Share32TweetShareEmail32 SharesProtest at Whitehaven Coal AGM / Kate AusburnJuly 9, 2018; Energy News The story is familiar: Factories leave, farms mechanize, mines close, and the community suffers and shrinks. Finding a new economic engine that can provide jobs, power the tax base, and keep the kids from leaving is a daunting task in today’s rural America. Fortunately, that’s the focus of the Just Transition Fund (“the Fund”), at least for communities hit hard by the energy transition from coal—first in Appalachia, and now in the Midwest and beyond.Three forces are responsible for a tsunami of job losses from closed mines and the shutdown of more than 130 coal-powered plants since 2015: 1) the declining cost of producing natural gas, 2) a regulatory environment that makes it more expensive for electric power generators to use coal, and 3) weak international demand. Appalachia has endured 82 percent of the nation’s coal job losses, losing 33,500 mining jobs between 2011 and 2016; coal production has fallen by nearly 45 percent in this span. Farther west, where the Power River Basin of Wyoming and Montana has historically provided 40 percent of the country’s coal, a flurry of coal mining company bankruptcies has meant widespread job and tax base loss. Mining communities in central and southern Illinois are hard hit as well.Both internationally and in the US, the new field of just economic transition is taking hold, and the Just Transition Fund is in the forefront of marshalling financial, technical, and political resources to support these communities in transition. Created in 2015 to enable community groups to quickly respond to the Obama administration’s POWER Initiative, JTF was seeded with $450,000 from the Rockefeller Family Fund, the Appalachian Funders Network, and six national and regional foundation partners. Just weeks after its doors opened, 54 applicants submitted proposals requesting over $1.3 million in new federal funds to help coalfield and coal plant-impacted communities better prepare for economic transition. To date, the Fund’s grants have helped inject nearly $19 million in federal funds to undergird and scale community-driven economic transition projects. Now this funder has expanded its mission to more broadly address the coal community transition movement. In the past year, the Fund and its partners received $3 million from Bloomberg Philanthropies and a $1 million donation from Google to support their work.The Just Transition Fund sees itself as a philanthropic hybrid, both a grantmaker and nonprofit innovator. Its values and beliefs are crystal clear—that the affected communities have the wisdom and power to solve their own problems; that they need the resources, supports, and connections to make marked change; and that it’s neither solely the economy or the environment, but both.The Fund’s investments encompass a diverse set of strategies for communities hit by coal mine and coal plant closures:For the Coalfield Development Corporation in Wayne, West Virginia, to launch new businesses in real estate development, construction, wood working, agriculture, and artisan trades with former coal miners at the helm;For Rural Action in Plains, Ohio, to do a feasibility study for the Appalachian Ohio Solar Supply Chain Initiative and attract component manufacturing jobs to the region;For the Clean Air Coalition of Western New York in Buffalo, New York, to launch a labor-business-government-community effort to redevelop the region after the Huntley Coal Plant closes; andFor the Black Mesa Water Coalition in Flagstaff, Arizona, to enable the Navaho Nation to do community engagement around building sustainable economic development opportunities, particularly after the shutdown of the Black Mesa Mine.With more than 45 partners/grantees, the Just Transition Fund is truly acting as a hub for the economic transition movement and providing a viable vehicle for philanthropic engagement in the economic development challenges of our time.—Deborah WarrenShare32TweetShareEmail32 Shares
Telecom Italia has partnered with TV technology company Technicolor to help with the launch of its next generation Cubovision service, which will merge traditional pay TV content, over-the-top applications and personal media.The telco will use Technicolor’s MediaPlay set-top box platform, a hybrid pay TV/OTT media server that offers multiroom video distribution over wireless networks. Technicolor will also deliver its MediaAccess residential service gateways, which deliver high-speed bandwidth and optimised wireless for content and applications distribution within the home.The company will also provide content workflow and asset management, supporting the video infrastructure for the CuboVision offering.Michel Rahier, president of Technicolor’s connected home division, said: “This partnership with Telecom Italia demonstrates Technicolor’s ability to integrate value added video devices, software and services to deliver consumers with a leading-edge connected home experience. We are very excited to leverage these solid foundations to accompany services providers in bringing innovative services packages to themarket.”
MTV and Nickelodeon owner Viacom has seen revenues fall 6% year-on-year in its second quarter results, but is planning to invest more in original content across its improving TV channels business.Q2 revenues to March 31, 2013, were US$3.14 billion compared with US$3.31 billion in 2012, on top of operating income down 9% at US$847 million. The dips were attributed to the company’s film unit, Paramount Pictures.However, its media networks division – which houses MTV, Nick, Comedy Central among other US channels and Viacom International Media Networks – increased revenues by 2% to US$2.23 billion.Viacom will target more original productions across its channel bouquet – especially on networks with new share growth potential such as Spike TV, BET, CMT and Comedy Central, said Viacom’s chairman and CEO Philippe Dauman in an investor call with analysts.“We think there’s a big opportunity in some of those networks, which capture more share in demos where we have not traditionally had a big market share. So this is an incremental opportunity for us and one that we want to invest in.”Elsewhere, Dauman said the company was still open to a new deal with Netflix, despite the streaming service’s CEO Reed Hastings saying this week he was open to letting the agreement expire in favour of targeted programming acquisitions and more original content.Analysts have often put the popularity of Nick shows on Netflix as a key reason behind ratings falls in recent years, though the channel was 9% up YOY this quarter, according to Dauman. “We’re open to licensing content – some on an exclusive basis and some on a non-exclusive basis,” he added.Meanwhile, Viacom repurchased 11.7 million shares as part of its stock repurchase programme, at a cost of US$700 million.
Liberty Global has appointed the managing director of UPC Ireland, Dana Strong, as the next chief operating officer of Virgin Media. Strong is due to replace current Virgin Media COO Andrew Barron, who is leaving to “pursue new opportunities,” said Liberty. She is due to take up the post on July 1.Mike Fries, President and CEO of Liberty Global, said: “Dana has over 20 years of experience in the media industry and has been an integral member of the Liberty Global family for 14 years. She has a proven track record of delivering profitable growth and customer service excellence to the operations she’s led in Australiaand Ireland.”Strong will be replaced at UPC Ireland by Magnus Ternsjö, who is MD of Liberty Global’s Central European DTH satellite television business covering Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Romania. However she will remain chairman of UPC Ireland.The announcement follows the recent appointment of UPC Netherlands MD, Robert Dunn, as Virgin Media’s next chief finance officer, and former News International chief executive Tom Mockridge as Virgin’s new CEO, who replace Eamonn O’Hare and Neil Berkett, respectively. Both will take up their roles after Liberty Completes its buyout of Virgin Media, which is due to happen by the end of this month.Neil Berkett, the outgoing boss of Virgin Media, will become chair of publishing group Guardian Media Group when his tenure at the UK cable company ends later this month, it was announced yesterday.GMG owns a range of UK media businesses. It is best known as the owner of loss-making UK quality newspaper The Guardian.
Sweden’s Svensk Filmindustri has launched a subscription on-demand service offering its library of classic kids titles and third-party programming.SF Kids Play launches on February 29, offering a monthly subscription at SEK59. All programming is available streamed or offline as a download.Programming includes titles from the Astrid Lindgren’s Pippi Longstocking, Saltkråkan and Pettson & Findus brands, and acquired shows such as Rory the Racecar, Maya the Bee, Vicky the Viking, Thomas and Friends and Chuggington.Films and short-form content will also be offered, and parental controls will allow content to be blocked if necessary.The move is another example of content companies going direct-to-consumer in a bid to monetise their libraries and connect with audiences.We have a well-filled treasure chest with movies and series that have been packaged into a new concept for the digital world, and it feels great to be able to offer this to families with children in Sweden,” said SF CEO Jonas Fors.“The range of entertainment for children online is great, but what has so far been lacking is a safe corner with a mix of classics and news,” he added.Customers are being offered a month of SF Kids Play free of charge, a model most SVOD services have adopted.SF is one of Sweden’s oldest media group, having been founded in 1919. It now operates in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland, and operates in TV, film and international distribution.
Liberty Global-owned UPC Slovakia has launched the group’s advanced TV offering Horizon.The service will offer a new user interface, internet TV services, seven-day catch-up TV and the MyPrime video-on-demand service with 1,600 titles available.UPC Slovakia already offers the mobile version of Horizon, Horizon Go, which has been available in the country since May last year.The full Horizon offering will provide over 170 channels, with a unified guide and search capability.The seven-day catch-up service includes 40 channels, of which 19 are HD services.Via Horizon Go, content is viewable on three mobile devices simultaneously. Horizon Go users have access to 80 channels, including 22 in HD.The Horizon platform will be immediately available to subscribers with new Kaon 700 HD boxes. Other customers will be able to upgrade to a new HD MediaBox specifically designed for Horizon, according to the company.Martin Miller, acting CEO of UPC in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, said that the offering would be expanded in the future to include additional services.
PlayStation VRSony has committed to making a variety of content “beyond gaming” following the global launch last week of its PlayStation VR headset.Speaking at MIPCOM this morning, the president and CEO of Sony Corporation, Kazuo Hirai, said that Sony is well positioned to set trends in virtual reality – both by providing an “entirely new gaming experience” and by offering other kinds of content.“We have paid close attention to audience reaction to early VR exposure and intend to respond with a variety of content beyond gaming. Across Sony, our content divisions are working on VR entertainment as we seek to grow the industry,” said Hirai.The firm has already developed VR experiences based on Sony Pictures Entertainment produced or distributed films The Walk, Goosebumps and Ghostbusters, and Sony Music is now developing a VR music experience with EDM artist Kygo.“VR provides us all an exciting and new creative frontier. We want you to share in our excitement about the possibility of VR to your respective businesses and to imagine the possibility as VR moves beyond games – to television, live sporting events, awe-inspiring documentaries and of course B2B applications as well,” said Hirai.“The perspective of my 32 years in this business tells me that there is no limit to what is possible if you stay tuned to the sensibilities and interests of the consumers and you understand where they’re going.”Hirai, who spent 10 years at Sony Music and another 15 at Sony’s PlayStation division before being appointed CEO in 2012, said that an important aspect of his strategy is to create ‘one Sony’.Under his management, Sony executives from the entertainment and electronics sides of the company meet twice a year to discuss business issues – an initiative Hirai said resulted in the development of PlayStation VR.“We just need to make sure that all the various businesses are talking to each other, sharing information and, where necessary, when it works for everybody involved, do something together,” said Hirai.In his keynote the executive also highlighted the importance of ‘kando’ – a Japanese term that refers to emotional involvement – as a means to determine both what the company should do, and why it should do it.“By sharing your ideas, we can identify or develop new technologies from state of the art cameras to improved and flexible delivery of formats that fully render what’s possible,” said Hirai.“In this multiplatform, multichannel world, viewer preferences are as personal and individual as they are. This is why our efforts over the past few years have been focused both on providing entertainment experiences that elicit ‘kando’.”Sony last week launched PlayStation VR – a headset that plugs into PlayStation 4 consoles. As well as an extensive line-up of games, there are also a number of VR video apps and experience that have already either launched or been unveiled.https://www.digitaltveurope.com/613642/sony-unveils-ps-vr-content-ahead-of-tomorrows-launch/
Tele Columbus CEO and chairman, Ronny Verhelst.Germany’s number three cable operator Tele Columbus has unveiled its new advanced TV service ahead of a commercial launch of the service in January.The service, called simply advanceTV, is based on the Comcast-driven RDK platform. Espial provided the user experience and acted as lead integrator. Cisco provides conditional access technology, with Verimatrix providing DRM for on-demand services. VOD encoding and origin server are supplied by Elemental, while set-top boxes are being provided by Humax.The 4K UHD TV-enabled IP video service will include integrated access to ProSiebenSAT.1’s SVOD service Maxdome. This will be offered as part of two bundles – HD Maxdome Plus and Maxdome Flat.In addition to Maxdome, advanceTV will provide DVR, a set of web apps and multiscreen access.Speaking to Digital TV Europe ahead of the launch, Jeff Huppertz, vice-president of marketing and business development at Espial, said that the service would include a simple user-friendly interface that will enable users to navigate direct to recordings as well as sarch for content online and on Tele Columbus’s managed VOD platform.Huppertz said that one challenging aspect of Tele Columbus’s implementation of advanced TV services was that a number of parts of its network in eastern Germany are still being upgraded.“We had to, as Espial and other technology providers, to design in the capability to work well in one way networks,” said Huppertz. He said that Espial had added enhancements to RDK, which was designed with two-way networks in mind, to enable data carousel delivery of services.Huppertz said that future customers of RDK would be able to take advantage of these enhancements.The service is multiscreen-enabled, with the box acting as a gateway. Espial developed and provided the client software for Android and iOS devices.The app store, supplied in partnership with Metrological, will will include Vimeo, Flickr, DailyMotion, Google Maps, Wikipedia, wetter.com, Deezer, TuneIn and Deutsche Welle among other services from launch.The Humax-supplied set-top, in addition to being 4K UHD-enabled, comes with four integrated tuners and a 1TB hard drive. Up to two devices can be served with streams by the box at the same time.Tele Columbus is deploying the service across the Primacom and Pepcom networks it acquired over the last couple of years as well as its own network.“Our strategy is to deliver an unsurpassed video experience to German subscribers. We see the fragmentation OTT services are driving into the marketplace and resolved to provide a compelling one-stop shop for the widest range of content available to any cable connection in Germany: 4K TV, VOD, Maxdome SVOD, a rich universe of web apps, and timeshift viewing via an integrated DVR,” said Ronny Verhelst, CEO of Tele Columbus Group.“Espial has proven to be an exceptional integration and solution partner, and we’re excited to deploy advanceTV beginning next month.”
Sports and talent management outfit IMG has launched an OTT TV service for Serie A football in Spanish-speaking Latin America and Brazil.Serie A Pass, which costs US$8.99 (€7.85) a month or US$59.99 a year, launched on Saturday with the start of the new Italian football season. The OTT TV service will include coverage of all live games, match replays and additional magazine and archive programming across 21 countries in the region.The offering will be available ion desktop, tablet and mobile and via apps on iOS and Android devices including Chromecast and Apple Airplay.Serie A is expected to have strong appeal across the region this season, following Juventus’ signing of Cristiano Ronaldo and the emergence of new owners committed to investing more money in clubs, according to IMG.As part of the launch, IMG has invested in producing graphics and promos for the service along with three magazine programmes – Inside Serie A, Serie A – Full Impact and The Serie A Highlights Show.South American players in Serie A include Inter’s Mauro Icardi and Lautaro Martinez, Milan’s Gonzalo Higuain and Lucas Biglia, Juventus’ Paulo Dybala, AS Roma’s Federico Fazio and Diego Perotti, Fiorentina’s Giovanni Simeone and Atalanta’s Alejandro Gomez.The launch of IMG’s service follows a deal between IMG and ESPN two weeks ago covering the US market. The Disney-owned broadcaster will show 340 matches per season on its new ESPN+ OTT TV service.IMG secured the global marketing rights to Serie A last year, usurping previous holder MP & Silva. The company recently took a minority stake in two channels launched by Eleven Sports to distribute Serie A in the UK.
More than 30% of French internet users watched a subscription video-on-demand service in the past year, marking a 10-point increase compared to December 2017.Netflix’s Stranger ThingsThis is according to Médiamétrie’s latest SVOD barometer, which estimated that 13.6 million French people watch series, films, documentaries or cartoons via an SVOD service.The research said that people are both becoming more aware of SVOD and are becoming more avid viewers of these streaming services. Half of French people can now name an SVOD service, up 19-points in just six months, while eight in ten SVOD viewers watch programmes every week.Half of SVOD users said that they spend between one and two hours per day on these services. The most ardent 28% of viewers used them for between two and three hours per day.Médiamétrie said that Netflix is the most popular SVOD service in France, followed by Amazon Prime Video and Canalplay, but it did not break out user number estimates per platform.Series, spanning genres like comedy, action, thriller, science-fiction and fantasy, were found to be the “star content” of SVOD, especially among younger audiences. Some 90% of SVOD users aged 15-34 watch series, while 87% of people aged 35 and older watch films on SVOD platforms.“Money Heist, followed by 13 Reasons Why, then Game of Thrones, Stranger Things, Orange is the New Black, The Walking Dead and Grey’s Anatomy are the series that SVOD users were most attracted to during the last 12 months,” according to the research.“The ranking is clearly dominated by US series, except for the Spanish series Money Heist (La Casa de Papel in the original language) which will have left a lasting impression this year. Local programmes are playing their hand well: Six out of 10 SVOD users attach importance to the French catalogue available on the platforms.”
Insight TV has expanded its coverage in Russia after striking a deal with ER-Telecom’s Dom.ru network.Insight TV’s 4K UHD channel is now available to operator Dom.ru’s digital TV viewers with Ultra HD-capable equipment.“Russia is an important region for us and we’re pleased to partner with ER-Telecom to bring our content to a greater number of viewers there,” said Insight TV’s chief commercial officer, Graeme Stanley.“This deal further underscores our huge growth in the past 12 months and our commitment to delivering immersive, 4K UHD content worldwide.”Separately, Insight TV has selected Technicolor HDR technologies to up, down and cross-convert its existing UHD content library to provide high dynamic range.Technicolor’s senior vice-president, head of HDR program, Kirk Barker, said: “After several comparison tests, Insight TV has, like many other customers, selected our dynamic conversion and distribution technologies, Technicolor HDR ITM and Technicolor HDR, to produce and deliver the best possible SDR and HDR quality for each individual image to any end-user display.”Insight TV technical director, Gavin Ho, said: “We deliver our unique immersive content to networks and platforms around the world and it’s essential that we meet all their technical requirements, while ensuring the highest possible quality of our content in SDR and HDR, UHD and HD.”
Eleven Sports has secured rights to the Copa del Rey semi-final between Barcelona and Real Madrid in the UK, Ireland, Belgium and Poland.The semi-final will be held over two legs on February 6 and 27 and Eleven will also broadcast Real Madrid’s LaLiga match against Barcelona on March 2.The news comes a week after Eleven ceded its Italian Serie A and Dutch Eredivisie football rights to UK broadcaster Premier Sports after ending its partnership with IMG, the agency that manages these rights.In a statement last week, the streaming service said that it will continue to show live coverage of LaLiga football in the UK and Ireland until the end of the season, “with the intention of continuing beyond”.
Discovery Networks Asia Pacific has launched home and lifestyle channel HGTV in Vietnam. The channel is distributed in Vietnam by content provider Thaole Entertainment, which also distributes Discovery’s Asian Food Channel (AFC).HGTV most recently launched in Myanmar last month on SkyNet, on SingtelTV in Singapore and HOOQ in Indonesia last October. With the introduction of HGTV in Vietnam, the channel is now available in seven markets in Southeast Asia.HGTV’s launch will bring shows such as The Property Brothers, Flip or Flop, Fixer Upper, House Hunters and Restored by the Fords to Vietnamese viewers.Anna Pak Burdin, general manager Southeast Asia, Discovery Networks Asia Pacific, said: “HGTV is a much-loved channel across Southeast Asia, and we are thrilled to see it continue to grow in popularity. We have enjoyed our partnership with Thaole over the past five years as our distributor for AFC so we are really excited to introduce yet another of our popular lifestyle channels to our viewers in Vietnam with content that we are sure they will love.”Sophie Le, CEO, Thaole Entertaiment, said: “HGTV is a channel that we believe will be successful in Vietnam as more young people are moving out on their own to start a family. With more disposable income, they are looking for inspiration and tips to make their homes their own personal oasis. We are very happy to partner with Discovery to make HGTV and AFC the most successful and popular lifestyle brands for us and our broadcast partners.”
Superintendent McCalmont said: “Persons gathered at the bonfire attacked members of the community on the city Walls with bottles and rocks.“Police who were deployed to prevent further disorder were subsequently attacked by persons who threw petrol bombs and other missiles.“Fortunately, no injuries were sustained.“This violent behaviour simply damages our communities, and cannot be tolerated. AUGUST 15 BONFIREbogsideDerryLECKY ROADMOTORISTS AND POLICE ATTACKED BY MASKED YOUTHS AT DERRY BONFIRESUPT GORDON MCCALMONT MOTORISTS AND POLICE ATTACKED BY MASKED YOUTHS AT DERRY BONFIRE was last modified: August 15th, 2017 by John2John2 Tags: ShareTweet “Tonight will see the lighting of the bonfire and I would appeal to those in the community to use their influence to control the situation so that we do not have a repeat of last night’s behaviour.“I would like to reassure the community that we will deploy the necessary resources to detect and deter those responsible.“Where this is not practicable at the time, we shall seek to gather evidence to bring those responsible before the courts.“There will be consequences for those choosing to engage in this type of behaviour.“Local residents do not want this kind of activity on their doorsteps and I would urge those engaged in violence and criminal damage to stay at home,” added Supt Gordon McCalmont. Youths wearing masks and scarfs to hide their identities at the bonfire being built on a bank at Lecky Road last nightTHE PSNI say members of the public and police in Derry came under attack last night as they dealt with localised disorder in the city.Superintendent Gordon McCalmont said the disorder occurred in the vicinity of the bonfire at the banking in the Lecky Road area in the Bogside.The bonfire will be lit tonight and some locals are considering moving out of their homes today to stay with family and friends for fear of the trouble will escalate.
ShareTweet FASHION Fest 2018 is preparing to make its highly anticipated return this weekend, with event organisers Derry City & Strabane District Council guaranteeing ‘an unmissable night’ in the Guildhall today, Saturday, October 13.A celebration of local design and entrepreneurship, Fashion Fest seeks to shine a light on the creative industries in the North West – as both established and emerging designers take to the stage to showcase their collections in a stunning catwalk show led by the team at Style Academy.A great opportunity for fashion fans to mingle with industry insiders, the event will be co-hosted by Dylan Llewellyn (‘the wee English fella’ from Derry Girls) and Stephen Clements (from Q Radio) and will have an exciting finale from luxury brand Halfpenny London. DerryDerry Fashion Fest 2018 is here!GuildhallMayor John BoyleRebecca jewellery “Derry’s long connection with the textile trade makes it the perfect location to develop a hub for designers and retailers to produce authentic and creative works inspired by our unique heritage and the long tradition of producing top quality apparel.“Fashion Fest really is a glittering centrepiece – showcasing our local creativity and entrepreneurship and underlining that Derry & Strabane is open for business and an important hub for emerging talent.“The festival will also provide a great opportunity for fashion enthusiasts to view the upcoming trends and meet designers – and I am confident this year’s event is going to be another huge success!”Business Support Manager with Derry City and Strabane District Council, Louise Breslin, said she is looking forward to another spectacular event on Saturday night. “Today the iconic Guildhall’s Main Hall will be transformed for a glittering gala celebration as Fashion Fest 2018 serves up another tantalising taste of catwalk glamour” she said.“This amazing event is the perfect platform for local designers to showcase their work alongside leading labels in the industry – and celebrates the emerging talent that is making the city’s name as an exciting new fashion hub.“The Fashion Showcase event promises to be a night not to be missed where you can dress to impress and be part of a stylish celebration that will showcase the best in local fashion.Derry teenager Lauren Burton is the face of Fashion Fest 2018“I’m also really delighted that Fashion Fest is continuing to grow year on year with more designers getting involved, including an important mix of well-established designers and others who will be making their Fashion Fest debut.“I’d therefore encourage as many people as possible to come along and support our exceptionally gifted local designers by booking their tickets today!”Tickets are priced at £15 (+booking fee) which includes a drink on arrival and an exclusive goody bag!You can find out more about Fashion Fest and purchase tickets for the event at www.derrystrabane.com/fashionfest and Eventbrite. Tickets can also be purchased from the Guildhall Reception in Derry and the Alley Theatre in Strabane. You can also follow all the news for Fashion Fest 2018 on Instagram @fashionfestderry and on social media using the hash tag #fashionfestderry.Derry Fashion Fest 2018 is here! was last modified: October 13th, 2018 by John2John2 Tags: Indeed, the showcase event will dazzle audiences with an array of classic and contemporary couture, including a collection by celebrity stylist and esteemed fashion designer Kate Halfpenny who will be showing pieces from her bridal collection as well as her ‘Black Edit Collection’.The festival will also feature fantastic performances by Irish singer / songwriter Emma Wallace and award-winning DJ Louise DaCosta, plus live sax accompaniment.Encouraging people to come along to the Guildhall tonight, Mayor of Derry & Strabane District Council, Cllr John Boyle said: “Fashion Fest has become a real highlight of Council’s events calendar, offering many opportunities for local designers to showcase their work alongside portfolios by some of the leading names in the industry.
CITY OF DERRY JAZZ FESTIVALDerryIrelandMarc AlmondMarc Almond to bring Greatest Hits spectacular to Jazz FestivalMillennium Forum MARC Almond is a name synonymous with the 80’s, as the unforgettable frontman of synth-pop duo Soft Cell whose distinctive brand of electronica is an irresistible summons to the dance floor to this day.Since the golden era of 80’s pop Almond has been on a prolific creative journey that’s taken him across the globe exploring every musical avenue from Russian folk music to jazz. In his solo career alone he has notched up an impressive 20 studio albums and more than 30 million records sold. His unforgettable 1981 No.1 hit single ‘Tainted Love’ broke all records as the track that remained in the US Billboard Top 100 for the longest ever recorded period, securing him a place in pop history. “It’s always a joy to sing the songs that started my career,” he reveals. “I’m very grateful to those songs and the fans that have been with me from the start.“But I do I like to look forward rather than back and I’m always thinking about my next performance or album. I have been writing a new studio album with producer Chris Braide which will be released through BMG in Feb 2020 which I’m really excited about.“80’s synth pop never really went away. Although it is having a bit of a moment. “There are the familiar faces that come to most of my shows and always have done and so many families with their children out for a good time – how great is that!? I love seeing a diverse mix of people in my audiences.”And thankfully he has no plans to hang up the mic just yet. “I’ll continue to do what I love for as long as I can. It’s hard to ever envisage a time where I stop completely,” he admits.Over the past year Almond has resumed his long-standing creative partnership with music legend Jools Holland, which began over a decade ago, to produce a fantastic new album titled ‘A Lovely Life to Live’. The album features a mix of covers, including a big band version of Soft Cell’s ‘Tainted Love’ and a number of original songs written by the duo, all backed by Holland’s Rhythm and Blues Orchestra.Throughout his work Almond has collaborated with a whole host of artists, creative alliances that have produced some of the most memorable moments of his career.“I’ve done so many collaborations because I love working with other creative people. My most memorable one was meeting with Gene Pitney who was a real gentleman and star. We met for the first time in Las Vegas which was extraordinary,” he recalls.Having played in Ireland over the years Almond is looking forward to his return in May and promises fans a fun-packed night of retro classics in return for a warm Derry welcome.“The audience in Ireland are always amazingly warm and generous. Ireland is such a beautiful country and I love visiting when I can. “Anyone who comes along to the show at the Millennium Forum can expect a night of hits and surprises. It will definitely be great fun!”Marc Almond playing at Millennium Forum during City of Derry Jazz festival next monthThis year’s City of Derry Jazz Festival runs from Thursday May 2nd to Monday May 6th, with a whole host of talent on display featuring over 200 artists across 70 venues. The Festival is supported by the Youth 19 programme – delivered with support from the Peace IV programme, the Big Lottery Fund, and the North West Regional Development Fund – Diageo, and Tourism NI.You can download the full programme now at www.cityofderryjazzfestival.comA limited number of tickets are still available for Marc Almond at the Millennium Forum gig, by calling the Box Office on 02871 264455, or Cool Discs on 02871 260770.Marc Almond to bring Greatest Hits spectacular to Jazz Festival was last modified: April 9th, 2019 by John2John2 Tags: ShareTweet Next stop on Almond’s musical odyssey is the City of Derry Jazz and Big Band Festival where he will be bringing his Greatest Hits show to the Millennium Forum. The show features a magical medley of Number One and Top Ten hits guaranteed to have music lovers on their feet including the inimitable ‘Tainted Love’ and ‘Something’s Gotten Hold of My Heart’ as well as ‘Say Hello Wave Goodbye’ and ‘The Days of Pearly Spencer’, songs from his recent critically acclaimed album ‘Shadows and Reflections’.Their enduring popularity means that songs like ‘Tainted Love’ are regular classics in pubs and clubs and belted out at karaoke sessions throughout the world – and after four decades Marc Almond still enjoys revisiting the hits that made him a household name.Speaking ahead of the gig, which takes place on May 2nd, he said he was looking forward to returning to Ireland where he will be starring solo at the Jazz Festival, and also taking part in the Forever Young concert in Naas in July as part of a ‘who’s who’ line up of 80’s pop favourites including The Human League and Kim Wilde.
ShareTweet SINN Fein councillor Sandra Duffy has praised those this week who have supported the Period Poverty Campaign in Derry.She was speaking after a busy week with the Period Poverty Campaign in the city.The Sin Féin Health spokesperson Councillor Sandra Duffy has been leading the campaign locally said to support women who can’t afford period products. ‘Bloody Big Brunch’ success in period poverty campaign – Duffy was last modified: March 21st, 2019 by John2John2 Tags: “It was a very busy week finished off with a “Bloody Big Brunch” organised by the young women’s committee who are all very passionate about the campaign,” said Cllr Duffy.“During the week we talked with dozens of people in highlighting the issue of period poverty and I am very pleased the amount of men who are supporting the issue.“Over a year ago no one was talking about it and now with the “On the Ball” campaign started by three young female Celtic FC supporters it has football clubs large and small, local councils, government departments, businesses all-embracing it.“I would like to thank everyone who helped out over the past week, those who supported an 80s disco hosted by Transmission DJs in the Gweedore Bar which raised over £500 to help with supplies in local schools.” ‘Bloody Big Brunch’ success in period poverty campaign – DuffyCeltic FCCOUNCILLOR SANDRA DUFFYDerry City FCOn The BallSinn Fein
For you to get a better perspective on the true size of Europe’s largest onshore drill rig, here is a picture of Doug Casey and me with our friends Frank Holmes, Frank Giustra, and Matt Smith. (From far left to right: Frank Holmes, Doug Casey, Marin Katusa, Frank Giustra, Matt Smith) Do Your Portfolio a Favor and Try Out the Casey Energy Report Doug Casey and I have done all the hard work for you. The current issue of the Casey Energy Report is a compilation of our Europe trip, including in-depth descriptions of our site visits and a new recommendation with a hugely promising project in an out-of-the-way European country that we personally checked out. The company is backed by mining giant Frank Giustra, and you bet he knows what he’s doing. The Casey Energy Report comes with a free one-year subscription to Casey Energy Dividends (a $79 value), including, of course, the upcoming May issue with our “Obama’s Secret Pipeline” pick. There’s no risk in trying it: You have 90 days to find out if it’s right for you—love it or cancel for a full refund. You don’t have to travel 300+ days a year (as we do) to discover the best energy investments in the world—we do it for you. If you don’t like the Casey Energy Report or don’t make any money within your first three months, just cancel within that time for a full, prompt refund. Even if you miss the cutoff, you can cancel anytime for a prorated refund on the unused part of your subscription. Click here to get started. Additional Links and Reads US Domestic Crude Oil Supplies At an All-Time High (Wall Street Journal) US crude oil stockpiles are nearing 400 million barrels, an all-time high. To put it into context, that amount of storage would only be enough to sustain the US domestic oil consumption for 21 days. Marin Katusa: The Putinization of Resources (Palisade Radio) As my longtime subscribers know, I’ve been writing about Putin and Russia for years, so you can imagine how many media requests I’ve received in the last three months regarding Russia’s activities. I do a lot of radio/TV/media interviews, so it’s easy to forget about most of them. I forgot about this one in particular until my friend and super geologist Ross McElroy from Fission sent it to me with some compliments about a different perspective to the situation unfolding. It’s a good interview. Thanks, Ross. Isn’t it odd that an 800-mile pipeline that runs across environmentally sensitive land has been permitted without any mention in the media? Not a word about it from President Obama either. Obama’s Secret Pipeline will be built over land that’s much more sensitive than that of the Keystone XL pipeline, which gets nothing but front-page coverage. It will actually be 17% (six inches) larger in diameter than Keystone XL (36 inches) and it will transport natural gas, not oil. Bill 138 The Senate of Alaska, the state in which the pipeline will be built, has just passed Bill 138, which makes the state a partner of three of the world’s largest oil companies, including one that has a horrible environmental track record on US soil. In a nutshell, Alaska’s government is now partners with BP, ExxonMobil, and ConocoPhillips. Only one more signature is required—Governor Sean Parnell’s—and it’s expected that he will sign the deal. Not Even the US Government Wants US Dollars For more than 100 years, the US government has been receiving a royalty and tax revenue paid on the amount of oil or natural gas produced on American soil—a fee that is paid in US dollars. Bill 138 has changed this forever. Instead of Alaska receiving its dues in US dollars, the state legislature has decreed through Bill 138 that the state will be paid “in kind.” In other words, the state will be getting its share of royalty and tax revenue in natural gas instead of US dollars. For the record, this is the first time ever that a US state has entered into a partnership like this. Essentially, Alaska is now a 25% equity partner with BP, ExxonMobil, and ConocoPhillips—which also requires the state to cough up cold, hard cash to build the entire project, including the 800-mile-long, 42-inch-wide pipeline. Overall, the project is currently estimated to cost north of US$50 billion, and we expect that when all the capital expense overruns and government inefficiencies are accounted for, the whole project will come in at more than US$75 billion, using the total costs of similar projects for comparison. But it will be 2015 before the final negotiations and the specific details of the partnership are agreed on, and remember, the devil is in the details. Who do you think will get the better end of the deal—a bunch of government bureaucrats with zero oil and gas experience, or the world’s top oil- and gas-producing companies? I know whom I’m betting on. Which leads us to the point of this weekly missive. And the Winner of Obama’s Secret Pipeline Is… We already know which company will be building and operating Obama’s Secret Pipeline. The company I’m talking about has a lower price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio and a better yield than all of its peers. That’s good, because shareholders get paid a monthly yield for owning the stock while sitting back and watching the share price rise as well. The Ultimate Oil Toll Booth Think of it this way: this company charges the world’s most powerful oil and gas producers for every barrel of oil that passes through its “road network,” and now it can also charge the state of Alaska. Regardless of the price of oil or natural gas, this company gets its fee. It’s a low-risk way to benefit from a high-risk enterprise. This company is a current Buy in our Casey Energy Dividends portfolio. The Energy team is currently working hard on the upcoming issue, which will in detail cover the company that’s bound to gain big from Obama’s Secret Pipeline. I know you haven’t heard about this pipeline yet, but you will soon enough. That’s what we do here at the Energy Division of Casey Research: We’re the first to uncover breakthrough stories, and the first to uncover the best energy investment opportunities in the world. Doug Casey and I just got back from a whirlwind European tour, where we visited many of Europe’s most promising energy projects. Here’s a picture of Doug Casey and me at Europe’s largest onshore drill site. This drill rig is 15 stories high and uses about 16,000 liters of diesel a day to turn the drills—which Doug and I are holding in this picture. As a side note, just the crank shaft that we’re holding costs US$2 million—this rig is expensive and gigantic.
High-Yield Spreads Peak (Inv)Q3-1997Q2-2007Q2-2014 Stock Market PeakQ1-2000Q4-2007??? Dear Reader,There’s one holiday you may have missed in the festive season just passed: December 11, when the Fed released its quarterly Z.1 report.It was a sort of Christmas for finance nerds like me. The Z.1 is a treasure trove of macroeconomic data for the United States. Want to know if households are getting richer or poorer? Or if people are saving more? Z.1 has the answers.At 175 pages, the Z.1 is a monster. So I’m happy to have Jesse Felder, editor of The Felder Report, join us today to distill some of its most important data down into useful stock market indicators.Jesse is a new contributor to this space, but I’ve been following his work for a while. As you’ll read, he does the kind of data-driven, fact-focused analysis that we at Casey Research love. Jesse has been managing money for over 20 years, having worked for Bear Stearns and then cofounded a multibillion-dollar hedge fund. Today he runs a family office.Read on for Jesse’s take on what the new Z.1 data are telling us about the US stock market.Dan SteinhartManaging Editor of The Casey ReportEverything but the US Stock Market Has Already PeakedBy Jesse FelderThe new Z.1 report came out today, so let’s update many of the indicators I’ve been sharing over the past few months. What should be worrisome to market watchers here is that we now have a host of significant indicators that look like they may have formed important peaks and begun to roll over. We will need to see at least a couple more quarters’ worth of data to be sure, but this is certainly something to keep an eye on.First let’s take a peek at Warren Buffett’s favorite valuation yardstick. (See “How to Time the Market Like Warren Buffett” for a look at one way I use this indicator.) It actually peaked last quarter and saw a small retracement in Q3. This indicator is 83% negatively correlated with future 10-year returns in stocks (the higher the reading, the lower forward returns), and its current reading implies a -0.88% annual rate of return over the coming decade. The 10-year Treasury at 2.2% looks fairly attractive in comparison.Next we can look at the household percentage of financial assets allocated to equities. This indicator is even more negatively correlated to future 10-year returns, at about 90%. It has also pulled back just a bit from the peak it made in Q2. Its current reading implies a forward return of about 2.8% per year over the coming decade, slightly better than the 10-year Treasury.Finally, comparing the current level of the S&P 500 to its long-term regression trend, we can see that the only other time in history stocks were this overbought was at the height of the Internet bubble. This measure is 74% correlated to future returns—not as high as the first two indicators, but not bad, either. It also looks at the largest data sample of the three, so I believe it’s worth including. Its current reading suggests stocks should return just 0.74% per year over the coming decade.Blending the three forecasts together, we get a 0.89% annual return forecast for the stock market over the coming decade. A straight comparison to 10-year Treasuries yielding 2.2% shows them to be more attractive right now. Hell, even 5-year Treasuries are paying 1.6%, nearly double our model’s forecast. All in all, this looks to be the second-worst time to own equities in history.Still, the stock market’s uptrend remains intact, as all of the major indexes currently trade above their 200-day moving averages. But as I’ve noted recently, there are plenty of signs that the trend is not as healthy as bulls would hope. The advance/decline line, new highs/new lows, and the percentage of stocks trading above their 200-day moving averages are all diverging fairly dramatically from the new highs recently set by the indexes. These are serious red flags.And now that our market cap-to-GDP and household equities indicators have possibly peaked—along with high-yield spreads (inverted), margin debt, and corporate profit margins—there seems to be a very good possibility that the uptrend could be tested in short order. In fact, I went back and looked at the instances when these three indicators peaked around the same time during the past 15 years or so, and I found that they coincided pretty neatly with the major stock market peaks: Corporate Profit Margins PeakQ3-1997Q4-2006Q3-2013 Margin Debt PeakQ1-2000Q3-2007Q2-2014 Market Cap-GDP PeakQ1-2000Q4-2007Q2-2014 Household Equities PeakQ1-2000Q2-2007Q2-2014 So the uptrend may still be intact, but I think we have a plethora (yes, a plethora) of evidence that suggests its days may be numbered. Foreign equities have mostly given up their uptrends over the past few months, and commodities, led by the oil crash, look even uglier. How much longer can the US stock market swim against the tide?
Bill Editor’s Note: Bill is the first to admit that he’s no expert on stock picking, especially in this oddball market. That’s why he decided to put $5 million of his family’s money into the model portfolio Chris Mayer will be managing as part of his new project: Bonner Private Portfolio. Chris is one of the best stock pickers in the game with an average annual return of 17.5%—more than twice the broader market—over the last 10 years. Chris and Bill are holding a free training event where Chris will reveal the secrets behind his investing system. Watch it here now. A Phony System It begins with PHONY MONEY. Dollars are supposed to represent wealth. How do you get wealth? By working, investing, and saving, right? But after 1971—when President Nixon ended the direct convertibility of dollars to gold—the Fed created new dollars with no wealth backing them. Post-1971 dollars are IOUs from Uncle Sam, nothing more. The Fed carries them on its books as a liability. Then there is the problem of PHONY SAVINGS. In a healthy economy, you earn money, and you save part of it. This can be lent out, as credit, to fund new projects and earn interest. Savings, and credit, are limited. They are based on real surplus wealth. But in today’s mad system, central banks and banks create credit out of thin air…using nothing but keystrokes on a computer. No savings are needed. Savers might as well not bother. Thanks to the Fed’s regime of ultra-low interest rates, over the past 10 years Bloomberg estimates that about $8 trillion has been confiscated from savers—money they should have earned in interest. On top of this, the government has a PHONY FISCAL POLICY. It borrows phony money from banks in return for Treasury bonds. Under QE, the Fed then buys these bonds from the banks. The Treasury then pays the Fed interest on these bonds…the Fed then gives this interest back to the Treasury. Neat, huh? It’s free money for the feds. They borrow nothing for nothing…and everyone pretends it’s real. This is all made possible by PHONY MONETARY POLICY. The Fed sets interest rates at the lowest levels in history. So borrowers—especially the largest borrower in history, the U.S. government—can get funds cheaply. This is done to strengthen the economy, but the economy grows weaker under the burden of so much more debt. Corrupt and Fraudulent This all leads to a PHONY STOCK MARKET, in which corporate bosses use the cheap money to loot their own businesses. Companies borrow heavily to buy back their own shares and cancel them. This increases the earnings per share of the outstanding shares, boosting their value. Top execs then collect fat bonuses based on rising share prices. Shareholders get a temporary boost as their stocks go up, but their businesses are weakened by the additional debt. And the entire system creates PHONY WEALTH. This is not capitalism. It’s phony, crony capitalism. Its phony money leads to phony investments—short-term speculations…scams…and rent-seeking. These do not build real wealth; they extract real wealth from the rest of the economy and shift it to the well-connected sectors. Here’s how it works in housing, for example. The banks get the phony money and lend it to house buyers. They collect interest on “money” that cost them next to nothing. Naturally, they lend more and more…in order to maximize their own income. This leads to rising house prices…and eventually, a bust, when too many people own too much money on houses they can’t really afford. This is what happened in 2007. Home buyers couldn’t make their payments. Home prices fell. Families lost their homes. And then, even the banks were in trouble. So, the Fed came and bailed out the banks, so the extraction could continue. And today, almost every one of America’s taxpayers continues to make payments to the credit industry—for student loans, housing loans, auto loans, credit cards—transferring more and more real wealth from the people who earned it to the privileged elite. But it is not just Wall Street that comes out ahead. The entire Deep State complex is at the heart of the nonsensical, corrupt, and fraudulent system… Expecting the Mad Hatter to protect you? Or the Cheshire Cat? Good luck with that! Regards, – Recommended Links Editor’s Note: The whole financial system isn’t just mad…it’s corrupt and phony. In today’s Weekend Edition, Agora founder Bill Bonner explains how the Fed’s phony policies have created an “Alice in Wonderland” economy. And it’s only going to get worse… Bill originally wrote this essay on March 21, 2016, in Bill Bonner’s Diary. By Bill Bonner, editor, The Bill Bonner Letter If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn’t. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn’t be. And what it wouldn’t be, it would. You see? —Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland The Dow rose the fifth week in a row last week, ending with a 120-point jump on Friday. This has put the index firmly in the black for 2016. Well, this is a showdown, isn’t it? Either us…or the great mass of investors—one of us is wrong. In the weeks to come, we’ll find out who. (Notice to new readers: It could go either way.) Everything Is Nonsense Wait a minute… Our old friend Rob Marstrand, who writes at OfWealth.com, explains why the great mass of investors has little to do with it. Apparently, corporations have nothing better to do with their money than buy their own shares. There’s a dirty little secret in the U.S. stock market. Corporate America is paying out more cash to shareholders than it earns in profits. This means there’s nothing left to invest in business growth. It also means debt levels are going up, increasing risk… Analysis by Bloomberg shows that those companies are on track to spend $590 billion a year on buybacks in 2016, at the first-quarter rate. That would be even more than the last point of peak buybacks – at the previous market top in 2007, just before the last crash. Put simply, companies are spending record amounts of cash on buybacks at precisely the wrong time (as usual): when stocks are extremely expensive. It’s an Alice in Wonderland world. Everything is nonsense. Stocks are going up. That should mean things are looking up for business. Which should mean that companies have plenty of worthwhile new capital investments to make—new machinery, new factories, new products, and more distribution. And if things are looking up for business, it should mean things are looking up for their employees. More jobs. Higher wages. And since stock prices are not far from record highs—after clawing their way back up the mountain over the last five weeks—it must mean that things are looking up all over, right? Rats! We’re All Mad Here… Time is the ultimate unyielding human resource. And the ultimate measure of a society’s wealth is how much you can get paid per hour. Cometh another depressing report for millennials from conservative website Red Alert Politics: Compared to the national average, you are poorer than most people of your age in the past. The youngest millennials are the worst off. In 1979, the average American 20 to 24 years old had average incomes 10.1% below the national average. Today, it’s 31.5% below the average. Not that we’re going to whine on behalf of the young. They’re doing their own whining at the ballot box. The youngest voters are going for the oldest candidate: democratic socialist Bernie Sanders. But what entertains us today is the nonsense of the entire system. “We’re all mad here,” says Wonderland’s Cheshire Cat…perhaps anticipating Janet Yellen’s Fed. Actually, the whole system is not just mad. It is also corrupt and phony. — Rare chance to share a scotch with Doug (only 100 tickets)… We’ve got 100 free tickets for the Sprott Natural Resource Symposium this year, and you have the chance to claim one… Your ticket also gives you access to a VIP scotch reception, where you can share a whiskey with Doug. Click here to learn more… What you need to know about the incredible opportunity in gold, right now We recently put together a presentation revealing the single best opportunity you have to make 500%+ gains in gold over the coming years. This is one of those extremely rare chances you almost never get to make outrageous returns with even a small investment. See more, here.