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"Why are you half-naked in my trunk?" Cradle Walk Pictures has released the first official US trailer for the adventure comedy The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir, following a young Indian man as he gets lost in travels around Europe. The film is directed by Canadian filmmaker Ken Scott, based on the novel by Romain Puértolas - with the full title "The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir Who Got Trapped in an Ikea Wardrobe". Ajatashatru Lavash Patel has lived all his life in a small Mumbai neighborhood tricking people with street magic and fakir stunts. He sets out on a journey to find his estranged father, but instead gets dragged on a never-ending adventure - from Paris to Italy to Spain and all over. Indian superstar Dhanush stars, along with an international cast including Erin Moriarty, Bérénice Bejo, Barkhad Abdi, Gérard Jugnot, Ben Miller, and Abel Jafri. This looks charming and amsuing, and just a tiny bit cheesy at times. Official ...

PORT OF Spain – Director General in the Ministry of Tourism, Joy Jibrilu says the Ministry is closely monitoring recent cases of swine flu in an effort to minimize its impact on the industry. “I mean,...

www.nationnews.com | 11/25/18

Who was at the meeting, who wasn't at the meeting and who else should the Cubans meet with?

While Cuban president Miguel Díaz-Canel was in New York to address the United Nations, he met with members of Congress and executives from the agriculture, travel and information and communication technology (ICT) industries. The ICT meeting was at Google's New York office and ten other companies attended. In addition to Díaz-Canel the Cuban ministers of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment and Communications were at the meeting.

Since the only report I have seen of the meeting was a short article in Granma (Spanish), I don't know what was discussed or decided — I can only guess.

The following is a list of the companies at the meeting with a little speculation.

Google: Perhaps they talked about their latest, rumored, unspecified deal to expand Internet access in Cuba. Another possibility would be bringing their African broadband infrastructure company CSquared (begun as Google Project Link) to Cuba.

VaynerMedia: I'd not heard of them, but they seem to be an Internet-savvy PR agency that has done work for many companies, including Google. Perhaps they would like to promote Cuban tourism, ICT or biotech companies or Cuban offshore development services. Or, they might be interested in a Cuban production facility. (Google has production spaces in ten cities — how about Havana)?

Connectify: They are already in Cuba — their software is widely used by Cubans who share connections at WiFi hotspots.

Mapbox: I bet this map of Cuba uses their geographic information system tools. Perhaps they will develop something for the Cuban tourism industry?

McKinsey and Company: They might be looking for a strategic ICT planning engagement. (Others will work for less — see below).

Virgin Group: This is a capital investment company with experience in travel, telecommunication, media and other areas where Cuba has both needs and assets — might they invest in Cuba, S. A.?

AirBnB: They are already doing a robust business in Cuba by providing a good deal for both Cuban renters and tourists. (I wonder whether Trump's clamp-down on tourism has hurt them).

Revolution: I assume this is Revolution Ventures. If so, they may be interested in investing in Cuban startups.

Twitter: Cubans already use Twitter — what more can they be thinking of?

Microsoft: Pirated Microsoft software is common in Cuba — might they be talking about some sort of licensing or royalty agreement in return for support? (I recall long ago visiting a government-run storefront where you could bring floppy disks and order copies of all major US software, including Microsoft's). Microsoft might also be looking for tech employees, offshoring or opening a Cuban development center.

Bloomberg: Did they attend as financially-oriented journalists?

Cresta AI: might they be looking for developers or to build intelligent applications?

Those were the attendees. Who not there?

I was relieved to notice that none of the large US wireless or wireline ISPs were at the meeting. I would not want to wish my experience with Verizon and Spectrum on Cubans.

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel meets in New York with executives of the U.S. technology companies on Sept. 24, 2018

I was surprised that Cisco did not participate. Cisco supplied Cuban networking infrastructure in the early days of the Internet, but Huawei has replaced them today. Still, Cisco is the only US ICT company I can think of besides Google that has made the effort to build relationships in today's Cuba, enabling them to begin offering their Cisco Networking Academy training at the Universidad de Ciencias Informáticas. Cisco-trained students may be willing to purchase their equipment once in the workforce.

I was also surprised that no one from ETECSA was there, although there may have been ETECSA representatives seated in the periphery of the room behind the conference table as is often the case in such meetings.

Finally, who was not there that I would advise Díaz-Canel and Cuban ICT decision makers meet with?

I would urge the Cubans to consider a broad set of advisers and collaborators as they plan the future of their Internet, for example:

  • Organizations like the International Telecommunications Union, the United Nations Development Program and the Internet Society, which have expertise in networking in developing nations, national broadband planning, regulation, and policy. Cuba needs to consider next-generation infrastructure ownership and regulatory alternatives as well as next-generation technology.
  • ICT ministries of nations like Singapore's Ministry of Communications and Information, which has been an ICT planning leader for many years.
  • Municipal networking experts like The Baller Group and a representative of Stockholm's successful municipal network AB Stokab.
  • Representatives of citizen networks like Havana's SNET and Spain's Guifi.net. Cubans are well educated and have a culture and tradition of innovation and self-sufficiency (thanks in part to the US embargo). SNET (and El Paquete Semanal) are providing much of what people use the Internet for. Might ETECSA look upon these organizations as collaborators (or customers) rather than extra-legal competitors?
  • Consultants and consulting firms with deep expertise in networking in developing nations like the Network Startup Resource Center, the Association for Progressive Communication (which provided UUCP connectivity to Cuba in the pre-Internet days) or Steve Song in Africa.
  • People from companies working on future technologies which will not be available for a number of years, for example, representatives of low-Earth satellite companies like OneWeb and SpaceX or engineers working on Ericsson's long-run 5G mobile products.
  • To keep the technology and policy experts honest, I would also include some people concerned with the social impact of the Internet, for example, Yuval Noah Harari, Zeynep Tufekci and Elon Musk.

Don't get me wrong — I think meeting and establishing relationships with companies from the US and other nations is a positive step for the Cubans, but I hope they broaden their contacts and meet with an eclectic group of people and organizations thinking about long-range planning for leapfrogging to future technologies as well as stopgap interim measures like WiFi hotspots, home DSL and 3 and 4G mobile connectivity. One can imagine a most interesting Cuban Internet-advisory committee.

Written by Larry Press, Professor of Information Systems at California State University

www.circleid.com | 10/5/18

“Everybody Knows,” the Spanish-language psychological thriller from Oscar-winner Asghar Farhadi, will be released in theaters on Feb. 8, 2019, with a brief awards qualifying run beginning Nov. 30, the studio announced on Friday.

Focus Features picked up rights to the film ahead of its premiere opening-night screening at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival back in May.

The film, which stars Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem, is director Farhadi’s follow-up to his 2016 Oscar-winning foreign language film “The Salesman.” Farhadi also previously won the best foreign-language film Oscar for “A Separation.”

Also Read: Penelope Cruz on 'Everybody Knows' Director: 'He's Demanding in a Very Good Way' (Video)

“Everybody Knows” follows Laura (Cruz) on her travels from Argentina to her small home town in Spain for her sister’s wedding, bringing her two children along for the occasion. Amid the joyful reunion and festivities, the eldest daughter is abducted. In the tense days that follow, various family and community tensions surface and deeply hidden secrets are revealed.

The film was is produced by Alexandre Mallet-Guy of Memento Films and Álvaro Longoria of Morena Films.

Focus acquired the rights to distribute in the United States, Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India, select Asian territories and the Middle East, apart from Iran. The film received rave reviews after its premiere screening.

Also Read: 'Everybody Knows' Film Review: Penélope Cruz, Javier Bardem in Strongest Cannes Opener in Years

Cruz told TheWrap that the film was one of the most painful experiences she’s had as an actress.

“All of my scenes were very intense,” Cruz told TheWrap in a magazine cover story. “In one scene I have a panic attack in the car, and I ended up in an ambulance myself. It was just from hyperventilation and from my blood sugar going very high from the stress of the scene. I remember getting out of the ambulance, and Asghar made sure I was OK.”

She paused. “And then he asked me for one more take.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

Focus Features Acquires Penelope Cruz Drama 'Everybody Knows' in Cannes

Penélope Cruz Says She Spent Months in 'Terrifying Pain' for Cannes Opener 'Everybody Knows'

Asghar Farhadi Recruits Prominent Iranian Americans to Represent Him at Oscars

www.thewrap.com | 9/28/18

Tourism in Spain was developed during the last years of Francisco Franco’s dictatorship, when the country became a popular place for summer holidays, especially for tourists from the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Scandinavia. In 2007, Spain became the second most visited country of the world after France. That year, almost 60 million foreign tourists were received, according to the World Tourism Organization, which has its headquarters in Madrid. In 2010, Spain dropped to the fourth most visited country in the world after France, the United States and China with 53 million visitors. Spain's tourism direct industry GDP was €62.1 billion ($91.8 billion) in 2010 according to the World Travel and Tourism Council, the fifth highest tourism direct industry GDP after the United States with $510.8 billion, Japan $172.5 billion, China $113.4 billion and France $107.6 billion all also World Travel and Tourism Council 2010 figures. It is worth noting that UNWTO measures tourism income differently and in its Tourism Highlights report, 2010 edition, places Spain ($53 billion) second only to US ($93.9 billion) in 2009 for "International Tourism Receipts". The UNWTO's own methodological notes explain the meaning of International Tourism Receipts and may help to explain the differences in the two organisations figures.


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