RelatedTop 15 attractions and things to do in SevilleFlamenco, fiestas and fantastic weather: discover what makes Seville the ultimate Spanish city break.Valentine’s Day Destinations for SinglesValentine’s Day Destinations for SinglesTop 15 attractions and things to do in ValenciaBeen to Barcelona? Take an alternative Spanish city break in the capital of the Costa Blanca, where the food is first-rate, the festivals are (literally) on fire and there’s a beach thrown in for free. Here’s what to see and do in Valencia. 2. Blanco Cerrillo, Calle Jose de Velilla, 1Ignore rumours that this local favourite is a bit on the scruffy side – napkins on the floor, your tab marked up in chalk on the stainless steel counter and beer kegs to perch on whilst you wolf down your dinner, this place may be too rustic for everyone’s taste. But as you wait for your ice cold cerveza, just try their free white beans and you’ll be happy you substituted chequered table cloths for the best stuffed croquetas in town. Another must-eat is their boquerones, fried anchovies marinated in vinegar, garlic and spices, a typical southern Spanish tapas – a portion of this and a beer comes in at a budget friendly €3.50. Want more Spanish holiday inspiration? Check these articles out:5 of the best things to see and do in Cordoba, AndalusiaStep off the beaten track and discover one of Andalucía’s most beautiful and historic cities.15 of Spain’s most beautiful castles and fortsGet away from the beach and see some of Spain’s most stunning castles and fortresses.Perfect playas: top 10 beaches in SpainSand, sea, sun and sangria! From natural to naturist, we take a tour of the 10 most beautiful, brilliant beaches in Spain.Article written by Robin McKelvie for Skyscanner.Skyscanner is the world’s travel search engine, helping your money go further on flights, hotels and car hire.ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map 4. Casa de la Viuda, Calle Albareda, 2It may not look much from the outside, but the interior is full of character (and local characters) and is usually devoid of eager tourists sinking stale bread topped with suspect tapas, a sight all too common in some parts of Seville. Avoid making the same mistake and opt for freshly prepared bites on Casa de la Viuda’s terrace – order anything with seafood and you’re on to a winner, including their superb salted cod or bacalao. 5. Bar Santa Marta, Calle Angostillo, 2For tapas without the fuss head to this popular little bolthole in the centre of Seville, where in-the-know city breakers dine alongside locals who keep this place in business all year round. Time to hit the carbs! They do both a mean tortilla and spicy patatas bravas, so don’t hold back on your gluten gorging. For paleo dieters, or just true cavemen, check out their Cordoban style flamenquin – not a sequined flamingo (alas) but pork wrapped in ham and filled with cheese. To snare a coveted table on the plaza outside arrive early or prepare to wait.6. La Alacena de San Eloy, Calle San EloyWant wines that deliver on flavour as much as the morsels you order? For delightful pairings pay a visit to this gourmet gift shop and bar with a cellar packed with stellar bottles of red and white. This branch on Calle San Eloy is the original and the best – settle in for a wine tour of Spain without leaving your bar stool and let the knowledgeable staff recommend vintages to accompany individual dishes. Grab a table in the cellar and immerse yourself in the whole experience (who said dinner was just about the grub?) or if you’re in a hurry, construct the perfect picnic and choose from a selection of meats, cheeses and filled rolls from their cold counters. 9. La Primera del Puente, Calle Betis, 66If you’re tired of eating tiny plates then this great spot along the banks of the Canal de Alfonso XIII is slightly on the pricier side but they have an extensive menu of larger raciones. From cold cuts to casseroles, you can get your fill for about €9- €11 per plate. Besides, you can’t put a price on romance – the outside seating area is the perfect place to woo your special someone, or at least enjoy a river view to go with your grilled sea bass (€15). If you’re only popping in for a quick bite, the tapas start at €2.50 and their menu features all the firm favourites, including meatballs and deep-fried prawns. 7. Bodegon Alfonso XII, Calle Alfonso XII, 33You’ll be spoilt for choice here, but rather than waste precious eating time querying the menu, sit at the long bar facing the kitchen and see what they’re serving up – you might want to get your pointing finger and charades skills ready. But if you’d rather dive straight in, make the pork cooked in whisky and brandy your first move. The garlic prawns are also delicious but don’t expect your breath to make you many friends afterwards, they go fairly heavy on the garlic, as is traditional. Excellent value for money, with plates starting at just two euros a throw, means that you’ll be able to keep the food flowing – we think you’re unlikely to find cheaper, tastier tapas anywhere in Seville. 8. El Rincon del Pulpo Gallego, Calle Harinas, 21A generous serving of Galicia in Seville, seafood freaks had better come here to pay their respects and fill their bellies with Seville’s tastiest octopus, served with boiled potatoes and mejillones al vapor (steamed mussels). This cider house definitely rules – swap a glass rich red for their refreshing cider, poured from a height to aerate it, to accompany your seafood perfectly. Open for lunch from 12:30pm and dinner at 8pm every day except Mondays, you’ll have to squeeze in to this tiny tapas bar, but the friendly service and fresh seafood make it worth getting cosy with other local diners – they might even be able to get you some secret ‘off-menu’ specialties! 1. El Rinconcillo, Calle Gerona, 40They were taking their daily tapas here a century before Captain Cook first spied Australia! It not only lays claim to being the oldest tapas bar in the city, but the oldest restaurant in Spain, with a heritage trailing back to 1670. The décor stays true to its seventeenth century roots, with brightly patterned, tiled walls and a heavy dark wood bar – it’s your chance to munch on wafer thin slices of jamon serrano or fluffy croquetas in much the same surroundings as the traders and businessmen visiting this harbourside city hundreds of years ago. We know what you’re thinking, it sounds like a tourist trap, but its location just outside of Seville’s main centre means it’s not always as touristy as you might imagine. 3. Casa Cuesta, Calle de Castilla, 1If you’re only going to try tapas once (a physical impossibility, one bite and you’ll be hooked) then get yourself down to Casa Cuesta in the west of the city. Pig out on delicious pork flamed in whisky, followed by more pork richly paired with Roquefort. Seafood lovers should stock up with a raciones (half or full, they’re basically bigger portions of the tapas) of calamares in light crispy batter. Find more exciting new dishes to try in this article about the best traditional food in Spain. The waiters can be a bit tetchy with tourists, but the family behind this hideaway have been dishing up tapas for over a century and their experience shows.
Competent authorities are to meet on Thursday to discuss where things stand regarding mobile phone interoperability across the island, one of the confidence-building measures agreed by the two leaders in 2015.The meeting was scheduled after President Nicos Anastasiades announced last week after a meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci they would meet again on November 12 if there was progress on issues relating to mobile telephone use.Since 2015, when linking of mobile telephony in the south and north of the island was decided there has not been any concrete progress. Currently, Greek Cypriot mobile phone sim cards do not work in the north – and vice versa – while calls have to go through Turkey. The goal was for phones to work on both sides without having to pay international rates.Anastasiades said the Turkish Cypriot leader had informed him that finding a solution would be possible. A source told the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) that the Turkish Cypriot leader has given no clue as to what could change to facilitate an agreement on the matter.A number of ideas have already been discussed in the past but no solution was found. The same source said that any solution must be in line with the existing legal framework and EU legislation.Another source told the Cyprus Mail there is nothing new since the last round of consultations between the two sides some two years ago.“We expect to hear what it will be announced at the meeting,” the source said.The same source said that during consultations in the past the Greek Cypriot side had proposed the introduction of Dual-International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) sim cards but the idea was rejected by the Turkish Cypriots.This technology, the source said, is already being used by a small mobile telephony provider based in the government-controlled areas that signed a deal with a big European telecommunications company so that its subscribers would get signal coverage when abroad. Due to that technology, that company’s sim cards operate also in the north, the source said, as whenever one of its subscribers is abroad, or in the north, his or her sim card switches to the other European telecommunications company’s network.An UN source told CNA that the issue of promoting confidence building measures for mobile telephony has been the subject of contacts between the United Nations and the EU in recent months in Brussels.There seems to be a renewed political will on both sides of the island to promote and implement this confidence-building measure, the same source said, noting that any technical and legal obstacles can be overcome with the necessary political will.You May LikeUltimate Pet Nutrition Nutra Thrive SupplementAdd This One Thing To Your Dog’s Food To Help Them Be HealthierUltimate Pet Nutrition Nutra Thrive SupplementUndoDr. Marty ProPower Plus Supplement3 Dangerous Foods People Feed Their Dogs (Without Realizing It)Dr. Marty ProPower Plus SupplementUndoEditorChoice.comIf You Have Any Of These 20 Toys Around, You Just Became RichEditorChoice.comUndo Turkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoConcern over falling tourism numbersUndoPensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoby Taboolaby Taboola
State Rep. Brett Roberts is holding coffee hours this month to meet with local residents and offer an opportunity to talk about any thoughts or concerns they may have regarding state government.“I’m excited to host my first coffee hours event in Jackson County,” said Rep. Roberts, R-Eaton Township. “I look forward to chatting with local residents and bringing their ideas and concerns back to Lansing.”Area residents are welcome to meet with the representative from noon to 1 p.m. on Friday, March 20, at Big Boy, located at 329 S. Main St. in Brooklyn.No appointments are necessary for these office hours. Residents who are unable to attend are encouraged to contact Rep. Roberts’ office by phone at 1-517-373-1775 or by email at BrettRoberts@house.mi.gov.### Categories: Roberts News 13Mar Rep. Roberts welcomes area residents to coffee hours
Categories: Glenn News,Glenn Photos 27Mar Local Ducks Unlimited recognized for preservation work From left: Larry Emans, Saginaw Valley chapter president, accepted a tribute from the state of Michigan — recognizing the local group’s forty years of resource conservation efforts — from state Rep. Gary Glenn, R-Midland, state Sen. Mike Green, R-Mayville, and Sen. Jim Stamas, R-Midland.Area lawmakers joined several hundred sporting enthusiasts March 27 for the 40th anniversary banquet of the Saginaw Valley chapter of Ducks Unlimited, held at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Pinconning. The group is dedicated to preserving waterfowl habitat and protecting hunting rights in Michigan and across the nation. State Reps. Gary Glenn, R-Midland, and Joel Johnson, R-Clare, and state Sens. Mike Green, R-Mayville, and Jim Stamas, R-Midland, signed a tribute in honor of the organization’s anniversary.
02May Rep. Kathy Crawford on the House passed budget Categories: Crawford News,K-Crawford Photos “This budget increases spending and expands the definition of at-risk students in Michigan schools. This means more students will have a better chance of success in the classroom and after they graduate from high school.”
Lawmaker’s amendment will benefit state’s agriculture industryState Representative Brett Roberts recently voted in support of House Bills 4313 and 4323, which provide appropriations for Michigan’s budget in Fiscal Year 2018.“This budget makes significant investments in roads, education, and agriculture while still reducing unnecessary spending,” said Roberts, R-Charlotte. “Our neighbors asked for a responsible, prioritized budget, and I heard them loud and clear.”Roberts – along with Rep. Daniela Garcia of Ottawa County – amended the budget to bolster the state’s agriculture and food processing industries with an additional $3 million. The funds will be dedicated to Michigan State University, who will use the appropriation to make technological improvements to an agriculture and food processing laboratory that hasn’t been updated in decades.Renovations to the laboratory will create increased opportunities for MSU to partner with several community college partners in expanding the reach of food processing throughout theState of Michigan. The upgrades will allow 730 undergraduate students annually to engage with the facility.“Job opportunities in food processing and agriculture are continuing to grow, but many businesses are struggling to find a skilled workforce to fill those jobs,” Roberts said. “Michigan is a national leader in agriculture and food science, and improvements like this will allow our home state to protect one of its most vital industries.”The budget has been approved by the House, and is awaiting consideration by the Senate. The two chambers will soon convene conference committees to settle differences between the two versions before sending a final version to Gov. Rick Snyder for approval.##### Categories: Roberts News 04May Rep. Brett Roberts supports Michigan’s 2018 budget
Lawmaker assigned to six key committees, chairing oneState Rep. Beau LaFave has been appointed to serve on six committees for the 2019-20 legislative term, providing a unique opportunity to help the residents of Delta, Dickinson and Menominee counties across a variety of important issues they face.LaFave is set to serve in two leadership roles as the chair of the House Military, Veterans and Homeland Security Committee, and vice chair of the House Judiciary Committee. LaFave will also serve as a member of the House Committees on Insurance, Oversight and Agriculture and the Select Committee on Reducing Car Insurance Rates.The Military, Veterans and Homeland Security Committee will be responsible for deliberating policy on various issues related to our state’s veterans, military members and the protection of our communities statewide.“It’s an honor to be entrusted with spearheading critical legislation aimed at making the lives of our military heroes a little bit easier upon returning home,” LaFave said. “I look forward to working with my colleagues on crafting solutions aimed at increasing employment opportunities for our veterans and their accessibility to VA benefits statewide.”The House Judiciary Committee will be one of a select few panels with the authority to report legislation to the House floor for consideration. In addition to handling issues related to Michigan’s criminal justice system, the panel will review and vet legislation from any House committee that creates or changes criminal penalties in the state. The Judiciary Committee will further debate how the new penalties fit into the wider criminal justice reform effort.“As vice chair of the House Judiciary Committee, I will do everything under my jurisdiction to make sure we right-size our criminal laws while still protecting our communities,” LaFave said. “Just last year, about 20 percent of the state budget went toward our state’s correctional facilities. We need to look at where we can come together to make meaningful criminal justice reforms that continue to keep Michiganders safe and make better use of taxpayer dollars.”The House Select Committee on Reducing Car Insurance Rates is specifically tasked with crafting genuine reforms to the state’s controversial no-fault insurance system, which forces Michigan drivers to pay the highest car insurance rates in the nation.“The exorbitant cost of car insurance in Michigan remains the biggest issue in our state,” LaFave said. “I will not rest until we lower rates for all Michigan drivers.” The Oversight Committee is tasked with handling issues involving state government, including reviewing audit reports released by the Auditor General, legislation addressing governance of the Legislature and state agencies.“Michigan cannot continue to rank dead last in government transparency,” LaFave said. “The taxpayers of our state deserve to know how efficiently their tax dollars are being used and where they’re being spent. This committee is a very important check and balance to the executive branch.”The House Agriculture Committee is responsible for deliberating on all policy related to the agricultural industry in Michigan.“The Upper Peninsula has a rich agricultural and logging industry that not only positively impacts our local economy, but also supplies many Michiganders with well-paying careers,” LaFave said. “I’m committed to introducing ideas that preserve and enhance Michigan’s agricultural economy, and I am willing to put up a fight against any idea that could hinder growth.”“A special thank you goes to my friend and fellow Upper Peninsula lawmaker, Speaker Lee Chatfield,” LaFave said. “He has entrusted me with key leadership roles, and I am looking forward to serving under him during this legislative term. I’m excited to get to work and ensure the voices of Delta, Dickinson and Menominee counties are represented in Lansing.” Categories: LaFave News 17Jan Rep. LaFave to play crucial role in policy decisions
Categories: Kahle News 08Feb Statement on the passing of Congressman John Dingell STATEMENT FROM STATE REP. BRONNA KAHLE: “America has lost a dedicated public servant and true leader with the passing of Congressman John Dingell. His tireless and unwavering commitment to serve and care for others inspires all of us. With genuine respect for his legacy, I join with my fellow Michiganders in extending my condolences to his family and many friends.”
Categories: Lightner News,Lightner Photos 14May Rep. Lightner recognized as Agricultural Education Supporter PHOTO INFORMATION: State Rep. Sarah Lightner was recognized as an Agricultural Education Supporter by the Springport FFA at an awards ceremony last week. The representative was presented the award by her FFA Alumni group for her longstanding support of agriculture and quality education. Rep. Lightner also presented a state tribute during the event to longtime instructor Pat Henne upon his retirement.
Share9TweetShare6Email15 SharesHands Up Don’t Shoot Buttons / Paul SablemanFebruary 11, 2017; NBC News and the International Business TimesOver the past eight years, the Department of Justice (with some notable bipartisan support) has helped move issues ranging from police and court reforms to improved incarceration practices to center stage. However, as Jeff Sessions takes over as U.S. Attorney General, the job of criminal justice reform has become ever more clearly seated at the state level. The job of local advocates is to build or maintain momentum in state legislatures and municipalities.Some significant accomplishments and experiments have indeed taken place at the state level. However, when centrally important data emerges, we long for a central presence, a role that may need for now to be picked up by philanthropy and nonprofits—some representing communities, and others made up of law enforcement personnel.“Fatal Shootings By U.S. Police Officers in 2015: A Bird’s Eye View,” using a database developed by the Washington Post to examine shootings of unarmed victims, found that “black men accounted for about 40 percent of the unarmed people fatally shot by police and, when adjusted by population, were seven times as likely as unarmed white men to die from police gunfire.”Justin Nix, an assistant professor of criminal justice at the University of Louisville and one of the leaders of the study, told the International Business Times that this disparity remained even after refining the raw data to account for other factors that might affect the outcomes: “Black suspects were more than twice as likely as white suspects to have been unarmed. And that’s after we controlled for things like mental illness, threat level, age, etc.”From Nix’s perspective, “A shooting of an unarmed person could be considered a threat perception failure on the part of the police. Police shoot unarmed people when they fail to accurately assess a threat, which could be due to implicit racial bias, or bias that arises from subtle unconscious assumptions, as opposed to overt racism. “If you can accept that assumption, then we showed that the citizen’s race is predictive of those threat perception failures, which we think is evidence of bias, and presumably implicit bias, although it’s impossible to tell.”The study’s analysis goes beyond the individual tragedies that too often dominate our newsfeeds. Its findings are in unfortunate harmony with the recent U.S. Department of Justice reviews of policing in Baltimore and Chicago, which illustrated patterns of racial bias.The report noted that officers may unconsciously develop biases over time. “In other words, the police—who are trained in the first place to be suspicious—become conditioned to view minorities with added suspicion,” according to the report. The authors said the findings have policy and practical implications, and researchers suggested that police departments should better train officers on how to reduce bias. The researchers also suggested that departments invest in body cameras to increase transparency.But, who will take such information and enforce a solution under a federal administration that appears to have a very different take on race and criminal justice? Again, many of these battles will need to be waged at the state level and with nonprofit leadership. C.J. Ciaramella writes for Reason that some large foundations and nonprofits haven’t lost a beat: “The American Civil Liberties Union is beefing up its Campaign for Smart Justice with the goal of reducing incarceration by 50 percent by 2020. In the coming months, the ACLU will roll out a roadmap for reducing incarceration by half in each of the 50 states.”Some readers may recall that the ACLU received $50 million from the Open Society Foundations to work on criminal justice reform in 2014, and that campaign has only grown.“States were ground zero for the battle against mass incarceration before the election and ground zero after the election of Donald Trump,” Udi Ofer, the director of the ACLU campaign, told reporters in press briefing last month. “This a battle that must be waged and won at the state level.”— Martin LevineShare9TweetShare6Email15 Shares
Share12Tweet4ShareEmail16 Shares“Now,” new 1lluminatiMarch 15, 2018; New York Times and the Washington PostJames Levine, the Metropolitan Opera’s music director for 40 years until 2016 and who had retained the position of artistic director for the Met’s young artist program, was fired after a “thorough investigation” by outside counsel. Former US attorney Robert J. Cleary found “credible evidence” of sexual misconduct. This action comes now after years of ignoring similar charges.In a statement published last Monday on the organization’s website, the Met announced that the “the investigation uncovered credible evidence that Mr. Levine had engaged in sexually abusive and harassing conduct both before and during the period when he worked at the Met. The investigation also uncovered credible evidence that Mr. Levine engaged in sexually abusive and harassing conduct towards vulnerable artists in the early stages of their careers, over whom Mr. Levine had authority. In light of these findings, the Met concludes that it would be inappropriate and impossible for Mr. Levine to continue to work at the Met.”Levine’s firing ended a relationship between the Met and Mr. Levine that dated back to the 1970s. For the Met, whose annual operating budget exceeds $300 million, Levine’s star power and artistic brilliance were key assets in strengthening their reputation, keeping their house full, and supporting ongoing fundraising. Levine, of course, was very well paid and could flex his artistic muscles on the stage of the nation’s leading opera company.While they both profited, stories of Levine’s misconduct had circulated for decades. According to the New York Times, “Johanna Fiedler, who was the Met’s press representative for 15 years, wrote about them in her 2001 book, Molto Agitato: The Mayhem Behind the Music at the Metropolitan Opera. ‘Starting in the spring of 1979, these stories came to the surface at more or less regular intervals. Each time, the Met press office would tirelessly point out the cyclical nature of the gossip and the complete lack of substance.’” Levine’s regular strenuous denials seemed sufficient for the Met’s board and management to discount them and take no action.In 2016, a former student formally accused Levine of sexual misconduct, launching an investigation by the police of Lake Forest, Illinois. The student had initially reached out to a member of the Met’s board, who referred him to the police. Met General Manager Peter Gelb acknowledged in last December’s announcement that the Met was investigating the charges that “this first came to the Met’s attention when the Illinois police investigation was opened in October of 2016.”At the time, Jim said that the charges were completely false, and we didn’t hear anything further from the police. We need to determine if these charges are true and, if they are, take appropriate action. We will now be conducting our own investigation with outside resources.Like many nonprofit organizations, the Met’s leadership has long had this problem before them. The current investigation corroborated many charges which, as Fiedler wrote about in 2001, date back to 1979. News reporters have since uncovered multiple cases of similar misconduct before and after he began to work at the Met. Yet it was only in 2017 that the Met chose to publicly acknowledge them as worthy of investigation. What kept them from acting earlier?Levine’s star power and his vigorous denials surely made the stakes quite high: “As understandably troubling as the accusations noted in recent press accounts are, they are unfounded. As anyone who truly knows me will attest, I have not lived my life as an oppressor or an aggressor.” For the Met’s leadership, going forward meant risking alienating Levine and the donors and fans who revered what he brought to the Company. With a $300 million budget to fund, that apparently weighed higher than defending those he abused.Thankfully, in this #MeToo era, the equation has changed. Within days of his firing, Levine sued the Metropolitan Opera for more than $5 million in damages, accusing the organization and its leadership of “cynically hijacking the goodwill of the #MeToo movement [and] brazenly seizing on these allegations as a pretext to end a longstanding personal campaign to force Levine out of the Met.” But a lawyer for the Met “said Levine wasn’t the victim of a vendetta but a man fired because of ‘credible and corroborated evidence of sexual misconduct.’”The Met stood tall and acted decisively. Even the cost of having its previous inaction become public was judged to be less harmful than remaining silent. In this, they are teaching every nonprofit organization a powerful lesson: The times have changed. Charges that were once dismissed out of hand because of the power imbalances of those involved need today to be reexamined. Even if there is no action to be taken, organizational leaders, boards, and staff have much to gain from that process.The questions that demand our focus are: What would you do today? What stopped us from acting then that will not stop us now? How would you manage the fallout? They deserve to be on every nonprofit board’s agenda.—Martin LevineShare12Tweet4ShareEmail16 Shares
Share12Tweet14ShareEmail26 Shares March 27, 2019; Grit PostThe drive to attach work requirements to health care benefits continues, as rumblings of attempts to dismantle Obamacare resurface. In the courts, at least, so far those who would impose work requirements are getting no joy.After ruling against a work requirement for Medicaid last June, US District Judge Boasberg, who called the requirements “capricious and arbitrary,” sent them back to the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). HHS then approved them with no changes, and Kentucky planned to implement them once again. Once again, Judge Boasberg ruled against the work requirement mandate—and, once again, HHS will consider the work mandate for low-income residents who work but still cannot afford the cost of healthcare.This ruling also extends to a program in Arkansas NPQ covered in September, one that already cost more than 18,000 their Medicaid coverage. For a variety of reasons, ranging from poor access to technology to misunderstanding how the program worked to a change in their work circumstances, these people couldn’t or didn’t participate in the plan and were punished for it.This leads to a dilemma: a federal administration looking to reduce the number of people drawing on Medicaid, with state leadership seeking to accommodate them, and a federal court system that keeps ruling that the goal of moving poor people off subsidized healthcare through work requirements is impermissible and sending HHS back to the drawing board.With the expansion of Medicaid in many states, governors are finding themselves between a rock and a hard place when it comes to providing healthcare for their states’ low-income residents. Brandon Howard, writing for Grit Post, notes that Kentucky’s Governor Matt Bevin “wants to overhaul the Obamacare expansions in Kentucky (dubbed KYnect), which would reduce the number of those enrolled in Medicaid by 95,000. If Bevin makes good on his threat to undo Medicaid altogether in the commonwealth, more than 400,000 low-income families could be without health benefits.”As the Trump administration threatens the total dismantling of the Affordable Care Act without options for what will go in its place, the outlook for the health and well-being of the poor in this nation is of great concern. At their core, the programs in Kentucky and Arkansas express the idea that work should lift you out of poverty. So far, it does not seem to be working. Perhaps the leadership in these and other states need to look at those findings and understand that minimum wage jobs will not support families and there is more to eradicating poverty than just moving people off welfare programs. Otherwise, expect more losses in the courts and continued poverty in your states.—Carole LevineShare12Tweet14ShareEmail26 Shares
African news channel Africa 24 has chosen Arabsat to extend its coverage and launch in French on the Badr-4 satellite at 26° East to reach the Middle East, North Africa and parts of western Europe. The channel is already available in France and sub-Saharan Africa.“With the exclusive launch of Africa 24, Arabsat continues to offer the best African programming line-up in the Middle-East and North Africa. Africa 24 is completely aligned to Arabsat Network’s continuing commitment to offer the most attractive African programming options to the diverse African communities at the best value,” said Constant Nemale, president and founder of Africa 24.
Revenues for Europe’s top pay TV channels is expected to grow by 31% to US$5.52 billion by 2018, with Viacom holding onto its slot as the leading international channel provider, according to Digital TV Research.According to Digital TV Research’s TV Channel Revenues in Europe report, Viacom will turn in revenues of US$749 million in Europe this year, followed by Eurosport with US$651 million and Discovery with US$772 million.The report predicts that Viacom will retain its number one slot in 2018 with revenues of US$975 million, with Eurosport and Discovery also holding onto their respective number two and three positions with US$801 million and US$772 million, although it is possible that the pair may have merged their operations by that date.Overall, carriage fee revenues for the top pay TV broadcasters are expected to grow by 14.1% from US$2.91 billion in 2012 to US$3.32 billion in 2018, while advertising revenues will grow from US$1.3 billion in 2012 to US$2.2 billion by 2018.Other leading European pay TV channel providers by revenue in 2013 are expected to include Disney, with US$491 million, Fox with US$420 million, Turner with US$396 million, NBC Universal with US$330 million, Chellomedia with US$254 million, Sony with US$138 million, BBC Worldwide with US$170 million and A+E Networks with US$111 million, according to the report.“The recession has hurt some regions more than others. The UK is buoyant overall, but no growth is expected in Spain & Portugal and Italy until next year. The estimates and forecasts in this report have been prepared using an analysis of a database of hundreds of financial records,” said report author Nicholas Moncrieff.
21st Century Fox has secured approval from the Australian Security Exchange to delist from the Australian stock market.The media company is expected to officially delist from the Australian stock exchange on May 8. Following that, all of 21st Century Fox’s common stock will be traded solely on the NASDAQ.According to the company, there will be no changes to the company’s operations, employees or business as a result of the delisting in Australia.
Liberty Global CEO, Mike Fries.Liberty Global converted more than 230,000 video customers to next-generation TV subscribers in the second quarter, with its combined Horizon and TiVo base now at nearly 4 million.Announcing its Q2 results, Liberty said that it added some 150,000 subscribers to is European, next-generation Horizon TV platform, and 80,000 to its TiVo service, which it offers in the UK via its Virgin Media subsidiary.“Subscriber additions and operating cash-flow growth each accelerated in Q2, with most of our markets delivering improved sequential performance as compared to Q1,” said Liberty Global CEO Mike Fries.However, he said that in the Netherlands Liberty continued to face “competitive and integration challenges” with Ziggo, the Dutch cable operator it bought last year, losing 87,000 subscription service customers in the quarter.“We have taken additional measures to improve our Dutch operational performance, including a quality improvement program and the launch of a summer promotion in mid-July, centred around Horizon TV,” said Liberty in its earnings announcement.Fries added: “Despite the headwinds in the Netherlands, we are confirming all of our 2015 guidance targets.”Liberty said that its Q2 results were underpinned by “strong top line performances in the UK, Germany and Belgium” and at the end of the quarter provided 25.7 million unique customers with 52.9 million subscription services across 48.6 million passed homes in Europe.It said Q2 organic additions consisted of 43,000 service subscribers in Western Europe and 52,000 in Central and Eastern Europe.“From a product perspective, broadband internet remained the primary source of our organic subscriber growth in Europe with 110,000 RGU (revenue generating unit) additions, driven largely by our German and Swiss operations, with 56,000 and 16,000 adds, respectively,” said Liberty.The firm also said that multi-screen video services have now also been launched in all its European markets under the brands Virgin TV Anywhere in the UK, Yelo TV in Belgium, and Horizon Go in all of its other European markets.Overall, Liberty reported quarterly revenue of US$4.3 billion, down slightly from the same period last year, which it attributed to negative foreign currency movements related to a strengthening of the US dollar. Adjusted for acquisitions, dispositions and foreign currency, Liberty said that operations attributed to the Liberty Global Group had rebased revenue growth of 3% year-on-year.
Analytics specialist Genius Digital has used TV Connect to launch its new Multiscreen Analytics tool.The launch of the tool, which can be integrated directly into the company’s existing Insight Platform, follows Genius Digital’s recent partnership announcement with Astro, the Malaysian broadcaster, and enables Genius Digital to provide a combined view of customer behaviour on both set-top boxes and multiscreen devices.“It’s great to see that the TV industry is increasingly embracing the science of data collection to generate insights about their subscribers. However, data alone can’t provide the answer to all of the problems operators face,” said Tom Weiss, CEO Genius Digital. “This is where honing the art of data is particularly important. At TV Connect we’ll highlight how utilising these insights effectively ensures that operators can create targeted campaigns that have a direct impact on their ability to attract and retain customers.”
Andrew NeilThe future of British broadcasting is at risk from SVOD “insurgents” like Netflix and Amazon, and from the threat of widespread foreign ownership, according to Andrew Neil.Speaking at the SES Satellite Monitor event in London yesterday, Neil – well-known as a broadcaster, journalist and the founding chairman of Sky TV – warned that British broadcasters in the future will be incapable of competing with global OTT services.Sky, he argued, is the one company well placed to compete with the likes of Netflix and Amazon owing to its scale, budget and ability to re-invent itself. However, he claimed that 21st Century Fox’s planned £11.7 billion takeover of the 61% it does not already own of Sky, which Neil expects to be green-lit, will actually limit the company’s autonomy to compete effectively – as decisions about spending and resources will be made “in a board room in New York”.“The culture secretary has referred the matter [Fox’s planned takeover of Sky] to Ofcom on plurality issues and on standards. It’s a half-hearted referral, I’d be very surprised if the regulators stopped this from going ahead,” said Neil.“In the short run that may be no bad thing. Fox has huge resources. It could be quite a symbiotic relationship. But I can tell you, as someone who’s been in business for a long time, being a wholly owned subsidiary of another company is entirely different from being your own PLC, as a limited company in charge of your own destination.”Discussing the BBC, Neil said that director Tony Hall’s pledge to make the iPlayer less of a catch-up service and more of a “must-visit destination” to compete with the likes of Netflix will not fundamentally benefit the public broadcaster.“Making the iPlayer better, making it more of a destination, seems perfectly sensible to me. But it won’t make much of a difference to the BBC’s business model. It won’t give the BBC global scale, which is what the streaming services have.”ITV, he said, had done a wonderful job in the past five to 10 years of “saving itself from precipitous decline”, but added that the commercial broadcaster’s problem now is “where does it go from here?”“It is simply too small to be a global player, but the huge success of ITV Studios, in an age when there is an arms race of content, makes it a very attractive acquisition for the likes of Liberty Global or NBCUniversal,” said Neil.He also claimed that it is difficult to see a future for advertising-supported public broadcaster Channel 4 other than as a small, niche broadcaster, operating in a “world of scale, expense and US$5 million-an-hour dramas.”“When you look at the business models of the BBC, of ITV, of Channel 4, it is quite hard to see how they are responding, and how they can respond to this new challenge… We’ve now got these insurgents with huge budgets, global scale, global reach, and a commitment to quality just as strongly as public service broadcasting in this country – but with more money to do it,” said Neil.“This country will remain an incredible creative hub. People come here to make programmes, we make our own programmes here, there’s going to be plenty of jobs in that. But in terms of owning the broadcasters, in terms of having the broadcasters in the 2020s that are equipped to deal with the challenges and are British, where will they come from? Channel 5 is already American owned, Virgin Media is already American owned, Sky is about to become American owned, ITV probably [will be] American owned before the end of the decade. If that is not a challenge for British broadcasting, I don’t know what is.”
Content security firm The Kudelski Group has agreed to sell its SmarDTV conditional access module (CAM) and set-top box businesses to Neotion for a cash consideration of US$20 million.The businesses will be transferred to SmarDTV Global, a new entity set-up by Neotion, when the deal closes – which is expected to be at the end of the month.Under the terms of the deal, Kudelski retained its offices in La Ciotat, France and Steeton, UK, and all patents. Additional earn-out payments may be owed based on CAM and set-top box sales volumes in the period up to the end of 2021.“This transfer of assets to a well-established player is part of the Kudelski Group’s strategy to focus on core activities in which it has or will reach critical mass and profitability to fund on-going growth initiatives,” said Kudelski chairman and CEO, André Kudelski.“In this transaction, we are placing a lot of attention on preserving our customers’ interests and ensuring their full satisfaction over time.”Neotion CEO Lionel Boissier said: “Neotion is strongly committed to ensure the continuity and the further development of both SmarDTV Global’s CAM and set-top box businesses, including the further development of an innovative product portfolio for the benefit of SmarDTV Global’s customers.”Kudelski’s operating entities, Nagra and Conax, will continue to manage the commercial relationships with their customers for CAMs and will market and sell SmarDTV Global’s CAMs in their respective markets.
Stand-up comedy SVOD service NextUp has raised more than £260,000 (€290,000) through crowd-sourced equity platform Seedrs.The subscription service launched the funding round five weeks ago and has already surpassed its £240,000 funding target for 10.3% equity in the business.At the time of writing, its funding has reached £262,839 for 11.18% equity, based on a pre-money valuation of £2.09 million. The funding campaign closes on September 23.“We aim to reflect the incredible variety of comedy circuit, whilst supporting the acts, so the success of our Seedrs campaign is a really lovely endorsement from the stand-up community that we’re heading in the right direction,” said NextUp CEO Daniel Berg.“Whilst we welcome investment from large corporations, the backing from comedy fans and ‘everyday investors’ has been instrumental and we’re incredibly humbled by everyone’s support.Bruce Tuchman, former president of AMC Global and Sundance Channel Global, invested in NextUp’s last funding round earlier this year and came on-board as an investor.NextUp costs viewers £3.50 a month and supports comedians with a Spotify-style revenue share model. The service is available on iOS, Android, Apple TV, Amazon Channels, Fire Stick and is due to launch soon on Roku devices.