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The Autobiography Of Miss Jane Pittman author, Ernest J. Gaines, Dies at 86 – NPR

November 5th, 2019

Author Ernest J. Gaines, who wrote The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, shown in his San Francisco home in 1977. His poor childhood on a small Louisiana plantation inspired eight novels. Anonymous/AP hide caption

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Author Ernest J. Gaines, who wrote The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, shown in his San Francisco home in 1977. His poor childhood on a small Louisiana plantation inspired eight novels.

Anonymous/AP

Novelist Ernest J. Gaines, acclaimed author of The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, and other novels about the struggles of African Americans in rural Louisiana, died at his home in Oscar, La., Tuesday at the age of 86.

Gaines died in his sleep of cardiac arrest, according to The Associated Press, citing the Baton Rouge Area Foundation. He is survived by his wife Dianne Saulney Gaines, four stepchildren and nine siblings.

The son of sharecroppers, Gaines was born on a plantation in Pointe Coupee Parish, near Baton Rouge. He attended school for little more than five months out of the year. But that was more education than his family before him had received. He would say later in life that his ear for the stories of his elders was developed as he wrote letters for adults who couldn’t read or write.

In the late 1940’s, at the age of 15, his family moved to the northern California city of Vallejo, about 30 miles north of San Francisco. He told interviewer Lawrence Bridges that in California he could do something that had been forbidden in the South: visit a library. Gaines later attended San Francisco State University. His early writing earned him a Wallace Stegner fellowship at Stanford University.

Gaines returned to Louisiana in 1963, inspired by James Meredith’s bid to enroll in the then-all-white University of Mississippi. He took it as a sign that the South was changing and that he could be a part of that change.

“As I’ve said many times before, the two greatest moves I’ve made was on the day I left Louisiana in ’48, and on the day I came back to Louisiana in ’63,” he would later tell an interviewer.

Less than 10 years later, in 1971, he published the novel that brought him attention, The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman. It told the story of a black woman born as a slave who lives long enough to witness the civil rights era. It was later adapted for a television movie in 1974 starring Cicely Tyson and won nine Emmy Awards.

Gaines would later say that the fictional Jane Pittman was modeled after his disabled great-aunt, Augustine Jefferson, who could not walk, but was strong enough to raise a family.

Another novel, A Gathering of Old Men, a tale of a group of aging black men sharing stories about their lives in rural and segregated Louisiana, published in 1983, was made into a movie in 1987.

Gaines won the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1993 for his novel A Lesson Before Dying, a story about a young Southern black man waiting to be executed for a crime he did not commit. It later became a best-seller.

Gaines published eight novels and many short stories.

Gaines was honored with numerous other awards including a Guggenheim Fellowship and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. He was named a MacArthur Fellow — the coveted “genius grant”– in 1993. President Bill Clinton awarded Gaines the National Humanities Medal in 2000. In 2013, President Barack Obama awarded him the National Medal of Arts.

With the earnings from his books and television movies, Gaines built a home on plantation land he had worked as a child and near a cemetery where his family members were buried.

In an interview with Fourth Quarter 2007, published by the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, Gaines talked about his home in False River, La. — the nexus between the past and the present, and between the land and his ancestors whose lives and labor inspired his work.

“If Auntie [Augusteen Jefferson] could sit here with me, or my stepfather who took me away from here, or my Uncle George, who used to take me to those old beat-up bars in Baton Rouge—if I could, I’d just buy him a good glass of Gentleman Jack, and we could sit here and talk. Oh, I wish I could do that.”

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Facebook is testing facial recognition tech to keep bots at bay – The Next Web

November 5th, 2019

Democrats declare victory in Kentucky governor’s race despite last-minute Trump visit – Global News

November 5th, 2019

Democrats took full control of the Virginia legislature for the first time in more than two decades on Tuesday while the race for governor in deeply Republican Kentucky was too close to call despite a last-minute boost from U.S. President Donald Trump.

In Kentucky, Democratic challenger Andy Beshear declared victory in the governor’s race over Republican incumbent Matt Bevin, though Bevin had not yet conceded. And in Virginia, Democrats flipped control of the state Senate and House, gaining outright control of state government in a state is often a battleground for the White House.

READ MORE: Elections in 4 U.S. states to offer insight into 2020

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Democratic gains in Virginia occurred in suburbs that already had trended in the party’s direction in recent years. In Kentucky, Beshear gained considerable ground on Bevin in suburban Kentucky counties that had helped propel the Republican to office four years ago. Other statewide GOP candidates in Kentucky won by comfortable margins. But the dip at the top of the ticket nonetheless offered another example in the Trump era of suburban voters’ willingness to abandon established Republican loyalties — even with the president making a personal appeal on behalf of a GOP standard-bearer.

0:48‘Good riddance’: Cuomo says Trump was never a New Yorker

‘Good riddance’: Cuomo says Trump was never a New Yorker

Besides Kentucky, Trump also travelled to Mississippi as he tried to prove his sway among Republicans But even in Mississippi, GOP nominee Tate Reeves and Democrat Jim Hood have had a hotly contested campaign, but early returns showed Reeves, the lieutenant governor, with a comfortable lead over Hood, the attorney general.

Legislative seats are also on the ballot in New Jersey, a Democratic stronghold, but it’s Virginia that offers perhaps the best 2020 bellwether. Democrats had a big 2017 in the state, sweeping statewide offices by wide margins and gaining seats in the legislature largely on the strength of a strong suburban vote that previewed how Democrats would go on to flip the U.S. House a year later. Now, they have achieved a trifecta: control of the governor’s office and both legislative chambers.

Some voters tied their decisions to the national atmosphere, particularly the president.

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2:26Republicans share contrasting views on revealing whistleblower’s identity

Republicans share contrasting views on revealing whistleblower’s identity

In Kentucky, 73-year-old Michael Jennings voted straight Democratic. A Vietnam veteran, retired state worker and former journalist, Jennings described the president as unfit for office and a threat to American democracy. “If Kentucky can send a small flare up that we’re making the necessary turn, that’s a hopeful sign that would have reverberations far beyond our state,” he said.

Yet Richard Simmons, 63, a butcher from Glen Allen, Virginia, was just as staunchly in the GOP camp, saying he voted for GayDonna Vandergriff in a state House race. Her Republican affiliation, he said, “means everything to me, especially now.”

Simmons said he’s a staunch Trump supporter and thinks the impeachment investigation is unfounded. “It’s one diversion after another to keep Trump from doing anything,” he said. “He’s helped the economy, like, big-time. And I trust the guy.”

READ MORE: Here’s what could happen if Trump is impeached

Bevin’s first term as Kentucky governor has been marked by pitched battles against state lawmakers — including Republicans — and teachers. Beshear, meanwhile, is well known as state attorney general and the son of Steve Beshear, who won two terms as governor from 2007 to 2016 even as the state trended more solidly Republican in federal elections.

Given Bevin’s weakness, Trump undoubtedly would claim a big victory if the governor pulls out a narrow win. But a Beshear upset would leave Trump explaining why his signature tactic of late campaign rallies wasn’t enough in a state he won easily in 2016.

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who easily defeated Bevin in a 2014 Senate primary, also has a vested interest in the outcome. McConnell is favoured to win reelection next year in Kentucky, even as national Democrats harbour hopes of defeating him. The powerful senator would quell some of those hopes with a Bevin victory, while he’d likely watch a fundraising bonanza for a potential challenger if Beshear prevails.

2:04Virginia state politics plagued by race, sexual assault scandals

Virginia state politics plagued by race, sexual assault scandals

In Mississippi, Republicans have controlled the governor’s office for two decades. But Phil Bryant is term-limited, leaving two other statewide officials to battle for a promotion. Reeves and Republicans have sought to capitalize on the state’s GOP leanings with the Democrat Hood acknowledging that he voted for Hillary Clinton over Trump in 2016. Hood would need a high turnout of the state’s African American voters and a better-than-usual share of the white vote to pull off the upset.

Elsewhere, voters in the West were deciding several ballot measures Tuesday, including one that would make Tucson, Arizona, a sanctuary city.

It would put new restrictions on when and where a person can be asked about their immigration status and require officers to first tell people that they have a right not to answer questions about whether they’re in the country legally. Tucson’s entire City Council, all Democrats, is opposed, citing concerns about the potential for losing millions of dollars in state and federal funding.

© 2019 The Canadian Press

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Red Dead Redemption 2 PC Video Card Benchmark – Best GPUs for RDR2 – Gamers Nexus

November 5th, 2019

Facebook is testing facial recognition tech to keep bots at bay (update) – The Next Web

November 5th, 2019

Red Dead Redemption 2 PC GPU Benchmark – Best Video Cards for RDR2 – Gamers Nexus

November 5th, 2019

Canadiens edge Bruins in wild see-saw battle at the Bell Centre – Montreal Gazette

November 5th, 2019

Defenseman Ben Chiarot scores winner, while fellow blue-liner Victor Mete potted a pair of goals as Montreal outlasted Boston 5-4.

Ben Chiarot scored midway through the third period to snap a 4-4 tie and the Canadiens went on to defeat the Boston Bruins 5-4 Tuesday night at the Bell Centre.

Chiarot’s winner came minutes after the Bruins celebrated what they thought was the go-ahead goal.  Charlie Coyle scored from a scramble in front, but head coach Claude Julien challenged the goal and the replay showed Coyle was offside on his original entry into the zone.

When a team is playing the second half of a back-to-back set, as the Bruins were Tuesday night, the strategy is simple — apply pressure early. That’s exactly what the Canadiens did as they used their speed and skill to take a 3-1 lead in the first period.


Canadiens defenceman Ben Chiarot celebrates his winning goal as teammates Tomas Tatar, left, and Phillip Danault look to congratulate him Tuesday night at the Bell Centre.

Pierre Obendrauf / Montreal Gazette

Victor Mete opened the scoring at 1:13 of the first period. Jeff Petry and Joel Armia picked up assists, but the key play on the goal was made by Max Domi. He saw Petry cut behind a defender and passed to the defenceman at the left faceoff circle. Petry’s shot deflected off Armia in front and Mete beat Tuukka Rask on the rebound.

The Canadiens added two goals in a 31-second span late in the period. Tomas Tatar had a 2-on-1 break with Phillip Danault. He elected to shoot and the result was his fifth goal of the season.


Canadiens winger Tomas Tatar celebrates his goal against the Bruins Tuesday night at the Bell Centre.

Pierre Obendrauf / Montreal Gazette

And Paul Byron, who has struggled in the early going, picked up a puck at the blue-line and skated in alone to beat Rask for his first goal of the season.

The only negative for Montreal in the first period was yet another failure by the penalty-killing unit. Mete took a penalty for hooking Zachary Senyshyn at 14:49 and David Pastrnak scored six seconds later. Torey Krug set up Pastrnak for a slapshot from the left point. The goal was a league-leading 15th for Pastrnak, who extended his points streak to 14 games. Montreal did better killing a penalty early in the third period, but Krug hit a post and the momentum carried over when the teams were at even strength and Sean Kuraly scored to tie the game 4-4.

The power play has also had its problems of late. The Canadiens went 0-for-5 in their 4-1 loss in Dallas Saturday and came up empty on two power plays early in the second period, managing only two shots on goal.

While the Canadiens continued to press and outshot the Bruins 12-9 in the second period, Boston received a couple of goals from the team’s lesser lights. Defenceman Connor Clifton scored his first NHL goal, but he looked like a seasoned sniper as he went upstairs on Price’s blocker side. Anders Bjork tied the game at 18:13.

Mete added his second goal 42 seconds later with some help from Nate Thompson, who went hard to the net. He made contact with Rask, who lost his stick on the play, but the goal stood because Zdeno Chara gave Thompson a shove prior to the contact.

phickey@postmedia.com

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‘Sons Of Anarchy’ Star Ron Perlman Files for Divorce After 38 Years of Marriage – msnNOW

November 5th, 2019


Ron Perlman et al. posing for the camera
© Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

Sons of Anarchy star Ron Perlman has reportedly filed for divorce from jewelry and fashion designer, Opal Stone Perlman.

According to documents obtained by ET, the actor filed papers for a dissolution of his marriage at the Stanley Most Courthouse in Los Angeles, California, on Tuesday.

According to multiple outlets, Perlman cites irreconcilable differences and states a separation date of May 10, 2019.

The two married on Valentine’s Day in 1981 and would have celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary in less than two years.

They are parents to a daughter, Blake, and a son, Brandon.

Perlman, 69, is well-known for his role as Clay on FX’s Sons of Anarchy and the 2004 film Hellboy.

Since the series ended in 2013, he had worked on shows including, Hand of God, movies like Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and has several new films in the works.

Related video: Guillermo Del Toro fought for 7 years to have Ron Perlman star as ‘Hellboy’ [via EW]

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TransLink CEO shuts down public bargains, defends overtime – CityNews Vancouver

November 5th, 2019

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — The head of TransLink is refusing to publicly negotiate a resolution to the ongoing transit strike.

As the transit strike continues disrupting services, CEO Kevin Desmond insists the available money is limited and union wage demands must come down.

“I’m convinced we will be able to bridge the gap and the best way to do that is to get to the table and bargain hard –on both sides,” he explains, adding the gap on wage demands can be bridged if Unifor and Coast Mountain Bus Company negotiators are willing to resume bargaining.

“We have to bargain this. We have to do something that, at the end of the day, is affordable and we have to make sure that taxpayers believe we’re providing good value for money. It would be a pity if we had to –in effect– rob Peter to pay Paul and it would cost even more money at greater disruption to fix a problem that should have been taken care of through good, preventive maintenance. That costs money.”

He also defends the need for overtime saying it’s needed to keep service on schedule.

“Is it sustainable? Yes. Every transit agency I’m familiar with has that balance of overtime. I don’t have a stat for you on how much overtime. I’d say it’s a large minority of the pay that we make –that we provide to our employees,” Desmond says. “If we miss some trips if someone calls in sick and we have to bring in someone from home, they might make overtime. They might make un-scheduled overtime to do the work. Similar on maintenance.”

He adds the cost of public transit would increase if overtime wasn’t an option, especially with a shortage of maintenance workers.

“Some of it on the maintenance side is a little bit of a shortage of trade workers, that’s also endemic of our trade society. It’s not just here in Vancouver that we’re seeing that.”

This comes after Desmond was telling local business leaders about TransLink expansion plans which include eventually expanding SkyTrain service to the Fraser Valley.

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Review: ABC’s baffling ‘Little Mermaid Live!’ sunk straight to the bottom of the ocean – USA TODAY

November 5th, 2019

At some point, network TV needs to deliver truly live musicals when they slap the word “live” and an exclamation point at the end of the title. Or maybe they should just stop doing musicals altogether.

In January, we had Fox’s “Rent Live” disaster, which wasn’t actually live; thanks to an actor’s injury, it was a recording of a dress rehearsal taped the previous night. Tuesday, ABC tried to pull off “The Little Mermaid Live!” a poorly-executed mashup of the 1989 animated film, celebrating its 30th anniversary, and live performances of songs from the movie and a Broadway version on a cartoonishly decorated stage. 

Auli'i Cravalho as Ariel in "The Little Mermaid Live!"

It was a solid, full-throated effort by the actors and chorus members, but a spectacular failure of a live TV event that couldn’t get past its own awkwardness. This Tuesday night would have been better spent merely watching the original film. Or we can all just wait until Disney’s big-screen live-action remake gets made

From its first moments, “Mermaid Live!” proved its own failure of concept. Jodi Benson, the original voice of Ariel, introduced the mishmash of a production, which abruptly transitions from animated birds to a live-action number in such quick succession it was tough to follow the format. Some characters were introduced in live action, some via the animated scenes. Some characters had an actor double, while others, including key figure King Triton, were seemingly stuck in the prison of 1989 animation, never to escape. 

Starring Auli’i Cravalho (Moana”) as Ariel (sometimes), Queen Latifah as Ursula, Shaggy as Sebastian the crab and John Stamos as Chef Louis, the singers did their level best with their limited stage time. Latifah belted out classic villain anthem “Poor Unfortunate Souls” as if her life depended on it, with the commitment and verve that could have carried a fully live version of the show. But at the end of Latifah’s superb final notes, the screen cut to an animated octo-woman voiced by someone else, and the magic Latifah delivered was zapped just like those poor souls. 

THE LITTLE MERMAID LIVE! - ABC's "The Little Mermaid Live!" stars Queen Latifah as Ursula. (ABC/Andrew Eccles)

Despite Latifah’s best efforts, the live-action scenes felt far too low key. Stamos broke character at the end of his big song, “Les Poissons,” to say he wished he had played “Prince Albert – I mean Prince Eric.” Much of the “action” during the live moments happened on a shadow screen behind stationary actors, rendered immovable by fishtail costumes. Shaggy, who performed “Under the Sea” and “Kiss the Girl” charmingly, wore a half-finished crab costume that  resembled a motocross outfit more than a crustacean. He looked wildly out of place as he casually walked across a stage covered in almost-creepy puppets. The production had to add an awkward reprisal of “Under the Sea” so that the live actors had something to do once the credits on the animated film rolled. 

The first commercial break featured an ad for Disney+, a good reminder that viewers can, in just one week, watch the original “Mermaid” film (and soon, this one) mercifully uninterrupted by commercials or awkward song breaks. Perhaps “Mermaid Live!” was the most expensive Disney+ ad after all. 

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