R. Kelly’s Alleged Sex Slaves Will Support Him at Bond Hearing – TMZ

July 15th, 2019

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Woman infected with flesh-eating bacteria at Virginia beach – WJW FOX 8 News Cleveland

July 15th, 2019
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NORFOLK, Va. – Amanda Edwards can laugh today thinking back on her potentially fatal health scare after spending just ten minutes in the water at a Virginia beach.

“I was just like, ‘Oh my goodness… my leg is gonna fall off,'” Edwards chuckled. “That’s the only thing I could keep thinking.”

She told WTKR she contracted a flesh-eating staph infection during a day of fun at Norfolk’s Ocean View Beach. She said the infection spread quickly.

“The way that it was spreading, it was going up my leg,” Edwards explained.

It happened last week.

“I was like, ‘It’s really hot. Let’s go to the beach.’ So, we went outside to the beach. I was only in the water for maybe like 10 minutes,” she explained.

The next day, the fun was over.

“I did not feel good. I noticed this thing that came on my leg. I ignored it for a couple days, and it just started getting bigger and bigger and bigger to the point where I couldn’t walk anymore,” she explained.

She said doctors treated the infection and said the bacteria possibly got into her skin through an open cut.

“They had to cut me open, drain it out and stuff it with some gauze. I had to keep it covered for days,” Edwards, who was at the beach with friends, said.

This was around the time there was a swimming advisory.

“Please check the news and make sure there is not an advisory out because there was not signs out there,” Edwards mentioned.

The Norfolk Health Department told us germs can get into the water in different ways, like washing off of swimmers’ bodies or when people relieve themselves in the water.

Health officials urge swimmers to avoid swallowing water and taking a dip after a heavy rainfall.  Don’t swim if you are ill or have a weakened immune system and swim away from fishing piers, pipes, drains and water flowing from storm drains onto a beach.

As for Edwards, she said she’s taking a break from splashing around for the rest of the summer.

“Every time I go into the water, I’m gonna think about that bad experience.”

Edwards has to continue taking antibiotics for the next two weeks.

Once you get out of the water, health officials say you should shower with soap.

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Two teens found after getting lost in Algonquin Park for four nights – The Globe and Mail

July 15th, 2019

Ms. Malek and Ms. Mirota are Girl Scouts with the Polish Scouting Association in Canada.

OPP photo

Two missing teens, who spent four nights in the woods alone after they were separated from their hiking group in Algonquin Park, have been found after an extensive search.

Marta Malek and Maya Mirota, both 16 and both from Kitchener, Ont., were missing since Thursday evening, when they were last seen by other hikers in the vast park in southeastern Ontario. An Ontario Provincial Police canine unit found them just before noon Monday, two kilometres off the trail.

“We are just so extremely happy that they were found,” said Agata Majerski, a member of Kitchener’s Polish community who started a Facebook page to spread the news of the young women’s disappearance.

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A CBC camera captured the teens smiling and waving Monday afternoon after they were found.

Ms. Malek and Ms. Mirota are Girl Scouts with the Polish Scouting Association in Canada. On July 7, they left for a six-day hike through Algonquin Park; adults were leading the group. The association expressed happiness they were found and said the teens had been well-prepared for the hike.

“By age 15 or 16, most [Scouts] have gained enough experience to venture out on wilderness trekking in groups, carrying gear and supplies for a whole week,” the association said in a statement. “It’s the culmination of several years of incremental preparation.”

On Thursday, the group split up to take different trails through the park but the two teens did not show up at their rendezvous point the next day, according to OPP spokesperson Bill Dickson.

That kicked off a massive search-and-rescue effort. By Saturday morning, dozens of police officers and trained volunteers were canvassing the rugged terrain.

An OPP helicopter and a plane provided by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry combed the forest from above, but the dense canopy made it hard to see the ground.

All search-and-rescue personnel were equipped with GPS locators so they wouldn’t end up lost themselves. Although many expressed interest in helping to look for the teens, the OPP discouraged volunteers from showing up lest they become lost in the thick brush.

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Rescuers were optimistic they would find the girls safely because Ms. Malek and Ms. Mirota were relatively experienced hikers and had supplies, including a tent, spare clothes and food and water. The OPP said the girls did everything they were supposed to do once they realized they were lost: stayed put, rationed food and water and waited for rescue.

The type of hike the girls were on is normally a rewarding experience, according to Michal Sokolski, chief commissioner of the Polish Boy Scouts, who has been on many similar treks with the organization. He commended the girls for using their training.

“They kept their wits about them and managed to use the training they’ve received and the preparations that they made in order to lead to, thankfully, a great result,” he said.

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Canadian student detained for alleged drug offences, China says – The Globe and Mail

July 15th, 2019

The Chinese government says a Canadian citizen it recently detained is being held for alleged drug offences.

It’s the first time Beijing has discussed details of the case publicly.

Relations between Ottawa and Beijing have been steadily worsening since last December when Canada arrested a senior executive from China’s flagship Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. on an extradition request from the United States. The Americans allege that Meng Wanzhou, the company’s chief financial officer, helped Huawei violate economic sanctions against Iran.

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Subsequently, China arrested two Canadians, including a former diplomat. The men, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, have since been charged with espionage.

The Canadian arrested last week in the eastern Chinese city of Yantai has not been identified by name.

On Monday, however, China’s foreign ministry offered more information about the case.

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang said police authorities in Shandong province are investigating a “drug case involving foreign students” and that “one of them is a Canadian citizen.” The city of Yantai is in Shandong province.

“The case is now under investigation. The public security authority has made consular notifications to the embassies of relevant countries and will arrange consular visits,” Mr. Geng said.

“The Chinese side protects the legitimate rights and interests of those involved according to law.”

The Canadian’s detention, last week, occurred around the same time as arrests of other foreigners in China.

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On Tuesday, police in Xuzhou, a city in Jiangsu province, said it had detained 19 people on drug-related charges and that 16 of them were foreigners, including several British citizens. Xuzhou is about 620 kilometres from Yantai.

But China’s foreign spokesman said the Xuzhou and Yantai matters are unrelated. “There is no connection between this very case and another drug case involving foreigners, which is being investigated by the public security authority of Jiangsu province,” he said.

Over the past six months, China has ratcheted up the pressure since Ms. Meng’s arrest, restricting imports of Canadian canola, pork and beef. It also recently confiscated Mr. Kovrig’s reading glasses. While Mr. Kovrig and Mr. Spavor remain in detention, Ms. Meng is free on bail in Vancouver as she awaits an extradition hearing to begin in early 2020.

A Canadian government official, granted anonymity by The Globe and Mail because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly, said the government has no information to indicate the latest arrest is connected to the detentions of Mr. Kovrig and Mr. Spavor.

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Lakeith Stanfield to Star in Kwame Onwuachi’s ‘Notes From a Young Black Chef’ Adaptation for A24 (EXCLUSIVE) – Variety

July 15th, 2019

Lakeith Stanfield is set to star in a feature film adaptation of American-Nigerian chef Kwame Onwuachi’s memoir, “Notes From a Young Black Chef,” with A24 on board to finance the film.

Randy McKinnon will adapt the script from the memoir, which was penned by Onwuachi and Joshua David Stein. Knopf recently acquired the publishing rights to the memoir, and the film rights were snapped up shortly afterwards.

Stephen “Dr” Love will produce, with Stanfield and Colin Stark executive producing. No director is yet attached.

The story follows Onwuachi’s unprecedented journey from childhood in the Bronx with a mostly single mother to opening a fine-dining restaurant in Washington D.C. at the age of 26. The story encompasses the extreme highs and lows of his path to becoming a chef in a mostly white, elitist industry, including financing his first catering business by selling candy on the subway, appearing on “Top Chef,” and his first restaurant, Shaw Bijou in D.C., closing just 11 weeks after its opening.

Stanfield has been on a roll over the last year, starring in several films including “Sorry to Bother You” and the upcoming thriller “Knives Out” along with the FX series “Atlanta.” He recently wrapped production on Universal’s “The Photograph” and also has A24’s “Uncut Gems” set to premiere this year.

McKinnon has set up feature projects with Annapurna, Disney and Paramount. He also wrote for the Netflix show “Chambers” and Simon Kinberg’s upcoming Apple series “War of the Worlds.”

Love’s credits include the upcoming “They Cloned Tyrone” for Netflix, “Assisted Living” for Paramount, and Steven Caple Jr.’s debut feature “The Land.” He is represented by CAA and Morris Yorn.

CAA brokered the deal on behalf of Onwuachi, Stanfield, McKinnon, and Love. Onwuachi is also represented by Lori Galvin at Aevitas Creative Management and Stanfield by Stark Management and Ginsburg Daniels Kallis LLP. McKinnon, who is managed by Grandview, is also represented by Jackoway Austen Tyerman Wertheimer et al, and Love is also represented by Morris Yorn.

(Pictured: Lakeith Stanfield, Kwame Onwuachi)

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Congresswomen call Trump’s barbs a ‘disruptive distraction’ after renewed attacks – CBC News

July 15th, 2019

The message from the four Democratic congresswomen of colour targeted by U.S. President Donald Trump’s tweets: “Do not take the bait.”

Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley said Tuesday that their “squad” is big, representing many Americans. She said Trump’s “xenophobic, bigoted” tweets are a “disruptive distraction from the issues.”

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York said that “no matter what the president says,” the country “belongs to everyone.”

Watch the response from four Democratic congresswomen to Trump:

The four congresswomen of colour understood to be the target of the U.S. president’s recent barbs responded by telling their supporters to ‘not take the bait.’ 2:16

The quartet spoke after Trump tweeted over the weekend that they should go back to the “broken and crime infested” countries they came from “then come back and show us how … it is done.” Three of the four were born in the United States; one, Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, is a refugee from Somalia.

Omar said the “garbage” from Trump is his plan to “pit us against” each other. She and Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan called for impeachment.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York said that “no matter what the president says,” the country “belongs to everyone.”

Watch as Trump renews his attacks on four Democratic congresswomen:

U.S. President Donald Trump renewed his attacks against four liberal congresswomen of colour after a series of weekend tweets targeting them. 1:54

Speaking at the White House Monday afternoon, Trump said he wasn’t concerned if people thought his tweets toward them were racist and accused the lawmakers of hating the United States.

“If you’re not happy in the U.S., if you’re complaining all the time, you can leave, you can leave right now,” Trump said Monday at the White House.

Trump tweeted earlier in the day that the four “radical left congresswomen” ought to apologize to him for past remarks about Israel and about him.

His attack drew searing condemnation from Democrats who labelled the remarks racist and breathtakingly divisive. Trump, however, said that “a lot of people love” what he said.

Pelosi announces vote on resolution condemning comments

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Trump wants to “make America white again,” while Ocasio-Cortez said Trump “can’t conceive of an America that includes us.”

“Mr. President, the country I ‘come from,’ & the country we all swear to, is the United States,” she tweeted, adding that, “You rely on a frightened America for your plunder.”

Pelosi announced Monday that the House would be holding a vote on a resolution condemning Trump’s comments.

Omar also addressed herself directly to Trump in a tweet, writing: “You are stoking white nationalism [because] you are angry that people like us are serving in Congress and fighting against your hate-filled agenda.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, asked his opinion of the tweets on Monday, declined to call out Trump directly but said Canadians already know his position.

“I think Canadians and indeed people around the world know exactly what I think about those particular comments,” he said to reporters.

“That is not how we do things in Canada. A Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian.”

Most Republicans have been silent about Trump’s tweets, but some, including Maine Sen. Susan Collins and Pennsylvania Sen. Patrick Toomey, spoke out on Monday. 

Republican Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina — the only black Republican in the Senate — said that Trump had “interjected with unacceptable personal attacks and racially offensive language” in his tweets.

Scott also called for unity, saying “aiming for the lowest common denominator will only divide our nation further.

He also mentioned the “racial controversy” surrounding some of the Democratic presidential field concerning busing, saying “it is clear the Democratic Party has serious issues along these lines.”

John Kasich, a former governor of Ohio and an unsuccessful contender against Trump for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, said the tweets were “deplorable and beneath the dignity of the office.”

And Republican Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan, a Trump critic who recently took steps to leave his party, on Sunday called the remarks “racist and disgusting.”  

New asylum rule

Trump also moved to end asylum protections for most Central American migrants, escalating the clash between Republican and Democratic lawmakers over immigration policy.

According to a new rule published in the Federal Register, asylum seekers who pass through another country first will be ineligible for asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border.

The new rule, expected to go into effect Tuesday, applies to anyone arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border, including children who have crossed the border alone. Some asylum seekers arriving at the border are from Africa but most are from Central America.

There are some exceptions:

  • If someone has been trafficked.
  • If the country the migrant passed through did not sign one of the major international treaties that govern how refugees are managed (though most Western countries have signed them).
  • If an asylum seeker sought protection in a country but was denied, then a migrant could still apply for U.S. asylum. 

But the move by Trump’s administration was meant to essentially end asylum protections as they now are on the southern border, reversing decades of U.S. policy on how refugees are treated. It comes as the government continues to take a hard line on migrants while the treatment of those who made it to the country is heavily criticized as inhumane. 

Attorney General William Barr said the U.S. is “a generous country but is being completely overwhelmed” by the burdens associated with apprehending and processing hundreds of thousands of migrants at the southern border.

“This rule will decrease forum shopping by economic migrants and those who seek to exploit our asylum system to obtain entry to the United States,” Barr said in a statement. 

Legal challenge likely

The policy is almost certain to face a legal challenge.

U.S. law allows refugees to request asylum when they arrive at the U.S. regardless of how they did so. There is an exception for those who have come through a country considered to be “safe,” but the Immigration and Nationality Act, which governs asylum law, is vague on how a country is determined “safe”; it says “pursuant to a bilateral or multilateral agreement.” 

Migrants from Guatemala are seen on the banks of the Rio Grande river before crossing illegally into the U.S. to turn themselves in to request asylum in El Paso, Texas, on June 11. The Trump administration on Monday moved to end asylum protections for most Central American migrants. (Jose Luis Gonzalez/Reuters)

Right now, the U.S. has such an agreement, known as a “safe third country,” only with Canada. Under a recent agreement with Mexico, Central American countries were considering a regional compact on the issue, but nothing has been decided.

American Civil Liberties Union attorney Lee Gelernt, who has litigated some of the major challenges to the Trump administration’s immigration policies, said the rule was unlawful. 

“The rule, if upheld, would effectively eliminate asylum for those at the southern border,” he said. “But it is patently unlawful.”

The new rule also will apply to the initial asylum screening, known as a “credible fear” interview, at which migrants must prove they have credible fears of returning to their home country. It applies to migrants who are arriving to the U.S., not those who are already in the country.

Trump administration officials say the changes are meant to close the gap between the initial asylum screening that most people pass and the final decision on asylum that most people do not win. But immigrant rights groups, religious leaders and humanitarian groups have said the Republican administration’s policies amount to a cruel and callous effort to keep immigrants out of the country. 

Along with the administration’s recent effort to send asylum seekers back over the border, Trump has tried to deny asylum to anyone crossing the border illegally and restrict who can claim asylum, and the attorney general recently tried to keep thousands of asylum seekers detained while their cases play out. 

Nearly all of those efforts have been blocked by courts. 

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All The Best Xbox One Deals For Amazon Prime Day (US) – GameSpot

July 15th, 2019

‘This is unprecedented’: Alert, Nunavut, is warmer than Victoria – CBC News

July 15th, 2019

Weather watchers are focused on the world’s most northerly community, which is in the middle of a record-breaking heat wave.

“It’s really quite spectacular,” said David Phillips, Environment Canada’s chief climatologist. “This is unprecedented.”

The weather agency confirmed that Canadian Forces Station Alert hit a record of 21 C on Sunday. On Monday, the military listening post on the top of Ellesmere Island had reached 20 C by noon and inched slightly higher later in the day.

Alert was warmer both days than Victoria, B.C., a Canadian go-to for balmy climes.

The average July high for Alert is 7 C. Phillips said that means the heat wave at the top of the world is the equivalent of Toronto registering a daytime high of 42 C.

“It’s nothing that you would have ever seen.” 

Our models for the rest of the summer are saying, ‘Get used to it.’​​​​​– David Phillips, Environment Canada

A military spokesman said nobody at the high-security station, which monitors electronic signals and communications, was available to say if soldiers had swapped parkas for flip-flops.

Phillips said it’s the latest anomaly in what’s been a long, hot summer across the Arctic.

Iqaluit saw the mercury rise to 23.5 C on July 9, Nunavut Day — the highest ever for that day. Alaska had its second-warmest June on record.

A look at the station in 2006. A military spokesperson said nobody at the high-security station, which monitors electronic signals and communications, was available to say if soldiers had swapped parkas for flip-flops. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press)

Records have been falling — not by fractions, but by large margins.

“That’s what we’re seeing more often,” Phillips said. “It’s not just half a degree or a 10th of a millimetre. It’s like hitting a ball out of the ballpark. It is so different than what the previous record was.”

More is to come, he predicted.

“Our models for the rest of the summer are saying, ‘Get used to it.”‘

In Alert’s case, the source of the Arctic beach weather is a large current of air that somehow found its way north from the U.S. southeast, Phillips said.

It could be related to changes in the jet stream, a fast-moving, high-altitude river of air that moves west to east. That current has slowed in recent years and has become more unstable, sometimes looping much farther north or south than normal.

Many scientists believe the changes are at least partly the result of melting sea ice.

“It’s almost as if you’re seeing these extremes more often because of the jet stream that has a different look and a different pattern,” Phillips said. “That’s what we saw when we had those 20-degree temperatures in Iqaluit.”

It’s part of a pattern, he said. He’s cautious about attributing specific events to any one cause, but not about naming one of the main drivers.

“With temperatures you’ve never seen before, you can’t dismiss it as not having a climate change component.”

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Democratic congresswomen denounce Trump’s Twitter attack, say it is a ‘distraction’ – Global News

July 15th, 2019

At a press conference Monday afternoon, Democratic members of Congress, Minn. Rep. Ilhan Omar, N.Y. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Mass. Rep. Ayanna Pressley and Mich. Rep Rashida Tlaib, known as ‘The Squad,’ hit back at U.S. President Donald Trump for a tirade of racist tweets he posted over the weekend, saying the attack was an attempt to distract from what they say are “hateful” and “dangerous” policies from his administration.

READ MORE: Trump says congresswoman is ‘never happy’ with America and ‘hates Jews’

“This is a president who has openly violated the very value our country aspires to uphold,” Omar said. “Equality under the law, religious liberty, equal protection and protection from persecution. And to distract from that, he’s launching a blatantly racist attack on four duly elected members of the United States house of representatives, all of who are women of colour.

“This is the agenda of white nationalists,” she continued, “whether it’s happening in chatrooms or it’s happening on national TV, and now its reached the White House garden.

WATCH: Trump can’t defend policies so he ‘attacks us personally’, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says

“He would love nothing more than to divide our country based on race, religion, gender, orientation or immigration status because this is the only way he knows he can prevent the solidarity of us working together across all of our differences, the only way to prevent us from confronting the problems our country is facing.”

Ocasio-Cortez said the attacks are a ploy Trump uses instead of defending his administration’s policy.

“Weak minds and leaders challenge loyalty to our country to avoid challenging and debating the policy,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “This president does not know how to make the argument that Americans do not deserve healthcare, he does not know how to defend his policies, so what he does is attack us personally. And that is what this is all about.”

READ MORE: ‘We’re not going anywhere’: Congresswomen react after Trump tells them to leave the U.S.

Pressley urged the American people and other lawmakers not to “take the bait,” and to regain focus.

“I encourage the American people, and all of us in this room and beyond, to not take the bait,” Pressley said. “This is a disruptive distraction from the issues of care, concern and consequence to the American people.”

WATCH: ‘Our squad is big’: Ayanna Pressley says she won’t be silenced by Trump attacks

She added that ‘The Sqaud’ will not be silenced.

“We are more than four people; we ran on a mandate to advocate for and to represent those ignored left out and left behind. Our squad is big,” she said. “Our squad includes any person committed to building a more equitable and just world, and that is the work we want to get back to.”

READ MORE: ANALYSIS: The cynical strategy behind Trump’s attacks on minority women in Congress

Tlaib echoed her colleagues’ remarks and called upon House leadership to begin the impeachment process against Trump.

“Sadly this is not the first nor will it be the last time we hear disgusting, bigoted language from the president,” she said. “Despite this and other many attempts to distract us I remain focused, we remain focused on holding him accountable to the laws of this land and accountable to the American people.”

“I urge House leadership, many of my colleagues to take action to impeach this lawless president today,” Tlaib continued.

WATCH: Trump accuses Omar of hating Jews while defending tweets against congresswomen

On Sunday the president attacked the congresswomen in a tweet, saying they should “go back and help fix the totally broke and crime infested places from which they came,” and then “come back and show us how it is done.”

READ MORE: Trump accuses congresswomen of hating America in defence of Twitter tirade

“So interesting to see ‘Progressive’ Democratic Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now loudly and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run,” Trump wrote.

Faced with harsh backlash for the tweets, Trump doubled down on the attacks in a speech on Monday, saying “if you’re not happy here, you can leave.”

Ilhan Omar reacts to Trump’s attacks: ‘Every single Muslim has heard that’

He also singled out Omar, claiming she “hates Jews.”

“In one case, you have somebody that comes from Somalia, which is a failed government, a failed state, who left Somalia, who ultimately came here,” he said. “And now is a congresswoman who’s never happy, says horrible things about Israel, hates Israel, hates Jews, hates Jews. It’s very simple.”

WATCH: Trump denies tweets against 4 Democrats were racist

When asked during the press conference Monday to respond to those comments, Omar said she would not dignify his attack with a response.

“I know that every single Muslim that has lived in this country and across the world has heard that comment and so I will not dignify it with an answer,” she said. “Because I know that every single Islamophobe, every single person who is hateful, who is driven by an ideology of othering as this president is, rejoices in us responding to that and us defending ourselves.”

READ MORE: Trudeau on Trump’s ‘go back’ tweet: ‘That’s not how we do things in Canada’

When asked by reporters on Monday whether he was concerned that many considered his tweets to be racist, Trump said he wasn’t.

“It doesn’t concern me because many people agree with me, and all I’m saying — if they want us to leave, they can leave,” he said.

WATCH: Schumer says people who side with Trump after ‘bigoted’ comments have made ‘a deal with the devil’

On Sunday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tweeted, denouncing Trump’s tweets.

“When @realDonaldTrump tells four American Congresswomen to go back to their countries, he reaffirms his plan to ‘Make America Great Again’ has always been about making America white again,” she wrote.

“Our diversity is our strength and our unity is our power.”

WATCH: Pedestrians in Queens, N.Y. react to Trump’s ‘go back’ rhetoric

Pelosi announced on Monday that House Democrats will introduce a resolution condemning Trump’s “xenophobic tweets.”

“Our Republican colleagues must join us in condemning the president’s xenophobic tweets,” she wrote in a letter to her Democratic colleagues in the House.

— With files from Maryam Shah and Reuters. 

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‘La La Land’s Damien Chazelle and Emma Stone to Reunite for 1920s-Set ‘Babylon’ [UPDATED] – Collider.com

July 15th, 2019

damien-chazelle-emma-stone-slice

[Updated]: Just a few hours after we reported Emma Stone was circling Damien Chazelle‘s BabylonDeadline shared that Brad Pitt was also reportedly in talks for the film. Pitt is apparently not yet locked in for the film, similar to Stone. It’s also unclear what role he may be in talks for tackling. This would be Pitt’s first time working with Chazelle and Stone but it would be his second film in just a few years where he would travel by to the early days of Hollywood. Deadline’s update on Pitt circling Babylon also confirms this film will be “solidly in the R-rated category,” his first since Whiplash to be up for the rating. Our original story is below.


Fans of La La Land will be happy to hear that writer-director Damien Chazelle and star Emma Stone may be reuniting in a new project. Dubbed Babylon, the 1920s-set piece will be a Hollywood story about the movie industry’s transition from silent films to “talkies.” Chazelle wrote the piece and will direct it as his next film if and when a studio or streaming service steps up to take on the project. But it’s been making the financing rounds for a month or so now without a commitment; could the period pic be too pricey and overlong for

As THR reports, Lionsgate, Paramount and Netflix, among others, have shown interest in Babylon but have yet to sign a deal for the reported 180 page-long script that is budgeted between $80 and $100 million. On one hand, financiers may be reluctant to pony up that kind of scratch for a period piece that may not resonate with modern audiences; and on the other hand, La La Land banked almost a half-a-billion dollars along with 14 Oscars nominations. Someone will eventually decide that it’s worth the gamble.

emma-stone-babylon

Image via Summit Entertainment

Other than the fact that Babylon will center on Hollywood’s shift away from silent films in the 1920s, details are non-existent, but there’s the added angle of bringing both fictional and historical characters into the story. For example, Clara Bow, Hollywood’s first “It” girl who found stardom in the silent films and managed to transition into talkies, is said to be at the center of the piece with Stone unofficially attached to play the part. With nearly 60 films to her credit, Bow was the face of the Roaring Twenties and a sex symbol of that decade, enjoying a popularity that made her film appearances sure-fire box-office earners and also let her retire under her own terms. In a similarly plotted 2013 movie Return to Babylon, the part was played by Jennifer Tilly, though this film, too, struggled to find a traditional distribution deal.

As for Babylon, Marc Platt and Olivia Hamilton are attached to produce. Stay tuned for more as we hear it.

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