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Comic-Con fans flock to ‘Hobbit,’ ‘Twilight’ previews

Fans descend on San Diego Thursday for the annual Comic-Con festival of pop culture, with highlights including the long-awaited “Hobbit” and last “Twilight” films, in a four-day geekfest. Some 130,000 devotees of comic books, movies and TV shows — many dressed up in the costumes of their idols — will…

Klimt up close and personal on his 150th birthday

On his 150th birthday, Vienna’s museums offer an intimate look at Gustav Klimt, digging beneath the layers of paint and scratching away at the artist… but not without a good dose of kitsch. Over the past century, Klimt has gained worldwide recognition even beyond the art world, something Vienna has…

New reporter? Call him Al, for algorithm

WASHINGTON — The new reporter on the US media scene takes no coffee breaks, churns out articles at lightning speed, and has no pension plan. That’s because the reporter is not a person, but a computer algorithm, honed to translate raw data such as corporate earnings reports and previews or…

Irish actor Peter O’Toole ‘chucks in the sponge’

Colorful veteran Irish actor Peter O’Toole, famous for films including “Lawrence of Arabia”, has announced his retirement, saying it was time to “chuck in the sponge” aged 79. The acclaimed stage and screen star said he was taking his last bow “dry-eyed and profoundly grateful” for his half-century long career.…

Actor Ernest Borgnine dead at 95

LOS ANGELES — Veteran actor Ernest Borgnine, the star of dozens of films and TV shows who won an Oscar for his portrayal of a shy butcher in love in “Marty,” died Sunday, his manager said. He was 95. “It’s a very sad day. The industry has lost someone great,…

Gabriel García Márquez’s writing career ended by dementia

Brother of Nobel prize-winning Colombian writer says side-effects of cancer treatment have accelerated his decline The Nobel prizewinning author Gabriel García Márquez is suffering from senile dementia and can no longer write, his brother has revealed. Jaime García Márquez told students in Cartagena, Colombia, that his older brother, affectionately know…

Master forger comes clean about tricks that fooled art world for four decades

Ken Perenyi’s memoir reveals how natural cracks and discoloured varnish would deceive even seasoned experts. An extraordinary memoir is to reveal how a moderately gifted artist managed to forge his way to riches by conning high-profile auctioneers, dealers and collectors over four decades. The book, Caveat Emptor: The Secret Life…

Rolling Stones keep giving satisfaction, 50 years on

Most London shoppers rush by 165 Oxford Street without a second glance — but it was there 50 years ago that The Rolling Stones played their first gig and changed the landscape of pop music forever. Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Brian Jones played The Marquee Club on July 12,…

Justin Bieber ticketed for ‘driving like a maniac’

LOS ANGELES — Teen heartthrob singer Justin Bieber was pulled over and cited for speeding “like a maniac” to shake off paparazzi Friday near Los Angeles, police and a lawmaker who witnessed the incident said. A California Highway Patrol (CHP) spokesman said officers saw two vehicles speeding on the 101…

Ted Nugent says it might have been best if South had won Civil War

Seventies rocker turned conservative firebrand Ted Nugent has penned a column for the Washington Times in which he slams Chief Justice John Roberts for his decision on the Affordable Care Act and posits that the world might be a better place if the United States had dissolved into separate powers…

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