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Approval of limits for musicians, comedians is the ‘favorite game’: Promoter | Instant News

New Year’s Celebration at North Base. Photo / Ron Burgin

By Gill Bonnett from RNZ

International music and comedy shows are being approved and rejected for border exemptions in “favorite games”, according to a promoter.

British comedian Russell Howard will tour New Zealand, and other acts allowed through managed isolation this summer include drag queen RuPaul and musicians on Northern Bass in Mangawhai and the Bay Dreams festival.

The Association of Promoters vice president, Gray Bartlett, said despite being a New Zealand Immigration-approved promoter, he was not given an explanation as to why acts like Music of Cream and American speaker Michael Franzese were rejected.

Deputy president of the Association of Promoters Gray Bartlett.  Photo / Janna Dixon
Gray Bartlett’s Association of Promoters vice president. Photo / Janna Dixon

Nothing explains what the approval criteria are or who makes the decisions.

“What I really don’t like is when governments start with favoritism and vote who they like, or get people to choose who they like to come in. That’s just not true. And it can be done easily in our business because they can formulate an excuse. why someone might be important to have here.

“But the truth is, it doesn’t stand the sniff test, I’m afraid. And we can prove it with some of our applications.”

One project he’s been on will employ about 100 local workers if their applications are approved, but he says he doesn’t want to take the risk of talking about it.

Actions allowed entry through managed isolation this summer include the waria RuPaul.  Photo / Provided
Actions allowed entry through managed isolation this summer include the waria RuPaul. Photo / Provided

“I don’t want to influence the life of this Oscar winner and Grammy winner who wants to come here in a month or so to make a big boost for New Zealand as a country, but it’s all a game of favorites, who you know in government and government. this particular is very bad at this particular task. “

Bartlett, who is the patron of the Variety Artists Club in New Zealand and has previously brought the likes of Michael Jackson and Luciano Pavarotti to New Zealand, said the millions of dollars that would go towards accommodation, services and hiring local crews were also being ignored. as another benefit.

“One of them in particular, Michael Franzese, he is one of the best US speakers – the major sports teams in New Zealand have been chasing him for several years, he gives a lot of his money back to youth in crisis, and that is part of our application. He does all things for the major US football team and basketball team speaking at the start of their season, he is a well-known keynote speaker in America.

“This benefits the health of New Zealanders, especially young people in one case, and in our other [would be] using artists, crew, performances, accommodation, everything New Zealand. “

Festival goers at Bay Dreams on January 3rd.  Photo / George Novak
Festival goers at Bay Dreams on January 3rd. Photo / George Novak

He estimates 70 percent of promoters can fold in a year because they struggle with Covid-19, the cost of rescheduling shows, and the process of getting international talent into the country.

A New Zealand Immigration spokesman said all requests for border exemptions for individuals in the arts and entertainment industries were assessed against the same ‘other critical worker’ criteria as other requests for a worker, as set out in the immigration instructions.

The criteria are based on whether the person’s skills or experience can be acquired in New Zealand or whether the worker plays an important time role in a particular area, the spokesman said.

“INZ can confirm that since 18 June 2020, 66 requests have been received regarding the arts and entertainment industry, which includes all festival artists and artists, but excluding film and television. Of these, 39 requests have been approved, 23 have been rejected, and four are still under assessment.

“Regarding the request for Music of Cream, based on the information provided by INZ, it is not satisfied with the criteria of performers who meet the criteria, especially in terms of demonstrating their time-critical role for jobs that will bring significant benefits to the nation. or regional economies because of the limited information provided to demonstrate what the economic benefits are.

“INZ has been in contact with Mr. Bartlett to advise him on his options following the August reduction, but INZ has not received any new information or a request for reconsideration. If Mr. Bartlett asks for reconsideration or makes a new request, INZ will consider this.”



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South Australia maintains coronavirus borders with NSW and Brisbane | Instant News

South Australia’s border rules with New South Wales and Greater Brisbane will remain unchanged for now, but authorities say the situation will be reviewed over the course of a week.

NSW residents are not allowed to enter SA, while people from Greater Brisbane must be quarantined for two weeks.

Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier said the state Transitional Committee had considered the number of cases of the British coronavirus strain in Queensland before deciding to maintain the status quo.

“There are no changes to our border arrangements at this stage,” he said.

“We met as the Transitional Committee today and we’ve looked at the epidemiology and the number of cases in New South Wales as well as what’s happening in Queensland, and we haven’t made any changes.

“[Travellers are] not discontinued on arrival from Greater Brisbane but will require a 14 day quarantine period for entry into our state as well as testing. “

Professor Spurrier said he was “very eager for the border arrangements to be lifted” and would raise the matter with the Main Committee for Health Protection of Australia (AHPPC) tomorrow.

But he said the state border restrictions with New South Wales were a “completely different situation”, with cases of COVID-19 still emerging around Sydney.

“We will look for 14 days for no community transmission [in New South Wales],” she says.

Nicola Spurrier said she hoped SA could open up to Brisbane “sooner rather than later”.(ABC News: Michael Clements)

South Australia today recorded no new cases, and has 15 active cases in returning travelers, including two known to have a British variant.

“We have four such cases in our state. Two of those people… are now outside isolation but there are still two in our hotel medi,” said Professor Spurrier.

“Whatever form of COVID it is, which variant it is, it will still be very significant for us in South Australia if we have this form of community transmission.”

Tennis stars to undergo ‘stricter testing’

Professor Spurrier today confirmed that the tennis star took part in the tournament leading up to the Australian Open won’t stay in any of Adelaide’s mid-range hotels.

Instead, they will be quarantined in a separate facility.

“But it will be a mid-sized hotel and they will be, in fact, more rigorous testing than anyone else,” said Professor Spurrier.

Adelaide will host the event – dubbed A Day At The Drive – at the Memorial Drive Tennis Center on January 29.

Six international tennis stars – Serena Williams, Simona Halep, Naomi Osaka, Dominic Thiem, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal – have been confirmed for the one-time exhibition tournament.

Serena Williams hits a forehand in front of the empty stands at the French Open.
Serena Williams in front of the empty stands at the French Open.(AP: Alessandra Tarantino)

SA Health would not disclose which hotel they would stay in, but said it would be run like any other medi hotel which includes police and security patrols on duty around the clock.

“They, because they are elite athletes, can get training privileges and we do the same when we have international cricketers. [in Adelaide], “Said Professor Spurrier.

“It won’t be a luxury resort, but hopefully they’ll be comfortable.”

Authorities have also confirmed tennis stars will be escorted to and from training to ensure they do not come into contact with members of the public.

Workforce is calling for the return of the SA Brand

South Australian Opposition Leader Peter Malinauskas today urged the SA Government to reinstate the tourism organization Brand SA, and fund a campaign to promote a new local brand, to help the state’s COVID-19 recovery.

Brand SA was running a “I Choose SA” campaign before funding was cut in 2019.

“If we can promote South Australian produced local produce to South Australia, and that gets more product being taken away, that will put more money into this business and that of course means more local jobs,” said Malinauskas.

“This is a very small investment that can be very rewarding.

Restaurant owner Nicole Bugeja said additional assistance would be received after an “unprecedented” year for small businesses and producers in the state.

“Anything that can support local businesses, promote the fact that they are local, is really positive,” he said.

But Health Minister Stephen Wade said bringing back Brand SA “will not be discussed at this time”.

“Particularly in the context of the pandemic, we have seen this strong focus of the Australian Government on safeguarding the economic health and public health of South Australia,” he said.

“We will continue to support South Australian businesses to develop their local businesses and expand their export business.”


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Pakistani soldier was killed in a shelling near the Afghan border | Instant News

KARACHI, Pakistan

A Pakistani Army soldier was killed in a shooting at a checkpoint from the Afghan side of the border, the military said on Wednesday.

The latest incident in a series of similar attacks took place in the Mohmand district.

“Terrorists from inside Afghanistan shot across the international border at a military post in Mohmand District. The troops themselves immediately responded. During the shootout, Sepoy Fazal Wahid, aged 25, suffered gunshot wounds and embraced the creed. [matrydom], “said a statement from the Pakistan Army.

Mohmand, one of seven former tribal agents, has long been the target of suspected militants loyal to the banned Pakistani Taliban.

Pakistan claims that the terrorist network, after a series of security operations in its northwestern region, has set up bases across the border to attack security forces and civilians.

The attacks coincided with the second round of intra-Afghan peace talks in Doha, Qatar, aimed at ending the 19-year conflict in Afghanistan.

Both Islamabad and Kabul have warned that the “destroyers” are eager to derail the peace process.

In December 2018, Pakistan arranged direct talks between Washington and the Taliban, paving the way for a peace deal between the two sides this February.

The Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news offered to subscribers on the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and is in summary form. Please contact us for subscription options.


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Covid 19 coronavirus: Four new cases in managed isolation; 2 more infections associated with the British strain | Instant News

There have been four cases of Covid-19 in managed isolation – and officials have linked two more to the fast-spreading strain of the UK coronavirus.

There are no new cases in the community, said the Ministry of Health.

Of the four new border cases:

• One of them is history. This person arrived on 4 January from Great Britain via Singapore. This person tested positive on day 0/1 of routine testing and was at the facility in Hamilton.
• One case arrived on 5 January from Great Britain via Qatar. This person tested positive on day 0/1 of routine testing and is at the Auckland quarantine facility.
• One case arrived on 5 January from the United Kingdom via the United Arab Emirates and Australia. This person tested positive on day 0/1 of routine testing and is at the Auckland quarantine facility.
• One case arrived on 29 December from the United Kingdom via the United Arab Emirates and Malaysia and tested positive on the ninth day. This person is at the Auckland quarantine facility.

The total number of active Covid-19 cases in New Zealand is 62.

British tension

The Health Ministry said two more cases of Covid-19 had matched the British strain. Both arrived from the UK via the United Arab Emirates and Malaysia.

“This brings the total number of variant cases ordered in New Zealand to eight,” the ministry said.

“These people are all being treated with the same high-level infection precautions as all the Covid-19 positive cases, with daily health checks and use of PPE. Infection prevention control protocols are in place for all staff and we can assure the public that there is no increased risk to the community. The British variant is more easily transmitted than the other variants of the virus, but there is no evidence at this stage that the length of the infection period differs from that of the other variants of Covid-19 nor is it more likely to produce severe disease. “

Court lockdown

It came after there virus scare in Hamilton yesterday which forced the district court to lock itself up.

There are six new cases in the last Covid-19 update, which came on Tuesday.  Photos / Files
There are six new cases in the last Covid-19 update, which came on Tuesday. Photos / Files

The lockdown was triggered just before 10 a.m. and was lifted around 11:20 a.m., when community members were allowed out again. The court was then closed for the remainder of the day.

A source told the Herald that the lockdown was triggered because a woman working in a managed isolation facility had appeared in court and informed a staff member that she had a cold and was awaiting the results of a Covid-19 test.

The woman’s employer told the Herald she was tested as part of a routine Covid-19 check for isolation and border workers.

The negative result was confirmed by the Ministry of Health yesterday afternoon.

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A former anti-mask at a Florida hospital is now warning Covid-19 not to be like the flu

A man who doesn’t believe Covid-19 is real and refuses to wear a mask has sent an emotional plea from her hospital bed, where he’s currently fighting the virus.

Struggling to breathe, Chuck Stacey warns the people in the video to believe in the dangers of Covid-19.

“I don’t wear a mask. I should have done it. I didn’t.

“I believe this is just the flu, that everything will go away, that this is political. I don’t think masks will help.

“You don’t want to end up like me. I’m having trouble breathing. I may have to be intubated if things get worse.”

The footage was shared by a friend earlier this week and shows the man in a hospital bed, battling the coronavirus.

He said he was wrong to downplay the Covid-19 pandemic, which has now killed more than 1.86 million people worldwide.

“My friend is not wearing a mask because he believes the lies of our leaders. Now, he is almost intubated. He asked me to share this,” said his friend Daniel Uhlfelder, who distributed the footage.

The man urged the skeptics to protect themselves and their loved ones.

Britain is locked in as the mutant stretch tightens its grip

British PM Boris Johnson has revealed that one in 50 people in the UK is infected with Covid-19 because he promised to continue to renew the country “jab by jab” in its mission to vaccinate the most vulnerable by the middle of next month.

Johnson joins UK health bosses for a briefing on Downing Street to tell the country their lockdown is inevitable after a new, virulent strain spreads rapidly across the country.

Responding to criticism that plans to fight the outbreak were too ambitious, chief health officer Professor Chris Whitty said plans to vaccinate the 13 million most vulnerable people were “realistic but not easy”.

Inconveniently, he also warned that restrictions may be needed over the coming winter in Britain, where the virus remains circulating like seasonal influenza.

Chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance warned that the changing nature of the virus meant vaccines had to be changed.

The virus will probably mutate. A different vaccine will be needed at that point, he said.

Johnson also declined to confirm that schools would reopen before the summer holidays but insisted that was the top priority.

Britain will remain under lockdown until at least March, and some measures could last even longer, as hospitals struggle to contain a new strain of the highly contagious coronavirus.


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NSW / Victoria border closes: Car reverses after deadline | Instant News


Images posted on social media show massive queues hours before the border closes. Photo / @Milliganreports

Victoria’s border with New South Wales closes at midnight, blocking the entry of anyone who doesn’t get there in time.

Vehicles that arrived at the border checkpoint after the deadline were reversed by police and ordered to return to NSW.

Yesterday Jeroen Weimar, commander of the Covid-19 response from the Victoria Ministry of Health, confirmed the country’s hardline stance.

“We need to close the border, because we don’t want to continue importing high-risk Covid cases back into Victoria,” Weimar said.

“We don’t think it will be right or fair for the Victorian community.

“We don’t have the capacity to put hundreds of people into hotel quarantine because they choose to leave late at night.

“If anyone has ever been to NSW, we are not designing and setting up a hotel quarantine system to allow people vacationing in NSW to return later.”

However, some of the people who rushed to the border last night had traveled as far as Queensland.

Images posted on social media show massive queues hours before the border closes.

Photographer Simon Dallinger is at the Hume Freeway checkpoint. He reported that the last people allowed to pass, seconds before midnight, were Kelli Rippon and Rachel Bartlett. The couple traveled from Brisbane to Dubbo, and then to Victoria.

They made it in time. Others weren’t that lucky.

Border check on the Victoria side of the Hume Highway on 29 December 2020 in Albury, Australia.  Photo / Getty Images
Border check on the Victoria side of the Hume Highway on 29 December 2020 in Albury, Australia. Photo / Getty Images

Health authorities in Victoria believe the virus has been spreading there for nearly two weeks.

All 10 cases reported since Wednesday ate at the Smile Buffalo Thai restaurant in Black Rock on December 21, or were close contacts of others who did.

NSW police stop vehicles at the Hume Highway checkpoint on the Victoria border on 22 November 2020 in Albury, Australia.  Photo / Getty Images
NSW police stop vehicles at the Hume Highway checkpoint on the Victoria border on 22 November 2020 in Albury, Australia. Photo / Getty Images

“We know we have a possible starting point until December 21 – that is now 10 or 11 days ago,” Weimar said yesterday.

“That gives us good reason to be concerned that this could cause another chain of transmission to return to that point.”

Across the border in NSW, three new infections were identified in West Sydney yesterday.

The contact tracer is now trying to link the new cases to the existing cluster.

Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian has warned tighter restrictions could be imposed on Greater Sydney if more cases arise without a known link.

“If we reach a stage, or if we feel there are too many cases that are completely unlinked or unrelated, or something unexpected comes up and raises concerns, of course we will adjust our arrangements if that is the case,” Berejiklian said. yesterday.

Now, residents on the north coast will find out whether their local restrictions will be relaxed. The lower north coast, in particular, can be governed under the same rules as the rest of Sydney.


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