No related posts. President Laura Chinchilla announced on Wednesday her support for several major changes in Costa Rica’s approach to investigating and prosecuting drug-related crimes. Three new proposals would allow for extradition of Costa Rican nationals, change current wiretapping laws and increase penalties for criminals associated with drug trafficking and organized crime.“It’s hard to say when these proposals will pass in Congress,” Chinchilla said, “but they will send a clear message to criminal groups that Costa Rica is not a paradise for them to come and hide.”The president made the announcement at the opening of this year’s 52nd session of the Organization of American States’ Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD, in Spanish), a coalition of anti-drug commissioners from the region. The summit was held at Hotel La Condesa in Heredia, north of the Costa Rican capital. Chinchilla called Central America a victim of “perverse geopolitics,” trapped between countries in South America that produce illicit drugs and the United States, the world’s leading consumer of cocaine. She called on the U.N. Security Council to designate drug trafficking and organized crime as international acts of terrorism, adding that her administration would prepare a formal petition to be submitted to the U.N.Aside from being symbolic, Chinchilla said the terrorist designation would help security officials track down drug lords and crime syndicate kingpins. Labeling drug traffickers as terrorists also would make it easier to shut down their bank accounts and block them from traveling, she said.“We want the Security Council to consider narcotics trafficking and organized crime as a threat to peace and security internationally,” Chinchilla said. “From our point of view, this definition makes sense because in our nations, [the effects of drug trafficking] are similar to acts of terrorism in other parts of the world.”Tougher Local LawsChinchilla called on lawmakers to pass reform allowing extradition of Costa Rican nationals, currently forbidden by Article 32 of Costa Rica’s Constitution. The proposed amendment would permit Ticos wanted for drug trafficking and organized crime in other countries to be extradited for trial. The president also declared her intention of changing privacy laws pertaining to wiretaps. Currently, Article 24 of the Constitution states that only a judge is permitted to listen in on phone conversations during investigations. It is then up to the discretion of a judge as to which parts of the conversation can be turned over to investigating officers.“Costa Rica is the only country that has the law this way,” said Mauricio Boraschi, Costa Rica’s anti-drug commissioner and CICAD’s newly appointed president. “We use this tool frequently in this country, but with the way the law is today, we have a lot of operative problems. This is the next step we need to take.”The proposed change would still require a judge’s approval for actual wire tapping, but would allow investigators to listen to entire conversations. According to Boraschi, this would help eliminate confusion that has brought many investigations to a halt.Although no specifics were named, Chinchilla also proposed changes to the Costa Rican penal code to increase the severity of punishment for criminals arrested for drug trafficking and organized crime.Her administration also is drafting a treaty at the Foreign Ministry requesting all Central American countries, along with Colombia and Mexico, to team up for sea patrols in search of drug smugglers. Currently, every country in Central America and most countries in South America allow the U.S. to assist in coastal patrols.What Is the Region’s approach?At the CICAD summit, which ended Friday, regional anti-drug commissioners discussed several issues, including the decriminalization of illicit drugs, public health, corruption, alternatives to incarceration and an integrated new approach to drug use and trafficking. OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza joined the conference on Thursday.While CICAD Secretary General Adam Blackwell said Central American countries “have not sat idly by” in their efforts to defeat drug traffickers, some leaders expressed dismay over inconsistencies in Latin American anti-drug policy. Some countries – such as Uruguay – back legalization efforts, while other countries are looking to step up public security policy to better fight traffickers.“The magnitude of the problem that we are confronting is enormous, which leads us, the members of regional governments, to believe that it’s a battle that’s difficult to win,” Chinchilla said. “We’ve been paying a high price for valiantly confronting drug trafficking.”Blackwell, who was involved in solidifying a pact between rival gangs in El Salvador, submitted a report by the OAS on Thursday on the advances of alternative approaches to the illicit drug issue, as called for during the Americas Summit in Colombia last April.Chinchilla noted the “joint responsibility” of consuming nations, saying, “We’re never going to win if we don’t address consumption.”AFP contributed to this report. Facebook Comments
The date was July 30, 1950, when Bernarda Vásquez voted in a plebiscite to determine if residents of La Fortuna and La Tigra would join San Carlos canton or San Ramón, in the province of Alajuela. She, along with 25 others, became the first Costa Rican women to vote in the country. Residents opted to join San Carlos.Vásquez died on Wednesday at Hospital México in San José at the age of 95.According to the daily La Nación, Vásquez’s niece Claris Durán said Vásquez was mourning the death of her brother, who died three months ago. On Monday, she fell, injuring her head, and was rushed to the hospital where she died two days later.Vásquez, born in Palmares, Alajuela in 1918, never married and had no children.On Oct. 7, 2007, La Nación reported, she voted against the U.S.-Central America Free Trade Agreement, or CAFTA, in a national referendum. She voted for the Social Christian Unity Party in presidential elections held in February 2006. At the time, she said, “The worst a Costa Rican can do is not vote, because thanks to our political system, we’ve always had peace and tranquility.” Facebook Comments No related posts.
“There’s no compensation package that would interest me,” said Neil Keveren, who chairs a local community group opposed to the expansion. “We have a historic village with buildings that go back 600 years. You cannot replace that. You cannot buy memories.”Harmondsworth is under threat because London and southeastern England need more airport capacity to meet the growing demands of business travelers and tourists. Heathrow and rival Gatwick, 30 miles (50 kilometers) south of central London, have offered competing projects that will cost as much as 18.6 billion pounds ($29.1 billion). Whichever proposal is selected, homes will be destroyed and surviving neighborhoods will have to cope with increased noise, pollution and traffic.The issue is so toxic that politicians created an independent commission to weigh the options. Government officials then postponed a decision until after the May 7 election, effectively taking the matter off the political agenda, if but briefly.The commission is set to make its recommendation as soon as next month. It will then be up to political leaders to make the final decision. A furious public relations battle has raged in advance, with placards all over London’s subway system, for example, extolling the virtues of Heathrow or Gatwick. The commission has already rejected other options, including Mayor Boris Johnson’s proposal for a new airport in the Thames Estuary. LONDON (AP) — With its classic red phone booth, pub, and medieval church, Harmondsworth’s center looks quintessentially British. But the search for a twee English village isn’t what brings millions of people within a stone’s throw of its boundaries.The attraction is neighboring Heathrow Airport, which served 73 million travelers last year. Now Europe’s busiest airport is proposing to build a runway roughly through the center of town, leveling the ivy-covered brick walls of the Harmondsworth Hall guest house and two-thirds of its homes. A village that traces its history to the 6th century would be forever altered, and some argue even what’s left would be uninhabitable. According to the commission, all three remaining proposals, including two different plans to expand Heathrow, would meet the region’s needs, though the costs and potential benefits would vary. Gatwick, for instance, would cost an estimated 9.3 billion pounds and boost Britain’s gross domestic product by as much as 127 billion pounds. The most expensive Heathrow project would cost twice as much and boost GDP by up to 211 billion pounds, the commission estimates.Making the right decision is crucial as London seeks to retain a competitive edge.In a globalized world, airports offer the opportunity for investment bankers, lawyers, consultants and engineers to make face-to-face connections in major markets where deals are made, said John Kasarda, director of the center for air commerce at the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School.“This is contact sport, particularly at the global level,” Kasarda said. “This isn’t done over the net.”And the ability to move — and connect — faster makes a country and its economy more competitive. Opting not to expand is a tacit acknowledgement that the government is willing to have some of those jobs go to a competitor, such as Paris, Amsterdam or Dubai. “It’s the survival of the fastest,” Kasarda said. “It’s no longer the big eating the small. It is the fast eating the slow.”But there is a human cost, as communities like Harmondsworth and others that might be affected know all too well.Heathrow external relations director Nigel Milton said he understands that some people are very upset, though he claims there are residents in Harmondsworth who support the project but might not want to come forward to support the idea. He acknowledges the local impact, but said the company would offer compensation packages — even to those whose homes would not need to be leveled but who would find themselves living next to a runway.“We believe we are being fair,” he said.Countries like Britain have struggled with the notion of balancing national gain with local pain. Harmondsworth and the nearby village of Sipson are “stylized examples of the challenge all big societies face: progress meets obstacles,” said Tony Travers, a professor of government at the London School of Economics.Britain has sought to strike a balance between growth and safeguarding its heritage, and grassroots conservation movements have grown up to protect cultural landmarks. Unlike communities such as Venice in Italy, Britain hasn’t allowed beauty to hamper progress — but that doesn’t mean it isn’t taken into account. Top Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility “If Harmondsworth were not this beautiful village, this decision would be that much easier to make,” Travers said.Local campaigners say they’ve been told the latest proposal would avoid landmarks like St. Mary’s Church, which traces its history to the mid-11th century and the Great Barn, a 15th century oak-framed behemoth — 192 feet long, 37 feet wide and 39 feet high — dubbed the “Cathedral of Middlesex” by the late poet laureate John Betjeman.But opponents say the proposed runway would be so close to what’s left of the village that no one would be able to stand to live there because of the noise and the bad air. In other words, there’d be a church but no congregation, said archaeological scientist Justine Bayley.“They have no concern that they are screwing up the lives of hundreds of thousands of people for their shareholders,” she said of her village and others along the flightpath and in west London who are affected by the noise.Keveren nods. His fury is evident as he waves a 2010 election leaflet in which Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative Party pledged to fight Heathrow expansion. Keveren says he feels deceived. Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Comments Share Sponsored Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Top holiday drink recipes “My grandparents worked this land. I have war dead in the cemetery of the church. This is my home and if I am forced to leave here, who will it be for? Foreign investors,” he said spinning with outrage. “The message I would give to the world is that the British government can be bought.”Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement
Virgin Australia has created a new subsidiary for its Velocity Frequent Flyer program. The rewards branch will be helmed by Neil Thompson who will join the company as division CEO in August 2012. The Velocity Frequent Flyer program will operate as a stand-alone business, with Mr Thompson reporting directly to Virgin Australia CEO John Borghetti. “Velocity Frequent Flyer remains a key growth opportunity for our business. We have done a lot of work over the past 18 months to create a solid foundation for the Frequent Flyer program,” Mr Borghetti said. Virgin Australia aims to position itself as the market leader in loyalty programs across the nation, driving future earnings and potential. “The Velocity Frequent Flyer program is critical to Virgin Australia’s goal of becoming the airline of choice in Australia and we are confident this new structure will help us achieve that”, Mr Borghetti added. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T
in News Share Default Servicing REOMAC trade association 2017-01-23 Phil Banker Anselmo Partner Joins REOMAC Board January 23, 2017 589 Views Anselmo Lindberg Oliver LLC announced Friday partner that Thomas Anselmo formally joined the Board of Directors for REOMAC, a non-profit trade association serving the mortgage default servicing industry in America.The organization supports the success of individuals and companies in the default services industry by providing a forum for peer-to-peer networking, an environment for sharing industry best practices, and access to qualified, educated service providers.“It’s truly an honor to be elected as a member of the board of directors for this esteemed organization,” Anselmo said. “Our firm has always been dedicated to supporting and uplifting our industry peers, and being a more formal part of REOMAC gives me an unprecedented opportunity to further that support to make a broader impact.”Founded in 1985 in California, REOMAC began as a forum for lenders with REO assets to share best practices with their peers. Since then, it has evolved into a nationwide resource for those in the REO and default industry, providing members with educational and networking opportunities. The association’s foundation arm also fosters educational advancement through scholarships.Anselmo Lindberg Oliver is a real estate, default and estate planning law firm serving the greater Chicagoland area headquartered in Naperville, Illinois. They have additional offices in Oak Brook, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, and Michigan. Anselmo Lindberg Oliver is also a member of Legal League 100.
Share McMichael Taylor Gray Appoints J. Pamela Price Foreclosure Legal League 100 McMichael Taylor Gray REO 2019-06-20 Radhika Ojha in Headlines, News, REO June 20, 2019 279 Views McMichael Taylor Gray, LLC (MTG) has hired J. Pamela Price as Managing Attorney of South Carolina. She brings with her nearly 30 years of experience representing creditors, mortgage bankers, investors, banks and credit unions with her legal expertise.Price has practiced in the area of real estate transactions, including purchases, refinances, equity lines, construction loans, and foreclosures since 1990. Additionally, she has written title insurance, as an agent, for several major title companies, including Chicago Title, Investors Title, Old Republic National Title Insurance Company, and others.The firm said that Price has been a member of the South Carolina Bar Publications Committee since 1990 and is also versed in wills, trusts, and estates.“We’re very excited to have Pamela on board. Her depth of experience, knowledge, and management capabilities will complement our team of seasoned executives,” said January Taylor, Managing Partner at McMichael Taylor Gray.Headquartered in Georgia, MTG serves its clients through every stage of the default process and in all matters associated with non-performing real and personal property collateral. The firm’s clients include banks, credit unions, private investors, and institutional investors. MTG is a Legal League 100 member providing services in the areas of foreclosures, bankruptcy, litigation, eviction, title and REO, and loss mitigation.
However, if Dockett does elect to get rid of the alligator, which he has said he won’t, it would be nice if he waited until the end of the NFL lockout because he is one of the few entertaining things in the league right now. While Dockett’s tweets are amusing to everyone, PETA is probably right this time. Alligators are wild animals and should not be pets. D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation Top Stories While media and fans may love Darnell Dockett and his new pet alligator “Nino,” PETA does not feel the same. The pro-animal organization sent Dockett a letter acknowledging that he had purchased the alligator and telling him to get rid of it. Dear Mr. Dockett, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) was alerted this week to media reports indicating that you recently purchased a baby American alligator from the Florida Everglades and that you intend to keep him as a captive pet. Please know that Florida heavily regulates the keeping of alligators and that it’s unlawful to keep an alligator as a pet anywhere in the state of Arizona without a special permit. These prohibitive laws and regulations exist because, in addition to posing a threat to public safety, wild animals suffer greatly in captivity. Alligators in the wild roam freely with members of their own kind, travel long distances, and thrive in the rivers and lakes that they call home. When confined, wild animals will exhibit neurotic and self-destructive behaviors because of extreme boredom, stress, and frustration at being unable to engage in natural behaviors. Keeping an alligator as a pet is simply unfair to the animal. It also poses grave dangers to you and others. By their very nature, these animals are unpredictable and can inflict serious harm. Reptiles are also common carriers of salmonella. You would be held liable for any damage, injuries, or illnesses caused by the alligator. Respectfully, we ask that you carefully consider this information. Please know that we stand ready to help find a suitable habitat for this animal. May we please hear that you will do the right thing? Sincerely, Michelle Cho PETA Comments Share What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right away
Categories: Cole News,Featured news,News 14May Rep. Triston Cole’s first bill signed into law by governor Tags: #SB Air gun laws revised, “brandish” definedState Rep. Triston Cole, R-Mancelona, recently sponsored legislation to amend the Michigan Penal Code by revising the definition of a firearm. House Bill 4155 was approved and signed into law by Gov. Rick Snyder as Public Act 26 of 2015.“I am working to make Michigan laws more user friendly and reduce regulation,” Rep. Cole said. “With the bill now signed into law by the governor, we have simplified the use, transportation, and possession of pneumatic weapons.”###
05Dec Committee considers Rep. Hoitenga’s pepper spray legislation Bill enables vulnerable people to protect themselvesState Rep. Michele Hoitenga testified before the House Judiciary Committee today in support of legislation making it easier for vulnerable people to obtain and carry pepper spray for self-defense in Michigan.Hoitenga, of Manton, said her bill raises the maximum allowable concentration of oleoresin capsicum, the active ingredient in pepper spray, from 10 to 18 percent. This increases the effectiveness of the solution and brings Michigan in line with the current federal limit, which the majority of other states have already done.“I personally carry a firearm for self-defense, but not all people are comfortable with that,” Hoitenga said. “This change gives vulnerable Michigan residents more access to pepper spray to protect themselves from violence.”The legislation also allows for the use of a ultra-violet dye ingredient.“Many self-defense sprays now contain a dye invisible to the naked eye that law enforcement officers can use to identify offenders with a UV light,” Hoitenga said. “This is a useful feature that should be made available in Michigan.”House Bill 5220 remains under consideration by the House Judiciary Committee.### Categories: Hoitenga News
Historic no-fault overhaul signed into Michigan lawState Rep. Doug Wozniak today noted historic car insurance reforms have been signed into Michigan law, guaranteeing lower rates for drivers in Macomb County.The bipartisan reforms – approved earlier by Wozniak and the Legislature – give drivers more choice on personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, maintain the best life-saving medical benefits in the country, stop price gouging on medical services for car accident victims and combat fraud within the system. Motorists, depending on the PIP coverage level they choose, could save hundreds of dollars or more each year.“A lot of good faith was poured into these reforms, and although not perfect, Michigan has definitely taken the first step to deliver much-deserved rate relief to drivers across the state,” said Wozniak, of Shelby Township. “Nothing is permanent and I’m sure over time when more ideas for reforms are discussed, we will continue working together on bettering the state’s no-fault system for every Michigan family. Despite some questions still left unanswered, today is definitely a day worth celebrating.”Michigan has had the most expensive car insurance in the nation mainly because it was the only state mandating unlimited lifetime health care coverage through car insurance, with no corresponding cap on what medical providers may charge accident victims. The new law will provide more affordable options for motorists while allowing those who currently use the unlimited coverage to keep it, and those who want it in the future to continue buying it.Beginning in July 2020, many drivers will be able to opt out of personal injury protection altogether, including seniors with retiree health coverage such as Medicare and those with health insurance policies that cover car accident-related injuries. Others will be able to continue with unlimited coverage or choose PIP limits of $250,000 or $500,000. A $50,000 option will be available for drivers on Medicaid.Other reforms include:A fee schedule to rein in runaway costs that result from medical care providers charging far more to treat car accident victims than other patients.An anti-fraud unit will help crack down on those abusing the system, helping to further lower car insurance rates.Non-driving factors, such as ZIP codes, home ownership and educational level, can’t be used to determine rates. Categories: Wozniak News 30May Rep. Wozniak: Car insurance reforms will bring significant savings for Macomb County motorists
Share17TweetShare17Email34 SharesJStone / Shutterstock.comSeptember 26, 2015; PoliticoPope Francis has been one busy guy of late, so it makes sense that the pontiff might not have been able to fit an appearance at the Clinton Global Initiative into his calendar. Pope Francis wasn’t the only famous person unable to squeeze in a spot at the CGI this week, according to Politico investigative reporter Kenneth P. Vogel and researcher Noah Weiland.Vogel and Weiland report that “dozens” of “all manner of celebrities, dignitaries and donors” turned down speaking gigs at the Clinton Foundation’s “Future of Impact” gathering in New York City, celebrating CGI’s tenth anniversary. Among the examples were several notables easily recognized by NPQ readers: Arianna Huffington chose a “thought leaders” program in Aspen, Colorado over CGI; invited to receive an award for his work on AIDS, Elton John declined; Mark Zuckerberg claimed a scheduling conflict; Federal Research chairperson Janet Yellen, offered the platform to talk about income inequity, declined, with a Fed spokesperson explaining that no sitting Fed chair has ever attended a CGI meeting; and economist Thomas Piketty, also invited to talk about income inequality, said, “I almost never go to this kind of meeting, simply because I want to concentrate on my work!”Heads of state David Cameron of the UK and Angela Merkel of Germany declined CGI invitations, but recently reelected Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko will be there. Also in the “yes” column, however, are Mario Batali, Jessica Biel, Richard Branson, Bill Gates, Ashley Judd, Edward Norton, George Soros, Charlize Theron, and Neil deGrasse Tyson.To be clear, there’s no suggestion in the Politico article that any of the invitees who declined to speak bear any enmity toward the Clinton Foundation, the Clinton Global Initiative, or Bill, Hillary, or Chelsea themselves as a reason for not attending. Nonetheless, Vogel and Weiland suggest that the number and quality of rejections—plus the loss of a number of corporate sponsors—may suggest a waning of enthusiasm for the Clintons’ philanthropic venture. Other factors might be at play as well:Hillary Clinton, in the throes of a presidential political campaign, isn’t attending this year’s event. Because of the upside of her potential political future, she is a draw for big-name speakers. Without her as a participant, speaker, or panel moderator, the attraction of attending is less.Replacing Hillary Clinton in the agenda is Chelsea Clinton, who will be leading or moderating much of the program agenda. It may well be that some people of substance don’t quite see the Clinton scion as quite the same draw.There is also the issue of sensitivity over criticism of Hillary Clinton herself, notably her continuing and deepening problem concerning her State Department emails. As the email imbroglio festers, causing some decline in the public’s and the electorate’s faith in her trustworthiness, some potential speakers might have an interest in creating a little distance between themselves and a potentially troubled presidential candidate.Despite the 501(c)(3) status of the foundation, Vogel and Weiland point out that some of the foundation’s 2,000 staff have already left the institution in order to take positions in the Hillary Clinton campaign, and more are likely to do so after this CGI meeting. That makes the Clinton Foundation, whether intentional or not, look like a holding pen for political operatives waiting out some of the time between Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign and the current 2016 race. Some donors, politicians, and celebrities might be a little queasy about being too close to a foundation that may itself become a political issue in the campaign.This may be a turning point in the Clinton Foundation. With Hillary Clinton running hard for president, watching her popularity with the voters slip against renegade outsider Bernie Sanders and still unannounced Joe Biden, and former President Bill Clinton expected to turn up in political settings the way he did in the 2008 campaign, especially in trying to make a case for Hillary Clinton with minority voters in South Carolina, the Clinton Foundation may be at an inflection point of significant change. Hillary Clinton has separated herself from the Foundation’s operations. If Bill Clinton reduces his role in the foundation as he increases his engagement in his spouse’s presidential campaign, which seems likely, the Clinton Global Initiative might be heading toward becoming a lower profile operation until Hillary Clinton’s presidential aspirations are settled one way or the other.—Rick CohenShare17TweetShare17Email34 Shares
BBC Worldwide has named Grant Welland as executive vice-president for central and eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa (CEMA). Based in London, Welland will oversee BBC Worldwide’s activity across CEMA and will be responsible for channels, TV and digital sales, format sales, licensing and live events across the region.Welland, who will report to Paul Dempsey, president of global markets, has held the role on an acting basis since the departure of Ian McDonough in April. He was previously finance director for global markets covering western Europe, CEMA, Asia and Latin America.“BBC Worldwide is a world class organisation and I’m delighted and proud to take on the role of executive vice-president. The region is a high priority for the company and I am looking forward to working with the team to grow the business over the next few years in one of the world’s most dynamic and exciting regions,” said Welland.
Amazon Prime Instant Video has struck a deal with Studiocanal to add a range of the latter’s content to its programming line-up in the UK and Germany. Prime Instant Video will get the exclusive first-run pay TV rights to all Studiocanal theatrical titles in the UK and Germany, including upcoming titles Paddington and Shaun the Sheep in the UK and Germany, as well as The Hunger Games: Catching Fire in Germany.Amazon will deliver further support to Studiocanal’s UK Productions through premium promotion across Amazon’s media group, with selective titles branded as Amazon Originals.The deal will also see library titles added to the service including Apocalypse Now and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. The first movie in the deal for the UK will be The Imitation Game starring Benedict Cumberbatch.“We’re really excited to bring Amazon Prime Instant Video members in the UK and Germany more great films like Paddington, The Imitation Game and Shaun the Sheep fresh from the box office,” said Chris Bird, director of content strategy at Amazon Instant Video EU. “Extending our relationship with Studiocanal, a European superpower of film production and distribution, further cements our commitment to bringing customers the latest and greatest movies to Prime Instant Video.”“We are delighted to extend our partnership with Amazon who brings the very best film content to all audiences on all devices. Studiocanal has a very strong slate that resonates with a wide audience and Prime Instant Video subscribers will find the films they love, from family movies like Paddington and Shaun The Sheep to quality action thrillers, like Non-Stop, starring Liam Neeson,” said Olivier Courson.
Israel-based provider of cross-screen TV apps, Applicaster, has raised US$10.5 million (€9.2 million) in funding. The new cash takes the firm’s total funding to date to US$18.5 million, with the new round led by Pitango Venture Capital with participation from current investor, 83North.“Applicaster has championed the app-driven TV transformation for several years now, and we’re thrilled to see the take up in Europe, the United States, Latin America and Asia over the past 12 months.” said Jonathan Laor, Applicaster’s CEO.Applicaster claims to have launched more than 100 applications for over 40 customers around the world, including Univision, Endemol, FremantleMedia, Talpa, Mediaset, Televisa, Telefe, Fox Intl and Mediacorp.
Azerbaijan-based industrial conglomerate A+A Group is launching an OTT TV service, according to local reports.The HTML5-based service will offer about 50 live TV channels, including local Azeri services as well as Russian and Turkish channels, available via smart TVs, smartphones and tablets, for AZN7 (€5.80) a month.The service, which will include an EPG and the ability to record and playback programmes as well as create personal channels, has been launched initially in Sumqayit, the country’s third-largest city, before being made available to residents of the capital, Baku, later in the autumn, according to the reports.
BBC Worldwide has launched BBC Player, a branded TV Everywhere service in partnership with Singaporean pay TV giant StarHub.TV Everywhere services have proved popular with channels and operators in the US in particular, and allow authenticated pay TV subs to stream channels from their pay TV bundle.The branded BBC Player, which is now live, offers qualifying StarHub customers content from six of Worldwide’s international channels: BBC Earth, BBC First, BBC Lifestyle, CBeebies and BBC World News.Premium drama channel BBC Brit will also be included. Unlike the other services, it does not run as a linear offering on StarHub, and the addition to BBC Player effectively marks its launch in Singapore.The drama launch means the debut of BBC/Amazon drama The Collection, and that StarHub will be the exclusive home of Sherlock in Singapore.BBC Player app will be available over the top, and via iOS and Android apps. There will also be an offline viewing mode allowing users to download BBC shows to watch laterPaul Dempsey, president, Global Markets, BBC Worldwide said: “We’ve introduced BBC Brit, BBC Earth and BBC First to countries all around the world but this is first time we’ve given fans of premium British entertainment, documentary and drama, along with children’s and news their own dedicated space to stream, download and enjoy their favourite shows wherever and whenever they want.”He hinted that there are other TV Everywhere moves in the offing elsewhere. “While we are fully focused on the launch in Singapore, the potential of this product is very exciting.”Howie Lau, StarHub’s chief marketing officer added: “We are delighted that StarHub TV customers will be the first in Asia to enjoy BBC Player. BBC Player not only complements our pay TV offering, it also delivers BBC’s signature content seamlessly across our customers’ devices, deepening the overall entertainment experience.”
Jonathan Doran, OvumTelecoms companies will account for over half of all pay TV subscriptions in Western Europe and Latin America within five years, according to new research.Research house Ovum forecasts that over a quarter of all global pay TV subs will be through telcos, with additions largely going to be driven by organic expansion of IPTV services.Pay TV delivered by telcos, or pay TV platforms owned by telcos, will account for 310.9 million subs globally by 2021, Ovum says.In terms of subs numbers China will be the largest market with 86 million IPTV subs in 2021, some distance ahead of the US in second with 33 million.In terms of market share, however, Lat Am is the region where telcos will dominate, with 57% of all pay TV subs by 2021. The AT&T deal for DirecTV strengthened the telco TV share in the region, adding to strong telco-owned cable platforms already in place.Western Europe is another hotspot with telcos forecast to have a 53% market share.In terms of how telcos are delivering pay TV, IPTV will remain the dominant platform, accounting for 65% of all the telco’s subs.The market share gains are being driven by acquisitive telecoms firms buying into TV, Ovum noted.“M&A has played a substantial role in boosting the existing telco TV footprint,” said Ovum principal analyst Jonathan Doran.“The “traditional” cable and satellite customers that make up more than a third of the total telco TV base typically reflect either joint ventures or, more commonly, acquisitions of established pay-TV operations by telcos, such as AT&T (DirecTV), Vodafone (Kabel Deutschland, ONO, and Ziggo), and Telefonica (Digital Plus and GVT).”The Ovum analyst added that the move to buy traditional TV assets will now begin to slow down.“Moreover, acquired operations over traditional infrastructure tend to be mature and, therefore, are not expected to grow dramatically in the coming years,” Doran said. “As a result, organic IPTV expansion represents the lion’s share of anticipated telco TV growth going forward.”
Chinese conglomerate Beijing Xinwei Technology Group is to go ahead with the purchase of Israel-based satellite operator Spacecom, but for less than previously anticipated, according to Israeli press.Xinwei had previously agreed to purchase the operator of the Amos satellites for US$285 million (€253 million) and take on debt of ILS1.478 billion (€347 million).According to the latest reports, the Chinese company will now acquire Spacecom for US$190 million, about a third less than the previously agreed price, but still about 50% higher than the operator’s current market capitalization.Doubt had been cast on the acquisition when Spacecom’s Amos-6 satellite was destroyed on the launch-pad as its Space-X launcher exploded.Under the agreement, which reportedly could face regulatory hurdles in Israel, Spacecom will be under the control of Israel-domiciled company Big Bird, led by a former head of the communications arm of the Israel Defence Force. The company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Beijing Xinwei-owned, Luxembourg-based Luxembourg Space Telecommunications.Xinwei is led, as chairman and CEO, by Chinese billionaire Wang Jing. The group is known to have close ties to Great Wall Industry, China’s main space industry group, and is involved in plans to launch a group of low-Earth orbit satellites to enable mobile communications in China following a move in 2014 by the Chinese State council to open the country’s telecommunication infrastructure to private investors. It has also reportedly been involved in satellite plans in a number of international markets, including in Latin America.
Aviation-themed channels in France and Canada have joined forces to share their original content.Paris-based Aerostar TV and Canada’s AeroCinema are entering into a long-term strategic alliance covering production and distribution.The channels will continue to operate separate, but will now carry each others original, aviation-themed programming across all markets and platforms.“We are very excited to have put together the dream team of aviation specialised documentary producers and channels, able to reach a planetary TV audience in this exciting genre,” said Aerostar CEO and chairman Bernard Chabbert and AeroCinema chief executive Philip Osborn.Aerostar is Paris-based and distributed on French platforms Orange, Free and Bouyigues, giving it reach of 16 million in the territory. Its chief, Chabbert, previously made documentaries for France 3, and was an aviation journalist.AeroCinema Is part of Eureka Media, and operates as a VOD channel. It has around 150 hours of original HD documentary programming, and its staff have previously produced aviation-themed docs for Discovery Channel’s ‘Wings’ slot and Planete France’s ‘Legendary Wings’ slot.
A+E Networks, Discovery, AMC Networks and Viacom are among the major US broadcast groups confirming they will put channels on a new, factual- and entertainment-focused live TV streaming service.The new service, Philo, will be priced at US$16 a month, and will offer live TV streaming, DVR services and on-demandprogramming.It will have more than 35 US cable channels on its basic tier, with nine more available for an additional $4 per month.Networks offered include A&E, AMC, Animal Planet, AXS TV, BBC America, Cheddar, Comedy Central, Discovery Channel, Food Network, GSN, HGTV, History, Investigation Discovery (ID), IFC, Lifetime, MTV, Nickelodeon, TLC and Travel Channel.Most of the content, therefore, will be from the entertainment, factual and knowledge spaces, and functionality includes unlimited 30-day DVR, live channel pausing and restarts, and catch-up from the previous three days.Rumours of the service first emerged in September, thought the Philo brand goes back further – initially launching in colleges in the US.The product and company name refers to Philo T. Farnsworth, who created electronic television.HBO, WME and Mark Cuban’s Radical Investments are among those to have invested in the business, which began life as a product for colleges that acted as a ‘laboratory’ to create a new-generation TV platform.“Our goal at Philo is to build a television service that people love as much as they love their favorite shows. We’re constantly looking for ways we can improve the experience because at the end of the day, we’re also building Philo for ourselves,” said Andrew McCollum, Philo CEO.“We started delivering streaming television at universities six years ago, and we’ve taken all of the unique insight we gained about this new generation of TV watchers in order to build a unique product and content package at an incredible value.”Philo will be made available on multiple platforms, including web browsers and Roku devices, in the US. There is no word if there service will be replicated internationally at this stage.