Trader Joe’s 12 Days of Beauty or Cat Treat Advent Calendar Now Available

Trader Joe’s 12 Days of Beauty or Cat Treat Advent Calendar Now Available

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Build-A-Bear announces epic £6 Black Friday sale

Share By Rachel Pugh Money-Saving & Consumer Writer 13:51, 6 NOV 2019 Updated 10:14, 7 NOV 2019 What’s On Build-A-Bear announces huge Black Friday sale (Image: Build-A-Bear/Manchester Evening News) Get the biggest What’s On With Black Friday fast approaching, shoppers are gearing up to get their hands on the best deals possible.
Amazon has already revealed it will be hosting its biggest Black Friday event to date, and now Build-A-Bear is jumping in on the action by unveiling details of what shoppers can expect to find come 29 November.
A statement on the brand's website reads: “Black Friday 2019 is just around the corner! Our Bear Builders are hard at work planning BEARY big offers and exciting Black Friday 2019 deals that are sure to heat up your seasonal shopping.
“We’re excited to share just how BIG our Black Friday 2019 deals will be, so please stay tuned – and in the meantime, be sure to check out our new arrivals in stores and online throughout the year!”
The first part of the toy retailer's Black Friday deal will see a Buy-one-get-one-for-£10 offer on selected toys.
Read More Related Articles Amazon announces huge eight-day black Friday sale – here's when it starts and what brands are included Read More Related Articles Martin Lewis says shoppers can DOUBLE their Nectar points – but only if they act quickly Snow Cute Boy and Girl will cost £6 each on Black Friday (Image: Build-A-Bear) Build-A-Bear is yet to reveal which bears will be included in the offer, but with some bundles costing as much as £49, there is potential for some serious savings to be made.
As well as the BOGO £10 offer, the store will also be offering its Snow Cute Boy and Girl stuffed toys for the incredible price of £6 each.
Shopping news, deals and money-saving tips For all the latest shopping news, deals, beauty tips and fashion trends, and the best money-saving tips from our shopping, money-saving and consumer writer Rachel Pugh, who you can follow here .
You can also join our Manchester Money-Saving Facebook group here .
If you want to get access to the Build-A-Bear Black Friday sale before anybody else, you're advised to join the Bonus Club.
Build-A-Bear says that “Members regularly receive early access to our most exciting offers throughout the year, and they'll be among the first to know when our Black Friday 2019 offers are revealed!”
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Mayor Kasim Reed’s wife involved in 2016 accident in city car

Stephen Deere , The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Sarah-Elizabeth Langford Reed sped through a red light on Peachtree Street in a city-owned SUV and plowed into a Chevy Malibu hanging a left onto 10th Street in Midtown. It was almost 10 p.m., and the collision sent chunks of metal and plastic flying across the intersection.
As Mayor Kasim Reed’s wife, Langford Reed was First Lady of Atlanta at the time of the 2016 wreck. She was not a city employee and had no authorization to operate the vehicle under city code. Yet Langford Reed walked away from the collision without receiving a ticket — or a bill for the damage.
The Atlanta Police Department responded to the scene but did not cite her for running a red light. In addition, the report incorrectly stated that Langford Reed was the registered owner of the vehicle and that she was self-insured.
Taxpayers covered $16,301 in damage to the city’s Ford Explorer. City officials said they could not locate a record of how the other driver’s damages were paid. Atlanta Mayor Kasin Reed and his wife Sarah-Elizabeth Langford Reed are introduced during the 2014 United Negro College Fund Mayor’s Masked Ball. Langford Reed was involved in a 2016 accident while she drove a city vehicle she was not authorized to operate. JONATHAN PHILLIPS / SPECIAL
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution discovered the previously undisclosed accident while reviewing documents the city provided to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in response to a subpoena. The details of the accident raise questions about whether officers gave preferential treatment to the mayor’s wife.
In a statement issued through his personal spokeswoman, Kasim Reed accused The Atlanta Journal-Constitution of writing a “targeted hit piece” that is part of a larger pattern of unfair reporting.
“The facts are simple: In her role as First Lady of the city of Atlanta, Sarah-Elizabeth participated in numerous events on the city’s behalf and served this city well,” spokeswoman Anne Torres wrote in an email. “On occasion, she used a city vehicle to travel to these events.”
Video of the accident shows Langford Reed running a red light before hitting the other vehicle. She can be seen removing her young daughter from the back seat and carrying the child to the sidewalk.
Langford Reed, who declined to comment, is well-known figure in her own right. She is the daughter of the late Arthur Langford Jr., an acclaimed minister and a former Atlanta city councilman and Georgia State Senator.
Like her husband, Langford Reed earned a law degree from Howard University. She won the Miss District of Columbia beauty pageant and once competed for Miss America. In 2017, Gov. Nathan Deal appointed her to the powerful Georgia Board of Regents, the governing body of the state’s university system.
In September, Langford Reed filed for divorce.
Torres declined to answer questions about if taxpayers should have paid for repairs to the Explorer. Atlanta City Council President Felicia Moore speaks in May during the groundbreaking ceremony at Sara J. Gonzalez Memorial Park near the Bolton neighborhood in Atlanta. ALYSSA POINTER/ALYSSA.POINTER@AJC.COM Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Officer ‘not obligated’ to cite mayor’s wife
City Council President Felicia Moore said she couldn’t think of any circumstance in which Langford Reed should have been allowed to drive a city SUV.
The city’s insurance, Moore said, would not cover damages stemming from the unauthorized use.
The Explorer’s $16,301 repair bill was paid by a check from the Department of Public Works. A spokesman for Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said no insurance claim was made.
Richard Hyde — a former Atlanta Police Officer who was an investigator for two attorneys general and the Judicial Qualifications Commission — said the Georgia Highway Patrol should have been called in to investigate the accident.
“This should have been handled by an outside agency instead of people that depend on the mayor for their livelihood,” Hyde said. “This is a pattern of somebody being immune to being held accountable.”
Atlanta Police spokesman Carlos Campos said officers are given “discretion to decide” when to write tickets.
The accident report notes that Lt. David Jones, commander of Mayor Reed’s executive protection unit at the time, responded to the scene. Campos said that it was appropriate because the protection unit is charged with guarding the mayor and his family. Jones did not investigate the accident. Anne Torres
Langford Reed drove same vehicle 6 weeks earlier
Police records show the May 2016 accident wasn’t the first time Langford Reed encountered police in the city-owned SUV. Six weeks earlier, she was cited for operating the same vehicle while driving on an expired license and for failing to obey a traffic signal.
Victor Hartman, a former FBI agent, a lawyer and author of the book The Honest Truth About Fraud, said it’s doubtful that any private insurance policy that Langford Reed had at the time would have covered an accident involving the unauthorized use of a city vehicle.
And while the city is self-insured, the coverage would not have extended to a non-employee and person not authorized to operate the vehicle, he said.
“She’s liable for the damages,” Hartman said.
Torres would not say if the other driver was compensated with city funds or through a city insurance policy.
The police report identifies the driver as Leon Steven Landers, although it misspells two of his names throughout. The man who answered when the AJC called the phone number listed for him on the report said he couldn’t remember being in an accident in 2016.
In the space for Langford Reed’s home phone number, an officer wrote the number for the Executive Protection Unit.
‘Bring his checkbook’ to City Hall
Problems surrounding Kasim Reed family members using city-owned vehicles extend to the mayor’s brother, Tracy.
In 2011, Atlanta police suspended a major for 15 days after an investigation found that he had allowed Tracy Reed to drive away from a traffic stop while his license was suspended. The incident led to revelations that Tracy Reed had also been driving city vehicles without a valid license, and forced him to resign from his job as a contract compliance officer.
George Turner, the police chief at the time of both incidents, said he was not aware of Langford Reed’s accident.
Moore said Kasim Reed should reimburse the city for the damaged vehicle.
Reed has already written checks to the city for more than $62,000 from his personal and campaign accounts as reimbursement for improper use of his city-issued credit card and, most recently, for city taxpayers covering health insurance for his family after he left office.
“He needs to bring his checkbook down here like he’s been doing,” Moore said.
Reporter J. Scott Trubey contributed to this story. Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers. Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism. X

Leader of Minnesota’s Lamont Cranston Band celebrates 50 years of the blues

Pat Hayes of the Lamont Cranston Band celebrates 50 years of the blues. By Jon Bream Star Tribune November 8, 2019 — 5:17am Purchase: Order Reprint “Last year, I was starting to lose all my hair,” Lamont Cranston singer Pat Hayes joked mid-song with a crowd of grayhairs and bald heads. “And I put on too many pounds down there,” he continued, pointing to his belly and belittling his outward appeal. He was getting to his message. “If you get a chance to get a good woman, you’d better hang on to her,” he counseled from this Lake Minnetonka bandstand, not far from where he lives with his good woman of 30-some years and counting. Then he resumed singing Wilson Pickett’s “I Found a Love,” another in a treasure chest of blues and R&B nuggets Hayes has collected in 50 years of leading the Lamont Cranston Band . Known as the kings of da boogie, they ruled the Minnesota music scene in the 1970s and early ’80s. But Lamont — or more precisely Hayes — never went away. The farm boy from Hamel still celebrates the blues — whether it’s Friday’s CD reissue party at Crooners , New Year’s Eve at Wilebski’s or a summer festival on a small stage in a big park. JEFF WHEELER • Pat Hayes has been leading the Lamont Cranston Band for 50 years. Hayes blows a mean harmonica, sings with Chicago-style grit and tells colorful stories — about hanging out with the Blues Brothers, touring with Bonnie Raitt and opening for the Stones. Over salad (he’s lost 20 pounds), Hayes, 69, reflected on 50 years of the Cranstons. On the band’s beginnings A Wayzata High School dropout who was determined to be a visual artist, he started singing folk songs on Minneapolis’ West Bank and psychedelic rock with his brother Larry’s band in Hamel in the late ’60s. He discovered the blues when a friend gave him a Howlin’ Wolf album. “It was a revelation to me,” said Hayes. A big Rolling Stones fan, he learned that Chicago bluesman Willie Dixon wrote tunes for Wolf as well as some songs recorded by the Stones. He told himself: “Now I’ve got to find Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Albert King, all those guys. And then we said, ‘We’ve got to woodshed and learn all this stuff.’” On getting their name Their first show was an afternoon gig in Riverside Park on Minneapolis’ West Bank with three other bands. “We didn’t have a name yet,” Hayes said. “Then we played at a park right by Palmer’s,” the landmark West Bank bar. “I think we called ourselves Antler or something stupid. One of my friends, who was a hippie comic book freak, said, “Why don’t you call yourselves Lamont Cranston?”— the name of the alter ego of “The Shadow,” a 1930s radio detective show KQRS used to air. On Muddy Waters Lamont Cranston Band twice opened for blues legend Muddy Waters. In the dressing room at the Silver Dollar club on Lake Street, he told them: “White boys can’t play the blues. They play too fast and too loud. You got to be mellow and funky.” Later, after a gig at the River Serpent bar in St. Paul, Waters was drinking with the Cranstons. At the end of the night, Hayes watched him and his drummer walk away from the club on Raspberry Island. “He looks up at the full moon and howls while the water’s sparkling on the Mississippi,” Hayes recalled. “He would have never done that if he knew I was upstairs watching him. He was very dignified.” On opening for the Stones In November 1981, the Cranstons had just boogied at the Cabooze during a blizzard, drawing fewer than 50 people. The next morning, their manager, Minneapolis concert promoter Randy Levy, called at 11 and asked if they could get to the airport by 1 p.m. The Rolling Stones had a concert in St. Louis that night, and their opening act had just canceled. The band made it to St. Louis on time but their equipment did not. So the Stones lent them amplifiers and other gear. Hayes said Mick Jagger came into the Cranstons’ dressing room for an introduction and a pep talk. “If they holler for the Stones,” he advised, “tell them to go [bleep] themselves and play another half-hour.” David Brewster • Star Tribune file Pat Hayes, leader of the Twin Cities-based Lamont Cranston Band. November 1981 As it turned out, the crowd dug Lamont Cranston. “We were rockin’ the house,” Hayes boasted. “The sound was so great. I’d never been on that good of a sound system.” The Cranstons got invited to open two more concerts, in Cedar Falls, Iowa, and St. Paul. “We only got $500 a night. We lost 6 grand,” Hayes said. “But you’ve gotta do it. If you’d told me when I was 14 or 15 that I’d meet Mick Jagger, I’d have probably [crapped] in my pants. I thought they were the coolest thing on Earth.” On the Blues Brothers Having once roomed with comedian Tom Davis in Minneapolis, Hayes invited the “Saturday Night Live” writer and his partner, Al Franken, to a Lamont Cranston engagement at the Other End in New York’s Greenwich Village. They brought John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd, and Belushi wound up bellowing “Hey Bartender” and “Sweet Home Chicago” with the Cranstons. That weekend, the Cranstons attended an “SNL” after-party, where Belushi suggested Hayes perform “Saturday Night Fish Fry” by Louis Jordan — and handed him typed lyrics. Back in Minneapolis a few days later, Hayes received an unexpected call from a big-time New York record executive: “John Belushi told me to sign you.” Unfortunately, the Cranstons had recently inked a deal with Waterhouse Records, a Minneapolis indie label. Soon, Belushi beckoned again. “SNL” bandleader Paul Shaffer phoned to invite the Cranstons to be the touring band for the Blues Brothers , which Aykroyd and Belushi had launched as an “SNL” skit. “Some of the guys wanted to,” Hayes said, but his reaction was: “They mean well and they’re fun, but I take our music way more seriously,” The Blues Brothers did record a Cranstons song —“Excuse Moi, Mon Cheri” by Hayes’ brother Larry, the guitarist and co-founder who quit the band in the 1980s but occasionally sits in — as the B-side to their 1978 hit “Soul Man.” Aykroyd still invites Hayes to sit in with the Blues Brothers, and hired him to blow harmonica at the opening of several House of Blues clubs. On touring with Bonnie Raitt In the summer of 1990, following her Grammy wins for “Nick of Time,” Bonnie Raitt hired Hayes to play harmonica in her band. She knew the Cranstons because her brother Steve was the band’s sound man. Hayes earned a handsome paycheck of $1,800 a week plus $200 for expenses. He even got to ride on Raitt’s no-smoking, no-drinking bus with the opening act, urbane blues legend Charles Brown. In St. Louis, Chuck Berry’s pianist, Johnnie Johnson, came to the concert and he and Brown ended up doing a boogie-woogie instrumental together at the afterparty. Five years later, Johnson opened for Lamont Cranston at the Choo Choo Bar in Loretto, and sat in with them. And Hayes gifted the Rock Hall of Famer with a videotape of his duet with Brown. On Prince Lamont Cranston was so popular in 1982 that it swept a bunch of categories at that year’s Minnesota Music Awards — including best rock band, best keyboardist (Bruce McCabe) and song of the year ( “Upper Mississippi Shakedown,” which beat Prince’s “Controversy”). Fans of other bands grew so frustrated, they started booing the Cranstons. Prince did get one award: musician of the year. Afterward, Hayes approached him. “I said, ‘Congratulations. I’m glad you won one. Things were getting hairy up there.’ He just rolled his eyes at me.” On Bob Dylan “Dylan came into a gig we were playing at the Cabooze. Larry [Hayes] says he thinks he saw Dylan come in with [blues-folk legend Spider John] Koerner and dance with an Indian girl. I’ve usually got my eyes closed when I’m singing, so I didn’t see him.” On ambition Hayes turned down opportunities to reach for the big time either by touring nationally or moving to Los Angeles. He wanted to be involved in raising his daughter, who is now in her early 30s. “I don’t want to be really famous,” he said. But at least he’s never had a day job, aside from refinishing boats and painting landscapes and still lifes (his dentist has an office full of them). On longevity “I didn’t know that the band would last 50 years, but I knew I would. I knew I’d play till I drop dead. It’s in my blood. I’m an artist. I’m after beauty. I don’t think I’ve got it yet. I think I’m close.” On quitting the bar scene Two years ago, Lamont Cranston stopped playing the bar circuit. “It was the best move that I made,” Hayes declared. Now he and the Cranstons don’t have to stay out past closing time, and they can pocket guaranteed paychecks from outdoor gigs. On his legacy “I picture me scaling back to more of a singer-songwriter thing. Songwriting now is more important than the licks.” Hayes said he’s written 35 songs he’d like to record as part of his legacy. His most recent recording was 2012’s “Lamont Cranston Band With Bruce McCabe,” featuring the group’s piano man and second-longest-tenured member. “I’m happy with the way everything went. I’d rather be successful for a long time, like I have been, than be a one-hit wonder.”
Jon Bream has been a music critic at the Star Tribune since 1975, making him the longest tenured pop critic at a U.S. daily newspaper. He has attended more than 8,000 concerts and written four books (on Prince, Led Zeppelin, Neil Diamond and Bob Dylan). Thus far, he has ignored readers’ suggestions that he take a music-appreciation class.

Rethinking development

Share Tweet Rethinking development Develo­pment is a key to even reach out to the world govern­ed today by geo-econom­ic rules Tweet Email The writer is a columnist based in Lahore and can be reached at
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) team has arrived in Pakistan to assess its economic performance during the first quarter since the release of the first trench of the 12 th Extended Fund Facility in May 2019. Largely satisfied, the IMF chief has nevertheless pointed towards the need to not only enlarge spending in the development sector, but also to ensure that the allocated budget is spent. So far, the federal and the provincial governments have spent only Rs140 billion out of the annual total allocation of Rs1.6 trillion, which means that only one-tenth of the allocated budget has been spent. At this rate it is probable that a large part of the development budget would either remain unutilised or diverted to fill other performance gaps.
This kind of economic behaviour undermines economic growth. It is not a good omen for a country like Pakistan struggling to shed the poverty trap — the infamous economic condition that visits countries where human capital is low, fertility rate high and anti-growth economic policies are practised.
The link between economic growth and development spending is inseparable. When Pakistan chooses to divert funds allocated for development to finance, for instance fiscal deficit, it encourages unemployment, stymies the emergence of an educated and healthy middle class, deteriorates the quality of governance, creates rule of law conditions, and makes dubious the processes of accountability and transparency — all leading to an aggravated risk of conflict and social division.
The question is whether Pakistan has the capacity to rethink development.
In governance, “capacity” is a function of the willingness to perform within constrains. India has used this will to become an economic power without eliminating poverty.
It is this lack of political will that has undermined Pakistan’s capacity to develop. Over the years the nexus developed between the political and the business class has become an impregnable fusion (read: mafia) that takes in all but delivers little. Never has any government, not even the present one, demonstrated the will to break this fusion and make development possible.
Most of the policy interventions are geared towards making people dependent on the system (cash transfer and yellow cabs programmes, etc) that feeds on this nexus rather than turning the system around and making it dependent on skilled and honest labour. It is in this context that the IMF talks about institutional reforms. Are we in a dearth of good laws? Absolutely not. It is the implementation part where we fall through, as identified in the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) review as well.
Domestic policies, in majority of the cases, have international implications. The ignorance of our lawmakers and policy drivers to regulate the financial sector, especially to stop money laundering and terrorism financing moved the FATF into action against us. And because the reliance of Pakistan’s financial sustainability depends largely on securing debt from international funding organisations, these implications become further hard hitting as countries with agendas adversarial to Pakistan, but having a strong geo-economic presence globally — such as India — create a hostile environment leading to harsher monitoring and accountability processes. Even the US had not shied away from using FATF’s stick to extract a compliant behaviour from Pakistan.
Although the present IMF plan may continue irrespective of the list we get into — grey or black — the conditions on which future loans would be doled out may get severe. Which means more burden on the middle class and pushing those living on the margin further down the poverty line. Already, according to IMF projections, the core inflation is expected to grow 12.4%, general inflation to 13% and a fiscal deficit to 7.4% in the current fiscal year.
So what options do we have?
Four things are in calling to move Pakistan into the development phase. One is developing human resource through a uniform education system that encourages critical and scientific thinking resulting in productive and employable labour. Second is forcing the private sector to invest in producing capital goods rather than consumer goods. Engineering products constitute only five per cent of the country’s exports. Third is spending on the development of natural resources. Pakistan has one of the best water system, largest gold mines in Balochistan, tourism spots with breathtaking scenic beauty, mangroves, coastal and marine fish stocks in the coastal area. However, all these endowments have become hostage to the exploitative behaviour of agriculturists, tribal chiefs, landlords, bureaucrats and those having leverage on the political system. Fourth is developing infrastructure. According to the Global Competitive Index, Pakistan ranks 105 out of 151 countries in terms of quality of the overall infrastructure as compared with India, which is at 70. Infrastructure enlarges production capacity by providing to the private sector an investment-conducive environment and a reduced cost of doing business.
Gwadar is a case in point. The so-called jewel in the crown of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Gwadar has no clean water for the people of the coastal city, neither is there a continuous supply of electricity. According to the Quetta Electricity Supply Company, Gwadar is not connected to the national electric grid and gets electricity from Iran. Previously, 100MW electricity was supplied, which was cut down to 50MW due to Iran’s own constrains. As a result the people of Gwadar bear load-shedding exceeding 12 hours at times. And if the Pakistani government thinks that CPEC will address these woes, it is time to understand the Chinese model of doing business which is dispassionate, focused and directed towards the promised deals alone. China is in Pakistan to implement CPEC and not to resolve the former’s internal problems. Ironically, the 300MW power plant on which China is working at Gwadar has run into bureaucratic and operational snags.
Development is a key to even reach out to the world governed today by geo-economic rules.
Though we had on our side Turkey and Malaysia to snub India on its Kashmir policy, those with the financial power among the Ummah could not be persuaded as much.
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the three-day Future Investment Initiative nicknamed “Davos in the Desert” Summit in Riyadh but Imran Khan was not invited. Not for any bias. But because Pakistan had nothing to contribute to or take away from that business arena. A hint to the development capacity held hostage to the non-performing political will.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 7 th , 2019.
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