Bart tells his friends about Vienna's many charms.
Bart tells his friends about Vienna's many charms.
Eager Londoners queue up to be tested in race to find Covid variantsOfficials ‘astonished’ at level of public engagement a year into the pandemicCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverage A rapid testing centre in Finchley last week. Photograph: Antonio Olmos/The Observer
Damian Lewis has written a powerful tribute to his wife Helen McCrory just days after the Peaky Blinders actress died at the age of 52. In an op-ed in The Sunday Times, the Billions and Homeland actor reflected on the life of his “Dame Helen,” who he said was “an even more brilliant person than […]
Fans were in attendance for day one of the World Snooker Championship on Saturday.
David Cameron did not do anything wrong when lobbying for Greensill Capital and "meticulously observed the rules", the environment secretary has told Sky News. George Eustice also said current rules on lobbying are "pretty good".
JERUSALEM — Israel has lifted a public mask mandate and fully reopened its education system in the latest easing of coronavirus restrictions following its mass vaccination drive. All primary and secondary school grades returned to classrooms on Sunday, and health officials ended a year-long requirement to wear a mask in public spaces. Masks are still required indoors and in large gatherings. Israel has speedily inoculated a majority of its population against the coronavirus in a world-leading vaccination campaign. It has lifted most of its coronavirus restrictions and announced last week that it would be reopening the country to vaccinated foreign tourists starting in May. Israel’s coronavirus czar, Nachman Ash, told Israeli public radio on Sunday that removing the mask requirement outdoors and reinitiating in-class studies was a “calculated risk.” Since the start of the pandemic last year, Israel has recorded over 836,000 cases of the coronavirus and at least 6,331 deaths, according to the Health Ministry. Over 53% of its 9.3 million citizens has received two shots of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. In the months since Israel launched its vaccination campaign in December, serious cases and deaths have fallen precipitously and allowed the economy to fully reopen. The vaccination campaign in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza has been slow to get off the ground, with Israel facing criticism for not sharing more of its supplies. ___ THE VIRUS OUTBREAK: — The worldwide death toll from COVID-19 has passed a staggering 3 million — AP PHOTOS: Photographers reflect on single shot of pandemic — Fashion industry evolves, as virus forces a rethink — Clammers keep digging through the pandemic, but find fewer shellfish ___ Follow all of AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine ___ HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING: ISLAMABAD — Pakistan has reported its highest single-day death toll from COVID-19, bringing the country’s total deaths in the pandemic to nearly 162,430. Federal authorities on Sunday said 149 new deaths were recorded in 24 hours confirmed. They also confirmed over 6,000 new coronavirus cases since the day before, bringing Pakistan's total confirmed cases to more than 756,285. Authorities in Pakistan decided Saturday to start vaccinating people aged 50 to 59 next week. Pakistan has largely relied on donated or imported Chinese vaccines, which had been offered only to health workers and elderly people. But those groups have not responded in overwhelming numbers to the vaccination campaign, prompting officials to offer the vaccines to a younger cohort. Pakistan, with a population of 220 million, hopes to receive 15 million COVID-19 vaccine doses through the U.N.-backed COVAX program by next month. ___ HUTCHINSON, Minn. — Prosecutors have charged a Minnesota man with felony assault and allege that he attacked a home improvement store employee and a police officer after the store worker told him to wear a mask. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that the incident began Wednesday afternoon when a cashier at a Menards in Hutchinson told 61-year-old Luke Oeltjenbruns that he couldn’t check out unless he put on a mask, according to a criminal complaint. Oeltjenbruns tried to leave with his merchandise, prompting the cashier to grab his cart. The complaint alleges that Oeltjenbruns hit the cashier with a piece of lumber. Police later found Oeltjenbruns sitting in his pickup truck in another store’s parking lot. After a slow-speed chase, officers surrounded his truck with their squad cars, but he refused to get out. Officer Steven Sickmann got up on the truck’s running board and reached through the window. The complaint says Oeltjenbruns closed the window on the officer’s arm, trapping him, and drove off, crashing into squad cars. The complaint says Sickmann tried to use a rescue hammer to break the window, but Oeltjenbruns took it from him and hit him on the head with it. Oeltjenbruns was eventually arrested. The complaint says the officer’s injuries included a head wound. ___ TORONTO — New pandemic restrictions imposed by Canada’s most populous province have immediately ran into opposition. Police departments insisted Saturday they wouldn’t use new powers to randomly stop motorists and health experts complained the rules focus on outdoor activities rather than more dangerous indoor settings. Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s government announced Friday it was giving police authority to require anyone not at home to explain why they’re out and provide their address. Tickets can be written. But at least a dozen forces throughout Ontario, including in the capital of Toronto, said there will be no random stops of people or cars. “We are all going through a horrific year of COVID-19 and all associated with it together. The (department) will NOT be randomly stopping vehicles for no reason during the pandemic or afterwards,” Halton Police Chief Steve Tanner tweeted. The new rules limit outdoor gatherings to those in the same household and close playgrounds and golf courses. The decisions sparked widespread criticism in a province already on lockdown. Restaurants and gyms are closed as is in-class schooling. Most nonessential workers are working from home. ___ ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a case that will determine who is eligible to receive more than $530 million in federal virus relief funding set aside for tribes more than a year ago. More than a dozen Native American tribes sued the U.S. Treasury Department to keep the money out of the hands of Alaska Native corporations, which provide services to Alaska Natives but do not have a government-to-government relationship with the United States. The question raised in the case set for oral arguments Monday is whether the corporations are tribes for purposes of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, which defines “tribes” under a 1975 law meant to strengthen their abilities to govern themselves. The case has practical impacts. Native Americans have been disproportionately sickened and killed by the pandemic — despite extreme precautions that included curfews, roadblocks, universal testing and business closures — and historically have had limited financial resources. About $530 million of the $8 billion set aside for tribes hasn’t been distributed. ___ HARARE, Zimbabwe — Zimbabwe has begun releasing about 3,000 prisoners under a presidential amnesty aimed at easing congestion to reduce the threat of COVID-19 in the country’s overcrowded jails. About 400 prisoners were released from Chikurubi prison and other jails in the capital, Harare, on Saturday with more coming from other prisons countrywide. Zimbabwe’s prisons have a capacity of 17,000 prisoners but held about 22,000 before the amnesty declared by President Emmerson Mnangagwa. Those to be released had been convicted of nonviolent crimes. The amnesty “will go a long way” to reduce expenditure and the threat of the spread of the virus in prisons, said Alvord Gapare, the commander for prisons in Harare. He said prisons in the capital had recorded 173 confirmed infections and one death. Zimbabwe has recorded 37,534 cases of COVID-19, including 1,551 deaths by Apr. 17, according to the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. ___ RICHMOND, Va. — The first cases of the so-called Brazil COVID-19 variant have been identified in two samples from residents of Virginia, state health officials said Friday. In a news release, the Virginia Department of Health said one case involving the P.1 variant was identified in an adult resident of the Northwest Region who had a history of domestic travel during the exposure period. The second case was identified in an adult resident of the Eastern Region with no history of travel, the department said. According to the department, neither case had a record of COVID-19 vaccination prior to the onset of the illness. The Associated Press
The German defense minister says she wants to help bring some Afghan employees of her country's military to Germany as it prepares to leave Afghanistan after nearly 20 years. NATO allies including Germany are set to join the United States in pulling their remaining troops out of Afghanistan, starting on May 1. Germany currently has just over 1,000 troops participating in the mission there, and about 300 local employees.
Environment secretary George Eustice said David Cameron “meticulously followed the rules”.
The easing of lockdown in England means hospitality businesses can now serve customers in outside areas.
The fundamental difference in the organisational structure of the CPM and the TMC is another factor because of which the turncoats could not adjust to the new order and jumped to BJP as soon as they got the chance, notwithstanding the ideological differences between the parties
As COVID-19 vaccine supplies ramp up across the country, most provinces and territories have released details of who can expect to receive a shot in the coming weeks. The military commander handling logistics for Canada's vaccine distribution program says there will be enough vaccine delivered to give a first dose before Canada Day to every adult who wants one. Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin says that's if provinces follow the advice to delay second doses up to four months. He also cautions that it is dependent on having no production delays again. Health Canada anticipates a total of 36.5 million doses from Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and the AstraZeneca vaccine from the Serum Institute of India by June 30. Canadian provinces have suspended use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in people under age 55, acting on an advisory committee's concerns about a possible link between the shot and rare blood clots. Dr. Heather Morrison, P.E.I.'s chief medical officer of health, said the risk of developing a serious problem after being immunized is "very, very low." She said people who received the AstraZeneca vaccine should look for symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain, leg swelling, persistent abdominal pain, sudden onset of severe or persistent headache or blurred vision and skin bruising elsewhere than the site of vaccination, developing four to 20 days after vaccination. There are approximately 31 million Canadians over 16, and no vaccines are approved for anyone younger than 16. Here's a list of the inoculation plans throughout Canada: Newfoundland and Labrador Health officials say vaccinations have begun for first responders. Pre-registration for COVID-19 vaccines has opened for people aged 70 or older and for home-support workers. Last month Newfoundland and Labrador extended the interval between the first and second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to four months. Public health officials said the change would help them vaccinate 40,000 more people with a single dose by the end of March. Liberal Leader and incumbent Premier Andrew Furey called the decision a game changer for the province's vaccination prospects. --- Nova Scotia All Nova Scotians who want a vaccination should be able to get their first shot by late June, chief medical officer of health Dr. Robert Strang announced on April 9. The original target was September. Strang also said that as of April 9, Nova Scotians 65 years of age and older became eligible to receive their first dose. As well, the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is still available for those 55 to 64 years old. The province is also planning to use mobile van clinics to vaccinate about 900 people who work at or use homeless shelters in the Halifax area. Public health is partnering with pharmacists and doctors to provide the vaccines at 25 locations. Nova Scotia, meanwhile, has added front-line police officers to the list of people eligible for vaccination during the second phase of the province's rollout plan, joining groups such as long-haul truck drivers and hospital workers over the age of 60. --- Prince Edward Island Health officials in Prince Edward Island say they will shift their focus to getting a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine to all adults by July 1, even if it means delaying the second shot for some. P.E.I., meantime, has joined other provinces in suspending administering the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to people under age 55 due to concerns about a possible link between the shot and rare blood clots. --- New Brunswick New Brunswick health officials say people 70 and older, a caregiver or a family member acting on their behalf can now make an appointment for a vaccine at a pharmacy. Health-care professionals who have close contact with patients, and people with complex medical conditions are also eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. The province says all residents of long-term care homes have been offered at least one dose of vaccine. As of March 19, all residents of First Nations communities aged 16 or older were given access to their first dose of vaccine. Workers who regularly travel across the border, including regular commuters, truckers and rotational workers are also eligible to receive vaccines. --- Quebec Quebec has expanded access to COVID-19 vaccines to Montrealers who are essential workers or who have chronic illnesses. Essential workers such as teachers and first responders can now book an appointment after providing proof of employment. Quebecers between the ages of 55 and 79 can now receive an Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine at walk-in clinics. Quebec has also opened vaccination appointments for anyone over the age of 60 across the province. Officials announced on April 8 the first 13 companies that will operate clinics in their workplaces, with each site able to vaccinate up to 25,000 people between May and August. Participating companies include National Bank, Bell, and Groupe CH, owner of the Montreal Canadiens NHL team. The clinics will be located in eight different health regions and should be operational by May 1. Montreal's airport authority will partner with Air Canada and Bombardier to create a vaccination hub that will operate two sites at the departure level of the airport terminal and in a nearby Bombardier hangar. --- Ontario Ontario is doubling the number of pharmacies involved in the provincial vaccine effort. The province says some 1,400 pharmacies in COVID-19 hot spots are now offering the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. It says that will help vaccinate those 55 or older, who are currently the only ones cleared to receive the AstraZeneca shot. The province says it hopes to add another 100 pharmacies to the vaccine effort by the end of the month. Some residents of Toronto and Peel Region aged 50 and older can now book their COVID-19 vaccine appointments. Toronto says people who live in hot spot neighbourhoods can book an appointment to get their shot, while Peel has opened the bookings for anyone in the age group. The Ontario government said beginning April 5, people aged 60 and over could book their vaccine appointments in every region. --- Manitoba Manitoba is vaccinating people aged 57 and older in the general population, and First Nations people aged 37 and older. Health officials plan to continue reducing the age minimum age, bit by bit, over the coming months. Dr. Joss Reimer, medical lead of the province's vaccine task force, has said all adults in the province could have a first dose of by the end of June if supplies are steady. There are supersites in cities where people can get vaccines, and pop-up clinics have begun in rural and northern Manitoba communities for people who are eligible. Immunization teams have also been going to congregate living facilities, such as group homes, to provide vaccines. In the coming days Manitoba will prioritize firefighters and police officers for vaccines, as well as all adults living in high-risk areas, which have yet to be defined. Officials are promising details next Wednesday. Health officials say the province has capacity to deliver 20,000 doses each day, but are currently hindered by limited supply. They say all vaccines that arrive in the province are used within 10 days. --- Saskatchewan The Saskatchewan Health Authority is booking vaccinations for residents 48 and older. The minimum age drops to 40 for people living in the Far North. Additional health-care workers are now eligible for shots: staff in private doctors’ offices, private digital imaging clinics, community labs and the Saskatchewan cancer agency. The province has also expanded the vaccine delivery plan for people in more vulnerable groups to include all pregnant women and 16- and 17-year-olds who are considered clinically extremely vulnerable. The province has opened drive-thru vaccination clinics in communities across the province. In Regina, the drive-thru is available for people between the ages of 46 and 54. --- Alberta Albertans born in 2005 or earlier with high-risk underlying health conditions are eligible for shots. As of April 12, the next phase of health-care workers could book appointments: physicians, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, their office staff, lab workers, practicum students in clinical areas, as well as health workers on First Nations reserves and Metis settlements. Previously, shots have been available to front-line health workers, staff and residents in supportive living facilities, Albertans born in 1956 or earlier and First Nations, Inuit and Metis people born in 1971 or earlier. More than 250 pharmacies are now offering immunizations. And starting April 19, 10 physicians clinics across the province began providing shots as part of a pilot project, which could be expanded in May. Additional AstraZeneca vaccine appointments for those aged 55 to 64 are also available through Alberta Health Services in Edmonton and Calgary. Alberta has also said it is extending the time between the first dose and the second to four months. Health Minister Tyler Shandro has said the province expects to offer all Albertans 18 and over a first dose of vaccine by the end of June. --- British Columbia B-C is lowering the eligibility age for people to register for COVID-19 vaccinations. The new schedule means that as of Apr. 19 all people age 40 and older can sign up. Once registered, users receive a confirmation code. They then wait for an email, text or call telling them they are eligible and can then book their vaccine appointment using that code. B.C.'s age-based program runs parallel to its pharmacy-based vaccine drive for residents between the ages of 55 and 65 who are eligible for the Oxford-AstraZeneca shot. That program began for people living in the Lower Mainland but has now been made provincewide. The pharmacy program was developed after provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry placed a pause on use of the AstraZeneca vaccine for anyone under 55 on the advice of the National Advisory Committee on Immunization over concerns about rare blood clots. Adults living and working in Whistler started receiving their COVID-19 vaccinations on Apr. 12. Firefighters, police and paramedics, meanwhile, are being vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines alongside staff at schools and childcare centres. Henry says certain neighbourhoods will also be targeted. The government says more than 1.2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in B.C. --- Nunavut Nunavut has opened vaccinations to anyone 18 and older. The territory expects to finish its vaccine rollout of first and second doses by the end of April. --- Northwest Territories The Northwest Territories is also providing vaccine to those 18 and older and expects to finish its rollout by the end of April. --- Yukon The Yukon government says nearly 46 per cent of the territory's residents have now been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Priority for vaccinations has been given to residents and staff in long-term care homes, group homes and shelters, as well as health-care workers and personal support workers. People over the age of 80 who are not living in long-term care, and those living in rural and remote communities, including Indigenous Peoples, are also on the priority list for shots. --- This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 18, 2021. The Canadian Press
Photo Illustration by Sarah Rogers/The Daily Beast / Photos via GettyDuring a rough pandemic year of distance learning, e-books—cheap to distribute, searchable, easy to annotate, and accessible on devices that students use every day—became the default choice in many schools.So you might think that e-books should be freely available to teachers and students to use in the same ways they’ve long used paper books, and at comparable prices. But they’re not.Instead, many of the biggest publishers are charging schools and libraries top dollar, putting digital books out of reach for tons of kids who need them while putting severe restrictions on how schools can use the books they’re now renting, rather than owning. The draconian terms mean, for example, that a single e-copy of The Diary of Anne Frank can cost a school district as much as $27 per student per year—with the lion’s share of the money going to billion-dollar publishing companies.“I don’t think parents understand that what their children are learning is based on the decisions of publishers,” a teacher in South Boston told us.Shrinking district budgets had already forced teachers to take extreme measures to provide quality learning materials for their students; the non-negotiable need for expensive distance-learning materials during the pandemic only made matters worse. One teacher took screenshots of every page of a graphic novel and compiled them into a PDF for his class; another reads just one page of a book each day during virtual story time in order to avoid copyright restrictions. Others have gained access to Learning Ally, which provides e-books for the print-disabled, by claiming learning-disabled status for every student they teach. In October, the National Education Association reported that nearly a quarter of students don’t have what they need for online learning.“I’m a teacher, not a copyright lawyer,” said an art educator who teaches mostly via YouTube video. “I worry in the future that these videos will harm me in some way.”It’s not an abstract concern; violating copyright can land school districts in serious trouble. In 2019, Houston Public schools were ordered to pay $9.2 million to a publisher for violating copyright law. The recent lawsuit against the Internet Archive’s Open Library was filed by four of the world’s biggest publishers, who claim that the laws that apply to paper books bought and loaned in libraries don’t apply to digital books. The publishers’ ultimate goal is to turn e-books into assets that libraries and schools can only rent, and never own. The stakes couldn’t be higher.As the debate rages over the legal aspects of owning digital assets, rather than licensing them on terms set by corporations—which is at its core a fight over the right of schools and libraries to provide books for everyone, regardless of income level or zip code—poorer kids and their families are the losers. As Heather Joseph, the executive director of the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, said at a recent event, “People can still get access to resources with a card, but it is no longer with a library card or a student ID; it’s with a credit card. A library card is a legitimate, equalizing force that ensures everyone has access to knowledge.”The good news is that the Biden administration seems to be taking learning equity seriously. The new American Rescue Plan allocates $7 billion to support teachers and students with connected devices. But Congress must also take more and bolder steps, not just to beef up school budgets, but to protect that money from profiteers.This spring, the new nonprofit Library Futures organized library groups to support initiatives that balance copyright with the service of the public good, including Controlled Digital Lending, which allows libraries to buy and lend digital materials on the same terms as print books. Oregon Senator Ron Wyden—who is the son of a librarian—spoke recently in support of these initiatives at a recent Georgetown Law panel.“How do you combat falsehoods and lies?” he asked. “Some say, let’s just force internet platforms to take down disinformation... that’s unconstitutional. The First Amendment protects 98 percent of all speech. But even if it was legal, putting the government in charge of policing what’s true and false is a horrendous idea... What government needs to do is to make sure that every single American has easy, free access to reliable information from trustworthy sources, so we have more good information to combat the bad stuff. That’s the role that libraries were designed to fill.”What we need, in other words, is an approach that balances copyright with the free and equal access to information that’s the hallmark of a healthy society. Connecting the fight against disinformation to protecting every student’s access to good books is smart policy, and smart politics.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
via Library of CongressOn April 19, we will commemorate—as well we should—the twenty-sixth anniversary of the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. But April 19 is also the anniversary of another consequential, albeit lesser known, bombing: On that date in 1960, a bomb went off at the home of Alexander Looby, the Black lawyer representing students and other activists arrested in sit-ins aimed at integrating downtown Nashville. Looby and his family survived, but the bomb blew out 147 windows at a nearby medical college.The sit-ins had been going on for several weeks. Leaders of the movement, brought together by the Rev. Kelly Miller Smith and trained in nonviolent direct action by James Lawson, included a who’s who of future luminaries: John Lewis, Bernard Lafayette, James Bevel, and C.T. Vivian hailed from the American Baptist Theological Seminary; and Diane Nash and Marion Barry were from Fisk University.The early morning bombing led these leaders to immediately organize a march. Within a few hours. some 4,000 people descended upon City Hall, where Nash and Vivian confronted Mayor Ben West. Less than a month later, an agreement to desegregate lunch counters was reached—the first in a city below the Mason-Dixon line. Martin Luther King Jr. called the effort “electrifying.” The Nashville Movement, he said, was “the best organized and most disciplined in the Southland.”Dr. Vivian, who would go on to play seminal roles in the Freedom Rides, Birmingham, and Selma (and then create the model for Upward Bound), had moved to Nashville from Peoria, Illinois, with his wife and two young children in 1954. By 1960, he had graduated from seminary and was serving as pastor of the First Community Church. With Rev. Smith, he had also formed the Nashville Christian Leadership Conference (NCLC), the first regional chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.Why We’ll Always Need a Civil Rights MovementCalled by his good friend Dr. King, “the greatest preacher to have ever lived,” Dr. Vivian, who passed away last July at 95, was also a wonderful writer. I had the privilege of collaborating with him on his recently released memoir, It’s in the Action: Memories of a Nonviolent Warrior. The following is an excerpt about the underappreciated Nashville Movement from the book.The headline in the Nashville Tennessean read: “Negroes Served Without Incident: Downtown Lunch Counters Open to All.” Think about this: In May 1960—some 170 years after the ratification of the Constitution’s Bill of Rights, almost a full century after the end of the Civil War—it was news that black-skinned people in a city that billed itself as the “Athens of the South” were for the first time afforded the same basic right to sit at a lunch counter as their white-skinned counterparts. Moreover, the Tennessean’s editors found it equally newsworthy that this historic event passed without incident. An angry white mob didn’t shout epithets at the Negroes. The police didn’t drag the Negroes out. The world didn’t stop turning.How did this happen?After forming NCLC, we determined that our efforts should be directed at desegregating downtown Nashville, beginning with the lunch counters. Why lunch counters? Blacks could shop in downtown stores, but we could not eat at their lunch counters. Eating is a basic need, right? So demonstrating—through nonviolent direct action—that such a basic need can be denied to a person because of his or her race provides a graphic illustration of injustice….Jim Lawson, who had gone to India to study Gandhi’s philosophy and methods, began teaching nonviolent resistance to a group of us at SCLC/NCLC in late March 1958. Here we simulated attempts to integrate venues that were segregated. Jim stressed that if/when confrontation arose, we should respond with love and compassion.Through these workshops we came to understand the philosophy behind the great religious imperatives so important in terms of understanding people. At the same time, we learned the tactics and techniques of nonviolent action. We learned how to take blows, how to resist fighting back when spit upon or when cigarettes were put out on us. Yes, cigarettes! We learned to respond with dignity and love because that was the righteous thing to do and the best way to realize the goals of our continuing struggle for respect and equality.We actually practiced how to take these blows by knocking each other around. I remember an exercise where someone was instructed to put out a cigarette on one of the participating ministers. An ash fell and burned a hole in the brother’s pants. He held his tongue and fists with his oppressor, but he did tell us that we’d have to buy him a new suit!Once our band of older activists, ministers, and students coalesced, we set about very deliberately to integrate downtown Nashville.Step One. Pre-protest persuasion. In November 1959, we attempted to convince the major department stores, Harvey’s and Cain-Sloan, to integrate their lunch counters before we need demonstrate. In addition to making a moral argument, we said that opening up the counters would open up a whole new stream of revenue. The owners countered that the number of white customers they would lose would be greater than the number of Black customers they could gain.Step Two. Test runs. A handful of students went into Harvey’s in late November and Cain-Sloan in early December. They bought a few things in the stores and then made their way to the lunch counters where they were denied service.Step Three. Action.A timeline:Monday, February 15, 1960. The Baptist Ministers Conference, which represented about eighty congregations, throws its support behind the movement. Black religious leaders urged citizens of all colors to boycott stores that engaged in segregation.Thursday, February 18. Upward of eighty students are denied service at four different stores. They sit for a while, then leave without incident.Saturday, February 20. About 350 sit in at several stores for about three hours.Saturday, February 27. Push comes to shove, literally. Whites attack those students sitting in at two stores. By the time the police get there, those who did the beating are gone. “OK, you nigras, get up and leave,” say the cops. When the students—eighty-one in all—refuse the police order to leave, they are arrested on charges of loitering and disorderly conduct.Movements need more than a justifiable anger. There must be a strategy and a goal. What you want for yourself and your children and the next generation is more important than having some bad feelings. That is why we were able to enact nonviolent direct action as opposed to swinging back. You have to ask: What are you willing to commit to in order to make something happen? One group of students was arrested, but then a second wave took their place at the lunch counters. And when that group was arrested, in came a third wave.When those opposing us realized we were coming back every day, they changed their response. The Klan types in the city began to frequent the lunch counters where we were sitting in. That’s when our training proved to be most helpful—because they began to attack, put out cigarettes on people, pull people off their stools and beat them, and pour things on people. Our students were ready, and they sat there.Our efforts began to resonate in the larger Black community after the police started putting people in jail. Folks came forward to put up their houses as bail. A mass meeting started on a large scale. Now the movement was cooking.The demonstrations created in many white people a fear of what was possible if Blacks united. Naturally, because of their own racism, they were afraid of anything that Blacks did, because they (whites) were oppressors. They were always afraid of the oppressed, which created a dynamic in the city. But you see, here’s where nonviolence saves us again; because no matter what they said, the oppressed were moving against the oppression with nothing in their hands with which to destroy, but something in their heart.Because there was nothing in our hands, they could not then react to us in the ways that the Old South normally did. They either had to accept this new loving Black man and woman, or reject themselves. Now they were caught in that kind of dilemma. Black people, on the other hand, had found a method whereby they could rejoice and yet not have any attempt to destroy the other, but only open up the society fully to everyone.Monday, February 29. The trial of those arrested begins. Well over one thousand community members turn out to support the students. The lead attorney for the students is Alexander Looby. The judge dismisses the loitering charges, but the students are convicted of disorderly conduct and fined $50 each [about $440 today]. They choose to go to jail instead of paying.Thursday, March 3. Mayor West forms the Biracial Committee, a group of city leaders (including local Black college presidents, but none of the students) to address the sit-ins and the overall racial divide in Nashville.Tuesday, April 5. The committee issues its recommendations: Stores should have two kinds of lunch counters; one for Whites only and one for Blacks and any Whites who might choose to join them. We at the NCLC said, no thank you. So did the students.We now complemented the sit-ins with an Easter Boycott of the downtown stores. This allowed us to show our desire to be fully integrated into the life of the city, to demonstrate many ideas of nonviolence, and to help create a reconciliation of all the forces in Nashville. Our theology taught us that those resources that God gave you could not be used to perpetuate an evil. So putting those resources in the hands of merchants who were perpetuating the evil of racism was against God, a misuse of that which was given, number one.Along with Christmas, Easter was our most important time for buying. No matter how poor you were, everyone in the Black community had to have a brand-new outfit. You may start paying three months ahead of time for that outfit, and you may still be paying for it for three months later.Of course, Easter was also the time of the cross, a time of sacrifice. Our people found they did not need new suits, new clothes, new shoes. As one woman said, “I looked in my closet and found I had fourteen pair of shoes, and I said, ‘I am so glad for the movement, ’cause I don’t need to buy anything.’”The merchants could no longer count on getting back the money that they had spent for Easter inventory. The two Nashvilles system wasn’t going to work anymore.Tuesday, April 19. A group of movement leaders—students and ministers, including myself—were to hold a morning strategy session near the Fisk campus. Before we got there—around 5:30 a.m.—most of us heard a huge explosion.We knew we had to respond to the bombing of Lawyer Looby’s home. Such an act demanded that the city fathers come to terms with the moral bankruptcy of existing policy—even if they didn’t countenance the bombing itself. Throughout our history, we have been compelled to view such heinous deeds as opportunities; as terrible as it was, this violent act could be very useful to our nonviolent movement. How could we channel the energy we were feeling to accomplish our goal of ending segregation in the city?We decided to mobilize students as well as the community at large for a march to city hall. We prepared a statement to be read aloud when we got there. And we determined that Diane Nash and I would speak for us.You see, we were prepared for this moment—didn’t welcome it, but were prepared. This would be the first major march of the modern civil rights movement.We began the march right after lunchtime at Tennessee A&I on the city’s outer limits. Students came out from the lunchrooms, buildings, and dormitories as we started. We marched three abreast, with Diane Nash, Bernard Lafayette, and me in the first row. People along the way began to join us in small numbers. They knew this was serious.When we got to 18th and Jefferson, Fisk students were waiting and fell right in. One block later, students from nearby Pearl High School joined us. Then people started coming out of their houses. Everyone was enthusiastic. At the same time, there was a certain seriousness, an undeniable collective sense of purpose. Eventually our line would stretch ten full blocks.We had sent a telegram to Mayor West saying that our march would be nonviolent. When we arrived at about 1:30, he was waiting for us on the steps. A forty-nine-year-old former assistant district attorney, West was more progressive than most mayors in the South. But he had not exerted the moral authority of his office to effect the desegregation that we were demanding.I recently discovered a copy of the April 20, 1960 Nashville Tennessean. The front-page story was written by a young reporter just beginning what would be an illustrious career, David Halberstam. Here are some choice excerpts of his piece, which ran under the bold headline: INTEGRATE COUNTERS-MAYOR.Mayor Ben West told three thousand demonstrating Negroes yesterday he thought Nashville merchants should end lunch counter segregation, but the mayor standing in front of the courthouse, surrounded by a sea of Negroes which overflowed into the street added: “That’s up to the store managers, of course, what they do. I can’t tell a man how to run his business.”The Negroes then applauded the mayor. The applause contrasted sharply with the stony silence with which the crowd had watched the mayor moments before as he exchanged heated words with several of their leaders. The sharp words came as the Reverend C. T. Vivian, Negro leader and pastor of First Community Church, read a group statement sharply critical of West for what it termed his failure to lead.West, his hat off and his voice carrying, said: “I deny your statement and resent your statement and resent to the bottom of my soul the implication you have just read.” He tried to continue speaking, but Vivian shouted in his ear: “Prove it, Mayor, prove the statement is wrong.”Only a third of the line had arrived when Vivian started reading the Negro statement. That statement accused the mayor of several wrongs, including failing to use the moral weight of his office to speak out against the hatemongers, being difficult to reach, and trying to slow things down until the students went home for the summer.Then Vivian read: “Because he has failed to speak, we ask that he now consider the Christian faith he professes and the democratic rights of all our citizens and declare for our city a policy of sanity based on our common faith and our democratic principles.” When Vivian finished, the Negroes burst into prolonged applause.Then West spoke. First he said he deeply resented the implications of the statement. Vivian, by his side, seemed to argue with him several times. Vivian was later restrained by another Negro minister. “I intend to see that order is maintained,” West said. “As God is my helper, if anything can be done to find the man who bombed my good friend Looby’s home, we’ll do that.”The crowd was still gathering. West was pocketed among a group of the Negro leaders. Vivian started the questioning. He asked the mayor if segregation were moral. “No,” the mayor said. “It is wrong and immoral to discriminate.”Then, Miss Nash asked West to use “the prestige of your office to appeal to all the citizens to stop this racial discrimination.”West answered: “I appeal to all citizens to end discrimination, to have no bigotry, no bias, no hatred.”Miss Nash asked: “Do you mean that to include lunch counters?”West answered, “Little lady, I stopped segregation seven years ago at the airport when I first took office, and there has been no trouble there since.”But Miss Nash asked one more question: “Then mayor, do you recommend that the lunch counters be desegregated?”That is when West answered: “Yes,” turned slightly and added, “That’s up to the store managers, of course.”(I couldn’t stay silent. Halberstam would later write: “More than any of the other Nashville ministers, Vivian seemed able to provoke the anger of his adversaries. He was intense and outspoken—C. T., his wife, Octavia, once said, in a masterpiece of understatement, gave long answers to short questions.”)Then Vivian asked, “Do you realize that this goes deeper than the lunch counter, that it can destroy us?”West answered: “You also have the power to destroy. I want you students to realize this . . .”Vivian then asked: “Is segregation Christian?”West told Vivian to look at his past record. “What a fellow does often speaks so loud you can’t hear his words.”Vivian said he was not asking about the past record.A postscript is required. via Amazon Tuesday, May 10. At 3 p.m., groups of two or three Blacks, mostly students, enter six Nashville department stores and take their seats at the lunch counters—the lunch counters that had previously only been open to white patrons. Among the items they order: club steaks and hamburgers. As the Tennessean would report, one store official said, “There was no reaction whatsoever from our white customers.”Over the previous weekend, we had finally reached an agreement with the store owners. It was far different from the earlier plan proposed by the Biracial Committee. Blacks would come to the counters in small groups at slack hours for several days so that integration could be introduced gradually, in a less threatening fashion, to avoid confrontation or violence.The plan worked. And then, as John Lewis put it, we began a march through the yellow pages to integrate other public venues. The march took time. A year passed before we achieved another major milestone: integrating the downtown theaters.I remember that because the victory was celebrated with a picnic on Mother’s Day in 1961—the same day that Klansmen attacked the Freedom Riders in Anniston, Alabama.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
London [UK], April 18 (ANI): In the journal BMJ Case Reports, researchers have warned that heavy energy drink consumption may be linked to heart failure, the doctors suggested so after treating a 21-year-old, who had regularly drunk 4 such cans every day for around 2 years.
GettyWhen another Land Cruiser passes ours we rumble to a halt. It’s not uncommon to stop and share animal intel on safari, but I’m more curious about what lodge the car belongs to and how many guests they have in camp, rather than finding what animals they’ve seen. Considering it’s the first car we’ve seen on our 2.5-hour journey from Linyanti (in the north Chobe National Park) to Savuti (a bit further south), my curiosity is at an all-time high.Ordinarily this wouldn’t be the case. Although Botswana is known to limit tourists (thanks to the country’s high-end tourism model that keeps numbers low), it never has a shortage of trucks filled with travelers dressed in beige, pocketed gear with binoculars slung around their necks. On this late March day though, khaki-clad tourists are few and far between and I can’t help but feel like I quite literally have the whole of the coveted Chobe to myself.It’s less than ideal to see a lack of tourists in a place that needs them most, but there’s no denying that having an entire national park to yourself has its benefits–not bothering about making conversation with other guests on your vehicle or sharing a sighting with the click click of cameras in your ear.On this six-day journey through Linyanti and the Khwai Concession (on the edge of the Moremi Game Reserve), mornings are spent winding through the towering trees of Linyanti or the thicketed bush of the Khwai Concession tracking wild dogs and leopards. Evenings are dedicated to sunset drinks on the edge of murky hippo pools, where the archaic animals wallow and grunt as the sun bruises the sky. Followed by a glass of wine back at the lodge around the fire pit, the only sound being the hiss and snap of the flames punctuated by the odd distant roar of a lion. These days and nights are no different to how a safari experience was before the pandemic (bar the lack of guests) but they are reminders that while COVID changed just about everything, it didn’t entirely change the bush.Botswana, like many other countries that rely on safari tourism, has suffered majorly during the pandemic. Many tourism companies have laid off staff or made pay cuts (though I was traveling with African Bush Camps and no staff had been laid off). Pressing conservation projects have been paused and, in some countries, there’s been an increase in poaching due to dwindling incomes. Tourism isn’t just another form of income for the country, it’s a lifeline–thousands of people and preservation projects rely on these dollars, especially in remote areas. And although African Bush Camps has managed to fund its foundation and support anti-poaching units, this isn’t the case with thousands of other organizations and lodges. For many, business is only anticipated to pick up in 2022.Even at Maun airport, the gateway to Botswana’s beloved Okavango Delta, I hear few foreign accents and see no welcome signs in the arrival section. With limited flights in and out (Airlink flies twice a week from Johannesburg), the planes are always busy, but it’s merely a bottleneck effect–in fact, I almost couldn’t get on a flight to Maun and almost missed my flight back to Johannesburg (which would have meant laying over until the next plane came in, two days away).Despite flight limitations though, traveling to Botswana couldn’t be easier. Antigen tests are swiftly administered on arrival and PCR testing is widely available, even deep in the wilderness–where nurses are available to fly into some lodges and provide remote tests. For those unable to pay the hefty helicopter fee, testing is easily available in Maun, at a site a few minutes from the airport. Travelers can either layover for the night (results are generally returned in 24 hours) or stop in Maun on their way to another destination (for two nights, which would fit into the 72 hour window that most countries require).Even in the Okavango Delta–the inland river system that overflows not just with water but wildlife, too–I hear more crickets than safari vehicles. Which is nice, but again, less than ideal. Where I’m staying, at Khwai Leadwood, a smart new camp that opened in early April along a bend of the Khwai River, there’s one European couple and a lone American traveler. When I ask the single traveler what prompted her visit to Botswana, she tells me it was a trip she’d put on pause when the pandemic struck. But now with one shot of the vaccine and weeks spent cooped up in her house, she was itching to finally take it. “I couldn’t wait any longer,” she tells me, admitting that arriving in Botswana, from a country crippled by COVID, was in many ways a relief. It was glaringly visible to me how she looked like could finally exhale (not on me and from six feet away, of course).Back in New York, my trip to Botswana feels like all but a blur. The grunting sounds of hippos have been replaced with wailing sirens and, after not having reception for a week, I now have the constant news cycle pinging my phone. And all I can think is that, yes, Botswana gave me hippos, sunsets and less-crowded national parks, but it also gave me the ability to breathe.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
Charlie Smith was lost for words after moving a step closer towards this summer’s Olympics with an unexpected victory at the sprint and paracanoe national selection event in Nottingham.
Catlin Ochs/New York Times via ReduxAt the very end of his brilliant new memoir Amoralman, the magician Derek DelGaudio offers his reader a little piece of thread that if pulled hard enough might unravel everything that’s come before. That is, he dares you to contemplate the idea that everything he’s told you so far is a lie. The extraordinary thing is that this offer enhances rather than undercuts his story.Here’s how that plays out: At the beginning of the book, DelGaudio tells about a period in his distant past—distant enough, anyway, for the statute of limitations to have run out—when for six months or so he made his living dealing crooked poker games. In particular he describes a game in which one player kept losing money until he was broke and finally pulled a gun. Turned out he only wanted to know what he could get for the piece to stay in the game. Big exhale. Then, at the end of the book, DelGaudio recounts his last meeting with Ronnie, the card mechanic who’d taught him how to deal a crooked game, and Ronnie tells of the time he dealt a game where a guy pulled a gun—precisely the same story DelGaudio told earlier.“You should put that in your book,” Ronnie tells him, adding, “Just don’t mention me. Say it happened to you.”“But it didn’t,” DelGaudio protests.“They’ll never know the difference.”Which does make a reader wonder just how much of what he’s been told for 233 pages is true. Which is, pretty obviously, DelGaudio’s point: He wants us to doubt. He wants us to at least consider the possibility that he is the most unreliable narrator in the history of storytelling. He wants us to ask why we would assume that when a magician, someone who deceives for a living, turns to memoir writing, he’s suddenly doing everything on the square? It’s a very good question. And you can’t say you weren’t warned on the way in: The subtitle of Amoralman, right there on the cover, is “A True Story and Other Lies.”How Derek DelGaudio Pulled Off the Astonishing ‘In & Of Itself’In at least one subset of magic—card tricks—magicians took a lot of what they know from card cheats: bottom dealing, second dealing, false shuffles and cuts, and so on. Magic routines learned from card sharks are foolproof if performed correctly, because there is no higher bar for dexterity and deception than cheating someone at cards. Fumble a magic trick, and you face embarrassment. Get caught cheating, and you face a beating or worse. The buy-in for the game DelGaudio dealt in L.A. was ten grand.Both card cheats and magicians lie for a living. The difference is, with card cheats, that’s where things stop, while magicians take things a step further. While they too deceive and dupe and even destroy things (the lady sawed in half, the rope cut into pieces), they also make them whole again. They are benign and, in a roundabout way, honest: you know you’re being tricked, that’s the whole point.Magicians are also a little like poets and not just because they both have small audiences composed mostly of their respective peers or merely because mass culture has room for only one or two famous magicians or one or two well-known poets at any given time: Robert Frost, Maya Angelou, Amanda Gorman, Billy Collins, David Copperfield, Ricky Jay, Penn & Teller.Both poetry and magic make rigorous demands on their practitioners, both have something almost musical in their actions, and both have the ability to take the everyday world, turn it inside out, and make us gawp at the result.The best magicians include some emotional element in their routines. When Teller slices the shadow of a rose and the actual rose drops petals with every cut, we are astonished but we are also strangely moved.That’s where DelGaudio takes us in his book and in his stage show, In and of Itself, which ran for more than a year in New York and is now available to watch on Hulu. Some parts are more overtly emotional than others, such as when he does a trick with a brick that he has associated with the brick thrown through the apartment window where he and his lesbian mother lived when he was a small child in a Colorado town overrun with Christian bigots.But the most beautiful and poetic moment for me was his routine with playing cards, which he constructs with a slowly building momentum that achieves the tide-like crescendo of a symphony—and elicits an almost jaw-dropping incredulity in the audience, when in fact all he’s doing is showing us the various ways he cheated at cards.This is, of course, what separates the card cheat and the magician, and what elevates the best card magic to the level of poetry: cheating is merely utilitarian, while card magic, like poetry, is both useless and beautiful, and those two qualities are inseparable.Play word association with most people today, and the first thing they’ll probably say if you say “magician” is “children’s birthday parties.” Most magic isn’t hip. If it’s known at all, it’s for the gaudy likes of the late Siegfried and Roy or David Copperfield, something to do when you’re killing time in Vegas. It’s all merely empty spectacle that has nothing to do with your own life.Max Maven, who is a little gaudy but is also an extraordinary magician and someone who has spent a lot of time thinking about the history of his art, once said, “The great tragedy of 20th century magic in the larger picture is that magicians have taken an art form that is inherently profound and rendered it trivial.”He’s sadly right, but there are exceptions.The dominant style that thrives today comprises the cool magicians: DelGaudio, Penn and Teller, David Blaine, the late Ricky Jay. These performers and their acolytes have won over hipster audiences who might otherwise have deemed magicians as certainly corny and possibly embarrassing. They have made the art of magic once again respectable. Penn and Teller even teach a MasterClass—and a very good one.The magicians in question have won this regard, at least in part, by distancing themselves from their art. They don’t put it down, or condescend to it, or treat it like camp. But, to cite the most obvious example of this distancing, they do talk about magic while they’re performing on stage, almost like illustrated lectures. They may even pretend to explain certain effects. There’s a self consciousness to the performance and to the reception. We the audience are never allowed to forget that we’re witnessing a trick.Ricky Jay made the history of conjuring the nominal subject of his act. You not only watch him pull off a flawless version of the cups and balls, you also get a running commentary on the origin of the routine (cups and balls show up in Egyptian hieroglyphics) and its most famous practitioners (including a man with no arms or legs).As with other subcultures where skill is involved (think circus performers), the best magicians are obsessed with the history of their craft, both oral and written. The field is littered with tales of magicians who tracked down the person who knew the person who developed a certain effect. Tricks are handed down for generations. There is a well-thumbed literature as well, and it’s not just for the amateurs. Dai Vernon, often hailed as the greatest magician of the 20th century, was obsessed with a slim, self-published book called The Expert at the Card Table by S.W. Erdnase, who published his book in 1902 under such an obvious pseudonym because the writer wasn’t teaching people to do card tricks—he was teaching them how to cheat (there are a few card tricks at the back of his book, but they’re just window dressing). Vernon, who discovered the book as a child, just took those lessons and applied them to magic, as his disciples have been doing ever since.“Erdnase” was almost surely an anagram. Card cheats have nothing to gain by outing themselves. But magicians are not much more forthcoming. For example, Vernon, real name David Vernor, used Dai as his stage name, but here’s the beauty part: On the East Coast, his friends pronounced it Day, while West Coast associates went with Dye. Reflexively secretive, like a lot of magicians, he moved from one world to another, never showing everything to anyone. Certainly no one has ever uncovered the identity of Erdnase, whose sole work is still a Bible for a lot of card handlers. But he is not the only oracle. Teller, for example, prefers The Royal Road to Card Magic. I know that because I’m a magic nerd, or was almost.Nearly every famous magician I know of started doing magic as a kid. Ricky Jay appeared on television performing magic when he was 7 years old. I was 8 years old and living in the country with an aunt and uncle in their sixties when the fever hit. I wrote off for a magic catalog advertised in the back of a comic book. Once it arrived, I thumbed its pages until it practically fell apart while I gazed for hours at ads for equipment and paraphernalia I could never afford. I did buy some linking rings and cups and balls and a few other effects, and I learned the routines and practiced some, but I couldn’t even fool myself.I came that close to nerding out and then I quit. I wasn’t at all dexterous, but more than that I just didn’t want to put the time in. And that’s where I parted ways with any magician you’ve ever heard of. But I completely connected with something DelGaudio said in In and of Itself: “I’ll never forget the first time I saw someone perform sleight of hand. I’d love to say it was love at first sight, but I fell in love with all the things I couldn’t see.” That was my story, too. In my brief, inglorious career as a child magician, I figured out quickly that I wasn’t interested in performing for people. Even when I could successfully pull off an illusion, fooling people meant almost nothing to me. All that really mattered was knowing how the trick worked. Once I learned that, I got bored.I would modify that stance a little, all these years later, because now I want to know why a trick is done. Or why I need to watch it. Most magic acts that I’m familiar with are feats of technical skill but not much more. Beyond the skill, which is often out of this world, there’s not a lot of imagination at work, certainly nothing compelling me to watch. The performer’s patter is too often quaint to the point of staleness (“The four queens have been banished. Now let’s bring them back together!”), and the complexity with which too many magicians clothe their routines often makes me lose the thread, such that when the climax arrives, I’ve forgotten why it’s important that the six of clubs is suddenly sitting in that wine glass on the table.That’s what makes DelGaudio such a great magician. Besides being a marvelous technician, he also threads his own life into his act. There’s an emotional component that gives his magic another layer, like a shadow that gives an object depth. He gets a little touchy-feely for my taste sometimes, but then I’ve never seen an audience—or a magician—get weepy at a magic show before, so that was new and different. And most important, he gives you a reason for each of his illusions, all of which, in one way or the other, are wrapped up in questions of identity—his and yours alike. He keeps you guessing, he makes you ask, where’s he going with this? And in almost every part of the show, the destination is more than satisfying.I can’t say I hate all big stage illusions, but mostly they bore me. The genius lies not within the performer, even if he or she thought it up, but in the mechanical gizmos that make elephants materialize and Statues of Liberty disappear. Sleight of hand is altogether different. The props—cards and coins mostly—are prosaic but that’s the point: simple things we’re all familiar with are used to create strange effects, and those effects when performed correctly move us in strange ways. And the magic happens right under your nose. There’s no room for stage trickery or CGI razzle-dazzle, no uncanny valley. A good magician can take a deck of cards and slice away everything you thought you knew about physical laws, cause and effect—in a word: reality. A very good magician can elevate that misgiving to a sense of awe. A great magician, like DelGaudio, makes you shiver.DelGaudio recalls being told as a kid that it would take eight years to learn how to manipulate a deck of cards. Unlike me, he was undaunted. Great magicians, certainly those who specialize in sleight of hand, are obsessives. As Teller puts it, “Sometimes magic is just someone spending more time on something than anyone else might reasonably expect.”A few years ago, I was chatting with my neighbor in our small town about 25 miles outside New York City. My neighbor was a New York City cop, and also friendly with the cops in our town.Out of the blue, he asked me if I knew a magician named David Blaine. I said I’d met him once, several years earlier, when I’d interviewed him for a story.“Did he ever put something in your mailbox?” my neighbor asked. And at that I had to laugh.But let me back up. When I interviewed Blaine in the bar of a New York hotel, he did a little magic for me while we were talking, and one of the illusions involved taking the four of hearts from a deck and vanishing it, but only after he’d torn the corner off and handed it to me to keep.A couple of weeks later, I opened my mailbox and there was the four of hearts with the corner torn off. I pulled the missing corner from my wallet, and it matched perfectly.To make this happen, Blaine had to find my address, and this was before it became child’s play to find someone’s details on the internet. Then he had to get on a commuter train, come to my town, and find my mailbox.Not only did he do that, but, according to what my neighbor learned from his friends on the local force, Blaine had stopped first at the police station to let them know what he was doing, so no one would hassle him, a stranger, for sticking something in someone’s mailbox.And he did all of this just so that when I opened my mailbox one day, my jaw would drop—a reaction he never even had the satisfaction of seeing.I thought about this story while watching In and of Itself, because DelGaudio pulls off a couple of illusions that even without knowing how they’re done, I know that both required an insane amount of prep time. I won’t spoil either illusion for you, but I will note that both of them left people in the audience weeping. via Amazon Is this opportunistic of DelGaudio? Should he bring people to tears just to make a good magic show? I think those are bad questions, or at least the wrong questions, because they presuppose that magic is trivial. We wouldn’t ask if it’s OK for Tom Stoppard or Chekhov to make us cry. And I don’t think magic has to be trivial, although it often is. I think in the capably deceptive hands of artists like DelGaudio or Penn and Teller, magic is capable of a lot more than mere entertainment. Performed correctly, it becomes great theater that pulls us closer and closer to mystery and awe and even catharsis. Moments in DelGaudio’s stage show, like Teller’s routine with the rose and its shadow, bring us right to the point where, if only for an instant, we find ourselves entertaining the possibility that this is not illusion, that it is real magic. And anything that can do that, that has that kind of power, well, that’s some trick.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
Londoners were quite literally dancing in the streets on Saturday night as they celebrated lockdown easing. Thousands of people descended on central London to enjoy al-fresco dining and drinks in beer gardens and terraces.
Rohit Sharma wore shoes with a special message in the game against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Saturday.
After a pandemic-induced lull in borrowing, governments and investors are feeling more confident about Africa's prospects.
After almost 70 years as head of state, the Queen will reign without her husband by her side.