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Vancouver actor Michael Coleman denies allegations of sexual harassment

first_imgVANCOUVER – Actor Michael Coleman has denied what he calls a “whisper campaign” of sexual harassment allegations that have been made against him, saying they have damaged his reputation and his career could be ruined.Coleman, who co-founded an acting school in Vancouver and is known for his role as Happy the dwarf in the television series “Once Upon a Time,” told a news conference Friday he has never kissed or inappropriately touched any acting student, staff member or fan.He directly addressed four separate allegations, which he said date back to 2009, including one involving inappropriate comments that he says came from a fake Twitter account in his name.The complainants have not been identified and none of the allegations have been proven.Coleman called the complaints an anonymous attack on his reputation.“What I’d like to speak to today is the importance of words matter. I have seen my name in headlines with words like sexual misconduct and sexual allegations. And if you ask anybody what they are, the answer would be, ‘Well I’m not sure,’ ” Coleman said.Coleman said the first allegation came out in October 2017 at a town hall meeting held by the Union of B.C. Performers, which did not immediately return a request for comment. He said the union invited people to discuss sexual harassment in the entertainment industry after allegations were made against producer Harvey Weinstein.After that, Coleman said SchoolCreative Institute of the Arts launched an investigation.“When there were allegations involving my name, as per our own protocol, I took a mutually agreed upon leave of absence and we initiated our own internal investigation,” he said in a later interview.He said he voluntarily stepped aside from an active role in the school so it could take place. However, Coleman said he took issue with fact it was conducted by a staff member and not a third-party investigator.The staff member reached out to the woman from the town hall and asked if there was anyone else she should speak to, Coleman said. That’s how the three other complaints were lodged, he said.Coleman said his career could be ruined by the allegations, which have sparked a rumour mill. His IMDb page says he has also appeared on “Stargate: Atlantis,” “Smallville” and “Supernatural.”He said a shareholders’ dispute that resulted in his departure from GO Studios and SchoolCreative escalated because of them. The owners decided they no longer wished to be in business together, he said.He also said he voluntarily stepped aside from an active role in the school to allow an investigation into the allegations to take place, but it was never completed.Scott Gamble, admissions director at SchoolCreative, said to its knowledge none of the allegations involved the school.“Out of respect for the complainants and in the interests of protecting everyone’s privacy, SchoolCreative has no further comment on this matter,” he said in a statement. “We are focused on continuing to deliver first class education to our students in a safe and respectful environment.”He said 14 instructors who resigned returned to the school after Coleman left the company.A group of about 10 protesters holding signs reading “We believe the women” were allowed to watch the news conference.Lisa Ovies, who was among the protesters, said there is a support network for women making allegations.“We have a whole bunch of people here listening. If anybody wants to come forward privately or publicly, you have a community behind you,” added Ovies, who said she worked with Coleman for four years at a children’s acting school.She said watching the news conference was difficult.“It’s hard to express what you’re going through, from tears to anger,” Ovies said.last_img read more

Imperial Tobacco Canada gets creditor protection in 15B Quebec lawsuit

first_imgMONTREAL — Imperial Tobacco Canada is the latest company to receive a temporary reprieve from compensating 100,000 Quebec smokers after securing creditor protection in an Ontario court.A judge granted Imperial Tobacco Canada creditor protection Tuesday, and JTI-Macdonald Corp. was granted creditor protection last Friday.The two companies, along with Benson & Hedges, lost an appeal of a landmark $15-billion class-action lawsuit in the Quebec Court of Appeal on March 1.The Ontario Superior Court decision suspends legal proceedings against all three companies until April 5, even though only Imperial Tobacco Canada amid JTI-Macdonald sought protection from creditors.The Quebec Council on Tobacco and Health led two class actions against the companies and won in 2015, when Quebec Superior Court Justice Brian Riordan ordered the companies to make payments of more than $15 billion to smokers who either fell ill or were addicted.At the time, the ruling was believed to be the biggest class action award in Canadian history.“Imperial Tobacco Canada continues to disagree with the judgments by the Quebec Court of Appeal and the Quebec Superior Court,” the company said in a statement Tuesday. “Canadian consumers and governments have been aware of the health risks associated with smoking for decades, and the Company has always operated and sold its legal products within a regulatory framework dictated by governments.”The Quebec Council on Tobacco and Health has said that the Ontario court’s ruling can be extended beyond April 5 and victims could never see any money.“Companies are very good at finding strategies to avoid paying damages they were ordered to pay,” spokesman Mario Bujold said Monday.“The Superior Court in Ontario is suspending the rights recognized by six judges in Quebec. It’s unacceptable.”The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Introducing a new wave of AfricanCanadian pop music

first_imgTalk to most Canadians about African music and – if they have anything to say at all – they’ll more often than not reference something at least 30 years old: the sound of Paul Simon’s 1986 album Graceland, the fiery seventies funk of Fela Kuti, sixties pop hits by Miriam Makeba and Hugh Masekela, or the percussionist Olatunji, who sold millions of records in the 1950s and launched an amorphous industry dedicated to “world music.”Only recently, on Drake’s 2016 smash single One Dance, featuring Nigerian rapper Wizkid, did North American ears perk to the idea that African music might sound remarkably similar to modern pop and R&B – and is, in many ways, pushing it forward.Back in 2011, the British DJ Abrantee called this new sound Afrobeats (plural) – not to be confused with Afrobeat (singular), the genre defined by Fela Kuti and practised today by Brooklyn’s Antibalas or Ottawa’s Souljazz Orchestra. Afrobeats (plural) simply refers to modern African pop music from anywhere on the continent, music of the digital age that wouldn’t fly at most folk festivals or with self-appointed purists snapping up seventies reissues in Western record shops. In the past five years, it’s become the new sound of the London underground and bubbling up to the pop charts there. Facebook Advertisement African-Canadian artists such as Montreal-based Pierre Kwenders don’t necessarily fit into typical labels such as Afrobeats or ‘world music’ – a distinction they seek intentionally. – PHOTO BY PHILIPPE RICHELET Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Login/Register With: Twitter Advertisementlast_img read more

Canadian country singer and TV host Ronnie Prophet dead at 80

first_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Canadian country star Ronnie Prophet, who rose to fame in the 1970s through a string of singles and variety TV shows, has died.The singer’s widow Glory-Anne Prophet says in a Facebook post that “there are no words to express the heartache” of losing her “best friend and the love of (her) life.”A family spokesman broke the news with a Facebook post earlier in the day saying Prophet died Friday morning at age 80. Advertisement Login/Register With: Facebook Twitter They included CBC-TV’s Country Roads in 1973 and The Ronnie Prophet Show in 1974, and CTV’s Grand Old Country from 1975 to 1980, notes Historica Canada.Prophet’s widow, with whom he recorded several duets including 1984’s “If This is Love” and 1985’s “I’m Glad We’re Bad at Something,” said in her Facebook post that his sense of humour sustained her through the years.“Chet Atkins music was playing softly in the background till he left us for his heavenly home this morning at 8:40. He loved life, and friends, family and his fans were so important to him,” she wrote.“His passion for music was part of who he was and it was always his wish to keep people smiling wherever he went. Thank you for all the kind and encouraging words. I will continue to read them and they will help my grieving heart of losing him but knowing that he was loved and will be missed by others. God bless you all.”center_img Advertisement Ronnie Prophet in 1974.  (DICK LOEK / TORONTO STAR FILE PHOTO) He made his way to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Nashville but returned frequently to Canada to tour and host a succession of country music programs. Prophet recorded more than 25 albums and charted five singles during the 1970s on the Billboard Country charts, collecting accolades including the country male vocalist of the year Juno award in 1978 and 1979.The Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame member was born in Hawkesbury, Ont., and raised in Calumet, Que., and began his career at age 15 in Ottawa before moving to Montreal to sing in various nightclubs. Advertisementlast_img read more

Police fire tear gas water on protest

The police fired tear gas and water towards university students protesting near the University Grants Commission (UGC) at Ward Place.Students of the Higher National Diploma in Engineering (HNDE) staged the protest and some of them had attempted to enter the UGC premises. A tense situation arose as the students blocked traffic along Ward Place and demanded attention to some of their concerns.The police then fired tear gar and used water cannons to disperse the protesters. Some journalists covering the protest were also assaulted. The police later arrested 39 students. (Colombo Gazette) read more

Mens Basketball Ohio State moves up to No 8 in AP Poll

The Buckeyes gather up during a dead ball in the first half of the game against Iowa on Feb. 10 in the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorAnother top-three win for Ohio State led to another jump in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll for the Buckeyes.Ohio State rose six spots to No. 8, its highest ranking since it was ranked No. 3 on Jan. 6, 2014. The Buckeyes beat then-No. 3 Purdue 64-63 on the road on Wednesday, giving the team its second top-three win of the season after it beat then-No. 1 Michigan State 80-64 at home on Jan. 7. The Boilermakers are now No. 6 while the Spartans sit at No. 2. No. 22 Michigan also joins the other three Big Ten teams in the rankings.The Buckeyes currently sit at 22-5 overall and 13-1 in Big Ten play, just one season removed from finishing 17-15 overall with a 7-11 conference record. They missed both the NCAA Tournament and the NIT.In the NCAA Tournament selection committee’s first release of its current seeding on Sunday, Ohio State was listed as a No. 4 seed in the east regional with No. 1 Villanova, No. 2 Duke and No. 3 Texas Tech. The list was only a look at how the tournament would shape up if seeded Sunday and does not reflect how the official bracket will actually turn out.Ohio State will attempt to avenge its only Big Ten loss Thursday when it travels to State College, Pennsylvania, to face Penn State at 8 p.m. read more

Men fleeing from illegal aircraft may have been Brazilian Colombian –

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedLethem businessman in custody for illegal airstrip in Region 9August 28, 2017In “Crime”Illegal aircraft origin not Colombia, still to be determined – Crime ChiefAugust 16, 2017In “Crime”Illegal airstrip construction: Accused businessman granted $1M bailJanuary 2, 2018In “Court” Police believe that a Brazilian and a Colombian may be connected in the matter regarding the illegal aircraft and airstrip recently discovered in Region Nine.This is according to Acting Police Commissioner, David Ramnarine who told media operatives today that passports were found inside the aircraft revealing that a Brazilian and Colombian may have been the two persons who were seen fleeing from the aircraft upon it being found.The seized foreign aircraft was seen frequenting the Santa Fe/Maracanta areasAs such, a report is in the process of being finalised to submit to the relevant authorities.About a month ago, the plane was seized after police and other security officials had journeyed to the Santa Fe area amid reports of strange flights and discovered illegal fuel and other items near a makeshift airstrip. The aircraft was discovered at an airstrip close to Maracanta, near Santa Fe.The interior of the abandoned BeechcraftThree men were reportedly seen running away from the aircraft when Joint Services officials descended upon the area.Since then, a regional contractor was arrested in connection with the discovery of the illegal airstrip and the seizure of the aircraft, and  a prominent businessman has been taken into custody for allegedly hiring the contractor to prepare the illegal airstrip.Additionally, several pieces of equipment have been seized from both the contractor and the businessman.Reports from Lethem are that the Joint Services officers also seized the contractor’s equipment following his arrest.According to reports, the businessman had carried out works at Yupukari in 2016, where his company undertook works to a sanitary facility in the village, and persons in the area noted that the contractor has close Brazilian relationships.It is alleged that the contractor used his front-end loader to build an illegal airstrip about 10 miles from Santa Fe.The airstrip appeared to have undergone recent repairs when it was discovered. This strip had been discovered and destroyed by the GDF only a few years ago.The aircraft landed while the ranks were making their way back to the airstrip. read more

Strokes among younger people are increasing worldwide

first_imgSTROKES AMONG YOUNG and middle aged people are on the rise with a 25 per cent increase in cases over the last 20 years according to new research.A new study to be published in medical journal The Lancet shows that strokes suffered by people aged 20 to 64 years has undergone a starting rise. Strokes in this age group now make up 31 per cent of the total number of strokes, compared to 25 per cent before 1990.The study futhermore points out that the overall amount of disability, illness and premature death caused by stroke is projected to more than double worldwide by 2030.A second study also points out that haemorrhagic strokes, the deadliest form which are mainly caused by high blood pressure and unhealthy lifestyles, were now to blame for over half of stroke deaths.“Despite some improvements in stroke prevention and management in high-income countries, the growth and ageing of the global population is leading to a rise in the number of young and old patients with stroke,” according to researchers from the University of Burgundy in France. “Urgent preventive measures and acute stroke care should be promoted in low-income and middle-income countries, and the provision of chronic stroke care should be developed worldwide.”Low income countriesThe research also highlights the differing care being received by those in different regions worldwide. There were up to ten times as many stroke deaths and overall illness and disability between the most affected low income countries in eastern Europe, sub-Saharan Africa, and south and east Asia compared with the least affected higher-income countries in western Europe, Australasia, and North America.Graeme J Hankey of the University of Western Australia says that battling the growth of strokes worldwide requires a variety of different approaches:“Population-based mass strategies to reduce consumption of salt, calories, alcohol, and tobacco by improving education and the environment will complement high-risk strategies of identifying those at risk of haemorrhagic  stroke.”Read: This is how much cancer cost the EU in one year… >Read: Scientists meet to discuss ending the world’s AIDS pandemic >last_img read more

RTÉs new man in London will be a familiar face to most

first_img Whelan has been with RTÉ for 28 years. Short URL Share58 Tweet Email1 Mar 28th 2019, 3:57 PM 52,656 Views 23 Comments Whelan has been with RTÉ for 28 years. Image: RTÉ I am really grateful to be given this opportunity to get into the heart of a massive running story – the unfolding of Brexit and the changing relationships between Ireland, the UK and the EU that it is bringing about.“What’s going on right now in our next door neighbour’s is a really important piece in the story of our own country, and for a journalist it’s a great privilege to be able to work on it.” RTÉ’s new man in London will be a familiar face to most Sean Whelan takes over as London correspondent from Fiona Mitchell. Thursday 28 Mar 2019, 3:57 PM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Image: RTÉ RTÉ NEWS HAS announced that Sean Whelan is its news London correspondent. Whelan takes over the role after almost nine years as Economics correspondent and 28 years with RTÉ.The London position is currently held by Fiona Mitchell who took over the role in November 2014 after RTÉ reversed a previous decision to close its London office.   Mitchell’s four-year tenure has coincided with a historic period in the UK following the referendum decision to leave the European Union and the subsequent negotiations that have still yet to lead to Brexit. Mitchell will continue to work with RTÉ News following her departure from the London desk with RTÉ’s managing director of news Jon Williams paying tribute to her work over the previous four years. “Fiona has been a vital presence on air and online as Britain has tried to navigate the Brexit process. She’s been tireless in tracking every twist and turn at Westminster, as well as covering terror attacks in London and Manchester and dozens of other stories – we could not have been better served,” Williams said today. Whelan is a recognisable figure within Irish households following decades of reporting with RTÉ that has seen him in various overseas postings, including in Brussels and in Hong Kong and Bosnia as deputy foreign editor. Whelan was Europe Editor for ten years and said today that he is keen to again be focusing on European matters as part of Brexit.  By Rónán Duffylast_img read more

Le tournage de Mad Max 4 aurait ravagé une partie du désert

first_imgLe tournage de Mad Max 4 aurait ravagé une partie du désert de NamibieLes écologistes et les professionnels du tourisme en Namibie accusent le tournage du film Mad Max 4 “La rage de la route” d’être à l’origine de la destruction, fin 2012, de zones protégées dans le désert du Namib.Ecologie et cinéma ne font décidément pas bon ménage. Après Expendables 2, c’est au tour d’un autre film hollywoodien d’être accusé de ne pas avoir respecté l’environnement. En effet, selon les écologistes et les professionnels du tourisme en Namibie, le tournage du quatrième épisode de Mad Max qui a eu lieu entre juillet et décembre derniers dans une région du désert du Namib, a endommagé des zones protégées.Le tournage du film de l’Australien George Miller a donné lieu à la création “de pistes dans des zones vierges et ils m’ont même une fois empêché de promener des visiteurs dans une aire touristique car ils filmaient”, a accusé Tommy Collard, un tour-opérateur cité par l’AFP. “Le pire est que l’équipe du film a tenté d’effacer les traces en tirant des filets par dessus [le sable] et en arrachant des plantes”, ajoute-t-il. Il précise également que de petits animaux comme les lézards, les geckos ou les caméléons avaient souffert, tout comme une variété rare de cactus. Des autorisations insuffisantes pour protéger l’environnement M. Collard explique avoir “réuni beaucoup de preuves photographiques avec d’autres tours opérateurs côtiers” et l’autorité indépendante de conservation et de gestion de la côte namibienne (Nacoma) a été saisie. Le rapport qui a été commandé et remis au ministère namibien du Tourisme confirme ainsi : “oui, des zones du désert du Namib ont été détruites”. Dans ce document, l’auteur, Joh Henschel, affirme que “dans une zone, une charrue de labour a été utilisée”. Selon le rapport “le permis et les autorisations environnementales délivrés par le ministère de l’Environnement pour le projet Mad Max n’étaient pas assez précis pour encadrer la gestion du respect de l’environnement”. D’autant qu’en 2012, la Namibie a déposé une candidature auprès de l’Unesco pour que la partie méridionale du Namib soit déclarée “patrimoine mondial de l’humanité”. En effet, cette région offre un paysage de dunes cristallisées remarquablement sculptées et transformées par le vent au fil du temps.Des dégâts niés par les autorités locales À lire aussiMaladie de Charcot : symptômes, causes, traitement, où en est on ?La commission namibienne du film (NFC), elle, a réagi en achetant une pleine page de publicité dans le quotidien gouvernemental New Era pour “réfuter les allégations” concernant ce tournage. La production “à notre satisfaction a fait face à ses responsabilités en Namibie [ …] Nous n’avons aucun grief”, indique-t-elle. La NFC va même jusqu’à accuser les médias locaux de rapporter des “contre-vérités” et de “ternir” la réputation du pays. Une opinion, plus ou moins partagée par le ministère de l’Environnement qui a diffusé un communiqué exprimant sa satisfaction sur la façon dont l’équipe du film avait mené la remise en état de la zone de tournage.Le 5 mars 2013 à 17:24 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

NOW HIRING 10 New Job Openings In Wilmington

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — Below are some of the newest job openings in Wilmington:Full-Time Manager of Embryology at Charles River LabsFull-Time Overnight Closer at Planet FitnessFull-Time Overnight Custodian at Planet FitnessFull-Time Millwork Estimator at Brockway-Smith CompanyFull-Time Auto & Manual Press Printer at 3STEP Sports LLCFull-Time Carpet Cleaning Technician at New England Carpet MasterPart-Time Physical Therapist (13 Weeks) at Advanced Travel TherapyFull-Time Senior Manufacturing Operations Manager at MKS InstrumentsFull-Time Driver at Classic Soft TrimFull-Time Installer at Classic Soft Trim(NOTE: Wilmington businesses — Feel free to send me your job postings at Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedNOW HIRING: 10 New Job Openings In WilmingtonIn “Business”NOW HIRING: 60 New Job Openings In Wilmington (Week of August 11, 2019)In “Business”NOW HIRING: 10 New Job Openings In WilmingtonIn “Business”last_img read more

Early child care ensures a good future

first_imgState minister for women and children’s affairs Meher Afroze Chumki speaking during the roundtable titled ‘Early child growth and care’, organized by Prothom Alo with support from Unicef at the Prothom Alo’s Karwan Bazar office in the capital city on Sunday. Photo: Prothom AloA child’s early growth takes place from the foetus to six years. Its future depends much on the care taken at this stage of life. ‘That is why proper care is needed for a child’s healthy and normal physical, mental, social and emotional growth. Just as an expectant mother should be given extra nutrition, her mental peace must be ensured too. Proper care, nutrition and education must also be ensured for a child at every state from birth.’These observations were made by speakers at a roundtable on ‘Early child growth and care’, organized on Sunday by Prothom Alo with support from Unicef at the Prothom Alo’s Karwan Bazar office in the capital city.During the discussion, state minister for women and children’s affairs Meher Afroze Chumki said, children are a huge resource in Bangladesh. They must not be neglected, but given due care. This responsibility cannot be left to the government alone. The government cannot single-handedly take care of such a huge number of children. She said that a child’s future depended much on the care provided to the mother. Care was needed from the foetal stage. The expectant mother required additional nutrition and mental peace. Attention must be paid so that the mother does not face any sort of oppression. Torture on a pregnant woman has a negative impact on the child.Elaborating the government’s various measures for early child care, the state minister said, the government is thinking anew about daycare centres. A policy is being drawn up, necessitating licences to run daycare centres. Mothers will also be training in taking care of their children from birth to six years. The government is palling to create 36 thousand trainers in this regard.The minister said, everyone is working in an uncoordinated manner in this regard. The government is now looking into how to bring everyone to one platform and work in coordination.Director of Bangladesh Shishu Academy Anveer Liton said, a father must be involved in a child’s early care. The government and non-government organisations (NGOs) must collaborate in early child care initiatives. Volunteers must be prepared and booklets must be drawn up and distributed. Coordinated efforts under one umbrella would have t be carried out to ensure that all mothers and children, even the homeless, received due care.Deputy secretary and project director Bangladesh Shishu Academy’s early education for children’s growth project, Sultan Alam, said that the early child care policy was drawn up in 2013. He said work was being done at present for the protection of mothers and children in the hill areas, tea gardens and other backward areas.Unicef’s education manager Mohammed Mohsin said, Bangladesh has a policy on early child care, but just having a policy is not enough. Everyone must make concerted efforts. A benchmark must be put in place to determine what a child’s development should be at various stages. Simply teaching a child to read and write is not enough. Overall growth is the main target of early child care.Professor of Dhaka University’s Institute of Education and Research (IER), Najmul Huq, said, playing is the most important form of education for an infant. At a pre-primary stage, 60 to 70 per cent of a child’s time must be spent in playing. A child can be taught science, values, and everything through games. And yet they are being burdened with excessive books.IER professor Tariq Ahsan said that nowadays a good teacher is the one who teaches the children to learn everything off by heart and a good student is the one who doesn’t question, but just learns everything off by heart. This is just creating robots. If a child is to be allowed to grow as it should, then old attitudes, practices and perceptions would have to be discarded.ICDDRB scientist Jena Hamadani said, alongside physical, mental, social and emotional growth, a child required moral and spiritual growth as well. This was essential in building a good nation.ICDDRB scientist Fahmida Tofail said that from the foetal stage to six years, a child required different types of care at the different stages. At any stage there is a lack of nutrition, health or education, the child’s growth is obstructed.Advisor on early child care at the Aga Khan Foundation Bangladesh, Mohammed Golam Mustafa, said, it was important to ensure proper nutrition, medical care and peace for the expectant mother, for an infant to be breast fed for the first six months, to be weaned to regular food at six months. Integrated nutrition and education care is required for a child’s physical and mental development.Also speaking at the roundtable were Institute of Child and Mother Health’s child disease specialist Professor Wahida Khanam, director Centre for Injury Prevention and Research in Bangladesh SM Saidur Rahman Mashreqi, programme head of BRAC’s education programme Prafulla Chandra Barman, and others.last_img read more

India marks 100th anniversary of Amritsar massacre

first_imgIndian Punjab Police personnel light candles along with local residents as they pay tribute to the Jallianwala Bagh massacre martyrs on the eve of the 100th anniversary of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, in Amritsar on 12 April. Photo: AFPBritain’s high commissioner to India laid a wreath on Saturday on the 100th anniversary of the Amritsar massacre, one of the worst atrocities of colonial rule for which London is still to apologise.The Jallianwala Bagh massacre, as it is known in India, saw British troops fire on thousands of unarmed people in the northern city of Amritsar on the afternoon of 13 April, 1919.The number of casualties from the event, which hardened opposition to colonial rule, is unclear, with colonial-era records showing about 400 deaths, while Indian figures put the number of fatalities closer to 1,000.Even 100 years on, Britain has still made no official apology and Dominic Asquith, high commissioner, on Saturday followed suit at the Jallianwala Bagh walled garden where the massacre happened and where bullet marks are still visible.“You might want to re-write history, as the Queen said, but you can’t,” Asquith said.“What you can do, as the Queen said, is to learn the lessons of history. I believe strongly we are. There is no question that we will always remember this. We will never forget what happened here.”Former British prime minister David Cameron described what happened as “deeply shameful” during a 2013 visit but stopped short of an apology.In 1997, Queen Elizabeth II laid a wreath at the site but her gaffe-prone husband Prince Philip stole the headlines by reportedly saying that Indian estimates for the death count were “vastly exaggerated”.On Wednesday, british prime minister Theresa May told the House of Commons that the massacre was “a shameful scar on British Indian history”.“We deeply regret what happened and the suffering caused,” May said, but she, too, avoided saying she was sorry.Amarinder Singh, chief minister of Punjab state, said May’s words were not enough.He said “an unequivocal official apology” is needed for the “monumental barbarity”. Singh made his comments on Twitter, where pictures showed him greeting opposition Congress party leader Rahul Gandhi in Amritsar on the eve of the centenary.Singh said thousands attended a candlelight march Friday in memory of the victims ahead of a commemoration ceremony later on Saturday.High wallsAround 10,000 unarmed men, women and children had gathered in the Jallianwala Bagh walled public garden in Amritsar on the afternoon of 13 April 1919.Many were angry about the recent extension of repressive measures and the arrest of two local leaders that had sparked violent protests three days before.The 13th of April was also a big spring festival, and the crowd—estimated by some at 20,000 — included pilgrims visiting the nearby Golden Temple sacred to Sikhs.Brigadier general Reginald Edward Harry Dyer arrived with dozens of troops, sealed off the exit and without warning ordered the soldiers to open fire.Many tried to escape by scaling the high walls surrounding the area. Others jumped into a deep, open well at the site as the troops fired.One of several eyewitness accounts compiled by two historians and published in the Indian Express newspaper this week described the horror.“Heaps of dead bodies lay there, some on their backs and some with their faces upturned. A number of them were poor innocent children. I shall never forget the sight,” said Ratan Devi, whose husband was killed.Monstrous“I was all alone the whole night in that solitary jungle. Nothing but the barking of dogs, or the braying of donkeys was audible. Amidst hundreds of corpses, I passed my night, crying and watching,” she said.Dyer, dubbed “The Butcher of Amritsar”, said later it was a necessary measure, and that the firing was “not to disperse the meeting but to punish the Indians for disobedience”.Indian newspapers this week repeated their calls for an apology for a massacre that Winston Churchill, then secretary of state for war, called “monstrous”.“Over the years, there has been a growing demand from many, including several British historians, and parliamentarians, and Indian political parties, for the British government to formally apologise in parliament and commemorate the Jallianwala Bagh massacre with a memorial day,” the Hindustan Times said in an editorial.“But even in the centenary year of the massacre, Britain has refused to… take that important step,” it said. May’s statement was “perhaps qualitatively a notch stronger… but is far from enough.”last_img read more

In Latest Development About Bail System Lawsuit Misdemeanor Judges Withdraw Appeal

first_imgRoy Luck/FlickrA bail bonds office in Houston, near Minute Maid Park.There are new developments about the ongoing lawsuit over Harris County’s bail system as the county’s new misdemeanor judges have withdrawn an appeal their predecessors had filed, the Houston Chronicle reports.The judges, who were elected in the November 6 election, are also replacing a Washington, D.C. law firm that was handling the lawsuit with Allan Van Fleet, a Houston-based pro bono attorney.Attorneys and civil rights groups filed the lawsuit back in 2016 on behalf of defendants who were jailed for days in Harris County because they couldn’t afford to pay bail bonds on low-level offenses.The litigation is being handled by the court of U.S. District Judge Lee H. Rosenthal, who determined the county’s bail system is based on wealth and is unconstitutional.According to the Chronicle’s reporting, Judge Darrell Jordan, the only misdemeanor judge who kept his bench in the last election, the parties involved in the litigation are working on a settlement that could be reached by February 1.Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan said in a statement he supports the newly-elected judges in their effort to resolve the case “on terms they find acceptable.”Ryan added his office is “confident” the parties “will be able to reach a settlement that maximizes the number of misdemeanor detainees who are eligible for prompt release from jail without secured bail and that also provides due regard for the rights of victims and protection of the community while preserving the independence of the judiciary.”Tarsha Jackson, Harris County director of Texas Organizing Project, a civil rights group that advocates for bail reform, praised the judges’ decision to withdraw the appeal and said they look forward to a settlement.The next hearing in Judge Rosenthal’s court is scheduled for February 1. Sharelast_img read more

Global Piracy in 2017 TV and Music Illegal Activity Rose While Film

first_img“Our data suggests that piracy is more popular than ever,” said Muso CEO Andy Chatterley. “It has become clear that streaming is the most popular way for consumers to access content, whether it be via legitimate channels or illegitimate ones.”Actually, the level of piracy activity in 2017 was even higher than Muso reported. The firm now tracks data from China, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea and North Korea, but excluded those countries from its year-over-year comparison between 2016 and 2017.As in past years, the United States was the No. 1 home to digital pirates, accounting for 27.9 billion visits to piracy sites in 2017, according to Muso. The U.S. was followed by Russia (20.6 billion), India (17 billion), Brazil (12.7 billion), Turkey (11.9 billion), Japan (10.6 billion), France (10.5 billion), Indonesia (10.4 billion), Germany (10.2 billion), and the U.K. (9.0 billion).TV piracy, measured by visits to piracy sites, rose 3.4% globally in 2017. Toward the end of the year, torrent-based television piracy had a resurgence, but it still accounted for only 5% of all TV piracy, according to Muso. Music piracy jumped 14.7% from 2016, even with the shutdown of “stream-ripper” sites last year including piracy, by contrast, decreased by 2.3% last year even as torrent-based activity also increased globally toward the end of 2017 (making up 20% of all film piracy). Muso speculated that shift toward peer-to-peer downloads could have resulted from illicit video-streaming sites being blocked or shut down.In terms of devices, piracy continues to skew heavily toward mobile. About 87% percent of visits to piracy sites are via mobile devices, compared with 13% percent from desktop computers.London-based Muso was founded in 2009. The company claims to maintain the industry’s largest database on visits to and activity around piracy sites. Muso pitches itself as able to help content owners protect their intellectual property as well as assist them in developing strategies for monetizing consumers who engage in piracy. Popular on Variety Digital pirates continued to swarm over entertainment in 2017, even with the rise of legal streaming services like Netflix and Spotify.Worldwide, users made a total of 300 billion visits to internet piracy sites last year, up 1.6% from 2016, according to antipiracy consulting firm Muso. But while illegal streaming and downloads of TV shows and music increased in 2017, film piracy actually declined, Muso’s analysis showed.TV accounted for more than one-third of the reported global piracy activity, with 106.9 billion visits, followed by music (73.9 billion) and film (53.2 billion). Muso also looked at piracy in publishing and software.Around 53% of total piracy occurred on unlicensed streaming platforms, and it’s much higher in the U.S. for television (94%) and movie (77%) content.center_img ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15last_img read more

Friends to Leave Netflix for WarnerMedias HBO Max Streaming Service in 2020

first_img ×What Is HBO’s Future After ‘Game of Thrones?’Volume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpThe Best of Star Wars at D2305:35 twitter facebook reddit Link EmbedCopiedLive00:0005:0105:01More Videos05:35The Best of Star Wars at D2305:21How HBO’s ‘Chernobyl’ Recreated the Horrific Radiation Burns – Variety Artisans02:15Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney Princesses04:09Hollywood Celebrities Who Died in 201900:47Bebe Rexha Talked to Sophie Turner About the ‘Game of Thrones’ Finale00:49Wyclef Jean on the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award TitleClose Related WarnerMedia also announced new exclusive movie production deals for HBO Max with Greg Berlanti and Reese Witherspoon. Under the pacts, Berlanti will produce an initial four movies in the young-adult genre, while Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine will produce at least two films for the service.Berlanti, the prolific producer behind such shows as “Arrow,” “The Flash,” “Riverdale” and “Blindspot,” said in a statement about the HBO Max pact, “What I’ve always loved about creating shows that connect with a young audience is that these fans grow up with the programs and will remember them for the rest of their lives. Now I get to do even more of that for HBO Max, where viewers will be able to discover shows on their own time, in their own way.”In addition, HBO Max will include all episodes of “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” starring Will Smith and “Pretty Little Liars,” the ABC Family/Freeform hit — which also will be leaving Netflix.Moreover, HBO Max will be the exclusive streaming home new Warner Bros.-produced dramas for The CW starting with the fall 2019 season, including the DC Entertainment series “Batwoman,” and “Katy Keene” (a spinoff of “Riverdale”). CW shows going forward will be available on HBO Max beginning 30 days prior to the TV premiere of the next seasons of those shows. CW shows currently licensed to Netflix, which include “Riverdale,” “The Flash” and “Arrow,” will remain on Netflix for the next few years. Overall, HBO Max will combine content from HBO with a slate of originals and programming from Warner Bros., New Line, DC Entertainment, CNN, TNT, TBS, truTV, The CW, Turner Classic Movies, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Crunchyroll, Rooster Teeth, and Looney Tunes. In its announcement, WarnerMedia highlighted some of the content coming to HBO Max, including previously announced originals.“HBO Max will bring together the diverse riches of WarnerMedia to create programming and user experiences not seen before in a streaming platform,” Bob Greenblatt, chairman of WarnerMedia Entertainment and Direct-To-Consumer, said in a statement. Get ready to make “Friends” with HBO Max: That’s the name of WarnerMedia’s new direct-to-consumer streaming service, set to launch in the spring of 2020 with some 10,000 hours of content, including all episodes of ’90s hit “Friends.”However, WarnerMedia still hasn’t announced pricing for the service, which will compete with Netflix, Hulu, and Disney Plus, among others.Under a new deal with Warner Bros. Television, HBO Max will have exclusive streaming rights at launch to all 236 episodes of “Friends” — which will roll off Netflix in 2020. “We’re sorry to see ‘Friends’ go to Warner’s steaming service at the beginning of 2020 (in the US),” Netflix tweeted after WarnerMedia’s announcement. “Thanks for the memories, gang.”Netflix had reupped its deal with Warner Bros. TV for exclusive streaming rights to “Friends” through the end of 2019, but AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson recently said that WarnerMedia would be reclaiming popular titles that were licensed to others for its own subscription VOD service. Style Icon Jenna Lyons on Launching New Unscripted Series on Turner TVcenter_img A Suite Reward: Experience the suite life at The Plaza, New York A Suite Reward: Experience the suite life at The Plaza and save 30% on your quintessential New York City vacation. Ad by The Plaza NY See More AdChoices It’s still not fully clear how HBO, as a standalone service, will be differentiated from HBO Max. WarnerMedia has been considering a price point of $16-$17 per month for the new SVOD product and would likely bundle in HBO and Cinemax, the Wall Street Journal reported a month ago.HBO Max programming will continue to be overseen by Casey Bloys, programming president of HBO. According to WarnerMedia, HBO’s investment in original programming has increased 50% over “normal spending” leading up to the launch of HBO Max in 2020.Kevin Reilly, president of the WarnerMedia Entertainment Networks that include TNT, TBS, and truTV, also serves as chief content officer of HBO Max overseeing all new originals and library content. Tony Goncalves, CEO of Otter Media, now oversees the development of HBO Max with Andy Forssell, also from Otter Media and formerly CEO of Hulu, as the general manager. In May, Brad Bentley exited WarnerMedia Entertainment group as EVP and GM of direct-to-consumer development after six months in the role.RELATED VIDEO: HBO Max Is on a Buying Spree, but NBCUniversal’s Streaming Slate a Mysterylast_img read more

Physicists discuss quantum pigeonhole principle

first_img More information: Explore further Science writers reporting on the physicists’ findings heard resonance with that other blogger-comment favorite, Schrödinger’s cat. They suggested that those mulling over counterintuitive implications of quantum physics now have one more animal-related paradox to think about, in the form of pigeons, if any, found in pigeonholes. Physics World on Friday referred to “paradoxical pigeons” as the latest quantum conundrum. Scientists identified the paradox involving quantum pigeons; specifically, they have posed their findings on what the team calls the “quantum-pigeonhole effect.” According to the team, when you put three pigeons in two pigeonholes, it is possible for none of the pigeons to share a hole. They found instances when three quantum particles, they wrote, put in two boxes “yet no two particple are in the same box.”The team from California and colleagues in Israel, Italy and the UK are authors of the paper, “The quantum pigeonhole principle and the nature of quantum correlations,” by Y. Aharonov, F. Colombo, S. Popescu, I. Sabadini, D.C.Struppa, and J. Tollaksen. The research is described on the arXiv preprint server.”It’s one of those things that seem to be impossible,” said co-author Jeff Tollaksen, physics professor at Chapman University, in Physics World, but it is a consequence of quantum mechanics. “In conclusion,” said the authors,” we presented a new quantum effect that requires us to revisit some of the most basic notions of quantum physics—the notions of separability, of correlations and of interactions.”Marcus Woo, writing in Physics World on Friday, said, “They reckon that the effect will arise when an observer makes a sequence of measurements while trying to fit three particles in two boxes. First, you make an initial, “pre-selection” measurement of the locations of the particles. Next, you can perform an intermediate measurement to see whether two particles share a box. Finally, you make a final, “post-selection” measurement of the locations. You can make the pre-selection and post-selection measurements such that they are completely independent. In the intermediate step, you can make what’s called a weak measurement to look at all three particles simultaneously. And when you do, it turns out that no two particles share a box. Credit: Wikipedia © 2014 Researchers find nondestructive method to study quantum wave systems The pigeonhole principle: “If you put three pigeons in two pigeonholes at least two of the pigeons end up in the same hole.” So where’s the argument? Physicists say there is an important argument. While the principle captures the very essence of counting, the investigators said that they showed that in quantum mechanics it is not true. Citation: Physicists discuss quantum pigeonhole principle (2014, July 26) retrieved 18 August 2019 from This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

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first_img News | Neuro Imaging | March 18, 2019 Non-Contrast MRI Effective in Monitoring MS Patients Brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) without contrast agent is just as effective as the contrast-enhanced approach… read more Related Content Feature | Contrast Media | July 18, 2019 | By Greg Freiherr How To Manage Risk in the MR Suite Macrocyclic contrast agents have the best safety profile of all the magnetic resonance (MR) contrast media that are n read more Sponsored Content | Case Study | Contrast Media | January 30, 2019 Captisol-enabled Contrast Media with Reduced Renal Toxicity in Development The medical imaging market relies heavily on contrast media, injected into patients to increase the contrast of bodil read more News | Ultrasound Imaging | March 07, 2019 Ultrasound Societies Urge FDA to Remove Black Box Warning on Contrast Agents National and international ultrasound societies are urging the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to remove the “black… read more Two brain metastases from primary lung cancer are contrast enhanced in the brain of a 61-year-old male. Speakers at AHRA 2019 will state that ProHance and other macrocyclic MR agents present a very low risk to patients. Images courtesy of Bracco News | December 15, 2008 Same Acute Mortality Rates for Contrast vs. Non-Contrast Echocardiograms December 15, 2008 – Lantheus Medical Imaging reported that new data from a retrospective, multicenter, cohort study of over four million hospitalized patients showed similar unadjusted mortality rates for patients receiving DEFINITY Vial for (Perflutren Lipid Microsphere) Injectable Suspension enhanced resting echocardiography exams when compared with patients who did not receive DEFINITY. Although the patients that received DEFINITY were sicker on average and had a higher baseline mortality risk prior to the exam, following DEFINITY administration these same patients exhibited a 24 percent reduced risk of mortality over 24 hours compared to the those patients who received only echocardiography without the ultrasound contrast agent. These study findings were published in the December 2008 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.”As the largest retrospective, observational study to date to examine the short-term safety profile of perflutren-containing ultrasound contrast agents, the data highlight the relatively low incidence of adverse safety reactions associated with DEFINITY and demonstrate a significantly lower risk of acute mortality for patients receiving DEFINITY-enhanced echocardiograms,” said Mark Hibberd, M.D., Ph.D., senior medical director, Global Medical Affairs, Lantheus Medical Imaging, Inc. and co-author on the study. “These study findings provide the physician community with essential safety information on the use of DEFINITY, especially among hospitalized patients, and provide valuable information on patient outcomes that bear further investigation.”The study was designed to assess short-term (one-day) mortality in hospitalized patients undergoing resting transthoracic echocardiography both with and without DEFINITY. The study analyzed more than 4.3 million patients undergoing clinically indicated echocardiography from January 1, 2002 through October 31, 2007 using the Premier Perspective Database. Of this population, 4,242,712 patients received non-enhanced echocardiograms and 58,254 received contrast-enhanced studies using DEFINITY.One-day mortality rates were 1.08 percent for patients undergoing non-contrast studies and 1.06 percent for patients undergoing DEFINITY contrast-enhanced examinations. However, patients receiving DEFINITY were more likely to have an increased baseline severity of illness and a higher pre-study risk of mortality. A multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to compare 24-hour mortality, controlling for case mix and clinical covariates. Patients undergoing DEFINITY -enhanced echocardiograms had a 24 percent lower risk adjusted odds ratio for mortality within one day than those patients who received only echocardiography without the ultrasound contrast agent.These findings build on and corroborate a recently published multicenter retrospective study that also demonstrated no increased mortality in patients undergoing echocardiography with a contrast agent in comparison with patients undergoing non-contrast-enhanced examinations (Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Volume 51, Number 17, 2008).(1) In addition, this multicenter analysis was presented in part at a meeting of the United States Food and Drug Administration Cardiovascular and Renal Drugs Advisory Committee in June, 2008.WARNING: Serious Cardiopulmonary ReactionsSerious cardiopulmonary reactions, including fatalities, have occurred during or following perflutren-containing microsphere administration. Assess all patients for the presence of any condition that precludes DEFINITY administration (see CONTRAINDICATIONS). In patients with pulmonary hypertension or unstable cardiopulmonary conditions, monitor vital sign measurements, electrocardiography and cutaneous oxygen saturation during and for at least 30 minutes after DEFINITY administration (see WARNINGS). Always have resuscitation equipment and trained personnel readily available.Activated DEFINITY should not be administered to patients with known or suspected cardiac shunts (right-to-left, bi-directional or transient right-to-left), or hypersensitivity to perflutren. Do not administer DEFINITY by intra-arterial injection.For more information: FacebookTwitterLinkedInPrint分享 Example of full-dose, 10 percent low-dose and algorithm-enhanced low-dose. Image courtesy of Enhao Gong, Ph.D.center_img Sponsored Content | Videos | Contrast Media | January 22, 2019 itnTV “Conversations”: Guerbet Unveils Portfolio of Advanced Digital Solutions ITN Contributing Editor Greg Freiherr speaks with Guerb read more Technology | Contrast Media | August 05, 2019 Bracco Receives FDA Approval for Varibar Thin Liquid for Oral Suspension Bracco Diagnostics Inc. announced U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for Varibar Thin Liquid (barium… read more Feature | Contrast Media Injectors | April 11, 2019 | By Jeff Zagoudis Using Artificial Intelligence to Reduce Gadolinium Contrast One of the most controversial issues in radiology in recent years has been the use of… read more News | Radiology Business | April 24, 2019 ITN Wins Jesse H. Neal Award for Best Technical Content April 24, 2019 — Imaging Technology News (ITN) was recently named the 2019 Jesse H. read more News | Cardiovascular Ultrasound | August 07, 2019 Contrast Use in First Transthoracic Echocardiogram for Heart Failure Reduces Repeat Testing Heart failure is the fourth most common cause for all admission to U.S. hospitals, and it is the most common reason for… read more Technology | Contrast Media | July 15, 2019 FDA Approves Bayer’s Gadavist Contrast for Cardiac MRI in Adult Coronary Artery Disease Patients The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Gadavist injection for use in cardiac magnetic resonance… read more Conversations with Greg Freiherr: Guerbet Unveils Portfolio of Advanced Digital SolutionsVideo Player is loading.Play VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 5:46Loaded: 2.87%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -5:46 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.last_img read more

5 questions for Costa Rican musician Manuel Obregón

first_imgOur “Weekend Arts Spotlight” presents Sunday interviews with artists who are from, working in, or inspired by Costa Rica, ranging from writers and actors to dancers and musicians. Do you know of an artist we should consider, whether a long-time favorite or an up-and-comer? Email us at Facebook Comments Getting lost in music, finding life’s beauty in it and simply enjoying the moment is something that Costa Rican musicianManuel Obregón has loved throughout his life.When he was only three years old, his grandmother taught him to play the piano, the instrument that has always accompanied him in his adventures. In addition, Obregón’s father was always very involved in politics and had many friends who were artists, poets, writers, and musicians, which awakened Obregón’s interests in the arts.“I studied classical music a lot, and the popular music that interested me. That combination is reflected a bit in the pieces I composed later on: the fusion between a more European school, and the search for something more linked to our landscape and climate,” Obregón told The Tico Times. “It was then that I began working with everything related to nature.”Obregón studied at the University of Costa Rica (UCR) and in various schools in Spain and Switzerland, then immersed himself in the Costa Rican music scene. He composed for and played in various groups such as Afro Cosmos, Cahuita, el Cuarteto Esporádico de Jazz (the Sporadic Jazz Quartet), Gospel Caribe, Orquesta de la Papaya (Papaya Orchestra), Malpaís and many more.During his solo career, he has created albums such Piano Solo (1992), Concierto del Farolito (1993), Sortilegio (1994), Piano y Ángel Ausente (1995), Sin Ton Ni Son (1996), Simbiosis: Piano and Rainforest (1998), Génesis (2000), OM (2001), Piano Malango (2008), Simbiosis: Piano y Bosque Tropical Seco (2011), and Paz (2015). For his last albums, Obregón merged nature and music to create unique melodies mixed with nature’s rhythms.Obregón served as Costa Rica’s Culture Minister during the administration of President Laura Chinchilla (2010 – 2014) and Costa Rica’s Culture Ambassador in South Korea from 2013 to 2015. He has received various awards from the Costa Rican Composer and Musical Authors’ Associaton (ACAM) as well as an Honorary Doctorate in Law from York University in Canada for his work integrating nature and culture.On a sunny, warm afternoon at Cala Luna in Langosta Beach, Guanacaste, during his visit to the Tamarindo Art Wave Festival, The Tico Times sat down and spoke with Obregón, 53, about his life and work. Excerpts follow.Why did you decide to dedicate yourself to music?The truth is that it was a decision based on observing what I was enjoying the most and with what I was more at ease. When I was in high school I was very shy and didn’t even know how to speak to the girl I liked. I didn’t know what to do. When I sat down on the piano, the girl came and I didn’t even have to talk to her. [laughs].So, that was something that helped me decide that that path was good. Undoubtedly, the arts and music are a means of communication. It’s not necessary to speak or say many words; many times with only one note or one phrase, the feeling is communicated. Manuel Obregón enjoying the moment while playing the accordion. Via Manuel Obregón’s FacebookWhen did you begin composing? That was actually in Spain. I was in the conservatory and there was a part that was being lost because it was not classical music or any other that I had learned, the [music] that I wanted to play… I had to invent some music that I felt closer to my heart.The composition process is like digging and suddenly saying: well, I like this idea… Sometimes it happens in dreams. I try to wake up and record it when I remember the melodies that I was dreaming.In Simbiosis, it was about listening to a bird singing. With what we’re listening to here [a bird is singing in the background as we talk], I get inspired. With that I began a dialogue with the sound and the rhythm or the ocean, the waves, the wind and all of this. Manuel Obregón playing the accordion at the Adamello Glaciers, Italy. Via Manuel Obregón’s FacebookCan you tell me more about how that dialogue works?I played at the Monteverde Music Festival and the concerts were at sunset, where there are many bird sounds. I was playing there and suddenly the monos congos (howler monkeys) appeared with all sorts of birds… [someone asked] why didn’t I take my piano to other places and make an album about that, and that was the process for Simbiosis.It was not that easy because with all the technicians and the piano there, it was not very natural. It took me about three days of really listening to nature because we sometimes vibrate on another frequency. Even if we’re in nature, we’re not listening to it. We have to learn to lower those frequencies and suddenly you begin listening. That’s what happened to me on the third day and then I recorded all of it.Since that experience, I felt more sensitive in listening to nature’s breathing. Being able to feel it through the breeze, as the planet expresses it: always breathing. We’re sometimes contaminated by many sounds that hinder us from listening to nature, but we should always listen to it, especially our heart that is always beating. Manuel Obregón playing the accordion at the Amazonas during one of his visits last year. Via Manuel Obregón’s FacebookWhy did you decide to work with the Costa Rican government, and what did you learn during your four years of work?In some way I had to give back to the country what I had received. I’ve received a lot from Costa Rica, and I believed in that moment and I still believe that we had a contribution to give. I called a group of artists and people that were on the same frequency to work with me. We were there for four years that were not easy, but I do believe we contributed a change in things when we accepted to get into that enredo (mess).I also got to know a different Costa Rica. Sometimes we believe that Costa Rica is only the place where we are in our comfort zone. I went to get to know that other part that has to do with how to generate alliances to achieve changes, because one person from the Culture Ministry cannot do much if you’re not able to coordinate with the communities, the municipalities and other ministries. It’s about learning to do exchanges, deals and proposals that are beneficial for all. Manuel Obregón playing the accordion for a big audience at the Teatro Nacional. Via Manuel Obregón’s FacebookWhat are Costa Rica’s needs right now regarding culture?Culture is a tool. It can transform a society, and it happens to all of us. If you watch a movie or a good theater play, it can sometimes mark us for a lifetime.Now, imagine that all of that multiplied by the people. I believe that the fact we’re having a window toward culture makes us wake up, be alert, and concentrate much omre on the capacity to create.As for Costa Rica, we have many good things. It’s one of the most active culture ministries. One of the things that I learned at the ministry is that culture is not official. It’s not from a government or a state. Culture is always happening. In each place that you’ll go to, even if there’s no program from the ministry, there’s culture. It exists. That’s what we have to defend and preserve.Watch Manuel Obregón playing the Punto Guanacasteco while paragliding over the Chirripó mountains: Related posts:5 questions for Costa Rican artist Rossella Matamoros 5 questions for Costa Rican artist Karen Clachar 5 questions for a Costa Rican musicologist, composer and writer 5 questions for a Costa Rican musician, dancer and modellast_img read more