The central province of Binh Thuan has recognised sea sports and leisure as the backbone of the development strategy of its hospitality industry through 2020 with a vision to 2030.Under the Government approved development strategy, Binh Thuan has been identified as one of Vietnam’s major tourism destinations and a national centre for sea sports and leisure tourism.Binh Thuan’s seaside town of Mui Ne has been well-known for its ideal climate conditions for sea sports, especially kite surfing and windsurfing.Speaking at the 20th anniversary of the Binh Thuan Tourism Day, Vice Chairman of the Binh Thuan’s People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Tam said that over the past 20 years, tourism has developed rapidly, with hundreds of resorts in seaside town Mui Ne, which has earned it the nickname of ‘the capital of resorts’.The number of tourists to the province has increased from only 53,000, which includes five thousand international visitors, in 1999, to over 4 million so far this year, 254,000 of which are international travellers.Revenue from tourism has increased from 30.7 billion VND ($1.37 million) in 1995 to 7.6 billion VND ($340 million) in 2015, accounting for 7.5% of the province’s gross domestic product.
May 8, 2000DesertKnights musicians and belly dancers perform on the Arcosanti stage at theColly Soleri Amphitheater. Photo by Yakov Leytush
Categories: News State Rep. Tom Hooker was named chair of the House Committee for Families, Children, and Seniors as the 98th Legislature convened for the first time this week.Rep. Hooker will also serve on the House Health Policy, Education, and Military and Veterans Affairs committees.“This committee is so important to our state because it works to protect our most vulnerable residents,” said Hooker, R-Byron Center. “I’m honored to be the chair for this session, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to create a brighter future for all Michigan residents.”House committees review all legislation that affects their issue area and make recommendations as to whether the full House should take up the bills. Committee chairs decide when bills are heard, run the committee meetings and organize informational hearings to help lawmakers and the public understand important issues.### 16Jan Rep. Hooker named chair of House Families, Children, and Seniors Committee
07May Rep. Sheppard bill clarifying ownership of surplus workers’ comp insurance funds passes House Legislation reflects original intent, provides guidance to courtsThe Michigan House today voted in support of a bill that ensures employers who pay into self-insured workers’ compensation funds are rightly entitled to any surplus dollars, as they are member-owned asset pools.“The Workers’ Compensation Agency already considers employers the just owners of any surplus funds, so this bill sensibly clarifies statute to reflect an equitable practice,” said bill sponsor Rep. Jason Sheppard.House Bill 4362 amends the Workers’ Disability Compensation Act of 1969 to clarify that employer members in a self-insured group possess ownership of proportional shares in the any surplus assets.“The goal of this bill is to clarify the original intent of the legislature,” Rep. Sheppard said. “These insurance funds are owned by group members and no one else, it’s that simple.”HB 4362 also requires groups to establish processes and procedures for the distribution of excess assets in case of surplus or dissolution as approved by the Workers’ Compensation Agency.The legislation will be considered further in the Senate. Categories: Sheppard News
Categories: News 15Apr 7-bill domestic violence protection package approved by Senate A bipartisan domestic violence package that includes legislation authored by Rep. Kurt Heise, R-Plymouth Township, was overwhelmingly approved by the state Senate on Thursday.“The main emphasis of this seven-bill package was to update existing domestic violence laws,” said Rep. Heise, R-Plymouth Township. “This will allow better protections to specific victims of domestic violence, including immediate family and even pets. These type of situations deserve updated and improved scrutiny in the legal system.”As chair of the House Committee on Criminal Justice, Rep. Heise listened to hours of testimony in support of the legislation, spoke in support on the House Floor prior to an October 2015 vote on the package and also testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in February.Rep. Heise specifically authored House Bill 4480, which prevents a parent protecting themselves or a child from domestic violence or sexual assault by the other parent from being considered a negative factor in child custody proceedings.“This is a very specific situation that simply had to be addressed,” said Rep. Heise. “The Child Custody Act contains many best-interest factors when it comes to children, but situations involving domestic violence or sexual assault had to be updated in relation to a future relationship with the parents.”HB 4480 was overwhelmingly approved by a 37-0 vote on Thursday. It returns to the House for possible concurrence vote.
Categories: News,Yaroch News 05Jan Rep. Yaroch announces opening of Lansing office, encourages feedback The Lansing office for state Rep. Jeff Yaroch officially opened on Tuesday.“We are honored and excited to get to work for the people of Michigan’s 33rd District,” said Rep. Yaroch, R-Richmond. “Our first duty is to be available to residents. Please contact my office with questions, comments, or with any state-related issues we can address.”People can contact Rep. Yaroch’s office by telephone at (517) 373-0820; e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or via mail at N-797 House Office Building, P.O. Box 30014, Lansing, MI 48909-7514.Rep. Yaroch welcomes to his team Brittany Lewandowski, as his legislative director, and Erika Kowall as his legislative assistant.“We’ll never forget that government is here to serve the people and not the other way around,” said Rep. Yaroch.
26Jan Rep. Kelly named as chair of House Education Reform committee Categories: Kelly News,News State Rep. Tim Kelly, of Saginaw Township, has been named chair of the House Education Reform Committee and the House Appropriations School Aid/Michigan Department of Education (MDE) subcommittee.“Education is incredibly crucial towards continuing Michigan’s comeback, so I’m honored and very appreciative to be leading two committees geared towards our future,” Kelly said. “Our outcomes in the classroom have to improve, so we have an important task to help develop the best education system possible for the students, their families, teachers and administrators.”Kelly is one of only two members to chair both a policy committee and an Appropriations subcommittee.He also has been named to the House Appropriations Committee and the Appropriations Joint Capital Outlay subcommittee.“We have a lot of work to get done for our residents over the next two years,” Kelly said. “I look forward to the challenge of continuing to develop the best education system possible, while ensuring we budget responsibly as a whole.”#####
08May House approves Rep. Vaupel’s plan protecting Michigan children Measure gives parents more opportunities to choose health care coverageThe Michigan House this week unanimously approved a plan introduced by state Rep. Hank Vaupel to help children have access to affordable health care coverage.Vaupel’s plan allows parents involved in certain court proceedings to meet legal requirements by having their children enrolled in affordable public health care coverage programs.Current Michigan law requires parents involved in child custody or divorce cases to provide their children with health care coverage through employment or private coverage. This new plan would allow parents to enroll their child in an affordable and accessible public health care plan to meet their obligations.“This plan gives parents more opportunities to ensure their children are getting health care coverage for long-lasting health benefits,” said Vaupel, of Fowlerville. “With these changes, Michigan would be in compliance with federal guidelines, ensuring parents can afford a health care plan fitting the needs of their children.”House Bills 4304-05 now move to the Senate for further consideration.### Categories: Vaupel News
Share12Tweet13ShareEmail25 SharesACLU.April 2018; From Failure to FreedomWisconsin is at the forefront of the battle to educate black and brown students. Though access to equal education is defined in the state’s constitution and confirmed by its Supreme Court, the reality is that the proclivity to police black and brown bodies follows the students into schools and undermine their fundamental right to education.According to a new report titled “From Failure to Freedom: Dismantling Milwaukee’s School-to-Prison Pipeline with the Youth Power Agenda,” Milwaukee exemplifies the school-to-prison pipeline. The report describes the phenomena this way:The presence of police officers, guns, handcuffs, and metal detectors in schools creates hostile teaching and learning environments that are reinforced by harsh, punitive, and exclusionary school discipline policies. Police brutality, arrests, suspensions, and expulsions are all too common features of the educational experiences of students of color from low-income communities. These policies and practices also have detrimental psychological impacts on youth of color, for whom school resemble prisons more than they do environments that stimulate learning and creativity. High rates of permanent drop out as well as ongoing, and often escalating, entanglements in the criminal legal system result from these policies.In the 2013–14 school year, Black students at Milwaukee Public Schools accounted for 55 percent of the population but almost 85 percent of “referrals to law enforcement.” Students with disabilities did not fare any better; despite being 20 percent of the enrolled population, they accounted for 91 percent of restrained or isolated students.In the 2015–16 school year, MPS suspended one out of three ninth-graders, more than four times the national average and expelled 181 students, twice the national average.The report found that this is supported by vague offenses or minor misbehavior outlined in its Parent/Student Handbook on Rights, Responsibilities, and Discipline, mostly by allowing interpretation of what it calls “inappropriate.” This includes dress, personal property, or use of electronics.In order to do this, Milwaukee has to ignore a lot of data that shows that not only does this punitive approach to discipline not work—the schools are no safer for them—it also wastes the city lots of money. Milwaukee pays four million dollars a year to keep this punitive system in place. According to the report, direct costs include:$1,120,898: Police Officer Program in Schools$60,000: External School Police Squads$435,000: Truancy Abatement and Burglary Suppression Officers$122,000: Adjudication of Truancy Citations$76,000: Installation of X-Ray Machines$51,000: Maintenance of X-Ray Machines$13.7 million: Safety Assistants for MPSDetentions and Juvenile CourtIndirect costs have also been calculated: “According to a national study by the Center for Civil Rights and Remedies at University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), suspended students graduated at a rate of around 15 percent below their classmates who were not suspended. UCLA estimated that for each student who drops out, the social and fiscal impact is as much as $600,000 over the course of a student’s lifetime.” The report finds that punitive discipline even negatively affects the school performance of non-suspended students.An investigation by the Office for Civil Rights found that, “Over the course of two school years, federal investigators identified ‘over one hundred incidents at the District’s schools where [B]lack students were expelled, while similarly-situated white students were suspended fort similar conduct.’”It concluded that “the evidence did not demonstrate that the District has in place effective safeguards to monitor the exercise of discretion in referrals and imposition of sanctions to ensure that it is nondiscriminatory.”The report summarizes this as an investment in failure and notes that restorative approaches have been found to offer equitable and supportive practices that improve school climate and reduce discipline infractions.Milwaukee apparently has tried to implement restorative practices but has underfunded them and is using them along with punitive practices, which doesn’t work very well. It continues to prioritize funding for punitive discipline.The report proposes a Youth Power Agenda, which divests from failure…removing police and metal detectors from schoolsending suspensions, expulsions, arrests, and citationsending the use of seclusion and restraints…and invests in freedom.create inclusive school codeimplement robust restorative justice practicesincrease the number of support professionalreduce class sizeprovide culturally-responsive education and trainingcollect accurate discipline datainvest in universal, high-quality early childhood educationcreate universal youth jobs programBlack students are fighting for the freedom to thrive.—Cyndi SuarezShare12Tweet13ShareEmail25 Shares
Slovenia-based middleware provider Beesmart has teamed up with Turkey-based device manufacturer Vestel to take the Beesmart middleware to Vestel set-top boxes and jointly drive the development of applications and services.“Beesmart’s experience and knowledge of the IP set-top box industry made them an ideal partner to us,” said Hakan Kutlu, deputy general manager responsible for marketing in Vestel. “Consumers want user-friendly solutions for IPTV content in their living rooms. With Beesmart middleware, Vestel Set-Top-Boxes will increase technology and innovation to meet consumer demands.”[ad_banner]
South-Asian TV channel Zee Café is now available to Facebook users via the Yamgo TV application.Yamgo has struck a deal with Zee Network to enable the latter to distribute shows from Zee Café on Yamgo’s multi-device distribution platform, which delivers TV to IP enabled devices with a product line-up ranging from smartphone apps and desktop websites to Facebook applications and other social media outlets.In 2012 Yamgo signed Zee’s lifestyle channel Zing from Zee Europe. Zee Café will show general entertainment programming including drama and reality series and movies.
Vodafone has agreed to buy Kabel Deutschland in a €7.7 billion deal that will establish the UK mobile operator as a leading triple-play cable provider in Germany – offering TV, broadband, mobile and fixed-line phone services. Vodafone is due to pay €87 per share, an increase of 37% on Kabel Deutschland’s share price as at 12 February 2013, the last trading day before takeover speculation for Kabel Deutschland first emerged. The deal values Kabel Deutschland’s at approximately €7.7 billion, and represents a total enterprise value of €10.7 billion, assuming €3 billion of adjusted net debt.Kabel Deutschland said that the takeover is primarily aimed at delivering growth in a “in a rapidly changing telecommunications and TV market,” which can be realised by combining Kabel Deutschland’s fixed line infrastructure and Vodafone’s strong position in the mobile market.Vodafone, which confirmed earlier this month that it had approached Kabel Deutschland about a potential offer, said that the combination of the two firms will create a business with €11.5 billion of pro forma revenues in Germany, and would give it 32.4 million mobile, 5.0 million broadband and 7.6 million direct TV customers in the country.Vodafone said it saw “significant potential” to accelerate the expansion of Kabel Deutschland’s business, claiming that it’s subscriber base is still “under penetrated” with pay TV and broadband penetration only 12% and 16% respectively.It added that the deal was part if its stated market-by-market convergence strategy of wholesale, organic fibre deployment or mergers and acquisitions.“German consumer and business demand for fast broadband and data services continues to grow substantially as customers increasingly access TV, fixed and mobile broadband services from multiple devices in the home and workplace and on the move, ”said Vodafone Group Chief Executive Vittorio Colao.“The combination of Vodafone Germany and Kabel Deutschland will greatly enhance our offerings in response to those needs and is consistent with Vodafone’s broader strategy of providing unified communications services,” he added.Kabel Deutschaland CEO Adrian v. Hammerstein said: “Kabel Deutschland and Vodafone are an ideal fit. Together, we have the opportunity to become Germany’s leading telecommunications and television provider and to create what for the German market is a unique, winning combination of fixed line and mobile communications.”The Management Board of Kabel Deutschland said it considers the price proposed by Vodafone attractive for shareholders and intends to recommend the offer, and said the deal could close before the Kabel Deutschland Annual General Meeting on 10 October 2013.
Amazon-owned on-demand platform Lovefilm has secured CBS Studios International-distributed scripted programming including The Good Wife, Blue Bloods and Dexter.The deal will see a range of shows from CBSSI launch on the platform in Germany and the UK. These include CBS series like The Good Wife and Blue Bloods and Showtime series including Nurse Jackie, Californication and Dexter.It also includes the original Star Trek series and Star Trek Voyager.Lovefilm now carries content from all of the major US studios, plus others including Miramax, Studiocanal, BBC Worldwide and Entertainment One.“We’re thrilled to announce this latest deal with CBS Studios Int., and bring another great selection of hit US TV shows to our members. The quality, quantity and diversity of what we can offer our members is absolutely fantastic which is why we’re quickly becoming the first choice subscription service for TV fans,” said Lovefilm’s chief marketing officer Simon Morris.CBS Global Distribution Group’s president and CEO Armando Nuñez said the deal was “another example of the growing licensing opportunities available for CBS’s world class content in a dynamic global marketplace”.
German consumer electronics and trade organsiations have grouped together to produce a consumer guide to smart TV. Consumer electronics trade group the GFU, electrical trade organization ZVEI and technical retail trade body the BVT have grouped together under the German Smart TV initiative to produce a pocket guide to smart TV offering brand-neutral information and advice for consumers. The guide is available on the partners’ websites as a PDF document.
Video advertising platform BrightRoll has struck a deal with Google’s DoubleClick to provide buyers on the BrightRoll platform with access to the DoubleClick Ad Exchange.Buyers on the BrightRoll platform will now have programmatic access to DoubleClick video ad properties via BrightRoll’s console.The announcement follows last year’s programmatic integration of DoubleClick Bid Manager into the BrightRoll platform.The demand for programmatic video has never been greater. This expanded agreement with BrightRoll is one of the ways we’re helping brand buyers connect with high quality video content across the web,” said Chip Hall, director, media platform sales, Google.“This relationship is an important step in helping grow the overall programmatic video ecosystem.”Separately, BrightRoll has struck agreements with comScore and Nielsen to bring their online campaign ratings systems to its platform.“By integrating audience measurement data from both comScore and Nielsen into our real-time audience platform, we are changing the game for advertisers,” said Tod Sacerdoti, CEO and founder, BrightRoll.“For the first time, advertisers will be able to plan, target and optimise campaigns to maximise in-target delivery and validate performance with independent reports. The best part is that the scale of our ecosystem allows us to offer this for free to all of our clients.”
Sky Deutschland has signed a multi-year extension to its exclusive HBO deal, giving it the rights to the pay TV firm’s top programming until the end of the decade. Under the new deal, all of HBO’s premium new productions will continue to premiere exclusively on SkyAtlantic in Germany and Austria. However, the new contract also includes availability through Sky’s online video services Sky Go and Snap, as well as the set-top based Sky Anytime on-demand service.“This has been a great partnership, now extended to the end of the decade. HBO is constantly raising the bar, creating the best series and original TV movies in the world. We are pleased that outstanding series such as Game of Thrones, The Knick and True Detective, as well as future productions, will continue to have a home on Sky Atlantic HD and will also be available on demand via Sky Go, Sky Anytime and Snap,” said Gary Davey, executive vice president of programming at Sky.
Kudelski Group and Google have struck a patent cross-licensing agreement the pair say will provide both companies with a patent license for their respective businesses, subject to certain limitations. Google will make a one-time payment to The Kudelski Group as part of the deal.“The Kudelski Group is focused on developing and licensing technology and intellectual property to the video market and we are pleased to license our patent portfolio to Google while also gaining access to Google patents. Operating companies benefit when they respect each other’s intellectual property rights and cross license their patents in a reasonable and collaborative manner. This agreement further validates the significant investment both companies have made and will continue to make in innovation to the benefit of consumers worldwide,” said Joe Chernesky, Senior Vice President of Intellectual Property and Innovation at the Kudelski Group.“We are pleased to enter into this agreement, which will allow us to continue to focus on building great products,” said Allen Lo, Google’s Deputy General Counsel for Patents. “Google has a portfolio of more than 55,000 patents and applications worldwide and is actively cross-licensing its patents in support of Google’s product ecosystem.”
Anke Schäferkordt and Guillaume de PoschStrong digital growth has boosted RTL Group’s figures for the first half of this year, despite a mixed picture on the advertising front.The Germany-based broadcast group saw digital revenues rise by 94% to €219 million. Overall, group revenue was €2.788 billion, up 3.8%, and EBITDA was €628 million, up 2.6%.The group highlighted its strong digital performance.The companies of the RTL Digital Hub – RTL Group’s recently acquired digital businesses BroadbandTV, StyleHaul and SpotXchange – continued to show strong revenue growth, comparing H1/2015 with H1/2014: BroadbandTV was up 84 per cent, StyleHaul was up 112 per cent5, SpotXchange was up 90 per cent..Catch-up RTV services, websites and MCNs attracted 42.5 billion online views in the first half, up 171%.RTL estimated that net TV ad markets were up in Germany, France and Spain, while the Netherlands, Belgium and Hungary remained “challenging”. All RTL units except M6 Group outperformed in their respective territories.RTL raised its outlook for the full year 2015. It now expects total revenue to be slightly up compared to the full year 2014.“In the first half of 2015, RTL Group significantly increased revenue, EBITA and net profit, mainly driven by another strong performance from Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland and our rapidly growing digital video businesses. Looking at our recent digital investments, BroadbandTV, StyleHaul and SpotXchange, which are now grouped together in the RTL Digital Hub, revenues have been increasing by high double digit growth rates – and we expect them to continue to do so for the foreseeable future. In terms of RTL Group’s aggregated online video views, we expect our full-year figure to reach more than 80 billion this year,” said Co CEOs Anke Schäferkordt and Guillaume de Posch.“In the digital age of total choice, the fundamentals of our business have never been more promising: Linear TV dominates the video market and is the only medium consistently reaching mass audiences day by day. In total, people watch more video content than ever before – long-form and short-form, linear and non-linear, on the TV screen and on multiple devices. The demand for high-quality video content is growing rapidly, as does online video advertising.”
Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) has acquired an Italian digital free-to-air (FTA) frequency in order to launch Spike locally, and a 50% stake in kids channel Super!.One agreement, with Scripps Networks Interactive, will see Viacom acquiring the LCN 49 frequency ahead of launching male-skewed Spike in Italy by the end of October.The other deal sees Viacom take a 50% stake in kids FTA network Super!, which De Agostini Editore (DeA) has solely owned to this point.The pair has formed a joint venture that will now operate Super! in Italy.DeA is part of Gruppo De Agostini, which holds about a third of Paris-based production and distribution giant Banijay Group.Viacom has seen major growth in free TV distribution since launching Paramount Channel in Italy in February 2016. It claims to be close to reaching 30 million viewers each month.“Our pay TV partnerships remain the priority for Viacom, but free-to-air distribution is helping us grow ratings and revenues in TV markets where free-to-air networks are predominant,” said VIMN CEO David Lynn.“Free-to-air channel launches have helped us significantly expand our reach amongst Italian TV viewers and we’re ambitious for future share growth in this valuable and important TV market.”VIMN’s president and managing director for Southern and Western Europe, Africa and the Middle East, Raffaele Annecchino, said the deals marked “latest step in our ongoing strategy to scale-up our business in Italy”.He noted the territory “has the highest number of free-to-air channels of any European TV market and is the third biggest in terms of advertising revenues”.“These new free-to-air channels, combined with our strong distribution relationship with [pay TV provider] Sky, give us a great balance between free-to-air and pay TV in this market and allow us to reach all demographics with distinct and competitive offers.”The launch of Spike is opposite to developments in the US, where the channel is to become a general entertainment offer called the Paramount Network in January.
Another Netflix exec overseeing Indian content is to depart the streaming giant.The Los Angeles-based Simran Sethi, who was a director of international originals and one of Netflix’s top creative execs for the Indian market, has stepped down from the business and will leave following a transition period.Her exit comes weeks after the departure of Swati Shetty, who most recently served as director of international originals and acquisitions, and was the streamer’s first appointment out of India.She left Netflix earlier this year to join Ron Howard and Brian Grazer’s Imagine Entertainment as VP of international content, based out of Los Angeles.According to Variety, Netflix prefers execs to be on the ground in India. This could be due to the Indian market’s growing importance to Netflix, which still lags behind local streamers such as Hotstar, Hooq and Voot, as well as a growing footprint by Amazon Prime Video.Going forward, Sethi’s role is to be based out of Mumbai, and will be hands-on, requiring constant interaction with the local production community.Sethi’s credits at Netflix include Richie Mehta’s Delhi Crime and Deepa Mehta’s Leila, as well as Ghoul and Selection Day. She was previously SVP of scripted originals at Freeform, where she reported into now-ABC Entertainment boss Karey Burke. She has also worked at NBC, Sony Pictures Television and Adam Sandler’s production banner Happy Madison Productions.