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A24 has acquired the North American rights to “Saint Maud,” a psychological horror film that made its world premiere in TIFF’s Midnight Madness program, an individual with knowledge of the deal told TheWrap.

“Saint Maud” is the first feature film from British writer-director Rose Glass, whose previous work includes the short “Room 55.” It next makes its U.S. premiere at Fantastic Fest on Sept. 19. No release date has yet been set. It will also be playing next month in competition at the BFI London Film Festival.

“Saint Maud” follows a pious but unstable nurse, Maud, who becomes convinced that she must save the soul of her dying employer, Amanda, as signs of eternal damnation begin to present themselves in their isolated seaside town. The film nods to other religious horror films, most notably “The Exorcist,” among others.

Also Read: Hugh Jackman's 'Bad Education' Acquired by HBO

Morfydd Clark (“Love & Friendship,” “The Personal History of David Copperfield”) stars in the film as Maud alongside Jennifer Ehle (“Zero Dark Thirty”) as Amanda.

Oliver Kassman and Andrea Cornwell produced “Saint Maud,” and the film is executive produced by Daniel Battsek, Sam Lavender, and Mary Burke.

The film was developed by Film4, and production was backed by Film4 and the BFI (using National Lottery funds), and produced by Escape Plan Productions. Protagonist Pictures is handling worldwide sales. Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions holds all international rights to the film, excluding the U.K. and France.

Glass is represented by Tracey Hyde at Casarotto Ramsay.

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The television series “Mrs. Fletcher,” “Briarpatch” and “Limetown” have been added to the lineup at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival, which will screen two or three episodes of each series followed by extended Q&As with the creators and cast.

Those three U.S. series will be part of TIFF’s Primetime section, which will also showcase the international series “Black Bitch” (Australia), “Savages” (France) and “The Sleepers” (the Czech Republic).

“Mrs. Fletcher” is an upcoming series from HBO and Crave, based on the Tom Perotta novel and starring Kathryn Hahn as an empty-nest mother. “Briarpatch,” from USA Network, stars Rosario Dawson as a political fixer investigating the death of her sister. And Facebook Watch’s podcast-based “Limetown” follows a public radio journalist (Jessica Biel) looking into the disappearance of 300 people at a research facility.

Also Read: Mister Rogers, the Joker and Judy Garland Are All Headed to Toronto Film Festival

Toronto organizers also announced the lineup for its five-day TIFF Industry Conference, which will launch on September 6 with a conversation with director Ron Howard and producer Brian Grazer, whose collaborations include the TIFF opening-night documentary “Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and the Band.”

The conference will also include master classes with Brazilian director Fernando Meirelles and Chinese-born director Lulu Wang; a conversation about gender equality led by Swedish Film Institute CEO Anna Serner; and guest speakers including Edward Burns, Barbara Kopple, Franklin Leonard and Alan Berliner.

The TIFF Doc Conference, curated by Thom Powers and Denae Peters, will include talks and panels featuring Kopple, Berliner, Kickstarter’s Elise McCave, Showtime’s Vinnie Malhotra, the International Documentary Association’s Claire Aguilar and the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Ashley Clark, among others.

Also Read: Toronto Film Festival Adds Documentaries From Alex Gibney, Barbara Kopple, Bryce Dallas Howard

Finally, TIFF named four young actors – Argentina’s Chino Darin, Norway’s Josefine Frida, the United States’ Kelvin Harrison Jr. and Australia’s Geraldine Viswanathan – to its Rising Stars program. The four join a quartet of previously announced Canadian Rising Stars, Mikhail Ahooja, Shamier Anderson, Kacey Rohl and Nahema Ricci.

Darin will appear at TIFF in “Heroic Losers,” Frida in “Disco,” Harrison in “Waves” and Viswanathan in “Bad Education.”

The 44th Toronto International Film Festival will kick off on September 5 with a screening of the documentary “Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and the Band,” and conclude on September 15.

Additional information on the programming is available at www.tiff.net.

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www.thewrap.com | 8/15/19
 A 47-year-old Princeton University professor fell to his death in a rock-climbing accident over the weekend while vacationing with his family in France, school officials said.
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That smiling, bearded hipster you might have seen raving about President Trump in a recent Facebook ad — turns out, he’s not from Washington, D.C. — as the ad suggests — but Izmir, Turkey.

The president’s reelection campaign is using free stock video footage to portray his real-life supporters, the Associated Press reported on Wednesday. The MAGA “fans” in the stock footage aren’t even allowed to vote for President Trump if they wanted to, with the models coming from not only Turkey but Brazil and France as well.

“President Trump and his family and the administration are in our prayers for strength and wisdom from God almighty. God bless,” Thomas, the coffee shop hipster mentioned above, says in one ad.

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“I could not ask for a better president,” another ad, featuring “Tracey from Florida,” said.

But the people shown on screen never made the glowing remarks. As the 20-second ads mention in a small disclaimer, the videos feature “actual testimonial, actor portrayal.”

“Thomas from Washington” isn’t exactly from Washington (via Facebook)

Also Read: Donald Trump Stands By 'Central Park 5' Ad Calling for Death Penalty: 'They Admitted Their Guilt'

“Tracey from Florida” turns out to be a video labeled “young woman smiling and walking at the beach” on iStock by Getty Images; her pictures and videos were taken by Tuto Photos, a French company, as the AP pointed out. “Thomas from Washington” can be found on iStock under “bearded and tattooed hipster coffee shop owner posing.”

White House reps did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.

“As a producer, you want to control — you want people to look a certain way and you want them to sound a certain way,” Jay Newell, a former cable TV executive and current professor at Iowa State University, told the AP. “The fact that the footage is from outside the U.S. makes it that much more embarrassing.”

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www.thewrap.com | 7/3/19
French startup Ornikar is raising a $40 million Series B round (€35 million) from Idinvest and BpiFrance. The company competes with traditional driving schools in Europe with an online marketplace of students and teachers. And Ornikar has been a massive success in France. Overall, 35 percent of driving school registrations in 2019 are handled by […]
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The short film “Mano a Mano,” from French director Louise Courvoisier, won the top prize from the Short Films and Cinéfondation Jury headed by Claire Denis at Cannes, the festival announced Thursday.

The jury led by Denis and consisting of Stacy Martin, Eran Kolirin, Panos H. Koutras and C?t?lin Mitulescu chose the winners between 17 student films out of 2,000 entries from 366 film schools around the world. The awards were presented at the 2019 Cinéfondation Prizes, now in its 22nd edition, during a ceremony held in the Buñuel Theatre, followed by the screening of the winning films.

The Cinéfondation allocates a €15,000 grant for the first prize, €11,250 for the second and €7,500 for the third. The winner of the first prize is also guaranteed the presentation of his or her first feature film at a future Cannes Film Festival. The awarded films will also be screened at the Cinéma du Panthéon on May 28.

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First prize went to “Mano a Mano,” directed by Courvoisier and from the school CinéFabrique in France. It’s the story of two circus acrobats traveling from town to town to perform their duet, even as their romantic relationship is falling apart. They’re forced to confront their problems and regain their trust in one another while driving in a small car en route to their next performance.

Second prize went to “Hieu,” directed by Richard Van of CalArts in the US. The short is about a Vietnamese-American household that receives a surprise visit from a long-lost patriarch after he fails at a get-rich-quick scheme.

Finally, a joint third prize was awarded to both “Ambience” directed by Wisa Al Jafari out of the Dar al-Kalima University College of Arts and Culture in Palestine and “Duszyczka” (“The Little Soul”) from director Barbara Rupik at PWSFTviT in Poland.

Also Read: Cannes Report, Day 9: Xavier Dolan Grows Up, Neon Falls for 'Portrait of a Lady on Fire'

“Ambience” is about two young Palestinians who try to record a demo for a music competition inside a noisy, crowded refugee camp, only to discover a creative method to complete their deadline.

“The Little Soul” looks at a dead body that became stuck by a river bank. Its decaying insides still hide a human soul – a miniature of the deceased. When the organs rot, a tiny creature escapes, and it says goodbye to the corpse before setting off on a journey through the post-mortem land.

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www.thewrap.com | 5/23/19

Art imitates life in Pedro Almodóvar’s “Pain and Glory,” which screened in competition at the Cannes Film Festival on Friday evening. Or maybe it’s more accurate to say that the iconic Spanish director reimagines life — his life — as a fantasia borne out of the cinematic vocabulary he’s created over the last four decades.

“Pain and Glory” suggests that Almodóvar’s films were based on the preoccupations that developed when he was a child, but then refracts the life that formed his art through the style of that art. If there’s a house-of-mirrors aspect to this, the trickiness is one of the least important aspects of this lovely, gentle reverie, which has already opened to largely positive reception in Spain.

Antonio Banderas plays a film director named Salvador Mallo, who happens to dress like Almodóvar and live in a house that looks just like Almodóvar’s house. He also has a little bit of Almodóvar’s trademark spiky hair, though it’s not as white or as poofy.

Also Read: How Antonio Banderas Learned to Relax and Play His Old Friend (and Director) Pedro Almodóvar

Banderas, who began his career in the early 1980s in a film by Almodóvar and has now appeared in eight of the director’s movies, told TheWrap that at times he found it difficult to wrap his head around what his old friend asked him to do in “Pain and Glory.”

“It’s very complicated,” Banderas said. “Even if he said, ‘It’s not me, it’s my alter ego’ — OK, but it’s in you. It’s not self-biography, but it’s self-fiction.”

Banderas said he never did an imitation, instead drawing from things about Almodóvar that he knew as a friend, notably the writer-director’s solitude. And Salvador Mallo is indeed a solitary figure – a man we first see submerged in a swimming pool, and a man lost in the pain that wracks his body and in the memories that flow through him.

Those memories, the subject of numerous flashbacks, include growing up Catholic with a strong mother (played by Penélope Cruz) and fainting at his sudden sexual awakening when the young Salvador (Asier Flores) sees a workman bathing nude. You can look at them as a CliffsNotes version of what formed Almodóvar — sorry, Mallo — as a director, but they are more essential than that.

Also Read: 16 of Cannes' Hottest Directors, From Pedro Almodóvar to Céline Sciamma (Exclusive Photos)

Back in the present day, Mallo seeks out an actor, Alberto Crespo (Asier Etxeandia), with whom he had a falling out 32 years earlier — he wrote a role for a character he envisioned as a cocaine addict, the actor played him as a heroin addict instead and only now, on the eve of a cinematheque restoration of the film, does Mallo appreciate the performance. The reconnection leads to a theater piece written by Mallo and performed by Crespo, and also to Mallo’s flirtation with smoking heroin, still a regular ritual for Crespo.

The performance also leads to a reunion between Mallo and Federico (Leonardo Sbaraglia), old lovers who share the tenderest reconciliation in a film built around a series of reconciliations.

Almodóvar has called “Pain and Glory” the third part of a trilogy that also includes 1987’s “Law of Desire” and 2004’s “Bad Education,” but devotees of the director’s work can find call-outs to much of the director’s filmography. And as always, the film’s look is impeccable; Almodóvar’s fascination with scarlet continues, but he finds a way to make even a doctor’s waiting room look vibrant and alive.

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But you wouldn’t use those words to describe the main character. Banderas’ Mallo is weary and subdued, a man looking for peace and too tired to fight. It might be the quietest performance the actor has ever given, and quite possibly the most affecting; as a lion in winter, he makes every sigh matter.

And “Pain and Glory” is, clearly, a film of sighs. Just as the character seeks physical and mental healing, the film is one of the most meditative of Almodóvar’s career. He may have made his reputation with a string of transgressive, jarring and provocative films that helped upend Spanish cinema in the 1980s and ’90s, but with this film passion has given way to mature introspection.

It makes for less energetic and, yes, less exciting filmmaking. But “Pain and Glory” is a beautiful meditation on past and present, a memory piece that will nourish rather than provoke.

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www.thewrap.com | 5/17/19

There are no zombies on the red carpet of the Croisette, a reporter told Bill Murray after the world premiere of his latest film “The Dead Don’t Die,” which opened the Cannes Film Festival Tuesday.

“Says you,” Murray (un)dead-pans in response.

During the press conference following Jim Jarmusch’s zombie comedy, Murray said he finds Cannes “frightening,” and it’s hard not to come away with that assessment when “The Dead Don’t Die” managed to bring together an unusual assemblage of art-house darlings and global pop stars for the occasion.

Jarmusch donned his trademark sunglasses on the red carpet and received a (expected) standing ovation as the screening was began, and he was joined by the film’s diverse crop of stars, including Adam Driver, Tilda Swinton, Chloe Sevigny and even Selena Gomez, who were all in attendance.

Also Read: Jim Jarmusch's 'The Dead Don't Die' Splits Cannes Audience: 'Winningly Eccentric' or 'Invasion of Clichés'

And the film itself is a nonchalant, hipster commentary on people sleepwalking through the modern age as well as the Trump era. A red hat worn by Steve Buscemi’s character in the film that read “Make America White Again” was a popular talking point among critics after the first screenings in the Grand Theatre Lumiere and the Sally Debussy theater next door. And it’s not unusual for this generally tough Cannes crowd to be fairly mixed on the splashy opening night film, even for someone as respected as Jarmsuch.

“It’s the self-awareness that really hurts it,” TheWrap’s critic Ben Croll wrote in his review. “Jarmusch knows that his audience wants to see Murray and Driver riff in deadpan and that the image of Swinton strutting down the street wielding a katana will set the internet ablaze, so he offers them as much, without ever feeling the imperative to go a step beyond.”

Also Read: 16 of Cannes' Hottest Directors, From Pedro Almodóvar to Céline Sciamma (Exclusive Photos)

Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Cannes Jury Press Conference Touches on Diversity, Netflix and the Border Wall

Elle Fanning, filmmakers Kelly Reichardt and Alice Rohrwacher, and Senegalese actress Maimouna N’Diaye are among the women serving on this year’s Cannes main competition jury led by Alejandro González Iñárritu. The group represents one of the most diverse juries the festival has ever had, with 21-year-old Fanning the youngest jury member the festival has ever had.

And while the festival has been committed to striving toward 50/50 gender parity, the women on the jury would very much like to move past the same questions about being a “woman” filmmaker.

“I look forward to a time that will come when we don’t have to say ‘women directors’ or ‘as a woman,'” Reichardt said at the press conference Tuesday.

“But it’s odd when we’re asked this question,” Rohrwacher added. “It’s sort of like asking someone who survived a shipwreck why he’s still alive. Everyone is on the beach — ‘Why are you still alive?’ Why are you asking us? Well, ask the person who built the boat, who sold the tickets, the schools. People have said there haven’t been enough women, but it’s not enough to talk about at the end [of the chain]. We have to look at the beginning of the chain.”

Also Read: Cannes Market Preview 2019: What Are Buyers Looking for This Year?

Splashy International Deals

The Cannes marketplace is also just kicking off at the festival, but select international deals are already in place for some of the competition films.

Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions nabbed select territories to Sally Hawkins’s “Eternal Beauty,” according to The Hollywood Reporter, excluding the U.S., Canada, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the U.K., China, Japan, South Korea and the Middle East. And Focus Features acquired the international rights to Robert Eggers’s film “The Lighthouse,” which A24 already has domestic rights to distribute.

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www.thewrap.com | 5/15/19
A radioactive isotope one billion times older than the Universe! An international team of researchers, including six scientists from the Faculty of Science and Technology of the University of Coimbra (FCTUC), was able to measure for the first time the longest average lifetime of a radioactive isotope recorded by a device of measurement. This extraordinary fact is published (April 25), as the main piece on the cover, in Nature, the most prestigious of all scientific journals. The isotope in question is Xe 124 and its average lifetime is approximately one billion times older than the Universe. The Universe is about 14 billion years old, a period of time inconceivable when compared to the scale of human life. As if that alone did not cause enough amazement, there are radioactive isotopes (unstable elements that change over time emitting radiation) whose average life happens on scales much greater than the existence of the Universe itself. "The fact that we can directly measure such a rare process as this demonstrates the extraordinary scope of our measurement system, even when it was not made to measure these events, but rather dark matter," stresses José Matias, coordinator of the Portuguese team in this effort international and researcher of the Laboratory of Instrumentation, Biomedical Engineering and Radiation Physics (LIBPhys) of FCTUC. In fact, this measurement was only possible thanks to the XENON1T system, the most sensitive instrument ever produced by mankind for the detection of dark matter. It is installed in the National Laboratory of Gran Sasso (Italy), the largest underground laboratory in the world, under 1300 meters of rock to shield the system from cosmic rays existing on the surface. The study published by Nature shows that, after all, "XENON1T was also able to measure other rare physical phenomena, such as double electronic capture. In this case, the nucleus captures two of the electrons that orbit it in the atom, transforming two of the protons that constituted it into neutrons and emitting radiation in the form of two neutrinos. The energy released in this process forms the signal that the system registers, despite the extreme difficulty in being detected by its rarity, and can be generally masked by the omnipresent "normal" radiation ", affirms the also vice president of the Higher Institute of Engineering of Coimbra (ISEC). The average life span of Xe 124 Only with the detailed knowledge of the sources of radiation recorded by the detector was it possible to observe 126 events of double electron capture of the isotope Xe 124 and thus to determine for the first time its average life time of 2.5 x 1022 years (25 thousand millions of billions of years). This is the longest physical process ever measured directly by mankind. In fact, there is a register of phenomena with a longer average life (isotope Te 128) in the Universe, but that was inferred indirectly from another process. For the time being, it is not possible to predict the implications of this discovery that opens new horizons in human knowledge. The XENON consortium consists of 160 scientists from 27 research groups from the US, Germany, Portugal, Switzerland, France, the Netherlands, Sweden, Japan, Israel and Abu Dhabi. Portugal has been a partner in this collaboration since its inception in 2005 through the LIBPhys team. Cristina Pinto University of Coimbra • Faculty of Science and Technology Translated from the Portuguese version Ekaterina Santos

“Barry,” “Hannah Gadsby: Nanette” and “The Good Place” lead the nominees for this year’s Peabody Awards, which recognizes the best of digital and broadcast media for the year. The three programs were among a crowded field of contenders in the entertainment category.

“It is our great honor to recognize the most powerful and compelling, but also most brilliant and creative programming of 2018,” Jeffrey P. Jones, executive director of Peabody said in a press statement. “Across genres and platforms, these are stories that help us make sense of our world, and locate our humanity in the joys and tragedies and struggles of people worldwide.”

The 78th annual awards ceremony nominees also honored other achievements in the categories of “children’s and youth,” “documentaries,” “public service,” “news,” “web,” and “radio/podcast.” The nominees were selected by unanimous vote of 19 jurors from more than 1,200 entries from television, radio/podcasts and the web in entertainment, news, documentary, children’s and public service programming. Thirty winners selected from amongst these nominees will be announced beginning next week.

Also Read: Fox News, Ben Shapiro's Daily Wire Dominate Facebook's Most Popular Stories of 2019

The ceremony will take place on May 18 in New York City at Cipriani Wall Street, and will be hosted by New Yorker contributing writer Ronan Farrow.

You can see the full list of Peabody nominees below.

CHILDREN’S & YOUTH

“Hilda” Silvergate Media for Netflix (Netflix)

“Steven Universe” Cartoon Network Studios (Cartoon Network)

DOCUMENTARIES

“A Dangerous Son” HBO Documentary Films and Moxie Firecracker Films (HBO)

“Blue Planet II” BBC Studios’ Natural History Unit, co-produced with BBC AMERICA, Tencent, WDR, France Télévisions and CCTV9 in partnership with The Open University (BBC AMERICA)

“Brides & Brothels: The Rohingya Trade” 101 East (Al Jazeera English)

“I Am Evidence” HBO Documentary Films and Mighty Entertainment in association with Fixit Productions and Artemis Rising Foundation (HBO)

“Independent Lens: Dolores” A Carlos Santana Production, in association with 5 Stick Films, and THE DOLORES HUERTA FILM PROJECT, LLC (PBS)

“Independent Lens: I Am Not Your Negro” A co-production of Velvet Film Inc., Velvet Film S.A.S., Artémis Productions, Close Up Films, ARTE France, RTS, RTBF, Shelter Prod and the Independent Television Service (ITVS) presented in association with the National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC), with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) (PBS)

“Independent Lens: The Judge” A co-production of Three Judges LLC, Idle Wild Films Inc., and Independent Television Service (ITVS), with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) (PBS)

“Lorraine Hansberry: Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart” Lorraine Hansberry Documentary Project, LLC in co-production with Independent Television Service and Black Public Media in association with The Film Posse, Chiz Schultz Inc. and American Masters Pictures (PBS/WNET/TV)

“Minding the Gap” Hulu presents in association with Kartemquin, American Documentary | POV and ITVS (Hulu)

“POV: QUEST: A Portrait of an American Family” Quest Fury Sound LLC, Vespertine Film and Media Productions Inc., American Documentary | POV, ITVS (PBS)

“POV: The Apology” National Film Board of Canada, American Documentary | POV (PBS)

“POV: Survivors” WeOwnTV, American Documentary | POV, ITVS (PBS)

“POV: Whose Streets?” Whose Streets? LLC, American Documentary | POV (PBS)

“Shirkers” A Netflix Documentary in association with Cinereach (Netflix)

“The Bleeding Edge” A Netflix Original Documentary in association with Shark Island Institute (Netflix)

“The Facebook Dilemma” FRONTLINE (PBS)

“The Jazz Ambassadors” Thirteen Productions LLC, Antelope South Ltd., Normal Life Pictures, in association with the BBC and ZDF in collaboration with Arte (PBS)

“The Rape of Recy Taylor” Augusta Films, in co-production with Transform Films Inc., in association with Artemis Rising and Matador Content (Starz)

ENTERTAINMENT

“Atypical” Sony Pictures Television for Netflix (Netflix)

“Barry” HBO Entertainment in association with Alec Berg and Hanarply (HBO)

“Hannah Gadsby: Nanette” Netflix (Netflix)

“Homecoming,” Universal Content Productions and Amazon Studios (Amazon Prime Video)

“Killing Eve” Sid Gentle Films Ltd. for BBC AMERICA (BBC AMERICA)

“My Brilliant Friend” HBO Entertainment in association with RAI FICTION, TIMVISION and Wildside, Fandango, and Umedia (HBO)

“Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj” Netflix (Netflix)

“Pose” Fox 21 Television Studios and FX Productions (FX Networks)

“Random Acts of Flyness” HBO Entertainment in association with A24 and MVMT (HBO)

“The Americans” Fox 21 Television Studios and FX Productions (FX Networks)

“The Chi” SHOWTIME Presents, Fox 21 Television Studios, Kapital Entertainment, Verse, Freedom Road Productions, Hillman Grad Productions, Elwood Reid Inc. (Showtime)

“The End of the F***ing World” Clerkenwell Films/Dominic Buchanan Productions for Channel 4 Television and Netflix (Netflix)

“The Good Place” Universal Television, Fremulon and 3 Arts Entertainment (NBC)

“This Close” Killer Films and Super Deluxe (SundanceNow)

NEWS

“Anatomy of a Killing” BBC Africa Eye (BBC)

“Aquí y Ahora: The Faces of the Immigration Crisis ” Univision Network (Univision Network)

“CBS News Special: 39 Days” CBS News (CBS)

“Back of the Class” KING Television NBC affiliate/KING

“Cambridge Analytica” ITN for Channel 4 News (Channel 4 News)

“Inside Yemen” PBS NewsHour (PBS)

“NewsChannel 5 Investigates: Toxic School Water” WTVF-TV (WTVF-TV)

“Nima Elbagir: Human Rights Reporting” CNN (CNN)

“On the Fire Line” PBS NewsHour (PBS)

“Separated: Children at the Border” FRONTLINE (PBS)

“Spartan Silence” E:60, OTL, ESPNW, Sportscenter (ESPN)

“The Plastic Problem” PBS NewsHour (PBS)

“$2 Tests: Bad Arrests” WAGA-TV FOX 5 Atlanta (WAGA-TV)

PUBLIC SERVICE

“Student/Trafficked” R.AGE (Star Media Group)

WEB

“Zero Tolerance” ProPublica

RADIO/PODCASTS

“Bag Man” MSNBC (MSNBC)

“Believed” Michigan Radio (NPR)

“Buried Truths” WABE (WABE)

“Caliphate” The New York Times (The New York Times)

“Ear Hustle” PRX’s Radiotopia (PRX’s Radiotopia)

“In The Dark (season 2)” APM Reports (Podcast)

“Kept Out” Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting, PRX, PBS Newshour, and the Associated Press (Public radio stations nationwide)

“Monumental Lies” Type Investigations and Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX (Public radio stations nationwide)

“My World Was Burning: The North Bay Fires and What Went Wrong” KQED and Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX (Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX)

“This American Life Episode #657: The Runaways” This American Life and ProPublica Inc. (Public Radio Stations, podcast)

“The Daily” The New York Times (The New York Times)

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www.thewrap.com | 4/9/19

James (Jon) Castle - 7 December 1950 to 12 January 2018

Over four decades Captain Jon Castle navigated Greenpeace ships by the twin stars of ‘right and wrong’, defending the environment and promoting peace. Greenpeace chronicler, Rex Weyler, recounts a few of the stories that made up an extraordinary life.

Captain Jon Castle onboard the MV Sirius, 1 May 1996

James (Jon) Castle first opened his eyes virtually at sea. He was born 7 December 1950 in Cobo Bay on the Channel Island of Guernsey, UK. He grew up in a house known locally as Casa del Mare, the closest house on the island to the sea, the second son of Robert Breedlove Castle and Mary Constance Castle. 

Young Jon Castle loved the sea and boats. He worked on De Ile de Serk, a cargo boat that supplied nearby Sark island, and he studied at the University of Southampton to become an officer in the Merchant Navy. 

Jon became a beloved skipper of Greenpeace ships. He sailed on many campaigns and famously skippered two ships during Greenpeace’s action against Shell’s North Sea oil platform, Brent Spar. During his activist career, Jon spelt his name as "Castel" to avoid unwanted attention on his family.

Right and wrong

Jon had two personal obsessions: he loved books and world knowledge and was extremely well-read.  He also loved sacred sites and spent personal holidays walking to stone circles, standing stones, and holy wells.  

As a young man, Jon became acquainted with the Quaker tradition, drawn by their dedication to peace, civil rights, and direct social action. In 1977, when Greenpeace purchased their first ship - the Aberdeen trawler renamed, the Rainbow Warrior - Jon signed on as first mate, working with skipper Peter Bouquet and activists Susi Newborn, Denise Bell and Pete Wilkinson.

In 1978, Wilkinson and Castle learned of the British government dumping radioactive waste at sea in the deep ocean trench off the coast of Spain in the Sea of Biscay. In July, the Rainbow Warrior followed the British ship, Gem, south from the English coast, carrying a load of toxic, radioactive waste barrels. The now-famous confrontation during which the Gem crew dropped barrels onto a Greenpeace inflatable boat, ultimately changed maritime law and initiated a ban on toxic dumping at sea.

After being arrested by Spanish authorities, Castle and Bouquet staged a dramatic escape from La Coru?a harbour at night, without running lights, and returned the Greenpeace ship to action. Crew member Simone Hollander recalls, as the ship entered Dublin harbour in 1978, Jon cheerfully insisting that the entire crew help clean the ship's bilges before going ashore, an action that not only built camaraderie among the crew, but showed a mariner's respect for the ship itself. In 1979, they brought the ship to Amsterdam and participated in the first Greenpeace International meeting.

In 1980 Castle and the Rainbow Warrior crew confronted Norwegian and Spanish whaling ships, were again arrested by Spanish authorities, and brought into custody in the El Ferrol naval base.

The Rainbow Warrior remained in custody for five months, as the Spanish government demanded 10 million pesetas to compensate the whaling company. On the night of November 8, 1980, the Rainbow Warrior, with Castle at the helm, quietly escaped the naval base, through the North Atlantic, and into port in Jersey.

In 1995, Castle skippered the MV Greenpeace during the campaign against French nuclear testing in the Pacific and led a flotilla into New Zealand to replace the original Rainbow Warrior that French agents bombed in Auckland in 1985.

Over the years, Castle became legendary for his maritime skills, courage, compassion, commitment, and for his incorruptible integrity. "Environmentalism: That does not mean a lot to me," he once said, "I am here because of what is right and wrong. Those words are good enough for me."

Brent Spar   Action at Brent Spar Oil Rig in the North Sea, 16 June 1995

One of the most successful Greenpeace campaigns of all time began in the summer of 1995 when Shell Oil announced a plan to dump a floating oil storage tank, containing toxic petroleum residue, into the North Atlantic. Castle signed on as skipper of the Greenpeace vessel Moby Dick, out of Lerwick, Scotland. A month later, on 30 April 1995, Castle and other activists occupied the Brent Spar and called for a boycott of Shell service stations.

When Shell security and British police sprayed the protesters with water cannons, images flooded across world media, demonstrations broke out across Europe, and on May 15, at the G7 summit, German chancellor Helmut Kohl publicly protested to British Prime Minister John Major. In June, 11 nations, at the Oslo and Paris Commission meetings, called for a moratorium on sea disposal of offshore installations.

After three weeks, British police managed to evict Castle and the other occupiers and held them briefly in an Aberdeen jail. When Shell and the British government defied public sentiment and began towing the Spar to the disposal site, consumers boycotted Shell stations across Europe. Once released, Castle took charge of the chartered Greenpeace vessel Altair and continued to pursue the Brent Spar towards the dumping ground. Castle called on the master of another Greenpeace ship, fitted with a helideck, to alter course and rendezvous with him. Using a helicopter, protesters re-occupied the Spar and cut the wires to the detonators of scuppering charges.

One of the occupiers, young recruit Eric Heijselaar, recalls: "One of the first people I met as I climbed on board was a red-haired giant of a man grinning broadly at us. My first thought was that he was a deckhand, or maybe the bosun. So I asked if he knew whether a cabin had been assigned to me yet. He gave me a lovely warm smile, and reassured me that, yes, a cabin had been arranged. At dinner I found out that he was Jon Castle, not a deckhand, not the bosun, but the captain. And what a captain!"

With activists occupying the Spar once again, Castle and the crew kept up their pursuit when suddenly the Spar altered course, heading towards Norway. Shell had given up. The company announced that Brent Spar would be cleaned out and used as a foundation for a new ferry terminal. Three years later, in 1998, the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic (OSPAR) passed a ban on dumping oil installations into the North Sea.

"There was no question among the crew who had made this possible, who had caused this to happen," Heijselaar recalls. "It was Jon Castle. His quiet enthusiasm and the trust he put into people made this crew one of the best I ever saw. He always knew exactly what he wanted out of a campaign, how to gain momentum, and he always found the right words to explain his philosophies. He was that rare combination, both a mechanic and a mystic. And above all he was a very loving, kind human being."

Moruroa

After the Brent Spar campaign, Castle returned to the South Pacific on the Rainbow Warrior II, to obstruct a proposed French nuclear test in the Moruroa atoll. Expecting the French to occupy their ship, Castle and engineer, Luis Manuel Pinto da Costa, rigged the steering mechanism to be controlled from the crow's-nest. When French commandos boarded the ship, Castle stationed himself in the crow's-nest, cut away the access ladder and greased the mast so that the raiders would have difficulty arresting him.

Eventually, the commandos cut a hole into the engine-room and severed cables controlling the engine, radio, and steering mechanism, making Castle's remote control system worthless. They towed the Rainbow Warrior II to the island of Hao, as three other protest vessels arrived. 

Three thousand demonstrators gathered in the French port of Papeete, demanding that France abandon the tests. Oscar Temaru - leader of Tavini Huiraatira, an anti-nuclear, pro-independence party - who had been aboard the Rainbow Warrior II when it was raided, welcomed anti-testing supporters from Britain, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Sweden, Canada, Germany, Brazil, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, the Philippines, and American Samoa. Eventually, France ended their tests, and atmospheric nuclear testing in the world's oceans stopped once and for all.

“Moral courage”

Through these extraordinary missions, Jon Castle advocated "self-reflection" not only for individual activists, but for the organisation that he loved. Activists, Castle maintained, required "moral courage." He cautioned, "Don't seek approval. Someone has to be way out in front... illuminating territory in advance of the main body of thought."

He opposed "corporatism" in activist organisations and urged Greenpeace to avoid becoming "over-centralised or compartmentalised."  He felt that activist decisions should emerge from the actions themselves, not in an office. We can't fight industrialism with "money, numbers, and high-tech alone," he once wrote in a personal manifesto. Organisations have to avoid traps of "self-perpetuation" and focus on the job "upsetting powerful forces, taking on multinationals and the military-industrial complex."

He recalled that Greenpeace had become popular "because a gut message came through to the thirsty hearts of poor suffering people ... feeling the destruction around them."  Activists, Castle felt, required "freedom of expression, spontaneity [and] an integrated lifestyle."  An activist organisation should foster a "feeling of community" and exhibit "moral courage." Castle felt that social change activists had to "question the materialistic, consumerist lifestyle that drives energy overuse, the increasingly inequitable world economic tyranny that creates poverty and drives environmental degradation," and must maintain "honour, courage and the creative edge."

Well loved hero

Susi Newborn, who was there to welcome Jon aboard the Rainbow Warrior way back in 1977, and who gave the ship its name, wrote about her friend with whom she felt "welded at the heart: He was a Buddhist and a vegetarian and had an earring in his ear. He liked poetry and classical music and could be very dark, but also very funny. Once, I cut his hair as he downed a bottle or two of rum reciting The Second Coming by Yeats."

Newborn recalls Castle insisting that women steer the ships in and out of port because, "they got it right, were naturals." She recalls a night at sea, Castle "lashed to the wheel facing one of the biggest storms of last century head on. I was flung about my cabin like a rag doll until I passed out. We never talked about the storm, as if too scared to summon up the behemoth we had encountered. A small handwritten note pinned somewhere in the mess, the sole acknowledgment of a skipper to his six-person crew: ‘Thank You.’” Others remember Castle as the Greenpeace captain that could regularly be found in the galley doing kitchen duty.

In 2008, with the small yacht Musichana, Castle and Pete Bouquet staged a two-man invasion of Diego Garcia island to protest the American bomber base there and the UK's refusal to allow evicted Chagos Islanders to return to their homes. They anchored in the lagoon and radioed the British Indian Ocean Territories officials on the island to tell them they and the US Air Force were acting in breach of international law and United Nations resolutions. When arrested, Castle politely lectured his captors on their immoral and illegal conduct.

In one of his final actions, as he battled with his failing health, Castle helped friends in Scotland operate a soup kitchen, quietly prepping food and washing up behind the scenes.  

Upon hearing of his passing, Greenpeace ships around the world - the Arctic Sunrise, the Esperanza, and the Rainbow Warrior - flew their flags at half mast.

Jon is fondly remembered by his brother David, ex-wife Caroline, their son, Morgan Castle, born in 1982, and their daughter, Eowyn Castle, born in 1984. Morgan has a daughter of eight months Flora, and and Eowyn has a daughter, Rose, who is 2.   

ELS'19 - 12th European Lisp Symposium Hotel Bristol Palace Genova, Italy April 1-2 2019 In cooperation with: ACM SIGPLAN In co-location with 2019 Sponsored by EPITA and Franz Inc. http://www.european-lisp-symposium.org/ Recent news: - Submission deadline extended to Friday February 8. - Keynote abstracts now available. - registration now open: https://2019.programming-conference.org/attending/Registration - Student refund program after the conference. The purpose of the European Lisp Symposium is to provide a forum for the discussion and dissemination of all aspects of design, implementation and application of any of the Lisp and Lisp-inspired dialects, including Common Lisp, Scheme, Emacs Lisp, AutoLisp, ISLISP, Dylan, Clojure, ACL2, ECMAScript, Racket, SKILL, Hop and so on. We encourage everyone interested in Lisp to participate. The 12th European Lisp Symposium invites high quality papers about novel research results, insights and lessons learned from practical applications and educational perspectives. We also encourage submissions about known ideas as long as they are presented in a new setting and/or in a highly elegant way. Topics include but are not limited to: - Context-, aspect-, domain-oriented and generative programming - Macro-, reflective-, meta- and/or rule-based development approaches - Language design and implementation - Language integration, inter-operation and deployment - Development methodologies, support and environments - Educational approaches and perspectives - Experience reports and case studies We invite submissions in the following forms: Papers: Technical papers of up to 8 pages that describe original results or explain known ideas in new and elegant ways. Demonstrations: Abstracts of up to 2 pages for demonstrations of tools, libraries, and applications. Tutorials: Abstracts of up to 4 pages for in-depth presentations about topics of special interest for at least 90 minutes and up to 180 minutes. The symposium will also provide slots for lightning talks, to be registered on-site every day. All submissions should be formatted following the ACM SIGS guidelines and include ACM Computing Classification System 2012 concepts and terms. Submissions should be uploaded to Easy Chair, at the following address: https://www.easychair.org/conferences/?conf=els2019 Note: to help us with the review process please indicate the type of submission by entering either "paper", "demo", or "tutorial" in the Keywords field. Important dates: - 08 Feb 2019 Submission deadline (*** extended! ***) - 01 Mar 2019 Notification of acceptance - 18 Mar 2019 Final papers due - 01-02 Apr 2019 Symposium Programme chair: Nicolas Neuss, FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany Programme committee: Marco Antoniotti, Universita Milano Bicocca, Italy Marc Battyani, FractalConcept, France Pascal Costanza, IMEC, ExaScience Life Lab, Leuven, Belgium Leonie Dreschler-Fischer, University of Hamburg, Germany R. Matthew Emerson, thoughtstuff LLC, USA Marco Heisig, FAU, Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany Charlotte Herzeel, IMEC, ExaScience Life Lab, Leuven, Belgium Pierre R. Mai, PMSF IT Consulting, Germany Breanndán Ó Nualláin, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands François-René Rideau, Google, USA Alberto Riva, Unversity of Florida, USA Alessio Stalla, ManyDesigns Srl, Italy Patrick Krusenotto, Deutsche Welle, Germany Philipp Marek, Austria Sacha Chua, Living an Awesome Life, Canada Search Keywords: #els2019, ELS 2019, ELS '19, European Lisp Symposium 2019, European Lisp Symposium '19, 12th ELS, 12th European Lisp Symposium, European Lisp Conference 2019, European Lisp Conference '19

WARNING: Contains major spoilers for “The Favourite” Do not read unless you’ve seen the movie.

Historical accuracy isn’t exactly what Yorgos Lanthimos is going for in his latest film, “The Favourite.” Much like Armando Iannucci’s “The Death of Stalin,” Lanthimos is bending the facts of his period piece in the service of a gripping narrative with a dark moral… namely the corrupting nature of power.

But while the details of the rivalry between Sarah Churchill and Abigail Masham for the affections of Queen Anne — like Sarah being poisoned — might have been creative license by Lanthimos and screenwriters Tony McNamara and Deborah Davis, the subject of whether Queen Anne had a secret romance with either of those two women was one that influenced her reign.

Also Read: 'The Favourite' Crowned With Indie Box Office's Largest Screen Average in Two Years

According to the biography “Queen Anne: The Politics of Passion” by Anne Somerset, the Queen, contrary to the portrayal of her in “The Favourite,” was a reserved, almost stoic figure even as she became physically frail in her old age. While those displeased with her in court might have agreed with Lanthimos’ take on her as a timid monarch afraid of rocking the boat and choosing a side between the Whigs and Tories in Parliament, historians tend to view her unwillingness to commit to one side as a refusal to allow anyone to sway her decisions.

But that didn’t stop Sarah Churchill. Somerset and other historians agree that the Duchess had a very deep and personal relationship with Queen Anne, and that she tried to use that relationship for political ends, as seen in “The Favourite.” Somerset describes Sarah as someone who was able to influence Anne in a way almost no one else could. Whether or not that relationship — and the Queen’s later relationship with Abigail — was romantic is something that isn’t made clear in Anne’s letters, and was the subject of court gossip.

Somerset writes in her book that homosexuality was, of course, frowned upon in 18th century England, but was usually seen as something practiced in more sinful countries like France, where “young ladies are that way debauched in their nunnery education.” On the other hand, impassioned, seemingly romantic letters like the ones shared between Sarah and Anne were simply seen among the English patriarchy as the sort of emotional interactions women shared with each other. So it would be possible for women to hide their romance in plain sight… unless you were the Queen of England.

Also Read: 'The Favourite' Film Review: Emma Stone Plays an 18th Century Eve Harrington in a Twisted Historical Farce

In Anne’s case, she was the target of rumors spread by those displeased with her decisions that she was swayed easily by her “favourites,” and that she was emotionally and even sexually dependent on them. As Abigail Masham began to rise in Anne’s favor, Sarah tried to regain her former position by threatening to fan the flames of those rumors.

Yes, the scene in “The Favourite” where Sarah blackmails Anne with the threat of publishing her personal letters really did happen. Somerset, who believes that Anne and Sarah’s relationship wasn’t sexual, also notes that Sarah spread rumors that Anne and Abigail were sharing a bed.

When Anne heard that these rumors were going around, Sarah wrote a letter to her suggesting that she quash the rumors by kicking Abigail out of court. As in the movie, this ended up backfiring, as Anne sent Sarah packing, accusing her of “saying shocking things” about her both in their personal exchanges and to the gossipmongers at court.

Also Read: 'The Favourite' Tops BIFA Nominations for British Independent Films

Whether her repulsion at these “shocking things” was out of a fear of being outed as a lesbian or because she was truly repulsed at such false accusations is open to interpretation. Somerset sided with the latter view, noting that Anne cared deeply for her husband, Prince George of Denmark — whom isn’t in “The Favourite” at all — and that Anne herself viewed homosexuality as a “disgusting vice.”

But whether or not Queen Anne really was caught in a heated lesbian love triangle, history shows that the core theme of “The Favourite” still rings true: Truth can easily be twisted and weaponized by those who seek power, and those who are disgruntled with the way of government can be open to having their political defeats be explained by salacious rumors and character smears.

But as the Sarah Churchill of real life and the Abigail Masham played by Emma Stone in “The Favourite” learned, there is such a thing as too much deception. Try to work your lies and manipulations at the wrong time or in the wrong way to the wrong person, and you could be branded as someone who is never to be trusted again.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'The Favourite' Crowned With Indie Box Office's Largest Screen Average in Two Years

'The Favourite' Film Review: Emma Stone Plays an 18th Century Eve Harrington in a Twisted Historical Farce

'The Favourite' Tops BIFA Nominations for British Independent Films

www.thewrap.com | 11/30/18

At just around midnight in the capital of Romania, film producer Ada Solomon got a call that threatened the life of her entire movie. Her docu-drama depicting a reenactment of one of the worst atrocities in Romania’s history was going to be shut down by the town’s vice mayor. And there was nothing she could do to stop it.

“I had, for one hour and a half, in the middle of [Revolution Square], the most horrible discussion I ever had in my life,” Solomon told TheWrap’s Steve Pond at a Q&A on Thursday following a screening of “I Do Not Care If We Go Down In History as Barbarians,” a film about the 1941 mass murder of tens of thousands of Jews on the Eastern Front by Romanian forces.

“Barbarians,” Romania’s entry into the Oscar foreign film race, follows theater director Mariana (Ioana Iacob) as she prepares a reenactment that will hopefully bring awareness to a truth not many Romanians have come to terms with, according to Solomon. Before Romania fought against Germany in World War II, the country worked alongside Germany to advance their ethnic cleansing agenda. Romanians who acknowledge that fact are chastised for being unpatriotic.

Also Read: 'I Do Not Care If We Go Down in History as Barbarians' Takes Top Honor at Karlovy Vary

During that fateful night of shooting, Solomon and director Radu Jude immediately presented all their papers and permits stating they were allowed to film in the heart of Bucharest. But it wasn’t the proof that got the vice mayor to bite. In fact, it was a misunderstanding that saved the movie.

“You don’t have to thank me,” the vice mayor told her after letting them resume filming. “If this wasn’t a film about [former Romanian Prime Minister Ion Antonescu], you wouldn’t have the permit”

Except it wasn’t about Antonescu at all. At least not in a good way. In 1946, Antonescu would go on to be charged for war crimes due to his involvement with Nazi Germany and the mass murder of Jews.

“It’s a kind of injustice with the lack of education about this,” Solomon told the audience at the Landmark Theatre. “This is a white page in the history book. The debate has to be there.”

The dissonance between what happened and what Romanians are led to believe has resulted in people in the other countries that have screened the film (“Barbarians” has premiered in France, Belgium and Canada, among others) to relate with the corrective history going on.

“I don’t remember what I’ve learned,” Romanian-born actress Iacob told the audience about learning of the massacre in high school. “Maybe it was one page in the history book. If you weren’t there for the lesson, you wouldn’t have known it.”

Also Read: 'Family First' Director Details Making of Crime Drama Where 'Love Is the Winner'

Aside from directing, Jude also penned the script. Solomon said Jude always had someone like Iacob in mind to play the lead role, wanting “a feminine figure to oppose the world of men.”

Mariana is depicted in the film as someone constantly negotiating with men trying to flirt their way into getting what they want. But Mariana always pushes back.

During a lengthy scene between Mariana and a city official, played by actor Alexandru Dabija, for example, Mariana has to fight to keep her theatrical production uncensored while also dodging the official’s attempts to compliment her into submission. The same can be seen with Mariana’s intimate relationship with an older pilot, a married man with whom she’s having an affair. Mariana informs him at one point that she is pregnant with his baby. During one spat, the pilot implores her that it is her duty to abort the baby so he doesn’t get in trouble.

She doesn’t budge.

Also Read: 'Roma,' 'Cold War' Lead Academy's List of 87 Films in the Oscars Foreign Language Race

Iacob came in for a one-on-one audition with Jude for the role of Mariana. From that moment, Iacob fell in love with the character and the story Jude was trying to tell.

“I read the pages for the casting sessions, and I couldn’t stop,” Iacob said.

After getting everyone on board, the production took 22 days. It was a quick shoot, sure, but not one without its dissenters. Solomon described getting scathing messages from Romanians asking “How dare they” and that they were “bad Romanians.”

But Jude and Solomon always kept going, believing the film would become “a cultural product” that could help people understand why it’s important to acknowledge the event happened.

“We are not politicians. But we are using our tools — the art — to express how we feel about the world around us,” Solomon said.

So does Solomon think the Bucharest vice mayor has seen the film he so abruptly detested on that late night?

“I doubt it,” she joked.

Related stories from TheWrap:

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William Goldman, Oscar-Winning Screenwriter for 'All the President's Men,' 'Butch Cassidy,' Dies at 87

Michael Moore Finally Finishes His 'Bowling for Columbine' Oscar Speech 15 Years Later

'RBG' and 'Won't You Be My Neighbor?' Among 166 Documentaries Submitted for Oscars

www.thewrap.com | 11/16/18

This blog by Ira Magaziner, often called the "the father of ICANN," is part of a series of posts CircleID will be hosting from the ICANN community to commemorate ICANN's 20th anniversary. CircleID collaborated with ICANN to spread the word and to encourage participation. We invite you to submit your essays to us in consideration for posting. (You can watch the video interview of Magaziner done for ICANN’s History Project here.)

* * *

My story begins in ancient times when dinosaurs ruled the earth. It was a time when you could download a movie onto your desktop computer through your 56k dial-up connection if you had a few days. It was a time when more people were on the Minitel in France than on the Internet globally and when the Republic of Korea could fit all of its internet users into one small hotel room. I know because I met them all in that room.

In early 1995, then United States President Bill Clinton asked me, as his senior advisor for policy development, to help recommend what steps he could take if re-elected in 1996 to accelerate the long-term growth of the US economy. I suggested that we set a policy environment in the U.S. and globally that could accelerate the growth of the newly developed Internet, we could help fuel a global economic transformation.

I realized that the Internet had great potential, but that its future was very precarious, balanced on a knife’s edge between two extremes that could delay it or even destroy it. On the one side, if the Internet was too anarchic with no publicly accepted guidelines, it could engender constant lawsuits, scaring away investors and people who wanted to help build it. On the other side, if typical forces of bureaucracy took over with a mass of government regulations and slow intergovernmental governing bodies, the creativity and growth of the internet would be stifled.

We formed an inter-departmental task force and over the next few years: passed legislation and negotiated international treaties with other countries that kept Internet commerce free of tariffs and taxation; recognized the legality of digital signatures and contracts; protected Internet intellectual property; allowed the market to set standards rather than regulators; kept Internet telephony and transmission in general free from burdensome regulation; and empowered consumers to use the Internet affordably, among other measures. We aimed to establish the Internet as a global medium of communication and commerce that could allow any individual to participate.

As we did all of this, there was one problem that concerned us deeply: how could the technical coordination of the Internet succeed and scale in the face of the complex political and legal challenges that were already beginning to undermine the legitimacy of the Internet as it then existed?

At that time, IANA was housed in a small office at the University of Southern California (USC) and run by Jon Postel under a contract the University had with the U.S. Department of Defense/Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

From a small office filled with large stacks of paper and books on the floor, on tables, and hanging off of shelves on the walls, it was Jon who decided what the top-level prefixes were for each country, and who in each country should be responsible for administering the Internet.

The A-root server was run by a company called Network Solutions in Virginia under a contract with the U.S. Department of Commerce. It had a virtual monopoly to sell domain names. It worked with Jon to synch up numbers with names.

But, Jon and the leadership of Network Solutions did not get along. There were constant disputes. They were so frustrated with each other that on more than one occasion I found myself trying to referee disputes between them at the request of the Department of Commerce and DARPA who, as administrators of the contracts, were often caught in the middle.

Internet infrastructure was also insecure. I went on a tour to visit some of the servers that ran the Internet. Some were in university basements where I literally could have walked in and pulled the plugs on the servers. There was no security.

The tenuous nature of these arrangements led to significant concerns which came to a head one fateful week in early January 1996. During this week, the following events occurred:

  • The head of DARPA called me saying that it would no longer oversee the contract for IANA when it expired because there was too much controversy.
  • The President of USC called saying that they could not take the lawsuits being directed against them and wanted out of their contract.
  • Our legal counsel visited and described more than fifty lawsuits around the world challenging the validity of the Internet technical governance that could tear the Internet apart.
  • The International Telecommunication Union approached me demanding to take over the Internet after a decade of opposing the adoption of the Internet protocols.
  • A delegation of U.S. Congressmen and Senators visited and insisted that the U.S. Government had created the Internet and should never give up control of it.
  • Several delegations of representatives from over 100 leading IT and media companies, and 10 trade associations visited saying that Internet technical coordination and security had to be brought into a more predictable global environment before they would invest any further in it.
  • A European Union delegation spent two hours telling me that they would pursue their own regulation of the Internet routing system for Europe.
  • Representatives from the Internet Society told me that the Internet Society governed the Internet and they would resist any attempts by others to take control.
  • The US government security task force on the internet delivered a report saying that the internet was in danger of fracturing from the lawsuits and lack of agreed upon coordination mechanisms.

It was quite a week. We clearly had to do something.

I went home that Sunday, and while watching my favorite U.S. football team lose terribly on the television, I drafted the first concept memo of what an organization could look like that could successfully solve the current and potential challenges.

The idea of setting up a global, private, non-profit, apolitical institution, staffed by technical experts, that would be a grassroots organization accountable to Internet users and constituencies, while also being recognized by governments, was unprecedented and risky. When I discussed it with my interdepartmental taskforce, we knew it would be difficult and somewhat messy to implement, but we felt it offered the best chance to allow the Internet to grow and flourish.

The organization would have a government advisory group that could ensure the views of the collective governments were at the forefront, but that the governments would not control it. The organization would provide a strong focal point recognized by governments to combat any lawsuits. It would be flexible enough to evolve as the Internet evolved. It would generate its own independent funding by a small fee on each domain name registration, but it should never get too big. It would be stakeholder-based, and its legitimacy would have to be renewed regularly by its ability to persuade the various Internet constituency groups that it remained the best solution.

After two years of consultation, vigorous debate and many helpful suggestions and excellent modifications, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) was born in 1998.

Grassroots democracy is by its nature contentious and there have been bumps along the way. Overall, thanks to the efforts of many people who have played pivotal roles like Becky Burr and Andy Pincus who worked with me in the U.S. Government to establish ICANN, Esther Dyson, Vint Cerf, Mike Roberts and Steve Crocker who guided ICANN at key points, and the efforts of many others too numerous to mention who did the hard work of building the organization, ICANN has succeeded.

The political, policy and technical controversies that threatened to stifle or even destroy the Internet in its infancy in the late 1990s did not do so. The Internet is alive and well.

Billions of people now use the Internet. It accommodates a myriad of languages and alphabets. Wi-Fi, mobile devices, applications, and the “Internet of Things,” have all been incorporated. Despite almost unimaginable amounts of data and more addresses and domain names than we ever contemplated, one never reads about technical or legal problems that caused the Internet to break down.

While serious issues of privacy, security and equity must be addressed, no one can doubt that the Internet has created a positive transformation in the way the world communicates and does business. The Internet economy has grown at ten times the rate of the regular economy for more than twenty years now.

Congratulations to all of the people who have made ICANN a success over the past twenty years and to those of you working with ICANN today who will ensure its success over the next twenty years.

Written by Ira Magaziner

www.circleid.com | 10/25/18
President Macron’s government is considering giving parents a secular alternative to intertwined Arabic and Islamic instruction in mosques by prodding more public schools to offer Arabic lessons—without religious content.
www.wsj.com | 10/24/18

Bethenny Frankel has a new man in her life!

The Real Housewives of New York City star was in Boston over the weekend, when she was spotted getting affectionate with a mystery man, according to photos obtained by TMZ.

On Sunday, Frankel was photographed holding hands with a man while waiting at a crosswalk in Boston. He sported an all-black outfit with sneakers while she kept it casual in a cream sweater, dark grey pants and high heel sneakers. A day later, the mother of one was snapped kissing him on Monday morning near Boston College, where she grasped his face with her left hand as he leaned in for a smooch.

According to Daily Mail, the man is 29-year-old tech startup investor and advisor, Ben Kosinski, who Frankel, 47, follows on Instagram. Kosinski graduated from the University of Miami with a degree in economics in 2011 and is a managing partner at Kosinski Ventures, his LinkedIn profile states.

Frankel’s rep had no comment and PEOPLE is out to Kosinski for comment.

RELATED: Bethenny Frankel Says Late Boyfriend Dennis Shields Would Have Been ‘Cheering Her On’ at HSN Debut

The Skinnygirl mogul documented her trip to Boston and Boston University on her Instagram Story Monday, including Warren Towers, the residence where lived. “I lived here! This is Warren Towers! I went to B.U. for two years and so did Andy Cohen. Andy Cohen and I both lived in this building. This is it! Hi Boston, hi B.U. Look at this,” she said.

She also shared footage of the bar where she worked as a cocktail waitress. “I was always in the cocktail business. Who knew? Midnight to 2 a.m., you could make like almost $1,000 because there were so many European, international, wealthy people ordering sex on the beach shots. That’s how I was able to bring money to live in France for a semester,” she explained about her “old stomping grounds.”

While driving, Frankel drove past a restaurant called Papa Razzi. “How about we not eat at that restaurant today? Would that be a good idea?” she said on her Instagram Story. She then added with a smile, “I didn’t even know they had paparazzi in Boston,” possibly hinting at the photos captured over the weekend.

RELATED: Bethenny Frankel Says She’s ‘Going Through an Emotional Storm’ as She Mourns Dennis Shields

Her new romance comes nearly two months after Frankel’s late boyfriend Dennis Shields was found dead of a suspected overdose in his Trump Tower apartment at age 51.

It’s hard to breathe & I appreciate you giving me the space & support to try to do so. It’s excruciating-sudden death is no closure & constant ?s & memories. Our relationship is current so it’s painfully raw. Trying to stay healthy & move through it w tears & close friends. Xo

— Bethenny Frankel (@Bethenny) August 26, 2018

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“It’s hard to breathe & I appreciate you giving me the space & support to try to do so,” she tweeted, 16 days after his Aug. 10 death.

“It’s excruciating-sudden death is no closure & constant ?s & memories,” wrote Frankel. “Our relationship is current so it’s painfully raw. Trying to stay healthy & move through it w tears & close friends. Xo.”

His death has also taken a physical toll on Frankel, who confirmed that she’s lost weight as a result of the grieving process.

Responding to a fan last month who asked “how/are you losing weight?” the reality star replied, “Death will do that to a person.”

“#griefdiet I don’t recommend it,” added Frankel, who revealed over the weekend that she accidentally texted her late boyfriend.

people.com | 10/9/18

James Lipton is leaving “Inside the Actors Studio” as its host and executive producer, Ovation TV announced Monday.

The 92-year-old Lipton created the show in 1994 that features his one-on-one interviews with A-list film and television stars about the evolution of their careers. It will be moving from its long-time home on Bravo to Ovation TV in the Fall of 2019, where a rotating list of guest hosts will conduct the interviews.

“It’s very gratifying to see the legacy of ‘Inside the Actors Studio’ being carried forward for a new generation to appreciate and enjoy,” Lipton said in a statement.

Also Read: James Lipton: I Was a Pimp in France

“I made a vow early on that we would not deal in gossip — only in craft, and Ovation, as a network to the arts, will continue that tradition with the next seasons of the series,” he added. “I’m excited to see the new hosts engage with the guests and students and continue to entertain viewers in the U.S. and around the world.”

The show began as a craft seminar for students at New York’s Actors Studio Masters program at Pace University, and was a joint venture between the Actors Studio and New School University. Paul Newman was the first of Lipton’s more than 200 guest interviews that included everyone from Brad Pitt to Barbra Streisand, and from Clint Eastwood to Martin Scorsese.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Inside the Actor's Studio' Host James Lipton Remembers 'Glee' Guest Appearance With Cory Monteith

'How I Met Your Mother' Cast Does 'Inside the Actors Studio' (Video)

'Arrested Development' Cast and Creator Reunite on Bravo's 'Inside the Actors Studio'

Jake Gyllenhaal Discusses Gay Rumors, Heath Ledger During 'Inside the Actor's Studio' (Video)

www.thewrap.com | 9/25/18
The government hopes the move will get students to pay more attention in class and talk more to each other. But some doubt whether the ban can be enforced.
www.nytimes.com | 9/20/18

Shin Lim is the winner of America’s Got Talent!

“When you told me at 16 that an awkward, shy kid would one day be performing at the Dolby Theatre performing on America’s Got Talent, I wouldn’t have believed them. To compete on AGT, it means the world to me,” said Lim, who opened up about his carpal tunnel syndrome due to a career-ending injury to his thumb tendons.

The 26-year-old self-taught magician, who was born in Canada and currently lives in Acton, Massachusetts, wowed audiences through sleight of hand magic and close-up tricks. For his final trick, Lim performed a card trick with host Tyra Banks and American Ninja Warrior co-hosts Matt Iseman and Akbar Gbaja-Biamila.

During the competition, both judges Howie Mandel and Simon Cowell called Lim “the best close-up magician they have ever seen.”

“You’re the only one that makes me believe that magic is possible,” Heidi Klum said.

Lim becomes the second magician to win AGT. Mat Franco was the winner of the ninth season.

RELATED: America’s Got Talent Finale: Meet Season 13’s Top 10 Finalists

Early in his childhood, Lim, whose parents are from Singapore, showed an interest in music and chose to play the piano at age 9. As a hobby, he practiced magic at age 16.

However, he was diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome at age 20 and was forced to choose between his two interests. Lim gave up his piano career, even dropping out of the School of Music at Lee University in Tennessee.

After learning most of his magic skills from watching YouTube, he appeared twice on Penn Jillette and Teller’s magic competition show, Penn & Teller: Fool Us, in 2015 and 2017. He took his talents overseas, including gigs in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Malaysia, New Zealand, Scandinavia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, and Taiwan.

Congratulations @shinlimmagic for winning this season of @agt!!!! Now come see him LIVE on Broadway this holiday season in TheIllusionists – Magic of the Holidays #ShinToWin #AGTFinale #TheIllusionists pic.twitter.com/zHLib3JvRq

— THE ILLUSIONISTS ? (@Illusionists7) September 20, 2018

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Lim beat out fellow top 10 finalists: singers Courtney Hadwin, Michael Ketterer, Daniel Emmet, and Glennis Grace as well as comedians Vicki Barbalok and Samuel J. Comroe, and trapeze couple Duo Transcend.

In third place was electric violinist Brian King Joseph and second place was the acrobatic dance group Zurcaroh.

RELATED: AGT‘s Michael Ketterer Wows During Finals After Garth Brooks Invites Him to Sing at His Concert

In addition to the title of season 13 champion, Lim also takes home a $1 million and a headlining gig at the Paris Theater at Paris Las Vegas Nov. 2-4.

Lim, who is the reigning world FISM champion for close-up magic, also has plans to perform alongside The Illusionists, a group of magicians who also got their start on the reality competition.

America’s Got Talent airs Tuesdays and Wednesdays (8 p.m. ET) on NBC.

people.com | 9/20/18

The French educational system is highly centralized, organized, and ramified. It is divided into three different stages: the primary education (enseignement primaire); secondary education (enseignement secondaire); higher education (enseignement supérieur).


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