OTTAWA — The new year brings with it tax changes at the federal level that will affect just about every Canadian, as well as small businesses.One of the first changes workers will see is an increase in Canada Pension Plan premiums coming off their paycheques — the first of five years of hikes to pay for enhancements to the pension plan.Employment Insurance premiums, on the other hand, will drop by four cents for every $100 of insurable earnings.Meanwhile, the small business tax rate is going down from 10 to nine per cent. But changes to how much so-called passive income a small business can hold are also coming into effect, which is expected to push some businesses into paying a much higher corporate tax rate.Also in 2019, low income workers can qualify for an increase in the Canada Workers Benefit. But they will have to wait until 2020 to receive the extra money.The federal government’s new carbon pricing system will also come into effect in provinces that don’t have carbon pricing mechanisms of their own, resulting in higher costs for fossil fuels by April, and direct rebates to partly offset the increased costs.Conservative Opposition Leader Andrew Scheer is already gearing up to make it an issue leading to the October federal election, calling 2019 the year of the carbon tax.The Canadian Press
New Delhi: Chinese top seeds Chen Yufei and Shi Yuqi Sunday pulled out of the India Open on medical grounds, taking some sheen off the $350,000 World Tour Super 500 tournament beginning on Tuesday. Chen recently broke a five-year title draught for China at the All England Championship and Shi Yuqi is the defending champion. With the top seeds withdrawing, India’s P V Sindhu will receive the top billing and is firm favourite to lift the trophy for the second time after claiming the crown in 2017 and reaching the finals in the last edition. China will be fielding its biggest contingent at the India Open this season with as many as 25 shuttlers competing in the tournament, which concludes on March 31. World No. 7 He Bingjiao will now lead the Chinese challenge in women’s singles and she is looking forward to some exciting duel with Olympic silver medallist Sindhu. “A lot of elite Indian players are playing around the world and they got good results. The likes of Saina and Sindhu are quality players. I need to prepare well against them,” Bingjiao said through an interpreter. “PV Sindhu has a very good level and when I play against her, I sometimes win and sometimes lose. The experience of playing Sindhu is very exciting.” Talking about her targets this season, Bingjiao said: There are three targets this year. First one is Sudirman Cup, I want to help my team members win the Sudirman Cup. “Last year I beat Tai Tzu Ying at World Championship, so this year I want to move forward and improve my position at the event. “I also want to join the Olympic team. This is a dream for every athlete. The only thing I can do is work hard and train hard,” he added.
“This is a life and death situation for millions of Venezuelans,” UNHCR Special Envoy Angelia Jolie told journalists at a press conference in Maicao, Colombia, wrapping up a two-day visit during which she met with refugees, returnees and Government officials to assess the human impact of a mounting exodus.”We need humanity more than ever, and rational thinking from people who are unafraid to take responsibility and show leadership.”~ UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie’s appeal near the Colombia-Venezuela border 👉 https://t.co/rJGmyZUKj9 pic.twitter.com/8wIA8XIKhi— UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency (@Refugees) June 9, 2019 Saying it was not possible to put a value on the support that Colombia and Peru and Ecuador are giving to the people of Venezuela, “because it is the core of what it is to be human,” the Academy Award-winning actress said that in the world today, “we need that humanity more than ever, and rational thinking from people who are unafraid to take responsibility and show leadership.”Ms. Jolie spoke to journalists less than ten kilometres from the border, at the Integrated Assistance Centre, which is hosting Venezuelans for stays of up to 30 days. It was opened in March by UNHCR and the Colombian Government and currently provides 350 highly vulnerable people with shelter and food as well as legal assistance, activities for children, medical assessments and psychosocial support.Plans to expand the centre’s capacity to 1,400 people have stalled due to a 79 per cent funding shortfall that has slowed the humanitarian response throughout the entire region, putting millions at risk, according to UNHCR.At the centre, Ms. Jolie met one young family who crossed the border in April. Maria, a 41-year-old single mother with six children, spoke of how she sold the metal roof over her family’s heads back in Venezuela and spent the money to clothe her children and put shoes on their feet for the journey to Colombia.“Your children will think back on this time as the time that you really saved them,” the UNHCR Special Envoy told her.Ms. Jolie also visited Brisas del Norte, an informal settlement that is home to hundreds of Colombian and Venezuelan families. UNHCR says the Colombians are former refugees who returned to their country to escape the political and economic crisis in Venezuela, the same conditions that forced the Venezuelans to seek refuge here.Linda Lopez, a 60-year-old Venezuelan woman who arrived one month ago, approached Jolie as she walked through the community and described the dangers she faced back home. “People are dying of hunger,” Ms. Lopez said, breaking into tears. “My whole family fled.”Earlier on Saturday, the Special Envoy met with Colombian President Iván Duque in Cartagena. She expressed her gratitude to the government and people of Colombia for responding to the Venezuela crisis with what she called “truly remarkable generosity” – particularly as it works to implement a peace plan following five decades of bloodshed within its borders.
UK new car market declines in October – down -2.9% to 153,599 units.Hybrid and plug-in registrations up +30.7% but, as grant is cut, new forecast data suggests outlook lags behind government ambitions.Overall market down -7.2% YTD, with gap hoped to narrow slightly as supply issues resulting from regulatory changes ease.SEE CAR REGISTRATIONS BY BRANDDOWNLOAD THE PRESS RELEASE AND DATAThe UK new car market declined again in October, with 153,599 vehicles registered, according to figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Deliveries fell by -2.9% in the month, as model changes and backlogs at test houses conducting tough new WLTP emissions certification continued to cause shortages across some brands.Declines were seen in both private and fleet sectors, with registrations down -1.0% and -5.2% respectively. Meanwhile, continuing uncertainty over government policy on diesel saw demand for these new, low emission vehicles fall by a further -21.3%. Registrations of petrol cars rose +7.1%, while the market for alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFVs) once again showed strong growth, up +30.7%, supported by new models.Zero emission battery electric vehicles saw particularly impressive growth, up +86.9%, as 584 more people drove one home than in the same month last year. Hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles, which make up the majority of AFV sales due to their greater flexibility, also enjoyed strong uplifts, growing +31.0% and +19.1% respectively. However, this is not surprising given the announcement that the Plug-in Car Grant was to be cut for pure electric cars and withdrawn completely for plug-in hybrids – although, due to lead times, the full impact may not be seen for several months.The figures come as SMMT publishes new industry forecasts for AFV demand, with registrations expected to grow +82.5% from 2017 levels by 2020. Similar growth (+88.3%) is projected for plug-in electric cars, with 92,620 new plug-in hybrid and battery electric cars expected to be sold in the same year – taking market share to around 4.0%. This is at the lower end of government’s 3-7% stated ambition, with cuts to the Grant further undermining industry’s ability to deliver this ambition.In the year to date, the overall new car sector remains down -7.2% on the same period last year, albeit with more than two million new cars registered in the first 10 months of 2018. Pending no further market disruption, some pull-back is hoped for during the remainder of the year as current supply issues ease, enabling manufacturers to cater for pent up demand on certain models.Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, saidVED upheaval, regulatory changes and confusion over diesel have all made their mark on the market this year so it’s good to see plug-in registrations buck the trend. Demand is still far from the levels needed to offset losses elsewhere, however, and is making government’s decision to remove purchase incentives even more baffling.We’ve always said that world-class ambitions require world-class incentives and, even before the cuts to the grant, those ambitions were challenging. We need policies that encourage rather than confuse. Government’s forthcoming review of WLTP’s impact on taxation must ensure that buyers of the latest, cleanest cars are not unfairly penalised else we will see older, more polluting cars remain on the road for longer.Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)
$50John Kerry, the United States secretary of state, owes the city of Boston a $50 fine for failing to shovel his sidewalk. Kerry was in Saudi Arabia — a nation not known for its snow-clearance legislation — as a blizzard struck New England this week. [The Boston Globe]63.9 percentThe home ownership rate is now at its lowest level since 1994, down to 63.9 percent in the final quarter of 2014. [Los Angeles Times]96 tonsAmount of dog poop generated in New York City each day. [FiveThirtyEight]98 percent of scientistsAbout 98 percent scientists say the public’s lack of knowledge about science is a problem, so why don’t you guys go learn a book or something, geez. [Re/code]3,000 storiesI thought I was safe in journalism — I’d picked a good field, one that couldn’t be automated. I was wrong. The Associated Press is already automatically generating 3,000 stories each quarter. Right now, those stories are about companies’ quarterly earnings, but who knows when the robots will move on to the dog poop beat. [The Verge]$1.3 billionNew York City cultural institutions spent $1.3 billion on new construction over the past five years on projects including the expansion of the Queens Museum and the renovation of the fountains at the Met. In 2014, construction expenditures were up 46 percent from 2013 to $208 million. [Crain’s New York] One more plea for the newsletter: Sign up for it now and be the first to learn about the numbers behind the news. And, as always, if you see a significant digit in the wild, tweet it to me @WaltHickey. You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the telling numbers tucked inside the news. To receive this newsletter in your inbox, subscribe.9 communications majors It shouldn’t come as too much of a shock that the notoriously taciturn Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch is not among the nine communications majors taking the field in Super Bowl XLIX. Playboy broke down the college majors of every player in this year’s game, and communications came out as the most popular course of study, with nine players, followed by sociology and general studies, with seven players each. [Playboy]11.8 percentAccording to the NFL, concussions decreased by 11.8 percent this season compared to last year, to 202 from 229. [The New York Times]14 percent riseThe average American office worker spends nine hours each week in meetings or thinking about meetings, up 14 percent from four years ago. [NPR]25 megabits per secondThe Federal Communications Commission raised the bar on the download speeds for “broadband” Internet to 25 megabits per second (Mbps) from 4 Mbps. Under the previous standard, 6.3 percent of households didn’t have broadband. Now 19.4 percent don’t. [Ubergizmo]
Téléchargement illégal : la riposte graduée mise en place en IrlandeIrlande – Le fournisseur d’accès internet (FAI) irlandais Eircom a annoncé l’entrée en vigueur d’un système de riposte graduée dès ce lundi. Comme le prévoit la loi française contre le téléchargement illégal, cette riposte pourra aboutir à la coupure de la connexion internet de l’utilisateur pirate.Le FAI avait été accusé par l’Irma, l’organisme irlandais chargé de la gestion et de la protection des œuvres musicales, de rester inactif face au téléchargement illégal mettant en péril l’industrie du disque. Mais pour éviter un procès pour responsabilité par complicité passive, Eircom a accepté de conclure un accord à l’amiable.Via cet accord, le FAI s’est engagé à traiter une cinquantaine d’adresses IP par semaine. Dans un premier temps, il avertira les internautes accusés de téléchargement illégal. Au second avertissement, Eircom coupera la connexion des internautes pour une semaine, puis pour un an après le troisième signalement.Cet accord a été conclu l’année dernière, et c’est ce lundi 25 mai que la riposte graduée est devenue effective. Le système n’ayant pas été imposé par la loi, contrairement à Hadopi, les droits de la défense et la présomption d’innocence n’auront pas à être respectés par le FAI irlandais.Alors qu’Eircom craint de voir ses clients fuir vers la concurrence, le cablo-opérateur UPC, l’un de ses principaux concurrents, refuse catégoriquement de participer à ce dispositif, affirmant n’avoir aucune raison de surveiller ses abonnés. Poursuivi par l’Irma, son procès s’ouvrira le mois prochain.Le 25 mai 2010 à 16:17 • Emmanuel Perrin
WhatsApp Pinterest Wrestleview Live #65: Reviewing and discussing WWE Clash of Champions from Charlotte Twitter Facebook WWE issued the following on Thursday, revealing that they will be announcing who will be on the cover of the WWE 2K19 video game this Monday (6/18) at 11:00 AM ET.2K to Announce WWE 2K19 Cover Superstar During Virtual Press Conference on June 18th2K today announced that it will host a virtual press conference on Monday, June 18 to unveil the cover Superstar for WWE 2K19, the forthcoming release in the flagship WWE video game franchise. In addition to delivering remarks, the WWE 2K19cover Superstar will reveal groundbreaking news about the new video game before hosting a Q&A session.Cover selection for the WWE 2K franchise is a highly coveted honor, with past cover Superstars including Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, John Cena, Stone Cold Steve Austin, current WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar and, most recently, current WWE Intercontinental Champion Seth Rollins.Details surrounding the WWE 2K19 Press Conference are as follows:WHEN: Monday, June 18, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. EDT / 8:00 a.m. PDT;WHERE: WWE.2K.com and WWE 2K Channels on Twitch, YouTube and Facebook.Developed collaboratively by Yuke’s and Visual Concepts, a 2K studio, WWE 2K19 is not yet rated by the ESRB. WWE 2K19is currently scheduled for worldwide release in Fall 2018. For more information on WWE 2K19 and 2K, visit wwe.2k.com, become a fan on Facebook, follow the game on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #WWE2K19 or subscribe on YouTube.Mauro Ranallo covering WWE UK TournamentWWE issued the following on Twitter on Thursday night, announcing that Mauro Ranallo will be doing commentary on the WWE UK tournaments that will air on a one-week tape delay on June 25 and June 26 on Royal Albert Hall on WWE Network.It is going to be a THRILL for @mauroranallo and @McGuinnessNigel to be on the call for the @WWEUK Championship Tournament! #WWEUKCT pic.twitter.com/8XvKVRK5sA— WWE (@WWE) June 15, 2018 Jason Namako RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Google+ Live Podcast: Reviewing and discussing WWE Clash of Champions from Charlotte WWE Clash of Champions Results – 9/15/19 (Rollins vs. Strowman, Kingston vs. Orton)
An economic development organization for south central Indiana has created a position to attract defense business investment in the region and raise the profile of Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division locally and nationally.Next week, Matt Craig, who had been a deputy technical director at Crane, will become the director of Crane community support for Radius Indiana, reported Inside Indiana Business.“Crane is vitally important to our local economy, and it is also indispensable to our military and our country. The director of Crane community support will help ensure that the public is well informed on the impact and opportunities the naval installation brings to our area,” said Becky Skillman, CEO of Radius Indiana.Craig, who retired from Crane following a 30-year career, will work with the partnership’s business development staff to increase research opportunities and investment in the region, and collaborate with its defense and national security council, the Southern Indiana Business Alliance and the Indiana Office of Defense Development.“The value of military installations is continually assessed by the Department of Defense, and on a local level it is imperative that we understand how that value is determined and how it can be enhanced,” said Craig. Dan Cohen AUTHOR
Email Twitter News Facebook Learn more about the key dates surrounding the 60th GRAMMY Awards voting processTim McPhateGRAMMYs Oct 16, 2017 – 2:45 pm Today, Oct. 16, marked the kick-off of Recording Academy member first-round voting for the 60th GRAMMY Awards.Following the closing of first-round voting on Oct. 29, nominations for the 60th GRAMMY Awards will be announced on Nov. 28.Subsequently, the final-round ballot period will kick off on Dec. 7, closing on Dec. 21. Recipients will then be announced at the 60th GRAMMY Awards, taking place Jan. 28, 2018, at Madison Square Garden in New York.The eligibility period for the 60th GRAMMY Awards was Oct. 1, 2016, through Sept. 30, 2017. For this year’s awards process, the Recording Academy received 22,030 submission entries for GRAMMY consideration, up slightly from last year’s entry total of 21,719 submissions.Earlier this year, the Academy announced a transition to online voting, a move that provides the Recording Academy’s more than 13,000 voting members greater access and flexibility than ever before.GRAMMY 101: More Information On The GRAMMY Awards Voting Process 60th GRAMMY Awards: Voting Process Dates 60th-grammy-awards-first-round-voting-launches 60th GRAMMY Awards: First-Round Voting Launches
Senate Bill 89 would eliminate sanctions on parents removing their children from school if they object to standardized testing or programming related to sexual health.The Legislature has advanced a contentious education bill that would allow parents to opt out of standardized tests and certain school curricula.Download AudioSenate Bill 89 aims to increase the authority of parents in directing a child’s education within Alaska schools. The measure allows parents to opt their children out of standardized tests, and educational programming dealing with sexual health.“Any type of questionnaire, we believe, the school district should get permission from parents before they survey their child,” said Wasilla Republican Mike Dunleavy, the bill’s main sponsor. “It’s our contention that parents should be informed so that they make informed decisions.”The measure also includes provisions limiting what kinds of health-care providers can work with school districts. In response to criticisms raised by the State Affairs Committee’s lone Democrat, Senator Bill Wielechowski of Anchorage, Dunleavy explained that under the bill if a person has “a direct line to an abortion provider” they would not be allowed on a school campus to educate them on matters related to sexual or reproductive health.Opt out provisions put federal school funding in jeopardy when standardized testing falls below a 95% threshold. That is already starting to happen in some parts of Alaska where local school districts have enacted opt out rules of their own. This year, the Haines School District had 12 students whose families objected to standardized tests, putting it below the Federal level. The district is currently waiting to hear what this could mean for its funding.While the state’s 54 school districts currently have local provisions on opting out, SB 89 could result in a massive funding loss for the state as a whole.“The US Department [of Education] concern is that that may mask underperformance of students, therefore not meeting the stated purpose of those title funds,” said Susan McCauley with the state’s Department of Education. If Title requirements are not fulfilled then schools across Alaska stand to lose federal dollars.“The total funding for those programs is $96, 758,000,” McCauley added.SB 89 now moves on to the Senate Rules Committee.KHNS’s Emily Files contributed reporting from Haines.
Former FBI director James Comey is sworn in during a hearing before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Capitol Hill 8 June, 2017 in Washington, DC. Photo: AFPOusted FBI chief James Comey accused the White House of lies and defamation Thursday, in explosive testimony that painted Donald Trump as dishonest and operating far outside presidential norms.During almost three hours of blockbuster sworn testimony to a Senate panel, Comey described himself as “stunned” by Trump’s “very disturbing” and “very concerning” behavior during several private meetings.Expanding on the bombshell statement released on the eve of his appearance, Comey said the president asked him for “loyalty” during a White House dinner and to lay off former national security advisor Mike Flynn—who is under criminal investigation—imploring Comey to “let this go.”“It’s my judgment that I was fired because of the Russia investigation,” he told senators. “I was fired in some way to change, or the endeavor was to change the way the Russia investigation was being conducted. That is a very big deal.”Detailing private talks with a sitting president, which under normal circumstances would never see the light of day, Comey said he took painstaking notes of the extraordinary encounters for fear Trump might “lie” about the meetings.Comey indicated that it was now up to a high-powered special prosecutor to determine whether the president’s behavior constituted an obstruction of justice, a potentially impeachable offense.Trump avoided directly responding to the explosive accusations, defiantly telling supporters at a religious event in the capital: “We are going to fight and win.”But the White House hit back angrily at Comey.“I can definitely say the president is not a liar and frankly am insulted by that question,” said White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders.Easing months of speculation Comey did confirm that Trump was not personally the subject of a counterterror or criminal probe when he left the FBI last month.The probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election has ensnared close aides of the president and has vast-ranging political and geopolitical implications.‘Lies, plain and simple’ -After solemnly raising his right hand and vowing to tell the whole truth, a visibly aggrieved Comey kicked-off his testimony with a bid to set the record straight about the state of the bureau he led until he was sacked last month.“Although the law requires no reason at all to fire an FBI director, the administration then chose to defame me and more importantly the FBI by saying that the organization was in disarray, that it was poorly led, that the work force had lost confidence in its leader,” he charged.“Those were lies plain and simple,” Comey said, firing a shot of tension through hearing room 216 of the Senate’s Hart building, which stood silent except for the shutter clicks of a phalanx of photographers, there to capture this moment of pure political theater.Thursday’s hearing started with a call for unity of purpose.“We are here because a foreign adversary attacked us right here at home. Plain and simple,” said Senator Mark Warner, the ranking Senate Intelligence Committee, in opening remarks.“Not by guns or missiles, but by foreign operatives seeking to hijack our most important democratic process—our presidential election.”But the pretense of bipartisanship soon fell away.Democrats are intent on determining whether Trump’s actions amounted to obstruction of justice, while Republicans have zeroed in on Comey’s admission he assured the president he was not personally an FBI investigation target.Republicans also pounced on Comey’s admission that he leaked personal notes on his meetings with Trump to prompt the naming of a special prosecutor to lead the Russia probe.That prompted Trump’s son Donald junior to describe Comey sarcastically as a “classy guy.”‘Very disturbing’ -Trump abruptly fired Comey as director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation on May 9, admitting later that the Russia probe was on his mind at the time.In his written statement, Comey described his mounting discomfort in the weeks leading up to his dismissal as Trump pulled him aside in one-on-one encounters and in phone calls to press him on the probe into Trump campaign associates and possible collusion with a Russian effort to tilt the 2016 vote in the Republican’s favor.At a private White House dinner on January 27, just days after the billionaire took office, Comey said Trump appeared to want to “create some sort of patronage relationship” with him.“The president said, ‘I need loyalty, I expect loyalty.’ I didn’t move, speak, or change my facial expression in any way during the awkward silence that followed,” Comey said.In an Oval Office tete-a-tete the following month Comey said Trump pressed him to drop the FBI investigation into Flynn, who had been fired for lying to the vice president about his unreported conversations with the Russian ambassador.And he described trying to insulate himself and the FBI from political pressure in the weeks before Trump fired him, as the president complained about the Russian probe and labeled it “fake news.”Trump ‘vindicated’ by Comey -Networks and cable news stations provided blanket coverage of the hearing, and a number of bars in Washington were opening early, with TVs tuned to live broadcasts of the hearing—one of them offering free drinks every time Trump tweets about Comey.At Shaw’s Tavern where the menu featured an FBI breakfast of French Toast with maple syrup, hundreds watching fell silent as Comey entered the hearing.‘There’s been so much media hype, it’s good to actually hear this from the source,’ said Sadie Cornelius, 33. “It’s good to hear the facts.”Democrats have been quick to draw parallels with the Watergate scandal, when president Richard Nixon, facing impeachment for obstruction of justice, was forced to resign in 1973.But the White House and Trump’s allies have sought to put a positive spin on Comey’s revelations.“The president feels completely and totally vindicated. He is eager to continue to move forward with his agenda,” said Marc Kasowitz, hired by Trump as his personal lawyer to deal with issues linked to the Russia investigation, after Comey’s statement was released.
Share pexels.comThere are many ways to look inside the body, and while non-invasive procedures tend to be the most optimal for patients, there are limitations to the current technologies that limit the effectiveness of those methods. Such is the case for the human heart, where imaging techniques can show activity but not the details of tissue. For that, you need to actually open the organ with an incision and go inside or use fiber optics to look through the blood vessels.But those limitations might be about to change thanks to a new method developed by University of Houston researcher Kirill Larin.Dr. Larin has repurposed an imaging test for that’s normally used on the eye and is using it on the heart. It allows for a detailed picture of heart tissue, particularly in the case of heart attack victims.Larin is working with Dr. James F. Martin from Baylor College of Medicine to use this technology to potentially learn how to repair damaged tissue in the heart.Houston Matters producer Joshua Zinn talks with both researchers about their work and the prospects for the future of this technique.
Stay on target Once Upon a Time Builds Fun Lore Around a Seattle LandmarkOnce Upon a Time’s Final Battle Was the Happiest Ending Probably the biggest surprise about last night’s musical episode of Once Upon a Time is that it took them nearly six full seasons to do one. It’s a show built around the Disney versions of fairy tales, most of which were musicals, to begin with. For some of them (Frozen, Aladdin, The Little Mermaid), it almost felt wrong that they didn’t break out into song. A lot of TV shows have done musical episodes over the years, but OUAT feels like a better fit for one than any other series. With its focus on fairytale magic and the power of love, having its characters sing to each other seems natural.Right away, the episode goes against expectations by not having the singing be the result of a curse. In most musical episodes (Like The Flash‘s “Duet” or Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘s “Once More with Feeling”), the songs are obstacles. The main characters have to figure out how to return the world to its usual tuneless self. In “the Song in Your Heart,” they’re the solution. Snow White, back when she was pregnant with Emma, wished upon a star for a way to protect Emma. She and Charming wake up the next morning singing. “Powerful Magic” sounds a little overproduced, with the music making some of the lyrics hard to understand. Still, it’s fun watching Snow and Charming dance around their room, especially with Charming’s bewildered joy at what his voice is doing.Josh Dallas and Ginnifer Goodwin (Photo: Screenshot via ABC)The villain songs, as with any Disney musical, are the best. You can tell Lana Parilla isn’t normally a singer, but she gives it her all here. That’s partially what makes “Love Doesn’t Stand a Chance” so great. It sounds more natural and less cookie-cutter perfect than the rest of the soundtrack. The Evil Queen was always the best villain this show ever had, so watching her chew the scenery in song more than makes up for the fact that it’s not technically the most polished piece of music here.As far as villain songs go though, Regina is outshone by her sister. We get to see Zelena back in her green makeup, as she struts around Oz singing “Wicked Always Wins.” If it’s possible, she’s even more delightfully evil than her sister. Rebecca Mader has a fantastic voice, and this song has some of the best lyrics in the entire episode. “I’ll smile while she is crying/inside she’s slowly dying/and wicked always wins.” It also has the benefit of not sounding like every other song. As much as I enjoyed the musical, the songs were a little too samey. This is the one song I actually want to listen to again. Though perhaps the title should have an asterisk. Wicked always wins, except when it’s up against Avenue Q.Rebecca Mader (Photo: Screenshot via ABC)Hook’s song was a little disappointing. Colin O’Donoghue has a good voice, and it’s fun watching him prance around the Tavern singing about revenge, but I wanted more from this song. By this point, we’d heard nearly everything the soundtrack had to offer, and this song should have offered something different. Especially given what kind of person Hook is at this point. If there were a time to do something a little darker without being a full on villain song, this would have been it. Instead, it’s a forgettable tune that starts in the direction of a pirate jig, but doesn’t fully commit and ends up blending in too much with the rest of the soundtrack.The sing-fight between Snow and Charming, and the Evil Queen really should have been better too. There was the potential for something cool here. An intricate, intense battle song with dueling melodies intertwining with each other would have been great. Instead, the characters awkwardly jumped between reprises of earlier tunes. The music isn’t even blended together very well. It sounds like the song is skipping between two tracks. To make things worse, while both songs were fun the first time, they weren’t quite good enough to deserve this kind of encore. It’s almost a relief when Zelena helps out her sister with a box that steals everyone’s singing voice.Thankfully, that’s not where the music ends in this episode. It turns out the music wasn’t meant to be used against the Evil Queen. It was meant to protect Emma. All her life, she had her parents song in her heart, even when she was alone at the orphanage. Yes, it’s cheesy, but so are musicals. It comes in handy too. In the present, the Black Fairy freezes Emma’s family, promising to unfreeze them if Emma gives up her heart. Henry, having just reached the musical part of his book, reveals that she has a song protecting her heart. Emma sings “The Song Inside of Me,” which has a slower build to a more hopeful-sounding conclusion. It’s a welcome change of pace from the rest of the soundtrack. It also sounds a bit like the opening credits theme of Once Upon a Time, which is a nice touch.Jennifer Morrison and Colin O’Donoghue (Photo by Jack Rowand/ABC)All this leads to Hook and Emma’s wedding, the moment we’ve been looking forward to all season. It’s everything you expected it to be. The entire town is there, on a rooftop watching them exchange the corniest vows ever written. It’s adorable. Of course, the musical episode has to end with a song. It’s just OK. It’s not the worst song of the episode, but it’s not the best either. They also managed to make the modern-day Maine set look even more fake than the castle scene earlier. Not sure how they pulled that off. But hey, the Black Fairy is still here and the wedding is interrupted by her curse. The episode ends with black fairy dust engulfing the town. Next week: the two-hour Final Battle.“The Song in Your Heart” may not have been the best musical episode in recent memory, but it was definitely up there. The songs were fun, even if they did get a bit repetitive as the episode went on. Everyone looked so happy to be going full-on musical theater camp for a week that the entire episode was a joy to watch. It even got the story to next week’s Final Battle in a way that felt natural. Sure, it was a little strange that everyone forgot about the Black Fairy’s impending curse the minute after they discovered it, but at this point, that’s what we expect from OUAT. There have certainly been worse logical inconsistencies on this show. There were more important things to focus on anyway. Like the wedding. And the singing. It feels right to have one last celebration with these characters. With everyone’s contract expiring, and Jennifer Morrison leaving the show, who knows what’s going to happen next week?
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PDVSA announced Chevron’s investment plan Wednesday.Venezuela is Latin America’s largest oil producer and a major supplier to the United States.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Comments Share New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Sponsored Stories How do cataracts affect your vision? CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) – Venezuela’s state oil company says U.S. oil giant Chevron Corp. plans to invest $2 billion to boost petroleum production at a Venezuelan oil field.The state-run PDVSA says Chevron is seeking to increase output from the Boscan oil field in the western state of Zulia.San Ramon, California-based Chevron is a minority shareholder in Petroboscan, a joint venture with PDVSA that produces 115,000 barrels of oil a day. Top Stories The vital role family plays in society 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates
One of Queenstown’s most highly valued pieces of real estate is set to become home to the country’s most expensive hotel suite, targeting wealthy travellers with prices of up to NZD$10,000 per night.Skyline Enterprises is currently working on expanding the six million dollar (NZD) high-end site, situated in the heart of town’s central business district.Eichardt’s Private Hotel has been announced as the tenants for a penthouse apartment and two lakefront suites, taking the luxury hotel’s capacity to seven suites.Eichart’s Private Hotel owner and Melbourne-based businessman Andrew Cox recognised Queenstown’s potential to attract premium visitors and includes the recently acquired The Spire Hotel in his portfolio of small luxury hotels, apartments and restaurants.Mr Cox said properties like this speak to a small but powerful group of guests.“These people value privacy however they want to be in the thick of the action and with all the amenity of home,” Mr Cox said.“They choose Queenstown because it offers them what money can’t buy – a unique experience to share with their networks that melds understated luxury, safety, food, wine and activities that no other destination in the world can compete with.”Queenstown has seen an influx of wealthy visitors and, as a result, a private jet terminal was opened last May to accommodate the large volume of private jets arriving in the town.Skyline Enterprises chief executive officer Jeff Staniland said this development opportunity is unmatched in being able to provide the best location in town.“Queenstown is known for its forward-thinking and considered hospitality, and we have been careful to reflect the history of Eichardt’s in our modern design,” Mr Staniland said.“It is exciting that this world-class hotel is a key part of our development, and we look forward to announcing our retail partners in due course.”The ground floor level of the new expansion will feature high-end retail stores and a new bistro restaurant to accompany the hotel’s existing iconic bar and private guest parlour.With the expansion to be completed in early 2016, the new accommodation will maintain the current interior style by Virginia Fisher but will feature a modern twist, including exposed steel details on the exterior.Source = ETB Travel News: Brittney Levinson
Rising Rates Weigh Down Mid-October Lending Activity Mortgage applications fell 12 percent for the week ending October 19, according to data from the “”Mortgage Bankers Association””:http://www.mbaa.org/default.htm (MBA).[IMAGE]The group’s Market Composite Index showed a 12 percent decline (on a seasonally adjusted basis) in mortgage loan application volume from the previous week, which was adjusted upward for the Columbus Day holiday. On an unadjusted basis, the index fell 2 percent from the previous week.[COLUMN_BREAK]The Refinance Index fell to its lowest level since late August, slipping 13 percent. At the same time, the refinance share of mortgage activity dropped to 81 percent of total applications from 82 percent the previous week. In a “”forecast released earlier in the week””:https://themreport.com/articles/mba-projects-purchase-origination-growth-in-2013-as-refinances-slide-2012-10-24, the association projected refinances will fall to $785 billion in 2013 from a revised $1.2 trillion in 2012.Meanwhile, the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 8 percent from last week. The unadjusted Purchase Index actually increased 2 percent compared with the previous week, bringing it 7 percent higher than the same week one year ago.The fall in overall activity is attributed to rising mortgage rates. For the week ending October 19, the average contract interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage with a conforming loan balance increased to 3.63 percent, its highest level since late September.With mortgage rates not expected to sink further by any significant amount, many experts are urging consumers to take advantage of current rates before they pick back up. in Data, Origination October 25, 2012 448 Views Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Applications Mortgage Bankers Association Mortgage Rates Refinance Service Providers 2012-10-25 Tory Barringer Share
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