TOKYO (AP) – A government panel will urge Japan to allow its military to help allies that come under attack, in a major reversal of the country’s ban on collective defense under its pacifist constitution.The panel on Tuesday discussed ways that Japan can improve its defense capability and said it will present its near-final draft recommendation in coming weeks, before its final report is expected after April. Men’s health affects baby’s health too Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wants Japan to play a greater role in international peacekeeping and step up its defense posture, mainly because of potential military threats that Japan sees from China and North Korea. As China’s influence rises and that of the United States fades in the region, Japan is trying to expand its defense alliance outside of its “cornerstone” ties with Washington and has signed defense agreements with several other countries, including Britain and Australia.The 14-member panel, headed by former Ambassador to the U.S. Shunji Yanai, says the revision is possible if the government alters its current interpretation of the war-renouncing constitution. Formal constitutional change involves high hurdles, though Abe eventually hopes to achieve that.The constitution, written under U.S. direction after World War II, says the Japanese people “forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation” and that “land, sea and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained.” The government has interpreted those clauses as meaning that Japan cannot possess offensive military weapons such as ICBMs or long-range strategic bombers. Comments Share 4 must play golf courses in Arizona Top Stories Sponsored Stories Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Abe and other supporters of the change believe that restrictions should be removed from the military, and that Japan’s current self-defense-only policy is inadequate as the region’s security environment becomes more challenging. They say U.S. warships may come under attack while in or near Japan, or there may be instances in which Japanese troops have to fight for allies during international peacekeeping missions, even when Japan is not attacked directly.“Japan’s preparation for national security threats in the region is not sufficient,” Abe said during Tuesday’s meeting. “We must cover all the bases to protect the people’s lives and safety in any possible scenario.”Japan has repeatedly loosened restrictions on its military over time as it tried to raise its international profile and meet expectations from the U.S. and other countries. But its peacekeeping missions have been limited to noncombat roles because of its pacifist rules, and a change would allow its troops to do more.The draft report is also expected to urge Japan to relax its restrictions on arms exports, participate more actively in U.N.-led security operations, and prepare a legal framework for its military to counter intrusions on remote Japanese-held islands, apparently including territory in the East China Sea also claimed by China. It would also urge Japan to strengthen its defense ties with its allies, most importantly the United States. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement (Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes
0 Comments Share Top Stories Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew is telling the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the United States’ international partners that negotiated the nuclear deal with Iran would “balk” if the U.S. asked them to continue to impose economic sanctions without implementing the diplomatic solution reached with Tehran.If that happened, Lew says, the U.S. would be left with neither a nuclear deal, nor any effective sanctions.He says it is “unrealistic to think that additional sanctions pressure would force Iran to totally capitulate.” And he says it’s impractical to think the U.S. could marshal a global coalition of partners to impose such sanctions pressure after turning down a deal that the other world powers in the negotiation “believe is a good one.”___Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz(moh-NEES’) is defending the Iran nuclear deal saying it is “pretty hard-nosed” and wasn’t what Tehran had envisioned in the final deal.Moniz tells the Senate Foreign Relations Committee: “This is not what Iran wanted.”He says “the deal is not built on trust. It’s pretty hard-nosed.” He’s seeking to persuade skeptical lawmakers that the deal is in the U.S. national security interest. Moniz adds that the agreement substantially roll backs Iran’s nuclear program.He says, “The deal is based on science and analysis. I’m confident that this is a good deal for America”___10:45Secretary of State John Kerry is casting the choice on the Iran nuclear deal in stark terms — an agreement that would limit the Islamic nation’s nuclear program, or no deal at all.Kerry is testifying before a Senate committee as the Obama administration publicly defends the much-debated accord. The administration is facing unified Republican opposition and doubts among some Democrats.Kerry also argues that if the deal is rejected, the diplomatic support the United States has garnered in recent years would evaporate.He tells the panel: “It’s a question of how do you hold their program back.”___10:25 a.m.The Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee tells Kerry point-blank that “you’ve been fleeced” by the Iranians in the recently completed nuclear agreement.Kerry was greeted with applause from anti-war demonstrators as a handful of members from CodePink rose in the hearing room. But the mood turned critical immediately as Sen. Bob Corker, who heads the panel, gaveled the hearing to order. Top holiday drink recipes Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Boxer recited a list of nations around the world that back the deal and said her Republican colleagues were being disrespectful.Boxer told Kerry that if he were “bamboozled, the world was bamboozled.”Republican Sen. Bob Corker, the committee’s chairman, said in his opening statement that Kerry was “fleeced” and GOP Sen. James Risch of Idaho said he was “bamboozled.”Kerry praised members of the negotiating team and said nobody “pulled the wool” over their eyes.___11:28 a.m.Republican Sen. Jim Risch is slamming the Iran nuclear deal.The Idaho senator says that anyone who believes the accord is a good deal “really joins the ranks of the most naive people on the face of the earth.”Risch says it makes no sense to trust Iran to hold up its side of the deal. He addressed his comments to Secretary of State John Kerry, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, who were seated at the witness stand Thursday on Capitol Hill.Risch tells the Cabinet secretaries: “With all due respect, you guys have been bamboozled and the American people are going to have to pay for it.”___11:18 a.m. EDT Corker tells Kerry he’s “fairly depressed” after listening to the secretary answer lawmakers’ questions Wednesday about the agreement in a classified briefing.Kerry is testifying with Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz (moh-NEES’) and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew about the deal Congress is expected to vote on in September.___.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Check your body, save your life Quick workouts for men Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Sponsored Stories Mesa family survives lightning strike to home WASHINGTON (AP) — The latest in a hearing the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is conducting on the agreement the United States and five other world powers struck this month with Iran to rein in its nuclear weapons program in exchange for relief from economic sanctions (asterisk)(all times local):11:54 a.m.Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer of California is chiding her Republican colleagues on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for saying Secretary of State John Kerry and representatives of the other world powers that negotiated or approved the nuclear agreement with Iran were “fleeced” and “bamboozled” by Tehran. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies
The US Senate has confirmed the appointment of Judith Gail Garber as the new American Ambassador to Cyprus.The American diplomat is expected to be sworn in over the coming days. It is not yet known when she will be arriving in Cyprus.Garber’s nomination was announced on August 15 and was presented before the Senate’s Foreign Affairs Committee on October 4 last year.Garber is a career diplomat and served as the US Ambassador to Latvia from 2009 until 2012. She has also served as Director of European Affairs and Assistant Secretary for Northern and Central Europe, and Acting Assistant Secretary for Oceans, Environment & Science.She will replace Kathleen Doherty.CNAYou May LikeFreedom Debt ReliefPeople In Heavy Debt Are In For A SurpriseFreedom Debt ReliefUndoPlarium I Vikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 minute and see why everyone is addictedPlarium I Vikings: Free Online GameUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)UndoThree arrested in connection with hotel theftsUndoby Taboolaby Taboola
Categories: Chatfield News Under new legislation introduced by state Rep. Lee Chatfield, the state will play a more significant role in the oversight of interstate petroleum pipelines running through Michigan, including increased coordination with the federal government to ensure better preparedness and emergency response in the case of a spill.“The ultimate goal of this legislation is to protect the public health, safety and welfare of Michigan citizens, our natural resources and our economy,” said Rep. Chatfield, R-Levering. “Currently, the federal government is in the driver’s seat on our pipeline safety issues while Michigan officials are along for the ride stuffed in the trunk. My bill will see to it that we can play a greater role by establishing better coordination with the federal government to ensure our state agencies are fully informed and are better prepared to respond to emergencies.”Oil pipelines have requirements to meet under the Oil Pollution Act (OPA) of 1990 which requires the owners/operators of oil pipelines to develop detailed site-specific Spill Response Plans to detail chain of authority for spills, specify personnel and equipment capable of responding to a “worst case” spill from a pipeline or other facility, and describe training, testing, and unannounced drills.Neither the OPA nor the state of Michigan requires petroleum pipeline operators in Michigan to submit their spill response plans to the state for review and approval. Nor are they required to report spills directly to the state.“This legislation would not duplicate the existing planning process, although it will help to ensure that state and local agencies are in the loop as plans are tested and implemented,” concluded Rep. Chatfield.HB 5198 has been referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources for further consideration.### Bill ensures state agencies are fully informed and better prepared to respond in an emergency 01Feb Rep. Chatfield introduces legislation to strengthen pipeline safety
10May Rep. Howell’s jobs training data bill approved by House committee Legislation by state Rep. Gary Howell, which called for data sharing by the state government to colleges, job training agencies and intermediate school districts was approved by the House Workforce and Talent Development Committee Tuesday.Legislation introduced by Howell is part of a bi-partisan bill package to improve career training by requiring the state government to share employment information to evaluate programs and improve curriculums to better prepare Michigan residents for the job market. Current state law does not allow community colleges or job training agencies to access the information.“Job information is a valuable tool we have to combat our state’s unemployment and we should use it,” Howell said. “As Michigan continues to diversify its workforce, we will have more job options for our residents. However, we need to have the most up-to-date jobs training programs possible.”The legislative package includes a provision that requires community colleges and workforce development agencies not breach an individual’s confidentiality in using the information. Any violation is punishable as a misdemeanor.“These bills are an opportunity for us to make Michigan stronger and make better employment opportunities available to our residents,” Howell said.House Bill 4545, submitted by state Rep. Jim Ellison, and HB 4546, sponsored by Howell, advance to the House. Categories: Howell News,News
House approves legislation to safeguard students on school property Categories: Glenn News,News 08Mar Rep. Glenn votes to protect underage sex crime victims State Rep. Gary Glenn today voted in support of legislation to help local school districts better protect students who are underage victims of sex crimes.The three-bill package requires schools to permanently expel students who are convicted of criminal sexual conduct against another pupil enrolled in the same school district; prohibit an expelled student from attending another public school in Michigan unless they go through a reinstatement process; and, if a personal protection order is ordered for the victim of sexual assaults, the offender would be prohibited from entering the victim’s school.“This is purely common sense legislation because it is unfathomable that sexual predators can be riding the bus or be in the same classroom with their victims, just because both are legally minors,” said Glenn, of Williams Township. “If the perpetrator and their victims were adults, the law allows judges and police to severely limit contact and protect the victims, if not putting that offender in jail. Unfortunately, that is not the case for underage victims and we must address it.”Currently, a school is only required to expel a student who commits a sex crime on school grounds. The legislation was prompted by a recent Livingston County case where a 16-year-old was convicted of criminal sexual conduct against multiple victims as young as 12.“School campuses and communities must be kept as safe as possible – these bills are another easy step toward that goal” Glenn said. “We have to work together to ensure we are safeguarding all our students.”House Bills 5530, 5531 and 5532 advance to the Senate for its consideration.#####
Share17TweetShare1Email18 SharesJanuary 20, 2016; CNNDarnell Earley, the man who “emergency managed” the city of Flint, Michigan, into a new water system that has poisoned thousands of children, is now emergency managing the Detroit schools where threats to the health and safety of children and staff have been exposed. This poses a serious problem of credibility for Governor Snyder. Curt Guyette, an investigative reporter with the ACLU, focuses on emergency management and its effects on democracy. In an interview with Amy Goodman, he discusses the ways in which emergency management and democracy do not easily co-exist. In emergency management, he says, the manager is given “extreme unchecked authority.”They were given the ability to come in, clean up the problems, and get out. And so there was an 18-month time limit put on their terms. Except that this governor is exploiting what amounts to a loophole in that law. So what happens is that these emergency managers serve for 17 months and 29 days, and the day before their term expires, they resign. A new emergency manager is put in place, and the clock starts ticking all over again. And they just shuffle them from one place to another. So Earley goes from Flint to run DPS. And it just perpetuates this control. It can go on, really, forever, if they want it to, denying people of their democratically elected representation, because the school board, which has been fighting emergency management every step of the way, gets completely marginalized. They have zero authority whatsoever. And that goes to the heart of the problem of this law. It eliminates the democratic checks and balances that make a democracy functional.NPQ has been following the situation unfolding in Detroit after public school teachers took to social media and the streets to protest what many consider deplorable building conditions. As a consequence of their protests, which involved mass absences on the part of teachers in the last two weeks, otherwise known as “sick-outs,” Detroit schools have been forced to stay closed a number of days during the week, leaving parents scrambling to manage their children. In response, the school district has filed a lawsuit asking for a restraining order and temporary injunction to forcibly stop the “sick outs.”The lawsuit is addressed against the Detroit Federation of Teachers, interim teachers’ union president Ivy Bailey, and 23 individual Detroit public school teachers.“It is regrettable that the Detroit Public Schools seeks to punish those who speak out about the deplorable conditions in our schools,” Bailey said. “It would be so much more productive to actually do something to fix Detroit schools rather than file restraining orders against those who expose the miserable conditions.”According to Reuters, Wednesday saw the closure of nearly all the public schools in Detroit: 88 out of 97. (The first time, on January 11th, 67 schools closed.) As accounted by district spokeswoman Michelle Zdrodowski, “44,790 of the district’s 46,325 students lost a critical day of instruction.”“There were, however, nine district schools that stayed open today. We appreciate the teachers and staff at those schools for being in their classrooms and ensuring that their students are learning today.”With the serious health concerns of neighboring Flint’s water system drawing so much attention, last week’s “sick out” made headlines when it drew attention to the seriously deficient conditions of Detroit’s school buildings. Speakers at a rally described the schools with such problems as “mold, leaky ceilings, busted windows, rodents, roaches, lack of heat and standing water.” The aggrieved faculty members were not shy in posting pictures to social media depicting the conditions under which they were teaching—and, consequently, students were trying to learn.Lacetia Walker, an instructional specialist in special education for the Detroit school district, told the Detroit Free Press, “Things have been happening for so long, and I think teachers felt like they had no voice. This has been a way for us to draw attention to the conditions of the buildings, the fact that teachers’ STEP pay has been frozen for years…. We realized that nobody is coming to save us, so we have to save ourselves.”A Twitter account, @Detroitteach, with the description “Teacher voice for Detroit” uploaded several images, presumably from Detroit schools.Classroom @Cody DPS #supportDPSteachers @DreaMcCoy @DetroitEducator @PedroniTom @ktwomeyMEd pic.twitter.com/mDg19aLHjG— Detroitteach (@teachDetroit) January 13, 2016Does your school look like this? #supportDPSteachers pic.twitter.com/jBGbkqoM4z— Detroitteach (@teachDetroit) January 15, 2016Even in the new schools. Missing soap dispensers and lack of repairs. #supportDPSteachers pic.twitter.com/9ulWk0harF — Detroitteach (@teachDetroit) January 15, 2016 Another classroom catching water from leaking roofs. #supportDPSteachers pic.twitter.com/6UurHpYEy1 — Detroitteach (@teachDetroit) January 12, 2016Last week, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan described what he saw after touring just four schools: “There were some schools that were very well maintained. There were some other schools that would just break your heart, where students wore their coats in class until it was warm enough to take them off or where children couldn’t use the gym because of the water damage.”Despite the manifest health hazards, no quick fix seems to be in sight, and the school district doesn’t seem to have much of an explanation for the disrepair. However, as readers may remember, Detroit is only barely coming out of its bankruptcy from several years ago, and the school district is billions of dollars in debt. The bureaucratic labyrinth and lack of clear leadership reflects the complexity of a district which has been under state management for years, has a growing financial problem and little clear direction for a solution.But plans to reorganize Detroit’s public schools and increase funding continue to be stalled in the state’s legislature. A new proposal was introduced last week, and Gov. Rick Snyder urged legislators to move forward quickly; however, there is strong opposition to the bills as written because they do not include a prompt end to state control and a return of responsibility to the elected school board. While these wheels move slowly and deliberately, it’s the children and their teachers who will be trying to learn—and hoping to not get sick.—Martin Levine and Shafaq HasanShare17TweetShare1Email18 Shares
Share3Tweet3Share7Email13 SharesSeptember 15, 2016; PoliticoPress reports indicate that House conservatives and moderates have reached a deal to avoid a floor vote on impeaching IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. Under the arrangement, the privileged resolution introduced earlier this week would be withdrawn, and the House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing next Wednesday with Koskinen as sole witness. The compromise allows GOP moderates to avoid an immediate vote on impeachment while giving conservatives the opportunity to grill Koskinen under oath about what they see as his efforts to obstruct Congressional and other investigations into the IRS scandal while giving him what moderates characterize as “due process.”With all House Democrats opposing impeachment and GOP members split on the issue, it was highly unlikely that the privileged resolution for impeachment would pass. This provided House GOP moderates with leverage to make a deal. On the other hand, a “no” vote on impeachment was being characterized as a vote in support of the IRS, a perennially unpopular federal agency. With elections only weeks away, supporting the IRS against GOP conservatives was unpalatable, thereby giving conservatives leverage to force a hearing.Any vote on impeachment would be delayed until after the November elections, meaning that the House would reconvene in a “lame duck” session in late November or early December.As NPQ reported on the impeachment prospects in a previous newswire, the impeachment vote is more symbolic than real, owing to its partisan nature and, especially, the near impossibility of an impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate resulting in Koskinen’s conviction and removal from office. The next president and a new Congress will take office in January, presenting the perfect chance for the 77-year old IRS Commissioner to resign his post for reasons unrelated to the scandal and impeachment threat and allow a new commissioner to take office and, we hope, allow focus to move to the IRS’s funding and programmatic needs—not least of which is addressing nonprofit regulation and oversight.—Michael WylandShare3Tweet3Share7Email13 Shares
The BBC is to reduce the video offering on its Red Button service on Sky, Freesat and Virgin Media from five streams to one as part of a series of changes to the Red Button service.Tom Williams, development editor for red button and dual screen in BBC Vision, said the consolidation of the video service, which will take place on October 15, was necessary because the cost of using linear broadcast technology to deliver multiple streams. The Freeview version of the service delivers only a single video stream.Williams said the change “in no way signals the demise of BBC Red Button”. He said the service would continue to support a wide range of TV and radio output including events such as Wimbledon and the Glastonbury Festival. However, the reduction in the number of video streams will mean that the BBC will no longer be able to offer multiscreen coverage of big events via broadcast platforms. The multiscreen services will continue to be available online, meaning that viewers with access to connected TV services will be able to view them on TV. Williams said the BBC was “developing new ways of bringing enhanced coverage of major events to your televisions in the future”.The BBC will move forward with plans to develop its ‘Connected Red Button’ service, outlined earlier this year by BBC on-demand general manager Daniel Danker, combining elements of the Red Button service with elements of BBC Online. New functions will include live restart of programmes. The first version of the service is set to launch later this year.
French pay TV operator Canal Plus has launched a companion screen app for rugby fans.The Canal Rugby App will allow viewers to watch Top 14 French rugby clubs’ matches from a range of different camera positions as they are broadcast live on Canal Plus on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.The app will also make available additional video content covering the arrival of players at the stadium, warm ups and other behind the scenes action, post-match interviews and complete coverage of press conferences. Viewers can also access highlights of all Top 14 matches, as well as interviews and analysis.Other features include the ability to take notes on the match and players and compare these with those of other subscribers and the ability to exchange and share commentary via Twitter.The launch of the app follows Canal Plus’s successful launch of similar service for football fans, which has been downloaded 700,000 times.
Sky Deutschland CEO Brian SullivanAfter four years of rebuilding the business, Sky Deutschland is set to turn a positive EBITDA this year and will grow rapidly in 2014, according to CEO Brian Sullivan.“We’ve been going through recapitalising the business for four years and with the completion of that we’ve completed the restructuring of the business. We are finally going to turn the corner and, on a small scale, we will be profitable on an EBITDA basis this year. In 2014 that growth will increase rapidly,” said Sullivan, speaking on the opening panel at ANGA COM today.Sullivan said Sky had a “straightforward” pay TV business model. Pay TV is not a “mandatory product” yet for consumers in Germany, so Sky had to differentiate by providing something different, he said.Sullivan said the company had invested and sought to provide more value over the last four years, and that quality of coverage of sports and content from the likes of HBO meant that Sky could now provide “good value”.He said that relative to competitors and pay TV peers, Sky Deutschland was still relatively small. “We are approaching the scale where we can have a profitable business…but we are still quite small,” said Sullivan. “We aspire to be in many more homes and hopefully we are doing the right things to achieve that.”Sullivan said the Bundelsiga was “undoubtedly the most exciting product on the market” and this year, the involvement of German teams in the final of the Champions League had carried interest right through to the summer. He added that Sky would continue to invest in additional content for the platform.“We are expecting to invest in more programming, content and even channels. We still believe in channels,” he said, claiming that Sky would “invest in places where we feel we can differentiate” rather than compete directly with free to air channels.Sullivan said Sky’s audience was typically younger than the average for free-to-air channels, and that the average age of new customers had gone down over the last four years. Services including Sky Sports News and Sky Go have a stronger appeal to a youthful demographic, he said. This was beneficial, he said, because younger users were more likely to recommend services that they used than older viewers.
Didier BellensBelgian telco Belgacom has said it is searching for a new permanent CEO after the Belgian government, which is the majority owner of the firm, ousted current boss Didier Bellens at the end of last week.In a statement, Belgacom said it has “taken note of the Government’s decision to end the collaboration with Mr. Didier Bellens” and said it has handed over the CEO responsibilities on an interim basis to executive vice-president of finance and chief financial officer Ray Stewart, and Belgacom chairman of the board Stefaan De Clerck.The firm said it has immediately started its search for a full time CEO and has selected an external headhunting agency to draw up a list of potential candidates for the role. The government will make the final appointment decision.Prime Minister Elio di Rupo told reporters last week that the Belgian state, which has a 53.3% holding in Belgacom, had lost confidence in Bellens due to his “repeated criticism” of the authorities.Commenting on the changes, De Clerck said that Stewart, who has been at Belgacom since 1997, was “ideally placed to ensure a smooth transition period. For this he has the explicit support of the entire board of directors and the whole management team.”
Russian service provider Rostelecom has awarded contracts for the supply of equipment to build Metro Ethernet fibre-to-the-building and GPON fibre networks.The operator placed contracts worth RUB1.570 billion (€34.5 million), saving over 35% on its initial maximum budget.Rostelecom is placing orders worth RUB375.7 million for access switches, RUB183.1 million for aggregation equipment, RUB708.1 million for FTTB cabinets and RUB303.3 million for GPON equipment.
ABox42 will exhibit at IBC on stand 14.J13 ABox42’s set-tops have been chosen by FTTH operator Deutsche Glasfaser to deliver TV services over its fibre network in Germany. Deutsche Glasfaser has chosen the ABox42 M-Series SmartSTB platform including the ABox42 advanced DVB feature set for its DGTV service, which will include around 100 SD channels, 50 HD and 100 radio channels and will be launched in October.Deutsche Glasfaser is one of the first major operators to deliver a full live IPTV service using unicast technologies, avoiding the need to set up and operate a complex multicast network for its service.The deployment will use technologies including HTML5, HLS adaptive bitrate streaming, and HbbTV services in combination with a HTML5 GUI and HLS Unicast adaptive bitrate streaming.Verimatrix is providing conditional access for the project, which will support Germany’s major VoD services and smart TV apps. Deutsche Glasfaser is also using ABox42 OPX Smart SaaS and cloud TV services for management of the box deployment in the field.“Operator services over time get more and more complex and offer much deeper functionality than in the traditional TV world. With our SmartSTB platform and the advanced Software Development Kit, Deutsche Glasfaser was able to develop a compelling user experience with all modern TV features quickly,” said Matthias Greve, CEO of ABox42. “Our SDK is based on fast performing HTML5 and can easily be integrated into existing operator backends of our customers.”
TV technology outfit Kudelski Group has posted strong full-year results, with a 12.3% increase in revenues driven by digital TV and its public access arm.Kudelski posted revenues of just over CHF1 billion (€940 million) and operating profit of CHF98 million, up 20.4%.The group said it expected to continue growing this year, although profitability will not reach the same level as 2016. It expects revenues of US$1.15-1.2 billion (€1.1-1.13 billion) and operating profit of US$60-80 million.Digital TV revenues grew by 10.5% in 2016, reaching CHF730.2 million, and segment operating income increased by 19.3% to CHF99.4 million.The growth was boosted by a number of new contracts, including a contract to supply conditional access for Altice USA’s 4K Ultra HD cable offering and a new multi-year contract with Canal+ covering its domestic and international services. Canal+, in addition to CA, will use the Nagra Insight analytics platform. Revenues were also boosted by the ongoing supply of CA for Dish Network in the US.In South Africa, Sentech partnered with Nagra to launch its satellite gap filler programme in order to bring service to areas not covered by its DTT network, while DTH operator Platco switched from competition to Nagra cardless security technology for its new Openview HD service offering, which was launched in November 2016.Nagra cross the 10 million digital cable subscribers milestone in India, while Taiwan Broadband Cable shipped close to one million OpenTV5 set-top boxes, making Tawian one fo the largest OpenTV5 deployments in Asia.Kudelski’s other conditional access brand, Conax, signed 11 new deals in the course of the year across Europe, Latin America and India, and signed 20 additional contracts with existing customers.Revenues in the public access segment also grew strongly, by 14.4% to CHF318.7 million.
‘Best of the web’ channel provider QYou Media has struck a deal with Ericsson to use the latter’s Unified Delivery Network (UDN) platform, designed to provide an alternative to traditional CDNs by enabling content providers to reach Ericsson’s customer base of service providers.Under the pair’s deal Ericsson will deliver QYou content over the UDN to existing customers while also introducing QYou’s millennial-focused programming to Ericsson’s service provider customer base. Ericsson said that the ad-supported content distribution model is designed to create new opportunities for QYou, Ericsson and service providers.In addition to delivering QYou’s content via the UDN, Ericsson will also distribute The QYou app on connected TVs and set-top boxes. There will also be provision for The QYou to add localised content to new connected devices and new markets.Marcus Bergström, Director of UDN programme and strategy at Ericsson, said: “Many of the world’s largest service providers and content providers use our UDN ecosystem to deliver content to connected customers around the world. With many millennials opting for skinny bundles or free short-form content online through social media, there is an opportunity to use our network, to add value, and to monetise the content that clearly appeals to this hard-to-reach market segment. QYou’s best-of-web content will provide our partner and customers with a ready means to attract and retain younger subscribers.”Curt Marvis, CEO and co-founder of QYou Media, said: “More and more TV providers are recognising the need to match millennial tastes with millennial programming. We strongly believe that digital-first content, expertly curated and packaged, has a home on television’s multiscreen landscape. Hot on the heels of our expanded distribution into 17 million homes with Tata Sky in India, comes this deal that has the potential to deliver QYou to hundreds of millions of subscribers globally. Partnering with Ericsson, one of the leading companies in the content-delivery industry and as part of a broader ecosystem that now encompasses 55 content providers and 40 service providers around the world, is another step to bringing web-first content to a wider audience, and showcasing its monetisation potential.”
McMafiaThe BBC reported a record 328 million programme requests on iPlayer in January, marking “the best month on record” for the catch-up service.The BBC said the number of shows accessed on the iPlayer in January was up 10% compared to the same month in 2017, with an average of 10.6 million daily requests for TV content in January this year.BBC crime drama McMafia was the most popular show of the month, with episode one of the series streamed 3.4 million times. Three other episodes from this series were among the top-10 most requested shows in January.The other top 10 most-requested shows of the month were episodes of the dramas Silent Witness and Hard Sun, as well as three episodes of long-running soap opera Eastenders.“2018 has got off to a flying start, thanks in no small part to a range of gripping BBC dramas. McMafia, Hard Sun and Silent Witness dominate our most popular programmes on iPlayer for January, as does the always strong-performing EastEnders,” said Dan McGolpin, controller of programming and daytime for the BBC.“It was also impressive to see the wildlife series Big Cats make this month’s top five performing series with an average of over 1 million requests per episode. It’s been a great start to the year, and we’re aiming to build on that success in the coming months.”Last month the BBC said that 2017 was the “best year ever” for the iPlayer. Company stats revealed that viewers streamed 272 million programmes per month on average in 2017, with total requests growing to 3.3 billion – an 11% increase on the previous year.
TV ad measurement company iSpot.tv is seeking to bolster the adoption of its TV advertising analytics technology with an additional US$30 million of investment capital.Sean MullerThe new money brings investment in iSpot.tv to US$57.8 million since the company started to offer real-time TV advertising analytics at scale in 2012.iSpot, which delivers actionable analytics to a wide range of US brands, says it has grown its annual subscription base to more than 200 blue-chip brands, and increased revenues 100% or more year-over-year for five years running.It says this rapid market adoption is down to iSpot’s ability to measure TV advertising with digital precision and help brands definitively attribute TV ad exposures to business outcomes.“We have entered a new era of TV advertising measurement that looks a lot more like digital, except on a medium not hampered by digital’s fraud challenges,” said iSpot founder and CEO Sean Muller.“The most important thing isn’t exactly how a TV ad gets on a screen or what programme or service it runs against. What matters is which factors are driving actions from customers. We’re helping brands take ownership of these insights to make greater impact on their business.”iSpot says it has built the consistent and actionable measurement required to support a shift from GRPs (Gross Rating Points) and rough estimates of age and gender to an audience and business outcome-based approach.Companies endorsing its approach include T-Mobile. “We trust iSpot and have partnered with them to push the envelope on how our TV advertising investment is deployed and how its effectiveness is measured,” said T-Mobile EVP marketing Nick Drake.
Orange saw solid growth in TV, mobile and fixed broadband in the quarter to March, but this did not translate into strong revenue growth in what CEO Stéphane Richard described as a “particularly challenging competitive context, notably in our two principal countries of France and Spain”.Stéphane RichardOrange had 9.658 million TV customers at the end of March, up from 9.097 a year earlier.In France, the operator had 7.103 million, up from 6.867 million, while in Spain, Orange’s TV subscriber base grew from 641,000 to 705,000. Elsewhere in Europe, the operator’s TV base grew from 1.589 million to 1.85 million year-on-year.Richard said that convergence “continues to be an engine for growth and loyalty for the Group” and highlighted the strong performance of Orange France in signing up customers to its fibre broadband service, with 168,000 new customers taking fibre in the quarter.Given the competitive environment, Orange is increasingly focusing on ways to mitigate costs. Last week the operator signed up to a network-sharing agreement with Vodafone in Spain, covering fibre and 5G. The group expects this project to generate savings of about €800 million over four years, including €100 million this year.Orange posted revenues of €10.2 billion for the quarter, down 0.1% on a comparable basis, with adjusted EBITDA standing at €2.6 billion.“Orange reported Q1 results this morning which were very much in line with our expectations and those of consensus. The outlook for French telco companies has improved recently as we’ve seen nascent signs of a ceasefire in the price war which began five years ago. Given the recurring nature of revenue at Telcos the industry has assumed high levels of debts over recent years. This means that if we see positive inflections in pricing which may have a small effect on revenues this will translate to a large effect on profits,” said Freddie Lait of Latitude Investment Management.“Orange as the market leader will need to maintain price discipline in order for pricing power to return to the market, and we will be interested to hear management comments on this during the call. Convergence continues to be a strong point of differentiation for Orange customer retention rates. For investors one of the key benefits of investing in Orange compared to incumbent peers is that during this phase of industry turnaround Orange are decreasing capex while others continue to need to spend more. All in all we believe Orange is incredibly well positioned to benefit from renewed pricing power and any possible consolidation in the French market, all while their investments in customer service and their network continue to bear fruit.”
By Ecole polytechnique Université Paris-Saclay – Fondation de l’École polytechnique (FX), CC BY-SA 2.0Telecom tycoon and founder of Altice, Patrick Drahi, has made a shock move into the art world by purchasing London auction house Sotheby’s for £2.9 billion (€3.37 billion).This marks the first time in 31 years that the historic company has been privately owned.“I am honoured that the board of Sotheby’s has decided to recommend my offer,” said Drahi, who founded Altice and serves as chairman. “Sotheby’s is one of the most elegant and aspirational brands in the world. As a longtime client and lifetime admirer of the company, I am acquiring Sotheby’s together with my family.”Drahi has a current net worth of approximately US$7.9 billion (€7.05 billion). He was ranked by Forbes in 2015 as the 60th-richest person in the world and the third-richest person in France.The mogul said that the takeover would be funded through financing arranged by French bank BNP Paribas and equity provided by his own funds. Reuters reports that Drahi will not be selling shares in his Altice Europe business, but would be cashing in a small stake in his Altice USA division. Drahi continued: “This investment will further demonstrate the anchoring of my family in the United States, a country where we have been very welcomed since the successful acquisitions of Suddenlink in 2015, Cablevision in 2016 and just recently Cheddar.”