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first_imgKenyan troops moved into Somalia in late 2011, prompting al-Shabab militants in Somalia to vow revenge attacks inside Kenya. And over the past year, Kenya has seen a series of small-scale explosions, many from grenades and other small improvised explosive devices. Al-Shabab sympathizers are suspected in many of the attacks, although authorities have not definitively linked all the attacks to the Islamist group or its sympathizers.Friday’s targeting of a mosque, however, could suggest a retaliatory attack by a non-Somali Kenyan against the country’s Somali community.An angry crowd quickly gathered after the 7:30 p.m. explosion in the neighborhood, which is known as Little Mogadishu, only to disperse when police fired shots into the air. Abandoned shoes lay outside the mosque and pools of blood were visible on the mosque’s steps.A blast Wednesday near a military base in the same neighborhood wounded eight people.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix 4 must play golf courses in Arizona Top Stories Comments   Share   Associated PressNAIROBI, Kenya (AP) – A grenade thrown at worshippers leaving a mosque in a Somali neighborhood in the Kenyan capital killed three people and wounded 15 on Friday evening, the city’s police chief said. The explosion was the second in the same Nairobi neighborhood in three days.Kenyan media reported that a Muslim member of parliament was among the wounded, but police Chief Moses Ombati did not confirm that. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvementcenter_img Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Sponsored Stories Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help The difference between men and women when it comes to painlast_img read more

Tourism SolomonsSolomon Airlines launch firstever AU TV campaign

first_imghttps://corporate.southpacificislands.travel/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Tourism-Solomons_Solomon-Airlines-launch-first-ever-AU-TV-campaign.jpglast_img

first_imgJames Franco accusers detail misconduct allegations on ‘GMA’ by The Associated Press Posted Jan 23, 2018 9:55 am PDT Last Updated Jan 23, 2018 at 10:20 am PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email NEW YORK, N.Y. – Two women who have accused actor James Franco of sexual misconduct said on ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Tuesday that they’re waiting for him to make amends.Violet Paley and Sarah Tither-Kaplan repeated accusations they’ve made on Twitter that Franco abused his power and behaved inappropriately.Paley has accused Franco of coercing her into performing oral sex on him. “He kind of like pushed my head down and was like, saying, ‘come on,’” she said Tuesday.Asked what she’d like Franco to do now, Paley said, “a lot of things but please just apologize.”Tither-Kaplan said she was a student in a master class on sex scenes taught by Franco and a lot of scenes “seemed gratuitous and exploitative.” She added that Franco “created exploitative environments for non-celebrity women on his sets.”Tither-Kaplan said she’d like to see Franco use his power to “give opportunities to women that are real and valuable and actually give them career advancement.”The two women initially made their allegations on social media after Franco attended the Golden Globes awards ceremony wearing a “Time’s Up” pin indicating support for victims of sexual misconduct.Franco’s representative made no comment except to say the women’s claims are not accurate. They referred to his previous comment on the matter.On “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” Franco said: “If I’ve done something wrong, I will fix it. I have to.”She said Franco exploited the “non-celebrity women” he worked with.Franco’s representative made no comment except to say the women’s claims are not accurate. Franco said earlier: “If I’ve done something wrong, I will fix it.”last_img read more

Rep Howell Tax cuts approved by Legislature are a good start

first_img Representative Gary Howell of North Branch this week voted to approve lower income taxes for Michigan residents.The legislation, a $176 million tax cut which is now headed to the governor for consideration, preserves and increases personal exemptions for Michigan taxpayers and their dependents.“This measure helps everyone from retirees to farmers to factory workers hang onto more of their own hard-earned money,” Howell said. “It is a good start on long overdue tax relief.”The legislation ensures Michigan taxpayers will be able to continue claiming personal exemptions on their state income taxes, a necessary step after federal tax reforms signed into law in December. In addition, the bills increase the state personal exemption from the current $4,000 to $4,900 by the 2021 tax year.“The taxpayers of Lapeer County and all of Michigan deserve and need their money far more than the government, and they know far better how best to use it,” Howell opined. “As I cast my vote, I gave thought to the families in Lapeer County who will benefit simply by being able to keep more of what they have earned.”The technical fix related to the federal reforms saves $170 per person per year – or $680 for a family of four – on state income taxes. The plan to raise the personal exemption to $4,900 provides $102 in additional relief for a family of four.Howell said he would favor further income tax reductions, including a repeal of the pension tax. Howell has repeatedly proposed eliminating what he considers a “grossly unfair” tax on retirees.“While I support the tax cuts we’re making through the personal exemptions, I would like to go further,” Howell said. “The pension tax is unfair and need to be eliminated.”### 16Feb Rep. Howell: Tax cuts approved by Legislature are a ‘good start’ Categories: Howell News,Newslast_img read more

UP taxpayers communities get strong representation in statewide budget

first_img02Jul U.P. taxpayers, communities get strong representation in statewide budget I came to Lansing to make sure all hard-working, Yooper taxpayers receive adequate representation on all policy decisions – especially in the statewide budget planning. Too often, Lansing bureaucrats waste hard-earned taxpayer dollars through various programs that don’t correspond with our interests.Upper Peninsula taxpayers deserve a state budget that is efficient, effective and accountable – one that respects and protects them, their families and communities – and I wholeheartedly believe this upcoming fiscal year’s budget does just that.The recently approved budget that begins Oct. 1 delivers:Savings for taxpayers. While investing more in top priorities that matter most to us, overall spending in this new budget is less than the current budget year. Budgets for several state departments will decline as state government eliminates wasteful spending. This means more money for our local communities.Over a quarter of the overall state budget goes to K-12 schools, with $14.8 billion – a new investment record – helping Delta, Dickinson and Menominee county school districts flourish. Each school will receive a $240 increase per student – which is the largest annual per-student increase in 15 years. This gives our educators and students the monetary and academic support they truly deserve.The Upper Peninsula Veterans Museum, along with exhibits detailing outdoor life, the Iron Belle Trail, and Native American heritage past and present. A total of $500,000 will go toward the building project honoring our military heroes, culture and history. The facility is planned for the Upper Peninsula State Fairgrounds in Escanaba and will honor the memory of John and Melissa Besse, who donated a $1 million gift for the construction of the building.Workforce development. Upper Peninsula students will receive more opportunities to train for high-demand careers and higher wages through a $100 million program called the Marshall Plan for Talent. Michigan’s unemployment rate has dropped from 14.6 percent in June 2009 to 4.7 percent this spring. Companies are hiring and are in dire need of skilled workers to continue our economic comeback.Road Repairs. The budget includes a record-high investment of $4 billion overall on road projects – up $1 billion in state money alone from just a few years ago. I drive on the same roads as you and I get it. Help is on the way though. This record funding allows our local road commissions and municipal employees to accelerate the timeline on desperately needed road improvements.A list of the pros of this upcoming year’s budget can go on and on. Not only does it keep more money in Yooper taxpayers’ wallets by spending less overall than the current year’s budget, but it also continues to pay down state debt.The days of tax increases are over. What we do pay is an investment in ourselves and our communities, not something government can waste. Michigan’s economy continues to become healthier because of the passed income tax cut to every family. We are making crucial decisions to rein in spending wherever possible and focusing our money and energy on areas most important to our quality of life. Categories: LaFave Newslast_img read more

Rep Yaroch to host fall listening tour

first_img State Rep. Jeff Yaroch, of Richmond, will host a “Fall Listening Tour” and visit local board and councils throughout the community.“It is important that as your state representative I stay accessible to all residents and hear your concerns,” Rep. Yaroch said. “This listening tour gives residents the opportunity to ask questions and to hear updates about what has been happening at the Capitol.”Rep. Yaroch will be available at the following times and locations:·         Saturday, September 29 from 10 to 11 a.m. at Clinton-Macomb Public Library North Branch, 16800 24 Mile Road in Macomb Township;·         Monday, October 15 from 6 to 7 p.m. at Clinton-Macomb Public Library North Branch, 16800 24 Mile Road in Macomb Township;·         Monday, October 22  from 6 to 7 p.m. at Armada Village Hall, 74274 Burk St. in Armada;·         Monday, November 19 from 1 to 2 p.m. at Lenox Township Hall, 63775 Gratiot Ave. in Lenox; and·         Monday, November 26 from 6 to 7 p.m. at Clinton-Macomb Public Library North Branch, 16800 24 Mile Road in Macomb Township.No appointment is necessary. Residents unable to attend or who have questions related to state government may contact Rep. Yaroch’s office by calling (517) 373-0820 or by email at JeffYaroch@house.mi.gov.##### 19Sep Rep. Yaroch to host fall listening tour Categories: News,Yaroch Newslast_img read more

Columbia is First American University to Divest from Prisons

first_imgShare173TweetShare8Email181 SharesJune 23, 2015; CNNFollowing a student-run activist campaign, Columbia University has become the first American university to divest from private prison companies and refrain from investing in the future. The Columbia Prison Divest campaign began early in 2014 when students discovered the university had approximately 220,000 shares in the UK-based G4S, the world’s largest global private security company, as well as shares in the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), the oldest and largest for-profit prison company.The campaign, which made use of protests and speaking directly to administrators, was driven by the students’ criticism of the private prison model, which has been gathering growing scrutiny for various allegations of violence and abuse in prisons across the country.“The private prison model is hinged on maximizing incarceration to generate profit—they’re incentivized by convicting, sentencing, and keeping people in prison for longer and longer times,” said Dunni Oduyemi, a 20-year-old organizer, to CNN.Indeed, the American Civil Liberties Union has investigated CCA in the past for its history of human rights abuses. A 2014 investigation by the ACLU of Idaho Correctional Center (ICC), a private prison run by CCA, found what ACLU senior staff attorney Stephen Pevar says “represents the perfect storm of what can go wrong in the private prisons system.” The scrutiny began back in 2008, when the Idaho Department of Corrections found ICC had a record of prisoner-on-prisoner assaults four times higher than Idaho’s other seven prisons combined. The lack of proper numbers of staff and failure to properly address the violence accounted for the prison’s significant number of assaults. In 2013, the ACLU sued ICC warden Timothy Wengler for understaffing the prison then falsifying records to hide the prison’s underemployment. That same year, Idaho decided not to extend its contract with CCA.G4S has had its own issues with abuse allegations. The British firm has supplied prisons in the West Bank, where there have been allegations they abused Palestinian prisoners, and provided services running facilities in Guantanamo Bay. South African prisoners have previously sued the firm on claims that they were tortured. At the same time, the company is also providing security services such as video surveillance and security officers to universities, like Columbia.While the university would not say how much money was invested into the companies, it has said it will not in the future invest in private prison companies. Back in 2013, UC Berkeley and UC Santa Barbara students also called on the University of California system to divest their shares of CCA, which at the time accounted for 12 percent of CCA’s total revenue.But the relationship between universities and the private prison industry extends beyond investments. Many serving on the CCA board of directors also serve as university trustees. The chairman of the board for CCA and another board member of CCA are both on the board of trustees at Belmont University. Another CCA director has been a vice chair on the Ohio Board of Regents since 2002. CCA also has its hand in funding university research, an important goal for any university looking to increase its endowment and strengthen its reputation. Last year, Temple University received complaints against two professors who managed to hide that their study on the private prison industry was funded in part by CCA and GEO Group, another for-profit private prison company. CCA also partially funded a positive 2007 study by Vanderbilt University on the private prison industry.The partnerships between private prison companies and universities are lined with money. Like Columbia students and those from the UC system in California, it is possible to compel universities to critically examine the social costs of these relationships. Like divesting from fossil fuels, universities must consider what messages their commercial investments send to the students they are supposed to be molding.—Shafaq HasanShare173TweetShare8Email181 Shareslast_img read more

Native Americans Protest Sale of Artifacts

first_imgShare33TweetShare1Email34 SharesMay 30, 2016; Global Post, The Guardian, The Atlantic, and NPR, “The Two-Way”A Paris auction house recently continued with an auction of Native American artifacts despite protests from several Native American tribes in the United States. The Eve Auction House sold a collection of over 300 sacred artifacts, which included a ceremonial war shield, masks, a shrunken head, a warrior jacket adorned with human scalps, ancient jewelry, and ceremonial stones. Most of the collection is traced back to Native American Indian tribes, including the Acoma Pueblo and the Hopi. The same Paris auction house held a similar auction in 2013, which was also protested by Native American leaders.Native American Leaders from the Pueblo and Hopi tribes met with U.S. State Department officials and representatives from the Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs at the Smithsonian National Museum of American Indian in Washington D.C. ahead of the auction to voice their concerns about the sale of these items that the tribes consider so precious.The issue has been a diplomatic one for several years, as U.S. laws prohibiting commercial sale of Native American artifacts do not apply in France. The federal laws themselves are not comprehensive, as they do not apply to private dealers, but only prohibit what institutions that are federally funded can acquire or display, as reported by the Hopi tribal newspaper, The Hopi Tutuveni. The Hopi sued unsuccessfully in 2014 to block the sale of the tribe’s religious objects, and has been very vocal about stopping these auctions from continuing.U.S. Representative Steve Pearce (R-NM) has proposed a congressional resolution urging federal agencies to seek the items’ return, and is also calling for a study to look at how often these kinds of cultural items fall into the hands of traffickers on the black market. The tribes do have the support of the U.S. government, with Mark Taplin of the State Department telling NPR: “In the absence of clear documentation and the consent of the tribes themselves, these objects shouldn’t be sold. This type of commercialization of Native American cultural property is fundamentally wrong.”Perhaps auction houses would not be so unwavering in the sale of these items if they did not fetch such high prices. The Guardian reports that France has a long history, tied to its colonial past in Africa, of collecting and selling tribal artifacts. The Paris-based “Indianist” movement in the 1960s celebrated indigenous cultures, and interest in tribal art in Paris was revived in the early 2000s following the highly lucrative sales in Paris of tribal art owned by late collectors André Breton and Robert Lebel. As such, many of these items have high value. The Hopi Tutuveni reported that in April 2013, the Néret-Minet Tessier & Sarrou auction house in Paris generated $1.2 million as 70 Hopi religious objects went for an average of $17,143, with one object created around 1880 fetching $209,000. In Monday’s protested sale, Yahoo News reported that twelve sacred Kachina masks went under the hammer for 116,000 euros ($129,000)—with the most precious, the Crow Mother, going for 38,000 euros ($42,300)—about a third less than expected, but still a high value.The tribes contend that many of these items were pilfered and taken from them illegally. “Over the years, we’ve searched high and low for objects that are part of our community,” Bradley Marshall, of the Hoopa Valley tribal council of California, told a press conference. “When these objects have been created for ceremonies within our community, a spirit goes into them. When we create the objects, we’re in prayer, we’re breathing life into the object. And so these are not just mere objects in some fancy collection. These objects are living beings to us. These objects are part of our family; these objects are part of who we are as a people; these objects have a sacred purpose within our community.”The Eve Auction House did remove one item from the auction. The removed object, which is claimed by the Pueblo, who live in the southwestern United States primarily in the present-day states of New Mexico and Arizona, was a large disc with a colored face in pigment adorned in bird feathers, predicted to fetch up to 7,000 euros ($7,800). The Pueblo Indians’ U.S. Embassy spokesman, Phil Frayne, called it a “small victory in a larger battle” to repatriate tribal artifacts to their original homes, and told the Associated Press that the U.S. government believes the 19th-century shield might have been taken illegally in the 1970s, and as such was withdrawn by Drouot just before the auction.Perhaps all the media coverage has helped, with even social media furthering their cause, with #StoptheParisAuction trending on Twitter. In spite of the auction going forward, Native American tribes and the U.S. government continue to urge the French government to stop allowing these auctions to continue. As Kurt Riley, governor of the Acoma Pueblo tribe in New Mexico, said, “We are appealing to the people of France, and to the French authorities, to honor our humanity and the value of our ancient traditional beliefs by stopping this sale and returning this item.”The French government maintains that they are sensitive to the tribes and are aware of the significance of the artifacts, with spokesperson for the French Embassy in the U.S., Emmanuelle Lachaussee, telling the Guardian, “We are still in the process of investigating the case. But I can already tell you that the French authorities are mindful of the importance that representatives of Native American tribes attribute to the protection of their cultural heritage, and are giving the most serious consideration to this case.”Hopefully, the French will continue to consider whether it is worth it to keep selling away this history that is so much a part of Native American culture.—Alexis BuchananShare33TweetShare1Email34 Shareslast_img read more

Study Americans Think Their National Parks Are Worth 92 Billion

first_imgShare88Tweet6Share15Email109 SharesCapital Reef National Park at sunset / Bruce TutenJune 30, 2016; Denver PostIn a study called “the first-ever comprehensive estimate” of its total economic value, the lands and programs of the National Park Service were reckoned to be worth around $92 billion to the American people. According to Professor Linda J. Bilmes of the Harvard Kennedy School, one of the researchers who led the study, this shows that Americans value the parks system at 30 times more than the federal government spends to operate it.Researchers estimated the economic value of the parks by calculating how much people would pay to preserve them. On average, researchers found that each American household would pay $523.86 to keep the service from having to sell off land. In addition, 95 percent of Americans felt that protecting national parks was important, and 80 percent claimed they would pay higher taxes to ensure the current park system is protected and preserved. This peer-reviewed study is part of a larger investigation examining the value of the parks in relation to ecosystem management, intellectual property creation, and education. It differs from the National Park Service Visitor Spending Effects model. That model describes how the Parks Service benefits surrounding communities in regards to providing jobs and other resources. The study results come at a time when the National Park Service is currently operating with a backlog of an estimated $12 billion. Despite support from the National Park Foundation, chartered by Congress in 1967 to generate private financial support for the National Park Service, it’s become necessary to explore other avenues to help bridge that gap. Earlier this year, the National Park Foundation launched the Centennial Campaign for America’s National Parks, its largest-ever fundraising effort to raise $350 million. To help meet the goal, the Foundation has worked to secure corporate sponsorships. Currently, the campaign has raised $250 million. Even if the Foundation meets the Campaign’s fundraising goal, it will still fall short of the $12 billion backlog. As previously covered by Nonprofit Quarterly, the park service has looked to corporate sponsorships, including partnerships with American Express and Subaru, to help meet its operating budget. While finances are a big concern for the National Park System, there is another call to action as its 100-year anniversary approaches. The Centennial Innovation Coalition has urged President Obama to issue a statement calling for a new vision for the parks system for the next one hundred years. The coalition, headed by a diverse group of leaders including Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Rep. Ruben Gallego of the House Natural Resources Committee (D-AZ), and Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA), chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, sees that the fastest growing demographics in the U.S. are neither aware of nor enjoying the benefits of the public lands.This study puts a very real number on what these national assets are worth in the eyes of the public. It also serves as a call to action for the government and the National Park Service to find different ways to preserve and protect these national resources for the next 100 years, and to find the financial means to keep them operating as the makeup of America changes. The government of today looks very different from the Congress and the president that created the National Park Service on August 25, 1916. Yet, despite these changes, the mission of the parks service seems timeless: to preserve the parks for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of current and future generations.—Kelley MalcolmShare88Tweet6Share15Email109 Shareslast_img read more

first_imgFrance-based channel distributor Thema is to be the exclusive distributor for Lebanon-based channel Murr TV in France, Monaco and the UK.Murr TV offers a range of entertainment programming aimed at an Arab audience, including morning entertainment show MTV Alive, game show Lyrics Board, medical information show The Doctor, current affairs show General View and the Arabic version of Dancing With the Stars.Murr TV was originally formed in 1991 and after being forcibly shut down by the then Lebanese government in 2002, was revived in 2009 with a new look and new programmes.last_img read more

first_imgCable marketing organisation CTAM Europe is launching an executive management course with the INSEAD business school.The programme, described by CTAM Europe as an intensive, week-long course targeted at top executives and highly-relevant to the cable, telecommunications and media sectors, will run from June 23-27 2014 at the INSEAD Europe campus in Fontainebleau, France.“We are very excited about the programme and our partnership with INSEAD – a school that has more than 40 years of experience in delivering tailored executive education programmes to global companies through top-level international faculty. We feel that INSEAD faculty understand the needs, cultural factors, challenges and opportunities of their clients, and are therefore able to produce relevant research, material, cases and points of view to deliver world class programmes,” said CTAM Europe managing director Krisztina Homolay.last_img read more

Jo Lovell Scripps Networks International has confi

first_imgJo LovellScripps Networks International has confirmed the hire of Jo Lovell who joins its distribution team.DTVE’s sister title TBI first reported Lovell had joined Scripps from A+E at the end of last year. Scripps said this morning that Lovell has taken the position of director of international programme licensing and distribution, EMEA.She will work out of Scripps’ London office and report to Hud Woodle, vice president, international programme licensing and distribution. He oversees sales of content from Scripps’ family of lifestyle channels, which include DIY Network, Fine Living, Food Network, HGTV and Travel Channel.Passion had been selling its content in recent years, but it took distribution back in house last year.“As our international program licensing business continues to grow, it is imperative that we establish a strong global sales force,” said Woodle.He added: “Jo’s extensive experience in TV distribution, particularly in territories across EMEA, along with her vast industry knowledge and keen ability to develop and cultivate client relationships, makes her a valuable addition to the team.”At A+E Lovell was senior director of content sales, overseeing programme licensing for their portfolio of channels including A&E Network, HISTORY, Lifetime, BIO and Crime & Investigation Network.She has previously worked in distribution at Carsey-Werner and Fremantle International.last_img read more

OTT video specialist Ooyala has teamed up with bro

first_imgOTT video specialist Ooyala has teamed up with broadcast and media infrastructure provider Qvest Media, allowing the latter to resell Ooyala’s products in the EMEA region.Customers can now purchase Ooyala’s entire range of products from Qvest Media, including the new Ooyala IQ data and analysis platform, which the company says can be linked with the customer’s business intelligence platform to enable optimised programme decisions.“We see great benefits for both partners. With its technology and services, Ooyala covers the entire value chain from video production, video management, playout, recommendation, SVoD, TVoD and AVoD to programmatic video advertising. Qvest Media knows the specific procedures and processes of broadcasters like the back of its hand, allowing it to integrate our solutions into their workflows and infrastructures in an ideal way,” explains Holger Schöpper, Regional Director CEU at Ooyala. “Together, this makes it possible to create a strong and promising partnership.”Peter Nöthen, CEO of Qvest Media, said: “Ooyala offers enormous potential for broadcasters and digital publishers to monetise their own programmes with additional OTT offerings financed through advertising. We are delighted to add another innovative company for broadcast IT solutions to our Global Partner Network in the shape of Ooyala and, thanks to the partnership, to be able to offer new digital TV services.”last_img read more

UK freetoair movie channel Talking Pictures TV h

first_imgUK free-to-air movie channel Talking Pictures TV has agreed deals with two of the country’s local DTT channels whereby several hours of Talking Pictures TV content will be simulcast on the local services each day, starting this weekend.The channel has struck deals with Latest TV in Brighton and Bay TV in Swansea via its media sales agency Media15.Talking Picture TV airs classic British movies on the Freeview and Sky platforms in the UK.Sarah Cronin-Stanley, Talking Pictures TV managing director, said: “It’s a great endorsement of the channel’s appeal that Latest and Bay TV will be including Talking Pictures TV as part of their daytime schedule. It also means we’ll now be reaching even more viewers in these key areas.”Bill Smith, CEO of Latest TV, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled Talking Pictures TV will be giving our viewers great British films every day, including local movies like Brighton Rock and Smokescreen. Brighton was the birthplace of the UK film industry and now Talking Pictures and Latest TV are bringing brilliant movies home.”Bay TV chairman Peter Townsend, said: “I’m delighted Talking Pictures TV is becoming part of the Bay TV programming mix, bringing our viewers classic British cinema every weekday in our matinee performance and all day at the weekend.”last_img read more

Sky has acquired 100 control Swiss OTT TV provide

first_imgSky has acquired 100% control Swiss OTT TV provider Homedia for an undisclosed sum, strengthening its position in the Swiss market.Homedia, which operates under the Hollystar brand offers a catalogue of over 10,000 movies and series, including The Walking Dead, The Big Bang Theory and Westworld for a monthly fee of CHF9.90. the service also offers transactional video-on-demand.Neuchâtel-based Hollystar also provides its service via TV platforms from telcos Sunrise, Quickline and VTX and online TV provider Teleboy as well as via retail partner Ex Libris.The service is also available via the Sony and LG smart TV portals.Hoolger Enßlin, managing director, legal, regulatory and distribution at Sky Deutschland, said that the acquisition would expand Sky’s presence in the Swiss market.Eric Grignon, CEO of Hollystar, said that being part of Sky Deutschland was good nws for Swiss sports, film and series fans. He said that the company would benefit from access to Sky’s rights portfolio, as well as its expertise and record of innovation.The acquisition is Sky’s latest push into OTT TV distribution internationally, following the launch of low-cost OTT services in Germany and Italy on the model of Now TV in the UK, and its recent involvement with Cisco in the creation of OnPrime TV, a service aimed at migrant and expatriate groups that is available in the UK, Germany and Italy.last_img read more

The Grand Tour season2 Netflix is still outpacing

first_imgThe Grand Tour season2Netflix is still outpacing Amazon Prime Video globally in numbers of active users, but Amazon has emerged as a serious challenger to its rival in the Asia Pacific region since the global launch of its service earlier, according to figures compiled by GlobalWebIndex.According to the research outfit, 20% of internet users now use Amazon Prime Video each month, compared with 37% who say the same about Netflix.However, in the Asia Pacific region, the pair are neck and neck, with Amazon Prime Video used by 27% of internet users each month compared with 28% who use Netflix.In other regions, Netflix holds a firmer lead, but to a varying degree. Netflix has the biggest lead in Latin America, where it is used by 68% of internet users to Amazon’s 8%, and North America, where it is used by 61% to Amazon’s 26. In Europe, where Amazon Prime Video has been available in key markets for longer than in other regions, Netflix leads by 25% to 11%, while in the Middle East and Africa, Netflix is used by 22% of internet users and Amazon Prime Video is used by 12%.According to GlobalWebIndex, Netflix’s top five countries by market share are Mexico, where it commands the attention of 72% of internet users, Brazil, Argentina, the US and Canada.Amazon’s top five are India, where it used by 45% of internet users, the US, where it is used by 28%, Germany, Vietnam and the UK.Amazon announced the global launch of its Prime Video service at the end of last year, and in June extended an introductory price offer that makes the service available for US$2.99 in areas where the Amazon Prime delivery service is not available.GlobalWebIndex’s figures were based on asking which of the services 34,078 internet users aged 16-64 outside China were using to watch or download TV shows.last_img read more

Swedish cable operator Com Hem is launching a new

first_imgSwedish cable operator Com Hem is launching a new cloud service, enabling its broadband customers to store files online for a fixed price of SEK59 (€6.15) a month.Com Hem Cloud enables the cable operator’s customers to upload, sync and share images and files via phone or tablet. It said the service could also be used as a back-up for documents on PCs.The new service is available to Com Hem’s residential broadband customer base without any additional contract commitment and can be purchased online or via the operator’s customers services reps.Joel Westin, product director at Com Hem, said that the cloud offering was unique in offering unlimited storage space for an unlimited number of devices at an attractive price.The launch of the cloud offering is Com Hem’s latest move into value-added services. The operator last month teamed up with smart energy technology provider TMPL to jointly offer digital services that include smart homes, energy monitoring, service provision and social interaction to Com Hem’s customers.last_img read more

Netflix is far behind other players in the India

first_imgNetflix is “far behind” other players in the Indian over-the-top video market, ranking fifth in terms of user numbers behind local and international rivals, according to new research.Ronny Screwvala, head of Indian production company RSVP, & Netflix’s Reed HastingsHong Kong-headquartered analysis firm Counterpoint said that local providers Hotstar and Voot ranked first and second respectively in the Indian market, followed by Amazon Instant Video in third place and SonyLIV in fourth.Star India-owned Hotstar and Viacom 18’s Voot have access to local and Western content and both monetise through advertising – with Hotstar offering a ‘freemium’ subscription and ads service and Voot opting for an entirely ad-based model.The research said that only 2-3% of Hotstar’s user base pay for the service with the vast majority accessing free, ad-supported content.It also claimed that in India just some 6% of Netflix users pay to subscribe to the service with the rest “taking advantage of ‘free first month’ trials through multiple credit and debit cards.”“So far, Netflix has focused on pushing its global content such as House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, Master of None, Stranger Things, Narcos, Daredevil, etc., to Indian subscribers,” said Hanish Bhatia, a senior analyst at Counterpoint.“While it has made significant progress in adding regional content, it still has a lot of ground to make up on competitors. Players such as Hotstar and Voot have higher access to Star India and Viacom 18 media libraries. It therefore makes more sense for them to leverage their strength to penetrate the Indian market.”Counterpoint estimates that the India OTT video market is currently valued at US$280 million with 100 million customers and will grow at a rate of 35% year-on-year.last_img read more

The EBU will distribute live Ultra High Definition

first_imgThe EBU will distribute live Ultra High Definition (UHD) content, with High Frame Rates (HFR), High Dynamic Range (HDR), and Next Generation Audio (NGA), as part of a trial at the 2018 European Athletics Championships.The European Broadcasting Union will lead the trials in collaboration with five EBU Members – the BBC, France Télévisions, IRT, RAI and ZDF.Nineteen industry partners working across production workflows have also come on board to help shoot, process, record, and distribute footage of the event, which will take place in Berlin and Glasgow in August.The EBU said that the trial will involve the first live distribution of UHD content with both HDR (HLG/BT.2100) and HFR (100 frames per second, 2160p100).“Current state-of-the-art live broadcasts don’t exceed a field or frame rate of 50Hz in Europe, and HD interlaced (1080i25) is still the dominant broadcast emission format even though commercial encoders and TV sets manage up to 2160p50 resolution,” said the EBU in a statement.The 2160p100 feed will be used to derive two additional 1080p100 and 1080p50 signals. The former of these will include NGA sound in the form of 4+7+0 channel and scene-based beds, with four additional interactive mono object signals for two commentaries and two audio descriptions.Technology partners that will contribute to the trial include ATEME, Dolby, Ericsson, EVS, Fraunhofer IIS, Jünger Audio, KaiMedia, LG, NTT, Rohde & Schwarz and Sony.For more details of the trial, click here.last_img read more

Maximo Ibarra Sky Italia has confirmed that KPN ch

first_imgMaximo IbarraSky Italia has confirmed that KPN chief executive Maximo Ibarra is to be its new CEO.Confirmation of the appointment was widely expected after Ibarra resigned his position with the Dutch telco on Monday. KPN said that he had decided to leave after just over a year in the job for pressing family reasons and because of a new executive opportunity in Italy.Ibarra will report to Sky’s continental European chief Andrea Zappia, Sky Italia’s former CEO, and will be tasked with overseeing the launch of the company’s broadband offering among other things.Welcoming Ibarra on board, Zappia said that the forthcoming launch of the broadband offering over the Open Fiber network in Italy would allow Sky to expand into an area where the KPN chief has extensive experience.Ibarra has extensive telecommunications experience, not only as CEO of the Dutch telco but as CEO of Wind between 2012 and 2018, and before that as in roles with Telecom Italia and Vodafone Italy predecessor Omnitel.Sky and Open Fiber, the Italian wholesale fibre provider currently in the frame to acquire or merge with Telecom Italia’s infrastructure arm, struck a deal last April for Sky to launch a fibre-only broadband service this year.The agreement with Open Fiber will immediately give Sky access to a fibre-to-the-home network that is scheduled to reach the country’s 271 main urban centres by 2022.last_img read more