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Rights groups call for boycott of Beijing 2022 Winter Games

first_imgTOKYO (AP) — A coalition of 180 rights groups is calling for a boycott of next year’s Beijing Winter Olympics tied to reported human rights abuses in China. The games are to open on February 4, 2022. The coalition is made up of groups representing Tibetans, Uighurs, Inner Mongolians and others. The group has issued an open letter to governments calling for a boycott of the Olympics “to ensure they are not used to embolden the Chinese government’s appalling rights abuses and crackdowns on dissent.” Rights groups have previously asked the International Olympic Committee to move the games from China.last_img read more

Betty Buckley Will Play Carlotta in Sondheim’s Follies

first_imgWe’re losing our minds over this news! Tony winner Betty Buckley (Cats, 1776, Sunset Boulevard) and more will star in a concert version of Follies at the Royal Albert Hall to celebrate composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim’s 85th birthday this year. There will be two performances of the classic tuner at the prestigious London venue on April 28. The production will be directed by Craig Revel Horwood, choreographed by Andrew Wright, conducted by Gareth Valentine and supported by the City of London Philharmonic Orchestra. Broadway.com has confirmed that Buckley will play Carlotta. The all-star lineup will also include Christine Baranski (Into The Woods), Alistair Brammer (Miss Saigon), Anita Dobson (Eastenders), Alex Hanson (Stephen Ward), Anita Harris (Carry On films), Ruthie Henshall (Chicago), Roy Hudd (Oliver!), Charlotte Page (Pygmalion), Laura Pitt-Pulford (The Sound of Music), Peter Polycarpou (Phantom of the Opera), Stefanie Powers (Hart to Hart) Amy Ellen Richardson (Singin’ in the Rain) and Russell Watson (the UK’s best-selling classical artist). On the soon-to-be demolished stage of the crumbling Weismann Theatre, a reunion is being held to honor the Weissman Follies and the beautiful showgirls who were once its stars. As two couples remember their pasts and face the harsh realities of the present, the shadows of their younger selves remind them of the complicated steps they’ve danced, both on the stage and throughout their lives. Featuring a book by James Goldman and music and lyrics by Sondheim, Follies contains well-known songs including “Broadway Baby,” “I’m Still Here,” “Too Many Mornings,” “Could I Leave You?” and “Losing My Mind.” The original Broadway production of Follies was directed by Harold Prince and opened on April 4, 1971, running for 522 performances and garnering seven Tony Awards. View Commentslast_img read more

The Latest: Pac-12 cancels all spring sports, championships

first_imgThe Edinburgh Marathon has been postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak.The race was due to take place on May 24, but organizers have announced it will be postponed.Race director Neil Kilgour said a new date for the marathon in the Scottish capital is expected to be announced on Monday, ___10:45 a.m. March 14, 2020 The women’s world championships in Prince George, British Columbia, were canceled on Thursday.___5:45 p.m.Sampdoria midfielder Fabio Depaoli has announced he’s tested positive for COVID-19.He’s the 10th Serie A player confirmed positive and the sixth at Sampdoria. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the coronavirus outbreak’s effect on sports around the world (all times local):12:15 p.m.The Pac-12 Conference has canceled all spring sports and championships following a meeting of conference executives and athletic directors. The Latest: Pac-12 cancels all spring sports, championships The men’s curling world championships in Scotland have been canceled, along with the mixed and senior events in Canada, because of the COVID-19 pandemic.The World Curling Federation said that with hundreds of athletes and staff needing to travel to each tournament, “it is no longer possible to run these international events.”The WCF says it acted on the advice of the Scottish government in canceling the men’s tournament, which had been scheduled for Glasgow from March 28 to April 5.“We believe that in the current unprecedented situation this is the only responsible course of action to take,” said Billy Garrett, Director of Sport and Events at Glasgow Life.The mixed doubles and seniors events were to take place in Kelowna, British Columbia, from April 18-25. While Sampdoria said in a statement earlier Saturday that it would not announce any more updates about its players “to avoid news leaks and useless alarmism” since “all the lads are well,” Depaoli revealed his positive test on social media.Depaoli writes in Italian on Instagram, “Unfortunately I’ve tested positive for COVID-19. But I want to reassure you that I’m OK! This invisible monster is hitting us indiscriminately, but by adopting the correct measures and following medical advice, we can win our biggest match and return stronger than before.”The five other Sampdoria players who tested positive are: Manolo Gabbiadini, Omar Colley, Albin Ekdal, Antonino La Gumina and Morten Thorsby. The other Serie A players who tested positive are Daniele Rugani at Juventus and Fiorentina teammates Dušan Vlahović , Germán Pezzella, Patrick Cutrone.___ The decision was prompted by the New Zealand government’s directive that people entering from trips overseas, including returning New Zealand citizens, would have to self-isolate for 14 days from Monday.That would make Super Rugby untenable, with the tournament featuring teams from five nations, including five from New Zealand, and involving regular travel between countries. Teams from Australia, Japan, South Africa and Argentina also compete in the competition, which runs from January through to June. ___12:45 p.m. “World Triathlon will continue working during this time to try to reallocate the events after the 30th of April when possible, and will work with all stakeholders to undertake further actions if needed regarding the Olympic and Paralympic qualification rankings,” the ITU said.___3:50 pm.The Italian soccer players’ association says it is “saddened and outraged” that clubs are still calling on their players to attend training sessions.In a statement, the players’ association notes that “some clubs” are bringing in players to train in small groups, “or, even worse, for daily checks of their temperature.” Italy is the European country hit worst by the virus, where the number of virus cases climbed to over nearly 20,000, with more than 1,000 deaths. The government in Rome has ordered an unprecedented lockdown, ordering businesses to close and restricting people’s movement.The lockdown has suspended all sports in the country through at least April 3.The players’ association says that forcing players to leave their homes “is a shamefully irresponsible act,” adding that if it’s being done just to receive a refusal by the players in order to cut salary payments “it means that we’re scraping the bottom of the barrel of dignity.”The players’ association has been at odds with clubs over the virus for weeks, first arguing for the games to be stopped before the government-issued suspension on Monday.___ Abe says the virus outbreak has not reached a point in Japan that requires him to declare a national emergency like the United States and parts of Europe.___1:40 p.m.Super Rugby organizers have decided to suspend the competition indefinitely after the weekend’s games because of the coronavirus pandemic.SANZAAR, the southern hemisphere rugby body that runs Super Rugby, says Saturday the tournament will be off for the “foreseeable future.” ___5:10 p.m.Lionel Messi has joined a call in Spain by sports figures, who are supporting a public awareness campaign by government authorities and healthcare workers asking the nation’s population to remain indoors to fight the spread of the coronavirus. “It is the moment to act responsibly and to stay home,” Messi wrote on Instagram on Saturday.The Barcelona star added: “We are worried by what is happening and we want to help by putting ourselves in the place of those who are having the most difficulties, either because they or their families or friends are directly affected, or because they are working on the frontline in hospitals.” 5:35 p.m.Spanish football club Alavés says two members of its coaching staff have tested positive for the coronavirus. The club says both unnamed coaches are without symptoms and in good health. The club added it will test the rest of the members of its team on Monday. Spain has stopped all sports competitions for the next two weeks. Spain is tightening controls on movement and closing shops as it struggles to stem a peak in virus infections that has surpassed 5,000 people. ___5 p.m.The International Triathlon Union has suspended all of its competitions and activities from Monday to the end of April.Major events postponed include the second world series event in Bermuda on April 18-19, and four World Cups in the United States, New Zealand, Brazil and Mexico. The conference also announced that all organized team activities are not allowed until at least March 29, when that decision will be revisited.The smaller Southland Conference also announced a similar move.The moves follow Thursday’s decision by the NCAA to cancel the Division I men’s and women’s basketball tournaments as well as all remaining winter and spring championships.___6:05 p.m. 3 p.m.Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says his country still intends to host the Olympic Games in Tokyo as planned.Abe says there were no discussions about postponing or canceling the games during talks with U.S. President Donald Trump, who suggested this week that Japan should consider postponing the Olympics because of the spread of the coronavirus. Abe says Japan is continuing to “coordinate well” with the International Olympic Committee, adding: “We have to overcome the spread of the infection and want to hold the Olympics and Paralympics as planned.”The Olympic Games are scheduled to take place from July 24-Aug. 9, and the Paralympics Aug. 25-Sept. 6. Two more Fiorentina players have tested positive for COVID-19 as well as a club physiotherapist.The top-tier Italian league soccer team tweets that defender and club captain Germán Pezzella, forward Patrick Cutrone and physiotherapist Stefano Dainelli “are in good health at their homes in Florence.” They were tested after “showing some symptoms.”The club had already announced on Friday that 20-year-old striker Dušan Vlahović tested positive.With Cutrone and Pezzella added to the list with Vlahović, there are now nine Serie A players who have tested positive. The others are Daniele Rugani of Juventus plus five Sampdoria players: Manolo Gabbiadini, Omar Colley, Albin Ekdal, Antonino La Gumina and Morten Thorsby.Serie A is suspended until at least April 3 as part of a nationwide lockdown in Italy intended to contain the virus. Associated Press Most people quickly recover from the global virus after experiencing only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6last_img read more

Hollywood seeks box office rebound

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl eventThe official summer movie season, which runs from the first weekend of May through Labor Day weekend, accounts for approximately 40 percent of a year’s box office receipts. Last year’s tally of $3.958 billion was an 8.5 percent drop in revenue from a record-setting 2004 and attendance was down an alarming 11 percent. But a further decline is not expected this time around, according to several box office analysts. “The summer of 2005 was pretty horrible but we are definitely not going to repeat that,” said Paul Dergarabedian, president of Exhibitor Relations Co. “I think this crop of films looks much stronger.” Things will kick off next Friday with “Mission Impossible III,” starring Tom Cruise, the industry’s most reliable box-office performer, especially in an action film. The first two “MI” films grossed just shy of $400 million combined at the domestic box office. Just a week after “MI3” hits theaters will come the big-budget disaster movie “Poseidon,” expected to bring in big crowds before it is overshadowed by “Da Vinci,” which stars Tom Hanks and was directed by Ron Howard. “I think it’s a slam-dunk,” Gitesh Pandya, editor of BoxOfficeGuru.com, said of “Da Vinci.” “There’s a lot of interest, a lot of intrigue. Given the size of the audience that has read the book, I think they are all going to go out and see the movie, as will tons of people who have not read the book.” Pandya believes the first three major May releases are so different from each other in terms of genre that they should not cannibalize each other’s audience. “It’s best for the studios if they have enough time for their audience to come out,” he said. “It doesn’t make sense for the same kind of film come out a week later and have to fight for the same audience.” The month will wrap with the Memorial Day weekend release of “X-Men 3,” which might be after the same crowd as “MI3,” but with three weeks between them, neither should suffer from the competition. Also in the mix is DreamWorks’ animated offering “Over the Hedge,” also expected to be a major draw. “May is like the perfect storm in terms of box office,” Dergarabedian said. “It will be interesting to see what happens.” June is expected to be highlighted by the release of Pixar’s latest film, “Cars,” which appears to be a shoo-in to add to the studio’s unbroken string of hits, including “The Incredibles,” “Finding Nemo” and “Monsters Inc.,” among others. Later in the month will come “Superman Returns,” which Warner Bros. hopes will do as well or better than last summer’s “Batman Begins,” which successfully relaunched a popular DC Comics franchise. Opinions over how well the film will fare are mixed. “I wouldn’t say `Superman’ is a slam-dunk any more than `Batman Begins’ was last year,” Gray said. “It’s Warner Bros. trying to resurrect a superhero once again and one that arguably has more baggage than `Batman,’ given the TV show recently (`Smallville’) and that Christopher Reeve was so indelible in the role. It will come down to what story they are telling with `Superman Returns.”‘ But Pandya thinks “Superman” could reach the box office stratosphere. “`Superman’ is definitely the man of steel at the box office, bigger than last year’s `Batman,”‘ he said. “The fan base of Superman is the biggest of DC Comic properties. Whether it is as big as `Spider-Man,’ that is a whole other question.” But of all the big-budget blockbusters and sequels, one of the most eagerly anticipated titles doesn’t come until July with the release of “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest,” with Johnny Depp returning in his Oscar-nominated role. “The movie to beat is `Pirates,”‘ said Gray. “It could very well be the top-grossing picture of the season.” The experts are also looking at several comedies to perform well throughout the summer, starting with “The Break-Up,” starring real-life couple Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston, and the new Adam Sandler comedy, “Click.” Comedies headlined by Will Ferrell (“Talladega Nights”) and Owen Wilson and Matt Dillon (“You, Me and Dupree”) could also attract crowds. Family audiences could be drawn to the sequel “Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties” and the animated offerings “Ant Bully,” “Monster House” and “The Barnyard.” Director M. Night Shayamalan’s latest offering, “Lady in the Water,” could continue a chain of success for the director of “Signs” and “The Sixth Sense” but his last release, “The Village,” was not really embraced by audiences, despite grossing more. “Most people didn’t like `The Village,’ so it will be interesting to see if he can still draw a crowd,” Gray said. “But what he has done so far is remarkable with him being one of the few star directors.” One of the more intriguing question marks is the thriller “Snakes on a Plane,” which is slated to open in mid-August. The film has generated massive Internet buzz in recent months. “If they can keep the momentum up for four more months, which can be an eternity, I think they’ve got a late summer sleeper on their hands,” Pandya said. John Fithian, president of the National Association of Theater Owners, is upbeat about the summer slate after weathering a yearlong period during which the movie industry was under siege because of last year’s slump.But 2006 is currently riding a four-weekend streak, as ticket sales have outpaced last year. “We feel very confident about our schedule in the next few months,” Fithian said. “The schedule in May looks to be the strongest we’ve ever had and there is good product sprinkled throughout the summer as well.” greg.hernandez@dailynews.com (818) 713-3758160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! With the return of such bulletproof franchises as “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “X-Men” and “Mission Impossible,” the movie industry appears poised to rebound this year from 2005’s dismal summer of moviegoer discontent. Likely to boost business further is the return of the “Superman” franchise, a new release from hit-maker Pixar Animation Studios, and the highly anticipated movie adaptation of the controversial best seller “The Da Vinci Code.” “May to early June certainly looks better than last year,” said Brandon Gray, president of Box Office Mojo. “Instead of waiting until mid-May to release a tent pole, Hollywood is releasing one out of the gate every week. One of the problems last year was that all the hopes were on `Star Wars.”‘ While “Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith” certainly turned out to be one of the all-time blockbusters ($380.3 million domestically), far too many other high-profile titles belly-flopped at the multiplex, including last year’s first two summer offerings, “Kingdom of Heaven” and “XXX: State of the Union.” last_img