To view the Achievers Toastmasters FB Page; CLICK HERE FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Achievers Toastmasters of FSJ is hosting their first Local Business Challenge & Networking Night in honour of February being Toastmasters month.Tonight, Thursday, February 28th at the Northern Lights College, Room 202 from 6:45 pm to 8:30 pm.Toastmasters is inviting the public to come and see what the club is about with their business challenge, open house ‘Tabletops with a Twist.’ Toastmasters asks attendees to bring a 1-2 minute elevator pitch on your business and constructive feedback will be provided.The event will host free pizza and prizes, with time to chat and network.Achievers Toastmasters regularly meets September-June, learning public speaking and leadership skills in a positive environment held on Thursdays, room 202 at the Northern Lights College.Toastmasters is a nonprofit educational organization that operates clubs worldwide for the purpose of promoting communication and public speaking skills.‘The mission of a Toastmasters Club is to provide a mutually supportive and positive learning environment in which every individual member has the opportunity to develop oral communication and leadership skills, which in turn foster self-confidence and personal growth.’ from the Toastmasters website.To view the FB Page Event; CLICK HERE
DETROIT — Automobiles are getting more reliable, but J.D. Power’s annual survey finds problems with battery failures, transmission shifting and voice recognition systems.The survey found that Lexus was the most dependable brand for the eighth-straight year, but some mass-market brands cracked the top five. Porsche and Toyota tied for second, followed by Chevrolet and Buick. The worst performers were Fiat, Land Rover, Volvo, Dodge and a tie between Ram and Acura, the survey said.J.D. Power measures problems per 100 vehicles after three years of ownership. The company collected 32,952 responses from original owners of 2016 model-year vehicles.Owners of all brands reported an average of 136 problems per 100 vehicles this year, six problems fewer than in the 2018 survey.The Associated Press
A Sri Lankan man has been trapped for three months at the Maiquetia International Airport in Caracas, Venezuela; there is confusion about where he came from and it has not been possible to find a destination where to send him.The news about the trapped traveler, whose identity has not been specified, was made public by the Argentinian band “Los Pericos” through a video posted in their Video-blog, reports TN.com (in Spanish). According to El Universal (in Spanish), a Maiquetia airport representative confirmed that there is man who has been living at the airport for the past three months because he lacks the required documentation. The situation is aggravated by the fact that the citizen of Sri Lanka does not speak Spanish and his English proficiency is very limited. However, he has been able to suggest that his life is in danger if he is returned to his country, where, according to Amnesty International, there is a political conflict involving “gross and systematic human rights violations.”The case has been compared to that shown by Steven Spielberg in his film “The Terminal” starring Tom Hanks, about Viktor Navorski, a man trapped at New York’s J. F. K. International Airport who is denied entry in the United States and cannot return to Krakozhia, his fictitious native country, due to a revolution. (Digitaljournal.com) The Venezuelan immigration authorities are not clear about the Sri Lankan man’s origin. At first it was reported that the visitor would have arrived to the Simon Bolivar Maiquetia International Airport from Damascus, Syria. However, Manuel Gago, representative of Amnesty International (AI) in Venezuela, maintains that the Asian man arrived in Caracas from Mexico where he was embarked by mistake on a flight to Venezuela. So far it has not been possible to establish a possible destination for the Sri Lankan man. Gago said Venezuela will not allow him beyond the airport terminal without a visa. He cannot be sent back to Mexico because an international agreement prevents it. He cannot be attended by the diplomatic representatives of his own country because Sri Lanka does not have consular representation in Venezuela. It is not possible to send him to his country because there are no direct flights between Venezuela and Sri Lanka, and a country allowing him as a transit passenger has not been found.
A young girl remains in hospital after falling 35 feet at Decew Falls in St.Catharines yesterday. She and two other friends were scaling up the falls yesterday afternoon when she fell.She suffered injuries to her back and was flown to Hamilton General in critical condition.This is the first rescue at Decew Falls for emergency crews this year, but that’s not the case at Hamilton’s Albion Falls.This afternoon by-law officers were patrolling the popular spot for trespassers.“We are still seeing people trying to get past the gated areas and ignoring the signs, so we are certainly going to make them aware of the dangers that exist beyond those gates.” said Ann Lamanes who works for the City of Hamilton.Over the past two weeks officers have handed out seven tickets but have dished out a lot more warnings.City crews have also been busy putting up more fencing along the falls.“If it is not an official trail that leads to the falls I wouldn’t take that risk. It could definitely lead to some possible dangers beyond that trail. So very steep cutoffs and some uncertain footings.” explained Lamanes.It is legal to get to the base of the falls and go for a swim but it’s illegal to jump a fence to get there.The city doesn’t plan on adding additional officers for this upcoming long weekend, but patrolling popular areas and making their presence known.
Looking to get your hands on a Chevrolet Volt but don’t have the money to purchase one? Well, thankfully for you, Enterprise will soon be renting the much sought out electric car.The Volts will make their debut in California, and Enterprise Rent-A-Car has plans to introduce other EVs to its rental fleet as well. 500 Nissan Leafs are expected to be added and charging stations are being installed at various Enterprise locations across the country, including Los Angeles and San Diego.“:Purchase demand for electric vehicles has been impressive, and we anticipate similar demand from rental customers,” Jeff Morrell, vice president of Enterprise, said. “Making the Volt available will provide an extended test drive for curious customers, for those with cars being serviced and for those interested in possibly purchasing an EV.”Via Treehugger
Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Eight Australians of Greek heritage were bestowed the nation’s highest accolades on Australia Day, marking outstanding contributions to their communities and public life.With recipients from across four states the awards reflected a rich diversity of service – from high-profile commercial entrepreneurialism to the tireless and hidden work of volunteers committed to improving people’s lives.In the category OAM (Order of Australia in the General Division), Evangeline Galettis, archivist at St Catherine’s School in Waverley, NSW, was honoured for her work in the community and educational institutions.President of the City of Sydney Basketball Association, charity fundraiser Andrew Lazaris was honoured officially for his service to sport and basketball administration.Mr Lazaris (51) who was brought up in Woollamoloo and whose voluntary work has included helping young blind people, said he was humbled to receive an OAM. “It’s surreal, unbelievable. If I can help someone who’s struggling…we all do it tough, but there are sadder stories, and if I can help, I do,” said the longest serving honorary president of a sporting association in Australia.Fellow Sydneysider, the celebrated financial entrepreneur Mark Bouris, was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for his service to the finance industry, particularly in relation to the home loan mortgage sector and charitable organisations.Arthur Diakos received a Public Service Medal for his outstanding public service to the transport services sector in New South Wales in the role as a senior financial planner and manager.In South Australia, Efthymia Kleanthi, former vice-president of the United Nations Development Fund for Women, received her OAM for service to social welfare organisations and women, and in Victoria, Vietnam war veteran and president of the RSL Hellenic sub-branch Steve Kyritsis, was honoured with an OAM for his service to veterans and their families and the Greek community of Melbourne.Speaking to Neos Kosmos, the ever-modest Mr Kyritsis said he was surprised to receive the award.“What I do voluntarily, for the veterans and their families satisfies me a lot, and serving the Greek community I enjoy so much. It’s in my blood. I’m committed to help these fellas”.Mr Kyritsis, who is the author of two books on Greek Australian soldiers who served in WWI and WWII, is currently preparing to represent the RSL Hellenic Sub branch at the Anzac Centenary commemorations in April at Gallipoli and Lemnos.Fellow Melburnian Paul Mavroudis, a board member of Fronditha Care and president of the Thessaloniki Association was also awarded an OAM for service to the Greek community of Victoria. Amongst other notable projects, Mr Mavroudis has been instrumental in sustaining the 30-year-old Melbourne-Thessaloniki sister city relationship.The late Mr Thomas Paradissis – a former member of the Community Council and church warden of the Greek Orthodox Community of St George, Brisbane – was awarded an OAM for his service to the Greek community of south east Queensland.
Twitter/Sudarsan PattnaikWith Phase 7 of the Lok Sabha elections coming to an end on Sunday, the exit poll is out and these numbers will give an early indication on who will form the next government.Karnataka and Tamil Nadu are key states in the south which will influence the poll numbers and have the ability to tip the scales in who will win overall.In Tamil Nadu, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) and the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) have had a stronghold. However, these are the first elections that the two parties have fought without their leaders – J Jayalalithaa and M Karunanidhi. In Karnataka, the fight is between the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress-JD(S) alliance.
Julia Reihs/KUTTexas State Senator Sylvia Garcia speaks at the 2018 Texas Democratic Convention in Fort Worth, Texas.A political dispute could leave 850,000 Houstonians without representation in the Texas Senate.Mark Jones, a political science professor at Rice University, says District 6 Democrat Sylvia Garcia submitted a letter of “intent” to resign from her Texas Senate seat to Gov. Greg Abbott. But Abbott refuses to acknowledge the resignation unless she officially resigns.“He would like to see her say ‘I resign effectively January 2,’ so that there’s no doubt about it,” Jones says.With both sides still at odds, they missed the deadline to put Garcia’s Senate seat on the ballot in the November general election.Jones says it’s unlikely that Garcia is delaying her official resignation to protect her seat in case she doesn’t win her race for U.S. Congress.“She’s a lock to win in that race, in CD-29. That’s a dark-blue district where the Democrat is a sure thing to win,” Jones says.Jones says it is possible Garcia is delaying an official resignation in order to force a special election later in November for two of her likely successors, Anna Hernandez and Carol Alvarado. Both are currently running for re-election to the Texas House of Representatives, but if either loses their race, they’d be able to run for Garcia’s Senate seat later in the fall.Jones says Abbott’s denial of Garcia’s resignation could be an effort to keep her senate seat open ahead of the legislative session in the spring.“By delaying this election into November or December, he insures that there’s one fewer democrat for at least the first couple months of the session,” Jones says.Written by Caroline Covington. Share
Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Congress has only a few weeks left to pass key trade legislation that would clear the way for clinching an Asia-Pacific trade accord, Australia’s trade minister said on Wednesday.The U.S. House of Representatives last week rejected legislation crucial to U.S. involvement in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which intends to create a region-wide free trade area, including Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. Trade Minister Andrew Robb would not speculate on how continuing negotiations in the House of Representatives might end.“We are literally one week of negotiation away from completing this extraordinary deal across 12 countries and 40 percent of the world’s GDP,” Robb told Australian Broadcasting Corp.“You can see the political heat’s rising by the day over there because of the presidential election next year. So I don’t think anyone can call it. But if it’s not dealt with in the next two or three weeks, I think we’ve got a real problem with the future of the TPP,” he said.Meanwhile, Australia has stepped up its strategy of locking its major trading partners into a series of country-to-country deals.Australia, which has a free trade deal with the United States, on Wednesday inked a similar deal with its biggest trading partner, China, after a decade of negotiations.Robb and Chinese Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng signed the final pact in the national capital of Canberra seven months after a preliminary agreement was struck.Australian free trade deals with South Korea and Japan took effect in December and January respectively. Australia and India hope to reach an agreement this year. Comments Share Top Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Sponsored Stories Legislation to enhance President Barack Obama’s authority to negotiate such trade deals was dealt a setback Friday, mainly by members of his own party. Obama and his legislative allies were scrambling for ways to revive that effort, although Democrats and Republicans alike said all options face serious hurdles.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center
Inspired by the success of the past two seasons, and in response to high guest demand, Seabourn has curated an enriching line up of 11-, 12- and 14-day Alaska and British Columbia cruises onboard Seabourn Sojourn for 2019. With just 10 departures scheduled through the season, running from June to October 2019, only about 4,500 lucky guests will be able to enjoy the region in Seabourn style next year, making early booking an imperative.Depending on the itinerary, Seabourn’s Alaska & British Columbia voyages include calls to rarely visited locations such as Alert Bay and Klemtu, a town of fewer than 500 people belonging to the Kitasoo Native Band and where your clients will enjoy an exclusive cultural experience as an inclusion of the voyage. Access towering forests along the Inland Passage and the graceful breaching of humpback whales in the Kenai Fjords. Guests can explore cities and towns including the state capital of Juneau, colorful Ketchikan, and historical Sitka, whose Tlingit roots go back 10,000 years. In certain areas such as Misty Fjords, they will be able to explore wildlife-rich waterways, forested mountain vistas and lacy waterfalls up close via Ventures by Seabourn excursions.Each of the 11-, 12- and 14-day cruises will include complimentary Seabourn all-weather jackets; inspiring Seabourn Conversations with special onboard guest speakers; opportunities for frequent wildlife sightings from the ship and shore; and a “Caviar on the Ice” deck party and other special deck events.In addition, Seabourn offers your clients the opportunity to explore Alaska more in-depth with the Denali Experience, an exclusive and optional Seabourn Journey available before or after select Seabourn Alaska voyages. The five-day Denali Experience is a fully escorted, custom-designed overland adventure promising awe-inspiring wonder with luxury accommodations and culinary options. Venturing into the Great Land, Seabourn guests will soar high above glaciers in a flightseeing plane, as well as head deep into the protected wilderness of Denali National Park with a guide to spot grizzly and black bears, wolves, moose, caribou and more.IMAGE: Seabourn Alaska/Haley Plotkin 2019AlaskaBCBritish ColumbiaCanadacruiseSeabourn
Delhi Commonwealth Games to go ahead after all – Yay!FCO launches social media advice and support – it’s always worth checking the FCO website before travelling, especially if you’re heading off the beaten path, and you can now get FCO travel advice via their Facebook page and Twitter.Pound stretcher? British travellers on long-haul holidays this winter will find their pound stretches furthest in Sri Lanka, Mexico and the Far East according to the Post Office’s Long-Haul Holiday Report.GroundedTripAdvisor could face legal action over reviews – have the days of customer reviews come to an end?British Isles ‘worst place to live in Europe’ – according to a new survey by USwitch. All the more reason to hop on cheap flights and go on holiday then…Cash for ash? – the European aviation industry is looking at taking legal action to recover costs from the volcanic ash disruptionReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map Flying High RelatedEverything you need to know about travelling to EgyptIn light of recent safety scares in Egypt, we asked travel expert Simon Calder to tackle the big questions for Skyscanner readers: – Are major Egypt destinations like Sharm El Sheikh and the Pyramids at Giza safe to visit? – What if I want to cancel my Egypt holiday? -…Is it safe to travel to Tunisia?Since the terrorist attacks in Tunisia in 2015, the UK Foreign Office has advised against travelling to most parts of the country, and holidays and flights to Tunisia have been cancelled. In May this year the FCO extended its travel warning for another month. So is it safe to go…Flying High | GroundedFlying High | Grounded
Unclothed Emperor? Costumes for opera stolen in Germany AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email BERLIN — The emperor has no clothes in this production of Puccini’s “Turandot” by the Lithuanian National Opera, but then again neither does any other character.Guetersloh police said Monday the costumes coming from Spain for the upcoming production of Giacomo Puccini’s three-act opera were stolen from a truck near the western German city after the driver pulled into a rest stop for a break.Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theater official Julijus Grickevicius tells the Baltic news agency BNS some 100 costumes are gone, including those of the main performers.He says the shipment was insured, with the loss estimated at several hundred thousand euros.The opera says work is underway to make replacement costumes in time for the premier in March.Police say they currently have no suspects.The Associated Press by The Associated Press Posted Jan 21, 2019 6:08 am PDT
The Green Party leadership asked members on Sunday to fill out a questionnaire to help it decide what line to take in next year’s presidential elections.Although the leadership had talks with both candidates – Diko leader Nicholas Papadopoulos and Citizens’ Alliance leader Giorgos Lillikas – it has avoided making a choice.Speaking to journalists after his speech at the Greens’ extraordinary general meeting on Sunday, party leader Giorgos Perdikis, said that the outcome of the survey would determine what the party would do. The options were to support one of the above-mentioned candidates, not to side with anyone, or to propose a Green party candidate.The questionnaire asked respondents to rate on a scale from one to 10, whether they would like the party to back Papadopoulos, Lillikas, a Green party candidate or for party members to be free to vote for whomever they wanted.“We have asked our members to advise us, via the survey, on whether to intensify procedures to back one candidate or to continue a consultations aimed at achieving convergences with the two candidates they have in mind today or anyone else,” Perdikis said.He added that the party was still at the beginning of its drive to find the right candidate.“We see eye-to-eye with Nicolas Papadopoulos on the Cyprus problem, we have received the positions of Mr Lillikas. I feel that we are still at the beginning,” he said.The extent to which the party would achieve convergences with a candidate was of vital importance, he said, but there were also other criteria such as a candidate’s “trustworthiness, suitability, co-operation”.“There is also the Cyprus issue that can change the overall landscape of the presidential election, if and when there will eventually be presidential elections,” Perdikis said.The party, he said, would not make any decision based on what the presidential candidates wanted but on what the Greens wanted.The final decision, based on the results of the survey, was to be taken at an island-wide party conference.Asked would what he would do if party members wanted him as the party candidate, Perdikis said he would discuss the possibility.He added that the party had not ruled out a possible cooperation with Akel, but that at the moment the party did not have a candidate. Akel is currently searching for a new candidate after its plans to back businessman Mike Spanos fell through.The Greens did not follow the other parties of the so-called centre, Edek and Solidarity, in backing Papadopoulos, despite having talks with him about his candidacy.You May LikeFigLeaf Beta AppHow to Become Fully Anonymous Online in Less Than 3 Minutes? Better safe than sorryFigLeaf Beta AppUndoClassmates.comLook For Any High School Yearbook, It’s FreeClassmates.comUndoTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionOne Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace YourselfTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboola
Categories: Rendon News,Rendon Photos Rep. Rendon helps work on bills to prioritize public safetyGov. Rick Snyder this week signed legislation exempting firearms records from the Freedom of Information Act, an effort state Rep. Bruce Rendon helped co-sponsor to protect the privacy of firearms owners.“There have been instances in other states where gun ownership information has been used to locate citizens with legal firearms, putting them and their neighbors at risk of harassment,” said Rendon, R-Lake City. “People who are following the laws to practice their Second Amendment rights should not be subjected to unwarranted intrusions into their privacy.”Under the new laws, police and other law enforcement agencies retain full access to firearms records for their official duties. 25Jun New laws protect gun owner privacy
Categories: Kesto News,News Law and Justice Committee approves legislation to make school property safeState Rep. Klint Kesto, chair of the House Law and Justice Committee, today voted to improve protections for young victims of sexual assault.Bipartisan legislation today approved by Kesto’s committee requires schools to expel students convicted of criminal sexual conduct against another pupil in the same school district and prohibits an offender from enrolling in the same school building where their victim attends school. The legislation also bans an offender from entering the victim’s school if a personal protection is in place.“Criminal sexual conduct involving underage victims must be treated with the same seriousness as sexual assaults involving adults,” said Kesto, of Commerce Township. “Our law enforcement and courts would not allow adult victims to be traumatized over and over by having a sexual predator knock on their door, visit their job or follow them home from errands. The Livingston County case that inspired these three bills exposed a loophole in state law we must address quickly for underage victims.”Under current law, a school must only expel a student who commits criminal sexual conduct in a school building or on school grounds.The legislation is in response to a recent Livingston County case involving a 16-year-old offender convicted of criminal sexual conduct against multiple victims, one as young as 12. During testimony on Feb. 20, the committee heard from two of the victims and their families to illustrate the need for the legislation, sponsored by state Reps. Lana Theis and Sylvia Santana.“Although the underage offender in this case was guilty of multiple counts, there was the possibility of him returning to the same high school as many of his victims,” Kesto said. “As a father, I would not allow that to happen to my children. As a legislator, I will work to prevent it from happening at any of Michigan’s schools to protect victims and all students.”House Bills 5530, 5531 and 5532 advance to the state House of Representative for their consideration.##### 27Feb Rep. Kesto supports bills to protect young victims of sex crimes
ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares July 28, 2014; Wall Street JournalWith children comprising a large proportion of the casualties in the war in Gaza—as many as 236 Palestinians under the age of 18 in Gaza killed (among 1,032 Palestinians killed) and 1,994 (among 6,233) wounded—the humanitarian aspects of warfare should be clear to anyone, no matter what they believe about Israel or Hamas and their reasons for starting and continuing the fighting. The Wall Street Journal’s Tamer El-Ghobashy writes that at the current rate, “one young Gazan every 2½ hours” dies because of the warfare.Given that Gaza has faced a tight restriction on the flow of supplies for many years, it should be no surprise that WSJ reports that “medical equipment and supplies are in short supply…and hospitals and clinics simply can’t handle the burden of long-term care for amputees” and other injuries, including brain trauma. As NPQ has written elsewhere, a significant proportion of Palestinian children in Gaza and in the West Bank suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), whose long-term effects will be an issue for years after this latest war in Gaza comes to an end.Save the Children reports that 80 percent of the population of Gaza depends on humanitarian aid as it is, no doubt related in part to the longstanding Israeli blockade and restrictions on trade and commerce in the occupied territory. Lately, critics of the Obama administration have targeted the notion that President Obama pledged $400 million in aid to Gaza and the occupied West Bank just recently. There actually has been no new pledge of $400 million from the U.S., but a Congressional Research Service report issued earlier this month pointed out that between FY2008 and now, the U.S. has provided approximately $400 million annually in “Economic Support Fund” assistance divided between project-specific assistance administered by USAID and direct financial support of the Palestinian Authority (PA). The Obama administration proposed a reduction of this assistance in FY2013.In addition to these direct sources of aid, the U.S. is the largest donor to the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), meant to assist Palestinian refugees in Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon in addition to Gaza and the West Bank. In FY2014, the U.S. provided $250.9 million of UNRWA’s $732 million budget, though the $250 million is substantially less than the $294 million allocated by the U.S. in FY2013. Ironically, or sadly, it was an UNRWA school in Gaza that was hit by an Israeli shell, though Israel says that it was only one errant mortar shell that hit an empty schoolyard and claims that no one was likely killed by it, though Gazan authorities say that 15 people were killed in the incident.As a matter of fact, the new U.S. offer of aid—humanitarian aid—came from Secretary of State John Kerry during his most recent effort to negotiate a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas. The pledge was for $47 million, but as we have noted, relatively little of it was new money; much of it was existing bilateral aid reprogrammed for immediate humanitarian needs, and $15 million actually for UNRWA in response to the agency’s latest “flash appeal.”It is important for nonprofits to get the facts right. One fact that is undeniable is that the current warfare is a tragedy for children in Gaza.—Rick Cohen ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
Share8TweetShareEmail8 Shares January 13, 2015;Good“In every state in America, the greatest lessons are the ones you don’t remember learning.”The viral video going around, “Somewhere in America,” has brought the power of spoken word into focus—as well as a diligent and creative nonprofit that motivates youth to express themselves through literary performance.Get Lit is a L.A.-based nonprofit that strives to increase teen literacy by encouraging students to express themselves through creating classical and spoken word poems as well as studying canonical pieces as part of the learning process. The Queen Latifah Show brought on Get Lit participants Belissa Escobedo, Rhiannon McGavin, and Zariya Allen to perform, “Somewhere in America,” after they were a smash hit speaking for a crowd of more than 17,000 at the Hollywood Bowl, opening for John Legend. The poignant spoken word performance has gone viral and highlights the hypocrisy of what students are taught in the U.S. public education system, touching on important subjects from the censorship of history books to rape culture.Watch the slam poetry performance below from the 2014 Brave New Voices finals, and you will see how beautifully and powerfully these three young women convey their message:Get Lit participant Rhiannon says, “I think poetry is the best way to express emotions. I believe that if you write your feelings down, memorize the words and perform them aloud, that you won’t be bothered by that problem. It’s an amazing way to help people—especially teens.”Get Lit is a fairly young organization. It started in 2006, but has already expanded from its L.A. base and launched a pilot program in Washington, D.C. through After-School All-Stars. The organization’s Classic Slam in Los Angeles was the first poetry slam event to draw upon both canonical works and spoken word responses. The nonprofit hopes to eventually develop a national curriculum so youth across the nation can learn to elevate their voices through spoken word.—Aine Creedon Share8TweetShareEmail8 Shares
Over 42 million US and European homes are watching connected TV services, according to research from Strategy Analytics.The report, Multiscreen Connected TV: Accessing Device Usage and Ownership, found that connected TV usage is twice as popular in the US than in Europe, with 20% of US respondents having watched internet content on their TV in the past month, compared with 10% in Europe. The report, based on a survey of 4,800 respondents, puts the difference in usage down to the success of US OTT services including Netflix and Hulu.In the US, the most popular way of connecting the TV to the internet is via a games console, but Europeans prefer to connect a PC to the TV using an HDMI cable, the report found. Streaming over a home network and internet-connected Blu-ray players are also significant in both territories.“These findings have important implications for content providers, device manufacturers and network operators,” said David Mercer, principal analyst and the report’s author. “They demonstrate that television viewers are prepared to go to significant lengths to watch their preferred television shows or movies on the big screen. In spite of the technical challenges, many people want to be freed from the constraints of traditional, managed television services if their choice of content is not available when they want, where they want, and at a price they are willing to pay.”
Content security specialist Conax will announce new branding at IBC.The company said it would reveal a new profile and new strategy for capturing a larger share of “the evolving market within media consumption”.Conax will also feature demonstrations of its Conax Xtend Multiscreen solution and highlight customer deployments. In March, the security provider announced plans to deliver pre-integrated solutions with partners to assist operators in the transition from basic to advanced services, such as an enriched user experience, video-on-demand, multiscreen, NDVR and OTT content delivery.“Conax has delivered rock solid content protection for pay TV for more than 20 years – a true industry pioneer,” said Morten Solbakken, CEO, Conax. “With the TV business in the midst of a revolution, Conax has been quietly gearing up to take a stronger role in the value chain and is well-positioned at the heart of a dynamic new media landscape. Pay TV operators are in pole position to capture the full potential of consumer demands for new services and methods of consumption. Aligning with the evolving market, Conax will enable content distributors to roll out enhanced services and capitalise on the full potential of the new digital media landscape. “We are now ready to take our ‘new’ company to the market through a strengthened product portfolio and partnering strategy and will celebrate the launch with an energized new profile.”Conax will be exhibiting at IBC on Stand 1.D69
Pascal Dormal has formally left his position as CEO of cable operator Numericable in Belgium and Luxembourg after six years to focus on developing medium-sized companies.In a note marking his departure, Dormal said he was currently involved in helping OTT video specialist Weepee achieve its ambitions to grow and become a market leader.Weepee New Media Ventures, a spin-off of internet telephony specialist Weepee Telecom, will deliver technology solutions including ingest, hosting and streaming, live internet broadcast and security to OTT service providers as well as providing a white-label OTT platform, including content acquisition.