5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Top Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies The peace process has proceeded in fits and starts but seemed to get a boost on Saturday, when the Pakistani Taliban announced they would implement a one-month ceasefire after the military pounded their hideouts with airstrikes.The militant group was quick to distance itself from Monday’s attack. A spokesman for the organization in a telephone call to an Associated Press reporter said the group was not involved in the assault and restated his group’s commitment to the ceasefire.But the attack highlighted the difficulty in negotiating a peace deal with a multi-faceted group like the Pakistani Taliban, made up of varying factions. Analysts say that while some in the group may want to negotiate a peace deal, other factions may not, making it difficult to enforce a peace deal across all the factions. The cease-fire did not include other groups, such as al-Qaida, that operate in Pakistan.__Associated Press writer Ishtiaq Mahsud in Dera Ismail Khan and Asif Shahzad contributed to this report.(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Witnesses spoke of attackers wielding automatic weapons running into the narrow alleyways in the sleepy capital’s court complex, hurling grenades and opening fire indiscriminately on lawyers, judges and court personnel.One lawyer described it as a scene from hell, with blasts and firing all around. “My colleague was shot, and there was no one to help him. When I reached him, he was bleeding and crying for help,” said Momin Ali.There were conflicting reports on how many attackers were involved in the incident and if any of them had managed to escape from the police. It also remained unclear if anyone had been arrested, how the attackers penetrated so deep into the city and whether a specific person in the complex was the intended target.Initial reports suggested two men wearing explosive vests rushed into the court complex, threw hand grenades and started shooting, then blew themselves up, said Islamabad Police Chief Sikander Hayat. He put the death toll at 11.“It was certainly an act of terrorism,” Hayat said. One of the attackers blew himself up outside the office of the lawyers’ union president and the other outside the door of a judge’s office, he added. The explosions sent lawyers and judges running in fear for their lives as police stormed in. Police subsequently searched the entire complex and found no additional attackers, said Hayat.Other officials and a lawyer on the scene said there were more than two attackers. Police official Jamil Hashmi said there were about six to eight attackers who spread into different areas of the court complex.“One of the attackers entered a courtroom and shot and killed a judge,” Hashmi said.Lawyer Murad Ali said he saw several attackers walking toward a courtroom, brandishing weapons.“They had automatic weapons. They had hand grenades,” he said. “I saw them shooting a female lawyer.”His hands were splattered in blood that he said came from helping remove four dead bodies. Another lawyer, Sardar Gul Nawaz, said the attackers had short beards and wore shalwar kameez, a traditional Pakistani outfit of baggy pants and a long tunic.The dead included two judges and five lawyers, said Dr. Altaf at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences in Islamabad where the dead and wounded were taken. Altaf, who spoke to television reporters and only gave his family name, said most of the victims had bullet wounds. He said 25 were wounded, five of them critically. Sponsored Stories Comments Share The area where the attack occurred is a warren of walkways filled with judges’ chambers, lawyers’ offices and restaurants and businesses catering to the legal community. The walkways are filled with copying machines for clerks and clients to make copies of legal documents, and prisoners wearing chains can often be seen walking through the complex on their way to and from court. Families of suspects on trial also often stand around the area, waiting for their loved ones to appear in court. Some spots in the complex have metal detectors, which are often not used.Pakistani television showed images of the area with windows blown out, walls torn and lawyers in traditional black suits carrying what appeared to be lifeless bodies and wounded from the buildings. Policemen with weapons raised ran through the area and searched offices.Body parts and blood mingled with pieces of shattered glass littered the ground outside the courtrooms and attorney’s offices. The police cordoned off the complex, which was taken over by commandos from the police anti-terrorist force.The attack was a shock to Islamabad, which has mostly been spared the frequent bombings and shootings prevalent in other parts of Pakistan such as Peshawar near the tribal areas or the port city of Karachi. Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help ISLAMABAD (AP) – A group of armed men, including two suicide attackers, stormed a court complex in the Pakistani capital on Monday in a rare terror attack in the heart of Islamabad that killed 11 people and wounded dozens.No one immediately claimed responsibility for the assault, which came just days after the Pakistani Taliban announced a one-month ceasefire, raising questions about the group’s ability to control its various factions. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has been trying to negotiate a peace settlement with militants in the northwest who have waged a bloody war against the government for years. 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches
Gen X Millennials NAMB 2017-08-10 Joey Pizzolato August 10, 2017 617 Views Share Gen X on Top in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Headlines, News, Origination Millennials may not dominate as much of the housing market share as previously thought in smaller markets, according to a recent survey conducted by The Association of Mortgage Professionals.The survey, which questions its members on a monthly basis in order to determine trends in the mortgage industry. For this particular study, different generations were defined as such: millennials, under 35 years old; Gen Xers, 36 to 52 years old; Baby Boomers, 53 to 71 years old; and Greatest Generations, over 72 years old.The findings showed that Gen Xers actually made up most of the market share, at 36 to 75 percent. Over a quarter of respondents reported that they comprised anywhere between 50 and 75 percent, opposed to millennials, which were accountable for less than 25 percent in over half the mortgage businesses surveyed.Further, millennials aren’t as interested in high down payments as Gen Xers. Forty percent of respondents reported former preferred down payments of 3 percent or less, while the latter were partial to down payments of 10 to 20 percent.“There’s a big focus on millennials, but in reality, the majority of borrowers are still over 36 years old,” said Fred Kreger, CMC and President of NAMB. “For small mortgage businesses strategizing on getting a bigger piece of the pie in a shrinking market, it’s important to consider that most of today’s business comes not from millennials, but from non-millennial Borrowers.”One thing respondents could agree on was that potential borrowers wanted a more streamed line process, which translates to digital mortgage processes. In fact, fewer than 20 percent said they had clients that desired more paper. Further, forty percent said that they didn’t feel like smaller mortgage lenders were in direct competition with each other. Rather, they felt like the Big Five banks were their largest competition.
The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Cromartie spent his first four NFL seasons (2006-09) with the San Diego Chargers, the last of which he played under newly-hired Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks, who coached defensive backs.From 2010-13, Cromartie played for the New York Jets before spending 2014 with Arizona.That year, the Cardinals went 11-5 in the regular season and lost to the Carolina Panthers, 27-16, in the NFC Wild Card Game. Cromartie recorded 43 tackles, three interceptions and 10 passes defensed during the regular season before picking off a pass and defending two more in the playoff loss.“To my ‘Bird Gang Family,’ The Arizona Cardinals and the (Bidwill) Family; although my time with you was short, I️ enjoyed my year there and I loved the opportunity you gave me,” Cromartie wrote on Instagram. “It was an honor to play for such a great organization.”After leaving Arizona, Cromartie returned to the Jets for the 2015 season and in 2016 played for the Indianapolis Colts. Top Stories Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Arizona Cardinals’ Antonio Cromartie (31) returns an interception against the Carolina Panthers in the first half of an NFL wild card playoff football game in Charlotte, N.C., Saturday, Jan. 3, 2015. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn) Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Former Arizona Cardinals cornerback Antonio Cromartie announced Monday that he was retiring from the NFL after 11 seasons.“Today is the day I️ knew I️ would eventually have to face, but one I never wanted to accept,” he wrote on Instagram. “After 27 years of playing football, today I say farewell. God blessed me with the opportunity to play in the NFL for 11 years, and after much consideration and prayer, I’d like to officially announce my retirement.” 3 Comments Share
January 25, 2008 We complete our report of the tent removal in the amphitheater of the Colly Soleri Music Center, segments posted on 1/18, 1/21 and 1/23. The huge tarp has been lowered to the amphitheater stage. We complete our report of the tent removal in the amphitheater of the Colly Soleri Music Center, segments posted on 1/18, 1/21 and 1/23. The huge tarp has been lowered to the amphitheater stage. [Photo & text: sa] The crew folded the material into a managable packet and lots of people are needed to carry the wrapped tarp out of the amphitheater. The East Crescent space has taken on a whole new look. When the tarp was first installed in 1989, only the first Unit had been built. [Photo & text: sa] For the first time we can appreciate an un-interrupted view of the size and beauty of this amphitheater, surrounded by ten Units of appartments, common spaces like the communtity room, recreation room and library, and Soleri Archives on the groundfloor of Unit 3,4 and 5. Planning department and Graphics are working on a new design for coverage of the stage and seating area. [Photo & text: sa]
Categories: Iden News 05Feb Iden, colleagues reveal ‘Action Plan’ with focus on Michigan’s economy, job growth State Rep. Brandt Iden joined his colleagues today in announcing key initiatives for the upcoming legislative session.House Republican lawmakers outlined their top priorities as the new legislative session gets under way. Iden said a continued focus on fostering job growth and creating a good environment for entrepreneurs will create a stronger economy for Michigan.“Michigan’s economy has vastly improved over the last four years under Republican leadership. I look forward to working with my colleagues as we keep our collective foot on the gas to keep Michigan moving forward,” said Iden, R-Oshtemo. “Creating an environment which allows for greater innovation as well as providing more access to the necessary training to fill positions in the skilled trades will put more people back to work and offer greater opportunities for future generations.”The GOP’s Action Plan for the new legislative session can be viewed at gophouse.org/focusonmich.###
State Rep. Lee Chatfield, R-Levering, today welcomed maple syrup producers from the Upper and Lower peninsulas to the Capitol to testify in support of House Bill 4418 before the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.HB 4418, sponsored by Rep. Chatfield, adds maple sap to the list of agricultural commodities in the section of the Michigan Vehicle Code that grants an exception to seasonal weight limits for vehicles transporting agricultural commodities. Once extracted from the trees, maple syrup producers have a limited number of hours to transport sap to production facilities before it spoils.“This legislation will create an easier road for our state’s hard-working maple syrup producers by removing a barrier and making it more efficient and less burdensome to produce Michigan-made maple syrup,” Rep. Chatfield said. “I believe there is a lot of potential to grow this industry which will strengthen our local and state economies.”While Michigan ranks seventh in the nation in maple syrup production, according to the Commercial Maple Syrup Producers of Michigan, the state only taps .02 percent of its potential maple trees, and only 1 percent of Michigan’s maple forest resource is used in maple syrup production.“Michigan possesses the trees and has the climate and other attributes that make it well-suited for increased production. Maple syrup is another brand of Pure Michigan that has the potential to be sold across the entire country and around the world,” Rep. Chatfield said.### Categories: Chatfield News,Chatfield Photos,News Bill exempts maple sap transport from seasonal road restrictions 26Jan Rep. Chatfield welcomes maple syrup producers to speak in support of legislation
State Rep. Kim LaSata announced a town hall event on Aug. 31 for Southwest Michigan residents focusing on clean energy issues.“I look forward to having constructive dialogue with people in the community about the future of clean energy production in our state,” LaSata said. “Michigan has made some important advances that have created over 80,000 clean energy jobs, but we still have more to do if we want to become a leader in the use of clean and renewable energy.”Rep. LaSata’s event begins at 5:30 p.m. at the Kinexus building located at 499 W. Main St. in Benton Harbor. The event will feature speakers from the Michigan League of Conservation Voters discussing where clean energy in Michigan is heading and what people can do to help. Categories: LaSata News 23Aug Rep. LaSata to host energy town hall
The Michigan House today approved a bill sponsored by state Rep. Peter Lucido that prohibits local government or law enforcement from enacting new contracts for towing or motor vehicle storage facilities.“It’s proving to be unfruitful for anybody currently in or looking to get into the towing business because of the danger of a municipality starting up its own services in a reach for funding,” said Lucido, of Shelby Township. “If a business owner in a community invests in equipment â€“ trucks, a building and labor â€“ they should know that investment is sound without the threat of competition from a local government. This bill protects fair competition within this industry.”Facilities holding vehicles taken into custody for safekeeping that were in operation before the effective date of the bill, or contracts with outside vendors that were in place before the effective date, are to be grandfathered in.Lucido was joined by Michigan Towing Association President Joel Ballor in testimony on the bill before the House Local Government Committee on Feb. 14.“As small business owners, we are not afraid of competition amongst ourselves,” Ballor said. “We compete with our rates, customer service and the names on our respective doors and trucks. However, it is unfair for us to compete against the very people who set the rules for the game.”Added Lucido: “What other businesses compete with the public sector locally? If we start this and continue along this vein, I can see municipalities opening ice cream shops next to the ballfields in the summer to raise funds.”House Bill 4360 moves to the Senate for further consideration. 21Mar Rep. Lucido vehicle storage bill aims to protect locals in the towing business Categories: Lucido News,News
ShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesJuly 1, 2015; Wall Street JournalFour lawmakers in Maine have requested an investigation into Republican Maine Governor Paul LePage’s behavior with one of the state’s charter schools based on the school’s plan to hire a Democratic rival. NPQ previously covered this situation as it originally played out. And, as far as we can see the inquiry will move forward after a unanimous vote by the 12-member bipartisan joint oversight committee approved the request.The Governor is reported to have threatened to pull more than half a million in funding from the Good Will-Hinckley school based on the fact that it had offered the organization’s presidency to Maine House Speaker Mark Eves. LePage claimed that the hire was based on cronyism. Eves, a therapist with experience in behavioral health, is accusing the governor of blackmail and is planning to file a civil suit. Meanwhile the school is paying Eves $30,000 for having backed out of its contract with him and it is under fire for allowing itself to be bullied.Central Maine.Com reports that alumni and parents feel that the Good Will-Hinckley board’s decision to withdraw a job offer to Mark Eves is a bad example for students indicating that bullying is acceptable and that money trumps values.Jack Moore, Chair of the board has responded said in a telephone interview Monday that he just wanted to let the whole situation and that the board made the decision that was in the best interest of the students. “As fiduciaries faced with the loss of state and significant private funding, the very real financial consequences for the school made the board’s unanimous decision on June 24 black and white,” said Moore. Contrast this to the stand-up behavior of the Girl Scout Council we discussed yesterday.On Monday LePage acknowledged to reporters that he threatened to pull funding because he didn’t believe Mr. Eves was right for the job although how that call entered the realm of the governorship is anyone’s guess.LePage’s stance is that the probe is illegitimate. “The Governor and the exercise of his discretionary executive power are simply not subject to OPEGA’s jurisdiction and/or oversight,” Cynthia Montgomery, the governor’s chief legal counsel, wrote in a letter to the office’s director on Tuesday.Meanwhile Chris Christie got into the act today while he was in Portland receiving the Governor’s endorsement, publicly supporting the position taken by LePage.“Controversies come and go. Leadership is what stands strong and firm. And that’s what this governor has stood for his entire time in office,” Governor Christie said. Whatever that means. This situation clearly needs the legislative accountability attention though the facts appear to be relatively clear.—Ruth McCambridgeShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
Share22Tweet10ShareEmail32 SharesBy U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP Processing Unaccompanied Children) [Public domain], via Wikimedia CommonsJune 27, 2018; Washington PostOver 2,000 kids remain separated from their families, thanks to the brief and horrible period in which US border agents systematically separated immigrant families. After an outcry from all over the world, the policy was rescinded, but now the government has a responsibility to reunite those kids with their parents.According to Isaac Stanley-Becker and Devlin Barrett of the Washington Post, the government said “Trump’s order, which followed days of bipartisan outcry, had resolved the concerns animating the [law]suit” against family separation that was filed by the ACLU. As NPQ detailed last week, the order did no such thing; among other failures, it made no mention of the 2,300 kids already in detention without their parents. Seventeen states sued the Trump administration, demanding that it take action to reunite families.Judge Dana M. Sabraw of the United States District Court for the Southern District of California issued a preliminary injunction in the ACLU suit requiring that all children must be reunited with their parents within 30 days, or within 14 days if they’re younger than five years old.The problem is, there isn’t a system designed to deal with this situation. No prior family separations perpetrated by the US government have been reversed so quickly. Judge Sabraw’s injunction reads,Measures were not in place to provide for communication between governmental agencies responsible for detaining parents and those responsible for housing children, or to provide for ready communication between separated parents and children. There was no reunification plan in place, and families have been separated for months…The unfortunate reality is that under the present system, migrant children are not accounted for with the same efficiency and accuracy as property.Meanwhile, the children remain in detention centers around the country, which are being paid well by the federal government. The nonprofit Southwest Key runs a shelter that’s famously operated out of an old Walmart. They used to primarily house minors who arrived in the US alone, but they’ve accepted a large number of the recently separated children, for which they’ve been criticized by former allies.Kandace Vallejo, executive director of Youth Rise Texas, told NPR’s Camila Domonoske she was “shocked” to find Southwest Key was accepting the separated migrant kids. She questions the shelters’ operations and has so far declined to work with them. Diana Gómez, who visited a shelter as part of her work, said that she felt centers “seemed ill-equipped to handle the level of trauma…I think [Southwest Key] saw a way to make money—so much of it.” This calendar year, Southwest Key has booked $458 million worth of contracts with the government. Domonoske pointed out, “CNN reports that [Southwest Key founder and CEO Juan] Sanchez’s $1.5 million annual salary makes him one of the highest-paid nonprofit CEOs in the country.”Sanchez said, “Somebody has to take care of them,” and his organization will do a better job than federal agencies. He told Domonoske, “I wish people were saying, ‘Thank you—thank you for growing the way that you have, because if you didn’t, those kids would stay in those ICE detention facilities for days, weeks, months at a time.’”Some concerning reports are emerging from the detention centers. Colleen Kraft of the American Academy of Pediatrics told Kristine Phillips at the Washington Post that she saw centers where staff were not allowed to hug or physically comfort children, some of whom are babies and toddlers. Antar Davidson, a former employee at Southwest Key, published an op-ed in Mother Jones about what he saw. He wrote,When a shift leader told me to tell a group of kids they couldn’t hug, it confirmed to me something that I had been feeling for a while: This wasn’t the humanitarian nonprofit that it was claiming to be. It was a private prison for youth that is extremely lucrative. One of the main characteristics of a system like that is a lack of compassion.A lack of compassion is one of the main characteristics of this entire situation, from the “zero tolerance” migration policy, to the increasing difficulty of qualifying for asylum in the US, to the language used to describe people coming across the border. Something stronger seems needed to describe the ability to take a toddler from its mother’s arms. One Norfolk nonprofit, recognizing the kids’ need for emotional care, sent 1,000 postcards with messages of love.Now some of the chaos and confusion inflicted on families by ICE is coming home to roost, as the federal government attempts to scramble back over the problem it created by separating so many people so fast and with so little coordination. John Sandweg, a former acting director of ICE, said, “Frankly, it can take weeks for HHS to locate a family member…The younger the kid is, the harder that is.”Judge Sabraw is going to require HHS to speed up the process. In fact, he may have indicated a more all-encompassing ruling to come when he wrote, “Although parents and children may lawfully be separated when the parent is placed in criminal custody, the same general rule does not apply when a parent and child present together lawfully at a port of entry seeking asylum. In that situation, the parent has committed no crime.” It’s a hopeful note to sound, especially in light of yesterday’s travel ban ruling, and nonprofits like the ACLU will need to keep an eye on it so we never again have to scramble to reunite families in this way.—Erin RubinShare22Tweet10ShareEmail32 Shares
BT is preparing to roll out an FTTP-on-demand service following the completion of trials.The telco’s solution enables additional fibre to be run on -demand to a home or business in a fibre-to-the-cabinet-enabled area, providing the customer with fast Fibre to the Premise (FTTP) broadband. The solution takes advantage of fibre that has already been deployed between the exchange and the street cabinet. BT said it had successfully trialed the service in an area of Cornwall. The telco said FTTP, which will soon offer speeds of up to 300Mbps, could be made available anywhere in BT’s fibre footprint where a customer requires it. BT will conduct further trials of FTTP-on-demand this summer with a view to making the service commercially available to by spring 2013.BT also said it would introduce a new faster variant of FTTC broadband this spring. The service will deliver speeds that are approximately double those on offer today, meaning downstream speeds will be up to 80Mbps rather than up to 40Mbps.Openreach chief executive Olivia Garfield said: “FTTP on demand is a significant development for Broadband Britain. Essentially, it could make our fastest speeds available wherever we deploy fibre. This will be welcome news for small businesses who may wish to benefit from the competitive advantage that such speeds provide.”
The move to cloud-based delivery, in which they have greater experience than traditional pay TV players, could potentially give telcos a much-need advantage, according to Gerry O’Sullivan, vice-president of global TV and entertainment at Deutsche Telekom.Delivering the opening keynote at the IP&TV World Forum today, O’Sullivan said that more services were likely to become network-based in the future. “VOD is almost old news and catch-up is widely understood,” said O’Sullivan. DVR use became less significant, and DVRs may not even be necessary if all content becomes available on demand, he said.While the set-top may be on the way out, content could come from the cloud in the future. “I think it’s going to be the telcos – they are the experts in cloud provision, so they will have an advantage in delivering services from the cloud,” he said. While telcos had struggled to come to terms with the media world in the past, this migration was ideally suited to their strengths. “It’s not culture clash, it’s culture match,” he said.O’Sullivan said that an understanding of content was nevertheless essential to transforming telcos into media companies. He said telcos were attempting to move into media because the rewards are significant. “As people move to two and three products and more, there are more revenues and customer satisfaction goes up,” he said.O’Sullivan said Deutsche Telekom had emerged from a year of transformation. It now has about four million TV subscribers across a number of markets. He said it still has an opportunity to launch services across new territories.The key is giving the best content and providing an easy to navigate, easily searchable user interface, he said. “It’s not about the number of channels but about the quality,” said O’Sullivan.While content was becoming more easily and conveniently available, the most common complaint by subscribers was an inability to find anything to watch. “Social networking will become a big part of the recommendation process,” he said. Telekom had recently launched TV on Facebook in Hungary. “We should embrace this idea of social networking a lot more,” he said. ” We will see a lot more integration of TV and social networking in the future.”O’Sullivan said interactive services, which are easily deliverable by IP-based service providers, had to meet practical needs to be embraced by subscribers. Services including Telekom’s Liga Total! Interaktiv allowed users to have access to more content than they previously had, bringing a tangible benefit to viewers, he said.O’Sullivan also said that advertising needs to be made relevant through more efficent use of IP. “That’s where we will see that market grow,” he said.On broadband, O’Sullivan said European telcos were being outshone by peers in Asia and even in emerging markets in Latin America. However, hybrid TV provided an efficient way to deliver services, with linear services being delivered by satellite. “We now have massive reach across Germany. If you don’t have the broadband speed, we can deliver TV via satellite,” he said.The main challenge to telcos becoming media companies remains a cultural one, said O’Sullivan. The main issue is a difficulty for telcos in understanding the content world. “It’s about simple things like rights acquisitions,” he said. This required teams of regulators and lawyers that understood rules in different territories. Telcos also had to understand that rights across different networks, territories and technologies were often divided up and sold separately.“There are two different types of people and two different types of culture,” said O’Sullivan.
Satellite technology specialist NovelSat has launched the NS3000 modem, which it says can achieve data rates of up to 716Mbps and bandwidth increases of between 20% and 50% over DVB-S2 alternatives. The NS3000 combines NovelSat’s NS3 satellite modulation and demodulation technology, together with bi-directional IP routing and traffic compression in a single device, whilst enabling the simultaneous transfer of data and video over a single channel.
Modern Times Group (MTG) has extended its rights to show top-flight Danish football for the next six seasons.The multiplatform Danish Superliga rights will run until the end of the 2020/21 season, with MTG taking live coverage rights to the first, third, fourth and sixth pick matches in all 33 rounds of the season – a total of 792 games over the course of the agreement.Included in the deal are exclusive rights to the second tier football league NordicBet Liga and all the rounds from the national football association cup, DBU Pokalen.MTG, which acquired the Danish rights from the Danish League association, also has the exclusive rights to the UEFA Champions League and airs its football coverage on its free-TV channels TV3, TV3+ and TV3 PULS and two pay-TV sports channels TV3 Sport1 and TV3 Sport2, as well as its online pay TV service Viaplay.“The Danish football league is a premium sports right that is massively popular with viewers, so we are delighted to have secured the rights for an unprecedented six further seasons. This provides us with the long-term perspective and commitment to continue to develop this high quality entertainment experience together with the clubs and the association, and for our viewers and subscribers,” said Peter Nørrelund, head of MTG Sport.MTG has aired top flight Danish football since 1998.
Anton BykovRussian service provider VimpelCom, which operates as Beeline, has hired former CTC Media executive Anton Bykov in a senior legal affairs role. Bykov, who will be responsible for providing legal advance and support, is taking the new position of director of legal affairs and corporate relations. The company’s former vice-president for legal affairs, Marina Dumina, left in June.Bykov was previously directof of legal and corporate affairs at broadcaster CTC Media.Separately, VimpelCom has launched a new package deal for users of iPhone 4 8GB and iPhone 5s smartphones. The operator is providing a package of free calls, unlimited mobile internet and 32 mobile TV channels for RUB4,080.
Netflix’s international subscriber base is expected to grow by almost 10 million in 2015 to reach 26.36 million by the end of the year, according to Digital TV Research.According to Digital TV Research’s Global OTT TV & Video Forecasts, Netflix will have 69.9 million subscribers globally by December 31, up 28% year-on-year. International subscribers are expected to account for 9.58 million of these, up 57% year-on-year. Digital TV Research expects the UK to be the biggest international territory, with 4.942 million subscribers, followed by Canada with 3.95 million and Brazil with 3.338 million.Other European territories are experiencing mixed rates of growth. After the UK, the Netherlands will remain the SVoD provider’s leading European market, with 1.6 million subscribers, followed by Sweden with 1.463 million customers.Germany and France will trail behind the leaders somewhat, with 1.208 million and 1.15 million subscribers respectively, according to Digital TV Research. Recent European launch market Spain is expected to contribute 150,000 customers to the total.
Tonjé BakangFrance-based startup Afrostream is to launch what it describes as “the Netflix of Afro-American and French films” in September, with subscriptions from €6.99.The service, which will focus primarily on Afro-American content, will be available in France, its overseas departments and territories, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire via computers, smartphones, tablets and Chromecast.Afrostream, co-founded by theatre producer and entrepreneur Tonjé Bakang, will build on an existing transactional video-on-demand stream on the MyTF1VOD service in France. According to Afrostream, the TVoD service has rented 200,000 films since it launched five months ago.Afrostream launched a Facebook page last year, which currently has 72,000 followers, and says that 2,000 subscribers have pre-registered for the SVoD service so far, bringing revenues amounting to US$100,000.Afrostream says it has rights from independent US, African and UK studios and distributors. According to Bakang, the startup has rights to distribute content in other African countries.The company says it has funding in place from US micro-funding outfit Y Combinator, which has provided support for 700 startups including AirBNB, Dropbox and Twitch.“The great thing is that the content is there, but our audience has no legal means of accessing this content. Even when you watch Popcorn Time or BitTorrent, Afro-American content is absent. And if you find a film, there are no subtitles,” said Bakang.“We want to entertain people and create a platform that makes them feel good. A film can lift or inspire someone and that’s why Afrostream has the potential to go far beyond the distribution of content.”
Polish pay TV operator nc+ has added sports channels Eleven and Eleven Sports. Subscribers will have free access to the channel for a promotional period.Nc+ sports director Michał Jarocki said that the deal had been struck “after long and difficult negotiations”. Eleven Sports Network hold rights to, among other things, Spanish, French and Italian top-tier football, which were previously held by nc+ in Poland. Eleven will carry some Velux EHF Champions League handball games alongside nc+’s own sports channels. Eleven Sports will also air content including EuroBasket 2015 basketball.The channels will be available at no extra charge to nc+ customers until October 15. Prices and conditions after the promotional period have yet to be announced.Nc+’s part owner TVN has already added the channels to its OTT service, player.pl, while other Polish providers including Netia have also struck deals to carry the channels.UK-based Eleven Sports Networks’ Eleven launched on August 2, with Eleven Sports following on August 22.
UKTV has issued half-year viewing and market share results, claiming it is outperforming the wider UK TV market and noting a 50% uptick in on-demand viewing.UKTV, which is a joint venture between BBC Worldwide and Scripps Networks International, said it is now the fastest-growing channel operator in the UK.Its share of commercial impacts, a measure used to quantify the number of people viewing commercials on a channel, increased 7%, giving UKTV a 9.7% market share in the UK. That total was 10%, UKTV said, for the duration of the second quarter.It also noted a 50% increase in on-demand viewing. There was an 84% year-on-year increase in views via the expanded and updated UKTV Play service.UKTV did not break out half-year financials, but BBC Worldwide highlighted a ‘particularly strong performance’ from the company in its recent results. BBC programmes feature in about 40% of UKTV’s schedule.The UKTV stable includes Dave, the most-watched non-PSB channel in the UK, Gold, and Drama.It also has W, which was launched earlier this year in place of Watch. The new channel’s viewership is tracking 4% above the service it replaced, according to UKTV.In other channel changes, Home moved from pay to free TV this year, resulting in a 167% increase in viewing.“Our investment in bold, original programmes for our vibrant channel brands continues to chime with audiences – from Dynamo: Live to The Comic Strip Presents… to the David Haye fights and Taskmaster – the year so far has been outstanding,” said Darren Childs, UKTV CEO. He added: “Our share of commercial impacts continues to grow so we can better serve British viewers and advertisers in this competitive market.”
Amino is launching virtual set-top box software, designed to let TV operators migrate to an all cloud and IP model.The Amino Enable software aims to eliminate installation costs by letting users upcycle existing set-top boxes and is due to debut at ANGA COM and Broadcast Asia this month.“As we move into the era of all IP/cloud television and video, the massive barrier facing operators across the globe is the millions of legacy set-top boxes they are invested in,” said Amino CEO, Donald McGarva.“Most players need a cost-effective way to provide state-of-the-art services across their entire customer base. Enable gives them the ability to do that and shift towards a world in which all applications and services can be delivered over IP, on-demand from the cloud to any device, anytime, anywhere.”Mark Evensen, chief technology officer of Amino, said: “Every day I am in discussions with operators who are seeking to modernise their TV service with advanced applications such as Android TV and streaming video.”“Enable is the essential tool we use to launch next-generation applications and services simultaneously on legacy hardware, regardless of supplier, and the latest device platforms.”Third party partners for Amino Enable include set-top box hardware companies like ZTE, Samsung, Hybroad, and Xavi and a range of software integrations including CA, DRM and media management.Amino is exhibiting at ANGA COM in hall seven, stand B31