City utility may end traditional landline phone installation
The municipal utility company ETAPA is asking the national telecommunications agency for permission to end the installation of new landline accounts. Under the proposal, existing landlines will function as normal but will be converted over a period of time to cellular technology that will be managed by ETAPA. The objective, it says, is to eliminate most hard-wired telephony. The utility says that requests for landlines has fallen off sharply in recent years with only 63 made in the last 15 months.
Cuenca upgrades security for historic documents
Cuenca’s municipal archive, housed in the Remigio Crespo Toral Museum has upgraded its security and environmental controls. The archive contains documents and books dating to the city’s Spanish founding in the 1500s. In addition, a project by the University of Cuenca is underway to digitalize most of the collection. The purpose of the upgrades, according to archives director Ana Luz Borrero, is two-fold. “We want to protect and preserve the collection and, at the same time, we want to make it available to the general public as well as to historians,” she says. Among the documents in the archive collection is a notary’s record book from 1563.
Correa ordered to report every 15 days
Criminal Court Judge Daniella Camacho has ordered former president Rafael Correa to report to the court in Quito every 15 days as part of an investigation into his possible involvement in 2012 kidnapping of a political critic. At Monday’s arraignment, Camacho ruled that Correa must be available to give testimony to prosecutors. She refused a request by the attorney for Fernando Balda, the ex-National Assemblyman who was the target of the Bogota, Colombia kidnapping, to require Correa to wear an electronic ankle bracelet. Correa’s attorney, Caupolicán Ochoa, said the order to report was unreasonable given the fact that Correa lives in Brussels and said he plans to file an appeal.
Venezuela ranks fourth for asylum applications, UN says
According to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), Venezuela has surged into fourth place worldwide for the number of citizens applying for asylum in other countries. In 2017, the number of applicants increased from 37,000 in 2016 to more than 111,000. The countries receiving the most asylum applications are Peru, the U.S., Spain, Ecuador, Colombia and Costa Rica. The UN reports that most Venezuelan asylum seekers currently have temporary visas in the countries in which they are applying. Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq were the only counties with more asylum applicants than Venezuela in 2017.
Tour boats crowd around Galapagos volcano
Every night, dozens of tour boats are anchoring off Fernandina Island in the Galapagos Islands to watch the eruption of the La Cumbre volcano. The lava flowing in the Pacific Ocean is providing a spectacular light show that tourists are paying top dollar to see. Ecuadorian coast guard craft are keeping tourist vessels two kilometers from the lava flow.