Qatar-based pay TV provider BeIN Media Group has signed a five-year multi-million dollar output deal with Italia Film International, whereby beIN will acquire over 600 movie titles from studios including Disney.Italia Film International is the exclusive distributor of Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Lucas Films movies in the Middle East, and also has exclusive distribution relationships with Dreamworks, Film Nation, The Weinstein Company, Arclight and Lotus Entertainment. The company has expanded its distribution business to Greece, Cyprus, Turkey, India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh in recent years.The deal with beIN, which it describes as the biggest output deal to date in the Middle East, covers movies including John Wick 2 with Keanu Reeves, Hologram for a King with Tom Hanks, Silent Wife with Nicole Kidman, Quentin Tarantino’s Hateful Eight, Unlocked with Michael Douglas, Noomi Rapace and Orlando Bloom and The Current War with Benedict Cumberbatch.“This is the most significant deal for Italia Films as it positions us as a major force across various content platforms. beIN is an ideal partner for Italia Films as beIN has proven to be a major force in pay TV industry in MENA. beIN’s entry into entertainment content will create value for it’s subscribers throughout this region. We are proud to be part of their aggressive expansion drive.” Said Giuseppe Vincenti, CEO & Partner, Italia Film International.”beIN is committed to bringing the best family entertainment to it’s subscribers throughout MENA. This deal with Italia Film gives beIN access to leading Hollywood content. We are aware of Italia Film ability to secure very prominent Hollywood content assets and hence we are confident that through this deal we will be able to bring major Hollywood blockbusters exclusively to beIN subscribers,” said Yousef Al-Obaidly, deputy CEO of beIN Media Group.
The BBC is launching BBC Teach, a new home on YouTube for BBC video resources and clips for use in the classroom, along with a series of ‘Live Lessons’ – interactive lessons that are designed to enable pupils and teachers to take part in real time.According to the BBC, a variety of topics across the primary and secondary curriculum will be covered throughout 2016, including music, art, science and literacy.The first live less, which will take place on February 27, will focus on learning with the BBC micro:bit, a personal coding device being provided free to each pupil in Year 7 in England and Wales), year S1 in Scotland and Year 6 in Northern Ireland.Each 45-minute webcast will be designed for a particular age group with information published on the website prior to the lesson and remaining there post-lesson for future use.“BBC Learning is bringing the best of the BBC’s programme-making skills and on-screen talent directly into classrooms while reinforcing the BBC’s commitment to formal education. Live Lessons have been designed to bring innovative and inspiring curriculum-linked content to life whilst also providing an opportunity for thousands of children to participate in a shared learning experience,” said Sinead Rocks, head of BBC Learning.“BBC Live Lessons will be fully interactive, with pupils participating online during the live broadcast part from both the studio and in their schools across the country. The opportunities to pose questions to expert guests and share what they learn will provide an experience a lifetime away from the outdated ‘sit and watch’ schools television of the past.”
Chinese pay TV operator StarTimes has launched a service in Ghana, offering a range of packages with up to 440 channels including both local and international services.StarTimes is offering three packages in Ghana – Super for GHS60 (€13.50), with over 90 channels, Smart, for GHS30, offering 60 channelos, and Nova for GHS15, which provides 30 channels. A range of Chinese and Indian add-on channels are available for GHS80.Payment can be made via mobile payment system SlydePay, developed by local IT specialist DreamOval.StarTimes is offering the service via a set-top box that provides reception of both pay TV and free channels, which is retailed for around GHS140.StarTimes currently offers services to about eight million homes across sub-Saharan Africa, where it compete with incumbent pay TV operator MultiChoice.The company has had a rocky road to get to the point of launching a service in Ghana. Two years ago it became involved in a legal dispute with the country’s government over a cancelled contract to provide digital-terrestrial services to pave the way for Ghanaian digital switchover.
Eurosport has teamed up with drone racing outfit DR1 Racing to exclusively distribute content for broadcast in 70 countries across Europe and Asia-Pacific. The first episode of the DR1 Invitational from Los Angeles will air on Eurosport 1 on November 8 at 23:00 CET.Eurosport will televise three additional racing series next year, including the DR1 Champions Series set to debut in 2017, and the DR1 Micro Series. Eurosport.com will also host Micro Events and additional video content featuring extra footage, outtakes and interviews with drone racers.Eurosport will also represent DR1’s sublicensing interest globally.Eurosport CEO Peter Hutton said: “Eurosport is constantly looking to innovate and we believe new technology, be it Virtual Reality content in our coverage or innovations within emerging sports, is a great driver of engaging fans in sport. It has been fascinating to see the continued growth in popularity of eSports and the way DR1 combines this with the more traditional nature of sporting competition is an exciting model. We are looking forward to working with DR1 and offering fans the chance to follow the twists and turns of this exciting news sport on all Eurosport’s platforms.”Brad Foxhoven, Founder of DR1 Racing, said, “We are thrilled to be bringing this exciting sport that combines Formula 1, NASCAR and eSports to an audience as broad as Eurosport’s.Eurosport showed a genuine appetite to not only broadcast drone racing through its linear broadcast channels but also play an important part in growing the sport via its social and digital platforms too. The growth opportunities of drone racing, both from a high performance and an innovation standpoint, are endless.”
France’s AB Group could be looking at a sale, with Mediawan, the investment vehicle of Xavier Niel, Matthieu Pigasse and Pierre-Antoine Capton a possible suitor, according to a report in French financial daily Les Echos.According to Les Echos, citing unnamed sources, AB Group could enter talks with a number of possible buyers, including Mediawan. Lagardère has also been named as a possible candidate in the past.AB Group’s president and majority shareholder, Claude Berda, is approaching 70, fueling speculation about a possible sale. According to Les Echos, the group could seek between €350 and €400 million.Berda owns a 53% stake in the group, with management holding 13.5% and broadcaster TF1 holding 33.5%.The group owns about 20 channels but makes the majority of its revenues from distribution and the exploitation of its programming catalogue.Mediawan, a ‘Special Purpose Acquisition Company’ (SPAC) was recently created by Niel, owner of Iliad Telecom, Troisième Oeil Productions founder Capton, who serves as chairman, and Pigasse, Lazard Group’s global head of acquisitions and CEO of Lazard France, to acquire one or more operating businesses with an intention to focus on “target businesses or companies with principal operations in the traditional and digital media content and entertainment industries in Europe”. The group says on its website that it has “identified potential target businesses and companies but have not engaged in discussions with any potential acquisition or combination candidates, nor do they have any agreements or understandings to acquire any potential target businesses or companies.”
David AbrahamChannel 4 chief executive David Abraham is leaving the UK broadcaster later this year to launch a new media business in 2018.Abraham has been at the public service commercial broadcaster since 2010 and leaves amid further questions over its future structure.The channel appeared to have weathered a storm last year amid suggestions that the government wanted to privatise the channel. Having lobbied hard and appearing to have won support for its position, the pressure looked to have been alleviated with the departure of pro-privatisation culture secretary John Whittingdale.His predecessor Karen Bradley, however, has continued to review the pubcaster and is thought to be weighing an attempt to force it to relocate from London to Birmingham, a move that Abraham opposes.News of Abraham’s departure was botched when the broadcaster tweeted a partial statement about his exit before then confirming the resulting news stories arising from the social media release.He will remain at the helm of Channel 4 until a replacement is found, which will happen before end-2017. The broadcaster said he was leaving to “develop personal plans to launch a media enterprise in 2018”.Abraham said: “I had three priorities when I joined Channel 4 in 2010: to build an independently sustainable business while still delivering strongly to our public remit; to assemble a team capable of delivering creative renewal post Big Brother; and to become world leaders in digital and data innovation.“After several successive years of positive momentum and with revenues now of £1 billion (US$1.2 billion), investment in content of £700 million and sustained creative performance, I have decided that 2017 is the right year for me to hand over this important public job to my successor.”Prior to Channel 4, Abraham’s TV career included stints leading Discovery in Europe and then its TLC cable net in the US, and as CEO of channels group UKTV.Speaking about his next move he said: “I now look forward to working with the Channel 4 Board to support and hand over to my successor and then begin the next phase of my life – back in the private sector where I hope to build an organisation that makes use of all that I learned from leading different kinds of innovative creative businesses.”Last week Abraham was in Israel at INTV talking about Channel 4 and highlighting its strong digital performance and investment in the likes of SVOD service Walter Presents.Charles Gurassa, Channel 4 chair said: “David Abraham has been an outstanding chief executive of Channel 4 over the last seven years. Under his leadership the Channel has delivered record revenues, record programme investment, award winning creative renewal and industry leading digital innovation.“He leaves the organisation in excellent creative and financial health and with a strong and highly experienced team in place. We wish him well in his future new enterprise.”
Steven HeinNBC Entertainment has drafted in former Legendary Digital Networks (LDN) exec Steven Hein.His new post as senior VP of digital content will see him lead development and production of native digital content for shows such as Will & Grace, World of Dance and This is Us.He’ll report to Rob Hayes, executive VP of digital at NBC Entertainment.In April, NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt said social media and digital content was becoming a key element to launching successful broadcast TV shows.Hein was previously senior VP of programming and production at LDN, where he worked on multiplatform content for the Nerdist, Geek & Sundry and Smart Girls brands.He was also part of the team that launched LDN’s subscription VOD platform, Alpha, which debuted in November and offers programming and digital content from all of Legendary’s key subsidiaries.Before that, he was Twentieth Century Fox, working on development and production of made-for-digital films and series.NBC pointed to Hein’s past in digital video, noting he had worked with early adopter digital publishers such as iFilm, Mediatrip and Atomfilms during the late 1990s. During this period he worked on series with the likes of Sam Raimi, Doug Liman and Jerry Zucker.“Steven brings a wealth of experience developing and producing world class digital content in today’s rapidly evolving television landscape.” said Hayes. “He will be instrumental in helping grow our multiplatform presence and advance our digital strategy.”
The global pay TV business will gain 95 million new subscribers between 2017 and 2023 to take its total global base to 1.1 billion, according to Digital TV Research.According to Digital TV Research, based on forecasts for 138 countries, the global pay TV total base passed the one billion mark last year.IPTV platforms will win most of the new subscribers likely to sign up over the next five years, taking 81 million new customers to overtake pay TV satellite subscribers this year, according to the research outfit.According to Digital TV Research, satellite TV will add 31 million subscribers, while digital-terrestrial pay TV services will add 10 million. While digital cable services will add 61 million subscribers by 2023, analogue cable will lose 88 million, resulting in an overall net loss for cable operators.Analogue cable subscribers numbered 90 million at the end of last year, representing a significant challenge for operators keen to convert them to digital services. Overall, Digital TV Research predicts there will be 525 million cable TV subscribers by 2023, down only slightly from the 528 million recorded in 2010.The number of pay TV subscribers in North America is expected to fall to 92 million by 2023, down from 112 million in 2012.The number of pay TV subscribers was flat in Latin America in 2017. Fewer than 5 million more pay TV subscribers are expected between 2017 and 2023 – bringing its total to almost 76 million.Eastern Europe will lose 2.4 million subscribers between 2017 and 2023 – down by 2.9% to 79 million. This is more to do with poor economic conditions than cord-cutting. Eastern Europe also has a legacy of low-paying analog cable TV subscribers to convert to digital. 2017 was the peak year for the region. The 2017 total included 20 million analog cable subscribers.Western Europe will still gain subscribers between 2017 and 2023. Although this only represents a 2.6% increase, it means nearly 3 million more subs to take the total to 106 million.Sub-Saharan Africa will climb by 74% between 2017 and 2023 to 41 million pay TV subscribers. In the Middle East and North Africa, the number of pay TV homes will increase by 4.5 million between 2017 and 2023 to 21 million.The Asia Pacific pay TV sector is vibrant, with subscribers up by 78 million over the next five years to 686 million.China will continue to supply about a third of the world’s pay TV subscribers, with 375 million expected by end-2023. India will bring in another 16% of the total by 2023 – or 180 million. China and India will together provide half the world’s pay TV subscribers by 2023.
Ericsson Media Solutions’ three constituent product areas – compression, delivery and platforms – can all continue to deliver growth following completion of the acquisition of a majority stake in the business by One Equity Partners, according to company executives.Following completion of the current ‘carve out’ process, One Equity Partners will be the 51% owner of the business, with Ericsson retaining a 49% stake.“We should be through that process by the end of the year. We will have a new name and a new brand but will retain our relationship with Ericsson,” Mark Russell, CTO and head of strategy told DTVE at the NAB Show, the first major trade show at which Ericsson Media Solutions has exhibited since the change of ownership announcement in January.This unit will comprise Ericsson’s compression assets, media delivery including 2014 cloud delivery acquisition Fabrix Systems and the TV platform business comprising MediaRoom MediaFirst and other assets.“It covers everything from acquisition to contribution to distribution. We have a pretty broad presence in the space,” said Russell.Russell said that uncertainty about the future of the business ahead of the January deal had “some impact” commercially, but added that Ericsson had engaged with customers to inform them about what was happening. “We have engaged with all of our customers and kept them apprised and updated,” he said. “Our customers were appreciative that we did things openly during the process. Our conversations with them have been quite positive,” he said.Russell said that in broad terms, both vendors and customers were consolidating as the media business undergoes rapid transformation wrought by changing viewing patterns and technology development. “The gravitational forces are towards consolidation,” he said.At the technology level, he said that there is a broad transformation of media workflows towards a primarily OTT all-streams approach. “OTT is not a sidecar. It is the main thing. All of those workflows are being remapped around that and we want to play big in that space. We have underlying assets that we will employ and we’ll look at other avenues to fill the portfolio out,” he said.While there is a transition to cloud based delivery, he said, larger operators are likely to build a streaming TV service but maintain “a managed aspect to that service. You get a pure streaming TV service but for subscribers that continue to value that big screen you can still give them the level of quality they expect.”He said that managed delivery and OTT will cohabit in a single platform.On the compression side, Ericsson wants to surf the coming UHD TV wave. “The company will invest in AV1, but it is hard to gauge whether it will become a dominant codec, or something that allows the HEVC [community] to coalesce,” he said. “As a primary player in the industry we need to support those trends.”On the delivery side, Ericsson will expand its media delivery platform to handle both unicast live and multicast live content as well as applications such as cloud DVR, he said.On the platform side, Russell said that Ericsson would support the main industry ecosystems but would not try to further develop a proprietary solution. “We’ve put energy into the Android ecosystem but I have to say we are taking a balanced view of RDK as well. We want to be on the main industry-wide ecosystems rather than create our own underlying middleware stack,” he said.Also speaking to DTVE at the NAB Show, Gowton Achaibar, COO and head of R&D,said that customers understood the logic of creating a standalone entity with revenues of US$400-500 million from the much larger Ericsson. “A standalone business has the power and freedom to allocate capital independently,” he said.Achaibar reiterated that Ericsson’s compression, storage and delivery, and platforms products can all deliver growth. He said the company had a wide range of customers across all three of its key product areas, with some buying all three and some choosing to mix Ericsson solutions with those of third-party providers.Separately, Ericsson Media Solutions used the NAB Show to debut its MediaFirst UHD platform, described by the company as a software-based multi-application media processing and encoding platform. The platform combines MediaFirst’s video and content processing and AVP system encoders.
First Last Name* Digital TV Europe’s fourth annual survey once again provides insight into what top industry executives think about the key issues and trends facing the business of distributing digital video.Over 560 executives from 64 countries answered the call to share their views on this year’s line up of seven topics.In addition to assessing views on the overall digital TV landscape, including the ongoing rise of OTT TV, we drilled down into six other important areas: the cloud and the emerging concept of the virtual operator; the user experience – increasingly a key tool for operators to differentiate their services; the momentum behind Android TV and bring-your-own-device strategies; HbbTV – a crucial technology for the future of terrestrial broadcast; fast-growing OTT TV live-streaming and the concept of the Gigabit broadband network.Fill in the short form below to download your free copy now.By downloading a copy of this report the information which you provide will be shared with the sponsors for informative purposes and your mutual interest in the subject matter or similar subject matter (including initial follow-up regarding the content of this report). If you’re having trouble downloading the report, please get in touch with Abigail.Dede@informa.com. Please also note the report will be sent to you directly via the email address you have provided. Job Title*Company Name*Please select your industry type from the drop down menu*–Please select one–Pay TV operator – CablePay TV operator – DTHPay TV operator – TelcoPay TV operator – OtherPay TV broadcaster/platformFree to air broadcasterContent creator, aggregator & US studioOTT service providerTechnology providerSatellite operatorRegulatory/Government bodyEducationOtherIf other please specifyCountry:*–Please select one–AfghanistanAlbaniaAlgeriaAmerican SamoaAndorraAngolaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBoliviaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBrazilBruneiBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaColombiaComorosCongo, Democratic Republic of theCongo, Republic of theCosta RicaCôte d’IvoireCroatiaCubaCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEast TimorEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFijiFinlandFranceGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuamGuatemalaGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIranIraqIrelandIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiNorth KoreaSouth KoreaKuwaitKyrgyzstanLaosLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacedoniaMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMarshall IslandsMauritaniaMauritiusMexicoMicronesiaMoldovaMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNorwayNorthern Mariana IslandsOmanPakistanPalauPalestinePanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPolandPortugalPuerto RicoQatarRomaniaRussiaRwandaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbia and MontenegroSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSpainSri LankaSudanSudan, SouthSurinameSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyriaTaiwanTajikistanTanzaniaThailandTogoTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVatican CityVenezuelaVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishVirgin Islands, U.S.YemenZambiaZimbabweTelephone Number*Work Email Address*
Designated Survivor: 60 DaysSubscriptions to Netflix in South Korea have risen by 192% year-over-year.According to smartphone app service market research company Wiseapp, subscriber numbers in the country have nearly tripled to reach 1.84 million. This is a significant increase when compared with June 2018’s subscriber count of 630,000.The majority (38%) of South Korean Netflix subscribers are in their 20s, while 31% are in their 30s and 15% in their 40s. The news will represent an achievement for Netflix, which has added high-profile South Korean content to the platform in recent months. These additions include Chief of Staff, Designated Survivor: 60 Days and Kingdom.Netflix has ramped up its focus on localised content over the past year. Today, the company announced that it has ordered five new originals out of India: Messy, Betaal, Bombay Begums, Mai and Masaba Masaba.
They say that it was because of his love of wine that Pope John XXII bought Valréas which stayed the property of the church until the French Revolution. Events will take place all through the year reaching a peak on 4th – 6th August for the Châteauneuf-du-Pape celebrations and 19th – 20th August for Valréas. 650th anniversary of The Synagogue of Carpentras: Carpentras is home to the oldest synagogue in France and celebrates its 650 year anniversary in 2017. It was built in 1367 and has been the subject of an extensive three year renovation programme. To celebrate the anniversary, there will be concerts, exhibitions, conferences, and so forth – including displaying some of the ancient Jewish texts from the library such as the Hebrew Bible that dates from 1550. This would be a grand time to visit the area and follow the route of Jewish history including Avignon and Cavaillon. New accommodation options in the Vaucluse: La Maison de Crillon, Crillon le Brave – only opening in June 2016, this little jewel of luxurious comfort overlooks the gorgeous Ventoux countryside. Just eleven rooms decorated with objets d’arts and fine furnishings in a modern building of stone, wood and glass. Domaine de Palerme, Ile-sur-la-Sorgue – This chambres d’hôtes, which also opened in June 2016, is in an eighteenth century farmhouse where Albert Camus stayed in the Fifties. There are five enormous rooms with original tiled floors and blown glass windows. The setting is magnificent – a garden of over 6000 square metres with masses of luxurious vegetation. Villa du Haut Vallon, Gordes – A very elegant chambres d’hotes, the Villa du Haut Vallon is situated just fifteen minutes from the village of Gordes in impeccably manicured gardens. The interior is a perfect harmony of old and new with three vast suites that feature the original beams, doors and stairs. The owner collects vintage luxury cars so one may take a trip around the Luberon in style. Hotel Le Petit Palais d’Aglae****, Gordes – This hotel also opened in June 2016 but is like no other! It is like entering another world …an Italian Renaissance extravaganza where the normal codes of decoration have been totally ignored. There is also an exceptional restaurant L’Euphrosyne where the menu reflects the style of the property – happy, light, colourful, fizzy!Avignon 2017: 7th April – 27th August 2017 sees the Raoul Dufy Exhibition in Avignon at the Angladon Museum collecting 60 of the great artist’s works in the recently added new space. New Openings: Just opening – March 2017 will see the inauguration of an exceptional building dedicated to wine. The Dubrule family have invested in an architectural marvel with their new wine cellar in Curcuron in the Luberon, designed by Jean–Michel Wilmotte using glorious materials such as dried stone, wood, glass etc. They wanted to emulate some of the beautiful wineries of Spain and Aquitaine and this has certainly been achieved. Not only will there be tastings of wines from all over the world chosen by Alain Graillot, but also a library of books dedicated to the Luberon and a collection of glasses on display.September 2017 will see the opening to the public of the hydro-electric station at Bollène. The majestic façade is classed as an historic monument and was known at the time as the French Suez. It is a working industrial site where you can learn about hydro-electricity, the Rhône River and so on. Guided visits take an hour and a half – Monday to Saturday inclusive.DD TRAVEL FEATURES…..NEW IN THE VAUCLUSE PROVENCE 2017 was last modified: March 24th, 2017 by John2John2 Tags: BY TIM HEDGLEY, GROUP TRAVEL EDITORTHE sun is out this weekend and when sunshines it makes me think of France. this country has always been a favourite of mine and I recently got notification of some amazing places to visit Vaucluse Provence. so if you are traveling that direction consider these.The wine is flowing at Châteauneuf du Pape: 2017 is the 700th anniversary of the castle of the Popes at Châteauneuf du Pape as they started its construction in 1317. This was their summer residence. It is also the 700th anniversary of the Enclave of the Popes in Valréas. Marquis de Sade: Spring 2017 will see the doors opening of the newly restored Château of the de Sade family in Saumane. It is one of many residences that the family owned throughout this part of the world and the labyrinth of corridors and passages shows the imagination of the young Marquis. It has a medieval soul, a Renaissance charm and shows the fantasies of the eighteenth century. The Marquis lived here from the age of five to the age of ten with his illustrious uncle who was a famous intellectual and scientist. BY TIM HEDGLEYDD TRAVEL FEATURES…..NEW IN THE VAUCLUSE PROVENCE 2017GROUP TRAVEL EDITORVISIT SOUTHERN FRANCE ShareTweet
“I am very happy to support this initiative and would ask everyone to think about how they currently travel and how they can travel more sustainably to make a difference to our environment.”Margaret Edwards, Museums and Visitor Manager at Derry City and Strabane District Council said, “The Tower Museum are delighted to support Translink’s Bus and Train Week with our pop up displays as it is a great way of highlighting the important role public transport has played in the City and District.“The city in particular, has a unique history that recognises the important role public transport played in influencing the development of the North West over the years. In 1900 four separate rail networks operated in and out of the city.“In 1989 the former Derry City Council opened a museum on Foyle Road, the Foyle Valley Railway Museum in conjunction with the North West Railway Society to tell the story of the areas unique rail network which connected the city to Dublin, Belfast and Donegal. THE Tower Museum has teamed up with Translink to celebrate Bus and Train Week which began earlier this week, June 5th and continues through to June 11th, promoting the advantages of using public transport.The museum will be providing a pop up exhibition at Translink’s Foyle Street bus station and will be displaying a number of collections from the museum, including a selection of objects and images relating to its railway collection.The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Maolíosa McHugh said, “Promoting sustainable travel was a key objective of the Council’s Community Plan/ Strategic Growth Plan.“The aim this week is to celebrate and promote the advantages of using public transport and to encourage more people to leave their car at home and travel by bus or train. “As Foyle Valley Railway Museum prepares to open its doors to the public again, members of Destined, who have secured the lease to reopen the museum will be on hand tomorrow, Thursday 8th June to inform the public about the upcoming reopening.“There will also be information available on Friday 9th June at Foyle Street Bus Station on the history of shirt factories, the Laurentic and the Tower Museum’s learning and events programme.”For further details on upcoming events and exhibitions at the Tower Museum, visit www.derrystrabane.com.TOWER MUSEUM SUPPORTS BUS AND TRAIN WEEK was last modified: June 7th, 2017 by John2John2 Tags: ShareTweet FFoyle roadFOYLE VALUE RAILWAY MUSEUMLAURENTICTOWER MUSEUM SUPPORTS BUS AND TRAIN WEEKTranslink
INSPECTOR O’BRIENtTYRCONNELL STREEYOUNG BOY DONNACADH MAGUIRE (6) DIES IN HOSPITAL AFTER BEING FOUND BADLY INJURED IN DERRY STREET ShareTweet Police at Strand Road appeal six year old boy dies in hospital after collision in Derry this morningPOLICE have confirmed that officers are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of a young child in the Tyrconnell Street area of Derry this morning, Tuesday 11 July.Shortly before 10.30am six year old Donnacadh Maguire was found significantly injured in the road.He was taken to Altnagelvin Hospital where he subsequently passed away. Tyrconnell Street remains closed at this time.YOUNG BOY DONNACADH MAGUIRE (6) DIES IN HOSPITAL AFTER BEING FOUND BADLY INJURED IN DERRY STREET was last modified: July 11th, 2017 by John2John2 Tags: One man has since been arrested and remains in custody at Strand Road police station assisting police with their inquiries.Inspector O’Brien said: “While it is possible that Donnacadh’s injuries were sustained as the result of a collision with a vehicle, we are working to establish exactly what happened and we are keen to speak to witnesses.“I would ask anyone who was on Tyrconnell Street this morning between 10am and 10.30am to please get in touch with officers in Strand Road.“Or contact the Collision Investigation Unit by calling 101, quoting reference number 390 of 11/07/17.
Security alert in Derry ended on Friday after a viable bomb was found in the Lettrshandoney areaSINN Féin MLA Raymond McCartney has condemned those responsible for causing a security alert in the Lettershandoney area of Derry this week.Residents were evacuated from their homes on Thursday after violent dissident republicans told an intermediary they had left a bomb in the area.Following two days of searching, police said a viable bomb device was found on Friday and made safe by British Army ATO.The Foyle MLA said:“This is the second alert in as many days. These alerts do nothing for the image of Derry.“These alerts have caused disruption in the area, on two occasions residents were asked to leave their homes.“This was a reckless attack and the last thing the people of Derry want. “Whoever is behind this alert needs to realise they do not represent the people of Derry and stop these futile actions immediately.“Anyone with any information on these alerts should bring it forward to the PSNI.”MCCARTNEY CONDEMNS SECURITY ALERT IN DERRY was last modified: September 2nd, 2017 by John2John2 Tags: ShareTweet LettershandoneyMCCARTNEY CONDEMNS SECURITY ALERT IN DERRY
ShareTweet Passing sentence today, Mr Justice Colton said: “The history of the criminal proceedings in this case has been difficult and protracted.“There can be no happy outcome but the defendant’s belated plea is a welcome recognition of his wrongdoing and a relief for all concerned in this tragic case.“The uncertainty that has haunted this case is now at an end.”Speaking after the tariff hearing, Detective Superintendent Jason Murphy, from PSNI’s Serious Crime Branch, said: “I welcome the lengthy sentence handed to Frederick McClenaghan today. Marion Millican and her daughter Suzanne on her wedding dayA CO Derry man has been sentenced to 13 years in prison today at Belfast Crown Court for the murder of a Portstewart mother of four in 2011.Evil Fred McClenaghan (56) of Broad Street in Magherafelt, pleaded guilty to murdering Marion Millican (58) in a Portstewart launderette n broad daylight on March 11.He will serve a minimum of 13 years in prison before he can apply for parole. CO DERRY MAN GIVEN 13 YEAR LIFE SENTENCE FOR MURDERING EX-PARTNER IN LAUNDERETTEDETE SUPT JASON MURPHYFRED MCCLENAGHANmagherafeltPortstewartPSNI “He is a very callous and dangerous man and the community is a safer place now that he is behind bars.“He walked into the laundrette where Marion worked and murdered her in cold blood while she was on her lunch break. “Before killing his ex-girlfriend he terrorised her and a colleague by threatening them with his shotgun. When Marion refused to go outside and speak to him he fired a shot into the floor to intimidate her.“Marion’s terrified colleague managed to escape the laundrette but sadly Marion died at the scene from gunshot wounds to her chest.“Frederick McClenaghan inflicted further pain and suffering on the Millican family by subjecting them to a total of three trials after successfully appealing his unanimous murder conviction on two occasions. “During the third trial in September this year – and after more than six years – he finally admitted his guilt.“However, he has never given the Millican family the courtesy of an explanation as to why he killed Marion. “Throughout 14 police interviews he maintained his right to silence and while this was his right, I believe he had a moral responsibility to explain his actions to Marion’s family.”Superintendent Murphy added: “This is an extremely sad case, and first and foremost today our sympathies go to Marion’s children, husband, grandchildren, wider family circle and her friends, who continue to come to terms with her death. “Frederick McClenaghan has rightfully been sentenced to life in prison, however, Marion’s family have themselves been consigned to a life-long sentence as a result of his callous and cold blooded act. “Detectives and prosecutors worked tirelessly to get justice for Marion’s murder and today brings closure for the police service and the Public Prosecution Service. “But the family will never get closure. The guilty plea and today’s sentencing is the very least that they deserve.”Marion’s husband Ken Millican said: “We were married for 34 years, I met Marion when she was 15 years old and I was 17 and fell in love very young.“I can honestly say she was the love of my life, we got married when Marion was 17 and pregnant with our first son Aaron and from that day on the 28th November 1976 we never looked back.CCTV footage captures evil Fred McClenaghan leaving launderette after murdering his former partner armed with 100-year-old antique shotgun“I will never forget the day, Friday 11th March, when I found Marion lying on the floor of the laundrette. It will stay with me forever and to this day it gives me many sleepless nights, reliving the whole ordeal. Not only that my health has been affected, I suffered a massive heart attack 2 weeks before the last sentencing and I also have depression.“There will never be enough words that can fill a page or describe this horrendous ordeal.”Marion’s daughter Suzanne Davis added: “No words can describe how much I miss my Mum, the simplest things from everyday life like picking up the phone to text or chat about something trivial. Walking into our family home and her not being there.“Every milestone is a hurdle to cross, like birthdays, wedding, Christmas especially as it was her favourite time for family and friends. “I can’t understand why people say time is a great healer, my family haven’t even began to think about healing, …it’s a constant battle of emotions – anger and grief are hard to lock away when you’re constantly worrying about court appearances, court appeals and retrials.“Nothing will diminish those awful memories I have of Friday 11th March 2011, it will never leave me or my entire family. We have to live with the fact that my Mum was brutally murdered at the hands of Fred McClenaghan in her place of work, where she should have been safe. “She died terrified and very alone, knowing we couldn’t stop this from happening and never getting to say our goodbyes will haunt me forever.”CO DERRY MAN GIVEN 13 YEAR LIFE SENTENCE FOR MURDERING EX-PARTNER IN LAUNDERETTE was last modified: November 20th, 2017 by John2John2 Tags:
Facebook Tumblr Mail Linkedin Next PostHouse Fire In Princeton CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – A West Virginia delegate says residents should have the freedom to fire or deny someone housing based on their sexual orientation.The Parkersburg News and Sentinel reports Republican Del. Eric Porterfield of Mercer County spoke out Wednesday in favor of a bill that would limit what ordinances cities are allowed to enact.The bill was proposed by Republican Del. Tom Bibby, whose city recently passed an ordinance adding LGBTQ discrimination protections to its code, as have nearly a dozen other cities.Porterfield said it’s not a legislator’s job to legislate behavior, adding that LGBT groups are “socialists” who do not protect gays. He told the committee “We cannot allow discriminatory bigots to determine how our citizens are going to live.”Other delegates condemned his statements. Porterfield declined the newspaper’s request for comment. Home NewsWatch Mercer County Delegate: Residents should be able to deny housing to gays Previous PostFayette County Man Leads Police On High Speed Chase Through Two Counties Pinterest Google+ Twitter NewsWatchPolitical NewsState NewsTop Stories Mercer County Delegate: Residents should be able to deny housing to gays By Tyler BarkerFeb 08, 2019, 09:56 am 1059 0 Tyler Barker Tyler Barker is currently the Interim News Director and Digital Content Manager for WOAY-TV. I was promoted to this job in Mid-November. I still will fill in on weather from time to time. Follow me on Facebook and Twitter @wxtylerb. Have any news tips or weather questions? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
A new business is coming to the city of Northport.Aldi is coming and will be located next to the Lowe’s in Northport. It is part of the Bullseye at 1871 project.The grocery store is one of several projects coming to that area, and it will also bring a number of jobs.
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar has this pen. It’s not all that remarkable looking, but he held it up multiple times Monday at a briefing with reporters.”This pen,” he said, “has a lot of power.”And he said he is prepared to use it.Azar was making the point that in the area of drug prices, the head of HHS — which runs the Medicare and Medicaid programs and buys about $130 billion in prescription drugs each year — can make a lot of changes in the pharmaceutical market. And he doesn’t need congressional approval to do it.He’s got plans to use that pen to change the way Medicare and Medicaid pay for medications and how the Food and Drug Administration goes about approving drugs for marketing.Lots of the ideas are wonky and esoteric, but analysts say some could make a big difference over the long term.Here are three of the big ideas Azar laid out Monday, three days after President Trump unveiled a blueprint to lower the cost of prescription drugs that was criticized for being light on substance.1. Restructure the way pharmacy benefit managers deal with drugmakersAzar’s most ambitious initiative would ban pharmacy benefit managers — the companies that administer prescription drug plans for insurance companies or employers – from negotiating discounts with drugmakers as a percentage of list prices.Today PBMs, such as CVS Caremark or Express Scripts, make deals in the form of rebates. Pharmaceutical companies offer something like 30 percent off the list price of their drugs if the PBM places the medicines in a favorable spot on their preferred drug lists. When prices go up, PBMs often make more money as rebates grow.”They’re taking money from both sides,” Azar said. “They’ve built into their system a regime where they get more money when the list price goes up.”Azar said he intends to force PBMs to write contracts based on a set price for drugs, rather than a percentage-based rebate. And, he said, he’s looking to ban them from making any money at all from pharmaceutical companies. Instead, the companies would earn money only from the fees paid by the insurance companies or employers who hire them.”This is nothing short of the complete and fundamental restructuring of over $400 billion of the U.S. economy,” he said.David Mitchell, founder of the advocacy group Patients for Affordable Drugs, approves of the idea. “If they could do away with the rebates and have transparent net prices, I think that’s an enormous step forward,” he said.But Express Scripts spokesman Brian Henry takes issue with targeting PBMs. “The root cause is the pharmaceutical companies who set these prices,” he said. “We are the ones who help drive down the costs. We drive competition.”2. Change the way Medicare pays for some expensive drugsAzar says he wants to simplify the way Medicare pays for many drugs by moving some expensive medications that are administered in doctors’ offices — like cancer drugs — into the standard Medicare prescription drug program.Many of those expensive drugs are paid for through Medicare Part B. It’s a system in which doctors buy the drugs and get paid a percentage of their cost to administer them to patients. Under this system, the government pays the full list price and doctors make more money when they prescribe more expensive drugs.Azar said he wants to move some of the most expensive of those drugs to the Part D program, which is administered by private health insurance companies that negotiate discounts with drug companies.”This move from B to D gives us the power to negotiate against drug companies,” he said.But analysts caution it could lead to higher out-of-pocket costs and less choice for patients.”Moving drugs from Part B to Part D could get the prices of some drugs down by allowing insurers to bargain with drugmakers, but it would likely come with more restrictions on which drugs are covered,” said Larry Levitt, vice president of the Kaiser Family Foundation. “Some Part B drugs — many of which are infusions like chemotherapy — don’t have competitors, so negotiation may not help much.”3. Make prices more transparentThe Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will release new versions of its Medicare and Medicaid drug price dashboards on Tuesday that HHS says will have more detail on how much the programs are paying for the medications they buy.And on top of that, Azar says he is looking at whether he can require drug companies to include the price of their products in those television ads that already include seemingly endless lists of scary side effects.Mitchell and Levitt both doubt that drug companies can be shamed into lowering prices and losing profit.”It’s not going to lower drug prices,” Mitchell says. “But it would probably help for patients to know that the drug they’re getting costs $100,000.”And finally, he wants to get rid of what he calls a “gag rule” in some PBM contracts that forbid pharmacists to tell patients they can get their drug cheaper by going outside their insurance plan.”Note that there are a number of proposals they are suggesting that are controversial and will result in pitched battles,” says Rodney Whitlock, vice president of health policy at ML Strategies, a lobbying firm. “That said, they sure are talking a good game and should be given deference that action will approach rhetoric.”Azar, who came to HHS after a stint as president of the U.S. operations of the pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly, opened his talk by dispensing with the industry’s long-embraced argument that high prices are necessary to pay for research into future cures.”I’ve been a drug company executive. I know the tired talking points: the idea that if one penny disappears from pharma profit margins, American innovation will grind to a halt,” Azar said. “I’m not interested in hearing those talking points anymore.” Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
Chris Ferrari was just 18 the first time he balanced a rocket launcher on his right shoulder and aimed it at a practice target.”Your adrenaline’s going and you’re trying to focus on getting that round to hit, and then you go to squeeze that trigger and, you know.”Boom!The report is loud enough to burst the eardrums of anyone not wearing military-grade hearing protection. And the blast wave from the weapon is so powerful it feels like a whole-body punch.”It’s exhilarating,” says Chris’s buddy Daniel, a former gunner in the Marine Corps who asked that we not use his last name. “When you feel a concussive wave, it’s an awesome thing. It fills you with awe.”It also may do bad things to your brain.Studies show that troops who repeatedly fire powerful, shoulder-launched weapons can experience short-term problems with memory and thinking. They may also feel nauseated, fatigued and dizzy. In short, they have symptoms like those of a concussion.It’s still not clear whether firing these weapons can lead to long-term brain damage. But Chris and Daniel suspect that, for them, it may have.While in the Marines, Daniel and Chris spent two years in the late 1990s firing a rocket launcher called the shoulder-launched multipurpose assault weapon, or SMAW.They were a team. Chris loaded the rockets. Daniel pulled the trigger. Then they would switch places.And together, they fired hundreds of rounds in training exercises around the world.”That’s me and Daniel at the base of Mount Fuji, posing for a picture with our SMAW,” Chris says as he leafs through an album of photographs Daniel put together.The SMAW is one of several modern weapons light enough for one person to carry but powerful enough to blow up a tank.Daniel and Chris say they felt like their brains had been rattled every time they fired the SMAW. And they fired it a lot.”Chris and I were incredibly good shots,” Daniel says.”We never missed,” Chris adds. “We were always selected by our sergeant and our leaders to do the firing because they wanted to see the explosion, you know, they wanted to see the target get hit.”But as the two men fired the SMAW again and again, some of the thrill began to fade.Every shot “felt like the world was caving in on you,” Chris says.The U.S. military limits the number of times troops can fire heavy weapons like the SMAW in a single day. But the limits are based on concern about hearing loss, not brain damage.And 20 years ago, safety wasn’t taken very seriously, Daniel says.”I remember they were saying you’re only allowed to shoot three of these things a day because it’s, like, really bad for you,” he says. “And then I would shoot three and then you [Chris] would shoot three. And then the guys 10 feet from us would shoot six and then the other team would shoot six.”Chris had a lot of headaches, and sometimes couldn’t think straight after a day on the range. “You feel odd and you feel out of place and you feel exhausted and tired,” he says. “But, you know, you’re a Marine and you learn to put it away.”Until you can’t.For Daniel, that happened during a joint training exercise in Malaysia. Their platoon was still setting up, Chris says, “and all of sudden out of nowhere: Boom!”Malaysian troops just a few feet away had fired an antitank weapon called the AT4. The blast wave hit Daniel hard.”I was, like, absolutely dizzy,” Daniel says. “I was absolutely disjointed. I felt nauseous, like I really felt like I needed to throw up.”So Daniel told his sergeant. “And it was just: ‘Shut your face. Are you complaining? Why is everyone else OK and you’re not?’ “Blast injuries overlookedBack then, in the 1990s, the military pretty much assumed a fighter’s brain was fine unless there was some external sign of injury.That was because, at the time, no one really understood how an invisible blast wave could damage the brain without leaving a mark, says Tracie Lattimore, who directs the Army’s traumatic brain injury program.”The science wasn’t up to speed,” she says. “It just didn’t exist.”But since 2007, Lattimore says, the Department of Defense has spent about a billion dollars studying traumatic brain injuries, including those caused by blast exposure.At first, the research focused on bomb blasts, especially those from the improvised explosive devices that had become common in Iraq and Afghanistan.But over time, Lattimore says, the military’s research has expanded beyond IEDs to include the effects of blasts from weapons like the one Chris and Daniel shot.”If you talk to us in a year from now, I think we’re going to have exponential growth in our knowledge coming out of these current studies and our future studies,” Lattimore says.Eventually, that could help the hundreds of thousands of veterans who have fired these weapons in the past couple of decades.But right now, people like Daniel and Chris have no way to know whether firing heavy weapons could have affected their brains.Chris wonders whether all those blasts might be the reason he once landed in a military hospital for two weeks.It happened after a weeklong training exercise in the California desert near Twentynine Palms. Thousands of troops took part and Daniel and Chris fired lots and lots of rockets. They also set off lots of explosives.Several days after the exercise ended, Daniel noticed that Chris was awake in the middle of the night.”He just got up and started walking out of the room in his stinking underwear,” Daniel says. “And I was like, ‘Hey Chris, what’s going on?’ And he was just kind of like looking through me.””I don’t remember it,” Chris says. “But I know that they put me in the hospital and thought I had spinal meningitis or something.”He didn’t. And the doctors never pinpointed another cause. They clearly thought something was wrong with his brain. But at the time, no one would have thought to ask whether the problem was caused by the weapons Chris had fired.Chris’s military career ended one morning when his platoon left on a bus and he didn’t get on it. Ultimately, he got a bad conduct discharge.It’s been nearly two decades since Chris and Daniel fired the SMAW.They’ve both settled in Northern California, which is where they grew up. And they both have symptoms that could be from a brain injury — or something else.Chris has lots of questions.”Why does this hurt on my body? Why do I feel lost? Why can’t I concentrate on stuff as long [as I used to]?”Chris also has trouble controlling his emotions, something he says wasn’t a problem before his military service.For Daniel, it’s his memory that’s the problem.”I used to be photographic. Now I’m forgetful,” he says. “I’m 40, that’s … I don’t know, man. Maybe I’m getting old.”Both Chris and Daniel have problems with balance and orientation. For Daniel it can happen when he turns his head quickly or stumbles.”I lose my spatial orientation,” he says. “I don’t know where I am. Vision gets blurrier. Even sound is kind of muffled.”These are common symptoms of damage to the brain’s vestibular system, something that affects many people who have experienced a traumatic brain injury from a bomb blast or blow to the head.Uncertain coverage for careBut Daniel and Chris were never in combat and never were injured in any obvious way during training. That means it’s not clear whether they are entitled to care from doctors and hospitals run by the Department of Veterans Affairs.Chris has never tried to get care from the VA. But Daniel has. And he learned that the VA doesn’t have an obvious category for people like him.Daniel had never connected his symptoms with his time as a Marine until he heard a radio story on NPR suggesting that certain military weapons might be powerful enough to give the shooter a traumatic brain injury.”I went back to the VA and I said I want to be tested for TBI,” he says. “And they said great.”They handed him a questionnaire. The first question asked where he had been in combat. But he hadn’t been.The second question asked: “Were you hit by an IED?” Daniel says it went on: “Was it a grenade explosion? Was a bomb dropped too close to you?” So I couldn’t actually answer the questionnaire.”All he’d done was fire a rocket launcher in training exercises, over and over and over.VA doctors see quite a few veterans like Daniel, says Dr. Joel Scholten, who’s in charge of physical medicine and rehabilitation for the VA. He says the conversation usually goes like this: “While I was training we fired a certain type of weapon. I felt dizzy or had some ringing in my ears after that.”Then Scholten asks if the veteran was ever near a bomb blast or took a blow to the head. Many say yes. And for them, VA guidelines call for a full examination for traumatic brain injury.But for veterans like Daniel, coverage is uncertain. That’s because there still isn’t clear evidence that training with heavy weapons can cause long-term problems with things like memory, thinking and balance.”These symptoms are what we call nonspecific,” Scholten says. “So they’re not unique to traumatic brain injury, and in fact there is no symptom that happens only with traumatic brain injury or concussion.”From a medical perspective, the lack of a box to tick is not a big deal. Treatments usually focus on improving a patient’s symptoms, regardless of the cause.”For instance, someone with cognitive or concentration impairments, we would focus our therapy on how to improve concentration,” Scholten says.But paying for therapy is another matter. The VA gives priority to veterans whose medical problems can be linked to their service.And since military scientists still aren’t sure whether firing a powerful weapon can have long-term effects, Daniel says the VA is sending him the bill. He’s being asked to pay out of pocket for high-tech brain scans and other tests.”I love the VA,” Daniel says. “I have nothing bad to say about the VA. The individuals there get it. They really do. But their hands are typically tied by their process.”Studies now underway should help clear up whether people like Daniel could have been harmed by the weapons they fired, Scholten says. And the results of those studies will be used to update the VA’s guidelines on who gets checked out for a traumatic brain injury.”In the next iteration, will we or should we expand to include training exposures?” Scholten says. “Possibly so.”If they do, it could mean evaluating the brains of tens of thousands of veterans who trained with weapons like the one Daniel shot.You can contact Jon Hamilton at email@example.com. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.