Unveiling of the John Lennon and Yoko Ono Suite

first_imgAdvertisement Facebook Advertisement Advertisement MONTREAL, Sept. 21, 2017 – Today, the International Day of Peace, Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth, Ivanhoé Cambridge, Sid Lee Architecture and MASSIVart are pleased to unveil the hotel’s newly redesigned Suite 1742, where John Lennon and Yoko Ono held their iconic Bed-In for Peace in 1969. At the same time, Sid Lee Collective and MASSIVart invite Montrealers to join the largest bed-in ever held in North America, on the Place Ville Marie Esplanade, and to explore the exhibition Posters for Peace. A suite paying tribute to a legendary eventPreserving the historical character of Suite 1742, which John and Yoko took over for their second bed-in in 1969, was a key goal of the hotel’s recent transformation by owner Ivanhoé Cambridge.center_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Login/Register With: The concept for the redesign, developed by Sid Lee Architecture, hinged on rearranging the furniture in the same way Lennon and Ono had for the bed-in. The first step was to place the bed against the main window and free the central space. Rather than recreate the hotel’s period décor, the designer draws inspiration from places the couple had lived in or visited, such as London, New York, Tokyo and New Delhi.Reproductions of the famous handwritten Hair Peace and Bed Peace cutouts adorn the window once again, while the words of the song Give Peace a Chance, recorded by John and Yoko in Suite 1742, are inscribed repeatedly on the walls, after the fashion of a war memorial—with, in this case, a wish for peace in lieu of the names of fallen soldiers.An immersive art experienceOne of the distinctive features of the John and Yoko Suite is the incorporation of artworks, interactive pieces and multimedia installations designed and produced by MASSIVart. They include an archival cabinet containing photos, videos and historical items, among them a Give Peace a Chance vinyl record.Visitors will be able to don virtual-reality headsets placed on the nightstands on either side of the bed for an exclusive immersive experience—allowing them, among other things, to sense the unique energy of the bed-in from the point of view of John or Yoko.Peace, love and creativity front and centre: Bed-in and Posters for PeaceAt the same time as the unveiling, Sid Lee Collective and MASSIVart have invited Montrealers to gather at the Place Ville Marie Esplanade for the largest outdoor bed-in ever held in North America as well as the exhibition Posters for Peace, featuring art created in tribute to the original bed-in.The exhibition includes works by 40 artists from around the world, printed on sheets placed on the beds arranged along the Esplanade. The proceeds from the sale of reproductions of the works will go to Amnesty International.About Fairmont The Queen ElizabethFairmont Hotels & Resorts connects guests to the very best of its destinations worldwide, providing travellers with memorable travel experiences, thoughtful and attentive service and luxury hotels that are truly unforgettable. Each Fairmont property reflects the locale’s energy, culture and history through locally inspired cuisine, spirited bars and lounges and distinctive design and decor. With more than 70 hotels globally, and many more in development, the Fairmont collection boasts some of the most iconic and distinctive hotels in the world. This extraordinary collection includes The Plaza in New York, The Savoy in London, Fairmont Grand Del Mar, Dubai’s Fairmont The Palm, Fairmont Peace Hotel in Shanghai, Fairmont San Francisco and Fairmont Le Château Frontenac in Quebec City. Fairmont is part of AccorHotels, a world-leading travel & lifestyle group and digital innovator offering unique experiences in more than 4,100 hotels, resorts and residences, as well as in over 3,000 of the finest private homes around the globe. For more information or reservations, please visit fairmont.com.About Ivanhoé CambridgeIvanhoé Cambridge, a global real estate industry leader, invests in high-quality properties and real estate companies in select cities around the world. It does so prudently and with a long-term view to generate optimal, risk-adjusted returns. Founded in Quebec in 1953, Ivanhoé Cambridge has built a vertically integrated business across Canada. Internationally, the Company invests alongside key partners and major real estate funds that are leaders in their respective markets. Through subsidiaries and partnerships, Ivanhoé Cambridge holds interests in nearly 800 buildings, primarily in the residential, office, retail and logistics real estate sectors. Ivanhoé Cambridge held approximately C$56 billion in assets as at December 31, 2016. The Company is a real estate subsidiary of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (cdpq.com), one of Canada’s leading institutional fund managers. For more information: ivanhoecambridge.com.About Sid Lee ArchitectureFounded in 2009 following the integration of architecture firm NOMADE (founded in 1999), Sid Lee Architecture is the fruit of architects and urban designers Jean Pelland and Martin Leblanc’s talents and skills combined with creative agency Sid Lee’s wide-ranging offering. Operating on a global scale from its Montreal offices, Sid Lee Architecture gathers more than 50 architects, technicians, designers, managers, and other artisans offering services in urban studies, architecture, interior architecture, strategic development and positioning, brand integration, and signage – for cultural, residential, institutional, recreational, and corporate projects. Sid Lee Architecture’s work stands out for its uniqueness and strong identity, marked by history, culture, and community. Since 2015, Sid Lee Architecture is part of kyu, a new collective of creative businesses established by Hakuhodo DY Holdings, the second largest network of agencies in Asia.About MASSIVartMASSIVart is a Montreal based production & art direction agency, connecting artists, brands & people. We produce content and events and offer art curation services. We are proud initiators of Chromatic, an art festival that aims to celebrate Montreal hyper-active art scene. MASSIVart supports creators through innovative business opportunities, making art more present and accessible. Our projects are showcases for creators. Exhibitions, installations, exhibit openings and creative nights: we integrate visual, sound, interactive and contemplative arts in the heart of each initiative to ensure the largest range of the established and upcoming artists.About Sid Lee CollectiveSid Lee Collective is a creative incubator that helps fund, produce and exhibit passion projects of fearless, global artisans. No matter the day job, we believe everyone benefits from pursuing collaborative creative projects you love. That’s why everyone at Sid Lee gives up to 10% of their time to make passion projects happen. Instagram: @sidleecollectivesidleecollective.com Twitterlast_img read more

Continue Reading

Jessica Chastain in talks for It sequel Which Will Be Shot In

first_imgAdvertisement Jessica Chastain is poised to reunite with director Andy Muschietti to star in the It sequel.Reports suggest the Molly’s Game actress is in early negotiations to join the project, five months after Muschietti’s filmmaking partner, sister Barbara, admitted they would “love” to have Chastain jump onboard.In an interview with Deadline.com in September, producer Barbara Muschietti admitted it would be great casting to have the Oscar nominee portray an older version of lead character Beverly Marsh, because her features are strikingly similar to those of Sophia Lillis, the 16-year-old who tackled the role in the 2017 horror remake. Facebook Advertisement “I think one of the first things that we noticed when we saw Sophia come into the room was, ‘My gosh, you look like (Chastain),’” Barbara noted at the time. “It’s a strange kind of connection but we will see.”Actor Sophia Lillis attends the 2017 MTV Movie And TV Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on May 7, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)The Muschietti siblings previously worked with Chastain on another scary project, 2013’s Mama, and the beauty offered up her sequel services in November.“Of course, I want to work on it… they’re my friends,” she told ScreenRant in November. “They’re like my family. Anything that they’re doing I want to be a part of, so I hope we can make it happen.”The hit adaptation of Stephen King’s 1986 novel revolved around a group of small-town youths battling a creepy clown named Pennywise, played by Bill Skarsgard, in the 1950s. Login/Register With: LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Twitterlast_img read more

Continue Reading

THE 101 BEST TORONTO SONGS OF 2018 PLUS A FEW MORE

first_img Login/Register With: Facebook Toronto is a huge city with a diverse set of cultural influences and a variety of interlocking arts scenes. Even considering that, we’re hitting above our weight class when it comes to music. Whittling NOW’s list down to our 10 best local albums was hard enough (which is why we also published our critics’ personal lists), but even deciding our 101 best Toronto songs was tough this year.Weekly throughout the year, we’ve been making 20-song playlists of the best local music of the week (it’s called #NOWplaying, and you can subscribe here). The best of the best ended up here, in the 101 best Toronto songs of 2018 playlist. There are major pop hits (Drake and the Weeknd, hello again) to future pop superstars (hey Jessie Reyez) and all corners of the hip-hop scene, from Regent Park to Parkdale. There’s some hardcore, some thrash and death metal, some techno and house, some folk and country, some operatic neo-classical ethnomusicology – there are all kinds of music in the city, and we tried to feature as much of it as we can.The only real rule to this Spotify playlist is that each artist could only be represented once (with a few little exceptions here and there). It’s been arranged to flow for close to seven hours, so you can start at the top and let it play through. Or hit play anywhere and listen for a while. Hit shuffle if you want to, and see what gems you dig up. Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment center_img Advertisement Advertisement Twitterlast_img read more

Continue Reading

Family of Brian Sinclair pull out of inquest so do Aboriginal organizations

first_imgAPTN National NewsThe family of Brian Sinclair and multiple Aboriginal organizations have withdrew from an inquest into the Aboriginal man’s death because the courts have refused to address “systemic racism” in the Manitoba healthcare system according a statement released Tuesday.Sinclair’s family said they’ll sit out “Phase 2” as they have lost confidence in the process, but will still submit closing submissions.While, Aboriginal Legal Services of Toronto and Ka Ni Kanichihk both said Tuesday they will no longer be part of the inquest at all according to a statement issued by ALST.“ALST did not make this decision lightly. ALST got involved in this case because we thought it was important to provide an Aboriginal perspective and to share expertise about the experiences of Aboriginal patients to address best practices for providing care to our community. Unfortunately the inquest is now focused on patient flow,” said Christa Big Canoe, legal advocacy director of ALST.Sinclair, 45, died in a Manitoba hospital waiting room after being ignored for 34 hours in September 2008.The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs are also expected to pull out of the inquest that begins the second phase Tuesday.Big Canoe said witnesses have testified that staff at the Health Sciences Center assumed Sinclair was intoxicated and homeless.Nurses testified they didn’t see Sinclair but video evidence shows them walking by the dying man sitting in a wheelchair.To prevent similar deaths from happening Judge Raymond Wyant ruled in 2009 that racism, poverty and disability would play a large role in the inquest.Big Canoe said that changed last month when the presiding judge on the inquest made a ruling that “significantly narrowed the scope of the next phase of the inquest” by determining one witness would be address Aboriginal peoples in the Manitoba health care system.news@aptn.calast_img read more

Continue Reading

Exjudge and Jewish Post columnist fails to apologize for hateful column

first_img( Jewish Post & News columnist Bill Marantz confused Winnipeg Jets goalie (left) with APTN anchor Michael Hutchinson (right))Jaydon FlettAPTN National NewsMembers of both the Jewish and Aboriginal community are angered over an “ignorant” and “hateful” newspaper column which repeatedly uses the term “Indian.”The opinion piece – written by former provincial court judge Bill Marantz in the Jewish Post & News – was inspired by an online Twitter debate about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.Marantz believed he was “sparring” with the Winnipeg Jets’ back-up goalie Michael Hutchinson, when in fact he was tweeting with APTN National News anchor Michael Hutchinson.Marantz says the incendiary tweet that started it all was when he paraphrased the late “former CBC token Indian” Johnny Yesno saying, “The only fully-employed aboriginals are the chiefs who are busy flying to conferences.”It was then retweeted by APTN National News anchor Hutchinson. The Twitter notification prompted Marantz to do a quick Google search where the NHL goalie is first to show up in results.The former judge believed he was really tweeting with a member of the Winnipeg Jets.“It’s embarrassing to admit that a 25-year-old jock, who stops pucks for a living, knows more about the legal status of aboriginal people than a former (part-time) provincial court judge,” wrote Marantz. “Mike Hutchinson is not only as sharp as a hunting knife, he sounds like he’s actually read the Indian Act.”The article, which has since been removed from the Jewish Post & News’ website, goes on to criticize the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report, calling it the “half-truth and recrimination report.”According to Marantz, the TRC wasted six years “splitting hairs” and “encouraging victims to wallow in victimhood” instead of “encouraging youth.” He wrote that everyone already knows enough about Indian residential schools.“Any Canadian (Indian code for paleface) who is unaware of the abuses of the Residential School System, at this stage of the game, just hasn’t been paying attention for the past 50 years,” wrote Marantz.The article goes on to criticize First Nation leaders in general, particularly chiefs. Marantz accuses chiefs of “endless hand-wringing, chest thumping and name calling” while referring to a number of social issues, such as high suicide rates on reserves and Aboriginal sex trade workers in the city.“The so-called leaders of the Aboriginal community are too busy feathering their own headdresses to worry about trivialities like chronic unemployment, poverty, illness, alcoholism and crime,” he wrote.Grand Chief Derek Nepinak of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs released a statement calling the article “racially derogatory.”Nepinak said the column betrayed the writer’s own privileged biases.“The writer’s attitude not only demonstrates the privilege and entitlement he is taking for granted, it also demonstrates a very disrespectful approach to the current dialogue around truth and reconciliation and a rejection of historical truths about the treatment of Indigenous peoples in the nation state,” stated Nepinak.In the statement, Nepinak said he was concerned over whether Marantz dealt with cases involving Aboriginal people while acting as a provincial court judge.Nepinak said the article, “Clearly calls into question his ability to set aside racially motivated stereotypes and attitudes in decision-making that would have impacted the lives of people significantly.”Brokenhead Ojibway Nation Chief Jim Bear called the column by Marantz a “brutal” portrayal of First Nations people.“Brokenhead Ojibway Nation does not in any way, shape or form condone this brutal portrayal made by Mr. Marantz against our First Nation community,” said Bear. “The state of ours and many First Nations is a collective crisis, not just an isolated First Nation crisis.”Bear said Marantz’ comparison of the residential school system to the Holocaust “minimizes and dishonours” the residential school experience.Bear said he wants an apology, from both Marantz and the newspaper.He told APTN National News that he doesn’t want a personal apology, but a public apology to the Aboriginal community as a whole.When APTN contacted Marantz for an on-camera interview, he refused, saying he’d prefer to have a live televised conversation with Bear “to discuss this matter freely and openly”.He also said he’d like to have Hutchinson present for the discussion. Marantz has since publicly apologized for confusing Hutchinson with the Winnipeg Jets’ goalie.Marantz has yet to apologize for any of the views he expressed in the article as of this article’s posting.jflett@aptn.calast_img read more

Continue Reading

Quebec felt heavy public pressure to table strict marijuana law stakeholders

first_imgMONTREAL – Public pressure on the Quebec government was so strong it had little choice but to table a strict bill on marijuana legalization that will give the province full control over the industry, stakeholders and business officials said Thursday.Bill 157 aims to push out the private sector and create a zero-tolerance policy for driving under the influence of all drugs.“This is an important change to our society,” Public Health Minister Lucie Charlebois told reporters. “The experts recommended we be prudent to start and then to see if we need to adjust. They asked us to be rigorous and to see how citizens evolve.”Under the bill, all cannabis cultivated in Quebec must be sold by the government, through a subsidiary of the provincially run liquor board, although the legislation gives the province flexibility to make exceptions.It will also be illegal to cultivate cannabis for personal or commercial use, unless authorized by the government.People of legal age will be allowed to possess up to 150 grams of cannabis in their home, and 30 grams on their person.Yves-Thomas Dorval, president of Quebec’s main employers’ association, said he has no doubt the private sector would be able to sell marijuana effectively and responsibly if it were given the opportunity.“That said, I also understand the state just couldn’t go there at the moment,” he said in an interview. “Given the enormous public pressure on this question.”A public opinion poll last May of 2,536 Canadians, including 1,017 Quebecers, indicated Quebec stood alone on the issue.While 54 per cent of respondents in Canada as a whole favoured legalization, 54 per cent of Quebec respondents were against it, with one-third of those saying they were extremely opposed.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has promised Canadians marijuana will be legal by next July 1, and has left it to the provinces to create their own legal framework on how to enforce the law on their territory.Quebec was originally reticent to go along with the marijuana plan, citing concerns from citizens that legalizing pot would encourage young people to pick up the habit and would foment social problems.The province has also asked Ottawa several times to delay legalization by a year, but to no avail.Ontario was the first province to announce its detailed marijuana plan, which includes the sale of the drug in up to 150 stores by 2020 run by the Liquor Control Board of Ontario.Pierre Killeen, spokesman for Hydropothecary, one of only two Quebec producers licensed by Health Canada to produce medical marijuana, said citizens will need time to be comfortable with legal pot.Under the bill, his company will no longer be allowed to sell directly to Quebec citizens, and instead will have to go through the provincial cannabis corporation.“We understand this is new and there was considerable public pressure on the government to make sure they get this done right,” he said. “Our expectation is that as people become familiar with recreational cannabis we’ll see an opening of retail distribution in the province of Quebec.”The bill gives the Quebec government authorization to enter into agreements with First Nations communities to “adapt to their realities.”Chief Gina Deer of Kahnawake, a Mohawk territory south of Montreal, said her council has already put together draft legislation to assuage some of the fears in her community.“As First Nations, we are all intergenerational trauma sufferers,” she said. “Residential schools are one of the biggest things, and we have become a vulnerable population and addiction is a big concern for us.”Deer said her community is considering its own marijuana stores in order to control the cultivation and distribution on its territory.“Anything that we do in our jurisdiction is going to be done under our authority,” she said. “We don’t want outside legislation superseding ours.”Finance Minister Carlos Leitao said Quebec will open 15 marijuana stores across the province by July 1 and will control sales online.“We need to be flexible,” he said, referring to the possibility of opening more stores. “We will see how the market evolves.“What’s clear is that there will be no cannabis sold in regular liquor stores.”The bill forbids anyone under 18 years old from possessing cannabis and prohibits anyone from consuming it where smoking tobacco is also illegal.Bill 157 also introduces “a new principle of zero tolerance” regarding drivers caught under the influence of marijuana or any other drug.“It prohibits anyone from driving a vehicle … or having control of a vehicle if there is any detectable presence of cannabis or any other drug in their saliva,” Charlebois said.Those rules, however, will only come into force when the technology for roadside saliva tests is approved by the federal government, she added.In the meantime, patrol officers are being trained for signs of impaired driving and have the right to arrest anyone suspected of driving under the influence of marijuana.Alberta also announced on Thursday how it will deal with legalized marijuana. The province will control the online sale of pot to ensure minors can’t buy it off the internet but the government will trust private operators to handle over-the-counter sales. As in Quebec, smoking cannabis will be prohibited in Alberta wherever tobacco use is banned.last_img read more

Continue Reading

Highlights from federal budget tabled Tuesday by Finance Minister Bill Morneau

first_imgOTTAWA – Highlights from the federal Liberal budget tabled Tuesday by Finance Minister Bill Morneau:— “Proactive” pay equity legislation, as well as $3 million over five years for a “pay transparency” measure, to close the wage gap among federal workers and in federally regulated sectors, impacting some 1.2 million people.— The “Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare,” to be headed by former Ontario health minister Eric Hoskins, which will explore ways to establish a national drug program.— $3.2 billion over five years for Canadian science and research, including money for granting councils and Canada Research Chairs, upgrading outdated laboratory facilities and harnessing the power of “Big Data.”— $2.6 billion over five years for a wide array of measures to encourage and foster scientific innovation and gender equality in the field, including encouraging female entrepreneurs and business leaders, revamping procurement and expanding access to broadband internet.— A federal deficit of $18.1 billion, including a $3-billion “risk adjustment,” down from $19.3 billion last year, that’s projected to decline slowly over the next several years, reaching $12.3 billion ($9.3 billion without the $3-billion cushion) by 2022-23.— About $1.4 billion over six years to support Indigenous children in foster care and promote family reunification, plus $400 million over 10 years to upgrade and expand Inuit housing and $500 million for Metis housing.— Plans to “eventually move away” from the disastrous Phoenix pay system for civil servants, including $431.4 million over six years to help address current pay problems, $5.5 million over two years for the Canada Revenue Agency to handle and process related tax queries and returns and $16 million over two years for efforts to find a suitable replacement system.— Higher excise taxes on tobacco products, including a $1 increase on a carton of 200 cigarettes and an adjustment that would see taxes increase with inflation every year, rather than every five years.— $1.2 billion over five years and $344.7 million a year afterward for a new employment insurance parental sharing benefit that would provide additional “use-it-or-lose-it” benefits for non-birthing parents to encourage women to re-enter the workforce.— $2 billion over five years for international aid through a new International Assistance Innovation program, designed to come up with flexible new financing arrangements, and the Sovereign Loans program.— $155.2 million over five years for a new Canadian Centre for Cyber Security and $116 million over five years for the RCMP to create a National Cybercrime Co-ordination Unit, as well as $236.5 million over the same time frame to support a new national cybersecurity strategy.— $448.5 million over five years to double the number of placements under the Canada Summer Jobs program by 2019-20.— $172 million over five years and $42.5 million a year afterward for the Canada Media Fund to foster the growth of Canadian-produced content.— $50 million over five years to support “local journalism in underserved communities,” and plans to explore new models that would allow private and philanthropic support for “non-profit” journalism, including allowing Canadian newspapers to receive charitable status.— $75 million over five years, with $11.8 million a year afterward, to bolster Canada’s trade ties with China and Asia.— $191 million over five years to support jobs in the softwood lumber industry, including litigation under the World Trade Organization and NAFTA’s dispute resolution mechanism.— $90.6 million over five years to track down tax evaders and avoiders, plus $41.9 million over five years and $9.3 million a year thereafter to help Canada’s courts deal with the additional caseload.— Changes to income sprinkling, passive investment income and the small business tax rate that are expected to save the government $925 million a year by 2022-23.— $173.2 million in 2018-19 to support claim processing and to improve border security to better manage the increased number of people seeking asylum in Canada.last_img read more

Continue Reading

AltaGas to create spin off AltaGas Canada plans initial public offering

first_imgCALGARY, A.B. – AltaGas Ltd. has announced plans to spin off some of its assets to a new company called AltaGas Canada Inc. while retaining a significant minority equity interest in the business after its initial public offering.The new firm will hold the company’s Canadian rate-regulated natural gas distribution utility assets and contracted wind power in Canada, as well as a roughly 10 percent indirect equity interest in the Northwest Hydro Facilities in B.C.AltaGas Canada will be led by an independent management team. AltaGas says it expects to hold approximately 37 to 45 percent of AltaGas Canada at the close of its initial public offering. It will also have three nominees on AltaGas Canada’s seven-member board.The company expects to use to use the proceeds from the AltaGas Canada IPO to help repay debt related to its acquisition of Washington, D.C.-based energy utility company WGL Holdings, Inc., which closed in July.Earlier this week, AltaGas signed deals to sell about $560 million worth of natural gas midstream assets and power generating assets to two buyers that will also be used to reduce debt.(THE CANADIAN PRESS)last_img read more

Continue Reading

Reel Shorts Film Festival extended deadline is February 21

first_imgScreening fees (royalties) are paid to filmmakers whose films screen at the festival. Films are also eligible for juried and audience choice awards.The 13th Reel Shorts Film Festival runs May 6th through to the 13th in Grande Prairie. This Film Festival is a qualifying festival for the Canadian Screen Awards presented by the ACCT (Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television).The festival which began in 2007 has the largest school program of any film festival in the Prairie Provinces. Over 2,000 Grade 1-12 students from 20 schools attended the festival in 2018.For more information on the Festival; CLICK HERE GRANDE PRAIRIE, B.C. – The deadline for Peace Region Filmmakers is approaching for the Reel Shorts Film Festival.Thursday, February 21, 2019, is the extended deadline for filmmakers who currently reside in the Peace Region or have resided in the region for the free submissions to this film festival.Submitted films must have a running time of 2-31 minutes and have not been previously viewed by the public or been posted online.last_img read more

Continue Reading

After Netflix YouTube to show interactive content

first_imgSan Francisco: After the raging success of Netflix’s original interactive choose-your-own-adventure film ‘Black Mirror: Bandersnatch’, Google-owned YouTube is now working on interactive shows and live specials. Following the traditional format of interactive shows, the content YouTube is planning would allow viewers to make their own choices throughout the show and eventually conclude an ending of their choice. The project is under the supervision of Ben Relles, former Head of YouTube’s unscripted programming, SlashGear reported on Tuesday. Also Read – Swiggy now in 500 Indian cities, targets 100 more this year Developers who create this kind of interactive content develop multiple storylines for the same show. To keep the story flow smooth, the different storylines are made to intersect at certain points, resulting in different potential endings for a single show, which once started, cannot be paused, rewinded or forwarded. With Bandersnatch that launched in December last year, Netflix became the first content platform to attempt an interactive entertainment aimed at adults. Also Read – New HP Pavilion x360 notebook with in-built Alexa in India Because of its design to keep viewers hooked watching and playing, Bandersnatch did not come with a set run-time. However, according to information available on public domains, it lasted for a peiod of 40-90 minutes roughly before getting to the end credits. While Netflix never revealed how many accounts accessed “Bandersnatch”, the multiple endings were a trending topic on all social networking platforms, including in India. YouTube is likely to announce new programmes next month. However, details about an official announcement of an interactive show or series remain unclear as of now, the report added.last_img read more

Continue Reading

Jet extends suspension of international ops till Monday

first_imgMumbai: Jet Airways, facing its worst existential crisis in its over 25-year-old history, Friday extended suspension of its international operations till next Monday due to severe liquidity issues. Incidentally, the stake sale bid invited by the SBI- led consortium of bankers, which manages the day-to-operations of the airline, also closes by the end of the day Friday, after being extended by two days. Airline founder Naresh Goyal, the UAE carrier Etihad Airways, Air Canada and the country’s national investment fund among others are reported to have submitted bids, according to media reports. On Thursday, the airline had announced temporary grounding of its international operations for day-Jet was the largest international airline from the country till the financial crisis–when it had also suspended operations to the entire Eastern and Northeastern markets as Jet was forced to ground 10 more aircraft following default of lease rentals. This has left Jet with no large aircraft while it had just 14 planes for domestic operations as of late Thursday. “Jet has decided to extend suspension of its international operations till Monday, due to severe cash crunch,” airline sources told PTI Friday. Jet was the largest domestic carrier operating in the international sector with a hub in Amsterdam, where a cargo agent had taken possession of an aircraft this on Tuesday demanding bill payment. This led to the cancellation of the Amsterdam-Mumbai flight that day. Thursday Jet flights to London, Amsterdam and Paris from Mumbai, New Delhi and Bengaluru scheduled were cancelled for operational reasons,” Je had said, adding it had also cancelled the Bengaluru-Amsterdam-Bengaluru flight Friday. On the domestic front, all Jet operations to and from the Eastern and Northeastern states were suspended till further notice. Following this, there would no Jet flights to and from Kolkata, Patna, Guwahati and other airports in the region, travel industry source had told PTI. Jet had also said its Mumbai-Kolkata, Kolkata-Guwahati and Dehradun-Guwahati-Kolkata flights stood cancelled till further notice due to “operational reasons.” As of Thursday, the airline had just 14 planes–way down from 123 planes in operations till a few months back. Of the 14 aircraft that it operated till Thursday evening, eight were wide-body B777s (seven) and an A330– generally used for long-haul international operations. The remaining six planes were, three B737s, which are largely used for flying on domestic routes besides on short- haul international destinations and the rest three are regional ATRs. With just 14 aircraft left for operations, aviation secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola had told PTI that the ministry was awaiting a report from the DGCA to decide whether Jet can continue to fly on international routes. The government rules stipulate an airline must have at least 20 planes for operating international operations.last_img read more

Continue Reading

From street vendor to industrialists Ggn candidates have varied profile

first_imgGurugram: Thirty-four people had filed the affidavits for the Gurugram Lok Sabha seat which was finally reduced to 24. The profile of the candidates is as varied and diverse as the largest Lok Sabha constituency that has a total of 21 lakh voters. Among the 24 candidates if there is a businessman who with the total assets of over 100 crores is not only the richest candidate from Gurugram but even Haryana, there is also a street vendor.Four-time MP from the area Rao Inderjit Singh derives his income from his investments in various commercial ventures and infrastructure companies. His Congress rival Captain Ajay Yadav also has the same source of income. Based on the affidavit, his family has an automobile showroom in Rajasthan. With assets worth 102 crores, Virender Rana of Indian National Lok Dal is an entrepreneur who runs his own firm in the city. Other candidates who have their own business interests are Raees Ahamed from the Bahujan Samaj Party and Hans Kumar, an independent who runs his own real estate firm. Mehmood Khan of Jan Nayak Janta party is a social entrepreneur. The youngest candidate from Gurugram is Pawan Kumar who is 30-year-old. He is contesting from Shiv Sena and is a school professor. Other people from service backgrounds involve Ramesh Chander who was in Haryana police and Jai Kawar Tyagi who is an ex-Army man. There are also candidates in the form of Abdul Latif and Kushehshwar Bhagat who have filed their candidatures independents so that they can lead more voice of the common man. While Abdul Latif is an automobile mechanic, Bhagat is a street vendor who has his stall in South Delhi’s Chattarpur area. Out of the 24 candidates who have participated in the democratic exercise, most of them are businessmen followed by social workers and retired servicemen. Interestingly, most of the candidates find their roots from Nuh area. With 20 per cent Meos, Nuh not only has the highest number of electorates but also is the most backward region in the country. Most of the independents are contesting in the elections for the first time.last_img read more

Continue Reading

Facebook busts Israelbased campaign to disrupt elections

first_imgJerusalem: Facebook said Thursday it banned an Israeli company that ran an influence campaign aimed at disrupting elections in various countries and has canceled dozens of accounts engaged in spreading disinformation. Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy, told reporters that the tech giant had purged 65 Israeli accounts, 161 pages, dozens of groups and four Instagram accounts. Many were linked to the Archimedes Group, a Tel Aviv-based political consulting and lobbying firm that boasts of its social media skills and ability to “change reality.” Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince Salman ‘snubbed’ Pak PM Imran, recalled his private jet from US: ReportGleicher said Facebook could not speculate about Archimedes’ motives, which “may be commercial or political.” But he said Facebook discovered “coordinated inauthentic behavior,” with accounts posing as certain political candidates, smearing opponents and presenting as local news organizations peddling supposedly leaked information. The activity appeared focused on Sub-Saharan African countries but was also scattered in parts of Southeast Asia and Latin America. The pages have racked up 2.8 million followers and hundreds of thousands of views. Also Read – Iraq military admits ‘excessive force’ used in deadly protestsGleicher said Archimedes had spent some 800,000 on fake ads and that its deceptive activity dated back to 2012. He said Facebook has banned Archimedes. Facebook has come under pressure to more aggressively and transparently tackle misinformation aimed at sowing division and confusion around elections, since the revelation that Russia used Facebook to sway the 2016 U.S. presidential election. On its website, Archimedes presents itself as a consulting firm involved in campaigns for presidential elections. Little information is available beyond its slogan, which is “winning campaigns worldwide,” and a vague blurb about the group’s “mass social media management” software, which it said enabled the operation of an “unlimited” number of online accounts. The site, featuring a montage of stock photos from Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, boasts of its “own unique field within the social media realm” and its efforts to “take every advantage available in order to change reality according to our client’s wishes.” A message seeking comment from the company was not immediately returned.last_img read more

Continue Reading

Algeria desperately needs change The Economist

first_imgBordeaux – British magazine The Economist stated Algeria is in “desperate need of change in an article posted on Friday.”According to the magazine, Algerians are eager for change from their leaders, but afraid to ask for it. Many of them complain about the “lamentable lack of development” in the country and the frustration is wide-spread since the population does not benefit from the money generated by oil exports. Indeed, the unemployment rate remains exceptionally high, affecting almost 40 percent of the population, according to the same source.The young generation is desperate to leave the country. The Economist estimates most of the country’s 1.5 million students will struggle to find a job. Corruption is also weighing on the population who sees the richest families get away with fraud while they struggle to make ends meet. According to the same source, Algerians realize their opinion is not taken into account. When President Abdelaziz Bouteflika went to France between April and July to get treatment after his stroke, the civil society thought he was done and would never come back to the political scene. He did, however, come back and tightened security, granting even more powers to the army.If the population does suffer from the situation, Algerians seem wary of demanding change too loudly, even after seeing the political awakening across the Arab world in the past three years.According to the magazine, Algerians are grateful to Mr. Bouteflika for restoring calm to Algeria after the black decade of the 1990s. It states the media have become pretty free and the political space has slightly widened. It must be remembered, however, that the opposition, because of the great number of parties, is too weak to force the changes the population yearns for.The Economist’s analysis of the situation is that Algerians remain patient and wait for the ageing leaders to retire. Eventually, a new generation will come to power, loosen up politics and the economy, and bring in a more genuine multiparty system.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributedlast_img read more

Continue Reading

Open educated mind is best weapon against terrorism Tony Blair at

first_imgBy Erol AvdovicUNITED NATIONS  – Omitting the stereotypes about Islam, “it is important to acknowledge that within the Christian faith, the Jewish, Buddhist, Hinduism there can also be extremism”, former British Prime Minister saidA better education remains key and terrorism can only be defeated by cross-cultural understanding since security measures have unforeseen effects and will not succeed alone, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair told members of the United Nations counter-terrorism committee on Thursday afternoon. “It is the most grotesque abuse of faith to commit acts of terror in the name of God,” Blair said in noting that religious extremism is “based on a wrong and perverted view of religion” and fills young minds with hate by exploiting political issues.Talking to the reporters after the meeting, Blair who was asked about the “Islamists and terrorism,” said this is most frequently viewed in relation to Islam.“Although I do think it’s important that we acknowledge that within other faiths as well, the Christian faith, the Jewish, Buddhist, Hinduism there can also be extremism,” Blair replied.He also reminded that many of the victims of terrorism are indeed Muslims themselves.Blair said all the actors in the joint efforts to devise the most appropriate strategy of fighting terrorism and addressing its causes, — should remind themselves of the simple but common human values. That includes “the love for your neighbor, compassion and social justice are common to all the world’s major religions,” he said.Former British PM also pointed intellectuals per se should be more active, since it is “a sobering fact that many highly educated individuals are involved in religious extremist activity.”The research clearly shows, as Blair pointed several times, “a link between a lack of cross-cultural education and religious extremism.”“We must educate about diversity and difference, about tolerance and respect, in the same way as we teach humanities, sciences and languages,” Blair said.He noted said there is an ongoing struggle for “the hearts and minds of those with low levels of religious and cultural literacy,” to be included in better understanding of the root causes of the problem.“The choice for the future is very obvious: either people regard those who are different as a threat to their culture,” Blair said, explaining, it is “the closed minded approach,” or people will regard those who are different as an enrichment – which is, as he defined “the open minded approach.”Education is the answer, Tony Blair concluded, saying also: “Not just any education, but education specifically for the open mind.”last_img read more

Continue Reading

Early Morning Blaze Destroys Texas Mosque

By Constance RentonToronto – In the early morning hours of January 28, firefighters were called to a fire at a mosque in Victoria, Texas.Just hours after U.S. President Donald Trump signed his executive order, barring entry into the U.S. of anyone originating from a list of seven predominantly Muslim countries on Friday evening, the Victoria Islamic Center in Victoria Texas was burned to the ground. According to TIME magazine, the congregation’s Imam awakened in the early hours of the morning tocheck the center’s surveillance equipment and discovered that the alarm was off and the doors appeared to be unlocked. Getting into his car to investigate, he was met at the center by firetrucks and a prayer home which was completely engulfed in flames.An Exxon gas station employee had earlier witnessed the flames and dialed 911 around 2 a.m.The Associated Press (AP) has reported that the Victoria Fire Marshall, Tom Legler,requested assistance from the State Fire Marshall’s office and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATFE). The Islamic Center’s director, Shahid Hashmi, has not yet been provided with any information as to the cause of the blaze. “We don’t have any lead or information as to what started the fire and what happened. So, I’m sure it’s going to be a few days, they told us, before they can come up with any answers for us.”This is the second time in three weeks that a Texas mosque has been burned. The Victoria Islamic Center was the victim of a burglary just last week.Watching the destruction of his community’s prayer home, AP quoted Hashmi as saying, “It’s sad to stand there and watch it collapse down. It looks completely destroyed.”According to TIME magazine, the center was constructed in 2000 and served a congregation numbering approximately 140 worshippers, who arrived Sunday morning for pre-dawn prayers only to find themselves without a point of worship.TIME also has reported that Hashmi has already received several offers of temporary worship sites until the centre can be rebuilt. The donation collection process has already begun. read more

Continue Reading

The Latest Venezuela diplomat in Miami backs challenger

CARACAS, Venezuela — The Latest on the political crisis in Venezuela (all times local):2:50 p.m.A Venezuelan diplomat in Miami says she’s abandoned embattled President Nicolas Maduro, throwing her support behind opposition leader Juan Guaido.Consular officer Scarlet Salazar issued a videotaped statement Monday saying she’s living up to her constitutional duty as a career diplomat.Opposition lawmaker Guaido last week declared that he had assumed presidential powers and will hold fresh elections to restore democracy. The U.S. and several other countries have recognized him as interim president, though Maduro is recognized by most nations, as well as the country’s military leadership.Miami, a stronghold of Venezuelans living in exile.Salazar says she’s staying and will continue to perform her consular duties at the Miami office.The Associated Press read more

Continue Reading

Merck 4Q Earnings Snapshot

KENILWORTH, N.J. (AP) _ Merck & Co. (MRK) on Friday reported fourth-quarter net income of $1.83 billion, after reporting a loss in the same period a year earlier.The Kenilworth, New Jersey-based company said it had profit of 69 cents per share. Earnings, adjusted for costs related to mergers and acquisitions and non-recurring costs, were $1.04 per share.The results surpassed Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of four analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $1.03 per share.The pharmaceutical company posted revenue of $11 billion in the period.Merck expects full-year earnings in the range of $4.57 to $4.72 per share, with revenue in the range of $43.2 billion to $44.7 billion.Merck shares have decreased roughly 3 per cent since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index has climbed roughly 8 per cent. The stock has increased 26 per cent in the last 12 months._____This story was generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on MRK at https://www.zacks.com/ap/MRKThe Associated Press read more

Continue Reading

Feeble PanAfricanism Fractured PanArabism—the Drama of Morocco 2026

Rabat – Forget about Syria’s Michel Aflaq’s Arab socialist revivalism or Egypt’s Gamal Abdel Nasser’s Arab nationalism  or even the increasingly self-congratulatory pan-Africanism, say Moroccan sports and political commentators as they chafe at the heavy defeat of Morocco’s bid to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup on June 13.When the 68th FIFA Congress convened last Wednesday in Moscow, it was clear that a prospective Moroccan triumph would be a dramatic ending to a competition in which the organizers, FIFA, had consistently and brazenly manifested their sympathy for the North American bid.In an era when big businesses and supranational corporations have invaded the sporting world, making games bereft of the passion that once characterized them, to beat geopolitical giants with great media power is not only revolutionary. it is impossible, as Morocco 2026 discovered in Moscow. But if Morocco’s failure to beat the North American trio did not surprise many, those in the marginalized parts of the world were shocked that Morocco’s appeal to “love, passion for football, and the opportunity to impact the lives of millions” of downtrodden people did not convince even one-third of the FIFA family. FIFA even brags about inclusiveness and fair-play.Failed African blocIn the June 13 vote, Morocco expected strong African and Muslim support, even in the inevitability of losing to what Trump had called a “strong bid.”For Morocco 2026 officials, the stakes were much more than money and mere geopolitics. It was about shared values, cultural and geographical proximity, and the sustenance of a passion-driven sport. It was, they had expected, a united league of the weak and marginalized against the strong and eternally privileged.However, 11 African countries defected, preferring North America’s United bid over a bid that had campaigned on representing pan-Africanism. That was relatively understandable to Moroccan media, as the Western Sahara issue has now become the middle finger that many states, mostly African ones with regional ambitions, quickly raise as soon as their interests diverge with Morocco’s.But if criticism towards specific African countries was mild, one thing that Moroccan fans found unfathomable, and even unforgivable, was the “betrayal of the Arab world,” which many commentators said came about as a result of Saudi Arabia’s “treacherous and shameless lobbying against Morocco’s bid.”“When the Arab World divorces over the organization of the World Cup,” Moroccan daily Telquel headlined a June 14 article about the last-minute theatrics of a disastrous defeat in a contest in which both bids were expected to have an equal chance of winning.The daily went on to cite a Moroccan social media user who took to Twitter to announce her Eureka moment: at least, she said, she now knows that “Arabs do not consider us [North Africans] to be Arabs.” She continued: “My heart goes out to those who have just discovered that the Arab World does not like North Africa, and that Arabs do not get involved with North Africans.”“Morocco 2026 was a lie as huge as the Arab world,”  Moroccan outlet Le 360 lightheartedly wrote, excoriating those who speak profusely about unity and brotherhood and yet turn their backs when called to support claims they themselves had made in the eyes of the world.“Can we still speak of the Arab World?” the daily defiantly asked, after pointing out that 7 Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia, voted for the North Americans.Saudi betrayalSpeaking of Saudi Arabia, other outlets went further than denouncing the “hypocrisy and the lack of solidarity” that characterized the votes of many who “should have voted for a fellow brother.” In its June 18 issue, Casablanca-based daily Akhbar Al Yaoum suggested that Morocco stop treating countries such as Saudi Arabia as strategic allies. “It is time that Morocco retreats from the Saudi coalition in Yemen,” the daily wrote. To the Casablanca-based newspaper, the magnitude of the defeat, and the actors who made the margins so considerable (134 votes against 65), made the loss “feel like backstabbing.”As if the outpouring of protests were not enough, some commentators suggested that third-world ideals such as pan-Arabism and pan-Africanism are pure tokenism, “historical lies” that never truly existed.“I’m surprised to see that many Moroccans still associate themselves with Arab or Muslim solidarity. History has taught us that such ideals are vague chimeras in which no one actually believes. It is a pity that we are still speaking about this,” political scientist Abdelmajid Belaghzal said.Of course some countries joined Morocco in grieving values it once sanctified. There was public outrage in some countries that did not vote for their “brother.” Some officials reacted: Guinea and Lebanon denied voting for the United bid. “It is impossible. Guinea cannot vote for the Americans. There was a mistake there. We have one unalterable principle in our international dealings, and that is to support an African brother before anyone else,” the Guinean Football Federation said in a statement.But such drama of public outcry and last-minute complaints about wounded pride will not change anything about the fact that Morocco lost and that some friends failed to support its bid, suggested a statement that the Royal Moroccan Football Federation issued after the June 13 fiasco, probably in an effort to tell Guinea and Lebanon to keep their brotherhood of convenience theatrics to themselves.“Now we know better,” Moroccans said on social media.The conclusion? Simple: only in tales and the Scriptures can you expect a little David to dare to challenge and win against three Goliaths. But in the geopolitics of chaos and blackmailing that the world is turning into, power delivers, and brazenly-postured naked power delivers even more effectively. read more

Continue Reading