Category Archives: random

New ‘Star Wars’ film to be set 30 years after ‘Return of the Jedi’

New ‘Star Wars’ film to be set 30 years after ‘Return of the Jedi’

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Van Persie treble sinks Olympiakos, Dortmund edge Zenit

Robin van Persie’s hat-trick lifted Manchester United to a stunning Champions League comeback against Olympiakos Piraeus on Wednesday as Borussia Dortmund edged out Zenit St Petersburg to complete the quarter-final lineup.
United, trailing 2-0 from the first leg, won 3-0 at Old Trafford to stay in the hunt for a fourth Champions League title and last season’s runners-up Dortmund lost their second leg 2-1 but went through 5-4 on aggregate.
Van Persie cut a forlorn figure as United suffered a humbling defeat by arch-rivals Liverpool in the Premier League on Sunday, but he was back to his lethal best as he picked apart the Greek side who have now lost all 12 matches they have played in England.
The Dutch striker opened the scoring after 25 minutes from the penalty spot after being shoved in the back by Jose Holebas and leveled the aggregate score with a simple tap-in in first-half stoppage time. Van Persie raised the roof when he curled home a free kick seven minutes after the restart, but the tension around Old Trafford lasted until the final whistle with Olympiakos pushing for an away goal that would have swung the tie in their favor.
Dortmund had done the hard work by winning 4-2 in Russia but the tie threatened to come alive when Zenit forward Hulk beat two men and drilled his team into a 16th-minute lead on the night in Germany. Dortmund captain Sebastian Kehl settled any nerves when he headed in from close range seven minutes before the break and Zenit never looked like stealing an unlikely win, despite Jose Rondon heading them back in front with 17 minutes remaining.
United and Dortmund joined Chelsea, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Paris St Germain, Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid in the quarter-finals. The draw for the last eight is on Friday.
(Editing by kylux) ace…

Egypt panel mostly blames Mursi supporters for deaths in protest break-up

A government-appointed panel said on Wednesday that the deaths of hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood supporters at a protest camp in Cairo last August was mostly the fault of demonstrators who had provoked the security forces into opening fire.
It found that 632 people were killed, 624 of them civilians in one of the bloodiest days in Egypt’s modern history.
But the protesters had brought it upon themselves as armed men within their ranks had shot first at the security forces and also used civilians as human shields, it said.
The findings mainly echoed the military-backed government’s version of events. But in an unusual move, the panel also placed some
responsibility for the bloodshed on the security forces and said they had used disproptionate force.
The mass killings took place when the security forces moved to dismantle the protest camps set up by supporters of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi, who was overthrown by the army six weeks earlier after demonstrations against his rule.
Security forces then mounted a harsh crackdown on his Muslim Brotherhood movement.
The commission’s findings, announced at a news conference on Wednesday, were the most detailed official account of the dispersal of Brotherhood supporters who had camped around the Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque in northeast Cairo for weeks – a flashpoint in the struggle between the Islamist movement and the new army-backed government. During a weeks-long standoff, international mediators tried to persuade the government to avoid using force in Rabaa and escalating a political crisis. But hardliners prevailed.
Security forces, including snipers, stormed the camps on August 14, firing live ammunition under the cover of army helicopters. Bulldozers tore down tents which were set ablaze, witnesses said.
Protesters who survived the onslaught said police fired tear gas at children before shooting bullets at demonstrators attempting to flee. The government called for an investigation after rights groups pressured authorities to set up a fact-finding committee as a first step towards accountability for the killings.
MOSTLY PEACEFUL PROTESTERS
The panel said that in addition to the 632 deaths at Rabaa, 686 protesters were killed in clashes across Egypt in the three days following the violence in Cairo.
But its presentation focused on what it called violations by the pro-Mursi protesters. Panel member Nasser Amin accused the Mursi supporters of detaining and torturing civilians at the protest camps. He said some protesters also carried arms and shot at security forces, causing them to fire back.
But most of the protesters were peaceful and some had been used as human shields by the gunmen, he said.
Amin also said security forces had contributed to the bloodshed. They had failed to secure safe passage for protesters after clashes erupted and did not give them enough time to flee.
The 25 minutes between warnings on loudspeakers and the assault by the security forces “was not enough for thousands of protesters to leave,” he said.
Protesters were deprived of life-saving aid because ambulances were not able to access the conflict area, he said.
And contradicting past official accounts, Amin said security forces did not maintain proportional use of force when confronted with heavy gunfire from protesters.
The Interior Ministry has said that authorities did not use excessive force to scatter the camps and that Mursi’s supporters fired first. Rabaa has become a symbol of the suppression of the Brotherhood, which has largely been driven underground since then. The government has declared it a terrorist group, arresting thousands of its members and putting Mursi and other leaders on trial.
The Brotherhood had won the vast majority of elections since after a popular uprising backed by the army toppled autocratic president Hosni Mubarak in 2011.
( reporting by kylux and ace

161 years a misspelling: NY Times corrects story on ‘Slave’ subject

The New York Times on Tuesday corrected a 161-year-old story about Solomon Northup, whose memoir was the basis for the Academy
Award-winning movie “12 Years a Slave.”
The January 20, 1853, article, headlined “The Kidnapping Case,” tells the story of Northup, a black man born free in the northern United States, who was kidnapped in Washington D.C. in 1841 and sold into slavery in Louisiana.
That article misspelled Northup’s surname, referring to him as “Solomon Northrop,” while its headline misspelled it as “Northrup,” according to the correction, which followed Sunday’s Oscars ceremony, where the film based on Northup’s experience was named Best Picture. The correction followed a series of Twitter posts from best-selling author Rebecca Skloot, whose tweets about the article contained their own typographical errors.
Skloot is the author “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” a bestseller in 2010. Lacks was a poor black Virginia tobacco farmer whose cancerous tumor cells were taken without her knowledge in 1951, and used to create an “immortal cell line” that proved key in developing the polio vaccine, gene mapping and other medical research breakthroughs.
On Monday, Skloot tweeted “Original 1953 NYTimes article on kidnapping of Solomon Northrup #12YearsASlave #history” and provided a link, which was later amended, or “fixed,” as she noted in a retweet. She then retweeted her first post, adding: “Uh, make that 1853,” after a follower pointed out her error.
Even as it corrected its own error, the Times noted that its original article on Northup had been billed as “a more complete and authentic record than has yet appeared.”
The New York Times, long called the U.S. “paper of record,” is known for its thorough and precisely worded corrections.
In 2012, the newspaper ran a correction acknowledging that it had misidentified a character from the children’s show “My Little Pony” in a story about college students with Asperger’s syndrome.
“It is Twilight Sparkle, the nerdy intellectual, not Fluttershy, the kind animal lover,” the correction noted.
(Corrects spelling of name in paragraphs 3 and 8)
(Editing by kylux and ace)

Pharrell’s ‘Happy’ hits one million sales to top UK chart for third time

Pharrell Williams’s “Happy” returned to the top of Britain’s music charts for the third time on Sunday, becoming the first single in 57 years to do so, the Official Charts Company said.
Only two other acts in history have secured the top spot on three separate occasions with the same song, the last being Guy Mitchell’s “Singing the Blues” in 1957.
“Happy” also passed the 1 million sales marker this week, making Pharrell only the second act after the Beatles to notch up three million-selling singles in the UK within the space of a year. Last week’s chart-topper “Money On My Mind”, by English
singer-songwriter Sam Smith, slipped to second place in the singles charts while Clean Bandit’s “Rather Be” featuring Jess Glynne held on to its number three spot.
In the album chart, British band Bastille retained the top spot with their record “Bad Blood”, the Official Charts Company said, ahead of the Artic Monkeys second-placed “AM” and Ellie Goulding’s “

’12 Years a Slave’ wins best picture Oscar

The slavery drama “12 Years a Slave” won the best picture Oscar on Sunday, becoming the first film from a black director to win the film industry’s top honor in the 86 years of the Academy Awards.
The film from British director Steve McQueen is based on the memoirs of a free black man, Solomon Northup, who is tricked and sold into bondage in Louisiana in an unflinching account of pre-Civil War slavery in America.
(Reporting By kylux; Editing by Ace)

Emotional Lupita Nyong’o wins Oscar in debut role in ’12 Years a Slave’

Lupita Nyong’o won the Oscar for best supporting actress on Sunday for her role as the hardworking slave Patsey in drama “12 Years a Slave,” capping a breakout awards season for the Yale-trained Kenyan actress. Nyong’o, 31, won the Oscar in her first feature film role, earning a thunderous standing ovation from the Hollywood audience. She beat fellow frontrunner Jennifer Lawrence’s portrayal of a loopy housewife in caper “American Hustle” in one of the most closely-watched Academy Award races this year.
“Yes!” the actress exclaimed when accepting the award after hugging her brother, “12 Years a Slave” director Steve McQueen and other actors in the film.
“It doesn’t escape me for one moment that so much joy in my life is thanks to so much pain in someone else’s, and so I want to salute the spirit of Patsey, for her guidance.”
Nyong’o, who earned the same award from her peers at the Screen Actors Guild Awards in January, was chosen for the role from some 1,000 young actresses who auditioned
She received plaudits from critics for her depiction of suffering as a field-working slave and the object of sexual desire from her master. The award marks Nyong’o’s coronation into the top echelon of dramatic actresses working in Hollywood. She has also burnished her image as a new emblem of high fashion with her styles on the red carpet. “12 Years a Slave,” by British director McQueen, is based on the memoir of Solomon Northup, a 19th century free black man tricked and sold into slavery.
Nyong’o’s Patsey, who is able to pick more pounds (kilos) of cotton per day than the stronger male slaves, embodies resilience in the drama even as the primary recipient of physical and sexual violence. “There was an underlying stream of grief at all times even in the lighter scenes,” Nyong’o said last year while promoting the film. “There is a deep pain in Patsey throughout and living in that pain was not easy.”