Galaxy XI will be modified to operate in several of the company's orbital slots covering the United States. Upon its revised launch date in early 1999, the modified Galaxy XI will initially be located at 99 degrees West Longitude, thereby enabling the company to restore Galaxy VI to its status as an in-orbit spare satellite.
Also in the first phase, PanAmSat will modify PAS-9 to provide coverage of the United States and Latin America. Upon its launch in mid-1999, the modified PAS-9 will be located at 95 degrees West Longitude, thereby enabling the company to offer its customers expanded service from this location and also move the Galaxy III-R satellite to another orbital location over the United States. PAS-9 originally was one of three new satellites under construction to provide service in Asia. The other two Asia satellites, PAS-7 and PAS-8, will be launched later this year.
Under the second phase of the strategy, PanAmSat will proceed with the procurement of up to four new satellites that could be used for domestic U.S. and/or international services. PanAmSat is currently reviewing proposals from satellite suppliers and completing the financial analysis of the plan after which management will seek final PanAmSat board approval for the procurements. Implementation of the company's plan is subject to regulatory approval by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission.
All this comes, of course, in the wake of the Galaxy IV failure and the problems with Galaxy VII as well as PAS-5. For an overview of recent satellite outages and failures, point your browser at http://sat-nd.com/special/.
By the way: PanAmSat Corp. reported a 14 percent increase in its second-quarter profit. Still, the 19 cents per share results reportedly missed analysts' estimates of 21 cents per share. The Galaxy IV disruption in May contributed to a two percent drop in video services revenue during the quarter, to US$138.8 million. However, telecommunications services revenue rose 19 percent to US$39.8 million, helped by data and Internet service agreements.
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The right-wing party leader was found guilty for his part in channelling 22 billion lire (US$12 million) to ex-premier Bettino Craxi and the now defunct Socialist party in the early 1990s. That was, of course, before the breakdown of the old system of political parties in Italy. Until then, Berlusconi had been a supporter and friend of Craxi and his [so-called] Socialists.
Berlusconi, deemed responsible for channelling 10 billion lire (US$5.5 million) of the funds, was also ordered to pay a fine of that amount. Craxi received a four year sentence, a 20 billion lire fine and a five year ban on holding public office. It won't matter much to him as he has fled to Tunisia years ago.
"It is absolutely evident this is not about justice but about destruction," Berlusconi's media empire Fininvest said in a statement. "The sentence was already in the bag." Berlusconi himself has detected a "Stalinist plot" against him while his supporters speak of "witchhunt."
Maybe because the version offered by Berlusconi to the court was just too ridiculous: it did not become quite clear to observers whether the payments were destined for a Tunisian business partner who was setting up film rights deals, or for the Palestinian Liberation Organisation of which Berlusconi claims he is a supporter. However, the money actually appeared on Socialist Party accounts.
So far, 61-year old Silvio Berlusconi has been sentenced to a total of 6 years and 5 months in prison. For various reasons, it's not very likely he'll ever go to jail As a member of parliament, Berlusconi cannot be jailed without parliamentary approval until a definitive sentence is made--a legal procedure that could take several years.
More serious charges against Berlusconi of false accounting will be dealt with in another trial due to start in October. In addition, Berlusconi faces another five trials on charges of tax fraud and corruption and has also been charged with tax fraud in Spain related to his Telecinco channel.
Berlusconi's party 'Forza Italia': http://www.forza-italia.it/
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The education board runs the public school system in Texas and controls the US$17.6 billion Permanent School Fund, which holds 406,000 shares of Disney stock.
The media giant uses the Disney brand name just for family entertainment, but they've got some other units such as Miramax Films which have quite a different output.
Board chairman Jack Christie, a Republican from Houston, said "I hope it sends a message to Miramax that the public in this country has had enough of the violence in these movies. How many more school shootings do you want?"
He said he was convinced to sell the Disney stock after the religious group American Family Association showed him clips from the Miramax-produced movie "Pulp Fiction," which included scenes of murder, drug usage and sadomasochism.
"I think as the public sees that type of garbage (the stock) will lose some of its luster," he added. Unfortunately, there's no sign of that so far.
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"We wrote a letter to BSkyB last Wednesday outlining our concerns that it is discriminating against two out of three cable providers in the U.K.," a EU source was quoted as saying, adding that BSkyB had until Saturday to reply. It is unknown whether there actually has been any reply.
The Commission is worried that BSkyB, controlled by Australian-born media mogul Keith Rupert Murdoch, is giving preferential treatment to Cable & Wireless PLC to the detriment of C&W's rivals in the U.K. cable business, Telewest Communications PLC and NTL Inc.
Telewest and NTL reportedly will have to receive BSkyB's 200-channel digital service from satellite which means they will have to unscramble the signals before distributing them to people's homes, which of course creates additional costs. C&W, on the other hand, will get an unscrambled direct link.
The EU Commission wants to know whether BSkyB was penalising the other two cable operators for refusing to carry BSkyB's Sky Box Office pay-per-view movie channel.
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David Priestley writes: "You refer to the IRIS-1 'satellite' as Australian, it is actually a Belgium 'satellite'. As I understand it, the 'satellite' is an attached payload to the Resurs O-1N satellite."
Quite likely so. It seems IRIS actually is the email collecting and forwarding experiment aboard Resurs-O I described yesterday. So, does anybody know what the Australian satellite is actually called?
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Or have a look at http://sat-nd.com/info/mailer.html