Archbishop Chrysostomos, who was recently diagnosed with liver cancer has arrived in London where he will be having surgery on Tuesday.The archbishop had by Monday arrived in London, a spokesperson of the archbishopric told the Cyprus Mail, in preparation for a laparoscopic surgery to remove two tumours from the liver.The archbishop revealed in an interview with Phileleftheros online, published in two parts on Saturday and Sunday, that he was recently diagnosed with liver cancer and that he was to travel to the UK to have the two tumours removed.He said when he found out about it, he was not upset. “I accepted it, I have a certain age, I am not a child anymore. I was fully prepared. I believe that what I wanted to offer, I have, with much love,” the archbishop said, adding he was not afraid of dying.Death is inevitable, he said, and one must make peace with it.“If I departed, I would have been satisfied because I have done my duty in full,” he said.News of the archbishop’s cancer diagnosis has been accompanied by what the archbishop referred to as the “petty” behaviour of those already preparing to succeed him.You May LikeUltimate Pet Nutrition Nutra Thrive SupplementAdd This One Thing To Your Dog’s Food To Help Them Be HealthierUltimate Pet Nutrition Nutra Thrive SupplementUndoAngels And EntrepreneursRobert Herjavec Announce Venture Could Make You RichAngels And EntrepreneursUndoDr. Marty ProPower Plus Supplement3 Dangerous Foods People Feed Their Dogs (Without Realizing It)Dr. Marty ProPower Plus SupplementUndo Turkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoConcern over falling tourism numbersUndoPensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoby Taboolaby Taboola
President Nicos Anastasiades on Tuesday met the Prince of Wales and Duke of Cambridge at London’s Clarence House.Their discussion focused on issues relating to the Commonwealth and the organisation’s future activities, to sustainable development, protection of the environment and climate change.Anastasiades referred to the initiative he has undertaken to coordinate action in the region with the aim of tackling the effects of climate change.He also referred to the latest developments in the Cyprus issue, underlining his readiness to resume negotiations as soon as possible, noting at the same time that the Greek Cypriot side has responded positively to the initiative by the UN Secretary General through his special envoy Jane Holl Lute.Also present at the meeting were Foreign Minister Nicos Christodoulides, Government Spokesman Prodromos Prodromou, Presidential Commissioner Fotis Fotiou and others.It was held as part of the fiftieth anniversary of the Investiture of the Prince of WalesYou 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 AboutLivestlyUndoYahoo SearchYou’ve Never Seen Luxury Like This On A Cruise Ship. Search Luxury Mediterranean CruisesYahoo SearchUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCruise passenger airlifted to Paphos hospitalUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboola
A TWO-DAY conference of directors of prison and probation services from the Council of Europe wrapped-up in Ayia Napa on Wednesday.During the event, Jan Kleijssen, director of Information Society and Action against Crime of the Council of Europe, discussed new technologies and artificial intelligence. Delegates were also briefed by outgoing Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou, and Anna Aristotelous, director of the Cyprus Prisons.“I must say I am very impressed with the dedication of the prison department here in Cyprus,” Kleijssen told the Cyprus Mail, on the sidelines of the conference.“What I do know is that they are committed to ensure that the prison system in Cyprus corresponds to the highest possible standards in Europe.”One positive statistic, highlighted by Dominik Lehner, chair of the Council for Penological Cooperation was the decrease in suicide rates.“I know there are several places like Cyprus, for instance, where it is decreasing. In 2015, 2016 and 2017, there were no suicides in Cyprus prisons, and there was one in 2018. And it used to be about three a year. So, it’s getting better not worse,” Lehner told the Cyprus Mail. During the event, attendees evaluated the advantages and pitfalls when using new technologies in the management of suspects and offenders, and the human factor in dealing with people in detention or under probation.“Artificial intelligence is likely to be the biggest game changer in human history. It has so many possibilities,” Kleijssen explained.“It can help prison staff in a number of ways, it can help management it can also help in replacing human controls, and there can be automated body scans and detection of illegal substances being smuggled into prison.”Furthermore, discussions touched on the ethical implications of the use of new technologies and how traditional working methods with suspects and offenders can be impacted by digital transformation, as well as what safeguards need to be put in place. CYPRUS PRISONS According to recent figures presented at the conference, Cyprus has a probation population rate of 106 probationers per 100,000 inhabitants. Furthermore, the island also has the second-lowest proportion of women under supervision and the ninth-lowest correctional population rate.Other statistics show the proportion of inmates serving sentences for drug offences is particularly high at 29.1 per cent of the prison population, whist prison administrations with the highest proportion of foreign inmates were in Switzerland at 71.4 per cent, Austria at 54.7 per cent, Greece at 52.7 per cent, Catalonia in Spain at 43.1 per cent and Cyprus 39.7 per cent.Other topics included violence in prisons, the management of the execution of sentences, and confidentiality and data protection.Delegates will receive a tour of the Nicosia Central Prison on Thursday.You May LikeSUVs | Search AdsThese SUVs Will Take Your Breath Away. Research 2019 Luxury Crossover SUV DealsSUVs | Search AdsUndoPopularEverythingColorado 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 AboutLivestlyUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCypriot tycoon launches ‘Bank of Cannabis’UndoThree arrested in connection with hotel theftsUndoby Taboolaby Taboola
Just hours after the third fatal road accident of the weekend, police caught a teenager driving at more than twice the legal limit while he was under the influence of alcohol.“The deaths of young people seem unable to make us realise the value of life, and that driving is not a game,” police commented in a statement.Around 1am on Monday, officers found the 18-year-old speeding at 219km/h on the Limassol to Nicosia motorway where the speed limit is 100km/h.When he was tested for alcohol, the reading showed 41μg, more than four times the 9μg allowed for drivers who have had their licence for less than three years.The driver was charged and released.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
The Michigan Senate today unanimously approved legislation authored by state Rep. Brandt Iden to reform Michigan’s asset forfeiture laws and protect citizens’ rights across the state.Rep. Iden applauded the Senate on its approval of the bill.“Michiganders from Ann Arbor, Zeeland, and everywhere in between have been waiting for an overhaul of this magnitude to better protect their rights,” said Rep. Iden, R-Oshtemo. “I’m happy to see that all of my colleagues in the Senate supported this bill.”House Bill 4507 aims to reform public nuisance abatement practices. As the law currently stands, courts can order the forfeiture of personal property to end public nuisances, regardless of whether or not the seized property was part of the nuisance itself. This can result in all furniture, fixtures, personal property, and contents of a property at issue to be seized.In addition to nuisance law abatement, HB 4507 is part of a legislative package that also raises the minimum standard by which property can be seized, from a “preponderance of the evidence” connecting the property to a crime to “clear and convincing evidence.”“This may seem like a small clarification, but this change will help citizens protect citizens’ personal property rights,” Rep. Iden said. “In addition to citizens and lawmakers, this package has seen support from public safety agencies and civil rights organizations looking to better clarify Michigan’s laws.”HB 4507 now goes to Gov. Rick Snyder for further consideration.### 07Oct Senate unanimously approves Iden bill to reform asset forfeiture laws Categories: Iden News,News
06Sep Mental health task force schedules meeting in Detroit A bipartisan state House of Representatives task force will have a public meeting at 1-3 p.m. in the Team Wellness Center, located at 6309 Mack Avenue in Detroit, on Monday, Sept. 11.Comprised of seven Democratic and seven Republican members, and co-chaired by state Reps. Klint Kesto of Commerce Township and Hank Vaupel of Fowlerville, the House C.A.R.E.S. Task Force is assigned to explore ways to help Michigan residents with mental health challenges. The information gathered during a series of meetings and tours across the state will develop legislative reforms to improve service consistency, establish better support for veterans, upgrade substance abuse treatment programs, expand law enforcement training, and increase use of specialized courts for mental health and substance addiction.“This bipartisan task force has a mission to help the lives of all Michigan residents. I’m pleased we’ll be coming to hear about Detroit area successes with mental health issues,” said Vaupel, chair of the House Health Policy Committee. “The information we’ve gathered so far from local, county and non–profit programs has painted an exceptional picture for us about where Michigan needs to improve in helping our veterans or treating addiction. Nothing could be complete without talking with key individuals in our state’s largest city.”The C.A.R.E.S. Task Force, named for the Community, Access, Resources, Education and Safety elements to be addressed to help support Michigan’s citizens living with mental health challenges, has had three prior public meetings in Livingston, Kent and Oakland counties with another meeting scheduled for Sept. 7 in Lansing. Members have also toured state facilities in Washtenaw, Oakland and Ionia counties.“These meetings are not about politics, they’re about helping people,” said Kesto, who serves as the chair of the House Law and Justice Committee. “That’s why we’re coming to the Team Wellness Center to hear from law enforcement officials, doctors, organization leaders and the people who have overcome the challenges and share how they did it.”The public is invited to attend the Sept. 11 meeting and is also encouraged to submit suggestions on state mental health services online at www.house.mi.gov/CARES.##### Categories: Kesto News,News
Categories: Lucido News,News House approves legislation to safeguard students on school propertyState Rep. Peter Lucido today co-sponsored and voted for legislation to help protect students who are underage victims of sex crimes on school districts property.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.“It is simply ridiculous that underage victims and their assailants can be in the same classroom in the state of Michigan,” said Lucido of Shelby Township. “All victims of criminal sexual conduct deserve protection – whether they’re adults or kids in schools – but we have crime victims begging for protection and having to change schools. We need to change that.”Currently, a school is only required to expel a student who commits a sex crime on school grounds.“A school campus should be a safe education environment for all students and nothing more,” Lucido said. “Anyone who commits criminal sexual conduct is a threat to the entire school community and needs to be dealt with seriously.”House Bills 5530, 5531 and 5532 advance to the Senate for its consideration.##### 08Mar Lucido votes to protect underage sex crime victims in schools
Categories: Noble News Legislation protects Michigan and out-of-state driversState Rep. Jeff Noble this week testified before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in support of his legislation to enter into an agreement with 45 other states to share driver’s license information.Noble said the agreement, known as the Driver’s License Interstate Compact, will allow states to work together to ensure bonds and citations are paid for if a driver is pulled over in another state.“This plan protects Michigan residents when driving in other states and gives travelers reassurance they will not be required to pay cash to law enforcement on the spot when receiving a citation,” said Noble, of Northville. “Currently, when an out-of-state driver gets pulled over by police they have to either buy a cash bond, have their driver’s license taken away or possibly go to jail. This plan ensures violations will be paid while also allowing drivers to be on their way after receiving a citation.”House Bill 6011 remains under consideration by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.### 31May Rep. Noble testifies on plan for Michigan to enter driver’s license compact
21Dec Rep. Bellino commends budget proposal that funds plans within 17th House District Legislature sends measure to governor for considerationState Rep. Joe Bellino today voted to approve a plan connected to the state budget that will allow for additional growth within the city of Monroe while protecting Michigan residents and their children.Bellino championed two specific projects that will be funded through the proposal. The Monroe School Health Initiative, through the Arborwood campus of Monroe Public Schools, will receive funds for a planned all-purpose children’s clinic.“This will go a long way with outfitting the building for its needs,” Bellino said. “We’ll be able to offer before-and-after school child care and health services so our youth in and around Monroe are in a safe and caring environment when they are at school.”Additional funding will go to Catholic Charities of Southeast Michigan and the St. Joseph Center of Hope for an engagement and intervention center to help individuals attempting to recover from addiction.“This facility will help addicts who are trying to get better by providing them with meals, clean clothes and an area to receive treatment information if they want to get on a better path,” Bellino said. “Being able to help fund staff for the first year this facility is open will provide the Monroe area with jobs and help residents in need.”The measures, Senate Bills 149 and 601, will ultimately head to the governor for final consideration and include over $100 million to be added to record-high road investments. The plans also boost local services for military veterans, environmental cleanup and school security improvements. Categories: Bellino News,News
Categories: Albert News Initiative bans sales of e-cigs to minors, helps enforce regulationState Rep. Thomas Albert today testified before the House Regulatory Reform Committee in support of his plan banning the sale of e-cigarettes to minors as well as the possession by individuals under 18.“This critical first step is to keep hazardous chemicals out of the hands of our children,” said Albert, of Lowell. “Eliminating nicotine exposure now will prevent a health crisis down the road. This legislation will also enhance law enforcement and help schools keep e-cigarettes off campuses. This plan takes the necessary action to protect our communities from addiction.”Electronic cigarettes are battery-operated devices that deliver nicotine and flavoring without burning tobacco. Many devices are colorful and made to look harmless – including a version that looks just like a computer USB flash drive, making them appealing to teens and difficult to detect in schools.Albert invited Ionia Intermediate School District Superintendent Ethan Ebenstein and Associate Superintendent Ted Payton to join him to testify about the struggles schools face keeping e-cigarettes off campuses.“Ionia schools are seeing explosive growth of these products, and are finding themselves in a constant struggle to keep students from using them,” Albert said. “Without enough education on these harmful chemicals, I fear of the health problems of teenagers that will come to light in the future.”The U.S. Surgeon General recently declared youth e-cigarette usage an “epidemic”. In a 2018 Centers for Disease Control survey, roughly one in five high school students reported using such products – up 78 percent from 2017.The U.S. Food and Drug Administration bans the sale of e-cigarettes to those under 18, but Michigan state law does not. With the adoption House Bill 4164, law enforcement and schools will have a pathway to keeping addictive, unregulated chemicals off campuses.The plan also protects Michigan if federal regulations change, Albert said.Photo Information: State Rep. Thomas Albert testifies before the House Regulatory Reform Committee on Tuesday in support of his legislation banning minors from purchasing and possessing harmful e-cigarette products to solve a growing statewide epidemic.Photo Information: Ionia Intermediate School District Superintendent Ethan Ebenstein (right) and Associate Superintendent Ted Payton testify before the House Regulatory Reform Committee in support of state Rep. Thomas Albert’s House Bill 4164. 26Feb Albert: Michigan must do more to prevent youth e-cigarette usage
Share37TweetShare3Email40 SharesInternational Boiler Works, East Stroudsburg / Nicholas A. TonelliNovember 12, 2015; NextCityNextCity’s story on affordability in Pennsylvania has two great takeaways: Rent burden is not just a big metro problem, and affordable housing can be a bipartisan issue even in a polarized political environment. In “Pennsylvania Metros Where Renters Struggle the Most to Pay the Landlord,” author Marilee Mondon tells how the State General Assembly, dominated by Republicans, enacted an expansion of the State’s Housing Trust Fund. According to the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement Act (PHARE) “will expand the Housing Trust Fund’s revenue and reach to all 67 counties with revenue drawn from future growth in the existing Realty Transfer Tax, redirecting it back into the residential real estate market. Until now PHARE was funded by a portion of Marcellus Shale drilling impact fees and was limited to use by the 37 Pennsylvania counties that host drilling wells.That this plan was supported by Democratic Governor Tom Wolf and the Republican-controlled General Assembly in the midst of a five-month standoff over the state budget is truly amazing and speaks to the urgency of rental housing affordability problem that has now reached into Pennsylvania’s smaller metro areas.When most readers think of Pennsylvania, they think of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, but Ms. Mondon Includes a chart of smaller metropolitan areas where renters are struggling to pay rents in excess of 30 percent of household income. Places like East Stroudsburg, Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, and Erie are right up there with the larger cities when it comes to rent burden. WFMZ in Eastern Pennsylvania and western New Jersey asks:Are local rentals out of reach? The average Pennsylvania worker can’t afford decent housing, and New Jersey residents aren’t faring much better, according to a new study. Multifamily apartment units are 11 percent higher than last year and 20 percent higher than 2007, all while wages have stagnated, according to the Federal Reserve Index.Rent escalation seems to be pervasive in smaller cities, according to a report on CNBC, even if large coastal metropolitan areas are more frequently featured in news stories:Big cities have always seen the highest rents. Big demand and limited supply see to that. Now smaller cities are falling in line, seeing rents rise faster than those in even some of the hottest markets. The reason is rising demand. As employment improves, new households are finally being formed again, and they are all renter households. The home ownership rate is still falling.Affordable housing advocates see increasing production of affordable rental units as a way to rebalance the supply-demand equation.A key to the legislative victory (242-1) seems to have been a broad consensus that housing is a “job creator” as well as a social benefit. Ms. Mondon quotes Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania’s Liz Hersh, saying, “We call upon our leaders at the federal level to display the kind of bipartisanship we saw in Pennsylvania to protect vital programs such as the HOME Investment Partnerships Programs and the National Housing Trust Fund.”The politics are even more interesting because a key element of the current budget standoff is the governor’s plan to raise the tax on fracking. It seems that Republican legislators are less squeamish about extension of the current fracking tax to benefit all Pennsylvanians. Contrast this stance to Ohio, where Governor Kasich has proposed a modest severance tax that would be used to reduce the income tax burden of all Ohioans. Kasich may be half right in his approach. The Pennsylvania lesson may be to use the proceeds of a frack tax for a public purpose (as opposed to a personal benefit) and then generalize that purpose to the entire state.Still it’s not all good news for renters. This past weekend, the governor prepared renters for a compromise that will raise the state sales tax:A proposed 21 percent increase in Pennsylvania’s sales tax, part of a plan to end a nearly five-month-old state government budget stalemate, would fall more heavily on people who don’t own a home, Gov. Tom Wolf said on Friday. The first-term Democratic governor suggested that the sales tax proposal was the result of concessions he had to make to Republicans who control the Legislature, saying that the budget deal is a “half a loaf.”Then, early this week, Governor Wolf proclaimed that the budget agreement was in “deep peril” because, he said, Republican leaders in the General Assembly did not have the votes to pass the proposed sales tax increase. Heading into Thanksgiving, the Pennsylvania budget impasse continues, despite the bipartisan support for expanding affordable rental housing.—Spencer WellsUpdate: Cynthia Witman Daley, policy director of the Housing Alliance of PA, wrote to NPQ to say, “Act 58 does not touch the Marcellus Shale impact fee money that goes into PHARE. It is an impact fee and so it goes to impacted counties. That money remains and is dedicated to the counties with shale wells. Act 58 creates a second source of revenue for PHARE, a portion of future growth in revenue from the existing Realty Transfer Tax (RTT). The RTT money will be available statewide.”Share37TweetShare3Email40 Shares
Share4TweetShare18Email22 SharesNovember 23, 2015; Sacramento BeeThe Affordable Care Act (ACA) has allowed millions of people across the country to access health insurance and, in doing so, access healthcare. At least in theory. Healthcare delivery, it turns out, is an entirely different problem. But many nonprofit healthcare executives already knew this. As the ACA was being drafted, I often heard Barbara Mannino, the former CEO of Vista Community Clinic, say that ACA policy discussions were mostly about healthcare finance and not about healthcare delivery.The actual delivery of healthcare services depends upon a number of factors. It depends in part upon the patient’s ability to seek care. For example, those who are low-income may have difficulty leaving work to attend a doctor’s appointment or paying for the gas to drive to that appointment. Healthcare delivery also depends upon whether the healthcare provider is sensitive to and supportive of the patient’s social and cultural background. And, of particular importance, healthcare delivery depends upon the availability of medical providers.There is a documented shortage of primary care physicians in the United States, and the shortage is especially acute in rural and low-income areas. The physicians that do practice in rural areas are often operating at capacity and, thus, not accepting new patients. Some nonprofit health centers, such as the Shasta Community Health Center in Redding, have the patients and the facilities but struggle to recruit physicians to rural areas.Given these challenges, healthcare nonprofits are doing what nonprofit leaders have traditionally done well: They are getting creative. They are using mobile clinics and telemedicine (i.e., video conferencing) to reach as many patients as possible. Nonprofits are also, as the Health Resources and Services Administration suggests, using practitioners and physician’s assistants to alleviate the shortage of primary care physicians.But, unfortunately, many of the nation’s newly insured are still either going without care or must go to great lengths to access care. Some of them are driving for hours just for a brief medical appointment.Let us be clear: The ACA did not create these patients but, rather, provided the insurance through which medical care became financially feasible. As Dean Germano, CEO of Shasta CHC, told the Sacramento Bee, “The (Affordable Care Act) was kind of the shock factor that drove up the demand, but these individuals have always been in our community.”Research has demonstrated that resource disparities—such as lack of access to primary care—exist in rural communities, low-income communities, and in communities of color. In California, there are also disparities between the northern and southern parts of the state, with a disproportionate percentage of nonprofit resources concentrated in urban areas such as Los Angeles and the Bay Area.—Jennifer Amanda JonesShare4TweetShare18Email22 Shares
Share7TweetShare13Email20 SharesOctober 20, 2016; Center on Budget and Policy PrioritiesFor too many states’ public schools, the improving economy doesn’t portend any easing of their funding challenges. Recently compiled data on state funding for the 2016–17 school year continues to illustrate that the harm done to school funding by the 2007-08 Great Recession has not yet ended.New data compiled by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) updates an earlier study that tracked school funding through 2014 and showed significant declines in funding for education between 2008 and 2014. The earlier study found that of the 46 states that made data available, 25 were still funding at levels below the 2008 starting point. With state funds providing almost half of public school funding, the difficulties this picture shows are very clear.Two years of economic growth later, the situation does not seem significantly different. CBPP was able to gather current-year data on state funding from 47 states. Of those, “twenty-three… are providing less general aid per student this year than in 2008. In seven of those 23 states, the cuts are 10 percent or more, and North Carolina’s cut is only slightly smaller, at 9.9 percent.” At the same time, federal funding has not provided a buffer, as it, too, has shrunk in real terms.When NPQ reported on the study in an earlier nonprofit newswire, we speculated on the reasons for the continuing state funding shortfalls.The reasons that states have not chosen to restore funding levels vary. In some states, the economy has not yet recovered and their tax revenues remain constrained. For others, other budget needs are seen as more critical, such as Medicaid and underfunded public pension plans. For others, still, it is a matter of political philosophy: Government should be small, taxes low, and efficiencies are there to be found.For local school districts and charter schools, the impact of the continuing funding challenge is very clear. Local school funding relies heavily on property taxes, which does not make offsetting state and federal declines easy. This is particularly true for districts responsible for overcoming the obstacles faced by poor and minority students.When a district cannot make up for lost funds, it faces no easy way to fix the problem. It can shift resources from other local priorities, choosing between schools and police, fire, water, and other essential services. It can attempt to shift spending on school infrastructure to direct school operations, risking the health and safety of its students. It can cut staff. At a time of great concern about the effectiveness of our public schools, all of the possible ways to offset decreased funding work against real school improvement. We have seen more than 200,000 teaching positions eliminated since 2008, while those who remain are being asked to teach a student body that has grown by 1.1 million students. More students taught by fewer teachers is not a formula that will result in better schools.This funding picture also provides more insight into why the fight over charter schools has become so heated. With state funding constrained, the diverting of funds from traditional public schools to charter schools makes the pressure even greater and does not provide new ways to mitigate the impact.For CBPP, the continued starving of our schools does not bode well on the macro level.In the long term, the budgetary savings from recent K–12 funding cuts may cost states much more in diminished economic growth. […] At a time when the nation is trying to produce workers with the skills to master new technologies and adapt to the complexities of a global economy, large cuts in funding for basic education undermine a crucial building block for future prosperity.This translates into great pain for those students for whom the schools cannot meet the responsibility to provide a quality education. It also makes the conversation about school reform strategies moot.—Martin LevineShare7TweetShare13Email20 Shares
French media group Lagardère increased sales at its TV channels, programme production and distribution and magazines division Lagardère Active in the third quarter.Lagardère Active reported net sales of €267 million in the quarter ending September 30, up 3.9% on a like-for-like basis. The company said ad sales across the channels group, which includes DTT channels Tiji and Canal J, had been strong.
Following the announcement in September of its planned launch of a female-focused channel, Glitz, next year, Turner Broadcasting is reportedly aiming to further strengthen its position in the German market by launching the first original production for its TNT Series channel in the New Year, and has hired Andrea Gunther and Sascha Kunth to head up local productions. The broadcaster will air 10-part comedy drama Add a Friend, focusing on the relationships of a group of Facebook generation individuals and aimed at a female audience, in the first half of next year, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Add a Friend will be produced by production group Wiedemann & Berg Filmproduktion.
Leading Russian ISP Yandex has acquired Russian-language movie, TV and celebrity website KinoPoisk.KinoPoisk has a monthly audience of 18.6 million users, according to comScore Media Metrix, and ranks as the 16th largest web property in Russia.KinoPoisk’s users can read expert and user-generated film reviews, discover the most popular movies, watch trailers, get movie news and personalised recommendations, as well as accessing show times and tickets.Yandex says it will develop an extended movie recommendation system tailored to users’ preferences and interests. KinoPoisk will remain available at its current domain kinopoisk.ru while the team behind the service will be smoothly integrated into the Yandex team.Yandex, which launched a licensed music service in 2010, says it plans to deepen its relationship with rights holders and, together with KinoPoisk, will work to enhance its relationship with content creators.Terms of the deal were not disclosed.“Yandex is focused on providing the most comprehensive answers to users’ questions, including by offering them relevant recommendations,” said Dmitriy Stepanov, head of media services at Yandex. “More and more often, consumers are turning to the Internet to get ideas on what movies and TV shows to watch. In order to provide high quality answers, we need to have deep knowledge of the subject matter. KinoPoisk has a huge collection of Russian-language information about films, TV shows, actors and directors, as well as users’ and experts’ reviews amassed over many years.”“Over the years, KinoPoisk has amassed an extremely comprehensive database of film information and recommendations,” said Vitaliy Tatsiy, co-founder and general director of KinoPoisk. “Yandex’s vast resources and technological expertise will help us to bring the recommendation service to a new level, extend its capabilities much more quickly and reach more cinema fans on a wide range of devices and platforms.”
Transmission services provider Télédiffusion d’Algérie has chosen Eutelsat’s 7 West A satellite to extend the reach of Algerian TV and radio channels across North Africa and the Middle East.Télédiffusion d’Algérie has taken a 72MHz transponder on the satellite at the 7°/8° West position to deliver Algeria’s existing public channels as well as new channels expected to launch as the country opens up its TV business to private investors.The channels will be available via Eutelsat 7 West A to viewers across the Maghreb and North-West Africa. Their reach will be extended to the whole of the Middle East and the Persian Gulf with the launch in 2015 of the Eutelsat 8 West B satellite.Abdelmalek Houyou, director general of TDA, said: “Over 15 years of close collaboration with Eutelsat, we have built a solid partnership which has been boosted in the last few years by a tremendous input of technical expertise to accompany Algeria’s transition to a digital broadcasting environment. This new agreement highlights Eutelsat’s commitment to providing solutions to our developing needs, both now and in the future. Our significant requirements are driven by the ambition to extend the availability of Algerian television and radio channels beyond Algeria and to prepare for the opening up of our broadcasting sector to private ventures.”
Click on diagram for detailed viewEuropean cable executives expect the sector to grow by 6% a year until 2016, with EBITDA expected to grow to 51% of revenue on average by that year, according to research by Solon Management Consulting.The growth expectation is higher than that revealed by the last Solon survey, which found that top execs expected revenues to rise by 5% a year.According to the sixth Solon Survey of European Cable Communication, based on a survey of 14 leading operators across 12 countries, growth will be driven primarily by broadband, with cable taking advantage of its ability to deliver higher top-line speeds than rival service providers.. The primary marketed bandwidth of European cable operators was on average 48Mbips in the first half of 2013. By 2016, cable players expect this value to increase to over 150Mbps.Fibre and DSL players are still seen as the main competitive threat, with these expected to account for 43% of customer churn in 2016, a greater proportion than will be lost to OTT, which is expected to account for 7% of churn.Despite the emphasis on broadband, next-generation TV is the focus of the industry’s attention currently, which is seen as a defensive move as TV value growth is forecast to be limited and will suffer from competitive pressure.Going forwards, cable executives expect B2B services to be the main new value driver, but there are signs that the industry is still struggling to win business from small and medium enterprise customers. While 44% of participants reported high B2B success regarding SoHo customers, none of the participants reports similar success with SMEsCapex as a percentage of revenue is expected to decline sightly from 22% this year to between 19-20% of revenues.
Swedish free and pay TV broadcaster TV4 say viewing on digital platforms double last year, more than compensating a modest decline in traditional linear TV consumption.According to the broadcaster, traditional TV viewing declined by about six minutes a day to 153 minutes on average. However, consumption on digital platforms took the total average daily viewing time to over four hours.TV4 cited MMS Web TV figures that it said showed the number of requests for TV4 Play increased from 115.1 million in 2013 to 135.2 million last year, higher than the figures for rivals Modern Times Group – up from 46.3 million to 81.5 million – and SBS Discovery – up from 29.5 million to 43.7 million – giving TV4 Play a 52% share of all requests.TV4’s YouTube requests for the year numbered 127 million, taking total digital requests up from 131.4 million in 2013 to 262.3 million last year.Public broadcaster SVT’s player service SVT Play is still the market leader, but requests for the service fell from 405.7 million in 2013 to 337.8 million this year.In traditional viewing, TV4 Group claimed an audience share of 29.6% in the 12-59 age group, down from 30.4% in 2013 when it sold TV11 to SBS Discovery, while the share of SVT, MTG and SBS Discovery were all more or less flat year-on-year at 25.5%, 23.5% and 14.2% respectively.
Sunrise has upped its IPO offering in a stock market debut that valued the company at CHF3.06 – the largest Swiss IPO since 2006.The Swiss service provider, which began trading today on the SIX Swiss Exchange, agreed to upsize its base offering by 5 million shares due to “strong demand from a broad range of institutions.”Pricing its offering at CHF68 per share – the mid-point of its previously announced CHF58-78 price range – its total base offering was CHF1.99 billion from 29.3 million shares.The firm said that primary proceeds from the IPO, which will come to CHF1.36 billion, will allow it to “substantially strengthen its balance sheet and exploit future growth opportunities.”Sunrise claimed that the IPO was “multiple times over-subscribed,” and, as well as being the largest IPO in Switzerland in more than eight years, was also the largest teleco IPO in EMEA since 2004.Sunrise CEO Libor Voncina said: “Today marks a key milestone in the company’s history. We are excited about the IPO and look forward to continuing the execution of our strategy of building a great company. We are known for offering excellent value, great service and innovative products. The IPO will enable us to continue on this path.”The total base offering consisted of 20.0 million ordinary shares and 9.3 million existing shares. These consisted of the initially announced 4.3 million existing shares and an additional 5.0 million existing shares offered to meet demand.