Telenor, Axiata plot Malaysian merger Tags Telenor advances multi-vendor SA 5G AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to MoreAddThisMore 14 AUG 2020 Author PPFTelenor Yanitsa Boyadzhieva Related Previous ArticlePPF Telecom tipped for CEE exitNext ArticleHTC posts another loss despite launches PPF Telecom Group denied reports it planned to sell its Telenor-branded operations in Bulgaria, Serbia, Montenegro and Hungary which would have resulted in it largely exiting Central and Eastern Europe (CEE).Local media suggested the company had already held talks to explore options for sell its assets in the four countries as a cost-cutting measure.The reports appeared to sit well with a recent restructure undertaken by PPF Telecom which resulted in the separation of its retail and infrastructure units and the creation of CETIN Group to oversee the network business.But, PPF Telecom refuted the speculation regarding a retail sale, explaining in a statement to Mobile World Live it “does not consider or plan to sell any of its telecom assets in the CEE region”.The group bought the four Telenor operations in 2018 for €2.8 billion. It is also active in Slovakia and the Czech Republic under the O2 brand. The group claims to serve more than 12 million subscribers with mobile, fixed, internet and television offerings. Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back Yanitsa joins Mobile World Live as a Reporter based in London. She has more than 5 years’ experience at various media outlets in her home country Bulgaria. She started her career as a political reporter, followed by taking editor roles… Read more Telenor books loss on $780M Myanmar write-off Home PPF Telecom dismisses CEE exit reports
Fund by other means? It’s not yet too late for the Combined Authority to re-think. But I suspect it won’t, not least because so much political capital has already been expended in talking up the case for franchising, and developing the proposals has cost the Authority a fair few millions of pounds.Of course, Boris Johnson himself has expressed support for them, and there has even been a suggestion that the DfT may provide some degree of financial support which, as my earlier remarks suggest, I would personally find difficult to agree with.This is a local policy, not a national one.If franchising, at least as a single standalone measure, is not going to be financially viable then surely it’s not the solution to reversing the decline in bus patronage – a decline, incidentally, that the data published by the DfT last week showed has been happening every year since 1955.It’s quite clear to me that we need different interventions than franchising if bus patronage is to increase, and those interventions must surely be aimed at making car use less attractive.The government is committed to throwing millions of pounds at buses to encourage bus use, which sounds great at one level.But unless this financial support is backed up by other measures to make car use less attractive, I suspect we still won’t see the decline in bus patronage reversed. People love their cars too much. Greater Manchester’s bus franchising plans needs ongoing subsidy. Will the taxpayers have to fork out? Since these plans are entirely of the Combined Authority’s making, I don’t see why national taxpayers should put their hands in their pockets. It is for the good people of Greater Manchester to do so should they so wish. Last week the Department for Transport (DfT) published its quarterly bus statistics. Once again it showed a decline in passenger journeys, including in all metropolitan areas except the West Midlands. That reminded me of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s plans for franchising.As I recall from its consultation paper, the Authority acknowledged that franchising in itself won’t halt this on-going decline in patronage.So, I made a few enquiries of those in the know and asked if the Authority’s franchising plans would actually require subsidy on an on-going basis, and it seems that they will.The plans will apparently never wash their face financially. Which means either the local or national taxpayer is going to have to fund them. Unable to change But if the residents and businesses in Greater Manchester were told explicitly that the franchising plans would require on-going subsidy via Council Tax or business rates, I wonder if they would be supportive of them.I suspect not, because, as I commented on at the time the consultation started, an opinion poll showed that the people of Greater Manchester were not prepared to see an increase in local taxes to subsidise the buses.So it seems that Greater Manchester’s plans for bus franchising are going to come at a price, with a need for year-on-year subsidy.
Bonino’s efforts to introduce an immediate embargo on certain PVC toys designed to be put into babies’ mouths, such as dummies and teething rings, which contain softeners known as phthalates, were torpedoed by her Commission colleagues earlier this month.Phthalates have been found to cause cancer and sterility when ingested in sufficiently large quantities. But while Bonino argued there was enough evidence to demonstrate a serious and immediate risk to the general public from the toys in question, other Commissioners, led by industry heavyweight Martin Bangemann, insisted more research was needed.The so-called Dutch Study is supposed to provide this additional evidence, but will not be completed before the beginning of September.“At that point we will just have the results. We will then have to wait until they are evaluated. I am afraid this could take some time,” admitted one Bonino aide.Critics of the data presented by the EU scientific committee, which produced the first evidence of the danger of phthalates in April, say it was arrived at using suspect techniques which have never subsequently been reproduced. Part of the aim of the Dutch Study is to try to repeat these initial tests. Aides close to the Italian Commissioner have confirmed that she will have to wait for new scientific evidence currently being prepared by a team of experts in the Netherlands before she can even contemplate calling for the controversial ban once again.Officials say that in the interim she will try to bring forward some sort of scaled-down measure, probably in the form of a non-binding recommendation or a warning to EU governments.“Something has to be done. I am not quite sure what, but Mrs Bonino will propose something to bridge this gap,” said one.
It’s never easy trying to repeat as a sports champion. Ask anyone who has ever won.For the 2013 Baltimore Ravens it became clear quite early in training camp that last season was a long, long time ago. This year’s version of the defending champions spent 16 mostly-long weeks, like Barry Manilow, trying to get that feeling again. And as the clock ticked down on the final, gruesome minutes in Cincinnati on Sunday afternoon, it wasn’t hard to get inside the brain of general manager Ozzie Newsome because his thoughts probably mirrored ours.This team just wasn’t very good.For the 18th consecutive year I walked through the Ravens locker room at the end of a season and this time surveyed the carnage of lost hopes and dreams. There were two times — in Tampa and New Orleans — when I still was wondering about the future even as delicious as the present was at that precious moment in time. Every year I look around that room of mostly battered men and wonder how many will be on the field in Owings Mills when they take the field in late July. This time I had more questions and more confusion because of how under-performing so many players were at so many positions across the roster.At heart, the Ravens lacked “great” players. All over the place.Owner Steve Bisciotti will take the podium at some point in the next 10 days and discuss his thoughts on trying to repeat and what he gleaned from an 8-8 finish and four months of woeful offensive theater.When the years pass and any fan looks back on 2013 and sees that somehow the kicker was voted the team’s MVP, well…that just about says it all. No offense to kickers anywhere, but when Justin Tucker is your team’s MVP – and really, there wasn’t much argument regarding his choice — you probably don’t deserve to make the playoffs.And yet somehow this pesky group from Baltimore made it all the way into the second half of Week 17 with a chance to play into 2014. They weren’t 4-12 and playing out the string. The season wasn’t over in October. And given the heroics and determination we’ve witnessed over the past six seasons since John Harbaugh arrived, when the game was 17-17 in Cincinnati yesterday it wasn’t hard to envision a 9-7 finish and some unlikely hero finding some way to create a play that extended the season into the New Year.But, alas, the Ravens probably got what they deserved – an early trip to the golf course with the rest of the 19 other teams who stumbled and bumbled through the fall.“We’re an 8-8 team,” Flacco said from the podium at Paul Brown Stadium. “We didn’t deserve to go to the playoffs.”True, that.I see the mindless posts from football fans who drink too much in the first half of games each week. The unseemly criticism of Flacco and his salary and his play – much of which is predicated on blocking, scheme and route-running from others — is almost comical for anyone who really watches football and understands the value of a world-class quarterback and a well-oiled offensive machine. Flacco’s “eliteness” has become a running civic conversation. The parade, the Super Bowl MVP performance, the five straight years of exciting football in January seems to be vanquished into the gutter of people’s minds in Baltimore anytime the Ravens lose.It’s really unbelievable to me how unappreciated Flacco is by the mental midgets in the Ravens fan base who clearly don’t remember the 15 guys who played quarterback before him from 1996 through 2007.There’s even a case to be made that the season ended two weeks ago when Flacco limped off the field in Detroit. Without Joe Flacco, there’s very little doubt that the season would’ve ended before it began especially given the lack of talent and results across the roster.It was clearly Flacco’s worst season in the NFL but it’s also very clear that virtually every component of the team around him underachieved and
ABC/Craig Sjodin(LOS ANGELES) — Now we know why Academy Award-winner Brad Pitt skipped the BAFTAs — the “British Oscars” — back in February. Page Six reports he needed to be with Zahara, his 15-year-old daughter with ex Angelina Jolie.As previously reported, in an essay for TIME, Jolie wrote, “I have spent the last two months in and out of surgeries with my eldest daughter, and days ago watched her younger sister go under the knife for a hip surgery.” Zahara is the couple’s oldest daughter.While Pitt cited a “family obligation” for his absence, sources now tell Page Six that Zahara was the reason, with one noting, “The children come before anything.”Entertainment Tonight reports it was the former couple’s daughter Shiloh, who is 13, who underwent the second surgery — which is unrelated to Zahara’s. The nature of Zahara’s surgery is unknown.Jolie and Pitt are also parents to 18-year-old Maddox, 16-year-old Pax, and 11-year-old twins Knox and Vivienne.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.