In Photos: Everything You Need To Know About ESPN’s Dianna Russini

first_imgAn ESPN sign hanging that's very old Twitter/RussiniTwitter/RussiniIn just a few short weeks, Dianna Russini, a 32-year-old former sports anchor for NBC Washington, will be making her debut for ESPN. The news was announced back in mid-May, and Russini recently finished up her last day with her former employer. She’s expected to be an anchor for the Worldwide Leader’s SportsCenter program. How often she’ll be featured is still a mystery.Where is she from? How did she get her career started? Is she single? We’ve got all of those answers and more, along with a few photos of the rising star. In Photos: Everything You Need To Know About ESPN’s Dianna Russini >>>Pages: Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7last_img

Aboriginal justice forum tries to find solutions for Vancouvers Downtown Eastside

first_imgAPTN National NewsVancouver’s Downtown Eastside is plagued with crime, prostitution and drugs.Recently a forum on Aboriginal justice was held in the city.As APTN’s Tina House reports the goal is to come up with long term solutions for people who need help the most.last_img

World Cup Crib Notes Day 5

The United States kicks off its 2014 World Cup campaign on Monday against Ghana, the team that eliminated the Stars and Stripes from the 2010 tournament in the round of 16. That’s the must-watch game in the U.S. But for most of the rest of the world, it’s Germany versus Portugal.See our World Cup interactive for the latest probabilities. — Allison McCannIN DEPTHSo what’s changed for Ghana and the U.S. since they last faced each other on this stage?America’s lineup has been transformed in the four years since 2010’s disappointment. Only four of the U.S. starting 11 from the loss to Ghana — goalkeeper Tim Howard, midfielders Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey, and striker Jozy Altidore — will be in coach Jürgen Klinsmann’s opening lineup Monday. (The most notable absence is Landon Donovan, though central defender Carlos Bocanegra was another useful veteran who saw his role with Team USA phased out in recent years.)Klinsmann made clear his preference for a fresh group during the selection process, and — Donovan’s ouster aside — that’s not a bad thing. New faces since 2010, including Fabian Johnson and Geoff Cameron, have acquitted themselves reasonably well for clubs in Europe, a factor Klinsmann values highly. Graham Zusi, Brad Davis and Matt Besler are playing effectively in MLS. The cupboard isn’t quite as bare as is widely believed, though the U.S. is still far from elite in the talent department.As for Ghana, it’s turned over six of its eleven starting slots from four years ago — although most of its best players from 2010 are back, including jack-of-all-trades Kwadwo Asamoah, midfielders Andre Ayew, Kevin-Prince Boateng and Michael Essien, and striker Asamoah Gyan. The Black Stars have also promoted the talented two-way midfielder Sulley Muntari into a regular starting role since their last World Cup meeting with the United States. (Needless to say, midfield is the strength of Ghana’s roster.)Most members of that group are plying their trade in top European leagues, so Ghana’s high-end talent is probably superior to that of the United States. But Ghana’s edge in talent hasn’t always translated in international play. It ranked just 38th in the pre-World Cup Elo Ratings, while the Americans ranked 13th.When ESPN’s Soccer Power Index (SPI) ranks teams, it attempts to combine these two elements — observed results and underlying talent — into a single rating for a given national team. And the current SPI rankings say the United States and Ghana are in a dead heat. The U.S. ranks 22nd in the world with a 77.53 SPI — meaning the Americans would compile 77.53 percent of the possible points if they played a round robin against every other national team in the world. Ghana ranks 25th, with an SPI of 77.37. That’s the smallest SPI margin between any two teams that will face each other in the group stage of this World Cup.As of Sunday, the sportsbook Bovada has Ghana as a slim favorite over the U.S., 35.8 percent to 34.5 percent (with a 29.7 percent chance of a draw). The FiveThirtyEight match projection system flips those odds around, giving the United States a very slight edge: 37.5 percent to 33 percent. Whatever happens, U.S.-Ghana should be one of the most evenly matched showdowns of the entire World Cup.YesterdayArgentina’s 2-1 win over Bosnia-Herzegovina on Sunday served notice to the casual soccer fan: One individual moment of brilliance can overshadow an average game.In the first 64 minutes of the match, Argentina’s Lionel Messi was the game’s most active participant in the attacking third, but the three chances he created didn’t translate into a single shot on goal. And he had turned the ball over a game-high three times.In the 65th minute, Messi reminded the Maracana how quickly he can change a game. He made a run from the midfield, past Bosnian midfielder Muhamed Besic, and played a quick 1-2 ball to teammate Gonzalo Higuain. Messi’s short-burst quickness created separation from Besic, and he hesitated slightly before the shot, driving another Bosnian player into Besic and out of position.Messi then banked a left-footed shot off the post for the eventual game-winning goal, Argentina’s first shot on goal of the match and only the second goal of Messi’s World Cup career. From his first touch in midfield to the ball crossing the goal line, the entire sequence took just over 9.5 seconds and erased the match’s first 64 minutes from spectators’ memory.That was all it took; the night belonged to Messi, whose production under Alejandro Sabella has been outstanding. Messi has 22 goals in 26 international games since Sabella became Argentina’s manager in September 2011, compared with 17 goals in 61 matches under all other managers. — John Parolin, senior stats analyst, ESPNOFF THE PITCHIf Ghana defeats the United States on Monday, Americans shouldn’t be too quick to feel ill-disposed toward the West African nation. The United States imports two bread-and-butter items from Ghana (though they are neither bread nor butter): oil and chocolate. In 2011, just more than 44 percent of Ghanaian exports to the United States was oil (crude and refined) and roughly 42 percent was chocolate (cocoa beans, chocolate, cocoa powder, cocoa paste and cocoa butter). That’s $374,624,626 in chocolate.Ghana also sent $7,016,768 in fake hair to the U.S. Thanks, Ghana!What does the U.S. send to Ghana? Cars — worth about $303 million in 2011. — Micah CohenFurther ReadingCtrl + ← The World Cup, the World Cup And the World CupHow Soccer Explains the Sports Page read more

An Inconsistent Strike Zone Hurt Both Teams in Game 3

CHICAGO — The Cleveland Indians won a 1-0 nail-biter on Friday night in Game 3 of the World Series. Two number-three starters succeeded in shutting down two strong offenses, allowing the game to come down to the final at-bat. But while the relievers were overpowering as usual, the most significant influence on this game wasn’t the wind, a single Indians hitter or managerial cleverness, but a seemingly inconsistent strike zone.Home plate umpire John Hirschbeck has a reputation for calling balls and strikes erratically, and that was on full display last night, creating shifting strike-zone boundaries that bedeviled both offenses.1A rough look at the strike zone plots for each team showed about 10 calls helping the Cubs, and seven helping the Indians. Data from PitchF/X needed for a quantitative comparison was not available at time of publication. For the Indians, Josh Tomlin turned in an unexpectedly solid line, allowing only two hits. At times, Tomlin was burned by bad calls, leading, for example, to a fourth-inning walk by Kris Bryant. But when the strike zone is called inconsistently, hitters tend to strike out more often and make weaker contact. That’s because pitchers can choose to target inconsistently called areas of the zone when it benefits them, while hitters can only decide whether to swing or not at what’s offered. When they’re uncertain, batters often opt to swing at pitches outside the zone, resulting in glancing contact and easy outs.Chicago Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks, who usually gets favorable strike calls due to his impeccable command, struggled mightily in allowing six hits and two walks in only 4.2 innings. The shifting zone did aid him in racking up six strikeouts, above what you’d expect based on his regular-season stats.Even as the inconsistent strike zone helped the pitchers, neither was overpowering. And with bullpens fresh after the day off, both starters were pulled before the 6th inning with the score 0-0, an event that has never happened before in MLB postseason history. That handed the game to the relievers, including an early appearance from Andrew Miller. They were as commanding as expected, except for one lapse by the Cubs’ Carl Edwards Jr., who allowed Coco Crisp to single in the lone run of the night.The Cubs came close to evening the score in the bottom of the ninth. With two runners in scoring position and two outs, Chicago dynamo Javy Báez was up to bat against Cleveland closer Cody Allen. He struck out whiffing to end the threat, leaving the Indians up 2-1 in the Series.The outlook for the Cubs is worrisome going forward: Their series win probability by Elo is down to only 37 percent.2For reference, that’s the same probability Elo gave the Indians before the World Series began. In his last start, Corey Kluber looked invincible, and the Cubs will have to face him in Games 4 and 7 of this Series (if it goes that far). That means they will need to pull off at least one upset against the 2014 AL Cy Young winner to clinch the series. While such a feat appears difficult, the Cubs managed an even more surprising performance against Clayton Kershaw in the NLCS, so it’s certainly possible. Nobody said ending a 108-year title drought would be easy.CORRECTION (Oct. 29, 12:05 p.m.): An earlier version of this article incorrectly described Corey Kluber. He was the 2014 AL Cy Young winner; he is not the reigning winner. read more

Ohio State Is Always Facing High Expectations — Scandal Or Not

*In preseason polls since 1976-77 season for women’s basketball, 1961-62 for men’s basketball and 1950 for football.Source: College Poll Archive TexasFootball5275 The year was 1956. Ohio State’s college football program was ranked fifth in the annual Associated Press preseason college football poll and was coming off a season in which they had won all but two games. Expectations for a strong season were, no doubt, high.But head coach Woody Hayes was in hot water with the Big Ten for providing loans to his players, and after an investigation, the conference put the team on probation for one year and banned it from playing in that season’s Rose Bowl.Sixty-two years later, Ohio State is once again entering the season with a No. 5 preseason ranking, having won all but two games the previous season. Controversy blankets the campus once more: Head coach Urban Meyer has been suspended for the opening three games of the season after an investigation concluded that he had mishandled domestic assault allegations against former wide receivers coach Zach Smith.High expectations are nothing new in Columbus. For about as long as college football has been around, the Ohio State Buckeyes have been a force. In the annals of the sport’s history, only Michigan (943) — oh, the irony — and Notre Dame (906) have won more games than the Buckeyes (898).1Excluding Yale, which is not currently a Division I Football Bowl Subdivision team. Since the turn of the century, only Boise State, which has played in three non-Power-Five conferences over that stretch, has won more total games than Ohio’s flagship university.And that prodigious success isn’t lost on Associated Press voters.Ohio State has failed to make the poll just four times in the 69-year history of the poll, most recently in 1988. That was John Cooper’s first year at the helm after taking over for the fired Earle Bruce. Cooper wouldn’t miss another preseason poll. Hayes only missed out in 1966 and 1967, the lone instance of the team failing to crack the AP preseason poll in consecutive years.Which got us thinking: Does Ohio State dominate this poll more than any team in any sport dominates its preseason poll? AP voters produce a preseason, weekly and postseason poll for three college sports: football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball. In 1989, the polls expanded to a 25-team format, which remains the current standard.Across the three sports, only the Tennessee Volunteers women’s basketball program has been more of a mainstay on the preseason poll than the Ohio State football team, according to data from the website College Poll Archive. Tennessee has made the AP preseason poll 98 percent of the time. It’s missed just once in the poll’s 42-year history — in 1976, the year the poll was introduced. Largely under their legendary coach, the late Pat Summitt, the Volunteers piled up eight national championships and 18 Final Four appearances, controlling the sport for decades before Connecticut assumed the mantle. 2Ohio StateFootball6594 RKTeamSportCountRate* 5USCFootball5884 3KentuckyMen’s basketball5088 9GeorgiaWomen’s basketball3276 4OklahomaFootball6087 Appearances 7Notre DameFootball5580 The preseason eliteTeams with the highest rate of appearances in AP Top 25 preseason polls in men’s or women’s basketball and college football 1TennesseeWomen’s basketball4198% 10AlabamaFootball5275 North CarolinaMen’s basketball4884 UCLAMen’s basketball4375 8TexasWomen’s basketball3379 Ohio State has at least five more appearances on the AP preseason poll than any team in any sport, having qualified in 94 percent of available seasons. Since 1989, Ohio State’s average ranking in the preseason AP poll is 10.3. And perhaps no team dominates the opening month of the season like Ohio State, which has gone 21-2 over the last six years in the month of September, winning by an average margin of more than 30 points per game. But preseason rankings aren’t always pinpoint precise: Ohio State typically underperforms relative to its lofty preseason ranking.AP preseason polls typically draw from blue-blood schools, so it’s no surprise that other well-heeled programs like the football teams at Oklahoma and USC and the men’s basketball team at Kentucky are among the most-ranked.But on the gridiron, no team is accustomed to high expectations like the Buckeyes. Columbus has produced the second-most first-round NFL draft picks all time, and the team is expected not only to win, but to dominate. In this weekend’s season opener against Oregon State, Ohio State opened as 38-point favorites, the most lopsided betting line of any opening-week contest for a ranked team. “A place like Ohio State, we’re expected to win every game we play,” Meyer has said. “There’s not many places like that.” Those are expectations that Meyer also noted aren’t always “easy to embrace.” But players and coaches alike should recognize that’s what they’ve signed up for in Columbus: a culture of on-field success, national title aspirations and a preseason ranking. read more

Mens soccer OSU earns draw over weekend against No 7 Indiana

With No. 7 Indiana coming to town, the Ohio State men’s soccer team looked to take down another Big Ten foe at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.Coming off a dominant 3-0 win over Oakland on Tuesday, the Buckeyes looked to ride momentum in hopes of improving their conference record of 2-3.OSU redshirt freshman goalkeeper Parker Siegfried (1) prepares to return the ball to midfield during the Buckeye’s game against Valparaiso on Sept. 21 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. The Buckeyes won 4-1. Credit: Janaya Greene | Lantern PhotographerOhio State and Indiana played to a 2-2 draw on Saturday afternoon, with neither team able to find a game-winner through two overtime periods.“It could have gone either way,” OSU coach John Bluem said. “Earlier in the year we lost three games in sudden-death overtime. I think our guys were determined not to let that happen again.”The Buckeyes opened up the scoring early in the first period.In the 5th minute of play, junior forward Nate Kohl secured the ball in the box after a failed clearing attempt by the Indiana goalkeeper. Kohl deflected the ball off his chest then slid down to redirect it into the back of the net, giving the Buckeyes a 1-0 lead.For Kohl, it was his team-high fifth goal of the season.Indiana netted an equalizer in the 18th minute with a header by sophomore midfielder Jeremiah Gutjahr.However, it did not take long for the Buckeyes to answer back.In the 20th minute, Kohl worked a ball down the sideline. He slotted a pass through the middle in between a couple Hoosier defenders, finding senior midfielder Ben Fitzpatrick, who used a good first touch to get around his defender. He then fired it into the back of the net from 12 yards out, putting OSU back on top 2-1.“Me and Ben have worked on and off the ball together pretty well,” Kohl said. “I know how he plays and he knows how I play so it just keeps getting better. Its sad it took until the end of the season to start working, but I guess it’s as good a time as any.”Just as it seemed like the Buckeyes had the game in the bag, Indiana upped the tempo and started applying pressure deep in the offensive zone.With just seven minutes remaining in regulation, senior defender Billy McConnell deflected an Indiana shot inside the box that rolled just out of reach of OSU redshirt freshman goalkeeper Parker Siegfried to tie the game up at two.Neither of the two teams had many scoring opportunities in the two overtime periods, as the game ended in a tie.“When you let up an equalizing goal that late, your team could fold,” Bluem said. “For those last 27 minutes, our guys strapped them back up and fought hard to not allow that winning goal.”The Hoosiers outshot OSU 14-5, including an 8-1 advantage in the second period. Siegfried made five saves.The two teams seemed to have some bad blood, as things got chippy as time went on. Indiana accumulated a staggering 28 for calls, including four yellow cards for Indiana. OSU amassed 12 total fouls.“They were getting a little upset that they are the No. 7 team in the country and we were putting the pressure on them and taking the wind out of them,” Kohl said. “Things got a little chippy, but nothing we couldn’t handle.”Bluem said he was very proud of how his team played despite missing a few of their key guys to injuries.“We have a lot of talent sitting on our bench that can’t play,” Bluem said. “Yaw (Amankwa) couldn’t play today. Danny (Jensen) is out. (Marcus) McCrary is out. The guys that are being called upon in their place are really doing a great job.”Next up for the now 4-9-1 Buckeyes is a road contest against No. 4 Louisville on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. read more

Offutt to transfer from Ohio State

Sophomore guard Walter Offutt is leaving the Ohio State men’s basketball team to transfer to another university, coach Thad Matta announced Tuesday.Offutt will finish fall quarter at OSU before determining where he will relocate.The Indianapolis native has appeared in 23 career games for the Buckeyes, averaging 1.3 points per game.

Bret Bielema Urban Meyer agree on rivalry game

Ohio State football won’t play its annual game against Michigan until Nov. 24 , but there’s a rivalry game this Saturday to tide the Buckeyes over. Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema labeled this weekend’s matchup with the Buckeyes as a rivalry game Tuesday at the weekly Big Ten football coaches teleconference. “It’s a big one,” Bielema said. Last year, OSU upset then-No. 12 Wisconsin in a game that Bielema called “heartbreaking.” The year before, Wisconsin gave a then-No.1 OSU squad its only loss of the season. Dating back to 2005, either Wisconsin or OSU has won at least a share of the Big Ten conference title. “What makes a good rivalry is when two good teams play significant games,” said first-year OSU coach Urban Meyer. “Over the past decade, certainly in recent history, these two teams have been near the top of the Big Ten. That’s made this a very interesting rivalry.” The current landscape of the Big Ten conference has allowed the OSU-Wisconsin rivalry to blossom. The Buckeyes and Badgers are both members of the Leaders Division, guaranteeing a meeting between the programs every year. Meyer said he has no doubt that Wisconsin will always compete for the division championship, making the OSU and Wisconsin game a pivotal one in determining the Leaders Division champion for years to come. That will be the case this weekend; a win against Wisconsin, and OSU will be crowned as king of the Leaders Division. Badgers not holding back Because OSU and Penn State are ineligible from postseason play, Wisconsin secured a spot in the Big Ten Championship game last weekend with a win against Indiana .  But that doesn’t mean the Badgers will hold back this weekend against the Buckeyes. “Our goal year in and year out is to win our division,” Bielema said. “Obviously, we have to beat Ohio State for that to happen this year.” Nearly every year in the NFL, teams will rest their starters during the final weeks of the regular season once their playoff destinies are finalized. Bielema said, however, that the thought of benching his key players until the Big Ten Championship Game on Dec. 1 hadn’t even crossed his mind. “We would probably have a mutiny if I tried to take anyone out of the game,” Bielema said. “This is a chance to play the team that’s No. 1 in our division. I want to win in the worst way because Ohio State has set the standard for winning in this league.” Although the goal is to beat the Buckeyes, the Wisconsin coach said his team doesn’t need to win the division outright to legitimize their inevitable spot in the conference championship game. “We’re going to play the schedule that’s laid out,” Bielema said. “All we do is play the schedule that’s in front of us and live with the results.” read more

Football Fourstar defensive end Andrew Chatfield decommits from Ohio State

A little over two months after committing to Ohio State, four-star defensive end Andrew Chatfield reopened his recruiting process Monday evening.I just open my recruitment please respect my decision — Andrew Chatfield™ (@Drew_Chatfield) August 8, 2017The Fort Lauderdale, Florida, native committed to the Buckeyes June 1. Two weeks ago, he received an offer from the Florida Gators, fueling speculation he might flip his commitment to the in-state program.Chatfield is the No. 297 overall play in his class and the 14th-best weakside defensive end, according to 247Sports composite rankings.Ohio State now has 16 commitments in its 2018 recruiting class. One defensive end – five-star Georgia native Brenton Cox – remains committed to the Buckeyes.

Saudi Arabia allows women to travel without male consent

first_img Photos of the Week August 30, 2019 Share This! Share This! Share This! TagsAmnesty International King Salman male guardianship Quran Saudi Arabia Saudi women Saudi women’s rights,You may also like By: The Associated Press News Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,About the authorView All Posts The Associated Press,Load Comments,‘Skin’ filmmaker shares story of real-life racism and the road to redempti … Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Instagram apostasy stirs controversy over Christian ‘influencers’ August 30, 2019 By: The Associated Press News • Photos of the Week Anti-extremism program won’t stop hate, say Muslims who’ve seen its flaws August 30, 2019 Share This! News Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Saudi Arabia on Friday (Aug. 2) published new laws that loosen restrictions on women by allowing all citizens — women and men alike — to apply for a passport and travel freely, ending a long-standing guardianship policy that had controlled women’s freedom of movement.The new laws, a potential game-changer for Saudi women’s rights, are to go into effect by the end of the month.The kingdom’s legal system has long been criticized because it treated adult women as minors, requiring they have a man’s consent to obtain a passport or travel abroad. Often a woman’s male guardian is her father or husband, and in some cases a woman’s son.The changes were widely celebrated by Saudis on Twitter, with many posting memes showing people dashing to the airport with luggage and others hailing the 33-year-old crown prince believed to be the force behind these moves. But the changes also drew backlash from conservatives, who posted clips of senior Saudi clerics in past years arguing in favor of guardianship laws.Other changes issued in the decrees allow women to register a marriage, divorce or a child’s birth, and obtain official family documents, which could ease hurdles women faced in obtaining a national identity card and enrolling their children in school.Women are now also allowed to be legal guardians of their children, a right previously held only by men.Still in place, however, are rules that require male consent for a woman to leave prison, exit a domestic abuse shelter or marry. Women, unlike men, still cannot pass on citizenship to their children and cannot provide consent for their children to marry.Under the kingdom’s guardianship system, women essentially relied on the “good will” and whims of male relatives to determine the course of their lives. There were cases, for example, of young Saudi women whose parents are divorced, but whose father is the legal guardian, being unable to accept scholarships to study abroad because they did not have permission to travel.Amnesty International said Friday a lot remains to be done for women’s rights in Saudi Arabia but that the new laws could ease the guardianship system. Guardianship laws have “been a stifling system in the daily lives of women in Saudi Arabia,” said Lynn Malouf, Mideast’s research director at Amnesty.“These reforms really are a testament to the work of the brave activism and the suffering and the ordeals” Saudi women and men fought for in their calls for reform, she added.Saudi women fleeing domestic abuse and the guardianship system occasionally drew international attention to their plight, as 18-year-old Rahaf al-Qunun did before Canada granted her asylum. The stories of runaway women have created a flurry of negative headlines for the kingdom.To leave the country, some Saudi women say they had to hack into their father’s phone and change the settings on a government app to allow themselves permission to leave the country. There were calls in Washington for Google and Apple to block access to the app entirely.In a lengthy study of Saudi male guardianship laws in 2016, Human Rights Watch criticized it as “system that was ripe for abuse.”The new rules, approved by King Salman and his Cabinet, allow any person 21 and older to travel abroad without prior consent and any citizen to apply for a Saudi passport on their own.The decrees, issued Wednesday, were made public before dawn Friday in the kingdom’s official weekly Um al-Qura gazette. The government said Friday the new rules would be in effect by the end of August.A number of sweeping changes have been promoted by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as he drives an ambitious economic reform plan that encourages more women to enter the workforce. He was behind lifting the ban on women driving last year, loosening rules on gender segregation and bringing concerts and movie theaters to the country.He has also led a simultaneous crackdown on activists, including detaining the country’s leading women’s rights activists who had demanded an end to the very male guardianship rules now being curtailed. The women, among them Loujain al-Hathloul, are facing trial and allege they were tortured in prison.The crown prince continues to face widespread international criticism over the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul last year. Saudi Arabia has denied any involvement by the prince but its own investigation acknowledged the operation was planned by two of the prince’s top aides.Saudi newspaper Arab News noted that in the segment on travel, the new decree were written in gender-neutral language rather than outright stating that women no longer need male consent.News of the changes had been teased in state-linked Saudi media for weeks, possibly to ready the public and gauge reaction.The way the decrees were announced and the language used signal how sensitive these moves are among conservatives in the country. For years, state-backed preachers told the Saudi public that women should not travel longer than a night alone, claiming this was rooted in Islamic practice.Other Muslim countries, however, don’t have similar restrictions on women’s travel. Still, Saudi clerics have supported the imposition of male guardianship based on a Quran verse that states men are the protectors and maintainers of women.Other Islamic scholars argue this misinterprets fundamental Quranic concepts like equality and respect between the sexes.___Aya Batrawy writes for The Associated Press. Writer Fadi Tawil in Beirut contributed to this report. Share This! Leaders of religious right balk at labeling Trump a racist By: The Associated Press The Associated Presslast_img read more

Frances competition authority has approved Canal

first_imgFrance’s competition authority has approved Canal Plus’s acquisition of Bolloré-owned free-to-air channels Direct 8 and Direct Star, and has simultaneously imposed a series of punitive injunctions on the pay TV operator over its failure to fulfil the obligations it undertook at the time of its merger of CanalSat with TPS in 2006.The injunctions relating to the merger include a restriction on multi-year framework movie deals to a three-year term, the imposition of separate contracts for each type of rights acquired, such as for first ad second pay TV windows, and the banning of multi-year framework deals for French films.Canal Plus has also been told it must sell its stake in the Orange Cinéma Series channels or, at the very least, take measures to restrict its influence on the channels.Canal Plus must also undertake to implement clear rules for access of independent channels to the CanalSat platform, must allow alternative distributors including ISPs to compete effectively by granting them favourable terms to distribute content exclusive to CanalSat, and must make its own movie channels available on a non-discriminatory basis to third-party distributors.The pay TV operator must also sign separate contracts for video-on-demand and subscription VOD rights on a non-exclusive basis, with no bundling with linear pay rights, must sell VOD and SVOD rights to StudioCanal films to any distributor on a non-discriminatory basis and must not grant exclusive VOD distribution rights to any ISP.Canal Plus has been forced to accept strict conditions for its acquisition of the two free-to-air channels. The pay TV operator will undertake only to acquire simultaneous pay and free-to-air rights to films or original series from one of the six Hollywood majors, preventing it from retaining an exclusive hold on popular US shows. The regulator has also mandated that Direct 8 should acquire mostly medium-budget films from StudioCanal that are not generally seen on TV, rather than air the kind of mainstream blockbusters shown in primetime on the main free-to-air channels. Canal Plus has also been prevented from retaining exclusive free-to-air rights to sporting events it acquires for its pay channels, but which must also be shown in some form on free, by entrusting the decision on re-distributing the free rights to an independent body.Both the injunctions relating to the CanalSat-TPS merger and the conditions on the free-to-air channels are for a five-year term.Canal Plus has accepted the conditions for the acquisition of the Bolloré channels, which media regulator the CSA must now take a decision on by September, but has rejected the injunctions on the TPS merger. Canal Plus said it would move quickly to demand the suspension and cancellation of the latter before the Conseil d’Etat, whose rapporteur Vincent Daumas has already accepted the pay TV operator’s case that the legality of the competition regulator’s actions should be looked at by the country’s constitutional council.last_img read more