Rabat – Moroccan movie director Nabil Ayouch seems to have an undeniable knack for controversy. His latest movie, “Razzia,” has been chosen to compete as Morocco’s entry in the pre-selections for Best Foreign Film at the 2018 Oscars. Soon after the announcement was made, however, many raised accusations that the film had been chosen out of nepotism and by a purposeful circumvention of the competition’s rules. Morocco World News reconstituted the facts. On September 16, the Moroccan Cinematographic Center (CCM) announced it nominated an “independent committee” which selected Ayouch’s kaleidoscopic social drama “Razzia” to compete in the foreign-language category of the 2018 Academy Awards. The CCM specified that this selection was made “in accordance with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (OSCARS).” One day later however, “Razzia” would again make the headlines. Far from lauding the movie’s selection for such prestigious award, many media outlets would scream scandal, throwing accusations of foul play and conflict of interests. Law and orderIt all started with an article published on Arabic speaking news website Ihata, accusing Ayouch to have circumvented the Award Academy’s rules and regulation, and the CCM committee of favoritism and conflict of interests. Indeed, one look at the Oscars rules and regulations terms was enough to raise many questions. According to Rule Thirteen of the Special Rules for the Foreign Language Award, any film nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film Award must fulfill a number of conditions: When it comes to eligibility, the movie must be first publicly exhibited for at least seven consecutive days in a commercial motion picture theater for the profit of the producer and exhibitor.The film also must be advertised and exploited during its theatrical release, the commercial screening for one week in a cinema, in a manner considered normal and customary to theatrical feature distribution practices.As for the selection, the submitting country must submit to the Academy proof of advertising for the film’s theatrical release. To date, no national screening date for “Razzia” was announced, and no trailer, teaser, or official communique has been released. Nor was a press campaign conducted to promote the release of the movie in national movie theaters.The only release dates publically available for “Razzia” are one-time screenings. The Internet Movie Database’s listing for the film mentions a World Premiere release at Toronto’s International Film Festival in Canada on September 11, and another screening in the United Kingdom at London Film Festival on October 5. However, the committee insists that “Razzia” has already made an official commercial release in Morocco. A member of the CCM committee contacted by MWN who chose to stay unnamed affirmed that Razzia made its official release at the Colisée movie theater in Marrakesh, which the director Ayouch himself confirmed. “Razzia was screened in Marrakesh for a first projection back in August for a whole week. The posters were up for much longer, but no one paid much attention to them,” Ayouch told Morocco World News. But when MWN contacted the Colisée movie theater, the manager who chose to stay unnamed said that “Razzia” had been released on August 26 and was screened only until August 29. He would not disclose the number of tickets sold. The news of this presumed projection are nowhere to be found, including on “Razzia’s” active official Facebook page, which lists all of the aforementioned international screenings of the film.“You can even check with the CCM for [Razzia’s] commercial visa, release date and the number of tickets sold,” added the committee member.The CCM and its president Sarim Fassi El Fihri did not respond to MWN’s request for these documents or for further comments.If Razzia was in fact nationally released for commercial purposes, why then no one heard about it, no one have seen it, and there is no public proof to sustain such claim? According to the manager of Cinema la Renaissance in Rabat, the screening procedure that seems to have taken place with “Razzia” is not common practice.“In accordance with the normal and customary norms [for] theatrical feature distribution practices, a movie making its first national release does not come out in one movie theater in the whole country, without even an officially announced screening date,” he told MWN, noting that these are the norms implemented by the CCM’s regulations.For Bilal Marmid, journalist and cinema expert, it is likely that “Razzia” was in fact projected in Colisee for a premiere or technical screening, in order to nominally meet the Oscars criteria. “It is very easy to package a technical screening as a commercial one,” he explained. However, whatever proof the CCM committee might have submitted to the Academy to testify the commercial screening or the theatrical release advertisement of the movie was not made public. And no further information or documents were publicly provided by the CCM or the committee, added the journalist. Still, the CCM committee remained adamant that the nomination was legitimate. “Of course the CCM will not hand the Oscars Academy falsified documents!” said one of the juries who chose to stay unnamed, stressing that “Razzia” fulfilled all the required terms, “otherwise it would have not been named.”“Questioning the credibility of the CCM on such matter is scandalous, and would only hurt Morocco’s image internationally,” added the source.Ayouch appeared unfazed by the ongoing debate, which he described as futile and sterile. “This is a complete waste of everyone’s time,” he said. “I can assure to you that the selection respected all the Academy Award’s recommendations,” affirmed Ayouch, adding in a calm tone that “no one would gamble with such things.” The acclaimed director suggested that it was usual practice to take advantage of technicalities in the competition rules. “The same debate is happening in Egypt around their selected movie ‘Sheikh Jackson.’ The movie still did not make its official commercial release when it was selected, so the producers decided to advance the release date to conform with the Oscars recommendations.” Recommendations, or binding regulations? MWN attempted to contact the Oscars to clear up the legal terminology, but the organization was unavailable for comment. A Matter of Ethics But while suspicions of a legal breach may fly wild, is an ethical issue still at hand? While the CCM’s jury describes itself as an “independent committee,” a number of close connections between its members and Ayouch raise the possibilities of serious conflicts of interest.Six out of the seven jury members have direct personal and professional links with Ayouch, starting with its chairman, writer and painter Mahi Binebine, whose daughter Dounia Binebine stars in “Razzia,” and whose books have been adapted to the big screen by Ayouch himself. Further Mounia Layadi, the owner of Colisée, is also the distributor of “Razzia.” Zakia Tahiri, another member of the jury, directed one of the Ayouch’s sitcoms through “Ali n ‘Productions,” Ayouch’s production company. The director and actress Samia Akariou, also a judge on the commission, had two seasons of her series “Sir Al Marjane” produced by Ayouch’s production company.Ayouch rejected any possibility of nepotism. For the director, describing the situation as a conflict of interest would constitute a “big offense to the respectable institution that is the CCM, as well as the members of the jury that are well known for their professionalism and honesty.” The director doesn’t see any conflict of interests in the selection of his movie “since the jury was chosen three months prior ‘Razzia’s’ application.”“There were a total of ten films, and there was a secret vote, and their choice was Razzia,” replied Ayouch. “Besides, the Moroccan audiovisual industry is a very small one,” adds Ayouch. “It is very hard, if not impossible to find people in this industry who have no personal or professional links with each other.”In response, Marmid questioned whether a closed committee should make the nomination decision at all: “why chose a jury in the first place?” Especially if it’s one composed of friends and acquaintances? Why not let the CCM select the movie and avoid such allegations?“The CCM must respect the criteria of the Academy of the Oscars,” Ayouch said in responce. Still, Marmid insists that the issue here is not specifically that “Razzia” was selected. “Ayouch had proven his talent as a director more than once,” said the journalist. Instead, the problem lies in the selection process itself. “It’s a matter of principle. These kind of practices should not happen anymore,” said Marmid.
During his scheduled three-hour visit to UN Headquarters, the Pope will also meet with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, General Assembly President Srgjan Kerim and Ambassador Dumisani Kumalo of South Africa, which holds the rotating Security Council presidency this month.The visit will fall on the first anniversary of Mr. Ban’s visit to the Vatican, when the Secretary-General then invited the Pope to come to the UN. It is the fourth papal visit to the UN, following those of Paul VI in 1965 and John Paul II in 1979 and 1995.A spokesperson for the Secretary-General said today that Mr. Ban looked forward to meeting the Pope again and continuing their discussions on issues of common concern, such as poverty reduction, climate change, disarmament, and dialogue among civilizations.Mr. Kerim told reporters that the Pope’s address to the 192-member Assembly would be particularly important as he represented more than one billion people around the world.“More than ever we need today an articulated, clear and profound dialogue among cultures and religions, particularly between Christianity and Islam,” he said. 11 April 2008Pope Benedict XVI will address the General Assembly and staff of the United Nations in separate events at UN Headquarters next Friday during the first day of a visit by the head of the Roman Catholic Church to New York.
by The Canadian Press Posted Jun 15, 2017 4:41 pm MDT Last Updated Jun 16, 2017 at 7:20 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email United States Ambassador Kelly Knight Craft delivers a brief statement after presenting her credentials during a ceremony at Rideau Hall Monday October 23, 2017 in Ottawa. Kelly Craft wants Canadians to know a few things about one of the least popular presidents an American ambassador has ever had to represent in this country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld Trump nominates Kelly Knight Craft as U.S. ambassador to Canada WASHINGTON, Untited States – U.S. President Donald Trump has nominated a big-money political donor and philanthropist with personal ties to the coal industry as the next American ambassador to Canada.The White House said in a statement Thursday that Trump has picked Kelly Knight Craft for the post, which has been vacant since January, and sent the nomination to the Senate.Knight Craft, who would replace former ambassador Bruce Heyman, still needs approval from the Senate to take up the post.Heyman resigned on Jan. 20, saying he would respect Trump’s mandate that required ambassadors installed by former president Barack Obama to leave by Trump’s Inauguration Day.Knight Craft is married to American billionaire Joe Craft, who is the president and CEO of Alliance Resource Partners L.P., one of the largest coal producers in the eastern United States.A profile by McClatchy newspapers in 2012 called him possibly Kentucky’s most powerful non-elected individual.He was a critic of the Obama administration’s climate policies and his SUV licence plate is stamped with the slogan, “Friends of Coal.”Maryscott Greenwood, the head of the Canadian-American Business Council called the nomination “an inspired choice.”“It’s a complement to Canada that the White House would choose a person of Kelly’s calibre, intellect and talent, so I am excited about the prospect.”Greenwood said the Trump administration will be working quickly to get Knight Craft’s nomination approved so she can be in place for the North American Free Trade Agreement negotiations in mid-August.She said she doesn’t think Knight Craft’s connection to the coal industry and Canada’s commitment to the Paris climate accord will be a sore spot.“Well, that’s her husband’s deal and he wasn’t nominated, so I wouldn’t make the assumption that that’s a problem,” Greenwood said.Knight Craft and her husband have also collaborated on political fundraising and both support the University of Kentucky, Knight Craft’s alma mater. Donation records compiled by the U.S. Center For Responsive Politics show a multimillion-dollar history of political donations — Craft’s Alliance Resource Management gave $2 million to Karl Rove’s American Crossroads Super PAC in 2010, $250,000 in 2014, and $500,000 each to other Super PACs.There are also donations in their own names. He’s donated to at least one senator, Pat Toomey, who sits on the Senate finance committee that would be involved in NAFTA negotiations.Knight Craft is reportedly close with Majority Senate leader Mitch McConnell. She has donated to and co-chaired fundraising efforts over the years for her home-state senator.“Everything indicated to me that they get along well,” Mac Brown, chairman of the Republican party of Kentucky, has said of the McConnell connection.“She’s an unbelievable, very nice woman who is extraordinarily hard-working,” Brown told The Canadian Press in an interview earlier this year.The chamber McConnell presides over is expected to deal with major issues affecting Canada over the coming years, including tax reform, trade disputes and the potential renegotiation of NAFTA.
“We should focus on practical steps that will bring the Global Migration Group (GMG) closer to the people we serve,” Mr. Ban told the audience at an event organized on the sidelines of the High-level Dialogue on International Migration and Development convened by the UN General Assembly.The event, organized by the GMG, aims to discuss the work, priorities and future directions of the Group with participants at the dialogue. The primary aim of the Group, comprising 14 UN agencies, the World Bank, and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), is to improve the management of cross-border migration, to promote further research and to develop international norms relating to migration.In his remarks, Mr. Ban commended the Group for presenting “strong evidence on migration’s impact on development.”He also noted the GMG’s work to highlight the human rights challenges which Mr. Ban said are a “central part” of the picture.The Group has underlined that migrants are the main protagonists in the migration-development debate, and as such should be at the centre of deliberations at the dialogue which concludes today in New York.“Migrants are not commodities or factors of production,” the current Chair of the GMG, Director General of IOM, William Lacy Swing, said in a news release ahead of addressing the General Assembly debate.“They are mothers and fathers seeking a better life for their families. They are young people using their talents to realize their dreams and ambitions. They are individuals trying to escape discrimination, poverty and conflict. They are our neighbours, relatives, friends, employers, or colleagues,” Mr. Swing said.Mr. Ban has said that Mr. Swing is leading the GMG with “great energy and vision” during a critical junction.The UN International Labour Organization (ILO) will take the six-month rotating chair in 2014.
Biblical connotationsDistrict Judge Isobel Brownlie said religious beliefs could not dictate the law and ordered the firm to pay agreed damages of £500.An earlier appeal had been scheduled for February but proceedings were postponed to facilitate an intervention from Northern Ireland’s Attorney General John Larkin QC, who advises Stormont politicians on legal matters.In his submissions, Mr Larkin challenged the argument for “coerced expression” adding it was a “very great wrong” to make someone say something which conflicted with religious beliefs.Ashers, a name with Biblical connotations, has six branches, employs over 80 people and delivers across the UK and Ireland.Throughout the legal battle it has been supported by The Christian Institute, which has organised public rallies and garnered financial backing for the case. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. In the original case, District Judge Isobel Brownlie ruled that religious beliefs could not dictate the law and ordered the firm to pay damages of £500.Throughout the legal battle they have been supported by The Christian Institute, which has organised public rallies and garnered financial backing for the case.Mr Lee’s case was taken in conjunction with the Northern Ireland Equality Commission.The high-profile case was heard before three senior judges at Belfast’s Court of Appeal in May where it was claimed the outcome would have implications for freedom of expression across the UK.Meanwhile, a lawyer representing the Northern Ireland Equality Commission, which brought the civil suit on behalf of gay rights activist Gareth Lee, submitted that the firm had not been forced to do anything against its beliefs.Robin Allen QC told the court many businesses printed messages they did not associate with, and cited examples of posters made for election candidates.Owner Karen McArthur said as a born again Christian, she knew in her heart she could not make the cake but had taken the order to avoid a confrontation in the shop.Daniel McArthur, the company’s general manager, also told the court his family could not compromise their religious beliefs, despite the legal ramifications. Christian bakers found to have discriminated against a gay man by refusing to make a cake bearing a pro-gay marriage slogan have lost their appeal against the ruling.The owners of Belfast-based Ashers declined an order placed by gay activist Gareth Lee, claiming the message was inconsistent with their deeply held religious beliefs.Last year, they were found to have breached equality legislation following a high-profile court case in Belfast.The appeal was heard before three senior judges at Belfast’s Court of Appeal in May.Mr Lee, a member of the LGBT advocacy group Queer Space, had wanted a cake featuring Sesame Street puppets Bert and Ernie with the phrase “Support Gay Marriage” for a private function marking International Day Against Homophobia.He paid the £36.50 cost in full at Ashers’ Belfast city centre branch but was telephoned two days later and told the company could not fulfil his order.He said there was clear evidence Ashers believed it would have been “sinful” to have done so.Sexuality ‘never an issue’Through the legal proceedings, Daniel McArthur, the company’s general manager, insisted Mr Lee’s sexuality was never an issue, rather the message he wanted the bakery to create.Mr Lee claimed the episode left him feeling like a lesser person.
Read the rest of the story here. This article first appears on FOLIO: sister site, minonline.The August 8 min looked at men’s magazine advertising pages and ad categories for the first half. Interesting to note that automotive advertising is making a comeback. In the 20th century, automotive was magazines’ biggest advertising engine by far, but the 21st delivered hard times with the bottom coming in 2008-2009 with General Motors’ bankruptcy. The $$$/billions in government stimulus money to keep GM afloat and aid an ailing Chrysler was controversial as the growth of the Tea Party movements proved, but the dividend is that these businesses are again viable.
US ambassador to Bangladesh Earl R MillerUS ambassador to Bangladesh Earl R Miller on Tuesday laid emphasis on ensuring a favourable environment so that all political parties can continue peaceful election campaign throughout the country freely as the crucial national election takes place on 30 December, reports UNB.“All parties should be free to participate in the polls and political process. They should be free to express their political views, campaign and hold peaceful rallies and meetings,” he said.The US Ambassador made the remarks while taking to reporters after a meeting with Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda on election issue at the latter’s office in the city.Noting freedom of expression is vital for healthy democracy, he said democracy flourishes through frequent and lively debate.”Everyone, no matter of the political party or sentiment, should act peacefully and responsibly. All should refuse violence,” said Ambassador Miller adding, “Violence hinders the democratic process. It only serves those who want to undermine that (democracy).”He said the US does not support any party or candidate but it supports democracy and democratic values.”I encourage everyone to participate in the election process and democratic process by collectively expressing the wellbeing of Bangladeshi people,” said the US envoy.Ambassador Miller said the United States encourages the government of Bangladesh to hold, as prime minister Sheikh Hasina has said, a ‘free, fair and credible election’.He said the US will be supporting election observation teams adding that US-funded National Democratic Institute (NID) sent a five-member pre-assessment mission to Bangladesh in October followed by the second pre-assessment mission in December.Miller said the US embassy will deploy separate election observation teams across Bangladesh. In cooperation with the UK and Switzerland, it is funding 15,000 local election observers working under Election Working Group (EWG), a consortium of civil society organisations.The US ambassador said the NDI’s sub-grant partner, the Asian Network for Free Election, has dedicated two international electoral analysts to cover the election and will be sending international long- and short-term observers.Millar said the US embassy will deploy separate election observation teams throughout Bangladesh in cooperation with the United Kingdom and Switzerland which is also funding 15,000 domestic election observers working under the EWG.
Kolkata: A civic volunteer was arrested on Sunday for allegedly beating his mother to death in West Bengal’s Hoogly district, police said. “Rabin Kundu, a resident of Hoogly district’s Arambag was arrested for allegedly beating his septuagenarian mother to death today morning. He will be produced before the court tomorrow (Monday),” an officer from Arambag Police Station said. Kundu allegedly attacked his mother with a wooden stick after the woman had an altercation with one of their relatives, police said. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life According to eye witnesses, Kundu’s mother had a verbal spat with his aunt over some family issues, which irritated the youth. After his aunt left, he attacked his mother with a stick, beating her repeatedly and the old woman became senseless, a neighbour said. The injured woman was then taken to Arambag sub-divisional hospital where she was declared brought dead. “It was a shocking incident. We handed him over to the police,” the neighbour said.
Armie Hammer and Timothee Chalamet in Call Me By Your Name | Photo: Sony Pictures Classics Armie Hammer has confirmed a Call Me By Your Name sequel is in the works saying there are already ‘people working on it.’ ‘How much do I know and how much could I tell you are two very different things,’ he said.In the original, Armie and Timothee Chalamet play gay lovers who fall in love in 1980s Italy.The Social Network star also said: ‘More than anything I trust the artistic direction to Luca and [novelist] André Aciman and to those guys who did such a good job handling it the first time around’Guadagnino has previously suggested the sequel could take place five years after the first film, in the early 1990s.Got a news tip? Want to share your story? Email us . Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… eTN Chatroom for Readers (join us) GAYSTARNEWS- The actor was speaking to Variety at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival when he made the statement.‘It will happen’Armie furthermore said: ‘It will happen because there are already people working on it and trying to make it happen.’Pressed on details of the sequel to the Luca Guadagnino-directed Oscar-winner, Armie remained tight-lipped. Read the full article on Gaystarnews: :https://www.gaystarnews.com/article/armie-hammer-confirms-call-me-by-your-name-sequel-will-happen/
What is a Met Office Weather Warning?The Met Office issue weather warnings when there is a risk of weather causing damage, disruption or danger to life. Generally warnings will be issued for heavy rain, wind, ice or snow. They come in three categories. Yellow: The lowest of the three. Yellow means you should plan ahead about potential disruption to travel and other day-to-day activities. These are the most common. Amber: A step up from Yellow, an Amber warning means there is an increased risk of disruption/danger to life and property. Red: These are only issued when ‘extreme weather’ is expected. When one is issued the Met Office advise immediate action is taken to keep yourself and others safe as widespread damage, disruption and risk to life is likely. Red warnings are extremely rare anywhere in the UK and almost unknown in North Staffordshire and South Cheshire. Tomorrow’s states: “Rain will be persistent and heavy in places across parts of central, northern and eastern England and northeast Wales at first on Wednesday. During the day rain may turn more showery in places but with a higher chance of thunderstorms by afternoon. “Some parts of northern England could see as much as 40-60 mm of rain through Wednesday, while thunderstorms could produce as much as 30-40 mm in 1-2 hours. However, some places will miss the heaviest rainfall.” Nantwich Show in Cheshire has been cancelled as a result of the ongoing bad weather, the event announced this afternoon. The show said: “This has been a very hard decision to make with so many variables taken into account but the site is simply unsafe for any more vehicles to enter and areas totally inaccessible due to the weather. “More info to follow about the Cheese pavilion.” Read MoreTop stories on StokeonTrentLive Punter found hiding in bushes Driver named following fatal collision Dad slams ‘disgusting’ hospital window Police search for missing woman Get the biggest Daily stories by emailSubscribeSee our privacy noticeThank you for subscribingSee our privacy noticeCould not subscribe, try again laterInvalid EmailThe fire service are asking Staffordshire motorists to take extra care on the roads this evening as heavy rain is expected to batter the region. Downpours and thunderstorms are expected across Stoke-on-Trent, North Staffordshire and South Cheshire throughout this evening (Tuesday July 30) and into tomorrow. A Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service spokeswoman said: “The rain is already hitting the county hard this afternoon but it is expected to get worse from 5pm. “Please follow our tips for staying safe on the roads to get to your destination safely if you have to drive. “Reduce your speed and leave more space between you and the vehicle in front as stopping distances in rain are increased. Look out for large or fast-moving vehicles creating spray which reduces visibility. “Turn your headlights on to help other vehicles see you. Listen out for local news bulletins to keep up-to-date with road closures, flooding and forecasts.” Read MoreMan suffers serious head injury following assault on Stoke-on-Trent street Eccleshall fire station, in Stafford Borough, also advised residents to take extra care. The fire station said: “The current forecast is for heavy rainfall in the Eccleshall and surrounding area from approximately 13:00 hours until 22:00 hours. “At times rain is expected to fall at a rate of up to 16mm per hour. “There is also a thunderstorm warning i⚠n place until midnight. “Please take care when out in the expected weather and drive to the road / weather conditions appropriately.” The latest hour-by-hour weather forecasts from the Met Office for the area, that are subject to change, suggest heavy rain throughout today, with the possibility of some thunderstorms. A Met Office Yellow Weather Warning for thunderstorms is in place until midnight tonight – with a further warning for rain place throughout Wednesday. Today’s warning states: “Heavy showers and thunderstorms will continue to spread north-east across England and Wales, whilst also increasing in frequency during the day. In a few places there is the potential for 20-30 mm of rain to fall in an hour and 30 to 50 mm of rain to fall in 3 hours. Hail is also possible, mainly over Northern England. Read MoreWarning about fake £20 notes circulating in town Follow StokeonTrentLive Download our app – You can download our free app for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store , or get the Android version from Google Play . Follow StokeonTrentLive on Facebook – Like our Facebook page to get the latest news in your feed and join in the lively discussions in the comments. Click here to give it a like! Follow us on Twitter – For breaking news and the latest stories, click here to follow SOTLive on Twitter . Follow us on Instagram – Featuring pictures past and present from across Stoke-on-Trent, North Staffordshire & South Cheshire – and if you tag us in your posts, we could repost your picture on our page! We also put the latest news in our Instagram Stories. Click here to follow StokeonTrentLive on Instagram .
WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite Rakhee Ramnarain and Simo Nkala have opened their doors to the community of Ladysmith in treating patients for renal failure at the Essen Medical Centre.RCT (Renal Care Team) incorporates high-quality treatment with excellent patient care for end-stage renal failure patients.With qualified and skilled staff at RCT, you are sure to receive the best medical treatment available.The centre held a Kidney Awareness Day on Saturday morning, with a crowd of people gathering to take advantage of free screening for kidney failure, as well as blood pressure and glucose testing.There was also a formal educational programme concerning kidney failure presented by qualified doctors, dietitians and surgeons on the day.An added bonus was having an opportunity to meet the new faces at RCT.Click to receive news links via WhatsApp. Or for the latest news, visit our webpage or follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Join us there!
The cut-off low is likely to bring cool conditions to Ladysmith tomorrow (October 10).Rain has already started falling in town.The maximum temperature is expected to be around 14 degrees, with some showers during the morning on Tuesday.Because of the nature of cut-off lows, dramatic changes can be expected without warning.Click to receive news links via WhatsApp. Or for the latest news, visit our webpage or follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Join us there! A cut-off low (weather system that may remain stationary for several days) is expected over South Africa today (October 9), bringing unpleasant and cold conditions to areas across the country.The cut-off low is predicted to cause disruptive snowfalls over the Southern Drakensberg and Eastern Cape areas, while snow extends into Lesotho and into the Drakensberg mountains in the east of Lesotho.Snow at this time of year is very difficult to predict.If the prediction of snow is correct, it will fall today (Monday) and into Tuesday in the affected areas.Also read: Weather warning: Cold and possibly wet conditions in store for Ladysmith todayAlso read: Icy weather expected for Ladysmith as cold front approaches, with snow predicted in some areas WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite
All of the highway service centres we stopped at had a seated restaurant area and lots of vending machines, as well as the service counters. We had excellent brewed espresso coffee ( and we do like our coffee!) from vending machines and it was good fun selecting the coffee, inserting the money, and waiting for our hot cup to pop out from the delivery slot. Many of the service centres also had a bakery where our group bought freshly made cakes and savoury snacks. However since the snow was about 50 centimetres deep when we visited, the doggies were, naturally, not out in force that day! You can usually find a good selection of Japanese and western foods, including sandwiches, and everything we tried was fresh and tasty. Some stores even have a specialist hot section such as Seico Mart’s Hot Chef. Seico Mart started in Sapporo so probably has more shops in Hokkaido than the other islands. We generally spent around AUD$10 to $15 for two light lunches. Convenience stores sell all kinds of hot and cold beverages including soft drinks, coffee, tea, water, sport drinks, juice and milk. Many also sell wine, beer and spirits at very reasonable prices. At one shop we bought a nice half bottle of French red wine to take back to our hotel at around AUD$8, which was a lot better than the price our hotel would have charged us. Do yourself a favour and try the Japanese whisky, which most convenience stores stock. That’s another story, as we found out that Suntory realised its stocks of malt whisky were running out fast because the world had “found” Japanese whisky, so they reduced supply and doubled the price of their popular brands! If you want to take some home you would be best to buy it in town as supplies at the airport will be limited or non-existent, as we found at Haneda airport on our way home. IMAGES: John Dunphy Many convenience stores and all highway service centres have toilets that are spotlessly clean. You can also replenish your cosmetics, batteries, newspapers, magazines, razor blades and toothpaste, etc. We bought hand warmers for our gloves and you can even buy shoe ice spikes in the winter. Whilst most stores and service centres had an ATM on site, we didn’t need to use any of them. If we needed an ATM our tour manager advised us to use the ones at 7/11 because they would all accept foreign credit and debit cards. Apparently the Japanese 7/11 has a bank in its corporate conglomerate and their ATMs have instructions in many languages including English. On the subject of language we didn’t have any issues in the shops. Lots of the goods have English details and on the odd occasion when we needed to clarify what we were buying there was always a friendly local to help.The one consistent theme in all convenience stores and highway service centres was a section with absolutely beautifully packaged chocolates and sweets. These made perfect presents for locals visiting friends and relatives and to take home. On our tour many boxes were taken back to Australia or consumed en route! A local favourite in Hokkaido is the Royce box of chocolate coated salted chips (crisps). I know it sounds weird but they taste good and made a different gift for our “addicts” of both persuasions at home, (they cost AUD$19 in Oz so buy in Hokkaido!).CREDIT: Royce Australia Japan is a doggie friendly country and this highway service centre had a doggie post with poo bags and water available. There are over 50,000 convenience stores across Japan with most open 24/7. Aside from food and drinks they offer a host of services that tourists can take advantage of including ATM, wi-fi, and copier services. The major chains are Family Mart, Seico Mart, 7/11 (Japan version), and Lawsons. Stores obviously sell food, including a large range of meals, snacks and beautifully packaged sweets, but you can also buy Bento box meals, microwave meals and hot foods such as fried chicken. We enjoyed pizza slices and meat pies that the staff heated up in the store microwave for us, but you have to be a little flexible as the Japanese version of meat pie is different to the Aussie version! It might seem odd to be discussing convenience shops in a travel review, however there are good reasons why you should think about using them in Japan. Most tours such as our one in Honshu and Hokkaido go from place to place by coach. In all good tours a lot of dinners and breakfasts are included in your tour cost, so that leaves morning and afternoon ‘tea’, plus lunch to take care of yourself. You don’t want to be paying for those items in restaurants, and probably don’t want three sizeable meals every day, so for our tour we bought our lunch most days at a convenience store and ate on the coach heading to the next destination. That saved time and money and, equally importantly, we mixed with the locals and enjoyed the exchange of cultures. JapanReviewstravel tips
Netflix will ‘rethink’ Georgia shoots if abortion law holds NEW YORK — Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos says the streaming giant will “rethink our entire investment” in Georgia if the state’s recently passed abortion law goes into effect.Sarandos made his remarks in a statement Tuesday, first reported by Variety. They constitute the strongest language yet from any leading Hollywood studio since Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed into law a ban on virtually all abortions.Sarandos said that Netflix has many women working on productions in Georgia whose rights “will be severely restricted” by the law. He said the company will help the American Civil Liberties Union contest the law in court. Netflix productions in the state will continue before the legislation is implemented.Atlanta has in recent years become a major hub of TV and film production.The Associated Press AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email FILE – This May 6, 2018 file photo shows Ted Sarandos at the 2018 Netflix FYSee Kick-Off Event in Los Angeles. Sarandos says the streaming giant will rethink their investment in Georgia if the state’s recently passed abortion law goes into effect. He made his remarks in a statement Tuesday, May 28, 2019, first reported by Variety. They constitute the strongest language yet from any leading Hollywood studio since Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed into law a ban on virtually all abortions. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File) by The Associated Press Posted May 28, 2019 11:19 am PDT
21Feb Rep. Glenn: Drivers can offer input to lower car insurance rates Categories: Annette Glenn News New legislative website to provide latest news on reform, public interaction State Rep. Annette Glenn, of Williams Township, today announced the creation of a special website to keep people informed about the House Select Committee on Reducing Car Insurance Rates while giving Michigan drivers a chance to have their voices heard.The website, www.ReduceMiRatesNow.com, allows anyone to easily offer input that could help shape future legislation.“The cost of auto insurance is the number one issue my constituents talk to me about. A bipartisan, meaningful fix is needed now,” Glenn said. “Skyrocketing car insurance rates are forcing many Michigan families into making difficult financial decisions. I encourage drivers in Bay and Midland counties to join me to find a solution to the highest average car insurance premiums in the nation.”The website includes a news tab allowing residents to keep up to date with developments and committee meeting schedules. Ideas submitted by Michigan drivers concerning legislation will go directly to the committee, assuring every submission will be considered.“You’re overpaying for car insurance, and it’s time your story is heard,” Glenn said. “I am confident everyone can set the politics aside, and get reform across the finish line.”Glenn also encourages residents to “like” the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ReduceMiRatesNow/ to follow the latest news regarding the committee.
UEFA has awarded 2012-15 UEFA Europa League media rights in Slovenia to SportKlub.Pay TV broadcaster SportKlub has been awarded the right to all live matches, except the first pick. Each match week SportKlub will broadcast one live match per kick-off slot as well as a highlights programme.All rights can also being exploited on the internet via www.sportklub.si, and on mobile.
Turner Broadcasting has renewed its contract with Estonian broadcast services provider Levira for the playout of its services for the Scandinavian and sub-Saharan African regions.“We have a good and solid collaboration with Levira which we are happy to continue”, said CG Anderson, MD Turner Broadcasting Nordic and Baltic.Levira has been providing playout services for Turner Broadcasting since 2007, when the new Silver HD channel for the Scandinavian market was launched from Levira’s playout facility.
The UK DVD and Blu-ray rental market is expected to decline sharply this year following the shut-down of half the country’s Blockbuster video stores as part of a restructuring agreed by the company’s new management, according to research from IHS Screen Digest.According to IHS Screen Digest, the UK market for physical video rental will drop by 22% in 2013 to £202 million, the sharpest predicted annual decrease for the entire period from 2007-17.DVD rentals are expected to fall by 53.2% to 15.4 million this year, while Blu-ray rentals will fall by 61.3% to 2.8 million, according to the research group.IHS Screen Digest predicts that the DVD and Blu-rental market will decline to £172.7 million by 2017.Rental stores accounted for 41.3% of the overall video rental market in 2012, but is expected to take just 24.7% this year.“The year 2013 is set to become a watershed for the U.K. video rental market as a result of the wholesale closure of Blockbuster UK stores,” said Tony Gunnarsson, senior video analyst at IHS. “The massive downturn in the store-based video rental market represents a significant loss to the video market and will result in a major decline and radical transformation of the UK video market overall. From 2013 on, the UK physical-video rental business increasingly will be dominated by online rent-by-mail subscription services.”Blockbuster plans to reduce the number of its UK rental stores from 530 to 264 over the course of the year. The company’s administrators, Deloitte, announced two rounds of store closures earlier this year covering 224 sites. Supermarket chain Morrison’s subsequently acquired 49 stores while Gordon Brothers acquired a total of 264 sites.
A day after launching its editorial-driven app Discover, messaging service Snapchat has launched its first exclusive original series.SnapperHero, which comes from digital production company Astronauts Wanted and MSN Fullscreen in conjunction with US telco AT&T, will feature YouTube and Vine personalities playing superheroes.Video Game High School’s Freddie Wong is among those lined up to appear.The videos will last between 100 and 200 seconds and comprise a total of 12 episodes that are available for a set period of time, with four released a week.Snapchat has not financed the series, according to Bloomberg, but as with its message-sharing service, hosts content from creators.Yesterday, Snapchat launched Snapchat Discover, an in-app feature that allows users to explore stories from different professional editorial teams. Media partners include National Geographic, Vice Media, Yahoo News, Comedy Central, CNN, ESPN and Scripps.
Scripps Networks UK & EMEA has launched a local language version of the Travel Channel on Makedonski Telekom in Macedonia.“Following the success of Food Network and Fine Living in the region, we are confident that offering Travel Channel in local language will cement our leading lifestyle channels as household brands,” said Jon Sichel, managing director, Scripps Networks UK & EMEA.The channel will be available to all customers subscribing to Makedonski Telekom’s digital primary package. Makedonski Telekom is part of the Magyar Telekom Group, a subsidiary of the international Deutsche Telekom Group.