Sesame Streets Grover to read to 1500 students today courtesy of Beaches

first_img Beaches puts former Premier on blast about controversial pier Related Items:beaches resort and spa, enid capron primary school, sesame street. grover Sandals drops major bomb, makes Misick brothers look terribly suspect Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Recommended for you PNP Party says it led wooden pier removal by Beaches Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 03 Mar 2015 – Education Week continues today and Sesame Street’s Grover will leave the Beaches Resort property to read to students of three area schools. The ‘Reading with Grover campaign will include Enid Capron Primary – 9:45am; Oseta Jolly Primary – 10:15am and then Ianthe Pratt Primary— 10:45am. Yesterday, the Turks and Caicos International School transformed its institution to depict the culture and history of the country with students being the main presenters. Today the Fortis TCI Science Fair opens at the Gus Lightbourne Gym.last_img read more

Rafat Ali Leaving ContentNext paidContent

first_imgAli, a former managing editor of Silicon Alley Reporter and reporter on Inside.com, did not immediately return a request seeking comment. Managing editor Ernie Sander is expected to take on added responsibilities in Ali’s absence.After launching the company with paidContent in 2002, Ali added a number of events as well as paidContent:UK, mobile-focused mocoNews.net, and contentSutra.com, which covers India’s digital content market. Guardian reportedly paid about $6 million for ContentNext.“I am leaving the company while the editorial is still at the peak of its reputation, even though we are half the teams we used to be,” Ali writes.In the note, Ali says his future beyond ContentNext is unclear. “Very likely it will be another startup, in a larger media and marketing space.” Nearly two years after selling the company to U.K.-based Guardian News, Rafat Ali Friday said he is stepping down as founder and editor of ContentNext Media Inc., publisher of digital media news site paidContent.org.In a note posted to the paidContent site, Ali—who founded the company eight years ago—says his departure will be effective in early July. He will stay on as an advisor through the end of the year.“For most of you who know me, this isn’t coming as a huge surprise,” Ali [pictured] writes. “I have been wrestling with this for months now, and the two-year mark under the Guardian and the eight-year mark since I lunched the first site, seems appropriate enough as a closure point.”last_img read more

POLICE LOG for August 18 Police Mistakenly Called On Band Camp Trees

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — Here are highlights from the Wilmington Police Log for Saturday, August 18, 2018:Police dragged a large tree branch blocking the roadway on Taplin Avenue and contacted DPW. (10:19am)Vehicle spun out on 93 South, before Exit 39. Vehicle in tree line. State Police to handle. (11:48am)A detail officer reported a paving truck pulled down old telephone lines on Ballardvale Street. (2:41pm)A resident on Adams Street reported 15-20 teens were congregated in the high school parking lot. Police responded. Teens were marching band students. (8:56pm)A train was blocking Route 62 at North Wilmington station. (10:39pm)(DISCLAIMER: This information is public information.  An arrest does not constitute a conviction.  Any arrested person is innocent until proven guilty.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip?Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedPOLICE LOG for August 11: Incidents Not What They Seem; Marijuana Confiscated From Vehicle; Missing Woman FoundIn “Police Log”POLICE LOG for August 14: Missing Teen Located; Trash Left Behind At Yentile FarmIn “Police Log”POLICE LOG for August 23: Break-Ins on Ballardvale Street; Ride-On Lawn Mower vs. Parked Car; Erratic DriverIn “Police Log”last_img read more

Good Omens review Devilish David Tennant a hell of a lot of

first_img1:13 Now playing: Watch this: Comment Apart from that, though, the cast is rounded out by familiar faces injecting energy into even the smallest parts. Michael McKean manages to find pathos under a wildly veering Scottish accent, Jon Hamm brings glossy-eyed cynicism to the blandly self-righteous angel Gabriel and Mireille Enos gleefully vamps it up as one of the four motorcyclists of the apocalypse. But most of all there are Sheen and Tennant, bouncing Pratchett and Gaiman’s words off each other beautifully.Irreverent and cheekily amoral, Good Omens can be slow in places, but two divine central performances make it a heavenly good time. It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel Prime. In Amazon Prime Video’s apocalyptic new miniseries Good Omens, it may be the end of days, but David Tennant and Michael Sheen vamp it up like there’s no tomorrow. Enlarge ImageGood Omens’ release date is May 31 on Amazon Prime Video. Amazon Good Omens is streaming on Amazon now. The six-episode miniseries, based on a 1990 comic fantasy novel by Neil Gaiman and the late Terry Pratchett, is adapted by Gaiman in accordance with Pratchett’s final wishes.An irreverent tale of angelic intrigue in which Sheen and Tennant are servants of heaven and hell minding their own business on Earth during a celestial cold war. Devilishly funny in places while cozily meandering in others, the series earns its wings thanks to their heavenly double act.Sheen’s prim seraphim and Tennant’s debauched devil are mobilized to bring about the apocalypse when the Antichrist is born in contemporary England — except an admin error by satanic nuns delivers the bringer of darkness to the wrong family. Now who knows if the world will end on time?Angel and demon join forces as a motley collection of angels, devils and witches seek out the erstwhile Antichrist. Highlights of the freewheeling comedy that follows include surreal animated asides about angels dancing on the head of a pin, a witch hurrying along her own burning and the sight of Tennant just generally striding about like he owns the place.As the show romps through human history from the Garden of Eden to the swinging ’60s, the former Doctor Who steals the show as slinky demon Crowley. A snake-hipped combination of Bill Nighy and Keith Richards, Tennant offers serpentine oomph whether he’s sinking into the depths of demonic despair, engulfed by flame or dressing up as a Mary Poppins-style nanny — practically perfidious in every way. 1 50 Photos Share your voice TV and Movies Good Omens brings the End Times to SXSW 2:20 2019 TV shows you can’t misscenter_img The voiceover is just one of the things that makes the show feel kind of slow. The music and editing and a few narrative choices contribute to a general lack of urgency: Considering the show is literally counting down to the end of the world, it’s bizarre there’s so little sense of impending doom.The main problem is that we’re way ahead of the characters in their quest. We know where the Antichrist is, which makes the other characters’ investigations and revelations feel a bit circuitious. And when we do reach the end of the countdown, it’s a bit of an Antichrist anticlimax.It doesn’t help that a limp Jack Whitehall and blank Adria Arjona have zero chemistry in what should be a sizzling pairing of witchfinder and witch. This louche Lucifer has adapted well to the modern world, crashing mobile networks and diverting motorways into the shape of demonic sigils, and he begins to think armageddon might not be such a great idea after all. Sheen’s nervy angel Aziraphale shares Crowley’s concerns: He loves sushi and rare books and can’t understand why heaven is so keen to go to war. Sheen’s Aziraphale is a less showy part than Tennant’s Crowley, but the unfailingly decent angel is the gentle heart of the story. good-omens-amazon-tennant-sheen-goodomens-103-02736-rt2-fnlEnlarge ImageSheen and Tennant have fun in a succession of divine period costumes. Chris Raphael Pratchett and Gaiman’s 1990 novel mirrored the images of its much-loved authors in the lead characters of gentle Aziraphale and black-clad Crowley and in its cheery turn of phrase underpinned with a streak of jet-black humor. With the average goth’s favorite scribe Gaiman writing the TV adaptation, you expect it to lean toward a darker tone. But if anything, it could be darker. While blackly comic in places, Amazon’s Good Omens feels downright cuddly compared with, say, the outrageous treatment of similar metaphysical subjects in Preacher. A love of language shines through the masterful writing of both Gaiman and Pratchett. Unfortunately, the TV adaptation clings to the book’s text, translating it into a clunky and intrusive voiceover. Look, I’ve loved the novel and its delightful wordplay from the moment I first read it as a teenager. But television is a visual medium, and the wordplay-based jokes that can only be done in a voiceover, as amusing as they are, don’t make up for the constant interruption by momentum-killing explanation. Tags 2:20 Originally published May 20. Now playing: Watch this: Amazon’s Good Omens cast talks bad bosses and bureaucracy Amazon Prime Amazon TV show reviews Amazon’s Good Omens cast talks bad bosses and bureaucracy Now playing: Watch this:last_img read more

Stan Lee sang to me GRRM hugged me My 10 craziest ComicCon

first_img The best San Diego Comic-Con celebrity disguises This created a massive problem for Comic-Con’s security team and fire marshals. An enormous crowd of people that should have been moving like normal was now standing completely still, and all the exits were being blocked by fans trying to get through this terrifying wall of human flesh.The photo op only lasted a few minutes before security broke it up. So even though many of us snapped a few photos, it was impossible to get the full shot of all the Leias at once. Now if you want to get photos of massive meet-ups between Marvel superheroes, Star Wars Stormtroopers and everything in between, Comic-Con makes it a rule to have these cosplayer photo ops happen outside the building. 7.  A fan gets stabbed in the eyeNot everything at Comic-Con is fun. When lines grow longer and the celebrity panels are harder to gain entrance to, fans can find themselves in dangerous situations. In 2010, I spent a lot of time in Hall H, covering panels for StarWars.com and other geeky news outlets. I took quite a few breaks to leave the giant room, unlike the more hardcore fans who refused to leave their seats.Fans who decided to stay the full day inside the room found themselves in the middle of a crime scene when one fan stabbed another fan in the eye with a pen over a seat. This room seats over 6,000 people, and usually there are twice that many people waiting in line to get in. So tensions run high. The attacked man recovered, but the pen stabber was arrested for assault. In true Comic-Con fashion, the next day a few cosplayers decided to dress up as a fan stabbed in the eye. There’s no such thing as “too soon” where Comic-Con gallows humor is concerned. 8. Getting a hug from George R.R. Martin2012georgerrGeorge R.R. Martin gives the best hugs. Bonnie Burton/CNET Game of Thrones first aired on HBO in 2011, and author George R.R. Martin was just starting to become a household name back in 2012. I was attending a private party held by Big Bang Theory co-creator Bill Prady at Comic-Con that year and was delighted to learn Martin would be there. I loved Martin’s books long before the TV series came out, but I was also such a diehard fan that I ended up writing a scathing letter to the editor of The New York Times when a TV critic accused Game of Thrones of having romance so women would tune in. When Martin’s publicist found out I was at the party, he came over and said Martin wanted to thank me for writing that letter — which was pretty amazing considering I didn’t have the courage to say hello on my own. Martin told me he appreciated me standing up for female fans of the show and gave me an Iron Islands copper coin featuring the image of Balon Greyjoy. I also got one heck of a hug. 9. Bringing down the house in Geek Girls panels2011ohyousexygeekpanelHere I am sitting next to geek girl goddess Adrianne Curry dressed as Leeloo from The Fifth Element on one of the many geek girl panels at Comic-Con. Bonnie Burton/CNET Female fans of Star Wars, Star Trek, Doctor Who and so many other properties are constantly having to prove their geekdom. In 2012, women at Comic-Con were routinely accused of being “Fake Geek Girls” and, in response, Comic-Con featured quite a few panels focusing on female fandom to remind the guys we weren’t going anywhere. I was honored to be on a few of these panels alongside female actors, writers, directors, comic book creators and celebs. In one of my favorite memories, I sat next to America’s Next Top Model winner and avid cosplayer Adrianne Curry, who was dressed as Leeloo from the movie The Fifth Element. Curry talked at length about her love and knowledge of all things Star Wars, video games and sci-fi in general. It was refreshing to see a woman, who also happened to be a reality TV star, stand up to harassment and wave her geek pride flag for all to see. Back then, geek girls were treated like a novelty instead of the norm. So these kinds of panels were a great way to remind everyone that female fans knew their stuff. We weren’t showing off our fandom to impress the guys, we were celebrating our geeky obsessions as equals.  10. Jane Wiedlin and Milo Ventimiglia become honorary StormtroopersThis Is Us actor Milo VentimigliaThis Is Us actor Milo Ventimiglia gets inducted into the 501st Legion at Comic-Con. Bonnie Burton/CNET When you see celebs geek out over the same things you do, there’s a sense of solidarity that can’t be matched. At Comic-Con, it’s fun to see A-list actors freak out over the latest Star Wars Lego set, or get tongue-tied around their favorite comic book artist. 2009janeEnlarge ImageGo-Go’s band member Jane Wiedlin proudly holds up her 501st Legion plaque.  Bonnie Burton/CNET Over the years at Comic-Con, I helped the official Star Wars Stormtrooper cosplayer group the 501st Legion with a few honorary inductions for celebrities. These are always meant to be a surprise for the celebrity nominated by the group, and can be tricky to pull off at Comic-Con.Usually, celebrities are ambushed at Comic-Con by a group of Stormtroopers who present them with a 501st Legion plaque and badge. It’s a huge honor for any Star Wars fan, and the celebrity in question is always delightfully shocked by the impromptu ceremony. In 2009, I was at Comic-Con to help present Go-Go’s band member Jane Wiedlin and This is Us actor Milo Ventimiglia with their honorary inductions into the 501st Legion. The ceremonies took place on different days during the convention but still managed to surprise Wiedlin and Ventimiglia, who were both gobsmacked.While not everyone can be honored by Stormtroopers, it’s a fun reminder that even the celebs you admire the most love geeky movies or TV shows as much as you do.  Survival tips from Adam Savage, Jim Lee and more insiders Comic-Con is nearly 50: A glimpse of pop culture at its start First-time cosplay is terrifying, complicated and exhilarating Game of Thrones writers Benioff and Weiss pull out of panel Post a comment 62 Photos TV and Movies Comics Tags 3:00 Now playing: Watch this: The last time I attended one of Savage’s Comic-Con parties, it was in a packed nightclub where all his past cosplay costumes were on display. I was in a VIP area surrounded by fans and a few celebrities like director Guillermo del Toro. Savage’s parties are a good way to see your favorite geeky celebs in one place, if you can get in. Pro tip: If you really want to see celebs in party mode, hang around outside the Hard Rock Hotel on Saturday nights for the Entertainment Weekly party. It’s usually the hottest ticket for celebs who want to let loose without the paparazzi harassing them. The year I attended the party, I sat at one of the outdoor fire pits next to The X-Files star Gillian Anderson and Sherlock co-creator and actor Mark Gatiss. 6. Slave Leia photoshoot brings Comic-Con to a standstill209leiasThis is only a small section of the large gathering of Slave Leia cosplayers at Comic-Con. Bonnie Burton/CNET Every year, at the Lucasfilm area on the convention floor, cosplayers will gather to take an epic group shot. Usually it’s Stormtroopers or all the Jedi Masters posing en masse for fans to snap photos. But in 2009, there seemed to be a record number of Slave Leia cosplayers. Not just women but men donning the sexy costume made famous by Carrie Fisher in Return of the Jedi. Almost 100 Slave Leias gathered to pose with a giant Jabba the Hutt statue proudly standing inside the Lucasfilm area. When that many Slave Leia cosplayers show up in one small area for a photo op, you can imagine how many fans refused to budge. Not only were no fans moving, more of them were rushing to the spot to see if they could get the best angle for a photo.  The best San Diego Comic-Con celebrity disguises Share your voice It’s not San Diego Comic-Con unless you’re surrounded by Star Wars cosplayers. Bonnie Burton/CNET I’ve been attending San Diego Comic-Con for over 20 years — as an author, Lucasfilm employee and hard-core comics and pop culture fan — and every year seems crazier than the last. Sadly, I’m not attending this year’s event, so I’m feeling a little nostalgic recalling some of the wackiest things that have happened to me at the convention. Ready? Here we go… 1. Stan Lee and Mark Hamill singing me Happy Birthdaystanleebonnie.jpgStan Lee on one of the many comic book convention panels promoting his World of Heroes YouTube channel. Bonnie Burton/CNET My birthday falls in July, so I’ve often spent it at SDCC. One time, a waiter dressed like Batman brought me a birthday cake, and another time I used a lightsaber replica to hit a pinata shaped like Darth Vader on a friend’s houseboat. But one of my favorite birthday memories from Comic-Con involves Star Wars actor Mark Hamill and the late, great Marvel superhero comics creator Stan Lee.In 2012, Lee was briefly my boss when I created and hosted a web series called Geek DIY for his YouTube network World of Heroes.During our World of Heroes press tour, I was on a Comic-Con panel in one of the biggest convention rooms, Hall H, with Lee, Mark Hamill and a few others who had shows on Lee’s network. I was anxious about talking in front of a room full of comic book fans and thrilled to be breathing the same air as Lee and Hamill.As fate would have it, it was my 40th birthday that day, and when I told Lee he gave me a huge hug and urged me not to be nervous. We took the stage and sat down. Then Lee winked at me and told the crowd to sing Happy Birthday to me. Both Lee and Hamill led the audience in a very special happy birthday sing-a-long, which still can’t be beat as one of my best SDCC memories ever. 2. Meeting the real Loki by accident At Comic-Con, it’s not uncommon to see cosplayers looking like such dead ringers for Tony Stark, Wonder Woman, Shazam or Thor you do a double-take and think they’re the very characters you’ve seen on screen. In 2013, I found myself enthralled with a cosplayer dressed as Loki. Everyone was just starting to catch Avengers fever with Marvel superhero movies like Iron Man, Thor and Captain America. Thor: The Dark World was about to come out, and fans were buzzing with excitement at Comic-Con. I was in the secret labyrinth of hallways inside the San Diego Convention Center trying my best to get to a panel. Sometimes, if you know the right security people, they’ll let you take a shortcut through these halls, which are often used by celebrities avoiding crowded hallways full of fans jostling for autographs or coveted selfies. As I was rushing behind the stage, I almost ran right into an impressive cosplayer dressed as Loki — the Asgardian god of mischief and adopted half-brother of Thor. The cosplayer not only had the perfect Loki costume, he could have been the twin of Tom Hiddleston, who portrayed him in the movies. He even had the actor’s British accent down perfectly.I said, “Wow, your Loki cosplay is killer!”He responded, “Thank you. That’s very kind of you to say.” Then he walked off toward Hall H with a few people around him, hurrying him away.  The very best cosplay we saw at Comic-Con 2019 After my panel, I found out Hiddleston had stormed the Hall H stage dressed like Loki as a surprise for fans. It was during Marvel’s panel to promote Thor: The Dark World.Turns out I didn’t compliment a random Loki cosplayer. I complimented Hiddleston himself! Loki probably would have found that amusing.3. Chewbacca actor Peter Mayhew saying hi to my Chewbacca puppetwookieepuppetmainActor Peter Mayhew poses with my Chewbacca sock puppet from my Star Wars Craft Book. Bonnie Burton When I worked at Lucasfilm as a senior editor for StarWars.com, I always felt honored when my path crossed with that of late Chewbacca actor Peter Mayhew. Whenever he visited Lucasfilm headquarters or attended one of the many comic book conventions I went to, Mayhew always said hello and gave me one of his famous Wookiee hugs.When I was doing the first book signing for my Star Wars Craft Book at SDCC in 2011, I was super nervous about meeting fans as an author. Mayhew stopped by to say hello and pose for a photo holding my Chewbacca sock puppet. His visit to my signing gave me the much needed confidence boost I needed to chat with fellow fans who wanted my signature.4. Star Wars Revenge of the Sith movie title revealIn 2004, I was backstage when Lucasfilm made a big announcement — the name of its next Star Wars film, Revenge of the Sith. Back then internet spoilers weren’t a thing; and social media hadn’t taken over our lives. So it was still a big deal when a movie name — especially for something as big as Star Wars — was revealed.Back in 2004, Saturdays at Comic-Con were called “Star Wars Saturdays” and everyone in Hall H expected surprises. Fans in Hall H that day were treated to video montages of behind-the-scenes moments during filming with actors Ewan McGregor playing Obi-Wan Kenobi and Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker. Finally, after the last montage video, the movie’s title was revealed to the world and the crowd went wild. Over 6,000 fans screamed the name of the movie over and over. Originally published July 18, 9:09 a.m. PT.  Now playing: Watch this: Comic-Con When the house lights came up, the panel’s host wore a black T-shirt with the movie’s new title in red. The second he said the limited-edition T-shirt was on sale at the Star Wars store on the show floor, people jumped from their chairs and ran for the doors to get theirs. I ended up volunteering at the store to make sure the excited mob of Star Wars fans didn’t trample anyone in the process. It was both terrifying and thrilling.5. Partying with Adam SavageadamIf you ever party with Adam Savage make sure you get a selfie. Bonnie Burton/CNET These days, celebrity-infested parties are common, but in the mid-2000s it was pretty rare to see TV and movie stars mingle with fans at SDCC social functions. One of my favorite parties was thrown annually by MythBusters co-host Adam Savage. I had worked with Savage when he was at ILM and I was at Lucasfilm. We became fast friends, and when he became a MythBusters megastar, he would invite his pals to his hotel room for a small, friendly gathering over the years. At these private parties, I would meet fellow geeks, but also the original cast of Mystery Science Theater 3000, Star Trek actors, beloved voice actors, prominent scientists and popular comedians. But soon his intimate gatherings started to get bigger and he couldn’t accommodate all the guests in his hotel room. He moved his party to a slightly bigger hotel room, then later to a conference room, then to a restaurant and eventually a nightclub.  More Comic-Con 2019 3:00 0 DC Comics Wonder Woman Stan Lee Mark Hamill Marvel Batman Thor Captain America Doctor Who Star Trek Star Wars Iron Man The Avengerslast_img read more

Property money of drug dealers to be confiscated

first_img-Property and wealth of drug dealers will be confiscated as per draft of a revised narcotics control law.The government recently revised the Narcotics Control Act, 1990 that also said the drug dealing is a non-bailable offence.The revised law also said when a trial against any drug peddler is underway, the bank account of the accused can be frozen.Persons listed as drug addicts and those convicted for drug trafficking, will not be issue driving or firearms licenses, the draft law added.The use of narcotic substances in various industries and pharmaceutical production will require permission from the authorities. Physicians will be able to prescribe addictive drugs without written permission from the Narcotics Control Department’s director general.Officials at the home ministry said 75 per cent of the Narcotics Control Act, 1990 has been changed in the newly drafted Narcotics Control Act, 2017.A total of 7 sections and 28 definitions have been added to the new draft.Home minister Asaduzzaman Khan told Prothom Alo that the old law did not include punishment for the use of various drugs such as yaba and shisha.Also, nothing had been mentioned in the old law about misuse of drugs in pharmaceutical and others industries. This new law has included death penalty and Tk 10 million as fine for financers, suppliers, addicts, carriers, and sponsors of such contraband drugs, he added.Punishment for othersIf any offenders under this law repeats the offence, they will be jailed for minimum 20 years and fined Tk 1 million.If anyone under the influence of alcohol creates disturbance for anyone, he or she will receive a minimum one-year prison sentence and and fined Tk 10,000.Anyone is possession of drug manufacturing equipment will be jailed for 2 years. Anyone proven in court to be addicted to drugs will be sentenced to jail for five years.The financier of the drug trafficking will be punished as per law and fined Tk 10 million.Those refusing to cooperate with narcotics control agencies will also be punished.Treatment for addictsCriticising parts of the draft law, psychologists said the law has skipped medical treatment for drug addicts and put non-physicians in charge of the addicts.This will hamper proper treatment of the addicted persons.*This piece, originally published in Prothom Alo Bangla print edition, has been rewritten in English by Toriqul Islam.last_img read more

5 more Chawkbazar fire victims identified CID

first_img.Criminal Investigation Department (CID) identified five more victims of Chawkbazar fire through DNA test on Tuesday, reports UNB.The victims are-Ismail Hossain, 60, Zafar Ahmed, 43, Foysal Sarowar, 53, Mostafa Mia, 39 and RehnumaTabassum Dola, 19.Additional Inspector General of Police Sheikh Himayet Hossain said the CID disclosed the identities of the deceased at a press briefing at its conference room in city’s Malibagh area.However, the identities of two victims of Chawkbazar fire incident could not be known yet as no DNA samples matched with the victims’ sample, he said.On 6 March, eleven more victims of Chawkbazar fire were identified through DNA tests.A deadly fire broke out at a chemical warehouse in Chawkbazar on 20 February. So far, 71 people have died.last_img

With Bathroom Bill Dead HoustonFounded Pastor Council Looks To Future Fights

first_img Share That initial group has since expanded into two additional entities, the Texas Pastor Council and the US Pastor Council, though the distinctions between the groups can be murky. Welch — who himself no longer preaches, instead referring to himself as a “pastor for pastors” — leads all three groups, and the main phone number for the US Pastor Council is a direct line to Welch.The group, according to Welch, has taken on a range of issues, from criminal justice reform to child foster care. But over the course of his career, Welch and the group have had a decided preoccupation with attacking LGBT rights, what Welch describes as “the continued tide of the radical political LGBTQ movement trying to work to undermine traditional marriage and traditional family.” On the US Pastor Council website, the only “current issue” listed is “Woman’s Privacy Protection,” a page that features a number of talking points in favor of a bathroom bill.“They have made anti-LGBT activism their primary focus,” said Dan Quinn, communications director for Texas Freedom Network, a liberal watchdog group. “They’ve had their most public efforts trying to defeat anything that protects equality for LGBT Texans.”Over the course of several years as a columnist for World Net Daily, a far-right website known for hosting conspiracy theories, Welch railed against same-sex marriage and legal protections for LGBT individuals. In a 2009 post titled “When the Wicked Rule,” Welch attacked a new federal law that protected LGBT individuals from hate crimes as condoning “every possible form of sexual deviancy.” He denounced the “radical sexual-deviancy jihad” in a post called “My Gay America” in 2010.“Lesbian Mayor Annise Parker has gone above and beyond to now extend protection through executive orders to ‘gender identity’ and ‘gender expression,’” he wrote at the time. “Keep your wives and daughters out of Houston city restrooms.”That rhetoric against Parker – the first openly gay mayor of a large American city — and legal protections for LGBT individuals in Houston would eventually become talking points against the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, which would have made it illegal to discriminate against someone based on 15 different “protected characteristics,” including sex, race, religion, sexual orientation and gender identity.During that fight — which concluded with Houston residents voting overwhelmingly to strike down the nondiscrimination ordinance — Welch played a leading role in both the electoral and legal campaigns against the city. Jared Woodfill, one of the lead organizers against the HERO ordinance in Houston, said that Welch and his organization were “extremely instrumental” in gathering the signatures that would ultimately prompt the lawsuit and referendum overturning the ordinance.Indeed, organizing and mobilizing voters is a key part of the Pastor Council’s mission. Its website boasts pages titled “Every Christian Votes” and the “AMERICA plan.” Under the “AMERICA plan,” pastors are encouraged to communicate with congregants about political issues, distribute voter guides and register “every eligible adult” to vote.In other words, Welch had already established an infrastructure for turning out voters before the HERO referendum — a battle that helped elevate his organization and its platform. Randy Wilson, national field director for Church Ministries for the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council, which has worked with the Pastor Council, said this is easier said than done.“Dave has to have an established and billed credibility with the pastors, a very untrusting demographic, really,” he said.That credibility and visibility would only grow when the city issued subpoenas for sermons and other statements Welch and other members of the Pastors Council had made in support of a 2014 failed petition drive aimed at repealing HERO. That incident drew national attention, energizing conservatives across Texas and the country and landing Welch on national media. (In response to that incident, the Texas Legislature passed a lawearlier this year shielding pastors’ sermons from government subpoena power.)“It certainly escalated some elements of what we do to a much higher level because of the visibility of that Houston battle,” Welch said. “That achieved national attention.”With that momentum, Welch, Woodfill and other conservative activists began to look to the the Legislature as the next battleground for the issue. Welch would begin to use tactics that had worked in Houston — hosting workshops to educate pastors, blasting out emails on the issues and hosting rallies — on a statewide level.“The network of churches that has become involved in this issue has become very, very important,” Woodfill said.“The same model is being used across the state of Texas.”But that model has had its limits. In the Legislature, efforts to pass a bathroom bill have failed against stiff opposition from the House, in particular that of House Speaker Joe Straus.Despite those setbacks, the US Pastor Council itself has continued to grow, Welch said. According to tax documents on a database maintained by ProPublica, the US Pastor Council, which is registered as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization and does not disclose its donors, saw its revenue more than double from $329,696 to $833,749 between 2014 and 2015, the last year for which data is available and the year of the HERO ordinance vote in Houston.Welch said the group does not buy large ad campaigns, instead focusing resources on hosting workshops and organizing among pastors.“There aren’t many religious groups that overtly have this partisan affiliation or policy preference as pronounced as the Pastors Council,” said Brandon Rottinghaus, a political science professor at the University of Houston. “That’s been a major change we’ve seen since 2013 or 2014.”With primary season approaching, members of the Pastor Council are preparing to take their campaign to the ballot box and unseat Republicans who did not do enough to challenge Straus’ opposition to a “bathroom bill.”Steve Riggle, a pastor to a congregation of more than 20,000 at Grace Community Church in Houston and a member of the Pastor Council, said he and others are talking about “how in the world do we have 90-some Republicans [in the 150-member Texas House] who won’t stand behind what they say they believe.”“They’re more afraid of Straus than they are of us,” he said. “It’s about time they’re more afraid of us.”“This is not over”In early August, in the midst of the special session, Welch and dozens of other pastors descended on Austin. Hundreds of pastors had signed a letter in support of the bathroom legislation, and before heading inside, the group that had made the trip gathered on the Capitol steps for a brief rally.Throughout his campaign for a bathroom bill, Welch has enjoyed easy access to the state’s elected officials. He hosted a policy briefing in February that featured, among others, Patrick and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. The August rally, which the Texas Pastor Council had promoted as a response to “opponents of God’s created order,” was no exception.State Rep. Ron Simmons, R-Carrollton, and state Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham, the authors of bathroom bills in their chambers, both spoke to the importance of the bill as Welch acted as the effective emcee of the event, leading the crowd in chants of “Let the House vote.”  “We’re going to take this letter to the House as the voice of the state of Texas and our churches today,” Welch said.But even as he represents pastors across the state, Welch and his work enjoy far from unanimous support from Christian and other religious leaders. During the regular session, about 50 faith leaders of various denominations lined the stairs outside the Texas House in protest of bills targeting LGBT Texans.And just days before Welch arrived in Austin for the rally this month, dozens of religious leaders gathered in the very same spot to denounce the bill as discriminatory and hypocritical. In front of a crowd of more than one hundred supporters, an imam from Austin, as well as pastors and rabbis from across the state spoke about how their faith led them to oppose the legislation.For Steve Wells, a self-described conservative pastor at the South Main Baptist Church in Houston, the campaign for the “bathroom bill” represents “bad theology.” He says he wishes that Welch and other like-minded pastors would focus more on the common dignity granted human beings.“You will never in your lifetime meet someone who was not created in the image of God,” he said.And in July, leaders of the national Episcopal Church sent a letter to Strausasking him to remain “steadfast” in his opposition to the legislation, also denouncing it as discriminatory.Terri Burke, the executive director of the ACLU in Texas, described the “bathroom bill” as the latest frontier for far-right groups opposed to LGBT rights. Now that sexual orientation is largely protected under the law, she said, gender identity has become a target.“I think those who want to discriminate have figured out LGB are hard to discriminate against, so they’ve pulled the T out,” she said.To Welch and his fellow members on the Pastor Council, though, the group’s positions are is well in line with the teachings of the Bible. And even if the death of the “bathroom bill” in the special session represents the loss of a single battle, the broader war continues. “This is not over,” Riggle said.Disclosure: The Texas Freedom Network has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune. A complete list of Tribune donors and sponsors is available here. Marjorie Kamys Cotera | Texas TribuneDave Welch speaks during a press conference in favor of a bathroom bill at the Texas Capitol near the end of the special session on August 14, 2017.A day before the Texas Legislature ended its special session this week, a session that included a high-profile fight over a “bathroom bill” that appeared almost certainly dead, David Welch had a message for Gov. Greg Abbott: call lawmakers back to Austin. Again.For years, Welch, executive director of the Texas Pastor Council, has worked to pass a bill that would ban local policies that ensured transgender individuals’ right to use restrooms in public schools and government buildings that match their gender identity. The summer special session, which was quickly coming to a close, had been Welch and other social conservatives’ second chance, an overtime round after the bill — denounced by critics as discriminatory and unnecessary — failed during the regular session that ended in May.  But with the Texas House unlikely to vote on a bathroom bill, Welch gathered with some of the most conservative Republicans in that chamber to make a final plea. The bill, they argued without any evidence, would prevent men from entering bathrooms to sexually assault or harass women.“If this does not pass during this special session, we are asking for, urgently on behalf of all these pastors across the state of Texas, that we do hold a second special session until the job is done,” Welch said at the press event, hosted by Texas Values, a socially conservative group. Though the group of lawmakers, religious leaders and activists were still coming to terms with their failure to get a bill to Abbott’s desk, for Welch’s Pastor Council, the years-long fight over bathroom restrictions has nonetheless been a galvanizing campaign.The group, which Welch founded in 2003, has grown from a local organization to a burgeoning statewide apparatus with eyes on someday becoming a nationwide force, one able to mobilize conservative Christians around the country into future political battles. If Abbott doesn’t call lawmakers back for another special session to pass a bathroom bill, the group is likely to shift its attention to the 2018 elections. “Our role in this process shouldn’t be restricted just because people attend church,” Welch told The Texas Tribune. “Active voting, informed voting, is a legitimate ministry of the church.”A pastor for pastorsWelch has made a career out of mixing the religious and the political. Before founding the Pastors Council, he spent time at the Christian Coalition and Vision America, a controversial national evangelical group led by Rick Scarborough, a Texas pastor. And just before he founded the Pastor Council, Welch briefly worked as the executive director of the Republican Party in Harris County, where he would get to know many of the politicians that would animate his later campaigns. Welch said he has known Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, one of the most outspoken proponents of a bathroom bill in state government, since he was a radio host in Houston.But it was with the Pastor Council — at first a small group of Houston pastors — that Welch would begin to make his deepest mark in Texas politics.“We formed the Houston area pastor council in 2003 as a group of 12 pastors, across racial and denominational lines, to engage together on a variety of social moral cultural issues,” he said.last_img read more

US Judge Steps Down After Accusations Of Sexual Misconduct

first_imgPhoto via Twitter @TnBopinionsJudge Alex Kozinski, said he’ll retire amid more than a dozen reports of sexual misconduct or comments. A prominent U.S. appeals court judge announced his retirement Monday days after women alleged he subjected them to inappropriate sexual conduct or comments.Judge Alex Kozinski of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said in a statement that a battle over the accusations would not be good for the judiciary. He said he’ll step down, effective immediately.The Washington Post reported last week that at least 15 women made allegations against Kozinski that go back decades. The allegations include inappropriate touching and lewd comments.Kozinski said while speaking in a “candid way” with male and female law clerks, “I may not have been mindful enough of the special challenges and pressures that women face in the workplace,” the statement said. “It grieves me to learn that I caused any of my clerks to feel uncomfortable; this was never my intent. For this I sincerely apologize.”Leah Litman, a law professor at the University of California, Irvine, told the Post that the judge talked about having just had sex and pinched her side and leg at a restaurant the night before they appeared together on a panel at her school in July.Christine Miller, a retired U.S. Court of Federal Claims judge, said Kozinski grabbed her breasts during a car ride in 1986 after a legal community function in the Baltimore area. She said it came after she declined his offer to go to a motel and have sex.A lawyer who was not identified said Kozinski approached her when she was alone at a legal event in Los Angeles in 2008 and kissed her on the lips and gave her a bear hug with no warning.The newspaper said the woman’s husband confirmed the incident and said the couple didn’t think they could do anything because of the judge’s position.The Post reported last week that six former clerks or more junior staff members accused Kozinski of inappropriate behavior, including showing them pornography.Kozinski, 67, was chief judge of the 9th Circuit, the largest federal appeals court circuit in the country, from 2007 to 2014. He is known for his irreverent opinions, and his clerks often win prestigious clerkships at the U.S. Supreme Court.The 9th Circuit has opened a misconduct inquiry that was transferred Friday to the Judicial Council of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York.Kozinski’s retirement leaves five seats open on the 9th Circuit, with two more judges already having announced their intention to retire next year. That gives President Donald Trump potentially seven seats to fill on the largest and most liberal appeals court in the country.Even if all those judgeships are filled, however, Democratic appointees still will maintain a healthy majority on the court with 17 of the 29 seats. Sharelast_img read more

Readius Cell Phone First to Incorporate Foldable EDisplay

first_img The Netherlands-based company has named the device “Readius,” and plans to sell the gadget starting in mid-2008. The price is not yet specified, but Polymer Vision´s chief executive Karl McGoldrick says it will be comparable to a high-end cell phone.The Readius´ e-paper screen displays text and images in black-and-white (16 greyscales) that look almost like they have been printed on paper. McGoldrick has also mentioned that Polymer Vision is planning to develop a cell phone with an 8-inch color display that can show video, which will hopefully be ready within five years.The Readius connects to the Internet through the third generation (3G) cell phone network, which offers ultra-fast data speeds, similar to WiFi for laptops. Users set up their e-mail accounts and favorite news sources, podcasts, and blog feeds from a PC, and then the data is automatically updated on the Readius. The device supports standard POP3 and IMAP for e-mail servers, and uses Micro SD High Capacity storage for quick and easy access to e-books and other information. The storage is flexible, with the first model providing up to 8GB.The Readius can also play MP3s and audio books. It has just 8 “SimpleTouch” buttons, and a keyboard may be added to future models. The battery life is up to six times longer than on other cell phones, offering 30 hours of continuous reading.”We are taking e-reading and bringing it to the mobile phone,” McGoldrick says. “You get the large display of e-reading, the super battery life of e-reading, and the high-end connectivity … and the form factor and weight of a mobile phone.”Polymer Vision hopes that the Readius will offer some competition for Apple´s iPhone and Amazon´s Kindle. The company is currently talking with retailers and mobile operators, and suggests that the device offers the chance for operators to make a profit from increased data storage.Polymer Vision has hinted at the coming of such a device for the past two years, which it claims “is generations ahead of anything else out there today.” Now, the company hopes that the mobile e-reader will be poised for an eventful summer.via: ReutersMore information: www.polymervision.com This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. The Readius´ e-paper display rolls out of a normal-sized cell phone. Image credit: Polymer Vision. Polymer Vision, a spin-off company from Philips, has recently announced the first cell phone to offer a roll-up e-display for reading your favorite Web sites. The 5-inch (13-cm)-diagonal display rolls out of a normal-sized phone when users wish to check their e-mail or read the news. Citation: ‘Readius’ Cell Phone First to Incorporate Foldable E-Display (2008, January 23) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2008-01-readius-cell-incorporate-foldable-e-display.htmllast_img read more