GoAir has embarked on a major expansion of its domestic operations, with four new routes and a series of additional flight frequencies. The four new routes will connect Mumbai with Leh, and Bengaluru with three cities: Port Blair, Patna, and Ranchi. The Mumbai-Leh and Bengaluru-Port Blair routes, both of which commence on March 27, are not currently served by any airline.The Leh flights will depart Mumbai at 0400 and arrive in the Himalayan city at 0645. The return services will then depart Leh at 0715 and arrive back in Mumbai at 1115, having made a brief stop in Srinagar.On the Port Blair route, flights will leave Bengaluru at 1430 and arrive at 1715. The return flights will then depart Port Blair at 1125 and arrive back in Bengaluru at 1400.Additional frequencies will also be introduced on the routes from Delhi to Ranchi, Lucknow and Patna with an extra flight between Mumbai and Srinagar.All the new flights will be operated using GoAir’s fleet of 180-seat, all-economy Airbus A320 aircraft.
Security guards from private companies and higher fences will be installed in public schools, education minister, Costas Hambiaouris, announced on Wednesday, the possibility of installing security cameras is also on the table.The fencing off of public schools, the installation of intercoms, placing guards in kindergartens and primary schools from 7am to 8am and issuing authorisation cards allowing for the collection of children during school hours, were the new safety measures approved on Tuesday by the cabinet.Regarding the security guards, “a call for tenders will be made and we will then proceed to purchase services from private companies whose staff will be properly trained, while school security guards will have specific duties and responsibilities,” Hambiaouris said after a meeting at the ministry of education on Wednesday.Fences 2.5 metres high will be erected and intercoms installed he said.“We are also assessing whether the installation of security cameras in some schools is needed,” he said.Further safety checks and measures will also need to be taken, as it emerged in the meeting on Wednesday that a large number of schools do not have certificates for fire safety and building suitability.Hambiaouris added that neighbourhood watches would also be strengthened.The need to upgrade security in public schools was highlighted two weeks ago, when a man walked into a primary school in Larnaca and convinced two 11-year-old boys to follow him. The man later said he was planning to hold the boys to ransom. The boys were found within hours. You May LikeUltimate Pet Nutrition Nutra Thrive SupplementAdd This One Thing To Your Dog’s Food To Help Them Be HealthierUltimate Pet Nutrition Nutra Thrive SupplementUndoAngels And EntrepreneursRobert Herjavec Announce Venture Could Make You RichAngels And EntrepreneursUndoDr. Marty ProPower Plus Supplement3 Dangerous Foods People Feed Their Dogs (Without Realizing It)Dr. Marty ProPower Plus SupplementUndo Turkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoConcern over falling tourism numbersUndoPensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoby Taboolaby Taboola
Categories: News 28Oct Bumstead grateful for grant awarded to Oceana County fire departments Funds will support feasibility study of shared fire servicesState Rep. Jon Bumstead, R-Newaygo, today applauded a grant awarded to Oceana County that will help study the feasibility of shared services between the local government’s eight fire departments.“I supported this community effort from the beginning because I know how crucial studies like this are to rural areas of Michigan,” Bumstead said. “As a member of the House of Representatives who helped encourage these funds, it’s very rewarding to see legislative allocations directly helping people in the district.”The announcement was made this week by the Michigan Department of Treasury, which awards funding through the Competitive Grant Assistance Program (CGAP) periodically each fiscal year according to recommendations made by the Legislature. In this round of funding, 16 local governments across the state received grants to help offset costs associated with cooperative efforts among municipalities, among other initiatives.“I’d like to express my sincerest congratulations to the Oceana County Planning Commission for working diligently to receive this award,” Bumstead said. “Our efforts have the potential to increase efficiency and bring savings to all Oceana County taxpayers.”Oceana County received $13,750 to assist the community in hiring a consultant to help determine the feasibility of shared fire services across eight departments.“With the results of this study, Oceana County will likely be able to improve the efficiency of fire departments benefitting the community through partnerships, improved services and savings,” Bumstead said. “I also want to thank the entire state Legislature and Department of Treasury for understanding, recognizing and helping fulfill this need in our county.”###
Legislator: Progress from bankruptcy improves state’s imageState Rep. Jim Lilly today praised Detroit officials for presenting a positive picture of the Motor City’s recovery from a 2014 bankruptcy, saying a strong Detroit makes for a strong Michigan.Lilly, of Park Township, serves as vice chair of the House Michigan Competitiveness Committee, which today heard testimony from Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, officials from the Detroit Institute of Art and a governor’s aide who was instrumental in steering legislation in 2014 that expedited the city’s exit from insolvency.“Very often, the way the world perceives Detroit is the way it looks at all of Michigan, and when Detroit was financially on the ropes that perception applied to the entire state,” Lilly said. “A resurgent Detroit complements Michigan as a whole – from West Michigan to the Upper Peninsula. It’s good for everyone.”Former House Speaker Pro Tem John Walsh, who now works for the governor, explained the legislative process he spearheaded to help Detroit expedite its exit from bankruptcy – the largest city ever to go insolvent – noting that city and state officials worked together to ensure that the money invested in Detroit would have strict state oversight.Officials from the art institute explained how they raised money to help out as well, and the mayor spent time touting the improvements in Detroit’s population, vital public services and image as a result of the legislation. He also said some of the biggest barriers to recovery included high no-fault insurance costs in the city, which is affecting a rebound in population.Lilly asked the mayor what negative perceptions block more businesses from moving to the city.“The biggest perception problem is the condition of our roads,” Duggan said.##### 26Apr Rep. Lilly: Detroit recovery benefits all of Michigan Categories: Lilly News,Lilly Photos,News
Categories: Barrett News 06Jul Barrett helps add flexibility for continuing education Legislation sponsored by state Rep. Tom Barrett, to provide flexibility for the continuing education standards for insurance agents, was signed into law last week by the governor.Previous Michigan law required agents to complete 24 hours of professional development courses over a two-year span to stay up-to-date on proper customer service practices and changing industry trends. Barrett’s legislation allows up to 12 hours to carry over from a previous two-year span to another, excluding ethics and duplicate courses, should the agent exceed the 24-hour requirement.“Everyone relies on their insurance companies and agents to be there when needed, whether it’s a health issue or the family vehicle is damaged in a car accident,” said Barrett, of Potterville. “If an insurance agent is passionate about their career and exceeding the requirement of outside commitment, they will now be able to have those hours carry over on to the next cycle.”Under new law, agents continue to be required to complete an ethics course with every two-year cycle and are not allowed to carry over duplicate courses to count towards the same span.The legislation also requires the Department of Insurance and Financial Services to evaluate continuing education instructors to ensure the content is up-to-date and accurate.House bill 4325 is now Public Act 67 of 2017 with immediate effect.#####
Categories: Featured news,LaSata News,LaSata Photos,News,Photos PHOTO INFORMATION: State Rep. Kim LaSata welcomed Father Eamon Kelly to the Capitol to lead the House of Representative’s invocation before today’s session. As the vice chargé of the Pontifical Institute of the Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center and the vice director of Magdala the Crossroads of Jewish and Christian History, Father Kelly made a special stop in Lansing to share the incredible work that is taking place in Magdala. 03Oct Rep. LaSata welcomes Father Eamon Kelly to state Capitol
Categories: LaFave News 05Jun LaFave’s plan to address school threats moves forward Legislation provides flexibility needed to ensure punishment fits crime State Rep. Beau LaFave’s plan to crack down on threats made against students and teachers in Michigan schools was approved with bipartisan support today by the House Judiciary Committee.LaFave, of Iron Mountain, said his legislation offers a simple solution to a problem identified by prosecutors and law enforcement agencies across the state.“Right now, when someone threatens violence against a school prosecutors have two options: charge them with a 20-year felony for terrorism or a 93-day misdemeanor for disturbing the peace. There is nothing in between,” LaFave said. “By establishing a tiered option, we will give prosecutors additional tools needed to make the punishment fit the crime.”Under the plan laid out in House Bill 5942, anyone who threatens to use a firearm, explosive device, or other dangerous weapons against students or school employees could receive up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. Anyone who takes an overt act toward carrying out the threat faces 10 years imprisonment and a fine up to $20,000. Prosecutors would continue to have the option to prosecute under anti-terrorism and disturbing the peace statutes, as well.LaFave said the solution is necessary to better address an increase in threats against schools in the Upper Peninsula and throughout the state.“A threat – credible or not – can no longer simply be brushed off or ignored,” LaFave said. “Each and every threat must be followed up on to ensure hardworking teachers and innocent schoolchildren are not harmed.”The legislation now moves to the full House for consideration.###
Share18Tweet14Share2Email34 SharesBy Alec Perkins from Hoboken, USA (Abolish White Supremacy) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia CommonsOctober 25, 2017; Southern Poverty Law CenterIn August, the FBI released a report on the danger of what they term “Black Identity Extremists” (BIE). That same month, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which tracks hate, also released a report on the return of the “violent Black Nationalist.”While both the FBI and SPLC note the upward trend in Black Nationalism, the FBI report sparked outrage for piecing a few incidents together to construct a movement—which many argue does not exist—in a context where most domestic terrorism is committed by white supremacist groups, which are conspicuously off the domestic terrorist list.The Law Center writes in its report,Since 2000, the number of Black Nationalist groups in the United States has jumped dramatically from 48 groups to 193 in 2016. In 2007, Black Nationalism increased in response to the recent rise in White Nationalism. In 2014, another trend upward coincides with the increased media attention covering fatal police shootings of unarmed black men throughout the country.They point to recent police murders, like these.On July 7, 2016, Micah Xavier Johnson ambushed Dallas police officers during a peaceful protest against police brutality, killing five officers and wounding nine others. Ten days later, Gavin Eugene Long shot six officers, killing three, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.[…]Johnson was later linked to Black Nationalism through his racist rhetoric and photos posted to social media. He also reportedly attempted to join a Black Nationalist group, the New Black Panther Nation (NBPN), but was ousted by NBPN leader Quanell X because of his radical views and perceived mental instability. Similarly, Gavin Long espoused antigovernment beliefs and affiliated with the Washitaw Nation, a Moorish sovereign citizen group comprised mostly of African Americans.SPLC identifies the beginning of the resurgence of Black Nationalists as “the 2014 ambush shooting deaths of two New York Police Department officers in Brooklyn, New York… [Ismaaiyl Abdullah] Brinsley boasted on social media hours earlier that he wanted to murder cops in revenge for the 2014 deaths of Michael Brown (in Ferguson, Missouri) and Eric Garner who died during a struggle with police in New York City.”According to SPLC, while, “Black Nationalism rose in reaction to white racism during America’s civil rights era,” today’s resurgence is linked to a “rise of white supremacy since 2000 and the current Presidential administration’s perceived animosity towards Muslims.”SPLC notes that many Black Nationalists identify as “Muslim” and claim “Islamic” teachings that promote a sense of higher purpose. They write,Of particular concern to law enforcement, some Black Nationalists have expressed support for al-Qaeda and the Islamic State. For example, on May 4, 2017, the FBI arrested Clark Calloway—who sympathized with ISIS and wanted to start a “race war”—for unlawful possession of a machine gun. Calloway had also expressed hatred toward white people and wanted to attack law enforcement…In this respect, Black Nationalism may serve as a gateway to foreign-based extremism and international terrorism.According to SPLC, “antigovernment, racist and religious extremist ideologies” are a “catalyst for radicalization and mobilization towards violent action for some members.” The top groups within today’s US Black Nationalist movement are the Nation of Islam, New Black Panther Party, New Black Panther Nation, New Black Liberation Militia, Five Percent Nation, Black Hebrew Israelites, and Moorish Nation.In “Did the FBI Just Declare War on Black People,” Black political commentator Julianne Malveaux writes, “according to the Washington Post, 180 Black people have been shot and killed by police, so far, this year. Six instances of BIE folks allegedly (do we know they are BIE, or just crazy) killing police officers is a pattern, but 173 Black folks being shot by police officers is what? Business as usual?”Foreign Policy broke the story of the FBI report on Black Identity Extremists, in which it identified the August 2014 shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson as the catalyst for this “movement,” apparently in agreement with SPLC that these acts are a response to police shootings of unarmed black men.Further concerns about the FBI report range “from civil rights issues to political bias to institutional incompetence.” SPLC is concerned about these as well. The merging of various hate groups under the banner of a domestic terrorist movement causes confusion and easily leads to the inclusion of black activists like Black Lives Matter who have a right to protest.SPLC concludes, “The FBI’s attempt to lump various, disparate black extremists together under one umbrella movement does not appear factual. And, it may actually inflate the threat from violent black nationalists at the expense of other, larger, and more serious domestic extremist movements within the U.S., such as white supremacy and sovereign citizens which number in the hundreds of thousands of members.”—Cyndi SuarezShare18Tweet14Share2Email34 Shares
Share121Tweet25Share4Email150 SharesBy Murray Foubister [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia CommonsJanuary 25, 2018; The ConversationAs Annie Belcourt, an associate professor in public health at the University of Montana, notes, the differences between public health in the US and in the American Indian nations first became clear to her while she was pursuing her doctoral degree in clinical psychology in the 1990s.Belcourt, a member of the Blackfeet Nation who grew up on the reservation in Montana, writes,As each year of school unfolded, I lost family members due to early causes of death, including homicide, suicide, motor vehicle accidents, cancer and pneumonia. I had to drive over four hours to the nearest Indian Health Service [IHS] provider for prenatal visits for my children and nearly lost one child due to lack of access to proper medical care.The IHS, a federal agency that, like many, has faced recent threats of cutbacks, documents the gap in health outcomes. Though outcomes in some areas of American Indian health have improved—for example, infant mortality fell by two-thirds between 1974 and 2009—health disparities remain high. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, American Indians in the 637 counties where the Indian Health Service works (and where 64 percent of all American Indians live) can expect to have a “6.4- to 8-year decrease in life expectancy compared with whites” in the same service areas. The same report found that “all-cause mortality” was 46 percent higher for American Indians than among whites.In the state of Montana, where Belcourt lives and where American Indians make up about six percent of residents, the numbers are even more dramatic. A 2013 state public health department report found that on average, American Indians live nearly 20 fewer years than whites. According to the report, the average age at death for white men is 75 years and for white women is 82 years; in contrast, for American Indians, the average age at death for men is 56 years and for women, 62 years.The IHS has historically been inadequately funded. As Michelle Sarche and Paul Spicer, researchers at the University of Colorado–Denver, wrote in a 2009 journal article, “The IHS is so severely underfunded that it spends just $1,914 per patient per year compared with twice that amount ($3,803) that is spent on a federal prisoner in a year.” The result, as noted in a 2016 report issued by the Office of the Inspector General, is, as Belcourt writes, that “many American Indian patients receive health care that may be inadequate or of minimal quality.”In response to federal shortfalls, American Indian communities are increasingly taking on more health equity work themselves. At the national level, leading actors include the National Council of Urban Indian Health, the National Indian Health Board, and the National Congress of American Indians. Belcourt adds, “The National Indian Health Board has a number of public health initiatives working to inform tribes on best practices in obesity, violence, suicide, and substance abuse prevention. The National Congress of American Indians advocates policies to improve health by engaging elected tribal leadership.”At the local level, Belcourt notes, “Many tribal communities have even taken over the health care provision structure.” Measures taken including bringing back traditional healing methods, languages, and foods, and launching Native health initiatives around issues like tobacco use. “This revitalization is showing promise to improve health the entire family and community,” Belcourt says.One example Belcourt cites is the Piegan Institute, a nonprofit that has promoted education that teaches the Blackfeet language and culture since 1987. More recently, in South Dakota, the Lakota-based Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation has developed similar programs. These efforts are important for public health, Belcourt says, because rebuilding culture is an important pathway to improving community resiliency and because tapping into indigenous healing helps address a shortfall of American Indian healthcare workers.Some educational programs, Belcourt notes, are working to increase the number of American Indian health professionals, researchers, and educators. Belcourt herself is among the growing group of those working “in public health to help [American Indian] communities explore potential solutions to the many challenges [they] collectively face.”—Steve DubbShare121Tweet25Share4Email150 Shares
Share20TweetShareEmail20 Shares December 7, 2018; SlateEarlier this month, Minneapolis, writes Henry Grabar in Slate, became “the first major US city to end single-family home zoning, a policy that has done as much as any to entrench segregation, high housing costs, and sprawl.” The comprehensive plan, passed by City Council on a 12–1 vote, is called Minneapolis 2040 and, as Grabar explains, aims to “permit three-family homes in the city’s residential neighborhoods, abolish parking minimums for all new construction, and allow high-density buildings along transit corridors.” There are still some hoops at the regional and state level to go through, but the plan is expected to take effect by the middle of next year.The ubiquitous R-1 zoning—R-1 meaning “single-family residential”—may seem neutral but has actually been a tool used to promote segregated neighborhoods. As Grabar explains, single-family home zoning was devised as a legal way to keep Blacks and other people of color from moving into certain neighborhoods.“It still functions as an effective barrier today,” Grabar adds.According to Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, the city is abolishing restrictive zoning to begin to reverse the damage wrought by over a century of segregation.“A lot of research has been done on the history that’s led us to this point,” Cam Gordon, a city councilperson who represents the Second Ward, which includes the University of Minnesota’s flagship campus, tells Grabar. “That history helped people realize that the way the city is set up right now is based on this government-endorsed and sanctioned racist system.”The US Supreme Court struck down race-based zoning in 1917 in Buchanan v. Warley. But the decision was quickly circumvented through such means as race-based exclusionary housing covenants (because the covenants were private documents, not based on state action like zoning is, such discriminatory documents remained legal until the Fair Housing Act of 1968).But a zoning loophole was also found. In 1926, in Village of Euclid v. Ambler Realty Company, the US Supreme Court upheld the City of Euclid’s use of zoning to ban apartment buildings.Grabar explains, “The idea that you could legislate out not just gritty industrial facilities but also renters spread rapidly. In concert with racism in real estate, police departments, and housing finance, single-family zoning proved as effective at segregating northern neighborhoods (and their schools) as Jim Crow laws had in the South.”The new zoning code in Minneapolis opens up the wealthiest, most exclusive districts in the city to triplexes. In theory, Grabar writes, this “will create new opportunities for people to move for schools or a job, provide a way for aging residents to downsize without leaving their neighborhoods, help ease the affordability crunch citywide, and stem the displacement of lower-income residents in gentrifying areas.”Interestingly, Mayor Frey is a renter himself—“maybe the first tenant-mayor in the history of a city,” writes Grabar, in a city where, like most US cities, the majority of people are renters.Despite the mayor’s support, approval was not without controversy. Residents submitted 7,000 comments on the draft plan. According to Paula Pentel, coordinator of the University of Minnesota’s urban studies program, three factors helped to get the zoning change passed through city council, 1) the election of a progressive city council dedicated to creating more housing, 2) the mobilization and advocacy of pro-zoning reform groups, and 3) extensive public outreach.Nick Magrino, who sits on the city’s planning commission, notes that the fact that a new zoning code requires time to have an impact (since it affects new building, not existing building) probably lessened homeowner resistance to change.As Magrino explains to Grabar, people’s homes and lawns are not at stake. Over time, parking might become more difficult. But, as Grabar notes, by the time parking does disappear, the higher neighborhood density may mean there is plenty of stuff within walking distance.—Steve DubbShare20TweetShareEmail20 Shares
Liberty Global will set 50Mbps as the standard speed for the bulk of subscribers beyond which it will not go for now, according to Liberty Global president and CEO Mike Fries. “It’s an opportunity to take a breather,” Fries told the Cable Congress in Brussels yesterday. “We have to consider how to get a return on the next bump in speed.”Fries said people were using broadband more intensively, which could have a knock-on effect on the network. “There is an opportunity to take a breath and figure out where we go from here,” he said.Fries also said that German market offered the strongest prospects for growth within the company’s footprint. The country presents the “one of the best markets I have seen in two decades”, Fries told Cable Congress delegates during the opening panel session at the event.Broadband is critical for Liberty Global’s growth in Germany, said Fries. He said that Unitymedia and Kabel BW were picking up 70% of new broadband additions in their footprint.Fries said that broadband was highly competitive in Europe, with speeds rising and prces falling but margins remaining steady.
Sweden’s TV4 Group has extended its deal to show Swedish Super League hockey along with home internationals, the hockey World Cup, Champions Cup and Euro Floorball Tour until 2016.TV4 will show the men’s World Cup to be planed in Gothenburg in 2014. Men’s and Women’s Swedish Super League matches will be broadcast on TV4 Sport and TV4 Play.
Qatar-based satellite operator Es’hailSat has issued a request for proposals for a second satellite.The Es’Hail 2 satellite will be placed in orbit at the regional hotspot at 26° East.Es’hailSat said the new satellite will significantly add to its capacity to deliver premium DTH services across the Middle East and North Africa.Es’hail 2 will have Ku-band and Ka-band capabilities. Propospals to build and launch the satellite are due by the end of April, with the satellite expected to be launched towards the end of 2016.Es’hail 1 entered service at the end of last year. Customers include Al Jazeera and beIN Sport.“With the success of our first satellite – Es’hail 1 – we are delighted to move forward with our satellite procurement program. Es’hail 2 demonstrates both our commitment to providing premium satellite capacity for broadcasters in the MENA region and to building a sustainable satellite industry for the State of Qatar,” said Es’hailSat CEO Ali Al Kuwari.
Russian service provider ER-Telecom, which operates under the Dom.ru brand, had 2.566 million TV customers at the end of last year, up 9% compared with 2012.Broadband subscribers numbered 2.732 million, up 11%, while fixed phone customers numbered 445,000, up 3%.Triple-play subscribers numbered 14% of the total base, up 1%, while double-play subscribers numbered 55%.Dom.ru saw revenues of RUB5.539 billion (€111 million) from TV services, about 29% of its total revenues of RUB19.021 billion.Average revenue per user amounted to RUB323, up 11% year-on-year.
UK regulator Ofcom has rejected local TV channel London Live’s bid to cut its homegrown output on the grounds that the changes proposed by the broadcaster would “substantially alter” its output.London Live, owned by London Evening Standard proprietor Evgeny Lebedev, had bid to reduce its local programming hours from 18 a day to eight, and three hours to one hour in peak time.The news came after an update by Ofcom on the progress of the six local TV licensees with channels on air, following the initiative by former culture secretary Jeremy Hunt to launch local services. The regulator admitted that “the nature of awarding licences for a new type of service in a competitive media market means that it is very unlikely that all channels will succeed” and said this was “an inherent feature of the nature of awarding a large number of licences for a new service across very different parts of the UK”.Ofcom said that the administrator of the defunct Birmingham licence holder was looking to transfer the licence to another provider, which will require Ofcom’s consent. Failing that, Ofcom said it would re-advertise the licence.Ofcom reported that the six local TV channels – Grimsby’s Estuary TV, Norwich’s Mustard TV, London Live, Nottingham’s Notts TV, STV Glasgow and Brighton and Hove’s Latest TV – had broadcast 6,400 hours of local programming to a potential audience of six million people. Ten additional channels are expected to launch by February and a second phase of licensing is underway.
German trade show ANGA COM has reached 350 exhibitor registrations, four months ahead of this year’s event in Cologne. The exhibition and congress for broadband, cable and satellite will this year co-operate with 12 associations of the broadband and media sector – including Deutsche TV-Plattform, VPRT, the DVB consortium, the SCTE and for the first time the Austrian Economic Chambers (WKÖ).Topics that will be up for discussion at this year’s show include TV everywhere, cloud TV, personalized TV, multiscreen and UHD TV.“This year our exhibition and congress will focus equally on the broadband business and the audio-visual media world,” said ANGA COM managing director, Peter Charissé. The event will run from June 9-11, 2015 in Cologne.
Graham SmithGraham Smith has been appointed European boss of sports and lifestyle prodco Inverleigh.Smith was director of sales, digital media and production at the sports division of France’s Lagardère until late last year.In his new role at Inverleigh he will be absed in London and run the company’s Europe and Africa-focused sales teams and forge strategic alliances with partners in Europe.Based in Inverleigh’s London office, Smith will head Inverleigh’s Europe and Africa sales team while managing and developing alliances with strategic partners based in Europe.“Graham’s reputation is widely acknowledged developed on a long list of commercial achievements and the depth of relationships he has built over twenty years in the industry”, said Inverleigh director, Matt Whytcross.Smith’s appointment follows the restructure of Inverleigh’s commercial division and the promotions of Brendon Oliver to general manager, Asia, andHumberto Ciffoni to general manager, Americas, running a new office out of Miami.Prior to Lagardère, Smith was at IEC, Globecast and SportCal.
Intelsat 33eSatellite operator Intelsat’s new high-throughput satellite, Intelsat 33e, has arrived in French Guiana prior to its August 24 launch on an Ariane 5 rocket.The satellite is the second of Intelsat’s new fleet of Epic NG satellites to launch, and the first multi-spot-beam, Ku-band high-throughput satellite to serve Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Asia Pacific region, according to Intelsat.The Boeing-built Intelsat 33e will extend Intelsat’s high throughput capacity in both C- and Ku-band from the Americas to include Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, the Mediterranean and Indian Ocean regions, according to the operator.Customers that have committed to the craft so far include Pakistani ISP SuperNet Limited, African telecommunications providers such as Telkom South Africa, Orange, IP Planet, Vodacom, Dijoubti Telecom, Safarifone and Africell RDC SPRL, Russian network service providers Romantis and RuSat LLC, and media customers TV & Radio Broadcasting – formerly Television and Radio Broadcasting of Armenia – and MultiChoice of South Africa.The satellite will be placed at the 60° East orbital slot and is expected to enter service by the end of this year.
James Murdoch21st Century Fox’s consolidation of Sky will provide a major boost for creative industries in the UK as well as Germany and Italy, according to 21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch.Speaking at the Deloitte Enders Media & Telecoms 2017 & Beyond conference in London, Murdoch also said that the global migration of content distribution and consumption to IP platforms would lead to unprecedented competition that would provide opportunities for players with scale that remain grounded in creativity – such as Fox.Murdoch said that the UK had been central to the company’s strategy and that its move to consolidate Sky was “a major leap, at least as far as intent, in a long process that started a number of years ago.”He said that consolidation of Sky would provide a boost for the creative industries in the UK, Germany and Italy. In addition, he said, consolidation was necessary to ensure that Sky could continue to compete with the internet giants that are now playing a growing role in the media business globally.“Looking to the future, we’re confident the enhanced scale and capabilities of the combined company will be a powerful driver of the creative industry’s vibrancy in Britain, plus in Italy, and in Germany, and in the global market, and a provider of better experiences for customers everywhere,” he said.“And to do this at scale, which this combination enables, ensures that the Sky business can continue to compete within a competitive set that now includes some of the largest companies in the world, but none of whom have the local depth of investment and commitment to the UK and to Europe.”21st Century Fox was this week set to notify the European Commission of its bid to take over the 61% of Sky that it does not already own. UK culture secretary Karen Bradley will then have to decide whether to launch a formal investigation into the bid. The plan remains controversial, with a group of UK politicians last month calling for UK regulator Ofcom to investigate whether Murdoch is a “fit and proper” person to hold a broadcasting licence.Murdoch said that globally, migration of content consumption to IP networks will lead to an era of unprecedented supercharged competition in media, but one that “presents an opportunity for accelerated growth for new and existing video creators and platforms” that have “a commitment to creative excellence”.“Over the medium term, and approaching quickly, all video entertainment and news will be consumed over IP streaming networks,” he said.“That means that what we create is released into an unprecedented competitive environment, in which the customer can choose at any minute and on any device from all the things that have ever been made. We are in an era of ultimate plurality, where choices, sources, and access are multiplied, even from where we were only five years ago.”Murdoch said that the era of unlimited choice means that media companies “need to be making better things all the time”, including content and the user experience surrounding it.He said that while the proliferation of video platforms and devices “presents the most promising opportunity for this industry in decades”, success remains dependent on what he called “a commitment to creative excellence”.In the case of Fox, he said, this means an approach that is “deliberately diverse”, citing the statistic that the group will produce over 500 original series this year.
Finland’s Elisa, owner of Estonian cable and mutliplay operator Starman Group, has tapped Netgem to provide the technology for the pair’s new multiscreen TV service, Binge TV.Binge TV was launched at the end of July as the first fruit of Elisa’s acquisition of Starman from its previous owner, East Capital Explorer. The service was the first in Estonia to include Netflix and YouTube as part of its offering.Binge TV was designed to complement Starman’s existing ZUUMtv offering, adding smart TV functionality including network recording capability and replay. The service is available outside Starman’s cabled areas of the country, and is designed to target the one third of the country’s population without access to cable. Kertus Kriisk, head of new services at Elisa said at the time of the launch that the estimated target audience for the service was about 200,000.Binge TV offers 25 channels, including seven Estonia services alongside Fox and Fox Life, documentary services Viasat Explore, Nature and History, movie channels TV1000 and Filmzone, and kids services Kidzone and Kidzone+. The service is available over any network for €13.99 a month.Elisa has chosen Netgem’s virtual STB cloud technology to support its deployment of Binge TV. The Netgem technology also integrates the Binge TV mobile app, which provides direct access to live and catch-up services across all available channels.Einari Kanerva, head of Binge business at Elisa said: “As we expand into new countries, we want to provide consumers with the best TV experience possible, and a flexible way to grow the service once launched. By deploying Binge TV, we can reach a growing population who want access to their TV content wherever they are, and Netgem’s platform gives us a unique flexibility to add more content and features over time.”Sylvain Thevenot, managing director, operator solutions at Netgem, said: “Consumer behaviour is changing, and operators need rapidly deployable and dynamic solutions that will enable them to maintain a competitive edge. This deployment of Binge TV using Netgem’s Diamond entertainment software suite enables Elisa to reach new audience segments as it extends into a new market, offering a full suite of live, on demand and quality OTT content based on an award-winning cloud-based platform from day one.”