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Aishwarya Rai expresses gratitude to fans for birthday wishes, posts happy picture with daughter Aaradhya

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Actor Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, who celebrated her 49th birthday on Tuesday, expressed gratitude towards her fans who showered her with love and blessings. In an Instagram post, Aishwarya mentioned about the ‘positivity’ she feels around her fans. To celebrate her special day, the actor visited the Siddhivinayak Temple with her daughter Aaradhya Bachchan.

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“✨🙏Gratitude❤️🧿Thank you so much for all your immense love, warmest wishes, blessings and so much positivity… 🥰Much love always❣️❤️💝💖God Bless✨🌈,” Aishwarya wrote on Instagram. She posted a picture of herself with Aaradhya from her visit to the Siddhivinayak Temple. In the photo, the mother-daughter duo smiled at the camera.

Fans found the Ponniyin Selvan 1 star as ‘gorgeous’ as ever in the photo. One of them commented on it saying, “Beautiful and Gorgeous as always😍 my favourite forever❤️.” Another added, “A very happy Birthday Queen. You’re an inspiration. Dignity personified. ♥️💫🎊.” A fan also found Aaradhya to be ‘kind’ as a comment on Aishwarya’s post read, “Your daughter is growing up so nicely. I can sense the kindness in her. You are doing well, Aish. Bless you.” Her post also got love from Manish Malhotra, Daboo Ratnani and Bipasha Basu.

Aishwarya Rai received a special birthday wish from her husband Abhishek Bachchan on Tuesday. He shared a monochrome picture of her from the sets of her debut movie Iruvar. Along with the photo, he wrote, “Happy Birthday, wifey! Love, light, peace and eternal success.” She also got birthday wishes from Anushka Sharma, Katrina Kaif, Shilpa Shetty, and Rakul Preet Singh.

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Aishwarya was last seen in Mani Ratnam’s magnum opus Ponniyin Selvan 1.





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Fans petition for Pedro Pascal to be 2023 Calgary Stampede parade marshal | Globalnews.ca

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An online petition is hoping to see one of the stars of The Last of Us named the 2023 Calgary Stampede parade marshal.


A Change.org petition wants Pedro Pascal, who plays Joel in the TV show, to lead the charge.

The parade marshal is usually announced at the end of May or early June.

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Pascal spent time in Calgary and across the province filming the hit Crave series, including the Alberta legislature, the Bow River, the Ranchland Inn in Nanton, the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT), Canmore Engine Bridge and Waterton Lakes National Park.

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In fact, in episode 1, When You’re Lost in the Darkness, Calgary’s downtown is used as a stand-in for Boston, and a specially designed set situated in the industrial area behind the Calgary Stampede grounds serves at the show’s Boston Quarantine Zone (QZ.)

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Pascal has also spoken about his love for Alberta, like exploring the mountains and seeing the northern lights.

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As of 8 a.m. Monday, March 20, the petition had about 4,700 names.

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Academy Award winning actor Kevin Costner named 2022 Calgary Stampede parade marshal

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Actor Kevin Costner was parade marshal in 2022.


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Alan Cross: How much longer will we be able to buy digital downloads of songs? – National | Globalnews.ca

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When Steve Jobs made the rounds of major record labels in 2000, he knew he had them over a barrel.


Music piracy, kicked into high gear by the original Napster the previous June, was a threat to the recorded music industry. The new frontier for music was online and the labels were completely ill-equipped to deal with the greatest shift in music distribution in a century. They had to get in on the business of selling music digitally, but how?

Oh, the labels tried to build their own download stores, but Pressplay (originally called Duet and owned by Universal and Sony) and Musicnet (all the other majors) were miserable failures. First, they were expensive. For $15 a month, fans could stream 500 songs each month, get 50 song downloads and the ability to burn each of those songs to CD 10 times.

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Second, it was chaotic for the consumer. You needed to know what label a song or artist was on before. The terms of use were confusing and digital rights management (DRM) locks on the files made moving them around difficult and frustrating. It was much, much easier to just steal music.

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Third, the labels couldn’t work together on a unified platform because that would have violated all kinds of anti-trust rules, a legal situation that also help scupper the labels’ proposed purchase of Napster.

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The labels had all the digital products but no way to distribute and sell them. Apple’s iTunes offered a way out of this bind.

Jobs convinced the labels that allowing him to sell individual songs for 99 cents each was the way to go. And because the labels had no idea what they were doing — and because Apple was committed to spending millions on marketing (not to mention they had this new gadget called an iPod) — the labels all signed on with the iTunes Music Store.

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His pitch worked, and boom — the music industry changed forever.

There had been other attempts at creating digital music stores. Cductive was founded in 1996 and sold MP3 downloads for 99 cents (it was acquired by eMusic in 1999). Sony debuted Bitmusic in Japan in 1999, offering mostly singles from Japanese artists (it failed). Factory Records launched Music33, which offered downloads for 33 pence each (ditto). There was even a Canadian digital music store called Puretracks that lasted for about a nanosecond.

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Nothing beat iTunes, especially when the labels agreed to remove all DRM locks in 2007. (I still have songs on my computer in the old .mp4a format that are locked up and can’t be freely transferred from one place to another.) It soon became de rigueur for all releases to be available through iTunes.

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And because the iTunes Music Store was so easy to use on all computers (offering a Windows version was a huge deal), it became the favourite destination for buying digital albums and tracks. At one point, iTunes was responsible for 70 per cent of all digital music sales. Almost every would-be challenger was crushed. Hey, anyone remember hmvdigital.com?

But the whole shift from selling pieces of plastic to digital tracks left a bad taste in the mouths of the labels. They’d completely ceded distribution of their product to an outsider who charged a 30 per cent commission on each file sold. They vowed never to let that happen again.

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Fast forward to today. Streaming, not downloads, is king and the labels have firm control over how streamers may do business. They made more than US$10 billion from streaming in 2022. They also continuously receive petabytes and petabytes of data on how music fans consume music.

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And because streaming is so cheap — or even free — music piracy is a fraction of what it used to be.

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As a result, sales of digital tracks and albums continue to plummet. In Canada, the sales of digital albums are down 15.9 per cent from this time last year and digital track sales have fallen by 7.5 per cent. Meanwhile, streaming is up 13.9 per cent from a year ago as Canadians reliably stream somewhere around 2.3 billion songs a week.

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I can make the situation sound even more dire. In 2012, we bought 1.3 billion digital tracks. Last year, we bought 152 million. That’s a crash of 88.6 per cent in a decade. These numbers obviously aren’t good. Paid downloads are quickly becoming the next cassette.

Sales were once front-and-centre on the iTunes home page. Now you have to hunt a bit for the iTunes Music Store when you open the app. If you go to Amazon, a search for MP3s takes you to a page that pushes streaming and physical product. Neither company breaks out how much digital music they sell in their financial reports.

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So here’s the question: How long will Apple support iTunes? Heck, how much longer do all digital tracks/albums sales have? Let me issue a plea that this never happens.

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I desperately need iTunes to continue because of my work. I need to gain full and legal access to songs to produce my radio show, The Ongoing History of New Music, so I buy up to a dozen songs a week. My Mac tells me I have 79,655 items taking up 564.65 gigabytes in my library. A non-insignificant number of those songs are iTunes downloads.

There are many uses for downloads. DJs need files they can mix as part of their sets. Older music fans brought up on a diet of purchasing CDs and vinyl also like iTunes because it offers permanent ownership instead of renting music from streamers. Insiders know that if downloads for an artist increase, it may show that the artist has crossed over to an older demo.

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Artists can also see decent revenue from iTunes, especially after they’re in the news for something. Paid downloads spike up and they pay out far, far more than streams. Artists, labels and managers also monitor iTunes for songs that may pop on iTunes’ charts, a possible indication that something interesting is happening.

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How did the Canadian music industry do in 2022? The year-end stats are out

What are the options if iTunes goes away as Google Play Music did? Well, there are other digital music storefronts. There’s the aforementioned eMusic, which came online selling DRM-free MP3s in January 1998, three years before iTunes debuted. It has contracts with the major labels and dozens of indies. Unlike iTunes and Amazon Music, it’s a download-to-own site that requires the purchase of a monthly membership. Its library isn’t as deep as iTunes (15 million songs vs at least 60 million) but it can do the job for some people.

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The most interesting digital music storefronts are those selling hi-res lossless files for people who demand the highest in audio quality. For example, 7 Digital will sell you all kinds of digital music, including plenty of 24-bit FLAC files. That’s fantastic — if you have the necessary hardware.

The same goes for Pro Studio Masters (I used it quite a bit for buying FLAC files). If that’s your jam, be sure to check out HDTracks and France’s Qobuz. which will debut in Canada later this year.

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DJs and dance music fans have long known about Beatport. If you’re into the indie side of things, you’ve probably purchased a download or two from Bandcamp. And then there’s Bleep, which focuses on independent artists and labels.

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Still, though, it’s hard to beat iTunes for selection and functionality. I really, really hope Apple doesn’t do something stupid like kill it. But with each week’s music industry sales numbers, you have to wonder how far things can drop before it’s time to move on.

If that day comes, it will be very, very sad.

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Alan Cross is a broadcaster with Q107 and 102.1 the Edge and a commentator for Global News.

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Subscribe to Alan’s Ongoing History of New Music Podcast now on Apple Podcast or Google Play

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Josh Duggar’s 12.5-year prison sentence extended – National | Globalnews.ca

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NOTE: The following article contains content that some might find disturbing. Please read at your own discretion.


Former reality TV star Josh Duggar has been handed nearly two months of additional jail time on top of his existing 12 and a half year sentence, as per prison records.

Duggar, 35, was convicted of child pornography charges in 2021.

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Duggar’s extended sentence comes after he was caught with a contraband cellphone last month. As a result, the 19 Kids and Counting ex-castmate was reportedly placed in solitary confinement.

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Representatives for Duggar have not commented publicly on his extended sentence.

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In December 2021, Duggar was convicted of downloading and possessing child pornography after a Little Rock, Ark., police detective found child pornography files were being shared by a computer traced to Duggar.  A federal agent testified in 2020 that images depicting the sexual abuse of children, including toddlers, were downloaded in 2019 onto a computer at a car dealership Duggar owned.

Duggar later apologized for a pornography addiction and for cheating on his wife, calling himself “the biggest hypocrite ever.”

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He has, however, maintained his innocence regarding the child pornography convictions. His lawyers are still looking to overturn his sentence.

TLC cancelled 19 Kids and Counting, which featured the large Duggar clan, in 2015 following revelations that he had molested four of his sisters and a babysitter. Authorities began investigating the abuse in 2006 after receiving a tip from a family friend.

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No charges were ever placed against Duggar in these instances, as the statute of limitations had expired.

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Duggar’s original prison release date was set for Aug. 12, 2032. As a result of the extension, Duggar is now scheduled for release on Oct. 2, 2032. He is serving the sentence in the prison FCI Seagovillee, near Dallas.

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— With files from Global News’ Michelle Butterfield 

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If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse or is involved in an abusive situation, please visit the Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime for help. They are also reachable toll-free at 1-877-232-2610.

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&copy 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.





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