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    Garth Brooks and wife Trisha Yearwood will be taking viewer requests during a live prime-time show this week filmed at their home. CBS will air the special, “Garth and Trisha: Live!” on Wednesday at 9 p.m. Eastern. In an announcement Sunday, CBS says the country stars will perform “an intimate concert for viewers looking for the comfort and shared joy of music during this difficult time.” The inspiration came from a live show that Brooks performed from his studio last week that attracted millions of viewers and caused Facebook Live to crash multiple times. With millions of Americans staying at home to try to stop the spread of the coronavirus, performers are turning to live streamed concerts to reach fans and lift spirits. John Legend, Keith Urban and John Mayer are among the stars who have performed virtual concerts. CBS says the special will be filmed with a minimal crew that will take social distancing precautions.
  • Ugandan pop star and opposition leader Bobi Wine, who released a song urging Africa's people to wash their hands to stop the spread of the new coronavirus, is criticizing African governments for not maintaining better health care systems for the continent's 1.3 billion people. In his new song, “Corona Virus Alert,” Wine and collaborator Nubian Li highlight prevention measures against the virus, which now has been reported in at least 46 of Africa's 54 countries. Speaking to The Associated Press about the song, Wine — a popular musician, legislator and presidential aspirant whose real name is Kyagulanyi Ssentamu — said it is time for Africa's leaders to channel more resources toward building functional health care systems that serve both the rich and the poor. “For a long time we have been calling out the government of Uganda, like many governments on the African continent that have neglected the health care systems,' said Wine. “They have invested heavily in weapons and invested heavily in curtailing the voices of the people.” As the coronavirus spreads across Africa, he said, “this is the time for them (the continent's leaders) to remember that a functional health care system is not only a benefit for the poor but also the rich, because right now, as we stand, they cannot travel abroad for medical care. They have to face the same ailing medical care to deal with them. And this should be a message to them.” Wine's criticism of Uganda's government has made him a leader of those opposing long-time president, Yoweri Museveni, who has ruled the East African country since 1986. Museveni is expected to seek reelection next year and Wine has said he will challenge the president. Since becoming a potent government critic, Wine's attempts to perform and hold rallies have been blocked by authorities. He has complained of harassment and beatings by security forces when they block his public appearances. Authorities accuse him of trying to lure young people into rioting and have charged him with multiple criminal offenses, including treason, which he denies. Many Ugandans are angered by newspaper reports of high-ranking officials seeking medical treatment abroad at the expense of taxpayers while government-run health centers in remote areas routinely run out of basic supplies such as gloves and painkillers. The government spends less than 15% of its budget on health and local media frequently cite corruption in health-related procurement deals. The World Health Organization also has urged African Union members to fulfill a 2001 pledge to allocate at least 15% of their annual budgets toward the health sector. The U.N. agency reported in 2011 that nearly all African countries failed to meet that target. The WHO chief has warned Africa to 'prepare for the worst” as the coronavirus begins to spread locally, amid worries that the continent's fragile health systems are not prepared to handle the challenge. The new virus has been slow to reach Africa, but its spread across the continent is picking up pace. Africa has registered more than 3,500 cases, with South Africa registering the largest number at more than 1,000. Uganda has reported 30 cases of COVID-19, mostly people who recently traveled through the United Arab Emirates city of Dubai. In recent days Museveni has led the government's efforts to combat the virus, giving broadcasts in which he explains how the virus infects the human body as government health experts sitting nearby back him up. Museveni has closed schools and temporarily banned religious and cultural gatherings to curb the spread of the virus. Uganda's only international airport has been shut down and public transport restricted. For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.
  • Krzysztof Penderecki, an award-winning conductor and one of the world’s most popular contemporary classical music composers whose works have featured in Hollywood films like “The Shining” and “Shutter Island,” died Sunday. He was 86. In a statement emailed to The Associated Press, the Ludwig van Beethoven Association said Penderecki had a “long and serious illness.” He died at his Krakow home, the Gazeta Krakowska daily said. The statement called Penderecki as “Great Pole, an outstanding creator and a humanist” who was one of the world's best appreciated Polish composers. The association was founded by Penderecki's wife, Elzbieta Penderecka, and the communique was signed by its head, Andrzej Giza. Penderecki was best known for his monumental compositions for orchestra and choir, like “St. Luke Passion' and “Seven Gates of Jerusalem,” though his range was much wider. Rock fans know him from his work with Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood. A violinist and a committed educator, he built a music center across the road from his home in southern Poland, where young virtuosos have the chance to learn from and play with world-famous masters. Culture Minister Piotr Glinski tweeted that 'Poland's culture has suffered a huge and irreparable loss,' and that Penderecki was the nation's “most outstanding contemporary composer whose music could be heard around the globe, from Japan to the United States.” “A warm and good person,” Glinski said in his tweet. Penderecki’s international career began at age 25, when he won all three top prizes in a young composers’ competition in Warsaw in 1959 — writing one score with his right hand, one with his left and asking a friend to copy out the third score so that the handwriting wouldn't reveal they were all by the same person. He would go on to win many awards, including multiple Grammys, but the first prize he won was especially precious: It took him to a music course in Germany, at a time when Poland was behind the Iron Curtain and Poles couldn't freely travel abroad. In the late 1950s and the 1960s, Penderecki experimented with avant-garde forms and sound, technique and unconventional instruments, using magnetic tape and even typewriters. He was largely inspired by electronic instruments at the Polish Radio Experimental Studio, which opened in Warsaw in 1957 and was where he composed. “In my works the most important is the form and it must serve the purpose,” Penderecki said in a 2015 interview for Polish state news agency PAP. He said he begins composing with a “graphic sketch of the entire work and then I fill in the white spaces,” he said. His 1960 “Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima” won him a UNESCO prize. Written for 52 string instruments, it can be described as a massive plaintive scream. In the 1970s, believing that avant-garde had been explored to the full, Penderecki embarked on a new path, writing music that, to many, sounds romantic and has the traditional forms of symphonies, concertos, choral works and operas. A Catholic altar boy who grew up in a predominantly Jewish environment, he was largely inspired by religious texts: Catholic, Christian Orthodox and Jewish. But his first opera, the 1969 “Devils of Loudun,” based on a novel by Aldous Huxley about the Inquisition, put him at odds with the Vatican, which called on him to stop the performances. He refused. Penderecki wrote music for various historical celebrations, and conducted around the world. Among the works are the 1966 “St. Luke Passion,” commissioned by West German Radio to celebrate the 700th anniversary of the Muenster Cathedral, and the 1996 “Seven Gates of Jerusalem” to mark 3,000 years of the titular city. In 1967 he composed a major choral work, “Dies Irae,” known also as the “Auschwitz Oratorio,” in homage to the Holocaust victims. His second opera, “Paradise Lost,” based on the John Milton poem, seemed to reconcile him with the Catholic Church, and in 1979, he conducted a concert at the Vatican for Polish-born Pope John Paul II. Penderecki believed that an artist is a witness of his times who reacts to it with his work and that he must also exceed boundaries and conventions to create new things. This approach often cost him, landing critical reviews. In 1980, the leader of Poland’s Solidarity freedom movement, Lech Walesa, called him and commissioned a short piece that would honor Poles who lost their lives fighting the communist regime. Penderecki composed “Lacrimosa,” which led to the larger “Polish Requiem” that premiered in 1984 in Stuttgart. Penderecki wrote for virtuosos and friends like violinists Isaak Stern and Anne-Sophie Mutter and cellist Mstislav Rostropovich. In 2012 he recorded an album with Greenwood, Radiohead’s guitarist. “Because of the complexity of what's happening — particularly in pieces such as ‘Threnody’ and ‘Polymorphia,’ and how the sounds are bouncing around the concert hall, it becomes a very beautiful experience when you're there,” Greenwood said in a 2012 interview with The Guardian. Penderecki said at the time that Greenwood is a “very interesting composer” and that working with the guitarist made him see his own music from a new perspective. Greenwood tweeted Sunday to say “What sad news to wake to. Penderecki was the greatest - a fiercely creative composer, and a gentle, warm-hearted man. My condolences to his family, and to Poland on this huge loss to the musical world.” Penderecki’s rich, powerful, sometimes menacing music, especially in his early works, was used in Hollywood movies including Stanley Kubrick's “The Shining,” Martin Scorsese's “Shutter Island,” David Lynch's “Inland Empire” and William Friedkin's “The Exorcist.” It was also a personal matter for Penderecki to have parts of the “Polish Requiem” used in the Polish World War II movie “Katyn” by Oscar-awarded director Andrzej Wajda, about the 1940 massacre of Polish officers by the Soviets. Penderecki’s much-loved uncle was killed in that massacre. But Penderecki said his “greatest fascination in life” was not music — it was trees. Around his manor house, he arranged a scenic arboretum featuring the various kinds of trees and plants that he brought from the most distant corners of the world where his music was played. “It takes generations to plant a garden,” he once said. “I will do it over some 40 years, but this garden is like an unfinished symphony. Something can always be changed, you can always add new trees, find new species.” He believed that artists are loners, and was himself a taciturn recluse. But he liked to write music on a Baltic Sea beach in Jastrzebia Gora with his close family near him. Penderecki was born Nov. 23, 1933, in the southern Polish town of Debica. His maternal grandfather was German and his grandmother was Armenian. His father, a lawyer, loved to play the violin and instilled in his son a love of music. Penderecki studied violin and composition at the Krakow Conservatory, where on graduation in 1958 he was appointed a professor, and next a rector. From 1972-1978 he also taught at the Yale University School of Music. Penderecki won a number of Grammy Awards during the course of his career. The Recording Academy awarded him the special merit National Trustees Award in 1968. In 1988, he won a Grammy for the recording of his 2nd Concerto for Cello, with Rostropovich. Two more came 11 years later, for his 2nd Violin Concerto, “Metamorphosen,” written for and performed by Mutter, with Penderecki conducting. Most recently, a Grammy for best choral performance came in 2017 in recognition of the 'Penderecki Conducts Penderecki' album. His other distinctions include the “Best Living Composer” award at the Cannes Midem Classic music event in 2000, and Poland’s highest distinction, the Order of the White Eagle, bestowed in 2005. He is survived by his second wife, Elzbieta, who as a girl was a piano student of his first wife Barbara, and by daughters Beata and Dominika and son Lukasz. ___ This story has been corrected to show that Penderecki died in Krakow, not Luslawice.
  • Actor John Callahan, known for playing Edmund Grey on “All My Children” and also starring on other soaps including “Days of Our Lives,” “Santa Barbara” and “Falcon Crest,” has died. He was 66. His ex-wife and former “All My Children” co-star Eva LaRue announced his death on her social media account on Saturday. The two, who played a married couple on the show, shared a daughter, Kaya, “May Flights of Angels Wing You to Your Rest my Dear Friend. Your bigger than life, gregarious personality will leave a hole in our hearts forever. We are devastated-My great friend, co parent partner, and loving father to Kaya,” she wrote on Instagram. “Kaya and I are beyond broken hearted, so stunned, sorry that my thoughts are a mess. You gave the best most beautifully written tributes, and I am at a complete loss for words right now for you.” Callahan starred on “All My Children” from 1992 to 2005.
  • Tourism officials in Memphis, Tennessee, say the Beale Street Music Festival and the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest have been rescheduled for the fall after they were postponed by the new coronavirus outbreak. Memphis in May officials said in a statement Saturday that the barbecue cooking competition has been reset for Sept. 30 through Oct. 3. The music festival will now be held Oct. 16 through Oct. 18. Both events are the cornerstones of the city's monthlong tourist event in May. They attract music fans and barbecue cooking teams from around the world. The Lumineers, Three 6 Mafia, The Avett Brothers, Lil Wayne and The Smashing Pumpkins were among the musical acts scheduled to perform at the music festival before the cancellation. It was not immediately clear if the performers who were set to appear on the original dates in May will be part of the lineup in September. The Great American River Run also had been postponed. It has been reset for Oct. 31. This Mississippi River city relies heavily on tourism revenue from Memphis in May. Organizers said earlier this month that they had been instructed by city officials that the events could not be held as originally scheduled. Meanwhile, Elvis Presley's Graceland said it is extending its closure through April 19. The Memphis tourist attraction is centered on the life and career of the late rock n' roll icon. It annually attracts about 500,000 visitors, including international travelers. For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and those with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death ___ Follow AP coverage of the virus outbreak at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak.
  • There were the great fires of 1788 and 1794 and the multiple yellow fever outbreaks of the 1800s. Hurricane Betsy hit in 1965, Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and the memories linger in New Orleans like remnants of a bad dream. Now the city is one of the nation’s hot spots for coronavirus. As of Friday, New Orleans and neighboring Jefferson Parish had recorded more than 80 of the state’s 119 COVID-19 deaths and more than 1,700 of the state’s 2,700-plus known cases. The numbers have been climbing fast, in part because increased testing is revealing more people to have the disease. Why New Orleans has become a hot spot is uncertain, although medical experts and government officials openly speculate that the annual Mardi Gras celebration in late February was a factor. It draws more than a million tourists and locals to city streets each year. Gov. John Bel Edwards has repeatedly warned that the state’s health care system could be overwhelmed by early April. Louisiana is preparing for 2,000 to 4,000 patients above normal for this time of year, said Joseph Kanter, an assistant state health officer. Morial Convention Center, which sheltered Katrina refugees in sweltering squalor, is about to become an emergency hospital for a potential overflow of virus patients, which will once again test emergency preparedness in a city where rescue efforts were widely viewed as inadequate in 2005. The rush is on to corral protective masks and gowns for medical personnel and to gather lifesaving ventilators. Meanwhile, an economy largely built on the opposite of social distancing — tourism, crowded restaurants, music at bars and nightclubs — is being sacrificed to stay-home orders, business shutdowns and bans of gatherings of more than 10 people. Live music, which reverberates through the city’s history, is, for now, history itself. Bartenders, waiters and hotel staffers are out of work. And the city’s heralded musicians, who could at least travel the world looking for gigs after Katrina, have nowhere to go in a pandemic. “I’ve been playing music all my life, since I was a teenager,” said 78-year-old John Moore, better known as session guitar virtuoso, singer and band leader Deacon John. “I’ve never been unemployed. But now, all of a sudden, WHOP! The day the music died.” “It does feel like what we cherish about this city is being taken away from us,” said George Ingmire, a longtime DJ at the city’s famed roots music station WWOZ. “The reason that some of us came here and never left ... and those that are from here and take deep pride in ... That’s all unavailable right now. That’s really heartbreaking.” The city’s vulnerabilities include its poverty and low-wage jobs. “I worry very much that a lot of people in our city are operating ... on a paycheck-to-paycheck basis,” said John Clarke, a professor at Tulane University’s business school. He said the New Orleans economy lacks big companies that are often better positioned than smaller enterprises to weather financial ups and downs. The industries that New Orleans has in abundance — hospitality, gambling, tourism — have basically “come to a full stop.' A high poverty rate could also crimp the city’s ability to combat the disease. Drive-up testing, which allows symptomatic people to get tested while lessening their possible exposure, isn’t always an option for the poor. According to the Data Center, a New Orleans-based think tank, nearly 1 in 5 households do not have access to a car. Preexisting conditions, a risk for those who get COVID-19, are another problem in south Louisiana, Kanter said. “We know that our population has more other diseases, underlying, than perhaps other parts of the country do. We have a lot of diabetes, heart disease, renal disease and liver disease here. That puts us at risk for worst outcomes – very difficult to model for these,” Kanter said. For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death. The vast majority of people recover. Meanwhile, medical workers are conserving protective masks and gowns by re-using them. A nurse at a suburban New Orleans hospital, who was not authorized to speak to reporters and spoke on condition of anonymity, said staffers have discussed using plastic rain ponchos, like the ones French Quarter tourists buy at souvenir shops on rainy days, as protective gowns. “People are handling it well and soldiering on,” the nurse said. “But there’s a lot of people worried about catching it and giving it to your family and all that stuff ... We want to help but we don’t want to be sacrificial lambs.' ___ Associated Press writers Janet McConnaughey and Melinda Deslatte in Baton Rouge contributed to this report.
  • Oprah Winfrey says she’s playing it safe when it comes to the rapidly spreading coronavirus. The 66-year-old entertainment icon told The Associated Press on Friday that she has been quarantining and practicing social distancing at her home — even if that means longtime partner Stedman Graham has to stay in the guest house. “I have now-grown girls from South Africa here (but) Stedman’s on lock down at the guest house. He’s still there, asking: ‘When can I come? When can I come to the main house?’ He’s still got, hmm, till Monday,” she said. Earlier this week Winfrey posted a video of her talking to Graham as he poked his head outside of the guest house window. She said he must stay in the guest house because he had been recently flying and they’re trying to be safe. “I’m getting ready to take him some food down there now for lunch. But I’m playing it as safe as I possibly can. Nobody goes out and nobody comes in,” she said. For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death. Winfrey has been busy working despite being stuck at home. She interviewed actor Idris Elba, who tested positive for the coronavirus, through FaceTime for an episode of 'Oprah Talks: COVID-19' on Apple TV. When asked about how she’s continuing to do work from her home, she said: “What did we do before Zoom is what I’d like to know? How could we do it without Zoom? I don’t even know.” She also said she’s enjoying the downtime: “Don’t be hating because I’m having a really good time. I’m really OK in retreat from everyone. I’m really OK with it.”
  • A publicist for Joe Diffie says the country singer has tested positive for COVID-19. Scott Adkins released a statement to The Associated Press from Diffie that said he is under the care of medical professionals and is receiving treatment. “My family and I are asking for privacy at this time,” Diffie said in the statement. 'We want to remind the public and all my fans to be vigilant, cautious and careful during this pandemic.” The Grand Ole Opry member and Grammy winner is known for his hits in the '90s including, “Honky Tonk Attitude,” “Prop Me Up Beside The Jukebox,” “John Deere Green,” “Third Rock From The Sun” and “Pickup Man.' For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.
  • The stars of the 2011 virus thriller “Contagion” — a prescient film these days — have reunited for a series of public service announcements to warn about COVID-19. Matt Damon, Laurence Fishburne, Kate Winslet and Jennifer Ehle have teamed up with scientists from Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health to offer four individual homemade videos. “Wash your hands like your life depends on it,” Winslet says in her PSA. “Because right now, in particular, it just might.” Ehle stresses that the coronavirus is novel, meaning no one is immune. “Every single one of us, regardless of age or ethnicity, is at risk of getting it,” she says. “Contagion,” directed by Steven Soderbergh, explores a scenario in which a lethal and fast-moving influenza is spreading around the world. Damon, who in the film played a character who was immune to the hypothetical virus, also stresses listening to experts and staying 6 feet apart. “That was a movie. This is real life,” he says. “I have no reason to believe that I'm immune to COVID-19. And neither do you.” Fishburne appeals to helping medical staff on the front line. “If we can slow this thing down, it will give our doctors and our nurses in our hospitals a fighting chance to help us all get through this thing together,” he says. For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.
  • Kristen Bell is hosting a Nickelodeon special with a “kid’s-eye view” of the coronavirus pandemic to address youngsters' concerns and help families weather the crisis, the channel said Friday. Bell and her guests practiced social distancing, using video to connect for the hourlong program airing 7 p.m. EDT Monday. Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, California’s surgeon general, and Dr. Vivek H. Murthy, former U.S. surgeon general, offer advice on how to be healthy, while kids and parents around the country share how they're coping with disruption. “I feel like right now, kids' questions and worries might be getting overlooked,” the 'Frozen' star said in explaining why she participated. “I wanted kids to feel empowered to ask questions, and create a place where they are heard.” Children need and deserve that, Bell said in an email to The Associated Press after taping '#KidsTogether: The Nickelodeon Town Hall' on Thursday. “I hope people see that kids' worries are just as important as every adults, and I hope people encourage their kids to ask vulnerable questions, and take their ideas of how to help seriously,” Bell said. “Some of these kids are getting some amazing work done helping people in their community!” Josh Gad, Kel Mitchell, Kenan Thompson, Charli D'Amelio and Russell and Ciara Wilson make appearances. Other celebrities contribute home videos, including YouTube personality Emma Chamberlin’s how-to on having housebound fun with your pet. Music artists JoJo Siwa and DJ Khaled also took part, Nickelodeon said. “With families everywhere focused on staying healthy and essentially every kid out of school, we immediately understood this is the time to act quickly and be there for the audience in a way that can hopefully help them better cope with what’s going on,” said Brian Robbins, ViacomCBS’ head of kids and family content. For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death. The special, also showing on TeenNick and Nicktoons, is part of the #KidsTogether initiative that launched this month and enlists familiar Nick faces to help people stay healthy and active. SpongeBob SquarePants, for instance, demonstrates effective hand-washing and social distancing in videos shown on Nickelodeon’s cable and digital platforms. ___ Online: #KidsTogether: http://www.nickhelps.com/ ___ Lynn Elber can be reached on Twitter at http://twitter.com/lynnelber.