Whitehouse.gov video screenshotPresident Barack Obama is coming to Alaska later this month.Download AudioThe White House released a video Thursday morning to explain why he will be the first sitting president to visit Alaska’s Arctic.The folksy video (it starts with the President of the United States saying, “Hi, everyone”) features dripping glaciers, raging wildfires and Alaska Natives hanging salmon to dry.“As Alaskan permafrost melts, some homes are even sinking into the ground,” Obama says in the video. “The state’s God-given natural treasures are all at risk.”In the video, the president says he’s coming to Alaska because it’s on the front lines of climate change, with lives and communities already being disrupted.“What’s happening in Alaska isn’t just a preview of what will happen to the rest of us if we don’t take action. It’s our wake-up call,” Obama says. “The alarm bells are ringing. And as long as I’m president, America will lead the world to meet this threat — before it’s too late.”In Anchorage, Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski said she hopes President Obama will keep his eyes open during his visit rather than come to Alaska with a predetermined agenda.“I think we’re all looking forward to welcoming the President of the United States to Alaska, his first official trip to see our state,” Murkowski said. “It is somewhat disappointing, though, that he apparently intends to use this as nothing more than a backdrop for climate change.”Murkowski’s fellow Republican, Rep. Don Young, used less diplomatic language in his press release.“It is my hope that the president will use his visit as an opportunity to learn about the many challenges we face and not as a platform to pander to extreme interest groups using Alaska as a poster child for their reckless agenda,” Young’s statement said.Young’s statement described that agenda as locking up critical resources like oil, gas and minerals.The White House video does not mention the administration’s Alaska- and climate-related policy that has been making national headlines this summer: its approval of exploratory drilling in the Arctic Ocean.With the Obama administration’s blessing, Shell Oil began drilling last month in the Chukchi Sea. The company is hoping the Interior Department will approve deeper drilling into oil-bearing rocks any day now.Environmental groups say the administration’s green-lighting of Arctic drilling just doesn’t square with Obama’s stated aim of leading the world in fighting climate change.“It’s a pretty evident contradiction,” Margaret Williams with the World Wildlife Fund in Anchorage said. “It is absolutely clear that greenhouse gases are driving change in the Arctic, and to solve the climate problem, we have to be stemming the source of greenhouse gases.”Greenhouse gas emissions come primarily from burning fuels like coal, oil and natural gas.International climate negotiators will meet in Paris in December. They’ll try to agree on how fast to reduce those emissions. Their aim: keeping the earth’s climate from warming more than 2 degrees Celsius.A study this year by British energy researchers in the journal Nature found that climate change can only be kept under 2 degrees Celsius by leaving Arctic oil in the ground.Sarah Erkmann with the Alaska Oil and Gas Association said the group has no reaction to Obama’s trip yet, with the details of his agenda still being worked out.“We’ll have a reaction if he has any announcements that would impact the industry in Alaska specifically,” she said.Erkmann said AOGA has no position on climate change, though individual oil companies that make up its membership do.Last week, Shell announced it was ending its membership in the American Legislative Exchange Council. A Shell spokesman said the energy giant would be leaving the anti-regulatory group because ALEC’s opposition to action on climate change was inconsistent with Shell’s approach to the issue.
Story Links Did you know…?A student-athlete may practice, but not compete, during the first five days of classes if the student-athlete is enrolled less than full-time, provided the student is otherwise eligible. See Bylaw 18.104.22.168 below for more information. 22.214.171.124 Exception—Practice During First Week of Class. A student-athlete may practice, but may not compete, during the institution’s first five days of classes if the student-athlete is enrolled in less than a minimum full-time program of studies, provided the student is otherwise eligible under all institutional, conference and NCAA requirements. (Adopted: 1/10/95 effective 8/1/95)Print Friendly Version
Stay on target PlayStation 4 Becomes Fastest Console to Sell 100 Million‘Death Stranding’ Is Your PlayStation 4 Holiday Exclusive When it comes to Valentine’s Day, you typically think of giving flowers, chocolate, or maybe lingerie to your significant other. If your partner is a gamer, those traditional gifts may not suffice. Thankfully, SCUF is rolling out a new line of limited edition PlayStation 4 and PC controllers inspired by the most amorous of holidays. As you would expect, these controllers not only look good, but they have the same great functionality SCUF’s products are known for.The line consists of three colors: Chocolate, Teal, and Magenta. Folks have a choice between the SCUF Impact or SCUF Infinity Pro variants of the controllers. Like all controllers from SCUF, each of these are highly customizable. Users can add paddles to the back, change out the thumbsticks, and even customize the sensitivity of the trigger buttons. If you’re familiar with SCUF’s products then you know exactly what to expect here.AdChoices广告SCUF is giving a few lucky folks the chance to win all three controllers. Entering the contest is fairly straightforward. Contestants must take a selfie with their favorite SCUF controller or piece of SCUF swag. If they fail to have either, they can record a small video clip explaining why they need SCUF in their life. The funnier the clip, the better the chances are of winning. After taking a picture or making a video, contestants must post them either on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #SCUFLove.I’ve been a big fan of SCUF’s products for a while now so I think these Valentine’s Day controllers and the associated contest are pretty neat. You can head on over to SCUF’s website and build your own controller. Yeah, the controllers are decidedly pricy, but they are most certainly worth it for dedicated gamers. If you’re going to enter the contest, I wish you good luck!
Bacalar, Q.R– UPDATED: The body of a visitor to the Bacalar area has been removed from a cenote after a marine rescue team discovered him drowned. The deceased has been identified as 24-year-old Jason N from Florida. The drowning happened inside Cenote Azul outside the Bacalar Lagoon. La Secretaría de Marina says the man went swimming in the cenote Sunday around noon, but failed to return. Relatives requested help to locate him. A specialized search and rescue team was sent inside the cenote. The specialized rescue team found the man after three hours of searching cenote waters. UPDATE: The young American man drowned after suffering an epileptic attack while in the cenote. He was with his family snorkeling the cenote when the accident happened. He had entered the water without a lifejacket. He was vacationing in Bacalar with his family from Florida. Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)
Costa Rica is enacting a National Surveillance Protocol after confirming two cases of measles, the Health Ministry announced Thursday afternoon.The Health Ministry had announced four suspected cases earlier Thursday and had sent specimens to labs for confirmation.The symptoms were reported in children aged between 3 and 10 years old in Cóbano, Puntarenas, the Health Ministry said in a statement. The children were not vaccinated against measles by their parents, who are United States citizens, the Health Ministry said. The Health Ministry believes the virus was imported to Costa Rica by a United States citizen who left the country March 12.“There will not be an epidemic of measles in our country,” said Daniel Salas Peraza, the Minister of Health, citing the country’s vaccination initiatives. “But obviously, we don’t want any child to suffer from measles or face the complications measles can cause.”The children displaying measles symptoms are part of a family with nine children and remain under strict quarantine, the Health Ministry said. The organization is determining who the family may have come in contact with to decide what additional preventative measures are needed. “All parents whose child exhibit symptoms that could be measles […] should consult medical assistance immediately to determine if it’s measles and to take necessary measures,” the Health Ministry said. The Health Ministry believes there is no relationship between the four suspected cases and the French family that reintroduced measles to Costa Rica last month. Those cases, Costa Rica’s first since 2014, also involved an unvaccinated child. “There is a vaccine at one year, three months and another upon starting school, and they are essential to prevent measles in the country,” the Health Ministry said. Measles is a highly contagious virus that lives in mucus and can spread through coughing and sneezing. The virus can also survive for two hours in an airspace where the infected person has coughed or sneezed, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC).The CDC estimates measles killed 500 people annually in the United States before a vaccine was developed in 1963.The CDC recommends “all children get two doses of MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine, starting with the first dose at 12 through 15 months of age, and the second dose at 4 through 6 years of age.”This story was updated at 4 p.m. with confirmation of measles from the Health Ministry. This story was made possible thanks to The Tico Times 5% Club. If only 5 percent of our readers donated at least $2 a month, we’d have our operating costs covered and could focus on bringing you more original reporting from around Costa Rica. We work hard to keep our reporting independent and groundbreaking, but we can only do it with your help. Join The Tico Times 5% Club and help make stories like this one possible.Support the Tico Times Facebook Comments Related posts:Costa Rica studies longevity of its centenarian citizens French family in Costa Rica that had been quarantined for measles leaves hospital Vaccinating children against measles is ‘an obligation’ for adults in Costa Rica Zika virus total surpasses 100 cases in Costa Rica
Categories: Cole News #### State Rep. Triston Cole of Mancelona will host local office hours for the month of September.“Listening to people’s concerns and ideas gives me a better perspective on critical issues in my community,” Rep. Cole said. “I want residents to know I am invested in them and effectively representing their needs and interests in Lansing.”The representative will be available at the following times and locations:Friday, Sept. 1Mio: 10 to 11 a.m. at Oscoda County Library, 430 8th St.;Hillman: 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. at Hillman Wright Library, 610 Caring St.; andGaylord: 3 to 4 p.m. at Otsego County Library, 700 S. Otsego Ave. 31Aug Rep. Triston Cole hosts local office hours No appointments are necessary to attend office hours. Those unable to attend may contact the representative by email at TristonCole@house.mi.gov or by calling 1-(855)-DIST-105. Friday, Sept. 8Mancelona: 10 to 11 a.m. at Mancelona Township Library, 202 W. State St.; andCharlevoix: 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. at Charlevoix Public Library, 220 Clinton St.
Categories: Griffin News 15May Griffin: Repealing irrelevant laws makes government more efficient The Michigan House today voted to overwhelmingly approve state Rep. Beth Griffin’s plan to remove an outdated section of the Michigan Penal Code.Griffin’s plan removes a 1931 law which references the criminal sentencing guidelines for committing a false protest. Individuals who injure, deceive or defraud someone today would be charged with fraud rather than making a false protest, therefore making the older law obsolete.“While the majority of our job as lawmakers is to come up with new ideas to help the people of Michigan, we must also look to clean up laws that simply have no relevance in society today,” said Griffin of Mattawan. “Obsolete laws need to be removed to allow for a more efficient, effective government that every Michigander can be proud of.”House Bill 5763 now advances to the Senate for further consideration.
Categories: Noble News State Rep. Jeff Noble, of Northville, held his monthly office hours last week at the Plymouth District Library. While discussing policy and local issues with constituents, Noble was honored by the library with a t-shirt as thanks for his efforts in securing funds for upgrades.“On top of conquering record funding for our schools this coming year’s budget, we must not forget the importance of what our district libraries do for our communities,” Noble said. “Libraries promote literacy and education for all. I have so much respect for the expert librarians who can help navigate those looking for answers that a simple internet search cannot deliver.”Noble advocated for and secured $96,000 in appropriations for the Plymouth District Library and $81,000 for the Northville District Library. Upgrades will improve technology, enhance software and revamp educational labs to better streamline research.“The goal was to increase educational opportunities for everyone in our community,” Noble said. “Whether you are a child exploring new worlds with your favorite author, or a college student looking for a credible source to include in your research project, or even someone checking out the book your reading club is diving into next, libraries can benefit us all. I pledge to continue my commitment to education throughout our community.”Photo Information: State Rep. Jeff Noble is joined by librarian Sue Stoney as he “rocks” the t-shirt given to him by the Plymouth District Library for his efforts in securing $96,000 for upgrades. 20Jul Rep. Noble secures funds for upgrades to district libraries
16Apr Rep. Glenn announces district photo contest State Rep. Annette Glenn announced today she is holding a photo contest for constituents in Midland and Bay counties. The top three photos will be chosen as winners and receive the following prizes:1st place – a tour of the state Capitol, the opportunity to sit on the House floor during session, and a U.S. flag flown over the state Capitol2nd place – a tour of the state Capitol and a U.S. flag flown over the state Capitol3rd place – a U.S. flag flown over the state Capitol“We are fortunate to live in a beautiful part of Michigan,” Glenn said. “This is an exciting opportunity to highlight the many wonderful things to do in our area during the summer, and I look forward to showcasing the winning photos in my Lansing office.”The contest will run from Monday, April 22 to Monday, June 3 and is open to participants living in the district Glenn serves. Photos may be emailed to AnnetteGlenn@house.mi.gov. All submissions should include the name, address, and contact information of the participant, the date the photo was taken, and where the photo was taken within the district. All photos must be taken by the individual entering the contest.Questions about the contest should be directed to AnnetteGlenn@house.mi.gov or (517) 373-1791. Categories: Annette Glenn News
11Jul Join Rep. Bellino at his July coffee hours Categories: Bellino News State Rep. Joe Bellino of Monroe invites residents of Monroe and Wayne counties to join him for his monthly coffee hours on Monday, July 29.“Input from neighbors and members of our community is important as I make sure we have a voice in Lansing,” Rep. Bellino said. “Please stop by to chat or ask any questions you may have.”Rep. Bellino will meet with residents at the following time and location:3 to 4 p.m. at Tim Hortons, 404 S. Monroe St. in Monroe.No appointments are necessary to attend coffee hours. Those unable to attend may contact Rep. Bellino’s office at (517) 373-1530 or JosephBellino@house.mi.gov.
17Jul Rep. Calley hosts local office hours in July Categories: Calley News State Rep. Julie Calley welcomes residents to office hours in two communities on Monday, July 29 with a new format.Rep. Calley will meet with constituents at the following locations:· Portland City Hall, 259 Kent St. in Portland. Individual meetings from 10:30 to 11 a.m. followed by a legislative update from 11 to 11:30 a.m.· Hastings City Hall, Council Chambers, 201 E. State St. in Hastings. Individual meetings from 1 to 2 p.m. followed by a legislative update 2 to 2:30 p.m.“I truly appreciate the opportunity to gather feedback from community members,” Rep. Calley said. “Local office hours generate great dialogue with attendees on issues important to them.”No appointment is necessary. Residents unable to attend scheduled office hours may send their questions and ideas to Rep. Calley via email at JulieCalley@house.mi.gov or by calling her at 517-373-0842.
25Jul Rep. Ann Bollin invites constituents to coffee hour & Lakeland Trail Connector cleanup Categories: Bollin News,News State Rep. Ann Bollin of Brighton Township will host district coffee hours on Monday, July 29 to meet with residents of the 42nd District.“Hearing directly from my constituents gives me the opportunity to learn more about the topics they care about the most,” Rep Bollin said. “We are in final state budget negotiations, and as a member of the House Appropriations Committee, I look forward to talking with you about your budget priorities and more!”The coffee hour will be held from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. at Panera, 9439 Village Place Drive, Brighton, 48116. Following the coffee hour, Rep. Bollin invites you to help clean up the Lakeland Trail Connector from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. Volunteers will meet in the JC Penney parking lot at 9380 Village Place Drive, Brighton, 48116.No appointment is necessary. Residents unable to attend may contact Rep. Bollin’s office by calling (517) 373-1784 or by email at AnnBollin@house.mi.gov.#####
ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares April 2014; The AtlanticLongtime Atlantic writer James Fallows sees hope in the political firmament of the U.S.—but not in the nation’s capital. It’s city government, he believes, where “the American style of self-government can seem practical-minded, non-ideological, future-oriented, and capable of compromise.” He lauds not only small-city pragmatism, but the power of big-city mayors to get things done, while in Washington, things have ground to a standstill.Sometimes, when Americans despair about the democratic process, especially when national leaders look uncertain and weak, they turn toward the appearance of executive strength. Tom Menino in Boston, Richard Daley and Rahm Emanuel in Chicago, these are mayors who give fretting Americans a sense of executive competence, notwithstanding some potential objections to what they might be using their executive skills to achieve. As Fallows writes, “Even with their excesses, our big-city mayors have been, like Mussolini, the people who could get things done, while presidents and legislators seem ever more pathetically hamstrung.”In a more satirical vein, Politico’s Roger Simon made a similar point earlier last week:“Our next president needs to be tough, resolute and no-nonsense…. Our next president must be dauntless, determined and daring. Our next president must be strong…. Whether from the left or right, you know who that person is: Vladimir Putin.”Fallows, however, is taken with the successes of strong mayors in “strong mayor” forms of city government. He cites the turnaround of Duluth, Minnesota, which he says thirty years ago was “like Flint, Michigan, and Gary, Indiana, one of the most distressed.” The turnaround is attributable, he implies, to the skill of Duluth’s mayor Don Ness, elected in 2007 at age 33, at taking advantage of the tools of a strong mayoral system.Fallows also spends a large portion of his article describing the economic turnaround of Greenville, South Carolina, whose loss of its textile industry has been replaced by investment from big companies responding to its low wage, anti-union culture and the personal leadership of Governor Carroll A. Campbell, who believed that “personal sales calls to recruit businesses from around the world were the most important use of his time.” His story of Greenville’s recovery emphasizes the activities of city officials and city planners in remaking the downtown “more walkably European.”Ultimately, his paean to Greenville is how it surpassed politics, despite the fact that the county was the last in South Carolina to observe Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the congressional seat was until recently held by the Heritage Foundation’s Jim DeMint, and one of the city’s most important institutions is Bob Jones University. What overcomes politics? Business—or business couched in the term that Fallows heard over and over again in his visit, public-private partnerships. “Whatever happens here, it has to be about business,” Nancy Whitworth, the city’s director of economic development, told Fallows. “This has always been a business-first town.”To make his point that the revival of cities with strong mayors (and public-private partnerships) is something beyond politics, he compares Greenville, South Carolina with Burlington, Vermont, which once had socialist Bernie Sanders in the mayor’s seat. “But if you looked at Burlington and Greenville as cities, for their amenities and feel and civic sense, and for the history of public-private interactions behind today’s cityscapes,” Fallows writes, “you would find more similarities than you might expect.” One of them is the mayor of Burlington’s use of the public-private partnership terminology like his Greenville counterparts.In the end, Fallows believes, “struggle—or cooperation—brought people together, and made things work. The more you see of national politics in this era, the worse you’re likely to feel,” he writes. “The more we see of small cities, the better.”It would seem that Fallows wore rose-tinted glasses for his article. He could easily have taken a tour of small cities with economies that haven’t turned around despite their strong mayor systems and public-private partnerships. He could have found other cities where the benefits of a turnaround haven’t been shared equitably by their residents. He is right that local government tends to be less ideologically divided than national politics, but increasingly, national politics is filtering downward.Ensuring that the benefits of Greenville, Duluth, and Burlington are shared takes more than strong mayors and business-oriented partnerships. It takes organizing on the part of community residents who are usually left on the sidelines of economic development. Expecting strong mayors to generate programs and projects with a social justice framework in the absence of community residents organizing for social justice may result in disappointment. –Rick CohenShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
Share12Tweet18ShareEmail30 SharesBy Maryland GovPics – Mayor Pugh’s Inauguration, CC BY 2.0, LinkAugust 16, 2017; Washington PostWait a minute. I’m not finished. I’m not finished, fake news…So this week, it is Robert E. Lee. I noticed that Stonewall Jackson is coming down. I wonder, is it George Washington next week? And is it Thomas Jefferson the week after? You know, you really do have to ask yourself, where does it stop?President Trump spoke at a press conference at Trump Tower on Tuesday. Here are a transcript and video of his remarks. Where does it stop? President Trump learned early Wednesday morning where it begins. Baltimore Mayor Catherine E. Pugh (D) ordered four statues linked to the Confederacy removed from her city in the dead of night (11:30 p.m. Tuesday to 5:30 a.m. Wednesday) after more than one thousand Baltimore residents protested the white nationalist rally in Virginia that left three dead and many injured.The four monuments removed were the Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument on Mount Royal Avenue, the Confederate Women’s Monument on West University Parkway, the Roger B. Taney Monument on Mount Vernon Place, and the Robert E. Lee and Thomas. J. “Stonewall” Jackson Monument in the Wyman Park Dell.Mayor Pugh told WBAL News Radio on Tuesday, “Let’s just get it done,” and the Baltimore City Council unanimously passed a resolution Monday to remove the monuments. In 2015, after a white supremacist killed nine African Americans in a historically black South Carolina church, former Baltimore mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake created a special commission to review all of Baltimore’s Confederate statues in June that year. Mayor Pugh explains her decision to remove the statues discretely overnight in this PBS News Hour video. Carolyn Billups, former president of the Maryland Division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, criticized Pugh for bypassing rules in the rush to remove the statues. “That’s an act of lawlessness in my mind,” said Billups, who lives in St. Mary’s County. “This is a public figure, this is the leader of a city. If you expect or hope that your constituents to respect the law, you have to toe the line.”More than 700 Confederate monuments remain standing (for now) across the country. Last Monday, a Confederate monument was removed from downtown Gainesville, Florida, and protesters tore down a Confederate statue in Durham, North Carolina. Birmingham, Alabama covered a Confederate statue under a plywood structure (legislators passed a law prohibiting its removal). The mayor of Lexington, Kentucky intends to remove two Confederate monuments. At a news conference Wednesday, Pugh offered this advice to the mayors of those communities: “Do it quietly. And quickly.”These statues were erected during the Jim Crow era, apparently to not-so-subtly reaffirm racial segregation. The Roger B. Taney Monument is especially egregious for commemorating the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court who penned the majority opinion for the notorious 1857 Dred Scott case, that “all people of African ancestry—slaves as well as those who were free—could never become citizens of the United States and therefore could not sue in federal court. The court also ruled that the federal government did not have the power to prohibit slavery in its territories.””The removal of these statues is a countervailing symbol to the white nationalist seeking to preserve them. The effort to build a more perfect union continues by resisting hatred and bigotry wherever and whenever we can. At least nine alt-right rallies are scheduled for this coming Saturday, including the #MarchOnGoogle rallies in Mountain View, New York City, Washington D.C., Austin, and Boston to protest Google’s firing of James Damore for writing a controversial memo on diversity.Were General Robert E. Lee alive today, he would oppose President Trump’s defense of the contested Robert Edward Lee sculpture in Emancipation Park, Charlottesville. In April 1865, after the end of the Civil War and his acceptance of the presidency of Washington College in Lexington, Virginia, Lee rejected the idea of erecting Confederate memorials.As regards the erection of such a monument as is contemplated, my conviction is, that however grateful it would be to the feelings of the South, the attempt in the present condition of the country would have the effect of retarding, instead of accelerating its accomplishment, and of continuing, if not adding to, the difficulties under which the Southern people labour.I think it wiser moreover not to keep open the sores of war, but to follow the examples of those nations who endeavoured to obliterate the marks of civil strife and to commit to oblivion the feelings it engendered.For The New Yorker, Robin Wright asks, “Is America headed for a new kind of civil war?”How fragile is the Union, our republic, and a country that has long been considered the world’s most stable democracy? The dangers are now bigger than the collective episodes of violence. “The radical right was more successful in entering the political mainstream last year than in half a century,” the Southern Poverty Law Center reported in February. The organization documents more than nine hundred active (and growing) hate groups in the United States.Where does the removal of racist monuments stop? One day, the Trump family may witness a global movement to remove the name TRUMP from all public edifices that may still proclaim that name.—James SchafferShare12Tweet18ShareEmail30 Shares
French competition regulator chief Bruno Lasserre has attacked former competition chief Guillaume Cerutti’s criticisms of the regulator’s handling of pay TV operator Canal Plus’s alleged failure to abide by conditions set at the time of its merger with TPS.Cerutti, the former head of competition policy, consumer affairs and fraud control at France’s ministry of economy and finance (DGCCRF), recently criticised the French competition regulator’s handling of the case in an article published in financial daily La Tribune. Cerutti, who signed the authorization for the merger in 2006, said that the authority’s move to rescind its green light for the merger a full five years after the event raised serious questions.In an open letter addressed to Cerrutti, Lasserre accused the latter of multiple factual errors, over-hasty judgements and of having consulted Canal Plus’s management before publishing his critique. Lasserre also accused Cerutti’s department of failing to act on complaints made by France Télécom early in 2007 and of only referring the matter to the competition regulator in 2008.Last year the competition authority controversially moved to rescind its original authorisation for the merger and place the pay TV operator under surveillance for an extended period.
BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the UK public broadcaster, has launched the first online game associated with its popular Strictly Come Dancing show.The game, Strictly Keep Dancing, is available now to UK players at StrictlyKeepDancing.com. It goes live simultaneously with a US version, Dancing with the Stars: Keep Dancing, associated with the US version of the show.The game allows players to customise their personal avatar and learn different dance routines including the Samba, Jive, Tango and more, all while customising each step to complete their dance routine.Separately, the BBC has for the first time used short-code mobile numbers to enable viewers to vote for the winner on its primetime talent show The Voice.Voice short-code numbers are typically five-digit numbers that let the caller know the exact cost of the call. While mobile operators have charged a premium for 0800, 0845 ad 090 numbers, those used for participation TV in the past, short-code numbers are designed to reduce the cost of the call. The voice short-code system has been promoted by the Association for Interactive Media and Entertainment (AIME).
Canal Plus chief Rodolphe Belmer has spoken out against any significant changes to the ordering of rules governing the window in which films are made available on-demand in France.Speaking at the Rencontres Cinématographiques event in Dijon on Friday, Belmer, who named last week as director-general of Canal Plus Group, said that there was no need to make any distinction between the windows for small films and major movies. While he said Canal Plus was not totally opposed to discussing an evolution of the rules, this could only be with a view to maximising the value of content and not in the name of an “ideology” that everything digital was good.Belmer’s views seem to mark a change from an indication earlier this year that Canal Plus was ready to bring forward the distribution window for certain factual and niche films, making them available in subscription VOD services 22 months after theatrical release rather than 36. Since then, however, the country’s competition regulator has ruled that Canal Plus cannot sell SVOD rights exclusively as one of the conditions for renewed approval of its 2007 merger with TPS.Belmer was speaking against the background of the enquiry by former Canal Plus chief Pierre Lescure into France’s support for the media industry and growing pressure from some quarter for changes in the way windows are structured to accommodate new digital distribution platforms.
Warner Bros. Television Group president Bruce Rosenblum will leave the company according to various reports with international TV boss Jeffrey Schlesinger and his domestic counterpart Peter Roth expected to be upped under a new structure implemented by recently installed Warner Bros. Entertainment CEO Kevin Tsujihara.News broke over the weekend suggesting that Rosenblum will exit Warner Bros. His departure was widely expected after he lost out to Tsujihara for the top job at Warner Bros. He has been at Warner Bros. for over twenty years.Tsujihara’s appointment was announced in January and he started in his new role, replacing Barry Meyer, in March.Under the new regime Warner Bros. International Television president Jeffrey Schlesinger and Warner Bros. Television president Peter Roth expected to report direct to the new boss.Other executives getting wider roles in the new structure include Warner Bros. TV Group executive VP, Craig Hunegs.The studio declined to comment this morning although the news is understood to have been communicated internally.
Liberty Global-owned German cable operator Unitymedia Kabel BW is adding Animal Planet in both HD and SD versions to its line up and is extending the availability of Disney Junior and Disney XD, currently available in Baden-Württemberg, to the Unitymedia regions of North-Rhine Westphalia and Hesse. The channels will be available from tomorrow. Animal Planet will be available in Unitymedia Kabel BW’s Highlights package, while the two Dinsey channels will be available in the Allstars pack.
German cable operator Primacom has acquired a cable network in the city of Halle, integrating some 2,700 households into its footprint. The cable operator has acquired Telekommunikation TV Service GmbH (TTVS). Primacom said existing TTVS customers would continue to receive their existing services without any immediate change. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Primacom said it would offer DOCSIS 3.0 services to TTVS homes.Primacom already offers services to about 36,000 households in the city, providing triple-play services.The acquisition of TTVS follows a number of similar acquisitions by Primacom, including DTK and Sy-Fra, taking its total number of connected households to 1.2 million.