Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Organizers of the ‘Glendi’ Festival in Perth have a very specific goal in mind: to break the record of the ‘World’s Largest LiveLighter Zorba Dance’, set at the 2016 edition, when 2,000 people engaged in joyous sirtaki. “We are hoping to break that record, on Sunday 22 April at Elizabeth Quay and maybe set a world record,” they say.Perth’s ‘Glendi’ Greek Festival returns to Elizabeth Quay on the weekend of 21 and 22 April, with a promise to offer unforgettable moments of energy and vitality to people of all ages. During the weekend, visitors will have the opportunity to taste signature Greek dishes, like souvlaki, gyros, calamari and octopus, while famous pastry chef George Diakomichalis, will create some gastronomic surprises.Pastry chef George Diakomichalis (left), has gastronomic surprises up his sleeve.At the same time, festival goers will enjoy greek folk music and traditional dances from various parts of Greece, as well as oriental dancers and a demonstration of plate-smashing.The festival also includes fun and leisure activities for children, stalls showcasing Greek produce and a bar offering a vast variety of drinks and coffee.Perth’s Glendi Greek Festival, taking place under the auspices of LiveLighter, a Western Australia program to Australian adults to lead healthier lifestyles, is a cultural platform welcoming and uniting Greeks in Perth.“The popularity of the two previous editions of the festival reflects Western Australia’s interest in Greek cultur and I’m certain that the upcoming Glendi will surprise and, once again, unite and delight the broader community that wants to celebrate Greek lifestyle,” says Festival organizer Despene Kalaf. Brought up with the ideals of Greek culture instilled in her by her parents and grandmother, Despene Kalaf developed a strong sense of appreciation from very early age. “I believe that it is very important for my generation to embrace the Greek traditions that our forebearers taught us and ensure that these customs will continue in the future”, she says.The Glendi Festival will take place on Saturday 21 April (3-10pm) and on Sunday 22 April (11am-8pm).Entry fee is $2 per person – free for children under 12 years old.Perth Glendi Association is a not-for-profit organisation.
Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesDemocrat Conor Lamb appears to have won the special election in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District, based on a review of the vote by public radio station WESA.Updated at 3:50 p.m. ETDemocrat Conor Lamb appears to have won the special election in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District, defeating Republican Rick Saccone in an upset for President Trump and congressional Republicans, based on a review of the vote by member station WESA and barring a recount.That a Democrat is even close in this Western Pennsylvania congressional district can mean only one thing — bad news for Republicans in this midterm year.“We should be able to elect a box of hammers in this district,” veteran Republican strategist Mike Murphy told the Washington Post’s Robert Costa. “If we’re losing here, you can bet there is a Democratic wave coming.”Why the alarm bells?Consider: Not only is this a district President Trump won by about 20 points in November 2016, as plenty have pointed out, but there are 118 Republicans sitting in seats Trump won by less than the 18th Congressional District in Pennsylvania. Democrats need to flip a net of 24 seats to take back control of the House.It’s important to not overread the results of any special election, but the result — no matter which way it goes in the end — raises questions about the Trump coalition and how much it transfers to the Republican Party broadly; the GOP’s messaging on everything from continuing to use House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi as a cudgel to the tax bill; and whether Republicans can hold off a Democratic wave given that this result was yet another example of Democrats’ holding on to the enthusiasm advantage.Where the race goes from hereMember station WESA has reviewed current vote counts from all of the individual counties in the district. That count shows Lamb with a lead of 627 votes. Between provisional ballots, absentee ballots and military/residents overseas ballots still outstanding, there are only 618 votes left to count based on the latest numbers. That gives Lamb an insurmountable lead.This is barring the potential for a protest recount, which would be based on evidence of voter fraud or errors in counting. Pennsylvania law does not provide for an automatic recount in congressional races.There is no timeline for certification of the race at this point, according to the Pennsylvania secretary of state’s office.A recount is an outside possibility at this point. One would be triggered if three people in each precinct come forward with evidence of voter fraud or counting errors. Loosely, they have until the middle of next week to do that.Warning signs for GOP that the Trump coalition may not be transferableWhite, working-class voters were key to Trump’s presidential victory — and there are plenty of them in this district.Trump won whites with some or no college education by 39 points, a wider margin than any candidate since at least 1980.There are no exit polls to know for sure how this group voted Tuesday, but Lamb made clear appeals to them — and it would be impossible to make up a 20-point gap without at least some crossover. In fact, dozens of precincts went more Democratic than in the 2016 election.Lamb also benefited from Saccone’s history of supporting “right to work” legislation in the state Legislature. The district has a sizable number of union households that might have been willing to support a different Republican candidate, but unions and the Lamb campaign were able to define Saccone as anti-union.Also, turnout was pretty high, especially for a special election in March. It was so high, in fact, more people voted than in the gubernatorial general election during the last midterm in 2014.What’s more, the approximately 228,000 people who went to the polls were 78 percent of the approximately 294,000 cast for Republican Rep. Tim Murphy. Murphy ran unopposed in 2016 but resigned last October amid a sex scandal, which set this special election in motion.Republicans spent some $10 million to try to hold this district (that won’t even exist in nine months because of the maps’ being redrawn by the state Supreme Court) and turn out their voters. But despite the relatively high turnout, Saccone got only about 113,000 votes (the same as Lamb) — less than 40 percent of Murphy’s total in 2016.Trump made an eleventh-hour visit this past weekend to try to help Saccone over the line.“I think the president helped close this race,” House Speaker Paul Ryan contended Wednesday, per NPR’s Susan Davis.But that does not appear to have been enough.The Pelosi factor and the tax bill messagingDoes this win for Democrats mean they will start to abandon Pelosi? It very well might, but it depends on the district. A couple of things to look at:Republicans seemed to abandon talk of the tax bill, something Democrats point to as the weakness of its message. (One moderate Democratic member of Congress, though, told NPR last week he thinks it’s been Democrats who have struggled with how to speak out against the tax bill, as some people see higher paychecks.)Republicans also hit Lamb hard, trying to tie him to Pelosi. But it didn’t work this time. Lamb cut a conservative Democratic figure and distanced himself from the minority leader.To which Ryan had this to say: “This is something that you’re not going to see repeated, because they [Democrats] didn’t have a primary. They were able to pick a candidate who could run as a conservative, who ran against the minority leader, who ran on a conservative agenda. You will have primaries in all these other races, and the primaries bring them to the left. So I just don’t think this is something they’re going to be able to see a repeat of.”But it provides a road map for Democrats in these very kinds of districts if they want to win. That has to be worrying for Republicans.It also does raise the question of what Democrats do about Pelosi. If they win the House back in large measure by running against Pelosi, can they really then turn around and re-elect her speaker this fall? And there’s the question of whether enough Democratic candidates will vow not to support her for speaker that she can’t get elected.The suburbs and making inroads in rural areasFifty-two percent of Lamb’s vote came from the suburban precincts in Allegheny County outside Pittsburgh.If Democrats are going to win back the House, their road goes through the suburbs. Nationally, in 2016, Trump won the suburbs with 49 percent. In 2012, Mitt Romney got 50 percent in them. So that’s key.Lamb won only a handful of precincts in the other three more rural counties in this district, but dozens of precincts went more Democratic than in the 2016 presidential election for Trump.In other words, Lamb was able to cut into Republican margins — and when every vote counts, as in a race like this, it can make all the difference.NPR’s Arnie Seipel contributed to this report.Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Share
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Toronto police investigators are looking to interview Sergio Abreu about the circumstances surrounding the mysterious death of Bell Laboucan-McLean. Photo:clubcatcher.comBy Jorge Barrera APTN National NewsToronto police investigators are now seeking to question a third man in relation to the mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of a Cree woman who fell 31 storeys from the balcony of a Toronto condo this past July, APTN National News has learned.Police are still trying to determine what led to Bella Laboucan-McLean’s death in the early morning hours of July 20, 2013.Investigators have already questioned two men and two women who were at a party in condo unit 3109 at the time when Laboucan-McLean, 25, fell to her death.Nobody in the condo called police at the time of the incident. A man from the condo called in a missing persons report on Laboucan-McLean 12 hours after she fell from the a balcony on the 31st floor of 21 Iceboat Terr.Investigators are still trying to determine whether the death was suicide, accidental or murder. The case has not been transferred to homicide detectives and is in the hands of Toronto police’s 14 Division’s criminal investigation bureau.The division’s investigators have obtained a production order from an Ontario judge to access the cell phone records of at least four of the individuals in the condo at the time of Laboucan-McLean’s death.They hope to discover whether there were any spikes in data transfers or phone calls to and from cells at the time of the fateful fall.It could take up to three months for police to obtain the records from cell phone service providers, according to a police source close to the investigation.Investigators, however, have managed to confirm the identity of a third man who was also in the condo at the time of the incident, according to the police source.Investigators knew early on that a man named “Sergio” was also at the party, but failed to glean any information beyond his first name from their interviews.He has since been identified as Sergio Abreu who appears to be friends with Andrew James, aka Ox, the man who was renting unit 3109.The two were pictured together at the Tryst nightclub in December 2012, according to Facebook photos.Andrew James (left) and Sergio Abreu (right) in a photo posted in December 2012 on Abreu’s Facebook page.The two men were also photographed together at Tryst on July 19, 2013, the same night Laboucan-McLean went to the club with friend Antony Rankine. The four later went to James’ condo with two women from Montreal.Andrew James (foreground) and Sergio Abreu (background) at club Tryst on July 19, 2013. Photo: clubcatcher.comAbreu is currently unemployed and no longer has an active cell phone number, according to a relative contacted by APTN National News.Abreu did not respond to requests for comment from APTN National News.Investigators made contact with Abreu last week.Police were alerted to Laboucan-McLean’s death at about 5 a.m. when a neighbour called police after hearing a strange sound and seeing a body on the ground.Investigators went into the condo building and began knocking on doors from the section of the building from where they believed she fell.They came up empty. Investigators believe the party was still going at the time of Laboucan-McLean’s death.“They were partying when the police was called at 5 a.m.,” said the police source.Rankine, who is also a hip hop artist named Scandalis, told APTN National News that no one knew Laboucan-McLean had disappeared until they woke later in the day.“The truth has been told already,” said Rankine. “None of us knew she fell until we woke up next day. The police have all this information.”Police are still investigation mysterious circumstances around the death of Bella Laboucan-McLean, 25. Photo courtesy of LeeLee PhotographyLaboucan-McLean grew up in her mother’s community of Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation in Alberta. Her father Billy Joe Laboucan is the Chief of the Lubicon Lake Band.She had recently graduated from Humber College’s Fashion Arts program and was planning to launch a career in the industry. She also attended the University of Alberta.Her death stunned her friends and family who believe there is no way she would have taken her own life.A vigil held near the spot where she died was attended by actor Tantoo Cardinal and author Naomi Klein.firstname.lastname@example.org@JorgeBarrera