Ranger manager Steven Gerrard has lauded the additions of Jermain Defoe and Steven Davis to his squad this January.Defoe is on an 18-month loan from Bournemouth, while Davis has returned to Rangers from Southampton on an initial six-month loan subject to international clearance.Defoe made his intention for the club this season known via Twitter where he tweeted: ‘Let’s bring that trophy home boss.’Gerrard who played with Defoe in the national team told Daily Mail:Owen reveals why Liverpool didn’t offer Gerrard a new contract Manuel R. Medina – September 6, 2019 According to Owen, the Reds wanted to sell Gerrard two years before he left the club and that’s why they didn’t offer him a contract renewal.“He is an exceptionally talented striker and vastly experienced footballer who has scored goals at every club he has played for.“He will be a great addition to our dressing room and we look forward to integrating him into the squad whilst we work in Tenerife over the next week.”Steven Gerrard’s Rangers are hoping to lift the Scottish Premier League this season after a long period of dominance by defending Champions Celtic.
Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Emily McFarlan Miller Emily McFarlan Miller is a national reporter for RNS based in Chicago. She covers evangelical and mainline Protestant Christianity.,Add Comment Click here to post a comment Share This! By: Emily McFarlan Miller emmillerwrites Instagram apostasy stirs controversy over Christian ‘influencers’ August 30, 2019 Tagsbooks capital punishment Catholic Church death penalty Helen Prejean homepage featured River of Fire Sister Helen Prejean social justice Vatican II,You may also like Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.,Utah Mormon official removed from local position after voyeurism arrest Emily McFarlan Miller emmillerwrites VeggieTales to mount latest revival on Trinity Broadcasting Network By: Emily McFarlan Miller emmillerwrites Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Share This! We are not all the same, and in our difference we are divine August 30, 2019 As Amazon burns, Vatican prepares for summit on region’s faith and sustainabilit … August 30, 2019 Columns • Opinion • Simran Jeet Singh: Articles of Faith Share This! Share This! By: Emily McFarlan Miller emmillerwrites Catholicism News Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,About the authorView All Posts Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,Two decades after her anti-death penalty work was transformed into an Oscar-winning movie, “Dead Man Walking,” Sister Helen Prejean’s campaign continues with the backing of Pope Francis. RNS photo by Rosie Scammell(RNS) — Sister Helen Prejean wants to get religion “right.”But too often, she said, people use religion, including Christianity, for the wrong reasons.That includes Scripture used by politicians to justify separating families at the border, said Prejean, 80. Or Jesus’ death being used by Christians to defend the death penalty.Or thinking that praying for justice is the same as acting for it.“It took me a long time to get Jesus right,” she said.“It took me a long time to not just live Christianity as practicing charity to those around me who were pretty much people just like me, to getting involved with justice, which is the true call of the gospel.”That desire to get it right prompted Prejean — an anti-death penalty activist whose book “Dead Man Walking” was the inspiration for the Oscar-winning 1995 film by the same name — to write her latest memoir, “River of Fire.”In the new book, which ends where “Dead Man Walking” picks up, the sister describes her journey to the Sisters of St. Joseph — and how religious life changed after Vatican II.Prejean talked to Religion News Service about how she became involved in social justice, why she thinks the death penalty is on its way out and how she got to “bump into two popes along the way.”This interview has been edited for length and clarity.You’ve been part of the social justice movement for a long time. How did you get involved?I basically would pray to God to solve the big problems, but I was never engaged directly in social justice. And so I tell in the book about awakening, being jolted out of that. The line that got me was, “Jesus preached good news to the poor.”“River of Fire: My Spiritual Journey” by Sister Helen Prejean. Cover courtesy of Random HouseThe good news to poor people was that it wasn’t God’s will for them to be poor. That they had a right to strive for what was rightfully theirs and to have a decent life. In other words, poverty had to be resisted, not just something accepted because God’s going to reward you in another life. You have to work for justice.When I heard that, I didn’t even know any poor people, and I lived in New Orleans. We had 10 major housing projects for poor black people, and I’d never been to any of them. I was always in the suburbs with other white people like me. God helped wake me up (and realize) that the gospel was about being on the side with people who had no voice, anyone marginalized and who was struggling.Then I began to learn. I realized that to work for justice, you can’t just pray for God to solve these problems, you’ve got to get involved.So to get an invitation to write a man on death row kind of just fit in.Capital punishment has been back in the news with Attorney General William Barr reinstating the federal death penalty. But you’re actually hopeful about ending the death penalty. Why?Pope Francis on Aug. 2, 2018, made a declaration that we’re changing the Catholic catechism that under no circumstance could we ever allow state governments to execute their citizens.The work still needs to be done. So now you’ve got a document. Now you’ve got words on a page. You’ve still got to bring words to life.What happens in countries or states is first you see the practice dwindling because people are losing faith in it. You see that happening across the whole country.It’s still on the way. It’s still kind of budding. But it’s definitely in the right direction, and so that just takes constant dialogue. That’s why I’m glad about “Dead Man Walking,” and that’s why I’m glad about the movie, why I’m glad about the opera, why I stay on the road to talk to the people.In the book, you also include a letter you wrote to Pope Francis advocating for the role of women in the church. Why is this so important to you?The death penalty — OK, we’re on the right path. We’re getting that straight, but there’s a huge, huge, huge injustice in the Catholic Church.Here all around us we see women coming into their own. Here we have the U.N. saying that when you educate the women and bring the women up, that is what raises a society. Here we have the #MeToo movement. Here we have women striving for their rights to be able to vote and to be able to have a voice, women taking their place in Congress and decision-making.In the church, a woman cannot read the Gospel at Mass. Only a man can. Women are not part of any of the policymaking at the highest level of the church. And I say in that letter to the pope, we have all males, always all males, making decisions, and they don’t have the voice and experience and wisdom of women across that table with them.We need the wisdom of women in policymaking and decision-making in the Catholic Church. Eventually it will be the priesthood, too.How do you hold on to joy and faith in the face of the death and injustice you’ve seen?That comes from the Holy Spirit. It’s not something I create and just hold on to. It bubbles up in you. It becomes present in you.And I think it comes from walking out of that execution chamber after witnessing six human beings die.I am working with every bit of strength in my body to change that, to wake up the people. What gives you hope is when you’re working for something. When you’re working on the alternative, you’re not just wishing for it. You’re not just lamenting what is wrong. You’re working. You are at work all the time, and then the hope flows through you. And I think that’s where the joy comes from.I mean, there is tremendous grief. Oh my God. I mean, witnessing people being executed — to see it! You meet them, and they’re human beings, and they’re more than the worst act of their life.Did you ever expect you’d be doing what you do or have a movie made about your work?There is a principle of the spiritual life: You do what you do because of the integrity of it, because of what you see, and not for the fruit of it. You leave the fruit of your actions up to God. So, of course, I never knew all this was going to happen, and it took me awhile to wake up. Share This! Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email
Peter Capaldi’s Doctor Who adventures end when “The Doctor Falls” on July 1 (save for his real finale in the Christmas special).But the 12th Doctor will live on in Titan Comics’ upcoming series “The Lost Dimension,” launching Aug. 30.The “epic event”—eight chapters dropping over three months—features all four revival Doctors playing their part to battle the Void.“The Void has always existed: ‘No place. The silent realm. The lost dimension.’ But the Void is no longer empty,” Titan explained in a press release. “The Void is hungry, and devouring our universe—through time and space. Now, the four Doctors must join forces to save… everything!”“The Lost Dimension” kicks off this fall with the “super-accessible” Alpha issue from George Mann and Cavan Scott, with art by Rachael Stott and Rod Fernandes.Ninth Doctor special covers (via Titan Comics)The “thrilling” story continues with a Ninth Doctor special, set for release in conjunction with Doctor Who Comics Day, a global celebration held on Saturday, Sept. 2.Inspired by Titan’s line of Who books, this year’s event is set to be “bigger than ever before,” with new comics and collections, merchandise, variant covers, signings, and affairs at retailers and libraries around the world.Last year’s festivities were tied in with the release of Scott and Mann’s Supremacy of the Cybermen comic mini-series—in honor of the classic villain’s 50th anniversary.Go online to sign up your bookshop or library, or to register for a kit to host your own reading group event on Doctor Who Comics Day. And keep an eye out for more details about this year’s event.Check out Mann’s work in the latest Twelfth Doctor story, “Beneath the Waves: Part 2,” in which the Doctor and companion Hattie must fend off attacking seaweed “shamblers.” Scott, meanwhile, wrapped up the Ninth Doctor’s “Arkham Asylum in Space” story last month with “Sin Eaters: Part Two.”And, get your live-action Doctor Who fix every Saturday on BBC America. The 12-episode arc marks the end for stars Peter Capaldi and Michelle Gomez (Missy the Master), as well as showrunner Steven Moffat, who will depart the sci-fi favorite late this year. HBO Max Scores Exclusive ‘Doctor Who’ Streaming RightsJo Tro Do Plo Plo No: ‘Doctor Who’ Welcomes Back Familiar Monster Stay on target
Citation: Scientists find first evidence that many universes exist (2010, December 17) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-12-scientists-evidence-universes.html (PhysOrg.com) — By looking far out into space and observing what’s going on there, scientists have been led to theorize that it all started with a Big Bang, immediately followed by a brief period of super-accelerated expansion called inflation. Perhaps this was the beginning of everything, but lately a few scientists have been wondering if something could have come before that, setting up the initial conditions for the birth of our universe. More information: Stephen M. Feeney, Matthew C. Johnson, Daniel J. Mortlock, and Hiranya V. Peiris. “First Observational Tests of Eternal Inflation.” arXiv:1012.1995v1 [astro-ph.CO]via: The Physics arXiv Blog Scientists glimpse universe before the Big Bang The signatures of a bubble collision: A collision (top left) induces a temperature modulation in the CMB temperature map (top right). The “blob” associated with the collision is identified by a large needlet response (bottom left), and the presence of an edge is determined by a large response from the edge detection algorithm (bottom right). Image credit: Feeney, et al. Explore further © 2010 PhysOrg.com In the most recent study on pre-Big Bang science posted at arXiv.org, a team of researchers from the UK, Canada, and the US, Stephen M. Feeney, et al, have revealed that they have discovered four statistically unlikely circular patterns in the cosmic microwave background (CMB). The researchers think that these marks could be “bruises” that our universe has incurred from being bumped four times by other universes. If they turn out to be correct, it would be the first evidence that universes other than ours do exist.The idea that there are many other universes out there is not new, as scientists have previously suggested that we live in a “multiverse” consisting of an infinite number of universes. The multiverse concept stems from the idea of eternal inflation, in which the inflationary period that our universe went through right after the Big Bang was just one of many inflationary periods that different parts of space were and are still undergoing. When one part of space undergoes one of these dramatic growth spurts, it balloons into its own universe with its own physical properties. As its name suggests, eternal inflation occurs an infinite number of times, creating an infinite number of universes, resulting in the multiverse.These infinite universes are sometimes called bubble universes even though they are irregular-shaped, not round. The bubble universes can move around and occasionally collide with other bubble universes. As Feeney, et al., explain in their paper, these collisions produce inhomogeneities in the inner-bubble cosmology, which could appear in the CMB. The scientists developed an algorithm to search for bubble collisions in the CMB with specific properties, which led them to find the four circular patterns.Still, the scientists acknowledge that it is rather easy to find a variety of statistically unlikely properties in a large dataset like the CMB. The researchers emphasize that more work is needed to confirm this claim, which could come in short time from the Planck satellite, which has a resolution three times better than that of WMAP (where the current data comes from), as well as an order of magnitude greater sensitivity. Nevertheless, they hope that the search for bubble collisions could provide some insight into the history of our universe, whether or not the collisions turn out to be real. “The conclusive non-detection of a bubble collision can be used to place stringent limits on theories giving rise to eternal inflation; however, if a bubble collision is verified by future data, then we will gain an insight not only into our own universe but a multiverse beyond,” the researchers write in their study.This is the second study in the past month that has used CMB data to search for what could have occurred before the Big Bang. In the first study, Roger Penrose and Vahe Gurzadyan found concentric circles with lower-than-average temperature variation in the CMB, which could be evidence for a cyclic cosmology in which Big Bangs occur over and over. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
The Clínica Bíblica Hospital celebrated its 85th anniversary Thursday night with a spectacular presentation from the Costa Rican Philharmonic Orchestra at the Melico Salazar Theater in San José. The orchestra played songs from its recent show “Somos Latinos, ” and had the audience rising out of their seats to dance.“At its 85th anniversary, the hospital is looking more like a ‘quinceañera’ – vital and growing, but stable and smart,” said Jaime Cabezas, president of the hospital’s board of directors. Facebook Comments Related posts:A national festival, a grand old opera and other happenings around Costa Rica Costa Ricans psyched for this weekend’s Philharmonic Orchestra tribute to Pink Floyd
earlybirdsFranceFrench Travel Connectionsmall group tours French Travel Connection is offering earlybird rates on its 2018 Escorted Small Group Tours through regional France. Exclusive to French Travel Connection, tours are limited to 16 passengers and are guaranteed to depart.Book before 15 December 2017 to secure earlybird rates including:Champagne, Burgundy & Alsace Tour – 11 Nights from AUD$6,695 pp – Departs 4 June & 7 September 2018Lyon, Provence & French Riviera Tour – 11 Nights from AUD$6,750 pp – Departs 28 June & 11 October 2018Loire Valley, Cognac, Bordeaux & Dordogne – 11 Nights from AU $6,795 pp – Departs 16 June & 29 September 2018
The state gas company (Defa) said Tuesday it will be inviting tenders next month for the supply of liquified natural gas for power generation.Defa chairman Symeon Kassianides also told the House commerce committee that it will be issuing a call for bids for the necessary infrastructure.The new effort aims at having the fuel by January 2020 to avoid emissions fines.The two contracts will be separate, Kassianides said.The Defa chairman said a floating unit to store and deliquefy the fuel will cost some €250m of which 40 per cent, or €101m, will come from the EU.The European Investment Bank has expressed interest to participate in the project while the island’s state-owned electricity company (EAC) will also hold 30 per cent.“We are talking about two separate contracts, one being the supply of natural gas and the infrastructure the other,” Kassianides said. “The fact that the two projects were together was one of the reasons we failed to succeed so far.”He said the timeframe was tight but suppliers suggested the projects can be realized within that time.EAC chairman Andreas Marangos said the company was preparing for the worse case scenario of not having natural gas in time.Marangos said it is ready to apply anti-pollution technology like desulphurisation at a cost of between €30m to €40m.Defa is tasked with reaching an agreement with a supplier for the so-called ‘interim solution’ to replace oil as the EAC’s power-generation fuel with imported gas at a lower cost.The interim solution calls for the importation of natural gas to facilitate cheaper power production as a stopgap until local resources become available.You May LikeFood Eat Safe9 Foods That Are Good For Your HeartFood Eat SafeUndoNew ArenaExperts Agree, He’s The Best HR Hitter In The MLBNew ArenaUndoLives Famous20 Most Dangerous Bridges in the WorldLives FamousUndo The Deniz boat incident showed clearly the intentions of the Turkish sideUndoGreece to overturn law that made universities no-go zone for policeUndoBrazil prison riot kills 52, with 16 decapitatedUndoby Taboolaby Taboola
New legislation introduced by state Rep. John Bizon would hold an individual who is responsible for the care of a minor child accountable if they fail to report that child as missing or dead within 48 hours.“Protecting our most vulnerable residents is of utmost importance,” said Rep. Bizon, R-Battle Creek. “If you’re responsible for the care and well-being of a child, you must be held accountable to ensure that child isn’t endangered. These bills ensure that happens.”Under the legislation, the penalty for not reporting a child who has gone missing or died is up to four years in prison, a $5,000 fine or both. Rep. Bizon said the bills will provide a greater incentive for someone who is trusted with the care of a minor child to do the right thing or face a stiff penalty for failing to act.“These bills are about ensuring those who are trusted to care for Michigan’s children do so,” Rep. Bizon said. “Protecting our children will help our state have a brighter future for everyone.”House Bills 4688 and 4689 have been referred to the House Committee on Criminal Justice.### 09Jun Rep. Bizon introduces bill holding adults accountable for not reporting missing children Categories: Bizon News
Tags: Rep for a Day, student, Victory 29Sep Rep. Victory welcomes local student as ‘Rep. for a Day’ Categories: Featured news,News,Photos,Victory News,Victory Photos ##### Rep. Roger Victory, R-Hudsonville, welcomed Bauer Elementary student Nicholas Gunnik to the state capital to take part in the “Rep. for a Day” event on Sept. 29.Bauer Elementary student Nicholas Gunnik, left, spent the day in the state capitol building with Rep. Roger Victory during the ‘Rep. for a Day’ event.Among the highlights for the students was a swearing-in ceremony on the House floor, a tour of the Capitol building and participation in a mock committee hearing.“We presented an (mock) amendment to declare the favorite state dessert to be pie with ice cream,” Nicholas said. “It was a good committee. There have been a lot of new things to learn.”Students and parents from across the state came to learn about the legislative process and take part in the daily activities of a state representative. Selection was based on a summer reading contest, where students submitted special bookmarks to lawmaker offices and local libraries.“This has been a great event and privilege,” Rep. Victory said. “Reading is so important, and it is vital for students to continue to develop their reading and educational skills year around.”During the summer program, Nicholas read 10 different books. Visiting the Capitol was a great way to end the program, he said.“It was really cool,” Nicholas said. “I got to see how everything works. It’s a different type of thing to learn.”
Tourism Committee chair opposes financial burdens for Michigan outdoor enthusiastsState Rep. Holly Hughes today expressed her frustration with a recent proposal by the Michigan State Waterways Commission to require all kayaks, canoes and paddle boards to be registered with the state.Hughes, who chairs the House Tourism and Outdoor Recreation Committee said people should not be penalized for supporting Michigan’s tourism industry and enjoying the state’s natural resources.“The commission itself stated participation in paddle sports is increasing 7 percent each year in Michigan,” said Hughes, of Montague. “We should be encouraging people to continue that trend, not discouraging the momentum with unnecessary costs.”Though the commission claims the cost would be about $10 annually per watercraft, Hughes and others still have great concerns, especially for those who own many watercraft.“Even at a nominal cost, the fees could add up to hundreds of dollars annually for moms and dads who have kayaks or paddle boards for each member of their family,” she said. “Not to mention the burden on small businesses such as summer camps, rental companies and campgrounds.”Thus far, the commission’s proposal hasn’t gained any momentum, as no legislators have pursued the matter with legislation.### Categories: Hughes News 12Apr Hughes says proposed registration fees for kayaks, canoes will sink
State Rep. Jim Lilly, of Park Township, will meet with area residents during scheduled office hours this month.“Regular input from residents is essential to quality representation,” Rep. Lilly said. “I encourage residents to attend and I hope to bring your thoughts from our discussions to Lansing.”Rep. Lilly will be available Monday, Feb. 25 at the following times and locations:9 to 10 a.m. at Pine Street Café, 401 Pine St. in Ferrysburg; and11 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Park Township Office, 52 152nd in Holland.Rep. Lilly will be joined by State Sen. Roger Victory at the Pine Street Café office hour. This presents an opportunity for residents to discuss matters with both state officials and hear perspectives from both chambers.No appointments are necessary. Those who are unable to attend at the scheduled times, but would like an opportunity to talk with Rep. Lilly may call his office at (517) 373-0838 or email JimLilly@house.mi.gov.### Categories: Lilly News 21Feb Rep. Lilly invites residents to upcoming office hours
ShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesOctober 31, 2015; Tampa Bay Times and Washington PostWeaknesses of the Bush/Obama education strategy continue to emerge. A few weeks back, we learned more about how poorly two elements, teacher rating and evaluation systems and online charter schools, are performing in the real world.The Tampa Bay Times reported that “after six years of effort, high hopes and more than $180 million spent, the Hillsborough County school system is unraveling the teacher evaluation system it developed with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.” Problems with the program had emerged earlier this year, and we had since learned that the district decided it was necessary to make major changes.The program in the Hillsborough School District was part of a multi-city effort funded by the Gates Foundation to demonstrate that a new approach to teacher rating and evaluation that combined independent evaluators along with standardized test scores “would result in all students—especially those with the highest needs—getting quality teachers.”But…the project fell short of many of its goals and cost more to sustain than the district could afford. Lower-income schools continue to hire the newest and least qualified teachers. Test scores are still measurably lower for poor and minority students. And Hillsborough’s graduation rate now lags behind other large counties in Florida.In an email, Hillsborough District Superintendent Jeff Eakins announced an exit strategy from the Gates plan—the upcoming formation of a transition committee, with a number of employee groups represented. “Eakins said he envisions a new program featuring less judgmental ‘non-evaluative feedback’ from colleagues and more ‘job-embedded professional development,’ which is training undertaken in the classroom during the teacher work day rather than in special sessions requiring time away from school.”While the reform vision of teacher evaluation did not prove effective, Superintendent Eakins did see some benefits emerge from the six years of effort:The grant provided the opportunity to work with experts in the field and enabled our own teachers to create a common definition of effective teaching. Our teachers developed a set of tools which clearly defines effective teaching and practices for a variety of instructional roles. This framework, our evaluation rubric, has provided a common language that will foster professional growth moving forward.Creating a vibrant educational marketplace that provides every parent with the ability to choose the best school for their child is another key reform strategy. To accomplish this, national and state policies have encouraged the growth of privately managed but publically funded charter schools. Within this sector, 17 states and the District of Columbia permit allow online charters, schools in which instruction is delivered at a distance. These schools have been seen as the wave of the future, minimizing the costs of brick-and-mortar schools and allowing a high degree of personalization of a student’s course of study. But we now know that they are shockingly ineffective.Valerie Strauss of the Washington Post reported on a study by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) in collaboration with the Center on Reinventing Public Education at the University of Washington and Mathematica Policy Research. Looking at data from the places that permit online charter schools, the study found “students in online charters lost an average of about 72 days of learning in reading…[and]…180 days of learning in math during the course of a 180-day school year. The average student in an online charter had lower reading scores than students in traditional schools everywhere except Wisconsin and Georgia, and had lower math scores everywhere except in Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin.”The evidence suggests that online charters don’t serve very well the relatively atypical set of students that currently attend these schools, much less the general population.In other words, “the average student who attends might as well not enroll.”In response to the study, the Columbus Dispatch noted, “The report concerned some school choice supporters, including Chad Aldis of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, who said, ‘Proponents of school choice are increasingly hard-pressed to defend virtual charters.’”Element by element, the Bush/Obama strategy is proving to be expensive, at best no better than traditional public education, and gradually losing the support of parents and teachers. Yet proponents continue to advocate for “staying the course” as the right strategy. With our kids’ futures at stake, is it not time to take a step back and consider whether critics who point to the importance of factors like poverty, violence, and race as the critical issues are on to something?—Martin LevineShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
Broadpeak will exhibit at ANGA COM on Stand Q36, Hall 10.1 CDN specialist Broadpeak will use ANGA COM to demonstrate umbrellaCDN, its solution geared toward content providers for allocating content to multiple CDNs.It is designed to allow content providers to allocate the ideal CDN for their content according to various criteria such as format, end-user location, content provider, quality, or time of day. umbrellaCDN also offers the possibility to centralise content geoblocking, to manage the sending of replacement content and the modeling of quotas. Analytics provide information about the audience and content consumption.Broadpeak will also highlight its C-CAS (Conditional Access System-Compliant Adaptive Streaming) that enables pay-TV operators to support adaptive streaming protocols while simultaneously remaining compliant with conditional access systems on subscribers’ existing set-top boxes.The first application of C-CAS is available on Broadpeak’s BkS100 VOD servers, enabling operators to ensure Quality of Experience while relying on adaptive streaming controlled at the network level as opposed to within the player, according to Broadpeak.nanoCDN, the third major product to be highlighted by Broadpeak at the show, is designed to harness subscribers’ home networks and reduce infrastructure investments for network service providers. The first application of nanoCDN is to optimise live OTT video delivery, with more applications to be supported in the future. nanoCDN manages video consumption peaks that are not supported by the network infrastructure, according to Broadpeak.
Telefónica is preparing to sell its US$3.6 billion (€2.7 billion) stake in its Czech division, according to Reuters and Bloomberg reports. Goldman Sachs and Societe Generale are assisting Telefonica find a buyer for its 69% holding in Telefonica Czech Republic, said Bloomberg citing three people familiar with the matter.Reuters reported that Czech investment group PP, which recently sold its telecoms arm, was the most likely buyer, citing two unnamed sources.Telefonica, which has close to €50 billion Euros in net debt, is reportedly looking to cut this to under €47 billion by the end of the year, and recently sold its O2 Irish business.
Satellite transmission technology specialist NovelSat has launched NovelSat FreeBand, a new solution that it says gives broadcasters free satellite bandwidth for occasional video contribution.According to NovelSat, FreeBand allows them to use the same bandwidth, at the same frequency, both to send video to the point-to-multipoint distribution network and to receive video from digital satellite newsgathering and the like.The company said that this will allow broadcasters to avoid paying for satellite bandwidth every time the deploy a remote contribution unit within the footprint of their satellite distribution network.The solution is delivered via NovelSat Duet, a band re-use technology, in conjunction with either DVB-S2 modulation or NovelSat’s proprietary NS3 satellite transmission technology at the remote site.By transmitting well below the noise floor of the remote terminals, remote transmissions can be received by the NovelSat FreeBand modem at the distribution hub without interfering with outbound video transmission to the distribution network, according to NovelSat. The antenna at the distribution hub must be larger than the remote antenna for the system to work, according to the company.
Richard Ayre has bee re-appointed to serve a further four years on the BBC Trust.Ayre’s new term will run from August 1 2014 to July 31 2018. Currently chair of the complaints and appeals board, he will also become chair of the editorial standards board when Alison Hastings’ term ends in October.Ayre (pictured) recently led the service review of BBC News and Current Affairs.“To remain the nation’s leading broadcaster, the BBC must maintain its reputation for truth, accuracy, impartiality, and fairness. But it also has to make lively, courageous, and challenging programmes,” said Ayre.“The Trust will protect the BBC’s independence to do so, but we will also hold it publicly to account when audiences are let down, and we will do both without fear or favour.”Separately, acting BBC Trust chairman Diane Coyle has lodged an application to replace former chairman Chris Patten full time in the role just ahead of the deadline for candidates to announce themselves.According to the Guardian, Coyle, who took the helm at the Trust after Patten stepped down to undergo heart surgery in May, has decided to apply for the job. Coyle is a former member of the Competition Commission and Independent economics editor, runs consultancy Enlightenment Economics.
James MurdochJames Murdoch is to return to Sky as chairman in a move that many believe could presage a renewed attempt by 21st Century Fox to consolidate the pay TV giant by acquiring the 60.4% of the organisation that it does not already own.Current chairman Nicholas Ferguson will step down at the end of April after 12 years on the Sky board.Martin Gilbert has been appointed as Deputy Chairman, with Andrew Sukawaty taking over his former role as Sky’s Senior Independent Director.Murdoch remained a non-executive director of Sky after stepping down as chairman in 2012 in the wake of the phone hacking scandal that scuppered what was then News Corp’s attempt to consolidate the operator.Last October, Murdoch stimulated speculation about Fox’s future intentions when he said that the group’s lack of full control of Sky was not a natural end state.“It’s difficult to find the right time to step down from chairing a great company and working with an outstanding Board and management team. I joined the Board 12 years ago, in 2004, meaning that I have been with Sky for nearly half its life. When I became Chairman in 2012, I wrote in the Annual Report that I would stay on long enough to ensure continuity,” said Ferguson.“The then virtually new Board is now seasoned and bedded in. We have completed major international acquisitions in Germany and Italy; they are running to plan and we have first-class management in place. Sky continues to grow impressively, to innovate with wonderful products and to serve its customers to the highest standard. So now is the right time for me to step back. I am sure that the company will continue to prosper under the leadership of Jeremy supported by James and the Board.”Murdoch’s taking the reins as chairman comes after strong first half operating and financial results for Sky, with 337,000 new customers and 1.1 million new product sales in the second quarter of its fiscal year. Sky had 21.477 million retail customers across all its five European territories at the end of December, 870,000 year-on-year, taking 55.866 million products, up 3.914 million.Sky in the UK and Ireland reported its strongest Q2 operating results n a decade, adding 205,000 customers and 778,000 paid for products. This included 146,000 new TV customers and 144,000 broadband customers.Sky added 120,000 in Germany and Austria with paid for product growth of 345,000. In Italy, where the company said it was hit by discounting from competitors and the loss of its Champions League rights to Mediaset, the company added 12,000 customers and 23,000 paid for products.The company saw churn fall from 10.5% to 10.2% year-on-year in the UK and Ireland and from 10% to 9.9% in Italy, but it rose in Germany from 8.3% to 9.8%.Sky posted revenues of £5.718 billion for the first half, up from £5.437 million (€7.123 billion)year-on-year at constant currency. The company posted an operating profit of £747 million, up from £667 million at constant currency, with strong growth in the UK, Ireland, Germany and Austria. Only in Italy did it see a sharp revenue fall, with revenues dropping from £978 million to £953 million at constant currency – which included a positive currency impact of £101 million – and operating profit dropping from £31 million to £25 million, again at constant currency.Sky also highlighted a series of content initiatives including a deal with Showtime that will enable it to offer drama series including forthcoming Billions exclusively to its subscribers, along with new seasons of Twin Peaks, Ray Donovan and The Affair.Sky said it also had over 100 dramas in production or development, including nine returning series.
Sky has invested US$6 million (€5.5 million) in US-based sports streaming service fuboTV, in its latest move to back “innovative start-up companies”.Launched in January 2015, fuboTV offers a premium, over-the-top bundle of sports TV channels and claims to be the second-largest aggregator of linear OTT sports content in the US.The company has US distribution deals with Univision Networks, beIN SPORTS, GolTV and Benfica TV, which hold sports rights including live football matches from a number of international leagues and tournaments such as Italy’s Serie A.FuboTV offers content in English, Spanish and Portuguese via online platforms, including Roku, Chromecast, Apple TV, iOS and Android devices and web browsers.“We’re excited to be investing in fuboTV, at a time when our customers are looking to consume more and more content, whenever and wherever they are,” said Sky’s director of corporate development and strategic investments, Emma Lloyd.“This investment will provide Sky with real insight, and we look forward to working with the fuboTV team as they continue to explore new opportunities for growth.”David Gandler, co-founder and CEO of fuboTV, said that Sky’s investment “strongly positions fuboTV to meet the demands of the ever evolving sports rights ecosystem” and demonstrates the service’s potential to “become leaders among linear OTT services”.The US$6 million backing is part of fuboTV’s Series B round and follows Sky’s recent investments in sports marketing company InCrowd Sports, programmatic advertising company DataXu and OTT video company TV4 Entertainment.Sky has previously invested in a number of other pioneering U.S. technology companies, including the leading online sports network Whistle Sports, IP streaming service provider Roku and cinematic virtual reality company Jaunt.In October 2014, Sky also invested US$7 million (€5.5 million) in Whistle Sports, a US-based startup that runs sports-themed YouTube networks.
Orange has chosen wireless technology and set-top box provider AirTies to provide in-home WiFi solutions to subscribers in France and Poland.In France, Orange uses AirTies’ Air 4920 wireless extenders as an available accessory to compliment Orange’s Livebox, which combines 4K/Ultra HD television and dual-band Wi-Fi. Air 4920s are used to extend the Wi-Fi signal and capacity into hard to reach areas within subscribers’ homes to enhance overall coverage.In Poland, Orange’s subscribers are able to use multiple AirTies’ Air 4920 Mesh Extenders placed around the home to create an intelligent mesh network that ensures consistent, high quality whole-home Internet coverage, the company said.This managed mesh solution includes AirTies’ Client Steering technology to ensure connected devices, such as tablets and mobile phones, continually connect to the best available frequency bands, both 2.4GHz and 5GHz, based on real-time network conditions within the home. It also includes access to AirTies’ Remote Manager, a cloud-based, in-home performance management system.“Orange is at the forefront of delivering high-quality broadband to millions of subscribers, and we’re extremely proud to support them with our premium Wi-Fi solutions,” said Philippe Alcaras, CEO of AirTies.“They recognise with the rise of connected devices, streaming video, and overall Internet speeds that subscribers are more dependent than ever on the performance of their home Wi-Fi networks. AirTies shares Orange’s vision of delivering the best possible Wi-Fi to consumers.”
In This Issue… * Risk assets healing is wiped out… * Euro and A$ lead currencies lower… * Gold can’t find a bid… * Chinese renminbi takes baby steps lower… And, Now, Today’s Pfennig For Your Thoughts! A Full-On Risk Aversion Day… Good day… And a Marvelous Monday to you! Well… ding dong me, I forgot that I said I was going to write from home on Mondays, that is until I was ½ -way to work… UGH! Oh well, I’m here in the sauna, so let’s get to what’s on my mind today, no wait, you probably don’t want to know what’s on MY mind, but rather what’s going on in the world… So, here we go! On Friday, I left you with the thought that the risk assets, were attempting to heal from Thursday’s bloodletting… There was no U.S. data to swing the traders one way or the other, so, it appeared that the week would end with some healing in the risk assets… But, that appearance didn’t last long, and soon the small gains that had been booked were wiped out… But still, no major sell off like on Thursday, so at least the risk assets had that going for them! This morning, we have more selling going on… The currencies led by the euro and Aussie dollar (A$), are both down significantly, and Gold just can’t seem to find a bid these days. The S&P futures are down early this morning too… So, at this point of the day, it appears that we’ll see a down day, a day of risk aversion, and weaker values. We went into Friday, with the thought that 4 of the largest economies in the Eurozone, were going to send their leaders to a meeting in Rome to work on a plan that would be presented at the European Summit this coming weekend… Well, I don’t know if the Eurozone leaders took my suggestion of coming up with a blueprint on how they will address this debt debacle as a whole, and stop the putting out fires one at a time… I guess we won’t find that out until this next weekend… I sure hope they did, otherwise, I feel that the Eurozone and euro will be in for a world of hurt… In Germany, they did announce that German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, had agreed to underwrite the debt of Germany’s 16 states, which is a form of burden-sharing, and will be called “Deutschland Bonds”, which will give Germany two tiers of bonds… straight Gov’t. bonds, and these new “Deutschland Bonds”… So, what does that have to do with the Eurozone as a whole? Well… what’s good for the goose is also good for the gander, right? So, if Merkel will agree to sharing debt burden within Germany, then why not for the Eurozone? Well… If I were Angela Merkel, I would be very concerned about joint debt sales in the 17-nation currency union, as long as budgets are set by the national governments… In fact, German Finance Minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble, said it all, when he told reporters that, “as long as the national states make the decisions, they have to be liable. If you can spend money on my tab, you won’t be thrifty.” And doesn’t that make sense? Now switch gears, and come across the pond to the U.S. The U.S. Gov’t makes the budgets, and they spend our money… not theirs… which means they don’t have to be thrifty, right? But, apparently this just doesn’t occur or appear in the thought box above a trader’s head that what’s going on in the U.S. is more absurd than what’s going on in the Eurozone. Well… there are two reasons we get away with it folks… the first and biggest reason is the fact that the U.S. dollar is still the reserve currency of the world, and the second reason is that most people in the U.S. don’t give a rat’s tail about how much debt the U.S. has, or worry about how that it will get paid down, or worry about the tax burdens their kids and grandkids are going to have to deal with… Of course, that’s not you, dear readers, but think of yourself as the “minority” when it comes to awareness of this situation here in the U.S. They know all about Greece… Because the media makes a big deal out of a country which has the economy about the size of the economy of the Dallas-Ft. Worth area, and that New York City’s economy is larger than Greece’s… When I go out on the road to talk to people, you would be amazed at the number of people that 1. Don’t know the consequences of these debt burdens here in the U.S., 2. Don’t know that the dollar, even though it’s in rally mode now, has lost a major chunk of its purchasing power, and 3. Don’t know that they can do something to protect themselves from the potential further declines of the dollar… But, as I’ve said… take the Pfennig Readers, and the people I talk to while out on the road, and it’s still a small group, when compared to the U.S. population as a whole… Speaking of a country with debt… Over in Japan, they are set to pass a consumption tax hike bill… This would be a brand spanking new tax on the Japanese people… So, this illustrates what I was just talking about regarding the tax burdens on our grandkids… So, here, in the land of Debt, they will pass a new tax to help pay for Gov’t debt… But… here’s something to think about regarding Japan’s economy… The new tax, if passed this week, will go into effect in 2014… So… don’t you think that the Japanese economy could get boost from consumers rushing out to buy before this tax gets implemented? So, short-term, it could be a good thing… long-term, it’s not such a good thing… I saw a story headline on the Bloomberg this morning that caught my eye… The title: Central Banks Commit to Ease as Threat of Lost Decades Rises… So, if you’re like me, that title intrigued you, and you’ll read on… according to the Bloomberg, “Central Bankers are finding it easier to support their economies than to spur expansion as the prospect of Japanese – like lost decades looms across the developed world.” OK.. Chuck again here… Now, I’ve said that the U.S. was turning Japanese for almost a decade now… and every time the U.S. implements another form of stimulus, and keeps their interest rates near zero, they play right into the Japanese lost decades scenario… Peter Dixon, the global equities economist at Commerzbank, said, “Japan’s experience shows central banks can mitigate the worst effects of the current environment, but it’s going to be very hard for them to stimulate demand.” I think the Fed Heads are finding that to be very true… So… why meddle in the first place? If a country’s economy needs to clean out the excesses then let it! Part of our financial meltdown problem is the fact that the Fed had to meddle in recessions that we the U.S. economy was supposed to experience going back to 2001… Eventually, these problems build up and then spill out… that’s exactly what has happened… the more you meddle, the bigger the problem down the road. Just ask Japan! So… the U.S. data cupboard gets restocked this week, but, for the most part, I believe that the focus will be on the European Summit that will begin on Thursday. But, for those of you keeping score at home… Today we’ll see New Home Sales for May, which should remain about the size of April’s 343,000. Another regional manufacturing report, this time from Dallas. Tomorrow, the S&P/ CaseShiller Home Price Index, and Consumer Confidence. As we go along this week, there will be more, but no sense in talking about them now… But, keep in mind the mantra that has been taken on by the traders once again, and that is… the dollar gets rewarded for awful / weak data in the U.S. strange as it might seem, that’s what’s happening! Well.. I said above that Gold just can’t seem to find a bid lately… and that about says it all! The past few months have really been a test of convictions for Gold owners… I don’t know this to be true, it’s just my opinion, but I would have to think that given the currency debasement going on all over the world, that investors will be seeking out Gold as a store of wealth… It’s just going to take some time, as it will take some time for the sheeple to realize what their Government has been doing to the purchasing power of their currency… And China continues to allow the renminbi to weaken VS the dollar… by small amounts, yes, but still.. this has to be the longest they’ve gone in this direction since 2008… In fact the BRICS are all performing very badly these days… Something I did not foresee a few years ago… These countries had everything going for them… Then There Was This… are you ready to scream at the walls? I just returned from a trip to the wall… Here’s a story that was in the Washington Post this past weekend… enjoy… “One-hundred-thirty members of Congress or their families have traded stocks collectively worth hundreds of millions of dollars in companies lobbying on bills that came before their committees, a practice that is permitted under current ethics rules, a Washington Post analysis has found. The lawmakers bought and sold a total of between $85 million and $218 million in 323 companies registered to lobby on legislation that appeared before them, according to an examination of all 45,000 individual congressional stock transactions contained in computerized financial disclosure data from 2007 to 2010. Almost one in every eight trades — 5,531 — intersected with legislation.” Chuck again… Did you walk away for a moment to visit a wall nearby? To recap… The healing of the risk assets faded on Friday, and an all-out risk aversion is going on this morning, led by the euro and A$… The Eurozone leaders of the 4 largest economies met to hopefully lay out a blueprint to present to the Eurozone Summit attendees this coming weekend… I say hopefully, because if they don’t, The Eurozone and euro are in for a world of hurt… Currencies today 6/25/12… American Style: A$ $1.00, kiwi .7860, C$ .9715, euro 1.2480, sterling 1.5548, Swiss $1.0390, … European Style: rand 8.4565, krone 6.00, SEK 7.0610, forint 230.25, zloty 3.4150, koruna 20.6415, RUB 33.19, yen 79.85, sing 1.2835, HKD 7.7590, INR 57.07, China 6.3630, pesos 13.92, BRL 2.0650, Dollar Index 82.57, Oil $79.18, 10-year 1.63%, Silver $26.73, and Gold… $1,568.10 That’s it for today… A great weekend for my beloved Cardinals… I watched the game on Saturday and couldn’t believe all the red in the stands at the K.C. stadium! WOW! Of course, about 5 years ago, we took Alex to K.C. for a Cardinals’ game, but to see it on TV, that was impressive, Cardinals fans! Penalty kicks? You decide the winner of a game that will decide the European Champion by Penalty Kicks? I like soccer, I played a lot of soccer as a young man, as I grew up in South St. Louis, the soccer capital of the U.S. But, the sport will always lack fans in the U.S. as long as an important game is decided by Penalty Kicks… And with that… I had better stop, and get this out the door… Thank you for reading the Pfennig, and I hope you have a Marvelous Monday! Chuck Butler President EverBank World Markets 1-800-926-4922 1-314-647-3837 www.everbank.com