Chicago tourism – CDMUG http://cdmug.org/ Sat, 15 Jan 2022 14:34:46 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 https://cdmug.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/icon-67-150x150.png Chicago tourism – CDMUG http://cdmug.org/ 32 32 Fitch upgrades Greece’s credit outlook to positive | Radio WGN 720 https://cdmug.org/fitch-upgrades-greeces-credit-outlook-to-positive-radio-wgn-720/ Sat, 15 Jan 2022 01:01:17 +0000 https://cdmug.org/fitch-upgrades-greeces-credit-outlook-to-positive-radio-wgn-720/ through: DEMETRIS NELLAS, Associated Press Job : January 14, 2022 / 7:01 p.m. CST / Update: January 14, 2022 / 7:01 p.m. CST ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Credit rating firm Fitch revised Greece’s outlook to positive from stable, though it kept the country’s rating at BB, two notches below investment grade. In a report released […]]]>

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Credit rating firm Fitch revised Greece’s outlook to positive from stable, though it kept the country’s rating at BB, two notches below investment grade.

In a report released on Friday, Fitch estimates that the Greek economy grew by 8.3% in 2021, much faster than the 4.3% projected in its previous rating review last July, although growth has even been impacted last quarter due to the coronavirus pandemic. waves fueled by virus variants. Prior to that, the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) had surpassed pre-pandemic levels.

Greek banks are one of the main reasons for the upgrade, “by sharply reducing the level of non-performing loans…and improving their ability to provide credit to the real economy.”

On the positive side, Fitch expects the economic recovery to extend through 2022 and 2023, with GDP growing at 4.1% in each of those years. In addition, the still heavily indebted country is expected to fully repay one of its creditors, the International Monetary Fund, in 2022.

On the negative side, the deficit is declining very slowly, falling to 9.7% of GDP in 2021 from 10.1% in 2020. Fitch notes that this was “due to the continued pandemic-related support provided by the government to the private sector, amounting to €15.6 billion ($17.8 billion or 8.7% of GDP forecast for 2021). But the phasing out of pandemic support measures will help reduce the deficit to 4.1% in 2022 and 2.9% in 2023.

Fitch expects the current account deficit to remain high as the growth in demand that accompanies the recovery will fuel imports and offset export growth and rising tourism revenues.

An outlook upgrade is usually, but not always, followed by a credit upgrade within 12 to 18 months.

Greece hopes to see its debt upgraded to investment grade by the end of 2022 or early 2023 for the first time since 2010, when the financial crisis caused by excessive deficits and debt hit the country hard, requiring years of austerity imposed by its creditors.

Fitch notes that “Greece has a high per capita income that far exceeds” the median level of countries in the same investment category and that “governance scores and human development indicators are among the highest of its peers.” sub-investment quality”. Still, still-high debt levels and bad bank loans are dragging the country’s rating down, according to Fitch.

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Twin Cities join other US tourist spots turning to vaccine or indoor testing mandates https://cdmug.org/twin-cities-join-other-us-tourist-spots-turning-to-vaccine-or-indoor-testing-mandates/ Thu, 13 Jan 2022 21:29:24 +0000 https://cdmug.org/twin-cities-join-other-us-tourist-spots-turning-to-vaccine-or-indoor-testing-mandates/ Editor’s Note – CNN has launched Unlocking the World, a weekly newsletter to guide you through the latest travel developments and more. Register here. (CNN) — If you want to enjoy a meal, drink or indoor entertainment at some of the most popular city getaways in the United States, you better have proof of vaccinations […]]]>
Editor’s Note – CNN has launched Unlocking the World, a weekly newsletter to guide you through the latest travel developments and more. Register here.
(CNN) — If you want to enjoy a meal, drink or indoor entertainment at some of the most popular city getaways in the United States, you better have proof of vaccinations or, in some cases , at least one recent negative Covid-19 test result with you.

Some major tourist spots, like New York, have already had mandates in place for months. But with the highly infectious Omicron variant of the coronavirus spreading rapidly, more US cities are introducing restrictions.

The mayors of Minnesota’s Twin Cities announced Jan. 12 that they were joining the list of places imposing mandates (see more below). That’s a good thing to keep in mind, especially if you’re from a part of the country that isn’t as strict on masks, testing, and vaccines.

As of January 12, here are some of the top U.S. destinations that are already imposing vaccination and testing mandates or have announced plans to do so soon:

Boston

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu said the city will require proof of Covid-19 vaccinations for indoor restaurants, gyms, theaters and arenas starting Saturday.

The mandate will apply to customers and employees and will be released in phases.

For people aged 12 and over, proof of a single dose of vaccine will be required from January 15. Proof of full vaccination will be required on February 15.

Starting March 1, children 5-11 years old must show proof of a vaccine dose. Starting May 1, children 5-11 years old must show proof of full vaccination.

Chicago

As of Jan. 3, the nation’s third-largest city requires proof of vaccination for most businesses that serve food or drink.

The new requirement is in effect for anyone 5 years and older in restaurants, gyms, theaters, bars and other entertainment and sports venues that serve food and drink.

All customers must be fully vaccinated to enter these establishments, and there is no testing option. Unvaccinated employees at these sites will have a testing option.

Grocery stores, soup kitchens, schools, places of worship, office buildings and residential buildings are exempt. Learn more at Chicago.gov.

Los Angeles

In Los Angeles, all patrons served in the indoor portion of a food or beverage establishment and other types of indoor venues must show proof of full vaccination prior to entry. The application started on November 29. Here are examples of locations covered:

• Restaurants, bars, cafes, brasseries and hotel ballrooms
• Gyms and fitness rooms
• Cinemas, bowling alleys, arcades, billiard halls, performance halls, sports arenas and museums

Additionally, California now requires universal masking in indoor public places through at least February 15, California Health and Human Services Agency Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said. Learn more from the California Department of Health.

Minneapolis and St. Paul

Mayor Jacob Frey of Minneapolis and Mayor Melvin Carter of St. Paul announced that beginning Jan. 19, customers will be required to present proof of vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test result when visiting restaurants or attend events serving food or beverages.

At a press conference on January 12, the two mayors said the mandates were in response to the Covid-19 surge. They said the policies were temporary.

Residents of the Twin Cities will need to show they have been fully vaccinated and have taken either the double-dose Covid-19 vaccine or the single-dose vaccine, Carter said.

Those who choose not to get vaccinated will need to show a negative Covid-19 test result. Self-rapid tests will not be accepted and customers will need to present proof of a negative PCR or rapid antigen test administered by a medical professional within the last 72 hours, the two mayors said.

Children under 2 are exempt from money orders. The policy will go into effect on January 26 for paid events.

New Orleans

Fancy a drink in a bar in the French Quarter of New Orleans? You must have proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to enter.

Mario Tama/Getty Images

In the Gulf region, foodie and party-loving New Orleans also has a mandate in place.

Anyone aged 5 or over must have proof of at least one vaccine – or a negative result from a Covid-19 test taken within the last 72 hours – to enter many indoor venues that attract tourists.

These include:

• Restaurants, bars and brasseries
• Indoor gyms and fitness centers
• Sports complexes
• Concert and music halls
• Event spaces such as hotel ballrooms
• Pool halls, bowling alleys and arcades
• Casinos

Starting Feb. 1, the city will require proof of full vaccination for anyone 5 years of age or older or a negative Covid test result taken within the last 72 hours. Get important details at ready.nola.gov.

New York City

The “Key to NYC” mandate has been in effect since September 13 and has been further strengthened since then.

Restaurants, cinemas, meeting spaces, nightclubs, concert halls, fitness centers, sports arenas, performing arts, museums and other venues are open – but their indoor spaces are only open to vaccinated guests 12 and older who are fully vaccinated.

Children 5-12 years old must show proof of at least one dose of vaccine. From January 29, children 5 to 11 years old must show proof of full vaccination. People who receive Johnson & Johnson’s single dose are considered fully immunized.

There is no test option. For more information, see the “Key to NYC” website.

philadelphia cream

Philadelphia requires proof of full Covid-19 vaccination for admission to many indoor public spaces.

The mandate came into effect on January 3. The first two weeks of the mandate, from January 3 to 17, have a grace period during which establishments can accept proof of a negative Covid-19 test result taken within the last 24 hours in lieu of proof of vaccination.

From January 18, guests 12 and older must be fully vaccinated to enter. Children aged 5 years and 3 months to 11 years must have received at least one injection.

From February 3, children aged 5 years and 3 months to 11 years must have received a second injection.

Among the types of establishments covered by the mandate: indoor dining spaces and bars; cafes in museums; dining halls and food courts; and places of entertainment, conventions and casinos where food is served. Learn more, including exceptions, from the City of Philadelphia.

San Francisco

The Golden Gate Bridge is the iconic symbol of San Francisco, one of the top tourist destinations in the United States with a vaccine mandate for many indoor activities.

The Golden Gate Bridge is the iconic symbol of San Francisco, one of the top tourist destinations in the United States with a vaccine mandate for many indoor activities.

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

San Francisco, the darling of West Coast travel, requires proof of full vaccinations to visit bars, restaurants, gyms and other indoor entertainment establishments for guests 12 and older.

A negative Covid-19 test cannot be used in place of proof of vaccination in San Francisco.

Seattle

Seattle requires patrons 12 and older to be able to show proof of full vaccination or present a negative Covid-19 test result to enter indoor restaurants and bars, indoor sporting events and indoor sporting events. outdoors with more than 500 people. Learn more about King County.

washington d.c.

Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser announced Wednesday, Dec. 21, that the city will require proof of vaccination for restaurants, food halls, nightclubs, gymnasiums, concert halls, sports arenas and other places where people gather. customers 12 years and older.

On January 15, the vaccination obligation for places of assembly will come into force. Customers will be required to show proof of at least one dose.

From February 15, customers will need to show proof of two doses. Click on coronavirusdc.gov to learn more.
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Shedd Aquarium invests $ 500 million for reimagined experience and education https://cdmug.org/shedd-aquarium-invests-500-million-for-reimagined-experience-and-education/ Tue, 11 Jan 2022 17:24:22 +0000 https://cdmug.org/shedd-aquarium-invests-500-million-for-reimagined-experience-and-education/ CHICAGO – The Shedd Aquarium plans to create a redesigned guest experience with a $ 500 million investment that will not only further connect visitors to exhibits, but also help fund the educational programs offered by the Chicago attraction. Aquarium officials have announced the eight-year centenary pledge, which will coincide with Shedd’s 100th anniversary in […]]]>

CHICAGO – The Shedd Aquarium plans to create a redesigned guest experience with a $ 500 million investment that will not only further connect visitors to exhibits, but also help fund the educational programs offered by the Chicago attraction.

Aquarium officials have announced the eight-year centenary pledge, which will coincide with Shedd’s 100th anniversary in 2030. The project will devote half of the funds to creating more interactive exhibits that will create a new user experience for visitors from 2026, officials said.

But the initiative also plans to move towards learning programs while providing funding to aquarium researchers to tackle climate change and biodiversity loss, officials said on Monday.

“We know that when people see animals up close, it motivates an emotional and empathetic response that has the power to change attitudes and promote the stewardship of local waters, global oceans and wildlife,” said Bridget Coughlin , President and CEO of Shedd Aquarium. Release. “In an era of increased urbanization and as a national resource for aquatic conservation and education, we have a deep responsibility and obligation to help close the nature gap. “

The project, officials said, aims to ensure a more equitable, sustainable and prosperous future for people and aquatic life, officials said in a press release on Monday.

The redesigned spaces inside the Shedd Aquarium will provide a closer experience for visitors from 2026, once the renovations are complete. (rendering of the Shedd aquarium)

More than half of the $ 500 million investment will go to the Shedd programs and partnerships needed to fulfill the aspirations of the Aquarium’s Centennial Commitment. These programs will not only be on-site, officials said, but will also extend outside the aquarium walls into communities, on the water and in the wild, as part of virtual experiences and d ‘informal learning engagements, and through new and expanded research and science on site and in the field. portfolios focused on restoration, rewilding and rescue.

The remaining investment will focus on necessary physical improvements to the historic building that will modernize the galleries and the aquarium experience, allow greater accessibility, improve animal habitats, and restore architectural features such as opening windows. original offering views over the city skyline and the lake. Michigan, and creating more unobstructed public access to the aquarium’s original outdoor promenade and green spaces, according to the press release.

Shedd officials said funding for the project would come from corporate and community endowments and gifts, 80% of which are now available for on-site catering, the Chicago Tribune reported on Monday.

“The Shedd is one of Illinois’ great gems, and this new vision for the next 100 years reflects Illinois leadership and partnership to protect the environment, educate the next generation, and serve as a cultural asset. unmatched, ”Governor JB Pritzker said. in a statement released on Monday. “The Shedd Centennial Pledge will increase awareness, empathy and importance of natural spaces and aquatic resources, strengthen Illinois’ role as a national leader in climate action, educate and support more ‘students and teachers every year, and will strengthen our statewide tourism investments to attract guests from around the world. “

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Cedar Rapids and 9 other movies that weren’t shot in the city they were named from https://cdmug.org/cedar-rapids-and-9-other-movies-that-werent-shot-in-the-city-they-were-named-from/ Sun, 09 Jan 2022 23:30:00 +0000 https://cdmug.org/cedar-rapids-and-9-other-movies-that-werent-shot-in-the-city-they-were-named-from/ When a film bears the title of a city or country, it is expected to be a cinematic tribute to the actual location in question. However, this is not the case for these films in particular, which are not too different from Rapids of the Cedars. RELATED: The 10 Funniest R-Rated Comic Movies Of The […]]]>

When a film bears the title of a city or country, it is expected to be a cinematic tribute to the actual location in question. However, this is not the case for these films in particular, which are not too different from Rapids of the Cedars.

RELATED: The 10 Funniest R-Rated Comic Movies Of The Last 20 Years

In Cedar Rapids’ case it was named after the real Iowan town where its story took place, but it was actually filmed in Ann Arbor, Michigan. For mainly pragmatic reasons, these films were far from the places promoted by their titles.

ten Cedar Rapids was shot in Michigan, not Iowa


Just when he thought his life was at an all-time low, naive insurance agent Tim Lippe gets the fresh start he’s been waiting for when his boss sends him to a business conference in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Despite what the title suggests, Cedars Rapids was not filmed near the state of Iowa for tax reasons.

Cedars Rapids was supposed to shoot on location, but Iowa ended its film production tax credit benefits. Following this development, production moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan. The state offered a 40% tax cut plus an additional 2% if the filmmakers worked in central communities like Ann Arbor, which more than made up for the failure of the original plans.

9 Home Alone 2: Lost In New York Was Shot In Chicago, Not New York


Home Alone 2 Lost in New York: Home Alone 2: Wet Bandits Track Kevin

Following Alone at home runaway success, it made sense for Kevin McCallister’s shenanigans to escalate. This led to the second movie, Lost in New York, which focused on Kevin turning the Big Apple into his biggest playground yet. That being said, most of her trip to New York was filmed in Chicago.

Lost in New York used Chicago as a replacement for New York for budgetary reasons, while scenes set in the McCallister Residence were filmed in California. The few sequences that were actually filmed in the eponymous metropolis were those that took place in iconic New York landmarks, such as Central Park and the lobby of the Plaza Hotel.


8 Escape From New York was filmed in Missouri, not New York


Snake aims for the brain to escape New York

A lingering criticism of the otherwise revered cult classic Escape from New York it barely felt like it was in a New York movie. For example, Snake Plissken never visited Times Square. The reason was more financial than anything else, because filming in St. Louis, Missouri was much cheaper than filming in the real Big Apple.

Some of the rare exceptions were the scenes set in the prison command center on Liberty Island, which in itself was an impressive feat as John Carpenter managed to convince Island Security to let them film shortly thereafter. a bomb threat. On the other hand, a good part of the less received suite Escape from LA was filmed in Los Angeles.


seven Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan was filmed in Vancouver, not New York


Jason walks in Times Square on Friday the 13th Jason takes Manhattan

Nowadays, Jason takes Manhattan remains one of the most hilariously infamous Friday 13 entries because of how he broke his title promise in every way imaginable. Besides spending the first half of the film on a boat and the rest in a wet sewage system, Jason Voorhees never “took Manhattan” because he was truly in Canada.

RELATED: 5 Movies That Aren’t As Good As You Remember (& 5 That Still Hold Up)

Due to the high cost of filming in New York, Jason takes Manhattan filming spread between seven American locations and Vancouver, Canada. The latter was used for primary scenes, such as the chase down the alley. Jason had a scene in New York (especially Times Square), but it was a quick cut that was filmed after the fact.


6 Four of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre movies were not made in Texas


Leatherface rolls out his chainsaw in Texas Chainsaw 3D

As the franchise title suggests, Leatherface, the Sawyer clan, and their legacy are linked in Texas. Not only were the stories and killers of the show firmly entrenched in Texan culture and life, most were also filmed in a sunburnt state. This does not apply to four of the current nine films, two of which were not even shot in the United States.

Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III was filmed in California but, to be fair, the characters were on their way to California. In the same way, The Texas 3D chainsaw was filmed in Louisiana, while Leatherface’s last two films—Leatherface and Chainsaw Massacre (2022) – were filmed in Bulgaria for budgetary reasons.


5 None of the Amityville movies were shot in Amityville, New York City


The Lutzs pose outside their new home in Amityville horror

Though debunked long ago, the Haunting of Amityville is still one of the most iconic and memorable urban legends that have emerged from the village of Amityville in Long Island, New York. The hauntings of December 1975 inspired Amityville Horror and its remake 2oo5, which were filmed in New Jersey or Illinois and Wisconsin respectively.

RELATED: 10 Horror Movies Based On Real Events

The countless anonymous adaptations and interpretations of the Lutz family’s stay in the infamous Haunted House have also been filmed in remote locations on Long Island, like Mexico City or even Canada. Oddly, the closest exception is the direct to DVD function. Amityville: Vanishing Point, which was filmed in Staten Island, New York.


4 Hamburger Hill was shot in the Philippines, not Vietnam


Surviving soldiers take a break at Hamburger Hill

During the Vietnam War (particularly in May 1969), US forces attacked the fortified North Vietnamese encampment in Dong Ap Bia Mountain. For Americans, the mountain was Hill 937 or Hamburger Hill, and it was located between the borders of Laos and Vietnam. Hamburger Hill’s “Vietnam” was actually the Philippines.

This was not new, as most of the wars in Vietnam the films were shot in the Philippines. Besides the fact that the Philippines cannot be visually distinguished from Vietnam for casual moviegoers, American productions were hardly ever allowed in Vietnam for obvious political reasons. In contrast, the Philippines eagerly welcomed American filmmakers.




3 The Bridge over the River Kwai was shot in Sri Lanka, not Thailand


Colonel Nicholson observes his work on the River Kwai Bridge

The River Kwai Bridge is considered one of the greatest films ever made, and it should be noted that it is a heavily dramatized and sensationalistic tale of similar railway bridge constructions during WWII. The fictionalization also extended to production, as the film was not shot near the real River Kwai.

The Khwae Yai River is located in Thailand, but the river, bridge, and camps in the movie were found in Kitulgala, Sri Lanka. The film was shot in Sri Lanka, but it still had an impact on Thailand. Previously, the Khwae Yai River was called the Mae Klong River. After the film success, the Thai government changed its name to boost tourism.


2 Chicago was filmed in Canada, not Chicago


Roxy and Velma enjoy their fame in Chicago

If his title was anything, Chicago was a very American musical and period piece about the Roaring Twenties and the famous city. The production told a different story, as it was shot entirely in Ontario and Toronto, Canada to keep costs down and save on the budget. Naturally, this caused a hilarious backlash among Chicagoans.

Although Chicago was adored and well received, almost everyone who watched the stellar musical didn’t miss the chance to poke fun at it for not even having a scene filmed in the titular city. One of the production’s most famous detractors was Roger Ebert, himself a Chicago resident, who got angry with that of Chicago filming audience based in Canada.


1 Borat was shot in Romania, not Kazakhstan


Borat gives Borat a tour of his hometown

Si Borat Sagdiyev and his titular fake documentary (full title: Borat! America’s Cultural Learnings for the Benefit of the Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan) are to be taken at face value, they are from Kazakhstan. As is now known, Borat had nothing to do with the Central Asian country, and the same goes for the production despite the film’s title.

The scenes set in the so-called Kazakh city of Borat were filmed in Glod, Romania. by Borat The portrayal of Glod as an incestuous and ignorant Kazakh town actually angered locals so much that they took legal action. Romania was again used to Borat’s later films Kazakh scenes, but not in God.

NEXT: Animal House & 9 More Steamy Comedies Critics Really Loved


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Looted art donated by billionaire still on display at Israel Museum https://cdmug.org/looted-art-donated-by-billionaire-still-on-display-at-israel-museum/ Sat, 08 Jan 2022 05:40:07 +0000 https://cdmug.org/looted-art-donated-by-billionaire-still-on-display-at-israel-museum/ JERUSALEM (AP) – One of the Israel Museum’s greatest patrons, American billionaire Michael Steinhardt, approached Israel’s flagship arts institution in 2007 with an artifact he had recently purchased: a 2-year-old Greek text 200 years carved in limestone. But soon after its exposure, an expert noticed something strange – two pieces of text found a year […]]]>

JERUSALEM (AP) – One of the Israel Museum’s greatest patrons, American billionaire Michael Steinhardt, approached Israel’s flagship arts institution in 2007 with an artifact he had recently purchased: a 2-year-old Greek text 200 years carved in limestone.

But soon after its exposure, an expert noticed something strange – two pieces of text found a year earlier during an excavation near Jerusalem matched the limestone slab like a puzzle. It soon became clear that Steinhardt’s tablet came from the same cave where the other fragments were excavated.

Last month, Steinhardt turned over the piece, known as the Heliodorus Stela, and 179 other artifacts valued at around $ 70 million as part of a landmark deal with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office to avoid prosecution. . Eight Neolithic masks on loan from Steinhardt to the Israel Museum for a large exhibit in 2014 were also seized as part of the deal, two of which remain on display at the museum.

Museums around the world face a closer examination of the provenance – or chain of ownership – of their works of art, especially those looted in conflict zones or illegally looted from archaeological sites. There are more and more calls for these items to be returned to their country of origin.

Donna Yates, an artefact smuggler criminologist at Maastricht University, said several recent scandals involving looted artefacts – such as the return of Cambodian antiques by the Denver Art Museum – “are causing museums to reconsider history of ownership of some of the items they own. “

“They can’t really afford the embarrassment of the public to be constantly tied to this stuff, because museums are not rich and many of them occupy a place of public trust,” he said. she declared.

In addition to the Heliodorus stele and two of the ancient masks, at least one other artifact belonging to Steinhardt in the Israel Museum is of uncertain provenance: a 2,800-year-old inscription on a black volcanic stone. The museum exhibit indicates that the origin is Moab, an ancient kingdom in present-day Jordan.

How he got to Jerusalem remains unclear.

Steinhardt lent the royal Moabite inscription to the museum in 2002, shortly after purchasing it from an authorized Israeli dealer in Jerusalem, said Amir Ganor, who heads the theft prevention unit of the Antiquities Authority in ‘Israel.

The dealer, who confirmed the deal but spoke on condition of anonymity due to the legal questions surrounding the article, told The Associated Press that he had obtained the registration of a Palestinian colleague in Bethlehem, in the occupied West Bank by Israel, which did not specify its origin.

“I don’t know how it happened to the dealer in Jerusalem,” Ganor said. He said it could have come from the West Bank, neighboring Jordan or Dubai, a long-standing antiques hub.

The Israel Museum declined interview requests and refused to show documentation of the artifact.

But in a statement, he denied any wrongdoing, saying he “consistently follows applicable regulations when works are on loan.” He said all exhibits are “in full cooperation” with the Antiquities Authority.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office said the Moabite listing was not part of the Steinhardt investigation and declined to discuss the article.

James Snyder, who was the director of the Israel Museum from 1997 to 2016, said all artefacts coming to the museum have their provenance verified by the IAA before being on display, and other looted works of art from Steinhardt “came with legal property documents.”

“We have received legal purchase documents, it has been approved for loan and it has been approved for return,” Snyder said.

Israel has a legal antiques market managed by some 55 authorized dealers. They are allowed to sell artefacts discovered before 1978, when a law came into effect making all artifacts the property of the state.

This market has provided an outlet for the laundering of smuggled and looted antiques from all over the Middle East that receive materials produced by merchants in Israel. Israel began to fill this gap in 2016, when it commissioned a digital database of merchant artifacts.

Israel recently returned smuggled antiques found in merchant stores in Egypt and Libya. Other antiques stolen from Iraq and Syria – including thousands of cuneiform tablets purchased by Hobby Lobby owner Steve Green in 2010 – were smuggled to Israeli dealers before being sold to collectors with documents fraudulent.

Morag Kersel, professor of archeology at DePaul University in Illinois, said the indiscriminate looting of archaeological sites across the Middle East “is ultimately driven entirely by demand.”

“The looters are doing this because there is someone like Steinhardt who is willing to pay money and buy things straight out of the earth,” she said.

Under the deal, the Manhattan District Attorney has seized 180 Steinhardt artifacts and will repatriate them to their respective countries. Steinhardt also agreed to a lifetime ban on acquiring antiques – although it’s not clear how that ban will be enforced.

Steinhardt, 81, is a long-time patron of the Israel Museum and many other Israeli institutions, including a natural history museum at Tel Aviv University that bears his name. Since 2001, his family foundation has donated more than $ 6.6 million to the Israel Museum, according to partial US tax returns.

Steinhardt was not charged with looting items himself and said he had committed no crime. But the prosecutor’s office said it “knew, or should have ascertained by reasonable investigation” that the antiques had been stolen.

Steinhardt declined an interview request. His office issued a brief statement saying that the Manhattan DA “did not dispute Mr. Steinhardt’s right, title or interest in any of the artifacts” other than those in the colony.

The DA began investigating Steinhardt’s huge collection of antiques in 2017 after loaning a bull’s head sculpture to the Metropolitan Museum of Art that had been looted from a site in Lebanon.

The DA says the three objects at the Israel Museum are “indeed seized there,” and has opened talks with Israel to coordinate the return of 28 additional objects. He said Steinhardt “was unable to locate” the last nine items located in Israel.

Of those 40 artifacts, more than half were allegedly looted from sites in the West Bank, according to court documents. Nine other artifacts from Jordan, many of which were sold to Steinhardt via Israel’s licensed antiques market, are also being repatriated.

Neither the Jordanian government nor the Palestinian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities responded to requests for comment. Under interim peace accords in the mid-1990s, the fate of items taken from the occupied West Bank must be part of a still elusive peace deal.

The Israel Museum said it only recently learned of the colony’s existence and is currently investigating the matter.

For now, the objects looted in the museum still bear Steinhardt’s name.


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Florida tourism officials optimistic despite spread of omicron https://cdmug.org/florida-tourism-officials-optimistic-despite-spread-of-omicron/ Thu, 06 Jan 2022 00:51:08 +0000 https://cdmug.org/florida-tourism-officials-optimistic-despite-spread-of-omicron/ item TALLAHASSEE, Florida – A senior Florida tourism official called the future of travel in the state “bright” and said there were no plans to slow down marketing efforts, even with the rapid spread of the omicron variant of the coronavirus. Visit Florida President and CEO Dana Young said on Wednesday the agency was continuing […]]]>

A senior Florida tourism official called the future of travel in the state “bright” and said there were no plans to slow down marketing efforts, even with the rapid spread of the omicron variant of the coronavirus.

Visit Florida President and CEO Dana Young said on Wednesday the agency was continuing to expand its winter marketing campaign in the United States and was not slowing international efforts.

“It’s been a tough road for our international people, but we haven’t stopped for a second working in these markets to make sure Florida remains a priority,” Young said on a conference call with members of the Visit Florida executive committee. .

Last month, a panel of state economists slightly lowered expectations through mid-2022 for Canadian and foreign travelers, anticipating that the omicron variant would, at least temporarily, slow the resurgence of tourism in Florida.

Amy Baker, coordinator of the Legislative Assembly’s Office of Economic and Demographic Research, said in a meeting on Dec. 20 that the highly contagious variant would likely affect people’s decisions to travel to and from Florida.

“I think omicron has kind of changed the environment,” Baker said. “I know two people who were planning to travel overseas. They canceled their trips because of omicron, not knowing what the additional lockdown restrictions (would be) if they had a location. Would their country be? open? What’s going on in the United States? ” What would their demands be on them? “

Florida’s tourism industry topped expectations in the third quarter of 2021, attracting 32.6 million visitors, 2 million more than expected earlier this year and 0.3% more than the total number of visitors in the third quarter of 2019 — before the start of the pandemic. Totals for the third quarter of 2021 followed 31.7 million visitors in the second quarter, down 2.2% from the second quarter of 2019.

Nearly 90% of visitors in 2021 were from other states, although officials at Visit Florida expect a resurgence of Canadian and foreign visitors after the White House eased travel restrictions in November.

Visit Florida Marketing Director Staci Mellman said Wednesday it was too early to project fourth-quarter numbers.

“More recently, I think we’ve seen some increase in travel, especially from Latin America, but it’s always been pretty consistent over the past year and a half during the pandemic,” Mellman said. “I think the numbers were lower than we expected from Europe.”

Committee members said they saw numerous license plates from New York, New Jersey and the Carolinas on Interstate 95, but there was no normal harvest in Quebec and other parts of Canada. .

In early 2022, Visit Florida launched a new winter marketing campaign targeting the West Coast and locating tourists from many cities, including New York; Atlanta; Birmingham, Alabama; Houston; Boise, Idaho; Salt Lake City; Chicago; Detroit; Philadelphia Cream; Indianapolis; Minneapolis; Cleveland; Boston; Saint Louis; Nashville, Tennessee; Macon, Georgia; Louisville, Ky .: Cincinnati and Milwaukee.

Executive committee member Dan Rowe, president and CEO of the Panama City Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau, said the local organization has already seen winter tourism increase 25% to 40% from a year ago .

“I think you’ll see across the state that there will be an increase in business from our friends in Canada, as well as the Northeast and Upper Midwest,” Rowe said.

Young also expressed his optimism.

“My common sense tells me that if the border was open, which it was or is, they are in their suburbs and their motorhomes, and if they are not already there, they are on their way,” said Young. “And we should get those numbers… but common sense just tells me they don’t hang around in Canada.”

Young’s update came as Visit Florida is hoping to gain support from lawmakers to extend the agency’s planned expiration date beyond October 1, 2023.

A Senate proposal (SB 434) would keep the agency in operation until October 1, 2031. A similar House measure (HB 489) proposes an extension until October 1, 2028.

The agency also hopes to maintain public funding of $ 50 million for the next fiscal year, an amount requested by Governor Ron DeSantis.

Visit Florida received $ 80 million from the legislature for the current fiscal year, including $ 30 million in federal stimulus programs.

Watch FOX 35 Orlando for the latest news from Central Florida.


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Editorial summary: Illinois | Bradenton Herald https://cdmug.org/editorial-summary-illinois-bradenton-herald/ Tue, 04 Jan 2022 12:10:45 +0000 https://cdmug.org/editorial-summary-illinois-bradenton-herald/ Chicago Sun-Times. January 1, 2021. Editorial: A hot problem: Building more natural gas power plants is harming the environment Creating construction jobs and delivering returns to investors are not good reasons to go this route. Why is Illinois still building natural gas power plants? The need to convert to renewable energy sources could not be […]]]>

Chicago Sun-Times. January 1, 2021.

Editorial: A hot problem: Building more natural gas power plants is harming the environment

Creating construction jobs and delivering returns to investors are not good reasons to go this route.

Why is Illinois still building natural gas power plants?

The need to convert to renewable energy sources could not be clearer. Signs of the ravages of climate change surround us every day. We are seeing record high temperatures, more severe storms, more severe droughts, huge forest fires, historic floods and more. Much of this is caused by the burning of fossil fuels, which release greenhouse gases and warm the planet.

Still, plans are moving forward for the Lincoln Land Energy Center, a gas-fired power plant near the bottom of Pawnee State in Sangamon County, about 13 and a half miles south of Springfield. A permit proposal is under consideration by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, a bitter pill to swallow for environmentalists who negotiated Illinois’ new clean energy law. Two more gas plants, already approved under the Bruce Rauner administration, will soon be operational in the upstate near Elwood and Morris.

The Lincoln Land Energy Center alone will emit more carbon dioxide than 800,000 automobiles. As the Chicago Tribune reported, emissions from the three new gas-fired power plants will send more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than four coal-fired power plants that shut down last year. This is leading Illinois in the wrong direction. Creating construction jobs and delivering returns to investors are not good reasons to go this route.

Building new gas plants is clearly out of step with what the state and the nation should be doing. As recently as last week, President Joe Biden enacted clean energy provisions introduced by U.S. Representative Sean Casten, D-Ill., To require 10% of existing and future military installations to achieve zero net emissions of d ‘by 2035.

Renewable energies must be our ultimate energy source

Gas plants not only burn fossil fuel, they are also a source of methane leakage into the atmosphere from the natural gas network. Although methane does not linger in the upper atmosphere for as long as carbon dioxide, it is a much more potent greenhouse gas. Pound for pound, the comparative impact of methane is 25 times that of carbon dioxide over a 100-year period, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency.

As part of Illinois’ new green energy law, which Governor JB Pritzker signed in September, the state is encouraging individuals and businesses to purchase electric vehicles. To meet clean energy goals, buildings will also need to convert to electric heat and electrical appliances to replace gas-fired ones. Yet the benefits of these transitions can only be fully realized if the ultimate energy source comes from renewable wind, water or solar energy, and not natural gas.

The construction of new gas plants is in part the result of the legislature’s several-year delay in passing new clean energy legislation. No one knew whether the economically threatened nuclear power plants, now aided by the climate law, would remain open or whether grants would be available to stimulate the construction of green energy facilities. The delay also created a missed opportunity to reduce consumers’ electricity bills.

The last gas-fired plants are likely the last to be built in Illinois. They must operate for at least 20 years for investors to make a profit, and the Clean Energy Act sets a target of 100% clean energy in the electricity grid by 2045. But new plants that burn Fossil fuels strive in the future to postpone the more likely clean energy deadlines. The harder it becomes to keep the increase in Earth’s temperature below 1.5 degrees Celsius, the harder it becomes to imagine people in the years to come doing what they won’t do today.

Passage of Illinois clean energy legislation was a milestone. But it will take the full involvement of individuals, businesses and all levels of government to avoid the worst effects of escalating climate change. As Biden’s major climate initiatives in his Build Back Better legislation remain stuck in Congress, it’s important that everyone adhere to the spirit as well as the letter of Illinois law.

___

Arlington Heights Daily Herald. December 29, 2021.

Editorial: The Bears Won’t Be Sufficient On Their Own

To paraphrase Bogey (or Shakespeare, if you prefer), seeing the Chicago Bears playing football in Arlington Heights at a state-of-the-art stadium is what dreams are made of.

As we all know, Churchill Downs Inc. has agreed to sell the 326 acres of Arlington International Racecourse to the Bears for $ 197.2 million. The Bears are among the most popular and wealthiest franchises in the NFL. It’s the kind of prestige that occurs once every 100 years.

It would be easy to focus on the excitement of it all, and it’s very exciting. But before Arlington Heights and regional planners sign on the dotted line, they must ask themselves questions about the benefits and costs of setting up a suburban NFL stadium – questions about jobs, costs that the community will bear and whether the regional economy can offset these costs with benefits.

Even in these early days of speculation, it’s already pretty clear to us that bears will not be enough on their own.

Ideally, sports fans will come to a game, spend the night at a local hotel, and spend a day or evening in the suburbs – visiting Schaumburg, Rosemont, the Metropolis in Arlington Heights, the new Des Plaines Theater or one of the many other sites. We say ideally, because it’s also very likely that most fans will live in the six-county metro area and will just go to the game and then go home afterwards.

So a Bears stadium in Arlington Heights should boost tourism across the region, but while tourists will always come to Chicago, whether the Bears are playing there or not, the suburbs don’t have the same appeal to locals. exterior, despite the wonderful shopping, dining and entertainment we have to offer.

No, the Bears, who would play a maximum of 10 games per season (counting a few in the preseason), will not be enough on their own. Ten games a year does not create a multitude of high paying jobs, nor does it create businesses like hotels and restaurants that also employ people.

What our leaders need to see in their dreams is the big picture, and they need more in this development than just a stage. We need a facility that can be aggressively marketed in a number of ways, attracting enough ancillary activities in the summer and on rest days to create a good number of permanent jobs. More than that, the stadium needs to be sufficiently busy, as often as possible, so it creates a habit in people.

Prestige factor aside for a moment, 326 acres near the heart of Arlington Heights is an unprecedented development opportunity (Woodfield Mall, when it opened, was on 191 acres). Any development on the grounds of Arlington Park will ultimately be judged by what it brings to the community in terms of public benefits – in taxes, for example, or in local employment, or even as an expression of culture or of beauty.

A stadium should be judged in the same way, by measuring what it brings with what it costs.

___

Champaign News-Gazette. January 2, 2021.

Editorial: Will we still be arguing over COVID-19 vaccines in 2022?

State Senator Darren Bailey, one of the top Republican candidates for governor of Illinois, believes Gov. JB Pritzker should stop haranguing Illinois for the shot.

State Senator Darren Bailey, Republican candidate for governor of Clay County, believes that “Governor JB Pritzker’s rhetoric is odious and has no place in any civil discussion.”

The sin of Pritzker? He urged unvaccinated Illinois to get vaccinated against COVID-19 so as not to occupy a hospital bed that could be used by a patient with cancer or a heart attack.

“The role of government is not to coerce and control residents, but to educate them and provide them with the resources to make the best decisions for themselves and their families,” Bailey said.

This is exactly what Pritzker, medical professionals and even other Republican governors are doing.

Colleen Kannady, CEO of Carle Health Normal and Eureka Hospitals, recently pleaded with unvaccinated central Illinois residents to get vaccinated for the sake of tired hospital staff.

“The staff are tired, and I think that’s our advocacy, and really I would say it’s advocacy at this point, it’s to really really really ask everyone to get their shots,” said Kannaday.

Dr James Leonard, CEO of Carle Health, said months ago that COVID-19 vaccines could “be a game-changer” – if people take advantage.

“We got a miracle response in less than a year, and some people are refusing to take it,” Leonard said.

Dr Susan Bleasdale, head of hospital quality and health sciences systems at the University of Illinois at Chicago, virtually copied Pritzker’s remarks.

“With Omicron cases doubling every two or three days, our health systems are likely to be quickly overwhelmed,” Bleasdale said. “Our biggest concern is that we will not have the beds or the staff to take care of our patients if the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise.”

The Republican governors of Iowa and Nebraska have urged their citizens to get vaccinated.

“Anyone who has not yet been vaccinated can help by getting vaccinated,” Nebraska Governor Peter Ricketts said at a press conference. “The best defense we have against the virus is to make sure we get the vaccine. “

And Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds recently provided video evidence of her and her husband receiving their booster shots.

“We can’t control COVID, but we can control how we respond to it. We now have the information and tools we need to manage it, and it’s up to each of us to choose the best way to do it, ”Reynolds told the Iowans, saying the vaccine prevents infections in people. most people and protects others from serious illness.

It’s bizarre to think that more than a year after the life-saving COVID-19 vaccines were approved for emergency use, high-level politicians are still disputing their effectiveness and use. But it’s a personal and political issue for Darren Bailey, who declined to say if he’s vaccinated.

It should be noted, however, that 70% of Illinoisans 18 and older – that’s the voting age population – are fully immunized, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. And 85% of those 65 and over – traditionally the most likely to vote – are fully immunized.

Darren Bailey is swimming against the tide against public opinion, without a life jacket.

TO FINISH


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High time to ban horse-drawn carriages in Philadelphia https://cdmug.org/high-time-to-ban-horse-drawn-carriages-in-philadelphia/ Sun, 02 Jan 2022 09:24:33 +0000 https://cdmug.org/high-time-to-ban-horse-drawn-carriages-in-philadelphia/ Horses have no place in the streets of 21st century cities. It sounds like a no-brainer, but in reality, many 2,000-pound horses weave their way through the busy traffic of Philadelphia every day, at their own risk and that of all pedestrians, motorists and cyclists around them. Horse-drawn carriages were historically the main engine of […]]]>

Horses have no place in the streets of 21st century cities. It sounds like a no-brainer, but in reality, many 2,000-pound horses weave their way through the busy traffic of Philadelphia every day, at their own risk and that of all pedestrians, motorists and cyclists around them.

Horse-drawn carriages were historically the main engine of people and goods. There was no other option until the internal combustion engine was popularized a century ago and horse-drawn cars were replaced by automobiles. Their replacement was motivated not only by new technologies, but also by changing cultural values ​​which emphasized efficiency, sanitation, safety and animal welfare.

After 50 years of virtually horse-free streets, horse-drawn carriages were reintroduced to Philadelphia during the U.S. Bicentennial in 1976 as a tourist attraction. This form of entertainment has attracted some tourists, families and romantics, but has been controversial from the start and has fallen out of favor in recent years.

READ MORE: Horses who worked hard for Philly Carriage Co. retreated to 139-acre sanctuary

The animal welfare problems caused by this practice are serious. Some of them were described by Holly Cheever, a member of the board of directors of the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association, in a letter to city council member Mark Squilla expressing support for a legislative ban on horse-drawn carriages in Philadelphia. Team horses suffer from: a respiratory deficiency resulting from the constant work of the horses from the nose to the tailpipe; lameness due to excessive pounding by horses on city paved surfaces; and thermal prostration during extreme temperatures.

Public security is threatened by the horse-drawn carriages. Pedestrians, cyclists and motorists must share roads with horses, animals with highly developed flight control triggered when surprised by an unexpected or threatening stimulus, causing them to rush immediately and resulting in serious accidents. Such collisions have occurred in Philadelphia and occur regularly in cities that allow the use of horse-drawn carriages. The risk of an accident is only increased by the fact that horse-drawn vehicles often circulate in cycle lanes.

The Philadelphia carriage industry has been the subject of academic research projects. A group of doctoral students from the Strategic Leadership and Complex Systems Leadership programs at Thomas Jefferson University conducted a case study last year, which concluded that as awareness of the issues associated with horse-drawn carriages increases, the demand for carriage rides will decrease, creating an unprofitable and non-viable business.

Jefferson’s study focused on market trends, particularly animal welfare concerns of Millennials – the generation who travel the most and are most likely to spend more money on vacation – and Gen Z. Eighty-six percent of 18-29 year olds are willing to spend more on their trip if it means the experiences are completely ethical. Tour operators are rushing to meet this demand by developing animal-friendly policies, such as TripAdvisor, which changed its 2016 policy to “no longer book attractions where animals have been forced into unnatural situations at times. entertainment purposes ”.

READ MORE: Philly carriage rides remain as New York’s de Blasio sues ban

Clare Weeden, Senior Lecturer in Tourism and Marketing at the University of Brighton, conducted an analysis of tourism in Philadelphia in 2020, focusing on the city’s controversial horse-drawn carriages. She concluded that “raising awareness among residents and tourists about animal welfare means that one day very soon, the existence of team horses as part of a marketed tourism product will become unacceptable to most people” . Dr Weeden noted that Philadelphia has the opportunity to become a leader in “responsible tourism”, setting the standard for differentiating the tourism market by promoting a particular concern for environmental and animal welfare issues.

As bans on horse-drawn carriages continue to be enacted in cities around the world – including Chicago, Salt Lake City, Montreal, Mumbai and Amsterdam – horseless electric cars (electronic cars) are increasingly taking their place. . Similar in appearance to 18th-century horse-drawn carriages, electric cars are battery-powered and provide riders with both a historic experience and a cruelty-free activity.

Banning horse-drawn vehicles will require political will. Many concerned citizens have encouraged council member Squilla, in whose district cars are driven, to introduce legislation banning the practice, and urged council member Kathy Gilmore Richardson to include a ban on horse-drawn carriages in the overall traffic law. road safety that the Transport Environment Committee The sub-group she heads is discussing.

Horses have no place in the streets of 21st century cities. Just as it was a century ago, new technologies and evolving cultural values ​​are driving a change that can and must eliminate the use of horse-drawn carriages from the streets of Philadelphia – once and for all.

Janet White is the founder and director of Carriage Horse Freedom, a solutions-driven animal rights organization that works to secure a legislative ban on horse-drawn carriages in Philadelphia while promoting their replacement with horseless electric carriages.


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New Year’s Eve is cut off by a wave of viruses; Many hope for better 2022 – NBC Chicago https://cdmug.org/new-years-eve-is-cut-off-by-a-wave-of-viruses-many-hope-for-better-2022-nbc-chicago/ Fri, 31 Dec 2021 20:29:36 +0000 https://cdmug.org/new-years-eve-is-cut-off-by-a-wave-of-viruses-many-hope-for-better-2022-nbc-chicago/ Good riddance until 2021. May 2022 bring new hope. It was a common feeling as people around the world started to welcome the New Year. In many places, New Years celebrations have been cut or canceled for the second year in a row due to a wave of coronavirus infections. But so far, at least, […]]]>

Good riddance until 2021. May 2022 bring new hope.

It was a common feeling as people around the world started to welcome the New Year.

In many places, New Years celebrations have been cut or canceled for the second year in a row due to a wave of coronavirus infections.

But so far, at least, the latest wave has not resulted in the same levels of hospitalizations and deaths as previous outbreaks – especially among those vaccinated – offering a silver lining for 2022.

The 11,875 pound sphere made its way up and down the pole that it will descend on New Years Eve so organizers can make sure it was ready to go.

Australia continued its celebrations despite an explosion in cases of the virus. Thousands of fireworks lit the sky over the Harbor Bridge and Sydney Opera House at midnight in a spectacular spectacle.

Hours before the celebrations began, Australian health officials reported a record 32,000 new cases of the virus, many in Sydney. Due to the wave, crowds were much smaller than in the pre-pandemic years, when as many as 1 million revelers crowded inside Sydney.

Neighboring New Zealand had previously taken a more low-key approach, replacing its fireworks display in Auckland with a play of lights projected on landmarks such as the Sky Tower and Harbor Bridge.

Although there has not yet been a community spread of the omicron variant in New Zealand, authorities still wanted to discourage crowd gatherings.

Due to the location of the international date line, countries in Asia and the Pacific region are among the first to usher in each new year.

In Japan, writer Naoki Matsuzawa said he would spend the next few days cooking and delivering food to the elderly as some stores would be closed. He said the vaccinations had made people less anxious about the pandemic, despite the new variant.

“Numbness has set in and we’re not too scared anymore,” said Matsuzawa, who lives in Yokohama, southwest of Tokyo. “Some of us are starting to take it for granted that this won’t happen to me.”

Like many others, Matsuzawa hopes life will improve in 2022.

“You would like to think that we would come together as a nation and just look at the public health science side of it,” said Robert Redfield, who led the CDC under former President Donald Trump. He joined LX News Now host Eric Alvarez to talk about the pandemic and getting kids back to school.

“I hope the restrictions can be lifted,” he said.

Across Japan, many people were planning to take New Years trips to spend time with their families. On New Year’s Eve, people thronged to temples and shrines, most wearing masks.

However, some seemed to ignore fears of the virus as they dined and drank raucous in downtown Tokyo and flocked to shops, celebrating not only the holidays but also a feeling of euphoria at having been freed from the recent ones. virus restrictions.

In Seoul, the capital of South Korea, the annual New Years Eve ringing ceremony has been canceled for the second year in a row due to an increase in the number of cases.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention advises people to avoid traveling on cruise ships, regardless of their vaccination status, due to the high risk of COVID infection on board ships.

Officials said a pre-recorded video of this year’s ringing ceremony would be shown online and on television instead. The ceremony had already attracted tens of thousands of people. Last year’s cancellation was the first since the ceremony began in 1953.

South Korean officials are also planning to shut down many beaches and other tourist attractions along the eastern seaboard, which are usually teeming with people hoping to witness the first sunrise of the year. South Korea said on Friday it would extend the strict distancing rules for another two weeks.

In India, millions of people planned to ring in the New Year from their homes, with nightly curfews and other restrictions removing the bubbly of celebrations in major cities like New Delhi and Mumbai.

Authorities have imposed restrictions to keep revelers away from restaurants, hotels, beaches and bars amid an increase in cases.

But some places, including Goa, a tourist paradise, and Hyderabad, an information technology hub, have been spared nightly curfews thanks to a smaller number of infections, though other restrictions are s still apply.

Many Indonesians have also given up their usual festivities for a quieter evening at home, after the government banned many New Year’s celebrations. In Jakarta, fireworks, parades and other large gatherings have been banned. , while restaurants and shopping centers have been allowed to remain open but with curfews enforced.

Vietnam has also canceled fireworks and celebrations. In Hanoi, authorities closed central streets, while in Ho Chi Minh City, the public was prohibited from watching live countdown shows, which were to be broadcast on social media instead.

In Hong Kong, around 3,000 people had planned to attend a New Year’s Eve concert featuring local celebrities, including boy group Mirror. The concert will be the first major New Years Eve event held since 2018, after events were canceled in 2019 due to political unrest and last year due to the pandemic.

In mainland China, the Shanghai government has canceled events including an annual light show along the Huangpu River in the city center that typically draws hundreds of thousands of spectators.

There was no plan for public festivities in Beijing, where popular temples have been closed or have limited access since mid-December. The government has called on people to avoid leaving the Chinese capital if possible and is demanding testing for travelers coming from areas with infections.

Popular temples in eastern Chinese cities Nanjing, Hangzhou and other major cities have canceled the traditional New Year’s “luck ringing” ceremonies and asked the public to stay away.

But in Thailand, authorities were allowing New Years parties and fireworks to continue, albeit with strict security measures. They hoped to slow the spread of the omicron variant while lessening the blow to the country’s tourism sector. New Year’s prayers, which are usually held in Buddhist temples in Thailand, will be held online instead.

In Memoriam: The people we lost in 2021

In the Philippines, a powerful typhoon two weeks ago wiped out the basic necessities of tens of thousands before New Year’s Eve. More than 400 people were killed by Typhoon Rai and at least 82 are still missing. Half a million homes have been damaged or destroyed.

Leahmer Singson, a 17-year-old mother, lost her home in a fire last month, then the typhoon swept away her temporary log cabin in Cebu City. She will welcome the New Year with her husband, who works in a glass and aluminum factory, and her 1 year old baby in a dilapidated tent in a coastal clearing where hundreds of other families have erected small tents from debris, sacks of rice and tarpaulins. to protect against rain and sun.

When asked what she wanted for the New Year, Singson made a simple wish: “Hope we don’t get sick.”


Associated Press reporters Yuri Kageyama in Tokyo; Hyung-jin Kim in Seoul, South Korea; Ashok Sharma in New Delhi; Niniek Karmini and Edna Tarigan in Jakarta, Indonesia; Hau Dinh in Hanoi, Vietnam; Zen Soo in Hong Kong; Tassanee Vejpongsa in Bangkok; Jim Gomez in Manila, Philippines; and AP researcher Chen Si in Shanghai contributed to this report.


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Bears will not be enough on their own https://cdmug.org/bears-will-not-be-enough-on-their-own/ Wed, 29 Dec 2021 14:48:41 +0000 https://cdmug.org/bears-will-not-be-enough-on-their-own/ To paraphrase Bogey (or Shakespeare, if you prefer), seeing the Chicago Bears playing football in Arlington Heights at a state-of-the-art stadium is what dreams are made of. As we all know, Churchill Downs Inc. has agreed to sell the 326 acres of Arlington International Racecourse to the Bears for $ 197.2 million. The Bears are […]]]>

To paraphrase Bogey (or Shakespeare, if you prefer), seeing the Chicago Bears playing football in Arlington Heights at a state-of-the-art stadium is what dreams are made of.

As we all know, Churchill Downs Inc. has agreed to sell the 326 acres of Arlington International Racecourse to the Bears for $ 197.2 million. The Bears are among the most popular and wealthiest franchises in the NFL. This is the kind of prestige “getting” that happens once every 100 years.

It would be easy to focus on the excitement of it all, and it’s very exciting. But before Arlington Heights and regional planners sign on the dotted line, they must ask themselves questions about the benefits and costs of setting up a suburban NFL stadium – questions about jobs, costs that the community will bear and whether the regional economy can offset these costs with benefits.

Even in these early days of speculation, it’s already pretty clear to us that bears will not be enough on their own.

Ideally, sports fans will come to a game, spend the night at a local hotel, and spend a day or evening in the suburbs – visiting Schaumburg, Rosemont, the Metropolis in Arlington Heights, the new Des Plaines Theater or one of the many other sites. We’re saying ideally, because it’s also very likely that most fans will live in the six-county metro area and will just go to the game and then go home afterwards.

So a Bears stadium in Arlington Heights should boost tourism across the region, but while tourists will always come to Chicago, whether the Bears play there or not, the suburbs don’t have the same appeal to locals. exterior, despite the wonderful shopping, dining and entertainment we have to offer.

No, the Bears, who would play a maximum of 10 games per season (including a few in the preseason), will not be enough on their own. Ten games a year does not create a multitude of high paying jobs, nor does it create businesses like hotels and restaurants that also employ people.

What our leaders need to see in their dreams is the big picture, and they need more in this development than just a stage. We need a facility that can be aggressively marketed in a number of ways, attracting enough ancillary activities in the summer and on rest days to create a good number of permanent jobs. More than that, the stadium should be sufficiently busy, as often as possible, so it creates a habit in people.

Prestige factor aside for a moment, 326 acres near the heart of Arlington Heights is an unprecedented development opportunity (Woodfield Mall, when it opened, was on 191 acres). Any development on the grounds of Arlington Park will ultimately be judged by what it brings to the community in terms of public benefits – in taxes, for example, or in local employment, or even as an expression of culture or of beauty.

A stadium should be judged in the same way, by measuring what it brings with what it costs.


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