New York City’s Times Square will once again fill with revelers ringing in the new year on Dec. 31, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Tuesday, but only if they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Last year, the still-raging coronavirus pandemic allowed only a handful of invited guests, including essential workers, to witness in person the dropping of the iconic New Year’s Eve ball, signaling the start of the new year.
“We can finally get back together again,” de Blasio told reporters, touting New York City’s recovery after more than a year of pandemic hardship. “It’s going to be amazing, it’s going to be a joy for this city.”
Visitors to the area will be asked to provide proof of vaccination and a valid photo ID, de Blasio said. Security checkpoints will be in place to check documentation of those seeking to enter Times Square for the festivities.
“We will require spectators five and older who are eligible to be fully vaccinated,” said Tom Harris, president of the Times Square Alliance. “If you are unable to get vaccinated because of a disability, we will require a proof of a negative PCR test within 72 hours.”
Masks will be required for those unable to get vaccinated, he added.
Earlier this month, U.S. health authorities authorized the COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech for children aged 5 to 11.
(Reporting by Maria Caspani, Editing by Bill Berkrot)
Designer Virgil Abloh remembered at Fashion Awards
Designers and celebrities paid tribute to Virgil Abloh at the Fashion Awards in London on Monday, where the late Louis Vuitton and Off-White creative force was honoured as a leader of change within the industry.
Abloh, the American-born son of Ghanaian immigrants, who became fashion’s highest-profile Black designer, died on Sunday https://www.reuters.com/lifestyle/louis-vuitton-designer-virgil-abloh-dies-2021-11-28 following a two-year battle with a rare form of cancer.
The 41-year-old, who also worked as a DJ and visual artist, had been menswear artistic director at luxury label Louis Vuitton since March 2018.
“Genius, disruptor … (he) will be missed tremendously by all,” veteran designer Tommy Hilfiger said on the red carpet. “He inspired designers as well as the public.”
Designer and television personality Tan France called Abloh “incredible and a visionary … (who) has done the most beautiful work.”
Abloh, who founded label Off-White, was known for mixing streetwear with high-end suits and gowns while at Vuitton. His influences included graffiti art and hip hop.
“Everyone here is going to be talking about Virgil, everyone here has been impacted by his brilliance,” actor Gabrielle Union said.
At the awards, where Abloh’s photo was projected on stage, the designer was among 15 individuals and brands named leaders of change for their actions in the past year helping the environment, people and creativity.
Others on the list included Balenciaga designer Demna Gvasalia, Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele, and Kim Jones, artistic director for Fendi womenswear and couture as well as menswear designer at Dior. Jones was also named designer of the year at the awards.
Michele also won the trailblazer award, while Hilfiger received the outstanding achievement award.
“I’m absolutely grateful, appreciative, humbled by it, but happy to be here and happy to still keep the business rolling,” Hilfiger, 70, said.
Demi Moore, Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Dua Lipa were among the celebrity guests attending the event, a fundraiser for British Fashion Council charities.
(Reporting by Hanna Rantala and Marie-Louise Gumuchian; Editing by Karishma Singh)
Bank of Canada to work with Indigenous groups on reconciliation
The Bank of Canada will work with Indigenous groups to understand the wounds caused by decades of discrimination and determine how reconciliation can create a more inclusive and prosperous economy for all, Governor Tiff Macklem said on Monday.
Macklem, opening a symposium on Indigenous economies, said Canadians could work to correct some of the consequences of those “ugly periods.”
Ottawa forcibly removed thousands of Indigenous children from their communities and put them in residential schools in an effort to strip them of their language and culture, a practice that continues to scar families and individuals.
“The Bank of Canada will be working with a broad spectrum of Indigenous groups to set out what reconciliation means for what we do,” Macklem said.
“Together, we’ll define what reconciliation means for the work of the Bank of Canada — toward a more inclusive and prosperous economy for everyone,” he said.
Canada‘s Truth and Reconciliation Commission called the residential school system “cultural genocide” in 2015, as it set out 94 “calls to action” to try to restore Canada‘s relationship with its Indigenous people, including economic reconciliation.
“We can’t go back and change what’s happened. But we can try to correct some of the consequences,” said Macklem, adding that it is the central bank’s job to create conditions for opportunity for all Canadians.
“Taking concrete steps toward economic reconciliation is our responsibility too. And it’s incumbent upon us to take the time to do this well,” said Macklem.
(Reporting by Julie Gordon in Ottawa; Editing by Dan Grebler)
Canada’s Trans Mountain still ‘days away’ from restarting pipeline
Canada‘s Trans Mountain said on Monday it was “still days away” from restarting the key oil pipeline at a reduced capacity as heavy rains continue to impede restoration efforts.
The pipeline, owned by the Canadian government, ships 300,000 barrels a day of crude and refined products from Alberta to the Pacific Coast. It was temporarily shut down as heavy rains and flooding caused widespread disruption in parts of British Columbia.
The operator said assessments of the impacts from the latest storm are being undertaken with a focus on the Coldwater and Coquihalla regions.
Work was interrupted at some sites on Sunday due to high water accumulation or lack of access, the company added.
The company on Friday had said it was working toward restarting the oil pipeline at a reduced capacity this week.
(Reporting by Rithika Krishna in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel and Krishna Chandra Eluri)
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