Juventus reportedly study various ways to lure Paul Pogba back to Turin, probably in the next summer transfer windowThe 25-year-old star has spent five years at the Allianz Stadium where he established himself as one of the best midfielders in Europe.Still, the tall Frenchman has decided to return to Manchester United where he started his football career. During his 3-year spell at Old Trafford, Pogba became a cornerstone of Red Devils’ midfield along with Nemanja Matic.However, a recent argument with Jose Mourinho seems to have made a negative impact on the France international.Ever since Mourinho has announced he won’t be handing the captain’s armband to his headline performer, Pogba’s displays have dropped notably.Maguire says United need to build on today’s win George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Harry Maguire wants his United teammates to build on the victory over Leicester City.During the summer, Harry Maguire was referred to as the ultimate…Currently unhappy with his life in the Premier League and nostalgic about his time in Serie A, Pogba allegedly thinks of making another switch.According to the Italian publication, Calciomercato, Juventus Sporting Director Fabio Paratici hopes to capitalize on current Pogba’s situation to bring him back to Italy.The EPL giants have already expressed their interest in two Bianconeri players, with both Alex Sandro and Medhi Benatia ending up in Mourinho’s crosshairs.Therefore, Paratici plans to offer both defenders to Manchester United, hoping it could soft Red Devils to renounce Pogba’s services to resolve their defensive problems.Although no timeline for a potential deal was mentioned, it seems most likely that the transfer would be completed in the summer unless the reigning Serie A champions find a reason to push for a deal in January.
Dan Cohen AUTHOR The Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments is seeking a consultant to prepare a joint land use study (JLUS) for Colorado Springs to provide guidance for addressing incompatible land uses to installations, communities and the private sector.For the Colorado Springs Regional Joint Land Use Study to successfully identify the issues and appropriate strategies to resolve them, a robust public process is critical. Transparency in developing community plans and a concerted effort to identify and address the concerns of all stakeholders is critical to building mutual trust and gaining buy-in for the ultimate product.The RFP can be found on the PPACG website.Questions concerning the RFP will be accepted until 12 p.m., March 9, and should be sent to Angela Essing, JLUS Program Manager, email@example.com. Questions will be answered within 24 hours and posted on the website.Submissions must be received by 12 p.m. on March 14 to Angela Essing.
$99 Google Nest Hub Max: A closer look at Google’s bigger smart display Google I/O 2019 CNET Smart Home reading • The future of Google’s smart home starts with a button Google I/O 2019 $79 Google is able to process the necessary information locally by storing a cached version of the command on your smart speaker or smart display. Currently, Google is already using this Local Home kit with GE smart bulbs and is now rolling it out widely. The kit will also allow you to set up compatible devices directly in the Google Home app instead of using the provider’s app. The Google Home app has become a much better control center for your smart home in the past few months, but you still couldn’t set up most gadgets with it. Hopefully, this kit will start to change that.OutlookWith Local Home making traditional gadgets faster and Google Assistant Connect angling for more versatility, Google has offered developers the tools for a better smart home. Each kit already has useful products ready or in the works. The bulbs from GE and the button from Anker make a fine start, but the success of both programs and this vision of a better smart home depends on developers taking these ideas and running with them.Here’s everything we’ve learned so far at Google I/O 2019. Google I/O 2019 How To • Make Google Home get your groceries $69 Post a comment Mentioned Above Google Home 0 Pixel 3A review: The cheap phone Google always needed Google Nest Hub Max: A higher-end smart display for Google Assistant Google Maps gets Incognito Mode Google’s next-gen Assistant is 10x faster, knows where your mom lives See all our Google I/O coverage Aug 26 • Android Q has a name: Android 10. Here’s how you’ll use it Walmart Crutchfield Aug 12 • Google will ask you to migrate your Nest account soon: Here’s what you need to know 12 Photos Tags Smart Home Google Home News • Black Mirror season 5 has three new trailers to stress you out today Preview • For your consideration: Google Home seeks employment as your family’s Rosie the robot Jul 10 • How to get Android 10 right now CNET may get a commission from retail offers. Review • Google Home is better than ever, but you probably shouldn’t buy it Google Assistant Connect allows devices to act as either input extensions, output extensions or both. Input extensions activate Google Assistant — to control your smart lights for example. Output extensions give a response. We saw a prototype e-ink display at CES that could regularly ping Google for weather info and show the forecast on its screen.The kit ties devices to Google’s smart home. You’ll need one of Google’s smart speakers or smart displays if you want to use that button. In exchange, Google handles the setup and Google’s cloud provides any necessary info. Google’s idea is that manufacturers can create a wider variety of smart devices if they don’t need to worry about the smarts. Amazon has a similar program called the Amazon Connect Kit which led to the Amazon Echo Wall Clock.Developers can get started with early access to Google Assistant Connect at I/O. It will roll out widely later this year. In addition to Anker, Google has partnered with Tile and Leviton on the first batch of consumer ready devices powered by Connect. Look for all of those to hit stores later this year or early next. The Google Nest Hub Max could teach you how to do anything… Now playing: Watch this: 3:39 Google Home is where the heart is. Chris Monroe/CNET Press a standalone button from device maker Anker, and your Google Home smart speaker can start playing Kanye West’s latest album. Press another one and you can turn off the lights or have them change color to set the mood. At the Google I/O Developer Conference, the search giant showed off these buttons at a keynote aimed specifically at developers. Anker’s new buttons will hit store shelves either later this year or early next. Read: Google debuts Nest Hub Max, a 10-inch Google Assistant smart display for $230The buttons are powered by software called Google Assistant Connect. Google showed off prototypes of the buttons and first debuted Connect back at CES in January. Now, it’s showing off a developer kit for Connect and the button is real. Google Assistant Connect, along with another kit called “Local Home,” look to make a Google-powered smart home faster and more versatile.Getting connectedGoogle Assistant Connect is a low-cost way of making a device compatible with Google Assistant — the company’s voice activated digital helper similar to Amazon’s Alexa. It’s a kit that functions as a reference design for developers. Make a device with Google Assistant Connect, and Google takes care of the computing so the developer can focus on making creative hardware.The buttons from Anker demonstrate how it works. You can set them up with a voice command to a nearby Google Assistant device — such as a Google Home Mini smart speaker. The buttons communicate with the Mini over Bluetooth, but Connect works over Wi-Fi as well. Ask your Mini to set up a button, and it searches for one, finds it, then tells you to press it so the two devices can sync. Once a Google Assistant speaker and the Anker button are synced, you can tell your Google speaker what you want the button to do. You can train the button to activate any command you’d normally give to your Google Home Mini. Tell it to check the weather and then when you hit the button the Mini will read off the forecast. You can train it to control your smart home devices or play videos on your TV. See It See it Share your voice See All • Local homeWhile Google Assistant Connect is the company’s pitch for less traditional smart home devices, a kit called Local Home should help manufacturers craft traditional connected gadgets that respond more quickly to commands. This kit will be available starting at I/O, and it allows Google Assistant to talk directly to smart home gadgets.Without Local Home, if you ask Google Assistant to turn off your Philips Hue lights, the command travels to Google’s cloud, which talks to Philips Hue, then sends the signal back down to the device. Local Home makes this path much shorter. You give a command, and your Google Home smart speaker sends the command directly to your lightbulb over Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. Google then updates the provider’s cloud but your light is already turned on. GE Google Assistant Amazon Bluetooth Google Philips Jul 24 • Nest Hub Max: Google’s 10-inch Assistant smart display costs $230, debuts Sept. 9 See It
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) may be back in the fray in its bid to buy Perot Systems, Dell Inc’s IT management business, according to media reports on Tuesday. TCS is reportedly one of four companies bidding for Perot Systems.On Monday, Re/code reported, citing sources, that France-based Atos â€“ one of the four companies interested in the company â€“ was close to buying Perot from Dell with an offer valued between $4.2 billion and $4.3 billion, and added that TCS had given up its bid after holding talks with Dell late last week. However, Reuters reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter, that the Indian IT giant was among those bidding for the Plano, Texas-based firm.TCS has reportedly been in talks for Perot Systems since last year, and became a bidder again only in the last few days, according to Reuters. Dell had reportedly sought to make over $5 billion from the sale, the report said, adding that it was unlikely that Perot Systems â€“ which was acquired by Dell in 2009 for $3.9 billion — would fetch that amount. The Economic Times first reported that TCS was still keen on buying Perot Systems.Perot Systems, which provides IT consulting to hospitals and government agencies, was founded by American billionaire and former US presidential candidate Ross Perot in 1988. Dell, which is now seeking to focus on cloud computing, business software and data management, is seeking to generate as much as $10 billion to reduce its debt burden with the sale of Perot Systems and other units, according to reports.Dell has also been in talks with private equity firms to sell Quest Software, which assists with IT management, and Sonic Wall, which is an e-mail encryption and data security provider. The combined value of these assets is estimated to be $4 billion.Dell is slated to buy EMC Corp by October 2016 in a $67 billion deal that is yet to be approved by EMC shareholders, The Economic Times reported.
BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia being taken to jail. File PhotoThe Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed a High Court order that stayed an arson attack case against BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia and 77 leaders and activists of the 20-party alliance for killing eight people.Chamber judge Hasan Foez Siddique passed the order after hearing a leave to appeal by the state.He sent the petition to the regular bench of the Appellate Division for hearing on 29 March.Attorney general Mahbubey Alam was state counsel.He said the High Court stayed the activities of one of two arson attack cases with Chauddagram police station following a writ petition by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi.Mahbubey Alam said the chamber judge stayed the High Court order and sent the petition to the regular bench of the Appellate Division for hearing.So there is no bar to continue the activities of the case, he added.On 3 February 2015, two cases under the special power act were filed with Chauddagram police station against former prime minister Khaleda Zia and leaders and activists of the 20-party alliance.The murder case in connection with the incident continues. The HC stayed the activities of another case filed in explosives substance act.Following a controversial and one-sided election of 5 January 2014, the BNP-led 20 party alliance launched an anti-government movement and continued for three months.During the anti-government agitation, on 2 February 2015, eight people were killed and 20 others injured in an arson attack on a passenger bus at Jogmohanpur area of Chaudagramme upazila of Comilla.
Myanmar state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi attends the Leaders Plenary Session of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-Australia Special Summit in Sydney on 18 March, 2018. Photo: AFPMyanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi was pressed about the Rohingya crisis at an ASEAN summit in Sydney Sunday, but the regional bloc stressed it could not intervene and “force an outcome”.Suu Kyi has been under intense global criticism for her public silence amid a brutal military crackdown that has forced nearly 700,000 of the Muslim-minority Rohingya to flee Myanmar’s Rakhine state for Bangladesh.The humanitarian crisis was one of the key topics at a three-day special summit between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Australia.”We discussed the situation in Rakhine state at considerable length today,” Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull said at the closing press conference.”Aung San Suu Kyi addressed the matter comprehensively, at some considerable length herself.”It’s certainly an issue that has been discussed and it is fair to say… very constructively, in our meeting.”Singapore’s prime minister Lee Hsien Loong, who is this year’s ASEAN chair, said Myanmar’s neighbours were concerned about the ongoing situation but could not “force an outcome”.”It is of concern for all ASEAN countries, and yet ASEAN is not able to intervene and to force an outcome,” Lee said alongside Turnbull.Both leaders said they would back efforts to reach a long-term solution to end the crisis, and were supporting humanitarian efforts to help those displaced.The 10-nation ASEAN prides itself on consensus diplomacy and non-interference in each other’s affairs.But the exodus has sparked rare tension within the association, and Muslim-majority Malaysia has called for an independent ASEAN-led investigation into allegations of army abuse.Malaysia’s leader Najib Razak increased the pressure on Suu Kyi Saturday, saying the Rohingya issue could threaten regional security as he warned those affected could fall prey to extremist groups like Islamic State.Lee said Singapore had no “specific intelligence” on whether there were terrorist groups in Rakhine state, but said “these are possibilities that you cannot rule out and which you have to keep on being on the watch out for”.Suu Kyi is due in Canberra on Monday for talks with Turnbull before an address to Sydney’s Lowy Institute on Tuesday.She has not commented publicly since arriving in Australia on Saturday for the summit, but is scheduled to take questions at Tuesday’s media event.ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Australia has been a dialogue partner since 1974.
.A former bank official has made way with Tk 1.86 billion, deposits around 4,500 customers kept with two cooperatives.Khan Md Firoz Kabir, a former officer of Rupali Bank Limited, had registered those two companies — Chartered Credit Cooperative Limited and the Loyds Commerce and Investment Cooperative Society Limited — with the Department of Cooperatives. He was the managing director of both the companies.As many as 4,500 people, including former army officials, members of parliement, and several current and former government officials, were fooled by Firoz.Chartered Credit Cooperative Limited had deposits of more than Tk 1.34 billion while Loyds Commerce and Investment Cooperative Society Limited had Tk 520 million.The victims had kept their money at those two companies eyeing high profits.The depositors were provided regular interests for the first few months, but Firoz soon stopped paying them.The victims alleged that the responsible government departments did not take any action against illegal banking activities of the cooperatives.Such an investor is former secretary and former chairman of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) Abdul Malek Miah. He had an FDR (fixed deposit) of Tk 7 million with Chartered Credit Cooperative Limited.He was promised 12 per cent interest per month.Asked about the source of this money, Abdul Malek said it included his provident fund’s money after retirement and some money invested by his releatives.Prominent singer Nashid Kamal had kept Tk 140 million at Loyds Commerce and Investment Cooperative Society Limited.Her father, former chief justice Mustafa Kamal, had left her family the money. Nasheed Kamal told Prothom Alo, “Baba left the money for me and my siblings. But we cannot draw the money now as Firoz cannot be reached.”This correspondent found the offices of the companies in Motijheel under lock and key. Some of the depositors alleged that important documents had been removed from the office.The Department of Cooperatives sent a letter to the home ministry on 20 January restricting 12 top officials of the two cooperatives from leaving the country.However, the ministry says they only got passport details of six people. So, they cannot ascertain whether the rest have already gone abroad.Mili Rahman, wife of Birshreshtha Matiur Rahman, also invested money in the cooperatives. When asked, she said, “It is not important how much I had invested. Getting back the money is important. I have sought help from the Department of Cooperatives and the home ministry to get the money back, but to no avail.”Many of the victims seeking anonymity alleged that such incidents take place for lack of supervision on the Department of Cooperative’s part.In many cases, some of the officials have been involved with the fraudulent companies.According to the Cooperative Society Act, 75 per cent of the deposits can be given to the depositors as loans. However, someone who is not a member cannot take a loan.However, the management of the companies lent money to various non-members.According to the documents, Chartered Credit Cooperative Limited lent nearly Tk 1.40 billion to a number of individuals. A big chunk of that went to Firoz Kabir himself, his daughter Rezwana Kabir, brother Nawroj Kabir, sister-in-law Sabira Banu, brother-in-law Kazi Mafizul Islam, cousin Syed Anwarul Nafis, friend Azizur Rahman and his wife Sheli Rahman.Now the investors have formed a committee with 12 active members to recover the deposits. Former army official Syed Anwarul Zakir, also an uncle of Firoz Kabir, is the president of the committee.A number of members of the cooperatives have filed 18 cases against Firoz Kabir. He was once arrested but later got out on bail. Since then, he has gone into hiding.It was learned that Anwarul Zakir sent a letter to the Department of Cooperatives asking for assistance about Firoz’s bail and requested to suspend 18 cases on 4 August last year.He then said it was possible to recover money by opening the cooperatives again if Kabir was granted bail.Asked what did Kabir do with the money, Anwarul Zakir told Prothom Alo, “I am not sure about that as I do not have any documents with me right now.”“However, I know that he gave loans to several friends, relatives and companies,” he added.Department of Cooperatives director general Abdul Majid told Prothom Alo that the victims had kept their money as permanent deposits or FDR without following the rules set by the government.“All the depositors are well-educated. Why did they deposit so much money in these cooperatives?” he asked.”We have inquired about the cooperatives. Cases have been filed,” Abdul Majid continued, “Firoz Kabir was sent to jail. The members will not get back their money if Firoz stays in jail. Let’s see what can be done.”Bangladesh Bank executive director and spokesman Sirajul Islam said, “Some people are putting money in non-banking institutions for higher profits. There is no security in these firms.”“We have repeatedly warned the common people that investing money in non-banking institutions is illegal,” he added.Rural development and cooperatives department secretary Kamal Uddin Talukder said, “I am new in this ministry. Stern actions will be taken if any of the officials of the department are found guilty.”
Share Across the country, U.S. residents have awakened to a new year, new resolutions — and a whole host of new rules to keep track of. Hundreds of new state laws took effect across the country Monday, and they’re sure to reshape the political and legal landscape in the coming months.They run a vast gamut — from recreational marijuana and paid leave time, to traveling barbers and exotic pets — so you’ll have to forgive us if we pick just a few to focus on. Here is a glimpse of some notable new laws, in brief.A customer buys marijuana at Harborside dispensary in Oakland, Calif., on Monday.Marijuana in CaliforniaThe Golden State has joined a small but growing list of states to legalize recreational marijuana use. As of 6 a.m. local time Monday, licensed retailers were legally allowed to begin selling the substance to customers age 21 and up.And they didn’t lack for customers.The San Francisco Chronicle describes long lines and cheering visitors at the handful of dispensaries with state and local licenses to sell marijuana Monday:“Some people stayed up all night to get a spot in line. Others went to bed early to get there before 6 a.m.“Anthony Moraga, 28, drove from Merced on Sunday so he could be in line at 4 a.m. — the first customer in line at Berkeley Patients Group. But he was the second to make a purchase. The store had selected longtime activists Conrad and Norris to be first.”The day comes more than a year after California voters passed Proposition 64, which mostly decriminalized marijuana there. Previously, the state had only allowed sale and possession of the substance for medicinal use.Still, even with weed legalized, it bears its fair share of regulations. The state has set up a specific agency, the Bureau of Cannabis Control, to grant and monitor licenses to retailers. Adults over 21 can only possess a maximum of one ounce of bud and up to eight grams of concentrates, and they cannot smoke in vehicles or public places.And then there are the state taxes that commercial buyers must pay — and that authorities believe will offer a windfall for state coffers. As NPR’s Ina Jaffe reports, recreational marijuana is expected to bring in up to $500 million in the first year alone, and some estimates place the eventual revenue as high as $1 billion a year.Nevertheless, marijuana remains illegal under federal law — and as such, Border Patrol will continue to seize the substance at checkpoints.In the workplaceWashington on Monday became the seventh state — in addition to Washington, D.C. — to require employers to offer paid sick leave to their workers. Rhode Island is set to become the eighth to do so later this year, when its own law takes effect in July.Meanwhile, New York has joined the small handful of states that require employers to provide paid family leave benefits. There, as NBC reports, employees will eventually be entitled to up to 12 weeks a year once the law takes full effect.And in Nevada, employers are now required to offer up to 160 hours of leave per 12-month period to workers who have been — or whose family members have been — victims of domestic violence.Eighteen states are also raising their minimum wage this year. (See a breakdown from NPR’s Emily Sullivan for the full list.)The federal minimum wage, however, is set to remain steady at $7.25 per hour. And, as Sullivan points out, the five states that have the highest percentages of hourly workers earning the federal minimum or below have no plans for a wage hike this year. In the national conversationTennessee is implementing a measure granting broad free speech rights to speakers on higher education campuses, wading into a debate that has flared into national focus lately. The law marks an implicit response to the protests that have surrounded — and even derailed — recent speaking engagements by incendiary figures such as Ann Coulter and Milo Yiannopoulos, among others.Several states are making changes at the ballot box. Iowa and West Virginia both adopted measures that require voters to show an accepted form of ID, though the former’s law won’t be fully phased in until 2019. Texas, which had a similar law from 2014 tossed earlier this year by a federal judge, is adopting a revised version of the measure — which allows people to cast a ballot without ID, but only if they swear they could not reasonably obtain one in time.Elsewhere, multiple states are changing their rules regarding how gender is recorded in official documents. In Illinois, for instance, transgender and intersex people are allowed to change the designation on their birth certificates, provided they do so with the approval of a medical professional. And in California, residents are no longer required to choose between either “male” or “female” on their ID documents.At a ceremony last May, former President Obama points out features of his proposed presidential center, which is scheduled to be built in Chicago. It is not the only honor that awaits the former president in the state he served as a senator: He’s also getting a day designated in his honor.A potpourri of odds and endsNot every new state law bears weight of national import. In fact, the vast majority are of a more, well, specialized nature. That said, here’s a little selection of some that stand out anyway.In South Carolina, for example, people hoping to buy a Siberian tiger to celebrate the new year are likely to be disappointed: As of Jan. 1, it is illegal in the state for typical residents — that is, if you’re not a zoo — to buy or own exotic animals for pets. That’s right, no more apes, lions or polar bears to stalk your residence in captive splendor — unless you happen to be one of the estimated 25 South Carolinians who already own such an animal, according to the Myrtle Beach Sun News. The local paper notes that those owners will be grandfathered in, albeit with new restrictions.As the Humane Society pointed out, before the bill’s passage, the state “was one of only five states with virtually no laws regarding private possession of dangerous wild animals.”Illinois has set aside a day in honor of one of its best-known politicians: former President Obama. Henceforth, the state’s former senator will be honored with Barack Obama Day every year on his birthday, Aug. 4. It should be noted, though — if you live in Illinois, don’t expect a day off from work or school, since it is considered a “commemorative date” rather than an official holiday under state law.And then, it’s worth returning to Tennessee for this note: If you’re a barber in the state, you are now legally free to pay house calls. Previously, barbers were only able to do so for clients “who are actually ill”; now, even those with perfect health won’t need to leave their front door to get a good haircut.Of course, as long as this list may be, these laws are but a few of the hundreds newly on the books across the country. It’s best to check in your own state to be sure what new rules, exactly, now apply to you.Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
Get the biggest Daily stories by emailSubscribeSee our privacy noticeThank you for subscribingSee our privacy noticeCould not subscribe, try again laterInvalid EmailTwo cars were damaged, with one leaving the road, after a bathtub fell off a lorry on the A50. The westbound carriageway was blocked between Uttoxeter and Blythe Bridge following the accident shortly before 6pm last night (Tuesday October 30. As well as the bathtub, a number of tyres fell off the lorry, while one of the cars ended up going through the central reservation. The road reopened just before 9pm – with one person taken to hospital for further checks. A Staffordshire Police spokeswoman said: “Staffordshire Police received a call at 5:44pm to a report of a road traffic collision involving a HGV and two vehicles on the A50 westbound between Uttoxeter and Blythe Bridge. “The HGV had lost its load, which included a bath tub and tyres. Read MoreTop stories on StokeonTrentLive Driver named following fatal collision Punter found hiding in bushes “Fortunately no serious injuries reported. “Officers worked with Highways England to manage traffic and all lanes were reopened just before 9pm.” West Midlands Ambulance Service said they had been called at 5.45pm. A spokeswoman said: “We were called at 5.45pm. Two ambulances and two paramedic officers attended. “We treated two patients, both suffered minor injuries. “One was discharged on the scene while the other was taken to hospital for further checks.” Want to keep up to date with the latest traffic and travel news?Each day Stoke-on-Trent Live journalists bring you the latest news on the roads and railways across Stoke-on-Trent, North Staffordshire, South Cheshire and further afield to help keep you on the move. For the very latest updates on roads including the M6, A500, A50 and more, visit our dedicated traffic and travel news channel here. We also run a live news feed each weekday, which you can access on our website’s homepage from 7am to 9pm from Monday to Friday. And for more as-we-get-it updates on the roads across the region and beyond, join The Sentinel’s traffic and travel Facebook group here. Want to tell us about something going on where you live? Let us know – Tweet us @SOTLive or message us on our Facebook page. And if you have pictures to share, tag us on Instagram at StokeonTrentLive. Police search for missing woman Dad slams ‘disgusting’ hospital window
UK media regulator Ofcom has upheld a ruling by video-on-demand regulatory body ATVOD that content producers, rather than the platform operator, are responsible for the VOD services featuring their content on the Virgin Media cable platform.Ofcom has upheld ATVOD’s ruling that three Viacom companies – Nickelodeon UK Ltd, the Paramount Partnership and MTV Networks Europe – are responsible for the VOD content of Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and MTV respectively on the Virgin Media platform.The three broadcasters had notified ATVOD early last year that they considered Virgin Media to have “editorial responsibility” for the offerings, and that their services should therefore be withdrawn from ATVOD’s directory of notified services.In rejecting the three companies’ appeal against the VOD regulator’s ruling, Ofcom took the view that ATVOD “made substantively the correct decision for the correct reasons”.The decision means that the three Viacom companies rather than Virgin Media are responsible for ensuring that the services comprising their VOD programmes on Virgin Media comply with the statutory rules which apply to on-demand programme services.“This is a complex area and the appeal system is a vital part of the process, giving service providers, in particular, greater clarity over where regulatory responsibility lies,” said ATVOD CEO Pete Johnson.
Middle East pay TV provider OSN has struck a six-year exclusive deal with movie distributor Gulf Film that includes an all-transaction window giving it the right to make Gulf Film content available across all platforms on an exclusive basis.In what it claims as a regional first, OSN will secure rights to close 1,000 titles in Arabic and English exclusively for a period of six years across platforms including OSN Play, its free-to-subscribers multiscreen on-demand service, and Go, its OTT TV service for non-subscribers.All films will be available in HD shortly after their theatrical release. Titles covered by the deal include Dirty Grandpa starring Robert De Niro and Zac Efron, Colossal starring Anne Hathaway, The Headhunter’s Calling starring Gerard Butler, and Russell Crowe’s Fathers and Daughters.OSN will also provide movie fans the added opportunity to watch some 56 trailers of the newest movies playing at Novo Cinemas, owned by Gulf Film, daily on its various channels. Gulf Film will cross-promote OSN content at all Novo Cinema screens across the Middle East.David Butorac, CEO of OSN, said: “The exclusive multi-year output deal with Gulf Film is industry-defining for the MENA region. It marks the first time that an exclusive content sharing agreement has been signed with the region’s leading distributor of films. While OSN has built an incredible library of content through our ‘only-on-OSN’ partnerships with leading Hollywood studios, our association with Gulf Film significantly enhances our brand-new film content to define OSN as the home of blockbuster and the latest movies.”Selim El Azar, CEO, Gulf Film, said: “As the pioneering film distribution house in the region, Gulf Film brings new theatrical releases every week. Through our partnership with OSN, we can further strengthen the visibility of our new releases via movie trailers and other behind-the-scenes looks. OSN subscribers will also have the opportunity to watch their favourite movies first on television on their network, and in truly spectacular HD quality. OSN will be the only platform to offer these movies to viewers in the region.”