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Whitney Houston drowned after taking cocaine

LOS ANGELES — Grammy-winning singer Whitney Houston died from accidental drowning after taking cocaine which exacerbated her heart disease, the Los Angeles County Coroner’s office said Thursday. Houston, who died at age 48 in the bathtub of a Beverly Hills hotel room last month, likely had some kind of heart…

World’s oldest choir celebrates 800 years of singing in harmony

The Thomanerchor of Leipzig in Germany, once led by Johann Sebastian Bach, will be the focus of much celebration this year It has survived the Thirty Years War, the plague, and both the Nazi and Communist regimes. This month one of the world’s oldest choirs – Johann Sebastian Bach was…

The Hunger Games set to gobble up March box office record

Movie analysts suggest film could beat Twilight and take up to $125m on its opening weekend – a record for a March release. The Hunger Games, which opens Friday, could set new record for a pre-summer blockbuster, movie industry executives are predicting. The hotly-anticipated movie could take up to $125m…

Kony filmmaker recovering from ‘reactive psychosis’

LOS ANGELES — The co-founder of an online campaign to find Ugandan war criminal Joseph Kony will remain in hospital for several weeks after being found parading naked in the street, his family said Wednesday. Jason Russell, who made a 30-minute film that went viral worldwide, suffered a “reactive psychosis”…

Muppets get their own Hollywood star

LOS ANGELES — The Muppets were honored with their own star on the storied Hollywood Walk of Fame on Tuesday, right outside the theater where their recent movie was made and premiered. Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear and the rest of the puppet gang gathered in front of the El…

Restored ‘Yellow Submarine’ to be released on DVD

LONDON — The animated Beatles movie “Yellow Submarine” has been painstakingly restored frame by frame for DVD release this year, the band’s holding company announced on Tuesday. Apple Corps Ltd revealed that specialists worked for four months to individually hand clean each frame of the surreal 1968 tale. The company…

FCC decision strikes critical blow to right-wing radio dominance

A Federal Communications Commission (FCC) decision issued Monday (PDF) will clear the runway for hundreds of new community radio stations that broadcast on low-power FM signals, bringing progressive, community voices to urban areas that have for decades only known what’s being broadcast by major corporations and America’s political right. In…

Fox News host tries to walk back persistent Obama-Muslim talk

A new book about the Obama Administration’s first term has Fox News backpedaling, with host Bret Baier insisting on Tuesday morning that “we found no examples of a [Fox News] host saying President Obama is a Muslim.” The conservative Fox News Channel has seized upon the bogus claims that Obama…

‘John Carter’ film loses $200 million for Disney

LOS ANGELES — Critically-panned fantasy adventure film “John Carter” is expected to lose $200 million for makers Disney, dragging its whole movie budget into the red, the studio said Monday. Disney said it would take the huge operating loss on the movie, made by Oscar-winning director Andrew Stanton about a…

Copyright group wants libraries to pay for reading books to kids

The latest seeming overreach on the part of the copyright industry comes by way of a Belgian association known as SABAM, whose members include authors, artists, musicians, and film directors. According to Robin Wauters at The Next Web, SABAM recently began notifying local libraries that it intended to charge them…

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