In addition to being a relevant talent, Martha holds acting workshops for children. Pre-pandemic, she’s conducted after school programs at Public Schools Brooklyn. Moreover, she produced an online drama education curriculum for 10-16 years old. Some of the participants are from Brazil, Portugal and Israel.
As a globetrotter, Martha has visited a plethora of countries: Spain, Greece, Aruba, Peru, Indonesia, Guatemala and Panama.
To maintain her youthful exterior, Martha maintains a rigorous fitness regimen eith running and high-intensity training.
There is a special energy created when a rapper and stellar producer have an undeniable synergy. Sydney/Eora based Young Franco and US based rapper Pellare becoming an international duo that perfectly tap into and reflect the power of collaboration, now releasing their 4th collaborative effort “Like That” alongside fellow Perth raised, Berlin producer Jafunk. Listen HERE.
Sonically, Young Franco and Jafunkcombine to create a track that reflects the golden era of club driven rap music, pioneered in Virginia by production greats including Pharrell, The Neptunesand Timbaland. Its bounce-ready percussion runs perfectly with quickly strummed guitars and a slapping bass line. On the top line front, Pellis in no rush to get his slick bars off, gliding over the beat with an elegance and class before riding it out with an infectious hook its final third.
Young Franco and Pellhave a track record of creating successful musical outings. Their first outing, Juice spent 9 weeks at the #1 position on Spotify’s flagship indie playlist Front Left, BBC Radio 1 Spins from Annie Mac and Molly King, as well as featuring as Zane Lowe‘s ‘Next Wave’ artist on Beats1. Then followed Fallin’ Apart alongside Denzel Curry, which featured as the soundtrack for an Apple Airpods campaign, which was viewed over 4 million times. It also sat at #1 on the US Shazam discovery Chart for 4 weeks and has seen over 5 million likes on TikTok and 700 million views.
Jafunkenters the equation with distinct swagger and energy. The Perth raised; Berlin based producer has become renowned in local circles for his funky & soulful take on traditional house music. His remix of Set Mo‘s Chasing Forever has achieved over 5 million streams, with his follow up songs receiving millions on plays being hosted on tastemaker channels including Majestic Casual, The Sound You Need and Selected.
Young Franco‘s past two years have been his biggest yet. He’s currently sitting on over 135 million streams across all singles to date, with over 1 million monthly listeners on Spotify. In that period of time he sound tracked the new-look Australian Football League, and has received global sync’s for brands including Apple, Starbucks, Topshop and Kia. Currently, he’s touring the United States and has locked in massive festival slots at Lollapalooza, Falls Festival, Spilt Milk & Lost Paradise.
As we surpass the midway point of 2022, it’s safe to say this year has been nothing short of earth-shaking. From the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the landmark ruling in Roe v. Wade, to the devastating number of mass shootings that have struck the United States, 2022 has been full of alarming headlines. Let’s take a look at some of the most prominent stories for the month of July.
Heatwaves in Europe
Recently, many countries in Europe, such as Britain, Italy, France, Spain, Germany have experienced unusually high temperatures, with local highs reaching 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius), which caused numerous wildfires.
Forest fires also broke out in many parts of Italy. One of the fires threatened to cut power and water to parts of the northeastern city of Trieste.
Meanwhile, the homes in Winnington, England were also damaged by the local fire. Some residents say they lost everything in the fire.
Scientists warn that extreme heat is exacerbated by climate change, making heat waves more intense and frequent and that the dry weather is likely to fuel wildfires.
Shinzo Abe dies from two gunshots
On July 8th, former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe suffered a terrorist attack while giving a speech in Nara city. Although Shinzo Abe had been hospitalized soon after being shot, the local fire department reported that he stopped cardiopulmonary function immediately after falling to the ground.
The incident occurred at around 11:30 a.m. local time as Abe made a speech in front of about 30 people near a subway station in Nara city, where he was campaigning for a liberal Democratic Party candidate in the upper house election. An unidentified man shot Abe from his back around 3 meters away. The Nara fire department said Abe lost consciousness, breath, and heartbeat after falling to the ground. Sixty-seven years old Abe was taken by helicopter to a hospital for emergency treatment and declared dead at 5:03 p.m. local time. The Japan Fire and Disaster Management Agency later confirmed that Abe was shot in the left chest and the right side of the neck.
The suspect was arrested at the scene. According to Japanese media reports, the suspect is a man called Tetsuya Yamagami, 41 years old, a resident of Nara. He confessed to killing Abe with his homemade weapon and holding a grudge against a specific religious group. According to Tetsuya Yanagami, he attacked Abe in the end because his original target, one of the leaders of that group, was not there, and Abe was tied to that religious group.
At the end of June, US President Joe Biden signed a gun safety bill, almost one month following the catastrophic Uvalde elementary school massing shooting. The bill entails granting “groups [the ability] to petition courts to remove weapons from people deemed a threat to themselves or others.”
Other details of the bill include halting individuals that have been convicted of domestic abuse to own a gun, as well as increasing background checks on individuals from the ages of 18-to-21-years-old pursuing to purchase a gun.
Jayland Walker murdered in police shooting
25-year-old Jayland Walker was shot dead in a car/foot pursuit after he was stopped by police officers for traffic and equipment violations in Akron, Ohio. Recent video footage from the bodycams of officers involved in the pursuit and on the scene have just been released, and protests have undergone seeking justice surrounding the confrontation.
The chase began when Walker left the scene of a traffic stop on June 27. In the video footage release to the public, narration speaks that “a sound consistent with a gunshot can be heard,” with officers thinking that the noise came from Walker’s car.
After officers continued to pursue Walker, he stopped his car and began to run, while tasers were used to attempt to halt him. Akron Police Chief Stephen Mylett stated that after this, Walker “stopped and quickly turned towards the pursuing officers.” Walker was shot then, pronounced dead at the scene, unarmed.
While the shooting is under investigation, it has been revealed that a medical examiner found that Walker endured around 60 gunshot injuries from officers. Protests have undergone since Walker was killed, continuing to raise more awareness to the scarce gun control in the United States.
9 dead amongst weekend of Chicago shootings
Amidst the holiday weekend of the 4th of July, an array of shootings took place in Chicago, Illinois. A fatal shootout took place on the evening of July 1, and more shootings continued throughout the weekend. The devastating array of shootings left 9 dead and around 57 people suffering gunshot injuries.
Highland Park Fourth of July parade shooting leaves at least 6 dead
A gunman disrupted the Highland Park Fourth of July parade in Illinois this Independence Day. The shooting left an estimated 6 people dead with other two dozen suffering injuries from the catastrophe. The suspected gunman is allegedly a white man between the age of 18- to 20-years-old, and has not been identified yet.
Ukraine news : the latest Russian invasion update
Russia claims to have destroyed a mercenary deployment point in Mykolaiv. Russian Defense Ministry spokesman, Igor Konashenkov, said in his morning war report that the Russian Aerospace Forces attacked this place with high-precision weapons.
Player Brittney Griner’s desperate letter of help to Joe Biden
The WNBA player has been detained in Russia since February and she is accused of carrying cartridges with hashish oil when she was going to take a plane and could face a sentence of 10 years in prison. Brittney wrote to the president of the United States, Joe Biden, and asked for his help to get out of the Russian prison and return to her home as soon as possible.
Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker break the silence on the recent hospitalization of the drummer of Blink 182
The couple wanted to post their opinions about Barker‘s recent hospitalization on their verified social media accounts. “I went in for an endoscopy Monday feeling great,” Barker posted in a note posted on her Instagram stories. “But after dinner, I developed excruciating pain and have been hospitalized ever since.”
Travis explained that during his endoscopy, he had “a very small polyp removed right in a very sensitive area, usually handled by specialists, which unfortunately damaged a critical pancreatic drainage tube.” “This resulted in severe pancreatitis that was life-threatening,” he added. “I am very, very grateful that with the intensive treatment I am now much better.”
Copenhagen: At least 3 dead and several injured in a mass shooting in a shopping mall that occurred this Sunday in Denmark
Prime Minister, Mette Frederiksen, assured that the authorities continue to investigate what happened. “Denmark was hit by a cruel attack on Sunday night. Several were killed. Even more were injured,” she said.
What is known about the attacker? A 22-year-old man was arrested in connection with the attack. On the morning of this Monday (July 4th), the Danish capital’s police chief, Soeren Thomassen, declared that his department does not believe that the attack was a terrorist event and assured that the suspect has a history of mental health problems.
Egypt: closes its beaches in the Red Sea due to a series of shark attacks
The Egyptian authorities closed several beaches on the Red Sea coast due to the death of two tourists due to different shark attacks. The regional governor said one of the victims was a 68-year-old Austrian woman whose arm was ripped off by a shark while she was swimming near the city of Hurghada.
It is rare for sharks to attack people in the Red Sea, but this year, there have been several incidents involving tourists.
British Airways cancels more than 1,000 summer flights from Gatwick and Heathrow
BA will cancel more than 1,000 additional flights this summer from Gatwick and Heathrow as staff shortages continue to affect its operations. More than 100,000 travelers planning to visit popular holiday destinations such as Spain or Portugal will be affected, although British Airways will mainly reduce routes with multiple daily departures.
Puerto Rican singer Ricky Martin breaks his silence after being denounced for domestic violence
Through a statement shared on Twitter, Ricky Martin assures that the accusations are “completely false” and that he will face the process responsibly. As it is a case under the Law for the Prevention of Domestic Violence, the Puerto Rico police have not revealed the name of the complainant.
As it is a case under the Law for the Prevention of Domestic Violence, the Puerto Rico police have not revealed the name of the complainant. In this way, his identity has been the subject of numerous speculations. As stated by the Puerto Rican newspaper El Vocero, the order indicates that Ricky Martin and the person who has denounced him were together for seven months and separated two years ago.
The measure aims to “address the current situation with extraordinary means and powers, with relief interventions and assistance to the affected population and restore the functionality of public and strategic services and strategic network infrastructures”, the Italian Government has revealed in a statement picked up by the transalpine press.
Australia’s largest city, Sydney, is affected by flooding
The floods in Sydney affect more than 30,000 inhabitants. Besides, mountainous seas and wild weather along the New South Wales coast thwarted plans to salvage a wrecked cargo ship with 21 crew members. Emergency crews carried out 100 rescues overnight Tuesday of people trapped in cars on flooded roads or in flooded houses in the Sydney area, State Emergency Service manager Ashley Sullivan said.
According to the local authorities, the incident happened shortly after midnight when a group of men armed with rifles and 9-millimeter pistols entered the bar. They shooted at the customers, causing 12 people dead at the scene and 2 more were cleared dead after being sent to the hospital. Police said that the suspects are still on the run.
Days of torrential rain have caused waterways to overflow and dams to overflow, producing a fourth flood emergency in 16 months in parts of the city of 5 million people.
We are facing one of the biggest events of the summer, and many fanatics of the Marvel Cinematic Universe are eager to know how many surprises they will discover within it. Who knows! Perhaps there is not room for so many, at least if we look at the supposed length of the film that would have been leaked by some of the American theater chains, and that would leave us with the shortest Marvel movie since 2018. Are you ready to watch it? Coming soon in cinemas.
UK government crisis
The mismanagement of the scandals of the celebrations in the Coronavirus pandemic and in the ranks of his party knocked down the prime minister. On Wednesday, Boris Johnson continued to fight to stay in power as prime minister, in turn sacking cabinet minister Michael Gove after his government was rocked by a wave of ministerial resignations.
In a statement to Parliament on Wednesday, Sajid Javid, a British Conservative Party politician, said after his resignation that “the problem starts from the top and that is not going to change.”
10-year-old rape victim travels across state lines to undergo abortion
One of the most shocking and prominent stories that broke the internet amidst the US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade involves a 10-year-old rape victim. The young girl was refused the ability to have an abortion in her home state of Ohio. While she was six weeks and three days pregnant, this exceeded the ban in Ohio to perform an abortion at six weeks.
In Ohio, a child abuse doctor referred the victim to an obstetrician-gynecologist in Indiana to perform the procedure. She then traveled to undergo the practice, where the abortion ban had not been implemented. The Supreme Court’s decision shifted the rules on abortions in Ohio, where previously abortions were not banned until later in a pregnancy.
James Caan dies at the age of 82
James Caan, the actor who played Sonny Corleone in The Godfather has died. The American actor died on the night of July 6, as reported by his relatives on Twitter. “The family appreciates the love and condolences and asks that their privacy continue to be respected at this difficult time.”
Brittney Griner pleads guilty to drug charges in Russia
WNBA Phoenix Mercury star Brittney Griner has been stuck in Russia since February of 2022. Griner was at the Sheremetyevo International Airport when officials found small units of hashish oil in her belongings. Once discovered, she was taken into custody immediately, facing up to 10 years in prison in Russia for “large-scale transportation of drugs,” though her cartridge contained less than one gram of the marijuana concentrate.
Amongst the travesty, Griner appeared in trial this month with images of her handcuffed being posted all over social media. She has pleaded guilty to her charges, seemingly in hopes of returning to the US quicker. Griner sent a handwritten letter to the President of the US Joe Biden expressing her concern and fear for her freedom. Segments of the heart wrenching letter were released to the media by Griner’s representatives.
“As I sit here in a Russian prison, alone with my thoughts and without the protection of my wife, family, friends, Olympic jersey, or any accomplishments, I’m terrified I might be here forever,” Griner expressed.
She continued to the president, stating, “I realize you are dealing with so much, but please don’t forget about me and the other American Detainees. Please do all you can to bring us home. I voted for the first time in 2020 and I voted for you. I believe in you. I still have so much good to do with my freedom that you can help restore. I miss my wife! I miss my family! I miss my teammates! It kills me to know they are suffering so much right now. I am grateful for whatever you can do at this moment to get me home.”
With no way to measure how long Griner could be held in Russia, her teammates and supporters have taken a stand to urge for her release. As a Black, LGBTQ WNBA player, many have questioned the treatment of Griner. Her coach presented this point, stating, “If it was LeBron, he’d be home, right? […] It’s a statement about the value of women. It’s a statement about the value of a Black person. It’s a statement about the value of a gay person.”
The chain (Vkusno i Tochka) that replaces McDonald’s in Russia runs out of fries due to the sanctions for the war in Ukraine
Vkusno i Tochka (Delicious and Point), the fast food chain that took over McDonald’s restaurants in Russia in June is now facing a growing shortage of French fries due to Western sanctions against the Russian capital, according to RBK TV reported.
Balenciaga showcases celebrity models at Paris Fashion Week
Kim Kardashian, Dua Lipa, Naomi Campbell, Nicole Kidman become the stars of the Balenciaga fashion show.
Balenciaga’s Fall 2022 Couture Collection fashion show transformed celebrities into the best ambassadors of the firm. Paris has become the center of fashion in recent days, because of Haute Couture Week. The great opportunity has brought together the most recognized faces in the sector, and amazing everyone with one of the most surprising Balenciaga fashion shows to date.
Kim Kardashian, the brand’s muse, melted into a striking black dress. She showed off the same color Naomi wore, but with a more voluminous design. Dua Lipa dazzled in a yellow one-shoulder dress, while Nicole triumphed in a mopped, long, metallic design.
The stars were able to parade through the impressive Balenciaga salons wearing the latest haute couture collection from the house, becoming the protagonists of the event and fashion week in the Parisian city. In this new Balenciaga collection, a common thread between the technological future and the past was seen, where a tribute was made to the work of the founder of the house. “It starts in the future and then sinks into the past, in the Infanta dresses that later became the origin of the house,” said Balenciaga designer and creative director Demna Gvasalia.
These uncovered faces, some of them world-famous, contrasted with the mannequins whose faces the creative director of the ‘Maison’ wanted to cover with black enameled polyurethane helmets, made by the Mercedes design team that made it impossible to identify those who they paraded
During these days, we have also been able to enjoy the designs of other major brands such as Chanel, Giorgio Armani, or Christian Dior. Although without hesitation, Balenciaga has overseen shaking up the ‘fashion’ universe at fashion week in Paris.
Oprah Winfrey’s father, Vernon Winfrey, passes away
At 89 years-old, Vernon Winfrey passed away after battling cancer. His daughter, Oprah Winfrey, released a statement via Instagram, where she stated, “Yesterday with family surrounding his bedside I had the sacred honor of witnessing the man responsible for my life, take his last breath, […] We could feel Peace enter the room at his passing.”
Big Brother 24 premieres
The 24th season of CBS’ Big Brother premiered on July 6 with an all-new cast. 16 contestants entered the Big Brother house, where they’re in for a summer full of game play, strategy, and challenges, all while making life-transforming memories. Who will conquer the competition and take home the $750,000 prize? We can’t wait to see!
Ukraine: 15 killed and 24 trapped by Russian missile
On July 10, a Russian missile hit eastern Ukraine and destroyed part of an apartment building, killing at least 15 people and making 24 buried beneath the debris.
“The search and rescue operation continues,” according to Pavlo Kyrylenko, the governor of Donetsk Oblast, “We have more proof of Russia’s crimes, that they shell residential areas of any community, whether it’s close to the front lines or not.”
Ukraine has accused Russia of launching a bunch of missiles to its cities in recent weeks, targeting civilians. Even though Russia denied the accusation, the army kept attacking population centers like Mariupol, Kharkiv and Severodonetsk.
South Africa: Mass shooting kills at least 15 at a bar
According to the local authorities, the incident happened shortly after midnight when a group of men armed with rifles and 9-millimeter pistols entered the bar. They shooted at the customers, causing 12 people dead at the scene and 2 more were cleared dead after being sent to the hospital. Police said that the suspects are still on the run.
France will deport any foreigner who has committed a serious crime
Under current French regulations, anyone who arrived in France before the age of 13 cannot be expelled. Although, the French government is studying the possibility of facilitating the expulsion from the country of “any foreigner who has committed serious acts”, lifting the age restrictions in this regard, according to Gérald Darmanin, the Minister of the Interior.
The Euro against the Dollar
The European currency reaches its lowest level in 20 years against the dollar. The euro and the dollar, both currencies, have been less than a cent from reaching exactly the same value, when the euro hovered around $1,007 last Monday, down almost 15% since the start of the year. This has been caused by different serious reasons. While the fear in the markets of an economic recession in Europe increases, in a context of growing uncertainty about the continuity in the supply of Russian gas and high inflation.
Brad Pitt’s Bullet Train to premiere in August
August 3 marks the date for the release of all-new film Bullet Train. Directed by David Leitch, Brad Pitt stars as Ladybug, an unlucky assassin determined to do his job peacefully after one too many gigs gone off the rails. Fate, however, may have other plans, as Ladybug’s latest mission puts him on a collision course with lethal adversaries from around the globe—all with connected, yet conflicting, objectives—on the world’s fastest train.
The Bachelorette 19 premieres with two leads
ABC’s The Bachelorette promised to be another one of the “most shocking seasons ever” when they named two women as the lead(s) of the popular reality dating series. After making it to the final three of Season 26 of The Bachelor, Gabby Windey and Rachel Recchia went through a shocking double breakup.
The pair was named the first set of double bachelorettes at the season finale of their original show. Season 19 of the show will now follow their journey to find love. Navigating how to date 30+ men side by side, the season premiered on July 11. Both Gabby and Rachel will travel the world dating a pool of men, hoping to leave engaged and in love!
US President Biden visits Israel and Saudi Arabia
US President Joe Biden made his tenth visit to Israel this summer. Many believe that at the forefront of Biden’s agenda was to tackle negotiations regarding oil production in Saudi Arabia. Others sincerely hoped Biden will tackle the issue of Iran gaining more nuclear weapons.
Uvalde elementary school shooting footage shows law enforcement lacking action
Footage from one of the deadliest mass shootings that the US has endured this year was released. Original video clips from the Robb Elementary School mass shooting that left 21 dead are lightly edited to eliminate identity and sounds of children screaming. The footage was published by the Austin American-Statesmen newspaper just days before family victims were scheduled to watch the footage.
The video shows the gunman crashing a car before shooting at two individuals who responded to the accident. Continuing, footage shows the gunman entering the school carrying his weapon. After he enters the school, a child comes around the corner where he watches the gunman enter another classroom and open fire, to which he runs away in horror.
The most outraging element of the leaked footage reveals officers lack of response to the incident, though they arrived at the scene 77 minutes before shooting the gunman dead. The lack of action from the officers has enraged the community and nation on a widespread scale. Uvalde County Commissioner Ronald Garza stated, “They just didn’t act. They just didn’t move, […] I just don’t know what was going through those policemen’s minds that tragic day, but … there was just no action on their part.”
POLAND: The ashes of more than 7,000 victims of a Nazi extermination camp have been located
The Polish country lost 17% of its population during World War II. An excavation carried out at the site of the former Nazi extermination camp in Soldau, near the city of Dzialdowo, has uncovered 17 tons of ashes which, according to researchers, indicate that at least 7,000 people were cremated there.
The number of victims has been calculated according to the weight of the ashes, Karol Nawrocki, president of the Institute of Historical Memory, has expressed, since a human corpse corresponds to around two kilos of ashes.
Ivana Trump dies at 73
Ivana Trump dies at the age of 73, the first wife of Donald Trump and the former US president has announced it on his social network (Truth Social). The businesswoman was the mother of three of the former president’s children and she was crucial in building his real estate empire. They divorced in 1992, long before Donald Trump entered politics.
Ivana Trump passed away at her Manhattan apartment on July 14. This has been announced by Trump himself on the Truth Social network and who has not indicated the causes of her death.
Greenwood Park Mall shooting leaves four dead
A shooting broke out at the Greenwood Park Mall, in which a gunman killed three and injured two. The unidentified gunman was, too, shot dead by an armed 22-year-old man. Greenwood Police Chief Jim Ison released a statement about the catastrophic event, stating that, “This has shaken us to our core. This isn’t something that we have seen here in Greenwood before. It is absolutely horrendous and our thoughts and prayers are with those loved ones hurting tonight.”
UK undergoes record heatwave
As wildfires spread around Europe, the UK endured scorching, record-breaking temperatures. The UK’s previous leading temperature of 101.7 degrees in July 2019 was estimated to be exceeded on July 18 with predictions of 105 degrees. The heatwave sent the UK into a “Level 4” heat warning which can be defined as a “national emergency.”
FRANCE: Shooting on a terrace of a bar in Paris
One person dead and four injured in a shooting with a Kalashnikov against the terrace of a bar in Paris. The events occurred around 21:30 pm on Popincourt Street. According to the Europe 1 channel, a “Kalashnikov-type” long weapon has been found. “Two individuals got out of a vehicle and shot two individuals sitting on the terrace of a bar,” specified the Paris police headquarters. The main hypothesis of the investigation is a reckoning.
Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck marry in Las Vegas
Actor Ben Affleck and singer Jennifer Lopez got married this Saturday (July 16) in a small family ceremony in which the two children of the singer and her mother have been present. Jennifer Lopez has confirmed the news with a statement. “We did it. Love is beautiful. Love is kind. And it turns out that love is patient. 20-year patience.”
“Exactly what we wanted. Last night we flew to Las Vegas, queued for a license with four other couples, all making the same trip to the wedding capital of the world,” added the singer.
Japan: At Least 30 Endangered Green Sea Turtles Found With ‘Bleeding’ Neck Wounds
At least 30 endangered green sea turtles were found Thursday (July 19) with neck injuries near the remote island of Kumejima in southern Japan’s Okinawa prefecture. Police began investigating the case last Friday after the sea turtles were found at low tide. Some of these were barely breathing and others were bleeding. They had wounds around their necks caused by what appeared to be a blade.
US House passes bill that defends gay marriage rights
After the Supreme Court overturned the landmark decisioning in Roe v. Wade, Justice Clarence Thomas suggested that other milestone rulings needed to be looked at again, like Obergefell v. Hodges, the ruling that established gay marriage rights. In response to this, the US House of Representatives passed a bill that would ensure protection of equal marriage rights.
The bill passed by a vote of 267-157, and would ensure “federal protections for gay marriage and prohibits anyone from denying the validity of a marriage based on the race or sex of the couple.” Now, the bill will be reviewed and voted on by the Senate.
World Health Organization warns that global cases of COVID-19 have doubled in the last six weeks
Infections have reached their maximum peak in the first week of July. So the impact of omicron increased and created the seventh wave of the disease: From about three million weekly cases to six million currently, warned this Wednesday (July 2) the director general of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
“An increase in cases means that there may be more hospitalizations and deaths in the coming weeks,” Tedros Adhanom mentioned at a press conference, noting that most of the current infections seem to belong to the omicron variant, “for now the most contagious known,” he added.
US President Biden tests positive for COVID-19
For the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, US President Joe Biden tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday July 21. It was reported that he took Paxlovid for his symptoms which included a cough, runny nose and overall exhaustion.
Flight cancellations and delays in Germany due to Lufthansa strike
As the airline warned on its website this Monday (July 25) there will be delays and cancellations of flights in Germany due to the Lufthansa strikes this Wednesday (July 27). The warning strike will start at 3.45am and end at 6am this Thursday (July 28), the German Verdi union said in a statement. The German union orders a 9.5% salary increase for Lufthansa ground staff, with a minimum of 350 euros per month for one year.
Police officers in Mexico City seize 1.5 tons of cocaine bound for the West Coast of the US.
Mexican police seized 1.5 tons of cocaine headed for the west coast of the United States, Omar Garcia Harfuch, Secretary of Citizen Security, published on Tuesday (July 26), describing it as “the largest seizure of cocaine in the capital.” During a press conference, Omar commented that the cocaine has a value of up to US$20 million and added that after reaching its final destination it would be worth “almost twice as much, in Los Angeles.”
Red Hot Chilli Peppers announce new album: “Return of the dream canteen”
Selena Gomez chose a Versace design with which she looked like a real princess on her 30th birthday
The actress welcomed her 30th birthday last Friday, July 22. She held a party for her birthday surrounded by family and friends. For this important occasion, the protagonist of her outfit was the elegant dress that she wore from the luxury brand Versace.
The dress is made in a pale peach tone with short sleeves and a delicate tulle that covered Selena’s bodice and neckline. Added to this are the transparent details from the height of the thigh to the end that dragged a few centimeters. To give her dress more prominence, the actress added some hoop earrings and tied her hair up in a high ponytail. There is no doubt that Selena Gomez chose an elegant ‘look’ to welcome her 30 years.
The Latin Grammy 2022 will be held on November 17 in Las Vegas
Another Nicaraguan opposition leader sentenced to 10 years in prison
In Masaya (Nicaragua), an opposition leader from the department of Masaya, Yubrank Suazo, was sentenced this Wednesday (July 27) to 10 years in prison for a crime committed in spreading false news and national integrity, the Nicaraguan Center reported on its social platforms. of Human Rights (Cenidh).
Nicki Minaj advances the release of her new song “Freaky Girl“
The musical return of the rapper after her motherhood is being as successful as we remembered. Nicki was for years the artist who released the most video clips and songs in a calendar year and this year she has returned to her origins by introducing what will be the fifth song of 2022. Its release will be on August 12 under the title of “Freaky Girl.”
Beyoncé releases new album RENAISSANCE
REINAISSANCE was released as Beyoncé’s latest studio album on Friday July 29. The album platforms the reignited dance genre infused with elements of disco, house, and pop music. The icon released the album’s first single “BREAK MY SOUL” earlier in the year, taking the industry by storm.
A breaking news article featured in The New York Times announced that the United States will be imposing a mandatory requirement for negative COVID-19 test results from all incoming, international travelers. The requirement for proof of a negative test in order to fly will begin Tuesday, January 25th.
The CDC has ordered for all travelers to provide proof of a negative test taken no more than 3 days before their travels. Without documentation of a negative test or documentation of recovery supplemented with a letter from a health care provider or public health official, passengers will be prohibited to fly.
The United States is not the only country to be putting in place tighter travel regulations. Due to new mutations of the virus, many countries are adopting stricter border protocol. The New York Times reports:
“Even as the United States moved to impose travel restrictions, citing the danger of the fast-moving variants, a case of the variant spreading in Brazil was identified in Minnesota.”
Variations of the virus in Brazil and South Africa, due to international travel, both pose the threat of COVID-19 mutating. If the virus does mutate, it is potential that the new strain of such will be unreactive to current vaccination efforts.
The New York Times reports that Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, an adviser to President Biden, has commented: “With the world travel that you have, and the degree of transmissibility efficiency, it’s not surprising.” Further, President Biden has broadcasted a ban on travel by all non-citizens into the United States from South Africa, the U.K., Ireland, and 26 other European countries.
An article published today on AP News reported that in attempts to increase vaccination efforts, President Biden announced that his administration is planning to purchase 100 million doses of each of the approved coronavirus vaccines–Pfizer and Moderna. Vaccination deliveries to states will be surged for the next three weeks. The Biden administration has announced that they plan to vaccinate 300 million citizens by the end of summer, as reported by The New York Times.
The President, in a White House briefing on January 26th, commented on importance of increasing vaccination supplies to help Americans:
“And to a nation waiting for action, let me be clearest on this point: Help is on the way. We can do this if we come together, if we listen to the scientists.”
These efforts come at an especially critical time, as the global number of coronavirus cases has surpassed 100 million, reports The Wall Street Journal. However, that has been recent speculation regarding the accuracy of that number. In New York, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s administration has been accused of undercounting the amount of coronavirus deaths that occurred at nursing homes. A report released by Letitia James, the Attorney General of New York, shows that the coronavirus death count appears to have been cut by approximately 50 percent. The report compares the number of facility deaths publicized by the Department of Health–1,229 deaths, versus the number of facility deaths reported the Office of Attorney General–1,914 deaths. This staggering discrepancy between reported deaths has spurred suspicion against Cuomo, and the Office of Attorney General (OAG) is conducting an on-going investigation concerning the cause of these variances.
However, there is still hope. In Los Angeles, Governor Gavin Newsom rescinded the county’s stay-at-home order this past Monday, reports The Los Angeles Times. This new jurisdiction will allow for all counties in California to return to the four-tier, colored-coded system of assessing coronavirus risk. Lifting the imposed stay-at-home order could allow for the reopening of personal care services and outdoor dining. While LA has been particularly hard hit by coronavirus, the city actually has a higher vaccination rate than most other comparable cities in the U.S. The New York Times reports that “83 percent of the doses the city has received have been administered, compared with 74 percent in New York City; 52 percent in Bexar County, which includes San Antonio; and 58 percent of the doses ordered in Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix.”
While the coronavirus situation is still being closely tracked and monitored, hospitalizations and the number of patients in ICUs have been steadily declining. With hospitalizations at their national lowest since December 13th and an increase in vaccination efforts, there is progress to be recognized, despite current setbacks and uncertainties.
Despite progress in vaccination efforts and decreasing corona virus cases, new virus mutations pose critical cause for concern. In countries across the Asia-Pacific region, a new, more infectious variant–the Delta variant–is causing stay-at-home orders to be again put into place. This new variant was first identified in India, and has quickly been spreading. As restrictions begin yet again, countries across the globe are grappling with the harrowing fate that the pandemic is far from over.
In some major Australian cities, such as Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, and Darwin, residents have been forced into strict lockdowns. Flights are even being banned due to the new threat, with Hong Kong barring British entry. Indefinite stay-at-home orders were extended by the Malaysian government on Monday. In Malaysia, the new variant is especially threatening, as only 6% of the country’s residents are fully vaccinated, reports the New York Times.
India has faced a devastating, major second wave of coronavirus due to the Delta Plus variant, a sub-lineage of the Delta variant. This past spring, the dangerous variant caused thousands of deaths per day, and forced residents into partial stay-at-home orders, yet again. Much like in Malaysia, in India only 5% of the population is fully vaccinated. In fear of a third wave of the virus, Maharashtra’s chief minister, Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray, has authorized the use of a fourth vaccine in an attempt to increase vaccination supplies.
In good news, the Covid-19 vaccination is largely effective against the new Delta variant. However, this Delta variant is 50 percent more contagious than several of the other variants of concern, such as the Alpha variant.
As countries continue reopening, people look toward high vaccination rates to change the coronavirus game. In the U.S. and Britain, officials are planning to, or already have, lift most pandemic restrictions. White House secretary, Jen Psaki, recently announced that the United States would send two million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to Peru. Additionally, the U.S. looks to send 2.5 million doses of the Moderna vaccine to Pakistan. A third shipment of 1.5 million Moderna vaccination doses will be sent to Honduras from the United States.
Looking ahead to this weekend, July 30-Aug 1, 2021, the return of a major musical festival threatens a super-spreader event. The highly infectious variant of COVID-19 has again created a surge in the number of recent coronavirus cases. As festival fans migrate to Chicago for Lollapalooza – the first of which held since 2019 – the Windy City braces for the potentially devastating impact.
Fortunately, the festival is taking several precautions to prevent the spread of the virus. All attendees must be fully vaccinated or show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of event entry. However, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) warns that not all guests will be honest about meeting these requirements.
The head of the BBB, Steve Bernas, warns of the potential for festival scammers who fabricate fake vaccine cards and negative test results. “We anticipate a double whammy this year not only the tickets but also the vaccine cards,” Bernas said in a statement. “The scammers will be out in full force.” He continues, cautioning ticket buyers to be on high-alert: “Just like finding tickets, there are countless ways for consumers to find vaccinations cards online, with online marketplaces, ticket sellers, resellers and the like…and unfortunately, some of them are rip-offs”
One of Chicago’s top coronavirus experts, Dr. Emily Landon, also weighed in on the weekend’s festivities. She argues that Lollapalooza’s 72-hour testing window is too lenient, and that the city is inviting in a massive spike of cases by holding the concert. NBC Chicago reports that Dr. Emily Landon commented, “Lolla has let us down with respect to how vigorously they’re restricting people based on the things that they sort of initially told us (about how) ‘we’re going to be really strict’ and now it’s like they’ve lightened up quite considerably on checking vaccines and negative tests.”
Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady expressed concerns similar to Dr. Emily Landon’s. Recognizing the importance of getting vaccinated, she commented the following in a coronavirus update last week: “We want people to have a good time and we want this to be as safe as it can be…And so certainly we’ll be watching that just as we do any other gathering, but I am more concerned about the many people who have not chosen the COVID vaccine.”
Still, Chicago’s mayor and top doctor still haven’t wavered their support for the much-loved music festival. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot expressed her desire the event to occur as safely as possible, though she didn’t comment on the recent uptick in case numbers and coronavirus hospitalizations. NBC 5 Chicago reports on the current coronavirus statistics in the city:
“Chicago’s average daily number of new cases rose to 130 per day early Monday – a 76% jump compared to last week. The city’s average daily case rate was at 90 per day last week and 41 per day the week before that, meaning it’s more than tripled in roughly three weeks. However, it is still significantly lower than the more than 700 cases per day the city was seeing earlier this year and last, before vaccines were widely available.”
Additional safety measures, including mandatory mask-wearing on public transport, will also be enforced. The Chicago Transit Authority is offering reduced ticket rates this weekend for Lollapalooza travelers.
As Summer winds down, COVID-19 cases are beginning to rise yet again. Several virus variants, including the new Lambda variant, are causing major concern among Americans. In an attempt to quell concern, several cities have launched vaccine passport programs.
Across the United States, metropolitan hubs including New York, San Francisco, and New Orleans are requiring residents to show proof of vaccination before entering indoor spaces. That means that visiting gyms, concerts, restaurants, and more will require citizens to have both of their required vaccination shots. Vaccine passports are not being put in place to stop public gatherings, but are intended to creater safer enviroments outside of one’s home.
However, many Americans are opting to stay indoors yet again, thanks to new variant threats. The Lambda variant, which was first detected in Peru and is quckly spreading through South America, is causing concern among citizens. The New York Times reports that “On June 14, the World Health Organization designated it as a “variant of interest,” meaning, essentially, that experts suspect it could be more dangerous than the original strain.”
However, it has been reported that the Lambda variant is likely not as contagious as other deadly virus mutuations, like the Delta variant. And fortunately, the Lambda variant is able to be combatted by the vaccines that have currently rolled out across the U.S. The New York Times records the climbing numbers of the Lambda variant, “As of mid-June, Lambda had been reported in 29 countries, territories or areas, according toa June 15 updatefrom the W.H.O. The variant had been detected in 81 percent of coronavirus samples sequenced in Peru since April, and 31 percent of those in Chile to date, the agency said.” However, assessing the virus has been difficult due to Latin America’s limited ability to conduct geonomic surveillance and follow-up laboratory studies, reports the NYT. Scientists and medical professionals around the world are currently conducting research to better understand this new variant and its implications.
HotelPlanner’s Delta Variant Coverage:
America’s comeback is in jeopardy. The Delta variant is surging, prompting concerns that we need another lockdown. Travel executives are already huddling, discussing potential next steps to both protect guests and their businesses’ bottom lines. Americans were traveling in record numbers, and people are wondering if this could slow down the sector. How could the Delta variant, and other emerging variants, impact travel?
“We are watching the rapid uptick in Delta variant case infections closely, says Tim Hentschel, Co-Founder and CEO of HotelPlanner. “Although some families may choose to curtail their summer travel plans, we remain confident that the vast majority of Americans who were planning to travel this summer will keep their plans, while exercising more caution with crowds and destination selection. For those who are already vaccinated, the Delta variant shouldn’t be a deterrent to summer travel because they should be protected.”
HotelPlanner is a leading travel technology company that combines proprietary artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities, and a 24/7 global gig-based reservations and customer service network, to quickly and seamlessly serve all traveler hotel & accommodation needs from a single platform.
HotelPlanner is one of the world’s top providers of individual, group, and corporate travel bookings, specializing in unique “Closed User Group” discount rates.
Founded in 2004, HotelPlanner has enduring partnerships with the world’s largest Online Travel Agencies, well-known hotel chains, individual hotels, online wedding providers, ancillary lodging providers, corporations, sports franchises, universities, and government agencies.
At 22 years old, Isabelle Fries has started to make a name for herself in the music industry. Not only is she gifted in her art, she has an extremely large heart.
Born in Sydney, but raised in Denver, Colorado, Fries found her inclination for singing at a young age. “I knew I wanted music to be a part of my life since I was about 7, but as I got older I was able to recognize that it is a labor of love for me,” she expressed. “I have never searched for fame through my music.”
Not long after, she discovered her heart had room for another love, philanthropy. At just 15 years old, Fries became the first youth board member and youth leader for the Global Livingston Institute (GLI) an NGO in Uganda who’s mission is to educate students & community leaders on innovative approaches to international development and empower awareness, collaboration, conversations and personal growth.
Through working with this organization, Isabelle travelled to Uganda to teach, perform and empower. In 2017, Fries performed in front of 20,000 people in Uganda at the annual iKnow HIV Awareness Concert Series along with other musicians from around the world, using music to breakdown barriers, bring people together and provide free medical testing and awareness for HIV for over 8,500 Ugandans.
“I became a part of GLI when I was 15 and fully threw myself into their mission and their work. It is what opened my eyes to one of my passions I am now pursuing in international education. They really focus on young voices and drawing on perspectives from all types of individuals which is why I was asked to be on the board at such a young age. GLI is truly one of the most important things in my life so I could not be more thankful to be a part of it.”
This wasn’t the only organization Fries carried out philanthropic work with. She volunteered in Haiti with The Road to Hope, an International Affairs Intern with Creative Visions in Malibu, California and a community worker with CEPIA in Costa Rica.
For twelve years, she swam competitively breaking records, winning State Championships and being a leader on her teams until complications from several autoimmune disorders forced her out of the water. This was never a part of her plan, but she was able to alter her life’s path and kept pushing through
“It is not something that I let control my life or hold me back from living. I take care of myself in every way I can and find strength in what I am able to do and learn new ways to improve my way of life,” she expressed.
One of Fries’ missions with both GLI and BCF is to raise awareness for water safety on Lake Bunyonyi in Uganda by teaching swimming to prevent drownings. By working closely with GLI and the headmaster of the Kazi Primary School, Fries has been able to carry out this initiative, as well as implementing academic, music and sports curriculum.
She said that the community of Lake Bunyonyi changed her life by seeing how they are such powerful and driven people. “I don’t go for my own benefit or to be a ‘white savior’ ,” she asserted. “When I work in Uganda, I give the individuals I work with support and resources and they truly do the rest.”
Isabelle was fortunate enough to meet one of her long time role models, Michael Phelps. Fostering a relationship with someone who has shaped her life in so many ways in and out of the water has been such a blessing, says Fries. This lead to her working with the Michael Phelps Foudation (MPF), where she took the opportunity to become certified in their “IM Water Safety Program” which is implemented in The Boys and Girls Clubs of America.
When given the opportunity again to combine her music and philanthropy through the MPF, she couldn’t resist. Isabelle was asked to open for country singer, Eric Church, at a MPF benefit concert in Chicago at the iconic Arcada Theater. “Swimming is an incredibly big part of my life as I was a serious competitive swimmer from the ages of 5 to 18, therefor having the chance to combine my music with my love and passion for swimming and water safety was very special and meaningful.”
Now a recent graduate of The University of Southern California, Fries splits her time living between Denver and Los Angeles, continuing to pursue her passions: music and philanthropy, while working in Denver at a non-profit dedicated to mentoring students. Isabelle holds a degree in International Relations with minors in Spanish as well as Non-Profits, Philanthropy and Volunteerism.
While studying at USC, Isabelle was fortunate enough to catch the eye of Grammy-winning, multi-platinum producer/mixer Rob Chiarelli, who she’s fostered an incredibly close relationship with.
She began releasing music signed with Chiarelli’s label Streetlamp records this year, already finding a widespread and loyal audience across all music platforms using her rich, soulful vocal that could be compared to the sound of Lauren Daigle or Adele. She recently released her 6th single, a raw piano ballad called “All We Had. When people listen to her music, Fries always wants to make them truly feel – whatever that feeling may be. Through channeling lyrics with her songwriters from her own life experiences, the emotions she is able to elicit are special to her.
While the music may be interpreted differently for each unique individual, her raw style is something she hopes help guide those listeners on whatever journey they want to take. “I’ve always said, I love music because it lets you feel something you didn’t think you could.”
This is definitely something she mirrors artistically with one of her musical inspirations, Amy Winehouse. Growing up performing jazz music, Fries describes this genre as a big part of her musical identity, so she was instantly drawn to Winehouse’s style which she catalogs as “authentic, raw and groundbreaking. Amy created music unapologetically.”
But Fries’ number one music icon is Sir Elton John. “His music was always around me when I was growing up. My parents loved all music from that time and exposed me to it at a very young age which is one of the reasons it is the type of music I love the most.
However, Elton John’s music was different for me, it felt like poetry and real emotion. His sound and songs are like stories that you never want to end. When I began to listen to him more I realized this is the type of music I want to sing and be a part of.”
Feeling very blessed to have found such a supportive team, guiding her in finally being able to put her own original songs out there into the world, she is excited to evolve using her music to help create change, perform live again, and continue to build upon her body of work. While she’s away in the studio recording, we’ll be out here patiently waiting for more music, while she continues to use her voice to make the world a better place.
“There are always two sides to a story, and The Pessimist EP is the side of my story not a lot of people have seen…” – Evie Irie
Rounding out a breakthrough year earmarked by millions of streams and widespread acclaim, seventeen-year-old Sydney-born singer/songwriter Evie Irie presents The Pessimist EP day. Get it HERE via Republic Records.
The project includes fan favorites “Over Him” and “Worst Enemy,” which have already tallied over 1 million total streams and counting. It also features the brand new single “Misfit” described by Evie as, “a snapshot of a high-schooler in a bathroom stall, sitting on the toilet eating their cafeteria food alone, turn what their diary would feel like and how the food would taste in that moment, into a song, that would be Misfit.”
The Pessimist picks up where her last project The Optimist EP left off. Regarding the connection between these two opposite halves, Evie commented, “The Optimist EP tells one part of the story – often we are fed through social media a depiction of things that look so perfect they downplay everything or never show any emotion other than being happy. There are always two sides to a story, and The Pessimist EP is the side of my story not a lot of people have seen…”
An Optimist by day, Pessimist by night… well more like a pessimist after 3am, Evie Irie has been hailed as “one to watch” by her peers and music blogs alike blogs. Like some sort of pop alchemist, the Australian singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist turns self-described “weirdness” into universal wonder within her music. By 15-years-old, her talent and drive convinced mom and dad to allow her to move to Nashville where she cut her teeth at countless open mics before winding up in Los Angeles for a short time—a journey chronicled on her 2019 debut EP, 5 Weeks In LA.
Tallying just shy of 8 million streams in a few months’ time, she garnered widespread acclaim from the likes of Refinery29, Idolator, and Atwood Magazine who christened her “one of the most promising teens of pop music today” on its “2020 Artists to Watch.” Simultaneously, she shared the stage with everyone from Sigrid to Bastille. The year to come will certainly see Evie continue to bring new light to popular music and culture.
The Pessimist EP 1. Worst Enemy 2. Misfit 3. Stupid Things 4. Over Him 5. Vulnerable
ABOUT REPUBLIC RECORDS: A division of Universal Music Group, the world’s leading music company, Republic Records is home to an all-star roster of multi-platinum, award-winning legends and superstar artists such as Ariana Grande, Drake, Florence + the Machine, Greta Van Fleet, Hailee Steinfeld, Jack Johnson, James Blake, James Bay, Jessie J, John Mellencamp, Jonas Brothers, Julia Michaels, Kid Cudi, Liam Payne, Lil Wayne, Lorde, Metro Boomin, NAV, Nicki Minaj, Of Monsters and Men, Pearl Jam, Post Malone, Seth MacFarlane, Taylor Swift, The Weeknd, Zendaya and more. Founded by brothers and chief executives Monte and Avery Lipman, it is also comprised of innovative business ventures, including American Recordings, Boominati Worldwide, Brushfire, Casablanca Records, Cash Money, Lava Records, Monkeywrench, XO, Young Money, among others. Republic also maintains long-standing strategic alliances with Universal Music Latin Entertainment (J Balvin and Karol G) and Hollywood Records. In addition, Republic has expanded to release high-profile soundtracks for Universal Pictures (Fifty Shades of Grey), Sony Pictures (Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse) and NBC TV (The Voice), as well as other notable film and television franchises. Extending further into the worlds of film, television, and content, Republic launched Federal Films in order to produce movies and series powered by the label’s catalog and artists. Its first production was the Jonas Brothers documentary Chasing Happiness for Amazon Prime Video.
Ruel releases his new EP Bright Lights, Red Eyes via RCA Records. Written entirely in Paris, the EP includes his previously-released singles “as long as you care” and “say it over” featuring Cautious Clay, which PAPER said “delivers the soulful sound Ruel has come to be known for.” The EP also arrives alongside a 60’s mod-themed visualizer for “courage.” Watch it here.
Bright Lights, Red Eyes is the third release from Ruel following last year’s Free Time, which MTV described as “an accomplished reflection of Ruel’s stated influences, contemporary touchstones, and his own, growing voice,” and arrives after his collaboration with Omar Apollo released last week, “Want U Around,” which is featured on Apollo’s debut project Apolonio.
Speaking on the inspiration behind the EP, Ruel says: “I want to get across that this project is another step forward in maturity for me. Free Time was a step up from Ready, and this Bright Lights, Red Eyes EP is a step up again. This project was a stream of consciousness when I was writing it at the time, and I feel like that’s the way all projects and songs are for me. They are moments in time. This project isn’t who I am right now as I wrote these songs last year, but it’s the most mature you’ve ever heard me and it was me, in that moment in time. The songs I’m writing now will be more mature again, and I love that my fans can come on this journey with me as I grow.”
Ruel also shot over 70 pieces of content for his recently launched RuelVision, a 24-hour online television network featuring unique and fun programs starring himself, from music, cooking and karaoke, to news and lifestyle. The ambitious venture is the largest content-driven artist campaign of 2020, and a testament to Ruel’s continual drive to push creative boundaries and offer fun and unexpected content for his fans. The network is live now here.
Following that, Ruel has grand plans for his highly-anticipated debut album. He’s working closely with M-Phazes and THIEF (both of whom have nurtured Ruel since his debut single), ensuring that the full-length will be an organic affair. “It’s a lot more layered, I want each project to have more meaning and purpose,” Ruel says. “I want to reflect on something important in my life, and give across a message that if people are feeling the same way that I am, it’s okay.” It’s hard to believe, but Ruel’s story is just beginning – and the next chapter looks brighter than ever.
Listen to Bright Lights, Red Eyes and watch the visualizer for “courage” above, see EP details below, and stay tuned for more from Ruel coming soon.
Bright Lights, Red Eyes
October 23, 2020
1.as long as you care
4.say it over feat. Cautious Clay
5.up to something
At a young age, Ruel’s resume reads like that of a seasoned global superstar, and the Sydney-bred, London-born vocalist is quickly becoming one of this generation’s most influential artists. With half a billion streams, over 1.4 million followers on Instagram, three sold-out world tours and five Platinum plaques under his belt, Ruel is a trailblazer who’s far exceeded the omnipresent hype and overwhelming fan frenzy that surrounds him globally. Ever since his rustic demos landed in the ears of M-Phazes back in 2015, Ruel’s ascension has been impossible to ignore, as he continues to push boundaries.
Ruel made his official debut in 2017 with “Golden Years” alongside M-Phazes, and just three months later, he became the youngest artist to ever appear on triple j’s Like A Version. His stunning reinterpretation of Jack Garratt’s “Weathered” went viral, an early indication of his cult-like fanbase and runaway success. His next single “Don’t Tell Me” further highlighted his rich vocals and defiant lyricism, catching the attention of Elton John who praised Ruel as “the most amazing voice that I’ve ever heard from a male singer at 14 years of age.”
“Don’t Tell Me” was later certified Gold, and featured on Ruel’s debut EP Ready in 2018. The project earned widespread praise from tastemaker publications including Vogue and NYLON, also producing Platinum singles “Younger” and “Dazed & Confused.” Reflecting on romance, friendship and homesickness, Ready was a display of Ruel’s instantly accessible penmanship, and a formative step in his tight-knit relationship with listeners. Ruel describes it as “a very conceptual, youthful EP. When I wrote it, I was going through the same things as my fans and I think that made it super relatable.”
Ruel was invited to perform alongside world-class talents like Khalid, also becoming the second ever Australian billed performer on Tyler, The Creator’s Camp Flog Gnaw festival. Proving his ability to wow audiences in an eclectic range of environments, Ruel also performed at the Opening Ceremony of the 2018 Commonwealth Games, streaming to 1.4 billion viewers worldwide. Singing on these grandiose stages primed Ruel for his own headline tours: He’s sold out 3 world tours across America, Europe and Australia in a matter of minutes; further evidence of the profound bond he’s established with millions through music.
At the tail end of 2018, Ruel also won the Breakout Artist award at the ARIAs, becoming the youngest artist to do so. He quickly re-emerged in 2019 with single “Painkiller,” which went 2x Platinum before recruiting Denzel Curry on the remix. It served as the first taste of his sophomore EP Free Time, which showed Ruel’s progression as a sophisticated and intricate songwriter. Subsequent singles “Real Thing” and “Face To Face” also went Platinum, while Ruel spent 2019 further solidifying his live portfolio. In his hometown, he became the youngest artist to sell out the Sydney Opera House, twice.
Ovolo Hotels announced Thursday– which was World Vegetarian Day— that all of its restaurants and bars in Australia and Hong Kong will move to completely vegetarian menus for the next year. This initiative has been termed “The Year of the Veg” and makes the hotel group the first in the world to eliminate meat from its menus.
Ovolo Founder and CEO, Girish Jhunjhnuwala, said, “We want to be conscious about what we are consuming and practice environmental sustainability as best as we can, as this leads to a larger impact on humanity, not just the environment.”
These venues include:
Monster Kitchen & Bar at Ovolo Nishi in Canberra, AU- New Executive Chef Paul Wilson will implement his experience in internationally renowned kitchens to create a sophisticated vegetable-forward menu.
ZA ZA TA at Ovolo the Valley in Brisbane, AU- Managed by Israeli-born chef Roy Ner, formerly of Nour and Lilah in Sydney
Mister Percy at Ovolo 1888 Darling Harbour in Sydney, AU- This location will be transformed into a vegetarian Italian wine bar.
Komune at Ovolo Southside in Hong Kong- The location is cutting meat from its menus, and the hotel will soon debut a new restaurant that will be fully vegetarian, as well.
Other locations such as Alibi Bar & Kitchen at Ovolo Woolloomooloo in Australia and New Zealand, and Veda at Ovolo Central in Hong Kong will continue with their vegan and vegetarian menus, respectively.
In addition to moving fully vegetarian, Ovolo has already taken numerous other steps to implement eco-friendliness in their hotels. The hotel collection has eliminated single-use plastic bathroom amenities and replaced them with re-fillable, tamper-free pump bottles that are HDPE recyclable, eliminated single-use plastic straws, introduced reusable woven bags for slippers, and began using biodegradable materials in all laundry bags and packaging.
To learn more about Ovolo Group’s move to become fully vegetarian in Australia and Hong Kong, visit here.
About Ovolo Group
Ovolo Hotels is the leading designer hotel group. The Ovolo Group was founded by entrepreneur Girish Jhunjhnuwala and first entered the real estate market in 2002; then further expanded into the hotel industry in 2010. Ovolo Hotels quickly became one of Hong Kong and Australia’s most dynamic independent owner operated hospitality firms by providing guests with the best in effortless living across hotels and food and beverage outlets.
A collection of contemporary hotels that keep you connected to the little luxuries you love, all effortlessly included. The company prides itself on being in touch with the modern traveller through award-winning interior designs, detail-driven comforts, complimentary value-added services like the mini bar, breakfast, Wi-Fi, and more, and cutting-edge technology – all done in signature Ovolo style. At the 2019 HM Awards, Ovolo Hotels were acknowledged for Hotel and Accommodation Excellence, receiving the accolade “Hotel Brand of the Year.”
A proud Hong Kong brand, Ovolo Group remains a family-owned and privately-operated business operating four hotels and three restaurants in Hong Kong, and seven hotels and five restaurants across Australia in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and Brisbane. Ovolo is also developing a new hotel in Melbourne, Australia (South Yarra).
Ovolo also has the By Ovolo Collective within its portfolio of hotels, a distinctive collection of four hotels each one unique, each one special, the more guests explore, the more they’ll find. These include Nishi Apartments in Canberra Australia, Mojo Nomad Aberdeen Harbour in Hong Kong, The Sheung Wan Hong Kong, and Mamaka Kuta Beach Bali Indonesia launching late 2020.
Triple One, a genre-bending group from Sydney, have released the first single from their debut album today, “Loverose.”
While their music is rooted in hip-hop, Triple One also experiments with elements of metal, emo, pop, punk, and R&B, making their sound almost impossible to categorize.
“‘Loverose’ is a reflective yet triumphant single that blends their preference for overcast melodies, venomous bars, and bombastic production,” A press release reads, “The song features pensive lyrics about sacrifice, the tentative nature of success, and what it means to achieve something in both their personal and professional lives; tying these real-life experiences with otherworldly space metaphors.”
The music video, directed by Tyson Perkins and Marty Bugatti, reflects the themes of ‘Loverose’ through a series of alien landscapes, resulting in a cinematic experience housed in an eerie, post-apocalyptic planet. Vocalist Marty Bugatti shares that “Loverose” is a song about the flawed nature of intimate love; “Humans are an imperfect creation and also mortal. This makes love a lot harder, but also a lot more beautiful.” Producer Billy Gunns describes the track as “being close to something that you’ve been wanting your whole life.”
Buy/stream “Loverose” here and watch the music video here.
Continuing their sensational ride into the new decade, prolific Sydney duo Cosmo’s Midnight today share their glistening new single “Yesteryear” (listen here). Alongside the single comes an official video from the age of isolation, born from a cancelled shoot and the innovative minds of close creative friends (watch here).
Infused with 70s pop and a drop of psychedelia, “Yesteryear” lends insight into the burgeoning confidence and trajectory of the twin duo as they continue to evolve from their roots as online-production powerhouses to world-class, multi-skilled live artists. Uplifting lyrics embrace a firm funk bass line and intelligent sonic designs, amplifying falsettos from Pat in his first lead vocal appearance since 2018’s “Polarised.” Laced with complexities and all the sweets from their unmatched style, the track steps forth as their most self-affirming release yet, all the while basking in a moment of nostalgia.
Directed by Jordan Kirk (@xingerxanger), the accompanying visual presents an authentic product of its time, pushing creative limitations in the face of global isolation. Designed from a Zoom brainstorm featuring the act’s behind-the-scenes team, the webcam-shot sequence rides the effervescent soundtrack through all the ingredients in making a music video today, featuring working-from-home production meetings, homemade green screens, animated sequences, choreographed dance numbers, and a whole lot of DIY mischief from the duo. A raw insight into operating in the changing landscape of now, the video is a testament to the strength and adaptability of their industry – no matter the circumstance.
Speaking on the track and video, Cosmo’s Midnight say: “‘Yesteryear’ is a song reflecting back on the years past, the unchanging feelings of youth, growing up and contemplating the future. We tried to blend these feelings into the production by drawing inspiration from older pop records as well some more progressive records. Although it seems a lot of thought went into it, ‘Yesteryear’ came about really quickly and naturally.”
“Yesteryear” marks a thrilling curveball in the Cosmo’s Midnight story, and sets the stage for the road ahead as the duo hone their craft and assume their most solid sonic identity yet. Oozing timelessness, don’t miss catching the new one from Australia’s most beloved twin producers today, ahead of new music and more exciting announcements to arrive soon.