VPR/VTPBS Poll: Scott popular, vaccine not, LT race tight

first_imgVermont This Week(link is external), Friday, September 25 at 7:30 p.m. on Vermont PBSThis is the third and final statewide public opinion survey put out by VPR and Vermont PBS this year. The first(link is external) was conducted in February, followed by a second poll in July(link is external).About VPRVermont Public Radio (VPR) is Vermont’s only statewide public radio network. A listener-supported, nonprofit organization since 1977, VPR provides an essential and trusted independent voice for news, information, music and cultural exploration. It operates a 27-station radio network serving all of Vermont, parts of surrounding states and Quebec, Canada. Reaching more than 200,000 listeners each week, VPR and its two programming services—VPR News and VPR Classical—produce programming for radio, digital and live audiences. A complete list of stations, programs and services can be found at VPR.org(link is external).About Vermont PBSVermont PBS connects neighbors through stories that change lives. As Vermont’s only statewide independent TV station, Vermont PBS is a powerful catalyst that informs, educates and inspires. When you support Vermont PBS, you help all Vermonters learn, grow, and contribute to our great state and the world. Learn more at vermontpbs.org(link is external). Join us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.Source: Colchester, Vt., September 22, 2020—VPR/VTPBS Vermont PBS,Vermont Public Radio,New VPR-Vermont PBS Poll Finds Governor Scott Very Popular Lieutenant Governor’s Race Is A Toss-Up, Fewer Than 50% Of Vermonters Eager To Take A COVID-19 VaccineVermont Business Magazine Republican Governor Phil Scott is coasting to reelection and has become more popular than the three Democrats who serve in Vermont’s Congressional delegation, according to a new poll(link is external) from VPR and Vermont PBS released today.Meanwhile, six weeks from Election Day, the state’s lieutenant governor’s race is a statistical dead heat, and fewer than 50 percent of Vermonters say they are eager to take a COVID-19 vaccine in the next year.The poll found that President Trump’s approval rating is in Vermont 30 percent, with Governor Phil Scott receiving the highest rating of 68 percent, followed by Senator Bernie Sanders (61 percent), Congressman Peter Welch (57 percent) and Senator Patrick Leahy (56 percent).They would also favor Scott over Leahy (41-38 percent) when the Senate election comes up next time.For lieutenant governor, Democrat Molly Gray received 35 percent support to 31 percent for Republican Scott Milne, with 24 percent not indicating a choice.The plurality of those polled indicated by a small margin that they would vote in-person rather than by mail (49 percent to 45 percent).And while Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden leads Trump in this poll 56 percent to 32 percent, 20 percent indicated they didn’t vote in the Trump-Hillary Clinton election four years ago, and Clinton received 35 percent to Trump’s 28 percent.Getting a vaccine for COVID-19 received a broader spread of enthusiasm with a more nuanced question.Question: If a vaccine for COVID-19 were developed in the next 12 months, how eager or reticent would you be to get vaccinated as early as possible?The responses were spread out, with a plurality of 48 percent saying they likely would get the vaccine: 19% were “Very eager,” 29% “Somewhat eager,” 22% “Somewhat reticent,” 21% “Very reticent,” 6% “Not sure/No opinion,” and 3% “Refused.”By a wide margin poll takers favored legalizing marijuana (68 percent).They also favored in-person K-12 schools (52-34 percent), and more narrowly favored reopening the colleges for on-campus instruction (48-42 percent).From September 3 to September 15, the VPR-Vermont PBS Poll(link is external) asked Vermonters how they felt about political candidates, a COVID-19 vaccine, retail marijuana and other issues. The full results, methodology, and appendices are available for download(link is external).The poll was supervised by Rich Clark, a professor of political science and former director of polling at the Castleton Polling Institute, and was conducted by Braun Research. Pollsters interviewed 604 respondents over landlines and cell phones. The poll has an overall margin of error of 4%.VPR and Vermont PBS will provide extensive broadcast and digital coverage and analysis of the polling results throughout the week, including:VPR News stories and reports throughout the week on the air and at VPR.org(link is external) A deep dive into the poll results on Vermont Edition(link is external) on Wednesday, September 23 at 12 p.m. and 7 p.m.last_img read more

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Three events offer expanded shot at Ironman 70.3 Worlds

first_imgIronman has announced that three events in its global Ironman 70.3 series will offer expanded qualification opportunities for the 2012 Ironman World Championship 70.3. The three events – Ironman 70.3 Boise, Ironman 70.3 Kansas and Ironman 70.3 Syracuse – now each feature 100 age group qualifying slots for the world championship race scheduled for 9 September 2012, at Lake Las Vegas in Henderson, Nevada.“We’ve listened to feedback and recognize that as the popularity of triathlon continues to grow, so does the level of difficulty in earning a slot for world-class events such as the Ironman World Championship 70.3,” said Andrew Messick, Chief Executive Officer of Ironman brand owner World Triathlon Corp (WTC).“While it’s important to maintain the integrity of world championship qualification, choosing select Ironman 70.3 events at which we offer a larger pool of qualifying slots will ensure that more athletes who deserve to race get the chance to do so in Vegas.”The three Ironman 70.3 races were chosen for specific qualification reasons. Ironman 70.3 Boise (scheduled for 9 June), Ironman 70.3 Kansas (scheduled for 10 June) and Ironman 70.3 Syracuse (24 June), allow athletes the opportunity to qualify relatively early in the season for the 2012 Ironman World Championship 70.3.Additionally, the three races span the West, Midwest and East regions of the US, making them geographically appealing for a larger number of athletes.Messick noted, “For many of our North American Ironman 70.3 races, you need to either win your age group or place second to be certain of a world championship slot. We believe that there ought to be certain races where world championship slots go deeper, at least in the bigger age groups.”Since its inception in 2006, the Ironman 70.3 Series has become ‘the fastest growing triathlon series in the world’, featuring nearly 60 events across the globe. Each year, more than 114,000 athletes compete for 1,800 coveted slots to the Ironman World Championship 70.3.General registration is open for all three of the above events online, but with the announcement of the expanded number of qualifying slots, the races are expected to reach capacity quickly.www.ironmanboise.com www.ironmankansas.com www.ironmansyracuse.com www.ironman.com Relatedlast_img read more

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Home prices rise in July in 20 major U.S. cities

first_imgHome prices kept rising in July across the United States, buoyed by greater sales and fewer foreclosures.National home prices increased 1.2 percent in July, compared to the same month last year, according to the Standard & Poor’s/Case Shiller index released Tuesday. That’s the second straight year-over-year gain after two years without one.The report also says prices rose in July from June in all 20 cities tracked by the index. That’s the third straight month in which prices rose in every city.Steady price increases and record-low mortgage rates are helping drive a housing recovery.In the 12 months ending in July, prices have risen in 16 of 20 cities. In Phoenix, one of the cities hardest hit by the housing bust, prices are up 16.6 percent in that stretch. Prices in Minneapolis and Detroit have risen more than 6 percent.“We are more optimistic about housing,” David Blitzer, chairman of the S&P’s index committee. “Stronger housing numbers are a positive factor for other measures, including consumer confidence.”Prices fell from a year earlier in Atlanta, Chicago, New York and Las Vegas.The S&P/Case-Shiller index covers roughly half of U.S. homes. It measures prices compared with those in January 2000 and creates a three-month moving average. The July figures are the latest available.Home prices are still 30 percent below their peak in June 2006, according to Case-Shiller. That was the height of the housing boom.Other measures of home prices are also showing steady gains. CoreLogic, a private real estate data provider, said earlier this month that prices rose in July from a year earlier by the most in six years. And a federal government housing agency has also reported annual increases.Rising home prices are one of many signs that the housing market is slowly recovering.Sales of previously occupied homes jumped in August to the highest level since May 2010. Builder confidence is at a six-year high and construction of single-family homes rose last month to the fastest annual rate in more than two years. Even with the gains, home sales and construction remain well below healthy levels.The broader economy is likely to benefit from rising home prices. When home prices rise, people typically feel wealthier and spend more. And more Americans are likely to put their houses up for sale, which could further energize the market.Home sales have been bolstered by the lowest mortgage rates on record. The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage touched a record low of 3.49 percent last week and has been below 4 percent all year. A limited supply of homes has also helped drive prices higher.Prices are also rising because of a decline in foreclosures and sales of other deeply discounted homes. Many homes in the foreclosure process will likely come on the market in the coming months, which could drag on prices.Still, many Americans, particularly first-time homebuyers, are unable to qualify for a mortgage or can’t afford larger down payments required by banks. That’s holding back sales.Home sales could get a further boost from the Federal Reserve. The Fed said two weeks ago that it would purchase $40 billion of mortgage-backed securities each month until the economy and hiring improve substantially. That’s likely to keep mortgage rates at record-low rates for some time.last_img read more

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News Scan for Oct 13, 2020

first_img$100 million next-generation genomics initiative begins in AfricaA group led by the African Commission through the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), yesterday launched the Africa Pathogen Genomics Initiative (Africa PGI), a $100 million, 4-year partnership to expand and integrate next-generation genomic sequencing (NGS) capabilities across the continent to improve health surveillance and lab networks and better tackle antimicrobial resistance (AMR).”The Africa PGI will help Member States build their capacities to operate strong surveillance and laboratory networks supported by advanced technologies to reduce the burden of disease and respond to outbreaks quickly and effectively,” Africa CDC Director John Nkengasong, PhD, MS said in a press release.While some institutions in Africa already have access to NGS technology, the necessary finances, training, and database infrastructure has not been in place for widespread use. To address this, critical partners in the effort include Illumina and Oxford Nanopore, which are providing NGS machines and training; the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which are providing funding and technological assistance such as the Advanced Molecular Detection program; and Microsoft, which will be working with Africa PGI on its digital architecture and more.Africa PGI hopes to create systems to better prevent, track, and control the approximately 140 infectious disease outbreaks that the continent sees each year as well as problems due to AMR. Besides creating a real-time, shared database, the initiative will also establish a training program for pathogen genomics and connect participants with international research opportunities. Oct 12 Africa CDC press release French Guiana reports first Oropouche fever outbreakThe World Health Organization (WHO) today detailed the first detection of Oropouche fever, a vector-borne illness that has symptoms similar to dengue and similar diseases—in French Guiana, the latest country in the Americas to report the virus.In a statement, the WHO said French Guiana health officials identified seven lab-confirmed cases in Saul, following a probe into a number of dengue-type infections in the remote village that is surrounded by the Amazon rain forest.The area is a popular hiking destination, but the population is currently low due to pandemic-related travel restrictions, and the attack rate appears to be as high as 70%. Of 37 suspected cases, most involved men, with a median age of 36 years.Public health investigations are under way, including a mission to explore vector sources, which could include midges or mosquito species known to spread the virus in the Americas.Earlier Oropouche outbreaks have been reported in both rural and urban settings in a number of other countries in the Americas region, including Brazil and Peru.Oct 13 WHO statementlast_img read more

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AkzoNobel Announces Board Changes

first_imgBollinger Motors will manufacture battery packs for its own vehicles – as well as make them commercially available for standalone applications – starting in 2021. The modules are connected to both sides of a symmetrical and structural I-beam. The I-beam includes channels, through which cooling fluid is pumped, to extract heat away from the battery modules. The I-beams also provide cross-vehicle structural support and help protect the pack from side intrusions.  “The heart of every EV is the battery, so it was crucial for us to develop our own battery pack in-house,” said CEO Robert Bollinger. “Our engineering team has created a pack with high-strength structural properties, exemplary cooling features and state-of-the-art software.”  Designed for safety, high energy density, and high continuous power capacity, the Bollinger Motors battery pack will be suitable for heavier applications such as medium-duty trucks, agricultural and construction equipment. THE NETHERLANDS – AkzoNobel has announced a number of personnel changes in its governance structure. Two new Supervisory Board members will be nominated for election by shareholders at the 2012 Annual General Meeting of shareholders, while Rob Frohn, board of management member responsible for specialty chemicals, will leave the company. All changes will become effective on May 1. Werner Fuhrmann, executive committee member responsible for supply chain and sourcing, will manage specialty chemicals until Frohn’s successor is identified.   The proposed two new Supervisory Board members are Sari Baldauf, currently non-executive chairman of the board of Fortum Oyj and director at several other companies, and Ben Verwaayen, currently CEO of Alcatel-Lucent. Baldauf has senior executive experience in building and running global businesses at Nokia Corp. She holds a number of prestigious non-executive positions, including at Daimler AG, alongside her role at Fortum Oyi. Likewise, Verwaayen has many years’ experience operating at the highest level of successful international businesses, including as CEO of BT Group and as Managing Director of KPN in the Netherlands.   In addition, Baroness Virginia Bottomley will step down from her position on the supervisory board after having served the company as a supervisory board member for 12 years. The departure will become effective on May 1.     AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisement,Bollinger Motors has filed a patent with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for its battery pack design. The scope of the patent includes mechanical, electrical and systems-engineering innovations. AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisementcenter_img The Bollinger Motors battery pack is composed of modules in 35 kWh strings that can be connected in series or parallel to form a variety of pack sizes and configurations. Pack sizes will include 35, 70, 105, 140, 175 kWh, and higher, with many sizes capable of both 350V and 700V configurations.  The Battery Management System (BMS) has also been developed in-house. The BMS has been created to handle any number of strings, therefore one BMS can be manufactured for all future battery-pack sizes and voltages.  The BMS monitors voltage, current, and temperature at multiple points within the pack and manages the system accordingly. It works with other vehicle-control units to maintain optimum operating conditions that increase efficiency and extend battery life. The BMS also provides several features which ensure system safety, including detecting and isolating faults to enable continued vehicle operation.Advertisement Bollinger Motors filed the provisional patent application on Oct. 12. The patent application number is 17/068,260.last_img read more

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PPG Appoints Malesia Dunn As Executive Director, PPG Foundation and Corporate Global Social Responsibility

first_imgPPG has announced the appointment of Malesia Dunn as executive director, PPG Foundation and corporate global social responsibility. In this role, Dunn will report to Bryan Iams, PPG vice president, corporate and government affairs and succeed Sue Sloan, current executive director, who will retire, effective Aug. 1.AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisementDunn will lead the strategy and management of PPG’s global community engagement activities, including grantmaking and volunteer activities through the PPG Foundation in the U.S., and the Global Charitable Contributions program, which reaches across five global regions. She will also lead PPG’s Colorful Communities program, the company’s signature initiative for supporting communities, which aims to protect and beautify the neighborhoods where the company operates around the world.“Since PPG’s founding 135 years ago, we have been committed to giving back to the communities where the company has a presence,” said Iams. “Malesia’s wide-ranging experience and proven capabilities will be invaluable as we continue to grow partnerships in our communities and build upon our legacy of corporate responsibility.”Dunn was previously director, external communications, for the Colonial Pipeline Co. In this role, She was responsible for enhancing, protecting and promoting Colonial’s external brand presence and reputation with key stakeholders. She provided strategic oversight and counsel on media relations, social media, public outreach and branding.Previously, Dunn served as the director of communications for the North American business of GlaxoSmithKline, based in Pittsburgh for 15 years. In that role, she led the company’s communications function, working closely with leaders to address business challenges with effective communication strategy and plans. She also spent 16 months on a global assignment at the company’s global headquarters in London, managing executive communications for the CEO and senior leaders.AdvertisementDunn also worked in similar communications roles with Novartis Consumer Health, Gerber Products and McDonald’s corporations, managing internal and external communications programs. In addition, she was a television and radio producer, reporter and anchor for ABC affiliates in Kansas City, Missouri and Asheville, North Carolina. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri – Columbia.Throughout her 40-plus year career with PPG, Sloan has progressed through various functions and roles of increasing responsibility. In 1976, she began her career in PPG’s human resources department, advancing through several business segments prior to joining the PPG Foundation staff in 1987. Sloan was promoted to program officer in 1997, senior program officer in 2001 and executive director in 2007. In 2011, she began managing PPG’s corporate global charitable contributions program, which provides corporate support in Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and Latin America. Sloan has been responsible for the administration of PPG’s global grants budget; the assessment and evaluation of all requests for funding of programs and projects; the company’s employee community engagement programs; and the allocation and communications of grants in the areas of education, community sustainability and employee engagement. Most recently, she helped create the company’s signature community engagement initiative, the Colorful Communities program.Advertisement“We thank Sue for her outstanding impact and more than 40 years of service at PPG,” said Iams. “Her dedication and commitment has allowed PPG to create brighter, more colorful communities where PPG has a presence around the world.”last_img read more

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Read of the Week

first_imgTomblandCJ SansomPan MacMillanReview: Lauren O’Connor-May The 16th century is Tudor time and what would contemporary historical fiction be without a Tudor or two?Tombland features not one, but two brief appearances by Tudors, though the story is primarily about Matthew Shardlake, a hunchback lawyer, who works as a hired lackey for Lady Elizabeth – who will one day become the famous queen. Shardlake has successfully elevated himself from peasant to gentleman and enjoys close relationships with his servants because of his past. How this was done is presumably told in the predecessor books.Tombland the place is in Norwich, England. It is the site of a bloody, historic battle between the common man and an oppressive gentry, which almost changes the status quo. Shardlake, while on an errand there for Elizabeth – investigating the mysterious murder of one of her distant Boleyn relatives – is unwittingly caught up in the battle. The leader of the rebellion sniffs out his confused loyalties. He is regarded with suspicion by those who have noticed his equal good intentions to both the common man and gentry alike. So, he is constantly asked to pick sides – as the winning chips keep tipping in different directions. But while all the historical politics is raging, there is a murder mystery to be solved. At the centre of the story is a “whodunnit”, which pops up sporadically in the narrative. With the help of some clever story-telling, the clues that point to the killer slowly surface as Shardlake tries to unentwine himself from the political barbed wire web.I enjoyed this book, which is both heartwarming and violently gory. I was especially pleased that my guess at the killer was wrong. I always enjoy a book that surprises me.last_img read more

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Heading for crisis

first_imgGeoff Jacobs, president, Cape Chamber of Commerce and IndustryGiven the sharp lesson on the importance of the economy that all South Africans got thanks to the Covid-19 lockdown, the Supplementary Budget statement by the Minister of Finance, Tito Mboweni, was a little light on detail for most people’s tastes, but bleakly honest about the state we are in.Those who followed the news leading up to Minister Mboweni’s statement would have known that there are – details – or should one say, plans – for dealing with the appalling financial situation the country is in.What the minister wanted and needed to deliver to Parliament was an awful warning – and he certainly did that.The South African state can no longer continue to spend money it does not have; it cannot borrow its way out of the financial quagmire it has created through runaway expenditure on salaries for public servants; perks and privileges for politicians and municipal officials; and the continued propping up of state-owned enterprises.Minister Mboweni chose his words carefully, but left us all in no doubt: the country is at the crossroads. If we continue as we are, in a mere three years’ time, we will create a sovereign-debt crisis – in plain language, we will be unable to pay back even the interest on the loans with which this government has lumbered us.The details that were mentioned revealed the depth of the financial pit we are in. Government intends to borrow $7 billion, or R118 billion in today’s money, and more if inflation gets a hold, as it might.Who will lend it to us is still largely unanswered. $1 billion has been secured from the New Development Bank, but which way the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund will jump is still unknown, but, in any event, it will all have to be paid back.As it is, South Africa’s national debt already amounts to a dangerous 81.7% of the entire gross domestic product (GDP) of the economy. It reached this alarming level in the past two months from when it was already at a high R3.56 trillion or 65.6% of GDP. These are red lights to any economist and should be glaringly obvious to politicians as well.At the end of the minister’s statement on Wednesday, the challenges the country faces were clearer than ever: the money-gobbling state-owned enterprises; the over-manned and overpaid civil services (especially at the top level); the debt-stricken municipalities; the pie-in-the-sky national health system; and the insane plan to confiscate private property without compensation that on its own will scare off any private investor, leaving the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund the lender of last resort.last_img read more

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Interview: Wesley Dean opens up about his new music, finding himself and his incredible voice

first_imgWesley Dean is perhaps better known as Wes Carr, the winner of Australian Idol in 2008.Since winning the show, he’s carved out a successful career releasing four studio album and two EPs. For his latest music – Are You Gonna Save My World and This Thing Called Life – Wes is going under the name of Wesley Dean, his first and middle name.Ready to step back into the spotlight with plenty more music to come, Wesley spoke to me last week about his new music, his journey to find himself and his incredible voice…You’ve recently put out two new tracks. Why did you decide to do that now?We recorded back in September and October last year and I recorded 20 songs. I’ve been working on a lot of songs the last five years and it was always the plan to release them at this time. The whole COVID pandemic that’s been going on luckily didn’t stop us because everything is online at the moment, an also my music is designed to shed a bit of hope and a bit of love around around the place. There was talk of maybe waiting till it’s all over but I was like, ‘well, no, that’s what music is. Music is about liberating people and personal freedom’. It’s always been like for me especially at this sort of time where people are feeling a little bit hopeless. Are You Gonna Save My World, I wrote that song a year ago and it wasn’t designed to have any kind of clickbait potential or whatever goes on these days (laughs). It was just a bit of a coincidence that people were actually talking about that sort of question at one stage. A few months ago, people were like, ‘who’s gonna save the world from this thing that’s happening?’ There was a lot of fear and still is a lot of fear. I hope that my music can disable a little bit of that fear in people’s minds and give them a bit of a hope and a bit of something to think about. I just reflect what I hear to be honest, in society and life and being a dad. The steam train has left the station and we’re ready to drop a few more tunes in the next coming weeks. The idea is just to keep going. You’ve got to! (laughs)You mentioned you’ve recorded 20 tracks. Is the plan to release them over the course of the year or are you working up to an EP or album?We’re making up our own rules. That’s the best part about being an independent at the moment. We’re making up our own rules and we’re designing our own future with all of this. That’s what I’ve been doing for a long time anyway. I guess I’ve come into my own a bit with the songwriting too. I’m writing a lot more. It’s all just sort of clicked for me in a lot of ways. To get to know one’s self these days is a long journey and for me, that’s what these songs are about. We don’t know yet what’s going to happen in the future with the releases, whether it’s going to be a collection of songs or whether it’s going to be singles or whether it’s going to be an album, who knows? I do know there’s gonna be a few more singles dropped before I start to make my own album because I’ve got so many tunes, I want them all to live on in the best way they can and have their own voice. We’re treating every song as something different song – they’re almost like a different genre some of them but they’re not, they live in the same world. The next one is called Magic and it’s a bit more upbeat. The last one was six and a half minutes long. This one’s a two and a half minute country rock kind of pop song (laughs).Credit: James CantThe tracks we’ve heard so far are so raw and organic. They’re completely different from what we’ve heard from you before and a million miles away from your Australian Idol days. I guess it must have been easy to lose yourself when you win a show like that?I’ve had trouble finding who I am anyway forever and music was the only thing that made me feel like a sort of semi-normal person or something. I’ve been doing this since I was so young. From singing and dancing and studying that to having a little bit of experience at acting but always being a musician, that’s been my heart and soul. Going into different sort of bands – pop bands to rock bands, to acoustic outfits and then to Australian Idol – it was the path to fulfilment. It wasn’t the overall fulfilment. I was still learning the ropes. I was still in my apprenticeship days. Now this is me coming of age as a man. I guess looking back, although one of my songs is called Don’t Look Back and I’m going to break the rules there, everything that I’ve experienced is all in this music. All the stories and things have come from different places of life; growing up and being famous, and then not being famous, and then changing my name to Buffalo Tales and realising that wasn’t really the answer either, and then I did a dance thing and toured with a DJ. This is a coming back home and using all of that live experience to reignite the flame that is me as a musician and as an artist. This is truly who I am, more so than trying to fit into somebody else’s a square peg in a round hole.When you won Australian Idol, did it feel like your life wasn’t your own for a while afterwards?For me it was like a personal development course that I did (laughs). It really made me aware of who I really was and who my friends were, and what my environment was and how safe and unsafe I was in different scenarios of my life, and the feeling of working it all out within myself, more so than looking out and trying to blame everything else, blaming the system. I think a lot of people these days want to blame something for their own thing and of course, go and do that, take your anger out on something for a second but look at what it’s really shining a light on. For me, it brought out a lot of my own stuff that I had to deal with to be able to think clearly as a human and as an artist.To be honest, what I’m trying to say is it was a blessing in a lot of ways, because although maybe I didn’t fit the mould I look back on it with a really fond memory, and you only remember the good stuff anyway. It shined a light on who I wasn’t and made me realise who I was, and that is a songwriter and an artist and somebody that looks at things a little bit more abstract in some ways than being a poster boy person, not that there’s anything wrong with that. It’s just that that wasn’t me. I had more in me and more in my heart to tell. I had songs to tell instead of boy meets girl over and over again, which is cool and I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that – half of The Beatles’ catalogue is all about that and I am a big fan of The Beatles obviously – but for me, songs like what I’m doing now is what I’ve always had in me. I’ve always wanted to express that. I’m just so happy that I’m almost starting again and doing that right now.When I listen to your songs it’s always your voice that grabs me. It’s such a powerful, ripped-from-the-soul kind of voice. When did you discover you had it and how has it developed over the course of your career?Touring, I think. Playing live a lot has definitely strengthened my voice. I’ve always had a bit of a loud, raucous sort of voice ever since I was a kid. I used to sing Michael Jackson and Jackson 5 songs when I was little, singing twelve hours a day every. You just build some strength in the chords., I’m no expert on it, I’ve always been singing since I was really young and that’s what I’ll always probably be doing. I’m 37 thirty seven and I think as a male you hit your peak at around that age as a singer. Your vocal chords get stronger and stronger till you’re 50 or 60. I just love singing. I just enjoy it. It’s just one of those things that makes me get out of bed in morning (laughs).Your voice is incredibly versatile. Was it influenced by listening to a whole host of genres and artists growing up?Yeah, from Al Jolson to John Lennon to Jim Morrison to Glenn Shorrock from the Little River Band. All the 60s and 70s music. Elvis, I guess every singer has a time with Elvis at one stage in their lives. Also Dusty Springfield and Janis Joplin and Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder, all those sort of guys. They sort of leapt into my soul at one stage in my life and (Bob) Dylan, even though a lot of people complain about his voice. I think it’s great and (he has) great story telling. You always know where Dylan’s at when he’s singing. That’s what it’s about. It’s about the personality more so than the technical thing. As long as it has personality and passion and you feel like it’s telling a really true story, that’s what I love about music the most.Credit: James CantThis pandemic must be very frustrating as you’re not able to get out and play these songs…It is frustrating. It’s such an unfortunate thing. It’s crazy and I just don’t even know where to start with it all. It’s so fresh and there’s so much fear going on. I hope that people’s mental health is OK out of all this too. The arts are usually the first point of call when you have to raise money but we’re the first people that gets cut with this. I totally get it. The frontline workers are absolute angels and heroes, and they’re the true heroes out of all this. Anyone who’s risking their safety or life for this thing is an angel in my book. I just truly pray and hope that it all blows over and everybody can get back to doing what they do best. Hopefully it’s that simple. Who knows? It’s been a huge wake up call. There’s a lot of positives out of it too, I guess. What we’re seeing around the world (like) you can see the Himalayas for the first time in 30 years and the ocean life is regenerating itself. There’s a lot of great things as well happening, but for me certainly touring and playing live is definitely one of the greatest things that I love doing. I do hope to get back one day very soon.Have you made it over to the U.K. for any shows in your career yet?No, I haven’t played in the U.K. I’d love to. I would absolutely love to. A lot of people have said to me that I should get over there and play shops. I’m hopeful it will be very soon in the near future.Is there anything else that you’re working on or that’s keeping you busy at the moment?[00:17:28] Being a dad (laughs) of a two year old and a seven year old boy. They’re keeping me on my toes all the time. I’m just always thinking about new music and writing. I’m always writing. While I was writing these songs I had about 50 or 60 songs to choose from, and I ended up narrowing it down to 20. I love the process of doing that because anything’s possible when you’re writing music. I hired out a little space in the back of the church, where I finished off all these tunes. It was just a great time. It was the first time I had two weeks to myself where I went to this workspace from 8 o’clock to 6 o’clock and clocked in and clocked out. I just went to work every day. It was so prolific and I was writing eight songs a day at one stage. I’m always doing a version of that where most of the time I’m running into my home studio for 20 minutes, and writing a quick chorus or a quick verse, and running out back into reality again. I’m up at 3am and I’m constantly writing and constantly creating. 90% of my time is with my writing and focussed on where to next. (laughs) It’s constant man. For me it’s truly a blessing to be able to do it. I just love it. It’s the best thing, this thing called life.Wesley Dean’s singles Are You Gonna Save My World and This Thing Called Life are available now. Watch the video for This Thing Called Life below:last_img read more

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USAID Will Provide Food to Haiti in Response to the Government’s…

first_imgPORT AU PRINCE, Haiti – Just one week after President of Haiti Jovenel Moise asked the United States to provide humanitarian aid to the country, the US has taken the decision to honor his request.The decision was made less than 24 hours after the meeting between the Ambassador of Haiti to Washington, Hervé Denis and Republican Congressman Steve King who told the representative of Haiti in Washington that he has already made approaches to the USAID and the State Department for the delivery of this aid as soon as possible.In a press release, published this Friday, November 1, 2019, on the website of the United States Embassy in Haiti, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), informed that It will soon distribute, through the United Nations World Food Program, 2,000 metric tons of food from its emergency stockpile stored in Haiti.Emergency food stocks, according to USAID Administrator Mark Green, added to the $20 million emergency food aid for USAID’s budget year 2019, which is currently in the process of being spread across the country.This decision, according to the administrator of the US agency, comes in response to the deterioration of food security conditions and in the light of additional information provided by the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET ), by the Haitian government and other local partners.Last week Monday, Moise appeared on a radio and television programme to announce that he had made a request to the United States for aid, though he gave no details of the request made to Washington.Prior to the request made by Moise, the United States had issued a statement saying that “the apparent lack urgency to resolve the extended political stalemate is increasingly worrisome, as is the growing negative impact on public security, the economy, and the delivery of humanitarian assistance, including food aid”.Despite the nationwide political tension in the country that may affect the United States’ ability to properly provide aid, the US has decided to assist the government.last_img read more

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