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first_imgFormer Rangers striker Derek Johnstone insists the upcoming Old Firm derby against Celtic is a must win for his old club.Rangers host arch-rivals Celtic in the second Old Firm derby of the season at the Ibrox Stadium this Saturday, following their game against Hibernian on Wednesday.Steven Gerrard’s men are currently one point behind league leaders Celtic, although the defending champions have a game in hand.
Ibrox is expected to witness a full house on Saturday and Johnstone, who has featured in so many of these games claims that the Old Firm derby is the biggest game in Europe.The former Rangers man also said the magnitude of the Celtic clash should serve as extra motivation for the players.“I think, first and foremost, these games stand out above anything in Europe, it’s an Old Firm game”, Johnstone told the official Rangers podcast.Rangers is still behind Celtic: John Hartson Manuel R. Medina – September 3, 2019 According to the former Celtic player, there’s still a massive gap between his ex-club and Rangers in the Scottish Premier League.“That’s the game that everybody wants to see.”“Even down south, they will turn it over from a Liverpool game to watch an Old Firm game.”“That’s how important you have to take it because you know the fans.”
”If you are beaten on the Saturday, you don’t work on the Monday because you get slaughtered by the opposition.”“And we realised that as players, that was the game I had to win.”last_img read more

first_imgU.S. recognizes contested Golan Heights region as part of Israel Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter AP, KUSI Newsroom AP, KUSI Newsroom, Posted: March 21, 2019 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsJERUSALEM (AP) — President Donald Trump abruptly declared Thursday the U.S. will recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the disputed Golan Heights, a major shift in American policy that gives Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a political boost a month before what is expected to be a close election.The administration has been considering recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the strategic highlands, which Israel captured from Syria in 1967, for some time and Netanyahu had pressed the matter with visiting Secretary of State Mike Pompeo just a day earlier.U.S. and Israeli officials said Wednesday they had not expected a decision until next week, when Netanyahu is to visit the U.S.But in a tweet that appeared to catch many by surprise, Trump said the time had come for the United States to take the step, which Netanyahu warmly welcomed as a “miracle” on the Jewish holiday of Purim.“After 52 years it is time for the United States to fully recognize Israel’s Sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which is of critical strategic and security importance to the State of Israel and Regional Stability!” Trump tweeted.The U.S. will be the first country to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan, which the rest of the international community regards as disputed territory occupied by Israel whose status should be determined by negotiations between Israel and Syria. Attempts to bring Israel and Syria to the table have failed. It was not immediately clear how a U.N. peacekeeping force in the Golan might be affected by the U.S. move. That force’s mandate expires at the end of June.There had been signals a decision was coming. Last week, in its annual human rights report, the State Department dropped the phrase “Israeli-occupied” from the Golan Heights section, instead calling it “Israeli-controlled.”Pompeo had brushed questions about the change aside, insisting even earlier Thursday that there was no change in policy. However, in comments to reporters ahead of a Purim dinner with Netanyahu and his wife at their Jerusalem home, Pompeo hailed the shift.“Tonight, President Trump made the decision to recognize that that hard-fought real estate, that important place, is proper to be a sovereign part of the state of Israel,” he said.Netanyahu, who is embroiled in a fierce re-election campaign ahead of April 9 voting, smiled broadly while delivering his own remarks.“We have the miracle of Purim,” he said. “Thank you President Trump.”Netanyahu has for weeks been stepping up longstanding Israeli requests for the U.S. and others to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan. He has bolstered Israel’s traditional argument that the area has for all practical purposes been fully integrated into Israel by accusing Iran of trying to infiltrate terrorists from Syria into the plateau.“At a time when Iran seeks to use Syria as a platform to destroy Israel, President Trump boldly recognizes Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights,” Netanyahu tweeted.Trump’s announcement came as Pompeo was wrapping up a two-day visit to Jerusalem during which he lauded warm ties with Israel, met with Netanyahu on at least three separate occasions and promised to step up pressure on Iran.Pompeo’s events with Netanyahu included a visit to the Western Wall that made him the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit the Jewish holy site with any Israeli leader and appeared to further signal the Trump administration’s support for Israel’s control of the contested city. Trump has recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moved the U.S. Embassy there from Tel Aviv, prompting the Palestinians to sever ties with the administration.Pompeo’s presence also appeared to signal Trump’s support for Netanyahu the political candidate. Netanyahu, facing a tough challenge from a popular former military chief and reeling from a series of corruption allegations, has repeatedly sought to focus attention on his foreign policy record and strong ties with Trump.“The Trump administration is absolutely endorsing Netanyahu,” said Alon Pinkas, former consul general of Israel in New York. “It’s very rare for a secretary of state to come visit an Israeli prime minister without any apparent diplomatic reason justifying it, without a peace process, without any regional agenda.”Pompeo said his trip had nothing to do with politics or U.S. policy on Jerusalem, although for decades American officials refrained from visiting the Western Wall with Israeli leaders to avoid the appearance of recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the city’s most sensitive holy sites. Israel captured east Jerusalem and the Old City in the 1967 Mideast war. The Palestinians seek east Jerusalem as the capital of a future state.“I’m going to stay far away from the decisions that the Israeli people will make here in a few weeks,” Pompeo told reporters. “It wouldn’t be appropriate for the U.S. secretary of state to comment on Israeli domestic politics.”The Old City is home to the Western Wall and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, where tradition says Jesus was entombed and resurrected. Pompeo, a Christian, also stopped at the church.Next to the Western Wall is a hilltop compound revered by Jews as the Temple Mount and by Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary. The spot, which once housed the biblical Jewish Temples, is the holiest site in Judaism and today is home to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third-holiest site in Islam.The competing claims to the site are a frequent source of tension and lie at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.When Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, he said it did not determine the city’s final borders. But the gesture was perceived as unfairly siding with Israel and prompted the Palestinians to cut contacts with U.S. officials. The Palestinians have already rejected a planned Mideast peace initiative by the administration.Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said Pompeo’s visit added additional obstacles to peace hopes. “While they are claiming to be trying to solve the conflict, such acts only make it more difficult to resolve,” he said.While previous secretaries of state have traditionally met with the Palestinians when visiting the region, Pompeo has no such talks planned. March 21, 2019last_img read more

first_img Revisit Janet Jackson’s ‘Rhythm Nation 1814’ For The Record: ‘From A Room: Volume 1’ The Beatles Take Aim With 1966’s ‘Revolver’: For The Record For The Record: ‘From A Room: Volume 1’ For The Record: CeCe Winans, ‘Let Them Fall … ‘ For The Record: Calle 13 For The Record: Carlos Santana Revisit The Beatles’ ‘Revolver’ NETWORK ERRORCannot Contact ServerRELOAD YOUR SCREEN OR TRY SELECTING A DIFFERENT VIDEO Aug 2, 2018 – 10:15 am Revisit The Beatles’ ‘Revolver’ For The Record: N.W.A’s ‘Straight Outta Compton’ For The Record: Beck’s ‘Morning Phase’ Prev Next Alanis Morissette: ‘Jagged Little Pill’ Metallica: “One” | For The Record For The Record: Amy Winehouse’s ‘Back To Black’ For The Record: Linda Ronstadt’s ‘Canciones …’ For The Record: Pink Floyd’s ‘The Wall’ For The Record: John Coltrane’s ‘A Love Supreme’ For The Record: Bee Gees’ ‘Saturday Night Fever’ Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind’: For The Record For The Record: Taylor Swift’s ‘1989’ For The Record: CeCe Winans, ‘Let Them Fall … ‘ For The Record: Beck’s ‘Morning Phase’ Madonna: ‘Ray Of Light’ | For The Record Pearl Jam: ‘Ten’ | For The Record For The Record: Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” For The Record: Amy Winehouse’s ‘Back To Black’ For The Record: Bruno Mars’ ’24K Magic’ For The Record: Jennifer Lopez And Marc Anthony For The Record: ‘The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill’ For The Record: Pink Floyd’s ‘The Wall’ For The Record: N.W.A’s ‘Straight Outta Compton’ For The Record: ‘O Brother, Where Art Thou?’ For The Record: Calle 13 Dave Chappelle For The Record: ‘The Age Of Spin …’ For The Record: Michael Jackson For The Record: B.B. King’s “Auld Lang Syne” For The Record: ‘The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill’ For The Record: ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ For The Record: ‘O Brother, Where Art Thou?’ For The Record: CeCe Winans, ‘Let Them Fall … ‘ For The Record: B.B. King’s “Auld Lang Syne” For The Record: Shakira For The Record: Cole’s “The Christmas Song” Metallica: “One” | For The Record Revisit The Beatles’ ‘Revolver’ For The Record: ‘O Brother, Where Art Thou?’ For The Record: Harrison’s ‘All Things Must Pass’ For The Record: Shakira News Revisit Janet Jackson’s ‘Rhythm Nation 1814′ For The Record: Bruno Mars’ ’24K Magic’ Twitter Bob Marley & The Wailers’ ‘Exodus’: For The Record For The Record: Little Big Town’s ‘The Road …” Bob Marley & The Wailers’ ‘Exodus’: For The Record Pearl Jam: ‘Ten’ | For The Record For The Record: Taylor Swift’s ‘1989’ For The Record: Linda Ronstadt’s ‘Canciones …’ Madonna: ‘Ray Of Light’ | For The Record For The Record: Cole’s “The Christmas Song” For The Record: John Coltrane’s ‘A Love Supreme’ For The Record: Cole’s “The Christmas Song” For The Record: John Coltrane’s ‘A Love Supreme’ David Bowie’s ‘…Ziggy Stardust…’ | For The Record Daft Punk For The Record: ‘Random Access Memories’ Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind’: For The Record For The Record: Bee Gees’ ‘Saturday Night Fever’ Because Revolver was the final album the band made before retiring from live shows, the Fab Four never intended to perform it, so they freed up their creativity in the studio, incorporating groundbreaking techniques such as tape loops and backward recordings on “Tomorrow Never Knows.” They also stretched their instrumentation, employing a string octet (“Eleanor Rigby”), French Horn (“For No One”) and sitar on multiple tracks.On the strength of these songs and other now classic Beatles hits such as “Yellow Submarine,” “She Said She Said,” “Good Day Sunshine,” and “Got To Get You Into My Life,” the album peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard 200.  At the 9th GRAMMY Awards, Revolver earned the Beatles a GRAMMY nomination for Album Of The Year, while the album’s cover designer Klaus Voormann won Best Album Cover, Graphic Arts for the LP’s cover. Bob Marley & The Wailers’ ‘Exodus’: For The Record For The Record: Adele, ’25’ Revisit The Beatles’ ‘Revolver’ Alanis Morissette: ‘Jagged Little Pill’ For The Record: Harrison’s ‘All Things Must Pass’ For The Record: Carlos Santana For The Record: Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” David Bowie’s ‘…Ziggy Stardust…’ | For The Record Dave Chappelle For The Record: ‘The Age Of Spin …’ For The Record: Little Big Town’s ‘The Road …” For The Record: Michael Jackson For The Record: Little Big Town’s ‘The Road …” In 1999 Revolver was inducted into the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame, one of seven Beatles albums currently in the Hall. The track “Eleanor Rigby” was inducted in 2002. For The Record: The Beatles’ ‘Revolver’ beatles-take-aim-1966s-revolver-record For The Record: Linda Ronstadt’s ‘Canciones …’ For The Record: Jennifer Lopez And Marc Anthony For The Record: Juan Gabriel Dave Chappelle For The Record: ‘The Age Of Spin …’ For The Record: B.B. King’s “Auld Lang Syne” For The Record: Shakira David Bowie’s ‘…Ziggy Stardust…’ | For The Record Daft Punk For The Record: ‘Random Access Memories’ Their final album before retiring from live shows, find out how the Fab Four’s seventh studio album changed their sonic directionRenée FabianGRAMMYs Aug 2, 2018 – 11:07 am By 1966, the Beatles — John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr —were ready for a change in their musical direction. Namely, they planned to retire from live performances. Before that, however, they released their seventh studio album on Aug. 5, 1966, Revolver. For The Record: Carlos Santana Alanis Morissette: ‘Jagged Little Pill’ Metallica: “One” | For The Record Daft Punk For The Record: ‘Random Access Memories’ Kendrick Lamar, ‘DAMN.’: For The Record Madonna: ‘Ray Of Light’ | For The Record For The Record: Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” Revisit Janet Jackson’s ‘Rhythm Nation 1814’ For The Record For The Record: Amy Winehouse’s ‘Back To Black’ Read more For The Record: ‘From A Room: Volume 1′ Email For The Record: Adele, ’25’ For The Record: Michael Jackson Pearl Jam: ‘Ten’ | For The Record For The Record: Adele, ’25’ Kendrick Lamar, ‘DAMN.’: For The Record For The Record: Juan Gabriel For The Record: N.W.A’s ‘Straight Outta Compton’ For The Record: Taylor Swift’s ‘1989’ Kendrick Lamar, ‘DAMN.’: For The Record For The Record: ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ For The Record: Jennifer Lopez And Marc Anthony For The Record: Harrison’s ‘All Things Must Pass’ For The Record: ‘The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill’ For The Record: Bee Gees’ ‘Saturday Night Fever’ Facebook For The Record: Bruno Mars’ ’24K Magic’ For The Record: Juan Gabriel For The Record: Calle 13 For The Record: ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind’: For The Record For The Record: Pink Floyd’s ‘The Wall’ For The Record: Beck’s ‘Morning Phase’last_img read more

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — The Wilmington-Tewksbury Chamber of Commerce profiles a different member in the local media each week.  In this week’s “Chamber Corner,” the Chamber is spotlighting Prime Marketing Experts of Burlington.Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedCHAMBER CORNER: Meet Assunta Perez Of DaMore LawIn “Business”CHAMBER CORNER: Learn About Michaela Klofac From AFLACIn “Business”CHAMBER CORNER: Learn About Align Credit Union’s Student AccountsIn “Business”last_img read more

first_imgThe Trinamool Congress (TMC) came out strongly against the price hike of Indian Railways fares by the Union Railways Minister Dinesh Trivedi, Wednesday.According to media sources, TMC chief Mamata Banerjee is upset with the increase in fares and wants it taken back.The TMC chief asked the Railways Minister to either resign or rollback the increased prices.Derek O’Brien was the first to go public with the party’s anger.”Railway Budget…what was all that about increasing fares across the board? Upper class…maybe ok…but all? Sorry,cannot agree….,” TMC MP Derek O’Brien tweeted immediately after the budget.Stating that party’s ”policies and principals” don’t allow it to burden the common people, TMC’s senior leader Sudip Bandopadhyay said: ”People must be protected at all costs.”Demanding to withdraw the price hike, Bandopadhyay said, “Dinesh Trivedi never consulted us on the budget.”However, Trivedi said in a press conference after the budget session that “I have done my duty… now I leave it to God.””I have not been asked to rollback the fare price…..people can afford the price hike…..” said the Minister.He also told the media that the “party (TMC) is not aware of the price hike.”last_img read more

first_imgIn this 4 June 2008 file photo, a Palestinian carries a box of vegetable oil as he walks past bags of flour, both donated by the United States Agency for International Development, at a depot in the West Bank village of Anin near Jenin. Photo: APTens of thousands of Palestinians are no longer getting food aid or basic health services from America, US-funded infrastructure projects have been halted, and an innovative peace-building program in Jerusalem is scaling back its activities.The Trump administration’s decision last year to cut more than $200 million in development aid to the Palestinians is forcing NGOs to slash programs and lay off staff as the effects ripple through a community that has spent more than two decades promoting peace in the Middle East.The US government’s development agency, USAID, has provided more than $5.5 billion to the Palestinians since 1994 for infrastructure, health, education, governance and humanitarian aid programs, all intended to underpin the eventual creation of an independent state.Much of that aid is channeled through international NGOs, which were abruptly informed of the cuts last summer and have been scrambling to keep their programs alive.President Donald Trump says the USAID cuts are aimed at pressuring the Palestinians to return to peace talks, but Palestinian officials say the move has further poisoned relations after the US recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last year. The aid groups, many of which have little or no connection to the Palestinian Authority, say the cuts hurt the most vulnerable Palestinians and those most committed to peace with Israel.”If you want to maintain the idea of the peace process, you have to maintain the people who would be part of the peace process,” said Lana Abu Hijleh, the local director for Global Communities, an international NGO active in the Palestinian territories since 1995.Before the aid cuts were announced, it provided food aid — branded as a gift from the American people — to more than 180,000 Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza on behalf of the World Food Program. USAID had planned to contribute $19 million a year for the next five years to continue the project but pulled out in August.Global Communities can now only provide aid to 90,000 people through March, and Abu Hijleh had to lay off around 30 staff, including in Gaza, where unemployment exceeds 50 per cent.”It really hurts, because you’re talking about the most basic level of assistance,” she said. The average family receives a monthly voucher worth around $130.Sadeqa Nasser, a woman living in Gaza’s Jebaliya refugee camp, used her voucher to support her disabled husband, their six children and four grandchildren.She says her sons each bring in less than $5 a day from odd jobs. “They cannot afford to buy food for their families, so I help them out,” she said.Since the aid was cut off, she’s been able to qualify for welfare payments from the Palestinian Authority, which itself relies heavily on foreign aid. “Without it we would go hungry,” she said.Funding has also been cut for a five-year, $50 million program run by a coalition of NGOs to provide health services, including clinical breast cancer treatment for some 16,000 women and treatment for some 700 children suffering from chronic diseases.Infrastructure projects, including desperately needed water treatment facilities in the blockaded Gaza Strip, have also been put on hold.Anera, which has carried out development projects in the Middle East for more than 50 years, said it was forced to halt five infrastructure projects in the West Bank and Gaza before completion and cancel three more in Gaza that were pending funding approval. It says the projects would have benefited more than 100,000 people.The NGOs are reaching out to other donors, but USAID is one of the biggest sources of funding for a global aid community overwhelmed by conflicts in Syria, Yemen and elsewhere.The Trump administration has also cut off funding for peace-building initiatives involving Palestinians — even residents of east Jerusalem, which Israel considers to be part of its capital. The Palestinians want east Jerusalem, which Israel captured in the 1967 war and annexed in a move not recognized internationally, to be the capital of their future state.Kids4Peace, a group founded by Israeli and Palestinian families in Jerusalem in 2002, brings Jewish, Christian and Muslim teenagers together for seminars and summer camps where they can share their experiences and learn more about one another.The group’s organizers acknowledge the longstanding criticism of such initiatives — that campfires and singalongs won’t bring peace to the Middle East, especially after a decade of diplomatic paralysis and little hope for resuming meaningful negotiations.But they say that with a $1.5 million USAID grant in 2016 they tripled the number of annual participants to around 70 and revamped programs. USAID takes a hands-on approach, requiring regular audits and demanding concrete accomplishments.Participants now take part in a Youth Action Program in which they plan and execute projects in their communities. One group is campaigning for Arabic subtitles in Jerusalem cinemas. Another set up a community garden in a tense neighborhood where Jews and Arabs had rarely interacted.Kids4Peace was a finalist for another $1.5 million grant this year, but that has been indefinitely postponed because of the funding cuts. It will continue to run programs with the help of private donors, but its growth prospects are in doubt.”We see the trend lines moving in a negative direction, in terms of more hostile attitudes toward the other, less interaction between Israelis and Palestinians, more resistance to peace negotiations,” said Josh Thomas, executive director of Kids4Peace International. “We see that as a need for greater investment rather than less.”Trump also halted aid to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, which provides basic services to more than 5 million Palestinians across the Middle East, but UNRWA was able to narrow the funding gap with aid pledges from other countries.Palestinian officials say they won’t bow to pressure.”We don’t want their money, we don’t want anything to do with America,” said Nabil Shaath, an adviser to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. “If (Trump) thinks he can put pressure on us through his money, it won’t work.”Critics of the policy fear that cutting off aid will further diminish Washington’s ability to manage a conflict that remains highly combustible.”When America vacates the Middle East space, we do so at our own risk and we do it to the benefit of our adversaries,” said Dave Harden, a former USAID mission director in the West Bank and Gaza.last_img read more

first_imgOprah Winfrey. John Legend. Constance Wu. Diego Luna. Baobab Studios’ latest animated VR film “Crow: The Legend” has an almost outrageous lineup of A-list talent attached to it. Even Eric Darnell, Baobab’s chief creative officer and writer-director of the film, still has to pinch himself sometimes. “For a tiny little startup, how the heck did this happen,” he asked himself during a recent interview.But “Crow: The Legend,” which has its North America premiere at the Los Angeles Film Festival this Friday, doesn’t just feature big names. It’s also an ambitious 22-minute VR pic that combines a story based on a Native American folk tale with a unique and charming illustration style that differs from any other VR experience to date. Recently, the Baobab team invited Variety to their office in Redwood City, Calif., for an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at how the piece came together. “Crow: The Legend” concept art.Getting that look just right was something that Baobab’s head of research and development Michael Hutchinson worked on for a long time. “Trying to get the sense of softness was key,” he said. “With computer graphics, getting hard and shiny is easy.”A first step was to introduce extra noise to the images. But dithering, as it is also called among computer graphics and visual effects folks, isn’t quite as easy if you actually have to render characters in real-time — especially if the rendering is done with the limited computing resources of a gaming PC, or perhaps in the future an all-in-one VR headset. Later in the story, the viewer gets to help Crow as he flies through space to find his way to the divine being. Viewers use rays of light to guide Crow, who at one point encounters a group of asteroids that begin to sing whenever they are hit by one of those lights. Peterson and his colleagues grouped this asteroid choir into nine different sections that can be individually trigged and mixed together on the fly. “In a way, you actually are the conductor,” he said. “This was the story we all loved the most,” remembered Baobab Studios CEO Maureen Fan. “However, it’s incredibly ambitious with many characters, environments, and theme complexity. We experimented with other projects before embarking on this one, the one we always wanted to do.”From the start, Darnell was acutely aware that his family’s ancestry didn’t give him much authority on subjects of Native American culture. “Basically, I’m this white guy from Kansas,” he admitted. That’s why Baobab partnered with Native Americans in Philanthropy and their CEO Sarah Eagle Heart early on. Heart not only became the voice of one of the characters in “Crow: The Legend,” but also provided key input on the story.The same is true for Randy Edmonds, an elder of the Kiowa-Caddo tribe and founder of the National Urban Indian Council. Edmonds also provided Baobab with guidance, and became the voice of the narrator that guides viewers through the world of “Crow: The Legend.”When Oprah becomes your divine being“Crow: The Legend” is the story of a group of animals tested by the forces of nature when the spirit of the seasons introduces the first-ever winter to their idyllic habitat. Unsure whether they can brave the cold any longer, they eventually come up with a plan to appeal to a divine being dubbed The One Who Creates Everything by Thinking to bring back warmer weather. Crow (Legend), a bird with an ego as big as his voice, would much rather star in a concert than help the other animals. But as his friends appeal to his vanity, he ultimately decides to embark on the perilous journey to meet The One Who Creates Everything by Thinking (Winfrey) — a journey that ultimately changes him and his relationship with his friends forever.The story of the journey is very much based on the original folk tale, but Baobab’s take on it adds another component by bringing together Crow and Skunk (Wu), a shy admirer of the bird who eventually learns that the two aren’t that different after all. “Inclusion is a really important part of this piece,” said Fan.That message resonated with Legend, who not only lent his voice to the piece, but also signed on as executive producer — something that ultimately opened the door for some of the other famous collaborators. In addition to Winfrey, Wu, and Luna, the cast of voice actors also include actress and YouTube star Liza Koshy and “Ready Player One” star Tye Sheridan. “It’s not a strategy for us to get stars,” Fan said. Instead, the studio got lucky finding a story that appealed to A-list talent.A warm, fuzzy story-book lookViewers of “Crow: The Legend” will find themselves immersed in a world that looks less like traditional animation, and more like something made out of felt, with warm, soft, and fuzzy outlines everywhere. The aesthetic is reminiscent of Eastern European children’s TV shows, or story books that eschew computer graphics for hand-painted imagery. Popular on Variety CREDIT: Courtesy of Baobab Studios Baobab Studios began working on “Crow: The Legend” in earnest in March of 2017. But for Darnell, who directed the “Madagascar” franchise before entering the world of VR with Baobab, the story behind it had been a much longer time coming. Ever since his father discovered during some amateur genealogy research that the family had a member of the Cherokee tribe in its ancestry, father and son had been fascinated with Native American myths and stories.That’s how Darnell also discovered the story of “Crow and Fire,” a native American tale about selflessness and sacrifice. “It’s about how the crow became the crow we know of today,” he explained. And when Darnell co-founded Baobab in 2015, he pitched an adaptation of the story as one of the studio’s many potential projects. “It just has all the components of a great story,” he said. The solution to the problems was for Hutchinson to effectively develop multiple versions of a character that are layered on top of each other — almost like an inner core, and a warm and fuzzy coat that is wrapped around it.Hutchinson’s work was aided by the decision to keep a lot of the shapes of bushes and other elements in the background very simple, and instead rely on those fuzzy edges to add warmth and texture. This helped to give the film a distinct look, but also freed up capacity for some of the more complex rendering of the main characters. “That was an example where art and technology worked together,” he said. “It was a happy accident.”It’s a story, not a questAnother challenge for Baobab was to add the right amount of interactivity to “Crow: The Legend.” Darnell said the team had learned a lot about adding interaction to narrative VR from its past pieces. In its most recent short, “Asteroids,” viewers could play fetch with a robot pet and trigger other interactive elements. However, as a result, some viewers were spending the entire watch time trying to unlock additional interactive features. “It just sabotages the immersion,” he said.The same was true for VR stories that require viewers to memorize controller buttons in order to move their hands or perform certain actions, he argued. That’s why “Crow: The Legend” doesn’t use any buttons at all. In the story, viewers become the spirit of the seasons, and waving their controllers lets them spread flowers or frost across the grass and bushes around them. At the same time, the story still progresses if viewers don’t participate at all. “The interaction is not a game, a quest. It’s narration,” said visual effects art director Scott Peterson. CREDIT: Courtesy of Baobab Studos Coming soon to headsets and flat screensBaobab has yet to announce its exact release plans for “Crow: The Legend,” but VR fans should expect the film to ultimately reach all major headsets as a two-parter later this year. The studio also plans to eventually make it available as a 360-degree video, and Fan said it was going to release a slightly shorter 2D version as well to make sure that it is being distributed as widely as possible.And Fan and her colleagues won’t stop there: To continue their collaboration with Heart and Native Americans in Philanthropy, the studio has been developing a fellowship for Native American storytellers that is meant to give other members of that community the VR bug — just like “Crow: The Legend” did to Edmonds, the 82-year-old Kiowa-Caddo tribal elder.“All Native American tales have a tradition of deep meaning and that’s why we tell the stories, sharing down the generations,” he said. “When I look at the impact these legends have, the insights they represent, taking that storytelling to a modern medium is extremely exciting. The beautiful VR work being created — inspired by our folklore — is like nothing I’ve ever experienced in my many years.” CREDIT: Courtesy of Baobab Studios ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15last_img read more

first_imgPrior to being recruited for the CEO post, Miller said he was a “lightweight” user of Fandom, which he used mainly to resolve debates about Star Trek. “I happen to be a bit of a Star Trek nerd,” he said. Fandom, which launched as Wikia in 2004 before rebranding in 2016, claims to reach nearly 200 million unique visitors per month across more than 300,000 wiki entries spanning TV, movies and games, as well as original video.Today, Fandom’s main source of revenue is advertising but Miller said he also sees opportunities to launch new subscription businesses and events: “Comic-Con has become an enormous destination for fans,” he said.Perkins Miller previously was GM of StubHub’s Americas business, where he oversaw the ticket-seller’s $5 billion marketplace business in North America and Latin America. Before joining StubHub in 2016, he was the NFL’s chief digital officer and head of media operations for two years, responsible for all of the league’s media and technology platforms. Miller has held other senior management roles at media companies, including EVP of digital media for WWE, where he helped launched the WWE Network subscription service, as well as COO at Vocativ and COO at Universal Sports.“Perkins brings a powerful mix of vision and market experience to Fandom, along with a strong track record of building compelling fan-centric experiences,” Jon Miller (who is not related to Perkins) said in a statement. “He has meaningfully scaled companies, launched innovative new revenue streams, and, most importantly, done so with a true spirit of collaborative leadership.”Last month, Fandom completed its acquisition of Curse Media — operator of gaming-focused fan sites including Gamepedia and D&D Beyond — from Amazon-owned Twitch. Perkins Miller noted that D&D Beyond, for Dungeons & Dragons fans, operates two subscription tiers that strip out ads and provide enhanced features. Also, in the summer of 2018, Fandom bought digital video channel Screen Junkies, best known for its popular “Honest Trailers” spoof series, from now-defunct Defy Media.Miller said he recognizes the need to “be respectful steward of [the Fandom] communities,” while developing new ways to monetize the site’s large user base. Community fan-culture platform Fandom has hired Perkins Miller, a longtime digital-media and technology exec who most recently led StubHub’s Americas operations, as CEO.He assumes the role at Fandom from interim CEO Andrew Doyle, director at TPG Capital. Miller will be based out of Fandom’s San Francisco headquarters beginning Feb. 11.Fandom’s corporate name is Wikia Inc., the for-profit company founded by Wikimedia Foundation’s Jimmy Wales and Angela Beesley Starling. Last year, the raised funding from private-equity firm TPG Capital and media and tech veteran Jon Miller, who serves as co-executive chairman with Wales. Other Wikia investors include Bessemer, Amazon, IVP and Digital Garage. Wikia received a $106 million round of funding in 2018, according to Crunchbase.“I’ve spent my career trying to find a way to connect fans and content, and there’s really no better place to do that today than Fandom,” Perkins Miller told Variety. “I think there’s a runway for this business that’s massive over the next three to five years.” Popular on Variety ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15last_img read more

first_imgVirtual pay TV operators in the US are making more than twice the revenue of traditional pay TV operators per channel per month, according to Ampere Analysis.The new research claims there is “more money to go around” in the skinny pay TV bundle than in traditional US pay TV packages, making the switch to ‘virtual’ pay TV potentially lucrative for channels.While the national average revenue per channel per customer for traditional pay TV is US$0.23 a month, virtual pay TV operators make a healthier US$0.59 per channel per month on average, according to the report.Even removing the cost of carrying US national networks, the remaining revenue per channel for skinny bundle packages still stands at US$0.48, “more than double the average for traditional pay TV”, said Ampere’s research.“US pay TV operators have needed to balance carriage fees and revenue for a long time. However, with the increasing migration of pay TV subscribers to OTT services, that balancing act is only set to become more precarious,” said Ampere Analysis research director, Guy Bisson.“Despite the fees they are charged to include US networks in their streaming packages, vMSOs (virtual Multiple Systems Operators) have made a better job of reconciling the carriage fees versus revenues per channel equation.“For channels, the shift to streaming and rise of vMSOs looks like a potentially strong plus – providing they have strong enough brands to make the cut.”last_img read more