Bulgaria, Jan 13 (AP/UNB) — Plovdiv, the oldest city in Bulgaria, has been officially inaugurated as the European Capital of Culture for 2019.
Some 50,000 people gathered on a main square Saturday to watch the opening show dubbed "We are all colors" with 1,500 local and foreign artists on several stages. The entertainment included traditional Bulgarian folk dancers, 200 choir singers, a brass orchestra and a musical and laser spectacle.
Squeezed between the Balkan and the Rodopi Mountains, Bulgaria's second-largest city has survived for thousands of years on the crossroads between Western Europe and the Middle East. Plovdiv is in central Bulgaria, 144 kilometers (90 miles) southeast of Sofia, the capital.
Plovdiv claims to be the oldest continually inhabited European city, with more than 6,000 years of history. Evidence of that can be seen in many architectural landmarks dating back to Thracian, Greek, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman times.
The city on both sides of the Maritsa River is also known for its ethnic diversity. Many of its 340,000 inhabitants belong to the country's Turkish, Roma, Armenian, Greek and Jewish minorities, all of which have quite a strong influence on the city's vibrant cultural life.
Examples of this influence were presented during the opening music, light and dance show under the motto "Together."
Some 350 cultural events are scheduled in Plovdiv this year, including one exhibition featuring fragments of the Berlin Wall to mark 30 years since its fall and another with 30 short films and debates on how art can foster liberty.
Plovdiv, the first Bulgarian city to become a European culture capital, was also named among The New York Times' list of 52 places to go in 2019. It shares the 2019 culture title with the Italian city of Matera.
"This year will be a turning point for Plovdiv. We have spent four years to prepare all events. I'm sure that Plovdiv will never be the same," Svetlana Kuyumdzhieva, the art director of Plovdiv 2019, told reporters.
Dhaka, Jan 5 (UNB) – The English edition of novel ‘Jononi’ written by Bangladeshi writer Mostofa Kamal is going to hit internet marketplace Amazon this January.
The London-based Olympia Publishers will bring the piece to market.
“This is one of my best novels, I have ever wrote and I think the book getting published from Olympia Publishers in London is more prestigious than receiving any state awards,” Mostofa Kamal said in his reaction.
“I’m expressing my gratitude to the publishers as well as thanking them for taking the initiatives and I also thank translator Dulal Al Mansur for converting it into English,” the noted Bangladeshi journalist added.
Last year, another book consists of three magnetic narratives – ‘Taliban, Pak Colonel and a Young Lady’, 'Flaming Eventide', and 'The Flatterer"--written by Mostofa Kamal with the title ‘Three Novels’ was also released on Amazon.
The Notion Press published the novel simultaneously from India, Singapore and Malaysia in September last year.
Online bookshop rokomari.com has been distributing the novels in Bangladesh market.
Mostofa Kamal entered the world of writing in 1984. In almost all branches of literature, his free movement is obvious.
So far he has written a total of 104 books as of now while his most popular novels are Janani, Agnikonya, Agnipurush, Agnimanush, Hello Colonel, Paromitake Shudhu Bachate Cheyechhi and Jinat Sundori o Mantri Kahini.
He has been working as a professional journalist since 1991 and has been performing duties as an executive editor for the Bengali daily Kalerkantho since 2012.
Los Angeles, Jan 3 (AP/UNB) — The organizers of the 2019 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival have announced the top acts scheduled to appear at the multiday event in April.
Goldenvoice, the promoter of the event, said Wednesday night that the big names scheduled to perform at the two-weekend festival in Southern California from April 12 to April 14 and from April 19 to April 21 include Ariana Grande, Childish Gambino, Tame Impala and Janelle Monae. Other performers booked to play at the event include the 1975, DJ Snake, Diplo, Solange and Weezer.
In 2018, Grande capped off a successful year as a pop star that included another No. 1 album with "Sweetener" as well as multiple hits, from "No Tears Left to Cry" to "God Is a Woman" to "Breathin."
Coachella is known as the festival for cool kids — and musicians. Tickets go on sale on Friday.
Berlin, Jan 2 (AP/UNB) — Edgar Hilsenrath, a German-Jewish writer whose fictional account of the Holocaust from the perspective of a Nazi perpetrator became a best-seller, has died at 92.
The German news agency dpa quoted Hilsenrath's second wife, Marlene, as confirming Tuesday that the author died Dec. 30 in western Germany after battling pneumonia.
Born in Leipzig in 1926, Hilsenrath moved to Romania at 12 to escape Nazi persecution, and was later deported to Ukraine.
His first novel, "Night," recounting the horrors of trying to survive in a Jewish ghetto, was published in 1954.
Hilsenrath gained international fame with his 1971 novel "The Nazi and the Barber" — a grotesque story about an SS member who pretends to be Jewish after the war to escape prosecution — that sold millions of copies worldwide.
Las Vegas, Dec 28 (AP/UNB) — Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars and Gwen Stefani are among the superstars who will be ushering in the new year with performances at venues on the Las Vegas Strip, while more than 300,000 people are expected to gather on the world-famous corridor Monday to watch eight minutes of fireworks.
At another celebration in the downtown Fremont Street entertainment district, 12 bands will play under a massive video canopy that will show the ball drop in New York's Time Square.
"The only thing that can top Las Vegas is Las Vegas on New Year's Eve," said Jacqueline Peterson of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. "The city continues to evolve itself. We never run out of things to do."
Gaga's New Year's Eve concert at Park Theater at Park MGM casino-resort will be the third of her long-anticipated residency, which will debut Friday. Veteran Las Vegas performer Celine Dion will be at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace, and Maroon 5 will celebrate the holiday once again at the Mandalay Bay Events Center.
Stefani will take the stage at Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood casino-resort as part of the residency she kicked off this year. Calvin Harris, The Chainsmokers and J. Cole are among those performing at nightclubs.
While Las Vegas is known as a place for last-minute trips, tourists who want to ring in 2019 there should act fast. Tourism officials expect 318,000 people to travel to Sin City for the holiday and nearly all the city's more than 147,000 hotel rooms to be booked.
"Now is the time to do it," Chris Baldizan, senior vice president of entertainment booking and development at MGM Resorts International, said about booking a trip for the holiday. But "we'll always find a spot for somebody."
Las Vegas police are planning an "all-hands-on-deck approach" to security, Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said.
Authorities will deploy plainclothes officers, federal agents and police in and around the casino-resorts, along with rooftop snipers, Lombardo said.
New Year's Eve is worth an estimated $403 million to Las Vegas, according to the convention and visitors authority, which is responsible for promoting the destination.
In addition to concerts with tickets on sale for the general public, casino operators also host over-the-top private parties for their VIP guests.
Caesars Entertainment hosted nine of those last year, which included DJs, dancers, fireworks shows, thousands of bottles of champagne and performances by Katy Perry, Jennifer Lopez and other stars. Five hangover brunches were served the next morning.
Unlike the two previous years, New Year's Eve falls on a weekday. Casino operators say the Monday celebration is a positive because it gives people a reason to stay beyond a typical weekend trip.
"It just means that more of our guests are coming in even earlier to spend more days celebrating in this great tradition," said Chris Holdren, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Caesars Entertainment. "So, they may come in, spend the weekend and extend it to encompass the great holiday."