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NI business leaders say their meeting with the DUP was "very constructive" but rejects claims they are influenced by the Northern Ireland Office.
www.bbc.co.uk | 11/26/18
Northern Ireland's business community urge the DUP to get behind the draft Brexit deal.
www.bbc.co.uk | 11/19/18

Snap Inc. VP of Content Nick Bell is leaving the company, marking the latest high-profile executive to leave the Snapchat parent company in recent months.

Bell, in a outgoing memo shared with TheWrap by a Snap spokesperson, said his five years at the company has been “incredibly rewarding and an absolute blast. I leave now with amazing memories, many lifelong friendships, and a huge amount of excitement for the future of Snap.” Bell said he’ll be transitioning out of his roll by the end of the year, and doesn’t know what his next stop will be.

Bell had led the expansion of shows on Snapchat’s Discover page and had been pushing the development of more scripted original shows. The company announced last month more scripted content was on the way, signing partnerships with the Duplass Brothers and “Riverdale” writer Tessa Leigh Williams.  Jared Grusd, Snap’s recently hired chief strategist, will now lead the company’s content team.

Also Read: Snapchat's Evan Spiegel Says Instagram 'Feels Terrible' to Users

“We are so grateful for Nick and everything he has built at Snap. It has been an incredible journey that began with our vision for what content could be on mobile,” Snap chief Evan Spiegel said in a statement. “Today, more people are watching more premium content on Snap than ever before, and we couldn’t be more excited about the momentum we are seeing with Snap Originals. We will miss Nick, and we wish him all the best.”

Bell is the latest Snap executive to leave the company, after former chief strategist Imran Khan announced his departure in September. CFO Drew Vollero left earlier this year.

You can read his full exit memo below:

Also Read: Facebook Watch Partners With Fremantle to Send Game Show 'Confetti' Global

After nearly 5 years and a once in a lifetime ride, I have let Evan know that I am leaving Snap to take some time off to recharge before deciding on my next adventure.

From my very first meeting with Evan, I knew this was going to be an extraordinary journey. Thanks to the hard work of our amazing team, we have built Discover into a world-leading media platform. We have established vertical video as the industry standard, built hugely successful partnerships with some of the world’s best media companies and storytellers, produced incredible stories, launched a fantastic slate of Original Shows and built a robust advertising business. This experience has been incredibly rewarding and an absolute blast. I leave now with amazing memories, many lifelong friendships, and a huge amount of excitement for the future of Snap.

Although I am announcing this news today, I will be transitioning out of the role between now and the end of the year. I am so proud of all that we have achieved together at Snap, and most proud of the team I leave behind to continue to execute against the vision.

Also Read: Facebook Suspends 115 Accounts for 'Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior' Before Elections

Thank you,

Nick

Related stories from TheWrap:

Snapchat's Evan Spiegel Says Instagram 'Feels Terrible' to Users

Snapchat Launches Discover In Ireland with 6 New Partners

Snap Stock Craters to All-Time Low as Users Flee Snapchat

Snap Posts Record Quarterly Revenue, Loses Another 2 Million Users

www.thewrap.com | 11/12/18

In order for the Internet to function properly, there has to be "trust".

Trust in "online" is something that has ebbed and flowed over the years, but over the past two decades more and more of our daily lives are linked closely to "digital". Our banks encourage us to use online banking and their mobile apps. Government agencies share (and collect) information from private citizens and businesses online. And of course we all do more and more of our shopping online, be that via behemoths like Amazon or smaller businesses offering niche products and services.

All of this growth only works when there is trust in the entire system.

Blacknight is a primarily online company. Yes, we have physical offices with staff. We own thousands of servers which we have placed in data centers in Ireland. But the bulk of our business is either online via our site or is in the background, providing the tools and infrastructure to facilitate online business for companies from the four corners of the earth. When a business chooses to put their trust in us (or one of our competitors) that chain of trust is a cornerstone to their online presence. That trust has multiple layers. We are trusted to provide reliable services. We are trusted to respect our clients' data and, by extension, the data of their clients.

We've always taken security and privacy seriously. We try our best to keep our network clean and free from abuse. We are ISO certified and take our responsibilities very seriously.

With the introduction of GDPR earlier this year, there was a general "sea change" in how many online companies viewed and handled data and privacy. While being "compliant" with GDPR is still in many respects not clearcut, most companies have taken steps to be as compliant as possible. On our side, we've documented in detail our various policies around handling data and have worked with both clients and suppliers to ensure that we have the necessary processes and agreements in place.

One of the areas, however, where there was always going to be potential for extra headaches was with data that left our control as part of the service provisioning. So, for example, when somebody wants to register a domain name we collect and process the information required on our end and then share it with the respective registry operator. In the world of country code domains, like .ie, the personal information that we shared with the registry never went anywhere else and was not made public. Unfortunately, however until the end of May this year, with the ICANN controlled domain extensions, it was a different matter and unless domains were using a privacy service a lot of personal information was being made public by default.

It all boils down to one simple core tenet: trust.

When somebody gives us information while buying a service from us they have an expectation that the information will only be used by us and our partners to provide the service.

Sure, if they break the law then their data could end up in the hands of law enforcement. But unless they've actually done something fundamentally wrong why would we breach that trust? Why would be given a 3rd party access to our client's data?

So if someone wants to access the non-public data associated with a domain name on our accreditation we are not going to hand over that information unless we are confident that not only is the request valid, but that the private data will be accessed and processed in accordance with both the law (GDPR) and security best practices. We cannot simply hand over our clients' data on a whim, as to do so would breach the chain of trust.

While we haven't finalised a formal policy document for non-public whois access requests we are currently asking that requestors provide us with the information and the assurances to maintain the trust. So that looks a little like this:

  • The full contact details of the person or organisation submitting the request. We obviously aren't going to even consider taking an access request seriously unless we know who exactly we are dealing with
  • Details of how they will comply with Chapter V GDPR (if they're from outside the EU)
  • A statement, on the letterhead of the party they represent, that they represent them and their interests with regard to this request.
  • A statement, under penalty of perjury, that requested data are related to a good-faith belief that the rights of you or the party you represent have been violated and the data you are requesting is required to further pursue assertion of those rights.
  • A statement, under penalty of perjury, that the personal data that you receive will be processed in a legally-compliant manner at all times, not stored, transferred, or otherwise shared without legitimate interest, and deleted as soon as it is no longer needed to pursue this assertion of rights.

We have been in communication with the Irish data protection authorities over the past few years in relation to ICANN's demands on us. And they've made it very clear that we need to ensure that all appropriate safeguards are in place and without same, we cannot transfer data.

So if someone wants to access our clients' data they will need to make sure that their request is not frivolous. We take the trust of our clients very seriously and our responsibilities under GDPR are not something we take lightly!

Written by Michele Neylon, MD of Blacknight Solutions

www.circleid.com | 10/20/18
The UK PM is asked about keeping the promises she has made to Brexiteers, Remainers, business leaders and Northern Ireland residents.
www.bbc.co.uk | 10/18/18
The service sector was the biggest contributor to second quarter growth.
www.bbc.co.uk | 10/11/18
Ireland is growing faster than any other European economy but the budget its government is due to announce Tuesday will be notably cautious for one reason: Brexit.
www.wsj.com | 10/9/18
The inactivity rate in Northern Ireland is 27.7% compared to a UK rate of 21.2%.
www.bbc.co.uk | 10/4/18

The Seven Kingdoms are about to be open for business.

HBO is celebrating the upcoming end of “Game of Thrones” by turning some of its Northern Ireland filming locations into tourist attractions, allowing fans to visit the iconic sets for the first time ever.

Standing sets for locations like Winterfell, Castle Black, and Kings Landing are under consideration for inclusion in the “Game of Thrones Legacy” project, along with a tour of Linen Mill Studios, which will showcase a wide array of subject matter from the series spanning all seasons and settings. The attractions are tentatively set for a 2019 open date. (Yes, we know “GoT”s eighth and final season is slated to premiere in the first half of 2019 — gonna be a busy year for Westeros.)

Also Read: Mother of Dragons Emilia Clarke Debuts 'Game of Thrones'-Inspired Tattoo

Here’s the official description for the project:

Building on the success of past “Game of Thrones” live branded experiences, including the Touring Exhibition and Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience, HBO will open up the archives and share them with the series’ loyal fans. In true Game of Thrones fashion, the Game of Thrones Legacy attractions will be on a scale and scope bigger than anything the public has ever seen, offering the first opportunity for the public to set foot inside some of the most iconic locations from the series and behind the camera lens to see how the world’s biggest TV show was made. Each site will feature not only the breathtaking sets, but will also exhibit displays of costumes, props, weapons, set decorations, art files, models, and other production materials. The visitor experience will be enhanced by state-of-the-art digital content and interactive materials which will showcase some of the digital wizardry the series is known for.

Also Read: Emmys by the Numbers: HBO and Netflix Tie for First, 'Game of Thrones' Takes Series Crown

“HBO is thrilled to celebrate the work of the Game of Thrones creative team and crew by preserving these locations and inviting fans to visit Northern Ireland and explore Westeros in person,” said Jeff Peters, vice president, licensing and retail, HBO. “We look forward to opening the gates and sharing the excitement of stepping inside these amazing sets with Game of Thrones fans from around the world. The opportunity to celebrate Northern Ireland’s pivotal role in the life and legacy of the show and share its culture, beauty and warmth is also a huge inspiration behind these Legacy projects.”

“We couldn’t be more excited about the Game of Thrones Legacy project coming to Northern Ireland. While fans have seen the stunning landscapes, coastlines and mountains in the series, we are thrilled they will now have the opportunity to fully experience the charm of Northern Ireland and immerse themselves in to the world of Westeros,” said John McGrillen, chief executive of Tourism NI. “The Game of Thrones Legacy project will be a game changer for Northern Ireland on the global tourism level. We very much welcome this exciting announcement by HBO and look forward to welcoming many more visitors to our beautiful country as a result.”

See some of the set photos provided by HBO below.

“Game of Thrones” eighth and final season will premiere in the first half of 2019 on HBO.

Also Read: Emmys Get Sentimental on the Way to Saluting 'Game of Thrones' and 'Marvelous Mrs. Maisel'

Courtesy of HBO

Courtesy of HBO

Courtesy of HBO

Related stories from TheWrap:

Mother of Dragons Emilia Clarke Debuts 'Game of Thrones'-Inspired Tattoo

Emmys by the Numbers: HBO and Netflix Tie for First, 'Game of Thrones' Takes Series Crown

Emmys Get Sentimental on the Way to Saluting 'Game of Thrones' and 'Marvelous Mrs. Maisel'

Amazon Signs 'Game of Thrones' Producer Bryan Cogman to Development Deal

www.thewrap.com | 9/24/18

Pam Lifford has been promoted to president of Warner Bros. Global Brands and Experiences (WBGBE), with responsibility for consumer products, DC, themed entertainment and a new global franchise team, the studio announced Thursday.

Lifford will become the highest ranking female executive of color at Warner Bros., reporting directly to studio chairman and CEO Kevin Tsujihara.

In her new role, Lifford is charged with developing all-new fan-engagement business opportunities as well as working to align the current fan-focused activities of Warner Bros. Consumer Products, Themed Entertainment and DC.

Additionally, she will coordinate with WarnerMedia sister companies HBO and Turner as well as various AT&T divisions.

Also Read: Henry Cavill Out as Superman in Upcoming DC Films

The day-to-day operation of DC will continue to be run by Jim Lee, publisher and chief creative officer, and Dan DiDio, publisher, who both now report to Lifford.

Consumer Products will be led by its current management team.

The Wizarding World franchise business will continue to be overseen separately by Josh Berger, president and managing director, Warner Bros. UK, Ireland and Spain, and president of Harry Potter Global Franchise Development, reporting directly to Tsujihara.

Also Read: How Warner Bros. Defied the August Box Office Slump and Found Hits Without DC

The formation of WBGBE is part of a broader effort by the studio to engage consumers more deeply in its franchises and other content. Additionally, through expertly curated experiences, fans will be able to create moments and memories linked with Warner Bros.’ and DC’s brands and franchises, further strengthening their connection to iconic characters and franchises.

Lifford joined the Studio as president of Warner Bros. Consumer Products in February 2016. She previously spent 12 years at Disney, rising through the ranks to become a member of the consumer products executive leadership team where, as Executive Vice President, she oversaw the global home, fashion and infant businesses.

Lifford also worked at Quiksilver, Inc., where she served as Executive Vice President, Global Licensing.

“Pam has deep experience across consumer products and building emotional
connections with fans, and in the two years she’s been at Warner Bros., has proven herself and her vision,” Tsujihara said in a statement.

“This is an incredible opportunity for us to super-serve our fans across a variety of platforms and venues throughout their lifetimes,” said Lifford. “Warner Bros. has world-class characters and brands that are beloved around the world — from our licensed DC Super Heroes and the Looney Tunes and Hanna Barbera animated superstars to a library of over 10,000 films and TV shows — and we’re now making it a priority to bring these properties to fans in new and exciting ways.”

www.thewrap.com | 9/13/18
Services is the dominant part of the local economy, accounting for about 80% of jobs.
www.bbc.co.uk | 9/13/18
The Department for the Economy wants more students from overseas to study in Northern Ireland.
www.bbc.co.uk | 9/12/18
The U.K.’s planned exit from the EU will have a “small” negative impact on the bloc’s economy, although it will prove more damaging to countries such as Ireland, the Netherlands and Belgium that have closer links with Britain, the IMF said.
www.wsj.com | 7/19/18
Official figures show a decline in output of 1% compared to the same period last year.
www.bbc.co.uk | 7/19/18

Elle Macpherson has been with her new love for a while.

The supermodel, 54, was photographed kissing Andrew Wakefield in Miami, Florida, on Friday one year after her divorce from billionaire Jeffrey Soffer.

A Miami modeling source tells PEOPLE Macpherson and Wakefield, 61, “have been dating for a while and seem to have much in common.”

“Both are interested in alternative health practices and nutrition and sort of buck the norm to pursue their own idea,” the insider says. “They agree on many health and nutrition issues. But he is not that well known around Miami.”

The source adds Wakefield, a disgraced doctor who linked vaccines to autism in a retracted study, was married for many years before meeting Macpherson.

“Elle swept him off his feet after they met at a business convention last year,” the source continues. “They have kept things low-key but the romance is not new.”

Wakefield was a gastroenterologist in Britain before being removed from the UK medical register for unethical behavior, misconduct and fraud.

Macpherson’s camp has declined to comment on their relationship.

In 2010 the British General Medical Council barred Wakefield from practicing medicine after investigating inquiries that Wakefield acted dishonestly in his research and conducted invasive and unnecessary procedures on children. Afterward, his 1998 paper, in which he falsely claimed that the polyvalent measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine was linked to autism, was retracted.

He continued to defend his anti-vaccine views in 2011 saying that his findings and research were not fraudulent.

RELATED: Elle Macpherson Seen Kissing Andrew Wakefield, Who Linked Vaccines To Autism in Retracted Study

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, no scientific study has found a link between vaccines and autism.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends vaccinations for Hepatitis B, rotavirus (RV) RV1, RV5, DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus and acellular pertussis), Haemophilus influenza type B, pneumococcal conjugate, inactivated poliovirus and influenza over the first year of a baby’s life.

Macpherson and Soffer split in June 2017 after nearly four years of marriage. A source close to Soffer tells PEOPLE the two “were pretty unhappy together the last few years” of their union.

“They had broken up but went back together after his accident,” the insider said, referring to a helicopter crash in 2012 that left Soffer injured and his friend dead. “It didn’t work out which is not surprising since they had already broken up.”

In the meantime, Macpherson has switched her lifestyle routine after finding a lump on her breast on her 49th birthday.

“I thought I had cancer. I was away shooting Britain and Ireland’s Next Top Model so I couldn’t see my doctor and I was really panicking,” she told the Daily Mail in October 2015.

“It was four weeks before I got the biopsy results, so it was a long-drawn-out and stressful period of not knowing,” she said.

The source tells PEOPLE Macpherson has been doing well since then and has focused on taking care of her health.

“Elle has been in good shape for quite a while and seems really happy,” the source says. “She lives an extremely healthy life, eats well and likes to talk about it.”

people.com | 7/19/18
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Having been in business for less than two years, South African technology startup Black Beard recently opened its fourth office in Dublin, Ireland. With a presence in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town, the new Dublin office (situated nearby the famed Dublin Docks) affirms Black Beard as a truly global player within technology innovation. The startup, [&hellip
Three councils are to fund a business case for a second crematorium in Northern Ireland.
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After the Brexit vote, I wrote that there could be an impact on EU registrants based in the UK.

Over the past year, the UK government has been engaged in negotiations with the EU to navigate the application of Article 50 and the UK's exit from the European Union. While there has been a lot of focus on issues like the customs union and the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, the eventual departure of the UK from the EU will have a tangible impact on the European digital economy.

In the case of the .eu ccTLD, the situation was unclear. Under the current policies, an individual or organisation needs to have an address in the EU and a couple of neighbouring countries to qualify for registration:

(i) an undertaking having its registered office, central administration or principal place of business within the European Union, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein, or

(ii) an organisation established within the European Union, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein without prejudice to the application of national law, or

(iii) a natural person resident within the European Union, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein.

While the UK leaving the EU could be seen as having a clear impact on future registrations of .eu domain names, one would have expected the European Commission not to want to disrupt existing domain names and their registrants. When other domain spaces have updated their policies, they've usually offered some form of "grandfathering" for existing registrations to minimise the negative impact.

However, it appears that the European Commission isn't going to take that approach. In an announcement earlier this week they've made it very clear that they have no intention of allowing existing registrants to keep their EU domain names if they are in the UK.

The document does give a very slight glimmer of hope, but it's only a tiny one. It is hypothetically possible for the UK and EU to reach some form of agreement that would allow for the continued use of .eu domains by UK registrants, but it's looking highly unlikely. Here's the full text of the notice they issued.

As you can see it's highly legalistic and makes lots of references to various bits of legislation and treaties, but the bottom line is summed up in this:

As of the withdrawal date, undertakings and organisations that are established in the United Kingdom but not in the EU and natural persons who reside in the United Kingdom will no longer be eligible to register .eu domain names or, if they are .eu registrants, to renew .eu domain names registered before the withdrawal date.

But what about businesses and individuals in Northern Ireland? Under the Irish constitution they're considered in many realms to be entitled to the same rights and entitlements as Irish citizens and residents:

ARTICLE 2

It is the entitlement and birthright of every person born in the island of Ireland, which includes its islands and seas, to be part of the Irish Nation. That is also the entitlement of all persons otherwise qualified in accordance with law to be citizens of Ireland. Furthermore, the Irish nation cherishes its special affinity with people of Irish ancestry living abroad who share its cultural identity and heritage.

ARTICLE 3

1 It is the firm will of the Irish Nation, in harmony and friendship, to unite all the people who share the territory of the island of Ireland, in all the diversity of their identities and traditions, recognising that a united Ireland shall be brought about only by peaceful means with the consent of a majority of the people, democratically expressed, in both jurisdictions in the island. Until then, the laws enacted by the Parliament established by this Constitution shall have the like area and extent of application as the laws enacted by the Parliament that existed immediately before the coming into operation of this Constitution.

2 Institutions with executive powers and functions that are shared between those jurisdictions may be established by their respective responsible authorities for stated purposes and may exercise powers and functions in respect of all or any part of the island.

Does this mean that businesses and individuals north of the border will lose their .eu domain names, or is there a chance of some form of derogation for them?

How can registrars and their clients lodge their concerns with the EU about this move?

Is EURid in a position to do anything?

At the moment there are more questions than answers, but what is sure is that the options are not looking anyway positive.

According to the most recent EURid quarterly report registrants in the UK account a significant chunk of the .eu registration base and weigh in as the 4th largest country for .eu registrations behind Germany, Netherlands and France:

Wiping out this number of registrations will have a negative impact on the .eu ccTLD as a whole, as well as a negative impact on many European based businesses serving the registrants of the 300 thousand plus names.

Is this unavoidable?

For now, as I mentioned above, there are more questions than answers.

Disclosure: my company is a .eu accredited registrar and I previously served two terms on the .EU Registrar Advisory Board.

Written by Michele Neylon, MD of Blacknight Solutions

www.circleid.com | 3/29/18
Northern Ireland Water is putting up charges to its 80,000 business customers from April by an average 3.35%
www.bbc.co.uk | 3/22/18
Northern Ireland business continues to grow, but growth may be starting to slow.
www.bbc.co.uk | 3/12/18
The rise is driven by more business with the Republic of Ireland and with the European Union.
www.bbc.co.uk | 3/8/18

The gamblers love Allison Janney’s chances at the Oscars on Sunday. She’s sitting at a heavily favored, and bizarre, “3/19” odds in London.  Back here in Hollywood, she already appears to have a winner’s halo.

The “I, Tonya” star and her shine headlined two simultaneous parties at the Chateau Marmont in West Hollywood on Thursday night (March 1).

Allison Janney, Sam Rockwell, Richard Jenkins and Leslie Bibb celebrate with the Gersh agency (Photo by Lester Cohen/Getty Images for Gersh)

Also Read: Oscar Acting Races: Can Anyone Beat Gary Oldman, Frances McDormand, Sam Rockwell or Allison Janney?

Downstairs in the library and courtyard, Cadillac threw its third annual pre-Oscars bash. Upstairs, the Gersh agency celebrated its nominees, including Janney and “Three Billboards” star Sam Rockwell, in the Penthouse.

After a long campaign season, it’s surprising that front-runner nominees would want to go out at all before the big show, especially for Janney who is a veteran of thirteen Emmy campaigns.

Then again, she’s a varsity celebrant. Check out this photo after her Globes win in January.

“It’s been one of the most extraordinary things I’ve ever been through in my life,” Janney said on the way in to the Cadillac party. “A lot of it has been preparing up to that moment, so that (Oscar Sunday) morning will be about being present.”

Also Read: Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway to Return to Oscars to Hand Out Best Picture

With or without any direct connection the Oscars, many industry faces also recognized that it’s all about being present.

Chace Crawford, Colin Egglesfield, Sarah Silverman and Jeff Ross at Cadillac’s Oscar Celebration at the Chateau Marmont on March 1. (Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Cadillac)

In the run up to Sunday’s show, The Party Report got a look at a Super Bowl-style commercial that Cadillac will air. It features iconic “future cars” from movies and TV, like the “Back to the Future” Delorean and the Jetson’s space ship. With that buzz and shuttling nominees around town all weekend, there was good cause to raise a glass.

While Joel McHale, Tiffany Haddish, and Aisha Tyler mixed with cocktails, crab cakes, and warm chocolate cookies on the unusually cold night, Janney darted upstairs to join her agency’s party in the penthouse.

Tiffany Haddish and Aisha Tyler. (Jason Merritt/Getty Images for Cadillac)

On top of the Chateau, fellow front-runner Rockwell, “Shape of Water” star Richard Jenkins, and Leslie Bibb toasted the season. Brad Pitt and his manager Cynthia Pett-Dante quietly slipped in to the event, a surprise on multiple levels. First, he’s a CAA client. Further, he actually took a photo.

This photobomber should be banned from the Chateau for life. Manager Cynthia Pett-Dante and Brad Pitt at Gersh’s party in the Chateau penthouse, where Don Julio 1942 was the drink of choice. (Photo by Lester Cohen/Getty Images for Gersh)

In less cloistered news, chatter on the party circuit has picked up about a possible Jay-Z party in the parking garage of the Chateau Marmont on Sunday night. With Vanity Fair’s party switching stewards due to party founder and host Graydon Carter’s retirement, there is an opening on Oscar night for a new “toughest ticket in town.” This would be it.

The Party Report has not been able to confirm Jay-Z’s plans as of this writing, but the gate to the Chateau garage was oddly pulled shut on Thursday night. Some even production types reported that a four-day load in was underway. Converting a parking garage in the private and hushed hotel is indeed “Big Pimpin’.”

Meanwhile, leading women from all corners of the entertainment industry united for a Time’s Up benefit courtesy of Women in Film, held a mile west down Sunset at Soho House (above).

At the same time, J.J. Abrams hosted the annual Oscar Wilde Awards on the roof of his Bad Robot production company in Santa Monica. Two weeks before St. Patrick’s day, this event celebrating the US-Ireland relationship drew heavily on friends of the Irish, including Paramount Chairman Jim Gianopulos, Disney Films Chairman Alan Horn, Warner Bros.’ Peter Roth, Warner Bros. Chairman & CEO Kevin Tsujihara,  producers Suzanne Todd, Patrick Crowley, and Gigi Pritzker, Showtime Programming President Gary Levine, and CAA boss President Richard Lovett also all joined the festivities.

Kevin Tsujihara, Sandy Tsujihara, Warner Bros. Television Group CCO Peter Roth, and J.J. Abrams. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for US-Ireland Alliance )

Also on hand at the routinely casual affair was Luke Skywalker himself, Mark Hamill, whose “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” scenes were largely filmed on the Emerald Isle. Abrams joked that honoree Hamill “will always be best known for his role as Kent Murray on ‘General Hospital.'” In accepting, Hamill noted the connection between the “Star Wars” franchise and Ireland.

In addition to filming “Star Wars” in Ireland, he noted that “The Force Awakens” will mean billions for the Irish economy, “not to mention encouraging countless ‘Star Wars’ nerds to make it a go-to destination.”

J.J. Abrams, Kathy Griffin, and Mark Hamill arrive at the Oscar Wilde Awards. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for US-Ireland Alliance )

Also Read: Time's Up Stays Strong for Oscars as Catt Sadler, Ronan Farrow, Heather Graham Unite (Photos)

As of Friday afternoon however, almost nothing is a go-to destination.  It’s 54 degrees and pouring raining in Los Angeles, and the weather will likely thrash Friday night’s slate of Oscar gatherings, and anyone who didn’t book a tent weeks ago is finished. (Women In Film planned ahead for their tented bash at Crustacean and began loading in late Thursday night.)

Parties: Oscar Parties 2018: The Top Invites, Events and Nominee Gatherings

The Brits are slated to gather in the Consul General’s backyard which should be a mud slog, but this is standard operating procedure for them.

The host sent a note to guests earlier: “As with any British event, we are fully prepared for any potential inclement weather!”

More to come…

Related stories from TheWrap:

Time's Up Stays Strong for Oscars as Catt Sadler, Ronan Farrow, Heather Graham Unite (Photos)

Oscars Will Acknowledge Time's Up Movement With Official 'Moment' on Sunday

Oscar Parties 2018: The Top Invites, Events and Nominee Gatherings

www.thewrap.com | 3/2/18

David Flynn has been named the Executive Vice President, International Strategy of Paramount Television, the company said Tuesday.

“David has a keen eye for identifying ambitious content from premier content creators worldwide,” said Paramount TV President Amy Powell, who Flynn will report to.

Flynn hails from UTA, where he was an agent in the Literary department for more than a decade. Flynn most recently worked on the German thriller “Dark” for Netflix, which is currently the streaming giant’s most successful non-English language series. He’s worked with filmmakers like Laszlo Nemes, Ziad Douieri, Rupert Wyatt, and several more.

Also Read: Viacom Chief Explains Why Paramount Sold 'The Cloverfield Paradox' to Netflix

“I’m incredibly excited to join Amy and her amazing team,” Flynn said. “Paramount’s iconic library, matched with the innovative leadership in place at the studio today, provides unlimited opportunities to continue to transform the model around pairing original IP with brilliant content creators.

“I look forward to helping expand this model internationally and bringing the most visionary filmmakers, producers and creators into Paramount TV to make content for the global market place,” he continued. “I am grateful for my last decade at UTA and look forward to working with everyone in my new role.”

“Paramount TV is getting a tremendous executive in David Flynn,” said UTA boss David Kramer. “He’s been a great colleague at UTA for more than decade and integral in building our international business. We truly wish him the best and look forward to many years of continued work together.”

Also Read: Viacom Beats Q1 Earnings Forecast Despite Declines in US TV Ratings, Paramount's Box Office

Flynn, who was born and raised in Ireland, began his film career working on Paramount’s “Braveheart,” which was shot in his home country (but set in Scotland). There he started his own management company, which produced “Seraphim Falls” starring Liam Neeson, Pierce Brosnan and Anjelica Houston and was sold at the Toronto Film Festival in 2006.

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www.thewrap.com | 2/27/18

Discovery Communications unveiled its fourth-quarter and full-year 2017 financial results early Tuesday morning — and also, a nice surprise. The United States Department of Justice has given Discovery the go-ahead on its Scripps purchase.

Wall Street had forecast Discovery Q4 earnings of 41 cents per share on $1.79 billion in revenue, according to a consensus compiled by Yahoo Finance. The company actually reported 47 cents of adjusted earnings per share on $1.864 billion in revenue.

“2017 was an historic year for Discovery. We took significant steps to position ourselves for success in a changing industry, while driving growth from our traditional linear business and accelerating our investments in new growth areas like digital and mobile in an effort to reach superfans on every screen,” said David Zaslav, President and CEO, Discovery Communications. “Solid global advertising and distribution revenue growth helped us achieve our 2017 strategic and financial objectives. Additionally, we remain excited by the prospects for a combined Discovery and Scripps Networks.”

Also Read: New 'Fast N' Loud' Season to Premiere Next Month on Discovery (Exclusive)

Discovery also announced that it got a thumbs up from the U.S. Department of Justice on its Scripps purchase.

“We are pleased to have passed this significant regulatory milestone on our path to acquire Scripps Networks Interactive,” said David Zaslav, President and Chief Executive Officer, Discovery.”The conclusion of the Department of Justice’s investigation is an integral step toward closing our transaction. We look forward to combining these two great companies to the benefit of our enthusiast audiences around the world.”

That deal is now up to Ireland.

Also Read: 'Property Brothers' Jonathan Scott and Drew Scott Ink New Multiyear Deal With HGTV

DISCA stock closed at $25.17 on Monday, up almost 5 percent per share.

Discovery executives will host a conference call at 8:30 a.m. ET to discuss the quarterly and annual results in greater detail.

TLC parent Discovery Communications is in the process of purchasing HGTV home Scripps Networks for nearly $15 billion.

More to come…

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www.thewrap.com | 2/27/18

Hilaria Baldwin is teaching daughter Carmen about the family business: yoga.

The fitness guru, who is seven months pregnant, shared a video on Instagram Wednesday night of the two practicing yoga while she led the 4-year-old through the motions.

“Obliques/sidebody/“spare tire” (I don’t like calling it that…but if it rings a , go for it. 10 on each side then hold the stretch for 5 seconds. #WeGotThis2018,” Hilaria, 34, wrote in the caption.

While the busy mom of three (soon to be four!) was teaching Carmen how to do obliques, her son Rafael, 2½, kept expressing his desire to attempt the moves with them.

Want all the latest pregnancy and birth announcements, plus celebrity mom blogs? Click here to get those and more in the PEOPLE Babies newsletter.

“Me too! I wanna do one too!” he yelled, while Hilaria said, “I know you can do it, one second!”

Carmen followed her mother’s every move – including the ones requiring a lot of skill and balance. Despite the difficulty, Carmen gave her mom an enthusiastic high-five as the lesson ended.

In November, Hilaria and her husband Alec Baldwin revealed they were expecting a baby boy. The baby will join older siblings Carmen, Rafael and 16-month-old Leonardo “Leo” Ángel Charles, as well as 22-year-old model Ireland from the actor’s previous relationship with actress Kim Basinger.

The mother of three has always been open about sharing her pregnancy body on Instagram and this one is no exception.

In January, she showed off her six-month baby bump in which she revealed she has “to remind myself every day how working out and eating well while pregnant will mean that I will have an easier pregnancy, delivery and recovery.”

RELATED VIDEO: Dare to Bare! Pregnant Hilaria Baldwin Shows Off Baby Bump While Wearing a Bra — and No Bottoms

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“I let myself slow down, but try to do an activity almost every day where I keep my circulation going, maintain flexibility and tone muscles,” she added.

The fitness instructor went on to encourage her followers to reach out to her and each other about health while keeping a positive discourse.

“Please talk to me and to each other about your experiences with this, questions and advice — no negativity — this is a namaste place. #WeGotThis2018,” she writes.

Hilaria concludes the post with, “In full disclosure, there is no filter, but I did brighten up the image a bit, since the bathroom in this hotel doesn’t have strong light.”

people.com | 2/22/18
Conor McGregor just had his most epic face-off to date -- a shirtless staredown with Sir Richard Branson!! For real. It all went down at the Pendulum Summit for business leaders in Dublin, Ireland ... where Conor was presented with a lifetime…

www.tmz.com | 1/10/18