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Panasonic Showcases Best-In-Class Visual Solutions at InfoComm 2018

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Panasonic Showcases Best-In-Class Visual Solutions at InfoComm 2018

Panasonic System Solutions Company of North America, Division of Panasonic Corporation of North America, is showcasing its latest projection, professional display and professional video products and solutions here in InfoComm booth (#C3185), Las Vegas, NV, from June 6-9, 2018.

New 4K product introductions include a new flagship 4K+ SOLID SHINE Laser 3-Chip DLP™ projector, two new series of 4K+ professional displays and a 4K/60p integrated pan/tilt/zoom camera.

Also introduced will be new 1-Chip DLP™ SOLID SHINE and LCD laser projectors. All these new products are part of the company’s Professional Imaging and Visual Systems (PIVS) group that markets to education institutions, rental and staging, museums, houses of worship, corporations, retail, government organizations, entertainment, broadcast, video production, filmmakers and more.

“Our 4K solutions are pushing the limits in brightness, impact and flexibility. Adding high quality, cutting-edge 4K visuals dramatically improves and enhances environmental projection, projection mapping, digital signage, and image capture,” said John Baisley, Senior Vice President, Panasonic System Solutions Company of North America Professional Imaging &Visual Systems (PIVS). “From high-brightness, virtually maintenance-free 4K+ projectors and self-contained, high-impact 4K displays to high-performance professional 4K cameras, our 4K products and solutions continue to expand to meet market needs.”

Featured demonstrations in Panasonic’s Booth #C315 will focus on end-to-end solutions for ‘Live’ performances, interactive and immersive museum exhibits, integrated lecture/capture solutions for education, as well as collaboration solutions for corporate environments. The new products enabling these solutions are highlighted below:

PT-RQ22KU 3-Chip DLP™ SOLID SHINE Laser Projector

Engineered with exceptional quality and reliability the new PT-RQ22K 3-Chip DLP laser projector is equipped with 4K+ resolution. This new addition to Panasonic’s 3-Chip DLP laser projector portfolio delivers 21,000lm of maximum brightness and 20,000:1 contrast ratio in WUXGA or SXGA+ resolution for excellent picture quality. Its compact size makes it easy to handle while preparing for an event, and together with powered lens shift and a wide range of optional lens, makes the PT-RQ22K an ideal projection solution for rental, staging and large venue installations. The PT-RQ22KU, can be mounted in any 360-degree configuration without picture distortion in temporary or permanent installation. Single LAN cable DIGITAL LINK connectivity simplifies installation, reduces cabling and associated costs, and enhances reliability. The PT-RQ22K will be available in August 2018.

PT-RZ120 and PT-RZ870 1-Chip DLP™ SOLID SHINE Laser Projectors

The new 12,000lm PT-RZ120K with 4K signal input and the new 8,500lm PT-RZ870 projectors blend crisp and vivid imaging with bright, dual-laser-module and dual-phosphor-wheel SOLID SHINE laser drives.  These projectors are capable of maintenance-free operation for up to 20,000 hours thanks to air-tight and dust-resistant optical units and cooling systems negating the need for air filters—perfect for educational institutions, corporate, museums, exhibitions, digital signage and house of worship venues. The PT-RZ120 will be available in October 2018 and PT-RZ870 will be available in July 2018.

PT-MZ770 SOLID SHINE Laser LCD Projectors

Designed for the education and corporate markets, the PT-MZ770 8,000lm projectors combine the portability and picture quality of LCD imaging with the low operating cost and high reliability of SOLID SHINE laser. Featuring an air tight dust-resistant optical unit, one-way airflow, and a reusable eco-filter, enables the PT-MZ770 projector to operate up to 20,000 hours with limited maintenance, significantly reducing operating costs. Features such as a 27 dB quiet mode and quick start/quick off ensure smooth and effective presentations, making it an excellent solution for education venues and corporate meeting spaces. The PT-MZ770 is also equipped with Panasonic’s LinkRay™ Light ID technology.  The PT-MZ770 Series will be available in July 2018.

EQ1 Series 4K Professional Display

Panasonic will debut its new EQ1 display series, offering 4K imaging with a slim depth and stylish narrow bezel design. The EQ1 Series includes six (6) new models, ranging from 43 to 86-inches, making them ideal for corporate meeting rooms, classrooms and various digital signage situations. The EQ1 series is embedded with content management software for automated signage playback with scheduling functionality. The display also includes optional early-warning software to monitor device status, operation history and to send proactive alerts if abnormalities are detected. These displays can be mounted in either portrait or landscape orientation. The EQ1 Series displays will be available in Autumn 2018.

SQ1 Series 4K Professional Displays

The new SQ1 Series expands the 4K display lineup with 86 and 98-inch display sizes. These displays offer a stylish, slim design perfect for applications which require high image quality. They have a built-in USB Media Player, eliminating the need for external devices and reducing cable connections.  The SQ1 Series 4K displays include the Intel® Smart Display Module (Intel® SDM) for improved processing and integration capabilities, and can be mounted in either portrait or landscape orientation. The SQ1 Series 4K displays are expected to be available in December 2018.

AW-UE150 4K Integrated Pan/Tilt/Zoom Camera

Panasonic announced the development of the AW-UE150, a new 4K integrated remote camera that will offer 4K/UHD 60p capture, a first for a broadcast-class PTZ. The UE150 will also afford the widest viewing angle (75.1 degrees, horizontal) in its class. In addition, the integrated PTZ will incorporate a 1-inch large MOS sensor and a 20X optical zoom, as well as a range of 4K interfaces including 12G-SDI, HDMI, optical fiber and IP. A companion camera controller, AW-RP150, offers significant improvements over prior models, including a new one-hand operation joystick (controlling PTZ or Focus) and a large touch-panel LCD screen for monitoring and menu setting. The UE150 and RP150 are expected to be available in December 2018.

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OPEC+ to weigh modest oil output boost at meeting – sources

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OPEC+ to weigh modest oil output boost at meeting - sources 1

By Ahmad Ghaddar, Alex Lawler and Olesya Astakhova

LONDON/MOSCOW (Reuters) – OPEC+ oil producers will discuss a modest easing of oil supply curbs from April given a recovery in prices, OPEC+ sources said, although some suggest holding steady for now given the risk of new setbacks in the battle against the pandemic.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies, known as OPEC+, cut output by a record 9.7 million bpd last year as demand collapsed due to the pandemic. As of February, it is still withholding 7.125 million bpd, about 7% of world demand.

In January OPEC+ slowed the pace of a planned output increase to match weaker-than-expected demand due to continued coronavirus lockdowns. Saudi Arabia made extra voluntary cuts for February and March.

Three OPEC+ sources said an output increase of 500,000 barrels per day from April looked possible without building up inventories, although updated supply and demand balances that ministers will consider at their March 4 meeting will determine their decision.

“The oil price is definitely high and the market needs more oil to cool the prices down,” one of the OPEC+ sources said. “A 500,000 bpd increase from April is an option – looks like a good one.”

A rally in prices towards $67 a barrel, the highest since January 2020, the rollout of vaccines and economic recovery hopes have boosted confidence the market could take more oil. India, the world’s third biggest oil importer, has urged OPEC+ to ease production cuts.

Saudi Arabia’s voluntary cut of 1 million barrels per day (bpd) ends next month. While Riyadh hasn’t shared its plans beyond March, expectations in the group are growing that Saudi Arabia will bring back the supply from April, perhaps gradually.

Some OPEC+ members also anticipate that the Saudis will be willing to ease cuts further, but it was not clear if they had had direct communication with Riyadh.

Saudi Arabia has warned producers to be “extremely cautious” and some OPEC members are wary of renewed demand setbacks. One OPEC country source said a full return of the Saudi barrels in April would mean the rest of OPEC+ should not pump more yet.

“The Saudi voluntary cut will be back to the market,” the source said. “I’m personally with no more relaxation, not until June.”

Russia, one of the OPEC+ countries which was allowed to boost output in February, is keen to raise supply and a source last week said Moscow would propose adding more oil if nothing changed before the March 4 virtual meeting.

(Additional reporting by Rania El Gamal and Nidhi Verma; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

 

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UK’s Sunak to build bridge to recovery with more spending

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UK's Sunak to build bridge to recovery with more spending 2

By William Schomberg

LONDON (Reuters) – British finance minister Rishi Sunak will next week promise yet more spending to prop up the economy during what he hopes will be the last phase of lockdown, but he will also probably signal tax rises ahead to plug the huge hole in the public finances.

Sunak, who is due to announce a new budget plan on March 3, has already racked up more than 280 billion pounds ($397 billion) in coronavirus spending and tax cuts, pushing Britain’s borrowing to a peacetime record.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson plans to lift England’s current lockdown entirely only in late June so Sunak is expected to rely heavily on the debt markets again.

His job retention scheme, paying 80% of employees’ wages, will probably be extended beyond a scheduled April 30 expiry date, further inflating its estimated cost of 70 billion pounds. Support for the self-employed looks set to stay too.

Businesses are demanding Sunak keep other lifelines, such as exempting the firms hardest hit by the lockdown from property taxes and giving them a value-added tax cut.

And calls are growing for an extension of a 20 pounds-a-week emergency welfare increase due to expire in April.

The Times newspaper said Sunak would prolong his stamp duty property tax break for three months until the end of June.

Sunak hopes that by then Britain will be emerging from its deep freeze thanks to Europe’s fastest vaccination programme.

Bank of England Chief Economist Andy Haldane likens the economy to a “coiled spring” primed with the savings that households have built up after being stuck at home.

A strong recovery would mean a jump in tax revenues, doing some of the Treasury’s job of fixing the public finances.

Rupert Harrison, an aide to former finance minister George Osborne, said Sunak should not try to slash Britain’s 2.1 trillion-pound debt mountain, equivalent to 98% of GDP – a ratio unthinkable for decades.

Instead he should write new budget rules tied to the cost of debt servicing, which is close to record lows.

“We can safely carry higher levels of debt than before,” Harrison told a webinar organised by Onward, a think-tank.

But the scale of Britain’s borrowing is raising questions about how long Sunak and Johnson can stick to their promises not to raise key taxes, made to voters before the 2019 election.

BROKEN PROMISES?

The huge costs of tackling the worst of the coronavirus pandemic are likely to ease in the months ahead, meaning this year’s 400 billion pound budget deficit should narrow.

But Britain is probably on course to be stuck with a gap of 60 billion pounds between revenues and day-to-day spending by the mid-2020s, the Institute for Fiscal Studies think-tank says.

In a nod to that, Sunak is expected to start raising Britain’s low corporation tax rate.

The Sunday Times said the rate would rise steadily to bring in an extra 12 billion pounds a year by the time of the next election, due in 2024.

Other options include ending a freeze on fuel duty increases which has been in place since 2012 and looks at odds with Britain’s plans to be carbon net zero by 2050.

But higher fuel prices now would hurt the haulage industry, already struggling with Brexit-related disruption, and could alienate working-class voters who backed Johnson in 2019.

Higher capital gains tax or lower pension incentives would anger lawmakers in Johnson’s Conservative Party.

David Gauke, a former deputy finance minister, said the only big revenue-raising options were the ones that Johnson has promised not to touch – income tax, VAT and national insurance contributions.

“In the end, they are going to have to say, sorry we just can’t responsibly maintain that manifesto commitment,” Gauke told the Onward webinar.

($1 = 0.7046 pounds)

(Writing by William Schomberg; Editing by Catherine Evans)

 

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Women inch towards equal legal rights despite COVID-19 risks, World Bank says

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Women inch towards equal legal rights despite COVID-19 risks, World Bank says 3

By Sonia Elks

(Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Women gained legal rights in nearly 30 countries last year despite disruption due to COVID-19, but governments must do more to ease the disproportionate burden shouldered by women during the pandemic, the World Bank said on Tuesday.

Nations should prioritise gender equality in economic recovery efforts, the bank said, warning that progress on equal rights was threatened by heavier job losses in female-dominated sectors, increased childcare and a surge in domestic violence.

“This pandemic has exacerbated existing inequalities that disadvantage girls and women,” David Malpass, World Bank Group president, said in a statement accompanying the annual “Women, Business and the Law” report.

“Women should have the same access to finance and the same rights to inheritance as men and must be at the centre of our efforts toward an inclusive and resilient recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

A total of 27 countries reformed laws or regulations to give women more economic equality with men in 2019-20, said the report, which grades 190 nations on laws and regulations that affect women’s economic opportunities.

While countries in all of the world’s regions made improvements in the new index – with most reforms addressing pay and parenthood, women on average still have only about three quarters of the rights granted to men, the report found.

Notably, nearly 40 countries brought in extra benefit or leave policies to help employees balance their jobs with the extra childcare needs created by coronavirus restrictions.

But such measures were “few and far between” worldwide and will probably not go far enough to tackle the “motherhood penalty” many women face in the workplace, it said.

The report also noted separate data from a United Nations tool tracking gender-sensitive pandemic responses which found 70% of such measures addressed violence, with just 10% targeting women’s economic security.

The pandemic could result in “a backslide on various hard-won advances in women’s rights achieved in recent years”, said Antonia Kirkland, the global lead on legal equality at women’s rights organisation Equality Now.

“This disruption is a unique opportunity for countries to rebuild more resilient, inclusive and prosperous economies,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by email.

“But this can only be achieved alongside the removal of sex discriminatory laws that prevent women from participating fully and equally in economic, social and family life.”

(Reporting by Sonia Elks @soniaelks; Editing by Helen Popper. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers the lives of people around the world who struggle to live freely or fairly. Visit http://news.trust.org)

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