United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) welcomed the agreement reached by the Sustainable Tourism Observatory of Guanajuato (Mexico) and Paraguay to facilitate knowledge and technology transfer. Guanajuato is also one of the 16 Observations in the UNWTO network.The Tourism Observatory of Guanajuato, the first in Latin American, became a member of the UNWTO International Network of Tourism Observatories in 2014. The first meeting held between SECTUR and SENATUR happened at the UNWTO International Meeting of Spanish Tourism Observatories in 2016.“We praise the agreement signed by the State Secretariat of Tourism of Guanajuato (SECTUR) and the National Tourism Secretariat of Paraguay (SENATUR) as an important step to increase the development of sustainable tourism observatories,” said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai.Fernando Oliver Rocha, State Secretary, Tourism of Guanajuato, said, “Through this alliance, we aim at fostering public policies with regard to sustainable tourism practices.”Executive Secretary, Paraguay, Marcela Bacigalupo, recognised the relevance of the work of the UNWTO Observatories and underlined the importance of engaging private sector in sustainable tourism initiatives. “UNWTO has referred to Guanajuato as one of the best Observatories in Latin America, so we are very glad to have undersigned this agreement,” she mentioned.
Twenty-four countries are covered in Abercrombie & Kent‘s new collection of journeys through Africa, Arabia and Persia.In Africa, the portfolio is largely made up of journeys that take in the many wildlife experiences available for independent travellers and small groups. There are over 20 different safaris on offer, exploring the most important wilderness areas in East and Southern Africa. Perfectly paired with unique accommodation offerings, there’s a variety of ways to view the wildlife. Beach stays on the Indian Ocean are also featured as well as cultural sojourns in West Africa and Ethiopia.New to the portfolio is a journey for rail enthusiasts, which includes the Blue Train between Pretoria and Cape Town and safaris in two South African game reserves. For a special family adventure, a new Southern African safari is designed to deliver unforgettable experiences. Taking up residence in exclusive villas and houses, guests have their own guides, vehicles and chefs on tap allowing intimate shared experiences across generations.Also new in Southern Africa comes a partnership with Relais & Châteaux. Guests travel in style from Cape Town to the game reserves of the northeast, the Zambezi River and Victoria Falls before finishing in Botswana’s Selinda Reserve. Beautiful handpicked Relais & Châteaux lodgings are included throughout.In Kenya, where the A&K story began over 50 years ago, a new safari offering includes some of the country’s finest boutique lodges and safari experiences from Nairobi North to Samburu and concluding in the Masai Mara.Egypt is firmly back on A&K’s radar with three journeys featuring luxury Nile cruises on its own small ships. With over 30 years’ experience in Egypt and nine offices throughout the country, A&K is well placed to understand the local political climate, gauging traveller safety. Egypt is a must, especially while there’s good availability and easy access to major sites without the crowds.In Arabia, there are fascinating cultural journeys through Jordan and Israel, Oman and the UAE. Two intriguing experiences are on offer in Iran, which is fast becoming one of A&K’s most popular destinations thanks to its incredible array of ancient sites, breathtaking landscapes and the warm hospitality of its people who love sharing their Persian culture and history.A&K’s managing director Sujata Raman says, “Africa is at the heart of everything we do. It’s where the company was founded and where, in the intervening years, we have forged a pioneering path. We now have 11 offices there, employ the finest safari guides, have a collection of luxury safari camps and lodges as well as a mobile tented camping operation. We have also established Abercrombie & Kent Philanthropy (AKP), which supports over a dozen projects throughout the continent allowing us to give back in the local communities our guests visit, and make a real difference. Many of the journeys featured this year provide guests with the opportunity to visit some of these important and life-changing projects and a donation to AKP is made on behalf of every guest travelling.”
11Sep Cotter honors local sheriff during ceremony for 9/11 heroes and first responders Categories: News Isabella County resident joins Cotter at state CapitolThe Michigan House today hosted a special ceremony honoring first responders and members of the military who lost their lives in the line of duty during the last year.State Rep. Kevin Cotter attended the ceremony with Deputy Joe Chritz from the Isabella County Sheriff’s Department, who has served as a first responder in the area for many years.“I was proud to stand with Deputy Chritz in the House chamber as we honored our state’s first responders,” said Cotter, R-Mt. Pleasant. “Chritz faces danger every day as he protects our local community, and today I join my colleagues in honoring the brave officers and military personnel who make our neighborhoods and communities safe.”Today’s noon ceremony featured ringing of a fire bell after the name of each first responder was read by legislators who represent the cities in which the slain public servants lived. Special music was provided by a fire department bagpiper and “Taps” was played by two members of the Grand Ledge Marching Band.Cotter said the remembrance for those who lost their lives in the line of duty was a somber moment, and it’s important to remember the sacrifice these citizens made.###PHOTO RELEASE: State Rep. Kevin Cotter, R-Mt. Pleasant, attends the Michigan House of Representatives’ fourth annual 9/11 ceremony with Isabella County Sheriff’s Deputy Joe Chritz.
Categories: Featured news,Iden News,News State Rep. Brandt Iden’s bill-package to create the Michigan Junior Achievement fund was signed into law today by Gov. Rick Snyder.House Bills 4817 and 4818, now Public Acts 181 and 182 of 2016, will add the Michigan Junior Achievement fund to the list of 10 charitable organizations offered as a donation checkbox on state income tax returns.“I am a strong advocate for teaching financial literacy to young people, which is the precise reason I joined the board of Junior Achievement of Southwest Michigan several years ago,” said Rep. Iden, R-Oshtemo. “Learning how to manage your own money is a lifelong process for many people and in today’s society I see young people avoiding balancing their check books because they don’t know how or have received shortsighted advice on beginning to invest their money to maximize wealth.“Logging into your mobile banking app on your phone and checking your account balance is not effective money-management. By teaching fiscal responsibility and financial literacy at a young age, the Junior Achievement program guarantees that students have the tools to become successful entrepreneurs, equipped to create jobs and develop stronger communities throughout Michigan.“The bills signed into law today will offer Michigan residents the opportunity to support a great organization that helps mentor students by encouraging them to be cognizant of their spending habits and save for the future.“I am honored to have sponsored this legislation on behalf of Junior Achievement and thankful to my colleagues and the Governor for their support.”###### Tags: #SB, bill signing, charitable donations, financial literacy, HB 4817, HB 4818, Iden, Junior Achievement, PA 181 of 2016, PA 182 of 2016 13Jul Governor signs Rep. Iden’s bill adding Junior Achievement fund to donation list
20Jan Rep. Brann supports increased government transparency Categories: Brann News,News State Rep. Tommy Brann of Wyoming is applauding a policy change made in the House of Representatives to improve government transparency to all state citizens.“The People deserve to know how their tax dollars are being spent at the Michigan House,” Rep. Brann said. “It’s almost in the same format as the menus at my restaurant with prices and descriptions, so I believe the taxpayers should receive the same openness and basic information as they would as a customer. I applaud Speaker Tom Leonard’s decision to allow our residents access to the salary information for everybody working at the state House, myself included.”Following Thursday’s announcement, monthly updates including employee name, job title and salary information will be posted to the state House of Representatives’ website under the Financials tab.To view the public disclosure, go to: http://house.michigan.gov/financials.asp###
State Rep. Julie Calley invites residents to office hours in two communities during March.Calley, of Portland, will meet with constituents on the following dates:Friday, March 17, from 10 to 11 a.m. at the Barry County Cabinet Building, 121 S. Church St., HastingsMonday, March 20, from 1 to 2 p.m. at the Village of Lake Odessa, Page Memorial Building, 839 Fourth Ave., Lake Odessa“I value feedback from residents, along with the opportunity to address their questions or concerns. Together, we will strive to make government more effective, efficient, and accountable.”No appointment is necessary. Residents unable to attend scheduled office hours may send their questions and ideas to Calley via email at JulieCalley@house.mi.gov or by calling her at 517-373-0842. 13Mar Rep. Calley plans local office hours in March Categories: Calley News Tags: #SB
17May Rep. Miller schedules May office hours State Rep. Aaron Miller of Sturgis today announced his monthly in-district office hours with local residents, emphasizing the importance of representing the concerns of the community.“The feedback I receive at these monthly meetings is the most important tool I have when representing the district in Lansing,” Rep. Miller said. “I encourage anyone with concerns or ideas about state or local government to join me for coffee and conversation.”Rep. Miller’s office hours will be on Saturday, May 27 at the following times and locations:8 to 10 a.m. at Broadway Café, 158 S. Broadway St. in Cassopolis; and10:30 a.m. to noon at Cass District Library, 17049 US-12 in Edwardsburg.No appointments are necessary to attend office hours. Those unable to attend may contact Rep. Miller’s office at (517) 373-0832 or AaronMiller@house.mi.gov. Categories: Miller News
Categories: Marino News 08Feb Marino: Macomb veteran services benefit with grant State Rep. Steve Marino cosponsored legislation Wednesday encouraging state counties to establish and maintain veteran service offices through a new grant program.Under the measure, each county with a veteran service office that satisfies pre-approved requirements would receive $25,000, plus an additional amount based on the number of veterans in the county. To continue receiving the grant, an established county veteran service office must meet benchmarks for staff performance and reporting while maintaining the previous year’s funding level.“This legislation greatly benefits Macomb County veteran services and our men and women in uniform who have proudly served,” Marino said. “Local veterans already connected with services know just how critical it is to have a liaison near them to help with filing for eligible benefits. This grant helps expand the pre-existing foundation of assistance.”Under the current veterans benefit model, the state supplies the Veteran Service Coalition with a grant to provide benefit services to veterans. Depending on the county, a Veteran Service Officer may only be available for a few hours each month at a single location such as a city library.Currently, there are 11 Michigan counties without a veteran service office. This could be due to the number of veterans in the area, lack of funding or because the county partners with neighboring counties.“Although Macomb County already has a veteran service center with accredited service officers, this grant will help maintain and improve the office with funding as well as help counties without local offices with service officers establish one,” Marino said.The measure, House Bill 5536, will be formally read into the record today.
Categories: Bellino News 17Apr House reacts to Governor’s latest position on Line 5: Stop partisan gamble on our Great Lakes Michigan House Republicans today responded to news that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has taken an about-face on rebuilding Line 5 and is now open to building a multi-use utility tunnel beneath the Straits of Mackinac to house the energy pipeline.“It seems the governor knows good policy when she sees it but has been too busy placating her political base to do the right thing—until now,” said Majority Floor Leader Triston Cole, of Mancelona. “By stopping Line 5 reconstruction in the first place, the governor created a false crisis, which wasted valuable time and money spent planning for the project and delayed crucial energy rate relief for northern Michigan families.”House Republicans worked with the Snyder Administration on a solution to replace the aging Line 5 pipeline beginning in 2017. After thorough study, it was determined that building a tunnel 100 feet beneath the floor of Lake Michigan would be the safest option for transporting energy between the Upper and Lower Peninsulas, as compared to other available options like rail transport or trucking.“I’m glad the governor has finally joined the Legislature at the table on this important issue,” said Rep. Joe Bellino, chair of the House Energy Committee. “Placing a new Line 5 in a tunnel 100 feet into the bedrock beneath Lake Michigan’s floor is the best solution available for keeping our Great Lakes safe from contamination and delivering reliable energy to Michigan residents, especially those in Northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula. We need to set aside the partisan political games for good and get down to the important work of moving forward with this critical energy infrastructure project. Wasting years and millions of dollars on litigation will only extend the time that the aging, obsolete Line 5 sits on the bottom of the Straits of Mackinac.”The new tunnel would also pave the way for improved, cheaper delivery of propane, broadband and electricity to the Upper Peninsula and Northern Michigan, where energy rates continue to climb.“The governor knew all along that housing Line 5 in a multiuse utility tunnel deep beneath the floor of the Straits of Mackinac was the best and safest option for Michigan but could not bring herself to cooperate with Republican-backed policy,” said Rep. Beau LaFave, who, last week, introduced a resolution calling on the governor to move forward with the Line 5 project. “I’m glad the governor has finally gotten on board with a common-sense solution, but Michigan families need to know her commitment to dialogue goes deeper than political ties. She’s put the safety of hundreds of thousands of U.P. residents at risk for what amounts to a three week-long political stunt to curry favor with the extreme left-wing base of her party.”
13Jun Rep. Huizenga applauds House approved budget plan Categories: Huizenga News,News Legislator commends savings, accountable government and spending in key areasState Rep. Mark Huizenga this week voted to approve a state budget plan for the upcoming year that keeps government small while investing in areas that increase individual opportunities.The House budget plan costs taxpayers about $1.3 billion less than the plan recommended by the governor. The proposal injects needed money into roads, schools, clean drinking water and environment initiatives along with skilled trades.“This is about ensuring our state government delivers positive outcomes for residents and that it’s serving customers properly as they do business with Michigan through living here and paying taxes here,” said Huizenga, of Walker.The plan raises the state’s minimum per-pupil foundation allowance by $180 per student in a majority of Michigan school districts. All school districts would get at least $90 more per student, coming on top of the largest annual per-student increase of the past 15 years within the current budget year.Early literacy and career training are special focuses as the overall school aid fund would surpass $15 billion. Skilled trades will also see support by shifting funds and adding nearly $750,000 for additional grants in the Going Pro initiative that will increase the viability, versatility and potential of Michigan’s workforce.“As we educate the next generation, we must put them in a position to have success across a wide variety of fields so they are able to support themselves and their families,” Huizenga said. “Unemployment has dropped from nearly 15 percent in mid-2009 to about 4 percent now. It is important to continue on that trajectory and we need to continue to emphasize career training in our schools and programs such as Going Pro. This keeps Michigan at the forefront of job readiness and will help retain and attract talent.”The Michigan Legislature has committed $125 million in statewide resources to PFAS detection, investigation and cleanup efforts since 2017 and the budget plan ensures proper environmental protection across the board – including a prioritized, sustained commitment to combating PFAS and invasive species.The measures now move to the Senate for consideration.
ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares Image Source: tommy japan (1967, USA — Pentagon Peace Demonstration)October 10, 2014; New York TimesThe commission formed by the Pentagon to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the war in Vietnam has reopened some deep rifts that formed as the war was fought. As reported in Friday’s New York Times, while the commission strives to “provide the American public with historically accurate materials” suitable for use in schools, that is not as easy a task as it might appear.More than 500 scholars, veterans, and activists, including civil rights leader Julian Bond, Daniel Ellsberg (who leaked the top-secret Pentagon Papers), Lawrence J. Korb (former assistant secretary of defense under President Reagan), Peter Yarrow (of the folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary), and Tom Hayden, have written to the Pentagon demanding the ability to correct the Pentagon’s version of history and include a place for the old antiwar activists in the anniversary events. Fredrik Logevall, a Cornell University professor whose book on Vietnam, Embers of War, won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize, said that the commission’s website lacked context and that the timeline “omits too many important developments, while including a significant number of dubious importance.”Earlier this month, protestors demanded that New York City’s Metropolitan Opera cancel its scheduled performances of The Death of Klinghoffer, which depicts the 1985 hijacking of the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro and the murder of disabled Jewish passenger Leon Klinghoffer. In a video on the Met Opera’s website, director Tom Morris says he views The Death of Klinghoffer as an intellectual exercise. “It’s saying, ‘Let’s spend some time wrestling with the very difficult questions that arise from this very difficult conflict.’”In a letter to the New York Times, Judea Pearl wrote:“Choreographing a ‘nuanced’ operatic drama around criminal pathology is not an artistic prerogative, but a blatant betrayal of public trust. We do not stage ‘nuanced’ operas for rapists and child molesters, and we do not compose symphonies for penetrating the minds of ISIS executioners.”In June, NPQ reported on museums struggling with how climate-related exhibits would and should include information about global warming. In a time of deep divisions in America, controversies like these can be expected to increase.—Marty LevineShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
ProSiebenSat.1’s Scandinavian production division has acquired Swedish producer Hard Hat. Snowman Productions, which was set up by Red Arrow Entertainment last year, has acquired a majority interest in the production company and will see it move into ad-funded programming and digital production in the region. This is the latest acquisition for ProSiebenSat.1’s Red Arrow, which acquired British drama and factual indie The Mob Company in March and a stake in US producer Fuse Entertainment, which produces The Killing and Burn Notice, in September. Red Arrow launched Snowman Productions in Sweden in October 2010 before rolling it out to Denmark earlier this year. It is also expected to move into Norway over the coming months.Hard Hat, which is based in Stockholm, was founded by former Metronome execs Mats Dicklén and Calle Schulman. It has produced digital series and ad-funded programming for broadcasters SVT and Kanal 5 as well as brands including Procter & Gamble.Pontus Gårdinger, CEO of Snowman Productions, said: “With the acquisition of Hard Hat, we take an important step towards establishing ourselves as market leaders in production and development for other platforms such as web TV, alongside traditional TV. I couldn´t wish for a better partner for Snowman.”
French digital-terrestrial pay TV service provider TV Numeric is reportedly looking for a new investor.According to financial daily Les Echos, TV Numeric’s main shareholder Hugues d’Annoux has held talks to bring in a minority shareholder, with the aim of securing an agreement by the end of the summer.TV Numeric is currently owned by d’Annoux, with a 91% stake, and UK pay DTT operator Top Up TV, with 9%. The latter merged its own French service, TNTop, with TV Numeric in 2010. TV Numeric still plans to launch a long-delayed video-on-demand service, SelecTV, on the DTT platform. However, questions continue to be raised about the future of pay TV on digital-terrestrial, following the shutting down of pay channels CFoot and TPS Star.
French collecting societies SACD and SCAM, which represent the rights of different groups of content creators in the country, have hailed two reports commissioned by the country’s Conseil supérieur de la propriété littéraire et artistique (CSPLA) criticising the European Commission’s proposed directive on collective management of rights and proposing alternative measures.Key findings include that the text of the proposed directive fails to respect EC principles of proportionality and subsidiarity and would see the imposition of regulations that should be left to individual member states. The report argues that the organisation, their governance and powers of collecting societies should be left to individual member states.It points out that in France collecting societies are already subject to regulation by a body composed of independent magistrates. The report also alleges that the proposed rules are based on an analysis of the music market only and take no account of the specificities of the audiovisual market.
The BBC was too optimistic about its ability to implement its ill-fated Digital Media Initiative (DMI), the failure of which led to a storm of public criticism of the corporation and the departure of chief technology officer John Linwood, according to a National Audit Office (NAO) report published by the BBC Trust yesterday. The abandonment of the Digital Media Initiative, which was supposed to create a fully integrated digital production and archiving system across the organisation, cost the BBC £125.9 million (€152.8 million), about £98.4 million of which has been written off.The NAO said that problems with the system contributed to a gap between technology development and what users expected, and that the BBC executive did not have a grip on the programme or appreciate the extent of problems until a late stage.The report found that when the BBC took over the DMI from Siemens in 2009 it had little time left to meet critical deadlines, and that it did not establish clear requirements or obtain an independent assessment of the design of the programme. While the BBC completed some straightforward technology releases as part of the programme, these were not a reliable indicator of progress, the report said.Other findings included that the governance arrangements for the programme were not adequate and that the BBC did not properly address issues identified by external reviewers.The NAO also found that the BBC canceled the DMI without examining the technical feasibility or cost of completing it.“The BBC Executive did not have sufficient grip on its Digital Media Initiative programme. Nor did it commission a thorough independent assessment of the whole system to see whether it was technically sound,” said Amyas Morse, head of the NAO. “If the BBC had better governance and reporting for the programme, it would have recognized the difficulties much earlier than May 2012.”Former BBC director-general Mark Thompson is to appear again before the UK parliament’s Public Accounts Committee next week to face further questions about the project in the wake of the report.Separately, former technology chief Linwood has revealed in written evidence to the Public Accounts Committee that he is taking legal action against the corporation. Linwood accused the BBC of making inaccurate statements to the committee and said the vision of how the DMI was intended to work had changed over time, including a change of mind on the BBC’s part on the value of standardised production tools.
Liberty Global-owned UPC Austria is adding 11 new HD channels o its line-up. The move takes the total number of HD services on the platform to 72, including Sky Deutschland’s premium service channels.From tomorrow, UPC Austria will add EinsFestival HD and ZDFinfo HD from German public broadcasters ARD and ZDF, the addition of which will enhance UPC Austria’s coverage, in HD, of the forthcoming World Cup from Brazil.UPC will also add HD versions of Eins Plus, SF2, Phoenix, Sports 1, MDR and SWR to its UPC TV Start and Plus packages in the near future.It will also add Aminal Planel HD, Nat Geo People HD and Universal Channel HD to its Super FIT Family, Top FIT and Mega FIT packages.
Portuguese service provider Nos’s advanced TV service, Iris, is now taken by over three-quarters of its triple and quad-play subscribers.Nos – formerly Zon Multimédia – reported that an additional 71,900 subscribers signed up for Iris during the third quarter, taking it to 76.6% of the operator’s triple and quad-play base, up from 48% a year earlier.Overall, Nos numbered 633,000 Iris subscribers at the end of the quarter. The operator said its new YouTube player was attracting 125,000 unique users a daywhile Iris as a whole counted over 100 million interactions a day with over 60,000 streams being viewed at peak time.Nos continued to lose pay TV customers during the quarter, but at a slower rate than previously. The operator lost 4,700 pay TV subs, leaving its total at 1.166 million. Losses in the fixed line business were partially offset by gains in the DTH business.Nos added 149,600 revenue-generating units in the quarter, up from 80,300 in the second quarter. Nos reported 480,000 additions to its ‘core convergent’ base of multi-play customers, taking the total to 1.488 million multi-play RGUs. The improved performance followed the launch of a number of new offers, including an entry-level multi-play service in June, combining 126 TV channels with 30Mbps fixed internet, unlimited fixed voice and one mobile SIM card with unlimited voice and SMS for €49.99. A high end offering, Nos Cinco, was launched in July combining 5GB of mobile broadband with other services for €79.99.The operator’s total RGU base at the end of September numbered 3.536 million, up 2.6% year-on-year.Operating revenues amounted to €347.8 million for the quarter, down 3.8%, while EBITDA was €133.4 million, down 4.6%.
Sky Deutschland, the German arm of UK-Italian-German pay TV operator Sky, has launched a dedicated Star Wars channel.Sky Star Wars HD will show the six Star Wars movies around the clock. The launch of the special channel comes ahead of the Christmas period and ahead of the release of The Force Awakens, the next instalment in the franchise, next year.As well as the movies, the channel will have the behind the scenes content, interviews with the actors and docs about the iconic movie series.Martin Michel, managing director of Sky’s ad sales operation, Sky Media Network, said: “Star Wars is a cross-generational phenomenon. Especially in the pre-Christmas adverising period we offer the advertising industry with this special programming again.”Yesterday, BSkyB closed its majority acquisition of Sky Deutschland and 100% takeover of Sky Italia. BSkyB renamed itself as Sky following the deals.
French cable operator Numericable-SFR has hailed a “return to growth” in the first quarter, driven by a 6.7% in its very high-speed broadband base to 1.595 million. The operator also set ambitious targets for fibre and 4G growth. Numericable-SFR’s ADSL base declined by 4% to 4.925 million in the year to March. The group’s total fixed line base numbered 6.52 million customers. The group added 48,000 fibre customers in the first quarter, compared with 68,000 for the whole of 2014, as it migrated SFR subscribers to the Numericable fibre network.The group said it would connect 7.7 million homes to its fibre network by the end of this year, rising to 15 million by 2020.Regarding the 4G network, Numericable-SFR said it would cover 70% of the population by the end of 2015, 90% by end 2017 and 99% by end 2020.Numericable-SFR said its ADSL customer base will continue to recede in 2015, as customers migrate to the high-speed network. Fixed line ARPU was up slightly – by 0.9% – at the end of March, reaching €34.30.The group’s residential mobile base declined by 5.7% to 15.816 million, largely due to losses in the prepaid segment. Overall mobile customers, including business customers, numbered 22.494 million, down 2.5%. Numericable-SFR said its mobile post-paid ARPU stabilized in the first quarter, declining slightly quarter-on-quarter to €25.50.Numericable-SFR posted revenue of €2.74 billion, down by 4.6% compared to Q1 2014, which it said was due to the decline in mobile revenue. However, adjusted EBITDA, which amounted to €930 million, was up by 21%, compared to Q1 2014.Numericable-SFR’s majority owner Altice meanwhile reported reveues of €3.263 billion for the quarter, down 3.3% or 4.5% on a constant currency basis. The group posted EBITDA of €1.177 billion, up 20% or 18% on a constant currency basis.“Q1 2015 was a strong quarter for the Altice Group, with 20% growth in our adjusted EBITDA and 12% growth in our operating free cash flow. We are particularly pleased with the strong start to the synergies realisation plan in France and are confident that our strategy based on higher value generation through focus on quadruple play and use of our clear fibre advantage will continue to deliver results. We began the year strongly, both operationally and financially, and will continue to drive margin expansion and cash flow growth across all of our operations in 2015,” said Altice CEO Dexter Goei.