The Nicosia District Court on Saturday renewed for eight days the remands of three men arrested last week on suspicion of taking part in a plot to kill an underworld figure last year.The three suspects – a 30-year-old Turkish Cypriot, a 35-year-old Greek Cypriot and a 47-year-old Serb who is currently a convict in the central prisons, serving out a sentence for a drugs-related offence – were remanded in custody for eight days last week. Police requested a renewal of their remand as the three are suspected of having played a part in arranging or mediating for the arrival of two Serb hitmen, whose target is believed to have been Alexis Mavromichalis, aka ‘Alexoui’.Chief inspector Marcos Nikolettis told the court that on March 22, 2016, the force had received an urgent message from Belgrade Interpol notifying them of an impending contract killing.The Serbian authorities had been investigating a crime ring when they found out that a number of its members were in Cyprus plotting a murder.The court heard that one of the wanted men had contacted an unknown individual in Nicosia’s central prison, who eventually hired him to carry out the contract for €100,000.Police have also issued arrest warrants for five more people – four foreign nationals and a Cypriot – in connection with the case. One of them was arrested recently abroad and a procedure is underway for his extradition to Cyprus.Police said initial investigations showed that the possible target was Alexis Mavromichalis from Nicosia. It also emerged that the contact was Marios Christodoulou, aka Benny, currently doing life in jail for the killing of Phanos Kalopsidiotis and conspiracy to murder Mavromichalis.Serbian authorities had notified their Cypriot counterparts that the wanted man had travelled to Cyprus through the occupied areas, and that he was staying at a hotel in north Nicosia. Serbian Interpol said he had meetings with Benny the next days and that he had bought two tickets for two of the other wanted men to come to Cyprus. The two arrived in Cyprus through the north but left a few hours later after they had been tipped off that they were being monitored.You May LikeFigLeaf Beta AppHow to Become Fully Anonymous Online in Less Than 3 Minutes? Better safe than sorryFigLeaf Beta AppUndoClassmates.comLook For Any High School Yearbook, It’s FreeClassmates.comUndoTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionOne Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace YourselfTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboola
Greece, Cyprus and Israel said on Wednesday they would pursue ways of channeling east Mediterranean gas to Europe via a pipeline to Greece.With significant finds reported in the past decade, Israel and to a lesser extent Cyprus are thought to be sitting on vast quantities of natural gas wealth, but have yet to come up with concrete plans on how to export it.Energy ministers of both countries and Greece meeting in Athens on Wednesday said they would continue discussions, with Israel’s energy minister Yuval Steinitz saying the pipeline idea was “promising”.“…It seems the East Med basin might become the next big thing in natural gas,” Steinitz told journalists.“In order to enable this we have to think in advance about ways and means of exporting. One of the most promising projects which has been under examination is a natural gas underwater pipeline.”A feasibility study on the 1,300 km offshore pipeline designed to transport up to 16 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas per year is due to be presented next month, Greek officials said.“What transpired as a very significant issue in these talks is the ability of Greece to become a gateway of natural gas of the eastern Mediterranean to Europe,” said Panos Skourletis, Greece’s energy minister.Israel has discovered more than 900 bcm of natural gas offshore, with some indications pointing to another 2,200 bcm waiting to be tapped, Steinitz said.Delivery options range from a pipeline linking the three countries, a pipeline to Turkey, or use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage facilities in Egypt for shipment to Europe.“My policy is that at the end of the day we have to have at least two of these pipes in order to have more than one option,” Steinitz said.You May LikePopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoModernizeIf Your Home Has Old Roofing, Read ThisModernizeUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCypriot tycoon launches ‘Bank of Cannabis’UndoThree arrested in connection with hotel theftsUndoby Taboolaby Taboola
30Jan Rep. VanSingel named vice chair of House Appropriations Subcommittee Categories: Featured news,News,VanSingel News House Speaker Tom Leonard last week announced state Rep. Scott VanSingel, of Grant, will serve on the House Appropriations Committee and vice chair the Environmental Quality Appropriations Subcommittee.VanSingel has worked in public accounting for the world’s largest CPA firm and worked as a financial analyst for Dematic in Grand Rapids. VanSingel also started a successful rental real estate company.“I am humbled and thankful to Speaker Leonard to be selected to serve on the Appropriations Committee and vice chair the Environmental Quality Committee,” said Rep. VanSingel. “My extensive background in finance has prepared me for this great opportunity and I look forward to balancing the budget and working hard to account for every dollar spent to properly serve all Michigan residents.”The first-term lawmaker also will serve on the following House Appropriations Subcommittees on Corrections, Natural Resources and Transportation.##### Tags: #SB
Categories: Cole News 12Sep Rep. Cole discusses public transportation in Michigan House committee State Rep. Triston Cole, of Mancelona, today welcomed representatives from the Michigan Public Transit Association to the Michigan House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.Clark Harder, executive director for the Michigan Public Transit Association and Dusty Fancher from the Midwest Strategy Group attended the committee meeting to give a presentation about the importance of local public transportation.“Public transportation, especially for seniors and individuals with disabilities, is important,” said Cole, committee chair. “Public transportation plays a role that lowers costs for these individuals and takes the burden off family members.”Public transportation in Michigan provided more than 101 million rides in 2008, a 16.8 percent increase over 2005 and roughly double the national increase in transit ridership for the same period. Michigan’s transit fleet has approximately 3,600 vehicles that travel over 110 million miles each year. According to the National Household Transportation Survey, more than one in five of Americans age 65 and older do not drive. For many seniors, access to transportation is a big factor in whether they are able to stay in their homes or move.The Michigan Public Transit Association is a non-profit statewide association incorporated in 1977.###
06Mar Rep. Albert to host local office hours State Rep. Thomas Albert of Lowell will host district office hours on Friday, March 29 to meet with local residents of the 86th District.“As your state representative, it is important for me to hear your opinions,” Rep. Albert said. “I hope you will take this opportunity to directly participate in your state government.”Office hours are scheduled for the following times and locations:9 to 10 a.m. at Biggby Coffee, 6426 100th SE in Caledonia; and11 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Sozo Coffee Roasting, 576 N. State St. in Ionia.No appointment is necessary. Residents unable to attend may contact Rep. Albert’s office by calling (517) 373-0846 or by email at ThomasAlbert@house.mi.gov. Categories: Albert News
Categories: Wentworth News State Rep. Jason Wentworth, chair of the House Select Committee on Reducing Car Insurance Rates, today issued the following statement in response to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signing historic no-fault car insurance reform:“Back in January, my mission when pursuing landmark no-fault reform was for the historic 100th Legislature to come together in a bipartisan fashion, set our differences aside and finally figure out a way to fix a broken car insurance system responsible for financial hardships within many Michigan households. In just six months, after poring over every aspect of the issue, taking several hours of public testimony, hearing from thousands of drivers and their families, giving every stakeholder a seat at the table and passionate negotiations with our governor and Democratic partners, we have finally stepped up for the more than 7 million drivers across the state. After decades of partisan gridlock, we have finally delivered a bipartisan compromise that will no longer compromise people’s hard-earned money when they pay for car insurance.” 30May Chair Wentworth provides statement after historic no-fault reform signed into law
Share6Tweet7Share1Email14 SharesImage from Interface Studios via PlanPhilly.com.October 11, 2017; Next CityIncreasingly, especially for eastern and Midwestern cities, land banks are part of the landscape of city government. But this is a very recent development. Just a decade ago, fewer than a dozen land banks existed in the United States. Now, there are well over 100, with land banks especially prevalent in the states of Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York.Philadelphia has had a land bank agency since 2013, but it only just hired an executive director last month. The person hired, Angel Rodriguez, hails from the Asociación de Puertorriqueños en Marcha, a north Philadelphia community development corporation that has operated as a community-based advocate for Philadelphia’s Puerto Rican community since 1970. Rodriguez’s community background could be important, because, when it comes to land, things can often get heated, even when there is positive intent and the best of democratic structures.Philadelphia is a city of contrasts. Some sections of the city are thriving, but there are still 43,000 abandoned or vacant lots, reports Next City contributor Cassie Owens. The land bank, it is hoped, can help ensure that public planning oversees the reintegration of thousands of vacant lots into the city’s social fabric in a way that corresponds to city goals, such as finding ways to place the land back into productive use while also ensuring that affordable housing is made available for city residents.In considering the land bank in Philadelphia, some history is helpful. As Dan Kildee, the one-time county treasurer and present congressman from Flint, Michigan, points out, before land banks were common, land ownership, particularly in cities suffering from high levels of vacant property like Flint, could be wildly chaotic. Kildee says that as of 1999, there were exactly four land banks in the country. Many cities, including his hometown, would find foreclosed properties advertised for sale at bargain-basement prices on infomercials.“It had become a system that was really a bonanza for out-of-state speculators,” Representative Kildee recalls.In Flint (Genesee County), Kildee says that the vision behind their land bank “was based on the belief that just quickly selling property to whoever is in line is not the best solution. It’s to sell the property to the responsible property owner.” By ending the auctions and keeping tax lien foreclosures off the market and under public ownership, Kildee and Flint were able to regain control of the planning process. In the first decade after the Genesee County land bank started in 2004, the land bank was able to rehabilitate and sell over 5,000 residential and commercial properties, dispose of another 1,662 vacant lots, and demolish nearly 5,000 dilapidated buildings.The land bank, of course, did not solve all of Flint’s problems by a long shot. And it certainly didn’t protect the city from lead poisoning in its water. But the land bank did help stabilize the land market and restore public control to land use planning. Other communities took notice—which is why today there are well over 100 land banks in the United States.That said, land banks are not without their challenges. A land bank, after all, is a government agency subject to pressure from developer interests. In Pittsburgh, such concerns led community activists to oppose the chartering of a land bank until the resolution creating the land bank was modified to broaden community input and expand the governing board.Rodriguez, in taking charge of Philadelphia’s land bank, is well aware of these challenges and is proceeding cautiously in his new position. Rodriguez says:We have to be that agency that really is doing the checks and balances and culling through the sheriff’s sales to make sure that identified properties do not go up for auction. Also, making sure that this agency has an awareness of all of our critical strategic partners in the community. That’s not just our elected officials, but local nonprofits and civic agencies.Frank Alexander, an Emory law professor and co-founder of the national nonprofit Center for Community Progress, which provides technical assistance to land banks, as well as author of the leading book in the field on land banks, notes that:The ability to be strategic is key. […] The biggest mistake a land bank can make…is to take in a whole lot of land when it doesn’t know what it’s going to do with it. I don’t recommend that any land bank build up a staff, then figure out what to do with that staff. A land bank should build operational capacity in accordance with the inventory that it’s bringing in.As Owens notes, however, Philadelphia’s goals are ambitious. The land bank authority’s board, of which Rodriguez was a member before becoming executive director, has set five-year targets that forecast adding 7,727 publicly owned parcels to its holdings and another 1,650 tax-delinquent properties. Owens adds, “The agency also has outlined a mix of types of properties for its disposition process. Sixty-five percent of land returned for active use will be for housing, and in an effort to ensure affordability, only 25 percent of that won’t be restricted by income brackets.”Between managing these high expectations and balancing community and city government interests, Rodriguez and his land bank authority colleagues are sure to have their hands full. In his first week on the job, Rodriguez observed: “I feel like I’ve been here two weeks…[but] I realized last night that it was only three days.”—Steve DubbShare6Tweet7Share1Email14 Shares
Digital switchover has taken place in the Portuguese districts of Lisbon, Santarem, Stubal and Evora, affecting around 850,000 households.This comes after the switching off of Lisbon’s Monsanto transmitter. It is the third stage of the first phase of analogue switchover after Palmela and Fóia.
Digital cable in the Netherlands reached 3.338 million homes at the end of the third quarter of 2011, up from 3.176 million for the previous quarter, according to the latest figures from regulator OPTA.Analogue-only cable homes numbered 1.888, million, down from 2.095 million. Total cable homes numbered 5.226 million, down from 5.271 million. Non-cable TV homes, including digital-terrestrial, digital satellite and IPTV homes, numbered 2.397 million, up from 2.319 million.
Pay TV operator Sky Deutschland has secured the broadcasting rights to three major international golf championships, adding to its existing deal for the US Masters tournament. Sky has secured exclusive rights to the US Open, The Open and the PGA Championships until 2015. It has also recently secured rights to show the US PGA Tour until 2015 and the European Tour and Ryder Cup until 2014.
UKTV has signed a catch-up agreement with connected TV service YouView, in what the UK multichannel broadcaster hailed as a “landmark” deal.UKTV will provide seven-day catch-up services for its free-to-air channels Dave, Yesterday and Really and the agreement marks the first time that UKTV has offered a catch-up service that is purpose-built for TV. It is also its first direct deal with YouView.Dave will be the first of the catch-up services to go live next month, with shows like Russell Howard’s Good News and Dara O Briain: School of Hard Sums to be accessible through a Dave-branded on-demand portal and through YouView’s reverse-EPG, which lets users scroll back through shows that have already aired.Yesterday and Really’s catch-up services will launch by the end of the year, said UKTV, which is working with connected TV app specialists Capablue on its YouView deployments.“Providing a catch-up service for our free-to-air channels on YouView is an important step for us, ensuring we give viewers the ‘anytime, anywhere’ access to our channels and programming that they want,” said UKTV’s CEO, Darren Childs.YouView CEO, Richard Halton, added: “We are pleased to welcome UKTV to our collection of on-demand TV players. YouView is currently the fastest growing TV platform in the UK and we know that offering quality on demand content, from iconic channels such as Dave, Really and Yesterday, is key to giving our customers a great TV experience and makes our scroll back programme guide even more compelling.”The news comes after UKTV’s launched online VOD services for its free-to-air channels late last year. The firm also recently announced that its fourth free-to-air channel, Drama, will launch on July 8.
Swedish commercial broadcaster TV4 is to shut down its premium news channel and expand the range of news services available via its TV Play on-demand service and online.TV4 has struck a deal with newspaper Expressen to provide live news for TV4 Play and tv4.se on a free-to-view basis. The premium news channel will cease to broadcast in the autumn.
Following the launch of Conax Secure Clients for Over-the-Top devices based on a Conax security hardened PlayReady Client at ANGA COM in June, senior representatives from Conax will use IBCto announce the details of the newest cardless addition to the Conax Clients offering at a product launch at IBC on September 13.Conax will also introduce details of its new partnering programme, Conax Connect.Other demonstrations include Conax Secure Clients, based on a Conax security-hardened Microsoft PlayReady client enabling any operator to capitalize on their multiscreen offering, Conax Contego Unite, enabling pay TV operators to provide secure, consistent and flexible service offerings across any device or network, while safeguarding content revenues, Conax Xtend Multiscreen, a pre-integrated solution for a secure, unified approach to video and TV content consumption, and Conax’s offering for secure CAMs.Conax will exhibit at IBC on stand 1.D69
Cyfrowy Polsat-owned OTT TV platform ipla is now available on smart TVs from Toshiba following an agreement between the pair.The ipla service will be available on 2013 and 2013 Toshiba models.Beata Białkowska, marketing director at Cyfrowy Polsat, said that ipla could now be found on all major smart TV platforms in Poland as well as a wide range of other devices.The service is also available on the smart TV portals of Samsung, LG, Philips, Panasonic, Sony, IKEA, Thomson, TCL and Sharp in Poland.
Mobility security solutions specialist Oberthur Technologies has acquired content security provider Kudelski’s cloud powered security cards unit NagraID Security for an undisclosed sum.NagraID Security develops and markets powered display cards to secure access to the cloud, primarily for companies operating in the field of financial payments, authentication and identification solutions, according to Kudelski. The transaction is expected to close in the coming weeks.“The earn-out-based structure of the sales agreement allows Kudelski Group to share the upside of the display card market, while relying on a strong industrial partner. We think Oberthur Technologies is well-placed to lead NagraID Security and are pleased for the NagraID Security team,” said Kudelski Group president and CEO André Kudelski.
RTL multichannel operator BroadbandTV has acquired YoBoHo, a YouTube networks curator and content producer.The deal, for an undisclosed amount, sees BroadbandTV add a company with a library of more than 8,000 original videos in the kids space, 27 education- and preschool-focused channels, and more than three billion views a year.Among YoBoHo’s assets is HooplaKidz, which operates the channels and is one of YouTube’s largest kids and family-focused operators.All 55 YoBoHo staff will join BroadbandTV, which sits alongside StyleHaul, SpotXchange and Divimove in the RTL multichannel stable. BroadbandTV also owns gaming vertical TGN, hip-hop music network Opposition and female lifestyle brand Kandesa.Its investment into YoBoHo comes after Nielsen reported total online video consumption by kids aged 2- 11 increased 87% in the last three years.“We’re very pleased to conclude the acquisition of a top player in the kids space at a time when the kids content vertical is experiencing burgeoning growth,” said Shahrzad Rafati, founder and CEO, BroadbandTV.“BBTV is also making a multi-million dollar investment in YoBoHo to further expand its library of original content, broaden its international footprint, and further diversify its revenue streams.”“Given YouTube’s tremendous commitment and investments in the kids and family vertical, we stand well positioned to capitalise on this momentum.”“With significant investments in multi-channel networks, RTL Group has become thenumber two player in the YouTube ecosystem in less than 24 months,” added Guillaume de Posch, Co-CEO of RTL Group.“BroadbandTV currently represents two thirds of RTL Group’s online video views, and its acquisition of YoBoHo is another milestone in our joint efforts to achieve leading positions in all segments of the rapidly growing online video space. It also underlines our commitment to foster the global growth of BroadbandTV.”
Some 54% of Western European shoppers who plan to buy a new flatscreen TV in the next year are willing to buy a 4K set, expecting more of this content to be available soon, according to new research.Parks Associates claims that roughly 17% of broadband households in the UK, France, Germany, and Spain are planning to buy a flat-panel TV in the next year and over 50% consider 4K “an important or very important feature of their next model”.The European study, which was announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, found that, among broadband households planning to purchase a flat-panel TV, 59% in the UK, 57% in France, 53% in Spain, and 49% in Germany plan to purchase a 4K TV even though content is “not yet widely available”.“European broadcasters like BBC and France Télévisions have been innovative in incorporating digital services to reach the public, so a spike in 4K set ownership could drive broadcasters to invest in new 4K media technologies,” said Glenn Hower, research analyst, Parks Associates.“The entry of Netflix, Amazon, and other major players have created a crowded OTT market in Europe, and 4K could become a differentiator that broadcasters and media companies can use to attract viewers and even paying subscribers. It is never too early to plan for the 2018 World Cup.”
Euronews has launched a startup ventures programme to back innovation.According to the news broadcaster, Euronews Ventures will be dedicated to accelerating the development of the most promising start-ups by providing them with an array of media and marketing services including “global communication levers”, media coaching, events, networking through the international network of Euronews and Africanews, and potentially an exchange of media content for revenue or media for equity.The first player to join the programme is connected device startup Kiwi Plug.“For more than 20 years, Euronews has been experimenting with new technologies which have radically redrawn its business sector. This pioneering spirit now drives us to back initiatives by talented and ground-breaking entrepreneurs. I am delighted to announce the creation of Euronews Ventures with Kiwi Plug, voted one of the top five French IoT start-ups at CES 2016 in Las Vegas. Kiwi Plug will benefit fully from our reach and international media network, with initial support from its crowdfunding campaign on the global platform Kickstarter, which launches tomorrow,” said Michael Peters, CEO of Euronews and Africanews.
One quarter of US TV households now go without a cable or satellite pay TV subscription, according to research by GfK.According to GfK’s 2016 Ownership and Trend Report, part of its Home Technology Monitor, 17% of US TV homes now rely on over-the-air broadcast reception, up from 15% last year, while 6% only use internet TV services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu or YouTube and have no broadcast or pay TV reception at all. The latter figure has increased from 4% last year.The trend is accentuated among younger viewers. For TV homes with a resident between 18 and 34 years old, 22% are using over-the-air reception only, while 13% are only watching internet TV. In total, 38% of households with an 18-34 year-old resident rely on some kind of alternative TV reception or video source to traditional pay TV, against 25% of all homes.Households with at least one resident over 50 are more likely to take cable or satellite services, with 82% taking a pay TV subscription. Forty-six per cent of these homes pay for a cable service, versus a US average of 41%.Low-income households, meaning those with household income of less than US$30,000 (€27,000), are more likely to rely on over-the-air reception, with 26% of these homes taking broadcast-only TV. Hispanic households are also more likely to rely on over-the-air TV, with 24% of Hispanic homes taking broadcast-only.High-income households, meaning those earning over US$50,000 are more likely to take satellite TV than the average, with 27% of these homes taking a satellite service against a US average of 21%.Overall, cord-cutters have an average income of US$59,000, with 47% taking an SVoD service and 63% using OTT on TV. Some 37% of these households have children in the household. Cord-nevers have an average income of US$47,000, with 30% taking SVoD and 35% being active OTT-on-TV users. Twenty-six per cent have children.The comparable figures for the overall population are an income of US$65,000, with 36% taking SVoD, 43% being active OTT-on-TV users and 31% having children.According to GfK, four in 10 homes have an internet connected TV they use to watch TV and movies, with 23% connecting via some kind of digital media player, 19% via a smart TV portal, 18% via a video game console and 9% via a Blu-ray player.Thirty-one per cent of US homes take Netflix, with 16% taking Amazon Instant Video and 7% taking Hulu’s pay service, according to the research group.“The fact that a statistically significant increase in broadcast-only reception occurred over just one year may be further proof that the cord-cutting/cord-never phenomenon is accelerating,” said David Tice, SVP in GfK’s Media & Entertainment practice. “If you include homes that have no TVs at all – about 3% of all households – then less than three quarters – 73% – of US homes continue to have pay TV service, with the attendant implications for all stakeholders – not just the pay TV services themselves, but also networks, content providers, and advertisers.”