Brought to you by the Costa Rica USA Foundation (CRUSA). Brought to you by the Costa Rica USA Foundation (CRUSA). Courtesy of CRUSA There has been a drastic decline in the population of several shark species around the world over the past few years, and according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the scalloped hammerhead sharks are an endangered species.But in Guanacaste, husband-and-wife marine biologists Ilena Zanella and Andrés López are working hard to protect this shark species. They are the founders of Misión Tiburón, a non-profit organization committed to marine life with a focus on shark conservation.Zanella said she has been interested in sharks since college. Fittingly, the couple met while studying marine biology at the National University of Costa Rica (UNA). Their passion and concern for sharks encouraged them to create Misión Tiburón in 2009.“Misión Tiburón is a dream come true,” Zanella said. “At the time there was little to no effort aimed at shark conservation. Sharks are a very important species, not only from an ecological, but also from a social and economic perspective.“The scalloped hammerhead shark is one of the most representative marine species for Costa Rica and the region.”Zanella came in contact with the hammerhead sharks firsthand while conducting field work in the country’s Cocos Island.“While I was diving among these sharks, I discovered that protecting them was my true calling,” she said. Ilena Zanella during a dive (Courtesy of Misión Tiburón)Zanella explained hammerhead sharks are highly migratory species and spend most of their lifespan near oceanic islands. In Costa Rica, they are most common in the waters near Cocos Island as well as coastal zones.“Unfortunately, in the coastal environment, factors such as overfishing, habitat destruction and coastal pollution are extremely affecting hammerhead shark populations,” Zanella said.Zanella added that baby hammerhead sharks live near estuaries and mangroves and that any alteration or destruction in coastal zones caused by human activity directly affects their ecosystem. This put the scalloped hammerhead shark’s survival at risk.The hammerhead shark is a top predator and plays a critical role in the food chain. Zanella said they commonly feed on old, sick or weak fish that get in their way.“Sharks keep marine ecosystems and fish populations healthy,” Zanella said.And she said hammerhead sharks in particular contribute to ocean balance because of their migratory habits .“If we protect hammerhead sharks, we are protecting other fish species, too,” Zanella said. A group of hammerhead sharks (Courtesy of Daniel Perez & Nico Ghersinich)Scalloped hammerhead shark value in Costa Rica While they are beneficial to ocean ecosystems and help promote tourism, hammerhead sharks in Costa Rican waters have been victims of shark fishing.“In Costa Rica, fishing practices which are predominant in coastal areas aren’t the most responsible, fishing focused on the young hammerhead sharks that can barely weigh up to half kilogram to two kilograms,” Zanella said. “This meat is not the best for the local market.“When they are adults, hammerhead sharks’ meat turns black and has a poorer quality. This doesn’t meet the food industry standards. So, their meat is used to make fish flour.”She said the commercial value of a hammerhead shark is $100.“On the other hand, the economic value a hammerhead shark represents for the tourist industry is higher,” she said. “Here in the Cocos Island, people come from around the world to have the experience of a lifetime diving with hammerhead sharks.”She estimated a hammerhead shark’s value to tourism is approximately $1 million each.“If we compared $100 when caught and sold, this is a noticeable difference,” Zanella said. Hammerhead shark (Courtesy of Misión Tiburón) Facebook Comments According to a study from the University of British Columbia, the ecotourism industry is booming and its profits will exceed global shark fisheries in the coming years.In short, hammerhead sharks are worth more alive than dead.Raising awareness through marine educationZanella wants to make sure people know the true value of marine species.She said Misión Tiburón is working with communities in Golfo Dulce, Puntarenas, to help promote the importance of marine animals beyond just being fishing resources.“Marine resources are for everyone,” Zanella said. “It’s necessary to find a balance.”Zanella said that although fishing practices have decreased in the last few years, that may be due to a lack of surviving marine resources.“It’s important to find livelihood alternatives that will benefit locals and marine life,” Zanella said. The initiative Salvamos al Tiburón Martillo is an educational program for children (Photo Courtesy of Enrique Uribe Salvando)Educating future generationsMisión Tiburón’s “Salvemos al Tiburón Martillo,” or “Save the Hammerhead Shark,” is the educational component of its Hammerhead Shark Conservation Project.Salvamos al Tiburón Martillo is an initiative designed for children.“We strongly feel that teaching future generations environmental or marine education is key to achieve real and long-term changes,” Zanella said. “It’s difficult to assimilate changes when you are an adult. Kids have open minds, they are naturally empathetic about an issue.” Children paint sharks and fishes as part of the educational initiative (Photo Courtesy of Enrique Uribe Salvando)Zanella said science is the foundation for implementing effective strategies aimed at conservation and appropriate management of marine resources.“After years of working, I have realized the scientific aspect goes hand in hand with marine education,” Zanella said.Misión Tiburón plans to implement a learning station in the southern Pacific port of Golfito, which is geographically close to Golfo Dulce’s hammerhead shark sanctuary. The organization expects to reach about 3,000 public-school students with its message.The organization also wants to hold workshops and launch awareness campaigns. That may include diving experiences for youth to help spark their interest in marine life.“Working with kids has been a rewarding experience,” Zanella said. “We are hopeful they will protect the hammerhead shark.”To know more about their work, you can visit misiontiburon.org or Misión Tiburón Costa Rica’s Facebook page.To make a U.S. tax-deductible donation, visit the Amigos of Costa Rica Misión Tiburón page.The Tico Times Costa Rica Changemakers section is sponsored by the Costa Rica USA Foundation for Cooperation (CRUSA) and Amigos of Costa Rica. Related posts:Costa Rica’s Corcovado Foundation a finalist for international funding Costa Rican organization seeks fresh approach to teenage pregnancy prevention This week in the Peace Corps: Celebrating a scout anniversary Lifeguards call for help in Costa Rica: support their work in Osa
Top Stories Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires With that being the case, Campbell, who put the hit on Newton, is now set take a hit to his bank account.According to USA Today’s Jarrett Bell, on Wednesday Campbell was fined $18,000 by the NFL for the play.Campbell is appealing the sanction, according to a person with knowledge of the situation who did not wish to be identified due to the sensitivity of the case.Campbell appeared to apologize to Newton after the play, and on Monday Cardinals coach Bruce Arians, in saying he does not think Newton has a case with regards to not feeling protected, said he was not sure if it should have been a penalty.“I thought Calais hit him low,” he said. “Whether he was blocked into him or not, that’s up to the officials to decide.”NFL rules dictate no defensive player who has a clear path to the quarterback can hit him around the knees or below when approaching in any direction, though a penalty should not be called if the player is blocked into the QB. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Comments Share Arizona Cardinals’ Calais Campbell (93) defends as Carolina Panthers’ Cam Newton (1) looks to pass in the second half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016. Campbell hit Newton after the throw, which Newton felt was an illegal hit that wasn’t called. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone) Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Remember that hit Cardinals defensive lineman Calais Campbell put on Panthers QB Cam Newton in the third quarter of last Sunday’s 30-20 loss? You know, the one that was not penalized but led to Newton going off on the lack of penalties he draws after the game?Turns out he had a legitimate complaint, as on Tuesday, the NFL’s vice president of officiating Dean Blandino told the NFL Network that a roughing the passer penalty should have been called on the play.
Go back to the e-newsletterA new look Luxury Collection is set to debut at CINZ MEETINGS 2016 in June, promising the best of New Zealand in one stand-out location.Now in its third year, the Luxury Collection has evolved to showcase the finest end of the New Zealand business events product with everything from boutique lodges to luxury yachts. Exhibitors for 2016 include award-winning host TIME Unlimited Tours, Pacific Jemm luxury super yacht in Queenstown and Luxury Lodges of New Zealand.“Business event organisers looking for the five-star wow factor will find everything they need in the Luxury Collection,” says Conventions and Incentives New Zealand (CINZ) Chief Executive Sue Sullivan.“New Zealand has established an international reputation for exceptional, high-end meeting and incentive offerings, and the Luxury Collection shows what sets us apart.”The stand’s stylish new design features contemporary dark-stained solid timber and striking destination graphics. Booths will be set within a premium island space, accentuated by a five-metre high designer curtain and plush black carpet.MEETINGS’ pre-scheduled appointments on 14 and 15 June allow buyers to meet a choice of 200 exhibitors from 19 regions of New Zealand all under one roof, with 35 appointments across two days.Over 100 Australian hosted buyers will be treated to experiences in eight regions across New Zealand on weekend familiarisation tours before MEETINGS, plus a day out in the host city with Auckland Convention Bureau on Tuesday 14 June.Tourism New Zealand and Air New Zealand are bringing influential international buyers and media to MEETINGS from North America, China, India and South East Asia. More than 300 day buyers are also anticipated over the two days of MEETINGS, as well as 100 New Zealand event organisers to be hosted in Auckland.Final applications for exhibitor bookings close next week, 28 March and hosted buyer applications close on 18 April.Go back to the e-newsletter
Categories: Webber News 10Aug Rep. Webber invites residents to August office hours State Rep. Michael Webber welcomes members of the Rochester community to his in-district office hours during August.“I enjoy meeting with people to learn about what matters most to them. Listening to their concerns regarding local and state government issues, makes me a better representative,” Webber said.Office hours take place at the following time and location:Monday, Aug. 28 from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at Panera Bread located at 2508 S. Adams Road in Rochester.Appointments are not necessary. Residents unable to attend may also contact Rep. Webber’s office by phone at (866) 969-0450, or by email at email@example.com.
04Nov LaFave sponsors local office hours Rep. Beau LaFave of Iron Mountain will host his monthly office hours in November for the residents of Delta, Dickinson and Menominee counties.“One of my top priorities this year has been accessibility,” Rep. LaFave said. “While representing three counties may make this difficult, I have worked hard to be available to all residents. I encourage everyone to attend local office hours.”The office hours schedule is as follows:-Monday, Nov. 13 from noon to 1 p.m. EST at Jack’s Diner, 7897 S. Main St. in Rapid River;-Saturday, Nov. 18 from 1 to 2 p.m. CST at Randville Bar & Grill, N7463 M-95 in Iron Mountain; and-Monday. Nov. 20 from 3:30 to 4:30 CST at Spies Public Library, 940 1st St. in Menominee. Categories: LaFave News Residents also may contact LaFave at his Lansing office at (517) 373-0156 or BeauLaFave@house.mi.gov.
Share68Tweet2Share38Email108 Shares“Hands working together teamwork.” Pixabay. Public domain [CC 0]April 23, 2017; Star TribuneNext week marks National Volunteer Week, a time when the nonprofit sector extends its heartfelt gratitude to the more than 25 percent of adults in the U.S. who volunteer their time and talents to keep a variety of missions moving forward. The weeklong recognition, initiated by Points of Light, an organization founded by President George H. W. Bush in an effort to mobilize the power of volunteer action and service, is celebrated by grassroots advocacy groups, major foundations, and small charity shops alike.As the sector commemorates the occasion and collectively thanks the millions of volunteers who selflessly give back to causes of all kinds, it might be an opportune time to dive a little deeper into the impact volunteerism has across all sectors all year long.According to a 2016 Independent Sector report, the estimated value of volunteer time last year amounted to $24.14 per hour, a rate that has increased nearly 50 percent since 2001. The Corporation for National and Community Service reports that over 60 million Americans provided 8 billion hours of volunteer service valued at $193 billion in 2016. While unpaid volunteers are saving their respective organizations significant labor costs, they are also helping to generate a positive ripple effect that is leaving for-profit bottom lines in a pretty good shape as well.Countless reports over the years have reinforced the fact that employees, and especially millennials, prefer a workplace culture that embraces civic action and giving back. The nonprofit America’s Charities, which promotes giving and volunteering in the workplace, estimates that a solidly run volunteer program could save certain employers up to anywhere from $1,000 to $6,000 per employee. The potential for cost savings thanks to volunteerism is largely centered on employee engagement.Creating meaningful opportunities for employees to connect to a purpose greater than a paycheck has consistently been linked to higher retention rates and greater satisfaction in the workplace. When employees are more engaged and connected, they are naturally more productive, which inevitably leads to a higher-functioning operation overall, which in turn tends to yield a bottom line that is rather robust. It’s pretty simple to grasp.Not to mention, the societal impact of volunteerism isn’t too shabby either. Communities of varying sizes and populations greatly benefit from a concerned citizenship. Engaged community members, like employees in a workplace, are inherently more invested in the delivery of public services and cohesive community networks, leading to a generally stronger social fabric.So to say National Volunteer Week is meant only for nonprofit organizations to show their appreciation to the youth, working men and women, “stay at home” parents, veterans, retirees, and many more classifications of individuals who give their time, talent, and treasure to advance their respective missions, is a misconception. The week’s true intent is to set a time for all of us—all sectors and all people—to recognize that it takes a village. A village of citizens who care enough to clean up their highways, tutor a child, bring groceries to a person with limited mobility, foster a dog without a home, teach someone how write a resume, and so much more. This is our common thread. And as the theme of this year’s National Volunteer Week reminds us, service is what unites.—Lindsay WalkerShare68Tweet2Share38Email108 Shares
Share8Tweet8Share2Email18 Shares“Shoes on the Danube” by Dennis JarvisAugust 2, 2017; WTOL, L.A. Times, New York TimesAs civil rights and other groups expressed outrage at the intimation that the Department of Justice was going to investigate discrimination in college admissions, some may have scratched their heads. Even with the DOJ’s leader, Secretary Jeff Sessions, with a record of consistently opposing affirmative action, last year the Supreme Court has upheld the use of race as a factor in college admissions in the case of Fisher vs. University of Texas.Concerns were immediately raised that DOJ was going to revisit and possibly revise what is settled law. The outcry came in response to an internal job posting by the Department of Justice. It was looking for current employees interested in “investigations and possible litigation related to intentional race-based discrimination in college and university admissions.” Advocacy and civil rights groups saw this as an effort to target affirmative action programs allowing colleges and universities to consider race as a factor in admissions in order to build a more diverse student population.Responding to the firestorm around the job posting, the Justice Department issued a statement saying the posting was in response to a complaint filed in 2015 regarding allegations of discrimination against Asian Americans in an unidentified university’s admissions practices. As reported in the New York Times:A Justice Department spokeswoman, Sarah Isgur Flores, said on Wednesday that news media reports about the investigation were “inaccurate.” The department had refused to provide details about the project on Tuesday. Ms. Flores said the personnel announcement sought volunteers “to investigate one admissions complaint” filed on behalf of Asian-Americans who alleged racial discrimination in “a university’s admission policy and practices.”She said the department had not received or issued any “directive, memorandum, initiative or policy related to university admissions in general.”[…]Ms. Flores’s statement described the investigation as an administrative referral about a complaint filed by 64 Asian-American coalitions in May 2015 and that “alleges racial discrimination against Asian-Americans in a university’s admission policy and practices.”According to the New York Times, this description dovetails with a dispute at Harvard University that led to a still-pending lawsuit filed on behalf of such students. The Justice Department, to date, has not intervened in that litigation or filed a friend-of-the-court brief. Data from a Pew study shows that Asian Americans make up almost six percent of the U.S. population but are admitted to selective colleges and universities at almost three times that rate.Could this dispute be the basis for DOJ to open the question of affirmative action on a broader scale? Skepticism is being raised from within and outside the DOJ. “I am skeptical of the explanation that this detail announcement would be for the investigation of one single complaint,” said Justin M. Levitt, a former deputy assistant attorney general in the division in the Obama administration. “To have that structure to investigate a single complaint, outside the normal chain of command for career attorneys who investigate these sorts of complaints all the time, that’s quite weird.”In an interview with WTOL, Anurima Bhargava, who was head of the Civil Rights Division’s Educational Opportunities Section during the Obama administration, said any move to investigate affirmative action policies would be a “fear and intimidation tactic” because the Supreme Court has upheld such admissions programs.“My very strong sense is that it’s nothing other than politics,” she said.Others applaud the opportunity to reopen questions about the value and need for affirmative action.Roger Clegg, a former top official in the Civil Rights Division during the Reagan and first Bush administrations who is now the president of the conservative Center for Equal Opportunity, had welcomed the development on Tuesday as “long overdue.” On Wednesday, he said he hoped the project would end up being more than a single investigation.“I hope that the administration will be investigating more than one case, because I think there is more than one case that merits investigation,” he said.As this pot continues to bubble, groups on both sides of the affirmative action debate are poised to fight for their positions. Affirmative action initiatives were developed to level the playing field for minorities and create a more equitable and diverse society. There are those, mostly on the right, who would say they are not now needed, and those in the civil rights movement who would say we have only just begun.—Carole LevineShare8Tweet8Share2Email18 Shares
Netflix shares plunged yesterday after a number of analysts warned that the company’s growth plans, particularly internationally, will see further losses. The online streaming firm and DVD rental service saw shares drop by 6% from US$100 (€77) to US$93.96 after Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter and Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia released notes on the company.Bhatia claimed that Netflix’s international expansion in Canada, Latin America and the UK and Ireland will take longer than the company’s two year projection because of rising content costs and competition from companies including Amazon’s Lovefilm.Meanwhile, Wedbush Securities’ Pachter criticised the company’s “growth at all costs business model” and echoed Bhatia’s claims that its international launches will take longer to break even. “While Netflix may increase subscribers in 2012, it is paying a steep price to do so,” Pachter added.
The South African government has approved the general framework of a scheme to subsidies the provision of digital set-tops to poorer households.The government has approved the Ownership Support Rollout Framework for set-tops across the country as well as full subsidisation of indoor and outdoor antennas and installation costs related to a digital transition scheme in the Northern Cape, according to local reports.
Lithuanian telco Teo has begun offering a bundled triple-play service for the first time.Teo is offering three packages – Namai 1, 2 and 3 – with the Namai 3 product offering combination of it’s the high-speed Zebra internet service, Gala TV and the Neribotas unlimited fixed-line call plan. Namai 3 customers also get two extra TV packages, use of the Saugykla data storage service, time-shifting and wireless access, for LTL119 (€34), compared with LTL188.60 for the three services if they were bought separately.Teo chief marketing officer Nerijus Ivanauskas said he expected that at least half of Teo’s customers would take multiple services within the next three years.
Telefónica has made its Movistar Imagenio IPTV service available on iOS-based mobile devices.The service, which could previously be accessed on BlackBerry and Android devices is now available on iPhones and iPads. Movistar Imagenio is now available on 95% of smartphones connected to the Spanish telco’s mobile network.
Twitter is the “world’s biggest sofa”, according to head of broadcast partnerships Dan Biddle, speaking about the social network’s role in TV viewing.Speaking at the Future TV Advertising Forum in London this morning, Biddle said Twitter had the power to connect TV viewers all over the world, and stressed the importance for broadcasters to embrace and manage hashtags effectively.“We are no longer alone when watching the TV. We have the opportunity to connect with people all over the world watching the same programme at the same time,” Biddle said. During peak times 40% of all tweets are about TV shows, he added, with sports, and football in particular, driving TV Tweets.According to Biddle, 71% of people who saw a social media impression about a TV programme went on to watch it, while 31% continued to watch a TV show because of its social media impression. In this sense, Twitter could act as a TV guide, said Bidden, describing TV hashtags as “the ultimate bat signal”.Biddle said broadcasters were starting to see the value of using Twitter to help viewers engage with their shows. “Broadcasters are increasingly doing their upmost to bring viewers into their shows. They are trying to make Twitter as valuable as possible for their users and themselves,” he said. “It’s an incredibly engaging platform.”
Russian service provider VimpelCom has named Marina Pak as director of marketing for the Moscow region.Pak, who was previously head of marketing at the head office of rival service provider Megafon, will be responsible for residential and business-to-business marketing, marketing communications and new business development in the capital.
Ericsson has tipped video traffic in mobile networks to grow by around 60% annually through to 2018.According to Ericsson’s latest Mobility Report, video will account for around half of all global mobile data traffic by 2018, driven by better network speeds – with 60% of the world’s population due to by covered by LTE in 2018.Data traffic volumes doubled between Q1 2012 and Q1 2013, and are expected to grow 12-fold by 2018, Ericsson said, claiming that video already makes up the largest segment of data traffic in networks. Video consumption is on average 2.6GB per subscription per month in some networks, the firm said.“Video streaming services in some markets have shown a very strong uptake: people use services such as Netflix, HBO and Vimeo on all types of devices. As video conferencing evolves beyond fixed facilities in meeting rooms to being used on mobile devices, it will also drive video traffic growth in mobile networks,” the report said.However, though video is popular, consumers spend more time on social networking at an average of up to 85 minutes per day in some networks, Ericsson said.“Accessing the internet through dedicated apps such as social networks and picture messaging will drive mobile traffic development. Mobile data traffic is expected to grow with a CAGR of around 50 percent (2012-2018), driven mainly by video. This will result in growth of around 12 times by the end of 2018,” according to the research.Smartphones accounted for around half of all mobile-phone sales in Q1 2013, compared with roughly 40% for the whole of 2012. The number of total mobile subscriptions grew by 8% globally year-on-year by Q1 2013.
UK public broadcaster the BBC’s new weather app is the fastest growing BBC app of all time, with over eight million downloads since its launch in June last year, according to the broadcaster.The BBC said that its weather sites and app saw 13.8 million average weekly users in July, up 36% year-on-year, with traffic from mobiles and tablets now accounting for 8.6% of weekly users, double the proportion in July 2013.In July, BBC Weather extended the forecast window from five to 10 days. Later this year BBC Weather will roll out location-based weather warnings to the app.
Aflix, a Netflix-style premium OTT service featuring more than 2,000 hours of content, including new releases from major Hollywood studios, has gone live in Africa. The new service is available now on smartphones and tablets in Sub-Sahara Africa and was launched by connected platform provider Vonetize, in partnership with an unnamed Nigerian technology company and billing solution provider SmartPay.tv.Aflix offers Hollywood and Bollywood movies, TV series, kids content, telenovelas and sports, lifestyle, nature, science and music programming.The service, which is fully operated by Vonetize, has deals in place with major Hollywood studios such as Disney, Warner Brothers, MGM, Miramax and will offer popular shows such as Mad Men, Weeds and Anger Management.Aflix costs US$9.99 (€7.57) per month, with new releases available for 48 hours at a rental price of US$4.99. Users will be able to pay using physical vouchers at retail stores, redeemable inside the Aflix app for content bundles.Vonetize builds and operates various premium content services on smart TV and connected devices platforms and Aflix is based on its SmartVOD offering. This is Vonetize’s premium VOD service, featuring content from tier-1 studios.“Africa is on the verge of booming with new and exciting content offerings, based on a growing penetration of broadband and wireless connectivity. SmartVOD brings to Africa a top-notch content service, reasonably priced and available on any device, anywhere,” said Noam Josephides, CEO of Vonetize.The firm said that, following its initial launch, it plans to expand across Africa during 2015, making the service available on LG, Toshiba and Samsung smart TVs, as well as set-top-boxes.
Technology company Thomson Video Networks has launched a new encoding platform, the ViBE 4K, which it says is designed for real-time 4K HEVC 10-bit encoding.Built on the company’s ViBE EM4000 premium encoder chassis, the ViBE 4K enables live compression of UHD sources at up to 60 frames per second and in 10-bit colour, according to Thomson.Housed in a 1RU chassis, the ViBE 4K features multiple Gig Ethernet interfaces and 3G-SDI interfaces that receive live UHD feeds for encoding. Configurable from a standard web browser, the ViBE 4K encodes both audio and UHD video in real time and delivers an MPEG transport stream signal for broadcast over IP, according to Thomson. UHD video is encoded in HEVC 4:2:0 at a maximum of 60fps in 10-bit.“Although live UHD broadcasting is not yet in the mainstream, the market is evolving rapidly as consumers demand ever-higher resolutions and image quality. One big driver is the emergence of affordable UHD TV displays; in fact, we expect all screens larger than 50 inches will be UHD by 2018,” said Eric Gallier, vice president of marketing, Thomson Video Networks. “We designed the ViBE 4K for forward-thinking broadcasters that are already expanding their infrastructures to provide a premium viewing experience to their customers. The ViBE 4K’s state-of-the-art HEVC compression delivers frame rates and precision at bit rates comparable with satellite, cable, terrestrial, and fiber delivery networks. As a result, our customers are able to deliver a truly immersive live UHD experience.”
Israeli pay TV platform Yes has inked a new volume deal with CBS that gives it a range of programming from the studio and from CBS-owned premium cable net Showtime.Yes already had a CBS deal but the new agreement hands it programming including Showtime’s buzzy high-finance drama Billions, CBS series Limitless and The CW comedy Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.Yes can run the programming on its linear channels as well as its branded TV Everywhere and VOD services under the terms of the deal.Barry Chamberlain, president of sales, CBS Studios International said: “We look forward to working with ’yes’ to bring Israeli audiences an incredible new slate of programming, from dramas like Braindead and Twin Peaks, to our existing slate of award-winning series, such as The Good Wife and Ray Donovan.”Danna Stern, head of acquisitions, programming and VOD said: “We are thrilled to partner with CBS Studios International. This agreement means our viewers can enjoy an incredible slate of upcoming new dramas and also explore hundreds of hours of amazing series on demand.”
Vivendi has secured a two-thirds majority on the board of Telecom Italia (TIM). The French media group is the Italian telco’s largest shareholder with a 23.94% stake.Following the company’s ordinary shareholders’ meeting chaired by Guiseppe Recchi, the new board comprises 15 members rather than the 17 it had previously.The shareholders’ meeting approved TIM’s 2016 financial statements, which recorded a profit of €1.896 billion, and the distribution of a privileged dividend of 2.75 cents per share to holders of ‘savings share’ only.The new board includes Vivendi CEO Arnaud de Puyfontaine, CFO Hervé Philippe and general counsel Frédéric Crépin.A list of five candidates proposed by Assogestioni, an association of Italian investment groups, was also approved.Two investment advisory groups, Iss and Glass Lewis, had called on shareholders to abstain on Vivendi’s list and vote for the Assogestioni list in the belief that these candidates would best represent the interests of minority shareholders.Vivendi has yet to secure one of its key goals – the appointment of Arnaud de Puyfontaine as chairman of the telco. De Puyfontaine, currently vice-chairman, had previously indicated that a decision on this would be taken after the annual meeting, when the new board meets today. However, some press reports have indicated that the decision could be delayed until the European Commission rules on Vivendi’s prior notification that it would now be able to take de facto control of Telecom Italia.The securing of a majority on TIM’s board’s reaffirms Vivendi’s decision to place the telco at the heart of its strategy for the Italian market. The company is embroiled in a regulatory dispute that saw Italian competition watchdog AGCOM rule that it could not simultaneously hold stakes in Telecom Italia and Mediaset, in which Vivendi holds close to a 30% stake. Vivendi is contesting the ruling.“Vivendi welcomes the composition of Telecom Italia’s new Board of Directors, which was approved by the company’s Annual Shareholders’ Meeting on May 4, 2017. The new team, which brings together a wide variety of recognised skills, will be a valuable asset in the development of the Italian company’s strategy and in meeting its challenges in the months and years to come,” said Vivendi.“Vivendi reaffirms its long term commitment to Telecom Italia and its desire to create significant value for the telecoms operator’s customers, employees and shareholders,” the company added.