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“Encanto,” “West Side Story” herald growing Latinx influence in movies, but Denver has a ways to go

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“Encanto,” “West Side Story” herald growing Latinx influence in movies, but Denver has a ways to go

With Disney’s “Encanto” in theaters next week, and Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story” and Aaron Sorkin’s “Being the Ricardos” arriving Dec. 10, Latinx voices are having a moment U.S. cinema, injecting a diverse set of cultures long ignored by TV, books, movies, video games, stage shows and news media.

Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creative force behind Broadway’s “In the Heights” and “Hamilton,” has revolutionized the kid’s side of things, writing songs for multimillion-dollar Disney productions such as “Encanto” — set in the mountains of Colombia — but also “Moana” (for which he won an Academy Award).

Almost without exception, they feature Latinx and Indigenous cultures seldom depicted in children’s entertainment.

“It’s become a lot more mainstream in the last 10 years, because when my kids were growing up, they had none of those things,” said Elizabeth Renee Fajardo, director of Chicana/o Studies at Metropolitan State University of Denver.

Big-budget family films set in Mexico, or that embrace Spanish language and musical influences, have been part of the trend, including 2017’s Pixar film “Coco” and 2014’s “The Book of Life.” “Encanto,” which hits theaters on Wednesday, Nov. 24, tells the story of the Madrigal family from daughter Mirabel’s perspective, adding South American tones to Disney’s widening palette and new batch of songs destined to become family sing-alongs.

Amid these successful crossovers, streaming giant Netflix spent $200 million to produce content in Mexico last year (an amount that’s expected to grow this year), while Disney+ launched its Latin America service on Nov. 17, according to the Los Angeles Times.

In the city and county of Denver, Latinx people make up about 29% of the population, the U.S. Census Bureau reported. That has not frequently been reflected in public cultural offerings, Colorado arts leaders say, and in some cases, it’s still difficult to find Spanish-language or Latinx-friendly programming in the city.

Meet the Madigrals, the family at the center of Walt Disney Animation Studios’ new “Encanto,” with music by Lin Manuel Miranda. The movie, opening Wednesday, Nov. 24, is one of a number of mainstream crossover films and TV series courting the growing U.S. Hispanic and Latinx markets. (Disney)

But it’s improving, Fajardo said. Bilingual and Spanish-language shows from Colorado Symphony and Denver Center for the Performing Arts service school children and low-income families, while smaller theater companies such as Su Teatro are being recognized for their years-long efforts with popular shows like “Northside,” which grapple with racial identity and gentrification. New bilingual signage at museums, galleries and tourist magnets like Meow Wolf are also acknowledging the diversity of their visitors.

“My father would have gotten in trouble if he spoke (Spanish),” said Fajardo, who’s also chairwoman of the Chicano Humanities & Arts Council. “A whole generation had nothing to pass on.”

Now in their 20s and 30s, Fajardo’s kids were among the last to grow up in a U.S. media sphere that ignored their existence. It’s taken two generations to get it back, but her grandchildren are now proudly bilingual and consuming media that’s increasingly so.

“The rise of Netflix and global programming that’s in Spanish and subtitled — or even dubbed from Spanish — was something we never thought was going to happen,” said Peter Markham, CEO of Estrella Media, a Burbank, Calif., company that owns a dozen-plus Spanish-language radio and TV stations in the U.S., including in the Mile High City. “Denver right now is in that power-alley for us in terms of (audience) engagement.”

In addition to a broadcast network that reaches about 40 million homes, including through its Denver affiliate, Estrella is in the process of bulking up its kids’ programming. The Spanish-language Univision network, which also operates a Denver affiliate, this year also launched its free, kid-focused PrendeTV, an ad-supported service for mobile and connected-TV devices such as Amazon Fire and Roku (or at prende.tv).

In

Walt Disney Pictures-Pixar Animation Studios

In “Coco,” Miguel’s love of music ultimately leads him to the Land of the Dead where he teams up with charming trickster Hector.

From Hollywood flicks and telenovelas to kid’s comedy and educational programs, the Univision app is deep dive into the market, with more than 140 titles, 1,000 hours of preschool-aged content, and animated fare, said Julissa Bonfante, vice president of content publicity, via email.

Telemundo, another major player in Spanish-language TV, also operates a Denver station. Officials there did not respond to requests for comment.

“Hispanic culture is coming in on its own terms as it seeps into the culture,” Estrella’s Markham said. “Our Hispanic audience tends to watch as a multigenerational family, so they’re all exposed to different types of programming. It’s a huge consumer base that’s becoming more and more important to advertisers as they build wealth. And growing up in cities like Denver, your kids aren’t tied to those traditional cultural identities as they mix with others.”

“That’s a huge change from 20 years ago,” he added, “because it’s not vanilla-ized for general audiences.”

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Abbott says agreement reached to reopen baby formula plant

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Abbott says agreement reached to reopen baby formula plant

By ZEKE MILLER and MATTHEW PERRONE

WASHINGTON (AP) — Infant formula maker Abbott says it’s reached an agreement with U.S. health officials to restart production at its largest domestic factory, a key step toward easing a nationwide shortage tied to the plant’s shutdown earlier this year.

Abbott did not immediately detail the terms of the agreement reached with the Food and Drug Administration, which has been investigating safety problems at the Sturgis, Michigan, facility. The consent decree is a binding legal agreement between the company and the federal government.

After production resumes, Abbott has said it will take at least eight weeks to begin shipping new product to stores.

The Biden administration has come under intense pressure over the last week to do more to ease the shortage of formula that has forced parents of infants to go to significant lengths to feed their children.

Abbott’s plant came under scrutiny earlier this year after four infants became sick with bacterial infections after consuming powdered formula from the Michigan factory. Two of the babies died.

In February, the company halted production and recalled several brands of formula. Those steps squeezed supplies that were already strained by supply chain disruptions and parents stockpiling during COVID-19.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Under fire from parents and politicians, President Joe Biden’s administration on Monday is expected to announce an agreement to reopen the largest domestic manufacturing plant of infant formula and to ease import rules to allow supplies in from overseas, amid a nationwide shortage spurred by the Michigan plant’s shutdown earlier this year over safety issues.

A consent decree between the producer, Abbott, and the Food and Drug Administration that would pave the way for reopening the plant is “forthcoming,” said Brian Deese, the director of the White House’s National Economic Council. He added the agency would also take steps Monday to allow more foreign imports into the U.S. to address the urgent supply constraints.

It comes as the Biden administration has come under intense pressure over the last week to do more to ease the shortage of formula that has forced parents of infants to go to significant lengths to feed their children.

Over the weekend, the White House offered formula manufacturers and retailers transportation and logistics support, and working with all major formula producers to boost production, including reaching out to their suppliers to encourage them to prioritize production and delivery of formula ingredients.

Deese said the administration “made clear to all of them that federal resources, including transportation and logistics resources, are available and on call and we are prepared to move assets in coordination with them as and when we identify need.”

The shortage stems from a February recall by Abbott, the nation’s largest formula maker, that shuttered the company’s Michigan plant and exacerbated ongoing supply chain disruptions among formula makers, leaving fewer options on stores shelves across much of the country. The shortage has led retailers like CVS and Target to limit how many containers customers can purchase per visit and forced some parents to swap and sell formula online.

On Monday, FDA Commissioner Robert Califf told ABC News’ “Good Morning America” that the federal agency is “working really closely with Abbott” to reopen the closed Michigan factory and he expects that “in a very short period of time we’re going to have an announcement about the path forward.”

Califf said an announcement is forthcoming about importing baby formula from abroad, noting that the key is making sure the instructions for the formula are in languages that mothers and caregivers can understand.

The FDA warned families against making their own baby formula because it has 30 distinct constituents that have to be in the right amount, otherwise the formula can possibly be dangerous to consume.

Abbott’s voluntary recall was triggered by four illnesses reported in babies who had consumed powdered formula from the Michigan plant. All four infants were hospitalized with a rare type of bacterial infection and two died.

Abbott is one of just four companies that produce roughly 90% of U.S. formula, so its shutdown squeezed already tight supplies.

After a six-week inspection, FDA investigators published a list of problems in March, including lax safety and sanitary standards and a history of bacterial contamination in several parts of the plant.

But Chicago-based Abbott has emphasized that its products have not been directly linked to the bacterial infections in children. Samples of the bacteria found at its plant did not match the strains collected from the babies by federal investigators. The company has repeatedly stated it is ready to resume manufacturing, pending an FDA decision.

The terms of the consent decree were not immediately clear, including what steps Abbott was taking to remediate issues raised by the FDA or how quickly production at the plant would be restarted.

Former FDA officials say fixing the type of problems uncovered at Abbott’s plant takes time, and infant formula facilities receive more scrutiny than other food facilities. Companies need to exhaustively clean the facility and equipment, retrain staff, repeatedly test and document there is no contamination.

Even if the facility reopens soon, the FDA will still face scrutiny for its handling of the issues at the plant.

FDA inspectors visited the factory in September for a routine inspection, around the time that the first bacterial infection was reported in an infant. Although inspectors uncovered several violations— including standing water and unsanitary conditions— the FDA did not shut down the plant or issue any formal warning.

Only after several more illnesses were reported did the FDA return to the plant in January, this time finding a history of bacterial contamination in several parts of the plant. Abbott then shut down the facility and recalled several powdered formulas in mid-February.

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro reported last month that a whistleblower had contacted the FDA in October about unsafe conditions and practices at the plant, including falsifying plant records and failing to properly test formula for contamination.

She and other lawmakers are set to question FDA Commissioner Califf about that issue and others at a hearing scheduled for Thursday.

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Top 3 Books Under $30 To Master Micro Stakes Poker

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Top 3 Books Under $30 To Master Micro Stakes Poker

When you start playing micro stakes poker, you may be wondering how to play this style of poker. Due to the increasing popularity of micro stakes poker, many of real money online casinos Canada are offering gamblers to play micro poker. However, without decent preparation there is nothing to do by the poker table. Luckily, in this article, we will discuss the best books which will help you learn the basics of micro stakes poker and thus, improve your micro stakes poker strategy.

Below are top 3 poker-related manuals which will help you to learn many things about micro stakes poker. Interested? Keep reading!

Crushing Low Stakes Poker: The Essential Guide to Dominating Low Stakes Sit ‘n Gos, Volume 1: Strategy

Books from the Crushing Low Stakes Poker series will help you to dive into the low stakes poker world, because they are mainly devoted to micro stakes poker, while Volume:1 Strategy part will cover the most essential points for any nowise gambler who desires to learn micro stakes poker strategy.

In this book you will find:

  • Essential information about bankroll management, tips on right table selection, odds guide;
  • Chapters dedicated to pre-flop and post-flop elements;
  • Explanation of various stages of micro stakes poker (push, bubble, different kinds of blinds, etc.);
  • Examples of the most helpful poker tools and websites.

As an addition, this book has various helpful push-fold charts, which are helpful for making your endgame more mathematically successful, and a series of poker-related videos and presentations.

Crushing Low Stakes Poker: The Essential Guide to Dominating Low Stakes Sit ‘n Gos, Volume 1: Strategy paperback version can be easily found on Amazon for a price starting from $8,00 and up.

Master Micro Stakes Poker: Learn to Master 6-Max No Limit Hold’em Micro Stakes Cash Games

Worth to say that this book is written by a poker-guru and a micro stakes poker enthusiast Alton Hardin, who is an ex-college professor and a practicing instructor at Alton Teaches LLC and MicroGrinder Poker School. Many of his manuals were well-praised by poker players and this one is not an exception!

The Master 6-Max No Limit Hold’em Micro Stakes Cash Games book was designed primarily for beginners or players who struggle with micro stakes cash games. It promises to teach anyone testified poker strategies through “tight-aggressive approach” and aims to pass the author’s year-long experience to newbie poker players.

The book can be downloaded or purchased as a paperback on Amazon for $14,49.

No Limit Hold’em – Beating the Micro Stakes: Crushing Micro Stakes & Small Stakes Poker

Dedicated to micro stakes No Lomit Hold’em, the No Limit Hold’em – Beating the Micro Stakes book guides the strategies for beating low micro stakes games. Moreover, it teaches essential practices for both online No Limit Hold’em or live low stakes games. This awesome manual contains numerous quizzes and answers with explanations on myriads of questions, which is helpful for memorization and repetition of information to better master the small stakes game.

Main topics covered in the book are:

  • Micro stakes-focused betting schemes;
  • Both player types and playing styles discussion;
  • Starting hands guide, which are particular to micro stakes games.

Paperback version of this book costs $23,27 on Amazon, or $9,95 for a Kindle version.

To Conclude

There are a lot of great books, videos and podcasts across the internet about the best poker online games to play and its varieties. Any beginner who desires to be successful in poker games must read, learn and listen to all guides as much as possible. The books in this article aren’t an exception, quite the contrary – read them and become a micro stakes poker professional!

The post Top 3 Books Under $30 To Master Micro Stakes Poker appeared first on AlphaNewsCall.

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Heat find their dream scenario vs. Celtics in East finals, as higher-seeded underdog

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Heat find their dream scenario vs. Celtics in East finals, as higher-seeded underdog

This is exactly what the Miami Heat wanted, the very type of thing that brought a smile to the face of forward Jimmy Butler after Monday’s practice at FTX Arena.

No, not mere homecourt advantage, which will be the case against the Boston Celtics in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference finals that open Tuesday at 8:30 p.m.

No, not carrying the No. 1 seed into the proceedings.

But, rather, the seeds of doubt.

As in the lower seed, the road team, the Celtics being favored by almost all bookmakers.

As in various power ratings giving the Celtics the far greater chance to emerge as 2022 NBA champion.

“What I love about this team the most,” Butler said, “is ain’t nobody paying attention to what anybody else picks, because we know we can win. Those are guys that I want to go to war with.

“We’re gonna fight, and we’re gonna come out on top. I think this is going to be really fun and really interesting.”

Considering it is Celtics-Heat, it likely has little other option, be it the teams’ dramatic 2020 Eastern Conference finals the Heat won in the Disney World quarantine bubble, to LeBron James going into TD Garden and stealing the Celtics’ souls with his 45-point performance in Game 6 of the 2012 East finals, to Heat president Pat Riley telling former Celtics general manager Danny Ainge to STFU, because, well, just because he could.

“I’ve heard a few times throughout the year about the thing with Boston,” veteran Heat power forward P.J. Tucker said of his impending first taste of Heat-Celtics. “But we have that anyway, no matter who we’re going to play, that fight, that desire to win. We worked hard all year to get to his moment.”

Because of that, coach Erik Spoelstra doesn’t want these next two weeks to be about historical perspective, but rather what has already been accomplished … and what still remains.

“We have a big goal,” he said, “and along the way on those goals you’re going to be playing against really good competition and that’s what Boston is. They’ve really established a strong culture, really good habits, both ends of the court.

“They’ve earned eight wins, just like us. And if you have eight wins at this point, you’ve done some really good things.”

For the Heat, it has meant pushing past the Atlanta Hawks and Philadelphia 76ers. For the Celtics, it has meant eliminating the Brooklyn Nets and defending champion Milwaukee Bucks, with a Sunday Game 7 victory in that East semifinal.

For both teams, it has meant a grinding, enduring, committed defensive effort that along the way has sidelined the likes of Trae Young, Joel Embiid and James Harden by the Heat, and Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Giannis Antetokounmpo by the Celtics.

“Pat probably is really going to enjoy this,” Spoelstra said of the defensive culture Riley established with the franchise more than a quarter century ago. “This is like a throwback series. And both teams are really on top of their games.

“This shouldn’t be a series where either team is scoring 130 points. Both teams hang their hats on rock-solid team defense.”

No, Spoelstra said, nothing like Heat-Knicks, during the days when Riley still was patrolling the Heat sidelines.

“It’s different; the game is different,” Spoelstra said. “I would never compare it to the physicality of those series. That was closer to football; this will be basketball.”

But, yes, arguably a higher quality of competition than either team has experienced to this stage.

“We were the two best teams in the East most of the season,” Spoelstra said, “and it’s fitting that we’re meeting in the conference finals.”

So, yes, a higher-seeded underdog.

It’s as if Spoelstra could not have asked for a better scenario — the opposition favored, the Heat with Game 7 at home, need be.

“Our guys love competition and love being challenged,” Spoelstra understated, “love taking on big challenges. And that’s what we’re facing in Boston.”

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