Eurovision Song Contest!

Swedish singer Mans Zelmerlow has triumphed at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna, beating Russia’s Polina Gagarina.
Zelmerlow won with his upbeat pop track Heroes, which was accompanied by innovative animated visuals.
Italy were third, followed by Belgium. Australia finished fifth in the country’s first Eurovision appearance.
The UK’s 1920s-influenced swing act Electro Velvet finished 24th out of the 27 participants with five points.
A record number of countries took part, including Australia – which was invited to compete for the first time to mark the event’s 60th anniversary.

The top of the leaderboard:
1. Sweden. Mans Zelmerlow – Heroes. 365 points
2. Russia. Polina Gagarina – A Million Voices. 303
3. Italy. Il Volo – Grande Amore. 292
4. Belgium. Loic Nottet – Rhythm Inside. 217
5. Australia. Guy Sebastian – Tonight Again. 196

The bottom of the leaderboard:
24 – UK. Electro Velvet (above) – Still In Love With You. 5 points
25 – France. Lisa Angell – N’oubliez Pas. 4
=26 – Austria. The Makemakes – I Am Yours. 0
=26 – Germany. Ann Sophie – Black Smoke. 0
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Electro Velvet said: “Obviously it is disappointing to finish on the right hand side of the board, but we have had the most amazing, brilliant, unforgettable time being part of this unique competition in this special year.
“We put our hearts and souls into representing our country and would like to thank everyone back at home and around the world that got behind us.
“It really means a lot and of course we also want to congratulate Sweden and Mans Zelmerlow on their well-deserved victory.”
Zelmerlow was the bookmakers’ favourite throughout the build-up to this year’s contest.
“I’m so happy and I want to say thank you for voting for me,” he told the crowd. “I want to say we are all Heroes, no matter who we love, who we are or what we believe in – we are all heroes.”
It was Sweden’s sixth Eurovision win – meaning they are now just one victory behind the contest’s record holders Ireland, who have won seven times.
Polina Gagarina
Russia’s Polina Gagarina was leading the field for a spell as the results came in
The result also means the annual extravaganza will be held in Sweden next year – just three years after it last hosted the show.
This year’s contest was held in the Austrian capital’s Wiener Stadthalle following Conchita Wurst’s win last year.
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A record number of countries took part in this year’s contest, including Australia
But this year, the hosts, along with Germany, finished with zero points – the first time since 2003 that any country has drawn a blank.
Russian contestant Gagarina was beaten by Zelmerlow after being neck-and-neck for much of the voting.
Italian pop opera trio Il Volo, who have enjoyed chart success around the world, finished third. Belgium’s 19-year-old Loic Nottet managed fourth.
And it was a respectable night for Guy Sebastian, one of Australia’s biggest pop stars, who came fifth after being sent to represent his country.
Guy Sebastian
Australia’s musical ambassador Guy Sebastian was pleased with his night’s work
Italy’s Il Volo
Italy’s Il Volo already had a large fanbase around the world
After the show, Eurovision organisers revealed there had been irregularities with the votes from the juries in Macedonia and Montenegro.
The points awarded by each country are normally determined by a combination of a jury and a public vote.
A statement said: “The jury results of FYR Macedonia and Montenegro for the grand final have been excluded after consultation of PricewaterhouseCoopers, the contest’s independent voting observer, and upon the decision of the executive supervisor and the chairman of the reference group.
“In both countries, televoting applied for 100%. The exclusion of two juries will be further discussed in the next reference group meeting in June.”
Around 200 million viewers were thought to have tuned in to the event on television, and it was screened live in China for the first time.

Expo Milano 2015: Global Endorsement for Sri Lanka!

In the back drop of the 1.3 million dollar deal wrapped by Sri Lanka Tourism in the launch month of Expo 2015, Sri Lanka Export Development Board took the high ground in month two to announce a global endorsement to Sri Lanka backed by two power bases in global trade which gives perspective to Expo 2015 for Sri Lanka’s 75 billion dollar economy growing at a seven percent GDP growth said commissioner General Expo- Sri Lanka Rohantha Athukorala.

Championed by Sri Lanka export development board Chairman and Vice President of food giant Nestle Bandula Egodage successfully launched the “Sri Lanka, ethical sourcing destination” tag at the Sri Lanka pavilion of Expo Milano 2015 on 22nd May in the precedence of the power bases of global trade Ms. Ludovica Ghizzoni – Advisor ITC Geneva, Dr. David Doninetti – Secretary General Association of Italian trade association(AICE,) and Dammika Jayawardane -Pavilion Director Sri Lanka in a packed press conference. Other key signatories at the press conference was Commissioner Generals & Pavilion Directors of Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, Slovakia which highlights the power of the country at Expo 2015 said a source from Expo 2915 Milano office which is the spirit of the worlds most visited event next to the Olympics which is staged to prop the ailing Italian Economy.

2015 Expo Milano is organized under the theme “Feeding the Planet – Energy for Life”. Sri Lanka as an ethical sourcing destination is well aligned to the global theme. Egodage stated that Expo Milano 2015 will be a platform for global reach, particularly to re-establish and strengthen bilateral relationships with west, in the context of EU region accounting for over 31% of Export Revenue for Sri Lanka.

Further he stressed that Sri Lanka’s export manufacturing built on solid factors such as No use of child labour, No forced labour, No labour exploitation, while maintaining Environmental Sustainability focusing Green Factory concept, Waste and affluent Recycling, Water and fertilizer usage optimization under Green House concept, Ozone Friendly Manufacturing and on-going efforts for Renewable Energy usage were highly attracted by the audience.

Both representatives from ITC and AICE strongly endorsed and validated Mr. Egodage’s statement with their own Sri Lankan Experience.

Ms. Ludovica of ITC highlighting the long standing relationship between Sri Lanka and ITC ensured the continuous assistance to further improve Sri Lankan Trade. Assistance to launch National Export Strategy, encouraging ICT/BPO sector, developing of E-Library and technical assistance to cinnamon GI registration are few of the on-going projects. While improving Safety and Quality of the Sri Lankan Fruits and Vegetables to enhance market accessibility particularly to the EU region.

Dr. Doninetti of AICE stated the need to re-establish the initiatives already taken in 2013 for promotion of bilateral trade with Italy. At present the value of trade between Italy and Sri Lanka stands at € 600mn, he further emphasised the need for further expansion of exports from Sri Lanka to have a positive trade balance. He assured organizing outward missions and business matchmaking between Sri Lankan Exporters and Italian importers would be facilitated by AICE toward that direction. He requested the company profiles of Sri Lankan companies’ visiting and exhibiting at Expo Milano 2015 to enable AICE to make appropriate matchmaking. We will see the rest of the key industries on Sri Lanka taking centre stage in the coming five months which will include the celebration of the Nation Day of Sri Lanka said Commissioner General Athukorala.

Happy Birthday Hank Williams Jr.!

ABOUT
Country superstar who sang the Monday Night Football theme and is the son of country legend Hank Williams. He released the hit “All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight,” which was the opening theme for Monday Night Football.

BEFORE FAME
His mother modeled him after his father in order to book gigs. He started singing when he was eight years old.

TRIVIA
He has been ridiculed for his conservative political beliefs.

FAMILY LIFE
He married Audrey Williams in 1944 and, after their divorce in 1952, he married Billie Jean Jones. He has five children, three daughters named Holly, Hilary and Katharine and two sons named Samuel and Hank III.

ASSOCIATED WITH
He has recorded music with Merle Haggard.

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