Go back to the enewsletter A fourmasted barquent

first_imgGo back to the e-newsletterA four-masted barquentine and remote lagoons in Thailand made famous by James Bond star together in a new fly-cruise tour next April now on sale through Cruise Express.The 12-night South East Asia Adventure includes a week-long cruise through Thailand’s tropical islands in the Andaman Sea aboard the 170-passenger schooner, Star Clipper. Boasting 16 billowing sails and masts up to 69 metres high, two pools, elegant restaurant, Edwardian library and gleaming brass, teak and mahogany, the sailing ship offers guests a relaxed fusion of romantic heritage and modern comfort.The holiday package begins with a flight from Australia to Phuket on 27 April 2017, with two nights’ luxury accommodation and a welcome barbecue dinner on the beach. From Phuket, guests will board Star Clipper for a seven-night cruise to Singapore via some of Asia’s most beautiful islands, beaches and lagoons, beginning with the Similan Islands, renowned for their turquoise waters and white beaches.Tracing the west coast of the Malay Peninsula in Thailand, Star Clipper will then take guests to the sheer limestone islands of Phang Nga Bay, made famous by the 1974 James Bond film, ‘The Man with the Golden Gun’.The more remote, jungle-clad and coral-ringed islands of Ko Adang – inhabited only by national park rangers – and Ko Hong appear next on the horizon, with passengers able to venture ashore to explore deserted coves, palm-lined beaches and hidden lagoons. Star Clipper will also call into the two colonial ports of Penang and Malacca in Malaysia.Disembarking in Singapore, guests then spend two nights in a luxury hotel in Singapore, with a spectacular evening tour and farewell dinner included in the package.Including return flights from Australia, the 12-night South East Asia Adventure Unique Journey is available from $4990 per person, twin-share, or from $6490 for solo travellers.Go back to the e-newsletterlast_img read more

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LATTE chats with Ellen Bettridge President CEO

first_imgLATTE chats with Ellen Bettridge, President & CEO of Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection about her new ship, SS Joie de Vivre, relocating across the country and courting millennials with the new U by Uniworld brand.Tell us about your role within Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection.I’m the global CEO, so I oversee all the markets. We’re based out of LA – the US is our largest market, followed by Australia and the UK, so I spend my time between those three places, growing the Uniworld brand and thinking about what’s next.Tell us about your career progression. What attracted you to the river cruise industry after specialising in ocean cruising with Azamara Club Cruises and Silversea since 2012?I spent my entire career at American Express, almost 23 years there in the travel business, selling travel. I was the frontline travel agent, and then I ran the retail travel business for American Express for the United States. I was then recruited into ocean, which was fantastic. I enjoyed my time over at Silversea and at Azamara, but then I was called to come over to really lead the entire business [at Uniworld] and have an opportunity to run the operations as well as sales and marketing. It was a chance to really spread my wings and learn some more. It was an amazing opportunity to go over to Uniworld, a brand I used to sell back in the day, and I was a fan of it then, so it was a wonderful opportunity to come over and actually lead for this organisation.I moved my family, we were living in Florida and we moved over to Los Angeles, so it was a big deal, but at the same time, I am very fortunate that I have an incredibly supportive husband. My kids looked at it as a great adventure. My youngest is 15 years old, so she’s waiting to meet the Kardashians I think, but she couldn’t wait to move to LA. Thank goodness I think she’s that adventurous type just like me, and my other daughter just graduated from college so no worries there.What have been some of the highlights of your career?I’m about to launch my first ship, the SS Joie de Vivre (27 March can’t come quickly enough)! We’re also launching U by Uniworld, a new brand that targets millennials, so 18- to 40-year-olds, who might not be sure whether a traditional river cruise is for them. We’ll be renovating two of our existing vessels – River Baroness and River Ambassador – to make the decor a touch more contemporary; more fun, but at the same time, elegantI was quite honoured to be asked to be the president of Silversea Cruises, which I did for several years, and that was a wonderful experience, and then when I went over to Azamara, probably the biggest highlight there was to having the opportunity to work with my operations team, with the renovations of Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest. Now, I am so blessed that I’m here at Uniworld. We’re about to launch a new ship, SS Joie de Vivre – this is the first ship launch of my own, so that’s very exciting. We’re also launching a new brand. It’s called U by Uniworld, and it’s targeted at millennials, for people between the ages 18 and 40. We’ll be creating a vacation experience for people who want to possibly try river cruising and be really be immersed in the destination, but haven’t had the opportunity or thought maybe river cruising wasn’t the thing for them. We’ll be renovating two of our existing vessels – River Baroness and River Ambassador – to make the decor a touch more contemporary; more fun, but at the same time, elegant. How do you define luxury? What is Uniworld doing to redefine it?I used to not like the word luxury. I think how Uniworld is defining it, though, is really through the details. It’s through the tiny touches, looking at every little aspect, and treating each customer as an individual in order to make their vacation perfect. It’s identifying that someone likes to have a latte every morning on deck at 6am, and for our team to anticipate the needs of our customer. Luxury is having things done for you, feeling pampered and feeling special. You love it when someone notices something about you, and they then react on it. I think our crew on board does a phenomenal job of anticipating those customers needs, and those tiny noticeable touches. What does a Uniworld guest value?I think a Uniworld guest values what they are getting out of the destination. When they’re on board, it’s as though they are part of that destination. The ambience on board is similar to what they would experience during the day; when you’re on the Maria Theresa, floating down the Danube, you know you’re in the heart of where Maria Theresa ruled. By the way, it happens to be her 300th birthday this year. Then you go off during the day to see opulent abbeys and houses, seeing how the lifestyle was, but then you come back, and you’re still experiencing it. It doesn’t stop. I think that experience is a big part of what the customers value. You’re eating the regional dishes, drinking the local wine, and you’re feeling a part of the destination, a part of the history. What do you hope for Uniworld’s future?I am hoping that our U by Uniworld project is wildly successful, to the point that we need to add more ships. I look at where can we go next. What is the next river, what is the next place that we can take people to? How do we take that destination experience and amp it up? It’s about taking the time to figure out what the customers want by really listening to their needs. And continuing to make sure that we’re different. I don’t want to be like everyone else; I want to be unique. I want people to say, “Uniworld is in a class of their own. They don’t have competitors.” How important do you think technology is to the guest experience?On board we of course have Wi-Fi included, as it’s very important for guests be connected. But we’re taking that one step further in 2017 and launching Wi-Fi hotspots, so guests will have the opportunity to purchase a wireless hotspot to take with them off the ship. In Europe, sometimes in these little villages, it’s really difficult to get Wi-Fi, so we’ll have these little devices that they can take with them when they’re off touring and they can still stay connected. We know it’s very important to them. What developments make SS Joie de Vivre unique? What can guests look forward to aboard this new river vessel?She will be a celebration of all things French! Amazing French food, beautiful French wine and more. We’re going to bring France to our guests while we’re cruising along the Seine down to Honfleur. It’s a charming fishing village, practically untouched, so we’re thrilled to share this destination with our guests. In a real move away from other river cruises, we have deliberately made her slightly smaller than other ships so that we can park right next to the Eiffel Tower and turn around right there.She really is special. She’s going to be very unique to the rivers, because she a different look, with glossy light-coloured wood throughout, almost like a yacht, and very bright and light colours. She is also going to be a celebration of all things French! Amazing French food, amazing French wine, French experiences – her itinerary is going from Paris to up to Honfleur. This fishing village is just stunning, the most adorable place that looks like it’s frozen in time, and then she has the chance to go by the beaches of Normandy, to experience a part of history. So I think her itinerary is going to make her unique, but I also think it’s the way she looks and feels, and the fact that she’s going to bring France to our passengers. She will also be ‘parked’ right in front of the Eiffel Tower. We made her slightly smaller than the other Super Ships so she can actually turn around right in front of the Eiffel Tower.27 March cannot get here soon enough. Where do you go to recharge? Which destinations are still on your bucket list?I go home! I love my children and my husband, and having time with them. We always travel together, as you can imagine. It’s also finding where the next place is to go – we actually have our next vacation planned for April, I’m going to be in Europe for the Joie de Vivre, and then I have other business meetings, and then after that my family will join me in Budapest. And we’re going to board the Maria Theresa, and because I’m new in my role, my family has not had the chance to go on the ship yet, so this will be their first opportunity to see the ship, and understand why I love my job, and why I’m so passionate about it.I would love to head back over to Vietnam. I also spent some time in Venice years ago, and I’m really excited to say I’m going back there again this summer; it’s definitely at the top of my list. But my favourite place is always where I’ve just been, so right now, Australia. What’s the best coffee experience you’ve ever had?Well, at home, I drink a skinny latte from Starbucks every day, so drinking coffee anywhere in Australia has been amazing. It’s not at all bitter and so delicious.SS Joie de Vivrelast_img read more

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Destination is still more important than price whe

first_imgDestination is still more important than price when it comes to booking flights to international locations, a new survey by the Association of Independent Travel Operators (AITO) and Wanderlust has revealed.Questioning UK travellers, the organisations found that most consumers are swayed more by interesting locations than they are by attractive prices of cheap flights.The research also indicated that 77 percent of people are planning to travel on as many routes abroad this year as they did in 2008, with 72 percent also expecting to spend the same amount.Despite the rise in popularity of domestic holidays this year, over 70 percent still expressed their intentions to take flights to Europe.This week, AITO said there has been a flurry of late bookings for cheap flights to sunny destinations by UK holidaymakers because of the miserable weather in July.Ian Bradley, a spokesperson for the association, said: “People are panicking and thinking: ‘I thought [the summer] was going to be great, its not, get me out of here’.”ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map RelatedFlying long-haul on ‘everybody’s wish list’Long-haul flights are now on “everybody’s wish list”, according to the Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO)2017’s biggest long-haul flight savingsFlying long-haul is more affordable than ever thanks to some significant flight price drops over the past year.Recession making Brits more flexible with travel plansRecession making Brits more flexible with travel planslast_img read more

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Rental homes timeshares hotels BBs – at first

first_imgRental homes, timeshares, hotels, B&Bs – at first glance there appears to be no shortage of luxurious accommodations on Nantucket. Nantucket Island Resorts is renowned for its luxury properties, including White Elephant, a landmark hotel that has been welcoming guests since the 1920s. In May, the hotel opens 25 brand new Hotel Residences as a natural extension of the White Elephant’s service and hospitality. The one-, two-, and three-bedroom residences are perfect for couple’s getaways and extended family vacations. Guests of the Hotel Residences benefit from the comforts of White Elephant while maintaining a sense of independence and convenience in their “home away from home.”White Elephant Hotel Residence reflects the historic look of traditional Nantucket homes – from the exterior, onlookers see a village of quintessential New England-style cottages, while the interiors designed by highly-acclaimed Alexandra Champalimaud, blend classic Nantucket style with a distinct European touch. Each Hotel Residence offers bedrooms featuring linens by Gayle Warwick Fine Linen and a spacious living room with a gas fireplace, and a flat-screen high-definition TV with Blu-Ray/DVD player. The Hotel Residences are also equipped with a dining area and a custom-designed pantry outfitted with a Sub-Zero refrigerator, panini maker, convection oven, microwave, Bosch dishwasher, and Royal Doulton china. Many of the Hotel Residences offer porches and decks to provide the ultimate in chic island comfort.At the Hotel Residences, guests have access to the same hospitality and service that those of the White Elephant have come to expect. The Advance Concierge will ensure all provisioning needs are met so the pantry is ready upon arrival; she can also arrange for transportation, dining reservations, island excursions, picnics, and much more. Those who prefer a low-key afternoon can opt for a restful day by the pool at the Hotel Residences or enjoy priority reservations at White Elephant Spa. Customized treatments infused with local ingredients turn White Elephant Spa into a haven for guests amid the bustle that can be Nantucket. The Spa offers guests a number of relaxing treatments that work to calm both mind and body. Just steps away from the glimmering Nantucket harbor, spa guests are welcome to soak up the warmth of the sun on the White Elephant’s Harborside Lawn before or after a treatment.Guests of the Hotel Residences may enjoy early risers’ coffee and mini-muffins and afternoon port and cheese. When they fancy a more substantial meal or a classic cocktail, priority reservations are available at White Elephant’s Brant Point Grill for an extensive raw bar and some of the island’s premier steak and seafood. Reservations can be made at TOPPER’S at the Wauwinet as well – hop aboard The Wauwinet Lady for sundowners on the way to TOPPER’S where guests will find innovative dishes celebrating the distinct, natural flavors of seasonal foods.www.whiteelephanthotelresidences.comlast_img read more

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This combination photo shows Greg Kinnear left a

first_img This combination photo shows Greg Kinnear, left, and Diane Lane, who will star as siblings in the final season of “House of Cards,” on Netflix. (AP Photo/Files) by The Associated Press Posted Jan 31, 2018 5:59 pm PDT Last Updated Feb 1, 2018 at 6:40 am PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Diane Lane and Greg Kinnear are joining “House of Cards” for the political thriller’s final season.Netflix said they’ll play siblings in the show’s sixth season, which resumed production Wednesday.“House of Cards,” Netflix’s first original series, halted production last October amid sexual misconduct allegations against star Kevin Spacey.Spacey was suspended from the show by producer Media Rights Capital after Netflix said it wouldn’t continue with it if he remained. A representative for the actor said previously that he was seeking unspecified treatment.Robin Wright, who co-starred as wife to Spacey’s Francis Underwood, will be the focus of the final season. A debut date has yet to be announced.Further details on the new characters played by Lane and Kinnear weren’t available.center_img Diane Lane, Greg Kinnear join ‘House of Cards’ final seasonlast_img read more

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STAMFORD Conn – TV talk show host and Jerry Spri

first_img STAMFORD, Conn. – TV talk show host and Jerry Springer protege Steve Wilkos will have a drunken-driving charge erased from his record if he completes Connecticut’s alcohol education program.The Advocate reports Wilkos was granted admission into the diversionary program on Monday during a hearing in Stamford Superior Court.Police say the 53-year-old Wilkos crashed his sport utility vehicle in Darien in January and his blood-alcohol level was 0.29 per cent, more than three times the legal limit for driving.Wilkos will have to complete a 15-week educational or treatment program and take part in a panel with victims of drunken driving.Wilkos was the security director on “The Jerry Springer Show.” He says he had a “complete lapse in judgment” when he drove drunk. His lawyer says he has dealt with the issue very seriously.___Information from: The Advocate, http://www.stamfordadvocate.com TV show host Wilkos could have drunken-driving charge erased by The Associated Press Posted Apr 23, 2018 12:54 pm PDT Last Updated Apr 23, 2018 at 1:21 pm PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Emailcenter_img FILE – In this Aug. 2, 2016 file photo, Steve Wilkos, host of “The Steve Wilkos Show,” arrives at the NBCUniversal Television Critics Association summer press tour in Beverly Hills, Calif. Wilkos will have a drunken-driving charge erased from his record if he completes Connecticut’s alcohol education program. The Advocate reports Wilkos was granted admission into the diversionary program on Monday, April 23, 2018, during a hearing in Stamford Superior Court. (Photo by Rich Fury/Invision/AP, File) last_img read more

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by The Associated Press Posted Nov 12 2018 12

first_img by The Associated Press Posted Nov 12, 2018 12:19 pm PDT Last Updated Nov 12, 2018 at 2:07 pm PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email FILE – In this May 9, 1988, file photo, comics impresario Stan Lee, center, poses with Lou Ferrigno, right, and Eric Kramer who portray ‘The Incredible Hulk’ and Thor, respectively, in a special movie for NBC, ‘The Incredible Hulk Returns,’ May 9, 1988, Los Angeles, Calif. Comic book genius Lee, the architect of the contemporary comic book, has died. He was 95. The creative dynamo who revolutionized the comics by introducing human frailties in superheroes such as Spider-Man, The Fantastic Four and The Incredible Hulk, was declared dead Monday, Nov. 12, 2018, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, according to Kirk Schenck, an attorney for Lee’s daughter, J.C. Lee. (AP Photo/Nick Ut, File) Celebrities offer thanks, condolences in death of Stan Leecenter_img Celebrities offer their thanks, remembrances and condolences in the death of Marvel legend Stan Lee, who died Monday at age 95.“Original and genius are two very overused words in the world today, but Stan was both. Add irrepressible and irreplaceable, and you begin to describe the man. We have all lost a true superhero. We will greatly miss our friendly neighbourhood Stan Lee.” — Sony Pictures’ Motion Picture Group chairman Tom Rothman, in a statement.___“I owe it all to you… Rest In Peace Stan… #MCU #Excelsior #legend #rip #stanlee #TeamStark” — “Iron Man” actor Robert Downey Jr., via Instagram.___“There will never be another Stan Lee. For decades he provided both young and old with adventure, escape, comfort, confidence, inspiration, strength, friendship and joy. He exuded love and kindness and will leave an indelible mark on so, so, so many lives. Excelsior!!” — “Captain America” actor Chris Evans, via Twitter.___Damn… RIP Stan. Thanks for everything. pic.twitter.com/TMAaDJSOhh— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) November 12, 2018___“Thank you Stan Lee for making people who feel different realize they are special.” — Seth Rogan, via Twitter.___“I was first interviewed for Stan Lee’s obituary about 20 years ago. I was happy he defied the reaper and carried on. With Stan gone, an era really does come to an end. He was the happy huckster that comics needed. And he really did alliterate like that when you talked to him.” — Neil Gaiman, via Twitter.___“No one has had more of an impact on my career and everything we do at Marvel Studios than Stan Lee. Stan leaves an extraordinary legacy that will outlive us all. Our thoughts are with his daughter, his family, and his millions of fans.” — Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige, via Twitter.___“Thank you Stan Lee. For your service in protecting our freedom and for your creativity and imagination! You were and will always be a SUPER HERO!” — Jamie Lee Curtis, via Twitter.___To Stan Lee: Thank you for making my childhood so much more exciting with your astonishing superhero characters. Thank you for inspiring me to think and dream big. Thank you for the Hulk, Thor, Fantastic Four and many others. You will be sadly missed. RIP.— Gene Simmons (@genesimmons) November 12, 2018___“You gave us characters that continue to stand the test of time and evolve with our consciousness. You taught us that there are no limits to our future as long as we have access to our imagination. Rest in power! #EXCELSIOR #StanLee #rip.” — “Black Panther” actor Winston Duke, via Twitter.___“His contribution to Pop Culture was revolutionary & cannot be overstated. He was everything you hoped he would be & MORE. I loved this man & will never stop missing him. They say you should never meet a childhood idol. They are wrong. #RIPStanTheMan.” — Marvel animated universe alum and “Star Wars” star Mark Hamill, via Twitter.___“He lives forever through his work. What a giant. With great power comes immortality.” — Lin-Manuel Miranda, via Twitter.last_img read more

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Construction underway on 16M adventure park near

first_imgConstruction underway on $1.6M adventure park near Omaha BELLEVUE, Neb. — Thrill-seekers will soon be able to climb, swing and zip through a suburban Omaha forest’s treetops at a new $1.6 million aerial adventure park to open this summer.The Omaha World-Herald reports that construction has begun on Fontenelle Forest’s TreeRush Adventures, which will feature tightropes, suspended platforms and zip lines. The Bellevue attraction is expected to open for visitors this June.The park will have a main adventure area that’s designed for adults and older children, and a kids park that’s designated for children ages 4 to 6. Some of the park’s courses will take climbers higher than 50 feet (15 metres).TreeRush will operate the park and share proceeds with Fontenelle Forest.Fontanelle spokeswoman, Molly Mullen, says administrators hope the adventure park will bring in roughly $50,000 a year.___Information from: Omaha World-Herald, http://www.omaha.comThe Associated Press by The Associated Press Posted Apr 16, 2019 7:39 am PDTcenter_img AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Emaillast_img read more

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Jonathan Watton poses for a portrait in Toronto o

first_img Jonathan Watton poses for a portrait in Toronto, on Wednesday, June 12, 2019. As he prepared to play a cuttthroat commander in the new season of “The Handmaid’s Tale,” Jonathan Watton of Corner Brook, N.L., heard from the writers that the character was similar to a certain Republican south of the border. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Lahodynskyj AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email N.L. actor Jonathan Watton on how Paul Ryan inspired his ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ role TORONTO — As he prepared to play a cutthroat commander in the new season of “The Handmaid’s Tale,” Jonathan Watton of Corner Brook, N.L., heard from the writers that the character was similar to a certain Republican south of the border.“They said, ‘Look, there’s a particular political person in the States who we’ve thought of and he’s younger, he’s ambitious, politically astute, and in some ways out for himself,’” Watton said in an interview.And who was that person?“Should I say?” the affable Watton said with a laugh. “Well, they modelled him a little bit after Paul Ryan (the former U.S. House Speaker). Not in terms of necessarily where he comes from but just where he slots into that power structure: Politically astute, intelligent and yet just intensely after a goal. That was helpful for me. It just clarified what his motivations are.”Watton plays American Cmdr. Mathew Calhoun in season 3 of the Emmy-winning dystopian drama, which is shot in Toronto and around southern Ontario. He first appears in episode 3, set to air Sunday, and is in five episodes in total. The series is on Bravo and Crave in Canada.Season 1 was based on Toronto author Margaret Atwood’s 1985 dystopian novel, while the rest of the series created by Bruce Miller explores what happens after the book ends.Calhoun is a new commander in the Republic of Gilead, a theocracy in which women are treated as a property of the state and some are forced to bear children to combat an infertility epidemic.Elisabeth Moss stars as protagonist June (a.k.a. Offred), who continues to defy the power structure along with a resistance movement that stretches into Canada, prompting Calhoun to take a hard line.“He feels the power structure needs to clamp down, that we need to be stronger here, rule with an iron fist and show no mercy,” said Watton, 41.“Anyone who shows any weakness, especially of the more established commanders who we’re starting to look at with questions, like Waterford for example, he thinks they need to step aside and we need to come down hard. He doesn’t think of himself as a bad guy, but he’s definitely in this world a bad guy.”Cmdr. Waterford is played by Joseph Fiennes, while Yvonne Strahovski plays his wife, Serena Joy. The characters have June in their household as a handmaid.“The tagline this year is ‘Blessed be the fight,’” said Watton, noting the season shows the resistance taking different “and maybe unexpected forms.”There’s also “a sense of hope, a sense of agency” for the resistance, he added. “We see June start to make some strong choices and some difficult ones, of where her loyalties lie and what she’s going to do to take down Gilead.”Watton’s previous credits include David Cronenberg’s film “Maps to the Stars,” and the shows “Private Eyes,” “Saving Hope” and “Murdoch Mysteries,” in which he was a series regular as Dr. Darcy Garland.He was a fan of Atwood’s novel and the series before signing on, and was able to get input directly from series writer Yahlin Chang onset, where the cast was “so welcoming.”“The Handmaid’s Tale” has brought his career to a new level, he said, “just because it’s become part of such a conversation critically with the work that goes on in the show, and also culturally it’s just become part of such a conversation that people are having and need to have now.”“There are many instances where sadly we see a lot of parallels between the very things that are going on in the world of the show, and in the world around us, so it’s an honour to be a part of that conversation,” Watton said.“Who would have thought we’d be having conversations about women’s reproductive rights now in 2019? And it’s very much on the table — more than on the table, it’s being stripped away from people in state legislatures across the U.S.”Victoria Ahearn, The Canadian Press by Victoria Ahearn, The Canadian Press Posted Jun 13, 2019 9:53 am PDTlast_img read more

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by The Associated Press Posted Jul 24 2019 8

first_img by The Associated Press Posted Jul 24, 2019 8:03 am PDT Stars to frame global poverty issues in new NatGeo series AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email This combination photo shows, from left, Hugh Jackman, Common, Priyanka Chopra, Becky G and Uzo Aduba who will be featured in the National Geographic six-part documentary series “Activate: The Global Citizen Movement,” premiering Sept. 5. (AP Photo) BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Common, Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Hugh Jackman are enlisting in the Global Citizen movement.They’re among the celebrities featured in a National Geographic docuseries highlighting efforts to fight global poverty.The series is being done with Global Citizen, a group whose aim is to eradicate extreme poverty and its root problems through advocacy and activism.Titled “Activate: The Global Citizen Movement,” the program follows Common as he fights for criminal justice reform. Chopra Jonas campaigns to break down barriers to girls’ education, and Jackman works on the group’s New York City concert. Other featured celebs include Becky G, Uzo Aduba and Usher.Digital hubs on NatGeo.com and GlobalCitizen.org will offer more information on the issues highlighted in the docuseries, which includes Procter & Gamble as a partner.The six-part show debuts Sept. 5.The Associated Presslast_img read more

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Investigations continue into reservoir drowning

first_imgPolice on Monday said they are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of a 38-year-old man who drowned after his car fell into the Tamassos water reservoir on Sunday.A search and rescue operation was launched on Sunday to locate the 38-year-old, whose vehicle – a double cabin truck – had fallen into the reservoir at around 11.25 am. The man’s body was located in the submerged car some three hours later and was brought to shore by divers.Police said the man is a foreign national who was living in Larnaca and had gone to the reservoir with a friend to fish.The car, located at a five-metre depth around 10 metres from the shore, was extracted by the water by the fire service.The body bears no external injuries police said following an on-site examination of the body by a state pathologist on Sunday. A post mortem is scheduled for Tuesday. You May LikeDr. Marty ProPower Plus Supplement3 Dangerous Foods People Feed Their Dogs (Without Realizing It)Dr. Marty ProPower Plus SupplementUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoYahoo SearchThese SUVs Are The Cream Of The Crop. Research Best Compact SUV CarYahoo SearchUndo Turkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoConcern over falling tourism numbersUndoPensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

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DromolaxiaMeneou protest against coop branch closure

first_imgOver 500 residents of the Dromolaxia-Meneou municipality in the Larnaca district attended a protest on Sunday morning against the closing down of the local Cooperative bank branch.The protest was organised by the local authority in cooperation with all local organisations.Mayor of Dromolaxia-Meneou, Kypros Andronikou said that the closing down of the local Co-op branch would cause problems to the two communities as it used to serve more than 20,000 people.“We demand that those in charge reconsider this decision ,” Andronikou said. He added that the decision was taken “without objective criteria.”Some residents said they were considering transferring their deposits to other banks.The protest follows that in the communities of Lymbia and Xylofagou over the same reason.The branches are closing down following a decision by Hellenic, the lender that acquired certain assets and liabilities of the Co-op, to close around 100 of the latter’s branches.You May LikeNetmums50 baby names no one loves anymoreNetmumsUndoDroneXProBig Drone Companies Are Furious Over New “Selfie Drone” Released OnlineDroneXProUndoJerome's FurnitureA Grown-up’s Guide to Decorating Your First ApartmentJerome’s FurnitureUndo Urgent work planned on collapsed section of Nicosia wallsUndoTwo of serial killer’s victims buried in PhilippinesUndoBale’s China move called off by Real MadridUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

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Time too short to agree terms of reference by years end Greek

first_imgThere is not enough time for laying down the terms of reference for new Cyprus talks by the end of December, Greece’s Alternate Foreign Minister Giorgos Katrougalos has said.The UN chief has given two leaders until the end of the year to come up with the terms of reference for a new round of talks before he will invite them back to the negotiating table. His envoy Jane Holl Lute will be in Cyprus at the end of the coming week for talks with President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci.In an interview with ‘Greek News ahead of his visit to the United States, Katrougalos said it would be beneficial if the parties engaged in informal contacts to better prepare the whole effort.He will be in New York on Wednesday and will meet Lute prior to her arrival in Cyprus.During her last visit to Cyprus at the end of October, Lute had asked the leaders to agree on terms of reference that would constitute the consensus starting point for a possible negotiated conclusion to the Cyprus issue.The terms of reference, Government Spokesman Prodromos Prodromou had said, will relate to the negotiations, both the procedure and what will be in the negotiations.Asked if he considers it realistic to reach an agreement by the end of the year on the terms of reference, Katrougalos said: “We want the new negotiations to be prepared well, to stand good chances of success. We will do our utmost to this end; however, I don’t think there is enough time for laying down the terms of reference by the end of December.”Katrougalos said it would be beneficial if the parties engaged in informal contacts to better prepare the whole effort.He also referred to a meeting soon between the Greek Prime Minister and the Turkish president during which the Cyprus issue would likely be discussed.Asked to comment on talks about guarantees in Cyprus through Nato and whether the Greek government would accept it, Katrougalos said: “Our long-standing position on the need to abolish the anachronistic system of guarantees and on the withdrawal of the occupation forces remains unchanged”.This position was promoted with clarity at Crans-Montana, he added, and will be continued. “Any security structure in a reunified Cyprus must be based on a Resolution of the United Nations Security Council, and it clearly requires an active role of the international organisation; and the issues pertaining to the relationship between the Republic of Cyprus and Nato fall in the exclusive remit of the national political scene of Cyprus”.You May LikeGundry MD Total Restore SupplementU.S. Cardiologist: It’s Like a Pressure Wash for Your InsidesGundry MD Total Restore SupplementUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionOne Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace YourselfTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndo Turkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoThe Deniz boat incident showed clearly the intentions of the Turkish sideUndoConcern over falling tourism numbersUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

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Central bank says economy to shrink 26 in 2014 to grow 08

first_imgBy Stelios OrphanidesThe Central Bank of Cyprus said the Cypriot economy will contract this year 2.6 per cent compared to 2013, and will grow 0.8 per cent next year.You May LikeLocksmith of HeartsPhil Collins’s Daughter Is Probably The Most Pretty Woman Ever Existed.Locksmith of HeartsUndoEditorChoice.comIf You See Square Waves In The Ocean Get Out Of The Water ImmediatelyEditorChoice.comUndoNovelodgeBaby Photoshoots That Went Hilariously WrongNovelodgeUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCruise passenger airlifted to Paphos hospitalUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img

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House approves Rep Wentworth bill to provide license plate opportunity for disabled

first_img The Michigan House this week unanimously approved legislation introduced by state Rep. Jason Wentworth to give veterans who qualify for a disabled veteran license plate the benefit of choosing from a wide variety of license plates without having to identify that they are disabled.Wentworth’s bill allows for a 100-percent disabled veteran to buy a plate they desire for the same cost as a disabled veteran license plate. The cost of a disabled veteran license plate is a $5 service fee.“Individuals who have a disability as a result of combat, or have become disabled through other means, deserve all the benefits the state can offer,” said Wentworth, of Clare. “This legislation provides a disabled veteran the opportunity to choose any plate without having to self-identify as being disabled.”The bill applies to the following license plates:·       A special registration plate for disabled veterans;·       A special registration plate for members of the National Guard, the military reserve or any branch of the U.S Armed Services;·       A special registration plate for service members, or the spouses of service members, who were called to active duty during any war; and·       A standard or commemorative issue plate.House Bill 4699 now moves to the Senate for consideration.### Categories: Wentworth News 02Mar House approves Rep. Wentworth bill to provide license plate opportunity for disabled veteranslast_img read more

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Rep Bizon Without raising taxes more road money is headed to Calhoun

first_img### Categories: Bizon News,News 20Mar Rep. Bizon: Without raising taxes, more road money is headed to Calhoun Countycenter_img More money urgently needed to fix roads in Calhoun County and the rest of Michigan this construction season will soon be on its way, state Rep. Dr. John Bizon announced today after the funding was signed into law.“This is the latest step in an ongoing effort to make our roads and bridges safer for travel throughout the state,” said Bizon, of Battle Creek. “With this latest investment, we are capitalizing on an opportunity to put more resources into roads without it costing anyone any more money.”The legislation provides an additional $175 million in transportation funding statewide beyond what was already planned for this year. Much of the money is headed directly to counties, cities and villages for road preservation and construction. The money is already available because various state departments did not spend as much as originally projected during a previous budget cycle. No budget cuts or additional fees or taxes are required for the investment.Calhoun County will receive more than $873,550. In addition, some of the cities and villages getting money include Albion ($65,927) Battle Creek ($521,264) and Springfield ($44,880). The amounts are estimates.The extra money comes in addition to record-level road funding provided by previous long-term reforms. The state also has strengthened its warranty system designed to make sure new and refurbished roads will last longer.last_img read more

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Rep Cole Feds overstepped the line with alcohol ban

first_img08Feb Rep. Cole: Feds overstepped the line with alcohol ban Categories: Cole News State Rep. Triston Cole today pushed back on a new federal rule banning the use of alcohol on three popular Michigan rivers.Cole said the ban on alcohol oversteps federal authority and can only have negative consequences for Michiganders and tourists who enjoy the state’s rivers.“The State of Michigan has a plethora of laws to protect our water ways,” said Cole, of Mancelona. “Everything from cussing in a canoe to littering and public nuisance is covered. We don’t need redundant rules passed down by a federal bureaucracy to help us take care of the land and water that has been in our state’s care for over 180 years.”Cole noted that Section 8902 of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, MCL 324.8902, already makes littering in a river or water way illegal.The Huron-Manistee National Forest announced the decision to ban alcohol on the National Wild and Scenic River sections of the AuSable, Manistee and Pine rivers on Wednesday.Cole criticized the new rule as a misguided, overbearing and ineffective attempt to ensure river health and boater safety, which the state already governs.“As a state legislator and an avid outdoorsman, I do not appreciate the federal government telling the people of the State of Michigan where a legal adult can enjoy an adult beverage,” Cole said. “Enjoying our waterways is a privilege and this privilege includes allowing visitors to enjoy public waterways in the manner they choose as right and is in accordance with state law. This new rule can only damage our state’s tourism.”According to a 2017 economic impact study of Michigan’s tourism industry, 5.6 million people made trips to Michigan from outside the state that year and spent $2.1 billion in communities and at local businesses across the state.“We absolutely need to be good stewards of the sensitive shore lines and ecosystems so they can be enjoyed for generations to come, but micromanaging our state government from Washington is not how to do it,” Cole said. “We have pure, pristine and public waterways all across this state. I believe this new rule sets a dangerous precedent.”last_img read more

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Maintaining my commitment of accountability and transparency to Oakland County

first_img28Feb Maintaining my commitment of accountability and transparency to Oakland County Categories: Berman News When I was fortunate enough to be chosen by the people of the 39th House District to serve them and represent their voices and interests in Lansing, I made it very clear that I would set out on a mission to ensure state government is more transparent and accountable to the people of Michigan.As my first two months in office come to a close, I want to reiterate my unwavering commitment to transparency and accountability by highlighting the first bills I’ve introduced in the Michigan House.Michigan is one of a very few states that still exempts its governor, lieutenant governor and the Legislature from sunshine laws. As part of a bipartisan plan, I sponsored House Bill 4011 – the “Legislative Open Records Act” – to remove these freedom of information exemptions and make our state government more open and accountable to the people we serve. We all know transparency isn’t a partisan issue – it’s time Michigan steps up and sets an example of openness and honesty.My other proposal deals with bringing more transparency to our state’s no-fault car insurance system. Oakland County drivers – along with motorists across the state – are overpaying for their car insurance. It’s no secret. With the nation’s highest average premiums, it couldn’t be clearer the time to change course by delivering real, meaningful reforms is now.That’s why I authored House Bill 4111, which brings the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association (MCCA) under much-needed scrutiny. The MCCA is a private, alleged nonprofit entity which reimburses insurance companies for any auto-related medical claims over $555,000.Michigan requires all car insurance companies to belong to the MCCA and pay an annual per-insured-vehicle assessment to fund the association. In reality, Michigan motorists pay this fee. Just last year, the MCCA increased the annual fee $22, rising from $170 to $192 per vehicle – an increase of 13 percent.Over the past decade, the MCCA has grown from a value of $9 billion in 2009 to over $22 billion today. That raises concerns. Under my bipartisan legislation, the MCCA would be required to submit an annual audit to the state Legislature to review and determine whether or not the association is operating with a surplus.We need to make sure we hold the association accountable for annual vehicle assessment hikes, and make sure the increases are justified – if they are needed at all. If the Legislature concludes the MCCA is operating with a surplus, drivers could then be reimbursed.While there are a handful of factors culpable for the skyrocketing, out-of-control rates plaguing Michigan drivers’ pocketbooks, I believe a private entity not subject to public examination – with the ability to raise per-insured-vehicle assessments without justification – is among those responsible.While my plan won’t fix our failed car insurance system alone, I feel it’s an important element of a broader solution when it comes to increasing transparency and accountability, and making insuring a car more affordable for all Michiganders.I encourage all Oakland County residents to check out the Michigan House’s newly launched legislative website, www.ReduceMiRatesNow.com, which provides a transparent, inclusive means for drivers to submit their stories and ideas to help assist in no-fault car insurance reform efforts.As your state representative tasked with delivering a lasting remedy, I cannot stress enough how important it is that I hear from the very people paying the country’s most burdensome car insurance rates.As always, my office is open and ready to serve the hard-working families of southwest Oakland County. Please feel free to reach out by calling (517)373-1799 or by emailing RyanBerman@house.mi.gov.last_img read more

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The Good and the Bad Results of the Redesign of NOLAs School

first_imgShare1TweetShare5Email6 SharesImage Credit: Gilbert Mercier, New-Orleans post Katrina 2006August 3, 2015; SalonIt’s been ten years since Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast and left much of New Orleans underwater, its population displaced and its institutions devastated. The need to rebuild a school system from the ground up allowed “school reformers” to put their marketplace, performance-based theories into practice on a scale and at a pace unmatched in any other American city. Ten years in, observers are beginning to be able to measure how this experiment has played out and to see if it is a model other locales should emulate.Douglas Harris, professor of economics at Tulane University and founder and director of the Education Research Alliance for New Orleans, described the scope of the changes that were implemented in Education Next:“Within the span of one year, all public-school employees were fired, the teacher contract expired and was not replaced, and most attendance zones were eliminated. The state took control of almost all public schools and began holding them to relatively strict standards of academic achievement. Over time, the state turned all the schools under its authority over to charter management organizations (CMOs) that, in turn, dramatically reshaped the teacher workforce. […] New Orleans essentially erased its traditional school district and started over. In the process, the city has provided the first direct test of an alternative to the system that has dominated American public education for more than a century.”Harris and his colleagues at Tulane have just released findings from research they had been conducting on New Orleans’s schools. On the basic level of academic achievement, there seems to be some good news: New Orleans children are learning better than their peers in other parts of the state and better than they were before Katrina stuck.“For New Orleans, the news on average student outcomes is quite positive by just about any measure. The reforms seem to have moved the average student up by 0.2 to 0.4 standard deviations and boosted rates of high school graduation and college entry. We are not aware of any other districts that have made such large improvements in such a short time.“The effects are also large compared with other completely different strategies for school improvement, such as class-size reduction and intensive preschool. This seems true even after we account for the higher costs. While it might seem hard to compare such different strategies, the heart of the larger school-reform debate is between systemic reforms like the portfolio model and resource-oriented strategies.”But this level of student improvement has not been without cost. Not only has the financial investment in rebuilding New Orleans’s schools been exceptionally large in terms of both public and private investment, there has also been a cost in creating a corporate management system for a public school system.Blogger Jennifer C. Berkshire, known as EduShyster, took a look at this side of the NOLA education story in a recent Salon article. Andre Perry, former CEO of the Capital One/UNO charter network, told her, “The test scores are up, but let’s be honest about what we had to do to get there. Don’t lie to people and say ‘it’s all good.’”One of Perry’s concerns is that in a city that is 65 percent black, the leadership of the reform effort and many of the schools within it are almost entirely white. In Perry’s view, “We can’t have a white-led reform movement in New Orleans where all of the decisions are made by three or four power brokers.”Christy Rosales-Fajardo, an organizer for VAYLA, a group of students and young leaders from both the Vietnamese and Latino communities, is convinced that parents actually have less power in New Orleans today than they did under the prior school system. She argues that eliminating neighborhood schools has also eliminated the power of parents to come together as part of a community: “Parents are fighting individual battles with these schools and they’re all petrified of what will happen to their kids,” she says. Meanwhile, principals in the new autonomous landscape are more powerful than ever, functioning more like CEOs who report to handpicked nonprofit boards.“That’s the power shift,” Fajardo says.Berkshire also found that a large number of children and teens have dropped out of the public school system entirely, and their lost education is not reflected in the data set:“There are the huge number of young people in New Orleans between the ages of 16 and 24 who are neither in school or working. The recent Measure of America study, conducted by the Social Science Research Council, found that the greater New Orleans/Metairie region is home to more than 26,000 so-called ‘opportunity youth’…the number of students who’ve dropped out of the New Orleans’ schools begins to creep up uncomfortably close to the 43,000 students who are still in them.”In a recent blog post, Michael Stone, CEO of New Schools for New Orleans summed up the challenges still to be faced in New Orleans and in every urban school district looking for direction:“An encouraging decade of academic growth hasn’t erased the pervasive sense that reform was done ‘to’ the city, rather than via collective action by citizens, veteran educators, and African American families in New Orleans. And our city’s progress hasn’t cured the social ills that young people here face: poverty, violence and trauma, sky-high incarceration rates, fractured mental health services. That is a daunting list.”And Professor Harris also thinks that what has happened positively in New Orleans should be taken with a large grain of salt by educational leaders looking for answers in their own school districts. “Unfortunately, the effects of even the most successful programs are often not replicated when tried elsewhere, and there are good reasons to think the conditions were especially ripe for success in New Orleans.”—Marty LevineShare1TweetShare5Email6 Shareslast_img read more

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Hastings NE Public School District Revives Loyalty Oaths

first_imgShare3TweetShare1Email4 SharesAugust 17, 2015; Education Week (Associated Press)If you thought some of the stupidest manifestations of the McCarthy era were dead and buried, think again. The American Civil Liberties Union had to tell the school district of Hastings, Nebraska, that it should not require teachers “to pledge that they will teach students to love the United States.”The Hastings school district’s requirement is suspiciously similar to the “loyalty oaths” that Senator Joseph McCarthy (R-WI) promoted during the 1950s. The Supreme Court eventually ruled that employees couldn’t be required to sign a loyalty oath, but a state law in Nebraska enacted in the 1950s is still there and serves as the basis for the Hastings school district’s request.The Nebraska ACLU legal director, Amy Miller, noted that Hastings could be hit with a civil rights lawsuit if it went forward with the loyalty oaths. School superintendent Craig Kautz, however, said the school district’s action was legal and that at least one of the two loyalty oaths on the books in Nebraska was still valid.“As a public school, we can’t selectively decide what laws we abide by and which ones we don’t,” Kautz explained. “I just hope we don’t get dragged into something that’s above our level.”Still burdened with McCarthy-era laws, Nebraska’s two loyalty laws are these:One requires all public school teachers to pledge that they will “instill students with an understanding of the U.S. and Nebraska Constitution, a knowledge and history of the nation and the sacrifices made to achieve its ‘present greatness,’ a love and devotion to the polices that made America the ‘finest country in the world in which to live,’ and opposition to all groups and activities that would destroy the present form of government.”The other that requires public servants, presumably more than teachers, “to disavow any ties to political parties that advocate the violent overthrow of the government.”If you’re surprised by Nebraska, you might be more surprised to discover a loyalty oath requirement in California mandated by the state constitution. The California loyalty oath text reads as follows:“I, ___, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties upon which I am about to enter.”Should we ignore Hastings and ignore California for imposing loyalty oaths? Are they simply meaningless requirements that government employees (and volunteers!) can sign without a second thought? As politics in this country is becoming more divisive and antagonistic toward people who hold different beliefs, loyalty oaths are not inconsequential and meaningless. Remember Texas state legislator Molly White, a Republican, who demanded that Muslims who might visit her office take a loyalty oath to renounce Islamic terrorism and to announce allegiance to America and its laws? One can only imagine that in the revival of nativism in American politics, there is a slice of the American electorate that might find loyalty oaths an attractive idea.—Rick CohenShare3TweetShare1Email4 Shareslast_img read more

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