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After documenting travels to over 130 countries on Earth, Santhosh George Kulangara from Kerala heads to space

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Santhosh George
Kulangara ensured that he would get to document his space flight. He had it included in his contract years ago that he could take his own video equipment on the flight to document the one-of-a-kind trip.
Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: It has been a long wait, of over 14 years, for traveller, media personality and entrepreneur Santhosh George Kulangara. But he feels that that the interactions and experiences during the waiting period was as good as the promise of being one of the first to be on a flight to the edge of space.

Kulangara is one of the 600 people who signed up for the space tourism project by Virgin Galactic. On July 11, the founder of Virgin Group and Virgin Galactic, 71-year-old Richard Branson successfully completed the company’s first ever space flight with a 5-member crew on board. After this success, the first commercial flights carrying the early ticket holders, including Kulangara, are expected to start in early 2022.

And [I thought] if a common can fly to space, I should be the first person from India to go to space because I have taken travel as a profession.

– Santhosh George Kulangara

Kulangara is best known for his detailed video travelogues from his trips to over 130 countries. Initially screened as episodes as part of the show Sanchaaram (translates to journey in Malayalam) on Asianet, Kulangara now has his own channel called Safari TV. It was on one of his trips, that Kulangara signed up to be a space tourist in 2006.

In the 90s, when travel vlogs were not a thing, Kulangara started travelling solo to shoot and edit travelogues for television viewers.

A train trip and a US$250,000 ticket to space

Talking about how he first came to know about space tourism with Virgin, Kulangara said “I was on a train from London to Glasgow, on a private train of Virgin Group itself…”

“On the train some passenger left behind a newspaper, which I picked up and started reading. I found a curious news that Richard Branson, the owner of that very train, was planning a new venture that could take the common man to space. He had named it space tourism.”

“It was exciting news for me. This would mean anyone can travel [to space], he need not be a scientist or a technician or a fighter pilot… And [I thought] if a common can fly to space, I should be the first person from India to go to space because I have taken travel as a profession. I thought I should be travelling for all Indians, to show, and share with them the experience.”

Santhosh Kulangara with Richard Branson
Santhosh Kulangara with Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group
Image Credit: Supplied

When he returned from the UK, Kulangara emailed the Virgin office in London informing them of his interest and explaining his background. In two days, he got a call from senior Virgin executives in London, and they had two-three long conversations.

“They explained what it is [space flight], what are the risk elements, and [we talked] about how passionate I am… That was their first question, and I said it is not myself alone travelling… over one billion people would be travelling with me, Virgin will become a household name in India by the time I travel. So [I said], I will show them the experience of space travel, and they will enjoy space travel from their living room.”

In 2007, Kulangara was officially on the list and had included in his contract that he would take his own video equipment on the flight to document the one-of-a-kind trip. The ticket cost was US$250,000, over Dh918,248. The first 600 tickets sold by Virgin Galactic went for between $200,000 and $250,000 each, but the company has warned that the cost for future sales will go up.

Kulangara
In 2007, Kulangara was officially on the list of ticket holders for Virgin’s commercial space flight
Image Credit: Supplied

Training and experience

Even though being a space tourist doesn’t have physical or training requirements as rigorous as astronauts, there is still some training involved. Kulangara did two trainings so far and this isn’t included in the ticket price.

He said, “I had my first training of zero gravity training at the Kennedy Space Centre, Florida…Me and 12 other trainees flew in aircraft designed to give the zero gravity experience.”

Santhosh Kulangara zero-G training
Santhosh Kulangara during his zero gravity training; the trainings are not included in the ticket price of US$250,000
Image Credit: Supplied

“It is a parabolic flight, it will take off and drop repeatedly, and every drop it creates a zero-gravity inside the aircraft. We had 40-50 drops and by the end of it we were all exhausted but it was a great experience, because we never knew what it would feel like. It was as if we were flying like a piece of cotton…”

“It was a wonderful experience but after it everyone also had a wonderful vomiting session…,” he laughed.

The second training was at the NASA centre in Philadelphia for G-tolerance or gravity tolerance which was tougher, Kulangara explained.

“It’s not just the space travel that’s exciting. Every moment of training, every get-together [was special]. Every time we would meet up, we would interact with great people like Richard Branson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and other Hollywood celebrities – in all our get-togethers, we would meet these celebrities. And we were a small group – we were just maybe a maximum of 200 people, we knew each other. So we would get enough time to interact.”

Santhosh Kulangara
Kulangara said he cherished the community interactions he had during his trainings and meet-ups while waiting for the space flight to become a reality.
Image Credit: Supplied

“Interacting with these kind of people is also an opportunity. That is also a profit or a benefit of this ticket, not just the space travel, but to have an interaction and association with these people and learn from them. These are the highlights of this space travel,” Kulangara added.

As of now the date of his flight to space has not been announced yet, but Kulangara expects it will not be far now.

The journey of ‘Sanchaaram’

It wasn’t easy for Kulangara to sell the idea of his video travelogues, especially during a time where there were no travel influencers and social media vloggers yet. After a degree in media, he wanted to be in the television industry and he started his career there.

Kulangara said, “But soon I realised that the conventional TV serials, documentaries, telefilms and all couldn’t excite me. That is not what I wanted. Then I thought what else I could do… I am always looking for something new…”

“Then I thought of my childhood days when we would have frequents tours across South India. My parents were teachers and they would travel with their students to different destinations in South India. So that passion was in me and I thought of starting a television show based on travel. A lot of travel shows were there but they all picturised places with words and letters.”

“The present medium [at the time] was television. So with a camera I could share the views, the experience, the food, the culture with the viewers and they could enjoy the experiences from their living room,” he added.

“At that time it was a difficult task, we would have to carry huge cameras, we would need to take a lot of technicians with us. But I found a solution for that by acquiring all the technology which a television crew required so that I could do all the work of different technicians alone, [by] myself.”

Planning this out, Kulangara said he found a way to travel solo, and bring back videos from the places he visited for viewers.

Santhosh George
A still from Kulangara’s first trip for Sanchaaram, to Nepal in 1997
Image Credit: Supplied

Family support and money to start

When he pitched the idea, Kulangara’s parents were clear about one thing. He said, “My parents had already stated that if you’re going on your own ways you have to find the fund for that yourself and we wouldn’t give you money.”

“So I made my own money from other activities, small businesses, and of course programs produced for Doordarshan, borrowed some money from my friends, that’s how I started the program.”

“They were definitely anxious about my future in this industry and as a television program maker…”, he added.

However, his family never disapproved of Kulangara’s interest in travel because the family had a love for travelling.

Santhosh Kulangara
Kulangara, on one of his training trips to the US for the space flight
Image Credit: Supplied

Lack of opportunities

His first trip for Sanchaaram was in 1997, to Nepal. But it would take another four years for Kulangara to get a TV show slot on Asianet because most channels at the time refused to believe that weekly travel videos were doable, especially by a single person.

“When I said I would travel around the world and bring you a video every week they couldn’t believe it, they didn’t trust me – they thought even international channels weren’t doing those [solo traveller] kind of videos, so how could a man like me do it?“ Kulangara said.

Kulangara said he didn’t even get many opportunities to pitch the idea because of this attitude from many channels and he added, “I was not so confident to talk to them after this.”

In 2001, Asianet agreed to take his videos when they launched Asianet Global. Kulangara added, “Even then, they never thought would continue with it. But I continued with it, for 12 years on Asianet with Sanchaaram. By that time it was a hit, everyone accepted the program. Asianet also didn’t want me to leave, but I had already decided to start my own channel.”

In 2013, Kulangara started his own channel called Safari– a channel dedicated to exploration and travel and to this day, free from any advertisements.

Family business

Kulangara and his family is best known for the Labour India group of establishments. Started by his father, George Kulangara, in 1983 the group started out as a publisher of educational journals and magazines ranging from the primary level to the higher secondary level courses. The group also has a school in Kottayam, Kerala called the Labour India Gurukulam International Residential School and Junior College.

Now, Santhosh George Kulangara is the Managing Director of the Labour India group and under his leadership, Labour India Publications Ltd. was transformed into Labour India Educational Research Centre which produces 30 educational journals. The company website says these journals have over 1.6 million readers.

Unique heritage resort, production studio

On an island that he owns on the Vembanadu lake near Cochin, Kulangara has successfully built a unique ‘heritage village’. He chose historically significant buildings between 100 and 250 years old from across Kerala, then uprooted the structures and rebuilt them on the island. It was briefly managed as a resort but Kulangara said in a recent interview that he would no longer be continuing that and was instead focusing on making it a place people could come visit for free or hold events for payment to cover the upkeep of the village.

Heritage palace santhosh george
Kulangara chose historically significant buildings and homes that were over 100 to 250 years old from across Kerala. He then uprooted the structures and rebuilt them on the island.
Image Credit: Screengrab/YouTube @somakeralapalace

The other project that is in the final stages is his 50,000 sq. feet production studio named the Safari Imagination Studio.

Kulangara said, “The entire visual media [industry] is my playground. So I am thinking bigger now. Now augmented reality and virtual reality are emerging. So television will grow that way and will merge with film, multimedia etc. For that we need better studios to create beautiful visual effects, and technology has to lead that.”

He added, “Construction is over and I am handling the final stages of the studio… It is ready for operations now. Just after the COVID-19 lockdown, we think we can inaugurate the studio.”



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Los Angeles plans vax-or-test mandate for all city workers

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Los Angeles has brought back a mask mandate amid rising COVID-19 cases from the Delta variant.

Los Angeles will require city workers to get vaccinated against the coronavirus or submit proof of a negative test each week, following the Big Apple’s own vax-or-test policy.

LA Mayor Eric Garcetti and City Council President Nury Martinez announced the policy Tuesday, and said they’ll look to make getting a COVID-19 inoculation a hard requirement for all employees once the FDA gives full approval for the vaccines.

“The fourth wave is here, and the choice for Angelenos couldn’t be clearer – get vaccinated or get COVID-19,” Garcetti said in a statement.

“So please, visit your doctor’s office, or a local drug store, or one of our many free sites and get the vaccine right now, because it could mean the difference between life and death for you or a loved one.”

The City of Angels, the second largest city in the country by population, already requires masks indoors regardless of vaccination status cases. Its announcement Tuesday comes as communities across the US re-impose restrictions amid the Delta variant surge, widespread anti-vaccination rhetoric and a debate over whether employers or schools should – and are legally allowed – to require vaccinations.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday that Gotham would impose a vaccine or test requirement for all city workers, including NYPD and teachers. That expanded a requirement that had already been announced for public hospital and Health Department employees.

Los Angeles has brought back a mask mandate amid rising COVID-19 cases from the Delta variant.
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On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidance to recommend masking up indoors – even for people who’ve been jabbed.

The LA council president said city residents “have stayed inside for over a year” as a protective measure.

“I think it’s safe to say that we’re getting tired of putting our lives on hold to protect people who don’t want to protect themselves and get vaccinated,” Martinez said in a statement. “In order for us, as leaders, to ask Angelenos to get vaccinated, we must set an example as the largest employer in the City of Los Angeles. This is us doing our part.”

California State University will require all students and staff to get vaccinated before the upcoming fall semester, the public university announced Tuesday, according to The Los Angeles Times.



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Lac La Ronge Indian Band begins search for residential school graves, with ‘a lot of work ahead’

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Lac La Ronge Indian Band begins search for residential school graves, with 'a lot of work ahead'

WARNING: This story contains distressing details

The Lac La Ronge Indian Band has become the latest First Nation in Saskatchewan to begin searching for unmarked graves associated with a local residential school site. 

“We have a lot of work ahead of us,” Chief Tammy Cook-Searson said.

The band launched its search efforts on Saturday using ground-penetrating radar equipment at an old cemetery site west of downtown La Ronge, Sask., located approximately 375 kilometres northeast of Saskatoon.

Lac La Ronge Indian Residential School operated on grounds in front of the cemetery site, which also functioned as a community cemetery and today is marked by headstones here and there, Cook-Searson said.  

“We don’t know who’s all buried in the cemetery,” she said. 

The search comes one week after seven other First Nations launched similar efforts in the community of Delmas, Sask., where the Delmas Indian Residential School once stood. 

There are some markers and headstones already at the cemetery site. (courtesy Tammy Cook-Searson)

The work in La Ronge will take time. Only 30 per cent of the cemetery site was explored on the weekend, with elders and other band members sometimes taking the reins of the equipment. 

The remaining 70 per cent of the cemetery still needs to be combed, Cook-Searson said. 

“And then we also have to do the outside of the cemetery, in the surrounding area, where elders have said that there’s a mass grave here … you know, just from oral history and time passing down information,” she said.

The band is looking to take up that additional work in late August.

No discussion has taken place about whether to exhume any bodies found in order to aid with identifying remains, Cook-Searson said. 

Elders attended the start of the Lac La Ronge Indian Band’s search efforts. (Tammy Cook-Searson/Facebook)

This weekend’s launch was a community event, with food and support workers on hand.

In one information tent, band member John A. Irving shared his years of research on the cemetery, including a model he constructed of the former residential school.

“He’s working on passing that knowledge down to the younger generation,” Cook-Searson said.

  • Do you have information or documents related to residential schools? Contact us anonymously through Secure drop or email us at wherearethey@cbc.ca.

La Ronge Mayor Colin Ratushniak and Chief Bobby Cameron of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations were among the dignitaries present for the search launch.

“I think it went well,” Cook-Searson said of the event. “A lot of people came out to support each other. It was difficult work, but it was really important to have all the support there.”

Band member John A. Irving shared his knowledge of the residential school and the cemetery during the search’s launch. (Tammy Cook-Searson/Facebook)

The Lac La Ronge Indian Band is the fourth known Indigenous group in Saskatchewan to begin searching for unmarked graves associated with a residential school.

The seven First Nations that make up Battlefords Agency Tribal Chiefs have not yet announced results from their recent work in Delmas.

Muskowekwan First Nation has said it had found the remains of 35 previously unidentified students. More work is planned at the Muscowequan residential school site this summer.  

Cowessess First Nation announced a preliminary finding of 751 unmarked graves at a cemetery near the former Marieval Indian Residential School — the largest such discovery in Canada to date.


Support is available for anyone affected by their experience at residential schools, and those who are triggered by the latest reports.

A national Indian Residential School Crisis Line has been set up to provide support for former students and those affected. People can access emotional and crisis referral services by calling the 24-hour national crisis line: 1-866-925-4419.


Do you have information about unmarked graves, children who never came home or residential school staff and operations? Email your tips to CBC’s new Indigenous-led team investigating residential schools: WhereAreThey@cbc.ca.



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16-year-old Filipino boy in UAE to compete against Europe’s best junior cyclists

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16-year-old Filipino boy in UAE to compete against Europe’s best junior cyclists

Dubai: A 16-year-old Filipino boy in Dubai will be competing against Europe’s top junior cyclists after recently signing a contract with Bathco Cycling Team in Spain.

Lance Lumanlan, a student of GEMS Winchester School in Dubai, said: “My plans are to go to Europe and race with some of the best juniors in the world, hoping that this will open some doors that could help me pursue my dreams of turning pro.”

Lance began cycling at the age of four and started competing at 14 when UAE’s Al Nasr Cycling Club offered him to be part of the team.

Lance will also be representing Philippines in the ‘UCI Men’s Junior World Championships’ in both ‘Road’ and ‘Individual Time Trial’ segments in September. He has his eyes set on the Irish racing scene as well. He will be heading over to Ireland after Spain.

Lance is one of the youngest cyclists to win the amateur ‘Spinneys Dubai 92 Men’s Elite Race’ in April. Lance went solo on the last 50km to the finish line, racing against elite cyclists in the UAE. As a first-year junior this makes him “the youngest ever winner of this famous race”.

Lance has 26 races under his belt and has been on the podium 40 times overall, with most of his wins coming from solo breakaways. His father, who is a road cyclist and has been in the cycling industry for 15 years, inspired him to delve into the sport.



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Democratic megadonor Ed Buck guilty in ‘party and play’ drug deaths

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This Jan. 8, 2019, file photo, shows the building housing the apartment of Ed Buck in West Hollywood, Calif., following the death of a man the previous day.

Ed Buck, a prominent liberal activist who donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Democratic candidates, was convicted Tuesday of injecting men with methamphetamine in exchange for sex, causing two deaths.

A federal jury convicted Buck of two counts of meth distribution resulting in death as well as three other charges following deliberations that lasted for more than four hours following a two-week trial. The 66-year-old will face a mandatory minimum of 20 years in prison at his sentencing, which has not yet been scheduled.

The verdict was handed down four years to the day after 26-year-old Gemmel Moore was found dead of a drug overdose in Buck’s West Hollywood apartment. An investigation revealed that Buck had purchased a plane ticket for Moore, who was black, to fly from Texas to Los Angeles to “party and play” with the older white man.

“The party is the drugs, the play is the sex,” Assistant US Attorney Chelsea Norell told jurors in her opening statement. “If they didn’t party, he wasn’t interested.”

Moore’s family and activists had pushed for Buck’s arrest, charging that his wealth, political connections and his race precluded him from facing consequences. Despite the clamor, Buck was left free to pursue his fetish for another two years after Moore’s death.

“Today is bittersweet,” LaTisha Nixon, Moore’s mother, said after the verdict. “We got victory today.”

Buck had injected men with methamphetamine in exchange for sex that led to two deaths.
Jae C. Hong, File/AP

In January 2019, 55-year-old Timothy Dean died from a meth overdose, again in Buck’s apartment. Before Buck was arrested that September, a third companion of his ODed twice in one week in the apartment and only survived thanks to timely medical intervention.

That man, Dane Brown, told investigators he had been living in a hotel on Skid Row when he met Buck on Adam4Adam, a gay dating and escort site, and moved in with him for part of summer 2019.

Brown said Buck injected him with meth nearly daily for five weeks, according to court documents. After his second overdose, Brown said Buck refused to call an ambulance and Brown was forced to call 911 at a nearby gas station.

“I didn’t think I was going to believed,” Brown said after the verdict. “Walking out of that house, I didn’t know what was going to happen next.”

“This man did some terrible things to human beings,” Joann Campbell, one of Dean’s sisters, told the Associated Press.

Prosecutors said Buck exploited desperate men who were homeless or struggling with drug addiction — many of them black — to satisfy his sexual proclivities.

Buck’s defense team was led by onetime O.J. Simpson prosecutor Christopher Darden, who claimed that Buck “did nothing to cause the death of any person.” Darden alleged that neither Moore nor Dean died from methamphetamine overdoses and went to Buck’s apartment of their own volition. Darden also described Buck’s partners as “manipulative people” who took advantage of his generosity to get money and drugs and who had “every reason to exaggerate their experiences.”

Christopher Darden was on Ed Buck's defense team.
Christopher Darden, who was a prosecutor in LA for the OJ Simpson case, was on Ed Buck’s defense team.
Damian Dovarganes, Pool, File/AP

Buck, who had given more than $500,000 to mostly Democratic politicians — including Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama — and causes since 2000, was also convicted of four counts of meth distribution, one count of keeping a drug den and two more counts of enticement to cross state lines for prostitution.

“Ed Buck will never harm anyone else,” said Joyce Jackson, another of Dean’s sisters, “and I thank God for that.”

With Post wires



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Look: Dubai’s Global Village announces new VIP experiences – News

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Look: Dubai's Global Village announces new VIP experiences - News

The Global Village’s VIP entrance will be revamped before the 26th season begins on October 26. Organisers said the entrance at the Cultural Gate would “give the very best first impression to all those who love visiting in style”.

“Final touches are being made to plans to improve the Global Village VIP guest experience based on feedback collected throughout the season,” organisers added.

The attraction offers what is called the VIP packs that offer special privileges. In addition to VIP entry, special parking and a ‘wonder pass card’, this season, the packs would offer “exciting new benefits”.

The destination will open its doors to the world on Tuesday, October 26, 2021. Season 26 will be on for 167 days, before it winds up on April 10, 2022.

Millions of UAE residents and tourists visit the multicultural family entertainment destination every year. The silver jubilee edition of Global Village had received 4.5 million visitors and also saw Global Village breaking 25 Guinness World Records.




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Simone Biles pulls out of Olympic all-around competition

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Simone Biles pulls out of Olympic all-around competition

US HEADLINES

US HEADLINES:

Tokyo — American gymnastics superstar and defending champion Simone Biles withdrew from Thursday’s all-around competition to focus on her mental well-being.

USA Gymnastics said in a statement on Wednesday that, “after further medical evaluation,” the 24-year-old is opting to not compete “in order to focus on her mental health.”

“We wholeheartedly support Simone’s decision and applaud her bravery in prioritizing her well-being. Her courage shows, yet again, why she is a role model for so many,” USA Gymnastics said.

The statement said she’ll “continue to be evaluated daily to determine whether or not to participate in next week’s individual event finals.”

The decision comes a day after Biles removed herself from the team final following one rotation because she felt she wasn’t mentally ready.

Biles has received global support for her decision, with fans including the Director-General of the World Health Organization and fellow Olympians like Max Whitlock applauding her decision to prioritize her mental health.

Jade Carey, who finished ninth in qualifying, will take Biles’ place in the all-around. Carey initially didn’t qualify because she was the third-ranking American behind Biles and Sunisa Lee. International Gymnastics Federation rules limit countries to two athletes per event in the finals.

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While you were sleeping: How Canada performed at Tokyo Olympics Tuesday, Wednesday – National

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Fewer than 30 new COVID-19 cases reported in Waterloo Region for 3rd straight day

Canada made history at the Tokyo Olympics Wednesday, setting a new national medal record for a Summer Games athlete while several rowers advanced to final rounds.

Here’s what you may have missed so far during overnight competition in Japan.

Read more:
Olympics medal count: Here’s who won the most medals during the Tokyo Games

Swimming

The big story out of Wednesday was Penny Oleksiak’s bronze medal win in the women’s 200-metre freestyle swim.

Not only was it her second medal of the Tokyo Games, it was the 21-year-old’s sixth Olympic medal of her young career, making her the most decorated Canadian athlete in the history of the Summer Games.

Oleksiak is also now tied with speed skater Cindy Klassen and cyclist and speed skater Clara Hughes for the most medals won by a Canadian in any Olympics.

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Read more:
Canada’s Penny Oleksiak wins record 6th Olympic medal at Tokyo Summer Games

Unfortunately, Sydney Pickrem was unable to win her own medal in the women’s 200-metre individual medley, finishing sixth in the final.

On the men’s side, Joshua Liendo Edwards and Yuri Kisil finished seventh and eighth, respectively, in the 100-metre freestyle semifinal.

Rowing

Canada also missed out on a medal in the women’s double sculls final, finishing last in the field of six.

In the “petite” finals for the men’s and women’s four — which did not end in medals — the Canadian women finished fourth while the men placed second.

Patrick Keane and Maxwell Lattimer finished fifth in the men’s lightweight double sculls semifinal race, while Jill Moffatt and Jennifer Casson placed sixth in the women’s semifinal — putting both teams in the “petite” finals on Thursday.

The men’s pair rowers Kai Langerfeld and Conlin McCabe made it into the medal final after finishing third in their semifinal race, as did the women’s pair of Caileigh Filmer and Hillary Janssens. Both events take place Thursday.

Canada also scored a place in Friday’s women’s eight medal final after finishing second in the repechage on Wednesday.

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Click to play video: 'Winning women keep up Canada’s medal streak in Tokyo Games'



Winning women keep up Canada’s medal streak in Tokyo Games


Winning women keep up Canada’s medal streak in Tokyo Games

Volleyball

Canada managed to shut out Iran 3-0 in the men’s preliminary round, bouncing back from Monday’s loss to Japan. The team will next face Venezuela on Friday.

Water Polo

Canada annihilated South Africa in the latest match of the women’s preliminary round with a 21-1 victory.

The team will get to rest until Sunday when it faces the Netherlands.

Badminton

Michelle Li dominated Slovakia’s Martina Repiska by winning both sets in women’s singles group play, her second win of the Games.

Boxing

Tammara Thibeault defeated Kazakhstan’s Nadezhda Ryabets by winning four of five rounds in the women’s middleweight preliminary rounds.

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Caroline Veyre wasn’t as successful, falling to Italy’s Irma Testa across all five rounds in the women’s featherweight quarterfinal.

Rugby Sevens

After New Zealand blocked the men’s team from advancing to the finals Tuesday, Canada fell to the United States 21-14 in their first placing match of the day.

They ultimately placed eighth in the competition after losing to Australia 26-7 in their final placing match.

Sailing

Jacob Saunders and Oliver Bone finished 12th in their first race of the day in the men’s two-person 470 dinghy team. They later finished 17th in the second race.

In the men’s 49er skiff event, William Jones and Evan DuPaul finished 19th in the first race, were disqualified in the second race and finished 16th in the third and final race of the day.

Tom Ramshaw managed an 11th-place finish in his first race of the men’s one-person heavyweight dinghy event, later placing 14th in his second race.

The women’s RS:X windsurfer event saw Nikola Girke finish 23rd, 24th and 22nd in her three races of the day.

Finally, in the women’s 49er FX skiff event, Alexandra Ten Hove and Mariah Millen finished 16th in the first race and 15th in both the second and third races.

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Canoe Slalom

Hayley Daniels finished 20th in her first run of the qualifying heats in women’s canoe slalom, later placing 21st in the second run.

In the men’s kayak event, Michael Tayler placed 20th in his first run before finishing 24th in the second.

Both Daniels and Tayler will miss out on moving into the semifinals of their respective events.

Cycling

The women’s road cycling individual time trial saw Leah Kirchmann finish 12th and Karol-Ann Canuel place 14th.

In the men’s time trial, Hugo Houle managed a 13th-place finish.


Click to play video: 'Tokyo Olympics: Canada’s women continue winning streak with 1st gold, bronze medals'



Tokyo Olympics: Canada’s women continue winning streak with 1st gold, bronze medals


Tokyo Olympics: Canada’s women continue winning streak with 1st gold, bronze medals




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Katie Ledecky wins first Tokyo Games gold in third try

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Tokyo — When Katie Ledecky finally saw that familiar number next to her name, the emotions flooded to the surface at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre.

She tumbled over the lane rope to give her runner-up teammate a hug. She let out an uncharacteristic scream toward the American cheering section in the mostly empty arena. Finally, as the tears seemed ready to flow, she pulled the goggles back down over her eyes before exiting the pool.

On her third try at these Olympics, Ledecky finally touched first.

Bouncing back from the worst finish of her brilliant Olympic career, Ledecky claimed the first-ever gold medal in the women’s 1,500-meter freestyle Wednesday.

About an hour earlier, she was blown away by Australia’s Terminator, Ariarne Titmus, who made it 2-for-2 in their rivalry with a victory in the 200 free.

Ledecky didn’t even win a medal – the first time that’s ever happened to her in an Olympic race. She was far behind all the way, never getting any higher than her fifth-place finish.

“After the 200, I knew I had to turn the page very quickly,” Ledecky said. “In the warm-down pool, I was thinking of my family. Kind of each stroke I was thinking of my grandparents.”

Her voice choked with emotion. She crunched her eyes trying not to cry.

“They’re the toughest four people I know,” Ledecky said, “and that’s what helped me get through that.”

The metric mile wasn’t quite the breeze that everyone expected, given Ledecky’s longtime dominance in an event that was finally added to the Olympic program for these games. She built a big lead right from the start, then worked hard to hold off American teammate Erica Sullivan’s blazing finish.

But it was Ledecky touching first in 15 minutes, 37.39 seconds. Sullivan claimed the silver (15:41.41), while the bronze went to Germany’s Sarah Kohler (15:42.91).

“I think people maybe feel bad for me that I’m not winning everything and whatever, but I want people to be more concerned about other things going on in the world, people that are truly suffering,” Ledecky said. “I’m just proud to bring home a gold medal to Team USA.”

A day after Simone Biles’ stunning withdrawal from the gymnastics team event, Ledecky insisted that she wasn’t bothered by the burden of enormous expectations placed on her after winning four gold medals and a silver at the 2016 Rio Games.

“I feel like I handle the pressure,” she said. “The biggest pressure I have is the pressure I put on myself and I feel like I’ve gotten past that over the years. I truly just want to enjoy this experience.”

Titmus secured her place as one of the game’s biggest stars and gave the Australian women their third individual swimming gold with an Olympic record of 1:53.50, adding to her thrilling triumph in the 400 free.

Titmus, who will face Ledecky again in the 800 free, showed compassion for the swimmer who was thought to be her biggest rival.

“I don’t think it’s a bad result for her. She’s still fifth at the Olympic Games,” the Aussie said. “This was the field that had the most depth of all my events.”



This article is sourced from CBS News

Heavy vehicles can now use Dubai-Al Ain Road, E66, between 10pm and 6am

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Heavy vehicles can now use Dubai-Al Ain Road, E66, between 10pm and 6am

Abu Dhabi: From today onwards, heavy vehicles will be allowed on Al Ain-Dubai Road — E66 or Tahnoun bin Mohammed Al Nahyan Road — during off-peak hours between 10pm and 6am.

This will allow vehicles to easily get from Dubai until Hazza bin Sultan Street in Al Ain, and back, announced Abu Dhabi’s public transport regulator, the Department of Municipalities and Transport’s Integrated Transport Centre (ITC). However, the maximum weight of the vehicle and its load cannot exceed 45 tonnes.

The decision to allow heavy vehicles on the new highway connecting Dubai and Al Ain’s industrial areas has been taken in collaboration with Al Ain Municipality and Abu Dhabi Police. It aims to reduce trip time and operational cost, thereby promoting commercial activities and investments.

Regulations banning heavy vehicles on other surrounding roads will continue to be effective until construction work is fully completed, including the ban on truck on Al Shiwayb Street towards Northern Emirates.

ITC has urged heavy vehicle drivers on E66 to avoid parking in non-designated spaces and to steer clear of the surrounding residential areas, where trucks are still not allowed.

Penalties will be imposed on drivers of heavy vehicles who use E66 outside of the designated off-peak hours or exceed the weight limit.

ITC has also called upon all transport companies to ensure that their heavy vehicles conform to all safety standards and adhere to all traffic rules and regulations.



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COVID-19 spreading faster in Alberta than during peak of 3rd wave

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Health and infectious disease experts say the rate at which COVID-19 cases are growing in Alberta is alarming, as it spreads faster than it during the height of the pandemic’s third wave. 

The R-value, which represents the number of people infected by each infected person, was 1.48 (with a confidence interval of 1.38-1.59) in Alberta as of Sunday, according to Alberta Health.

That number — which has doubled in recent weeks — means 100 people with the virus will spread it to 148 others.

“The current R-value provincewide is one of the highest we’ve seen throughout the pandemic. So although the numbers are low today, the rate of viral spread is really as fast as we’ve seen at any other point during the pandemic,” said Craig Jenne, an immunologist and microbiologist at the University of Calgary.

“This really is the foundation for what everybody refers to as exponential growth … it is definitely laying the potential and the groundwork for a large surge of viral cases in the coming weeks.”

It’s like forest fire season … 25 per cent [unvaccinated] is like having 25 per cent dry wood kindling in the forest.– Dr. James Talbot

During the pandemic’s third wave, when around 1,500 new cases were being reported in Alberta each day, the R-value hovered around 1.15.

A rising R-value is more concerning than rising case numbers, says Carolyn Colijn, a Canada 150 research chair in mathematics for infection and public health at Simon Fraser University.

“It’s faster and faster increases, not just increases,” she said. “So that change not only is a pretty big change, but it’s also a change from declining to growing.”

Case numbers and positivity rates are currently low, but surging, driven by the more infectious delta variant. Alberta had 1,173 active cases on Tuesday with a test positivity rate of 2.54 per cent. 

“Those are all indicators that we’re on our way to a fourth wave,” said Dr. James Talbot, a former chief medical officer for the province and a public health adjunct professor at the University of Alberta.

“For me, if I had family members or friends or neighbours that I knew weren’t immunized, my alarm bells would be going off right now.”

Of particular concern, Talbot said, is how many people remain unvaccinated. Vaccination provides strong protection against contracting COVID-19, and more protection against serious outcomes. 

WATCH | The push to target Canada’s unvaccinated: 

What could it take to convince the small but determined group of Canadians who remain wary of the COVID-19 vaccines on offer? Experts say there isn’t one answer. 2:05

Of Alberta’s total population, 35.8 per cent of people still haven’t received a single vaccine shot (25 per cent of those eligible) and 45.7 per cent aren’t fully vaccinated, according to Alberta Health.

That means more than 1.5 million people in the province, about half of whom are children under 12 and are not eligible to be vaccinated, still have no protection against COVID-19. 

“It’s like forest fire season,” Talbot said, “25 per cent [unvaccinated] is like having 25 per cent dry wood kindling in the forest, and you get a hot enough blaze with the delta variant — it’s not going to be good.”

Talbot said doctors expect most new cases will be among unvaccinated people.

“They have a choice. They can get immunized, in which case their chances of having a severe outcome are one in 100,000, or one in a million. Or they can choose to wait for the virus to infect them, in which case the chances of getting serious disease are about [one in 100],” he said.

Talbot says there are also concerns for those who contract COVID-19 but aren’t hospitalized, who may still experience a lengthy, unpleasant illness or long-term disability. There are also concerns for immuno-compromised people for whom vaccines don’t offer as much protection. 

As for what’s causing the increased spread, Jenne said there are likely multiple drivers. The province lifted public health restrictions on July 1, and many people are no longer wearing masks or are holding larger gatherings indoors. He said contact tracing will be an important element in understanding this possible, new wave.

The source of transmission for 40 per cent of active cases is unknown. As of July 16, Alberta Health Services had 2,095 case investigators and contact tracers, down from 2,500 earlier in the pandemic. 

“If this trend continues, we will once again be facing a situation where we need extra [contact tracing] staff to stay on top of the newly identified cases every day,” Jenne said. 

Jenne said there are some positives — with so many older people vaccinated, surging cases may not translate into the same mortality rates as in previous waves.

But there are still unknowns.

“I think the remaining question is, though, how big will this surge get?”



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Hunter Biden art exhibition led to Rep. Michael Waltz’s transparency bill

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A Florida Republican congressman is set to introduce a bill requiring presidents and vice presidents provide financial disclosures for their non-dependent children ahead of Hunter Biden’s much-criticized art exhibition.

Rep. Michael Waltz told Fox News Tuesday his legislation, the Preventing Anonymous Income by Necessitating Transparency of Executive Relatives (PAINTER) Act, is a bid to stop “the obvious and shameless grift that’s going on with Hunter Biden’s art sales, for which he is obviously not qualified to do and is only doing to continue to profit off of his family name.”

The first son will present a solo exhibition of 15 paintings at galleries in New York and Los Angeles this fall. Prices for the art will range from $75,000 for works on paper to $500,000 for the larger canvases.

Critics have warned that would-be purchasers of Hunter’s art could spend big money not to purchase a masterpiece, but to curry favor with the West Wing.

“The whole thing is a really bad idea,” former George W. Bush chief ethics lawyer Richard Painter told The Washington Post earlier this month. “The initial reaction a lot of people are going to have is that he’s capitalizing on being the son of a president and wants people to give him a lot of money. I mean, those are awfully high prices.”

Richard Painter, who served in President George W. Bush's administration as the White House ethics lawyer, slammed Biden's art exhibition as a "really bad idea."
Richard Painter, who served in President George W. Bush’s administration as the White House ethics lawyer, slammed Biden’s art exhibition as a “really bad idea.”
AP

The rumblings grew after The Washington Post reported last month that White House officials had helped hammer out an agreement to keep the identity of buyers confidential. They grew louder still when a spokeswoman for the gallery hosting the exhibit said Hunter Biden would appear at events with potential buyers in both cities.

That appeared to contradict a claim by White House press secretary Jen Psaki, who said earlier this month that “the gallerist will not share information about buyers or prospective buyers, including their identities, with Hunter Biden or the administration”.

“That’s really what this is all about, is just getting some transparency and shining a light on this,” “We should know who is backchanneling, backdooring and buying influence — which Hunter Biden has a long history of selling — to the President of the United States.”

Spouses and dependent children of presidents are required to provide financial disclosures under the Ethics in Government Act, which was enacted in 1978 in response to the Watergate scandal. Waltz’s legislation, which he expects to introduce Wednesday, would amend the act to require financial disclosures of all children or step-children of the president and vice president over the age of 17.

Earlier this month, a dozen House Republicans wrote to the office of White House Counsel Dana Remus to request information related to the business interests of President Biden’s relatives in order to “understand the extent of the Biden family’s use of its connection to the President to enrich itself.”

The Preventing Anonymous Income by Necessitating Transparency of Executive Relatives Act would require financial disclosure of all children above 17 years old of the President and Vice President.
The Preventing Anonymous Income by Necessitating Transparency of Executive Relatives Act would require financial disclosure of all children above 17 years old of the President and Vice President.
WireImage

The letter sought information on trips Hunter Biden took with his father, then-Vice President Biden, to China in 2013 and Mexico in 2016. It also asked for a list of “all past and ongoing foreign business interests and past and ongoing foreign relations for members of the Biden family,” as well as all “documents and communications regarding Hunter Biden’s artwork.”

“The public has a right to know how President Biden and his son intend to keep separate the interests of the American people from the earnings of President Biden’s family members,” read the letter, which described the Biden family’s various interests as a “pattern … which appears to be nothing short of a cash-grab.”



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Ruby Rose Was Rushed to Hospital After “Serious” Surgery Complications

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Ruby Rose Was Rushed to Hospital After

Ruby Rose is telling fans about a health scare she had this week that was made even worse due to hospital overcrowding. 

In footage shared to her Instagram Story on Tuesday, July 27, the 35-year-old Orange Is the New Black alum let fans know she was rushed to the hospital this week due to complications from an unspecified surgical procedure she had previously undergone. To make matters worse, the ambulance was forced to drive around for hours because no hospital could accommodate her. 

“I did have a procedure, and I had to have a surgery, but it was fine, and the surgery went well,” she recalled. “But then yesterday, I had a few complications, and I had to go to the emergency room.”

The actress, who announced her decision to exit The CW’s Batwoman in May 2020, began getting choked up and tearful as she continued to describe the arduous journey.

“By the time I thought, ‘OK, I absolutely have to go to the hospital now,’ we called an ambulance, and it took hours to find a hospital that would be able to take me, or anyone,” Ruby explained.



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Meg Thee Stallion Team Concerned Tory Lanez Violated Restraining Order at Rolling Loud

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meg the stallion and tory lanez



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Military Pilot Who Filmed Famed ‘Tic Tac’ UFO Sighting Speaks On Camera

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Military Pilot Who Filmed Famed 'Tic Tac' UFO Sighting Speaks On Camera



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Simone Biles Withdraws From Gymnastics Individual All-Around

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Simone Biles Withdraws From Gymnastics Individual All-Around

Simone Biles will not compete in the women’s gymnastics individual all-around final at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. 

The athlete’s team announced the news in a statement released to social media on Tuesday, July 27 ahead of the competition set to take place on Thursday, July 29. Simone, who withdrew from the team final earlier on July 27 after a misstep on her first vault routine of the day, is the reigning gold-medal winner in the individual all-around. 

“After further medical evaluation, Simone Biles has withdrawn from the final individual all-around competition at the Tokyo Olympic Games, in order to focus on her mental health,” the statement from USA Gymnastics read.

According to the organization, the 24-year-old star has not yet decided whether to take part in the gymnastics individual event finals, held next week in Tokyo. 

“Simone will continue to be evaluated daily to determine whether or not to participate in next week’s individual event finals,” the statement continued. “Jade Carey, who had the ninth highest score in qualifications, will participate in her place in the all-around.”



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LA theater shooting leaves at least 1 dead during ‘The Forever Purge’ screening

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The California movie theater where the shooting took place.

A woman was killed and her TikTok star friend was critically injured while watching the newest installment of “The Purge” in a California movie theater on Monday night, police said.

Rylee Goodrich, 18, was found dead and Anthony Barajas, 19, was gravely wounded during a 9:30 p.m. screening of “The Forever Purge,” a horror-movie about a dystopian America where murder is legal once a year for 12 hours, according to the Corona Police Department.

The California movie theater where the shooting took place.
KTLA 5

Staff at the Regal Edwards Corona Crossings movie theater discovered both victims while cleaning up after the movie ended.

“During the actual movie time, no one apparently heard the gunshot,” employee Kailyn Dillon told KCAL. “I know that we do have security bag checks that we do on the daily and, unfortunately, I’m not sure if just was missed or if it was in a holster on their belt.”

Police investigate the scene at the California theater.
Police investigate the scene at the California theater.
KTLA 5

Barajas, a TikTok personality with more than 1 million followers, last posted about a family vacation five days ago.

The circumstances around the violence about 45 miles southeast of Los Angeles are unclear.

Rylee Goodrich, 18, was pronounced dead.
Rylee Goodrich, 18, was pronounced dead.
Facebook

Investigators are trying to figure out if a random shooter escaped the theater, or if the man or woman were responsible for the gunfire in a murder-suicide.

“They’re still going through the theater and looking for evidence that would send us in one direction or another,” Corona Police Cpl. Tobias Kouroubacalis told the paper. “We’re working in the blind.”

Anthony Barajas, 19, was critically injured.
Anthony Barajas, 19, was critically injured.
Instagram

Cops did not recover a firearm at the scene.

“Detectives are conducting follow up on all investigative leads with hopes of identifying the person(s) responsible for this heinous crime,” police said.



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Sachin Pilot likely to be Rajasthan Chief Minister in due course

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 Sachin Pilot
Sachin Pilot, former Deputy Chief Minister of Rajasthan
Image Credit: ANI

In the Indian state of Rajasthan, Sachin Pilot, 43, is likely to get his dream job — Chief Minister (CM). The Young Turk may bag the coveted position in the last lap of the tenure of Ashok Gehlot-led Congress government in the state. Elections are due in Rajasthan on or before December 2023.

Pilot had famously revolted against his boss exactly a year ago, angry at being denied an equitable power share despite working very hard for the Congress to return to power. He worked almost tirelessly for close to six years as the state Congress chief.

Sources close to Pilot reveal that he had conveyed his anger to Sonia Gandhi, interim Congress chief, that promises that were made to him — which ensured that he ended his rebellion and returned to the Congress fold — were not kept.

Pilot took an aggressive stand, saying that he was happy to do any job that the Congress assigned to him but was clear that Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) who supported him had to be accommodated in the Gehlot government and other government bodies like state owned cooperatives.

Pilot has been uncharacteristically patient, awaiting a solution from the Congress ‘high command’. Post his rebellion, a panel had been set up by Sonia Gandhi, which was headed by the late Ahmed Patel, her political adviser. Pilot’s issues kept lingering as the Congress ‘high command’ cited the pandemic as the reason for the lack of action.

The Congress turf war

Meanwhile, Gehlot who hates Pilot’s ambitions with a passion, tried to wean away the Pilot camp MLAs by offering them plum jobs.

Watching his support base collapse, Pilot pushed the red button. A two member committee comprising of Ajay Maken and K C Venugopal spent two days in Jaipur and met all the players in the political theatre. Gehlot was pushed to do a cabinet reshuffle to include Pilot loyalists and share the political pie equitably.

Pilot told the central leaders in no uncertain terms that he had to be made CM and had to be given enough time to ensure a victory for the Congress party which — on date — looked unlikely. The biggest question now is that if the Gandhi family has the political heft to force a recalcitrant Gehlot to quit.

Reliable sources told Gulf News that Sonia Gandhi had a word with Gehlot and said that the changes had to happen. It remains to be seen if Gehlot will follow the example of another powerful regional satrap Punjab CM, Amarinder Singh, who after public tantrums accepted the ‘high command’ edict on making Navjot Singh Sidhu, the Punjab Congress chief. Will Gehlot resist the changes?

Sidhu, as the Pilot camp points out, is a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) turncoat who has barely spent five years in the Congress, while Pilot despite being a heirloom politician is a genuine mass leader in the Generation Next of the Congress. Widely reckoned to be a hard worker, Pilot has hit the ground running to preserve his base.

Generational succession plan

Says a Pilot camp follower “everyone in India likes a Miss Universe in the neighbourhood but not at home,” making a metaphorical point that Pilot and his mass acceptance creates insecurity in the Congress leaders.

Hugely in demand in other states as an election campaigner, Pilot is always doing public meetings in Rajasthan which seems to unnerve the Gehlot camp.

Apparently Gehlot has been given some assurances about the political future of his son Vaibhav Gehlot by the Gandhi family.

The Gandhis have already forced a “generational succession plan” in Punjab, publicly signalling that Sidhu is Singh’s successor and now wants to do the same in Rajasthan.

The big political buzz is that Gehlot has agreed to part A of the plan which involves reshuffling his cabinet, which is likely by the beginning of August.

Part B, which involves Gehlot making way for Pilot, is likely to be the deal breaker but, after the Amarinder example, the central Congress leadership is optimistic.

Coinciding with the Gehlot cabinet reshuffle, a massive organisational rejig for the Congress is also on the cards. Pilot has already ruled out returning as state chief of the Rajasthan Congress but, will do any job his party wants as long as he gets his promised turn as CM.

A mass leader

Angry at the lack of reward in the Congress, Jyotiraditya Scindia had previously quit the Congress and brought down the Kamal Nath government in Madhya Pradesh. He was rewarded by the BJP and made the cabinet minister for civil aviation in the recent cabinet reshuffle of the Modi government. Another Pilot contemporary, Jitin Prasada also switched over to the BJP recently.

The exits have been a delayed wake up call for the somnolent Congress central leadership, which does not want to lose Pilot. On his part, Pilot is clear that he won’t join the BJP but, will fight for his mass base and his dream job. Pilot is also clear that he will continue his mass outreach and not let his base shrivel.

So as political headwinds blow in Rajasthan, a stormy landing is predicted for Pilot. Gehlot, obviously, will wish his rival crash and burn.

“Pilot completed seven years as the longest serving state chief in Rajasthan. He will not accept any lollipops now,” a Pilot loyalist concluded.



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Simone Biles pulls out of Olympic all-around competition

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Simone Biles pulls out of Olympic all-around competition

Tokyo — American gymnastics superstar and defending champion Simone Biles withdrew from Thursday’s all-around competition to focus on her mental well-being.

USA Gymnastics said in a statement on Wednesday that, “after further medical evaluation,” the 24-year-old is opting to not compete “in order to focus on her mental health.”

“We wholeheartedly support Simone’s decision and applaud her bravery in prioritizing her well-being. Her courage shows, yet again, why she is a role model for so many,” USA Gymnastics said.

The statement said she’ll “continue to be evaluated daily to determine whether or not to participate in next week’s individual event finals.”

The decision comes a day after Biles removed herself from the team final following one rotation because she felt she wasn’t mentally ready.

Biles has received global support for her decision, with fans including the Director-General of the World Health Organization and fellow Olympians like Max Whitlock applauding her decision to prioritize her mental health.

Jade Carey, who finished ninth in qualifying, will take Biles’ place in the all-around. Carey initially didn’t qualify because she was the third-ranking American behind Biles and Sunisa Lee. International Gymnastics Federation rules limit countries to two athletes per event in the finals.



This article is sourced from CBS News

Nyjah Huston Supports Simone Biles, ‘People See Us As Robots’

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Nyjah Huston Supports Simone Biles, 'People See Us As Robots'



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Inside Jacqueline Kennedy’s Unique Bond With Son John F. Kennedy Jr.

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Inside Jacqueline Kennedy's Unique Bond With Son John F. Kennedy Jr.

AP Photo/Paul R. Benoit

When he got back to Andover, John worked with the school’s community outreach program, teaching English as a second language two days a week to immigrant students at a nearby junior high.

Jackie threw a big combined bash for Caroline’s 21st birthday and John’s 18th in 1978 at Le Club in Manhattan and the younger set partied until the wee hours. Headlines were made when John’s close pal Billy Noonan started tangling with the paparazzi who were waiting for them to come out at 4 a.m. and, while trying to untangle his friend, John was knocked to the ground. Noonan later wrote Jackie a letter of apology for causing a spectacle.

John spent 10 weeks in the summer of 1979 in Kenya completing a program with the National Outdoor Leadership School before heading to college. (He got into Harvard, his father’s and many another Kennedy’s alma mater, but he passed, knowing he hadn’t gotten in on his own merits.)

The Ivy League still beckoned, though, and John chose Brown University. In college he got really into theater and Jackie would attend his performances, not so secretly hoping that he didn’t take acting too seriously.

“She thought he was destined for greater things,” Andersen told ABC News this month. “She felt it was beneath him… What she wanted for John was the traditional path into politics, which was through the law,”

After graduation, he worked for the New York City Office of Business Development until 1986, attended law school at New York University and, after finally passing the bar on his third try, got a job in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office as an assistant prosecutor.

And throughout, he remained exceptionally devoted to his mother.



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Celeb Dermatologist Being Investigated by Medical Board After Homophobic Rant

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Celeb Dermatologist Dr. Alex Khadavi Goes on Anti-Gay Rant



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NYT reporter Katie Benner deletes tweets berating Trump supporters

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Katie Brenner's comments on Trump supporters were slammed by critics.

A New York Times reporter deleted a tweet that called supporters of former President Trump “enemies of the state,” following a viral blowback online.

“Today’s #January6SelectCommittiee underscores the America’s current essential natsec dilemma: Work to combat legitimate national security threats now entails calling a current politician’s supporters enemies of the state,” Katie Benner posted Tuesday morning, according to a screenshot shared by Fox News.

“As Americans, we believe that state power should not be used to work against a political figure or a political party. But what happens if a politician seems to threaten the state? If the politician continues to do so out of office and his entire party supports that threat?,” the thread reportedly continued.

The DOJ scribe then suggested that since Congress left the investigation into the Republican’s alleged collusion with Russia and two impeachments “unresolved,” lawmakers could not be trusted to probe the deadly riot at the Capitol.

Katie Brenner’s comments on Trump supporters were slammed by critics.
LinkedIn

“That leaves it up to voters, making even more essential free, fair access to the polls,” Benner wrote. 

About eight hours later, the tweet and its thread were deleted and referenced by a post by Benner that read: “I deleted unclearly worded tweets regarding the Jan 6. committee hearing.”

Benner did not further clarify why she deleted the tweet, or if she did so at the newspaper’s demand.

Her comments were slammed by critics, including prominent journalists and lawmakers.

“That’s the best summary of the Biden Admin’s domestic national security strategy I’ve ever read,” Republican Indiana Rep. Jim Banks tweeted.

“This is a reporter — not an op-ed writer — saying this,” journalist Glenn Greenwald wrote.

“The fixation on 1/6 is about exactly this: classifying Trump supporters as Enemies of the State for political gain & Security State power.”



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Dubai’s DP World sees 17% gain in Q2-2021 container volumes driven by Jebel Ali and India terminals

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Dubai's DP World sees 17% gain in Q2-2021 container volumes driven by Jebel Ali and India terminals

Dubai: Dubai Government owned DP World handled 19.7 million TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units) at its container terminals in Dubai and elsewhere in the second quarter of 2021, with container volumes increasing by 17.6 per cent year-on-year on a reported basis. The numbers reflect improving trade movements, and bodes well for the Dubai entity in the second-half of the year.

There were gains made in India, Europe, Australia and Americas, while the Jebel Ali terminal handled 3.4 million TEU during the quarter, up 4.2 per cent year-on-year. In the first six months, DP World handled 38.6 million TEU, with gross container volumes increasing 13.9 per cent year-on-year on a reported basis.

Group Chairman and CEO Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem said: “We are delighted to report another strong volume performance with Q2-2021 growth accelerating to 17.1 per cent year-on-year, and up 7.3 per cent compared to Q2-2019, which highlights the strength of the underlying market. Growth continued to be broad based with all our regions delivering a robust performance, with India being exceptionally strong. Encouragingly, the recent volume improvement at our flagship port of Jebal Ali (UAE) continued into Q2-2021 with throughput growth accelerating to 4.2 per cent year-on-year.

“We continue to make good progress on our strategy to deliver supply chain solutions to beneficial cargo owners and are focused on growing profitability while managing growth capex. The strong start to 2021 leaves us well placed to deliver an improved full-year performance and we remain focused on delivering our 2022 targets.”

The near-term outlook remains positive, but we do expect growth rates to moderate in the second-half of 2021. We remain mindful that COVID-19 pandemic and geopolitical uncertainty could once-again disrupt the global economic recovery

– Sultan Bin Sulayem of DP World



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Guess Who This Blonde Beauty Turned Into! KB

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Guess Who This Blonde Beauty Turned Into! KB



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City of Kelowna eyeing possibility of demolishing dilapidated home – Okanagan

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Fewer than 30 new COVID-19 cases reported in Waterloo Region for 3rd straight day

Following a decade of complaints from upset neighbours, a home on Gibson Road in Kelowna could soon be demolished.

On Monday, Kelowna city council voted to demolish the problem property after learning staff have made at least two dozen trips to the home in failed attempts to get the owner to comply with city bylaws.

“Council supported a staff recommendation for a remedial action order, which lets the city take a number of steps towards the potential demolition of the house,” said Ryan Smith, director of planning and development services at the City of Kelowna.

Read more:
City of Kelowna, bylaw services promising to crack down on problem properties

That remedial action order may end a lengthy neighbourhood nightmare for some residents who live within eyesight of the dilapidated home at 424 Gibson Road.

Story continues below advertisement

Plywood covers the front door, construction mess is strewn everywhere and the driveway is adorned with a forklift and two porcelain toilets.

The mess in front is just a taste of what’s in the back yard, where old lumber sits, presumably to finish the house.

It’s easy to see why no one would want to live by this for 10 days, let alone 10 years.


Click to play video: 'Burnaby “hoarder house” blaze sends man to hospital'



Burnaby “hoarder house” blaze sends man to hospital


Burnaby “hoarder house” blaze sends man to hospital – Mar 30, 2018

“This is a safety hazard, this is a fire hazard,” next-door neighbour Dawna Lemky told Global News.

Lemky, who has lived right next door for 20 years, is empathetic to the owner’s plight but says the city’s remedial action order has been a long time coming.

“I feel sorry for him, I’m sorry that it has come to this, but I feel he’s had due time to correct the situation,” Lemky said.

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However, another neighbour wants to make sure the property owner has been given due process.

“I don’t necessarily disagree with the decision,” said Paul Davies, who lives two houses down from the home.

“But has he been given the opportunity to react in a timely fashion, in an appropriate fashion?”


Click to play video: 'City of Vancouver buying, demolishing homes for park land'



City of Vancouver buying, demolishing homes for park land


City of Vancouver buying, demolishing homes for park land – Jul 2, 2017

“We’ve been out there at least 24 times, probably more than that over the years,” said Smith.

City staff maintain the owner has been given plenty of chances to comply.

“We have given the owner a number of opportunities, to both study what’s wrong and what needs to be done to fix it,” Smith said frankly

“All of those efforts have been incomplete or not undertaken at all.”

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Global News tried contacting the owner by knocking on the front door, but no one answered.


Click to play video: 'Derelict float home capsized off Valdes Island'



Derelict float home capsized off Valdes Island


Derelict float home capsized off Valdes Island – Sep 22, 2020

According to the city, property owner Janusz Grelecki now has 14 days to file a letter of appeal.

If no appeal is filed, the City of Kelowna may just take a wrecking ball to the property, level the lot and hand the bill to the owner.

“If we have to,” said Smith, “that’s a measure we are prepared to take.”




© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.



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Bob Odenkirk collapses on set of “Better Call Saul”

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Bob Odenkirk collapses on set of

Bob Odenkirk collapsed on the New Mexico set of “Better Call Saul” and was rushed to a hospital Tuesday, ETOnline has learned. The 58-year-old actor is still under medical care but there is no further update on his condition.

The collapse was first reported by TMZ, then by numerous other outlets.

It wasn’t immediately clear what caused the collapse, or how long Odenkirk might be hospitalized.

“Better Call Saul,” the spin-off prequel to “Breaking Bad,” has been shooting its sixth and final season, which is set to air on AMC next year.

better-call-saul-bob-odenkirk-promo.jpg
Bob Odenkirk in “Better Call Saul.”

AMC


Like “Breaking Bad,” “Better Call Saul” is set and mostly shot in Albuquerque.

Odenkirk has been nominated for four Emmys for playing the title character, a down-on-his-luck lawyer named Jimmy McGill who becomes increasingly corrupt and adopts the pseudonym Saul Goodman.

Michael McKean, Odenkirk’s co-star who played his brother on the show, was among many wishing Odenkirk well on social media.

“Sending huge love to our mrbobodenkirk,” McKean tweeted. “You got this, brother.”

Before the “Saul” role, which he also played on “Breaking Bad,” Odenkirk was best known for “Mr. Show With Bob and David,” the sketch comedy series he co-created with David Cross that originally aired on HBO from 1995 to 1998.

He has won two Emmys, for his writing on “The Ben Stiller Show” and on “Saturday Night Live.”

He has also appeared on HBO’s “The Larry Sanders Show” and in the films “The Post,” “Little Women” and “Nobody.”



This article is sourced from CBS News

House of Representatives reinstates mask mandate as COVID-19 cases rise

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House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy claimed that that Pelosi's decision does not stem from science, but from liberals who want to continue to live in fear.

Masks are back in the lower chamber of Congress.

Attending Physician Dr. Brian P. Monahan announced in a memo late Tuesday that face coverings are once again required “for meetings in an enclosed US House of Representatives controlled space,” including the House chamber.

The new mandate came down hours after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended mask-wearing in indoor public spaces in localities where coronavirus transmission is “substantial” or “high,” regardless of vaccination status.

Despite the fact that Washington, DC is currently experiencing “moderate” transmission according to the CDC’s metrics, Monahan said masking was necessary because the House is made up of “individuals traveling weekly from various risk areas (both high and low rates of disease transmission),” according to The Hill.

Monahan’s memo was issued 47 days after he announced that masks were no longer required to be worn by fully vaccinated members and staff on the House floor or in committee rooms.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy claimed that that Pelosi’s decision does not stem from science, but from liberals who want to continue to live in fear.
AP

However, The Hill reported that some lawmakers and staffers began wearing masks in recent days after Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.) tested positive for the virus despite being fully vaccinated. An aide to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) also tested positive after interacting with a group of runaway Texas Democratic lawmakers, six of whom tested positive for the virus earlier this month.

The positive tests are part of a surge in cases that is being blamed on the highly contagious Delta variant of COVID-19.

Monahan’s memo was met with anger by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).

Rep. Thomas Massie along with five other GOP congressman have been levied with a $500 fine for not wearing masks.
Rep. Thomas Massie along with five other GOP congressman have been levied with a $500 fine for not wearing masks.
AP

“Make no mistake—The threat of bringing masks back is not a decision based on science, but a decision conjured up by liberal government officials who want to continue to live in a perpetual pandemic state,” McCarthy tweeted.

House Republicans chafed under the earlier mask mandate. Six GOP members received $500 fines for refusing to wear face coverings on the House floor in May, before the initial guidance was lifted.

Earlier Tuesday, one of those lawmakers, Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) said he was suing Pelosi over his fine, claiming she had imposed the mask rule unilaterally in violation of the 27th Amendment. That amendment states that laws affecting the compensation of Congress can’t take effect in the middle of a term.

Rep. Vern Buchanan tested positive for COVID-19 on July 19, 2021 despite being vaccinated.
Rep. Vern Buchanan tested positive for COVID-19 on July 19, 2021 despite being vaccinated.
AP

Massie told the Louisville Courier-Journal newspaper he was being joined in his lawsuit by Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and Ralph Norman (R-SC).

“We are here today not because of $500 in fines, but because the American people need somebody to fight and they’re tired of people who won’t fight,” Massie said. “And we are going to fight.”



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Korean vegetable pancake with sweet potato and onions or Yachaejeon

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Korean pancake 1
Korean vegetable pancake is a popular snack in the country
Image Credit: Anupa Kurian-Murshed/Gulf News

Pancakes bring to mind images of fluffy, golden griddle cakes that should be soaked in maple syrup and topped with berries. But, what if you wanted something savoury, something a bit healthier? Then Korean vegetable pancakes or Yachaejeon (pronounced yah-cheh-jeeon) are your answer. And they have a bonus factor – absolutely delicious on their own or as an accompaniment to a meal.

I find this recipe remarkably useful when I want to create a vegetarian dish that needs minimal cooking fuss. Ten minutes at the most is all it takes and the ingredients are quite flexible. A quick snack, hot breakfast, lunch or work night dinner – Yachaejeon it is!

I first came across it when bingeing on K-drama and it made me curious. That quest led me to an online food vlogger Emily Kim who goes by the name of Maangchi. She is very good at helping you understand the principles of Korean cooking, which is at the core of any learning of a new cuisine. Once that is clear, you can adapt, change and experiment – exactly like learning the grammar of any language.

Maangchi has a couple of recipes for the pancake, which are great to check out. Here’s my adapted version:

Korean pancake
Serve with savoury-spicy dipping sauce
Image Credit: Anupa Kurian-Murshed/Gulf News

Yachaejeon recipe

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 7 to 10 minutes

Ingredients for the pancake

1 cup sweet potato cut into sticks

1/4 cup carrot cut into sticks (you can swap with marrow)

3 spring onions cut into sticks

6 to 7 Ivy gourd or tendli cut into sticks

5 inches of a thick leek cut into sticks

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

Ingredients for the dipping sauce

1 tbsp Korean soya sauce (you can substitute with any light soya sauce)

½ tbsp Gochujang chilli paste (this is available in stores and comes mixed with glutinuous rice paste, you can just substitute with ½ tspn chilli powder – based on spice tolerance level)

Method

When you finish cutting the vegetables, you should roughly have about 3 slightly heaped cups of it.

Korean vegetable pancake
Vegetables cut into matchsticks
Image Credit: Anupa Kurian-Murshed/Gulf News

Combine it with the flour, water, salt and baking powder. Rest for about 2 to 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, take a shallow 12-inch pan, let it heat up, then add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. The flame should be medium-low.

Now add the vegetable mix with a spatula. Spread it out to even thickness across the base of the pan. Let it cook without covering for about three minutes.

Korean pancake 3
Spread the batter-covered vegetables evenly in a hot pan
Image Credit: Anupa Kurian-Murshed/Gulf News

As the edges get cooked, you would be able to move the pancake around in the pan a bit. After the three minutes, gently flip it over using a large spatula.

Pour another tablespoon of oil around the edges. Lift the pancake a bit, so that the oil reaches the center of it too. Cover and cook for about two minutes.

Then uncover, press down gently and let it cook for another three minutes or so, till it becomes golden. Then flip, again, press down gently, cook till slightly crisp on the edges.

Slide onto a plate with paper towels, to absorb the excess oil. Stand for a minute.

Serve warm with dipping sauce made by combining all its ingredients.



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Simone Biles withdraws from all-around gymnastics competition at Tokyo Olympics – National

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Fewer than 30 new COVID-19 cases reported in Waterloo Region for 3rd straight day

Simone Biles has withdrawn from Thursday’s all-around athletic gymnastics final at the Tokyo Olympics, after stepping back from competition on Tuesday.

USA Gymnastics released a statement saying Biles’ withdrawal was made “after further medical evaluation” for the 24-year-old superstar gymnast to “focus on her mental health.”

“We wholeheartedly support Simone’s decision and applaud her bravery in prioritizing her well-being,” the organization said.

It remains to be seen if Biles will rejoin the competition for next week’s individual event finals.

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India-UAE flights: Stranded students don’t wish to e-learn anymore, desperate to return – News

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India-UAE flights: Stranded students don't wish to e-learn anymore, desperate to return - News

Technical issues lead the list of challenges, with students’ ability to adapt, engage in class, and motivate themselves some of the other areas of concern.

UAE students and their families stranded in India due to the ongoing flight suspensions are grappling with online learning, with parents saying the in-person education model would be much more preferable for their wards.

However, with the current travel restrictions still in place, virtual learning is the only option left for such students.

Technical issues lead the list of challenges, with students’ ability to adapt, engage in class, and motivate themselves some of the other areas of concern.

ALSO READ:

>> Covid-19: Why Qatar is emerging as a stopover destination for stranded UAE expats

Hanzalah Hussain Syed, a Grade 6 student of Amity School Dubai, has been stuck in Hyderabad since March this year. As a result, he and his two siblings have had to keep up with their lessons via online classes from India for about four months.

His father, Syed Sameeruddin, told Khaleej Times he would much rather that his children return to face-to-face learning, as he believes the benefits of that learning model outweigh that of distance education.

“My wife and children had to leave for their hometown as my father-in-law had passed away and my wife wished to spend some time with her family,” he explained. However, the dad of three noted changes in his children after they switched to remote learning. “I feel my second child, especially, has become a little less active,” he said.

Sameeruddin is presently holding out hope that his kids will still be able to return to school after the summer. “I am still hopeful that the travel restrictions will be lifted in time, so my family can return and the children can attend school in person, as they did earlier, before the pandemic.”

Students who are in board classes are even more concerned, as their performance in the high-stake exams depend on their preparation, for which they feel going to school is imperative.

Subiksha Jeyapaul, a Grade 12 student of Dubai’s Gulf Indian High School said she had to travel to Thoothukudi (formerly Tuticorin) in Tamil Nadu, as her grandmother was ill. “Although I only did a week of online schooling from here before schools closed for summer vacations, I faced quite a few challenges. The poor internet connection here and the frequent power cuts have been a major problem. I tried adapting as much as I could,” she said.

The teenager said her biggest worry stems from the fact that the current academic year is a critical one for her. “Our theory and practical classes will begin soon as schools reopen in September. I really need to get back in time, as I don’t want to miss those classes. But the frequent postponement in the flight resumption dates has been tough, leaving me constantly disappointed. I hope we get to hear some good news soon,” she said in earnest.

Similarly, Divisha Modi travelled to Mumbai, with her five-year-old son Rivaan, at the start of the summer holidays to meet her ailing mother.

Like many others, they too are now stuck in India, waiting desperately to hear of any flight updates that would help them return to normal life in Dubai.

“I am worried that the suspension may last longer than I thought,” said Divisha. “I needed to visit India as I hadn’t seen my mother in two years and she has been quite unwell. We travelled in the hopes that flight operations from India would resume before September.”

ALSO READ:

>> India-UAE flights: Expats duped by fake travel approvals

The stranded expat said she has been keeping up with the news every day and checking in with everyone she knows for ‘positive news’. She is still hopeful of being able to return in time for the next academic session.

“If we can’t return, I will have to request my son’s school, Dubai International Academy in Emirates Hills, to accommodate him for online classes. This will be far from ideal though. I hope it won’t hamper his learning graph, as children so young can barely concentrate in online classes. If the situation continues though, that will be the only option left.”

Divisha believes offering alternative options would go a long way to alleviating the mental stress of many stranded expats right now.

“If people with Golden Visas are allowed to travel from restricted countries, why can’t the rest of us just be allowed to quarantine on return? At least that way our children would be able to go back to a normal life and resume their studies properly at school.”

Nandini Sircar






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Michael Phelps Supports Simone Biles After Withdrawal “Broke My Heart”

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Michael Phelps Supports Simone Biles After Withdrawal

Michael Phelps has a lot on his mind after Simone Biles‘ surprising withdrawal from the women’s gymnastics team final at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. 

The 36-year-old swimming icon spoke to NBC’s Mike Tirico on Tuesday, July 27, where the 23-time gold medalist offered compassionate support to Simone following her decision to exit the team competition earlier in the day. Her exit came after she suffered an uncharacteristic misstep on her vault routine. 

“The Olympics is overwhelming,” Michael shared. “There’s a lot of emotions that go into it. I mean, I could talk to you about this for an hour.”

The father of three, who has been candid in recent years about his own mental health journey, said athletes need trusted confidantes around them who can truly listen when they discuss what they’re enduring and feeling. 

“We carry a lot of things, a lot of weight on our shoulders, and it’s challenging, especially when we have the lights on us and all of the expectations that are being thrown on top of us,” Michael said. He added about Simone’s situation, “It broke my heart. But also, if you look at it, mental health over the last 18 months is something that people are talking about.” 



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Independent MP Derek Sloan announces plans to start new political party – Kingston

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Fewer than 30 new COVID-19 cases reported in Waterloo Region for 3rd straight day

Independent MP Derek Sloan has revealed that he’s working to establish a new political party.

Sloan made the announcement at a rally in Calgary this past weekend to a crowd of roughly 1,000 people.

A video shared on Twitter shows some of the speech made by the Hastings, Lennox and Addington representative as he teased further information to come.

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“I can’t tell you everything, I can’t even tell you the name unfortunately publicly, although you’ll love it,” says Sloan.

He goes on to say that he is only weeks away from approval and currently working on organizing.

Read more:
Kingston-area politicians react to possibility of conversion therapy bill falling through

This announcement comes shortly after Sloan was temporarily suspended from Twitter earlier this month for violating their policy on spreading misleading and potentially harmful information related to COVID-19.

After repeated attempts to speak with Sloan about his plans, he has yet to be reached for comment.

MP Sloan has a number of further appearances as he continues a tour of western Canada, most recently appearing Tuesday evening in front of a crowd in Strathmore, Alta.




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Mo Brooks’ Jan. 6 Capitol riot defense will not be supported by DOJ

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Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) sued Brooks alleging that he broke Washington, DC laws that included anti-terrorism acts.

The Justice Department said Tuesday that it would not support a claim by Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) that he was acting in his official capacity as a member of Congress when he spoke at the pro-Trump “Stop the Steal” rally that precipitated the deadly Capitol riot Jan. 6.

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) sued Brooks alleging that he, the former president, Donald Trump Jr., and former Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani broke Washington, DC laws, including an anti-terrorism act, by “inciting” the riot which led to the deaths of five people.

In a 29-page response to Brooks’ petition, which would obligate the DOJ to take over his defense if successful, the department said the lawmaker’s appearance at the rally was “campaign activity, and it is no part of the business of the United States to pick sides among candidates in federal elections.”

“Members of Congress are subject to a host of restrictions that carefully distinguish between their official functions, on the one hand, and campaign functions, on the other,” the DOJ added. “The conduct at issue here thus is not the kind a Member of Congress holds office to perform”.

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) sued Brooks alleging that he broke Washington, DC laws that included anti-terrorism acts.
Getty Images

“Inciting or conspiring to foment a violent attack on the United States Congress is not within the scope of employment of a Representative—or any federal employee—and thus is not the sort of conduct for which the United States is properly substituted as a defendant,” the filing went on.

Brooks described the Justice Department’s filing to The Wall Street Journal Tuesday as “wholly and completely false.” He said he had been “asked by the White House to give a speech—that’s what we congressmen do.”

In Mo Brooks' 29-page petition, the department said the lawmaker's appearance at the rally was "campaign activity in defense of Swalwell's claims.
In Mo Brooks’ 29-page petition, the department said the lawmaker’s appearance at the rally was “campaign activity in defense of Swalwell’s claims.
Getty Images

“The facts and the law are clearly on my side and I will definitely appeal any adverse decision by the trial court judge,” Brooks added.

In his remarks that day, Brooks told the crowd: “America does not need and cannot stand, cannot tolerate any more weakling, cowering, wimpy Republican congressmen and senators who covet the power and the prestige the swamp has to offer, while groveling at the feet and the knees of the special interest group masters … today is the day American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass.”

Hours later, Trump supporters breached the Capitol building, disrupting the joint session of Congress to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Smoke from pepper-spray ball exploded and used against pro-Trump protesters during the Capital building riot.
Smoke from pepper-spray ball exploded and used against pro-Trump protesters during the Capital building riot.
ZUMAPRESS.com

The Justice Department filed its brief on the same day a House select committee held its first hearing examining the events of Jan. 6. The panel heard harrowing testimony from officers with the US Capitol Police and Washington, DC Metropolitan Police Department about their experiences on that day.



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St Francis Catholic Church-Jebel Ali, Dubai, reopens after 16 months

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St Francis Church 1-1627451504249
St Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Jebel Ali, Dubai.
Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The doors of St Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Jebel Ali reopened to worshippers on Monday, after being closed for 16 months since March last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fr Jozef Timmers, OFM Cap., priest administrator at St Francis Church, told Gulf News the first mass was held at 9am. The church will have two masses at 9am and 7pm from Monday to Wednesday; one mass on Thursdays at 9am; and three services from Friday to Sunday at 7am, 11am and 7pm.

The church will operate with a limited capacity. Only 180 people are allowed for each mass service. Children below six years old are not allowed to attend and it is advisable for children below 12 years and elderly above 60 not to attend the live mass. “Advanced booking available at the parish website is required and strict health protocols will be observed. Worshippers must seat two metres apart and there will be sanitisation after each service. People must arrive early to have time to verify their seating,” Fr Timmers noted.

Peace and joy

Indian expat and St Francis Church parishioner Lizy Thomson said: “We are very thankful to Dubai authorities for allowing us to visit our church and attend the holy mass. Attending a mass in person is far more fulfilling in comparison to that of an online mass. There is a sense of peace and joy that surpass online worship. We are very happy with this decision indeed.”

Church regulations

St Francis Church has posted on its website the following regulations:

— Advanced booking for each member of the family, including children, is required to enter the church grounds at mass time. No one will be allowed to stay in the Church grounds without a booking.

— If you have a fever, a cough or any other symptoms that could possibly be COVID please stay home and cancel your booking. Do not come to the Church.

— If you have an advanced booking but are not able to attend the service for whatever reason, please cancel your booking so that someone else can book that seat.

— Even if you have an advanced booking, after 8pm you are allowed to make a booking for a weekday Mass for the following day. Advanced booking is allowed only once.

— Booking for weekend masses, including Friday, Saturday and Sunday, is allowed only once to allow others to attend a weekend Mass.

— Children below 6 years old are not allowed to attend. It is advisable for children below 12 years and elderly above 60 not to attend.

— Social distancing is required at all times. Sit, stand and walk two meters apart from other persons. Do not congregate by the grotto or any other location. — People should arrive to the church no later than 15 minutes before the mass begins. Entrance to the church through basement parking cannot be permitted during these times.



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Double shooting at California screening of ‘The Forever Purge’ leaves teenager dead

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Police investigate the scene at the California theater.

US HEADLINES

US HEADLINES:

A double shooting at a California movie theater left one teenager dead and another injured on Monday night.

The attack happened during a Corona screening of “The Forever Purge,” the latest in a series of horror-movies about a dystopian America where murder is legal for one day, according to The Los Angeles Times.

Police investigate the scene at the California theater.
KTLA 5

An 18-year-old woman was killed, and a 19-year-old man was injured when gunfire erupted at a Regal theater around 11:45 p.m.

The circumstances around the violence about 45 miles southeast of Los Angeles are unclear, and the victims were not identified.

An 18-year-old woman was killed, and a 19-year-old man was injured in the shooting.
An 18-year-old woman was killed, and a 19-year-old man was injured in the shooting.
KTLA 5

Investigators are trying to figure out if a random shooter escaped the theater, or if the man or woman were responsible for the gunfire in a murder-suicide.

“They’re still going through the theater and looking for evidence that would send us in one direction or another,” Corona Police Cpl. Tobias Kouroubacalis told the paper. “We’re working in the blind.”

Police at the scene of the deadly shooting.
Police at the scene of the deadly shooting.
KTLA 5

Police are also looking into the possibility that the violent content of the film was connected to the attack.

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Barack Obama helping launch NBA-backed basketball league in Africa

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Barack Obama helping launch NBA-backed basketball league in Africa
Barack Obama helping launch NBA-backed basketball league in Africa – CBS News

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Former President Barack Obama is lending his support to one of his favorite pastimes by helping the NBA and International Basketball Federation launch a new league in Africa to grow the game across the continent. The games are set to begin January 2020.

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UAE aid accounts for 80% of global response to Covid-hit countries – News

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UAE aid accounts for 80% of global response to Covid-hit countries - News

The UAE has dispatched a total of 2,154 tonnes of medical aid.

The UAE’s help accounted for 80 per cent of the international aid to countries struggling due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a top official has said.

The UAE has dispatched a total of 2,154 tonnes of medical aid; respiratory, screening and personal protection equipment; and testing tools to 135 countries around the world.

According to Dr Taher Al Ameri, spokesperson of the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA), the UAE has operated 196 medical aid flights.

It helped set up six field hospitals in Sudan, Guinea Conakry, Mauritania, Sierra Leone, Lebanon and Jordan. It also set up one fully equipped mobile clinic in Turkmenistan.

“About 117 countries received aid from the international aid organisations warehouses in Dubai International Humanitarian City,” he said.

“The UAE also contributed $10 million worth of in-kind aid.”

sahim@khaleejtimes.com

Sahim Salim






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Wildfires in Canada are creating their own weather systems, experts say

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Wildfires in Canada are creating their own weather systems, experts say

A combination of intense heat and drought conditions is causing wildfires in Western Canada to generate their own weather systems, experts say.

Michael Fromm, a meteorologist with the United States Naval Research Laboratory, based in Washington, D.C., said the phenomenon is known as a pyrocumulonimbus firestorm and has been tracked this year in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario.

Scientists have been tracking the storms since May. The first one was seen this season in Manitoba, Fromm said in an interview Monday.

The Village of Lytton in B.C. saw firestorms on two successive days in late June, he said.

“It was probably the single largest pyrocumulonimbus storm of the year so far,” he added.

“In fact, we’re still tracking the smoke plume from that storm as it’s travelling around the world and it’s about to kind of come full circle back over the U.S. and Canada.”

Damaged buildings are seen in Lytton, B.C., on July 9, after a wildfire destroyed most of the village on June 30. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

‘Perfect’ firestorm conditions in B.C.

An abundance of fuel, heat and wind create perfect conditions for the firestorms.

Lytton hit a Canadian temperature record of 49.6 C the day before a wildfire erupted there on June 30, destroying much of the community.

“When you get all those three things together, you get the perfect triple that we call fire weather,” Fromm said. “So, hot, dry and windy.”

Simon Donner, a climate scientist from Vancouver’s University of British Columbia’s geography department, said the storms also generate lightning that cause more fires.

“The fire creates the storm, and then the storm creates lightning, which can cause more fires,” he said.

“That runaway feedback is the dangerous part.”

Smoke from the Tremont Creek wildfire rises behind a home in Ashcroft, B.C., on July 15. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

Above average temperatures for many parts of B.C. aren’t expected to ease soon. Environment Canada said there is no hint of showers until at least the weekend for some southern regions that have been hit hard by wildfires.

The latest on wildfires in B.C.

Emergency Management B.C. said 250 active wildfires were burning in the province as of Tuesday. Since the fire season began April 1, 4,176 square kilometres of land in B.C. has been charred from the 1,226 wildfires that had started as of Sunday night.

At that time, there were 61 evacuation orders in effect, which affected 3,713 properties. Another 85 evacuation alerts were in place, meaning people living at more than 18,200 properties had been told they should be ready to leave their homes on short notice.

The risk remains high to extreme over most of southern B.C.

The B.C. Wildfire Service said 40 blazes were ranked as fires of note, meaning the flames were either highly visible or posed an immediate safety risk.

B.C. is to get more help Tuesday in battling the fires, with 34 Australian firefighting personnel joining 113 from Quebec and 101 from Mexico.

The Australian contingent includes a nine-person incident management team and technical specialists.

The weather office is predicting lighter winds over several of the most challenging fires, including the 68-square kilometre Nk’Mip Creek blaze in the south Okanagan between Oliver and Osoyoos. But forecasters said temperatures there won’t budge from the mid- to high-30s all week, and there’s no sign of rain.

Showers could dampen parts of southeast B.C., where fires on both sides of Upper Arrow Lake have forced evacuation orders or alerts for hundreds of properties.

However, Environment Canada said the chance of rain is just 30 per cent and it won’t come until Saturday at the earliest.

How firestorms begin

Fromm said a pyrocumulonimbus storm usually begins with a smouldering fire, which feeds on the surrounding air turning active and creating a thermal bubble. That creates a convection column that generates more energy and turns the fire hotter and larger, he said.

“It’s just like if you have a stove and you have a small burner — you’re not going to get as much of a fast boil in your pot as if you had a really hot, intense burner,” Fromm said.

“So, the big, large fire just makes it that much easier for the air to be completely upset. And then if you do form a cloud, then that generates even more buoyancy and that feeds back down to the fire.”

As the cloud goes “bubbling” into the air, it can create lightning, Fromm said.

The storms last anywhere between two and five hours, occur in the late afternoon, and end when the air turns cooler or it runs into a fire break, he said.

“When you look at it, you know, say from space as we do, you can actually see several bubbles of cloud form and flatten out up in the upper atmosphere,” he said.

“Then they blow off and then you see another bubble coming up, like several chimney bursts in the life of that individual pyrocumulonimbus. So, on the ground, what that means is that fire is pulsating in a way that during those two to five hours is a very dramatic and dangerous event.”



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California teen Kiana Hummel fights off crocodile while in Mexico

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A picture of a crocodile

A California woman was attacked by a crocodile while vacationing in Mexico earlier this month — and was able to briefly fight off the beast before others intervened to save her, a report said.

Eighteen-year-old Kiana Hummel’s trip with a friend to Marriott resort in Puerto Vallarta took the nightmarish turn when the two decided to go for a nighttime ocean swim, she told KGO.

Before they had even reached the water, Hummel said the crocodile emerged from the dark and ripped the recent high-school graduate into the water by her right leg.

Hummel, of Marin County, bravely kept her composure and said she repeatedly punched the reptile until it released its grip.

But moments later, the crocodile struck again and dragged her back underwater by her right leg.

“I just remember saying, please don’t leave me,” Hummel recalled in an interview with the news station.

“And I didn’t think I was getting out that second time. That was just really bad.”

But a group of bystanders who witnessed the attack sprung to action and were able to free Hummel from the animal.

“It was most definitely one of the craziest, scariest things I’ve ever experienced,” Sarah Laney, one of the bystanders, told KGO.

Kiana Hummel suffered severe muscle damage after being dragged into the ocean by a crocodile while vacationing in Mexico with friends.
Getty Images

“Honestly, I will never forget it when the crocodile’s head came above water. I just went into shock,” she said.

The teen suffered severe muscle and tissue damage to her legs. She is currently unable to walk.

Hummel called her mother after the attack and waited nearly 45 minutes for an ambulance to arrive, the report said.

Her mother, Ariana Martinez, told the outlet she immediately flew to Puerto Vallarta to be at her daughter’s side.

They later went back to California, and Hummel was hospitalized at Marin General, where is expected to undergo a second surgery.

Hummel, her mother and Laney believe the resort could do more to alert guests to the dangers of crocodile attacks.

Marriott spokesperson Kerstin Sachl told KGO the proper signage is in place.

“The safety and security of our guests and associates are our top priority, and we can confirm that appropriate signage, as well as night patrolling and red flags were and are properly in place,” said Sachl.



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COVID-19: How we forgot our elderly

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Old man mask covid
Fear of COVID has meant a substantial percentage of the elderly have ignored their routine tests for serious illness
Image Credit: Gabriella Clare Marino

A friend of my father’s mentioned something the other day that got my attention. He alluded to people in the 70s- their age group and asked me to dig a little bit to get him some answers. Behind this thought was the quest for a first-person perspective on whether his peers still had a spring in their step or whether it was perennially autumn.

“I want to know whether my generation is simply vegetating and perceiving themselves as a burden to society or do, we still have meaningful contributions to give. How does this generation view itself?” he added.

His questions were a bit discomfiting because he had unknowingly given words to something that has been gnawing at me in the past few months. While his intent was larger, my vision though has been relatively short term, since the pandemic outbreak to be precise.

As COVID-19 continued to steamroller, a dawning realisation that there was more than what was meeting the eye as an invisible people in many parts of the world quietly began falling through the cracks. Since last year, I have often felt that the children have been the silent victims of the pandemic. But there has been a section of the population that has simply gone silent.

Redefining acceptance and social isolation

While our generation made a production about ourselves whether it was about working from home, doing grocery in the lockdown, about not being able to go to the gym or meet our friends, hidden behind the four walls of their homes, seldom spoken about while redefining both acceptance and social isolation have been the senior citizens.

As children to our parents and parents to our children, we had one duty- to keep them protected and I don’t mean just physically. How many of us can say we did right by them and not just what we thought was good enough? How did we forget our elders?

Hope may be eternal but can also stutter as the recent months have shown us. No one has had a monopoly on anxiety or uncertainty, and we just needed to take a few minutes and ask those who COVID has slowed down the most, if they were fine.

Neglect is not always obvious. 6% of India’s population is the elderly and they have quietly grieved the loss of lifelong friends, wondering who will be next. Yet, those who stayed back do so without a murmur.

Their vulnerability has grounds that we aren’t always sensitive to, alienation can happen despite physical proximity. Before the second wave when their children threw caution to the wind- mingling and unmasking, they stayed in without a complaint as though hidden behind a curtain peeking out occasionally to take instructions from those whose indiscretions ultimately brought COVID home.

No complaints by senior citizens 

And they remain resilient. Whether empty nesters in the same city or a different country, their stoic acceptance of the circumstances has shown us how child is not always the father of man. There have seldom been complaints of boredom by our parents or grandparents, instead the yearning for a change back to the old has been quietly squashed in a realism that has been hard to emulate.

This was a time perhaps when the impact of the rising emergence of nuclear families in India was felt the most. In many households the elderly without the physical support of their children during the lockdown have taken community help to get a medical test done or reach a doctor’s appointment.

Those in the middle-lower income group though have been tested some more. A HelpAge report ‘Bearing the Brunt’ has flagged the risk of abuse and neglect by caregivers of the elderly and talks of how ‘ageism’ has been exposed like never, before.

The organisation in India says it received more than a thousand calls related to abuse, violence and disputes to its Elder Helpline during the second wave with this helpline alone receiving a total of 20,000 calls in the second wave, an increase of 36% from the first. Imagine, if there is another wave still to come.

Loss of livelihood, resources and family members — especially an ageing spouse has made a neglected section of people plunge into oblivion. Another study conducted by the Agewell Foundation revealed that more than 70% of the elderly in the country believed that their mistreatment had increased during the lockdown.

Out of the comfort zone

There are other concerns as well, that may seem minor to us but are out of the comfort zone of the elderly. The senior citizens have been struggling to understand technology- including online consultations, their legal provisions and the path to vaccination that is full of misinformation.

Their own chronic ailments and comorbidities were already a pushback and now with incomes slashed, HelpAge says many are avoiding buying medicines for existing ailments. Not just that, the fear of COVID has meant a substantial percentage has ignored their routine tests for serious illness.

A friend recently tried to get an appointment with a therapist. Everyone was fully booked out till September- imagine the other epidemic that is raging and while there is now some talk about adults and mental health, there has barely been any questions asked of our senior citizens. Think back, did we tell them once that it is OK to not be OK?

When we talk of a healing touch, perhaps one day we will give the elderly a fair hearing. Not just in India the global response to the older generation has been woefully missing and with lack of any coherent data, they will continue to exist as they have in the past year, invisible and on a pause button.

We all have a right to a future, why then have we presumed they don’t?



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UAE weather: Mercury to hit 50°C on a hot and hazy Wednesday – News

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UAE weather: Mercury to hit 50°C on a hot and hazy Wednesday - News

Dusty weather to reduce horizontal visibility in parts of the country.

The weather in UAE is expected to be hot and hazy on Wednesday, according to the national Met department (NCM).

The weather forecast for today is hazy during daytime and partly cloudy at times.

Temperatures will tend to increase, touching 50°C in internal areas. Light to moderate winds, freshening at times causing blowing dust and sand reducing the horizontal visibility at times over the exposed areas.

The sea will be Slight in the Arabian Gulf and in Oman Sea.




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Northern Saskatchewan First Nations seeing COVID-19 outbreaks

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Two First Nations communities are being hit hard with COVID-19 outbreaks in northern Saskatchewan.

Buffalo River Dene Nation is reporting over 70 active cases as of Tuesday morning. With fewer than 700 people living on reserve, it has officials concerned.

“We made sure that everyone who was returning was negative but, at that time, there was already an outbreak occurring in the community that created some challenges,” said Daryl Wright, an emergency response plan coordinator at Meadow Lake Tribal Council.

And they’re not the only ones struggling to fight the spread, Black Lake Denesuline First Nation has put lockdown measures in place.

“We’re not going to let any outsiders into our community and our community members are not supposed to leave either,” Black Lake Chief Archie Robillard said.

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Read more:
Public health orders needed on Buffalo River Dene Nation to combat COVID-19: FSIN

The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) is calling on the Saskatchewan government to reintroduce public health measures to protect communities.

Saskatchewan Health Minister Paul Merriman said the regional medical health officer can notify the province’s top doctor to ask for additional measures.

“But the best thing we can do in the short term and the long term is getting vaccinated and adhering to handwashing, making sure that you minimize your contact … especially if there’s an outbreak in a specific area,” Merriman said.

Read more:
Saskatchewan ending COVID-19 mass vaccination sites, moving to outreach program

On Tuesday, the provincial government said Saskatchewan’s active COVID-19 cases have increased and now sit at 362. The far north west zone — within which Buffalo River is located — leads with 119 of the province’s active cases. Black Lake is in the far north central zone and has 16.

Health officials in northern communities said there has been vaccine skepticism and hesitancy and said they’re working on educating the public.

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© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.



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LA theater shooting leaves at least 1 dead during ‘The Forever Purge’ screening

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Police investigate the scene at the California theater.

A double shooting at a California movie theatre left one teenager dead and another injured Monday night.

The attack happened during a Corona screening of “The Forever Purge,” a horror-movie series about a dystopian America in which it’s legal to murder anybody you want, according to The Los Angeles Times.

Police investigate the scene at the California theater.
KTLA 5

An 18-year-old woman was killed, and a 19-year-old man was injured when gunfire erupted at a Regal theater around 11:45 p.m., according to the report.

The circumstances around the violence about 45 miles southeast of Los Angeles are unclear, and the victims were not identified, according to the newspaper.

An 18-year-old woman was killed, and a 19-year-old man was injured in the shooting.
An 18-year-old woman was killed, and a 19-year-old man was injured in the shooting.
KTLA 5

Investigators are trying to figure out if a random shooter escaped the theater, or if the man or woman were responsible for the gunfire in a murder-suicide, the article said.

“They’re still going through the theater and looking for evidence that would send us in one direction or another,” Corona Police Cpl. Tobias Kouroubacalis told the paper. “We’re working in the blind.”

Police at the scene of the deadly shooting.
Police at the scene of the deadly shooting.
KTLA 5

Police are also looking into the possibility that the violent content of the film was connected to the attack, according to the report.



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UAE culture minister appears on The Dukkan Show anniversary podcast to highlight creativity

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UAE culture minister appears on The Dukkan Show anniversary podcast to highlight creativity

Dubai: The Dukkan Show, one of the first independent society and culture podcasts in the Middle East and North Africa region, has marked its sixth anniversary with a celebration of 200 episodes. To celebrate the achievement, the podcast hosted Noura Bint Mohammad Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Youth, who shared reflections on how social, cultural and creative spheres and communities in the UAE are driving a sustainable economy for the country.

Noura Al Kaabi

“The Creative Economy has become an important part of our global economy. Not just as a narrative, but also as an implementation model. Many countries have realised the importance of knowledge-based industries, and the UAE in particular believes that these cultural and creative industries are key assets to create sustainability for the economy. The UAE is a major player in the growth of CCI in the Middle East and North Africa region. The UAE’s preeminent position as an innovation hub is central to the growth of CCI in the wider region,” said Al Kaabi.

The Dukkan Show, in the past six years, has seen over 2.6 million downloads. It is the “first podcast globally” to host a #TodayAtApple talk with “its authentic content experiences that speak truth about the culture”.

Omar Tom, co-founder and CEO at Dukkan Media, said: “Dukkan Show was created to tackle cultural conversations, own our own narratives and most importantly export our culture and stories from the Middle East to the world. Cultural export through media is soft policy and we work hard to shape and shift conversations about the Middle East and how the world sees it.”

The Dukkan Show is available on any of the podcatchers including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts. Since January 2016, it has featured more than 120 guests from around the world, notably Gary Vaynerchuch, Liza Kishk, Prince EA and Shepard Fairey (OBEY), among others.



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Nicki Minaj Wears Bucket Hat & Pink Fanny Pack – Channels ‘90s Style – Hollywood Life

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Nicki Minaj

Nicki Minaj gave her fans a look at her impeccable fashion sense while donning a ’90s style ensemble in two pics.

Nicki Minaj, 38, stunned in a series of throwback photos posted on her Instagram on July 27. The “Starship” singer showcased her all-pink outfit and incredible physique while coyly posing for the glam session. 

The rapper posed along a white wall and opted to wear a curly long pink wig and matching lipstick and shoes for the pics. She completed the look with silver bracelets, anklets, and a diamond-encrusted watch. Complete with a matching bucket hat and a pink fanny pack, this look was the perfect throwback to ’90s fashion.

“I got da 👑 lil bitch u just da 🏃🏽‍♀️runner 🆙 #WholeLottaMoneyREMIX w|@bia OUT NOW 💕🎀✨🩰 #FoundThesePicsInTheArchives ♥️,” she captioned the photo. Of course, the post paid homage to the remix of the hit, “Whole Lotta Money,” which was the perfect opportunity for rapper BIA to show some love. “Invented Pink,” Bia commented on the post which, now has over 1.3 million likes.

Nicki posted these photos three weeks after she teased a “very very important” announcement on IG Live. The July 7 announcement led fans to theorize about the possibility of a new album, instead it was the release of this incredible remix. 

Nicki Minaj rocking a pink catsuit at an event. The rapper wore pink in the throwback Instagram pictures she shared with fans on July 27. (Rob Latour/Shutterstock)

The new mom — who welcomed her first child, a baby boy, with husband Kenneth Petty in September 2020 — has been on a bit of an album hiatus, releasing her last one, Queen, in August 2018. Most recently, the hit maker’s iconic Beam Me Up Scotty mixtape joined streaming platforms. Although the mixtape made its debut in 2009, fans are still obsessed with the New York rapper’s unforgettable breakout. The 2021 edition of Beam Me Up Scotty gave fans a glimpse into five tracks that have been under the radar since the initial release. It also included “Seeing Green,” a new collaboration with Lil Wayne and Drake



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“CBS Evening News” headlines for Tuesday, July 27, 2021

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“CBS Evening News” headlines for Tuesday, July 27, 2021 – CBS News

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Here’s a look at the top stories making headlines on the “CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell.”

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B.C. responds to double the average annual number of wildfires, halfway into fire season

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B.C. responds to double the average annual number of wildfires, halfway into fire season

At the halfway point of B.C.’s fire season, the province is “significantly higher” than the 10-year average both in terms of the number of fires and the area burned, says an official with B.C. Wildfire Service. 

There are currently 253 active wildfires burning in British Columbia, of which 38 are wildfires of note. Since April 1, 2021, the B.C. Wildfire Service has responded 1,231 wildfires, resulting in 4,250 square kilometres burned. 

“The 10-year average for this time of the year is about 642 fires, or [1,050 square kilometres] burned. So obviously, we’re significantly ahead of the 10-year average,” said Rob Schweitzer, the B.C. Wildfire Service’s director of fire centre operations.

Schweitzer said there is plenty of wildfire season left, pointing out that this marked the halfway point.

“This will be a long season,” he said.

Thousands under evacuation orders

There are currently 61 evacuation orders in effect in the province, covering 3,700 properties, that require people to leave the homes immediately. A further 85 evacuation alerts, representing 18,000 properties, are in effect. Those residents must be ready to leave at a moment’s notice if an order is issued. 

There are currently 21 reception centres supporting evacuees, and 5,000 evacuees are currently registered. 

Emergency Info BC has a full list of reception centres. 

As the fires rage, evacuees and returning residents wait anxiously to see what state their properties are in. 

Horses near the Nk’Mip Creek fire on Osoyoos Indian Band territory on July 23. (Maggie MacPherson/CBC)

The Sparks Lake wildfire, burning 15 kilometres north of Kamloops Lake, is approximately 590 square kilometres in size. Priscilla Kazarian, with the Thomson Nicola Regional District, says an early aerial assessment revealed at least a dozen houses and cabins have been damaged by fire. It is still too difficult to do an on-the-ground assessment at this time. An evacuation order for 298 properties remains in effect due to that wildfire. 

Evacuation reluctance an issue

Schweitzer said there were several reports of individuals who are not heeding evacuation orders this past weekend. He says there were at least three incidents that required the diversion of B.C. Wildfire ground personnel and aircraft in order to rescue stranded residents. 

Many residents who stayed behind are people who have lived on the land for decades and have experienced wildfire before, but Schweitzer warned this is not like the past.

“My message to them, although you’ve lived on that land for generations and a long period of time, even our seasoned firefighters are seeing behaviour and conditions that we’ve never seen before in this generation,” he said.  

“The conditions that we’re seeing this year are some of the most extreme that have ever been experienced in this province.”

He urged people under evacuation orders to heed those warnings in a timely manner. 

Suspicious fire starts

The RCMP warned that as many as four brush fires were deliberately set Saturday in the Kootenay community of Salmo, near the intersection of Highways 6 and 3 .

Fire crews were able to extinguish the fires, but officers say crews reported spotting an unknown man fleeing the area
on foot.

Three more fires were set in the same area on Monday. 

“We really don’t want to be using our B.C. Wildfire resources [for] fires that appear to have been intentionally caused,” said Staff Sgt. Janelle Shoihet at a news conference Tuesday. 

Shoihet said anyone with information about the fires is asked to call the Salmo RCMP or Crime Stoppers.

Weather forecast a ‘mixed bag’

High temperatures are forecast at the end of the week into the weekend, with temperatures in the B.C.’s Interior reaching almost 40 C. 

The silver lining is that the stable weather pattern will be helpful for overall suppression efforts, and the lack of lightning will help reduce any new fire starts, said Schweitzer. 

But it will also means that the smoke will not dissipate.

Kelowna, B.C., is sitting under a cover of wildfire smoke. The provincial government and health authorities have issued air quality advisories for the Okanagan as well as the Kootenays, Cariboo, Shuswap and Thompson-Nicola regions. (Winston Szeto/CBC)

Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer, said both the heat and the smoke present health challenges, especially to the very young, old and chronically ill. 

Henry said it is important to plan cooling measures — like seeking air-conditioned shelter and shade, staying hydrated, and reducing activity to the cooler parts of the day. 

And of the two health risks, she said staying cool should be prioritized. 

“Heat is the most dangerous of what we are seeing,” Henry said. “If we are closing windows and it gets too hot in the house because of the smoke, we really need to be aware of the heat as well.”



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Olympics: Regions near Tokyo to seek Covid-19 emergency steps as cases rise – News

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Olympics: Regions near Tokyo to seek Covid-19 emergency steps as cases rise - News

Governors of three prefectures near Olympics host Tokyo are likely to ask the government to declare states of emergency for their regions, media said on Wednesday, after Covid-19 infections spiked to a record high in the Japanese capital.

Tokyo recorded 2,848 new cases of coronavirus on Tuesday, the highest since the pandemic began, and media reported authorities had asked hospitals to prepare more beds for patients amid a surge driven by the Delta variant.

The sharp increase may dampen enthusiasm for the Summer Games despite a rush of medals for Japanese athletes as many worry the influx of athletes and officials could add to the surge.

16 new Covid cases reported at Tokyo Olympics

Tokyo Olympics organisers on Wednesday reported 16 new Games-related Covid-19 cases, for a total of 169 since July 1. Olympic athletes, staff and media must follow strict rules to prevent the virus’s spread, including frequent testing.

An International Olympic Committee spokesperson told a news conference the Japanese public should be reassured by steps taken by organisers, while a Tokyo 2020 spokesperson expressed pain over the rise in cases in the capital while urging stakeholders to abide by rules.

The Tokyo surge may spell trouble for Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, whose support ratings are at their lowest since he took office last September, ahead of a general election this year.

Suga on Tuesday urged people to stay home as much as possible and watch the Olympics on television. He said cancelling the Games was not an option.

Japan has avoided the devastating outbreaks suffered by other nations such as India, Indonesia and the United States, but the fifth wave of the pandemic is piling pressure on Tokyo’s hospitals.

“The risk of infection for individuals is the highest ever. It is affecting even ordinary medical care and … is a severe situation,” Koji Wada, a professor at Tokyo’s International University of Health and Welfare and an advisor to the government on COVID-19 response, told NHK public television.

Tokyo is already under its fourth state of emergency, set to run until after the Olympics, but unlike stricter steps in many countries, the measures focus mainly on asking restaurants that serve alcohol to close and others to shut down by 8 p.m.

Many Japanese, however, have grown weary of the largely voluntary restrictions and some experts say the government decision to go ahead with the Olympics sent a confusing message about the need to stay home.

Tokyo’s neighbouring prefectures of Kanagawa, Saitama and Chiba are currently under looser “quasi-emergency” restrictions but are also seeing infections spike. Many of their residents travel to the capital.

The Asahi newspaper said those prefectures were likely to ask for stronger restrictions to contain the virus, with Chiba set to do so as early as Wednesday.




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Former Iowa high school principal kills himself amid sexual misconduct probe

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Former Marshalltown High School associate principal William Terry is the second employee who has killed himself after being accused of sexually exploiting students.

A former associate principal at an Iowa high school killed himself last week amid allegations he sexually exploited a student — the second district employee facing such accusations to take his own life this month, a report said.

William Terry, 47, a former employee at Marshalltown High School, fatally shot himself inside the basement of his Ames home on Thursday as police arrived to execute an arrest warrant, WHO reported, citing authorities.

Terry was accused of engaging in an inappropriate relationship with a former student. The allegations were reported to police on July 6, the report said.

On July 8, 42-year-old Marshalltown Middle School teacher Adam Edgington fatally shot himself in his car a day after he was busted for allegedly sexually assaulting a 13-year-old student.

Edgington was accused of groping and kissing the teen several times over the past school year, the report said.

Separately, Mark Esquivel, 26, an ex-Marshalltown High School gym teacher was arrested on June 30 for allegedly trying to solicit sex from a 17-year-old, the report said.

Esquivel was charged with sexual exploitation by a school employee.

Former Marshalltown High School associate principal William Terry is the second employee who has killed himself after being accused of sexually exploiting students.
Marshalltown High School

The disturbing series of allegations against the men has led to a district-wide review of its hiring and selection processes, Dr. Theron Schutte, Superintendent of Marshalltown Community School District, told the news station in a statement.

“The District will also be providing additional training on staff ethics and responsibilities, and is reviewing the curriculum to ensure all students are informed about reporting – and empowered to seek help – if a concerning situation arises,” Schutte said.



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Standard Carpets Industries endorses UAE vision for industrial growth

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Table of Contents

Bird’s eye view of the Standard Carpets facility at Dubai Industrial City
Image Credit: Supplied

When was Standard Carpets set up, what are the brand’s mission and vision statements?

Standard Carpets was established in 1997 from a small rented premises in Sharjah aimed to supply wall-to-wall carpets to the domestic market. Thanks to the acceptance of our products, the company grew quickly and allowed us to diversify both in products and in markets.

Over time, Standard Carpets developed into a vertically integrated factory with its own facilities for yarn extrusion, tufting, backing and tiling where we produce three main product lines: wall-to-wall carpets, carpet tiles and artificial grass.

Our phenomenal growth is entirely due to team effort and government encouragement.

– Gulu Waney, Chairman, Standard Carpets

By keeping all stages of manufacturing under our own roof, we are able to control the quality of our products, enabling us to explore opportunities in more mature markets.

Today, Standard Carpets exports to over 60 countries internationally while maintaining its core values of quality, sustainability, innovation and responsibility. It is our ultimate goal to further ourselves as a leading global supplier of flooring.

How do you attribute Standard Carpet’s rapid growth over the past 20+ years?

Adaptability and consistency. Like any successful company, Standard Carpets considers its customers as partners. By taking feedback from customers and providing them with solutions, we have developed a strong distribution network.

The key to success is through continuous growth in capacities and capabilities.

– Vidya Bhushan, Managing Director, Standard Carpets

Furthermore, Standard Carpets provides solutions with the future in mind. This can be seen in efforts such as our solar power project, where we covered the entire facility in solar panels to become the largest producer of renewable energy in the private sector.

Increasing the contribution manufacturing makes to the UAE’s GDP is a national priority set by the vision of our leaders for economic growth and diversification. By combining advanced technologies with best-in-class design and sustainable innovation, Standard Carpets has become the country’s largest producer of broadloom carpets. This expansion will boost industrial activities in the country and cement Dubai’s position as a global trade hub.
“Global trust and confidence in high-quality UAE products continue to grow quickly as local production and exports expand empowered by our ease of doing business, advanced infrastructure, logistics network, availability of raw and packaging materials, as well as access to specialized talent. It has allowed Standard Carpets to trade with over 60 countries. We look forward to working closely with Standard Carpets to successfully deliver this important new milestone.”

– Abdulla Belhoul, Chief Commercial Officer, Dubai Holding Asset Management

It can also be seen in our recycling of raw materials and waste water. These are efforts which are not only cost saving in the long term but also fulfill our ethical and social responsibility as manufacturers. Together we hope to make an uncertain future a little more sustainable.

Standard-Carpets-machinery-for-web
Standard Carpets’ facilities at Dubai Industrial City provide everything from yarn extrusion and tufting to backing and tilling
Image Credit: Supplied

Did you have to cut jobs or salaries due to Covid?

We did not lay off a single staff member during Covid. Initially, we had to cut the salaries by 30 per cent in April-May last year but those were promptly refunded to the staff as soon as the first wave of Covid declined.

The UAE’s manufacturing industry has expanded rapidly in recent years to become a key driver of the country’s knowledge and innovation-based economy. With a wide range of competitive advantages, state-of-the-art infrastructure, ease of doing business and strategic proximity to some of the world’s largest markets, Dubai Industrial City is an attractive business ecosystem. As the first carpet producer in the country, we are pleased to see a company with such heritage build another large-scale factory in our business district. Standard Carpets’ expansion will consolidate Dubai’s position as a global hub for advanced manufacturing in line with the vision of our leaders.”

– Saud Abu Al-Shawareb, Managing Director, Dubai Industrial City

Which are your biggest markets at present, what are your expansion plans for the region and globally?

Currently our five biggest markets include Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Canada and Saudi Arabia.

Thanks to its in-house design and logistics departments, Standard Carpets is positioned to sell anywhere in the world. Today our only manufacturing facility is based in the UAE.

At present, our current facility is 1.3 million square feet and produces 18 million square feet of flooring every month. The current expansion will more than double the plot size and be completed over two phases. The first phase will increase existing production of wall-to-wall carpets, carpet tiles and artificial grass by almost 50 per cent.

A man is as alive as his last dream. Don’t lose your illusions.

– Sharad Bhushan, VP, Sales & Marketing, Standard Carpets

The second phase will include the introduction of new product lines. The expansion project is estimated to be completed by the end of 2023.

How has Covid affected Standard Carpets in terms of demand fluctuations, how do you see this changing in a post-Covid phase?

For Standard Carpets, Covid has further demonstrated the importance of a diversified customer base.

While in some countries, recovery is already underway, in other countries demand is still low. By focusing on those markets where the Covid situation is stable, we have been able to avoid the Covid impact and grow our business further.

The growth of Standard Carpets over the past 20 years is a testament to the opportunities industries have operating out of the UAE. We are proud to be based in the UAE and are confident in the country’s strategy to grow the industrial sector.

– Kyle Waney, GM, Projects & Corporate Affairs, Standard Carpets

Please elaborate on how Dubai Industrial City helped in Standard Carpets’ growth story while speaking of your current expansion plans.

Dubai Industrial City has always been a great partner for Standard Carpets. Their team is extremely approachable and responsive. They have been a great support system and worked with us to ensure Standard Carpets operates as efficiently and effectively as possible. For these reasons and more, we have decided to build our first facility, expansion and staff accommodation all within Dubai Industrial City.

FLOORED BY FIGURES

1.3m sq ft: Size of existing Standard Carpets facility at Dubai Industrial City (DIC)
1.6m sq ft: New expansion making standard carpets among world’s largest flooring plant under one roof
350m sq ft: Production per year targeted in 2022
>60: Number of countries products exported to, across 6 continents
16,800 tons: Production per year targeted in 2022
7.2mw: Largest producer of solar energy in the UAE private sector
Only manufacturer of carpet tiles in the Middle East

SUSTAINING SUSTAINABILITY

– Zero Effluents
– CRI, BREEAM, EMS, ISO certified
– Contributing Leed
– 133,944 tCO2e of avoided emissions in next 20 years

Product lines

– Carpet tiles
– Wall-to-wall carpets
– Artificial grass

Standard Carpets Experience Centre
The Standard Carpets Experience Centre
Image Credit: Supplied

PATTERN OF SUCCESS

A timeline representing more than two decades of progress and growth for Standard Carpets

1997: Standard Carpets Industries is registered
1999: Production started for broadloom carpets
2004: Artificial grass production started
2007: Carpet tile production started
2008: Registered as an ISO certified company with quality management systems
2011: Reaches an international export market of 50 countries
2018: Experience Centre started
2020: Solar power project completed
2021: New land covering 1.6m sq ft acquired for expansion
2022: Expansion in carpet capacity by 40%
2023: Alternate flooring will start

Standard-Carpets-pattern-of-success-for-web
Image Credit: Supplied

This content comes from Reach by Gulf News, which is the branded content team of GN Media.



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LGL health unit warns about ‘escalating crisis’ of overdoses in region – Kingston

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Fewer than 30 new COVID-19 cases reported in Waterloo Region for 3rd straight day

The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit is reporting a significant uptick in overdoses since 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic started, which has continued to escalate into 2021.

In the first six months of this year, the health unit received 195 overdose reports, which includes fatal and non-fatal overdoses.

Compared to 165 reports for the total of 2020, this means that halfway through 2021, overdose reports have already surpassed the entirety of the previous year.

Read more:
COVID-19: KFL&A Public Health push for those aged 12-17 to get vaccinated this week

Harm Reduction Coordinator for the health unit, Jennifer Adams, says that the region is reaching a crisis point.

“A lot of people think that this is just an urban problem. And I think, you know, absolutely urban, but rural we really, really struggle to manage the situation,” says Adams.

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“We don’t have access to as many resources as people do in the urban centres. We’re really a small handful of people dealing with an escalating crisis.”

She says that while this is a problem in multiple regions, for them, a lack of resources makes things even more difficult.

“We can’t be reliant to try and send people to Ottawa or into Kingston to get help, because people don’t want to go to Ottawa or Kingston to get help. They want help within their own community, but we just don’t have the resources to offer people,” she says.

“Our community looks towards myself and my handful of colleagues that I work with as the experts, but we don’t, we’re out of answers at this point,” Adams says. “We don’t know where to go next with this.

“And what can we do in such a rural area where there’s very little resources, very little capacity on workers to manage this.”

Read more:
‘She lost her will to live’: Ontario caregiver reflects on mother’s time in long-term care during COVID

The health unit says the illicit drug supply in the region is contaminated with ingredients that naloxone overdose kits will not work on, making the situation even more dire.

“We’re tired. The families are tired, the community is tired, the front-line workers are tired.”

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Adams wants to remind people that calling 911 is the most important step to saving someone’s life, and is often overlooked or forgotten in these circumstances.




© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.



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Lindsie Chrisley & Will Campbell Split After 9 Years Of Marriage – Hollywood Life

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lindsie chrisley

‘Chrisley Knows Best’ star Lindsie Chrisley announced that she and Will Campbell have decided to ‘mutually’ split after nine years of marriage.

After nine years of marriage, Lindsie Chrisley and Will Campbell have split. The Chrisley Knows Best star, 31, announced on Instagram on July 27 that she and her longtime husband, 31, have “mutually decided” to end their marriage. The reality TV star shared the news alongside a snapshot with their son Jackson, 8, in an empty home.

“While one door closes, another opens,” Lindsie began the caption. “It’s with the deepest sadness that, after 9 years of marriage, Will & I have mutually decided to end our marriage. We maintain the greatest respect & love for one another, & we’re so grateful for our time together. We will continue to remain friends & be devoted parents to our son whom we both love very much.”

Lindsie added that she is focused on the future. “Personally, I am focusing on the new beginnings ahead & a fresh space with the move this week,” she wrote. “Thank you in advance for respecting our privacy as we work through this challenging time for our family.”

Lindsie is the eldest child of Todd Chrisley and his first wife Teresa Terry. She and Will eloped in 2012 after three years of dating, a decision that caused a rift between her and her estranged father. The troubles were chronicled in the first season of the family’s reality TV series Chrisley Knows Best: Todd was not pleased with the fact that Will did not ask him for permission to wed his daughter. Lindsie has since been absent from most seasons of the show.

Back in August 2016, Lindsie announced plans to divorce Will, but the two eventually reconciled and it never materialized. At the time, however, the reality TV star told PEOPLE that she and Will grew apart. “He was my first love. We got together when we were 19 years old, and over time we grew separately in different directions instead of together,” she told the outlet, later adding, “I’ve outgrown the relationship.”

The last sign of Will on Lindsie’s Instagram is from Valentine’s Day earlier this year. “I believe that love is the most amazing thing in life,” she captioned a photo of the two. “It is what makes us human && what makes life worth living. Nothing else truly matters.” She added, “We all have different love stories & it’s not always easy, but I’m committed to leading with love — no matter where life takes us.”



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WHO sounds the alarm on ‘harmful’ e-cigarettes – News

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WHO sounds the alarm on ‘harmful’ e-cigarettes - News

“Nicotine is highly addictive. Electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) are harmful, and must be better regulated,” said WHO chief.

Electronic cigarettes and similar devices are dangerous to health and must be regulated to curb the tobacco industry’s tactics to get young people hooked on nicotine, the World Health Organisation warned on Tuesday.

“Nicotine is highly addictive. Electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) are harmful, and must be better regulated,” said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

The WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic 2021, which focused on new and emerging products, was published on Tuesday and said ENDS should be tightly regulated for maximum public health protection.

“Where they are not banned, governments should adopt appropriate policies to protect their populations from the harms of ENDS, and to prevent their uptake by children, adolescents and other vulnerable groups,” Tedros said.

The UN health agency’s eighth annual report said ENDS manufacturers often target youths with thousands of tantalising flavours — the document listed 16,000 — and reassuring statements.




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Cardi B Shows Off Baby Bump In Gold Bikini — Watch – Hollywood Life

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Cardi B

Cardi B promoted her new song ‘Wild Side’ by sharing a new video of herself standing in a mirror and putting her growing baby bump on full display while wearing a stylish gold bikini and matching jewelry.

Cardi B, 28, is sharing a brand new clip of herself during her pregnancy and she’s looking incredible! The rapper, who is already a mother to her three-year-old daughter Kulture, used the clip, which gives her fans a glimpse of her baby bump, to promote Normani‘s new song “Wild Side,” which she’s featured on, and didn’t disappoint. In the video, she’s standing in what appears to be a bathroom mirror while wearing a gold bikini with matching belly chains and other jewelry like bracelets and necklaces as she films herself with her phone.

She has some of her long locks up while the rest is down and her adorable bump is peeking out beneath the chains. “WILD SIDE …..Link in bio,” her simple caption for the post read.

Once the post went public, Cardi’s fans were quick to share their love of it. “Insanely beautiful,” one follower wrote. “Sexy mama,” another shared while a third wrote, “The realest we love you cardiii.” Others left her heart-eyed emojis to signify how gorgeous they think she looked.

Cardi B showing off her amazing style at a previous event. (Shutterstock)

Cardi’s latest video comes just days after she defended herself when some social media users shared how they wish “Wild Side” would have just been a solo song for Normani. “Same people that says this sh*t is the same people that didn’t buy sh*t ,don’t request on radio, not streaming not adding no value or numbers to the song but opinions on twitter for a hit tweet cause hating but keeping up with cardi it’s what in,” she wrote in response to the haters on Twitter.

Normani also came to her defense by responding directly to her in two tweets. “can’t imagine this record without you. THAT’S THE TWEET,” the first response read. “I don’t think you guys understand how harddddd this woman has gone for me. you have been a champion for me throughout this whole process even when I was freaking out the night before releasing. God don’t play when it comes to His. we good sis,” she shared in the second.



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Bob Odenkirk Hospitalized After Collapsing While Filming TV Series

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Bob Odenkirk Hospitalized After Collapsing While Filming TV Series

Bob Odenkirk is currently receiving medical treatment following an incident on set.

On Tuesday, July 27, the award-winning actor was rushed to the hospital after he collapsed while on the set of Better Call Saul, a source close to production confirmed to E! News. According to the insider, Bob is continuing to receive medical care.

Per TMZ, which first broke the news, the 58-year-old star was shooting a scene with other cast members on the Sony lot in Culver City, Calif. when things took a turn. The outlet reports through production sources that Bob fell down and was immediately surrounded by crew members to receive help.

The Nobody actor was transported to a nearby hospital after crew members called an ambulance around 11:34 a.m., law enforcement sources told TMZ. Additionally, an insider close to Bob explained to the publication that he is still under the care of doctors.

E! News has reached out to the star’s reps for additional comment. At this time, the fan-favorite series, which airs on AMC, is filming its sixth season.



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Weightlifting gold for Canada and other highlights from Tokyo 2020

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Weighlifting gold for Canada and other highlights from Tokyo 2020
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Canada’s Maude Charron has won a gold medal in the women’s 64-kilogram weightlifting event, and Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard has captured bronze in the women’s under-63 kg judo category. Plus, a visual look at other highlights from Tokyo 2020 on Tuesday.

Maude Charron wins Canada’s 2nd gold, while Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard captures country’s 2nd judo bronze



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CBS Evening News, July 27, 2021

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CBS Evening News, July 27, 2021
CBS Evening News, July 27, 2021 – CBS News

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CDC reverses mask guidance for fully vaccinated people; Remembering “Rosie the Riveter” Phyllis Gould

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Trump vows ‘we won’t mask our children’ after new CDC mandates

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Students in Sabrina Werley's 4th grade math support class.

Former President Donald Trump blasted the Biden administration Tuesday after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended indoor mask mandates in most areas of the US as well as in all K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status.

“We won’t go back,” the 45th president said. “We won’t mask our children. Joe Biden and his Administration learned nothing from the last year. Brave Americans learned how to safely and responsibly live and fight back.

“Don’t surrender to COVID,” Trump added. “Don’t go back! Why do Democrats distrust the science? Don’t let this happen to our children or our Country.”

Earlier Tuesday, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said masks should be worn in indoor public places in locations where coronavirus transmission is either “substantial” or “high.” The agency defines “substantial” transmission in an area as having between 50 and 99 new cases per 100,000 people over a seven-day period. “High” transmission is defined as having 100 or more cases per 100,000 people over a seven-day period.

The CDC recommended all K-12 schools have mask mandates.
Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images

Currently, 63.45 percent of US counties are experiencing “substantial” or “high” levels of transmission as defined by the CDC, including all five NYC boroughs, Nassau and Suffolk counties on Long Island, and Bergen, Essex and Union counties in New Jersey.

Walensky also said that while America’s children should “return to full time in-person learning in the fall with proper prevention strategies,” masks should be worn by teachers, staff, students and visitors whether they are vaccinated or not.

The announcement came 75 days after the CDC announced that fully vaccinated people could go without masks in most indoor settings. Health officials have cited the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant as the reason for the backslide.

Donald Trump takes off his face mask
Former President Donald Trump blasted the Biden administration for the new CDC mask guidelines.
REUTERS/Tom Brenner

Walensky said that while vaccines are highly effective against serious illness, including the Delta variant, the new guidance helps protect more vulnerable individuals and children who are too young to get immunized.

The CDC director added that unpublished data obtained in recent days indicates the level of the Delta variant of the virus in infected vaccinated people is “indistinguishable” from the level of virus in the noses and throats of unvaccinated people.

“It is concerning enough that we feel like we have to act,” said Walensky, who added that vaccinated people “have the potential to spread that virus to others.”

A student is welcomed back to school by school counselor Angelica Guzman at Sunkist Elementary School in Anaheim, CA on Monday, April 12, 2021.
Masks should be worn by teachers, staff, students and visitors whether they are vaccinated or not.
Bersebach/Orange County Register via Getty Images

President Biden dismissed concerns Tuesday that the new masking guidance could invite confusion, saying Americans who remain unvaccinated are the ones who are “sowing enormous confusion.”

“The more we learn about this virus and the delta variation, the more we have to be worried and concerned,” he said. “And there’s only one thing we know for sure — if those other 100 million people got vaccinated, we’d be in a very different world.”

With Post wires



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UAE weather: Hazy and partly cloudy in Abu Dhabi Dubai and Sharjah, temperatures to hit 50 °C

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UAE weather: Mostly sunny in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, and other emirates

UAE residents can expect sunny and hazy weather across the emirates.

Today’s weather condition, according to the National Centre of Meteorology (NCM), will be hazy during daytime and partly cloudy at times. Temperatures tend to increase.

The maximum temperature in the country is expected to be between 46 and 50 °C. And, the lowest will be between 29 and 34 °C.

The highest temperature recorded over the country yesterday is 49.1 °C in Al Jazeera B.G. (Al Dhafrah region) at 16.00 UAE local time

We can expect some light to moderate Southwesterly to Northwesterly winds, freshening at times causing blowing dust and sand reducing the horizontal visibility, with a speed reaching 40 Km/hr.

The sea is predicted to be slight in the Arabian Gulf and in Oman Sea.



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