Recommended: The ultimate guide to taxis in Costa RicaWe’ve seen the ‘Red Fleet’ of licensed taxis in the streets; the porteadores, or private chauffeurs; the illegal pirate taxis called piratas; and, in recent years, Uber drivers, loved by some and hated by others.Now yet another category is upon us: electric taxis, if new cooperative in Heredia, north of San José, gets its way.Quiet, efficient and economical is how the cars are described by Alfredo Espinoza, one of the promoters of the new taxis he hopes to bring soon to the streets of Heredia. The idea came to light during a conversation among guests at a wedding reception, he explained.“We were talking about how Costa Rica produces so much electricity,” he recalled. There is hydro power, thermal and solar power. With so much electricity, why not use if for cars?“So right there we formed a group called Generation H: H for Heredia where we are located, and Generation because we are all different ages,” he explained. “We are all professionals with different backgrounds, so we understand the process of putting plans into action.”Espinoza is a retired specialist in auto mechanics who has worked in the United States and in Israel.“Costa Rica is a small country. An electric car can cross the country on one electric charge, and you find electricity in every corner,” he added. “You can charge up an electric car from your own home. With 110 voltage it takes up to eight hours. With 220 four to six hours, and with a special converter, about thirty minutes.”He calculated that about 90% of the driving in central Costa Rica is within the general metropolitan area, going to and from work or other short distances, and can be done on one charge per week.“First, we tried to convince the taxi cooperatives in Heredia to consider electric cars,” he said. “They rejected the idea because of the cost. An electric car costs more than an internal combustion model but over the long run, even the medium run, you save. You save on fuel and maintenance costs.” Mitzi Stark / The Tico TimesLooking for other solutions, Generation H found backing from the Public Service Agency of Heredia and decided to form their own taxi cooperative.“With only two taxis to start off, we aren’t competing with other companies. We want to show them that electric taxis are feasible and economical,” says Espinoza.The cooperative faces various obstacles. One is the price of an electric car in Costa Rica, about $36,000, although the electric car bill moving through the Legislative Assembly would cut import taxes to reduce those costs significantly.Another is that the car Generation H hopes to use is not yet available. While various manufacturers are producing electric cars, Generation H hopes to use the Nissan Electric LEAF. Silvia Milano, in charge of sales for Nissan Costa Rica, says that before the cars go on sale, they must undergo tests to see how they fare in Costa Rica’s driving conditions.Finally, charging stations and trained mechanics for the new types of motors and systems will be needed. The first charging station opened in February in San Ramón.Milano said that Nissan have received a lot of interest in the LEAF and expects that in ten years’ time most of the cars on the roads will be electric.A look through the 2017 LEAF is an eye opener. A knob in the between the front seats puts you through the gears, and the controls on the dash show energy levels instead of fuel. The motor is compact and there are none of the standard components like spark plugs and radiators.In fact, a glance under the hood reveals a strangely bare space! The most important accessory is in the trunk: the cable and plug to connect your car.As Costa Rica move toward an electric car future, one cooperative in Heredia is raring to take to the streets with its own fleet of quiet, comfortable, and clean-air taxis.See also: Lawmakers exclude full hybrids from electric cars bill Facebook Comments Related posts:Lawmakers exclude full hybrids from electric cars bill Costa Rica prepared for this season’s harsh weather, energy officials say This Oregon company wants to build electric cars in Costa Rica Earth Hour in Costa Rica saved more electricity than in 2016
Sofitel Dubai Wafi to become the luxury hotel brand’s largest in the Middle EastSofitel has announced the largest Sofitel property in the Middle East with development partner MKM Commercial Holdings LLC. Expected to open in early 2019, Sofitel Dubai Wafi will join the luxury brand’s growing portfolio of 14 hotels and 4,400 rooms in operation and under development in the Middle East.Sami Nasser, Chief Operating Officer, Luxury Brands, AccorHotels Middle East, commented: “We are delighted to work with MKM Commercial Holdings, one of our long standing partners, to develop this impressive project that will undoubtedly become a future flagship for Sofitel in the region. The development of this property is aligned with our strategy to operate one of our leading luxury brands across strategic locations in the Middle East.” He further added, “Within the United Arab Emirates, we’ve established a strong presence with four operational hotels across landmark locations including Abu Dhabi Corniche, Downtown Dubai, the Palm Jumeirah, Jumeirah Beach Residences, and now Wafi – a major shopping destination set to undergo a comprehensive retail and leisure expansion.”Sofitel Dubai Wafi will feature 501 luxury guestrooms, inclusive of 86 suites, ranging in size from 55 square meters to 625 sqm, in addition to 97 studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom serviced residences to be operated on an extended-stay basis. The property will offer a number of dining concepts including an Asian specialty restaurant, gastro pub, a unique destination restaurant, bar and lounge on 43rd and 44th Floors, a French lobby café, an all-day restaurant and a pool bar. Guests will have the option to relax and unwind at the SoSpa or use a comprehensive gymnasium, outdoor pools, private cabanas and a kids club. Business travelers will have access to 10 meeting rooms in addition to a 1,115 square meter ballroom.Guests of Sofitel Dubai Wafi will enjoy close proximity to Wafi Shopping Mall, Downtown Dubai, Business Bay and the Dubai International Airport. Corporate clientele will have convenient access to primary business and exhibition centers including the Dubai International Financial Center, Dubai Healthcare City and the Dubai International Conference and Exhibition Centre. Located adjacent to the iconic Raffles Dubai, both properties will form a luxury cluster within Wafi offering guests a range of shared amenities and services.H.H. Sheikh Manna Bin Khalifa Al Maktoum, Chairman of MKM Commercial Holdings said: “We are excited to sign this agreement with AccorHotels, our trusted partner for the Sofitel Dubai Wafi. We are confident that the Sofitel, through its distinct brand positioning and expertise in the luxury segment, will be able to complement our existing Raffles Dubai while cementing the strength of hospitality offerings present within the expanded and revitalized Wafi.”Sofitel Hotels & Resorts offers luxury hotels with a difference, that combine French origin – a unique combination of elegance, savoir-faire and the art of hospitality – with the best of local culture in each destination. Sofitel Dubai Wafi will infuse the brand’s essence with Arabic culture and design elements reflective of Wafi. Over the coming years, Sofitel will introduce stunning new hotels with the openings of Sofitel Kuala Lumpur Damansara, Sofitel Singapore City Centre, Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour and Sofitel Mexico City Reforma.“Sofitel Dubai Wafi signifies our ongoing commitment to expanding AccorHotels’ presence in the luxury segment through our landmark design and quality driven concepts. Sofitel operates luxury hotels and resorts across key destinations in the Middle East including the Sofitel Beirut Le Gabriel, Sofitel Jeddah Corniche, Sofitel Cairo Nile El Gezirah and the Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa. Through the development of the region’s largest Sofitel, we look to strengthen AccorHotels’ luxury offerings and cement our position as a leading luxury hotel operator.” concluded Nasser.AccorHotels has 39 existing properties in the UAE, in addition to 23 others under development. In the Middle East and Egypt, AccorHotels currently operates 95 hotels encompassing 28,800 rooms across the luxury to economy segments. The Group’s regional network is expected to double in number, bringing over 25,000 additional rooms and nearly 2,400 branded residences to the Middle East. Source = Sofitel Hotels
Paolo Soleri graduated from the Politechnico in Torino with highest honors and a Ph.D. in architecture in February 1946. He received a grant given to outstanding students; at that time, just after the war, the grant amounted to about ‘6 lb. of butter’. Soleri wrote F.L. Wright expressing his desire to study at Taliesin and was accepted. As it was the custom with students who could not afford Wrights already high student fees, Soleri was initially assigned to work on the the kitchen and then to be personal aid at the dining table for the Wright family. Soleri became an apprentice to Wright, working primarily in the kitchen as a waiter and dishwasher, and also as a gardener and construction worker at both Taliesin East (Wisconsin) and Taliesin West (Arizona). Soleri also became a personal waiter to Mr. and Mrs. Wright. Soleri was still learning English while at Taliesin. He built a very simple shelter on Taliesin grounds, as other Wright’s apprentices do, as living quarters. Paolo studied with F.L. Wright for 18 months. March 24, 2005 The board of directors of the Taliesin Fellows held its annual meeting for Taliesin Fellowship, FLlW Staff and former apprentices of the FLlWSA at David Dodge,a long-time fellow at Taliesin, designed and built this house on his property adjacent to Taliesin West. [Photo:tt & text: sa]
A 62-year-old man is in serious condition in Nicosia hospital after being involved in a road accident in Paphos on Thursday evening.A car driven by a 54-year-old woman blocked the motorcycle the man was riding at around 6.45pm and he was thrown from his bike.The injured man was initially taken to Paphos hospital but later transferred to Nicosia general hospital because of the severity of his injuries.Police are investigating the causes of the crash. You May LikePopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoSmart Tips DailySeniors With No Life Insurance May Get A $250,000 Policy If They Do ThisSmart Tips DailyUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoPensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCypriot tycoon launches ‘Bank of Cannabis’Undoby Taboolaby Taboola
25Sep MESVIC reform package unanimously approved by Senate committee Categories: Iden News,News A legislative package designed to protect the state from a potential $200 million liability has been approved unanimously by the Senate Committee on Economic Development, announced state Rep. Brandt Iden, who sponsored a bill in the package.House Bills 4195, 4196 and 4365 were introduced to reform the funding mechanism of the Michigan Early State Venture Capital Investment Program (MESVIC). MESVIC was created with goals of promoting investment in certain businesses and creating a healthy economic climate in the state. The creation of MESVIC also allowed Michigan to enter into agreements with investment corporations to reach these goals. To raise capital for the program, the state issued tax vouchers to serve as collateral against the capital issued by banks.“The venture fund program was created with great intentions,” said Rep. Iden, R-Oshtemo. “However, the funding mechanism was not in the best interests of Michigan taxpayers.”As a result of the tax vouchers and payments due on loans that the state took, Michigan faces a potential liability of up to $200 million over the next four years. Amongst other measures, HB 4365 – which was authored by Rep. Iden – limits the total amount of tax vouchers that can be issued to $450 million.“There is a difference between good intentions and effective policy,” said House Appropriations Chair Rep. Al Pscholka, R-Stevensville. “This bill, and the package as a whole, help to make certain that the investments we make with our state dollars are the investments that are good for our state.”HBs 4195, 4196 and 4365 now go before the full Senate for further consideration.###
Categories: Bizon News 10May Rep. Bizon’s plan offering fresh start to Youth ChalleNGe grads signed into law Young people with troubled pasts who graduate from the Michigan Youth ChalleNGe Academy have a new opportunity to gain a fresh start after a plan backed by state Rep. Dr. John Bizon was signed into law today.The Michigan Youth ChalleNGe Academy, located at Fort Custer in Battle Creek, is a 22-week residential program operated by the National Guard that offers youth ages 16 to 18 the opportunity to change their lives in a military-style structured and disciplined environment.Bizon, of Battle Creek, said the new law simplifies the process graduates of the program use to have their juvenile court convictions set aside.“The Youth ChalleNGe Academy takes troubled teens who are most likely on a path to prison and changes their lives,” Bizon said. “These kids work incredibly hard to prove themselves. They deserve a chance to clear their records so their past mistakes don’t keep them from leading successful lives.”Under Bizon’s plan, graduates will receive a certificate to present to the court as evidence that their improved circumstances and behavior could warrant having certain juvenile convictions cleared from their records.Individuals with felony convictions are not eligible, and judges will continue to have discretion in determining whether setting aside a conviction is in the best interest of the public.The legislation, House Bill 4768, is now Public Act 142 of 2018.###
Share59TweetShare1Email60 SharesCity of Flint, Michigan water, filter distribution, and sample turn-in, on Wednesday, October 5, 2016. USDA photo by Lance Cheung.May 4, 2017; Washington PostNPQ has closely followed the difficulties of Flint, Michigan, and its lead-contaminated water. Since 2015, when researchers at Virginia Tech University found unsafe levels of lead in children’s blood samples, the city has struggled both to provide safe water and to regain residents’ trust.The city has resumed buying water from Detroit instead of pumping it from the polluted Flint River. According to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality last month, the water now tests “below action levels of the federal Lead and Copper Rule and at levels comparable to cities with similar size and age of infrastructure in Michigan and across the nation.”The water coming from Detroit may be safe, at least according to federal guidelines, but thanks to old, lead-based pipes in Flint’s water system, it’s still not safe to drink, , according to advocates posting to the website FlintWaterStudy.com. Several nonprofits, the federal government, and the state have kicked in money to replace pipes, but of the 20,000 that need replacing, the city will only get to 6,000 this year.Faulty pipes did not stop the cash-strapped city of Flint from billing residents for the water, however. This week, over 8,000 Flint residents received letters in the mail, telling them that their water bills were past due. According to the New York Times, “If homeowners do not pay by May 19th, property liens are transferred to tax bills, which begins a process that can end with residents losing their homes unless they pay their outstanding bills before March 2018.”A municipal foreclosure differs from a mortgage foreclosure in terms of the cause of forfeiture and the beneficiaries. In municipal foreclosure, which is the type initiated by unpaid property taxes or, in this case, municipal bills, “Parcels are forfeited to the county treasurers when the real property taxes are in the second year of delinquency,” according to the state treasury. In Flint, the state acts as the foreclosing governmental unit.Flint residents are outraged about bills for water they cannot bathe in or drink. In a twist of painful irony, Flint residents pay some of the country’s highest water bills; in January 2015, a report by Food & Water Watch found that Flint residents paid an average annual bill of $910.05, more than anywhere else in the country. A judge ordered the city to reduce rates by 35 percent in 2015.More than 40 percent of Flint residents live below the poverty line, meaning that a sudden $900 water bill is “huge,” according to resident and activist Melissa Mays. “We’re basically going to skip a bunch of bills to be able to pay this, which is just absurd,” Mays told ThinkProgress.org.The city had a program that gave residents a 65 percent credit each month on their water use because of the lead crisis. However, since the water was determined to be up to federal standards, the program ended in February. Mayor Karen Weaver argued for it to be extended, but the agreement reached by Governor Rick Snyder with city and state lawmakers did not permit the extension. Weaver promised to continue providing water filters and replacement cartridges free of charge to residents.The Michigan Department of Health & Human Services offers some relief assistance. However, it may not be enough for some families. For one thing, residents cannot apply until they’ve received a water shutoff notice. Then, DHHS requires a 10-day wait period to determine whether applicants qualify for assistance—so if a Flint resident were to apply today, he or she would likely hear of their decision the day before the overdue water bill is transferred to their tax bill, creating a tax lien that will damage their credit. And even if they are approved for assistance, the maximum amount is $350, or less than half the average overdue water bill.A statement by Mayor Karen Weaver reads,I must say, I agree with those who have spoken out against this process. I have met with our Interim City Attorney and Finance Director and they say the city is obligated by local ordinance to follow this procedure, and we must follow the law. As the Mayor of Flint and as a Flint resident, I understand the concerns that have been raised and I am working to see if any changes or something can be done to help those affected by this, especially given the extraordinary circumstances we have endured due to the water crisis.The situation in Flint is, as ever, dire. The city needs the $5.8 million in overdue bills, some of which are for sewer services that were not affected by the lead crisis. Residents feel betrayed by their government and resent the callousness displayed by officials who under a state-appointed emergency manager since 2011, tried to run the city like a business, resulting in loss of life and health. The city and its residents will face long-term costs of up to $50,000 per affected child over their lifetimes, not to mention the moral, civic, and emotional costs of the crisis. The key for now will be for nonprofits and civic institutions to recognize that even though progress has been made, the crisis is far from over. Aid and mediation are still necessary for the unjustly penalized residents of Flint.—Erin RubinShare59TweetShare1Email60 Shares
Pay TV operator BSkyB has named JD Buckley as managing director of its operations in the Republic of Ireland.Buckley, who will report to Sky’s sales and marketing group managing director Stephen van Rooyen, is joining the group after operating his own business consultancy. He was previously CEO of the Cayman Islands and subsequently the North Caribbean region for mobile operator Digicel.Sky plans to open a new call centre in the Irish capital Dublin this summer, with 800 new jobs.
Canal+ is using Telestream’s Vantage workflow automation platform running on Lightspeed Servers with Pipeline encoding appliances for deployment of a new VOD catch-up service.The opportunity to expand services at Canal+ arose in 2012 when Canal+’s two new free-to-air channels became available on the French DTT platform, with regulatory approval in September, a contract signed in October, and an on-air date before the end of the year.“We needed to generate four different H.264 outputs, plus four HLS files for Apple devices and others, and an MPEG-2 transport stream,” said Charles Lesoil, project manager at Canal+. “We needed to strip out commercial breaks for the online version, do some content replacement where needed for rights management, and we wanted to insert logos and PG ratings where required.”“This is an excellent example of the power and speed that Vantage offers,” said Paul Turner, VP of enterprise product management at Telestream. “Vantage provides a wide range of content production functionality for Canal+ such as logo insertion, trimming, and resizing as an inherent part of the transcoding processes. In addition, Canal+ utilized Vantage system intelligence to develop workflows using advanced logic based on the metadata to reduce the number of different workflows for simplicity and reliability.”Telestream is exhibiting at IBC on stand 7.C12
Sky Deutchland’s corporate activities created additional revenues for the German economy that amounted to “at least €2 billion” in 2012, according to a new report. The study from the media consulting company HMR International said that Sky, either directly or indirectly, employed around 24,000 people in Germany, generating net income of approximately €350 million and wage- related taxes of at least €200 million in 2012.Added to this revenues of €1.3 billion, Sky accounted for an “external revenue effect” on the German economy of at least €2.0 billion in 2012, the study said.“The results of this study, which for the first time quantify the impact of our company on the wider German economy, confirm that also from an economic perspective we play an important role within media to Germany as a business location,” said Sky Deutschland CEO Brian Sullivan.
Amazon Prime Instant Video is to launch in Japan, putting it in direct competition with soon-to-launch streaming rival Netflix.The Amazon Prime delivery service is already in operation in the territory, but to this point it has not distributed its SVOD service there.The video service will launch next month, with Netflix set to roll out on September 2.“As we’ve shown with the launch of Prime Video in the US and around the world, we are investing significantly to bring high-quality, local and popular programming to Prime members, and our customers in Japan should expect the same investment,” said Amazon Japan president Jasper Cheung.“We’ve been offering videos and DVDs in Japan for 15 years — we know the entertainment customers want — and we plan to deliver it with Prime Video, all at no additional cost.”Industry sources have been pointing a Japanese launch for some time, though the announcement is the first concrete evidence.Amazon will likely create local content for Japanese customers, with anime and local drama mooted.The e-commerce giant currently streams programming such as Transparent for Prime customers in the US, the UK and Germany.“We are passionate about making distinct, exclusive entertainment that will become Prime member’s next favorite TV show or movie, and we know Prime members in Japan will love what we introduce just for them,” said Amazon Studios VP Roy Price.Prime currently costs ¥3,900 (US$32.50) per year, which means it will be markedly lower-priced than Netflix, which will be ¥650 per month. Other players in the SVOD market include broadcaster Nippon TV, which acquired the Hulu Japan assets in 2014.
Moody’s Investor Service has given a first-time credit rating of B1 to Spanish regional cable operator Telecable, owned by UK investment outfit Zegona Communications.Moody’s assigned a first-time B1 corporate family rating (CFR) and a B2-PD probability of default rating (PDR) to the Asturias region operator, and a B1 rating and loss given default (LGD) assessment of LGD3 to the company’s €320 million senior facilities agreement. Moody’s said the outlook on its ratings is stable.Moody’s commended Telecable’s strong position in Asturias, particularly in the pay TV segment, its track record of solid operating performance despite the economic slowdown, the favourable trends in the Spanish telecoms market, the quality of its fully invested network that leads to strong adjusted EBITDA margins of around 50%, its moderate leverage levels, balanced financial policies and adequate liquidity profile.On the downside, the ratings agency noted possible risks concerning Telecable’s small size and concentration in one region of Spain, the competitive environment where larger integrated operators could accelerate their fibre deployments plans, its high exposure to premium content, which is becoming more expensive, the potential for higher mobile access costs related to its reliance on a MVNO model, the expected use of a large part of cash flow generation for shareholder distributions, and its unhedged exposure to potential interest rate increases.“The assigned B1 rating balances Telecable’s solid and entrenched market position in its home market, improving trends in the Spanish telecoms market, its financial and operational track record and high-quality network, its moderate leverage, and its prudent financial policies and liquidity against its modest scale because of its concentration in one region of Spain, the potential for increased competition and more expensive content costs, and its limited free cash flow generation after shareholder distributions,” says Iván Palacios, Moody’s vice-president, senior credit officer and lead analyst for Telecable.“Moody’s rating is a ringing endorsement of Telecable’s current performance and its future prospects. The resulting B1 rating is in line or better than many far larger European cable operators, and in fact represents the highest rating of any European TMT company of its size,” said Eamonn O’Hare, chairman and CEO of Zegona.
Canal+ will lose €400 million this year if “nothing is done” to arrest its decline, according to Vivendi chief financial officer Hervé Philippe.Speaking on an analyst call on Vivendi’s quarterly results, Philippe said that the €59 million loss recorded by the pay TV group in the first quarter was “quite positive” by comparison with what could be in store down the line, unless action is taken.Philippe said that Vivendi was working on a number of initiatives to cut costs over the coming year that would be unveiled in the coming weeks.Vivendi CEO Arnaud de Puyfontaine, speaking on the same call, hinted that one change at Canal+ might be to reduce the amount of the broadcaster’s content that is shown free-to-air element. Answering an analyst question on whether Canal+ should become an exclusively paid for channel, Du Puyfontaine said that “this is something that we have in mind” and that Vivendi was working on a number of different options. He said that Canal+ Group already offers a strong free-to-air proposition via its D8 and D17 channels and that there is a “need to reinvent the new Canal+”.Referring to Vivendi’s agreement with Mediaset, De Puyfontaine reiterated that Vivendi has a goal of becoming a “solid player in southern Europe” through its agreement with Mediaset, including the acquisition of the Italian broadcaster’s pay TV arm, Mediaset Premium.He added that the company was keen to pursue new avenues of collaboration with Telefónica in Spain and Latin America as part of the same southern European strategic focus.Referring to Vivendi’s recent acquisition of an interest in French retailer Fnac, De Puyfontaine said that “the rules of the game are changing” regarding content distribution and that the investment was “strategic”, highlighting Fnac’s initiatives in digital distribution of music and video and plans for international expansion.
Dutch telco KPN has launched a 4K Ultra HD TV service to a selected group of 1,000 customers.Content on the service could include the semi-finals and final of the European football championships in France via broadcaster VRT’s Sporza channel.In addition to football, the service will include SPI International’s FunBox 4K channel, with content including sports, documentaries and TV series. KPN said it was also in talks with other potential suppliers to expand the range of content available on the service.
Swisscom’s TV subscriber base grew by 10.9% last year to take the Swiss telco’s total TV base to 1.48 million, a year-on-year increase of 145,000 homes.According to the telco, the numbers give it a market share of 32%, up from 29% at the end of 2015, despite stiff competition from cable. By comparison, Liberty Global’s UPC Cablecom had a 27% market share, made up of 579,000 basic customers and 656,000 premium customers.The number of Swisscom TV additions was down slightly on the previous year’s total of 166,000 net adds, which the company said was due to saturation of the market. Q4 net adds for TV numbered 36,000, down slightly on the Q3 figure of 40,000.TV and broadband adds have failed to wholly compensate for lost fixed voice, although the telco slowed the rate of voice decline in 2016.Swisscom’s ‘TV Light’ basic offering had 301,000 customers at the end of the year, while its pay TV offering had 1.175 million customers.Swisscom said that practically all new fixed-line customers were taking TV as part of a bundled offering. By the end of 2016, the number of customers using bundled packages had increased year-on-year by 256,000 or 18.1% to 1.67 million. Revenue from bundled contracts increased by CHF268 million (€252 million) or 12.0% to CHF2.5 billion.Overall, 94% of TV customers took the service as part of a bundle, compared with 85% of broadband customers.Swisscom said that it planned to transition all its services – including telephony, TV and data to IP by the end of this year.Overall, Swisscom posted revenues of CHF11.64 billion, flat year-on-year, although revenue from its core Swiss business dropped by 1.1% to CHF9.44 billion.EBITDA grew by 4.8% to CHF4.29 billion. However adjusted EBITDA fell by 1.2%.“We have lived up to our promise and achieved the forecast for 2016. It was certainly hard going and the pressure on prices and the reduction in roaming fees presented us with a real challenge. But we worked on cutting our costs and performed well on the market. I am especially pleased with innovations such as the G.fast data transmission standard, the further development of our TV offering and the progress we have made in the corporate business. I was also impressed by the market performance of Fastweb in Italy. In future we will do our utmost to ensure Swisscom’s entrepreneurial freedom and ability to invest and innovate in an extremely competitive market,” said CEO Urs Schaeppi.
Some 29% of all European TV channels are based in the UK and the UK, with 12% of European TV households, accounts for 21% of the EU28 audiovisual market, according to a forthcoming report on the impact of Brexit by the European Audiovisual Observatory.The report, The impact of Brexit on the audiovisual industry: a European point of view, to be presented in November at a conference in Brussels, provides a European view of the UK’s weight within the EU’s audiovisual markets.According to the study, 1,203 TV channels out of 3,005 across the EU 28 are currently based in the UK. The UK is by far the main country of establishment in the EU 28 for television channels and on-demand services. The UK hosts three of the top 10 EU28 audiovisual groups (Sky, BBC, ITV) and also hosts European subsidiaries of the major US media groups.Some 43% of the TV channels established in the UK currently target primarily another country.The study also found that the UK is, together with Germany, the largest audiovisual market in the EU28, accounting for a 21% share.According to the study, the UK market is slightly more dynamic, on average, than the EU28 as a whole, due to the solid performance of pay TV and because the UK is the most-developed EU 28 market for on-demand services.The average annual growth rate in audiovisual between 2011 and 2016 was 2.1% for the UK vs. 1.7% for the EU28.The UK ranks number four in the EU in terms of number of TV fiction hours produced, underpinned by a focus on high-end drama with export potential.The UK ranks second after France for the number of film titles exported to other EU28 countries in cinema and on TV. The country currently produces 16% of all EU28 films, excluding blockbusters films fully-funded by US majors through their UK subsidiaries.In relation to VOD exploitation of European films, the UK ranks number one in Europe ahead of France for the number of titles exported to other EU 28 countries on transactional VOD.
Netflix continues to lead the FAANG companies in terms of original content, though the Facebook, Apple and Google-owned YouTube platforms are also making “unprecedented strides” in original content production.This is according to new research by Ampere Analysis, which shines a light on both the number of originals that the FAANGs are working on and the genre skews that make up these multi-billion-dollar investment efforts.Netflix is leading on the commissioning front with more than 250 upcoming titles – a figure that will more than double its originals catalogue, according to Ampere.Apple, YouTube and Facebook have 65 upcoming original titles between them, while YouTube has promised it will have 50 originals by the end of 2019.Netflix has been maintaining its focus on comedy and sci-fi commissions – youth-skewing genres that have performed well for the company via shows like Stranger Things, Master of None and BoJack Horseman.Amazon was found to be committing a higher proportion of new commissions to drama titles at 29% of upcoming titles compared to Netflix’s 17%. Apple meanwhile is emulating Amazon and Netflix with sci-fi its top genre for commissions, as seen by shows like its forthcoming reboot of Stephen Spielberg’s Amazing Stories.YouTube and Facebook are upping their volume of scripted content, with YouTube Premium focusing on youth-orientated comedy. Reality content makes up just 6% of their new commissions compared to 32% of their current catalogue, according to the research.Across all the FAANGs, comedy was found to be the most-commissioned genre overall. “With so much new content being produced across a range of subscription services, the FAANG group are under increasing pressure to create content that not only attracts new audiences but also prevents existing consumers from churning,” said Ampere analyst Richard Cooper.“All the major players have been expanding the number of original commissions in the face of an increasingly competitive market. Netflix is set to more than double its originals catalogue, as is Apple.“What’s interesting is the different audience profile that each of the FAANGs appear to be targeting with their originals content, suggesting they’re aiming at different niches within the SVOD market.”
CAOIMHE MCKNIGHTCONCERN OVER SELLING OF RUNAROUND CARS – MCKNIGHTSinn Fein SINN Féin Councillor for the Galliagh area Caoimhe McKnight has called for car owners to be more responsible when they are selling on second hand cars.She was speaking after two more cars were burned out in the Galliagh area this weekSpeaking to the Journal Councillor Caoimhe McKnight said:“What happens on many occasions is once those driving about in these run-around cars think they have been spotted by police they get rid of the car as soon as possible with Galliagh unfortunately being the area of choice.“I am calling on anyone who is selling a car to be more vigilant , especially if they are being sold cheaply, in the region of a couple of hundred pounds. “They should check the age of the buyers and question if they believe the car is been genuinely bought to be driven safely and legally or if this person may have ulterior motives for buying it.“The community is plagued by this kind of anti-community behaviour and death driving through the area and residents should not have to put up with it.“It is only a matter of time before someone is seriously injured or killed with these death drivers and there is also concerns about the fire hazard of burning out the cars.“It takes time, money and resources of not only the emergency services and the police but also of the local Council workers to carry out clean ups. “This money could be better spent in helping develop the community for everyone to enjoy,” she added.CONCERN OVER SELLING OF RUNAROUND CARS – MCKNIGHT was last modified: October 27th, 2017 by John2John2 Tags: ShareTweet
“Don’t take the risk with your life or others.“NEVER DRINK AND DRIVE!”POLICE SPOT CHECK IN DERRY CATCHES NO DRINK DRIVERS was last modified: December 30th, 2017 by John2John2 Tags: Officers from the PSNI’s Maydown Road Policing unit out on the Limavady Road in Derry last night looking for drink driversPOLICE in Derry carried out a further spot check on drivers last night and say they are pleased to report that none were drinking.PSNI Foyle say on its Facebook page: “Maydown Road Policing officers carrying out further breath testing at an authorised checkpoint on Limavady Road, Derry.“Thankfully all were clear. ShareTweet DerryLIMAVADY ROADMAYDOWN ROAD POLICINGNEVER EVER DRINK AND DRIVEPOLICE SPOT CHECK IN DERRY CATCHES NO DRINK DRIVERSPSNI
But the Court of Appeal dismissed his challenge after citing his status as a convicted terrorist and relevant events at the property.Hegarty, 53, was one of three men sentenced to ten years for possession of explosives in Derry.Police stopped them in a car containing an anti-personnel device in Creggan in December 2012.Hegarty served five years behind bars before being released on licence in December 2017, under conditions which included compliance with electronic monitoring. ShareTweet Derry dissident Neil Hegarty loses appeal over ‘unlawful’ return to prisonLord Justice StephensNEIL HEGARTYParole CommissionersPSNI Derry dissident republican Neil HegartyA dissident republican from Derry convicted of having explosives has lost a legal battle to have his return to prison declared unlawful.Neil Hegarty claimed he was wrongly held in custody for a further 76 days after his licence was revoked for allegedly denying entry to install electronic monitoring equipment at his home in Derry. But the following day the PSNI informed a Parole Commissioner that he failed to admit security staff to his home to fit the equipment, the court heard.A police report alleged G4S personnel who went to the mid-terrace property at Benevenagh Gardens observed a number of men inside and were refused entry.It was also claimed that before leaving prison Hegarty had revealed he would not be consenting to having the equipment fitted.Scene in Derry December 2012 after police stop car with explosives on boardThe Parole Commissioner concluded that he had displayed “wilful disengagement” with the licence process and recommended the revocation.Hegarty launched judicial review proceedings after the Department of Justice decided to return him to prison.His lawyers argued the move was unlawfully based on false assertions that he intended not to cooperate with the tagging condition.They disputed the accuracy of evidence against him and questioned the description of the house security staff said they visited.The Commissioner had unreasonably accepted unattributed, unexplained and false assertions of fact as evidence without a proper enquiry, it was contended.In February last year a High Court judge dismissed the challenge – prompting Hegarty to mount an appeal.Later that month he was released again following a further review of his case.However, his legal team pressed ahead with their claims that the 76 days spent in custody during that period was an unlawful.Ruling on the appeal, Lord Justice Stephens said it was apparent that the Single Commissioner’s decision was based on incorrect information as Hegarty had not refused to consent to the fitting of monitoring equipment immediately before his release.However, the information about events at his home would have led her to make the same decision, the court found.Dismissing the challenge, Lord Justice Stephens said: “We consider that given the appellant was a convicted terrorist, given the facts… and what occurred at the appellant’s home, her decision would necessarily have been the same.“On that basis the decision of the Single Commissioner was not unlawful.”Derry dissident Neil Hegarty loses appeal over ‘unlawful’ return to prison was last modified: April 2nd, 2019 by John2John2 Tags: