Johannesburg, Sept 20 (AP/UNB) — Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, along with their infant son, Archie, are making their first official tour as a family, starting Monday in a troubled South Africa whose president says women and children are "under siege" by shocking violence.
South Africa is still shaken by the rape and murder of a university student, carried out in a post office, that sparked protests by thousands of women tired of abuse and impunity in a country where more than 100 rapes are reported every day. This is "one of the most unsafe places in the world to be a woman," President Cyril Ramaphosa said Wednesday.
Empowering women is one of the issues Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, will address on a 10-day, multi-country visit, along with wildlife protection, entrepreneurship, mental health and mine clearance — a topic given global attention by Harry's late mother, Princess Diana, when she walked through an active mine field during an Africa visit years ago.
Some in South Africa say they are happy to see the arrival of Meghan, who has been vocal about women's rights and is likely to speak out again. One of her first events is a visit to a workshop that gives self-defense classes to young girls.
"I think the Duchess of Sussex' visit is perfectly timed. She's coming to South Africa at an incredibly turbulent time," said Lara Rosmarin, who leads a local tech incubator that will be part of the royal visit. "People are anxious, people are scared, people are worried ... She's coming at a time when she can instill some hope and some promise and perhaps highlight the struggles of women in South Africa."
The high-profile visit by the royal family is expected to contrast with the breathtaking series of stories in local media in recent weeks about the reported abuse of women and children — "even babies," the president reminded Parliament this week.
The scope is now well known. More than 2,700 women were murdered last year, and more than 1,000 children, the government says. One in five women over age 18 have faced physical violence from a partner.
"The conviction rate for rape is a shameful 5%," the leader of the main opposition Democratic Alliance, Mmusi Maimane, said Wednesday. The state should oppose bail for suspects, deny parole to those found guilty and ensure that a life sentence means life in prison, South Africa's president now says.
Some women want more, saying South Africa should bring back the death penalty for rapists. Capital punishment was abolished in the country in 1995.
Despite the recent unrest, the royal family likely will focus on the positive. Planned events in their first public stop, Cape Town, include a visit to a non-governmental group that trains surfers to provide young people with mental health services.
"She is a very influential person and just for her to be here and to some way influence the girls on our program ... is a big part of why we're excited to have her here," said Courtney Barnes, a surfing coach with Waves For Change.
Harry and Meghan also will visit the oldest mosque in South Africa and meet with Nobel Peace Prize winner and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. A "rare privilege and honor," Tutu and his wife, Leah, said Thursday.
The prince later will break away for visits to Botswana, Angola and Malawi with a special focus on wildlife protection.
In Angola, Harry will walk in the footsteps of his mother, whose steps across a mine field in 1997 helped to inspire an international ban on anti-personnel mines later that year. That field in Huambo is now a busy street, and Angola's government, now years past a grinding civil war, hopes to be free of land mines by 2025.
The southern African nation is now turning toward ecotourism.
Meghan will remain in South Africa with events including a Johannesburg visit to a charity that helps to raise awareness of sexual violence in schools.
The royal family's Africa visit ends on Oct. 2.
Dhaka, Sep 20, UNB -- Newly-elected Trinamool Congress MPs Nusrat Jahan Ruhi and Mimi Chakraborty are seen dancing to a Durga Puja song for a TMT bar company recently, and the video already garnered over 1.5 million views on Facebook alone, reports The Indian Express
Preparations are in full swing for West Bengal’s biggest festival, the Durga Puja. And ahead of the six-day extravaganza, a theme song featuring two Lok Sabha MPs from West Bengal is going viral.
Newly-elected Trinamool Congress MPs Nusrat Jahan Ruhi and Mimi Chakraborty are seen dancing to a Durga Puja song for a TMT bar company, and the video has already garnered over 1.5 million views on Facebook alone. While Nusrat represents Basirhat constituency, Mimi is MP from Jadavpur.
The two parliamentarians, who are also popular stars in Bengali film industry, are see decked up for the song, which also features another top actor Subhashree Ganguly.
The song titled ‘Ashey Maa Durga Shey’ is part of a campaign for the brand’s initiative for the festival which falls on October 3 to 8 this year. The music has been composed by popular Tollywood composer Indraadip Das Gupta while it has been sung by host of artistes from both India and Bangladesh, including Rupankar Bagchi and band Dohar among others.
New York, Sep 19 (AP/UNB) — Podcasts are exploding and the world of theater isn't immune. Now comes a digital hub that aggregates all that theater talk — the Broadway Podcast Network.
The network , unveiled Thursday, is the brainchild of Tony-winning producer and filmmaker Dori Berinstein and podcast host/producer Alan Seale.
Their new hub is home to 30 podcasts with hosts that include Donna McKechnie, Tonya Pinkins, Justin Guarini, Kerry Butler, Josh Lamon, Jennifer Ashley Tepper and Ilana Levine.
It will be the place to find episodes of "The Ensemblist," ''The Fabulous Invalid," ''Broadwaysted," ''Josh Swallows Broadway" and "The Theatre Podcast." Some 1,200 podcast episodes are available.
The podcasts range from interviews with Broadway stars to audition secrets. Berinstein says the goal is "to create a must-visit daily destination for anyone and everyone who loves theater."
Dhaka, Sept 19 (UNB) – Thursday remarks the 48th birth anniversary of country’s one of the most loved superstar, the iconic and stylish actor of Bangladeshi cinema Salman Shah.
To celebrate the late superstar’s 48th birth anniversary, a weeklong festival titled ‘Salman Shah Jonmo Utsab 2019’ (Salman Shah Birth Anniversary Festival- 2019) had been inaugurated at Modhumita Cinema Hall, one of the iconic cinema halls in the capital.
Zunaid Ahmed Palak, State Minister of Information and Communication Technology, was present as chief guest in the inauguration ceremony. Renowned and celebrated actor Shakib Khan inaugurated the event who mentioned Salman Shah as his inspiration.
Shakib Khan also addressed the long-running demand of the fans of Salman Shah to name a floor or road in the name of the iconic hero, saying he will convey the demand to BFDC authority.
Gaan Bangla TV and newly launched cinematic venture TM Films chairman Farzana Munni, Bangladesh Film Journalists’ Association president Falguni Hamid, film actress Bubli, film directors Sohanur Rahman Sohan, Arun Chowdhury, Chhotku Ahmed, Redowan Rony and many more attended the opening ceremony as special guests.
Private media house Dhooli Communication and TM is jointly organizing the festival in which seven popular films of Salman Shah will be screened at Modhumita from September 20 to 26.
Among the films, ‘Keyamat Thekey Keyamat’ will be screened on September 20, ‘Tomakey Chai’ on September 21, ‘Maa-er Odhikar’ on September 22, ‘Chaowa Theke Paowa’ on September 23, ‘Tumi Amar’ on September 24, ‘Antorey Antorey’ on September 25 and ‘Sotter Mrittu Nai’ on September 26 on the concluding day.
Modhumita Cinema Hall management informed that four shows of ‘Keyamat Thekey Keyamat’, including morning show, will be screened on Friday (10am-12pm, 12pm-3pm, 3pm-6pm, and 6pm-9pm). The rest of the films will have three shows every day (12pm-3pm, 3pm-6pm, and 6pm-9pm).
From his first film ‘Keyamat Thekey Keyamat’, Salman Shah cemented his legacy as one of the heartthrob heroes in Bangladesh film industry. With having a career of only 27 films before tragically passing away on September 6 in 1996, the actor was considered as the ‘style icon’ and ahead of his contemporaries in the subcontinent.
Sep19 (AP/UNB) --They've become a global sensation — "paint and sip" studios where adults can spend evenings out learning to make art in a relaxed, BYOB setting. Thousands of franchises now exist to help us all unleash our inner creative.
One of the places where it all began was a little studio outside Birmingham, Alabama. In 2002, at age 28, Wendy Lovoy quit her corporate job to pursue a career as a painter. She began teaching adult and kids' classes. The adults, she noticed, were taking far too long to finish their paintings. They were nervous about making them perfect. They couldn't get out of their own heads. When Lovoy encouraged them to relax and move more quickly, their work always turned out better.
So she began holding two-hour sessions during which she would guide adult students to create an entire painting from start to finish. As it turned out, they loved it. The paintings were coming out great, and classes were filling up. Students began bringing mimosas. The atmosphere was relaxed and pressure-free.
So in 2003, her company, Sips 'N Strokes, was born. Sips 'N Strokes pioneered the model of BYOB recreational painting classes that teach students to reproduce a work of art step-by-step.
"My vision was to inspire the world to create," says Lovoy.
She hoped to transform the painting process from something intimidating and seemingly out of reach to something approachable and fun.
The business grew slowly at first, going from one class a month to two, and then, suddenly, it was seven days a week. By 2007, Lovoy was squishing 100 people per night into her studio. By 2009, when she franchised Sips 'N Strokes, similar businesses, like Painting With a Twist and Pinot's Palette, had begun springing up around the country.
"It became an industry that the customer base really gravitated to," says Joe Lewis, CEO of the Mandeville, Louisiana-based Painting With a Twist. "With the increase in the DIY industry, it has really caught on and become popular."
Because the investment needed to start a paint and sip franchise is relatively low, Lewis says, the industry has grown quickly. Painting With a Twist recently acquired a competitor, Chicago-based Bottle and Bottega, and the merged companies have a total of 300 locations around the country.
Lovoy is amazed at how popular paint-and-sip places have become since she opened her studio.
"When you're 28 years old and you see something that was your passion blow up to something so big, it's phenomenal," says the now-43-year-old.
While many people come to the classes to relax with a glass of wine, Lovoy believes that a huge piece of the success of the Sips 'N Strokes model is the way it forces students to speed up their painting.
"When you give an adult time, we overanalyze and overthink everything," she says. "When you give them that time restraint, they can create anything. They just have to get outside of themselves, and you do that when you move fast. You shut down that anal side of your brain and your creative side opens up."
She enjoys watching students gain confidence. "People like to learn things," she says. "It's very satisfying for people to create something themselves."
Some of her most dedicated students have even become professional artists.
Mary Posey, a regular student of Lovoy's who began attending Sips 'N Strokes classes in 2006, has produced hundreds of paintings.
"I went from needing a lot of help to fix paintings at the end of class to, I really started to figure out what they meant by doing a stroke a certain way," she says. "I started figuring out I could do it on my own." Her growing confidence in her art, she says, "spilled over into other things. I just noticed I had more confidence."
Lovoy also hopes her students gain an appreciation for art and the work that goes into it.
"Go out and support your local artists," she says. "Get into the art scene."