Watch Jeanna de Waal Belt Out ‘If’ from the Princess Diana Musical, Diana

first_img View Comments Hear ye, hear ye! Jeanna de Waal, who is gearing up to star as the iconic Princess Diana in the Broadway-bound musical Diana, joined forces with the show’s music man David Bryan to offer a taste of the score. In a new music video, de Waal offers her golden pipes to the anthem “If,” which her character belts out upon being granted permission from Queen Elizabeth to separate from her husband Prince Charles. In the song, she proclaims her freedom from the watchful eyes of the Windsors. Watch the powerful music video below, and see Diana when it begins Broadway performances at the Longacre Theatre on March 2, 2020. David Bryan & Jeanna de Waal Diana from $49.00center_img Star Files Related Shows Jeanna de Waallast_img read more

Your Pet, Your Money, Your Call

first_imgThe New York Times:Of course you can be an ethical pet owner even if you cannot or will not spend huge amounts of cash on exotic medical treatments for your dog or cat. To say otherwise would restrict the pleasures of animal companionship (and the often exaggerated health benefits of pets) to the rich. And in fact, when it comes to veterinary medicine, more is not always better.One of my colleagues recently spent nearly $8,000 on cancer treatments for her dog. Has she done anything wrong? No – it is her money, after all. (And that is small change compared with the $150,000 that a lovely diamond encrusted dog collar will set you back.) Spending $10,000 on chemotherapy for your beloved golden retriever is no more unethical than spending it on a two-week vacation in Tuscany.Read the whole story: The New York Times More of our Members in the Media >last_img read more

CARICOM Secretary-General highlights Region’s Climate Change and EU Blacklisting…

first_img During two weeks in September 2017, Hurricanes Irma and Maria demonstrated starkly what those consequences mean for Caribbean SIDS. Those events occurred with global temperatures which have risen by around one degree centigrade above pre-industrial levels. Caribbean scientists had projected that 1.5 degrees centigrade would result in significant impacts on our region. This has been corroborated by the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which also showed that we will attain the 1.5 degree centigrade warmer world much sooner than anticipated – by 2030. The IPCC agrees with the region’s scientists that such a level of warming would cause extreme temperatures, increases in the frequency and intensity of mega storms, increase in the amount of unseasonal heavy rainfall, and an increase in the intensity or frequency of droughts. But the world continues on track towards a 3°C rise, maybe higher. There can be no question that for us in the Caribbean, climate change is an existential threat. It has been recorded that between 2000 and 2017, Member States of our Community suffered at least seven major disasters in which damage ranged from 33% to 226% of the affected country’s GDP. The Secretary-General follows closely as Foreign Minister of The Bahamas and Chairman of COFCOR Hon. Darren Henfield also addresses the Conference The estimated cost of reconstruction after the 2017 devastation by Hurricanes Irma and Maria has been put at US$5 billion region-wide. A sum of that magnitude is way beyond the capacity of the Caribbean Catastrophic Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF), which we established as the first multi-country risk pool in the world. It provides quick financial relief following a disaster. The Facility is itself in need of recapitalisation. For us therefore, especially with the prediction of more intense and frequent mega storms, seeking to build resilience against that phenomenon is urgent. Resilience has been defined, in the context of disasters, as the ability of a system, community or society exposed to hazards, to resist, absorb, accommodate and recover from its effects in a timely and efficient manner. This includes through the preservation and restoration of its essential basic structures and functions. For us, resilience includes: Six Eastern Caribbean countries deemed safe for travel – CDC CARPHA Partners with, PAHO to Ensure Caribbean States’… Related Posts Romania sympathetic to CARICOM’s blacklisting concernsThe Government of Romania is sympathetic to the concerns of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) with respect to the blacklisting of some of its Member States by the European Union (EU). The sentiment was conveyed by His Excellency Stefan Mera as he presented his credentials on Thursday to CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador…January 24, 2019In “CARICOM”CARICOM SG emphasises benefits of building regional relationships”…The spirit of co-operation that has brought us all here today drives us towards generating ideas to strengthen the capacity of our Region to resolve the challenges that we all face.” – CARICOM SG at 15th Annual Conference on Regional Cooperation Antilles-Guyane Remarks by CARICOM Secretary-General at 15th Annual Conference on Regional…November 28, 2019In “Antigua & Barbuda”CARICOM exemplifies spirit of togetherness, Chairman saysEND OF YEAR STATEMENT BY THE CHAIRMAN OF THE CARIBBEAN COMMUNITY (CARICOM), THE HONOURABLE ALLEN CHASTANET, PRIME MINISTER OF SAINT LUCIA Season’s Greetings to all, and may you enjoy the festivities in the spirit of togetherness that is the hallmark of family and community. Our Caribbean Community (CARICOM) exemplifies that…December 27, 2019In “Anguilla”Share this on WhatsApp Address by the CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque to the International Conference on Building Resilience to Natural Disasters, Bucharest, Romania, 12 March 2019  This forum is extremely timely and in keeping with our thrust in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) as we have embraced building resilience, including to natural disasters, as a matter of priority. The Caribbean along with the Pacific Islands are among the most disaster-prone regions in the world. I welcome this initiative by Romania which demonstrates your support of, your interest in, and your concern for our Community, as we face the existential challenge posed by climate change. Despite the relatively recent establishment of formal ties with CARICOM, Romania has demonstrated a keen interest in the issues that affect our Region, and has been very supportive of our efforts to combat our challenges. Minister Melescanu, I thank you and your Government most sincerely. Romania’s Foreign Minister Mr.Teodor Melescanu (5th left, front) is joined on his left by the Secretary-General of the International Organisation of LaFrancophonie Ms. Louise Mushikiwabo and CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque Small-Island and Low-Lying Coastal Developing States (SIDS) such as us in CARICOM, have been vociferous about the dangers posed by the effects of climate change. Scientific report after scientific report, put out by international agencies and respected academia, have warned of its catastrophic consequences. Oct 16, 2020center_img Oct 16, 2020 Social Protection for the most vulnerable persons as they are the most affected by disasters;Safeguarding Infrastructure with the implementation of building codes to ensure human safety and welfare, as well as strengthening public infrastructure such as bridges and sea defences, which is a key component of building the Region’s resilience;Economic Diversification which is enhanced through building economic resilience to reduce the incidents of income volatility;Environmental Protection and;Operational Readiness which allows for the continuity of Government and business operations. As the Foreign Minister of Dominica, the Honourable Francine Baron stated “we need to incorporate resilience in everything that we do moving forward, from infrastructure, to our economy, to our social sectors”. An IMF study found that for every dollar spent in building resilience, savings can be as much as seven dollars in damage and reconstruction costs after a disaster. With that concept in mind, the CARICOM Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM) Strategy was designed in 2001 by the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA). It seeks to manage hazards including hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, landslides, pandemics, through all phases of the disaster management cycle. These include prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response, recovery and rehabilitation with everyone involved – public and private sectors – all segments of civil society and the general population. While we appreciate the assistance after catastrophic events, in order to build the resilience necessary to mitigate the effects, we must have access to concessional development financing well in advance of a disaster. The need for building resilience is emphasised by the fact that these disasters play havoc with public finances, diverting expenditure towards recovery and rehabilitation and away from planned development. We find ourselves in extraordinary circumstances which therefore require extraordinary solutions. The key factor that must be addressed is the sustainable financing of these efforts at resilience. However, there are significant factors which constrain us in that regard. The IMF has also identified issues specific to our Member States, the majority of which are middle-income countries. According to an IMF study, CARICOM countries “exhibit extreme versions of long-term low growth, high debt, significant vulnerabilities and limited resilience to shocks which set them apart from other middle-income states”. Most of our countries have high ratios of government debt to GDP and, in some instances, at unsustainable levels. Statistics from both the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (UNECLAC) and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) point to the fact that two-thirds of the CARICOM countries have debt-to-GDP ratios above the 60% threshold, generally regarded as the benchmark for debt sustainability. It must be noted that a significant portion of the debt is due to external economic shocks and from the reconstruction after natural disasters. Almost unbelievably, reconstruction after disasters adds to the GDP and per capita income increases. Being labelled as middle-income countries, we cannot access concessional development financing, since the principal criterion for such funding is GDP per capita. I cite, for example, the case of The Bahamas, classified as an upper middle-income country, which sustained cumulative damage and loss of US$700 million by hurricanes that hit between 2015 and 2017. Yet, there was no access to concessional financing due to their classification. From our perspective, there is an urgent need for the international community and international financial institutions to change the criteria for access to concessional development financing by middle-income SIDS. Substantial weight must be accorded to our vulnerability in this regard. The OECD has begun looking at the issue. We need the support of all OECD Member States. In seeking to reduce our vulnerabilities and build our economic resilience through diversification of our economies, financial services is a significant contributor to public finances in many CARICOM States. It is a source of funding for building resilience. It is now under threat as it confronts the unwarranted labelling of some of our countries as non-cooperative tax jurisdictions by the EU. At this juncture, I would like to acknowledge and thank the Government of Romania for its understanding of our concerns with regard to the EU’s actions and processes, and its assistance in bringing them to the attention of the appropriate EU authorities. The EU’s actions are despite the fact that the countries in question are not designated as non-compliant by the relevant regulatory authorities, such as the Financial Action Task Force and the OECD Global Forum. While the CARICOM States are supportive of global initiatives to promote tax good governance, we continue to be concerned about the lack of transparency, dialogue and consultation, the extent of the reforms that have been demanded and the ambitious timeline for executing such reforms. Blacklisting amounts to an attack on our economies. It now appears that CARICOM Member States will be caught in an indeterminate process, dictated by ECOFIN, since the EU has already signalled its intention to update the criteria from time to time. This is clearly an infringement on the sovereign right of affected States to self-determination. Blacklisted jurisdictions face major reputational damage and disruptive controls on their financial transactions. Blacklisting influences the strategies of international banks, resulting in de-risking and their withdrawal of crucial correspondent banking relationships. The EU has also announced the intention to monitor investor citizenship and residence programmes.  The OECD has also published a report on what they deem to be potentially high-risk residence and citizenship-by-investment programmes which referenced several CARICOM Member States. Were it not for the revenue resulting from its Citizenship-by- Investment Programme, Dominica’s recovery from the disasters of 2015 and 2017 would not be so advanced. Even as we thank the EU for providing some assistance for our disaster management strategy, ECOFIN appears bent on destroying our attempts at ensuring economic viability, and thus the very efforts at building resilience. The events of recent years have clearly demonstrated that climate change and its effects are wreaking havoc in our Community. We must prepare for the next catastrophic hurricane, flood or drought since climate change is our new normal. Building resilience requires significant investment to reduce risks and vulnerabilities to prepare for the impact of such intense climate-based events.  It demands serious and urgent action.  Our very existence is at stake. I welcome today’s discussions and look forward to its conclusions. On Caribbean Statistics Day, PM Mitchell Hails Unwavering… I thank you. 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Tokyo Olympics To Gulp $12.6 Billion

first_imgThe Tokyo 2020 Olympics are expected to cost some 1.35 trillion yen ($12.6 billion), organisers said Friday, unveiling a final budget showing increased revenue balancing out extra costs including countermeasures against heat.However, officials admitted the budget does not yet include an estimated three billion yen for moving the marathon and race walk north to Sapporo, as they wrangle with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) over who bears the cost.Revenues from domestic sponsorship and robust ticket sales have increased income by 30 billion yen, according to the fourth and final version of the Olympic budget.This equals out a rise in forecast expenditure for items such as transport and security — as well as the heat-busting measures.The overall 1.35-trillion-yen budget for the Games is unchanged since the last version of the budget unveiled last year.There is also a 27-billion-yen “contingency” pot to deal with possible emergencies such as natural disasters.Organisers have also unveiled a series of countermeasures against the heat and humidity, including water mist sprays and special heat-absorbing paint on roads — all of which cost money.The IOC, wary that the ballooning cost of hosting the Games is putting some cities off from bidding, has urged Tokyo to make even more cuts.But Tokyo is also being squeezed in the other direction, with some sports voicing fears that the cuts could harm the athletes’ experience plus the all-important “look” of the Games.The Tokyo 2020 budget is divided between the Organising Committee, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the national government, which is on the hook for 150 billion yen — mainly for the cost of the new National Stadium.Earlier this year, Los Angeles 2028 Olympics chiefs unveiled details of a $6.9-billion budget for the Games, vowing to deliver the spectacle without cost overruns that have dogged recent editions of the extravaganza.The Paris 2024 budget for the Games amounts to 6.8 billion euros ($7.6 billion), 1.5 billion of which will come from the state.Relatedlast_img read more