ObiWan Lizzie McGuire join new Disney Plus platform

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Ewan McGregor is reprising his “Star Wars” role as Obi-Wan Kenobi in a new series, one of the many splashy projects that Disney is banking on to make its new streaming platform competitive.The as-yet untitled Disney Plus show drew big cheers when it was announced Friday at the D23 Expo fan event, as did a “Lizzie McGuire” reboot with original star Hilary Duff playing a grown-up version of the title character.The audience of about 6,000 at a convention centre adjacent to Disneyland also voiced enthusiasm for another “Star Wars”-related series, “The Mandalorian,” which its producers said is set in an unexplored time for the space saga and features new characters.Disney Plus had a receptive crowd, with expo attendees lining up to buy discounted subscriptions before the showcase. But it laid out a two-hour banquet of show trailers and stars to further whet fans’ appetite, starting with a performance by cast members of the new “High School Musical” series and appearances by McGregor, Duff, Kristen Bell, Anna Kendrick and others.“It’s been four years of saying, ‘I don’t know’” when he was asked about the long-discussed Obi-Wan project, McGregor said. “Now I can say, ‘Yes, we’re going to do it.’”Among the movies set for the streaming service launching Nov. 12: the holiday comedy “Noelle,” starring Kendrick, Bill Hader and Billy Eichner, and a live-action remake of 1955’s animated film “Lady and the Tramp,” with Tessa Thompson and Justin Theroux voicing the canine couple. Yvette Nicole Brown, who hosted the Disney Plus showcase, also stars.Disney is reaching into its library for the streaming service with classic projects and updates on them, like “Lady and the Tramp.” But it’s also relying on brands that were acquired by Disney, including Marvel, Pixar, Fox’s entertainment businesses, and “Star Wars” home Lucasfilm, making it a formidable newcomer.“Ms. Marvel,” ”Moon Knight” and “She-Hulk,” derived from Marvel comics, are being developed as live-action series for Disney Plus, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige announced. Also coming is “What If…?” an animated series that imagines alternate Marvel universe realities, such as Peggy Carter as Captain America.“Monsters At Work” is a series inspired by the Pixar movie “Monsters, Inc.” with a new cast of monsters and starring Ben Feldman and Aisha Tyler in its voice cast.Among the other programs for Disney Plus, which is launching with a $7 monthly price tag (pricing to vary outside the United States):— “Diary of a Female President,” a comedy series about a Cuban-American girl’s middle-school experience and her path to becoming the U.S. president. Tess Romero plays Elena, with Gina Rodriguez producing and guest-starring as the adult version.— “The World According to Jeff Goldblum,” a National Geographic series in which the actor explores such things as sneakers, ice cream and synchronized swimming.— “Encore!” from executive producer Bell, which gives former castmates of high school musicals the chance to perform together again and revisit their teenage insecurities.— “Forky Asks a Question,” with Tony Hale reprising his role from “Toy Story 4” in new Pixar animated shorts about the inquisitive toy.__Lynn Elber can be reached at lelber@ap.org and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/lynnelberLynn Elber, The Associated Press read more

Chernobyl nuclear disasteraffected areas spring to life 33 years on

Sixty per cent of Homiel’s produce – comprising meat, dairy products and handicraft – are exported to neighboring regions and countries while the region attracted $17.7 billion worth of domestic and foreign Investment between 2011 and 2017, representing just over 15 percent of the country’s total direct investment during that period.A ceremony marking International Chernobyl Disaster Remembrance Day was held at UN Headquarters in New York on Friday. While the Soviet Government only acknowledged the need for international help to mitigate the disaster in 1990, that same year the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution calling for more international cooperation.Stigma is still pervasive, but the economic revival is visible UNDP’s Zachary Taylor, BelarusA Chernobyl Trust Fund, managed now by the humanitarian affairs coordination office, OCHA, was created by the UN in 1991, and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) became involved in 2002, when the Organization announced a new focus on longterm development. The agency and its offices in the three countries affected, have taken the lead in that area, ever since.  “In the 33 years since that tragic night, there’s been a re-thinking of the way local populations in southeastern Belarus have handled themselves”, said Zachary Taylor, UNDP’s Deputy Resident Representative in Belarus. “Stigma is still pervasive, but the economic revival is visible. This is a fertile and productive region and its people are open, resilient and resourceful.”#FBF to the Chernobyl nuclear disaster 33 years ago. The women, men & children affected by radioactive contamination must never be forgotten. More on Friday’s Remembrance Day: https://t.co/gkWDTzeCtF pic.twitter.com/Kpsm1okgf1— United Nations (@UN) April 26, 2019 37,000 small- and medium-sized businesses now operate in the areas directly affected by the disaster, up from only 2,375 in 2002.“But let’s not rest on our laurels. There’s much more that needs to be done to bring the area back to its full potential. We need to keep investing in training, safety, long-term development planning, new technologies, including tourism and organic farming. This is an area that’s been left behind for too long. Let’s double our efforts to make sure it catches up,” said Mr. Taylor.The disaster affected Belarus, Ukraine and Russia. Around 470 small towns and villages have been destroyed in Belarus alone, with 138,000 people unrooted from their homes.The disaster still represents a huge financial burden. In Ukraine last year, 5 to 7 percent of the national budget was still dedicated to Chernobyl-related recovery activities. In Belarus, the overall economic loss is estimated at $235 billion. Missed profits and investment opportunities alone are estimated at $13.7 billion.UNDP has been working with the rest of the UN system and international partners to help Chernobyl-affected areas in Belarus and Ukraine move from recovery and humanitarian support, to creating new jobs, strengthening social services, improving infrastructure, business and increasing investment opportunities. read more