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Giant cross rises in Pakistan home to a Christian minority

first_imgIn this photo taken on Monday, May 18, 2015, a Pakistani Christian couple look at large cross, under construction at a cemetery in Karachi, Pakistan. Towering over this violent port city in Pakistan, where Islamic militant attacks and gangland shootings remain common, is an uncommon sight in this Muslim-majority country: a 42-meter (140-foot) Christian cross. The cross, being built by a businessman who said the idea came to him in a dream, is rising as Christians in Pakistan often face discrimination. (AP Photo/Shakil Adil) New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Christians have faced mob violence in blasphemy cases, which often turn out to be false allegations over personal disputes. Under Pakistan’s harsh blasphemy laws, anyone accused of insulting Islam, the Prophet Muhammad or other religious Islamic figures can be sentenced to death.Christians also face extremist attacks. A Taliban suicide attack outside two churches in Lahore in March killed 15 people during services. In 2013, another Taliban suicide attack killed over 80 people at the All Saints Church in Peshawar.The persecution has forced some Christians to flee, though some remain, like businessman Parvez Henry Gill. Gill said he had a dream some two years ago in which God told him to do something for his community.“I want to show the world the Christian community in Pakistan has religious freedom,” he said.Gill said some people have criticized the cross, but “I leave that to God.”Likely to be completed in a few months, the cross stands at the entrance of a Christian cemetery in the center of Karachi. The cemetery, built under British rule, is nearly 200 years old and its administrators will take care of the cross once it’s constructed.The construction of the cross came as a surprise to many living around it, neighbor Adnan Ali said. But Bishop Sadiq Danial of Church of Pakistan, an Episcopal church, said he offered to demolish the cross if it becomes too divisive, though he doubted it would come to pass. Men’s health affects baby’s health too “We spread peace,” he said.___Associated Press writer Asif Shahzad in Islamabad contributed to this report.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) — Now towering over this violent port city in Pakistan, where Islamic militant attacks and gangland shootings remain common, is an uncommon sight in this Muslim-majority country: a 42-meter (140-foot) Christian cross.The cross, being built by a businessman who said the idea came to him in a dream, is rising as Christians here often face discrimination. A tiny minority of Pakistan’s 180 million people are Christians who eke out livings in menial jobs like garbage collection. How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvementcenter_img Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean Top Stories Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facilitylast_img read more

G Adventures embeds travellers into Local Living

first_imgIn the spirit of “freedom” and grand changes, G Adventures has introduced a new brand program, Local Living to offer travellers “authentic product and life-changing experiences”.As part of the Group’s new 2012 line-up unveiled this week, G Adventures New Zealand and Australia head honcho Pete Rawley explained the new tour style was designed based on feedback from the company’s travellers and meets growing demand from holiday-makers to blend into the visiting country.  With up to 120 new trips introduced to the tour company’s 2012 portfolio, Local Living is available on G Adventure’s Amalfi Coast, Tuscany, Patagonia and Guatemala trips and builds on the idea of a homestay vacation which sees travellers embedded into the local life by staying in one place and actively exploring the region.“We’re very pleased to introduce a range of innovations into our tour programme for 2012, featuring industry-leading experiences which very few or no other tour operators offer,” Mr Rawley said. The tour operator has also stretched its arm into the accommodation sector, introducing G Lodge Amazon, an environmentally stay located in Tambopata National Reserve in Peru.Verified by the Rainforest Alliance, the lodge is equipped to use solar heat, rechargeable flashlights, meals prepared by local ingrediants while offering comfort through its bungalows, private terraces, en suite bathrooms and 24-hour hot water.“The lodge allows travellers to extend their experience by allowing them to eat, sleep and dream within the park itself,” the company said in a statement.Earlier this year G Adventures announced it would also be making its way into North America for the first time in its 21 year history.Tours through the US include overland road trips, standard hotel touring as well as active escapes. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more

Homebuyers Prefer New Homes But Not New Prices

first_img Demand New Home Prices New Home Sales Trulia 2014-05-06 Tory Barringer If price were no object, approximately two in five Americans say they would choose a newly built home over an existing model, demonstrating there is still some interest in a challenged segment of the market.In a survey of more than 2,000 adults, Trulia found an estimated 41 percent “would strongly or somewhat prefer” to buy a new single-family home over an existing one, assuming the prices were equal. Just more than one in five respondents—21 percent—said they would prefer an existing home, while 38 percent expressed no preference.Of course, while the survey set prices on a level field to gauge interest, that’s very rarely the case, as Trulia points out. According to the company’s calculations, new homes built in 2013 or 2014 tend to be priced 20 percent higher than older homes of comparable size and location—a price fewer than half of the “new home” crowd say they’re willing to pay.“Most people who say they strongly prefer a new home aren’t willing to pay the premium,” said Trulia chief economist Jed Kolko, adding that many parts of the country are still dragging in single-family construction. “Still, as the housing market recovers, new homes will be a growing share of the national market.”Whether that forecast plays out remains to be seen, though the latest data from March—in which sales of new homes fell 14.5 percent month-over-month, partly from lack of inventory in some areas—is discouraging.For home shoppers willing to dish out for the added cost, Texas and the Carolinas are the best places are the top spots to search. Using Census permit data from 2013 and adjusting for market size, Raleigh, North Carolina, rules as the top housing market for single-family construction, with Houston, Texas; Charleston, South Carolina; Austin, Texas; and Charlotte, North Carolina-South Carolina following.On the other hand, homebuilding remains weak in some of the country’s biggest cities, including New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, where the majority of new construction is on the multi-unit side.Asked about their reasons for preferring the new over the old, 59 percent of Americans said they want their home to come pre-equipped with modern features, including bigger closets, a kitchen island, and walls pre-wired for flat-screen televisions, among other amenities.The second most commonly cited reason for wanting a new home was the ability to customize it in the construction stage (56 percent), followed closely by respondents’ desire to avoid costs of maintenance and repairs.And those who would take an existing home over a new one? Said Kolko, “Fewer people prefer existing homes, but those who do point to traditional features and living in a more established neighborhood. For many people, the best of all worlds might be a newly built home in an older neighborhood.” in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Headlines, News Homebuyers Prefer New Homes (But Not New Prices)center_img May 6, 2014 492 Views Sharelast_img read more

The Cardinals hope Arians teachings rubbed off on

first_imgThe Cardinals hope Arians’ teachings rubbed off on Leftwich. The early returns looked promising in a 18-15 win over the San Francisco 49ers heading into the bye with running back David Johnson tallying 100 yards from scrimmage and Fitzgerald breaking out for the first time in 2018, catching eight balls for 102 yards, a touchdown and a two-point conversion.Leftwich has had two weeks since his midseason debut as offensive coordinator to tweak the offense to his liking.He’s been careful to balance any changes with keeping his players in a comfortable spot.“I’ll be the guy that’s suffering right now until we can get it all — don’t let the team suffer,” he said. “Just put these guys in position. I’ll be fine. I’ve had time to get certain things the way I would like it. There’s still a lot more (to do). I just can’t go cold-turkey on these guys and just completely switch up.”Asked what Arians texted Leftwich after the offensive coordinator’s team scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns for a rally and win over San Francisco two weeks ago, Leftwich smiled.“Can’t say it on TV. He hasn’t changed from that standpoint, guys,” Leftwich said. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo The former coach’s ghostliness has been hanging around the walls of Arizona’s Tempe training facility since he retired following the end of 2017.Well, if ghosts could text.“He texted me as soon as he knew he had the game,” said Cardinals offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich, who is set to call his second game in front of the man he credits for bringing him into the coaching ranks two seasons ago.Related LinksWeek 10 NFL injury report: Arizona Cardinals at Kansas City ChiefsPFF grades Cardinals’ Josh Rosen 27th among starting quarterbacksBehind Enemy Lines: Cardinals prep for Chiefs’ offensive buzzsawRosen has task of keeping Cardinals on pace with Mahomes-led Chiefs“We talk all the time. It’ll be good to see him — I haven’t seen him in a while. It’d be good to give him a hug, just to see him and talk to him in person.”Larry Fitzgerald is of course another key figure who — even if he’s not thinking about it — can cross a milestone in front of Arians Sunday against the Chiefs.He’s 33 receiving yards away from surpassing Terrell Owens’ 15,934 career yards for second on the NFL’s all-time list.“I talk to him at least once a week,” Fitzgerald said of Arians. “Obviously when you’ve done what he did here, 50 wins over five years, he developed some strong relationships with guys and, you know, he was great to work for.” Top Stories (AP Photos) NOT LETTING IT GOThe Cardinals have let Patrick Peterson’s trade request heading into the San Francisco game go.Word leaked of the star cornerback’s push to find a way out of Arizona before the trade deadline on the Monday before a Week 8 battle, but Peterson released a statement two days later to reaffirm his commitment to the team.It’s clear Peterson’s teammates have accepted him with open arms since the chaotic week, and it’s shown by how they’ve treated him.After Peterson interrupted Fitzgerald’s media scrum on Thursday, the receiver finished answering a question and then fired back at his teammate and golf partner.“Pat, what’d you say? You wanted to be traded? I didn’t hear what you said over there,” Fitzgerald yelled. “Oh, OK, I thought that’s what I heard. It’s not Tuesday though.” Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling TEMPE, Ariz. — Quarterback Josh Rosen spent the bye week celebrating Halloween for the first time he can remember.This weekend in Arizona’s visit to Kansas City, the rookie quarterback will get to meet a man he dubbed two weeks ago as a “ghostly legend.” Rosen will meet the living, breathing and, quite possibly, cursing coach in person during production meetings.Arians will call the Cardinals-Chiefs game for CBS on Sunday, and it’ll be his first time sitting down to watch his former team live since retiring since the end of last season. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires 7 Comments   Share   last_img read more

Go back to the enewsletter After its maiden voy

first_imgGo back to the e-newsletter >After its maiden voyage through the Seychelles, Crystal Yacht Cruises’ Crystal Esprit will spend the spring, summer and Autumn of 2016 cruising  the Adriatic Coast’s most coveted locales. Each of the seven-day voyages aboard the 62-guest yacht can be combined with the following to create expanded vacations without repeating ports. From the end of March through October of 2016, more than 30 itineraries will cruise to destinations, many of which are only accessible by smaller vessels.“Crystal Esprit’s Mediterranean and Adriatic Coast voyages reflect the yacht itself – sailing in a region that has long been beloved by Crystal guests and travelers the world over, but also exploring destinations in an entirely new way,” says Crystal president and CEO, Edie Rodriguez. “These itineraries perfectly blend some of Western Europe’s most famously bustling cities with other, more remote and quaint spots.”Piran, Slovenia: Set at the very tip of the Slovenian peninsula, Crystal guests can enjoy the bounty of natural adventures and meandering walkways between seafood restaurants.Kotor, Montenegro: A tradition-rich town that blends imposing walled fortresses with welcoming piazzas. Set at the base of a dramatically sloped mountain, Kotor is loved by history buffs and travellers with a taste for striking architecture and rich cuisine. The spectacular Kotor Fjord that surrounds the destination is, in itself, a “must see” for travellers.Limassol, Cyprus: Truly a playground for virtually every type of traveller, with its storied past (look for Byzantine castles, Venetian walls and conflicting Greek and Turkish influences); outdoor escapes (with rugged landscapes that beckon hikers and explorers and waters that scuba divers find irresistible); and a vast menu of foods that reflect the many cultural influences on the island.Kaş, Turkey: Where divers will find more than exotic sea life, but also centuries-old shipwrecks to explore in the famously inviting waters. Besides the plethora of outdoor adventures for which Kaş is ideal, the town is also populated with ancient walls, theatres and rock tombs that help tell its fabled history.All-inclusive cruise fares for Crystal Esprit’s Mediterranean/Adriatic Coast voyages start at $3,920 when booked by 30 October.Go back to the e-newsletter >last_img read more

EU calls on Cyprus to transpose outstanding directives

first_imgThe European Commission called on Cyprus on Thursday to take steps to adopt measures and directives concerning among others the automatic exchange of tax rulings between EU authorities.In total, Cyprus received five reasoned opinions, giving it two months to fulfil its obligations to transpose measures on marketing standards for certain milk products, the rules on radio equipment, the Maritime Spatial Planning Directive, the new transparency rules for the exchange of tax rulings and to implement the Directive on antitrust damages actions.The Commission can start an infringement procedure against a member-state to make it comply with EU law.Reasoned opinions are the second stage of the infringements procedure, before the cases are referred to the Court of Justice, whose judgment is binding. In the first stage of the procedure, the Commission sends the member-state a letter of formal notice inviting it to submit its observations within two months. If the member-state fails to respond or it its observations fail to persuade the Commission, the latter may issue a reasoned opinion, providing an additional two-month period to comply.The five reasoned letters Cyprus received, are part of the Commission’s monthly package of infringement decisions.According to the latest annual report on monitoring the application of EU law, Cyprus, along with Belgium topped last year the list of member-states that delay in giving force to directives.“Failure to correctly apply EU law denies citizens and businesses the rights and the benefits they enjoy under European law,” the report said. It added that it was crucial that member states transpose European directives into their national legal order within the deadlines they committed to.At the end of 2016 Cyprus had 68 infringement cases open, 48 of which concern late transposition and the rest concern incorrect transposition and/or bad application of EU laws. In 2015 Cyprus had 47 infringement cases open, and 41 in 2014.The late transposition infringement cases against Cyprus concern the following policy areas: financial stability, financial services and capital, health and food safety, internal market, industry, entrepreneurship and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and other areas concerning migration and home affairs, employment, and communication networks.You May LikeFigLeaf Beta AppHow to Become Fully Anonymous Online in Less Than 3 Minutes? Better safe than sorryFigLeaf Beta AppUndoCity BeautyDo This To Fix Sagging Jowls Without SurgeryCity BeautyUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

Hotels have been built on 133 Greek Cypriot plots in north

first_imgAfter the 1974 Turkish invasion, hotels were built on 133 plots of land belonging to Greek Cypriots, according to Ayfer Erkmen, the chairman of the immovable property commission (IPC) in the north, Turkish Cypriot media reported on Wednesday.During the same period, 33 hotels were built on Turkish Cypriot land, Star Kibris reported.The IPC was set up a ‘domestic remedy’ to resolve cases involving Greek Cypriots claiming their property through the European Court of Human Rights but has proven to be largely ineffective even though a number of people have been given their property back or been compensated.Of the 133 hotels, Erkmen said: “The users should purchase the land of these hotels the soonest. An investment was made here. These investors must become owners of the property through the IPC.”Asked about Nikolas Skourides, a Greek Cypriot from Lapithos who has been given back his land and is attempting to build a house despite a number of obstacles, Erkmen said: “Our 67/2005 law says return, exchange and compensation. This is a 78-year-old man. He said he was born in Larnakas tis Lapithou and wants to die there. We investigated, we asked our security forces. We were told that there is no problem.”Erkmen said the IPC could not always compensate – it has run out of money – “we must give restitution as well”.“Some very wrong things are being said. It is even alleged that this man will blow up the village. There is no such thing. One person will come and live among one thousand persons. Moreover, he will do this with our laws and we are afraid of this?” he added.Referring to the work of the IPC, Erkmen said 201 cases had been concluded but payments had been halted, 11 property restitutions had been granted, three of which were full returns. There were also partial returns, and seven cases to be given restitution in full after a solution.Erkmen said the IPC has put some proposals to Turkey to strengthen it such as taxing those using Greek Cypriot properties to help fund the IPC.  You May LikeHousediverThis Simple Eating Trick Can Help Unblock ArteriesHousediverUndoDirectExposeYou Should Check Your Basement As Well! Family Wanted To Remodel Their Basement But Instead Made A Huge DiscoveryDirectExposeUndoyourselectednews.comDiscover the amazing benefits of eating watermelonyourselectednews.comUndo Licences for ENI and Total to explore block sevenUndoNew York state decriminalizes pot, stops short of Cuomo’s legalisation callUndoData is the new oil so watch out for mass mining – Netflix filmUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

Rep Runestad sponsors event giving foster kids a chance to tell their

first_img Categories: Runestad News,Runestad Photos 27Jan Rep. Runestad sponsors event giving foster kids a chance to tell their story State Rep. Jim Runestad helped sponsor Oakland County’s second annual KidSpeak event in Pontiac on Monday, Jan. 26. The event gives a voice to area youth in the foster care system.Rep. Jim Runestad, far right attended the second annual KidSpeak event in Oakland County on Monday, Jan. 26 with from left: Rep. Jim Tedder, R-Clarkston with Sheila Brown, Michigan Youth Opportunities Initiative, DHS; Khadija Fobbs, Michigan Youth Opportunities Initiative, DHS; Rep. Leslie Love, D-Detroit; Cherish Thomas, former foster youth/youth speaker; Sen. Dave Robertson, R-Grand Blanc.“As a foster parent, I have seen what these kids go through and I am honored to help give them an opportunity to share their experiences,” said Runestad, R-White Lake Township. “The best way to improve the foster care system is to hear from the people who know it the best-the kids who spent years moving through it. As I begin my time in the Legislature, my goal is to take what these kids say to heart and try and work on policy that will improve what is a difficult time in these kids’ lives.”KidSpeak is a signature event organized by the Voices for Michigan’s Children. Youth speakers provide testimony about their experiences, concerns and successes as they navigate their movement into adulthood. The event also gave state and local officials the opportunity to learn from the youth impacted by the foster care system, so that their decisions could lead to stronger, more efficient and more effective policy and practices.last_img read more

Pettalia MEDC working together for the City of Alpena

first_img Community incentive to help develop new downtown hotelState Rep. Peter Pettalia is working with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) to help bring new economic opportunities to the City of Alpena to construct a 90-room, four-story hotel on a vacant lot downtown.“This new development will be a beneficial asset in our community,” said Pettalia, R-Presque Isle. “Building a new hotel will not only promote tourism in our beautiful northeast region of Michigan, but it will also generate a great deal of commerce for local businesses that employ our friends, family and neighbors.”More than $1.2 million is being sought through the Alpena Authority for Brownfield Redevelopment to prepare the site and improve existing infrastructure. The MEDC projects the proposal will generate a total capital investment of $8 million and create 15 full-time jobs.“Support from organizations like the MEDC is tremendously helpful,” Pettalia said. “It’s participation can help us create jobs, reinvest in our local communities and create a healthier Michigan economy for ourselves and future Michiganders.”The MEDC regularly aids local community development projects such as this, advocating for business growth, career creation and opportunities to foster Michigan’s economic improvement. Categories: News 28Jan Pettalia, MEDC working together for the City of Alpenalast_img read more

Rep Hank Vaupel announces reoccurring office hours schedule

first_img State Rep. Hank Vaupel today announced that office hours will now take place on the third Friday of every month at the following times and locations:Gregory: 1 to 2 p.m. at Alma’s Sweets and Eats, located at 144 Main St.Fowlerville: 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. at Fowlerville Farms, located at 941 S. Grand Ave.Hartland: 4 to 5 p.m. at Kahuna Coffee located at 1836 Old U.S. Highway 23Howell: 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at All Star Coney Island located at 934 S. Michigan Ave.This month’s meeting will be held on Sept. 18. Rep. Vaupel says all residents are welcome and no appointments are necessary.“It’s great for me to get some face time with people across our community,” he said. “I welcome all questions, concerns and ideas that anyone might have.”Those who would like to ask questions or share ideas, but are unable to attend office hours, are invited to contact his office by phone at 517-373-8835 or by email at HankVaupel@house.mi.gov.### Categories: Vaupel News 27Aug Rep. Hank Vaupel announces reoccurring office hours schedulelast_img read more

MSF approves incentive for business expansion in Comstock Township

first_img14Dec MSF approves incentive for business expansion in Comstock Township Categories: Maturen News Rep. Maturen: Sigma Machine investing $27.8 million, creating 58 jobsState Rep. David Maturen today announced the Michigan Strategic Fund’s approval of an incentive to support a business expansion project in Comstock Township that will create jobs.Sigma Machine Inc., a family-owned business specializing in aluminum and stainless steel machining, plans to expand its current facility in Comstock Township, investing $27.8 million and creating 58 jobs. As a result, the company has been awarded a $350,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant.“I’m pleased to hear that Sigma Machine has chosen to expand and make such a significant investment here in Kalamazoo County rather than moving out of state,” said Rep. Maturen, R-Vicksburg. “The business development grant program gives Michigan a competitive advantage over other states, and paved the way for new, sustainable jobs in our community.”###last_img read more

Sexual Assault Victim Not Privileged Status at Bob Jones University

first_imgShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesJune 18, 2014; Al JazeeraAmid the national controversy around columnist George Will’s view that women who have been sexually assaulted on college campuses occupy “a coveted status that confers privileges,” there is a specific story of one university with an apparently reprehensible policy regarding the treatment of victims of rape.Bob Jones University in South Carolina lost its nonprofit tax status in a 1983 Supreme Court decision in which the Court decided that the university’s virulent racist policies were incompatible with compelling government public policy and could override the school’s belief that the First Amendment protected its racism. Would the IRS have acted similarly had it known of BJU’s treatment of women at the school who report themselves as victims of rape?Al Jazeera’s impressive America Tonight program has aired a two-part show on BJU’s approach to the issue of sexual assault on campus. It tells of a woman who, after being raped by her supervisor at a summer job, reported the incident to the dean of students. As the young woman recounts the story, here is what the dean said:“He goes, ‘Well, there’s always a sin under other sin. There’s a root sin,’” she recalled. “And he said, ‘We have to find the sin in your life that caused your rape.’”The Al Jazeera story covers the allegations of that young woman and others who described at BJU a “culture that heaped on shamed and pushed them to silence…[in which] they were told that their sins had brought on their rapes, that their trauma meant they were fighting God and that healing came from forgiving their rapists.” The details in the story address not only the incidents of sexual abuse, but the trauma (not privilege, Mr. Will!) endured by the victims and the religious counseling offered by the school’s staff, focusing on getting the victims to forgive the rapists and to convince them to remove from their thinking the thoughts that made them unhappy, depressed, in cases, suicidal.Although some observers, like Will, think that the definitions of sexual abuse on campus are too loose, the frequency of rape much less than reported, and the consequences much more mixed than one might think, even BJU has figured out that something is wrong with its particular responses to incidents of sexual abuse. The school has invited Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment (GRACE) to investigate how BJU has handled sexual abuse complaints. GRACE’s director, Boz Tchividian, himself a professor at the religious Liberty University and a grandson of evangelist Billy Graham, suggests that the sexual abuse problem in Protestant world could be worse than in the Catholic Church. GRACE’s objective is to get institutions like BJU to demonstrate “authentic repentance.”It looks like BJU has some ways to go. Earlier this year, the university had kicked GRACE off campus and terminated its investigation, only to reverse course and invite GRACE back a month later. BJU’s position, however, is that it invited GRACE in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal at Penn State University, not in response to allegations of sexual abuse at Bob Jones itself. Let’s see what the formerly nonprofit Bob Jones University does with the upcoming report from GRACE. Will the school acknowledge its role in making policies that exacerbate and prolong the trauma of rape for the victims?—Rick CohenShareTweetShareEmail0 Shareslast_img read more

Liberty Interactiveowned shopping TV firm QVC has

first_imgLiberty Interactive-owned shopping TV firm QVC has promoted QVC Italy’s chief merchandising officer, Gregg Bertoni, to CEO of QVC Italy.Bertoni first joined QVC US in 1995, transferring to QVC UK in 2002 before moving over to QVC Italy.He starts his new role effective January 1, 2014 and succeeds Steve Hofmann, who has been holding the dual roles of CEO of QVC Italy and CEO of QVC Europe since May 2012.“QVC Italy is rapidly moving beyond start-up phase with consistently high revenue growth, customer loyalty and repeat purchase rates. Gregg has been instrumental in driving this strong performance and has the right experience and track record to further build the organisation and lead QVC Italy into its next stage of growth,” said Hofmann.last_img read more

Liberty Globalowned Swiss cable operator UPC Cabl

first_imgLiberty Global-owned Swiss cable operator UPC Cablecom has launched anew range of internet, telephony and bundled offerings.UPC Cablecom is launching four new internet offerings – Internet 250, 125, 50 and 20 offering 250Mbps, 125Mbps, 50Mbps and 20Mbps for CHF89 (€73), CHF69, CHF59 and CHF45 respectively.The operator has also launched three new phone products, Phone Start, Phone Plus and Phone Super for CHF25, CHF35 and CHF45 respecitvely, including free calls to Swiss ficed line phones and varying degrees of bundled minutes to Swiss mobile and international fixed networks.UPC Cablecom has added new bundled offerings including the new internet and phone services – Horizon Start Combi, Horizon Plus Combi and Horizon Super Combi, providing Internet 50, Compact TV and Free Phone Start for CHF75, Internet 125, Classic TV, Free Phone Plus and Replay TV for CHF 95, and Internet 250, Comfort TV, Free Phone Super, Replay TV for CHF 125 respectively.“We are offering all of our customers in Switzerland even faster Internet and thus responding more closely their needs, particularly with the new combination deals,” said Ivo Hoevel, senior vice-president marketing and products.last_img read more

Crispin Odey Sky Deutschland minority shareholder

first_imgCrispin OdeySky Deutschland minority shareholder – and Rupert Murdoch’s former son-in-law – Crispin Odey has rejected BSkyB’s offer to buy the outstanding shares in the Germany pay TV operator, saying it significantly undervalues the company.Fund manager Odey is Sky Deutschland’s second largest shareholder with a stake of around 8%. BSkyB has already indicated that its acquisition of 21st Century Fox’s 57% stake in the company will allow it to exercise sufficient control to realise its ambitions. However, failure to buy the remaining shares will prevent the company from gaining access to Sky Deutschland’s cash flows, which are expected to grow as it makes headway in the German market.BBSkyB has declined to offer a premium for the outstanding shares in Sky Deutschland following the announcement of its £5 billion agreement to acquire 21st Century Fox’s stake in the company and 100% control of Italian pay TV unit Sky Italia.Odey’s stock market statement reiterates earlier comments about Sky’s bid for the German sister company. “Odey Asset Management LLP continues to believe that the current proposal, effectively a nil premium takeover offer to the minority shareholders of Sky Deutschland AG, significantly understates the value of the company,” the company said. “Consequently, Odey Asset Management LLP does not intend to tender its shares in this proposed offer.”Odey told the Daily Telegraph newspaper that he believed Sky Deutschland’s stock was undervalued on a three-year basis as the Germany pay TV market is expected to grow significantly.last_img read more

MTV has launched new international overthetop ap

first_imgMTV has launched new international over-the-top apps, MTV Play and MTV Trax, in an effort to target millennials and adapt to “changing consumer viewing habits.”MTV Play is a VoD service featuring many of MTV’s most popular shows, while MTV Trax is a music streaming app designed for casual music consumers that may be “put off by more expensive ‘all you can eat’ services.”MTV said that both services will be available for a small monthly fee, however some MTV viewers will be able to get free access to the services through partnerships with mobile operators.MTV will launch MTV Play on March 5 with as-yet unnamed mobile network partners in Germany, Switzerland and Romania.Consumers with MTV Mobile branded tariffs will get free access to MTV Play, while other consumers in those countries will be able to access the same content for €2.99 per month or €29.99 per annum.MTV is launching MTV Trax as a direct-to-consumer subscription service in the UK on March 3, through the App Store, Google Play or Windows Phone Store, following a successful trial. It is also due to launch in New Zealand, again in partnership with an unnammed network operator.“MTV is one of the hottest entertainment brands in the minds of 16 to 24-year-old mobile users, with the majority of online engagement with the MTV brand now coming through mobile devices,” said Bob Bakish, ‎president and CEO of MTV parent firm, Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN).“Today’s launch of the MTV Play and MTV Trax apps offers operators an enormous opportunity to differentiate themselves and reward consumer loyalty by offering greater value through premium branded content and services targeting young customers who aren’t currently subscribing to pay TV.”MTV Play service was developed in partnership with multi-screen platform developer Vigour, and lets viewers ‘flick’ content from their smartphone to other connected screens, such as a tablet or smart TV.MTV Trax is powered by the MusicQubed platform, and offers an MTV-curated selection of 100 of the “hottest music tracks”, which users can access offline.last_img read more

Teleport operator CETel has teamed up with Middle

first_imgTeleport operator CETel has teamed up with Middle East satellite operator Arabsat to build a joint earth station for C-band services in Africa.The agreement covers the use of CETel’s teleport facilities, network and broadband services as well as solution design across Africa, the Middle East, Europe and Central Asia for C-band use on Arabsat’s Arabsat-5C on 20° East.The pair said their strategic plan to expand into the extended C-band is driven by the need of cost effective communications solutions in rural areas in Africa which offers not only trunking and backhauling applications but also corporate network connectivity between the regions and continents.Guido Neumann, managing director of CETel said: “We already serving first customers on extended C-Band with a nine metre antenna from our teleport in Germany. It`s the right product at the right time for customers looking for answers to the ever increasing cost pressure in their areas of business.”Khalid Balkheyour, president and CEO of Arabsat said: “Service providers’ ever increasing demand for capacity is satisfied by development of the extended C-band which gives wider room for expansion, not available anymore on congested normal bands. The possible applications which are explored together with CETel ranging from backhauling over connectivity for corporate networks up to governmental services.”last_img

Danish cable operator Stofa is to offer a broadban

first_imgDanish cable operator Stofa is to offer a broadband-only option to subscribers from the fourth quarter.The launch will follow Stofa’s decision to offer à la carte TV service Stofa TitTV from next year, where viewers will only pay for channels they want to watch on a month-by-month basis.Stofa says it has been restricted to date in the amount of flexibility it can offer because of the nature of its agreements with local antenna associations. However, changes in the market mean that it can initially offer the choice of taking broadband services only to about 100,000 households.The service will be available in Billund, Faaborg, Næstved, Rodby, Skælskør Slagelse, Soro and Sønderborg and via antenna associations Antenneforeningen Aarhus, Løkken Antennelaug and Vorbasse Antenneforening.last_img read more

Broadpeak has added to its range of streaming serv

first_imgBroadpeak has added to its range of streaming servers the BkS350 origin packager with on-the-fly packaging capabilities.Operators can use the BkS350 origin packager to dynamically convert recorded and video-on-demand content into any ABR streaming format while securing content with DRM encryption, according to Broadpeak.By enabling operators to package video content on the fly, the BkS350 reduces storage costs and optimises resources for multiscreen delivery, making it suitable for a range of applications, including VOD and cloud PVR services, the firm added.The BkS350 origin server supports a range of adaptive bit rate formats, including Apple HLS, Microsoft Smooth Streaming, Adobe HDS, and MPEG-DASH, allowing operators to deliver video content to any screen – including TVs, PCs, smartphones, and tablets.Using HTTP adaptive bit rate technology, the servers offer the best possible video quality depending on their device. The BkS350 origin server can be integrated within a video delivery system from Broadpeak or implemented as a standalone product.Broadpeak is a provider of content delivery network (CDN) technologies and live and video-on-demand servers for cable, IPTV, OTT, hybrid, and mobile TV operators.Broadpeak will exhibit at IBC on stand 4.B78last_img read more

Linda Jensen HBO Europe CEO Linda Jensen will leav

first_imgLinda JensenHBO Europe CEO Linda Jensen will leave the company at the end of the year, with HBO Nordic boss Hervé Payan taking control of the premium channel operator’s Europe-wide operations.Payan joined HBO Nordic in 2012, running its OTT operation in the Nordic region. Prior to that he was at Orange and Italian pay TV operator Telepiu.It is understood it was Jensen’s decision to leave and she has not got another position lined up. Asked by DTVE‘s sister title TBI about her decision to leave she said: “I’ve had more than a decade building the business but life has many opportunities and I would like to explore some of the other ones.”Bernadette Aulestia, executive VP, global distribution operations, said: “When Linda informed us she would be leaving we took an assessment of our European operations and decided that to be most effective we should consolidate them under one venture. Linda was a significant, strategic voice in this reorganisation and we thank her for that and all she has done. Hervé has extensive experience, not only at HBO Nordic, but across Europe where he held a variety of senior positions. He is the perfect executive to lead this new structure.”In an official statement, Jensen said: “I leave the company in the hands of such a talented team and under this new structure they will take HBO to new heights.”Payan said: “This reorganisation brings together a wealth of exceptional abilities and experience. The European television business is evolving quickly and we will be well positioned to take advantage of all opportunities that emerge.”HBO said no other senior management will be leaving in the wake of the news about Jensen.Combining the HBO operations across Central and Eastern Europe, the Nordics and the Netherlands, where it is in a JV with cable operator Ziggo, will leave a senior management team helmed by Payan, and with Line Mykland as COO and EVP, Nordic and Ondrej Zach as COO and EVP, Central Europe.Antony Root will remain as EVP, original programming and production, Christina Sulebakk as EVP of marketing, and Szilveszter Palvolgyi will reman as CFO.last_img read more