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In the 02/11/2019 edition:

Australian Artists, Promoters Blast NSW Government’s ‘War on Festivals’
By MICHAELANTONIO on Feb 11, 2019 05:11 am

Australia artists and concert promoters are warning that strict new conditions placed on music festivals in New South Wales could wipe out the scene. 

In a letter to the NSW government, Peter Noble, director of the award-winning Bluesfest in Byron Bay, said his event and others were in “peril” due to the contentious new rules, which were intended to curb drug-related deaths at festivals.

Despite scoring many prestigious awards, Noble claims Bluesfest has been tagged as a “high risk event” which will cost them “hundreds of thousands of dollars” to comply, a financial burden his and many festival operators can’t carry. 

“It seems the new policies are poorly thought-out,” writes Noble, “and through their implementation will decimate our industry should our government not see good sense.”

Noble’s comments come days after the Psyfari and Mountain Sounds festivals were canceled, with organizers of the latter alleging they had been “blindsided” by a $200,000 invoice for additional police at the show.

“We, like many of you, have seen the festival climate continue to diminish in Australia. NSW in particular is in dire straits,” reads a statement from Mountain Sounds, which booked a lineup featuring Angus and Julia Stone, Courtney Barnett and others. “This is yet another example of the government’s war on festivals.”

The MSF statement continues, “[We] have been put in an impossible situation as it was unrealistic for us to pull this money together, particularly given the timeframe.” The combination of excessive costs, additional licensing conditions and the enforcement of a stricter timeline “left us no option but to cancel the event,” organizers say.  

Following a spate of drug-related deaths at music festivals, the NSW government recently announced a string of tough new licensing requirements, based on the recommendations from a panel appointed by the state premier, Gladys Berejiklian.

When asked about those new rules and the collapse of Mountain Sounds, Berejiklian appeared to put the blame back on festival organizers. “There are rules in place now for you obey, to make sure everybody who turns up is safe, and if you can’t spend money making your event safer, well that’s a decision for you. But it’s not fair to blame the government,” she told reporters.

New government measures were put in place starting March. “And if organizers don’t want to obey the law,” she continued, “that’s a decision for them. It’s not really fair to use the government as an excuse. You can’t just make a quick dollar without thinking of the safety of young people.”

Bluesfest’s Noble says pressure is now mounting on his own show, which this year will celebrate its 30th anniversary. “I am saying now,” he warns. “Bluesfest will leave NSW. We have no choice it’s a matter of survival.”

Veteran promoters Richie McNeill, Jason Ayoubi and two-time ARIA Award-winning electronic duo Peking Duk joined the chorus of disapproval. “It breaks our heart to say the NSW Government has well and truly crossed the line,” reads a message posted by Peking Duk after Mountain Sounds was scrapped. “Now it’s truly personal, they’ve decided to bin something extremely special to us. Something loved dearly by almost every person on the entire Central Coast of NSW and abroad.”

Peking Duk and others say the solution is simple: vote out Berejiklian and her Liberal party at the March 23 state elections. 


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Breast cancer: Scan younger women at risk, charity says
By MICHAELANTONIO on Feb 11, 2019 04:51 am

Generic picture of a woman receiving a mammogramImage copyright Science Photo Library

Younger women with a family history of breast cancer should receive annual screenings to pick up the disease earlier, a charity says.

Breast Cancer Now funded a study which found cancers were detected sooner when 35 to 39-year-olds at risk had annual mammograms.

NHS screening often starts at the age of 40 for women with a family history.

Experts need to balance the benefits of doing more checks against causing any undue worry or over-treatment.

The study’s authors said that more analysis was needed on the risks, costs and benefits of extending the screening programme.

But Baroness Delyth Morgan, the charity’s chief executive, called for the government’s forthcoming review of NHS screening programmes in England to consider the introduction of scans for women aged 35 to 39 with a family history of breast cancer.

The study, carried out by researchers at the University of Manchester, offered scans to 2,899 women in this age group who were deemed to have a moderate or high risk of the disease after being referred by a GP to a family history clinic.

The screening detected 35 invasive breast cancer tumours, most of which were small and identified before they had reached the lymph nodes – a sign that they had not spread around the body.

Effective detection

In a control group, which did not have the screening, far fewer of the cancers were discovered when they were still small and more had spread to the lymphatic system.

Prof Gareth Evans, the lead author of the study, said the trial demonstrates that annual scans are effective in detecting tumours earlier for this younger age group.

He said overdiagnosis – where people are treated for cancers that are unlikely to prove harmful – was “far less likely” to be an issue with this younger age group.

Image caption Baroness Morgan was made a life peer in 2004

“For women with a family history, removing a non-invasive tumour so early in their lives is likely to be a cancer preventive,” Professor Evans said.

The study did not include women who had specific gene mutations which can increase the risk of the disease.

The charity says regular MRI scans – as is currently recommended – remains the best option for those with faulty BRCA or TP53 genes.

Lives cut ‘heartbreakingly short’

The 3 Week Diet

If annual mammograms for at risk younger women were made widely available across all four of the UK’s NHS services, it could affect up to 86,000 women, the researchers said.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK, with about 55,000 women being diagnosed each year and 11,500 dying from the disease.

Between 5% and 15% of breast cancers are linked to a family history of the illness.

“We’ve long known that a family history can define a woman’s risk, and that breast cancer can be more aggressive in younger women,” said Baroness Morgan.

“So if we can intervene earlier for those at higher risk through annual screening, we believe we may be able to stop the disease cutting so many women’s lives so heartbreakingly short.”

An NHS England spokeswoman said possible changes to the screening programme will be considered in the review.

She said: “Breast cancer survival is at its highest ever and with improved screening a key focus of the NHS long-term plan, even more cancers will be diagnosed earlier.”

Who gets breast screening?

  • Women are routinely offered screening when they reach the age of 50 – they will get an invite every three years until their 71st birthday
  • The NHS is doing a trial of extending routine screening to some women aged 47-73
  • If you have an increased risk of breast cancer because you carry certain genes or have close relatives who have had breast cancer, you may be offered yearly checks. Speak with your doctor about the best options for you

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Grammys Exclude XXXTentacion, Scott Hutchison, Pete Shelley From 2019 “In Memoriam”
By MICHAELANTONIO on Feb 11, 2019 12:22 am

The 61st Annual Grammy Awards took place on Sunday, February 10 at the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles. The yearly “In Memoriam” segment, celebrating musicians and notable music industry individuals who have died, included figures such as Aretha Franklin, Mac Miller, and Avicii. Notable exclusions from this year’s televised segment included XXXTentacion, Buzzcocks’ Pete Shelley, Frightened Rabbit’s Scott Hutchison, Pegi Young, Richard Swift, and Anticon co-founder Alias.

XXXTentacion, Shelley, Hutchison, Young, Swift, Alias, and many others are on a longer list of artists that the Recording Academy posted Sunday. This year’s list also includes the Fall’s Mark E. Smith, who was omitted last year, as well as Dolores O’Riordan and Hugh Masekela, who were both honored during last year’s ceremony.

Follow all of Pitchfork’s coverage of this year’s Grammy Awards.

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Klobuchar on Staff Abuse Claims: ‘Yes, I Can Be Tough’
By MICHAELANTONIO on Feb 10, 2019 10:57 pm

After the announcement of her intentions to run for president on Sunday, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) responded to a question about reports she has been abusive towards former staff members.

The 2020 Democratic presidential candidate did not deny she has been “tough” on her staffers, brushing it off as having “high expectations” for those that work for her and for the United States.

“[Y]es, I can be tough and push people, I know that. … And I have, I’d say, high expectations for myself, I have high expectations for people that work for me, but I have high expectations for this country,” Klobuchar told MSNBC.

Follow Trent Baker on Twitter @MagnifiTrent

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Chelsea Clinton Slams Democrat Ilhan Omar for Antisemitism
By MICHAELANTONIO on Feb 10, 2019 10:22 pm

Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton called out Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) on Sunday evening for using an anti-Jewish stereotype when she alleged that members of Congress had been paid to support Israel.

Omar began by tweeting “It’s all about the Benjamins baby” in response to a comment by left-wing Israel critic Glenn Greenwald in which he lamented that Congress in general, and Republicans in particular, supported Israel.

Omar’s response triggered a torrent of criticism — including from left-wing pundits critical of Israel.

The first-term Minnesota Democrat — whom Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) promoted to the House Foreign Affairs Committee last month — answered:

Omar’s reference to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) referred to a common theme in antisemitic commentary on the extreme left and right. AIPAC is a lobby group that does not donate to candidates.

Ungar-Sargon, among others, was not impressed:

In the ensuing Twitter melée, Omar retweeted a left-wing journalist who said of her comments: “She might as well call us hook-nosed.” She apparently only noticed the first part of his tweet, where he echoed her criticism of Israel.

Ilhan Omar retweet (Screenshot / Twitter)

The 3 Week Diet

Ilhan Omar retweet (Screenshot / Twitter)

Eventually, Chelsea Clinton weighed in:

That drew a response from others on the left, who continued to slam AIPAC.

AIPAC is not “aligned” with any particular Israeli government, but rather supports the U.S.-Israel alliance in general.

Others were even more abusive — and Clinton stood her ground against Omar’s “anti-Semitic language and tropes”:

Nevertheless, Chelsea Clinton responded by promising to “reach out” to Omar:

Omar replied to the overturn by suggesting her critics were attacking her for her Muslim faith:

At no point did Omar acknowledge that what she had said was in any way antisemitic or offensive.

Chelsea Clinton’s husband, Marc Mezvinsky, is Jewish.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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Number of Anchor Babies in 10 States More Than 4X Boston Population
By MICHAELANTONIO on Feb 10, 2019 09:28 pm

The number of United States-born children of illegal aliens in ten states is more than four times the total population of Boston, Massachusettes, data reveals.

The U.S.-born children of illegal aliens are commonly known as “anchor babies,” as they “anchor” their illegal alien and noncitizen parents in the U.S. when they are granted immediate birthright citizenship.

There are at least 4.5 million anchor babies in the country, a population that exceeds the total number of annual American births, as about 300,000 anchor babies are born every year, exceeding the total number of American births in 48 states.

Currently, the U.S. and Canada are the only developed nations in the world that offer unrestricted birthright citizenship.

Data compiled by the Migration Policy Institute finds there are more than 2.9 million anchor babies under the age of 18 years old in these ten states: California, Texas, New York, Florida, Illinois, Georgia, North Carolina, New Jersey, Arizona, and Washington.

The anchor baby population in these ten states, alone, is more than four times the size of Boston’s population — where about 685,000 residents live. The anchor baby population in these ten states is also more than six times the population of Miami, more than five times the population of Wyoming, and about 44 times the population of Portland, Maine.

(Migration Policy Institute)

Wide-ranging analysis by Center for Immigration Studies researcher Steven Camarotta reveals there are an estimated 28,000 births to illegal aliens every year in the Los Angeles metro area, exceeding the total number of U.S. births in 14 states and the District of Columbia, Breitbart News reported.

About one-in-five U.S. births — or 791,000 — are to legal and illegal immigrant mothers, with legal immigrant mothers accounting for about 12.4 percent of those births and illegal alien mothers accounting for 7.5 percent.

The Supreme Court, however, has never explicitly ruled that the children of illegal aliens must be granted automatic citizenship and many legal scholars dispute the idea. Trump promised last year to end birthright citizenship through executive action, but the order has yet to be revealed or signed.

At the same time, newly released data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) found in 2017 all but two states in the U.S. had birth rates below replacement level. The total U.S. birth rate was about 1.765 children per woman. At least 2.1 children per woman are needed to replace the current population of the country without experiencing population decreases.

In all 50 states and the District of Colombia, it is reported that white women had birth rates below replacement level. The highest birth rate among women was in Utah. The white birth rate in Utah was about 2.0 children per woman.

The U.S. birth rate is now less than half of what it was in the 1950s.

Republicans and Democrats have yet to propose a plan to help increase the birth rate among native-born American citizens. Countries like Hungary, on the other hand, are proposing plans to incentivize their citizens to have children — rather than relying on mass legal immigration like the U.S. — by pledging to eliminate all income taxes for any citizen women that have four or more children.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.

The 3 Week Diet

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Grammys: Michelle Obama Gets Standing Ovation with Surprise Appearance
By MICHAELANTONIO on Feb 10, 2019 09:03 pm

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Grammy Awards kicked off Sunday with a group of powerful women, including Michelle Obama and Lady Gaga, describing the role of music in their lives — a display that came a year after female voices were somewhat muted at the 2018 ceremony.

“Music has always helped me tell my story,” Obama said at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. “Whether we like country or rap or rock, music helps us share ourselves. It allows us to hear one another.”

Gaga told the crowd: “They said I was weird, that my look, that my choices, that my sound wouldn’t work. But music told me not to listen to them.”
Jada Pinkett Smith and Jennifer Lopez also spoke and stood in solidary with Obama, Gaga and Alicia Keys, who is hosting the show airing on CBS.

“Yes, ladies,” Keys said. “There’s nothing better than this.”

The opening contrasted with last year’s Grammys, where male acts dominated in nominations and the only woman competing for the top award, Lorde, didn’t get a chance to perform onstage.

But this year, Gaga, Brandi Carlile and Kacey Musgraves won multiple Grammys.

Carlile won three honors in the Americana category and will compete for the three biggest awards during the live show: album, song and record of the year.

Gaga also won three, including best pop duo/group performance, a win she shared with Bradley Cooper.

“Thank you so much. I got to thank God, thank you for looking out for me. Thank you for my family,” she said. “I wish Bradley was here with my right now.”

Gaga, now a nine-time Grammy winner, won best pop solo performance for “Joanne,” while hit “Shallow,” from “A Star is Born,” was named best song written for visual media. The song is nominated for an Oscar and also won at the Golden Globes, Critics’ Choice Movie Awards and the Satellite Awards.

Women have a strong presence in the top categories. Five of the eight album-of-the-year nominees are women, including Carlile’s “By the Way, I Forgive You,” Janelle Monae’s “Dirty Computer,” Cardi B’s “Invasion of Privacy,” Musgraves’ “Golden Hour,” and H.E.R.’s self-titled album are also in contention.

Six of the best-new-artist nominees are women, including H.E.R., Chloe x Halle, Margo Price, Dua Lipa, Bebe Rexha and Jorja Smith.

When asked about the lack of women in the top categories at the 2018 Grammys, Recording Academy CEO Neil Portnow said women need to “step up.” He later acknowledged that it was a “poor choice of words,” and his much-criticized remarks forced the academy to launch a new task force focused on inclusion and diversity.

The 3 Week Diet

Ariana Grande won her first Grammy in the same week that she publicly blasted Grammys producer Ken Ehrlich and accused him of lying about why she was no longer performing at the show.

“I know i’m not there tonight (trust, i tried and still truly wished it had worked out tbh) and i know i said i try not to put too much weight into these things …. but (expletive) ……. this is wild and beautiful. thank you so much,” she tweeted after learning about her win.

Childish Gambino, Tori Kelly and Lauren Daigle won two awards each. Beyonce, Jay-Z, Ella Mai, H.E.R., Pharrell Williams, Hugh Jackman, Stingy, Shaggy, Dave Chappelle, “Weird Al” Yankovic, the late Chris Cornell, Greta Van Fleet and even former President Jimmy Carter also picked up early awards ahead of the live show.

There was a tie for best rap performance, and Drake was surprisingly not one of the winners. Drake’s “Nice for What” lost to Anderson Paak’s “Bubblin’” and Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock, Future and James Blake’s “King’s Dead,” from the “Black Panther” soundtrack.

Beck was a double winner during the pre-telecast, taking home best alternative music album and best engineered album (non-classical) for “Colors.” Emily Lazar, one of the engineers who worked on the album and won alongside Beck, said onstage that she was the first female mastering engineer to win in the latter category.

Several big stars are not attending the Grammys, including Grande, Taylor Swift, Kendrick Lamar, the top nominee with eight, and Drake, nominated for seven awards.

Drama has surrounded the Grammys around its Motown Records tribute: Some people complained when a promo aired on CBS showing Jennifer Lopez as the act set to honor the legendary record label, which launched the careers of the Jackson 5, the Supremes, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and more.

Some complained that a black artist should be involved in the tribute, while others said stronger vocalists should perform over Lopez. A representative for the Grammys didn’t return an email seeking clarification about the tribute.

Camila Cabello kicked off the show with a performance featuring J Balvin, Ricky Martin and Young Thug.

Others set to perform Sunday included Cardi B, Dolly Parton, Lady Gaga, Travis Scott, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Diana Ross, Dan + Shay, H.E.R., Little Big Town, Post Malone and Chloe x Halle. Yolanda Adams, Fantasia and Andra Day will honor the late Aretha Franklin with a performance.

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Democrat Ilhan Omar Uses Anti-Jewish Smear About Money: ‘She Might as Well Call Us Hook-Nosed’
By MICHAELANTONIO on Feb 10, 2019 08:58 pm

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) launched a new antisemitic volley on Twitter on Sunday, accusing a pro-Israel group of buying influence in Congress, and referring to an offensive Jewish stereotype that even fellow critics of Israel found abhorrent.

Omar began by re-tweeting Glenn Greenwald, co-founder of the Intercept, who has long been hostile to Israel.

Greenwald had criticized House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (D-CA) for his comments to Breitbart News Saturday and other outlets, accusing Democrats of double standards in their reluctance to punish Omar and other Democrats for antisemitic rhetoric when they had eagerly censured Rep. Steve King (R-IA) for racist language.

“Nancy Pelosi has not said a word,” McCarthy told Breitbart News Saturday. “So that means she’s supportive of these actions” by Omar.