Two militants and two soldiers were killed in an early morning operation in north Kashmir’s Bandipora area on Wednesday.A police official said security forces, comprising of army and local police, sealed off Rakh (Paribal), Hajin, around 5 a.m. The operation was launched after “follow up of inputs about the presence of a large group of armed militants in the area.”In the initial exchange of firing, two militants were killed. “However, two soldiers also sustained injuries, who succumbed later [sic],” said the official.Both militants are believed to be associated with the Lashkar-e-Taiba. The search operation is on as the firing from both sides have stopped. “It was an intense operation. Two members of the army’s Air Force Garud were killed,” army spokesperson told The Hindu. On September 27, a BSF jawan, who was home on a leave, was killed by militants in Hajin.
A peak behind the curtain.The City of Calgary is releasing the details of its proposal to the Calgary Flames on a new arena Friday morning, just days after the team said negotiations weren’t getting anywhere, adding it was no longer pursuing a new building.After the announcement, Mayor Naheed Nenshi confirmed the basic deal was one-third of the funding from the city, one-third from the team, and one-third from a ticket surcharge.But he also added there was a lot more to it than that, which presumably is the part which will be released Friday.Sportsnet 960 THE FAN morning show host Dean ‘Boomer’ Molberg said the reaction from listeners to everything that’s happened this week has been split right down the middle.“I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that I don’t think anyone is really threatened that the Flames would ever leave. This is a very profitable market, it’s a hockey market, it’s Canada and teams have left before but they’re not leaving now so I don’t know that fans really feel that threatened,” he said.The city is prohibited from releasing details of the Flames’ offer because of a confidentiality agreement.Boomer doesn’t expect the team to respond to whatever the mayor releases, but he wouldn’t be surprised if they did.“I think that they’ve thrown it down, they said they’re done and until something changes they’ll probably take that tack that they’re done negotiating,” he said.Still, he’s interested to see which side fans will take once we get a closer look at the numbers, even if they are just from one side.
CALGARY – B.C. government tax incentives aimed at jump-starting the much-delayed West Coast LNG industry are being welcomed by Western Canada’s hard-hit natural gas industry as a potential path to higher prices and better markets for their products.The government said Thursday it hopes its moves will result in a positive investment decision later this year for the $40-billion LNG Canada liquefied natural gas export terminal, pipelines and infrastructure which was delayed in 2016 by proponents led by Royal Dutch Shell.“I’m pleased because it shows the B.C. government is being proactive and has come forward with some inducements for the project,” said CEO Dale Shwed of Calgary-based Crew Energy Inc., which produces liquids-rich natural gas in northeastern B.C.“We need other routes to get hydrocarbons, both oil and natural gas, out of the country and that would be a big step. And once that first step is taken, hopefully others would follow. So it’s very meaningful.”He said Friday he remains cautious about LNG prospects, pointing out that LNG Canada is still looking for relief from federal tariffs on fabricated steel modules it needs to import from Asia and adding Shell could still choose to build somewhere other than Canada.Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., one of Canada’s largest natural gas producers, said in a statement Friday it is also encouraged by B.C.’s commitment to build its LNG industry.“The advancement of LNG development will enable Canada’s responsibly produced natural gas to reach global markets, creating significant value for B.C. and Canada,” it said.The natural gas investing community has been abuzz with LNG news since the announcement, said CIBC analysts in a report.“The general consensus seems to be that an FID (final investment decision) by Shell would be positive for sentiment, if not necessarily result in any material near-term shift to Canadian natural gas supply/demand fundamentals,” they wrote.Investors are now analysing where the Shell facility would get the gas it will need to generate 13 million tonnes of LNG per year from the first two of four planned “trains” or LNG units, which could be on stream in 2024 if construction starts this year, it added.Several Calgary-based companies producing gas in northeastern B.C. could be suppliers to the proposed Coastal GasLink pipeline leading to the LNG Canada project, including Crew, Canadian Natural Resources, Encana Corp. and Tourmaline Oil Corp., the report said.Thursday’s announcement will provide a fair return for B.C. gas, create jobs, make partners of First Nations and protect the province’s air, land and water, said the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers in a news release.“The global window to build LNG is closing, but these changes will help get Canada into the game,” said CAPP CEO Tim McMillan.“These changes will help ensure a level playing field for LNG proponents competing against other jurisdictions around the world.”The western Canadian natural gas business remains in a deep funk due to low prices and tight pipeline capacity, according to a National Bank of Canada Financial Markets report issued earlier this week.Transmission expansion projects won’t kick in to allow meaningful growth until after 2020, it says, and prices are expected to remain low enough to discourage exploration spending in the meantime.Meanwhile, the U.S. gas supply, up 15 billion cubic feet per day since 2010, is expected to grow by another seven bcf/d this year, which the analysts say will likely lead to more marginally profitable Canadian gas being displaced from its traditional markets in Canada and the U.S.Companies mentioned in this article: (TSX:TOU, TSX:CNQ, TSX:CR, TSX:ECA)
“Billions of dollars of shareholder value would have been saved if Kinder Morgan had done a better job of anticipating, assessing and mitigating the sustainability risks to its business,” Lindsley said.In 2016, Ottawa approved plans to triple the capacity of the existing Trans Mountain pipeline between Edmonton and Burnaby, B.C. But the $7.4-billion project has faced significant opposition and legal challenges from environmentalists, First Nations and B.C.’s NDP government.Kinder Morgan suspended all non-essential spending on the expansion earlier this year, saying ongoing opposition in B.C. and the threat of legal delays was making investors wary of proceeding with the project. The company set May 31 as the deadline for the federal and provincial governments to reach an agreement that would allow the expansion to go ahead.Wilson said the fact shareholders voted for the sustainability report proposal shows they want the company to be more socially and environmentally responsible, but that won’t stop opposition to the Trans Mountain expansion because it threatens Indigenous culture, spirituality, identity and way of life. “That means fundamentally more to us than anything that they could offer us,” she said. “This means that there will be further delay and risk and uncertainty for the overall project. And we wanted to carry that message to the shareholders today.”As the general meeting took place, protests against the expansion project continued in Burnaby, with opponents blocking access to the company’s marine terminal on land and in the water.About 200 people have been arrested since the middle of March while protesting outside Kinder Morgan’s facilities in Burnaby, the RCMP have said.(THE CANADIAN PRESS) HOUSTON, TX – Kinder Morgan’s shareholders have asked the company for more disclosure on its sustainability after a presentation Wednesday by a First Nations chief from British Columbia.Neskonlith Chief Judy Wilson said she told the company’s annual general meeting in Houston that environmental, social and governance issues can pose significant risks to business and without proper disclosure, shareholders won’t know if they are vulnerable.Wilson said she also explained the legal risks if Kinder Morgan proceeds with its Trans Mountain pipeline expansion on Indigenous land without consent from First Nations. “We do not believe the risks of the project have been accurately evaluated nor fully disclosed and we wanted to point that out to the shareholders,” she told a news conference after the meeting.Wilson put forward a resolution proposing that shareholders ask Kinder Morgan to issue an annual sustainability report describing the company’s analysis of short- and long-term risks, along with plans for mitigating them.Another resolution from a U.S. asset management company proposed that Kinder Morgan create a report looking at how commitments various countries have made under the Paris climate change agreement will affect the pipeline builder’s portfolio in the long term.A Kinder Morgan spokesman said both resolutions passed, but neither is binding. Executive chairman Rich Kinder said in a statement the board will “carefully consider the proposals and the information contained in the supporting statements in determining what actions to take with respect to them.”Because the resolutions are non-binding, shareholders should follow up to show the company that they’re watching and expect their wishes to be expressed, said Lisa Lindsley with advocacy group SumOfUs.Kinder Morgan could have foreseen issues with its Trans Mountain pipeline expansion if the company had previously committed to putting out sustainability reports, she added.
NEW DELHI: There are over 9,000 service voters in Delhi, according to the national capital’s electoral roll published this January. The electoral roll is being continuously updated ahead of the Lok Sabha polls scheduled on May 12 in Delhi, officials said. There are 9,023 service voters in Delhi as per the electoral roll published on January 18, according to the data shared by the office of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Delhi .Personnel of the armed forces, central armed Police forces and state police personnel deployed outside their constituencies are considered as service voters. Diplomats and other support staff serving in embassies are also service voters. The Election Commission had said in February that there was a substantial increase in the number of service voters in the country enrolled ahead of the Lok Sabha elections as compared to 2014. Also Read – Bangla Sahib Gurudwara bans use of all types of plastic itemsA total of 16,62,993 service personnel have been enrolled as service electors in the country in the electoral roll 2019, it had said. In 2014, the corresponding figure was 13,27,627. Delhi CEO Ranbir Singh had said on Monday that around two lakh people have been added to the electoral roll in Delhi in the last two months, taking the total number of eligible voters till date to 1.39 crore. “On January 18, the total number of voters in the electoral roll of Delhi stood at 1,36,95,291. So, there is an increase of nearly two lakh voters since then,” Singh said.
The 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Draw that concluded Saturday was the first ever to feature 24 teams; previous World Cups had only 16. Eight countries will make their debut, possibly paving the way for new talent to make a splash, and four champions will return stronger and more experienced. Here’s how the draw shook out, followed by our initial reactions to each group:Group A: Canada, China, Netherlands, New ZealandGroup A has the second-highest combined FIFA points score, 7522, and is likely to be exceptionally difficult to advance from. It’s led by host nation Canada (currently ranked eighth), and even the lowest-ranked team in the group, New Zealand, has an aggressive style of play that’s proved to be tough for Brazil and other strong squads. The young, technical Chinese team features standout forward Yang Li (nicknamed “Young Sun Wen,” after China’s all-time leading scorer), and the 15th-ranked Netherlands is making its World Cup debut after beating the higher-ranked Italy to qualify.Group B: Germany, Norway, Thailand, Ivory Coast Second-ranked Germany leads Group B. The Germans, having won back-to-back World Cups in 2003 and 2007, are regimented and unaccustomed to losing, as well as notorious for playing their best soccer at the World Cup. Norway clinched a World Cup title in 1995 but has yet to do it again. The Norweigans’ style of play is very direct (meaning they don’t focus on possession), but look for Olympique Lyon standout Ada Hegerberg to hold the ball up top. The Europeans should cruise through to the next stage — Thailand and Ivory Coast are relatively inexperienced and making their first World Cup appearances.Group C: Japan, Switzerland, Ecuador, CameroonSimilar to Group B, Group C features two top-ranked teams and two much weaker opponents — Cameroon and Ecuador — with Ecuador barely qualifying by beating Trinidad and Tobago 1-0 last week. The 2011 champions, Japan, are currently ranked third and play a highly technical style of soccer; the crafty midfielder Aya Miyama allows Japan to connect beautifully between the back and front lines. Switzerland is an exciting addition to the World Cup — the newcomers can compete against the strongest European teams. Swiss Ramona Bachmann has been likened to Marta and is nominated for the 2014 player of the year in Sweden’s Damallsvenskan, one of the top women’s leagues in the world.Group D: USA, Australia, Sweden, NigeriaThis group is being called the Group of Death — it has the highest total of combined FIFA points, 7786, and includes three teams in the top 10 FIFA rankings. The No. 1-ranked U.S. will again face Sweden in group play; the Swedes defeated the Americans 2-1 in the 2011 World Cup, and this time Sweden will be led by former U.S. coach Pia Sundhage. Australia is an athletic team that could give the U.S. and Sweden tough games, especially with explosive forward Lisa De Vanna leading the offense. And Nigeria should not be overlooked. Its young, talented team includes Asisat Oshoala, the winner of the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Adidas Golden Ball.Group E: Brazil, South Korea, Spain, Costa RicaSixth-ranked Brazil hasn’t looked as strong as it once did, losing 2-0 to France last month in a friendly, but it’s the strongest team in the rather weak Group E. First-timers Spain are led by forward Vero Boquete, a 2014 FIFA women’s player of the year nominee, and could match up well against Brazil — both teams are creative and patient. And South Korea is technical and organized, which could cause problems for the often disorganized Brazilians. But don’t count out Costa Rica, which placed second in the CONCACAF qualifiers (but was handedly defeated by the U.S. in the final). Some of its players, including Shirley Cruz Traña (who plays for the French club Paris Saint-Germain), have moments of brilliance.Group F: France, England, Mexico, ColombiaFoes France and England will face off in Group F, the third-strongest group based on combined FIFA points. France is a not-so-dark horse for 2015; it’s technical, physical and fast, and its players alternate between direct and possession-style play almost seamlessly. Élodie Thomis, Louisa Nécib and Eugénie Le Sommer are some of the top women’s players in the world. Meanwhile, the seventh-ranked England will be looking for retribution — France knocked out England in the 2011 World Cup quarterfinals. CONCACAF and CONMEBOL teams Mexico and Colombia will be hoping for a point against England and France, but lately Mexico has looked unfit and disorganized from the team that beat the U.S. in 2010.
Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano speaks to the media on Dec. 27 prior to the 2017 Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorDALLAS — In April, should he decide to forgo his final year of eligibility, USC quarterback Sam Darnold will likely be selected at the top of the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft.But before one of the top quarterbacks in the nation likely turns his attention to professional football, he first will face a formidable Ohio State defense Friday at AT&T Stadium in the Cotton Bowl.Ohio State might present the biggest test Darnold will face all season. The Buckeyes have allowed the 20th-fewest passing yards per game and seventh-fewest passing yards per attempt. This matchup also could wind up being the Buckeyes’ toughest challenge since Week 2, when they hosted the 2017 Heisman Trophy winner, Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield.The Sooners’ signal-caller went 27-for-35 for 386 passing yards and three touchdowns. And if the Buckeyes are to have more success against Darnold, Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano believes the defense will need to simplify its game and not try to do too much against the Trojans.“When you’re playing an elite level quarterback or an elite level running back, and this is going to sound coach-speak, but 11 guys have to do their job,” Schiano said Wednesday. “When you look back at that Oklahoma game, some players tried to do too much and did more than their job and then what happened is when you do more than your job, you don’t end up doing your job.”The idea seems easy enough, but Ohio State senior defensive end Jalyn Holmes said keeping everything simple against talented players and teams is not always simple.Knowing the caliber of the team, players will often take an opportunity to try for a sack or make a play on the ball and open a gap in coverage, something Holmes said he has fallen victim to frequently in his career. This, he said, was particularly an issue for the team in its 31-16 loss to Oklahoma.And given the similarities between Darnold and Mayfield, there is room for concern that the defense could have another lapse and find itself on the wrong end of another blowout.Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield evades Buckeye defenders in the Oklahoma- Ohio State game on Sep. 9. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorWhile neither are considered true dual-threat quarterbacks, both have the mobility to escape the pocket and make plays outside when needed. Mayfield is more prone to designed runs, and thus has 310 rushing yards on 85 carries, 210 more yards and 21 more carries than Darnold. Both have five rushing touchdowns.Darnold is less of a threat to run, but his mobility and comfort outside of the pocket allow him to complete passes while on the move. “I think being able to kind of play and move off of my instincts has really been one of my strengths in terms of playing quarterback,” Darnold said. “I think, obviously, there’s a lot to learn from when you look at sometimes how my feet can get out of whack a little bit and I can be throwing a little sideways. But I think throwing on the run is one of my really good strengths.”Sophomore defensive end Nick Bosa said while both are elusive, Mayfield chooses to do it more out of comfort whereas Darnold will stay in the pocket if possible. That comfort in the pocket and ability to do damage with his arm without having to move is what helps Darnold separate himself from Mayfield — and is why he is considered the better NFL prospect. “Some of the throws he makes are just kind of ridiculous,” Bosa said. “Across the field, how fast he throws the ball, you can see why people are impressed with him.”In order to stop Darnold from tearing the Buckeyes apart through the air like Mayfield did, Ohio State will have to swiftly break through the Trojans’ offensive line while also containing Darnold.USC’s line will often move side-to-side to try and provide challenges for opposing defensive lines, Bosa said. Buthe said the defense has been preparing for that, and added the Buckeyes should still be able to find the holes and get to Darnold.“Just staying in your rush lane, even if a slide comes to you and you want to take that inside move or whatever it is, just staying disciplined to where you’re rushing and sometimes sacks will fall right into you if you just stay where you’re supposed to be,” Bosa said. Both Bosa and Darnold expressed excitement in the looming matchup. With a defensive line Darnold said is entirely comprised of future NFL players and a quarterback who will likely hear his name called early in the upcoming draft, both sides are eager for the chance to prove one is better than the other.Bosa, in particular, is excited for the first chance to break the line of scrimmage.“You always want to hit a high-drafted quarterback,” he said.
To Vlasic’s dad and agent, his client should be playing in Everton because the team needs him in the midfield and not in CSKA MoscowNikola Vlasic was bought by English Premier League side Everton in 2017.While there, the Croatian only appeared on 12 occasions.And that’s when coach Marco Silva decided to loan him and since this summer he’s been with CSKA Moscow in the Russian Premier League.He has played in five matches, scoring one goal.And he’s been playing really well for the team, including a good UEFA Champions League match.Virgil van Dijk praises Roberto Firmino after Liverpool’s win Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Virgil van Dijk hailed team-mate Roberto Firmino after coming off the bench to inspire Liverpool to a 3-1 comeback win against Newcastle United.According to Vlasic’s agent and father, Marco Silva was wrong when he sent him on loan.“Marco Silva is under enormous pressure because he gave Nikola away on loan,” he told Club Call.“Many fans and journalists believe Everton have big problems in midfield, and Nikola is the player they need.”“Vlasic told Silva before leaving he considered himself the best midfielder in the team. The manager made a big mistake,” he added.“Nikola might stay at CSKA next season, but it’s too early to talk about it.”
Real Madrid midfielder Marcos Llorente has confirmed he would not be leaving the club this January transfer window.Llorente, 23, is now a regular in Solari’s side after impressing in a rare start away to Roma followed by seven successive starts for the club.The Spanish midfielder stepped in for the absent Casemiro and seems to be enjoying his role at Madrid“I’m sure I will stay, I’m really happy and I have no intention of leaving,” Llorente told reporters, as cited by Football Espana.Mourinho: “Lionel Messi made me a better coach” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Jose Mourinho believes the experience of going up against Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi at Real Madrid made him a greater coach.“It’s true that in life, like football, the situation can change from night to morning and you cannot lower your aims, you have to take advantage of your opportunities.“Man of the Match in the Club World Cup final? I’m happy to receive it, of course, to score the goal and win the final – now it is time to enjoy the moment.“We are trying to win all the titles, this was an important one as we were going for three consecutive titles and we have achieved it.“Now we have three more competitions this season that we will look to win.”
BREAKING VIDEO – JUST NOW: Multiple people injured after an explosion at large mall in St. Petersburg, Russia. pic.twitter.com/7lBFAjYQjN— The Anon Journal (@TheAnonJournal) December 27, 2017 Share Russian officials say at least 10 people have been injured by an explosion at a supermarket in St. Petersburg.At least 10 people were injured Wednesday by an explosion at a supermarket in St. Petersburg, Russia’s second-largest city and the site of a deadly subway bombing this year.The Investigative Committee, the nation’s top investigative agency, said a device containing 200 grams (7 ounces) of explosives went off at a storage area for customers’ bags. It said the device was rigged with shrapnel to cause more damage.No one has claimed responsibility for the explosion at a branch of the Perekrestok supermarket chain in the city’s northwest Kalininsky district.Alexander Klaus, the chief of the local branch of the Investigative Committee, said 10 people were hospitalized with injuries.Andrey Kibitov, a spokesman for St. Petersburg’s governor, tweeted that the injured were in satisfactory condition and one had been discharged from the hospital.A criminal investigation was launched.While officials stopped short of branding the explosion as a terror attack, the National Anti-Terrorism Committee that oversees anti-terror efforts in Russia said it was coordinating the search for suspects.Viktoria Gordeyeva, a St. Petersburg resident who walked past the supermarket shortly after the explosion, said people were afraid to enter other stores in the area.“There was no panic, but people were reluctant to enter a nearby drug store and a grocery store,” Gordeyeva said.Another local resident, Marina Bulanova, a doctor, heard the explosion and rushed to the market to help treat anyone who might be hurt. She said ambulance crews already had taken those injured to city hospitals by the time she got there.Russian President Vladimir Putin telephoned U.S. President Donald Trump earlier this month to thank him for a CIA tip that helped thwart a series of bombings in St. Petersburg, Putin’s home town.The Federal Security Service, or FSB, said seven suspects linked to the Islamic State group were arrested in connection to the alleged plot. The Kremlin said the arrested suspects had planned to bomb St. Petersburg’s Kazan Cathedral and other crowded sites.In April, a suicide bombing in the St. Petersburg’s subway left 16 people dead and wounded more than 50. Russian authorities identified the bomber who blew himself up on a subway line as Akbardzhon Dzhalilov, a 22-year old Kyrgyz-born Russian national.BREAKING: At least 10 people have been injured in an explosion at a shop located in a Shopping mall in St Petersburg, Russia, initial reports indicate the explosion was in a storage room pic.twitter.com/0OXn4oO4Kh— News_Executive (@News_Executive) December 27, 2017
Photo: Houston Airport SystemHobby Airport is becoming one of the fastest growing airports in the United States thanks to its international terminal.Hobby Airport is becoming one of the fastest growing airports in the United States thanks to its international terminal.According to data compiled by the Houston Airport System, 145,000 passengers, combining travelers who arrived and departed from the city’s second airport, passed through Hobby in 2015.That year, the international terminal was only operational for a few months because it was opened in October.In 2016, the number of incoming and outgoing passengers that used Hobby grew to 800,000.The Houston Airport System has also compiled the data covering from January to November of 2017. In that 11 month period, Hobby also saw almost 800,000 travelers.Bill Begley, a spokesman for the Houston Airport System says the considerable investment in the city’s second airport is paying off.“It was a 256 million expansion at Hobby that included not just the new concourse, but also improvements to the roadways, to infrastructure,” noted Begley.Currently, Southwest Airlines is the only carrier flying internationally at Hobby, with routes that connect Houston to Mexico, Latin America and the Caribbean.Clifford Winston, who studies transportation for the Brookings Institution, says the Dallas-based airline has been a crucial factor because “what we are seeing at Hobby is the same kind of things that we’ve been seeing when Southwest expands.”The Houston Airport System says it is open to other airlines joining Hobby’s international terminal in the future. Share
Photo: HISD via Twitter / @HoustonISDHISD Police Chief Paul Cordova (center at podium) said during the launch of the 2018 edition of ‘Project Safe Start’ that the recent mass shooting at the Santa Fe High School is “weighing heavy on our hearts.”Once again, local law enforcement agencies, the Houston Independent School District (HISD) and Houston Ministers Against Crime (HMAC) are working together on ‘Project Safe Start’ and this year the recent mass shooting at the Santa Fe High School is in the minds of the people involved in the initiative.Coinciding with the end of the school year and local students starting their summer vacation, ‘Project Safe Start’ entails increased law enforcement patrolling around schools and neighborhoods, especially near the so-called hot spots where trouble may arise because of, for instance, simmering feuds that some students might want to settle.The initiative, which has been going on for more than 20 years, covers mostly HISD’s middle and high schools.“You have some students who may be interested in settling scores or maybe interested in causing problems,” commented HPD Assistant Chief Sheryl Victorian during a press conference held on Tuesday to announce the launch of the 2018 edition of the initiative.References to Santa Fe“We could not come to this without the burden and the concerns of the Santa Fe situation,” noted Reverend F.N. Williams, II, from the Antioch Baptist Church church and a member of HMAC.Paul Cordova, Chief of HISD’s Police Department, also made a reference to the mass shooting and said that “it is weighing heavy on our hearts and we know how serious this is and we have our full attention on the matter.”Chief Cordova also commented his department is forming an Emergency Response Team that will be able to be deployed “rapidly,” although he didn’t provide details.The Police Department of Texas Southern University also takes part in ‘Project Safe Start’. Share
Chief election commissioner VS Sampath on Thursday said any offensive material on social media during election period will be strictly dealt with.‘The chief secretary and the DGP were told to instruct the police stations to register complaints against obnoxious material on social media during election period,’ Sampath said at a press conference here.
Maker Studios has turned down Relativity Media’s US$1 billion (€723 million)-plus approach in favour of its existing agreement to join the fold at The Walt Disney Company.Relativity yesterday attempted to hijack Disney’s deal to buy YouTube channel operator Maker with its own offer ahead of a Maker shareholder meeting today, but this has proven unsuccessful.“As per the announcement made on March 24, Maker Studios has entered into a merger agreement with The Walt Disney Company,” a Maker spokesperson said a widely issued statement.“The agreement has been approved by Maker Studios’ board of directors and the majority of its shareholders and is expected to close in the next few weeks, subject to regulatory approval.”Maker’s offer was initially thought to be of a similar value to Disney’s, but US reports now say the offer was for an initial US$525 million, plus US$500 million in target-related extras and US$75 million in order to keep key executives.Disney’s offer is for an initial US$500 million, plus up to US$450 million in target-related fees.The spokesperson also noted the legal motion Maker co-founder and former CEO Danny Zappin brought to stop the Disney deal had been denied by the Superior Curt of California. Zappin’s lawsuit over his exit from Maker nearly a year ago is separate and remains on going.Zappin founded Maker in 2009 alongside Shay Butler, Lisa Donovan, Scott Katz, Kassem Gharaibeh and Ben Donovan.
Freesat, the UK free to air satellite TV provider, has announced that David Thomas has joined the company as its new head of product. Thomas has a varied background and extensive experience in the communications and broadcast sector, having held positions with companies like Sky, Cellcast, Endemol and Atlas Mobile.He joins Freesat from fintech start-up Novastone Media where he was also head of product. Prior to Novastone, Thomas worked as a consultant at mobile web development specialist, Atlas Mobile, as well as working as a product lead at Sky.Commenting on his appointment, Thomas said: “As a longstanding Freesat customer, I’m excited to be joining the business at such an important time in the company’s journey. There is huge potential for growth in the product offering, as well as many ways in which we can further enhance user experience around existing features. I’ve been extremely impressed by the team.”Alistair Thom, managing director at Freesat, added, “David’s appointment is key in this crucial year for Freesat. His diverse experience is invaluable as we look to connect with both new and existing customers in a number of innovative and exciting ways.”