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Foreign journalists ‘intimidated’ in China: press groups

Foreign press associations in China expressed alarm Tuesday over recent incidents of intimidation directed against foreign media workers, including the alleged beating of a Japanese journalist. The Foreign Correspondents’ Clubs of Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong said they were “extremely concerned” by four recent cases of journalists who had been…

Comedian Phyllis Diller dies at age 95

US actress and comedian Phyllis Diller — who in the 1960s helped pave the way for female comics in Hollywood — died Monday at her Los Angeles home at age 95, her manager told AFP. The trailblazing star — known for her distinctive laugh, disheveled hair and outlandish wardrobe —…

Elton John fears son will face homophobia

LONDON — Elton John believes his son Zachary’s childhood is going to be “very difficult”, battling homophobia and the impact of his father’s fame, the pop icon said in an interview published Tuesday. The 65-year-old British star and his Canadian civil partner David Furnish, 49, became parents on December 25,…

Myanmar says it ends decades of media censorship

Myanmar said it had abolished media censorship on Monday in the latest in a series of rapid democratic reforms, delighting journalists who lived for decades under the shadow of the censors’ marker pen. Draconian pre-publication checks – applied in the past to everything from newspapers to song lyrics and even…

‘Top Gun’ director Tony Scott commits suicide: report

Prominent Hollywood film director Tony Scott, whose works included “Top Gun,” has committed suicide by jumping off a bridge in San Pedro, California, The Los Angeles Times reported late Sunday. Citing unnamed Los Angeles police sources, the newspaper said Scott’s body was pulled out of the water near the Vincent…

Assange case a contrast to Ecuador’s embattled media

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has found an unlikely ally in Ecuador President Rafael Correa, who defends the document-leaking website while cracking down on media in his own country, experts say. On Thursday Correa granted asylum to Assange, who has taken shelter at the Ecuadoran embassy in London to avoid extradition…

Russia faces international condemnation over Pussy Riot

Russia on Saturday faced a storm of international criticism for sentencing three members of the Pussy Riot punk band to two years in prison for a political protest in an Orthodox cathedral. Speculation mounted that the women, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich, could have their sentences reduced on…

Officials from across the Americas to meet regarding Assange flap

The diplomatic row between Britain and Ecuador over the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, is to be discussed by foreign ministers from across the Americas next week. The Organisation of American States (OAS) has voted to hold a meeting next Friday following Ecuador’s decision to grant political asylum to Assange, who…

Pussy Riot members found guilty of hooliganism

The three jailed members of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot have been found guilty of “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred.” According to the BBC, a Moscow judge has ruled that Maria Alyokhina, 24, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, and Yekaterina Samutsevich, 29 “crudely undermined the social order” when they stormed the…

Richard Burton diary chronicles Liz Taylor infatuation

Previously unpublished extracts from the diary of iconic Welsh actor Richard Burton have revealed his “aching” love for screen siren Elizabeth Taylor, whom he married twice. Passages from the journal, which will be published in full in October, expose a sensitive side to the notoriously hard-drinking actor. “She has turned…

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