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Spanish smoking ban takes effect in bars and restaurants

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A ban on smoking in public places has gone into force in Spain today. Bars, restaurants, and nightclubs will now be smoke-free across the country.

The Spanish government had introduced voluntary regulations on smoking in 2006 which allowed for venues to ban smoking, but few chose to do so. The 2006 law also banned smoking at workplaces.

Spain now joins Ireland, the United Kingdom, France, and Italy in banning smoking in enclosed public places.

Leire Pajin, the Spanish health minister, said the law marked “a decisive step in the defence of the health of the Spanish people”, but some industry representatives have expressed concern that business will go down following the ban.

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Tyrus Wong, Bambi artist, dies at 106

Monday, January 2, 2017

On Friday, Tyrus Wong, a Chinese-US painter who inspired the style of Disney animated film Bambi, died at home of natural causes in Sunland-Tujunga, Los Angeles, according to his daughter Kim Wong.

Born on October 25, 1910 in Guangdong province, China, Tyrus Wong left the country with his father at the age of nine under fake names “Look Tai Yow” and “Look Get”. Wong’s father taught him the art of calligraphy using water instead of ink on newspapers.

Wong used to work as a houseboy after school in Los Angeles earning half a dollar per day. Wong’s principal in junior high school helped arrange a scholarship in Otis Art Institute for his art skills. At Otis, Wong studied Western art and graduated in 1935. In 1934, a landscape of Wong’s appeared in an exhibition organised by the Art Institute of Chicago which also featured a Pablo Picasso etching, “Two Nudes”. For two years, from 1934 to 1936, he worked for the Works Progress Administration to create paintings for public buildings.

In 1938, Wong began work in the Disney animation studio as an in-betweener — creating hundreds of intermediate images for the appearance of motion. Walt Disney noticed his work. Wong’s forest paintings of deer strongly influenced the style of Bambi. Wong worked at Disney for only three years before he was sacked in 1941, following an employee’s strike in which Wong did not participate. Next year, Wong became a Warner Bros. concept artist, drawing storyboards and set designs for live-action films. Films he drew concept art for included The Sands of Iwo Jima, Rebel Without a Cause, and The Wild Bunch. After more than a quarter century at Warner Bros., Wong retired in 1968. Wong gained US citizenship in 1946.

Wong influenced animator Andreas Deja, the creator of Lilo from Lilo & Stitch and Jafar from Aladdin. Wong also worked as a janitor, designed greeting cards, and picked asparagus during the lows in his career.

Wong was named a Disney Legend in 2001. Wong is survived by three daughters and two grandchildren.

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Al Sharpton speaks out on race, rights and what bothers him about his critics

Monday, December 3, 2007

At Thanksgiving dinner David Shankbone told his white middle class family that he was to interview Reverend Al Sharpton that Saturday. The announcement caused an impassioned discussion about the civil rights leader’s work, the problems facing the black community and whether Sharpton helps or hurts his cause. Opinion was divided. “He’s an opportunist.” “He only stirs things up.” “Why do I always see his face when there’s a problem?”

Shankbone went to the National Action Network’s headquarters in Harlem with this Thanksgiving discussion to inform the conversation. Below is his interview with Al Sharpton on everything from Tawana Brawley, his purported feud with Barack Obama, criticism by influential African Americans such as Clarence Page, his experience running for President, to how he never expected he would see fifty (he is now 53). “People would say to me, ‘Now that I hear you, even if I disagree with you I don’t think you’re as bad as I thought,'” said Sharpton. “I would say, ‘Let me ask you a question: what was “bad as you thought”?’ And they couldn’t say. They don’t know why they think you’re bad, they just know you’re supposed to be bad because the right wing tells them you’re bad.”

Contents

  • 1 Sharpton’s beginnings in the movement
  • 2 James Brown: a father to Sharpton
  • 3 Criticism: Sharpton is always there
  • 4 Tawana Brawley to Megan Williams
  • 5 Sharpton and the African-American media
  • 6 Why the need for an Al Sharpton?
  • 7 Al Sharpton and Presidential Politics
  • 8 On Barack Obama
  • 9 The Iraq War
  • 10 Sharpton as a symbol
  • 11 Blacks and whites and talking about race
  • 12 Don Imus, Michael Richards and Dog The Bounty Hunter
  • 13 Sources
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Keeping Pipes Clog Free By Plumber In Dayton Oh

byAlma Abell

Many problems with pipes begin with what goes down the drain of the bathroom and kitchen sinks. Aside from the water, often times hair, food, and debris end up in the drain. While there are devices and methods that can be used in the drain to stop this from happening, not everyone uses them. An expert Plumber in Dayton OH has 3 key tips to help keep the pipes free of a clog.

Use Strainers and Drain Screens

Using a drain screen or strainer is generally for people who do not have a garbage disposal. These are very handy for keeping unwanted food from going down the drain. They do not, however, prevent grease from going down. Grease is not something to pour down the sink as it will almost always cause a clog at some point Because it will stick to the sides of the pipes.

Garbage Disposal Use

Having a garbage disposal can be great for getting rid of uneaten food and other things but there are some items that should not be put down the disposal as it can cause problems. Some common items that people who are not aware put down the drain are eggshells, coffee grounds, banana peels, and meat bones. Coffee grounds are often rumored to make the drain smell better but they do not break down in water. This causes the drain to eventually clog much like with eggshells and banana peels.

Proper Drain Cleaning

There are certain chemicals that are specifically made to clean drains such as Drano. There are also chemicals that people pour down the drain in hopes that it will work properly to unclog and it makes the problem worse if not on a public sewer. For example, bleach is harmful to septic tanks. To be on the safe side, the drains should be cleaned with boiling hot water. Vinegar and baking soda are also wonderful products to use to clean to drain. Vinegar breaks down the buildup that has occurred in the pipes naturally.

Plumbers are the best resources when it comes to drain cleaning tips. The experts at A & L Plumbing say baking soda and hot water are also good to unclog a drain. There are several other techniques a Plumber in Dayton OH can share when advice is needed to get the problem taken care of. You can connect with them on Facebook for more updates!

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Australian refugee contractor accused of breaching its duty of care

Friday, December 30, 2005

Contents

  • 1 Richard Niyonsaba
  • 2 Denial of food
  • 3 Background and Criticisms
  • 4 Sources

The Australian Centre for Languages, a company which has a multi-million dollar contract with the Australian government to provide refugee services, has been accused of breaching its duty of care following the death of a chronically ill child and allegations of failing to provide three women in their care with food.

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Garuda Indonesia increases flights, fleet; may buy rival

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Indonesian state-owned flag carrier Garuda Indonesia has been expanding, with the airline set to add nine new jets to its fleet and double its flights between Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur. Garuda is also considering a bid for defunct rival Linus Airways.

Garuda is expecting the imminent arrival of four new Airbus jets and five new Boeings. The Airbuses, A330-200s, are earmarked to fly international routes to Seoul and Shanghai starting in July. All four have Internet and telephone access for passengers. The Boeings, B737-800 Next Generation aircraft, are due to be in service by the 2010.

Also planned before the year’s end is the increase in flights on the Jakarta-Kuala Lumpur route from one to two per week. “We saw our current load factor[s] have reached 75 percent and even more during school breaks like June and July,” Said the company’s Vice President for Network Oversight, Risnandi. “This is very promising.”

Garuda is now reported to be considering a bid for Linus, who stopped operating on April 27 and have recently been stripped of the rights to fly their former routes as legally required for airlines that do not operate for more than thrity days. Linus still holds some documents of worth to Garuda for transfer to their subisidiary Citilink.

“I heard that Garuda intends to buy Linus who already hold an aviation business license (SIUP) and an air operators certificate (AOC) for the scheduled air services,” said Indonesian Director General of Civil aviation Herry Bakti S. Gumay to reporters for Bisnis Indonesia. He said that his office was in favour of a takeover by Garuda because foreign bids are limited to holding a maximum total of 49% of the shares in Linus.

Linus Airways’ President Directer Indra said that “we are flexible to acquisition, depending on the investor. If someone wants to buy 100% of the shares we can release our shares, but if someone wants take only a majority shareholding with us as a partner – we are also open.” Indra commented that he has had an informal meeting with Garuda CEO Emirsyah Satar but says that they never discussed acquisition by Garuda and that Linus is already in talks with another ‘strategic investor’ with a view to resuming operations.

Two airlines, Riau Airlines and Kartika Airlines, have both launched bids for the ten routes formally operated by Linus, which include four from Jakarta and three from Batam.

Garuda Indonesia’s Financial Direcotr Eddy Purwanto has anounced that US$650 million worth of loans from Bank Mandiri have been restructured. Garuda, who has apointed Rothschild’s as their international financial advisors, will now pay US$450 million by 2015.

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Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Libertarian candidate Alan Mercer, Scarborough—Rouge River

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Alan Mercer is running for the Ontario Libertarian Party in the Ontario provincial election, in the Scarborough—Rouge River riding. Wikinews’ Nick Moreau interviewed him regarding his values, his experience, and his campaign.

Stay tuned for further interviews; every candidate from every party is eligible, and will be contacted. Expect interviews from Liberals, Progressive Conservatives, New Democratic Party members, Ontario Greens, as well as members from the Family Coalition, Freedom, Communist, Libertarian, and Confederation of Regions parties, as well as independents.

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Associate With Those Who Live Vision}

Associate With Those Who Live Vision

by

LeeDavidhczThe key starting point on our path to being an effective visionary, is networking with those who live vision. There is nothing more draining than meeting with people time and again without seeing tangible evidence of established vision.Years ago I was part of an organization that continually enthused its people with great ideas of a preferable future. People left homes and countries and were drawn to the organization because of what they had heard. Years later, people left disillusioned and frustrated at the lack of practical evidence that the vision was coming to pass. Here is an A-Z of the key aspects of building a team of visionaries.a) Always have milestones to celebrate the successes publiclyb) Ensure that the big picture is surrounded with little onesc) Strategically align all activities in measurable quantitiesd) Make it plain for all to understande) Have the journey outlined before your team and in a prominent place for all to seef) Start with the end in view but focus on the first stagesg) Communicate at the levels people will understandh) Have monthly progress reports with key leaders and peoplei) Don’t make excuses for none achievement, finding fault never achieves muchj) Associate with visionaries who have achieved significantly and share your visionk) Visit visionaries who are willing to critique your strategiesl) Don’t over extend your people or resources too soonm) Don’t fight on more than one flank at a time (focus on your strategies)n) Make momentum your friend, and build a culture where momentum is kingo) When adding a new opportunity to the vision, bring closure to an ineffective areap) Prioritize your resourcesq) Never lose sight of your greatest resource people”. Reward faithfulnessr) Train others to go beyond your limits.s) Share your leadership but NEVER give it away. Leadership is always the solutiont) Be flexible and willingu) Don’t build on traditional successes. What worked last year may not work thisv) Embrace change and make it your partnerw) Ensure individuals have the same motive as yourselfx) Define the culture you wish to develop within your vision and teach it from the starty) Have a frequent re-focus day, where clarity, objectives and strategies are visitedz) Take time out to celebrate your successes, record such and be thankful you’re alive”The majority of men meet with failure because of their lack of persistence in creating new plans to take the place of those which fail.” -Napoleon Hill”Defeat is not the worst of failures. Not to have tried is the true failure.” -George E. WoodberryImpartation is Caught (association)The word impartation has significant meaning. We would clarify such a term by using terms such as, I got it from my years in Europe” or I have been around you so long I am even thinking like you.”Impartation is catching something of a third dimension as a result of being exposed to a person, environment or organization. Defining the culture you ant your people to be imparted with, is the key responsibility of the visionary leader. A success culture does not eventuate where there is fear culture operating. Ideas come from a culture of creativity and acceptance towards failure or none achievement.A friend of mine is a professional singer and musician. On his latest CD there were several tacks that were incredible. I rang him from the other-side of the world to compliment him on his new album. I remember saying to him there is not one bad track on that album.” His reply was, Yeah, but I wrote some real bad stuff in the process that never got on the album”. That is a culture that tolerates the less than perfect in order to move forward. Many people would stop short of their best because their current capacity is less than perfect. We have to create a culture of openness, that allows us to accept the now but move towards the preferable future.Revelation is Sought (prayer, thinking, discussion)The culture we create is the environment that limits or extends us. We all need inspiration on our lives journey and insight into what can be is the greatest form of such. Revelation can be described as a light going on inside”, a flash of genius”, a sense of awareness without effort” it just made sense”.We can minimize the power of revelation by our structures of belief or unbelief. In this supposed enlightened world that we live in, I am still amazed that individuals can think that they have all the answers. If we had all the answers why do we have all the problems? It has been said, there is no invention, only discovery”. Of course this is true, but discovery comes in several ways.a) Through systematic effortb) Through the capitalization of another’s work or ideac) Through revelation of what could beWe have created a culture that seeks to make the human mind redundant. Franchises, branding, copyright and profit, all seek to restrict further development of an idea. Of course plagiarism is endemic now with the advent of the Internet. I released an E-book from my site four months ago with an embedded tracking code that notifies me when the article is opened and changed. To-date it has been changed over one thousand times, and appears under a different title for sale bundled with other E-books on several sites.What is my point? Most people today struggle to use their intellect or creativity, as it is easier to take someone else’s idea and adapt. The problem with this type of culture, is it follows the masses and the independence that is found in revelation and genius is lost on following the bulk ideas generated by the crowd.I recently went into a world wide fast-food chain for lunch. The attendant asked me if I wanted fries with my order and then realized my order was fries!The graduate with a Science degree asks, “Why does it work?” The graduate with an Engineering degree asks, “How does it work?” The graduate with an Accounting degree asks, “How much will it cost?” The graduate with a Liberal Arts degree asks, “Do you want fries with that?” -anonPrayer is a means of opening your mind to a greater realm of possibilities. Great minds do not think alike” Great minds think! Prayer is focusing ones attention on the larger picture. It takes self and our pre-occupations out of the picture and replaces our affections on the possibilities of what can be.The word meditation has the same root meaning as the word ruminates. Cows have four stomachs, and rumination is the process of breaking down the cud, which they are digesting. After a period of digestion, the food is regurgitated from one stomach and into another. The purpose of this is to break down the potentially dangerous acids and provide the animal with the maximum benefit from their food.Were we to spend a little more time breaking down our thoughts, ideas and revelations we would indeed have great minds and clearer vision.”I never could have done what I have done without the habits of punctuality, order and diligence, without the determination to concentrate myself on one subject at a time.” – Charles Dickens “Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.” Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect” -Mark Twain The average mind is average by its acceptance of limitations. The above average mind is open to new ways of thinking. Most people have one good idea in a lifetime from which they live. Above average minds are open to the possibilities of a better one. It has been said that the hardest thing to open is a closed mind. Education is a great investment (read, listen, train and be trained)”Knowledge of the self is the mother of all knowledge. So it is incumbent on me to know my self, to know it completely, to know its minutiae, its characteristics, its subtleties, and its very atoms.” -Kahlil Gibran, “The Philosophy of Logic””Know then thyself, presume not God to scan, the proper study of mankind is man.”-Alexander Pope, “An Essay on Man””The unexamined life is not worth living.” Socrates”Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for the rest of his life.” -Chinese ProverbEducation is not the panacea of life, but it is a great basis of preparation. I have met numerous individuals with a far better education than myself, but I have discovered one thing in the process. Education prepares us for life but it never initiates it. The unemployment list assures us of that. I like the lines Harrison Ford shares in the film Mosquito Coast. I dropped out of Harvard to get an education”.Understanding a topic does not qualify us to act. I have many qualifications that have informed me but have not provided me with a living. The reason for this is inaction.”Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more commonthan unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘press on’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.” -Calvin Coolidge”The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet.” Aristotle”Education is the movement from darkness to light.” -Allan Bloom”The foundation of every state is the education of its youth.” -Diogenes”The goal of education is the advancement of knowledge and the dissemination of truth.” -John Fitzgerald Kennedy”Our progress as a nation can be no swifter than our progress in education. The human mind is our fundamental resource.” -John Fitzgerald Kennedy”All men who have turned out worth anything have had the chief hand in their own education.” -Sir Walter Scott”I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.” -Mark Twain”Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” -William Butler YeatsSetting a mind to wonder is the greatest satisfaction I receive. I have always loved the realm of training and development as it provides an opportunity for personal development. Once we become blinkered towards pending possibilities, we cease to dream. Education is often provided in a one size fits all. This creates an attitude of success and failure. Whilst I embrace the philosophy of winners and losers, I do not view people as winners or losers.Achievement can only ever be truly defined by our-self. We can win gold and yet still feel we are a loser. We can place last in the race and yet be content with our best. Winning is not truly defined by the medal around our neck but by the perception we view success.There is little excuse for ignorance today. Information is freely available in a way that has never been known in the history of the world. One can be educated in your own home without ever leaving your comfy chair. One breach still remains between education and initiative. Oneself.”An education isn’t how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It’s being able to differentiate between what you know and what you don’t.” -Anatole France

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Category:Theresa May

This is the category for Theresa May, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

Refresh this list to see the latest articles.

  • 11 June 2017: Theresa May’s Conservative Party wins UK election but loses majority, leaving Brexit plan in question
  • 21 April 2017: Theresa May calls for June general election
  • 18 January 2017: Theresa May’s Brexit speech rules out single market membership
  • 21 November 2016: Senior UK politicians talk at Confederation of British Industry conference
  • 2 October 2016: UK Prime Minister Theresa May plans to trigger article 50 by end of March next year
  • 19 July 2016: ARM to be bought by SoftBank
  • 11 July 2016: Theresa May to become UK Prime Minister as opposition begins leadership election
  • 9 May 2015: Conservatives win majority in 2015 UK general election
  • 30 April 2014: UK government announce police stop-and-search powers rethink
  • 18 October 2013: UK politicians weigh in as ‘Plebgate’ affair reopens
?Category:Theresa May

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write.


File photo of Theresa May, 2017. Image: Controller of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office.


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Past Eurovision contestants give advice to this year’s performers, speculate on who will win

Sunday, May 10, 2009

It happens once a year. Nearly all of Europe’s eyes are on 25 musical acts on finale night. Whether you love it or you hate it, it has your attention. Hundreds of millions are watching them. Whether viewers are waiting for the performance of a lifetime or a hilarious slip-up, for those three minutes their attention is owned by each respective singer.

That’s the feeling that the entrants in Moscow will know on Saturday, and it’s also the same feeling the eight singers who were interviewed by Wikinews have experienced. Last week, eight singers from eight different countries took time out of their various schedules to discuss their favorite moments from competing, their own personal anecdotes, advice they give to the performers this year in Moscow, who they think will win, and most importantly to them, what they’re doing now and what they’re offering to their audience.

This is the sixth and final interview set the English Wikinews will publish in the run-up to the semi-final and final rounds of the Eurovision Song Contest. Mike Halterman conducted all interviews, and will conduct additional interviews after the Contest. The final round airs May 16 at 9 p.m. CET; check with your national broadcaster’s website for possible delays. Where available, the Contest’s final round will also be broadcast on national radio.


Jessica Garlick, originally from Kidwelly in Wales, became famous in 2001 for her participation in the singing competition Pop Idol, where she finished in ninth place. Four months later, she won A Song for Europe, the British national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest, and went on to represent the United Kingdom two months later at the Eurovision 2002 final in Tallinn, with the song “Come Back.” She placed third, which turned out to be the best result for the United Kingdom for the decade. Now 27, married and a mother, Jessica Garlick is returning to music with a new set of priorities.

((Mike Halterman)) What projects are you working on? What can your fan base expect to see from you this year?

Jessica Garlick: Right now I’m busy promoting my new single “Hard Not to Fall” which is due to be released this month…it’s available to download from iTunes from 9th May, with the official release being 25th May. I’m also currently co-writing my album, which will be released later on this year. It really does feel great to be back in the music industry.

((Mike Halterman)) What were some of the best memories you have from going to Eurovision? What advice would you give to the singers going to Eurovision for the first time this year?

Jessica Garlick: Some of my best memories from doing Eurovision would be visiting Estonia, I don’t think it’s a place I’d ever have visited if it wasn’t for performing there, and it really is beautiful. While I was there during the week I had the opportunity to fly out into the Baltic Sea via helicopter and spend the afternoon on board HMS Chatham too. I was allowed to drive the frigate, and got to perform to the troops on board, who were so appreciative.

I have so many more, and met such amazing people during the whole promotion and run-up period as well as the Eurovision week itself. My only regret is not taking as many photos as I would have liked to. So my advice to others doing Eurovision would be [to] definitely take lots of pictures, and really enjoy your performance and everything that representing your country brings with it.

((Mike Halterman)) The music videos for this year are up at youtube.com/eurovision. Which songs are your favorites and which country do you think has the best chance of winning?

Jessica Garlick: I have been fortunate enough to have been able to perform alongside some of this year’s Eurovision entries, and was totally impressed! I love the Iceland entry this year…the song “Is it True?” is a really beautiful ballad, and Johanna sings it really well! I would say that from a song point of view, this is definitely my favourite song.

I do, however, think that the Ukraine could win this year! Svetlana‘s performance is crazy!! She’s absolutely wild! Her live performance is out of control! She is definitely “in it to win it”, and is going all out to ensure she does everything to make this happen. She is one to watch on the night for sure! There will definitely be something amazing going on on stage during her performance. She’ll keep you captivated, and make it memorable!!

((Mike Halterman)) A lot of the fans you had from when you were on Pop Idol and Eurovision 2002 don’t know the reason why you dropped out of music and out of sight. What happened? Also, do you find it difficult returning to the music industry after being away for six years?

Jessica Garlick: After Pop Idol and Eurovision I started to write songs…something I had never done before, and didn’t think I would be any good at. But I have been fortunate enough to travel the world since, co-writing with some of the world’s best songwriters. I decided to take a step out of the industry for a while in 2004 when I got married to my teenage sweetheart Owen.

I lost my passion for music for a while if I’m honest and we wanted to travel together for a bit, and actually moved to Australia for a short time, before I got totally broody. So in 2007 I gave birth to my little girl Olivia, and have been doing the wife and at-home mummy thing since, which I absolutely love!!

I made the decision to get back in the studio and start writing again in January of this year and it felt so good, and when I recorded “Hard Not to Fall” I knew it was a song that I wanted everyone to hear, and I completely got my passion and drive back for it. The music industry has changed a lot since I was last in it…but in actual fact it’s working better for me this time.

I have a lot more control, which is important to me, especially with Olivia being my main priority…I am first and foremost a mum, and I want to be a good one at that, and I’m also working with people that I really like and trust, which makes working together fun, and music should be fun. It’s definitely a lot harder this time around, as I am juggling “real life” too, and I can’t afford to be the selfish person that being successful in the industry can sometimes mean you have to be. I’m having the most wonderful time being back though, and am almost astounded by the great support I have from all my old fans. They’re the best!!

Ani Lorak, born Karolina Kuiek (the name “Ani Lorak” is “Karolina” spelled backwards), first became famous for her vocal talent in Russia and her native Ukraine in 1995. She took part in arguably the biggest performance of her career at Eurovision in 2008, placing second with the song “Shady Lady.” Celebrating her 30th birthday in September, she has kept up a busy schedule, including the release of a new album.

((Mike Halterman)) What projects are you working on? What can your fan base expect to see from you this year?

Ani Lorak: I’ve just released my new album called “Sontse” (The Sun). The album was written and recorded in Greece at the “VOX studio” by Dimitris Kontopoulos, who also helped with the song “Shady Lady” for Eurovision 2008. The album will be released not only in Ukraine but also in Russia.

In the autumn I plan to start a large tour of 25 cities in support of the new album. Also, we are planning to play some solo concerts in the Palace “Ukraine” in Kiev. I was pleasantly surprised when, at the beginning of the year, an award came to my office from the British radio station “Eurovision Song Contest Radio.” By audience vote, its listeners named me the “Best Female Singer for 2008” for my song “Shady Lady.” I don’t like to think ahead and to anticipate, but I’ll try to do as much as my energies will allow so people can be fulfilled in the future.

((Mike Halterman)) What were some of the best memories you have from going to Eurovision? What advice would you give to the singers going to Eurovision for the first time this year?

Ani Lorak: Because I participated in the contest only in 2008, I can remember it all: during the promotional tour I visited many countries in which I hadn’t been before. I met wonderful people: Dimitris Kontopoulos, Roberto Cavalli; I made new friends and supporters. [Editor’s note: Roberto Cavalli designed the diamond dress Ani Lorak wore during her Eurovision performance.] I had to work very diligently to get the result [I got].

In Eurovision I found the heart of this contest. The “Artistic Award”, which [they] usually hand to the best artist of the contest, [was given to me]; Raffaella Carrà invited me to her television program in Italy, and my tours took me further and further away geographically. I really liked the atmosphere of [the] contest. All the contestants were friendly, happy, helped each other, and supported one another. Those weeks were not simple, but very happy in my life.

I wish to all the participants lots of inspiration, tenacity, crazy energy, hard work and belief in yourself and your strength. It is not unachievable; the main thing is to settle for being frank and sincere to the audience.

((Mike Halterman)) The music videos for this year are up at youtube.com/eurovision. Which songs are your favorites and which country do you think has the best chance of winning?

Ani Lorak: I can say one thing – Eurovision is a very unpredictable contest, and to do any predictions is very difficult. I know that in Moscow this year there will be many very well-known professional artists: Sakis Rouvas and Patricia Kaas. The main thing in this contest is to enter the scene and present for your country 200%. I wish good luck to all participants, but I’ll root, as a patriot, for my country.

((Mike Halterman)) What goals have you not achieved yet in your career, but would like to eventually?

Ani Lorak: We have a proverb: “If you want God to laugh, then tell Him about your plans.” It’s important to have enough strength for my professional accomplishments, for my career, and for my eventual creative achievements. But all this must go together with my personal life. I want to realize my self-worth in all spheres. Maybe I’ll open my own clothing line.

But most importantly for me, every day I will raise the bar with regard to my professional development as a singer and artist. The main point – I have everything ahead of me, and I will go to [any lengths to] achieve my dreams — my Oscar is yet to come!

Marija Naumova, who goes by the stage name Marie N, is best-known to European audiences for winning the Eurovision Song Contest for Latvia in 2002 with her song “I Wanna.” The next year, she hosted the Contest in Riga with past Latvian entrant Ren?rs Kaupers. Now 35, she has moved a lot of her focus to musical theatre and is very serious about honing her talent.

((Mike Halterman)) What projects are you working on? What can your fan base expect to see from you this year?

Marie N: At this time I am a student at acting school in Paris, so now all [my] plans are more about theatre, but I also started to work on my new album and I hope that at the end of the year I [can] present that to [the] audience, but I think that at the moment it’s too early to talk about it. [smile]

((Mike Halterman)) What were some of the best memories you have from going to Eurovision? What advice would you give to the singers going to Eurovision for the first time this year?

Marie N: I liked everything during the week we spent there. We really had a lot of fun. The [atmosphere] was very professional, participants were very friendly…but the most emotional [part] was our trip back home – the way from Tallinn to Riga by bus with the police accompanying us and people waiting for us with flowers along the road…

The only advice is to enjoy every moment and especially the three minutes of the presentation – it is really something special. [smile]

((Mike Halterman)) The music videos for this year are up at youtube.com/eurovision. Which songs are your favorites and which country do you think has the best chance of winning?

Marie N: I think that there are a lot of songs which have chances to win, but it depends on the energy that [the] singers will bring with them [to] the stage on that special evening.

((Mike Halterman)) Which task was more fun for you, winning Eurovision or hosting it the next year? Which one made you more nervous, and why?

Marie N: Of course singing was more fun than the hosting because you are responsible only for yourself, but hosting brings a responsibility for the whole show. I wish all the best for all the participants; enjoy. [smile]

Niels Olsen, nicknamed “Noller,” (pictured, left) and his older brother Jørgen (right) make up the duo The Olsen Brothers. A well-known act in Denmark since the early 1970s, the duo successfully staked a new claim to relevance by winning the Eurovision Song Contest in 2000 with the entry “Fly on the Wings of Love.” Now 55, Niels Olsen uses every chance possible to let his audience know that age is simply a number, especially in Eurovision which tends to favor younger entrants.

((Mike Halterman)) What projects are you working on? What can your fan base expect to see from you this year?

Niels Olsen: We are working on a new album and we will make a small tour to Sweden, Norway and Denmark for the rest of the year, so that’s what our fans can expect. The album will be released in 2010.

((Mike Halterman)) What were some of the best memories you have from going to Eurovision? What advice would you give to the singers going to Eurovision for the first time this year?

Niels Olsen: The best memory…well, it’s hard to say…we had a lot of fantastic memories from Stockholm in 2000. We will never forget the love we received from the public in all the European countries right after Stockholm, and the response from the Swedish people at the event. Apropos, I said to my brother after the first performance, “Well, Jørgen, I think it could be possible for us to have a hit in Sweden!!”

I would say to a “new” artist: Remember that you are not the center of the universe, and in a world perspective, the situation is not that bad if you lose the Eurovision. Stick to the ones you love and try to involve people you believe in, not the ones who promise you everything in life. In our case we have had the same manager for 35 years, we have been working with our friend and producer Stig Kreutzfeldt for 25 years, and so on. We have [made] several hits the last 35 years with these fantastic friends.

((Mike Halterman)) The music videos for this year are up at youtube.com/eurovision. Which songs are your favorites and which country do you think has the best chance of winning?

Niels Olsen: Well, I haven’t heard all the songs, but I personally find the Danish, the English, and the Swedish songs very nice, but as I [said], I haven’t heard all the songs yet.

((Mike Halterman)) The Danish version of your winning song implies women “get better with age.” Which women in the entertainment industry do you think personify that sentiment, and why?

Niels Olsen: Personally I think my wife is still a beautiful woman, but I think as you said “getting better with age” is not the right word. My wife is still a lively and attractive woman, and we are both in love with life. I also think that a woman like Annie Lennox is a beautiful woman, even though she is past 50. (Sorry, [I know] we don’t talk about a woman’s age normally. Sorry, Miss Lennox.)

Hanna Pakarinen, from Lappeenranta in Finland, first became well-known in her home country for winning the Idols television series in 2004. In 2007, she was chosen to represent Finland at Eurovision, placing 17th in the final with the song “Leave Me Alone.” Her most recent album went gold this year, and she celebrated her 28th birthday last month, her combined CD sales having risen to over 180,000.

((Mike Halterman)) What projects are you working on? What can your fan base expect to see from you this year?

Hanna Pakarinen: I released my fourth album “Love in a Million Shades” earlier this year, and now I’m doing gigs around Finland.

((Mike Halterman)) What were some of the best memories you have from going to Eurovision? What advice would you give to the singers going to Eurovision for the first time this year?

Hanna Pakarinen: I think the best memory is the moment when I got up on stage in the finals. That was amazing!

It’s hard to give any advice, but I think the only thing that’s important is just to be yourself and have fun. [smile]

((Mike Halterman)) The music videos for this year are up at youtube.com/eurovision. Which songs are your favorites and which country do you think has the best chance of winning?

Hanna Pakarinen: Of course I think the best song is the Finnish song. [smile] It’s very hard to say who is going to win; it’s the same thing every year, you never know!

((Mike Halterman)) Apart from music, what are some things that are very close to your heart? How would you like to use your popularity to help others?

Hanna Pakarinen: My family and friends, of course, and my hometown and the lake there.

I’m not really a big fan of the idea of being a role model but I’m trying to do my best, showing and telling the fans that the most important thing is to love yourself and be who you are. And always trust yourself, of course!

Charlotte Perrelli, originally Charlotte Nilsson, was an alumnus of two popular “dansbands” in Sweden before winning the Eurovision Song Contest in 1999 with the song “Take Me to Your Heaven.” She quickly became one of Sweden’s most popular solo artists, and released six albums which all charted in the Swedish Top 40. In 2008 she returned to Eurovision with the highly favored “Hero,” only to be saved at the last minute by jury decision and ranking a low 18th out of 25 nations in the final round. Perrelli, now 34, discusses her achievements and favorite moments of the past decade.

((Mike Halterman)) What projects are you working on? What can your fan base expect to see from you this year?

Charlotte Perrelli: I’m searching for new songs to [include on] my upcoming album. I´m also on the jury for the Swedish TV show Talang (Talent; the Swedish version of the “___’s Got Talent!” TV series). They can expect a new album, hopefully this year.

((Mike Halterman)) You went to Eurovision twice, winning the Contest in 1999 and then also entering last year. What were some of the best memories you had from both times you went to Eurovision?

Charlotte Perrelli: The victory in Jerusalem in ’99 was fantastic, of course. My funniest memory was when Dana [International] fell on-stage, it was unbelievable and I felt sorry for her. Last year I had a lot of memories. Everything was so different from ’99. So much bigger!

((Mike Halterman)) The music videos for this year are up at youtube.com/eurovision. Which songs are your favorites and which country do you think has the best chance of winning?

Charlotte Perrelli: I like many of the songs this year, but I believe Norway will win.

((Mike Halterman)) Which of the songs you’ve recorded is your favorite?

Charlotte Perrelli: Hmm. I have many favorites, but “Black and Blue” from my last CD is a great song; [it was] written by Fredrik Kempe. I love the lyrics.

Sirouhi Haroutunyan, nicknamed Sirusho, has been one of the most popular pop singers in Armenia since the release of her first album at age 13. In 2008, she represented Armenia at Eurovision, finishing in fourth place with the song “Qélé, Qélé.” Now 22, she is close to finishing her bachelor’s degree while still keeping up an active pace of performances and studio sessions.

((Mike Halterman)) What projects are you working on? What can your fan base expect to see from you this year?

Sirusho: I am currently working on a few big projects, one of them is the new song”Time to Pray” that I have made with my colleagues from Eurovision, Boaz Mauda and Jelena Tomasevic. The song is a protest against war, and the English lyrics are written by the President of Israel, Shimon Peres. I am also working on my fourth album which will be released in [the] summer. I also premiered my new song in Greek, “Erotas”, and it is already number one [on] all the Armenian music charts. My fans are very strong and it’s only a pleasure to work hard for them.

((Mike Halterman)) What were some of the best memories you have from going to Eurovision? What advice would you give to the singers going to Eurovision for the first time this year?

Sirusho: Eurovision is a big fun festival. I don’t want to call it a competition, because the contestants become friends. I wish for the participants to really enjoy [themselves] and not be scared of it. Eurovision can give and take so much; it took my career to a new level, [and] now I work and have fans all over Europe and it’s amazing.

((Mike Halterman)) The music videos for this year are up at youtube.com/eurovision. Which songs are your favorites and which country do you think has the best chance of winning?

Sirusho: I have met some of this year’s participants in different countries where I was singing as a guest and they were doing their promo tours. I haven’t seen all the performances so I can’t judge. Also, Eurovision is all about unexpected surprises; that’s what makes it interesting.

((Mike Halterman)) You pursued a bachelor’s degree in international relations. How do you wish to utilize your degree? If you had to stop singing tomorrow, what kind of career would you want to pursue with the degree you hold?

Sirusho: International affairs is something that had interested me. I like to learn. I always tend to learn more but I don’t even want to think about stopping my career. I was born with it, it’s a big part of who I am, and even if something happens to my vocal cords, I can go on with writing and producing songs for my colleagues…[but] enough about that; I still have so much in me to give to myaudience!

Taj?i, born Tatjana Matejaš, shot to fame in Yugoslavia at the age of 19, achieving diamond sales with her signature hit “Hajde da ludujemo (Let’s Go Crazy). She performed the song at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1990, held in her hometown of Zagreb, and placed seventh. The war in the former Yugoslavia cut her career short, and she moved to the United States, where she has lived for the past 17 years. She now tours with her husband across the United States, performing selections of contemporary Christian music. At 38, she is overjoyed to “have it all”: a family of her own and the chance to make music on her own terms. Her career is chronicled on her website.

((Mike Halterman)) What projects are you working on? What can your fans in both America and in Europe expect to see from you this year?

Taj?i: Apart from my regular tours, which I do four a year, I am working on a show called “Need a Break,” which is a bit of a step from my spiritual music and more “everyday.” It’s more what mothers go through, with marriage and kids. It’s a funny show. What I do well is I tell stories. It’s how I am. It’s who I am. It’s why pop music didn’t work for me as an artist. This new format is great for me, it’s very fulfilling and I’m very excited and looking forward to it, being able to do that and explore musical styles.

I’m also hoping to go to Zagreb this year and bring my new music to them. I think it’s time. I’ve been away for 17 years, and they still play my old music, and occasionally I go there and do radio and television interviews…I don’t know, it’s time for them to see what I’m doing. Anyone can see my stuff online, but what I do best is live; there’s a lot of energy and power there that you can’t really see in a recording or in a video. It’s different when you’re actually in the room. I want to bring it to them and say, “Here, my countrymen, my old fans, this is who I am now. This is how I grew over the last 17 years.” Kind of like a reunion.

((Mike Halterman)) What were some of the best memories you have from going to Eurovision? What advice would you give to the singers going to Eurovision for the first time this year?

Taj?i: I really enjoyed performing, I enjoyed the energy, everyone coming together and singing, talking with other people about their careers. That was the highlight. I didn’t care for the press or the competition aspect, but there’s so much to think about, the whole country is looking at you. I don’t think it could ever be just about music, it’s more political. But there’s always stuff that comes with it when you have any kind of gathering like that.

The time I was there, I was the last representative before the fall of Yugoslavia, and it was during the unification of Europe, and everyone was a bit more tense and elevated in that regard…and I was so young to experience all of that. I don’t think I knew what to quite make of it. But it was a great experience, I’ll always remember it. The night of my life, one of them anyway.

It’s also very emotional because the singer who won that year sang about “unite unite, Europe.” It was perfect at that time. After he won, in the green room, he pulled a red rose from the bouquet and gave it to me, and he paid me some compliments. For a 19-year-old girl, that meant a lot.

My advice is to have fun, and do it with all your heart. Don’t do it for the sole reason to win, not to launch your career, but because you love it, and it’s what you do and you’re good at it. You can be an inspiration to someone and it can be more than just providing entertainment.

((Mike Halterman)) The music videos for this year are up at http://www.youtube.com/eurovision . Which songs are your favorites and which country do you think has the best chance of winning?

Taj?i: Since we’re in the middle of a tour, I kind of scrolled through, and I think the quality of the songs are really wonderful. I feel like I want to pack my bags and go to Europe for the summer, because I think this is going to be a summer for some great club music!

I’m partial to countries [who sing] in their original language, and I can see how a lot of countries, how even when they do the dance number and include ethnic elements, I like that.

I like the guy from Norway, I think he’s so sincere and didn’t look to me like he was “trying” anything, he was just being himself. The song is nice and happy. It doesn’t hurt that he’s really handsome, and has a good aura about him. He had so much energy, and he grabbed me right away, the way he moved, the way he sang, it just pulled me in.

I also love Malta, I’m a fan of the big ballads. She has a beautiful voice. And Cyprus, she “did it” for me too. I also like the French song as well, but I also love the French language in general. Bosnia has a good song too, they have a certain sentiment that they always pull from and it works for them. Croatia, I wasn’t too blown away, but I’m proud of them for still singing in Croatian, even though it may not sound as pretty as English to some people. Everything else, it was like, “It’s beautiful, but I’ve seen it before.”

Everything seems like Hollywood now, I guess because it’s the times we live in now. All the girls are so pretty and the hair and makeup are perfect, and now I feel like an old lady, but I miss the characters from different parts of the world. It’s influenced so much by Hollywood and the Western music industry. It was inevitable, the melting of it [East and West] all into one, so I’m partial to bringing some sort of local element into it. It comes with finding your identity and finding your place in the world as a country.

I volunteer and give my time to a local school and teach the schoolchildren ethnic dances. I live in the Midwest now, but I used to live in Los Angeles and New York where they are a little more aware of ethnic groups. I’m teaching them these dances to give them a little sense of what’s being lost to the new kinds of culture and music. I teach some kids who were adopted from other countries, and I wonder, wow, are they ever going to be able to sing a song in Bulgarian, or Italian, or what have you?

My kids are half-American and half-Croatian, and I see how in my own life, being “globalized” and how people are losing the ethnic folklore and culture and all that, so with my kids, I try to teach them language and how to dance, because it’s the way I grew up.

((Mike Halterman)) I watched a clip of your documentary on YouTube, and I noticed one of the comments, asking you “not to forget your home, Croatia,” and to come back because the fans there miss you. Now that you’ve made a life for yourself in America, do you ever see yourself moving back to Croatia with your family? Which country do you feel more ties and loyalty to, the United States or Croatia, and why?

Taj?i: I want to take the kids and at least spend a year there when they’re teenagers, so I can show them my country and so they can learn different things there. But I don’t know, once you leave, it’s hard to go back. I miss my country, I miss the history. I miss my roots. I miss running into a friend and talking about high school and grade school, stuff that you don’t have when you move away. I love what I do, and I love what America has to offer, and what America did offer to me. There’s a certain kind of freedom that you have that you can’t have in a smaller country.

I will always be Croatian, it doesn’t matter how long I stay here. When I go home to Croatia, when I go there, I feel like I’m home, but when I come back to America, I feel like I’m home here too. I guess I have to say that a person can be “home” anywhere if they have peace within themselves. You’re gonna miss a lot of things about places you have been, and I do miss Croatia. I want to show my kids where I grew up and the parks where I played. That just may be a sentiment I’m going through right now, I don’t know. I have a good life, my husband and kids, and I love being able to make the kind of music I want to, without any contracts or obligations. I’m very happy.

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