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Wow! Amenzing! Disney to Open First Theme Park in Mainland China in June 2016.

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disnneA $5.5 billion bet that China is ready to embrace one of the most American of corporate symbols will finally come to fruition in June.

Walt Disney Co. on Tuesday said Shanghai Disney Resort, its first theme park in mainland China, will open June 16 after more than a decade of planning. Originally scheduled to debut in 2015, Disney last year delayed the launch to the first half this year.

The opening date, on the tail end of that time frame, reflects not only the significant construction challenges of a 963-acre theme park, hotel and entertainment complex, but the political and cultural barriers of undertaking such a massive project in partnership with a state-owned consortium in a communist country.

The opening will now come amid a slowdown in China’s economic growth, potentially threatening the confidence that leads middle class consumers to take pricey vacations.

It also comes as the entertainment giant’s recent big-screen success has better established its brands in the country. “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” opened last weekend to a healthy $53 million there. In 2015, Disney released a number of box office hits in China including “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” which made $225 million there; “Ant-Man,” which made $103 million; and “Cinderella,” with $68 million.

Shanghai Disney remains the largest such deal to date. The park is 57%-owned by a state-backed consortium, Shanghai Shendi, and 43% by Walt Disney Co. Local partners are responsible for construction and the accompanying infrastructure, including a subway extension.

However, the media giant is 70% owner of the joint venture that will operate the park, and its executives are largely overseeing that process. Any problems at Shanghai Disneyland won’t just affect the theme park, but could hurt public perception of all of Walt Disney’s businesses in the country, from film to television to consumer products.disneyDisney CEO Bob Iger speaks in front of a scale model of the future Shanghai Disney Resort during a news conference in Shanghai in July. PHOTO: CHINA DAILY/REUTERS
Significant competition is on the horizon. Comcast Corp.’s Universal Parks & Resorts is building a $3.3 billion theme park outside of Beijing that could include rides based on Harry Potter, which have proved very popular at the company’s Orlando, Fla., location.

Theme parks are Disney’s second-largest business behind television. Last fiscal year, revenue for the segment grew 7% to $16.1 billion and operating income rose 14% to $3 billion. However most of that growth has been driven by Disneyland and Walt Disney World in the U.S. International operations in Hong Kong and Paris have recently been a drag on growth.

Disney hasn’t disclosed the capacity of its Shanghai Disneyland theme park, but it is expected to be one of the largest of the company’s six at launch, a person close to the park’s planning said.

Although some construction will still be ongoing at launch, all previously announced attractions and features are expected to be open. Among the most prominent are the Enchanted Storybook Castle, the company’s largest princess-themed park centerpiece, a reimagining of the Chinese zodiac with Disney characters and a “Toy Story” hotel.

That should help avoid some of the problems the company faced a decade ago at Hong Kong Disneyland, where attendance was lower than projected due in part to a lack of appealing attractions. The park has since added new attractions, helping to improve the situation, though attendance was down in the fiscal quarter ended Oct. 3 last year.

Disney Chief Executive Robert Iger previously said he hoped to announce an opening date for Shanghai Disney by the end of 2015—a goal that appears to have slipped due to the challenges of coordinating an announcement with Chinese officials.

Major construction on the park is now close to complete, according to the person familiar with the matter. The next several months are expected to be spent largely on hiring and training employees, testing systems and working on entertainment, including a Mandarin-language version of “The Lion King” musical.

Disney so far has hired 2,000 of the 10,000 employees it will need to operate its new resort.

About 8,000 people have been involved in construction.

Tickets aren’t yet on sale and Disney hasn’t announced prices for the Shanghai Disneyland theme park.

Disney has been looking to build a park in Shanghai since the 1990s. In 2002, it signed a letter of intent with the local government with the goal of a 2008 opening. Construction began in April 2011.

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Pray for Pope Francis Has He Undergoes Surgery : President Buhari

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Roman Catholic church head, Pope Francis has undergone surgery hours after attending the traditional Sunday Angelus prayer in St. Peter’s Square on Sunday, July 4.

President Muhammadu Buhari has sent a get-well message to the Head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis, as he heads in for a scheduled surgery of the colon.

The president’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, confirmed this in a statement in Abuja on Sunday.

Buhari called for prayers from Nigerians and the global community as the Pontiff goes in for this routine operation.

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Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey reveals special #EndSARS emoji after endorsing the movement

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Twitter CEO,  Jack Dorsey has revealed special #EndSARS Emoji after endorsing the movement against police brutality and other unlawful crimes in Nigeria.

Jack tweeted his support for the #EndSARS protests and called for Bitcoin donations towards the movement two days ago.

Last night, Twitter experienced issues globally with large numbers of users unable to post tweets, access their timelines, or see notifications. After fixing these issues, Jack Dorsey revealed a special #EndSARS emoji, a fist with the colour of the Nigerian flag.

Nigerians have flooded his comment session to thank him for his support and the special #EndSARS emoji he created for the movement.

Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey reveals special #EndSARS emoji after endorsing the movementTwitter CEO, Jack Dorsey reveals special #EndSARS emoji after endorsing the movementTwitter CEO, Jack Dorsey reveals special #EndSARS emoji after endorsing the movementTwitter CEO, Jack Dorsey reveals special #EndSARS emoji after endorsing the movement

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Brazilian footballer Neymar faces fresh police questioning over claim he raped a model in Paris hotel room

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Brazilian footballer, Neymar, 26, will be questioned for the second time over claims he raped a model in a Paris Hotel room.

The Paris Saint-Germain star has reportedly agreed to fly into São Paulo in Brazil to meet with detectives over the alleged rape attack on 26-year-old model, Najila Trindade Mendes de Souza. 

Speaking to MailOnline, Dr. Juliana Lopes Bussacos, the officer in charge of the investigation, said: ‘He will be treated like any other citizen. He has the same rights as any other man.

‘I have interviewed many men in these situations and everyone is equal and they all have the right to tell their story and produce evidence to back it up.’

With detectives desperate to get to the bottom of what happened,  Dr. Juliana said she couldn’t enter into details of the rape accuser’s complaint due to confidentiality.

‘There are so many questions and answers that need clarification. He says he did not rape her and she has said she has evidence.

The former Barcelona striker is expected to give his statement in the next 48 hours, and then officers will decide if there is a case and if it is necessary to bring them together.

This comes after it was revealed that Neymar could be cleared of the rape accusation levied against him within days over lack of more evidence from his accuser.

The Brazilian model has been informed by her lawyer that she faces seeing her case against the Paris Saint-Germain star dropped except there is more evidence. She also faces losing the second lawyer to represent her after he said he could not carry on if his professional ‘trust’ in her was compromised.

Trindade’s attorney Danileo Garcia de Andrade said he still believed Ms. Trindade had a case, but he would step aside if there was a lack of evidence.

Mr. Daileo said he had given her a deadline to produce the video and photographs she claimed to have had which would help prove her allegations of rape against the Brazilian superstar. But if the evidence was not forthcoming, he said, he would drop the case next week.

Mr de Andrade told Brazil’s UOL Esporte: ‘If the police investigation of the supposed break-in where she lives shows there was no break-in, I am leaving the case.’

He added: ‘The attorney-client relationship is based always on trust. If there is no trust, then there is no reason to stay on’

Trindade claimed she was the victim of ‘aggression and rape’ by the Paris Saint-Germain player in a hotel room in the French capital on May 15. She said the encounter started out consensual but quickly turned violent, leaving her with bruises and scrapes to her legs and buttocks, with Neymar refusing to stop.

She told police her tablet containing a seven-minute video, messages and photos she alleged incriminated the footballer, was stolen in a burglary at her apartment. But the authorities said they found no major signs of a break-in and only Ms. Trindade’s fingerprints and those of her maid and friends around the flat.

Neymar has strongly denied raping her but admitted that what happened between them was consensual.

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