Greatest of shows planned for St Patrick's Day in Kerry

St Patrick’s Day goes global – parades and shows, food and drink – Annual Global Greening initiative by Tourism Ireland

WRCB
6th Annual St. Chatty's Day Parade March 16, 1-2 p.m.
WRCB: 6th Annual St. Chatty’s Day Parade March 16, 1-2 p.m.

Greatest of shows planned for St Patrick’s Weekend in Kerry, Ireland – Crimson Tazvinzwa//AIWA! NO!

The Burj Khalifa in Dubai joined in celebrations
Image captionThe world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, joins in the celebrations

This weekend will see more than 400 landmarks in more than 50 countries go green for St Patrick.

The annual Global Greening initiative by Tourism Ireland started in 2010 and topping this year’s new additions list is the Burj Khalifa in Dubai -the world’s tallest building.

Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and Lord’s cricket ground in London are also among the 2019 newbies.

Is it St Patrick's Day in Las Vegas? You bet!
Image captionIs it St Patrick’s Day in Las Vegas? You bet!
Saskethewan
Image captionMac the Moose in Saskatchewan, Canada, is wearing the green
Source of the Nile bridge in Uganda
Image captionThe Source of the Nile bridge in Uganda celebrates
The Cotton Tree in Sierra Leone
Image captionAnother one from Africa – Sierra Leone – and new to 2019. The Cotton Tree is the capital Freetown’s historic symbol
Madrid's Cibeles Fountain
Image captionThe Cibeles Fountain, built in 1782, is one of the symbols of Madrid
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PRINCESS Margaret was destined to live in the shadow of her older sister, the Queen, and would go on to lead a life dependent on the shackles she so deeply begrudged bound by archaic constitutional constraints.

Princess Diana, Princess Margaret and President Trump played in Urban Myths Season 3

Princess Margaret and Diana and Donald Trump feature in Urban Myths Season 3
Urban Myths returns to Sky Arts this April, and it’ll be shining a light on yet more unlikely and unusual tall tales from the past – including everyone from Princess Margaret and Diana to Donald Trump.

Urban Myths returns to Sky Arts this April, and it’ll be shining a light on yet more unlikely and unusual tall tales from the past – including everyone from Princess Margaret and Diana to Donald Trump – AIWA! NO!

Urban Myths returns to Sky Arts this April, and it’ll be shining a light on yet more unlikely and unusual tall tales from the past – including everyone from Princess Margaret and Diana to Donald Trump.

Image result for Princess Diana, Princess Margaret and President Trump
Digital SpyDonald Trump, Princess Diana and Freddie Mercury will all feature in series 3 of Sky’s wild Urban Myths

Season 3 of Emmy-nominated comedy was announced last year, with Stephen Mangan confirmed to star as Charles Dickens in the story of how his ‘friend’ Hans Christian Andersen came to visit for a prolonged stay. Now, Sky has unveiled the remaining stories for the upcoming season , including the unlikely decades-long friendship between Princess Margaret and Mick Jagger, the bizarre night out shared between Freddie Mercury and Princess Diana, the day a burglar stumbled upon Grace Jones and artist Jean-Paul Goude’s New York apartment, Madonna’s short but passionate and influential relationship with Jean Michel Basquiat, the infamous trial of Joan Collins vs. Random House, how Paul McCartney was inspired to write Yesterday, and how Andy Warhol came to judge a cheerleading competition for Donald Trump.

Image result for Princess Diana, Princess Margaret and President Trump
The Daily BeastPhoto Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast. Donald Trump’s ..

Each of the eight episodes puts its own spin on extraordinary events, taken with more than a pinch of salt, and are performed by a selection of great actors, including Mat Baynton, Sophie Kennedy Clark, Hugh Dennis, Kelly MacDonald, Stephen Mangan, Jack McBrayer, Gloria Onitiri and David Walliams.

Phil Edgar-Jones, Director of Sky Arts, says: “You might regard our Urban Myths series as a bit of ‘Fake History’ but as all history is totally made up anyway we should regard these eight perfectly formed comedies as films of historical record, sort of. This series is one of the jewels in the crown of Sky Arts and with totally true (ish) tales from everyone from McCartney and Madonna to Dickens and Trump – our loyal band of discerning viewers are in for a treat.”

The series will premiere on 10th April on Sky Arts, but will also be released as a box set to stream on-demand alongside the broadcast of its first episode. Here’s the rundown of the eight chapters:

Urban Myths: Princess Diana, Freddie Mercury and Kenny Everett

This story is a fictionalised account of an event that’s part of the folklore of the Vauxhall Tavern. It features a night that Freddie Mercury and Kenny Everett put a disguise on their good friend, Princess Diana, and took her out for a night on the town, ending up at a club which results in a fictionalised encounter with Gareth, a drag artist with a painful secret.

Starring Mathew Baynton (Kenny Everett), David Avery (Freddie Mercury), Richard Gadd (Gareth) and Sophie Rundle (Princess Diana). Written by Pete Jackson and directed by Sean Foley. Produced by Zoe Rocha at The Fyzz Facility.

Urban Myths: Donald Trump and Andy Warhol

In 1984, property magnate and entrepreneur Donald Trump bought an American footballteam. In an attempt to stir up some publicity, he held cheerleader auditions in the basement of Trump Tower with a panel of celebrity judges, including Andy Warhol. Though initially reluctant to take part, Warhol had some unfinished business with the tycoon, who had previously commissioned some artwork which he never paid for. So Warhol decided to use the opportunity to confront the future US president about the debt.

Starring Jack McBrayer (Andy Warhol), Anthony Atamanuik (Donald Trump), Natasia Demetriou (Agnieszka), Rich Hall (Jimmy Gould), Pearl Mackie (Kay), Paul Putner (Howard) and Mike Wozniak (Leroy Nieman). Written by Ben Boyer. Produced by Charlie Laurie and directed by Molly Manners. Clelia Mountford and Sharon Horgan are the Executive Producers for Merman.

Urban Myths: Charles Dickens and Hans Christian Anderson

Bleak House Guest tells the story of when Danish author and Dickens superfan Hans Christian Andersen turned up unexpectedly on Charles and Catherine Dickens’ doorstep, quickly proving himself to be the most impossible (and unshakeable) house-guest imaginable.

Starring Stephen Mangan as Charles Dickens, Ian Hart as Hans Christian Andersen and Monica Dolan as Charles Dickens’ long-suffering wife, Catherine. The episode is directed by Robert Delamere and is a collaboration between SLAM Films and the NFTS. Louise Delamere and Catherine Gosling Fuller are the Executive Producers. Bleak House Guest is written by NFTS Screenwriting MA alumna Jess Jackson and produced by Producing MA alumni Laura Jackson, Rob Darnell and James Jose Walker. The crew includes a substantial number of NFTS students and graduates in key creative roles including producer, screenwriter, cinematographer, designer, composer and sound designer.

Urban Myths: Joan Collins

This story revolves around the trial where Joan Collins went head-to-head with Random House in the mid-nineties. The author and actor was paid a large advance for her novel, which the publishers claimed was unpublishable, leading to one of the most extraordinary – and glamorous – trials of the decade.

Starring Victoria Hamilton (Joan Collins), David Walliams (Monty, Joan’s boyfriend), Mark Heap (Ken Burrows), Haydn Gwynne (Joni Evans) and Leo Wringer (judge). Written by David Walliams & Dawson Bros. Produced by King Bert Productions

Urban Myths: Grace Jones

This is the story of a burglar who stumbled into Grace Jones and artist Jean-Paul Goude’s New York apartment, armed with a very small gun. When he inadvertently chose to break into Grace and Jean-Paul’s home (with a little interruption from Debbie Harry and Andy Warhol), he ended up with more than he bargained, having to deal with these two flamboyant, volatile lovers. Veering from desperate and dangerous to awe-struck and bemused, this was an afternoon which none of the three were expecting, least of all the burglar.

Starring Gloria Onitiri (Grace Jones), Joshua McGuire (Jean Paul Goude), David Ajala (The Burglar), Emily Atack (Debbie Harry) and David Mills (Andy Warhol). Written by Grace Ofori-Attah. Produced by Tom Thostrup and Michael Livingstone at 2LE Media.

Urban Myths: Madonna and Basquait

Before she was famous, Madonna had a short but passionate and influential relationship with Jean Michel Basquiat, a pioneer and darling of the 1980s New York art scene. Basquiat was riding high while Madonna was a coat check girl, but she already had the self-belief to know she had something special. This myth takes place across one night on the New York subway, just before she infamously door-stepped music producer Seymour Stein at his hospital bedside where he signed her on the spot. This is a poignant moment, before Basquiat’s untimely death and just before Madonna broke through to “take over the motherfucking world”.

Starring Sophie Kennedy Clark (Madonna), Calvin Demba (Basquiat), Paul Kaye (Tramp) and David Bamber (Drunk). Written by Sarah Solemani. Directed by Adam Wimpenny and Sarah Solemani. Produced by Adam Morane-Griffiths & Joe Hill at Wildcard Films.

Urban Myths: Paul McCartney

Telling the incredible tale of how Paul McCartney dreamt the melody of ‘Yesterday’. With a dollop of creative licence from writer Simon Nye, this is a heartfelt comedy drama showing how one of the greatest songs of the 20th century came to be. A deeply affectionate look at one of the greatest musicians, and his partnership with John Lennon, examining the cracks that may have changed their musical partnership forever.

Starring Tom Connor (Paul McCartney), James Coward (John Lennon), Joran Scowen (Ringo Starr), Simon Goron (George Harrison), Rosie Day (Jane Asher) and Hugh Dennis (Richard Asher). Written by Simon Nye, produced by Spelthorne Community Television and directed by Simon Delaney.

Urban Myths: Mick Jagger and Princess Margaret

Examining the decades-long friendship between Mick Jagger and Princess Margaret, we find out that Tony Blair submitted Jagger’s name for the Queen’s Honours’ List annually, from 1997 to 2002. However, every year the Queen turned him down. This comic tale travels from London to the Caribbean and dives head-first into the worlds of rock and royalty to ponder exactly why that was.

Starring Jamie Campbell Bower (Mick Jagger), Kelly MacDonald (Princess Margaret). Written by Neil Forsyth. Directed by Ben Palmer. Produced by Jane Bell at Happy Tramp.

Sky teams up with NFTS for Urban Myths Season 3

31st December 2018

Sky Arts has greenlit Urban Myths for a third season.

The anthology series, which takes an offbeat look at real people through imagined scenarios, has seen such notable outings as Gemma Arterton playing Marilyn Monroe, Noel Clarke as Muhammad Ali, Anna Maxwell Martin as Agatha Christie, David Suchet as Salvador Dali and Noel Fielding as Alice Cooper.

Now, some equally creative decisions are taking place behind the camera. The next episode of the series will see students from the National Film and Television School (NFTS) take over the creative reigns. The NFTS have been commissioned to make Season 3’s opening chapter as part of the school’s Bridges to Industry scheme.

The instalment, titles Bleak House Guest, will star Stephen Mangan as Charles Dickens. It will join the already announced Mick and Margaret, which charts Princess Margaret’s 30-year friendship with Mick Jagger.

Morwenna Gordon, commissioning editor for Sky says: “We’re incredibly proud of Bleak House Guest and thoroughly enjoyed the process of working with SLAM and the NFTS on this project. With Stephen Mangan, Ian Hart and Monica Dolan in front of the camera, and a talented crew of NFTS alumni, It will make a world class addition to our next series of Urban Myths.”

Jon Wardle, NFTS director, adds: “We are extremely grateful to Sky Arts for giving our graduates and students this opportunity to create an episode for such a high-profile series. Our Bridges to Industry scheme is such an important aspect of what we do at NFTS, and we couldn’t give our students and graduates this career enhancing experience without the continued support of our industry champions like Sky.”

Bleak House Guest is written by NFTS Screenwriting MA alumna Jess Jackson and produced by Producing MA alumni Laura Jackson, Rob Darnell and James Jose Walker. The crew includes a substantial number of NFTS students and graduates in key creative roles including producer, screenwriter, cinematographer, designer, composer and sound designer. The episode is directed by Robert Delamere and made in collaboration with Slam Films. It stars Stephen Mangan as Charles Dickens, Ian Hart as Hans Christian Andersen and Monica Dolan as Charles Dickens’ long-suffering wife, Catherine. It will air in spring 2019.

Who do these people threatening no Brexit at all think they are?

Brexit: Remain protesters confront people on Nigel Farage’s Brexit ‘betrayal’ march

Nigel Farage at the launch of the so-called Brexit 'betrayal' march in Sunderland
Nigel Farage at the launch of the so-called Brexit ‘betrayal’ march in Sunderland ( Getty Images )

Remain protesters clashed with members of a march launched by Nigel Farage today aimed protesting against a perceived Brexit“betrayal”.

The March to Leave set off from Sunderland on Saturday morning, and will make its way down to London over a 14-day period, arriving in the capital on March 29, where a mass rally will take place on Parliament Square.

Leading a contingent of protesters, Nigel Farage said: “The will of the people is very clear.

“If you see what has been happening in Parliament this week, we may well not be leaving the EU.

“If politicians think they can walk all over us, then we’re going to march back and tell them they can’t. Simple as that.”

Pro EU activists at the start of Nigel Farage’s Brexit ‘betrayal’ march (Getty Images)

The event has been arranged by the Leave Means Leave campaign, and will proceed towards Hartlepool on Saturday, a trip of around 20 miles, before proceeding on to Middlesbrough on Sunday.

The campaign’s website says tickets to be “core marchers”, who pay £50 to get fully-paid accommodation, breakfast and dinner for the duration of the 14-day event, have sold out.

The start of the first leg of the March to Leave the EU (AP)

Angry rows broke out as the march started, with several counter-protesters assembling in order to get their views across. Anti-Brexit campaigners have dubbed Mr Farage’s march the “Gammonball run”.

They were carrying love hearts bearing messages like “we love workers’ rights” and “we love to have a say”, but some marchers responded by calling them “EU money grabbers”.

The counter-protesters were also told to respect the 2016 referendum result, with one man waving a fake blue passport in their direction.

Nigel Farage sets off on the first leg of the 14-stage Brexit march (Getty Images)

As Mr Farage arrived, a flare was set off with the EU colours, with shouts of “exit Brexit” emanating form the counter-protesters.

It is understood that two two advertising vans, made by the anti-Brexit grassroots campaign Led By Donkeys, will also be following the march.

Barry Lockey, who arrived in Sunderland carrying a flag with the message “Get Britain out: Time to leave the EU”, said that the event is about supporting democracy.

He said: “The democracy in the Parliament building has been spot on. They’ve got their no-deal taken off the table by four votes.”

Mr Lockey pointed out that this margin was much smaller than the 4% margin of victory during the EU referendum, which he said is now being discredited.

He added: “I’m sorry, but that really riles me. And they’re not going to get away with it.

“They’re going to get kicked out, them people, and they’re an absolute damned disgrace.”

In contrast, one counter-protester told the Press Association “it’s going to be a disaster if we leave.”

Frank Hindle, 66, said: “We’re here to point out that not everybody agrees with this crowd, who think it’s going to be wonderful if we leave.”

Discussing the no-deal Brexit that many of the marchers are calling for, he said: “The impact that will have on businesses and on prices, and on the availability of things like medicines and so forth, it doesn’t bear thinking about.”

More than 2500 Syrian refugees have settled in Scotland

Syria Conflict: More than 2500 Syrian refugees have settled in Scotland

Edinburgh: Almost a fifth of Syrian refugees have settled in Scotland. Pixabay
Edinburgh: Almost a fifth of Syrian refugees have settled in Scotland. Pixabay

In 2015, the UK Government committed to taking in 20,000 Syrians driven from the country by 2020 – AIWA! NO!

stvnews//Almost a fifth of the Syrian refugees who have come to the UK as part of a special programme have settled in Scotland, according to figures revealed by the SNP.

In 2015, the UK Government committed to taking in 20,000 Syrians driven from the war-torn country by 2020 through the Syrian vulnerable person resettlement programme.

Data obtained by the party from the Scottish Parliament’s Information Centre (SPICe) shows that since 2015, 13,818 refugees have arrived in the UK.

Equalities Secretary Angela Constance meets a Syrian refugee taking part in an English class in Edinburgh (Photo: PA Wire)
Equalities Secretary Angela Constance meets a Syrian refugee taking part in an English class in Edinburgh (Photo: PA Wire)

Of those, 2,562, or 18.5%, have settled in Scotland.

The SNP said the UK Government can and should be doing more to help vulnerable refugees and unaccompanied children.

SNP MSP Ruth Maguire said: “I’m extremely proud that Scotland has risen to its global responsibilities by offering a secure home to refugee families fleeing persecution and conflict.

Syrian refugees say they are happy with Scottish life – and even like the weather

“They have been welcomed by communities across our country, bringing with them diverse skills and interests and enriching our society.

“The UK Government meanwhile has sadly neglected its moral obligations, turning a blind eye to a humanitarian crisis.

“Doing as little as they possibly can to help those in need, the Tories are forcing many of those fleeing war, persecution and terror to take dangerous and illegal routes in the search for safety.

“There is no doubt that the UK can and should do more.”

The UK Government has been contacted for comment.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern confirmed 49 people have been confirmed dead and more than 20 injured after shooters opened fire in two mosques in a terrorist attack in Christchurch today. The prime minister described the attack as one of New Zealand’s “darkest days”. New Zealand police confirmed three suspect are currently in custody following the attack.

Muslims have good reason to be wary of the first words from politicians’ mouths (or Twitter feed) after a terrorist attack- when describing the Christchurch mosque attack, let’s call it what it is — ‘terrorism’

A police officer patrols at a cordon near a mosque in central Christchurch, New Zealand, Friday, March 15, 2019. Multiple people were killed in mass shootings at two mosques full of worshippers attending Friday prayers on what the prime minister called "one of New Zealand's darkest days," as authorities detained four people and defused explosive devices in what appeared to be a carefully planned attack.
A police officer patrols at a cordon near a mosque in central Christchurch, New Zealand, Friday, March 15, 2019. Multiple people were killed in mass shootings at two mosques full of worshippers attending Friday prayers on what the prime minister called “one of New Zealand’s darkest days,” as authorities detained four people and defused explosive devices in what appeared to be a carefully planned attack.Mark Baker/AP Photo

The terror attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand on Friday hit too close to home for me.

Every day I drop my child off at an Islamic school that invites its students on Fridays to attend the beautiful communal prayer services held in the mosque that adjoins it — the same Friday prayer services that worshippers have been attacked at by a white supremacist gunman in Quebec City, and now in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Many Canadian Muslims will attest to the sudden rush of fear they felt after Alexandre Bissonnette opened fire in a Quebec City mosque and killed six people two years ago on Jan. 29. Jewish Canadians in particular would be able to empathize: The feeling was similar after the Tree of Life synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh last year that left 11 dead during morning Shabbat services.

READ MORE: COMMENTARY: You can lock up perpetrators of hate crimes, but the online vitriol that motivates them only grows

In the weeks and months after the Quebec City shooting, I would sit in my car for a few moments after dropping my daughter off at school, in a cloud of jumbled thoughts. What if a deranged shooter entered the school or mosque? Were the administrators prepared to respond to a terror attack? Why was I even choosing to send her to an Islamic school if I knew the risks that came along with it? But if I pulled her out, wouldn’t I be caving into the fear that white supremacists wanted me to feel?

The mosque adjoining the school has been the target of hateful vandalism once before. As upsetting as that incident was, I never felt the community was under threat. But if it happened in Quebec City, why couldn’t it happen in Toronto?

I have no doubt that people across New Zealand and Australia are wondering the same thing. Police in Christchurch called for all mosques in the city to shut down after 49 people were killed and at least 48 were seriously injured, including children, in the shootings at two mosques. Reports indicate that one gunman is an Australian who is believed to have written a manifesto outlining his intentions. In it, he espouses far-right and anti-immigrant ideology.

WATCH: World leaders react to Christchurch mosque attacks

As with coverage of all terror attacks, the narrative — the way a story is shaped and told by the politicians, police and the news media — is crucial to how the public understands it. Importantly, New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described the shootings as a terrorist attack. Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison described the suspected attacker as an “extremist right-wing violent terrorist”.

Why does this matter? Because attacks committed by Muslims are often immediately reported as a terrorist attack, whereas attacks by non-Muslims are pretty much never perceived to be.

Take the example of a shooting at a Las Vegas music festival in 2017 that killed 58 people and left 869 injured. The gunman was a 64-year-old white man. According to the Las Vegas Sheriff, this was clearly a case of mass murder, and although he personally called it a terrorist attack, it didn’t meet the federal definition of one.

READ MORE: FBI finds no motive in Las Vegas mass shooting carried out by Stephen Paddock

A day before that, a police officer in Edmonton was thrown into the air after being hit by a U-Haul truck driven by a Somali Muslim man. Abdulahi Hasan Sharif allegedly stabbed the officer with a knife before running off and hitting four other people with a second car. Police in Edmonton, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Canadian news outlets quickly referred to this story as a terrorist attack, largely because police found what appeared to be an ISIS flag inside the driver’s car. But more than a year later, the suspect has still not been charged with terrorism-related offences.

In other words, if it had been a Muslim gunman, motivated by religious or political ideology, that had attacked a church in New Zealand, the words “terrorist” and “terror attack” would have been used a lot more liberally.

WATCH: Ardern condemns ‘extreme’ ideology of shooting suspects

Muslims have good reason to be wary of the first words that come out of a politician’s mouth (or Twitter feed) after a terrorist attack. After the New Zealand tragedy, Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer was the first Canadian party leader to respond. But his words felt far from empathetic.

Andrew Scheer@AndrewScheer

Freedom has come under attack in New Zealand as peaceful worshippers are targeted in a despicable act of evil. All people must be able to practice their faith freely and without fear. 1/21,5803:08 AM – Mar 15, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacy1,434 people are talking about this

“Freedom has come under attack in New Zealand as peaceful worshippers are targeted in a despicable act of evil,” he posted. “All people must be able to practice their faith freely and without fear.” Writer Andray Domise responded: “You haven’t even named the religion being practiced, or the type of house of worship wherein the people in Christchurch were attacked. Why is that?”

Paul Adams, a journalism professor at Carleton University, noted the aloofness of Scheer’s statement. “By framing this as an attack on freedom, Scheer tries to disassociate himself with the general disgust and condemnation of the incident but direct that feeling away from its obvious target – Islamophobia – to a value associate with his rhetorical line,” he said.

Freelance journalist Davide Mastracci also responded to Scheer by posting an image of him being interviewed by Rebel Media, an overtly racist Canadian far-right political and social commentary site. “Who you choose to spend time with says a lot more than this tweet, where you conveniently leave out that the attack happened at a mosque,” Mastracci wrote.

Words matter — including the ones that are not used.

It’s always worth remembering that horrific events motivated by hate often have a ripple effect, even if they are oceans away. It’s something I’ll be thinking about as I drop off my daughter again to school next week with a heavy heart. But I must also recall the words and acts of compassion our community received after the Quebec City mosque attacks — the protective ring of peace that people of all faiths and none formed around our mosque in freezing temperatures for example — and the subsequent one we formed around a local Toronto synagogue after the Pittsburgh attack.

Love can overcome hate. And if anyone can demonstrate that, it’s Canadians.

Shenaz Kermalli is a freelance journalist and journalism instructor at Ryerson University.