Entertainment USA

‘Tiny Pretty Things’ Star Reveals Her Hopes For Season 2: Exploring Cassie’s ‘Vulnerability’ & More

Cassie’s back with a vengeance after her fall on ‘Tiny Pretty Things.’ HL spoke EXCLUSIVELY with Anna Maiche about Cassie’s ‘endgame,’ season 2, and why there’s more to Cassie than just a ‘vicious exterior.’

When Cassie Shore woke up on Tiny Pretty Things, she wasn’t this nice, fragile person. After being pushed by rival dancer Delia, Cassie spent months fighting for her life in a coma. She’s back and ready to fight for her place at the Archer School of Ballet. She kickstarted her return by accusing Bette of pushing her off the roof, knowing full well it was Bette’s sister, Delia.

HollywoodLife talked EXCLUSIVELY with Anna Maiche about the complexities of Cassie Shore. Anna admitted she was “shocked” by how “ruthless” Cassie could be but believes it’s all stemming for a “place of insecurity.” Even though she broke his heart, Anna truly thinks Cassie has a real love for Nabil. She also revealed her hopes for season 2, which includes exploring much more of Cassie’s “depth.” The series is now streaming on Netflix.

Who pushed Cassie was the central mystery in ‘Tiny Pretty Things.’ (Netflix)

First and foremost, there are a ton of great characters in the series. But what was it about Cassie that really stood out to you? 
Anna Maiche: Well, Cassie is interesting because, I mean, I had an injury that forced me to stop dancing, so I related to that part of Cassie. Not that she’s forced to stop dancing, but just the fact that her future’s totally rocked by this fall that happens in the beginning. So I related to that a lot. I think that her drive… I mean, she probably goes about things differently than I would. She’s maybe a little harsher than I am, but she’s very, very driven. I love that about her.

So many of your co-stars have a lot of background in dance that we get to see over the course of the season. What is your background with dance? 
Anna Maiche: I started in Cuba when I was four, which gave me a great understanding of ballet at a really young age because it’s a huge part of their culture. And then I kept dancing for 16 years, and I kind of traveled around the States with ballet. I got accepted into a company, and right before starting with that company, I fell and had to have surgery. And that was the end of my career.

At first, we don’t know if Cassie’s alive or dead. But then she’s hospitalized and her fate’s up in the air. With a lot of shows, especially spoiler-heavy shows like this, the writers don’t even tell the actor what happens to them. Did you know Cassie’s fate from the beginning? 
Anna Maiche: I did. We have our contracts that we sign and all of that, so I needed to know how many episodes I was in and all that. There are technicalities behind it. But the showrunner also called me right before I boarded my plane, and he was like, let me talk to you about Cassie. He kind of told me from start to finish what was going to happen with her. That was really nice because from episode 1 to 8, I’m not really playing Cassie. In all of these dreams that people are having, I’m playing their ideas of who Cassie is, or who Cassie is in their mind in relation to them. So I never really got to explore her until the end of the season once all of my other castmates were so well-practiced in their characters and really knew them like the back of their hand. I didn’t know Cassie at all. So that was interesting, but it was nice to have that to look forward to from the beginning.

Anna Maiche
Cassie has a lot of secrets to spill now that she’s awake. (Netflix)

She does take quite a turn at the end. Were you surprised by that reveal? The line that I always keep coming back to is, “I get it. Sleeping Beauty wakes up, and it turns out she’s a b*tch.”
Anna Maiche: That’s my favorite line. I love that line. During the table read, everyone started laughing. It was really cool. I was shocked at just how ruthless she is because Michael [McLennan], the showrunner, told me that she was going to be a little harsh when she woke up. Just so you know, she’s not this victim. All these things that the characters have been saying about her… I mean, Brennan [Clost], who plays Shane, Shane will not stop talking about how horrible Cassie was. All these people have horrible things to say about her, but every time you see her she’s bruised up in a hospital bed in a coma. So, of course, you have empathy and you feel sorry for her. But I feel like that goes away pretty quickly. It kind of went away for me too when I read just how brutal she is.

What is her endgame at the end of the season? She accused Bette of pushing her, so what do you think her endgame is now?
Anna Maiche: Her endgame is to have power. She just wants to be back in the school and on top. That’s going to take, of course, a lot of hard work and dedication on her end, but it also is going to take getting some people out. There isn’t an open bed in the dorm for her right now. Neveah took her place, and now she’s awake. So whose place is she going to take? I think that’s kind of what she’s trying to figure out. But I have no idea where that’s going to go. I really don’t know what’s going to happen.

When she was in her coma, so much happened. That’s what Bette says to her, that you’re not going to ruin this, what we’ve established while you were sleeping, you’re not going to win this time. Cassie says, “I already have.” I feel like that was a weighted comment. I feel like there was a lot more than just, “I accused you of pushing me.” I feel like she has a little bit more meat behind those words. 
Anna Maiche: Well, what she tells Neveah in the hospital room is that she knows. She remembers everything that people told her. There have probably been things that… you saw Bette visit her, June, Neveah, and Nabil. All those people told her things that maybe the audience didn’t see, so I think that Cassie now just has all of the secrets that she’s ready to use against people.

Do you think Cassie is redeemable? Do you think there’s a lot more to her than we just don’t know? Or do you think she’s just ruthless to the core?
Anna Maiche: No, I think she’s definitely redeemable. I think that in all of her harsh moments, the hospital scene with Nabil and with Ramon, there’s a reason behind everything she does. It comes from fear or insecurity or just the fact that her whole world has been rocked. So right now, she doesn’t know if her career as a dancer is over. She doesn’t want anyone to hurt the people she loves, and Ramon clearly threatened to do so. So all of her kind of ruthless actions come from a deep place of insecurity. I think that in the coming seasons, you’ll probably get to see the softer side of her.

Anna Maiche believes Cassie has true feelings for Nabil. (Netflix)

There’s a reason why Nabil was so in love with her. There has to be something there that isn’t all bad.
Anna Maiche: I mean, you see it even when she has that scene with Nabil. Every moment he turns around, her heart is breaking, and then he turns back and she stiffens up, and then he turns around and her heart breaks. So you get to see a tiny glimpse of it in that moment when Ramon makes her feels so fragile. But, it’s just like Bette right? She really had some harsh moments, but when you see her with her mother, you can’t help but understand where she’s coming from.

I feel like they have a lot of very similar characteristics whether they like to admit it or not. Obviously, Cassie says she’s got scores to settle, and she’s starting to settle those. Do you think there’s anyone who is safe from her scores to settle?
Anna Maiche: I think probably Nabil is safe. Well, I don’t know because now he started this new fling with someone else, and I know that is a source of pain for her. I truly believe that her breaking up with Nabil was not something she wanted to do, so I think she’s going to be very hurt. I think it’s hard to say right now because we don’t really know her relationship with people. We know that her and Shane have bad blood from what he said. We obviously have seen her and Bette, but we don’t really know what her relationship is with Caleb. We don’t know what her relationship is with Torri. We don’t know. Well, we know her relationship with Delia and with Oren. I mean, that’s her buddy. That’s her partner who she was kind of on the rise with, so now that he’s found someone new that he loves partnering with, I don’t know. I don’t know if she’ll come for them.

I did want to bring up was the Paris element. There’s a lot that was said about Paris and what happened in Paris. Especially with Ramon, there was that photo. Is that something you would like to maybe dive a little bit more into just because I feel like that summer and that time built the framework for how it all came crashing down with Cassie’s fall.
Anna Maiche: I am curious to explore that. I’m curious to know also just what went down with Cassie and Ramon, but I think that Cassie and Nabil do really love each other. It’s hard for me to accept that she could have done something with Ramon. And then it’s also bizarre when Ramon is having that lunch with Delia and she confronts him and he’s like, “Yeah, it was Paris.” Just like, it was Paris?! I found a little interesting. He wasn’t denying that anything happened, so I wonder with all of that just how close Delia and Cassie became.

Is there anything else that you would like to touch on in a potential season 2 with Cassie?
Anna Maiche: I mean, I’d like to see a lot more of her vulnerability. I know that that’s coming because we see that with all of the characters. We got to understand all of their things, but with Cassie, I wonder where it’s coming from. I wonder what her trigger is? If it’s Ramon, well, he’s out of the picture. So now what is it? If it’s the career, well, just work really hard and get there. What is it that makes her kind of have this vicious exterior? I don’t know if we’re going to touch on that, but I think we are, and I hope that she can kind of show the audience that she’s got a lot more depth to her.

Sports UK

Lingard’s agents ‘exploring loan options’ for January amid La Liga interest

Jesse Lingard’s representatives are reportedly seeking out potential options for the midfielder to go on loan in January.

The Man Utd star has slipped down the pecking order at Old Trafford and is largely on the fringes of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad.

A short-term injury did briefly disrupt Lingard’s campaign, but even so, he has barely featured for his club this season.

So far he has made just two appearances – both in the EFL Cup – and his lack of opportunities has forced his agents to look for solutions elsewhere.

According to Sky Sports , Real Sociedad are one of the clubs who have held initial talks with Lingard’s management team.

Jesse Lingard could be sent out on loan in January

Lingard had been in discussion with clubs over the summer regarding a potential switch, and looks almost certain to leave United when his contract expires at the end of the season.

United do retain the option to extend the 27-year-old’s stay at the club, though Solskjaer has only selected him among his squad for a total of three fixtures in the Premier League and Champions League.

A move to Sociedad could appeal to Lingard, who has been linked with a move abroad previously.

Where would be a good move for Lingard? Have your say below.

The midfielder has barely featured for United this season
The midfielder has barely featured for United this season

The Basque club are currently second in La Liga while the fate of their Europa League progress hinges on their final group game on Thursday.

Whether United would allow Lingard to leave on loan with just months remaining on his contract is another matter, and the club could push for a sale instead in order to recoup some cash.

David Moyes is thought to be keen on linking back up with Lingard at West Ham, while there is significant interest from Everton and West Brom, as well as Scottish clubs Rangers and Celtic.


National Day 2020: Exploring the legacy of the UAE’s last pearl diver

Pearl Diving
Image Credit: Supplied

At first, there was nothing as far as the eyes could see – just an unending blanket of blue, shivering under the nips and tucks of the wind. Then suddenly, from underneath the surface of the sea, a fist would appear. The water would ripple as the diver gasped for air and hung on to the side of the boat. And then a conversation would break out. “First question when the captain saw a hand raised was: ‘What have you got?’,” explains Emirati Abdulla Al Suwaidi.

The diver would reply with: “What are you going to give me for it?”

They’d haggle – for dates, for rice and for money – until a price had been agreed upon. Only then would the diver get back on the boat.

On UAE’s 49th National Day, Al Suwaidi is recalling a tale his grandfather, Mohammed bin Abdulla Al Suwaidi, used to tell him about an old UAE specialty, pearl diving.

The late Mohammed bin Abdulla was the last pearl diver of the UAE and inculcated a love of the sea and all it embodied in his grandson.

Al Suwaidi, who has established a pearl farm in Ras Al Khaimah, recalls his introduction to deep waters as something out of a fairytale. “I lived in a coastal village – Al Rams [in Ras Al Khaimah] – it’s a very small city surrounded by beautiful mountains and the only place you can go to is the sea. [I loved my grandfather and was very attached to him]. My grandfather in 1970s, he was in his 70s and I grew up seeing him every day walking out and going to a place [I didn’t know about],” he says.

The late Mohammed bin Abdulla was the last pearl diver of the UAE
The late Mohammed bin Abdulla was the last pearl diver of the UAE
Image Credit: Supplied

“Luckily one day he took me along. [He] walked to the shore with me, holding my hand, [before] taking off his kandura and trousers. [He asked] me to watch his stuff [before] walking into the sea and disappearing in the water. It was like magic. I can’t forget this and with [this moment], my journey started of exploring what exactly he was doing and how he does it.”

Seafarer’s trick

For Mohammed bin Abdulla, it was a trick of the trade – pearl diving could mean having to hold your breath for 2-3 minutes at a time while wading into the recesses of the sea. The men who would head out for the catch would do so for about four months in the year, away from family, friends and civilization as we know it all to find that elusive pearl. Each day after a morning of coffee and a few dates they would amour themselves for what was to come: leather finger covers to stop jagged edges from cutting open flesh as they searched for oysters in the big blue and nose clippers to keep the water at bay. They would then tie a stone to their foot, using it as an anchor to drag them into the murky depths of the sea, where they would need to navigate by distilled sunlight and their wits.

Al Suwaidi rope stone
A guide at the Suwaidi Pearls’ farm explains how divers would tie stones to their feet before jumping into the sea.

“It’s scary, you don’t know where you are going. You are going fast, with a stone talking you to the bottom. There is no Google used so we have to use our eye vision to see. So it’s like going into danger. But, once you break that fear barrier, you would love to do it again and again and again, and never stop,” explains Al Suwaidi, who is an avid diver himself.

The risk is something he’s witnessed himself. His grandfather, he says, fed his imagination with stories from the sea. But he was a walking lesson in things that could go wrong. “The most important thing I’ve seen as evidence in my grandfather is [his] right toe had shifted to the other side. So for me, as a child seeing him in the water, I used to believe he is half-man half-fish.

“But then I learned that he has a story of going down to the sea and stepping onto a sting ray. And this sting ray had hit him with a poison tail and shifted his toe to the other side.

The nerves in the toes [were] no longer active,” says Al Suwaidi.

Al Suwaidi goes diving and comes back with a few oysters. Did you know for every 1,000 oysters caught, one may get only 10 pearls?

And it is this balance of adversity, of peril and reward that he grew up with. “The whole thing that shaped up my father and his generation and their ancestors is just a beautiful blend of adversity and prosperity,” says the Emirati. “Adversity comes from the danger of the sea, from disconnecting from families for about four months. Sometimes they are for days and days diving and nothing is showing [up]. Out of 1,000 [oysters] you get 10 pearls. Sometimes it takes them days to get this, sometimes months – changing from place to place with the frustrations and then from these oysters comes a beautiful pearl.” And the struggling together and striving for that one common goal set a sort of social structure both off and on land, he says.

Pearling became scarce in the 1900s once oil was discovered, but most prominent Emirati families can still find a connect to it. “ We were globalized even before the set up of the UAE…the [people] of each civilisation have passed through it and spoken highly of the land,” he explains. And that’s thanks to the pearl.

Bring in the young people

NAT 191020 PEARL444-1571578909590
The first oldest pearl found was in Marawah Island in Abu Dhabi.

“The oldest pearl found was in Marawah Island in Abu Dhabi and the second oldest pearl found was in Umm Al Quwain,” he says stressing the importance of explaining this history to the next generation. “We have to teach our children not only about the story of the pearls but also about the details and how it happened.”

“If you look at where the UAE is now, the position in the GCC, we are considered to be at the top. If you look at the world we are at the near top 10. So what inspires our leaders to get [these spots] – it’s their rich connection with history. It’s the power of the pearl,” says Al Suwaidi.

UAE preserves its heritage. “Many people think it’s [pearling] is demolished and finished. No, there are plenty of oysters living in the sea. I dive everywhere in the UAE. Everywhere I located the oysters. And not only that, I still collect natural pearls. So this is an evidence of continuity. It’s an evidence of ability,” says Al Suwaidi.

Lauding the UAE’s efforts, he says: “ To give a proof of how our environment is great in the UAE…If [it hadn’t been], I would not have the [pearl] farm. Oysters would not survive with chemical dumping [or an unhealthy eco-system].”

“I walk as an Emirati very proud – wherever I look around, biology, environment, social life, it’s a perfect scenario. What makes UAE perfect? Long-lasting history.”

It’s a learning he reinforces every time he is at sea, trying a stone to his leg and diving in…leaving nothing behind but a blue horizon reminiscent of an old time and a vision full of possibilities.

Coronavirus COVID-19 Delhi The Buzz

Govt exploring modalities of emergency authorisation of COVID-19 vaccine

New Delhi, November 22

The government is exploring the modalities of emergency authorisation and usage of anti-coronavirus vaccines pending completion of phase-three clinical trial and regular licensure.

The issue of advance purchase commitment for vaccines, including pricing, was also discussed in a recent meeting attended by NITI Aayog Member (Health) Vinod Paul, Principal Scientific Adviser to the government K Vijay Raghavan and Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan.

“It was decided that the PMO-constituted Vaccine Task Force (VTF) will lay down the principles for emergency use authorisation while the National Expert Group On Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 (NEGVAC) should take the lead in setting the principles for advance market commitment, including vaccine pricing,” a source said.

These developments assume significance against the backdrop of Pfizer seeking emergency use authorisation of its COVID-19 vaccine from the US regulators. Another US-based biotechnology giant, Moderna, said it also intends to apply for an emergency use authorisation (EUA) with the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, five vaccines are under different phases of clinical trials in India. The Serum Institute of India is conducting the phase-three trial of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, while Bharat Biotech and ICMR has already started the phase-three trial of the indigenously developed COVAXIN jab.

An indigenously developed vaccine by Zydus Cadila has completed phase-two clinical trial in the country. Dr Reddy’s Laboratories will soon start combined phase two and three trials of the Russian COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V in India.

According to the source, an urgent meeting of the vaccine task force (VTF) with experts will be convened to review the scientific status of vaccines globally and whether, if so how and when should the decision on emergency authorisation of vaccines be taken.

The terms of references for two major bodies dealing with vaccine introduction—the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) and the Central Drug Standards and Control Organisation (CDSCO) — will be set and their roles clearly defined for authorisation and emergency authorisation.

It was also agreed at the meeting that one point of contact will be responsible for examining and responding to authorisations given (or in the pipeline), globally, the source said.

Towards advance market commitment, NEGVAC should lay down principles for procurement and price negotiations. Using these principles, negotiations should be speedily initiated.

It was also decided at the meeting that a NEGVAC group should be proactively reaching out to each company as their results from phase three are announced, a source said.

Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech have announced that its vaccine appears 95 per cent effective at preventing mild to severe COVID-19 disease in a large, ongoing study. Moderna has also announced that its COVID-19 vaccine has shown to be 94.5 per cent effective in preventing the deadly disease. — PTI


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Entertainment USA

‘The Good Doctor’s Paige Spara Teases Shaun & Lea’s Next Challenge & Exploring Lea’s ‘History’

Shaun and Lea finally reunited after being separated because of COVID-19, but where do they go from here? HL spoke EXCLUSIVELY with Paige Spara about the future of Shaun and Lea’s relationship.

Just when Shaun and Lea finally decided to be together, COVID-19 came along. Shaun was adamant about being separated from Lea as he faced the pandemic head-on at the hospital. At the end of the Nov. 9 episode of The Good Doctor and after 3 negative COVID tests, Lea and Shaun finally reunited.

Now that they are able to finally be together, Shaun and Lea will be in uncharted territory together as they navigate their romantic relationship in season 4. HollywoodLife talked EXCLUSIVELY with Paige Spara about how Shaun and Lea will be “figuring out” their relationship. This means we’ll be seeing more of Lea’s “point of view” and how both Shaun and Lea will be facing the hurdles coming their way as they both strive to feel “loved and honored in a real committed relationship.”

Shaun continues to face the COVID-19 pandemic while working at the hospital. (ABC)

Shaun and Lea were separated for a period of time because of the pandemic, but they reunited at the end of tonight’s episode. Where does their relationship go from here? I feel like their relationship had just started when the pandemic hit. 
Paige Spara: I had so many people in my real life where the same kind of pattern had happened. They’re finally at that point in their lives, they have found someone, and then the pandemic hit. It’s just like, okay, how do you move forward while this is going on? We do reconnect, obviously. Moving forward, I think we’re really going to explore the complexities of an actual committed relationship for the both of them. We will see Shaun’s point of view and also explore way more of Lea’s point of view. We’ll see how they work together in figuring out what that could look like for both of them where they both feel safe and loved and honored in a real committed relationship.

I feel like they were exploring that already while quarantining separately, especially with the video chat. They want to be intimate, but there are just limitations to that when you’re not physically together. 
Paige Spara: There’s that pressure because you don’t want to drop the ball after you finally made a decision to go all-in. It’s like, how do you keep that intimacy and that connection going through FaceTime? What does that look like when you can’t hold someone while going through something they’ve never had to go through in their lifetime? That was really, really interesting to explore with both of them for sure.

Given that they’ve reunited, could Lea end up moving back into the apartment? How are they going to be able to be together while Shaun is still working at the hospital and the pandemic is still a part of their lives?
Paige Spara: We are going to definitely address that conversation because the line was a bit blurred. They are coming from being best friends, the number one confidants in each other’s lives, who also happened to be roommates previously. That line is hugely blurred. It’s kind of assumed, oh, we’ve done it before. This just kind of makes sense, but I think there are definitely conversations that take place where they’re like, wait a minute. This is different. We have to honor the fact that we are in a different dynamic right now, and we are both showing up wanting the same thing. This is actually going to be another huge commitment, living together as partners. We’re not just roommates, so what does that look like? Because that is completely different. I think they’re definitely going to explore those conversations for sure. In regards to it being a COVID world, after the first two episodes, we’re definitely going to be addressing COVID but kind of not directly. It’ll be more indirectly to kind of give this escapism as entertainers to see what normal can kind of look like and provide escape and some hope.

Paige Spara
Lea’s history will be explored in season 4 as she and Shaun navigate their relationship. (ABC)

Aside from the pandemic which obviously brought challenges their way, what can you tease about the other challenges Shaun and Lea will face going forward?
Paige Spara: I think what we’re going to really explore is Lea’s point of view because she and Shaun have dated. I think a lot of us can relate to this, once you date for a while you start really having a more clear understanding of what exactly you need from your partner and what you actually want. It’s about addressing those individual needs and wants with one another on a whole other level. There’s not so much room for just expecting that, so they’re really going to have to understand what it’s like to take on patience and compassion for someone in a partnership if they’re really going to make it work. That’s going to deal with a lot of Lea’s history and who she is as an individual. Especially Shaun because he’s now kind of stepping into more of a supervisor role in the hospital, so he has a whole new set of other pressures and kind of intimate, emotional challenges just in that supervisor-y circumstance. That comes with that anyway, so it’s going to be really cool because I feel like she’s also going to be integrated much more in the conversations that are happening at work, especially with the new residents. They’re just building more of the understanding that they already innately have with one another. They’re leaning into that more and the strength that they provide for one another. I’m really happy with it so far.

With you mentioning Lea’s point of view and looking at her history, does that mean we’re going to get more of her backstory?
Paige Spara: I think so. It’s more so indirectly. It’ll be little by little when she’s confronted with something that she thought maybe she would have an understanding of or she would not necessarily feel like she would be hurt by. But then again, when you’re in a committed relationship with someone, there are nuances that come with that that you don’t necessarily get from other people, but you can get triggered by the person. We’re going to be exploring that. From that, we’re going to understand why those triggers affect her in a way, and these new triggers will be explored because of her past and as her own person.

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Headlines UK London

Exploring the Fosse Way – a quintessentially English road at the heart of Roman Britain 

As you drive up the A5 past Rugby, you come to High Cross. It’s nothing special: Leicestershire farmland on one side, Warwickshire farmland on the other.

You are ten miles from the geographic centre of England — but also at the very heart of Roman Britain, the only place where our two greatest Roman roads meet.

Watling Street runs north from Dover. Most of the stretch from London to Wroxeter (Viroconium) Shropshire, forms the A5. The other, much less well-known, is The Fosse Way, which links Exeter (Isca Dumnoniorum) with Lincoln (Lindum Colonia) via Corinium (modern-day Cirencester).

Ancient route: The Fosse Way stretches from Exeter to Lincoln via Corinium (modern-day Cirencester). Pictured is a wooded trail on the Fosse Way near Bath 

I was brought up near High Cross. Every summer, we drove down the Fosse on our way to our annual holiday in South Wales.

The Fosse might be straight, but it’s undulating. After too much pop and sweets, I’d rarely get as far as Brinklow in Warwickshire, before car sickness took its toll.

Today, the Fosse is barely known beyond the shires it passes through. Yet it is the quintessential English road. It starts in Tennyson’s Lincolnshire, passes through Shakespeare country, then arrows through Laurie Lee’s Cotswolds, Pam Ayres’ Cirencester and Jane Austen’s Bath.

There are seven English Heritage sites along the way, from the Bronze Age Rollright Stones to the Tudor party palace of Kenilworth in Warwickshire.

The Fosse is a magical, shape-shifting thing. On your phone map, it’s a fine grey line: there one second, invisible the next.

The Cotswold village of Bourton-on-the-Water is in the heart of the Fosse. We rented a stylish little house a five-minute stroll along the banks of the Windrush to the teeming heart of the village.

The Daily Mail's Mark Jones stayed in the Cotswold village of Bourton-on-the-Water, pictured, which is in the heart of the Fosse

The Daily Mail’s Mark Jones stayed in the Cotswold village of Bourton-on-the-Water, pictured, which is in the heart of the Fosse

The house was ideal for two people and a blind rescue dog. Duchess, the dog, activated her DPS (Doggie Positioning System), sniffed about, then curled up happily in the cottage dogbed.

We managed to get a table at The Rose Tree. Once, you couldn’t get a meal in Bourton that didn’t involve scones and clotted cream. Now, we had medallions of pork and an excellent Pinot Noir from — wait for it — Worcestershire. Romans ancient and modern would have approved.

Southwards down the Fosse at Cirencester we glimpsed how the smart set live. We walked into the living room of a private home. It was minimalist, elegant, with wall hangings in abstract patterns and a tiled mosaic floor.

But this was a private home from the first century AD: we were in The Corinium Museum in Cirencester. This beautiful recreation of a room in a Roman villa, complete with the original mosaic floor, is the highlight of this excellent small museum.

Mark writes that in Roman times, Cirencester, pictured, became a centre of fine living and prosperity: much like it is today

Mark writes that in Roman times, Cirencester, pictured, became a centre of fine living and prosperity: much like it is today

Cirencester in Roman times became a centre of fine living and prosperity: much like it is today. Ultimately abandoned by Rome, Corinium was looted, neglected and flooded. The Fosse Way became a backwater.

Just how delightful a backwater it is can be seen near the village of Shipton Moyne. 

We turned on to a B-road leading into a wood. The Tarmac ran out: this was a place for hikers, riders and cyclists, not the Porsches and Audis you see on the busy A429 part of the Fosse Way near Bourton.

Yet this is the same road. Children screamed happily in a ford, a labrador retrieved rocks from the water and deposited them on the bank. The hedgerows and wheatfields stretched into the distance.

As we turned off the Fosse from Tetbury, and called in at a railway station, there was a vending machine selling Duchy Original products: not something you see on the average station platform. But then we are close to the Prince of Wales’s home, Highgrove.

We had some fine fish and chips at The Cat & Custard Pot inn at Shipton Moyne, which Princes Harry and William visited in happier times. I’m sure there might be the odd moment when Harry would give anything to be sitting outside it with a pint of Elmers, watching the walkers trudge past from the Fosse. I know I would.   

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Technology US

US and seven other countries sign NASA’s Artemis Accords to set rules for exploring the Moon

Today, NASA announced that eight countries — including the United States — have signed an international agreement known as the Artemis Accords, forming what NASA calls a broad and diverse coalition of nations committed to standardized lunar exploration.

NASA announced its intention to create the Artemis Accords back in May, after working with the US State Department and the National Space Council to come up with a draft set of rules for exploring the Moon. The document’s name refers to NASA’s Artemis program, an ambitious initiative that aims to send the first woman and the next man to the Moon. NASA hopes to partner with multiple countries for the program, and the agency created the Artemis Accords to ensure that other nations could agree on best practices for sending robots and people to the lunar surface.

NASA released the draft of the accords to other space-faring countries, and after getting their input, the agency came up with the final document, which includes standards for things like lunar mining and how to handle conflicts on the Moon’s surface. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine says the main goal is to get everyone on the same page about lunar exploration and head off any future international misunderstandings or conflicts. “When we think about the Artemis Accords, what we’re trying to do is establish norms of behavior that every nation can agree to,” Bridenstine said during a press call ahead of the announcement.

The seven nations that have signed along with the US are: Australia, Canada, Japan, Luxembourg, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United Arab Emirates. NASA says that it has also spoken with other countries interested in signing, but these seven nations were able to go through the interagency process the fastest. That means more countries could be signing on to the accords very soon — even before the end of the year, according to NASA. “This first announcement is very much a beginning, not an ending to the nations joining the Accords,” Mike Gold, NASA’s acting associate administrator for the office of international and interagency relations, said during the briefing.

NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine speaking with the heads of the world’s space agencies at last year’s International Astronautical Congress.
Image: NASA / Aubrey Gemignani

Notably absent from the initial list is Russia, NASA’s biggest partner in human spaceflight and the International Space Station. Dmitry Rogozin, the head of Russia’s space program, has made it very clear that he is not a fan of the accords or of NASA’s Artemis program. When NASA first announced the accords, Rogozin likened it to a lunar “invasion.” And just yesterday, Rogozin said during a panel at the International Astronautical Congress that the Artemis program is “too US-centric.”

China, another major space power, is also absent, though NASA has long been restricted from partnering or engaging directly with the country on space projects due to a law enacted by Congress. The law would have to change for NASA to approach China, says Bridenstine. “If China’s behavior were to be modified in a way that Congress — Republicans and Democrats — come together and say, ‘Look, we want to engage China,’ NASA stands ready,” said Bridenstine. “But at this point, it’s just not in the cards and we at NASA will always follow the law.”

Long before the creation of the Artemis Accords, countries around the world had already signed a major international agreement focused on how to explore space. Known as the Outer Space Treaty, the agreement entered into force in 1967, establishing that the exploration of space should be a peaceful exercise. It also said that countries should not put weapons of mass destruction in space and that nations should not lay claim to other worlds, among other provisions.

However, the Outer Space Treaty is pretty vague — purposefully so — which means there is a lot of room for interpretation on various clauses. The goal of the Artemis Accords is to provide a little more clarity on how the US wants to explore the Moon without going through the slow treaty-making process. “We are doing this in keeping with the Outer Space Treaty,” said Bridenstine, adding that NASA is trying to “create a dynamic where the Outer Space Treaty can actually be enforced.”

An artistic rendering of astronauts mining the Moon.
Image: NASA

One big thing NASA wanted to make clear in the accords is that countries can own and use resources that are derived from the Moon. As part of the Artemis program, NASA hopes to extract lunar materials, such as the Moon’s dirt or water ice that’s thought to be lurking in the shadows of lunar craters. The Outer Space Treaty forbids nations from staking claim to another planetary body, but the policy of the US is that countries and companies can own the materials they extract from other worlds. “Article II of the Outer Space Treaty says that you cannot appropriate the Moon for national sovereignty,” Bridenstine said. “We fully agree with that and embrace it. We also believe that, just like in the ocean, you can extract resources from the ocean. But that doesn’t mean you own the ocean. You should be able to extract resources from the Moon. Own the resources but not own the Moon.”

It’s an interpretation of the Outer Space Treaty that not everyone may agree on. A pair of researchers writing in the journal Science last week have called on countries to speak up about their objections to this interpretation, and that the United States should go through the United Nations treaty process in order to negotiate on space mining. “NASA’s actions must be seen for what they are—a concerted, strategic effort to redirect international space cooperation in favor of short-term U.S. commercial interests, with little regard for the risks involved,” the researchers wrote in Science.

The accords outline other things like “safety zones” — areas established where work on the Moon is being conducted and where other countries should not interfere. The accords also call for the protection of heritage sites, which could mean the regions where NASA’s Apollo landers touched down on the lunar surface. The document touches on issues of transparency, the sharing of data, registration of space objects, and more.

Another topic addressed by the accords is the idea of interoperability — that spacecraft from various countries should be designed and built to work with hardware from nations all over the world. This is something that even countries that haven’t signed on to the accords can agree on. Yesterday, Russia’s Rogozin called for NASA to design one of its main Artemis elements — a space station to orbit the Moon called the Gateway — so that future Russian vehicles could dock to the station.

Ultimately, the Artemis Accords are still just a set of guidelines, without any defined enforcement mechanisms. There aren’t any real consequences if a country signs the agreement and violates one of the provisions. However, Bridenstine hopes that the involvement of other nations would be enough to ensure that countries behave in accordance with the accords. “I think that there’s a lot of pressure that can be brought to bear on countries that choose to be part of the Artemis program but then don’t play by the rules,” he said.

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