Irrawaddy informs the world about Burma

first_img RSF asks Germany to let Myanmar journalist Mratt Kyaw Thu apply for asylum Tell us about the composition of Irrawaddy’s staff and how it functions?Aung Zaw: Irrawaddy has its headquarters in Chiang Mai, in northern Thailand, and employs 35 people, including journalists, video-reporters, photographers, web designers and administrative staff. Our journalists often go to the border to cover Burma-related events.We also have correspondents in Burma or on the border between Burma and Thailand and Burma and India. A small team of journalists works for us from Burma, enabling us to gather news and information from inside the country as it is happening. The reprisals they could incur force them to work clandestinely. One of our journalists was sentenced to seven years in prison in 1995 just for doing his job as a reporter. We also get information from sources who work for the regime or who are close to it.Irrawaddy is interested in all subjects – economic, political, social and cultural – both in Burma and the rest of Asia. We provide a lot of coverage of what is happening in Thailand. And we report the persecution and discrimination against Burmese refugees who live in the utterly lawless areas along the border with Burma.It would be impossible for us to work in the same way inside Burma. There is too much censorship in Burma. Also, many of our journalists are former political prisoners or former students who were pro-democracy activists. They would undoubtedly be arrested if they went back. Who are Irrawaddy’s readers?Aung Zaw: Irrawaddy is read by millions of people all over the planet, mainly thanks to our website and our blog. Our articles are read by people in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, all the countries of Southeast Asia and Burma.We publish in Burmese and in English. Our readers include not only Burmese exiles (Irrawaddy is very popular with the Burmese diaspora) but also NGO workers, the personnel of UN agencies and embassies, government officials, university academics, human rights activists, news media and journalists.Although censored by the Burmese government, our articles are read in Burma by both the opposition and junta members. The Burmese can also follow our reporting on the satellite TV station DVB, which broadcasts our daily news bulletins (Dateline Irrawaddy), our interviews (Face to Face) and documentaries. Radio Free Asia also broadcasts a weekly political analysis and discussion programme that we host. We are happy to cooperate with media that pursue the same goal as we do, which is to offer independent and freely reported news and information to our fellow citizens in Burma and to the international community.On the Internet, our readers can circumvent government censorship by using proxies. More than 35,000 Burmese visit the Irrawaddy.org website from within Burma each month. Copies of Irrawaddy are also distributed in certain embassies in Rangoon.What impact to you think Irrawaddy and all the other Burmese exile media are having on the Burmese authorities, Burmese society and the international community?Aung Zaw: We are convinced of the importance of the service being provided by Irrawaddy, the other exile media, and the Burmese-language services of media such as the BBC, Voice of America and Radio Free Asia. The BBC and VOA, for example, played an essential role before 1988 by informing the international community about what was happening in Burma.Nowadays, although based in Thailand, Irrawaddy is playing a key role in creating the Burmese society of tomorrow, as are all the Burmese exile media. We are also proud of contributing to the education of young journalists in Burma and refugees along the border.Change will obviously be slow, but I am convinced that the independent work of Burmese journalists and the way it forces Burmese society to think and to discuss issues will give rise to divisions within the military regime and will lead Burma towards more transparency and democracy. News ——————— The Free Burma VJ campaign and Best Friend Library (a non-profit information centre and library) organized a special event at the Sangdee Gallery in the Thai city of Chiang Mai on 6 August to mark the 23rd anniversary of the pro-democracy uprising in Burma. There were approximately 90 participants who were provided with information about the campaign launched by the media in exile Democratic Voice of Burma, for the release of 17 of its video journalists (VJ) who are currently detained in Burma. Organisation News News Receive email alerts US journalist held in Yangon prison notorious for torture News MyanmarAsia – Pacific to go further May 31, 2021 Find out more Follow the news on Myanmar August 8, 2011 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Irrawaddy informs the world about Burma RSF_en ————–Like all of Irrawaddy’s founders, Aung Zaw took part in the 1988 pro-democracy demonstrations. “I was a student at the time. My comrades and I participated in this political movement, which was without precedent in Burma. I rubbed shoulders with many leading figures from the Burmese pro-democracy movement during the demonstrations. I soaked up the ideas of these respected journalists and writers. Unfortunately, after the military coup in September of that year, I had to leave Burma. We created Irrawaddy in exile in Thailand. Many former political prisoners soon joined us.”—————– MyanmarAsia – Pacific May 26, 2021 Find out more Thai premier, UN rapporteurs asked to prevent journalists being returned to Myanmar Burmese democrats are today marking the anniversary of 8 August 1988 (8-8-88), the highpoint of a large-scale uprising against a one-party state in which hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets and forced the regime’s strongman, Gen. Ne Win, to resign. The hopes of the demonstrators were dashed five weeks later, on 18 September 1988, when the military staged a coup that left 3,000 dead.To commemorate this sad annivsary, Reporters Without Borders is publishing an interview with the editor of the Burmese exile news magazine Irrawaddy, Aung Zaw, who was forced to flee abroad after the September military coup.Founded in 1993 as a monthly news magazine by Burmese exile journalists in Bangkok and named after Burma’s biggest river, Irrawaddy has become an essential source of independent news and information about the political and human rights situation in Burma.Its journalists have never stopped exposing the regime’s despotism and corruption, and the violence it uses in an attempt to silence dissidents. After 17 years of existence, the magazine is now available online in both English and Burmese but the print version has not been abandoned. Newsletters are distributed to subscribers all over the world and are printed clandestinely in Burma. Help by sharing this information May 12, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

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Ching Cheong’s trial is “travesty of justice”

first_img ChinaAsia – Pacific August 16, 2006 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Ching Cheong’s trial is “travesty of justice” Organisation News Follow the news on China News China’s Cyber ​​Censorship Figures ChinaAsia – Pacific China: Political commentator sentenced to eight months in prison March 12, 2021 Find out more April 27, 2021 Find out more Democracies need “reciprocity mechanism” to combat propaganda by authoritarian regimes News Help by sharing this information News to go further June 2, 2021 Find out more Receive email alerts ????Reporters Without Borders voiced outrage at yesterday’s trial in Beijing of Ching Cheong, the Hong Kong-based correspondent of the Singaporean Straits Times daily, calling it a “travesty of justice” that showed the authorities had no evidence for the spying charge against him.”We will continue to campaign on behalf of Ching and we will not accept a guilty verdict,” the press freedom organisation said. “The only possible outcome is Ching’s release. What credible judicial system would dare to try someone for ‘spying,’ a crime punishable by death, in just a few hours and with defence rights flouted from start to end? This is an insult to the very idea of justice.”Ching’s trial was held behind closed doors yesterday at Beijing Second Intermediate People’s Court. The hearing lasted just a few hours. So far, no information has emerged about what transpired.Singapore Press Holdings, which publishes the Straits Times, said in a statement: “We are happy that Ching Cheong’s trial is finally over after a year of detention. We hope for the best possible outcome.”Ching was accused of spying after being arrested in April 2005 in Guangzhou. The Chinese foreign ministry claimed on 31 May 2005 that he was a spy in the pay of foreign agencies. His newspaper said it was shocked by the allegation. His wife, Mary Lau, said a go-between set a trap for him when he tried to obtain recordings of secret interviews with former reformist Prime Minister Zhao Ziyang. RSF_en Hong Kong-based correspondent Ching Cheong of the Singapore Straits Times faced a possible death sentence in a secret trial on a spying charge that lasted just a few hours yesterday in Beijing. Reporters Without Borders condemns the many procedural irregularities and calls for his release. last_img read more

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Work on Newcastle West Garda Station will start in Rathkeale

first_imgTwitter Previous articleMore older women than teens giving birthNext articleYoung Munster ease to Sporting Limerick Charity Cup Final victory over Garryowen Staff Reporterhttp://www.limerickpost.ie Advertisement Rathkeale Garda StationREFURBISHMENT of the detention cells at Rathkeale Garda Station will form part of the overall project to provide a new Garda Station in Newcastle West.Responding to a query from Limerick Fianna Fáil TD Niall Collins, local Garda Superintendent John Deasy said that the work was progressing on schedule.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up To facilitate the work at Newcastle West, the district office was moved to the to the administrative block at Askeaton Garda Station in mid-November while the Crime office transferred to Rathkeale Garda Station.Supt Deasy said that the cell refurbishment at Rathkeale was on a priority list drawn up by estate management and the Office of Public Works (OPW). The work is scheduled to start in January and to be finished by Easter.Other services provided at Newcastle West Garda Station will be moved to the Probation Service Office at Churchtown, Newcastle West.The site will be cleared next November and construction work is expected to take 18 months.Supt Deasy told Deputy Collins that the OPW is in the process of appointing a design team and this will be completed in January.The new two-storey building is expected to be ready for use in mid 2021 and once the full design team and an architect is appointed, the project will be reviewed before it is presented to the OPW and Garda headquarters. NewsLocal NewsWork on Newcastle West Garda Station will start in RathkealeBy Staff Reporter – December 29, 2018 2070 Linkedincenter_img Print Email WhatsApp Facebooklast_img read more

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It’s rocket science for these NTO students

first_img Previous articleGOOD NEWS: Brothers embark on medical pathwayNext articleBUILDING PERMITS: Jan. 17 Digital AIM Web Support It’s rocket science for these NTO students WhatsApp EducationECISDLocal News WhatsApp Facebook By Digital AIM Web Support – January 17, 2021 Pinterestcenter_img Facebook TAGS  Twitter For students in Maria Lopez’s class, it is rocket science. Lopez, the pre Advanced Placement and physics/rocketry teacher at George H.W. Bush New Tech Odessa, has a small but dedicated group of students who take pride in building their spacecrafts. Because of COVID-19 restrictions, there are just a few coming to class in person. Recently they tried launching some of their rockets at Ratliff Stadium in preparation for the Systems Go Launch in May in Fredericksburg. With COVID-19 restrictions, Lopez said, only the captain, electronics bay engineering and recovery expert can go. She’s hoping that will change by the time the launch rolls around. Eighteen year-old senior Nayeli Olivarez said math and science are her best subjects. She heard about the rocketry program her junior year in high school and decided to try it. “It’s cool to understand how rockets work and how we build them and stuff,” Olivarez said. One of her rockets had two wings instead of three and its engine was partially falling out. It launched, but it kind of did a corkscrew and came back down. Lopez said Olivarez’ rocket “went kind of crazy because it was really unstable. …” Nathan Sudell, an 18-year-old senior, and Jerad Olivera, a 17-year-old senior, are enjoying themselves as well. “It’s pretty exciting because you’ve been spending weeks on this project that you’ve been hoping it will work and not crash into somebody and actually perform nicely. There’s been some that have flown really, really well. There’s been some mess ups,” Olivera said. Both have enjoyed the process of rocket building. “I really like the amount of freedom you get to build the rocket,” Sudell said. “It’s really cool to have that trial and error,” Olivera said. “You learn from your mistakes. You also learn more variables like now we’re going to start using our own rocketry simulations. We can see how they launch, it will be cool to look at that, actually test our rockets in virtual space.” Olivera said it takes time to build the rockets, but it’s fun and you have to be patient especially because the glue they use takes time to set. “But once it sets, it’s really hard for it to come off and it’s a lot of fun. It’s challenging. It gives you that sense of freedom and once you put it all together and see how it’s supposed to look from your starting point it’s really satisfying, especially when you get to see it launch and it performs well,” Olivera said. He added that he played with a lot of Legos when he was little. Sudell said he only had two or three Lego sets, but he’s thinking he’d like to have some now. Lopez said she has 23 students total and it’s been difficult to keep them engaged and get them to attend class in person. Many have opted to go virtual. “The challenge is that rocketry is such a hands-on class,” and even getting participation is hard and she doesn’t want to give the students busy work. “You try to do the very best that you can with kids who come to class and those that don’t come to class. The challenge is getting them to come to class. I’m trying to integrate as much as I can,” Lopez said. Pinterest Twitterlast_img read more

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Abbott promises energy industry protection

first_img Twitter Abbott promises energy industry protection By Digital AIM Web Support – January 28, 2021 Facebook Local NewsGovernmentState Facebook WhatsApp WhatsAppcenter_img TAGS  Pinterest Twitter Gov. Greg Abbott led an Odessa roundtable discussion at midday Thursday with 16 representatives of all levels of the energy industry and ended by signing an executive order directing all state agencies to fight any constraints that the Biden Administration or Environmental Protection Agency impose or try to impose. Flanked by Cudd Energy Services General Manager Clint Walker and Diamondback Energy CEO Travis Stice, Abbott held up the order and said to applause, “This is a homework assignment for every agency in Texas. “I’m directing them to use all their lawful powers and tools to challenge any federal action that threatens the vitality of the energy industry, in which hundreds of thousands of Texans are employed and from which billions of dollars in taxes and royalties flow.” Citing a comment by Cudd Pump Specialist Jesus Macias, Abbott said, “Jesus made it clear that blue-collar workers on the front lines need to know that they will continue to have jobs and he pointed out that it’s wrong for a president or anybody else to act like these jobs could be ended today. “Here in the State of Texas, we’re not going to say people need to change jobs. We’ll protect the energy sector from any kind of hostile attack launched from Washington, D.C. Biden’s embrace of the Green New Deal is a job-killer and a wrecking ball to this industry that Texas has provided to the United States of America.” Abbott said Biden has hurt energy mainly by signing the Paris Climate Agreement and prohibiting new drilling on federal lands and he said more Green New Deal-inspired actions may be expected. “I believe the Biden Administration will put on steroids what the Obama Administration did, using the EPA in a very heavy-handed way to impose onerous requirements on the oil and gas sector and make it impossible for them to do business the way the way they do it today,” he said. Noting that the City of San Francisco, Calif., has banned the use of natural gas in such appliances as stoves and water heaters in all new structures, Abbott said to applause that he will propose legislation prohibiting Texas cities and counties “from using political correctness to dictate what energy source you use. Acknowledging the presence of State Reps. Brooks Landgraf of Odessa and Tom Craddick of Midland while saying he would count on their support, Abbott added, “My goal is to cut regulations to make it easier for the oil and gas industry to do business. “When I was attorney general (from 2002-2015) and the Obama Administration was lodging challenge after challenge, I filed 31 lawsuits, most of them against the EPA, and we will continue with that litigation strategy.” Asked by the Odessa American what are the principal factors in winning a suit vs. the EPA, Abbott said, “By showing that they have gone beyond the bounds of what they’ve been authorized to do. “It’s typical of the bureaucracy to attempt to circumvent the laws passed by Congress.” During a news conference in the interior of the Cudd complex off South JBS Parkway, the governor noted the backdrop of an enormous oilfield truck and asked Walker what it was, to which the hardhat-wearing general manager quipped, “It’s a piece of equipment.” Abbott said he will also seek to improve Permian Basin roads so that such trucks may be felicitously moved and citizens will be safer. In a statement after the event, Landgraf said in part, “I appreciate Gov. Abbott’s leadership here. “His order demonstrates the importance of oil and gas, specifically the significance of the work we do in the Permian Basin. In addition to all the jobs the industry creates, our roads, schools and nearly every other service provided by the state directly benefit from revenue generated by oil and gas production.” Landgraf noted that he and the other members of the Texas Legislature convened Jan. 12 at the Capitol in Austin for their biennial 140-day regular session “to vote on legislation and pass a balanced state budget.” Renae Eze, Abbott’s press secretary, said Odessa was the only trip on the governor’s Thursday schedule. Previous article‘Be Safe, Drive Smart’ campaign offers tips to motoristsNext articleAt Sundance, pandemic dramas unfold on screen and off Digital AIM Web Support Pinterestlast_img read more

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Supreme Court Seeks Centre’s Response On Plea Against Blanket Ban On Blood Donation By Transgenders, Sex Workers

first_imgTop StoriesSupreme Court Seeks Centre’s Response On Plea Against Blanket Ban On Blood Donation By Transgenders, Sex Workers Akshita Saxena5 March 2021 12:01 AMShare This – xProhibition of transgender persons is due to assumptions based on negative stereotypesThe Supreme Court on Friday sought response form the Central Government on a writ petition challenging the blood donor guidelines in so far as they impose a blanket ban on Transgender persons, female sex workers, etc. from donating blood. A Bench led by CJI SA Bobde issued notice on the petition after hearing Advocate Jayna Kothari, but refused to grant an interim relief of stay…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginThe Supreme Court on Friday sought response form the Central Government on a writ petition challenging the blood donor guidelines in so far as they impose a blanket ban on Transgender persons, female sex workers, etc. from donating blood. A Bench led by CJI SA Bobde issued notice on the petition after hearing Advocate Jayna Kothari, but refused to grant an interim relief of stay while observing that the court is not an expert in scientific issues. The public interest litigation filed by a member of the Transgender community, Thangjam Santa Singh, challenges the “Guideline on Blood Donor Selection and Blood Donor Referral, 2017” issued by the National Blood Transfusion Council and the National Aids Control Organization under the aegis of Central Health Ministry in October 2017. The plea states that Clauses 12 and 51 of the said guidelines arbitrarily consider transgender persons, gay men and female sex workers to be a high-risk HIV/ AIDS category and prohibit them from donating blood. It is pleaded that exclusion of the above class of persons, solely on the basis of their gender identities/ sexual orientation, is not only unreasonable but also unscientific. The plea states, “All blood units that are collected from donors are tested for infectious diseases including Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and HIV/AIDS and hence permanently excluding them from donating blood and categorising them as high-risk only on the basis of their gender identity and sexual orientation is violative of their right to be treated equally as other blood donors.” It adds, “The prohibition of transgender persons, men having sex with men and female sex workers is due to assumptions based on negative stereotypes which amounts to discrimination under Articles 14 and 15 of the Constitution and they are denied equal dignity under Article 14 as they are deemed less worthy and subordinate in social participation and healthcare.” Reliance is placed on NALSA v. Union of India, (2014) 5 SCC 438 and Navtej Johar v. Union of India, (2018) 10 SCC 1. It is averred that across the world, guidelines on blood donation have been updated to not make deferrals based on gender identities and they merely prescribe a 3 month or 45-day deferral from the last high-risk sexual contact. In this backdrop, the plea states, “blood donor guidelines need to be based on an individualized system for all donors based on and not perceived risk and not based on identities. The present impugned Guidelines are stigmatizing as they are not based on how HIV transmission actually works, nor are they based on the actual risks involved in specific activities but are based only on the identities of donors such as, whether they are transgender, gay or bisexual men or female sex workers.” Lastly it is urged that given the COVID-19 crisis, where blood transfusions are needed more than ever for emergency and elective surgeries and treatments, it is more critical than ever for members of the transgender community to rely on the generosity of their family and community members to meet the demands for getting life-saving blood to those affected by the pandemic.The present petition has been filed by Advocate Anindita Pujari, drawn by Advocate Thulasi K Raj on behalf of the petitioner on behalf of the petitioner Thangjam Santa Singh.Click Hear To Download/Read OrderSubscribe to LiveLaw, enjoy Ad free version and other unlimited features, just INR 599 Click here to Subscribe. All payment options available.loading….Next Storylast_img read more

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California wildfires polluting air more than 100 miles away

first_imgXinhua/Zhao Hanrong via Getty Images(SAN FRANCISCO) — Phil Powell was more than 163 miles from the massive blaze burning in Northern California and about 350 miles from one ravaging the southern part of the state, yet he and scores of other people walking around San Francisco this week were wearing masks to protect their lungs from smoky conditions.“I can feel it in my throat and a lot of people have said they’ve had headaches,” Powell told ABC station KGO-TV in San Francisco, adding that he had plenty of N95 industrial masks left over from the fires that ravaged Northern Californa’s Wine County in Napa and Sonoma counties in October 2017.Cities throughout California that are far from the flames of the Woolsey Fire in the south and the Camp Fire in the north, the deadliest and most destructive in state history, are feeling the effects of the smoke, officials said.On Tuesday, numerous school districts nearly 200 miles from the Camp Fire, including those in Santa Rosa, canceled classes due to bad air and smoke conditions.The University of California Davis, which is about 100 miles from the Camp Fire, also called off classes “due to poor air quality as a result of the Butte County fires,” the school said in a tweet. It advised employees who normally work outdoors to limit their activities.“Unfortunately, smoke from the fire continues to blanket all nine counties of the Bay Area, which is why we have called the mandatory Winter Spare the Air Alert through Friday,” Jack Broadbent, executive officer of the Bay Area Air District, said in a statement referring to the advisory for people not to use their fireplaces and to carpool or take public transportation to cut down on air pollution.“Any additional smoke from Bay Area chimneys could push the region into an even higher unhealthy air quality level, which puts us all in jeopardy,” Broadbent said.The Woosley and Camp fires both started on Thursday and quickly spread, destroying more than 7,000 home and burning more than 345-square-miles of land combined. The larger fire, Camp Fire, caused 48 deaths and is now ranked the deadliest and most destructive in state history.AirNow.gov, a state website that charts air quality throughout California, showed numerous cities far from the fires experiencing unhealthy air quality.According to the AirNow chart, good air quality is anything under a reading of 50, meaning air pollution is causing little effect. Moderate air quality is a reading of 50 to 100, while bad air quality is any measurement of 100 to 200 and anything higher is considered very unhealthy or hazardous.Oakland, which is more than 160 miles from the Camp Fire, had a reading of 164 on Tuesday, while San Francisco had a reading of 167.Oxnard in Ventura County, which is about 30 miles of the epicenter of Woolsey Fire, had the worst air in the state outside the fire zone Tuesday with a hazardous reading of 392 while Gridley, about 30 miles from the Camp Fire, had a reading hazardous reading of 250.“I’ve lived in the Bay Area for over 35 years and except for the Oakland Hills fires and Napa fires, I can’t remember consistent smoke like this,” Troy Blanchard of Oakland told KGO.On Monday and Tuesday, the Golden Gate Bridge in San Franciso was clouded in smoke. On Sunday, fans attending the Oakland Raiders football game not only sported the home team’s silver and black colors, many also donned protective masks.“It feels eerie and worrisome and the sun looks really funny and the moon as well,” Beth Gorelick of San Francisco told KGO. “I feel really bad for the people in Paradise.”Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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New home sales slide but prices are rising

first_imgShare via Shortlink Email Address* Full Name* (iStock)New home sales dropped across the U.S. again last month, while prices continued to rise.There were 841,000 newly-built single-family homes sold in November, seasonally adjusted, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s monthly report. That’s down 11 percent from the 945,000 sales in October.The Census Bureau’s report counts sales at the time contracts are signed, not closed, which makes the report a leading indicator of future transactions.November was the third consecutive month that new home sales slid compared to the prior month, but the rate of sales continues to see year-over-year gains. November sales were up nearly 21 percent from a year ago, when 696,000 homes were sold.ADVERTISEMENTThe same month-over-month decline while maintaining annual growth occurred across all regions, except in the Midwest. There, November sales dropped 24 percent year-over-year, while also dropping 43 percent from October’s numbers.Read moreSingle-family housing starts now at 2007 bubble levelExisting home sales fall for the first time in 5 monthsDéjà vu: New home sales hit 14-year high in August Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlinkcenter_img Prices continued to rise amid strong demand. The median sales price for new homes ticked up to $335,300, from $330,600 in October.Low interest rates and the remote work revolution have helped propel the strong housing market, economists are beginning to express concern about the soaring prices that lock out first-time homebuyers.Homebuilders are beginning to deliver new homes as construction reaches levels not seen since the 2007 bubble.Inventory grew by about 3 percent by the end of the month with 286,000 new homes on the market from October. At the current sales pace, it would take 4.1 months for those homes to sell, up from 3.3 months of supply a month ago.Contact Erin Hudson TagsHousing MarketResidential Real Estate Message*last_img read more

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Blithe Spirit’s Charles Edwards on Downton Abbey, His J-Law Moment & Angela Lansbury

first_img The rehearsals must have brought back copious memories for her. What’s been wonderful is to hear about Angela’s life. She’s often quoted as being born in the East End but actually she was born in Regent’s Park, where we rehearsed, and her grandfather, George Lansbury, was a Labour politician, and then of course her mother was an actress who made her debut at the very theater where we are now. All that is very touching for her to remember and she does so with such vivacity. There’s no sense of the wandering recollections of a woman of a certain age. She remembers it all as if it were yesterday. Presumably there have been concessions made to age—naps, for instance? [Laughs.] Any naps have taken place during the lunch break and not during afternoon rehearsals! What’s amazing is that we have a director [Michael Blakemore] who is himself 85, though he’s another one where you simply would not guess it. And if he or Angela sometimes like a rest at lunchtime, so do I. It sounds as if you are on tenterhooks just as we are. Actors are often the last people to know! And the fact that she will be 89 later this year really is extraordinary. Yes, but you just simply wouldn’t know it. She’s got so much vitality in her body and in herself—she’s extraordinary. I think it’s a fascinating play, not least the extent to which Charles is surrounded—hounded, even—by the women he loved, whom he must then escape. Yes, it’s such a fascinating oddity, this one. I do think as always in Coward there’s that element in his central male character of the drifter and the traveler and the man who just won’t commit. It’s as if Coward is going, “Isn’t it wonderful not to have any ties?” This production has the feel of something special, in part because of its leading lady. Does it feel that way from the inside? Without a doubt, it has been very special to be part of the feeling that is generated every night by the London audience seeing Angela back on stage. There is applause on her entrance, which I think is quite right, and the reception has been extremely warm. Yes, and in Blithe Spirit, there’s the added factor of more stage business than in any other Coward play. So it’s got physical comedy folded into the mix, as well. The verbal repartee of Coward is rewarding but it can also be a little wearing, so what’s immensely satisfying here is the way the play escalates into extreme Feydeau-like, farcical situations. Those extremities are great fun and at the same time the play is asking how human beings handle the wilting of a sex life and can a relationship survive that. It’s a very interesting play. Charles Edwards has quietly but firmly asserted himself as one of the finest English actors of his generation, moving from London and Broadway runs in The 39 Steps, to National Theatre stints in This House and Strange Interlude, to a buoyant Much Ado About Nothing at Shakespeare’s Globe—oh, and as Lady Edith’s love interest in Downton Abbey, too. But this month he has arguably his highest-profile stage gig to date, starring opposite Dame Angela Lansbury in Blithe Spirit, opening March 18 at the Gielgud Theatre. Both Lansbury and Edwards are reprising their roles in the Noel Coward comic classic—Lansbury won a Tony Award for her performance in Michael Blakemore’s 2009 Broadway revival, while Edwards made his theatrical debut as novelist Charles Condomine in 1993. Broadway.com chatted with Edwards about sharing the stage with a spritely 88-year-old, channeling Jennifer Lawrence and the “great fun” of filming Downton Abbey. Angela Lansbury and Michael Blakemore previously collaborated on this play five years ago on Broadway. Has that made a difference for you and the other new cast members? We were all certainly aware that Michael had done the play before and had a blueprint of it, and he has also referenced original Coward productions at various times. But naturally because we were a new cast, anything was welcome and there was no suggestion of “we did it this way before.” In that way, it’s been quite different to The 39 Steps, where people who have subsequently played Hannay have had to stick to a fairly rigid blueprint. There’s been none of that for us. View Comments We have to touch on Downton Abbey and your distinguished arrival in season three as Michael Gregson, the society editor who captures Lady Edith’s heart. Is he coming back? That was great fun, and I miss Laura Carmichael [Lady Edith] very much. We had a really lovely time. But I can honestly tell you I have no idea what happens next. I really haven’t any idea at all. Michael is still trying to get a divorce, but of course is also the father of Edith’s child, so if that leads anywhere, he’ll want to see the child. Think of that as your Jennifer Lawrence moment! But 24? That must have been a challenge given the history Charles has in the play. Yes, I know, what with [first wife] Elvira having been dead for seven years and Charles having been married to [second wife] Ruth for five. I was too young to take much else of what the play was saying into account. You’re no stranger to Coward, having appeared in Hay Fever and Private Lives. In fact, my very first play out of drama school was Blithe Spirit at Harrogate [in Yorkshire] when I was 24! All I remember is coming down the stairs all suave and sophisticated and then tripping on the carpet, and that was my very first professional entrance [laughs].last_img read more

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See the American in Paris Cast Sing Their Way Around the City of Light

first_img Related Shows An American in Paris View Comments Show Closed This production ended its run on Oct. 9, 2016 Before beginning performances on Broadway on March 13, An American in Paris premiered in the French capital and CBS Sunday Morning recently aired a behind-the-scenes look at the cast and creative team’s experiences in the City of Light. “[It’s] the greatest research you could ever do for a show. We have the opportunity to take a part of Paris back to America now,” said director and choreographer Christopher Wheeldon. Leading lady Leanne Cope spoke about how they could “walk around Paris and walk the show.” And as for stars Robert Fairchild, Brandon Uranowitz and Max Von Essen? The trio literally strolled the streets of Paris singing songs from the Gershwin tuner. Check them out below and then in person at the Palace Theatre.last_img read more

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