Go back to the e-newsletterandBeyond have announced their Treasures of Tanzania Safari. The most spectacular treasure lie spread before you on this adventure through Tanzania’s most scenic landscapes and richest wildlife areas. Small yet incredibly picturesque and diverse, Lake Manyara offers a variety of landscapes from its flat soda lake to its dense forests and the craggy cliffs of the Rift Valley escarpment.One of Africa’s most famous safari destinations, lose your heart among the vast plains of the Serengeti, where horizons have no end and a fascinating variety of wildlife makes its home. The awe-inspiring Ngorongoro Crater offers infinite views over a beautiful natural haven where exceptional wildlife encounters lie around every corner.The safari includes:8 nights’ accommodationAccommodation inclusions as per individual propertiesMeet & Greet service on arrivalScheduled road transfersTanzania National Park feesCrater fees for one visit to Ngorongoro CraterTanzania Tourism Development LevyFrom $9,171 per person sharing per stay, between 1 June 2015 and 20 December 2016.Go back to the e-newsletter
Go back to the e-newsletterNow through 31 July, I-Spa, InterContinental Hong Kong‘s feng shui inspired spa is offering a luxurious, warming and energising Double Detox Body & Face Infusion which purifies, uplifts and revitalises.Prepare for a sleek and slim summer with this warming treatment which begins with a one hour Detox Scrub & Wrap infused with fennel oil, grapefruit oil and frankincense to stimulate the lymphatic system and relieve water retention. Next, choose either a one-hour Rejuvenating Facial or one-hour Foot Massage to complete the experience. The journey helps to energise the mind and warm both body and spirit.The Double Detox Body & Face Infusion I-Spa journey is inclusive of a Signature NOBU Bento Box Lunch (Monday to Friday) at NOBU InterContinental Hong Kong and is priced at HK$2380 per person.Go back to the e-newsletter
09Apr Rep. García concludes March is Reading Month after visiting nine local schools Categories: Garcia News,Garcia Photos Lawmaker read to nearly 1000 studentsMarch is Reading Month has come to a close and Rep. Daniela García visited 9 schools throughout the 90th District where she read to approximately 1000 students.“I enjoyed speaking with and reading to students in my district,” said García. “We had a great discussion about the importance of reading at home with their families and how life-long reading can benefit each of them in the future.”The local schools Rep. García visited in the 90th House District include traditional public schools and charter academies, as well as private schools:Black River Public School in HollandEagle Crest Charter Academy in HollandGlerum Elementary in HollandHolland Heights Elementary in HollandHudsonville Christian School in HudsonvilleJamestown Elementary in HudsonvilleInnocademy in ZeelandNew Groningen Elementary in ZeelandZeeland Christian School in ZeelandRep. García plans to continue to visit schools throughout her district and to interact with students, teachers and administrators to see first-hand how fiscal and policy issues in Lansing impact local districts.“I have always been a proponent of a strong education and want to stay connected with the education community,” said García. “Our schools work hard to provide a quality education to our students and I want to be their partner in that endeavor in Lansing.”ZEELAND, Mich. — State Rep. Daniela García reads to students at Zeeland Christian School. During her 2015 March is Reading Month tour, García read to approximately 1000 students at public, charter and private schools across the 90th District.
State Rep. Pauline Wendzel joined her colleagues in approving a bipartisan plan to deliver significant rate relief for drivers across the state.The House overwhelmingly voted to approve legislation guaranteeing lower rates by giving drivers more choice on personal injury protection coverage, prohibiting the use of non-driving factors in rate setting, and combating fraudulent claims to help lower costs. The plan will soon be headed to Governor Whitmer for her expected signature.The bipartisan solution is designed to end Michigan’s long tenure as the state with the most expensive car insurance rates in the nation.“After weeks of negotiations and meetings, I am pleased we were able to come up with a bipartisan compromise to deliver for the people of Southwest Michigan,” Wendzel said. “For decades, special interests have profited off of our broken insurance system while Michiganders have had their wallets drained. Today, that finally ends.”Michigan’s costs are high largely because it’s the only state mandating unlimited lifetime health care coverage through car insurance. The bipartisan reform plan allows those currently using the coverage to keep it, and those who want it in the future to continue buying it – while providing more affordable options. 24May Rep. Wendzel and colleagues pass bipartisan auto-insurance reform Categories: Wendzel News
Share26TweetShare11Email37 SharesMay 2, 2016; New York Times Blogs, “The Lens”In 2013, an Ebola outbreak inundated several West African countries, triggering a two-year long epidemic that commanded international headlines and everyone’s attention along with it. The World Health Organization’s (WHO) announcement of the end of Ebola transmission in specific countries, including Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, came as recent as March of this year. Despite the culmination of the transmission of the disease, many in certain regions across the African continent are finding that the plight of Ebola is far from over. One particular population, childbearing women, is suffering through yet another disaster of sorts that is plaguing maternal health and the system in which it is delivered.In a visual piece published in the New York Times earlier this week, the aftereffects of the Ebola crisis on women and their newborn children—some of whom live just hours or days after their birth—are captured in intimately sobering photos taken by American photographer Monique Jacques. The album and accompanying stories of the women, who have little choice but to give birth in settings where running water and availability of sanitary medical equipment ranges from sparse to non-existent, shed a grim light on the aftermath of Ebola and its setback of maternal health care.Poverty and civil war, in addition to the unraveling of the healthcare system due in large part to the Ebola crisis, have virtually undone any small steps African countries had taken toward fostering a safe environment for women to have children. In 2000, the United Nations made a pledge to achieve a series of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which included the reduction in the maternal mortality ratio (maternal deaths per 100,000 live births) by 2015. There is no question the aforementioned upheavals disrupted the pursuit of these MDGs, particularly in rural villages throughout Africa. It comes as little surprise that developing regions account for a near-monopoly over the occurrences of global maternal deaths—approximately 99 percent, according to the 2015 report Trends in Maternal Mortality. On a similar global scale, three million newborns die each year, and more than two million babies are stillborn. Africa represents over half of both figures.Before Ebola, places like Sierra Leone and Liberia already accounted for some of the world’s most alarming maternal and infant death rates; however, the rate had started to show slight improvement. In 2010, there were 890 and 770 maternal deaths in the two countries, respectively. Both of these figures were significantly less than totals from years prior (1,110 in 2005 in Sierra Leone and 330 in 2000 in Liberia). It is too soon to compare these figures with the rate of maternal and infant deaths post-Ebola, but if the approximately 120,000 Ebola-related maternal deaths is any indication of the epidemic’s impact on childbearing women, its prolonged consequences on maternal health will also be dismal.While coverage of the Ebola catastrophe has lost steam, the crisis is still very real and relevant in countries especially languishing from its toll. NPQ recently broke down the astonishing amount of financial pledges that have gone unfulfilled in Africa’s western regions, totaling as much as $1.9 billion, a likely consequence of poorly monitored international aid and perhaps a mismanagement of the outbreak overall. Undoubtedly, these mishandlings are making it exceedingly difficult for certain countries to escape Ebola’s downward spiral.Despite the monetary support that has made its way to countries in need, the lingering effects of Ebola continue to interfere with the provision of care. According to the New York Times piece, Ebola further fragmented a health system that was barely there in the first place, claiming the lives of many skilled hospital workers and contaminating the minimal amount of safe health clinics, forcing prolonged closures and ultimate permanent shutdowns.During the height of the outbreak, the presence of the virus and the likelihood of contracting it had an indirect effect on others in African countries seeking care for more treatable injuries and conditions. As NPQ reported in 2014, many individuals avoided receiving care for such ailments for fear that they would be infected with Ebola in places where they should have been protected. That fear still haunts mothers needing a clean and safe place to deliver. The hospital workers who thankfully did survive the outbreak are hesitant to return and pregnant women are resorting to sub-par clinics and hospitals in an attempt to avoid being exposed to the virus.As stated in a recent report published by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, “the toll on maternal and child health was especially substantial and [that] the direct effects of the outbreak will be far greater than the direct consequences of Ebola.” Jacques hopes her photos will return the focus back to Ebola and its residual fallout: “Maybe it’s not a global problem anymore, but in this region, it still is an issue that they’re fighting all the time.”—Lindsay WalkerShare26TweetShare11Email37 Shares
Share13Tweet2ShareEmail15 SharesNovember 14, 2016; Boston GlobeIn Boston’s Mattapan neighborhood, the ballot question that would have lifted the cap on the number of charter schools permitted was firmly defeated, 64 percent to 34 percent. In doing so, the largely black Caribbean neighborhood followed the same path as the other minority neighborhoods in Boston. This is important because proponents of the measure based their arguments on the needs of students of color.According to a Boston Globe analysis of election results, the organizers of the ballot campaign to expand charter schools, who spoke passionately about the need to provide better educational options for students of color, failed to deliver victories in minority precincts throughout Boston, even in those neighborhoods with the lowest-achieving schools in the state. Of 255 precincts in the city, only 14 voted to lift the cap and they were located for the most part in primarily white areas. This after thisThis is true even despite the fact that Massachusetts’s charters typically outperform traditional public schools on standardized tests. Moreover, two dozen charter school campuses are sited in low-income neighborhoods with large populations of newcomers and people of color.The Globe writes, “Civil rights advocates say families of color yearn for something deeper: A robust commitment and plan to improve the quality of education in the city’s school system so they don’t need alternatives…And they want to work in partnership with policymakers rather than having outsiders coming in and proposing a solution.”Michael Curry of the NAACP says, “Communities of color spoke loudly about our needs to protect public school funding while expressing an urgency to deliver a quality education for all.” As readers of the nonprofit newswire may remember, the NAACP took a stand for a moratorium on charter schools earlier this year, as did Black Lives Matter.And, indeed, although the charter proponents outspent the “no” campaign by $9.5 million, the “no” campaign phoned or knocked on the doors of more than twice as many Boston households—378,000 to 150,000.Boston City Councilor Tito Jackson said Tuesday’s results were about “neighborhoods owning the future” of their schools.“I believe the electorate showed in the communities of color that it’s in our character to uplift and focus on the education of all students, not just some,” he said.—Ruth McCambridgeShare13Tweet2ShareEmail15 Shares
Share10TweetShare6Email16 Shares“Central Park Elementary School (Topeka, Kansas; 4 March 1969)” by Marion DossMarch 2, 2017; New York TimesKansas’s Supreme Court has weighed in again on the thorny question of school funding. On March 2nd, it ruled that the state was still not meeting its obligations to its public schools and their students.In its March 2nd ruling, as reported by the New York Times, the court found that the state of Kansas was not giving enough funding to its neediest students, as its constitution requires. “Black, Hispanic and poor students were especially harmed by the lack of funding, pointing to lagging test scores and graduation rates. The justices set a June 30th deadline for lawmakers to pass a new constitutional funding formula, sending them scrambling to find more money to pay for a solution.” A little more than a year ago, NPQ covered its earlier action, which invalidated a previous school funding plan for similar reasons.Kansas’s difficulties starkly illustrate the battleground that public education has become for the larger political struggles of our time. NPQ recently looked at this struggle from a national perspective, citing work from the Education Law Center and Rutgers University’s Graduate School of Education: “The political barrier to be overcome may not be the usual battle over taxation but one over shifting resources from one part of a state to another—from richer, whiter school communities where the educational need is lower to poor districts with greater numbers of children of color.”Kansas sees education as important; about 50 percent of the budget the Court found unconstitutional is being spent on education. It ranks 23rd in per-student spending in state-by-state comparisons. But, according to the Court, the students with the greatest need are still not getting the appropriate funds. Cynthia Lane, superintendent of public schools in Kansas City, Kansas, told the Times, “Lawmakers needed to make special provisions for disadvantaged children in the new funding plan. For a decade, we have been cutting support—we have been offering less tutoring, less support, less enrichment. So this ruling today gives me great hope that we can start talking about our aspirations, not just worrying about protecting where we are.”One way to meet this benchmark would be to increase overall school funding, using the additional resources to increase support for those districts that need it. Doing this, however, means overcoming strong conservative political forces that see taxation as an evil to be fought tooth and nail. In February, Gov. Sam Brownback vetoed a bill he saw as a “punitive, retroactive tax increase on Kansas workers and families [that] would have cut Kansans’ pay almost immediately.” Attempts to override the veto were unsuccessful.If no new revenues are available, then perhaps rearranging the allocation formula would meet the challenge. This, too, is not an easy sell, as it requires some districts to receive less so that others can achieve more:In the affluent Kansas City suburbs, where test scores are high, many want to preserve special taxes that benefit their local school districts. In rural and urban parts of the state, where incomes are lower and academic performance sometimes lags, plans to provide more per-student funding for minorities and poor students have greater resonance.Another possible solution would involve reallocating funds from other places, but that would bring other interests—health care, social services, police, fire, etc.—to the table to defend their own needs. Are legislators prepared to risk that political fallout?A fourth answer, coming from some quarters, is in the privatization of public education. Governor Brownback seemed to suggest this in some recent comments.The Kansas Legislature has the opportunity to engage in transformative educational reform by passing a school funding system that puts students first. Success is not measured in dollars spent, but in higher student performance. […] Parents should be given the opportunity and resources to set their child up for success through other educational choices.Advocates of this approach, including President Trump, believe it can give all students the educations they deserve more efficiently, but as of yet, there’s little actual proof that it will deliver as promised.The school funding ball is now back in the court of the Kansas legislature. Can it find a path through this policy thicket that will satisfy the Court’s evaluation and produce results? If so, Washington and the 49 other state capitals will want to jump on their bandwagon.—Martin LevineShare10TweetShare6Email16 Shares
Scandinavian online video service Voddler has begun selling premium US series for the first time.Voddler offers over 4,000 movies and TV episodes on computers and smartphones, most of which are ad-supported. Earlier this month it launched a premium subscription option that gives access to content without pre-roll ads or breaks. Voddler is now offering users the chance pay for top US-produced shows. Purchased titles are stored in the cloud and can be viewed an unlimited number of times.“We continue to build our movie catalogue with both the latest releases and best catalogue titles, and we will now also start expanding our TV show selection. We are very happy to offer our customers shows like Big Bang Theory, Gossip Girl or Two and a Half Men directly on Voddler,” said Anna Eliasson, head of content acquisition at Voddler.
France-based set-top and home gateway company Netgem has launched a new IPTV solution that combines its nCloud software suite with the newly-released N7700 hardware platform.It will enable operators to manage the distribution of TV and media services in the connected home through a unified consumer experience, Netgem said.Netgem also announced two customer wins – Mediaserv, a telco for the Reunion Island, French Antillas and Guyana, and Wibox, a French ISP and telecom operator.Separately, the company also announced it has shipped four million HD IPTV set-top boxes with its software suite in twelve countries.
Polish broadcaster TVP will launch two HD channels on June 1.The company said the launch of TVP 1 and TVP 2 in high definition would coincide with the start of the UEFA European Football Championship on June 8, which will be held in Poland and Ukraine. TVP said the channels would air matches from the tournament in HD, along with coverage from the Olympics.
HBO president and COO, Eric Kessler, announced yesterday that the HBO Go TV Everywhere service is now compatible with Apple’s AirPlay.The update means that Apple users with the HBO Go app can now stream content from the premium programmer straight from their iPhone, iPad and iPod touch to their HDTV using Apple TV.Kessler made the announcement at an All Things D conference in the US.He added that HBO content will be made directly available via the Apple TV box, but did not indicate a timescale for introducing that service.
Telekom Austria’s Croatian subsidiary Vipnet has acquired a further three local fixed network operators.The three operators together add 6,500 new customers to Vipnet’s fixed base.Vipnet has acquired cable operator OKI and has finalised a purchase agreement with Kabelska Televizija Šibenik (KTS) and the residential business of Metronet, with a collective technical reach of 27,000 homes in the Zagreb region and along the Dalmatian coast.“These three transactions represent a perfect complement to our present operational footprint in the fixed net business. With these new company acquisitions, we consolidate our role as a leading fixed net infrastructure operator and enable further convergent solutions,” said Mladen Pejkovic, CEO of Vipnet.
Polish cable operator Inea is launching mobile WiFi hotspots on public transport in the cities of Poznań and Konin on the model pioneered by Virgin Media in London ahead of the 2012 London Olympics. Inea will provide internet access in over 300 buses and 200 trams in Poznań and 40 buses in Konin.The mobile hotspots will be integrated with Inea’s existing network of fixed hotspots. Access will be free for the first 15 minutes.
BskyB has announced that it will offer live coverage from the first day of this year’s Premier League football season for free, as competition heats up with its new sports rival BT.Sky said that programmes from Sky Sports 1 will replace the regular programming on Sky 2 – which is available on Sky and other pay TV services – and on Pick TV on Freeview and You View on Saturday 17th August.“The takeover means millions of home viewers can enjoy a live Premier League match, a Football League fixture, plus a host of other football shows at no cost,” said Sky.The move comes as BT gears up to launch its new suite of sports channels on August 1st, which will offer 38 premier league games next season and be available for free to all BT broadband customers.
Technicolor has won EuroDOCSIS 3.0 certification for a cable gateway its says is capable of delivering up to 800Mbps.The MediaAccess TC7210 has been certified for EuroDOCSIS 3.0 and EuroPacketCable 1.5 by Cable Europe Labs. The device features 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard for the 5GHz band and a 3×3 antenna configuration, and can deliver up to 800mbps over coax according to Technicolor. The company says its use of the less crowded 5GHz frequency allows for the launch of new services such as 500 Mbps internet or video-over-IP to any mobile device.The gateway also delivers data over 802.11n using the 2.4GHz band and features such as a 1GHz tuner solution offering full band capture, a spectrum analyser for remote diagnostics to reduce operating costs, DLNA compliant DMS and Wi-Fi HotSpot, according to the company.
Canalplay, the on-demand arm of French pay TV provider Canal+, has launched a new version of its mobile app that integrates support for Android devices and Chromecast for the first time.According to Canal+, the new version of the app offers a more fluid and intuitive user experience and faster access to content. It also includes a new recommendation system and will, within the next few weeks, add a kids space with parental control features.The app integrates support for Google’s Chromecast dongle, enabling viewers to start watching content on their smartphone or table before launching it on the big screen TV, leaving them free to use their handheld devices for other purposes.Canalplay has previously been available on the iPad, but the new version of the app includes support for other Apple devices and for Android tablets and smartphones.CanalPlay’s new app also includes support for Apple’s AirPlay platform.The app is available for download from the Apple and Google Play stores and users can subscribe to the service via canalplay.com.Canalplay is available without the need for a subscription to Canal+ or Canalsat, for EUR6.99 on mobiles and tablets, and €9.99 on TVs connected via IPTV boxes, Apple TV boxes and the Microsoft Xbox 360 games console.
Viral Spiral, a management company for viral content, has signed a partnership with Getty Images to make social video clips available for licensing around the world. Through the deal, Getty Images’ global database will get access to thousands of hit videos, with new content being added regularly.Viral Spiral said the agreement will boost its licensing business for the benefit of its creator partners.“We are excited, through this partnership, to be able to offer Getty Images’ customers the ability to license the hottest video content to be found online,” said Viral Spiral CEO and Founder of Damian Collier.
Swedish cable operator Com Hem’s NorCell Sweden Holding subsidiary has issued new debt amounting to SEK2.5 billion (€270 million), due in 2019, as part of the financing of the redemption of its outstanding SEK3,492,306,000 Senior Secured Notes due in 2018.The redemption of the existing debt will be financed from the proceeds of the new notes, a new credit facility of SEK375 million and a drawdown of the company’s existing revolving credit facility.Com Hem will on or around November 11, 2014 communicate in a press release if the conditions for redemption of the Notes are satisfied or waived.
Strong will exhibit at ANAG COM in hall 10.2, stand H39. Strong will showcase its latest range of Strong and Thomson set-top boxes (STBs) as well as its new product category of streaming devices. The company will present a variety of digital DVB-T2, DVB-T and DVB-S2 receivers that have been developed for and are distributed in different countries.Visitors will see new DVB-C HD receivers for digital FTA programmes via cable. These receivers offer HD quality, Dolby Digital Plus sound USB multimedia connectivity.Strong will also introduce its newly developed Android IP boxes. The zapper box and IP boxes with DVB-S2 or DVB-T2 tuner brings interactivity to the TV screen via browsing the internet, streaming of videos and installation of apps as on smartphones or tablets. A remote control with Air Mouse function and keyboard is included.A highlight at the stand will be a new product category of streaming devices. The range of home network solutions includes Wi-Fi connection kits and a Wi-Fi range extender.