Related posts:Red Cross warns of increase in violent deaths last month Life jackets not distributed before Costa Rica catamaran began sinking, killing 3, says president’s office UPDATE: US tourist drowns in Costa Rica rafting trip Police to streamline crime reporting in far-flung beach spots Costa Rica’s Red Cross reported that 79 people died by accidents and other violent causes in the first 19 days of this month. That exceeds by 27 the number of deaths registered in the same period last year, when the Red Cross reported 52 deaths.The figure likely will surpass last year’s total for the month, 81 deaths, according to the Red Cross.As was the case last year, traffic accidents are the leading cause of violent deaths for the period, totaling 27. Of those, 19 are classified as vehicle crashes, four are vehicle rollovers, and four people died after being struck by a vehicle.Homicides by firearms or knives are the second-leading causing, killing 17; seven people drowned in beaches or rivers; six died of unknown causes; five by poisoning; two were electrocuted; and two died from injuries caused by falls. In addition, 142 people resulted injured and were hospitalized.Among the drowning victims are three tourists who died on Jan. 8 when a catamaran sank in high winds and rough seas off the central Pacific beach of Herradura.Red Cross officials are concerned about the high numbers in the report, as they believe the number could increase significantly due to drowning and automobile accidents, which increase during upcoming weeks as many people are still on vacation across Costa Rica. Facebook Comments
Mortgage Professionals Weigh in On GSE Wind-Down in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, News, Secondary Market December 8, 2014 446 Views As policymakers continue to mull over the possible dissolution of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, a new survey shows industry professionals support the continued—albeit reduced—presence of the two mortgage giants in the market.In a report released Monday, the Collingwood Group said that 65 percent of lenders and other mortgage industry workers support the push for GSE reform, calling their current state of conservatorship under the Federal Housing Finance Agency unsustainable.At the same time, none of the survey respondents called for a wind-down or elimination of the GSEs, calling instead for administrative changes and the addressing of issues ranging from “aggressive put-back tactics” to the companies’ overwhelmingly dominant position in the market, which some firms see as the government crowding out the private sector.The Collingwood Group’s findings run counter to tactics taken by lawmakers like Tim Johnson (D-South Dakota) and Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), the heads of the Senate Banking Committee and authors of a bill designed to dissolve the GSEs and replace them with a government corporation that has a more limited role.Having passed a committee vote against the wishes of many Democrats, the Johnson-Crapo bill has yet to see a full Senate vote, despite support from the Obama administration. Critics of the legislation, including committee members Charles Schumer (D-New York), Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts), and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), say it doesn’t do enough to provide affordable housing for lower-income Americans.While Washington continues to debate over the next step for Fannie and Freddie, the Collingwood Group reports that the two companies are making strides in improving their relationships in the mortgage industry. Sixty-seven percent of respondents in the firm’s survey indicated that Freddie Mac has become more supportive and responsive to lenders’ needs in the last year, while 63 percent said the same for Fannie Mae.”The industry’s perception of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s boost in performance over the last year is evidence of the fight for market share,” the Collingwood Group said. “It’s clear that the agencies are providing better service to customers in order to compete with each other and the private label market.”When asked about which factors most influence their decisions on which GSE to sell their loans to, nearly half of respondents cited price as the biggest point, with one anonymous respondent saying, “Amidst margin compression and rising expenses, we have to capture every basis point.”Twenty-four percent said the most important factor is which GSE offers better support for smaller lenders, while 22 percent were more concerned about rep and warrant relief and enforcement. Collingwood Group Fannie Mae FHFA Freddie Mac Politics 2014-12-08 Tory Barringer Share
Share January 10, 2019 976 Views Jump in Mortgage Applications Freddie Mac Mortgage Applications 2019-01-10 Donna Joseph In its latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey, Freddie Mac revealed a significant drop in mortgage rates across the board, which in turn has led to an increase in the share of mortgage applications. “Mortgage rates fell to the lowest level in nine months, and in response, mortgage applications jumped more than 20 percent. Lower mortgage rates combined with continued income growth and lower energy prices are all positive indicators for consumers that should lead to a firming of home sales,” said Sam Khater, Chief Economist at Freddie Mac.For the week ending January 10, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged at 4.45 percent, a drop from an average of 4.51 percent the week prior. The 30-year FRM averaged 3.99 percent around the same period last year. The 15-year FRM averaged at 3.89 percent, dropping from 3.99 percent the previous week. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.44 percent.The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) reflected an average of 3.83 percent with an average 0.3 point—down from last week when it averaged 3.98 percent. Around the same period a year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.46 percent.Average commitment rates should be reported along with average fees and points to reflect the total upfront cost of obtaining the mortgage. Visit the following link for the Definitions. Borrowers may still pay closing costs which are not included in the survey.“Average commitment rates should be reported along with average fees and points to reflect the total upfront cost of obtaining the mortgage. Borrowers may still pay closing costs which are not included in the survey,” the report indicated. in Daily Dose, Featured, Market Studies, Origination, Servicing
The government does not directly receive any cash from the citizenship-through-investment scheme, the finance minister said on Monday.“The state does not collect a single euro. The benefit is an indirect one, and has to do with invigorating the economy through a series of investments in various sectors,” Harris Georgiades told MPs.The passport scheme is a “useful tool” and the government intends to keep it in place, the minister said, amid reports that the European Commission was none too happy with Cyprus ‘giving away’ passports.Georgiades said reports that 1100 passports had been issued via the programme since it was introduced four years ago were misleading.Whereas the scheme does inject much-needed cash into the economy, he added, one should not overestimate its impact.The citizenship programme brought in €3.3 billion in foreign investment by the end of 2016.A parallel scheme providing a permanent residence permit to those buying homes worth €300,000 yielded an additional €700 million over the same period, bringing the overall total to €4 billion.But Georgiades noted it was important to make the distinction that this cash does not end up in state coffers.The only benefit to the state comes indirectly, from property transfer fees and VAT.Asked whether the government is considering revising the scheme – following pressure from the EU and IMF – Georgiades said they saw no need for tightening up the eligibility criteria.Any changes would probably involve tweaks to how the programme is promoted and advertised, he said.It’s understood, for example, that certain Cypriot agents advertise the scheme abroad in countries which do not even allow dual citizenship. This has created bad optics for the government.The issue regained traction after the Guardian ran a story in September criticising Cyprus for granting citizenship to billionaire Russian oligarchs and members of the Ukrainian elite.Trailing the Guardian report, a European Commission spokesman said that conditions for obtaining citizenship are set by national law but ‘are subject to due respect of EU law’.Cypriot officials argue that the investment-for-passport scheme here is in fact stricter than elsewhere.The investment needed for citizenship in Cyprus is for €2 million if the investment is made solely in residential real estate, at least a quarter of which must be spent on a residence for life. If not, the threshold is €2.5 million, at least €500,000 of which must be spent on a permanent residence.In both cases, the requirement of a permanent residence ensures the investor remains closely engaged with Cyprus even if not actually obliged to live on the island.The initial requirement for a €2 million overall investment in real estate applies for three years, after which the naturalised person may divest of the investment. However, they must keep their residence in Cyprus for life.By comparison, under Malta’s scheme, €350,000 must be spent on a residence, and it need only be held for five years. You May LikeDr. Marty ProPower Plus Supplement3 Dangerous Foods People Feed Their Dogs (Without Realizing It)Dr. Marty ProPower Plus SupplementUndoGundry MD SupplementsTop Cardiologist: This One Thing Will Properly Flush Out Your BowelsGundry MD SupplementsUndoUltimate Pet Nutrition Nutra Thrive SupplementAdd This One Thing To Your Dog’s Food To Help Them Be HealthierUltimate Pet Nutrition Nutra Thrive SupplementUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoOur View: Argaka mukhtar should not act as if he owns the beachUndoby Taboolaby Taboola
15Jun Rep. Roberts announces summer reading contest, encourages local students to participate Categories: News,Roberts News,Roberts Photos State Rep. Brett Roberts has announced a summer reading contest for local students.The contest—whose winner will be decided in early September—measures how many books each participant reads over the course of their summer break.“Reading at home is one of the most useful tools that a child can use to build on the resources given to them throughout the school year,” said Rep. Roberts, R-Eaton Township. “As a parent of two young children, I make an attempt as often as I can to ensure that reading is a part of their everyday lives.”Children in grades one through five wishing to participate can get an official book report form from Rep. Roberts’ website. Book reports will show how much the student has learned about the plot of each book that they read. In order to qualify for the contest, students should turn in their reports to Rep. Roberts’ office by September 8. Essays may be submitted via email to BrettRoberts@house.mi.gov.The winner of the contest will be awarded with a chance to become a Representative for a day, and will be able to attend lunch and part of a House session with Rep. Roberts in his Lansing office and the Capitol.“I look forward to welcoming our lucky winner into my office,” Rep. Roberts said. “This contest is a great way for our young, bright minds to get involved with reading over the summer, and I sincerely hope to see all of our local students participating.”Those seeking more information on the contest are encouraged to contact Rep. Roberts’ office by phone at 517-373-1775, or by email at BrettRoberts@house.mi.gov.###
Tags: invocation, REp. Howrylak, Very Reverend Father Mina D Essak Rep. Martin Howrylak and the members of the state House welcomed the Very Reverend Father Mina D. Essak of St. Mark Coptic Church in Troy to the floor of the House of Representatives. The Very Reverend Father Mina D. Essak gave the invocation before the House session in the Capitol building today.“It was an honor to welcome Father Mina to the House of Representatives,” said Rep. Howrylak, R-Troy. “Father Mina gave a beautiful and inspiring invocation that stressed the importance of cooperation among legislators.” Rep. Howrylak’s office can be contacted by phone toll free at 1-877-248-0001, or by email at MartinHowrylak@house.mi.gov.##### Categories: Featured news,Howrylak News,Howrylak Photos,News,Photos 24Mar Troy Reverend gives invocation at House
24Feb Runestad: Free speech shouldn’t be violated on college campuses House Judiciary Chair urges review of policies censoring students, facultyState Rep. Jim Runestad, chair of the House Judiciary Committee, this week urged presidents at 15 universities across Michigan to review and reform policies restricting free speech on their campuses.The second-term representative sent letters this week to Michigan colleges that ranked poorly in the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) Spotlight on Speech Codes.“The U.S. Supreme Court has held that First Amendment protections should apply with the same force on college campuses as they do in the rest of the community – so why are so many of our universities continuing to restrict speech?” said Runestad, of White Lake. “These schools cannot be permitted to pick and choose what ideas students hear. Students should be exposed to a range of perspectives, not just the ones that fall in line with the beliefs of college administrators.”Of the public institutions in Michigan whose policies were surveyed by FIRE, Runestad said the report revealed that not a single university’s policies completely met the institution’s obligations under the First Amendment.Specifically, Runestad points to students trying to distribute copies of the U.S. Constitution on the campus of Kellogg Community College in Battle Creek who were arrested because they had not obtained permission from campus administrators.“I hope you will agree that the constitutional rights of students enrolled at public institutions of higher education are too important for us to stay idle,” Runestad wrote in the letter. “As chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, it is my hope that these policies will be satisfactorily revised in compliance with our nation’s constitution.”Letters were sent to the following schools: Central Michigan University, Eastern Michigan University, Ferris State University, Grand Valley State University, Lake Superior State University, Michigan State University, Michigan Technological University, Northern Michigan University, Oakland University, Saginaw Valley State University, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, University of Michigan-Dearborn, University of Michigan-Flint, Wayne State University and Western Michigan University.### Categories: Runestad News
Categories: Hughes News 18May Rep. Hughes welcomes PBS’s Under the Radar to Tourism Committee Tags: Tourism State Rep. Holly Hughes, chair of the House Tourism and Recreation Committee, welcomed Tom Daldin and Jim Edelman from “Under the Radar,” the PBS television show that features the people, places and things that make Michigan special on Wednesay.“There’s a power in talking to the people of Michigan,” said Edelman, “Under the Radar” producer. “There’s a change happening. This is a special time. There’s people taking chances and people investing in Michigan.”“People will tell us ‘You’ve literally doubled my business,’” said Daldin, the show’s host. “It’s the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done.”Rep. Hughes presented a state seal to the special guests and also introduced them on the House floor during Wednesday’s session.“This was an exciting opportunity to learn about their extensive tourism experiences across our great state, the impact they’ve had on the tourism industry and how this incredible show got started,” said Hughes, of Montague. “Jim and Tom are a couple of fun guys who know what a great Michigan is to live, work and play!”###PHOTO INFORMATION: Rep. Hughes (center) hosts the House Tourism and Recreation Committee as Jim Edelman (left front) and Tom Daldin (right front) from PBS’s “Under the Radar” deliver testimony.PHOTO INFORMATION: Tom Daldin (left) and Jim Edelman (right) from PBS’s “Under the Radar” deliver testimony before the Michigan House Tourism and Recreation Committee on Wednesday.PHOTO INFORMATION: Members of the House Tourism and Recreation Committee, chaired by state Rep. Holly Hughes (center) present state of Michigan seals to Tom Daldin and Jim Edelman from PBS’s “Under the Radar.”
02Jan Local residents can meet with Rep. Runestad on Jan. 12 Categories: Runestad News State Rep. Jim Runestad of White Lake invites residents to join him for local coffee hours in White Lake, Highland and Milford on Friday, Jan. 12.“Hosting regular office hours is one of my top priorities,” Rep. Runestad said. “Connecting with community members and listening to their concerns is an important part of being a state representative.”Coffee hours will take place at the following times and locations:• 8 to 9 a.m. at Leo’s Coney Island, 6845 Highland Road in White Lake;• 10 to 11 a.m. at Colasanti’s Market, 468 S. Milford Road in Highland; and• Noon to 1 p.m. at Bakers of Milford, 2025 S. Milford Road in Milford.No appointment is necessary. Those unable to attend may contact Rep. Runestad at 517-373-2616 or via email at JimRunestad@house.mi.gov.
Assessment will be eliminated on Oct. 1 State Rep. Beau LaFave today said he is pleased that Gov. Rick Snyder signed legislation eliminating driver responsibility fees on Oct. 1 and forgiving all debt associated with the fees.LaFave, of Iron Mountain, said the fees often meant the loss of driving privileges, which creates unique hardships for people living in the Upper Peninsula.“We have a pretty big area up here without much in terms of public transportation, so having a valid driver’s license is vital,” LaFave said. “Elimination of these punitive fees and giving people a path to regaining their driving privileges can be the difference between a family making ends meet or depending on public assistance.”The fees were enacted nearly 15 years ago by the Granholm administration to fill a hole in the state budget caused by reckless spending of taxpayer money. The legislation also creates a grace period through Dec. 31 during which people who have been paying the fees may obtain their driver’s licenses without paying a $125 restoration fee.##### 02Mar LaFave applauds Snyder signing driver responsibility fees bills into law Categories: LaFave News,News
05Jun Governor signs Rep. Allor’s plan streamlining tax-exempt purchases into law ### A measure simplifying the process for schools, non-profits and qualified businesses to execute tax-exempt purchases – sponsored by state Rep. Sue Allor – was signed into law this week.The new law assists buyers who qualify for sales use and tax exemptions on certain purchases but don’t claim the exemption at the time of purchase. Buyers now will be able to file for a refund directly with the state Treasury.“This solution will streamline the refund process, making it easier to do the paperwork related to these sales,” said Allor, of Wolverine. “It’s a time-saver, especially for the retailers involved in the transaction.”Allor sponsored the legislation with state Rep. Pamela Hornberger of Chesterfield Township in Macomb County.Michigan law already allows nonprofits and certain businesses – including many schools, churches and some agricultural producers — to claim a sales and use tax exemption on purchases of tangible personal property. Under the revised law, buyers who don’t claim the exemption at the time of purchase would need an exemption certificate and a record of the sale to qualify for the refund directly from Treasury.After Gov. Rick Snyder’s approval, House Bills 5620-21 have become Public Acts 167 and 168 of 2018. Categories: Allor News,News
ShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesMarch 20, 2014;PoliticoIn the annals of felons who have done damage to both foundations and public charities, no one ranks higher—or lower—than Bernie Madoff, who perpetrated the largest Ponzi scheme in American history. On occasion, Madoff has spoken from his medium-security prison cell with a confusing combination of remorse and irritation about the events his illegality spawned, including his estrangement from his wife and the suicide of one of his sons.Although serving a well-deserved 150-year sentence, Madoff, by virtue of his incarceration, doesn’t undo the damage he did to nonprofits, retirees, and other investors who thought that he could guarantee them mammoth investment returns. His rambling interview with Politico, however, does provide an odd kind of return: an insight into people like him and what nonprofits should know. This is what jumped out of the interview for us:Bipartisan crooks: Although Madoff apparently had nothing good to say about President Obama (calling his policies “too socialist”), he noted that he voted for Obama in 2008. His most admired politician is the progressive Oregon Democrat Ron Wyden. The roster of beneficiaries of his campaign giving includes plenty of prominent Democrats, including Sen. Chuck Schumer, former New Jersey governor Jon Corzine, Sen. Jeff Merkley, and Hillary Clinton. Politico notes that when Schumer and Wyden were asked to comment on the Madoff interview, both quickly demurred. Stealing money, even from retirees and charities, is a bipartisan escapade.No remorse for charities: A large proportion of the charities that Madoff plundered were Jewish charities. Does Madoff feel remorse that he undid the charitable resources of huge numbers of Jewish charities? Not a bit. In fact, in Madoff’s convoluted thinking, charities may have lost, but not before they reaped benefits: “I’ve made more money for Jewish people and charities than I’ve lost.” The lesson for charities? Don’t expect the plunderers of your assets to care two whits about your charitable status and mission.Systemic looting: Madoff knows, like everyone should, that there are others out there with Ponzi schemes looking for unsuspecting investors. His advice? Investors should stay away from the stock market. In other words, if you lose your shirt investing with crooks like him, it’s your fault. And even though he knows he was guilty, he sees his crime as a “horrible mistake,” a temporary personal deviation from the right path, not being part of a subsector of criminals preying on charitable investors.Short penance: He sees the public’s view of his crimes as exaggerated and his efforts to make investors, including charities, whole, or at least compensated for their losses, unacknowledged. In fact, he feels unappreciated for his efforts “to help people recover.” Unlike other felonious philanthropists, Madoff doesn’t have any of the billions he looted and therefore cannot whitewash his image and name with mega-gifts to universities and hospitals. But it seems reasonably clear that if he were in the position of some other Wall Streeters who were convicted of investment crimes, he would be joining them in making philanthropic gifts and expecting accolades for his penance.Compounding lies: Perhaps there’s no big difference for those investors and charities that lost with Madoff, but while Madoff says that he only cost investors $10 billion in lost money, Irving Picard, the trustee in charge of overseeing efforts to recover lost moneys, puts the figure at closer to $20 billion. In fact, Madoff resents Picard, not for Picard’s role in recovering lost funds, but for his failure, in Madoff’s mind, to recognize what he, Madoff, has done in this regard. Referring to Picard, Madoff said, “He’ll take credit for everything but I can assure you, I played a major role in that.” The response of Picard’s office was straightforward: “The SIPA Trustee’s position is that, as the perpetrator of the largest Ponzi scheme in history, Madoff’s credibility is highly suspect and has no substantive value.” Is Madoff all that different than the other investment criminals who may have stolen millions, even billions, but still far short of Madoff’s ill-gotten gains? Doubtful.Madoff knows why he was able to pull off his crimes for so long. “My crime was a failing of the oversight of the industry, but I can’t really blame the SEC or regulators for that,” he said. “The government never gives them enough money to police the industry—whether it’s someone like me or insider trading.” In other words, whether it is Madoff or Enron or others, the notion that self-policing is going to stop these predators is delusional. The criminal Madoff knows that it is the lack of oversight that allowed him to function. That lesson, too, shouldn’t be ignored by nonprofits who want to learn something, anything, from the depredations of one Bernard Madoff.—Rick CohenShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
Share16TweetShareEmail16 Shares“Tim Scott,” by Gage SkidmoreNovember 29, 2018; NPR, “Politics”A notorious documented judicial advocate of voter suppression laws was all set to be confirmed by the Senate for a seat on the US District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina yesterday, when Senator Tim Scott, the lone Black Republican in that body, decided to join fellow GOP Senator Jeff Flake and all of the Democratic members in opposing the president’s nomination.Thomas Farr, as Senator Jesse Helms’s top lawyer, was involved in voter suppression efforts targeting African Americans during Helms’s 1990 campaign, according to a Justice Department memo obtained by the Washington Post.In a statement, Scott said, “Confirming judicial nominees is one of the most important responsibilities of a United States Senator. I take my role in that process very seriously, as we want to ensure the judicial branch remains honest, fair, and impartial.”The statement continues, “This week, a Department of Justice memo written under President George H.W. Bush was released that shed new light on Mr. Farr’s activities. This, in turn, created more concerns. Weighing these important factors, this afternoon I concluded that I could not support Mr. Farr’s nomination.”Democrats had zeroed in on Farr’s defense of a controversial North Carolina voter ID law, which a court struck down for finding it had targeted African Americans with “almost surgical precision.” They also criticized his relationship with Helms, who vocally opposed civil rights and integration.For his part, Flake said he wouldn’t support any more of Trump’s judicial nominees until the Senate takes up a measure to protect special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation but he also indicated that he would have opposed Farr anyway.The final vote on Farr’s nomination has been delayed from yesterday into next week, but there is a chance that it will not get that far.This seat has significant symbolic meaning, because two Black women nominees were blocked for the same seat by Senate Republicans during the Obama administration.—Ruth McCambridgeShare16TweetShareEmail16 Shares
Connect TV, the platform that brings OTT content to the UK’s Freeview platform, has begun streaming the Racing UK channel, taking the total number of channels it offers to 45.Connect TV’s MHEG-powered platform uses the D-Book streaming extensions that were originally designed to support catch-up TV services and works on all Freeview HD devices with an Ethernet connection. As well as Racing UK, the platform offers sports channel Sports Tonight Live, a bouquet of channels from Chinese broadcaster CCTV as well as various French, Greek, Polish and Turkish-language channels from the Vision TV Network.The services are available via four of the seven Freeview EPG slots that Connect TV operates.
UK broadcaster the BBC has launched a new feature on its BBC News Facebook page enabling users to personalise the mix of content that appears on their news feed.Facebook users that ‘like’ the BBC News Facebook page are now presented with a control panel of options that lets them select preferred subjects, correspondents and programmes to appear on the news feed. Gareth Owen, product manager for the BBC News website, said the update was a response to the changing user habits of BBC News online users. The number of clicks to BBC News stories from Facebook is over 14 times higher than it was at the end of 2008, he said, adding that almost a quarter of a million individual users arrive at the BBC News website via a link on Facebook each day.
Equestrian channel Horse & Country TV will launch in the Netherlands later this year.A Benelux version of the channel that is dedicated to equestrian sports and lifestyle will debut on Caiway, Kabel Noord, Glashart Media, CAI Harderwijk and Kabeltex’s cable platforms on June 14. It will be subtitled in Dutch.Heather Killen, executive chairman of Horse & Country TV, said: “Equestrian sports and the lifestyle that goes with them are enjoyed by millions of people around the world, and the sector has an economic footprint in excess of US$50 billion (€38 billion) a year. H&C TV aims to provide the key broadcast and digital outlets for the programming and personalities that chime with this attractive, upscale audience.”
More than half a million set-tops containing Irdeto’s (Stand J18) Cloaked conditional access system were shipped in the first six months since the company launched it last September.Irdeto Cloaked is a software-based CA solution that makes use of Irdeto’s Cloakware technology to provide protection against hacking, reverse engineering and tampering. Irdeto claims Cloaked CA customers can realise savings of up to 50% on the total cost of ownership of a smart card-based CA system.Doug Lowther, executive vice-president of digital TV at Irdeto said: “With pay TV operators and broadcasters facing increased pressure to retain customer loyalty and protect revenues, we developed Irdeto Cloaked CA to relieve the ongoing pain points experienced with smart-card based CA so that our customers can focus on what matters most to them, whether that be increasing subscribers or rolling out multi-screen initiatives. The removal of physical cards from the ecosystem not only reduces business costs, but it greatly improves the overall customer experience.”
Greek broadcaster Hellenic TV will available in the UK for the first time through the launch of channel package Vision247.Hellenic TV is offering 12 Greek-language channels though Freeview offering a raft of Greek entertainment, drama, news, documentaries, sport, music and movies. Viewers with the latest Freeview HD enabled television set will be able to access the channels through the Vision TV Network, which is also available via set-top boxes that are online-enabled. Channels include Hellenic TV1 and Hellenic TV2 as well as RIK Sat, Mega, Sigma and NRG.John Mills, CEO of Vision247, said: “For the first time we can provide live broadcast over the internet and onto Freeview HD televisions for the Greek community in the UK. Bringing original broadcasting from Greece into the home is a great way to bring families together and maintain their cultural ties, no matter where they now live.”
France Telecom will today ask its shareholders to approve the adoption of Orange as the official name of the company across all territories, marking the final stage of its transformation and the end of the use of the France Telecom name.The company has for a number of years used Orange as the brand for all its commercial offerings. It has now proposed dropping the France Telecom name in order create a single simple, coherent brand and a better international visibility.
Video and broadband technology company Arris reported strong Q3 results with chairman and CEO Bob Stanzione saying that its customers are “continuing to react positively to our Motorola Home acquisition.” “We are making good progress in delivering new products to our customers,” said Stanzione, claiming that Arris’ earnings were in line with its previously announced revenue guidance and above its earnings-per share guidance.Overall, revenues in the third quarter were US$1.068 billion (€782 million), compared to US$357.4 million in Q3 2012. Net income was US$0.13 per-share, or US$17.96 million, compared to US$17.86 million for the same period last year.Arris closed its acquisition of Motorola Home on April 17.