Hollywood star John Travolta woos audiences in Saudi Arabia

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) -- Hollywood star John Travolta has wooed fans during a visit to Saudi Arabia, where authorities have said that commercial cinemas will reopen next year after more than a three-decade ban on movie theaters. Travolta met with fans in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, on Friday, fielding questions from the audience about his career and movies, which include hits like Grease, Saturday Night Fever and Pulp Fiction. On Saturday, the American movie star attended a gala Read more [...]

Jazz and pop singer Keely Smith dies of heart failure at 89

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. (AP) -- Keely Smith, a pop and jazz singer known for her solo recordings of jazz standards as well as her musical partnership with Louis Prima, has died of apparent heart failure in Palm Springs. She was 89. According to a news release from her publicist Bob Merlis, Smith was under a physician's care when she died Saturday. Smith was born Dorothy Jacqueline Keely in Norfolk, Virginia on March 9, 1928, and got her first paying job singing with the Earl Bennett Read more [...]

‘The Last Jedi’ opens with $220M, 2nd best weekend all-time

NEW YORK (AP) -- "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" will happily settle for second. Rian Johnson's second installment in the third "Star Wars" trilogy rocketed to a debut of $220 million at the North American box office, according to studio estimates Sunday. That gives "The Last Jedi" the second-best opening ever, slotting in behind only its predecessor, "The Force Awakens." The Disney blockbuster became just the fourth film to open above $200 million domestically. Aside from "The Force Awakens" Read more [...]

New Bitcoin-based security bounces in trading debut on CME

18 Dec 2017 0 Comments
NEW YORK (AP) -- A new security based on the price of the digital currency bitcoin is trading lower after its debut on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, a week after another such security launched on a rival exchange. The CME Group, which owns the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, opened up futures of bitcoin, which has soared in value and volatility this year, for trading on Sunday evening. By 2:20 a.m. EST (0720 GMT) Monday the futures contract that expires in January was at $19,405.00 Read more [...]

End of days comes for Ohio man’s ‘zombie Nativity’ scene

18 Dec 2017 0 Comments
CINCINNATI (AP) -- A ghoulish holiday tradition outside of Cincinnati will soon come to a close after an Ohio man said he won't put up his "zombie Nativity" scene after this year. Sycamore Township's Jasen Dixon said he originally wasn't planning to install the display this Christmas season. "But I get hundreds of emails from people, local fans," he told the Cincinnati Enquirer. "It's almost like a cult following." Dixon installed the display complete with zombie Mary and zombie baby Read more [...]

HBO’s documentary chief, Sheila Nevins, leaving network

NEW YORK (AP) -- The woman who has run HBO's documentary unit for 38 years and has been a key gatekeeper in the making of its nonfiction films says she will be stepping down early next year. Sheila Nevins has worked on productions that have won 32 Emmy Awards, 42 Peabody Awards and 26 Academy Awards. She told The New York Times that she'll be leaving but will continue to work on some leftover projects for HBO. The 78-year-old said she is also considering a radio show and a book. Read more [...]

In sex assault laws, definition of consent varies widely

For two months now, as accusations of sexual misconduct have piled up against Harvey Weinstein, the disgraced mogul has responded over and over again: "Any allegations of nonconsensual sex are unequivocally denied." Consent is a concept central to law on sexual assault, and will likely be an issue in potential legal cases against Weinstein, who is under investigation by police in four cities, and others accused in the current so-called "reckoning." But the definition of consent - namely, how it Read more [...]

‘A Prairie Home Companion’ name becomes ‘Live from Here’

NEW YORK (AP) -- "A Prairie Home Companion" has been given a new name - "Live from Here" - in the wake of creator Garrison Keillor's acrimonious split with Minnesota Public Radio. Chris Thile, the mandolin virtuoso who has hosted the weekly variety show since Keillor's retirement last year, announced the new name Saturday evening as the show opened a live performance in New York City. MPR terminated its contracts with Keillor after it said it had received multiple allegations of improper Read more [...]

German government says it backs ‘open and free internet’

17 Dec 2017 0 Comments
BERLIN (AP) -- The German government says it backs an "open and free internet" following the U.S. decision to repeal net neutrality rules. A spokeswoman for the Economy Ministry said Friday that Germany had "taken note" of the U.S. move but declined to comment directly on it. However, spokeswoman Beate Baron said the German government supports rules introduced across the European Union last year forbidding discriminatory access to the internet. Baron told reporters in Berlin that Read more [...]

NASA drops replica Orion spacecraft to test parachutes

17 Dec 2017 0 Comments
YUMA, Ariz. (AP) -- NASA on Friday successfully dropped a replica Orion spacecraft from an Air Force transport aircraft to a southwestern Arizona desert site to test the craft's ability to cope with a partial parachute failure. The test used two of Orion's three main parachutes to simulate the failure of the third and still sufficiently slowed the spacecraft for a landing. Previous attempts were thwarted by a failure of the C-17 plane's cargo doors to open at the drop altitude of Read more [...]
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