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IMPORTANT – MSC Divina statement

first_imgSource = MSC Cruises IMPORTANT – MSC Divina statementIMPORTANT – MSC Divina statementHurricane Irma has now been elevated to Category 5 and is strongly affecting ship operations across the entire Caribbean region. The state of emergency has been called across all of Florida and a number of islands in the area.Due to these extraordinary circumstances, as the safety of our Guests and Crew is our number one priority, MSC Divina will now head directly to Miami where she will arrive in the morning of Thursday 7 September (Miami time), ahead of the Port’s likely closure on Friday, to allow guests who wish to disembark to do so. As soon as the disembarkation is completed, the ship will sail to Cozumel (Mexico), beyond Irma’s reach, allowing those guests that wish to remain on board to continue their cruise. She will then stay alongside there until it is safe for her to return to Miami.Due to the timing of Irma’s likely arrival to the South Florida coast, it will be impossible to complete the turnaround operation scheduled for Saturday, 9 September. For this reason, we have taken the difficult decision of cancelling MSC Divina’s next cruise originally scheduled to sail on that day.We are constantly monitoring the situation and are doing all we can to guarantee the safe passage of our clients in the event of this emergency. MSC Cruisesbook your cruise herelast_img read more

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NAHB Housing Construction on Track for Growth in Coming Years

first_img October 19, 2012 402 Views NAHB: Housing Construction on Track for Growth in Coming Years It’s been a good year for housing construction, but the “”National Association of Home Builders””:http://www.nahb.org/default.aspx (NAHB) is still eyeing several “”cautionary factors”” that are holding the recovery down.[IMAGE]In a webinar hosted by the NAHB, economists discussed the housing recovery, what’s keeping it going, and what may throw it off course later down the road.NAHB chief economist David Crowe said the main catalyst behind housing’s current strength is the rise in prices on a national scale. However, Crowe said, there are a number of other factors, including pent-up household formations, rising “”consumer””:https://themreport.com/articles/survey-consumer-confidence-up-significantly-in-september-2012-10-09 and “”builder confidence””:https://themreport.com/articles/stronger-traffic-boosts-builder-confidence-2012-10-16, growing rental demand, and a record high number of “”improving metros”” on the organization’s “”index””:https://themreport.com/articles/improving-markets-index-touches-new-high-in-october-2012-10-05.However, the coming months are full of headwinds that could slow growth or put it off track. Crowe cited difficulties with credit, both for borrowers applying for mortgage loans and for builders trying to obtain production credit. Additionally, inaccurate appraisals, seriously delinquent mortgages, and limited inventory of developed lots are all causing problems.Crowe also expressed concern about the future of lending and finances, including pending Dodd-Frank regulations, the future role of the GSEs in the housing finance system, and the looming “”fiscal cliff”” that could trigger budget cuts and tax increases at the start of 2013.[COLUMN_BREAK]Given these issues, the association forecast a 21 percent increase in single-family starts this year, bringing it up to 528,000 units. A further 26 percent climb (up to 665,000 units) is expected in 2013. Multifamily starts are expected to see more growth but lower volume, rising 26 percent to 224,000 units. The NAHB forecast a 6 percent increase in 2013 to 238,000 units.Mark Zandi, chief economist for “”Moody’s Analytics””:http://www.moodysanalytics.com/, voiced a more positive outlook on housing and economic growth. Zandi predicted GDP growth in the 2 percent range this year and “”double that growth closer to 4 percent in 2014 and 2015.”” He also expects job growth to go from two million per year up closer to three million in 2014 and 2015.As far as housing, Zandi forecast 1.1 million total housing starts in 2013, 1.7 million to 1.8 million in 2014, and more than 1.8 million in 2015.Zandi did admit his forecast only worked under a number of assumptions, including the expectations that mortgage rates would remain low, the availability of housing credit will improve, and the job market will gain traction as policymakers resolve fiscal issues. Zandi said he felt safe working on the assumption that Democrats and Republicans will strike a deal on fiscal issues to avoid the cliff ahead, saying “”each side has much to lose.””On a national basis, housing starts are projected to get back to 55 percent of normal production by the end of 2013 and to 70 percent by the end of 2014, said Robert Denk, NAHB’s assistant VP for forecasting and analysis.On the state level, progress isn’t so stable. Denk pointed to a number of hard-hit states├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┬Øincluding Arizona, Florida, California, and Nevada├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┬Øthat still have “”much ground to make up.”” Meanwhile, several energy producing states, including North Dakota, Texas, Oklahoma, Montana, and Wyoming, are expected to be up and running at normal housing production levels by the end of 2014. in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicingcenter_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Home Prices Homebuilders Housing Starts Investors Lenders & Servicers Moody’s Analytics National Association of Home Builders Politics Processing Service Providers 2012-10-19 Tory Barringer Sharelast_img read more

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Hong Kong – Reported by Elite Traveler the Privat

first_imgHong Kong – Reported by Elite Traveler, the Private Jet Lifestyle MagazineMandarin Oriental Hotel Group today announced that it has signed an agreement to manage a new, luxury hotel currently under construction in Pudong, Shanghai. The hotel is scheduled to open in 2013. Mandarin Oriental Pudong, Shanghai will be located in the heart of the Lujiazui Central Financial District. The property will form part of ‘Harbour City’ a 61-acre mixed use development, comprising office towers, a residential complex, significant retail and extensive landscaped gardens that will transform the neighborhood. The development is within walking distance of the Shanghai Stock Exchange, the regional headquarters of major domestic and international financial institutions, and has direct access to the promenade on the banks of the Huangpu River.The hotel will feature 362 guestrooms and 210 serviced apartments. All accommodations will be spacious and elegantly styled, with outstanding views of the city skyline and the Huangpu River. Subtle design touches will reflect the Group’s oriental heritage, while Mandarin Oriental’s renowned customer-centric and highly sophisticated in-room entertainment systems will be a prominent feature. Guests will also have access to an exclusive executive club lounge. Guests will enjoy an array of innovative dining opportunities, with a choice of three eclectic restaurants, a lobby lounge and bar, and a Mandarin Oriental Cake Shop. For the local community, an extensive range of stylish banqueting venues, including a grand ballroom, will provide the perfect backdrop for celebrations, while a wide variety of well-equipped meeting rooms will appeal to the business community.The hotel is ideally placed for leisure guests with direct access to extensive gardens that will change the local landscape. An all-encompassing Spa at Mandarin Oriental, will provide holistic rejuvenation and relaxation in a serene, meditative setting. There will also be an 80 foot indoor swimming pool and a fully comprehensive fitness center.Designed by world-renowned architect, Bernardo Fort-Brescia of Arquitectonica, Mandarin Oriental Pudong, Shanghai will be an urban oasis in the heart of the city. The project owner is Shanghai Rui Ming Real Estate Company; a joint venture between the Hong Kong listed CITIC Pacific Limited and the PRC state-owned China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC).“We are delighted to be bringing Mandarin Oriental’s renowned levels of hospitality to Shanghai – China’s vibrant commercial and financial center,” said Edouard Ettedgui, Group Chief Executive of Mandarin Oriental. “This development, in the prominent new district of Lujiazui, presents an ideal opportunity to further establish our luxury brand in the mainland.”“We look forward to working with Mandarin Oriental on creating a luxurious and elegant hotel which will become the landmark of the overall Harbour City development,” said Mr. Wang Ande, Director and General Manager of Shanghai Rui Ming Real Estate Company. “The reputation of Mandarin Oriental as an award-winning international brand, renowned for its exemplary service and attention to detail, makes it an ideal partner for this exciting project. The hotel will provide exceptional services to support the numerous financial headquarters in the Lujiazui area.”Mandarin Oriental Pudong, Shanghai is approximately 40 minutes from Hongqiao International airport and 50 minutes from Pudong International airport. It is ideally located to enjoy the myriad of attractions that Shanghai, China’s largest and wealthiest city, has to offer.www.mandarinoriental.comlast_img read more

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Two in critical condition after road accidents

first_imgA motorcyclist remains in critical condition after his bike hit a car near Coral Bay on Sunday afternoon.The car, driven by a resident of Paphos, 21, was attempting to overtake a vehicle when it collided head-on with the motorbike, which was coming from the opposite direction.The motorcyclist, aged 32, who was not wearing a helmet suffered a traumatic brain injury.He was initially taken to Paphos general hospital but later transferred to Nicosia hospital because of the seriousness of his condition.Another man was also taken to Nicosia hospital after an accident and is being treated in the intensive care unit for a fractured skull.Around 1pm on Sunday, a 25-year-old driver, who had two passengers in his car, lost control of his vehicle and collided with an electricity pole on Everest street in Kalo Chorio, Larnaca, under conditions which are not yet known.One of the passengers, aged 47, was seriously injured in the crash and after being taken to Larnaca general hospital he was later taken to Nicosia.Police are investigating both incidents.You May LikeDr. Marty ProPower Plus Supplement3 Dangerous Foods People Feed Their Dogs (Without Realizing It)Dr. Marty ProPower Plus SupplementUndoUltimate Pet Nutrition Nutra Thrive SupplementAdd This One Thing To Your Dog’s Food To Help Them Be HealthierUltimate Pet Nutrition Nutra Thrive SupplementUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoOur View: Argaka mukhtar should not act as if he owns the beachUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

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ECB crisis of 2013 party favours blames for Coop demise update 2

first_imgFormer Cyprus Cooperative Bank board member Lampros Pieri on Tuesday said the Co-op fell victim to European aversion to state-owned banks, while former chairman Giorgos Iosif said the 2013 economic crisis was to blame.Meanwhile, a third person testifying, former board member Andreas Charitou said the bank went down due to a combination of bad governance and party interests.Pieri, who was testifying at the committee probing the collapse of the cooperative banking sector, said that “supervisors in Frankfurt didn’t want a state-owned bank to exist,” the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) reported.The Cyprus Cooperative Bank, the first casualty in Cypriot banks’ struggle to reduce their non-performing loans, jointly supervised by the European Central Bank’s (ECB) Single Supervision Mechanism (SSM) and the Central Bank of Cyprus was forced to sell its operations to Hellenic Bank in June after it failed to reduce its bad loans fast enough.SSM chairwoman Danièle Nouy declined the Co-op’s request to delay an onsite inspection until the bank had completed its efforts to increase its capital, Pieri said. On Monday, Auditor-general Odysseas Michaelides said Finance Minister Harris Georgiades had complained to Central Bank of Cyprus governor Chrystalla Georghadji about the SSM’s “extreme assumptions” in calculating the Co-op’s capital needs, only to get a response from her that the bank’s management had not contested them in a previous meeting with a delegation from Frankfurt.The SSM and part of the Central Bank of Cyprus, Pieri continued, wanted to settle the issue outside the bank by taking a large portion of the Co-op’s €7bn hence “the crisis occurred”.Iosif, also testifying at the committee, said that when in 2013 the government decided to recapitalise the bank, its solvency ratio stood at 12 per cent.The bank’s problems, Iosif, who served as chairman for a year until November 2013, said were caused by the economic downturn caused by the bail-in that led to companies going out of business and an increase in unemployment which in turn affected loan repayment.According to the Co-op’s 2013 account’s, the bank generated an after tax loss of €1.7bn in 2013 compared to a loss of €23.8m the year before. The bank’s non-performing loans rose to €6.1bn from €2.7bn or to 46 per cent of the total from 17 per cent.Iosif said that what went wrong with the Co-op that ultimately compelled the lender to sell its operations to Hellenic Bank was related to non-performing loans which became the main problem after the troika of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), European Commission and European Central Bank (ECB) came to Cyprus.According to Iosif’s, largely incoherent account, authorities took no action to help the Co-op get rid of non-performing loans and so allow in fresh capital with willing investors.“What did the Central Bank (of Cyprus) and the Finance Ministry do to tackle this approaching risk that was bigger by the day?” he asked.He said that there has been an attempt to play down the Co-op’s overall contribution, which prompted the troika to propose its recapitalisation, and create the impression that a large feast had been taking place, by reproducing reports about irregularities observed in minor cooperatives such as those of Ayia Phyla and Ayia Napa.The size of these scandals amounts to up to €65m compared to an overall €5.3bn in provisions for loan impairments resulting from the elimination of the value of collateralised assets of non-performing loans, Iosif said.Charitou, who served in the board as independent member from March 2009 to October 2010, said there were members on the boards of directors of cooperatives who enjoyed political backing, allowing them to remain at their positions without being punished for wrongdoings.“They had backing from high above,” he was quoted as saying. “Backing from parties, politicians with others who may have been their accomplices and took the decisions. There were possibly problems involving criminal cases that would have been brought to justice (and) they were dragging their feet all the time”.Some cooperatives had very serious problems and some people, he did not name, “were trying to get as much as possible out of the corporation,” he said adding that there was reluctance to punish anyone or take action even in cases of officials implicated in possible criminal offences.Certain cooperatives were under the control of political factions and their affiliation was known, said Charitou.While in certain cases, managers at cooperatives acted in a conflict of interest, there were still some who did a good job, he said.You May LikeCar NovelsThe Best SUVs That People Aren’t BuyingCar NovelsUndoMental FlareHere’s One Genius Trick Nobody Ever Told You AboutMental FlareUndoYahoo SearchFly To London For Less Than You Think! 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House passes McCready bill to better fund state emergency response

first_img Categories: McCready News,News 12Jun House passes McCready bill to better fund state emergency response Measure adjusts funding levels for natural disaster reliefThe House of Representatives recently approved a bill introduced by state Rep. Mike McCready that expedites the state emergency response process, helping to ensure communities receive assistance more quickly during natural disasters.House Bill 4670 adjusts statutory funding levels for the Disaster and Emergency Contingency Fund to a minimum of $1 million and a maximum of $8.5 million. The bill also provides that any unused funds would remain in reserve for future use.The measure was passed by a unanimous vote in the House.Michigan has spent more than $12 million responding to disasters since 2005, including $3.1 million for the Duck Lake fire in 2012. In the past, legislative action was required to authorize relief. By increasing funding levels, House Bill 4670 would eliminate the need, in most cases, for the Legislature to appropriate funds for disaster response.“Natural disasters have a considerable impact on residents, communities and state resources,” said McCready, R-Bloomfield Hills. “By maintaining the Disaster and Emergency Contingency Fund at a higher level than in the past, we can improve our response time and make sure that our communities get the funds they need more rapidly. No community should have to wait for a bill to be passed in order to get help from the state.”The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.###last_img read more

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Rep Rendon will host office hours Sept 11

first_img01Sep Rep. Rendon will host office hours Sept. 11 Categories: Rendon News State Rep. Bruce Rendon, R-Lake City, today announced that office hours will be held on Friday, Sept. 11.Rep. Rendon invites residents to join him for coffee and conversation from 9 to 10 a.m. at Goodale’s Bakery, located at 500 Norway St. in Grayling, and from noon to 1 p.m. at Trout Town Café, located at 306 Elm St. in Kalkaska.“This is a great opportunity for me to hear residents’ thoughts, ideas, questions and concerns,” said Rep. Rendon. “I encourage all to attend.”No appointments are necessary. Those who are unable to attend are encouraged to contact Rep. Rendon’s office by phone at 517-373-3817 or by email at BruceRendon@house.mi.gov.###last_img

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Rep Heise welcomes Plymouth Township officials for 911 ceremony

first_img08Sep Rep. Heise welcomes Plymouth Township officials for 9/11 ceremony Categories: News LANSING – State Rep. Kurt Heise was joined by Chief Dan Phillips of the Plymouth Township Fire Department and Chief Tom Tiderington of the Plymouth Township Police Department during a 9/11 ceremony at the State Capitol Building.“On a day when we honor our first responders, I appreciated having Chief Phillips and Chief Tiderington at the Capitol,” said Rep. Heise, R-Plymouth Township. “Their commitment, like those of all first responders and military personnel across Michigan, helps make Plymouth Township safe.”Today’s event included the ringing of a ceremonial bell for each of the 15 Michigan-based law enforcement, fire department, emergency medical personnel and members of the military who lost their lives in the line of duty since Sept. 11, 2015. Family members of the deceased were also in attendance, as well as first responders and military members as guests of House members from their respective districts.last_img read more

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COLUMN Highlights from my first six months serving in the Michigan House

first_img Categories: Filler News Now that summer has finally arrived, I want to look back at some of the achievements I am most proud of from the first six months of my term. We have made significant progress on a number of issues that are a priority for families, seniors and workers throughout mid-Michigan.AUTO NO-FAULT REFORMSI can’t even begin to describe how proud I was to play a role in passing a solution to fix Michigan’s broken auto no-fault insurance system. Reforming auto insurance is something that eluded the Legislature for more than 30 years, but we were able to come up with a bipartisan plan to lower rates for drivers all across the state. The new law will give drivers choices on personal injury protection coverage, will combat fraudulent claims and will take steps to rein in medical costs.SUPPORTING FARMERSDriving around the area, I have seen the damage this spring’s record-level rain has done to fields in our community. The weather has absolutely devastated local farmers, and many of them will be facing financial trouble as this crop season continues. I recently voted “yes” on House Bill 4234, which helps private lenders provide low-interest loans to qualified farmers at no financial risk to the state. The bill provides $15 million to help private lenders run the loan program and keep interest rates low for farmers. It’s a boost many struggling farmers will need to get by until brighter days return. I am proud to support farmers in these difficult times.GOVERNMENT TRANSPARENCYIncreasing the transparency and accountability of state government has been a huge focus for me. One of the first bills I introduced was part of a bipartisan plan to subject the governor and lieutenant governor to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and hold state representatives and senators to the same high standard by creating the Legislative Open Records Act (LORA). These bills passed the House in March, and remain under consideration in the Senate.Another bill I sponsored, House Bill 4643, would expose potential conflicts of interest by requiring candidates for and officeholders in the legislative, executive and judicial branches to fill out a financial disclosure form. These measures will bring more accountability to our elected state officials and help restore the public’s faith in government.In total, I have introduced six bills and initiated a new law in my first six months in office:House Bill 4004 is part of a bipartisan plan to ban child marriage in Michigan. Our archaic child marriage laws currently allow just one parent to sign a child away, opening up the potential for young people to be abused and exploited. Our plan would prohibit judges from issuing a marriage certificate for anyone under the age of 18.House Bill 4145 is part of our plan to “Raise the Age” and improve the way 17-year-olds are treated in Michigan’s criminal justice system. Michigan is one of just four states to automatically prosecute all 17-year-olds as adults – even those who commit the most minor offenses. Eliminating this outdated practice will help rehabilitate young offenders and reduce the likelihood of them breaking the law again in the future.House Bill 4255 is part of a plan to combat elder abuse and establish increased protections for Michigan’s senior population. The eight-bill bipartisan plan will add legal protections for adults age 65 and older and establish increased criminal penalties for individuals who financially or physically abuse vulnerable and elder adults.House Bill 4296 (now Public Act 40 of 2019) helped preserve Michigan’s electronic court document filing system. The MiFile system allows documents to be filed electronically with courts across the state through one central portal. Since its implementation in 2016, the system has improved service to the public, increased access to courts and reduced costs for litigants.I am honored to continue serving as your voice in Lansing, and always encourage residents to contact me with any questions or concerns they might have. Please feel free to reach out to my office at (517) 373-1778 or email GrahamFiller@house.mi.gov. 27Jun COLUMN: Highlights from my first six months serving in the Michigan Houselast_img read more

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City Diversity Initiatives Do Not Prevent Displacement of Residents of Color

first_imgShare26Tweet21Share1Email48 SharesBy Lincolnh (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia CommonsSeptember 14, 2017; Next CityThis year, the National League of Cities (NLC) lauded Decatur, a tony inner-ring suburb of 22,000 located near Atlanta and next to Emory University, for its diversity initiative, ranking its program second in the country among cities with fewer than 50,000 people. Indeed, Decatur has been promoted by NLC as “a model of inclusion. Last month, NLC rereleased this June 2017 post as a counterpoint to the white supremacist violence that erupted in Charlottesville.Yet the story of Decatur is complicated. While official city policy promotes diversity, the displacement of longtime residents of color by wealthier, white residents—popularly known as gentrification—has long been a major force in Decatur, with the city losing approximately 70 percent of its Black population between 1980 and 2013.Historian David Rotenstein, writing for Next City, highlights some drivers of this shift. Citing Peter Moskowitz’s book, How to Kill A City, Rotenstein notes that city policies often foster displacement by creating an “environment where gentrification is viable and profitable. Zoning, business licensing, public schools, policing and code enforcement all…[help] developers and investors to enter spaces where disinvestment and oftentimes decay have long ruled.”Decatur’s current cultural diversity initiative, called “Better Together,” was released in December 2015 after an extensive 12-month public planning process that involved 1,500 people. The task force formed initially in response to racial profiling in the city. A galvanizing incident in 2013 precipitated the task force’s creation, when a former Black school board member was stopped by police while peacefully walking in his own neighborhood.Rotenstein is a skeptic of Decatur’s approach, labeling Better Together an “ambitious public relations campaign disguised as a diversity initiative.” But even if Rotenstein is mistaken about the sincerity underlying the city’s current program, there is little doubt that the present diversity effort was launched well after significant gentrification had occurred.The recommendations in the Better Together report focused on six areas:Support community participation and engagement among all members of the city’s population.Prioritize racially just community policing by improving relationships between community members and law enforcement and ensuring all community members are treated in a just way with equity and respect.Ensure the availability of diverse and affordable housing in order to prevent the displacement of existing residents and provide for a variety of housing types and prices.Cultivate a welcoming and inclusive retail environment for serving a diverse clientele.Maximize the use of public spaces for the enrichment and well-being of all Decatur residents, workers, and visitors.Facilitate low-cost transportation options for people of all ages and abilities.Rotenstein calls attention to the conflicting objectives that drive city officials: “On the one hand, Decatur municipal leaders have groomed an image touting diversity, while on the other they have failed to curb the real estate speculation that has contributed to the city’s economic and racial homogenization.” In sum, Rotenstein’s point is that cross-cultural understanding is a necessary, but hardly sufficient, condition to achieve diversity. To be successful, cultural diversity efforts must be matched with economic supports that preserve communities in place.Certainly, Rotenstein has a point. For example, in theory, the third goal of Better Together aims to combat gentrification and “prevent the displacement of existing residents.” But the most robust policy proposed to do so is a weak statement to “improve upon the City’s existing density bonuses to encourage developers to build affordable condominiums and apartments.” The other actions include improving web communications, hosting conversations, and having another task force on affordable housing. Quite clearly, density bonuses for affordable apartments and condos alone are hardly sufficient to, as Rotenstein puts it, “erase the municipal policies that created the conditions forcing municipal officials to confront racism, diversity and inclusion.”Of course, Decatur is hardly an unusual case, as gentrification has become a widespread phenomenon. Efforts to measure and assess the extent of gentrification are, however, to say the least, uneven. Forbes magazine conducted its analysis by looking at how quickly income levels are rising in the central city versus the overall metropolitan area. Using this criterion, Forbes finds that, “Four cities—Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Seattle and San Francisco—have dramatically closed the income gap between 2000 and 2015. These four cities have significantly narrowed or even eliminated the city/suburban median household income gap since 2000. In D.C. and Atlanta, the city/suburban gap narrowed by more than 25 percent; in Seattle and San Francisco, the city/suburban gap changed by nearly 20 percent and 11 percent respectively, with both cities now having higher median household incomes than their surrounding suburbs.”But gentrification is not just a big city issue. A 2017 Realtor.com article ranked Charleston, South Carolina as the nation’s most rapidly gentrifying city, with the city’s Black population falling from 42 percent to 23 percent between 1990 and 2015. Asheville, North Carolina—another place less frequently in the gentrification discussion—ranked number two. Realtor.com focused on the percentage of census tracts (which typically have from 1,200 to 8,000 people) that had seen major shifts in median income, rather than changes in the city-suburb income divide.The bottom line: gentrification occurs in the North and the South and in blue, purple, and red states. Broadly speaking, the United States is in early stages of the process of reversing historical white flight and reverting to a more conventional pattern resembling that of many European and Latin American cities where wealth concentrates in the center and poverty on the periphery. This creates real challenges for nonprofits, as most poverty alleviation programs focus on urban areas and therefore are often not well positioned to serve low-income suburban residents.Rotenstein concludes with a statement of what would be required if cities like Decatur wish to truly break with past patterns of gentrification. A lot of the answer boils down to paying much more careful attention to history and place. As Rotenstein writes:Instead of cosmetic mitigation, cities need to do the hard work of reconciling distant pasts that created segregated housing and fractured communities with more recent policies that privilege developers and wealthier (and whiter) newcomers.Cities need to…have their most vulnerable residents’ backs. They can do that through equitable affordable housing policies, inclusive zoning, inclusive placemaking, better police training and better attention to how people of color are marginalized, otherized and tokenized in the public sphere.—Steve DubbShare26Tweet21Share1Email48 Shareslast_img read more

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Connected TV technology specialist Inview Stand O

first_imgConnected TV technology specialist Inview (Stand O49) and Aupeo! Personal Radio, the provider of personalised audio streams for internet-connected devices, have signed a global content deal, that will see the Aupeo! service featuring on all connected TVs and set-top boxes that incorporate Inview’s technology.The partnership will enable users of Inview-powered devices to access Aupeo! Personal Radio’s catalogue of over one million tracks. Aupeo! Will launch initially on Inview devices in UK, Italy, Spain, Poland, France, Germany and Australia.“We are really pleased to be partnering with Inview to bring Personal Radio to the TV,” said Holger Weiss, CEO of Aupeo! “By launching on the Inview service we can deliver our audio content to a large audience. The Inview platform perfectly supports our advanced software and easily delivers a global reach.”last_img read more

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Overthetop and IPTV services will account for mo

first_imgOver-the-top and IPTV services will account for most of an expected 8.9% growth in pay TV subscribers in western Europe between now and 2018, according to research from Analysys Mason.The research group predicts that the number of homes taking pay TV services in western Europe will grow by 9.2 million to 113.3 million over the next five years.While OTT services, from both pure-play operators and existing pay TV players such as BSkyB with its Now TV service, will see more growth than traditional pay TV, OTT will still account for only 5.6 million primary pay TV services by 2018, according to Analysys Mason. The major impact of OTT will be as a source of TV for secondary TV sets, according to the group.Traditional pay TV services – cable, IPTV, digital-terrestrial pay TV and satellite – will grow by 3.9% over the same period to 107.7 million, according to Analysys Mason. The researchers predict that cable home swill decline by 6.2% to 43.6 million over the same period as analogue customers choose alternative platforms. Pay DTT homes are also expected to fall in number by 7.7% to 4.9 million, while satellite pay TV households will grow in number by 3.7% to 31.6 million, boosted by growth in markets including Germany.IPTV services will see strong growth of 29% to reach 27.6 million homes thanks to aggressive bundling by telcos, according to Analysys Mason.last_img read more

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Russias Gazprom Media has appointed Aleksander Vr

first_imgRussia’s Gazprom Media has appointed Aleksander Vronsky as the new CEO of its satellite pay TV unit, NTV+, replacing Stanislav Rodionov, who has left the company.Vronsky was the vice-president of technology for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics. Another former Sochi 2014 official, former media relations director Mikhail Demin, who is also CEO of Gazprom Media-backed radio station Ekho Moskviy, has been named as deputy CEO of NTV+.Gazprom Media chairman Dmitry Chernyshenko said that Vronsky would focus on optimising the structure of the NTV+ business, developing sports content, expanding market share and penetration into new market segments.Gazprom has reportedly been mulling options for the future of NTV+ in recent months, with the possibility of splitting the company raised at one point. However decisions about possible options for the service have been complicated by management changes at the parent company.last_img read more

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Amazon Prime subscribers in the US are more likely

first_imgAmazon Prime subscribers in the US are more likely to use Netflix than Prime Instant Video to access video content, according to new research by Strategy Analytics.The report claims that 63% of Amazon Prime subscribers used Netflix in the previous month compared to 59% who used Prime Instant Video.On a weekly basis, 44% of US Amazon Prime subscribers were found to use Prime Instant Video at least once, compared to 55% in Germany and 54% in the UK.“In contrast to countries such as the UK and Germany, Americans are more likely to subscribe to Amazon Prime for free two-day shipping than for Prime Instant Video,” said Strategy Analytics digital media analyst, Leika Kawasaki.She claims that Americans are “twice as likely as Britons” to cite free two- day shipping as ‘very important’ in deciding to subscribe to Amazon Prime.“Amazon is needlessly ‘losing’ users to Netflix when, in fact, it should be eating into their user base. Amazon Prime offers subscribers multiple benefits, there are more Amazon-capable devices and the subscription is slightly cheaper. Yes, Prime Instant Video has been lagging behind Netflix in original programming but it’s been making significant moves to address this recently,” said Kawasaki.“One avenue is to entice more people to use Amazon devices, such as the Kindle and Fire TV, as owners of these are 10% more likely to use Prime Instant Video regularly. However, this won’t be easy, Amazon has not had the same level of success as Apple in creating a unified ecosystem of device and services.”last_img read more

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Facebook is making a serious play for content ow

first_imgFacebook is making a “serious play” for content owners and looks poised to take on YouTube’s dominance in video content, according to a new research report. Ampere Analysis said that Facebook’s video views are “rocketing” and that recent trials with content owners like NFL and Fox Sports “suggest it’s primed to become a plausible alternative to YouTube.”The report claims that Facebook’s video views are “catching up” with YouTube’s and will exceed two trillion this year – two thirds of YouTube’s projected total for the same period.Ampere said it expects Facebook to trigger an “advertising ‘arms race’” by competing directly against YouTube for user-uploaded video audiences and predicted that it would start to introduce pre-roll ads on some of its video content to improve revenue-return for key content partners.“As Facebook moves from testing its advertising models to more actively soliciting content creators to join the platform, it will come under increased pressure to match the opportunities and per view returns generated by other platforms – notably YouTube,” said Ampere research director and former IHS analyst, Richard Broughton.“Ultimately, despite Facebook’s current reticence around offering pre-rolls, it may have to bite the bullet and add them to its repertoire. If the social network’s own video ambitions are to be realised, and if it is to convince content owners it is a viable alternative to YouTube, it must deliver comparable returns.”According to Ampere estimates, almost 15% of internet users across Western Europe and the US have watched videos on Facebook in the last month, while a sixth of Facebook video viewers have not watched YouTube in the same time period.At its F8 developer conference earlier this year, Facebook said it would now let viewers watch and interact with Facebook videos from anywhere on the web, with the launch of its new embedded video player. At the same time the social network previewed an “immersive, 360-degree video experience” in the service’s news feed that lets viewers choose the viewing angle to explore your surroundings.Earlier this year, Facebook reported an increasing shift towards visual content, claiming that in the past year the number of video posts per person has increased 75% globally and 94% in the US. Since June 2014, Facebook claims it has averaged more than one billion video views every day.last_img read more

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Lithuanian telecom operator Teo has acquired 100

first_imgLithuanian telecom operator Teo has acquired 100% control of mobile operator Omnitel from TeliaSonera, the parent of both companies.Teo and Omnitel are launching a new joint telecommunications business in Lithuania.Teo acquired the shares in Omnitel for €220 million on a cash and debt free basis. SEB Bank and Danske Bank provided Teo with a loan of €150 million in equal instalments of €75 million. The structure of the shareholders of Teo will remain unchanged. TeliaSonera will continue to own 88.15%, while other shareholders will hold 11.85% of Teo and, indirectly, of Omnitel.TeliaSonera revealed that it planned to combine the two companies last October to address the demand for converged fixed and mobile offerings. The company named a new combined management team for its Lithuanian unit in December.last_img read more

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Nextgeneration UK streaming platform Sky Q has ac

first_imgNext-generation UK streaming platform Sky Q has acquired 400 short-form videos from indie Barcroft Media, and content from Electus Digital and Funny Or Die.This marks some of the first deals Sky Q has closed since parent satcaster Sky revealed the OTT service in November last year.Sky Q launches early this year, with a ‘fluid viewing’ concept at the core. In essence, this means allowing subscribers to watched the same streamed video on different platforms throughout the home.The new shows will be made available on a branded ‘Online Video’ section of Sky Q.The Barcroft deal comprises videos dubbed as depicting ‘the amazing side of life’, spanning genres such as ‘natural world and animals’, ‘heart warmers’ and ‘adventure sports’.“Sky Q’s ‘Online Video’ section will be home to a range of content from awesome shows about our natural world through to quick laughs and sports,” said Sky’s editorial director of on-demand, Julia Barry. “We’re thrilled that Barcroft TV’s shows will form part of the curated service on Sky Q at launch in early 2016.”Barcroft founder and CEO, Sam Barcroft, described Sky Q as the UK’s “most exciting and ambitious new platform launch for some time”.Electus Digital, part of Ben Silverman’s Electus, will provide fandom-focused comedy show such as Hardly Working and Today in Nerd History, plus library content including Jake and Amir and Downton Abbey-inspired The Britishes.Comedy portal Funny Or Die, meanwhile, will offer celebrity-fronted videos and topical commentaries from the likes of Ryan Gosling, Helen Mirren and Samuel L. Jackson.Condé Nast Entertainment, GoPro, Jukin Media, Kin Community, Red Bull Media House and Whistle Sports are already signed up as content partners for Sky Q, whose pricing and launch date are yet to be confirmed.last_img read more

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Talks between Spanish regional cable operators Eus

first_imgTalks between Spanish regional cable operators Euskaltel and Telecable have stalled for the time being over who will be in charge of the combined enterprise, according a report by Spanish web news service OK Diario.According to OK Diario, citing unnamed sources close to the negotiations between the pair, Telecable’s owner, UK-based Zegona Communications, wants to exercise a higher degree of influence over the merged entity than Euskaltel, the prospective buyer, is prepared to grant.The logic behind Euskaltel’s move to take control of Telecable is widely recognised to be unarguable. The Basque Country-based operator, with a network to the East of Telecable’s home territory of Asturias, also owns R, the regional operator in Galicia, to the West of Asturias. As well as creating geographical contiguity, the acquisition would also create greater scale and enable the combined entity to expand outside its regional base, for example in the region of Cantabria between the Basque Country and Asturias, where both groups have reportedly been in contact with local layer Ibiocom.Zegona’s earlier attempt to break out of the Asturias region by acquiring national mobile player Yoigo from Telia was thwarted when it lost out to rival mobile telco MásMóvil.last_img read more

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Polish pay and free TV operator Cyfrowy Polsat saw

first_imgPolish pay and free TV operator Cyfrowy Polsat saw a solid increase in pay TV numbers in the fourth quarter of 2016 thanks to the growing popularity of its multiroom service and increasing sales of OTT paid services.Contract pay TV customers numbered 4.77 million at the end of 2016, up 5.8% year-on-year. Multiroom sales grew by over 85,000 year-on-year.Cyfrowy Polsat said it now aims to maximize the cross-selling opportunity, combining the offers of Cyfrowy Polsat and mobile outfit Polkomtel, among other things, within the framework of its smartDOM converged services programme. ARPU in the fourth quarter increased by 2.7%, which the company attributed to its multi-play strategy.As of December 31, 2016, each customer in Cyfrowy Polsat’s customer base had on average 2.25 active contract services, an increase of 5.6% compared to 2.13 active contract services per customer as of December 31, 2015.The smartDOM programme, which combines multiple services, had 1.306 million customers at the end of the year.The number of contract mobile telephony customers increased by 3.3% to reach 6,73 million.Overall, Cyfrowy Polsat had 5.883 million contract customers at the end of the period, up 0.6%. the operator said the decline of its customer base slowed down in the second half and rose quarter-on-quarter in Q4.Total RGUs numbered 16.5 million at the end of the year, more or less flat year-on-year, thanks to a decline in pre-paid customers. Contract RGUs grew by 5.1% to 13.3 million, including 1.8 million internet customers, up 10.2%.Advertising and sponsorship revenue increased by 7.1% to PLN336 million (€78 million) in the quarter, outperforming the market. Overall Polsat Group revenue grew by 1.5% to PLN2.535 billion. EBITDA was PLN902 million, up 1.9%.last_img read more

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Love Nature Wildlife and nature video streaming se

first_imgLove NatureWildlife and nature video streaming service, Love Nature, has launched on Amazon Channels in Germany and Austria.The Blue Ant Media and Smithsonian Networks joint venture service is now available, localised entirely in German, to Amazon Prime members in Germany and Austria for €3.99 a month.Love Nature said that viewers in these countries will have exclusive access to a large library of programming, which includes 45 hours of new original content and nature scenes produced by Love Nature.“Our collaboration with Amazon Channels is an incredible opportunity for us to premiere Love Nature’s stunning wildlife and nature programming to German-speaking fans, with our first localised service,” aid Carlyn Staudt, executive vice president, Love Nature Programming and Development.Amazon launched its Amazon Channels offering in the UK, Germany and Austria in May allowing Prime users to add live and on-demand TV as part of their subscription package.Love Nature was a launch partner for Amazon Channels in the UK, alongside services like Discovery, Eurosport Player, ITV Hub+, Hayu, Mubi, BFI Player, MGM and Hopster.last_img read more

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