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Unrest in Costa Rica over Education Ministry new valueadded tax

first_imgRelated posts:As he reaches a year in charge, President Alvarado addresses Legislative Assembly President Alvarado visits Germany, meets with Chancellor Angela Merkel New tax brackets for the new tax year Finance Ministry issues warning ahead of shopping season The President of Costa Rica, Carlos Alvarado, supported the continuity of the Minister of Public Education, Edgar Mora, despite demonstrations led by students from 80 schools against Mora’s management.The President said that he will decide “when his confidence is interrupted.”“Edgar today is a member of the Executive Branch. We have to keep working. I have to talk to him about what has happened in the sector and how we project what is coming. For me, the most important thing has to do with transferring trust. We need to generate social peace,” Alvarado said.The President took the opportunity to denounce false news that has sparked some of the demonstrations of the different sectors.“I make a respectful call on information and the way we are informed, because in the last few days, there has been a mass of disinformation or false information that does not help in that democratic and peaceful construction,” the President said.For example, Alvarado denied that there is a directive to celebrate International Pride Day in schools, this Friday, June 28, as was alleged by some students who protested.“Many of the concerns that they express and that are seen in the valid demonstrations of young people are based on things that do not correspond with us or that we are not doing. For example, when the issue of concern about the issue of bathrooms is expressed: there is no guideline to do that, that is not in the interest of this government of this president, of this government,” said the President.The theme of the bathrooms refers to a Protocol for the Attention of Bullying against the LGTBI Population in schools and colleges, which includes the possibility that the trans population use bathrooms according to the gender with which they identify.Although the President noted that there is disinformation behind the motives that triggered the demonstrations, he did not identify who are the culprits of that campaign, unlike the Minister of Education.Mora said he would ask the Supreme Electoral Tribunal to investigate the New Republic Party for allegedly summoning students to demonstrate in the northern zone.“Of what has happened and the elements that are there, I, as President of the Republic, will not enter into political-party issues or anything like that. It does not correspond to me; what corresponds to me is to take the reins of this country for all,” President Alvarado said.President Alvarado calling for calmAlvarado also took the opportunity to call for calm, given the different social movements and demonstrations that have occurred over the past days.He lamented what happened at Casa Presidencial on Tuesday afternoon, when a group of fishermen passed security barriers and tried to enter the premises violently.The fishermen wanted to express concerns and potential repercussions of the new Value Added Tax (VAT), which will go into effect July 1.The president assured that he would be willing to speak with the fishermen.“I am willing to meet with different sectors, but that is a productive dialogue of results and not in a framework of what happened days ago in Casa Presidencial,” he said.Nationwide unrestDuring the last days, different sectors have raised their criticism and discontent with the government.For example, in addition to the students and fishermen, truckers protested the Value Added Tax (VAT), saying it will put them at a disadvantage compared to their Central American competitors.Wednesday, there was a confrontation between students of the Liceo Cuatro Bocas de Upala and National Police officers. The students, who were demonstrating against Education Ministry officials, closed the school with locks, and when they refused to open the building, the director called the National Police.In several videos circulating on social networks, a physical confrontation is observed between the police and the minors.This is compounded by an incident that occurred in the Legislative Assembly early Wednesday, when an explosive detonated in the vicinity and broke a window in the office of Deputy Zoila Rosa Volio, of the National Integration Party.Semanario Universidad LogoThis story was originally published by Semanario Universidad on June 27, 2019. It was translated and republished with permission by The Tico Times. Read the original report at Semanario Universidad here. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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Australian child abuse inquiry sits for first time

first_img 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Gillard said the Royal Commission was an important “moral moment” for the nation.“It is going to require our country to stare some very uncomfortable truths in the face,” she told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Top Stories 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories The inquiry was unlikely to achieve its deadline set by the government of late 2015 because so many people wanted to give evidence, he said.McClellan said he expected at least 5,000 people will want to give evidence, but the actual number could be much higher.“The task we have is large; the issues are complex,” McClellan said.“But we are now in a position to actively begin the work of gathering the stories and examining the responses of institutions,” he added.Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced the commission in November in the face of a string of sexual abuse accusations against priests and claims of a Roman Catholic Church cover-up.The New South Wales state government had ordered an inquiry a week earlier into allegations of a sexual abuse cover-up by Catholic priests in the Hunter Valley region north of Sydney. Victoria state officials had also begun investigating a separate series of priest sex abuse allegations in their state.Since the federal inquiry was announced, more than 6,000 people have contacted staff in writing or by phone.The government has offered free legal advice to people who want to make submissions to the inquiry before public hearings begin after September. Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) – The head of an Australia-wide commission looking into allegations of child sex abuse in state and religious institutions as well as community groups said more than 5,000 victims are likely to give evidence of their harrowing experiences.Justice Pete McClellan chairs a bench of six commissioners who on Wednesday started a powerful government-appointed inquiry known in Australia as a Royal Commission. Witnesses can be compelled to testify and risk imprisonment for lying.last_img read more

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Quest strengthens NSW presence

first_imgToday Quest Serviced Apartments opened Quest Liverpool in Sydney’s West, which is the start of a series of new property openings in New South Wales.Quest Nowra is next on the timeline, and is scheduled to open for business on 30th April in one of NSW’s busiest regional business centres.Shortly after that Quest’s second Albury property, Quest Albury on Townsend will open on 4th May.Quest chief executive officer Zed Sanjana, said he is very confident with the strength of Quest’s aggressive growth strategy in the state and the future success of the new properties.“Liverpool, Nowra and Albury are perfect examples of how Quest meets the accommodation needs of the corporate market across Australia. All three economies are strong, with a number of major projects underway including the multi-million dollar Kurrajong Road (Liverpool) and Princes Highway (Nowra) upgrades,” Mr Sanjana said.“I congratulate our new Franchisees – Tom Wang at Quest Liverpool and James Blanchett at Quest Nowra, along with Noel and Madeleine Wood and Natasha and Jason Callewaert at Quest Albury on Townsend – for working hard to get to this point. I know all three properties are in good hands and look forward to their future success.”All locations feature brand new serviced apartments with kitchen and laundry facilities, separate living/dining area, LED Smart TV, Wi-Fi, Foxtel, onsite car parking, gymnasium and conference room facilities.Guests also enjoy traditional Quest services such as pantry shopping, dry cleaning services, restaurant chargeback, babysitting booking services and business administration.2015 is set to be an exciting year of growth for Quest across Australasia, with 12 new properties opening in Australia and three in New Zealand.Source = ETB Travel News: Lewis Wisemanlast_img read more

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Chicago Fed Names New Advisor

first_img Federal Reserve Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Bankers Association Movers & Shakers Processing Service Providers 2011-07-18 Ryan Schuette July 18, 2011 433 Views New,Chicago Fed Names New Advisor in Origination, Secondary Market, Servicingcenter_img In a statement released Monday, “”NDeX””:http://www.apcdefault.com/ announced the appointment of its president and chief financial officer, Scott Goldstein, to the “”Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago””:http://www.chicagofed.org/webpages/index.cfm Advisory Council.[IMAGE]””Scott represents a combination of business savvy and economic vision that will prove to be a valuable resource in his role with the “”Fed””:http://www.chicagofed.org/webpages/index.cfm,”” James P. Dolan, president, CEO and chairman of “”The Dolan Company””:http://www.thedolancompany.com/, which owns “”NDeX””:http://www.apcdefault.com/, said in a statement.[COLUMN_BREAK]””This is an extremely important role considering these challenging economic times,”” he added.According to the statement, Advisory Council members serve the Chicago central bank over a two-year term. The “”Fed””:http://www.chicagofed.org/webpages/index.cfm appoints individuals and organizations from across the Midwest economy, and these advisors, in turn, meet biannually with “”Fed””:http://www.chicagofed.org/webpages/index.cfm President Charles Evans and other senior bank officials ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô “”an important process”” that contributes to the way the “”Fed””:http://www.chicagofed.org/webpages/index.cfm organizes its monetary policy, the statement said.Before serving as president of “”NDeX””:http://www.apcdefault.com/, Goldstein rose through the ranks to act as chief financial officer of “”Trott & Trott””:http://www.trottlaw.com/, a Michigan-based default law firm. He holds degrees from “”Fordham University””:http://www.fordham.edu/ and “”Lehigh University””:http://www4.lehigh.edu/default.aspx, and actively participates in several professional organizations, including the “”Mortgage Bankers Association””:http://mbaa.org/default.htm, “”Financial Executives International””:http://www.financialexecutives.org/EWEB/startpage.aspx?site=_fei, and the “”United Trustees Association””:http://www.unitedtrustees.com/. According to its Web site, Michigan-based “”NDeX””:http://www.apcdefault.com/ is a technology and processing services provider for law firms across the country. Sharelast_img read more

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Rep Lucido confronting the costs of auto insurance headon

first_img02Aug Rep. Lucido confronting the costs of auto insurance head-on State Rep. Peter Lucido, of Shelby Township, says “enough is enough” and demands that rising Michigan’s auto insurance rates be hit head-on to reduce the costs for all of the state’s residents.In this session, Lucido has provided six bills which will decrease Michigan’s exorbitant auto insurance rates and improve driver safety.“Uninsured drivers are making us pay for their crimes by not buying auto insurance, as required by state law, and then getting in accidents,” said Lucido, vice chair of the House Law and Justice Committee. “The citizens who are following the law are picking up the tab for lawbreaking uninsured drivers, which are approximately 21 percent of our state’s motorists. The most frustrating thing is these illegal drivers do it again and again because we allow it even though it is a privilege, not a right, to drive in Michigan.“Right now, it’s a prerequisite for an annual car registration to provide proof of auto insurance coverage and continue it without lapse,” Lucido said. “If you don’t follow the law then your privilege is terminated, your registration and license plate are invalid and we need to keep you off the road. Why is this not being enforced if it’s our law? This has to stop!”The Lucido bills under consideration are:House Bills 4010, 4622, 4623 give statewide law enforcement “real time” up-to-date auto insurance information on the Law Enforcement Information Network (LEIN), improving the current system that updates every two weeks.HBs 4041–4042 allow law enforcement officers the authority to remove license plates from vehicles driven by uninsured drivers as well as individuals with suspended or revoked licenses.HB 4715 creates an automobile insurance fraud agency, which would work with state and local law enforcement, the insurance industry, state and county prosecutors and others to reduce auto insurance fraud in Michigan.Lucido emphasized none of these bills will add any costs to taxpayers. It will be funded solely by the fines and costs to violators of the bills when approved and signed into law. Additionally, it will save money and reduce the physical resources used by the insurance companies and Secretary of State by eliminating the need to manually input auto insurance coverage information.“These bills will go after lawbreakers who have abused our auto insurance system by not paying their fair share, hence costing all of the law-abiding residents more for auto insurance,” Lucido said. “Each of these bills will ensure public safety by getting irresponsible drivers off the road, improve financial responsibility and ultimately will reduce premiums and cost of auto insurance. We need to take up the bills, get them passed, make them law and let’s all save some money.”To review the bills, go to: www.legislature.mi.govIf there are questions or concerns after reviewing the bills, you are encouraged to contact your state representative. Lucido’s office can be contacted at (517)373-0843 or PeterLucido@house.mi.gov### Categories: Lucido News,Newslast_img read more

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Rep Johnson welcomes local pastor to lead House invocation

first_img Categories: Steven Johnson News,Steven Johnson Photos PHOTO INFORMATION: State Rep. Steve Johnson (right) welcomed Pastor Randy Hekman (center) to the state Capitol to give today’s invocation for the Michigan House of Representatives. Hekman is a former Kent County Judge and is currently the Executive Director of The Grand Awakening, a coalition praying for revival in West Michigan. Joining them at the rostrum is Speaker of the House Tom Leonard. 16May Rep. Johnson welcomes local pastor to lead House invocationlast_img read more

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Atoning for 272 Slaves What Will Reconciliation Mean for Georgetown

first_imgShare20TweetShare4Email24 SharesBy Karatershel (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia CommonsJune 23, 2016; Time MagazineIn 1838, Jesuit priests, running what is today known as Georgetown University, sold 272 slaves in a bid to raise money to save their fledgling school. These shackled men, women, and children spent the rest of their brutalized lives working plantations in Iberville and Ascension parishes in Louisiana.Driving back to her hometown of Maringouin to visit a relative in February, Maxine Crump picked up her cell phone to answer a call. In that moment, her understanding of her family history changed forever.The stranger on the other end had a question: Did the name Cornelius Hawkins mean anything to her? Crump, a former Baton Rouge television news anchor turned community activist, responded that the name Cornelius had been passed down through her family for several generations.Richard Cellini, the man who called, then revealed his startling news: He was convinced the name belonged to a 13-year-old boy who was sold in 1838 by the Jesuit priests, along with hundreds of other slaves, to raise money to save the school that would become Georgetown University. That boy, who like the other slaves ended up at a Louisiana plantation, turned out to be the 69-year-old Crump’s great-great-grandfather. —“It’s A Puzzle,” by Terry Jones for the Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA) Georgetown University’s president, John J. DeGioia, is exploring how to make institutional amends for the sale of these slaves. Late last year, Georgetown vowed to remove from two buildings the names of two past presidents who played a role in the sale of the slaves. DeGioia announced in February that the university would expand its faculty in African American studies and establish a research center focused on racial injustice, but DeGioia is intent on doing more to investigate and redress the university’s past embrace of and trade in slavery.The independent nonprofit Georgetown Memory Project (GMP) leads this ethical audit of the storied Roman Catholic institution. GMP’s website claims that despite the university’s assertion that the slaves “perished without a trace,” hundreds of the slaves survived and thousands of their descendants have been identified. This week, DeGioia plans to go to Louisiana to meet with some of the slaves’ heirs—and they will be ready for him, as this recent article in the Advocate suggests. This brings the possibility of amends to a very practical level.The university’s working group on “Slavery, Memory and Reconciliation” is finalizing a report, a draft of which DeGioia has reviewed. Georgetown University is not unique. In NPQ’s piece a few months ago about Georgetown, we also addressed Harvard University’s complicity in eugenics and its association with slaveholders.—Ruth McCambridgeShare20TweetShare4Email24 Shareslast_img read more

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In NYC Increased Need Creates a Hell at Intake for Families Seeking

first_imgShare19Tweet2ShareEmail21 SharesAugust 29, 2016; New York TimesThe Department of Homeless Services in New York City housed 59,373 people in shelters on August 24th — a new record, sadly, and that doesn’t include specialized shelter for victims of domestic abuse and unaccompanied youth. This influx has tested aspects of the system that were established to protect families from being kept in limbo at intake centers.A law passed in 1999 meant to protect the families prohibits families from sleeping at Prevention Assistance and Temporary Housing (PATH), the intake center, even for a few hours. The law, however, did not increase affordable housing or eradicate poverty in the city, which has a population of 8.5 million. If wages are not keeping up with increases in rent, families find themselves on the street. Sooner or later, they then end up at the PATH intake center in the Bronx.At PATH, no matter where they are in the intake process, they must be given beds if they arrive before 10 p.m., and a ride to that bed and back in the morning to finish the paperwork. (Families are prohibited from sleeping at the PATH center, even for a few hours.) But it can take 12 hours to do the paperwork and be approved for assistance, and they cannot bring food in. A single parent who has no one to hold their place may not hear their name called if they walk to the nearest fast food restaurant. The city provides something similar to a school lunch: sandwiches, graham crackers, and little containers of milk.A typical family might arrive at 4 p.m., take a school bus to a shelter at 3 a.m., go back to PATH at 8 a.m., and stay until 3 a.m. the next day when they finally get a room in a Manhattan hotel. That’s five hours sleep in three days for a family with little children. In its efforts to provide help with dignity, the city cannot supply sleep to the weary.Steven Banks, who was a legal aid attorney at the time the aforementioned law was passed in 1999, now oversees Homeless Services under a joint operating agreement with the New York City Human Resources Administration and says that the system is moving as quickly as it can to open additional shelters for adult families to allow more space for those with children. His department is also working on expanding rental assistance but the deluge isn’t abating, creating a kind of hell that can only further destabilize the families. The article describes one single mother who is currently employed trying to negotiate the system with a one-year-old daughter.But with housing affordability on the wane even in formerly affordable neighborhoods, it may now be how overnights go in a “new normal” of desperation.—Marian ConwayShare19Tweet2ShareEmail21 Shareslast_img read more

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After 45 Years US Support for Death Penalty Drops below 50—What Now

first_imgShare7TweetShare2Email9 SharesOctober 3, 2016; New York TimesIn the midst of a significant bipartisan push for criminal justice reform, public support for the death penalty has slipped below the 50 percent mark, according to a Pew Research Center poll. In fact, this downward trajectory shows a move from a high of 80 percent support in 1995 to 49 percent now. Opposition to the death penalty has also moved fairly significantly, from 16 percent in 1995 to 42 percent now. But the chart below illustrates why there will be no time to rest on any laurels. The last time support for the death penalty was below 50 percent was in 1971.Democrats and Republicans differ enormously on this issue: Only 34 percent of Democrats support the death penalty today, while within the Republicans’ ranks, support stands at 72 percent. Men support it more than women, and whites are more supportive than African Americans. One has to wonder what might move that 72 percent in a sustainable way?The decline in public support for the death penalty is accompanied by a drop in U.S. executions. In 1999, there were 98 executions, compared to 15 so far in 2016 even as the majority of the states opt to keep it in use. Under these circumstances, death penalty advocates must consider their next steps very carefully.—Ruth McCambridgeShare7TweetShare2Email9 Shareslast_img read more

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Diversifying the Education Workforce Principals are the Linchpin to Recruiting Teachers of

first_imgShare8Tweet1ShareEmail9 Shares“Openness and Leadership.” Credit: Paul DowneyMay 11, 2017; The AtlanticThough studies show that the race of educators makes a difference in minority student achievement, the number of black and Latin@ principals has lagged behind the number of corresponding students. Nonprofits, like New Leaders, have demonstrated success in recruiting black and Latin@ principals.In 2012 only about 10 percent of public-school principals were black while 16 percent of public-school students were black, according to a 2016 U.S. Department of Education report on diversity among educators. The same report showed that only 7 percent of principals were Hispanic compared to 24 percent of public-school students.Further, “According to the 2016 report on diversity among educators, in 2012, only 7 percent of teachers were black, while 8 percent were Hispanic.”New Leaders helps build the pipeline of educators and leaders of color through “summer training, monthly classes, paid principal apprenticeships, and two additional years of professional support.” And they have been successful. “Since its inception in 2001, New Leaders reports that 1,083 principals have successfully completed the program, 64 percent of whom are people of color—more than triple the national average.”It turns out that principals are key in recruiting teachers of color.“The black principal was for years the linchpin of his community—the link between the white and black communities, the idol of ambitious young blacks, the recruiter and hirer of new black teachers,” said a 1970 report by the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.After 1954’s Brown v. Board of Education, which declared segregated schools unconstitutional, “black principals, especially in the South, were routinely and systematically removed from their jobs.” Today, “the number of black and Hispanic educators has remained disproportionately low.”However, change is coming, partly the result of nonprofits and school districts across the country working to diversify educators.The public school system in Boston; Call Me MISTER in South Carolina; Dean’s Future Scholars in Reno, Nevada; Teach Tomorrow in Oakland, California; and Teach For America are just a few of the growing number of organizations focused on changing the makeup of the school workforce.According to the 2016 U.S. Department of Education report titled “The State of Racial Diversity in the Educator Workforce,”There were more black and Hispanic college students pursuing education majors in 2012 than in 2000…Twenty-seven percent of education majors in 2012 identified as black, Hispanic, or “other,” compared to 22 percent in 2000. And 22 percent of new teachers in 2012 were black, Hispanic [sic], or “other”—four percentage points more diverse than the teaching force as a whole.Jean Desravines, the CEO of New Leaders, argues that “by focusing on mindset, a willingness to share leadership with other adults and a proven track record of success, his organization can do a better job of picking future leaders than if it stuck to traditional measures like GPAs and the relative prestige of candidates alma maters.”—Cyndi SuarezShare8Tweet1ShareEmail9 Shareslast_img read more

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Betsy DeVos Has Another Let Them Eat Cake Moment with Special Olympics

first_imgShare151Tweet24ShareEmail175 SharesPhoto: Lisa AudicMarch 27, 2019; Washington PostPerhaps Education Secretary Betsy DeVos wishes to strike the “for all” from “liberty and justice for all” in the Pledge of Allegiance. If this were true, that might help explain why her budget proposes to zero out $17.6 million in federal funding for the Special Olympics while increasing charter school funding by $60 million.Special Olympics, DeVos says, is paid for by philanthropy; why should the federal government put any dollars towards it? (The Associated Press reports that in 2017, federal grants accounted for a little over 10 percent of the national organization’s $150 million budget.) This, however, is a strange argument to make, given that Philanthropy News Digest reported last year that “private funders have given nearly half a billion dollars since 2006 to fifty-two charter school support organizations,” to say nothing of donations made directly to charter schools themselves. Seems to us like the same dubious argument could be advanced to zero out federal charter school funding.Most observers say the proposal will go exactly nowhere since the Special Olympics has wide bipartisan support. Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), chairman of the Senate subcommittee over the education budget, rushed to declare, “Our Department of Education appropriations bill will not cut funding for the program.”Meanwhile, DeVos continues to reinforce her image as tone-deaf and cash-insulated from an understanding of the legitimate role of government. The Associated Press reports that this is hardly the first time DeVos has managed to provoke the ire of advocates on disability rights:Some were stunned by a 2017 Senate hearing in which DeVos, while being questioned about a federal law supporting students with disabilities, said it was “a matter that is best left to the states.” When asked if she is familiar with the federal law, she said she “may have confused it.”DeVos again roiled advocates in December when she rescinded Obama-era guidance meant to protect racial minorities and students with disabilities from unwarranted discipline. In making the decision, DeVos said discipline decisions should be left to teachers and schools.This is the second budget proposed by the Trump administration to zero out the Special Olympics Budget, a price tag almost exactly equivalent to the cost of President Trump’s last five government supported trips to Mar-a-Lago.Let’s face it: It is hard to believe that this was a mere political gaffe. There is a clear declaration of sensibility in all of this, one consistent with the Trump administration’s but toxic to our ideals of the role of government in a democratic country devoted to equality and inclusion. It is up to civil society to call out each time such “Keep Out” flags are planted.—Ruth McCambridgeShare151Tweet24ShareEmail175 Shareslast_img read more

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SES has appointed Ferenc Szelényi as senior vicep

first_imgSES has appointed Ferenc Szelényi as senior vice-president commercial for Europe.Szelényi succeeds Norbert Hölzle who has decided to leave SES. He will be in charge of the European sales.Szelényi has held management positions in various international corporations in the information and communication technology sector, including Dell, T-Systems, PricewaterhouseCoopers, KarstadtQuelle and IBM.“We are pleased that Ferenc now joins SES to lead our important European markets”, said chief commercial officer Ferdinand Kayser. “These markets are extremely well-developed and demand from us a strong focus on very diverse customers in the different countries and on their strategic growth, especially in the dynamic Eastern European markets. We wish Ferenc well for this exciting job and look forward to further developing our business with him, together with our customers.”last_img read more

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Deutsche Telekom is moving ahead with its plan to

first_imgDeutsche Telekom is moving ahead with its plan to launch multiscreen services, initially in Germany, according to Gerry O’Sullivan, senior vice-president, global entertainment and television at the German telco, speaking at the OTTtv World Summit in London this morning.Multiscreen will extend the Entertain offering initially, but O’Sullivan said the telco would also look to address the question of whether Deutsche Telekom could also become an OTT player in its own right moving forward.The company announced in August that it will offer its Entertain IPTV customers the option of watching a range of TV channels on PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphones. Telekom said the Entertain To Go service would give access to 40 channels on connected devices via 3G or WLAN for €5 per month. Launch channels will include Sat.1, ProSieben, Kabel eins, along with public broadcasters ARD, ZDF and 3sat. A range of content from Entertain’s on-demand catalogue will also be made available on multiple devices.Service providers recognise that they must serve multiple screens but customers expect multiscreen delivery for free, raising a number of challenges, said O’Sullivan. He said that Deutsche Telekom would look to offer services free “for sampling” and then look for ways to make these services pay, rather than put up a paywall from the start. 
O’Sullivan declined to comment on whether Deutsche Telekom would continue to focus on the Microsoft Mediaroom platform for its Entertain service. He said that the company had a large number of customers that were “very satisfied” with this product. However, he said that if Telekom could ultimately deliver services from the cloud without the need for a set-top box, that would be ideal.Deutsche Telekom has adopted the strategy of embracing OTT through its own service as well as via partnerships, O’Sullivan told attendees at the summit. 
O’Sullivan said that Deutsche Telekom had embraced OTT on its own via its Videoload service, an online video on demand service whose brand has been made available across OTT and its own Entertain IPTV service. He said the operator has also sought new ways of offering music, including a high-quality download service, Musicload, in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. It has also teamed up with Spotify and Deezer to offer streaming music. With Spotify, Deutsch Telekom has created a bundle, delivering music without any impact on consumers’ data allowance on mobile devices.O’Sullivan said that, where it made sense, the telco would look to partners to get services up and running quickly rather than build its own service from scratch. 
Deutsche Telekom has also launched an app store on its Entertain IPTV platform, enabling OTT providers to come on to the platform and deliver their services to Telekom’s IPTV subscribers.last_img read more

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The BBC is to launch five new freetoair HD chann

first_imgThe BBC is to launch five new free-to-air HD channels tomorrow, adding HD simulcasts of BBC Three HD, BBC Four HD, BBC News HD, CBeebies HD and CBBC HD to its line-up of services.The HD channels will be available on the Freeview HD, Freesat HD, YouView, Sky HD and Virgin Media platforms.Viewers will also be able to catch-up on HD programmes from these channels on BBC iPlayer.On the Freeview HD and YouView platforms, BBC Three HD and CBBC HD will use capacity on the BBC’s existing HD multiplex, which has universal coverage of UK homes. BBC News HD, BBC Four HD and CBeebies HD will use new HD capacity, which the BBC says will extend to cover 70% of UK homes by the Wimbledon Championships in June 2014.The channels will broadcast HD versions of the same programmes as their standard definition equivalents. The BBC said that over 50% of UK homes are already HD enabled and cited reports that HD penetration is likely to reach 80% by 2016.The BBC already broadcasts HD versions of BBC One, launched in 2010, and BBC One Scotland HD, BBC One Wales HD, BBC One Northern Ireland HD and BBC Two HD, all of which have launched in the last 15 months.“I am delighted that we’re able to launch our new HD channels in time for Christmas, when families gather together to enjoy some of the best TV from the BBC. This year, people will be able to watch even more of our programmes in brilliant quality,” said BBC director-general Tony Hall.last_img read more

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Germanybased ethnic minorityfocused service prov

first_imgGermany-based ethnic minority-focused service provider ChitramTV has tapped Comigo to provide Android-based set-top boxes to deliver interactive, personalised TV services to its subscribers. ChitramTV offers a mix of Telugu, Tamil, Hindi, and Malayalam language content to viewers in Germany and the UK. According to Comigo, its boxes will allow the programmer to offer video-on-demand and catch-up TV services to users. The box includes a personalisation engine, social engine, engagement module, social recommendations engine, insights and analytics capabilities, according to Comigo.Through a user interface that has been customised for ChitramTV, viewers can stream relevant programmes, create watch-lists, view favourite channels, receive content recommendations, and interact with shows and with their friends. The box can be controlled by a basic or advanced remote control, or via a smartphone or a tablet via iOS and Android applications.“Today’s consumers are accustomed to a high level of interactivity and a higher quality of user experience as offered by their mobile devices, and are increasingly demanding similar capabilities out of their TV service,” said Ghenadie Sultanovici, head of ChitramTV.“Comigo’s STB solution provides us with a flexible, affordable, and efficient means of offering a superb television experience to viewers, resulting in a boost to our revenue.”last_img read more

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Discovery Communications is seeking to raise €600

first_imgDiscovery Communications is seeking to raise €600 million through the sale of senior notes, in a process that is expected to close this week. Discovery said it expects the net proceeds from the notes offering to be roughly €594.2 million after deducting estimated expenses related to the offering.It said it will use the proceeds to repay a portion of senior notes that are due to be repaid in June 2015 and for general corporate purposes – including the acquisition of other companies or businesses, repayment and refinancing of other debt, working capital, capital expenditures and the repurchase by the company of its capital stock.last_img read more

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