Entertainment

FILE PHOTO: Adele arrives at the 58th Grammy Awards in Los Angeles
FILE PHOTO: Singer Adele arrives at the 58th Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California February 15, 2016. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok/File Photo

April 20, 2019

LONDON (Reuters) – British pop singer Adele and her husband have separated, her representatives said on Saturday.

One of the most successful singer-songwriters of all time, Adele and water charity executive Simon Konecki met in 2011. They had a son a year later, and married in 2016.

“Adele and her partner have separated. They are committed to raising their son together lovingly. As always they ask for privacy. There will be no further comment,” a spokesman for Adele said in a statement.

Adele Adkins, 30, shot to fame in 2008 with her debut album ’19’, lauded for its combination of soulful vocals and confessional lyrics.

Her last album, ’25’, released in 2015, broke U.S. and British records by becoming the fastest-selling album of all time. She became the first person in the history of the Grammy awards to win the top three awards twice.

U.S. media reported in March this year that Adele had visited a recording studio in New York, raising speculation that a new album would surface soon.

(Writing by Andy Bruce, Editing by William Maclean)

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FILE PHOTO: 2017 MTV Video Music Awards – Arrivals – Inglewood, California
FILE PHOTO: 2017 MTV Video Music Awards – Arrivals – Inglewood, California, U.S., 27/08/2017 – Kodak Black. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok

April 19, 2019

By Rich McKay

(Reuters) – Rapper Kodak Black was released from custody by the New York State Police on Thursday after being arrested on drug and gun charges while coming across the Canada-U.S. border near Niagara Falls, police said.

Black, 21, was stopped on Wednesday evening by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents at the Lewiston-Queenston International Bridge headed back into the United States from Canada, the New York State Police said in a release.

Black’s real name is Bill Kapri, and he is a resident of Miramar, Florida.

Black, who was driving a Cadillac Escalade, and three other Florida men following in a Porsche were arrested on drug and weapons charges. Black was charged with second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, a Glock 9mm pistol, and unlawful possession of marijuana, police said.

The other three men face similar charges from weapons and drugs found in the Porsche.

A representative for Black was not immediately available to talk to Reuters on Thursday evening.

Black was released on Thursday afternoon from the Niagara County Jail on $20,000 bail, multiple media accounts have reported, including CNN.

Video footage from local media outlets showed Black leaving the jail holding a fan-like spread of cash over his face.

CNN reported that he had been scheduled to perform at the House of Blues in Boston on Wednesday night and his lack of appearance angered waiting fans.

TMZ reported that Black’s show at the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut, scheduled for Thursday night was also canceled.

The rapper and songwriter, signed to Atlantic Records, has become one of the biggest artists of hip-hop. He is known for his hit singles “Zeze”, “Roll in Peace”, “Tunnel Vision”, and “No Flockin”.

Black has had a number of run-ins with the law over the last few years, mostly over weapons and drug charges, multiple media accounts say.

He recently angered some fans by expressing a romantic interest in the girlfriend of late rapper Nipsey Hussle, who was shot to death outside a clothing store he owned in Los Angeles last month.

(Reporting by Rich McKay; Editing by Tom Hogue)

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Creator and executive producer Simon, cast member Pierce and creator and executive producer Overmyer participates in a panel for HBO's series
Creator and executive producer David Simon (L) participates in a panel for HBO’s series “Treme” during the HBO sessions of the Television Critics Association winter press tour in Pasadena, California January 14, 2010. REUTERS/Phil McCarten

April 18, 2019

By Helen Coster and Jill Serjeant

NEW YORK/LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – “The Wire” creator David Simon, seven other writers, and the Writers Guild of America sued the four major Hollywood talent agencies on Wednesday for getting paid in such a way that the agencies’ financial interests prevail over those of their clients.

The plaintiffs are trying to establish that talent agency “packaging fees,” in which an agent is paid directly by the writer’s employer instead of getting paid a 10 percent commission fee from the writer, are illegal under both California and federal law.

In recent decades, packaging fees have become the standard form of compensation for the four largest talent agencies, which have grown in power and reach amid a wave of consolidation.

The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleges that because packaging fees are generally tied to a show’s revenue and profits, the agencies are incentivized to reduce the amount production companies pay writers and other talent on a show.

As such, packaging fees violate California fiduciary law, the suit claims, because they pit the interests of the agency against those of its writer client. The fees also violate the state’s Unfair Competition Law, the suit maintains, because they amount to an illegal “kickback” from production companies to agencies.

The four agencies named in the complaint – William Morris Endeavor, Creative Artists Agency, United Talent Agency and ICM Partners – receive over 80 percent of the packaging fees paid by Hollywood studios and networks, according to the WGA.

The Association of Talent Agencies (ATA), whose members include the four defendants in Wednesday’s lawsuit, said the filing was a sign that the WGA “is on a predetermined path to chaos that never included any intention to negotiate.”

“Knowing that it could take months or even years for this litigation to be resolved, WGA leaders are unnecessarily forcing their members and our industry into long-term uncertainty,” ATA executive director Karen Stuart said in a statement.

The relationship between the WGA and the Association of Talent Agencies, has been governed by a 43-year-old agreement that regulates how agents represent writers. After negotiations over a new, updated agreement fell apart, the WGA asked agents to sign a new code of contact that would eliminate packaging fees.

The majority of agents refused, and on Friday the WGA told its members to fire agents that had not signed the new code.

(Reporting by Helen Coster and Jill Serjeant; Additional reporting by Lisa Richwine; Editing by Tom Brown and Michael Perry)

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FILE PHOTO: Directors Joe and Anthony Russo pose for a portrait while promoting the film
FILE PHOTO: Directors Joe (L) and Anthony Russo pose for a portrait while promoting the film “Avengers: Endgame” in Los Angeles, California, U.S., April 6, 2019. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

April 16, 2019

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The directors of “Avengers: Endgame” pleaded with fans on Tuesday not to spoil the movie by giving away storylines after reports that some scenes had leaked online.

In an open letter posted on Twitter under the hashtag #DontSpoilTheEndgame, Joe and Anthony Russo said they and the vast cast of the upcoming Marvel superhero movie “have worked tirelessly for the last three years with the sole intention of delivering a surprising and emotionally powerful conclusion” to the saga.

“When you see Endgame in coming weeks, please don’t spoil it for others, the same way you wouldn’t want it spoiled for you,” they added.

Walt Disney Co’s “Avengers: Endgame” marks the conclusion of a story told across 22 Marvel films. The plot has been shrouded in secrecy, with no advance screenings for the entertainment press. Sales of advance tickets earlier this month surpassed those of 2015 movie “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

The film, which brings together multiple comic book characters, starts its rollout on April 24 in Australia and China before arriving in the United States on April 25.

Some fans said on Tuesday they had seen brief, grainy scenes on Reddit, YouTube and other platforms, but the footage was swiftly removed. Reuters has not seen the leaked scenes and Disney declined to comment.

The #DontSpoilTheEnding hashtag was one of the top Twitter trends on Tuesday. Some fans who said they had viewed the leaks said they only increased their anticipation for the movie.

“I was upset for about 0.2 seconds then realized how cool it was and it made me so hyped,” a person with the user name thestaggie posted on Reddit.

Chris Smith, a contributor to the BGR.com entertainment and tech news site, wrote that he had seen a leak but that it “doesn’t really give away the ending” of the movie, although it contained scenes that had not been shown in any of the trailers or official clips released so far.

“I don’t consider that the leak has actually ruined the movie for me. It just makes me want to watch it even more than I already did,” wrote Smith.

(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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FILE PHOTO: The Iron Throne is seen on the set of the television series Game of Thrones in the Titanic Quarter of Belfast, Northern Ireland
FILE PHOTO: The Iron Throne is seen on the set of the television series Game of Thrones in the Titanic Quarter of Belfast, Northern Ireland, Picture taken June 24, 2014. REUTERS/Phil Noble/File Photo

April 15, 2019

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The Season 8 premiere of “Game of Thrones” drew a record 17.4 million U.S. television viewers, cable channel HBO said on Monday.

HBO said Sunday’s audience on linear television as well as its HBO GO and HBO NOW apps exceeded the previous series high of 16.9 million viewers for the Season 7 finale in 2017.

On social media, Sunday’s premiere for the final season of the medieval fantasy series was also the most-tweeted-about episode of the show ever, with more than 5 million Tweets, and 11 million mentions throughout the course of the weekend, HBO said in a statement.

(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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FILE PHOTO: Actor Lori Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli leave the federal courthouse in Boston
FILE PHOTO: Actor Lori Loughlin, and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, leave the federal courthouse after facing charges in a nationwide college admissions cheating scheme, in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., April 3, 2019. REUTERS/Brian Snyder/File Photo

April 15, 2019

By Nate Raymond

BOSTON (Reuters) – Actress Lori Loughlin said on Monday she will plead not guilty to charges that she participated in what prosecutors say was the largest college admissions scandal uncovered in U.S. history.

Loughlin, who starred in the television sitcom, “Full House,” and her fashion designer husband Mossimo Giannulli filed papers in federal court in Boston seeking to waive their personal appearances at an arraignment hearing and have not guilty pleas entered on their behalf.

They are among 50 people accused of participating in a scheme that allowed wealthy parents to use cheating and bribes to help their children secure spots at universities like Yale, Georgetown and the University of Southern California (USC).

California college admissions adviser William “Rick” Singer has pleaded guilty to charges that he facilitated cheating on college entrance exams and bribed coaches at universities to falsely present the parents’ children as athletic recruits.

Loughlin, 54, and Giannulli agreed with Singer to pay $500,000 to have their two daughters named as recruits to USC’s crew team, prosecutors said, even though they did not row competitively, to help them gain admission.

The couple and several other parents were originally charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. Prosecutors secured an indictment on April 9 that included an additional charge of conspiring to commit money laundering.

In all, 33 parents have been charged in the college admissions scandal. Of those, 14 have agreed to plead guilty, including “Desperate Housewives” TV star Felicity Huffman.

(Reporting by Nate Raymond in Boston; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

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FILE PHOTO: The Iron Throne is seen on the set of the television series Game of Thrones in the Titanic Quarter of Belfast, Northern Ireland
FILE PHOTO: The Iron Throne is seen on the set of the television series Game of Thrones in the Titanic Quarter of Belfast, Northern Ireland, REUTERS/Phil Noble/File Photo

April 15, 2019

(Reuters) – Some HBO GO users were facing issues with the streaming service late on Sunday, according to outages monitoring website Downdetector.com, as the first episode of the much-anticipated final season of Game of Thrones was scheduled to air.

The website showed some users in the United States, Mexico and other parts of Latin America were experiencing issues.

“If you’re having difficulty accessing #HBOGO in Latin America, please connect to live chat at http://help.hbogola.com,” HBO GO posted on Twitter https://twitter.com/HBOGOhelp/status/1117585945514127360.

(Reporting by Ismail Shakil in Bengaluru; Editing by Daniel Wallis)

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A giant photograph of a boy by French photographer and artist JR is seen on a wall, during the 13th Havana Biennial, in Havana
A giant photograph of a boy by French photographer and artist JR is seen on a wall, during the 13th Havana Biennial, in Havana, Cuba April 12, 2019. REUTERS/Fernando Medina

April 15, 2019

By Sarah Marsh

HAVANA (Reuters) – Cones of white paper sprout from the seasalt-eroded pillars of one colonial building along Havana’s seafront, elaborately painted curtains cascade from another while out front children play with an installation of multicolored hoses.

Havana’s 13th Biennial kicked off this weekend with works by more than 300 contemporary artists from 52 countries taking over the city’s museums, galleries and open-air spaces, and many more collateral exhibits.

“They turned my home into an artwork,” said Silvia Perez, smiling at the paper sprouting from the colonnade of her home, a piece by Cuban artist Elio Jesús Fonseca. “The artist said it meant peace.”

The transformation of the Malecon seafront boulevard into an open-air, interactive gallery, has become one of the most popular venues of Cuba’s most important arts event.

Along the sidewalk this year are smooth boulders encased in volcanic slabs by Mexican artist Jose Davila, while a swirling light installation by Peruvian artist Grimanesa Amoros protudes from a building.

Cuba’s Communist government, which has heavily promoted the arts since the country’s 1959 leftist revolution, created the Havana Biennial in 1984 to promote artists from the developing world, especially Cuban ones.

This year, 80 Cubans will exhibit their work, including a performance on Monday by Manuel Mendive, considered the Caribbean island’s top living artist.

Still, it also includes a large contingent of European and U.S. artists including Cuban-Americans like Enrique Martínez Celaya and Emilio Perez.

Biennial Director Jorge Alfonso said it had been a challenge to stage the biennial given Cuba’s difficult economic situation – authorities postponed it half a year – but that it had succeeded underscored the importance Cuba placed on culture.

“Not even in the most difficult moments have we ever given up on staging one of these kind of events,” he told Reuters.

“The slogan of this year’s edition, ‘the construction of the possible’, is related to our ideal that a better world is possible.”

Some artists who are critical of the government however have subverted that slogan.

In one piece on the Malecon called “Potemkin Village”, Cuban-born artist Juan Andres Milanes Benito who lives in Norway has propped what appears to be the perfect facade of a building on another that is falling into disrepair.

“It fits a lot with the Cuban government these days and how the system is working – there is a lot of facade,” he said. “Inside it is not so perfect.”

Originally he had wanted to replicate the facade of a renovated government building but authorities would not allow him, he said.

Some Cuban artists feel the Havana Biennial itself is a facade papering over simmering tensions between them and authorities.

Artist Luis Manuel Otero Alcantara, who led a campaign against a controversial new decree on the cultural sector last year, was arrested last Friday after staging a small yet politically charged performance in his neighborhood.

His whereabouts remain unknown, his friends say. Asked by Reuters about the arrest in a news conference, the head of Cuba’s National Council of Visual Arts, Norma Rodriguez, said “as far as I know he is an activist not an artist”.

Cuba considers dissidents to be mercenaries in the pay of the United States trying to subvert the government.

The Havana Biennial runs until May 12.

(Reporting by Sarah Marsh; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

Source: OANN

Characters of Star Wars take part in an event held for the release of the film
FILE PHOTO: Characters of Star Wars take part in an event held for the release of the film “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” in Disneyland Paris in Marne-la-Vallee, France, December 17, 2015. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

April 14, 2019

By Bob Chiarito

CHICAGO (Reuters) – The ninth film in the original “Star Wars” saga will be called “The Rise of Skywalker,” and will feature the return of the evil emperor Palpatine to threaten the young heroine Rey and the Resistance, Walt Disney Co revealed on Friday.

Disney showed fans attending the “Star Wars Celebration” convention in Chicago the first footage from the movie, which will be released in theaters in December and will conclude the story that began in 1977.

A villainous cackle was heard at the end of the trailer, and the actor who played Palpatine in previous films, Ian McDiarmid, walked onstage to loud applause from an audience of roughly 10,000 fans, many waving colorful lightsabers.

As of Friday afternoon, the “Rise of Skywalker” trailer had been viewed online about 11 million times.

Director J.J. Abrams, speaking alongside a handful of cast members, said the movie takes place some time after the events of the 2017 film “The Last Jedi.”

The footage showed a hug between Princess Leia, played by the late Carrie Fisher, and Rey (Daisy Ridley). Fisher died in 2016, but Abrams said that in a “weird miracle,” he was able to piece together unused footage from “Last Jedi” to continue the beloved character’s story.

“Princess Leia lives in this film in a way that’s mind-blowing for me,” he said.

The director disclosed little about the plot, however.

“This movie is about this new generation, what they’ve inherited, the light and the dark, and are they ready?” he told the crowd.

In an interview, Abrams told Reuters that writers met with “Star Wars” creator George Lucas before they started to script the final chapter in one of the world’s most-celebrated movie franchises.

The goal was “to create something that gives a sense of surprise and thrill and heartbreak, and shock and awe, but also feeling like an inevitability,” he said.

The circumstances surrounding Palpatine’s return remain a mystery. The character appeared to die in 1983’s “Return of the Jedi.” In the trailer released on Friday, the voice of Luke (Mark Hamill) says to Rey that “no one’s ever really gone.”

Luke also tells Rey that “we have passed on all the knowledge,” and that the fight against evil is now hers.

Ridley, John Boyega, who plays Resistance fighter Finn and Oscar Isaac, who portrays pilot Poe Dameron, all attended the event.

But the largest ovations came for Kelly Marie Tran, who plays mechanic Rose Tico, and Billy Dee Williams, who returns to the series as con artist Lando Calrissian after last playing the character in 1983.

“Lando never really left me,” Williams said.

Naomi Ackie, who joined as a new character named Jannah, said she could not confirm or deny speculation that Jannah was Calrissian’s daughter.

A new droid, D-O, also rolled onto the stage, joining BB-8 and R2-D2.

Fans were delighted.

“I got chills. I was pretty emotional from the panel leading into it and then when the trailer kicked off I was just so thrilled. I just can’t wait,” said Jon Barnes.

(Reporting by Bob Chiarito and Rollo Ross in Chicago; additional reporting by Lisa Richwine in Los Angeles; editing by David Gregorio, Nick Zieminski and G Crosse)

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FILE PHOTO: The Iron Throne is seen on the set of the television series Game of Thrones in the Titanic Quarter of Belfast, Northern Ireland
FILE PHOTO: The Iron Throne is seen on the set of the television series Game of Thrones in the Titanic Quarter of Belfast, Northern Ireland, Picture taken June 24, 2014. REUTERS/Phil Noble/File Photo

April 12, 2019

MUNICH (Reuters) – If you are a “Games of Thrones” fan and appreciate the element of surprise, stop reading now.

Students at the Technical University of Munich have developed an application to predict which character has the best chance to claim the coveted Iron Throne in the HBO hit medieval fantasy series about warring families.

They have taught the application to scour the web for information about each of the characters, which is then processed by artificial intelligence algorithms to assess their survival chances.

“We scraped the results from different Wiki pages and Wiki-like pages about the books and TV show and we took out data like gender and age of the characters,” said student Christian Dallago. “We put all this together to train the algorithm to tell us when this character is going to die.”

There is a good chance the application will get it right.

Back in 2016, an algorithm created by computer science students at the same university in the southern German city shortly before the start of Season 6 accurately predicted that Jon Snow would resurrect.

If you’re still reading, clearly you’re not a fan of plot twists and turns.

So here you go: AI says that Daenerys Targaryen has the best chance of survival in the final season, which starts on Sunday.

(Reporting by Reuters TV; Writing by Joseph Nasr; Editing by Alison Williams)

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