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Oh No They Didn't! -

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    The drama continues between frenemies 50 Cent and Floyd Mayweather.  After all the shade 50 tossed Floyd's way about being illiterate, Floyd finally hit back today.

    We told you about 50's shade-filled challenge to Floyd recently over on Instagram.  He switched up the rules of the ALS #IceBucketChallenge and said he would donate $750,000 if boxing champ Floyd could read a full page out of a Harry Potter book...without messing up.  Damn shame.  He went even further and said he could read a page out of Cat In the Hat instead...since those words may be too big in the Harry Potter books.

    While Twitter and IG followers jumped on the bandwagon to troll Floyd even more, the folks over at The Breakfast Club released raw audio of Floyd taking an hour to read a 10-second drop.

    Simpler times


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    These vamps are shacking up! Us Weekly has exclusively learned that Ian Somerhalder and Nikki Reed are already living together -- and they took the next step just three weeks after they began dating! An insider reveals to Us that the couple's new address is in none other than Atlanta, Ga., where Somerhalder is currently filming season 6 of The Vampire Diaries with his costar and (amicable!) ex-girlfriend Nina Dobrev.

    "[Nikki] goes to set every day," the source says, adding that the lovebirds plan to also share an L.A. place, too.Sleeping under the same roof is the second big milestone in the pair's relationship. Two weeks after Us broke news that they were an item, Somerhalder revealed that he and the Twilight alum, 26, were the proud new owners of a horse named Eagle.

    "What amazing creatures they are. Wow," Somerhalder, 35, wrote via Instagram on Aug. 5. "Thank you @iamnikkireed for snapping this special moment, with our big baby boy."

    Somerhalder previously dated Dobrev for three years until their split in May 2013. Reed filed for divorce from husband Paul McDonald after two years of marriage in May 2014, and briefly dated Dancing With the Stars pro Derek Hough (also Dobrev's ex) before falling for the TVD hunk. Friends of the couple, however, don't seem shocked about how serious it's become between the two.

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    At last Sunday's Creative Arts Emmys, Bob's Burgers won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program. Alexander McCall offers this appreciation of its approach to its strange and fascinating women. The Primetime Emmy ceremony airs Monday night, August 25.

    The original proof-of-concept for the Fox animated sitcom Bob's Burgers was far from groundbreaking. Incompetent, emotionally aloof father? Check. Shrill mother? Check. A strange rag-tag bunch of kids? Sure enough.

    Initially, it seemed the show would rely on these exhausted archetypes, like those in the universes of The Simpsons and Family Guy. The proof-of-concept that eventually became the show's pilot features Bob Belcher, who runs a failing boardwalk burger joint, and his eccentric family: his wife, Linda, his sons, Daniel and Gene, and his youngest daughter, Louise.

    But when the show premiered in 2011, the pilot had been streamlined. The animation was better. The dialogue was longer, and most notably, Daniel, Bob's awkward teenage son, had been replaced with Tina, a female doppelgänger –– a pivotal choice.

    Tina is weird. She's a nervous, idiosyncratic teenager, visibly experiencing the miseries of puberty. She likes horses and describes her relationship with zombies as "complicated." She sports thick-rimmed glasses and plain clothes. At first glance, Tina might not seem all that unusual. But Tina has a lot going on. When she isn't working in the restaurant or looking after her younger siblings, she might be pursuing the affection of Jimmy Pesto, Jr., penning another volume of her signature "Erotic Friend Fiction," or daydreaming about men's butts.

    Most animated sitcoms have ugly histories when it comes to female characters. Women are frequently there to be mocked or to represent men's sexual desires. But instead of using Tina as an arbitrary tool for cheap laughs, the writers of Bob's Burgers –– several of whom are women –– have given audiences the opportunity to see adolescence through the lens of a central female character. The show, in fact, embraces Tina's own sexuality for all its uncomfortable awkwardness.

    In the show's four seasons, Tina has become a fan favorite — and she's in good company, too. Bob's Burgers features a number of well-rounded female characters who are clever, strong and entertaining. And in that, the show is progressive without being straightforwardly political.

    Tina Belcher's most obvious influence might seem to be Lisa Simpson, but the two are intrinsically and essentially different. Lisa Simpson is precocious and articulate. Tina is painfully gawky. She's terrified of being put on the spot, often staring blankly into space and groaning for prolonged periods of time. Those who surround Lisa Simpson are often dismissive of what she has to say, but Tina's family, while odd, is incredibly supportive and involved. In one instance, Tina asks her dad how to shave her legs –– a rite of passage you might expect to see treated as a bonding moment between mother and daughter.

    The other noticeable difference between the two, however, is that Lisa self-identifies as a feminist. Tina's unassuming confidence, on the other hand, can fly under the radar, but she still experiences moments of extreme feminist clarity.

    "I'm a smart, strong, sensual woman," she proclaims in the first episode of the show's second season, while trapped in a dilapidated taffy factory. In that episode, Tina decides she doesn't need to act vulnerable to attract male attention. And in "Two For Tina," she pursues her own desires without embarrassment, courting two different dates to the school dance, forcing them to compete for her, even if she ultimately ends up alone.

    The roots of Tina's feminist spirit are evident in her mother. Linda is a pinnacle of girl power. She's busy with the family, but with other things, too, like helping Bob keep the restaurant afloat. She is unwaveringly optimistic and self-motivated –– to the point of occasionally shouting things like "All right, go girls!"–– and whether she's working part-time at a local grocery store or staging a dinner theater production, Linda isn't one to be discouraged. It's obvious that she tries to instill the same values in her children.

    "I'm no hero," Tina declares in season three. "I put my bra on one boob at a time like everyone else." But for many, Tina does represent a new kind of hero. She weathers the anxieties of adolescence while gently testing the waters of her confidence. Tina might not be great at public speaking, but her message is clear: embrace your weirdness. Embrace your Tina.


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    What would Joshua Jackson do?
    Or rather, what would you do if you picked up the phone and Morgan Freeman's distinctive deep voice greeted you on the other end of the line? In the Stand Up to Cancer promo above, the former Fringe star admits he might pass out.
    Maybe you'd join him in losing consciousness?
    Stand Up to Cancer is airing on all major networks, including E!, on Sept. 5. The star-studded telecast—which has raised $261 million to date—is entering its fourth fundraising year, and when Hollywood hits the phone banks during the show, it could be Freeman, Jennifer Aniston, Halle Berry, Gwyneth Paltrow and many more celebs giving you a swoon-worthy shout out, but first they'll need your number.
    As we await the highly anticipated telethon, sign up at with your seven digits to receive your charitable call, describe your connection to cancer and tune in as Ariana Grande, Jennifer Hudson, Common and others entertain you for a great cause.


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  • 08/23/14--13:19: Lil B- "Murder Rate" Audio
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    Phase I of the Marvel Cinematic Universe was, in retrospect, a densely plotted affair, with several story threads all tying together – and paying off to glorious effect – in The Avengers; everything from the Tesseract to Loki himself was properly introduced and fully integrated with the rest of the films’ burgeoning continuity, allowing the first phase’s climax to only worry about telling its particular story instead of pulling the narrative dead weight of exposition.

    Phase II (which consists of last year’s Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World and this year’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy), in contrast, has largely eschewed world-building in favor of smaller, more character-driven tales – Tony Stark’s post-traumatic stress disorder, say, or Thor’s world-weariness and simple desire for love over the needs of either his family or an interstellar monarchy. Even The Winter Soldier’s SHIELD upheaval was mostly played out in the context of Steve Rogers’s disillusionment with the modern world (where was Hawkeye through all of the Hydra fallout? The film’s answer: “Who cares? He’s not part of Cap’s story”).

    This may give, on first blush, the impression that there is a lack of cohesion in this go-around of Marvel’s ever-expanding filmic empire, but the truth is that whatever the studio may have decided to step back on in terms of plot, it’s more than made up for in other narrative domains. Indeed, there is a strangely aligned unity in terms of character development – from Iron Man’s giving up his arc reactor to Thor’s giving up his throne to Captain America’s giving up his daily existence, there has been a consistent trend of our established protagonists foregoing the path that is expected of them in favor of more meaningful (and more personal) quests – but the true star of Phase II’s overarching mythology has been in the realm of theme.

    And what has been these movies’ overriding thematic motif? Love – or, more specifically, what the various characters are willing to sacrifice for love, whether it be of the familial, fraternal, or, most especially, romantic variety.

    The end of the recently-released Guardians of the Galaxy is the clincher in this regard and, therefore, should be considered first. The motley crew of criminals and would-be despots that forms over the course of the picture learns to set aside their greed or particular vendetta in defense of a planet that is filled with innocents but which nonetheless holds no personal interest for any of them. Each is willing to lay down his own life in this pursuit, and one – the walking, (loosely) talking tree known as Groot – even does so. That his literal act of self-sacrifice is simultaneously a symbolic gesture, rendering all of his newfound allies into a sort of extended existential family, makes it all the more emotionally and thematically resonant (though it is somewhat undercut by Groot’s essentially being reborn as a sapling just a few short scenes later). It’s the perfect endcap to Marvel’s handling of the theme.

    Before that, however, there is The Winter Soldier. Cap’s self-sacrificial nature was already well established in the series’ first installment, but it is continued here in many shapes and forms: the lack of a romantic relationship is a runner throughout most of the film, starting with Black Widow’s ribbing, continuing with Peggy Carter’s somber deathbed scene, and ending with the (possible) foreshadowing of her daughter, Sharon, but it is Steve Rogers’s refusal to quiet his conscience any further in regards to SHIELD’s duplicitous, morally ambivalent ways that forms the crux of the story. By this time, it is his affection for Bucky Barnes, born in friendship but deepened by combat, that comes front and center, forcing him to leave his beginnings at a new life behind to figuratively save a literally fallen brother-in-arms – just as Sam “Falcon” Wilson’s adoration of Captain America (a form of love in its own right) causes him to join his mentor on the op with no questions asked.

    (Here, too, we also see the main character’s willingness to sacrifice his own life in the movie’s climax, as the usually-indestructible Cap refuses to fight back against the Winter Soldier, the only man capable of besting him; Rogers’s desire to not hurt his only friend is the first manifestation of his love, but the ultimate one comes in the possibility of his death reawakening Bucky’s former self. A life for a life may be one of the oldest stories told in the Western tradition, but it’s still one of the most potent.)

    The Dark World, meanwhile, holds as its center the exploration of the various loves in Thor’s life, and the extent to which he is willing to go for each of them. His rejection (or, simply, his unawareness) of Lady Sif’s advances, his forced-but-nonetheless-yearned-for reconnection with Loki, his refusal of his father’s wishes, and the ultimate reunion with Jane Foster – all form a type of emotional endurance test for the once and future ruler of the Nine Realms. That his mother is killed and his brother is also believed to be dead are just icing on the sacrificial cake (as is also, one could make the argument, the loss of his sword hand, even though that particular loss ends up being illusory).

    And more so than arguably any other Phase II entry, the film’s other characters have their own fair share of variations on the theme, as well. Loki, whose almost pathological need for love from his adopted family has caused him to sacrifice his very soul in Phase I, definitely replaces and very possibly kills Odin, placing the sacrificial focus on others instead of himself. And Jane has shunned her love life (with the singular exception being her date with Richard in The Dark World’s opening moments), likely to the detriment of her own emotional well-being, making her something of a victim of Thor’s inability to be self-determinant.

    Interestingly enough, it is actually Iron Man 3, the opening salvo of Phase II’s barrage, that is perhaps the most intrinsically intertwined with the concepts of love and sacrifice. Far from being the callow (and callous) man who subsists off of one-night affairs at the beginning of the first Iron Man, the Tony Stark who opens IM3 is so obsessed with protecting the one truly precious item in his life – the undeniably lovely Pepper Potts – he nearly ceases to function on a day-to-day basis, even, ironically enough, in the context of his relationship with her. His decision to first destroy his arsenal of Iron Man suits and then, more fundamentally, to remove the source of their power from within his own heart (it’s hard to get more blatant than this, Marvel) is, to date, the single biggest act of self-sacrifice that has yet to be depicted in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And just as Thor has Jane, Captain America has Falcon, and the Guardians of the Galaxy have one another (yes, even Groot), Iron Man is rewarded with a renewed, more meaningful relationship with Pepper.

    All of which, of course, begs the question: just what does this thematic modus operandi tell us about next summer’s The Avengers: Age of Ultron, and just what it might have in store for Marvel’s unfurling narrative? The answer is, obviously, wholly unknown at the present time, although certain educated guesses can certainly be made, using both the previous four installments and what press information has been revealed about Ultron’s story.

    That the titular team of superheroes will be risking their lives to save the planet is a given. What is surprising, however, is the origin of the movie’s new villain: exhausted by the responsibility of being the world’s only protectors in the wake of SHIELD’s sudden absence – and, perhaps, exasperated at his continued existence as Iron Man – Tony Stark builds a sentient android to take the Avengers’ place. And while it may be a matter of plot necessity that Ultron quickly turns on its creator(s), it is also, consciously or not, a validation of Phase II’s theme, as the refutation of self-sacrifice results, unsurprisingly, in the exact opposite of the previous films’ resolutions; taking the easy way out, Marvel seems to be saying, necessarily results in defeat, both literally and figuratively, externally and internally, physically and emotionally.

    Rather than self-sacrifice, one is left with self-destruction – and while both may result in loss to one degree or another, only one of them ends with nothingness.


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    Synopsis: A Dalek fleet surrounds a lone rebel ship, and only the Doctor can help them now… With the Doctor facing his greatest enemy, he needs Clara by his side. Confronted with a decision that could change the Daleks forever he is forced to examine his conscience. Will he find the answer to the question, “am I a good man?”

    Written by Phil Ford and Steven Moffat. Directed by Ben Wheatley.


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    Check out the first 5 minutes of Lifetime's New Movie, The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story. Premieres Labor Day September 1 at 9/8c on Lifetime.
    I'm gonna set my DVR for this trainwreck

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    Rapper Lil Wayne was honoured with the Songwriter of the Year prize at the Broadcast Music, Inc. R&B/Hip-Hop Awards on Friday (22Aug14). Lil Wayne won the trophy at the music industry event which celebrates the songwriters, producers and publishers of the most-performed R&B/hip-hop songs of the previous year.

    Rap duo MACklemore & Ryan Lewis picked up an award for Song of the Year for their track Can't Hold Us and teen star Zendaya received the Social Star accolade for using social media to showcase her music. Her category was voted by fans via

    Ludacris was honoured with the coveted President's Award in recognition of his achievements in songwriting over the past 16 years of his career. He also performed at the ceremony, which was held at the Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles.

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    Saban Brands revealed the cast for the upcoming season of Power Rangers titled "Power Rangers Dino Charge" today at Power Morphicon. The show will be adapted from the 37th entry of the Super Sentai series Zyuden Sentai Kyoryguer

    The actors from left to right are:


    James Davies (Black Ranger), Yoshi Sudarso (Blue Ranger), Brennan Mejia (Red Ranger), Camille Hyde (Pink Ranger and first black pink ranger in the shows history), and Michael Taber (Green Ranger)

    These five actors and actresses will be flying off to New Zealand to start production for the 2015/2016 Power Rangers seasons.

    How does everyone feel about our first black pink ranger after 20+ years?


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    "Game of Thrones" book readers shouldn't expect to be in the know about the direction Sansa Stark's storyline goes in Season 5. As Season 4 pretty much covered all of Sansa's published "A Song of Ice and Fire" material, Sophie Turner says her character's storyline will diverge in the 2015 season.

    "'Game of Thrones' is so unpredictable and it was a big surprise what is happening to her this season," Turner tells HitFix while promoting her new movie "Another Me." "I am so excited because it gives me the opportunity to work with new people and it goes in a completely different direction. I think the fans will really like where her storyline is going this season."

    In "A Feast For Crows," Sansa and Littlefinger continue to work together in the aftermath of Lysa Arryn's death. Though Turner admits to not reading later "A Song of Ice and Fire" novels because of the way the show differed from them, it sounds like Season 5 will really deviate from its source material for her.

    "I kind of read the 'Game of Thrones' books as the seasons [went on]," Turner says, "But now that the storyline and scripts are kind of going away from the books I decided I'm just going to read the scripts so I don't get confused and read the books later."

    This likely isn't welcome news for fans already frustrated with the way "Game of Thrones" is changing around its source material, but with Sansa absent from book five, "A Dance With Dragons," and no publish date on book six, "The Winds of Winter," it makes sense why Sansa's storyline would need to be added to or changed.

    thoughts on what D&D will do with Sansa's SL next season? I'm curious if we'll see some TWOW material.

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    Amy Pascal, Ivan Reitman, Seth Rogen, Phil Rosenthal, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Marty Singer, Aaron Sorkin, Sylvester Stallone, Nina Tassler, Jerry Weintraub and plenty others lend their names in support

    Nearly 200 Hollywood actors and executives have signed Creative Community for Peace's pro-Israel, anti-Hamas open letter.

    The document states that the undersigned “are saddened by the devastating loss of life endured by Israelis and Palestinians in Gaza.” It denounces suffering on both sides and calls for peace in the region.

    “Hamas cannot be allowed to rain rockets on Israeli cities, nor can it be allowed to hold its own people hostage,” the statement chastised. “Hospitals are for healing, not for hiding weapons. Schools are for learning, not for launching missiles. Children are our hope, not our human shields.”

    Hamas is a Palestinian Islamic organization, designated as a terrorist group by the United States.

    Here is the document and its signees:

    We, the undersigned, are saddened by the devastating loss of life endured by Israelis and Palestinians in Gaza. We are pained by the suffering on both sides of the conflict and hope for a solution that brings peace to the region.

    While we stand firm in our commitment to peace and justice, we must also stand firm against ideologies of hatred and genocide which are reflected in Hamas’ charter, Article 7 of which reads, “There is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him!” The son of a Hamas founder has also commented about the true nature of Hamas.

    Hamas cannot be allowed to rain rockets on Israeli cities, nor can it be allowed to hold its own people hostage. Hospitals are for healing, not for hiding weapons. Schools are for learning, not for launching missiles. Children are our hope, not our human shields.

    We join together in support of the democratic values we all cherish and in the hope that the healing and transformative power of the arts can be used to build bridges of peace.

    Michael Adler
    Avi Arad
    Jeff Astrof

    Craig Balsam
    Gary Barber
    Roseanne Barr
    Elana Barry
    Jonathan Baruch
    Aaron Bay-Schuck
    Lainie Sorkin Becky
    Steven Bensusan
    Adam Berkowitz
    Greg Berlanti
    Jordan Berliant
    Mayim Bialik
    Joshua P Binder
    Todd Black
    Michael Borkow
    Scooter Braun
    Dan Brecher
    Eric Brooks
    Dan Bucatinsky
    David Byrnes
    Omri Casspi
    Josh Charles
    Etan Cohen
    Joe Cohen
    Marc Dauer
    Craig David
    Donald De Line
    Matt DelPiano
    Josh Deutsch
    Minnie Driver
    Jack Dytman
    Lee Eisenberg
    Doug Ellin
    Diane English
    Dan Erlij

    Ron Fair
    Dave Feldman
    James Feldman
    Patti Felker
    Sam Fischer
    Erica Forster
    Gary Foster
    Doug Frank
    Bryan J. Freedman
    Geordie E. Frey
    William Friedkin
    Daryl Friedman
    Michael Fricklas
    Jeremy Garelick
    Ran Geffen-Lifshitz
    Andrew Genger
    Jody Gerson
    Risa Gertner
    Jami Gertz
    Gary Ginsberg
    David Glick
    Jonathan Glickman
    Evan Goldberg
    Gil Goldschein
    Tony Goldwyn
    Nate Goodman
    Marc Graboff
    Kelsey Grammer
    Trudy Green
    Adam Griffin
    Iris Grossman
    Phil Hacker
    Sanaa Hamri
    Adi Hasak
    Ned Haspel
    Andrew Hurwitz
    Kathy Ireland
    Bill Jacobson

    Neil Jacobson
    Jonathan Jakubowicz
    Nathan Kahane
    Adam Kaller
    Zach Katz
    Ryan Kavanaugh
    Ron Kenan
    Larry Kennar
    Kevin King-Templeton
    Michael Kives
    Courtney Kivowitz
    Patrick Knapp
    Amanda Kogan
    Steven Kram
    Erik Kritzer
    Peter Landesman
    Eriq La Salle
    Sherry Lansing
    Estelle Lasher
    Michael Lasker
    Keili Lefkovitz
    Carol Leifer
    Avi Lerner
    Colin Lester
    Ben Levine
    Susan Levinson
    David Levy
    Shuki Levy
    Linda Lichter
    Jonathan Littman
    David Lonner
    Benji Madden
    Joel Madden
    Bill Maher
    Joshua Malina
    Rob Markus
    Orly Marley
    Ziggy Marley
    Bill Masters

    Barry McPherson
    Brian Medavoy
    Jeff Melman
    Scott Melrose
    Jeffrey D. Melvoin
    Rina Mimoun
    Michael Morales
    Alan Nierob
    Michael Nyman
    James Packer
    Scott Packman
    Amy Pascal
    Donald S. Passman
    Brett Paul
    Linda Perry
    Richard Plepler
    Rob Prinz
    Dan Rabinow
    Dean Raise
    Bruce M. Ramer
    David Ready
    Ivan Reitman
    David Renzer
    Hanna Rochelle
    Seth Rogen
    John Rogovin
    Lena Roklin
    Zvi Howard Rosenman
    Bill Rosenthal
    Phil Rosenthal
    Brian Ross
    Michael Rotenberg
    Rob Rothman
    Robert Rovner
    Susan Rovner
    Haim Saban
    Nancy Sanders
    Mark Schiff
    Steve Schnur

    Jordan Schur
    Sam Schwartz
    Arnold Schwarzenegger
    Adam Schweitzer
    Scott Siegler
    Ben Silverman
    Sarah Silverman
    Martin Singer
    Aaron Sorkin
    Steve Spira
    Sylvester Stallone
    Norman Steinberg
    Gary Stiffelman
    Gene Stupnitsky
    Eric Suddleson
    Nick Styne
    Danny Sussman
    Traci Szymanski
    Nina Tassler
    Adam Taylor
    Mitch Tenzer
    Fred D. Toczek
    Michael Tolkin
    Jonathan Tropper
    Paul Wachter
    Nina Wass
    Avi Wasserman
    Steven Weber
    Bernie Weinraub
    Jerry Weintraub
    David N. Weiss
    Alan Wertheimer
    Ron West
    Nikki Wheeler
    Bryan Wolf
    Sharon Tal Yguado
    Pete Yorn
    Rick Yorn


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    British intelligence agencies MI5 and MI6 have identified the man suspected of the horrific beheading of American journalist James Foley, according to UK media reports.

    The hooded man with an English accent is believed to be 23-year-old Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary, known to fellow Islamic State militants as Jihadi John. He raps under the name Lyricist Jinn Matic.

    The former rapper left his family home in an affluent west London suburb last year to fight in the civil war in Syria.

    In early August he tweeted a photo of himself wearing military camouflage and a black hood, while holding a severed head in his left hand.

    British SAS forces are hunting Mr Foley's killers, using a range of high-tech equipment to track him down and potentially free other hostages.

    The Mail on Sunday is reporting that a "significant force" of SAS personnel has been deployed to northern Iraq over the past two days, joining local units fighting IS. They have fanned out into four-man teams, accompanying Iraqi and Kurdish troops in an effort to find British jihadis.

    The Sunday Times reports that Bary is the key focus of the man hunt. He is one of the British jihadists former hostages referred to as the Beatles because of their British accents. The two others were called "George" and "Ringo".

    The two other Britons suspected of involvement in the crime are Aine Davis, a former drug dealer who converted to Islam, and Razul Islam, who is believed to have joined the terrorist group that murdered Mr Foley.

    Bary is the son of an Egyptian-born militant who is awaiting trial on terrorism in Manhattan, due to his alleged involvement in the bombing of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998.

    Before leaving the family home to fight in Syria, Bary was an aspiring rapper known as L Jinny whose music was played on one of the UK's most popular radio stations, BBC Radio 1.

    Recordings of his songs will prove vital to the investigating team, with experts using voice recognition technology to match his voice with that of the man who brutally decapitated Mr Foley.

    Bary made a number of music videos for his songs, with titles such as Flying High, Dreamer and Overdose.

    It is believed he was indoctrinated by an Islamic preacher named Anjem Choudary who persuaded him to join the fight in Syria.


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    It's safe to say that there would have been a few million less "Hallelujah" choruses if not for Jeff Buckley's Grace album, which came out 20 years ago this week. Leonard Cohen might also be millions of dollars poorer, since it was the late Buckley's transcendent cover of Cohen's previously obscure "Hallelujah" that ultimately led to the song being a staple of everything from American Idol showcases to in-memoriam montages.

    Grace got off to a modest start, commercially and even critically, when it was released on Aug. 23, 1994. Rolling Stone only gave the album a three-star review, and among the mixed sentiments, critic Stephanie Zacharek was down on the song for which Grace would become best known. "The young Buckley's vocals don't always stand up: He doesn't sound battered or desperate enough to carry off Leonard Cohen's 'Hallelujah.'"

    Rolling Stone referred to him as "the young Buckley" in that put-down sentence not because he was 27 at the time, but to distinguish him from his famous dad, '60s folk icon Tim Buckley. It didn't look like there was much danger of Jeff eclipsing his father — not in that moment, anyway. The album peaked at a paltry No. 149 on the sales chart, and tentative plans to release "Hallelujah" as a single were abandoned. After he tragically drowned three years later at age 30, before ever completing a sophomore effort, Buckley's legend grew, but it was original songs like "Last Goodbye" that cultists latched onto, not his Cohen cover.

    Then it was the 2001 animated film Shrek that really brought a new wave of popularity to "Hallelujah," with two different recordings. Neither of them was Buckley's, although it was his that music fans ultimately gravitated back to. The movie included a version of the song by ex-Velvet Underground member John Cale that had first appeared on a Cohen tribute album in 1991. And it's generally understood that Buckley was covering Cale's version of the song, which edited together lyrics from different stanzas that Cohen had sung at different times.

    Then, when the Shrek soundtrack album came out, instead of the Cale recording heard in the movie, it substituted a fresh version by Rufus Wainwright. Anyone following the song's history and lineage couldn't help but be struck: Wainwright seemed to be covering Buckley's cover of Cale's cover of the Cohen classic.

    When the tragedies of 9/11 occurred months after Shrek came out, the song was fresh enough in folks' minds that it began to get picked up and re-sung, presumably because of its surface spirituality, or at least its solemnity, regardless of how well its lyrics really suited the occasion. That set off a debate that continues to this day about what Cohen's sometimes cryptic lyrics are actually about and whether the song is truly fit for any occasion.

    What almost everyone agrees on — besides Rolling Stone circa 1994, anyway — is that Buckley's version is the gold standard of "Hallelujahs" and the most praiseworthy of praise-the-Lords.

    Rock writer Alan Light said as much in his 2013 book about the song, The Holy or the Broken: Leonard Cohen, Jeff Buckley, and the Unlike Ascent of "Hallelujah": "If Leonard Cohen was the author of 'Hallelujah' and John Cale was its editor, Jeff Buckley was the song's ultimate performer," Light wrote. He acknowledged that, in Buckley's version, "the dry humor of Cohen's original was gone; there was no room for this sardonic maturity in such an earnest performance." But "even if Buckley's 'Hallelujah' didn't deliver all of the layers that Cohen's words contained … the passion and power of his performance are undeniable, irresistible. He polished the song to a perfect shape, in a way that allowed it to connect with a much different kind of listener than the cult of sophisticates who were devoted to Cohen's less inviting sound."

    The list of "Hallelujah" covers is quite a monumental tower of song — to allude to another song title of the writer's. Among the other artists who've taken a crack at it: k.d. lang (a favorite of Cohen's), Bon Jovi (probably not such a favorite of Cohen's), Bob Dylan (in concert in the late 1980s), U2's Bono (on a 1995 tribute album), Justin Timberlake, Susan Boyle, Neil Diamond, Willie Nelson, Il Divo, Tangerine Dream, American Idol contestant Jason Castro, and British X Factor winner Alexandra Burke.

    But in 2008, when Castro covered "Hallelujah" on Idol, Simon Cowell specifically noted that the Buckley version was one of his favorite recordings of all time. This resulted in a huge sales spike for Buckley's "Hallelujah," propelling it to the top spot on the iTunes singles chart; the single was later certified platinum, 14 years after its original release and 11 years after Buckley's death. It was the first time that Jeff Buckley had gone to No. 1 on any chart, ever.

    There's often some confusion over the song's lyrics. When Cohen first recorded it for 1984's Various Positions, it was marked by hope and even real religiosity as well as humor. The Cale/Buckley version borrows from different drafts of the tune. To some, it's about depression and despair; to others, about sex and romantic abandonment; to still others, the spiritual overtones are real are far from completely ironic. The best answer is: all of the above.

    Buckley initially seemed to favor the sexual interpretation, but he ultimately went deeper than that."It's a hymn to being alive," the late singer once told Interview magazine. "It's a hymn to love lost. To love. Even the pain of existence, which ties you to being human, should receive an amen — or a hallelujah."

    Says author Sylvie Simmons in her acclaimed 2012 Leonard Cohen biography, I'm Your Man: "I've upset a few Leonard Cohen fans by saying that I prefer [Buckley's] version to the original. Buckley understood the strength of the melody. He sang it like he was in a cathedral."

    Indeed, it was Buckley's version, not Cohen's or anyone else's, that was played in April last year at Fenway Park during a tribute honoring the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings, before the Red Sox played their first home game following that tragedy.

    So what does Cohen think of "Hallelujah," after all these years… and all those royalty checks? "I like the song. I think it's a good song," he allowed in a 2009 interview with CBC. "But I think too many people are singing it. I think people ought to stop singing it for a while."

    Of course, the success of "Hallelujah" is arguably not Cohen's to bemoan anymore, now that the song belongs to the masses, or the Lord of Songs, or maybe just its purest, most tragic interpreter after all.


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    It's no secret that Aaron Carter is still looking out for Hilary Duff to this day. Despite the two ending their relationship in the early 2000s after an alleged love triangle with Lindsay Lohan tore them apart, Carter still has nothing but positive vibes for his ex-girlfriend, who he declared as the "love of my life" just four months ago.
    So, what does he think of Duff now that she's back in the spotlight reviving her music career?

    "I think it's great," he told Celebuzz at the grand opening of Dave & Buster's at the Hollywood & Highland Center Thursday night."Keep up the good work, Hilary!"
    "It's all good," he continued about the singer's new song, "Chasing the Sun.""I think it's really great to see her get back out there."
    Previously, Carter publicly professed his love for the songstress after she separated from husband Mike Comrie after three years of marriage. At the time, he vowed to spend "rest of my life trying to better myself to get back to her."
    "I don't know who she is today, she doesn't know who I am today but I would sweep her off her feet if I ever got a chance to again and fix what I did wrong," he told Entertainment Tonight in April. "I'm going to do everything in my power to fix those relationships in my life just like I want to fix the relationship I had with the love of my life."
    He added, "I'm not gonna give up on Hilary ... ever."
    Well, he certainly hasn't given up on her music.


    August 22nd: Hilary Duff Arriving to The Gym in West Hollywood(Gallery Link)
    August 22nd: Hilary Duff Leaving The Gym in West Hollywood(Gallery Link)
    August 22nd: Hilary Duff Grabbing An Ice Tea In Beverly Hills (Gallery Link)

    Ten years ago, Hilary Duff attended the 2004 MTV Video Music Awards. At the time, she had just released Fly, the lead single from her self titled album. That night, she was nominated for Best Pop Video for Come Clean. But, sadly (and kind of rightfully so) she lost the award to No Doubt's It's My Life. (But, let's be real, Britney should have won the award for Toxic.) Hilary also presented the award for Best Rap Video, which went to Jay Z for 99 Problems.

    Picture via Hilary Duff Brazil

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    There will be nothing white collar — or normal — about Matt Bomer’s next TV gig.

    EW has learned that the Emmy nominee will guest star on one episode of American Horror Story: Freak Show. Creator Ryan Murphy broke the news himself at EW’s Emmy Party saying he’s excited to reunite once again with the “amazing” actor, who is nominated this year for his performance in The Normal Heart, also directed by Murphy.
    “I try to get him to do everything for me,” Murphy told EW. “I sent him a text that said, ‘First right of refusal, here’s the role.’ It’s very…warped.” Murphy said he had to work around Bomer’s schedule filming Magic Mike 2 in order to make the appearance work.

    American Horror Story: Freak Show premieres on FX on Wednesday, October 8th.


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    DENVER – Peyton Manning wasn't about to let what he perceived to be a dirty hit by Houston Texans safety D.J. Swearinger go unnoticed.

    The Broncos quarterback ran to the end zone as soon as Emmanuel Sanders caught 29-yard touchdown in the final seconds of the first half Saturday night to go facemask-to-facemask with Swearinger, who one play prior had delivered a hit that knocked receiver Wes Welker from the game.

    The two players exchanged some unprintable curse words, but Manning was clearly the aggressor.

    "I'm glad that I made a Hall of Famer mad, you know?" Swearinger told USA TODAY Sports.

    Manning has been penalized 60 times in the regular season or postseason in his NFL career, but never for taunting. His previous offenses include 34 delay of game flags, 14 false starts, eight intentional groundings and one hold.

    Late Saturday night, Manning wasn't apologizing for this new addition to his rap sheet.

    "I think if you're going to get one, that's a good time to get one," Manning said.

    Swearinger said Manning had approached him one play prior, after Swearinger's hit on Welker. The safety led with his shoulder, but collided with Welker's head. Swearinger received a 15-yard personal foul penalty. Manning's penalty was also worth 15 yards, but was assessed later.

    "I'm obviously concerned about Wes and never like seeing him come out of the game with a potential blow to the head," Manning said. "He had one of those last year that kept him out a while. Fifteen yards with five seconds left in the half. It can't you that much, right?"

    Welker left the game and was diagnosed with a concussion, his third in 10 months after suffering two late last season. Broncos head coach John Fox refused to speculate Saturday night to when Welker might be cleared to return.

    Welker would not have played in Thursday's preseason finale anyway. The Broncos open the regular season in 15 days, against Indianapolis.

    "The biggest thing on him is of course player safety," Fox said.

    Manning and Swearinger have a little history stemming from the three days of joint practices the Texans and Broncos held this week. It was Swearinger, the second-year safety, who picked off Manning during a two-minute drill in practice on Wednesday. Swearinger told reporters after that practice that the interception got the Broncos frustrated, and a skirmish soon followed.

    "I get a lot of people mad at me. That's how I've been my whole life," Swearinger said.

    Manning stayed out of the fray during the practice scrum, but made sure he was at the center of it when it mattered Saturday night. That Manning was the one in Swearinger's face after the hit on Welker won't be forgotten by his teammates.

    "The fact that Peyton is addressing the situation, that means he's got the backs of his teammates," Sanders said.

    Texans coach Bill O'Brien said he would need to look at replays to determine if Swearinger deserved the flag. Swearinger is confident his hit was clean because he led with his shoulder, not with his helmet.

    "I led with my shoulder, that's the only thing I could do. [Welker] is a short guy," Swearinger said. "I led with my shoulder and the results are the results. That's all I could do on the play."



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    GQ USA September 2014


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    Zach Braff says he had a blast making his debut on the Great White Way in Bullets Over Broadway, but as the show comes to an end this weekend, he admits that all that dancing and singing night after night has worn him out. "I am exhausted!" Braff, 39, told PEOPLE at an "appreciation party" that his co-star, Vincent Pastore threw for cast members at The New York Beer Company in Manhattan after their Thursday show. "But I had more fun doing this than in any other time in my life."

    Of course, Braff is tired, added Pastore, who played Big Pussy on the HBO drama, The Sopranos. "He did the show while finishing his movie! The guy is a trouper!"
    Braff co-wrote, directed and starred in the comedy-drama, Wish I Were Here with Kate Hudson, which opened last month. Pastore said he is "sad" that the show, the musical adaptation of Woody Allen and Douglas McGrath's 1994 film, which opened on April 10, is closing on Sunday.

    "I've been doing the show since Jan. 15 and it's been great," he said. "I never missed a rehearsal or a show. My understudy hates me!" Pastore, 68, says he learned that he had prostate cancer after he began rehearsals. "I had surgery and 40 sessions of radiation in between rehearsals," he said. "It was pretty dramatic, but I had goals and my first goal was to make it to opening night. My next goal was to make it to the Tony Awards and my goal after that was to make it to the end of the run. I dance and I sing every night and am lucky to be here."

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