As temperatures sizzled to an all year high on Saturday, record crowds turned out in Lisburn to support their ‘Young Stars’ during the Mayors Carnival Parade in Wallace Park.

For the past several weeks local radio station Citybeat has been searching for young pop stars and it was time for Lisburn’s Young talent to shine at the weekend in front of thousands of spectators who crammed into the park.

Citybeat presenter Stuart Robinson, who created the ‘Young Star Search’ hosted the Lisburn Heat and was helped by celebrity judges

Gerard McCarthy from Hollyoaks, TV / Radio presenter Robin Elliot and local singers Minty and Kerri Moore.

A record crowd baked in the June sunshine as Lisburn’s young hopefuls aged 8-16 took to the stage in an attempt to impress the judges but in the end it was (junior category) Chantelle McAteer (8) Victoria Witherton (12) Zoe Skillen (12) and (senior category) Emma McQuire (15) Heather Vient (14) & Kyra Chivers (13) who secured a place in the next round.

All six young singers now go to the public vote on Citybeat this week and its now up to the radio stations listeners to choose the overall winner from the Lisburn Heat.

Organizer Stuart Robinson was thrilled with the response received in Lisburn “We are now over half way through the ‘Young Star’ tour and this was by far the biggest turn-out we’ve received so far. The crowd went crazy for all the young singers and Gerard from Hollyoaks also proved popular with the ladies. The weather helped also and meant we got the biggest crowd possible as thousands ventured outdoors to join in the fun”.

The winner from the Lisburn heat will get a summer shopping spree at Lisburn Square plus will compete against all the other regional winners in the Northern Ireland final being held on the 7th July at Castle Court in Belfast.

All the singers from the ‘Young Star Search’ can be heard on www.citybeat.co.uk including video clips from the Lisburn event.




ALISON – ONE MILLION USERS EXPECTED BY END OF 2007

ALISON, (www.alison) a leading global free learning community has attracted over 100,000 visitors and 10,000 Registered Users in 85 countries worldwide since its launch in late April. The promoters of ALISON expect the number of Registered users to exceed ONE MILLION users by the end of 2007.

The Mission of ALISON is to educate anyone, anywhere via high quality certification-based interactive multimedia courseware for free. All courses are accessible Free of Charge to Individual Users. ALISON is supported by Advertising and by charging nominal fees for online management & administration features for Learning Groups.

Among the courses offered via ALISON are highly popular ICT courses such ECDL, E-Citizen, and also Financial Literacy, Health & Safety and Touch Typing. It is the intention of ALISON to provide quality learning for ALL basic and essential skills for the workplace.

ALISON is actively seeking Individuals and Organisations interested in supporting the ALISON mission of Free Education for all.

To learn more about ALISON, its social mission, its products, its management and supporters, please log on to www.alison.com or contact or Press Liaison below.

ALISON is especially dedicated to getting learners online therefore the support of traditional paper press is particularly sought. Those already online are already one step ahead.


Property investors should plan for a positive cashflow in their rental income or could face repossession of their buy-to-let properties.

Property website www.publicangel.com says recent increases in interest rates and further possible hikes could push some landlords over into the red with their mortgage payments.

In the race to increase portfolios, some landlords are subsidising the rents received with their own money to meet the increasing mortgage payments.

This method of property investment promoted by some “property gurus” will lead to financial ruin for many newbie investors.

Public Angel’s Nilesh Gohil said: “It angers me to listen to so called property gurus preaching to new investors that being out of pocket every month is a good solution to cashing in on long term capital gains in the future.

“Every savvy property investor should know that, in general, property investors should plan for a positive cashflow and not rely on capital gains. Any capital gains achieved should be considered as a bonus.”

Nilesh added: “Poor cashflow management by new investors will increase the number of properties going into repossession. Great news for savvy property investors.

“I urge investors to get the right financial advice and ensure the figures stack up. I always run my figures past my mortgage advisor and accountant to ensure I am making the right choice in my property investment”.

Nilesh Gohil’s, newly released book “Journey of a Thousand Properties”, available at “http://www.publicangel.com” www.publicangel.com, aimed at investors and first-time buyers who want to invest in property.


Groundbreaking “Halo 3” Multiplayer Beta Concludes; Official Countdown for Launch of Game Begins

People worldwide can gear up for the game’s launch on 26th September with new, limited edition “Halo 3”-themed Xbox 360 Wireless Controllers and an Xbox 360 Wireless Headset.

Dublin – 13th June, 2007 – The countdown has begun for the biggest entertainment event of 2007 with the close of Bungie Studios’ massively successful “Halo® 3” multiplayer beta. A first for the acclaimed “Halo” franchise, the limited public beta was an overwhelming success, seeing more than 820,000 unique participants and more than 12 million hours of online gameplay in its short test period, equivalent to more than 1,400 years of continuous play by one person.

Now that the beta has closed, consumers worldwide can gear up for the game’s release with a variety of new merchandise, including two new Xbox 360™ Limited Edition “Halo 3” Wireless Controllers designed by Spawn and McFarlane Toys creator Todd McFarlane, as well as an Xbox 360 Limited Edition “Halo 3” Wireless Headset, which lets gamers talk with friends over Xbox LIVE®. The controllers and headset will be available starting in early September and can be pre-ordered at select retailers today, allowing “Halo” fans everywhere to prepare for the launch of this year’s biggest game.

“The participation in the ‘Halo 3’ beta was staggering,” said Shane Kim, corporate vice president of Microsoft Game Studios. “Witnessing such a great reaction to a small portion of the game has been inspiring. It’s a testament to the fervor and anticipation that surrounds ‘Halo 3.’ We’re confident that on 26th September Halo 3 will drive an unprecedented wave of new gamers to the Xbox 360 platform and Xbox LIVE.”

The “Halo 3” beta, an early look at parts of the multiplayer gameplay of “Halo 3,” debuted to Xbox 360 owners worldwide via Xbox LIVE on May 16. The more than 820,000 users who played the beta resulted in more than 350 terabytes of data downloaded from Xbox LIVE, equivalent to more than 82 million digital music downloads from the Internet.* Also telling was the players’ response to an exciting new saved-film feature, which provided them with the unprecedented ability to record their games and share them over Xbox LIVE with friends for the first time on Xbox 360. The feature, which was unveiled in the beta, saw more than 580,000 saved films created by users, representing more than 2.7 terabytes of data. Because of the tremendous participation in the beta, Bungie now has an exhaustive amount of data that will be used to improve the overall game experience.

Fans looking to immerse themselves in the “Halo” universe before the game’s epic launch this September will be able to dive into “Halo” through a variety of new merchandise and accessories:

· Xbox 360 Limited Edition “Halo 3” Wireless Controllers. Two new Xbox 360 Limited Edition Halo 3 Wireless Controllers will be available starting Sept. 18 and can be pre-ordered today at select retailers. Designed with original artwork by legendary Spawn artist Todd McFarlane, they will be available in either the Covenant Brute or Master Chief themes. Each controller will be packaged with a limited edition “Halo 3” collectible figurine created by McFarlane Toys.

· Xbox 360 Limited Edition “Halo 3” Wireless Headset. For the “Halo 3” enthusiast who enjoys wireless mobility while playing with friends on Xbox LIVE, the Xbox 360 Limited Edition Halo 3 Wireless Headset will sport the Spartan green and gold and provide high-quality voice connections over Xbox LIVE. Available in early September, this accessory can be pre-ordered today at select retailers.

· “Halo: Contact Harvest.” “Halo” fans can look forward to the latest book in the “Halo” saga, “Halo: Contact Harvest,” published by Tor Books. Written by Joseph Staten, the Bungie Studios cinematic and writing lead for the first two “Halo” games, the newest piece of fiction precedes the current New York Times’ best-selling book series, telling the tale of the first encounters between UNSC forces and the alien Covenant race that threatens to destroy all humanity.

· Marvel Comic miniseries. Bungie Studios has teamed up with Marvel Comics to release the monthly miniseries “Halo: Uprising.” The four-issue miniseries, featuring original storylines and artwork from the Eisner Award-winning team of superscribe Brian Michael Bendis and artist extraordinaire Alex Maleev.

About Bungie Studios

Bungie Studios was founded in 1991 with two goals: to develop games that combine brilliant technology, beautiful art, intelligent stories and deep gameplay, and then sell enough of those games to achieve its real goal of total world domination. Over the past 10 years it has produced games such as the “Marathon Trilogy” and the first two “Myth” games, hailed as classics by critics and gamers around the world. Bungie’s “Halo” franchise is an international award-winning action title that has grown into a global entertainment phenomenon, selling more than 14.7 million units worldwide, logging nearly 1 billion hours of multiplayer action on Xbox LIVE, and spawning action figures, books, a graphic novel, apparel and more. Bungie is currently at work on “Halo 3,” which represents the third chapter in this “Halo” trilogy and is slated for release in 2007. More information on Bungie can be found at http://www.bungie.net.

About Microsoft Game Studios

Microsoft Game Studios is a leading worldwide publisher and developer of games for the Xbox® and Xbox 360 video game systems, the Windows® operating system and online



The Many Worlds of Jonas Moore is a trilogy set in a time where the British Empire has never ended and America is just a virtual world hosted on a vast global game network, Jonas Moore, a character personally created by the network’s founder, is thrown into a world where characters, creatures and monsters are all slaves to the gamers from the real world.

It is a unique project becuase of the format in which it tells the story, it is a relatively new technique using CGI, live action & 2D animation in a comic book style setting. All elements are meshed together to tell a great story set in an alternative England, where gaming has become a way of life, where characters and games are so realistic they seem to take on a life of their own.

Jonas Moore

Recent Articles:

http://www.comicbookresources.com/news/newsitem.cgi?id=10716

http://scifi.uk.com/2007/05/31/the-many-worlds-of-jonas-moore-user-generated-content-scifi-colin-salmon/

http://www.mansized.co.uk/talk/thread.phtml/post287206/

http://www.appscout.com/2007/05/the_many_worlds_of_jonas_moore.php

JonasMoore.com

Putting art into action, local women are giving three fundraising performances of The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler in The Black Box, Waring Street, in Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter on 25, 26 and 27 June. With an entirely voluntary cast and crew, proceeds will be donated to Belfast Rape Crisis and Sexual Abuse Centre.  Doors open at 7.30pm for performance at 8pm. Tickets will be available on the door for £7/ 5 concession.

Having lost all of its governmental funding, Belfast Rape Crisis and Sexual Abuse Centre is struggling to keep its doors open.  This event aims to raise awareness of the desperate financial situation the centre is in.  Paula Wynburne, Fundraiser at the centre says every penny raised is sorely needed,

“Unfortunately the numbers of calls to the centre increase year on year. Our work also includes accompanying women to court, social services, police, in fact anything they need.  Our holistic approach has put great strain on our meagre funds and outreach and education work has had to be cut, as has the vital training of new volunteers to answer the phone.”

A VaginART Exhibition will run alongside the performances in The Black Box, featuring exciting work from local artists. The exhibition will also be open to the general public at The Black Box from 9am-6pm on 26 and 27 June.  Following the final performance on 27 June, at 10pm there will be a vaginART auction, where several exceptional pieces of work will be sold, in aid of the Rape Crisis and Sexual Abuse Centre.

Producers, Camel Hartley and Emilie Weiderud, see Ensler’s play as art for social change, “There is still far too little being done to highlight the prevalence of violence against women in our society and consequently a lack of funding to help victims of rape and sexual violence. All over the world women are performing The Vagina Monologues to raise money for projects in their community. We are proud to bring this remarkable play to Belfast.”

For the performers, The Vagina Monologues is seen as a rite of passage, for the audience, a powerful theatre experience. The producers promise it will not only raise funds and awareness but many laughs and quite a few eyebrows. This play will keep being performed until the violence stops.

Further details of the Belfast production of The Vagina Monologues can be found at www.myspace.com/areyoucoming. Group rates are being offered for NI women’s groups. Belfast Rape Crisis Centre’s Helpline is 02890 329002 or visit, www.rapecrisini.co.uk

Mel C got a surprise during her visit to Belfast this week when she met a group of local children who’d love her job!

The ex-spice girl met up with finalists of ‘Citybeat’s Young Star Search’ to offer tips and advise on how to make it in the music business. All summer Citybeat have been travelling to different locations across Northern Ireland listening to kids aged 8-16 with the aim to finding an a ‘Young Star’.

Commenting Mel said “Its so important for kids to get involved with music from an early age – the children I’ve heard today have sounded brilliant and I wish them the best of luck in the competition”.

Mel went as far to offer the kids some advice “ Practice as much as can, work hard and get involved in music at school, maybe even form your own wee band and meet up with people who have a similar interest”.

But Mel had one big ‘no go’ for the children “ Never smoke – it’ll ruin your voice, if your serious about wanting to sing – whatever you do don’t even think about starting to smoking”

Commenting on Mel’s visit Stuart said “ It’s fantastic that someone of Mel C’s calibre visited our studio to meet the children. The kids were delighted to have met her and had a lot of questions for her. These children are all under 16 but they already have lots of talent and I’m sure they’ll find any tips from an ex-Spice Girl very helpful”.

The Citybeat Young Star Search continues over the next couple of weeks. Each week judges who include Hollyoaks actor Gerald McCarthy and the X Factor’s Shaun pick a selection of finalists who go on Citybeat for the public vote.

In July all the overall regional winners will compete at the grand final at Castle Court in Belfast.

All the singers from the ‘Young Star Search’ can be heard on www.citybeat.co.uk including video clips from all heats.

The Avro Vulcan bomber, one of a fleet of planes that played a vital role in defeating the Argentinians in the Falklands War, is a jet bomber capable of a top speed of nearly 500 knots, able to fly at a height in excess of 50,000 feet, with a range of over 3,000 miles and capable of carrying a nuclear weapon. The Vulcan was the most famous of the three types known, along with the Victor and the Valiant, as the V-bombers, which maintained Britain’s strategic nuclear deterrent during the early years of the Cold War. Initially finished in an all-over white colour scheme to protect the aircraft and their crews from the heat and flash of a nuclear explosion, the V-Force’s aircraft could be scrambled in minutes, in response to any Soviet attack. V-Bombers and their crews stood on constant alert until 1969, when the V-Force handed over its nuclear deterrent role to the Royal Navy’s Polaris submarines. In all, 136 Vulcan’s were built by the Avro factory near Manchester, the last being completed in January 1965. After it lost its nuclear deterrent function, the Vulcan found other roles as a conventional bomber, a maritime reconnaissance aircraft and as a tanker. Its only combat sorties were the famous Operation Black Buck raids, 25 years ago, during the Falklands Conflict flown from Ascension Island in the mid-Atlantic. At the time, these were the longest bombing missions in the history of warfare, the Vulcans covering some 8,000 miles in around 16 hours. The aircraft was finally withdrawn from squadron service in 1984.  However, an original plane, number XH558, has been under restoration for eight years and is now the focus of media frenzy as it gets near to being ready to fly. The Former Prime Minister Lady Thatcher visited the restoration project, which is based at Bruntingthorpe airfield in Leicestershire in March and The Daily Telegraph are running a competition for a lucky winner to fly with the Blades flying display team alongside the restored  Vulcan.

The History Channel has been following the aircraft’s restoration and the company in charge of the project The Vulcan to the Sky Trust are desperately trying to get the Vulcan in the air again. But will the Vulcan fly?

The plane, XH558 last flew a decade ago from a Lincolnshire airfield but many people have doubts as to whether it will get off the ground. The Vulcan to the Sky Trust however seems more positive. A statement on the official website said: “We have an almost complete Vulcan sitting in the hangar. It is ready to sniff the outside air for the first time since she was rolled out for display last August.” The plane, which is based at Bruntingthorpe airfield in Leicestershire, still has to undergo extensive checks before it can be cleared by the Civil Aviation Authority. There are rumours that it will be appearing at the Royal Air Tattoo on the 14th and 15th of July at RAF Fairford, where the British publishing company Ian Allan Publishing plan to release their book produced in co-operation with the Vulcan of the Skies Trust. “The Avro Vulcan – Britain’s Cold War Warrior” is a pictorial tribute to this iconic British aircraft, with images from throughout its service career, including photos never before available to the public. Written by Philip Birtles, a well respected expert in the aviation field, this is an historic title for an historic event. The book covers every stage of the bomber’s life from its early white coloured nuclear bomber birth, to its camouflaged evolution that liberated the Falkland Islands for the Britain. Now 25 years later she is ready to take to the skies once again and if you want to see if the Victorious British bomber takes flight in reality as well and in print you need to be at RAF Fairford on the 14th of July!

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