Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, Turks & Caicos – Beach Enclave, a new concept combining luxury home ownership and private villa rentals with the experience of a resort, announces its expansion with the official debut of Beach Enclave Long Bay, a collection of five private villas along one of the most exclusive beaches in Turks & Caicos. The debut of Beach Enclave Long Bay comes on the heels of the successful launch of Beach Enclave North Shore, where all nine beachfront and ocean front villas sold just over a year from launch. .An unprecedented concept in the industry, Beach Enclave’s homes offer the remarkable amenities and flawless services of a luxury resort, with an optional villa rental program for homeowners. With sales having recently launched, homeowners and guests will have the opportunity to enjoy one of the most coveted destinations in the Caribbean beginning in late 2017.“Beach Enclave has set a new benchmark for home ownership in which design and hospitality converge,” said Vasco Borges, Co-Founder and CEO of Beach Enclave. “We are thrilled to offer homeowners a remarkable travel experience while also offering a seamless experience for home rentals in one of the most spectacular settings in the world. We selected Long Bay as home to our second enclave on the island, boasting a secluded beach like no other,stunning sunrises and sunsets over the Caribbean ocean, and incredible wind sport opportunities nearby.”Beach Enclave Long Bay offers two custom contemporary home designs, representing the ultimate in barefoot beach leaving, boasting over 7,500 square feet of indoor and outdoor living space with the four- to seven -bedroom homes. Beach Enclave Long Bay’s villas adhere to the brand’s signature design philosophy of seamless indoor and outdoor living, featuring generous concealable glass sliding doors which open to expansive covered terraces, sun decks and infinity pools. Uniquely situated on a secluded, three mile white sand beach crowned with a gentle sand dune, Beach Enclave Long Bay is positioned to enjoy both sunrise and sunset over the Caribbean Sea. Long Bay also enjoys warm, calm turquoise waters soothed by the trade winds, ideal for families and watersport lovers alike.The organic yet refined design by SWA Architects and Domino Creative Interior Designers presents an effortless, elegant and calm setting to take in the magnificent views and surroundings, which are truly the star of each private home. Each Beach Enclave Long Bay villa features an open floor-plan, providing stunning views of the entire north shore of the island. The contemporary and modern design is equally warm, featuring exposed wood ceilings, sliding glass doors to maximize views, and generous outdoor living areas for gatherings and entertaining. The grounds are equally beautiful, with landscaping that enhances the native flora with trees, palms and flowers. In keeping with the philosophy and celebration of the beautiful landscape of their locale, Beach Enclave Long Bay villas employ environmentally friendly practices and feature high efficiency appliances, water collection and recycling, and optional solar technologies. The villas have been designed with sustainability in mind taking into consideration sun, wind and topography while minimizing the construction footprint and preserving the surrounding landscape.Beach Enclave’s brand offering is unlike any other in the Caribbean as it affords residents the opportunity to enjoy the convenience and comfort of the services and amenities of a resort, along with the luxury of a private home. Beach Enclave Long Bay amenities and services include 24/7 on-site management and security, dedicated butler/maid; private chef services; regular kite surf lessons off the beach and paddle board and kayak tours; among others. Beach Enclave residents and guests also benefit from a concierge, who can manage requests such as arranging spa treatments, grocery stocking, airport transportation, dining reservations and more as well as access to an oceanfront, fully equipped fitness room and yoga terraces looking out to the ocean and the distant reef barrier. Beach amenities are also available to guests and include the set-up of loungers and umbrellas, delivery of towels and water and the use of kayaks and snorkel equipment to explore the nearby coral reef. Residents can also arrange for activities such as private boating excursions, one of the best ways to discover Turks & Caicos.The second of three developments on the coveted Providenciales island, Beach Enclave Long Bay will redefine home ownership, featuring refined service and specialized amenities in the most spectacular beachfront setting. Construction of Beach Enclave Long Bay’s luxury villas will begin in November 2016, with occupancy beginning Christmas 2017. Beach Enclave’s third development, Beach Enclave Grace Bay, will be launching sales this winter, following a Friends and Family release earlier in the year. With just a few villas left for sale – construction is scheduled to start mid 2017.Beach Enclave Long Bay beachfront villas start at $3,950,000. Beach Enclave Grace Bay beachfront villas start at $8,750,000, with ocean view villas starting at $5,950,000.For press inquiries about Beach Enclave or North Shore villas, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. For rental inquiries please reach out to reservations at: 1 649 941 7577 or 1 866 580 1675 or email: email@example.com. For an opportunity to own a villa please reach out to Nina Siegenthaler at (+1) 649 231 0707 – firstname.lastname@example.org or Joe Zahm at (+1) 649 231 6188 (TCI) or (+1) 610 715 0506 (US). For more information, please visit www.beachenclave.com or follow Beach Enclave on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp
Yes Olympus’ OM-D E-M1X camera’s smaller than it looks Yes Post a comment Viewfinder (mag/ effective mag) Best Buy Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II EVF 2.4 million dots 100% coverage 1.48x – 1.65x/ 0.74x- 0.83x Olympus OM-D E-M1X Sensor effective resolution Mentioned Above Panasonic Lumix G9 Sensor shift 5 axis, IS Sync $1,197 20.2 oz., 574g 2.0x 324 area -3 to n/a EV 3 in./.7.5cm Multiangle tilting touch 1.04 million dots $1,199 870 shots (2 x 1,720mAh batteries) -6 – 20 EV ISO 64 (exp)/200 – ISO 25600 Amazon ISO 100 (exp)/ISO 200 – ISO 25600 Manual aperture and shutter in video Yes Optical -2 – 20 EV Wi-Fi (802.11ac), Bluetooth 4.2 60 – 1/8000 sec. (1/32,000 with electronic shutter); bulb to 30 minutes; 1/250 sec. x-sync (Super FP to 1/8,000) Metering Fujifilm X-T3 23.2 oz. (est.), 658g (est.) 3 in./7.5cm Articulated touchscreen 1.04m dots H.264 MP4 UHD/60p @ 150Mbps ; 1080/60p, 50p, 25p, 24p; 1080/180fps n/a 19 oz. (est.), 539g (est.) 18fps (electronic shutter)10fps (mechanical shutter) (60fps with fixed AE/AF and electronic shutter) 49 raw/49 JPEG 5.7 x 5.8 x 3.0 in.; 144 x 147 x 75mm ISO 64 (exp)/200 – ISO 25600 Sensitivity range EVF 2.36 million dots 100% coverage 1.3x – 1.48x/ 0.65x- 0.74x Audio Yes IS 440 shots (1,720mAh) Yes Yes 29 min. H.264 QuickTime MOV C4K/24p @ 237Mbps; UHD/30p, 25p, 24p @ 102Mbps; 1080/120p Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n) n/a 121-point all cross-type phase detection AF, 121-point contrast AF n/a Wireless connection 5.3 x 3.6 x 2.7 in.; 134 x 91 x 69mm Maximum best-quality recording time per clip AF sensitivity 2 x SDXC (1 x UHS-II) Comparative specifications 1/8,000 to 30 sec. (1/32,000 sec. with electronic shutter); bulb to 60 min; 1/250 sec. x-sync 380 shots (1,860mAh) 1,728 zone Panasonic Lumix G9 No 0 – 18 EV 20fps (with e-shutter); 9fps (with mechanical shutter) 600 JPEG/60 raw (With fixed focus and exposure, 60fps with e-shutter and 12fps with mechanical shutter) 18fps (electronic shutter) 10fps (mechanical shutter) (60fps with fixed AE/AF and electronic shutter) 2 x SDXC UHS-III, V90 ISO 80 (exp)/ISO 160 (exp)/200 – ISO 12800/51200 (exp) Shutter speed Best video Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n), Bluetooth 20.4MP Live MOS 12-bit 2 x SDXC (1 x UHS-II) 3 in./7.5cm Articulated touchscreen 1.04m dots Yes 2.2-million-point phase-detection AF, 91-area contrast AF Yes $3,000 See It 35.2 oz. (est.), 997g (est) $1,197 $1,700; £1,500; AU$2,800 OLED EVF 3.7 million dots 100% coverage 1.66x/0.83x Stereo; mic input, headphone jack Stereo; mic input 200,000 Stereo, mic input, headphones Autofocus Display Yes 60 – 1/8,000 sec. (1/32,000 with electronic shutter); bulb to 30 minutes; 1/250 sec. x-sync (Super FP to 1/8,000) H.265 QuickTime MOV C4K/60p @400Mbps; H.264 QuickTime MOV UHD/30p, 25p, 24p at 400Mbps 18 Photos See it 29 min. Adorama 10 min. Wi-Fi (802.11ac) 256 zones Mfr. price (body only) 390 shots (1,260mAh) Shutter durability (actuations) Hot shoe 121-point cross-type phase detection AF, 121-point contrast AF Sensor shift 5 axis, IS Sync 20.4MP Live MOS 12-bit Flash Yes -4 – 18 EV Feb. 2019 Size (WHD) 2.0x Memory slots Included add-on Metering sensitivity Yes 2 x SDXC UHS-II U3 No CNET may get a commission from retail offers. $1,300; £1,500; AU$2,500 Clean HDMI out 20.3MP Live MOS 12-bit Focal-length multiplier Tags Yes $1,197 5.2 x 3.7 x 2.3 in.; 133 × 93 × 59mm 20 min. Yes 17.4 x 13mm 11fps 145 JPEG/42 raw (20fps with e-shutter) 17.3 x 13mm Body operating weight No Dual IS 2 (5 axis) OLPF OLED EVF 3.7m million dots 100% coverage 1.1x/0.75x $1,400; £1,350; AU$2,200 (est.) Panasonic Lumix G9 Sensor size 324 area Fujifilm Olympus Panasonic 5.4 x 3.8 x 3.6 in.; 137 x 97 x 92mm Wireless flash 400,000 Release date Cameras -2 – 20 EV Stereo; mic input, headphone jack Sept. 2018 Seven stops of stabilization is pretty impressive given that the best we’ve seen thus far is about 5.5. Depending upon what you shoot, that could mean the difference between having to tote a tripod or being able to leave it behind, or being able to shoot at a lower ISO than you’d otherwise have to.I’m a big fan of Olympus’ stabilization performance in general, but in the little time I had to try out the E-M1X I didn’t have much luck with it — the best I could do was handheld at 0.1 sec. (with the 12-100mm f4 lens), which is the best tend to get consistently with almost any system.Enlarge ImageShot in Handheld High Res Shot mode (1/80 sec., f4, ISO 320). Not much of a photo, but you can see the tiny distorted buildings in the raindrops. (It’s easier to see if you view the full-res photo.) Normally that’s not a big deal, but the sensors used in Micro Four Thirds cameras tend to be relatively low resolution. Lori Grunin/CNET The improved stabilization plus the dual processors facilitate a handheld High Res Shot mode in addition to the existing tripod-requiring mode; handheld combines 16 shots to produce a 50-megapixel image. While there doesn’t seem to be an impractical lower bound on the length of the exposure, since the camera uses the sensor shift mechanism to produce the image, the in-body stabilization isn’t effective here.Like most computational multishot features, the high-res mode takes a bit of time to process after the shot, despite the extra horsepower. Olympus added another multishot mode, Live ND Filter, which combines photos to simulate the effect of up to five stops of neutral-density light reduction, with the ability to preview the result. Enlarge ImageA more conventional shot in Handheld Hi Res Shot mode (1/80 sec., f4.5, ISO 1000). Download the full-resolution image. Lori Grunin/CNET The increase in processing power also enables the new, AI-driven Intelligent Subject Detection, which can recognize and track cars, motorcycles, planes and trains. You select which subject you’re shooting, and the AF locks on to a specific aspect — for instance, the helmet of the motorcyclist — for tracking. It selects and tracks it automatically in this mode, so you don’t have to initiate the object selection or tracking as you normally would. Combined with the Pro Capture mode, which buffers images before you press the shutter so you don’t miss a shot if your reaction time’s a little off, it can really come in handy.While the detection magic initially only works for those limited shooting situations, additional tracking modes can be added via firmware upgrades. Olympus plans to release regular feature updates via firmware for the camera, as it does for some of its other higher-end models.Physically fitOf course, the control layout’s been adapted to the bigger body along with the needs of pros. For instance, the drive modes are now more easily accessible on the left shoulder, there are joysticks for manipulating focus areas (plus more AF-area configuration options), and it now has a control-lock switch setting for which you can selectively choose what to lock (before it was all or nothing). On board, it’s got a GPS, barometer, compass and more. The smaller body feels quite comfortable to hold and is likely less fatiguing over the course of a day, and most of the controls are easily reachable. I’m not fond of the location of the metering, AF and drive modes — they’re kind of awkward to reach on the left shoulder and all the buttons feel similar — but I always hated the convention of that location for the mode controls in cameras like the Nikon D5. Clearly a personal preference issue. Most of the other buttons have unique-feeling surfaces so that it’s easy to distinguish among them without looking.The tray holds two batteries. Lori Grunin/CNET The dual SD card slots are now both UHS-II rather than just one of them, Wi-Fi’s been upped to 802.11ac (Wi-Fi 5) and the viewfinder offers a bit higher magnification, thanks to an additional lens optic in it. Plus, Olympus says the dust removal is 10 percent more efficient than previously, and the subject detection has also been improved. The bigger body means that Olympus can just toss in a second battery to solve the big problem plaguing mirrorless cameras — awful battery life caused by power-draining viewfinders and sensor-shift stabilization mechanisms — while still using the same battery as the E-M1 II’s. Olympus will include two in the box, along with two chargers, which is nice. The camera also jumps on the USB-C charging bandwagon, and the company claims it can charge both batteries in two hours.Otherwise, the M1X has most of the same components and specificatons as the M1 II; most notably, the same 20-megapixel sensor and on-chip autofocus system, metering system, continuous-shooting rates and viewfinder.Really, the only thing that gives me pause is the price. Paying so much for the small Four Thirds-size sensor incites a knee-jerk response when an APS-C Fujifilm X-T3 or M43 Panasonic Lumix G9 equipped with a vertical grip is about two-thirds the cost. The integrated grip does improve the weather resistance — the camera’s rated to IPX 1 even when you’re plugged into the ports, though Olympus claims the sealing goes way beyond that basic claim — and the M1X is faster, but it’s the nuances of speed and stabilization performance that will probably determine whether it’s worth the money for your particular needs.A mockup of the upcoming 150-400mm lens. Olympus Along with the camera, Olympus made a development announcement for a new 150-400mm f/4.5 TC1.25x IS Pro lens. It’s got a built-in teleconverter to stretch that out to 300-1,000mm, and with the upcoming MC-20 converter (expected this summer), that will jump to 600-2,000mm. Olympus didn’t provide any pricing or availability for either. Jan. 2018 225-area DFD Contrast AF 23.5 x 15.6mm Dec. 2016 3 in./7.5cm Articulated touchscreen 1.04m dots 1.5x Update Jan. 24, 4 p.m. PT: Added corrections and hands-on comments, embedded gallery.Read now: Galaxy S10 won’t save Samsung innovation, but foldable Galaxy X couldRead next: Galaxy X: Samsung’s foldable phone must learn from ZTE, FlexPai’s mistakes 26MP X-Trans BSI CMOS 4 14-bit 2.0x Yes See It Share your voice No Battery life (CIPA rating) Yes Yes Lori Grunin/CNET Olympus’ Micro Four Thirds OM-D E-M1X is the first pro camera i’ve picked up without bemoaning my lack of upper body strength. A sibling to the great E-M1 Mark II, it’s designed to attract professional action and wildlife photographers looking for a light(er)-weight alternative to an SLR or even an APS-C mirrorless. While it’s not that light at more than 2 pounds (just under a kilogram), it’s still relatively compact for what it is — and more importantly, the lenses are much lighter and smaller than the APS-C or full-frame equivalents.Olympus plans to ship the E-M1X by the end of February. It’s priced at $3,000 or AU$4,500 for the body, which converts to roughly £2,295. The OM-D E-M1X is essentially the E-M1 Mark II on steroids; physically bulked up with an integrated vertical grip that holds two batteries, two TruePic VIII image processors and a beefier gyro sensor that helps increase the stabilization for up to seven stops of compensation (7.5 with an OIS lens that supports Olympus’ Sync IS hybrid stabilization). 1/8,000 to 60 sec. (1/32,000 electronic); bulb to 60 minutes; 1/250 sec. x-sync Burst shooting 200,000 17.3 x 13mm Preview • The Panasonic Lumix G9 seeks the GH5’s cachet, but for stills See It 0 No Yes H.264 QuickTime MOV C4K/24p @ 237Mbps; UHD/30p, 25p, 24p @ 102Mbps; 1080/60p, 50p, 25p, 24p @ 202Mbps No
A worker arranges food packets inside a retail store in Kolkata.ReutersThe Finance Ministry has decided to hike import duties on 19 non-essential items that include imported ACs, refrigerators, washing machines and others in order to curb widening current account deficit (CAD) and a weakening rupee.The hike in import duties varies from five per cent to 25 per cent and changes in rates are effective from September 27 (Thursday). The aviation fuel attracted five per cent hike. The increase, however, is not expected to increase airfare.As per the revised import duty rate, footwear attracted five per cent hike. Hike imposed on AC, refrigerator, washing machine, household items of plastics (tableware and kitchenware), office stationery and others may see public spending a little money from now. Union Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley.ReutersIt needs to be noted that Finance Minister Arun Jaitley while announcing measures to increase capital inflows and check rupee volatility earlier this month, had said that an extensive policy had been made to cut non-essential imports and boost exports.The move comes against the backdrop of the CAD touching 2.4 percent in the June quarter. The import duty hike is part of one of this policy measures.Following are the 19 items that are slightly expensive from Thursday.ItemItemPresent rate (%)Present rate (%)Revised rate (%)Revised rate (%)ItemAir conditionersPresent rate (%)10Revised rate (%)20ItemHousehold refrigeratorsPresent rate (%)10Revised rate (%)20ItemWashing machines less than 10 KgPresent rate (%)10Revised rate (%)20ItemCompressor for air conditioners and refrigeratorsPresent rate (%)7.5Revised rate (%)10ItemSpeakersPresent rate (%)10Revised rate (%)15ItemFootwearPresent rate (%)20Revised rate (%)25ItemRadial Car TyresPresent rate (%)10Revised rate (%)15ItemNon-industrial diamond (other than rough diamonds), i.e., cut and polished diamondPresent rate (%)5Revised rate (%)7.5ItemDiamonds-semi processed, half cut or brokenPresent rate (%)5Revised rate (%)7.5ItemLab-grown diamondsPresent rate (%)5Revised rate (%)7.5ItemCut and polished Colored gemstonePresent rate (%)5Revised rate (%)7.5ItemArticles of jewellery and parts thereof, of precious metal or of metal clad with precious metalPresent rate (%)15Revised rate (%)20ItemArticles of Goldsmith or silversmith wares and parts thereof of precious metal or of metal clad with precious metalPresent rate (%)15Revised rate (%)20ItemBath, shower bath, sink, wash basin, etc. of plasticsPresent rate (%)10Revised rate (%)15ItemArticles of plastics for conveyance and packing such as boxes, case, containers, bottles, insulated ware etc.Present rate (%)10Revised rate (%)15ItemTableware, kitchenware and other household items of plasticsPresent rate (%)10Revised rate (%)15Itemoffice stationery, fitting for furniture’s, decorative sheets, statuettes, beads, bangles etc.Present rate (%)10Revised rate (%)15ItemTrunks, Suitcase, Executive cases, Brief Cases, travel bags and other bags etc.Present rate (%)10Revised rate (%)15ItemAviation turbine fuelPresent rate (%)0Revised rate (%)5 Washing machines less than 10 Kg1020 Diamonds-semi processed, half cut or broken57.5 Tableware, kitchenware and other household items of plastics1015 Non-industrial diamond (other than rough diamonds), i.e., cut and polished diamond57.5 office stationery, fitting for furniture’s, decorative sheets, statuettes, beads, bangles etc.1015 Radial Car Tyres1015 Articles of Goldsmith or silversmith wares and parts thereof of precious metal or of metal clad with precious metal1520 Trunks, Suitcase, Executive cases, Brief Cases, travel bags and other bags etc.1015 Speakers1015 Cut and polished Colored gemstone57.5 ItemPresent rate (%)Revised rate (%) Bath, shower bath, sink, wash basin, etc. of plastics1015 Articles of jewellery and parts thereof, of precious metal or of metal clad with precious metal1520 Air conditioners1020 Lab-grown diamonds57.5 Household refrigerators1020 Footwear2025 Compressor for air conditioners and refrigerators7.510 Articles of plastics for conveyance and packing such as boxes, case, containers, bottles, insulated ware etc.1015 Aviation turbine fuel05
Kolkata: Harping on the need for efficient solid waste management, state Urban Development and Municipal Affairs minister Firhad Hakim said the Urban Development department and Panchayat and Rural Development department have collaborated to launch cleaning operations in the semi-urban and rural areas, while addressing a one-day workshop on solid waste management at the Biswa Bangla Convention Centre on Wednesday afternoon.Krishna Chakraborty, Mayor, Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation and chairmen of all the municipalities were present at the meeting. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataDebashis Sen, chairman, NKDA, Subrata Gupta, Principal Secretary, Urban Development department, Kalyan Rudra, chairman, Pollution Control Board, senior officials of Panchayat and Rural Development department and senior officials of Kolkata Municipal Corporation’s Solid Waste Management department attended the workshop as well. Hakim said because of high cost of land it has become difficult to get land to set up trenching ground and offloading garbage has become a major problem with the civic bodies. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateAwareness drives have been conducted to ensure that people keep dry waste in one bin and organic waste in another bin for efficient solid waste management. Meanwhile, the 4th session of ‘Talk to Mayor’ was also held on Wednesday, where Hakim asked KMC officials to remove garbage from the buildings that have been lying unfinished for many years. He also instructed the civic officials to take measures to clean the roadside toilets that are stinking.
FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Rep. Beth Griffin, Rep. Bronna Kahle, Rep. Annette Glenn, Dawn Crandall, Rep. Mary Whiteford and Rep. Julie Alexander.PHOTO INFORMATION: State Rep. Beth Griffin, of Mattawan, was sworn in today for her second term as representative of the 66th District. Administering the Ceremonial Oath of Office was Supreme Court Justice Stephen Markman. Today also marks the Opening Day of the 100th Michigan Legislature. 09Jan Rep. Griffin takes ceremonial oath of office on House floor Categories: Griffin News ###
State Rep. Mary Whiteford has scheduled a consumer education seminar in partnership with the Michigan Attorney General’s office to educate residents on identity theft.The forum will provide an opportunity to learn about the signs of identity theft, how to protect personal information such as Social Security and credit card numbers, and what to do if you become a victim of identity theft. Additionally, attendees will have the ability to safely dispose of old prescriptions courtesy of the Allegan County Sheriff’s office. Free document shredding will also be provided.“I’m hosting this event because I want to help those I represent avoid the emotional and financial distress potential scams can impose,” Rep. Whiteford said. “I hope you’ll join me in learning more about the resources out there to protect yourself and your personal information.”The event will take place from 2 to 3:30 p.m. on Friday, June 28 at the Allegan District Library, 331 Hubbard St. in Allegan. There is no charge to attend. Please RSVP to Rep. Whiteford’s office by Friday, June 21. For more information, contact Rep. Whiteford’s office at 517-373-0836 or by email at MaryWhiteford@house.mi.gov.### 28May Rep. Whiteford announces seminar to help fight identity theft Categories: Whiteford News
ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares July 7, 2014; The GuardianA report issued by Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors without Borders (MSF) entitled “Where is Everyone?” states that, while international organizations have seen increases in their fundraising efforts, their direct impact in the developing world has decreased significantly. The report highlighted a number of issues and made assertions that ranged from “Humanitarian responses are slow and cumbersome and lack impact” to “UN agencies and INGOs are increasingly absent from field locations” and “when assistance is most needed, international staff of humanitarian agencies are rapidly evacuated or go into hibernation.”The report is based on interviews with 116 humanitarian workers and provides case studies that look into analyses of the international responses to conflicts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan, and Syria. According to the report, the response to the crisis in the Congo “constrained itself to a withdrawn role, focusing on its day-to-day work in projects, and did not try and influence the larger humanitarian community.” One Congo staff leader, discussing the creation of refugee sites, said, “These spontaneous sites attract insecurity. It’s a bad choice, either you are outside the camp and have to fend for yourself or in the camp and have to deal with insecurity.”While the report spends considerable time on international NGOs, the report also names a number of issues with the United Nations. MSF’s international president, Joanne Liu, stated, “The current UN system inhibits good decision-making, in particular in displacement crises where a number of UN agencies have a responsibility to respond.”International groups are already responding, with a representative from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) addressing a Guardian article about the report by asserting, “Anyone who has been in a full-blown humanitarian emergency will know that they can indeed be chaotic and dangerous, especially in the initial phases. It is, nonetheless, vital that people in acute need get the help they need. UNHCR constantly looks at ways to improve the way we work, and we are viewing MSF’s criticisms in that light.”With improving “the way we work” as an obvious goal of the report, Sandrine Tiller, co-author of the report, believes that there are several key challenges that face international relief organizations. The following are several examples:Choosing Easily Accessible Projects – Tiller believes that there is “a bias towards what we call easier projects: accessible areas, places you can get to by road, camp populations with registered refugees, anything near the capital, and in conflict zones, anything that’s government controlled.”Flawed Subcontracting Processes – Tiller outlined that the current subcontracting process takes resources from the field and moves them to the central offices. According to the article, “It’s just a chain of subcontracts. It goes from the donors to the UN agencies to an implementing NGO to another local NGO, and at the end, there’s no one in the field. There’s a dearth of attention to those difficult areas.”Moving Offices Far Away From The Field – While subcontracting has moved away from the field, so have the field offices. “If you go to any bar in Juba or in Kinshasa and talk to the real humanitarians in the field, this is what they’re complaining about,” Tiller says. “They would say their headquarters have become too bloated, it’s become a massive bureaucracy, that they constantly have to feed the headquarters beast with information. They feel they don’t have enough time to talk to refugees, they have to spend more of their time doing reports. Human contact is kind of lost.”International NGOs have started to heed the call for better connections to the field. In an online discussion following the report that was hosted by the Guardian, Michael von Bertele, humanitarian director at Save the Children International (SCI), said when asked about reducing bureaucracy that SCI has “reorganized so that it is able to delegate decision making to its country offices which are much more in touch with the actual needs of the people they support…The whole organization is thus realigning to recognize its responsibility to respond across the full spectrum of need from emergency to development.”—John BrothersShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
ShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesOctober 14, 2015; Al Jazeera AmericaWhen social problems are structural and institutionally supported and/or tolerated, trying to affect those problems by providing social services to individuals is simply insufficient. Yesterday, Al Jazeera reported on a more systemic approach to an employment crisis in Los Angeles’s black community.The unemployment rate for black people nationally, at 9.2 percent, is twice that of whites, which is at 4.4 percent. But in California, the rate of black unemployment is 14.5 percent, and in Los Angeles it is 16 percent. More than half of young black men and women under age 25 in Los Angeles are reportedly either unemployed or underemployed, according to the University of California Berkeley’s Center for Labor Research and Education. Clearly a by-product of structural racism, the issue has been taken up by the Los Angeles Black Worker Center, which does not limit its approach to the usual fare of job training or résumé writing, but is attempting to create a grassroots power base to advance a just black employment landscape in that city.Lola Smallwood Cuevas, who founded the center, says that the employment situation for young blacks is “almost at a genocidal level…. For black workers, it’s a dual crisis. Either you have no work or you have bad work.”Steven Pitts, associate chair of the Berkeley Center cited earlier, said the numbers they cite, as bad as they look, do not describe the whole problem—for instance, they do not include very-low-wage workers.“The reason why wages are falling is the lack of worker power,” he said. “Instead of seeing people as clients, we see them as being members of the organization. We get them engaged and actually running the organization.”“The way they’re doing the work in Los Angeles is not simply to provide services to workers but to mobilize workers and leadership development,” said Steve Savner, director of public policy at the Center for Community Change. “They bring a little more power to the table,” he said. “It’s not just about an individual finding a job. It’s collective action to look for more collective solutions.”—Ruth McCambridgeShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
The ITU has released a new recommendation that it says will serve as the basis for a standard for ultra high-definition television (UHDTV).The draft standard, developed by the ITU Radiocommunications Sector’s Study Group 6, has been submitted to ITU administrations for approval. The recommendation lays out a two-step process for the development of UHDTV. The first level of UHDTV picture levels has the equivalent of about 8 megapixels (3 840 x 2 160 image system), more commonly known as 4K, and the next level comes with the equivalent of about 32 megapixels (7 680 x 4 320 image system), more commonly known as 8K.ITU secretary-general Hamadoun Touré said: “UHDTV is an earth-shaking development in the world of television,” Dr Touré said. “Watching UHDTV in the near future will be a breath taking experience, and I look forward to it.”David Wood, chairman of ITU-R Working Party 6C (WP 6C), which developed the draft new recommendation, said: “This is the dawn of a new age for television that will bring unprecedented levels of realism and viewer enjoyment. It’s a historic moment. Some years will pass before we see these systems in our homes, but come they will. The die is now cast, thanks to the untiring efforts of the international experts participating in WP6C.”
Content management and global distribution company RRSat has appointed Avi Cohen as CEO. He will replace David Rivel, founder and CEO of the company, who last year announced his intent to retire by the end of June 2012. Cohen joins from Orbit Technologies where he served as president and CEO since 2008.“We are extremely pleased to have Avi Cohen join us and lead the RRsat team,” said Shlomo Shamir, chairman of the board at RRsat. “Based on Avi’s long track record of notable and repeated successes both in Israel and internationally, we recognised his ability to add significant value to RRsat and its shareholders, and we believe he can take our Company to the next level in its growth path, further strengthening our position as a global leader in our industry. We are delighted to have been able to recruit someone of Avi’s caliber and we wish him much success in this new position.”
Nicolas de Tavernost, president of French commercial broadcaster M6, has said he will remain vigilant on Canal Plus’s implementation of its acquisition of free-to-air channels Direct 8 and Direct Star following the French competition authority’s green light for the deal.Speaking to analysts, De Tavernost said that M6 would analyse the competition authority’s decision in detail when it was published and had not ruled anything out at this stage. He said the conditions imposed by the regulator appeared to be “relatively light”.M6 was hit by a weak advertising market in the second quarter, with the main channel’s ad revenues declining by 6.6%.
Internet TV service FilmOn.com has signed a content sharing deal with news channel France 24, whereby FilmOn.com will deliver programming from the international news channel.FilmOn.com users will be able to view France 24’s rolling package of news and current affairs on PCs and smartphones via FilmOn.com, which already has deals with news services BBC News, Associated Press, Russia Today and Al Jazeera.“We are delighted to welcome France 24 to the growing stable of national broadcasters who are choosing to make their content available via FilmOn.com,” said FilmOn.com CEO Alki David. “This deal follows similar agreements with TVE of Spain and Deutsche Welle of Germany and it leaves us poised in a strong position to achieve our goal of conquering multiple territories around the globe.”FilmOn.com delivers about 500 branded live channels and 45,000 video-on-demand assets across a wide range of genre.
German free and pay TV broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 has struck a master agreement with Constantin Film to secure rights to the films of DreamWorks SKG studios.The deal will cover all films from DreamWorks that begin shooting by the end of 2016 for which Constantin Media holds the German-language rights.The agreement gives ProSiebenSat.1 exclusive rights for both free and pay TV in Germany and Austria.Movies covered by the deal include current titles The Fifth Estate, Delivery Man and Need for Speed.“It is great that we are able to secure the rights to the upcoming DreamWorks productions together with our partner Constantin Film. This adds numerous premium titles to our library and will allow us to keep offering our viewers first-class entertainment from Hollywood in future as well,” said Rüdiger Böss, senior vice-president, group programming acquisitions, ProSiebenSat.1.
Netflix is planning to raise US$400 million (€296 million) in long-term debt in the first quarter of this year as it plans to “significantly increase” investments in original programming and international expansion.In its annual report, filed yesterday with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Netflix said that it expects to substantially increase its investment in original content in 2014, but cautioned this would still represent “less than 10% of our overall global content expense.”It also said that it plans to continue to grow its services internationally, and expects a “substantial European expansion in 2014” – an intention first outlined in its fourth quarter investment announcement last month.“To take advantage of the current favourable interest rate environment, we plan to obtain approximately US$400 million in long term debt in the first quarter of 2014,” said Netflix in the filing.“Our ability to obtain this, or any additional financing that we may choose to or need to obtain, will depend on, among other things, our development efforts, business plans, operating performance and the condition of the capital markets at the time we seek financing.”Referring to its original content plans – which has already seen Netflix produce acclaimed series such as House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black – the firm said that these shows, as well as content that is licensed in an earlier window through an output deal, will “typically require more up-front cash payments.”For full year 2013, Netflix said that free cash flow was negative US$16.3 million – $128.7 million lower than net income – with an excess of net income over free cash flow increasing year-on-year thanks to higher content investments.Netflix also admitted that viewing patterns for its original productions were “significantly higher in the first few months” relative to the rest of the shows’ four-year predicted amortization period than previously estimated.As a result, it was forced to change its contribution estimates for these shows leading to a US$18.9 million decrease in contribution profit for the domestic streaming segment and a US$6.1 million increase in contribution loss for the international streaming segment for full year 2013.“The effect of this change in estimate was a decrease in operating income and net income of US$25.0 million and US$15.4 million, respectively for the year ended December 31, 2013,” said Netflix.The firm did not disclose which markets it planned to roll out to next. Its most recent European launches were in Finland, Denmark, Sweden and Norway in October 2012 and in the Netherlands in September 2013.
Ukrainian cable operator Volia has tapped set-top technology provider Entone for the next phase of the rollout of its hybrid TV service Volia Smart HD.Volia is rolling out Entone’s Aria Interactive DTA device as its expands the Smart HD service across its own network and third-party networks.The hybrid device supports DVB-C and IP inputs.“In keeping with our promise to our customers, we are excited to continue expanding our service portfolio to include rich and interactive Hybrid TV services,” said György Zsembery, CEO of Volia.“With Entone’s ready-to-deploy Aria iDTA, we can quickly and cost-effectively deliver compelling hybrid services today while also laying a foundation to support cloud and interactive applications in the future.”
Spanish telco Telefónica has unveiled its Spanish football programming line-up but has yet to strike a deal with Catalan broadcaster Mediapro to carry its BeIN Sports channel, giving it access to European Champions League and Europa League matches as well as coverage of European and international leagues.The Liga Adelante offering on Telefónica’s Movistar+ service will include coverage of La Liga matches in HD, with 11 fixtures daily to be aired on the Canal+ Liga.Telefónica is also introducing eight-camera coverage of matches, with two mini-cameras providing coverage of the changing rooms of the teams for the final three minutes before they go out onto the field.The telco will also provide multiscreen coverage via Yomvi and the Movistar+ Fútbol App.Telefónica has yet to strike a deal with Mediapro to include BeIN Sports as part of its offering, despite the latter being available via the services of rival telcos Vodafone and Orange and Asturias region cable operator Telecable.According to sports news website Palco23, citing unnamed sources familiar with the negotiations, talks are stalled over the question of Mediapro’s demand for minimum guaranteed payments.
Modern Times Group has secured exclusive Nordic media rights to the 2020 EHF European Handball Championship. The agreement covers both the men’s and women’s championships.Under the terms of the deal with rights-holder Infront Sports & Media, MTG acquires exclusive media rights to 2020 EHF European Handball Championship.Matches will be broadcast on MTG’s video streaming service Viaplay and Viasat pay-TV channels in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland. Matches involving the Nordic teams, as well as the semi-finals and final, will be shown on MTG’s free-TV channels in each country. The coverage will also include local commentary, studio interviews, feature programming and highlights shows.The 2016 women’s EHF European Handball Championship is currently taking place in Sweden, and is being broadcast by MTG in Sweden and Norway. MTG also holds the rights to the 2018 competition.Peter Nørrelund, MTG’s EVP and CEO of MTG Sport: “Handball attracts large and loyal audiences in the Nordic region. The current women’s championship in Sweden is getting massive attention, and in 2018 and 2020 we will make the championships more broadly available than ever before – enabling as many fans as possible to watch live and on any device.”Stephan Herth, executive director Summer Sports at Infront said: “Handball and EHF Euro are extremely important and popular in the Nordic countries hence the digital, highly engaged sports fans want access both to the best sport and to world-class commentary and production – whether in front of your UHD TV at home, or on the go with your mobile. MTG’s multi-platform offering and expertise represent the perfect response to these requirements.”Separately French broadcaster TF1 has secured exclusive free-to-air rights for men’s World Handball championship in France. The broadcaster will air the quarter final and the semi-final in the case of qualification by France’s team.TF1 will also air the quarter final and semi-final of the women’s championship in the case of qualification by the French national team.
Asia Pacific will overtake North America as the leading region for advertising-supported video-on-demand (AVOD) content by 2021, according to new research.The Digital TV Research report claims that Asia Pacific and North America will account for 77% of global ad spend attributed to over-the-top TV and movies by 2022, with Western Europe accounting for another 16%.While the US is expected to remain the largest AVOD country, by 2022 China will have “considerably closed the gap”, according to the research.In 2022 the top five AVOD countries by expenditure are expected to be the US at US$9.96 billion, China at US$7.27 billion, the UK at US$1.69 billion, Japan at US$1.52 billion and India at US$883 million.Globally, across 138 countries, AVOD expenditure is expected to double between 2017 and 2022 to reach some US$29 billion, with the market bolstered in recent years by the growth in mobile advertising.
Discovery Communications’ US$14.6 billion (€12.4 billion) acquisition of fellow US-based cable group, Scripps Networks Interactive, has been cleared by the US Department of Justice (DoJ).David ZaslavCommenting on the DoJ’s decision to close its investigation, Discovery president and CEO David Zaslav said it was a “significant regulatory milestone” and an “integral step toward closing our transaction”.“We look forward to combining these two great companies to the benefit of our enthusiast audiences around the world,” he said.The news comes just weeks after the European Commission cleared the deal, with the completion of a review in Ireland and other customary closing conditions now only needed before the deal can be completed.Discovery said it expects the Scripps takeover to close by the end of this quarter. The cash-and-stock transaction was agreed last July and won shareholder approval in November.The DoJ’s decision came as Discovery reported its fourth quarter and full year 2017 results.Q4 revenues increased 11% year-on-year to US$1.86 billion due to 13% growth at International Networks, 10% growth at US Networks and “slight growth” at Discovery’s education and other divisions.Adjusted Q4 operating income before depreciation and amortisation (OIBDA) increased 10% to US$636 million due to 9% growth at International Networks, 7% growth at US Networks, and a profit at education and other compared to a loss in the prior year, partially offset by higher corporate costs.However, Discovery reported a Q4 loss of US$1.14 billion as improved operating results were more than offset by a US$1.32 billion goodwill impairment charge, US$59 million of after-tax Scripps Networks transaction-related costs and currency-related transactional losses compared to gains in the prior year.Commenting on the results, Zaslav said: “2017 was an historic year for Discovery. We took significant steps to position ourselves for success in a changing industry, while driving growth from our traditional linear business and accelerating our investments in new growth areas like digital and mobile in an effort to reach superfans on every screen.”“Solid global advertising and distribution revenue growth helped us achieve our 2017 strategic and financial objectives. Additionally, we remain excited by the prospects for a combined Discovery and Scripps Networks.”