FOUR SINN FÉIN leaders will be in London today, aiming to find compromises on issues in the North ahead of marching season.The delegation, headed by Gerry Adams, will meet the British Prime Minister David Cameron and Labour Party leader Ed Miliband in separate meetings to discuss the Haas talks.The meeting be the first Downing Street talks between Adams and Cameron and come as a new round of talks on the past, policing and flags is set to begin.Adams will be joined by the North’s Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, vice-president of the party Mary-Lou McDonald and Fermanagh/South Tyrone MP Michelle Gildernew.With the loyalist marching season imminent, any agreement on flags will be difficult.No substantial talks have taken place on the issues since the former chair, US diplomat Richard Haas, broke up talks without reaching an agreement.The Ulster Unionist Party, the DUP, Sinn Fein the SDLP and Alliance are due to begin six days of discussions today, aiming to break the impasse.Only the Union flag issue and parades are likely to feature in this round of discussion.Unionists say that they want to leave talks on the past until after the report into “on-the-runs” is issued later this month.Adams said that the fact that he has not met Cameron since 2010 is “deplorable”.““This will be the first meeting that the British Prime Minister David Cameron will have held with the Sinn Féin leadership since he took office in 2010.“This is deplorable and evidence of the British government’s failure thus far to properly engage with the process of change in the north.“Key to making progress is a positive engagement by the Irish and British governments on issues which are their direct responsibility. The governments cannot with credibility deplore the lack of progress in the process unless they act to fulfil their obligations.”Read: Adams: Unionist parties risk dragging peace process back to 1998Opinion: In Northern Ireland, we are literally lurching from crisis to crisis
Minister for Education and Skills Richard Bruton. Image: Sam Boal By Ceimin Burke Jun 22nd 2018, 4:05 PM Friday 22 Jun 2018, 4:05 PM 19 Comments http://jrnl.ie/4086321 Parents in four areas are being asked to express their preference about the patronage of new schools The process began today and it will wrap up at the end of July. Short URL Share30 Tweet Email1 Parental preferences for each patron, from the parents/guardians of children who reside in the school planning areas concerned, together with the extent of diversity currently available in these areas, are key to decisions in relation to the outcome of this process.The process for all of the new schools is being overseen by the independent New Schools Establishment Group (NSEG). The Group was set up in 2011 to advise the education minister on the patronage of new schools.Parents who meet the criteria and wish to express their preference can do so on this website. Minister for Education and Skills Richard Bruton. 16,457 Views Donaghmede, Howth and Dublin 13Galway City and OranmoreLaytown and DroghedaWicklowPeople are eligible to express a preference for the patronage of the schools if their child is due to start post primary education between 2019 and 2023 and if the child lives in one of the areas.The process for parents began today and it will run until 31 July.The invitation follows the recent announcement of the establishment of 42 new schools over the next four-year period from 2019 to 2022.The patronage determination process for the rest of the schools will take place at a later date, ahead of when they are due to open.Minister Bruton said: PARENTS IN FOUR areas are being asked to fill out an online survey expressing their preference regarding the patronage of new post-primary schools which will be established next year.A new Online Patronage Process System (OPPS) website, which will facilitate the process, was officially launched by the Minister for Education, Richard Bruton, today.The four new schools will serve the following areas: Image: Sam Boal Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article
On Tuesday began an effort by Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to revive the people’s trust in the government ahead of the 2019 election.The reshuffle of the cabinet coincides with the first time Greece will operate outside of the memorandum realm since 2010, when the First Economic Adjustment Programme for Greece i.e. the first bailout package was signed.While Tsipras has decided to instill several younger cabinet figures in preparation for a general election most key members of the pre-existing Greek government have retained their positions.The MPs and ministers involved in the country’s creditor-mandated bailout program such as Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos and his team, all remain in their roles.The new cabinet introduces minor changes, mainly to the ministers for the interior, public order, justice and culture bringing six women on board.Tsipras’ move has been hailed “a concerted shift to claim the centre ground” for the big poll battle in September. .“It will be the mother of all battles,” Tsipras said taking into consideration the new financial reality for Greece.“Our country, the government and the party need new blood and more appetite for work.”Commenting on the Prime Minister’s decreasing popularity, independent MP Haris Theocharis told Reuters that “He is not the Tsipras of 2015,” adding that nearly a decade of austerity has left the country brain-drained and over 20 per cent of its population unemployed.“The radical rhetoric has gone and he is now clearly trying to establish Syriza as one of the two pillars in a two-party system. To do that he has to open up to the centre, but how successful he can be is another question.”Many took to social media to deem the change to the cabinet “pointless” and a “media stunt” in a last attempt to derail public opinion from the fact that more than one third of the country;s population is living below the poverty line.Other commentators were more eager to see of the new administration will manage to bring effective change to infrastructure following the recent Mati wildfire crisis that saw 97 lives claimed. THE NEW CABINET: Vice President of the government: Yannis DragasakisDeputy Minister next to the Premier: Dimitris LiakosGovernment’s General Secretary: Akritas KaidatzisInterior MinistryMinister: Alexandros CharitsisDeputy Minister: Marina ChryssoveloniDeputy Minister of Macedonia and Thrace: Katerina NotopoulouCitizen’s Protection MinistryMinister : Olga GerovasiliDeputy Minister: Katerina PapakostaEconomy and Development MinistryMinister: Yannis DragasakisAlternate Industry Minister : Stergios PitsiorlasDeputy Minister: Stathis GiannakidisDigital Policy, Telecommunications and Information MinistryMinister: Nikos PappasDeputy Minister: Lefteris KretsosNational Defence MinistryMinister: Panos KammenosAlternate Minister: Panagiotis RigasDeputy Minister : Maria Kollia-TsarouhaEducation, Research and Religion MinistryMinister: Costas GavroglouAlternate Minister of Research and Innovation: Costas FotakisDeputy Minister: Meropi TzoufiLabour, Social Security and Social Solidarity MinistryMinister: Efi AhtsioglouAlternate Social Solidarity Minister: Theano FotiouDeputy Labour Minister for Social Security Issues: Anastasios PetropoulosDeputy Minister: Athanasios IliopoulosForeign Affairs MinistryMinister: Nikos KotziasAlternate Minister of European Affairs: Georgios KatrougalosDeputy Minister for Issues of Religions: Markos BolarisDeputy Minister responsible for Expatriates: Terence Spencer Nicholas QuickJustice, Transparency and Human Rights MinistryMinister: Mihalis KalogirouAlternate Minister of Corruption Issues: Dimitris PapagelopoulosFinance MinistryMinister: Euclid TsakalotosAlternate Minister: George ChouliarakisDeputy Minister: Katerina PapanatsiouHealth MinistryMinister: Andreas XanthosAlternate Minister: Pavlos PolakisAdministrative Reconstruction MinistryMinister: Marilisa XenogiannakopoulouCulture and Sports MinistryMinister: Myrsini ZorbaDeputy Minister: Georgios VasiliadisDeputy Minister: Constantinos StratisEnvironment and Energy MinistryMinister: Giorgios StathakisAlternate Minister: Sokrates FamellosDeputy Minister: George DimarasInfrastructure and Transport MinistryMinister: Christos SpirtzisDeputy Minister: Nikos MavraganisImmigration Policy MinistryMinister: Dimitris VitsasShipping and Island Policy MinistryMinister: Fotis KouvelisAlternate Minister: Nektarios SantoriniosAgricultural Development and Food MinistryMinister: Stavros ArachovitisDeputy Minister: Vasilis KokkalisDeputy Minister: Olympia TeligioridouTourism MinistryMinister: Elena KountouraGreek Territory Minister responsible for Every day Citizens’ Issues: Alekos FlabourarisGreek Territory Minister responsible for the Co-ordination of the Governmental Work: Christoforos VernardakisGreek Territory Minister and Government Spokesman: Dimitris Tzanakopoulos Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram
Google s’allie à Sprint sur le marché américainLe géant de l’internet Google et Sprint le troisième opérateur américain de téléphonie mobile ont décidé de s’allier.Mardi, Google a annoncé avoir signé une alliance avec Sprint, le troisième opérateur de téléphonie mobile aux Etats-Unis. Les clients de ce dernier vont donc désormais disposer du système Google Voice de téléphonie via Internet, qui permet notamment aux appels passés sur un numéro de téléphone de retentir sur plusieurs lignes en même temps, à la maison, au bureau ou sur portable, et même d’être accessibles sur la messagerie Gmail de Google.De son côté, Google va sortir une nouvelle version de son Google Phone, le Nexus S, qui sera adapté au nouveau réseau 4G de Sprint. Une alliance qui tombe bien pour l’opérateur téléphonique, qui doit faire face au rachat de T-Mobile par AT&T, deuxième opérateur américain loin devant Sprint. Le 24 mars 2011 à 18:56 • Maxime Lambert
NXT UK TakeOver: Cardiff Results – 8/31/19 (Walter vs. Tyler Bate for the WWE UK Title) Video: Triple H speaks about the condition of Cole and Gargano following TakeOver: Toronto Now Playing Up Next Jason Namako RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Facebook Seth Rollins Twitter WWE Rescheduling San Jose NXT Google+ Cesaro Videos Articles Videos Articles WhatsApp Videos Articles Recommended videosPowered by AnyClipSeth Rollins Defends WWE On Two Separate OccasionsVideo Player is loading.Play VideoPauseUnmuteDuration 0:30/Current Time 0:03Loaded: 100.00%0:04Remaining Time -0:27 FullscreenUp NextThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Replay the list Pinterest Ronda Rousey On WWE: I Love This Job, But I Dont Need It WWE.com has a new interview up with NXT wrestler Sami Zayn, talking about his match with NXT Champion Adrian Neville for the NXT Title at tomorrow night’s 12/11 NXT Takeover: R Evolution live special on the WWE Network.You can view the video below. NXT TakeOver Highlights: NXT Championship, Dream vs. Strong vs. Dunne, Riddle/Dain brawl Kurt Angle Now Playing Up Next Now Playing Up Next Seth Rollins Defends WWE On Two Separate Occasions Now Playing Up Next Now Playing Up Next Is WWE Losing Its Audience? Roman Reigns is in Remission
Stories are posted on the APRN news page. You can subscribe to APRN’s newsfeeds via email, podcast and RSS. Follow us on Facebook at alaskapublic.org and on Twitter @aprnListen nowSenators stick by Trump, but how close?Liz Ruskin, Alaska Public Media – Washington D.C.Alaska’s U.S. senators helped President Trump fill out his cabinet this week, but in different degrees. With a new, colorful president in the White House, each of them has to decide how close to stand to the standard-bearer of their party.ConocoPhillips still struggling globally, but profitable in AlaskaElizabeth Harball, Alaska’s Energy Desk – AnchorageConocoPhillips on Thursday announced it netted $115 million in Alaska last quarter — almost double what it earned in the third quarter. But the Houston-based company is still grappling with a multi-billion dollar global loss.North Slope oil companies ask lawmakers for stable tax lawsRashah McChesney, Alaska’s Energy Desk – JuneauA state House committee heard testimony Wednesday afternoon from the big three North Slope oil producers. ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, and BP representatives gave several members of the House Resources Committee their perspectives on how the state’s oil tax structure is working.Legislators weigh a potential spending capAndrew Kitchenman, KTOO – JuneauSome state legislators want to write into law a new limit on how much the state can spend each year. But policy experts say it’s a difficult strategy to put into effect. And Alaska already has a limit – one that critics say hasn’t worked.Whale Pass vote certified, voters OK new city on Prince of Wales IslandJoe Viechnicki, KFSK – PetersburgThe results are final and residents of Whale Pass have approved the incorporation of Alaska’s newest second class city. The small community on Prince of Wales Island voted this winter on forming a new city government. Residents also elected seven people to a new Whale Pass city council.To counter cuts, Anchorage weighs unified snow plow plan Zachariah Hughes, Alaska Public Media – AnchorageOfficials in Anchorage are considering a change to snow plow policies after a “flood” of complaints in the last few weeks. Responsibility for clearing many of the city’s biggest and busiest roads after a snow storm is shared between the municipality and the state.Alaska Marijuana Control Board nixes on-site consumptionJacob Resneck, KTOO – JuneauThe state’s Marijuana Control Board was set to regulate the consumption of marijuana at licensed retailers. If it had been approved, Alaska would have been the first state in the nation to allow on-site consumption. But that’s now moot.Refugee art show highlights local stories of people impacted by the banAnne Hillman, Alaska Public Media – AnchoragePresident Trump’s executive order that temporarily suspends refugee resettlement is having impacts in Alaska, where about 140 people are resettled every year. One refugee, an artist from Iraq, is working to help the community learn more about the new arrivals and what the executive order means to our community through a temporary art show.Following travel ban, an Anchorage lawyer may have less family at his weddingLori Townsend, Alaska Public Media – AnchorageIraq’s neighbor Iran is on President Donal Trump’s recent travel ban list. John Parsi is of Iranian descent and is an Anchorage attorney. He was born in London during the Islamic revolution in Iran. Parsi said he’s getting married in the fall and worries his Iranian relatives may not be able to attend the Alaska wedding.
Explore further (Phys.org)—Excitement is mounting for astronomers and star gazers the world over as word spreads that Comet ISON may go down in the history books as one of the flashiest ever. First discovered in September of last year by Russian astronomers, Vitali Nevski and Artyom Novichonok, Comet ISON (C/2012 S1) has been drawing attention ever since. © 2013 Phys.org New ‘Sun-skirting’ comet could provide dazzling display in 2013 Citation: Comet ISON shaping up to be a spectacular display (2013, January 15) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-01-comet-ison-spectacular.html Image of comet ISON as seen on 22 September 2012 through a 0.25-m reflector by the Team of observers of Remanzacco Observatory. Credit: Remanzacco Observatory Comets, as most are well aware, are balls of ice and rock that move though space – when they get close enough to the sun, they sprout tails giving rise to poetic descriptions of beauty by some and claims of mystical phenomenon by others. Comet ISON is expected to be at its brightest in late November of this year, leading some to link it with the Star of Bethlehem which the Bible says led the three wise men to the newborn baby Jesus. Its perihelion – closest approach to the sun – is expected to occur on November 28 and the comet will likely be best viewed in the northern hemisphere.Of course, projecting the brilliance of a comet or its tail length is an iffy proposition to be sure. It could just break apart when it nears the sun (it’s expected to come as close as 32,000 miles), leaving us here on Earth less than impressed with the results, (see Comet Kohoutek – 1973.) More optimistically, because of its size and orientation, it might just present us with the brightest comet show ever seen.Right now Comet ISON is in Jupiter’s orbit, hurtling towards a rendezvous with the sun. As it approaches, bits of it will be vaporized, leading to the creation of a tail. Once it arrives, it will whip around the sun at approximately 425,000 mph and then head back into space passing our planet on its way, allowing us to see it in all its finery.The best viewing time for the comet is expected to be early in the morning before the sun comes up, as it approaches, and then at both pre-dawn and just after the sun sets as the comet is leaving. When it’s approaching, its tail will follow behind it, but as it’s leaving, due to solar wind, it will be following its own tail. Estimates on Comet ISON’s brightness vary – some suggest it might be equal in luminescence to the planet Mars, while others hint that it might be as bright as the moon, which means it would be visible even during daylight hours. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
Share in Origination, Technology “”DocuTech Corp.””:http://www.docutechcorp.com/, a compliance and documentation technology company headquartered in Idaho, has partnered with “”Veri-Tax””:http://www.veri-tax.com/ to automate the 4506-T IRS verification process in ConformX, DocuTech’s flagship software.[IMAGE]””Compliance burdens in the industry place a great emphasis on a lender’s need for seamless partner integrations that can satisfy all requirements of the disclosure process,”” said Scott Stucky, COO of DocuTech. “”DocuTech’s partnership with Veri-Tax will automatically [COLUMN_BREAK]deliver tax transcripts to the customer in a designated secure folder, simplifying the disclosure process and guaranteeing compliance.””The integrated service allows shared customers to satisfy IRS requirements by automating the verification process and allowing lenders to place and retrieve tax transcript orders within ConformX–where borrower information is already stored. DocuTech also says the integration will ease compliance efforts regarding the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) Ability-to-Repay regulation.””New compliance rules involving the IRS and CFPB present a significant challenge to lenders, which is why this integration with DocuTech makes so much sense,”” said Maria Kirgan, Veri-Tax’s senior director of product management. “”The combination of automated verifications and electronic documentation will greatly streamline the compliance process while improving loan quality and saving time for everyone–especially the consumer.””DocuTech announced the company expects to integrate additional Veri-Tax verification services in the future, including form SSA-89 processing and verifications of employment and accounts. October 28, 2013 416 Views Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Company News Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2013-10-28 Tory Barringer DocuTech Integrates Veri-Tax Verification Solutions
Categories: McCready News,News The Michigan House yesterday approved a package of ten Personal Property Tax (PPT) bills with the support of Rep. Mike McCready, R-Bloomfield Hills, to make sure schools and local communities don’t lose essential revenue during the PPT phase-out. Michigan’s PPT has historically been a detriment to business growth and will continue to be phased out as scheduled. Senate Bills 821-830 reform and simplify the personal property tax system, encouraging job growth in Michigan.“It is a responsible piece of legislation to ensure there will be no additional costs for Michigan’s hard-working taxpayers during this welcome transition,” McCready said. “100 percent reimbursement for our schools and local governments is a result of a revenue shift, not a new tax, which is why this package is a solid compromise for all.”Under PPT, Michigan businesses pay taxes on equipment, machinery and furniture among other purchases, which puts the state at a disadvantage when attracting and retaining additional jobs in comparison to surrounding states that lack a similar tax.“The last thing we want to do is give businesses a reason to set up shop outside our border,” McCready said. “We are making Michigan more competitive regionally, which in turn will foster job growth and encourage economic expansion.”The collaborative, job-growing bill package received no opposition in committee from state lawmakers or local governments, and garnered overwhelming bipartisan support on the floor. The bills now return to the Senate for consideration.### 26Mar McCready votes to protect essential community services, funding during historic PPT phase-out
Share29Tweet17Share7Email53 Shares“Jacksonville Jaguars” by Keith AllisonOctober 18, 2017; Washington PostThe framing of the debate around NFL players who kneel during the national anthem is nearly as confused and controversial as the act itself.Instead of asking what players are protesting and how the problem can be solved—and, by the way, there is no mystery here, as players have made clear that the protests are a response to the “incredible number of unarmed black people being killed by the police,” as San Francisco 49er safety Eric Reid wrote in the New York Times—vitriol has flowed over whether the demonstration is a question of free speech or of patriotism and whether those things are related or mutually exclusive, if this is something the NFL can regulate, and whether the players’ high salaries factor into the question of permissibility. At the end of the day, many arguments gloss over the concern about black lives that started the whole thing.Fortunately, within the NFL, the source of player concerns is widely understood. This week, the NFL owners met in New York, and, while it was rumored that the owners would decide whether to require players to stand for the national anthem or risk losing their jobs, these rumors were false. Indeed, there wasn’t even a vote.A joint statement from the NFL and the NFL Players’ Association read:Today owners and players had a productive meeting focused on how we can work together to promote positive social change and address inequality in our communities. NFL executives and owners joined NFLPA executives and player leaders to review and discuss plans to utilize our platform to promote equality and effectuate positive change. We agreed that these are common issues and pledged to meet again to continue this work together.As we said last week, everyone who is part of our NFL community has a tremendous respect for our country, our flag, our anthem and our military. In the best American tradition, we are coming together to find common ground and commit to the hard work required for positive change.Some expressed skepticism of the NFL’s motives. Dan Pfeiffer, a former Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama for Strategy and Communications, pointed out last week, “The owners don’t have as much leverage as they think…[Dallas Cowboys owner] Jerry Jones is not firing” his star players. The majority of NFL owners donated to President Trump, so it would be a stretch to cast them as Trump resisters, but it’s encouraging to see them take this public position supporting the players.NFL commissioner Roger Goodell told reporters, “We believe everyone should stand for the national anthem, it’s an important part of our game.” However, as Pfeiffer pointed out, “As commissioner of the NFL, a league with a majority of African American players…You can make a decision that you believe the national anthem represents [respect for soldiers] and so you should stand, but it is a bad public policy to say that you cannot express your opinion.”The Congressional Black Caucus agreed, stating in a letter to the NFL:Peacefully protesting is one of the most American things any citizen can do. In fact, it is a form of “speech” that is protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution…Failure by some to understand this basic civics lesson is a problem. But what is more problematic is their failure to realize that kneeling during the National Anthem is not the cause, but the effect, and that they are more outraged by it than they are about the shooting and killing of unarmed African Americans.That “some” includes President Donald Trump, who responded to the NFL’s decision with a spiteful tweet, calling their decision “Total disrespect for our great country!” President Trump has previously called for players who kneel to be fired, and referred to them as “sons of bitches.”President Trump seems somewhat shaky on the first amendment this week; he also pondered aloud whether media networks’ licenses should be revoked, causing Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) to ask, “Are you tonight recanting of the oath you took on January 20th to preserve, protect, and defend the First Amendment?”It’s worth noting that football has been subjected to federal political pressure before. For example, the US Department of Defense has paid the NFL and other sports leagues millions of dollars for “on-field color guard, enlistment and reenlistment ceremonies, performances of the national anthem, full-field flag details, ceremonial first pitches͕ and puck drops,” according to a 2016 report by Senators Jeff Flake and John McCain, Republicans from Arizona. Although it is “unclear whether NFL teams’ appearing on the field for the playing of the national anthem” began in conjunction with the payments from DOD, according to Snopes, the report went so far as to call the patriotic displays “little more than a taxpayer-funded boondoggle” aimed at increasing military recruitment.Did the NFL weigh the loss of support from those who oppose kneeling against the difficulties of hosting games without star players who refused to capitulate? Or did they come to a moral decision about the values of free speech? The framing of that debate should not override the potential value of having such a large and powerful organization publicly take the side of Black Lives Matter. NPQ author Steve Dubb called sporting events “key sites where our collective identities are forged,” so the NFL’s decision carries a lot of weight. Whatever President Trump may think, their decision shows respect for true American values.—Erin RubinShare29Tweet17Share7Email53 Shares
Turner Broadcasting System-owned news broadcaster CNN has appointed Jeff Zucker as president of CNN Worldwide.From January, Zucker will take control of 23 branded news and information businesses, including CNN/US, CNN International, CNN.com and HLN, which between them reach over two billion people in 200 countries.Zucker worked at NBC for 25-year, including a stint as president and chief executive officer of NBC Universal.“Jeff’s experience as a news executive is unmatched for its breadth and success,” said Phil Kent, chairman and CEO of Turner. “He built and sustained the number-one brand in morning news, and under his watch NBC’s signature news programming set a standard for quality and professionalism. As a programmer, a brand-builder and a leader, he will bring energy and new thinking to CNN. I couldn’t be happier to welcome him or more excited about what he’ll accomplish here.”
Cable operator UPC Czech Republic is adding Animal Planet HD to its programming line-up.The cable operator will broadast the channel in Czech, in the1080i format and in Dolby Digital 5.1 from this Wednesday.UPC Czech Republic offers about 20 channels in HD, mostly as part of its basic offering.
Dan BiddleThere are now a billion tweets sent every two days on Twitter, with 15 million active users in the UK alone, according to Twitter UK’s head of broadcast partnerships Dan Biddle.Speaking at the Social TV World Summit, part of this week’s OTTtv World Summit in London, Biddle highlighted the increasingly close relationship between Twitter and the TV industry, claiming that 60% of UK twitter users tweet while watching TV.In peak hours, 40% of all tweets sent are about television, while over 90% of the public online conversations about television are on Twitter, said Biddle.“I’ve called Twitter the world’s biggest sofa in the past, but I’m starting to think of it more as the world’s biggest living room,” said Biddle.“Television is not dead. Television is far from dead. It is enjoying a fine time and it will continue to do so. The audience is alive, and it’s more alive than you’ve ever been able to see before. And now because of Twitter you can see the pulse and the energy that’s in that audience,” he claimed.“You can see when they think your programme is shit and you can see when they love it. This is where Twitter can be really used to impact people. The idea is to start moving people and getting them engaged on Twitter so that they talk more so you have more of that reach.”
BT has appointed former HSBC, Dixons and Procter & Gamble executive Joe Garner as the new CEO for BT Openreach – the UK telco’s UK local access network.Garner is due to join in mid-February and will replace Liv Garfield, who leaves BT to take the CEO role at water company Severn Trent.“The massive investment that Openreach is making in the UK’s high speed internet infrastructure is something of a revolution that will greatly benefit people and businesses in this country. I am grateful to my predecessor and the engineers who have already delivered so much. It is my ambition to build on this work and I intend to focus on customer service, continued innovation and maintaining fair and equal access for all,” said Garner.Openreach is currently upgrading its network by deploying fibre broadband and has already passed more than 17 million premises with the technology.
BT has added HD channels Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, British Eurosport and British Eurosport 2 to its YouView offering, taking the number of HD channels offered by BT TV to 26.The new HD channels will be available as part of BT’s HD Extra “bolt on” offering, available to subscribers for £3 a month. This includes HD versions of most of BT’s Entertainment pack channels plus HD versions of BT Sport 1, BT Sport 2 and ESPN.BT has also added Investigation Discovery to its Entertainment pack, the basic TV offering with 20 pay TV channels available for £7 a month. The package already includes Discovery Channel.Alex Green, director of TV for BT, said: “Our new HD line-up offers viewers even more of their favourite channels in fantastic HD quality. This is just the latest in a series of new content deals we are offering on BT TV.”
Brown Sugar, a new subscription video-on-demand movie service billing itself as “Netflix, only blacker”, has gone live in the US.Owned by African-American television network Bounce TV, Brown Sugar claims to offer “the biggest collection of the baddest African-American movies of all-time”.The US$3.99 per-month service includes iconic film titles such as Shaft, Super Fly, Foxy Brown, Black Caesar, Cleopatra Jones, The Mack, Cotton Comes to Harlem, and Car Wash as part of its catalogue.Foxy Brown actress and Brown Sugar spokesperson, Pam Grier, said: “Brown Sugar is just like Netflix, only blacker. These movies are entertaining and fun, but they were also empowering to the black community as they depicted African Americans as strong leading characters and heroes for the first time.”Fred ‘The Hammer’ Williamson, another actor and site spokesperson who appeared in films including Black Caesar, said: “You wonder why we call it Brown Sugar? Because it’s badass – like me. Brown Sugar is the coolest streaming movie service on the planet.”Brown Sugar is available on the web and as an app for iOS and Android.
The Hong Kong-Americas (HKA) consortium – which includes Facebook as a member – has signed a deal with Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) to lay a new underwater cable network.The new open cable system will span more than 13,000 kilometers and will increase connectivity between Hong Kong and the west coast of the US, reinforcing Hong Kong as a key communications hub for Asia Pacific.The HKA consortium includes Facebook, China Telecom, China Unicom, Tata Communications, and Telstra as the major parties and the new cable system will connect from Chung Hom Kok in Hong Kong to Hermosa Beach in California.“We are proud to work with the HKA consortium on this project, which incorporates several innovations from ASN and will be based on the latest high-performance submarine line design,” said Philippe Piron, president of Alcatel Submarine Networks.As well as partnering on the new HKA cable, Australian telecoms and information services company Telstra said it has additionally invested in capacity on the Pacific Light Cable Network (PLCN), which will also connect Hong Kong and the US.“As economic growth continues in China and South East Asia, so too does the demand for data,” said David Burns, Telstra’s group managing director of global services and international.“Together with the current AAG cable on which Telstra carries the most traffic today, these two investments will provide us with increased capacity across the important Hong Kong to US route, one of the fastest growing routes in the world for capacity demand.”Facebook and Amazon are both part of a separate consortium that is building a new underwater cable that will connect America, Japan the Philippines and help deliver live and Ultra HD video.Announced last November, the high-capacity Jupiter Cable system will follow a new transpacific route and is scheduled to be service-ready by early 2020.
Harald Rösch presenting TSNMaltese cable operator Melita and telecom rival GO have teamed up to offer a unified sports offering, ending an ongoing competition to secure rights to top-tier football.Starting from August, the pair will launch Total Sports Network (TSN), which will be available on both their platforms.TSN will offer a mix of premium sports content including English Premier League, Italian Serie A, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, German Bundesliga, the Maltese BOV Premier League and FA Cup football, alongside Formula 1, Moto GP, tennis and other sports.In total, eight new HD sports channels will be offered to both Melita and GO subscribers under the TSN brand. Melita and GO will separately communicate directly with their customers with further details in the coming weeks.“We have agreed to pool our rights with GO for the benefit of all our customers who follow sports. The breadth of premium sports we’ll be offering will be unparalleled in Europe, and marks another step forward for us in delighting our customers,” said Harald Rösch, Melita CEO.“We are excited to bring Total Sports Network to the local market. By combining TV broadcast capabilities and rights of both GO and Melita, customers in Malta and Gozo can now enjoy a richer sports experience. This has been a long time request from customers, and we are glad to be in a position to make this happen,” said Nikhil Patil, GO CEO.The agreement between the pair was also welcomed by Maltese parliamentarian Silvio Schembri, who is responsible for the country’s digital economy.Both Melita and GO have suffered from competition from a range of semi-legal and illegal IPTV services.Earlier this year, Melita was forced to abandon plans to merge with mobile operator Vodafone Malta after GO objected to the plan and the country’s competition watchdog set conditions that the parties felt unable to meet.
German broadcast and media technology research institute the IRT and Italian public broadcaster Rai are separately to showcase their work in the application of 5G mobile technology for broadcast at test sites in Munich and the Aosta Valley during the multi-sport European Championships taking place in Glasgow and Berlin from tomorrow until August 12.Rai and IRT will show how 5G can be used for the distribution of public service media content and services, using mobile technologies deployed on a conventional terrestrial broadcast network infrastructure to support free-to-air delivery, wide-area coverage, and a cost-efficient distribution to mobile devices, according to public broadcaster organisation the EBU.Using high power mobile transmitters installed on terrestrial broadcast towers to distribute EBU-produced content from the European Championships, Rai and the IRT’s tests are designed to highlight two possible uses of 5GThe IRT, in cooperation with German regional broadcaster BR and Nokia, has deployed an eMBMS single-frequency-network that provides coverage across the city of Munich. The network uses a combination of unicast and broadcast features within 5, to simultaneously deliver the live TV broadcast as an MPEG-2 transport stream and HbbTV-like services. According to the EBU, the same signal can be received free-to-air on stationary TV receivers as well as on smartphones. This trial was partly funded by the 5G-XCast EU research project .Michael Hagemeyer, the IRT’s managing director, said: “IRT is happy to provide its eMBMS single-frequency network infrastructure for the European Championships showcase in Munich. The demonstration highlights the opportunities to seamlessly combine linear and non-linear content on stationary and mobile devices. The IRT is fully committed to developing future 5G technologies for broadcast purposes in production and distribution.”Rai Research & Innovation, in cooperation with the Technische Universität Braunschweig, Germany, will demonstrate a standalone precursor of 5G broadcast technology deployed on high-power terrestrial broadcast infrastructure on RAI’s open test network in the Aosta, which allows up to five broadcast transmitters to operate in a single-frequency-network configuration. Live TV broadcast from the European Championships will be delivered to mobile devices in low and high mobility situations. UHD content will also be transmitted using the free-to-air second generation DVB terrestrial technology and shown on fixed TV sets, capable of displaying UHD with HFR and HDR, according to the EBU.Alberto Morello, director of RAI Research & Innovation, said: “We are proud to be running these tests – the first of their kind – of 5G broadcast technology that we developed together with Braunschweig University. RAI is preparing the switch-over towards second generation DVB technology to deliver full-HD quality for all 13 terrestrial channels by 2022 – but we are also seriously investigating the potential of 5G technologies to serve mobile phones and tablets from high-power towers. ”Darko Ratkaj, senior project manager at the EBU, said: “While 5G presents some exciting opportunities in the broadcasting space, both in production and distribution, there is quite some way to go. What is sure is that the EBU will continue to actively engage in developing, testing and trialling 5G technologies to maximise the potential of this technology for its Members.”Separately, the EBU has teamed up with five of its members and other industry partners to hoot, process, record, and distribute live UHD content, with HFR, HDR and Next-Generation Audio at the European Athletics Championships in Berlin.The trials – which involve broadcasters the BBC, France Télévisions, Rai and ZDF as well as the IRT – involve what the EBU claims to be the world’s first live distribution of UHD content with both HDR (HLG/BT.2100) and HFR (100fps, 2160p100). Current live broadcasts don’t exceed a field or frame rate of 50Hz in Europe, and HD interlaced (1080i25) is still the dominant broadcast emission format even though commercial encoders and TV sets manage up to 2160p50 resolution, according to the EBU.Technology partners for the trial include Ateme, Dolby, MediaKind, EVS, Frauenhofer IIS, Jünger Audio, KaiMedia, Klang, Areitec, NTT, b<>com, Qualcomm, Rohde & Schwarz, Schoeps, Sony, TPC and AMP Visual.