Comments Share Quick workouts for men Police images of the scanned case, showing the boy curled up inside, drew international attention and highlighted the harrowing plight of migrants trying to reach Europe.Ouattara, who lives with his Ivory Coast wife — the boy’s mother– legally in Spain, said through his lawyers he knew nothing of the suitcase plan, believing his son was to be brought in with a visa. He was arrested entering Ceuta hours after the boy was discovered.The Moroccan woman remains in detention.The father was allowed to leave jail after his wife paid 5,000 euros ($5,650) in bail at the court in Ceuta.Francesco Luca Caronna, a member of the law firm acting for the family, said Tuesday that Ouattara remains charged with human rights abuse against a foreign citizen.“If he had known his son was to be brought in in a case he would never have allowed it,” said the lawyer. “He is a victim of migrant traffickers.”Ouattara must surrender his passport and appear before the court each month until the trial, which is not expected for several months.The father and mother live legally on the Spanish Canary Island of Fuerteventura and had been trying to bring over their children, according to Caronna. The lawyer said an 11-year-old daughter was allowed in recently but Ouattara’s monthly salary fell short of the amount required for two children. It was then that the father set about looking for a visa, Caronna said.Spanish authorities last month granted the boy a temporary residence permit.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Top Stories Sponsored Stories Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall MADRID (AP) — The father of an Ivory Coast boy caught being smuggled into Spain in a suitcase last month has been freed on bail, allowing the family to be reunited.A court ordered Ali Ouattara freed Monday hours after his 8-year-old son was allowed leave a youth center where he was cared for after being discovered May 7 by border police in Spain’s North African enclave of Ceuta. The boy had been hidden in a suitcase carried by a Moroccan woman not related to the family. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Four benefits of having a wireless security system Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies
Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Top Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies All the officials spoke anonymously because they are not authorized to brief reporters.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Security officials and residents of Sabr said the situation on the ground has quieted after the cease-fire took effect.The Yemeni troops fighting in Sabr had been training since April in military camps in al-Buraiqeh, the port city west of Aden, military officials from the Saudi-led coalition said. Saudi, Emirati, Egyptian and Jordanian military advisers there have set up the camps and trained hundreds of fighters, they added.The fighters also received over 300 armored personnel carriers from the United Arab Emirates by sea. These sophisticated carriers are largely driven by non-Yemenis, the military officials said. Two Emirati officers have been killed in battle in Yemen since the Saudi-led coalition’s latest offensive, known as the “Golden Arrow,” started on July 16.Al-Buraiqeh is also home to the Yemeni Fourth Military Base, which is in charge of all military operations in Aden.The foreign military advisers, officials said, arrived in al-Buraiqeh by sea more than a month ago and serve as intermediaries between the Yemeni troops and the coalition leadership in neighboring Saudi Arabia. They also supervise the distribution of weapons and give coordinates for coalition airstrikes, military officials said. Sponsored Stories Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Two previous humanitarian truces in Yemen did not hold.U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the coalition’s announcement of the cease-fire and urged the Houthis and other parties to suspend military operations and “maintain the humanitarian pause for the sake of all the Yemeni people,” Ban’s spokesman said. Ban also urged all sides “to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance to all parts of Yemen.”Earlier on Sunday, Saudi-backed Yemeni troops and their allies clashed with Houthi rebels in a strategic town north of the port city of Aden, security and military officials from both sides of the conflict said.The pro-government fighters had withdrawn from the town of Sabr earlier in the day after fierce battles with the Houthis. They returned hours later following the arrival of military reinforcements and wrested control of a large portion of the town, security officials said.The officials said five pro-government fighters were killed and 15 wounded in the battle. Local medical officials said eight rebels were killed and 20 wounded.The running battles in Sabr, which is on a key supply route, have lasted for more than a day after troops stormed it in their push north from Aden toward the strategic military base of Al-Anad, which is held by the rebels. SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Saudi-led coalition airstrikes came to a halt in Yemen early Monday after a five-day humanitarian truce went into effect, witnesses and security officials said.However, ground fighting broke out almost immediately in the restive city of Taiz following random shelling by Shiite Houthi rebels in three neighborhoods, they said.Security officials said ground fighting has also erupted in Marib province and in the area surrounding the strategic al-Anad military base in Lahj province. The difference between men and women when it comes to pain Random shelling by Houthis and their allies hit northern and western areas of the port city of Aden after the cease fire, security officials and witnesses said.The Saudi-led and U.S.-backed coalition of mainly Gulf Arab countries has been waging an air campaign since March against the Iran-supported rebels, who control most of northern Yemen and the capital, Sanaa.The pause declared by the Saudi-led coalition began at 11:59 p.m. (2059 GMT, 4:59 p.m. EDT) Sunday. It is intended to help allow humanitarian aid to be delivered to ease the suffering of civilians in the Arab world’s poorest country.The coalition made the unexpected announcement about the humanitarian pause on Saturday. The statement, carried on Saudi state media, said the coalition will cease military operations, but that it will respond should Houthi rebels or their allies conduct any military actions or movements.The rebels, known as Houthis, have expressed doubt over the truce. One Houthi official said it will likely mark “the beginning of a new war.” Mohammed Ali Al-Houthi, the head of the Houthi’s Revolutionary Council, said Sunday that the group had not received official notification of the truce from the United Nations. Comments Share Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology 5 ways to recognize low testosterone
State Rep. Michael Webber will host his monthly office hours on Monday, Oct. 30 from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at Grand Traverse Pie Company, 6920 N. Rochester Road in Rochester Hills.“Hosting regular office hours is one of my top priorities as a state legislator,” Rep. Webber said. “I look forward to hearing about the issues that are most important to residents of the Greater Rochester area.”No appointment is necessary. Those unable to attend may contact Rep. Webber at 517-373-1773 or via email at MichaelWebber@house.mi.gov. Categories: Webber News 23Oct Rep. Webber to meet with residents in Rochester Hills
02Nov Tedder seeks to improve end-of-life care for Michigan patients A bill sponsored by state Rep. Jim Tedder to improve end-of-life care for patients in health care settings by developing a standardized Physician Ordered Scope of Treatment (POST) form was approved by the Michigan Senate.A POST form is an advance care planning tool designed to ensure people forced to make difficult end-of-life medical treatment choices are given the respect they deserve in multiple health care settings. The form guides emergency medical personnel and health care providers in whether to administer life-sustaining measures, such as CPR, intubation, antibiotics and feeding tubes, when the patient is no longer able to do so.“Everyone deserves to have their wishes granted when it comes to end-of-life care,” said Tedder, of Clarkston. “The POST form ensures that we give people a voice to do so, before they are no longer able.”The measure is part of a four-bill, bipartisan package to establish a standard practice for POST forms in Michigan. Twenty-two states have POST programs and 23 have developing programs in the works.Other bills in the package allow a guardian to implement, reaffirm of revoke a POST form, require adult foster care facilities to comply with medical orders provided for on a POST form, and requires health professionals to comply with the most recent document when both a DNR order and a POST form exist for a patient.The legislation now moves to the governor’s desk for his consideration.Questions about this legislation may be directed to Rep. Tedder at (517) 373-0615 or JimTedder@house.mi.gov. Categories: Tedder News Tags: Health Policy
Categories: Glenn News Using taxpayer money to settle a sexual harassment claim against a state or local government official — as Congress did to settle a claim against former Congressman John Conyers, D-Detroit — would be outlawed under legislation introduced Wednesday by a Bay County lawmaker.Associate Speaker Pro Tem Gary Glenn, R-Williams Twp., the sponsor of House Bill 5405, said he was astounded by news of Conyers’ tax-financed payoff and “never imagined a law was necessary for the government to know it’s wrong to use our tax dollars to cover for a public official’s misconduct in office.”“A public official who’s guilty of sexual harassment can be pressured to resign as Conyers did, fired, recalled, or voted out at the next election if he refuses, or sued as an individual, but in no case should already overburdened taxpayers be forced to pay the tab for a public official’s abusive behavior,” Glenn said.Glenn’s legislation, other than language defining various terms, is comprised of just one sentence:“A public entity shall not make an expenditure of public funds to settle a claim or action involving sexual harassment in which a public official is the alleged perpetrator or defendant.”Glenn said any settlement in a case involving an elected or appointed public official should be paid “out of the guilty public official’s pocket, not taxpayers’ pockets.”He noted that the Washington Post reported in November that over the last twenty years, Congress has paid more than $17 million from public funds for 264 settlements and awards to federal employees for violations of various employment rules, including sexual harassment, an example he said the state should not follow.# # # 12Jan Glenn bill bans use of tax dollars to pay sexual harassment claims
ShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesMay 22, 2014; Pro Bono AustraliaPublic Interest Registry, the American domain regulator responsible for the top-level .org domain suffix, is offering Australian nonprofits the chance to switch to an .ngo or .ong domain in October. (The latter is for use in regions where Romance languages are prevalent.) Currently, many Australian nonprofits use the suffix .org.au, which is administered by the same regulator.In addition to the distinctive .ngo, users will be listed in Public Interest Registry’s global NGO directory, and have access to a robust community portal. Via the portal, charities can customize profile pages, showcase their activities, and collect donations. Public Interest Registry is saying this will revolutionize the way that NGOs around the world connect with each other, with new partners, and potentially with donors as well. Although the portal will not take commission on donations, at this point it will be the e-commerce vehicle for donorsMegan Soffer, a marketing expert at Public Interest Registry who was quoted in the Australian online magazine for nonprofits Third Sector, said, “The NGO Portal will be a directory for NGOs. When donors are looking to give online, they want reassurance that both the website and cause are legitimate—this will be the easiest way for NGOs to communicate and demonstrate trust and credibility.” The ability to purchase premium domains like water.ngo and charity.ngo could also give an edge over competitors.Richenda Vermeulen, the director of ntegr!ty, a Melbourne-based digital agency, suggests in Pro Bono Australia that Australian nonprofits “start the conversation about .ngo and have a plan before the .ngo domain names are available from local domain providers in October.”Eligibility for obtaining an .ngo domain is based on seven criteria set by the Registry:Focused on acting in the public interest. Whether in support of education or health, the environment or human rights, members of the .ngo community work for the good of humankind and/or the preservation of the planet and do not promote discrimination or bigotry.Non-profitmaking/nonprofit-focused entities. While many NGOs engage in commercial activities or generate revenue in support of their missions, members of the .ngo community do not recognize profits or retain earnings.Limited government influence. Recognizing that many NGOs have important interactions with government, not least for reasons of funding (which may include receipt of some government funding in support of their programs), members of the .ngo community decide their own policies, direct their own activities and are independent of direct government or political control.Independent actors. Members of the .ngo community should not be political parties nor should be a part of any government. Participation in the work of an .ngo is voluntary.Active organizations. Members of the .ngo community are actively pursuing their missions on a regular basis.Structured. Members of the .ngo community, whether large or small, operate in a structured manner (e.g., under bylaws, codes of conduct, organizational standards, or other governance structures.)Lawful. Members of the .ngo community act with integrity within the bounds of law.It remains to be seen how many Australian nonprofits will react. NGO is an acronym usually reserved in the Australian vernacular for large multinational nonprofits or nonprofits operating overseas. Will the benefits of an exclusive portal and registry be sufficient to persuade nonprofits that do not consider themselves NGOs to abandon their already distinctive .org.au domains?—John GodfreyShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares November 6, 2014;Associated PressBack in 2010, Israel received backlash and heavy criticism for their actions imposing a naval blockade on the Gaza strip and a resultant deadly raid. In an attempt to break the blockade between Israel and Egypt, the Gaza Freedom Flotilla was organized to bring humanitarian aid and construction materials directly to Gaza. Organizers of the effort included the Free Gaza Movement and the Turkish Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief (İHH). However, Israel choose to not accept the organizers’ motives and instead, offered to allow the goods to be received in an Israeli Port to be inspected prior to delivery by land to Gaza. The leaders of the Flotilla effort refused this offer andIsrael took the flotilla by force, resulting in nine deaths.Israel’s actions were said to constitute war crimes by supporters of the Flotilla and the International Criminal Court began an investigation to see if formal charges were warranted. In the end, Fatou Bensouda, the prosecutor leading the ICC process, announced his decision to end the proceedings in a statement issued recently, saying these cases “would not be of sufficient gravity to justify further action by the ICC”:“Following a thorough legal and factual analysis of the information available, I have concluded that there is a reasonable basis to believe that war crimes under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court were committed on one of the vessels, the Mavi Marmara, when Israeli Defense Forces intercepted the ‘Gaza Freedom Flotilla’ on 31 May 2010…. [However,] without in any way minimizing the impact of the alleged crimes on the victims and their families, I have to be guided by the Rome Statute, in accordance with which, the ICC shall prioritize war crimes committed on a large scale or pursuant to a plan or policy.”Reactions to this ruling mirrored the controversy about the Aid Flotilla. Turkish lawyer Ramazan Ariturk, who represents Comoros, under whose flag the Flotilla sailed in the case, said, “This is a moral struggle that we’re pursuing by ourselves. It’s a legal struggle, a struggle in the name of humanity. This struggle isn’t over,” he told reporters in Istanbul. “We will object to a higher court at the International Criminal Court and we believe without a doubt that we will prevail.”The Israel Foreign Ministry countered in its statement that “the examination conducted was preliminary only, and the prosecutor decided to close the file without seeing a need to address the issue of resort to self-defense by IDF soldiers who were confronted, as mentioned in the report, by violence from İHH activists in the context of a flotilla which the prosecutor considered as not constituting a humanitarian mission.”With the needs of the citizens of Gaza greater than ever in the wake of the recent hostilities, the challenge of bringing aid to Gaza remains before the international community. The recent weeks of heavy conflict heightened Israel’s desire to control the flow of aid. Israel’s fear that aid would be directed toward Hamas’s military requirements rather than meet the people’s needs was increased by the uncovering of a large network of well-built tunnels leading from Gaza into Israel during the months leading up to the Gaza conflict.—Marty Levine ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares February 17, 2015; Portland Press HeraldGovernor Paul LePage and his tax and budget proposals for the state of Maine continue to draw a lot of attention. The NPQ Newswire has recently addressed the governor’s property tax proposal; the impact of the property tax on land trusts in the state and on nonprofit summer camps; and, most recently, the various unintended consequences of his property tax. Now, there is a new twist to consider: the appearance of a “flood of money” the governor says will be coming to nonprofits as an indirect result of his proposed income tax cuts. Will this flood of money be real or is it all just an illusion?It appears LePage is following the playbook used by many other Republican governors and endorsed by the Republican Governors’ Association and the Heritage Foundation. LePage is one of about a dozen Republican governors who are trying to reduce income tax rates while raising other taxes or generating revenue from other sources to balance their state budgets. Several of the GOP governors, including LePage, are using the “pathway to prosperity” language or concept to argue their case.Not every Republican governor is playing along though. According to the Heritage Foundation, Iowa’s Terry Branstad, Michigan’s Rick Snyder, and Nevada’s Brian Sandoval are cutting their own path. Branstad and Snyder are both pushing for gas-tax increases without any offsetting tax cuts. Sandoval is proposing to raise business taxes to cover a 12 percent increase in state spending.In Maine, though, LePage seems to be sprinting down the pathway. In the first town hall meeting of his new term on February 11th, LePage told a crowd in Westbrook, Maine, that he expects his plan will actually help nonprofits:“And there’s going to be all that money available from nonprofits to go and look for donations. And I maintain that the good nonprofits who do good for the community are recognized and there’s going to be a flood of money going to them.”How does LePage’s plan do this? Among other things, it lowers the income tax rate, requires nonprofits to pay property tax on property valued more than $500,000, and eliminates itemized deductions for charitable giving. It should be no surprise that several groans, perhaps of anguish and disbelief, could be heard from those in attendance in Westbrook, according to the Portland Press Herald.Despite the bounding optimism of LePage and other Republican’s governors, the pathway to prosperity may have more than a few potholes. One big one is the lack of evidence to support the LePage administration’s contention that deductions for charitable giving will not matter to donors. Jon Bakija, professor economics at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, published a study in 2013 that showed that high-income people are probably quite responsive to the opportunity for tax incentives. The Congressional Budget Office reported similar findings in a 2011 report:“Although the underlying motives for charitable giving are complex and not fully understood by economists, empirical studies generally find that taxpayers respond to the after-tax price of giving to some degree. Such tax incentives are limited, however, to the subset of taxpayers who itemize, and they favor high-income people, who face relatively higher marginal tax rates.”The CBO report highlights that tax deductions for charity is one way the government subsidizes charities. When a taxpayer in the 25-percent bracket donates a dollar to charity, his or her taxes are reduced by 25 cents. Therefore, both the charity and the donor benefit from the tax deduction.The evidence does not say with certainty that LePage’s plan will not work. However, Brian Galle of Boston College Law School asserts, “The evidence is generally contrary to what the governor is claiming.”At this point, there appears to be no rush for Maine’s nonprofits to prepare for a “flood of money.” It remains unclear how the Maine legislature will respond to LePage’s tax and budget plan. In the meantime, nonprofits in Vacationland will continue to try to figure whether the governor’s plans are real or mere trickery and illusion.—Tom KlausShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
Pay TV operator Cosmos TV Belarus has added music channel Europe Plus TV to its line-up.The channel, a joint venture between Russia’s European Broadcasting Media Group and thematic channels distributor Red Media, airs pop and chart music videos and programming from Russian and European artists. The channel is beingadded to Cosmos TV’s basic package after 63% of subscribers said they wanted to watch the channel.
Independent media company High View Group has acquired German thematic channel Deluxe Television. Deluxe had filed for insolvency earlier this year.The acquisition gives High View the free-to-air Deluxe Music TV channel, eight radio stations and the Deluxe Lounge HD channel.Deluxe will move its operations to Landshut near Munich and will be headed by Alexander Trauttmansdorff.High View operates five pay TV channels in Germany – documentary channels Planet and Planet HD and music channels Jukebox, RCK TV and RLX TV.
Stephan Adrian, the COO of the commercial arm of German public broadcaster ZDF, has signed a new five-year deal.Adrian, who runs ZDF Enterprises alongside CEO Alexander Coridass, joined ZDF in 1988. He said: “I am very grateful for the trust placed in me by the supervisory board, and am very confident that, together with Alexander Coridass and our team, we will continue writing the success story of ZDF Enterprises in the coming years.”
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has awarded the BBC the exclusive broadcast rights in the UK for Olympic events until 2014.The deal covers the winter games in Sochi, Russia in 2014, and Pyeongchang, South Korea in 2018 and the summer games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil in 2016. The location of the 2020 summer games, which the BBC has also acquired rights to, has yet to be decided.The BBC has acquired the broadcast rights across all media platforms, including internet and mobile.Mark Thompson, director-general of the BBC said: “I’m delighted that the Olympic Games will continue to be broadcast exclusively on the BBC into the 2020’s. It’s terrific news in the days before BBC Sport begins to cover the London 2012 Games and a tribute to the enduring partnership between the BBC and the Olympic Movement”.
Broadcast group Central European Media Enterprises (CME) is to make a €50 million bond issue.The new debt will be offered to qualified institutional buyers. The company will use the proceeds of the issue to repay its 3.5% senior debt due in 2013.
UK digital TV association the Digital TV Group (DTG) has created a new group to improve spectrum use efficiency.The UK Programme Group for Dynamic Spectrum Access (DSA), will facilitate discussion and information sharing on dynamic spectrum access as the TV so-called ‘white space’ regulatory framework develops. The group will also offer assistance to Ofcom and Government in their task of providing an appropriate regulatory framework.The DSA will sit alongside the Centre for White Space Communications at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow.The industry is moving to a new level of co operation today with the launch of the UK Programme Group for Dynamic Spectrum Access led by the Digital TV Group to ensure industry gets the full use of innovating technologies,” said culture, communications and creative industries minister Ed Vaizey at the launch event. “We as a government are very keen to progress new and innovating technologies that will drive the rural economy and increase rural broadband. White space will underpin the next wave of innovation.”DSA will assist in the development of the TV white space eco-system to optimise the use of spectrum and protect TV coverage and reception, provide a focus for discussions between industry, government and regulators, and look ahead to the expansion of DSA and other spectrum efficiency improvements into other frequency bands.“For nearly two decades the DTG has brought together all corners of the industry to ensure developments in digital television result in reliable and stable experiences for consumers, said DTG director-general Richard Lindsay-Davies. “The DTG is expertly placed to facilitate improvements in spectrum efficiency in a way that protects both digital terrestrial TV services and viewers, with support from both Government and industry the UK Programme Group for Dynamic Spectrum Access will work to achieve this aim.”
Russian service provider ER Telecom’s Dom.ru service has launched HD TV in five cities across the country.The operator’s HD TV Dom.ru TV. Home Entertainment Center has launched in Volgograd, Volzhsky, Kurgan,Magnitogorsk, and Penza. The service, which includes a basic package of 33 HD channels, was launched in 19 cities last year. ER Telecom said more launches would follow this year. Other services include premium sports and movies channels and video-on-demand.
Content providers and service providers face a range of new challenges related to the need to delivery TV Everywhere and on-demand services, with requirements that don’t always align perfectly, Cable Congress attendees heard this morning.Speaking on a content panel at the event, Catherine Powell, senior vice-president and general manager, media distribution, The Walt Disney Company EMEA, said that digital innovation meant that distribution partners wanted comprehenesive rights for TV Everywhere and anytime services, which was “challenging” because content providers’ business models was based on a feeding a number of different windows.Powell said it was important to understand the functionality of different devices and the audience for particular platforms. On the iPad, with kids content, the key was to deliver additonal interactivity, she said.Bruce Tuchman, president, AMC/Sundance Channel Global, speaking on the same panel, by contrast said that content providers faced a challenge not from cord-cutting but from the need to address young consumer who rarely used the TV but accessed content across a range of devices. Making TV Everywhere apps simple and seamless was essential or content providers “would lose a generation of viewers”, he said.Tuchman said he thought multiple screens were beginning to converge. People were now beginning to access his channel’s content over any device, he said. However, he said, the pay TV business model had served content providers extremely well and he saw no model to deliver Sundance Channel content over-the-top direct to consumers.Service providers on the panel, on the other hand, said there was a need to deliver comprehensive offerings across a range of devices, and to package content according to the requirements of specific groups of subscribers.There is a broad spectrum of consumer types and the challenge for service providers is to cater for people at different points in their lifecycles, said Cindy Rose, executive director, digital entertainment, Virgin Media.Rose said that the role of the service provider was to make things simple for the consumer. “We need to create a suite of services,” she said. “Customers want a package of services that work seamlessly across the devices that they own.”Rose said she did not believe cord-cutting was an “existential threat” to the industry and that pay TV still had a strong appeal.Svein Erik Davidsen, vice-president and head of content acquisition, Telenor Broadcast Holding, said that service providers had to be prepared to disrupt their existing business models to experimeent and deliver new services to consumers.
ZDF Enterprises, the commercial arm of German public broadcaster ZDF, has launched a new short film portal called Contunico. The portal, which ZDFE launched at the MIPTV trade fair in Cannes, includes thousands of clips and short films averaging one to four minutes in length.The site’s content is structured by categories, collections and new clips and covers topics including animals and nature, health, beauty, sports, history, celebrities and current affairs. Supported by HTML5, the site can be accessed across from different devices, including mobiles.
Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) has struck a new distribution deal with pay TV operator RCS&RDS covering Romania and Hungary. The deal will expand the reach of Viacom’s channels Nickelodeon and Comedy Central across RCS&RDS’s Romanian and Hungarian pay networks. Nickelodeon will be available in an additional three million homes in Romania and 500,000 in Hungary from October. The deal expands Comedy Central’s reach in Hungary by 30%, while in Romania Comedy Central Extra will now be available for the first time to RCS&RDS’s three million homes.Bartosz Witak, general manager, CEE and Israel at VIMN said: “RCS-RDS is one of the biggest distribution partners in the Central European region and it plays an especially important role in our regional growth. Therefore, we consider placing our agreement with RCS as one of the great successes of the year.”Separately, VIMN has struck multiple content distribution deals for Nickeoldeon content.In Europe, Ireland’s public service broadcaster RTE and Italian kids’ broadcaster Boing have signed for season 2 of Kung Fu Panda and season 3 of Penguins of Madagascar, while Iceland’s 365 Media has re-licensed Penguins of Madagascar seasons 1 and 2. TV Markiza in Slovakia has taken seasons 1 to 3 of Kung Fu Panda.In the Asia Pacific region, Taiwan’s Eastern Broadcasting Asia has picked up season 3 of Kung Fu Panda and Penguins of Madagascar and season 1 of Monsters vs Aliens, while in Thailand Medialink Entertainment has picked up 26 episodes of Kung Fu Panda season 2.In Latin America, Bolivia’s ATB has signed for season 3 of Kung Fu Panda and season 1 of sci-fi action comedy Monsters vs Aliens; Uruguay’s Canal 10 has also signed for season 1 of Monsters vs Aliens and season 1 of Penguins of Madagascar. In Ecuador, Teleamazonas has taken season 1 and 2 of Kung Fu Panda and season 3 of Penguins of Madagascar.New Zealand’s public service broadcaster TVNZ has acquired season 2 of Kung Fu Panda and seasons 2 and 3 of Penguins of Madagascar.Finally, Africa’s Atlantic Pictures has signed for season 2 of Kung Fu Panda.
Polish pay TV operator Cyfrowy Polsat has agreed to buy a majority stake in mobile telco Polkomtel, in a deal worth roughly PLN5.15 billion (€1.23 billion) that it said will establish it as “the largest media-telecommunications group in Poland.”Cyfrowy Polsat said it had agreed to buy an 83.8% stake in Metelem Holding Company Limited, the firm that holds full control over Polkomtel – operator of the Plus mobile network – in exchange for Cyfrowy Polsat shares.Metelem was valued at PLN6.15 billion (€1.55 billion), with Cyfrowy Polsat due to issue 243.93 million shares in order to complete the deal, at a price of PLN21.12 each.“I am confident that thanks to this transaction both Cyfrowy Polsat and Polkomtel will gain new possibilities for development in the dynamically changing and highly competitive market environment,” said Dominik Libicki, President of the Management Board of Cyfrowy Polsat.“The strategy of Cyfrowy Polsat Group, based on providing the best entertainment and telecommunication services using the latest technologies on all consumer devices, remains unchanged. Polkomtel fits it perfectly and provides a fantastic opportunity for significant acceleration of its execution.”Completion of the transaction is expected in mid‐2014, dependent on Cyfrowy Polsat and Metelem shareholder approval, and a successful refinancing of Cyfrowy Polsat’s debt.
By 2020 consumer TV viewing habits will be made up of 50% live, linear viewing and 50% on-demand or time-shifted programming, according to research by Ericsson. Outlining its vision for TV and media in 2020 in the first of its six-part ‘Ericsson Game Changers’ series, Ericsson said that viewers will soon be used to fully-personalised, targeted content across live, linear and on-demand content – with social recommendations driving on-demand viewing.This compares to “generally weak search” functionality today across EPGs with hundreds of channels and VoD stores with large catalogues.Ericsson also predicts that by 2020 there will be an increase in “real-time consumer content” within programming, and that consumer interaction will extend across social, gaming and live and immersive content.“Consumers are rapidly evolving their values and assumptions around the discovery, access, payment and experience of TV content and the media industry must adapt to meet these expectations,” said Per Borgklint, senior vice president and head of business unit support solutions, Ericsson.“Content owners and broadcasters must change programming formats, distribution rights and advertising models. TV service providers must become ultimate aggregators and enable their viewers to pick and mix content, discover content in a targeted way and find everything on anything.”