Defender Roy Miller will miss Costa Rica’s historic World Cup quarterfinal with the Netherlands on Saturday because of a left foot injury, according to his federation. Miller, a reserve defender on the national team, almost certainly would’ve certainly started against the Dutch in place of centerback Óscar Duarte — who was red carded during the Ticos’ previous match.Miller started in the final group game, a 0-0 draw with England. But now La Sele will look for a new replacement for Duarte — who was sent off in the 66th minute of Sunday’s last-16 game against Greece which Costa Rica won on penalties. Jhonny Acosta or midfielder José Miguel Cubero are the likely options to fill the absence.“The scan showed Miller had a slightly torn muscle in his left foot,” the federation said in a statement.The 29-year-old, who plays for MLS side New York Red Bulls, is useful to Costa Rica as he can play at left back or central defense. La Sele also lost another versatile defender, Heiner Mora, to a heel injury right before the World Cup began. As a result, the Ticos’ excellent defense looks rather thin at the moment.Costa Rica will start as the underdogs against the Dutch despite having topped their group with victories over Uruguay and Italy. The Ticos are playing in their first ever quarterfinal thanks to a gutsy performance against the Greeks as the team held on following Duarte’s expulsion.For the opposition, Netherlands midfielder Nigel De Jong will almost certainly miss the rest of the World Cup after suffering a torn groin muscle, a statement said Tuesday.The Dutch Football Association (KNVB) said on its Twitter feed that De Jong would “probably” be sidelined for two to four weeks, ruling him out of the remainder of the tournament.The holding midfielder limped off early in Holland’s 2-1 win over Mexico on Sunday.Tico Times reporter Matt Levin contributed to this report. Facebook Comments Related posts:Are you ready for Costa Rica vs. the Netherlands? 32 fascinating facts about Tico football Get fired up: Cool video previews Costa Rica vs. the Netherlands Costa Rica achieves highest FIFA ranking ever (No. 16) after historic World Cup run Costa Rica’s last hurrah in historic World Cup run
World Cup legends to lunch at Royal ICCKangaroo and World Cup winning captain Mal Meninga and dual world netball champion Laura Geitz are among a line-up of World Cup sporting legends converging on the Royal International Convention Centre (Royal ICC) tomorrow, for the Men of League Foundation Queensland Annual Lunch.Joining them as guest speakers at the event – to be attended by more than 850 people – will be two time Cricket World Cup champion Andrew Symonds and Women’s Rugby League World Cup winner Ruan Sims.Sticking to the World Cup theme, the iconic Rugby League World Cup trophy will even be making an appearance, featuring as a centrepiece of the event.The annual lunch raises funds for the Men of League Foundation which offers a range of services to those in the rugby league community, including support with medical expenses, rehabilitation and nursing home equipment.Brisbane Showgrounds General Manager of Venue Sales and Marketing Jago Coyle said they were thrilled to be hosting the lunch and those attending would be treated to a three course menu.“This event raises funds for a great cause and we’re looking forward to welcoming World Cup sporting celebrities and the business community to the world-class Royal ICC,” he said.“Our chefs will be preparing an impressive three course lunch menu featuring Royal Queensland Food and Wine Show (RQFWS) Gold medal-winning lamb and award-winning cheeses.”The charity lunch gets underway at 11.30am.The 22 hectare Brisbane Showgrounds precinct is located just 1.5km from Brisbane’s CBD and is Queensland’s largest indoor / outdoor events site.For more information about the Brisbane Showgrounds and Royal ICC visit www.brisbaneshowgrounds.com.auDon’t forget to follow us on social media #brisbaneshowgrounds Source = Brisbane Showgrounds
This post is in conjunction with The LEGO® NINJAGO® Movie Ride the flying trainsEnjoy the efficiency of NINJAGO’s transport infrastructure, which was built brick by brick with painstaking care. Word of warning though: avoid using during one of Garmadon’s attacks as you can get really blocked in.Go trekking through the forestThe spectacular forests of NINJAGO City’s surrounding area will leave you speechless, literally so if you leave the Right Path. Branch out by taking a trip to the Temple of Fragile Foundations. Bored of Bora Bora? Been to Bali? Done with Dubai?If you really want to see exotic coastline, head to the beaches of NINJAGO, where the vivid blue ocean laps the sparkling sands, and the view of Garmadon’s Volcano Lair in the distance is so stunning you’ll wonder if it’s real. Visit the beaches Learn Spinjitzu with the NinjasGo down to the docks and embark on Destiny’s Bounty to learn the close-combat martial arts technique with real ninjas. You’ll be in your element.Boarding for NINJAGO is now in progress (Psst – just in case you were trying to find flights to this magical land, we’re afraid it’s not a real life destination. Perhaps you could give Japan a shot instead?) Observe the local wildlife…If you’re feeling adventurous, seek out some of the local wildlife and bond with the region’s giant cat. It would be a catastrophe if you missed the flea market, too.Find your inner-pieceJump aboard the meditation train and seek out Master Wu for mentoring. It can be a tough one to figure out, but finding inner-piece can transform your life. We’ve dug out seven essential things that you need to do on your trip, so start with these and build on your perfect itinerary from there… Related8 late season sun destinations for lessBeat the post-summer blues by jetting off to find some late season sun. Here are the top 8 destinations for some autumn sunshine.Love islands: are these the most romantic islands in the world?It’s only week two and although we promised ourselves it wouldn’t happen this year, we’ve done it again – we’ve fallen hook, line and sinker for Love Island. And while Majorca is the home of that villa, there are plenty of other destinations that will set hearts a flutter, and…50 of the world’s most beautiful beaches: in picturesDreaming of summer and longing to park your bum on some sand? Here’s our selection of 50 of the most perfect beaches in the world, including beautiful spots in Bali, hidden coves in Cornwall and spectacular stretches of black sand in Hawaii. ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map
Categories: Bellino News State Rep. Joe Bellino of Monroe today announced he will host a consumer protection presentation at the Frenchtown Township Senior Center on Monday, June 26 at 10 a.m. The senior center is located at 2786 Vivian Road in Monroe.“Educational events like these are vital to keep our friends, families and neighbors safe from fraud and scams,” Rep. Bellino said. “It seems like I hear a different story every day of another vulnerable community member being taken advantage of, so I am doing my part to help bring attention to this issue.”Rep. Bellino’s event will be held with the assistance of the attorney general’s consumer education program and will focus on phone, mail and e-scams.There is no cost to attend and reservations are not required, but encouraged. Anyone with questions or unable to attend may contact Rep. Bellino’s office at (517) 373-1530, email JosephBellino@house.mi.gov or visit www.RepBellino.com. 12Jun Rep. Bellino announces free forum on detecting fraud and scams
26Jan House committee considers LaFave’s pneumatic air bow legislation State Rep. Beau LaFave shows the House Natural Resources Committee the ease with which someone with a physical disability can use a pneumatic air bow. The first-term representative from Iron Mountain has introduced legislation allowing pneumatic air bows to be used for hunting in Michigan.State Rep. Beau LaFave of Iron Mountain recently testified before the House Natural Resources Committee in support of his legislation allowing the use of pneumatic air bows for hunting in Michigan.Pneumatic air bows function similarly to crossbows in that arrows are loaded one at a time, the bow is cocked and then fired with the pull of a trigger. Unlike a crossbow, it uses compressed air to launch the projectile, a useful feature for hunters with disabilities.“Crossbows and compound bows require quite a bit of strength to cock,” LaFave said. “Pneumatic air bows take strength out of the equation, offering people with physical limitations a safe, reliable and humane way to kill deer.”LaFave, whose personal experiences have made him a strong advocate for people with disabilities, said he introduced the bill after being approached by a local woman with a passion for bow hunting who now has multiple sclerosis.“She has never been a rifle hunter, she’s never going to use a shotgun, she’s just not interested in that type of hunting,” LaFave said. “Unfortunately, her disabilities now prevent her from being able to do the thing that she loves. This legislation would allow her the opportunity to get back into the woods and take back part of her life that she’s been missing out on due to physical limitations.”LaFave’s bill would direct the Natural Resources Commission to consider allowing licensed hunters to take game with pneumatic air bows during any open season in which a firearm may be used. Additionally, an individual with a disability and a permit would be allowed to hunt with a pneumatic air bow during bow season.House Bill 5180 remains under consideration by the House Natural Resources Committee.### Categories: LaFave News
Categories: Calley News 15Mar Michigan House approves Rep. Calley bill safeguarding election integrity Legislation ensures qualified voter file is kept up to dateLegislation sponsored by state Rep. Julie Calley to protect the integrity of elections in Michigan was overwhelmingly approved today in the Michigan House.Calley’s legislation, House Bill 5646, requires the Secretary of State to keep the list of people who are registered and qualified to vote in Michigan up to date by checking it against U.S. Social Security Administration’s death records. The legislation also requires continued participation in a multi-state program through which information is shared about the current address and registration status of voters.“People are more concerned than ever about the security of our elections,” said Calley, of Portland. “We must do everything we can to ensure them that our qualified voter file is being held to the highest standard possible. When someone passes away or moves to another state, it’s important to update our voter rolls in a prompt and efficient manner to eliminate the possibility of voter fraud.”While the Secretary of State currently utilizes these resources to update the qualified voter file, Calley said it is not required under current law. Her legislation ensures the practice continues in the future.In addition to Calley’s bill, the House also approved two other bills clarifying current practices of the Secretary of State. House Bill 5644, sponsored by Rep. Tom Barrett, spells out the procedure by which absentee voters can change their mind and spoil their absentee ballot.House Bill 5669, sponsored by Rep. Aaron Miller, clarifies the current list of acceptable forms of identification for election purposes.“Establishing these current practices as law ensures the Secretary of State and local election officials are all on the same page, and provides residents with confidence in the database of qualified voters,” said Calley, who serves as vice chair of the House Elections and Ethics Committee.House Bills 5644, 5646 and 5669 now move to the Senate for consideration.###
01Apr Rep. Hank Vaupel Weekly Column: April 1, 2019 This week, I had the pleasure of meeting with a group of nurse practitioners from the Henry Ford Health System at my Lansing office. They were visiting the capital to discuss health policy issues they face on a daily basis. As chair of the House Health Policy committee, I am always grateful for opportunities to hear from the day-to-day experts. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and insight!***Last Thursday was Transportation Legislative Day at the Capitol, and I had a chance to sit down with Livingston Essential Transportation System (LETS) Director Greg Kellogg to discuss the future of Livingston County transportation. It was an interesting conversation on how state and local entities can best work together to ensure the optimal system for our residents. I remain committed to helping find ways to coordinate with LETS and the county.***I recently attended a Michigan Works! seminar on Business Resource Networks and the ALICE population in Michigan. ALICE is short for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed and includes those who are working while still struggling to make ends meet. It was an insightful discussion on ways job providers can increase retention and promote career growth to help their employees meet personal needs.***It was an honor to present a state tribute to Dr. Nelson Edwards this week commemorating his tremendous service to our community and people around the world. He has completed 46 trips to Mexico, St. Lucia, Dominica, Grenada, Haiti, Panama, Peru, Latvia, Kenya, Hawaii, Guatemala, and many other locations around the globe to educate locals on best medical practices and to help establish sustainable change. Dr. Edwards has treated more than 73,000 individuals and voluntarily provided tens of millions of dollars’ worth of care to those in need. Thank you, Dr. Edwards, for being such a committed example to us all!***If you have any ideas, comments or questions for my office, please do not hesitate to call us at 517-373-8835 or send an email to HankVaupel@house.mi.gov. We are happy to hear from you!PHOTO INFORMATION: State Rep. Hank Vaupel met with a group of nurse practitioners from the Henry Ford Health System in Lansing to discuss health policy issues. Categories: Vaupel News
ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares September 1, 2014; New York TimesThe 49-year-old San Diego Opera almost suffered an untimely death this past summer when the board voted to close it down, despite the fact that it was not running a deficit and had no debt. The decision seems to have been partially based on some assumptions about the viability of opera companies everywhere. In the end, there was a stakeholder rebellion and the company was rescued by a loose coalition of volunteers. Meanwhile, the board’s vote to close the opera resulted in $2.23 million in donations to keep it open and, reportedly, there has been a 285 percent increase in first-time subscribers this year over last.Still, the opera knows that it need to conserve its resources for rebuilding, so it has moved from the penthouse of the Civic Center Plaza, which had great views, to the offices formerly inhabited by the public defender with nice views of the adjoining parking lot. This saved $400,000 a year.The staff of approximately 40 employees was cut by a third, and those who remained took 10 percent pay cuts, including union members. The board also downsized from 57 to 26, possibly due to acrimony caused by the upheaval. Finally, there will be only three productions staged this year instead of the usual four. Still, it is not yet clear if these cuts will be the right reorganization, along with fundraising to erase a projected $1.5 million shortfall for next year.Karen S. Cohn, who was the president of the board when it took the vote to close in March, has resigned and is unhappy with those who are left. “I cannot support what is going on,” she said of the new coalition and its efforts. “This is a group of people who are not focusing on going forward. They are focusing on ruining people who spent 31 years doing wonderful things for San Diego. I don’t want to ruin their chance of going forward, but I don’t appreciate how they have handled this.”Ms. Cohn says that the opera better be looking for new donors because she is not coming back. “I’m going to Los Angeles, or I’m going to New York,” she said. “Not here.”The current board president, Carol Lazier, thinks that the oddness of the vote to close helped build momentum. “I think what happened with San Diego was a blessing, in that it really came out of the blue, so everybody rallied to help it survive. I look at the New York City Opera. Everyone got tired of it, hearing over and over again, ‘Oh we’re in trouble’…We weren’t in trouble,” she said. “We were a highly regarded opera company that suddenly went belly up. It got everyone’s attention. The formula wasn’t sustainable.”William Mason, the former general director at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, is the acting artistic adviser and he has a positive outlook, “I think the prospects are very good,” he said. “Like opera companies all over, there is a little bit of rethinking that has to happen…Frankly, if I didn’t think the company was viable, I would have said, ‘Thanks very much, but no.’”—Ruth McCambridgeShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares November 20, 2014; Harvard CrimsonOn Wednesday, November 19th, seven students and environmental activists at Harvard University filed a lawsuit claiming that Harvard has violated its charter policies by not divesting from fossil fuels and beseeching the court to compel the university to abdicate all its holdings, direct and indirect, in the industry.The 11-page complaint cites that Harvard’s status as a public charity and nonprofit corporation are at odds with its refusal to divest. Further, “Harvard Corporation has recognized its obligation as an economic and intellectual leader to respond to climate change.” Therefore, the complaint indicates, Harvard’s knowing avoidance of divestment while acknowledging the damage caused by fossil fuel usage is contradictory to its “special obligation and accountability to the future [and] to the long view needed to anticipate and alter the trajectory and impact of climate change,” as affirmed by Harvard’s president, Drew Faust.The seven plaintiffs—Alice M. Cherry, Benjamin A. Franta, Sidni M. Frederick, Joseph E. Hamilton, Olivia M. Kivel, Talia K. Rothstein, and Kelsey C. Skaggs—are known collectively as the Harvard Climate Justice Coalition, include undergraduates and graduate students, and are also part of campus climate change group Divest Harvard. The lawsuit is also brought on behalf of “future generations” that would accordingly be impacted by climate change. The lawsuit names as defendants the Harvard Corporation, the Harvard Management Company, and Massachusetts Attorney General Martha M. Coakley. As noted on their website, the group will not be utilizing a lawyer for the suit, although three of the seven members of the Coalition are law school students.Coalition member and Harvard Law School student Kelsey Skaggs noted that students have been frustrated at the university’s lack of response to calls for divestment. In an October 2013 letter, Faust said, “While I share their belief in the importance of addressing climate change, I do not believe, nor do my colleagues on the Corporation, that university divestment from the fossil fuel industry is warranted or wise.” University spokesperson Jeff Neal, in a response to the suit, wrote to the Harvard Crimson, saying that although the threat of climate change must be confronted, university leaders “sometimes differ on the means” to do so.Skaggs believes the lawsuit will continue to push the issue of divestment, whether or not it is successful. It’s the latest in a number of very public steps made in the past few years in protest against the university’s stance against divestment. A group of Harvard faculty has been seeking open dialogue in a public forum about the issue. Their most recent statement from September 9th, addressed to William Lee, the Senior Fellow of the Harvard Corporation, was just a one of a series of letters sent to an administration that’s steadfast in its continued reliance on fossil fuels.A letter from Lee from this past July tries to explain the university’s position:“Whatever the size of our holdings in any particular company, the fact that we are shareholders or investors gives us standing to express our concern about risks of environmental or other societal harm. Harvard, as a shareholder or investor, can insist more credibly on being heard than an institution that does not hold shares, however prestigious the institution may be.”Understandably, this response is likely to spur some ire. The university may need to take more robust steps to properly continue dialogue with their community, given that it has begun to take more drastic actions. Whether or not the university feels it can realistically divest from fossil fuels, it need only look to Stanford University and the University of Glasgow to see that doing so is not only possible, but powerful for their students and faculty as well.—Shafaq HasanShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
Share38Tweet22Share16Email76 Shares“DRAFT ELIZABETH WARREN FOR PRESIDENT Poster / Sign pasted on street light pole base on S at 14th Street, NW, Washington DC on Monday afternoon, 13 April 2015.” Credit: Elvert Barnes Photography.August 28, 2017; CNNMany have noticed that Elizabeth Warren has been increasingly speaking to the racism that magnifies the country’s economic challenges for people of color, and some are noting that this is the same intersection of issues that Martin Luther King highlighted before his death in 1968. CNN’s Eric Bradner tracked Warren’s evolving stance and identified her attempt to read Coretta Scott King’s 1986 letter condemning Jeff Sessions—which gave us the memorable “nevertheless, she persisted”—as the start of her broadening appeal.Warren has also been deepening her relationships with leaders of color, including Bernice King, the daughter of Martin Luther King, Jr and Coretta Scott King, who said, “In order for us to make effective change, leaders have to be courageous. They have to be willing to take a stance…willing to lose some things. And she was willing to risk some things in this process, being silenced on the floor.”Massachusetts elected Warren to the U.S. Senate in 2012, and she has since become known for her battle with Wall Street and big banks. She has repeatedly noted that while the U.S. economy is in an upturn, things are not good for poor people and people of color.Warren, who is known for her passionate speeches, has delivered a series over the last few months emphasizing issues of race and culture in the U.S. In April, she spoke at the NAACP’s 62nd annual Fight for Freedom dinner with over 5,000 attendees and an overall theme about voting in the next presidential election. In July, she spoke at a Rainbow PUSH Coalition event of Black women from Chicago and across the world focused on women’s empowerment. She also spoke that month at the Netroots Nation meeting of about 3,000 in Atlanta, where she urged Democrats “to reject centrist policies and move leftward.” In this speech, she declared a progressive takeover of the party and proposed “Medicare for all, debt-free college or technical school, universal pre-kindergarten, a $15-an-hour minimum wage and portable benefits.”Bradner observed, “The speeches have stoked speculation that Warren is angling to run for president in 2020.” Michael Curry, former president of the Boston chapter of the NAACP and current chair of the national’s advocacy and policy committee, said, “People take about her in presidential terms often when I travel the country, and I think in the African American community, it’s because they appreciate that she, in a very full-throated way, will speak to the issue of racism.”Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders attempted to appeal to the same set of voters, but some have said that he was unable to relate to Blacks. In contrast, Rev. Jesse Jackson said, “Warren represents a more diverse state, and ‘she does not talk with a strain; she talks with a comfort level and familiarity’ in speaking with black leaders.” He also noted that the issues that Warren speaks to affect both “whites in Appalachia and blacks in the Delta.”Bradner wrote, “Since the 2016 election, an emerging divide within the Democratic Party is between those on the left who prefer the message of all economic populism, all the time, and liberals who see issues of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion and other identity issues as central.”Warren said, “In the wake of the last election, I’ve heard people say we need to decide whether we’re the party of the white working class or the party of Black Lives Matter,” and she aims to bridge that perceived divide. In a statement to CNN, she wrote,“Divide and conquer” is an old story in America—the idea that whatever worries you, the answer is to blame others who don’t look or talk or worship like you do. But when we turn on each other, we can’t unite to fight back against a rigged system. President Trump’s divisive actions don’t reflect our values. We need to say so—and we need to keep fighting every single day to help build opportunity for every single American.Black leaders in Boston who have worked with her over the last few years speak of her eagerness to address issues that affect people of color. Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley, who has worked with Warren on predatory business practices at for-profit colleges and access for people of color to the growing cannabis industry, said, “What you’re seeing on the national stage is what I’ve seen many times in intimate rooms and spaces with Sen. Warren…She does not marginalize the community. She sees an African American in their totality…She is inclusive. So, I don’t only get a call to come sit at a table about an issue that is disproportionately impacting communities of color. I’m invited into any room where she believes that my office…or my lens could add value.”Curry summed it up when he said, “I saw in her speech an intentionality to speak to our communities—to say, ‘I’m here for you, and I plan to be a champion on the issues you care about.’”—Cyndi SuarezCorrection: This article has been changed from its initial form to correct the spelling of Dr. King’s widow’s name.Share38Tweet22Share16Email76 Shares
Share31Tweet12ShareEmail43 Shares April 9, 2019; Next CityA proposal authored by San Francisco Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer called the Community Opportunity to Purchase Act (COPA) is rapidly advancing in the city’s Board of Supervisors, reports Jared Brey for Next City. Specifically, Fewer’s measure would “confer upon certain nonprofit organizations a first-right-to-purchase, consisting of both a right of first offer and a right of first refusal, over all multi-family residential buildings (and related construction sites and vacant lots) in the City, for the purpose of creating and preserving rent-restricted affordable rental housing.”The ordinance was introduced last December. In February, the measure cleared a major hurdle when the city’s Planning Commission endorsed the idea, writing that “The Commission finds that the proposed ordinance aligns with the Planning Department’s goals and priorities.”As Brey explains, the legislation would give nonprofit groups “a right of first refusal to buy buildings containing more than three units. If the law is passed, landlords who want to sell their buildings would first need to notify qualified nonprofit groups of their intent to sell. Nonprofits would have five days to express interest in making an offer and, if they do, another 25 days to work with tenants in the buildings and structure a deal. If the sellers then receive a higher offer from a private buyer, they would need to give nonprofits a chance to match the offer.”Ian Fregosi, a legislative aide to Fewer, explains to Brey that, “We know that nonprofits often have trouble competing on the open market with speculative buyers whose plan is basically to buy the property, evict the tenants and flip the building, or simply to re-rent them out at market rates…By granting nonprofits the first opportunity to bid on these properties, this is going to have a big impact in giving them a fighting chance in buying more buildings and preserving more people.” A vote on the measure is expected as soon as next week; Fregosi says that 10 of the city’s 11 Supervisors have already signed on as cosponsors.Fernando Martí, co-director of the San Francisco Council of Community Housing Organizations, says that the bill is the result of a four-year organizing effort. Martí adds the COPA proposal was informed by a similar law, called the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act, that’s been on the books in Washington, DC since 1980. There, tenants are given the right of first refusal to buy the buildings they live in when their landlords are looking to sell, which has led to the development of many housing co-ops.Karoleen Feng, who directs community real estate at Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA) in San Francisco, notes that the rights provided by COPA would be important, but that funding is also required for the measure to truly be effective. According to Feng, “COPA is a policy and a legislative tool, and it has to be combined with a funding tool…as we put COPA into place, we’re also going to be working with the city to find permanent funds to purchase [COPA-eligible] buildings.”Still, passing the measure itself would be a major step. Brey notes that “the program will give nonprofits—and tenants—an advantage they don’t have today.” As Martí tells Brey, “It creates this pathway that allows us to get in front of the speculators who might be milling around.”—Steve DubbShare31Tweet12ShareEmail43 Shares
Sky Italia has significantly expanded the range of devices that its Sky Go multiscreen service is available on.The service, which offers 25 channels including Sky’s sports channels, has now launched on PCs, Macs and iPhones. Previously it was available only on iPads and Samsung Galaxy Tabs.Sky Go is free to all Sky HD customers, accounting for 73% of the Italian DTH operator’s five million subscribers.
Carl IcahnBillionaire investor Carl Icahn has sold more than half of his shares in streaming site Netflix in deals that have pocketed him more than US$800 million (€584 million).According to an SEC filing issued yesterday, Icahn sold 2.98 million shares – around 5.1% of his 9.4% stake – over 12 days beginning October 10. The deals are worth a cumulative US$819 million, representing a 457% gain on the US$58 a share price he paid for 5.54 million shares just 14 months ago.Icahn – an activist investor who has memorably clashed with the likes of Jon Feltheimer at Lionsgate – said that “when you are lucky and/or smart enough to have made a total return of 457 per cent in only 14 months it is time to take some of the chips off the table”.“I want to thank [CEO] Reed Hastings, [chief content officer] Ted Sarandos and the rest of the Netflix team for a job well done. And last but not least, I wish to thank Kevin Spacey [star of Netflix original House of Cards],” he added in the filing.Netflix this week affirmed it was planning to double spend on originals and had moved past 40 million global subscribers.Icahn Enterprises retains a 4.5% share in the company and said in a press release it believed the streaming service was still “undervalued”. It would be “reasonable” to expect Netflix subscription price point of US$7.99 a month to increase to US$9.99 over the next five years, the filing claimed.Furthermore, even with expenditure set to rise by as much as US$1 billion annually as Netflix moves further into originals, “the [company’s] operating leverage would still be impressive, adding US$3.3 billion to domestic contribution profit”.Icahn also predicted that international growth would drive Netflix’s growth going forward. “Because Netflix launches its product in each territory with a robust service, it must spend on the completion of this product, and the marketing of it, in advance of signing up new subscribers, which is why we expect the international segment to continue losing money in the near term.“However, as these international markets mature, we expect that the aggregate international operating profits will actually exceed the domestic.
Russian broadcaster CTC Media has appointed an executive at ABR Management, the corporate management company for the Bank Rossiya group, to its board of directors. Alexander Pentya replaces Dmitry Lebedev, who has resigned from the board. Lebedev joined in 2011 and was nominated for re-election to the board by CTC back in April.Pentya has served as vice president and head of the management reporting and investment projects department at ABR Management since 2012. He has been an observer to the board of directors of CTC Media since 2011 and joined the Bank Rossiya group in 2008.Telcrest Investments Limited, one of CTC Media’s major shareholders and an affiliate of Bank Rossiya, backed Pentya’s appointment.“On behalf of the Board of Directors, we would like to thank Dmitry for his contribution to the Company and wish him the very best for the future. We are delighted to welcome Alexander Pentya to the Board. His background and experience will be a valuable contribution to the Board’s work going forward,” said Lorenzo Grabau, co-chairman of CTC Media.
Romanian cable operator RCS & RDS has launched a cloud-based storage service, Digi Storage.Digi Storage will enable users to store and share personal data including pictures and videos across devices including Linux and Windows-based PCs, Macs and Android and iOS mobile devices.Digi Net Fiberlink 500 and 1000 customers will receive 20GB of online storage, with the option to upgrade to 50GB for RON3 including VAT. Customers can also upgrade to 100GB for RON6 or 150GB for RON9.RCS & RDS development director Valentin Popoviciu said that Digi Storage offered flexibility, mobilility and anywhere, anytime accessibliity to its customers.
The UK’s Society for Broadband Professionals (SCTE) has teamed up with German cable operators association ANGA to provide bursaries to 20 individuals for the ANGA COM 2015 conference and exhibition.Winners will each receive prepaid flight and hotel accommodation for three nights courtesy of the SCTE and entrance to the entire conference courtesy of ANGA. ANGA COM 2015 takes place in Cologne from June 9-11.The SCTE is currently accepting entries for the ANGA COM 2015 bursary programme. SCTE members can apply by writing up to 250 words on why they would benefit from the bursary and emailing it to the SCTE at office@theSCTE.edu.“The SCTE and ANGA are equally committed to providing professional development opportunities to members of the cable television and broadband industries,” said Thomas Braun, President, ANGA. “In addition to hosting this bursary programme together, we will also be developing a congress panel at the show designed to educate attendees about a compelling topic. Stay tuned for more information about the line-up for ANGA COM 2015.”“We are delighted to be working with ANGA again on the bursary programme,” said Roger Blakeway, president, SCTE. “The ANGA COM bursaries are a great opportunity for members of the SCTE to attend one of the premier events in our industry, giving them the chance to network with other business professionals and learn about the latest technologies.”
Sam RosenVideo infrastructure markets, including broadcast pre- and post-production, video encoding, and VOD and CDN hardware, will grow at a pace of 37% over the next 5 years, according to ABI Research. The report predicts growth despite the impact of virtualization and the separation of hardware and software requirements. ABI said the encoder and transcoder market “represents the brightest spot in the video industry” with growth here currently 9% annually.By comparison, growth in the satellite, VOD and CDN markets is between 4% to 5% and in the broadcast pre- and post-production market 6%.“Broadcasters and operators virtualizing their workflow are likely to buy classic IT servers, while continuing to rely on video specialists for their application and software requirements,” according to ABI Research practice director Sam Rosen.“In theory, this means that video vendors are supplying less of the total solution; however, rising overall business complexity of areas, including ad workflows and over-the-top delivery, are offsetting this downward pressure on revenues.”
Bob IgerThe future leadership of The Walt Disney Company remains in flux after current CEO and chairman, Bob Iger, told investors he “currently” has no plans to extend his contract.Disney was expected to install Thomas Staggs in the top post when Iger’s contract runs out in 2018, but Staggs’ exit has thrown these plans into chaos.Asked about the situation on an investors’ call, Iger said the Disney board has “ample time to identify a successor under timing circumstances that will be just fine for the company”.“I have nothing really to add in terms of the extension of my contract except that I don’t currently have any plans to extend beyond the June expiration date that is June of 2018.”Iger said he was “sorry what came to pass” with Staggs, who resigned after the board decided to vet other options for CEO after Iger’s retirement.Iger has been CEO since 2005, when he succeeded Michael Eisner, and has since led the acquisitions of Pixar Animation, Marvel Entertainment and Lucasfilm, significantly broadening Disney’s access to intellectual property and contributing to ratings and box office success.Second quarter 2016 results released yesterday, however, came in under analysts’ expectations. The company made earnings of US$2.14 billion (€1.88 billion) for the quarter ended April 2, 2016, on revenues of US$12.97 billion.The studio entertainment arm well exceeded an expected US$1.9 billion, and was up 22% year-on-year at US$2.06 billion. However, the media networks segment, which houses ABC and Disney’s cable channels, saw revenues fall slightly from US$5.81 in Q2 2015 to US$5.79 billion.Cable networks dipped 2% to US$3.96 billion in revenue, while the ABC broadcast business rose 3% to reach US$1.84 billion.The launch of Viceland, which Disney indirectly owns a stake in through A+E Networks, was cited as one notable cost.However, operating income at the cable division grew 12% to US$2.02 billion, while the broadcasting arm dropped 8% and came in at U$278 million.
Ivy WongDiscovery has acquired a stake in VS Media, a Chinese multichannel network business.The MCN offers Chinese consumers locally made entertainment content from a roster of 500 creators. It works with the content creators, giving them studio space, funding, marketing and commercial assistance, and VS Media content now registers about 320 million views a month. It has 55 million subs.Discovery has taken an unspecified minority stake in the business, which was founded in 2013 by Chinese entrepreneur Ivy Wong.“I admire the strong community spirit Ivy has fostered with local creators and their followers,” said Arthur Bastings, president and managing director of Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific. “As Discovery looks to build deeper traction in the Chinese-speaking markets, VS MEDIA’s robust following is incredibly valuable to us. Through their advanced analytics, we can get fully plugged in to the Chinese millennial zeitgeist.”Ivy Wong added: “This partnership is a significant milestone in our company’s evolution. We believe that everyone can be an influencer as well as a digital entrepreneur. We continue to uncover, nurture and present the next generation of talent, raising the bar and setting industry best practices.”Discovery has bought in soon after Chinese state-backed private equity fund CMC invested in the business.With investment in hand, VS Media said it is creating a new US$4 million investment fund. It will also have access to content from Discovery Digital Networks, the Discovery division that produces and distributes millennial-skewed content. This content will be localised for the VS Media platform.Discovery has agreed several China-focused partnerships including a content deal with WASU Digital TV Media Group for WASU’s pay TV channel Qiu Suo, and a mobile docs deal with online distributor Viddsee.The VS Media deal is the latest from Discovery Asia under the stewardship of Arthur Bastings, who rejoined the company last year. The division’s Korea operation has been restructured and a new boss brought in, in India on Bastings’ watch.
The UK’s Royal Television Society (RTS) has named the winner of its annual RTS Young Technologist Award.Kathleen Gray, guarantee broadcast engineer at NEP UK Broadcast Services, was chosen to receive the award by a panel of judges chaired by Terry Marsh, Digital Media Consultant.Gray graduated from Southampton Solent University before joining NEP UK Broadcast Services. She has been engineer in charge on some of NEP UK’s largest projects, including ITV’s Love Island. She was also involved in the installation and commissioning of four new UHD trucks and regularly takes the lead on Sky Sports UHD Premiership Football. Most recently she has headed-up the deployment of Host Broadcasting facilities at Wimbledon on behalf of the BBC.Terry Marsh, chair of the RTS Young Technologist Award jury, said: “The RTS Young Technologist Award is important as it recognises outstanding technologists of the future, who are vital to the success of the industry. Kathleen impressed the jury with her swift career trajectory and her total commitment and dedication to delivering quality to production teams, who see her as a trusted and respected point of contact. Her dedication was also clear in her ability to be across every detail of her work whilst also seeing the bigger picture.”