Friday October 20, 2017

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Who You Hear..... When You Listen

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Phil Collins is forced to postpone his two upcoming concerts in London after he was hospitalized. The 66-year-old singer was rushed to hospital after suffering a fall in his hotel room overnight. 


Phil was scheduled to perform at Royal Albert Hall on Thursday, June 8 and Friday, June 9. The shows have been rescheduled for November 26 and 27. The Genesis lead singer will resume his tour on Sunday, June 18 in Cologne, Germany. He will return to London on June 30 to headline BST Hyde Park. 


A spokesperson for Phil writes on Facebook, "We unfortunately have to announce that Phil Collins' performance at the Royal Albert Hall in London will be postponed tonight (June 8) and tomorrow (June 9). Phil suffers from 'drop foot' as a result of a back operation which makes it difficult to walk. He rose in the middle of the night to go to the toilet and slipped in his hotel room, hitting his head in the fall on a chair. He was taken to hospital where he had stitches for a severe gash on his head close to his eye and is recovering well. He will be kept under observation for 24 hours." 


"Phil sends his sincere apologies and thanks to fans," continues the rep, "He has had a fantastic week at his first shows in 10 years, cannot thank people enough for their warm reaction and is excited to return. These Royal Albert Hall shows will be rearranged for November 26th and 27th this year. All tickets for June 8th will be valid for November 26th and tickets for June 9th will be valid for November 27th." 


Olivia Newton-John is not submitting to a second cancer battle, and has shared an optimistic update about the fight ahead.

In May, Newton-John shared news on Facebook that she had been diagnosed with cancer that had metastasized in her sacrum. She said she planned to postpone tour dates to properly treat the condition, and in a new statement published by People, she adds she appreciates fans who’ve shown their support over the past week.

“I am really grateful for and touched by the worldwide outpouring of love and concern. Thank you,” she noted. “I am feeling good and enjoying total support from my family and friends, along with a team of wellness and medical practitioners both here in the US and at my Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness and Research Centre in Melbourne, Australia. I’m totally confident that my new journey will have a positive success story to inspire others! Love and light, Olivia.”

Newton-John previously told fans she plans to undergo a “short course of photon radiation therapy” and will hopefully return to her touring circuit by the year’s end. Her latest album LIV ON addresses overcoming cancer in 1992 and living with the trauma of the illness.


For Deshauna Barber, Miss USA 2016, the hardships that came along with pageantry were more complex than just Vaselined teeth and never-ending rehearsals. As a WOC contestant, she faced adversity specific to the color of her skin.

While competing in the Miss Universe pageant, these burdens became all the more prominent. "I had no idea how much racism I would experience from an international standpoint. They'd send me monkey emojis, and say that my skin looked like a poop emoji and tag me in photos with apes," she said. "I didn’t speak about it, because I didn't want to deter anyone from competing. You want to make it seem like everything is happy and hunky-dory, but there are a lot of very challenging moments."

While the internet has revolutionized our lives in so many ways, the speed and access with which we can disseminate information makes hateful communication that much easier to accomplish. Barber cites her confidence as instrumental in drowning out the hatred. "If they’re ignorant, then they're ignorant. There's nothing I can do to fix that," she said.

Her final walk as Miss USA tells a touching story about her connectedness to her mother. For her own big reveal in 2016, Barber's mother urged her to walk out with her natural hair. Barber "didn't think I would be crowned Miss USA if my hair was in its natural state." In 2017, keeping it a secret from the production and staff, she walked out on stage with her Afro, a defiant act that surprised both the audience and crew simultaneously. It was a tribute to her mother, who had died two months after her win the year before.

It was then Barber urged Kara McCullough to wear her curls in the last leg of the pageant. In a moving transition of power, Barber, with her Afro, crowned a natural-haired McCullough as the new Miss USA. 

"That moment felt so good not only to embrace diversity of races and backgrounds, but diversity of appearances and hair textures, too," Barber said of the moment. "For me to walk out in my natural hair and to crown someone with natural hair broke down walls. It opened up a world for the girls who feel they need to straighten their curls and add long extensions." 


It's official: George Clooney is a dad!


Clooney and wife Amal Alamuddin Clooney on Tuesday welcomed their twins, a boy and a girl, according to a witty statement they issued through their spokesman, Stan Rosenfield, in an email to USA TODAY.


"This morning Amal and George welcomed Ella and Alexander Clooney into their lives. Ella, Alexander and Amal are all healthy, happy and doing fine. George is sedated and should recover in a few days."


Over the last several years the world has watched Clooney reverse his positions on what he'd never, ever do: Settle down, marry again (he was married to actress Talia Balsam from 1989 to 1993) or have kids.


That all changed in 2013 when the actor met Amal Alamuddin, a Lebanese-British human rights lawyer, and proposed in April of the following year.


The Clooneys' march toward diapers and matching onesies officially began when they wed in Venice in September 2014 with a star-studded ceremony that was later displayed in the pages of People and InStyle magazine. A-list friends at the celebration included Bono, Matt Damon, Ellen Barkin, Emily Blunt and John Krasinski and Bill Murray.


Since their wedding day, the couple have popped up at a number of Hollywood and philanthropic events, from the 2015 Golden Globes and the Cannes Film Festival to a January event supporting the Netflix documentary White Helmets in Davos at the annual World Economic Forum.

Don't stiff Martha Stewart on the restaurant bill and think you are getting another date.

The Doyenne of Domesticity recently sat down with Town & Country Magazine to talk about everything from her love life to her love of the Big Green Egg.

Here's some of what we learned from the interview.

Even Martha has bad dates

Stewart said she doesn't have time for casual dating, but she has vivid memories of her worst date.

It was a second or third date at Le Bernardin with an unnamed man who said he had something to do later, Stewart recalled.

"We had cocktails and a little caviar or something," she said. "Then he just got up and said he had to run, and he ran out and didn't pay! And I thought that was extremely rude."

In the sauce with Snoop

Snoop Dogg and Stewart have been friends for years and last year they starred in VH1's variety series "Martha & Snoop's Potluck Dinner Party."

She said the rapper is extremely loyal to his many friends.

According to Stewart, he also can't hold his liquor.

"I make up all the cocktails and I feed them to Snoop, who's not really a drinker, so he gets totally drunk off of them," she said.

She's a fan of the Big Green Egg

Stewart digs that high-end grill on which you can roast food and make pizza.

She said she's been begging the company to make a blue version for her "but they haven't agreed to do that yet."

Why she partnered with a meal kit company

The woman who become famous for her recipes now has a business deal with subscription recipe box service Marley Spoon.

She said it's about convenience.

"I'm all about saving time in the most important places so you make time for other things," Stewart said.

Speaking of food...

When it comes to snacking, Stewart is not at all highbrow.

She said she enjoys a spoonful of organic peanut butter, or some pickled herring or a bit of liverwurst.

And then there is the cheese she will occasionally nick from her housekeeper's drawer.

"I steal American slices sometimes—in the plastic, it's so horrible," she said. "But it's such a good snack."


The mother of one of Bill Cosby's accusers recalled Tuesday how her daughter called her crying in 1996 to tell her that the famed actor had drugged and assaulted her, then tried to have her fired from the agency that represented him.

Patrice Sewell took the stand to corroborate daughter Kelly Johnson's allegation that she called her mother after Cosby gave her an incapacitating pill and took advantage of her at his hotel in the Bel-Air neighborhood of Los Angeles. Sewell also recounted a call in which Johnson told her Cosby was pressuring Tom Illius, his now-deceased agent at William Morris talent agency, to terminate her.

"She called me at work. She was nearly hysterical. She was crying. She was telling me, 'Mommy something's going on. I don't know what's going on, but they're telling lies about me,' " Johnson said, according to Sewell. "Mr. Cosby is telling Tom to get rid of me."

Tuesday was Day Two of Cosby's trial on charges that he drugged and assaulted Andrea Constand at his home in 2004.

The 79-year-old comedian has pleaded not guilty to three charges of aggravated indecent assault in the case.

Gripping the elbow of his publicist, Andrew Wyatt, Cosby smiled at times as he walked into the Montgomery County Courthouse. His head slightly downward, he closed or squinted his eyes. As was the case Monday, his wife, Camille, did not arrive at the courthouse with him. It isn't clear if she will attend the proceedings.

Though Cosby has been publicly accused of assault by dozens of women, the charges deal solely with accusations from Constand. Johnson was allowed to testify as prosecutors seek to establish that the alleged assault was part of a pattern.

Johnson told jurors Monday that Cosby used his fame and influence to pressure her to take a pill that made her feel "underwater" and unable to resist his advances. Cosby then engaged in sexual activity with her when she could not consent or resist, she testified through tears.

On Tuesday, Sewell said Johnson's father, a retired Los Angeles police detective, instructed his daughter at the time not to call the police because he "didn't want her to be humiliated and feel shame and embarrassment, as he had seen others who went to the police at that time. He didn't want that to happen to her."

Jurors also heard from Joseph Miller, an attorney present at Johnson's deposition during her 1996 workers' compensation claim against William Morris.

Johnson told those present that Cosby gave her a pill that made her semi-unconscious and then asked her to fondle him, Miller testified.

"She didn't want to do that," Miller said. "That I do remember."

The defense was scheduled to cross-examine Miller later Tuesday. However, the tack of the Cosby legal team was apparent in its questioning of Sewell, and in its Monday cross-examination of Johnson.

Johnson, defense lawyers said, was dismissed from the agency for other reasons, noting that the woman's complaints in her workers' compensation claim address verbal abuse from Illius, not sexual advances from Cosby. (Johnson has said she wanted to complain about Cosby but couldn't get the words out.)

Defense lawyer Brian McMonagle on Monday questioned why Johnson waited 19 years to come forward with her allegations and didn't speak to police until 2016. He further alleged that Johnson had a romantic encounter with Cosby in 1990 but rebuffed his advances during a 1996 visit to his home, which Cosby respected.

When William Morris sought to fire her for violating its policy on dating clients, Johnson filed a workers' compensation lawsuit, alleging Cosby had harassed her, McMonagle said.

"What she did was eerily similar to Mrs. Constand," McMonagle said, accusing both women of changing their stories repeatedly. "You will never see Mr. Cosby under oath running from anything."

On Monday, McMonagle pointed out inconsistencies in Johnson's story, which he used to argue that the incident did not occur.

Legal experts have said the trial will hinge on the "he said, she said" arguments so common to sexual offense cases. There is little forensic evidence against Cosby.

In opening statements, prosecutors argued that Cosby gained the trust of Constand -- a basketball manager at Temple University, Cosby's alma mater, and more than 30 years his junior -- by offering to mentor her.

He betrayed that trust when he pushed her to take drugs that incapacitated her and then took advantage of her sexually, Assistant District Attorney Kristen Feden said.

"This is a case about a man, this man," Feden said, pointing to Cosby, "who used his power and his fame and his previously practiced method of placing a young trusting woman in an incapacitated state so that he could sexually pleasure himself so that she couldn't say no."

McMonagle said in opening statements that their sexual activity was consensual and that Constand had repeatedly changed her story while talking to law enforcement.

Constand told police about the incident in 2005, a year after it occurred. At the time, the district attorney declined to press charges, citing insufficient evidence.

Constand sued in civil court, and Cosby provided sworn deposition in which he admitted to sexual activity with Constand but said the encounter was consensual. The drugs he gave Constand were over-the-counter Benadryl, he testified.

Cosby also said he had obtained Quaaludes to give them to women with whom he wanted to have sex. The civil suit was settled in 2006, and the deposition was sealed away from public eyes until 2015.

Based on that deposition, Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele filed charges against Cosby in December 2015.

Cosby has said he does not plan to testify in the trial, so the deposition will serve to tell Cosby's side of the story.

Cosby arrived in court Monday arm in arm with Keshia Knight Pulliam, who played his daughter Rudy Huxtable on "The Cosby Show."

Several women who have accused Cosby of assault were in court Monday, including ex-Playboy model Victoria Valentino, Florida nurse Therese Serignese and former actor Lili Bernard.

Cosby starred in "Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids," "I Spy" and "The Cosby Show." Through the latter he turned the lives of an upper middle-class African-American family into a groundbreaking TV sitcom.

His sweater-wearing portrayal of Dr. Cliff Huxtable made him a household name and one of the most beloved comedians in the world. In later years, Cosby became somewhat of a public moralizer, speaking out against what he saw as the failings of the African-American community in raising children.

Cosby is facing a jury of seven men and five women. Two jurors are black. The jurors, who were selected in Allegheny County in an effort to ensure a fair trial, will be sequestered in the criminal trial for about two weeks, the lawyers in the case have predicted.


Contrary to the internet buzz, Halle Berry is not expecting her third child. A representative for the 50-year-old actress shuts down the pregnancy rumors. "Halle is not pregnant and any report otherwise is simply untrue," the rep says in a statement. 


Meanwhile, the former "Extant" star laughed off the rumors on her Instagram. "Can a girl have some steak and fries??" she joked, seemingly referring to the rounded belly she displayed at the 16th Annual Chrysalis Butterfly Ball which was held to raise money for those in need. 


Halle Berry showed off her curves in a silver dress ate the Los Angeles event over the weekend. She was joined by Hollywood stars like Jaime King, Zendaya Coleman, Edgar Ramirez, Common, Patricia Arquette, Jordan Peele and Jason Bateman. 


There has been an incident on London Bridge, London's Metropolitan Police said Saturday night.


"We are dealing with an incident on #LondonBridge, when we have more information we will update this twitter feed."

A witness, Mark Roberts, told CNN that he was on the bridge when a van came swerving down the roadway at a high rate of speed.

The van hit several people, knocking one person about 20 feet into the air, he said. It swerved into oncoming lanes before hitting a bus stop and coming to a stop, Roberts said.

"Within my line of sight, there were five or six people on the ground that were not moving," he said. "It looked to me that the van was aiming at the people."

Roberts said he heard what sounded like gunshots a brief time later. He estimated 100 people were on the bridge at the time.

Both lanes of the bridge were blocked, police said.

Authorities have not said what caused the incident.

The US embassy in London tweeted: "Please avoid the area and monitor local news/@metpoliceuk for updates."

England has been on edge since May 22, when a suicide bomber killed 22 people at an Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena.

The bridge incident also comes more than two months after a man drove an SUV into a crowd on the sidewalk along Westminster Bridge in London, killing at least four people.

After ramming the car into a barrier outside the Houses of Parliament, the driver got out and stabbed a police officer to death. The attacker was gunned down by a police officer.

The assailant, Khalid Masood, 52, of West Midlands, reportedly had a criminal record and may have had connections to violent extremism, British Prime Minister Theresa May said.

Developing story - more to come.

A new book by Lord of the Rings author JRR Tolkien is going on sale - 100 years after it was first conceived.

Beren and Lúthien has been described as a "very personal story" that the Oxford professor thought up after returning from the Battle of the Somme.

It was edited by his son Christopher Tolkien and contains versions of a tale that became part of The Silmarillion.

The book features illustrations by Alan Lee, who won an Academy Award for his work on Peter Jackson's film trilogy

It is being published on Thursday by HarperCollins on the 10th anniversary of the last Middle Earth book, The Children of Húrin.

Tolkien specialist John Garth, who wrote Tolkien And The Great War, said the Hobbit author used his writing like an "exorcism" of the horrors he witnessed in World War One.

He said: "When he came back from the trenches, with trench fever, he spent the winter [of 1916-1917] convalescing.

"He'd lost two of his dearest friends on the Somme and you can imagine he must have been inside as much of a wreck as he was physically."

Mr Garth said on a walk in an East Yorkshire wood Tolkien's wife Edith danced in a glade filled with white flowers, which became the key scene in Beren and Lúthien.

He said: "Mr Tolkien felt the kind of joy he must have felt at times he would never feel again."

The names Beren and Lúthien are carved on the gravestone Tolkien and his wife share in Wolvercote cemetery in Oxford.

The story is about the fate of lovers Beren and Lúthien, a mortal man and an immortal elf who together try to steal from the greatest of all evil beings, Melkor.

For the new book Christopher Tolkien, now aged 92, has kept his father's story in the original form in which it was written and has also shown how the narrative changed to become part of The Silmarillion.

Published in 1954, The Lord of the Rings was the sequel to The Hobbit and is one of the most successful novels ever written, having sold more than 150 million copies.

The film adaptation, released from 2001 to 2003, is one of the highest-grossing series of all time, with the final movie also winning 11 Academy Awards, tied for the most ever with Ben Hur.


As entertainment from the ’90s continues to get rebooted (Will and Grace, Baywatch, etc.), Tia Mowry hopes Sister, Sister will be among the show revivals. So far, though, the campaign to bring it back hasn’t gained enough momentum.

In an interview with Nylon, the actress shares that trying to put Sister, Sister back on the air with her twin sister and series costar, Tamera Mowry, has been a daunting process.

“We’re looking, right now, for a producer and a writer, someone who can kind of be a leader of the pack in regards to running the show,” Tia says. “I thought people would kind of be jumping on it, but it’s a lot harder than my sister and I thought it would be. Everything in my career has always been a challenge.”

She also adds that the hope for Sister, Sister is “not dead in any kind of way,” saying “[W]e’re pushing as hard as we can to make people happy and make our fans happy.”

Whether Sister, Sister does come back will certainly give Tia a better sense of just how much her fans missed her.


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