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A service dog forgot he was at work and charged towards one of the characters during a recent performance of Cats.
The Broadway performance of the Andrew LLoyd Webber musical – which sees actors and actresses dress up as cats – was halted when the service dog leapt up from beside its owner and sprinted towards the stage.
Spies at the Neil Simon Theatre told Page Six the dog ‘got away from its owner and ran after [the character] Bombalurina, performed by actress Mackenzie Warren, during the opening number’ Jellicle Cat.
Luckily a fast-moving user intervened and ‘returned the wayward canine to its mortified owner’.
A spokesperson confirmed that the incident took place but added: ‘In the storied history of Cats, this is the first time one of the actual cats was involved in an incident with a dog.
‘We’re pleased to report that no animals or humans were harmed in the dust-up, and the performance continued without a hitch.’
Webber – the man behind a string of hit musicals including The Phantom of the Opera and Jesus Christ Superstar – is publishing his autobiography ‘Unmasked’ before his 70th birthday in March next year.
His record-breaking musical Cats will play its final Broadway show on December 30.
Cats – which won a Tony Award for Best Musical – is based on TS Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats.
A teenager with a heart condition opened up about her service dog back in October, saying the pet had ‘saved her life’. While a campaign to stop hero dogs belonging to the Army being put down after their service was launched recently.
More than 70 million displaced worldwide, says UNHCR
The number of people fleeing war, persecution and conflict exceeded 70 million globally last year – the highest number in the UN refugee agency’s almost 70 years.
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The almost 70.8 million people forcibly displaced is up 2.3 million on the previous year, according to the agency’s annual Global Trends report.
This is also double the level recorded 20 years ago.
The number averaged out to 37,000 new displacements every day.
“What we are seeing in these figures is further confirmation of a longer-term rising trend in the number of people needing safety from war, conflict and persecution,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi.
“While language around refugees and migrants is often divisive, we are also witnessing an outpouring of generosity and solidarity, especially by communities who are themselves hosting large numbers of refugees.
The actual figure is likely to be higher as the Venezuela crisis is only partly reflected, the report states.
Around four million Venezuelans have fled their country, according to some figures from countries taking them in, making it one of the world’s biggest recent displacement crises.
The report identifies three main groups.
Firstly, there are refugees, or people forced to leave their country because of conflict, war or persecution. In 2018, the number of refugees reached 25.9 million worldwide, 500,000 more than in 2017. Included in this total are 5.5 million Palestine refugees.
The second group is 3.5 million asylum seekers. These are people outside their country of birth who are under international protection, but are yet to be granted refugee status.
Thirdly, there are internally displaced persons, or IDPs. These people are displaced within their country and amount to 41.3 million globally.
More than two thirds of all refugees worldwide came from Syria, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Myanmar and Somalia.
Syria had a considerably higher number than any other country with 6.7 million, followed by Afghanistan with 2.7 million.
Only 92,400 refugees were resettled in 2018, fewer than 7% of those awaiting resettlement.
The global population of forcibly displaced people has grown substantially from 43.3 million in 2009. Most of this increase was between 2012 and 2015 as a result of the Syrian conflict.
However, other conflicts have cropped up and continued across the globe, for example, in Iraq and Yemen in the Middle East, as well as parts of sub-Saharan Africa such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan.
The massive flow of Rohingya refugees to Bangladesh at the end of 2017 after they were driven out of Myanmar’s Rakhine state during military crackdowns was another major crisis.
At more than 1.5 million, Ethiopians were the largest newly displaced population in 2018, 98% of them internally, more than doubling the previous number.
These were mainly attributed to inter-communal violence throughout 2018, with communities living along disputed boundaries most affected.
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