Distance, Friendship, and Writing the Beautiful Game

Distance, Friendship, and Writing the Beautiful Game

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For the writers Karl Ove Knausgaard and Fredrik Ekelund soccer, is an entry point to explore their lives, their politics, and their families.

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July 16, 2017 at 10:03AM

Colorado Trail Race 2017 – The Long Road to Denver, Pt. 1: The Bike

Colorado Trail Race 2017 – The Long Road to Denver, Pt. 1: The Bike

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At 4:00am on Sunday, July 23, I’ll be among the group of bikepackers setting out from Durango to ride the 525 miles to Denver along the Colorado Trail.  This will be an adventure unlike anything I’ve ever undertaken, with challenges unlike anything I’ve ever faced.  The route is 60% singletrack and tallies nearly 70,000 feet […]

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July 16, 2017 at 12:19AM

At Wimbledon, Garbiñe Muguruza Displays Her Occasional Greatness

At Wimbledon, Garbiñe Muguruza Displays Her Occasional Greatness

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Gerald Marzorati on the 2017 Wimbledon women’s final, in which Garbiñe Muguruza defeated Venus Williams.

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July 15, 2017 at 09:23PM

It’s Epcot’s Turn for a Disney Park Upgrade

It’s Epcot’s Turn for a Disney Park Upgrade

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And might a Mickey Mouse-themed attraction be replacing Disney World’s dusty Great Movie Ride?

Disney is counting on its theme park division to help offset slowing growth at ESPN. Last year, Disney parks generated $17 billion in revenue, a 5 percent increase compared with a year earlier, and $3.3 billion in operating income, a 9 percent increase.

In particular, Disney has been pouring money into Disney World. Robert A. Iger, Disney’s chief executive, wants to use technology to make its parks more immersive and relevant to a new generation of children. The expansions are also designed to make each of Disney World’s four major parks — the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom — an equally powerful draw for tourists. That might help better distribute crowds across the resort.

Most people, for instance, make a beeline for the 110-acre Magic Kingdom, where attendance totaled roughly 20.4 million last year, and then add on half-days at parks like Epcot, which hosted about 11.7 million visitors last year despite being more than twice the size of the Magic Kingdom.

Disney World, which is gearing up for its 50th anniversary in 2021, also faces stronger competition from nearby Universal Orlando, which is undergoing a building boom of its own.

In 2012, Disney opened a $500 million expansion of Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom. Animal Kingdom recently unveiled a $500 million addition, with an “Avatar” theme, that has been mobbed by visitors. (Lines for some of the new “Avatar” rides initially stretched to three hours.) Hollywood Studios is in the midst of what Bank of America Merrill Lynch has estimated is a $1 billion project to add myriad “Toy Story” and “Star Wars” rides.

Upgrades and expansions to Disney-owned hotels (Polynesian Village, Coronado Springs, Caribbean Beach) and Disney Springs, a shopping and dining district, are costing hundreds of millions more.

That leaves Epcot.

Epcot has not been entirely ignored. Last year, Disney gave an older boat ride housed in the park’s Norway pavilion a “Frozen” retrofit. But large areas of Epcot have become painfully outdated. One ride (scheduled to be replaced) is essentially a 45-minute celebration of fossil fuel; slow-moving vehicles move past dioramas explaining the history of oil, natural gas and coal. A boat ride called Living With the Land takes riders past agricultural scenes.

Many Disneyphiles love that certain Epcot attractions (Spaceship Earth, a jerky tour through world history that is housed inside that golf ball) have remained trapped in amber. But the recent popularity of the new “Frozen” ride has sent an unmistakable message to Disney’s corporate offices: Epcot needs more character-themed attractions to compete for the attention of children.

In many ways, Epcot is Disney’s quirkiest park. It was initially conceived by Walt Disney himself as an actual city called the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow. The company eventually scrapped that plan after his death but kept an educational focus, dividing the park into two main areas, Future World and World Showcase, a constellation of pavilions representing the food, architecture and history of nations like Japan, China, Canada and France. The park was called Epcot Center until a mid-1990s rebranding.

Epcot has lately been best known as a type of festival grounds, with offerings aimed at older visitors that include a lavish flower and garden gathering in the spring and a popular food and wine event in the late summer and fall.

Continue reading the main story

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July 15, 2017 at 05:42PM

The Trump Administration’s Fraught Attempt to Address Campus Sexual Assault

The Trump Administration’s Fraught Attempt to Address Campus Sexual Assault

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Jeannie Suk Gersen on the Trump Administration’s efforts to reshape the guidance concerning how colleges and universities should handle allegations of sexual assault under Title IX.

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July 15, 2017 at 05:36PM

Trump Hotels Will Delay the Opening of Its First Scion Property

Trump Hotels Will Delay the Opening of Its First Scion Property

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Trump Hotels

Cleveland, Mississippi, would be the first location for the Scion hotel chain, a slightly less upscale brand it announced last fall to cater to younger travelers. Trump Hotels

Skift Take: Executives hadn’t yet visited the construction site before they announced their design plans. It’s one more reason why Trump Hotels’ management isn’t widely praised.

— Sean O’Neill

Trump Hotels‘ inaugural property with the Scion brand — the first not to bear the name of U.S. President Donald Trump — has been delayed to make design changes requested by company executives after they made three visits to the site since early June, according to the developer.

The changes, which require new construction permits, will push back the opening of the hotel in Cleveland, Mississippi, by five or six months, according to Dinesh Chawla, chief executive officer of Chawla Hotels Inc. The company is building the $20 million property and will own it, while Trump Hotels will manage it.

“We have temporarily slowed down our construction because they wanted a lot of things reworked, re-engineered,” Chawla said in a phone interview.

Trump executives visited the site as recently as two weeks ago, according to Chawla. He said the hotel is likely to open in spring 2018 and he is hoping for March. Chawla had initially hoped to finish construction by the end of the year, he said, and some media reports last month said the debut was slated for “early 2018.” Trump Hotels hasn’t announced a date and a company representative had no immediate comment.

The construction slowdown is another setback in launching a brand that was first announced by Ivanka Trump two months before her father was elected president in November. A deal for a Scion hotel in Dallas was scuttled in April after the development partner in that deal touted his plans to finance the project with foreign investors. Trump Hotels said in June it has 39 letters of intent to develop Scion hotels, declining to specify locations.

Lifestyle Brands

Scion, which means “descendant of a notable family,” is one of many so-called lifestyle brands introduced in recent years and aimed at millennial travelers. Its four-star tier is one notch below the namesake Trump luxury hotels.

The property in Mississippi, to be known as Scion at West End, will be a cluster of about 10 low-rise buildings and include 95 guest rooms, meeting space, restaurants, a spa and a pool, according to Chawla. Trump Hotels will set the room rates, which could run about $150 a night, he said.

Chawla also is developing the first of Trump’s American Idea hotels, a budget brand announced in June that’s supposed to be built around vintage decor local to the area. American Idea’s rates could start at about $65, Chawla said in June. Rooms at the luxury Trump namesake brand run hundreds of dollars to more than $1,000 a night.

The Scion delay doesn’t reflect any financial issues, just structural and aesthetic changes, mainly focused on repositioning the buildings and creating more open space for public functions like concerts, Chawla said.

The property is a conversion of a hotel the company had started building last year that was intended to be named Lyric, in honor of the region’s blues-music heritage. Trump Hotels executives hadn’t yet visited the site when they announced plans for the first Scion hotel on June 5 in New York, according to Chawla.

‘Far Advanced’

They didn’t realize how far advanced we were on the construction,” he said. “In our lobby, we were going to have music performances. They said, if you’re going to have that, you have to have a two-story lobby. That’s hard to do when you have a floor above the lobby. You can’t just go in there with a jackhammer and knock out concrete.”

Other changes call for redesigning the spa and installing a kitchen closer to meeting space to speed up food delivery, according to Chawla.

“They felt the buildings were a little too spread out the way we had them,” said the developer, who expects to file for new building permits in about three weeks.

One thing remains the same: “You won’t see the name Trump anywhere in any of the properties,” Chawla said. “That’s against the rules.”

This article was written by Hui-yong Yu from Bloomberg and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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July 15, 2017 at 03:35PM

Republican States Are Demanding That the White House Stop Protecting D

Republican States Are Demanding That the White House Stop Protecting D

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Jonathan Blitzer on a threatened lawsuit that would seek to push President Trump to dismantle the immigration program.

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July 15, 2017 at 03:14PM

What the Obamas Like to Watch

What the Obamas Like to Watch

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Michelle Obama arrived home tense and exhausted. She had just flown back
from Stanford after a volatile debate about whether vegans can eat
buttercrunch lettuce even though it doesn’t have butter in it. “Just the
name makes me feel unsafe!” a young woman had shouted, bursting into
tears. Later, a Christian vegan spoke about the sanctity of life,
demanding that people stop eating baby spinach: “It’s a partial-birth
vegetable!”

“What a day,” Michelle said, as she dropped onto the couch next to
Barack, who was anonymously filling out a People magazine ballot for
the World’s Sexiest President.

“You know what you need?” Barack said. “Channel 45.”

“Oh, yes!” Michelle said. When Donald Trump won the election, the
C.I.A., as a safety measure, had secretly installed cameras in all areas
that would become part of the President-elect’s orbit. As a parting
gift, the agency gave the Obamas access to the feed. Barack flipped to
channel 45, where there was a menu of different locations. He clicked on
the Lincoln Bedroom icon.

Jared Kushner was zipping up Ivanka’s dress.

“Oh, my God, I could scream! BE HONEST. This outfit makes me look fat,
doesn’t it? Look at my ass. It’s like I’m wearing a booster seat!

“Jared, please,” Ivanka said. “We can’t go through this every time you
pass a mirror. You look great.”

“How can I? Do you know how long it’s been since I’ve exfoliated? Vonky,
your father runs me ragged!”

“Well, he respects you.”

“With these shaggy eyebrows? How could he? But can I see my waxer? No,
Thor has to wait till I straighten out the Middle East. O.K., I admit
it! I’ve been stress eating.” Jared opened a drawer and removed a baggie
full of carrot shavings. He put two of them in his mouth and chewed, his
expression a mixture of bliss and guilt. “If I keep bingeing like this,
then by the end of his term I’m going to weigh a hundred and fifty
pounds!”

Michelle took control of the remote. “I feel better already,” she said.
“Let’s look in on Tweedledum and Tweedledumber.”

At Trump Tower, Eric scanned his phone as Donald, Jr., ate dinner. Don
was just back from a safari and was wearing a T-shirt that said, “I WENT
TO AFRICA AND ALL I GOT WAS THIS STUPID T-SHIRT AND THREE OF THE LAST
REMAINING LEOPARDS ON EARTH.”

“Dude, you gotta try this,” Don said, taking a bite of whooping-crane
burger. “It tastes so much better knowing it might the last one!”

Eric shook his head. “Do you know what your stupid-ass Russia move might
do to us? They say Dad might, like, get impeached!”

Don stopped chewing, a small whooping foot hanging over his lower lip.
What?”

“Do you know what that means for us?”

Don nodded. “Yeah, it means he’ll come back and run the business! We
can’t have that. These last four months are the first time since
Grandführer ran the company that we’ve turned a profit.”

Barack took the clicker back. “Hey, it’s prayer time.”

He selected the Observatory Circle icon. Vice-President Pence, in blue
pajamas patterned with the alternating faces of Jesus and Reagan, was
kneeling by his bed. At his side, Mrs. Mike Pence quietly strummed “Who
Made the Beautiful Rainbow?” on her guitar.

“Dear God,” the Vice-President began, “please help America’s young
people. I was on a Web site today and saw pictures of Justin Bieber
skinny-dipping! Lord, if he ever does that again, please let me be in
the water nearby so that I can grab him by his hard, perfectly rounded
shoulders and tell him to stop.”

Mrs. Mike Pence began plucking “This Little Light of Mine.”

Her husband continued, “Earlier, I wondered if I have been too harsh in
my judgment of President Trump, but then, in a meeting about our
crumbling nuclear triad, he spat a pool of saliva on his desk, leaned
over it, and said, ‘Guys, check this out! You can see my reflection! No
matter where I go, I’ve always got a mirror!’ I knew then that my plans
have not been in vain. Soon, I’ll be in the Oval Office, doing the good
work You want done. No more abortions, a fifteen-per-cent corporate tax,
and wedding cakes for straight people only!”

The Vice-President paused to answer his phone. “Yes, Mr. President. I
saw those poll numbers. I was just praying about them. Yes, I do have an
idea for how you can improve things. You need to tweet more.”

After the call, Mrs. Mike Pence was overcome with admiration. She
considered throwing her arms around the Vice-President, but she
desisted. There are only two reasons to put your arms around a man: to
make a baby or to perform the Heimlich. So she blew out their chastity
candle and said, “It won’t be long now.”

Michelle slipped her arm through Barack’s, the stress of her day gone.
“Two thousand channels, every great mind in Hollywood creating the
golden age of television,” she said. “Yet nothing beats channel 45.”

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July 15, 2017 at 02:10PM

News: Norwegian UK granted tentative US air carrier permit

News: Norwegian UK granted tentative US air carrier permit

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Norwegian has confirmed its British subsidiary, Norwegian UK, has been given tentative approval by the United States department of transportation for a foreign air carrier permit. The approval reaffirms that the NUK application is in full compliance with the EU–US Open Skies Agreement.

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July 15, 2017 at 11:55AM