Disney Publishing Worldwide Grows U.S. Magazine Publishing Business

NEW YORK – Tuesday, March 22nd 2011

(BUSINESS WIRE/ME NewsWire)– Disney Publishing Worldwide (DPW) will extend its U.S. magazine business – currently targeted to moms with the monthly Disney FamilyFun – with new magazines aimed at kids. The first magazine in the program, Phineas and Ferb, will be a bi-monthly magazine available at retail outlets and by subscription. DPW will follow the launch of Phineas and Ferb with three special interest publications, all featuring content inspired by Marvel and Disney-Pixar feature film releases.

This April will see the release of Thor, followed later in 2011 with the launch of Cars 2 and Captain America. Each will be stand-alone publications available at retail for $9.99. Carsmagazine, a subscription-based monthly, will launch this fall and will feature favorite characters including Lightning McQueen and Mater as well as new characters from the upcoming Cars 2 feature film.

“We saw with last year’s publication of our Toy Story 3 and Phineas and Ferb special interest publications that there is certainly a demand in the market for high quality kids’ magazines,” says Aparna Pande, vice president & general manager, U.S. Magazines, DPW. “It’s a natural extension of our existing business—we have the content along with the consumer marketing and distribution expertise, and it allows Disney Publishing to continue delivering great publications that get kids reading wherever and whenever they want.” Phineas and Ferb is currently ranked as the #1 animated television show among tweens ages 9 – 14 nationwide.

Each 52-page issue of Phineas and Ferb magazine offers fans activities including comics, games, cutouts, quizzes, and posters—starring Phineas, Ferb, Candace, Dr. Doofenshmirtz, Perry the Platypus, and other famous characters from the hit Disney XD series. Fans can subscribe online by visiting http://www.disneymagazines.com/phineasandferb. The magazine is available on newsstands for $4.99 and for an annual subscription rate of $23.95.

About U.S. Magazines, DPW Disney Publishing’s U.S.-based magazine group is a leader in delivering fun and engaging content to children and their families through subscription magazines and special interest publications. The vertical business publishes content inspired by Disney-Pixar and Marvel franchises, including Toy Story 3 and Phineas and Ferb. Their leading parenting magazine, Disney FamilyFun , targets families with children under 12, has a rate base of 2.1 million and a total audience of 5.5 million (Source: 2010 Fall MRI).

Delivering real ideas for – and from – real families, it included lively and informative content focusing on making the most of family time together through cooking, crafts, celebrations, volunteering, travel, and other family activities. The Disney FamilyFun extensions include FamilyFun.com, special interest publications, digital magazines, and mobile apps. About Disney Publishing Worldwide Disney Publishing Worldwide (DPW) is the world’s largest publisher of children’s books and magazines, with over 250 million children’s books and over 400 million children’s magazines sold each year. Disney Publishing Worldwide consists of vertically integrated publishing imprints including Disney Book Group in the U.S., Disney Libri in Italy and Disney Libros in Spain as well as an extensive worldwide licensing structure. DPW also publishes a range of children’s magazines globally including Topolino, Le Journal de Mickey and Donald Duck as well as family titles in the U.S. which include Disney FamilyFun.

Disney English is DPW’s English language learning business, including Disney English schools in China and a worldwide retail licensing program. Headquartered in White Plains, NY, Disney Publishing Worldwide publishes books and magazines in 85 languages in 75 countries.

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Bloomberg L.P. Opens Its 10th Global Hub in Dubai

March 17, 2011 1 comment

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – [ME NewsWire]

(BUSINESS WIRE)– Bloomberg L.P. officially opened its 10th global hub in Dubai today, tripling the size of its office to accommodate the company’s expanding news operations and customer support for its growing client base in the region.

Located in the Dubai International Finance Centre (DIFC), this global hub will support regional customers of the growing Bloomberg Professional® service, which is used by more than 300,000 of the world’s leading business and financial professionals. The Dubai hub will house Bloomberg’s expanding news operations and will provide support and development resources for Bloomberg’s recently launched Islamic Finance platform (ISLM), a comprehensive solution that increases transparency and provides analytical tools to maximize investment performance in the growing Shariah finance market.

“The Middle East and the UAE have long demonstrated an impressive rate of growth and a significant market opportunity for Bloomberg, and we have continued to invest in the region,” said Peter Grauer, Chairman of Bloomberg L.P.

The announcement was made at Bloomberg client event in Dubai, where local Government and financial dignitaries, Bloomberg executives and clients attended an office opening with keynote address from His Excellency Ahmad Humaid Al Tayer, Governor of Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

H.E. Ahmed Humaid Al Tayer, Governor of DIFC, said, “The launch of Bloomberg’s new global hub is a testament to the business and economic fundamentals of Dubai, the Middle East and DIFC. DIFC is fully committed to facilitating the growth of our clients by providing them with the support and infrastructure needed to grow their respective businesses and we are delighted to see Bloomberg being such a prime example of this.”

“Our expanded reporting team in the Gulf region is providing the market-moving news that our customers now expect from Bloomberg,” said Tim Quinson, Bloomberg News Executive Editor for Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Bloomberg News first began covering the region with a single desk in Dubai in the 1990s. Today, Bloomberg has bureaus in eight cities across the region, delivering breaking news on companies, markets, economies and politics to its growing audience worldwide.

“We look forward to working closely with local clients to develop our regional capabilities, delivering enhanced and responsive analytics, news and data like the recently launched Bloomberg Islamic Finance platform,” said Max Linnington, Bloomberg’s regional head.

Bloomberg’s ISLM platform has extensive resources for investing in fixed income, equities and money markets that comply with Shariah including more than 1,500 Islamic bond issues, over 35,000 Shariah-compliant stocks and details on more than 250 Shariah scholars. For more information on Bloomberg’s product offering go to ISLM on the Bloomberg Professional® service, visit www.bloomberg.com, call customer service at +971-4-364-1000, or email Stefanos Thomatos at sthomatos@bloomberg.net.

About Bloomberg

Bloomberg is the world’s most trusted source of information for financial professionals and businesses. Bloomberg combines innovative technology with unmatched analytics, data, news, and display and distribution capabilities, to deliver critical information via the Bloomberg Professional® service and multimedia platforms, including Bloomberg Businessweek and Bloomberg Markets magazines. Bloomberg’s media properties span television, radio, digital and print, making up one of the world’s largest news organizations. Headquartered in New York, the company employs more than 12,900 people in 166 locations around the world.

A Major Milestone in the Region’s Telco Space: Gulf Bridge International Successfully Completes its First Cable Landing in the UAE

March 15, 2011 1 comment

(ME NewsWire) — Doha,Qatar — In a milestone achievement, Gulf Bridge International (GBI), the Middle East’s first privately owned submarine cable operator, has announced the landing of its cable at Fujairah in the UAE. The cable will connect to du’s landing station.

To be launched later this year, the GBI Cable System is a high capacity, fiber-optic communications cable which will connect all the countries of the Gulf region to each other and provide onward connectivity to Europe, Africa and Asia. The cable landing in Fujairah is the first of ten planned cable landings around the Gulf region.  This connectivity will ensure that the GBI Cable System will offer the most comprehensive geographic reach of any subsea network in the region.

Board Member and CEO of Gulf Bridge International, Mr. Ahmed Mekky commenting on the achievement said “Today’s landing is another significant step towards the launch of the GBI Cable System, which was designed and built to position the Middle East as strategic communications hub between the mature markets of Europe and North America and the rapidly growing markets of Asia and Africa.”

“We are committed to our vision of Connecting the World to the Gulf. GBI will offer our customers greater choice, value, diversity and resilience. We are also glad to work hand in hand with a number of outstanding companies such as ‘Du’, who are going to help us realize this vision.” Mr. Mekky added.

Farid Faraidooni, Chief Commercial Officer, du, said: “We welcome the landing of GBI’s state-of-the-art submarine cable on our shores. This is momentous both from a commercial and a customer point of view. Once operational, it will not only expand choice of connectivity but more importantly will significantly enhance redundancy in operations. We congratulate GBI on this achievement and look forward to the day when the cable system is launched.”

Over the next few months, the cable ship, “Responder”, will be working in the Gulf waters with a fleet of other specialized ships, to continue the installation process of the GBI Cable System, which is configured as a self-healing ring within the Gulf. The GBI Cable System deploys several state-of-the-art technologies, such as the new dual-stage repeaters and wavelength monitoring units that guarantee flawless and error-free operations throughout the entire system.

About Gulf Bridge International

GulfBridgeInternational (GBI) is a private company dedicated to connecting all the nations of the Gulf region to one another and to the rest of the world, using the latest fiber optic technologies. The GBI cable will be developed and owned by GCC investors who are building this strategic infrastructure to serve the entire region. GBI intends to be the carrier’s carrier of choice for traffic to and from the Gulf, facilitating social and economic growth in the region.

For more information, please visit www.GBIinc.com

About du

du, the integrated telecom service provider in the UAE, launched mobile telecommunication services in February 2007 across the UAE, in addition to internet and pay TV services that du provides in some of the free zones of Dubai. Call Select, du’s nationwide fixed line services for voice telephony, was launched in July 2007. By the end of 3rd quarter of 2010, over 4 million people in the UAE had chosen to become du mobile customers.

Among du’s many firsts is its historic Number Booking Campaign for both individuals and business, Pay by the Second billing system, Mobile TV, Mobile Payments, first of its kind ‘WoW’ recharge card (which offers customers the choice between ‘more credit’, ‘more time’ and now the ‘more international’ recharge option with additional credit on international calls) and Self Care.

For business customers, du business offers include Closed Business User Group and preferred International Destinations. du Broadcast Services division brings scalable media technology platforms and telecommunication solutions to the broadcast community through its world-class teleport (Samacom) and Master Control Room (MCR) facilities.

du products and services for consumers and business are available through du’s retail network, currently numbering 37 du shops located in strategic locations across the UAE, including the recently opened flagship store located in the heart of Abu Dhabi. In addition, customers can access du products and services at more than 3000 authorised dealers or through the du e-shop, accessible at http://shop.du.aedu shops are a one-stop-shop for mobile service, carrier select and the payment of service bills.

du is 39.5 per cent owned by the UAE Federal Government, 19.75 per cent by Mubadala Development Company, 19.5 per cent by Emirates Communications & Technology Company LLC and the remaining stake by public shareholders. It is listed on the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) and trades under the name du.

Apple and Microsoft Take Different Approaches to Japan Relief

If you were trying to solicit donations for earthquake victims in Japan, what approach would you take? Take a look at how technology rivals Microsoft and Apple decided to handle this delicate situation.

First up, Microsoft. The company tweeted a plea on its Bing search engine Twitter account, offering to donate up to $100,000 for earthquake victims, but under one condition: that users would retweet the message, which would result in Microsoft increasing its donations by one dollar per retweet:

It’s straightforward enough, and sounds a lot like an offer we told you about yesterday from the nonprofit Explore.org, offering to contribute $1 for each Facebook “Like” of its “Dog Bless You” Facebook fundraising page received. That seemed to go smoothly yesterday, where we heard a few complaints but overall the reaction was positive.

Microsoft’s idea was not so well-received. Shortly after the company initiated its fundraiser, a backlash began, where some called the scheme a crass marketing attempt, and comedian Michael Ian Black told his 1.6 million Twitter followers in no uncertain terms that Microsoft should “stop using tragedy as a f***ing marketing opportunity.” The company soon withdrew the deal, offering instead to simply donate the $100K:

Next up, Apple. Instead of offering to contribute anything to the earthquake victims, Apple set up a special place(iTunes link) in its iTunes store, promising to deliver 100% of any donations to the Red Cross to benefit Japan. Apple’s iTunes donation page makes it as easy to help earthquake victims as it is to buy iTunes music, where as you can see, the suggested donations are in amounts of $5, $10, $25, $50, $100 and $200:

So that’s Apple’s technique — not to actually donate money, but to encourage everyone else to stop by the iTunes Store (and perhaps buy something else while they’re there), and help the poor souls laid low by the tragic quake and its ominous nuclear aftermath. Of course, Apple is donating something with this deal, because it’s not free to move boatloads of cash from one place to another.

What do you think of this, commenters? Should multibillion dollar corporations simply donate to these causes, should they try to get us involved, or should they just facilitate our donations? Are these crass attempts at capitalizing on horrific tragedy? Do nonprofits get a pass, as long as it doesn’t look like they’re self-promoting too much? Where do you draw the line?

*Source: Mashabe

Tests detect radioactivity on 17 U.S. Navy crew members in Japan

(CNN) — Tests detected low levels of radioactivity on 17 U.S. Navy helicopter crew members when they returned to the USS Ronald Reagan after conducting disaster relief missions in Japan, the military said Monday.

No further contamination was detected after the crew members washed with soap and water, the Navy said.

In addition, the Navy said the U.S. 7th Fleet has temporarily repositioned its ships and planes away from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant after detecting low level contamination in the air and on its planes in the area, the Navy said.

One ship was operating about 100 miles northeast of the power plant when “airborne radioactivity” was detected, the Navy said.

The Navy’s statement, however, provided some perspective, noting that the maximum potential radiation dose received by ship personnel when it passed through the area was “less than the radiation exposure received from about one month of exposure to natural background radiation from sources such as rocks, soil, and the sun.”

On Sunday, the USS Ronald Reagan started delivering aid in the coastal regions of Japan’s Miyagi prefecture.

Crew members, in conjunction with the Japan Maritime Self Defense Forces, conducted 20 sorties delivering aid pallets.

Eight U.S. and Japanese helicopters were used to distribute the pallets, according to Sgt. Maj. Stephen Valley of U.S. Forces Japan.

Workers are scrambling to cool down fuel rods and prevent a full meltdown in three reactors at the earthquake-hit plant.

Radioactive steam has been released intentionally to lessen growing pressure in the reactors.

Strong chance of a 7.0 earthquake: Japan agency

While relief efforts continued Monday for survivors of the earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan’s northeast, the country’s meteorological agency warned of the possibility of a 7.0 or higher magnitude temblor in the coming days.

According to the agency, there is a 70 per cent chance of another quake in the next three days and a 50 per cent chance of another hitting three days after that because of high tectonic activity.

Meanwhile, the country is racing to prevent a humanitarian disaster as rescue workers struggle to reach tens of thousands of people left homeless by the 9.0 earthquake and tsunami.

Japanese officials raised the estimated death toll to more than 10,000 Sunday, as hundreds of thousands of survivors salvaged what belongings they could and sought food and water at emergency centres.

Friday’s quake and tsunami damaged key nuclear plants and left entire cities demolished in their wake. Police in the northeastern Miyagi prefecture, one of the worst affected by the disaster, estimated Sunday that more than 10,000 people had been killed in the region, which is home to about 2.3 million people.

So far, the number of confirmed dead is 1,800, which includes about 200 bodies that were found along the coast on Sunday. But thousands more are still missing.

Hundreds of thousands of survivors have sought refuge at emergency centres, which quickly ran low on food, water and other supplies. An estimated 1.4 million households were still without water Sunday, and at least 1.9 million homes did not have electricity.

Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan called the disaster the worst crisis since World War II, and appealed in a television address for the Japanese people to come together to rebuild.

“This is Japan’s most severe crisis since the war ended 65 years ago,” Kan said.

While the official death toll may not be known for days, or weeks, CTV’s Tom Walters, speaking from Narita, Japan, said locals on the ground have little doubt that the death toll is much higher than the estimates being released by officials.

“There really is so much destruction, so many areas of debris that are difficult to search, so many areas were we are told rescuers have yet to reach,” Walters told CTV News Channel on Sunday. “I don’t think there is any confidence here on a full accounting for the human toll of this disaster.”

In the town of Minamisanrikucho, about 10,000 people, or two-thirds of the population, have not been heard from since the tsunami buried the town. Images shown on state broadcaster NHK showed only a handful of tall structures still standing in the town, including the local hospital.

In the port city of Sendai, firefighters sifted through the rubble, recovering bodies. Survivors in the town sought shelter in local community centres, schools and at city hall.

Outside the city, a large refinery remained on fire, with 30-metre flames shooting into the air. Plumes of smoke hovered over the town.

Explosion at Japan Nuclear Plant

(CNN) — A second explosion has hit the nuclear plant in Japan that was damaged in Friday’s earthquake, but officials said it had resisted the blast.

TV footage showed smoke rising from Fukushima plant’s reactor 3, a day after an explosion hit reactor 1.

Japan’s nuclear safety agency said the blast was believed to have been caused by the build-up of hydrogen.

Officials said the reactor core was still intact, and that radiation levels were below legal limits.

Technicians have been battling to cool three reactors at the Fukushima 1 plant since Friday, when the quake and tsunami combined to knock out the cooling system.

The government said an operation pumping seawater into the reactors to help lower the temperature was still going on despite the explosion.

Evacuations

The natural disaster killed hundreds and left thousands missing, sparking a huge rescue operation.

The BBC’s Rachel Harvey in the port town of Minami Sanriku describes it as a scene of utter devastation, with the landscape strewn with debris.

She says everything has been flattened until about 2km inland, and says it looks unlikely that many survivors will be found.

Japanese police have so far confirmed 1,597 deaths, but the final toll is expected to be much higher.

Kyodo news agency reported that 2,000 bodies had been found on the shores of Miyagi prefecture on Monday, but the claims could not be verified.

Tens of thousands of people have been evacuated from the area around Fukushima nuclear plant.

At least 22 people are now said to be being treated for the effects of exposure to radiation.

Government spokesman Yukio Edano said there was a low possibility of radioactive contamination from the latest explosion at the plant.

He said the reactor’s containment vessel had resisted the explosion.

The operators of the Fukushima plant said seven people were missing and three were injured by the blast.

Experts say a disaster on the scale of Chernobyl in the 1980s is highly unlikely because the reactors are built to a much higher standard and have much more rigorous safety measures.

Powerful aftershocks

Earlier, Prime Minister Naoto Kan said the situation at the nuclear plan was alarming, and the earthquake had thrown Japan into “the most severe crisis since World War II”.

He announced that the country would have to endure rolling power cuts from Monday.

But later, the government announced that the planned blackouts had been postponed, saying they may not be needed if people can conserve energy.

The government advised people not to go to work or school on Monday because the transport network could not deal with demand.

The capital is also still experiencing regular aftershocks, amid warnings that another powerful earthquake is likely to strike very soon.

Meanwhile, tens of thousands of relief workers, soldiers and police have been deployed to the disaster area.

Rescue workers have found scenes of total devastation in isolated coastal towns north-east of the main port city of Sendai, which was itself partially destroyed by the waves.

Preliminary estimates put repair costs from the earthquake and tsunami in the tens of billions of dollars, a huge blow for the Japanese economy that – while the world’s third largest – has been ailing for two decades.

The government announced it was pumping 15 trillion yen ($182bn; £113bn) into the economy to prop up the markets – which slumped on opening.

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