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Myanmar author set to re-release racy acclaimed novel

As Myanmar’s censors loosen their grip, one of the country’s most acclaimed authors plans to republish her novel about two gay lovers, restoring sex-laced passages once deemed too risque for readers. Chunks of paragraphs from Nu Nu Yi’s 1994 novel “Smile as they bow” were purged by the all-powerful censorship…

Tourists flood New Zealand for The Hobbit debut

WELLINGTON — Huge crowds swarmed into central Wellington for the world premiere of Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit”, an event that has sparked Middle Earth mania in New Zealand. Presenters on national radio greeted listeners in the fictional language elvish on Wednesday morning, while newspapers came with complimentary Hobbit posters, and…

TMZ denies obtaining permission to fly drone

On Tuesday, the celebrity and entertainment news website TMZ denied reports that it had obtained permission from the Federal Aviation Administration to fly a drone within the United States. TMZ insisted it had no plans of getting into the “drone business” and did not own any unmanned aerial vehicles “despite…

Alleged stalker of Alec Baldwin arrested after court hearing

NEW YORK — An aspiring Canadian actress accused of stalking US television star Alec Baldwin was arrested Tuesday in New York right after a court hearing. Genevieve Sabourin’s re-arrest came minutes after a chaotic hearing in which her lawyer quit her case, saying they could not work together. The lawyer,…

Ricks scuttles claim by Fox that he apologized privately for remarks

A Fox News Channel (FNC) vice president has told the Hollywood Reporter that author Tom Ricks apologized privately for his comments on Monday that the network has been “operating as wing of the Republican Party.” But Ricks denied ever making any such apology. On Monday, Ricks alleged that Fox and…

‘The Hobbit’ was almost filmed in UK, director Peter Jackson reveals

“The Hobbit” director Peter Jackson on Tuesday said the low point making his Tolkien epic was when the production almost moved from his native New Zealand to Britain because of a union dispute. Jackson, who will host the world premiere of the first instalment of his trilogy in Wellington on…

Simon Cowell latest Hollywood victim of ‘swatting’ hoax

TV talent show guru Simon Cowell is the latest victim of a string of so-called “swatting” hoaxes in Los Angeles, in which police are called to celebrities’ homes by false reports of crimes. Officers rushed to his home Sunday following a telephone report of “unknown trouble,” said Lincoln Hoshino of…

Media fooled by bogus Google acquisition press release

NEW YORK — A bogus news release prompted several websites to run incorrect articles about Google making a $400 million acquisition of a wireless company on Monday, the target company said. “This was a hoax. We are investigating the source,” said an emailed statement from George Strouthopoulos, chairman and chief…

U.S. officials halt Bahrain outreach featuring ‘King of Partying’ Andrew W.K.

WASHINGTON — The US State Department was forced to deny Monday that it had invited a notorious rock star behind such classics as “Party Til You Puke” to represent America in the conservative Gulf state of Bahrain. Musician, DJ, motivational speaker and self-styled “King of Partying” Andrew W.K. had earlier…

Stormclouds gather over The Hobbit premiere amid animal care scandal

British actor Martin Freeman is close to becoming an official mascot for New Zealand, thanks to his role in the new Hobbit film and this weekend’s unveiling of a giant image of his face on the side of a Boeing jet at Auckland airport. And suddenly it looks as if…

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