music

FILE PHOTO: A trader is reflected in a computer screen displaying the Spotify brand before the company begins selling as a direct listing on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York
FILE PHOTO: A trader is reflected in a computer screen displaying the Spotify brand before the company begins selling as a direct listing on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York, U.S., April 3, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo

April 25, 2019

BENGALURU (Reuters) – Music streaming service Spotify Technology SA said it will remove all songs belonging to one of India’s oldest record labels from its app after they failed to agree on licensing terms, months after the Swedish company’s launch in the country.

According to a court document, Saregama India Ltd filed a petition with the Delhi High Court seeking an injunction against Spotify to stop it from using its songs.

The move comes two months after Spotify launched in India, a price sensitive market already crowded by well-funded local players like JioSaavn and Apple Music.

According to the court document dated April 23, Spotify’s senior counsel said the streaming service would remove all Saregama songs from its app within 10 days.

Spotify said last month it had more than 1 million unique users in India across its free and premium categories within a week of its launch. The company offers a free version supported by ads and a premium ad-free variant that charges users 119 rupees ($1.68) per month.

Spotify declined to comment, while Saregama did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

(Reporting by Chandini Monnappa in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: The logo of TikTok application is seen in this picture illustration
FILE PHOTO: The logo of TikTok application is seen on a screen in this picture illustration taken February 21, 2019. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui/Illustration

April 23, 2019

By Aditya Kalra and Munsif Vengattil

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India’s ban on popular Chinese video app TikTok is resulting in “financial losses” of up to $500,000 a day for its developer, Beijing Bytedance Technology Co, and has put more than 250 jobs at risk, the company said in a court filing seen by Reuters.

TikTok allows users to create and share short videos with special effects and is one of the world’s most popular apps. It has been downloaded by nearly 300 million users so far in India, out of more than 1 billion downloads globally, according to analytics firm Sensor Tower.

Earlier this month, an Indian state court ordered the federal government to prohibit its downloads, saying the app was encouraging pornography. Acting upon instructions from the federal IT ministry, Apple Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google last week removed TikTok from their India app stores.

The developments have dealt a blow to the India growth plans of Bytedance, which is backed by Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp and by private equity. Bytedance, one of the world’s most valuable startups potentially worth around $75 billion, was considering a public listing in Hong Kong this year, sources told Reuters in August.

The ban has also worried the social media industry in India as it sees legal worries mounting if courts increasingly regulate content on their platforms.

In the filing made to India’s Supreme Court on Saturday, Bytedance urged the court to quash the ban and direct the federal IT ministry to tell companies such as Google and Apple to make the app available again on their platforms.

The court filing is not publicly available and its contents have not been previously reported.

Bytedance pegged financial losses at $500,000 each day, which it said includes destruction in the value of its investments and loss of commercial revenue. It added the ban would result in its reputation and goodwill taking a hit with both advertisers and investors.

“Banning has had adverse impact on the user base of this app, losing close to 1 million new users per day … It is estimated that approximately six million requests for downloads could not be effected since the ban came into effect,” the company said in the filing.

A spokesman for TikTok and the federal IT ministry did not respond to requests for comment.

COURT BATTLE, CONTENT WOES

The Supreme Court has so far not provided any interim relief on repeated pleas by Bytedance and referred the case back to the court in southern Tamil Nadu state, where the case will next be heard on Wednesday.

Memes and music videos thrive on TikTok, although some clips show youngsters, some scantily clad, lip-syncing and dancing to popular tunes.

Its growing popularity has drawn criticism from some Indian politicians and parents who say its content is inappropriate. The Tamil Nadu court, which ruled against TikTok after an individual filed a public interest litigation, has said the app could also expose children to sexual predators.

The Supreme Court filing included a table in which Bytedance compared TikTok to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter by listing 13 of its implemented safety features, including parental controls.

A “very minuscule” proportion of TikTok’s videos were considered inappropriate or obscene, the company has said.

“The constitutionally guaranteed fundamental rights of free speech and expression … of numerous Indian citizens have been severely impacted,” the company said in its latest filing.

(Reporting by Aditya Kalra; Editing by Martin Howell and Muralikumar Anantharaman)

Source: OANN

A man smokes while watching Smallpools perform on the third day of the Firefly Music Festival in Dover, Delaware U.S.
A man smokes at the Firefly Music Festival in Dover, Delaware U.S., June 16, 2018. REUTERS/Mark Makela

April 18, 2019

(Reuters) – U.S. Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell said on Thursday he plans to introduce legislation to raise the minimum age for buying tobacco products, including vaping devices, to 21 from 18 to curb their “epidemic” use among teens.

McConnell said https://www.mcconnell.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/pressreleases?ID=C7912202-0742-4404-8775-8836F261DDEF the bill would be introduced in May.

Shares of Marlboro maker Altria Group Inc, which owns a 35 percent stake in e-cigarette maker Juul, fell 3 percent on the news. Philip Morris International and U.S-listed shares of British American Tobacco were also trading lower.

“For some time, I’ve been hearing from the parents who are seeing an unprecedented spike in vaping among their teenage children… Unfortunately, it’s reaching epidemic levels around the country,” the Republican Senator from Kentucky said in a statement.

E-cigarette makers are already under pressure from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which laid out plans in March to clamp down on the use of the popular nicotine devices among teens.

(Reporting by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: The logo of TikTok application is seen on a mobile phone screen in this picture illustration taken
FILE PHOTO: The logo of TikTok application is seen on a mobile phone screen in this picture illustration taken February 21, 2019. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui/Illustration/File Photo

April 16, 2019

By Aditya Kalra and Sudarshan Varadhan

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Google has blocked access to the hugely popular video app TikTok in India to comply with a state court’s directive to prohibit its downloads, a person with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Tuesday.

The move comes hours after a court in southern Tamil Nadu state refused a request by China’s Bytedance Technology to suspend a ban on its TikTok app, putting its future in one of its key markets in doubt.

The state court had on April 3 asked the federal government to ban TikTok, saying it encouraged pornography and made child users vulnerable to sexual predators. Its ruling came after an individual launched a public interest litigation calling for a ban.

The federal government had sent a letter to Apple and Google to abide by the state court’s order, according to an IT ministry official.

The app was still available on Apple’s platforms late on Tuesday, but was no longer available on Google’s Play store in India.

Google said in a statement it does not comment on individual apps but adheres to local laws. Apple did not respond to requests for comment, while TikTok did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Google’s move.

TikTok, which allows users to create and share short videos with special effects, has become hugely popular in India but has been criticized by some politicians who say its content is inappropriate.

It had been downloaded more than 240 million times in India, app analytics firm Sensor Tower said in February. More than 30 million users in India installed it in January 2019, 12 times more than in the same month last year.

Jokes, clips and footage related to India’s thriving movie industry dominate the app’s platform, along with memes and videos in which youngsters, some scantily clad, lip-sync and dance to popular music.

Bytedance challenged the state court’s ban order in India’s Supreme Court last week, saying it went against freedom of speech rights in India.

The top court had referred the case back to the state court, where a judge on Tuesday rejected Bytedance’s request to put the ban order on hold, K. Neelamegam, a lawyer arguing against Bytedance in the case, said.

TikTok earlier said in a statement that it had faith in the Indian judicial system and was “optimistic about an outcome that would be well received by millions” of its users. It did not comment further on the judge’s decision.

The company however welcomed the decision to appoint a senior lawyer to assist the court in upcoming proceedings.

The state court has requested written submissions from Bytedance in the case and has scheduled its next hearing for April 24.

Salman Waris, a technology lawyer at TechLegis Advocates & Solicitors, said the legal action against Bytedance could set a precedent of Indian courts intervening to regulate content on social media and other digital platforms.

In its Supreme Court filing, Bytedance argued that a “very minuscule” proportion of TikTok content was considered inappropriate or obscene.

The company employs more than 250 people in India and had plans for more investment as it expands the business, it said.

(Additional reporting by Sankalp Phartiyal in Mumbai; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani, Susan Fenton and Jan Harvey)

Source: OANN

Firefighters work at Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris
Firefighters work at Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, France April 16, 2019. A massive fire consumed the cathedral on Monday, gutting its roof and stunning France and the world. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

April 16, 2019

By Matthias Blamont and Inti Landauro

PARIS (Reuters) – Firefighters doused the smoldering ruins of Notre-Dame with water on Tuesday, the morning after a raging inferno swept through the gothic cathedral in the heart of Paris as investigators tried to establish what started the fire.

Hundreds of firemen battled the blaze which consumed the roof and collapsed the eight-centuries-old cathedral’s spire for more than eight hours before bringing it under control, saving its bell towers and outer walls. [nL5N21X56Y]

Pockets of fire continued to burn inside the building and thorough checks on the cathedral’s structural soundness would be needed, junior interior minister Laurent Nunez said.

The Paris prosecutor’s office said it had launched an inquiry into the fire. Several police sources said they were working on the assumption for now that the fire was accidental.

“It’s a symbol of our country that risked being destroyed,” Culture Minister Franck Riester told CNews television.

Firefighters who entered the burning cathedral saved many of its treasures, Riester said, although some paintings remained inside and risked smoke and water damage.

The fire tore through the cathedral’s timbered roofing, where workmen were carrying out extensive renovations to collapsed balustrades and crumbling gargoyles and the spire’s wooden frame.

Hundreds of stunned onlookers lined the banks of the Seine river as the fire raged, reciting prayers and singing liturgical music in harmonies late into the night as they stood vigil. [nL5N21X5QJ]

MULTI-MILLION DONATIONS

President Emmanuel Macron promised France would rebuild Notre-Dame, considered among the finest examples of French Gothic cathedral architecture and visited by more than 13 million people annually.

“We will rebuild it together. It will undoubtedly be part of French destiny and our project for the years to come,” Macron said outside the cathedral shortly before midnight.

France’s Fondation du Patrimoine, a charity which works to protect French heritage, is launching an international appeal to raise funds for the rebuilding that is likely to cost hundreds of millions of euros.

Other campaigns were swiftly launched in the United States as well-wishers around the world pledged contributions via social media. [nL1N21X1MC]

Two of France’s wealthiest men, Francois-Henri Pinault, chief executive of the Kering group which owns brands including Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent, and Bernard Arnault, the main shareholder of luxury group LVMH, said they would donate 100 million euros ($113 million) and 200 million euros respectively.

“This tragedy strikes all the French and beyond all those who are attached to spiritual values,” Pinault said in a statement.

A centuries-old crown of thorns made from reeds and gold and the tunic believed to have been worn by Saint Louis, a 13th century king of France, were saved, Notre-Dame’s top administrative cleric, Monsignor Patrick Chauvet, said.

Copper statues representing the Twelve Apostles and four evangelists were removed by crane last week as part of the renovation work.

American tourist Susan Hargrove said she’d been left breathless by the scale of devastation.

“We are talking of world history, of our Western culture but also of something that is truly universal,” Hargrove said. “Notre-Dame means something to everybody.”

($1 = 0.8843 euros)

(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta, Inti Landauro, Richard Lough, Sarah White; Writing by Richard Lough; Editing by Leigh Thomas and Raissa Kasolowsky)

Source: OANN

Aretha Franklin received an honorary Pulitzer Prize on Monday, as judges praised the Queen of Soul “for her indelible contribution to American music and culture.” Competitive Pulitzers were awarded to books about two other giants of American history: Frederick Douglass and Alain Locke.

David W. Blight’s 900-page “Frederick Douglass” was named the best work of history, while the biography prize went to Jeffrey C. Stewart’s “The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke.” Richard Powers’ innovative novel “The Overstory,” which shows us the world through the perspective of nature, won for fiction. The drama prize went to “Fairview,” by Jackie Sibblies Drury, and Eliza Griswold’s “Amity and Prosperity: One Family and the Fracturing of America” won for general nonfiction. Ellen Reid’s opera “p r i s m,” which tackles sexual and emotional abuse, was given the music award, and Forrest Gander’s elegiac “Be With” the poetry prize.

Franklin, who died last summer, was the first woman singled out for an honorary Pulitzer, which has been given to Bob Dylan and John Coltrane among others. The lives of Franklin, Douglass and Locke spanned and helped define more than a century of political and social change: Douglass was the country’s leading abolitionist of the 19th century, Locke the so-called “Dean” of the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s and 1930s and Franklin a transcendent and inspiring voice of the civil rights and feminist movements of the 1960s and 1970s.

“I think one of the through-lines of those three lives is music,” says Stewart, whose Locke biography also won a National Book Award.

“Frederick Douglass was one of the first people to provide an intellectual portrait of the spirituals, to show they were not just religious music, but statements of humanity and longing for freedom among the slaves. For Locke, spirituals were his favorite musical forms because they had that religious-philosophical dimension of the black experience, culled into a unique aesthetic form. And then you think of Aretha Franklin, who came out of gospel and brought into it popular music. So you can see a real continuum.”

Drury’s “Fairview” brings the story of African-Americans into the present, skewering white people’s obsession with black stereotypes. It begins as a contemporary domestic comedy involving a well-off black family and ends with the invisible fourth wall destroyed and the audience pulled down a rabbit hole of race and identity. The Pulitzer board called it a “hard-hitting drama that examines race in a highly conceptual, layered structure, ultimately bringing audiences into the actors’ community to face deep-seated prejudices.”

Powers, 61, has long been praised by critics and fellow writers for his blend of science, literature and technology; Margaret Atwood has likened his gifts and ambitions to Herman Melville’s. The Pulitzer for fiction could well bring commercial success to the author, whose previous works include “The Echo Maker,” winner of the National Book Award.

“The Overstory,” shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, is a case of an author’s life changing a book and a book changing his life. The author was teaching at Stanford University when he began the novel, six years ago, with the idea of telling a story through non-human protagonists. For research, he visited the Smoky Mountains and was so overwhelmed he ended up moving to a home on the Tennessee side of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

“I’ve been itinerant for much of my life, and this was the first time I really felt I belonged to one place,” he said. “From here on out, I can’t imagine writing anything that isn’t under the spell of this book.”

Source: NewsMax America

The German share price index DAX graph at the stock exchange in Frankfurt
FILE PHOTO: The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, April 8, 2019. REUTERS/Staff

April 15, 2019

By Agamoni Ghosh

(Reuters) – European shares ended higher on Monday with telecom and retail stocks leading gains as Sino-U.S. trade optimism and strong Chinese economic data eased some worries over global growth – though lackluster earnings from big U.S. banks weighed.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose for the fourth straight session, hovering near eight-month highs with most indices in the region gaining, apart from Britain’s FTSE 100 which lost ground as miners and oil majors fell.

Markets cheered the progress in trade talks after U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Saturday he hoped that the United States and China were close to the final round of negotiations.

Reuters reported that U.S. negotiators had tempered demands that China curb industrial subsidies as a condition for a deal after strong resistance from Beijing.

“Growth worries will continue to be shrugged off as long as trade talks go well and central banks continue to support monetary policy,” said David Madden, an analyst at CMC Markets, London.

Investors are bracing for earnings to come later in the week and will also be scrutinizing data – including Germany’s ZEW survey and Chinese gross domestic product due on Wednesday.

Bank stocks, which led gains earlier in the day on last week’s earnings beat from JP Morgan, slipped after lackluster results from Goldman Sachs and Citigroup.

“We do see a bit of pressure on Eurozone banks because of those earnings,” said Madden.

Shares in Danish healthcare company Ambu rose more than 7 percent, making it the biggest gainer on the STOXX 600, after the U.S. FDA said products produced by some of its rivals had higher than expected levels of contamination.

French media conglomerate Vivendi closed at a more than 11-year high after it posted higher first-quarter revenue and said it was forging ahead with the planned sale of up to 50 percent of its UMG music arm.

Shares of Norwegian metals maker Norsk Hydro rose to more than two-month highs after the company won further support for its bid to resume full output from its Alunorte alumina refinery in Brazil.

Italian media group Mediaset and its German rival ProSiebenSat.1 Media rose on merger speculation, even though both companies denied they were in talks.

The biggest drag on the STOXX were basic resources stocks with London-listed shares of Rio Tinto falling more than 1 percent. The mining company is due to release its production data for the March quarter later in the week.

Finland’s Nokia weighed on the Helsinki and the euro zone blue chips index after Goldman Sachs downgraded the stock to “sell”.

Nestle, trading without entitlement to its latest dividend pay-out, dragged down the food & beverages index.

Compass Group was among the biggest weights on London’s blue-chip index after Barclays downgraded shares of the world’s largest caterer to “equal-weight”.

(Reporting by Medha Singh,Susan Mathew and Agamoni Ghosh in Bengaluru; Editing by Alison Williams and Andrew Heavens)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Saida Mirziyoyeva, daughter of Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, watches the International Music Festival
FILE PHOTO: Saida Mirziyoyeva, daughter of Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, watches the International Music Festival “Melody of the East” in Samarkand, Uzbekistan August 28, 2017. Picture taken August 28, 2017. REUTERS/Mukhammadsharif Mamatkulov

April 12, 2019

ALMATY (Reuters) – The elder daughter of Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev has been appointed deputy head of a newly established state agency in charge of communications and media regulation, the agency said in a statement on Friday.

Saida Mirziyoyeva joins a cohort of offspring of Central Asian leaders given senior posts. In neighboring Kazakhstan, Dariga Nazarbayeva, the eldest daughter of veteran leader Nursultan Nazarbayev, became speaker of the upper chamber of parliament last month following her father’s resignation.

Official sources provide no information on Mirziyoyeva’s age or background, only mentioning that she is married and has three children.

President Mirziyoyev established the agency where she will work in February, tasking it with coordinating communications by state bodies and safeguarding media freedoms.

Mirziyoyev’s second daughter, Shakhnoza, is also a public servant and holds a mid-level post in the ministry of pre-school education. Little is known about Mirziyoyev’s son Alisher other than that he is much younger than his sisters.

Mirziyoyev took over leadership of Central Asia’s most populous nation, with a population of 32 million, in 2016 following the death of President Islam Karimov, who had run it for 27 years.

(Reporting by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Frances Kerry)

Source: OANN

The son of a sheriff’s deputy was charged with burning down three predominately black churches in southern Louisiana over the past two weeks, officials said on Thursday, saying they acted quickly out of concern he would strike again.

Holden Matthews, 21, a white resident of St. Landry Parish, the county where the fires occurred, was charged with three counts of simple arson on religious buildings, each count of which carries a prison sentence of up to 15 years, Louisiana Fire Marshal H. “Butch” Browning said.

“We are extremely, unequivocally confident that we have the person who is responsible for these tragic crimes on these three churches,” Browning told a news briefing in Opelousas, Louisiana, about 60 miles (97 km) west of Baton Rouge.

Matthews, the son of Deputy Roy Matthews of the St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office, was taken into custody late Wednesday, about 12 hours after he was identified as a suspect, Browning said.

“We felt that other crimes were imminent,” he said. “In an abundance of public safety, we quickly secured warrants and took him into custody.”

The three churches destroyed by the fires have mostly black congregations, raising authorities’ suspicion that the fires may be racially motivated hate crimes. No federal hate crime charges have been filed against Matthews so far.

Noting the history of black church burnings in the South, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said the current episode was “especially painful because it reminds us of a very dark past of intimidation and fear.”

Edwards said the crimes appeared to be unrelated to the March 31 burning of a predominantly white church in another parish.

While investigators were still exploring motives, Browning said that Matthews had “a relationship with a type of music called black metal,” an extreme subgenre of heavy metal. Black metal has an association with church burnings in other parts of the world, he said.

Officials, including those from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, said the investigation was ongoing.

The fires set between March 26 and April 4 destroyed St. Mary Baptist Church in Port Barre, and Greater Union Baptist Church and Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in Opelousas.

St. Landry Parish Sheriff Bobby Guidroz said he believed his deputy was unaware of Holden Matthews’ involvement in the fires.

“Roy Matthews is one of my best friends, a great deputy,” Guidroz said.

Source: NewsMax America

Mourners begin to arrive at Staples Center ahead of a memorial for rapper Nipsey Hussle in Los Angeles
Mourners begin to arrive at Staples Center ahead of a memorial for rapper Nipsey Hussle in Los Angeles, California, April 11, 2019. REUTERS/Patrick T. Fallon

April 11, 2019

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Thousands of people streamed into a public memorial in Los Angeles on Thursday for slain rapper Nipsey Hussle, who was gunned down in the city last month.

Free tickets were all snapped up this week for the two-hour event at the 21,000-capacity Staples Center, a popular sports and pop concert venue. Performers have not been announced.

Fans, many wearing T-shirts bearing Hussle’s face, or carrying flowers, lined up early to get into the Downtown venue, watched by dozens of police in cars, on motorcycles and on bicycles.

The memorial will be livestreamed on Black Entertainment Television (BET) and followed by a 25-mile long procession through the streets of south Los Angeles where the musician was raised and shot dead on March 31.

Security was tight in and around the Staples Center because of Hussle’s former connections with some of Los Angeles notorious street gangs. A stampede erupted at a local vigil for Hussle last week after reports of a gunman in the crowd.

More recently Hussle, 33, had parlayed his fame into a role as a community organizer and activist combating gang violence. He was shot outside a clothing store he owned in south Los Angeles.

Los Angeles police last week arrested a 29-year-old man who has pleaded not guilty to murder charges. Police said the shooting was motivated by a personal dispute between Hussle and the suspect, Eric Ronald Holder, although they said it took place against a surge in gang-related violence and shootings in south Los Angeles in March.

Hussle, whose real name was Ermias Asghedom, was Grammy-nominated earlier this year for his debut studio album “Victory Lap.”

(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Richard Chang)

Source: OANN


Current track

Title

Artist