Go back to the enewsletter Australias landmark pr

first_imgGo back to the enewsletterAustralia’s landmark private island resort is preparing to usher in a new era of discovery on the Great Barrier Reef. Opening 1 July, InterContinental Hayman Island Resort will immerse guests in a world of natural beauty, island experiences and sacred moments of connection with family and friends.InterContinental Hayman Island Resort | Beach Wing RetreatTucked away at the northernmost point of the stunning Whitsundays, this private retreat redefines island living with 166 beautifully appointed rooms, suites and villas, all intertwined with spectacular pools, panoramic seascapes and tropical gardens. From the moment guests’ feet hit the sand, they will discover unforgettable experiences, where exploring the world-famous Heart Reef by air, the turquoise swirls of Whitehaven Beach by boat or remote rainforest mountains by foot is just the beginning.Three Bedroom Hayman Beach HouseInterContinental Hayman Island Resort – Beach Wing, Three Bedroom Beach HouseA number of new suite categories have been added to the hotel’s collection, making them some of Australia’s most opulent accommodation options. The Three Bedroom Hayman Beach House is perched on the beachfront with unobstructed views of the Coral Sea. An entirely new addition to the resort, the beach house enjoys modern design-led interiors with a light-drenched open-living plan that includes a private dining and living room, an outdoor alfresco entertainment area and three swimming pools, including one infinity pool.Luxury residencesLocated on the Hayman hillside, a collection of private residences are available for those looking for added seclusion and privacy on their holiday. Each double-storey residence hosts four bedrooms with ensuites, dining room, entertainment areas, fully equipped kitchens and infinity pools with views over the Whitsundays.Private dining experiencesDesigned by Executive Chef Erwin Joven, guests are invited to indulge in the ‘Under the Stars’ à la carte menu or a secluded gourmet picnic at one of many idyllic locations on and around the island, such as Hayman Beach, Blue Pearl Bay and Hayman Pool’s cabanas.Find out more about InterContinental Hayman Island Resort here.Go back to the enewsletterlast_img read more

Read More »

10 Reykjavik Iceland When it comes to Christmas

first_img10. Reykjavik, IcelandWhen it comes to Christmas lights, they don’t come much more spectacular than the Aurora Borealis. Reykjavik Excursions offers daily, three-hour guided tours in search of the famous Northern Lights – and if you don’t spot them, you can go again, free of charge. The tour will set you back 6,900 Icelandic kroner, or about £51. Make sure to try smoked lamb while you’re in Reykjavik – it’s a popular choice for Christmas dinner, and a deservedly famous Icelandic dish. The animals are left free to roam all summer, grazing on various herbs and plants that give their meat a complex flavour. Dill Restaurant is an excellent place to try traditional Icelandic lamb, along with various other local dishes, such as Skyr – a type of soft cheese made with sugar and blueberries. At New Year, expect to see locals gathered around bonfires, singing, playing music and dancing, while fireworks whoosh into the sky at regular intervals. And as the hangover kicks in on New Year’s Day, you could always soothe your aching body with a trip to a natural hot spring – the famous Blue Lagoon is just by Reykjavik on the Reykjanes peninsula. For more things to do in Iceland, from watching Geysir to sinking Gulls, take a look at our guide.Find cheap flights to Reykjavik 3. Bangkok, ThailandDespite December being the coolest month of the year in Bangkok, the city still sees an average temperature of 26°C – more than hot enough to break out the crop tops and surf shorts on Christmas Day. It’s the perfect destination if you really want to get away from all things Christmassy – 95% of the population is Buddhist, and Christmas is not widely celebrated, although you might see the odd Christmas tree in the commercial districts. If you’re looking for a luxury festive treat, try heading for a fancy cocktail in the Moon Bar atop one of Bangkok’s tallest buildings (cocktails start at around £13*). And if you’re visiting Bangkok for New Year, you’re in for a great time – Bangkok is famed for its nightlife, and hotspots like GLOW and Maggie Choo’s hold legendary NYE parties. Or you could join the thousands of Thais who flock to see the fireworks at Central World Square – and last year, the crowds were treated to specially arranged bouts of Muay Thai (Thai boxing) as well, which is certainly a memorable way to ring in the New Year. Head this way to see our guide to the ten best things to do in Bangkok.Find cheap flights to Bangkok 7. Amsterdam, The NetherlandsThe Amsterdam Light Festival runs from 1st December to 22nd January, and transforms the Dutch city into a glittering mass of Christmas lights and displays. The famous canals are lit up by stunning light displays from 5pm to 11pm – they’re best viewed on a canal cruise, and boat trips can be booked through the Light Festival website. Alternatively, there’s the Illuminade walking route (15th December until 8th January, 5pm to 10pm), which you can explore yourself on foot – or you can hire a ‘Guide of Light’, complete with lit-up costume, to take you through the exhibits. At New Year, you’ll find street parties in public places right across the city, with fireworks popping up from every direction at midnight – the Oosterdock has some of the best displays. Then it’s time to hit Amsterdam’s famous club scene and dance ‘til dawn – Awakenings at the Gashouder boasts one of the biggest parties around. To see more things to do in Amsterdam, from visiting Van Gogh to ranging through the red light district, check out our guide.Find cheap flights to Amsterdam 4. Berlin, GermanyBerlin has some of the best Christmas markets in Europe, so it’s an ideal place to go to soak up the season. The Berliner Weinachtszeit behind Alexanderplatz is one of the biggest, and it runs right through the festivities, starting on 27th November and ending on 29th December – in fact, it’s even open on Christmas Day. Set against the backdrop of Berlin’s 50-metre-high ferris wheel, the market boasts its own (free) ice rink – you can hire skates for €4 – and it’s packed with stalls selling traditional arts and crafts and mulled wine, all to the soundtrack of barrel organ music. But if you’re planning to stay over New Year, know that Berlin is one of Europe’s greatest party destinations. Around 1 million people descend on the ‘Party Mile’ between the Brandenburg Gate and the Victory Column for a free pop-up street party packed with bars, stages and party tents. At midnight, the fireworks ignite, but the party doesn’t stop there – in fact, it’s just getting started. As the event’s website so succinctly puts it: “There is no official closing time.” To find out more about Berlin from the perspective of a long-time resident, check out our local’s guide.Find cheap flights to Berlin 1. Cape VerdeWith average December temperatures of 25°C, Cape Verde is an ideal place to escape Britain’s grey skies at Christmas. It’s not too far away, either: this archipelago of 10 islands lies just off the coast of West Africa, around 6 hours’ flying time from the UK. Cape Verde is becoming increasingly popular with British travellers thanks to its stunning beaches, and the island of Sal has some of the best. The white sands of Santa Maria beach remain relatively unspoilt despite its increasing popularity, and the aptly named Kite Beach is packed with kite surfers between November and June, all hoping to catch some powerful Atlantic gusts. Grab a board from Surf Zone Cabo Verde and join in the wave-leaping fun. But away from the beach, Sal has an awe-inspiring Martian interior and some pretty crazy salt lakes – check out our guide for more.Find cheap flights to Cape Verde 6. Vienna, AustriaVienna is the place to come if you’re after a postcard-perfect Christmas. And at New Year, everyone gets down and waltzes like its 1899. There are more than 20 Christmas markets in Vienna, many of which run right through Christmas and out the other side. For example, the market held in front of the stunningly lit city hall runs until 30th December, and it offers a warren of wooden stalls selling traditional handicrafts and a smorgasbord of winter food, from gluhwein to sausages topped with grated horseradish. But New Year is when Vienna gets its glad rags on and shows its true colours – more than 300 balls take place in January, and the highlight of the social calendar is undoubtedly the New Year Concert at the Vienna State Opera on New Year’s Day. The concert has been held since 1939 and is broadcast to more than 50 million people. Getting a ticket is notoriously tricky, but don’t worry if you can’t get in to the opera house itself – you can join thousands of locals in front of City Hall to watch the concert on a giant screen, while enjoying a warm mulled wine or two. For more on what to do in Vienna, from tram rides to watching horses frolic beneath chandeliers, take a look at our guide.Find cheap flights to Vienna 8. Sydney, AustraliaIf you want to get away from dreary winter weather, you can’t get much further than Sydney. The city sees average December temperatures of 22°C, and the sea is a balmy 21°C – head to Bondi Beach, hire a surfboard (AU$30 for a board and wetsuit for two hours from Let’s Go Surfing) and enjoy some Yuletide breakers. There’s all the Christmas markets you’d expect of a big city, too: the Very Merry Christmas Rocks Market runs from 2nd December, providing hand-made gifts and delicious food, from barbecued salmon to lamb kebabs. And Sydney is one of the most exciting places to be for New Year – for a start, it’s the first big city in the world to see the clocks strike midnight, being 10 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time, so you can be ringing in the New Year in your shorts and T-shirt whilst your friends back home are still deliberating on which winter gear to don for the cold night ahead. The city also has one of the biggest firework displays in the world to celebrate New Year. In fact, there are two displays – one at 9pm and one at midnight – which light up the iconic Harbour Bridge and Opera House. Take a look at this guide to see the best attractions Sydney has to offer, from koalas to kayaking.Find cheap flights to Sydneycenter_img 5. The Canary IslandsIf you’re looking for a Christmas beach holiday, the Canary Islands boast plenty of beautiful coastline along with average December temperatures of around 19°C. Christmas is widely celebrated throughout these Spanish islands, although with the odd tropical twist – head to Las Canteras beach in the city of Las Palmas on Gran Canaria to see the annual display of Christmas-themed sand sculptures. While we’re on the subject of beaches, the tall cliffs and black sands of nearby Playa de Puerto Naos make it an ideal sun trap for some winter sunbathing. But if you really want to get some peace, head to Playa de Guigui, a remote beach that’s only reachable by water taxi or by a two-hour walk from the nearest road. Meanwhile, Playa de las Teresitas in Santa Cruz on Tenerife offers golden sands courtesy of the Sahara Desert: the entirety of this man-made beach was imported from the African mainland. On New Year’s Eve, towns across the islands hold street parties, such as the annual gathering in Corralejo town square on Fuerteventura. If you’re planning to attend, make sure to bring a bottle of cava and 12 green grapes to eat on the stroke of midnight. And speaking of Spanish traditions, don’t forget to wear red underwear on NYE to make sure you’re lucky in love for the year to come. To see some of the Canary Islands’ best beaches, take a look at this guide.Find cheap flights to The Canary Islands 2. New York, United StatesNew York is a city that’s known for its excess, and it goes all out at Christmas. Go ice skating on the Wollman Skating Rink in Central Park, a snip at $3, and marvel at the skyscrapers looming behind you, or gawp at the astonishing Christmas window displays in stores like Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Saks Fifth Avenue and Tiffany’s. Make sure to take a look at the enormous Christmas tree in Rockefeller Square, which last year was nearly 29 metres tall and lit with around 50,000 lights. And if you can get tickets, check out the glitzy Radio City Christmas Spectacular, featuring the dancing Rockettes and a flying Santa. If you’re planning to visit at New Year, it may be tempting to head to Times Square to join around 1 million revellers watching the famous ball descend to signal the New Year. But you’ll have to get there in the afternoon to bag a good spot, and you’ll have to cross your legs, too – there are no toilets. Perhaps it’s just as well that public drinking is banned as well. A far better bet is to head to Prospect Park in Brooklyn to watch the spectacular New Year fireworks – and it’s free, to boot. Speaking of free things, here’s a handy guide on the best things to do in NYC for free.Find cheap flights to New York 9. Rio de Janeiro, BrazilBe prepared for a hot and humid Christmas in Rio. Average December temperatures are 25°C, with highs of around 29°C, and humidity ranges between 58% and 97% – get ready for some sweaty nights as you wait for Santa. The traditional Christmas dinner in Brazil is chicken, rice, salad, fruit and farofa (toasted cassava flour), but if you’ve got a hankering for turkey, the Gringo Café has got you covered, with all the roast potatoes and gravy you could desire. Try the Hippie Market in Ipanema if you’re hunting for gifts – it offers plenty of hand-made jewellery, clothing and shoes, as well as a range of artwork. Christmas Day tends to be quiet in Rio, as most people spend time with their families, but the city goes wild at New Year. Copacabana Beach is undoubtedly the place to be: 2 million people crowd onto the sands to enjoy live music and fireworks displays. Dress in white to bring good luck, and look out for locals tossing flowers into the sea as a gift to the water goddess Yemanjá. To get the best out of the city, take a look at these tips from a local guide.Find cheap flights to Rio de Janeiro Here are a few more ideas for wonderful winter breaks:10 of best cheap ski resorts in the worldLooking for the cheapest places to ski in Europe? There are plenty of bargain basement ski slopes in the French Alps, Italy and the USA, as well as a few hidden gems across Europe.Why winter is when Barcelona is at its bestWinter is one of the most beautiful seasons in Barcelona. It is when the people of the Catalan capital reclaim their city. Moving away from big crowds of tourists and with much less noise, it is a time of relaxation, great weather, family moments and good food.Where to go for guaranteed winter sunWinter getting you down? If you can’t stand the cold, why not jet off somewhere the sun is currently shining? Fly south to one of our top picks for winter sun and you’ll be topping up that tan before you know it.*Published September 2017. Any prices are lowest estimated prices only at the time of publication and are subject to change and/or availability.Skyscanner is the world’s travel search engine, helping your money go further on flights, hotels and car hire.ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map RelatedTop 15 attractions and things to do in Sal, Cape VerdeThe Cape Verde islands, or Cabo Verde (as they’re locally known) truly earn their nickname with the glorious weather, vibrant Creole culture and snow-white beaches of Sal. Throw in a short flight time from the UK (around six hours), and it’s a no-brainer why the island’s becoming one of the…10 cheap winter sun destinations We’ve found 10 affordable hotspots where you can shed those winter layers and top up your vitamin D, all with great value off-season price tags. Explore cheap flight deals in the app 1. The Canary Islands Best for: a holiday with something for everyone There are several reasons UK travellers…Winter sun in under 6 hoursWith all this snow, I feel the need for a warm escape more than ever.last_img read more

Read More »

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShar

first_img AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Ancient site linked to Caesar’s murder to open to public by The Associated Press Posted Feb 18, 2019 9:30 am PDTcenter_img ROME — A complex of ancient temples in Rome that are linked to the scene of Julius Caesar’s murder will be opened to the public.The below-street-level temple ruins at Largo Argentina in downtown Rome is visible to pedestrians peering from above but closed to visitors. For decades, access was enjoyed only by a colony of cats, the cadre of volunteers fed them and, occasionally, archaeologists.But Rome Mayor Virginia Raggi announced Monday that by late 2021, walkways will be built inside the site so tourists can stroll through the ruins. Luxury Bulgari jewelry-maker, which also funded the restoration of Rome’s Spanish Steps, is sponsoring the work.The ruins include a stone pedestal from the Curia of Pompey, the meeting place of senators, where Caesar was slain in 44 B.C.The Associated Presslast_img read more

Read More »

Moodys downgrades Bank of Cyprus senior unsecured note programme

first_imgMoody`s Investors Service has affirmed the deposit ratings of Bank of Cyprus Public Company Ltd, while it has downgraded its Senior Unsecured Medium-Term Note Program to (P)Caa2, from (P)Caa1.The rating action reflects the implementation in Cyprus of a new legal framework, which establishes full depositor preference over senior unsecured debt instruments in the event of a bank resolution. The outlook on the long-term deposit ratings remains positive.On May 29, 2019, the government of Cyprus (Ba2 stable) published a law transposing the European Union`s (EU) Directive 2017/2399 into Cypriot law. The new law provides for preference to all bank deposits – including “junior” corporate and institutional deposits – relative to senior unsecured creditors, establishing full depositor preference – in insolvency and by extension in resolution – over senior unsecured debt instruments, rather than “junior” deposits ranking pari passu with senior unsecured claims.The framework increases the protection from which “junior” deposits benefit reducing expected loss-given-failure for rated deposits. However, there is no impact on the deposit ratings of the bank, which have been affirmed, because the volume of more junior instruments is currently limited, as there is no senior unsecured debt and a limited volume of more junior instruments currently issued by the bank.The downgrade of Bank of Cyprus` Senior Unsecured Medium-Term Note Program reflects Moody`s assessment that senior unsecured bondholders are negatively affected by this legislation as they no longer rank pari passu with “junior” depositors such as pension funds, financial institutions, public authorities and large corporates. The lack of loss-sharing with “junior” deposits means that the volume of loss-absorbing liabilities that would rank alongside senior unsecured debt is reduced and therefore the loss rates for senior creditors in the event of failure would therefore increase.According to Moody’s a material reduction of problem loans and improvement in the provisioning levels, while maintaining strong capital buffers, will be required for the bank to achieve a higher rating. The ratings could also be upgraded following changes to the bank`s liability structure or more clarity on potential issuances under MREL, which would result in a larger loss absorption cushion for depositors and creditors, and a further improvement in the operating environment.Bank of Cyprus` ratings could experience downward pressure if the bank`s asset quality and capital weaken, possibly as a consequence of higher problem loans or weaker than anticipated recoveries on existing problem loans.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 AboutLivestlyUndoComparisons.orgDrivers Around California are Furious About This New RuleComparisons.orgUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoPensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCypriot tycoon launches ‘Bank of Cannabis’Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img
Read More »

Rep Hornberger calls for congressional action on new lock following tour

first_img25Jul Rep. Hornberger calls for congressional action on new lock following tour Categories: Hornberger News,News State Rep. Pamela Hornberger, a member of the House Committee on Commerce and Trade, today stressed the need for a new lock at the Soo Locks facility in Sault Ste. Marie following a recent trip hosted by fellow Michigan legislators.State Rep. Lee Chatfield, of Levering, and state Sen. Wayne Schmidt, of Traverse City, hosted the event, which provided a summarization of the system connecting Lake Superior and the Upper Peninsula to the lower Great Lakes.“I was amazed to see the workings of one of our state’s great marvels of infrastructure, but it also highlighted the ways in which modern technology has outdated the facility,” said Hornberger, of Chesterfield Township. “Only one of the four locks is large enough to handle the largest tankers and the lock tasked with this job is older. We are putting our local, state and national economies at great risk, as the financial fallout from that lock being unavailable due to damage or breakdown is massive.”The locks were constructed between 1896 and 1968 and see 75 million metric tons of cargo pass through each year. One hundred percent of the iron ore mined in the United States, an amount worth over $500 billion, moves through the Soo Locks annually.Chatfield introduced a House Concurrent Resolution in February to urge the President and Congress to fully fund the construction of a new lock. The construction was authorized by Congress in 1986, but remains delayed due to a lack of federal funding.The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers estimate that 11 million jobs would be lost nationwide as a result of the Soo Locks having to shut down for a period of six months.“We can’t afford commerce through this waterway coming to a standstill before there’s a realization that something needs to be done. Kicking the can down the road on this project brings the potential for great harm for our state and people should be aware of that,” said Hornberger. “With the bipartisan presence on this tour and the governor also acknowledging the importance of an update, the time is now for Michigan’s congressional members to help allocate what is necessary for this project to go forward.”State Rep. Pamela Hornberger (right) of Chesterfield Township looks on from a shipping dock at a tour of the Soo Locks on July 18 in Sault Ste. Marie. The tour was sponsored by state Rep. Lee Chatfield of Levering and state Sen. Wayne Schmidt of Traverse City.last_img read more

Read More »

Rep Whiteford announces June office hours

first_img31May Rep. Whiteford announces June office hours Categories: Whiteford News State Rep. Mary Whiteford of Casco Township will host local office hours on Monday, June 18.“Receiving feedback from my constituents is a crucial part of my commitment to Allegan County residents,” Whiteford said. “I look forward to hearing what is important to people back home and making sure that follows me to Lansing.”Rep. Whiteford will be available at the following times and locations:Monday, June 1810:30 to 11:30 a.m. at The Trestle Stop, 3366 M-40 in Hamilton; and12:30 to 1:30 p.m. at the Ransom District Library, 180 S. Sherwood Ave. in Plainwell.No appointments are necessary. Those who are unable to attend at the scheduled times, but would like an opportunity to speak with Rep. Whiteford may call her office at (517) 373-0836 or email MaryWhiteford@house.mi.gov.last_img read more

Read More »

Rep VanWoerkom announces April coffee hours

first_img State Rep. Greg VanWoerkom, of Norton Shores, recently announced where he will be available to meet with Muskegon County residents during scheduled coffee hours for the month of April.“Coffee hours are a great opportunity to meet with people in our community and address their questions and concerns,” Rep. VanWoerkom said. “I value your input and hope you will join me later this month.”Rep. VanWoerkom announced separate dates in several communities where he will be available to meet directly with residents.Monday, April 22 at the following times and locations:8 to 9 a.m. at Brooklyn Bagels, 3007 Henry St. in Muskegon; and10 to 11 a.m. at the Moss Ridge Golf Club, 13545 Apple Ave. in Ravenna.Friday, April 26 at the following time and location:10 to 11 a.m. at Stonegate Golf Club, 4100 Sweeter Road in Twin Lake.No appointments are necessary. Those who are unable to attend at the scheduled times, but would like an opportunity to talk with Rep. VanWoerkom may call his office at (517) 373-3436 or email GregVanWoerkom@house.mi.gov.### Categories: VanWoerkom News 17Apr Rep. VanWoerkom announces April coffee hourslast_img read more

Read More »

Rep Jack OMalley Michigan House approve plan to help farmers devastated by

first_img Categories: O’Malley News The Michigan House and Rep. Jack O’Malley today approved a plan to help farmers whose crops have been delayed or damaged by this spring’s record-setting rain.The plan would help private lenders provide low-interest loans to qualified farmers at no financial risk to the state.“Amid one of the worst growing seasons in history, this program would provide much-needed financial support to our farmers,” said O’Malley, of Lake Ann. “Record rainfall has left Michigan’s farmers unable to plant, leaving those who drive our state’s second-largest economic sector hanging in the balance. This plan provides the support necessary to help hard-working farmers make it through this tough year.”Michigan has had very few days suitable for field work this spring. As a result, only about 63 percent of corn seeds and 43 percent of soybean seeds have been planted, which means yields will be low. Many farmers will be facing financial trouble as this crop season continues.House Bill 4234 provides $15 million to help private lenders run the loan program and keep interest rates low for farmers. The state does not provide the loans, so there is no financial risk or liability to the state with this program.Similar low-interest loan programs were approved for Michigan farmers in 2002 and 2012. 20Jun Rep. Jack O’Malley, Michigan House approve plan to help farmers devastated by record rainlast_img read more

Read More »

California Retains Holder in Anticipation of New Administration

first_imgShare13TweetShare5Email18 SharesU.S. Attorney General Eric Holder / North CharlestonJanuary 4, 2017; New York TimesAs if to reinforce just how important local politics will become in protecting and advancing certain social justice–related causes, the California legislature yesterday announced that it would employ Eric H. Holder Jr., attorney general under President Obama, to take up any legal fights the state has with the Trump White House and Republican-controlled Congress.California voters registered more than four million votes more for Hillary Clinton than for Trump, and that divide could be considered representative of the deep ideological split between the state and incoming federal administration.“Having the former attorney general of the United States brings us a lot of firepower in order to prepare to safeguard the values of the people of California,” said Kevin de León, the Democratic leader of the California State Senate, in an interview. “This means we are very, very serious.”De León suggested that challenges will go both ways, as the state will likely challenge Washington, D.C. on its policies in areas like the environment, immigration, and criminal justice and will defend itself against them. He added that Trump’s cabinet choices made it clear that his campaign rhetoric would be reflected in the administration in relatively extreme ways: “He was surrounding himself with people who are a very clear and present danger to the economic prosperity of California.”This follows Gov. Jerry Brown’s appointment of Representative Xavier Becerra as attorney general last month. Becerra is also positioned to do battle with the federal government if necessary, particularly on immigration measures and environmental issues.Holder, President Obama’s attorney general for six years, is now in private practice. But the law firm at which he is a partner, Covington & Burling, specializes in representing states and companies against the federal government.“I am honored,” said Holder in a statement, “that the legislature chose Covington to serve as its legal adviser as it considers how to respond to potential changes in federal law that could impact California’s residents and policy priorities. […] I am confident that our expertise across a wide array of federal legal and regulatory issues will be a great resource to the legislature.”—Ruth McCambridgeShare13TweetShare5Email18 Shareslast_img read more

Read More »

Federal H1B Visa Review May Result in Limits for Nonprofit Workers

first_imgShare30TweetShare1Email31 SharesCreator attribution: Nick Youngson. [CC BY-SA 3.0]April 19, 2017; ThinkProgressAs President Trump nears 100 days in office, a significant landmark for most presidents, he has issued another executive order with vague action items, uncertain consequences, and the potential to damage nonprofit communities.On Tuesday, President Trump signed an executive order titled “Buy American and Hire American,” with a provision directing the Attorney General and the Secretaries of State, Labor, and Homeland Security to “suggest reforms to help ensure that H-1B visas are awarded to the most skilled or highest paid petition beneficiaries.”H-1B visas are used to bring skilled workers to the U.S., to fill jobs where no qualified Americans are available. They are overwhelmingly awarded to tech companies and outsourcing firms like Infosys or Tata, but over 15,000 go to universities and research organizations each year as well. There are 65,000 visas available each year, plus 20,000 extra for candidates with Masters and PhD degrees, plus those universities and research organizations, which are not capped. In 2016, USCIS received 236,000 petitions for the 85,000 spots.As ThinkProgress notes, “Academics and lower-wage employees (oftentimes at non-profits), as well as foreign students drawn to those jobs, also count on the program — and a crackdown could hinder their efforts to pursue the jobs they love, in fields that aren’t typically lucrative, like advocacy and social justice.”Though the visa program is described as being for highly skilled workers like programmers and analysts, and companies like Apple and Amazon are often mentioned as beneficiaries, the top 10 visa recipients are actually outsourcing firms like the Indian Tata group or the American firm Infosys. In fact, Tata got 12.3 percent of the visas, ten times what Amazon received and more than ten times what Apple or Google were awarded.On a recent visit to Kenosha, Wisconsin, Trump made his opinion on the program clear: He said it “should include only the most skilled and highest-paid applicants and should never, ever be used to replace American workers.” (It may be worth noting that his wife, First Lady Melania Trump, emigrated to the U.S. on an H-1B visa in 1996 for a modeling job in New York.)Analysts have speculated that reforms to the H-1B program could mean changing the criteria for recipients—instead of a lottery system, spots would be awarded to the highest-paying employers—or the requirements for demonstrating due diligence in searching for a U.S. citizen to fill the position could be tightened.Reform for the H-1B program has bipartisan Congressional support; Senators Bernie Sanders, Chuck Grassley, Dick Durbin, and others have all supported it.The program itself is controversial. On the one hand, thousands of U.S. tech workers have lost their jobs in recent years, and some have even been required to train their non-citizen replacements as part of their severance packages. It’s one thing when companies can’t find the talent they need to grow and innovate; it’s another when they hire a company like Infosys to do their IT work and lay off workers.Al Jazeera called the executive order “largely symbolic,” which really depends upon how seriously the departments named in the order take the directive to consider reform. Like many of Trump’s positions and calls to action, the wording is ambiguous and doesn’t require any immediate or specific actions. It is not clear how the new rules, if they are enacted, would affect organizations that have so far been exempt from the caps.Indian external affairs spokesperson Gopal Baglay said of the visa program, “It is not an immigration issue. It is a trade and services issue….There is a mutuality of interests involved.” American nonprofits have been having a tough time in India this year, and may find it tougher if opportunities for Indian nationals are limited by visa reform.—Erin RubinShare30TweetShare1Email31 Shareslast_img read more

Read More »

Elites Descend on Davos as Global Wealth Gap Reaches Historic Levels

first_imgShare50Tweet10ShareEmail60 Shares January 21, 2019; Time and CNN BusinessA new report from Oxfam, compiled by a 10-person team, finds the global wealth gap growing still greater. The revealed trend of increasing global economic inequality may surprise few, but the report also emphasizes, as Casey Quackenbush writes in Time, that “growing inequality is compromising the fight against poverty.”“The size of your bank account should not dictate how many years your children spend in school, or how long you live—yet this is the reality in too many countries across the globe,” remarks Winnie Byanyima, executive director of Oxfam International.The report was released just ahead of the annual meeting of elites at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that will take place January 22nd to 25th—a gathering that author Anand Giridharadas recently labeled “a family reunion for the people who broke the world.”The report finds that the 26 wealthiest people in the world in 2018 had wealth totaling $1.37 trillion, which works out to over $52 billion per person. Combined, these 26 people have as much wealth as the bottom 50 percent of the world’s population—i.e., 3.8 billion people. This represents an increased concentration of wealth from the previous year, when the 43 wealthiest had as much wealth as the bottom 50 percent.Billionaires, notes CNN’s Tami Luhby, now number a record 2,208 and “have more wealth than ever before.” According to Oxfam, billionaires’ fortunes climbed 12 percent last year, rising at a rate of $2.5 billion per day. As Oxfam noted last year, this continues a trend of the past decade. Between 2010 and 2017, billionaire wealth has increased by an average of 13 percent a year.But not only that. Even as billionaires see their wealth rise, in 2018 the poorest half of humanity saw their wealth fall 11.1 percent. According to the report, while the bottom half of the world’s population had total wealth of $1.541 trillion in 2017, that fell to $1.37 trillion in 2018, a global decline of $171 billion. While one should be cautious about drawing conclusions based on a one-year data change affecting 3.8 billion people, as there is plenty of room for calculation error, it does seem clear that, at a minimum, the numbers indicate that global progress on reducing worldwide poverty is slowing down. Oxfam’s assessment in this regard is much more pessimistic than, say, the Gates Foundation last fall. In their report, the Oxfam authors detail their claims:New evidence from the World Bank shows that the rate of poverty reduction has halved since 2013. Extreme poverty is actually increasing in sub-Saharan Africa. This new evidence also shows that much of humanity has barely escaped poverty, with just under half the world’s population—3.4 billion people—subsisting on less than $5.50 a day, which is the World Bank’s new poverty line for extreme poverty in upper-middle-income countries.The importance of extending public services receives particular attention, which remain lacking in many countries. For instance, the Oxfam report notes that in sub-Saharan Africa, 37 percent lack running water and 65 percent lack access to electricity.On a more optimistic note, Oxfam identifies some core principles that, if internationally adopted, could lead to reduced global poverty numbers. These principles are:Deliver universal free health care, education and other public services that also work for women and girls.Free up women’s time by easing the millions of unpaid hours they spend every day caring for their families and homes.End the under-taxation of rich individuals and corporations.Some nations have taken positive steps. Three actions taken in 2018 that receive praise from the report’s authors are:“South Korea’s government has increased the minimum wage, raised taxes on the richest people and corporations, and introduced universal child support.”“Indonesia’s government has increased the minimum wage and boosted spending on health.”“Sierra Leone’s government has made primary and secondary education free and is increasing tax collection from the richest.”In a foreword to the report, Gro Harlem Brundtland, former prime minister of Norway, notes that Article One of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights says that, “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” The report, she adds, is a “reminder of this principle, but also of the huge challenge that remains in turning these fine words into reality.”—Steve DubbShare50Tweet10ShareEmail60 Shareslast_img read more

Read More »

Liberty Globalowned Dutch broadcaster Chellomedia

first_imgLiberty Global-owned Dutch broadcaster Chellomedia saw considerable subscriber growth across its portfolio of sports and movie channels last year.Premium channels Sport 1 and Film 1 increased subscribers by 7% during the course of 2011, ending December with a total of 490,000 subs.Chellomedia said the rebranding of its Film 1 channels and the addition of a new channel helped to boost customers numbers. Use of the Film 1 On Demand service increased by an average of over 25% per subscriber compared to 2012. Film 1 recently added the Film 1 Series channel, which airs popular international series, to the package.Sport 1 also benefitted from the launch of new channels, Chellomedia said. The broadcaster added a golf channel and tennis channel last year.“Our results are built on our continued commitment to bring the best and distinctive programming to our viewers” said Jeroen Bergman, managing director of Chello Benelux. “With the recent launch of Film1 Series, the addition of Film1 Sundance Channel; and, with Sport1 increasingly offering a wider range of world-class sports events, we are confident that 2012 will be a good year.”last_img read more

Read More »

Spanish cable operator Ono has extended its TiVo s

first_imgSpanish cable operator Ono has extended its TiVo service to the city of Valencia.Ono’s TiVo platform allows users to record two channels simultaneously and store over 200 hours of content as well as providing advanced content search and recommendation. Around 1.5 million and SMEs homes in Valencia can now receive the service along with broadband speeds of up to 100Mbps. The city is the third to receive TiVo following earlier launches in Barcelona and Madrid.Ono’s CEO of residential services Guillermo Mercader said the operator had invested over €9 billion in its fibre network. Ono plans to roll the platform out to other regions this year.last_img read more

Read More »

The Russian cities of St Petersburg and Kazan have

first_imgThe Russian cities of St Petersburg and Kazan have decided to continue broadcasting using the DVB-T format in parallel with their launch of DVB-T2 services, according to local press.The two cities are the first to launch DVB-T2-based digital-terrestrial services. However, they will continue to simulcast in DVB-T in order to give people who have already acquired digital decoders time to make the transition.last_img

Read More »

BBC director general Tony Hall The BBC will scrap

first_imgBBC director general Tony HallThe BBC will scrap the mechanism by which it divides up in-house and independent production quotas following the mass of mega-mergers happening in the indie sector.The shake-up – described as one of the largest in the BBC’s 92-year history – is designed to create a “level playing-field between BBC producers and independent ones”, which will include allowing BBC Production to produce for rival networks for the first time.In a speech at London’s City University this morning, the BBC’s director general Tony Hall said the Window of Creative Competition “has begun to forcibly corral producers into three separate tribes” – the BBC, vertically-integrated indies and small independents.The WoCC currently works by guaranteeing 25% of commissions to qualifying indies, 50% to in-house production and the other 25% as competitive tender.The likes of All3Media, Endemol and Shine will all fail to meet conditions to qualify as indies due to recent M&A activity, and can therefore only compete for the quarter of commissions open to all.All3, for example, is being acquired by Discovery Communications and Liberty Global, while 21st Century Fox and Apollo Global Management are merging Shine and Endemol with the US’s Core Media Group.While the WoCC has produced “many desirable outcomes”, Hall said that “in this new environment, ‘managed competition’ produces an increasingly distorted market”.“Under the current rules some big, global producers no longer count as fully independent so their shows can’t go in the 25% of BBC television airtime guaranteed to independent producers,” he added.“So a big long-running independently-produced series like MasterChef has had to move into the 25% window of creative competition that’s open to everyone. That squeezes out creativity and innovation.”As a result, he is planning to open up the system so indies could compete for up to an extra £400 million of commissions, while simultaneously allowing BBC Productions to begin producing for rival broadcasters locally and internationally for the first time.A key priority for BBC Production will be making it a more commercially-focused outfit unconstrained by current guidelines that only allow it produce for BBC channels. This would likely see closer collaboration with the BBC’s commercial arm BBC Worldwide.Hall also pointed to increased consolidation in the broadcast sector, with Viacom acquiring Channel 5, and BSkyB looking at buying Sky Italia and Sky Deutschland as signs of a new market ecosystem.last_img read more

Read More »

Elemental has used IBC to step into video delivery

first_imgElemental has used IBC to step into video delivery with a wholly new offering, Elemental Delta. Elemental also unveiled a new relationship with thePlatform at the show and highlighted the work it has done with Turner to support the latter’s CNNx multiscreen interactive news service.Speaking at a press event at the show, Sam Blackman, CEO and co-founder, Elemental, said that the explosion of mobile meant that the number of devices will rise to 15-20 billion over the next five years. However, challenges include achieving efficient delivery and making money from online video.“Delta is our new multiscreen video delivery platform that enables a complete solution for realtime content delivery,” said Blackman. He said there is a need to support value added services such as cloud DVR, restart and pause live TV as well as delaying TV to account for deliver across different timezones. “With Elemental Delta you can all of this in your origin server,” he said. Just in time packaging and live-to-VoD capability will enable content to be delivered efficiently, said Blackman.Elemental is also focusing on enabling content providers to make money from OTT distribution. Elemental Delta delivers video suitable for the end user device in order to optimise delivery costs, said Blackman.Blackman said Delta is not a standalone product. The company is working with advertising server providers and is working across multiple DRM providers, multiple streaming protocols and with multiple CDN and storage providers. Finally, it is working with a number of middleware providers, including thePlatform.Blackman said Delta had been provided to customers for the last six months and had seen fast take-up.Euan McLeod, VP of content platforms for Turner Broadcasting, was on hand at the Elemental press event to highlight multiscreen news service CNNx’s use of Elemental Delta.CNN provides a video preview on its site that takes viewers into CNNx, a recently launched service that allows users to peel back to view multiple layers of content related to news stories. Viewers can jump to an on-demand segment and then return to the live stream that provides context for the content. As breaking news happens the ‘run down’ associated with a particular show changes. CNNx allows CNN to display all the content it has that provides additional information and context to current news stories that are developing live, explained McLeod.CNNx was launched on iPad and web in April and will be available on set-tops through a partner soon. Users have to subscribe to view  it. McLeod said the platform also provided additional revenue opportunities through contextual advertising.Turner tapped Elemental for its Delta platform in conjunction with its own origin server. Use of Elemental Delta gave the service full redundancy, he said. CNNx has a six hour DVR window and Elemental Delta enables the ccompany to maintain this if an origin server fails, said McLeod. McLeod said Delta had enabled Turner to simplify its workflow and gave it additional flexibility to make money from content, for example through advertising insertion.Elemental is working with online video platform provider thePlatform to deliver a hybrid video delivery infrastructure.Marty Roberts, CEO of thePlatform, said that his company’s technology helps deliver content from the source to the consumer.“Some customers have their own transcoding farms and some, as they are looking to replace infrastructure, are looking to the cloud,” said Roberts. “Elemental gives us the ability to leverage our own hardware but also to scale up when demand spikes,” he said. In the US, thePlatform’s hardware can scale up into the Elemental Cloud. In Europe, thePlatform is starting with the Elemental Cloud and possibly building its own data centres later as demand scales up.Roberts said thePlatform had a “fantastic” partnership with Elemental. “It was a no-brainer for thePlatform.”Also speaking at the Elemental press event, Johan Schreurs, connected workflows solution manager at production technology specialist EVS, highlighted the work his company had done with Elemental and Aspera around the World Cup earlier this summer. EVS’s C-Cast platform is used to send content across multiple screens to viewers.The World Cup project involved the creation of 4,000-plaus VoD elements, the use of 20 replay cameras and -through its partnership with elemental, deliver of six lives streams simultaneously to tablets and smartphones using HLS adaptive streaming, “Those six videos are produced from a central location but broadcasters can replace one of them with their own feed or promos,” he said.EVS delivered 27 live streams per game via the Elemental cloud.  When games overlapped it had to support 54 rather than 27 streams, and when multiple games ran in parallel it was sometimes necessary to manage 108 concurrent live streams.“We use Elemental Cloud because of scalability,” said Schreurs.“Building a fixed infrastructure for such an amount of live streaming would have been overkill. That’s why we went with Elemental Cloud,” he said.Michelle Munson, CEO of data transport platform provider Aspera, said that the three companies had achieved a first during the World Cup. She said that providing transport from Brazil to the Amazon cloud in Europe was challenging. Munson said that the capacity of technology such as Elemental’s to do real time video processing makes it possible to implement events of this scale.last_img read more

Read More »

Dutch telco KPN saw its IPTV base grow by 18 in t

first_imgDutch telco KPN saw its IPTV base grow by 18% in the year to March, ending the quarter with 2.13 million IPTV customers over its DSL and FTTH networks. However, overall TV growth was a more modest 7.6% thanks to a decline in its digital-terrestrial base of 18% to 454,000.IPTV ARPU remained unchanged at €15. KPN saw its triple-play base rise by 16% to 1.464 million, and triple-play customers now account for 52% of the operator’s overall base, up from 46% a year ago.KPN’s activated FTTH base grew by 22% over the course of the year to 612,000.last_img read more

Read More »

Swedens Bonnier Broadcasting owner of TV4 and C

first_imgSweden’s Bonnier Broadcasting, owner of TV4 and C More, has signed a deal with Com Hem to bring its new Sports Channel to the cable operator’s pay TV subscribers.Com Hem cable and Boxer digital-terrestrial subscribers will have access to the channel, which shows matches from the Allsvenskan football league, SHL hockey league, the Swedish Handball League and the Superligan floorball league, among others. The channel also airs coverage of US NBA basketball and the Swedish PGA golf tour.The channel has replaced the previous offering from the group, TV4 Sport, and will be available to Com Hem subscdribers with Silver, Silver+ and Gold packages both via linear TV and online via Boxer Play.The channel is also offered as part of C More’s Standard Sport and Premium packages as well as via Telia’s IPTV network and Viasat’s pay TV service.Simon Gate, content manager for Com Hem Group, said that he was convinced the inclusion of Sports Channel, which he said aggregated the “best local sports rights in the market”, in the group’s packages would be appreciated by subscribers.last_img read more

Read More »

USbased streaming service Tubi has announced plan

first_imgUS-based streaming service Tubi has announced plans to launch in additional international territories this year after closing US$25 million in funding.The advertising-supported video-on-demand service is currently available in the US and Canada and said that it will announce its first new market launch this quarter as part of an “aggressive” expansion plan.The news came as Tubi revealed that it had closed a US$25 million growth capital facility with Silicon Valley Bank, which it will use to help fund growth “across all fronts” – including content acquisition and marketing.“In 2018 we at Tubi saw tremendous growth as consumers, fatigued by SVOD subscriptions and services, sought alternative entertainment choices,” said Farhad Massoudi, CEO of Tubi.“We will continue to use profits to make bigger bets on content, enhance the viewing experience, and continue to press ahead into new grounds in what is our core advantage: technology and data.”San Francisco-headquartered Tubi claims a catalogue of more than 12,000 movies and television series and said that viewership of the service grew more than 4.3-times year-on-year in terms of total hours watched in December.Tubi said that its revenue grew by more than 180% in 2018, without revealing the figure, and said it was profitable in Q4 2018, marking a “major milestone” for the company. The firm said it will reinvest profits into additional content acquisitions in the coming year.The service is available on platforms including Amazon’s Fire TV, Roku iOS and Android.last_img read more

Read More »

ShareTweet

first_imgShareTweet “The programme is family orientated and allows people of all ages to get involved and learn more about the art of angling all for free so I’d encourage as many people as possible to come along and sample what it has to offer.”Festival and Events Officer with Derry City and Strabane District Council, Liz Cunningham, noted the Fair has something to suit all levels and tastes.“We are particularly excited about this year’s fair which has lots to offer experienced anglers and beginners alike,” she said.“There is so much to see and do with top fishing experts in attendance and lots of demonstrations and talks to choose from.“The event is free of charge but people can buy the best equipment and supplies for their fishing needs at the trade stands in the main hall which include stalls from The Bridge Gun and Tackle, Mourne Gun and Tackle, Cookshill Fly Tying, Franc N Snaelda, Salmologic to name a few.“On the UFish youth coaching programme you can learn to tie your own fishing fly, get to know the fish that live in your local pond or lake and take part in a fishing game that will test if you are ready for the real thing.”Among the high calibre lineup in attendance at the fair will be well-known and much loved Scottish television actor and presenter Paul Young of Hooked on Scotland fame; fly dressing specialists, Ali Hutchens, George Barron, Peter O’Reilly, best known for his books Flies of Ireland and books on Irish rivers and lakes, Luxembourg fly tying specialist Jang Quintus and Belgian expert Ben Weytjens.There will be a series of outdoor casting demonstrations with double handed demonstrations on  the River Mourne under the Pedestrian Bridge from world class casters Henrik Mortensen, Robert Gillespie, Scott MacKenzie, Andrew Toft and Gordon Armstrong and single handed casting demonstration within the grounds of Melvin from Stevie Munn, Steve Peterson, Mark Patterson, Michael Rebholz, Maurice Cahill and Thomas Thaarup.Among the speakers will be Dr Ken Whelan who runs his own fisheries consultancy and has written extensively on angling topics and has also produced, scripted and presented many films and videos on various aspects of Irish fisheries and Jason O’Riordan who gives talks on fishing techniques at the leading angling shows through Ireland and the UK and is an IFFF Qualified Fly Casting Instructor.While there is no parking available at the Melvin Sports Complex this year, cars can be parked at nearby Upper Main Street, from where visitors can walk over the pedestrian bridge to the venue.Pay and Display carparks at Butcher Street and John Wesley Street are also open as well as Canal Street Carpark. For anyone with accessibility issues, blue badges can park at the venue.The full lineup for the North West Angling Fair is available at www.derrystrabane.com/anglingfair.THE FINAL COUNTDOWN IS ON FOR THE 2017 NORTH WEST ANGLING FAIR was last modified: April 3rd, 2017 by John2John2 Tags: An extensive youth coaching programme ‘UFish’ will be provided offering professional instruction to any young people wishing to learn the art of angling from fly and bait fishing to spinning with lure.Looking ahead to the event, Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Alderman Hilary McClintock, encouraged local people to take advantage of the world class event on their doorstep and noted that it also attracts thousands of visitors to the Council area.“I’d like to congratulate the Festival and Events team at Council for assembling such an impressive line up of special guests and an action packed programme for what is set to be the biggest and best North West Angling Fair yet,” she said,“The Melvin Sports Complex proved an excellent venue for last year’s event and will allow us to showcase our local angling offering not only to the many visitors that the Fair will attract but also for local people who may be considering taking up fishing as a hobby. Local anglers get personal instruction from three times World Spey Casting Champion Gordon Armstrong from Inverness, Scotland demonstrating his skills on the River Mourne at Strabane during the NW Angling Fair at the weekend.THE wait is almost over for fishing fanatics as the biggest event on the local angling calendar returns to the Melvin Sports Complex in Strabane this weekend.The 2017 North West Angling Fair is being hosted by Derry City and Strabane District Council and takes place on Saturday April 8th and Sunday April 9th between 10am and 5pm.The family orientated event will feature appearances, talks and demonstrations from some of the biggest names in fishing as well as interactive demonstrations for the public to get involved in.The main hall at the Melvin Sports Complex will be a hive of activity with stalls from retailers, fly tiers and guest speakers while outside on the Mourne River some of the best casters in the world will impart their wisdom through demonstrations. THE FINAL COUNTDOWN IS ON FOR THE 2017 NORTH WEST ANGLING FAIRlast_img read more

Read More »