QuikrQuikr websiteQuikr, the classifieds portal, said on Wednesday that it was relocating its headquarters to Bangalore from Mumbai to expand its technology team and grow its footprint.The founder and CEO, Pranay Chulet, said that the relocation to Bangalore would help grow their technology and product team faster, a move that would have taken 18-24 months in Mumbai, the financial capital.The six-year-old company is a part of the South African media conglomerate Naspers. The transition is expected to happen over the next six months. Quikr will, however, retain 600 of its 800 Mumbai employees in the city. The move to Bangalore would help it ramp up its staff strength from 150 to 600 members, with a significant addition to the technology team.The web-company joins a long list of players who have migrated to the tech and start-up hub from other parts of the country.Bangalore has welcomed many other technology companies making the transition to tap into its substantial software talent pool. The Garden City has benefitted from the start-up culture too. With its expanding plug and play capabilities, the software capital offers better business infrastructure.Other firms finding a business home in the city are – online booking firm Ola and FreeCharge, an online mobile recharge player. January 2015 will see Instamojo, a payment start-up, move operations to Bangalore, whose cofounder and CEO Sampad Swain admitted that the choice to go with Bangalore was prompted by the ready availability of engineers from older generation platform companies like Akamai and Yahoo! Instamojo aims to grow its engineering team from 10 to 50 in the next six to 12 months.”Talent from other cities are averse to move to Mumbai due to cost of living and quality of life,” said Kunal Shah, co-founder of FreeCharge.Ola moved in mid-2012 and has seen its base also become its biggest market in the country.Quikr’s Chulet said that the move was growth oriented and should not to be seen as a cost consolidation effort. This year the company has raised over Rs 900 crore from a list of investors that includes Tiger Global, Kinnevik, Matrix Partners India, Omidyar Network, Nokia Growth Partners, Norwest Venture Partners, Warburg Pincus and eBay Inc.Market sources say that salaries in Bangalore are higher by 20-40% for top engineering talent. The new breed of start-ups has to compete with international players with deep pockets for suitable talent.
Kolkata: The state government is taking a proactive step to ensure that farmers in Birbhum do not face any trouble in getting fertilisers during the Kharif season, with Sainthia Rake Point remaining closed for the past three months.Fertilisers for distribution in Birbhum district reach Sainthia Rake Point, from where it is transported through roadways to distribution points in the entire district. But at present, the railway authorities are carrying out infrastructure development and maintenance work in the rake point, as a result of which it is remaining “temporarily closed” for the past three months. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedAsish Banerjee, the state Agriculture minister, held a meeting in this connection with the concerned officials of his department and directed him to take necessary measures to ensure that farmers do not face any problem during the Kharif season.”Following the directions of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, we cannot allow any situation to arise that would lead to inconvenience of farmers. So, all necessary steps would be taken to ensure that there is no shortage in the supply of fertilisers in the district,” he said. Also Read – Naihati: 10 councillors return to TMC from BJPIt may be mentioned that fertiliser is required in a huge quantity during the Kharif season that starts with the onset of monsoon and its demand would start going up in the next 15 days. Sources said that the state Agriculture department has planned distribution of around 7,300 MT urea in Birbhum in July itself.As per the present stock of fertilisers in the district, there is nothing to worry. But the state Agriculture department does not want to take any chance and would be speaking to the railway authorities to urge completion of the infrastructure development and maintenance work as early as possible. An official in the state secretariat said railway authorities had informed that the Sainthia Rake Point would remain closed for two months from April 5 onward.”But now it has been almost three months. So, we would be urging the railway authorities, if needed, to resume functioning of the rake point as early as possible and to carry out the maintenance work once again after the Kharif season is over,” the official said.When contacted, an Eastern Railway spokesperson said: “We will look into the matter.”At the same time, the Agriculture department’s officials are also coordinating with officials of the authority that provides fertilisers. Keeping an alternative way out ready to ensure that farmers do not face any problem, a suggestion of sending fertilisers for Birbhum district from Kasimbazar Rake Point in Murshidabad has also come up.
Cancun, Q.R. — With the new direct flights from Turkey to the Cancun International Airport, the municipality’s tourism head says that a Turkish consulate could be a next step. “Now that we have that flight from Turkey, there may be a need to be considering a Turkish consulate” he said. He says that having country-specific consulates provides greater security for international tourists. The director of tourism of Benito Juárez, Francisco Lopez Reyes, talked about the possibility of opening Turkish Consulate in Cancun. He says that with the success of the new direct flights, it may be necessary, at some point, to open a consulate for Turkish travelers. Lopez Reyes added that over the coming months, they will collect data on the number of Turkish tourists that arrive in Cancun and present the information to the Turkish ambassador in Mexico City.Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)
WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite Click to receive news links via WhatsApp. Or for the latest news, visit our webpage or follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Join us there! The Ladysmith Gazette newspaper is out today, so if you want to read about what has happened in your community lately, then you had better go and get your copy!Read all about the armed robbery that took place at Buy ‘n Save in Illing Road on our front page…Inside the paper, you can expect more hard news stories plus municipal and community articles.Also, see what the children are doing at schools around town and catch up on all the sporting goings-on!If you’re looking for that perfect job, the vacancies page is for you. You never know who may be advertising a fantastic post at their company or institution this week!The cost of the newspaper is ONLY R5.30, which is very reasonable indeed. Get your copy now!
Share April 21, 2014 460 Views Following weak home sales during the first two months of the year resulting from extreme winter weather, March sales picked up 24.6 percent across the 52 metros measured in the RE/MAX National Housing Report. However, despite the significant increase, March sales are 10.1 percent below their year-ago level.With sales rebounding just in time for spring homebuying season, the market continues to demonstrate its persistent trends of rising prices and low inventory.“A low supply of homes for sale continues to characterize today’s market,” RE/MAX reported. Housing inventory is down 0.2 percent over the month and 5.9 percent over the year.Current inventory stands at 4.1 months’ supply. A six months’ supply indicates a balanced market.As a result of low inventory, homes continue to fly off the market rather quickly. For the past 22 months, the average home sold was listed for sale for fewer than 90 days. In March, the average home sold spent 77 days on the market.Meager inventory has helped push prices ever higher. The median sales price in March was $186,941, according to RE/MAX, demonstrating a 3.6 percent increase over the month and an 8.8 percent increase from last year. March marks the 26th consecutive month of home price increases, according to RE/MAX data.Forty-one of the 52 metros observed in RE/MAX’s report recorded annual price increases in March.“Clearly, unexpected winter storms resulted in a slow start for housing this year, but the strong rebound in March sales could build momentum for spring and summer,” said RE/MAX CEO Margaret Kelly. Home Prices Home Sales Housing Supply RE/MAX 2014-04-21 Krista Franks Brock in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Market Studies, News Spring Brings Uptick in Home Sales, But Inventory Remains Low
September 14, 2016 617 Views The country remains as divided as it has ever been on two of the most polarizing presidential candidates in history as the election is less than two months out. So perhaps it is not surprising that the two major political parties are equally divided on proposed legislation to roll back what the Obama Administration sees as one of its greatest achievements, the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010.House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) introduced H.R. 5983, commonly known as the Financial CHOICE Act (Creating Hope and Opportunity for Investors, Consumers and Entrepreneurs) in June 2016, on the eve of Dodd-Frank’s sixth birthday, as an alternative to the highly controversial Wall Street Reform legislation. Among the CHOICE Act’s key proposals are giving banks the option for relief from certain regulations if they meet a certain capital threshold; eliminating the government’s power to designate firms as “systemically important”; and wholesale reforms to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that include removing the Bureau’s director and replacing him with a five-member bipartisan commission.The Republicans on the House Financial Services Committee tout the CHOICE Act as promoting “growth for all, bailouts for none.”“If we want strong economic growth and more freedom, we must empower Americans, not Washington bureaucrats. We must offer all Americans greater opportunities to raise their standard of living and achieve financial independence. In a phrase, we need economic growth for all and bank bailouts for none. This is the foundation of the Republican plan to reignite growth by replacing Dodd-Frank with real reforms that work,” Hensarling said.In the last few months, Democrats on the House Financial Services Committee have derided the proposal, repeatedly referring to it as the “Wrong CHOICE Act.”Earlier this week in a Committee markup, the CHOICE Act passed by a 30-26 voice vote almost completely among party lines. Every Democrat on the Committee who voted on the CHOICE Act (Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Alabama, was the only Democrat who did not vote) voted against it. According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, Democrats were steadfastly unwilling to compromise their position, offering not one single amendment to the proposal during the markup.“Mr. Chairman, this bill is so bad that it simply cannot be fixed. This markup is not a serious attempt to move thoughtful legislation, evidenced by the fact that we only had one hearing on one portion of the bill. It’s clear that this is a rushed, partisan messaging tool, though why anyone would want to push legislation to deregulate Wall Street at a time like this is beyond me,” Committee Ranking Member Maxine Waters (D-California) said during the markup. “So let’s not waste any more time on this. Democrats will not offer any amendments, and we move to dispense with this political theater.”Every Committee Republican who voted (three did not vote), with one exception, voted in favor of the CHOICE Act. The lone Committee Republican who voted against it in the markup was Bruce Poliquin (D-Maine). Poliquin’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on his vote.The Wall Street Journal reported that the CHOICE Act is likely to pass in a full House vote, but is not expected to gain traction in the Senate. Even if it does, President Obama has vowed to veto any attempt to roll back Dodd-Frank, which his Administration views as one of its greatest triumphs. Share Dodd-Frank Financial CHOICE Act House Financial Services Committee 2016-09-14 Seth Welborn CHOICE Act Sharply Divides Parties in Congress in Daily Dose, Government, Headlines, News
ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map Flybe hold luggage allowance: size, weight and fees Flybe cabin bag sizeFlybe hand luggage weight allowanceNumber of bags allowed onboardCost to check in oversized hand luggage More hacks for finding cheap flights, packing like a pro and making air travel easier: 7. Pack it in your pocket, not your bagWearable luggage is beyond the days of lumpy jackets that only come in XXL. Now, you can purchase svelte jackets (for both women and men) that allow you to carry a number of personal items – even laptops, tablets and purses. By carrying them on your body, you avoid putting the weight into your bag. Just be prepared to empty your pockets at security.We’ve tested six of the best pieces of wearable luggage on the market. 8. Shop around for flights with another airlineIf you’re trying to squeeze those extra wardrobe choices in then you might like to know that easyJet don’t have weight restrictions for cabin baggage on their flights. But Flybe isn’t too bad though: Wizzair charge for anything more than a laptop bag. Here’s the full guide to the luggage restrictions on board airlines operating low-cost European flights. Flybe hold baggage sizeFlybe hold luggage weight allowanceNumber of hold bags allowedCost of Flybe hold luggage ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepartReturnCabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map Note: Weight, size and hand luggage fees may vary if you are travelling with Stobart Air or Logan Air – both airlines operate regional flights under Flybe.8 way to make sure you’re within Flybe’s luggage allowances and avoid baggage fees:1. Buy a cabin bag that fits Flybe’s restrictionsIt sounds simple, but there’s a bewildering array of cabin bags on sale these days – pick the right one and you’ll save on carrying a heavy bag, money and stress. Most luggage and department stores, as well as online shops, carry cabin-friendly bags. 2. Invest in a portable luggage scaleA what? Yes, a portable luggage scale. These weigh less than 300g, but will save you a world of stress. You can easily buy them online and they’ll fit into your bag (or just a drawer at home). They don’t sound like they’re an essential, but they dramatically decrease the last minute panic before the airport run – no more packing and unpacking, weigh your luggage and avoid the hassle.3. Go back to schoolWhen students pay for 20kg of luggage with Flybe, they’re given 20kg extra free – that means you can take up to 40kg of luggage on board Flybe flights! Just make sure you produce your student ID when you go to check-in.4. Check your bag inAdmitting defeat and checking your bag in will be much cheaper than paying the £50 fee (checking in your bag only costs £15 when you add it online), and you avoid the stress of juggling a heavy bag on your conscience before the flight. Be realistic: if you’re anxious about whether your bag is too heavy, it probably is. 5. Pack smartWhat do you really need for that weekend away? Bring it back to basics. Pack your essentials (money, passport, phone and charger) into a small bag, then plan out your outfits, toiletries and technology for the next few days. If you’re a real organisational freak, you’ll love packing cubes. Our essential packing list is perfect for ticking off those items whilst you pack your new case. We’ve also got 16 top packing tips to keep your packing minimal.6. Consider upgrading your ticketWhen you book a seat with Flybe, you have three options: Just Fly, Get More and All In. Just Fly includes the details from the table above. Get More includes one item of hold luggage weighing 20kg. With All In, you get two extra pieces of hold luggage, each weighing 20kg. Get More and All In are marginally more expensive, but each have extra benefits beyond baggage. With Get More, you can choose your seat for no extra fee, you have flexibility to change your flight on the day, and extra Avios Points. On an All In ticket, you get all of the above, as well as food and drink on board, Executive Lounge Access and Fast Track boarding. RelatedWizz Air luggage rules explained and how to maximise your cabin baggage allowanceWhat size cabin bag can you bring on board? How much does it cost to check a bag in? Find all of the answers you need about Wizz Air baggage allowances in our handy table and pick up some tips on how to avoid unexpected luggage fees…easyJet cabin luggage explained and how to maximise your hand baggage allowanceDon’t get caught out by easyJet hand luggage allowances; here are the latest baggage restrictions, plus a few tips on how to avoid paying cabin bag fees:Eurowings baggage restrictions explained and how to maximise your hand luggage allowanceWondering how much cabin luggage you can take with you on a Eurowings flight? How about their excess baggage fees? Here’s our guide to Eurowings’s luggage restrictions, including details on weight, size and fees, so you know which ticket to book and how to get the biggest baggage allowance for… 55x35x20cm including handles and wheels10kg maximum weightOne regular cabin bag and one small handbag or laptop bag£50 at the departure gate Complete guides to baggage rules and restrictions for the UK’s biggest airlines, including easyJet, Ryanair, British Airways and Jet2.7 secrets of finding the best low cost flightsDid you know the cheapest flights are available seven weeks in advance? Six more secrets like this right this way…The best cabin bags: reviewed by SkyscannerSee the bags the Skyscanner team use when they fly, then invest in your own. The only question is: backpack, or wheelie?20 money saving tips and tricks for travelOur best tips for keeping costs low when you book your flight, when you travel and when you arrive in your destination!Skyscanner is the world’s travel search engine, helping your money go further on flights, hotels and car hire.Information correct as of 12th August 2018, obtained from https://www.flybe.com/baggage. Please always check the latest guidance at https://www.flybe.com/baggage before booking a trip Flybe hand luggage allowance: size, weight and fees No restrictions on size23kg per item1 item per passengerBaggage costs vary from £19-£48 depending on size and route
13May Rep. Hughes appointed to workgroup on Michigan trade Lawmaker will focus on increasing port trafficState Rep. Holly Hughes, R-Montague, will serve on a bipartisan workgroup dedicated to the growth and improvement of Michigan’s export traffic. Rep. Hughes was appointed to the panel by Rep. Joseph Graves, chair of the House Committee on Commerce and Trade.“I am honored and thankful to be serving on Rep. Graves’ workgroup,” Rep. Hughes said. “This is a great opportunity to be able to highlight Muskegon’s deep water port and held to find ways to bring more economic activity to our area.”“We have the ability to revamp and re-energize the way we export to significantly improve Michigan’s economy and make a substantial impact on our respective districts by boosting local port traffic and future sustainability.”The Port of Muskegon, the only natural deep-water port on the west side of our state, joined the American Great Lakes Port Association one year ago and was the first port to represent West Michigan.“Doors are open for business here in Muskegon, and we have the opportunity to develop this port into a focal point of economic prosperity for our local community, and others throughout the state,” Rep. Hughes said.Rep. Graves appointed only three lawmakers to the task force. State Rep. Jason Sheppard, R-Temperance, and Rep. Wendell Byrd, D-Detroit, will be working with Rep. Hughes on the task force.### Categories: Featured news,Hughes News,News Tags: #SB
27Feb Business leaders excited to work with Rep. Iden as chair of Regulatory Reform committee Local business leaders have stepped forward to laud Rep. Brandt Iden’s appointment as Chair of the House Regulatory Reform Committee, citing his professional background and understanding of how state government can assist in fostering business growth and improving employment opportunities for all Michiganders.“A successful economy requires policies that allow business growth,” said Ken Miller, president of Millennium Restaurant Group in Kalamazoo and past president of the Michigan Restaurant Association. “Brandt Iden is truly the best choice as chair for the House Regulatory Reform Committee and I look forward to seeing his contribution to Michigan’s comeback.”“Some policy-makers introduce legislation adding layers to the system, subsequently increasing red tape for businesses. It is encouraging to have a leader so committed to eliminating some of these barriers to economic growth,” said Jason Howard, president of IHS Distributors in Kalamazoo and member of the Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association. “I’m excited for Rep. Iden to chair Regulatory Reform, he has big plans for the committee and I know he’ll do great things for Michigan’s businesses.”The specific mission of the Regulatory Reform Committee is reviewing regulations tied to lottery, gaming, alcohol sales, construction, administrative rules, and occupational regulations among other responsibilities. The committee meets 10:30 a.m. every Wednesday when the state House of Representatives is in session in Lansing.“It’s an honor to chair this committee and to have the support of many business leaders in Michigan,” Iden said. “Working together, we’ll continue to grow Michigan by fostering better paying opportunities for our residents and encouraging a diverse business environment.”##### Categories: Iden News,News
State Reps. Joe Bellino and Jason Sheppard welcomed the St. Mary Catholic Central softball team from Monroe to the Capitol last Wednesday. This year’s team, coached by John Morningstar, had an extremely successful season that ended with the Kestrels capturing their 3rd straight Division 3 state title.“Thanks to an excellent coaching staff and an abundance of dedication from its players, St. Mary’s softball program has entered an era similar to great sports dynasties,” said Rep. Bellino of Monroe. “I am extremely proud to be a St. Mary Catholic Central alumnus and have this opportunity to recognize these accomplished athletes at the state Capitol.”Rep. Sheppard of Temperance said: “It was a pleasure to join Rep. Bellino in welcoming this very talented team to the Capitol. These ladies, as well as their coaches, represented their school, and all of Monroe County well and we are extremely proud of them and their success.”Both state representatives and Sen. Dale Zorn presented the team and their coach with a special tribute on the Senate floor for winning the championship.State Rep. Jason Sheppard, State Rep. Joe Bellino and Senator Dale Zorn (center) are pictured with the 2017 St. Mary Catholic Central state championship softball team and their coaches at the Capitol in Lansing. Categories: Bellino News,Bellino Photos 21Jul Reps. Bellino and Sheppard host St. Mary Catholic Central state champion softball team at Capitol
05Mar Rep. Albert issues statement after governor’s budget presentation “Governor Whitmer is proposing to nearly triple the fuel tax for road repairs and other budget items. While Michigan needs a real and meaningful solution to fix our roads, this is not it. Despite the governor trying to sell measures that would lessen the impact on the wallets of some taxpayers, this plan will hurt Michigan families, businesses and future generations. I am committed to finding a solution to fix our roads that works for Michiganders and I look forward to working with my colleagues on this during the budget process.“It’s fine to discuss more investment in public schools, but there must also be a long-term plan to eliminate debt and consistently get more money into the classroom – where it does the most good. Michigan has made progress attacking this debt issue in the past few years, and this strategy should continue under the new governor.”### Categories: Albert News
Share12TweetShare1Email13 SharesLuciano Mortula / Shutterstock.comJune 16, 2015; Jerusalem PostThe Jerusalem Post in its June 16th edition reported that the Tel Aviv-based NGO Shurat HaDin (the Israel Law Center) has called upon Coca Cola to revoke its franchise agreements with the Palestinian National Beverage Company. At issue are comments made by the bottler’s CEO that viewed BDS (Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions) as ways to peacefully pressure Israel into a peace treaty with the Palestinians.According to its website, Shurat HaDin was formed in 2003 to stop “the flow of money to terrorists through the use of civil suits and other legal means” and achieve “justice and compensation for terror victims from terrorist organizations, their sponsors, and the financial institutions that aid and abet their criminal activities.” In a statement, Shurat HaDin charged:“Zahi Khouri, PNBC’s CEO…has supported the Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions movement against Israel and made other incendiary comments against the Jewish state. He made his support for BDS clear in an Orlando Sentinel op-ed piece in September 2014 where he said that ‘the nonviolent efforts of BDS advocates make sense as a means to force Israel to recognize that the occupation is not cost-free.’ He has called for compensation for Palestinian refugees, a notoriously anti-peace position. Khouri has also made patently false and incendiary statements accusing Israel of stealing Palestinian land and culture and comparing Israel to apartheid South Africa and he has accused Israel of stealing Palestinian history and culture.”Mr. Khoury, who is active in Breaking the Impasse, an initiative that brings Israeli and Palestinian business leaders into dialogue in search of a peaceful solutions to the decades-long conflict, wrote the op-ed in question in the wake of last summer’s Gaza conflict. He reflected on his frustration with the continued stalemate and the impact of the war on the people of Gaza:“We made so little progress (in the Breaking the Impasse effort) that I am now contemplating whether the supporters of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement will achieve more. I wholeheartedly support the newest Palestinian initiative to buy local products rather than the Israeli products that flood our markets. In the absence of serious negotiations, the nonviolent efforts of BDS advocates make sense as a means to force Israel to recognize that the occupation is not cost-free.”And with these words, Shurat HaDin says, a line was crossed. In a letter to Muhtar Kent, Coca-Cola’s CEO, Shurat HaDin’s president demanded “the Coca-Cola Company…should rescind its franchise agreement with the Palestinian National Beverage Company, headed by Zahi Khouri, who openly advocates for BDS against Israel. The Coca-Cola Company should not affiliate itself with any person or entity calling for a boycott or similar effort against the Israeli government or the nation’s manufacturers, companies, products or services.”Mr. Khouri has been long been active in efforts to strengthen the Palestinian economy and in support of establishing an independent Palestinian state. He recently accepted the Oslo Business for Peace Award.This challenge to multinational Coca-Cola comes just weeks after the French telecommunications company Orange was embroiled in a similar controversy. The Guardian reported that the company’s CEO, Stéphane Richard, “indicated that it intends to terminate its relationship with the Israeli company that licenses its brand in the country—and would end the relationship ‘tomorrow’ if it could.” After a strong backlash to the comments, Mr. Richard apologized for his comments, made in Egypt earlier this month, and travelled to the Jewish state last week to explain himself in a meeting with Israel’s Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu.While neither Coca-Cola nor Mr. Khouri has responded to Shurat HaDin’s accusation and demand, the action by Shurat HaDin has placed a spotlight on the BDS effort and the possible costs for its advocates.—Marty LevineShare12TweetShare1Email13 Shares
Share177TweetShareEmail177 SharesAugust 30, 2018; The AtlanticThe nationwide prison strike that began on August 21st continues into its second week. People behind bars are demanding basic human rights, an end to forced labor, an end to the Prison Litigation Reform Act, and more. NPQ’s Cyndi Suarez covered the strikers’ tactics, demands, and connections to the community when the strike began last week.News of the strike has spread organically, through people sympathetic to the movement and the organizers themselves. The reaction from mainstream news and the government, however, resists the reframing of the conversation about justice and human rights that would be the appropriate response to the demands. A pitiful handful of politicians have bothered to respond at all.Reports of other prisons joining the strike spread through social media, as organizers and activists among sympathizers and incarcerated people tried to get the word out. In some places, supporters rallied outside the prisons, drawing attention to the plight of those inside.Organizers have leveraged grassroots tactics to authentically spread their message. The Atlantic’s Vauhini Vara writes, “To start getting the word out, they didn’t target big news organizations. Instead, organizers posted about the imminent strikes to their own social-media followers. And they contacted publications with an activist bent.” The strikers did not believe that mainstream media outlets would give them a fair hearing, since accounts from people in prison, who often need to remain anonymous for safety reasons, cannot be verified the way interviews normally are.In some respects, their fears were justified. Though the strike has spread through several states and has an active social media following, real action on the demands has not been forthcoming and many outlets have hesitated to report the prisoners’ words.For instance, the New York Times reported on the poor condition in which inmates live, but said, “In California last week, activists circulated video that appeared to show an inmate turning down a burrito and saying he was on a hunger strike. State officials said they could not confirm that the footage was real.”Traditional reporting is stymied by prison officials who do not wish to admit the strikes occurring on their watch. Madison Pauly at Mother Jones wrote, “details about it have proved nearly impossible to confirm through official channels, with corrections officials almost uniformly denying that any protests or disruptions are underway. Only three state prison systems would acknowledge strike-related incidents.” Pauly spoke with prison activists who said that hundreds of people were going on hunger strike, refusing to work, and boycotting the commissary. Of course, none of these actions are obviously visible to people on the outside.“The main leverage that an inmate has is their own body,” Amani Sawari, a spokesperson for the protests, told Vox’s German Lopez. “If they choose not to go to work and just sit in in the main area or the eating area, and all the prisoners choose to sit there and not go to the kitchen for lunchtime or dinnertime, if they choose not to clean or do the yardwork, this is the leverage that they have.”That was, until Wednesday, when prison officials ordered retaliation against hunger strikers in Wabash Valley prison in Indiana. The Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC) tweeted, “At this point the inmates will be suspending the hunger strike and move towards pushing back on these policy violations.”People also shared stories of resistance, such as native Hawaiian inmates sharing their language and celebrations as a way of maintaining their identity. Others shared messages of support.Activists have pushed back against using the incarcerated status of individuals as a way to marginalize their voices. The IWOC wrote,We have had incidents where media have had the opportunity to interview imprisoned prison strike leadership and have refused to print their words because the prisoner refused to give out his government name out of an understanding of the very real dangers of reprisal. Opportunities to interview prisoners who are connected to the organization of this protest from the inside are precious and we will not squander them again on institutions who don’t understand and value what is at risk for prisoners in this moment.This is a case in which transparency might serve both journalists and the activists whose stories they cover. By explaining that people in prison cannot speak to journalists, and that differing accounts have emerged from activists and the prison officials, news outlets could shed light on one of the factors that dehumanizes those in prison: the inability to control their own narratives in the public space, or to advocate for their rights. This strike is an effort to do both, and its success so far is a testament to the bravery and dedication of those participating.—Erin RubinShare177TweetShareEmail177 Shares
Dutch cable operator Ziggo has confirmed that it will launch an initial public offering on the Amsterdam stock exchange.Ziggo plans to make a secondary sale of a portion of its ordinary shares, currently held by shareholders including affiliates of private equity players Cinven and Warburg Pincus. The ordinary shares will be sold to institutional and retail investors in the Netherlands and certain institutional investors overseas.JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley are the joint global coordinators for the IPO. Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley and UBS are the joint bookrunners; ABN AMRO, HSBC, Nomura and Rabobank are the joint lead managers and ABN AMRO and Rabobank are the joint retail bookrunners. Société Générale is co-lead manager.Ziggo is the largest Dutch operator, with 4.2 million homes passed and three million subscribers. Ziggo generated revenues of €1.48 billion, representing organic growth of 7.4%, and EBITDA of €385 million in 2011, with 71% of EBITDA converted into operating free cashflow.Andrew Sukawaty, chairman of Ziggo said: “We are pleased to announce our intention to list Ziggo in Amsterdam. The company is fully prepared for a standalone future with full access to both the debt and equity capital markets. The IPO has always been a strategic priority and will be an important milestone for Ziggo. I believe Ziggo is ideally suited to the public equity markets, offering strong differentiation through a unique combination of both growth and returns for investors seeking high quality exposure to the European cable growth story.”Bernard Dijkhuizen, CEO of Ziggo, said: “We have strong growth momentum, based on a fully upgraded network, high quality products and continuous customer focus. The IPO is the logical next step for Ziggo. We will become a newly listed Dutch company, with the enhanced capital markets profile to support our growth strategy, in line with our scale and status as one of Europe’s leading cable operators.”
Infrastructure technology provider KeyFibre (Stand T26) plans to use the ANGA Cable show to showcase its range of of KeyQuick connectors and mechanical splices.According to KeyFibre, the connectors are optimised for horizontal or fibre-to-the-desk component of any commercial building or data centre, and are suitable for high-speed optical networks such as 10G Ethernet, as well as the more challenging 40G/100G networks of the future.According to the company, its connectors now allow integrators easily to terminate the fibre themselves, making field terminations that improve cable management inside buildings or in the outside plant. The company says that its devices enable fast, on-site installation of single mode (PC and APC), and multimode connections (with 62.5/125, 0M3 and OM4 connectors available).Field installation of connectors makes it possible to have just the right cable length with no cable slack to store, which means reduced cable and storage costs, according to KeyFibre.
Russian service provider MTS has seen a year-on-year growth of 200,000 subscribers in its pay TV base. The operator ended the third quarter with 2.7 million pay TV customers.MTS had 2.2 million broadband internet customers at the end of September, up 10% year-on-year.Sistema Mass Media’s pay TV offering Stream-TV saw its subscriber base grow by 22% year-on-year to 7.2 million at the end of the third quarter. The proportion of revenue accounted for by advertising grew by 5.4 percentage points to account for 15.9%. Sistema Mass Media’s overall revenues declined by 56.3% year-on-year to US$13 million (€10 million) as a result of reduced sales of TV series at Russian World Studios.MTS as a whole posted revenues of US$3.132 billion for the third quarter, down 4.4% year-on-year. Operating income dropped by 4% to US$829.6 million as a result of depreciation of the Russian ruble. ARPU in Russia grew by 8.7% year-on-year in local currency to RUB313 (€7.80) during the third quarter.
Polish pay TV provider Cyfrowy Polsat has added content from Sony Pictures Television-owned drama network AXN to is OTT service ipla. AXN Now has been added to the new iplaPREMIUM package, allowing subscribers to access shows like Hannibal and Sanctuary.iplaPREMIUM replaces the existing iplaFILM package and costs PLN19.90 (€4.60) for 30 days or PLN39.90 for 90 days.
The video market on fixed and mobile networks worldwide is likely to grow by an average of 3.2% between now and 2025, according to French research group IDATE.The estimated growth figures include average 2% growth for live TV and 14% annual growth for on-demand services.Growth will be lower in developed markets, according to IDATE. Across Germany, France, the UK, Italy, and Spain, average annual growth will stand at 1.6% from 2013 to 2025, with the live TV market, including broadcasters’ catch-up TV services, in decline by 0.7%, while on-demand services experience an average annual increase of 18.5%.IDATE said that, while growth was likely to follow this ‘middle of the road’ pattern, it has also provided best and worst case scenarios. In the worst case, it said, disruptive entrants will lead the video services market in the top five EU states to decline by an average of 0.8% a year. In the best, case, growth could amount to 3.9% annually, including 2% growth for live broadcasting services.
Olivier LaouchezTrace’s strength in Africa was a key factor in Modern Times Group’s decision to acquire a controlling stake in the sports lifestyle and music broadcaster and the pair will jointly look to exploit free-to-air and non-broadcasting related opportunities across the continent, according to Trace CEO Olivier Laouchez.MTG announced it had taken a 75% stake in Trace earlier this week. The broadcaster also has an option to acquire the remaining 25% to take full control at a later date, said Laouchez.Laouchez said the “African dimension” had been key to MTG’s interest in Trace. MTG has launched FTA channels in Ghana and Tanzania, while Trace’s channels are carried by pay TV operator DStv and Canal Horizons, with a presence spanning both Anglophone and Francophone Africa.Trace has also recently developed partnerships with mobile operators to bring additional branded services to mobile platforms.Laouchez said that the Trace and MTG could work closely together, possibly bringing Trace content to MTG’s FTA channels.Trace may also grow its presence in Africa by making selective acquisitions, said Laouchez. “MTG has significant internal financial resources,” he said. “We have discussed potential acquisitions and a line of finance to grow the company. “We have a few ideas in mind. Trace is ready to grow the company maybe by selected acquisition.”
Zappware is using IBC to unveil updates to its platform for DVB, IPTV, OTT and Hybrid Networks. Zappware will showcase a new service management system, added features and an extended range of set-top boxes.Built on top of a new content management system, the platform’s service management system now provides operators with a straightforward tool to manage content, create business rules, manage subscribers, create marketing campaigns and analyse user behaviour, according to the company.Zappware has added a new social TV feature whereby operators can let their users connect around TV by providing them the opportunity to share new discoveries on Facebook and Twitter at the click of a button.Operators can now send messages directly to subscribers and create promotion screens on all devices. Also, feature licenses can be created to sell additional features as a separate product. The Zappware platform now allows for cloud recording (network PVR) on all second screen devices. A variety of personalization improvements have been made.The platform offers a uniform search across all devices. Users can create playlists or favorite lists of events, assets and channels. Users of iOS and Android mobile devices can now be reminded of upcoming TV programs through the devices’ notification center.Shortened startup times on mobile devices and improved UI animations have boosted the overall user experience, according to the company.Zappware has also announced the availability of its own client middleware. Combined with the recent HTML5 UI implementation, this has increased the portfolio of tools to make the Zappware platform available on a variety of set-top boxes. Zappware has set up new partnerships with set-top box vendors Kaonmedia, Arion Technology and CreNova. Zappware will be exhibiting at IBC on stand 1.A81