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Baltimore bridge collapse draws comparisons to Obama-produced film about cargo ship cyberattack

Images from the shocking bridge collapse in Baltimore have drawn comparisons online to a recent film produced by Barack and Michelle Obama about a cargo ship under cyberattack. The White House has said the incident involving the cargo ship that plowed into Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge was not believed to have had nefarious intent and showed no signs of terrorism or cyberattacks. But online users pointed out similarities between images of the collapse and a scene from “Leave The World Behind,” the first fictional film Barack and Michelle Obama produced for Netflix. There is a scene in the film, directed by Sam Esmail and starring Julia Roberts, Mahershala Ali, Kevin Bacon and Ethan Hawke, where an oil tanker, named the White Lion, crashes onto the beachfront amid a crowd of horrified tourists. “In 2023, the Obamas produced a movie called Leave the World Behind, where a cyberattack causes a massive container ship to lose power & crash,” Matt Wallace wrote to his 1.6 million followers on X.” Months later a massive container ship loses power & crashes into Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, CAUSING A DEADLY COLLAPSE.” BALTIMORE BRIDGE COLLAPSE: DETAILS EMERGE ABOUT 6 PRESUMED DEAD AS HARROWING AUDIO IS RELEASED Another user, @GoodShepherd316, shared with his 89,500 followers a still from the movie scene showing the ship running ashore on a beach, and another photo similarly showing the Singapore-flagged Dali crashing through Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge. “In the movie, ‘Leave the World Behind’ a massive cargo ship loses power and crashes onto a beach. Coincidentally, a cargo ship loses power and crashes into the Francis Scott Bridge. Was this predictive programming ? My friends, we are living in the days of deception. Call on JESUS,” the user wrote. According to its Netflix description, the movie is about a family’s getaway to a luxurious rental home taking an ominous turn when a cyberattack knocks out their devices – and two strangers arrive at their door. Under the same roof, the families are confronted with strange apocalyptic events, including plane crashes, herds of deer filing into the backyard and one of the children’s teeth mysteriously falling out. One of the characters begins to theorize the events “could be the result of a military campaign intended to destabilize a nation by forcing people to turn against each other,” according to Vanity Fair. “Leave The World Behind,” released in 2023, is the first fictional movie executive produced by the former president and first lady through their Higher Ground Productions company, which has a multi-year deal with Netflix. Investigators began collecting evidence Wednesday from Baltimore Harbor, and divers searched through twisted metal for six construction workers feared dead. The investigation picked up speed as the Baltimore region reeled from the sudden loss of a major transportation link that is part of the highway loop around the city. The disaster also closed the port that is vital to the city’s shipping industry. Officials with the National Transportation Safety Board boarded the ship and planned to recover information from its electronics and paperwork, NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy said. The agency also is reviewing the voyage data recorder recovered by the Coast Guard and building a timeline of what led to the crash, which federal and state officials have said appeared to be an accident. The ship’s crew issued a mayday call early Tuesday, saying they had lost power and the vessel’s steering system just minutes before striking one of the bridge’s columns. TRANSPORTATION SEC BUTTIGIEG SAYS GOV’T MUST ‘TEAR DOWN’ BARRIERS TO REBUILD BALTIMORE BRIDGE Video showed the ship moving at what Maryland Gov. Wes Moore said was about 9 mph toward the 1.6-mile bridge. Traffic was still moving across the span, and some vehicles appeared to escape with only seconds to spare. The crash caused the span to break and fall into the water within seconds. The last-minute warning from the ship allowed police just enough time to stop traffic on the interstate highway. One officer parked sideways across the lanes and planned to drive onto the bridge to alert a construction crew once another officer arrived. But he did not get the chance as the powerless vessel barreled into the bridge. Attention also turned toward the container ship Dali and its past. Synergy Marine Group, which manages the ship, said the crash happened while it was under the control of one or more pilots, who are local specialists who help guide vessels safely in and out of ports. The ship, which was headed from Baltimore to Sri Lanka, is owned by Grace Ocean Private Ltd., and Danish shipping giant Maersk said it had chartered the vessel. The vessel passed foreign port state inspections in June and September. In the June inspection, a faulty monitor gauge for fuel pressure was rectified before the vessel departed the port, Singapore’s port authority said in a statement Wednesday. The ship was traveling under the Singapore flag, and officials there said they will be conducting their own investigation in addition to supporting U.S. authorities. The sudden loss of a major transportation link that loops around the city and carries 30,000 vehicles a day and the disruption of a vital shipping port will affect not only thousands of dockworkers and commuters but also U.S. consumers who are likely to experience shipping delays. CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP At least eight people went into the water when the bridge went down. Two were rescued, but the other six, part of a construction crew that had been filling potholes on the bridge, were missing and presumed dead. Among the missing were people from Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico, according to diplomats from those countries. Three Mexicans were on the bridge. One was rescued, and two are missing, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said. The Port of Baltimore is a busy entry point along the East Coast for new vehicles made in Germany, Mexico, Japan and the United Kingdom, along with coal and farm equipment. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Caitlin Clark of Iowa heads to Sweet 16 of March Madness with career, single-season scoring records

Clark passed the late Pete Maravich of LSU (3,667) on March 3 to become the career D-I scoring leader among men or women. Clark has announced she will skip her final season of eligibility and enter to the WNBA draft in April. She will be the presumptive No. 1 pick by the Indiana Fever. LAST TIME OUT Clark scored 32 points for Iowa in a 64-54 win over West Virginia in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in Iowa City, Iowa, on March 25. Clark shot 8 of 22 from the field, including 5 of 14 on 3-pointers, and made 11 of 12 free throws. She also had eight rebounds and three assists in her final home game. UP NEXT No. 1 seed Iowa will play No. 5 Colorado in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Albany 2 Regional in Albany, New York, on March 30 at 2:30 p.m. Eastern. HOW TO WATCH The game will be televised by ABC and carried on ESPN’s streaming platforms. WHO ARE THE ALL-TIME CAREER SCORERS? Lynette Woodard had 3,649 points for Kansas from 1977-81, before the NCAA took over women’s sports from the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women. Clark earlier this season passed Kelsey Plum for the women’s NCAA career scoring record.

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IRS has $1 billion in 2020 tax refunds. Time is running out to collect.

Typically, the IRS doesn’t have to chase taxpayers to claim a refund. As soon as the filing season opens, millions of Americans submit their 1040s to collect what they’re owed. As of March 15, the average refund was $3,109, up 6 percent from the same period last year. But there are always folks who never make it to the filing part, leaving their refunds unclaimed. For the 2020 tax year, the IRS estimates nearly 940,000 people are collectively owed some $1 billion.

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UNITED STATES-POLITICS-NYC Mayor, faith leaders appeal to US for more urgent aid for Haiti

Follow Follow Us Home News Full News Sports Full Sports Business Politics Features Press Releases Headline News Interviews Contact Us CaribVision Archives 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 TRENDING About Us Advertise With Us Job Opportunities Membership Login Home » News » Full News » Politics » UNITED STATES-POLITICS-NYC Mayor, faith leaders appeal to US for more urgent aid for Haiti UNITED STATES-POLITICS-NYC Mayor, faith leaders appeal to US for more urgent aid for Haiti by staff writer March 27, 2024 Politics No Comments 64views By Nelson A. King NEW YORK, Mar 27, CMC – New Y… You are unauthorized to view this page. Username Password Remember Me Reset Password Follow Us

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The Story Behind the Greatest Chuck Berry Bootleg You May Never Hear

Thirty-eight years ago, the man who more than anyone else invented rock & roll left it all on a stage in Austin, Texas. It was April 27, 1986, and Chuck Berry, then 59, was on the final night of a tour that had him headlining a bill of legacy acts that included Chubby Checker, Martha and the Vandellas, the Shirelles and others. In this era, when Berry was on the road, his typical backing band consisted of “whatever underpaid local rockers the promoter rounded up,” as one biographer put it. But that night in Austin, Berry was backed by Bo Diddley’s famed bassist Debby Hastings. On drums was St. Louis native Mike Mesey, now 66, who played with Berry everywhere around their shared hometown, from Busch Stadium to Blueberry Hill. Mesey recalls the Austin crowd being “on fire,” and that instantly galvanized Berry. “It was a perfect storm. He was in the perfect mood. The crowd just set him off right. He looked back at me, smiled and kicked it in,” Mesey says. Berry opened with “Roll Over Beethoven” and went right into “School Days.” “It was like a freight train from song one,” Mesey says. By the end of the 14-song set, Berry was ad-libbing lyrics along with his guitar riffs. “I love you!” he shouted to the crowd during “Johnny B. Goode,” the show’s penultimate number. “You’re all my rock children!” The real gem of the night was the closer, a version of “Reelin’ and Rockin'” that went on for more than twelve minutes (the studio version runs about three minutes). The horn section from one of the night’s previous acts came up and started jamming. The brass players riffed over Berry’s guitar licks. Audience members got on stage and started dancing. The technician working the mixing board that night recorded the show. He handed the tape over to the promoter who, about a month later, gave it to Mesey. “I always say to myself, I think it’s like the greatest rock live version caught on tape of Chuck,” says Mesey. And now, Mesey is determined to bring that show in Austin to Berry fans across the world — a quest for which he’s spared little effort or expense. There’s just one problem. Without the blessing of either Universal Music Group, which owns most of Berry’s recordings, or the Berry estate, it is unclear if Mesey has the right to release the bootleg he’s spent two years toiling over. Mesey says that between 1986 and 2021, he occasionally retrieved the tape from his home safe to play it for others. Those impromptu audiences were always blown away. During those decades Mesey enjoyed a robust touring and studio career working with bands such as REO Speedwagon and Head East. Then, at the end of 2021, with COVID causing a lull in Mesey’s schedule, he decided he wanted to do something with the Berry tape. “I got to thinking, instead of calling somebody and saying, ‘Hey, I want to do this and I want to do that,’ I thought to myself, just get it all completed and get it perfect, then go to everybody and say, ‘It’s finished,'” Mesey says. It’s a strategy that has yielded an immaculate recording … but one that few people may ever hear. It took two years and Mesey spending, in his calculation, “six figures” out of his own pocket to bring the bootleg tape’s technical quality up to par with the performance it captures. The live recording of the show was all captured on one single track on a shoddy cassette. The tempo of the recording started speeding up in places; the keys changed. All that had to be corrected. Working at first in St. Louis and then later at Abbey Road in London, Mesey was able to separate the vocals, guitar, bass and drums into three individual tracks. He then gave the product what he calls a more modern rock mix. “Rock & roll lovers around the world will just get a blast out of hearing that,” Mesey says. He has a point. Mesey made several clips of the would-be live album available to the RFT, and his work has clearly paid off. The treble of Berry’s guitar sounds as good as ever and, especially when listening with headphones, the rhythm section is absolutely ripping along behind it. The remixed recording is the embodiment of a whole being greater than the sum of its parts. “Nobody knows it’s here,” Mesey says. “Nobody knows how good it is.” Mesey titled the would-be live album Chuck Rocks Live: All My Rock Children and even designed cover art. But after that, things got tricky, and Mesey needed an engineer of a different sort. He got in touch with Al Watkins, a St. Louis-based attorney with a knack for showing up anywhere that personality, controversy and the legal system collide. “The thought process here was, ‘How do we get this music out there so it can’t not be heard?'” Watkins says. “Every now and then, the double negative is worthwhile.” The majority of Berry’s catalog is owned by Universal Music Group, including most of his signature songs he originally recorded in the 1950s for what was then the Chicago-based Chess Records, which form the core of the April 1986 setlist. And that presents some big problems for someone with a bootleg of his music — even if that person himself is playing on the recording. “He can release anything he wants,” says Michael Nepple, an attorney with Thompson Coburn with expertise in intellectual property law. “The risk is getting nailed on copyright infringement.” Nepple stresses he isn’t familiar with the specifics of All My Rock Children. But after learning of the project in broad strokes, Nepple says, “The drummer is going to have a lot of problems if this goes out.” And the damages could be staggering. Speaking generally, Nepple says individuals whose copyright has been infringed upon can sue for multiple types of damages. One type of legal action would be to recoup any money that someone made off another person’s intellectual property, what is called suing for actual damages. Then there are statutory damages, which, according to Nepple, can run up to $150,000 per infringing work. “So if Chuck Berry ripped out 15 songs, the guy could be on the hook for either actual damages or $150,000 times 15,” Nepple says. For the past year, Mesey and Watkins have been working to get the bootleg album released. Watkins says that they approached Universal Music Group about the project and were told, essentially, thanks but no thanks. One lever might be to get the Berry family on board. How could Universal sue if the Berrys were excited by the project — or even stood to benefit from it? The exact arrangement, if any exists, between the Berry estate and Universal Music Group is not known. But Nepple says it is not unusual for the estate of legacy artists to have struck a deal with entities like Universal wherein the family can give input on what sort of uses the songs can be put to. But when it comes to getting the blessing of the Berry family, Watkins says it’s unclear who the decision-maker for the Berry estate is. “They heard the clips and they loved it,” Mesey says of the family. “They just couldn’t move. I don’t know all the details. But, basically, they just didn’t come back with any kind of [being] able to move forward.” Gary Pierson, an attorney at Capes Sokol, says he represents Berry’s family and “the entity that controls all rights with respect to his music, likeness and all other intellectual property.” Pierson says the family has declined comment. However, that silence is a response in and of itself. Berry’s career is replete with his work being pilfered by others. Perhaps most famously, in 1963 the Beach Boys wrote new lyrics to Berry’s song “Sweet Little Sixteen” and had a mega-hit with “Surfin’ U.S.A.” (Berry biographer RJ Smith wrote that Berry likely heard the pilfered smash hit while in prison in Jefferson City. He was later credited as the song’s writer.) As for others making money off his music, “He didn’t tolerate that at all,” says Wayne Schoeneberg, Berry’s longtime attorney in St. Charles (Schoeneberg is not involved with the estate). “He was very protective of his own intellectual property.” For 20 years, Schoeneberg helped Berry handle issues related to the rights and the licensing of his music. Schoeneberg says Berry had a good business sense, though at times he would turn down deals, even lucrative ones, if they didn’t feel right. “He was just a unique individual and had his own way of addressing everything,” Schoeneberg says. “He and I would frequently disagree on approaches, but he was the boss.” Paul Berry III is the rock & roll star’s great-nephew and also happens to be running for lieutenant governor. He makes clear that he does not represent the Berry estate, but, speaking directly to this issue, says he is alarmed — in more ways than one — by the idea that someone would spend at least $100,000 of their own money and travel to London to work on a record without getting approval from either of the two entities that own the underlying music. “From what is being explained, I would really be concerned about whether he may have mental health issues,” Berry III says. “I would definitely want to pray for his health in that regard.” He adds, “It’s a shame the godfather of rock & roll can’t rest in peace without people pillaging his grave.” Mesey is hardly the first creative person, musician or otherwise, to spend two years and $100,000 on a project that is hardly a sure thing — only to be called crazy. And for the record, he says the effort wasn’t always as quixotic as it appears now. He doesn’t want to go into details, but says that for a while he and attorney Watkins were working with an intermediary to the Berry family, until, for reasons that remain opaque, things “hit a wall.” Mesey is taking it all in stride. Despite the album not even being out in the world, he still says it’s one of the most special things he’s ever done. The reason he’s talking to the RFT and sharing clips of the work is that he’s hoping that once people get a taste of it, they’ll clamor for more. And if that happens, maybe Berry fans from around the world can will the album into existence. “I didn’t go into this to do anything else other than to honor Chuck Berry,” he says. “The world needs to hear this. This is a tape like no other ever recorded.”

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From Karnataka’s Heartland, This Jackfruit Papad Recipe Is For All Foodies Out There

The northern district of Karnataka is celebrated for its array of unique delicacies, among which the Halasina Happala (Jackfruit Papad) holds a special place. While jackfruit chips are a familiar sight, papad offers a distinct culinary experience. During the summer, locals craft these happalas, or papads, preserving them in a dry environment for year-round enjoyment. This versatile dish complements roti, chapati, and various rice dishes, serving as a delectable side to any main course. Crafted from Halasinakai (jackfruit), when deep-fried, it exudes a light, fruity flavour that delights the palate. Today, let’s delve into the recipe of Halasina Happala (Jackfruit Papad). Ingredients: 1 medium-sized raw jackfruit 4-5 green chillies or 2 tsp red chilli powder 4 tsp cooking oil Salt to taste Banana leaves 1 large polythene sheet or cotton cloth Procedure: Cut and clean the raw jackfruit, removing seeds and unwanted parts, and ensuring it is neither too tender nor too ripe. Steam cook the raw jackfruit until soft, approximately 30 minutes. Add salt and crushed green chillies to the mixture, adjusting spices to taste. Mash the steam-cooked jackfruit thoroughly with a wooden pestle until smooth, ensuring no lumps remain. Wet your fingers and shape the mixture into medium-sized balls. Place a ball between two greased small polythene sheets and press it firmly with a wooden board or flat vessel. Carefully remove the top sheet, flip the pressed papad onto a large polythene sheet, and gently peel off the small polythene sheet. Repeat the pressing process for all papads, allowing them to dry under the sun on banana leaves for 3-4 hours. Flip them after this duration and continue drying for 1-2 days. Fry the dried papads in oil or bake them in the oven until crisp. Additionally, these papads are skillfully crafted by Rama Hegde, a resident of Kanchikai village in Siddapur Taluk, Uttar Kannad District, Karnataka. An adept homemaker, Rama Hegde prepares an array of homemade delights, including jackfruit chappal, buttermilk pepper, chakkuli, butter, ghee, and chips.

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With few changes to lineup, how can Cubs find room to improve?

Based on spring training results, the Cubs’ ideal lineup is obvious: Garrett Cooper, 1B; David Bote, 2B; Matt Shaw, SS; Patrick Wisdom, 3B; Owen Caissie, LF; Cody Bellinger, CF; Seiya Suzuki, RF; Joe Hudson, C; and David Peralta, DH. That won’t be it, obviously. Bote, Shaw, Caissie and Hudson were sent to the minors. Wisdom will start the season on the injured list. Peralta is staying behind in Arizona to spend more time recovering from elbow surgery. Cooper figures to get spot duty at DH and first base. Basically, the Cubs are running it back this year. The only new addition to the lineup likely to become a regular is former Dodgers first-round pick Michael Busch, who will play first base. If that doesn’t work, expect to see Mike Tauchman back in center field and Bellinger at first. The Cubs added a starting pitcher in Shota Imanaga, but remember he’s replacing Marcus Stroman, who had an all-star first half of last season, then opted out of his deal. The new additions to the bullpen are Hector Neris and Yency Almonte. By making relatively few roster moves, is president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer trying to tell us last year was David Ross’ fault? Is the added ingredient to push the Cubs into the playoffs manager Craig Counsell, a surprising steal from the Brewers? While most agree Counsell is one of the best in baseball, the feeling here is no — Hoyer is not trying to blame last year’s September fade on the manager. Rather, Hoyer is enamored with the Cubs’ collection of prospects. He’s trying to stay patient, hoping the Cubs’ ceiling might soar once guys like Caissie, Shaw, Pete Crow-Armstrong and pitcher Cade Horton are ready to contribute. Hoyer’s dream is to mirror the Houston Astros, and produce a steady flow of homegrown talent, to the point where they can let some free agents walk away and still be LCS regulars. Well, if we’re not expecting miracles from Counsell, how can the Cubs’ improve? Their best chance is probably a breakout season from Suzuki. The third-year Cubs right fielder was a spring training superstar, hitting .459 with 6 home runs in Arizona. It’s easy to look at Suzuki’s first two seasons and think, ‘meh,’ but don’t forget he finished last season on a tear, with a .370 average in September and 13 home runs after the break. Last year, Suzuki missed all of spring training with an oblique injury and it took him a few months to find a rhythm. After this spring performance, who knows what’s possible? The biggest wild cards will be Busch at first base and whether Christopher Morel’s glove will hold up at third. Busch was rated one of the Dodgers’ better prospects, but he’s 26 and his 27-game MLB debut last summer was almost identical to what Matt Mervis did with the Cubs. Busch had a decent spring, hitting .261 with 3 home runs. Morel hit .239. Dansby Swanson (.190). Nico Hoerner (.176) and Ian Happ (.160) did not knock the needles off any cactuses this month in Mesa. Pitching-wise, Almonte and Alzolay allowed no runs, but Neris posted a concerning 11.74 ERA. Which brings us to maybe the best reason for Cubs optimism in 2024: The NL Central race should be up for grabs, and the Cubs might have the division’s best pitching. Milwaukee is the defending champ, but lost it’s powerful pitching tandem of Corbin Burnes (traded to Orioles) and Brandon Woodruff (out for the year with shoulder injury). Cincinnati has one of the best young lineups in the majors, but the starting rotation needs a sold season from newcomer Frankie Montas, who missed nearly all of last season with a shoulder injury. Pitching was St. Louis’ biggest problem last year and the Cardinals attacked the problem with experience. Sonny Gray (34), Miles Mikolas (35), Kyle Gibson (36) and Lance Lynn (37) are candidates for the rotation. Pittsburgh shortstop Oneil Cruz, who missed most of last season with a broken ankle, was the star of spring training, but pitcher Paul Skenes, last year’s No. 1 draft pick, will start out in Triple A. Twitter: @McGrawDHSports

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Moreno Refuses To Acknowledge If Trump Was Defeated Or If The 2020 Election Was Rigged  – The Union Journal

The Senate Republican candidate sponsored by Donald Trump, Bernie Moreno, who emerged victorious in an intense primary contest in Ohio last week, remained mum when asked if he thought the former president was cheated out of the 2020 election. “Oh my god, are we discussing that? As he was leaving a Republican Conference meeting at the Capitol last week, he told CNN, “We’ve had like three elections since then.” “We will, in fact, be looking toward the future. What matters to Ohioans is that they can’t afford the French fries they get at McDonald’s. He avoided giving a clear response when asked if it was stolen and instead went inside Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell’s office. Moreno Faces Off Against Matt Dolan, Another Contender “I don’t think people think about this topic,” he remarked. “President Trump says the election was stolen, and he’s right,” stated Moreno, looking straight into the camera in a digital advertisement aired by his campaign in January. Moreno faced off against other established Republican contenders including Matt Dolan in the primaries. When asked if he now had enough backing from establishment Republicans to win the election, he shot Democrats in the air while remaining positive about his chances. Yes, that’s right. Because we are going to gather the entire party under one roof. That’s what we carry out. It’s sort of like that. “Being a Republican is great because it allows you to engage in passionate discussions about potential candidates,” he remarked.

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Celebrity Interior Designer Brittaney Elise Unveiled – The Union Journal

Brittaney Elise’s design ethos embodies a harmonious blend of warmth, sophistication, and individuality, accentuated by a hint of eclecticism. Her approach to crafting impeccable designs is deeply rooted in her personal connection to the concept of home, which she perceives as a constant wellspring of inspiration. Central to her methodology is an intuitive understanding of her client’s unique energy and style preferences, allowing her to curate spaces that resonate profoundly with their individuality and lifestyle. Brittaney Elise Tailoring Dreams into Reality Despite her illustrious clientele, Brittaney Elise emphasizes the universal significance of home as a sanctuary that transcends wealth or fame. Each project undertaken by Elise is a deeply personal endeavor, aimed at channeling her clients’ aspirations and functional requirements into bespoke interiors that reflect their essence. Whether collaborating with clients who possess a clear vision or guiding those in search of direction, Elise’s mission remains unwavering: to breathe life into spaces that authentically encapsulate the narratives of those who inhabit them. Through her dedication to pushing the boundaries of conventional design, Elise continues to redefine luxury living, one dream space at a time.

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Prakash Ambedkar’s VBA to contest Lok Sabha polls alone in Maharashtra, announces eight candidates

The Vanchit Bahujan Aaghadi on Wednesday released its list of eight candidates for the Lok Sabha elections in Maharashtra, indicating that the Prakash Ambedkar-led party will not join the state’s Opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance. The Maha Vikas Aghadi, which was formed after the 2019 Assembly elections, mainly comprises Uddhav Thackeray’s faction of the Shiv Sena, the Congress and the Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party group. However, the Vanchit Bahujan Aaghadi on Wednesday said that it would support the Congress’ candidate for the Nagpur Lok Sabha seat. Ambedkar, who is the grandson of Bhimrao Ambedkar, will contest from the Akola constituency. Earlier in the day, Prakash Ambedkar had announced an alliance with activist Manoj Jarange-Patil, who has led an agitation demanding reservations in education and government jobs for the Maratha community under the Other Backward Classes category, The Hindu reported. In January, Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) MP Sanjay Raut had announced the induction of the Vanchit Bahujan Aaghadi into the Maha Vikas Aghadi. On March 19, the Prakash Ambedkar-led party had offered to support the Congress in seven Lok Sabha constituencies in Maharashtra. Prakash Ambedkar said that he had lost faith in the Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) and Nationalist Congress Party (Sharadchandra Pawar) because of their “unequal attitude” toward his party. He added that both parties had “refused to listen to the Vanchit Bahujan Aaghadi’s representatives in the numerous Maha Vikas Aghadi meetings”. “Vanchit Bahujan Aaghadi’s prime agenda remains the same – unseat the fascist, divisive, undemocratic Bharatiya Janata Party-Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh government,” he had said. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh is the parent organisation of the BJP. On March 23, the Vanchit Bahujan Aaghadi had said that it had called off its alliance with the Thackeray’s faction of the Shiv Sena, PTI reported. Prakash Ambedkar said that his party was offered only three seats. Raut, however, said that discussions were still ongoing between the two groups. The elections to Maharashtra’s 48 Lok Sabha seats of Maharashtra will be held in five phases from April 19 to May 20. Counting of votes will take place on June 4.

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