Nepal trek attracts war tourism

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: K.W In memory of Nepal’s 10 year struggle with the Maoist insurgency a new trekking trail has been launched to attract travellers to retrace the steps of the Maoist guerrillas in what is regarded as “war tourism”. Launched by former rebel chief Prachanda in an effort to help rebuild the country’s economy, the ambitious project ‘The Guerrilla Trek’ is a 19 day hike that follows trails where thousands of Maoist guerrillas once dug trenches and ambushed enemy during their fight against the once-absolute monarchy. Organised by Nepal Tourism Board in Kathmandu, the launch also included a map and a guide book produced by US author Alonzo Lyons. Chief Prachanda spoke at the launch about Nepal’s big political upheavals and that the people’s revolution will be of no value unless the country goes through an economic transformation.Like other “war tourism” destinations such as Vietnam, Russia and China, Nepal’s new Guerrilla Trek has the potential of becoming a “war tourism product”.”As war tourism has been promoted worldwide for economic benefit, Nepal’s Guerrilla Trek also holds the potential to lure visitors from around the world,” the chief said. last_img read more

Emirates Qantas new NZ schedule

first_imgEmirates will continue to operate 28 flights per week to New Zealand, with daily flights to Auckland from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane; and the daily flight between Sydney and Christchurch. Bookings taken, joint network enhanced. As part of the enhanced schedule, Qantas has retimed its existing Christchurch-Sydney service to allow for more international connections from Sydney and will also launch a new Perth-Auckland service. “These are the first significant signs of the Qantas-Emirates partnership at work across the Tasman and the advantages for our customers will continue to increase as the relationship grows,” Emirates president Tim Clark said. Beginning 1 October 2013, Emirates will operate an Airbus A380 on all flights to Auckland. Emirates and Qantas have begun taking bookings for their new schedule of flights between Australia and New Zealand. “Through the partnership, the Emirates network has now been opened up to include Queenstown and Wellington in New Zealand in addition to the 55 destinations in Australia already on offer to our customers.” Qantas currently operates twice daily A380 services from Dubai to Australia, providing customers with over 100 flight connections per week to New Zealand. Emirates’ trans-Tasman services are operated by Airbus A380 and Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, while Qantas’ services are operated by a dedicated fleet of next generation Boeing 737-800s.last_img read more

Hanson attends govs speech as Rep McBroom guest

first_img Categories: News 17Jan Hanson attends gov’s speech as Rep. McBroom guest State Rep. Ed McBroom, R-Vulcan, welcomed Michigan Agriculture Commission Vice Chair Diane Hanson of Cornell, owner and operator of Hanson Seed Farm, a family run 1,200-acre farm producing seed potatoes, alfalfa and oats, to the House chamber on Wednesday evening for Gov. Rick Snyder’s State of the State address.last_img

Rep Glardon named to military veterans committee

first_img Rep. Ben Glardon, R-Owosso, was named to serve on the House Committee on Military and Veterans Affairs by House Speaker Kevin Cotter, increasing his responsibilities to five committees during the current 98th legislative session.“It’s an honor to be added to this committee,” Rep. Glardon said. “We have a responsibility to the men and women who have served our country. They have given so much, and it is up to us to look after them when they return.”Along with the new appointment Rep. Glardon currently serves as vice chair for the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. He also is a member of the Agriculture, Communications and Technology, and Insurance committees.Rep. Glardon can be contacted by phone at (517) 373-0841 or by email to BenGlardon@house.mi.gov. ##### Categories: Featured news,News Tags: committee, Glardon, Military and Veterans center_img 30Sep Rep. Glardon named to military, veterans committeelast_img read more

Rep Lilly casts yes vote for more state government transparency

first_img State Rep. Jim Lilly voted today for a more open state government, approving sweeping legislation that makes the legislature and governor’s office more transparent.Michigan is one of just a few states that do not subject their legislative and executive branches to open records acts.  However, the 11-bill package would address this and make the governor and lieutenant governor subject to the Freedom of Information Act while creating a similar disclosure requirement for state representatives and senators called the Legislative Open Records Act.“This new transparency standard will help citizens to further participate in the democratic process by providing them with comprehensive information regarding the actions of their state elected officials,” said Lilly, who is vice chair of the Michigan Competitiveness Committee, where testimony on the bills was heard. “By expanding FOIA and constructing the mirroring LORA regarding the legislature, we can improve government transparency and promote a culture of openness and accountability in all parts of state government.”##### 16Mar Rep. Lilly casts yes vote for more state government transparency Categories: Lilly Newslast_img read more

Rep Canfield House committee advance budget plan for Michigan

first_img State Rep. Edward J. Canfield, D.O. of Sebewaing joined the House Appropriations Committee this week in approving a Michigan budget plan that makes health care more efficient and invests more in schools and communities.Canfield chairs the budget subcommittee for the Department of Health and Human Services. The budget plan recommends that the state’s Prepaid Inpatient Health Plans move from a 10-plan model to a single-plan model. The goal is efficiency and effectiveness, with the state being able to spend less on administrative costs and more on services for Michigan residents.The proposed health budget is conservative because of uncertainty over the future of Medicaid funding at the federal level.“If there are changes at the federal level, there could be big changes at the state level,” Canfield said of possible changes to the federal Affordable Care Act. “It is wise for us to have a conservative budget this year.”Other highlights of the House plan for the 2017-18 budget year:Michigan’s public schools would get $100 more per student, raising the funding for K-12 education in the state to an all-time high of $14.3 billion. Career and technical training is a special focus to help prepare Michigan students for jobs of the future.Revenue sharing for local communities would rise by 5 percent, a $12.4 million increase compared to current spending levels.Public safety will be enhanced through the addition of 100 Michigan State Police troopers.Even with more investment in key areas, the overall House plan calls for spending less state money in the next budget cycle than we do today.Michigan’s “rainy day” fund would get another deposit, pushing the total amount in the emergency account above $1 billion.The budget plan advances to the House floor for consideration.“I am happy to put out a good budget, and I look forward to working with the Senate and the governor’s administration to resolve points of difference,” Canfield said.### Categories: Canfield News,News 28Apr Rep. Canfield, House committee advance budget plan for Michiganlast_img read more

Rep Alexander remains committed to reforming auto insurance in Michigan

first_img State Rep. Julie Alexander today said she remains committed to reforming Michigan’s auto insurance system and delivering lower rates for drivers.Alexander, of Hanover, voted in favor of House Bill 5013. The bill was not approved in a vote late Thursday.“I am disappointed in the results of this vote, because this is the issue I have heard about the most during my first 10 months in office,” Alexander said. “Whether it is traveling across the Jackson County area for one of my more than 50 local office hours or taking phone calls and emails in the office, the desire for reform is obvious. People, especially seniors, want choice and the option to pay lower rates. Approving this bill would have been an important step in delivering these much-needed changes. I remain committed to finding solutions for Michigan drivers.”Michigan’s average full coverage auto insurance premium cost – nearly $2,400 per year – is 82 percent above the national average and twice as high as in neighboring states, according to a recent report from Insure.com.Michigan’s costs are so high largely because it’s the only state mandating unlimited lifetime health care coverage through car insurance. House Bill 5013 allows those catastrophically injured in the past to keep their benefits, while drivers who want to continue buying unlimited medical coverage for the future may do so. The plan also allows more affordable options.The legislation remains in the House.##### 03Nov Rep. Alexander remains committed to reforming auto insurance in Michigan Categories: Alexander News,Newslast_img read more

Rep Albert Governor signs plan banning sale of ecigarettes to minors

first_img Categories: Albert News State Rep. Thomas Albert today said the governor made the right decision by signing into law a plan to ban the sale of e-cigarettes to minors and prevent individuals under 18 from possessing vaping products in Michigan.Senate Bills 106 and 155 make the same reforms Albert proposed in House Bill 4164, which he introduced in February. The bills are now Public Acts 17 and 18 of 2019.“Through this process the governor’s administration had expressed hesitancy about this legislation. I believe there should be no reservations in trying to protect our children. I am glad the governor supported this first step to start reversing this alarming trend,” Albert said. “These reforms will make it more difficult for kids to get their hands on vaping products and give local school districts the tools they need to keep these items off school grounds.”Albert said the number of teenagers who use e-cigarettes has increased dramatically over the past few years, prompting parents, teachers and law enforcement officers to reach out to him with concerns. In a recent study, one in five Michigan high school students reported having used an e-cigarette during the previous 30 days.Albert said teenagers are often under the impression that vaping is safe, but that is not the case. According to the Centers for Disease Control, vaping nicotine can harm adolescent brain development and lead to addiction. Many vaping products also contain diacetyl, which is commonly associated with “popcorn lung” – a condition that damages airways.### 04Jun Rep. Albert: Governor signs plan banning sale of e-cigarettes to minorslast_img read more

Challenges Face New Chair of National Endowment for the Arts

first_imgShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares February 13, 2014; Los Angeles TimesPresident Obama last week nominated Jane Chu, president and chief executive of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, Missouri, to be chairwoman of the National Endowment for the Arts.But as the Los Angeles Times reports, the future head of the NEA faces the same funding challenges that have plagued it for years, quoting two former chairs.Initial reactions to President Obama’s nomination of Dr. Chu are positive. Chu not only has a background in the arts, she has a reputation for managerial excellence and vision. Her new agency is responsible for funding many of America’s community-based nonprofit arts organizations and local artists.Professor Dana Gioia and actress Jane Alexander, both of whom were NEA chairs, told the Times that the organization continues to be under-funded, and that restoring cuts to its budgets will be at the top of Chu’s agenda. The NEA has gone without an official chairman since Rocco Landesman stepped down in 2012; there has been an acting chair since then.“The NEA has been without a leader for too long—and the institution has suffered as a result,” Gioia told the paper. A professor of poetry and public culture at USC, he served from 2003 to 2009. “The NEA is an extraordinarily complex institution to manage…This requires a constant, capable leader.”The NEA’s budget has been cut in recent years. Its budget was $146 million for 2012, down from $154.7 million in 2011 and $167.5 million in 2010, and this year Congress appropriated $138.4 million, including cuts because of the federal sequestration.Alexander, a four-time Academy Award-nominated actress who served as NEA chairwoman from 1993 to 1997, told the Times that she believes the NEA needs to operate at a minimum annual budget of $350 million: “The NEA is important for artists everywhere. It helps to decentralize the arts from big cities—making sure places from Alaska to Florida get the arts.”As head of the Kauffman Center, Chu oversaw a campaign to raise $414 million. Gioia said the new chair will have to rebuild bipartisan support and restore cuts made to the organizationAlexander’s advice: “If you can get the president’s ear, that is the best. I would say to Jane Chu: Always talk to the president. Don’t be shy. You might not always get to the president, but you may talk to the vice president. And Joe Biden was always supportive of us.”But Philip Kennicott, the Pulitzer Prize-winning art and architecture critic, says in the Washington Post that Obama let 13 months pass between the former chairman’s departure and his appointment of Chu, leaving her with little time to leave her mark on the agency. He says that it is evidence that the administration is not particularly interested in the NEA or the role of the arts in American culture, adding that since the beginning of the Obama presidency, “it was clear the administration took a purely instrumental, and trivial, view of the arts.”“The long leadership gap at the top of the NEA is one of the perplexing mysteries of this administration: Why has it neglected one of the fundamental tools it has for shaping attitudes to American culture? Why did President George W. Bush manage to use the NEA so effectively while Obama has manifested only indifference? Is this the sad reality of the technocratic mindset, that culture is secondary or tertiary, and not worth the bother?”Kennicott believes that Chu’s “greatest challenge also presents an opportunity. While it may not be possible, given the time constraints and fiscal realities, to make transformational change at the agency, she will have more freedom to speak out about how shamefully it has been treated, and all the things that it might accomplish if it were adequately funded.”He says that it makes more sense to treat the job as a bully pulpit, like the role of the Surgeon General, than the usual stewardship role, which includes getting along with Congress and advocating for the agency and the arts inside the administration: “She may not be able to do much with the time she has, but she can certainly say the things that need saying.”The thousands of arts organizations and artists across the U.S. that rely on NEA funding and support will certainly be listening.—Larry Kaplan ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shareslast_img read more

In Utah More Scouts but Less Money and Mass LDS Resignations over

first_imgShare4TweetShare3Email7 SharesEunika Sopotnicka / Shutterstock.comNovember 12, 2015; KUTV-TV (Salt Lake City, UT)The fact that the Boy Scouts have not raised as much as in previous years in Utah may have less to do with the new more liberal policy at the BSA and more to do with a growing split between the Mormon Church and its parishioners on LGBT issues.The largest Boy Scouts branch in the country (and getting larger) is based in Orem, Utah. The Utah National Parks Council serves 90,000 scouts, of which 94 percent are Mormon. Stan Lockhart, the president of the council, says their membership numbers are at an all-time high and are expected to grow by 44 percent over the next 20 years. Despite all that growth, though, Lockhart says some of its 70 employees may be laid off as a result of recent fundraising shortfalls.Without saying by how much it is short, he blames the problem on the recent decision to allow gay scout leaders. Local charter branches are free to choose their own leaders, even if they decide to discriminate, but the National body was clear that any lawsuits would be handled by those local groups. While there were worries about the possibility that the LDS church would sever its ties, that did not happen; instead, it opted to retain its relationship with the Boy Scouts.Rick Barnes, executive leader of the Great Salt Lake Council, the second-largest council in Utah, says there is ongoing confusion about the church’s stance. Barnes said his branch purposely postponed their fundraising campaign following the national ruling, and this whole scene provides some clue about why fundraising may be down. If the branches are cautious and uncomfortable about their position within the community given the new policy, it may very well be that that feeling transmits itself to donors. The fact that membership numbers are up, on the other hand, may indicate that the community is less concerned than are the church and the council leaders.Meanwhile, a new rule that disallows children of same-sex couples from receiving baptism and participating in naming ceremonies is creating a furor within the church itself. The New York Times reports that the rule was evidently not meant to be made public, but it was sent in a confidential email to leaders of 30,000 congregations. Soon leaked to the news media, the provision created a wave of 1500 resignations from the church on Saturday.—Ruth McCambridgeShare4TweetShare3Email7 Shareslast_img read more

Immigration Inequality Impunity Identity and the Internet

first_imgShare5Tweet3Share2Email10 SharesJune 24, 2016; New York TimesNow that Brexit is the law of the land, there are a million details to follow, but the broader implications for Europe, Britain, the U.S., and the global economic system aren’t so clear. Jim Yardley’s analysis in “Populist Anger Upends Politics on Both Sides of the Atlantic” attempts to put some of the forces that supported Brexit into a social context. Yardley says that the West was “stunned” by the British vote in favor of leaving the EU. Stunned, maybe, because, as with the advent of Sanders and Trump in the U.S., journalists had all drunk the Kool-Aid of post–World War II corporate globalization. Thus, in their reactions to Brexit, most journalists failed to understand that Brexit signals a paradigm shift in the evolution from the nation-state to the global state. Jim Tankersley, writing in the Washington Post, does get it when he writes, “Now the question is whether the movement will ultimately push the world into a more Western-worker-friendly form of globalization—or a full-fledged retreat to protectionism.” For now, populists on both the right and the left are generating the energy for the changes flowing from Brexit. Here’s the populist dilemma: being against the status quo doesn’t create change. The 19th-century populists in the U.S. (white, rural, Southern) who opposed the railroad monopolies and currency manipulation by the banks were unable to enact much change. By contrast, their successors, the Progressives of the early 20th century, were a broadly based, bipartisan movement that cut across class and cultural boundaries and laid the foundation for the modern welfare state. Today’s progressives need to honor “identity” but practice inclusion.With only foggy outlines of the new reality, social practitioners (planners, policy makers and activists) are wrestling with the “symptoms” of that change: immigration, inequality, impunity, and identity. None of these symptoms exists in isolation from the others. Each is related to the others as both causes and effects. For pundits and practitioners, there are no bullet points in a chaotic environment, with the consequence that addressing one factor in isolation will most likely deliver unintended consequences. Failure to address immigration rationally leads to irrational reactions. As a purely “economic” issue, immigration could be managed. After all, Reagan succeeded in welding a coalition of business and political interests to create immigration reform in the 1980s. But, inflamed by demagogues using the identity politics of a shrinking white “majority,” and uninformed of, yet perhaps influenced by, significant legal immigration occurring for decades, the politics has become intractable in both the U.S. and Europe. The fact of immigration from poorer to richer countries is inevitable. This economic tide is made worse by climate change, a glut of unemployed young people, and demagogues bent on ethnic realignment in the thrown together states of the 19th-century European colonialists. Cool heads who can move the discussion back to economic realities are badly needed to foster migration to the aging countries of Europe that need young workers and fostering local development to keep other young people at peace and employed at home. Both will defuse, but not eliminate, nativist resistance.Failure to address economic inequality fuels populist resentment that supports radical or reactionary actions. No one is unaware of the economic inequality that exists both within and between nation-states. Economic inequality creates clusters of citizens who are “left behind” by overall economic development. Last week in Wonkblog, Emily Badger nailed the problem of the ‘left behind,” but she’s wrong to think that these demographic differences are immutable. These clusters can be based on geography, demography, occupation, or housing tenure, and most likely are mixtures of all these factors. The big story of the “hollowing out of the middle class” in the U.S. is actually a statistical abstraction that includes miners in West Virginia; displaced industrial employees in Illinois; overeducated, debt-stricken, underemployed Millennials; aging tech workers in Silicon Valley; and traumatized youth in America’s inner cities. Each of these clusters has its own issues and channels of expression, but all are about discontent. For electoral purposes, forging this multifaceted discontent into a political movement is the ambition of both the Sanders and Trump campaigns. Governance, on the other hand, involves moving the “left behind” clusters towards economic security in order to mitigate the impact of their angry resistance.Persistent impunity by the bureaucratic “meritocracy” creates a sense of desperation, especially in “left behind” communities. There are a million examples of bureaucratic impunity, but let’s focus on two in the news: the acquittal and dismissal of charges against Baltimore police and the “War on Coal.” Politicians (and bureaucrats) must pay attention to their constituents and take their feelings into consideration, rather than trying “rule by fiat” or “majoritarian tyranny,” as the conservative press suggests.Identity politics is a refuge for “populists” because it’s angry, local, and simple. With the new reality of globalization firmly entrenched, nativism is all that’s left of the nation-state. Back when local communities were cobbled together into nation-states in the wake of the Industrial Revolution, there were broadly shared economic opportunities. In contrast, globalism has created the “left behind” communities, which are disenfranchised by inequality and impunity and seek refuge in a mythical past of ethnic purity and local autonomy. Given the failure of national parties to address fundamental issues of economic inclusion, identify politics is often the only vehicle for political expression for the “left behind.” One of the watchwords of the 21st century is “non-state actor.” Then, there’s the Internet. Without the instant presence of the Internet, global states are impossible to imagine or manage. At the same time, the Internet, and particularly social media, makes every non-state actor into a global player. There are striking recent examples of how “left behind” minorities, like the House Democrats, can send their messages outside of government-sanctioned channels. Manuel Castells tells us, “If there is an overwhelming theme, a pressing cry, a revolutionary dream, it is the call for new forms of political representation, deliberation, and decision-making.”—Spencer WellsShare5Tweet3Share2Email10 Shareslast_img read more

Sky Italia is to add 13 HD channels to its offerin

first_imgSky Italia is to add 13 HD channels to its offering, taking the total HD channels on the platform to 52.New channels include Extreme Sports Channel HD and MTV Live HD, which will launch on February 1. At the same time, the pay TV operator will add HD versions of Fox Life, Real Time, Eurosport2, ESPN America, Discovery Science, Discovery Travel & Living, History, Nat Geo Wild, Gambero Rosso and Disney Channel. Nat Geo Adventure meanwhile will available only in HD, with the standard definition version to be withdrawn from the platform.Sky said that over 70% of its five million-strong subscriber base now took the HD service.last_img read more

The number of pay TV subscribers in Portugal reach

first_imgThe number of pay TV subscribers in Portugal reached 2.98 million last year, an increase of 7% on the previous year, according to national regulator Anacom. Those figure mean that 51.8% of Portuguese households pay for TV services.The majority of subscribers, 1.45 million, took cable services in 2011, with Zon accounting for 53.9% of all cable customers. Its share declined slightly from 55.8% in 2010.The biggest growth came from FTTH-delivered TV services, which accounted for 263,000 subscribers, up 83.4% year-on-year. Almost 700,000 customers took DTH services.last_img read more

European football governing body UEFA has awarded

first_imgEuropean football governing body UEFA has awarded certain media rights for the 2012-15 Champions League tournament in South Africa to commercial broadcaster e.tv.E.tv will broadcast on a free-to-air basis each match week the best Tuesday match followed by a highlights programme. The broadcaster will also air the Champions League final live.All rights have been granted on a platform-neutral basis, meaning they can be exploited on the internet and on mobile.last_img

UK mobile spectrum organisation at800 is set to st

first_imgUK mobile spectrum organisation at800 is set to stage a new test, this time in south east London, to determine to what extent 4G mobile services at 800 MHz may disrupt digital terrestrial service Freeview. Roughly 170,000 household and business addresses in parts of Greenwich, Lewisham, Southwark and Tower Hamlets are being contacted directly to alert them to the test, which is due to begin next week.This follows an initial smaller-scale test in the West Midlands, which logged 100 calls complaining about affected service from 22,000 test-area homes surrounding the 4G at 800 MHz masts – fewer than anticipated.The at800 organisation is responsible for making sure people continue to receive free-to-air TV when 4G mobile services operating at 800 MHz launch. It is funded by Everything Everywhere, O2, Three – the UK mobile operators with 800 MHz spectrum allocations to provide 4G services.last_img read more

Disney chief Bob Iger has said Hulu has real strat

first_imgDisney chief Bob Iger has said Hulu has real strategic and financial value for the company and offers a considerable opportunity for content owners.Hulu’s owners, Disney, Fox and Comcast recently explored sale options before deciding to retain the business, the second time that situation had played out.The Disney boss said yesterday that the owners of the US streaming service ultimately decided there was value in the business. “We became more and more convinced that there was real strategic value to Hulu and there was value from a financial perspective meaning we could grow it at a rate that would be overall positive for the shareholders of our company,” he said.Hulu’s owners will plough in US$750 million of new capital that Iger said would be used to strengthen the technology platform, the team and the content line-up.The decision to retain and invest in Hulu bodes well for producers and distributors, according to Iger. “We think that there is considerable opportunity here and that opportunity will bode well for both Hulu itself but also for content owners who will have a robust platform to sell the content to and for the creative side who will have another entity to sell programming to, or to create for,” he said.Iger was speaking to analysts in the wake of Disney’s third-quarter results. The company recorded revenues of US$11.6 billion compared with US$11.1 billion in the same period a year earlier and profit of US$1.85 billion against US$1.83 billion across the same period.last_img read more

UK telco TalkTalk has extended its arrangement wit

first_imgUK telco TalkTalk has extended its arrangement with BSkyB with a new deal that hands it catch-up programming from premium channels Sky Sports and Sky Movies.The new multi-year wholsale agreement means TalkTalk will continue to offers its pay TV customers Sky Sports and Sky Movies channels, including the upcoming European football net Sky Sports 5. On-demand rights are included for the first time.Additionally, TalkTalk has bagged new rights for Sky Sports Box Office content, which includes major boxing and wrestling events available on a pay-per-view basis.Earlier this year, Sky began offering TalkTalk customers Sky Sports day passes through a la carte internet service NOW TV via TalkTalk’s YouView platform.TalkTalk YouView customers have had access to Sky entertainment programming since launch in 2012. In February, an agreement was struck to keep these on TalkTalk for another three years and extend the partnership to include catch-up content from networks including Sky 1 HD, Sky Living and Sky Arts.“Our customers love the ability to dip in and out of the TV they love and this new agreement means we can continue to offer the flexible access to great content we are fast becoming famous for,” said Tristia Harrison, managing director for consumer, TalkTalk.last_img read more

Satellite operator SES has signed a deal with Swis

first_imgSatellite operator SES has signed a deal with Swisscom to provide its Astra Connect broadband service to customers in Switzerland.Swisscom will use SES’s satellite-delivered internet offering to help cover the roughly 2% of Swiss homes that are unable to receive DSL broadband at the minimum required transmission rate.Swisscom, which has a universal broadband service obligation in Switzerland, will start to deploy the Astra Connect service with immediate effect, at the same time as upgrading existing access lines.“We have chosen to partner with SES for this project as it is renowned for reliable solutions and for being a high quality supplier. We are also convinced by the scalability of the Astra Connect solution,” said Peter Eschmann, head of broadband service obligation, Swisscom.The Astra Connect service uses Ka-band capacity on SES’s Astra 2E satellite, which went into service at 28.2 degrees east on February 1, 2014.The solution has been in operation since 2007 and provides next generation broadband services in Europe, the Middle East and Africa – including to remote areas.last_img read more

James Murdoch James Murdoch spoke publicly about t

first_imgJames MurdochJames Murdoch spoke publicly about the Shine-Endemol merger yesterday at MIPCOM.Speaking about the deal, which was announced last week, the 21st Century Fox COO said that the while the combined production and distribution business will benefit from enormous scale, the parent company does not want to ‘over-synergise’ .“We want to create a larger canvas for them and a larger platform,” Murdoch said in his MIPCOM keynote. He added that while the new business will benefit from the scale and breadth it has that “you can’t over-synergise, you have to allow people to run their own show.”Murdoch also addressed the Sky Europe deal, which will combine the Sky platforms in the UK, Germany and Italy.“We always said the Skys would be stronger together than apart,” he said. “Each one has done incredible work at different points in their lifecycle and we think the combined entity will be faster and better.”He added that the pay TV businesses will produce and coproduce more original content.Sky Deutschland recently moved into original programming and Sky Italia has also started coproducing and commissioning originals. In the UK, BSkyB has made a £600 million (€755 million) commitment to original programming.In the US, meanwhile, Murdoch said that the programming investment at 21st Century’s cable channels was having a financial impact. “We’re investing a lot in original programming and that is delaying some profit for us , particularly at FX and FXX.”Murdoch also discussed 21st Century’s failed Time Warner deal, noting that the company walked away when the Time Warner board rejected its offer and that it did not want to make a hostile takeover bid.In terms of other M&A activity, the 21st Century boss added: “We’re a good size, we don’t see a lot of gaps.”last_img read more

Samsung UHD S9 Series Smart TV Samsung said that i

first_imgSamsung UHD S9 Series Smart TVSamsung said that its consumer electronics division fell short of expectations in the third quarter, due to a decline in the average selling price of TVs.Announcing its Q3 results, Samsung said the division’s setback in profitability was compounded by “stronger panel price and weak demand for large screen TVs.”TV shipments slowed down following strong sales in the first half of the year in Latin America, driven by the World Cup. However, shipments of new products were up, Samsung said.Curved TV shipments increased by 62% quarter-over-quarter, and Ultra High Definition TV shipments were up 31% quarter-over-quarter.“Looking ahead to the fourth quarter, Samsung will look to improve profitability by leveraging the peak holiday season to drive sales of the company’s diverse TV lineups and by strengthening region-specific promotions for premium products,” said Samsung.“In 2015, the company anticipates further growth of the UHD TV market and strong demand for larger screen TVs, and expects growth momentum will continue to be driven by market demands in Asia and other emerging markets.“Samsung will look to further solidify its enduring leadership in the global TV market by introducing innovative premium models, expanding regionalised lineups and by increasing the competitiveness of low-end models.”Overall, sales in the consumer electronics division in the quarter came to KRW11.6 trillion (€8.6 billion), down from KRW12.05 trillion in the same period last year.Overall, Samsung’s revenue for the quarter was KRW47.45 trillion, a 9% decrease quarter-on-quarter. Operating profit for the quarter was KRW 4.06 trillion, a decrease of KRW3.13 trillion quarter-on-quarter.last_img read more