Media General Will Begin Negotiations with Proposed Buyer Nexstar

first_img Furthermore, Meredith chairman and CEO Stephen Lacy, who would lead the proposed new entity created under a Media General/Meredith merger, reiterates that the company’s board of directors still believes the agreed-upon merger agreement with Media General is in the best interest of Meredith and its shareholders. Even as negotiations with Nexstar begin, Media General’s board of directors continues to recommend following through with the Meredith acquisition under the terms established in September. Media General first announced an agreement to buy Meredith for $2.4 billion in September. Weeks later, Nexstar submitted an unsolicitied proposal to buy Media General, a deal that, if made, would jeopardize the yet-to-be completed Meredith takeover, an acquisition Nexstar described as “ill-conceived.” Media General’s board of directors reached two unanimous decisions, according to a company statement. The first was to formally reject Nexstar’s initial, $4.1 billion proposal, saying that it “significantly undervalues” the company. The second was to enter negotiations with Nexstar over the suitor’s non-binding, unsolicited proposal. Media General was granted a waiver by Meredith to pass on non-public information to Nexstar in evaluation of the deal, which Nexstar claimed would offer Media General greater value, both immediately and long-term.center_img The cloud of uncertainty cast over Media General’s proposed purchase of Meredith Corp. grew a shade darker Monday, as Media General announced that it will officially open negotiations with its own proposed buyer, Nexstar Broadcasting Group. “We are surprised that Media General’s Board considers the value of our proposal to be inadequate today,” said Perry Sook, chairman, president and CEO of Nexstar, in a statement. “However, we are willing to engage with them to hear their perspectives.” Meredith released a statement of its own in response to the announcement, saying, “Meredith understands Media General Board’s fiduciary responsibility to respond to the Nexstar proposal consistent with our binding merger agreement announced on September 8, 2015. However, Meredith still remains confident that the combination of Meredith and Media General will generate superior shareholder value … as compared to a potential Nexstar transaction.”last_img read more

Mudra Bank Start up India to shore up MSMEs

first_imgWith the opening of the Mudra Bank and Start up India programme, credit for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) that is a big issue will now change for the better, according to the author of a new report on the subject.Institute of Small Enterprise and Development (ISED) director P.M.Mathew, who has prepared the report that will be launched by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Deputy Governor S.S. Mundra at Mumbai’s World Trade Centre on Thursday, 26 November, said the new steps by the government in 2015, such as Mudra Bank’s setting up, and Start up India have helped to broad base credit in the Indian economy, especially for MSMEs and other micro-level economic activities.”This, unlike the ‘Loan Melas’ of the 1970s, are likely to make a significant impact on enterprise activities at the ‘bottom of pyramid’,” he said.Mathew said that the international data shows that small business loans on the balance sheets of banks are down about 20% since the 2008 global financial crisis, while loans to larger businesses have risen by about 4% over the same period.SME lending is shrinking with bank loans to SMEs in the US have been falling as a proportion of total loans over the years, he said, adding that this is true of many other European countries as well.”Fortunately, in India, non-profit lenders, crowd funders, and other online lenders are stepping up to fill the gap. These lenders are often leveraging technology to access creditworthiness, underwrite, and service loans while traditional lenders can’t or don’t want to service anymore,” said Mathew.last_img read more

Over 100 die in Malaysian immigration camps in 2 yrs

first_img.More than one hundred foreigners died in the past two years in Malaysia’s immigration detention centers from various diseases and unknown causes, according to documents from the government-funded National Human Rights Commission reviewed by Reuters.The toll, which has not been previously disclosed, is based on Malaysian immigration department data provided to the commission, which is known by its Malay acronym Suhakam. There were 83 deaths in 2015, and at least 35 in 2016 up to 20 December.It is unclear whether the death rate is higher than in neighboring countries. Government officials in Indonesia and Thailand told Reuters they do not disclose such numbers. The rate is higher than in major industrialized nations such as the United States, which in the last financial year recorded 10 deaths in its immigration detention system, which has many more detainees than Malaysia’s.More than half of the 118 dead are from Myanmar, the source for tens of thousands of refugees coming to Malaysia, including Rohingya Muslims escaping persecution by Myanmar’s authorities and its majority Buddhist population. The number of Rohingya fatalities in the camps is unknown.For a graphic on deaths in detention in Malaysia, click hereMalaysian prime minister Najib Razak has been a harsh critic of the Myanmar government and its de-facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi after a crackdown in October by Myanmar’s security forces led many Rohingya to flee across its borders amid multiple allegations of mass killings and gang rapes by troops. He has called for foreign intervention to stop the “genocide” in Myanmar.Najib’s office did not return calls seeking comment.“The numbers are too many and are shocking and it calls for the overhaul of the system,” said Jerald Joseph, one of eight commissioners at Suhakam, which was established by the Malaysian parliament through an act in 1999 and is due to publicly announce the numbers next week in its annual report on human rights issues in Malaysia.He described conditions at the centers, some of which he has visited, as “appalling” and said the deaths should be investigated as a criminal matter.  The illnesses that led to some of the deaths may have been caused or exacerbated by poor sanitation and food, physical abuse and a lack of medical attention, said Joseph, who was speaking on behalf of the commission.BRUTAL CONDITIONSMalaysia’s home ministry, which oversees the immigration department, said it was trying to improve the conditions in the centers but that its budget was constrained.“I agree there is some overcrowding and the conditions are not ideal. We are always trying to improve the procedures, health conditions and management of these sites. The problem is we hit a budget brick wall,” said deputy home minister Nur Jazlan Mohamed in an interview.He said there wasn’t enough funding to upgrade facilities, provide adequate healthcare and hire and train enforcement officers. Jazlan blamed overcrowding on the “never ending flow of people seeking better future in Malaysia.”The living conditions inside the Malaysian camps are grim – overcrowded, unhygienic and brutal – according to interviews with 13 former detainees, and 12 others who have regularly visited the centers, including people from government agencies and rights groups.Those who had been detained say they did not get adequate food, water or healthcare, that many inmates developed skin and lung infections, and the sick are usually not isolated, leading to the spread of contagious diseases.All of the detainees interviewed also allege they were beaten by guards at the camps or witnessed others being beaten. One former Rohingya inmate of the Lenggeng camp in the southwestern state of Negeri Sembilan told Reuters in an interview that he witnessed detainees being beaten and then saw them die when the resulting injuries were not treated. “When we asked for medicines, we were beaten,” he said.Reuters could not independently verify his account or the similar accusations made by other detainees. They all declined to be identified for fear of reprisals.Asked about the claims of beatings, Jazlan said he needs more evidence to establish if it was prevalent.  “I hope critics won’t rely on detainees’ testimony, and come up with proper evidence,” he said.FARED WORSEOf the 118 people recorded as dying in 2015-2016, 63 were from Myanmar, and people from that country have fared worse than those from elsewhere, the documents from Suhakam and data from the Malaysian government’s Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) show.During 2016, for example, there were 14,180 Myanmar nationals detained and at least 14 of them died, while there were only five fatalities among 34,586 Indonesian inmates. The documents and data don’t explain this discrepancy and Reuters was unable to independently confirm the reason for it.People from Myanmar, including Rohingya Muslims, tend to stay in the detention centers longer as they try to persuade the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to issue them with identification cards that allow them to stay in Malaysia temporarily, rights groups and former detainees said. People from other countries are often undocumented migrant workers who are deported home relatively quickly.Malaysia, which has not signed the UN Refugee Convention, treats refugees as illegal migrants with few rights.Asked about the deaths of Myanmar nationals in Malaysian detention centers, Zaw Htay, who is spokesman for Myamnar’s Suu Kyi, said that “we haven’t heard about these cases.” He also said that “a lot of Bengali people in Malaysia say they come from Myanmar to get UNHCR cards.”“Bengali” is a derogatory term used by many in Myanmar to refer to the Rohingya that suggests they come from Bangladesh, even though many Rohingya have lived in the country for generations.LUNG INFECTIONSThe documents reviewed by Reuters give causes of death for 68 detainees. Pneumonia and lung infections led to 19 deaths, at least 10 were the result of various heart-related conditions, and five died from the bacterial disease leptospirosis, which is often spread through the urine of infected animals, including rodents.Sepsis, or septic shock, a condition usually triggered by other illnesses, claimed 21 victims, including some who were suffering from pneumonia or leptospirosis, various forms of tuberculosis led to three deaths, and one Filipino woman committed suicide.The 13 detention centers in Malaysia held a total 86,795 detainees for various periods during 2016, according to the EAIC.Malaysia isn’t the only country in southeast Asia that has faced criticism for the conditions in its prisons.In its human rights report for 2016, the US State Department said Indonesian and Thai facilities, including those used to detain immigrants, are overcrowded. It said government figures showed that 548 prisoners died “in custody” in Indonesia between January and June of 2016, and 762 died in “official custody” in Thailand in the year to September 2016. However, there was no breakdown between those who died in ordinary jails and those who died in other forms of incarceration, such as immigration detention facilities.No cause was given for 50 deaths in Malaysia. They are classified in the documents as “no report” or “pending autopsy” or “undetermined” or “awaiting report from hospital” or “unascertained.” One center in Kuala Lumpur had 13 deaths in 2016, but no reasons were stated for any of them.When asked about the lack of reasons given for so many deaths, Jazlan said he will look into it.The documents do not specify the reasons for the lower death rate in 2016, though a Reuters analysis of them and related data shows that there was a 27 percent drop in the number of people detained at the end of 2016 from a year earlier.last_img read more

Twitter Stock Tumbles After Analyst Calls It Harvey Weinstein of Social Media

first_imgIn his research note Thursday, Citron’s Left wrote that “we immediately knew the stock had become uninvestable and advertisers will soon be forced to take a hard look at all sponsorships with Twitter.” He added that “this story has just begun and advertisers will be forced to make more morality-based brand building decisions.”Twitter trails Facebook and Google in growth, and “any form of tweaking of the business model to ‘monitor speech’ sends traffic, engagement, and total users backwards for Twitter — a death blow for a company playing catch-up,” Left wrote. “Twitter now not only faces the problem of conservative backlash but more importantly the ad buyer who must be sensitive to all social norms.” Citron set a long-term price target of $20 per share on Twitter; the stock was down 12.5% in midday trading, to $28.81 per share. [UPDATE: Twitter shares closed at $29.29 per share for the day, down 11.05%.]The selloff of Twitter stock also comes amid an investor backlash against Facebook, whose stock dropped 7.3% Wednesday. That came after the attorney general for Washington, D.C., sued Facebook on Wednesday, alleging the company failed to protect the private data of millions of users that wound up in the hands of Cambridge Analytica, a political consulting firm that used the information to target voters during the 2016 presidential election. In addition, a New York Times report Tuesday said Facebook had shared access to user data with more than 150 partners in ways more extensive than previously disclosed, which added to its mounting privacy issues. “As an investor, if you dislike Facebook you must absolutely HATE Twitter,” Citron’s Left wrote.Asked for comment, a Twitter rep referred to a response to the Amnesty International report by Vijaya Gadde, Twitter’s legal, policy and trust, and safety global lead. In part, she said it was “unclear” how the organization defined or categorized “problematic” content.“We work hard to build globally enforceable rules and have begun consulting the public as part of the process — a new approach within the industry,” Gadde said in the statement. “As numerous civil society groups have highlighted, it is important for companies to carefully define the scope of their policies for purposes of users being clear what content is and is not permitted.” She added that Twitter welcomed further discussion about how Amnesty International defined problematic behavior “in accordance with the need to protect free expression and ensure policies are clearly and narrowly drafted.” Shares of Twitter fell more than 12% Thursday after a Wall Street analyst labeled the company “the Harvey Weinstein of social media.”In a note to investors, Citron Research founder Andrew Left — who is a noted short-seller — cited a study released this week conducted by Amnesty International that found Twitter was “a toxic place for women,” particularly women of color.According to an analysis by Amnesty International and Element AI of a crowdsourced review of 14.5 million tweets posted in 2017, about 7% of the tweets targeted at 778 prominent women in government and journalism in the U.S. and the U.K. were or abusive or otherwise problematic. Women of color were 34% more likely to be targets than white women, and black women were 84% more likely than white women to be mentioned in problematic tweets, the study found. (The study did not look at abuse directed toward men.) Over the past several years, Twitter has acknowledged the problem of widespread abuse and other problems like spam on its platform and has stressed that it’s taking active steps to improve the “health” of discussions. Twitter says it uses a combination of machine learning and human review to evaluate abuse reports and whether they violate its rules.Investor concern over Twitter’s exposure to abuse on the platform comes after the company posted its fourth straight quarter of profitability. During the third quarter of 2018, Twitter reported a revenue increase of 29% year-over-year thanks to strong ad sales.Twitter’s worldwide average monthly active user count for Q3 dropped by 9 million, to 326 million, while MAUs in the U.S. declined 1 million sequentially, to 67 million. The company said that was a positive sign that it was successfully pruning spammers and other suspicious accounts from Twitter.“We’re achieving meaningful progress in our efforts to make Twitter a healthier and valuable everyday service,” CEO Jack Dorsey said in announcing Q3 results. Popular on Variety ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15last_img read more

Worldwide quantum web may be possible with help from graphs

first_img Explore further “A worldwide quantum network may appear quite similar to the internet—a huge number of devices connected in a way that allows the exchange of information between any of them,” coauthor Michael Epping, a physicist at the University of Waterloo in Canada, told Phys.org. “But the crucial difference is that the laws of quantum theory will be dominant for the description of that information. For example, the state of the fundamental information carrier can be a superposition of the basis states 0 and 1. By now, several advantages in comparison to classical information are known, such as prime number factorization and secret communication. However, the biggest benefit of quantum networks might well be discovered by future research in the rapidly developing field of quantum information theory.”Quantum networks involve sending entangled particles across long distances, which is challenging because particle loss and decoherence tend to scale exponentially with the distance.In their study published in the New Journal of Physics, Epping and coauthors Hermann Kampermann and Dagmar Bruß at the Heinrich Heine University of Düsseldorf in Germany have shown that describing physical quantum networks as abstract mathematical graphs offers a way to optimize the architecture of quantum networks and achieve entanglement across the longest possible distances. “A network is a physical system,” Epping explained. “Examples of a network are the internet and labs at different buildings connected by optical fibers. These networks may be described by mathematical graphs at an abstract level, where the network structure—which consists of nodes that exchange quantum information via links—is represented graphically by vertices connected by edges. An important task for quantum networks is to distribute entangled states amongst the nodes, which are used as a resource for various information protocols afterwards. In our approach, the graph description of the network, which might come to your mind quite naturally, is related to the distributed quantum state.”In the language of graphs, this distributed quantum state becomes a quantum graph state. The main advantage of the graph state description is that it allows researchers to compare different quantum networks that produce the same quantum state, and to see which network is better at distributing entanglement across large distances.Quantum networks differ mainly in how they use quantum repeaters—devices that offer a way to distribute entanglement across large distances by subdividing the long-distance transmission channels into shorter channels. Here, the researchers produced an entangled graph state for a quantum network by initially defining vertices with both nodes and quantum repeaters. Then they described how measurements at the repeater stations modify this graph state. Due to these modifications, the vertices associated with quantum repeaters are removed so that only the network nodes serve as vertices in the final quantum state, while the connecting quantum repeater lines become edges.In the final graph state, the weights of the edges correspond to the number of quantum repeaters and how far apart they are. Consequently, by changing the weights of the edges, the new approach can optimize a given performance metric, such as security or speed. In other words, the method can determine the best way to use quantum repeaters to achieve long-distance entanglement for large-scale quantum networks.In the future, the researchers plan to investigate the demands for practical implementation. They also want to extend these results to a newer research field called “quantum network coding” by generalizing the quantum repeater concept to quantum routers, which can make quantum networks more secure against macroscopic errors. Citation: Worldwide quantum web may be possible with help from graphs (2016, June 8) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-06-worldwide-quantum-web-graphs.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Journal information: New Journal of Physics © 2016 Phys.orgcenter_img Physicists find extreme violation of local realism in quantum hypergraph states More information: Michael Epping, Hermann Kampermann and Dagmar Bruß. “Large-scale quantum networks based on graphs.” New Journal of Physics. DOI: 10.1088/1367-2630/18/5/053036 (Phys.org)—One of the most ambitious endeavors in quantum physics right now is to build a large-scale quantum network that could one day span the entire globe. In a new study, physicists have shown that describing quantum networks in a new way—as mathematical graphs—can help increase the distance that quantum information can be transmitted. Compared to classical networks, quantum networks have potential advantages such as better security and being faster under certain circumstances. Physicists have shown that, by describing a quantum network as a mathematical graph, they can determine the best way to use quantum repeaters to achieve long-distance entanglement. Credit: Epping et al. ©2016 IOP Publishinglast_img read more