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Kerry Washington was among the honorees at the 26th annual GLAAD Media Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles. The "Scandal" actress delivered a powerful message on human rights and gender equality after accepting Vanguard Award from Ellen DeGeneres. 

 

"When I was told that I was going to get an award for being an ally to GLAAD, it got me thinking," she told the crowd that included Channing Tatum and Zoe Saldana. "I'm going to say some stuff and I might be preaching to the choir, but I'm going to say it. Not just for us, but because on Monday morning people are going to click a link to hear what that woman from Scandal said at that award show, and so I think some stuff needs to be said." 

 

"Women, poor people, people of color, people with disabilities, gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, trans people, intersex people - we have been pitted against each other and made to feel there are limited seats at the table for those of us who fall into the category of 'other.' As a result, we have become afraid of one another," she said. 

 

The actress went on, "We compete with one another, we judge one another. Sometimes, we betray one another. Sometimes even within our own communities we designate who among us is best suited to represent us and who really shouldn't even be invited to the party." 

 

Washington said she was baffled by black people who didn't believe in gay marriage since she felt their fight for racial equality years ago mirrored the current struggles faced by the LGBT community. 

 

"We need more diverse LGBT representation [in the media]," she said. "We need more employment of LGBT people, in front of and behind the camera." She added, "We can't say that we believe in each other's fundamental humanity and then turn a blind eye to the reality of each other's existence and the truth of each other's hearts." 

Other winners included "How to Get Away With Murder" as outstanding drama series, "Transparent" as outstanding comedy series, and "The Imitation Game" as outstanding film. Director Roland Emmerich, whose upcoming film "Stonewall" narrates the riots staged by New York's gay community in 1969, received the Stephen F. Kolzak Award. 

 

GLAAD will hold another ceremony for this year's awards on May 9 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York. 

 

 

Bruce Willis threw a birthday party for himself at Harlow in New York City on Saturday night, March 21 featuring an impressive guests list including Tony Bennett and Keith Richards. Bruce also celebrated it with his loving wife Emma Heming who looked stunning in a clinging black maxi dress. 

 

Heming, 36, posted photos from the event with the label "Bee Dub's 60th" on Instagram, and wrote in the caption, "It's fair to say the birthday boy had a great time. #BWBirthdayBash." She also posted a photo of them dancing together. "At least someone was taking pics," she wrote, thanking a partygoer for capturing the moment. From the photos, the couple looked carefree throughout the party. 

Bruce looked neat and dashing for the celebration as he wore a black three-piece suit and unbuttoned smart white shirt. 

 

Bruce also seemed grateful that the two legendary musicians, Tony and Keith, came out to the celebration as he made sure to spend time with both of them throughout the night. He later was spotted sitting in a booth next to the 71-year-old The Rolling Stones member in booths next to each other. 

 

Tony and Keith were not the only famous guests at the party. Bruce's daughters with Demi Moore, Tallulah Willis and Scout Willis, also partied with their father. His eldest daughter Rumer Willis is currently in Los Angeles, rehearsing for "Dancing with the Stars". Last week, the family, including Moore, sat in the audience to support Rumer, 26, in the show's premiere. Rumer performed the foxtrot with her partner Valentin Chmerkovskiy. Scout, 23, and Tallulah, 21, were also there to cheer her on. 

 

West Indies batting legend Brian Lara says he is backing the Caribbean side to defeat powerhouse New Zealand in Saturday’s World Cup quarter-final here.

 

Based on the form of the two teams in the tournament, most pundits have already written off the Windies’ chances but Lara, a former captain, is not in that camp.

“I feel a bit patriotic, but I see West Indies beating New Zealand in Wellington because they have the team," Lara said.

New Zealand dominated Group A of the preliminary round, finishing unbeaten to top the group with 12 points.

In contrast, West Indies struggled, losing three of their six matches to finish on six points, alongside Ireland. However, they sneaked into the quarter-finals courtesy of a superior net run rate.

The key to the Black Caps’ success has been the excellent new-ball pair of Trent Boult and Tim Southee, the brilliance of openers Brendon McCullum and Martin Guptill, the solidity of Kane Williamson at number three, and the flamboyance of the likes or Ross Taylor and Corey Anderson in the middle order.

West Indies, meanwhile, have been inconsistent in all departments, and have struggled in both their batting and bowling.

Lara, who quit international cricket following the 2007 World Cup in the Caribbean, said West Indies needed to improve at the top of the order and said Lendl Simmons could prove to be pivotal there.

“West Indies have to bat technically better batsmen at three, someone like a [Denesh] Ramdin or [Lendl] Simmons," Lara pointed out. “Lendl can anchor the innings and bat for a long time.”

The family of Marvin Gaye isn't satisfied with the money awarded to them last week in the "Blurred Lines" case. They're now going after Universal Music, Interscope Records and Star Trak Entertainment which distributed the song as well as T.I., who appears alongside Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams. 

 

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Gayes have filed a motion to "correct" the jury's verdict, which ruled that the aforementioned record labels were not guilty of infringement. They also wanted Tip, who was previously let off the hook as he's credited only with writing his verse on the smashing hit, to be held accountable. 

 

The family's lawyer Richard Busch argues that the additional parties should be punished too because they're guilty "by virtue of their participation in the creation, manufacture and distribution" of the 2013 track. 

 

A jury last week ruled that "Blurred Lines" copied Gaye's 1977 song "Got to Give It Up" and subsequently asked Pharrell and Thicke to pay the late singer's family around $7.4 million. The duo's lawyer Howard King later said that they planned to appeal the verdict. 

 

"We are going to exercise every post trial remedy we have to make sure this verdict does not stand. We look at it as being in the seventh inning of a game that could go into extra innings," King revealed. 

 

Re-elected president of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) Dave Cameron says the West Indies' upcoming Test series against England and Australia in the Caribbean will be played on better pitches.

The matches, to be played in Antigua, Grenada, Barbados, Dominica and Jamaica, will bowl off in less than a month, starting with the Windies a three-match series against England.

"We (WICB) are promising are better-looking pitches for the next five games," said Cameron.

"Our regional curator, Ken Crafton, has been visiting some venues and pitches, which has been a point of constant discussion around the region.

"He has gone to at least seven venues, and since then, we have been focusing on the five venues that will be hosting Test matches this year."

The Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua is scheduled to stage the first England Test from April 13, the Grenada National Stadium, the second from April 21, while the third start May one at Barbados’ Kensington Oval.

The two-game Australian series, in the meantime, is set to get underway on June 5 at Windsor Park in Dominica before closing out on June 13 at Sabina Park in Kingston.

Crafton, an internationally renowned pitch and field consultant, has been credited for the improvements in pitch conditions during the staging of last year's second edition of the Caribbean Premier League Twenty20.

Top Gear could have continued while Jeremy Clarkson was suspended – but James May and Richard Hammond refused to do the show without him.

 

A BBC executive revealed ­discussions were held about putting out the final few episodes with mainly recorded segments and the two co-stars filming the studio parts.

 

But the source said: “They didn’t want to do it without Jeremy so the talks didn’t get off the ground.

 

"There is a feeling that it is all of them or none of them.”

 

Clarkson is suspended while an investigation is held into his bust-up with Top Gear producer Oisin Tymon, who was left with a split-lip after the presenter laid into him about the lack of a hot meal in the Yorkshire hotel where they were staying.

 

The ­controversial host’s fate lies with BBC Director General Tony Hall and not head of TV Danny Cohen as was previously suggested.

 

And the insider accused certain figures of pressurising Cohen to wrap up the probe.

 

The source added: “We must play ­everything with a straight bat but it is very frustrating while Clarkson’s friends continue to pour pressure on the BBC.

 

“Danny is getting on with his job as best he can but it is not easy.

 

“Our priority has to be the person who has allegedly been attacked but we are between a rock and a hard place in all of this.

 

“There is no way everyone is going to be happy whatever is decided.”

 

Clarkson, 54, and 36-year-old Oisin have both given their accounts of the incident to investigation chief Ken MacQuarrie, head of BBC Scotland.

 

Both are thought to have had lawyers present.

 

Mr MacQuarrie will also speak to witnesses.

 

Clarkson’s spokesman refused to comment on the claims and Oisin did not respond.

 

This is the latest in a long line of controversies which has seen the presenter offend foreign diplomats, viewers, MPs and his own bosses at the BBC.

 

Clarkson was put on what was called his final warning last year following a racism row after claims he used the N-word while reciting the nursery rhyme Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe during filming of the BBC2 programme.

 

But he is due to be back on the BBC next month presenting the third episode of the new series of panel show Have I Got News For You.

 

“We always have a field day with Jeremy," said Jimmy Mulville, managing director of Have I Got News For You producer Hat Trick.

 

A petition to reinstate Clarkson - started by right-wing blogger Guido Fawkes - has amassed a whopping 960,000 signatures.

 

Last week he spoke out to thank the fans who have signed, saying: "I am very grateful to everybody."

 

Meanwhile nearly 16,000 people have signed a petition calling for Alan Partridge to replace Clarkson on Top Gear.

 

According to campaigners, the iconic fictional character, played by comic Steve Coogan, has "a strong track record for broadcast presenting" and "a passion for cars".

Empire's ratings have steadily increased since its premiere in January, making it the most popular drama in five years. Pretty much everyone is tuning in to watch the best new show of 2015, but if you're one of the few who's trying to catch up, here's what you need to know before Wednesday's Season 1 finale. (Spoilers ahead, of course.)

Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard) is the patriarch behind Empire Entertainment, pitting his three sons against each other and his ex-wife Cookie against his (now) ex-girlfriend Anika, while battling ALS. He's got a long, storied career as a singer and a rapper, but by the end of the pilot he's also got another title: murderer. Within the show's first hour, he shoots longtime family friend Bunkie for trying to blackmail him.

But that's old news. Lucious is trying to take Empire through a profitable IPO, and he basically has cartoon dollar signs for eyes. Family is everything, he says over and over, but is offended by his gay son Jamal's (Jussie Smollett) lifestyle, refuses to acknowledge his eldest son Andre's (Trai Byers) bipolar disorder and admits to fathering a child out of wedlock while married to Cookie (Taraji P. Henson). We can't trust him, can't understand his motives as a character and can't stop watching him be an ass.

Each episode features a few songs, like the earworm "Drip Drop" or the heartfelt "You're So Beautiful," and with music supervision from hitmaker Timbaland and his protégé Jim Beanz, the tracks range from actually pretty good to god-awful. Most rest somewhere in between. Season 1's soundtrack debuted last week, and features 18 songs from the show's cast, Jennifer Hudson, Estelle, Mary J. Blige, Courtney Love, Rita Ora and Juicy J.

The most recent episodes have showed Andre's bipolar disorder and the erratic behavior that develops after he stops taking medication. His family enlists help from a "music therapist" (Jennifer Hudson), Lucious wants nothing to do with him and he's shown as going from manic to depressive within the span of hours, which, as Salon points out, is an unrealistic portrayal of bipolar disorder. The show uses his impulsive behavior -- symptoms of his disease -- as plot drivers, without taking time to really break down the nuances of mental illness.

A big part of Jamal's story has to do with his sexuality. In the early episodes, Cookie wants him to come out publicly and use it to his advantage, but through flashbacks and confrontations, we learn Lucious is viciously homophobic. After Jamal changes the lyrics of "You're So Beautiful" to "When a man loves a man" at Empire's White Party, Lucious cuts him off financially. The rest of the characters' acceptance of Jamal and dismissal of Lucious' beliefs serve to highlight how out-of-touch and bigoted the patriarch is.

Everyone loves Tiana. Serayah plays Empire's rising pop star and, at one point, Hakeem's girlfriend. Eventually we find out she has a secret supermodel side-piece, but wants to keep her relationship with Hakeem since it will serve them both well in the public eye. Rihanna has no comment on the resemblance.

Early on in the season, a former backup singer Olivia (Raven-Symone -- yes, that Raven-Symone) showed up to reveal she was once married to Jamal before he was out of the closet. They had a daughter, Lola, together. Then she peaced out. Lola stuck around and lived in the Lyon mansion, where she was often the soft relief from the show's over-the-top insanity. Jamal and Hakeem sang her lullabies and told her she was a strong lion (like Lyon!). But in Episode 10, Lucious admitted Lola was his daughter during a hostile confrontation in which Olivia's abusive ex-boyfriend held Cookie at gunpoint. At the end of the episode, Olivia and Lola left Lyon territory, taking what was left of the show's innocence with them.

The iconic supermodel guest-starred in an arc as Hakeem's older lover, Camilla. Lucious hated her and thought she was trying to control Hakeem's image, style and music. (Silly Lucious, that's your deal!) Their relationship was always rooted in Hakeem's mommy issues, having been so young when Cookie went to jail. In Episode 10, Lucious paid Camilla to move back to the U.K. away from Hakeem and Empire. She'll be back. They always are.

Courtney Love played a drug-addled former superstar, Elle Dallas, who Cookie was tasked with managing. She sang. She fell over. It was excellent.

You've heard about this wild, loving, complex character named Cookie, played by Taraji P. Hensen, but you have no idea what you're getting by diving into Cookie's world. Seventeen years in jail have made her hard and calculating, fiercely loyal to her family. She's got a favorite child -- Jamal, duh -- but makes amends with her baby boy Hakeem and has a special place in her heart for Andre, who Lucious views as talentless and damaged. She drinks lean, handles the toughest artists and isn't afraid of "Ghetto Ass Studios." Bow down, dear audience.

The two-hour "Empire" Season 1 finale airs Wednesday at 9:00 p.m. on Fox.

Barbados has been chosen to host the International Cricket Council (ICC) Annual Conference in June, ICC announced on Monday.

 

This will be the first time the ICC’s annual meetings, carded for June 22 to 26, will be held in the West Indies, officials say.

Over 50 ICC Members are expected to attend making it the largest ever gathering of cricket administrators in the Americas region.

“We are delighted to be taking the ICC Annual Conference to the West Indies for the first time,” said ICC Chairman Narayanaswami Srinivasan.

“I am sure both the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and the island of Barbados will prove to be excellent hosts for these important meetings.”

The Conference will be hosted by the WICB with the support of the Barbados Cricket Association and Barbados Tourism Marketing Incorporated (BTMI).

 “The award of this high profile event to our region demonstrates the significant role West Indies cricket continues to play in the global game,” WICB President Dave Cameron explained.

“We look forward to welcoming our friends from around the cricket world and highlighting our passion for cricket’s past, present and future.”

Barbados will join a prestigious list of hosts of the Conference which in recent years has included Melbourne (Australia), London (England), Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Singapore and Dubai.

A secondary school teacher will re-appear in court on April 17 to answer two "obscene writing" charges arising from statements she made on Facebook.
Jozette Bibby-Bowens, who, has been suspended from classes, appeared in court Tuesday but the prosecution was successful in getting the matter adjourned for a month.


However, the court has ordered that disclosure in the matter be made on March 31.


One of her attorneys, Nicole Sylvester said that her client had been charged without any evidence being produced.
“They have absolutely no evidence; charged her without evidence,” she said after the brief court hearing on Tuesday.
The Public Service Commission has instructed that the teacher be suspended with immediate effect "in view of the criminal proceedings which have been instituted against you".


Bibby-Bowens, who teaches information technology, electronic document preparation and management and accounting, pleaded not guilty to two charges of obscene publication when she first appeared before a magistrate in Kingstown earlier this month.

United States President Barack Obama will meet with Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders here on April 9, Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller announced Tuesday

Obama will meet with regional leaders prior to his arrival in Panama for the Summit of the Americas.
It will be his second meeting with CARICOM leaders following his meeting in Trinidad during the Summit of the Americas six years ago.

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