Thursday May 5, 2016
HAVANA (AP) — The afternoon sun was still baking central Havana when Mabel Fernandez and her 14-year daughter took their spot facing the Prado, a grand colonial boulevard hung with lights and loudspeakers for a fashion show by French luxury label Chanel. "This is something that we've never seen in Cuba," Fernandez said, delighted to be exposing her fashion-crazy daughter to a world of supermodels and Hollywood actors that the girl had only seen in TV and movies. But as evening fell on Tuesday, hundreds of state security officers swarmed the area, pushing Fernandez and other Havana residents behind police lines blocks away. "We couldn't see anything," Fernandez lamented Wednesday morning. "It wasn't right. My daughter was dying to see it." With the people of the city held at a distance, actors Tilda Swinton and Vin Diesel, supermodel Gisele Bundchen and Cuban music stars Gente de Zona and Omara Portuondo watched top models sashay down the Prado in casual summer clothes seemingly inspired by the art deco elegance of pre-revolutionary Cuba. Afterward, attendees were taxied in antique American cars to Havana's Cathedral Plaza, an 18th-century Baroque gem transformed into a beach-themed party backdrop by the erection of a giant tiki-style lounge over its colonial cobblestones. Chanel creative director Karl Lagerfeld, 82, arrived in a blue-and-cream 1957 Ford Fairlane, picking his way gingerly toward the VIP section of the tiki hut as his gold-sequined jacket glinted in the lights of the dance floor. Models gyrated to a brief private concert by French-Cuban duo Ibeyi as waitresses handed out hors d'oeuvres and cocktails to the gathered crowd. It was a startling sight in a country officially dedicated to social equality and the rejection of material wealth — the temporary privatization of two of the capital's most iconic sites by an international corporation dedicated to selling exclusivity and luxury. The show was the most extreme manifestation to date of the hot new status Cuba has assumed in the international art and cultural scene since the December 2014 declaration of detente with the United States. President Barack Obama visited in March, the Rolling Stones performed in Havana the same week, the first U.S. cruise in nearly four decades docked Monday and the latest installment of the multibillion-dollar "Fast and Furious" action movie franchise is filming here now. Chanel welcomed the chance to show its creations in an unusual spot. "To explore new horizons is a way to fire imaginations and renew the vision of our brand while sharing the culture and heritage of the locations chosen for our fashion shows," the label said. Many Cubans say they are delighted their country is opening itself to the world, offering ordinary people a firsthand look at celebrities and extravagant productions. But for others, the conversion of Cuba into a stage set and playground for some of the world's wealthiest people fuels disenchantment with what they call Cuba's failure to deliver on promises of sustainable socialist equality. Among those disappointed was Reinaldo Fonseca, a local model, who stood outside the show Tuesday night with a group of friends similarly trying to make their careers in fashion. "It's a shame they don't let us pass," he said. ___ Michael Weissenstein on Twitter: https://twitter.com/mweissenstein Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Michael Weissenstein from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The History Channel says it's developing a drama series focusing on the drug lord known as "El Chapo." The series will explore global drug wars through Joaquin Guzman's story, the channel said. The drama's title is "Cartel," preceded by a hashtag. A pilot script was ordered from writer-producer Chris Brancato, whose credits include Netflix's "Narcos," the History Channel said Tuesday. Last year, Guzman had broken out of prison and was on the run when he had a secret meeting with Mexican actress Kate del Castillo and Sean Penn. Penn wrote about it for Rolling Stone magazine. Accounts have varied as to whether Guzman wanted to discuss a film based on his life or was intent on meeting del Castillo. Mexican officials said the unlikely meeting helped lead to Guzman's capture in January. Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.
Grammy-winning artist Christina Aguilera is offering an online master classThe classes, which will focus on breathing technique, stretching vocal range and phrasing, have been put together by MasterClass, the platform set up by David Rogier and Aaron Rasmussen with a simple aim, to give anyone anywhere with an internet connection "access to genius". "This class is for all the artists out there trying to find their voice. I'm proud to share through MasterClass my love of music and all of the vocal techniques I've learned throughout the years," said Christina Aguilera. The singer joins a virtual faculty of teachers that already includes Dustin Hoffman, Kevin Spacey, Serena Williams and James Patterson. Enrolment is open to anyone via the platform's website and classes are charged at $90 each. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.
The follow up to 2014's Michael Bay-produced "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" promises fans of the original comics more to get excited aboutWhen the new film lands at US cinemas on June 3 the turtles will face off against a veritable army of enemies including Baxter Stockman, Bebop, Rocksteady and Krang. To up the ante further, Shredder, their most famous foe, defeated at the end of the last movie, has also managed to escape police custody. As well as an increased cast of villains, the new film will see the introduction of Casey Jones, the hockey mask-wearing vigilante. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — David Attenborough, who turns 90 on Sunday, isn't resting on his laurels or any other element of the natural world he's explored so fully. The man behind acclaimed documentaries including "Life on Earth" and "The Life of Birds" is giving insects their TV close-up in Smithsonian Channel's three-part "Micro Monsters with David Attenborough," premiering at 8 p.m. EDT Wednesday and airing through May 18. He will reprise his role as narrator for "Planet Earth II," the BBC's recently announced sequel to the awe-inspiring 2006 project. And he brushes aside any notion that his curiosity or drive might flag after more than 100 films and series (as producer, writer or presenter, and at times all three) and some 25 books. The sheer joy of continuing to work and learn keeps him "wanting to get up in the morning and have a go at it," he said in an email. "It would be terrible if you knew it all, and nobody ever will." The British-born Attenborough, who plans to spend his birthday with family and friends, weighed in recently with The Associated Press on his six-decade legacy, the Earth's future and the importance of getting to know bugs. AP: What do people fail to understand about insects? Attenborough: Knowledge is the great thing, superstition is the enemy. (It's) superstition that all spiders bite, or are poisonous ... so the more you know about these things, the better you are. If you know that a millipede is actually a vegetarian and it only has tiny little mouth parts and it can't possibly bite you, then you are going to allow a millipede to crawl over your hand with no concern whatever. On the other hand, if you also know that a centipede which has fewer legs and moves rather faster and is actually inclined to be a hunter and it has a very poisonous bite, then you don't handle a centipede. AP: To what do you attribute your enduring curiosity and energy? Attenborough: I've never met a child who's not interested in natural history. Just the simplest thing, a 5-year-old turning over a stone and seeing a slug and (saying) 'What a treasure!' (and) 'Well, how does it live, what are those things on the front?' Kids love it! Kids understand the natural world is fascinating. So the question is (how does) anyone lose the interest in nature? AP: What are the most critical problems facing the natural world today? Attenborough: The rise in global temperature due to climate change is a very, very serious worry indeed. Children around the world today are going to inherit a very different world from the one I inherited — one which is much more crowded and one which has more severe problems than anybody could have supposed, certainly when I was a child. ... I believe that if we find ways of generating and storing power from renewable resources, we will make the problem with oil and coal and other carbon fuels disappear because, economically, we will wish to use these other methods. And if we do that, a huge step will have been taken toward solving the problems of the Earth. AP: As you turn 90, what do you count among your top achievements? Attenborough: Television has become the visual medium which has really dealt with natural history in an unparalleled way, and the coverage of natural history by television is one of television's feathers in its cap. ... I went into television and particularly natural history because it was fun. ... I reckon that I'm very fortunate in that I can look back and say, 'Yes, it was worthwhile doing.' We get letters from everywhere, from Russia, from China, from Hungary, from all kinds of people who say that they were moved and saw the value of natural history because of television. ___ Online: http://www.smithsonianchannel.com/ ___ Lynn Elber is a national television columnist for The Associated Press. Her work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/lynn-elber and she can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/lynnelber Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Lynn Elber from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.
LONDON (AP) — John Boyega is going from space battles in "Star Wars" to earthbound struggles onstage at London's Old Vic Theatre. The theater says the 24-year-old actor will get his first West End starring role in "Woyzeck," the story of a soldier who commits an act of brutal violence. The new version of Georg Buchner's 19th-century drama is written by Jack Thorne, the playwright behind "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child." Boyega, who played Finn in "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," is currently filming the eighth instalment in the sci-fi saga. The play, which opens in February 2017, was announced Wednesday as part of the Old Vic's 2016-2017 season. The lineup also includes a production of Shakespeare's "King Lear" starring Glenda Jackson and a 20th-anniversary revival of Yasmina Reza's global hit "Art." Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.
Jack Huston and "Game of Thrones" actress Emilia Clarke have been confirmed to star in the Philip Noyce thriller "Above Suspicion" reports Deadline.The film will be based on the book by New York Times columnist Joe Sharkey, which tells the true story of a newly-married FBI agent who after been assigned to an Appalachian mountain town in Kentucky starts an affair with an local woman. She becomes his star informant and sees him as her means of escape from her impoverished life in the small mining town. However the story ends in disaster, leading to her murder and the first ever conviction of an FBI agent for murder. Production is due to start later this month. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.
CHICAGO (AP) — The wife of "Star Wars" creator George Lucas said Tuesday that opposition to a Chicago lakefront museum by a parks advocacy group has prompted a search outside the city for a site. Friends of the Parks sued last year to stop plans to build the art museum near Soldier Field on a site that is now a parking lot. The nonprofit group says the plans violated laws restricting development along Lake Michigan. And in a statement Tuesday, the parks group indicated it would be opposed to an alternate site nearby. Lucas' wife, financial executive Mellody Hobson, expressed frustration at the organization's opposition, saying she and Lucas worked for two years to finalize "what would be the largest philanthropic gift to an American city in the 21st century." "We are now seriously pursuing locations outside of Chicago," Hobson said in a statement. "If the museum is forced to leave, it will be because of the Friends of the Parks and that is no victory for anyone. ... In refusing to accept the extraordinary public benefits of the museum, the Friends of the Parks has proven itself to be no friend of Chicago." The latest proposal the parks group opposes calls for demolition of part of the McCormick Place convention complex, which is also by the lake, and replacing it with the museum. Hobson said that plan would create 12 additional acres of parkland. The plan requires the borrowing of nearly $1.2 billion to replace the demolished structure, extending five taxes beyond their expiration date and state approval. The museum itself would be paid for by Lucas at a cost of $743 million. "We don't think it's appropriate to exchange building on lakefront land for other things — even if it's park land. It's inappropriate to build on public trust land," said Friends of the Parks executive director Juanita Irizarry. "Mr. Lucas may leave. That is ultimately his decision. But there are many other viable sites. Chicagoans should not be held hostage to one man's desires," she said. "The public trust must be protected and we will continue to fight for our lakefront to remain open, free and clear." The city of Chicago and the Chicago Park District on Monday requested a suspension of the legal fight over the museum as they worked on an alternative site plan, and Friends of the Parks agreed. The city withdrew that request Tuesday. "Friends of the Parks has taken inconsistent and incoherent positions, making it impossible to work with them," Shannon Breymaier, a spokeswoman for Mayor Rahm Emanuel, said in a statement. Irizarry said the group would either amend its existing lawsuit to target the McCormick site or file a new suit, attempting to apply the same public trust and lakefront-protection principles it holds regarding the parking lot site. Lucas chose Chicago over San Francisco for the museum after saying the California city was "doodling around," while Chicago officials aggressively pursued the project. Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.
Versatile Oscar-nominated actor, Michael Fassbender is in talks to play real-life serial killer, Jack UnterwegerThe film, "Entering Hades" is based on John Leake's book about Unterweger, an Austrian journalist who led a secret double life - when he wasn't investigating crimes, he was committing them. He murdered 11 people before being caught. According to Variety, the script is undergoing rewrites with Alexander Dinelaris ("Birdman") and while a production team is in place, no director has yet been named. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.
Sony is remaking its 1990 thriller Flatliners for a Millennial audience and like the original movie, it is putting together a strong ensemble cast.Ellen Page has been involved with the project since October and in recent weeks Diego Luna and Nina Dobrev have been linked too. On Tuesday, according to Variety, the cast swelled to four with the addition of Kiersey Clemons. The new take on the story of medical students ‘flatlining' in order to have near-death experiences, will be directed by Niesl Arden Oplev and production is expected to begin in July. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The daughter of the late Slipknot bassist Paul Gray can sue a doctor for the loss of her father's companionship, even though she was still a fetus when he died, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled Friday. The court acknowledged it's the first time it's had to decide such a case centered on the rights of a child during the time it is a fetus, but it cited similar conclusions in cases from Massachusetts and Wisconsin. The justices warned that it would be a mistake for anyone to try to apply the rationale behind the ruling to the abortion debate. The ruling comes in a case centered on the death of Gray, who was found dead in a suburban Des Moines hotel room in May 2010. An autopsy showed he died of an overdose of morphine and fentanyl, a synthetic pain killer similar to morphine. He was 38. His wife, Brenna Gray, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Dr. Daniel Baldi and several medical care providers claiming Paul Gray wasn't properly monitored during drug addiction treatment. She sued for loss of spousal consortium and on behalf of her daughter who wasn't born until several months after Gray died. Lower courts dismissed the case, saying Brenna Gray filed the lawsuit more than two years after her husband's death, exceeding the state's statute of limitations for such lawsuits. The high court upheld the dismissal for Brenna Gray's lawsuit Friday, agreeing that she waited too long, but it ruled that their daughter, identified only as O.D.G., can pursue damages. Iowa's statute of limitations law provides exceptions for minor children, saying any child under the age of eight must file a claim no later than the minor's 10th birthday. Arguments centered on whether a fetus who is eventually born meets the statute's definition of a minor. Baldi's attorneys argued that a child of "negative age" cannot be considered a child under the age of eight. The court concluded that Paul Gray's daughter experienced the loss of her father's support, companionship, aid, affection, comfort and guidance after she was born, not before. "Whatever deprivation of consortium O.D.G. is currently experiencing is no less real just because she did not experience it while in utero," the court said. In warning against extrapolating something from their decision in the context of the abortion debate, the justices said they were setting aside "all the philosophical arguments about the status of the unborn. Those arguments are not at issue here," wrote Justice Daryl Hecht for the court. "Any reader who scours this opinion's interstices for implied sentiments about any context beyond the narrow parental consortium question presented undertakes a fool's errand," he wrote. All but one of the court's seven justices agreed with the opinion. The seventh, Justice Brent Appel, didn't take part in the case. Baldi's attorney, Guy Cook, said the drugs that caused Gray's death were not prescribed by Baldi. A jury found Baldi not guilty of manslaughter charges related to the death of Gray and other patients in a 2014 trial. "Dr. Baldi was not at fault for Paul Gray's death. Paul Gray was," Cook said. The attorney for Brenna Gray and her daughter did not immediately respond to a message. Paul Gray was a founding member of the heavy metal band formed in 1995 in Des Moines. The group, known for wearing jarring masks, won a Grammy Award in 2006 for a single from their second album, "Iowa." ___ Follow David Pitt on Twitter at https://twitter.com/davepitt Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by David Pitt from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Arsenio Hall is suing Sinead O'Connor over a Facebook post in which the singer accused him of furnishing Prince with drugs. The comedian's libel lawsuit filed Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court calls O'Connor's accusations fabricated lies. The lawsuit states O'Connor, who scored a hit in 1990 with her rendition of Prince's "Nothing Compares 2 U," barely knew the superstar and despised him. O'Connor wrote a Facebook post Monday that stated investigators looking into the supplier of drugs used by Prince should question Hall. She also accused him of drugging her. O'Conner's agent did not immediately return an email message seeking comment. The lawsuit seeks more than $5 million in damages but any award would be decided by a jury. The case was first reported by celebrity website TMZ. Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.
LAKE PLACID, N.Y. (AP) — Actor Danny Glover will receive a human rights award at a historic site in the Adirondacks honoring abolitionist John Brown. The first Spirit of John Brown Freedom Awards will be presented Saturday at the John Brown Farm State Historic Site near Lake Placid. Organizers said Glover is expected to attend. Other recipients are Albany civil rights leader Alice Green and the late Brother Yusuf Abdul-Wasi Burgess, a youth advocate. Glover is a long-time political activist for humanitarian causes. He's known for leading roles in the "Lethal Weapon" films, "The Color Purple" and "Angels in the Outfield" as well as many other movies and television shows. John Brown was hanged in 1859 for trying to start an armed slave revolt with a raid on a U.S. arsenal in Harpers Ferry, Virginia. He's buried outside Lake Placid. Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.
"Redemption Road" (St. Martins/Dunne), by John Hart John Hart's first four novels earned two Edgar Allan Poe Awards and one nomination, as well as a myriad of other awards. Five years have gone by since his fourth novel, 2011's "The Iron House," was published, but "Redemption Road" proves the wait was worth it. While Hart's previous mysteries were atmospheric tales enhanced by aspects of the Southern novel, "Redemption Road" is fueled by more of a thriller plot with acute attention to its well-sculpted characters. As the title implies, Hart's novel is about redemption, but also about trust and betrayal, and those emotional roads that most of us never want to travel. Deeply troubled North Carolina police detective Elizabeth Black prowls the streets of her hometown, wondering if she will be charged with murder. While rescuing kidnapped teenager Channing Shore, Elizabeth killed the two men who were sexually assaulting the teen in a desolate house. The case became a political hand grenade. Channing, who is from a wealthy family, and Elizabeth are both white; the two assailants — caught in the act of assaulting the teen — are both black. Elizabeth shot them 18 times. Did she use excessive force? Meanwhile, former police officer Adrian Wall's first day of parole ends with him being wounded by Gideon Strange, the teenage son of the woman he served 13 years in prison for murdering. Elizabeth never believed Adrian was guilty, remaining connected to him because of an incident when she was a teen. Through the years, Elizabeth and her parents had treated Gideon like a family member. The local polices target Adrian when another woman is murdered following his release. Hart ties the two plot threads in a gripping, believable story that doesn't rest until the last sentence. "Redemption Road" spins on emotionally complicated relationships and realistic conspiracies that affect each character's life and choices. "A stupid crime and a simple misdirection, prison and pointless death, ripples on some foreign shore," Elizabeth contemplates. The daughter of a preacher with whom she's estranged, the forceful Elizabeth harbors dark secrets of her own that go beyond what happened in that abandoned house's basement. "Redemption Road" contains a more ambitious plot than Hart's previous novels, and he weaves this seemingly far-flung story with aplomb. ___ Online: http://www.johnhartfiction.com/ Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Oline H. Cogdill from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.
NEW YORK (AP) — The last year has proven to be an incredible journey for "Hamilton" creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, culminating this week with a record-breaking 16 Tony nominations. It has also produced a best-selling cast album, and there's a huge tour planned for 2017. The Tony-Award winner for "In the Heights" sat down with The Associated Press to talk about his "wild ride" and a weird request. TATTOO ME! "Hamilton" remains the toughest ticket to get for a Broadway show, and Miranda says people have come out of the woodwork with requests. "The woodwork department has been working overtime," he says. So what about the strangest thing anyone has asked him to do? "I've had fans say, 'Can you write down this music phrase? I want it tattooed in your handwriting,' which is a lot. I have terrible handwriting. You do not want this thing you think you want." BROADWAY MOVE According to Miranda, it was important to keep the show off-Broadway long enough to intimately understand the production and fine-tune it. "There was a lot of talk last year on 'Go, transfer right away.' But we knew that with another at-bat we could get more into it. I knew that with six months of doing the show off-Broadway that I would know a lot more of what worked and what didn't. I had that experience with 'In the Heights.' We were off-Broadway," Miranda said. He also shared some advice. "I recommend to every writer ever starring in your own show feeling the audiences reaction on a molecular level every night because I knew exactly what needed to be changed and exactly what needed to be clarified going into Broadway." WATCHING NOMINATIONS Miranda turned the morning Tony announcements into a party, because his young son, Sebastian, is an early riser. "We have a little kid, so we're up early. A lot of my cast slept through it, but we were up early." Miranda invited his parents over, as well as his "In the Heights" collaborator Quiara Alegria Hudes for the festivities. "We brewed a big pot of coffee, and we just sort of kept ticking off the nomination. My dad was making a list, and I was just sort of screaming every time I heard a name." Four of the shows 16 Tony nominations went to Miranda. "It was really crazy. It sort of piled up slowly." INSPIRED BY 'RENT' Miranda likes the idea that "Hamilton" harkens back to the days when Broadway and popular music were united. "Broadway music used to just be pop music," Miranda said. "Cole Porter, the Gershwins, Jerome Kern, Irving Berlin — it was just music." "I remembered being really inspired when 'Rent' came out. I was a teenager and Jonathan Larson said pop music and theater music should be friends again. I have always agreed with that philosophy. I think great musical storytelling is great musical storytelling, regardless of genre and I think the fact that we've thrown so many genres in the pot, sort of allows for that to creep off of the arts page." NO RESTING With buzz surrounding a show that Broadway has not seen in decades, Miranda insists that the accolades have not affected him, and for good reason. "We can't rest on our laurels. We have a show that's 2 hours and 40 minutes with two spinning turntables inside the set. If you for a second stop to think, 'Hey man, 16 nominations,' you're going to get hit in the head with a chair or you're going to get kicked by a dancer." Instead, Miranda feels "the show is medicine," and feels humbled performing "each performance from scratch." He's keenly aware that regardless of how many performances the company has done, it's the first time that a majority of the audience is seeing that particular one. "That keeps you from getting too big for your britches and from being overwhelmed, because the work is so hard and so gratifying that it keeps you with a level head." ___ Online: http://www.hamiltonbroadway.com ___ Follow John Carucci at http://www.twitter.com/jacarucci ___ This story has been corrected to fix the spelling of Jonathan Larson. Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by John Carucci from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.