Over the next few weeks Sat-ND will be published sporadically rather than daily
The boards of Motorola and Teledesic have approved the plan, but it is subject to the parties entering into definitive agreements and obtaining necessary governmental approvals.
The move does not come quite unexpected. Sat-ND, 24.03.98: "Motorola, which is already involved in three new satellite-based communications systems, reportedly is poised to try again to get a role in Teledesic. However, I guess in this case Teledesic would rather become part of one of the Motorola projects than to survive as a stand-alone project."
That guess was wrong. Motorola will become prime contractor for the Teledesic system and redirect the efforts to set up their own broadband system, Celestri, into Teledesic. Motorola will receive a 26 percent stake (valued at US$750 million) in Teledesic for a combination of cash and the value of design and development work.
In April 1997, Boeing committed to invest $100 million in Teledesic and became main contractor of the US$9-billion project. Boeing reportedly slashed its Teledesic workforce by two thirds earlier this year.
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"As from midnight tonight Australis will no longer be in a position to transmit signals to the Galaxy subscribers," receiver Ferrier Hodgson said on Wednesday. Australis would, however, continue to distribute some programming to other pay television operators, such as the Nightmoves adult programmes as well as the Teleitalia and New World programmes.
"Action will now be taken by the receivers to rationalise the remaining operations which is likely to result in a closure of these segments," Ferrier Hodgson said. "In general, the receivers will now be taking steps to sell the various assets of the group."
Shortly before, an attempt to sell key parts of the Australis group failed because of the threatened termination of an agreement with Foxtel to supply Hollywood movies to the cable television channel.
The 25-year Hollywood film distribution agreement between Australis and Foxtel was valued at A$4.5 billion. Foxtel reportedly activated a new Hollywood movie supply deal overnight, now paying A$10 per subscriber instead of A$25 before.
Meanwhile, regional pay-TV operator Austar Entertainment, with about 210,000 satellite subscribers through Queensland, NSW and Victoria, will not only start offering a wide range of own programming including Australian Rules Football. It has struck agreements with both Optus Vision and Foxtel.
Austar will be the first pay TV player in Australia to offer the widest possible range of programming with no immediate prospect of city subscribers having both Optus and Foxtel programming piped into their homes unless they subscribe to both services, the Australian Associated Press noted.
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Seagram is believed to be willing to sell the film division, which has produced films such as "Mr Bean" and "Trainspotting," instead of merging it into its Hollywood Universal film studio, in order to avoid a political row in Europe, the FT said. The European Commission reportedly said it favoured a European buyer.
Canal Plus chairman Pierre Lescure told the paper that his group was considering a "European solution" and has has informally approached Polygram, Philips and Seagram.
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The legislation passed declared that Clinton's decision to allow U.S. aerospace firms to export satellites and related technology to China was "not in the national interest."
"Congress should be heard loud and clear before the president travels to China next month," said Republican Floyd Spence, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee and a sponsor of the legislation.
The action followed reports the Clinton administration overruled the U.S. Defense and State departments by easing satellite exports to China in 1996. Loral Space and Communications allegedly benefited from that decision, because it allowed them to have some of their satellites launched aboard Chinese rockets.
Bernard Schwartz, the company's chairman and CEO, vehemently denied reports that Loral provided missile guidance technology to the Chinese. "I can say categorically that Loral did not violate the export control laws--neither the letter nor the spirit," Schwartz told CNN's "Moneyline."
Schwartz has donated almost US$1 million to the Democrats in the past four years, making him the party's top individual contributor. Republican National Committee Chairman Jim Nicholson noted that Clinton had on three occasions considered Schwartz for the job of Defense Secretary.
China has meanwhile urged the United States government to block resolutions that could halt the transfer of sensitive satellite and missile technology to Beijing.
"We ask the U.S. government to take effective measures to block these anti-Chinese resolutions from becoming laws, to prevent damaging Sino-U.S. relations," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao told a news briefing.
The White House denounced the vote as a "knee-jerk reaction" to newspaper headlines.
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The Galaxy IV outage led to an "an all-hands-on-deck effort to assist our stations in keeping NPR programming on the air," said NPR Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Peter Jablow.
NPR today said on its Web site that a live Real Audio Internet feed of its programming was set up within an hour after the satellite outage occurred. "ABC, PBS and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation helped the public radio community by posting NPR programmes on their satellites, and member stations also had the option of picking up programmes through an ISDN phone line. NPR staff worked through the night, calling stations to offer technical assistance and pass along the latest updates."
"The public radio community has really pulled together to weather the storm--some stations are even creating daisy-chain phone-line systems to feed programming to each other," Jablow said.
NPR stated that programming overseas "continued without a hitch--NPR Worldwide's 24-hour international feeds are distributed via the Astra satellite." Which means they're by no means international but limited to parts of Europe. [If you think Astra was a pan-European satellite system, just ask Sat-ND readers in Greece.]
NPR Worldwide delivers NPR flagship programmes to more than 30 million cable and satellite homes throughout Europe and Japan [they can't receive Astra in Japan, either.]
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"We must have an Islamic religious channel on the satellite to spread the morals, virtues and principles of monotheistic religions," he was quoted by the government newspaper Al-Ahram. Egypt launched its first television satellite, Nilesat, April 28. The satellite has 12 transponders and is capable of broadcasting at least 84 television channels.
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He said locally produced television soaps were more popular than parliamentary debates shown on television on a few occasions in the past. A parliamentary panel has yet to decide on allowing television transmissions on a regular basis.
"Often we have seen MPs falling a sleep," Samaraweera said. "I also have fallen asleep in the House after lunch." Viewers reportedly didn't: The telephones of parliament were jammed with angry callers asking why their legislators were allowed to hurl abuses at each other on television.
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Broadcast digitally, its ambition is to be transmitted in several digital packages and on the main European cable networks. Supported by personalities from the intellectual, institutional, artistic and religious society, Shalom Channel says it will be the medium serving Judaism and the Jewish communities, and also the largest audience possible.
Programmes of French, European and Israeli origin will be broadcast in several languages (French, English and Hebrew). Shalom Channel will also offer the most important events of Israeli television.
Shalom Channel will initially broadcast every night from 2030--2200 UTC an unscrambled news, cultural and entertainment programme (including "Shalom Channel News", documentary films, short subjects, mini-series, music videos, concerts ) on Eutelsat Hot Bird 3 (12.380 GHz v, SR 27500, FEC ¾.)
After a few months, the channel will be scrambled. Shalom Channel is in negotiations with main european digital packages and cable networks. (Télévision Par Satellite, CanalSatellite and Lyonnaise Câble, in France). In the UK, Shalom Channel will be available on BSkyB's digital package by April 1999.
Shalom Channel: http://perso.club-internet.fr/shalomtv/
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A helicopter was flying around above Seattle yesterday when an electrical malfunction disabled all of the aircraft's electronic navigation and communication equipment. Due to the clouds and haze the pilot could not determine his position or course to steer to the airport. The pilot saw a tall building, flew toward it, circled, drew a handwritten sign and held it in the helicopter's window. The sign said "WHERE AM I ?" in large letters.
People in the tall building quickly responded to the aircraft, rew a large sign and held it in a building window. Their sign said, "YOU ARE IN A HELICOPTER.' The pilot smiled, waved, looked at his map and determined the course to steer to SEATAC Seattle/Tacoma) airport and landed safely.
After they were on the ground, the co-pilot asked the pilot how the "YOU ARE IN A HELICOPTER" sign helped determine their position. The pilot responded, "I knew that had to be the Microsoft building because they gave me a technically correct but completely useless answer."
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