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Cable Operators Ordered To Cease Transmission Of 19 Channels

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KINGSTON, April 24 (JIS): Subscriber television (cable) operators are to cease transmission of 19 unlicensed channels in their packages by May 31 this year, or face sanctions.

The directive was issued by the Broadcasting Commission of Jamaica (BCJ) today (April 24), at a press conference at its headquarters in New Kingston.

It represents the first phase of enforcement measures being undertaken by the Commission in relation to copyright regulations.

The channels to be affected include nine from the Encore suite of channels, five from the Showtime group of channels, four from the Starz group, as well as the channel known as the ‘Movie Channel Extra’.
Chairman of the BCJ, Professor Hopeton Dunn, said this action had become necessary as the distribution of unlicenced channels by local cable companies “has been elevated to a contentious international trade issue.”
He noted that cable television operators in Jamaica are required to comply with local and international copyright laws and regulations, but have in fact, been operating in breach of these requirements for many years, particularly in relation to the channels and programmes they sell to subscribers.

This, he said, is in spite of many measures that have been taken by the Commission to secure compliance.
Professor Dunn pointed out that with approximately 98 unauthorised channels being transmitted, additional enforcement measures are required for the orderly, phased elimination of unlicenced cable channel operations in Jamaica.

In this initial phase of the compliance regime, the Chairman noted that cable operators have been directed to remove the 19 channels and to provide their subscribers with notice of discontinuation and an explanation of the reasons for doing so.

“Cable operators must also make whatever arrangements become necessary, based on the terms of contracts with subscribers, including refunds and channel substitution, where applicable and appropriate,” he said.
Cable operators have also been directed, with immediate effect, to cease the promotion of any unlicenced channel to members of the public, as these will constitute false advertising and a violation of the Commission’s directive.
The Commission’s decision is as a result of intensive meetings and discussions with all stakeholders over the past six months. This included local cable operators, international channel owners, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, among other Government departments.
“Our focus has been on ensuring that our cable operators obtain legitimate content for distribution in Jamaica and on arriving at a strategy for the orderly and phased elimination of unlicenced cable channels operating in Jamaica,” Professor Dunn said.

The Commission Chairman, said it regrets the inconvenience that these copyright compliance actions will cause Jamaicans, and asked for understanding of “these necessary regulatory changes in order to bring Jamaica into compliance with our international commitments and in order that subscribers are being sold cable channels which are legal in Jamaica”.

“The Broadcasting Commission has, and must continue to enforce the rules governing broadcasting, and in particular, the requirements for compliance with the Copyright Act,” he said.

“The public is being assured that we will remain vigilant in relation to the fair and balanced implementation of these compliance requirements and that we will maintain the ongoing dialogue that we have been having with all the stakeholders in order to ensure that there are settled arrangements and where possible, the crafting of new approaches for a more durable arrangement in relation to the cable sector,” Professor Dunn said.
The full list of channels to be discontinued in Jamaica are: Encore Black; Encore Family; Encore Love; Encore Suspense; Encore WAM; Encore Classic; . Encore Drama; Encore Mystery; Encore Movie Plex; Showtime East; Showtime West; Showtime TOO; Showtime 2; Showtime Showcase; Starz Comedy; Starz West; Starz Kids and Family; Starz Multiplex; and The Movie Channel Xtra.

Magnetic Media is a Telly Award winning multi-media company specializing in creating compelling and socially uplifting TV and Radio broadcast programming as a means for advertising and public relations exposure for its clients.

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News

Dog Tales to rescue 500 dogs from the Turks and Caicos

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, June 25, 2022 – Stray dogs in the Turks and Caicos will be getting a new lease on life in the coming months as Dog Tales Rescue will be coming to the islands. Up to 500 stray Dogs will be recovered from Grand Turk and flown to Canada in a bid to control the dog population and give the existing strays better lives. The visit has been approved by the Turks and Caicos Islands government who revealed the project in a cabinet meeting on May 31st.

Dog Tales rescue is a Canadian-based rescue mostly focusing on dogs, cats, and horses. The sanctuary is massive, sitting on over 50 acres of land. It was started in 2014 by husband and wife duo Rob and Danielle Eden-Scheinberg.  The animals at Dog Tales Rescue get the 5-star treatment (as they should!) while they wait to be adopted into their forever homes.  The rescue provides a space for neglected and abused dogs to heal with resources including kilometers of walking trails, therapy pools, a grooming spa, and medical care if needed.  Dog Tales does not put dogs down, those who are not adopted immediately remain with the sanctuary permanently.  Since 2014 more than 2000 dogs have passed through the sanctuary.

Rather than kennels the dogs at Dog Tale have rooms that they share or occupy alone and the sanctuary really jazzes up the spaces making them as luxurious as possible.  The volunteers at the sanctuary also actively use social media to campaign for potential adoptees by doing photoshoots to entice families to take the chance to adopt animals. Soon strays from the Turks and Caicos will be in that number.  You can see Dog Tales’ most recent photoshoot here.

Dog Tales even had a TV show back in 2018 that lasted for 2 seasons!

The TCIG says they will provide “logistical and regulatory support” for the program but Dog Tales will be funding the recovery and everything else on their own. You can donate to Dog Tales here

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Health

Moderna & Pfizer approved for toddlers in US

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#USA, June 25, 2022 – Toddlers can now be vaccinated with either Moderna or Pfizer in the United States following the US Food and Drug Administration’s Advisory Committee vote to authorize the jabs for the youngest humans.

Some 2.5 million vaccines were ordered for these youngsters from Pfizer and 1.3 million are on order from Moderna.

The authorization committee voted unanimously on both vaccines and it comes as a relief to millions of parents who opted to keep their children away from family gatherings, even school

The lowest age a US resident can now get vaccinated is 6 months, Pfizer says their shot is ready for children six months to four years old and Moderna goes one year higher at 6 months to 5 years.  Both Pfizer and Moderna say the toddlers will need boosters in the future.

As of June 2, there have been 442 children between the ages of 0-4 years old who have died as a result of Covid-19 in the United States.

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Education

TCI Agriculture launches Plant Clinic

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, June 25, 2022 – These days anything can be online, even a plant clinic! The Turks and Caicos Islands Department of Agriculture wants to help budding and experienced farmers with any plant issues they may have and their new Online Plant Clinic is their solution to help as many Islanders as possible.

Launched on Thursday, June 16 the clinic will operate through Facebook. Individuals with sick plants or pest issues will be required to take a photo of the issue and upload that photo to the department of Agriculture’s Facebook page.

Answers to issues will be given once a month, on every third Thursday, via a public video so all Islanders can have access. The launch was attended by Chief Plant Protection Officer-CPPO Roneta Huntley Thomas, Director of Agriculture Wilhelmina Kissoonsingh, Minister of Agriculture Josephine Connolly, and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture Mrs. Cheryl Ann Jones.

Connolly urged residents to “grow your own food and grow TCI.”

Attendees of the launch were allowed to participate in games trying to identify different diseases for a chance at prizes. Residents can now immediately start sending in their photos on the Facebook page.

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