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Julian Assange: WikiLeaks is preparing to publish one million new secret government documents

Founder of whistleblowing website marks six months’ confinement in Ecuadorean embassy with bullish speech Julian Assange has said that WikiLeaks is preparing to publish 1m new secret government documents as he marked six months of refuge in the Ecuadorean embassy in London with a speech from its balcony on Thursday.…

Putin offers French actor Gerard Depardieu Russian passport following tax controversy

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday he was ready to offer French movie star Gerard Depardieu a Russian passport to resolve his tax row, calling him a friend. “If Gerard really wants to have a residency permit in Russia or a Russian passport, we can consider this issue resolved…

Senators Feinstein, Levin and McCain slam bin Laden manhunt flick ‘Zero Dark Thirty’

Three top US senators, including former White House hopeful John McCain, on Wednesday slammed a new Osama bin Laden manhunt movie for suggesting that torture helped find the Al-Qaeda chief. In a letter to Sony Pictures head Michael Lynton, Democratic senators Diane Feinstein and Carl Levin and Republican McCain took…

Disney yet to confirm leaked Star Wars Episode VII storyline

Reuters article suggests Luke Skywalker returns to Yavin 4 to build Jedi academy in forthcoming sequel. But Disney is yet to confirm Star Wars fans are abuzz after a news agency report appeared to inadvertently reveal that the debut film in Disney’s forthcoming revival of the series will feature a…

Andy Warhol’s iconic Mao portraits excluded from China show

Andy Warhol’s famous portraits of Mao Zedong will be excluded in a major show of his work in China, organisers said on Wednesday, although they stopped short of saying they had been censored. The exhibition to mark the 25th anniversary of the American artist’s death, which is currently touring Asia,…

Hong Kong cops investigate Jackie Chan’s tough Triads talk

Hong Kong police said they will investigate comments made by action star Jackie Chan that he had used guns and grenades to confront triad gang members. The Rush Hour star told the Guangzhou-based Southern People Weekly magazine that he had been “bullied” by triads, or the Chinese organised crime societies,…

Ratings firm Nielsen agrees to buy radio monitor Arbitron for $1.2 billion

US market study group Nielsen said Tuesday that it has agreed to buy media specialist Arbitron for $1.2 billion in cash. Nielsen said it is offering $48.0 (36.4 euros) per share for Arbitron, a premium of 26 percent compared with the company’s closing share price on Monday. “The transaction has…

Pros dominate YouTube greatest hits in 2012

“Gangnam Style” topped YouTube’s list of the most attention-grabbing videos this year, as other professionally produced works outshined the amateur clips that had originally made the website famous. “Almost everything on the list this year was created by professional or creative talent for an online audience,” YouTube trends manager Kevin…

Kidnapped NBC journalist Richard Engel and crew freed after firefight in Syria

After five-day ordeal, US network’s chief foreign correspondent and his crew are unharmed Richard Engel, the chief foreign correspondent for the US network NBC and members of his team, have been freed unharmed from their Syrian captors after a firefight. They had been held for five days. The group disappeared…

Tarantino film ‘Django Unchained’ latest to be pulled after school massacre

A Hollywood premiere of notoriously violent director Quentin Tarantino’s latest film “Django Unchained” was canceled Monday, the latest such response to the Connecticut school massacre. A string of movies and TV shows have been pulled or postponed since Friday’s shootings, while sporting events have held moments of silence and players…

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