Fashion Conversational Week 1462: The Empress of The Fashion Invitational on this week’s new contest and outcomes

Also back in Loserdom this week is Milo Sauer, who quickly used up exactly 100 ink blots in the early 2000s and then disappeared. Well, his name anyway: Milo (aka Tim, a math professor at George Mason University) recently confessed to me that in 2005 he broke the strict no-pseudonym rule of invitations and assumed the identity of Elwood Fitzner from Valley City. ND, collected 100 more blots before retiring too. I actually looked up Elwood in my early days of Empresshood, and while I couldn’t find that exact name back then, I found numerous Fitzners in Valley City (6,400) and thought it must be there somewhere. (It turns out that Milo has Fitzner relatives there.) Now, almost 15 years later, it’s all gone, and I’m excited to see Milo is as smart as ever – two blots this week! – but folks, don’t enter under a false name.

Spokane household spends weeks elevating cash for father’s funeral following COVID demise

September 26, 2021 7:03 p.m.

Posted on September 26, 2021 7:03 PM

SPOKANE, Wash. – A Spokane family has been trying to raise funds to pay for the funeral of their veteran father, who died of COVID-19, for weeks.

Rachel Foye and her family and friends have been standing in the Staples parking lot in St. Division with signs trying to raise some money since early September.

Foye’s father, a Vietnam veteran, died of COVID in early September. She said her father was vaccinated but still had complications with COVID. Since then, the family has been trying to raise money for funeral expenses.

Foye said it costs more than $ 8,000 for funeral services alone. Since raising funds, they have raised approximately $ 5,000 in addition to a donation from Veteran Affairs.

She says it is financially difficult, especially since she also has eight children who live at home.

“It’s hard. It’s really hard because you want to be home to grieve with your kids and go through those emotions,” said Foye. “It’s a lot of money when you don’t have money.”

Sunday was the last day for the fundraiser as they have to pay the funeral home on Monday.

TIED TOGETHER: Washington State Trooper dies of COVID

TIED TOGETHER: “I know he wouldn’t survive”: Woman fears for her father’s life as COVID spreads in the Spokane Veterans Home

Let There Be Carnage’ launch date moved up two weeks after ‘Shang-Chi’ success

Still from Sony’s “Venom”.

Sony

According to the studio’s website, Sony has postponed the theatrical release date for “Venom: Let There be Carnage” by two weeks to October 1st.

The new date for the much anticipated sequel to “Venom” follows a box office hit for another Marvel comic adaptation, Disney’s “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings”.

Box office results for the four-day holiday over the weekend were $ 90 million for “Shang-Chi” after raising $ 75.5 million in theaters in the first three days, according to the figures, the Comscore Senior Media analyst Paul Dergarabedian on Monday shared.

These numbers show the willingness of fans to appear in cinemas for some films despite Covid concerns.

In general, movie theaters are struggling to recover from the pandemic shutdowns. A lack of new publications to display affected them. In some cases, the content that arrived in the cinemas was made available simultaneously via streaming services.

“Shang-Chi” was the first Marvel Studios film have only been shown in cinemas since the beginning of the pandemic. “Shang-Chi” with Simu Liu and Awkwafina also made history as Marvel’s first film with an Asian protagonist.

“Black Widow,” released in July, debuted in theaters and on Disney + Premier Access the same day. to initiate an argument on star Scarlett Johansson’s salary.

In 2018, the first “Venom” grossed $ 855 million at box offices worldwide and was the sixth largest film in the world.

“Venom: Let There Be Carnage” was originally scheduled for October 2020, directed by “Lord of the Rings” star Andy Serkis. This release date has been postponed to June 2021, September and more recently to October 15 due to a pandemic. related complications.

The thriller plays Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock aka Venom, a journalist who lives with an alien symbiote inside him and gives him superhuman powers. Co-stars include Michelle Williams in the role of Anne Weying, Woody Harrelson as the main villain Cletus Kasady aka Carnage and Naomie Harris as Frances Barrison aka Shriek.

The United States has recorded more than 40 million Covid cases and 651,690 deaths. according to NBC news tables.

– CNBC’s Sarah Whitten contributed to this report.

4 weeks to monetary health: 28 steps to get your cash into form | Cash

It is the start of a new academic year and while that might not be as associated with resolutions as the day the calendar year ticks over, it is not a bad time to make a few changes. For those who have been meaning to get their finances in shape, here are 28 steps to follow – the idea is that you can do one a day for the next four weeks or take it slower. Some will need follow-up actions but as making a start can often be the hardest part, we have included them.

1) Take any “free” pension contributions your company offers

It may sound dull but it could be the best move you make this year. Many workers have the option to top up their pension pot by making additional voluntary contributions from their pre-taxed income. The best bit is that lots of companies will match at least some of what you pay in, with the best putting in up to 50p for each £1 you invest – a free pension top-up.

For higher rate, 40%-band taxpayers, it means you effectively pay in 60p (£1 minus the tax relief) and get £1.50 paid into your retirement fund. Once it is set up you can usually stop, restart or change the monthly payments as you wish, so if you can afford the reduction in your salary now there is no reason to delay.

Get in touch with your workplace pension provider and start the ball rolling. It will usually ask you to fill in a form to send back. It is currently the most rewarding saving you can do.

2) Check you are getting the broadband speed you are paying for

Does iPlayer keep buffering? Are different family members struggling to use the internet at the same time? You may not be getting the broadband speed you are paying for. Broadbandspeedchecker.co.uk will give you an accurate reading – it is worth running a few tests at different times of the day – and you can compare your scores with what you were promised when you signed your broadband contract. If you were told to expect download speeds of about 34Mbps but you are only getting 4Mbps, then complain to your provider. If the company is unable to get the speed up to something close to what it promised, you have the right to leave penalty-free, although be aware that it is worth spending some time trying to resolve the problem if you are on the BT Openreach network, as things won’t necessarily be better if you switch supplier. Broadbandchoices.co.uk has some good advice on how to proceed and contact details.

You may not be getting the broadband speed you are paying for. Illustration: Spencer Wilson

3) Unpackage your bank account

If you are one of the millions of people who has a paid-for bank account, take an hour to work out whether you are getting your money’s worth. Some accounts, such as Lloyds Platinum, cost £21 a month and typically offer world travel insurance, mobile phone and car breakdown cover – all of which can be bought separately for less than £252 a year.

That’s if you even need the policies at the moment. A foreign holiday may be the last thing on your mind, and your lease car might come with breakdown cover included. Are you really going to claim on your mobile insurance if you have to send the phone away for repair, or pay a £100 excess? Downgrading to a free bank account is as easy as a phone call.

4) Unsubscribe from emails selling you things

Often signing up to a retailer’s email list will get you a discount on your first purchase but after that you will just be getting messages designed to lure you back to spend more money. Go through your inbox and get rid of temptation by clicking unsubscribe. As well as saving you money, it will mean you are more likely to spot the genuinely important messages that arrive.

5) Watch a Citizens Advice TikTok video on credit scores

Find out what a credit score is and why it matters in only 34 seconds on Citizens Advice’s TikTok channel.

6) Switch gas and electricity supplier

If you are on your supplier’s default, standard tariff you could soon be paying £1,277 a year (average usage) after Ofgem increased the price cap. Plenty of households will be able to save at least £200 a year by switching and it takes about 20 minutes. Go to Energyhelpline.com or Uswitch.com, and input your existing supplier and household details. Click on filters, and tick the “show me all the plans available” option and choose one. We would opt for a fixed price plan – Green Energy’s tariffs are currently good. Then it’s just a case of heading to the website and inputting a few details. On the day of the switch – usually a couple of weeks later – you take your meter readings, if required, and that’s it. Just don’t forget to keep a copy of your final readings, and to chase your old supplier for any balance you are owed.

7) Improve your data deal

If you regularly go over your mobile phone contract’s data allowance, you are chucking money away each month unnecessarily as the excess charges can really add up. Moving to the right data plan could easily save you £100-£200 a year depending on how wayward you are currently being. In most cases, it’s a call to your existing supplier to add a pre-bought bundle for a few pounds each month. If you are still paying more than £8 for up to 15GB of data a month you are generally overpaying, and it may be worth switching to a new contract.

Equally, if you are still on pay as you go and your charges have risen in recent months, you will almost certainly better off buying a monthly bundle or a sim-only contract.

Many workers have the option to top up their pension pot. Illustration: Spencer Wilson

8) Check subscriptions, direct debits and standing orders

It may sound trite but an amazing number of people rarely, if ever, check what is leaving their accounts. The Consumer Champions inbox regularly contains letters from readers who have suddenly found that they had two Netflix accounts or were paying to insure a boiler or to subscribe to gym, a theatre membership or music streaming service – payments they thought had been cancelled months, and in some cases years, previously.

If you genuinely did cancel and the overpayments are the company’s fault, the direct debit guarantee can be used, and there is no time limit. Beware recurring bank card payments so beloved of firms that take annual subscription payments.

9) Switch one of your savings accounts to a better rate

Savings rates at the moment are pretty terrible, and if you take a look at the interest rate on your bank-account-linked savings account, you may well find you are getting a paltry 0.01%.

However, it is still possible to get more than 1% with a bit of searching around. The Savingschampion.co.uk website is your new best friend, listing most of the UK’s best buy savings accounts. It currently lists a host of providers paying about 1.3% for one-year fixed-rate savings bonds – with Tandem the top payer at 1.41%.

If you prefer an easy access account, you can currently get 0.65%, again with Tandem, or you can earn between 0.86% and 1% with a notice account.

Sort your finance Gift PigRound up gift cards and spend them. Illustration: Spencer Wilson

10) Dig out unspent gift cards

Instead of thinking you might save them for a treat one day, round them up and spend them – you could buy something that you need and put the value aside in cash to buy something fun with no restriction of where you get it.

Several websites exist that let you sell cards, or you can do so on eBay or local marketplaces. So if you really can’t spend one you could at least raise some cash with it. Alternatively, give them to a worthy cause to raffle or ask a local food bank or charity if it can make use of them.

11) Arrange to write – or update – your will

This is one of those jobs that is easy to find reasons to put off but, ultimately, is not as painful as it sounds. You can do it yourself or you can get help – the latter is generally better if your finances or family set-upare at all complicated. Solicitors are regulated and you can find one via the Law Society’s website – look for “private clients – wills” or ask friends for recommendations.

Some charities offer free will-writing services to encourage people to consider them as beneficiaries. Cancer Research, for instance, offers a free service with a solicitor or online. If you are a member of a union, check if it offers a free or reduced price deal. Make the appointment today and you are over the first hurdle.

12) Find out what your pension invests in

Few of us probably know exactly where the money in our workplace pension or personal pension is invested.

If you are in a company scheme, your pension contributions will be going into an underlying fund. Log into your employer’s intranet or go online and it shouldn’t be hard to find the most recent fund factsheet or investment report for your fund.

This will typically give details of how much of your money is in shares, bonds, property and so on (often called the asset allocation) and the top 10 holdings. The last can sometimes be an eye-opener if you find it stuffed with companies you would rather not have your money invested in, such as oil and mining firms and tobacco giants.

13) Look into making it greener

Many schemes offer an ethical or sustainable fund option and will allow employees to allocate some or all of their money to that.

If you are unhappy with what’s on offer, contact the trustees of your workplace scheme to ask how much of your money is invested in – for example – fossil fuels, if there is a divestment option (where money is moved out of things such as oil, coal and gas companies) and, if not, one can be set up.

14) Read: Ten Pence Story by Simon Armitage

Have a day off from financial admin, and enjoy this by the poet laureate. It’s a reminder of how physical money has lots of roles in our lives – and how quickly that has been changing. Phone boxes are now a thing of the past but pre-match coin tosses have not gone cashless … yet.

15) Rationalise your Isas and other accounts

Are you one of those people who chased the best tax-free rates and now have multiple accounts from different tax years with different banks and building societies? There’s a lot to be said to said for having the money in one account for ease of management. Switching is as easy as filling in a few forms. However, it is essential that you arrange your transfer through your new provider – the company behind the account you want the money moved to. If you simply withdraw the money yourself and seek to reinvest it, your savings could lose their tax-free status as a result.

Not all Isa accounts allow transfers in but most will, and it will be stated prominently in the marketing materials. If you want to invest some of the money in shares, there is no limit on the amount you can transfer from a cash Isa to a stocks and shares Isa.

Do the same with your other accounts: close those with tiny sums and move money to the one with the best interest rate. At the same time have a clear-out of ancient payees you have set up on your main account. We’ve heard stories of scammers defrauding people by transferring money to existing payees. If your list of payees includes people who you haven’t transferred money to for years, delete them, and limit the chance of them being used in a scam to get your cash.

16) Make your passwords stronger

Take some time changing any passwords you have had for years and think could be on the weak side (if you have any on the National Cyber Security Centre’s list of most-hacked passwords make them a priority).

“A good rule of thumb is that a password should be at least three (random) words long, to fully protect against the chance of a ‘brute force’ attack,” says Alex Hern, the Guardian’s UK technology editor. This has superseded advice about using capital letters, etc because that produced passwords that people couldn’t remember, which meant they reused them. Not all banks have caught up, though, so you may still be asked for something in that format.

“Even more important than making passwords stronger is not reusing them,” Hern says. “Use the password manager built into your browser, like Chrome or Safari, or download a third-party one like 1Password or LastPass, and make sure that every password you use is unique. Otherwise, if one site gets hacked, you can lose stuff from unrelated sites.”

17) Reclaim credit from your electricity and gas bills

If you pay your energy bills by direct debit you may have a tidy sum sitting on account with your gas and electricity provider(s) – in 2018 the energy regulator, Ofgem, found £1.4bn of surplus payments was being held, the equivalent of £65 a household. The money is typically built up in the summer months when your direct debit remains the same as during the winter but you use less fuel. Ofgem has plans to force energy companies to automatically return the cash, which could come into effect next year. But in the meantime you can request a repayment. Bear in mind that you may want to keep some with the provider if you think you will need it to cover winter bills. But if a large sum has accrued, get it back.

18) Switch credit cards

Had the same credit card for years? It may be possible to get a better deal on your borrowing.

If you pay off your balance each month, look out for a card offering cashback or other rewards. According to Andrew Hagger of Moneycomms, the best deals are the store specific credit cards such as Sainsbury’s Nectar, Tesco Bank, M&S (Shopping Plus) and the John Lewis Partnership card. He gives the example of the rewards possible with the John Lewis Partnership card, which offers 1.25% back in vouchers when you spend in its shops. Say you are planning to buy furniture there and you spend £2,500, then do your main shopping in Waitrose and spend £300 a month all year, after 12 months you’ll have earned £76.25 in rewards vouchers.

Hagger says if you are struggling to clear your balance these days, switching it to a card offering 0% interest “is a savvy move”. When you transfer existing borrowing to one of these cards, it stops accruing interest for a set period. This means you can stop your debt growing and make bigger inroads with your monthly repayments. You can currently get up to 29 months interest-free with Sainsbury’s Bank and M&S Bank – charging one-off balance transfer fees of 2% and 2.75% respectively, while NatWest has an 18-month 0% deal with no balance transfer fee.

All of the big comparison sites offer search tools.

Sort your finance Radio pigIt’s worth tuning in early to Radio 5’s Wake Up to Money. Illustration: Spencer Wilson

The BBC’s daily finance show is a great way to get up to speed on the events, big and small, that may have an impact on your wallet. You can listen live from 5am on Radio 5 or catch up with the podcast version.

20) Check your tax code

Having the wrong tax code will result in you paying either too much or too little to HMRC. You should get a paper coding notice each year, and you can log in to the government website at any time to check it. Or grab your payslip, P60 or pension advice slip and check the row of numbers followed by a letter. The most common tax code is currently 1257L, which means you get the standard personal allowance of £12,570 before you start paying tax, but your code may have been adjusted to take into account allowances such as gift aid on regular charitable donations or deductions to cover perks such as medical insurance. The coding notice will show you how it is worked out. If there are mistakes, or your circumstances have changed, you should notify HMRC online or by phone.

21) Put your loyalty cards on your phone

Reduce the bulk of your wallet without missing out on earning points by putting your loyalty cards on your phone. Most of the big retailers, including Boots, Tesco and Sainsbury’s, have apps you can download and use to collect and spend with their schemes. Nectar says its cardholders can earn up to three times more points using its app than by carrying around the plastic version.

22) Make your charitable giving more tax-efficient

Donating via gift aid means the charities you support can claim an extra 25p for every £1 you give without it costing you any extra. You need to make a gift aid declaration for the charity to claim – some charities have an online form you can fill in, some have one on their website to download and send off, but you may need to call any smaller ones to request a form.

If you are a higher-rate taxpayer, you can claim the difference between the basic rate and the rate you pay via your tax return – if you donate £100 to a charity and it claims gift aid to make your donation £125, you can claim back £25 (20% of £125). Keep a note of your donations and, when you have a moment, go through your emails and paperwork to check you have a record of ones that you’ve made in the past.

23) Go over your insurance policy details

Grab the documents that go with your policies for your car, house and so on, and check the details on them are correct and you have the cover you think you are paying for. If you have simply renewed a policy for several years you may find your circumstances have changed and you are paying for cover you no longer want or need to update your insurer about a career switch or change in how you use your home or car. Some of these things may lead to more expensive premiums but there may be ways to cut cover and costs – and by making sure the facts on the policy are correct, you can remove the chance of a claim being invalidated in future.

24) Get a pension forecast

Find out if you are on track to get the full state pension – and, if not, what you can do about it – on the government’s website. You will need to have or create a Government Gateway or Verify account but once you have logged in you will get a forecast of how much you will receive each week (at current pension rates) and information on whether you can increase the figure and how.

25) Check your credit score

The three main UK credit reference agencies are Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. They don’t decide whether you get credit – that’s up to lenders – but the data they hold will have a major impact on how you are viewed and the deals you’ll be offered when you apply for any kind of borrowing.

The agencies typically offer several ways, free and paid-for, to check your credit record or score. You can go on to each agency’s website and request a free copy of your “statutory credit report”.

This won’t give you your credit score but the good news is that it is obtainable for free. MoneySavingExpert’s Credit Club lets you access your Experian score. Meanwhile, sign up to a site called ClearScore and it will give you a score based on information provided by Equifax. And subscribing to Credit Karma lets you see your TransUnion score.

Sort your finance passport pigIt’s vital to check whether your passport is valid for travel before departure. Illustration: Spencer Wilson

26) Check when your burgundy passport expires

Not financial, but it will prevent you losing money on a trip you can’t take. Since the start of the year, UK travellers to Europe have been treated like other non-EU visitors and need to have a passport that is less than 10 years old when they travel. This means that if the expiry date isn’t the same as the 10th anniversary of the date that the passport was issued – and this can easily be the case if you renewed your last one in good time – you could get into difficulties. To travel to most EU countries you also need at least three months in hand, too. So if, for example, your passport was issued in December 2011 but says it expires in February 2022 you will need to get a new one for any trip after September.

“It’s crucial that you check whether your passport is valid for travel ahead of departure as meeting country entry requirements is the responsibility of the traveller, and if your passport is not valid you won’t be able to board the plane or claim a refund,” says the editor of Which? Travel, Rory Boland.

27) Find out if you could be claiming any benefits

If you have recently wed, or have been married for some time but one of you has retired or seen a drop in income in recent months, you may have become entitled to the government’s marriage allowance, worth up to £252 this tax year. Or maybe you are claiming the state pension but now need help around your home – this is something attendance allowance might cover. The website Entitledto.co.uk will show you what benefits you might be able to claim – you just need to answer questions about your circumstances. Charities such as Citizens Advice or Turn2us can offer you help through a claim if you need it.

28) Draw up a budget

Sorry, but we couldn’t leave this out. Even if you don’t need to keep a close eye on your spending, it pays to know what’s coming in and going out each month – it makes it easier to spot an untoward change in your bank balance or missed payment, and is a good starting point if you are thinking of buying any kind of insurance to protect your income or life. A simple spreadsheet with an income and bills column might be enough or there are apps you can link to your bank accounts to provide an analysis of where your money is being spent and use to set savings targets. Bring together your statements and bills to draw up the former or try an app such as Money Dashboard or Emma, which have free budgeting services.

U.S. State Division reportedly hit by a cyberattack in current weeks

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken leaves after discussing refugee programs for Afghans who have helped the United States during a briefing at the State Department in Washington, DC, on August 2, 2021.

Brendan Smialowski | Reuters

The U.S. State Department has been hit by a cyber attack and the Department of Defense’s cyber command has made reports of a potentially serious breach, a Fox News reporter said Saturday.

A knowledgeable source told Reuters that the State Department has not experienced any material disruption and its operations have not been hampered in any way.

Fox News reported that the violation presumably occurred weeks ago. It’s unclear when it was first discovered, according to the reporter’s tweet thread. The extent of the violation and whether or not there is an ongoing risk to operations is also unclear.

The continued work of the department to evacuate Americans and allied refugees in Afghanistan was not affected by the cyberattack, the reporter said, citing an anonymous source.

A State Department spokesman told CNBC on Saturday that the department “takes its responsibility to protect its information seriously and is continuously taking steps to ensure that information is protected.”

“For security reasons, we are currently unable to discuss the nature or scope of suspected cybersecurity incidents,” said the spokesman.

Covid deaths on the rise once more within the U.S. after weeks of decline, CDC says

A nurse disinfects her hands as she leaves a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patient room in the intensive care unit at SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on Jan. 28, 2021.

Nick Oxford | Reuters

Coronavirus deaths are picking up again as the Delta variant tears through unvaccinated pockets in the country, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday.

“After weeks of declines, the seven-day average daily deaths rose 26% to 211 per day,” said Dr. Rochelle Walensky during a press conference.

New cases are also on the rise, with a current seven-day average of 26,300 cases, according to the CDC. That is around 70% more than the seven-day average of the last week.

The seven-day average for hospital admissions is now 2,790, which is about 36% higher than a week ago after weeks of declines.

In light of the new numbers, Walensky said the pandemic has now become a “pandemic of the unvaccinated”.

“We are seeing outbreaks of cases in parts of the country that have low vaccination coverage because unvaccinated people are at risk and communities that are fully vaccinated are generally doing well,” Walensky said.

Only four states accounted for more than 40% of all new cases in the past week. One in five cases occurred in Florida alone.

The five states with the highest number of cases, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Missouri, and Nevada, all had higher vaccination rates compared to the national average.

The US reports an average of 530,000 vaccinations per day over the past week, according to the CDC. More than 3 million shots per day were reportedly administered at peak levels in mid-April.

According to CDC data, about 65% of Americans 12 and older have received at least one dose of a Covid vaccine, and 56.5% are fully vaccinated.

Walensky claimed that the Pfizer and Modern Vaccines are still highly effective against the Delta strain, although studies have shown reduced effectiveness of the vaccines over the highly transmissible variant.

Israel Ministry of Health released preliminary results showing the effectiveness of the Pfizer vaccine in preventing infection from the Delta variant at 64%. The study also showed similar effectiveness in preventing serious illness from the virus variant after two doses. Some experts have criticized the Israeli study, citing problems with Israeli genome monitoring.

Other Studies by Public Health England and The Lancet put Prevention rates for the Delta variant after two doses of a Pfizer vaccine at much higher numbers. Walensky also cited numbers “exceeding 90%” in mRNA vaccine protection against hospitalization and death against the Delta variant.

CNBC’s Nate Rattner contributed to this report.

This is the latest news. Please check again for updates.

This week’s dwelling leisure: from Anne Boleyn to The Masked Dancer | Tv

watch TV

Jodie Turner-Smith plays the title Tudor Queen in this fresh drama. The three-part series examines Boleyn’s fall through the prism of a psychological thriller and focuses on her attempts to secure a future for her daughter and the consequences of failing to produce a male heir in the final months of her life.
Tuesday, June 1st, 9 p.m., channel 5

Based on Jeff Lemire’s DC comic book series, this CGI-heavy Netflix adaptation stars Christian Convery as Gus, a partly human, partly deer boy who belongs to a new breed of hunted hybrids. Gus lives a protected life until he befriends the mysterious Jepperd (Nonso Anozie).
Friday June 4th, Netflix

In this eight-part thriller, adapted by Stephen King from his novel of the same name, Julianne Moore’s Lisey Landon struggles to come to terms with the death of her husband, crime novelist Scott (Clive Owen). Slowly memories emerge that she had repressed about her marriage.
Friday June 4th, Apple TV +

Feline groovy … The Masked Dancer. Photo: Vincent Dolman

More mask-based chaos than a new group of celebrities is hiding their identity, only this time they’ll be dancing rather than singing. The Masked Singer’s Jonathan Ross, Mo Gilligan, and Davina McCall are joined by Strictly’s Oti Mabuse, while the leg-wagging characters include Rubber Chicken, Beetroot, and Knickerbocker Glory.
Saturday, May 29th, 7pm, ITV

Mae Martin’s elaborately crafted comedy about relationships and rehabilitation returns for a second series. Since the first season ends on a cliffhanger after Mae’s relapse and the loss of her sponsor, it remains to be seen whether she will get to girlfriend George (Charlotte Ritchie). Her comedy career is now flourishing.
Friday June 4th, Netflix

Professor T.

Ben Miller stars in this adaptation of the successful Belgian series of the same name and plays a discerning professor at Cambridge University who is recruited by the police to solve crimes in the region after a student was attacked on campus. Frances de la Tour plays Miller’s arrogant mother.
Thursday June 3rd, BritBox

Podcasts

Gossip girls … From left: Sophia Loren, Louella Parsons, Hedda Hopper and friends. Photo: Ralph Crane / LIFE

Karina Longworth’s endlessly fascinating podcast on film history returns for a new season titled Gossip Girls, exploring the intersections of early 20th century celebrity culture through a burgeoning, gossip-hungry medium. She focuses on Louella Parsons and Hedda Hopper, two women who dominated Hollywood gossip to advance their own agendas.
Widely used weekly

As part of an online platform introducing new writers across the UK, WritersMosaic has put together a podcast series inviting writers to read their work and discuss what they mean. Highlights include readings by Bernardine Evaristo, TS Eliot Prize winner Roger Robinson, and former Young Poet Laureate for London Selina Nwulu.
Widely used weekly

With Covid variants still making headlines for concern, the Guardian’s science reporting team is on hand to provide explanations on the latest research as well as other developments in the scientific world. Recent episodes discussed the pros and cons of NFT, the effects of glacier disappearance, and lessons learned from historical pandemics.
The watchman weekly

If you feel like broadening your horizons, Krista Tippett’s insightful podcast gets a wide variety of guests to discuss topics that help us understand human existence: from philosophers to writers to Jill Tarter who is about finding extraterrestrial intelligence speaks.
Widely used weekly

Producers Bob Matthews and Lawrence Diamond host this new pod that explores the why and how of music production. Sure, there are some nerdy things about microphones and synth sounds, but it also focuses on the emotional process of making a song from scratch.
Widely used weekly

Movie

Emma Stone in CruellaPuppy love … Emma Stone in Cruella. Photo: Disney

(12A) (Craig Gillespie) 134 minutes
Another live action update from Disney, though this isn’t exactly a restart. Emma Stone plays Ms. de Vil, the puppy thief from 101 Dalmatians, in an origin story based on the 1996 version of Glenn Close. Stone’s Cruella is an aspiring fashion designer based in London in the 1970s. Emma Thompson is a baroness she runs into.
In cinemas & Disney +

(12A) (Kelly Reichardt) 122 min
This bears some resemblance to Reichardt’s 2010 film Meek’s Cutoff, which features a story of old people on the western frontier. Instead of a crisis on the wagon route, this is a brilliantly observed story of two entrepreneurial types who steal precious milk from the first cow to arrive on site and bake cakes from it.
In cinemas

(PG) (Gorō Miyazaki) 83 minutes
The next generation of Studio Ghibli, figuratively as well as literally. Gorō Miyazaki, son of Hayao Miyazaki, brings the Japanese animation company into the age of CGI with this adaptation of the story by British author Diana Wynne Jones about an orphanage girl who is adopted by a witch. There is also a rock band.
In cinemas

(12) (Jason Ferguson) 105 min
A surprisingly emotional document about the Manchester United manager titan directed by his son. Famous for speaking bluntly, Ferguson tells unvarnished truths about his 2018 death and career highlights.
In cinemas & Amazon Prime Video

(15) (Haruo Sotozaki) 117 min
An unexpected hit in US theaters a month ago. This is a sequel to the Demon Slayer TV series on Netflix, derived from a manga series in which the hero Tanjiro competes against the sleep demon Enmu on a bullet train.
In cinemas

Africa wants a minimum of 20 million doses within the subsequent six weeks, WHO says

A medical worker injects a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine into a man at a hospital in Accra, capital of Ghana, on May 19, 2021.

Seth | Xinhua News Agency | Getty Images

Africa needs at least 20 million cans AstraZenecas Covid-19 vaccine within the next six weeks to get the second round of shooting for people who have already received the first, the World Health Organization said on Thursday.

The data show that one dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine is 70% effective for at least 12 weeks, but the second dose is 81% protection against Covid for a longer period of time according to the WHO. Antibodies have been seen in the body for up to six months after a dose.

In order for the continent to be able to vaccinate at least 10% of its population by September, another 200 million doses of an approved Covid-19 vaccine are urgently needed, according to the WHO.

As of Thursday, 28 million doses of Covid-19 had been administered in Africa by various drug manufacturers that have nearly 1.4 billion people, which is less than two doses for every 100 people on the continent. By comparison, the U.S. has given more than 165 million doses to nearly half of the U.S. population, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Africa needs vaccines now. Any break in our vaccination campaigns will result in deaths and a loss of hope,” said Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. “We urge countries that have vaccinated their high-risk groups to speed up dose distribution to fully protect the most vulnerable.”

France has pledged to share half a million cans with six African countries over the next few weeks and has already sent 31,000 cans to Mauritania. Another 74,400 doses are to be delivered soon, the WHO announced.

The European Union has announced that it will send 100 million doses to low-income countries by the end of 2021, and the United States has pledged 80 million doses. Other countries around the world have also expressed an interest in sharing the doses. Countries in Africa that don’t use all of their cans are also sharing them with other countries on the continent, according to the WHO.

Redistributing vaccine doses is helpful, but expensive. WHO says Africa needs to increase its vaccine production capacity.

“Giving up intellectual property is a critical first step, but it needs to go hand in hand with sharing expertise and critical technologies,” the WHO wrote in a press release.

In Africa, 54 countries are involved in WHO efforts in more than 100 countries to submit a draft resolution to the World Health Assembly. The resolution aims to “strengthen local production, promote technology transfer and innovation and examine the agreement on trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights and intellectual property rights from the point of view of increasing local production,” according to the WHO.

Around 40 African countries have also followed WHO training on building production capacities. The WHO claims to be working with the African Union on a plan to support feasibility studies and technology transfers upon request.

“It’s too early to say if Africa is on the verge of a third wave. We do know, however, that cases are rising and the clock is ticking,” said Moeti.

Two animated movies high this week’s leisure choices

(KGET) – This is a very busy week for new releases on DVD and digital platforms. At the top of the list are two animated films on DVDs geared towards family entertainment.

“Raya and the last dragon” class 3 ½ stars: In the fantasy world of Kumandra, humans and dragons once lived together. That ended 500 years ago when an evil force threatened to wipe everyone out. All that saved the world was the dragon’s sacrifice. When the world returned to normal, the dragons did not return and Kumandra eventually split into five warring factions. Their conflicts cause the magical sphere that protected the world to be broken and scattered into the five regions.

The only chance to defeat evil again is for the five parts to be reunited. Raya – voiced by Kelly Marie Tran (“Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker”) – embarks on a six-year search for the last living dragon who can help her collect the five parts of the globe to form humanity to save again.

It’s a strange group of heroes crowned by the dragon Sisu – voiced by the comic actress Awkwafina. Her role – like the work Robin Williams did with the genius in “Aladdin” – is to be a spiritual guide while providing comic book relief.

Having a group of heroes picking up the five pieces of the sphere feels a bit like the Avengers tracking down the Infinity Stones. That’s fine, as Raya has as much action scenes as these comic-inspired films.

The real star is the breathtaking animation, especially with the five different countries. The combination of simple story and stunning graphics results in a movie that is meant to entertain everyone.

“Tom & Jerry” class 2 ½ stars: The longstanding battle between Tom and Jerry moves to a fancy New York hotel close to the wedding of the century.

The mix of animation and live action to continue the Tom the Cat and Jerry the Mouse story is reasonably good. All the animated elements date back to the heyday of the animated series, when destruction and disruption are important elements. That half is enough to keep the younger viewers entertained who can ignore the bad half.

Where the movie flops is with the live action elements. Not every performer can make it appear like they are interacting with animated characters. Chloë Grace Moretz fails to create a single scene in which her character deals with animated elements that appear real.

“Tom & Jerry” is fun on a very youthful level. Just ignore all of those flesh-and-blood characters as they are way too two-dimensional.

“The Dark Divide” Grade 3 Stars: The Dark Divide – which will be available via video on demand from May 21st – is based on the true story of renowned butterfly expert Dr. Robert Pyle – played by David Cross – who in 1995 embarked on a dangerous journey through one of America’s largest undeveloped wilderness areas – Washington’s Gifford Pinchot National Forest.

Pyle makes the trek at the urging of his dying wife Thea – played by Debra Messing with great strength. Pyle immediately discovers that he is not ready for the life-changing expedition in search of new butterfly species.

Cross may not be the first actor to think of playing a serious dramatic role, but he manages the dramatic moments while still being able to add a few lighter touches, despite the fact that this is a challenging film to shoot. It’s this mix that makes this film so entertaining.

Director Tom Putnam has created a film that on the surface looks like a one-man show about a long walk. Go just a little deeper and it’s obvious that “The Dark Divide” is a story that tests the limits of a person who has a universal feeling.

Also new on DVD and Blu-ray

“The Alienist: Angel of Darkness”: A request from the troubled wife of a Spanish diplomat brings the 19th century forensics team back together to help find their kidnapped little daughter.

“The father”: One man (Anthony Hopkins) refuses to give any support to his daughter (Olivia Colman) as he gets older.

“Threatening”; The Korean-American family moves to a farm in Arkansas in search of their own American dream.

“Nina Wu”: Landing a great acting job puts psychological pressure on the actress. Wu Ke-xi stars.

“The Prince’s Journey”: Animated story of a 12 year old boy who helps an old monkey prince find a monkey civilization.

“3 tickets to paradise”: Man has to stay alive while looking for a pot of gold.

“2149: The Consequences”: Sad and lonely man is looking for human contact in a future world where everyone is his only friend his computer.

“Peace Piece: The haunting poems of many Kahn”: An introduction to poet Mandy Kahn and the process behind her unique style of bringing poetry to life.

Publication on digital platforms

“Boogie”: A story about basketball, love, families and big dreams against all odds. It will be available on Blu-ray from June 1st.

Finest bets for this week’s leisure | Life

Sidewalk book sales

The Friends of the Scranton Public Library are holding a book sale on Saturday May 15 at the Albright Memorial Library, 500 Vine St., Scranton.

The public can search for fiction, non-fiction, audio books, children’s books, films, and music that are on sale outside the library gates from 10 a.m. Articles cost between $ 25 cents and $ 2, and the proceeds will go to library programs.

Visitors must wear face masks and follow social distancing guidelines.

The rainy date is Saturday May 22nd.

For more information, call 570-348-3000 or lclshome.org.

Comedy night

Comedians Lucas Connolly and Luke Thayer will perform during Comedy Night on Friday May 14th at Hotel Anthracite, 25 S. Main St., Carbondale.

Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 8:30 p.m. with Connolly. He has performed and received awards at comedy festivals, while Thayer has appeared on the Food Network, All Night with Joey Reynolds on NBC, Trial By Laughter, and other shows.

A four-course meal is served and costs $ 49 plus fees.

Reservations are welcome and can be made by calling 570-536-6020.

First paranormal craft and handicraft fair

Join the Wyoming Valley Ghost Tours for a creepy crafts fair at Forty Fort Cemetery, 20 River St. on Saturday, May 15.

The first paranormal craft and handicraft fair takes place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and features more than 30 vendors, music, food, and tours of the cemetery. Local historical societies will also be represented.

If the weather is bad, the fair will be postponed to Sunday, May 16.

Parking is available on the street and at the Forty Fort soccer field.

For questions by email info@wyomingvalleyghosttours.com.

Pavement Rave: 12th Planet with Riot Ten

Experience “Pavement Rave: 12th Planet with Riot Ten” on Saturday, May 15, at the Montage Mountain car park, 1000 Montage Mountain Road, Scranton.

The gates open at 4 p.m. and the performances start at 6 a.m. The concert for ages 18 and up features performances by 12th Planet with Riot Ten, Jantsen, Swarm and Ruvlo.

Concert-goers can watch the show from a 10-foot by 10-foot pod that can seat up to four people. You should bring water as there are no water stations available.

Tickets range from $ 159 for general admission to $ 299 for the platinum level. All sales are final.

For more information send an email stagewestscranton@gmail.com.

Mega Prize Bingo and more

Play bingo during Griffin Pond Animal Shelters’ annual fundraiser on Sunday May 16 at Scott Twp. Hose Company, 1027 Montdale Road.

The Mega Prize Bingo and More takes place from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and offers 16 games, four specials and a door prize game.

Admission is $ 20 upfront and $ 25 at the door.

For tickets, visit the shelter at 967 Griffin Pond Road, South Abington Twp. Or tickettailor.com/events/lchf/409777. The proceeds will go to the animal shelter’s veterinary fund.

Participants must wear masks and follow social distancing guidelines.

For more information, contact Jackie Galvin at 570-586-3700, ext 522, or email jackie@griffinpondas.com.