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Combating coronavirus: UAE logs record Covid-19 recoveries

A total of 781 new Covid-19 coronavirus cases in the country were announced on Sunday while the virus claimed 13 new lives. The UAE has logged a record number of recoveries on Sunday with the Ministry of Health and Prevention announcing a total of 509 new recoveries – highest in a single day. A total…

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A total of 781 new Covid-19 coronavirus cases in the country were announced on Sunday while the virus claimed 13 new lives.

The UAE has logged a record number of recoveries on Sunday with the Ministry of Health and Prevention announcing a total of 509 new recoveries – highest in a single day.
A total of 781 new Covid-19 coronavirus cases in the country were announced on Sunday while the virus claimed 13 new lives.
The total number of recovered cases has reached 4,804 till date.
The ministry officials said the country has been seeing a steady increase in the number of recoveries on a daily basis, thanks to extensive timely testing and treatment being provided to patients across various health centres.
Dr Amna Al Dahak Al Shamsi, official spokesperson of the UAE Government, said 25 per cent of all Covid-positive patients have now recovered.
Dr Al Shamsi attributed the increase in recovery cases to the proactive measures being taken in the country. “We call on the public to cooperate with the health authorities and to continue adhering to all precautionary measures, including staying at home, social distancing protocols and wearing of face masks.”
The total number of infections in the country stands at 18,198, while total deaths stand at 198.
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How PEN15 Threw A Convincing 2000s Pool Party, Down To The Boy Shorts

By Sara Radin PEN15 is officially back for its second season on Hulu, and it’s still seventh grade for best friends forever Anna and Maya, played by 33-year-old writer-creators Anna Konkle and Maya Erskine inhabiting 13-year-old versions of themselves. Just like in the first season, the middle school memories and pre-teen outfits definitely do not…

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By Sara Radin
PEN15 is officially back for its second season on Hulu, and it’s still seventh grade for best friends forever Anna and Maya, played by 33-year-old writer-creators Anna Konkle and Maya Erskine inhabiting 13-year-old versions of themselves. Just like in the first season, the middle school memories and pre-teen outfits definitely do not disappoint.
Season 2 finds the BFFs attending a co-ed pool party just days after their secret closet rendezvous with seventh-grade heartthrob Brandt during the school dance that closed the previous finale. For the splashy occasion, Anna wears a denim print swimsuit with a zip down the middle while Maya rocks a floral printed handkerchief-style top with ties. Both looks feature boy shorts, a swimsuit staple for adolescent women in the late 1990s and early 2000s. I myself am guilty of owning plenty.
While their swimwear may seem rather simple, costume designer Melissa Walker explains that it required a lot of creativity to squeeze the stars’ adult bosoms into the suits so their bodies look like that of seventh-grade girls. This is a challenge Walker has run into since the show debuted in 2019, but luckily she’s since been able to upgrade from ACE bandages to compression tanks and bandeau tops. These details are also what make the lead characters’ actions so compelling: From wearing muscle costumes and trying to join the boys wrestling team to practicing witchcraft while rocking thick eyeliner and necklaces made from hair, Maya and Anna always stay true to themselves.
HuluWalker likens the process of working with Erskine and Konkle to a “slumber party” because of how it also gives her an opportunity to dip into her own middle school memories and wardrobe. “Maya and Anna are so collaborative, and it’s like, ‘Oh, here’s a very specific memory from my childhood. Here’s one from yours,’” she tells MTV News. “And it’s just nice to cook them all in the pot and see what the most embarrassing soup is that we can make.”
Below, Walker talks about the process of building out the stars’ wardrobes and why she loves working with the IRL best friends so much.
MTV News: What has your process been for building the wardrobe out for the characters?
Melissa Walker: When we started, I went ahead and bought a bunch of YM and Seventeen magazines from like 1997 to 2000 so that we could still see what the kids [saw], who were a few years behind or got hand-me-downs from their older siblings, which is the case with Maya and those more on top of trends. There was such a variance between going through these teen magazines and seeing what the fashion sense actually was versus how that’s interpreted by a high schooler or even a middle schooler, because it’s just so different.
I’m a few years older than Anna and Maya. So I looked through my yearbooks and even thought about the way I translated trends versus how you do in seventh grade. Like, it’s usually right before your first job, so you don’t have money to buy anything on your own, and your parents have much more of an input into what’s going on. That was a big factor, especially with Maya’s mom being a little more overbearing, and then there’s Anna’s parents going through the divorce and being distracted. So we definitely tried to factor that into the decisions that they made through their wardrobe.
There were also very specific things this season, and last season, that were universal, like Rocket Dogs, Skechers, and low-rise jeans. There were very specific memories for Maya, having grown up in California, that we inserted into the show. And then Anna, all the popular girls in her school — she grew up in Vermont — had the matching Tiffany’s jewelry. So we made sure that all the popular girls had those.
HuluMTV News: What were some of the challenges you’ve run into with trying to make them look like seventh graders?
Walker: The first episode they threw at me this year was a pool party. We ended up building these bathing suits with compression in it already. We made Anna a denim pocket print tankini suit with spandex and boys shorts. I remember one of my friends had something similar but it was a handkerchief top. Then the bottoms that Maya had, they were little boy shorts, but I specifically added strings on the side. Back then, you’d wear them long so when you left the house, your mom thought you were being a good kid and then soon as you get to pool or beach you’d hike it up thinking that showing another inch or two inches of your thigh was sexy, but it ended up just bunching and looking like a diaper.
Sometimes I’d have to do very quick fittings with them for a specific outfit in between scenes, and when they’re not wearing the bra, you can see a difference in their posture and how it helps them change into their characters.
MTV News: That sounds like such a fun thing to witness.
Walker: The best part of it is that they’re just willing to go for it. One time there was a pair of MUD jeans, and I was like, oh, these might be a little too small. And they’re like, “No, we want the muffin top. We want that. We want the cringe. We want the embarrassment.” They’re not afraid of pushing it as far as they can go. And that freedom for a costume designer is such a treasure.
HuluMTV News: So in terms of sourcing the pieces, did you pull from thrift stores? Did you mainly create the pieces that they wore?
Walker: We did a few different things. Season 1, we definitely did a lot of Goodwill and thrifting. The ‘90s were popular, but Y2K wasn’t old enough to not be cool, but not old enough to be cool again. So I was able to find a lot of what I was looking for thrifting or on eBay and just in the time since then, the items I was looking at on eBay went from like $30 to $300. And now there’s this resurgence of specific Y2K fashions, so finding things was definitely more of a challenge.
The price point of all the vintage went up, but then we got to do a lot more collaboration with companies because, you know, Tommy Hilfiger, Lucky jeans, and Skechers — they’ve all started revamping older styles. I got to reach out to some different brands and actually have them send me some of their archived graphics from like 1999 and 2000 so I could reprint them. It was fun to get to collaborate with bigger brands and designers. And then this year we got to make more of the garments too, because we had to have multiples of a lot of things this year for different gags and whatnot. For example, we actually had to remake the Tommy Hilfiger shirt Maya, Anna, and Maura ended up all sharing.
MTV News: That’s so cool. And you mentioned that there’s an actual clothing collaboration, right? 
Walker: We’re making a PEN15-inspired clothing line and right now that’s just launched. Once we started shooting this year, the girls were obsessed with their bathing suits and they were like, “We need to make these.” And so we had intended on making a clothing company, and I was putting together my pitch, but then everything shut down with COVID and no one wanted to invest in the clothing line. So I actually partnered with a factory in downtown [Los Angeles], and we’re creating a program now to help encourage more designers to make clothing lines inspired by their work on the big screen.

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Asian battery makers zapped by Tesla’s plans to slash costs

Tesla CEO Elon Musk says company is planning on launching a $25,000 car – its cheapest yet – in about three years.Tesla Inc.’s Elon Musk cast a shadow of uncertainty over the sales prospects of his suppliers in Asia after unveiling a push to lower the cost of batteries for electric vehicles and underscoring the…

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk says company is planning on launching a $25,000 car – its cheapest yet – in about three years.Tesla Inc.’s Elon Musk cast a shadow of uncertainty over the sales prospects of his suppliers in Asia after unveiling a push to lower the cost of batteries for electric vehicles and underscoring the point by signaling that it will eventually start producing its own cells.
Shares of LG Chem Ltd. slid as much as 5.5% in Seoul, while Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. dropped 4.7% in Shenzhen and Panasonic Corp. dropped 4.3% in Tokyo. The world’s three top EV battery makers all supply Tesla, according to Bloomberg’s Supply Chain Analysis.
The maker of the Model S, X and 3 electric cars will still need to increase battery purchases from the trio but still sees “significant shortages” from 2022 if it doesn’t start producing itself, Chief Executive Officer Musk said in a tweet.
Speaking at Tesla’s much-awaited Battery Day event at a plant in Fremont, California, Musk also said the company plans to manufacture a $25,000 car in about three years’ time. The substantial discount compared with the company’s currently cheapest model at $37,990 is to be achieved by halving costs for batteries, the most expensive component in EVs.
Atul Goyal, an analyst at Jefferies Japan Ltd., lowered his rating on Panasonic to underperform from hold, saying Musk’s announcements increase the downside risks for the Japanese electronics maker’s unprofitable battery business.
“This is likely to put Panasonic (and other suppliers) under pressure to catch up to Tesla’s technology/process and to reduce costs,” he said. “With added pressure to improve efficiency and/or reduce costs, Panasonic may need to step up more R&D and is unlikely to have pricing power, even if Tesla’s in-house cells are not ready to replace Panasonic cells in the immediate term.”
Panasonic’s shares are down 10% this year, as the coronavirus has hurt profits across its business lines. Meanwhile, CATL Ltd.’s shares are still up 85% and LG Chem’s have almost doubled on high expectations for Tesla-related business. LG Chem’s stock has dipped recently however on its plan to split off its battery business, snubbing retail investors that had bought the stock on the EV theme.
Yayoi Watanabe, a spokeswoman for Panasonic, declined to comment on Musk’s remarks. “We value our relationship with Tesla and look forward to enhancing our partnership,” she said.

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Here’s the state of the longest awards race ever

It’s a longer Oscar season than ever, but with the fall festival circuit winding down and prizes being bestowed, we’re still off to the races. EW’s awards experts David Canfield and Joey Nolfi discuss the major contenders to emerge out of TIFF and Venice, the contenders we’ve yet to see, and just what to expect…

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It’s a longer Oscar season than ever, but with the fall festival circuit winding down and prizes being bestowed, we’re still off to the races. EW’s awards experts David Canfield and Joey Nolfi discuss the major contenders to emerge out of TIFF and Venice, the contenders we’ve yet to see, and just what to expect going forward.

WE’RE AT THE MIDPOINT

DAVID CANFIELD: Joey! Only seven months until the Oscars, which means it’s the start of the longest awards season ever. Typically, when the fall festivals like Toronto, Venice, and Telluride wrap up, we’ve got a pretty solid idea of how the big races are looking. Not so in 2020, with only a few major contenders premiering across them (in the case of Telluride, only one, with the event canceled except for a drive-in event for Nomadland). Still, there’s lots to talk about, lots to anticipate, and lots of questions. What’s your headline out of this very strange festival circuit?

JOEY NOLFI: The only acceptable headline is: “Stan Penguin Bloom.” Yes, we have seven months until the Oscars, but I just see that as seven 30-day opportunities to launch Penguin Bloom into social consciousness. It will be the awards season hill I die on this year. I won’t rest until Naomi Watts has her Oscar for the film I’ve affectionately dubbed “Naomi Watts Bird Movie,” and neither should you.

DAVID: Well, we know Naomi committed to the part. But I have bad news, Joey: Best Actress is packed this year already, and Penguin Bloom hasn’t even been picked up for distribution yet. Her chances, at least for the 2021 cycle, appear to be slipping away…

JOEY: I think the two big takeaways from the fall festival “circuit” this year are: The festivals sort of mean less this year than they have in years past (the extra padding at the top of 2021 will be where we get the bulk of our contenders), which means things like the TIFF People’s Choice Award (yaaas, Nomadland!) carry much less weight in 2020. But the second takeaway is: The current season is all about the women, and I don’t see that changing. This is the first time TIFF’s top three prize winners are from female directors — Chloé Zhao’s Nomadland, Regina King’s One Night in Miami, and Tracey Deer’s Beans — but Zhao has perhaps the most massive contender on her hands, and Frances McDormand gives one of the best performances of her career in the film. She blended in with this production so seamlessly to the tapestry of working-class America that she was offered a job at Target; that deserves an Oscar in itself. Does Nomadland strike you as, at this current moment, the Best Picture frontrunner?

DAVID: It feels like we’re at sort of a midpoint, doesn’t it? This moment reminds me a lot of where the race normally stands after Cannes, where a select few major contenders emerge, while so many more remain yet to be seen — and there’s just so much more time for anything to happen. Of course, last year a critical darling and audience favorite won Cannes, only to maintain that momentum all the way to the Oscars: Parasite. And I think Nomadland is a similarly major contender. It’s too early to say whether it will go the distance because there’s a lot we haven’t seen. But of what we have seen, it is our frontrunner. It’s brilliant, beautiful, and plays both to arthouse and more mainstream crowds, and it has the kind of Americana scope that voters gravitate toward. Chloé Zhao and Frances McDormand feel like shoo-ins for nominations at the very least.

And yes, this was very much a female-dominated TIFF, both behind and in front of the camera. Beyond McDormand, Kate Winslet and Vanessa Kirby emerged as major Best Actress contenders (sorry, Naomi!). Beyond Zhao, Regina King emerged as a serious force in directing for One Night in Miami, which to me feels like the only other significant across-the-board awards contender to come out of this period. (Both Kirby’s Pieces of a Woman and Winslet’s Ammonite feel too austere to get much beyond their actors.) Would you agree? Is it possible we’ll have two women nominated for Best Director — and women of color, at that — for the first time ever?

JOEY: The Cannes comparison is a great one. But, more recently, Cannes momentum hasn’t wanted for steadfast contenders (Parasite, BlacKkKlansman, Isabelle Huppert in Elle, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, etc.), so I expect Nomadland and One Night in Miami to stick around. It will be interesting to see how far ahead some of these early contenders can get — perhaps enough that other contenders might sit this year out, let one film steamroll, and wait until there’s a much more stable release window next season. Both women have a significant hurdle to overcome, though: The directors’ society in Hollywood is still primarily an old boys’ club, and they’re especially unreceptive to women making the transition from acting to directing, regardless of how good their work is. So, we’ll see.

THE ACTING RACES

JOEY: As for Best Actress, I’m completely sold on Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan dropping anchor on the race right now. Ammonite is the perfect blend of the kind of prestige period drama the classic Academy member (trust me, there are still plenty of them left among the voting ranks) loves and the progressive storytelling that will hook the younger crowd, and Kate and Saoirse are great torchbearers for those respective demographics. I need more convincing on Kirby, though. She’s fabulous, but the film itself is too muddled and I’m not sure she has the name recognition to break out in a crowded field. I’d actually feel safer betting on Ellen Burstyn becoming a dark horse of the race for her work in this film, to be honest. Wouldn’t that be divine?

DAVID: Yes, I agree — we should mention Netflix acquired both Pieces of a Woman and Halle Berry’s directorial debut, Bruised, out of TIFF (the latter premiered as a work-in-progress cut, with reviews/reactions still on hold), but neither are confirmed for this awards cycle as of yet. Pieces of a Woman, which I expect to compete for 2020-2021, is a tough, demanding, rather uneven movie, and it bears mentioning that Kirby — who’s fantastic in it — has a lot of other competition that’s not TIFF-adjacent. Expect Oscar winners Viola Davis (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom) and Jennifer Hudson (Respect) to really rock this category by taking on a pair of musical legends; Michelle Pfeiffer (French Exit) and Amy Adams (Hillbilly Elegy) will get a run too. So I’m right there with you. Burstyn gets a phenomenal scene near Pieces’ end, and if Netflix pushes accordingly, she should be a good bet.

JOEY: How are the male acting categories coming along? Anthony Hopkins is to die for in The Father. Truly some of the best screen acting I’ve seen in years.

DAVID: Best Actor is weird! Really no development out of the festivals beyond the continued run of The Father, which is a lovely movie on its own — I could see it developing into an across-the-board sleeper, especially with a sharp Olivia Colman performance in support — and just a tremendous showcase for Hopkins. He’s probably the only Best Actor lock we’ve got, and the frontrunner to win at this stage. I love Delroy Lindo’s work in Da 5 Bloods so much, but he’ll have to hang on for nearly a year to get into that top five. Gary Oldman (Mank), Tom Hanks (News of the World), and Daniel Kaluuya (Judas and the Black Messiah) will certainly get a close look when (if?) their movies drop. Then the big question mark: the late, great Chadwick Boseman. His role opposite Davis in Netflix’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, based on August Wilson’s play, straddles lead and supporting, and it’s a really rich part. He’s absolutely a factor here.

A lot of these I just mentioned in the wait-and-see category are Netflix movies, which skipped festivals altogether. Says a lot about where we are in terms of the race. I haven’t even yet mentioned their other potentially significant contenders, like the incoming The Trial of the Chicago 7 or George Clooney’s latest, The Midnight Sky. I’m also hearing good rumblings about The White Tiger, from Ramin Bahrani (99 Homes). The streamer’s slate is huge and mysterious. With theaters such a question mark still, and so many releases indefinitely pushed/undated, do they have the potential to just overpower everyone this year?

JOEY: I don’t think Netflix’s awards might should be considered any more powerful than it has been before. It’s not like non-Netflix studios are halting releases altogether, they’re just adapting. This isn’t 1994. Box office means less and less to a film’s awards prospects. Now they just have to meet their theatrical qualifications (which they’ll likely be able to do by the end of the year/early 2021), and then the rest is in the hands of the blessed screeners. That’s who I have my eye on this year: who, in the past, has been the best at generating digital buzz, efficient at sending out ample screeners, and ensuring that voters have easy access to their films outside of screenings open to the moviegoing public. Not to discredit the work of their fabulous team, but Netflix also has the advantage of releasing buzzy titles that will do a lot of that work for them (Ma Rainey, Chicago).

The one yet-to-be-seen performance I think we can agree is one of the most anticipated of the year is Glenn Close’s impending iconic performance as an Appalachian grandmother opposite Adams in Hillbilly Elegy. Despite not showing on the fall circuit, could this be Glegend Close’s year?

DAVID: All signs point to yes. The source material alone (a memoir) indicates this is the kind of totally transformative, scene-stealing role that tends to win out in supporting categories. Plus, her heartbreaking loss just last year for The Wife — I know you’re still not over it! — is still fresh in the industry’s minds, and that should work in her favor. But this is another title Netflix is keeping close, with a release date not even out there yet, so let’s not get too ahead of ourselves. But I haven’t seen anything that would make a clearer winner in that category.

We’ve done a lot of shamelessly vague speculating on the many months to come — and we didn’t even get into Best Supporting Actor, where this could maybe actually be Bill Murray’s year?!

JOEY: Yes re: Bill. He is fantastic in On the Rocks, and I don’t think Apple and A24 are playing around with what could be their first legit Oscar push under their new streaming platform. Screenplay and Supporting Actor nods aren’t out of the question for this film, and, going back to what I said about studios that know how to create digital buzz and get movies in front of the right people in an efficient manner, A24 and Apple could be an unbeatable pair if they focus on one huge contender (Murray) throughout the season.

First-Half Treasures

DAVID: Let’s look backward for a moment to wrap this one up. Other than Hopkins, what first-half, pre-TIFF contenders are you looking at that could survive this drawn-out campaign? Back at Sundance — truly, a different world — I along with most everyone in Park City was wowed by Never Rarely Sometimes Always and Minari. They could either go the way of — to name two recent Sundance breakouts — The Farewell, an almost-ran, or Call Me by Your Name, a Best Picture nominee with several other nods to boot. For the latter, I could see Steven Yeun getting a Supporting Actor campaign.

JOEY: I still haven’t caught Minari, so I can’t speak on the strength of Steven Yeun’s performance, but he was sublime in Burning, so I’m giddy with anticipation. As for Never Rarely Sometimes Always… where has the buzz gone? It’s a solid film, but I think the Sundance films you mentioned from the past — The Farewell, Call Me by Your Name — had a much firmer grasp on the industry’s attention at this point in their respective contests, and I just don’t feel the weight of that film anymore.

DAVID: Yeah, this year especially, a March release hurts Never Rarely. But Minari I have high hopes for: It’s a tender, gorgeous, timeless family tale that resonates, and A24 hasn’t released it just yet; they know they have something special.

JOEY: Though I also feel that enthusiasm for it has gone a bit mute since its release, I could see The King of Staten Island hitting with Academy bros (call me), but the clear-cut early-year standout for me is the Emerald Fennell-directed Carey Mulligan vehicle Promising Young Woman, also awaiting release. I’m not 100 percent convinced it’s Academy fare, as it is a super-prickly re-imagining of the rape-revenge genre, but I can’t imagine anyone not being utterly moved — in multiple capacities — by this film’s energy. It’s interesting to be over the wave of first-reaction #MeToo-era films, and Woman pushes its tone to very unexpected places, given the subject matter. In the context of the moment, it feels like fireworks after a funeral, if you will, and Carey gives a career performance. There’s no excuse for her being left out of any awards conversation this year.

DAVID: I have a feeling we’ll be talking about Mulligan for the many, many months to come. Naomi Watts, I’m not so sure.

JOEY: Remember: Stan Penguin Bloom.

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