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The Disney effect: pandemic won’t keep guests away from park magic | ticker VIEWS

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Disney parks have always been renowned for escaping the real world for fantasy, and that’s exactly why people are leaving the pandemic at the front gates of Disneyland

Walt Disney World’s Happily Ever After at Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Florida.

Disney’s theme park division returned to profitability for the first time since the pandemic began

It’s clear the delta variant can’t stop guests from visiting the most magical place on earth

Disney has returned to profit – with a blowout third-quarter earnings, beating Wall Street expectations.

The Mouse house reported subscriber growth, revenue and earnings, with shares up more than 4 per cent.

Although, the parks alone are not yet profitable – but this isn’t a worry to the world’s largest entertainment company

Florida is a global epicentre of the pandemic – but guests keep flocking?

Disney CEO Bob Chapek said is “bullish” about the future of its U.S. theme parks, despite the country experiencing a resurgence of Covid-19 nationwide.

Chapek said theme park reservations are higher now than in the company’s third fiscal quarter that ended in early July.

Walt Disney World and Disneyland are still “not quite 100% open at this point,” Chapek said.

Walt Disney World’s hotel capacity is still at 70 per cent, and some restaurants are still closed— but the company plans to get closer and closer to 100% capacity.”

The Disney reopening statements come as Covid-19 cases and hospitalisations are spiking around the U.S due to the delta variant

Florida is now recording among the highest Covid-19 rates in the world, with record hospitalisation rates that now surpass those in New York City at the start of the pandemic in March 2020.

The Orlando area, where Walt Disney World is located, is now in “crisis mode”

The Orlando Sentinel reports the Reedy Creek Fire Department—which responds to emergencies on Disney property specifically, as the resort functions with its own local government—is now facing a Covid-19 outbreak among its employees.

Disney requires all of its employees in the parks and throughout the company to be vaccinated against Covid-19, though the employee unions are still negotiating with Disney on the exact terms of the mandate.

Masks are also reinstated as mandatory due to the delta variant outbreak.

However, people are still flocking to parks. Guests are eager for reservations – with limited availability adding to the hype and exclusivity

Disney theme parks have operated at reduced crowd capacities throughout the pandemic.

Dining reservations for October 1 (Walt Disney World’s 50th) opened up a few days ago and the availability was already extremely limited from the day it was released to the public.

In October 2021, Disney World is bringing a party to all of its parks – making this Walt Disney World’s biggest celebration yet.

Disney fans will always be loyal to the company, especially during special events

But with limited international tourists to the U.S – overseas Disney park regulars have been cut off from the in-person magic for the forseeable future.

This definitely was a major dampen to Disney’ Parks revenue, however people found other ways to indulge in the happiness of Disney – that gave the company something to smile about too.

Consumer products business, saw operating income reach $564 million.

During the quarter, Disney garnered higher revenue from merchandise based on Mickey and Minnie, Star Wars, Disney princesses and Spider-Man.

So despite the empty merchandise stands during the peak period of the pandemic when parks were closed in 2020, people still bought their favourite Disney items.

$4.3 billion. That’s how much Disney’s parks, experiences and products division earned in revenue in the third quarter of 2021


Guests attending theme parks is critical for Disney as well as guests who thrive from the experience

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL – JULY 11: In this handout photo provided by Walt Disney World Resort, guests take a selfie at Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort on July 11, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. July 11, 2020 is the first day of the phased reopening. (Photo by Matt Stroshane/Walt Disney World Resort via Getty Images)

All six Disney parks around the globe have reopened after their shutdown last year and the resorts are slowly bringing back some of their pre-pandemic entertainment offerings, including the nightly fireworks show at Disney World.

Watching fireworks via livestream isn’t the same as standing in front of Cinderella’s castle watching the sky light up – and Disney knows this.

Walt Disney World in Florida is now seeing park attendance that’s “at or near daily capacity levels.”

Disney CFO Christine McCarthy said the company’s aim is to have their U.S. parks “be fully staffed up by the end of this calendar year.”

If you look back to the reason Walt Disney opened Disneyland it’s easy to see why people want to escape to the happiest place on earth

Walt Disney opening Disneyland in 1955

“To all who come to this happy place, welcome”

Printed at the front gates of disneyland

In the 1950’s the world was emerging from World War II and Americans were eager to find peace and prosperity.

Disneyland and DisneyWorld (that opened in 1971) were a way to escape the ‘real world’ and be emerged into fantasy.

In many ways, that is the reason, hundreds and thousands of guests, whom are sick of the grim ongoing covid-19 pandemic are relying on the magic of Disney more than ever to escape the world as we know it in 2021.

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How close to a full scale nuclear war are we really?

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Since President Vladimir Putin’s latest warning that he is ready to use nuclear weapons to defend Russia, the question of whether or not the former KGB spy is bluffing has become much more urgent.

There are several reasons why Putin’s nuclear warnings have the West worried. First, Russia has been increasingly aggressive in its actions in recent years, from annexing Crimea to intervening in Syria. This has led to a feeling that Putin is becoming more and more reckless and unpredictable.

Second, Russia has been beefing up its nuclear arsenal, with reports indicating that it now has more nuclear warheads than any other country in the world. This increase in firepower makes Putin’s threats all the more credible.

Last but not least, there is the fact that Putin is a former KGB agent. This means that he is no stranger to playing games of brinkmanship and bluffing. In the past, he has used nuclear threats as a way to get what he wants. For example, in 2008, he threatened to aim nuclear missiles at European cities unless the United States agreed to drop plans for a missile defense system in Eastern Europe.

The West is worried

Given all of this, it’s no wonder that Putin’s latest nuclear threats have the West worried. Only Putin knows if he is actually bluffing, but given his track record, it’s certainly a possibility.

If a nuclear weapon were used in Ukraine, it would cause a massive humanitarian crisis. Tens of thousands of people would be killed or wounded, and millions more would be displaced. The economic and social damage would be enormous, and Europe would be plunged into chaos.

In addition, the use of nuclear weapons would also have devastating consequences for the rest of the world. The nuclear non-proliferation regime would be dealt a serious blow, and there would be a renewed risk of nuclear war.

The world would become a much more dangerous place.

Nuclear impact

A nuclear explosion in Ukraine would have a regional impact, but it could also have global consequences. The use of nuclear weapons would violate the nuclear non-proliferation regime, and this could lead to other countries acquiring nuclear weapons. In addition, the risk of nuclear war would increase, and this would have a negative impact on the entire world.

The UN has condemned Russia’s threats of nuclear war, and it has called on all parties to refrain from any actions that could lead to the use of nuclear weapons. The UN Secretary-General has said that there can be no military solution to the crisis in Ukraine, and he has urged all sides to return to the negotiating table.

Russia has several allies in its war against Ukraine. These include Belarus, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan. Russia also has the support of China and Iran.

The war in Ukraine has had a significant impact on energy prices.

Due to the conflict, there has been a disruption in the supply of natural gas and oil from Ukraine. This has led to an increase in prices for these commodities.

The West can only threaten Putin further, as they’ve done all year, since President Biden warned that Russia was about to invade Ukraine.

Every step of the way, Putin has done exactly what the West has feared.

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“These are the guys?” Putin’s Dad’s army

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Vladimir Putin’s army is in a bit of a pickle. They’ve been drafting retirees, and telling conscripts to use tampons for bullet wounds.

This isn’t exactly the most impressive fighting force we’ve ever seen. In fact, they look more like dad’s army than anything else.

It’s clear that Putin is desperate to beef up his forces, but it seems like he’s just throwing bodies at the problem instead of actually preparing them for battle.

Pictures from Sevastopol in Crimea show groups of men — many well into their 50s and 60s gripping weapons and wearing uniforms.

Several appear in questionable fighting shape.

This could be a big problem for Russia if they actually get into a serious conflict. We hope for their sake that they never have to find out.

Thousands of Russian men are fleeing the country to avoid conscription. This just goes to show how unpopular Putin’s policies are, even among his own people.

The Kremlin is now trying to catch thousands of Russian men as they try and leave the country. But it’s not going to be easy.

Many of these men are willing to risk everything to avoid being drafted into Putin’s army.

It’s estimated that up to 100,000 Russian soldiers have died in Ukraine since the conflict began.

This is a huge loss of life for Russia, and it’s all thanks to Putin’s reckless policies.

Many of these soldiers were just boys, barely out of their teens. They had their whole lives ahead of them, but they’ll never get to experience it now.

It’s tragic, and it’s all thanks to Putin. He needs to be stopped.

At the same time, a video shared on social media shows a Russian officer telling new recruits what to expect.

“I say right away if you are near the fire, you are f***ed,” she says, before reeling off a list of items they will need to acquire themselves before entering the war zone.

“Take sleeping bags with you, you will sleep where you have to.”

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IRAN PROTESTS | Are countries using religion as an excuse to violate basic human rights?

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Iran protests are engulfing the country as thousands take to the streets in a revolution against oppression

IRAN PROTESTS – The story of Iran is one of a country that has been through a lot in recent history.

An uprising of both men and women has engulfed Iran, following the death of Mahsa Amini. Women are cutting their hair and burning their hijabs, demanding some form of change to the strict rules that impact their ultimate freedom.

From the Iranian Revolution in 1979 to the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, the nation’s residents have witnessed their fair share of turmoil.

Many insist that religion, like Islam, is being used as a reason to violate basic human rights in Iran.

“It’s a totalitarian regime… Islam is being used to deny freedom of speech, freedom of education, freedom of movement.”

Mariam Memarsadeghi
Cyrus Forum and Senior Fellow at Macdonald-Laurier Institute

There is a feeling of discontent among the Iranian people. The economy is struggling, and many young Iranians feel they have no future.

They are fed up with the corruption of the government and the lack of opportunity.

Mahsa Amini’s brutal death

On top of this is the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish-Iranian woman.

Amini was arrested by the so-called morality police for “improperly” wearing her mandatory hijab.

Reports suggest she was beaten so severely that she went into a coma.

Mahsa Amini protests in Iran

Three days later, she died, and many suspect it was a direct result of this police brutality.

Amini’s death has fuelled further anger and extreme protest, with widespread condemnation from Iranians, denouncing her death and the regime that caused it.

“There were 10-11 blows to her head… She was beaten while still in the van…When her body was delivered to the family they saw bruises to her neck and head.”

Mariam Memarsadeghi
Cyrus Forum and Senior Fellow at Macdonald-Laurier Institute

The incident has brought attention to the plight of many Iranians who feel they are living under an oppressive regime.

While it is difficult to predict what will happen next in Iran, many hope the death of Amani will not be in vain.

Many pray the protests will lead to real action and a country where women are treated as equals. They want a country where there is opportunity for all.

Women in Iran and around the world are now lifting the veil on Iran’s corruption and human rights violations.

In 2022, many are angry that men are controlling what women do with their bodies and what they wear.

However, the Founder and Director of Cyrus Forum and Senior Fellow at Macdonald-Laurier Institute Mariam Memarsadeghi explained its women who are enforcing the strict rules too.

“It’s actually women also who are policing other women to wear hijab… It’s a very Handmaids Tale situation.”

Mariam Memarsadeghi
Cyrus Forum and Senior Fellow at Macdonald-Laurier Institute

Will this drive change?

In Iran, many young Iranians are showing the world they don’t want this system any more, that they want democracy.

They’re cutting their hair and burning their hijabs, they’re putting their own safety on the line to take a stand against the regime that has silenced them for so long.

This generation is very different, but it doesn’t guarantee that this uprising will fuel any real change.

However, Memarsadeghi said “there is no way back from here.”

“It’s very dangerous, there is a tremendous amount of respect for the men and women on the streets because each and every single one of them risks being beaten, killed, tortured, maybe even executed.”

Mariam Memarsadeghi
Cyrus Forum and Senior Fellow at Macdonald-Laurier Institute

How can organisations and world leaders help?

Iran is in the midst of a political upheaval and the world is watching.

Scenes of protest and violence are being shared far and wide on social media. The world has a front-row seat to the unfolding crisis.

However, the Iranian Government has responded by imposing a sweeping internet ban, cutting off the protesters from the outside world.

This only adds to the urgency of the situation, as Iran’s people are now risking their lives to speak out against their oppression.

World leaders and democracy advocacy groups are already discussing ways to help the people of Iran and hold their violations to account.

“The solidarity and attention from celebrities, athletes and world leaders has been extremely helpful… The future of freedom is what these men and women in Iran are doing.”

Mariam Memarsadeghi
Cyrus Forum and Senior Fellow at Macdonald-Laurier Institute

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