A new television channel featuring Russian content will be available on the Velister digital platform in the coming October, according to reports.It will retransmit content from Russia’s popular TNT (Tvoyo Novoye Televideniye, or Television for a New Millennium) channel.The free-to-air channel will operate under the brand ‘TNT Cyprus’. The company behind the venture, Cyprus Entertainment TV Ltd, has applied for and secured a licence from the broadcasting authority.The company is based in Cyprus and has local shareholders.The channel has already begun trial runs. A spokesman for the company said their aim was to broadcast 14 hours of Russian content a day with Greek subtitles, in order to draw in Cypriot viewers as well.There are an estimated 40,000 to 50,000 Russian nationals residing permanently in Cyprus.The channel will also be hosting local advertisements.According to Wikipedia, TNT was founded in 1997 and is considered one of the five most popular TV channels in Russia. At the beginning of 2012, it reached more than 104 million people.Although its target audience is viewers 14 to 44 years old, its core demographic is ages 18 to 30.The channel focuses on entertainment, particularly comedy series. Since 2001 it has been a member of the Gazprom-Media, the flagship TV channel of Gazprom-Media Entertainment TV.TNT’s main source of income is advertisements. It delivers its signal via satellites in four orbits.TNT reserves the rights to all original shows, and owns two of Russia’s largest production companies: Comedy Club Production and Good Story Media.Its audience share in Russia (as reported for the third quarter of 2013) was 7.9 per cent overall, 16.6 per cent in the 18-30 age bracket.TNT transmits in both 576 interlaced (standard definition) and 1080 interlaced (high definition). You May LikePopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoSmart Tips DailySeniors With No Life Insurance May Get A $250,000 Policy If They Do ThisSmart Tips DailyUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoPensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCypriot tycoon launches ‘Bank of Cannabis’Undoby Taboolaby Taboola
Categories: News,Runestad News 17Mar Rep. Runestad statement on emergency Detroit Public School funds vote Tags: DPS, education, Runestad Rep. Jim Runestad, R-White Lake, today issued the following statement regarding the bipartisan passage of House Bills 5296, which provides $48.7 million in supplemental funds to continue the education of Detroit Public School (DPS) students with financial oversight:“Supporting this funding for DPS was required to ensure the state complies with its constitutional obligations to provide an education to every child in the state of Michigan, while also not leaving the children of Detroit schools in limbo. A critical component on this supplemental funding is attached to a bill (HB 5385) requiring a Financial Review Board to oversee DPS expenditures.“I am still committed to a solution that holds the DPS administrators and teachers accountable for their decisions that will not come at a cost to fiscally responsible school districts or local governments.”######
State Rep. Shane Hernandez today voted on a bipartisan legislative package that makes state government more accountable to the people it serves.Hernandez, of Port Huron, said the 11-bill legislative package makes the governor and lieutenant governor subject to the Freedom of Information Act and creates a similar disclosure requirement for state representatives and senators called the Legislative Open Records Act.“This is common-sense legislation that extends transparency provisions that apply to local officials to state government,” Hernandez said. “As public servants, we should be accountable to the people we represent, and this is another move forward towards increased transparency.”The legislation is similar to a package of bills introduced last session and passed overwhelmingly by the House. The bills never made it to the governor for signature.Today’s vote follows the recent expansion of the House website to include a salary database of all House employees to provide more accountability to taxpayers.##### Categories: Hernandez News,News 16Mar Rep. Hernandez: House takes step toward more transparency
18Oct Rep. LaFave presses DNR to take ‘every possible step’ to eliminate latest case of CWD Categories: LaFave News,News Crystal Falls Field Office – Check StationAddress: 1420 Highway US-2 West, Crystal Falls, MIPhone: 906-875-6622More information on chronic wasting disease – including Michigan’s CWD Surveillance and Response Plan, additional information on deer check stations, fact sheets and testing data – is available at michigan.gov/cwd. Escanaba Customer Service Center – Check StationAddress: 6833 Hwy. 2, 41, and M-35, Gladstone, MIPhone: 906-786-2351 State Rep. Beau LaFave is urging the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to take swift action to stop the spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in the Upper Peninsula after the DNR diagnosed the first incident of the disease in Waucedah Township.“We must do everything we can to protect Michigan’s natural resources for generations to come, and so I have urged the DNR to take every possible step toward eradicating the disease in Waucedah as quickly as possible,” LaFave said. “I also urge all hunters to do their part to contain CWD by bringing their deer in for testing.”Chronic wasting disease is a fatal nervous system disease found in deer, moose and elk. The disease attacks the brain of infected animals, creating small lesions, which result in neurologic symptoms. The disease is always fatal in animals that contract it.According to the DNR, the affected 4-year-old doe was killed on a deer damage shooting permit on a farm in Dickinson County’s Waucedah Township, which is located about four miles from the Michigan-Wisconsin border. The finding was verified by Michigan State University’s Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in East Lansing and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa.Responsible hunting is an important part of containing the spread of CWD. Hunters in the Upper Peninsula can take deer to be checked at the following locations:Norway Field Office – Check StationAddress: 520 W. US-2, Norway, MIPhone: 906-563-9247
Categories: Frederick News 24Jan Rep. Frederick announces significant investments in Durand and Laingsburg Rep. Ben Frederick of Owosso announced two major investments in the cities of Durand and Laingsburg by the Michigan Strategic Fund as part of the Community Development Block Grant program. The fund will invest $1,516,500 in Durand and $1,235,800 in Laingsburg.“I applaud the Michigan Strategic Fund for awarding these grants to two very deserving cities,” Frederick said. “Durand and Laingsburg have done commendable work, fostering economic growth and creating a great place to live and work. I am excited by investments such as these to help secure the health and safety of our local community.”The funds will be used for infrastructure improvements in each city. In Durand, critical replacements to the wastewater treatment facility will be made to mitigate environmental concerns and ensure continued access to clean drinking water. Laingsburg will see existing storm water systems replaced to reduce environmental impact on the Looking Glass River.
Share9TweetShareEmail9 SharesOctober 14, 2015; Seattle TimesOn Wednesday, the Washington state attorney general, Bob Ferguson, filed a lawsuit alleging that the conservative Freedom Foundation violated campaign finance reporting laws. The Freedom Foundation advocates for “right to work laws.”At issue is the staff time in the form of legal counsel provided by the Freedom Foundation to help activists with four ballot measures intended to weaken collective-bargaining powers and open bargaining sessions to the public. The attorney general’s complaint alleges the time spent, on which a monetary value has not yet been set, should have been disclosed as in-kind campaign expenditures in support of the ballot propositions. The AG’s office is seeking civil penalties and attorney fees.The suit alleges:Approximately February 2014, an employee of the Freedom Foundation created a set of sample ordinances/ballot propositions designed to be used by residents of Washington to change local laws related to collective bargaining between municipalities and their employee bargaining representatives. Information about these sample ordinances/ballot propositions was disseminated to Freedom Foundation members and made publicly available on the Freedom Foundation’s website.The sample ordinance/ballot propositions addressed two issues: 1) a prohibition of union security clauses, public work stoppages, and gifting of public funds to benefit unions; and 2) a requirement that collective bargaining sessions to negotiate a contract between a local jurisdiction and a bargaining unit representative of the jurisdiction’s employees be open to the public.Four groups of local community activists obtained the documents from the Freedom Foundation website. These activists then circulated the petitions and obtained signatures from citizens in their communities.Subsequently, a Freedom Foundation staff member, attorney David Dewhirst, represented those trying to get the questions on the ballot when the towns in question resisted. (Those efforts were unsuccessful.)Just a day before announcing this suit, the attorney general’s office declared it would also pursue a second lawsuit, this one against SEIU 925 for campaign finance law violations. That suit derived from complaints made about the unions by the Freedom Foundation. At that time, James Abernathy, who is general counsel for FF, declared triumphantly, “It’s another example of how unions have run amok in Washington politics for years without being held accountable.”While the Freedom Foundation has labeled the AG’s suit against it “an overreach,” Karen Hart, the president of SEIU Local 925, said in a statement, “We respect the work done by the Attorney General and the PDC to enforce these rules, and we will do whatever it takes to be in full compliance with the law and correct our mistakes.”All these suits are being pursued in Thurston County Superior Court. Attorney General Ferguson repeated his wording in both news releases, saying, “I am committed to holding all parties accountable for disclosing timely information, so voters can make fully informed decisions.”Dmitri Iglitzin, an attorney for the Committee for Transparency in Elections, says, “The Freedom Foundation falsely claims that it remains uninvolved in politics,” but it means to “defund, destroy and bankrupt public-sector unions.”That does not appear to be an overstatement. In an email to supporters last year, Foundation CEO Tom McCabe said, “We have implemented a plan to bankrupt SEIU, our state’s largest union.”—Ruth McCambridgeShare9TweetShareEmail9 Shares
Share55TweetShare3Email58 SharesPixabay. Public Domain.May 22, 2017; Asheville Citizen-TimesThe U.S. Supreme Court ruled on May 22, 2017, that North Carolina unconstitutionally used race as a factor in drawing two Congressional districts. In a decision filled with unusual allies and issues that have had and will continue to have implications for Southern states, and possibly for all states, this decision split the Court in unexpected ways.The ruling, written by Justice Elena Kagan, stated that North Carolina’s Republican-controlled legislature unlawfully relied on race when drawing two of the state’s congressional districts. This is in keeping with previous court decisions on redistricting in Virginia, Alabama, and North Carolina. (No, this is not North Carolina’s first time in this arena.) The lower federal courts as well as the Supreme Court have held that political considerations, up to a point, can be used in redistricting. But using racial considerations in drawing congressional and state legislative districts is unconstitutional, except insofar as it seeks to eliminate the potential for discrimination against minority voters, as envisioned in the 1965 Voting Rights Act.The states in past cases contended their efforts were partisan attempts to protect their majorities, which the Supreme Court in the past has allowed, rather than attempts to diminish the impact of minority voters, which is forbidden. The drawing of state and congressional districts is a state function and in most states is led by whichever political party is in power. In the North Carolina case, the justices felt that too much emphasis was put on jamming African American voters into a limited number of districts, thus limiting their voting power and influence in other districts in the state.What is somewhat unique in this case is that two North Carolina districts were in dispute, and that the Court’s decision in one was unanimous (8-0) in District 1, but in District 12 the Court split 5 to 3.The three dissenters in the District 12 instance were Justices Roberts, Alito, and Kennedy. This is an interesting and unusual lineup. Justice Thomas, who is ordinarily a steadfast ally of Alito, actually has a record of ruling against racially gerrymandered voting districts because he’s skeptical of racial quotas in any context; this usually manifests in conservative viewpoints, like opposing affirmative action. As reported by Rick Hasen in the Election Law Blog,Justice Alito, in his partial dissent for himself, the Chief Justice, and Justice Kennedy, is incensed at the decision, seeing it as inconsistent with the Court’s earlier decision in Easley v. Cromartie. He begins his dissent with: “A precedent of this Court should not be treated like a disposable household item—say, a paper plate or napkin—to be used once and then tossed in the trash. But that is what the Court does today in its decision regarding North Carolina’s 12th Congressional District: The Court junks a rule adopted in a prior, remarkably similar challenge to this very same congressional district.”[…]The controversy comes from the analysis of District 12. That district raises the question whether race or party predominated in redistricting. This is a particularly difficult question in the American South, because of “conjoined polarization,” race and party overlap to a great extent, so the question of which predominates is somewhat nonsensical.Justice Kagan said the 1st district “produced boundaries amplifying divisions between blacks and whites,” while in the 12th, “race, not politics, accounted for the district’s reconfiguration.”The issue of distinguishing between race and political party can be blurred in the Court’s findings in this and other cases of gerrymandering. The drawing of political districts by the party in power in a state brings the assumption that party will play a large role and be an accepted factor. A state has leeway in this area. But when race and party are “conjoined,” deciding as to what is or is not constitutional becomes a conundrum.The Constitutional principle of “strict scrutiny” is raised when race is the factor under consideration in court cases. But this does not preclude litigation around gerrymandering that is strictly based on political party. Are race and party proxies for one another? More cases addressing both areas are making their way through the courts. The resulting decisions will have long term implications on voting rights.—Carole LevineShare55TweetShare3Email58 Shares
Share3Tweet11ShareEmail14 SharesMarch 28, 2018; Richmond RegisterFundraising for some fields of nonprofits is less about writing proposals and more about warding off recurring political attacks at the federal and state levels. And so it is with legal services funding. Every time we turn around, there is another threat. (We could list them from our archives going back as long as we have been publishing; see here and here for examples.) For instance, just this year, in his budget, President Trump recommended cutting legal aid out of the federal budget altogether through defunding the Legal Services Corporation (LSC). In the budget that was passed and signed, however, Congress restored that funding in full and threw in an extra $25 million. But some are still fighting the funding fight at the state level, such as in Kentucky, where some senators are pushing to have the paltry $1.27 million in state monies for this purpose eliminated.If Kentucky were to eliminate the program, it would join only two others—Delaware and Idaho—that have no funding to ensure justice in civil courts for indigent residents.The fight, of course, is well worth having because legal services support is critical to achieving a modicum of fair treatment for low-income people around this country. More generally, they are vital partners to community organizations looking to achieve an equitable justice system. And legal aid services are always oversubscribed. There are four legal aid groups serving low-income people in Kentucky, handling such critical civil matters as “eviction proceedings, benefit appeals, child custody matters, divorces, and protective orders for victims of criminal domestic violence.”Amanda Young, director of Kentucky Legal Aid in western Kentucky, said her agency handled more than 7,000 cases last year, including helping some elderly clients qualify for Medicaid benefits so they can stay in a nursing home.“It is, a lot of times, people that nobody else really sees,” Young said. “I’m not surprised [Stivers] might think we’re not doing anything.”The state dollars, say advocates, would not cause programs to close but it would force them to layoff attorneys, each of whom handle an average of 250 cases a year.—Ruth McCambridgeShare3Tweet11ShareEmail14 Shares
The BBC’s commercial arm has confirmed its new premium content channel brand will be known as BBC First, ahead of the net’s first launch on Australian pay TV platform Foxtel next year, and outlined plans for major investment in new programming.BBC Worldwide CEO Tim Davie said the service would be launched on linear and non-linear platforms, as a new channel and as a rebrand of unnamed existing services. He also announced a £200 million (€237 million) investment in premium content.The channel brand will carry premium drama and “high quality first run British programming”, meaning that BBC Entertainment, which runs shows including Doctor Who and Eastenders, is one of the brands potentially under threat, as is factual channel BBC Knowledge. A BBC spokeswoman said these brands were under review but that no decision as to their future had been made at this stage.The network will launch on a market-by-market basis from next year, and the previously announced joint venture with Foxtel will be the first to take the ‘First’ moniker next August.BBC and Foxtel first announced the new channel last year after BBCWW ended the pubcaster’s 50-year association with the ABC. Foxtel’s director of programmes Brian Walsh told DTVE sister publication TBI the network would be “something totally new” for Australia’s burgeoning pay TV customer base.Meanwhile, the BBC Earth channel will rebrand as BBCWW’s premium factual content portal, while a third, currently unnamed male-skewing network will place factual entertainment and “the maverick spirit of the BBC’s best shows” at its heart. This means shows such as Top Gear will run on the net. The BBC Earth brand has already launched as a branded block in numerous territories.The £200 million investment represents a forecasted £30 million annual increase and will result in “closer collaboration” with BBC Productions, indies and BBCWW’s own production hubs, the latter through new first-look deals, in-house funded commissions, coproductions and on-demand content development.Davie was drafted in replace John Smith as BBCWW CEO last year and has set about boosting the unit’s profitability. Worldwide made topline profits of £156 million and revenue of £1.1 billion in 2012/13.
The global market for professional broadcast equipment and services reached US$63 billion (€45.9 billion) in 2013, up 52% compared to US$41 billion in 2007, according to new research by IHS.The IHS Technology Professional Video Research practise attributed this “rapid growth” to a significant rise of customer-premises equipment (CPE) shipments – fuelled by the digitisation of pay TV subscribers.A rise in transport services, driven by more linear channels and non-linear views, has also helped to expand the market, according to IHS.“While the factors that have powered the growth of the market are expected to remain in force through 2017, total spending on equipment is expected to slow significantly. Many core markets in North America, Western Europe and East Asia are facing slower CPE shipment growth,” said IHS.The research firm predicts that by 2017, the managed service segment will grow to US$32 billion, accounting for nearly half of the expected US$69 billion total for the professional video market.