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Justin Bieber suspends tour dates to prioritize health

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The musician posted the announcement on Instagram, saying that performing six live shows following his Ramsay Hunt syndrome diagnosis earlier this year, “took a real toll.”

“This past weekend, I performed at Rock in Rio and I gave everything I have to the people in Brazil,” Bieber said. Exhaustion “overtook” him, he said. After following up with his doctors, family and team, the singer said he decided to make his health a priority over his tour.

“I’m going to take a break from touring for the time being. I’m going to be okay, but I need time to rest and get better,” he said. “I’ve been so proud to bring this show and our message of Justice to the world.”

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He thanked fans for support and prayers and closed the announcement writing, “I love you all passionately!”

Already postponed earlier this year due to Bieber and members of his team testing positive for Covid-19, the world tour finally launched in March.

He had 70 shows set to run until March 2023 in South America, Asia, Australia, New Zealand and Europe.

Bieber did not say when he might return to the stage, and his publicists did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In June, the Canadian singer disclosed that he was diagnosed with Ramsay Hunt Syndrome, which left half of his face paralyzed, forcing him to cancel performances in order to recover. He posted a video on Instagram explaining to viewers that he could not smile on one side of his face but assured fans that he just needed time to recover.

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At 13 years old, Bieber became a global pop star with songs like Baby gaining him instant fame.



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CS reimagines Queen’s iconic song with Eva B and Karakoram

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Coke Studio has reimagined the iconic Queen track A Kind of Magic featuring the Pakistani artist Eva B, and Pakistani band Karakoram, stated a press release. 

International artists Ari Lennox, Griff, Tesher, Mariah Angeliq, Tems, TRI.BE and Ekin Beril have also released their unique versions of A Kind of Magic for the launch of Coke Studio Global. The core of the platform is the belief that our differences make the world a richer place in which to live – and that real magic happens when we come together through shared experiences, both digitally and in real life. 

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The song was originally written by the band’s drummer Roger Taylor, as an ode to lead singer Freddie Mercury’s “terrifically fertile brain” and described his creative process as “a kind of magic”. 

The rendition is arranged and produced by Zulfiqar (Xulfi) Jabbar Khan and Sherry Khattak, mastered by Dave Kutch of The Mastering Palace, and is captured beautifully by ace director Kamal Khan.

This year’s Coke Studio 14 was a mad mash-up of Gen-Z soloists and the grandmasters that lit the way. This year’s reboot also embraced the bond between music, aesthetics and attitude. Each of the thirteen songs came with a unique video, created by some of Pakistan’s most progressive directors including Kamal Khan, Murtaza Niaz, Jamal Rahman and Coke Studio veteran Zeeshan Parwez.

With Pakistan’s premium live sound expert Ishaq Nazir and sound tech squad that included Sherry Khattak and Turaab Khan in pivotal roles, the result was a confessional season wrapped in delicious visuals and sound. It was all held together by visionary collaborators like Abdullah Siddiqui, ActionZain, Talal Qureshi, Adnan Dhool, Arsalan Hasan and Rovalio. Fusing them all together was the masterstroke of Xulfi and Coke Studio.

This is the era of Pakistan’s self-actualisation, and as Pakistan’s biggest cultural export, Coke Studio knows it. “Artistic, talented, progressive – if we get our powers together, we are amazing,” Xulfi said. He added, “For me, Coke Studio can open peoples’ hearts to Pakistan.”

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Soccer’s Mourinho got rapping talent in Stormzy’s new song

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LOS ANGELES:

AS Roma manager Jose Mourinho has come up with some memorable quotes in his career but he probably never thought his words would one day turn into lyrics for a British rapper.

Stormzy released his new song Mel Made Me Do It on Friday, which includes what the Portuguese coach said in 2014 when his Chelsea side lost 1-0 at Aston Villa after Mourinho and two of his players were sent off.

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“I prefer really not to, not to speak, If I speak I am in, in big trouble,” Mourinho is heard saying after Stormzy says “I prefer not to speak like I’m Jose.”

The former Real Madrid and Manchester United manager joined Stormzy in the music video released with the song, in which the rapper, his crew and the Portuguese are seen doing Mourinho’s signature silence gesture with a finger to their lips.

“Was great fun doing this cameo for Stormzy’s new music video out today. I had a great time…” Mourinho posted on his Instagram account. Mourinho may have already found his rapper name years ago when his words turned into his famous nickname Special One.

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Economic plight of MSMEs ignored

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KARACHI:

The law-and-order situation coupled with rising fuel prices and creeping levels of inflation are threatening the survival of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the country as prominent trade bodies remain silent on the issue.

Speaking to the Express Tribune, Zulfikar Thaver, President of the Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME) said, “The breakdown of law and order in urban areas, especially Karachi, and worsening economic conditions have made it difficult for MSMEs to remain functional. Trade bodies are not raising the plight of MSMEs with the competent authorities.”

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Thaver urged the chambers of commerce and industry and trade associations to “earnestly facilitate their members in arbitration, complaints, promotion of trade and industry, modernisation and advocating the cause of MSMEs at the provincial and federal level.”

“Trade and industry representative bodies need to work hard to resolve these issues and take up matters effectively and diligently with the relevant authorities. Recently, the crime rate has surged as robberies and thefts have increased,” he added.

Thaver noted that “gangsters are snatching mobiles and wallets at gunpoint, without any fear of reprisal. What makes matters worse for MSMES is that the government has increased fuel prices and utilities companies are also increasing their rates every month and there is nobody to stop them. The depreciation of the rupee is also hurting all segments of society, particularly the business community.”

“It is true that the cost of doing business has gone up enormously, while demand and growth opportunities have shrunk at the same time,” stated Khurram Schehzad, CEO at Alpha Beta Core (ABCore). “This will negatively impact the viability of small and medium businesses,” he added. “Retailers are taking undue advantage and have increased prices disproportionately when compared with rupee depreciation and the increase in dollar rate,” explained Thaver.

“All of this needs to be examined and it is the duty of trade representative bodies to advocate and highlight these issues before the competent authorities,” he emphasised. “The worst affected are MSMEs as their cost of production has increased due to price hikes, which has also simultaneously dampened demand by reducing the purchasing power of customers,” Thaver maintained.

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Taurus Securities’ Head of Research Mustafa Mustansir said, “Business is very slow and MSMEs represent one of the largest employment generating segments within the economy.”

“Most of these MSMEs operate on very thin margins and depend heavily on their turnover. MSMEs and small businesses are also suffering from a lack of credit, especially informal forms of credit for procurement of inventory,” he added.

“The rich and affluent are not as affected as the micro to medium sector. It is pertinent to note that most of the members of trade associations and chambers of commerce are MSMEs and it is incumbent upon the trade bodies to speak on their behalf,” Thaver said.

“The economic conditions are tough given higher commodity prices along with fiscal adjustments made by the government including the electricity tariff hike, budgetary measures and the rolling out of petroleum subsidies,” said Tahir Abbas, Head of Research at Arif Habib Limited (AHL).

“Moreover, the law-and-order situation is deteriorating especially after the floods. At this point, the government should use an iron fist to keep the situation under control,” Abbas added.

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“Most of the associations are busy with photo sessions and dinner parties; they are only active at the time of elections, making promises which are soon forgotten. Most of these associations are politicised and controlled by the big boys who have their tactics to secure votes; no one outside their circle can even think of contesting against them,” lamented Thaver.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 24th, 2022.

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