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For the first time since 2015, ABC’s “The Bachelor” will kick off with a three-hour live premiere when the show returns for its 23rd season. The extra-long premiere will air on ABC, streaming and on-demand Monday, Jan. 7 from 8:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m EST.

Along with the introduction of the women vying for the heart of Bachelor Colton Underwood, the episode will also pop in on “Bachelor” viewing parties around the country.

The premiere will see 30 women competing for the final rose, with 23 making it to the next week. Throughout the season, the cast will travel to locations around the world including Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Portugal, and Denver, which happens to be Underwood’s hometown.

Also Read: USA's 'Temptation Island' Trailer Promises Plenty of Tears and Cheating, Probably (Video)

Highlights of the upcoming season will include guest appearances by Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman, Billy Eichner, Terry and Rebecca Crews’ “Bachelor Strongest Woman” competition, featuring color commentary by “Bachelor” host Chris Harrison and Fred Willard, plus performances by country stars Tenille Arts and Brett Young.

The show will also introduce new gameplay for fans taking part in the Official Bachelor Fantasy League; the new rules will be announced at the end of December.

Here’s the complete list of contestants for “The Bachelor” Season 23:

Alex B., 29, a dog rescuer from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Alex D., 23, a sloth from Boston, Massachusetts
Angelique, 28, a marketing salesperson from Hamilton, New Jersey
Annie, 23, a financial associate from New York, New York
Bri, 24, a model from Los Angeles, California
Caelynn, 23, Miss North Carolina 2018 from Charlotte, North Carolina
Caitlin, 25, a realtor from Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Cassie, 23, a speech pathologist from Huntington Beach, California
Catherine, 26, a DJ from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Courtney, 23, a caterer from Atlanta, Georgia
Demi, 23, an interior designer from Red Oak, Texas
Devin, 23, a broadcast journalist from Medford, Oregon
Elyse, 31, a makeup artist from Soldotna, Alaska
Erika, 25, a recruiter from Encinitas, California
Erin, 28, Cinderella from Plano, Texas

Also Read: 'The Bachelor': Colton Underwood's Chance at Love Delivers Our First ABC Midseason Premiere Date

Hannah B., 23, Miss Alabama 2018 from Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Hannah G., 23, a content creator from Birmingham, Alabama
Heather, 22, never been kissed from Carlsbad, California
Adrianne “Jane,” 26, a social worker from West Hollywood, California
Katie, 26, a medical sales representative from Sherman Oaks, California
Kirpa, 26, a dental hygienist from Whittier, California
Laura, 26, an accountant from Dallas, Texas
Nicole, 25, a social media coordinator from Miami, Florida
Nina, 30, a sales account manager from Raleigh, North Carolina
Onyeka, 24, an IT risk consultant from Dallas, Texas
Revian, 24, an esthetician from Santa Monica, California
Sydney, 27, an NBA dancer from New York, New York
Tahzjuan, 25, a business development associate from Castle Pines, Colorado
Tayshia, 28, a phlebotomist from Corona Del Mar, California
Tracy, 31, a wardrobe stylist from Los Angeles, California

Also Read: 'Love After Lockup': Scott Gets Some Awkward News From Lizzie (Exclusive Video)

“The Bachelor” is produced by Next Entertainment in association with Warner Horizon Unscripted & Alternative Television. Mike Fleiss, Martin Hilton, Nicole Woods, Bennett Graebner and Elan Gale are the executive producers.

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www.thewrap.com | 12/6/18

Discovery and the PGA Tour have struck a massive $2 billion deal for tournament rights outside of the United States through 2030. That’s a lot of green — and we’re not just talking about the putting surfaces.

The pricey (and lengthy) alliance, which tees off next year, will result in about 2,000 hours of content annually and nearly 150 tournaments, including The Players Championship, the FedExCup Playoffs, and the Presidents Cup. It will grant Discovery the exclusive non-U.S. television and multiplatform rights to all PGA Tour golf events by 2024 — here is a timetable for implementation:

Date
Markets
2019
Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Portugal, Russia, Spain
2020
Poland, South Korea
2021
Belgium, China, Germany, South Africa
2022
Denmark, Finland, India, Norway, Sweden, UK
2024
France

Also Read: Former 'Deadliest Catch' Skipper Blake Painter Found Dead at 38

About those multiplatform rights: Together, Discovery and the PGA Tour will develop a new PGA Tour-branded OTT video streaming service to serve 220 markets and territories.

“Today is a fantastic day for golf fans around the world as Discovery proudly partners with the PGA Tour to create something that has never been done before,” David Zaslav, president and CEO, Discovery, said. “The long-term partnership between the PGA Tour and Discovery will create the new global Home of Golf, including delivering over 2000 hours of live content year-round and this prestigious sport’s greatest moments, stories and athletes. Following our successful first Olympic Games in PyeongChang, Discovery will contribute its strong global distribution and promotional infrastructure, in-market relationships, global sports expertise with direct-to-consumer platforms and brands to create a valuable new long-term Home of Golf offering in every market outside the U.S.”

“This is an exciting next step for the PGA Tour, which presents a tremendous opportunity to accelerate and expand our media business outside the United States, better service our international broadcast partners, and drive fan growth with a deeply experienced strategic global partner,” added Jay Monahan, commissioner, PGA Tour. “This partnership aligns very well with the opening of PGA Tour offices in London, Tokyo and Beijing in recent years and will support our long-term objectives of growing the game of golf. It also will deliver more value to our sponsors as it presents a tremendous opportunity to engage new and diverse audiences around the world.”

Also Read: Jon Hamm's Impression of Ray Romano Playing Golf Is Simply the Best (Video)

The partnership will be led by Discovery’s Alex Kaplan, who is president and general manager of the new Discovery and PGA Tour venture. His management team will include the PGA Tour’s Thierry Pascal as head of distribution.

Kaplan previously was an executive vice president at Eurosport Digital, where he helped grow the Eurosport D2C business to over 1 million subscribers. Prior to joining Discovery, Kaplan was a senior vice president of global media distribution for the NBA.

“I am incredibly excited to work with David Zaslav and JB Perrette to take international coverage of PGA Tour golf to the next level,” Kaplan said. “We can’t wait to get started and build a world-class global platform and long-term distribution strategy to turn the vision of this partnership into a reality. By joining forces with the outstanding PGA Tour team, led by Jay Monahan and Rick Anderson, we have a unique opportunity to build an amazing product that will serve the fans with the golf content they love on every screen.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

Discovery Lost Money in Q1 Due to Huge Scripps Deal

Discovery Boss David Zaslav's Pay Rose Above $42 Million Last Year

Rich Ross Out at Discovery: Company Unveils Post-Scripps Senior Executive Team

www.thewrap.com | 6/4/18
Beast Mode has touched down in Portugal to be an ambassador for American football ... and his first order of business -- SACKING THE COUNTRY'S U.S. AMBASSADOR!!! As TMZ Sports reported last week, Marshawn Lynch is on a trip to Cristiano…

www.tmz.com | 3/7/18
In a bid to boost its film business and draw production from the U.S., Portugal has joined the bandwagon of European countries offering financial incentives to filmmakers. The country’s new program, just announced, will offers up to 4 million euros ($4.93 million) per project for film and television production. The basic rebate for eligible expenses […]
variety.com | 2/23/18
For a half century, rock was the darling of the pop music industry — it was both the sound of teen rebellion and the cash cow of the business. But over the past few years the genre has grown steadily weaker, due to a lack of new blood and the passing of such legendary single-name […]
variety.com | 2/14/18

Radix, one of the world's leading nTLD portfolio registries, today announced that at least 18 startups across its TLDs have received over $436 million in VC funding between 2016-2017. These startups are spread across various verticals such as cryptocurrency, robotics, digital payments, IoT, satellite communication, etc. Some of these funded startups include Innoviz (innoviz.TECH), TenX (tenx.TECH), Direct Pay (directpay.ONLINE), Audacy (audacy.SPACE) and Shadow (shadow.TECH).

WebsiteTotal Funding Amountinnoviz.tech$82,000,000.00tenx.tech$81,120,000.00shadow.tech $71,700,000.00kika.tech$63,000,000.00navya.tech$40,113,192.00www.brilliant.tech$21,000,000.00blue.tech $16,700,000.00www.directpay.online$15,000,000.00decision.tech$13,238,000.00audacy.space$7,000,000.00sourced.tech$6,000,000.00www.brainco.tech$5,900,000.00www.edison.tech$4,300,000.00www.fleet.space$3,780,500.00pillar.tech$3,275,000.00freshup.space$1,500,000.00xpresso.tech$950,000.00www.balance.tech$230,432.00minionlabs.techUndisclosed

Radix owns the exclusive rights to operate nine nTLDs, including .ONLINE, .TECH and .SPACE among others. Radix TLDs have most resonated with the global startup community and have attracted innovation-led businesses and brands from around the world to use them. The fact that these startups have raked in millions in VC funding is a proof that startups on Radix domains are backed by robust business models and futuristic technologies.

Speaking about why they chose .TECH for their product, Siddhartha Vinnakotem, CTO, Mobigraph Inc, xpresso.tech said, "As a technology company, we always wanted a URL that reflects who we are. With .TECH, we were able to get creative with the name since the extension clearly positions us as a technology innovator and really helps us getting identified. Having a .TECH domain adds to our image as an early mover or simply a cool company/product." The startup had received $950,000 in funding in 2016.

Identifying the affinity of startups towards its nTLDs early on, Radix had launched the Startup League in 2016. This startup support program further accelerated the growth of startups that chose any of Radix TLDs to be their online identity. Speaking about the program, Suman Das, who leads the Startup League, said, "Our startup support program offers a comprehensive go-to-market package designed specifically to empower early stage startups. The program's benefit suite includes up to 100% sponsorship discount on even exhibit booth fees, branded merchandise, media coverage and exposure to startups from investors and industry influencers." With these efforts and organic adoption of its nTLDs by startups, Radix has become one of the most popular nTLD portfolios for the global startup community.

Recently, at Web Summit in Lisbon, Portugal, the Startup League supported 50 startups on Radix TLDs. "Startups at Web Summit showed great interest in our TLDs, with some of them having switched over from a legacy TLD or a ccTLDs to a .TECH or .ONLINE because the nTLD perfectly fit with their brand. This helped them amplify their virtual presence with a more impactful and meaningful domain name." added Suman Das.

Domain names such as brilliant.TECH, shadow.TECH and fleet.SPACE are meaningful names because of the respective nTLDs that they are on. These names also directly resonate with the startup's brand without any compromise by them in their domain name. Thus, even early-stage businesses find it worthy to invest in relevant and meaningful domain names.

Some of the global brands that have chosen Radix TLDs are Consumer Electronics Show (www.ces.TECH), Viacom (www.viacom.TECH), Emirates (www.emirates.STORE), Freedom of the Press Foundation (www.freedom.PRESS), Asgardia, the world's first space nation (www.asgardia.SPACE) and Meredith Group (www.magazine.STORE). Last year, Google My Business purchased the domain name business.site which is being used by Google's My Business program globally.

www.circleid.com | 1/29/18

Landline networks like the old phone system and the new(er) cable systems do lend themselves to monopoly or at least duopoly outcomes. Building these networks is both very expensive and requires myriad government approvals. Once a system is in place, it is hard for anyone to raise the capital to duplicate it. Even a network of wireless towers is hard to compete with. It's hard enough to get a permit to build a tower to serve unserved areas ("it'll ruin my view"; "it will stop the wildebeests from migrating"). It's much harder to get permitted for a tower whose "only" purpose is to increase competition.

It is a fact that we have little competition for Internet access, especially in rural areas. This lack of competition and mediocre service from incumbents is why most of my friends in the tech world supported the "Net Neutrality" regulations promulgated in 2015, which allows the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to regulate the Internet under the same terms as it regulated the phone network. The FCC did not regulate rates for Internet access, although it gave itself the authority to do so. They are furious that the FCC rescinded this regulation last month. They are right, in my opinion, that there is too little competition in access. They are wrong, also in my opinion, that regulation is the way to solve the local oligopoly problem.

Regulation acknowledges monopoly and protects it. Incumbents like utilities learn to live with regulation. They hire staffs of regulatory lawyers. They avoid innovation — it's expensive and may raise regulatory issues. If innovations succeed, the incumbents argue, the regulators will make the utility give back the profits. If innovations fail, the utility's shareholders will have to pay the cost. Most important, protected monopolies don't have to worry about competition in the marketplace. They can count on the burden of regulatory compliance and the relatively low return of regulated businesses to make it impossible for a would-be challenger to raise capital. These are the reasons why the regulated phone network was almost an innovation-free zone for sixty years.

But now the net neutrality regulations have been repealed. Ironically, startups in the last mile access business are using that repeal as a fund-raising pitch. Daniela Perdomo is the cofounder and CEO of goTenna, a company which provides meshed connectivity for messaging and location sharing without using any connections to commercial networks. She says "Society requires connectivity to function and to advance, but we are leaving telecommunications in the hands of a few large corporations. The lack of a choice is a problem." To an innovator, every problem is an opportunity,

GoTenna is no threat to AT&T — yet. But, because goTenna doesn't require any infrastructure, it was able to bring basic communication to parts of hurricane-damaged Puerto Rico immediately. Solar-charging is plenty of energy for goTenna to operate, so they require neither an electrical grid nor generators. Mesh networks like goTenna gain capacity with each user they add so they can grow without the enormous capital expense. Needless to say, no permitting required. So far goTenna users can only talk to other in their mesh. But if meshes connected by sat phone…

Veniam provides meshed networking between vehicles. This mesh does have access to the full Internet which it reaches through a combination of cellular connections and WiFi hotspots; among other uses are free WiFi for bus riders (and passenger information for the transit providers). At any moment a connection to the Internet may be directly to a hotspot or hopped through a mesh of vehicles. There are currently Veniam nets in Porto, Portugal, New York City, and Singapore. An obvious future use of Veniam is critical communication between autonomous vehicles.

I think that growth of companies like goTenna and Veniam will be super-charged by the end of Net Neutrality regulation. Lack of innovation and mediocre service from incumbents creates a need. Investors will like that there is no longer a threat, in the US at least, that regulators will decide that some service they are offering isn't properly "neutral". Even defending such a claim could stop a small company in its tracks. It's possible that one of these companies or a company like them will want to offer a "fast lane" for emergency service or communication between autonomous vehicles. Under the "net neutrality" rules they wouldn't have been allowed to. There is no longer a threat of "rate-of-return" utility price controls. Regulation smothers innovation.

I may be an optimist to think that deregulation will topple the access network oligarchies. But I know that regulation would preserve the unsatisfactory status quo.

Full disclosure, I am indirectly a very small investor in both goTenna and Veniam.

Written by Tom Evslin

www.circleid.com | 1/2/18

Traditional early morning Japanese breakfast, briefing on objectives, equipment check and drive into the beautiful mountainous forests of this region: this is the daily routine that will allow us to complete our latest investigation into the radiological status in some of the most contaminated areas of Fukushima prefecture.

But there is nothing normal about the routine in Fukushima.

Nearly seven years after the triple reactor meltdown, this unique nuclear crisis is still underway. Of the many complex issues resulting from the disaster, one in particular may have become routine but is anything but normal: the vast amounts of nuclear waste, stored and being transported across Fukushima prefecture.

A satellite image shows damage at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant In Fukushima Prefecture. 

As a result of the Fukushima Daiichi accident, gases and particulates which vented into the atmosphere, led to radioactive fallout greater than 10,000 becquerels per square meter contaminating an estimated 8 percent, or 24,000 square kilometers, of the landmass of Japan. The highest concentrations (greater than 1 million becquerels per meter square) centered in an area more than than 400 square kilometers within Fukushima prefecture.

In the period 2013-14, the Japanese government set about a decontamination program with the objective of being able to lift evacuation orders in the Special Decontaminated Area (SDA) of Fukushima prefecture. Other areas of Fukushima and other prefectures where contamination was lower but significant were also subject to decontamination efforts in the so called Intensive Contamination Survey Area (ICSA).

Two areas of the SDA in particular were subject to concentrated efforts between 2014-2016, namely Iitate and Namie. A total of 24-28,000 people formally lived in these areas, with all evacuated in the days and months following the March 2011 disaster.

The decontamination program consisted of scraping, reverse tillage and removal of top soil from farmland, stripping and removal of soil from school yards, parks and gardens, trimming and cutting of contaminated trees and plants in a 20 meter area around peoples homes, and the same along a 10-15 meter strip either side of the roads, including into the nearby forests.

Aerial view of nuclear waste storage area in the mountainous forests of Iitate, Fukushima prefecture in Japan.

This program involved millions of work hours and tens of thousands workers (often Fukushima citizens displaced by the earthquake, tsunami and reactor meltdown), and often homeless and recruited off the streets of cities, and exploited for a wage of 70 dollars a day to work long hours in a radioactive environment. All this for a man-made nuclear disaster officially estimated at costing 21 trillion yen but with other estimates as high as 70 trillion yen.

As of March 2017, the decontamination program was officially declared complete and evacuation orders were lifted for the less contaminated areas of Namie and Iitate, so called area 2. The even higher radiation areas of Iitate and Namie, Area 3, and where no decontamination program has been applied, remain closed to habitation.

In terms of effectiveness, radiation levels in these decontaminated zones have been reduced in many areas but there are also multiple examples where levels remain significantly above the governments long range target levels. In addition to where decontamination has been only partially effective, the principle problem for Iitate and Namie is that the decontamination has created islands where levels have been reduced, but which are surrounded by land, and in particular, forested mountains, for which there is no possible decontamination. Forests make up more than 70% of these areas.

As a consequence, areas decontaminated are subject to recontamination through weathering processes and the natural water and lifecycle of trees and rivers. Given the half life of the principle radionuclide of concern – cesium-137 at 30 years – this will be an on-going source of significant recontamination for perhaps ten half lives – or 300 years.

Greenpeace documents the ongoing radioactive decontamination work in Iitate district, Japan. The area is still contaminated since the March 2011 explosions at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant.

So apart from the decontamination not covering the largest areas of significant contamination in the forested mountains of Fukushima, and in reality only a small fraction of the total landmass of contaminated areas, the program has generated almost unimaginable volumes of nuclear waste. According to the Japanese Government Ministry of Environment in its September 2017 report, a total of 7.5 million nuclear waste bags (equal to 8.4 million m³) from within the SDA was in storage across Fukushima.

A further 6 million m³ of waste is generated in the ICSA within Fukushima prefecture (but not including waste produced from the wider ICSA which stretches from Iwati prefecture in the north to Chiba in the south on the outskirts of Tokyo). In total nuclear waste generated from decontamination is stored at over 1000 Temporary Storage Sites (TSS) and elsewhere at 141,000 locations across Fukushima.

The Government projects a total of 30 million m³ of waste will be generated, of which 10 million is to be incinerated, generating 1 million cubic meters of highly contaminated ash waste. Options to use some of the less contaminated waste in construction of walls and roads is actively under consideration.

Government policy is for all of this waste to be deposited at two sites north of the Fukushima Daiichi plant at Okuma and Futaba – both of which remain closed to habitation at present but which are targeted for limited resettlement as early as 2021. Although the facilities are not completed yet, they are supposed to be in operation only for 30 years – after which the waste is to be deposited in a permanent site. The reality is there is no prospects of this waste being moved to another permanent site anywhere else in Japan.

As we conducted our radiation survey work across Fukushima in September and October 2017, it was impossible not to witness the vast scale of both the waste storage areas and the volume of nuclear transports that are now underway. Again the numbers are numbing.

In the space of one hour standing in a main street of Iitate village, six nuclear waste trucks passed us by. Not really surprising since in the year to October over 34,000 trucks moved nuclear waste across Fukushima to Okuma and Futaba. The target volume of waste to be moved to these sites in 2017 is 500,000 m³. And this is only the beginning. By 2020, the Government is planning for as much as 6.5 million m³ of nuclear waste to be transported to the Futaba and Okuma sites – a rough estimate would mean over one million nuclear transports in 2020.

On any measure this is insanity – and yet the thousands of citizens who formally lived in Namie and Iitate are expected and pressurized by the Japanese government to return to live amidst this nuclear disaster zone.

Perhaps one of the most shocking experience in our visit to Fukushima was to witness a vast incineration complex hidden deep in the woods of southern Iitate and a nearby vast storage area with tens of thousands of waste bags surrounded on all sides by thick forests. The tragic irony of a multi-billion dollar and ultimately failed policy of decontamination that has unnecessarily exposed thousands of poorly protected and desperate workers to radiation – but which leads to a vast nuclear dump surrounded by a radioactive forest which that can never be decontaminated.

There is no logic to this, unless you are a trucking and incineration business and of course the Japanese government, desperate to create the myth of recovery after Fukushima. On this evidence there is no 'after', only 'forever'.

This new abnormal in Fukushima is a direct result of the triple reactor meltdown and a cynical government policy that prioritizes the unattainable fantasy of effective radioactive decontamination, while de-prioritising the safety, health and well being of the people of Fukushima.

The nuclear waste crisis underway in Fukushima is only one of the many reasons why the Japanese government was under scrutiny at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva last month. Recommendations were submitted to the United Nations by the governments of Austria, Mexico, Portugal and Germany at the calling on the Japanese government to take further measures to support the evacuees of Fukushima, in particular women and children.

The Government in Tokyo is to announce its decision on whether it accepts or rejects these recommendations at the United Nations in March 2018. Greenpeace, together with other human rights groups and civil society in Japan are calling on the government to accept that it has failed to defend the rights of its citizens and to agree to implement corrective measures immediately.

Shaun Burnie is a senior nuclear specialist with Greenpeace Germany

The Economy of Portugal is a high income mixed economy. The Global Competitiveness Report 2008-2009 edition placed Portugal in the 43rd position out of 134 countries and territories. Most imports come from the European Union countries of Spain, Germany, France, Italy, and the United Kingdom. Most exports also go to other European Union member states. Portugal's central bank is the Banco de Portugal, which is part of the European System of Central Banks. The major stock exchange is the Euronext Lisbon which is part of the NYSE Euronext, the first global stock exchange. Although its gradual modernization and relative expansion since the 1960s, the educational system remained underdeveloped until the 2000s when it finally reached the World's best practices and trends. However, the country has been increasingly overshadowed by lower-cost producers in Central Europe and Asia as a target for foreign direct investment. These long-term problems have hindered much economic growth. The Financial Crisis of 2008 is still affecting the Portuguese economy severely, causing a wide range of domestic problems specifically related to the levels of public deficit in the economy, as well as the excessive debt levels, soaring up to at least 223% of Portugal's GDP. Nonetheless, the government faces tough choices in its attempts to stimulate the economy, while attempting to maintain its public deficit around the EU average. In April 2011, Portugal confirmed it will have a financial bail-out from the European Union worth €80bn ($115bn, £70bn), following Greece and the Republic of Ireland. It has been predicted that the Portuguese economy will not significantly recover until 2012.


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