Francis said he was coming to Sarajevo for a daylong trip to encourage the process of peace and reconciliation and show his support for Bosnia’s tiny Catholic community. With Croat passports in hand, many Catholics have fled high unemployment in Bosnia to search for better opportunities in the European Union.The most poignant moment of the day came when two Catholic priests and a nun told Francis of their experiences during the war, of having been kidnapped, tortured and starved by Muslim or Serb Orthodox Christian troops and threatened with death. Moved by the testimony, Francis bowed down to one of them and asked for his blessing.Speaking off-the-cuff, Francis told the gathering of priests and nuns in Sarajevo’s cathedral that they must never forget the “cruelty” inflicted on their fellow Catholics — not to seek vengeance, but to show the power of forgiveness.“In your blood, in your vocation, there is the blood of these three martyrs,” a visibly moved Francis said. “Think of how much they suffered … and live a life that is worthy of the cross of Jesus Christ.”It was a reminder to today’s Catholics of the strong faith of their ancestors — and a bid to encourage them to stay put to keep Bosnia’s Catholic community alive. Check your body, save your life 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Sarajevo was once known as “Europe’s Jerusalem” for the peaceful coexistence of its Christians, Muslims and Jews. It became synonymous with religious enmity during the 1992-95 conflict that left 100,000 dead and displaced half the population.Muslim Bosniaks, Catholic Croats and Christian Orthodox Serbs fought a three-way war over the country’s independence after Yugoslavia fell apart. A U.S.-mediated peace agreement confirmed Bosnia’s independence but divided the once mixed country along ethnic lines.Nearly every step of Francis’ day was designed to show off the interfaith and interethnic harmony that had grown in the two decades since: Muslim carpenters crafted the wooden throne Francis sat on during Mass. A Catholic pigeon breeder provided the white pigeons that Bosnia’s three presidents and Francis set free in a sign of peace at the end of their meeting. And a Muslim-Christian Orthodox children’s choir from Srebrenica — scene of Europe’s worst massacre since World War II — serenaded Francis with a song about love at the end of his busy day.“We all need peace and to receive the pope’s message,” said Alma Mehmedic, a 55-year-old Muslim who waited for a glimpse of Francis outside the presidential palace. “I came today to give love and receive love.” Top Stories 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist “The pope cannot create jobs for us or improve the political situation in our country, but he can give us hope and strengthen our faith,” said Stipe Turalija, a 15-year-old Bosnian Croat.John Paul had tried to visit Sarajevo during the war, but the trip was called off for security reasons. His willingness to even consider a trip endeared him to a city that felt abandoned and betrayed by the world — sentiments of affection that have been projected onto his successor two decades later.___Nicole Winfield reported from Rome.___Follow Aida Cerkez at www.twitter.com/acerkez and Nicole Winfield at www.twitter.com/nwinfieldCopyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Pope Francis boards the airplane on the occasion of his trip to Sarajevo, Bosnia, at Rome’s Fiumicino International Airport, Saturday, June 6, 2015. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia) Comments Share New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall But reminders of the devastation of war and lingering tensions were close at hand: Before hearing of the testimonies of the priests and nuns, Francis’ motorcade passed by the open market where a mortar shell fired from the surrounding hills on Feb. 5, 1994 killed 68 people in one of the bloodiest single attacks of the war. After another shell landed on the market in 1995, NATO launched airstrikes against Bosnian Serb positions that brought the Serbs to the negotiating table.The area is still a market, but a wall painted red has tags with the names of the victims.“War never again!” Francis intoned in his homily in Sarajevo’s stadium, drawing applause from the crowd. He called on Bosnians to make peace every day — not just preach it — through their “actions, attitudes and acts of kindness, of fraternity, of dialogue, of mercy.”“Mir vama!” (Peace be with you!) Francis repeated again and again as the day wore on. “Make peace. Work for peace. All together, so that this can be a country of peace.”Despite the outward show of harmony, wounds still fester two decades after the war ended. Bosnia’s Christian Orthodox Serbs want a breakaway state; Muslim Bosniaks want a unified country; and Roman Catholic Croats want their own autonomous region. Catholics represent only about 15 percent of the population — down from more than 17 percent before the war. Muslim Bosniaks account for 40 percent and Orthodox Christian Serbs 31 percent, according to Vatican statistics. Sponsored Stories Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober In a speech to Bosnia’s three-member presidency, Francis called for Bosnians to oppose the “barbarity” of those who want to continue sowing division “as a pretext for further unspeakable violence.” Rather, he urged Bosnians to continue working for respectful coexistence through patient, trustful dialogue.“This will allow different voices to unite in creating a melody of sublime nobility and beauty, instead of the fanatical cries of hatred,” he said.The Serb chairman of Bosnia’s three-member presidency, Mladen Ivanic, welcomed the pontiff by saying Bosnia-Herzegovina is a country of contrasts where “every word echoes much stronger and longer than elsewhere.”“We believe that the times of misunderstandings, intolerance and division are behind us forever, that we have learned our lessons from the past and that new times are ahead of us, times of reason, reconciliation and cooperation,” he said.Security was tight as thousands of police officers stood guard along Francis’ motorcade route through the city, which was expecting an influx of an extra 100,000 people. Shops and cafes were closed and residents along the route were told not to open their windows or stand on balconies. But they lined the route in droves and Francis’ open-sided car ambled slowly by. SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) — Pope Francis heard about the horrors of Bosnia’s fratricidal war of the 1990s and its slow process of healing Saturday as he visited Sarajevo to urge Muslims, Orthodox and Catholics to put the “barbarity” of the past behind them and work together for a peaceful future.Thousands of cheering Bosnians gave Francis a joyous welcome, lining his motorcade route through the mostly Muslim city of 300,000. Another 65,000 people, most of them Catholics, packed the same Sarajevo stadium where St. John Paul II presided over an emotional post-war Mass of reconciliation in 1997.
Tiger Airways Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T Tiger Airways says last year’s fleet grounding down under and high fuel prices have affected its operations, with the airline posting a net loss of up to $104 million for the financial year ending March 2012.The Singaporean carrier reported the substantial deficit this week, a staggering contrast to net profits of $40 million for the previous year.Tiger claim the under-utilisation of its fleet in Australia during the imposed suspension, coupled with persistent fuel price hikes were the primary factors that determined the negative profit yields.“Clearly, the Tiger Airways Australia suspension by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority of Australia from 2 July 2011 to 11 August 2011 contributed significantly to the poor financial result,” Group chief executive Chin Yau Seng said.Mr Seng explained the airline had analysed the reasons behind the dramatic drop in revenue and has begun to take steps to amend poor business practices.“Following the suspension, Tiger Airways Australia conducted a thorough internal review of its processes and procedures, and has made major improvements,” he said. “These have included changes in its governance practices, organisational structure, management systems and approach in dealing with external stakeholders.”In looking to the future, the carrier was positive about bouncing back and eager to face the challenges accompanying this task.“The new financial year presents us with an opportunity to close the books on FY11-12 and focus on our growth strategies to pull the Group back into profitability,” Mr Seng added. “Fuel prices continue to hover at uncomfortably high levels and our challenge is to improve yields and boost ancillary revenue to compensate for the fuel cost impact.”In keeping with this strategy, Tiger have announced increased frequency on flights from Singapore to Kuching and Penang in Malaysia, and Haikou in China over the August holiday period.“With the increased frequencies to Kuching and Penang over the Hari Raya Puasa season, our customers will find it easier to make plans to celebrate and spend time with family and friends over the holiday season,” Tiger Airways Singapore managing director Stewart Adams said.Twice daily services to Penang will operate between 17 and 26 August, while flights to Haikou will jump from three per week to five for the entire month.
State Rep. Jack O’Malley, of Lake Ann, will meet with area residents during scheduled office hours later this month.“I want to make sure residents in all four of the counties in my district have their voices heard,” O’Malley said. “I encourage everyone to attend and share the issues that matter most to you!”This month, Rep. O’Malley will be splitting the office hours between himself and his legislative director, John Wells.Rep. O’Malley will be available on Friday, March 22 at the following times and locations:10 to 11 a.m. at the Leelanau County Government Center, 8527 E Government Center Drive in Suttons Bay; and12 to 1 p.m. at the Benzonia Township Offices, 1020 Michigan Ave. in Benzonia.John Wells will be available that same day at the following times and locations:10 to 11 a.m. at Manistee City Hall, 70 Maple St. in Manistee; and12 to 1 p.m. at Ludington City Hall, 400 S Harrison St. in Ludington.No appointments are necessary. Those who are unable to attend at the scheduled times but would like an opportunity to talk with Rep. O’Malley may call his office at (517) 373-0825 or email him at JackOMalley@house.mi.gov.### 13Mar O’Malley announces March in-district office hours Categories: O’Malley News
Share1TweetShareEmail1 Shares January 18, 2015; Daily BeastSince the beginning of his reign, Pope Francis has been somewhat different from his predecessors. For one, he got the job after Pope Benedict XVI voluntarily stepped down from the position, the first to do so since the early 1400s. And while we may now know about the papal power grabs that have taken place for centuries behind closed doors, we can see firsthand Pope Francis has charm and knows how to use it.What perhaps makes him even more charming is his softening, if not undefined, opinion of same-sex marriage. At the same time, the Vatican may also be opening up and acknowledging for the first time the not-so-subtle homosexuality present in the famous frescos adorning the walls of the historic Sistine Chapel, the principal watering hole for the High Renaissance, among other places in Vatican City.Quiiky, an LGBT-friendly travel group, is taking advantage of Pope Francis’s open-mindedness and orienting their guided tours through Vatican City around discussion of the masterpieces of Leonardo di Vinci and Michelangelo as seen through a gay lens—a lens through which they are often studied by art historians, given that the artists were gay. Church scholars have long denied these relations, even in the face of ample evidence that both artists were known to have had relationships with men.“[Visitors] discover new ways to look at [the] paintings and sculptures they [are] supposed to know well,” said the group’s CEO, Alessio Virgili. “Intelligent people like to look at the world from a new point of view. It is not [just] a question of homosexuality.”Indeed, in celebrating the work of these gay artists who created some of the most important art of their time and ours, Virgili also believes the tours may help young gay boys or men accept themselves.It is important to note that while Pope Francis has toed the line on same-sex couples, the Church has not come out and explicitly stated any formal change of their opinion of same-sex unions. In fact, they seemed to reaffirm their position only days ago. The Vatican has not shown any support for the tours either.The Church has certainly had a difficult history with homosexuality, and continues to do so. In an issue of Vanity Fair last year, writer Michael Joseph Gross identified cardinals, monks, and clergymen living in Rome with secret gay alternate lives. While popes in the past have notoriously been levied with allegations of adultery, some have also been accused of being homosexual, like John XII (955-964), Boniface VIII (1924-1303), and Paul II (1464-1471) and his successor, Sixtus IV (1471-1484). But nowhere is this thinly veiled relationship more evident than in the artwork of these great masters, a reflection of their own sins.“Michelangelo’s nudes are about a lot more than sex. But they make no sense without it,” says Jonathan Jones for the Guardian. “Of course they express his passion for male bodies; he left written evidence to confirm it.”The nudity that features in pretty much all of Michelangelo’s work on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, even in images depicting religious scenes, seems contrary to an environment that serves as the venue for papal elections and as the official residence of the Pope. While some of the most egregious nudes on Michelangelo’s frescos and statues were censored following his death, the question of why any of it is there at all still remains. In accepting Michelangelo’s genius, have they been rejecting the meaning of his frescos?As noted by Jones in his article, Michelangelo followed the neoplatonists concept of love, which sees love as a means to bring oneself closer to God. His writing and his art were expressions of that belief. It would seem an awful shame that the very images that expressed both Michelangelo’s love for man and God would be denounced and rejected while his art was still celebrated. Perhaps with these subtly changes in minds and attitudes, we will one day see not only the acceptance of LGBT equality, but also the slow acceptance of these artists’ true selves.—Shafaq HasanShare1TweetShareEmail1 Shares
Share3TweetShare1Email4 SharesNames of those who died due to gun violence this last year, in Michigan / Deb NystromDecember 14, 2016; Los Angeles TimesLast week marked the horrific four-year anniversary of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, where 26 people, including six staff members and 20 children, lost their lives in the most ghastly way. Since the shooting, loved ones of the victims, school staff, and the Newtown community have searched for ways to cope with their unimaginable grief. Four years later, family members of those killed, while still bearing the great burden of their loss, continue to turn their pain into action through the nonprofit Sandy Hook Promise.The organization, formed in the days following the shooting, aims to “prevent gun-related deaths due to crime, suicide and accidental discharge so that no other parent experiences the senseless, horrific loss of their child,” according to its mission statement. Through advocacy, community outreach, and educational program development the group hopes to change the way our nation views gun legislation and engages in gun violence prevention.In the organization’s most recent effort, it delivers via a now-viral PSA a shockingly powerful message on recognizing the signs of gun violence. The 2:28-long video, simply titled “Evan,” takes the viewer through a supposed love connection between two young students, all while another student, left in their shadows, displays an unsettling obsession with guns. Although woven throughout the video more subtly, other themes are apparent as well, like bullying, challenges in the classroom, and generally antisocial behavior. In addition to leaving the watcher feeling completely jolted and somewhat ashamed for not noticing the student in the background, the video concludes urging us all to “know the signs.”While the organization’s core purpose is to advocate for stronger gun control laws, its founders believe that in order to influence policy, you must first effect a change of heart and mind.“It’s about influencing attitudes and behaviors,” Mark Barden, co-founder of Sandy Hook Promise whose son Daniel was one of 20 first-graders killed, told the Los Angeles Times. “If you do that, the policies will follow.”Sandy Hook Promise aligns its strategy with those of other organizations that have successfully shifted attitudes toward certain societal issues, like drinking and driving and marriage equality, and in turn have helped gain big policy wins. Despite the impact gun-related violence has had on our nation (over 13,000 deaths caused by gun violence this year alone) the debate over whether to institute stricter gun laws remains a contested topic and one that will likely continue to face numerous hurdles during the upcoming Republican-led administration.The creative grassroots messaging created by Sandy Hook Promise is nothing short of compelling. But is it gripping enough to make important strides in influencing policy and shake up the way citizens think about gun violence and the prevention of it? Here’s hoping.—Lindsay WalkerShare3TweetShare1Email4 Shares
Share5Tweet13Share5Email23 SharesMaxPixel. Creative Commons 0. Public domain.October 15, 2017; San Francisco Chronicle (Associated Press) and the Connecticut Mirror.Although not in the national news as much as some states, Connecticut faces many challenges. These include the fact that the state has the nation’s largest income gap and the nation’s largest achievement gap. Yet another complication is a 2016 state Supreme Court ruling that found the state’s education funding system to be unconstitutional.Most states run on a July–June fiscal year. Passing budgets late is not unusual. For example, as of this past July 2nd, 11 states had not passed budgets. But today, Connecticut is the only state that has not enacted a budget. As such, it operates under the authority of a gubernatorial executive order, updated on August 18th to restore $40 million to services and programs provided by nonprofit organizations.The state missed a key deadline on October 1st, when the executive order zeroed out education funding for 85 school districts and significantly reduced aid to 54 districts. With no county governments, Connecticut’s structure forces its 169 self-governing cities and towns to compete for state aid to supplement property taxes. The continuing standoff has widespread implications as the state’s financial crisis worsens. For example, an approved state budget includes the funding Hartford needs to avoid bankruptcy in the coming weeks. As just reported by the Connecticut Mirror, the “budget fight threatens credit for a third of [Connecticut] municipalities.”Susan Haigh’s reporting for the Associated Press provided an update on the state budget process as of Sunday, October 15th.For the past week, Democratic and Republican legislative leaders have been holed up in the state Capitol, without Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, combing line-by-line through budget documents. They said they have been discussing ways to not only cover a projected $3.5 billion deficit in a roughly $40 billion two-year budget, but to make lasting fiscal changes in hopes of stopping what’s become a cycle of budget crises in one of the nation’s wealthiest states.On Monday, October 16th, Malloy offered his fourth budget proposal for the new biennium asking the state’s General Assembly to reduce tax increases by accepting even deeper cuts to town aid, education and social services. Malloy presented his first budget on February 8th, followed by revised two-year plans on May 15th and September 8th. Malloy continues to insist that the state meet its pension obligations, according to Haigh’s reporting.The governor, who expressed frustration Thursday over the slowness of the process, has warned that he’s willing to veto another budget, even a bipartisan one, if he believes it includes “gimmicks” to cover the red ink, such as reducing payments to state employee pension funds.NPQ reported several days after the Connecticut fiscal year began on July 1st on what nonprofits might expect with no state budget. Haigh provides an update on how the governor’s executive order reduced funding for “social service programs, such as day services to people with developmental disabilities and initiatives serving people leaving prison.”The Connecticut Mirror offers perhaps the best daily update on the budget process and the consequences of the impasse. Malloy’s signature prison reform “Second Chance Society” legislation is a national model for reducing penalties for drug possession and helping people charged with nonviolent crimes to apply for parole. Despite this exemplary commitment, the state’s Department of Correction lost 4.5 percent in this fiscal year’s first-quarter funding.Jeff Grant, the executive director of Family ReEntry, which helps inmates leaving prison and their families, said his agency escaped specific cuts this month but said its non-residential behavioral health programs were cut last year and services to former inmates are diminishing across the state.He said he has seen hundreds of former inmates, including himself, who were helped by mental health and addiction counselors as well as housing and employment placements provided by state-funded non-profits.“When I came out, I went to court-ordered drug and alcohol counseling, which I did do in state here. Thank god it was available for me,” Grant said. “With the opioid epidemic that’s going on now and the cutbacks of a lot of these services, there are a lot of sick and suffering people out there. I had an opioid addiction. I’m clean and sober 15 years this week actually, but I don’t know what would have happened without the programs.”As the state moves into its fourth month without a budget, the Connecticut Nonprofit Alliance provides tools and on its website homepage to help people urge the state’s 187 legislators to pass a budget soon that protects nonprofit programs and services.—Jim SchafferShare5Tweet13Share5Email23 Shares
The Viu OTT service has launched in India and Malaysia. The streaming service is run by PCCW and launched in the Hong Kong telco’s domestic Hong Kong market, and in Singapore, earlier this year.The Indian version of Viu will have international and Bollywood content and music videos, and has licensing deals with distributors including Sony, BBC Worldwide and CBS.There will also be an original local talkshow What the Duck, a ten episode cricket-themed series fronted by local celeb Vikram Sathaye.The basic Viu service is free, and there is also a premium version, which is ad-free and has a wider selection of content. Samsung mobile phone owners in India can access a free three-month trial of the service.In Malysia, Viu will offer Korean drama from major broadcasters SBS, KBS, MBC and CJ E&M, as well as Chinese, Bollywood, Tamil, Indonesian and Malaysian programmes.Janice Lee, managing director of PCCW Media Group said: “Viu has been very well-received in Hong Kong and Singapore and it consistently tops the charts in free app downloads.“The quick deployment and launch of Viu in Malaysia and India following hot on the heels of our Singapore launch in mid-January bears testament to our commitment to become the pre-eminent provider of mobile video entertainment service in Asia.”PCCW said an Indonesian launch for Viu is also in the offing.
Ericsson has announced plans to establish a new broadcast and media services facility in northwest England.The new operations will be housed at MediaCityUK in Salford, where the BBC and ITV each have offices and production facilities, and is expected to open in the first quarter of 2017.Ericsson said it will deliver playout and media management services for clients like the BBC from the new site – which strengthens its TV and media presence in the UK.“Every day people across the UK watch television programs prepared, managed and broadcast by Ericsson. TV and media remains a key priority for Ericsson and an important part of our ongoing growth strategy and this move really underlines our ongoing commitment to the industry and the UK,” said Ericsson’s head of broadcast and media services, Thorsten Sauer.“Our broadcast and media hubs in London and Salford will provide our clients with world-class facilities, ultimate resilience and leading edge technology both now and in the future, all delivered by our talented teams.”At the same time Ericsson extended its lease at Broadcast Centre, London and said that this will house a new creative studio and Ericsson’s creative agency Red Bee.
Polish pay TV outfit nc+ is likely to launch an OTT TV service this year – possibly before the summer – according to Polish press reports.According to Rzeczpospolita, citing nc+ president Manuel Rougeron, the OTT TV offering will focus on homegrown productions, including a second season of crime series Belfer.He said nc+ had no plans to collaborate with rival SVOD players such as Netflix and Showmax.Netflix last year moved to localize its service in Poland and has struck a partnership with service provider T-Mobile to allow the latter’s customers to pay for Netflix through their accounts. South Africa-based, Naspers-owned SVOD service Showmax announced that it was launching a service in Poland in February.Nc+ marketing chief Jacek Balicki has meanwhile told Polish press that the pay TV operator now has 366,000 customers for its nc+ Go TV Everywhere service, adding that the bulk of users were watching linear channels rather than on-demand content.Nc_+ ended last year with 2.12 million customers, flat year-on-year. Revenues amounted to €492 million.
Spanish public broadcaster RTVE plans to develop a DVB-T2 multiplex for 4K UHD content, building on an existing experimental mux to cover 80% of the country’s population from 2020.Pere Vila, director of innovation, technology and systems, RTVE, speaking at the MIPCOM event in Cannes, said that RTVE is operating an experimental DVB-T2 multiplex in a number of cities with 4K content available. He said the goal is to have a multiplex up and running in Spain’s main cities, covering about 80% of the population. This will hopefully kick off in 2020 to coincide with the second digital dividend associated with T2 migration, he said.French media regulator the CSA earlier this year unveiled details of a similar plan to take advantage of DVB-T2 migration in France, creating a new multi-city multiplex that could be used to launch UHD services.Vila said that RTVE is also making content available in 4K, with and without HDR, via HbbTV.RTVE is starting to convert its existing library of content shot in 35mm to 4K to preserve it for its archive, and is also preparing its storage facilities to handle 4K content. “We are changing the standards to store content in 4K,” he said.Vila said that a considerable amount of content had been shot in 35mm, both films and series. He said that the broadcaster wanted to convert an hour of content each week to 4K and to make it available via HbbTV.“It is important to preserve our content in the best format available,” he said.The broadcaster recently broadcast the Relevo Solemne de la Guardia Real – the changing of the guard at the Royal Palace in Madrid – in HDR via the Hispasat satellite position, which Vila said was one of the first HDR broadcasts in Europe.Vila said that RTVE also plans to produce a film about La Reina Sofia museum this year, along with films about Segovia, Salamanca and Santiago de Compostela, and other World heritage cities in Spain, and a performance of Parsifal, to be filmed in both HDR10 and Dolby HDR.
Former Twitter and BBC executive Dan Biddle is joining Facebook’s EMEA team as strategic partnerships manager for broadcast, production and film.Dan BiddleIn a Tweet, Biddle was he was “looking forward to working with the most creative people in media to made video as social and impactful as possible”.Biddle has most recently been working as head of brand social media for the UK at online food delivery outfit Deliveroo, having departed Twitter in February 2017.At Twitter, Biddle was director of strategic innovation at the time of his departure. He joined the company in 2012 as head of UK broadcast partnerships providing the main point of contact and support for UK broadcasters and producers making social content.He had previously worked as editorial lead for BBC Vision’s social media activities.The latest appointment comes after Facebook appointed the head of BuzzFeed Studio, Matthew Henick as had of global video content and planning.
Sky News has teamed up with AWS Elemental to use new cloud-based machine learning technology to enhance its coverage of the upcoming UK royal wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.Sky News will use machine learning and media services to name guests as they enter St. George’s Chapel, Windsor, and enrich the video content with facts about the attendees.Sky News is collaborating with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and two AWS technology partners, GrayMeta and UI Centric. As guests make their way into the chapel, AWS will capture live video and send it to cloud-based AWS Elemental Media Services for multiscreen viewing optimisation.An on-demand video asset, including catch-up functionality, will also be generated. In parallel, Sky is combining the GrayMeta data analysis platform with the Amazon Rekognition video and image analysis service for real-time identification of guests and tagging with related information.Sky News is using the Amazon CloudFront content delivery network to unify the content for distribution to viewers. UI Centric has designed and developed the front-end application and video player to enhance the experience and user interface accessed by Sky News viewers.Video content from the application will also be made available on-demand after the event.David Gibbs, Director of Digital News and Sports Products said: “Sky continuously searches for ways to innovate and bring better coverage to its customers. This new functionality allows Royal Wedding viewers greater insight into one of the biggest live events of the year, wherever they are. We’re excited by the software’s potential and ability to give audiences new ways of consuming content”.
BBC News is launching a weekly news programme on Facebook Watch.Set to launch later this year, Cut Through The Noise will be the social media platform’s first funded non-US news programme.It is to focus on a different issue each week and will be set in BBC News’ Washington bureau or elsewhere in the field.It is to use both vertical videos and the Facebook Live function.The partnership comes months after Facebook launched a news section on Watch, with shows such as CNN’s Anderson Cooper Full Circle, Fox News’ Fox News Update and ABC News’ On Location.Facebook Watch rolled out internationally last month, a year after it debuted in the US.The platform has reached 50 million viewers per month in the US, and the total time spent on the platform has increased by 14 times since the start of 2018, according to Fidji Simo, Facebook’s head of video.Jim Egan, chief exec of BBC Global News, said: “Social media is an important source of news and information for many Americans, so we are always looking for new ways of bringing our audiences high-quality, nonpartisan news coverage they can trust from around the world.”Campbell Brown, head of global news partnerships for Facebook, said: “Earlier this year we made a commitment to show news that is trustworthy, informative, and local on Facebook. As a part of that commitment, we are creating a dedicated section within Watch for news shows produced exclusively for Facebook by news publishers, and they will receive marketing support in News Feed.”
Barclays has doubled its subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) investment fund for UK TV producers to £200 million (€225 million), after reporting “exceptional demand”.BBC drama, Black Earth RisingBarclays Corporate Banking said that it has already paid out more than £100 million to production companies in the 18 months since its initial £100m fund has been active.To date it has backed projects including Drama Republic’s BBC and Netflix co-production Black Earth Rising, towards which Barclays contributed £17.5 million. It has also supported Lime Pictures’ teen drama, Free Rein, which is available on Netflix, and funded a series of Octonauts specials, the pre-school animation series from Silvergate Media.“We’re seeing more and more SVOD activity and an increasing need for tailored financing that meets the specific needs of both the production company and the subscription service,” said Lorraine Ruckstuhl, head of media at Barclays Corporate Banking.“With more SVOD platforms on the way and a growing focus on original content, demand is set to increase further and finance providers will have to keep innovating to meet changing funding requirements.”Barclays is offering a range of funding products to support UK TV production – from individual project-based loans, to receivable purchases and wider multi-project funding facilities for larger production companies.The initial £100m fund was launched in March 2017 to respond to the changes in how original programming is financed due to the rise of subscription services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.Barclays identified that payment from subscription services is often spread over a longer term than when content is delivered to a broadcaster. The idea of its fund was to help companies to borrow over a longer period, helping them develop more ideas and new programming, benefitting both producer and distributor.Drama Republic’s financial controller, Denis Wray, said: “Barclays understands the financial challenges associated with high-end drama production financed in large part by an SVOD licence.“For Black Earth Rising, the borrowing profile was steep and the repayment tail was longer than the UK industry was used to. As partners, Barclays are supportive of their producers, aware of the risks and challenges that we navigate on a daily basis, knowledgeable, ready to listen and available to help when required.”
Investing in original content can be a step-change for international channels. It can also help build local brand loyalty.Content strategies vary hugely between international pay-TV channel providers. The extent to which thematic channel providers plunge into the world of original production can depend on their audience reach and resources. For a number of high-profile content brands, original content is a key part of their proposition.“We’re fortunate to have access to a great amount of content produced by the BBC. But we also access content from indie producers and other UK networks,” says Dean Possenniskie, general manager and senior vice-president EMEA, BBC Worldwide. Despite this model, Possenniskie sees opportunities to develop some local content based on existing formats. “We see opportunities to produce local content, but we’ll be quite selective about formats and it’s very important we ensure the same level of quality as what’s being produced in the UK.”Original content is also key for music channel provider MTV. “It’s important to develop our own content – it’s a differentiator and ensures we retain rights across all platforms,” says Bhavneet Singh, managing director and executive vice-president, emerging markets, MTV Networks International. Key MTV-owned franchises including Pimp My Ride, SpongeBob SquarePants and The Daily Show are, says Singh, at the heart of its brands.According to Phil Lawrie, commercial director, Al Jazeera there’s been a significant shift to own-produced output in the last year for its documentary channel. “One of the upsides of this is that it gives us more wholly-owned product with which to develop our programme sales business,” he says.For some genres, such as news, original content is a sine qua non. “Our logic of production obeys the very nature of our media. France 24 is a strong alternative in the global environment of international news channels, with its own-produced magazines, reports and debates proposing a French perspective on world news, says Philippe Rouxel, vice-president, worldwide distribution, France 24. “Today more than three quarters of our programming consists of in-house production.”For channel providers that have based their business on acquired content, a move into original production is something to be treated with a certain amount of caution. “Own-produced content is something that Chello Zone has introduced in recent years, with the development of original content,” says Louise Cottrell, vice-president, affiliate sales, Chello Zone. Nevertheless, she says, Chello Zone continues primarily to acquire its programming and has also worked in partnership with programme producers.Local programmingWhile kids channels, for example, often rely on tried and tested shows with broad international appeal, local production is also felt to be important. “It is important to root yourself in local markets so that the channel is relevant to the target audience. At KidsCo, our strategy is to mix the very best programming from around the world with locally commissioned content,” says Paul Robinson, managing director of international kids channel KidsCo.It’s a similar story at A&E Television Networks. “Developing own-produced content is essential to our strategy – whether referring to our US channels or those in German-speaking Europe,” says Sean Cohan, senior vice-president, international.For Niall Curran, chief operating officer of Chello Zone’s parent company Chellomedia, the mix will vary with genre, with cooking and lifestyle channels typically having the highest proportion of own-produced content. “Even in a channel that might be 90% acquired content, having a local flavour going into the acquisition process and even a small proportion of local own-produced content can make for a different viewing experience,” he says.HBO Central Europe, with its strong regional focus, has some of the most ambitious plans for local content production. “In a world crammed with digital media, I do believe major brands are required to maintain exclusive content, be that own-produced or not,” says Linda Jensen, CEO. “We are lucky to have so much fantastic product produced by HBO in the US, and have increased our local product output in key markets to include stand-up comedy, documentary and co-productions.” HBO Central Europe is also moving into fiction production. “We do have some local fiction projects in their very early stages, and plan to produce tent-pole local productions – series, mini-series, sitcom – for our larger, core markets. Given central Europe’s numerous small nations, creating large volume for the small markets will be economically challenging, but we plan to jump in and see how it goes,” says Jensen.
Said Mr Eastwood: “Johnson has coasted into Downing street on a wave of Brexit bluff and bluster. “It won’t be long until he crashes into the rocky reality that the European Union will not sacrifice the interests of Ireland to appease a man who has lied and slandered its institutions in an effort to secure power.“All parties in the North must now set our combined efforts to resisting the impulse of this administration to drive off the Brexit cliff edge. “The fragile complexities of political and economic relationships across this island cannot be placed on the altar of British nativism. “Our struggle for peace and economic normalisation has been too long and too hard to be sacrificed for this,” added the Foyle MLA.Eastwood calls on parties to resist Johnson’s hard Brexit was last modified: July 23rd, 2019 by John2John2 Tags: SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood has said that the election of Boris Johnson as leader of the Conservative Party is a worrying step toward a hard no-deal Brexit and a hard border in Ireland.Johnson received 92,153 votes compared to Jeremy Hunt’s 46,656 votes from the Tory Party membership.He will be installed as British Minister tomorrow, Wednesday, July 24, following Theresa May’s last Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons. ShareTweet BORIS JOHNSONBREXITcolum eastwoodConservative Party leaderEastwood calls on parties to resist Johnson’s hard BrexitSDLP
FeaturedLocal NewsNewsWatchPolitical NewsState News Justice Calls for Special Session Relating to Removal of Supreme Court Justice(s) By Tyler BarkerJun 25, 2018, 17:44 pm 446 0 Facebook Mail CHARLESTON — Gov. Jim Justice issued a proclamation today calling for the West Virginia Legislature to convene in special session at 12 p.m. on Tuesday, June 26, 2018.The special session call allows the Legislature to consider matters relating to the removal of one or more Justices of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia, and legislation authorizing and appropriating the expenditure of public funds to pay the expenses for the Extraordinary Session.This comes after Supreme Court Justice Allen Loughry was arrested last week on multiple fraud charges.You can view the governor’s full proclamation below.https://governor.wv.gov/News/press-releases/2018/Documents/SKM_C654e18062517380.pdf Linkedin Home NewsWatch Featured Justice Calls for Special Session Relating to Removal of Supreme Court Justice(s) Tumblr Previous PostLocal Counties Receive Grant to Strengthen Economy Google+ Next PostEmergency Crews Dispatched to Single Vehicle Rollover Pinterest Twitter Tyler Barker Tyler Barker is currently the Interim News Director and Digital Content Manager for WOAY-TV. I was promoted to this job in Mid-November. I still will fill in on weather from time to time. Follow me on Facebook and Twitter @wxtylerb. Have any news tips or weather questions? Email me at email@example.com
“I couldn’t believe that was in the donation pile. I said, ‘I can’t donate that shirt. I have to make something,’” Grant recalled.Carli Grant said it took her a few hours to make a halter-style dress for Amelia, and after her husband saw the finished product, he suggested she start a business that offers to make sentimental clothing for others.In July, Josh Grant shared the story behind the dress with Reddit users — and they loved the idea. National NewsNewsWatch One mom made a dress for her daughter out of the shirt her husband wore the day she was born By Daniella HankeyAug 10, 2018, 04:51 am 486 0 Now, the Grants have launched their website, refashionedmemories.com. The venture is new, but Carli Grant said she’s received 10 orders thus far.Grant can make shirts, dresses and rompers for the kids out of garments once owned by other family members.Prices are originally $59.99 but the site has sales running periodically. Facebook Carli Grant, 25, said she started sewing clothing for her children while pregnant with her son, who is now 3 months old. When shopping at the fabric store became costly, she started using garments that her family wasn’t wearing anymore.And one day, she came across Josh’s black and red-checkered shirt. Linkedin Home NewsWatch National News One mom made a dress for her daughter out of the shirt her husband wore the day she was born Tumblr (ABC NEWS)- Through her custom clothing service, one New Hampshire mom is preserving memories in the most unique way — and it all started with her husband’s button-down shirt.Carli Grant launched Refashioned Memories a few weeks ago after she made an adorable dress for her 2-year-old daughter Amelia out of the shirt dad Josh Grant wore on the day the toddler was born.“[My husband’s shirt] is ingrained in my head only because I told him to pack his hospital bag and he refused so he wore that shirt for two days,” Grant told “Good Morning America.” Google+ Next PostTen-year-old Kyra putting smiles on faces in her community Pinterest Mail Previous PostExpectation to check work email after hours is hurting our health and relationships Twitter Daniella Hankey