Posts tagged with "World News"

I ❤️ Beirut

By Justin Lyons

Mika announced Wednesday that his “I ❤️ Beirut” concert, which was live-streamed Sept. 19 on his YouTube channel, raised more than €1 million for the people of Lebanon.

An explosion at a Beirut warehouse on Aug. 4 killed more than 200 and injured more than 5,000.

Ticket sales, sponsors and public donations all contributed to the large sum that will be split between the Lebanese Red Cross and Save the Children.

Tickets were purchased in 120 different countries via Ticketmaster, the most in the ticketing giant’s history. Donations also poured in from 48 different countries via a GoFundMe page.

The show featured megastars like Salma Hayek, Danna Paola, Rufus Wainwright, Kylie, Mashrou Leila, Louane, Etel Adnan, Fanny Ardant and Laura Pausini. It has also picked up interest from major television stations across the world.

Mika joined Georges Kettaneh, the secretary general of the Lebanese Red Cross, and Kevin Watkins, CEO of Save the Children UK, on a video call Wednesday to make the announcement. He thanked everyone who helped the fundraiser cross the €1 million mark.

“I also wanted to say how amazing this statement of solidarity for the situation in Beirut has been, with tickets for the stream selling to over 120 different countries around the world,” Mika said. “This has been a project that was born out of and made possible by love, and a huge amount of collaboration with friends and many new friends made in the process.”

The certified gold and platinum artist was born in Beirut and is now celebrated around the world.

Kettaneh also thanked donors, saying the Lebanese Red Cross would continue to use the funds to support the people of Beirut.

“The people of Beirut face a long road to recovery, with this generosity and the continued support we have received from around the globe, we can continue to stand alongside them for as long we are needed,” Kettaneh said.

Watkins also chimed in to say Save the Children would work to help children and families affected by the explosion.

“All donations will be going toward our emergency response efforts in Lebanon, which include weather proofing damaged homes, supporting vulnerable and displaced families with food and cash grants, and providing ongoing psychological support for children and families,” Watkins said.

Donations can still be made to the campaign’s GoFundMe by clicking right here. The goal of £150,000 has already been passed, and it is closing in on £200,000.

You can also learn more about the Lebanese Red Cross by clicking right here and about Save the Children UK by clicking right here.

Allison Christensen Illustrates a Sports Article for 360 MAGAZINE

2020 Summer Olympics

by Justin Lyons

The 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo are following the old show business gospel of “the show must go on.”

John Coates, vice president of the International Olympic Committee, spoke with AFP to say the Olympics would indeed begin in July 2021, whether COVID-19 is still around or not.

The summer games were originally scheduled to take place this summer, but complications from COVID-19 delayed them until next year.

Coates said the next Olympiad will be “the Games that conquered COVID.”

According to BBC, chief executive of the Tokyo Games Toshiro Muto also said it was possible for a limited audience to be in attendance and wanted to avoid having no spectators.

BBC also reported that Muto said a vaccine was not necessary for the games to go on.

Sports were warmly welcomed back in the United States in July, and the National Football League will return this week. Though basketball, baseball and hockey are finishing their seasons without fans, plan for fans in football stadiums remain tentative.

Fans around the country will have their eyes on the situation, and we obviously hope to see fans cheering on their home countries next year in one of the most unifying events in the world if conditions so permit.

Lebanon explosion illustrated by Mina Tocalini for 360 MAGAZINE.

Huge Explosion In Beirut

By Vaughn Lowery × Rita Azar

According to CNN, there was a massive explosion in Beirut just now. Shattering glass and debris followed by monstrous amounts of smoke.

A Massive explosion hit an ammunition storage in the port of Beirut. Many Lebanese civilians have been affected, houses have been burned down, glass has been shattered and there has been fatalities.

This blast has not just hit Beirut’s Eastern areas next to the port but has destroyed many key infrastructure building like hospitals, infrastructure buildings, kilometers away, including the headquarters of former prime minister Saad Hariri. The explosive could be heard all the way to the Bekka valleys capital Zahle 56 kilometers away. Al Jazeera’s Zeina Khodr, reporting from Beirut stated, “The explosion was felt across the city.” She added, “There is chaos in the streets.” Tensions are higher than ever.

The source of the explosion is still unknown.

Actual footage can be seen here.

Check out coverage by BBC.

(DANNON)RED

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Available starting November 12th online at Amazon.com/Fresh as well as in select US grocer locations. This holiday season, feeding the family and helping save lives has never tasted better.

NBA and China

The American public strongly supports the Houston Rockets general manager’s tweet regarding Hong Kong and China’s rights conflict. (Daryl Morey, the GM, tweeted support for the Hong Kong protesters seeking freedom from Chinese oversight.  The Chinese reacted with disdain and business with the NBA was threatened).Only 9 percent of the public thought the Rockets GM, Daryl Morey, should be fired, with 77 percent saying the Rockets should keep him and defend his freedom of speech.  14 percent said they did not know or had no opinion.

In addition, 54 percent of the nation feels Daryl Morey should be applauded for taking a stand supporting the Hong Kong protesters, with only 19 percent saying he should not have sent the tweet because it risked valuable relationships over a foreign domestic issue.  27 percent did not know or had no opinion.
These are the findings of a Seton Hall Sports Poll, conducted this week among 703 adult Americans across the country on both landlines and cellphones.  The Poll has a margin of error of +/-3.8 percent.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver first apologized for the tweet but later backtracked and showed support for freedom of speech.  46 percent of the public felt he handled it well, and 36 percent say he did not, with 18 percent saying they did not know or had no opinion.

52% Say Lebron James’ Comments were out of self-interest

LeBron James tweeted condemnation of Morey, claiming “he wasn’t educated on the situation” and endangered people “not only financially but physically.”  Only 28 percent thought his reaction was sincere, with 52 percent saying he acted out of financial self-interest.

69% expressed concern that China has so much influence over an American professional League, with only 23 percent saying they are not concerned.

Morey’s Tweet vs. Kaepernick’s Kneeling

Comparing Morey’s tweet to Colin Kaepernick’s kneeling during the national anthem, 47 percent said both actions should be defended as free speech, with 16 percent saying that it only applied to Morey and 5 percent saying it only applied to Kaepernick.

There are big differences between Democrats and Republicans on this comparison.  59 percent of Democrats and only 29 percent of Republicans say that they should both be defended as free speech, while 7 percent of Democrats and 21 percent of Republicans say that it only applies to Morey.

“The fundamental right of free speech seems to have carried the day in favor of Daryl Morey’s tweet,” noted Rick Gentile, director of the Seton Hall Sports Poll, which is sponsored by the Sharkey Institute within the Stillman School of Business. “It is much clearer when applied to a foreign power than to a domestic one.”

For more information, visit here.  (Questions and results breakdown below, an online version of this release may be found here.

 

Margaret Thatcher and the Middle East

A consistent strand of Margaret Thatcher’s Middle East policy was preserving regional stability as this was vital to ensuring that Moscow could not expand its influence and become a threat to Western interests.
 
Thirty-six years on and a resurgent Russia is once again dominant in the Middle East. Unfortunately, while Margaret Thatcher has been proved right on this score, Azriel Bermant – the author of a new book (Margaret Thatcher and the Middle East, Cambridge University Press, October 12th) – warns that Theresa May is in danger of undermining that Prime Ministerial & Conservative Party legacy due to Brexit and also the strategic misstep of her immediate public support of and supplicant friendship with President Trump.

Today with Brexit, Britain is increasingly dependent upon the United States, and therefore has even less influence than it did during the Thatcher period.

Ultimately, Thatcher sought to save the moderates of the region, and though publicly in lock step with US Middle East policy, she was privately furious yet influential with the Reagan administration. However, there are now worrying signs that the Trump administration is making the same mistake in the Middle East without Theresa May having any status or influence to temper wilder decision making. Now that Islamic State appears to be defeated, there is a danger that Washington could retreat from the region and leave a dangerous vacuum that the Russians and Iranians will be quick to exploit.

While the conflict in Syria demonstrates that the Arab-Israel conflict is peripheral to the present turmoil afflicting the region, various ideological forces, like the Soviet Union in an earlier era, are exploiting the unresolved conflict with the potential for further mayhem in the region.

If Theresa May is to become any kind of heir to Margaret Thatcher, when it comes to Middle East diplomacy, she urgently needs to learn the lessons of history to articulate and assert a distinctive British foreign policy, free of Brexit dependencies.