Posts tagged with "Athens"

Cover via Glenn Fukushima of Elektra music Group for use by 360 Magazine

RAINBOW KITTEN SURPRISE × RKS! LIVE

MASSIVE 25-SONG COLLECTION CAPTURED DURING THE GENRE-DEFYING BAND’S SOLD OUT 2019 TOUR. AVAILABLE AS SPECIAL 3-LP VINYL & DIGITAL CONFIGURATION.

PRE-ORDER LAUNCHES TODAY IN TANDEM WITH A TRIO OF LIVE TRACKS + LIVE PERFORMANCE VIDEO. WATCH HERE.

Genre-defying, Nashville-based quintet Rainbow Kitten Surprise have announced their first official live album, RKS! Live From Athens Georgia, set for release on August 13. The 25-song collection – recorded during a two-night stand at The Georgia Theatre in Athens, GA, on the band’s 2019 sold out North American tour – will be available on all streaming platforms and as a limited-edition 3-LP vinyl featuring five sides of music and special artist’s etching on the sixth side. To coincide with the announcement and album pre-order going live HERE, the band has shared a preview of what fans can expect, releasing three instant-grat tracks “Mission To Mars,” “All’s Well That Ends,” and “Devil Like Me,” which is also accompanied by a live performance video streaming on their YouTube channel.

Not more than two years ago, Rainbow Kitten Surprise launched the biggest headline tour of their career thus far in support of their Elektra Records debut, How To: Friend, Love, Freefall. The Friend, Love, Freefall Tour spanned 50 sold-out shows highlighted by 6 venue upgrades, 3 second nights added, and over 80,000 tickets sold. They even packed the legendary Red Rocks Amphitheater to the gills and were scheduled to return for two sold out nights in 2021 that were canceled due to the pandemic. On October 1, 2019, they rolled through Athens and lit up The 40 Watt Club before gracing the stage of The Georgia Theatre two nights in a row October 3 and October 4. The live album harnesses all the magic of a Rainbow Kitten Surprise show as they electrify a sold-out audience with signature anthems and fan favorites. Check out the full tracklisting below.

To date, How To: Friend, Love Freefall has gathered north of 230 million streams, while the lead single “Fever Pitch” eclipsed 40 million streams and vaulted into the Top 10 at Triple A Radio. Rainbow Kitten Surprise teased the arrival of RKS! Live From Athens Georgia with the release of “Hide (Live from Athens Georgia)” on DSPs and as a live performance video (watch HERE) last month. It has already generated half-a-million cumulative streams and counting.

In tandem with the release, the band engaged fans to support the Louisville Pride Foundation, who are raising funds to open an ADA-compliant LGBTQ+ Community Center in Louisville, KY. The Center will be a home for events, programming, and connection to services/resources ranging from substance abuse to intimate partner violence to housing. They will provide backbone support to the city’s LGBTQ+ community and the organizations who support it. The Center is especially close to the bands’ hearts as it will serve as a tangible space for queer individuals living in the South to feel safe.

To help meet the Foundation’s fundraising goal of $20k to open their doors during Louisville Pride this September, RKS has launched exclusive pride merch items including a t-shirt, socks, and a vinyl slipmat [available here]. The band has partnered with PLUS1 so that 100% of the proceeds will go to support the Foundation. An option is also available for fans to donate straight to the organization in addition to or in lieu of any purchases made.

For additional information about the Louisville Pride Foundation, please visit: https://louisvillepride.com/

Saint Motel - It's All Happening - Artwork from Sydney Worden from Glenn Fukushima from Elektra for use by 360 Magazine

SAINT MOTEL ANNOUNCES U.S. AND EUROPEAN TOURS

Elektra recording group Saint Motel have announced U.S. and European tours in support of their forthcoming album The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. The band’s U.S. tour will kick off this September with three special hometown shows at Los Angeles, CA’s The Roxy Theatre, and wrap on Halloween at Madison, WI’s Majestic Theater. In March of 2022, the band will return to the road for a European tour. The upcoming dates mark Saint Motel’s first live shows since their sold-out U.S. tour wrapped in March of 2020. Pre-sale tickets for all dates will be available beginning tomorrow, and general on sale begins this Friday, June 11 at 10:00am local time here.

Saint Motel’s highly anticipated new album The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack will be released on June 25, 2021. The album is available for pre-order now here. The band recently unveiled an official music video for the album’s current single “It’s All Happening”, co-directed by Saint Motel front man A/J Jackson and Mario Contini. Watch it on the band’s official YouTube channel here.

On The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack the Los Angeles-based band dreams up their own cinematic experience in album form, as its songs cycle through stories of love, danger, and impossible triumph. The album also embodies an opulent sound true to its ambitious scope. Co-produced by front man A/J Jackson and Grammy Award-winner Mark Needham (The Killers, Dolly Parton, Chris Isaak), The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack continues the Saint Motel custom of joyfully blurring genres, bringing in elements of everything from symphonic pop to big band.

Audiences began experiencing the album with the release of a pair of EPs: The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack: Pt.1 and The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Pt. 2. Among many highlights, “Van Horn” has amassed nearly 20 million streams, while the band performed it on ABC’s JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE! Receiving critical acclaim, Dujour described “Preach” as “a bop,” while American Songwriter poured over the album’s concept in an in-depth interview with A/J. Further looks came from Ladygunn, Hollywood Life, and more. Now, fans get the full picture of Saint Motel’s vision with the complete The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack studio album.

In the lead up to the album, Saint Motel made history as “the first band to open their own virtual metaverse” powered by Mozilla Hubs. The virtual world is designed as a motel with each room dedicated to a song on The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. The quartet’s launch of “New World” welcomed fans to the virtual space where Jackson performed a live acoustic set. In this 3D VR chatroom enabled for all headsets and browsers, audiences can enter an exclusive, immersive environment to engage directly with the band through virtual meet-and-greets and intimate, live performances, consume exclusive video content, and much more. Additionally, it doubles as a space for fans to congregate and get to know each other. Saint Motel’s “New World” upholds what has become a tradition of engaging with groundbreaking technology for the guys. Visit Saint Motel’s website to explore the “New World.” In 2016, they dropped their Elektra full length debut saintmotelevision as the first-ever Virtual Reality album and first-ever Augmented Reality album and accompanied the record with the free saintmotel AR/VR app.

Saint Motel U.S. Tour Dates

September 30, 2021 – Los Angeles, CA – The Roxy Theatre

October 01, 2021 – Los Angeles, CA – The Roxy Theatre

October 02, 2021 – Los Angeles, CA – The Roxy Theatre

October 04, 2021 – San Luis Obispo, CA – Fremont Theater

October 05, 2021 – Santa Ana, CA – Observatory

October 07, 2021 – Salt Lake City, UT – Depot

October 08, 2021 – Boulder, CO – Boulder Theater

October 09, 2021 – Fort Collins, CO – The Aggie

October 11, 2021 – Omaha, NE – Slowdown

October 12, 2021 – Columbia, MO – The Blue Note

October 13, 2021 – Urbana, IL – The Canopy Club

October 15, 2021 – Nashville, TN – Brooklyn Bowl

October 16, 2021 – Athens, GA – Georgia Theater

October 17, 2021 – Knoxville, TN – The Mill & Mine

October 18, 2021 – Asheville, NC – Orange Peel

October 20, 2021 – Louisville, KY – Mercury Ballroom

October 21, 2021 – Charlottesville, VA – Jefferson Theater

October 22, 2021 – Harrisburg, PA – Harrisburg University

October 23, 2021 – Baltimore, MD – Baltimore Sound Stage

October 26, 2021 – New Haven, CT – College Street Music Hall

October 27, 2021 – Burlington, VT – Higher Ground

October 29, 2021 – Buffalo, NY – Town Ballroom

October 30, 2021 – Grand Rapids, MI – The Intersection

October 31, 2021 – Madison, WI – Majestic Theater

Saint Motel European Tour Dates

March 31, 2022 – Berlin, Germany – Franz Club

April 02, 2022 – Hamburg, Germany – Stage Club

April 03, 2022 – Cologne, Germany – Luxor

April 05, 2022 – Munich, Germany – Hansa 39

April 06, 2022 – Milan, Italy – Circolo Magnolia

April 08, 2022 – Amsterdam, Netherlands – Paradiso Noord

April 09, 2022 – Brussels, Belgium – Botanique The Rotonde

April 10, 2022 – Paris, France – La Maroquinerie

April 12, 2022 – London, UK – Islington Assembly Hall

April 13, 2022 – Manchester, UK – Academy 2

Projecting pop hooks through an alternative lens with a flair for dramatic presentation, Saint Motel make music worthy of the big screen. Streamed and viewed over half-a-billion times, the platinum-selling Los Angeles quartet magnify this vision with immersive live experiences and one unpredictable move after another. The group initially came together at film school before introducing themselves on 2012’s Voyeur. Signing to Elektra Records, their 2014 My Type EP boasted both the gold-certified title track “My Type” and fan favorite “Cold Cold Man.” In 2016, saintmotelevision yielded the smash “Move.” Flipping the script once again, the musicians reimagined the record with a series of history-making first-of-their-kind innovations: an award-winning Virtual Reality version and an Augmented Reality version. In 2019, Saint Motel launched their most ambitious undertaking yet, unveiling their third full-length album in three parts. First up, they uncovered The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Pt. 1 powered by the shimmy and shake of Alternative Top 15 lead single “Van Horn.” Between packing houses coast to coast on headline jaunts and earning acclaim from People, Billboard, and more, the four-piece rolled out Pt. 2 throughout 2020. In addition to unforgettable sets everywhere from Coachella and Lollapalooza to Bonnaroo, the boys lit up shows such as NBC’s TODAY, ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live!, and CBS’ The Late Late Show with James Corden, among others.

Saint Motel is: A/J Jackson (vocals), Aaron Sharp (guitar), Dak Lerdamornpong (bass), and Greg Erwin (drums).

Connect With Saint Motel

Saint Motel Website

Saint Motel – New World

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Cover courtesy of Book Savvy Public Relations for use by 360 Magazine

5 Things To Do in Athens, Georgia That’ll Take You Back in Time

Destination Athens: A Walk Through History

Got wanderlust? If you’re like me, you’re probably feeling the urge to travel right about now. The past year and a half of restrictions and uncertainty brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic have forced us to hit the pause button on adventuring, but now that things are opening up a bit it’s a good time to plan a getaway. There’s no better destination than my hometown, Athens, Georgia.

Athens sits at the head of Georgia’s Antebellum Trail and is all the things you’ve heard about it, sleepy, off the beaten path and steeped in history –– but the place is also a secret blast with a quirky vibe that stays with you long after you leave. Here are five things to do in Athens that you just can’t do anywhere else.

Go on a walking tour of Athens musical history

Athens plays a crucial role in American music across multiple genres. Although widely known as the birthplace of The B-52s, R.E.M. and Widespread Panic, the city’s claim to musical history took root in the early 1900s with the Morton Theater, one of the first, and the oldest surviving vaudeville theatres in the United States. The Morton regularly featured Cab Calloway, Blind Willie McTell, Bessie Smith and others.

Athens’s robust musical history makes it the perfect place for a walking tour. Starting out at Downtown’s The Classic Center, the tour takes you to scores of places such as Wuxtry Records, where a young Peter Buck was working when he met Michael Stipe and the band we know as R.E.M. was formed, Uptown Lounge, where Widespread Panic started, and the must-see Morton. Keep your eye out for The Last Resort, the Clayton Street bar and music club which dates back to 1966 and was located down the street from three finance companies. The rumor was, if you were turned away from all three places, the bar was your last resort. Steve Martin performed there! There’s so much musical history to pack in, so plan on making it a day and be sure to wear comfortable shoes.

Take in the beauty of the State Botanical Garden of Georgia

This Athens wonder was established by the University of Georgia in 1968. The gardens are the perfect place to immerse yourself in the beauty of your surroundings. More than 300 acres and five miles of walking trails, this place is designed for studying nature and is focused on restoring the area’s floodplain region and protecting native plants.

Check out the Alice H. Richards Children’s Garden while you’re there, if you’re into edible landscapes and hands-on educational gardening programs.

Visit The Georgia Museum of Art

It gets hot in Athens. The perfect place to beat the heat is the Georgia Museum of Art, where you’ll find notable American paintings and more. What began in 1948 in the basement of the University of Georgia library with a small collection of 100 works has grown into a wonder sprawling nearly 80,000 square feet! Show your brain some love and learn something new, and when you get hungry, the museum has a beautiful little cafe with delicious pastries.

Meet the residents of the Bear Hollow Zoo

Bear Hollow Zoo is a sweet place and home to a variety of wildlife. The animals who reside at Bear Hollow have physical or behavioral challenges that would make them vulnerable in the wild, so they’re living their best lives at the zoo and offer visitors a remarkable way to learn about wildlife and conservation. This free zoo houses some fascinating animals like the North American river otter, a great  horned owl, white-tailed deer and the American black bear. Bear Hollow Zoo is located within Memorial Park.

Satisfy your sweet tooth at Hodgson’s Pharmacy

This is important. The Five Points neighborhood is essential to the Athens experience. A mainly residential area near the University of Georgia, Five Points is also home to some gems in dining and shopping. Want the quintessential Athens experience? Look no further than Hodgson’s Pharmacy. An actual working pharmacy and mainstay of Athens, this is where you go when you want an authentic vanilla Coke or scoop of ice cream. Hodgson’s is a time machine and you just can’t pass it up if you’re in town.

Bulldog pride bonus round

While you’re out and about in Athens, see if you notice the bulldog sculptures. The We Let The Dogs Out art exhibit is scattered around town and makes for prime photo opportunities. The exhibit was started by the Athens-Oconee Junior Women’s Club in the early 2000s and features dozens of cool bulldogs painted by local artists.

About The Author

After thirty years of practicing law in Georgia, Howard T. Scott pivoted from the courtroom to writing fiction inspired by anecdotes from the southern storytelling tradition he’s immersed in. He’s one of the founding partners of the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise—the world’s only fully chartered blues cruise—and a lover of live music, fitness, nature, historic preservation and travel. Scott splits his time between the dryland of Athens, Georgia and the high seas of the Atlantic and the Caribbean aboard Capricho. Rascal on the Run is his first novel. Visit Howard T. Scott’s website here.

travel illustration by Gabrielle Marchan for use by 360 Magazine

Greece: Europe’s Next, Best Expat Haven

By: International Living

Greece is positioning itself to be Europe’s next, best expat haven, according to the overseas experts at International Living, who say that as a travel destination or live-abroad base, Greece should be on North Americans’ radar. In addition to offering warm weather year-round and easy low-cost living —Greece’s new digital nomad visa coming soon will make it easier for people working remotely to stay for extended periods and even gain citizenship and a passport. What’s more, Greece’s borders are set to open to international travelers May 14, 2021.

Greece offers an enthralling mixture of sun-drenched islands, towering mountains, buzzing cities, and timeless traditions. Wrapped in the warm embrace of the Aegean Sea, it’s vibrant, welcoming, and offers great-value living for North American expats. A couple could live comfortably there for as little as $2,000 a month, according to International Living.

“We’ve seen a sharp uptick in online traffic to our Greece content in 2021, with the overall traffic to our Greece pages up 41% in the first three months of 2021, when compared to the last period (Oct-Dec) of 2020,” says Jennifer Stevens, Executive Editor, International Living.

“The appetite for on-the-ground Greece intel has increased, and we’re happy to see that because this is a nation that can make good sense for all sorts of expats—younger, older, full-time or part-time. If you like the idea of a travel-rich life in Europe, Greece could make a very good base.”

Exploration in Greece will be a possibility again as soon as May 14, 2021 when, according to the Greece tourism minister, the borders are set to open to international travelers who show proof of vaccination, covid-19 antibodies, or a negative test result taken within 72 hours of departure.

Greece offers expats easy, good-value living in the sun. After 15 years in San Francisco where she worked as a Certified Public Accountant, IL contributor Lynn Roulo moved to Greece—with her dog, her two cats, and one suitcase in tow.

“I moved without a local job or a significant relationship waiting for me in Athens, so it was a big step into the unknown,” says Roulo. “But it didn’t feel scary or anxiety-provoking. The idea of moving and starting a fresh new life energized me. That was in 2012, and I still feel a sense of excitement that I get to live here.

“When I moved from San Francisco to Athens, I was pleasantly shocked to learn I could rent a comfortable 70-meter apartment with a modern bathroom and kitchen, as well as a huge private roof deck with a view of the Parthenon for less money than it would have cost me to rent a studio basement apartment in the worst neighborhood in San Francisco.

“Greece is a great choice for expats because of its amazing weather, hospitable people, its relatively low cost of living and its location, giving visitors easy access to travel to a wide range of other countries. You can go to London or Lebanon for a long weekend.”

“And if you have a dream to move, don’t give up on it. These dreams come from somewhere, and moving abroad may just be the best decision of your entire life. I know it was for me.”

Greece already has in place a “Golden Visa,” (effectively an investment visa) which grants long-term residence—with a path to citizenship and a passport—to people who make an investment in real estate valued at EUR250,000 (roughly $300,000) or higher. That’s about half the investment threshold required for a similar visa in places like Portugal or Italy where the necessary investment is closer to $600,000.

Most exciting, though, is a new visa aimed at attracting digital nomads, set to come online soon, the editors at International Living report. They argue it makes very good sense for a person who has the flexibility to work remotely and likes the idea of a sunny European base.

“Finally—a remote worker incentive plan that actually makes a lot of sense,” says Jeff D. Opdyke, editor of Global Intelligence Letter, a publication of International Living.

The new plan that Greece is now in the process of assembling…it looks to be one of the smartest remote-worker visas I’ve come across. That’s because under the Greek plan as currently envisioned, a ‘digital migrant,’ as the Greeks call us, will be eligible for a 50% exemption on earned income for the first seven years. In essence, you owe local taxes on only half your income.

For someone who’s still in the workforce and looking to maximize their savings opportunities as they approach retirement, sharply reducing your tax burden for seven years represents an intriguing opportunity to squirrel away more money.

“Though Greece hasn’t finalized details of its plan yet, the Greek approach looks to allow for longer living arrangements, given the seven years of tax breaks. And it just so happens that ‘long-term migrants,’ which is what you’d be as a digital worker, are eligible for Greek citizenship after seven years. Which means you could apply for a Greek passport…which is an E.U. passport…which would give you unfettered access to live and work across the rest of the European Union, no different than if you were moving from Tampa to Tucson.”

A person considering a move to Greece will want to carefully research the options for visas and residence permits. International Living’s report details the best of them for expats looking for a full- or part-time retirement in Greece, including a discussion of this new digital nomad visa on the horizon.

But accessible residence is just one of the many reasons to love living in Greece. It’s an easy place to adopt a healthy lifestyle, the entire country is physically breathtaking, and the Greek people have a well-earned reputation for being friendly, helpful, and genuinely caring.

Here are four more reasons why International Living recommends Greece as a potential destination for anybody ready to move out of the U.S.:

1.     Good-Value Cost of Living

Greece is super-affordable, especially when compared to North America and much of the rest of Europe. Prices for daily essentials (food, transport, etc.) are at least 20% cheaper than in the U.S., and costs to rent an apartment can be as much as 70% less.

Throughout Greece, expats will save money by using public transport, avoiding touristy areas, shopping at local markets, and eating out where the Greeks do. A budget-conscious expat can live comfortably in Greece for $1,830 a month or less.

2.     Welcoming and Easy Lifestyle

Greece is a proud nation that emphasizes family, tradition, and a love of the outdoors. Because tourism plays such an important part in the Greek economy, English is widely spoken in many areas and the country’s infrastructure caters well for locals and visitors alike.

Expats enjoy lots of options in terms of lifestyle: from a sturdy lakefront cabin in the mountains, to a rooftop apartment on the outskirts of Thessaloniki, to a low-maintenance beachfront unit on Mykonos, residents are guaranteed plenty of sunshine and four distinct (though mild) seasons—even though the Greeks tend to think in terms of ‘summer and everything else’.

3.     Excellent Healthcare

The quality of medical care in Greece is generally excellent, especially in major centers like Athens and Thessaloniki. Emergency healthcare in Greece is free regardless of nationality. Pharmacies are abundant throughout the country—Greece has more pharmacists per capita than any other nation in Europe.

4.     Safety

Greece is one of the safest countries in Europe, and has an easy-going, relaxed feel.

Roulo, based in Athens, says, “As a single woman, I feel very safe living here. Crime here is significantly lower than in the United States, the police presence is strong, and there is no need for ‘active shooter’ drills in Greece.”

Basic precautions with regard to personal belongings will prevent rare cases of petty theft.

About International Living

Since 1979, InternationalLiving has been the leading authority for anyone looking for global retirement or relocation opportunities. Through its monthly magazine and related e-letters, extensive website, podcasts, online bookstore, and events held around the world, InternationalLiving provides information and services to help its readers live better, travel farther, have more fun, save more money, and find better business opportunities when they expand their world beyond their own shores. Their website has more than 200 contributors traveling the globe, investigating the best opportunities for travel, retirement, real estate, and investment.

ATHEN JOINS AIR ITALY NETWORK

Athens joins Air Italy network thanks to new agreement with Aegean Airlines

Air Italy US passengers can reach Athens via seamless connection in Malpensa. Athens easily reachable via Milan for Air Italy customers from central and southern Italy

Starting from today, Air Italy has added Athens as a new destination to its network, thanks to the signing of a new Special Prorate Agreement with Aegean Airlines.

Air Italy passengers travelling from our four US destinations – Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami and New York – and from Toronto can now easily reach the Greek capital via Air Italy’s Milan Malpensa hub, continuing with flights directly to Athens on Aegean Airlines.

In addition, all Air Italy customers departing from the main airports of central and southern Italy, such as Rome, Naples, Palermo, Catania, Lamezia Terme, Cagliari and Olbia will now have the opportunity to fly Athens via Malpensa.

Rossen Dimitrov, Air Italy’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “This partnership between Air Italy and Aegean Airlines offers significant new travel opportunities for the passengers of both carriers, adding a wide range of options and attractive destinations to both airlines.

“With a large Greek expatriate population in the United States and many Greeks wanting to access our Italian and US destinations, I’m confident this new SPA will bring many benefits to both carriers as well as countless passengers of both airlines.

“We are very proud to welcome the passengers of Aegean, traveling from Athens, on board our Air Italy flights, connecting via Malpensa to Rome, Naples, Catania, Palermo, Lamezia Terme, Cagliari and Olbia, to discover the best of our “Bel Paese”.”

“And we are just as pleased to host them on our new intercontinental flights, where they can experience the extreme comfort of our long-haul Airbus A330-200 aircraft, with our new service for both Business and Economy Class.”

Business Class customers on board the new Air Italy intercontinental flights can enjoy Air Italy’s completely new on-board business product, that was revealed just this spring on the first Milan-Los Angeles flight.

Featuring an entirely new tableware, in-flight dining menus, cutlery and chinaware that have all been specially crafted to meet travellers’ expectations, Air Italy’s Business Class passengers will also enjoy an even more elevated experience thanks to the introduction of a dining-on-demand service.

“Complementing our new product, we have our new dine-on-demand service, meaning our Business Class customers can select from our extensive à la carte menu at any time, and in any order, to create their own unique dining experience – all of which delivers yet again on our brand promise as we help our customers to – Imagine The World Differently,” added Mr Dimitrov.

Air Italy’s customers can also take advantage of the Wi-Fi service, an extensive inflight entertainment service and the personalized attention of the on-board staff.

URL : http://press.airitaly.com/athens-joins-air-italy-network-thanks-to-new-agreement-with-aegean-airlines/

Treatment of Afghan Interpreters

Approximately one month, the Director of Faith Matters, Fiyaz Mughal, highlighted the plight of Afghan Interpreter, Mohammed Nabi, and how he was sleeping rough on the streets of Athens. Nabi’s case was initially documented and he was assisted by Jess Webster, who works with refugees in Greece.

Having heard of the case, the petition by the Director of Faith Matters, has now reached over 116,000 signatories within 5 weeks. It is now being backed by the Sun on Sunday and has also been highlighted by the Daily Mail and the Metro. Yet, the Government have made no headway in addressing this issue. There is therefore a groundswell of public opinion backing Nabi’s case, yet the politicians refuse to even acknowledge this case.

Mohammed Nabi worked for ISAF and British forces in Afghanistan between 2008-2011. He has received numerous commendations for his work with British Forces such as from the 1st Battalion of the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment. He was instrumental in interpreting Taliban commands in real time when in the field with British soldiers and thereby he was key to tracking Taliban troop movements and attack points against British soldiers.

Speaking to Mughal in Athens he said that:
“My role was to work with commanding officers and I was the bridge between Afghan forces and British commanding officers. When officers from the British army went to speak to village elders, I was with them. There was an unwritten command that Taliban leaders gave to their forces to kill Afghan Interpreters first so that British and ISAF forces would be blind in the field. I was at risk of suicide bombers in such situations in villages as they tried to target British commanding officers and their interpreters”.

Nabi left working with the British armed forces after 1 year, (in 2009), because of threats from senior Afghan commanders made against his family and against him. He rejoined ISAF and British forces within 3 months of leaving since his skills were suited to armed forces work and he could not find other work and served again as an Afghan interpreter until 2011.

In 2016, an attempted kidnap against him failed and ‘night knocks’ against his front door raised threat levels against him and he fled on foot through Iran and into Turkey where he lounged for 18 months with no assistance from aid agencies who were assisting families. They were therefore not focused on assisting young single men.

Repeated attempts to highlight his case and the threat to his four children and wife failed in Turkey and he was left destitute and penniless, where he took up shepherding for basic subsistence. Each month though, saw the Taliban makes gains and come closer to his village and Nabi said that the policy of the Taliban to the children of people who assisted ISAF forces was to call them ‘sons of snakes, who were snakes themselves’. In other words, the children of Afghan interpreters were at serious of attack.

In 2016, to highlight his case he left Turkey and ended up being arrested in Greece and jailed. He was eventually released and claimed asylum though ended up penniless sleeping on a park bench in Athens where the Director of Faith Matters met up with him.

Speaking about the plight of Afghan Interpreters and in particular Nabi’s case, Fiyaz Mughal OBE, who developed the petition and who worked with the Sun on Sunday to highlight his case, said:

“Nabi has been denied entry into the UK and given no assistance when he approached UK Government agencies. How can this be right when he saw Afghan colleagues die in battle and Nabi was there saving British lives by interpreting Taliban commands whilst rounds went over his head. The only possessions he has are the plastic-coated commendations from officers because of his work in the field. It is disgusting the way that this man has been treated.

“The treatment of Afghan interpreters is a national disgrace and what the petition and the support from national newspapers shows is that the public care, whilst politicians have shown little courage in addressing this matter. I believe that anyone who has served more than a year in Afghanistan supporting our armed forces and who can show that their lives are in danger because of their work, must be let in. We relied on them to keep our armed forces safe, and now they need our help. This national disgrace must end and I will keep speaking out”.

Kimora Lee Simmons Joins The Unmentionables to Aid Refugees in Greece

Athens, Greece, June 20th, 2018: In an impassioned show of support for today’s World Refugee Day, fashion designer, entrepreneur and philanthropist Kimora Lee Simmons and her family are on the ground in Greece with international nonprofit The Unmentionables working with refugees, listening to their stories and learning what can be done to help this vulnerable population. In April of this year, Simmons was named Global Ambassador to The Unmentionables, and together with her family she is helping protect refugees from exploitation and trafficking. Coupled with her business acumen and passion for empowering others, she has emerged as a powerful voice for human rights via her desire to bring awareness to the annual World Refugee Day on Wednesday, June 20th.

Simmons and her family are taking a hands-on approach to giving, dedicating time this summer to migrant and refugee families on behalf of The Unmentionables, who provide training, supplies and education to the refugee community in Greece. Through funds raised on 2017’s Giving Tuesday and a generous personal donation from Simmons, a new resource center for refugees in Athens, Greece was opened earlier this year. Simmons and her family will work from the center and along the migrant path, providing safe and consistent access to basic, important intimate health products as well as sexual health and reproductive education and care to refugees.

According to the International Rescue Committee, Greece, a popular European entry point to migrants escaping perilous conditions in the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa, currently hosts approximately 50,000 refugees. Earlier this year, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), expressed grave concerns for the safety of women and children in what are known as “hotspots” on Greece’s islands — specifically focusing on overcrowding and lack of hygiene and sanitation. Five camps on Greek islands close to the Turkish coast have surpassed double their capacity as reported by Public Radio International in May 2018. UNICEF warned that in 2017, over 1,800 unaccompanied children were without proper shelter and care in Greece alone. The number of children arriving separated from their families is unprecedented, and currently more than 75% of migrant and refugee children trying to reach Europe via the Central Mediterranean route face appalling levels of sexual abuse, exploitation and trafficking. EU border agency, Frontex, has reported that human trafficking has been on the rise over the past few years (April 2018, ANSA). Human trafficking is prevalent for refugees, especially on the Central Mediterranean route according to an IOM report— 76% of male and 67% of female respondents answered “yes” to at least one of four human trafficking indicators. The indicators include experience of physical violence, work without payment and imprisonment. 80% of males and 66% of females experienced physical violence of any sort during their journey, while 64% of male and 56% of female were held against their will (2017, IOM).

Trafficking and sexual exploitation is not just limited to girls. Although adolescent boys comprise a substantial majority of the population of unaccompanied and separated children, they are rarely the focus of policy discussions and are consistently left out of gender-based violence prevention and response efforts (2018, PLoS Med). The majority of unaccompanied minors in Greece particularly are boys between ages 14-17, stranded and awaiting decisions on asylum and processing, without adequate shelter or ways to generate income. As a result of increasingly dire circumstances, sexual exploitation of minors is rapidly increasing everywhere from encampments to public spaces, where young boys desperate to survive are exploited by older men for payment.

“It’s incredibly important to me to expose this global crisis and bring attention to the level of deep, humanitarian need that exists to support persecuted people around the world,” comments Simmons. “I am deeply grateful to support World Refugee Day and that I can expose my own children to opportunities to make true, hands-on impact for the greater good. There are so many strife-torn families and separated children that need our collective protection as fellow humans to ensure their safety – how can we turn a blind eye? These kids look a lot like mine – they are young, hopeful, beautiful souls.” World Refugee Day, founded by the UN and held annually every June 20th, was designed to spotlight the plight of migrant refugees fleeing for their lives. A staggering 65.6 million people around the world have been forced from home, and among them are nearly 22.5 million refugees, over half of whom are under the age of 18. Nearly 20 people are forcibly displaced every minute as a result of conflict or persecution across our world (UNHCR).

Simmons’ partnership with The Unmentionables initially began in 2017, and her role in the organization has steadily grown. She will further her philanthropic commitment to this cause throughout the year, dedicating fundraising efforts to further the impact of the humanitarian global aid The Unmentionables provides to those most in need. Along with her unwavering commitment, Simmons will continue to advocate for refugees at risk of sexual exploitation and human trafficking.

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About The Unmentionables

The Unmentionables is a non-profit organization committed to providing forcibly displaced individuals and communities around the world with safe and consistent access to sexual and reproductive health education, services, protection and empowerment programs, providing them the knowledge, tools, and skills to make well-informed decisions for their futures. Since 2016, The Unmentionables has supplied more than 147,581 intimate health products. The Unmentionables is legally based in the USA and is a tax-exempt charity designated as a 501(c)(3) organization.

Find more information about The Unmentionables on the organization’s website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or by emailing info@theunmentionablesglobal.org.

About Kimora Lee Simmons

Kimora Lee Simmons has had a successful career as a fashion model, creative director, fashion and lifestyle entrepreneur and philanthropist. She is currently founder and CEO of KLS Holdings LLC and the KIMORA LEE SIMMONS designer brand. A native of St. Louis, Mo., Simmons began her career as a fashion model at the early age of 13, when she was personally chosen by well-known fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld as his muse for the house of Chanel in Paris. Her success as a runway model gave her an innate sense of style that propels her as a fashion designer. As a venture capitalist, Kimora manages KLS Holdings and its dynamic portfolio which encompasses fashion, beauty, technology, nutrition and fitness.

Simmons has also made her mark in Hollywood. Her upbeat, fun, and charismatic personality keeps her in demand as a media personality and lifestyle authority. She has hosted E!’s Fashion Police and went on to produce and star in Style Network’s highest rated series, Life in the Fab Lane. An enthusiastic philanthropist and patron of the arts, Simmons lends her time and support to numerous charitable organizations, especially those institutions that target disadvantaged youth. She established the Kimora Lee Simmons Scholarship Fund with New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology and FIDM in Los Angeles for students who aspire to pursue careers in all areas of the fashion industry. She also lends her time and resources to the Hetrick-Martin Institute, Dress for Success and Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, where she is on the board of directors.

As part of her collaboration with The Unmentionables, Simmons and her family traveled to Texas last summer to help with organization’s relief efforts following Hurricane Harvey. She also has helped to fund the distribution of reusable menstrual products through the organization’s partners in Kenya and matched donations on Giving Tuesday, raising a record breaking fundraising amount for The Unmentionables with the help of her large and enthusiastic social network.

RETROGRADE

 

“A perfectly balanced duo. They both have incredible skills. They both have wonderful voices. The harmonies are fabulous. And they play the heck out of the guitar…” – NPR Music

Capitol Records will release Retrograde, the new EP from Striking Matches, on February 9. The EP’s title track and “Desire” are selections from the band’s upcoming full-length album, due out later this year. The collection also includes the duo’s compelling version of Buffalo Springfield’s classic protest song, “For What It’s Worth.”

 

Striking Matches will join Phillip Phillips on the first leg of The Magnetic Tour. The North American run will include a two-night stand at The Sinclair in Cambridge, MA (February 14 & 15), a February 18 show at Irving Plaza in New York City and a concert at 3rd and Lindsley in Nashville on February 25. Tickets can be purchased at http://www.strikingmatches.com/#/tour

 

The duo – comprising Sarah Zimmermann and Justin Davis – recently made its Sundance Film Festival debut, performing at the ASCAP Music Café. The pair was also featured on the NFL’s “Heart of the Game” webseries.

 

After releasing the Shameless EP onCapitol Recordslast fall, Striking Matches toured North America and Europe with JOHNNYSWIM. The Tampa Bay Times said, “Striking Matches are both an amazing acoustic songwriting duo and a pair of bluesy electrifying performers…Their voices vibrantly bounce off each other to fun harmonies, most notably in ‘Medicine,’ a song that got the crowd singing along almost immediately.”

 

Watch Striking Matches perform “Medicine” live from Capitol Studios in Hollywood in this video.

Shameless, which was produced by Kennedy Karate (Børns), follows the duo’s 2015 debut album, Nothing But The Silence, which has racked up more than 10 million cumulative streams worldwide.

 

Nothing But The Silence, which was produced by T Bone Burnett,won acclaim in the U.S. and abroad. NPR’s “World Café” hailed Striking Matches as an “Artist to Watch” andBuzzfeednamed the duo as one of the “Artists You Need In Your Life.” USA Today said, “Sarah Zimmermann and Justin Davis give off sparks as singers and writers, but they’re even hotter guitarists. Incendiary.” American Songwriter observed, “these songs crackle and sizzle.” Nothing But The Silence debuted at No. 1 on the iTunes UK Country Chart and several tracks were featured on BBC Radio 2’s playlist.

 

Zimmermann grew up outside Philadelphia, and mastered the guitar, clarinet and violin before middle school. Davis, who is from Atlanta, began playing guitar at an early age. A professor at Belmont University in Nashville paired them up for class projects, and they soon started writing together. Nine of their songs were performed in the first four seasons of the hit television show “Nashville.” In addition to numerous headline outings, Striking Matches have opened for Train and toured the U.S. with The Secret Sisters on a co-headline tour.

 

Retrograde – Track Listing

 

  1. Retrograde
  2. Desire
  3. For What It’s Worth

 

Striking Matches – 2018 Tour Dates

Supporting Phillip Phillips

 

2/10 – Charlotte, NC @ The Neighborhood Theatre

2/11 – Norfolk, VA @ The NorVa Theater

2/13 – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer

2/14 – Cambridge, MA @ The Sinclair

2/15 – Cambridge, MA @ The Sinclair

2/17 – Silver Spring, MD @ The Fillmore

2/18 – New York, NY @ Irving Plaza

2/20 – Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle

2/22 – Athens, GA @ Georgia Theatre

2/23 – Atlanta, GA @ Variety Playhouse

2/24 – Macon, GA @ Cox Capitol Theatre

2/25 – Nashville, TN @ 3rd and Lindsley

2/27 – Charleston, SC @ Music Farm

2/28 – Saint Petersburg, FL @ Palladium Theatre

3/2 – Jacksonville, FL @ Florida Theatre

3/3 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL @ Revolution Live

UNIVERSITY OF KENT CONTRIBUTE TO 5G TRIALS

Real-world tests of 5G technologies that could deliver dramatically faster data transfer speeds than 4G networks took place in Warsaw earlier this month.

The tests were conducted by the RAPID 5G consortium, which is a European Union-Japan Horizon 2020 research project which started in 2014 and is formed of universities, research institutes, telecom operators and infrastructure manufacturers, of which academics from the University of Kent’s School of Engineering and Digital Arts (EDA) are members. The tests examined the possibilities of running extremely high-speed data transfer rates of up to 10 Gb/s at very low latency to a large number of devices.

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RAPID5G contributes to the future of mobile communications by developing technologies next generation mobile wireless networks. 

The trial, led by Polish telecoms company Exatel, involved a live ‘field test’ in a shopping centre in Warsaw which broadcast 4K and 8K video streams from 5G antennas to a computer fitted with VR goggles at speeds of 800Mb/s.

This was designed to test the interoperability of all the elements of the network infrastructure, with particular focus on the conversion of the video transmissions from back-end fibre networks to the 5G mobile spectrum in use.

There are now plans to test the technology again at a football stadium in Osaka, Japan next month.

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Established in 1965, the University of Kent – the UK’s European university – now has almost 20,000 students across campuses or study centres at Canterbury, Medway, Tonbridge, Brussels, Paris, Athens and Rome. Kent is ranked 17th in the UK for research intensity (REF 2014). It has world-leading research in all subjects and 97% of its research is deemed by the REF to be of international quality. (featured image: Canterbury Campus)