Related posts:Brazil’s presidential election draped in mourning An oil scandal in Brazil complicates the race for incumbent president on eve of election Incumbent Rousseff leads in first round of Brazil election, faces runoff Brazil’s post-election party is over for Rousseff RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil – Brazil’s electorate is split a week ahead of presidential elections, with polls showing leftist incumbent Dilma Rousseff locked in a dead heat with main rival Marina Silva, who preaches the need for a “new politics.”A total of 142.8 million voters will cast ballots next Sunday to decide the next leader of the continent-sized nation, the world’s seventh-biggest economy.Voters will also choose 27 state governors, 513 congressmen, 1,069 regional assembly lawmakers and a third of the senate.Rousseff, handpicked by charismatic predecessor Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, had been expected to win a second mandate until former Workers Party (PT) colleague Marina Silva crashed the party.Silva became Socialist Party candidate only after the August death in an air crash of Eduardo Campos, her former running mate.Earlier polling had put Rousseff well clear of both Campos and Social Democratic Party candidate Aecio Neves.That all changed with the arrival of Silva, 56, who served as Lula’s environment minister before switching to the Green Party, and whose 2010 presidential bid netted her 20 million votes, for third place.This time around, Silva enjoyed a month of polls suggesting a narrow run-off vote victory before the Rousseff camp began a vigorous fight back, with the latest surveys giving Rousseff the lead ahead of a likely second round on October 26.Yet despite her current upsurge, the scenario is less rosy for Rousseff than four years ago.The 66-year-old daughter of a Bulgarian entrepreneur donned the presidential sash following eight largely euphoric years under Lula that saw an economic boom help fund a vast range of welfare programs that lifted tens of millions of Brazilians out of poverty.They joined a burgeoning middle class who are now showing their frustration at rising costs of living as well as political corruption. Presidential candidate Marina Silva attends a campaign meeting with union leaders in São Paulo, Brazil on Sept. 24, 2014. Nelson Almeida/AFPDark cloudsAfter Rousseff took office in January 2011, dark clouds appeared over the economy as the global economic crisis helped put a brake on growth while inflationary pressures pushed living costs up.The Rousseff administration’s economic credibility took another a hit last month with confirmation the country had entered a recession.Rousseff’s government had already been enduring a bumpy ride after protests drew around a million people onto the streets in June 2013 to protest poor public services while Brazil was investing in the World Cup.The protest movement accused the political elite of being inefficient, corrupt and unable to deliver health, education and transport systems worthy of the developed country Brazil aspires to be.Voters now have the chance to pass judgment on the Rousseff years and, if they wish, to put their faith in Silva’s vision of a new start.Rousseff vs. SilvaIn Rousseff, voters can stick with a former guerrilla who was jailed and tortured under the military dictatorship, a tough-talking economist and PT leftist who served as energy minister, then as Lula’s chief of staff.Or they can twist with Silva, who rose from a humble background in a village in Amazonia, the daughter of rubber tappers who only learned to read at 16 and worked as a maid before rising to become Brazil’s youngest senator and then environment minister.The religious convictions of a woman who could become Brazil’s first black leader wow some in a country where evangelicals are on the rise — but equally turn others off.A Silva win would end two decades of domination by the PT and the Social Democrats, who held power under former president Fernando Henrique Cardoso from 1995-2003.Without a strong party base, Silva is courting the large constituency of those disaffected by party politics, symbolized by last year’s demonstrations.Investors also prefer her to Rousseff’s financial interventionism, which they blame for Brazil’s economic ills.Silva says she hopes to govern “with the best” across the political spectrum in a break with partisan politics.“We are going to recover the economic stability of Fernando Henrique’s government, … lost under the current government. And we are going to maintain and deepen social inclusion started under the Lula government — today threatened by Dilma’s with the return of inflation, high interest rates and feeble growth,” Silva said.Rousseff retorts that Silva’s lack of a party machine could paralyze politics as she may struggle to find a majority in Congress.“In a democracy, nobody can govern without a party,” said Rousseff, noting Silva’s Socialist Party base is just 33 lawmakers. Facebook Comments
5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Comments Share Dozens of people walked next to the truck that was slowly passing through the capital, with more and more people tucking flowers in the canvas, the wheels and anywhere else they could reach.In Srebrenica, organizers expect some 50,000 people to attend the funeral along with international delegations.The United States, which led the military intervention and brokered Bosnia’s peace agreement that ended the country’s war after it claimed 100,000 victims, will be represented by a delegation led by former President Bill Clinton.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Men’s health affects baby’s health too Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall The difference between men and women when it comes to pain SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) — Thousands lined Sarajevo’s main street on Thursday as a huge truck bearing 136 coffins passed on its way to Srebrenica, where newly identified victims of Europe’s worst massacre since World War II will be buried on the 20th anniversary of the crime.As the truck covered with a huge Bosnian flag and with hundreds of flowers tucked into the canvas rolled down the street covered with white rose petals, the sobbing of mothers, sisters and wives of the victims broke the silence. Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Top Stories Sponsored Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies It stopped in front of Bosnia’s presidency where the weeping crowd tucked more flowers into the canvas or simply approached it to touch it or caress the canvas that was hiding the remains of the victims found in mass graves and identified through DNA analysis.On July 11, 1995, Serb troops overran the eastern Bosnian Muslim enclave of Srebrenica and executed some 8,000 Muslim men and boys. International courts labeled the crime an act of genocide.The remains of Srebrenica victims are still being found in mass graves. So far some 7,000 victims have been excavated from 93 graves or collected from 314 on-surface locations and identified through DNA technology.Edin Nuhic, who lost numerous male relatives in the massacre, has not yet found the remains of all of them. “All we can do is to think about them, to remember them and to hope that one day this country will find a way to move on,” he said.Among the 136 victims to be laid to rest on Saturday are 18 minors. The oldest victim, Jusuf Smajlovic, was 75 when he was executed and he will be laid to rest together with his 29-year-old grandson, Hebib.The truck also carried the coffins of father Ismet Mehmedovic and his three sons Fikret, 20, Rifet, 18, and Salih, 16. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility
The Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL) is introducing the iconic Taj brand in Rishikesh with the opening of Taj Rishikesh Resort & Spa, Uttarakhand. This will be the company’s third hotel in the state.Puneet Chhatwal, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, IHCL said, “We are honoured to partner with Arjun Mehra for Taj Rishikesh Resort & Spa, an exciting new addition to IHCL’s expanding resort portfolio. With its idyllic setting and unrestricted views of the Himalayas, the resort is well positioned to tap into the growing potential of the wellness and spiritual tourism market. This is consistent with our commitment to offer global travellers new and unique experiences in hospitality.”The resort located 30 km away from Rishikesh, is spread over 12.5 acres of terraced gardens on the banks of the Ganges in the shadow of the mighty Himalayas. Each of the spacious 79 rooms have panoramic views of the Ganges with its white sandy banks against the backdrop of the majestic mountains. The property is an architectural tribute to the Garhwal region in the Himalayas where it is located.“Rishikesh is an extremely popular destination across the world. We are delighted to partner with The Indian Hotels Company Limited. We look forward to working with them to bring the legendary Taj brand to this unique location,” said Arjun Mehra, Managing Director, Darrameks Hotels & Developers Pvt Ltd.“Taj Rishikesh Resort & Spa is ideally located to enjoy nature while also staying connected to the pulse of Rishikesh. I am looking forward to welcoming our guests to this spectacular new resort with its exclusive villas and secluded beach,” said Devraj Singh, General Manager, Taj Rishikesh Resort & Spa, Uttarakhand.Guests can also partake in a private Ganga Aarti on the resort’s Pebble Beach or indulge in adventure-filled activities like white-river rafting, rock climbing, rappelling, kayaking, local village visits and hiking.Located in the foothills of the Himalayas in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand, Rishikesh is known as the spiritual and yoga capital of the world.
Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling TEMPE, Ariz. — Cardinals president Michael Bidwill knows something about coach Bruce Arians that few others know. Arians actually has a filter.“The staff meetings are much funnier than what you (media) guys get because I think he cleans it up a little bit when he’s on camera,” Bidwill said, laughing. “I love our staff meetings.”Bidwill is loving life these days. The Cardinals are coming off a franchise record 13-win season, they are one of the favorites to win the Super Bowl and they are the darlings of national TV, having appeared five times in prime time. He leaned on his closest advisors within the Cardinals senior staff. He sought the counsel of Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson, whom he calls “a father figure,” and he took “bits and pieces” from other members of the fraternity like Giants president and CEO John Mara, late Steelers owner Art Rooney and Chicago Bears chairman George McCaskey.“We communicate over and over because I don’t think our philosophy is a static situation here,” Bidwill said. “It has to grow and evolve as the organization and game changes.”When the Cardinals won the NFC West in 2008 with a 9-7 record and came within seconds of a Super Bowl title, the effect was that of a drug whose ingredients Bidwill couldn’t completely identify. When Warner retired the following season and the Cardinals sank back to the bottom of the division, that’s when Bidwill reached a higher plane of understanding.“What it taught me is what we needed to be successful: a fantastic QB, a culture in our locker room, great leadership from our head coach and great leadership from a great GM,” he said. “It sounds like a cliché, but it needed to be a team effort; no one person that was carrying it.” “I’m happy for my dad,” Bidwill said. “It’s exciting to see the big smile on his face and sure, I’m sitting here a little bit satisfied but also with the expectation that we have to go play well (Saturday) and make sure we take care of business.“We’re not at the goal yet so I’m not ready to sit back and have the emotions you might have at the finish line. We’re still three games away from that.”Follow Craig Morgan on Twitter Nobody within the organization would describe Bidwill as background owner, content to sit in his suite and occasionally be caught on camera, stifling a yawn. He is competitive, he is engaged, he is involved and he is opinionated. Contrary to owners who take that to unhealthy levels, however, he is balanced enough to let his experts run their fiefdoms.He gives Keim a budget and trusts that his GM’s penchant for rolling over the roster will produce results. He lets his colorful coach be himself because he recognizes Arians’ ability to command a locker room and command a media room.He doesn’t meddle in the day-to-day operations, but when the occasion arises where he needs to honor something more esoteric — something that transcends the economic plan — he steps in to make sure Fitzgerald remains the happy and integral face of the franchise.“It’s true that we’re willing to spend but I think people tend to focus too much on spending,” Bidwill said. “We’ve seen time and time again that spending doesn’t always equal winning. You have to have great attention to other details; to making sure you secure the right players but also great leadership and a great culture. If you put a dollar value on that it would be at the high end of your economic budget.” Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact When Arizona faces the Green Bay Packers in the divisional round of the NFL playoffs on Saturday at University of Phoenix Stadium, it will mark the team’s fourth playoff appearance in the past eight years, equaling the franchise total from the previous 42 years of the Super Bowl era.It would be hyperbole to credit one man with altering the perception and trajectory of a franchise. Arians, general manager Steve Keim, quarterback Kurt Warner, receiver Larry Fitzgerald and many others have played important roles, but a quick glance around the league underscores the importance of committed, competent ownership to the success of a franchise.“I’ve spent a lot of years here next to my dad, seeing how he did things — what things worked and what things didn’t work,” Bidwill said. “I think it was a surprise the first time around that we made it to the Super Bowl, but I don’t think it’s a surprise to anyone that we fought our way back to this place the second time around. We’re a good football team; a good organization and people recognize us for that now.”Bidwill has always possessed the competitive drive to reach this lofty perch, and he was far more than an observer while his father, Bill Bidwill, ran the show. When he took over as team president in 2007, however, there were experiences he still needed to live and knowledge bytes he needed to download to complete the puzzle. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians, right, puts his arm around Cardinals team president Michael Bidwill, left, after an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. The Cardinals defeated the 49ers 47-7. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Few outsiders would care about the Arizona Cardinals if they weren’t winning, but the team’s success has exposed a company of characters who couldn’t have been better cast for their roles. Arians is the “cool uncle” coach. Fitzgerald is the consummate pro. Carson Palmer is the heart-warming comeback story and Patrick Peterson is the uber-talented kid.“With the amount of national TV games we were awarded over the last couple seasons, more people have seen us and they’ve gotten to know our players, our GM and our coach,” Bidwill said. “We have an opportunity to expand our fan base, not just in Arizona but throughout the country. You see more and more red in the stands when we go on the road now. I want to keep my foot on the gas and build upon that.”Long before the Cardinals kick off against the Packers, Bidwill will take part in a playoff rally, he’ll conduct more media interviews than he normally does and he’ll prepare for the biggest game day at University of Phoenix Stadium since the 2009 NFC Championship. As he watches the game from his suite with Keim, team executives and family members, however, his sentiments will be a mixture of pride, patience and anticipation. Top Stories 0 Comments Share
Country singer Luke Combs’ unassuming appeal makes him a hit by By Kristin M. Hall, The Associated Press Posted Jul 20, 2018 2:04 pm PDT Last Updated Jul 20, 2018 at 2:40 pm PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The first week of June was one of Luke Combs’ biggest weeks in his still fledgling career. The 28-year-old taped an outdoor performance for the “CMT Crossroads” series with soul singer Leon Bridges, attended the CMT Awards, released a deluxe version of his debut album and sang in front of tens of thousands of fans at the CMA Fest.And then immediately after the festival performance, he lost his voice. Put on vocal rest for 10 days, Combs had a No. 1 country album but couldn’t perform.“It stung a little bit,” he admitted later after his voice recovered. “It made me, I guess, a bit more vulnerable than I would have liked.”Mostly he was upset about having to reschedule shows and disappointing fans. The Asheville, North Carolina-born singer built his success on his live shows when he was performing more than 200 dates a year in 2016 in college towns all around the Southeast and adding to his fan base one show at a time.“Imagine you’ve been working out for a year straight, as hard as you can work out and the last set, the last thing you gotta do is that last week of CMA Fest,” Combs said. “It’s like the second you’re done with it, you’re just like laid out on the floor.”Combs has been working at a breakneck speed in the year since his debut album, “This One’s for You,” was released last year. It spawned three No. 1 country radio singles in a row, the first time that’s happened since Sam Hunt did it in 2014. The album’s deluxe version, featuring five new songs, sold better in the first week than his original debut record, meaning he’s earned himself a lot more fans in just a year. His gold-selling album is the most streamed country album of 2018 and it has spent five nonconsecutive weeks at No. 1 on Billboard’s country albums chart.Instead of the traditional path to country stardom of writing songs for other people before launching his career as an artist, Combs released his own music and promoted himself to his millennial peers online through the now-defunct social media platform Vine.“I think that was kind of always my goal: get people to come back and see a show twice and then see it a third time,” Combs said. “And now I’ve got people who have been to 30, 40 shows.”Combs even found his first manager on the road when Chris Kappy saw him perform his now multiplatinum single, “Hurricane,” in a Georgia bar in 2015. Kappy, who had no previous management experience, immediately felt a kinship to Combs, as both are large men with oversized personalities and scrappy attitudes.“We’re not the typical norm of what this industry is looking for,” Kappy said.Kappy’s plan was to just let Combs be himself and let the natural talent win over fans. “I told Luke, ‘I just want people to fall in love with you, buddy, and to do that we have to expose you. And that’s being vulnerable, that’s being humble, that’s telling stories.’”It helped that his first single, “Hurricane,” was a great showcase of his deep booming voice with a big hooky chorus. Already signed to a new label called River House Artists, the song was gaining ground on radio when he was added to the Columbia Nashville roster. Sony’s promotional muscle behind the song was like adding gasoline to a fire, said Kappy.His label listened to feedback from radio programmers to give him his second radio No. 1 with “When It Rains It Pours,” a cheeky take on a breakup that turned into a lucky streak. But he went back to the well of the emotion-driven love songs with a slight R&B swagger on “One Number Away,” his third hit single. All three of his songs have also reached the Top 40 on the pop charts.Fans connect with Combs’ unvarnished approachability and openness. The burly and bearded performer wears the same kind of shirt every time he hits the stage, a short-sleeved black sports shirt made to help fishermen deal with heat and sweat. He’s a beer-swigging, tobacco-chewing everyman who is also self-assured enough to sing about the passion of heartbreak and love.“There’s an authenticity in just being who you are and not having an act about it or wear clothes you normally wouldn’t wear,” Combs said. “I’m just comfortable in my own skin.”Combs is currently opening for Jason Aldean on tour and he’ll play shows in the United Kingdom and Europe this fall. But his next big play is the sophomore album, which he’s already been writing and recording. He compares the quick success he’s had with the first record to an average-looking guy who somehow landed the girlfriend that’s out of his league.“I just try not to think about it too much,” Combs said._____Online:https://www.lukecombs.com
State Rep. Jeff Farrington, R-Utica, joined Frances Camarda in celebrating her 105th birthday this past Friday, and the lawmaker presented Mrs. Camarda with a state tribute signed by Gov. Rick Snyder, state Sen. Tory Rocca and Farrington to commemorate the occasion. Mrs. Camarda was surrounded by friends and family – including her two brothers, ages 94 and 89 – and Farrington said he was honored to be a part of such a special event. Left to right: Frances Camarda with her state tribute, which was a gift from state Rep. Jeff Farrington to honor her on her 105th birthday.### Categories: Farrington News,Farrington Photos 06Oct Farrington honors Frances Camarda with state tribute
Categories: Miller News,News 22Jan Rep. Miller announces contact information for Lansing office State Rep. Aaron Miller today announced key contact information so residents of the 59th House District may easily reach him. Miller will continue to use former Rep. Matt Lori’s office phone number at (517) 373-0832. Residents may also contact him at P.O. Box 30014, Lansing, MI 48909-7514, or through e-mail at AaronMiller@house.mi.gov.“I want to make it simple for people to contact me so I can effectively be their voice in Lansing,” said Miller, R-Sherman Township. “It’s vital that people are able to express their concerns and ideas about state and local government so I can properly represent them in the House.”Legislative staffers Susan Martin and Marla Rieli Braun join Miller in his legislative office. Martin has worked in the 59th District for 12 years for former state Reps Rick Shaffer and Lori, and is a district resident from Three Rivers. Braun has worked for former state Reps. Jack Brandenburg, Bob Gosselin and Mike Shirkey, current state Rep. Earl Poleski and U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg.Miller said he plans to hold local office hours across the district on a regular basis to give area residents a convenient opportunity to speak directly with their state representative.#####
16May Rep. Reilly invites residents to office hours in Lake Orion State Rep. John Reilly of Oakland Township will host open office hours on Monday, May 22 at the Orion Township Public Library, 825 Joslyn Road in Lake Orion from 5 to 6:30 p.m.“People deserve an open and accountable state government,” Rep. Reilly said. “I look forward to listening and finding out what issues are important to people.”No appointment is necessary. Those unable to attend may contact Rep. Reilly at 517-373-1798 or via email at JohnReilly@house.mi.gov.##### Categories: Reilly News
The Michigan House and Rep. Whiteford today approved a plan to help farmers whose crops have been delayed or damaged by this spring’s record-setting rain.The plan would help private lenders provide low-interest loans to qualified farmers at no financial risk to the state.“Day after day of rainfall this spring has been annoying for most of us, but it’s devastating for Michigan farmers and agribusinesses who depend on a successful farming season to make a living and provide for their families,” said Whiteford, of Casco Township. “This plan provides the necessary support to allow hard-working farmers to survive this unfortunate season.”Because Michigan has had very few days suitable for field work this spring, only about 63 percent of corn seeds and 43 percent of soybean seeds have been planted, which means yields will be low. Many farmers will be facing financial trouble as this crop season continues.House Bill 4234 provides $15 million to help private lenders run the loan program and keep interest rates low for farmers. The state does not provide the loans, so there is no financial risk or liability to the state with this program.Similar low-interest loan programs were approved for Michigan farmers in 2002 and 2012.Whiteford also joined a coalition of 63 lawmakers urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture to increase flexibility under the Federal Crop Insurance rules. Increased flexibility would allow farmers to plant on land normally prohibited by federal crop insurance rules, allowing for more crops to get to market and be raised for feed for a farmer’s livestock. Full text of the letter and its signatories can be found here.##### Categories: Whiteford News 20Jun Rep. Whiteford approves plan to help Allegan County farmers devastated by record rain
Share44TweetShare4Email48 SharesGold King Mine Mansion / The Greater Southwestern Exploration CompanyAugust 26, 2015; Arizona Daily SunHere’s a twist on public-private partnerships: community-based nonprofits teaming up with local government officials and tribes to advocate for the reform of mining regulations. It comes as a result of the leaking of three million gallons of orange wastewater from an abandoned gold mine in Colorado.A coalition of local government agencies, tribes, and nonprofits submitted a petition demanding reform of mine regulations, according to a story in the Flagstaff, Arizona Daily Sun. The coalition includes Coconino and San Miguel Counties, the Grand Canyon Trust, Earthworks and three Native American tribes.The petition was submitted Tuesday to the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service. It was filed under the Administrative Procedures Act, which allows the public to request retroactive changes to federal rules, requiring the agencies to respond, rather than seeking a legislative fix to change the law. The petition says that changes are needed to the agencies’ outdated mining rules to protect the West’s water resources from future environmental disasters like the Gold King Mine spill.The paper lists the requests in the petition:Limiting the duration of a mine’s permit to 20 yearsRequiring that mines receive new federal approvals and updated environmental and historic resource reviews after more than 10 years of inactivityMaking regular inspections during periods of mine inactivity and requiring operators to regularly provide information about the status and conditions of their mines during that periodImproving the reclamation process for closed or abandoned mines by requiring long-term monitoring of surface water and groundwater quality and imposing deadlines for completing reclamation activitiesThe petition is focused primarily on uranium mining on the Colorado Plateau, and the environmental problems posed by abandoned mines that reopen after long periods of inactivity without undergoing environmental review or complying with updated regulations. The coalition says that such mines are “polluting surface waters and groundwater, contaminating soil, adversely impacting sensitive species and their habitat, risking harm to sensitive cultural and historic resources, and imperiling human health.”Because of its location, Coconino County is particularly vulnerable to contamination from old uranium mines. A county supervisor called the 1872 Mining Act governing the mines “completely and totally ineffective.”The Daily Sun says that in contrast to previous unsuccessful attempts at reforming the law, most recently in 2009 in the U.S. Senate, reforming the mining regulations could be more achievable. Reforming the law would make comprehensive changes where rule changes cannot, although the rule changes reflect current thinking at the BLM and Forest Service.—Larry KaplanShare44TweetShare4Email48 Shares
Share9TweetShareEmail9 SharesAutism Speaks Logo / iFireDesignJuly 7, 2016; PBS NewsHour, “The Rundown” Families with children who have special needs often find the expense and logistics of medical specialists strain family budgets to the brink —and maybe the parents and siblings, too. While the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore debunked in 2010 a long-touted statistic that the divorce rate for the head of a family with an autistic child was as high as 80 percent, special-needs family life still has many obstacles, many of them financial.Nowhere is the pinch felt more than in paying for therapy services. The controversial nonprofit Autism Speaks estimates that the treatment and needs of a child with autism cost an average of $60,000 a year. With the cost for therapies so high, many families turned to Medicaid for coverage. However, families in Texas seeking that path have run into a Texas-sized roadblock. Earlier this month, PBS NewsHour reported that despite a federal mandate from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which in 2014 advised states that they must cover all medically necessary care for Medicaid-eligible children with autism up to age 21, Texas is refusing. According to area parents, who are considering lawsuits of the kind that have succeeded in other states, the Texas state legislature seems to be claiming their hands are tied—after tying them themselves. Advocates assert the federal mandate was intended to cover therapies a doctor might deem necessary for a child, including applied behavioral analysis, or ABA. ABA uses positive reinforcement to encourage behavioral modification and can run from $60 to $150 an hour. After time spent meeting with members of the state legislature and Health and Human Services, the parents thought Texas officials were gearing up to add behavioral therapy to standard Medicaid coverage for children with autism, which generally includes occupational, speech and physical therapy. However, the legislature declined to license behavioral therapists and several other fields, citing “overregulation.” Shortly afterward, the state stopped covering autism behavioral therapy because the profession wasn’t licensed. Families are left with bills as high as $30,000 after Medicaid payments for previously approved therapies are denied.The effects of the Texas rejection of ABA coverage were compounded for many families by a controversial state decision to cut back on Medicaid payments for other home-based therapy services for children, including many that youngsters with autism might use.Parents in Ohio and Florida have filed court cases to force their states to cover the therapy and won, so it seems as though Texas is not only delaying the inevitable, they are wasting valuable time for those waiting for treatment.—Carrie Collins-FadellShare9TweetShareEmail9 Shares
BBC Worldwide has teamed up with teen social game provider Stardoll to create a virtual community for the teen girl fan base of its Strictly Come Dancing show.The community, which will be initially rolled out in the UK, will offer users of the site access to a Strictly Come Dancing club where they can obtain virtual items inspired by the show to decorate their personal suites. A subscription of £5.95 (€7.20) will allow users to dress their Stardoll ‘MeDolls’ with a range of Strictly Come Dancing-inspired costumes and props. Members can build a stage, and add the set design, spotlight and other items from the show as the membership numbers increase.Versions will be rolled out in international markets in the coming months.
Envivio (Stand E14) is preparing to demonstrate the Envivio Muse software for software available on the Envivio 4Caster encoders and HP blade servers at ANGA Cable.Also on display will be the Envivio Halo network media processor, which protects content, adapts it for final delivery at the edge of the network and enables advanced features such as multiscreen ad insertion.Envivio and its Danish customer, cable operator Stofa, will also jointly deliver a technical presentation (Field Report: Realising Multiscreen Strategies for TV without Boundaries) on the second day of the conference at 13:00-14:15.Speakers will include Arnaud Perrier, vice-president of solutions, Envivio, and Thomas Helbo, chief technology officer, Stofa.
Middle East pay TV provider My-HD has chosen Irdeto to provide content security for its offering of HD channels on the Arabsat satellite platform.My-HD began shipping HD set-tops this month equipped with Irdeto’s cardless Cloaked CA system.My-HD is offering a package of 42 premium channels, including 30 in HD. Irdeto already provides content security services to regional broadcasters including Al Jazeera Sport and Abu Dhabi Media.“The My-HD and Arabsat partnership will shape the future of HDTV in the MENA region, and we required a long-term partner that could deliver a combination of strong security, experience and scalability as well as minimize total cost of ownership,” said Cliff Nelson, CEO My-HD. “Irdeto’s Media Protection technologies are well-respected in the market and its widely-deployed Cloaked CA solution was the clear choice for us. We’re proud to be the first operator in MENA to deploy software CA and join the other innovative leaders around the world doing the same.”
Rovi has appointed former Motorola Home and Arris executive John Burke as executive vice president and chief operating officer. Burke is due to take up his new role this week and has been tasked with leading Rovi’s business groups in discovery technologies – overseeing product management, engineering, professional services and the CTO office.He will report directly to Rovi CEO and president Tom Carson and will be based in Pennsylvania.“John’s appointment and the creation of this executive position underscore our commitment to expand our product businesses and drive improved revenue and profitability,” said Carson.Burke brings with him more than 25 years of leadership experience and most recently worked at Arris as senior vice president, corporate development and strategy, and president, cloud solutions business.He joined Arris as a result of the firm’s buyout of Motorola Home, where he latterly worked as senior vice president and general manager of the converged solutions business. Burke first joined Motorola in 2000.
Russian service provider ER-Telecom, which operates under the Dom.ru brand, has launched its new advanced TV set-top in 55 Russian cities. The advanced TV service includes catch-up TV for popular content for three days after it is initially broadcast as well as video-on-demand.The service also makes content available to Android and iOS mobile devices, which can be used as remotes for the main screen.Boxes have been provided by Humax, designed by UK agency V2 Studios, with remote controls provided by Universal Electronics. The UI has been creted by Russian agency JetStyle while content protection is provided by Nagra. SOTAL Interactive acted as system integrator.
UK industry association the Digital TV Group (DTG) will publish the technical requirements for the recently announced Freeview connected TV platform later this year. The organisation, which already publishes and maintains the technical specifications for Freeview in the UK, known as the D-Book, said that the extension to the Freeview HD platform will include a common set of on-demand services.These are designed to “enable the seamless implementation of both the broadcast services defined in the DTG D-Book and the new Digital UK, HbbTV based, Freeview Connected specification,” said the DTG.“The technical requirements for this platform will build on the foundation on the D-Book and Freeview HD requirements and be published in a separate specification by Digital UK,” it added.The DTG said it will publish the latest version of the D-Book – which defines both the delivery and reception of services – later in 2014. This will be D-Book 8. The existing version, D-Book 7 (Version 4) was published in May.UK DTT platform Freeview announced earlier this month that it will launch a new connected TV service, in partnership with Digital UK – an organisation owned by the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Arqiva.The connected TV proposition will be developed and marketed as part of a five-year plan that will see Freeview offer broadcast and on-demand TV, along with a range of popular catch-up players and is designed to make “the best of broadcast and on-demand TV available free for everyone.”
Sergey BoykoUkrainian cable operator Volia’s chief executive Sergey Boyko has called on content rights holders and operators to cooperate and adopt a flexible attitude to address the current downturn in the country’s pay TV market, fuelled by the ongoing crisis in the eastern part of the country, the annexation of Crimea by Russia and rising energy prices.Speaking at the Telco Trends 2014 conference in Jurmala, Latvia at the end of last week, Boyko said that the multiple problems suffered by Ukraine in recent months have had a serious impact on the pay TV business, with operators forced to reduce their package prices and give discounts to retain subscribers.He said Ukrainian operators need to renegotiate the fees they pay to content providers. Otherwise, he said, some operators will likely be tempted to resort to underhand practices including under-reporting of subscribers and illegal retransmission of services.
Communications minister Hamid Grine has been tasked with closing down private channelsAlgeria’s prime minister Abdelmalek Sellal has reportedly ordered the closure of around 60 private TV channels in a bid to combat what he describes as “anarchy” in the broadcasting sector.According to Algerian news organisation Tout Sur l’Algérie (TSA), Sellal has ordered communication minister Hamid Grine to close down the country’s private broadcasters in the absence of an “agreement” authorising their right to air.According to TSA, Sellal, justifying the move, said that “the values and principles of Algerian society are red lines” and that “these limits have been breached”. Sellal accused TV channels of disseminating lies and of attempting to manipulate the population. He said that this could destabilise Algerian society, promote schism and favour regionalism.Sellal said that channels that respected the rules would be allowed to continue on air.Non-Algerian news sites including Moroccan online news site Le360.ma suggest that the move is motivated by moves to crush opposition to long-serving president Abdelaziz Bouteflika.The Algerian private broadcasting sector has expanded dramatically since a 50-year state monopoly in TV was ended three years ago.
Eutelsat has leased satellite capacity from Yahsat for its Broadband for Africa venture, after Spacecom’s Amos-6 satellite exploded earlier this year.Broadband for Africa will use capacity on up to 16 Ka-band spotbeams on the Yahsat 1B satellite to roll out broadband services during the first four months of 2017.Further expansion will be supported later in the year using capacity on 18 spotbeams on Yahsat’s Al Yah 3 satellite, scheduled for launch in early 2017.The capacity will replace the payload Eutelsat previously contracted on Amos-6, which was destroyed in September following a launchpad explosion.Under the new deal, Eutelsat will revert to its initial business plan for Broadband for Africa, of a revenue contribution of €15 million in full year 2017-18 and €25-30 million in full year 2018-19.“We are delighted to initiate this relationship with Yahsat and to put our Africa broadband programme back on track,” said Laurent Grimaldi, Chief Executive Officer of Broadband for Africa.Amit Somani, chief strategy officer of Yahsat, said: “We are delighted to have Broadband for Africa as a long-term customer on our satellites, laying yet another cornerstone in our expansion strategy and reinforcing the global trend towards higher efficiency Ka-band solutions.”The news comes a day after Yahsat announced that it has appointed Airtel Africa executive Farhad Khan as its Chief Commercial Officer.Spacecom has set itself an internal end-of-year deadline to buy an in-orbit satellite to replace Amos-6, senior vice-president of sales, Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, Jacob Keret told DTVE at IBC last month.