Meghalaya Assembly Speaker Donkupar Roy passed away on Sunday at a hospital in Gurgaon following a brief illness, officials said. He was 64 years old.Roy, a former Chief Minister of the State, was first admitted to a state-run hospital in Shillong before being referred to the Medanta Hospital in Gurgaon, Haryana, where he was undergoing treatment for the last 10 days, his family members said. His condition deteriorated after suffering multi-organ failure on Sunday afternoon, they said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed anguish over Roy’s demise, saying he “transformed many lives”.“Anguished by the demise of Dr Donkupar Roy, Speaker of the Meghalaya Assembly and former CM of the state. Passionate about Meghalaya’s progress, he served the state with great diligence and helped transform many lives,” the Prime Minister’s Office tweeted quoting Modi. Meghalaya Chief Minister and National People’s Party (NPP) president Conrad K Sangma too expressed grief over Roy’s passing away.“Deeply saddened by the untimely demise of Speaker of Meghalaya Assembly Dr Donkupar Roy. We have lost a leader, a mentor, who had dedicated his life for the service of the people. May Almighty provide strength to his family in this hour of grief. May his soul RIP,” he tweeted.
Share on Messenger Lleyton Hewitt planning to make playing return at Australian Open Tennis Petra Kvitova Share via Email Share on WhatsApp Pinterest Petra Kvitova faces the media only days after the knife attack. Photograph: David W Cerny/Reuters Facebook Facebook Twitter Read more Twitter Since you’re here… Share on Facebook Kvitova made an emotional return to action in the French Open in May, where she progressed to the second round, confounding the expectations of her surgeon – who had sleepless nights over her recovery – and those who had written off her career. “I did hear the rumours that I would never ever play again but I thought: ‘I will show them,’ she recalls, offering a reminder of the steely determination instilled in her by her father, Jiri.“I was like: ‘Why are they saying this?’ It was very painful for me, it felt like they didn’t believe me. Of course, at that time, I probably didn’t know how bad it was because nobody told me – and I am happy for that now.“My doctor [Radek Kebrle] told me that many other experts thought that I would never ever play. He didn’t want to tell me – and that was a good decision for my mental state of mind. After a brief and cheerful exchange in Czech with Vanek, whom she hired only a few weeks before the attack, she pulls up a chair by the window overlooking the tired and rusty clay courts below. There is an air of confidence about her as she matter-of-factly discusses the next steps in her recovery before revealing the full physical and mental trauma of an attack that left her terrified to hold a racket again after career-saving surgery and a gruelling rehabilitation.“It will probably take more than a year to get full movement back, I’m not sure,” Kvitova says. “For tennis and for life, it’s good. I’ve done everything that I could but there is still some space to improve it. I hope that with more time I will be even stronger. I am happy that [throughout the recovery] I was always looking forward to the better tomorrows.”The tennis club is some 260km west of Kvitova’s former apartment in Prostejov in the Czech Republic – where the vicious encounter with a knife-wielding intruder posing as a utility worker on 20 December last year took place.Kvitova has spent a lot of time since then thinking about all of the simple things that she perhaps took for granted. As she begins to unravel the events of the past 12 months, it quickly becomes apparent that she has developed a newfound appreciation for life.The physical scars that lace her playing hand are healing; the invisible scars have taken somewhat longer. Kvitova pauses briefly, as if to replay the moments when she worked tirelessly on a five-month rehabilitation programme, before suggesting: “If I wasn’t playing tennis I don’t think I could be as positive as I am now – but it’s not pleasant to see those flashbacks. It is a time that I try to forget but I know I will never really forget what happened. This experience has shown me how hard I can work if I need to and just how much of a fighter I am on and off the court.” Wimbledon Support The Guardian Share on LinkedIn … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. I did hear the rumours that I would never ever play again but I thought: ‘I will show them’ Share on Twitter The grisly details of the terrifying knife attack that turned Petra Kvitova’s life upside down almost exactly a year ago are barely comprehensible. Watching her on the practice courts at the Sparta Praha Tennis Club, it is almost impossible to detect the effects from injuries so severe some experts believed the two-times Wimbledon champion would never resume her career; she still suffers from nerve damage to her playing hand and cannot entirely clench her fist or feel two of her fingers.Kvitova puts down her racket to take a break from back-to-back practice sessions on the indoor courts and makes her way upstairs to a small meeting room with her coach, Jiri Vanek, a kit bag slung over her athletic 6ft frame. “Playing on the grass at Wimbledon and getting a good result in the US Open was very important for me mentally, and for my confidence,” Kvitova adds. “This year has been a rollercoaster. The beginning wasn’t very nice, so I’m really glad that it’s over. Now I can look at everything positively again.”Even the announcement in November from the Czech police that confirmed the investigation into the attack had been shelved because of a lack of evidence, despite receiving a number of clues from the public, has not fazed her.Detective Jan Lisicky told reporters they would “immediately start criminal proceedings” should they identify the culprit. Kvitova has shifted her focus from expecting a prosecution to regaining a position in the top 10.“It was a pretty tough year and I had a lot of emotions during my comeback. But it has been a year [since the attack] already and I can see that I can play tennis – and I can play it well, and for me this is the best outcome I could have hoped for.”As Kvitova gathers her belongings and prepares to resume pre-season training before her opening tournament in Brisbane in January, she adds: “I have started to live with my new hand. I’ve started to try to like it, to love it and that’s how I am going to take it. It’s my hand and I am just happy that I have all of my fingers.”• Sign up to our weekly email, The Recap, here, showcasing a selection of our sport features from the past seven days. Petra Kvitova with the surgeon who helped to save her career, Radek Kebrle. Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo Pinterest Topics Share on Pinterest “The week after surgery I asked my doctor: ‘Do you think I could play in Wimbledon this year?’ He didn’t answer for a while and then he said: ‘We are going to work on it and blah, blah, blah.’ I understood then that it wasn’t going to be easy.”Although the draining physiotherapy sessions are no longer part of Kvitova’s daily routine, she still vividly remembers being gripped by fear when she attempted to hold a racket for the first time only 12 weeks after four hours of emergency surgery.Any hopes of a comeback took a hit when Kvitova realised she could not feel or grip the racket in a way that she wanted. That familiar sensation of holding a racket firmly in her hand, as she had done since she was four years old, had disappeared almost overnight.“I had a lot of conversations with my coach [about making adjustments to my racket]. I told him that I didn’t want to change anything because if I was to change some small details I thought it would change everything. I told him: ‘I’m going to try like this, please give me time and we will see how it works out.’“That’s how he wanted it to be as well. I am glad that we didn’t make any adjustments to my racket. Everything is the same as before … and it’s all good,” Kvitova says – and smiles with a sense of accomplishment.Having returned to competition, she secured a fairytale comeback in only her second tournament back when she won a 20th career title at Birmingham’s Aegon Classic with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 triumph over Australia’s Ashleigh Barty. Kvitova lost in the second round at Wimbledon before playing through the hard court season in north America, where she reached the quarter-finals at Flushing Meadows. interviews Reuse this content
This year’s auction of celebrity artwork in aid of the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation’s TigerTime campaign has raised a fabulous £2,667.Celebrity tigers on display at the Mall GalleriesCredit/Copyright: Adele Behles PhotographyThe proceeds will go to support tiger conservation projects protecting precious tiger populations in India, Russia and Thailand.“In these areas a little goes a long way for example £50 helps us run education workshops for 300 children in Assam, helping them to understand the importance of tigers to the biodiversity of their region and £12 can buy a first aid field kit for Thai wildlife rangers. So the total raised by the annual auction is going to make a big difference,” says TigerTime manager, Vicky Flynn.Rock legend, Status Quo’s Francis Rossi received the most number of bids while Ab Fab star Joanna Lumley, singer Melanie Chisolm and dancer Oti Mabuse proved hugely popular. The highest bids were received for artists Richard Symonds and Emily Lamb and fashion designer, Elizabeth Emanuel who celebrated her birthday yesterday (July 5).“It’s such a simple and effective fundraiser and we’re hoping to make it even bigger and better next year so if any celebrities would like to donate their tiger art for a fabulous cause we’d love to hear from you,” adds Vicky.You can find out more about TigerTime at www.tigertime.info and see its great celebrity supporters here.
WILMINGTON, MA — Here are highlights of the Wilmington Police Log for Monday, May 20, 2019:Police received reports of parties soliciting in the area of Main Street and Richmond Street, stopping traffic to try to speak with drivers. Police spoke with two in the Dollar Tree parking lot. Solicitors were from an area church group. Police advised them of safety concerns and sent them on their way. (7:02am)Fire Department responded to a bicyclist crash on Main Street. Fire Department transported man. (8:32am)Police notified Public Buildings Department that lights at Burlington Avenue and Chestnut Street were on flash. (2:17pm)A passerby reported a large metal bumper across the roadway on Main Street. Police moved it and reported it to Mass Highway for removal. (3:32pm)Employees of an Industrial Way company reported a territorial raccoon is not allowing them to use their dumpster. Animal Control Officer responded. Raccoon is 150′ up on a cell tower. Officer will check back tomorrow. (3:35pm)A Somerville Avenue resident reported a neighbor dumped grass clippings and brush onto her property. Police restored the peace. (6:32pm)A vehicle struck a deer near the 93 South Exit 38 ramp. Deer fell down embankment and needed to be euthanized. (8:52pm)(DISCLAIMER: This information is public information. An arrest does not constitute a conviction. Any arrested person is innocent until proven guilty.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email email@example.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedPOLICE LOG for September 3: Driveway Paving Solicitors; Skate Park Tagged; WPD Assist With Pick-Up At SchoolsIn “Police Log”POLICE LOG for July 3: Drug Arrest; 11pm Fireworks On Lowell St.; Raccoon Gets Head Stuck In Soup CanIn “Police Log”POLICE LOG for July 18: Cat Gets Stuck In Wall After Plastering Project; Baby Raccoons Get Stuck In ChimneyIn “Police Log”
Kolkata: A passenger who was trying to board a bus near College More in Sector V on Saturday afternoon had his leg crushed under the wheels of the vehicle as it sped up. Police have arrested the bus driver so far in connection with the incident which triggered tension in the area. According to the police, a middle-aged man whose identity is yet to be ascertained was trying to get into a state-owned bus when the driver suddenly sped up the vehicle. As a result, the victim fell on the road and the rear wheels of the bus went over his leg. The locals rushed him to Bidhannagar Sub-divisional Hospital. The incident occurred at around 3 pm. The bus driver fled the spot along with the vehicle. The Bidhannagar police swung into action and arrested him later in the day. According to the hospital sources, the injuries are serious in nature. Police have started a probe and the bus driver is being interrogated. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsIn another incident, a cyclist was killed after being hit by a speeding truck. The incident took place at Matigara area on Phholbari-Ghoshpukur Road on Saturday morning. The locals told the police that the victim, Sambhu Bhagat, was cycling along the road when the speeding truck knocked him down. According to eyewitness, as the vehicle was running at high speed, the driver could not control it. He fled the spot along with the vehicle immediately after the accident.The locals rushed the victim to a nearby hospital where the doctors pronounced him brought dead. Police are conducting raids to nab the truck driver who has at been large since the accident took place.
Malda/Darjeeling: Four persons were killed in different incidents of lightning strike in Bengal’s Malda district on Wednesday, a senior police officer said.Superintendent of Police, Alok Rajoria said three persons were killed in the lightning strike during heavy rain in Gajole block and one in Manikchawk block of the district. Heavy rain accompanied by lightning hit Malda district on Wednesday. Meanwhile, incessant rainfall in Bhutan and North Bengal has thrown life out of gear. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataLarge stretches have been inundated in North Bengal with road communication disrupted. Water levels are dangerously on the rise in the rivers flowing down from Bhutan. A weather warning has been issued by the Indian Meteorological Department for North Bengal from June 26 to June 28. While there is a red warning (greater than 20 cm of rain forecasted) for June 26 and June 27, there is a orange warning (7cm to 20cm of rain forecasted) for June 28. “Due to strong moisture incursion from the Bay of Bengal and shifting of trough of low pressure along North Bengal enhanced rainfall activity is likely to continue over the district of North Bengal during June 26 to 28,” stated the bulletin. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateWide-spread rainfall has been forecasted over the districts of Coochbehar, Alipurduar, Jalpaiguri, Darjeeling and Kalimpong. The National Centre for Hydrology and Meteorology, Bhutan, in a weather bulletin has warned of active monsoon to continue in the next 48 hours with heavy rains forecasted for the southern part of Bhutan. Bhutan has been witnessing incessant rainfall in the past few days resulting in flash floods and land slides. Many important roads have been closed down owing to this. The Phuentsholing to Thimpu road is also affected. “We are keeping tab and reviewing the situation on a daily basis. Heavy rainfall in Bhutan will definitely affect our district but we are ready. Our priority will be that we do not have any human casualty” stated Surendra Kumar Meena, District Magistrate, Alipurduar — the district sharing borders with Bhutan.
Yesterday, Twitter announced a new policy, which aims to address the issue of using dehumanizing speech by its users. The members of Twitter Trust and Safety Council, Vijaya Gadde and Del Harvey, stated in the announcement that this is an ongoing effort towards encouraging healthy public conversation. What is Twitter’s dehumanization policy? This new clause is an extension of their hateful conduct policy and we will see it soon added to the Twitter Rules book: “You may not dehumanize anyone based on membership in an identifiable group, as this speech can lead to offline harm.” The biggest change when the new policy is implemented will be that it will also include non-targeted content. Unlike the hateful conduct policy, which considers a violation of policy if direct attacks or threats are made against an individual, this policy will also consider targeting ‘X group’ as a violation. What exactly is dehumanizing speech? If you are wondering what ‘dehumanizing’ means, it is making someone feel less than human and hence not worthy of humane treatment. Usage of such language can lead to increased violence, human rights violations, war crimes, and genocide. The announcement also gives a good definition of dehumanizing language: “Language that treats others as less than human. Dehumanization can occur when others are denied of human qualities (animalistic dehumanization) or when others are denied of human nature (mechanistic dehumanization). Examples can include comparing groups to animals and viruses (animalistic), or reducing groups to their genitalia (mechanistic).” The classic example of dehumanizing language is using terms like “animals” and “vermin” for people. Referring to people as “illegals” is also dehumanizing. They are currently seeking feedback from users through a survey to get global perspectives and know how this policy may impact different communities and cultures. If rightly implemented, this can prove to be a good initiative towards mitigating the problem of hate and dangerous speech. Check out the official announcement by Twitter to get a better idea of the dehumanization policy. Read Next How Twitter is defending against the Silhouette attack that discovers user identity The much loved reverse chronological Twitter timeline is back as Twitter attempts to break the ‘filter bubble’ Building a Twitter news bot using Twitter API [Tutorial]
Sabre outage briefly grounds flights on several airlines << Previous PostNext Post >> Monday, November 14, 2016 Share DALLAS — Travellers on several airlines had trouble checking in for flights and waited out delays Friday after a computer outage at a company that runs airline technology systems.American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Alaska Airlines and Virgin America confirmed that a technology glitch briefly interrupted their operations. The problems seemed to have been fixed by midday, and airlines reported that flights had resumed.The airlines blamed their difficulties on a breakdown in systems operated by Sabre Corp., a Texas company that provides software and other technology services to airlines and hotels.A Sabre spokeswoman said the systems were running again by early Friday afternoon. She said she did not know the cause of the breakdown.Passengers at several big airports went on social media to complain about flight delays.American said that the outage caused scattered delays but no cancelled flights. Alaska said that 15 flights were delayed by up to 15 minutes. Southwest said the outage briefly prevented bookings, ticket changes and use of mobile boarding passes.More news: Windstar celebrates record-breaking bookings in JulyUnited Airlines said its flights were not affected, and Delta Air Lines said it does not use Sabre.On Oct. 17, a problem at Sabre prevented travellers from booking trips on Southwest, JetBlue and Virgin America.Technology outages have struck almost all the airlines at one point or another over the past two years. Airlines rely heavily on overlapping computer programs to handle everything from selling tickets to checking weight calculations before takeoff. When outages occur, they often lead to cascading delays that can linger for hours.Friday’s glitch didn’t affect airline stocks – most gained ground. Sabre shares rose 39 cents to $24.94, but they have still lost 15 per cent in the last year. Tags: Sabre By: David Koenig Source: The Associated Press
<< Previous PostNext Post >> Thursday, April 20, 2017 Emirates cuts 20% of their U.S. routes, blaming Trump administration DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Emirates, the Middle East’s largest airline, slashed its flights to the United States by 20% Wednesday, blaming a drop in demand on tougher U.S. security measures and Trump administration attempts to ban travellers from some Muslim-majority nations.The Dubai government-owned carrier’s decision is the strongest sign yet that new measures imposed on U.S.-bound travellers from the Mideast could be taking a financial toll on fast-growing Gulf carriers that have expanded rapidly in the U.S.Dubai was one of 10 cities in Muslim-majority countries affected by a ban on laptops and other personal electronics in carry-on luggage aboard U.S.-bound flights.Emirates’ hub at Dubai International Airport, the world’s third-busiest, is also a major transit point for travellers who were affected by President Donald Trump’s executive orders temporarily halting entry to citizens of six countries.The latest travel ban suspended new visas for people from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, and froze the nation’s refugee program. Like an earlier ban that also included Iraqi citizens, it has been blocked from taking effect by the courts.Emirates said the flight reductions will affect five of its 12 U.S. destinations, with the first cutbacks starting next month.“The recent actions taken by the U.S. government relating to the issuance of entry visas, heightened security vetting, and restrictions on electronic devices in aircraft cabins, have had a direct impact on consumer interest and demand for air travel into the U.S.,” the carrier said in a statement.Emirates does not provide financial data for its U.S. operations or individual routes, but said it had seen “healthy growth and performance” there until the start of the year.Since Trump has been in office, however, there has been what it called “a significant deterioration in the booking profiles on all our U.S. routes, across all travel segments.”It said it is responding as “any profit-oriented enterprise would” and will use the capacity freed up by the culled routes elsewhere on its network.More news: A new low for no-frills flying: easyJet assigns backless seat to passengerThe Americas region, which also includes routes to Canada and Latin America, accounted for 14 per cent of the $22.75 billion in revenue Emirates pulled in during the fiscal year through the end of March 2016.Emirates’ half-year profit fell 75% to $214 million in the last period the company has disclosed, through last September – before the U.S. election. Executives cited increased investments including aircraft purchases and the repayment of bonds, and said a “bleak” economic outlook in many parts of the world was reducing travel demand.Robert Mann, an aviation consultant in Port Washington, New York, said business travel between the U.S. and the Middle East has clearly been hurt by the ban on gadgets, while the attempted visa bans have put a damper on leisure travel from the countries targeted.“Neither factor is a good thing for the Middle Eastern carriers who are primarily affected,” he said.The cuts will reduce the number of U.S.-bound flights from Dubai to 101, down from 126 currently.Twice daily Emirates flights to Boston, Los Angeles and Seattle will fall to once a day. Daily flights to Fort Lauderdale and Orlando will be pared to five per week.Andrew Lannon, a Canadian attorney based in Dubai, arrived in Fort Lauderdale for vacation on an Emirates flight Wednesday and said passengers had to check their electronics, which made the 18-hour flight difficult because he couldn’t work.Passengers were then told upon landing they would have to wait on the plane for an hour while their bags were checked, but were then let off after 20 minutes, Lannon said, adding that it took another hour for most passengers to clear customs.Kevin Mitchell, head of the Business Travel Coalition in the U.S., said all the Gulf carriers are probably losing business because of the security measures and attempted travel bans, and that will hurt consumers.More news: Honolulu authorities investigate arsons at 3 Waikiki hotels; no injuries reported“For consumers it means higher prices, fewer choices, less connectivity,” Mitchell said.Like its smaller Gulf rivals Qatar Airways and Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways, Emirates has ramped up its U.S. presence and recently launched a new service to Newark via Athens.Several big U.S. carriers and their pilot unions have bristled at the Gulf airlines’ U.S. push, accusing them of flooding the market with capacity while receiving billions of dollars of unfair government subsidies.Emirates and its Gulf rivals deny the allegations.Despite a vigorous lobbying and public relations campaign, the U.S. carriers were unable to persuade the Obama administration to block further expansion by Gulf airlines. But U.S. airline executives made a personal pitch to restrict their access during a White House meeting with Trump earlier this year.Jill Zuckman, a spokeswoman for the “Partnership for Open & Fair Skies” campaign opposing more U.S. routes for the Gulf carriers, was quick to seize on Emirates’ decision.“The fact is, market demand has never played a role when the Gulf carriers decide where to fly. It is well known that the Gulf carriers, including Emirates, lose money on most of their flights to the United States and are propped up by billions of dollars in government cash,” she said.The U.S. travel industry, already fretting that the ban on travellers from a number of Muslim-majority nations is affecting foreign travel generally to the United States, expressed fresh concern after Emirates’ announcement, however.“The aftermath of 9-11 taught us that we can’t take either global understanding or U.S. market share for granted,” said Jonathan Grella, executive vice-president the U.S. Travel Association. “Every limiting security message needs to be offset by a sincere welcome to legitimate, lawful travellers.” By: Adam SchreckSource: The Associated Press Share Tags: Donald Trump, Emirates, Trend Watch
LONDON — A former British Airways pilot has admitted being over the legal limit for alcohol while in a commercial airplane cockpit.Julian Monaghan pleaded guilty to reporting for duty while his blood alcohol count was over the legal limit in Crawley Magistrates’ Court Tuesday.The 49-year-old had been arrested at Gatwick Airport in January. Officials say his blood alcohol count was more than four times the legal limit for a pilot.He is no longer working as a pilot. He is scheduled to be sentenced later in June. Travelweek Group Former British Airways pilot admits being over alcohol limit Wednesday, June 6, 2018 Tags: British Airways Posted by Share << Previous PostNext Post >>
<< Previous PostNext Post >> Posted by Wednesday, May 15, 2019 Share Tags: WestJet Travelweek Group WestJet weighs in on Transat rumours CALGARY — Addressing the media at the WestJet campus Calgary yesterday, WestJet President and CEO Ed Sims made it clear that as far as he’s concerned, it’s business as usual for the carrier despite the Onex deal.About those Transat rumours, Sims said: “Our strategy is focused on what WestJet can do and how we can grow. I’m not going to comment on potential speculation on consolidation opportunities or otherwise.”The Onex deal, which will see the private equity firm acquire WestJet for $3.5 billion plus debt, came together in an extraordinarily tight timeframe, said Sims. “Onex called us. It was a cordial conversation,” he said, adding: “We have delivered this transaction in a remarkably short amount of time, within the last 8 weeks.”Asked if there had been negative feedback from WestJet employees about the Onex news, Sims said no. “Our staff needed reassurance that this was good for long-term job security. We wanted to communicate directly and authentically and honestly with our staff. It’s in our values and our DNA.”More news: Sunwing ready to launch Mazatlán-Quebec City direct this winterSims said the Onex deal “gives us sustainability. It gives us the ability to deliver on our long-term strategy … with confidence that we have the backing of a Canadian-based entity.”WestJet recently welcomed the first of its new 787 Dreamliner aircraft, with more to come this year and in 2020 and 2021. The three-cabin aircraft offer business class, premium economy and economy. The airline, with joint ventures with Delta and Air France/KLM in the works, has set its sights set on global expansion and is aggressively courting corporate travellers as well as ‘bucket-list achievers’.The challenges now, says Sims, “are to make sure that WestJetters understand the deal and understand that it doesn’t impact job security, and to make sure WestJet delivers on its initiatives.”For Onex’s part, he added, “they have not spent $5 billion on this entity to try to shrink their way to prosperity. They have a growth agenda and they believe we have a growth agenda. They are fully committed, as we are, to building and growing.”More news: War of words between Transat, Group Mach ramps upAssuming the deal goes through, WestJet will operate as a privately-held company from late 2019 or early 2020 onwards.Under the terms of the agreement, Onex and its affiliated funds will acquire all outstanding shares of WestJet for $31 per share. The total transaction value is $5 billion in an all-cash deal including assumed debt.
TV production boosted the top line performance of Lagardère Active, the French media group’s magazine and TV arm, in the first quarter, contributing to a 2.8% like-for-like increase in revenues to €204 million.TV production revenues rose by 82% year-on-year for the quarter , thanks to an exceptionally weak performance in 2014 and the positive impact this year of phasing of delivery of programmes.Lagardère Active’s top line was pulled down by a dip in magazine revenues, dragged 5.1% lower by distribution problems and lower advertising revenue, which stronger digital sales failed to offset.Lagardère Active’s gross sales rose by 1.1%, with the gap between that figure and the like-for-like number attributable to the impact of the sale of 10 magazine titles in July last year, partially offset by the integration of channel Gulli.Overall, Lagardère posted revenues of €1.572 billion for the quarter, up 6% on a like-for-like basis.
Paulina Smaszcz-KurzjewskaPolish pay TV operator nc+ has named Paulina Smaszcz-Kurzjewska as director of communications and PR, replacing Arkadiusz Mierzwa.Smaszcz-Kurzjewska has previously held senior communications roles at PTK Centertel, Onet.pl and Bayer.Nc+ marketing chief Jacek Balicki has taken overall responsibility for communications within the group to ensure continuity.