LIVE: ARIANA GRANDE (O2 Arena London) Verdict: Hits the sweet spot Rating: Ariana Grande’s return to British arenas was always going to be poignant, but the petite American did not disappoint as she opened the UK leg of her Sweetener World Tour before an audience dominated by young women, singing along to virtually every word. This wasn’t a typical pop pageant. Grande’s career will for ever be framed by the Manchester Arena bombing which killed 22 of her fans and injured hundreds of others in 2017, and her empathetic response has carried over into her music, which embraces sensitivity and resilience where it was once shamelessly showy. There were no direct references to the atrocity — or last year’s death of her former boyfriend Mac Miller. Ariana Grande performs on stage during her 'Sweetener World Tour' at The O2 Arena In fact, the singer from Florida said very little onstage, pausing only before the penultimate song No Tears Left To Cry … [Read more...] about IT’S FRIDAY MUSIC: Stellar Ariana Grande shows she’s a star to cherish, writes ADRIAN THRILLS
World grand prix darts
Here are a few scenes from the week at Art Basel Miami Beach, the massive art fair in south Florida, and the fêtes and freak-outs that latch onto it. The preview day was as full as ever of buyers flush with cash, flashing their VIP passes and tearing through the halls of the convention center. In the private collectors’ lounge one could learn about opportunities to lease private planes, purchase dubious cigars (still no Cuban ones!), and flash blingtastic watches, all from extremely high-end brands I am disinclined to give free advertising. Beachside hotels hosted “intimate” and “exclusive” dinners for 200 people, while one penthouse party featured a bathtub full of champagne, in which guests wantonly snapped selfies. And on Thursday night – by which time I had blown out of town, though Instagram made me feel I was watching it all live – a torrential downpour struck, flooding Collins avenue. Partygoers stuck outside at least one party (so … [Read more...] about Art Basel Miami Beach: has inequality invaded the art world?
Portugal’s interior minister has been replaced amid criticism over the government’s handling of a series of deadly forest fires that have killed more than 100 people in four months. Constanca Urbano de Sousa handed her resignation to socialist prime minister Antonio Costa Wednesday, bowing to increasing political pressure as the death toll mounted. “After this summer, nothing can remain as before,” said Costa, who initially resisted the demand for Urbano de Sousa to go before backing down while admitting the state service providers had made “serious errors” in tackling the problem. “If you want me to apologise, then I apologise,” Costa said speaking in parliament while Urbano de Sousa lamented in a resignation letter not having “the political and personal conditions necessary to carry out my functions.” She will be replaced by deputy prime minister Eduardo Cabrita, the government announced on Wednesday. On Sunday, a series of … [Read more...] about Portugal: interior minister resigns after wildfires kill 100
For Hong Kong’s embattled democracy movement the 20th anniversary of the UK’s handover to China has been nothing short of an annus horribilis. But on Thursday afternoon, just minutes after the former British colony’s high court had transformed him into one of the city’s first prisoners of conscience, Joshua Wong struck a decidedly an upbeat tone. “See you soon,” the 20-year-old protest leader tweeted after he and two friends, Nathan Law and Alex Chow, were jailed for their role in launching 2014’s umbrella movement, a historic 79-day occupation that drew hundreds of thousands of young people out on to the streets. For Wong, who was sentenced to six months behind bars, the ruling is a particularly heavy blow. The student activist, who found fame as Hong Kong’s teenage “face of protest” during the 2014 demonstrations, had hoped to run for political office after turning 21 in October. This week’s sentence has scuppered … [Read more...] about Hong Kong jailings could lend democracy cause greater legitimacy
In a doggedly grey political system, colourful Bo Xilai divided everyone, from China's most senior leaders to the citizens of Chongqing, the south-western metropolis that he ruled until recently. The precise circumstances of his fall remain as murky as the fog that shrouds the city's hills. But reports that it was triggered by claims of his wife's involvement in a British man's death there – despite the insistence of relatives that Neil Heywood died of natural causes – are a startling twist in an already dramatic story. Bo sought and won the limelight with a "strike black" crackdown on organised crime and a "sing red" drive for communist culture that won many admirers in the south-western metropolis. But his former ally and police chief's dash to the nearest US consulate, shaming him and ultimately exposing the latest allegations, has smashed his hopes of rising further in this autumn's leadership transition and unleashed a wave of attacks on his record. Supporters hailed … [Read more...] about Bo Xilai: downfall of a neo-Maoist party boss who got things done