On Thursday, the FCC moved forward with a plan that would offer subsidies so that poor Americans could get broadband access, according to Gizmodo.
The FCC voted to expand the “Obamaphone” program (real name: “Lifeline”) to include discounted Internet service for low-income households.
The federal subsidy for low-income Americans provides eligible recipients with $9.25 a month to buy phone service, according to CNN. After a controversial vote on Thursday, the FCC will allow the more than 18 million Lifeline recipients to buy broadband with their subsidy too, following a public comment period.
Recipients (who are those living at or below 135% of the poverty line) will receive the same benefit card, which will still come loaded with the $9.25 a month that they get for discount phone service.
The Hill writes that the program would provide subsidies for broadband in addition to cell and landline phone service. The Hill states The program is funded by fees paid by service providers that are generally listed on customer’s telephone bills.
The Lifeline program is an initiative dating back to the Reagan era that was expanded to include cell phones under President George W. Bush, according to CNN.
The FCC defines broadband as Internet service with speeds of at least 25 Megabits per second. It is usually accessed through in-home connections, and is roughly twice as fast as the average 4G phone connection.
Here is an entertaining anti-racism Public Service Announcement which seems to be Portuguese and was uploaded onto YouTube in 2009.
Recently, the “optical illusion dress” that came to worldwide attention was used in a Salvation Army public service announcement in South Africa. The announcement is targeting domestic violence against women and it uses the viral success of “The Dress.”
The ad featured a woman in a white and gold dress with a caption that reads, “Why is it so hard to see black and blue?”
The caption in the ad further reads: “The only illusion is if you think it was her choice. One in 6 women are victims of abuse. Stop abuse against women.”
The advertisement features the logo for Carehaven, a home for abused women and their children run by the Salvation Army.
The charity says Carehaven has helped more than 5,000 people.
Ireland/Davenport, the South African advertising agency behind the image, told BuzzFeed News in an emailed statement, “For the past few days the internet has been swarming with comments about ‘the dress’ – overall people have been commenting how they hate the fact that an insignificant thing like this could take priority on the internet over more pressing topics such as abuse.”
The agency’s creative team created it within 24 hours and then approached the Salvation Army to ask if they would like to put their name to ad.
“After the idea had been cracked by the team there was no time to spare. We approached the Salvation Army and they were nothing but helpful and overjoyed to help us get their message out there,” the agency said. “With the help of favors from suppliers and production we managed to create and publish the ad in a day.”
In another twist to the complicated system of allies and enemies of the Middle East, an Islamic State fighter currently under trial in a Turkish high criminal court has implicated Turkey’s state intelligence service in the willful transfer of weapons and military hardware to the terror organization. This was reported by Today’s Zaman on Monday.
Turkey is also a NATO ally of the U.S.
Mehmet Askar, who was detained together with another 11 suspects belonging to Islamic State and other jihadist groups revealed that in 2011, a planned transfer of arms was hampered by the capture of a key border town by the Syrian army, blocking the route often used to infiltrate the war-torn Arab country.
Askar’s accomplice, Haisam Toubalijeh, also known as Keysem Topalca, who was involved in a weapons transfer thwarted in 2013 by Turkish forces, reassured him that contacts inside MIT, Turkey’s intelligence organization, would help facilitate the movement of the cache, which included some 100 NATO rifles across the border.
According to the Washington Post, the Secret Service is forcing out four of its most senior officials while two others are retiring following months of scandal.
It is the biggest management shake-up at the agency since its director resigned in October.