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Jan Maxwell Will Star in Scenes From An Execution Off-Broadway

first_img Jan Maxwell The Potomac Theatre Project’s 2015 New York City season will include a revival of Howard Barker’s Scenes From an Execution led by Tony nominee Jan Maxwell, as well as a double bill of Barker’s Judith: A Parting from the Body and Caryl Churchill’s Vinegar Tom. All performances will take place at The Atlantic Stage 2.Scenes From an Execution, directed by Richard Romagnoli, will begin performances on July 7 and run through August 9. Opening night is set for July 15. The play follows a 15th century Venetian painter who finds herself in a battle between artist and stage. In addition to Maxwell, a five-time Tony nominee who last appeared on Broadway in Follies, the cast will include Bill Army, David Barlow, Alex Draper, Pamela J. Gray, Adam Ludwig, Jonathan Tindle, Steven Dykes, Kean Haunt, Nicholas Hemerling, Meghan Leathers, Melissa MacDonald and Lana Meyer.Judith: A Parting from the Body will feature Draper, Gray and Kathryn Kates. The play, directed by Romagnoli, is a retelling of the Apocypha story of the Jewish widow who killed general Holofernes. Vinegar Tom will feature Tara Giordano, Bill Army, Kathleen Wise, Nesba Crenshaw, Dykes, Lucy Faust, Patricia Buckley, Chelsea Melone, Caitlyn Meagher, Liana Barron, Caitlyn Duffy and Joelle Mendoza-Etchart. The play, directed Cheryl Faraone, follows three 17th century women who face death after being accused of practicing witchcraft. The double bill will begin on July 8 and run through August 8. Opening night is set for July 14. View Commentscenter_img Star Fileslast_img read more

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House passes bill to restore $114 million in federal highway funding to Vermont

first_imgRep. Peter Welch supported and the House passed legislation late Wednesday to address a projected shortfall in the Highway Trust Fund by restoring $7 billion in federal transportation funding to the states. HR 3357 prevents an 85 percent reduction in Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) funding, which would have reduced Vermont s share from $134 million to $20 million in 2010.The cut would have forced Vermont Agency of Transportation to shut down all new FHWA construction, resulting in the loss of 998 jobs, according to the American Road and Transportation Builders Association. A recession is no time to cut federal highway funding and layoff hundreds of workers, Welch said. This bill ensures that Vermont can continue to rebuild its roads and bridges and maintain good-paying jobs.last_img read more

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Natural Assets: How the Outdoor Economy is Transforming Appalachia

first_imgEva Beaule wasn’t sure what might happen when she and her husband, Mike, opened an outfitter in the tiny community of Mendota, Va. several years ago. Their property sits in an ideal location along the North Fork of the Holston River not far from the Tennessee line, but it takes a long, winding route on narrow roads to get there. “There’s no cell phone service out here,” Beaule says, “and we’re seventeen miles from a grocery store.”But geographic isolation hasn’t stopped the Beaules’ shop, Adventure Mendota, from booming. While business started slow—no one came out to Adventure Mendota’s opening day—thousands of customers have since come to float the North Fork. The outfitter is now one of the most popular outdoor businesses in the region.The Beaules aren’t alone in their success. In fact, the story of Adventure Mendota—an entrepreneur growing a dream into a thriving outdoor business—could apply to almost any corner of Appalachia. Outfitters have sprouted from the pastoral banks of the North Fork to urban stretches of the French Broad. Mountain communities are reinventing themselves to attract hikers, mountain bikers, and climbers. Revamped downtowns across the region are complete with microbreweries and Airbnbs. And the region’s national forests and state parks are being reimagined not just as weekend getaways but as economic support systems for small towns and entire states alike.A quick look at the numbers shows just how much of an economic behemoth the outdoor industry has become. In 2017, the Outdoor Industry Association estimated that outdoor recreation accounted for nearly $900 billion in consumer spending and just over 7.5 million direct jobs nationwide—more than the coal and gas industries combined. Those trends hold closer to home in the Blue Ridge. A recent report by the Outdoor Alliance found that the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests—just two of more than ten national forests across the larger Appalachian region—host 4.6 million visitors annually and plug $115 million into local economies each year.As impressive as those figures are, questions remain about what role outdoor recreation has in the region’s economic future. Can recreation replace the extractive industries that have dominated the mountains for more than a century? Are outdoor entrepreneurs really building the base of a new economy, or are their small businesses simply feel-good stories without lasting economic impact? Finding the answers to those questions is one of the biggest challenges currently facing Appalachia—one that may shape the region for generations to come.The Outdoor Economy by the Numbers$9 billion in annual consumer spending on outdoor recreation in West Virginia366 full-time jobs supported by mountain biking in North Carolina’s Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests7,500 unique climbers visiting Kentucky’s Red River Gorge annually. Visitors spend an estimated $3.6 million each year.$13.61 generated for every dollar of tax revenue provided to Virginia state parks in 2016—Outdoor Industry Association, Outdoor Alliance, Eastern Kentucky University, Virginia Association for ParksGrowing an IndustryIt’s impossible to understand the growth of the East’s outdoor economy without first considering the historical arc of land use trends across Appalachia. From early European settlement through the mid-1900s, the predominant force in the Appalachian economy was resource extraction: timber harvesting along the Blue Ridge, coal to the west along the Appalachian Plateau, and agriculture in the Great Valley in between.In fact, many of the region’s national forests and parks were created as a reaction to the ecological devastation caused by those industries decades earlier. President Franklin D. Roosevelt acknowledged as much during his address at the 1940 dedication of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, stating that “we realize now that we committed excesses which we are today seeking to atone for.” That atonement paved the way for public lands that became hubs of outdoor activity across the nation.Outdoor businesses began to capitalize on those assets later in the 20th century, with outlets like Western North Carolina’s Nantahala Outdoor Center leading the charge. The center opened in 1972 at the intersection of the Appalachian Trail and Nantahala River Gorge and has since grown into one of the nation’s leading outfitters, producing Olympic whitewater champions and hundreds of regional jobs. In the decades since its creation, a litany of businesses and communities have followed suit to build a thriving outdoor economy, even as traditional industries have waned.Todd Christensen has watched that transition throughout his career. Christensen, recently retired as executive director of the Southwest Virginia Cultural Heritage Foundation, has helped lead efforts to revitalize distressed communities throughout 19 Virginia counties. In many ways, Christensen’s region serves as a microcosm for how a decline in extractive industries has catalyzed an increased focus on the outdoors. Over the past few decades, manufacturing employment in Southwest Virginia fell by half, agricultural jobs declined, and coal mining jobs dropped by nearly 70 percent. Those impacts, Christensen says, left many communities looking for new economic options.“The big opportunity I think a lot of people saw was outdoor recreation,” he says. Southwest Virginia’s communities began marketing outdoor assets residents had taken advantage of for decades.“It wasn’t that there wasn’t anybody doing any outdoor recreation. It wasn’t that the assets weren’t there,” Christensen says. “It was about connecting them all to a common theme to brand the region.” Since 2001, the region has added nearly 3,000 leisure and hospitality jobs, along with a more than $300 million increase in travel expenditures.While many communities in Southwest Virginia are just starting to capitalize on the outdoors, other areas, such as Western North Carolina, have had a focus on the outdoors for generations.[nextpage title=”Read on!”]“Outdoor recreation and tourism has been a part of our local economy for over 100 years,” stresses Clark Lovelace, executive director of the Brevard/Transylvania Chamber of Commerce. Lovelace cites the Pisgah National Forest and the region’s history of hosting summer camps—both of which date back as far as the early 1900s—as examples of the region’s outdoor roots. “In more recent years,” Lovelace says, “the addition of DuPont State Recreational Forest and Gorges State Park…has led to tremendous growth in the local tourism industry.”In 1986, the Transylvania County Tourism Development Authority (TCTDA) was formed to promote the county’s outdoor assets—a factor that became important when the area’s largest manufacturing companies left starting around the year 2000. Since then, Lovelace says that outdoor recreation has “gone from an important industry to a leading industry.” The TCTDA reported close to $90 million generated in tourism revenue in 2015 alone, with accommodations revenue—a key tourism indicator—nearly doubling since 2010.Not Just a Numbers GameWhile the revenue figures touted by regional communities paint an encouraging picture, many experts argue that the outdoor economy alone isn’t sufficient to save many areas, especially those suffering from severe economic decline.“Tourism is so important, but we cannot put all of our eggs in one basket,” says Shannon Blevins, associate vice chancellor at The University of Virginia’s College at Wise. Blevins works with rural communities across the Appalachian coalfields that are looking to diversify their economic strategies, and she emphasizes the dangers of putting too much focus on any single industry. For starters, she says, a tourism-based economy isn’t recession-proof. “We don’t want to get back into that same situation where we are single-threaded on one industry,” she says.Blevins also points out that many outdoor jobs pay lower wages than other industries, a discrepancy that is all too real. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, workers in the recreation industry earn a median income of around $24,000 per year nationwide. Compare that to the median level of $50,000 or so in annual wages taken home by a coal miner, and it becomes easy to see the challenges associated with using outdoor businesses to replace high-wage extractive industries.Still, the intangible benefits of the outdoor industry can enhance other dimensions of the economy. As one example, Blevins stresses the impacts that tourism and recreation can have on a community’s quality of life. “If it’s done right,” Blevins says, strengthening an outdoor economy “increases the impression that people have of the area.” That, in turn, can increase a community’s exposure and draw in new investment.Lovelace agrees. “Outdoor recreation and quality of life for residents are directly tied together” for the Brevard and Transylvania County area, he says. In addition to retirees who move to the area after leaving the labor market, Lovelace points out that many working families who move to Transylvania County are choosing quality of life over the size of their salaries as a determining factor in selecting a new home.In other cases, recreation can also attract new manufacturing sectors altogether. The broader Western North Carolina region is one example, as it now plays home to a burgeoning outdoor gear manufacturing industry that is capitalizing on the region’s outdoor culture. The Outdoor Gear Builders of Western North Carolina, a group of 27 regionally-based companies, estimated in 2014 that manufacturers contributed nearly 500 jobs to the regional economy, with a $6 million impact in local sourcing.Lovelace credits the quality of life provided by the outdoors as helping to bring several manufacturers to his region, citing it as “key” to economic growth. The Transylvania Economic Alliance—the county’s economic development organization—now even lists outdoor gear manufacturing as one of its six target markets, alongside tourism.Building on SuccessIf a single rule has emerged from the region, it’s that the recipe needed to harness the outdoor recreation economy’s benefits may look different from one community to the next.Some communities, like Erwin, Tenn., are looking downtown. Erwin is home to the Appalachian Trail and Nolichucky River, but its economy has historically been grounded on the transport of coal via the CSX railroad. Jamie Rice, an Erwin business owner and president of the community group RISE Erwin, says that economic landscape changed when Erwin’s railyard closed in 2015.“We were really in mourning,” Rice says. In response, residents began strategic planning sessions, where Rice says “the thing we kept identifying with was our geography.” One result of those discussions was a Great Outdoors Festival that links Erwin’s downtown businesses to the trail and river. Rice estimates the event attracted nearly 7,000 people in its inaugural year. “We were thrilled with that number,” she says. “And we know it’s going to continue to grow.”In other areas, taking the outdoor economy to the next level means playing off of existing strengths. Virginia’s Appalachian Spring initiative is doing just that: taking eight popular outdoor “anchors”—recreation meccas like the New River, Mount Rogers, and Cumberland Gap National Historical Park—and tying them together in a regional branding strategy where political boundaries are blurred.“The whole region has developed a spirit of collaboration and understanding that what’s good for one part of the region is good for the other,” Christensen says. Rather than crafting competing economic plans behind closed doors, community leaders are having opportunities to share best practices for engaging visitors with the outdoors. Emerging from the initiative is the recognition that a region’s strength often lies in its diversity.If that diversity is found in the sum of a region’s parts, small businesses like Adventure Mendota play a key role. The outfitter sits between two of Appalachian Spring’s anchor areas, the Clinch River and Mount Rogers, and that sense of community is not lost on its owner. Eva Beaule credits a group of leaders near Mendota—what she refers to as her “posse”—with helping to spur on the outfitter’s success. It’s a relationship that has to go both ways, Beaule says. “A small business owner cannot wait for people to come to them,” she stresses. “You’ve got to go meet with somebody that you don’t know.”In fact, supporting a community of outdoor entrepreneurs is a plan for success that holds from a city with a strong outdoor economy like Brevard to a rural coalfield town just beginning to plot out its economic future. Rice, Lovelace, and Blevins all emphasize the role that entrepreneurial support has played in their respective regions. “If you’re able to give people who are already rooted in the area the ability to start their own jobs that are in alignment with their aptitudes, then that is a huge win,” Blevins says.In that sense, the principles driving the success of Appalachia’s outdoor economy are rooted in the same culture that has supported the region for generations. “The one thing we’ve learned that is so tremendous,” Beaule says, “is that we’ve got a lot of resources in each other.”last_img read more

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Tokyo governor Koike cruises to second term

first_imgAs for the Olympics, she said, “the coronavirus infection is also the priority here as well”.”What can we do to host a safe and secure Games? How can we reduce its cost and simplify it? I wish to continue working on our coronavirus measures so that it will become reality,” she said.Her second term begins amid a growing weariness with the Olympics, as just over half of Tokyo’s residents do not think the Games should be held next year, according to a poll published late last month.The coronavirus also overshadowed Sunday’s voting with polling station staff donning masks, face shields and plastic gloves, while tape on the floor kept voters apart.Poll booths were sanitised after every use, and voters were urged to use hand sanitiser as they entered and exited.Koike’s main challengers were Kenji Utsunomiya, 73, a lawyer backed by the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan and two other opposition parties, and Taro Yamamoto, 45, a former actor and leader of the anti-establishment party Reiwa Shinsengumi.The men were nationally recognised figures, but were no rivals to Koike, who campaigned online and did not mingle with supporters or give speeches to reduce infection risks. Koike originally won the governorship in a landslide vote in 2016, becoming Tokyo’s first female leader.She has been seen as a steady pair of hands during the coronavirus crisis, issuing frequent video messages — including in English, which is highly unusual for a Japanese politician.However, she fluffed her biggest political gamble in 2017 when she created a new “Party of Hope” that coalesced opposition to Abe’s all-powerful Liberal Democrats in the national election.This sparked speculation she would ditch her role as Tokyo governor to run for the prime minister.However, despite initially promising opinion polls, support imploded because of public confusion over her intentions.Topics : Many observers say her smooth performance during the coronavirus pandemic contrasted sharply with current PM Shinzo Abe, who critics say bungled Japan’s response.The postponed Olympics, due to open on July 23, 2021, was also a major theme of the campaign and Koike pledged to reduce the Games budget as organizers grapple with the unprecedented challenge of rescheduling the event.Koike gave an “online” victory speech in front of a limited number of journalists to minimise the risk of coronavirus infection.”The immediate issue at hand is the coronavirus,” Koike said, as Tokyo has seen more than 100 new cases a day recently — many from clusters in the city’s host and hostess clubs. Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike declared victory in Sunday’s vote to elect the leader of one of the world’s most populous cities and immediately vowed to step up the fight against a recent coronavirus resurgence.Major media exit polls suggested a landslide victory after voting stations closed at 8 p.m., as Koike shrugged off challenges from a wide range of candidates, many of whom were political novices.The 67-year-old media-savvy Koike is a rare top female leader in Japan’s male-dominated politics and is often mentioned as a possible prime minister.last_img read more

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Steve McClaren reveals the main problem Mikel Arteta must fix at Arsenal

first_imgArteta was alongside Pep Guardiola for Man City’s 3-0 win over Arsenal on Sunday (AFP via Getty Images)‘There’s no responsibility in terms of going with runners defending.‘There are no tackles until they get way back on the edge of their own box which is too late then.‘So I can see Arteta going into Arsenal and going, ‘you know what, in terms of build-up possession, keeping the ball, we’ve got players who can do that. All I need to teach this team is attitude to defend and win the ball back between five and eight seconds, which is what Man City do’. That’s his philosophy.‘I think he can can instil that at Arsenal, he can tweak Arsenal in terms of defenders, which I think they definitely need.More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man City‘Defenders are dropping too deep, they are not going and pressing it, they are not mobile and athletic enough to play the way he’ll probably want to play.‘He could change that a little bit but he can also change that in the transfer market.‘I just think Arsenal are further ahead than Everton are and Arteta knows Arsenal, he’s got an affinity with Arsenal, it’s a little bit like Frank [Lampard] going to Chelsea, he knows Chelsea, it’s working, he knows the kids there.‘And with that front line I’d me going, ‘I’d love to work with that front line, just throw them a ball they’ll score goals, now behind that I need to [address it].’ Arteta has been Guardiola’s assistant at Man City since 2016 (EPA)‘You think that would be anti-Manchester City but Manchester City only win the league because of their raised defence, because when they are attacking they defend.‘And they are not winning games in the present moment because they are not doing that consistently enough and they’re getting caught.‘Arsenal are not doing that at all. That’s why Man City scored three easy goals on transition counter-attacks, their team is like that [open] instead of being compact.‘So he [Arteta] just needs to tweak a few things, work on the training ground, get the players around him, change the attitude, get them working harder off the ball and recovering the ball quicker and Arsenal can be better than what they are.’AdvertisementAdvertisementMore: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenal Comment Metro Sport ReporterTuesday 17 Dec 2019 4:52 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link311Shares Steve McClaren has urged Mikel Arteta to address Arsenal’s defensive frailties (Sky Sports/Getty)Steve McClaren believes Mikel Arteta must improve the attitudes of Arsenal’s players when they are defending and has urged the Spaniard to adopt the same philosophy which has been successful at Manchester City.Metro.co.uk understands that Arsenal are confident of reaching an agreement with Arteta this week after holding talks with the 37-year-old following Manchester City’s 3-0 victory at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.Arteta faces an uphill task as Arsenal have registered just one win in their last 12 matches and McClaren believes Pep Guardiola’s assistant needs to urgently address how the Gunners shape up when they don’t have possession.AdvertisementAdvertisement‘All he needs to do is address their attitudes in terms of when they haven’t got the ball,’ McClaren told Sky Sports.ADVERTISEMENT‘Because when they haven’t got the ball there’s no speed in recovering into shape, there’s no speed in recovering the ball within five seconds, which is Man City’s philosophy when they lose the ball.center_img Steve McClaren reveals the main problem Mikel Arteta must fix at Arsenal Advertisement Advertisementlast_img read more

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Eddie Nketiah reveals key advice from Arsenal legend Ian Wright that has inspired him

first_imgNketiah has been offered key advice by Wright (Pictures: beIN Sports Youtube/ Getty)Eddie Nketiah says Arsenal legend Ian Wright’s advice to believe in himself and work hard has helped contribute to his rise to the top.Mikel Arteta saw enough from the England youth international during his loan spell at Leeds United to recall him early and thrust him straight into the first team.And at just 21-year-old, the striker has been trusted to lead the line for the Gunners over Alexandre Lacazette on multiple occasions since he returned to north London.The youngster has repaid his manager’s faith in him, scoring three times in his last five starts, and he attributes a part of his success to Gunners hero Wright.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENT‘He’s been really good for me, he’s helped me a lot, on and off the pitch,’ Nketiah told beIN Sports.‘He’s such a nice and bubbly guy to have around. Whenever you speak to him he lights up the place and brings positive energy. Metro Sport ReporterWednesday 1 Jul 2020 5:35 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link170Shares Advertisement Nketiah has grasped his opportunity in the first team with both hands (Picture: Getty Images)‘The best advice he has given me is to believe in myself and to work hard. There’s never an excuse not to work hard and to work on your trade. Even if it’s finishing, staying out and doing extra, putting in the extra work.‘Speaking to him you see how much he worked even when he was at the top. It shows you, you can never get complacent. You’ve got to keep working hard and sharpening your tools.’Mikel Arteta has also given plenty of game time to fellow academy products Bukayo Saka and Joe Willock, and Nketiah says he’s a great coach for young players to learn from.‘He’s a very cool and collected guy, he’s a great manager,’ Nketiah added.More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenal‘He’s got a bit of everything, he’s tough when he needs to be but can also put an arm around you and be supportive as well.‘For a young player, he’s great because he’s very specific and detailed in his coaching. He’ll take that extra time out to go one-on-one to go into depth and detail.‘It’s amazing to have him around. I’ve learnt so much from him already, I’m looking forward to the future and working under him.’MORE: Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta lining up Memphis Depay as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette replacementMORE: Thomas Partey keen on Arsenal transfer as Gunners step up interestFollow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.For more stories like this, check our sport page. Comment Eddie Nketiah reveals key advice from Arsenal legend Ian Wright that has inspired him Advertisementlast_img read more

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Grand Georgian home achieves Brisbane’s best price

first_img84 Markwell St, Hamilton achieved Brisbanes best result last week after selling for $2.4 million.They’re breaking out the bubbly on Hamilton Hill with 84 Markwell St achieving the highest sale price in Brisbane last week.More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this homeless than 1 hour agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor7 hours agoThe Georgian style residence on a 979sq m site sold for $2.4 million. 84 Markwell St, Hamilton provides grand accommodation in Hamilton.The property is positioned in one of the city’s most desirable enclaves and its elevation results in views across the Brisbane River and through to the southern suburbs.The two-level, circa 1937 residence provides five-bedrooms, four-bathroom, three-car accommodation with office, multiple living areas and wine cellar across 465sq m of living area.The sale was achieved by Brett Greensill of L J Hooker New Farm.last_img read more

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Rarely does a property so completely live up to its name

first_img86 Diamond St, Holland Park.Mr Hay said Holland Park prices had surged over the last 12 months with people citing amenities, lifestyle and proximity to schools and transport as being the major factors for them searching in the area. 86 Diamond St, Holland Park. 86 Diamond St, Holland Park.Mr Hay said the five-bedroom, four-bathroom home also fetched a record sale price for the pocket known as the ‘Jewel Box’.The home features ducted multiple zoned air conditioning, internet cabling with multiple hard wired stations, garden irrigation system, mixed Australian hardwood flooring throughout, huge amounts of storage, ceiling fans in all bedrooms and living areas, and room for up to four cars and more than enough room to store a boat.center_img 86 Diamond St, Holland Park.A building inspector has described this Brisbane property as the best renovation he has seen in the last 20 years.The property at 86 Diamond St, Holland Park recently sold for $1,213,500.Place — Coorparoo selling agent Scott Hay said the two-level home was bought by a local family.“It was a beautiful renovation, the owner had put a lot of care, money and effort into it and he painstakingly renovated it over the last two years,” Mr Hay said.“A building inspector described it as the best renovation he had seen in over 20 years”. FREE: Get the latest real estate news direct to your inbox here. More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this homeless than 1 hour agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor6 hours agoThe pool area at 86 Diamond St, Holland Park.last_img read more

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Cardinals set to elect new Pope

first_img 41 Views   no discussions Share Share Tweet Sharing is caring!center_img Share The BBC’s Alan Johnston: “As they try to decide, cardinals believe God will be their guide”Cardinals have entered the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel, where they will begin voting to elect a new Pope.The 115 cardinal-electors were locked in the chapel after swearing an oath of secrecy.They will vote four times daily until two-thirds can agree on a candidate.The election was prompted by the surprise abdication of Benedict XVI. There is no clear frontrunner to take over from him as head of the Roman Catholic Church.The 85-year-old Benedict stepped down last month, saying he was no longer strong enough to lead the Church, which is beset by problems ranging from a worldwide scandal over child sex abuse to allegations of corruption at the Vatican Bank. His resignation and the recent damage to the Church’s reputation make the choice of the cardinal-electors especially hard to predict, the BBC’s James Robbins in Rome says. They will weigh pressure for a powerful manager to reform the Vatican against calls for a new pope able to inspire the faithful, our correspondent adds.Oath in LatinAt 16:30 local time (15:30 GMT) on Tuesday, 115 cardinal-electors – all under 80, as those over 80 are excluded – entered the Sistine Chapel for the secret conclave to select Benedict’s successor, chanting the traditional Litany of the Saints.Each man in turn stepped up and placed his hands on the Gospel to swear an oath in Latin.Afterwards Msgr Guido Marini, papal master of ceremonies, called out the words “Extra omnes” – “Everybody out” – and the chapel doors were locked to outsiders.From now on the cardinals will eat, vote and sleep in closed-off areas until a new pope is chosen.Jamming devices in the Sistine Chapel should block all electronic communication and anyone tweeting would in any case risk being excommunicated.Cardinals were now expected listen to a meditation by elderly Maltese Cardinal Prosper Grech before holding a first vote, after which their ballot papers will be burned. The smoke that will drift out of the chapel’s chimney early in the evening is likely to be black – meaning no Pope has been elected.‘Brilliant pontificate’From Wednesday, two votes will be held each morning and afternoon – with ballots burned after each session – until one candidate attains a two-thirds majority (77 votes). Then the smoke will be white, meaning the 266th bishop of Rome will have been chosen.Earlier on Tuesday the cardinals attended a “Mass for the Election of the Supreme Pontiff” in St Peter’s Basilica. In his homily, the Dean of the College of Cardinals, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, praised the “brilliant pontificate” of Pope Benedict and implored God to grant another “Good Shepherd” to lead the church. He outlined the mission Catholics believe was given by Jesus Christ to St Peter – the first Pope – emphasising love and sacrifice, evangelisation and the unity of the church. The BBC’s Michael Hirst in Rome says the speech was more measured in tone than the address given in 2005 by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger before he became Pope Benedict, which featured a fiery attack on the “dictatorship of relativism”.On Tuesday morning several cardinals took to Twitter to say goodbye to their followers before being cut off from the outside world. “Last tweet before the conclave: May Our Father hear and answer with love and mercy all prayers and sacrifices offered for a fruitful outcome,” South African Cardinal Wilfrid Napier tweeted. Benedict – now known as Pope emeritus – resigned on 28 February after eight years in office, citing ill health. He was the first Pope in six centuries to do so.As Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger in 2005, he was the marked favourite ahead of the conclave and was elected pope after just four rounds of voting. The vote for his successor is expected to take much longer. After 10 general congregations open to all cardinals, regardless of age – at which 160 cardinals spoke of the issues facing the Church and the qualities needed by its next leader – no clear frontrunner has emerged.“Last time around there was a man of stature, three or four times that of any other cardinal,” French Cardinal Philippe Barbarin told reporters.“That is not the case this time around. Therefore, the choice has to be made among one, two, three, four… a dozen candidates. “We still don’t really know anything. We will have to wait for the results of the first ballot.”New York Archbishop Cardinal Timothy Dolan told his priests there was hope that a new Pope could be chosen by Thursday.Candidates named as contenders include Cardinal Angelo Scola of Milan, Brazil’s Odilo Scherer, and Cardinal Dolan himself – though he told one interviewer anyone who thought he was in with a chance might be “smoking marijuana”.BBC News FaithInternationalLifestylePrint Cardinals set to elect new Pope by: – March 12, 2013last_img read more

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U.S. 50 Closed near Muscatatuck

first_imgJennings County, In. — U.S. Highway 50 is closed at the Muscatatuck Wildlife Refuge due to downed power lines. No other information is available at this time.last_img

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