Turismo de Portugal (TdP) conducted successful roadshows combined with B2B sessions, recently in New Delhi and Mumbai.The aim of the roadshow was to educate and motivate the focused invitee list of preferred travel agents, tour operators and trade partners and update their knowledge about Portugal, the products it has to offer, USP’s of the destination, exchange rate, visas and how it caters to different segments of the Indian travellers.The event was divided into two different sessions — one was the focused B2B sessions where the invitees held business meetings with the Portugal DMCs. The DMCs and their top management attended the roadshow; including Ricardo Ferreira, Head of Incoming and MICE, Osíris; Tânia Dias, Director of Sales, Tours for You and Naresh Chandnani of Representation Serene Experiences; and Bruno Canhoto, Commercial Manager, Top Atlântico. They discussed the itineraries ideal for the Indian market, pricing, how to build a Portugal program and several ways to include Portugal in the Indian travellers’ leisure or MICE plans.The B2B session was followed by Filipe Silva, Member of Board of Directors, Turismo de Portugal, addressing the agents and sharing a presentation on Portugal. He spoke about the various aspects of the destination including outdoor activities, the safe and friendly environment of Portugal, beaches and the bay area, festivals, shopping and nightlife of Portugal. The other delegates from Turismo de Portugal (TdP) attending the Roadshow were Miguel Moraes, Head of Trade Marketing and Paulo Palhota, Trade Relations.The tourism revenue of Portugal in 2017 was EUR 15 billion (against EUR 12.7 billion in 2016), the number of bed nights grew 7.4% to 57 million (53,5 in 2016) and the number of guests grew 8.9% to 20.6 million (19.1 in 2016).“The revenue from India grew 25% in 2017 for a total of nearly EUR 15 million (EUR 11.8 million in 2016), the number of bed nights grew 18.8% to 91.866 (77.347 in 2016) and the number of Indian guests grew 11.9% to 34.606 (30.923 in 2016). However, our main wish is still for Indian travellers to have a good time in our country, to enjoy our landscape, our monuments, our food, our wine, our traditional song fado and all the unique experiences our country has to offer,” said Silva.The New Delhi roadshow was attended by Diogo Rocha, Business Attaché, Embassy of Portugal in India. Capt. Somesh Batra, Consul of Portugal, Mumbai was present during the Mumbai roadshow.
July 26, 2018 507 Views Mortgage Rates Remain Stable … For Now Freddie Mac homes HOUSING Inventory loans mortgage 2018-07-26 Radhika Ojha in Daily Dose, Featured, News, Origination Mortgage rates moved up slightly over the past week to end July on a strong note, according to the latest Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market survey. The rates surged over the past week to their highest level since late June, the survey said.While the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose two basis points to 4.54 percent over 4.52 percent registered last week, they were well above the 3.92 percent recorded last year.The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage also rose slightly to 4.02 percent from 4 percent. A year ago, it averaged 3.2 percent, Freddie Mac said.Five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid Adjustable-rate Mortgages (ARM) remained unchanged from the week prior at 3.87 percent. However, a year ago, during the same period, they were at 3.20 percent, the survey indicated.While the rates have remained stable, the next few months will be key for gauging the health of the housing market, according to Sam Khater, Chief Economist, Freddie Mac. “Existing sales appear to have peaked, sales of newly built homes are slowing and unsold inventory is rising for the first time in three years,” he said.Strong economic growth and concerns over tariffs have also continued to neutralize movement this week and according to Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at Realtor.com, buyers can expect “mortgage rates to continue to hold steady until one of these opposing forces wins out over the other.”Khater also pointed to the increasing pressure on affordability as one of the indicators to watch for. “Affordability pressures are increasingly a concern in many markets as the combination of continuous price gains and higher mortgage rates appear to be giving more prospective buyers a pause,” he said. “This is why new and existing-home sales are not breaking out this summer despite the healthy economy and labor market.”Read more about how new and existing home sales performed:New Home Sales Paint a Favorable PictureWhile Home Sales Lag, Demand Grows Share
AccorHotels and sbe Entertainment Group have announced the completion of AccorHotels’ acquisition of a 50% stake in sbe, a partnership that the hotel group says will allow it to pursue its strategy to expand its offering in the luxury lifestyle hospitality segment and its footprint in gateway cities across North America.This long-term investment will allow sbe to leverage AccorHotels’ leading global hospitality platform while remaining an independent luxury lifestyle operator. sbe will continue to be led by its Founder and CEO Sam Nazarian as well as its expert management team while retaining its global headquarters in New York.sbe hotels, culinary and entertainment venues will be distributed on the AccorHotels platform, be featured on Accorhotels.com and will be part of the AccorHotels loyalty program. With its global hotel development platform and its presence in 100 countries, AccorHotels will play a key role in developing sbe’s iconic luxury lifestyle hotel, restaurant and entertainment brands globally including SLS, Delano, Mondrian, Hyde and The Originals (Sanderson, St. Martin Lane, 10 Karakoy, Shore Club and Redbury).Renowned for its unique 360-degree approach to lifestyle hospitality sbe develops, manages and operates award-winning global properties and brands that includes luxury residences, serviced apartments, wellness and spa platforms and dining & entertainment experiences.Sam Nazarian, Founder and CEO of sbe: “This partnership with AccorHotels marks the beginning of a new chapter in sbe’s history and I’m thrilled that this strategic partnership has now been completed. sbe has grown rapidly since the acquisition of Morgans Hotel Group in 2016. The sbe portfolio will grow to over 50 hotels by 2020, paired with tremendous expansion in the residential, culinary and entertainment segment of the 360 lifestyle experience, including over 50 global venues in the pipeline. The partnership with AccorHotels is only going to accelerate this growth both in the US and in international markets. Sébastien Bazin has built an incredibly successful global platform in an ecosystem and digital market. Everyone at sbe is hugely excited to combine the unique offerings of both groups to provide our guests with unparalleled lifestyle experiences.”IMAGE: sbe corporate office – Los Angeles California AccorHotelsacquisitionhotelspartnershipsbe Entertainment
Prolific and versatile poet wins $60,000 award by The Associated Press Posted May 2, 2018 5:50 am PDT Last Updated May 2, 2018 at 6:40 am PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email NEW YORK, N.Y. – A Chinese-American poet known for blending a wide range of influences has won a $60,000 prize.John Yau is this year’s winner of the Jackson Poetry Prize, Poets & Writers told The Associated Press on Wednesday. The prize is given to an American writer of “exceptional” talent who deserves greater recognition.In dozens of books, Yau has drawn upon everything from visual art to both Eastern and Western culture. His poetry collections include “Paradiso Diaspora,” ”Corpse and Mirror” and “Borrowed Love Poems.”Poets & Writers is a non-profit organization founded in 1970.
Eleni Polykarpou Kililis is 62, and seriously ill with a disease that weakens the muscles, Myasthenia Gravis.She needs expensive medicine in order to “live with dignity”, which the state will no longer supply to her and other patients.But can sick people simply demand any kind of medicine and expect to get it – or is there a limit, especially in times of crisis?Related story: Patients are ‘dying over lack of drugs’You May LikeInsured Nation – Auto Insurance QuotesNew Rule in Rowland Heights, California Leaves Drivers FumingInsured Nation – Auto Insurance QuotesUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoIcePopMan Notices A Strange Hole In This Lake, So He Gets A Drone, Flies It Inside And Captures ThisIcePopUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoPensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoby Taboolaby Taboola
SCHOOL bus drivers decided to call off their Monday strike, which caused many schoolchildren to miss classes, after a meeting at the Transport Ministry later in the day. School buses were running at lunch-time on Monday.Transport minister Vasiliki Anastasiades said that although the issue was an “internal dispute” of Larnaca’s Zenon bus company, the interested parties where invited to the ministry for a meeting with the permanent secretary and the “specific issue was resolved.School bus drivers in Larnaca called a strike on Monday over unpaid wages, claiming they had not been paid since October. Chairman of Zenon bus company, Loucas Louca told Cyprus News Agency the bus drivers, who were not employees but associates are demanding what they are owed, but the company is unable to pay them because the state will not give the necessary amounts, so that the associates could be paid,” Louca said.The ministry had been informed about the planned strike late on Sunday and had no time to stop the action, said the minister, who insisted that the wage demands had nothing to do with the ministry but was a dispute between the company and the drivers.“We urge the company to deal with any internal issues of the company and to deal with them promptly, irrespective of whether they are to do with workers, sub-contractors or associates, so that no problems are caused to the movement of students,” said Anastasiades.In a statement after the meeting, Zenon, apologised for inconveniencing the public and said “an agreement in principle was reached.” It also said that “very soon, a new round of consultations will follow for the taking of final decisions.”Zenon had hoped the ministry would have covered the back-pay owed to the bus drivers, during the Christmas holidays. The company had received €395,000 in December while it had a payroll of €420,000, Louca, pointing out that the drivers had been protesting about their wages since October.How the problem would be resolved remains to be seen given that the minister insisted the unpaid wages was the bus company’s problem and not the ministry’s.The Pancyprian Confederation of Parents Associations of Secondary Public Schools issued an announcement protesting about the “victimisation of students who were easy victims of a protracted dispute.” The strike affected students living in the villages of the Larnaca district.You May LikePopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoGundry MD Total Restore SupplementU.S. Cardiologist: It’s Like a Pressure Wash for Your InsidesGundry MD Total Restore SupplementUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)UndoThree arrested in connection with hotel theftsUndoby Taboolaby Taboola
Borrowers with non-performing loans (NPLs) should rush to have them restructured as soon as possible to avoid drastic measures, financial ombudsman Pavlos Ioannou said on Tuesday night, noting that Central Bank of Cyprus’ recent call for banks to introduce radical solutions translates to repossessions and foreclosures.Speaking at a seminar on non-performing loans and loan restructurings organised by the borrowers’ association in Limassol, Ioannou said CBC governor Chrystalla Georghadji’s recent remarks in parliament suggests that “the portfolio of NPLs not yet restructured cannot be tackled through restructuring alone”.“Since restructuring efforts have been exhausted, the more radical solutions she referred to but did not name are, unfortunately, none other than repossessions and foreclosures,” he said.He urged every borrower with a non-performing loan to demand that it is restructured as soon as possible, on the basis of the relevant Central Bank directive that banks should comply with.“The Central Bank directive is an excellent tool for the restructuring of non-performing loans,” he said.“If the directive was fully adopted, both by banks and borrowers themselves, who also have a responsibility in this process, the trajectory of NPL stock would be very different and the problem would be much smaller.”An NPL, Ioannou explained, develops its own dynamic, inflating it with time.“Therefore, it is a myth that the problem will be resolved in five or 10 years,” the ombudsman said.“By then, it will be completely impossible to tackle.”He explained that NPLs tend to become contagious, since the obligations of a borrower in default are transferred to guarantors, who may then be unable to service their own loans, making those non-performing, too.“But even if the guarantors continue to repay their loans, the protective measures banks take on their property create new restrictions on economic activity,” he said, thus forming a vicious cycle.Another distortion created by NPLs, Ioannou noted, is the risk of destruction of the social fabric and Cypriots’ traditional familial bonds, as guarantors have traditionally been close relatives.“To a large extent, the Cypriot economy survived the first months of the financial crisis because of the particularly close family ties, through which one relative helped the other,” Ioannou explained.“This phenomenon will disappear if the NPL situation is allowed to fester.”Finally, the ombudsman highlighted the indirect cost of non-performing loans, as their high stock is the only thing keeping Cyprus in non-investment grade rating by international agencies, resulting in higher borrowing cost and cautiousness by foreign investors.You May LikePopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoSmart Tips DailySeniors With No Life Insurance May Get A $250,000 Policy If They Do ThisSmart Tips DailyUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoPensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCypriot tycoon launches ‘Bank of Cannabis’Undoby Taboolaby Taboola
31Oct Rep. Lauwers provides lawmakers with a local gift as part of state House tradition Categories: Lauwers News,Lauwers Photos As part of a long-standing Michigan House tradition, state Rep. Dan Lauwers today provided a gift to fellow lawmakers at the state Capitol to honor passage of his first bill.Lauwers gave each House representative a package of Yale Bologna made by C. Roy’s in Yale.“Although some may think we already have enough bologna at the state Capitol, I was happy to provide packages of real, incredibly tasty, bologna to my House colleagues,” said Lauwers, R-Brockway Township.The gift also was in honor of the popular Yale Bologna Festival in Yale.“Tens of thousands of people gather and joyfully eat tons of Yale Bologna at the festival every July,” Lauwers said. “People from all around Michigan as well as other states visit our area to enjoy the festival. It’s definitely a Pure Michigan moment. I thought the gift was an appropriate way to honor this special event and a longtime family-owned business.”C. Roy’s is a family owned and operated meat packing business that was founded in 1924.Lauwers provided the gift after passage of House Bill 5021, which would allow sobriety court interlock programs throughout Michigan to help curb repeat drunken driving.
Categories: News 29Apr House panel advances Nesbitt bill to name portion of highway after trooper Measure to honor trooper heads to full HouseThe House Transportation Committee today approved a bill introduced by state Rep. Aric Nesbitt to name a portion of Interstate 94 in Van Buren County in honor of Michigan State Police Trooper Rick L. Johnson, who was killed in the line of duty in 2000.House Bill 4923, introduced by Nesbitt, R-Lawton, names a portion of the interstate as “Trooper Rick L. Johnson Memorial Freeway.” The measure now goes to the full House for consideration.“It is important that we recognize the dedication Trooper Johnson had to ensuring the public safety of the local community,” Nesbitt said. “The day before his death, he had successfully talked a suicidal man off an overpass on the same highway the bill names after him. This is the least we can do to recognize his sacrifice and devotion to the safety of our communities in Southwest Michigan.”Johnson, who was 35 at the time of his death, had stopped a vehicle on westbound I-94 on May 6, 2000, for a mechanical violation. While returning to his patrol vehicle, a third vehicle left the highway and crashed into the patrol car, pinning Johnson between the cars. He was airlifted to Bronson Hospital in Kalamazoo, where he later died.#####
Categories: VanSingel News Rep. Scott Vansingel of Grant invites everyone to take part in the state’s winter Free Fishing Weekend on Feb. 17 and 18.The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is offering all residents and out-of-state visitors the opportunity to fish license-free over the weekend. This is a great way to introduce people to the sport of fishing and show them the amazing natural resources Michigan has to offer.“This weekend is a great way to experience the outdoors with family and friends,” VanSingel said. “I encourage everyone to take advantage of the countless fishing spots throughout Newaygo, Oceana, and Lake counties.”Fishing license fees will be waived for two days, although all fishing regulations will still apply. For more information visit www.michigan.gov/freefishing, or contact Rep. VanSingel’s office at (517) 373-7317 or by email at ScottVanSingel@house.mi.gov. 14Feb Rep. VanSingel invites residents to take part in Free Fishing Weekend
Categories: O’Malley News 30Apr Rep. O’Malley announces roads town hall in Suttons Bay State Rep. Jack O’Malley, of Lake Ann, invites residents of Northern Michigan to attend a town hall meeting this Friday, May 3, focused on transportation issues and road funding proposals.As chair of the House Transportation Committee, Rep. O’Malley recently began six weeks of special hearings to discuss the disconnect between road funding and road quality. The goal of these hearings is to take a comprehensive look inside the current state of our road funding system to identify what works and what needs improvement.“I have been hard at work asking the questions you want answered,” O’Malley said. “My goal for this town hall is to share the findings of my committee, discuss our current system for funding roads, and hear your input on new proposals facing the Legislature.”The town hall will take place this Friday, May 3, from 6 to 7 p.m. at The Leelanau County Government Center located at 8527 E Government Center Drive in Suttons Bay.The event is open to the public and there is no cost to attend. For more information, contact Rep. O’Malley’s office at (517) 373-0825 or email him at JackOMalley@house.mi.gov.###
ShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesJanuary 7, 2015; The Guardian This article in the Guardian about Detroit’s minimum wage economy cites a Detroit-area graduate student, Alex Hill, who ran numbers to show that “while almost 83 percent of Detroit is black, just under 70 percent of its commercial revitalization is led by white residents.” The NPQ Newswire has been making just this point for quite a while: Despite the best intentions of many of the political and philanthropic actors engaged in saving Detroit from bankruptcy, the revival of Detroit, the largely black city with a 39 percent poverty rate, is leaving many current Detroiters on the curb. Detroiters who have found or scrounged for jobs, when they get them, often work for minimum wage or barely above it in the retail and fast-food industries.“To be sure, Detroit’s ‘renewal’ is overwhelmingly white,” concludes the Guardian’s Rose Hackman.Relegating large parts of the Detroit population to sub-living-wage semi-employment while the revitalization prompted by investments by the likes of Dan Gilbert of Quicken Loans (who has been acquiring swaths of downtown office buildings) or such foundation consortia as the New Economy Initiative attracts and benefits outsiders is a difficult and imbalanced revitalization scenario with unfortunate racial overtones. Due to the lack of good jobs, especially with the withdrawal of the automobile industry from Detroit, Sarah Swider, an assistant professor of sociology at Detroit’s Wayne State University, suggests that Detroiters are finding themselves stuck with jobs in the “informal economy.” These jobs in car washes, food service, daycare services, beauty and hair care, etc., are often part-time and generally very low wage, with no benefits and no taxes withheld. Sometimes, the informal economy jobs don’t even operate on a cash basis, more like barter than employment.An organization called “Detroit15,” or “D15,” is organizing Detroiters in a campaign for a $15 minimum wage, almost double Michigan’s minimum wage of $7.40 an hour, modeled after the minimum wage standards enacted in San Francisco and Seattle. The emphasis of Detroit15 seems to be the fast food industry, which is targeted to increase hugely in the metro Detroit area. On the group’s website, the link to its Facebook postings is heavy with images of and reports on the McDonald’s hamburger restaurants, whose clientele might not react adversely if they were paying more for their burgers and fries so that counter staff and cooks were better paid. Critics, however, probably respond that a $15 minimum wage might work for burgeoning high-income cities on the West Coast but not for getting Detroit’s armies of poor people into jobs.For his pre-State of the Union tour, President Obama visited Detroit yesterday to talk about jobs. Swider suggests that the real unemployment rate in Detroit is something like 40 percent. What might this large proportion of Detroit have thought when President Obama explained that the nation’s economy is on the rebound, that the unemployment rate is falling, and that the trendlines are positive? It’s certainly not a story that describes the region’s automobile manufacturing situation, with only one auto assembly plant still operating in Detroit. In fact, as President Obama headed to Detroit, there were news reports about the assemblage of one home, manufactured at a General Motors assembly plant, to be placed on a nonprofit organization’s Detroit urban farming site in the spring. The home is inside a shipping or storage container, which will give the occupant roughly 320 sq. ft. of living space, perfect maybe for a university student, but not a viable replacement for the dilapidated Detroit housing stock and not much of a job generator for underemployed and unemployed Detroit residents.The situation President Obama confronts is that despite efforts to lift the Motor City out of its economic doldrums, job growth in the Detroit area has lagged behind job growth elsewhere in Michigan. As he toured a Ford plant in Wayne County, the president touted statistics that Michigan had gained 100,000 manufacturing jobs and proclaimed that “Detroit always comes back” and “America is coming back.” There is something amiss in the president’s view of Detroit’s employment revival when compared to the Guardian story about the dissolution of employment in Detroit. It is a story of contrasts that foundations and nonprofits dedicated to Detroit’s revitalization should aim to address.—Rick Cohen ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
Share7TweetShare2Email9 SharesThomas Barrat / Shutterstock.comFebruary 5, 2016; Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago TribuneHeadlines last week focused on negotiations between the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) board and the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU). Talks are not going well, with each side pointing to serious consequences if no agreement can be reached. But behind those headlines, more significant issues remain to be tackled.The school year began last September with a new contract needing to be negotiated, and that remains so. Last week, the teachers’ union rejected the district’s last offer, leaving the situation unresolved. The Chicago Tribune article reports: “Contract talks, which have now gone on for more than a year, will move into a final fact-finding stage that must precede any potential strike. A deal could be reached during that process.”According to the Chicago Sun-Times, “the union’s 40-person bargaining unit unanimously rejected a new four-year contract that would have [also] given teachers small annual pay raises, capped the number of charter schools at 130 and ruled out economic layoffs in exchange for teachers picking up their full, 9 percent pension payments.”However, according to the Better Government Association’s Sarah Karp, “teachers were offered a pay raise, but there was a big catch: CPS educators would essentially be paying for the salary increase by sacrificing the most experienced members of their teaching force.” The board’s offer required as many as 2,000 of the district’s most experienced teachers to voluntarily retire or the agreement would be nullified:The board was offering $1,500 per year of service to teachers of retirement age and $750 to support staff to leave, according to the CTU. If at least 1,500 teachers and 700 other staffers took advantage of the buyout offer, the contract would stand, according to the CPS offer. But, if not enough employees signed up for early retirement, then CPS could reopen the contract—which union members feared would lead to layoffs.At a press conference on Tuesday, February 2nd, CTU President Karen Lewis said the union voted down the contract offer because, “It would have pushed out 2,200 of our seasoned, experienced educators, disproportionately impacting African-American and Latino educators. It will lead to ballooning class sizes and the cuts the board proposed were solely out of our pockets.”CPS officials project that this plan would save the district as much as $70 million in years three and four, an amount equal to the salary increases included in the proposals.The issues under debate in these ongoing negotiations pale when compared to the much larger issues facing Chicago’s public schools—issues which cannot be solved by teachers and the school board. The district began the current school year with a balanced budget, but only after assuming it would receive half a billion dollars in new state funding to help meet its pension-funding burden. But with Illinois’s Republican governor and Democratic legislature unable to agree on a budget, these funds remain unrealized. Also stalled by the standoff in the capital are discussions on how to solve the problem of the seriously underfunded pension plan.Governor Bruce Rauner has been unwilling to move forward without agreement on “structural” reforms that now include a state takeover of Chicago public schools. In comments last week, the Tribune reports, “The governor…accused his old friend Emanuel of ‘kicking the can’ and costing taxpayers ‘more in the long run.’ Rauner argued that there are only two alternatives for CPS: bankruptcy [followed by a state takeover] or ‘massive’ tax increases.” Mayor Emanuel responded in kind, saying that the governor’s talk of bankruptcy and state takeover had caused the district to pay more in interest as it issued new bonds earlier in the week.The mayor also pushed for changes in the state formula for school funding that would treat Chicago more fairly: “Chicago students make up 20 percent of the student population statewide. Our taxpayers make up 20 percent of the revenue. Yet, we get a little bit shy of 15 percent of the revenue back for education. There are a lot of structural, historical inequities in the system.”—Martin LevineShare7TweetShare2Email9 Shares
Share26TweetShareEmail26 Shares“The Indian Child Welfare Act & the Americans with Disabilities Act: Challenges at the Intersection of Native American & Disability Issues in Child Welfare Cases,” Ella Callow. Photo: Nicolie BolsterDecember 5, 2018; Indian Country TodayHere, we follow up on a story from October about a challenge to the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) of 1978. In northern Texas, Judge Reed O’Connor ruled that the ICWA was unconstitutional.Congress passed the Indian Child Welfare Act to ban the once-common practice of Native American children being forcibly taken from their families by public officials and placed in non-Native families and institutions. Writing in Indian Country Today, Rebecca Nagle notes that prior to the law’s passage, “25 to 35 percent of Native children had been taken away from their families and were being raised in non-Native homes. Native American tribes lost a third of one generation.”Last week, a higher court ordered a stay on the judge’s ruling. This means that for now the ICWA is intact and in effect in all 50 states. Although the stay was greeted by the National Indian Child Welfare Association as welcome news, this ruling is only temporary.The stay follows the decision by the US Justice Department to file an appeal of the ruling in Texas, defending ICWA on behalf of the Departments of Interior and Health and Human Services. The appeal was filed on November 30th.The case in question, Brackeen v. Zinke, originated, Nagle reports, “in the adoption of a two-year old Cherokee and Navajo boy by a white couple, the Brackeens, in Northern Texas. Even though a Navajo family was ready to take the toddler, the Brackeens won their case. Following the suit, the state of Texas, Louisiana and Indiana, along with two other adoptive couples, joined the Brackeens to argue the entirety of ICWA should be declared unconstitutional.” (It should be emphasized that the young Cherokee child, who is now four, will stay with the Brackeen family regardless of the court’s final decision, because the state of Texas has already finalized the adoption).Four Native American nations—the Cherokee Nation, the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, the Oneida Nation and the Quinault Indian Nation—have joined the case to defend the law. After the stay was issued, they released the following joint statement:This stay decision protects children from potential abuse and forced separation from their families. As a result, tribal families and their children in Texas and Indiana will continue to be protected from the types of abusive child welfare practices that Congress outlawed 40 years ago when it enacted ICWA.We strongly believe the ruling holding the Indian Child Welfare Act is unconstitutional was wrong, will ultimately be reversed on appeal, and as a result, the rights of Indian children, families and communities protected by the Indian Child Welfare Act will be affirmed and reinforced.A final ruling, however, has yet to be made. Nagle highlights the stakes: Native American children, she notes, “are still placed in foster care at disproportionate rates. In South Dakota, Native Americans are less than 15 percent of the state’s population, but Native kids represent 50 percent of all children in foster care, with almost 90 percent of them being raised in non-Native homes. In Minnesota, Natives Americans are only 1.4 percent of the population, but Native kids represent 23.9 percent of the kids in the state foster care system. Today, more than half of US states are out of compliance with ICWA rules.”According to Nagle, “If ICWA is struck down, the current crisis would get much worse.”—Rob Meiksins and Steve DubbShare26TweetShareEmail26 Shares
Belgian cable operator Telenet is launching a DTT service designed to reach viewers beyond its cable network.The service, called Teletenne, will launch on July 2 in Flanders and Brussels. Offering 13 channels from launch, Eén, Canvas, Ketnet/Op12, Vijf TV, VT4, Acht, National Geographic, MTV, Kanaal Z, Nickelodeon, Njam, Studio 100TV and Ment TV, the service will cost €11.50 per month. Customers will also need to buy an aerial and decoder package, costing €129.Telent said it was targeting second homes, summer houses, student rooms, bedrooms and houses situated outside its cable network.The cable operator is able to launch the service after it signed a deal with DTT operator Norkring Belgium in 2010 to use capacity on its network.“With Teletenne we want to show that Telenet follows the customer everywhere. From now on you can easily watch television in digital picture quality in your second home, bedroom, caravan or student room. Several more channels will be added in the coming months. With Teletenne we respond to changing trends whereby consumers are accustomed to having access, always and everywhere, to their favourite entertainment services,” said Inge Smidts, Telenet’s senior vice-president residential marketing.
Liberty Global-owned Swiss cable operator UPC Cablecom has upgraded its network in parts of Italian-speaking Switzerland, making new services such as up to 150Mbps internet and the Horizon TV service available to a further 30,000 customers.UPC Cablecom has now upgraded its network in Piano Magadino, Malcantone, parts of southern Bellinzona, Ceresio, Scairolo, northern and southern Locarnese and parts of the Locarno region, with further upgrades to be completed in Bellinzona, Collina d’oro, Mendrisiotto Montagna, Cassarate and parts of Biasca.
The BBC has launched a long-term research collaboration between its R&D department and universities looking into user experience and human computer interaction research.BBC User Experience Research Partnership will explore “the potential of new forms of content and interaction in a multi-platform world, alongside new ways of producing media that will help make content more accessible to all audiences,” the BBC said.It added that the outcomes will be shared with the industry to encourage “wider audience-focused innovation,” help define open standards and support the creative industries to produce engaging content in the future.The academic partners involved in the research are The University of Bath, The University of Dundee, University College London, Newcastle University, The University of Nottingham and Swansea University. All have committed to support the initiative for at least four years.
Spanish satellite operator Hispasat has launched a trial demonstration of ultra-HD TV in the HEVC compression format using Thomson Video Networks’ ViBE VS7000 encoding platform.Hispasat is deploying the VS7000 to deliver HEVC-encoded Ultra HD content to air via its Hispasat 1E satellite platform. At IBC2013, Hispasat will demonstrate live Ultra HD video streams using the Thomson Video Networks technology.Thomson Video Networks has been participating in a proof-of-concept trial with Hispasat that ends this summer to demonstrate how its technologies can form an ecosystem to drive future commercial Ultra HD service offerings based on HEVC compression. The ViBE VS7000 will provide 4K file transcoding in HEVC, and Thomson Video Networks’ Sapphire transport stream server will play out the Ultra HD HEVC-encoded content. The open-source GPAC or VLC HEVC-enabled media players will decode the HEVC content for display on TV sets.This trial demonstration is also one of the first steps in the H2B2VS and UltraHD4U Eureka research projects where partners set up a satellite 4K HEVC transmission, paving the way for HEVC-based broadband and broadcast services, according to Thomson.In addition to this HEVC trial demonstration, Thomson Video Networks and Hispasat have signed a wider cooperation agreement to promote Ultra HD TV jointly. As part of this agreement, Thomson Video Networks will be a partner to the Hispasat 4K channel, which will be launched at IBC this year“This demonstration plays an important role in our plans to promote the deployment of the most cutting-edge compression and delivery formats – giving our customers the ability to offer their viewers the absolute highest-quality viewing experience,” said Ignacio Sanchis, chief commercial officer at Hispasat. “With the Thomson Video Networks technology, we are hoping to create awareness within our customer base and deliver live Ultra HD streams that can be used in many different ways, such as demonstrating interoperability among manufacturers of TV sets and set-top boxes.”Thomson Video Networks will exhibit at IBC on stand 14.A10
Andrew House, president and group CEO, Sony Computer EntertainmentSony is planning to launch a new cloud-based TV service in the US later this year, combining live TV with video-on-demand in a bid to “redefine” traditional television. Announcing the plans at CES in Las Vegas, Sony Computer Entertainment’s president and group CEO, Andrew House, said that the web-powered service would be available across different connected devices.“No other company in the world is better poised to lead the TV revolution than Sony. There are more than 70 million internet-enabled Sony devices in US living rooms today, including 25 million PlayStation 3 systems. And millions of people already rely on Sony for their video needs,” said House.He claimed that Sony’s vision was to “transform the user experience so finding and discovering live TV and video on demand shows is intuitive and immediate.”“We will make TV a more personalised and dynamic experience that caters to your preferences and adapts to your viewing habits,” said House.The cloud TV service will let viewers access movies, TV shows, and sports through a single destination, Sony said. Its “dynamic interface” will also adapt to a viewer’s tastes, offering a personalised menu and channels.It is also designed to let viewers resume viewing from different devices – for example someone could start watching from a PlayStation 4 console in the living room and resume on an iPad in another room.House described the cloud service as a “natural evolution of Sony’s offerings,” and said it would start testing in the US later this year.Reports that Sony was talking to content providers about licensing channels for a new TV service emerged last summer.However, since then, Intel has seemingly abandoned plans to launch a similar service, reportedly seeking a buyer for its yet-to-launch set-top powered OnCue internet TV venture.Sony’s CES announcement came as the firm revealed that it had sold 4.2 million units of its recently released PS4 console, as of December 28.
Some 78% of DVR-maker TiVo’s ‘streaming-capable’ subscribers are now streaming content to their mobile devices at least once per month, according to new data by the firm.Announcing results of recent research at CES in Las Vegas, TiVo attributed a rise in streaming to mobile devices to the August launch of its Roamio DVR service and said this was driving “longer periods of engagement on second screens.”Since TiVo launched in-home streaming from tablets and smartphones as part of its Roamio service in September, it said that time spent on streaming sessions is up 20% per user on a monthly basis and that the average number of streaming sessions per month has increased by almost 50%.According to November data, TiVo also found that 80% of streaming sessions were viewed on tablets, with the rest on smartphones.Recorded, as opposed to live, content accounted for 76% of all streaming sessions, while a typical streaming session lasted for as long as a 30 minute-long TV episode minus commercials. The average user streamed content 15.6 times per month, said TiVo.