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Kanye West will not appear on presidential ballots in Wisconsin



Kanye West has been kept off the presidential ballot in Wisconsin as his campaign turned his nomination papers in minutes after the deadline.

est announced his intention to run for president on a ticket called the Birthday Party in July and has since been gathering signatures to get on the ballot in several states.

Democrats allege that Republicans are pushing Mr West’s candidacy in several swing states to siphon black votes away from Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

Wisconsin is expected to play a key role in deciding the election after Donald Trump narrowly won the state in 2016.

A group of voters filed a complaint with the state Elections Commission earlier this month alleging West campaign workers missed the 5pm deadline on August 5.

That was the cutoff for independent presidential candidates to submit the required 2,000 signatures from Wisconsin voters to get on the ballot.

West’s campaign lawyer Michael Curran argued during a hearing before the commission that West campaign workers did not enter the commission’s building until 14 seconds after 5pm on August 5 but commission staff still accepted the papers, constituting a timely filing.

Commission staffer Cody Davies told the panel the building was locked due to the coronavirus pandemic but he was waiting in the lobby to let filers in as 5pm approached.

This is one of the closest call cases I’ve seen but consistency requires me to treat all candidates the sameDean Knudson

He said West’s representatives called him at 4.57pm and said they were three minutes away.

He said he let them in 14 seconds after 5pm and accompanied them on the lift ride up to the commission’s offices.

Another commission staff member, Riley Willman, said he was in the commission’s lobby to accept papers.

He said West’s representatives placed the papers on the counter one minute past 5pm, but had to organise them and he did not take possession until several minutes past 5pm.

Commissioner Robert Spindell, a Republican, pushed the panel to give West the benefit of the doubt, saying the pandemic has made life harder and his people might have made it to the commission in time if the building doors had been open.

He also argued that Democrats are unfairly trying to keep a black candidate off the ballot.

“We are talking a matter of seconds here,” Mr Spindell said.

But the rest of the commission said common sense dictates that 5pm is 5pm.

Commissioner Dean Knudson, a Republican, said: “This is one of the closest call cases I’ve seen but consistency requires me to treat all candidates the same, regardless of their party or their colour or any other characteristics.

“I think the complainants have (presented clear) evidence that he was late.”

The commission voted 5-1 to keep West and running mate Michelle Tidball off the ballot, but West could challenge this decision in court.

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Abba star Bjorn Ulvaeus shares message of hope during Eurovision show


Abba star Bjorn Ulvaeus has hailed the Eurovision Song Contest as an “escape” during the coronavirus pandemic, as it was announced that the event would return to Rotterdam next year.

he final of the 65th edition of the event was due to take place on Saturday night in the city in the Netherlands, but was cancelled due to the outbreak.

Ulvaeus, 75, appeared in a pre-recorded video message during the final moments of Eurovision: Shine A Light on BBC One.

Recalling Abba’s win in Brighton with Waterloo in 1974, he said: “The ESC is one hell of a launching pad.

“And it still remains one of the most genuinely joyous event of the TV era and it is so disarmingly European. It also allows you to escape and be happy.

“Everybody knows why there couldn’t be the usual Eurovision final this year.

“But we hope this show will comfort you in some small way, knowing that it will be back next year.

“Very good title by the way – Shine A Light. I’m glad they didn’t choose Waterloo. Long live the Eurovision Song Contest.”

It was also announced that the contest would take place in Rotterdam in 2021, after its producer, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), and its Dutch members NPO, NOS and AVROTROS, reached an agreement.

Martin Osterdahl, Eurovision’s executive supervisor, said in a statement: “We are extremely happy that we can now move forward.

“It’s vitally important that the Eurovision Song Contest returns next year, and we’re pleased to have the necessary commitment from our Members in the Netherlands to bring this much-loved show back to audiences across the world.

“I firmly believe that all of us involved in the Eurovision Song Contest will stand united through challenges and change to bring the Contest back stronger than ever, ensuring its longevity for decades to come.”

Shine A Light was organised to honour all the 41 songs which would have made up this year’s contest, in a non-competitive format, and featured the acts covering Katrina And The Waves’ Love Shine A Light.

It also saw host Graham Norton struggle with a time delay as he spoke to the programme’s main hosts via video-call.

Afterwards, he said: “God, that was awkward. Well, here we are now, back on. But I did mean it, I have found this strangely emotional, this whole evening.”

It followed the BBC’s replacement coverage, also hosted by Norton, in which viewers voted Abba’s song Waterloo as the greatest Eurovision entry.

The track came out top from a list of 19 acts, selected by a panel featuring broadcasters Ken Bruce, Rylan Clark-Neal, Scott Mills and Mel Giedroyc.

The special programme, titled Eurovision: Come Together, saw Norton pay tribute to Sir Terry Wogan, who he succeeded as host of the BBC’s Eurovision coverage.

He told viewers: “I know this isn’t real Eurovision but this is song nine, and it is a tradition that we raise a glass on song nine for the late Sir Terry Wogan.

“As we look back over 64 years of Eurovision, I am sure that for many of you, Sir Terry was a highlight over the years. So we think of him and raise a glass.”

Norton marked song nine because Sir Terry once warned him not to drink alcohol before that point in the contest, in order to stay alert.

UK entries such as Making Your Mind Up by Bucks Fizz, from 1981, and Love Shine A Light by Katrina And The Waves, from 1997, were among the list.

The series also featured an interview with James Newman, who was due to flag the flag for the UK at this year’s content.

Newman, brother of pop star John Newman, was hoping to improve the country’s prospects at the annual event after Michael Rice placed last in 2019 with Bigger Than Us.

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James Newman (Victor Frankowski/BBC/PA)

Speaking via videolink, he recalled the moment he found out the contest had been cancelled.

He said: “It was before lockdown and me and my wife were just out for a drive actually. We’d just been out to get some shopping and stuff. And then I got a text and they were like: ‘It’s cancelled.’ I had to have a few minutes to myself.”

He tipped Iceland’s Think About Things by Dadi Og Gagnamagnid as the entry he had been looking forward to seeing.

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COVID-19: Praise for pandemic health pros prompts patio dance party


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Each night at 7 p.m., Vancouverites collectively stand on their balconies, patios and yards to bang pots, pans and other cookware, as a way of applauding essential workers across the city who continue to step up in the face of COVID-19.

A few minutes after that is when the party gets started – that is, the Mount Pleasant patio dance party.

Harry Curtin, 28, is a teacher and has been working remotely from his condo near Main and 7th since health officials ordered schools and workplaces closed to curb the spread of the virus.

He and two roommates had been regularly participating in the nightly 7 p.m. cheer when, on a sunny Tuesday in early April, the trio decided to play some music over a speaker when the clanging and banging subsided.

“It just seemed like – we could all clearly see each other but we just kind of walked back into our apartment,” Curtin said of his neighbourhood, which consists of condominiums clustered around a Main Street intersection.



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Harry Styles breaks silence over Valentine’s Day mugging



Harry Styles has assured fans that he is “OK” after recently being mugged in north London.

he One Direction singer, 26, is reported to have handed over cash when he was confronted by a mugger with a knife during a night out in Hampstead on Valentine’s Day.

Styles addressed the incident for the first time on Wednesday during an appearance on US morning programme Today.

Asked by host Carson Daly how he was following the reports of him being mugged, Styles said: “I’m OK, thanks for asking.”

Scotland Yard confirmed last week that the force is investigating a knifepoint robbery in the area.

A statement said: “Officers were contacted on Saturday February 15 regarding the incident which happened at 11.50pm on Friday February 14.

“It was reported that a man in his 20s was approached by another man and threatened him with a knife.

“The victim was not injured however, cash was taken from him.

“No arrests and inquiries are ongoing.”

Styles’ appearance on the US show saw him perform a number of his songs live to crowds in New York, including Kiwi, Adore You and Watermelon Sugar.

He also discussed a potential collaboration with US singer-songwriter Lizzo.

Styles said: “I just thinks she’s amazing, she’s such a great artist, as a fan what you want artists to be is themselves and I think she’s someone who is just herself and she makes amazing music and it’s really feel good and I think it’s what a lot of people need right now.”

He said “maybe” when asked if he would release music with the Juice hitmaker in the future.

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Justin Bieber is the latest star to be diagnosed with Lyme disease – what is it?



Justin Bieber has revealed he has been diagnosed with Lyme disease (AP Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
Justin Bieber has revealed he has been diagnosed with Lyme disease (AP Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Justin Bieber is the latest celebrity to reveal they have been diagnosed with Lyme disease.

The debilitating illness is spread to humans by infected ticks and symptoms can include headaches, muscle and joint pain, tiredness and loss of energy.

Other high-profile sufferers of Lyme disease include Hollywood actor Alec Baldwin and the model Bella Hadid.

Here is some more information about the condition.

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Model Bella Hadid is one of the most famous sufferers of Lyme disease (PA)

– What causes Lyme disease?

The infection is spread to humans if they are bitten by an infected tick. The tiny spider-like creatures are found in woodland and heath areas throughout the UK and in other parts of Europe and North America.

Not everyone who gets bitten by a tick will be infected with Lyme disease as only a small proportion carry the bacteria which causes the condition. A tick bite can only cause Lyme disease in humans if the tick has already bitten an infected animal.

– What are the symptoms?

Many people with early symptoms of Lyme disease develop a circular red skin rash around a tick bite, often described as looking like a bullseye on a dart board. The rash can appear up to three months after being bitten and usually lasts for several weeks. Most rashes appear within the first four weeks after being bitten.

Not everyone will get a rash, and some will experience flu-like symptoms in the early stages, such as a high temperature, or feeling hot and shivery, as well as headaches, muscle and joint pain, tiredness and loss of energy.

Lyme disease may be difficult to diagnose as people can have common and unspecific symptoms, like a headache or fever, and they may not notice or remember a tick bite. But if left untreated it can lead to conditions such as meningitis or heart failure.

– How is it diagnosed and treated?

Anyone who thinks they may have Lyme disease should visit their GP, who can carry out two types of blood test to help confirm or rule it out.

If confirmed, patients will be prescribed a three-week course of antibiotics. Most people will get better, although this can take several months. A small proportion will continue to have symptoms, such as tiredness, aches and loss of energy, which can last for several years.

– What precautions can be taken to prevent it?

The South of England and the Scottish Highlands have been earmarked as high risk areas for Lyme disease. Exmoor, the New Forest and other rural areas of Hampshire, the South Downs, parts of Wiltshire and Berkshire, parts of Surrey and West Sussex, Thetford Forest in Norfolk, the Lake District, the North York Moors and the Scottish Highlands are all known to have a particularly high population of ticks.

Covering up bare skin while walking outdoors, using insect repellent, staying on paths whenever possible, and wearing light-coloured clothing so ticks are easier to spot and brush off are all ways to reduce the risk of being bitten.

– How common is it?

It is estimated there are 2,000 to 3,000 new cases of Lyme disease in England and Wales each year.

Are there any other celebrities who suffer from it?

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Canadian singer Avril Lavigne said she was left bed-ridden for months after being diagnosed with Lyme disease (Yui Mok/PA)

Bieber is just one of many famous faces to have gone public with a Lyme disease diagnosis.

His fellow Canadian singer Avril Lavigne revealed in 2015 she had been battling the condition for a year and said she was bedridden for five months.

Shania Twain has told how the disease left her unable to sing after she was bitten by a tick in 2003 while in the US.

Hollywood star Alec Baldwin said he feared he would die when he was diagnosed with the illness.

Perhaps the most vocal campaigner trying to raise awareness of Lyme disease is the Dutch former model Yolanda Hadid, who said the illness has left her “often wishing to die of utter hopelessness and exhaustion”.

Hadid’s children, the models Bella and Anwar, are also said to suffer from the condition.

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Liam Payne turns fan as he watches Harry Styles on stage at Jingle Bell Ball



Harry Styles performs on stage during day one of Capital’s Jingle Bell Ball (Isabel Infantes)
Harry Styles performs on stage during day one of Capital’s Jingle Bell Ball (Isabel Infantes)

Liam Payne watched his ex-bandmate Harry Styles perform at Capital’s Jingle Bell Ball.

The singer, 26, showed his support for his former One Direction bandmate as Styles, 25, sang tracks including What Makes You Beautiful.

Earlier, Payne opened the show at London’s O2 Arena.

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Liam Payne at the Jingle Bell Ball (Capital/Instagram Stories)

With his girlfriend, Maya Henry, he then watched Styles, who performed wearing an open chested jumpsuit.

Rita Ora, who performed on stage, was also in the audience.

Stormzy was also on the bill and later could be seen chatting to Styles saying, “We’ve got to link up when you’re ready.”

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Rita Ora performs on stage during day one of Capital’s Jingle Bell Ball (Isabel Infantes/PA)

Earlier, Payne told Capital’s Will Manning: “I don’t think I’ve ever seen Harry perform on his own before live, which I think will be quite a nostalgic moment, so I think might have to stick around for that.”

The event continues on Sunday with Taylor Swift, Sam Smith, Anne-Marie, Mabel and Sigala among the names on the bill.

The weekend line-up also includes The Script, Jax Jones and AJ Tracey.

More information is at Capitalfm.com.

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TRNSMT Festival bosses claim gender-balanced line-up is on its way


Gender-balanced festivals are on their way (Picture: REX/Getty)

TRNSMT festival bosses claimed a gender-balanced line-up is on its way but more women need to be ‘picking up guitars’.

The 50/50 ratio may take ‘several years’ as Festival bosses believe there are more male artists.

Festival director, Geoff Ellis, said: ‘We’d love there to be a higher representation of females but there isn’t, certainly on the acts we’re announcing today.

‘It will be a while until there’s a 50/50 balance. That’s definitely several years ahead for any major festival to achieve because there’s far, far less female artists.

‘We need to get more females picking up guitars, forming bands, playing in bands. There are less female acts to go around.’

TRNSMT recently released some of the acts for 2020, and it includes The Courteeners, Liam Gallagher, Foals, Keane, Lewis Capaldi and Ian Brown.

Only two of the acts so far are women: Rita Ora and Little Simz.

Lewis is playing for the fourth year in a row (Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Rita is ‘arena level’ already (Picture: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

‘There’s definitely more to come – they’re just not over the line yet,’ he added.

The festival’s Queen Tut’s stage – which is for only female acts – will return at next year’s event.

‘We’re giving that platform to help more females see that kind of opportunity because you do get more of a drop-off at a grassroots level and there are less female artists around,’ Geoff continued.

‘It’s not just about booking more female acts because if there are less of them then there are less of them to go round all the festivals’.

Geoff also had to defend the line-up for looking too similar to last year’s one.

Little Simz had a busy year starring in Top Boy (Picture: APA-PictureDesk GmbH/REX)

2020 will be the fourth year Lewis Capaldi headlines the festival, while both Liam Gallagher and The Courteeners have played two years ago.

He blames a mixture of a lack of headline acts and Brexit for ruining availabilities of artists.

More: Rita Ora

Geoff said: ‘We all know there aren’t a lot of festival headliners out there. It’s been the case for the past decade.

‘If you look at T in the Park, the likes of The Killers, Kings of Leon and Foo Fighters played quite often.’

TRNSMT festival will take place on 10-12 July 2020.



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