John Legend serenades the Greek Theatre in LA for two impressive nights

John Legend kicked off his Darkness & Light this past weekend, which included two stops at Los Angeles’ historic Greek Theatre. On Sunday and Monday night, the “Ordinary People” singer performed to two sold out crowds, with rising R&B star Gallant as an opener. 

Related: Interview: Gallant on touring with John Legend, ‘Ology’ and musical beginnings

Legend’s stage setup had him and his piano propelled above the crowd looking down at the crowd was only a small part of his impressive performance. The singer/songwriter serenaded the crowd with hits like “Ordinary People” and “All Of Me,” and even had his good friend Common take the stage with him for a song.

Legend will be taking his tour all around the U.S. and Canada. Take a look at all of his tour dates here and grab select tickets right here on AXS. Take a look at photos from Sunday at the Greek Theatre above. 

Source Article from https://www.axs.com/john-legend-serenades-the-greek-theatre-in-la-for-two-impressive-night-119179

Photos: Ab-Soul plays El Rey Theatre in LA, brings out ScHoolboy Q

Ab-Soul kicked off Memorial Day weekend right in Los Angeles, by playing a set at the El Rey Theatre and bringing out very special guests. The Do What Thou Wilt rapper ended his U.S. tour in support of his latest album, which was only fitting since he hails from L.A.

The TDE rapper wouldn’t have had it any other way but to bring out some of his fellow label-mates, and he did just that with ScHoolboy Q and SZA. Unfortunately, Kendrick Lamar didn’t make an appearance, but the performance was still top-notch and the crowd showed incredible energy for the 30-year-old rapper. 

Take a look at our photos from the show above, and while Ab-Soul’s tour is over, you can check out dates to Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. tour here

Source Article from https://www.axs.com/photos-ab-soul-plays-el-rey-theatre-in-la-brings-out-schoolboy-q-119177

Interview: Sweet Megg & The Wayfarers release debut single

Take a trip to the past with Sweet Megg & The Wayfarers. This jazz band has been bringing a new flare to the jazz community in NYC. 

While staying true to the jazz sound, the band has a vibrant, unique sound of their own. Between Sweet Megg’s impressive vocals and the talented band playing instruments such as the trumpet, saxophone, piano and more, you will feel like you are in another era. 

Their debut single “Here Comes the Man with The Jive” from their self-titled album has an upbeat tempo, creating a new sound different from the original version by Stuff Smith. The upbeat tempo gives the tune a new party feel and to accomplish this sound, the Wayfarers recorded the song live. “I wanted to capture the party element of this music”, Sweet Megg says of the song. “When we perform this song by the end of it the crowd is usually jumping. We wanted the record to sound like that too and I think we accomplished it,” Megg continued. 

“We always play this song at our rowdy shows as a closer because we can really get the band hootin and hollerin’!”- Megg on the group’s debut single “Here Comes the Man with the Jive”. 

“Here Comes the Man with the Jive” represents the performing band’s energy that they are well-known for. 

Sweet Megg and the Wayfarers bring new life to jazz and continue to do so by exploring their influences. Megg tells AXS, “If a horn player wants to go super out with their solo and do a bunch of heady substitutions in their solo I say, ‘Do it!'” The band strives to explore and mix the past with the future, not recreate it and have ultimately created a timeless sound. 

The group has held residencies at The Standard Hotel, House of Yes, The Wayland, St. Mazie’s, and The Belfry. Their new album is set to be released soon. 

Source Article from https://www.axs.com/interview-sweet-megg-the-wayfarers-release-debut-single-119175

Bloomberg: Electric Vehicles Cheaper than Gas Vehicles by 2025






Bloomberg: Electric Vehicles Cheaper than Gas Vehicles by 2025


May 31st, 2017

I agree with this assessment much more than the one that said no gas cars by 2025.

Via: Bloomberg:

Now research from Bloomberg New Energy Finance indicates that falling battery costs will mean electric vehicles will also be cheaper to buy in the U.S. and Europe as soon as 2025. Batteries currently account for about half the cost of EVs, and their prices will fall by about 77 percent between 2016 and 2030, the London-based researcher said.















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Biggest Threat to Utilities Is Not Solar + Storage, It’s Their Own Greed






Biggest Threat to Utilities Is Not Solar + Storage, It’s Their Own Greed


May 31st, 2017

Disclosure: I sell solar power systems in New Zealand.

I had written a long, obscenity laden rant about the retail energy cartel in New Zealand as the commentary on this story. Upon reading over what I’d written, and cleaning the spit off my screen, I realized that A) I’d written it all before and B) disconnecting from the grid is the one thing these guys understand at this point. As they increase the solar-tax-as-“fairness” narrative, I’ll be stepping up my plans to disconnect from the grid.

I’ve spoken to a Tesla salesperson about using the Powerwall 2 off grid and he told me that there is definitely a plan for it to be usable off grid, but that the specifics—for example, how generator backup would work—have not been finalized. However, if you’re in NZ and want a Powerwall 2 ASAP, Tesla is accepting pre-orders now.

I have no business relationship with Tesla at all, and, in fact, I sell competing systems. I’m actually working against my own financial interests by directing people to Tesla, but I don’t care. I tell my own customers that they shouldn’t buy the battery systems I’m able to sell them because the Powerwall 2 is a better value. The storage industry needs to deal with the Tesla reality and drop prices or die. I refuse to paint lipstick on a pig with stuff from LG, Sonnen, Panasonic, Samsung, Enphase, etc. Am I going to become known as the guy who sold people more expensive and inferior products than what they can get from Tesla? No, I am not.

(Someone will ask why I don’t go sell Powerwalls for Tesla. I had the same idea. It turns out that those jobs are in Auckland only. Assuming I could get one of those jobs, saying that my family and I have no interest in moving to Auckland would be a polite understatement.)

Via: RenewEconomy:

There is no doubting that energy utilities are fully aware of the existential threat to their current business models presented by new technologies – solar and storage and smart software in particular.

That much we know, because they have spent so much time analysing the future and how it might affect the way they manage their affairs. But there is a far greater risk that dovetails with the threat of these new technologies – their own short-term greed.

This is nothing new. Every industry that has faced such momentous transition has faced the same issues. Just ask the print media. Just ask Kodak. Just ask the motor industry. Executives are driven by short-term profit incentives, few are prepared to cannibalise existing earnings in order to position their business for a different business model.

Now we see the utilities going through the same issues. They have assets – poles and wires that stretch across the country like no other network in the world – that are not easily replaced or substituted.

But they have a major problem: as the costs of new technologies fall dramatically, the cost of grid-based electricity is soaring in the opposite direction.

The determination of the network owners and fossil fuel generators to protect their short-term revenue targets is simply making the competition more inviting and giving good reason for customers to look at alternatives. It’s a train crash that is waiting to happen, and no one is too sure what to do about it.















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Billionaire Robert Bigelow ‘Absolutely Convinced’ Aliens Are Currently Living on Earth






Billionaire Robert Bigelow ‘Absolutely Convinced’ Aliens Are Currently Living on Earth


May 30th, 2017

It would be nice if he shared some details as to why he believes this. It would be nicer if he showed proof of it.

Via: Independent:

One of Nasa’s partners has said that he is “absolutely convinced� aliens exist – and that they are living on Earth right now.

Robert Bigelow, an entrepreneur who is working closely with Nasa on future space missions, has suggested that he knows that our planet has an alien presence that is “right under our noses�.

Mr Bigelow made the announcement during an episode of the show 60 Minutes that focused on his work with the space agency.

His company, Bigelow Aerospace, is developing an expendable craft for humans that can inflate and might provide the space habitats of the future.

They have already been tested out in journeys to the International Space Station. And the two organisations are working on further co-operation.

But during that episode Mr Bigelow began to talk about his belief in aliens – and his claim that UFOs have come to Earth and extraterrestrials have an “existing presence� here.

“I’m absolutely convinced [that aliens exist],� he told reporter Lara Logan. “That’s all there is to it.�

Asked by Ms Logan whether he also thought that UFOs had come to Earth, he said he did.

“There has been and is an existing presence, an ET presence,� Mr Bigelow said. “And I spent millions and millions and millions – I probably spent more as an individual than anybody else in the United States has ever spent on this subject.�

Ms Logan then asked if Mr Bigelow thought it was “riskyâ€� to say that he believes such things. He said that he doesn’t care what people think because it wouldn’t “change the reality of what I knowâ€�.















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Turkey blasts US for ‘extremely dangerous’ arming of Kurds in Syria

“Such steps are extremely dangerous for Syria’s unity and territorial integrity,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told the media on Wednesday.

“If we are looking for stability in Syria, we should row back from those mistakes,” he told a press conference, while speaking alongside his Slovenian counterpart, Karl Erjavec.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Pentagon said deliveries of small arms, machine guns and other military equipment to Kurdish fighters in Syria began this week, saying the move is necessary to help the militias fight the Islamic State terrorist group (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) near the city of Raqqa.

This runs counter to earlier reports which said that as many as 100 trucks loaded with US weapons and ammunition had already been delivered to SDF over the past few weeks.

The Pentagon said it considers the multiethnic Syrian Democratic Force (SDF), which is dominated by the Kurdish Peoples’ Protection Units (YPG), to be the only military contingent on the ground capable of taking the IS stronghold Raqqa.

Ankara is opposed to arming the SDF, saying the weapons may end up in the hands of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), a Kurdish militant movement based in Turkey that has been waging a guerrilla war against the Turkish government since the 1980s. Both Turkey and the US consider the PKK to be a terrorist organization.

The US first announced that it intended to arm Kurdish fighters in Syria shortly before Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s May 16 visit to Washington.

The president clearly expressed our position and concerns during his Washington visit. It was stressed how risky and dangerous the support given to the YPG was,” Cavusoglu said. “These weapons could be used against all humanity, not just Turkey,” the Turkish FM added.

READ MORE: US Army lost track of $1 billion worth of arms & equipment in Iraq, Kuwait

Last week, the Pentagon was forced to release a 2016 report from the Inspector General’s office that said the US military had lost track of weapons worth over $1 billion in Iraq. The hardware, part of the Iraq Train and Equip Fund (ITEF), was meant to help Baghdad fight IS.

Announcing the Kurdish arms deliveries this week, the Pentagon said it would take great care to monitor the use of the weapons and investigate any alleged misuse or diversion.

Source Article from https://www.rt.com/news/390314-turkey-protest-arming-kurds/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

‘She can’t integrate’: Denmark rejects 13yo Chinese girl’s application to live with family

Yiming, 13, lives with her Chinese mother and Danish stepfather in the town of Silkeborg, Denmark. Her stepfather, a former Danish soldier, met his wife while serving abroad in the military.

The couple and Yiming moved to Denmark in September 2016. Once they arrived, they filed the appropriate paperwork for the 13-year-old to live in Denmark with her family.

However, the Danish Immigration Service rejected the family’s application, saying Yiming would be unable to “achieve the necessary attachment to Denmark that is required for a successful integration,” TV Midtvest reported.

The family was given just seven days’ notice from the time of the decision until May 31, when it takes effect.

The girl’s stepfather, Kjeld Gaard-Frederiksen, disagrees with the ruling, stating that Yiming has already made huge strides in a short amount of time.

“If Yiming isn’t integrated, the word should be removed from the Danish dictionary. She has learned Danish impressively fast and socially she’s also doing well, which the huge support from the school’s students and children shows,” he told Jyllands-Posten newspaper, referring to a petition launched by Yiming’s classmates. 

As of Tuesday, that petition had garnered more than 1,700 signatures, according to TV Midtvest.

The girl’s stepfather went on to state that he never thought the immigration application would have been rejected.

“I never imagined it. I am married to her mother, her mother has full custody, and it is a 13-year-old child. I could never have predicted this,” he said.

“This decision is splitting the family,” he continued.

It’s not just the girl’s classmates and family who believe Yiming has already integrated into the country – her head teacher believes the same.

“We think she’s already integrated. Because being integrated means being part of a community, and that the community sees her as being a part of it. And that is in fact what we think,” head teacher Claes Pedersen told TV Midtvest.

Yiming’s mother and stepfather have filed an appeal against the decision. If the appeal is denied, Gaard-Frederiksen says he and his family will be forced to relocate abroad – a move which he says will essentially amount to him being deported from his own country.

“If this decision is not changed then I don’t see any other option than us moving abroad, which means I am de facto deported from my own country,” he said.

The ruling by the Danish Immigration Service came just weeks after statistics presented to parliament forecast that one-fifth of the Danish population will either be foreign-born or of foreign descent by 2060. In March, government statistics stated that nearly one in five babies born in Denmark in 2016 had a non-Danish mother. 

Meanwhile, Denmark – which was hit with an influx of asylum seekers during the European refugee crisis – saw the lowest number of people applying for asylum in six years, during the first quarter of 2017. Just 714 people filed applications during that period, suggesting that this year will see far fewer applications than 2016, when 6,235 people applied.

Source Article from https://www.rt.com/news/390312-chinese-teen-denmark-immigration/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

‘Achieving a New Balance on Global Stage’ at St. Petersburg International Economic Forum

Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern, and other world political and business leaders.

The SPIEF 2017 agenda includes the BRICS Business Forum and B20 (the G20 dialogue with the global economy) Forum on international trade and investment, a Russian–Indian Forum of Corporate Executives, the traditional Energy Summit of Corporate Executives, and business dialogues, including Russia–USA, Russia–France, Russia–Latin America, Russia–Switzerland, Russia–Japan, Russia–Africa, and others.

The heads of several European oil companies, including Total, Royal Dutch Shell, and BP will be attending.

Organizers say there is a significant interest in the event. Confirmations are up 15 percent from last year, St. Petersburg Governor Georgy Poltavchenko told RIA Novosti last week.

This year, a larger number of US businesses are also attending the Forum. Barack Obama’s administration discouraged US companies from participating last year, but under Donald Trump, the situation looks different.

“A large number of US business leaders are planning to attend the St. Petersburg Economic Forum this year… Now it is getting clear that there will be more US business leaders at the SPIEF, and the delegation will be more substantial, we are expecting those organizations which could not previously attend the forum for a number of reasons,” Russia’s trade representative in the United States Aleksandr Stadnik told Sputnik.

Though fewer CEOs are expected this year, organizers say that in business terms, it is even better.

“It may be better to have a key decision maker for emerging markets attend than a CEO. Everyone loves to see well-known, Davos-level participants attend the forum, but if you want to get practical stuff done, give me someone who focuses on business in Russia,” Dan Russell, head of the Washington-based US-Russia Business Council told Bloomberg.

The opening ceremony will see a speech from United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

Source Article from https://www.rt.com/business/390310-spief-2017-russia-economy/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS