The dose for a dual arc volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) plan can be computed in less than 60 seconds, which is at least one order of magnitude faster than any other system on the market, according to RaySearch. The Monte Carlo dose engine can be used also during optimization.Boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT) planning has been under development since 2017 and is now available in RayStation 8B. BNCT is a type of radiation therapy that enables targeting of cancer at the cellular level. BNCT planning in RayStation is developed together with Sumitomo Heavy Industries Ltd and Neutron Therapeutics Inc.RayStation 8B also adds various improvements and enhancements, including support for directly deliverable multicriteria optimization (MCO) for VMAT, collimation of individual energy layers with the Adaptive Aperture of the Mevion S250i Hyperscan proton therapy system, and handling of relative biological effectiveness for proton dose.For more information: www.raysearchlabs.com FacebookTwitterLinkedInPrint分享 Catalyst PT image courtesy of C-RAD News | Proton Therapy | August 08, 2019 MD Anderson to Expand Proton Therapy Center The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center unveiled plans to expand its Proton Therapy Center during a… read more Following radiation, the bone marrow shows nearly complete loss of blood cells in mice (left). Mice treated with the PTP-sigma inhibitor displayed rapid recovery of blood cells (purple, right). Credit: UCLA Broad Stem Cell Research Center/Nature Communications News | Patient Positioning Radiation Therapy | August 15, 2019 Mevion and C-RAD Release Integration for Improved Proton Therapy Treatment Quality Mevion Medical Systems and C-RAD announced the integration between the C-RAD Catalyst PT and the Mevion S250i proton… read more News | Patient Positioning Radiation Therapy | August 07, 2019 Qfix kVue One Proton Couch Top Validated by Mevion Medical Systems Qfix and Mevion Medical Systems announced that a special version of the kVue One Proton couch top is now both validated… read more Technology | Treatment Planning | December 27, 2018 RayStation 8B Released With Machine Learning Applications for Treatment Planning New features allow automated treatment planning and organ segmentation News | Brachytherapy Systems | August 14, 2019 Efficacy of Isoray’s Cesium Blu Showcased in Recent Studies August 14, 2019 — Isoray announced a trio of studies recently reported at scientific meetings and published in medica read more News | Radiation Therapy | August 15, 2019 First Patient Enrolled in World’s Largest Brain Cancer Clinical Trial Henry Ford Cancer Institute is first-in-the-world to enroll a glioblastoma patient in the GBM AGILE Trial (Adaptive… read more News | Artificial Intelligence | August 08, 2019 Half of Hospital Decision Makers Plan to Invest in AI by 2021 August 8, 2019 — A recent study conducted by Olive AI explores how hospital leaders are responding to the imperative read more News | Proton Therapy | August 06, 2019 IBA Signs Contract to Install Proton Therapy Center in Kansas IBA (Ion Beam Applications S.A.) recently signed a contract and received the first payment for a Proteus One solution… read more News | CT Angiography (CTA) | August 06, 2019 Artificial Intelligence Improves Heart Attack Risk Assessment When used with a common heart scan, machine learning, a type of artificial intelligence (AI), does better than… read more
PUERTO VIEJO, Limón — On Costa Rica’s southern Caribbean coast, you’re equally as likely to find a restaurant serving rice-and-bean as you are to find one cookinggallo pinto.You might know the area “has a Caribbean vibe,” making it even more laid back in an already laid-back country. Or that the beaches are stunning and have smaller crowds. Or that “ahí viven los negros” — that’s where black people live.There’s truth to all of these assertions, but they deserve more attention than a matter-of-fact statement.More than a century of racist laws and policies helped shape Limón. Communities and their distinctive cultures were forged through hardships often condoned by the Costa Rican government.But now the province’s Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Tourism hopes to turn the region into “a new Cancún,” according to a La República report. The proposal — a $40 million inversion for the first phase alone — would include all-inclusive hotels and new residential areas, in addition to other amenities.Given Limón’s higher poverty and unemployment rates than the national average, some say investments like these are long time coming. At the time, the news has raised concerns for communities that want to preserve their cultures and control their own futures.“'[Limón] has its own identity,” said Markus Brown, whose family has lived in Punta Uva, Limón for more than a century, “and we have to maintain the cultural aspects that makes it different from the rest of the country and the rest of the world.” Beachgoers in Puerto Viejo (Alexander Villegas / The Tico Times)Divided by challengesLimón is just 70 miles from San José, but those cities are divided by dense rainforest and imposing mountains.Through much of Costa Rica’s history, establishing a route between the port and the capital was of high importance — and difficulty.You can get a taste of the struggle for yourself by hiking “Camino de Carillo,” west of San Jerónimo de Moravia.After about three miles through the heart of the forest, you’ll stumble upon a strange discovery: The lost town of Carillo. First, you’ll see the large cross, all that’s left of the church. Then you might spot the remnants of a second building. As your trek continues, you’ll find the shell of a car — foliage growing out of every nook and cranny.It’s a humbling feeling, knowing how quickly nature can erase our existence.Camino de Carillo was once one of Costa Rica’s most important roads, the first that connected San José to the Caribbean coast. The infrastructure was vital for the country’s development, but the cobblestone route and its many river crossings were eventually deemed too dangerous. It was abandoned by 1900 in favor of a train route through Cartago.Hiking Camino de Carillo is a history lesson in Costa Rica’s growth. The topography, climate and dense foliage make development seem near-impossible. What’s left of the Camino de Carrillo, slowly being reclaimed by the rainforest. (Alejandro Zúñiga / The Tico Times)Mankind succeeded, of course, in connecting the capital to the coast. Since 1987, travelers can take Ruta 32 between San José to Limón in less than three hours. It’s not ideal driving — fog, fallen branches and mudslides make it a harrowing journey, especially at night — but spend a night near the road and you’ll hear a constant engine-brake roar of pineapple- and banana-loaded trucks announcing their successful arrival to the Central Valley.Ruta 32 is a testament to human engineering and turned the Caribbean into a more convenient vacation destination. In 2017, the last year for which data is available, 24.6 percent of international tourists to Costa Rica — an estimated 437,194 people — vacationed on the Caribbean. And those numbers don’t include local tourism.Those who visit Limón know it’s beautiful and unique. But the reasons why aren’t always as pretty.Institutional racismCosta Rica has had a difficult relationship with race.In 1862, a law prohibited certain populations from entering the country, as Dr. Carmen Hutchinson Miller, a researcher at the University of the West Indies with a background in Afro-Costa Rican history, wrote in a 2012 paper on the subject.Miller cited Lorein Powell and Quince Duncan’s Teoría y Práctica del Racismo, which summarized the legislation:It was the law of Bases and Colonization (La Gaceta, No. 191, 8-11-1862) that prohibited the colonization of the national territory on the part of African and Chinese races and empowered the government to forbid the entry of those unwanted populations to the country. On the contrary, the same law of bases and colonization encouraged and protected European migration, setting aside a considerable annual fund from the national budget and offering ten acres of land to each single person, and twenty to each married couple, and for each child under eighteen five acres more. An early 1900s Costa Rican train. Photo courtesy The Rich Coast Project, submitted by Ana Lorena González.But Costa Rica loosened its ban to welcome Jamaican laborers in the 1870s, when the country needed a workforce to construct its new rail line — the one that helped make Camino de Carillo obsolete. According to Miller, the project ran longer than expected.Ads in The Colonial Standard and Daily Dispatch newspaper described a one-year contract for laborers, but the railroad took 18 additional years to complete. (Or it was completed on “Tico time,” depending on your perspective.) By the project’s conclusion, many of the black immigrants had settled permanently in Limón.Large numbers of Afro-Costa Ricans then proceeded to work on the Caribbean banana plantations of the United Fruit Company, but when disease led the international corporation to refocus on the Pacific Coast, the Costa Rican government discouraged them from entering the Central Valley.According to Dorothy Mosby’s Place, Language and Identity in Afro-Costa Rican Literature, prior to the country’s civil war in 1948, in addition to laws restricting property ownership by Afro-Costa Ricans, “massive migration by blacks to the Central Valley was prohibited through de facto discrimination,” though it is a “historical myth” that this was codified in law. A man hauling lumber out of the forest and through a cacao plantation in 1980. Photo courtesy The Rich Coast Project, submitted by Daniel Miller.More than a century later, Limón is the product of a long string of injustices. The province has a large black population — 15.75 percent of the population, according to the latest census — and as a result, maintains an embattled reputation throughout Costa Rica.A 2009 UNICEF survey found 27 percent of Costa Ricans believe Afro-descendants are violent and aggressive. That study also found that 74 percent of Costa Ricans believed previous governments had ignored the country’s black population.For its part, the Costa Rican government has acknowledged a need to further developments in Limón. Former President Luis Guillermo Solís allocated significant financial resources to the province on Afro-Caribbean Day in 2016.Still, through its geographic and racial divide with the rest of Costa Rica, Limón’s distinctive culture flourished. There, you’ll find not only different foods but different languages (English and Mekatelyu), different music (Reggae and Calypso), different architecture (Victorian and Caribbean mix) and different customs.But as the region begins to change, some locals worry a flood of foreign industries and tourism could whitewash that culture. A group playing dominos in Hone Creek, Limón, in 1982. Photo courtesy The Rich Coast Project, submitted by Daniel Miller.Fighting Cancunization and preserving cultureMarkus Brown, 30, is a co-director at The Rich Coast Project, a non-profit organization that works in Puerto Viejo and nearby towns to empower communities to have “a meaningful stake in their history and their future.”His family immigrated from Jamaica and has lived in Punta Uva, Limón since the early 1900s, first fishing and then working on the cacao plantations. Brown himself has seen the area transform from times when there were no phones or paved roads and only occasional tourism.“It used to be a hidden gem,” he says. “Now people come here, and they see that this place is amazing.“[…] They’re newcomers that see the place, but they don’t know the history. They don’t know that there’s culture, the traditions, what we want for the future.”The biggest change? Brown points to tourism, which has become a year-long industry and has attracted business owners from other parts of Costa Rica and abroad.That’s not entirely a bad thing, but there’s a “lack of identity,” Brown explains, when “it’s so important to have an identity with food, architecture, language, even environmental conservation.”The Chamber of Tourism and Commerce of the Southern Caribbean says a plan to turn Limón into a new Cancún “has nothing to do with Puerto Viejo or the South Caribbean” and rather focuses on the more northerly Limón canton, but Brown expects the project would impact the entire province.“I’m really proud of my roots, and once you travel, you realize how important it is to have an identity and a culture,” he says. A guitar player singing calypso music at a festival in Puerto Viejo. (Erin Skoczylas/The Tico Times)To help preserve communities that have for so long been neglected, The Rich Coast Project — founded by U.S. citizen Katie Beck — focuses on digitizing photos, recording video interviews with local families and producing audio stories that document the area’s history.It’s a means of protecting the Afro-Costa Rican culture and also of disseminating its value to the rest of the country.Brown says he’s not opposed to development — after all, focus on the region had been lacking — but that it has been difficult to see small businesses be replaced with chains, and families who have lived there for generations selling their land to entrepreneurs.And when changes come, he hopes attention is paid to the people who have made Limón unique.“We love the fact that there’s a culture and an identity,” Brown said. “I’m afraid that we might lose those things, and people who come are going to ask, ‘Well, what’s different than San José? What’s different than the Pacific side?’“We don’t want to be Cancún.”This story was made possible thanks to The Tico Times 5 % Club. If only 5 percent our readers donated at least $2 a month, we’d have our operating costs covered and could focus on bringing you more original reporting from around Costa Rica.We work hard to keep our reporting independent and groundbreaking, but we can only do it with your help. Join The Tico Times 5% Club and help make stories like this one possible.Support the Tico Times Facebook Comments Related posts:Rough edges and rich culture: Our Puerto Viejo Deep Dive Puerto Viejo Deep Dive: Speeding on Route 256 killing animals, reshaping mobility Santa Teresa Deep Dive: A murder shatters the illusion of safety Puerto Viejo Deep Dive: Surfing the Caribbean’s gnarly waves
Consumer Confidence Heads Toward Long-Term Norm in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News Capital Economics Confidence Consumer spending 2014-04-13 Krista Franks Brock Consumer confidence reached a four-month high in April, according to the University of Michigan’s preliminary measure of consumer sentiment for the month. After taking a hit in March, the index rebounded to 82.6 in April, prompting one analytics firm to anticipate a possible return in consumer confidence to a long-term normal of 85.The university also measures current conditions and expectations, finding upticks in both this month. The current conditions index rose from 95.7 to 97.1 in April, while the expectations survey rose from an even 70 in March to 73.3 in April.Macroeconomics firm Capital Economics attributes the rising indices to normalizing temperatures after a harsh winter, a strengthening employment situation, and record equity prices.“These numbers suggest that consumption growth got off to a decent start in the second quarter,” said Capital Economics economist Paul Diggle.The S&P 500’s record high set at the end of March do doubt had something to do with the uptick in the expectations survey, according to Capital Economics.However, “[a]dmittedly, the 3 percent drop back in equity prices since the start of the month may not have been fully incorporated into the preliminary reading of confidence and could weight on either the final reading for April, or May’s number,” Diggle suggested.At the same time, it appears consumers were not too shaken by the $0.10 per gallon rise in gas prices.Regardless, Diggle suggests continued job growth and pending income growth will propel consumer confidence closer to 85 over the next few months. Share April 13, 2014 437 Views
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