Terrorists in Kashmir, Maoists recruiting kids: UN

UNITED NATIONS: Terrorist groups operating in
Kashmir and Maoists groups elsewhere have recruited children as fighters, according to a report by Secretary-General
Antonio Guterres.

The annual report on children and armed conflict for 2018 released on Tuesday also said that children continued to be killed or injured in operations by the security forces in Kashmir and in areas of Maoist activity. It noted that there were reports of sexual violence against girls by security forces in Kashmir citing the Kathua rape case.

Guterres, however, also welcomed “the government’s measures to provide protection to children, notably through the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights.”

“I encourage the government to put in place prevention and accountability measures to hold perpetrators of grave violations to account in view of ending and preventing grave violations against children,” he added.

In Kashmir, the report said, “Five children, some as young as 14, were reportedly recruited by militant groups, including by Hizbul Mujahideen (two) and Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind (one). The two other children joined Lashkar-e-Tayyiba and were reportedly killed in an encounter with the government forces on December 9.”

There were reports of “systematic recruitment” of children by Maoists, the report said.

It said that there were child casualties from security forces actions against Maoists in the states of Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Odisha.

Giving examples, the report said that on April 22 last year eight children were reportedly killed during an anti-Maoist operation by district-level special forces in the district of Garhchiroli, of Maharashtra, in which at least 40 Maoists were killed.

In Kashmir “31 children between the ages of 7 and 17 were allegedly killed, including during government armed forces operations” and “at least 150 children, some as young as one, were reportedly injured, mostly by pellet bullets used by the security forces,” it said.

It said that “allegations of the perpetration of sexual violence against girls by the security forces in Kashmir were reported”.

“For instance”, the report said, “an 8-year-old girl was reportedly abducted, drugged, raped for three days and murdered in Kathua district by special police officers”.

Four police personnel were among six people convicted last month by a special court that tired the Kathua case.

Guterres’s report said that globally “more than 24,000 grave violations against children were verified by the UN in 20 country situations”.

“While the number of violations attributed to non-State actors remained steady, there was an alarming increase in the number of violations attributed to state actors and to international forces compared with 2017,” it added.

According to the report, Afghanistan was the worst place children. Last year, there were 3,062 child casualties there and children accounted for 28 per cent of all civilian casualties, it said.

Harold Prince, the man who has won more Tony awards than anyone else, has died – CNN

Over his expansive career that ran nearly 70 years, Prince, best known as Hal, received 21 Tony Awards, “the most for any individual in multiple categories,”
the Tony Awards said.

Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Phantom,” which opened in London in 1986 and became an international phenomenon, is the longest-running musical in Broadway history.

“Not just the prince of musicals, the crowned head who directed two of the greatest productions of my career, Evita and Phantom. This wonderful man taught me so much and his mastery of musical theatre was without equal,” Webber said on Twitter Wednesday.

Under Abbott’s mentorship, Prince was introduced to Robert Griffith, who would become his producing partner. By 1955, he won his first Tony with the production, “The Pajama Game,” he co-produced with Griffth. It was named best musical.

Prince went on to direct and produce some of the greatest and long-running musicals, including “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Cabaret,” “Sweeney Todd” and “Evita.”

He amassed
21 Tonys, including eight for directing, eight for producing, two as producer of the year’s Best Musical and three special Tony Awards.

In 2006, he was honored with another Tony Award for lifetime achievement in the theater.

“He is missed and loved by his family — Judy, his wife of 56 years; his daughter, Daisy; his son, Charles; and his grandchildren, Phoebe, Lucy, and Felix,” Prince’s publicist said in a statement.

“As per his wishes, there will be no funeral but there will be a celebration of his life this fall with the people he loved most, the members of the theatrical community that he was a part of for seven decades.”

Prince touched the lives of many people, and tributes were posted on social media as news of his death spread.

“Beyond heartbroken to find out that #HalPrince has passed away,”
tweeted actress Donna Murphy, a Tony nominee. “Working with Hal was one of the greatest honors of my artistic life-I’ll never forget his kindness, generosity & brilliance as an artist & as a human.”
“RIP to the legend Hal Prince. It’s because of his vision, his work, his creativity and his passion that I came to love theatre in the first place,” tweeted
singer and actress, Jessica Vosk. “I have a feeling you might feel the same.”

CNN’s Steve Forrest and Justin Lear contributed to this report.

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Angelina Jolie Says Her Kids Are Happy She’s in Marvel’s Eternals – Comicbook.com

The star-studded cast of Marvel’s Eternals was confirmed at this month’s San Diego Comic-Con, including Angelina Jolie as Thena. In a recent interview with People, Jolie spoke about the early response to her taking on the role — particularly from her six children.

“What’s really moving to me is that they want to see me strong, and so it’s less to see me in a film, but they’re just happy I will be strong and having fun,” Jolie said of her children, whose ages range from 17 to 11.

In the comics, Thena is a prolific warrior and leader of the Eternals, and it sounds like Jolie is taking her preparation for the role seriously, with “everything from swords to ballet.”

“She’s a warrior,” Jolie added. “I’m going to have to work very hard to give the Marvel Cinematic Universe the Thena they deserve.”

The Eternals will also star Salma Hayak as Ajak, Richard Madden as Ikaris, Kumail Nanjiani as Kingo, Lauren Ridloff as Makkari, Brian Tyree Henry as Phastos, Lia McHugh as Sprite, and Don Lee as Gilgamesh. The film will be directed by The Rider’s Chloe Zhao, with a script from Matthew and Ryan Firpo.

“I think Chloe is going to make a special Marvel film.” Jolie revealed. “With all the love and respect for the others and what makes them work, we hope to add something new.”

While it will be over a year until Eternals hits the big screen, it sounds like they will make a unique impact on the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

“Eternals are one group, but we like the idea of introducing an ensemble, doing an ensemble movie from the start, as opposed to building up as we did with the first Avengers. More like Guardians, not tonally, but in terms of introducing a new group of people.” Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige said earlier this year. “You were asking about ’60s, and ’70s before. Jack Kirby did an immense, amazing epic with Eternals that spans tens of thousands of years, and that’s also something we haven’t really done, which is why that among many other things post-Endgame, we find appealing.”

Are you excited to see Angelina Jolie join Marvel’s Eternals? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

Upcoming Marvel Studios projects include Black Widow on May 1, 2020, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier in Fall of 2020, The Eternals on November 6, 2020, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings on February 12, 2021, WandaVision in Spring 2021, Loki in Spring 2021, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness on May 7, 2021, What If…? In Summer 2021, Hawkeye in Fall 2021, and Thor: Love and Thunder on November 5, 2021.

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Have you subscribed to ComicBook Nation, the official Podcast of ComicBook.com yet? Check it out by clicking here or listen below.

The crew is recovered from Comic-Con and we’re deep-diving into the newest must watch Amazon series and more. The Boys is officially binge-able, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is the history lesson we all need, and the new Walking Dead series might already be dead – we’re tackling it all in episode 52 of #ComicBookNation! Make sure to subscribe now to never miss an episode!

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‘Bachelorette’ Hannah cautions Luke, Jed haters: ‘They’re real people…not characters’ – USA TODAY



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“The Bachelorette” Hannah Brown made a shocking final decision.
USA TODAY

Hannah Brown’s turn as “The Bachelorette” has finally come to a close ‒ and now she’s speaking out about the topsy-turvy season and all the drama that came with it. 

That drama included villainous men ‒ though Brown tells USA TODAY in a post-finale interview that we should be careful about that word.

First things first: She doesn’t regret what happened during the finale. To recap: She dumped Tyler Cameron; got engaged to Jed Wyatt; found out the truth about Wyatt’s rumored romantic escapades; and confirmed on live TV that she and Wyatt are no longer together.

Still, “I’m really proud of my journey and how I ended that journey last night,” she says. It put a final page in this chapter of her life.

What about Peter?: ‘Bachelorette’ contestant Peter Weber talks heartbreak, windmills and ‘The Bachelor’

What it hasn’t ended is a potential relationship with runner-up Cameron. Brown said on Tuesday’s finale that she wants someone who will be bold like she is and make bold moves, so it wasn’t a shock when she asked him out for a drink.

She says she’d been thinking about him for a while, and that regardless of what happens in the future, she hopes they remain a part of each other’s lives in some way.

The same goes for much of the cast: “I hope I can be friends with everyone (who) has been so supportive of me,” Brown says.

That probably doesn’t include Wyatt or Luke Parker, although Brown cautions against considering them villains. “They’re real people; they’re not characters,” she says. Both have learned a lot, and she doesn’t want them to be demonized for their actions on the show. But if Parker tries engaging with her on social media again? She thinks she’s handled it already. 

Oh Luke: Chris Harrison on why it took so long to get Luke P. off ‘The Bachelorette’: ‘He wasn’t done’

She’s also over everything that went down between her and Wyatt. A new People magazine article out Tuesday includes Wyatt’s ex saying that she thought about Brown every day and regrets not intervening when Wyatt went on the show. Brown hadn’t seen the article, wishes her well but doesn’t believe there’s any need for a “friendship” to blossom in the aftermath.

Brown wants people to remember her time on “The Bachelorette” as authentic and real. She says she experienced “real emotions” and there were “real conversations that needed to be had.” And she’s looking forward to using her platform to do good and be a role model to other women.

“The Bachelorette” finale aired at the same time as a debate among Democratic presidential candidates on CNN. And while some viewers may have been conflicted about which to watch, Brown has put the moment in perspective.

There is “always Hulu for ‘The Bachelorette,'” she says. “I hope people tuned in to what is important.” Brown adds that she knows there are a lot of things “more important than my love life.”

You heard her, America.

Bachelorette fans had to choose: finale or Democratic debate?

In case you missed: ‘Bachelorette’ finale: Superfan Demi Lovato eats windmill cookies with Hannah Brown

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Stop What You’re Doing and Listen to Haim’s New Summer Anthem ‘Summer Girl’ – Vulture

Haim has a little something to get off their chest — namely, all of their stuffy winter jackets and hoodies! (Megan Thee Stallion didn’t declare this a Hot Girl Summer™ for nothing.) For their new single “Summer Girl,” Danielle, Este, and Alana walk down the sidewalks of Los Angeles stripping down to their summer best. It’s all languid, leisurely fun, directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. How’s that for once upon a time dot dot dot in Hollywood! Trailing behind is Henry Solomon, playing the saxophone. “Summer Girl” is co-produced by Rostam Batmanglij and Ariel Rechtshaid, plus a little “Walk on the Wild Side” doot doot doot melody. “I started the song when I found out my partner had cancer. I was on tour and felt like I was trying to send positive energy his way almost telepathically,” Danielle wrote in a press release. “Whenever I would come home in between shows I wanted to be his sunshine — his summer when he was feeling dark. His hope when he was feeling hopeless.”

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UPDATE: Mario Lopez calls his previous comments on trans kids “ignorant and insensitive” – The A.V. Club

Photo: Astrid Stawiarz (Getty Images)

UPDATE, July 31, 2:30 p.m.: After receiving backlash for the below comments, Lopez made the following statement to People magazine:

The comments I made were ignorant and insensitive, and I now have a deeper understanding of how hurtful they were… I have been and always will be an ardent supporter of the LGBTQ community, and I am going to use this opportunity to better educate myself. Moving forward I will be more informed and thoughtful.

Original post, July 31, 1:30 p.m.: Too bad, A.C. Slater fans: Recently released clips from Mario Lopez’s June interview on the conservative PragerU video series The Candace Owens Show, reveal that the former game-show host stated that “parents who allow their children to live according to their self-identified genders are setting a ‘dangerous’ example,” according to Yahoo! Lifestyle. Honestly, just the fact that the Saved By The Bell vet/current Extra host appeared on Candace Owens’ show should have been a significant warning sign.

In the conversation, Owens brings up what she termed the “weird trend” in Hollywood of celebrities taking the cue from their kids as to what gender they are, like Charlize Theron recently did with her 7-year-old trans daughter. Lopez commented, “My God, if you’re 3 years old and you’re saying you’re feeling a certain way or you think you’re a boy or a girl or whatever the case may be, I just think it’s dangerous as a parent to make this determination… It’s sort of alarming and my gosh, I just think about the repercussions later on… When you’re a kid… you don’t know anything about sexuality yet. You’re just a kid.”

Some experts were quick to call Lopez out on Twitter, especially the important difference between “gender” and “sexuality.” And the fact that many kids have strong feelings about their true gender even at young ages.

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Judge upholds decision to appoint special prosecutor in Smollett case – Fox News

A Chicago judge denied requests from Jussie Smollett’s legal team to block the appointment of a special prosecutor; Matt Finn reports. #FoxNews

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Gina Rodriguez’s Farewell to Jane the Virgin Will Make You Cry – E! NEWS

Gina Rodriguez is saying goodbye to Jane the Virgin.

The 35-year-old actress took to Instagram on Wednesday to reflect on her time on the show over the past five years.

Jane the Virgin. Wow. We started shooting the first season of Jane in July 2014,” she wrote alongside the sentimental post. “A few days into shooting I turned 30 on set. Yesterday I turned 35. And today is the very last episodes, 99 and 100 airing of Jane the Virgin. Five years. Five years of love, laughter, growth, pain, surprises, deaths, new births and a s–t ton of memories.”

She then thanked her “warriors” for supporting her since day one.

“I am able to live out my dream career because of you and I will never stop making art to bring Joy and Laughter into your home/train ride/plane ride or classroom!” she added. “Art is my savior. Art is what makes me feel like I can fly. Thank you to Jennie for making me your Jane and to the incredible cast for becoming my family.”

Near the end of the post, Rodriguez noted she will “always love you Jane.” She also encouraged viewers to watch tonight’s finale and “enjoy our goodbye.”

Rodriguez wasn’t the only one to bid adieu to the show. Justin Baldoni, who plays Jane’s love Rafael on the show, also shared a sweet message.

“Can’t believe this is it,” he wrote alongside a photo from the characters’ upcoming wedding. “Tonight it ends. What a ride. Forgive me as I may be posting a lot today as I am feeling very sentimental (as usual). So much gratitude. What a journey this has been. What a family we have become. What a blessing. #theend #janethevirgin#thefinalchapter.”

Over the course of its five-season run, the show has been recognized by The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and more. Jane the Virgin has been up for four Golden Globes—including Rodriguez’s 2015 win for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series (Musical or Comedy)—and two Emmys—both in the Outstanding Narrator category.

Fans can watch how it all ends tonight on The CW starting at 9:00 p.m. EST.

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Salma Hayek says Meghan Markle had some top-secret rules for that British Vogue cover – CNN

“I was in the car and he said, ‘Listen, I’m going to put somebody on the phone. Are you in the car with people?’ I said ‘Yes.’ He told me ‘you cannot say the name of the person I’m calling.’ Frankly, I thought it was a joke. And we are also very good friends with Naomi Campbell. And I thought, they’re pulling my leg or something, you know? I said, ‘Oh, she’s in London and he’s gonna pass me to her,” Hayek tells CNN. “But then it took a while for the other person to get on the phone. Then she got on the phone and introduced herself.”

It was Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle.

Hayek had never met her. Enninful didn’t get on the phone again, leaving the two women to talk.

“She introduced herself and was very kind and loving and easy going,” Hayek says, adding that Markle started to explain a future “project in support of women” she was working on.

Hayek says because she’s worked with women’s charities for 25 years, she was expecting Markle to inquire about teaming up for a specific organization she had in mind. (Hayek is on the board of the Kering Foundation, which combats violence against women, and helped with Chime for Change, a campaign for Gucci to promote women’s rights worldwide. She is also an advocate for refugees.)

“I got excited. I’m thinking and I’m trying to find the logic to this strange day,” Hayek recalls. “She explained her passion for women and what’s happening currently. And then she said she’s doing this with British Vogue. She said, you know, she was the guest editor of British Vogue, and I’m thinking maybe it’s going to be an article on what we’re doing, you know, with Kering and women, and she said no, ‘I’m [doing a cover], I’m not going to be the cover, I’m putting my favorite women on the cover. And you’re definitely one of them. You one of the first ones.’ I was like completely shocked. I did not see it coming that way. She started talking about how she’s been watching me and why me.”

Their chat kicked off a months-long top-secret mission to get the cover shot and on stands by August with none of the other women involved knowing exactly what — or who — they were shooting for.

Gathering at a photo shoot in London, Hayek sat on what she knew; she was told she couldn’t even tell her husband, daughter, or publicist. “I couldn’t talk about it and I didn’t,” she says.

“I felt very honored when we did this photo shoot. No one else knew what it was for,” she explains. “Only me and the photographer, Peter Lindbergh, knew. And all the girls were getting their picture taken for the cover and they didn’t know that Meghan was how they got there.”

Being able to talk about it now, Hayek adds, feels like freedom. She received a happy call from both Enninful and Markle earlier this week to congratulate her on pulling off the mission.

The theme of the next edition, scheduled to be released on August 8, is “Forces of Change.” It will feature 15 women who have inspired Markle, who was originally offered to appear on the cover, according to the publication, but suggested a guest editor role instead.

She is the first guest editor of the September issue in the magazine’s 103-year history.

“I loved that she didn’t want to be on the cover,” Hayek says. “She used her light to put it upon others, the ones who inspired her.”

The Oscar-nominated actress and advocate says at one point she felt “embarrassed” to be chosen with the other featured women and didn’t deserve the honor, but she’s since come around to the idea with the hope the opportunity will allow her to bring even more awareness to women in need.

“The thing is that now there’s so many amazing things happening,” she says, “It was kind of interesting for me that she noticed me in this new wave of excitement about change. She really knew what she was talking about. I started on this path so long ago, and I did it quietly… A lot of the work I did was not about awareness, at the beginning I would go to the places, do the work. I started doing a lot of what people can’t see, a lot of strategy.”

Strategy like making sure in her longtime deal with Revlon, the cosmetic company started to include information about domestic violence and a hotline number for women in their pamphlets.

Beyond their Vogue collaboration, do Markle and Hayak have plans to meet?

“Maybe,” she teases. “Maybe it’s not something you’re gonna see.”

“I think we had a connection before we even talked to each other. The shock is that this person had been watching me and I had no idea. It’s really beautiful and I really do think that we have a special connection.”

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BREAKING: WOODSTOCK 50 has officially canceled its three-day festival – MyTwinTiers.com

WOODSTOCK, NY (WETM)- Woodstock 50 announced today, July 31, that the three-day Festival to celebrate its 50th Anniversary has been canceled.

“We are saddened that a series of unforeseen setbacks have made it impossible to put on the Festival we imagined with the great line-up we had booked and the social engagement we were anticipating,” said Michael Lang, co-founder of the Woodstock Music and Arts Festival.

“When we lost the Glen and then Vernon Downs we looked for a way to do some good rather than just cancel. We formed a collaboration with HeadCount to do a smaller event at the Merriweather Pavilion to raise funds for them to get out the vote and for certain NGOs involved in fighting climate change. We released all the talent so any involvement on their part would be voluntary. Due to conflicting radius issues in the DC area many acts were unable to participate and others passed for their own reasons. I would like to encourage artists and agents, who all have been fully paid, to donate 10% of their fees to HeadCount or causes of their choice in the spirit of peace. Woodstock remains committed to social change and will continue to be active in support of HeadCount’s critical mission to get out the vote before the next election. We thank the artists, fans and partners who stood by us even in the face of adversity. My thoughts turn to Bethel and its celebration of our 50th Anniversary to reinforce the values of compassion, human dignity, and the beauty of our differences embraced by Woodstock.”

Added Greg Peck, principal of Woodstock 50: “The unfortunate dispute with our financial partner and the resulting legal proceedings set us off course at a critical juncture, throwing a wrench in our plans and forcing us to find an alternate venue to Watkins Glen. The timing meant we had few choices where our artists would be able to perform. We worked hard to find a way to produce a proper tribute—and some great artists came aboard over the last week to support Woodstock 50—but time simply ran short. We are greatly disappointed and thank all of our supporters, including the team at Merriweather Post Pavilion and Howard County Executive Calvin Ball. Woodstock’s values of peace and tolerance are more important today than ever for all of us to stand for and we look to the future for ways to honor and celebrate these ideals.”

Merriweather Post Pavilion, the storied Frank Gehry-designed amphitheater outside of Washington, D.C, in Columbia, MD, had agreed to host the Festival if the bands came to play. Woodstock 50 was planning to create a free benefit concert to raise awareness and funding for get-out-the-vote non-profit HeadCount and select organizations that combat global warming.

“While we were able to quickly eliminate the venue portion of the challenge to present Woodstock, it was just too late in the game,” said Seth Hurwitz, chairman of I.M.P., owner of the 9:30 Club and The Anthem and operator of Merriweather Post Pavilion and the Lincoln Theatre. “Hopefully, with plenty of time to prepare, Merriweather will become the site of a future festival that captures the original vibe. A lot of people clearly wanted it to happen.”

Said Howard County Executive Calvin Ball: “I share in the disappointment of everyone who hoped to celebrate the anniversary of ‘Peace & Music’ with a festival this summer. While Woodstock 50 will not be coming to Howard County, we continue to offer tremendous cultural events at Merriweather Post Pavilion and beyond.”

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