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S.Korean fans head overseas to catch first BTS concert since the pandemic

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When K-Pop sensation BTS announced that their first in-person concerts since the start of the pandemic would be in the United States, Kim Ji-eun immediately booked a flight and hotel, praying that COVID rules would let her attend all four shows.

Permissive entry rules have prevailed so far in both South Korea and the United States, allowing Kim and other fully vaccinated, die-hard fans of BTS to see their idols in person for the first time since 2019, when they wrapped up their last tour from North America to Europe to Asia.

The seven-member group will hold four “Permission to Dance on Stage” concerts at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles on Nov. 27-28 and Dec. 1-2.

“It’s a historic event,” Kim said ahead of her departure from Seoul on Thursday. “I’m just so happy and excited to meet BTS and other fans, and share our energy and hearts hoping for an end to the pandemic.”

A 40-year-old mother and YouTube content creator, Kim said she and her friend had to engage in a “nightly click war” to secure their concert tickets.

Waiting for her flight at Incheon International Airport, Kim had a bag stocked with fan staples such as BTS branded glow sticks and snacks, as well as pandemic-era necessities such as her vaccination certificate and COVID-19 self-test kit.

Since their 2013 debut, BTS has spearheaded a global K-Pop craze with catchy, upbeat music and dances, as well as lyrics and social campaigns aimed at empowering young people.

The band won the top prize of artist of the year at the American Music Awards https://www.reuters.com/lifestyle/bts-storm-back-live-performances-american-music-awards-2021-11-22 for the first time on Sunday, and best pop song for their summer hit “Butter,” among other awards.

As the pandemic spread last year, the band postponed https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-southkorea-bts-idUSKCN22A1JI and then called off what was meant to be its biggest international tour involving nearly 40 concerts. Instead, it has held online shows.

Having the new shows in the United States – which continues to have a much larger COVID-19 outbreak than South Korea but has fewer rules on gatherings – left some fans who can’t make the international trip feeling left out.

“I was so glad to hear about the concerts, but it’s a shame for me being unable to go, especially as I had just become a fan right after the pandemic hit,” said Emily Seo, a Seoul resident who said because of her job and young baby she couldn’t risk testing positive for the virus and having to be quarantined.

Some fans have lamented on online communities that BTS didn’t opt to kick off the tour at home, while others say they are now global superstars no longer bound by commitment to local fans first and foremost.

The band’s management, Bit Hit Music, did not respond to a request for comment on its choice of concert venues, but has said the decision reflected national and regional health regulations and other conditions.

“It’s great BTS is enjoying global attention and making a big name, but I have to admit that I’m sad on the other hand because that means fewer chances for me to see them here,” Seo said.

 

(Reporting by Hyonhee Shin and Minwoo Park; Additional reporting by Yeni Seo; Editing by Josh Smith and Raissa Kasolowsky)

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My Media Release – Hamilton Police Service

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ATV Rider Suffers Serious Injuries in Collision

On Friday December 3, 2021 at 9:30pm, Hamilton Police and Hamilton Paramedics responded to Highland Road east of Fifth Road East for a single vehicle collision involving an ATV.

A 39 year old male was riding an ATV eastbound on Highland Road East when he lost control and was ejected off the vehicle.

The male was transported to the Hamilton General Hospital with serious injuries.

The Collision Reconstruction Unit is requesting any witnesses to this collision to contact Police at (905) 546-4753 or (905) 546-4755.

To provide information anonymously, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or submit your anonymous tips online at http://www.crimestoppershamilton.com.

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Canadiens executive vice-president Jeff Gorton marks new era, meets Montreal media – Globalnews.ca

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It’s been the talk of the town among sports fans for the past week: the Montreal Canadiens firing longtime general manager Marc Bergevin and bringing in Jeff Gorton as executive vice-president. The newly appointed VP met with the Montreal media for the first time Friday morning to mark the start of a new era.

The former New York Rangers general manager started by attempting to say a few sentences in French. When finished, he thanked owner Geoff Molson and said, “I hope that was OK.”

Gorton said working for the Habs is a dream. He feels like the Original Six franchise is a good fit, despite the fact that the Massachusetts-born VP grew up cheering for the Boston Bruins.

“You know, the Canadians broke my heart a lot of times. That’s my first memories, like in 1979, probably sticks out as the first one,” he told reporters.

Gorton insisted that he’s just starting out in his new role and he’s still getting a feel for the team. Regardless, the executive vice-president plans to work on player development and wants to add an analytics team.

Read more:

Call of the Wilde — Colorado Avalanche easily handle Montreal Canadiens 4-1

“I do believe in analytics and I think that the way the game has gone, I think it’s a big piece of information that you need to have,” said Gorton.

A big piece missing from his qualifications is that Gorton doesn’t speak French. He said he’s learning — his wife even bought him lessons — and asks for patience.

“I wanted to be great at golf and I still stink. Right? So I will do my best,” he said, chuckling.

Fans seem to support his effort, saying it’s not language that will help the Habs get out of this season’s slump.

“He did some sentences in French this morning, so I think it’s a good step forward,” said fan Patrick Gervais.

Read more:

Call of the Wilde — The Montreal Canadiens’ future begins to take shape

The team is still looking for a French-speaking general manager to complement Gorton. Former Canadiens goalie Patrick Roy has expressed interest in the position. But Gorton says he has yet to draw up a shortlist, adding that it’s unlikely Bergevin’s successor will be named before Christmas.

“I don’t want to commit to anybody. I don’t want to say no to anybody so people can keep calling me if they like,” he said.

However, Global News hockey analyst Brian Wilde doesn’t expect Roy to get the job.

Instead, he said he thinks Molson and Gorton would like “someone who has a lot of experience in scouting and has some experience as an assistant general manager.”

“I think Mark Madden fits the role in Anaheim,” said Wilde.

Wilde says he liked what he heard from Gorton on Friday. But the executive vice-president kept his cards close so fans will have to wait to see what the Gorton era brings.

“I don’t think we got our answer to whether it’s going to be a full rebuild, and I think we’re going to have to wait just to see how many moves he makes,” said Wilde.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Montreal real estate broker fined $1500 for English-language social media ad – CTV News Montreal

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MONTREAL —
A Montreal real estate broker has picked up a hefty fine for posting a social media ad in English only.

REMAX Broker Qiang Zhong said he was issued the ticket of $1,500 by the Office québécois de la langue française (OQLF) over the post, which advertised one of his properties.

Zhong said he didn’t mind picking up the bill. “I know the government just wants to promote a French language,” he said. “I don’t have any personal emotion against this stuff.”

The fine came from a violation of Article 52 of Quebec’s French Charter, which states that, “catalogues, brochures, folders, commercial directories and any similar publications must be drawn up in French.”

The OQLF said it became aware of the infraction after a complaint on Oct. 23, 2019.

Zhong said he’s been working as a broker in Montreal for more than a decade after moving here from China, where he’s used to navigating between languages: Mandarin, the official language of Mainlaind China, and Cantonese, which is also common in his home province of Guangdong.

He said he’s still connected with his home communities, and has helped several new Chinese immigrants find homes in Montreal. He said he also encourages newcomers to learn French — the province’s official language.

“Even though I got the bill, I still love Montreal,” he said. “I could get double or triple the money in Toronto in Vancouver, but I want to stay here.”

He also said the ad brought prospective buyers to the REMAX website, which can be viewed in both French and English.

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