Parents, stop beating yourself up Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Top Stories Sponsored Stories Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Rouhani said Iran will allow inspections of its nuclear facilities but vowed that the Islamic republic won’t allow its state “secrets” to be jeopardized under the cover of international inspections.“Iran will not allow that its state secrets be put at the disposal of others under the pretext of additional protocol. It’s definite that we won’t allow it,” he said.Rouhani was addressing a news conference on the second anniversary of his election. He won the presidency with a campaign that promised he would work to lift international economic sanctions and end Iran’s international isolation.He said Saturday that he remains committed to his plan of “constructive engagement” with the outside world.Negotiators reached a framework agreement in early April to curb Iran’s nuclear program in return for the lifting of economic sanctions. The deal is to be finalized by a self-imposed deadline of June 30.Iran has agreed to grant United Nations inspectors “managed access” to military sites as part of a future deal, including letting them take environmental samples in the vicinity of military bases. But Rouhani and others have repeatedly stated that international inspectors will not be allowed to conduct inspections on the grounds of military sites. Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — President Hassan Rouhani said a final nuclear deal is “within reach” as Iran and six world powers face a June 30 deadline for an agreement.Rouhani told a press conference Saturday that negotiations between Iran and the six-nation group – the U.S., Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany – are making progress, although some gaps still remain.“If the other party respects the rights of the Iranian nation and our national interests and doesn’t seek excessive demands, I believe a deal is within reach,” he told reporters. Comments Share How men can have a healthy 2019 How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation
Go back to the e-newsletterAnnouncing the official opening of Kudadoo Maldives Private Island by Hurawalhi, an exclusive, intimate private island comprising just 15 expansive, overwater Ocean Residences and a resort where everything is included: from fine dining to in, on and above the water adventures to luxury spa treatments. Kudadoo is available for adults and children over the age of 15, unless rented exclusively.Located in Lhaviyani Atoll, 40 minutes by seaplane from Male International Airport, Kudadoo is designed with contemporary Japanese elegance by architect Yuji Yamasaki. The resort is defined by air and light, both in the design of the villas and a central two-storey main building on the island known as The Retreat. As an essential part of the architectural statement of Kudadoo, 300kW of solar panels are incorporated within the sloping roof of The Retreat, which are able to fully power the island, the first such sustainable luxury resort of its kind in the Maldives.Only native plants and trees growing in their natural environment will feature on the island, strategically placed near the shoreline to prevent erosion. To continue Kudadoo’s environmental commitment, there is also a water-bottling plant to substantially reduce the island’s plastic consumption, a food-recycling program and a collection of local greenhouses producing fresh produce. These innovative elements ensure that protecting the natural environment is as high a priority as the comfort Kudadoo provides.Kudadoo boasts 13 one-bedroom Ocean Residences, each measuring 300 square metres, and 2 two-bedroom Ocean Residences of 380 square metres. Each offers privacy, spaciousness and comfort with a dedicated butler and super-king-sized beds, some of the largest private sundecks in the Maldives and all with a 44-square-metre terrace pool as well as in-villa baths, Bang & Olufsen audio systems and IPTV (including Netflix and Spotify), unique to Kudadoo in the Maldives. Kudadoo also offers facilities for guests’ personal and household staff to be accommodated.Go back to the e-newsletter
Los Cabos, Mexico – Guests at world-renowned Las Ventanas al Paraíso, A Rosewood Resort are accustomed to rubbing shoulders with celebrities, but now they can break bread with one too when acclaimed author Salman Rushdie visits the resort for a ‘Hot Type Author Series’ event.Over the years, Las Ventanas has introduced guests to a wide array of luxury hotel innovations – from aromatherapy turndown to Pool Butlers and in-suite telescopes for stargazing and whale watching. “The Enchanted Evenings with Salman Rushdie” offer yet another unusual way for guests to enjoy themselves, and return from their trip with great stories to tell their friends.The September 4-7, 2008 event will include a reception and two dinners where Rushdie will spend time with guests and discuss his latest novel, The Enchantress of Florence, as well as his other famous works. For more information, please contact Las Ventanas’ Los Angeles Regional Sales Office at 310-824-7781.Rushdie, who was born in India but today is a British citizen, is one of the most celebrated writers of this century. Among his many books are The Moor’s Last Sigh, The Satanic Verses, The Ground Beneath Her Feet, Haroun and the Sea of Stories and Midnight Children. His latest novel, The Enchantress of Florence, tells the story of a woman trying to establish her identity in a world dominated by men. Rushdie’s numerous awards and recognitions include: Booker Prize for Fiction, James Tait Black Memorial Prize, Arts CouncilWriters’ Award, English-Speaking Union Award, Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger, Writers’ Guild Award, Honorary Professor in the Humanities at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, Distinguished Fellow in Literature at the University of East Anglia, Austrian State Prize for European Literature, Aristeion Literary Prize, and eight honorary doctorates. Rushdie was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in June 2007 for his literary contributions.Through an exclusive partnership with top U.S. publishing houses, Rosewood Hotels & Resorts’ Hot Type program offers guests at Rosewood resorts the opportunity to read advance copies of books months before they hit book stores. Following the enormous success of this program, Rosewood introduced the Hot Type Author Series, where guests have the chance to meet world-renowned authors at Rosewood properties.Las Ventanas is among the world’s most acclaimed resorts, recognized particularly for its exceptional guest experience. The resort pioneered the luxury market in Los Cabos and remains the destination’s only Five Diamond property. Las Ventanas features 71 exceptionally spacious suites with exquisite furnishings, unique appointments hand-crafted by Mexican artisans and magnificent views; signature Baja-Mediterranean cuisine at The Restaurant; the Tequila & Ceviche Bar featuring Mexico’s finest tequilas and most diverse ceviche menu; “Cocina del Fuego” at the Sea Grill, cooked on wood-burning grills; and the most extensive array of ultra-luxury amenities of any resort from Pool Butlers to a Director of Romance dedicated to making guests’ romantic dreams come true. For reservations: 888-ROSEWOOD (888-767-3966); from outside the U.S. and Canada call the resort directly at 52-624-144-2800.Las Ventanas is part of Ty Warner Hotels & Resorts, LLC, founded by entrepreneur Ty Warner to acquire one-of-a-kind, irreplaceable luxury hotels and resorts throughout the world.Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, Rosewood Hotels & Resorts manages properties worldwide including Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek and Rosewood Crescent Hotel in Dallas, The Carlyle in New York, CordeValle in San Martin, California, Inn of the Anasazi in Santa Fe, Las Ventanas al Paraíso and Rosewood Mayakobá in Mexico, Hotel Seiyo Ginza in Tokyo, Japan, and a triumvirate of world-class Caribbean properties – Little Dix Bay on Virgin Gorda, Caneel Bay on St. John and Jumby Bay on Antigua. For more information please call 888-ROSEWOOD or visit www.rosewoodhotels.com.
Categories: Bellino News,Bellino Photos On Tuesday, state Rep. Joe Bellino of Monroe supported the House budget legislation that includes record funding for K-12 education and reduces the size of the general state budget by 2.2 percent.“Just like families across Michigan, we are tightening our belt by cutting inefficient programs and eliminating waste in state government,” Rep. Bellino said. “This allows us to help make life better in communities across Michigan by adding money for road repairs, public safety, parks and other programs to improve our daily lives.”Highlights of the budget include:Dedicating nearly $1 million to support statewide programs that target opioid addiction and abuse;Increasing funding by $1.75 million for home delivered meals and senior in-home services;Prioritizing public safety by adding 100 more Michigan State Police troopers; andProviding the highest funding in state history for K-12 schools by proposing $14.3 billion and improving access to skilled trades training through career and technical education. 04May Bellino: Southeast Michigan priorities reflected in House budget
State Rep. Daire Rendon today announced the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality will be awarding the Crawford County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority a $175,000 grant and a $175,000 loan to convert a former saw mill into a city market.The grant and loan will help determine whether the former saw mill’s operations contaminated the site, and if so, will help with the costs of cleanup. The Grayling Northern Market will have space for 66 vendors, is expected to create 100 new jobs and will bring a focus on healthy and sustainable living to Grayling.The Grayling Agricultural and Educational Center will invest $3.7 million to renovate and reuse the former saw mill for the Grayling Northern Market. Not only will fresh local fruits and vegetables be available year-round, but the educational center will offer classes and programs on healthy eating. Along with offering food, the market will also include crafts, woodworking and artists and a selection of wines and beers. The Grayling Northern Market offers direct access to a local bike trail and is within walking distance of downtown.“This is great news for the city of Grayling,” Rep. Rendon said. “The Grayling Northern Market will put the city on the map not only as a food hub, but a place for artists and craftsmen to showcase their work. I am looking forward to seeing growth and development in Grayling.”The Grayling Northern Market will open for the season on Thursday, May 25. 08Feb Rep. Rendon announces state grant and loan for the Grayling Northern Market Categories: Rendon News
23Feb COLUMN: New technology breaks down barriers for hunters with physical disabilities Categories: LaFave News Hunting is a time-honored tradition here in the Upper Peninsula, a favorite pastime that many of us develop passions for at young ages.Unfortunately, people born with serious physical disabilities might never have an opportunity to participate, and hunters who develop physical limitations later in life often have to give up the hobby they love. As someone who was born without a portion of one of my legs and only partial use of one of my arms, I understand the frustration physical limitations can cause.Fortunately, new technology is developed each and every day to eliminate barriers for people with disabilities. In the hunting world, a new piece of air-powered equipment could open up opportunities for people with physical limitations. The pneumatic weapons, which shoot arrows with a simple pull of the trigger, are easier for people with physical limitations to handle and use. They’re perfectly legal to own in Michigan, but hunting with them is currently illegal.As a legislator, one of my goals is to give people every opportunity to go out into the woods and enjoy the natural resources given to us. That’s why I have been working hard on legislation that would give hunters with disabilities – who otherwise wouldn’t have the ability to get out into the woods – an opportunity to use pneumatic weapons for hunting in Michigan.Under my bill, the Department of Natural Resources could issue permits allowing a person with physical disabilities to use a pneumatic weapon that shoots arrows during any regular bow season, as long as the applicant includes certification from a physician. Additionally, the Natural Resources Commission would be allowed to determine if the pneumatic weapons can be used during firearms seasons.I am extremely disappointed to hear two of my House colleagues from the Upper Peninsula speak out against my bill. Based on a press release they issued last week, they either haven’t read the bill or they’re intentionally trying to mislead the people of the Upper Peninsula.I want to set the record straight. House Bill 5180 would not create a large influx of hunters using pneumatic weapons during bow season. Hunters who need the special exemption would be required to submit certification from a doctor documenting a disability preventing them from drawing, aiming or shooting a crossbow. The DNR would review each application and issue a permit when appropriate.My colleagues claim people with disabilities already have enough opportunities to hunt. They clearly don’t understand how difficult it can be for some individuals with physical limitations to draw back crossbows and traditional archery equipment.I hope they listened closely to Tom Jones, who testified about the legislation last week in front of the House Natural Resources Committee, where my bill was under consideration. Jones works with Michigan Operation Freedom Outdoors, an organization that provides outdoor recreation opportunities to wounded veterans and other individuals with health challenges.Jones said he works frequently with people who are unable to participate in traditional hunting opportunities. Some people with rotator cuff injuries cannot fire shotguns because they are too hard on their shoulders. Others cannot use hand cranks to cock crossbows because they cannot lift more than 5 pounds. He also hears from veterans who lament the loss of their ability to go out into the woods alone.“The people who are opposing this – there’s a big part of the population that people don’t see,” Jones told the committee. “I serve this community, I see the folks that come out who need help cocking their crossbows, who need someone sitting with them or holding a shooting assist stick.”My hope is that pneumatic bows will break down barriers and give at least some of these people back their freedom.###(625 Words)Rep. Beau LaFave represents Delta, Dickinson and Menominee counties in the Michigan House. He is a member of the House Natural Resources Committee.
State Rep. Matt Hall (R-Emmett Township) and the House Oversight Committee he chairs unanimously recommended today several proposals to protect Michigan’s most vulnerable children from abuse and neglect.The recommended amendments to Michigan’s Child Protection Law came after the House panel conducted multiple hearings on the Michigan Office of Auditor General’s (OAG) September 2018 Performance Audit of Children’s Protective Services Investigations. The audit found 17 material conditions that called into question the effectiveness and efficiency of Children’s Protective Services (CPS) and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Hearings included testimony from the OAG, CPS, and DHHS.“The Auditor General’s findings revealed Child Protective Services was failing to operate effectively,” Hall said. “This is a serious matter because our state’s most vulnerable children need CPS to protect them from abuse and neglect. These children have nobody else. CPS has a duty to these children to get this right.”The Oversight Committee’s recommendations to improve Michigan’s Child Protection Law include:CPS should verify the well-being of all children in a home where suspected child abuse or neglect has occurred within 24 hours of reported child abuse or neglect.When a CPS investigation finds that a family needs to receive community-based services to alleviate a child’s risk of abuse and neglect, CPS must monitor the family to verify that they are participating in the community-based services.A license-exempt child care provider should be added to the Central Registry if a preponderance of evidence exists that he or she committed child abuse or neglect. This would treat license-exempt child care providers the same as owners, operators, volunteers, or employees of licensed or registered child care organizations, who have direct and regular contact with children in much the same manner.Centralized state oversight should exist to verify each county is properly developing and implementing its required child abuse and neglect investigation protocols. These protocols are intended to improve cooperation among professionals and agencies that are commonly involved in child abuse and neglect cases.CPS should document reasons it abbreviated an investigation and develop an abbreviated investigation checklist. Abbreviated investigations occur when an investigator discovers early on that no child abuse or neglect occurred.CPS should provide periodic reports measuring its compliance with conditions raised in the Auditor General’s September 2018 report to an appropriate oversight authority.The Oversight Committee also recommends further investigation, perhaps by workgroups, to address CPS worker safety and potential Central Registry improvements.“As chairman of the House Oversight Committee, I worked closely with my Democrat and Republican colleagues to review the Auditor General’s findings and identify new laws and policies that will better protect our state’s most vulnerable children from abuse and neglect,” Hall said. “Now that the Oversight Committee has adopted this report, I will incorporate the report’s recommendations into a bipartisan package of bills to strengthen the Michigan Child Protection Law.”The report has been referred to the House Families, Children and Seniors Committee for further action. Categories: Hall News 18Apr Chair Hall, House Oversight Committee recommend legislative fixes regarding CPS performance audit
Categories: Wakeman News The Michigan House and Rep. Rodney Wakeman today approved a plan to help farmers whose crops have been delayed or damaged by this spring’s record-setting rain.The plan would help private lenders provide low-interest loans to qualified farmers at no financial risk to the state.“Amid one of the worst growing seasons in history, I have personally heard from farmers in my district that this program would provide much-needed financial support to them during this difficult year,” said Wakeman, of Saginaw Township. “Record rainfall has left Michigan’s farmers unable to plant and facing serious financial ramifications they could not avoid. This plan does the right thing to help stabilize our farm communities.”Michigan has had very few days suitable for field work this spring. As a result, only about 63 percent of corn seeds and 43 percent of soybean seeds have been planted, which means yields will be low. Many farmers will be facing financial trouble as this crop season continues.House Bill 4234 provides $15 million to help private lenders run the loan program and keep interest rates low for farmers. The state does not provide the loans, so there is no financial risk or liability to the state with this program.Similar low-interest loan programs were approved for Michigan farmers in 2002 and 2012. 21Jun Rep. Rodney Wakeman, Michigan House approve plan to help farmers devastated by record rain
Share13TweetShare1Email14 SharesOctober 20, 2015; The GuardianAccording to the Economic Policy Institute, seventy percent of the American workforce’s adjusted hourly wage is lower today than it was in 2007. As wages decrease, more Americans live paycheck-to-paycheck, unable to save. Without a financial cushion, an unexpected expense can spiral quickly, leading to homelessness. As the number of homeless people grows, more and more cities are struggling to provide services.Last week, Hawaii’s Governor Ige declared a state of emergency, but it wasn’t due to any natural disaster. Instead the disaster stemmed from the state’s growing homeless population. From mid-2014 to mid-2015, the number of homeless individuals in Hawaii increased by 23 percent and the number of homeless families almost doubled. Today, 465 people per every 100,000 in Hawaii are homeless.Honolulu’s Kakaako district once contained one of the largest homeless encampments in the country. Slightly fewer than three hundred people slept in tents and other semi-permanent structures overlooking one of the state’s most famous beaches and tourist areas. City officials cleared the camp in a little over a month, dismantling shelters and throwing out residents’ possessions. The ACLU unsuccessfully filed a class action lawsuit to block the sweeps. During that month, social service agents attempted to find residents shelter and other resources.Over the next nine months, the state is dedicating $1.3 million to build new housing, including temporary shelters made of shipping containers for 1000 individuals.The state of Hawaii is not the first municipal division to declare a state of emergency due to a surge in homelessness. Last month, the Los Angeles City Council made a similar declaration. In the past two years, the homeless population in L.A. has grown 12 percent. Officials propose to focus $100 million on the crisis.—Gayle NelsonShare13TweetShare1Email14 Shares
Share44TweetShare24Email68 SharesDecember 15, 2015; NewsworksNewsworks, the online home of WHYY News and its network of journalism partners, reported on December 15 that the Pittsburgh (PA) City Council enacted an ordinance that will prevent landlords from discriminating based on a renter’s source of income (SOI). The ordinance is designed to protect households who are seeking rental housing with a Housing Choice Voucher (HCV), a rental-assistance program for low-income families.“Voucher holders often face blatant discrimination when searching for housing. Source of income discrimination makes it increasingly difficult for voucher recipients to actually use their vouchers,” said the ordinance’s sponsor, Councilman Rev. Ricky Burgess.Pittsburgh City Paper provides one story to illustrate the problem. It describes the efforts of Tanelle Robinson to find rental housing using an HCV, also known as a Section 8. She met a dozen landlords and asked the typical questions: Is the neighborhood safe? Are utilities included? Is there a park nearby? She always waited until the end to ask if they accept government assistance. Said Robinson, “I don’t tell people over the phone I have Section 8.” The article adds that Robinson finds that it’s best to get to know a landlord before popping the question.The ordinance’s proponents maintain that it’s difficult for low-income people to find affordable rental housing in Pittsburgh, especially if landlords can freely refuse to consider HCV applicants. By enacting this ordinance, Pittsburgh joins 11 states, the District of Columbia, and more than 40 municipalities in outlawing this form of housing discrimination.A rapidly increasing number of jurisdictions are adopting SOI protections as HCV households find themselves blocked from certain areas and steered into others. SOI discrimination is often a smokescreen for illegal discrimination based on race, disability, or family status. A recent story on NPR’s Marketplace program illustrates the problem. In New Orleans, most HCV households are African American and many landlords in majority white neighborhoods opt not to accept HCV households. Lacking any real choice, many African Americans are forced into majority African-American communities.“Even more troubling, some landlords use rejection of HCVs as a proxy to discriminate against racial or ethnic minorities,” Urban Institute reports. “Nationally, 41 percent of voucher holders are black and 16 percent are Hispanic. In major urban centers like Atlanta, New Orleans, and Washington, D.C., 90 percent or more of HCV holders are minorities. Local discrimination studies have found a subset of landlords that reject vouchers when offered by black or Hispanic families, but accept them from white families.”A 2008 HUD study suggests that SOI protections can help. The federal government provides only minimal help with the problem of SOI discrimination. In 2010 HUD issued guidelines to their grantees that they must comply with local and state laws that bar SOI discrimination.“A family’s source of income should never be used as a basis to discriminate against them,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. “We are sending a very clear message to those who seek federal funds that we intend to stand up for the cause of civil rights and expect them to do the same.”Properties that receive Low Income Housing Tax Credits are also required to accept HCV households if the IRS-approved rent falls within the affordability standards of the local housing authority.Pittsburgh-area landlords experienced a second blow this week. Besides the new SOI ordinance, the Pittsburgh City Council adopted a Rental Registration program with mandatory inspections and registration fees, which seems likely to trigger landlord resistance. The Tribune Review reports that James Eichenlaub, executive director of the Apartment Association of Metropolitan Pittsburgh, described the council’s action as a “declaration of war” on landlords. Eichenlaub maintains that state law and the city’s Home Rule Charter prohibit Pittsburgh from levying this fee.On a related matter, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that the Apartment Association of Metropolitan Pittsburgh has just this week filed a lawsuit against Penn Hills, a municipality just east of Pittsburgh, for a landlord registration program enacted back in March. It is reasonable to expect more litigation. Austin, Texas provides one example of how landlords can fight back against local SOI ordinances. Following passage of an SOI ordinance, the Austin Apartment Association got the Texas legislation to strip municipalities of the authority to pass SOI laws.Public opinion, at least as reflected in local newspapers, seems to be on the side of the advocates after a series of stories of landlord misconduct and the increasing problem of rental affordability. Still, even if the rental registration and SOI ordinances survive legal challenges, enforcement of SOI protections may continue to be a problem. Newsworks explains: “Anti-discrimination legislation like this can be hard to enforce. If a person feels like a landlord discriminated against him, he can file a complaint with the Commission on Human Relations, which then investigates the claim.” But a recent study by WBEZ in Chicago shows that a 25-year-old Illinois law is still widely ignored. — Spencer WellsShare44TweetShare24Email68 Shares
Share264TweetShare6Email270 SharesMall of America / AineDecember 21, 2015; MPR NewsIn Minnesota, the Mall of America is suing eight people associated with the Black Lives Matter movement to get a restraining order that would prevent the group from encouraging others by social media to protest on its premises on December 23rd. It further demands that the group post statements announcing affirmatively that the protest has been called off.Wednesday, of course, is the day before Christmas Eve, and thus one of the busiest days of the shopping year.Minneapolis NAACP President Nekima Levy-Pounds calls the move “unprecedented, having a large corporation attempting to restrict freedom of speech and expression on the part of Black Lives Matter organizers by dictating what notices they have to put forward on social media and what notices they have to remove.”Black Lives Matter organizer Miski Noor said, “We’re going to keep fighting for Jamar,” referring to 24-year-old Jamar Clark, who was shot and killed by police in November. Clark’s death sparked traffic-blocking protests and the takeover of a police station. Thousands associated with BLM protested the death of Michael Brown at the Mall last year; dozens of arrests were made, and charges against the protest’s organizers lingered for almost a year before they were eventually dismissed.“All of our demonstrations have been peaceful and nonviolent; they do not need to be met with a hyper-militarized response,” Levy-Pounds said. “I would be surprised if a court of law upholds the Mall of America’s request that Black Lives Matter remove any and all postings from social media and that they affirmatively post that the event has been canceled or face jail time,” Levy-Pounds said. “That is absolutely ludicrous.”But the decision may hang on the public or private nature of the Mall, which has in previous court decisions been determined to be private property and not a public square.The mall’s request to the judge to not only bar the protest organizers from social media posts but require them to make specific posts does bring up some First Amendment issues. Attorney Steve Aggergaard says, “What the private entity is doing is asking for essentially the machinery of the government to kick in, and not to side with the mall necessarily, but to step in and say that the power of the courts, the power of law enforcement, is to be invoked here to protect private property, and most notably to restrict or somehow manage online communication. And that is pretty remarkable.”—Ruth McCambridgeShare264TweetShare6Email270 Shares
Leading Russian satellite TV provider Tricolor TV has launched a collective dish service for multi-dwelling units.Tricolor is making the collective dish service available to construction companies, housing management groups and groups of individual tenants. The pilot project was launched in mid-December in Moscow but will be extended to cities in the Leningrad region.Tricolor has also taken advantage of the recent removal of restrictions on its ability to provide TV services to entities rather than individuals to launch a service for restaurants, cafés, hotels and bars. Fees for the service will be marginally higher than the RUB600 (€14.50) a year charged to individual subscribers.
The BBC has signed a carriage deal with Greek broadcaster ERT for its BBC World News channel.ERT will add BBC World News to its digital package, giving the channel a reach of 3.6 million Greek homes.Colin Lawrence, commercial director, BBC World News said, “We’re delighted to announce our new partnership with ERT, particularly as 2012 is such an important year for international news. This agreement with BBC World News and ERT brings viewers in Greece the best of BBC journalism, providing impartial global perspectives and high quality, trusted news.”BBC World News is available in more than 200 countries and over 300 million households.
UK music channel 4Music TV has launched on the Yamgo mobile TV network, which delivers linear TV services to mobile devices over 2.5G, 3G and WiFi connections.The distribution deal with the Yamgo network means 4Music will be available on mobile platforms and devices including iOS, Android, Nokia, Blackberry, HTC, Samsung and HP webOS.
Apple has appointed Adobe’s chief technology officer Kevin Lynch as vice president of technology. Lynch, who joined Adobe through its acquisition of Macromedia in 2005, will report to senior vice president Bob Mansfield.At Adobe Lynch was responsible for innovation the company’s “long-term technology vision.”His defection to Apple comes despite a previous spat between the two firms. Apple does not support Adobe’s Flash technology in its iOS device and a war of words opened up between the two firms in 2010 when former apple boss Steve Jobs posted an open letter titled ‘Thoughts on Flash’ in which he attacked the technology for being proprietary, poorly suited to mobile devices and the “number one reason Macs crash.”
Former Channel 5 chief Dawn Airey is to exit European broadcast group RTL.Airey has been with RTL for five years, initially as CEO and chairman of UK terrestrial Channel 5 and latterly in a role that was thought to see her explore RTL’s chances of launching channels in the US.In an internal announcement seen by DTVE’s sister publication TBI, Anke Schäferkordt and Guillaume de Posch, Co-CEOs of RTL Group, said: “Dawn Airey is one of the UK’s most experienced TV executives. She had the difficult task to lead and to restructure [Channel 5] through the midst of the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009, before RTL Group sold [to Northern & Shell] the channel in 2010.“Dawn has always been a strong and positive CEO to work with. We’d like to express our deep appreciation for all that Dawn has accomplished as CEO of Five in those years, and afterwards for RTL Group, when Dawn assisted the group in various development projects.”Airey said: “It has been a delight to be part of the RTL Group family, but I feel the time is right to move on to new projects, particularly my role as chair of the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain, as well as other commercial ventures.”Airey has worked for several British broadcasters. Her first stint at Channel 5 came in 1996 as director of programmes and she later became CEO in 2000. She left in 2003 to joint satcaster BSkyB as MD of Sky Networks and later joined ITV as director of global content. She rejoined Channel 5, then part of the RTL stable, inOctober 2008. She was most recently president, UK TV, of RTL channels subsidiary CLT-UFA.
The BBC has launched a version of its Connected Red Button service on a range of Samsung and Sony smart TVs, with plans to roll out to LG TVs early this year. The Connected Red Button service lets viewers access web-delivered BBC TV, news, sport, weather and children’s content by pressing the red button on their remote control, and first launched on Virgin Media’s TiVo service in December 2012.The BBC said that the service lets viewers get “closer to the action” at sport and music events, with more streams, clips and content from events like the Glastonbury music festival and the Wimbledon tennis tournament.The corporation also said that it plans to add more features to the service in the future, including lottery results and weather forecasts, with more smart TV platforms due to be added.“Since the launch of Connected Red Button in 2012, the BBC has brought audiences more of the content they love on their TV – by simply pressing red. We’re thrilled to extend this to even more viewers – and look forward to adding more features and functionality in 2014 – which promises to be another an epic year of live events from the BBC,” said Roux Joubert, general manager, products and on demand at the BBC.
Set-top and gateway provider ADB has completed managing the software migration of O2 Czech Republic’s IPTV service.ADB was brought in to provide software and systems integration services to help O2 migrate its more than 130,000 IPTV subscribers from Alcatel-Lucent’s MiViewTV middleware to the Nangu.tv platform.Software migration started in in September last year and was completed at the end of March. By the end of 2013, the new platform had already contributed to a 10% year-on-year increase in new O2 TV subscriptions, said ADB.“Although we had traditionally thought of ADB as a hardware provider, over recent years we have come to recognise ADB’s impressive software, services and systems integration expertise. ADB’s team not only had the skills to make this a smooth transition for our subscribers but also delivered creative ideas and value-added services that made the entire process very cost-effective,” said David Duron, consumer services marketing director at O2.
UK satellite service Freesat has partnered with TV software and services provider SeaChange to create a new connected TV platform aimed at service providers.The platform integrates Freesat’s next-generation Freetime electronic program guide (EPG) with SeaChange’s Adrenalin multi-screen television platform.The jointly developed service will enable IPTV, satellite, cable and terrestrial operators to customise and deploy a connected TV service on set-top boxes and smart TVs – including an advanced TV guide with catch-up and recommendation services.“Freesat’s Freetime has been extremely successful since we launched the service in September 2012, with Freetime boxes now accounting for over 45% of all Freesat set-top box sales. Freetime is also a key driver of the growth of Freesat in the UK with consumers choosing to purchase Freetime enabled-boxes and smart TVs to access the superior experience this delivers,” said Freesat’s chief technology officer, Matthew Huntingdon.“Freetime is based on open web technologies such as html, making it a compelling proposition for service providers. This partnership with SeaChange means we can now take an end-to-end TV platform to the market that offers the comprehensive features set and customer benefits that Freetime provides.”Andrei Noppe, senior vice president and general manager EMEA and APAC at SeaChange said: “The Freetime guide has been proven to drive significant subscriber attraction and stickiness. By offering this powerfulguide in concert with SeaChange’s software and services, Freesat and SeaChange are helping service providers to reinforce their value and grow revenues with a fully-managed platform for advanced television capabilities.”Freesat is a joint venture between the UK’s leading broadcasters ITV and the BBC and is now in over 1.85 million homes. Seachange will exhibit at IBC on stand 1.F70
Michel de RosenSatellite operator Eutelsat’s chairman and CEO Michel de Rosen said the company is on track to meet its full-year objectives after recording respectable first-half organic growth of 4.3%, despite expectations of a tougher second half by comparison with last year and problems in the Russian market. Overall, Eutelsat reported revenue growth of 11.6%, thanks in part to its Satmex acquisition, taking the first half total to €722.8 million. The group reported EBITDA of €559.6 million, up 11.6%. Group debt increased by 36.3% to €3.8 billion, excluding €537 million related to the Satmex acquisition which was treated as cash in the net debt calculation.“Eutelsat’s half year results were in line with objectives, with like-for-like revenue growth of 4.3%, and an EBITDA margin of 77.4%. Video revenues are benefiting from additional capacity launched last year and from the positive dynamics of the Latin American market. Revenue trends in Data showed a slight improvement, while Value-Added Services reflected uptake on Ka-Sat. In Government Services new contracts offset the lower renewals of the previous twelve months. A year on from its consolidation, Satmex continues to deliver in line with expectations and contributed positively to all applications,” said De Rosen.“Based on performance of the first half, we remain on track to meet our full year objectives, in the context of a tougher comparison basis in the second half and the current environment in Russia. Our targets for the next two years are also confirmed. We are confident in the longer-term demand trends in our industry, and we are investing in our future development with industry-leading innovation projects like Eutelsat Quantum.”