Twitter Email This year’s ACL featured headliners Paul McCartney, Metallica and Travis Scott, but the weekend was also chock-full of special performances from all over the musical map, everything from great Texas artists to international artists and more. The Recording Academy is on-the-ground in Austin to bring you all the action right here on GRAMMY.com.Elle King On Self-Love & Individuality: “You Don’t Get What You Don’t Ask For” Backstage At Austin City Limits Festival 2018 inside-austin-city-limits-festival-2018-recording-academy News Facebook NETWORK ERRORCannot Contact ServerRELOAD YOUR SCREEN OR TRY SELECTING A DIFFERENT VIDEO Oct 7, 2018 – 11:17 pm Backstage At Austin City Limits Festival 2018 Whether you made it to Austin for this year’s ACL Fest or not, we’ll take you backstage for an exclusive look at some of the festival’s hottest artistsNate HertweckGRAMMYs Oct 7, 2018 – 11:22 pm Festival season comes to an official—and incredible—close each year with Austin City Limits Festival inTexas. For two weekends in October, Austin’s Zilker Park is taken over by multiple stages featuring artists spanning a multitude of genres and styles for three days of great music and rich Texas culture. Inside Austin City Limits Festival 2018 With The Recording Academy
https://twitter.com/Summerfest/status/1113380657718333445 The three rap champs will close out the final night of the 11-day Milwaukee concert seriesAna YglesiasGRAMMYs Apr 3, 2019 – 5:23 pm Today Milwaukee’s Summerfest announced a special concert on July 7 to close out their 11-day music festival extravaganza, headlined by three hip-hop heavy-weights; GRAMMY winner Lil Wayne and GRAMMY nominees Snoop Dogg and ScHoolboy Q. News Lil Wayne, Snoop Dogg, More To Headline Summerfest lil-wayne-snoop-dogg-schoolboy-q-will-headline-final-night-summerfest Wayne will join fellow longtime rap icon Snoop along with steadily rising West Coast hip-hop champ ScHoolboy for what the fest shares is their only joint show domestically this year. The concert will take place at the American Family Insurance Amphitheater, which serves as the main stage for the fest.This year, Snoop celebrates the 25th anniversary of his 1993 debut album, Doggystyle. Its hit single “Gin And Juice” earned the SoCal icon his second GRAMMY nod and nearly-instant rap star status, following his hot features on Dr. Dre’s 1992 debut album, The Chronic.Last September, Wayne finally released his long-delayed, highly anticipated Tha Carter V. ScHoolboy, following a feature on the GRAMMY-nominated Black Panther: The Album last year, marked his first solo release since 2016 this month, with “Numb Numb Juice.” The trio will have plenty of hot tracks ready to get the summer vibes going and to close out Summerfest.Related: “Lollipop” To “A Milli”: Lil Wayne’s ‘Tha Carter III’ 10 Years AfterSummerfest, whose entire lineup has yet to be announced, will bring over 800 artists to 12 stages across the festival grounds which surround the amphitheater, from June 26–30 and July 2–7. Tickets for each headline concert are purchased individually and include access to the entire festival grounds and other shows for that day.Other previously announced headline concerts include GRAMMY nominee Jennifer Lopez, stopping by on July 3 as part of her It’s My Party Tour, and GRAMMY winners Ozzy Osbourne and Megadeth on July 4 for their No More Tours 2 jaunt.GRAMMY-winning country icon Willie Nelson will also be bringing his Outlaw Music Festival back to the event, along with Phil Lesh, GRAMMY nominees the Avett Brothers, GRAMMY winner Alison Krauss and more for the July 27th date of their tour.Tickets for Wayne, Snoop and ScHoolboy’s show go on sale next Friday, April 12, with a Summerfest pre-sale happening the day prior; more info here.Cardi B, Migos, Meek Mill & More To Perform At Hot 97’s Summer Jam 2019Read more Facebook Lil Wayne, Snoop Dogg & ScHoolboy Q Will Headline Final Night Of Summerfest Twitter Email
TEWKSBURY, MA — Peter J. Michals III of Tewksbury passed away peacefully after a brief illness on July 19. He was 80 years old.He was born and grew up in East Cambridge, graduated from Rindge Technical School and Cambridge High and Latin. An altar boy in his youth, Peter was a devout Catholic all of his life, and attended Mass each week as a parishioner at St. Williams Church. At age 19, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and served from 1957 to 1960. He was a member of the Air Police and was stationed in Germany and France. He often recalled his service and the traveling he did with the Air Force as among his fondest memories. When he returned from service abroad, he married his sweetheart, Camille Samaria (Michals), who waited for him. Together, they had three children.Peter attended and held degrees from Boston University, Lowell Tech, and Lowell State University, now UMass Lowell. He was a caring family man who worked as an accountant and had a small tax preparation business until his retirement a few years ago. He loved his family, enjoyed playing sports with his son, and spent 15 years as a volunteer coach for Tewksbury Little League baseball. He was also a member of the Tewksbury-Wilmington Elks.He is survived by his beloved wife of 57 years, Camille; daughter Debra Michals and son-in-law Mark Antinoro of Newburyport; son Peter and daughter-in-law Kelly Curley of Contoocook, NH; grandson Cori Michals and granddaughter Ashley Michals of New Hampshire; step-grandchildren Sarah Antinoro and Melanie Antinoro of Acton, MA, and Casey Curley of Pensacola, FL.; his sister Janet Tosto of Tewksbury; and many nieces and nephews. His was predeceased by a daughter, Camille Marie “Camie.”Memorial Visiting hours will be on Wednesday, July 25, from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. at Tewksbury Funeral Home, corner of 1 Dewey and 975 Main Sts. (Rte. 38) TEWKSBURY CENTER, followed by a Memorial Funeral Mass at 11:30 a.m. in St. Williams Church, 1351 Main St. (Rte. 38) Tewksbury. Burial will follow at St. Mary Cemetery, No. Tewksbury. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, P.O. Box 1000, Dept. 142, Memphis, TN 38148-0142 or visit http://www.stjude.org. Peter’s family would like to extend their gratitude to the caring staff of Woodbriar Health Center in Wilmington.Peter J. Michals III(NOTE: The above obituary is from the Tewksbury Funeral Home.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email email@example.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedOBITUARY: Elizabeth J. “Betty” (Kilpatrick) Valente, 75In “Obituaries”OBITUARY: Donald R. Donahue, 80In “Obituaries”OBITUARY: Brandon M. Long, 27In “Obituaries”
WILMINGTON, MA — Here are highlights of the Wilmington Police Log for Monday, April 29, 2019:A caller reported a hypodermic needle next to the tracks and walkway at the MBTA Commuter Rail station on Main Street. Police were unable to locate. (7:15am)A resident requested assistance lifting dog into vehicle to take to vet. Animal Control Officer responded and assisted. (9:47am)Fire and Police responded to two brush fires near tracks on Burlington Avenue. (11:55am)Police received a report of larceny of wheelchair ramp equipment from Shawsheen Avenue. (12:33pm)Paola Robles (22, Lynn) was arrested on Unlicensed Operation Of A Motor Vehicle. (1:23pm)Police noted an in-bound train was blocking Route 62 at North Wilmington station. (9:39pm)(DISCLAIMER: This information is public information. An arrest does not constitute a conviction. Any arrested person is innocent until proven guilty.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedPOLICE LOG for August 31: Woburn Man Arrested For OUI; Bad Highway Crash Required MedflightIn “Police Log”POLICE LOG for September 5: Train Conductor Helps Locate Missing Puppy; Rented Trucks Not Returned To UHaulIn “Police Log”POLICE LOG for July 29: 2 Men Arrested On Warrants; Tree Falls On 5 Cars At Town Hall; Highway CrashIn “Police Log”
The world’s wealthiest man, Jeff Bezos wants to lead the next stage in the human exploration of space with his private company, Blue Origin. While Elon Musk has been busy making not-flamethrowers, Bezos revealed the first lunar lander from his company – Blue Moon.”We’ve been working on this lander for 3 years. It’s a very large lander. It’ll soft land in a precise way 3.6 metric tons on to the lunar surface. The stretch tank variant of it will soft land 6.5 metric tons on to the lunar surface,” said Bezos at a press conference in Washington today.The lander is capable of carrying four rovers using a new rocket engine which was also revealed at the same conference. This enhances the possibilities of new ventures in space. A feature of the lander which was repeatedly emphasised is its smooth landing capability. Bezos claims this vehicle will allow rovers to land on the Moon smoothly, and relay information back to the Earth via an optical communications system.Bezos spoke at length about the mechanisms of the vehicle. The deck has a simple interface to allow a variety of payloads. The lander has a customisable davit mechanism inspired by naval systems. With its star tracking system, the vehicle can autonomously navigate in space. The onboard radio has an x-band with a 10-megabit range. Jeff Bezos unveils Blue Moon, the first lunar lander from his company, Blue Origin.Blue OriginBezos went on to discuss his dream of the future. He believes in a future with space colonies and life on orbiting space stations. No launch dates, customers or plans for human travel were discussed during the conference, but it is being speculated that humans will one day be able to use space travel services from companies like Blue Origin, SpaceX and NASA.Robert Walker, a private space consultant who works with Blue Origin, mentioned plans for a 2023 unmanned launch. In 2017, Blue Origin had revealed its plans of sending unmanned, reusable rockets capable of carrying 4,500 kilograms of payload to the Moon. Charles DukeNASAThe pressure is building slowly on the space race once more. Added pressure comes from the US military for creation of military hardware, pitting major manufacturers like Boeing, Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin against each other to compete for price and innovation. This is getting enhanced with the development of private companies in the industry. Space companies have previously made claims and promises but rarely delivered on their goals. Last year, an Israeli private, non-profit company crashed a rocket while trying to land.However, the people working on Blue Moon are optimistic about its development. Former NASA deputy administrator Dava Newman, who is also an MIT professor, has been working with Blue Origin as a customer. She said that this time is different. The new engine makes it possible that “it’s for real.” IBTimes VideoRelated VideosMore videos Play VideoPauseMute0:01/3:30Loaded: 0%0:01Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE-3:29?Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedSubtitlessubtitles settings, opens subtitles settings dialogsubtitles off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window. COPY LINKAD Loading … Close Al Worden: Apollo 8 Changed How We Think About Earth
Major benchmark indices were range bound with a negative bias as market participants remained cautious before the outcome of US Federal Reserve meeting. Global rating agency S&P’s report on lingering impact of demonetisation on domestic economy also dampened investors’ sentiments.While the 30-share index was trading 0.23 percent lower at 26,635.21 (12.50 pm), the 50-share index Nifty was at 8,194.80, down 0.32 percent. Market breadth turned negative in the afternoon trade with most indices trading in the red. Shares of auto, metal, bank and capital goods came under selling pressure in the afternoon trade, dragging the indices. However, IT and consumer goods bucked the trend and were trading in the green.Coal India lost the most with its shares trading 3.45 percent lower at Rs 295.40. The company reported 77.4 percent fall in its net profit at Rs 600 crore during the September quarter from Rs 2,654 crore recorded in the corresponding period last year. Apart from Coal India, shares of Aurobindo Pharma, Hero Motocorp, Bosch and IndusInd Bank also lost in the afternoon trade.Among winners, Axis Bank gained the most in the afternoon trade with its shares trading 2.93 percent higher at Rs 466.20 on Wednesday. Reliance, HCL Tech, Tata Power and Asian Paints were the other major gainers in the afternoon trade.Meanwhile, the Wholesale Price Index (WPI)- based inflation for November 2016 touched a five-month low figure of 3.15 per cent against 3.39 per cent recorded in the previous month. Ongoing cash crunch owing to demonetisation pulled down consumption demand, leading to a fall in inflation, analysts said. S&P’s report on demonetisation impacting rural consumption also weighed on investors’ sentiments.In the global front, performances of Asian indices were mixed as investors awaited outcome of US Federal Reserve meeting. While China’s Shanghai Composite and Taiwan Index were trading in the red, Japan’s Nikkei, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng were in the green on Wednesday. Notably, US stocks rallied to new all-time highs on Tuesday as optimism over US president-elect Donald Trump’s upcoming fiscal policies continued to drive markets.After a flat opening, the Indian rupee was trading 0.02 percent down at 67.52 against dollar in the afternoon trade. Among commodities, oil prices fell on rising inventories in the international market.
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina speaks to reporters after casting her vote in parliamentary elections in Dhaka, on Sunday.—Photo: APBangladesh Awami League’s election victory with a margin of victory at 96 per cent “was a result one might expect in a place like North Korea, not a democratic nation such as Bangladesh”, writes The Washington Post.That is, according to the US newspaper, exactly the problem: prime minister Sheikh Hasina “consolidated her grip on power but at the cost of her own electoral legitimacy.”Her party and its allies secured 288 out of 299 contested seats. The opposition BNP, which won only seven, has called the election “farcical” and demanded a do-over, TIME magazine mentioned in an article ‘They Threaten Everyone’, adding that Sheikh Hasina’s “landslide win in Bangladesh marred by voter suppression”.The Economist wrote, “… the embarrassingly skewed tally suggested that the BNP was not really the biggest loser. The biggest loss was for democracy itself.”It observed that the flawed general election of 30 December represented a sharp reversion to the less democratic end of the spectrum. “The Awami League, which has been in power continuously for 10 years, flagrantly wielded the full power of state institutions,” the British magazine said in a piece “By hook, crook and ballot”.TIME magazine cited an example of voting in Dhaka on 30 December, quoting a polls worker who tried to defend disruption in voting as “Lunch break”. But by 3.10pm, the explanation had changed. “We’ve already started to count,” a policeman was quoted to have said. The polls had been supposed to close at 4pm.It also pointed out that the result of AL’s landslide victory has been clouded by pre-election violence and allegations of a crackdown on the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), as well as widespread reports of vote-rigging and intimidation on election day, some of which was observed by TIME on the ground.The Washington Post reported that there were scattered reports of irregularities at polling stations, including possible vote tampering, “but observers said Hasina had used other means to tilt the field in her favour long before Sunday.”Nazrul Islam Khan, a standing committee leader of the BNP, told TIME that “the extent to which the government has rigged these elections is beyond imagination.”The AL chief, Hasina, rejected all allegations of impropriety, at a briefing with journalists and election observers on Monday evening. Her advisor HT Imam was said to have called it “one of the best elections held ever.”Evidence of voter disruption was widespread, said TIME. At one polling station at Kabi Nazrul Islam College in Old Dhaka, TIME was reportedly harassed by dozens of government supporters and forced to delete a video showing a woman who got into a fight with poll workers.It wasn’t just BNP supporters who claimed they were prevented from voting. “I wanted to vote for the Awami League anyway, but when I reached the polling station they told me my vote had already been cast,” said one woman who asked TIME not to publish her name for fear of reprisals.The Economist said the sweeping nature of the repression meant that on voting day, few of the BNP’s electoral agents — who guide voters and monitor the process — dared show up at the 40,000 polling stations. By contrast, the Awami League fielded 120,000 agents. In Dhaka, the capital, it was hard to find a single poster for the BNP among the tens of thousands boosting the Awami League, the magazine said.The sweeping nature of Hasina’s victory raises “serious doubt” about the fairness of the election, the Post quoted Ataur Rahman, president of the Bangladesh Political Scientist Association, as saying. He added that the opposition’s tiny number of seats also means there will be no mechanism for political accountability.Hasina, according to the newspaper, is also viewed by some — including in neighbouring India — as an ally against the potential spread of Islamist extremism in Bangladesh.After Sunday’s election, Bangladesh has become a “one-party democracy,” Kanchan Gupta, a political commentator in New Delhi, was quoted to have written. Hasina “faces no opposition worth its name.”“Why should Sheikh Hasina pull out so many stops to ensure a victory that most observers had assumed was in the bag in any case?” wrote The Economist, adding that opinion polls had universally shown a solid advantage for the Awami League.The magazine observed that Sheikh Hasina seems to bear a personal grudge against perceived enemies, which springs both from the murder of her family members including Bangabandhu Sheikh Mijibur Rahman in 1975 and from an attempt on her own life that has allegedly been tied to figures in the BNP.Some of the ruling party’s rivals were quoted to have suggested that the AL needs to cling to power to cover its own corruption.TIME quoted Bangladeshi editors and journalists as saying that it’s increasingly difficult to publish news that embarrasses the government. Some estimate they self-censor at least two-thirds of their stories. “I am not sure if I want to stay in this country now that the Awami League will feel even more entitled to stifle dissent,” one TV journalist, who wished to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation, was quoted to have said.And on social media, it reported, criticism of the government is carefully shrouded in irony. “Can someone please tell me if my vote was already cast? Then I don’t have to get out of bed this morning,” a law student posted on Facebook on election day.TIME referred to a BNP activist, Mozammal Hossain, one of a dozen BNP activists who were documenting fraud, arrests, voter harassment and violence during these elections, as saying that his parents were recently harassed by police for their son’s work. “They threaten everyone,” he was quoted to have said.
Map of RajshahiThe village has been virtually cut off. After the 30 December national parliamentary polls, buses no more pass through the village, auto-rickshaws cannot leave the vicinity and cable television has been disconnected.The villagers have been isolated because the candidate from the opposition political camp secured more votes than the ruling AL candidate contesting in the national polls.Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) candidate Aminul Haque got 1,249 votes while the Awami League candidate Omar Faruk Chowdhury got only 653 votes from the village.This village is Kolma in Tanore upazila of Rajshahi. It is located 50 kilometres away from Rajshahi city and is under the Rajshahi-1 (Tanore-Godagari) constituency. Voters of this village voted at the Kolma Government Primary School centre.On condition of anonymity, the villagers said their only ‘fault’ was that more people voted for the BNP candidate in the village.The correspondent, while visiting the village, met with BNP supporters, though could not locate any of the party’s leaders. The supporters were reluctant to speak openly.They said, apart from closing down bus service and satellite connections, the deep tube wells of the village were taken over by Awami League activists and supporters.It seems water for irrigation will be stopped as well, they added.The locals said that there were two ways to exit from the village- either from the west through the village Billi or from the east through Dargadanga village. However, the villagers are now blocked from all sides.Tanore upazila AL president Golam Rabbani told this correspondent, “I heard about what is going on in Kolma, but can do nothing about it.” “Now anyone, regardless to their political beliefs, is being attacked. The other day two pro-AL college teachers were beaten up and their motorbikes were vandalised on the way to college,” said a local.An auto rickshaw driver of the village complained that a group of AL activists kicked him out from Dargadanga Bazar and now he could not drive his auto rickshaw.Kolma ward AL president Sirajul Islam alleged that BNP activists and supporters attacked a union parishad chairman and Tanore upazila Juba League president a day before the election, leaving five of them injured.Citing it to be the reason of fray, the AL leader said the attack on the teachers was a mistake.He hoped the situation would improve very soon.Most of the shops and restaurants were found closed in the Kolma bazaar while an owner of a restaurant told the correspondent that the dispute had affected their businesses.This correspondent contacted Mohammad Ali, supervisor of a Bismillah Paribahan bus travelling from Rajshahi to Tanore. He said the bus was not running through Kolma village after the election.Asked about the reason he said, “There are clashes in the village.”Tanore police station officer in charge (OC) Rezaul Islam and Kolma UP chairman Lutfar Haider did not answer their phones when attempts were made to contact them.However, Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Chowdhury Golam Rabbi told Prothom Alo that nobody told him anything about the matter.He said necessary action would be taken after the matter was investigated.
.Four personalities have been chosen for the Bangla Academy Sahitya Puroshkar 2018.Director general of Bangla Academy poet Habibullah Siraji announced the names at a press briefing at the academy on Monday afternoon.The award recipients are poet Kazi Rosy (Poetry), Mohit Kamal (Literature), Syed Mohammad Shahed (Essay and Research) and Afsan Chowdhury (Literature on Liberation War Affairs).The winners will receive a cheque for Tk 2 lakh and crests each..However, awards are not being given for translation, biography and travelogue, drama, science, technology and environment, and juvenile literature categories this time.Prime minister Sheikh Hasina will distribute the awards among the recipients at the inaugural ceremony of the month-long Amar Ekushey Book Fair on 1 February.Last year, twelve personalities were given the Bangla Academy Sahitya Puraskar 2017.Bangla Academy Sahitya Puroshkar (Bangla Academy Literary Award) is given by the Bangla Academy of Bangladesh in recognition of creative genius in advancement and overall contribution to the field of Bengali language and literature.
India-born ex-Goldman Sachs director Rajat Gupta’s conviction on insider trading charges should not be thrown out as the government provided “overwhelming” proof against him for passing on illegal information in return for “expected potential pecuniary gains,” US prosecutors said. The prosecutors said the IIT and Harvard-educated former McKinsey head, who is serving a two-year sentence, had a “powerful” financial incentive to tip his billionaire hedge-fund operator friend Raj Rajaratnam. Also Read – I-T issues 17-point checklist to trace unaccounted DeMO cashAttorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara submitted a memorandum on behalf of the government opposing Gupta’s plea to throw out his conviction based on a recent ruling by an appeals court in which it reversed the insider convictions of hedge-fund managers Todd Newman and Anthony Chiasson. Convicted in 2012, Gupta, 66, began serving a two-year prison term on insider trading charges in June, 2014. He was also fined $5 million.Stressing that the personal aspect of Gupta-Rajaratnam relationship was “undeniable,” the government said Gupta personally invested in Galleon and participated in several actual and contemplated ventures with him. Also Read – Lanka launches ambitious tourism programme to woo Indian tourists“In sum, Gupta’s financial interests were heavily aligned with Galleon’s. Rajaratnam bestowed corporate titles on Gupta, gave him an ongoing financial interest in Galleon International… and generally granted Gupta a level of access and corporate prestige that Gupta craved.“As part of their business relationship, each had shared expectations. Rajaratnam expected, and Gupta consistently delivered, inside information that Gupta possessed as a corporate insider. For those tips, Gupta clearly expected potential pecuniary gain in return,” the prosecutors said.
Categories: News State Rep. Ray Franz, R-Onekama, was recently presented a 2013-14 Champion of Free Enterprise award from the Michigan Chamber of Commerce by Trisha Kinley, Senior Director of Tax & Regulatory Reform. The award recognizes Franz’ 100-percent voting record on 13 House roll call votes important to Michigan’s business climate on issues such as campaign finance, environment, human resources, legal reform, tax policy, and transportation investment. “Rep. Franz has demonstrated a strong commitment to Michigan’s economic competitiveness and free enterprise by supporting policies based on individual freedom, incentive and opportunity,” noted Jim Holcomb, Senior Vice President for Business Advocacy & General Counsel for the Michigan Chamber. 08Oct Franz earns ‘Champion of Free Enterprise’ Award
Indian broadcaster Zee TV is launching two channels in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The company is launching general entertainment network Zee TV HD and movie channel Zee Cinema HD through satellite operator eLife TV.Zee TV HD will air reality series and event programming including Dance India Dance and the Zee Rishtey Awards, while Zee Cinema HD will launch movies including Don 2 and Agent Vinod.Mukund Cairae, territory head, Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan, Zee Network, said: “With growing consumer demand for the richer, more immersive experience of HD, Zee viewers in the UAE will now have access to two new HD channels with high quality content all in crystal clear sound and stunning picture quality.”
Vodafone Portugal has become the first of the country’s ISPs to launch TVI Player, the on-demand service operated by Media Capital-owned commercial broadcaster TVI.TVI Player includes access to all of TVI’s programmes and those of cable news channel TVI24 for 30 days after their linear airing.According to TVI, the service will also include original content specifically produced for it.TVI Player categorises content according to genre, popularity and new content, and give Portuguese viewers access to the last 30 days of soap operas, entertainment shows, news and talks shows. Short videos capturing the ‘best moments’ of shows are also available.Vodafone subscribers can access TVI Player via the apps section o the user guide or by pressing the interactive red button while watching the TVI and TVI24 linear channels.TVI Player has previously been available online and on Android and Apple mobile devices.Vodafone Portugal already offers a range of on-demand services including Netflix, Indie World, Super8, Disney Movies on Demand and Playtime.
Liberty Global’s management strongly believe that the company’s share price is cheap, and the forthcoming sale of the cable giant’s German and CEE businesses is seen as an opportunity to buy back shares and thereby return cash to investors.Charlie Bracken, Liberty’s chief financial officer, used his presence at the recent Morgan Stanley European Media & Technology conference to go through the options the company has for the cash it will generate from the sale and explicitly ruled out making any big acquisitions. Bracken said that Liberty may look to adjust its debt levels to match its reduced scale after the Vodafone deal is completed, but he was clear that the top priority would be to buy back shares, something that has also been made clear by CEO Mike Fries.The Vodafone scale and the absence of an ambition to make major new purchases has raised some questions about where Liberty goes from here. The UK’s Virgin Media is Liberty’s main asset and its most profitable unit. Of its other main businesses, VodafoneZiggo in the Netherlands is a joint venture, and Liberty has indicated that it will either buy or sell within a year or so. Majority-owned Telenet in Belgium is looking to expand, but Liberty has also indicated it could be open to a sale or combination of its struggling Swiss business with that of mobile player Sunrise.Bracken kicked off his talk at the Morgan Stanley event by endorsing the view that the next step change for the cable industry is to combine fixed and mobile assets. Liberty’s legacy in the fixed-line business means that its approach to mobile has been of necessity somewhat more improvised than that of the likes of Vodafone or Altice. Bracken said that the company was very happy with its current MVNO arrangements in the UK and Switzerland and did not need to make mobile acquisitions or strike a joint-venture agreement in those markets, as it has done in Belgium and the Netherlands.Bracken, like his boss Mike Fries, combines an awareness of the importance of convergence with a healthy dose of skepticism about the attractiveness of the mobile business per se. He said at the Morgan Stanley event that “the key factor” for Liberty was how “very tough” the mobile business currently is, with some 50 or so mobile operators across Europe fighting each other for increasingly cost-conscious customers. While combining fixed and mobile assets delivers cost synergies, competition between converged players also leads to declining mobile ARPU.Liberty’s management have on the whole seemed more enthusiastic about prospects on the fixed side of the business, with both Fries and Bracken expressing confidence that Project Lightning, Virgin Media’s build-out of fibre to greenfield sites, will deliver a healthy return. At Morgan Stanley, Bracken said that this project would deliver the bulk of growth for the UK business, with the existing Virgin Media footprint returning cash but delivering much slower growth, either in terms of pulling in new subscribers or extracting more money from current ones.Project Lightning, on the other hand, he said, would provide “very attractive” returns with the 30%-plus penetration rates it was currently achieving, and could deliver more as Liberty improves its marketing on the basis of experience. He said that Project Lightning was, on the other hand, a cashflow negative business, and hinted that some change of structure could be in the offing to take this into account.The discussion of how to treat infrastructure investment found an echo in two other news stories this week. France’s Altice, which has enjoyed a rollercoaster ride over the last year and is still in the process of making changes that will secure investor support, posted vastly improved operational statistics in its fourth quarter earnings, with a return to subscriber growth in France both on the fixed and mobile that required a heavy cut in revenue and earnings to achieve.Founder Patrick Drahi told analysts that the ownership of infrastructure and content together would make a big difference to the company’s growth prospects compared with that of peers who lacked one or other of those elements. However, he signalled an openness to partnering with other investors on the infrastructure side. Drahi was primarily referring to the build out of fibre to new areas, but, as an aside, he also indicated an openness to selling a stake in the domestic French cable operation if “somebody loves it as much as I do”.The other story that foregrounded treatment of infrastructure as an investment was the peremptory changing of the guard at Telecom Italia, the latest episode in the long-running battle between investors Vivendi, with its long-term industrial plan based on convergence – in this case also of content and infrastructure – and Elliott Advisors, with its desire to “realise value” quickly by selling off the Telecom Italia network, possibly to be combined with wholesale fibre outfit Open Fiber in an initiative supported by the governing M5S party.While these stories are in many ways very different, they highlight the challenges operators face in finding a way to fashion a coherent growth story based on convergence. People may want content, fixed broadband and mobile from a single provider, but there is no clear consensus about how to deliver all that and maintain pricing, while investing in expensive infrastructure and providing at least the prospect of a return to investors.