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‘Third Track’ rappers and hip-hop artists take ‘Arab Spring’ revolts to the next level

Sitting on the fringes of upheaval in the Middle East, Lebanon’s capital Beirut has become the scene of experimental music-making by Khat Thaleth, a group of rappers out to take the revolts that started during the Arab Spring to the next level. The collective has members from around the region…

Steven Spielberg to head up Cannes Film Festival festival jury

Award-winning director Steven Spielberg will head up this year’s Cannes Film Festival jury, the organisers announced on Thursday, just days after he missed out on his third best-director Oscar. Spielberg, 66, one of the most powerful and respected film-makers in Hollywood, said he was flattered by the appointment. “The memory…

Bono ignites TED 2013 urging audience to become ‘factivists’ in war on extreme poverty and corruption

Rock star Bono embraced his inner nerd on Tuesday as he made a case that extreme poverty could be eliminated by the year 2030 with the help of technology. “Forget the rock opera, forget the bombast,” Bono told a rapt audience at a prestigious TED gathering in Southern California. “The…

U.S. State Dept ‘excited’ by ‘Argo’ Oscar win

The US State Department, still mourning the loss of its diplomats in a bloody attack on a mission in Libya, Monday cheered the Oscar win for “Argo” based on a true life tale of diplomatic bravery. “I think we all were excited to see it win,” deputy acting spokesman Patrick…

Critics rip Seth MacFarlane for ‘dull’ and ‘sexist’ jokes at the Oscars

Critics blasted Oscars host Seth MacFarlane on Monday for “crudely sexist antics” and peddling “offensive” Jewish stereotypes, as the Academy Awards post mortem got into full swing. Others said the “Family Guy” creator, brought in to appeal to younger viewers with edgy humor, was simply dull — while satirical website…

New York Times to rebrand International Herald Tribune

The New York Times said Monday it is rebranding the Paris-based International Herald Tribune in its own image a bid to boost its international presence. In a statement, it said the 125-year-old global newspaper — the last vestige of the New York Herald Tribune that ceased publication in 1966 —…

‘Life of Pi’ earns Ang Lee second directing Oscar

Taiwanese-born Ang Lee was the first Asian ever to win an Oscar for directing, in 2006 for gay cowboy movie “Brokeback Mountain.” Seven years later he has done it again with 3D fantasy “Life of Pi.” “Thank you, movie god,” Lee told the audience at the 85th Academy Awards on…

James Bond’s Aston Martin on sale for $4.6 million

James Bond’s famous Aston Martin car, complete with hidden machine guns and a smoke screen, is now up for grabs for a cool three million pounds, a Swiss weekly reported Sunday. Swiss millionaire Thomas Straumann put the vehicle up for sale in Britain with a price tag of three million…

Dalek designer dies aged 84

The man responsible for designing the Daleks, the robotic enemy of Doctor Who in the long-running television series, has died aged 84, his family said Saturday. Ray Cusick died in his sleep of heart failure on Thursday, his daughter Claire Heawood revealed. The BBC series celebrates its 50th anniversary this…

‘Silver Linings Playbook’ wins big at pre-Oscar Independent Spirit Awards

“Silver Linings Playbook” won the best film prize at the Independent Spirit Awards on Saturday, as well as best actress for Jennifer Lawrence and best director. On the eve of the Oscars, director David O. Russell received a publicity boost for his dark romantic comedy, which stars Bradley Cooper as…

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