Empty Las Vegas Strip counts losses as locals venture out

1 week agoA car drives down the Las Vegas strip, which the pandemic has deprived of its drunken revelers and packed poker tables

The marble statues at Caesars Palace are fenced off, the Venetian hotel’s gondolas sit empty, and the New York-New York casino rollercoaster has ground to a halt.

Even the Bellagio’s famous dancing fountains are “completely shut” due to the coronavirus pandemic, says a surly security guard, before shooing an AFP correspondent away.

In the absence of bustling crowds of drunken revelers, packed poker tables and overzealous club promoters, the slogan “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” has never felt more redundant.

Last year, May was Las Vegas’s second-busiest month, drawing nearly 3.7 million visitors.

Now, the sidewalks lie empty under the scorching sun, except for idle security guards, and a handful of vagrants and bewildered-looking tourists.

When the sun drops, some familiar flickers of activity return. The empty casinos’ famous neon lights still shine out, illuminating the occasional low-riding sports car roaring down the Las Vegas Strip.

And local residents, from cycling families to skateboarding teens, are flocking to the vacant sidewalks in search of respite from weeks of stay-at-home orders.

A casino entrance is closed along the Las Vegas Strip, where the financial pain of the pandemic-induced shutdown is clear

“Being that I live in Las Vegas, I never come to the Strip. Ever. There’s no need to,” said automotive business owner Mike Evans, 47.

“Being around drunk people and belligerent people is not relaxation,” he added, pausing from his bike ride to take a selfie. Now even the outdoor escalators that usually transport pedestrians across traffic lanes stand still.

Angela Arnold, taking advantage of the lull to cycle to the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign with two fellow residents, added: “We’re not going to hear horns blowing and people passing out vulgar advertising.”

Similarly, Luis Rosales, 포커카드종류 a 30-year-old server at the Venetian, has taken to rollerblading and jogging along the Strip.

“I thought never in my life like I would see Las Vegas shut down,” he said. “There’s no commotion, there’s no hustle and bustle… it’s like a ghost town.”

– ‘Money and greed’ –

Beneath the odd sense of calm, the financial pain of the shutdown is clear.

The entrance to Caesars Palace Hotel and Casino is barricaded

2 weeks agoBillboards are plastered with adverts for nightclub launches that never happened — alongside uplifting messages to “Stay Strong.”

One budget hotel that has remained open on the Strip reports a few stir-crazy tourists visiting from neighboring California — and even as far away as Wisconsin.

But more customers are long-term guests who have lost their Las Vegas homes during the lockdown — despite laws intended to prohibit evictions.

“We miss the noise… the great vibes, and people, and feeding off the happiness of other people,” said Samantha, a former well-tipped cocktail waitress now serving chicken wings for minimum wage, who did not want to give her last name.

She spoke with AFP while out for a walk with her mother Louisa, 카지노원정 left unemployed as a poker dealer due to coronavirus.

There are nascent signs of the city starting to reawaken. From Saturday, restaurants will be allowed to reopen at half capacity.

3 weeks agoBut the tourist-magnet casinos and nightclubs — along with the state’s strip joints and legal brothels — will remain shut, for now.

“Since money is the root of all evil and Vegas is considered the capital of money and greed, this is the last place I thought I’d see shut down,” said Evans. “But they still did.”

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• Live dealer online games were first bring in by Playtech.

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Why do you own a pickup truck?

id=”article-body” class=”row” section=”article-body”>

The Nikola Badger uses the other half of Nikola Tesla’s name and two electric power sources: Fuel cell and battery.

Nikola Motors

All of a sudden the biggest story in electric cars is trucks: Electric pickup trucks. Here’s what’s coming, who will make them, and why you may stop sneering and want one.

So many electric trucks coming

The world gawked when Tesla unveiled its futuristic-but-fragile Cybertruck. It promises acceleration that will drop most Porsches, towing that will embarrass any F-150 (though Ford, as you can imagine, strongly disputes that claim) and looks that you can’t get anywhere else. 

A cutaway of Rivian’s “Skateboard,” which combines all of the drive components, the battery, the brakes and suspension.

Rivian

But a year before Tesla’s truck debuted, Michigan startup Rivian really kicked off the electric pickup era with the debut of its $69.000 R1T boasting up to 750 horsepower, 11,000 pounds towing, a 3-second 0-60 time, and quad-motor all-wheel drive. Since then it’s won a commitment to make 100,000 electric delivery vans for Amazon and a half billion dollar investment from Ford, which itself promises an electric F-150 that recently did a stunt pull of a 1 million pound freight train.

Rivian’s credibility is so strong that it garnered a commitment for 100,000 electric delivery vans from Amazon and a half billion dollar investment from Ford — before Rivian’s delivered a single truck.

Rivian

GM announced it’s bringing back the Hummer as the exact opposite of the gas-guzzling troglodyte it used to be: The name will grace a brawny, 400 mile range electric pickup.

Want more? Add in startup trucks like the Lordstown Endurance with four in-wheel motors and a base price of $52,500, the Atlis XT promising up to 500 miles of range and 15 minute charges for a base price of $45,500, 바카라필승법 the aluminum Bollinger B2 pickup with its Defender aesthetics and stout price of $125,000, or the Nikola Badger, a 1,000-horsepoter, 1,000 lb-ft pickup with a  combination battery and fuel cell powertrain.

Now playing: Watch this: See the electric trucks that want to steal the show from…

5:47

But what’s the point?

This is a real trend, but most truck buyers will still ask the same question: Why? Electric trucks will come at them with five answers to that question.

Massive torque. Torque is fun in a car but essential in a truck, where the name of the game is often grunt, not speed. The new electric pickups toss around four-figure torque and HP numbers like that’s normal. But torque is just what electric motors do by nature.

True discrete AWD. Commonly equipped with quad motors, electric pickups give you the holy grail of perfect, intelligent 4-wheel drive without the clunky driveshafts, transfer cases and locking hubs of a conventional 4×4 pickup. But these trucks are going to need that space and weight savings for the battery.

Job site power. Trucks go to work, and the big battery that powers them can also be a great job site power source. Hercules goes so far as to offer 15, 20 and 30-amp AC outlets. 

Normally one has to lug a big generator to the job site to get robust 20A and higher outlets. But many new electric pickups will offer them in the bed, powered by an integrate inverter tapping the vehicle’s battery

Honda

MPG and emissions. While they’ve certainly gotten cleaner and more efficient, full-sized trucks are generally the MPG and emissions laggards in an automaker’s lineup. Each customer they can move from a combustion truck to an electric one is a big win in terms of hitting ever-tightening corporate emission and fuel economy targets.

Pricing. Trucks are already expensive, and making one electric will only raise the cost, especially if it’s an electric version of an existing conventional like Ford’s pending electric F-150. One school of thought says that it’s easier to “bury” part of the cost of electrification in the sticker price of a truck that already costs an average of  $51,000. The other school of thought is that trucks are already at the high end of what the vast majority of consumers can afford and that there’s no head room beyond that. But as you noticed from the above list of trucks above, some of them aim to come in at competitive prices.

If electric trucks have an Achilles heel it might be at the intersection of range and towing capacity: It remains to be seen in the real world how much these trucks’ range decreases when pulling something heavy. And a lot of potential owners live in places where a drive to work could be 50 miles or more each way down roads where charging locations aren’t exactly plentiful. Combine all those factors with use of the truck’s battery at the job site and you could have a more complex case of range anxiety. But trucks are the high-limit table in the auto industry casino, so let’s see who has the strongest hand as these big guys arrive.

First published March 24.

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Dame Judi Dench, 85, is British Vogue’s oldest cover star in HISTORY

Dame Judi Dench has become the eldest woman to ever cover British Vogue in its 104-year history. 

The actress, 85, appears in the June issue of the fashion bible and made history with her cover shoot after nearly 60 years in the business. 

Dame Judi looked radiant in the head shot as she posed in a floral high-necked blouse with her silver locks styled into a textured do and a slick of make-up. 

Radiant: Dame Judi Dench has become the eldest woman to ever cover British Vogue in its 104-year history

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While a different shot saw the star in a sophisticated gold embroidered and beaded tunic with a white dress underneath.  

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Speaking to the magazine, the Oscar-winning actress also shut down any talk of retiring after nearly 60 years in the business. 

Dame Jude joked: ‘No, no, no, no. Don’t use that word, Giles. Not in this house. Not here. Wash your mouth out!’ 

Icon: The actress, 85, appears in the June issue of the fashion bible and 외국인바카라 made history with her cover shoot after nearly 60 years in the business 

She added: ‘Rage, rage against the dying of the light. Never was a truer word spoken.’

Dame Judi is currently self-isolating at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has killed 28,734 people and infected 191K in the UK alone.

She said: ‘I am sure I feel like everyone else, such unprecedented times are quite hard to comprehend.

Self-isolating: Dame Judi is currently self-isolating at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has killed 28,734 people and infected 191K in the UK alone (pictured wearing a charity Choose Love T-shirt supporting the NHS and carers) 

‘What is a good thing is that it has made people aware of the predicament of others who are completely alone. If a great deal of kindness comes out of this, then that will be a plus.’ 

Dame Judi made her first professional stage performance in 1957 and her film debut was in 1964 for The Third Secret. 

She has since appeared in the James Bond films, Philomena and Shakespeare in Love – to name a few, with her latter role winning her an Academy Award in 1998.

Legendary! Speaking about the 007 franchise, where she plays M (Olivia Mansfield), and talk of a potential female Bond, Dame Judi admitted: ‘I don’t think Ian Fleming would want a female Bond.’ (pictured alongside Pierce Brosnan in 1999’s The World Is Not Enough) 

007: Adding that she supports female action leads, she continued: ‘Call it something else, then?’ (pictured alongside Daniel Craig in 2006’s Casino Royale) 

Speaking about the 007 franchise, where she plays M (Olivia Mansfield), and talk of a potential female Bond, Dame Judi admitted: ‘I don’t think Ian Fleming would want a female Bond.’ 

Adding that she supports female action leads, she continued: ‘Call it something else, then?’

While speaking about her most recent role in Cats, which was labelled the worst film of 2019 at the Razzies, Dame Judi joked: ‘The cloak I was made to wear!’ Like five foxes f**king on my back!’

Cats! While speaking about her most recent role in Cats, which was labelled the worst film of 2019 at the Razzies, Dame Judi joked: ‘The cloak I was made to wear!’ Like five foxes f**king on my back!’ (pictured as her character Old Deuteronomy) 

The actress played Old Deuteronomy and is yet to see the film in full, although she admitted that she wasn’t impressed with how her character looked.

‘A battered, mangy old cat. A great big orange bruiser. What’s that about?’ Dame Judi quipped.

Talking about her ideal role, she revealed she wants to play someone ‘who everyone thinks is a kindly, saintly, beautified kind of person, and she’s actually killing people.’  

Incredible: Dame Judi has appeared in the James Bond films, Philomena and Shakespeare in Love (pictured) – to name a few, with her latter role winning her an Academy Award in 1998 

In March, Harvey Weinstein, 68, was sentenced to 23 years in prison for sex crimes in a landmark #MeToo case that ended with six of his accusers sobbing and hugging each other from the front row of the courtroom.

Talking about the disgraced movie mogul, Dame Judi said: ‘My sympathies go to anybody who went through an experience like that. It’s very upsetting. 

‘It’s good that things come to the surface and are spoken about and people feel a kind of freedom, I’m sure.’

What a woman! Dame Judi made her first professional stage performance in 1957 and her film debut was in 1964 for The Third Secret (pictured with her Oscar in 1998, left, and in December 2019, right) 

Dame Judi is currently in a relationship with David Mills, 76, after they met in 2010 during an opening of a badger enclosure at his Surrey zoo. 

However speaking in 2017, the talented actress was adamant that they are not going to take their relationship to the next level and he wouldn’t propose.  

Dame Judi was previously married to the actor Michael Williams, her co-star in the sitcom A Fine Romance, for 30 years.

Sweet: Dame Judi is currently in a relationship with David Mills, 76, after they met in 2010 during an opening of a badger enclosure at his Surrey zoo (pictured together on Judi Dench’s Wild Borneo Adventure in 2019)  

He died of lung cancer in 2001, and the actress has previously said she did not think ‘for a second’ she would find someone again.

Dame Judi has one daughter, Finty, 47, and has previously spoke about wishing she had had ‘lots more children’. 

Read the full feature in the June issue of Vogue available via digital download and on newsstands Thursday 7th May. 

Family: Dame Judi has one daughter, Finty, 47, and has previously spoke about wishing she had had ‘lots more children’ (pictured in 2013 with daughter Finty) 

Read more:

British Vogue – Fashion, Trends, Latest News, Catwalk Photos & Designers

Judi Dench’s British Vogue Cover Interview: Love, Life & Quarantine

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ECB face losses of £380m if no cricket in 2020 due to Covid-19

Cricket is facing the most significant financial challenge in its history and will lose £380million if the season is wiped out by coronavirus.

That bleak picture was painted by ECB chief executive Tom Harrison, who told Tuesday’s committee meeting of the Department for Digital, Culture Media and Sport that the game would still lose £100m even if the plan to stage international cricket from July goes ahead.

Harrison outlined the crisis facing cricket in a much more passionate and impressive manner than when he faced MPs last year alongside outgoing chairman Colin Graves. 

ECB chief executive Tom Harrison says they face a loss of £380m if no cricket is played in 2020. He was speaking at the Department of Culture, Sport and Media committee meeting

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And he launched his most robust defence yet of the new Hundred competition — which has been postponed until at least next year — in the face of what seemed to be grandstanding rhetoric from MPs rather than probing questioning.

Harrison has increased the estimated damage from the worst-case scenario for the English game, now saying the sport will lose £80m more than the previous stated figure of £300m if 800 scheduled days of professional cricket are lost.

‘It is the most significant financial challenge cricket has ever faced,’ said Harrison. ‘We anticipate no cricket this year as the worst-case scenario and that would cost £380m.’

But the ECB are still hopeful of staging a near full season of men’s international cricket, with three Tests against West Indies starting on July 8 and three against Pakistan from August 5 — all at the Ageas Bowl and Emirates Old Trafford. 

The Ageas Bowl (pictured) could stage three Tests behind closed doors in July and August

The ECB also hope to switch their three-match one-day series against Ireland from September to between the two Test series, starting on July 30, with all three games in Manchester. ‘It would help us fill the financial hole even though we would still be looking at losses of £100m,’ said Harrison.

It is thought fast bowlers, in particular, will need six or seven weeks to get ready from lockdown but the majority of England players are prepared to play behind closed doors.

‘Then there are the logistics of bringing overseas teams over and allowing them to prepare,’ said Harrison, who will resume talks with the West Indies Board along with captains Joe Root and Jason Holder on Friday. ‘But hopefully we will be able to play a significant amount of Test matches this summer.’ 

Harrison is still hopeful England can stage some Tests this summer ‘to offset financial losses’

There was much interest on Tuesday on the ECB’s insistence that the Hundred will play a crucial part in cricket’s future and Harrison is not for turning despite considerable criticism of the invention of the chief executive and his marketing gurus. 

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‘I understand there is considerable resistance to the Hundred, there has been for two years,’ admitted Harrison. ‘That does not make it a bad idea or one that isn’t likely to succeed. We will put even more effort into the Hundred post this crisis. I regard it as essential in the plan to grow cricket.’  

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Salim Mehajer is begging to be allowed back on social media, for better internet and to return to his suburban home as he confessed to trying to pay off $20 million in debt

Salim Mehajer is begging to be allowed back on social media, for better internet and to return to his suburban home as he confessed to trying to pay off $20 million in debt.

The former deputy mayor of Auburn, in Sydney’s west, asked the Supreme Court on Tuesday to relax his bail conditions so he could pay off a bill from the Australian Taxation Office.

But a judge rejected most of his requests and told Mehajer, 33, just because he can’t use Facebook or Twitter didn’t mean he was being ‘oppressed’.

The embattled property developer was released from Cooma Prison last May after spending 11 months in jail for fraud and is now on bail awaiting trail on separate charges.

The former property developer (pictured) asked the Supreme Court on Tuesday to relax his bail conditions so he could pay off debts owed to the Australian Taxation Office

Salim Mehajer (left) and friends were pictured with fake shotguns on a boat during a birthday party

Mehajer, 33, was found guilty in April 2018 of conducting an electoral fraud plot in 2012 that helped him become deputy mayor of the Auburn City Council. 

The businessman is the subject of a firearms prohibition order (FPO) and has charges against him for an alleged car crash scam in 2017, allegedly using a fake letter to get bail in 2018 and allegedly supplying prescription drugs.

Mehajer on Tuesday was only successful in having his reporting conditions reduced to five days a week to police, The Daily Telegraph reported.

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Justice Desmond Fagan refused the other requests which include being allowed back on to social media, living at his home in Lidcombe, better internet access and a relaxed curfew.

‘I do not regard it as significantly oppressive that you cannot access Twitter or Facebook,’ Justice Fagan told Mehajer.

Justice Fagan said the businessman should feel lucky to have been granted bail considering the allegations against him.

Mehajer was declared bankrupt in April 2018 by the Federal Court but he told the court he had the assets to resolve his $20million debt to the ATO.

Last month a passenger in a car that collided with Mehajer’s Mercedes in a staged crash was sentenced to a community penalty.

He was on his way to court in October 2017 to face a charge of assaulting a taxi driver at The Star Casino when the crash occurred.

Mehajer (left) was found guilty in April 2018 of conducting an electoral fraud plot in 2012 that helped him become deputy mayor of the Auburn City Council

Notorious Sydney businessman Salim Mehajer has been hit with nine more charges for allegedly providing fraudulent information to authorities to avoid traffic offences. Pictured with girlfriend Melissa Tysoe

In the NSW District Court on April 15, Nora Anne Bush testified to being ashamed of her involvement in the scam, 실시간바카라추천 which was set to earn the participants $10,000 to be partly used for a funeral in Tonga.

The 34-year-old pleaded guilty to dishonestly destroying or damaging property for 유명카지노노하우 financial gain and to negligent driving.

Mehajer turned heads last December when he and friends were pictured with guns on Sydney Harbour onboard a boat for his girlfriend Missy Tysoe’s birthday. 

The photograph showed Mehajer and his two friends pointing what appeared to be shotguns over the side of the boat and towards the camera.

However, the guns turned out to be realistic-looking fakes used for laser shooting.

At the time NSW Police said they were ‘aware of the photo and conducting inquiries’, but no action was ever taken against Mehajer.

In addition to his criminal matters, Mehajer also has a series of civil matters currently before the courts relating to his business dealings. 

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Get down on lockdown!

Neighbours partied on the balconies of their high-rise apartments in a socially distant rave – after police allowed the event to go ahead as they were following lockdown rules.   

Nathan Jones took to an impressive disco booth on the roof of his van to launch a ‘get down on lockdown’ party for people living in waterside flats in Cardiff Bay.

The rave, which was organised to celebrate a 30th birthday, quickly attracted the attention of police, who told revellers to ‘carry on dancing’ when it became obvious they were abiding by stay-at-home rules.  

Partygoers had dressed in their finest Casino-style outfits for the Las Vegas themed celebration, with one man seen in a bowtie and women wearing cocktail dresses. 

Nathan Jones (pictured) took to a disco booth on the roof of his van to launch a ‘get down on lockdown’ party for people living in waterside flats in Cardiff Bay

Other residents danced in the communal garden of the gated community, all within lockdown rules, as flashing lights bounced from the high-rise block. 

Mr Jones, who goes by DJ Motel Concierge, decided to DJ for the residents when he discovered they had organised to gather on their balconies and sing Happy Birthday to his friend’s partner.    

‘It was my friend’s partner’s 30th birthday and they had organised to gather on the balconies and sing Happy Birthday and have some drinks so I suggested I could DJ,’ he said.

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‘They said it was going to be a Las Vegas theme because they were supposed to be going to Vegas this weekend for his birthday.

‘I checked it was OK with the management and everyone but about halfway through the police turned up.

‘They checked that everything was OK and everyone was keeping two metres apart and not gathering together. Then the officers said: “You’re fine to carry on”.’

Pictured: Residents in Cardiff dressed in cocktail dresses and suits for the Las Vegas themed party

The rave attracted the attention of police (pictured), who told revellers to ‘carry on dancing’ when it became obvious they were abiding by stay-at-home rules

Mr Jones converted his Ford van into a mobile DJ booth which he has dubbed ‘Disco Vandross’ so he can continue to play songs to people throughout the lockdown.

He said: ‘It took me about a week to do with the planning and everything. I had to construct the roof rack myself from scratch and make sure it was strong enough to hold the weight of me and all of the equipment.

‘I’m just happy I could bring a smile to a few people’s faces. The dancing was brilliant and everyone seemed to have a good time.’

One neighbour said: ‘It was brilliant fun. We didn’t know what it was going to be like – but everyone was out dancing on their balconies.

‘The police came along and we thought they would stop it. But everyone was at a safe distance from each other so we were very grateful for the police to allow it to carry on.

‘It really bucked up our spirits.’

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Salim Mehajer is begging to be allowed back on social media, for better internet and to return to his suburban home as he confessed to trying to pay off $20 million in debt

<strong>4545<\/strong>27550935 33075343 45  .” style=”max-width:440px;float:left;padding:10px 10px 10px 0px;border:0px;”></a>Salim Mehajer is begging to be allowed back on social media, for better internet and to return to his suburban home as he confessed to trying to pay off $20 million in debt.</p>
</p>
<p>The former deputy mayor of Auburn, in Sydney’s west, asked the Supreme Court on Tuesday to relax his bail conditions so he could pay off a bill from the Australian Taxation Office.</p>
</p>
<p>But a judge rejected most of his requests and told Mehajer, 33, just because he can’t use Facebook or Twitter didn’t mean he was being ‘oppressed’.</p>
</p>
<p>The embattled property developer was released from Cooma Prison last May after spending 11 months in jail for fraud and is now on bail awaiting trail on separate charges.</p>
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<p>The former property developer (pictured) asked the Supreme Court on Tuesday to relax his bail conditions so he could pay off debts owed to the Australian Taxation Office</p>
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<p><strong>Salim Mehajer (left) and friends were pictured with fake shotguns on a boat during a birthday party</strong></p>
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<p>Mehajer, 33, was found guilty in April 2018 of conducting an electoral fraud plot in 2012 that helped him become deputy mayor of the Auburn City Council. </p>
</p>
<p>The businessman is the subject of a firearms prohibition order (FPO) and has charges against him for an alleged car crash scam in 2017, allegedly using a fake letter to get bail in 2018 and allegedly supplying prescription drugs.</p>
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<p>Mehajer on Tuesday was only successful in having his reporting conditions reduced to five days a week to police, The Daily Telegraph reported.</p>
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<p>Justice Desmond Fagan refused the other requests which include being allowed back on to social media, living at his home in Lidcombe, better internet access and a relaxed curfew.</p>
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<p>‘I do not regard it as significantly oppressive that you cannot access Twitter or Facebook,’ Justice Fagan told Mehajer.</p>
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<p>Justice Fagan said the businessman should feel lucky to have been granted bail considering the allegations against him.</p>
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<p>Mehajer was declared bankrupt in April 2018 by the Federal Court but he told the court he had the assets to resolve his $20million debt to the ATO.</p>
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<p>Last month a passenger in a car that collided with Mehajer’s Mercedes in a staged crash was sentenced to a community penalty.</p>
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<p>He was on his way to court in October 2017 to face a charge of assaulting a taxi driver at The Star Casino when the crash occurred.</p>
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<p>Mehajer (left) was found guilty in April 2018 of conducting an electoral fraud plot in 2012 that helped him become deputy mayor of the Auburn City Council</p>
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<p>Notorious Sydney businessman Salim Mehajer has been hit with nine more charges for allegedly providing fraudulent information to authorities to avoid traffic offences. Pictured with girlfriend Melissa Tysoe</p>
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<p><a href=kakaofriend展览会(<strong>4545<\/strong>27550935 09)” style=”max-width:400px;float:left;padding:10px 10px 10px 0px;border:0px;”></a>In the NSW District Court on April 15, Nora Anne Bush testified to being ashamed of her involvement in the scam,  윈도우카드게임 which was set to earn the participants $10,000 to be partly used for a funeral in Tonga.</p>
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<p>The 34-year-old pleaded guilty to dishonestly destroying or damaging property for financial gain and to negligent driving.</p>
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<p>Mehajer turned heads last December when he and friends were pictured with guns on Sydney Harbour onboard a boat for his girlfriend Missy Tysoe’s birthday. </p>
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<p>The photograph showed Mehajer and his two friends pointing what appeared to be shotguns over the side of the boat and towards the camera.</p>
</p>
<p><u><b>However, the guns turned out to be realistic-looking fakes used for laser shooting.</b></u></p>
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<p>At the time NSW Police said they were ‘aware of the photo and conducting inquiries’, but no action was ever taken against Mehajer.</p>
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<p>In addition to his criminal matters, Mehajer also has a series of civil matters currently before the courts relating to his business dealings. </p>
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Star Wars lost its mystique, and The Rise of Skywalker is to blame

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The Rise of Skywalker was a crowd pleaser for the worst possible crowd.

Walt Disney Pictures

Today is May 4th. Yep, that day. Star Wars day. May the 4th be with you, etc. The pun that, thanks to the internet, somehow transformed a regular day into a global holiday of Star Wars worship. But there’s only one problem: I don’t really want to worship at that altar any more. 

And The Rise of Skywalker is to blame.

It’s embarrassing, but there was a point during my first watch of The Rise of Skywalker where, in a packed theater, I audibly said “what the hell?” 

I can’t remember exactly which part. There were a few candidates.

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It could have been right at the beginning, when Rose Tico (played by Kelly Marie Tran) was yanked from The Rise of Skywalker like Poochie from The Simpsons. It absolutely felt like a move designed to placate the racist trolls who’d bullied Tran off social media in 2018. 

That sucked. Big time. Definitely worth a “what the hell?”

Could have been the moment they “unkilled” Chewbacca, rewinding perhaps the only challenging moment in a first act that felt like it was written and edited by a 5-year-old high on sherbet. 

What the hell?

Disney

But if I had to place bets, I’d say my “what the hell” moment came during the big “Rey’s origins” reveal. 

Undoing one of The Last Jedi’s most interesting choices, Kylo Ren tells Rey she wasn’t the daughter of drunkards who sold her off for booze money. Nah, scratch that. In a desperate attempt to tie everything back to the original trilogy (making the Star Wars universe feel smaller than a snow globe), Rey was revealed to be the granddaughter of Emperor Palpatine: The big baddie who magically appeared in the third movie, minus any foreshadowing in the previous two movies.  

“What the hell?”

Six months later, distanced from the warped bubble of Star Wars “discourse” — and its place in the culture wars that consume all light and reason — it’s still difficult to explain why this choice annoyed me so much. 

In hindsight Rey’s reveal was the moment when Star Wars stopped existing as an object I could believe in and transformed into banal fan fiction catering to the worst type of fan. When Star Wars shrank into a story set in a Reddit thread far, far away. Designed to offend the least amount of people possible, built for people to sit in movie theatres and point: “LOOK, IT’S LANDO. LANDO’S HERE!”

I was pissed. 

Pity my poor wife, eyes glazing over, who had to endure the train journey home. Me, arms waving like a madman, trying to explain why the passable sci-fi flick she’d just watched (and immediately began forgetting, like a normal adult) was a betrayal. That it deliberately and systematically unraveled every attempt made by The Last Jedi to reinvent Star Wars and have it successfully escape the dull nostalgia pit it’s now fully descended into.

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I stand by the assessment. The Last Jedi was a movie that demanded we “let the past die.” It railed against casual nostalgia. Entire sections, like the casino scene on Canto Bight, were far from perfect, but The Last Jedi was bold and inventive. It never invited us to point, “LOOK, LANDO’S HERE!” Instead, it did a fantastic job of shredding all fan expectations. It murdered its main villain halfway through the run time; transformed Luke Skywalker from a dull do-the-right-thing hero-type into a vicious, bitter hermit tortured by his own failings. 

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Workers want virus protections before casinos reopen

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) – Casino workers across the country want their employers to provide them with protective equipment and adopt tough new cleaning and social distancing policies before the gambling halls reopen during the coronavirus outbreak.

Union leaders and workers from casinos in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, New Orleans and Biloxi, Mississippi, held a video press conference Tuesday to call for all workers to be tested at the casinos’ expense before returning back to their jobs.

The calls came as New Jersey lawmakers proposed what could easily be tens of millions of dollars worth of tax breaks and other assistance to Atlantic City’s casinos to help them survive the virus outbreak.

Two of the country’s largest casino worker unions, Unite Here and the Culinary Workers Union, also laid out detailed health and safety protocols unique to each worker’s job.

“I’m scared to touch dirty beds and towels and catch the virus and get my children sick,” said Gladis Blanco, a guest room attendant at the Bellagio in Las Vegas.

From the smattering of reopening plans revealed by a small number of casino companies, there appears to be agreement on some of the basics of what the workers want. Companies including Wynn Resorts, Hard Rock and Las Vegas Sands have all endorsed providing masks and gloves, and embraced social distancing.

In a June 20, 2019 photo, a dealer conducts a card game at the Hard Rock casino in Atlantic City N.J. On Tuesday, May 5, 2020 unions and casino workers in four states called for 우리카지노총판 casinos to provide protective equipment and adopt strict cleaning and health measures before casinos reopen in the U.S. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)

But the union’s requests go much deeper, asking not only for new procedures, but major new commitments of time and resources to implement them. Donald “D” Taylor, Unite Here’s national president, said workers have to be given ample time to carry out the higher level of cleaning that guests will expect.

The American Gaming Association, the casino industry’s trade group, said specific plans will vary among casinos, but “our commitment to the well-being of our team members and guests is consistent all across the country.”

The requests came as New Jersey lawmakers began considering a pair of bills that would grant millions in tax relief to the nine Atlantic City casinos.

“We have to find ways to get these casinos open safely and get people back to work,” said state Senate President Steve Sweeney, one of the sponsors. “The economy of this region is totally dependent on tourism, and that´s going to be one of the hardest to recover.”

One provision would authorize the state treasurer to lend the casinos money from a tax relief fund that in parts helps keep senior citizens taxes down. The money would be used to make payments in lieu of taxes that the casinos owe to the city of Atlantic City on May 1 and Aug. 1.

In another provision whose benefits could quickly add up, the $500 annual license fee for each slot machine would be waived for a year starting July 1. That would collectively save the casinos nearly $9 million.

The Casino Association of New Jersey urged passage of the bill, calling them “critical to ensure our industry and its thousands of employees have a path forward once we are through this pandemic.”

Casino workers on Tuesday’s video conference all described being eager to return to their jobs, while fearful of getting sick in doing so.

“My son works at a small hotel property. Is he going to bring a virus home to me?” asked Brenda Tucker Cassity, a bakery worker at the Beau Rivage casino in Biloxi. “I have elderly parents. I worry I might be bringing it home to them.”

Jeff Payne, a lounge server at Caesars casino in Atlantic City, 정선바카라노하우 said the most important thing is that casino management and workers realize they are in this together.

“The casino industry, built on rewards and tiers, must understand that we are all equal,” Payne said. “COVID virus doesn’t care how much you gamble or what tier you are.”

___

Follow Wayne Parry at website

In this June 28, 2018 photo, large crowds of customers streaming into the Ocean Resort Casino in Atlantic City, N.J. on its first full day of operation. On Tuesday, May 5, 2020 union leaders and casino workers from four states called for casinos to provide protective equipment and adopt strict cleaning and health measures before casinos reopen in the U.S. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)

Jeffrey Payne, a lounge server at Caesars casino in Atlantic City, on a computer screen in Atlantic City, N.J. during a video press conference Tuesday, May 5, 2020 at which unions and workers called for casinos to provide protective equipment and adopt strict cleaning and health measures before casinos reopen in the U.S. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)

Donald “D” Taylor, national president of the Unite Here casino workers union, is seen speaking, on a computer screen in Atlantic City, N.J. during a video press conference at which unions and workers called for casinos to provide protective equipment and adopt strict cleaning and health measures before casinos reopen in the U.S. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)

Gladis Blanco, a guest room attendant at the Bellagio casino in Las Vegas, on a computer screen in Atlantic City, N.J. during a video press conference Tuesday, May 5, 2020 at which unions and workers called for casinos to provide protective equipment and adopt strict cleaning and health measures before casinos reopen in the U.S. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)

In this May 5, 2020 photo Brenda Tucker Cassity, a bakery worker at the Beau Rivage casino in Biloxi, Mississippi is seen on a computer screen in Atlantic City, N.J. during a video press conference at which unions and workers called for casinos to provide protective equipment and adopt strict cleaning and health measures before casinos reopen in the U.S. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)

This June 20, 2019 photo shows a game of roulette underway at the Hard Rock casino in Atlantic City N.J. New Jersey lawmakers are considering a pair of bills introduced on May 4, 2020 that would give Atlantic City’s casinos millions of dollars in tax relief to help them recover from the coronavirus outbreak. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)

This June 20, 2019 photo shows a game of craps underway at the Hard Rock casino in Atlantic City N.J. New Jersey lawmakers are considering a pair of bills introduced on May 4, 2020 that would give Atlantic City’s casinos millions of dollars in tax relief to help them recover from the coronavirus outbreak. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)

This June 20, 2019 photo shows people playing slot machines at the Hard Rock casino in Atlantic City N.J. New Jersey lawmakers are considering a pair of bills introduced on May 4, 2020 that would give Atlantic City’s casinos millions of dollars in tax relief to help them recover from the coronavirus outbreak. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)

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