Yet Schmieding foresees no serious long-term damage and dismisses talk of a comparison to Lehman’s collapse. The risk for Europe as a whole, he says, “is very, very small — virtually zero.”The key difference between Lehman and Greece centers on the element of surprise, according to Schmieding: Lehman’s collapse was unexpected and spread panic across markets as investors wondered which bank would go under next.There’s no surprise surrounding Greece. Everyone knows that the country, which accounts for only around 2 percent of the eurozone economy, has been in trouble since 2009. Lenders have had plenty of time to curtail loans and investments in Greece. So they have little connection to the financial troubles there.Whether Greece stays or goes, just ending the uncertainty would help, says Schmieding: “The resolution of this, one way or another, would be better than the current stalemate.”THE BIG SNOOZESo far, markets appear to be with Schmieding. European stocks are off recent highs but haven’t suffered a serious drop. And bond investors appear to be signaling their confidence that Europe could withstand a Greek exit without serious damage. Even heavily indebted, slow-growth Italy can still borrow at just 2.1 percent annual interest — down from over 7 percent in 2011. Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies NOT SO SUREIn the end, no one really knows what will happen if Greece exits the euro.Jonathan Loynes, chief European economist at Capital Economics, says the direct impact should be “pretty small” given Greece’s size.But he said he couldn’t rule out an unexpected cross-border spread of market turmoil that raises government borrowing costs. It likely wouldn’t rival Lehman. But trouble is possible.U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew has warned his European counterparts that the risks are unknown. He’s urged Greece and its creditors — the IMF, the ECB and the European Commission — to forge a deal.“The big question is, what are the indirect effects?” Loynes said. “Will there be a contagion effect to other countries or other markets, to borrowing costs, financing costs across the eurozone as a whole?”“No one can know the answer, because you can’t come to some sort of mathematical conclusion about this.”Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Top Stories Others worry that letting a country leave the alliance could permanently damage their shared currency.Greece’s new left-wing government is struggling to convince its international creditors that its reform plans are credible. The two sides have been at odds over such issues as pension cuts, tax increases and revenue surpluses required of Greece.An agreement is needed for Greece to receive the remaining money in its bailout fund — 7.2 billion euros ($8.1 billion). Without it, Greece risks bankruptcy.The Greek government is resisting the tough conditions attached to more bailout loans. On Thursday, it took the unusual step of asking to bundle the four payments that are due this month to the International Monetary Fund into one payment on June 30.But the standoff raises the likelihood of an endgame in which Greece runs out of money, restricts the flow of capital and produces a new national currency so it can print money to pay its bills.Here’s what could be at stake outside Greece:A PERIOD OF TURMOILEconomist Holger Schmieding at Berenberg Bank in London predicts a period of “disorientation” while investors figure out what the impact will be. The first word of an impending departure would likely roil markets, especially in Europe. Stocks and the euro might fall. And borrowing costs for other eurozone governments with shaky public finances, such as Italy and Portugal, might rise, at least temporarily. Comments Share A woman walks past graffiti by street artist Achilles outside a shop, in Athens, Greece, on Thursday June 4, 2015. Greece remains at loggerheads with creditors over key economic reforms after a meeting between Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and the head of the European Union’s executive arm failed to yield a breakthrough on the release of vital bailout loans. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris) Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement European markets have been soothed by a 1.1 trillion-euro ($1.2 trillion) bond purchase program from the European Central Bank, which is trying to raise inflation and accelerate the economy.LONG-TERM DAMAGE?Could allowing one country to leave the eurozone for the first time destroy confidence in the alliance over the long run? Lenders might begin calculating the risk that another country would leave the alliance and fail to repay its debts. They would, as a result, likely demand higher interest rates to compensate for that risk. That would make it costlier for governments to borrow and erode one of the key achievements of the monetary union.TOOLS TO USE AGAINST TROUBLEOptimists point to the eurozone’s new tools to defend itself against the sort of crisis it’s struggled to manage for the past few years. As a result of the Greek crisis, and the ensuing problems endured by the likes of Ireland and Spain, the eurozone has created a bailout fund that can lend to troubled countries.The ECB has also offered to buy government bonds of countries that come under pressure if they accept reforms. This helps hold down borrowing rates. And the ECB now oversees big banks. That contrasts with early supervision by national authorities, which were sometimes slow to address problems. FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Many economists think a Greek departure from the euro currency alliance would be a disaster. For Greece.But for the rest of Europe? Maybe not.Greece is struggling to meet deadlines to repay a crushing debt load and avoid a default that could drive it out of the 19-country eurozone. Yet any fear that a Greek exit might ignite a broader financial catastrophe — as the 2008 collapse of U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers did — is misplaced, some analysts say. Sponsored Stories 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes Four benefits of having a wireless security system Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober
From left: Mr. Tanes Petsuwan, TAT Deputy Governor for Marketing Communications; H.E. Mr. Maris Sangiampongsa, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Thailand to Canada; Mr. Kalin Sarasin, Chairman of the Board of the TAT; Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor; and Mrs. Srisuda Wananpinyosak, TAT Deputy Governor for International Marketing – Europe, Africa, Middle East and Americas; Mrs. Puangpen Klanwari, Director of TAT Toronto Office; and Ms. Lauren Howe, Miss Universe Canada 2017.Tourism Authority of Thailand opens new office in TorontoThe Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has recently opened its 28th TAT overseas office in Toronto to target the high potential Canadian market. The occasion was also used to launch the “Amazing Thailand’s Open to the New Shades” marketing concept in Canada. The TAT Toronto Office was officially opened on 23 April, 2018.The official opening ceremony of the TAT’s third office in North America after New York and Los Angeles was attended by H.E. Mr. Maris Sangiampongsa, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Thailand to Canada, Mr. Kalin Sarasin, Chairman of the TAT Board, Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, and Mr. Tanes Petsuwan, TAT Deputy Governor for Marketing Communications.Around 150 guests including Canadian travel companies, travel media, guests from the business community later attended an evening reception which featured a live music performance by famous Thai saxophonist, Mr. Koh Saxman, a demonstration of fruit and vegetable carving, and making of artificial flowers and carps from palm leaves.Mr. Tanes Petsuwan, TAT Deputy Governor for Marketing Communications, presented the “4D Open to the New Shades”, highlighting five categories of products: Gastronomy, Nature and Beach, Culture, Way of Life, Art and Craft.In his statement, Mr. Kalin Sarasin (above picture, centre) said, “This is our 28th TAT Overseas office. We chose Toronto, the capital city of Ontario, because it is a vibrant, multi-cultural city and one of the largest metropolitan areas in North America. We believe it will be a perfect location to cover Canada, which has been identified in our current marketing plan as a high potential market with a long average length of stay and strong purchasing power.”In 2016, the average length of stay for the Canadian travellers in Thailand was approximately 18 days, which doubled the overall length of stay with expenditure per day of around 172 Canadian Dollars per person. Moreover, Ontario was the largest source of Canadian travellers to Thailand in 2017, with a market share of 45%.From 2013-2017, the revenue from the Canada market rose 6% on average in five years.“We are working with local partners to develop new products and introduce new local experiences in Thailand that fit with the targeted segments including the Baby Boomers, Gen X, and Gen Y. They are strongly interested in beach, culture, health and wellness, weddings and honeymoons, and our gastronomical delights,” Mr. Kalin added.Although there are currently no direct flights from any Canadian city to Bangkok, TAT is working closely with friendly airlines; such as, Cathay Pacific, EVA Airways, Emirates, Qatar, Korean Airlines and Air Canada to route traffic to Thailand via their respective hubs.In 2017, Canadian visitor arrivals to Thailand totalled 258,392, up by 5.52% over 2016. This contributed to income of 845.9 million Canadian Dollars representing a growth of 7.61 percent.At the end of this year, TAT projects revenue growth of 8.46% from the Canada market.Source = Tourism Authority of Thailand
1 Comments Share The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Top Stories Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling The NFL Draft is a little more than a week away.Thirty-two players will hear their names called by Roger Goodell as first-round picks next Thursday night in Nashville, and most will come from the usual schools known for producing NFL talent.In fact, since 2010, 75 different schools have each produced at least one first-round pick. Your job is to name them.We’ve given you the number of first-rounders each school produced, you just name the program. HINT: The schools are listed in alphabetical order.You’ve got 10 minutes on the clock…good luck!
3. Colorado, USAMeet Lloyd, the barber who’s been cutting hair and trimmng beards at this shop in the small town of Lyons, Colorado for over 50 years. He recently retired, and the shop has been relocated to a different part of town under the management of his daughter Benita. It’s still the place, however, to experience a slice of authentic Americana. 2. Trinidad, CubaSomewhere down one of the cobbled streets of Trinidad, a UNESCO World Heritage site, lies this homely barber shop. Get all spruced up, then head out for the night to the town square, where there is live music and plenty of salsa dancing. ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map 6. Delhi, IndiaFancy some al fresco shaving? In Delhi, India’s capital, you’ll see many street barbers like this one. Apart from public pampering, the streets of Delhi are also the place for chaat, a north Indian snack of deep-fried pastry stuffed with spiced potatoes and topped with all kinds of delicious chutneys.More: 10 best things to see and do in Delhi 8. Brighton, UKHome to the iconic Brighton mods, there are plenty of stylish barbers like this one in Britain’s famous seaside resort. Walk the pier, eat fish and chips and see some underwater wildlife at the Sea Life Centre for the perfect family fun day out. 7. Hanoi, VietnamPark your scooter and jump straight in to the barber’s chair in Hanoi. Whether whole families are zipping through the narrow streets, piled on to one tiny scooter, or street hawkers are flogging everything from pineapples to pigs feet, there’s a constant buzz of activity in Vietnam’s capital. 10. New York, USABack in 2011, protesters took to Zuccotti Park in New York City as part of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Here, one of the protesters is receiving a free haircut in the heart of New York’s finanacial district. While we can’t guarantee you’ll find much for free in the Big Apple, there are certianly plenty of places to work on your style, from high-end boutiques on Madison Avenue to vintage chic in East Village. 13. Sana’a, YemenA son fixes up his father’s quiff in Sana’a, Yemen’s capital and UNESCO World Heritage site. The city is one of the oldest in the world and is full of interesting little alleyways and picturesque houses, one higlight being Dar al Hajar, or the rock house, half an hour’s drive from the centre of Sana’a. 4. Siem Reap, CambodiaTwo monks crouch beside a temple shaving as part of their daily routine at a Buddhist monastery. You’ll see lots of these golden robed monks wandering through town (or whizzing past on scooters) as Siem Reap is also the main departing point for many visitors heading out to see the ancient ruins at Angkor Wat. Read more: 7 best places to visit in Cambodia Growing your mo for Movember? Or do you appreciate a well-groomed hipster ‘tache all year round?Regardless, it has become something of a tradition that every November, guys across the world attempt to cultivate some impressive facial hair to raise money for men’s health charity, the Movember Foundation. Barbers go about their business in the most unusual places; from street corners in India to living rooms in Croatia. Celebrate Movember and take a look at this gallery of barber shops from around the world:1. Rajasthan, IndiaThis customer gets a traditional straight-razor shave in Rajasthan, India’s largest state. Also known as the ‘Land of Kings’, it’s unsurprising that there are so many opulent temples and lavish palaces to visit here. 11. KwaZulu-Natal, South AfricaThe province of KwaZulu-Natal (meaning ‘Zulu Nation’) in South Africa is home to this ingenious barber, who has erected a tent shop and is powering his tools with a car battery in a trolley. The area is full of nature reserves, like Kosi Bay, but it’s best known for it’s port resort, Durban, a popular spot for surfers and sunworshippers. 14. North Carolina, USAIt would seem these guys are just as much a part of the furniture as the chairs themselves in Floyd’s City Barber Shop, North Carolina. With over 62 years experience, get your hair cut here and you may just join his wall of fame, which includes freshly groomed photos of celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey and the original Incredible Hulk, Lou Ferrigno. 5. Dubrovnik, CroatiaExplore the crumbling towers and grand palaces that line the cobbled streets of Dubrovnik’s old town, and you may just find this old school barber shop. Climb the city walls for spectacular views, but this hike is probably best avoided during the midday heat. 12. Kathmandu, NepalIn this densely populated city, it’s not uncommon to see someone getting a hair cut on the curb. Kathmandu, once believed to be the Shangri-La of legend, is where you’ll find the Boudha Stupa, the most sacred site in Tibetan Buddhism. Jump in a tuk tuk and take a tour through this vibrant and multi-cultural city. 9. Shanghai, ChinaHe may not have much hair of his own anymore, but this Chinese barber proves he’s still got what it takes to keep the younger generation looking dapper. Shanghai is the most populous area in China, with over 23 million residents living here. That’s plenty of haircuts to keep this guy in business for a few more years at least! RelatedMovember and moustaches5 brave Skyscanner men have grown moustaches to support men’s health and provide general amusement in the Skyscanner office.Top 8 things to do in RajasthanFrom pink to gold, Jaipur to Jaislamer, temples to thali, discover the wonders of Rajasthan.Carnevale! 8 of the best Mardi Gras festivals around the worldMardi Gras is an explosive festival of colour, costume, music and merriment, as countries around the world take to the streets to party like it’s nearly Lent. So where’s the best place to celebrate Mardi Gras? We’ve got a few ideas for you, from New Orleans to Rio de Janeiro.…
Cyprus is considered a very safe country, evidenced by the millions of tourists who choose to holiday here this year, Interpol’s Secretary-General Jurgen Stock said on Tuesday.Stock said Interpol’s cooperation with Cyprus police is one of the best in the global police community, and the force’s department of international cooperation is a model for many other countries, he added.Stock, who is on a visit to Cyprus met Tuesday with Justice Minister Giorgos Savvides who said they had discussed issues of mutual interest by exchanging views on the areas of cooperation which both sides want to strengthen.Interpol has 194 member countries.Stock said: “Cyprus is considered a very safe country and this is one reason why about three million tourists visit every year because they enjoy the beauty of the country and enjoy being in a very safe environment.”He then referred to the major threats and challenges faced by the international police community and societies in general such as international terrorism, organised crime “which is a multi-billion-dollar business across the globe”, and cybercrime, which imposes unprecedented challenges in law enforcement efforts around the world. No country can combat these phenomena in isolation, Stock said.Cyprus, he added was among the most active countries in the global police community and its police were investing heavily in international cooperation. “I have been able to visit the department of international police cooperation, which is a model for many other countries in the world,” Stock said.Cyprus was also sending some of its best police officers to Interpol HQ is Lyon, France and it’s centre in Singapore. One of the officers of Cyprus, he said, is currently leading one of the future-oriented Interpol programmes.Stock said his visit to Cyprus was an opportunity to strengthen the organisation’s relations with the country. “We look forward to strengthening this cooperation, which is one of the best in the global police community,” he said.You May LikeCalifornia Earthquake AuthorityEarthquake coverage that comes with optionsCalifornia Earthquake AuthorityUndoLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndo Authorities release five of 12 Israeli rape suspects, seven due in court FridayUndoConcern over falling tourism numbersUndoA new way of doing businessUndoby Taboolaby Taboola
State Rep. Brandt Iden invites residents of the 61st House District to attend coffee hours this month.Office hours will be held at the following locations and times:Friday, Sept. 11 from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at Feed The World Café, located at 7000 Stadium Drive in Kalamazoo; andTuesday, Sept. 15 from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at The Vault, located at 130 W. Prairie St. in Vicksburg.“There are many new concepts being considered by the Legislature, and I look forward to input from all of our neighbors,” said Rep. Iden, R-Oshtemo. “I encourage everyone in our community to meet with me for coffee and conversation about our state government.”No appointment is necessary. Residents who are unable to attend are encouraged to contact Rep. Iden’s office by phone at 517-373-1774, or by email at BrandtIden@house.mi.gov.### Categories: Iden News 09Sep Rep. Brandt Iden invites residents to Sept. coffee hours
In his first six months in the Michigan House of Representatives, state Rep. Jeff Noble has worked to promote prosperity for residents while representing the areas of Northville, Plymouth and Canton.Noble serves on four House committees and holds the position of majority vice-chair for the House Committee on Families, Children, and Seniors.“It has been a busy and extremely productive time, and I remain committed to improving the livelihoods of the people I represent. My colleagues and I in the House have discussed and advanced several pieces of legislation that will set out to accomplish this task,” said Noble, of Plymouth. “I am enthusiastic about getting back to our State Capitol in September to continue bettering the way of life for residents within our district and across Michigan.”Among the legislation championed by Noble:• A 2017-18 budget that provides record funding for roads and bridges. A total of $450 million will be provided for the upcoming budget year, and $1.2 billion annually by 2021. In addition, legislation has also been approved to strengthen warranties so repaired roadways last longer.• Signed reforms that put more money in the classroom. There will be an additional $27 million in foundation allowances and an additional $25 funding per high school student.• Six bills addressing opioid addiction. These bills increase access to addiction treatment and underscore education on the dangers of opioid addiction. Next year’s budget includes $700,000 that will go to statewide opioid programs.• A lighter stance in regard to victims of human trafficking while maintaining judiciary discretion. Those forced into crime through human trafficking acts can be eligible for deferral and probation.“When meeting with constituents and hearing about what is important to them, I continue to hear concerns about the poor quality of our roadways. In response, we poured a ton into the budget to beef up Michigan’s roads and I look forward to seeing the results within our district,” said Noble. “As a member of the House Committee on Health Policy, it also pleased me to be involved with several bills that were rolled out to keep people healthier and safer. Educating young people on the dangers of opioid addiction is crucial and our budget reflects those concerns.”Noble was also busy sponsoring legislation cutting government red tape. House Bill 4608 allows an exemption for painters and decorators from having to obtain contracting licenses for maintenance and alterations. The bill is currently in the Senate Committee on Regulatory Reform. 17Jul Rep. Noble working to promote legislation to help local residents and communities Categories: News,Noble News
Categories: Kesto News,News 02Oct Rep. Kesto bill increases penalties for abuse of senior citizens State Rep. Klint Kesto, chair of the House Law and Justice Committee, has submitted legislation to increase penalties for anyone convicted of abusing an elder or vulnerable adult by mental and physical means.Kesto’s legislation also updates the state’s sentencing guidelines, including four years imprisonment for elder abuse that causes mental suffering or physical injury, 15 years for assault causing a serious physical impairment, and 25 years for abuse causing death. Any restraint by deceit, physical, mental or fraudulent means will be punishable by up to four years imprisonment.“Abuse comes in many forms when it involves our senior citizens and I think anyone who commits these unconscionable acts will get a more appropriate punishment,” said Kesto, of Commerce Township. “We must stop this growing problem in Michigan, whether it takes place with a caregiver in an assisted living facility or by a family member out of senior citizen’s own home. Our older citizens have earned the right to be cared for in a responsible way.”House Bill 5027 is part of a bipartisan six-bill package that also requires better licensing and training in the care of vulnerable adults. Kesto’s bill has been assigned to the House Law and Justice Committee for its consideration.“This legislation is exactly the tool needed by law enforcement and the legal community to address anyone preying on vulnerable adults,” Kesto said. “Our state’s senior population is growing and the legislature must act to improve protections.”#####
ShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesSeptember 2, 2014; Boston MagazineThere may be nothing in the Boston area so beautiful as the Charles River. A series of gently beautiful bridges span it, taking one from Boston to Cambridge with the main drag being Massachusetts Avenue. This particular bridge gets a lot of foot traffic in every kind of weather.Now, an anonymous donor has come forward with $2.5 million to illuminate that classic and iconic Mass. Ave. bridge (traditionally measured in “smoots” since 1958) which is currently weirdly festooned with brightly colored crochet and knitting to symbolize the close-knit relationship between the two cities and the various neighborhoods. The “yarn bombing” was started by a group called the Joining Project right after the Boston Marathon bombing and continued through the summer.This is a public private partnership of the most loose and vibrant sort. Everyone seems to be attracted to making this bridge more beautiful or intriguing from time to time, making it a decades-long and very successful community art project.The lights will pull out and emphasize the elements of the bridge’s design, according to Renata von Tscharner of the nonprofit Charles River Conservancy, where the donation will be made.—Ruth McCambridgeShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
The BBC has begun using TV content delivery platform specialist S3’s StormTest Development Center.The UK public broadcaster is using the technology for automated testing of its iPlayer platform across multiple platforms, including connected TVs, Nintendo Wii, Playstation 3 and tablet devices.“BBC is a true innovator in the deployment of content to multiple devices and is well-respected as a company that deploys cutting-edge technology. We’re proud to be part of the team that helps deliver excellence to their viewers,” said John O’Brien, CEO of S3 Group.
HBO is launching a suite of channels and services in the Netherlands.The Time Warner-backed channel operator has formed a joint venture with local MSO Ziggo and they will launch the HBO, HBO 2 and HBO 3 linear channels alongside the HBO On-Demand and HBO Go services.The channels will be programmed with a range of HBO’s premium series and movies including Boardwalk Empire, True Blood and Too Big to Fail. There will also be third-party content from Sony and Warner Bros. The premium package is priced at €14.95 a month.
Channel distributor Canis Media has become the first company to express interest in bidding for the local TV MuxCo licence to be offered by regulator Ofcom.Canis has created a new company, Comux UK, to apply for the licence, which will be granted to the operator of transmission infrastructure for new local services.Potential local TV operators will apply for individual broadcasting licences over the next few months, and the transmission infrastructure licence will be awarded simultaneously. According to Canis Media, Comux UK will be structured to ensure that the maximum possible return on the value of the gifted capacity is invested in local TV programming.Canis Media’s head of local TV, Clare Bramley, will chair a new representative council of local TV licence bidders, which will enable a dialogue between the potential multiplex operator and the bidders. She will also oversee the creation of a charitable trust into which a proportion of the profits from Comux UK will be paid, ensuring that the full value of the licensed capacity helps to guarantee the long term sustainability of local television stations, according to Canis Media.Comux UK also plans to operate a national commercial model for advertising which will be available to local stations on an opt in/opt out basis.Canis Media CEO Ed Hall will lead the bid. The new company was created following publication last week of the BBC’s local digital TV funding contribution arrangements. Under the public broadcaster’s licence fee agreement with the government it is responsible for part-funding the development of local TV services.
Liberty Global’s Czech DTH platform FreeSAT has added the Fanda channel to its line-up.Operated by TV Nova, Fanda offers a range of movies, drama series, sports and documentaries. The channel is available to FreeSAT’s medium and higher package customers.UPC DTH marketing and sales director for Czech Republic, Jiri Kraval said ”We are pleased to enriching our medium line-up further which already has the most comprehensive lineup through the addition of the Fanda channel in the Czech Republic. This will further enhance our already diverse package of channels giving our customers more choice without additional costs”.
Broadcast group Central European Media Enterprises (CME) has sold 200,000 shares in the company to stakeholder Time Warner Media Holdings for US$200 million (€153.6 million).CME said the sale of the Series B convertible redeemable preferred stock, along with US$100 million of proceeds from a public share offering that was completed in May, would be used to pay of debt – repurchasing a portion of CME’s outstanding 11.625% senior notes that are due in 2016.CME is a media and entertainment company operating TV channels in six central and eastern European markets with an aggregate population of approximately 50 million people. It also operates Voyo, the pan-regional video-on-demand service.Time Warner upped its stake in CME last year to 49.9%.
Sidharth JayantMovie and TV streaming service Wuaki has appointed former Samsung executive Sidharth Jayant as global product director, as the firm looks to continue to expand into new European markets.Jayant will head up product development across a range of platforms and devices – including smart TVs, games consoles, Android and iOS tablets, smartphones, Chromecast sticks, laptops and PCs.His main responsibility will be making sure a quality user experience is in place and is replicated across devices, creating a “single, quality service for Wuaki.tv’s users throughout Europe,” said the firm.The hire comes as Wuaki plans to continue to expand and grow in new European markets, following its launch in France in September and the expansion this year of its user base in its other European markets – Spain and the UK.Wuaki has previously said that it plans to launch in 15 European countries, including Germany and Italy. Following that, it will look to expand into other international territories where its parent company, Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten, has a presence – including the US, Asia and Latin America.Jayant joins Wuaki having spent more than 10 years at Samsung Electronics, where he held various engineering, product development and management roles in India, South Korea and the UK.Latterly he was Samsung’s European product manager for video, where he led the development of Samsung’s Smart TV app store and video products.“The amount of people watching movies and TV on-demand is growing significantly, which is a huge opportunity for us. Smart TVs in particular are becoming increasingly popular, so we’re very pleased to have Sid join the team,” said Jacinto Roca, CEO and founder of Wuaki.tv.
Mobile messaging service Snapchat has partnered with a host of major TV broadcasters and publishers to launch a new in-app feature called Snapchat Discover. Discover will let Snapchat users explore stories from different professional editorial teams. Media partners already signed up to the service including National Geographic, Vice Media, Yahoo News, Comedy Central, CNN, ESPN and Scripps.Partners are able to post editions of content to their own individual channels, with Snapchat Discover supporting photos, videos, long-form text and advertising.Announcing the launch, Snapchat said that Discover will allow media companies to “build a storytelling format that puts the narrative first,” claiming that the service is built with creatives in mind.“This is not social media. Social media companies tell us what to read based on what’s most recent or most popular. We see it differently. We count on editors and artists, not clicks and shares, to determine what’s important,” said Snapchat.CNN, one of the initial launch partners, said that it will deliver a new Discover edition on Snapchat every 24 hours, featuring five or more global news stories that are picked and published by its editorial and design teams “specifically for the Snapchat community.”Each story will be headlined by a top ‘Snap’ – a ten-second video or animated teaser – with users able to swipe up for more in-depth reporting or swipe left for the next story.“We’re always seeking out new audiences and advertisers, and it’s more important than ever to tailor content to suit the platform,” said Andrew Morse, senior vice-president and general manager of CNN Digital.Scripps-owned TV channel Food Network is also launching a daily edition on Snapchat Discover, featuring five to ten stories based around seasonal and topical food themes, tips and recipes, cooking basics and food news.“Audiences are more food-conscious than ever before and the Discover Food Network channel on Snapchat will provide users with the great content they love, designed specifically for their mobile devices,” said Brooke Johnson, president of Food Network and Cooking Channel.
Polish triple-play service provider Netia has teamed up with local mobile provider P4 to deliver mobile services to its customers. Netia chose to team up with P4, which operates the Play service, after several months of negotiations with both P4 and rival operator Polkomtel.Netia CEO Adam Sawicki said that Play was “the most attractive partner” for Netia thanks to its attractive pricing packages and simple and flexible settlemet rules. He said that the deal would enable to Netia to offer attractive and innovative mobile services to both individual clients and companies.Jacek Niewęgłowski, board member of P4, said that the partnership would strengthen his company’s position in the MVNO market.The pair have been testing some joint products with customers for some time. Netia plans to present a range of converged solutions in the second half of this year.
Streaming service Netflix has increased its basic UK monthly subs fee.The SVOD service has upped the price of the basic standard definition offer from £6.99 a month to £7.49.It notified subs this week of the change, which will only impact new customers although Netflix customers often churn and re-subscribe as there is no requirement for a long term subscription.Existing subs will be billed the previous £6.99 monthly fee for a year.“In order to continue adding more TV programmes and films, including great Netflix series such asHouse of Cards and Better Call Saul, we are increasing our price for new members,” Netflix said in its note to customers.The US-based streaming service is investing billions in content and also rolling out around the world. In Europe, the UK is its biggest market and is slated to grow 250% in the next few years, according to forecasts issued this week.Netflix confirmed the UK price change and said it has also raised prices in Brazil. The other international services are unaffected.
UK-based digital content company, Brave Bison, reported lower revenues but also reduced losses in H1 2017, after axing more than 50% of its staff in the past year.Announcing interim results for the first half of 2017, the company, which was formerly known as Rightster, said that its headcount now stands at 57, down from 124 in June 2016, after it centralised its operations in two locations – London and Singapore.Brave Bison said it continued to invest in talent and content production to support its SlashFootball brand this year, and opened Yellowstone Studios in early 2017 to help cut production costs.The company reported that advertising remains “by far” its most significant revenue stream, accounting for 86% of net revenues. For the six months ending June 30, Brave Bison recorded revenues of £6.0 million (€6.7 million), down from £9.7 million a year earlier.The company’s operating losses came to £2.1 million in the first half, compared to a loss of £3.5 million during the first half of 2016.“During the first half of the year the Group has continued to pursue the established strategic imperatives of simplifying the business, moving up the value chain and achieving stand-alone financial sustainability,” according to the company’s financial and business review.“The first quarter of 2017 saw generally difficult trading, but in the latter months the company has delivered more encouraging results, helped by improved cash collection, demonstrating what can be achieved.”The company said it had a “substantially increased” profit margin of 48% in H1 2017, compared to 39% in H1 2016, and had a cash balance of £5.3 million at the end of the period.“When I agreed to take on the responsibilities of the chief executive officer in January this year, it was with the aim of bringing some stability to this promising, innovative and creative business while a permanent CEO was sought,” said Brave Bison’s chief operating and finance offer, and acting CEO, Kevin Deeley.“The financial results for the first half of the year demonstrate that Brave Bison has the potential to deliver strong performance by focussing on high-value activity as a producer and broadcaster of social video. I wish our new CEO Claire Hungate the very best as she takes on the leadership of this exciting business.”Former Warner Bros. Television Production UK co-managing director, Hungate, was named CEO of Brave Bison earlier this month, and is due to take up the post on August 1.Deeley, who has been handling chief executive duties following Ashley MacKenzie’s exit earlier this year, announced his resignation following Hungate’s appointment.Rightster rebranded as Brave Bison last year as it sought to reposition itself as a content-creating, social video broadcaster.The company had previously provided various digital services to entertainment and advertising firms and had MCN assets due to its £50 million (€63 million) acquisition of Base79 in 2014. It is now focused on producing content for social platforms, primarily YouTube and Facebook.
Star Wars Rogue OneThe Walt Disney Company’s upcoming international SVOD service will offer Star Wars and Marvel Universe content, Bob Iger has revealed.One of the key questions over the upcoming app, which is due for launch in 2019, was whether it would offer series andfeature films from its premium Lucasfilm and Marvel Entertainment subsidiaries.Speaking at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2017 Media Communications conference, Disney chairman and CEO Iger told delegates these would comprise part of the offer.“We left open what we are going to do with Marvel and Star Wars,” he said. “We’ve now decided that we will put the Marvel and Star Wars movies on this app as well.”This means the Disney SVOD app will offer Star Wars and Marvel Universe movies and series, plus those from its own studio and Toy Story producerPixar Animation.“In addition to that, we have been spending a fair amount of time developing original content on the movies side for the app,” said Iger. “The studio is already developing and will produce four to five original films exclusively for the app, primarily live action.”There will also up to five Disney-branded original TV series, and between three and four branded telemovies offered exclusively, to go with around 500 library movies and about 7,000 episodes of in-house shows and thousands of shorts.“We’ll produce more original short-form content for this app, but we use a lot of the short-form content that we’ve already created,” said Iger.Disney shocked the entertainment world this summer by announcing it was ending its long-term output agreement withSVOD service Netflix in order to launch a rival subscription streaming app. It already has a smaller offer, Disney Life, available in the UK.He added that further details on pricing and investment levels would follow “in the months ahead”, adding: “We’re going to launch big, and we’re going to launch hot. We’re very confident that as you look at the TV space or the media space, there is not only room and demand for Disney, but we’ll have a content to back that up.”There is a potential the service will launch in certain international territories before the US if movie windows fall ahead of schedules.