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Odds & Ends: Cursed Child Will Make Us Cry & More

first_img Here’s a quick roundup of stories you may have missed today. Cursed Child Will Make Us CryMuggles, you will need tissues when you go see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in London’s West End. Set 19 years after the end of the original series, J.K. Rowling has warned that if the play doesn’t make you cry, “we’ll be checking your vital signs.” Starring Jamie Parker, Paul Thornley and Noma Dumezweni as Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, respectively, the production is scheduled to begin performances at the Palace Theatre on June 7.Switcheroos for West End’s Kinky BootsDavid Hunter (Once), is set to replace Killian Donnelly as the West End’s Charlie Price in the Tony and Olivier-winning Kinky Boots. Also joining the London production from August 15 will be Elena Skye as Lauren, Alan Mehdizadeh as Don and Cordelia Farnworth as Nicola, stepping in for Amy Lennox, Jamie Baughan and Amy Ross, respectively. The departing cast members will play their final performances at the Adelphi Theatre on August 13.Celia Imrie & More Set for Glenda Jackson’s King LearFurther casting has been announced for London’s King Lear, led by two-time Oscar winner Glenda Jackson in the title role. She will be joined by Celia Imrie (Bridget Jones’s Baby) as Goneril, Morfydd Clark (Les Liaisons Dangereuses) as Cordelia and William Chubb (Lawrence After Arabia) as Albany, alongside the previously reported Jane Horrocks, Rhys Ifans, Simon Manyonda and Harry Melling. Shakespeare’s classic will play a limited engagement October 25 through December 3 and officially open on November 4 at the Old Vic.Jessie Mueller Will Melt Your HeartIt’s Memorial Day weekend! To get us in a delicious mood, here’s Tony winner Jessie Mueller with the number “She Used to be Mine” from Waitress. Sara Bareilles’ musical is currently cooking up a storm at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre. See you on Tuesday! View Comments ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’last_img read more

Second Quarter GDP: Better than anticipated

first_imgIn a clear sign that the recession may be easing, commercial and industrial investment in the second quarter fell 8.9 percent, according to the July 31 gross domestic product (GDP) report by the U.S. Department of Commerce. This represents a stark improvement over the first quarter nonresidential construction decline of 39 percent.Compared to the change in GDP last quarter, most of the components within the category of fixed investment fell, but by a moderate degree. Among various components within the nation’s GDP, the biggest decline was in residential construction which fell by 29.3 percent. Investment in equipment and software was down by 9 percent during the quarter, after having fallen 36.4 percent the previous quarter.”Based on ABC’s Construction Backlog Indicator (CBI), infrastructure-related construction is set to accelerate significantly over the next several months.” —ABC Chief Economist Anirban BasuOverall, consumer spending fell by 1.2 percent, lead by a 7.1 percent decline in consumption of durable goods. Consumption of services was up by 0.1 percent after having fallen 0.3 percent. Exports were down, but to a much lesser degree than the estimated 7 percent, while imports were down by 15.1 percent. The decline in the nation’s imports compared to exports indicates a contraction of the trade deficit. Government spending was up 5.6 percent; this important component contributed greatly to the softening in the decline of GDP growth.In all, real gross domestic product fell 1 percent during the second quarter of 2009 following a decline of 6.4 percent during the previous quarter. The second quarter of 2009 marks the fourth consecutive quarterly decline of GDP.What This Means“As predicted, the pace at which the U.S. economy is shrinking slowed significantly during the second quarter of 2009. It is important to note, however, that construction activities were not found to be an important factor in this improvement,” said Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “The moderation in the economic downturn was largely attributable to other factors, including a shrinking trade deficit and government spending.“Many nonresidential construction activities continue to be in sharp decline. This is particularly true within the commercial construction segments of the industry, which include construction related to office building, retail space, hotel, and other sectors particularly susceptible to business cycles,” said Basu.“However, certain nonresidential construction activities will help bring the economy out of recession over the next several months,” said Basu. “Based on ABC’s Construction Backlog Indicator (CBI), infrastructure-related construction is set to accelerate significantly over the next several months.”Source: Associated Builders & Contractors. July 31, 2009last_img read more

The War on Public Lands

first_imgDan Ashe is at war. As Director of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, he has been on the frontlines for control of America’s public lands. That battle reached a radical new tipping point earlier this year when a mob of armed militants seized the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in rural Oregon that falls under Ashe’s jurisdiction. Even as an inherent optimist, Ashe had difficulty suppressing his outrage over the occupation.“I was angry. I was angry because Ammon Bundy and his cohorts were walking around the community, going to the Safeway and buying supplies and going to church on Sunday, and I wanted them in jail,” Ashe said in July. “But I tip my hat to the FBI. Their whole strategy was to ignore them. They said, ‘They’re way out there at the refuge, and we know that means a lot to you, but they’re isolated and they can’t really do any damage. We’re just going to ignore them and all the press is going to go away and they’re going to get frustrated.’ And they were right.“It was tragic that LaVoy Finicum was killed, but when you think about the loss of life that could have occurred, it could have ended a lot worse.”On the grand scale, of course, nothing has ended. And Ashe recognizes that all too well. Many Republican lawmakers have joined the armed militants in calling for the transfer of public lands out of federal ownership.Beyond the cascade of death threats to Oregon State Troopers, FBI, and federal officials in retaliation to Finicum’s death (he was shot by State Police when he ran a road block), beyond the blow to employee morale that left half the Malheur NWF workforce desiring to leave, and beyond even William Keebler’s thwarted attempt to blow up a Bureau of Land Management facility near Finicum’s grazing allotment in northwest Arizona, this most explosive manifestation of the public lands takeover effort to date is just another in a series of historic attempts to wrestle away the wild, open spaces initially set aside for the benefit and use of all Americans.caricature_of_ammon_bundyAmmon Bundy led the controversial armed takeover of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge.“This is an ideology and they are waging a campaign. They know what they’re doing,” Ashe said. “It’s closely related to this effort to divest millions of acres from the federal estate. And it’s not about giving it to the states so the states can be better managers of a recreational resource. It’s about converting that land and that resource to capital, to profit. So the [outdoors and conservation] community needs to recognize that. We have to get smarter. We have to have a better strategy than they have. Because right now, they’re winning. They’re doing what the conservation community used to do well—they’re putting together a long ground game, and they are changing the minds of voters on this issue. We have to get back to those basics. We have to be better at it than they are.”It does remain rare to see the fight over America’s public lands played out so vividly on the ground. The political arena has historically served as the battleground for well-funded special interest groups orchestrating attempts to usurp millions of acres of primarily Western lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service,  and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.Those politics have become increasingly evident as the push recently has made its way eastward, with nine state legislatures east of the Mississippi adopting language crafted by the shadowy American Legislative Exchange Council to pass, or attempt to pass, resolutions expressing support for the transfer of public lands out of federal ownership.On a national scale, groups like the American Lands Council, run by Utah state Rep. Ken Ivory and Montana state Sen. Jennifer Fielder, and the congressional Federal Land Action Group created by U.S. House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop and fellow Utah Rep. Chris Stewart, have been chipping away at more than a century of responsible American stewardship with a combination of legislation attempts and erosion of public support by confusing the issue for voters.Echoing the voices of militants in Oregon, Bishop says his group is working to “return these lands back to the rightful owners”—by taking them away from the American people.In July, the Republican National Committee upped the ante by approving a Party Platform that endorses the disposal of federal public lands, saying, “Congress shall immediately pass universal legislation providing for a timely and orderly mechanism requiring the federal government to convey certain federally controlled public lands to states. We call upon all national and state leaders and representatives to exert their utmost power and influence to urge the transfer of those lands.”If federal lands are transferred to states, they can more readily be sold or used by private and commercial interests.In addition to 10 states in the intermountain West and Alaska, anti-public land state legislators in Arkansas, Georgia, Missouri, New Hampshire, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia have jumped on board by crafting resolutions supporting the idea that our public lands should be turned over to the states. The potential transfer of some of the East’s most popular national public lands—the Blue Ridge Parkway, Great Smoky Mountain National Park, the Appalachian National Scenic Trail—along with vulnerable U.S. wildlife refuges and treasured national forests is growing incrementally closer to reality.Nothing is outside the realm of this movement.Bills still lingering in the U.S. House of Representatives introduced by Republican congressmen from Idaho and Alaska attempt to carve off up to 4 million acres of national forest per state, granting “advisory councils” comprised of county officials and extraction industries control over how our now public lands are managed. Just last summer, Bishop and fellow Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz also attempted to slip amendments into bills that would have defunded law enforcement programs of the U.S. Forest Service (and BLM) and disposed of the popular Vieques National Wildlife Refuge in Puerto Rico. The amendments were ultimately removed.The reality of the Republican platform, combined with the barrage of Republican-sponsored bills or amendments attempting to undercut protections for public lands in recent years, make it difficult not to frame this as a partisan issue. It isn’t, at least not uniformly. Despite the exclusive support of Republican lawmakers, voters from the party of Teddy Roosevelt have traditionally seen eye-to-eye with Democrats in their opposition to public land transfers. Public opinion nationwide has shown overwhelming support for conservation of national parks and public lands through the years, along with high opinions of federal land management agencies.Without a sustained counter-attack, however, folks like Ashe worry that the physical representation of 240 years of American democracy could disappear in a blink. And Republican land managers like Jim Caswell, Director of the BLM for 8 years under George W. Bush and a former National Forest supervisor in Idaho, agree.“I said, ‘It will never happen,’ for a long time, but now I’m not so sure,” Caswell said of the takeover attempts. “We’ve lost our public support. We’ve lost our constituency. People do not go to battle for us anymore.”More likely, that constituency has merely been misplaced as much of the voting public fails to recognize just what’s at stake. The 640 million acres of federally administered lands owned by the people, for the people, are managed for a variety of uses, ranging from livestock grazing and resource extraction to outdoor recreational opportunities like camping, hiking, biking, hunting, fishing, boating, skiing—even gatherings like the Burning Man festival.According to the Outdoor Industry Association, America’s public lands serve as the foundation of a $646 billion annual outdoor recreation economy, with 6.1 million Americans relying on the outdoor industry for employment. More than $80 million in annual tax revenue is spread among communities across the country, including about $1 million in northern Nevada during the weeklong Burning Man. The event’s economic ripple measured between $55-60 million in 2015.But rather than sustain the long-term economic benefits of federal lands, many state governments would rather sell national forests and parks through timber sales, mining, and outright transfer of public land to private and commerical interests. Idaho, for example, has sold off more than 1.7 million acres (41 percent) of the 4.2 million given to it by Congress at statehood. That’s an area roughly equal to the entire George Washington-Jefferson National Forest system liquidated to big corporations and other wealthy private interests.Economic analysis by multiple universities shows that the financial burden placed on states attempting to manage millions more acres of land transferred from federal agencies is likely to result in significant deficits, demanding more selloffs. Rest assured it won’t be a group of disgruntled cowboys buying up that property—or even Wilderness-restricted mountain bikers, for that matter. But like the rest of America, they’ve all got skin in the game.“If we lose our public lands heritage, we’ve lost a lot for a long, long time,” Caswell said. “We have to keep them public. They are worth fighting for.”last_img read more

Argentina and Brazil Ratify Commitment to South Atlantic without Nuclear Weapons

first_imgBy Dialogo September 07, 2011 The defense ministers of Brazil, Celso Amorim, and Argentina, Arturo Puricelli, ratified their countries’ commitment to maintaining the South Atlantic as an area of peace and free from nuclear weapons, among other points in a joint declaration signed on September 5 in Buenos Aires. During their meeting, the two ministers reviewed their countries’ bilateral cooperation agenda in the defense area, a press release issued by the Argentine ministry indicated. “For Brazil, nothing has been more important than rapprochement with Argentina, overcoming historical rivalries,” Amorim told the press on his first official visit to Argentina as defense minister, a post he took on a month ago, after serving as foreign minister in the administration of former Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. In accordance with what was agreed by the two countries’ presidents, Cristiana Kirchner and Dilma Rousseff, in July, the ministers resolved to intensify activities intended to developed a bilateral cooperation agenda in the defense area, in the context of the strategic alliance between the two countries. Within that framework, they identified areas of mutual interest, such as “maintaining the South Atlantic as an area of peace and cooperation and free from nuclear weapons,” according to the press release. The two ministers also analyzed the possibility of conducting combined exercises, with the possible participation of third countries. They resolved to coordinate positions with regard to the United Nations mission in Haiti, as well as actions and postures at the South American Defense Council (Consejo de Defensa Sudamericano) of the Union of South American Nations (Unión de Naciones Suramericanas) and other forums. In addition, they will promote an intensification of training exchanges, especially in defense engineering, and an increase in cooperation in the area of Antarctic training and logistical support. With regard to cooperation in defense technology and production, the declaration specified that the prototype development stage of the Gaucho is coming to an end, a light 4×4 vehicle that can be transported by air and is intended to equip the Armies of both countries. The two Governments also resolved to move forward on the development of armored vehicles and to cooperate in the area of naval and aerospace industry. Another objective is to “conclude as soon as possible” the process of signing an agreement between the two Governments on security measures for protecting classified information exchanged in the defense area, according to the statement.last_img read more

Property near parklands and shopping centres hits the market

first_img31 Pearl Circ, Springfield.The home is in an established area of Springfield, just 1km from Springfield Fair shopping centre, and 1.5km from both Woodcrest College and Staines Memorial College. Public schools are also within easy reach.Ray White Middle Park selling agent Teejay Paterson said: “When a quiet position surrounded by parklands is important to you, you will be delighted with this beautiful home”. This three-bedroom, two-bathroom home is on the market as the owner has moved onto her next venture.The owner, an accountant, who wished for her name to be withheld, bought the property in 2002, however moved to the Northern Territory for work in 2013. She said she wanted a home in a quiet area, close to public transport, shops and schools.“This home has always had a homely feel to it,” she said. 31 Pearl Circ, Springfield.However due to work commitments, she is not likely to move back to Brisbane and has made the decision to sell.The low maintenance property at 31 Pearl Circuit, was the first home she was able to share with friends and family.“I completely changed careers while living in this house and was able to watch my two dogs grow up here,” she said.More from newsDigital inspection tool proves a property boon for REA website3 Apr 2020The Camira homestead where kids roamed free28 May 2019Parkland at the back of 31 Pearl Circ, Springfield.The property has undergone some renovations including the swimming pool, kitchen, deck and gardens.The home has a spacious lounge room which will accommodate the largest of lounge settings.There is a separate tiled dining area, with plenty of room for lots of dinner party guests.The elevated 450sq m block has just one neighbour (parkland over the back fence), with a good patch of grass for kids or pets to run and play.last_img read more

Carbon Trust develops recommended boat landing geometry design

first_imgAccording to the Carbon Trust, currently, there is wide inconsistency in boat landing geometry between wind farms, even those located in close proximity to each other, which results in CTVs not having the correct fender configuration to safely undertake operations or having to switch configurations when operating between projects, which increases health and safety risk. The design, developed with support from Atkins, offers a consistent fender geometry for use on crew transfer vessels (CTVs) across different wind farms, reducing the time and cost of changing fenders, The Carbon Trust said. It follows the analysis of the interaction and impact of CTVs on boat landings during push-on transfers to offshore structures and other vessels, and incorporates better-defined CTV loads, as well as industry feedback and recommendations. This OWA project aimed to build on both pieces of research and recommend a standardized boat landing design that would address the health and safety implications of differing designs and incorporate a more detailed analysis of impact forces.center_img The Carbon Trust’s Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA) has developed a new design of recommended boat landing geometry for vessels working in the offshore wind sector. “While we think the recommended design will provide benefit to the industry-at-large, we expect this will have the greatest impact in emerging offshore wind markets, where new projects can implement the design from the outset, without need for retrofit,” said Sam Strivens, Manager of the OWA vessel and access systems workstream. last_img read more

Duterte sees ‘stronger’ PH-China ties

first_imgMANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte isoptimistic that a stronger bond of friendship will be developed between thePhilippines and China after pivoting away from long-time ally United States. “The fact that we are celebrating thisevent and embracing it as one of our own reflects the strong and inseparablebond that has been forged through centuries of friendly and beneficialrelations between the Philippines and China,” Duterte said. “As we open a new page in our sharedhistory, may we foster even stronger bonds of friendship with those of Chinesedescent all around the world through cooperation, investments, culturalexchanges, and people-to-people ties,” he added. “I also hope that the Chinese-Filipinocommunity will continue to engage in socio-civic and charitable acts that willuplift the lives of our people, especially the poor and the marginalized,”Duterte said. Duterte also remained optimistic thatmembers of the Filipino-Chinese community would continue to exhibit “small actsof kindness” that would eventually bring progress to the country.center_img The Philippines established itsdiplomatic ties with China on June 9, 1975. The two countries’ cooperation inthe fields of security, trade, investment, agriculture, tourism, cultural andpeople-to-people exchanges has also improved under Duterte’s watch./PN President Duterte said in a statementover the weekend that the annual Chinese New Year celebrates “new beginningsand ushers in hope and wishes of prosperity for our nation.” “Together, these small acts of kindnessshall create a ripple effect that will benefit not only those belonging to yourcommunity but also countless others, creating a much bigger wave of compassionthat will eventually redound to the greater good of our country,” he added.last_img read more

Death toll rises locally from COVID-19

first_imgStatewide — The Indiana State Department of Health has reported that 884 additional Hoosiers have been diagnosed with COVID-19 as of Tuesday. A total of 75,862 Indiana residents have tested positive for the coronavirus. To date, 861,655 individual tests have been reported to ISDH at an 8.8% positive rate and 25 new deaths were reported for a total of 2,863 Hoosiers deaths.Locally, Dearborn County has a total of 512 cases and 28 deaths reported (up 4 new cases), Decatur County has a total of 341 positive cases and 32 deaths (up 4 new cases), Franklin County has 246 positive cases and 15 deaths (up 4 new cases and 1 new death), and Ripley County has 213 positive cases and 8 deaths (up 5 new cases and 1 new death). This is an increase of 17 new positive cases and 2 new deaths locally.last_img read more

Kotoko, Karela lead the way as Fatawu Safiu lights up NC Special Competition

first_imgWith round one in the Normalisation Committee Special Competition effectively over, except for a few outstanding games in Group A, the return of local football has been a welcome relief for many fans of the sport in the country.There have been a number of standout moments so far with some blistering performances, controversial calls and surprising results.Group AKumasi Asante Kotoko are the early leaders in the first group with four wins from six games and only one loss; a 1-0 defeat at Medeama in the second week.Led by top marksman Fatawu Safiu and his 6 goals (in six games), Kotoko have garnered 13 points, scoring nine goals along the way. Their defence has been very impressive so far, giving up only two goals.Medeama (3), Aduana (2) and Ashanti Gold (2) are the only other teams in the group with more than one win, while their defences have been considerably less impressive than Kotoko’s (all three teams have a goal difference of under 3).Bechem United, Eleven Wonders and Berekum Chelsea have one win each, with Chelsea being the lowest scorers in the competition with one goal.Group BThere’s an interesting battle developing in Group B with Karela, WAFA and Hearts of Oak all off to decent starts.Karela and Hearts have four wins each with WAFA’s three wins and three draws from seven games keeping them sandwiched between the two teams.The Sogakope club are also the top scorers in the competition so far with ten goals.Elmina Sharks are the only unbeaten side in the competition and are yet to concede a goal but they have picked up only two wins and five draws.Liberty Professionals are one point behind sharks with Ebusua Dwarfs, Dreams and Inter Allies bringing up the rear.Inter Allies have the most porous defence, having conceded ten goals in seven games.Key Stats:Away wins have always been a rare currency in local football and the NC Special Competition continues the tradition with only five wins in 48 games so far.There have been 83 goals so far, an average of 1.7 goals per game with almost half as many draws as there have been wins.last_img read more

Red Sox swap starters, pegging David Price on short rest instead of Chris Sale for Game 5

first_img Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season “We talked about it before the game and this is a good spot for David, in a National League park to start a game,” Cora said. “Obviously he’s been throwing the ball well. It’s not that we’re playing with the lead, but we feel that for the team, for where we’re at pitching-wise it’s good for – to go with David. We talked about it the whole day and we decided, I just talked to Chris and David, and that’s what we’re going to do.”The decision led to speculation that Sale is not healthy, but Cora said he’s OK. Cora said Sale would pitch Game 6 back in Boston, if necessary.Sale missed much of the second half of the season with a shoulder issue, and when he returned his velocity had dipped. Since Sale came off the disabled list, he’s performed even better with extra rest, so perhaps the Red Sox are just trying to give him that for Game 6. They also might be planning to use both of them, with Sale in relief, for Game 5.If they use both Price and Sale in Game 5 and lose, they’d have Nate Eovaldi or Rick Porcello for Games 6 and 7.Sale gave up three runs in four innings in Game 1. Price gave up two runs in six innings in Game 2. Price also faced three batters, throwing 13 pitches on Friday night. Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies LOS ANGELES — Just after the Boston Red Sox pulled within one victory of a World Series title, Manager Alex Cora made a surprise announcement regarding the pitcher they hope can finish it off.David Price will start Game 5 on Sunday, with just three days since he started Game 2 and just one day after he made a relief appearance in Game 3.Chris Sale had been scheduled to start Game 5. He even spoke about his scheduled start in the press conference before Game 4 on Saturday.After the game, though, Cora announced the switch, without giving a clear reason why.Related Articles How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start last_img read more