The Langham, Melbourne continues to charm travellers around the world with its enchanting hospitality, tailor-made touches and service with poise. The elegant Melbourne counterpart of Europe’s original grand hotel was recently bestowed the coveted accolade of Australia’s best hotel by American travel bible, Travel + Leisure, in the 10th Anniversary edition of its 500 World’s Best Hotels. Of particular note to Travel + Leisure was The Langham, Melbourne’s new Club Terrace rooms – the first of its kind in Melbourne. Seven exclusive rooms within the hotel were exquisitely redesigned earlier this year to include elegant 50m² outdoor terraces. Furnished with luxurious sun lounges and a matching outdoor dining set, the timeless terraces offer guests a private open-air oasis, against the backdrop of Melbourne’s sparkling skyline.The Langham, Melbourne’s Managing Director, Mr. Ben Sington, was delighted by the prestigious recognition.“We, at The Langham, Melbourne, are incredibly proud and honoured to receive this accolade from Travel + Leisure – especially so as it is the magazine’s 10th Anniversary edition. It is gratifying to know that our continuous strive for excellence is recognised by readers throughout the world, and by one of America’s most respected publications,” Mr Sington said.“The foundation of our success can only be attributed to the efforts of our staff, who are dedicated towards bringing the tenets of our brand – enchanting hospitality, service-with-poise, and tailor-made experiences – to life every day. We are extremely grateful for the support and recognition from Travel + Leisure’s readers, and will continue to bring them The Langham, Melbourne’s legendary service as they have come to expect for many more years to come,” Mr Sington added. It is the second time this year that The Langham, Melbourne has been recognised by the prestigious publication. In July this year, the hotel took home the top city hotel award (Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific) in Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards. The latest accolade is the fourth for the hotel from Travel + Leisure in three consecutive years – a testament to The Langham, Melbourne’s continued innovativeness and commitment to excellence. The Langham, Melbourne was ranked amongst the best hotels from around the globe as selected by readers in Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards Survey. The results of Travel + Leisure’s 10th Anniversary edition of 500 World’s Best Hotels 2011 will appear in the January 2012 issue of the magazine. The Langham, Melbourne View from the Club Terrace Room Source = The Langham
Bannisters Hotels have expanded their portfolio by opening their new coastal boutique hotel — Bannisters Pavilion.The new boutique hotel offers 32 stylish guest rooms and 2 luxurious penthouse suites, with a stunning backdrop of Eucalyptus trees. The hotel is set back from Mitchell Parade and Beach Road, steps away from Mollymook Beach which is famous for its natural beauty, surf breaks, and unspoilt coastline.A highlight of Bannisters Pavilion is the expansive rooftop lined with sun beds, umbrellas, private lounge spaces, a bar-and-grill and spectacular suspended pool, providing the ideal coastal getaway.The rooftop is designed to allow guests to seamlessly move between the pool, bar-and-grill and lounge areas to take full advantage of the food & beverage options, available from noon.Food is inspired by Mediterranean, Southern Californian and Mexican cuisines, complemented by seasonal cocktails, craft beers and an Antipodean-focused wine list. The first menu is included below.Bannisters Pavilion is a collaboration between owner Peter Cosgrove, architect Tony Freeman (Molnar Freeman), interior designers Mia Ward (Wiwa Design), Romy Alwill (Alwill Interiors) and landscape designer William Dangar.The hotel secured a grant from Destination NSW to help with the quality of the fitout, seeing copper lights in the Rooftop Bar area, larger bathrooms in all of the rooms and a stunning double height lobby area with contemporary furniture and fittings.Situated just 100 metres from the beach, the design ethos focuses as much on the Eucalyptus trees as its stunning aqua backdrop. “Design inspiration was drawn from the natural beauty of the area and represents accent colours from both forest-and-sea,” said Romy Alwill.Bannisters Pavilion represents an extraordinary tourism project for Mollymook Beach and the NSW South Coast, a blossoming region only a three-hour drive from Sydney and two-and-a-half hours from Canberra.Telephone reservations have opened on (02) 4455 3044. Guest rooms start from AUD$255 and Penthouses AUD$398. Bannisters Pavilion Source = Bannisters Hotels
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Cypriots would be better served to manage their expectations of a gas bonanza, an energy analyst told the fourth Eastern Mediterranean Gas Conference on Wednesday.“We need to be realistic,” said Charles Ellinas, CEO of E-C Natural Hydrocarbons Company Ltd.Addressing the conference, Ellinas broke down why development and monetisation of Cypriot offshore gas reserves is problematic at this juncture.The current glut of resources globally – expected to persist for some years – is keeping oil and natural gas suppressed, presenting a challenge to new investment projects.He cited BP’s Energy Outlook to 2035, according to which the technically recoverable oil resources in this period are 2.6 trillion barrels of oil.Ultimately, stressed Ellinas, companies are in it for the profit.In 2016, Russian and Azeri gas in Europe averaged at $5 per million British Thermal Units (mmbtu).“So the East Med has to compete but also beat these prices,” he said.But in order for East Med gas to be developed, prices in Europe would have to be at $8 per mmbtu.That aside, other developments are making it even harder for East Med gas to secure markets.The analyst was referring to this week’s deal between the European Union and Gazprom, where the former removed constraints on the Russian energy giant.“Europe has now abandoned its energy diversification policy…because it has achieved its target [of energy security],” Ellinas noted.Moreover, with the gas glut Russia is determined to defend its markets and keep prices low.But there is a silver lining: if Total is successful this year with their drilling offshore Cyprus, then FLNG (floating liquefied natural gas) “may become a serious option for gas exports to Europe and the Asian markets,” said Ellinas.For her part, gas consultant Gina Cohen presented a cogent analysis of why – despite significant gas finds in the region – countries have for the most part kept their gas in the ground.Whereas Cyprus and Israel must necessarily export their natural gas – as their domestic markets are too small – export deals with neighbours Turkey and Egypt are proving elusive.On the back of the massive Zohr discovery, as well as other projects, Egypt claims it will soon reach energy self-sufficiency, obviating the need for imports.Cohen added, however, that the Egyptian claims should be taken with a pinch of salt, for two chief reasons: first, demand for energy in Egypt is projected to steadily rise and, secondly, some of the wells drilled are being depleted.Meantime, for the first phase of development of its Leviathan reservoir, Israel has signed an agreement to sell some 3 billion cubic metres to Jordan – but the deal has yet to be ratified by the Jordanians.For phase 2 of Leviathan’s development – regional exports – Cohen said Israel would need to choose between Turkey and one other regional country, but could not do both.A pipeline from Leviathan to Turkish shores would have to cut through Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone; and though under international maritime law Cyprus cannot stop the project, Israel would have to be weigh whether a gas deal with Turkey takes precedence over its relations with the Republic.Collaboration could be achieved among the three countries if Cyprus were to agree – a difficult proposition politically – to piggyback onto an Israel-Turkey pipeline.Cohen was likewise sceptical on the proposed EastMed gas pipeline, linking Cyprus to Crete and then Greece or Italy. The pipeline would also transport Israeli gas to Europe, via Cyprus.She said estimates cited during the conference – placing the cost of the pipeline at €5.7bn – were likely too low.“So when our minister [Israeli energy minister Yuval Steinitz] meets with the Cypriot minister and the Greek minister to discuss the East Med pipeline, I think they’re doing it for the photo-op,” Cohen said, drawing chuckles from the audience. You May LikePopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoModernizeIf Your Home Has Old Roofing, Read ThisModernizeUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCypriot tycoon launches ‘Bank of Cannabis’UndoThree arrested in connection with hotel theftsUndoby Taboolaby Taboola
05May Rep. Potvin announces May office hours State Rep. Phil Potvin would like to invite residents of the 102nd House District to his May office hours in Wexford, Osceola, and Mecosta Counties.“I look forward to meeting with residents and hearing their thoughts and ideas on state government,” said Rep. Potvin, R-Cadillac. “Meeting with residents of the 102nd District provides great feedback that I use to better represent our communities in Lansing.”Residents will be able to meet with Rep. Potvin at the following times and locations:Friday, May 8Wexford CountyThe Merry Inn204 N. Michigan Ave. in Manton11 a.m.-noonMonday, May 11Osceola CountyMr. Pibs Restaurant3780 Mackinaw Trail in LeRoy1-2 p.m.Mecosta CountyWilliams Cafe19636 30th Ave. in Barryton5-6 p.m.No appointment is necessary and there is no cost to attend. Those unable to attend are encouraged to contact Rep. Potvin’s office by phone at (517) 373-1747, or by email at PhilPotvin@house.mi.gov. Categories: News
Categories: Leutheuser News,News 11Jan Rep. Leutheuser takes oath to represent 58th District State Rep. Eric Leutheuser, R-Hillsdale, took his oath of office today during a ceremony on the floor of the House of Representatives with his wife Laura and nephew Rob by his side.Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Stephen Markman administered the swearing-in of Leutheuser for his second term.“The residents of Hillsdale and Branch counties have placed their trust in me and I am humbled by the opportunity to represent them in Lansing,” said Leutheuser. “I encourage everyone with a concern or an interest in our state government to contact my Lansing office and we’ll be happy to help to the best of our ability. My legislative assistants, Scott and Maria stand ready to assist you.”People can contact Rep. Leutheuser by telephone at 517-373-1794, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or mail at N-992 House Office Building, P.O. Box 30014, Lansing, MI 48909.“There is a lot of work to be done at the Capitol,” Rep. Leutheuser said. “As we begin the new session, my primary emphasis is representing the 58th District and building for our future.”
17Jan Hauck lauds veto override bringing vehicle sales tax relief to Michigan families Categories: Hauck News Legislation accelerates trade-in reforms adopted in 2013State Rep. Roger Hauck today voted to accelerate sales tax relief for Michigan families buying motor vehicles by overriding a gubernatorial veto with his House colleagues.The House vote means additional tax relief for people buying cars, trucks and SUVs with a trade-in. Current law calls for phasing in planned sales and use tax deductions on purchases including a trade-in through 2039. With today’s vote, the reductions will be fully implemented a decade earlier.“This is the right decision. It will put more money in the pockets of Michigan families who need relief now,” said Hauck, of Union Township, after the House joined the Senate in overriding a veto of legislation from Gov. Rick Snyder. “Eliminating this unfair tax will also offer a boost to Michigan’s economy by providing an incentive to buy new vehicles, RVs and boats.”The Senate bills overwhelmingly approved by the Legislature were vetoed by the governor in July.The new law speeds reforms approved in 2013, allowing buyers to subtract the value of their trade-ins from the purchase price of a vehicle for sales tax purposes. The accelerated sales tax relief also will apply to boats and recreational vehicles bought with a trade-in.###
Categories: Hauck News,News 14Feb Rep. Hauck seeks answers to high winter utility bills Energy Policy Committee conducting inquiry State Rep. Roger Hauck today said he and others serving on the House Energy Policy Committee are determined to get answers about skyrocketing electric bills that some people say have doubled or tripled in cost this winter.Hauck, of Union Township, said the committee heard testimony from one utility company about the spike in charges. While representatives of that utility testified that prolonged bitter cold weather might be responsible for the higher costs, Hauck said he wants more information.“It simply does not make sense that someone’s bill should be double what they usually pay, and the justification we have heard so far has not resolved my concerns,” Hauck said. “Our economy is growing, but some families still find it difficult to make ends meet, and they cannot afford these steep rate increases. We need to be putting more money in people’s pockets. I’ll continue to work to get to the bottom of this.”The committee plans to hear additional testimony regarding the issue.#####
ShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesMay 15, 2014; Buffalo NewsThe Buffalo News editorialized last week that Governor Cuomo’s “bureaucrats” have visited a “calamity” on an organization described as a “social enterprise project that has made a difference in the lives of many low-income citizens.”The social enterprise in question is the Center for Transportation Excellence and the calamity is CTE’s impending loss of a $1 million annual contract with the NY State Department of Health. Since 2007, CTE has had a contract with the state to manage transportation for Medicaid recipients in Erie County. This year, the state put the contract out to bid and chose a Syracuse-based company, Medical Answering Services. The News and other outlets are calling on Governor Cuomo to reverse the decision.It’s rare to see the press take such a public posture advocating on behalf of one local company for a relatively small contract, but CTE has garnered remarkable support. The News called CTE “an invaluable community asset” and declared that allowing Medical Answering Services to extend into Erie County “would have such negative consequences that it shouldn’t be allowed.”Buffalo Business First joined in the positive commentary about CTE by suggesting that the loss of the DOH transportation contract also put at risk other CTE contracts, including $2.6 million in U.S. Department of Labor job training program funds for ex-offenders and high school dropouts operated by CTE in partnership with the HEART Foundation, Peaceprints Prison Ministries, and Catholic Charities of Buffalo. Exactly how the DOL contract might be jeopardized by CTE’s loss of the state contract wasn’t explained, except that at the moment, the DOH transportation money accounts for 90 percent of CTE’s annual budget.All of the press commentary has emphasized CTE’s structure as a “social enterprise,” though the explanation of CTE’s origins and operations highlight the multiple meanings of the term. According to Buffalo Business First, CTE is a division of the for-profit Snyder Corporation, a major player in the Buffalo area with achievements in the transportation, entertainment, and hospitality industries, including the development of a Hyatt Regency hotel and a casino resort, airport parking facilities, and the operation of CTE as well as other transportation services.CTE was described as having come together through a collaboration of the Snyder Corporation with 60 stakeholders, according to Business First. Both news sources explained that the profits of CTE are reinvested into training and other community benefit programs. Although part of Snyder and the beneficiary of over $5 million in private investment, CTE also received a $750,000 start-up grant from the Empire State Development Corporation.The Snyder Corporation plays a major role in the revitalization plans for the Buffalo metropolitan area, which may explain the outpouring of press support for CT as a Snyder Corporation affiliate. The scion of the family, Paul L. Snyder III, is listed as the CEO of CTE. The founder of the company, Paul L. Snyder, Sr., bears an unusual connection to a story that NPQ has been covering: He founded and owned a Buffalo expansion team in the National Basketball Association in the late 1970s, but sold the franchise due to its financial difficulties. New owners of the team eventually moved it to San Diego, but when the lead owner went bankrupt, the team was sold to Donald Sterling, who later moved the team—the Clippers—to Los Angeles.CTE may be a social enterprise of sorts, but its strategy of reinvesting all of its profits in community programs, presumably with no profits accruing to the Snyders themselves, makes it appear something like a nonprofit. The reality is that social enterprise is fundamentally a mindset, an approach to an organization’s work at the boundary of innovation and social benefit. In all probability, the strong advocacy for CTE’s transportation contract is an example of the local boosterism of the Buffalo press corps, functioning in a region that has lost population and economic power over the years, but it would be a nice turn of events for other Buffalo corporations to see Snyder’s social enterprise arm as a model that they might follow.—Rick CohenShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares Christopher Halloran / Shutterstock.comFebruary 10, 2015; The HillIt is kind of hard to rely on Congress for scientific knowledge when the chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Jim Inhofe (R-OK), believes that climate change related to human activity is, as his 2012 book was titled, “the greatest hoax.” But when Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), a doctor, suggested that parents should have some choice in whether or not to have their children vaccinated, mentioning that he knew of children who developed “profound mental disorders” after getting vaccinations (though he later amended his statement to say that he didn’t necessarily mean causation), that was a surprise. Let’s face it: The guy is a doctor.At a meeting of the Senate Health Committee chaired by Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Rand got no support. “Too many parents are turning away from sound science,” Alexander said. “Sound science is this: Vaccines save lives.” In response to a question from Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Dr. Anne Schuchat, the director of the National Center for Immunization at the CDC, confirmed that there is no scientific evidence that vaccines cause profound mental disorders, but some of the diseases that the vaccines are meant to ward off can do so.A member of the Health Committee, Rand was apparently a no-show without explanation from his office for this part of the hearing. Prior to becoming a senator, Paul was an ophthalmologist specializing in cataract and glaucoma surgeries and LASIK procedures. It may be that ophthalmology is a specialty that immunizes Rand, so to speak, from keeping up with the latest information on vaccines, but one would hope that as a medical professional, the importance of vaccinations is known even to ophthalmologists.The libertarian presidential aspirant found himself with a shortage of allies on this issue even within his own party. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), an orthopedic surgeon, repeatedly responded to questions about the controversy with the statement, “As a doctor, I believe all children should be vaccinated.” Rand’s home-state senior senator, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, also weighed in: “As a victim of polio myself, I’m a big fan of vaccinations.”All professions, even the medical profession, include some diversity of opinion, allowing not only for Dr. Rand’s data-free observations about vaccines causing profound mental disorders, but also for the theories of Andrew Wakefield. Stav Ziv described Wakefield in a recent Newsweek profile as the “father of the anti-vaccine movement,” particularly for his linking a specific vaccine to autism. However, Wakefield is actually a former doctor, stripped of his medical license in the UK for ethical violations and failure to disclose potential conflicts of interest—perhaps including the fact that he was pitching a single vaccine for measles while he was campaigning against the combined measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine (MMR). Wakefield’s research, such as it is, has been debunked numerous times in scholarly medical journals. Vaccinations are endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics and other groups and by the advocacy organization Autism Speaks, but that hasn’t stopped Wakefield from pushing his ideas and hasn’t stopped the likes of Rand Paul from picking up on his fears and turning them into a component of the libertarian political code.When a national figure like Rand Paul, wrapped in medical credentials, comes out favoring “choice” and suggesting dire medical complications from vaccines, the ramifications are difficult to contain. Twenty states already allow parents to opt out of vaccinations for their children if they say, as in Minnesota, that vaccinations violate their “conscientiously held beliefs,” and 48 permit exemptions due to religious reasons. While some state legislators, such as Democratic State Senator Richard Pan from California, who happens to be a pediatrician, have responded to the recent 20-state measles outbreak with a bill to end vaccination exemptions, some state legislators have actually tried to protect or even expand exemptions—and the protectors of exemptions include both conservatives and liberals. In the latter camp is Assemblyman Tom Abinanti, a Democrat from New York and a father of an autistic child, who has introduced legislation to widen the state’s vaccine exemption statute.The chief science officer for Autism Speaks, Rob Ring, has written, “The results of…[the] research are clear: Vaccines do not cause autism. We urge that all children be fully vaccinated.” Thanks to Rand Paul, more parents may look at vaccinations as a danger to their children, more dangerous than the possibility that they will contract measles, an incredibly infectious and dangerous disease, and add their children to the growing number of kids potentially vulnerable to the measles outbreak.—Rick CohenShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
Share5Tweet3Share1Email9 Shares“Smoking – It’s Good for You.” Credit: B.September 28, 2017; Reuters and FortuneSkepticism abounded when Phillip Morris International announced it would fund and help set up a new body called the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World. The tobacco giant plans to donate about $80 million a year for 12 years to this new organization with a mission of reducing the harm from smoking. Angry responses to this announcement came from the World Health Organization (WHO) and other anti-smoking entities.The founder and president-designate of the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World, Derek Yach, a former senior official at the WHO, said collaboration was necessary to win the war on smoking. Yach is described by Fortune as a strong advocate for the switch to e-cigarettes, which heat, rather than burn, nicotine-packed substances. Phillip Morris International seems to see these “vaping” options as its company’s future, with their first-quarter reports showing a tenfold increase in this market.André Calantzopoulos, CEO of Phillip Morris, described this new foundation as a means to offer smokers less harmful options.There is a unique opportunity today to significantly change the health trajectories of the millions of men and women who continue to smoke by offering them a better choice. The Foundation is a welcome driver of change, at a time when a smoke-free future is clearly on the horizon. We will welcome its recommendations to accelerate smoker adoption of less harmful alternatives.Others vehemently disagreed. The World Health Organization, the health arm of United Nations, urged governments to stay away from this effort. “WHO will not partner with the Foundation. Governments should not partner with the Foundation and the public health community should follow this lead.” The International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (the Union) issued a press statement that denounced this Foundation’s launch as a “billion-dollar bribe that tobacco company hopes will secure it a seat at the table with public health policymakers around the world.”The Union further indicated concern that this effort is closely associated with the company’s bottom line and has little to do with preventing smoking or saving lives:We already have a foundation for a tobacco-free world—it’s the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control—a legally-binding health treaty with 180 countries committed to implementing measures that are proven to reduce tobacco use and the death and disease it causes.A core measure of the WHO tobacco control treaty is to prevent the tobacco industry from interfering in public health policymaking. Where countries are not making good progress on their obligations under this treaty, you don’t have to look too far to find the tobacco industry thwarting progress—including by their mounting legal challenges to public health policy under international trade law; direct threats, intimidation and lobbying of governments; tobacco industry funded front groups advocating the rights of farmers and the hospitality industry.The website of the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World claims that it is independent of influence from the tobacco industry for its spending and activities. It indicates that its bylaws establish it as an independent research entity, with its own governance, ownership of data and ability to publish with protection against conflict of interest.The Foundation for a Smoke-Free World is an independent, nonprofit organization created to accelerate global efforts to reduce health impacts and deaths from smoking, with the goal of ultimately eliminating smoking worldwide.Clearly, the World Health Organization and the International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease see this new foundation differently and are urging nations and organizations to keep their distance. With Phillip Morris International as the only funding source for the foundation, perhaps their concerns are justified.—Carole LevineShare5Tweet3Share1Email9 Shares
Share47Tweet1ShareEmail48 SharesEl Borde [CC BY 3.0]February 11, 2019; Washington PostIn recent discussions about raising income tax rates, Christopher Ingraham in the Washington Post observes, debate has focused on what the top marginal tax rate should be, rather than who it should apply to. And this distinction matters. From 1995 to 2015, for instance, the top one percent saw their share of national income increase from 15.3 percent to 22 percent, a rapid enough increase; however, the top one hundredth of one percent saw their income share more than double—from 2.5 percent of national income to 5.1 percent. This rarified class, of course, is where the nation’s billionaires reside, a group that now holds 11.2 percent of total wealth.Ingraham breaks down the numbers. “In 2014, for instance, you needed to make about $478,000 to be part of the one percent in the United States. You’d need five times as much income—about $2 million—to make it to the 0.1 percent. And the price of entry for the top 0.01 percent—the one percent of the one percent—was $10 million.” Notably, Ocasio-Cortez’s proposed 70 percent tax rate would only tax incomes in excess of $10 million.Right now, rates top out once you hit the top one percent. As Ingraham details, in 2014, “the top rate kicked in at about $430,000 for a head of household. Beyond that it didn’t matter how much you made—$430,000, $4.3 million, or $43 million—it was all the same…the progressivity of the US tax system stalled out.”By contrast, Ingraham explains, “From 1913 until about 1970, the top tax bracket was set well above the one percent income threshold, and for most of that period above the 0.1 percent and 0.01 percent thresholds as well. What that means, practically speaking, is that the tax code was sensitive to the extreme differences you see at the very top of the income spectrum. The top 0.01 percenters were taxed at higher rates than the 0.1 percent, who in turn were taxed higher than the one percent.”Initially, (except during World War One), income tax rates, while progressive, were low. In the run-up to the Great Depression, even those at the very top paid a low 25 percent, leading to increased wealth and income accumulation at the very top. However, the top rate climbed to 63 percent in the Great Depression—and remained high for decades afterward.But bracket creep brought about by inflation started to erode progressivity in the 1970s. Then, in 1982, the tax law passed under President Ronald Reagan treated “all income above the one percent threshold the same.” Further tax changes occurred in 1986 (under Reagan again) and in 1993 (under President Bill Clinton), but ultimately what emerged is today’s tax system.As Ingraham points out, “There’s a big difference between making $500,000 and $50 million a year: You might call it the difference between ‘rich’ and ‘ultrarich.’ But today, the IRS treats those levels of income the same, subjecting them to a 37 percent tax and no more.”Et voilà—welcome to our nation’s second gilded age! Of course, the factors behind the rise of economic inequality are far more complicated. But as Ingraham notes, tax code changes made it far easier to accumulate vast fortunes, helping usher in the age of the megadonor that affects the nonprofit sector today.Ingraham notes that,Many economists believe that several decades of relatively low tax rates on top earners have contributed to the skyrocketing income inequality we observe today. As a 2012 Congressional Research Service report noted, the top tax rate cuts of the postwar decades “appear to be associated with the increasing concentration of income at the top of the income distribution,” while having “little association with saving, investment, or productivity growth.”Many, including Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, have called income inequality the nation’s greatest economic challenge. As Ingraham points out, while not a complete solution, “One way to address inequality would be to raise tax rates at the top of the income spectrum.”—Steve DubbShare47Tweet1ShareEmail48 Shares
German cable operator Kabel BW ended September with a total of 4.3 million RGUs, a year-on-year increase of 477,000.The operator has seen growth across all of its products in the first nine months of the year, including pay TV which was up 36% to 353,000 RGUs. Pay TV ARPU in the third quarter increased to €19.30 from €17.80.Kabel BW ended September with 779,000 broadband customers taking speed packages of between 12Mbps and 100Mbps compared with 624,000 a year earlier. Telephony RGU numbers were up 25%.Revenue for the nine months ending September 30 was up 10.8% to €456.4 million, with adjusted EBITDA up 15.3% to €268.1 million.“We are able to sustain our growth momentum on a high level,” said Kabel BW CEO Harald Rösch. “It is crucial that our growth brings added value and that our profitability is increased continuously. We are gaining more than 300 new customers a month in this highly attractive area of business. These customers appreciate our reliable and high-performance infrastructure as well as our service guarantees.”
David Haslingden, president and chief operating officer of Fox’s channels division, has stepped down and will leave the News Corp company at the end of the year. His departure follows a restructure at Fox Networks Group (FNG) announced last month that saw Peter Rice elevated to chairman and CEO.Under the new structure, Haslingden reports to Rice whereas previously he reported directly to News Corp’s president and chief operating officer Chase Carey.In a statement News said that Haslingden plans to “return to his native Australia and spend more time with his family”.He had only been in the president and COO role at FNG since last January when another restructure was implemented. That saw Tony Vinciquerra replaced by Haslingden. Prior to that Haslingden was running Fox’s international channels as CEO of its FIC division. Following the January restructure Rice and other senior Fox execs including David Hill and Mike Hopkins, all reported to Carey. Following the July restructure, Haslingden and Hopkins report directly to Rice as do Randy Freer and Eric Shanks, the co-presidents of Fox Sports Media Group who previously reported to Hill.Speaking about Haslingden’s departure, Rice said: “As we look to continue FNG’s incredible growth trajectory, our future successes will in many ways be the result of David’s innovative leadership over the last several years. He will be missed by all of us.”Haslingden said: “In a little over a decade we’ve built a behemoth internationally and in the last two years we’ve helped unify FNG and set it up for a future of super-charged growth. But as terrific as Fox and National Geographic are, my family is by far my greatest love, and being away from them for almost two years is long enough. I’m delighted to be on my way home.”
UK telco BT has confirmed that it will not be using YouView boxes from manufacturer Pace.According to the Financial Times, BT has terminated a deal with Pace to supply it with set-top boxes, although the UK based technology company will continue to deliver BT Vision hybrid boxes.BT launched its YouView offering, which offers connected TV services in October with boxes supplied by Humax. At the time, it was reported that BT was concerned that boxes made by Pace had not met its requirements but was planning to use Pace boxes at a later date.
TV technology company PacketVideo has struck a deal with Chinese consumer electronics giant Aigo to provide Android and Linux-powered dongles for platform operators and content owners to deliver content to end users.PacketVideo will provide its Twonky software and multiscreen products and work with operators to integrate the technology with their content services. Twonky is designed to enable users to find content using phones, tablets or PCs and play it back on TVs with the dongle installed.Separately, PacketVideo has teamed up with internet startup ShunCloud to create an HDMI dongle for sale in the domestic Chinese market. the dongle will support DLNA and can be used with PacketVideo’s Twonky Beam Browser to access content from popular Chinese content sites.
News channel France 24 has secured carriage on the Movistar Imagenio IPTV platform of Telefónica. The channel is available 24-hours a day as part of the Movistar Imagenio Familiar packages.The agreement brings France 24 to an additional 644,000 homes, giving it a reach of 4.2 million households in Spain. The channel is available in the country in a mix of French, English and Arabic versions.
RTL Netherlands said that visits to its web properties from mobile devices has more than doubled in the first half of the year, thanks to its investment in second screen experiences around its shows.The broadcaster said that visits to its video-on-demand platform RTL XL had also grown by 20% compared to the same period last year.Arno Otto, managing director, RTL Digital Media said that in the first half of 2012, mobile visits to RTL domains accounted for 21% of traffic. “Now we measure 46% and I expect that growth to continue over the next six months,” he said.Otto credited the success to digital extensions for shows like RTL5’s Holland’s Next Top Model. A game app for the show was downloaded 10,732 times and received 6.7 million views on Facebook, the broadcaster said.The firm also launched apps for shows like RTL4’s X Factor, while recently-launched online video reports from RTL Weather & Traffic received 565,000 views in June.
RTL Deutschland has partnered with domestic cable operator Kabel Deutschland to deliver targeted video-on-demand (VoD) advertising to TV viewers.Speaking at the Future TV Advertising Forum in London this morning, Marco Hellberg, project manager of strategic development at RTL Deutschland said that the companies launched the ad system late last week, with the deal due to be formally announced in the coming days.“For now it’s the first dynamic ad insertion in Germany in a cable network,” Hellberg claimed.He said that while linear TV advertising is still mainly about volume rather than direct targeting, “in non-linear it’s a bit different, there we are really moving forward.”He said in terms of video-on-demand, the German market has typically been behind the US and the UK, but now things are “starting to kick off.”
Hungary’s public service media organisation, Media Service Support and Asset Management Fund (MTVA), is targeting viewers in Australia and the Americas through a new deal with RRsat Global Communications Network.Content management and distribution firm RRsat will distribute MTVA’s Duna World TV channel and radio station via its platforms on Optus D2, Galaxy 19 and Intelsat 21, in a move that will open up MTVA’s content to emigrant Hungarian populations in North and South America and Australia.RRsat will also provide an end-to-end integrated broadcast solution for MTVA – including media processing, content acquisition, a closed caption service, an EPG service and frame rate conversion.“RRsat is pleased to enable MTVA to reach Hungarian communities around the world with high quality television and radio programming,” said Lior Rival, chief commercial officer of RRsat.MTVA’s chief communication officer, Rita Lencsó, added that the deal was par of its “initiative to expand our content globally.”