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The hardest part for any Great Person of History biopic is convincing us the subjects were ever not destined for that achievement, that decision, that feat of heroism. The movies in this category are inherently canvases saved for the larger-than-life, so the inevitable dip that precedes the glory is more like a human comfort than a genuine shock.

It allows us to say, “It almost didn’t happen?” while laying the groundwork for the warm feeling of triumph reinforced. Heroes, they’re just like us!

That said, the case of Winston Churchill in the run-up to World War II is truly a remarkable instance of a controversial, sidelined politician, maligned by his own party, becoming an unlikely national superman. And in chronicling that wobbly 1940 summer when Churchill took his stand against tyranny and prepared England to fight, Joe Wright’s “Darkest Hour” is elegantly commanding enough to be an entertaining reminder of what principled leadership looks like in a time of crisis. Not to mention what carefully chosen, vigorously spoken words designed to rally and inspire sound like when others want to choke out surrender.

Watch Video: See Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill in 'Darkest Hour' Trailer

If Christopher Nolan’s action-centered “Dunkirk” fed on a soundtrack diet of nervous clock-ticking to tell its dialogue-sparse story of tense waiting, the men-in-rooms companion piece “Darkest Hour” manages to make the recurring sound of typewriter clacking and stentorian oratory into a heartbeat of persuasion and freedom.

As the movie starts, Hitler is gaining ground in Europe, and Britain is in a state of overwhelm: hundreds of thousands of troops are stranded on a strip of French beach with Nazis within salivating reach, and prime minister Neville Chamberlain (Ronald Pickup), his weak placating of Hitler the ultimate unconfirmed friend-request, is losing his grip on the premiership.

Enter Conservative party pariah and hastily announced successor Churchill — in exquisitely jowled Oldman’s channeling a plump, pink, cigar-chomping force of nature — who accepts the begrudging authority of Chamberlain fan King George VI (a nicely understated Ben Mendelsohn) to form a government. But the belligerently pro-war Churchill’s first rousing speech as Prime Minister to a suspicious House of Commons (its cramped, rectangular chamber lit by cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel like a tomb of patriarchal fustiness) isn’t warmly received. As the Tories’ preferred Chamberlain replacement Lord Halifax (Stephen Dillane, looking like a used teabag) barks privately about Churchill, “He’s incapable of even pronouncing the word ‘peace’!”

Also Read: Gary Oldman to Receive Modern Master Award from Santa Barbara Film Festival

At home, his dedicated, clear-eyed wife Clementine (Kristin Scott Thomas, charmingly brusque) worries that Winnie won’t get anything done if he isn’t likable, which for her starts with him not making his new secretary Elizabeth (Lily James) cry. Elizabeth toughens up, natch, but he learns to dial it back, too, making her a clerical confidante, even in matters of war strategy.

(She eventually grows comfortable enough to point out to her boss, in an amusing scene, that his attempt at a V-for-victory sign to a newspaper photographer was really the working class’s way of saying “up your bum,” to which he roars with approval.)

His assembled war cabinet, however — pragmatically stocked with friends and foes — proves a tougher nut to crack, with still-hanging-around Chamberlain and Hallifax in the mood to sow discontent by publicly resigning if Churchill doesn’t entertain negotiating with Hitler.

Watch Video: Gary Oldman Nails Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken Impersonations

Wright has become a reliably flamboyant adapter of the literary and/or historical, and the determined verve with which he unfurls his symmetrically framed locations, stylish details, and tidy tracking shots is enjoyable if rarely transporting. He’s always looking for the moment that sings, when sometimes what’s called for is observational restraint. When a radio broadcaster’s red light turns on, it bathes the entire room in a blood-soaked hue.

Wright’s biggest special effect is, of course, Oldman, who serves his attentively-basted ham of a portrayal in thick slices that cover all the flavors: cantankerousness, wounded pride, fire, impudence, sensitivity, and patriotic fervor. (Kazuhiro Tsuji’s prosthetics in transforming the actor are world-class.) Coming on the heels of Brian Cox’s wanly supported stab at doddering vulnerability in this year’s earlier wartime snapshot “Churchill,” Oldman’s leonine prowling more readily satisfies as statesman theater, even if there are scenes that too easily tip toward mythic silliness.

The ever-present fantasy of seeing the powerful mix with the plebeian is, for example, stretched to the breaking point in Anthony McCarten’s screenplay when he invents Churchill venturing onto the Tube to take the temperature of workaday Britons (including a black man) about Hitler. Consensus in hand — don’t back down! — he can now give a hoi polloi-fortified what’s what to his feckless, fearful colleagues in government about the Nazi threat.

By that point, the filmmakers just want you stirred enough to fight World War II all over again if you had to. Moviegoers will surely debate whether “Dunkirk” or “Darkest Hour” did a better job at the rousing finale, since both close with Churchill’s “we shall fight” speech to Parliament: in the former, softly read by a surviving soldier as a kind of narrated elegy to an older era’s heroism, and in the latter, shot like urgent cannon fire from the source as a wake-up call.

They’re vastly different movies, of course, but considering the corny, revisionist professionalism on display in “Darkest Hour,” Oldman treats Churchill’s words the way a Broadway virtuoso would: as the showstopper. And who can blame him? It works.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Gary Oldman, Kristin Scott Thomas on Why 'Darkest Hour' Was 'Daunting' to Make (Exclusive Video)

'Churchill' Review: WWII Drama Shows Legendary Leader Gripped by Fear

Claire Foy Talks 'The Crown' Feminist Backlash, Queen Elizabeth's Drinking Habits

Naomi Watts, Gary Oldman and Ryan Murphy Named as Judges for 2017 Heath Ledger Scholarship (Exclusive)

www.thewrap.com | 11/21/17

The International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announced the winners of the 2017 International Emmy Awards on Monday, awarding “Wallander” star Kenneth Branagh and “Marcella’s” Anna Friel in the top acting categories.

The awards ceremony was held at the New York Hilton on Monday night and was hosted by comedian Maz Jobrani.

Among the 12 awards handed out on Monday was the International Emmy Directorate Award, which went to Grupo Televisa President, CEO and Chairman Emilio Azcárraga Jean. Other winners included the Steve Coogan’s “Alan Partridge’s Scissored Isle,” the Norwegian crime drama “Mammon II” and the documentary “EXODUS: Our Journey to Europe.”

Also Read: Emmys by the Numbers: HBO Wins the Night

“Television is a universal art form that transcends cultures, languages and borders — as demonstrated by tonight’s winners,” International Academy President & CEO Bruce L. Paisner said in a statement. “In these contentious times — when television programming is constantly under attack, the Academy is proud to recognize excellence from around the world.”

See the complete list of winners below:

Arts Programming 

“Hip-Hop Evolution”
Banger Films
Canada

Best Performance by an Actor

Kenneth Branagh in “Wallander”
Left Bank Pictures / Yellow Bird / BBC / TKBC
United Kingdom

Best Performance by an Actress

Anna Friel in “Marcella”
Buccaneer Media / Netflix
United Kingdom

Comedy

“Alan Partridge’s Scissored Isle”
Baby Cow Productions
United Kingdom

Documentary

EXODUS: Our Journey to Europe
KEO films / BBC 2
United Kingdom

Drama Series

“Mammon II”
NRK Drama / SVT / DR / YLE FEM / Nordvision Fund
Norway

Non-English U.S. Primetime Program

“Sr. Ávila”
HBO Latin America / Lemon Films
United States of America

Non-Scripted Entertainment

“Sorry Voor Alles”
(Sorry About That)
Warner Bros International Television Production België
Belgium

Short-Form Series

“The Braun Family”
Polyphon, Berlin
Germany

Telenovela

 “Kara Sevda”
(Endless Love)
Ay Yap?m
Turkey

TV Movie/Mini-Series

“Don’t Leave Me”
Scarlett Production / France Télévisions
France

Related stories from TheWrap:

Lena Waithe Tops Out 100 List, Reflects on Historic Emmy Win for 'Master of None'

TV Academy Revokes Kevin Spacey's Emmy Founders Award Amid Scandal

Emmys Competition for 'Handmaid's Tale' Was 'Like a Quentin Tarantino Movie,' Hulu Boss Says

www.thewrap.com | 11/21/17
And on Angela Merkel, and on Jewish people. He shared his thoughts on a French television program on Saturday, prompting hundreds of complaints.
www.nytimes.com | 11/15/17
Der Tagesspiegel’s list, covering a period from 1993 to 2017, is a monument in print to asylum seekers, refugees and migrants.
www.nytimes.com | 11/13/17

BERLIN — A German newspaper has published a list of 33,293 people it says died while trying to immigrate to Europe between 1993 and May of this year.

The list, published by daily Der Tagesspiegel Thursday, covered 46 pages and included names, ages and countries of origin, when available, as well as how the victims died and their date of death. Often, though, they never were identified.

One entry said Iraqi migrant Talat Abdulhamid, 36, froze to death on Jan. 6 after walking for 48 hours through the mountains on the Turkish-Bulgarian border.

The German paper Der Tagesspiegel has published a list of 33,293 people who it says died while trying to immigrate to Europe.
www.foxnews.com | 11/12/17

Blog

At a time when facts and how they unfold is questioned and the reliability of the media is under scrutiny sticking to reality and hard facts is still the best option for a news organisation that puts quality and reliability before clicks and buzz.

This is even more the case with European affairs: in a multinational and multicultural environment like the European Union, where opinion is a commodity widely shared among journalists and the public, facts and figures are one of the few things that everybody can agree on — or at least that everyone can understand before disagreeing on their interpretation.

Much more than text and stories, which may sound radically different depending on the audience, charts, maps and other infographics are immediately understandable by the general public — and, as pioneer data journalist Nicolas Kayser-Bril correctly pointed out, they don’t need costly translation and localisation: the very issues that are weakening the economic model of the few multi-language pan-European news organisations currently operating.

In addition to helping cross language barriers and explain complex phenomena — no rare occurrence in European affairs — data-driven news may even be graphically attractive. It may provide possibilities for creativity that pure-text stories lack, and compensate for the perceived lack of sexiness in European news. And eventually persuading newsrooms that, after all, such news might deserve some attention.

Until now, however, very few news organisations chose to systematically treat European issues with a data-driven approach. When publishing maps and charts, they mostly reuse or elaborate the ones provided by the EU institutions’ press services (the European parliament’s press office regularly publishes maps and infographics — some pretty well designed and definitely useful — and other multimedia material that can be easily embedded by third parties) or elaborate on Eurostat’s press releases. Others, like the French news and policy website Contexte (paywall) developed their own tools, deploying considerable efforts on creating innovative infographics. The most complete and innovative stories came out of collaborative investigations set up either by freelance reporters or by small investigative platforms, both more often than not financed through grants from funding organisations, like the Journalismfund.eu or the European Journalism Centre on condition they are subsequently published by legacy media. The Migrant files investigation, which won many prizes, is a good example of this.

The biggest issue that has so far prevented media organisations from treating European affairs under a systematic data-driven approach is editorial choices and money: producing data-driven stories takes time and resources most newsrooms — even subscription-based ones — prefer to spend in a supposedly more efficient way, and they prefer reusing data-driven stories that are already available and produced by third parties.

No wonder then that, when the European Union issued in 2016 a call for project proposal aiming to subsidise data-driven reporting on European affairs, many media based in Brussels or or observing it were ready to go through the sometimes painstaking process of filling out an EU application.

The timing was almost perfect: British voters had just chosen by a tiny margin to leave the EU after a campaign which dramatically revealed the consequences of disinformation on a mostly ill-informed public, and “fake news” had become one of the trending expressions of 2016. Data journalism and the scientific method it implies would be the way to reach factual truth at a time when the very concept of facts and truth was being challenged.

Being non-profit media organisations with a pan-European outlook, multi-lingual approach and general public-orientation, VoxEurop and Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso Transeuropa (OBCT) immediately agreed it was a unique opportunity to bring data journalism on European news to the public – beyond the so-called Brussels bubble of EU pundits and stakeholders. We also decided to implement our common views on collaborative and transparent journalism, media networks and on fostering a European public space.

VoxEurop aims to be a platform for fostering debate on the issues that matter to Europeans through producing, translating and sharing content among partner media outlets. Meanwhile, OBCT is a news outlet and a think tank focusing on South East Europe thanks to a broad network of local correspondents. Both are strongly committed to quality journalism, media freedom and upholding human rights, and have a strong reputation and a committed community within their respective niche.

We reached out to our closest partners to bring them into the project proposal we planned to submit, along with those organisations we believed were the smartest and among the more qualified around (and with many of whom we had personal connexions) to build up a “dream team” for the best possible outcome. The collaborative, comparative and pan-European approach and the planning for a long-lasting co-operation was critical in having them joining what already was called the European Data Journalism Network, aka EDJNet. French magazine Alternatives économiques, data journalism agencies Journalism++, Journalism Robotics and Local Focus immediately joined as core partners, while soon after came Brussels-based and top-EU news website EUobserver, Italian news magazine Internazionale, Spanish newspaper El Confidencial, BiQdata (Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza’s data unit), Slovenian investigative journalism outlet Pod ?rto and Croatian one H-Alter. Spiegel Online’s data unit’s enthusiastic decision to join helped us bringing in other major media organisations, such as France’s most circulated daily Ouest-France, Italy’s AskaNews and Netherlands’ NRC Handelsblad. The Network’s aim in the medium term is to get at least one partner in each EU country, then to further expand within single countries.

One of the biggest challenges we have faced in the project’s first months was bringing journalists and outlets that had never worked together to collaborate over the long term. Collaborative journalism and cooperation among newsrooms does not come out of thin air and, unless there are very high stakes or a specific journalistic project, like for instance the Panama papers or, more recently, the Paradise Papers investigations, it needs a catalyst and a coordinator — and a lot of trust — since no private news organisation is spontaneously willing to allocate resources to such an activity. The EU co-funding helps provide the time and the resources needed, at least in the concept and medium-term phase, where trust is also built. The partners’ reputation is the best guarantee of the Network’s editorial independence.

While progressively building up to full gear, the Network currently produces several types of content, from classical data-driven medium-format reports to short stories, and provides a series of curation tools. All are available for free, although under different licences according to the author. It is addressed at journalists as well as the general public.

In the long run, while we work on a sustainable economic model, the Network members and their journalists will acquire new skills, reach a wider audience thanks to translation and reuse, and benefit from being part of a pan-European network, paving the way for more cross-border collaboration. If we’re clever enough to attract them, users across Europe and hopefully beyond will have access to more quality and accessible news on topics regarded as complex or distant — and maybe they will have a better and different view on this old continent of ours. There’s a big challenge ahead; it’s definitely worth giving it a try.

www.voxeurop.eu | 11/6/17

Fifteen survivors of alleged sexual abuse by disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein gathered at TheWrap’s Power Women Breakfast in Los Angeles on Thursday to share their experiences and urge the entertainment industry to change its culture.

In a morning filled with intense emotion and determination, Hollywood’s leading women executives, actresses and creative figures came together to condemn recent revelations of sexual misconduct and offer solutions.

“I’m astounded how differently women in power are treated,” said actress Claire Forlani, who has described being harassed by Weinstein on five different occasions. “We’re second class citizens and that needs to change.”

Also Read: Courage in Journalism Award Winner Saniya Toiken Doesn't Feel Lonely Despite Constant Threats

Zoe Brock, who wrote a powerful essay about her encounter with Weinstein at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival, said she was angry that Weinstein attacked her, and equally angry at the people who let him be alone with her in a room.

“I have spent the last 20 years thinking that I was lucky for not understanding how dangerous he was,” she said Thursday. “I spent 20 years thinking he was a pathetic douchebag — nothing that dangerous.”

Nearly 300 leading women in the entertainment industry came together at the Montage hotel in Beverly Hills to talk about combatting sexism and creating inclusivity.

The 15 survivors of alleged Weinstein harassment and assault wore teal ribbons to signify their experiences. They were: Katherine Kendall, Sarah Ann Masse, Jessica Barth, Chelsea Skidmore, Alice Evans, Larissa Gomes, Louisette Geiss, Melissa Sagemiller, Louise Godbold, Kendall Rhodes, Venice Cusumano, Lauren Sivan and Leah Lamarr, as well as the aforementioned Forlani and Brock.

Many of them said they had thought they were the only ones, and were reluctant to come forward and bear the consequences. Forlani said she spoke out because she was upset at herself that she did not participate in The New Yorker piece.

“I was afraid. My conditioning was, ‘Carry on. I handled it, I’m now 45 years old, I’m safe,'” she said. “I didn’t want to deal with legal fees, I thought, Harvey is going to come after me, Harvey is going to kill anyone in his sight and I didn’t want to deal with that, so I just abstained — thinking I was being smart. The article came out and I felt shame. I thought, ‘Jesus, I’m not supporting the women.’ I was a part of this — this all happened and it’s time to join forces. It’s time to speak out.”

Lauren Sivan, a Fox 11 reporter, described why she went public with a shocking story about Weinstein masturbating into a potted plant while asking her to watch in 2007. She was disappointed when she shared the story privately.

Also Read: Universal TV Head's Plan to Change Hollywood Culture: 'Conscientious Men and More Women in Control'

“Whenever I told that story, anyone that knew him, they said, ‘yep, that’s Harvey.’ No one was ever shocked and it’s time to be shocked,” she said. “That’s not normal behavior. I don’t care what era you were born in.”

But, she added: “Casual harassment has been going on all the time. It doesn’t get those shocking headlines, but it doesn’t mean we don’t experience it all the time.”

Sivan said she was relieved to see an outpouring of women’s support hoping to make a change: “The Harvey Weinstein situation was so empowering to me — to see this tight-knit Hollywood be taken down by powerful women.”

Also at TheWrap’s Power Women Breakfast, Kelly Bush Novak, founder and CEO of ID, called for gender equality in entertainment — setting a deadline of three years from now.

“Let’s demand that our representation and inclusion in all aspects of our industry be 50/50 by the year 2020,” Bush Novak said in a fiery speech Thursday at TheWrap’s Power Women Breakfast L.A., crediting the idea to her client, “Transparent” creator Jill Soloway.

“Equal representation in our executives, directors, writers, showrunners, department heads, the DGA, WGA, PGA, IATSE and SAG-AFTRA. On boards of directors,” she said.

IWMF Courage in Journalism Award-winner Saniya Toiken

“We need to hold the studios, production companies and individuals complicit in these crimes accountable — legally and financially,” she said. “We need to boycott those who refuse to cooperate and perpetuate this abuse of power.”

With longstanding gender inequality in Hollywood and a renewed focus on cases of rampant sexual harassment, Universal Television head Pearlena Igbokwe said there is a secret weapon to changing the industry’s male-dominated culture.

“The key is, you need to have incredibly conscientious men and more women in control,” Igbokwe said.

Igbokwe was joined by “Friday Night Lights” executive producer Jason Katims, “Midnight Texas” producer Monica Owusu-Breen and NBC Entertainment President Jennifer Salke on a panel titled “Embracing Inclusion: Telling Stories That Champion the New Narrative.”

Brooklynn Prince, the seven year old star of “The Florida Project” delighted the room by proudly stating that after being the first “little girl director,” she’d like to one day be the first female president of the United States.

“The Florida Project” star Brooklynn Prince at TheWrap’s Power Women Breakfast in Los Angeles

IWMF Courage in Journalism Award-winner Saniya Toiken, Radio Free Europe/Radio Free Liberty, from Kazakhstan, was also a featured speaker, who spoke with TheWrap’s Founder and CEO Sharon Waxman about the constant threats in her career as a Kazakh journalist, but said she tells stories because it’s hard for women to “to get in any position.”

TheWrap in 2017 has brought its successful Power Women franchise to Washington D.C., San Francisco, New York, and now Los Angeles, building a broad network and community of professional women who are decision makers, mothers, leaders, wives, innovators and activists.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Ashley Judd on Her Silence About Harvey Weinstein: 'I Don't Know That I Would Have Been Believed'

Megyn Kelly Asks Harvey Weinstein Accuser to Explain 'Forced Oral Sex' (Video)

How Fabrizio Lombardo Became Harvey Weinstein's Hustler

www.thewrap.com | 10/27/17

TheWrap is pleased to announce that Universal Television President Pearlena Igbokwe, Producer Monica Owusu-Breen and Creator and Executive Producer Jason Katims will join NBC Entertainment President Jennifer Salke for a discussion titled “Embracing Inclusion: Telling Stories that Champion a New Narrative” at the Power Women Breakfast LA on Thursday October 26.

Pearlena Igbokwe oversees creative programming for one of the country’s most successful production companies, Universal TV. She is involved in developing a diverse slate of comedies including “Master of None,” and “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” and dramas such as “Shades of Blue” and “Chicago Fire.”

Monica Owusu-Breen is an executive producer and showrunner on NBC’s supernatural thriller “Midnight, Texas,” a show about outsiders coming together. Her credits also include a co-executive producer role on “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” and and the cult genre classic “Fringe.”

Jason Katims is the creator, executive producer and showrunner of the upcoming new drama “Rise” a musical set in a working-class high school drama program. He has won numerous accolades for critically acclaimed series including “Friday Night Lights” and “Parenthood.”

Also Read: Jennifer Salke, Kelly Bush Novak, Claire Forlani, Lauren Sivan Join Power Women Breakfast LA

They will discuss how they are creating change through developing, writing and producing stories of inclusion that encourage understanding. The breakfast will also offer a courageous group of sexual assault victims including actress Claire Forlani, Fox 11 news anchor Lauren Sivan and others to be named who will talk about how to encourage a gender-balanced landscape where women can thrive. The founder and CEO of ID, Kelly Bush Novak, will also join the conversation.

The day will also feature rising star Brooklynn Prince, actress “The Florida Project” and Courage in Journalism Award-winner Saniya Toiken of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Kazakhstan, where journalists are routinely threatened, beaten, or killed because of their work.

The speaker program will be followed by a special #MeToo Town Hall that will be live streamed and moderated by Producer Hilary Shor and Producer, Director and Photographer Jeff Vespa. An expert panel will offer actionable steps for dealing with difficult situations of sexual assault and harassment in the workplace and an open forum for sharing stories in a safe environment. Confirmed speakers include Greenberg Glusker Partner Priya Sopori and Women in Media Executive Director Tema Steig and others to be announced.

A live auction to benefit the Joyful Heart Foundation, a national organization aiding women victims of sexual violence will take place during the event. Founded by Mariska Hargitay, their mission is is to transform society’s response to sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse, support survivors’ healing, and end this violence forever.

TheWrap in 2017 has brought its successful Power Women franchise to DC, SF, NY, and now LA, building a broad network and community of professional women who are decision-makers and mothers, leaders and wives, innovators and activists.

www.thewrap.com | 10/25/17

BRUSSELS — Britain's finance chief quickly backed away from comments that risked inflaming the Brexit talks Friday, saying he regretted describing the European Union as "the enemy" during an earlier television interview.

Chancellor Philip Hammond retreated from the potentially volatile comments moments after they aired on Sky News, saying on Twitter that he was "making the point that we are united at home. I regret I used a poor choice of words."

Interstate agreement between the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, Prussia, Bavaria and Saxony, 25 July 1850.
Original / EnglishOn 30 September 1850 at Dresden, the first international treaty was issued among the first sovereign nations to internet their national electronic communication networks. It was known as the Dresden Convention, and culminated several weeks hammering out basic requirements and techniques to implement an internet spanning the Austro-German European continent at the time, and established a continuing "Union" of signatories to evolve the provisions of the treaty.

The Dresden Convention was a remarkable achievement that necessarily included basic elements of cyber security that persist today. The endurance of the treaty provisions and the collaborative process for cyber security were underscored over the decades by applying the provisions to each new communications technology and an expanding array of nation states that emerged. The network security provisions included those relating to sovereignty over national communication networks and service provisioning, protecting network infrastructure against harm, and sovereign rights to inspect and stop communication harmful to national security.

Over the generations, the technologies included telephone networks, undersea cables, radiocommunication, radio sensing, broadcasting, out-of-band signalling, television and cable video, satellite communication, data communication, public mobile, and datagram internets, ICTs, cloud data centres and network-service virtualisation. In the 1930s, the treaty signatories would give themselves the name International Telecommunication Union.

Today, literally every nation on earth has accepted today's ITU cyber security treaty provisions that originated in 1850. Indeed, despite multiple attempts to develop new global cyber security instruments, few have been successful, and none have been as enduring or ubiquitous as the ITU provisions.

Worth special note is the adjunct ITU cyber security treaty instrument that emerged at the 1988 Melbourne Convention known as the International Telecommunication Regulations. The emergence of multiple datagram-based internets at that time for research and intergovernmental use such as the OSI Datagram and DARPA TCP/IP platforms, resulted in the ITU convening a conference to legalize transnational public internets for commercial offerings. The late Secretary-General Richard Butler convened most of the world's nations in his home town, and after five contentious weeks and two conference chairs, a treaty instrument was produced that legalized international public internets for the first time. Butler himself took considerable pride in writing and personally negotiating the internet key treaty provision known as Article 9.

From a cyber security law development standpoint, what was especially significant was unleashing of the Morris Worm on the DARPA Internet weeks before the Melbourne conference — which played out in the International Herald Tribune daily. The concern was exacerbated by an enterprising New York Times reporter discovering that Morris' father was a noted U.S. national security official. The infamous malware incident resulted in many delegations — especially the cyber security experts on the USSR delegation — insisting Butler include multiple new cyber security provisions before they would agree to any treaty legalizing public internets and services. The provisions were added and based on innovative adaption of a continuum of cyber security treaty provisions that had existed over the decades. After the treaty was signed by most of the world's nations, ITU senior officials led efforts at nation levels to amend their national laws to enable international public internet implementations.

Unfortunately, most of the security provisions of the 1988 Convention related to public global internets were never implemented. The failures to act occurred even as cyber security challenges surrounding the DARPA TCP/IP internet going public grew exponentially.

Today the quest continues among Nation States to develop new cyber security treaty instruments dealing with the same basic requirements faced 167 years ago in a far more complex and globally interconnected environment — with little success and notable failures. Unfortunately, lack of knowledge about public international cyber security law today, seems endemic and appalling — even within the ITU's own ongoing expert groups. Perhaps it is time to return to the basics and develop cyber security solutions derived from Art. 9 of the 1988 Melbourne Convention and the continuum of global network security law that has persisted since Dresden. At a treaty level, the basic network security requirements are unchanged: sovereignty over national communication networks and service provisioning including the ability to inspect and stop communication harmful to national security, and protecting those networks and services against harm.

Disclaimer: The author was Secretary-General Butler's counsellor in 1987-89, responsible for the Melbourne Conference secretariat, and ITU Chief of Telecommunications Regulations and Relations between Members until 1992.

Correcton: October 11, 2017 – An earlier version of the title misstated the years since 1850. It was 167, not 117.

Written by Anthony Rutkowski, Principal, Netmagic Associates LLC

www.circleid.com | 10/11/17

Interstate agreement between the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, Prussia, Bavaria and Saxony, 25 July 1850.
Original / EnglishOn 30 September 1850 at Dresden, the first international treaty was issued among the first sovereign nations to internet their national electronic communication networks. It was known as the Dresden Convention, and culminated several weeks hammering out basic requirements and techniques to implement an internet spanning the Austro-German European continent at the time, and established a continuing "Union" of signatories to evolve the provisions of the treaty.

The Dresden Convention was a remarkable achievement that necessarily included basic elements of cyber security that persist today. The endurance of the treaty provisions and the collaborative process for cyber security were underscored over the decades by applying the provisions to each new communications technology and an expanding array of nation states that emerged. The network security provisions included those relating to sovereignty over national communication networks and service provisioning, protecting network infrastructure against harm, and sovereign rights to inspect and stop communication harmful to national security.

Over the generations, the technologies included telephone networks, undersea cables, radiocommunication, radio sensing, broadcasting, out-of-band signalling, television and cable video, satellite communication, data communication, public mobile, and datagram internets, ICTs, cloud data centres and network-service virtualisation. In the 1930s, the treaty signatories would give themselves the name International Telecommunication Union.

Today, literally every nation on earth has accepted today's ITU cyber security treaty provisions that originated in 1850. Indeed, despite multiple attempts to develop new global cyber security instruments, few have been successful, and none have been as enduring or ubiquitous as the ITU provisions.

Worth special note is the adjunct ITU cyber security treaty instrument that emerged at the 1988 Melbourne Convention known as the International Telecommunication Regulations. The emergence of multiple datagram-based internets at that time for research and intergovernmental use such as the OSI Datagram and DARPA TCP/IP platforms, resulted in the ITU convening a conference to legalize transnational public internets for commercial offerings. The late Secretary-General Richard Butler convened most of the world's nations in his home town, and after five contentious weeks and two conference chairs, a treaty instrument was produced that legalized international public internets for the first time. Butler himself took considerable pride in writing and personally negotiating the internet key treaty provision known as Article 9.

From a cyber security law development standpoint, what was especially significant was unleashing of the Morris Worm on the DARPA Internet weeks before the Melbourne conference — which played out in the International Herald Tribune daily. The concern was exacerbated by an enterprising New York Times reporter discovering that Morris' father was a noted U.S. national security official. The infamous malware incident resulted in many delegations — especially the cyber security experts on the USSR delegation — insisting Butler include multiple new cyber security provisions before they would agree to any treaty legalizing public internets and services. The provisions were added and based on innovative adaption of a continuum of cyber security treaty provisions that had existed over the decades. After the treaty was signed by most of the world's nations, ITU senior officials led efforts at nation levels to amend their national laws to enable international public internet implementations.

Unfortunately, most of the security provisions of the 1988 Convention related to public global internets were never implemented. The failures to act occurred even as cyber security challenges surrounding the DARPA TCP/IP internet going public grew exponentially.

Today the quest continues among Nation States to develop new cyber security treaty instruments dealing with the same basic requirements faced 117 years ago in a far more complex and globally interconnected environment — with little success and notable failures. Unfortunately, lack of knowledge about public international cyber security law today, seems endemic and appalling — even within the ITU's own ongoing expert groups. Perhaps it is time to return to the basics and develop cyber security solutions derived from Art. 9 of the 1988 Melbourne Convention and the continuum of global network security law that has persisted since Dresden. At a treaty level, the basic network security requirements are unchanged: sovereignty over national communication networks and service provisioning including the ability to inspect and stop communication harmful to national security, and protecting those networks and services against harm.

Disclaimer: The author was Secretary-General Butler's counsellor in 1987-89, responsible for the Melbourne Conference secretariat, and ITU Chief of Telecommunications Regulations and Relations between Members until 1992.

Written by Anthony Rutkowski, Principal, Netmagic Associates LLC

www.circleid.com | 10/11/17

Roy Price, the head of Amazon Studios, encouraged his subordinates to buy a series called “12 Parties” from his fiancee, Lila Feinberg, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

“12 Parties” ultimately didn’t see the light of day. Several Amazon employees were “uncomfortable” with the situation, and Amazon Studios declined to buy the script after a review from the company’s legal department over a potential conflict of interest, the Journal said.

One character shared several traits with Price, the newspaper reported: He was a middle-aged Harvard grad with a tattoo of iconic punk-rock band Black Flag and an affinity for leather jackets. The character’s younger girlfriend, “Lita,” was a New York-based writer — just like Feinberg.

Also Read: Weinstein Company Board Member Dirk Ziff Resigns

The report about Price came amid a lengthy story about Amazon’s struggle to thrive in Hollywood. It also said that Comedy Chief Joe Lewis “pressured” the producers of “The Tick” to cast his girlfriend, Yara Martinez, in the show’s pilot, and pushed for her to have an expanded role on the show. Martinez landed a recurring role, but series creator Ben Edlund told the WSJ he didn’t feel forced to cast her.

In August, The Information reported that Amazon Studios hired a firm in 2015 to investigate a report that Price made unwanted sexual remarks to “The Man in the High Castle” producer Isa Hackett at Comic-Con. Amazon said it took all such allegations seriously. It did not release the findings of the investigation, but Price has remained on the job and Hackett stayed on the show.

The WSJ report also said that Comedy Chief Joe Lewis “pressured” the producers of “The Tick” to cast his girlfriend, Yara Martinez, in the show’s pilot, and pushed for her to have an expanded role on the show. Martinez landed a recurring role, but series creator Ben Edlund told the WSJ he didn’t feel forced to cast her.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Amazon Slapped With $294 Million Bill for Back Taxes in Europe

'Stranger Things' Writer Justin Doble Inks Deal With Amazon Studios

Amazon Cancels F. Scott Fitzgerald Drama Series 'The Last Tycoon'

www.thewrap.com | 10/6/17

TheWrap is partnering with Zone·tv — a new pay-TV platform that delivers digital content on linear television — to launch its upcoming slate of original programming.

The digital media outlet will bring several shows to Zone·tv across North America and Europe, including “Studio Wrap” and “Emmy Quickies.” Each program will give viewers an up-close look at the “business of show,” from the stars to the red carpet to the executives and creators of Hollywood’s top movies and shows.

In a statement announcing the deal, Zone·tv CEO Jeff Weber pointed to TheWrap editor-in-chief Sharon Waxman as a key figure in bringing TheWrap to TV.

Also Read: Why Wang Jianlin and Wanda's Problems are 'More Political Than Economic'

“We know that our subscribers and MVPD affiliates expect the very best cutting-edge content from us. Today we are adding TheWrap, one of the most compelling news organizations that covers Hollywood,” Weber said in a statement. “Sharon Waxman has become one of the most authentic voices on one of the fastest-growing industry-focused outlets. Our audience will be thrilled to watch TheWrap on TV.”

Waxman echoed Weber’s sentiment, saying  Zone·tv is the “perfect” partner to bring TheWrap to linear audiences.

“Zone·tv is one of the most exciting new programmers to come along. It is incredibly cutting-edge, bringing a new level of digital transformation to linear TV,” said Sharon Waxman, founder and editor of TheWrap. “It is the perfect platform to introduce TheWrap to traditional TV audiences.”

Also Read: CAA and Youku Tudou Discuss What's Next for Streaming in China

Aiming to bridge the gap between online and traditional content, Zone·tv is available across several providers, including AT&T U-verse, Comcast, DirecTV, CenturyLink, Telus, Bell Canada, and Frontier Communications.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Chuck Schumer on Las Vegas Massacre: Congress Must Pass Laws to 'Keep Our Citizens Safe'

How to Help Las Vegas Shooting Victims

Las Vegas Shooter's Father Was Bank Robber on FBI's Most Wanted List

www.thewrap.com | 10/3/17

Brought to you by the editors of People en Español.

Clara Alonso has a lot to celebrate. The former Victoria’s Secret model gets to travel the world for work, married her beau Robert Serafin last month, and was just made the new face of European lingerie brand Yamamay. But life as an in-demand model isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be.

The Spanish beauty opened up to Hispanic newspaper El Pais about her insecurities, the pressures of social media and how the modeling industry is evolving.

Although she now fronts a new lingerie brand, and has often walked Victoria’s Secret runways scantily clad, she wasn’t always comfortable revealing so much skin. “At the beginning of my career it was hard… There are so many people around you… and it embarrasses you to have people see you ,” she said. “But nowadays I’m used to it and I feel just as comfortable in lingerie as I do wearing clothes.”

“At some moment I did feel judged and rejected,” she said referring to the early years of her career. “But if you ask any model,” she added, “they’ll tell you that they felt something similar.”

Alsono also spoke with the Spanish paper about her struggle to adapt to the news demands of social media. With over 167k followers on Instagram, her feed needs a lot of time and attention. “Many clients no longer ask to see your book or call your agency to ask about previous jobs, they go directly to your Instagram and see where you travel to and who you work with,” she said. “Many times I’ll be traveling and working, and I don’t have time to update it. It’s an added pressure, it’s a second job.”

 

On a positive note, she said she recognizes that the fashion industry is much more progressive than it used to be. During this season’s New York Fashion Week, for example, there were a record number plus-size models working the runways, and greater diversity is visible across ad campaigns and magazines spreads. Zara recently launched the ‘Timeless’ campaign featuring women over 40; Transgender model Teddy Quinlivan was the sixth most-booked model this season; and Ashley Graham made history as the first plus-size model to grace the cover of Vogue this past March.

“I think it’s extremely important for everyone to feel included and for everybody to feel like they can identify with what’s out there in the market,” Alonso said.


people.com | 9/26/17
French President Emmanuel Macron said Turkey remained a vital partner of the European Union and ties should be maintained even if the country had strayed from the EU path, according to a newspaper interview published on Thursday (7 September).
www.euractiv.com | 9/7/17

Bethenny Frankel is serving bod!

The Real Housewives of New York City star is currently on vacation in Ibiza, Spain, and was spotted Saturday hitting the beach in a pretty white bikini with a string bottom and off-the-shoulder, ruffled top.

Aside from a set of super-toned abs, Frankel, 46, accessorized the look with multiple bracelets and a watch, a wide-brimmed beige hat, hoop earrings, purple-tinted sunglasses and a gold necklace as she soaked up the sun.

The star has been sharing multiple photos from her sunny vacation, featuring herself in multiple swimsuits and even a peek into the local cuisine.

RELATED VIDEO: RHONY Star Bethenny Frankel Responds to Critics about Her Being Too Skinny

“Chicken under the brick with roasted potatoes… crispy, zesty, delicious #foodporn,” she captioned a Sunday snap of a tasty-looking dish.

RELATED: Why Bethenny Frankel Feels Like She’s “Always Apologizing for Being Successful”

Frankel’s trip comes after RHONY’s season 9 reunion episodes are currently airing in the U.S. — the second of which aired Wednesday and saw the television personality, author and Skinnygirl mogul break down in tears about the “torment and torture” she’s had to deal with “every single second” since her split from ex-husband Jason Hoppy.

In her emotional recollection, Frankel shared her feelings about the harassment and stalking charges she’s brought against Hoppy, after he was arrested in January for allegedly threatening the star at their 7-year-old daughter Bryn Casey‘s school.

FROM PEN: Supermodel Christie Brinkley is 63 and back in SI‘s Swimsuit Issue with Her Daughters!

 

RELATED GALLERY: Bethenny Frankel’s Best Itty-Bitty Bikini Moments

But the future Shark Tank judge is prioritizing her own health and happiness — not only through her European getaway, but in her love life as well.

“It’s more than giving it another shot,” Frankel said on Wednesday’s episode of rekindling her relationship with banker Dennis Shields. “Things had to be dealt with and sort of a gauntlet needed to be gotten through and it happened. I’m in a better place. And I’m in a better place to make a sane decision.”

 


people.com | 8/27/17
Ireland's finance minister said the European Commission's demand that Dublin collect up to €13 billion in back taxes from Apple was unjustified, in an interview with Germany's Frankfurter Allgemeine (FAZ) newspaper.
www.euractiv.com | 8/17/17

Jared Kushner‘s Jewish faith is back in the spotlight as his father-in-law, Donald Trump, faces widespread backlash over his refusal to unequivocally condemn white supremacists, neo-Nazis and the KKK for the deadly violence that engulfed Charlottesville, Virginia, during a white nationalist rally over the weekend.

The president’s daughter and advisor, Ivanka Trump — who converted to Judaism before marrying Kusher, an Orthodox Jew, in 2009 — tweeted after the events in Charlottesville, “There should be no place in society for racism, white supremacy and neo-nazis.”

But Kushner, 36, a former real-estate developer and newspaper publisher who is also a senior advisor to the president, has yet to comment on the rally where nationalist and right-wing protesters chanted anti-Semitic slogans, and where one anti-racist counter-protester, Heather Heyer, 32, was killed.

Trump has been widely lambasted for asserting that white supremacists and counter-protesters were equally to blame. More than a year before this latest uproar, Kushner wrote an op-ed insisting that his father-in-law was neither an anti-Semite nor a racist.

1:2 There should be no place in society for racism, white supremacy and neo-nazis.

— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) August 13, 2017

2:2 We must all come together as Americans — and be one country UNITED. #Charlottesville

— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) August 13, 2017

In a piece titled “The Donald Trump I Know” for his former newspaper The New York Observer, Kushner accused his father-in-law’s political rivals, the media and the “speech police” of labeling Trump racist and anti-Semitic in an effort to “score political points.”

He, of all people, would know if his father-in-law was racist, Kushner argued, because his grandparents were Holocaust survivors.

Describing how his paternal grandparents, Rae and Joseph Kushner, narrowly escaped death at the hands of the Nazis in Eastern Europe, Kushner wrote: “It’s important to me that people understand where I’m coming from when I report that I know the difference between actual, dangerous intolerance versus these labels that get tossed around in an effort to score political points.”

RELATED VIDEO: Exclusive: Natasha Stoynoff Speaks Out: ‘I Don’t Want Women to Feel Afraid’

Kushner faced harsh criticism — including from his own family members — for invoking his grandparents’ experience during the election campaign to defend Trump against accusations of anti-Semitism.

“I have a different take­away from my grandparents’ experience in the war,” his cousin, Marc Kushner, wrote in a Facebook post at the time, according to Politico. “It is our responsibility as the next generation to speak up against hate. Anti­semitism or otherwise.”

Kushner’s other cousin Jacob Schulder also condemned the op-ed. “When an out of touch with reality nominee hires an out of touch with reality campaign manager, who is also a son­-in-­law, you get the BS Jared wrote,” Schulder said on Facebook.

“The very first thing a responsible campaign manager should do, I’d think, and I mean the very first thing, would be to take away his father-­in­-law’s Twitter account. Even Joseph Kushner would’ve had the street smarts to figure that one out while living on boiled potatoes in the forest,” he added of his grandfather.

1/WATCH: Extraordinary testimonial by Jared Kushner's grandmother, Holocaust survivor Rae Kushner, about the plight of WWII Jewish refugees. pic.twitter.com/AbC6BOyzWl

— Jody Rosen (@jodyrosen) January 29, 2017

Kushner’s late grandmother Rae also spoke out about her experience as a Holocaust survivor in a 1982 interview that resurfaced in January after Trump signed an executive order banning Syrian refugees and people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.

In the interview, Rae recounted how she and her family tried to flee Eastern Europe before the Holocaust, only to find that “the door was closed” to the United States, which, motivated in part by widespread anti-immigrant sentiment at the time, largely rejected Jewish refugees from Europe.

“A few Jews, friends of my father’s who had stores, left everything and went to Palestine. they said to my father and mother, ‘Sell everything and run,’ ” Rae said, according to a transcript of the interview published in the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.

“But we had a problem. We didn’t know where to run. There was no Israel like there is today. There was no place that you could legally go to. It was very hard to get a visa to the United States; it would take years and years.

“For a family with small kids to pick themselves up and go it was very hard. But a few families left to Palestine and they stayed alive. We felt the anti-Semitism. We felt something was coming, but we couldn’t help ourselves.

“The doors of the world were closed to us. You know how hard it was to get to Israel? Boys and girls used to sit in a camp for three or four years before they could go to Palestine. To go to America was harder. You sent your papers and you waited for years before you could get a visa.”

With nowhere to turn, the family remained in Rae’s hometown of Novogrudok in what was then Poland and today is Belarus, which was soon taken over by Nazis and turned into a Jewish ghetto. It was there that Rae’s mother, older sister and younger brother were killed.

Rae, her sister and their father managed to escape through a tunnel. After living in the woods for nearly a year and then smuggling themselves across several borders, they eventually found shelter at a refugee camp in Italy. Kushner lived there for three and a half years until relatives in the U.S. helped acquire visas for her and her husband Joseph, a fellow survivor whom she met in Hungary.

Later in the interview, Rae criticized America for its refusal to give refuge to Jews fleeing the Holocaust. “For the Jews, the doors were closed,” she said. “We never understood that. Even President Roosevelt kept the doors closed. Why? … What was the world afraid of? I don’t understand.”

Rae’s story, when it reemerged this year, drew attention for its parallels to the modern-day struggles of Syrian refugees who have been turned away from America by President Trump—while Rae’s own grandson stood silently by.

Now, as his father-in-law faces fresh allegations of racism and anti-Semitism, critics are denouncing Kushner almost as sharply for his silence.

Kushner is the grandson of a Holocaust survivor. His silence about this – and so much else – is at least as shocking as anything Trump says.

— Hadley Freeman (@HadleyFreeman) August 16, 2017

total, conspicuous silence today from Kushner, Cohn, Mnuchin

(@shearm)https://t.co/l7bcG7Xmj3

— Matt Mittenthal (@mattmittenthal) August 16, 2017

As members of the Jewish faith, @IvankaTrump & @jaredkushner's silence to white nationalists is deafening.

Let's get them to take a stance. pic.twitter.com/O4Xev7LhHK

— Nate Lerner (@NathanLerner) August 16, 2017

The great grandparents of Donald Trump's grandchildren are Holocaust survivors yet he can't denounce Nazis. @JaredKushner, how do you sleep?

— Michael Skolnik (@MichaelSkolnik) August 15, 2017

Jared Kushner where you at trick?

— MichaelRapaport (@MichaelRapaport) August 16, 2017

Trump's dog whistles, over many years, rallied the nazis to action. And where is Jared Kushner? These people hate Jews too. https://t.co/jtSb224hvA

— SteveHeimoff (@SteveHeimoff) August 13, 2017

Trump has been roundly criticized for his comments on Saturday and Tuesday in which he blamed “both sides” for the violence in Charlottesville, where white supremacists, neo-Nazis and others had marched through town carrying torches and chanting, “Jews will not replace us.” One attendee, identified by police as 20-year-old James Alex Fields Jr., is accused of ramming his car into a group of counter-protesters, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer.

“It looked like they had some rough, bad people, neo-Nazis, white nationalists, whatever you want to call them,” the president said Tuesday. “But you had a lot of people in that group that were there to innocently protest and very legally protest.”

A senior White House official told NBC News that Trump “went rogue” at the press conference as he doubled down on his initial, widely denounced response to the violence on Saturday. Facing backlash, Trump delivered a second speech on Monday condemning racism, “the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups.”

The New York Times‘ Glenn Thrush reported on Tuesday that Kushner and Ivanka had pushed Trump to issue a full-throated condemnation of the racism at the white nationalist rally—but from afar.

“As with so many other critical moments in Mr.. Trump’s presidency,” the Times reported, “the two were on vacation, this time in Vermont.”

The New York Times reported Wednesday afternoon that requests for comment to Kushner and the few other Jewish members of President Trump’s administration went unanswered.


people.com | 8/17/17

Patrick Dempsey is making his return to television with a starring role in a new EPIX miniseries.

It was announced Tuesday that production has begun on “The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair,” a 10-part adaptation of the European novel of the same name by Joël Dicker.

Dempsey, who hasn’t starred on TV since he left his long-running role on “Grey’s Anatomy” in 2015, will star as Harry Quebert, an author who is arrested for murder after the body of a 15-year-old girl who’s been missing for over 30 years.

Ben Schnetzer, who recently starred in the “Snowden” biopic and in “Warcraft,” will play Marcus Goldman, Quebert’s longtime mentee who travels to Quebert’s home in coastal Maine to cure his writer’s block. After his mentor is arrested, he begins to investigate the cold case, which eventually becomes the subject of his next book.

Also Read: 'Get Shorty': Watch Ray Romano and Chris O'Dowd in Epix Series' First Trailer (Video)

Rounding out the cast is Damon Wayans Jr., who plays Sgt. Perry Gahalowood, a Maine State Police investigator who is looking into the teen’s death, and Virginia Madsen as Tamara Quinn, an owner of a local diner who knows more about Quebert than she lets on.

Other cast members include newcomer Kristine Froseth, Colm Feore, Josh Close, Matt Frewer, Connor Price, Tessa Mossey, Victoria Clark, Craig Eldridge, Kurt Fuller, Don Harvey, Felicia Shulman and Wayne Knight.

The book, published in 2012, has sold over two million copies worldwide and has been published in 25 languages.

Jean-Jaccques Annaud (“Seven Years in Tibet”) is set to make his television debut by directing every episode.

Also Read: MGM to Buy Premium Cable Network Epix in $1 Billion Deal

“‘The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair’ was the ideal project for my first American television venture,” Annaud said in a statement. “It is a rich and nuanced novel set in a small New-England town and has all the elements for a classic mystery.”

Lyn Greene and Richard Levine of “Masters of Sex” wrote the pilot script and several episodes.

The two writers, along with Annaud, are executive producing, along with Tarak Ben Ammar and Fabio Conversi. The series is being produced by MGM Television, Barbary Films and Eagle Pictures.

Related stories from TheWrap:

15 Actors Who Played JFK, From Patrick Dempsey to Rob Lowe (Photos)

Shonda Rhimes on Patrick Dempsey's 'Grey's Anatomy' Exit: 'Derek Had to Die'

MGM Borrows $2.1 Billion to Finance Epix Deal, Grow Company

Meg Ryan to Star in Epix Comedy Series 'Picture Paris'

www.thewrap.com | 8/15/17
Martin Schulz, who was president of the European Parliament until January, said on Germany's ZDF television's "Berlin Direkt" program that there are still six weeks of campaigning to go before the Sept. 24 vote. "I think that I still have a good chance to lead the next government," he said.
The UK is prepared to pay up to €40 billion as part of a deal to leave the European Union, the Sunday Telegraph newspaper reported, citing three unnamed sources familiar with Britain's negotiating strategy.
www.euractiv.com | 8/7/17

BERLIN — German media group WeltN24 has filed a complaint against Turkey with the European Court of Human Rights over the jailing of one of its reporters.

The publisher says German-Turkish reporter Deniz Yucel's imprisonment has prevented his newspaper, Die Welt, from being able to report from Turkey since February.

WeltN24's chief executive Stephanie Caspar said in a statement Saturday that the company was using "all possible legal means to defend both Deniz Yucel's and the publisher's freedom of press."

Fears over queues at passport control in European airports continue to make headlines on Friday.
www.bbc.co.uk | 8/4/17

Discovery Communications’ $14.6 billion deal for the parent company of HGTV and the Food Network, Scripps Networks Interactive, makes it a powerhouse in traditional cable. But more importantly — and like so many HGTV shows — it gives the growing family a better framework for what comes next.

The mega-deal, which handsomely rewarded Scripps shareholders with a 34 percent premium over the stock price when the potential acquisition was first reported, is all about securing an (expensive) foothold in at least part of the future of pay-TV: over-the-top streaming services, which have reshuffled the deck in the era of cord-cutters and cord-nevers. Popular networks and content owners have all kinds of new distribution outlets from which to cash in, but marginal channels dependent on the traditional large bundle are finding themselves in a tough spot when cash-conscious couch potatoes choose to downsize.

The best way not to be marginal: buy a ratings powerhouse like HGTV.

Also Read: Discovery Agrees to Buy Scripps for $14.6 Billion

“Discovery’s added scale, content engine and multiple brand offerings will present a compelling opportunity for new digital distribution partners, including mobile, OTT, and direct-to-consumer platforms and offerings,” the two companies said in a joint statement announcing the deal.

That opportunity wasn’t lost on Viacom, which also made a play for Scripps and whose MTV and Comedy Central channels’ viewership is far below their heyday, as their target millennial demographic has largely moved on from “Jersey Shore” to “Netflix and chill.” HGTV and Food Network would have helped the company build a more durable collection of cable networks for the 2017 audience.

Scripps, however, has had a much better go of it in these cord-cutting times. Its crown jewel, HGTV, has increased its prime time viewership by 29 percent since 2013 during a time when some other cable channels, like Disney’s ESPN, are shedding subscribers by the hundreds of thousands every month.

Also Read: Discovery Q2 Earnings: Future Scripps Owner Misses Wall Street Forecasts

And with the addition of the Scripps networks, the bigger and better Discovery will have a nearly 20 percent share of the domestic ad-supported cable audience and more than 20 percent of female prime time pay-TV viewers. In addition to HGTV and Food Network, Scripps includes Travel Channel, DIY Network, Cooking Channel and Great American Country, as well as a handful of international properties. Discovery’s offerings consist of its flagship Discovery Channel, TLC, Investigation Discovery, Animal Planet, Science and Turbo/Velocity, in addition to the American operations of OWN, Discovery Kids in Latin America and Eurosport.

Google’s YouTube TV has essentially built its streaming television service based on the four broadcast networks and their affiliates, adding the AMC Networks family of channels in order to reel in new subscribers with AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” the highest rated show on television. And with about 50 channels — similar to the base packages for competitors like Hulu with Live TV, Sling TV and DirecTV Now — these internet TV providers don’t necessarily have room for everyone. YouTube TV doesn’t carry the Turner networks like CNN and TNT or channels from Discovery, Scripps or Viacom. Hulu has Turner and Scripps but no Discovery or Viacom. Sling has Turner, Scripps and Viacom, but no Discovery.

On Discovery’s first-quarter earnings call, CEO David Zaslav called many of those streaming services “overstuffed turkeys,” saying those bundles weren’t exactly “skinny” once regional sports networks and broadband was added in, and contrasted them with European plans that Discovery’s channels are a part of. But when the people are asking for overstuffed turkeys, it’s good to be on the plate.

Also Read: Discovery, Scripps Networks In Talks to Combine

It’s no longer enough just to have a channel that’s widely distributed through traditional providers. Networks that aren’t popular or powerful enough to squeeze into the smaller menus offered by the new carriers that are increasingly becoming the way younger generations of consumers watch pay-TV, risk being left behind.

That’s why Discovery was happy to oblige when the home of “House Hunters” was looking for a new landing spot of its own. In the world of streaming television, it’s helpful to have a sister property with hits like “Property Brothers.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

Discovery Q2 Earnings: Future Scripps Owner Misses Wall Street Forecasts

Discovery Agrees to Buy Scripps for $14.6 Billion

Discovery, Scripps Networks In Talks to Combine

www.thewrap.com | 7/31/17
[Monitor] Kampala -The Attorney General (AG), Mr William Byaruhanga, was taken ill and fainted briefly at his hotel during a recent working visit to Europe, sources have told this newspaper.
allafrica.com | 7/28/17

An HBO miniseries about the 1986 Chernobyl disaster is set to begin production in Lithuania in Spring 2018, the premium cable network said Wednesday at the Television Critics Association press tour. “The Crown” star Jared Harris (pictured above) will play Valery Legasov, the Soviet scientist chosen by the Kremlin to investigate the accident.

Here’s the five-parter’s description, straight from the pay-TV channel: “Chernobyl” dramatizes the true story of one of the worst man-made catastrophes in history, and tells of the brave men and women who sacrificed to save Europe from unimaginable disaster. The miniseries is a tale of lies and cowardice, of courage and conviction, of human failure and human nobility, HBO continued. “Chernobyl” reveals how and why the disaster happened, telling the stories of the heroes who fought and fell.

The nuclear accident in a region of what was then the USSR directly killed 31 people. The potential for longterm cancers could ultimately carry the toll into the thousands, studies project.

Also Read: Jon Stewart Set to Headline at HBO With First Stand-Up Special in 21 Years

“Chernobyl” is written by Craig Mazin and will be directed by Johan Renck. The limited series, which enters production next year, will be executive produced by Carolyn Strauss, Jane Featherstone and Craig Mazin, and co-executive produced by Chris Fry and Johan Renck. “Chernobyl” will be produced by Sister Pictures and The Mighty Mint as HBO and Sky Television’s first co-production under a new partnership.

“From the moment Craig Mazin pitched us the story, we were convinced that this all-too-true tale of horror and redemption needed to be told,” said Kary Antholis, president, HBO Miniseries and Cinemax Programming. “It will engage — and enrage — our viewers, as well as audiences around the world.”

“In Chernobyl, Craig Mazin has achieved something unique — his script is second to none, effortlessly combining the visceral, the tragic and the heroic perspectives behind this devastating event,” added Gary Davey, managing director, content, Sky. “The scale of the production makes it a perfect first project for our co-production partnership with HBO, encapsulating our ambition to develop high-end drama with international viewpoints and casting. We look forward to working closely with HBO to bring this important story to Sky Atlantic.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

AT&T Moves Closer to Gobbling Up HBO, CNN

'Ballers' Star Omar Miller Says His Character Has 'Most Realistic' Storyline on HBO Show (Exclusive Video)

'Game of Thrones' Showrunners Reveal Next HBO Project: 'Confederate'

Why HBO Host John Oliver Can't Be Muzzled by a Coal Boss

www.thewrap.com | 7/26/17

Nat Geo and Channel 4’s upcoming drama series “The State” will surely to raise some eyebrows when it premieres in the fall, telling the story of four British men and women who move to Syria to join the Islamic State.

Given the recent spate of violent ISIS-backed terrorist attacks throughout Europe, the miniseries will touch close to home for some of its viewers as it attempts to humanize the lives of the perpetrators. But writer and directer Peter Kosminsky says it’s his job to tell difficult stories.

“That war has been brought to the streets of our cities … so this is a very live topic,” Kosminsky said at the Television Critics Association press tour on Tuesday. “But I guess our jobs as dramatists is to hold a mirror up to society, however difficult that may be.”

Also Read: 'City of Ghosts' Review: Syrian Citizen Journalists Fight ISIS in Vital Doc

“I don’t think we do a particular service to relatives of those who’ve suffered in the Islamic State atrocities to just say, ‘Well they’re all insane, they’re all lunatics,’ and somehow salve our conscious in that way,” he said. “The difficulty is that it isn’t that simple. Tough as it may be, our job is to try to look a little deeper and try to provide some kind of antidote to simplistic thought if we can.”

Based on 18 months of research and first-hand accounts, Kosminsky says every event in “The State” is taken from the real experience of a young person who was radicalized in Europe and traveled to Syria to join the terrorist group.

“We’re not going to make a show about radicalization, we’re going to make a show about what the daily lives are like of these young people who went out to Syria,” he said. “Where do you live? What do you do? What do you eat? How do you survive in that environment when you’ve grown up in London or Paris?”

Also Read: Afghan Officials: 'Mother of all Bombs' Kills 36 ISIS Fighters, 0 Civilians

Research shows that it’s hard to say what type of person is a likely target for radicalization, the director said.

“The truth is there is no common path. It seems to cross the demographic completely,” Kosminsky explained. “There’s a full range of people going. The only thing you can say is that their attachment to their religion, to Islam, is shallow.”

“It seems that the deeper your knowledge and experience of the Islamic faith is, the less likely you are to travel to Syria,” he said.

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www.thewrap.com | 7/26/17

Veteran film producer Evzen Kolar, whose credits include the 1997 Harvey Keitel drama “City of Industry,” has died in Los Angeles at age 67, his family announced Monday.

The Czech-born filmmaker also produced the 1993 Leslie Nielsen-Rob Schneider comedy “Surf Ninjas” through his KPI Entertainment production company and director Zalman King’s “Delta of Venus.”

In addition, he produced John Avildsen’s 1999 Jean-Claude Van Damme action movie “Inferno” (a.k.a. “Desert Heat”), Bruce Beresford’s 2001 period drama “Bride of the Wind,” and John Irvin’s 2003 comedy “The Boys and Girls from County Clare” starring Colm Meaney, Bernard Hill and Andrea Corr.

Also Read: Martin Landau, Oscar-Winning 'Ed Wood' Actor, Dies at 89

The son of a diplomat, Kolar was born in Moravia in Czech Republic. He began his film and television career as a child actor before becoming an assistant director working throughout Europe on numerous commercials, television projects and features. After settling in London in the late 1970s, he produced fringe theater before moving to the U.S. in 1979.

He previously served as VP of production at Fireline Productions (a subsidiary of the Armand Hammer Company) and CEO at Crossover Films as well as a line producer on studio and indie films.

Also Read: George A Romero, 'Night of the Living Dead' Director, Dies at 77

Kolar also served as a Jury Member for the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (Czech Republic) and the International Antalya Film Festival in Turkey.

He is survived by his wife, Deborah Shaw Kolar, co-partner of PR and marketing firm Kean & Kolar Communications, daughter Rachel McCord, grandson Mateus Kofi McCord and son Rob Kolar, a musician.

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www.thewrap.com | 7/17/17

Congress is a tad busy these days, what with various committees investigating the Trump campaign for admittedly seeking dirt from Russia on candidate Hillary Clinton. Not to mention the turbulent fight to pass a health care bill.

So, it’s unlikely that Congress will give immediate relief to a newspaper alliance seeking an anti-trust exemption to collectively negotiate a bigger cut of online ad revenues from digital advertising giants Google and Facebook.

Even in “normal times,” it’s “rare” for Congress to grant any industry an anti-trust exemption, law professor Herbert Hovenkamp told TheWrap.

Also Read: Why HBO Host John Oliver Can't Be Muzzled by a Coal Boss

“These things cook around for years and decades and they are almost never granted,” said Hovenkamp, a law professor specializing in anti-trust law at the University of Pennsylvania.

“In current times, I’d say there’s practically no chance. Congress is not very patient or happy about the press,” said Hovenkamp, a law professor specializing in anti-trust law at the University of Pennsylvania. “I don’t see them giving the institutional press any favors.”

The News Media Alliance, a newspaper trade group that represents more than 2,000 American newspapers, published an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal on Monday calling on Congress for an antitrust safe harbor against Google and Facebook, which the group considers a “digital duopoly,” according to the alliance website.

Also Read: First Amendment Under Attack? TheWrap's Sharon Waxman Weighs in With Panel of Experts (Video)

Paul Boyle, senior vice president of public policy at the newspaper group, acknowledges that “in this political environment it is difficult to get anything done.”

“But, there is definitely an interest from policymakers on the impact of the duopoly on local news organizations and concern that with this online dominance there may not be a path forward to fund local journalism over the long-term,” Boyle told TheWrap.

Boyle noted that Congress passed the Newspaper Preservation Act in 1970, granting newspapers an anti-trust exemption by allowing two papers in the same city to combine business operations but keep separate newsrooms.

Also Read: Is Freedom of Expression in Danger in Trump Era? First Amendment Experts Weigh In (Video)

Federal anti-trust laws prevent companies from banding together and fixing prices for consumers or dictating worker salaries. The newspaper group wants an exemption to join forces and collectively negotiate better deals with the two internet giants.

“Because of this digital duopoly, publishers are forced to surrender their content and play by their rules on how news and information is displayed, prioritized and monetized,” the newspaper group said on its website.

A “duopoly” is like a monopoly, except two businesses dominate a particular market instead of just one. Before the internet, newspapers collected 100 percent of the revenues from ads placed in their papers.  Now that newspapers have migrated to the internet, they are forced to share a larger and larger cut of their digital ad revenues controlled by Google and Facebook.

Also Read: What Happens if the Media Defies White House Camera Ban?

“CBS’s net profit margin is 10 percent and Google’s is around 30 percent,” University of Southern California professor emeritus Jonathan Taplin told TheWrap.

“What’s the difference? CBS pays a lot to create content. Google doesn’t. Google is a free-rider,” said Taplin, author of the book, “Move Fast and Break Things: How Facebook, Google and Amazon Cornered Culture and Undermined Democracy.”

Even if Google and Facebook are duopolies, they are not violating anti-trust laws unless they collude together to fix prices, which is not being alleged by the newspaper group.

Also Read: James Woods Fires Back After Neil Patrick Harris Diss Over 'Gender Creative' Tweet

“Even if they are selling ads at a high price, that is not illegal under the anit-trust laws,” Hovenkamp said.

Google and Facebook are monster digital advertising companies that collectively earned 85 percent of all new digital advertising revenue in 2016.

Tim Worstall, a fellow at the free-market think tank the Adam Smith Institute in London, said he was “howlingly sceptical [sic]” of the request for anti-trust exemption relief.

Also Read: Whoopi Goldberg Slams Black Lives Matter Activist Over 'Planet of the Apes' Criticism (Video)

“The industry is being gutted, that’s entirely true, but then it should be,” he wrote in a recent in an Forbes article. “No to the antitrust exemption therefore, let the newspaper industry adapt to the changing economic geography, don’t prop it up.”

Goggle has not escaped anti-trust crack-downs. Last month, the European Union slapped Google with a $2.7 billion fine for favoring its own services in search engine results.

Related stories from TheWrap:

5 Crazy Stats Behind Facebook and Google's Advertising 'Duopoly'

Newspapers Challenge Google, Facebook 'Duopoly'

Google Slapped With $2.7 Billion Fine in Europe Over Online Searches

Google Dominance: Alphabet Tops $1,000 Milestone

www.thewrap.com | 7/13/17
TV production powerhouse Banijay Group has completed a 365M euro ($416M) capital raise which will be used to finance the acquisition of Castaway Television Productions . The latter is the creator and rights owner of hit international format, Survivor . The funds will also go towards refinancing existing debt that resulted from Banijay’s 2015 merger with Zodiak which created a pan-European giant. Castaway’s owners, Bob Geldof, Lord Waheed Alli and Charlie Parsons , reached an…
deadline.com | 7/10/17

In May this year, two brothers, Vázquez and Agustín Torres, were murdered near Guadalajara in Jalisco, Mexico. They were Wixárika (Huichol) leaders, working to preserve their land from incursion by cattle ranchers and drug cartels. This tragedy of greed and corruption serves as an alarm bell for activists attempting to preserve our natural world.  

Murdered Wixárika leader, Miguel Vázquez Torres (photo by Nelson Denman) 

The worldwide crisis on Indigenous land is as urgent as climate change or biodiversity loss. Approximately 400 million Indigenous peoples, with 5,000 distinct cultures, represent most of the world’s cultural diversity. Their land is threatened by mining and logging companies, ranchers and farmers, oil exploration, and now by the drug cartels too.

In spite of the 2007 United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, few nations actually recognise the land rights of Indigenous peoples. Their land is lost to resource extraction without legally mandated prior informed consent. Since Indigenous lands contain vast biological diversity, these communities are fighting not only to preserve their cultures but also to preserve what is left of Earth's wild ecosystems.

Political capital in Mexico 

Miguel Vázquez Torres, commissioner of Wixárika public lands, and Agustín, an attorney in the land claim battle, were members of the Indigenous San Sebastian Teponahuaxtlán community. They led a campaign to recover 10,000 hectares, a meagre 4% of Wixárika ancestral lands. They had invited ranchers to engage in peaceful dialogue and had asked the Mexican government to provide security to avoid violence while resisting the cartels.

Drug cartels now infiltrate Wixárika land, seeking remote regions to grow illegal crops. In 2001, drug lord Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán confiscated Wixárika land for cannabis plantations. After El Chapo was captured in 2014, the Sinaloa and Nueva Generación (New Generation) cartels took over, and poppy plantations replaced marijuana, serving the US heroin market. Since ranchers and drug dealers shared the desire to eliminate Wixárika resistance, some believe the two groups collaborated in the violence.

During European colonisation, the 240,000-hectare Wixárika territory on the west coast of Mexico was confiscated, primarily by ranchers. Armed settlers, often assisted by police, have resisted Wixárika efforts to retrieve their land.

Wixárika community during reoccupation of ancestral lands, Sept. 22, 2016 (photo by Abraham Pérez) 

After a 50-year struggle, Nayarit courts ruled to return 10,000 hectares of land to the Wixárika. Vázquez Torres set up a dialogue to ease the fear of ranchers and petitioned the government to create a transfer fund for ranchers, to avoid violence. When the government refused the fund and failed to provide security for the scheduled transfer, Wixárika leaders mobilized 1,000 community members to occupy a single abandoned farm.

Angry ranchers established roadblocks, trapping court officials, journalists and the Wixárika. Public lands commissioner, Santos Hernandez revealed that officials were afraid to travel in the region due to the threat of violence. "They [ranchers and cartels] are watching all of us and our families,” he told the Center For World Indigenous Studies. In January 2017, Isidro Baldenegro, an environmental leader in the Tarahumara community, was gunned down in Chihuahua.  

In the Mexican Congress, House Minority Speaker Clemente Castañeda's resolution for government security in the Nayarit/Jalisco region passed into law in February 2017, but to no avail. The government stalled. In May, Vázquez and Agustín Torres were shot and killed.

“We solicited the governor of the state," said Fela Pelayo, head of Jalisco congressional commission for Indigenous Affairs. "We said that the situation was delicate, and ... now, after eight months of inaction, we have two Indigenous leaders dead.”

“Indigenous people don’t represent political capital for the political parties," Vázquez Torres told a journalist before he was killed; "that’s why they don’t have us on their agendas.”

The human family

Munduruku mother and her children in the Amazon 

All around the world, Indigenous people are fighting to protect their land. From the Sami in Scandinavia, to the Ainu of Hokkaid? in the Sea of Japan; from Tibetans and Mongolians occupied by China, to the Degar and Khmer Krom in Vietnam; from the Balinese, Sasak, Nuaulu and over 300 ethnic groups in Indonesia, to the Arctic Inuit, and thousands more on every continent.

Over 60 uncontacted tribal peoples remain in the Brazilian Amazon. Protecting their independence would also preserve millions of hectares of tropical rainforest. In the 1950s, land belonging to Guarani and Kaiowa peoples were sold for plantations. Reduced to living in poverty in cities and settlements, the suicide rate among Indigenous Peoples rose to 22 times that of other Brazilian citizens. When Guarani and Kaiowa people returned to live on their ancestral land in 2004, loggers, ranchers and farmers attacked them. In 2011, elder Nizio Gomes was shot and killed. 

In 1964, Texaco (now Chevron), discovered oil in the Ecuadorian Amazon. They began drilling in 1967. Twenty-five years later, they left behind a nightmare of contaminated water and land, causing rates of cancer to increase among the Indigenous population. The Cofán, Siona, Secoya, Kichwa and Huaorani peoples launched a 30,000 member class-action lawsuit against Texaco in 1993. In 2014, after 20 years in court, the plaintiffs won a $9.5 billion judgement in Ecuador's highest court. Chevron bought Texaco, left Ecuador, and refused to pay the judgement. The case was dismissed in a US court, but earlier this year the case against Chevron moved to Canada. Chevron has spent $2 billion on lawyers to defend themselves, but not one cent has gone to their Indigenous victims.

The Guarani and Wichi people of Argentina have survived conquistadors, slave traders, missionaries, juntas and death squads. In 2004, they took on big business too. The governor of Salta, in northern Argentina, Juan Carlos Romero, granted permission to bulldoze and burn 18,000 hectares of previously protected forest for soy plantations, on behalf of agribusiness giants Monsanto and Cargill. The Wichi and Guarani people invited Greenpeace to help them restore their homeland.

 In Argentina, a forest area the size of a football pitch disappears every three minutes.

I travelled to Argentina in the summer of 2005 for the campaign and witnessed an entire horizon ablaze with fires. Ranks of bulldozers swept across the land like wartime tank divisions, obliterating the home of the Wichi people and the homes of fox, tapir, ocelot, jaguar, anteaters, wild pigs, toucan, raptors and parrots.

When the Wichi and Greenpeace occupied bulldozers and gained media attention, prominent celebrities stepped forward, including football star Diego Maradona, who invited Wichi elders onto his television show. In October, 2006, Argentina’s president, Néstor Carlos Kirchner, finally intervened to preserve the Wichi homeland. "We asked the president to put people and the forest ahead of multinational corporations," said Guarani campaigner Noemi Cruz. "For once, we won.”

Destructive development 

Political economists rationalise seizing Indigenous land for industrial development with the theory that this will lift people from poverty. In reality, industrial resource extraction drives people from modest, secure lives in productive ecosystems into poverty in urban slums, while the money flows to rich developers and multinational corporations.

Violence against Indigenous peoples reveals the limitations, perhaps complete failure, of the World Bank and free-trade economic theories. Globalisation has not benefited masses of people, but has widened the gap between rich and poor. The challenge of 21st century society remains to discover a credible, honourable balance among economy, ecology and social justice. 

Indigenous leaders receive the Equator Prize during the COP21 in Paris

During the 2015 climate conference, a gathering of Indigenous leaders - Sami, Mongolian, Lakota, Salish and others - met outside Paris in the town of Millemont. In a statement to world leaders on "The Critical State of Our Mother Earth," they wrote:

"Our sacred Mother Earth – who gives life to all living things – is critically wounded, degraded, poisoned and depleted by the misguided activity of our human family. Colonialism, industrialism, consumerism and warfare are primary drivers of this relentless assault on our beloved Mother Earth...

“We must remind ourselves and our Human Family, through living, sacred prayers, songs, ceremony and our ancient prophecies, that Mother Earth is our sacred provider of life, not to be treated as an endless storehouse, a limitless dump for our waste, and to satisfy our appetite for the material dimension of life."

Wixárika leaders and brothers, Vázquez and Agustín Torres, gave their lives for this sacred prayer.

Rex Weyler is an author, journalist and co-founder of Greenpeace International.

Resources and Links:

2007 United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: UN

Huichol leader assassinations, 2017: Center For World Indigenous Studies, Reuters, and Indianz.com.

Cartels: "En territorio huichol la siembra de amapola desplaza a la de cannabis," La Jornada

State of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, 2010: UN report

Guarani-Kaiowa in Brazil, death of Nizio Gomes: Toronto Globe and Mail

Colombian army and settlers killing Guahibo people: London, New York Times News Service, 1973. British Petroleum buying army in Colombia: New York Times, 1996.

Paraguay genocide and slave trade: The Nation, Sept 24, 1973; Akwesasne Notes, Autumn, 1976; and Nationalia, June 2017

Canadian mining companies in Latin America: Global news, MiningWatch Canada, 2007

WARSAW, Poland — The Latest on President Donald Trump's second official visit to Europe (all times local):

12:45 p.m.

Crowds waving U.S. and Polish flags have gathered in and around a Warsaw square where President Donald Trump is set to deliver his first public speech in Europe.

Many have come from various corners of Poland and are holding banners with the names of their towns, including "Pila" or "Gorzow" in the west. Other banners on display in Krasinski Square feature the right-wing, pro-government Gazeta Polska newspaper.

The Journal will greatly curtail publication of its print newspaper in Europe and scale back its operation in Asia, according to two people familiar with its plans.
www.nytimes.com | 6/30/17
Being a terrorist apparently doesn’t look good on a resume. Members of ISIS are fleeing the Middle East and quietly returning to Europe in the attempt to rejoin society, but there’s just one problem: None of them can find jobs. A daily newspaper in Sweden, known as the Expressen, interviewed several former jihadists recently and...
nypost.com | 6/28/17

Fake news? How about fake magazine covers.

President Donald Trump, who regularly blasts major news outlets like CNN as “fake news,” has been caught in a fake controversy of his own.

On Tuesday, The Washington Post uncovered that the Trump Organization’s golf clubs in America and Europe have been displaying a fake Time magazine cover featuring the president.

Also Read: Trump Mocked for Wearing His Watch Too Tight

The phony cover depicts Trump with the headline: “Donald Trump: The ‘Apprentice’ is a television smash!”

A spokesperson for Time confirmed to the news outlet that the March 1, 2009 cover is a phony. The date coincides with the eighth season premiere of Trump’s reality TV show, “Celebrity Apprentice.”

The fake Time cover hanging in Trump properties has small but telling mistakes https://t.co/2zQLBvMFkH pic.twitter.com/HyzfPgoRR0

— Post Politics (@postpolitics) June 27, 2017

Update: And now Time has asked Trump’s businesses to take down the faux covers, per The Washington Post…

UPDATE: @time has asked the @realdonaldtrump's businesses to remove the phony magazine covers from their walls. https://t.co/beJXOTrevb

— David Fahrenthold (@Fahrenthold) June 27, 2017

The Post reported that the framed cover has been seen in at least four of the company’s golf clubs, including one resort in Scotland where it was taken down a few weeks ago. According to employees who spoke with the Post, no explanation was given as to why it was removed from display.

It was Kate Winslet, not Trump, who graced the March 2, 2009 cover. Both the real cover and the fake feature secondary headlines for stories (real) about President Barack Obama and the financial crisis.

Also Read: North Korea Compares Trump to Hitler in Latest Anti-US Diatribe

A Post reporter who recently visited one of the properties knew something was off when they noticed the red border on the Trump cover was thinner than other Time covers. Additionally, the secondary headlines are positioned on the right side — on a real Time cover, they are situated across the top.

The Trump Organization did not respond to the Post’s request for comment on why the fake cover is displayed prominently in their properties. White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders declined to say whether the president had known the cover wasn’t real.

“We couldn’t comment on the decor at Trump Golf clubs one way or another,” she wrote in an email to the Post.

Trump made his debut as Time cover-boy for its Jan. 16, 1989 issue and didn’t reappear until the Aug. 31, 2015 issue, two months after he declared his presidential run. Time named him Person of the Year for end of year issue in 2016.

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www.thewrap.com | 6/27/17
The UK government will start a registration process to gauge the interest of European Union citizens in British residency as the country leaves the EU, The Guardian newspaper reported on Tuesday.
www.dnaindia.com | 6/20/17

As it becomes more and more clear that the hardline Brexiteers who have been driving the British government since David Cameron's post-referendum resignation do not have a plan for how to run the negotiations with the European Union apart of "taking back control", Europeans' attitude towards London balances between anxiety and despair for the impossible situation the British government has put himself — and Britain — in.

The numerous articles published in the last days and pointing out at the British government's apparent amateurism, like Jean Quatremer's implacable op-ed in the Guardian or Spiegel International's merciless piece, show how the mood has changed on the continent.

The latest is the following article headlined Are these the best politicians that the UK has to offer?, by the Süddeutsche Zeitung's London correspondent Christian Zaschke. It has been suggested and translated by Paula Kirby:

If it weren't so serious, the situation in Great Britain would almost be comical. The country is being governed by a talking robot, nicknamed the Maybot, that somehow managed to visit the burned-out tower block in the west of London without speaking to a single survivor or voluntary helper. Negotiations for the country’s exit from the EU are due to begin on Monday, but no one has even a hint of a plan. The government is dependent on a tiny party that provides a cozy home for climate change deniers and creationists. Boris Johnson is Foreign Secretary. What in the world has happened to this country? Two years ago David Cameron emerged from the parliamentary election as the shining victor. He had secured an absolute majority, and as a result it looked as if the career of this cheerful lightweight was headed for surprisingly dizzy heights.

The economy was growing faster than in any other industrialised country in the world. Scottish independence and, with it, the break-up of the United Kingdom had been averted. For the first time since 1992, there was a Conservative majority in the House of Commons. Great Britain saw itself as a universally respected actor on the international stage. This was the starting point. In order to get from this comfortable position to the chaos of the present in the shortest possible time, two things were necessary: first, the Conservative right wingers’ obsessive hatred of the EU, and second, Cameron’s irresponsibility in putting the whole future of the country on the line with his referendum, just to satisfy a few fanatics in his party.

It is becoming ever clearer just how extraordinarily bad a decision that was. The fact that Great Britain has become the laughing stock of Europe is directly linked to its vote for Brexit. The ones who will suffer most will be the British people, who were lied to by the Leave campaign during the referendum and betrayed and treated like idiots by elements of their press. The shamelessness still knows no bounds: the Daily Express has asked in all seriousness whether the inferno in the tower block was due to the cladding having been designed to meet EU standards. It is a simple matter to discover that the answer to this question is No, but by failing to check it, the newspaper has planted the suspicion that the EU might be to blame for this too. As an aside: a country in which parts of the press are so demonstrably uninterested in truth and exploit a disaster like the fire in Grenfell Tower for their own tasteless ends has a very serious problem. Already prices are rising in the shops, already inflation is on the up. Investors are holding back. Economic growth has slowed. And that’s before the Brexit negotiations have even begun.

With her unnecessary general election, Prime Minister Theresa May has already squandered an eighth of the time available for them. How on earth an undertaking as complex as Brexit is supposed to be agreed in the time remaining is a mystery. In the end, Great Britain will withdraw from its most important trading partner and will be left weaker in every respect. It would make economic sense to stay in the single market and the customs union, but that would mean being subject to regulations over which Britain no longer had any say. It would be better to have stayed in the EU in the first place. So the government now needs to develop a plan that is both politically acceptable and inflicts as little economic harm as possible. It’s a question of damage limitation, nothing more; yet even now there are still politicians strutting around Westminster smugly trumpeting that it will be the EU that comes off worst if it doesn’t toe the line.

The EU is going to be dealing with a government that has no idea what kind of Brexit it wants, led by an unrealistic politician whose days are numbered; and a party in which old trenches are being opened up again: moderate Tories are currently hoping to be able to bring about a softer exit after all, but the hardliners in the party – among them more than a few pigheadedly obstinate ideologues – are already threatening rebellion.

An epic battle lies ahead, and it will paralyse the government. EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier has said that he now expects the Brits to finally set out their position clearly, since he cannot negotiate with himself. The irony of this statement is that it would actually be in Britain’s best interests if he did just that. At least that way they’d have one representative on their side who grasps the scale of the task and is actually capable of securing a deal that will be fair to both sides. The Brits do not have a single negotiator of this stature in their ranks. And quite apart from the Brexit terms, both the debate and the referendum have proven to be toxic in ways that are now making themselves felt. British society is now more divided than at any time since the English civil war in the 17th century, a fact that was demonstrated anew in the general election, in which a good 80% of the votes were cast for the two largest parties.

Neither of these parties was offering a centrist programme: the election was a choice between the hard right and the hard left. The political centre has been abandoned, and that is never a good sign. In a country like Great Britain, that for so long enjoyed a reputation for pragmatism and rationality, it is grounds for real concern. The situation is getting decidedly out of hand. After the loss of its empire, the United Kingdom sought a new place in the world. It finally found it, as a strong, awkward and influential part of a larger union: the EU. Now it has given up this place quite needlessly. The consequence, as is now becoming clear, is a veritable identity crisis from which it will take the country a very long time to recover.

www.voxeurop.eu | 6/20/17
Lionsgate has signed a licensing pact with HBO Europe to have a number of premium Lionsgate and Starz titles air on HBO across Central and Eastern Europe, the Nordics and Spain. The deal was unveiled today by Peter Iacono, Lionsgate’s president of international television and digital distribution, at the start of NATPE Budapest, the four-day... Read more »
variety.com | 6/20/17

BERLIN — The head of the European Commission says he wants an official commemoration of former Chancellor Helmut Kohl, who led Germany to reunification and was a strong backer of the continent's unity.

Jean-Claude Juncker told Sunday's Bild am Sonntag newspaper that he will personally push for a "European act of state" for Kohl, who was chancellor from 1982 to 1998, but didn't give details. German authorities also have yet to give details of funeral arrangements.

BERLIN— Helmut Kohl, the physically imposing German chancellor whose reunification of a nation divided by the Cold War put Germany at the heart of a united Europe, has died at 87.

Kohl's Christian Democratic Union Party posted on Twitter: "We are in sorrow. #RIP #HelmutKohl."

The German newspaper Bild reported that Kohl died Friday at his home in Ludwigshafen.

Kohl's 16-year tenure as chancellor stretched from 1982 to 1998.

BERLIN — Helmut Kohl, the physically imposing German chancellor whose reunification of a nation divided by the Cold War put Germany at the heart of a united Europe, has died at 87. Kohl’s Christian Democratic Union Party posted on Twitter: “We are in sorrow. #RIP #HelmutKohl.” The German newspaper Bild reported that Kohl died Friday...
nypost.com | 6/16/17
Vivek Dahiya and Divyanka Tripathi, one of television's most romantic couples, has been working hard but the duo also knows how to take some time off for breaks and enjoy quality time together.

The seams are starting to fray. The strain is showing. We all are starting to crack up under the pressure of a Donald Trump presidency.

This was entirely predictable. As we have been subjected to his daily bullying, Twitter temper tantrums, outright lying and open contempt for our Constitution, of course our nerves are giving up — as is our ability to maintain civility and decency in response to so much coarseness.

The president is setting the tone for the country, and that tone is nasty, aggressive, crude and ugly. There are those who are openly trying to hew to a higher standard. But a lot of us are absorbing the energy of this administration and reflecting it back to the wider culture.

Also Read: Kristen Gillibrand F-Bombs Trump, Twitter Explodes

We should not be surprised to see our lower impulses poking through the fabric of civility. Like when Montana political candidate Greg Gianforte body-slams a journalist who merely asked him a question, breaking his glasses. That behavior would have seemed outrageous recently, like last year. This year Gianforte got elected. (He later apologized.)

On television and on social media, we are seeing the downgrading of our public discourse. Kathy Griffin stepped over the line with her unfunny parody of a bloody, beheaded Trump. She too apologized, but CNN still fired her, understandably.

The usually measured Reza Aslan lost control of his emotions and called Trump “a piece of s—,” an embarrassment and a stain on the presidency. Just those last two remarks would have been powerful enough, but Aslan could not restrain himself, apparently, after Trump insulted the Muslim mayor of London in the wake of a horrific terror attack.

Aslan was out of line, but Trump pushed him there. CNN fired him too.

Also Read: CNN Fires Reza Aslan Over Trump 'Piece of S--' Comment

And then on Friday, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) dropped the F-bomb a bunch of times. A senator? Asked about Donald Trump’s accomplishments in the White House at a forum at New York University on Personal Democracy, Gillibrand said, “Has he kept his promises? No. F— no.”

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez has also loosened his language, in April calling Trump’s budget a “s—ty budget.”

Expect more of this kind of thing. Bill Maher looks like he’s barely holding on to his sanity from week to week on his HBO show. In his case, releasing the strain with the F-bomb doesn’t appear to be helping.

The takeaway from the historic testimony by former FBI director James Comey on Thursday was to underscore that our president is a liar. A serial liar. An inveterate liar. A shameless liar.

Also Read: Bill Maher: Kathy Griffin 'Owes Me a Fruit Basket for Getting Her Off the Front Page' (Video)

This is not something that is under great debate. The Guardian this weekend urged the United Kingdom to rescind an invitation to Trump for a state visit. The paper’s assessment: “Trump is an habitual liar, as evidenced again in last week’s sworn congressional testimony by his sacked FBI director, James Comey. Trump is a bully, as Angela Merkel, Germany’s chancellor, among many others, can testify from personal experience. And Trump is a coward.

“Donald Trump is not a fit and proper person to hold the office of president of the United States. That is a view widely held in the U.S. and among America’s European allies, by politicians and diplomats in government and by rank-and-file voters repelled by his gross egoism, narcissism and what Boris Johnson, the foreign secretary, has rightly termed his ‘stupefying ignorance.’

Make no mistake, we are living day by day through history that will be sifted through and revisited again and again in the decades to come. It is why we must pay such close attention to our own conduct, our own language and discourse — even as we try to hold the president to account.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Trump Calls Former FBI Director Comey 'Cowardly' but Twitter Doesn't Buy It

Trump Meetings Are Like Getting Drunk and Waterboarding Yourself, Ex-Twitter CEO Says

Kirsten Gillibrand F-Bombs Trump, Twitter Explodes

CNN Fires Reza Aslan Over Trump 'Piece of S—' Comment

www.thewrap.com | 6/12/17
Britain's inconclusive election means it is more likely to opt for a softer Brexit in which it remains in the European Union's customs union, Irish appointed EU agriculture commissioner Phil Hogan said in a newspaper interview published on Sunday.
www.dnaindia.com | 6/11/17

The Wrap has partnered with Canvs, the emotion analytics company, for a weekly look at some of the characters and personalities that have TV viewers the most worked up on social media. The data below covers May 31 through June 6 and is drawn from the most emotionally reacted-to television shows, including broadcast, cable, streaming and PPV.

Last Saturday, Real Madrid faced off against Juventus in the Union of European Football Associations Champions League final, broadcast on Fox (114,924 Emotional Reactions, or ERs). Madrid soccer forward Cristiano Ronaldo earned high praise, scoring two goals that not only helped propel his team to victory, but secured his spot at the top of the Champions League scorers table (overtaking Lionel Messi) and also marked his 600th career goal.

Haha Ronaldo is a beast ??????

— Pierre Garçon (@PierreGarcon) June 3, 2017

Ronaldo is on fire. ????#RealMadrid

— Wendy E (@Wehrl) June 3, 2017

Also Read: World Cup: Cristiano Ronaldo Breaks U.S. Hearts With One Goal, Lifts Them With Another

Goal is Ronaldo's 600th (for club and country). Congratulations

— DON'T TRADE DROUIN (@tylersantana77) June 3, 2017

Ronaldo with another incredible performance and another trophy ????

— Niiiiick (@MEZANicholas5) June 3, 2017

Canvs is still processing the total ER count surrounding the One Love Manchester concert — the simulcast across multiple networks plus the continuing views of the archived livestream means the reactions to the show are still rolling in — but it’s clear that Ariana Grande, who organized and headlined the benefit concert, has been a dominant force in broadcast-related ERs over the period measured. There was an outpouring of love for the singer throughout the show, with fans expressing appreciation for her performance and applauding her positive attitude in light of the tragic Manchester attack.

Also Read: Ariana Grande Ends 'One Love Manchester' With 'Somewhere Over The Rainbow'

THE TEARS IN MY EYES ARIANA IS CRYING MY LOVE #OneLoveManchester

— livi? (@_idkcurly) June 4, 2017

ARIANA IS PERFORMING WITH THE BLACK EYED PEAS OMG #OneLoveManchester

— M (@SassyyM) June 4, 2017

I've got mad respect for Ariana? #OneLoveManchester

— ?aye ? // ia (@PotterheadHes) June 5, 2017

I love Ariana so much for doing this. ?? #OneLoveManchester

— jasmine? (@kiwi__harry) June 4, 2017

NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” is back, and viewers were glued to the screen for the second auditions episode, which received 22,868 ERs. During the show, 9-year-old Angelica Hale gave people goosebumps with her rendition of “Rise Up” by Andra Day. The performance earned her a standing ovation and four yeses from the judges — and thousands of messages of congrats, love and wonder from those watching at home.

Also Read: 'AGT': Amazing 12-Year-Old Singing Ventriloquist Lands First Golden Buzzer of the Season (Video)

#AngelicaHale is totally adorable, sweet, and just meant to sing #AGT

— Lindsey (@Lindshutch1) June 7, 2017

OMG! This 9 year old girl on #AGT can sing!!! ????????

— Destiny Nesbitt ???? (@i_destiny) June 7, 2017

I just cried watching that 9 year old girl sing.
#AmericasGotTalent

— Ashe???? (@ashe6795) June 7, 2017

Angelica Can not only sing she can SANG# YESS GET IT. #AGT

— Cherrelle (@relleunique) June 7, 2017

In case you missed it, here’s Hale’s powerful performance:

You're going to have goosebumps when you hear @angelicahale sing “Rise Up” by @AndraDayMusic. #AGT pic.twitter.com/aRYOj4iuZA

— America's Got Talent (@AGT) June 7, 2017

Related stories from TheWrap:

Ariana Grande Ends 'One Love Manchester' With 'Somewhere Over The Rainbow'

Piers Morgan Apologizes to Ariana Grande for Manchester Slam: 'You're One Helluva Gutsy Young Lady'

'America's Got Talent': Deaf Singer Stuns Judges, Gets Golden Buzzer From Simon Cowell (Video)

'America's Got Talent': Young Songwriter Wows Judges With Surprising Rap (Exclusive Video)

www.thewrap.com | 6/8/17
The stormy reaction from Ukrainian politicians and mass media to the remarks that Russian President Vladimir Putin about the "Russian Anna, the Queen of France" is in fact understandable. Of course, one should bear in mind the fact that it has nothing to do with history. The "icing on the cake" in the story was the tweet from Ukraine's Minister for Foreign Affairs

Fox News has taken drastic steps to clean up its image in recent months: Dumping employees accused of sexual harassment and racist comments, backing down from a right-wing conspiracy theory, and siding with a mainstream media reporter over a Republican candidate accused of body-slamming him.

Even Monica Lewinsky, who wrote in a recent New York Times op-ed that the network and founder Roger Ailes made her life a “nightmare” in the ’90s, said there  are “positive signs that the younger generation at Fox — James and Lachlan Murdoch — seem to want to change the culture Mr. Ailes created.”

But Lewinsky is one of many who is a little skeptical about the networks’ motives for changing its ways. She and others believe Rupert Murdoch and his sons, Lachlan and James, might be cleaning up their corporate culture only to impress British media regulator Ofcom as parent company 21st Century Fox seeks its blessing to take over UK pay-TV giant Sky.

Also Read: Fox News Insists Sean Hannity Will Return From His Vacation

Loyola journalism professor Kate Pickert said Fox News’ recent moves are “all high-profile and could be designed to neutralize public criticisms” in the middle of an important business deal. But she feels the company had no choice but to change after sexual harassment allegations drove out Ailes last year and Bill O’Reilly last month. (Ailes died earlier this month.)

“The network deserves credit for acting, but it only did so with Bill O’Reilly because the New York Times wrote about old cases and advertisers began boycotting his show. What matters more is the work environment for Fox News employees. We really don’t know if this is changing and it will be some time before we can judge whether there has been a culture shift that impacts employees,” Pickert told TheWrap.

Also Read: Fox News Says Andrea Tantaros' Lawsuit Reads 'Like the Plot of a Television Drama'

A company insider noted, however, that Ailes was out within weeks of public allegations of sexual harassment against him last summer — before the Sky News deal was in play. A recent statement by 21st Century Fox said that the “transformed leadership at Fox News brings it closer in line with a long-held commitment to a diverse workplace.”

But not all the developments have been behind the scenes. This week, Fox News notably retracted an article about murdered Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich that fueled baseless right-wing theories. Sean Hannity, the network’s biggest star, objected and kept fueling the theory until finally agreeing not to talk about it anymore on his Fox News show.

Meanwhile, though Fox News has long been accused of a Republican slant, a Fox News crew sided with a Guardian reporter, Ben Jacobs, who said Montana congressional candidate Greg Gianforte “body slammed” him on Monday. Gianforte’s campaign derided Jacobs as a “liberal journalist.”

But Pickert said the network’s changes to its culture aren’t likely to result in sweeping changes to its coverage.

“As far as Fox News’ coverage, I don’t see that shifting dramatically anytime soon. The network still occupies a highly profitable niche, appealing to viewers who want a news and opinion perspective that leans right,” Pickert said.

Fox News declined to comment for this story.

Ailes ran Fox News for 20 years but stepped down last year after a series of sexual harassment allegations that he denied up until his death last week. In the 10 months since he resigned, Fox News has fired Bob Beckel over an accusation that he made an offensive remark to an African-American employee, parted ways with a longtime executive accused of racist comments, fired cash cow O’Reilly and accepted the resignation of former co-president Bill Shine, who was accused in some of the lawsuits plaguing the company of permitting a culture that included harassment and discrimination. (O’Reilly and Shine have denied the accusations. Beckel has not responded to requests for comment.)

Fox News has also added female executivesordered sensitivity training for all employees, brought in human resources guru Kevin Lord to make sure things run smoothly going forward and announced plans to gut the entire floor of offices occupied by Ailes to create a state-of-the-art open newsroom as part of a renovation of its New York City headquarters.

Also Read: Love Him or Hate Him, Roger Ailes Built the Silos We All Live In

Sean Hannity, who is essentially the last of the old guard, recently tweeted that it would be the “total end” of Fox News “as we know it” if the network lost Shine. Then the network lost Shine.

When Shine, a direct protégé of Ailes, stepped down, a number of conservative sites posted articles with headlines such as, “Is Fox about to become CNN?” Another worried about “the left-wing takeover of Fox News” and suggested Lachlan and James Murdoch are significantly more liberal than their father.

The Hill media columnist Joe Concha told TheWrap he doesn’t really care why Fox News is cleaning up its image. What’s important is that it is.

Also Read: Fox News Plans to Gut Roger Ailes' Old Office, Convert Into Expanded Newsroom

“Maybe the executives don’t like that the company is being portrayed in the media as having this horrible culture. Yes, there is obviously a business aspect to this but also, what choice does 21st Century Fox have? I seem them as taking real steps here,” Concha said.

Fox bid $14.4 billion for all of Sky, of which it already owns a 39 percent stake. The deal was cleared by the European Commission earlier this year but remains a sensitive subject after a previous attempt in 2011 was blocked by a phone hacking scandal at one of the Murdoch family’s British newspapers. The scandal revealed close ties between politicians, police and the employees of the paper.

It remains to be seen if Fox News plans to continue to work on its culture if the Sky Deal goes through. The only people who know for sure are named Murdoch.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Fox News Says Andrea Tantaros' Lawsuit Reads 'Like the Plot of a Television Drama'

Fox News Tops Cable Ratings Despite MSNBC's Big Week

Fox News Fires Bob Beckel After Racism Accusation

www.thewrap.com | 5/26/17
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