AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Novomatic celebrates its 40th birthday in 2020. Over this time, it has grown from an Austrian business importing pinball machines from the US to a global operation with hundreds of thousands of gaming terminals and more than 30,000 staff. Novomatic AG chief executive Harald Neumann tells Robin Harrison how the business will ensure it stays relevant for another four decadesThe size and scale of Novomatic’s business today is staggering. The group has more than 255,000 gaming and video lottery terminals in operation worldwide, as well as a network of over 2,100 proprietary casinos and sports betting outlets, not to mention B2B and B2C igaming offerings. It has a presence in more than 50 countries and supplies its solutions to businesses in over 70 nations. It employs 30,000 people, including 3,200 in its native Austria, and sales totalled around €2.6bn in its 2018 financial year.It’s certainly impressive, considering it was founded by Professor Johann F. Graf, with 50,000 Austrian schillings and 12 employees, as a company that imported pinball machines from the US, and even more so when one considers it didn’t originally set out to be a gambling business.The growing interest in slot machines at the business, then called Novomatic Automatenhandels GmbH, led to the acquisition of UK slot machine manufacturer JPM.This saw Novomatic become a gaming company “in one fell swoop”, chief executive of the main holding and core company Novomatic AG Harald Neumann says. Not just a new competitor either; it became the second largest slot manufacturer in the industry.Slots may have been the starting point, but today it is active in every vertical, in just about every regulated market, both as an operator and as a supplier.Perfect storms This, however, brings with it new challenges. As a highly regulated and expansive business, it’s natural to assume that 2019 – a year in which the industry has been buffeted by regulatory headwinds – may have been a trying period for Novomatic. This appears to be the case, judging by its half-year results. For the six months ended 30 June 2019, Novomatic AG’s revenue was down slightly, though remains at a huge €1.26bn. However, its profit for the period dropped to €34.3m, of which €19.5m came from discontinued operations. Strip that out and net profit for the half-year was €14.7m. “The reporting period was affected by changing legal framework conditions in Novomatic’s core markets such as Germany and Italy,” Neumann explains.On the subject of regulatory headwinds, he points out that the gaming industry faces “a very dynamic regulatory environment”.“Providers are constantly required, due to continuous legal changes, in particular in the area of money-laundering prevention and protection of players and minors, to further develop their services and products and adjust to suit these changing framework conditions,” he says.However, despite the single European market fostering ever closer cooperation between its constituent nations, gaming remains the only segment for which regulations are yet to be harmonised.While Novomatic is a strong supporter of a harmonised regulatory framework, especially for online gaming, Neumann admits that this “currently appears unlikely”, noting the European Commission appears content to leave states to their own devices when it comes to games of chance.“It appears that individual member states will be granted even greater discretion to regulate the industry individually,” he notes.This can be a positive, depending on each member state’s approach to gambling. In Neumann’s eyes, Denmark, Sweden and – eventually – the Netherlands’ approach towards regulation provide the blueprint to follow.“These countries either already have strict regulations with what is in principle free market access to acquire online licences, or are planning to implement them.“Excessive regulation that does not conform with the market, unsuitable taxation or gradual tax increases, as seen in Italy or in Romania, can have negative effects,” he adds, however. “Experience clearly shows that excessive regulation, inappropriate taxation or total bans simply encourage illegal operations; operations which are not monitored and which provide no protection for players and minors.”This does create a certain challenge for Novomatic; with a presence in over 50 countries, not to mention B2B partnerships in more than 70, finding new markets that are regulated, and under viable terms, must be a challenge. Neumann says that “every product and service from Novomatic and its subsidiaries will always meet the legal requirements for the respective markets”.He does admit that finding new markets and business areas is a challenge, but the same that any company of a certain size and scale will face.For Novomatic to continue thriving, he says, it requires a clear legal framework with systematic and coherent regulation, as well as a transparent licensing process, all supported by effective layer protection measures.“In addition, measures for fighting crime, for example, consistent action against illegal gaming and prevention of money laundering, remain essential factors.”The R&D edge Yet it’s not all down to finding room to grow. It’s also having a steady flow of new products and services to roll out in these new – and existing – markets. “Research and development plays a central role at Novomatic and has done since its foundation,” Neumann says. “In the last three years alone, the group has invested €300m in this field.” It currently maintains 25 technology centres across 15 countries, and employs more than 1,200 staff focused on R&D. This goes beyond simply making new products, as far as developing security technology, such as biometric access systems, for its hardware. If you’re going to provide something to everyone, you have to be prepared to put in the work. The biometric technology was on display at ICE London, alongside new land-based casino and amusement with prizes products and systems, complemented by online gaming, sports betting and cash handling solutions.A key focus was linked progressive games, both standalone titles and multi-game editions, as well as new titles in the Concurve range, and expanded modular functionality built into its myACP casino management system.Its sports betting subsidiary, Novomatic Sports Betting Solutions (NSBS),also presented NovoPrime Sports, developed in partnership with Sportradar that was struck in February 2018. It’s hard not to see this roll-out as a sign that it has designs on a piece of the US sports betting market.The stand, as it is every year, was a dominant feature of the exhibition hall, built on over 5,000 square metres of floor space, featuring 350 gaming terminals and a 160 square metre LED wall, supported by 6km of copper wiring and 2km of fibreglass cables.It has to be, considering it brings together more than 20 subsidiaries from around the world. Novomatic is a business that has grown constantly, both organically and through M&A, and shows little sign of stopping.While Ainsworth Game Technology was perhaps the highest-profile deal of the past decade, its website lists 32 deals in total since 2010. This doesn’t include the establishment of new divisions and subsidiaries.Scale challenges To make so many disparate components work in harmony is certainly a challenge, and it’s perhaps not surprising that alongside the half-year results announcement Novomatic pledged to make the business more efficient going forward. This will be achieved through optimising internal processes and structures at an international level. “In doing so, the gaming technology group hopes to increase company efficiency and achieve strong synergies between the shareholdings,” Neumann explains. This will be aided by communication. Mindful of the growth of the business, and the fact that an entity of Novomatic’s size is “much more cumbersome” than a smaller operation, Neumann says there has been a particular focus on ensuring each division is aware of what others are doing or developing.As the business turns 40 in 2020, it also marks Neumann’s fifth year as CEO. While he joined an already sizeable business, he says recent expansion has seen it become “the undisputed number one” gaming technology business in Europe.“I am of course very proud of that,” he says, before running through a list of landmark deals and achievements under his stewardship.“The group has grown strongly through acquisitions, such as that of Ainsworth Game Technology, which has opened up new market opportunities for us in the USA.“In Germany, we have secured our market leadership with the acquisition of Casino Royal GmbH, while our subsidiaries ADMIRAL Sportwetten and Greentube are very well positioned in the areas of sports betting and online, mobile and social gaming.“Our corporate responsibility strategy has also undergone significant development in recent years. We hold several certifications and most recently we, together with some of our subsidiaries, were the first Austrian company to receive the international G4 player protection certification.” Perhaps what makes Novomatic stand out from its peers is that for a business of its size and scale, it’s somehow still particularly agile. While other businesses will have key priority areas or markets, it has managed to keep a sense of momentum going across multiple territories and verticals.The Sportradar partnership is a good example of this: while updates have been infrequent since it was struck in 2018, work has clearly been ongoing to present NovoPrime Sports at ICE.Evolution has served it well over the past four decades. While regulatory headwinds may have hit the business in 2019, as they did the wider industry, it’s unlikely that it will have the sort of long-term impact that could derail another company. That pinball importing business from Gumpoldskirchen looks well positioned to enjoy another 40 years at the top end of the industry. Novomatic celebrates its 40th birthday in 2020. Over this time, it has grown from an Austrian business importing pinball machines from the US to a global operation with hundreds of thousands of gaming terminals and more than 30,000 staff. Novomatic AG chief executive Harald Neumann tells Robin Harrison how the business will ensure it stays relevant for another four decades Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter 25th February 2020 | By Stephen Carter Tags: Online Gambling Slot Machines Email Address Interview: Pinball wizards Topics: Casino & games Finance Slots Casino & games
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Topics: Casino & games Tech & innovation ICE365 Content Series Land-based casino Down in the Lab: An R&D masterclass with Panasonic Hollywood As senior vice president and director of research and development at Panasonic Hollywood Labs, Martin has been responsible for creating experiences that take users on a ski trip, bring Mickey Mouse to life, and add new levels of interaction to attractions worldwide. 9th March 2021 | By contenteditor Email Address Regions: US Having worked on attractions such as Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and even taken Walt Disney World visitors inside an animated cartoon, he explains how this technology can be used for integrated resorts. ICE365 Content Series
Sunbird Tourism Limited (SUNBRD.mw) listed on the Malawi Stock Exchange under the Tourism sector has released it’s 2019 abridged results.For more information about Sunbird Tourism Limited (SUNBRD.mw) reports, abridged reports, interim earnings results and earnings presentations, visit the Sunbird Tourism Limited (SUNBRD.mw) company page on AfricanFinancials.Document: Sunbird Tourism Limited (SUNBRD.mw) 2019 abridged results.Company ProfileSunbird Tourism Limited is the largest hospitality chain in Malawi with seven hotels and resorts located in premier destinations, providing upmarket accommodation for business and leisure travellers. Sunbird Hotels also have meeting and conference facilities, catering for corporate and private functions. Sunbird Tourism Limited has four city hotels in three regions in Malawi, two lakeside resorts on Lake Malawi and a safari resort which is home to the Big 5. Hotels and resorts in its portfolio include Sunbird Capital Hotel, Sunbird Mount Soche, Sunbird Nkopola Lodge, Sunbird Mzuzu, Sunbird Livingstonia Beach, Sunbird Ku Chawe on the Zomba Plateau, Sunbird Lilongwe and Sunbird Thawale in the Majete Game Reserve. Restaurants and bars managed by Sunbird Tourism Limited include Vincent’s Restaurant and Bar, Picasso’s Brasserie and Grill and Pablo’s Lounge Bar. Sunbird Tourism Limited also operates a catering service division operating in three segments: airline, institutional and event catering. Sunbird Tourism Limited is listed on the Malawi Stock Exchange
“This Stock Could Be Like Buying Amazon in 1997” Click here to claim your copy now — and we’ll tell you the name of this Top US Share… free of charge! The FTSE 100’s market crash may dissuade some investors from seeking to obtain a passive income from large-cap dividend stocks. After all, dividends have been reduced by a wide range of businesses over the last few months. And their share prices have also come under severe pressure.However, with other income-producing assets, such as cash and bonds, offering exceptionally low returns, dividend stocks could be relatively appealing.5G is here – and shares of this ‘sleeping giant’ could be a great way for you to potentially profit!According to one leading industry firm, the 5G boom could create a global industry worth US$12.3 TRILLION out of thin air…And if you click here we’ll show you something that could be key to unlocking 5G’s full potential…By focusing your capital on a diverse range of financially-sound businesses with solid track records of dividend payments, you could obtain a growing passive income in the long run.Dividend track recordMany FTSE 100 companies may have solid track records when it comes to paying dividends over the last decade. After all, the world economy experienced a period of strong growth. That allowed many businesses to experience improving levels of profitability. As such, they were able to reward their shareholders through higher dividends.However, the economic outlook has drastically changed in a matter of months. Therefore, it may be a good idea to assess whether a company previously continued to pay dividends during more challenging economic periods, such as during the global financial crisis. This may be a more relevant period for investors today than recent years, since the prospects for the economy over the coming months could be challenging.Through buying those companies with a solid track record of paying dividends in a range of operating conditions, it may be possible to obtain a more resilient passive income.Financial strengthThe financial positions of FTSE 100 companies may also dictate how robust their dividends will be in the coming months. For example, stocks with large cash positions and easy access to further liquidity could be in a stronger position to maintain their dividend payouts. Even if their sales and profitability come under pressure.Therefore, buying companies with solid balance sheets could be a means of improving your passive income prospects. They may be less likely to cut their dividends. Even if they do reduce shareholder payouts, they may be in a stronger position to grow them as the wider economy recovers over the long run.FTSE 100 opportunitiesEven though there are now fewer FTSE 100 companies paying dividends than there were at the start of the year, spreading the risk across a wide range of stocks continues to be a sound move. It reduces your reliance on obtaining dividends from a small number of businesses that could lead to a sharp fall in your income should they experience financial difficulty.As the economy recovers, it’s likely to become easier to unearth attractive dividend shares. This should make diversification easier for income investors. It’s also likely to mean FTSE 100 shares have the potential to produce improving dividend prospects. And that would make them more attractive on a long-term view relative to other assets such as cash and bonds.As such, now could be the right time to buy a range of large-cap dividend shares. Image source: Getty Images. Peter Stephens has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. I’m sure you’ll agree that’s quite the statement from Motley Fool Co-Founder Tom Gardner.But since our US analyst team first recommended shares in this unique tech stock back in 2016, the value has soared.What’s more, we firmly believe there’s still plenty of upside in its future. In fact, even throughout the current coronavirus crisis, its performance has been beating Wall St expectations.And right now, we’re giving you a chance to discover exactly what has got our analysts all fired up about this niche industry phenomenon, in our FREE special report, A Top US Share From The Motley Fool. Peter Stephens | Friday, 12th June, 2020 Our 6 ‘Best Buys Now’ Shares Renowned stock-picker Mark Rogers and his analyst team at The Motley Fool UK have named 6 shares that they believe UK investors should consider buying NOW.So if you’re looking for more stock ideas to try and best position your portfolio today, then it might be a good day for you. Because we’re offering a full 33% off your first year of membership to our flagship share-tipping service, backed by our ‘no quibbles’ 30-day subscription fee refund guarantee. Enter Your Email Address Simply click below to discover how you can take advantage of this. 3 steps to make a passive income from FTSE 100 dividend stocks after the market crash I would like to receive emails from you about product information and offers from The Fool and its business partners. Each of these emails will provide a link to unsubscribe from future emails. More information about how The Fool collects, stores, and handles personal data is available in its Privacy Statement. See all posts by Peter Stephens
Simply click below to discover how you can take advantage of this. I would like to receive emails from you about product information and offers from The Fool and its business partners. Each of these emails will provide a link to unsubscribe from future emails. More information about how The Fool collects, stores, and handles personal data is available in its Privacy Statement. Image source: Getty Images Enter Your Email Address Matthew Dumigan | Saturday, 21st November, 2020 I’m sure you’ll agree that’s quite the statement from Motley Fool Co-Founder Tom Gardner.But since our US analyst team first recommended shares in this unique tech stock back in 2016, the value has soared.What’s more, we firmly believe there’s still plenty of upside in its future. In fact, even throughout the current coronavirus crisis, its performance has been beating Wall St expectations.And right now, we’re giving you a chance to discover exactly what has got our analysts all fired up about this niche industry phenomenon, in our FREE special report, A Top US Share From The Motley Fool. Renowned stock-picker Mark Rogers and his analyst team at The Motley Fool UK have named 6 shares that they believe UK investors should consider buying NOW.So if you’re looking for more stock ideas to try and best position your portfolio today, then it might be a good day for you. Because we’re offering a full 33% off your first year of membership to our flagship share-tipping service, backed by our ‘no quibbles’ 30-day subscription fee refund guarantee. Teresa Kersten, an employee of LinkedIn, a Microsoft subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Matthew Dumigan has a position in the Blue Whale Growth fund. The Motley Fool UK owns shares of and has recommended Mastercard, Microsoft, PayPal Holdings, and Visa and recommends the following options: long January 2021 $85 calls on Microsoft, short January 2021 $115 calls on Microsoft, and long January 2022 $75 calls on PayPal Holdings. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Our 6 ‘Best Buys Now’ Shares Click here to claim your copy now — and we’ll tell you the name of this Top US Share… free of charge! Best investments for 2020: Why I’m investing in Stephen Yiu’s Blue Whale Growth fund “This Stock Could Be Like Buying Amazon in 1997” Since its inception in September 2017, the LF Blue Whale Growth fund has delivered an eye-watering 67.1% return to investors. That figure represents an outperformance of the IA Global Sector by a whopping 43.1%.Such an impressive performance certainly warrants a closer inspection. In particular, for investors looking to maximise their potential returns through investing in a diverse range of funds and shares. As such, I’m going to take a closer look at the Blue Whale Growth fund, exploring the key reasons behind its bumper performance and whether it looks like it can be sustained.5G is here – and shares of this ‘sleeping giant’ could be a great way for you to potentially profit!According to one leading industry firm, the 5G boom could create a global industry worth US$12.3 TRILLION out of thin air…And if you click here we’ll show you something that could be key to unlocking 5G’s full potential…Aggressive growth strategyWith the support of four analysts, Stephen Yiu manages the Blue Whale Growth fund. Together, the team has constructed a global equity fund with a strong growth style bias. Yiu predominantly invests in US equities and in particular, companies within the tech sector. This explains the primary catalyst behind the fund’s exceptional performance.A range of recognisable names populate the fund’s top 10 holdings, with Microsoft being the largest (8.2% allocation). Furthermore, Yiu has allocated around 15% of the fund to Visa, Mastercard, and PayPal.That said, Yiu doesn’t shy away from adding value through picking up stocks trading at a discount. For example, medical equipment company Stryker was added to the portfolio earlier in the year after a major sell-off that left the company’s shares appearing undervalued.An optimal level of diversificationAlthough Blue Whale predominantly invests in tech companies, the fund’s holdings are amply diversified in my view. For example, Yui holds companies from the medical, financial services, and industrial support services sectors. After all, any further diversification away from software and computer services risks coming at the expense of lesser returns, considering the growth potential behind many of these firms.Furthermore, despite a heavy leaning towards the US in terms of geographical diversification, the fund contains several Dutch, French, and German companies. Ultimately, given the US’s huge market share, this seems an appropriate geographical spread for maximising potential returns in my eyes. Not to mention the dominance of the US tech sector.A look ahead to the futureInevitably, investors will be wondering whether Yiu’s success can continue moving forward. After all, we’re all aware of the risks that come with investing in active funds. Additionally, it’s vital to remember that past performance is never a guarantee of future returns.Nevertheless, I’m confident Yiu’s strategy could continue to deliver above-average capital growth for investors over the long term. What’s more, despite the fund being relatively new on the scene, Yiu carries 17 years of industry experience at a high level.Overall, despite the absence of a long track record, I think the Blue Whale Growth fund looks set to continue outperforming over the long run. In my view, that’s thanks to a combination of the fund’s long-term growth strategy and Yiu’s exceptional stock selection.Of course, with just 25 to 35 holdings in the fund, I’d be inclined to diversify further. As such, I think investing in a mixture of other funds and shares could compliment a portfolio containing an allocation to the Blue Whale Growth fund. See all posts by Matthew Dumigan
According to reports Down Under, McCaw is set to captain New Zealand against Samoa in his first ever Test in Apia, next week. Ofisa Treviranus has been named already as the man to skipper the Samoans in that contest.Try telling either of these men that captaincy is overrated. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Tunnel vision: Richie McCaw runs out for his 100th cap as captain According to very local legend, the Crusaders had a training session one day and during the warm-up McCaw got talking to a younger player. McCaw was telling the younger man that he should smarten up his social life, become a bit more sensible. Apparently the younger man laughed back, with something along the lines of “what, so I can be boring like you?”The story goes that McCaw stopped running alongside the younger player, turned, and headed for the stands. He sat there. Thinking of his next moce. Depending on who you ask, one of the other senior players seriously scalded the plucky youngster, while others suggest no one wanted say a thing, giving the gesture real impact. You imagine, true or false, that no one would have to say anything. The younger player was said to have shrunk back into himself, mortified.Putting in a shift: Ofisa Treviranus facing England in 2014Now, in the last few seasons it has become evident that, on the pitch, McCaw is not infallible. He has been penalised. He has been carded. He has had to shift shirt numbers so that others can get a game at No 7. However, for so many, with McCaw in his role as a captain, it is disgusting even to consider taking pops at him – particularly if he offers his time and guidance.Maybe there is not really a cult of the captain in rugby. Maybe it is only the leaders of the successful teams we remember. Certainly it is true that captains cannot lead the defence every time, and call all the lineouts and dictate back moves. But it is hard to believe that there is not a high level of respect rolled out for the battered pitch-bosses who barely squeek before and during a game, but who take on big decisions and a punishing calendar without any hint of fuss. There are those in rugby who believe the role of captain is a ceremonial post. There are those who believe the word demands a capital ‘C’. Some believe the loss of a good captain could derail the mightiest side. Others think most captains are easily replaced.Even last week England skipper Chris Robshaw answered a question on the role of captains by saying: “From the outside world you view it as management, captain, players, and it’s so much more than that. You have a number of leaders on the pitch who run the attack and defence, and who are just big characters in the squad who drive standards and lift the guys if something needs to be said. You have ten or 15 in the squad.”This sounds like even the on-field leader of one of the world’s top sides is happy to take a back-seat through many facets of decision-making with England. He goes on to explain that there are nuances of being a captain – listening to your team-mates is an underrated skill, he says – but also hints that you don’t need to be a great orator to lead well.It’s a point worth considering as we plummet towards the Rugby World Cup, tumbling ever nearer to that tangle of pointless rhetoric, hype and hashtags. Most of the time it can be the unsaid that is important.Calling the shots: Chris Robshaw during England’s World Cup preparationsMartin Johnson has often stated that captaincy was overrated, but then this is a man who his charges have described in hushed awe, telling tales of when he grabbed the scruffs of two opponents at the one time or when he simply looked back down the tunnel before the 2003 World Cup final and said nothing. It’s easy to say being captain is overrated when you’re doing it really well. Some captain have the charisma of a can of beans, but if we’re still talking about the other impressive captains 12 years later, it’s safe to assume they had something about them.Not many Kiwis would say the role of skipper is a waste of time. Not with Richie McCaw still clawing about a rugby field. This is a man who willed his foot not to fall off during an entire successful World Cup campaign; a man who could go down as the greatest All Black ever.Last year I was fortunate enough to tour New Zealand as England chugged through a three-Test series, and as I passed through Christchurch – and once I got over the arresting, lingering desolation of the city centre – I chatted to a few locals in the rugby community. There was a story that came up more than once. TAGS: Samoa
“COPY” Year: Lighting Consultant: Photographs “COPY” ArchDaily Save this picture!© Paul Warchol Photography+ 22 Share Photographer’s Loft / Desai Chia Architecture Photographer’s Loft / Desai Chia ArchitectureSave this projectSavePhotographer’s Loft / Desai Chia Architecture ShareFacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsappMailOrhttps://www.archdaily.com/781055/photographers-loft-desai-chia-architecture Clipboard United States Projects CopyLoft, Apartment Interiors•New York, United States General Contractor: CopyAbout this officeDesai Chia ArchitectureOfficeFollowProductWood#TagsProjectsBuilt ProjectsSelected ProjectsResidential ArchitectureHousingLoftInterior DesignResidential InteriorsApartment InteriorsNew YorkUnited StatesPublished on January 29, 2016Cite: “Photographer’s Loft / Desai Chia Architecture” 29 Jan 2016. ArchDaily. Accessed 11 Jun 2021.
Architects: Bennett Murada Architects Area Area of this architecture project 2019 Tamarama House / Bennett Murada ArchitectsSave this projectSaveTamarama House / Bennett Murada ArchitectsSave this picture!© Brett Boardman Photogrpahy+ 20Curated by Paula Pintos Share CopyHouses•Tamarama, Australia Australia Houses “COPY” “COPY” CopyAbout this officeBennett Murada ArchitectsOfficeFollowProductsWoodConcrete#TagsProjectsBuilt ProjectsSelected ProjectsResidential ArchitectureHousesTamaramaOn FacebookAustraliaPublished on October 08, 2019Cite: “Tamarama House / Bennett Murada Architects” 07 Oct 2019. ArchDaily. Accessed 10 Jun 2021.
The following article was published on March 27 in pagina12.com.ar. Translation by Michael Otto.Venezuelans leave the National Assembly building after the blackout yesterday. (PHOTO CREDIT: pagina12.com.ar)A power outage was recorded Monday afternoon, March 25, at 1:29 p.m. in sixteen states of Venezuela, including much of Caracas. The outage lasted about three hours. After electric service was restored, Communication Minister Jorge Rodriguez reported that it was a new act of sabotage as part of the destabilization plan against Venezuela.“We have been hit by a new attack on the transmission and power center of the National Electric System that aimed to disable the engines of the Simón Bolívar Hydroelectric Plant located in Guri, in the state of Guayana,” he said. By 7 o’clock in the afternoon, the necessary generation levels had been obtained to restore the service.When the situation appeared to have been stabilized, a new attack was registered at 9:47 p.m. on March 25 in the Guri’s transmission yard, “affecting the three autotransformers that comprise it and the essential cable that transmits the power,” Rodríguez said. The capital and a large part of the country were once again in darkness. About 10:45 a.m. on Tuesday, the first lights were back on in Caracas. By early morning the Minister of Communication had already informed the country that there would be a 24-hour suspension of school and work activities in the country and that several transport contingency plans had been activated, particularly in Caracas, which had been disrupted by a breakdown in subway service.The stoppage took place 18 days after the previous one, which lasted for several days. On that occasion, President Nicolás Maduro reported that there had been sabotage involving four kinds of attack: cyberassault, electromagnetic, fire, and an inside job, affecting both generation and transmission centers. The Russian government supported his explanation when its Ministry of Foreign Affairs affirmed that some of these attacks originated abroad. ‘Electric war’According to the government, this was the second major blackout caused by sabotage, which constitutes what Rodriguez has called “the Electric War.” In his Twitter account he showed images of the fire, the work to extinguish it and the exact place where it happened.This new episode comes after the denunciation made by Rodriguez, who announced last Saturday that part of the terrorist organization had been arrested and dismantled. He explained that leaders of the Popular Will party were in charge, with the participation of Juan Guaidó himself, along with foreign agents who raise money and support groups including mercenaries and paramilitary agents from Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. Part of their plan was to carry out actions such as attacks on the subway and sabotage.The power outages are part of the overall conspiracy that began in January with Guaidó’s naming himself interim president and those particularly after Feb. 23. At that time, the plans of rightwing and North American spokespeople who claimed they would get humanitarian aid into the country were frustrated. From then on, the difficulty they had maintaining expectations regarding Guaidó among his social base became visible. So too did their problem of advancing in a straight line toward foreign military intervention in Venezuela, as rightwing spokespeople had been predicting earlier.It was at that moment that the national power outages began, exposed as attacks under the umbrella of Washington’s openly and publicly sponsored agenda. The outages are seen as a means of exerting pressure in a scenario of chaos, exhaustion and economic distress, on the heels of the financial attacks that have intensified in recent days, particularly on various banks. According to Guaidó, this outage, like the previous one, was caused by lack of maintenance of the electrical infrastructure.The situation returned to normal in Caracas on Tuesday afternoon, March 26. The government has announced joint efforts by several institutions to stabilize the system throughout the country in the shortest time possible in order to avoid a chain of problems arising from the outage, such as a water shortage. During the previous power shutdown, the attacks followed one after the other and generated a vicious off-on-off cycle in numerous instances. This time, as before, the quiet response of the population focused on solving the problems caused by the lack of electricity. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare this
PalestineMiddle East – North Africa Receive email alerts PalestineMiddle East – North Africa News Organisation June 3, 2021 Find out more May 28, 2021 Find out more July 8, 2014 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Israeli army deliberately targeting news professionals Recent events On 5 July, a team from the Palestine Today TV station came under Israeli army fire while broadcasting live from the scene of confrontations in Al-Tur neighborhood in East Jerusalem. Journalist Ahmed Al-Budeiri was wounded in the shoulder and stomach. His cameraman, Ahmed Jaber was hit in the eye. Technician Walid Matar, suffered a head wound. Meanwhile, Ahmed Al-Khatib, a correspondent for the Hamas station, Al-Aqsa TV was arrested in Tulkarem. A few days earlier, on 2 July, a large number of journalists covering demonstrations at Shuafat, following the murder of a young Palestinian were wounded by fire from Israeli security forces.Tali Mayer, a photographer for the Activestills site and Walla News! was seriously wounded by a sponge-tipped bullet to the face. Her colleague, Oren Ziv, was hit in the arm. Help by sharing this information News Follow the news on Palestine to go further News Operation “Brother’s Keeper” and its consequences for Palestinian media (Sources: Union of Palestinian Radio and Television; Palestinian Center for Development & Media Freedom (MADA), an NGO specializing in defending the rights of Palestinian media.)On 22 June, Israeli security forces raided the offices of two printing companies in the city of Ramallah, Turbo Computers and Software Co. Ltd and Jeel Publishing Co. Ltd., which publish, respectively, the Palestinian cultural magazine This Week in Palestine and the monthly Filistin Ashabab. Seven computers were seized, dealing a serious blow to the printing of the two magazines. “During our 28-year history, we have had no affiliation with any political faction,” Turbo Computers CEO Sani Paul Meo said in a press release. “This Week in Palestine is a 15-year-old nonpolitical cultural publication.” He added, “We reserve the right to claim reparation for damages incurred and to consider legal action, both locally and internationally.”An Israeli military spokesman said that “propaganda and incitement materials linked to Hamas were being printed at this place.” At dawn on 22 June, the Israeli army searched the Bethlehem home of Sahib Al-Assa and his brother, Fadi. Both are correspondents for radio Bethlehem 2000. Sahib Al-Assa was taken to a military outpost at Beit Sahour and interrogated about his journalistic activities. He was released several hours later. His ID card and mobile phone, however, were confiscated.On the same day, Israeli troops descended on the offices of Palmedia in Ramallah. Digital files going back to the company’s founding in 2006 were confiscated, and professional equipment was destroyed. Offices rented by Russia Today were also affected. According to Russia Today, quoting an Israeli military spokesman, Palmedia was targeted “because it provides services to Al-Aqsa TV, which has propagandist and inflammatory content.” Palmedia management said that members of its staff, including photographer Amar Abideen, were subjected to a series of pressures in covering Operation “Brother’s Keeper” in Hebron. The company’s offices in East Jerusalem had been previously searched, in early June.On 18 June, the Israeli army searched the offices of the Transmedia company in Nablus, Ramallah and Hebron, confiscating all equipment – worth about $1 million dollars. The Israeli authorities then ordered the company shut down, on the grounds that Transmedia did TV production work for Al-Aqsa TV.On the 16 June, Israeli forces in Ramallah arrested Aziz Kayed, the chief executive of Al-Aqsa TV. According to the Union of Palestinian Radio and Television, Kayed was placed in “administrative detention” to last for six months.The same day, Yahia Habayeb, correspondent for Palestinian radio station Ajiyal, was violently arrested by Israeli troops in Hebron, in the southern West Bank. His mobile phones and recording equipment were deliberately destroyed. The journalist was freed five hours later.On 17 June, Abderrahman Younes, a photographer for the Al-Quds.com site was prevented from covering a traffic jam caused by the Israeli army at what is known as the “container checkpoint” in north Bethlehem. Israeli troops confiscated his camera and threatened him with imprisonment in case of a repeat offence. Israel now holding 13 Palestinian journalists RSF_en News Continuing confrontations in the Palestinian Territories and many cities in Israel are marked by Israeli authorities’ flouting of basic rights, including freedom of informationSince three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped on 12 June, and their bodies discovered 18 days later, the situation has deteriorated to dangerous levels. Hate messages demanding vengeance are flooding the web. Then, the body of a young Palestinian who had been burned alive was found in East Jerusalem.Israeli security forces have been combing the West Bank, arresting more than 600 Palestinians on grounds of suspected of links to Hamas. Human rights violations are taking place daily and information freedom is being disregarded.Reporters Without Borders condemns these attacks on information freedom. Many journalists have been targeted by the Israeli army. Others have been arrested arbitrarily. And security forces have been conducting raids on media offices. RWB urges the Israeli military to allow news professionals, whether Palestinian or foreign, to carry out their work freely and safely.In a report, “Palestinian Journalists Caught Between Three Sides”, RWB highlighted the double vice gripping information freedom in the Territories. The strongest pressure comes from Israel and its army, which doesn’t hesitate to arrest, even to kill, news professionals. WhatsApp blocks accounts of at least seven Gaza Strip journalists RSF asks ICC prosecutor to say whether Israeli airstrikes on media in Gaza constitute war crimes May 16, 2021 Find out more