In 2015, Rwanda emerged a surprise 7th in the continental rankings for Africa by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA). This was accomplished with one major conference facility available, the Kigali Serena Hotel and Conference Centre.A new national convention centre will open in June this year for the upcoming African Union Summit. Also coming on line in September will be the Kigali Marriott Hotel which will also offer a number of conference and meeting rooms, boosting the country’s capacity further.Frank Murangwa, Head of the Rwanda Convention Bureau, said, “Having just hosted the World Economic Forum on Africa for the first time, Rwanda has clearly demonstrated its ability to deliver on a global stage. As we are ramping up our MICE strategy, we look forward to attracting many more large-scale events and climbing further up the ICCA rankings.”Rwanda last year hosted 27 major conferences in addition to 13 global association meetings including the high profile Interpol General Assembly which brought over 1000 delegates to Kigali.In 2016, the country expect will host the African Union Summit, the Global Africa Investment Summit, the Africa Hotel Investment Forum and the associated AVIADEV aviation conference which will directly link hospitality and tourism stakeholders to the aviation industry.
Which countries do you think represent the best value?Take our quick survey now and you could win £150 worth of travel vouchers!ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map RelatedSkyscanner reveals best value European city breaksForget Paris; Prague is best value for Brits: we reveal the real cost of European city breaks.Travel pillow fight: 11 best travel pillows reviewedWant to get forty winks on your next journey and wake up in your destination relaxed and refreshed? Then keep reading…We’ve got: – Full reviews all types of travel pillows, including memory foam and body pillows for back pain – Categories for scoring are: comfort, compactness and value for money…10 Ways to Get More from Your RetrospectivesOur Agile Coach, Suzanne Morrison, discusses the top 10 ways to get more from team retrospectives
Categories: News State Rep. Brad Jacobsen met with Buy Nearby Guy, the mascot for they Buy Nearby campaign to encourage Michigan residents to support their local businesses. The campaign focuses on Get Caught Blue Handed day, which takes place Oct. 4.“Get Caught Blue Handed day is a great way for residents to support small businesses and shops in their community,” said Jacobsen, R-Oxford. “These small businesses are the cornerstones of our community, contributing to our local economy and providing good-paying jobs for our citizens.”Reports have shown that if residents chose to solely shop locally, Michigan would gain 75,000 jobs in 2015 and would see a $9 million increase in economic activity, including $2 million more in wages from the new jobs created.“While Get Caught Blue Handed day is a great campaign to encourage buying local, residents should look to buy from local brick-and-mortar establishments as often as possible,” Jacobsen said. “Half of every dollar spent locally goes back into the Michigan economy. If we make the choice to support our local businesses over out of state retailers, we can see more economic growth and more jobs in our communities, creating a brighter future for our state.”### 24Sep Rep. Jacobsen meets with Buy Nearby Guy, encourages residents to buy local
Categories: Chatfield News State Reps. Peter Pettalia and Lee Chatfield are hosting a joint office hour this month to meet with northern Michiganders and offer an opportunity to talk about any thoughts or concerns they may have going into 2015.Area residents are welcome to join the representatives from 11 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, Jan. 13, at the Cheboygan City Council Chambers, located at 403 N. Huron St. in Cheboygan. No appointment is necessary and those unable to attend may give feedback directly by contacting the representatives’ Lansing offices.Pettalia’s office can be reached toll-free at 877-737-4106 and by email at PeterPettalia@house.mi.gov. Chatfield’s office can be reached by phone at 517-373-2629 and by email at LeeChatfield@house.mi.gov. Both offices are open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and information is also available online at www.gophouse.org. 08Jan Pettalia, Chatfield announce January office hours
24Apr Speaker Cotter appoints Rep. Jim Runestad to national committee Categories: Runestad News Lawmaker to serve on the National Conference of State Legislatures Committee on Health and Human ServicesState Rep. Jim Runestad was appointed by Speaker Kevin Cotter to serve on the Health and Human Services Committee of the National Conference of State Legislatures for the 2015-16 biennium.Rep. Runestad, who is in his first term in the state Legislature, said he was looking forward to representing Michigan on the national level regarding important policy issues.“I am honored to have the opportunity to work with state legislators from across the country on health and human service issues,” said Rep. Runestad, R-White Lake Township. “I look forward to meeting with fellow representatives from across the country. It is a great opportunity to learn what other states are doing in this area and finding ways to work on some ideas that could be brought back home and help create an even better Michigan.”The National Conference of State Legislatures is a bipartisan non-governmental organization established in 1975 to serve the members and staff of state legislatures of the United States. NCSL committees allow for the facilitation of policy innovation and information exchange among state and territorial legislatures.
Categories: Vaupel News State Rep. Hank Vaupel of Handy Township will be joined by the Brighton, Hartland and Howell Area Chambers of Commerce as they host a sales tax seminar for small businesses on Tuesday, Sept. 26.“I consistently hear from Livingston County small business owners about how burdensome the sales tax filing process can be,” Rep. Vaupel said. “This will be a great opportunity for small businesses to receive individual assistance.”The Michigan Department of Treasury’s Outreach Team will provide an overview of the sales tax filing process and how to appeal an audit decision. The team also will answer questions and listen to suggestions from attendees.The seminar will take place at the following date and time:Tuesday, Sept. 26 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Howell Chamber of Commerce, 123 E. Washington St. in Howell.No registration is required to attend. Residents who have questions may contact Rep. Vaupel’s office by phone at (517) 373-8835 or by email at HankVaupel@house.mi.gov. 15Sep Rep. Vaupel and local chambers to host sales tax seminar for small businesses
A resolution offered by state Rep. Shane Hernandez (R-Port Huron) to encourage the Congress of the United States to posthumously award a Medal of Honor to Sgt. Thomas Henry Sheppard of Marlette for his actions during the Civil War received a unanimous vote of the Military and Veteran Affairs Committee, and now proceeds for consideration by the full House.Sgt. Sheppard was a Union color guard in the First Michigan Cavalry and rode four lengths behind Gen. George Custer at Gettysburg during one of the greatest cavalry charges in military history. During this turning point in the war, Union forces intercepted and defeated Confederate cavalrymen that intended on attacking the Union rear during Pickett’s charge. Sheppard was wounded and captured during the charge and subsequently spent a rough 505 days in Confederate prison camps. Sgt. Sheppard protected the flag, successfully keeping it concealed from the guards that entire time, by often wrapping it around his body beneath his clothing. The flag returned home with Sgt. Sheppard in 1866, bearing 72 bullet holes, and is currently on display at the Dearborn Historical Museum.During an era in which flag signals were the principal means of communication on a battlefield, protecting the flag was a mission-critical errand. Although Sgt. Sheppard’s courageous acts were similar to many other Medal of Honor recipients, it seems he simply slipped through the cracks of history and failed to be recognized in a comparable manner.Rep. Hernandez said: “This resolution was directly the result an inquiry received from my constituents, who I am happy to serve. I am proud of the people of Michigan’s 83rd District for their desire to ensure we properly recognize those who were from here for the courageous sacrifices made in the service of our country.” Sgt. Sheppard had also lived in state Rep. Gary Howell’s district, who joined with the representatives representing districts of Sheppard’s known living decedents and several others in co-sponsoring HCR 0014 with bipartisan support. If awarded the Medal of Honor, Sheppard would join Union artillery officer Alonzo Cushing, the most recent Civil War figure who received the award posthumously in 2014. 26Sep Rep. Hernandez resolution nominating Civil War Sgt. Thomas Henry Sheppard for Medal of Honor passes committee Categories: Hernandez News,Hernandez Photos
Categories: Lilly News 21Dec Legislature launches Lilly’s fireworks plan to the governor The Michigan House today provided final legislative approval to give local communities more control over the sale, use and safety of consumer-grade fireworks, passing a bipartisan plan authored by Rep. Jim Lilly, of Park Township.Lilly’s plan helps address the growing problems plaguing communities since the legalization of fireworks in 2011. House Bill 5939 tightens the requirements for selling consumer-grade fireworks and for operating locations where they are sold, while House Bill 5940 revises the time during which local governments may regulate the use of consumer fireworks and increases the fine for those violating the time changes.“These updates are a great step toward restoring more local control over fireworks use,” Lilly said. “Discourteous discharging of fireworks during late hours of the night takes a toll on seniors, pets and their owners, and people suffering from PTSD. Local governments know what’s best for their communities and local authorities struggled to enforce practical standards before this reform.”Under the plan, local officials could restrict the use of consumer-grade fireworks except the following days after 11 a.m.: December 31, the Saturday and Sunday of Memorial weekend, June 29 to July 4, July 5 if the date falls on a Friday or Saturday, and the Saturday and Sunday of Labor Day weekend.House Bill 5941 allows the governor, local fire marshals and the Department of Natural Resources to prohibit the use of consumer fireworks if weather conditions make the activity dangerous to people and property. Lilly’s plan is similar to local or regional burn bans during high winds or drought.“The safety of our kids and the entire community will always be a top priority of mine,” Lilly said. “Given Michigan’s unpredictable weather, and in instances of high winds or a prolonged drought, fireworks can pose a greater risk to the safety of Michiganders and their property. If fire bans can be implemented to prevent widespread fires, then I think it’s reasonable to have communities apply those same safety rules to fireworks.”Lilly said the legislation is a response to concerns of constituents and local elected officials, adding a lot of bipartisan compromise went into the package.“Many residents and local law authorities have contacted me regarding the use of fireworks and what could be done to reduce the negative impacts of them in their neighborhoods,” Lilly said. “I’m pleased that after a lot of bipartisan compromise, we are one step closer to providing local governments and Michiganders a much-needed solution involving this serious issue.”The bills now head to the governor for further consideration.
Share20Tweet2Share3Email25 SharesA sign from the Men Against Violence Against Women / Department of Foreign Affairs and TradeDecember 22, 2015; The Herald (Rock Hill, SC)After a competitive cycle, the Catawba Indian Nation situated in South Carolina did not get renewed for one of its domestic violence grants, leading to the termination of a staff position in the tribe’s social services department.The tribe received the three-year grant to help fund domestic violence and abuse support services for its members, but the grant ran out at the end of December. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the tribe did not receive the grant in this current cycle.“The tribe is subject to a competitive grant process,” said Catawba tribe spokeswoman Elizabeth Harris. “This year, the DOJ had 150 applicants, and only 40 grants were awarded.”The original $749,538 grant from the tribal government’s program within the federal Violence Against Women office helped fund three full staff positions that provided legal assistance to women trying to leave their abusive partners as well as other support services such as shelter. The tribe will now be utilizing a smaller $422,393 grant form the Comprehensive Tribal Victims Assistance program from the DOJ. However, the reduced funding can no longer support three full-time staff positions. The number of positions has been reduced to two, and the remaining staff members will have to apply for them.Despite their funding nearly being halved, the program’s goal is to provide the same services it has over the last three years. To that end, the funding for the domestic violence shelter is separate from the DOJ grant funding, and it will continue to operate normally.The loss of funding is particularly distressing given the disproportionately high rates of domestic violence and abuse in Native American communities compared to other ethnic groups. According to a 2004 DOJ report, Native American suffered from domestic violence at a rate 50 percent higher than other ethnic groups. The Center for Disease Control in 2008 reported that 39 percent of Native American women identified as victims of violence committed by their partners—again, higher than any other ethnic group.Adding to the dilemma is that 70 percent of domestic violence committed against Native Americans is committed by a non-Native American outside of the community. With non-Native Americans outside of their jurisdiction, tribal law did not allow tribal courts to prosecute non-Natives until a provision was passed in 2015, an act of recognition of the severity of the problem and the importance of addressing the violence committed against Native American women.Whether or not the Catawba tribe receives the grant in the next cycle, there’s a clear need to ensure these services are funded and readily available in Native American communities. Through continued awareness of the issue, or through further advocacy alerting the public and the government of the need for support and legal services, it is still possible to combat the high levels of violence within the Native American community.—Shafaq HasanShare20Tweet2Share3Email25 Shares
Share22TweetShare1Email23 SharesAugust 16, 2016; Toledo BladeJust 108 miles south of Flint, Michigan, on U.S. Route 23, the city of Toledo, Ohio, has adopted a lead prevention ordinance designed to keep its children from being poisoned at home. Bob Cole, managing attorney of Advocates for Basic Legal Equality (ABLE), which helped lead the campaign to pass the lead-safe ordinance, credits the crisis in Flint for bringing city officials to the realization that they have a duty to protect their children.When Ohio passed its lead control laws, the protocol was simple: Find a poisoned child through blood testing, trace the poisoning back to its source, and remediate the lead hazard at that source. There are only two problems with that approach: Children get poisoned, and the lead sources are often not actually remediated.Now, Toledo joins a handful of other cities (Baltimore, Rochester, and San Jose) in requiring lead prevention, not just remediation. As a result of the advocacy efforts of the Toledo Lead Poisoning Prevention Coalition (TLPPC), the Toledo City Council has adopted a lead-safe housing ordinance designed to protect renters of 1-4 unit properties. “Lead safe” means there’s no exposed lead hazard, as determined by a series of dust swipes conducted by the Toledo/Lucas County Health Department. Properties offered for rent after the ordinance takes effect will need a lead-safe certificate issued by the Health Department.Opponents of the original ordinance introduced a substitute bill that would have required only a “visual inspection,” in order to reduce the cost to the property owners. TLPPC responded with a press conference where a Health Department representative demonstrated the dust swipe testing method. ABLE’s Bob Cole told media representatives, “You’re talking about $30 to have tangible evidence that you either have a property that is lead safe, or you have a property that has lead dust.” The visual inspection test idea was dropped, although in compromise, the scope of the ordinance expanded to include 1-4 unit properties rather than the 1-2 units originally proposed and grew to include day-care facilities. Because the federal government outlawed the sale of lead paint in 1978, only properties built before 1978 are required to be tested.A key to the legislative progress of the ordinance has been the support of Toledo Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson. Mayor Hicks-Hudson had served as Toledo’s city council president until the unexpected death of Mayor Michael Collins. At that point, Ms. Hicks-Hudson became mayor, and eight months later Ms. Hicks-Hudson was elected mayor in her own right. She moved quickly to ask the City Law Department to draft the ordinance in consultation with TLPPC, and she introduced the ordinance to Council in mid June.The current proposal is the advocates second visit to Toledo City Council. In 2013, Toledoans United for Social Action (TUSA) began the process of educating citizens and elected officials about the impact of lead poisoning. Armed with a study by the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at Ohio State University, ABLE and TUSA explained the impact of poisoned homes on the African American families in 15 of Toledo’s census tracts. The road from those early meetings in church basements to now has been a methodical process of enlisting allies and creating consensus on “the facts,” so that when Flint’s crisis broke into the public consciousness, Toledoans were ready to act.Throughout the campaign, attorney Cole has emphasized that no one is blaming landlords for the problem. Landlords were not the ones who put the lead into the paint that they put on the walls of their rental properties. But years of litigation have determined that no one who did put lead into the paint and gasoline and other products is responsible for the harm done to children. The question now is how it will be removed. While some advocates have argued for a mass public works approach to lead removal, Toledo has taken a step smaller than full abatement by making the homes of at-risk children “lead safe.” But that small step is a 180-degree turn from using children as lead detectors.—Spencer WellsShare22TweetShare1Email23 Shares
Canal Plus-owner Vivendi has issued a €1 billion bond in two tranches, which it says will enable it to lengthen the duration of its debt.The first tranche is in the amount of €500 million with a four-year maturity and a 3.875% coupon. The second, also for €500 million, has a seven-year maturity and a 4.875% coupon.
Turkish pay TV provider Digiturk is making its DigiturkWebTV service available internationally via over-the-top TV set-tops supplied by Istanbul-based technology provider AirTies.Digiturk is making DigiturkWebTV’s premium content and LigTv HD available to subscribers abroad in real time, video-on-demand, and catch-up playback up to 12 hours after initial screening, enabling international subscribers to view Turkish Super League football matches, TV series and various Turkish content to suit the time zone of the country in which they live.The service will be delivered via AirTies Air 7120 boxes using Microsoft Playready DRM and adaptive bit-rate streaming. The Air7120 also supports internet radio, YouTube, and will support social media features including Facebook and Twitter in the near future by software updates.Kerem Ertan, assistant general manager of Digiturk, responsible for international sales, said: “DigiTurk works hard to deliver all its customers its premium content anytime, anywhere throughout the world with the highest quality viewing experience from TV, PC, iOS and Android smartphones and tablets. Today we are delighted to announce the newest development in this unique partnership with AirTies because it will keep expatriate Turks living abroad more connected than ever to premium Turkish content, and it allows that content to be watched on a TV screen.”
German cable operator Kabel Deutschland ended 2011 with a strong quarter, adding 134,000 new pay TV RGUs and 68,000 internet and telephony customers.The increases helped KDG post a third quarter profit of €55 million compared with a €36.5 million loss a year earlier.The operator ended December with a total of 1.082 million pay TV subscribers, compared with 962,000 at the end of 2010. The number of DVR customers increased by 200,000 to 466,000.KDG’s total RGU base stood at 13.3 million at the end of 2011, which was up 5.7% year-on-year.Third quarter revenues were up 5.4% to €427.3 million. TV revenues increased by 1.7% to €289.9 million, while internet and telephony revenues were up 14.2% to €137.4 million.
Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) is launching movie network Paramount Channel in Spain this month and is eyeing a raft of international rollouts in the next 18 months.The channel will launch as a free-to-air network on the country’s digital terrestrial television platform Vocento later this month.Bob Bakish, president and chief executive, VIMN, told DTVE sister title TBI that it was looking to expand its reach into the adult demographic. “I spoke to Philippe Dauman and we said ‘why wouldn’t we do something around the Paramount brand’, so we engaged Brad Grey, who runs the studio,” he said. “The Spanish market loves our brand and there’s a strong appetite for film in Spain.”Movies initially launching on the channel, which launches on March 30, will include The Godfather, American Beauty, A.I, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Fatal Attraction. The network will also include titles from other Hollywood studios and VIMN has already inked deals with Sony and Miramax.Bakish added that it would launch the channel in a number of other territories later this year and in 2013. “You’ll see a pretty quick roll out; we’re looking at options for 2012. We’re not just talking Europe; we’re talking the world outside of North America, so Latin America and Asia as well,” he said. “In the majority of countries, Paramount will be an ad-supported pay channel.”
Dutch telco KPN has named Eric Hageman as its new full-time chief financial officer.Hageman was named as interim chief financial officer in January. He was previously CEO of KPN Belgium.Jos Donvil has meanwhile been named as CEO of KPN Belgium in Hageman’s place. Donvil was previously chief operating officer of the Belgian operation.
Lithuanian telecom operator Teo grew its Teo TV base to 169,300 at the end of last year, up 12% year-on-year. Teo’s internet base grew by 3.7% to 385,000 over the same period.Teo, which offers TV via IPTV and digital-terrestrial platforms, said its growth was boosted by digital switchover at the end of October. TV accounted for 7.5% of the company’s revenues in 2012, while the company accounted for 44.1% of Lithuania’s digital TV revenues overall.Teo said FTTH services were available to 764,000, or 64% of the country’s residents, by the end of 2012.“Last year was full of challenges for the entire telecommunications market. Nevertheless, it was a successful year for Teo. The direction chosen by us – to create added value of the services and increase their uniqueness – has proved successful. More and more customers appreciate this. So in the future we intend to focus on satisfaction of the needs of customers already using our services,” said Arūnas Šikšta, general manager of Teo.
Canal Plus has lobbied French parliamentary deputies to promote the idea of introducing legislation to create a reserved list of sporting events that would be available via digital-terrestrial TV, according to financial daily Les Echos.According to the paper, Canal Plus is promulgating the idea that some sports events of national importance should be accessible to the largest possible audience, which in practice would mean that they should be available on the DTT platform.The pay TV operator owns two free-to-air DTT channels – D8 and D17 – that it acquired last year from Bolloré, while its chief rival for sports rights, Al Jazeera-owned beIN Sport, has no presence on DTT. Under French law, a non-European company is restricted to a maximum of 20% ownership of any channel on the platform.Canal Plus’s proposal, which would see a significant enlargement of the list of events of major importance that can be reserved for free-to-air TV, as identified by the European Commission, is still in its infancy, according to Les Echos, and could attract opposition on the grounds that it provided de facto protection for Canal Plus against competitors.News of the move came as French rights for the Euro 2016 football tournament were divided between BeIN Sport and commercial broadcasters TF1 and M6. According to sports paper L’Équipe, BeIN Sport paid €60 million for rights to air 29 matches on pay TV, while TF1 and M6 paid €25 million each for the rights to 22 matches between them. This will mark the first time that the major part of an international football tournament of this type will be shown mainly on pay TV.
Playboy TV UK/Benelux has won an appeal to regulator Ofcom against a fine levied by UK video-on-demand regulator ATVOD after providing that key parts of its operation where being run from Canada, after control of the operation was passed on to Playboy Plus. The move of key operations to Canada placed the service outside ATVOD’s jurisdiction. According to ATVOD, the success of the appeal was based on the submission of evidence from Playboy TV UK/Benelux that was never offered to ATVOD.Ofcom noted that “there was a genuine reallocation of responsibility within the corporate group” resulting in a transfer of editorial responsibility for the service to Canada.ATVOD had originally found that Playboy TV UK/Benelux was in breach of its rules requiring adult on-demand services to keep hardcore material behind access controls that meant it was beyond the reach of minors. The UK company was later fined £100,000 (€120,000).“This is a complex area and the appeal system is a vital part of the process, giving service providers, in particular, greater clarity over issues such as where regulatory responsibility lies when two or more parties are involved. In this case, it is unfortunate that ATVOD was not provided with all relevant information at the appropriate time – doing so ensures that unnecessary regulatory costs are avoided,” said ATVOD CEO Pete Johnson.
Maciej MaciejowskiPolish broadcast group TVN is launching its VoD service Player.pl on PlayStation 3 games consoles this week, with a PS4 rollout to follow later.TVN said that the Player.pl app, a relaunched version of TVN’s earlier TVNPlayer.pl service, will let PlayStation users stream the most popular TVN-produced content, along with exclusive and previously unaired TV programmes.The app also includes a log-in option so that users can manage their favorite shows, and use a ‘continue viewing’ function to pause and resume watching video.“Connected devices are becoming increasingly significant for television, therefore premiere launch of Player.pl on PS4 and its relaunch on PS3 are extremely important for development of our VOD services. Player.pl is being introduced to further platforms so as to be literally everywhere within reach of our fans,” said TVN board member and new business development boss Maciej Maciejowski.Player.pl is already available on Android and iOS devices and on smart TVs. TVN said that in April, a total of 4.6 million unique users visited the Player.pl platform across all devices.The launch date for the Player.pl PS4 app will be announced shortly, the firm said.
Video streaming has “fundamentally changed” the TV industry’s competitive landscape, with 42% of TV time now dedicated to watching over-the-top services, according to new research.The Adobe and The Diffusion Group (TDG) research says that more than two fifths of viewing time is now spent with either subscription, transactional, or free streaming video services.Of this OTT viewing time, 65% is spent watching SVOD services like Netflix or Amazon Prime Video, 30% is spent watching free streaming services and 5% is spent watching transactional streaming services, according to the research.The Streaming Video Survey Analysis, carried out by TDF in January, found that 82% of adult video streamers subscribe to “some type of online subscription video service”. Netflix led with 70% use among video streamers, followed by Amazon Prime Video at 33%, and Hulu Plus at 21%.Among those who watch free online video services, YouTube is by far the most popular and was watched by 83%, followed by Hulu at 23% and Crackle at 19% viewing rates.iTunes, Google Play, and Amazon Instant View were found to be the top three transactional streaming video services, with 34% of adult video streamers using TVOD services.