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US withdrawal from Open Skies Treaty takes European allies by surprise

By Alexandra Brzozowski

Washington announced on Thursday (21 May) it would withdraw from the 35-nation Open Skies Treaty, allowing unarmed surveillance flights over signatory states, the Trump administration’s latest move to pull the country out of yet another major global landmark accord.

Debate to relocate US nuclear weapons to Poland irks Russia

By Alexandra Brzozowski

Some US officials are eyeing Poland as a new home to the US nuclear arsenal in Europe, after German Social Democrats reopened the debate about whether the country should remain under Washington’s protective nuclear umbrella. And the latest twist has already displeased Russia, Poland's mighty eastern neighbour.

US ambassador accuses Germany of β€˜eroding’ NATO solidarity

By Sarah Lawton

In an op-ed published this morning (14 May) in the German newspaper Die Welt, US ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell had strong words for the country’s leadership regarding its NATO commitments. EURACTIV Germany reports.

Russian COVID-19 aid to Italy: PR stunt or covert operation?

By Antoinette Nikolova

Russia’s aid operation to Italy over the Covid-19 crisis was named “From Russia with Love”, after a James Bond movie. Ironically, what was assumed to be a public relations stunt looks more like espionage, according to sources quoted by EURACTIV Bulgaria.

Crisis is the time for a radical and drastic creativity in governance

By Lucia Yar

Europeans have started to realise what it means to have an absence of American leadership on the international stage. The “opportunity” that this crisis brings is the emergence of different kinds of leaders, Harvard Kennedy School’s Cathryn Cluver Ashbrook told EURACTIV Slovakia.

SPD leadership reignites German debate on US nuclear weapons

By .Phillip GrΓΌll, Alexandra Brzozowski

Germany should "exclude the stationing of US nuclear weapons in the future," Rolf Mützenich, the leader of the Social Democrats (SPD) in the Bundestag, has demanded. Foreign minister Heiko Maas has hit back, but other Socialist politicians intend to question Germany's role in NATO's nuclear strategy.

GMF President: β€˜The coronavirus is accelerating many trends that were there before’

By Sarah Lawton

Nationalist reactions to the spread of the coronavirus have further worsened already strained transatlantic relations. But GMF President Karen Donfried believes that the pandemic will underline the importance of cooperation. An interview from EURACTIV Germany.

Military spending saw biggest increase in a decade in 2019

By Alexandra Brzozowski

Global military expenditure saw its biggest uptick in a decade in 2019 rising to $1.9 trillion, according to the latest survey by the Swedish Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) published on Monday (27 April), marking the first year two Asian countries were among the top three spenders.

COVID-19, the knockout punch for multilateralism?

By Georgi Gotev

The coronavirus pandemic blindsided international organisations, prompted individual states to unilaterally strike out alone and heralded a new chapter in the 21st century's chief geopolitical rivalry between the United States and China.

It’s time to vaccinate Europe’s defence budgets

By Daniel Fiott, Marcin Terlikowski, Torben SchΓΌtz

Europe’s armed forces are rightfully being applauded for their efforts in limiting the disastrous effects of COVID-19, but the test of whether European militaries are truly valued will be measured over the next few years as pressure on defence budgets mount, write Daniel Fiott, Torben Schütz and Marcin Terlikowski.

Trump weighs in on tight Louisiana gubernatorial race as polls open

By Adam Shaw

President Trump urged Louisiana voters to oust Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards on Saturday, as polls opened in a tight race that Republicans hope will deliver them a vital seat less than a year before Election Day, and show Trump’s own political strength.

Louisiana election heads to runoff with Democrat Edwards to face GOP's Rispone

By Vandana Rambaran

Louisiana's Democratic governor, John Bel Edwards, will have to face a runoff election in November as he failed to garner at least 50 percent of the votes in Saturday's election.

Turner appoints Riccardo Donato

By Robert Briel

Turner has appointed Riccardo Donato as VP of Commercial Development for the UK and Nordics.

In his new role, Donato will be responsible for maximising revenue as well as identifying and delivering commercial opportunities for all of Turner’s UK and Nordic channels and services. This will include working across Cartoon Network, Boomerang, Cartoonito, Toonix, TNT, CNNI and TCM as well launching or developing SVOD, OTT, D2C and other new digital initiatives.

Working out of the London-based office and reporting to the SVP and GM of Northern Europe, Pierre Branco, Donato will be able to draw on his many years of experience in broadcasting, across A+E, BBC, Sky and Virgin.

About the appointment, Branco has said: “It is a very exciting time for Riccardo to join Turner – we experienced a record-breaking 2018 and have positioned this role to further increase our growth for 2019. His unique skills and experience will focus on expanding both our linear and non-linear platforms and make a fantastic addition to our already successful team. I look forward to continuing to watch our company reach new heights and am delighted to have Riccardo as a part of it.”

Donato, who takes up his new role with immediate effect, joins Turner from A+E Networks UK where he was the Director of Distribution and Digital Partnerships. In his time there Donato was responsible for all aspects of the affiliate relationships across the UK, Western and Eastern Europe, MENA and Africa.

Eutelsat encourages local Italian stations to go on Hotbird

By Robert Briel

Eutelsat launches a proposal to local TV channels in Italy: to move to the satellite with the help of a series of incentives to solve the problems due to the sale of the 700 MHz band destined for 5G.

“Eutelsat is ready to put in place an incentive plan to facilitate the moving of local television channel to the Hot Bird postion in order to stem the most extreme consequences arising from the liberation of the 700 MHz band,” Eutelsat Italia CEO Renato Farina told website DDay.

“The satellite platform has transmission capacity and adequate bandwidth not only to ensure uniform coverage of the territory, but also to convey the signal of regional broadcasters in high definition. Soon there will be new developments after a season marked by the increase in HDR content transmitted by Sky and 4K content transmitted by Tivùsat, which also broadcasts the HD versions of Mediaset’s flagship channels.”

Eutelsat Hotbird already takes an important place in the Italian television landscape with both pay-TV from Sky Italia and TivùSat, the free-to-view satellite platform. Pay TV in 4K and HDR is on satellite, public TV is on satellite in HD, and Italians who have access with a satellite dish to Hotbird 13 degrees East are almost 10 million.

Local TV channels are still missing, which today differentiates satellite from DVB-T, but things may change soon. If local TVs were to switch to satellite, the satellite’s offering would be much wider and more complete than that of DVB-T.

The digital terrestrial television is in the middle of changes, with a switchover from MPEG-2 to MPEG-4 from January 1, 2020, to make room for future mobile networks on the 700 MHz. band. However – to the surprise of many insiders – the Ministry has decided not to switch to DVB-T2 HEVC, but adopting the MPEG4 codec on the DVB-T transmission mode, despite the fact that the government made it compulsory for manufactures to equip all TV sets with DVB-T2 and HEVC.

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