The registration period for presidential candidates from the ruling National Liberation Party (PLN) expires this month, and San José Mayor Johnny Araya is the only registered candidate from the party.Araya is also seen as the winner of the next presidential election in 2014 by 60 percent of respondents in a poll conducted by CID-Gallup and published Thursday by local Diario Extra.Araya reacted by saying he “still faces the challenge of winning the support of all Costa Ricans.”Only seven percent of respondents think a candidate from a coalition of opposition parties could win, while four percent believe a candidate from the Citizen Action Party will be the next president. Three percent think there will be a new government of the Social Unity Christian Party (PUSC).Voter abstention, however, could be very high in 2014, as 26 percent of respondents showed no preference in the candidates or declined to answer.One PUSC candidate, Roberto Suñol, told Radio Reloj that results favored Araya because the mayor is “the only publicly known candidate, and he’s being measured against no one.” Facebook Comments No related posts.
The Chinese market continues to prove its importance to the Australian tourism industry, leading international growth into Melbourne Airport during July this year.According to the airport’s latest statistics, inbound travellers from China increased by up to eight percent during the seventh month of the year compared to the same period last year.Although the growth from China was ahead of other international markets, India, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and New Zealand markets also increased over the same period and contributed to the overall one percent rise in international passengers during the month.The airport’s chief executive Chris Woodruff said growth in the overseas market was due to the gateway’s ongoing commitment to introducing more direct flights in and out of Melbourne.“Just last week we welcomed an additional daily A380 service from Singapore Airlines and in October, Emirates will introduce their twentieth A380 into service here in Melbourne, ” Mr Woodruff said.“Later in the year, Jetstar will also reintroduce direct services to Hawaii.”Our investment in terminals, aerobridges and baggage handling systems to serve the A380, is paying dividends with Melbourne becoming a leading A380 destination.“We’ll continue to invest in infrastructure to provide more capacity for domestic and international airlines, including ongoing planning for our new Southern Precinct domestic terminal.”The airport’s domestic operations also picked up over July this year compared to the same month last year, with a five percent increase.Last month Mr Woodruff also said the airport’s curfew-free operations played a significant role in its increasing passenger numbers. Image source: OzHotels.com.au Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J
Share January 30, 2018 621 Views Existing-Home Sales GSE Reform Home Prices Home Sales House Prices Housing Reform immigration reform state of housing State of the Union State of the Union Address 2018-01-30 David Wharton in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, Headlines, News The State of Housing As President Trump will present his State of the Union address to the Senate this evening, what is the State of the Housing Industry? With home prices that show no signs of decreasing, changes in leadership at the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB), continued reforms in the GSE sector, and new initiatives at the Bureau of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), 2017 was an eventful year. Here’s an overview of the opportunities and challenges faced by the industry during the past year.Industry Reform in the Cards?Despite regulation expanding with the new HDMA guidelines that took effect in January 2018, the trend seems to be veering away from “regulation through enforcement,” making lenders more hopeful of a positive dialogue with CFPB, according to a report by analytics firm STRATMOR. The industry is closely following the latest changes in leadership at the CFPB and the nominations for the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to gauge the administration’s stance on easing regulations.Meanwhile, the GSEs have shown growth, with first-time homebuyer share of GSE purchase loans recording the highest level in recent history at 48.1 percent in April and 46.4 percent in October 2017, according to a report by the Urban Institute.The FHA has continued its focus on first-time homebuyers, with its first-time homebuyer share at 81.9 percent in October 2017.Robust Growth of the Housing MarketThe S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices showed year-over-year increases of 5 percent or more for 16 straight months. This trend was also reflected on many other indices, including the First American Real House Price Index analyzing the November 2017 data, which showed that homes were 5 percent more expensive compared to the same period a year before.Existing home sales increased 1.1 percent to 5.51 million sales, surpassing the 5.45 million recorded in 2016. This market the highest existing home sales since 2006, according to a report published by the National Association of Realtors (NAR).Impact of Changes in Immigration Law on HousingChanges in the immigration law, a key area of interest for all those who will be watching the State of the Union address on Tuesday, is likely to also affect the housing industry. According to a study by WalletHub on the economic impact of foreign-born populations on the 50 states and the District of Columbia, New York would be most impacted by the administration’s proposed changes, followed by California and New Jersey—all of which have a sizeable immigrant population. The overall economic impact is likely to affect housing too.
Shinta Mani Hotels will launch its first flagship Bensley Collection property in mid-December 2017. The boutique resort will comprise 10 ultra-luxe two-level expansive villas in the cultural heart of the historic town of Siem Reap, Cambodia.In collaboration with designer and architect Bill Bensley, Shinta Mani Hotels ‘Bensley Collection’, will be an portfolio of super-luxe hotels and resorts showcasing visionary concepts, extraordinary design and bespoke service.In creating his collection, Bensley has assumed complete freedom to let his creative spirit run free and showcase his skill in crafting luxury experiences with his personal brilliance. He has designed the villas as he likes to live; surrounded by lush gardens which are completely private. Knowing the importance of sleep, Bill has designed the most comfortable beds imaginable, with Khmer inspired sheets and a plethora of feather or ‘as you like’ pillows. Bill has overseen every detail of design and service to ensure a type of indulgence he calls ‘escapism’ (also the title of his book) and one that guests will long remember.On arrival at Siem Reap’s International airport, guests will be fast-tracked through immigration and whisked away to the secluded entrance of the villas where an arrival ceremony experience awaits.Under the ancient canopy of Siem Reap’s Palace trees, each villa will offer its residents total privacy, complete with their own Bill Bensley tropical garden that brings the outside in.Each Art Deco-inspired villa will offer 156sqm of space across two pavilions, including a floor-to-ceiling glass bathroom with views over the garden and the outdoor bath.Inside the living space, 3D murals have been carved to portray the rippling folds of Jayavarman’s robe, one of the Khmer Kings who reigned from 1181-1218, known for his powerful, pioneering spirit.Six of the villas are able to be combined into three 312sqm two-bedroom villas (each with its own pool) to accommodate a family or friends travelling together.Guests will have full use of the restaurants, bars, Shinta Mani Spa by Khmer Tonics and facilities in the adjacent Shinta Mani Hotels, or can have personal service from any outlets in their villa.Bensley Butlers are on hand when they are needed and invisible when they are not. If guests want petals scattered for a romantic outdoor bath, a rooftop or poolside barbecue, or to set up the sky bed so they can sleep under the stars in the oversize rooftop daybed, just call them. This small but highly trained band of butlers, under the helm of Head Butler Mac, are traditionally trained, resourceful and will look after all the guests’ needs.A proportion of the daily room rate will be donated to the non-profit Shinta Mani Foundation, created by the owner, to support health, education and development programmes for the less fortunate in the community.There are two ways to enjoy the villas: on a bed and breakfast basis or – as Bensley likes to travel – full on, immersed in the culture and nature with no limits:Bensley Bed and BreakfastFast-track immigration on arrival at Siem Reap International AirportPrivate roundtrip airport transfersPersonal Bensley ButlerExpress check-in and express in-villa checkoutUnpacking on arrival and packing before departureWelcome champagne on arrivalWelcome amenitiesWelcome 30-minute head and shoulder massage in villaSumptuous daily breakfast for two adultsDaily high tea with canapésDaily seasonal fruitLaundry serviceRemork (local tuk tuk) transportation within Siem Reap 24 hoursBensley All-Inclusive ExperienceFast track immigration on arrival and departure at Siem Reap International AirportPrivate round trip airport transfersPersonal Bensley ButlerExpress check-in and express in-villa check-outUnpacking on arrival and packing before departureWelcome champagne on arrivalWelcome amenitiesWelcome 30-minute head and shoulder massage in villaFree use of smart phone with local SIM card during stayDaily breakfast for two adultsDaily high tea with canapés for two adultsDaily seasonal fruitLaundry serviceRemork (local tuk tuk) transportation within Siem Reap 24 hoursLunch and dinner daily for two adultsFree-flow mini-bar of wine, beer and soft drinksDaily sunset cocktails on private rooftop living room in villa with barefoot butlerSightseeing tour with private car, driver and tour guide to Angkor Wat and other major temples, including sunrise tour with champagne breakfast or sunset at Pra Rup Temple
The Presidential Palace said on Wednesday a Turkish Cypriot move relating to the abandoned town of Varosha was unacceptable and only served to promote the island’s permanent partition.Undersecretary to the president, Vasilis Palmas, said Tuesday’s announcement that properties inside the fenced-off town in Famagusta would be catalogued by Turkish Cypriots was “completely unacceptable” and only served the island’s permanent partition.On Tuesday, Turkish Cypriot ‘foreign minister’ Kudret Ozersay said the administration would evaluate conditions for action in Varosha, currently under the control of the Turkish occupation forces.Reports said the Turkish Cypriots would coordinate their actions with Ankara and a team of experts will visit Varosha to make a list of movable and immovable properties in the town.Palmas said what Ozersay was doing had been proposed in 2014 ahead of a visit by US vice president Joe Biden.“We had come very close to an agreement for the creation of a joint committee of Greek and Turkish Cypriots as well as international experts on Famagusta, an agreement that was scuppered by Ozersay at the last moment,” Palmas said. “It is a completely unacceptable approach, which essentially creates certain partitionist positions in the particular issue.”Palmas would not speculate on what the Turkish Cypriot endgame was, adding, however, that they never did anything without Ankara’s approval or guidance.“We are dealing with Turkey, which pulls the strings. I don’t think Mr Ozersay took such an initiative; it was probably done with Turkey’s guidance.”Dubbed ghost town, Varosha was abandoned by its Greek Cypriot inhabitants in August 1974, ahead of the Turkish army’s advance.It has remained closed ever since, apart from a couple of hotels on its northern side, which are used by the Turkish army.UN Security Council resolution 550 called on Turkey to return the area under UN control and considers “attempts to settle any part of Varosha by people other than its inhabitants as inadmissible”.On Wednesday, Turkish Cypriot ‘prime minister’ Ersin Tatar said cataloguing the properties was the first step ahead of opening Varosha.“The rights and interests of the old owners and the (Islamic religious organisation) Evkaf property will be taken into consideration when Varosha opens,” he said.Tatar said one of his administration’s main objectives was to protect existing Turkish Cypriot rights and together with Turkey they were determined to put an end to the Greek Cypriot side’s use of the status quo against them.He also said that Varosha, which is now a ghost town “will become Las Vegas again”. Recalling that celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe and Sophia Loren had visited Varosha in the past, Tatar said that it was about time for international stars to visit the town once again.Ozersay said the town has been turned into a symbol of the status quo, adding that he had proposed opening the area under Turkish Cypriot control in 2015.In an interview on Wednesday, Ozersay said they have not yet finalised their plans but they will not be undertaking any action that invalidates the rights of the Greek Cypriot owners.He said the expert team of architects and town planners will review the buildings’ condition and the infrastructure in a bid to draw the policy to be followed afterwards.“We are not planning this as a step that we will negotiate with the Greek Cypriot side. We do not consider this a confidence building measure that we will discuss,” he said.Ozersay said Varosha was part of the breakaway state, a military zone, but it must cease being no-man’s land.“We are taking a step to bring life. No such decision was made in the past.”He conceded that UN decisions mainly concerned the return of the town to its original owners but suggested that Evkaf also had rights to certain parts.Legal experts have dismissed the Evkaf claim in the past, pointing to the Republic’s Treaty of Establishment in 1960, which includes an appendix on the final settlement of all claims by Turkish Cypriots, including Evkaf, in exchange of £1.5m sterling paid by the British government.Appendix U, titled Financial Assistance to the Turkish Community, is a letter by the British governor to the island’s then vice president Fazil Kutchuk and Turkish Cypriot negotiator Rauf Denktash, asking them to confirm “your acceptance of the arrangements …” contained in the letter, which the two men did. The text of their letter accepting the arrangements is included in the appendix.Those include granting £1.5m to the Turkish Cypriot community to be used for education, the development of Evkaf property and cultural and other purposes.“I also have to request your confirmation that the Turkish Cypriot community, including the High Council of Evkaf, have no financial claims against the Government of the United Kingdom, or against the Government of the Colony of Cyprus, arising or purporting to arise out of or in connection with either the administration of Cyprus or the establishment of the Republic of Cyprus or otherwise, and no such claims will be made hereafter by or on behalf of the Turkish community.”The Turkish Cypriot side had made similar utterances in 2017 – following the collapse of reunification talks – relating to the return of the Maronites to their villages in the north.So far, however, there has been no concrete progress.You May LikePopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoSmart Tips DailySeniors With No Life Insurance May Get A $250,000 Policy If They Do ThisSmart Tips DailyUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoPensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCypriot tycoon launches ‘Bank of Cannabis’Undoby Taboolaby Taboola
State Rep. Klint Kesto urges local residents to let him know what antiquated or unnecessary state laws should be rescinded in Michigan to cut down on the number of regulations that could put people in legal difficulties.Rep. Kesto, R-Commerce Township, said a legislative workgroup plans to reform Michigan’s criminal laws, and he wants input from local citizens in the elimination process. People can visit his website at www.repklintkesto.com and let him know what outdated or needless laws should be removed from the books.“Michigan has a number of laws on the books that are simply not relevant today,” said Rep. Kesto, who serves as chair of the House Committee on Judiciary. “It’s vital that we look at what laws can be eliminated because they serve no purpose or are unconnected to life in the 21st century.”The Michigan penal code contains nearly 1,000 sections, which is eight times the number of the Model Penal Code and much more than neighboring states, according to a recent study by the Manhattan Institute for Public Research and the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.The workgroup will focus on repealing unnecessary and outdated statutes, as well as reducing unnecessarily or disproportionately high criminal penalties by ensuring that penalties for similar crimes are consistent.In 2009, a Michigan woman received national attention when state government ordered her to stop watching neighborhood children after school because she was not a licensed day-care provider. The woman faced potential misdemeanor charges before the Legislature intervened.“Laws such as this that prevent people from being good neighbors need to be purged,” Rep. Kesto said. “I’m asking local citizens to let me know about laws that they consider useless or outdated so we can clean up our legal system.”Rep. Kesto also encourages local high-school government classes to research Michigan laws and submit ideas to his website.##### 02Mar Rep. Kesto encourages local residents to help purge state’s outdated laws Workgroup aims to include citizen feedback Categories: Kesto News,News
02Jun Rep. Poleski calls free fishing fun for families Categories: News State Rep. Earl Poleski invites local residents to participate in Free Fishing Weekend on June 13-14.“This event is a special opportunity for friends and families to enjoy one of Michigan’s most favorite pastimes,” said Rep. Poleski, R-Jackson. “It only happens twice a year so it’s important that we take advantage of it.”Free Fishing Weekend – hosted by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources – allows Michigan anglers and out-of-state visitors to fish without a license for one weekend only. Normal fishing and boating regulations still apply.To learn more about the event, visit the DNR’s website at www.Michigan.gov/DNR.###
State Rep. Steve Marino of Harrison Township today joined a bipartisan effort to make Michigan’s state government more accountable to the people it serves.Marino joined colleagues in announcing a proposal to make Michigan’s Legislature subject to more public records disclosure through the Legislative Open Records Act. The 11-bill package also calls for a similar disclosure requirement for the governor and lieutenant governor through the Freedom of Information Act.“Transparency and openness should be key components of government at every level,” Marino said. “This legislation moves us in a positive direction, toward a state government that is more accountable to the people who pay for it.”Michigan is one of just a few states that still exempts its governor, lieutenant governor and Legislature from public disclosure laws.The Legislative Open Records Act would exempt some records, including letters to and from people in the lawmaker’s district, human resources files and ongoing legislative investigations or lawsuits.The new bills are similar to ones approved by the Michigan House last session. Those bills did not reach the governor’s desk.### Categories: Marino News,News 01Feb Marino joins bipartisan effort to make state government more accountable
State Rep Beau LaFave today voted for legislation allowing members of national veterans clubs and other service clubs to buy alcoholic drinks in any affiliated out-of-town club.LaFave, of Iron Mountain, co-sponsored the legislation, which was prompted by a recent Liquor Control Commission ruling that brought an end to the custom.“I can’t believe we had to go so far as to enact a law to reverse this horrible ruling and let a veteran drink in an out-of-town club,” LaFave said. “It’s simple common sense that veterans, who served our country, should be able to have a drink at a club they are a member of regardless of where the club is located. I voted for this because it eliminates a shining example of government bureaucracy and red tape.”The bill was necessary after the Liquor Control Commission interpreted a law by ruling only members of the local club could buy drinks at that location.The measure now goes to the Senate for consideration.#####The legislation is House Bill 5260. Legislator says time-honored custom must continue 07Mar Rep. LaFave votes to support veterans, service organizations Categories: LaFave News,News
Categories: Cole News State Rep. Triston Cole today praised the decision of the U.S. Forest Service to implement new plans to educate the public on river stewardship and safety, rather than move forward with a proposed ban on alcohol on three Michigan waterways.“Taking care of our waters and riverways is crucial to good conservation and I appreciate the Forest Service taking steps to educate and encourage the public to be better stewards of our natural resources, rather than promulgate new rules that would only hurt our tourist communities,” Cole said of the new plan.These plans include providing litter bags for river travelers and organizing litter cleanup days.When the Forest Service first came out with its proposed rule banning the use of alcohol, Cole stood up for Michigan’s northern communities that rely heavily on river tourism. According to an economic impact study of Michigan’s tourism industry, 5.6 million people made trips to Michigan from outside the state in 2017 and spent $2.1 billion in communities and at local businesses across the state.“Remember, always pick up your trash in our waters and in our forests,” Cole said. “Clean up takes seconds, leaves our waterways better than we found them, and makes everyone’s adventure more enjoyable.” 14Jun Cole to U.S. Forest Service: Caring for our waters and riverways is crucial
Share12Tweet70Share35Email117 SharesAugust 10, 2017; ProPublicaProPublica’s Nonprofit Explorer web-based application has been augmented with newly available Form 990 data from the IRS. The nonprofit news organization has added “raw data from more than 1.9 million electronically filed Form 990 documents dating back to 2010,” including new information on 132,000 nonprofits not previously available from the ProPublica website. Academic researchers and media covering nonprofits are likely to be especially happy with the development.The new data and the ability to access data in XML machine-readable format was made available by the IRS after a long fight with public.resource.org. NPQ covered the years-long Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests and litigation (see here, here, and here) spearheaded by public.resource.org’s founder, Carl Malamud, to force the IRS to share publicly what it already had internally—machine-readable Form 990 information. The IRS first made the data available in 2016 using Amazon Web Services.IRS Form 990 filings made by tax-exempt organizations including 501(c)(3) charities and other nonprofits have been available online in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format from sites including GuideStar, ProPublica, and the Urban Institute’s National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS) for years. According to Malamud, “Releasing the e-file data instead is vastly superior and will make the Form 990 a much more useful tool. XML data is machine-processable. You can instantly access the value of any specific field in a Form 990 (such as CEO compensation) from a computer program.”ProPublica has updated Nonprofit Explorer with the machine-readable data, making it easier to copy and paste Form 990 information from the ProPublica website. Media reporters and researchers with relevant computer tools can download the XML data for comparative analysis. ProPublica plans to work on the Nonprofit Explorer interface in the coming months to add functionality and “new ways to explore and analyze tax-exempt organizations.”ProPublica’s announcement may be a challenge to GuideStar, NCCS, and other Form 990 repository websites to add machine-readable data to their offerings. It also reduces barriers to entry for others, including for-profit companies like taxexemptworld.com, to increase capacity or enter the field, offering IRS nonprofit filings for free or for a fee. Regardless, machine-readable data will make it easier to compare and contrast the financial, governance, and compensation practices of nonprofits as they report them to the IRS.—Michael WylandShare12Tweet70Share35Email117 Shares
Finish cable operator DNA and its main shareholders have purchased a total of 2,027,167 DNA shares from Sanoma Entertainment Finland.Of these, DNA acquired 1,116,896 shares using unrestricted shareholders’ equity in accordance with the decision of the annual meeting of March 15. The total purchase price came to €99,999,962.51. After the acquisition, the company holds a total of 1,124,396 own shares.In addition, DNA’s main shareholders, Finda Oy, Oulu ICT Oy, PHP Holding Oy, Osuuskunta KPY and Ilmarinen Mutual Pension Insurance Company, have completed a share ownership arrangement using the remaining shares purchased from Sanoma. As a result, the biggest owners of DNA are now Finda Oy (32.5% of the share stock), Oulu ICT Oy (22.1%), PHP Holding Oy (19.7%), Osuuskunta KPY (12.9%) and Ilmarinen Mutual Pension Insurance Company (5.0%).After the arrangement, DNA’s external parties hold a total of 8,486,280 company shares. The ownership arrangement was announced on February 23 2012.
LG Electronics has chosen video advertising specialist Smartclip to monetise all ad inventory on its LG Smart TV Platform in Europe, Russia and Australia.Smartclip said its agreement with LG Electronics will give advertisers access to the entire ad inventory on the LG Smart TV Platform, ranging from pre-roll and banner ads to unique and interactive ad formats. German fashion company New Yorker will be the first advertiser to run a campaign across the LG platform.Young-jae Seo, vice-president of the service business division of LG Electronics’ Smart Business Center said: “By forming a partnership with smartclip, the top global platform for multi-screen brand advertising, LG has secured an entrance to the European, Russian and Australian advertising markets. Content developers and content service providers will be able to focus on top quality content provision based on this tangible profit-making business model and advertisers will also have great opportunities utilising this effective marketing tool for global TV advertising campaigns.”
Vivendi has named former Maroc Telecom chief financial officer Arnaud Castille as senior vice-president, development of its strategy and development department, based in Paris.Florent de Cournaud, currently chief financial officer of ISP SFR’s business team, has been named as Vivendi’s vice-president, management and business plan control/holding company accounts, replacing Laurent Mairot, who will in turn replace Castille at Maroc Telecom.
Liberty Global has made a per share offer of €35 for the remaining stake it does not own in Belgian cable operator Telenet.The European cable giant made the offer despite previous protestations from Telenet that the offer is too low. The Belgian cabler claims independent valuation specialists Lazard put a valuation range for the price per share of Telenet at €37 to €42. Nevertheless, through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Binan Investment, LG has made an offer of around US$2.5 billion (€1.9 billion) for the remaining shares, which is equivalent to €35 per share.In a statement, LG said it disagreed with certain methodologies used by Telenet’s Independent valuation expert, adding that it “believes that an offer price of €35 per ordinary share is highly attractive for Telenet shareholders and provides a meaningful premium to relevant benchmarks”.It added that the offer represented a 12.5% premium to the September 19, 2012 Telenet closing share price, and a 4.9% premium over Telenet’s all-time high trading price prior to the announcement of the offer.
French international channel TV5 Monde is using Volicon’s Observer TS monitoring and logging system to deliver compliance logging as the channel migrates to an HD technical infrastructure. The Observer system is delivering logging of 11 existing services. Observer TS enables continuous logging of MPEG transport streams, monitoring of programme Quality of Experience, and the export and streaming of MPEG TS or low-resolution proxies across the enterprise or WAN.According to Volicon, the Observer system at TV Monde allows the broadcaster to automate extraction of content for tagged events such as a loss-of-service alert from a satellite downlink probe.“The Volicon Observer TS system not only addresses the full range of services related to logging, but also gives us a complete solution that doesn’t require any adaptation on our part,” said Mallory Delaporte-Bernues, system engineer at TV5 Monde. “The Observer is an all-in-one solution that simplifies operations while helping us to enhance the value of our staff. On-duty monitoring personnel enjoy convenient remote access, with a clear and near-instantaneous view of any monitored channel. Both technical and non-technical staff can work confidently with logs, thanks to the ease with which they can access content and data. I really count on those capabilities to improve the quality of our deliveries.
Russian service provider TTC has acquired Magnitogorsk operator Maginfo for US$40 million (€30 million). According to TTC, Maginfo customers will be able to retain their current terms of service.TTC vice-president of strategic development Shukhrat Ibragimov said that Maginfo was one of the leading service providers in the Chelyabinsk region. He said that Maginfo had a 63% share of the broadband market in Magnitogorsk and a 61% share of the cable TV market, with about 60,000 customers. Maginfo has built a fibre-to-the-building network in the city that passes about 140,000 homes.
CBS-owned US broadcaster Showtime is set to launch a stand-alone streaming service in an effort to reach new subscribers. The US over-the-top service, called Showtime, will launch in early July to coincide with the new series of Ray Donovan and Masters of Sex, which are both due to premiere on July 12.Showtime will initially be available through Apple iOS devices and the Apple TV streaming box and will be priced at US$10.99 per month.“Going over-the-top means Showtime will be much more accessible to tens of millions of potential new subscribers,” said CBS Corporation’s president and CEO, Leslie Moonves.“Across CBS we are constantly finding new ways to monetise our programming by capitalising on opportunities presented by technology. This works best when you have outstanding premium content – like we do at Showtime – and when you have a terrific partner like Apple – which continues to innovate and build upon its loyal customer base.”Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of internet software and services said: “We’re excited to offer Apple customers Showtime’s live channels and extensive on demand library of great TV shows and movies, without a cable or satellite subscription.”HBO launched its standalone OTT service, HBO Now, in the US in April via Apple devices and Cablevision’s Optimum Online service. Earlier this week, HBO said that it would roll the service out to Android devices this summer.
Liberty Global has confirmed it is in talks to acquire Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC) in a deal that reportedly could be value at around US$5.5 billion (€4.9 billion). CWC provides quad-play services in the Caribbean and Panama, which could be combined with Liberty Global’s recently spun-off operations in Chile and Puerto Rico.In addition to the purchase price, Liberty Global would take on CWC’s debt of around US$2.6 billion.“Liberty Global confirms that it is in discussions with the board of CWC regarding a possible offer for the entire issued and to be issued share capital of CWC,” the company said.CWC for its part had earlier confirmed that it was in discussions with Liberty Global and advised its shareholders to take no action ahead of a firm offer being made.In accordance with the City Code on Takeovers and Mergers, Liberty Global must announce whether it intends to make a firm offer for the company by November 19.Liberty Global chairman John Malone already owns a 19% stake in Cable & Wireless as a result of its acquisition of Columbus International, the Caribbean and Central American telecom group. Malone and other former Columbus shareholders together control about 35% of the group.CWC, which operates exclusively in the Caribbean and Central America, was spun off by Cable & Wireless Worldwide five years ago ahead of the latter’s acquisition by Vodafone. The CWC name was also used for Cable & Wireless’s UK cable operation in the late ‘90s, which was subsequently sold to NTL and later became part of what is now Virgin Media, also owned by Liberty Global.
Scott BraleyOoyala has appointed former OpenX, Facebook and Microsoft sales executive, Scott Braley, as its general manager of programmatic advertising.Braley will focus on global expansion and revenue growth for the video streaming and analytics company’s programmatic ad business, Ooyala Pulse SSP.“There’s no question the market is rife with opportunity and Ooyala is a driving force helping major broadcasters and publishers increase their yield and overall revenue for their premium inventory with Ooyala Pulse SSP,” said Ooyala senior vice-president of ad tech, Sorosh Tavakoli.“Having Scott onboard bolsters our ad tech expertise in the US and will drive further success of our video advertising products in the American market and around the world.”Braley was formerly the senior vice president of demand at digital ad technology firm OpenX. Prior to that, he was head of US sales and global agencies for Facebook’s Atlas division, the social network’s ad serving and measurement platform. Before this he held various sales roles at Microsoft.