Sinclair launches compostable labels for fresh pro … U.S.: FDA approves GM Arctic Fuji apple … August 02 , 2018 You might also be interested in Limoneira’s Q1 results hit by lower lemon pricing … U.S.: Heavy flooding in Northern California vineya … The organization said expropriation without compensation and economic growth are “diametrically contrasted – and nowhere in the world has this worked in any shape or form.””Agrarian reform can only happen successfully working hand in hand, in partnership, with the private sector,” said Agri SA executive director Omri van Zyl.“We have seen this movie play out all over world – Venezuela, Russia – the promise for emerging farmers of tools, fertilizer, seeds and extension services are superficial – many have promised this as election ploys– and yet the outcome is always catastrophic for agriculture and food security.”Kriek added that this was “irresponsible electioneering” and that the country’s leaders should be more vigilant and responsible when it comes to the future of the economy and job creation. “We are a full and active participant in the upcoming ANC jobs summit – this position will not encourage us to invest in the sector to create more jobs,” he said.Van Zyl also labeled the decision as a “populist move” from the ANC and said there would be a dramatic effect on the country’s commercial, residential and property investment space. South African farming organization Agri SA has criticized government plans announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday to amend the constitution to allow for the expropriation of land without compensation.The African National Congress (ANC) party had said in May it would “test the argument” that land redistribution without compensation is permitted under current laws.”It has become pertinently clear that our people want the Constitution to be more explicit about expropriation of land without compensation as demonstrated in the public hearings,” Ramaphosa said on Tuesday in a recorded address to the nation.In a statement, Agri SA president Dan Kriek said the organization was currently in a consultation process where South Africans are participating in a process of review, and this week’s announcement “serves only to undermine the process underway”.”SA needs more black farmers and black farms. Constitutional amendments – and even worst-case expropriation without compensation – may make for good electioneering but it doesn’t make more black farmers,” he said.
September 17, 2008 The music of Different Skies is exciting, accessible, imaginative, and fun for listeners of all ages and musical interests, from classical and jazz to modern ambient and meditation/healing music. Technology meets imagination to create an evening of amazing entertainment. Learn more about the artists at this year’s festival, and for a schedule of some of the jams and performances from this years workshop visit Stillstream.com. [Photo: sa & text: Cosanti Foundation, sa]
Categories: Whiteford News 02Feb Rep. Whiteford seeks feedback from locals State Rep. Mary Whiteford, of Casco Township, today announced that she will hold local office hours throughout Allegan County.“I want to hear feedback directly from the people I represent,” said Rep. Whiteford. “I’m able to represent our local communities best when I know what issues matter the most to our residents.”Rep. Whiteford will be available on Monday, Feb. 27 at the following times and locations:9 to 10 a.m. at Fillmore Township Hall, 4219 52nd St. in Holland 11 a.m. to noon at Salem Township Hall, 3003 142nd in Burnips 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. at Hopkins District Library, 118 E Main St. in HopkinsNo appointments are necessary. Those who are unable to attend at the scheduled times, but would still like an opportunity to speak with Rep. Whiteford, may call her office at (517) 373-0836 or email MaryWhiteford@house.mi.gov.###
Rep. Jim Lilly of Park Township is inviting Ottawa County residents to attend his upcoming office hours events, scheduled for Friday, Feb. 17 and Monday, March 6.“I am committed to making our voices heard in Lansing,” Lilly said. “This is a great opportunity for us to share ideas and updates about our state government.”The office hour events are as follows:Friday, Feb. 17:9- 10 a.m. – Loutit District Library, 407 Columbus Ave., Grand Haven10:30 – 11:30 a.m. – Spring Lake District Library, 123 E Exchange St., Spring LakeMonday, March 6:2:30 – 3:30 p.m. – Park Township Offices, 52 – 152nd Avenue, HollandRep. Lilly’s office hours, which are subject to change, are open to the public and no appointment is necessary. Anyone unable to attend can schedule an appointment or share their thoughts by contacting Rep. Lilly’s Lansing office.###### Categories: Lilly News,News 13Feb Rep. Lilly announces office hours in Grand Haven, Spring Lake, Holland
25Jan Rep. Tedder leads Michigan House in approving tax relief for seniors, families Categories: News,Tedder News State Rep. Jim Tedder of Clarkston today led the Michigan House in approving legislation to give seniors and families well-deserved relief on their state income taxes.Tedder’s bill would provide a $100 income tax credit for a single filer age 62 or older. The credit would be $200 for joint filers. Other legislation in the package ensures all Michigan taxpayers can continue claiming personal exemptions on income taxes after federal tax reforms signed into law last month. The proposal approved today gives additional tax relief by gradually increasing the state personal exemption from the current $4,000 to $4,800 by the 2020 tax year.“Our economy is in good shape. Our state budget is in good shape,” Tedder said. “Now is the perfect time to deliver real tax relief to Michigan seniors and families. They carried the state’s financial burden during tough times, but those tough times are over – and Michiganders, particularly our seniors on fixed incomes, deserve to keep more of their own money.”Tedder is chair of the House Tax Policy Committee, which approved the legislation earlier this week before it advanced to the House floor. Tedder played a crucial role in securing support for the legislation.An essential addition this week was a provision ensuring funding for Michigan’s public schools won’t be negatively affected by the legislation.“As I often say, money looks better in a taxpayer’s pocket than in the government’s pocket,” Tedder said. “This legislation keeps more of our money where it belongs – at home with Michigan families.”House Bills 5420-22 now advance to the Senate for further consideration.###
State Rep. Brandt Iden this week secured final legislative approval for $500,000 to support the Seita Scholars Program at Western Michigan University – an initiative allowing more foster care youth to attend college.The program provides scholarships for students with foster care backgrounds to attend WMU. The $500,000 in state aid would cover costs for an additional 50 students. This is the first time the program has received state support, Iden said.“It’s a great program for individuals who have gone through the foster care system, and this funding will create an opportunity for even more kids to participate,” said Iden, of Oshtemo Township. “The Seita Scholars initiative opens doors to a better future for kids from across the state. I’ve personally met some of these students and they’re phenomenal. I’m a big believer in the program and am proud to advocate for all the good it does.”Iden employed a Seita Scholars alum in his legislative office during his first term in the Michigan House.“Unfortunately, national statistics show not many kids from the foster care system get college degrees. Programs like Seita Scholars will turn that around,” Iden said. “It changes lives for the better, one kid at a time.”The budget bills are headed to Gov. Rick Snyder for his consideration. 13Jun Rep. Iden secures funding to create opportunities for students with foster care backgrounds at WMU Categories: Iden News,News
Share2TweetShareEmail2 SharesBy Erik Drost (Flickr: Quicken Loans Arena) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia CommonsJune 14, 2016; Plain Dealer (Cleveland, OH)Last week, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Ohio sued the city of Cleveland over its rules and regulations for protests and marches for the upcoming Republican National Convention (RNC). The lawsuit, filed on behalf of Citizens for Trump, Organize Ohio, and the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless, claims that the restrictions violate freedom of speech and that the city has not followed its initial policy of granting permits for protests and marches on a first-come-first-served basis. The ACLU’s main goals with this lawsuit are to reduce the restrictions, increase the hours per day for protests and marches, and allow greater access for marches and protests in areas that will be more visible to the main event space, the Quicken Loans arena. In addition, the ACLU is seeking immediate action on permit applications for the three groups that have applied for permits. Not knowing if the permit is approved or denied is prohibiting each group from being able to organize its supporters to have the greatest impact. A hearing is scheduled for today, June 23rd, to address these issues.In the meantime, the city of Cleveland responded on Monday, stating that its rules for marches and protests are in line with those used by other cities that hosted conventions in the past. Further, to change the rules now could negatively impact public safety. Changing the parade route could create traffic issues for citizens who still must report to work that week, and would disrupt the plans for shuttling delegates and media to and from the Convention. The city also stated that it has approved 51 permits for protests and marches, including for Citizens for Trump one of the organizations named in the ACLU’s filing. Other organizations that have had their permits approved include the League of Women Voters, the Cleveland Immigration Network, Revolution Books bookstore, and the infamous Westboro Baptist Church.However, the statement also confirmed that the city had denied a permit for Organize Ohio, a statewide organization that supports community organizing to bring about change on issues like housing, poverty, and the state budget. Organize Ohio had planned a march to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the race riots in the Hough neighborhood, which began on July 18th—the same day that the RNC opens. Representatives from Organize Ohio plan to appeal the decision and claim that they will march regardless.—Kelley MalcolmShare2TweetShareEmail2 Shares
Russian broadcaster CTC Media is launching its online video social networking service Videomore on Android phones.The move means that CTC content will now be available across all smartphones including iPhones and Android phones.Anna Maria Trenev, head of new media, CTC Media, said: “This makes the audience of CTC more mobile. We are not going to stop there, we will delight audiences with convenient channels on all digital platforms.”
Cable operator UPC Slovakia has added five new channels to its line-up. The Liberty Global-owned operator has added Nova Sport, Nova Sport HD, Eurosport 2 HD, TLC and regional channel Západoslovenská TV to its line-up.The addition of the sports channels on June 1 will take UPC Slovakia’s sports offering to 13 channels, including three in HD. Female-focused TLC will replace Discovery Travel & Living, while Západoslovenská TV, airing news and magazine programmes from the western part of Slovakia, will join the basic digital package.
The advertising market in the Middle East and North Africa has performed strongly this year, with Egypt, which saw a deep drop in advertising expenditure in 2011 in the wake of the revolution, seeing a recovery. Egypt has also been the source of a number of new channels with pan-regional appeal.The Middle East TV market has long been seen as a free-to-air market and the growing popularity of new pan-regional services over the last year reinforced that impression. However, questions have long been raised about whether the advertising market is capable of supporting so many free channels. According to Sami Raffoul of the Pan-Arab Research Council (PARC), advertising growth over the past year has been led by a handful of markets including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar, with Saudi Arabia likely to record growth of 11% this year. The Saudi economy has fuelled growth in pan-Arab media including TV services from MBC, Rotana, LBC and the Abu Dhabi Media Company. “Saudi Arabia is the largest of all the markets around with limited – by its own account – media capabilities,” said Raffoul.Seizing on remarks made by deputy information minister Riyadh K Najm at the recent Saudi Broadcasting Forum, Raffoul says that official Saudi recognition of the underdevelopment of the country’s media could herald a significant change in rules governing private investment in the country. The minister said that Saudi media was currently unable to compete with international players and there was a need to create an attractive environment for investors.Raffoul said that a number of the many broadcasters to have emerged from post-revolutionary Egypt in particular have developed multichannel bouquets that have won a wide audience elsewhere in the region.These channels have also attracted a significant slice of the pan-Arab advertising market, he said. PARC’s breakdown of the region’s advertising market distinguishes between ‘national’ and ‘pan-Arab’ media that crosses national boundaries. “Egyptian channels have snowballed in terms of advertising spend and have become a major force,” says Raffoul.Consultant Ali Ajouz, managing partner at SAWA Media, said that the free-to-air market has seen significant changes over the past year, with countries that have gone through political transformations – notably Egypt – producing popular new channels including CBC, Al-Nahar and Al-Hayat, with more to come. New Libyan channels have also emerged, while, said Ajouz, a couple of Gulf-based projects have been cancelled despite significant upfront investments. “The limited TV budgets continue to put pressure on the bulk of FTA channels,” said Ajouz. “In addition, other advertising opportunities in the digital domain have started to attract advertising budgets. TV networks will now need to look into additional revenue streams whether horizontally, across other platforms, or vertically, through sponsorships and digital product placement.”Raffoul meanwhile said he expects 2012 pan-Arab ad spend to be up about 25% on 2011, although this could hide deep discounting by broadcasters in free media zones. Egypt, which lost ground in 2011 in the immediate aftermath of the revolution and amidst continued political uncertainty, has bounced back with 18-20% growth this year. Other countries in the region have fared less well, with the effects of the conflict in Syria spilling over into neighbouring Lebanon and Jordan.
All-in-1 triple-play bundle subscribers now represent over half of Dutch cable operator Ziggo’s base after a successful fourth quarter, according to the company’s year-end results.Ziggo’s All-in-1 bundle customer base increased by 24,000 in the quarter, taking penetration to 50.3% of its customer base.Ziggo’s internet customer base grew by 21,000 in the quarter, or 1.2%.Ziggo posted revenues of EUR383.2 million for the quarter, up 1.4%. Adjusted EBITDA was up 2.7% to EUR218.2 million. The company’s digital pay TV revenues and ARPU increased despite a decline in subscriber numbers. Ziggo lost 27,000 digital TV customers in the quarter. Telephony revenues meanwhile declined by 9% year-on-year.“Following our assessment of the increasingly competitive environment since Q2 2012, and considering the continuation of this trend in Q4, we have decided to step up our marketing and sales initiatives in 2013. In addition, we will speed up our product development initiatives by pulling forward some investments in product innovation that were originally planned to be made after 2013,” said CEO Bernard Dijkhuizen.
Cablevision has accused Viacom of threatening to impose penalties in the region of US$1 billion-plus (€800 million) for licensing its core, rather than its entire suite, of channels. In legal documents, made public yesterday, the US cable operator said that Viacom “strong-armed Cablevision into carrying suite networks” by threatening to impose a “near US$X billion penalty” – though the precise figure is redacted.Cablevision filed the case against Viacom in the US last month, claiming that the channel owner forces it to air less popular networks in order to carry the likes of Nickelodeon, MTV and Comedy Central.Viacom has defended its channel bundling practises and in a statement issued yesterday said: “This suit is nothing more than a hypocritical attempt by Cablevision to void a long term carriage deal they agreed to only two months ago.”
Euronews has teamed up with Nokia and Microsoft to launch a new app for Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8.The apps are free and are available from the Windows Phone Store and Windows Store respectively.The apps provide news features on international, economic, cultural and scientific topics as well as VOD magazines.Both apps are accessible worldwide and offer a choice of 11 languages: English, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Turkish and Ukrainian.Over the coming months, both apps will offer more programmes and features including live streams, news quiz, bookmarks for favourite news stories and a search engine.Euronews will also add two further languages – Arabic and Persian.“This collaboration with major players in the market is a great opportunity for Euronews to expand on mobile platforms.” said Arnaud Verlhac, director, worldwide distribution at Euronews.“The Windows Phone 8 app is already a huge success with 55,000 downloads in less than two months. These Euronews apps are part of the company’s strategy to be the first international news hub, by reinforcing our multiscreen leading position. This digital move is led by Walid Chamak, head of digital partnerships at Euronews, and it is showing considerable success.”
YouTube has started to support 360-degree video uploads, allowing viewers to control the angle and point-of-view of supported video clips.The new feature will let users that are watching videos on the YouTube app change the angle of the video by moving around their phone of tablet.The same functionality is available via desktop on the YouTube site, or on embedded videos in the chrome browser, with users able to change angle by clicking and dragging on the video.YouTube said that it is working to add the functionality to the iPhone, iPad and other devices soon.“To make it easy for you to create and upload 360-degree videos to YouTube, we’ve been working with companies across the industry,” the firm said, in a blog post announcing the update.“Bublcam, Giroptic’s 360cam, IC Real Tech’s Allie, Kodak’s SP360 and RICOH THETA are 360-degree video cameras compatible with YouTube that are available today or are coming soon.”YouTube currently supports 360 degree videos with 24, 25 or 30 frames per second, with support for higher frame rates due to follow soon.To upload a video in this format, YouTube users must include specific metadata needed for 360 playback. They can do this by using a 360 Video Metadata app YouTube has released for Mac or Windows or by running a Python script on the video file.The rollout comes after YouTube began trialling a similar feature last month that allowed viewers to view videos from multiple camera angles.The test video featuring this functionality let viewers click different thumbnails during playback to switch to multiple camera views – but did not allow for full 360-degree control over the camera angle.In other YouTube news, Variety reported last week that YouTube is “exploring the prospect” of launching its own SVoD service, based on its YouTube Music Key service that launched in beta last year. YouTube has not publicly discussed the move, which could see it take on the likes of Netflix.
The BBC’s commercial arm will officially end the BBC Global iPlayer on-demand platform within the next six weeks.A BBC Worldwide statement said the subscription service was “closing permanently” in the month between May 26 and June 26.“Any subscription will be honoured in full and auto-renewals will be switched off automatically after your final subscription term during this period,” the statement noted.“You will be able to watch your downloads until the day your subscription lapses. This date can be found on your Subscriptions tab on the iTunes store.”This comes after the UK pubcaster’s commercial unit announced its intention to end the international version of the BBC iPlayer back in October 2013. Since then it has been operational in some territories such as Australia.As Digital TV Europe reported in December, the BBC is planning to introduce electronic sell-through platform BBC Store in the UK this year, with BBCWW currently assessing whether to adapt a subscription or transactional model for the global version.The British iPlayer is unaffected by the changes.