by Mark Kennedy The Associated Press Posted J

first_img by Mark Kennedy, The Associated Press Posted Jun 29, 2018 1:03 pm PDT Last Updated Jun 29, 2018 at 2:00 pm PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email NEW YORK, N.Y. – Tina Fey is joining some of Broadway’s biggest stars — including Audra McDonald, Idina Menzel and Chita Rivera — for a concert being livestreamed Saturday to benefit migrants on the Mexican border.It’s being organized by Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley, who were prompted to act after seeing photos of children separated from their families. They began texting as many stars as they could think of.“Seeing the images, we were really depressed,” Wesley said Friday. “It was so overwhelming. What do you do? All we can do is put on a show and hopefully educate people.”The concert is set for 5 p.m. EDT at The Cooper Union in downtown New York City. It will be broadcast via Facebook Live and at .The lineup also will feature Brian Stokes Mitchell, Norm Lewis, Matt Bomer, Jorge Avila, Mandy Gonzalez, Jeremy Jordan, Olga Merediz, Andrew Rannells, Keala Settle, Shaina Taub and Patrick Wilson.Highlights will include Rivera singing “America” from “West Side Story” and the reuniting of McDonald and Mitchell for “Wheels of a Dream” from the musical “Ragtime.” Settle is flying into New York specifically to perform “This Is Me” from the film “The Greatest Showman.”The late-afternoon timing of the concert will allow current Broadway stars like Rannells, Bomer and Gonzalez to attend the concert between their two Saturday shows. Immigrant-rights rallies across the country are also expected on Saturday.The concert is the latest in a series of benefit shows created and hosted by Rudetsky and Wesley, the host and producer of Sirius XM’s “On Broadway” show who also organized the Broadway for Orlando group’s recording of “What the World Needs Now Is Love.”Both men said Saturday’s show will include a mix of songs and comedy, as well as solidarity. “We always like our concerts to be optimistic and fill people with hope as well as give them a call for action,” said Wesley.The concert comes in response to the government’s push to prosecute all migrants caught entering the country without authorization. President Donald Trump has halted his policy of taking children from their detained parents under public pressure but around 2,000 of them are still being held, with many families saying they’ve not known how to locate them.Proceeds from the concert will benefit four non-profits that aim to protect the civil and human rights of families: Al Otro Lado, Texas Civil Rights Project, ACLU Foundation of Texas, and Florence Project. Representatives from the groups will offer their perspectives from working on the front lines.___Mark Kennedy is at Tina Fey joins Broadway stars for a concert to aid migrantslast_img read more

Archbishop returns to work after cancer surgery Updated

first_imgArchbishop Chrysostomos returned to his duties on Wednesday morning, two weeks after undergoing surgery in a UK hospital, the archbishopric announced.The archbishop revealed some two weeks ago that he had been diagnosed with liver cancer and had undergone chemotherapy last August.Speaking to the Cyprus News Agency, while still in the UK, he said he regretted ignoring his doctor’s warnings for a year and half, before seeking treatment.“I could have found out a lot earlier why the doctor who did my blood tests was telling me ‘I see something I do not like’. His advice fell on deaf ears for a year and a half. Maybe I would have prevented the cancer from spreading to the liver,” he said.In a bid to raise awareness on the importance of early detection and treatment, the archbishop said that even though many were afraid of the word ‘cancer’, it was a curable disease.The archbishop had undergone surgery in London two weeks ago to remove two small tumours from his liver. The three-hour laparoscopic operation was carried out at the London Clinic.His attending doctors – professors Long Jiao and Paris Tekkis – appeared satisfied with the outcome of the operation.Main opposition Akel welcomed back the archbishop in their own way.“We wish him well. We missed his spiritual and unifying words,” the party said in a written statement.  You May LikeDr. Marty ProPower Plus Supplement3 Dangerous Foods People Feed Their Dogs (Without Realizing It)Dr. Marty ProPower Plus SupplementUndoUltimate Pet Nutrition Nutra Thrive SupplementIf Your Indoor Cat Vomits (Do This Every Day)Ultimate Pet Nutrition Nutra Thrive SupplementUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndo Israeli rape suspects freed, woman who alleged assault arrested (Updated)UndoConcern over falling tourism numbersUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

Rep Howrylak bill that reforms school discipline signed into law

first_img15Feb Rep. Howrylak bill that reforms school discipline signed into law Categories: Howrylak News,Howrylak Photos,News,Photos Participating in Gov. Rick Snyder’s bill signing ceremony today of Public Act 364 of 2016 were Rep. Peter Lucido, Rep. Andy Schor, Rep. Adam Zemke, Rep. David LaGrand and Rep. Martin Howrylak. This legislation was part of a bill package that will provide schools with greater discretion regarding the decision to suspend or expel a student to ensure more children have the opportunity to remain in school and participate in restorative practices. Rep. Howrylak, of Troy, sponsored House Bill 5693 in this bill package.last_img

Budget plan brings taxpayer money back to our communities

first_img By state Rep. Roger Hauck Categories: Hauck News,News 02Jul Budget plan brings taxpayer money back to our communitiescenter_img Earlier this month the Michigan Legislature approved the state budget. The plan is a blueprint for funding state departments, state programs, K-12 public schools, and public universities and colleges.The budget for the next fiscal year also focuses spending on local projects to improve the quality of life in our communities. Too often hard-working taxpayers see their money go to Lansing, but don’t see any tangible results in their neighborhoods from that investment. I am pleased to announce the budget we approved contains several projects to benefit the residents of Isabella County.When I came to Lansing as your voice in the House, my very first action was finding a solution to sewage overflows in the Nottawa Township and Beal City area. As it is, raw sewage is flowing into the Chippewa River because of the lack of a proper sewer system.The budget sent to the governor last week includes $3 million to help develop a sewage system that can properly handle waste without discharging it into the river.I had meetings with representatives from the Department of Environmental Quality on this issue shortly after I began to serve you in Lansing. I also sat in on discussions between Nottawa Township and the DEQ in efforts to find a resolution. I drove home the message that we have a duty to fix this.This funding is a major step in the right direction to protect our county’s abundant and valuable natural resources.We also have included in this budget money to reconstruct and widen Lincoln Road from Broomfield Road to the bridge over the Chippewa River. Included in the project are the addition of turn lanes, installation of traffic lights, and adequate storm sewers and drainage structures.Michigan’s roads are in bad shape because of the lack of maintenance during the Lost Decade in the early 2000s. I understand and share our frustration about our roads. I get it. I share your consternation. I am working to bring more projects like this to our area to make our roads safer for families and commerce.We also have included in this budget investment in our classrooms. The amount of increased state money school districts receive runs between $120 and $240 per student. That is the largest increase in 15 years. All of the school districts in the communities I serve will receive the $240 increase, which helps close the funding gap between smaller and rural schools and those in urban areas.The coming budget also includes more than $2.1 million in at-risk funding for the Mount Pleasant, Beal City, Shepard and Coleman school districts. The next fiscal year’s investment in at-risk children is up nearly half a million dollars from the current budget and a $928,226 increase from the 2014 fiscal year.These are tangible results of all of us working together at the local level to bring some of the taxes we pay back to our neighborhoods.####last_img read more

Sterlings Racism Pays Off Big for Sports Team Owners

first_imgShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesEric Broder Van Dyke / Shutterstock.comMay 29, 2014; Los Angeles TimesAs a result of Donald Sterling’s racially insane conversation with purported paramour V. Stiviano, his sort-of estranged wife Shelley (with or without him) is selling the Los Angeles Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for a mere $2 billion. Not a bad return for a team that Sterling purchased in 1981 for all of $12 million.Ballmer joins the fraternity (just about) of some 70 owners of major sports franchises in the U.S., reducing his personal worth from $20 billion to $18 billion if the purchase price all comes out of his bank account. Is the team worth two bil? Like many sports owners, it may not be a concern for Ballmer. It’s as much a toy as it is an investment for the Microsoft man, who has dallied with offers for other teams before.But enriching the multibillionaire Sterlings with another $2 billion is a remarkable payoff for racism. Reportedly, Shelley is trying to declare Donald mentally incapacitated, which would somehow give her a freer hand in disposing of the team. If you’ve listened to Donald Sterling’s taped call with Stiviano or watched his interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Donald Sterling sounds like someone with some pretty weird racial beliefs and biases. Overt racism always seems nutty, but is it evidence of mental incompetence?Whether Donald Sterling is racist, mentally incapacitated, or both, he has not only massively enriched himself in the process, but also enriched his fellow sports team owners. If the Clippers, long a doormat in the NBA, are now worth $2 billion, is the New York Yankees franchise worth only $2.5 billion? The Dallas Cowboys $2.35 billion? Daniel Snyder’s Washington, D.C. NFL franchise only $1.7 billion? The Los Angeles Dodgers, co-owned by Magic Johnson, $2.0 billion? The Los Angeles Lakers worth only $1.35 billion?Read between the lines. Sterling’s racism leading to the bidding war for the Clippers has actually further enriched Jerry Buss and Philip Anshutz who control the Lakers; James Dolan, who is the majority owner of the $1.4 billion New York Knicks; and just about every other professional sports team owner in the U.S. They’ve been enriched by racism.With the alleged nuttiness of Donald Sterling, it is entirely possible that he has a few monkey wrenches he might toss into the sale—notably, the word is that he is suing the NBA for $1 billion—so it might all come to naught. But given the enrichment of the owners—remember, the lead owners of the teams are all white—as a result of racism, we have a proposal. All team owners should have an immediate recalculation of their teams’ values in light of a $2 billion sale of the Clippers. If they won’t do it, Forbes should. And then here’s what should be done: All of the owners should take the increased value of their teams and donate it to a fund to fight racism. Otherwise, they will be the fat and happily enriched owners of teams made immensely more valuable by the virulent racism of one of their peers, and the penalty they will have exacted from him is a massive increase in the value of his team.In January, prior to Sterling’s descent into racism, madness, or both, Forbesestimated the value of the Los Angeles Clippers to be $565 million. If the sale goes through at $2 billion, the value of the Clippers will have increased by as much as 254 percent as a direct result of racism.It is hard to imagine any more heinous way of earning money than by benefitting from racism. Most of these teams have charitable foundations, and high-minded owners of professional sports franchises often themselves have family foundations—unlike Ballmer, so far. They have long philanthropic track records, so they should not allow themselves to be unjustifiably enriched as a result of racism, even if they personally are not parties to the vile beliefs of Donald Sterling. Do something about racism with your new wealth, sports moguls, or you’re a part of the problem.—Rick CohenShareTweetShareEmail0 Shareslast_img read more

NYC Service Providers Getting Squeezed by Problematic Government Contracts

first_imgShare31Tweet6Share80Email117 Shares April 5, 2016; Gotham GazetteHuman services nonprofits in New York serve the city’s most vulnerable populations through critical programs like foster care, homelessness services, after-school programs, mental health care, childhood education, senior care, job training, and food pantries. But, reports the Gotham Gazette, “many of these organizations are faltering due to problems with the ways in which government approaches contracting.”We have recently covered this in some detail in our coverage of two reports related to the failure of FEGS. This is a problem not unique to the nation’s largest city—it is a common complaint heard from nonprofit leaders across America, regarding all levels of government right up to the feds. And it remains a key issue so long as federal, state, and local governments outsource human services, economic development, and a host of other functions to private nonprofits.The Gazette reports that the New York City Council Committee on Contracts held an oversight hearing “to examine serious and systemic issues facing human services nonprofits operating under contracts with the city.” The hearing was held in response to a recent report by a coalition of 170 nonprofits that provide vital services to New Yorkers, identifying the major challenges facing the nonprofit human services sector, and making along with recommendations on how to fix things.Leaders from 25 organizations testified at the hearing, pretty much repeating the complaints outlined in the report. The list starts with the fact that government contracts account for the bulk of provider revenues, but they only pay 80 cents or less of each dollar of program delivery costs, which the nonprofit leaders say leads to budget gaps and diminished quality of services.And that’s not the only complaint. The report cites government payments that are chronically late, forcing providers to borrow to stay afloat, and programs that are developed without input from the nonprofits responsible for implementing them.As in many localities across the country, New York City contracts public services out to nonprofits in order to save money and boost efficiency. Government turns to outside providers for a range of things in addition to public services, such as infrastructure design and construction primarily to for-profit engineering and construction companies. This outsourcing has been a point of contention for public employee unions for decades.The report says that more than 200,000 workers in New York City are engaged in over 5,000 contracts worth $4.3 billion in the current fiscal year; state contracts with these nonprofits add another $1.5 billion. Many of them rely on the government for most of their funding, and fundraise from traditional private sources for the rest.In New York City, as in other localities, those contracts don’t cover the full costs of human services nonprofits. Adding insult to injury, payments are late and unpredictable, forcing many of them to borrow money in order make payroll and rent. Some have closed up shop, and others are on the brink of insolvency. According to another report, almost 20 percent of the city’s health and human services nonprofits are insolvent, while another 60 percent of them are financially distressed.Advocates say that if the city doesn’t fix the problems, the communities that these nonprofits serve will be the first ones to suffer the consequences. This is true nationwide. Among the solutions that could help alleviate the problems offered by nonprofit advocates:Government could seek input from, and collaborate with, the human services sector while designing and budgeting for programs.Government could issue contracts that fully fund nonprofits’ operating costs, including overhead expenses; newly enacted federal grant guidelines are now doing this.Government could pay on time, and include increases to reflect the cost of inflation, program revisions or new mandates.—Larry KaplanShare31Tweet6Share80Email117 Shareslast_img read more

Tribes Block Pipeline Construction to Protect Water and Sacred Sites

first_imgShare75TweetShare3Email78 SharesAugust 24, 2016; New York Times “It is a spectacular sight: thousands of Indians camped on the banks of the Cannonball River, on the edge of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota. Our elders of the Seven Council Fires, as the Oceti Sakowin, or Great Sioux Nation, is known, sit in deliberation and prayer, awaiting a federal court decision on whether construction of a $3.7 billion oil pipeline from the Bakken region to Southern Illinois will be halted.”So begins an op-ed written by David Archambault II in the New York Times last week. Archambault is the chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and one of hundreds of encamped protestors seeking to halt the Dakota Access oil pipeline, which is scheduled to be nearly 1,170 miles long, just a few miles short of the length of the now-defunct Keystone XL pipeline. Dakota Access has been designed to transfer oil from the Bakken shale fields in western North Dakota to southern Illinois, where it will be transferred to a different pipeline under construction and sent to refineries in Texas. Currently, about 40 percent of Bakken shale oil is transported using existing pipelines and just over half is shipped by rail.Archambault says in his editorial that the permitting process was fast-tracked, and in response, the Standing Rock Sioux tribe has sued to block the pipeline and has asked the judge to issue an injunction. A hearing will be held this Wednesday on the matter, but meanwhile, demonstrators are doing their best to interfere with work on an access road to the site.The tribe claims that the United States Army Corps of Engineers failed to do proper cultural and historical reviews before granting federal approvals. Writes Archambault:Our tribe has opposed the Dakota Access pipeline since we first learned about it in 2014. Although federal law requires the Corps of Engineers to consult with the tribe about its sovereign interests, permits for the project were approved and construction began without meaningful consultation. The Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of the Interior and the National Advisory Council on Historic Preservation supported more protection of the tribe’s cultural heritage, but the Corps of Engineers and Energy Transfer Partners turned a blind eye to our rights. The first draft of the company’s assessment of the planned route through our treaty and ancestral lands did not even mention our tribe.The Dakota Access pipeline was fast-tracked from Day 1 using the Nationwide Permit No. 12 process, which grants exemption from environmental reviews required by the Clean Water Act and the National Environmental Policy Act by treating the pipeline as a series of small construction sites. And unlike the better-known Keystone XL project, which was finally canceled by the Obama administration last year, the Dakota Access project does not cross an international border—the condition that mandated the more rigorous federal assessment of the Keystone pipeline’s economic justification and environmental impacts.Neither is the tribe happy about the appropriation of its identity in the name of the pipeline, “This is our homeland,” said Phyllis Young, a member of the Standing Rock Sioux. “We are Dakota. ‘Dakota’ means ‘friend’ or ‘ally.’ Dakota Access has taken our name.”The Army Corps of Engineers responded by saying it did consult extensively with affected tribes, including the Standing Rock Sioux, but they could not identify any specific cultural sites that would be damaged by the pipeline.Numbers at the demonstration have grown; environmental activists and other tribes from the Dakotas, the rest of the Great Plains, and the Pacific Northwest have been arriving to the camp from which the protestors march or ride their horses to the site every morning. Archambault says there are 90 tribes represented at the encampment and calls the moment a tipping point.When the Army Corps of Engineers dammed the Missouri River in 1958, it took our riverfront forests, fruit orchards and most fertile farmland to create Lake Oahe. Now the Corps is taking our clean water and sacred places by approving this river crossing. Whether it’s gold from the Black Hills or hydropower from the Missouri or oil pipelines that threaten our ancestral inheritance, the tribes have always paid the price for America’s prosperity.Energy Transfer Partners has declared its intention to finish construction on the $3.7 billion project by year’s end. It concedes that it stopped work here this month while “law enforcement works to contain the unlawful protests,” but that elsewhere, the work was proceeding as planned. ETP has also filed suit in federal court over the protests, accusing seven leaders of leading the effort to block access to the construction site, threatening workers, and trespassing on private land.—Ruth McCambridgeShare75TweetShare3Email78 Shareslast_img read more

Charlotte Shows How People with Disabilities Fare Worse in Police Shootings

first_imgShare109TweetShare51Email160 SharesSeptember 22, 2016; CNBCProtesters continued to seek a fuller explanation for what happened to Keith Lamont Scott, who police said refused officers’ repeated commands to drop a gun. Residents say Scott was unarmed, holding only a book and disabled by a brain injury.In the wake of the last few days in Charlotte, North Carolina, where the protests are focused legitimately on the disproportionate police shootings of black people, it might also be useful to pay attention to a white paper published by the Ruderman Foundation that points out that “Disabled individuals make up a third to half of all people killed by law enforcement officers…The media is ignoring the disability component of these stories, or, worse, is telling them in ways that intensify stigma and ableism.”The report points out that Eric Garner, Kajieme Powell, Tanisha Anderson, Freddie Gray, and Sandra Bland were not just African Americans; they were disabled African-Americans, and that intersectionality made them particularly vulnerable.The paper, authored by Lawrence Carter-Long and David M. Perry, PhD, was published in March on the foundation’s website. It looks at three years of media coverage of police shootings involving people with disabilities and finds a lack of productive attention.Disability intersects with other factors such as race, class, gender, and sexuality, to magnify degrees of marginalization and increase the risk of violence. When the media ignores or mishandles a major factor, as we contend they generally do with disability, it becomes harder to effect change.But media is not the only inattentive partner in the mix. As the report states:Currently, there is no legal requirement for local, state or federal law enforcement agencies to aggregate or collect the number, type, and result of violent incidents that occur between police officers and disabled people. From a purely practical standpoint, those who seek to track, monitor, and/or analyze trends related to police violence and disability are limited to collecting the data themselves from print and online media coverage.This, of course has also been a problem in tracking police shootings in general, as we reported in August in our nonprofit newswire when the Department of Justice announced a new system to gather nationwide data, using a model piloted by the UK’s Guardian newspaper.This eye-opening report by the Ruderman Foundation makes an important contribution to our understanding of the role of marginalization in making individuals more vulnerable to fatal violence at the hands of authorities. We urge you to read it.—Ruth McCambridgeShare109TweetShare51Email160 Shareslast_img read more

TV technology company SeaChange Internationals ch

first_imgTV technology company SeaChange International’s chief financial officer, Kevin Bisson, has left the company. Bisson served as chief financial officer, treasurer, secretary and senior vice-president of finance and administration since joining SeaChange in March 2006.“We sincerely thank Kevin for his years of dedication to SeaChange and his contributions towards ensuring the Company’s continued financial strength and strong balance sheet. We wish him well in his future endeavours,” said Raghu Rau, SeaChange’s CEO.  “We intend to announce the appointment of a new CFO next week.”last_img

Cyfrowy Polsat will roll out a mobile TV service l

first_imgCyfrowy Polsat will roll out a mobile TV service later this year.The Polish pay TV operator said the TV Mobilna service will launch in the second quarter and deliver free and premium TV programming to tablets and smartphones to a potential 15 million people.The service will be based on DVB-T technology and will offer access to eight TV and 12 radio services.last_img

Swedish public broadcaster SVT is to offer its ent

first_imgSwedish public broadcaster SVT is to offer its entire broadcast output free of charge online. SVT CEO Eva Hamilton revealed the plan to offer all content online in an opinion piece in newspaper Dagens Nyheter.Hamilton said the launch of SVT’s channels online was likely to take place in February.According to press reports, Radiotjänst, the agency responsible for collecting the country’s SEK2,076 (€240) annual TV licence fee, has confirmed that the move will mean it will start collecting fees from people who own computers and tablet devices but not TV.Hamilton said that this would make little difference in practice, as a law was already in place that required anybody who could receive a TV channel on a device to pay the fee, something that has applied since last year when commercial broadcaster TV4 began broadcasting its channels on the web.last_img read more

Bulgarian DTH provider Satellite BG has said it wi

first_imgBulgarian DTH provider Satellite BG has said it will cease broadcasting as of June 1.In a statement on its website, the operator blamed the economic crisis for its closure.The owners of the platform have agreed with Bulgarian telco Vivacom a deal whereby Satellite BG subscribers will be given the option to sign up for Vivacom’s pay TV service. Subscribers that have prepaid for a period after the end of May have been advised to contact Satellite BG’s call centre for details on reimbursement.Satellite BG launched in February 2011 using capacity on the Astra position at 23.5° East, with an offering of about 70 channels, including HD services.last_img

Global flatpanel TV sales fell in July compared t

first_imgGlobal flat-panel TV sales fell in July compared to the same period a year ago, according to a study by IHS. According to IHS’s Monthly Worldwide FPD TV Shipment Data Report, total global shipments of LCD and plasma display panel TVs amounted to 14.88 million units, down 6.3% from July 2012.LCD TVs, which account for the bulk of the global flat-panel TV space, posted a 5.7% year-on-year decline based on shipments of 14.1 million units, while plasma screen shipments totalled 781,000, down 15.8%.The decline continued a downward trend seen in June. IHS predicts that shipments will remain lower than 2012 levels until October’s figures are available.According to the research group, the fact that the vast majority of screens are now based on LED technology, superseding the CCFL technology used in earlier LCD screens, means that differentiation is increasingly based on price, favouring low-cost Chinese brands, which say their share of the market rise from 15.5% in June to 201.4% in July at the expense of Japanese and Korean rivals.“Last year was the first time that global flat-panel TV shipments failed to grow, following a decade of blockbuster expansion and runaway success,” said Jusy Hong, senior analyst for consumer electronics and technology at IHS. “This year as recently as May, it appeared that the flat-panel TV market might pull off a rebound even if growth would have been marginal at less than 1%. However, with any increase unlikely to take place even in the fourth quarter, it appears more likely that TV shipments will post another year of decline in 2013. If so, this would make it the second year in a row that flat-panel TV shipments retrench—an unthinkable prospect just a few years back, during the flat-panel boom.”last_img read more

Media services firm RR Media has acquired Israelb

first_imgMedia services firm RR Media has acquired Israel-based SatLink Communications for US$19 million in a bid to “increase scale and expand service capabilities.”SatLink is a global provider of content distribution, management and playout services. RR Media said that, with the deal, it will integrate the companies’ networks, expanding its global content distribution network and content management footprint. “This acquisition, along with the recent acquisition of ESS and the previous acquisitions made in recent years, form essential elements of our strategy to increase the scale of the company expanding our global presence, growing our smart global distribution network and content management services, expanding our service offering, enhancing our mix of premium customers and leveraging world-wide industry expertise,” said Avi Cohen, CEO of RR Media.“This acquisition is expected to contribute to our bottom line in 2015 and beyond. We have watched SatLink’s accomplishments over the years and we are extremely happy to have SatLink become part of RR Media.”RR Media said that as a result of the takeover it expects to generate incremental revenue of approximately US$25 million and adjusted EBITDA of $5 million in 2016.The business and operational integration is planned to be completed by the end of this year.last_img read more

Facebook has hired former Xiaomi and Google execut

first_imgFacebook has hired former Xiaomi and Google executive Hugo Barra to lead all of its virtual reality efforts, including its Oculus team.Announcing the move in a post on Facebook, company CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that Barra “shares my belief that virtual and augmented reality will be the next major computing platform”.“They [VR and AR] will enable us to experience completely new things and be more creative than ever before. Hugo is going to help build that future and I’m looking forward to having him on our team,” he said.Barra, in his own Facebook post, confirmed that he would take up his new Silicon Valley-based role as Facebook’s VP of VR “in a couple of months”.He said his mission at the company would be to “make technology breakthroughs quickly and readily available to the widest possible spectrum of humanity”.News of the appointment comes in the same week that Barra announced he was leaving Xiaomi after three and a half years working for the Chinese electronics firm out of Beijing.In a separate Facebook post, Barra described his time at Xiaomi as the “greatest and most challenging adventure of my life”, but said he wanted to be back home in Silicon Valley, closer to friends and family.During his time at the company, Xiaomi launched its first US product – an Android TV set-top-box called the Mi Box that came out last year – and also made waves in the smartphone and TV space.Barra joined Xiaomi after a five year stint at Google, where from 2010 he helped to develop the Android mobile operating system.Last year, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg predicted it will take “at least 10 years” for the virtual reality ecosystem to be built out, but said he is confident VR will be an important technology.In an interview for Die Welt newspaper with Mathias Döpfner, the CEO of German media group Axel Springer, Zuckerberg likened the rollout of VR to the development of the smartphone and said “now is the time to invest”.last_img read more

Russian pay TV provider NTV has added a new sport

first_imgRussian pay TV provider NTV+ has added a new sports package to its programming line-up.NTV+ has added Sport Plus to its offering in the western part of Russia. The service offers 10 channels: Match! Futbol 1, Match! Futbol 2 and Match! Futbol 3 in SD and HD, Eurosport 1HD, Extreme Sports, M‑1 Global and Tochka Otryva for a total of RUB399 (€5.40).The new package will offer a lower cost alternative to NTV+’s premium Super Sport package, the price of which is increasing to RUB599 thanks to a price hike by content provider GPM Match.Super Sport offers 12 channels, with Nash Futbol in SD and HD comprising the additional two.NTV+ has meanwhile launched a promotional offering, providing its Basic West package free of charge to new customers for the first three months. The package offers 190 channels covering factual, entertainment, sports, kids and movie genres.last_img read more

Katja Hofem ProSiebenSat1 and Discoverys German

first_imgKatja HofemProSiebenSat.1 and Discovery’s German joint-venture 7TV’s CEO Alexander Vassilev has strengthened his management team by naming Katja Hofem as co-managing director for content, marketing and partner management and Jochen Cassel as co-managing director responsible for finance, legal and HR.The JV has also named Contanze Gilles as SVP of distribution and partnerships.Hofem will be responsible for the development and production of new formats as well as content purchasing as well as the distribution of TV and on-demand content in cooperation with the channel partners and all marketing and partner management issues.Hofem was previously COO of ProSiebenSat.1 TV Deutschland and managing director of ProSiebenSat.1 TV Deutschland for small and new channel development, responsible for the launch of Xixx and Sat.1 Gold. She had previously been responsible for the development of the DMAX channel at Discovery.Jochen CasselCassel, previously managing director of ProSiebenSat.1 Digital, will become CFO of 7TV on April 1.Gilles will oversee partnerships of the JV and the associated brands 7TV, Maxdome and Eurosport player. She was previously VP of partner channels at Sky Deutschland.The launch of the new 7TV platform is planned for the summer. The streaming outfit will air exclusive content including ProSieben co-produced comedy Check Check.Discovery and ProSiebenSat.1 teamed up to launch the streaming platform, combining ProSiebenSat.1’s 7TV and Maxdome services, Eurosport Player and a range of other content, in June last year.last_img read more


first_imgMAN ARRESTED AFTER POLICE TAKE ANOTHER DANGEROUS CAR OFF STREETS OF DERRY was last modified: December 7th, 2017 by John2John2 Tags: MAN ARRESTED AFTER POLICE TAKE ANOTHER DANGEROUS CAR OFF STREETS OF DERRYPSNI FOYLEROAD POLICING DERRY The dangerous Peugeot car seized by police in DerryA MAN has been arrested for a number of motoring offences in Derry and another dangerous car removed from the streets.PSNI Foyle say: “Road Policing Officers in Derry arrested the driver of this car for offences.“This included fraudulent use of a vehicle registration mark, no licence, no insurance and no mot, when it was discovered that the car was not all that it seemed!”#KeepingPeopleSafe #PSNIcenter_img ShareTweetlast_img

NEW YORK AP — Avengers Endgame is crushing th

first_img NEW YORK (AP) — “Avengers: Endgame” is crushing the competition by setting multiple records at the box office a day after its release.The Walt Disney Co. says domestically the film opened Friday with a record $156.7 million (including Thursday previews), besting “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”($119 million in 2015, though it played on fewer screens) and “Avengers: Infinity War” ($106 million in 2018).Outside the U.S., “Avengers: Endgame” broke another record by grossing an estimated $487 million at the end of Friday, surpassing “The Fate of the Furious” aka “Fast & Furious 8” ($443 million in 2017).The Marvel Comics superhero film also broke the record for the highest opening weekend globally of all time with $644 million at the end of Friday. The previous record holder was “Infinity War” with $641 million. Twitter National NewsNewsWatchTop Stories ‘Avengers: Endgame’ sets multiple records at box office By Tyler BarkerApr 28, 2019, 09:50 am 321 0 Facebook Next PostWhitey Bulger died of head injuries, death certificate says Home NewsWatch National News ‘Avengers: Endgame’ sets multiple records at box office Linkedin Tumblr Google+ Mail Pinterest Previous PostGlenville State College Halts Tuition Price Increase for Third Year Tyler Barker Tyler Barker is currently the Interim News Director and Digital Content Manager for WOAY-TV. I was promoted to this job in Mid-November. I still will fill in on weather from time to time. Follow me on Facebook and Twitter @wxtylerb. Have any news tips or weather questions? Email me at tbarker@woay.comlast_img read more

In This Issue A sticky question… Budget negoti

first_imgIn This Issue.*A sticky question… *Budget negotiations stall… *BOJ to announce more stimulus… *Gold and Silver reverse…And, Now, Today’s Pfennig For Your Thoughts!Is all debt bad???Good day. I was met with the above question as I walked through the door last night.  As I came home from work my 14 year old asked me the answer to the question ‘Is all debt bad?’.  My daughter, Lauren, is in the middle of exams and she was upset that she had missed this question on a civics exam.  She occasionally reads the Pfennig, and has listened in on enough of our dinner conversations to realize that much of the world is currently in a debt crisis.  So when she was presented with a true false question regarding debt, she answered True – all debt is bad. From reading your comments about yesterday’s Pfennig, many of you would have given Lauren extra credit, but unfortunately I had to let her know that her answer is technically wrong.  As I explained to Lauren, not all debt is bad.  There are times when a country, company, or individual needs to borrow money.  Debt can be used to fund all sorts of very good projects, and keeps economies rolling through slowdowns.  But debt is meant to eventually be paid off, not accumulated in a never ending cycle. So yes, Lauren missed that question on her civics exam; but in a way I am glad she missed it as I don’t think it is a bad thing that my daughter is a bit scared of debt.  I just wish some of our leaders in Washington would match my daughter’s concern over debt accumulation. But enough of my dinner table economics lecture, let’s get to the currency markets.It was a ‘risk off’ day in the currency markets, but the moves were dampened by the holiday thinned trading desks.  The yen finally reversed its recent sell off, and the dollar also climbed a bit as US lawmakers moved further apart on a budget deal.  President Obama told business leaders that budget talks have regressed and accused Republicans of wasting a lot of time with political posturing (perhaps a bit of the pot calling the kettle black). Today we have an absolute plethora of data which will be released here in the US.  We start off the morning with GDP projections for the 3rd quarter which are expected to show the US economy grew just under 3% compared to previous estimates of 2.7% growth.  It is Thursday, so we will also get the weekly jobs numbers which are projected to show another 360k workers filed for jobless claims last week.  Continuing claims are predicted to have increased to 3200k in another indication the labor market will be very slow to recover.  This employment data will be followed up with existing home sales and leading indicators.  Yesterday’s data showed a drop in Housing starts (down 3% MOM) but an increase in building permits (3.6%MOM).  Definitely some conflicting data, so the existing home sales may help give investors a better picture of the housing recovery.  Finally, the leading indicators are expected to show a decrease of .2% during November following an increase of the same amount in the previous month.The yen had dropped for three straight days as investors worried the new Prime Minister would successfully push for more aggressive rounds of stimulus.  The BOJ ends their two day meeting today, and are expected to announce additional stimulus moves. Adding to the worries regarding the yen was a Japanese government report released yesterday which showed the trade deficit widened in November. Traditionally Japan has run a trade surplus, and the deficits have caused investors to re evaluate their demand expectations for the yen.  A country which runs a trade surplus creates demand for their currency, while trade deficits will typically drive the demand for (and value of) a currency lower. The yen has bounced back a bit this morning as some investors apparently believe the three day selloff was overdone.The euro continued to climb through most of the morning yesterday, moving just above $1.33 for a short period.  But the renewed worries out of Washington caused it to give back some of these gains and it is now holding in the $1.32 handle.  I had a reader scold me for not writing more on the Swiss Franc and its recent rise.  I haven’t mentioned the Swiss franc simply because of its peg to the Euro.  So as the euro moves, so will the Swiss franc.  The 3.44% increase in the euro over the past month has been matched with a 3.36% increase in the Swiss franc vs. the US$.  As long as the Swiss National Bank defends the peg to the euro, there is really no need to talk about the Swiss as it is tied to the euro.  Now it will certainly be interesting if/when the peg is relaxed, and you can bet Chuck or I will inform all of you when we start hearing any indications of that.  Until then, readers can simply watch the euro.Several readers asked me to comment on the big drop in gold prices over the past couple of days.  Many of you pointed me toward various manipulation theories, but I think there are two possible explanations for the recent drop in prices.  First, there was improved confidence that a compromise would be reached between the two parties over the fiscal cliff.  As we approached the year end, demand for gold climbed as investors looked for an asset they could hide in if/when our leaders in D.C. took us over the cliff.  A second possible explanation is year-end selling due to the probable increase in tax rates.  Silver has had a nice 12 percent rise this year, and gold is up 6.72% so investors could just be taking these gains off the table before 2013.  By the way, this will be the 12th consecutive year of gains in the price of gold. No matter what caused the selloff, both metals rebounded yesterday as concerns over the fiscal cliff agreement returned.  Negotiations in Washington have deteriorated, so my first theory on what caused the recent sell-off has been flipped and gold is now climbing again.  Most of the gold refineries are also going into a end of year / holiday shutdown, so additional supply will be limited over the next couple of weeks.On a longer term basis, I am confident that demand for precious metals will be increasing.  The fiscal problems facing many of the Western nations will shake global investor confidence in ‘fiat’ currencies.  And my thoughts on the ‘rise of the Chinese consumer’ also support higher metals prices.  As consumers in both China and India see even a slight increase in disposable income, a percentage of that income will likely be invested into the precious metals markets.  Gold and Silver are much more accepted as forms of wealth storage in the Asian cultures, so any increase in disposable incomes should lead toward an increase in demand.  Just another reason I think precious metals should be a part of every investors diversified portfolio.And then there was this. The Fed’s holding of interest rates at record low levels have had a very different impact on two separate classes of investors.  A story I spotted on Bloomberg this morning pointed out the dramatic divergence between savers and professional investors.  The story, written by Bob Ivry starts out with this line “Deepak Narula’s mortgage-bond fund is up 39 percent this year.  George Sanchez’s monthly annuity payout is down 41 percent.”  Ivry goes on to explain some of the unintended consequences of the FOMC’s interest rate policies. “The near-zero interest rate the Federal Reserve charges financial firms, as well as securities purchases that will balloon the central bank’s balance sheet to almost $4 trillion next year, have made it easier for Narula’s $1.6 billion fund to thrive and more difficult for Sanchez, a former college library director, to enjoy retirement.”The story includes an excellent quote by Nobel Prize-winning Columbia University economist Joseph E. Stiglitz: “Monetary policy has been indirectly, surreptitiously helping the top and hurting the bottom.”  Stiglitz blames the Fed policies for starving money-savers of income and boosting certain asset prices, widening the gap between the rich and the rest of the country.  Bob Ivry has written some excellent pieces on the Fed, and I always enjoy reading his take on things. To recap. Debt is not always bad, but the constant accumulation of debt is! Budget negotiations hit a snag, sending investors back toward safe havens.  Today will be a big day for data here in the US markets, but holiday thinned trading desks should keep volatility down. The BOJ is expected to announce more stimulus, but the yen has already been adjusted for the expected increase in supply. Gold reversed its recent sell off, and started moving back up on worries on the budget negotiations. And the FOMC’s zero rate policies have caused a divergence in returns for savers vs. professionals.Currencies today 12/20/12. American Style: A$ $1.0493, kiwi .8343, C$ $1.0113, euro 1.3255, sterling 1.6262, Swiss $1.0974. European Style: rand 8.5159, krone 5.5498, SEK 6.5114, forint 216.0, zloty 3.0708, koruna 19.0335, RUB 30.6835, JPY 84.10, SGD 1.2184, HKD 7.7501, INR 54.8544, China 6.2306, pesos 12.7715, BRL 2.0619, Dollar Index 79.163, Oil $89.88, 10-year 1.78%, Silver $31.22, Gold $1,670.62, and Platinum $1591.24.That’s it for today. Congratulations to Antione Lawrence as his lovely wife Brooke gave birth to a beautiful baby girl yesterday.  It is the couple’s first child, and the first of three babies on their way for the WorldMarkets desk (Both Mikes, Harrell and Meyer, are also expecting).  We anxiously awaited the news yesterday morning after Antione let us know he and Brooke were headed into the hospital.  Both baby and mom are doing fine, and I’m sure proud papa Antione is beaming!  Sounds like we could see our first snow of the year, it is currently raining but the temps are supposed to drop and the rain should turn to snow later today.  I will wrap up today’s Pfennig on that great news.  I hope everyone has a great day, and thanks for reading the Pfennig!Chris Gaffney, CFA Vice President EverBank World Markets 1-800-926-4922 1-314-647-3837last_img read more