Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts held a cocktail reception at Altitude restaurant at the Shangri-La in Sydney this week to celebrate the acquisition of the Traders Hotel, Brisbane and the recent launch of their iPhone mobile application.Managers, sales and marketing directors and other staff from the Asia-Pacific group of hotels including Kerry Hotels, Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts and Traders Hotels were on hand to welcome industry members.Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts recently assumed management of the Traders Hotel, Brisbane.“This is the first Traders property operated by Shangri-La Hotels in Australia and we’re very proud and pleased to have acquired this wonderful accommodation,” Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts director of sales and marketing Jenny Williams said.Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts also recently launched the company’s first iPhone application.“We now have an app for our mobile customers which makes booking accommodation and researching our resorts that much simpler, easier and more accessible,” Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts regional director of sales and marketing, resorts Ogie R. Manuel said.Plans are underway for the second phase of this versatile mobile app and will be launched during the first quarter of 2013 to develop additional hotel-centric features.The industry’s elite were treated to an array of cocktails, canapés and sweets as well as a performance from our nation’s ‘Prime Minister’, Julia Gillard.Leave it to Diva Entertainment’s, Lesley Hancock entertained guests with a hilarious comedy routine and some high-powered dance moves.The talented impersonator belted out some impromptu tunes and was even able to re-invent our coveted national anthem, combining a range of popular Australian song lyrics and creating a new ode to Oz.Check out the photo gallery on our Facebook page for full coverage. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T
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Event & Famil photosHelloworld Travel Helloworld Travel staff have been busy raising funds for the Indigenous Marathon Foundation last week, turning out in force for the annual J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge.Sydney’s Centennial Park was packed with more than 8,000 runners and walkers from over 390 companies taking part in the 5.6km race, with the Helloworld Travel team finishing off the race strongly in both the men’s and women’s team divisions.Pictured from left to right back row: Benn Hartung, Colin Dunne, Mark Brownlee and Retief Lampen. Front row: Atina Vertzonis, Maia Cohen, Amanda Doonan and Kathryn Feist.
NFL draft day has finally arrived pic.twitter.com/QlGX5VpMWf— Dan Bickley (@danbickley) April 25, 2019As expected, they ran into quite a few Cardinals fans. (Dan Bickley/Arizona Sports) Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Top Stories One of those guests Dan Bickley ran into was there thanks to 98.7 FM.Related LinksReport: Keim told Quinnen Williams he might be drafted by CardinalsCardinals commentator Dave Pasch compares Kyler Murray to Steph CurryESPN: Cards have ‘no issues’ keeping Josh Rosen after drafting Kyler MurrayArizona Sports NFL Mock Draft Tracker: Who’s next for the Cards at No. 1?The consensus says Kyler Murray, so why do I still have trepidation?The Cards on the Clock — Ultimate Draft Flyaway Experience offered roundtrip airfare for two, a three-night hotel stay, spending money and some draft hats for a lucky fan.To qualify, listeners had to text in and listen to 98.7 FM over the course of three different times to listen for their name.The winner stopped by, rocking the strong jersey duo of Kurt Warner and Larry Fitzgerald. And here’s the @AZSports contest winner 🤘 pic.twitter.com/tNjF4FZ5Mm— Dan Bickley (@danbickley) April 25, 2019NFL Draft coverage on 98.7 FM will take you all the way through the first round, offering live analysis of the picks, breaking news and more. Listen live on 98.7 FM, our app or online. With the Arizona Cardinals picking No. 1 overall in the 2019 NFL Draft, 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Bickley & Marotta made the trek east to be on site for the big event.For draft day, the show was broadcasting from radio row. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Arizona Cardinals2019 Draft BoardRoundPick #PlayerPos.11Kyler MurrayQB21Byron MurphyCB230Andy IsabellaWR31Zach AllenDE41Hakeem ButlerWR51Deionte ThompsonS61KeeSean JohnsonWR66Lamont GaillardC734*Joshua MilesT735*Michael DogbeDE740*Caleb WilsonTE* = Compensatory Selection© STATS – 2019 The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo 0 Comments Share – / 9 Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact
Go back to the e-newsletterSeabourn is launching new pre-cruise experiences taking guests to the South Pole on select Antarctica and Patagonia itineraries during the 2016-17 season.Guests bound for the Great White Continent aboard Seabourn Quest can extend their adventure with two new travel packages that feature UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including Polar Quest, Patagonia, Tierra del Fuego and Iguazu Falls.“Seabourn has made its reputation for offering guests astonishing experiences in places that are beyond the ordinary, and there are few travel opportunities less-expected or out-of- the-ordinary than a visit to the South Pole. These experiences will be the icing on the cake for guests bound for Antarctica aboard Seabourn Quest over the season ahead,” Seabourn Senior Manager Expedition Planning and Operations Robin West said.Both of the pre-cruise packages include a trans-Antarctic flight and landing at the South Pole as well as stays at Union Glacier Camp in the southern Ellsworth Mountains, one of a few private seasonally occupied camps in Antarctica. Operated by renowned land-based tour operator Antarctic Logistics and Expeditions (ALE), the full-service camp offers spacious, double-occupancy sleeping tents, freshly prepared gourmet cuisine, and a spectacular setting for activities from scenic excursions to technical climbs and ski tours.The new Antarctica and Patagonia pre-cruise experiences also include:Polar Quest and Patagonia (15 days) – This overland journey takes guests on an exploration of breathtaking UNESCO World Heritage Site Torres del Paine National Park that encompasses 180,000 hectares of forests, rivers and lakes in southernmost Chile. Included excursions provide daily opportunities to explore vivid blue ice pools, raw glacial moraines and abundant wildlife from guanacos to Andean condors. Packages start from $66,000 per person based on double occupancy and depart on 4 December 2016, followed by Seabourn Quest’s 19 December sailing to Antarctica.Polar Quest, Tierra del Fuego and Iguazu Falls (17 days) – Guests will join a select company of intrepid explorers at one of the world’s most remote and unspoiled destinations – the breathtaking UNESCO World Heritage Site of Iguazu Falls National Park on the border of Brazil and Argentina. From Santiago in Chile to Buenos Aires in Argentina, guests will explore the falls and its surroundings from extensive walkways or take options such as inflatable boats or helicopter tours. Packages start from $70,000 per person based on double occupancy and depart on 26 December 2016, followed by Seabourn Quest’s 12 January 2017 sailing to Antarctica.Go back to the e-newsletter
La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland – Reported by Elite Traveler, the Private Jet Lifestyle MagazineThe new partnership between Temposatis and CORUM started on March 20th 2010, at Baselworld. A signature that links a successfull name in the Mexican watchmaking market – TEMPOSATIS – with one of the leading exclusive Swiss watchmaking companies – CORUM. For Corum, this partnership stands as another milestone in its strong distribution network strategy and a new showcase to assert its brand image. A success co-written with dedicated agents such as Temposatis. Looking to the future, the brand aims to strengthen its brand awareness and to tap the tremendous growth potential offered by the Mexican market. On June 16th, the Corum flag waves in Mexico.On March 20th, at Baselworld, Mr. Antonio Calce, Chief Executive Officer of CORUM and Mr. Cédric Doffey, Brand Manager of Temposatis S.A de C.V, signed an exclusive distribution agreement between the two companies.Less than three months later, on the evening of June 16th 2010, on the 51st floor of the Torre Mayor in Mexico City, Corum and Temposatis welcomed more than 150 guests. Bringing together the most important retailers in Mexico as well as their customers along with the most recognized journalists. Mexican sailor Tania Elias Calles attended the event and was awarded with the prize “Libertad & Conquista” for her sailing career. Antonio Calce, CEO of Corum has given her an Admiral’s cup 40 mm Chrono Steel & Diamonds watch. Tania was born in Mexico City on April 12, 1979, and at 12, she began her career in the sport of sailing. She participated in the Olympic Games (2000 Sydney Olympics, 2004 Athens Olympics, 2008 Beijing) and won several Pan American Games with gold and silver medals. Recently she broke the World Record for the longest distance sailed on a dinghy, Los Cabos to Bahia de Banderas (Mexico).This event also marked the launch of this new partnership with Temposatis. Moreover, this event was the time to celebrate two major anniversaries for Corum:-50 years of commitment to sailing with the Admiral’s Cup collection -30 years of strong watchmaking legitimacy with the baguette movement of its iconic Golden Bridge watchCorum continues with its expertise and skill integration by setting up a strong distribution network strategy to reinforce and enhance its presence in its key markets. With 17 point of sales on the Mexican market, Corum is relying on its 20-year presence and strong brand awareness to swiftly develop and assert its business. To strengthen its position in the Mexican market, Corum achieved a first goal in a partnership with one of the best agents in this area: Temposatis.Antonio Calce, CORUM CEO said: “For Corum this partnership stands as the second step to be represented in the Latin American market which is a strong market for Corum to regain. The first step in October 2009, was with the appointment of Laurent Peccavé as Regional Manager for the Caribbean & Latin America intended to give this market all the attention it deserves. The second step was at Baselworld 2010, signing the partnership with Temposatis, giving our brand the best navigators to win this challenge successfully. To conquer a market today, it takes trust, credibility and legitimacy; these three parameters are now the foundation of our brand. The renewal of our involvement in Mexico has already convinced the press and our retailers. Today we are working on strengthening our brand so that customers and watch enthusiasts are also catching the Corum fever. Today our brand is celebrating 3 major anniversaries with the 55th anniversary of the brand’s creation, the 50th anniversary of the Admiral’s Cup collection, the 30th anniversary of the Golden Bridge. All together we are ready to continue the Corum brand story”.Cédric Doffey, Temposatis Brand Manager declared: “Our experience as a distributor of prestigious watches in Mexico has, through the years, taught us that there exists a great sensibility and predisposition to luxury and appreciation of well manufactured timepieces in Mexico. The Mexican haute horlogerie connoisseurs are many and can easily estimate the real value of a timepiece. Knowing this we did not hesitate to accept the challenge that Antonio Calce proposed us a few months ago, namely: to return Corum to its rightful status in Mexico. Tonight we are honored and happy to be able to share with you the creations that Antonio and his team developed with great passion to celebrate this triple anniversary”.www.CORUM.ch
by The Canadian Press Posted Mar 5, 2019 9:37 am PDT TORONTO — A documentary that aims to clear the name of a Quebecois flight attendant who was known as “patient zero” in the 1980s AIDS epidemic will make its world premiere at this year’s Hot Docs festival.“Killing Patient Zero” is among 15 newly announced special presentations set for the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, which runs April 25 to May 5 in Toronto.Laurie Lynd directed the Canadian film, which looks at “the homophobia behind the headlines” of the epidemic.Also making its world premiere at the festival is the Canadian doc “Toxic Beauty” by Phyllis Ellis, which looks at “the cosmetics industry’s ugly secrets.”The other special presentations are either Canadian, international or North American premieres.Other titles include “Push” by Fredrik Gertten, in which a newly appointed UN specialist from Ottawa travels from Toronto to cities around the world to look at the issue of affordable housing.“The Corporate Coup D’Etat” by Fred Peabody is a Canadian doc about democracy in the U.S., while “Knock Down the House” by Rachel Lears follows four women during the 2018 U.S. midterms, including rising Democrat star and New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.In “Buddy,” director Heddy Honigmann looks at the complex relationships between service dogs and their owners.Director Jacqueline Olive “examines the lingering trauma of more than a century of lynching and continued racial violence” in “Always in Season.”And “Nothing Fancy: Diana Kennedy” by Elizabeth Carroll is about a 96-year-old chef who’s been dubbed “the Mick Jagger of Mexican cooking.”The Canadian Press AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Hot Docs lineup includes premieres of ‘Killing Patient Zero,’ ‘Toxic Beauty’
Tags: #MiHero, #SB, hero, military, Veterans Categories: News,Photos,Theis News Special tribute awarded to Corporal Danny SullivanState Rep. Lana Theis, R-Brighton, honored a local hero today by formally recognizing him on the House floor.Purple Heart veteran, Cpl. Danny Sullivan, was formally presented with a special award highlighting his dedicated military service to our state and country. Cpl. Sullivan received an official State of Michigan tribute for his unwavering loyalty and commitment to the United States Marine Corps.On Jan. 15, 1967, while serving in Vietnam, Cpl. Sullivan engaged in combat behind enemy lines and subsequently suffered traumatic injuries to his right leg, right arm and left shoulder when a mine went off near a bunker during the intense pursuit.“I was truly moved when I first heard Cpl. Sullivan’s story and I am humbled to have had the privilege of honoring such an outstanding, loyal, and patriotic man,” Rep. Theis said.Cpl. Sullivan is a true hero, and he epitomizes the noble ideals of our country as not only a Marine, but as a loving father and husband.”### 20May Rep. Lana Theis leads House in honoring a local hero
Rep. Holly Hughes has introduced legislation that would expand the allowable uses of state funding for firefighter training, meeting the diverse situations that necessitate an emergency response.“Firefighters are obviously called to more than structure or property fires,” said Rep. Holly Hughes, R-Montague. “They’re responding to scenes involving fire rescue operations, meth lab explosions, airport rescues and providing emergency medical services at multi-car accident scenes. This legislation would increase the allowable use of training funds beyond fire suppression. We need to make sure our brave men and women are prepared for any emergency service call.”HB 5630 authorizes the Firefighters Training Council (FTC) to issue more grants, utilizing a growing funding allocation set aside since 2011 in the Fireworks Safety Fund.“Current legislation has simply not kept pace with what we ask our firefighters to be responsible for,” said Rep. Hughes. “We need to have them ready for technical rescue, arson investigations, fire safety education and many other situations that have changed over the past few decades.”Rep. Hughes’ legislation was assigned to the House Committee on Appropriations. Categories: Hughes News,News 06May Rep. Hughes introduces bill to improve firefighter training, funding
Categories: Wentworth News 26Jul Rep. Wentworth discusses criminal charges resulting from investigation at GRHV Chair: ‘MVAA has made significant improvements’State Rep. Jason Wentworth, of Clare, today issued a statement regarding the criminal charges coming out of Attorney General Bill Schuette’s investigation into alleged mistreatment of patients at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans (GRHV).Eleven former caregivers at the GRHV were charged Monday by Schuette for intentional inclusion of misleading or inaccurate information in patient medical records.“It’s disappointing to see such allegations at the GRHV,” said Wentworth, an Army veteran and chair of the House Military and Veterans Affairs Committee. “Any alleged medical mistreatment of our military heroes is very troubling.”The charges result from one of the findings in the Auditor General report dealing with falsification of room checks at the GRHV.“Attorney General Schuette has the support of the House Military and Veterans Affairs Committee throughout the entirety of the investigation,” Wentworth said. “We will watch closely with what happens to these former staffers and continue to work on legislation to improve the quality of life for our veterans.”The felony charges carry a possibility of up to four years in prison and a $5,000 fine.At the time of the alleged activities, GRHV certified nursing assistants (CENA) were employed by former contractor J2S. CENA services are now provided at GRHV by two different companies, MAXIM and Career Staff Unlimited.“Despite these concerning allegations, the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency (MVAA) has recently made significant improvements to ensure they are providing the best care possible,” Wentworth said. “A recent survey from May 2017 shows that the GRHV has met all VA standards.”The survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) showed the GRHV met 230 out of the 231 standards for the first time in recent history.###
31May Rep. Hornberger: Historic no-fault car insurance signed into law A bipartisan car insurance reform supported by Rep. Pamela Hornberger was signed into state law on Thursday, lowering costs for all Michigan drivers.The reforms – approved by Hornberger and the Legislature – give drivers more choice on personal injury protection coverage, combat fraudulent claims and stop price gouging on medical services for car accident victims. Many Michigan families will save hundreds of dollars or more each year.Michigan has had the most expensive car insurance in the nation mostly because it’s the only state mandating unlimited lifetime health care coverage through car insurance, with no corresponding cap on what medical providers may charge accident victims. The revised law will provide more affordable options for motorists while allowing those who currently use the unlimited coverage to keep it and those who want it in the future to continue buying it.“It’s about time this historic reform for car insurance has been signed into law,” said Hornberger, of Chesterfield Township. “Macomb County drivers will no longer have to continue to pay into a broken system. This solution guarantees lower rates for all Michigan drivers and gives them more options to purchase an affordable plan for them and their families.”Beginning in July 2020, many drivers will be able to opt out of personal injury protection altogether, including seniors with retiree health coverage such as Medicare and those with health insurance policies that cover car accident-related injuries. Others will be able to continue with unlimited coverage or choose PIP limits of $250,000 or $500,000. A $50,000 option will be available for drivers on Medicaid.Other reforms include:· Non-driving factors, such as ZIP codes, home ownership and educational level, can’t be used to determine rates.· An anti-fraud unit will help crack down on those abusing the system, which should help further lower car insurance rates.· A fee schedule will be established and phased in over three years for medical providers, reining in runaway costs that result from medical care providers charging far more to treat car accident victims than other patients.##### Categories: Hornberger News
Share1TweetShareEmail1 SharesJuly 3, 2014; Idaho StatesmanMost YMCAs around the nation probably don’t give a second thought to their local property tax exemption status. Who would imagine that local government authorities or anyone else would doubt the tax-exempt bona fides of the YMCA?Except that there have been some instances where YMCAs were challenged on their property-tax exemptions. Earlier this year, YMCAs in Kansas had to fight off an attempt to revoke their tax exemptions, only to see the Kansas state senate decide to be “fair and balanced,” so to speak, and offer tax-exempt status to for-profit health clubs, too.The attacks on Ys have continued—most recently in Idaho, where at least two for-profit health clubs complained to the Ada County Board of Equalization that the West Boise YMCA was running programs like CrossFit that should reduce or eliminate the Y’s tax-exempt status. The Board of Equalization initially agreed, reducing the Y’s tax-exempt status from 100 percent to 19 percent. The Y hadn’t anticipated the challenge and was caught unawares by the negative vote. However, it got its act together to appeal the decision early this month, and the Board voted unanimously to restore the Y’s 100 percent tax-exempt status. That pretty much ends the debate for the moment, as the composition of the Board of Equalization is the same as the composition of the Ada County Commissioners.Interestingly, the for-profit clubs weren’t unanimous in their position. The complaint about the Ys came from Axiom Fitness and the Idaho Athletic Club. According to a report in the Boise Weekly, it was intimated that Gold’s Gym was also unhappy with the Y’s tax-exempt status. The executive director of the Treasure Valley Family Y, Jim Everett, was prepared for this insinuation and read a telegram he received from a Gold’s regional manager: “Our missions are different. […] God Bless the YMCA.”Nonetheless, these challenges in Kansas and now Idaho raise competitive issues for nonprofits when there are issues of overlap between their functions and those of for-profits. Referring to the Y’s expansion of group fitness classes, a manager of one of the for-profit competitors made no bones about the reasons for his opposition.“Those are really the same services that we offer—the health and fitness services,” Idaho Athletic Club Chief Financial Officer Shaun Wardle said. “Is it charitable to run on a treadmill? Is it charitable to take a CrossFit class? I’m in that business, I don’t necessarily feel that it’s charitable and deserves an exemption.”If you’ve been a member and patron of a YMCA, as this writer has been, the question of a challenge to the property-tax exemption for the YMCA is difficult to fathom. Most Ys, like the National Capital Y attended by this writer and his family, offer a range of programs for a diverse population: young and old, rich and poor, and for persons of all skills and abilities. The Y at issue in Idaho had expanded its program of childcare, making room for the CrossFit programs. Yet even there, as Everett notes, you see a diversity of people next to you in classes or on the equipment that you might never see in any other fitness center.To be sure, some Ys get so caught up in their need to market and compete against the shiny, fancy health clubs that their messaging sounds a little more like a for-profit health club than the truth would suggest. It would be to the Ys’ competitive advantage in many ways to continue to underscore the charitable functions they perform in their communities. But don’t assume that the challenge in Ada County, Idaho is the last one that YMCAs will encounter.—Rick CohenShare1TweetShareEmail1 Shares
ShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesFebruary 4, 2015; Electronic IntifadaIf being a journalist is dangerous in many parts of the world, being a cartoonist is worse in some ways, not to mention the risk of simply being killed by terrorists like the Charlie Hebdo staff. There’s something about political cartoons that make them particularly powerful. They hit you full on with one image and sometimes a caption. It doesn’t take much to get their import or for some people to misconstrue and misinterpret the message.In the case of Palestinian cartoonist Mohammad Saba’aneh, the message is all too clear. Once jailed by the Israeli government for his cartoons, Saba’aneh is now under attack by Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority for a cartoon that is alleged to depict the Prophet Muhammed—albeit, unlike the Hebdo cartoons, with a positive meaning and message. The cartoon was published, oddly enough, in a newspaper run by the Palestinian Authority itself, al-Hayat al-Jadida. Despite having marched in Paris with other international leaders against the killings of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists, Abbas initiated an investigation into the publication, called for “deterrent measures” against it, and demanded “respect for sacred religious symbols.” The newspaper says it has suspended the staff who were responsible for publishing the cartoon and conducted an “internal inquiry,” with the results passed along to Abbas himself.Why such visceral and sometimes violent reactions to political cartoons? Many political cartoonists are aware of the power in what they do.“Visual imagery is very powerful,” Kevin “Kal” Kallaugher, the longtime editorial cartoonist for the Economist once said. “Cartoons can be very effective. We are trying to make people think – using humor to deliver a message.”The Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic artist and author of Maus, Art Spiegelman, explained the power of cartoons to Amy Goodman and Nermeen Shaikh of Democracy Now! in this way:“Great cartoons…put…things in a high relief. And when they’re in a high relief, you can see them. You can then surround them with lots of words trying to contain them. But the images cut past all that. They move so directly into your brain that there’s no place to avoid them. They’re in there. Then you try to, like, put this salve around them, which is language. And that’s where we got that—whatever the currency rate has, a thousand words for each picture? Takes 10,000 words, because pictures keep leaking out in ways that weren’t intended even by the artist making it, but that are thereby functional—functioning as Rorschach tests for what actually are we living through right now.”The editorial cartoonist for the Evansville Courier and Press, James McLeod, explained the role of cartoons in the Charlie Hebdo killings:“I’m pretty sure there are probably hundreds of thousands of pieces of text out there that lampoon Islam and probably hundreds of thousands of visual images, Internet memes and so on, that are dismissive of Islam. But they don’t provoke much reaction. Cartoons, for some reason, have provoked this extreme reaction. Of all the things that these highly motivated, highly organized guys could have gone after, they went after a bunch of cartoonists. I think for me the attack illustrated once again the power of the cartoon, still, to have an enormous impact… Both sides of the equation, I think, were a testament to the enduring power of cartoons…. I think on one level we’re very visual [creatures]; we react to images. […] Political cartoons, I think, are maybe drawing on that, on something that’s almost hard-wired in us…”Saba’aneh must clearly understand both sides of the equation, for sure. In 2013, he was jailed by Israeli occupation forces in the West Bank and held in detention for five months. The charge was that he had collaborated with Hamas, because some of his cartoons were included in a book by his brother, who happens to be a member of Hamas. Saba’aneh told the Israelis that he was collaborating with his brother, not with Hamas, and that Hamas actually hates him (due to a cartoon of his that criticized Hamas member Ismail Haniyeh, who had been a prime minister of the P.A.), but the Israeli government didn’t buy his explanation.Now, Abbas has Saba’aneh under investigation for a cartoon that the cartoonist says doesn’t depict the Prophet, but an image of a “Muslim spreading the prophet’s positive message.” According to Ali Abunimah, the author of the article and co-founder of the Electronic Intifada (which has published Saba’aneh’s cartoons in the past), Saba’aneh “was motivated to make the picture because of the frequent denigration of the prophet not only in the French magazine Charlie Hebdo but in publications and websites around the world.”Saba’aneh is hopeful that at the end of the day, Abbas will end up on the side of free expression. Having experienced a jail cell with the Israelis, he probably doesn’t look forward to a comparable experience with the Palestinian Authority. But he does face the challenge of many political cartoonists, whose production of visual images generates powerful reactions. Consider the Syrian political cartoonist Ali Farzat, current head of the Arab Cartoonists’ Association. After an exhibition several years ago of his cartoons satirizing various dictators, he received a death threat from the late Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein. Though he had his own independent publication for two years, government censorship shut him down. When he was critical of the Assad regime in Syria when the uprising started in 2011, according to a profile by the Human Rights Foundation, “masked gunmen assaulted Farzat and broke both of his hands and his fingers, in a clear message of intimidation and retaliation for his work.”In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo killings, political cartoonists sometimes face great danger. It takes courage to produce powerful visual images, sometimes risking arrest and violence. We can only hope that Mahmoud Abbas’s walk through the streets of Paris on behalf of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists will inform his better judgment in the case of Mohammad Saba’aneh.—Rick CohenShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
Share25TweetShare11Email36 SharesDecember 6, 2016; The Weather ChannelThe Weather Channel has joined the fight for responsible journalism by calling out Breitbart News for misinterpreting their information.We’ve heard a lot recently about “fake news” and the need for reliable, fact-based reporting. Progressive Americans got a wake-up call about the need for real news by the election of a presidential candidate whose relationship to factual information is tenuous at best. They responded with enthusiasm, hoping to combat misinformation by supporting organizations that practice responsible journalism.The Weather Channel took a more direct approach.TWC took issue with Breitbart’s cherry-picking of their data for an article. Breitbart’s article claimed that global temperature rises in 2014–2016 were due to El Niño, and temperatures are now falling. More disturbingly, the article claimed that the global community had conveniently failed to notice these falling temperatures because the data does not fit in with the “alarmist narrative” of climate change, which they said “wasn’t science but propaganda.”Ironically, Breibart’s writer accused climate change believers of relying on “fake news” and left-leaning websites that support this “alarmist narrative.”The data used by Breitbart includes a satellite reading of temperature above land areas and the fact that El Niño weather events temporarily warm the planet.However, TWC pointed out that these data points were taken out of context.Most of the planet—about 70 percent—is covered by water, and the land surface warms and cools more quickly than the ocean. If the El Niño spike is removed, 2016 is still the warmest year on record and 2015 the second warmest.Even worse than the factual basis of the original article was the fact that the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology tweeted it. The committee is chaired by Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, who does not believe in climate change and who has gone so far as to legally harass the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for publishing research that supports it.Climate change is a real, immediate, and enormous crisis, and attempts to deny it endanger our planet and our way of life. President-elect Trump has so far refused to acknowledge climate-change science; his refusal to commit to the Paris climate accords sparked protests and petitions from scientists and business leaders.If Smith, Trump, and Trump’s new climate change denialist pick to head the EPA are indicative of the federal attitude toward climate change over the next four years, then civic society truly has a large and urgent fight ahead of it. This problem is too big and too pressing for us to halt action for a day, let alone await a possible course correction that a new election might bring. Uncompromising, if not brave, stands from plain-facts resources like The Weather Channel serve as calls to action, on both climate change and responsible information sharing.The Weather Channel has been documenting the changing global climate for years. The site regularly consults reports from NASA, the World Meteorological Association, and other nonpartisan research organizations showing the increasing effects of climate change on the planet.They even offered to share their expertise with other organizations. “To our friends at Breitbart,” they wrote, “The next time you write a climate change article and need fact checking help, please call. We’re here for you. I’m sure we both agree this topic is too important to get wrong.”—Erin RubinShare25TweetShare11Email36 Shares
Global IPTV penetration will remain low through the next five years although subscriber numbers and revenues will double, according to new research. Informa Telecoms & Media, publisher of DTVE, forecasts that by end-2016, revenues from IPTV services will reach US$11.9 billion (€9.3 billion) compared with the US$6.2 billion recorded in 2011. The 2011 global IPTV subscriber count of 34.3 million will increase to 76.6 million by end-2016, a proportion that equates to 5% of the world’s TV homes.By region, Asia will drive the growth in the IPTV sector, accounting for 25.4 million of the 2016 total subscriber number. The US will be the largest single IPTV territory by that point with 14 million customers.In Europe, France will remain the IPTV leader although uptake will slow as the high-growth urban areas have already been tapped by operators, Informa says. France will have 5.1 million paying IPTV homes by end-2016, according to Informa. The Western Europe total will increase from 11.8 million at end-2011 to 20.2 million at end-2016. The Eastern European total will increase from 3.1 million to 10.1 million across the same period.
Vodafone Portugal has launched a service that enables users to watch content stored on their iPhones on TV sets.The Share to TV app, which lets iPhone customers view photographs, videos and music stored on the devices on TVs, is available to Vodafone’s IPTV customers.
Howard OwensUS cable channel Lifetime is launching Fall Into Me, a new digital platform that will feature romantic drama series produced by Howard T. Owens’ fledgling production company Propagate Content.The initial Fall Into Me slate comprises eight titles. Each will have eight six-minute episodes that Lifetime said can be “discreetly enjoyed on phones and tablets”.The idea for the new service comes from Emmy-nominated scribe Guy Shalem (Lovespring International) who will lead the creative team.Propagate Content is on the production duty for the series. It was set up by former National Geographic Channels president Howard T. Owens and former A&E channel general manager David McKillop last year. It is backed by Lifetime owner A+E.The new digital platform will launch later this year.Rob Sharenow, executive VP and general manager of Lifetime said: “The romance-fiction world is increasingly going digital. By introducing Fall Into Me, we are giving the genre’s loyal community of fans a fresh take on short stories of passion and seduction they can watch at their leisure or on the go and share among their social circles within the digital space.”
Italian state channels RAI Italia, Rai News 24 and Rai World Premium will be available to worldwide audiences from June 1, 2015 thanks to a deal with broadcast services firm RR Media.RAI Italia channels will be delivered to North America, South America and Australia via RR Media’s smart global network, with content delivered over satellite, fiber and the internet.“The RAI Channels are the most popular Italian channels abroad, so we wanted to work with a company that has the widest coverage to reach our audiences abroad,” said RAI Com’s CEO Luigi De Siervo.RR Media’s VP of global sales, Shlomi Izkovitz, said that the RAI channels will now receive “greater services in other regions all from one company” and that “millions of people across the world” will be able to tune in.
Camera-maker GoPro has launched a content licensing portal, aimed at global advertising brands and agencies.GoPro said that site users will be able to license videos and images for use in advertising, news and other media and entertainment.The portal is designed to help professionals clear copyright and likeness rights and marks “another way for GoPro to reward its inspirational creator community,” it claimed.Separately, GoPro launched an on-demand channel – consisting of GoPro-shot content – on the Roku streaming platform earlier this year, expanding its roster of distribution partners, which also includes LG, Xbox and Virgin America.
Andrew BurkeTV subscriber management systems provider PayWizard has secured £3.5 million in funding from the Scottish Loan Fund.he funding boost from the SLF will support Paywizard as it seeks to capitalise on the growing pay-TV and video on demand markets by rolling out its software and services internationally. Having recently announced its launch into the Asia Pacific market, Paywizard plans to target emerging markets such as Africa and South America.PayWizard has also named former Amino Communications and BT Entertainment CEO Andrew Burke as chairman.Burke will work alongside Paywizard’s co-founders Jonathan Guthrie and Ronnie Millar as part of a new management structure.“The Paywizard team have a strong track-record in the UK and via their Agile platform they are well positioned to capitalise on consumers’ increasing appetite for viewing video content on multiple devices. The experience and support of Andrew Burke will be of great value to the company as they target international expansion and SLF funding will provide the necessary investment in marketing and specialist personnel to achieve this; we are very much looking forward to working with the Paywizard team,” said David Milroy, Investment Director at Maven Capital Partners, which manages assets for the Scottish Loan Fund.
Oliver BernauTV security specialist Conax has appointed Oliver Bernau, formerly an executive at Nordic IT company Evry, as executive vice-president and head of services.In the newly created role, Bernau will lead Conax’s recently-formed services division and work to grow the company’s global services portfolio and launch new service offerings.Commenting on the hire, Conax president and CEO, Morten Solbakken, said: “Oliver Bernau brings both extensive leadership experience and a track record in forming new delivery and governance models, developing new services and service management functions, and has a strong commitment to delivery and a very positive attitude.“Our goal is to continually tap and evolve our organisational resources to continue to improve how we serve our customers and partners, and ensure they succeed in a highly dynamic marketplace.”German-born Bernau joins the Conax executive team having previously held a number of senior roles at Evry, based in Norway. Prior to this he worked at EDB, which is now a part of Evry.