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Senate advances $95 billion aid package for Ukraine, Israel and Tawian

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The U.S. Senate took a significant step forward in approving a $95 billion aid package aimed at providing funding for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan.

The successful vote, which garnered 67 votes in favor, signals progress in negotiations and suggests that the aid package may soon pass after several days of deliberations.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., expressed determination to continue working on the bill until completion, even on Super Bowl Sunday, a rare occasion for Senate proceedings.

Schumer emphasized the Senate’s commitment to addressing the foreign aid package amid ongoing negotiations.

Aid package

The vote on Sunday represents one of the final procedural hurdles before a final vote on the aid package, indicating growing support for the $95 billion bill after a period of extensive discussions and negotiations among lawmakers.

Senator Chris Murphy, D-Conn., an influential figure in the negotiations, expressed optimism about the bill’s prospects, highlighting the progress made in overcoming procedural hurdles and garnering bipartisan support.

Since Wednesday, senators have been engaged in a rigorous process of negotiations, procedural votes, and further discussions to advance the aid package.

These efforts are expected to continue into the coming week, potentially affecting senators’ scheduled recess.

Contingency plans

Schumer had contingency plans to accommodate Senate proceedings on Super Bowl Sunday, including arrangements for televisions and pizza on Capitol Hill if voting had extended into the evening.

The pace of the process could be expedited if all 100 senators agree to accelerate the timeframe. However, Senator Rand Paul, R-Ky., has expressed intentions to prolong the proceedings, potentially delaying the final vote until late Tuesday or early Wednesday.

A previous version of the bill, totaling $118 billion, failed to pass last Wednesday due to disagreements over border security provisions.

Schumer subsequently removed the contentious border terms and introduced a revised $95 billion version of the bill to prioritize foreign aid without border-related issues.

Ahron Young is an award winning journalist who has covered major news events around the world. Ahron is the Managing Editor and Founder of TICKER NEWS.

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Navigating TV’s industrial revolution – the Ticker way

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Ticker began in 2019, with a goal to create a platform for thought leaders. Now in its fifth year, the company is growing and scaling, writes Ticker Founder Ahron Young.

I had an awkward phone conversation when I started Ticker. It was with a potential investor in the company, who had been put on to me because she had invested in media before.

So I expected a generous chat. Maybe some advice, some inspirational quotes. But from the outset, it was clear that her message was far more direct.

“What is your revenue strategy?” She demanded to know. Before I could answer, she snapped “Because I’ll never again invest in a company that relies on subscriptions or advertising.”

I paused. Not long ago I’d been a mere journalist, sent to cover some of the biggest stories around the world. I don’t recall ever asking my bosses where the money was coming from to send me to far-flung news destinations like Afghanistan and Gallipoli. That was their job. Mine was to observe and deliver my lines on camera.

“So what else is there?” I asked, naively.

She said, “Honey, you’re the entrepreneur. You tell me”.

It was the wake-up call I needed. There would be no saviour, no angel investor. Ticker had to do something brand new, from scratch, with no funding runway. From day one it was literally innovate or die.

Ticker’s presenters Daniel Cogrove (left) and Mike Loder (right) with Delivery Lead producer Georgie Jennings (middle).

TV’s industrial revolution

My first job was to take on the ultra-high cost of creating TV news. So we worked with partners around the globe to build new products that allow us to create great content.

In the pre-pandemic days of 2019, Netflix was winning over investors. Companies like Vox, Vice, Now This, Pedestrian and Cheddar were trying new things. News channels were popping up everywhere. But the advertising model was changing.

There were technical advantages and the benefits of having a smaller footprint. Local TV stations had offices around the country, in regional areas too, with high-cost communications lines linking them all up, huge aerials on mountains, and satellites above. The sales team had a huge task before even making money for shows.

Ticker began in a small co-working space. But being in that environment was pivotal to our success. TV is funny because you wear your ideas on the outside. Everyone can see what you are doing and trying, so you need to have a thick skin.

For Ticker, a few things were clear early on – there would be no help from social media companies, and no assistance from the government. They might want to save existing journalism jobs, but they weren’t proactive about creating new ones.

Ticker’s new program Investment Insights

Business model

As it turned out, Ticker’s business model found us, thanks to traditional demand and supply. On day one, August 19, 2019, we received hundreds of pitches from publicists, business leaders, and PR agents – saying they had been dying for something like Ticker to arrive – A platform for thought leaders and business leaders.

So we took that demand and created a business. Native advertising and program ownership (outside of our news programs). We defend our editorial standards, and our clients respect that. It means no alcohol ads, no gambling ads, no reliance on political advertising.

We attracted high-profile program hosts, including ex-footballer Chris Judd, SEO king Harry Sanders, and Airport Economist Tim Harcourt. For them, Ticker is a platform to reach global business leaders.

Building and scaling

This mantra allowed us to build a network of FAST (Free ad-supported TV) platforms right around the globe. We work with the TV manufacturers. Never complain, never explain.

We think more like a tech company than a media company. For example, we recently appointed a Delivery Lead to make sure our content creation runs smoothly – a role commonly found in tech firms.

I bought a toy train set on an infinite loop track to remind us that shows don’t end, they keep going. If we do it right, they’ll last forever. It’s been a huge hit and visitors to our office always take photos.

The Ticker Infinite Loop

Move fast

We pivot quickly. If something isn’t working, we move on. Clinging on to today’s hope doesn’t pay tomorrow’s bills.

In hindsight, I’m thankful for that investor conversation early on. I’m glad we didn’t take her money. It would have allowed us to waste time trying to make a bad idea work for longer.

When you live or die by the sword, you sharpen the sword.

It’s been a terrible few years for media companies.. CNN+ was shut after three weeks and $300 million spent, WB Discovery announced New Zealand’s Newshub will close, and even the industry bible TVNewsCheck stopped publishing content two weeks ago in response to the advertising downturn. Meta announced plans to pull out of its local news partnerships.

For media companies of the future, it’s no longer about how many viewers you have, but who and where those viewers are. What is your niche? For Ticker, it’s professionals and business leaders with big ideas. They live around the world – business class travellers, digital nomads, some are even stateless. They make big decisions and aspire for more.

Then we turned our backs on traditional ideas and focused on what makes us Ticker. People will always need information, companies will always want marketing. We just have to create value.

The TV Industrial Revolution is here. But without drastic change, the revolution will not be televised.

Ahron Young is Ticker’s Founder and CEO.

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Are U.S. voters rebuking Joe Biden over his Israel policy?

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The Israel-Hamas War is entering a sixth month.

During a recent trip in New York, President Joe Biden was asked when a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas might start.

He said he hopes a pause in hostilities can take effect in the coming days to allow for remaining hostages to be released.

Jonathan Tobin, the editor-in-chief of Jewish News Syndicate joins Veronica Dudo. #IN AMERICA TODAY #featured #IsraelHamas #war #Israel #Hamas #ceasefire

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Putin threatens West with nuclear strike

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has issued a direct threat to employ nuclear weapons against the West, accusing NATO and the United States of preparing to strike Russia.

Putin delivered this ominous warning during his annual address to the nation, raising global tensions to unprecedented levels.

During his speech, Putin accused NATO and the US of deceptive maneuvers, alleging their intentions to launch an attack on Russian territory.

He emphasised Russia’s readiness to defend itself, boasting of its modernized nuclear arsenal and asserting the capability to defeat any potential aggressors on their own soil.

The Russian leader’s words carried a chilling reminder of the destructive power at his disposal, stating, “They have to understand that we also have weapons, weapons that can defeat them on their own territory.”

Such rhetoric underscores the grave risk of escalating conflict and the potential catastrophic consequences of nuclear warfare.

Nuclear war

Putin warned that the deployment of troops to Ukraine by NATO countries could lead to a real risk of nuclear war.

He emphasised Russia’s determination to strengthen its military presence in response to perceived threats from neighboring nations aligning with Western alliances.

In addition to military concerns, Putin criticized Western efforts to engage Russia in an arms race, vowing to bolster Russia’s defense capabilities while accusing the West of attempting to weaken the country economically and politically.

Despite escalating tensions and global condemnation of Russia’s actions in Ukraine, Putin sought to rally support domestically, praising Russian unity and resilience in the face of adversity.

He portrayed Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine as a defensive measure to safeguard national interests and protect Russian citizens.

Putin’s aggressive stance towards the West underscores the deepening rift between Russia and Western powers, raising fears of a potential conflict with far-reaching consequences.

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