Uganda Hopes Kanye West, Kardashian Visit Boosts Tourism

American rapper Kanye West and socialite wife Kim Kardashian are visiting Uganda and bringing some much-wanted, positive attention to the East African country. Deadly election-related violence in August caused many tour groups to cancel trips, dealing a blow to the economy. Uganda’s tourism body is hoping the couple’s stay will attract more visitors.

A cartoon in a Ugandan newspaper depicts Kanye West sipping a local beer and thinking “Uganda is gold,” while wife Kim Kardashian, in a red bikini, takes a selfie under the sunset.

Meanwhile, in a reversed Safari, wild African animals compete to get a good look at the celebrity couple.

The sketch underscores the attention West and Kardashian’s visit is bringing to Uganda, where the rapper says he will record a new album.

Amos Wekesa of Great Lakes Safari said the couple’s superstar presence can be used to boost tourist numbers.

“So we need to be able to exploit that. If 100,000 people came here because of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, we would probably expect over $200 million and that would probably create not less than 2,000 jobs in the country. Whatever they are filming right now will stay online for a very long time and it will continue to market Uganda as a key destination.”

 

Tourism groups canceled planned visits to Uganda after violence erupted in August in relation to a local election.

 

Clashes broke out between security forces and youth supporters of the musician-turned-politician known as Bobi Wine. Wine, whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, was arrested and charged with treason for allegedly throwing rocks at President Yoweri Museveni’s car.

 

West on Monday met Museveni, who has ruled Uganda for three decades, and gave the president a new pair of white sneakers.

Social media posts made fun of the gift, noting the president is known for wearing odd-looking shoes.

Echoing opposition calls for Museveni to step down, one post read, “We hope that this pair of sneakers can inspire him to sneak out of power.”

It was not clear if West would meet fellow musician Wine, who is trying to get permission from authorities to hold a concert while on bail.

West made headlines last Thursday when he met with U.S. President Donald Trump in the White House Oval Office. The rapper stunned reporters by giving Trump a big hug, pounding the president’s desk, and using profanity.

On the streets of Kampala, not everyone was aware of the celebrity couple’s visit to Uganda, but, Leah Kahunde voiced excitement.

“Kim Kardashian herself has a following bigger than Uganda’s population. So imagine a whole country’s population is eyes on Uganda. That means a lot for my country. And also the tax base and maybe more revenue, that way they might stop milking us and trying to tax us just to make up for expenditure. So it’s a plus for our tourism industry.”

While in Uganda, West and Kardashian are staying in the country’s largest national park, Murchison Falls.

John Ssempebwa is the deputy executive director for Uganda’s Tourism Board. He offered an explanation as to why he thought the couple chose Uganda.

“The Murchison Falls National Park is where the River Nile squeezes into the narrowest of rocks. And makes this thundering sound that can be heard kilometers away. It’s the only place in the world, where it’s actually raining fish. Fishes coming in pushed by this speed of water, so huge, falling. And guess what’s down there waiting for them? The fattest crocodiles in the world.”

Posting on her snapchat, Kardashian wrote, “Dear world, there is another heaven in Uganda.”

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Український міністр розповів про зміст зустрічі з генсекретарем НАТО

Міністр закордонних справ України Павло Клімкін повідомив, про що говорив із генеральним секретарем НАТО Єнсом Столтенберґом.

«Практична взаємодія на Чорному і Азовському морях, посилення безпеки сховищ боєприпасів, ефективніша діяльність наших трастових фондів та проектів. Як завжди – дружня і плідна зустріч з генеральним секретарем НАТО Єнсом Столтенберґом», – написав Клімкін у мережі Twitter.

У Брюсселі в штаб-квартирі НАТО 15 жовтня відбулася зустріч міністра закордонних справ України Павла Клімкіна і генерального секретаря Північноатлантичного альянсу Єнса Столтенберґа. Про це вдень повідомила місія України при НАТО у мікроблозі Twitter, не розкриваючи змісту зустрічі.

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Why More Americans Are Moving to Smaller Cities

More Americans are moving to smaller cities in search of a better quality of life.

They’re leaving places like Los Angeles, Chicago and New York for mid-sized cities such as Phoenix and Las Vegas, according to an analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

A huge draw for these second-tier cities is that the cost of housing consumes a much smaller chunk of people’s salaries. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than half of the people who move do so for housing-related reasons. They’re looking for a new or better home, cheaper housing, or to buy a home rather than rent.

It costs about $4,100 a month to rent a place in Manhattan. That’s almost two-thirds of New York City’s median household income of $83,500. Buying a home is even more out of reach. The average cost of a home in the area is $1.1 million.

More than half a million people left the New York boroughs of Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens over a five-year period between 2012 and 2017.

In Los Angeles, the metropolitan county with the largest outbound net domestic migration, rent costs about $2,100 a month — about 38 percent of average income. Houses cost around $630,000, almost 10 times the average annual salary of $66,000.

LA County lost about 381,000 people over a five-year period.

According to the report, the cost of living can be a lot less expensive in the Phoenix area, which welcomed more net domestic newcomers over the past five years — 221,000 people — than any other part of the country.

The average household income in Phoenix is about $63,000, rent is about $1,100 a month, and the median price of a house is $280,000 — that’s $350,000 less than in the LA metropolitan area.

In the Las Vegas area, the rent ($1,000) will only consume 21 percent of the average salary ($57,000) and purchasing a house would set a buyer back about $273,000.

 

The analysis found that housing is about two times cheaper in the top markets that attracted people than in the areas that are losing the most in terms of population.

Chicago appears to be an exception. People are leaving the Windy City to get away from high taxes. Property taxes are higher there than almost anywhere else in the United States.

It is not as though the places that are losing people are suffering due to the exodus. Eight of the 10 counties with the biggest net population losses are still growing overall because of births and immigration.

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Тягнибок заявив, що не висуватиме свою кандидатуру на посаду президента

Лідер ВО «Свобода» Олег Тягнибок заявив, що не буде висувати свою кандидатуру на посаду президента України.

Під час мітингу перед маршем з нагоди 76-ї річниці створення Української повстанської армії Тягнибок висловив сподівання, що такий крок допоможе знайти порозуміння в націоналістичному таборі й домовитися про висування єдиного кандидата. Тягнибок пропонує обрати таким колишнього заступника голови Верховної Ради, голову секретаріату ВО «Свобода» Руслана Кошулинського.

Під час виборів 2014 року Тягнибок набрав 1,16 відсотка голосів.

Наступні президентські вибори в Україні мають відбутися 31 березня 2019 року.

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El Salvador’s Oscar Romero, Pope Paul VI Become Saints

Pope Francis has created seven new saints in a canonization ceremony at the Vatican.  The new saints included two important Church figures who were strong voices in the favor of the poor: Pope Paul VI and Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero. 

Before tens of thousands of faithful in Saint Peter’s Square, Pope Francis elevated to sainthood seven people including Pope Paul VI and murdered Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero.  Both were controversial figures in the church.

Large tapestries with the images of the seven new saints hung from St. Peter’s Basilica as is customary during a canonization ceremony.  The other five lesser-known new saints were from Italy, Germany and Spain.  They included an Italian orphan who died from bone cancer when he was just 19 years old.  

Salvadoran President Salvador Sanchez Ceren, Chile’s President Sebastian Pinera and Spain’s Queen Sofia attended the ceremony.

Pope Paul VI was the third pope to be declared saint by Francis since his election in 2013.  He was best known for having presided over the final sessions of the Second Vatican Council, the church meetings in the 1960s that reformed the Catholic Church and opened it to the world.

Francis said Paul VI, like the apostle, spent his life for Christ’s Gospel, crossing new boundaries and becoming its witness in proclamation and in dialogue, a prophet of an extroverted Church looking to those far away and taking care of the poor.

In a sign of the importance Pope Francis placed on Romero and Paul, Francis wore the blood-stained rope belt Romero wore when he was murdered in 1980 and also used Pope Paul’s staff, chalice and vestment.  Both men strongly influenced Francis and he praised them for their courage in turbulent times and their dedication to social justice and the poor.

Romero was killed in San Salvador by a right-wing death squad.  He had often denounced violence, repression and poverty in his homilies.  He became an icon for Latin America’s peasants.   

In his homily, Pope Francis praised Romero for “disregarding his own life to be close to the poor and to his people.”

 

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‘Getting the Scare:’ Behind the Scenes in Maryland Haunted Forest

Halloween is a popular holiday in the United States. Hauntworld.com estimates there are more than 4,000 Halloween “fee-based” attractions in the U.S., with the overall industry generating more than $1 billion. VOA’s Jill Craig takes us on a behind-the-scenes tour of a popular haunted forest in Maryland, where people pay up for a night of fright.

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Vietnam Wants to Go Hollywood 

Call it Vollywood? Vietnam’s movie scene is growing quickly, with an explosion of theaters across the country, more filmmakers entering the market, and more global attention from the 2017 blockbuster “Kong,” which was set and filmed here.

Search for “Vietnam movies” online and most of the results are not films made by Vietnamese people, but Hollywood depictions of the Vietnam War, like Apocalypse Now, Full Metal Jacket, and Born on the Fourth of July. Many of the films are shot in the United States, and all of them are stories about Americans, with Vietnamese characters sprinkled around the backdrop.

This has been a thorn in the side of locals who want Vietnam to have its own place in the world of cinema. That is starting to happen.

​Academy Awards submission

Ngo Thanh Van, who came to international prominence with her role in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, has turned to directing. Her newest film, The Tailor, has been submitted as Vietnam’s official entry for next year’s Academy Awards, in the foreign language category.

“Making movies in the Vietnamese market is a risky business, not just for me,” Van, who also had a role in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, told the news site Zing. “But it is because it is difficult that I want to put all my heart into doing it.”

Increasing demand

Increasing interest comes from both Vietnamese creators and Vietnamese customers. Domestic theater chain CGV reported a 30 percent jump in profits for 2017 compared to the year before. While it is just one company, it controls close to half the cinemas in the Southeast Asian country. Critics call it a monopoly, but that also means its growth is reflective of the industry’s growth at large. Besides CGV, owned by South Korea’s CJ Group, movies are screened by a crowded playing field that includes BHD, Galaxy, Skyline, Cinestar, Cinebox, Lotte and others.

The theaters are feeding consumer demand in an economy that expands nearly 7 percent every year. That has also brought the likes of Netflix and rival streaming service iflix to serve Vietnamese viewers.

“When a country develops, the next developmental need will be entertainment, so it is important to capture this demand,” investment advisory Investar wrote in an analysis of the film industry. “In Vietnam, many big cinemas have started to flourish, and the investment flow in this field is increasing.”

​Diaspora comes home

The growth of Vietnamese cinema coincides with more visibility of the Vietnamese diaspora in films abroad. The Netflix hit To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before stars a Vietnamese-American born in the Mekong Delta town of Can Tho. In Downsizing, Matt Damon plays opposite Hong Chau, who deploys a thick Vietnamese accent but earned a Golden Globe nomination.

And some of that diaspora is coming home. Vietnam has seen American actors, directors, producers and film editors return or resettle here in recent years, most famously the brothers Johnny Tri and Charlie Nguyen. Filmmakers from France, a former colonizer of Vietnam, have also relocated, such as a pair of French-Vietnamese who set up an animation studio in Ho Chi Minh City.

“Watching Vietnamese movies is one of the fun, relaxing and effective ways to express Vietnamese patriotism,” entertainer Nguyen Cao Ky Duyen said on her Facebook page. “If you support Vietnamese movies, the movies will be profitable, and investors will put in more money.”

She added that Vietnam has plenty of scenic locales that would be a cameraman’s dream.

​Dream locale

Kong: Skull Island is a good example. The latest installment of the brobdingnagian gorilla franchise was filmed around Vietnam, including shots of the limestone cliffs and malachite green waters of Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The film is also a telling symbol of a Vietnamese shift. Although it is set in the Vietnam War, Kong was not received as a war drama, but celebrated for everything else: The gripping ape-fueled action, the performances of Samuel L. Jackson and Brie Larson, and the majestic scenery. Vietnam is happy to provide that, rather than just another battlefield backdrop.

Vietnamese-language films have gone global here and there, from Cyclo to The White Silk Dress. Locals hope those are just the start of a thriving industry.

“We know that Vietnamese movies are not yet equal with neighboring countries, because we are still in a period of opening up,” Ky Duyen said. “But that does not mean that we will not catch up or even surpass them.”

India has Bollywood. Nigeria has Nollywood. It might soon be time for Vollywood.

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На книжковій виставці у Франкфурті провели мовчазну акцію на підтримку Сенцова

На книжковій виставці в німецькому місті Франкфурт 13 жовтня біля російського стенду провели мовчазну акцію на підтримку українського режисера Олега Сенцова та інших українських політв’язнів у Росії й анексованому Криму.

Про це повідомив у Facebook програмний директор «Кримського дому» Алім Алієв.

«Росіяни розгубилися і сиділи нерухомо (слухачів їхньої презентації було менше, ніж людей, які прийшли на акцію). Свій стенд вони оформили в агресивному червоному тоні з радянським шрифтом і без тіні смаку», – написав він.

На фотографіях видно, що в акції брав участь уповноважений президента України у справах кримськотатарського народу, народний депутат України Мустафа Джемілєв.

У Франкфурті на книжковій виставці Андрій Курков, Сергій Плохій, Вікторія Амеліна і Юрій Дуркот прочитали оповідання Олега Сенцова англійською та німецькою мовами.

Цього місяця стало відомо, що Олег Сенцов 6 жовтня припиняє голодування, яке оголосив 14 травня з вимогою звільнити всіх українських політв’язнів, які перебувають у російських в’язницях. У листі він пояснив це загрозою примусового годування.

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Прокуратура Естонії висунула підозри п’ятьом турфірмам за продаж путівок до Криму

Державна прокуратура Естонії порушила кримінальну справу стосовно п’яти естонських туристичних фірм, які підозрюються в організації туристичних поїздок до анексованого Криму, пише естонське видання Postimees.

«Державна прокуратура підтверджує, що в офісах п’яти турфірм були проведені обшуки у зв’язку з підозрою, що фірми могли організувати туристичні поїздки до окупованих Росією Криму й Севастополя, куди, відповідно до рішення Європейського союзу про санкції, заборонено організовувати турпоїздки й надавати там туристичні послуги», – цитує видання прес-секретаря держпрокуратури Каареля Калласа.

Він також додав, що прокуратура не клопоче про взяття будь-кого з них під варту.

Каллас нагадав, що 2014 року Європейський союз запровадив санкції на надання послуг в Криму й Севастополі.

«Цей захід запроваджений спільно всіма країнами ЄС і спрямований на те, щоб дати чіткий сигнал про те, що жодна країна ЄС не визнає незаконної анексії Криму і Севастополя Росією», – підкреслив Каллас.

Читайте також: Посольство України засудило візит делегації зі Швейцарії в окупований Крим

Раніше повідомлялося, що за даними підконтрольного Кремлю Міністерства курортів і туризму Криму, анексований Крим із початку року прийняв 5,6 мільйона туристів, що майже на третину більше показників 2017 року.

Інформації про кількість відпочивальників на анексованому півострові з незалежних джерел немає.

На території Криму і Севастополя 16 березня 2014 року відбувся невизнаний світом «референдум» про статус півострова, за результатами якого Росія включила Крим до свого складу. Ні Україна, ні Європейський союз, ні США не визнали результати голосування на «референдумі». Президент Росії Володимир Путін 18 березня оголосив про «приєднання» Криму до Росії.

Міжнародні організації визнали окупацію й анексію Криму незаконними й засудили дії Росії. Країни Заходу запровадили низку економічних санкцій.

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про уродов и людей