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February 18, 2013

Country superstar Mindy McCready commits suicide

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Monday, February 18, 2013

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37-year-old country music star Mindy McCready shot herself at her residence in Heber Springs, Arkansas last Sunday, as the result of an apparent suicide. The singer, whose real name is Melinda Gayle McCready topped the country music charts in 1996, with her hit song, “Guys Do It All the Time”. In more recent years she struggled with many personal issues.

Reports indicate Ms. McCready first shot her dog that had previously located the bullet that took the life of her boyfriend David Wilson; she then proceeded to turn the gun on herself. McReady’s body was found on the same porch where her Wilson had died on February 13, 2013. McReady leaves behind two young children, 6-year-old son, Zander and 9month-old, Zayne.

At the time of her death, McReady had only recently been discharged from a rehab facility after spending two days there as an inpatient due to a court order. But years of struggling with drugs and alcohol abuse, three suicide attempts, and trouble with the law, came to an end on Sunday tragically when Ms. McCready apparently decided to take her life.



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February 13, 2013

\’Banana Joe\’ wins Westminster

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

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Banana Joe V Tani Kazari, a five-year-old Affenpinscher, won last night’s Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

Joe is the first Affenpinscher to win Westminster’s Best in Show. The small black dog beat out six other dogs that had won in their respective contest groups — Adam, a Smooth Fox Terrier; Oakley, a German Wirehaired Pointer; Jewel, an American Foxhound; Matisse, a Portuguese Water Dog; Honor, a Bichon Frisé, and crowd favorite Swagger, an Old English Sheepdog — to win the title.

Joe will be turning six next month and is retiring from his career as a show dog. Today, he is to fly back to the country of his birth, The Netherlands.



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Banana Joe wins Westminister

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

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Banana Joe V Tani Kazari, a five-year-old Affenpinscher, won last night’s Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

Joe is the first Affenpinscher to win Westminster’s Best in Show. The small black dog beat out six other dogs that had won in their respective contest groups — Adam, a Smooth Fox Terrier; Oakley, a German Wirehaired Pointer; Jewel, an American Foxhound; Matisse, a Portuguese Water Dog; Honor, a Bichon Frisé, and crowd favorite Swagger, an Old English Sheepdog — to win the title.

Joe will be turning six next month and is retiring from his career as a show dog. Today, he and his owner Mieke Cooijmans are flying back to the country of his birth, The Netherlands.



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July 29, 2012

Artur Balder awarded with the International Spanish-American Prize 2012

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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Artur Balder directing Little Spain, 2012.
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Writer and filmmaker Artur Balder was given the Spanish–American International Award 2012 by the Spanish Benevolent Society of New York. The Honorary Mention was awarded to the British researcher and expert on Galician literature Dr. Kirsty Hooper, from Liverpool University.

The award was created to promote the study of Spanish emigration to the United States. Nonprofit organization Spanish Benevolent Society of New York created these awards to promote the work of those contributing to the consolidation of the Spanish–American identity in the United States. This year the award included a prize of $65,000(US) for the winner.

The Spanish–American International Award is to be given to outstanding artists, researchers, academics and writers who have made a contribution in their particular field of study, with international recognition, and where expectation is that their greatest achievement is yet to come.

Author of several historical fiction books — including The Stone of the Monarch, Chronicles of Widukind, Gospel of the Sword, and a biography on Germanic hero Arminius, with most translated into several languages — Artur Balder was recognized by the organization with the prize, recognizing him as “one of the most important Spanish writers of his generation”. Artur Balder directed the documentary Little Spain, that recovered the historical memory of the Spanish district of Manhattan, and he led the investigation by which the philanthropic Spanish Benevolent Society of New York recovered a large photographic archive which testifies the presence and history of Spanish emigrants in western Chealsea from the late ninteenth Century to the late 60s in the twentieth century.

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June 9, 2011

British voice artist Roy Skelton dies at age 79

British voice artist Roy Skelton dies at age 79

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Thursday, June 9, 2011

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Roy Skelton, a voice artist and actor from the United Kingdom, has died at the age of 79. Skelton was known for providing the voices of George and Zippy in the ITV children’s television programme Rainbow. He voiced the two characters from around 1970 until 1992, when the programme’s run concluded. Skelton also voiced the Daleks in the BBC television series Doctor Who between 1967 and 1988.

Geoffrey Hayes, a presenter of Rainbow, described Skelton as an actor who “really brought Zippy and George to life through his voice” and was “fabulous at improvising if something went wrong” during the programme. Speaking to the BBC, Hayes noted: “The most wonderful thing was if Zippy and George were having an argument between themselves, it sounded like he’d double-tracked it as they seemed to be talking over each other. It was a wonderful technique and I don’t know how he did it. Although he was known for Zippy and George he was actually a fabulous actor with a great singing voice and a wonderful raconteur – he used to tell us some wonderful stories.”

Roy Skelton managed to achieve writing approximately one hundred episodes of Rainbow. As well as the Daleks, Skelton used his voice to assume the roles of Cybermen and the Krotons within Doctor Who. However, despite the prominence of the characters and their voices, Skelton once said that he could walk down the street without being identified by others. “People don’t say, ‘There’s Zippy,’ or ask me to say, ‘Exterminate!’ I sometimes wish they did,” said Skelton.

Hilary Skelton, the wife of Roy, stated: “Roy had a great sense of humour. He wrote Naughty Rainbow for a competition. We still have the original script.” This piece of writing was of a similar format to the original programme, only with numerous euphemisms used for comic effect. The sketch has achieved popularity within society. Hilary also said that her husband “loved going to work every day. His first love had been theatre but he brought theatre to Rainbow.”

According to Hilary, Roy would have wanted to have a “green funeral,” during which his body would be buried in a cardboard coffin. He also would have wanted people to be able to write on the coffin, Hilary noted.



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June 5, 2011

French broadcasters barred from saying \”Facebook\” or \”Twitter\” on air

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French broadcasters barred from saying “Facebook” or “Twitter” on air

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Sunday, June 5, 2011

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The French institution of regulation of broadcasting media has recently prohibited the use of the words “Facebook” and “Twitter” on television or radio broadcasts; except where these social networks are a central part of a news report.

The regulation, issued by the Conseil supérieur de l’audiovisuel (CSA), cites a 1992 statute governing the relationship between journalists and advertising, sponsorship, and “teleshopping”. Mentioning the words “Facebook” or “Twitter” on air, in the eyes of the CSA, constitutes “clandestine advertising”. CSA spokesperson Christine Kelly explained her organization’s desire to set a level playing field when it comes to social networking: “Why give preference to Facebook, which is worth billions of dollars, when there are many other social networks that are struggling for recognition,” she said. “This would be a distortion of competition. If we allow Facebook and Twitter to be cited on air, it’s opening a Pandora’s Box — other social networks will complain to us saying, ‘why not us?'”

Broadcasters now may not tell their listeners to “find us on Facebook”, but rather “find us on social networks”. However, they would still be allowed to name the social networking sites when either is involved in a news story.

Business Insider contributor Matthew Fraser sees this action as a form of animosity towards US culture: “Facebook and Twitter are, of course, American social networks. In France, they are regarded — at least implicitly — as symbols of Anglo-Saxon global dominance — along with Apple, MTV, McDonald’s, Hollywood, Disneyland, and other cultural juggernauts. That there is a deeply-rooted animosity in the French psyche towards Anglo-Saxon cultural domination cannot be disputed; indeed, it has been documented and analysed for decades. Sometimes this cultural resentment finds expression in French regulations and laws, frequently described, and often denounced, by foreigners as protectionism.”

CNET‘s Chris Matyszczyk, on the other hand, suspects that Frenchmen will hardly miss the explicit references to social networks tacked onto the end of broadcasts. “I am confident that not one single French citizen will miss the now standard cliche at the end of each broadcast entreating every viewer to please keep in contact with the news station on one or other of the American social networks.”



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January 29, 2011

Ipswich, England serial murders to be adapted into ‘musical’

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Saturday, January 29, 2011

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The Ipswich serial murders, in which five female prostitutes were killed in Ipswich, Suffolk, England, are to be turned into a show entitled London Road. The “documentary musical” is expected to debut in the Royal National Theatre in London this April.

The concept has been criticised. When ITN conducted some vox populi interviews, members of the public reacted negatively: “[A]lmost makes it seem a bit light-hearted, doesn’t it? It takes the impact out of it,” one woman said. One man said that it would “bring back memories to [the families of the victims] and that’s not right.” Another woman remarked: “It’s not a musical, you know, it’s a tragedy for the families it happened to.”

Cquote1.svg It’s not a musical, you know, it’s a tragedy for the families it happened to. Cquote2.svg

—Female member of the public

The Reverend Andrew Dotchin, who knew victim Tania Nicol, advised: “It’s holy ground. Take your shoes off. Walk carefully. Remember you’re dealing not so much with an event in the news but with something that in a real sense that is still alive, still affecting lives. It has a great potential to bring healing but if you’re not careful, it can also bring harm.”

In their defence, a National Theatre spokeswoman made a statement, saying “London Road has been created from edited interviews recorded with people from Ipswich and is a serious look at the effect on the community of this tragic event, rather than at the murders or victims themselves; and at how the community was able to pull together to create something positive out of the tragedy.

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We’re not going to call it a musical in future because we recognise it gives a misleading impression; the music will do something very different by reflecting the voices of the interviewees. We realise how sensitive a subject this is and hope that, when people come to see it, they will see that the piece doesn’t seek to exploit or sensationalise but to shed light on a side of the story that hasn’t previously been told.”

The name London Road is a reference to the name of the street where Steve Wright lived. Wright was was jailed in February 2008 for the murders of Tania Nicol, Gemma Adams, Anneli Alderton, Annette Nicholls and Paula Clennell – all of whom were female prostitutes that lived in the Ipswich region. Their naked bodies were discovered close to Ipswich in December 2006.

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January 4, 2011

UK actor Peter Postlethwaite dies aged 64

UK actor Peter Postlethwaite dies aged 64

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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Peter Postlethwaite
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The man that Steven Spielberg once called “possibly the best actor in the world”, has died. Peter Postlethwaite (OBE), a resident of England who worked as an actor for over 40 years, died of testicular cancer in Shropshire at the age of 64, according to his friend Andrew Richardson.

Postlethwaite, born in Warrington in 1946, was most famous for his starring role in such films as Brassed Off, The Usual Suspects and, more recently, Inception. He was also known to be a stage performer. In 1993, he was nominated for an Oscar for best supporting actor.

He is survived by wife Jacqui and children Will and Lily – aged 21 and 14, respectively.


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September 27, 2010

Titanic actress Gloria Stuart dies at age 100

Titanic actress Gloria Stuart dies at age 100

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Monday, September 27, 2010

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Gloria Stuart in the 1934 comedy-drama film Here Comes the Navy.

Gloria Stuart, US Academy Award nominated film actress, has died at the age of 100. Stuart died at her home in West Los Angeles, and her death was announced by her daughter, Sylvia Thompson. Stuart had been suffering from lung cancer for five years before her death.

She appeared in films such as The Invisible Man (1933) Here Comes the Navy (1934), and Titanic (1997).

Stuart started her career in the 1930s as one of Hollywood‘s leading ladies. Between 1932 and 1939, Stuart appeared in 42 films. During the prime of her career, Stuart appeared with actresses such as Shirley Temple, Warner Baxter, and Dick Powell. She officially retired in 1946, after only making four films during the 1940s.

Despite her retirement, Stuart appeared in James Cameron‘s 1997 adaptation of Titanic, where she was cast as Old Rose, a survivor of the disaster and narrator of the film. Stuart was then nominated for an Academy Award, becoming the oldest ever person to be nominated, at the age of 87.

After her appearance she found new fame, being given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2000, and People Magazine listed her as one of the 50 Most Beautiful People in the World.



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September 21, 2010

The King’s Speech wins People’s Choice Award at 2010 Toronto Film Festival

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The King’s Speech, a historical drama film starring Colin Firth, won the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival‘s People’s Choice Award. The film was directed by Tom Hooper, and is to be released officially on November 26, according to the Internet Movie Database.

“I am so proud that people responded to this film in a positive way,” said Hooper, who was not in Toronto at the time of the ceremony. The film “tells the story of the man who became King [of England] George VI,” sources say. “So many people were talking about that film during the festival,” said Piers Handling, director of the film festival.

Previous winners of the award include La vita è bella (1997), Wo hu cang long (2000) and Slumdog Millionaire (2008).

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