Nashville, Apr 9(AP/UNB) — Music superstar Taylor Swift says the efforts of a Tennessee LGBTQ advocacy group to fight a handful of contentious bills moving inside the state's Republican-controlled General Assembly inspired her to make a sizeable donation.
According to the Tennessee Equality Project, Swift donated $113,000 to the organization on Monday. The group posted a handwritten letter from Swift, who cited a recent petition of Tennessee faith leaders who oppose a series of bills they say target LGBTQ individuals.
Swift praised the religious leaders for giving all people a place to worship and for "standing up against the 'Slate of Hate' in our state legislature."
The bills include allowing adoption agencies to discriminate against same-sex couples and preventing government agencies from considering a business's nondiscrimination policies when selecting a contract.
Nashville, Apr 9(AP/UNB) — More information is being released about music icon Bob Dylan's project in downtown Nashville in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of his "Nashville Skyline" album.
Dylan is set to help open a whiskey distillery in fall 2020 under the brand "Heaven's Door."
A news release says Heaven's Door Spirits will transform the 160-year-old Elm Street Church into the Heaven's Door Distillery and Center for the Arts, featuring the distillery, a whiskey library, a restaurant and a 360-seat live performance venue.
It will also feature Dylan's paintings and metalwork sculptures.
The group unveiled the opening date and some facility details Tuesday to coincide with the anniversary of the release of Dylan's ninth album.
Munshiganj, Apr 7 (UNB) – Renowned film actor and comedian Tele Samad who passed away at a hospital in the capital on Saturday was laid to eternal rest at his village home in Sadar upazila on Sunday.
He was buried by the graves of his parents at their family graveyard at Noyagaon following fifth namaz-e-janaza after Asr prayers.
The body of the noted actor arrived at the Dr Iajuddin Ahmed Residential Model School and College ground from the capital around 3pm. His fifth and last janaza was also held at the field.
Earlier, the fourth janaza was held on the Bangladesh Film Development Corporation (FDC) premises around 12:30pm. The body was taken to the FDC premises around 11am.
Information Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud, Information Secretary Abdul Malek, noted actors, including Akbar Hossain Pathan Farooque, MP, Alamgir, Zayed Khan, Aliraj, Amit Hasan, Samrat, Anjana and Nasrin, film director Mushfiqur Rahman Gulzar, producer Khorsed Alam Khashru and singer Fakir Alamgir, paid their tributes to Tele Samad.
The Information Ministry, FDC, Producers’ Association, Artists’ Association and some other organisations also paid their homage to the actor by placing wreaths at his coffin.
Speaking on the occasion, the information minister said the government will take steps to posthumously honour Tele Samad.
After the fourth janaza, his body was taken to his ancestral village for burial.
Tele Samad breathed his last at Square Hospital in the capital around 1:30pm on Saturday at the age of 74.
On Saturday, his first janaza was held at Dhanmondi’s Taqwah Mosque after Maghrib prayers while the second one at West Rajabazar Mosque after Isha prayers and the third one at Dilu Road, Moghbazar around 10:30pm.
Tele Samad was born in Munshiganj on January 8, 1945. In his glorious career spanning over four decades, the actor performed in over 600 films. He made his debut in 1973 with the film, ‘Kar Bou’. He last acted in the movie, ‘Zero Degree’, released in 2015.
Los Angeles, Apr 6 (AP/UNB) — TV anchor Lauren Sanchez, who is in a relationship with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, filed for divorce the day after Bezos' divorce was finalized.
Sanchez and talent agent Patrick Whitesell, her husband of 14 years, both filed divorce papers Friday. They're seeking joint custody of their two kids.
The divorce of Bezos and wife MacKenzie Bezos was finalized Thursday.
The billionaire pair announced they were getting divorced in January, shortly before the National Enquirer reported that Jeff Bezos and Sanchez were having an affair.
He later accused the tabloid's publisher of threatening to publish explicit photos of him unless he stopped investigating how the Enquirer obtained his private messages with Sanchez.
Sanchez has been a news anchor and sports reporter, and hosted Fox TV's "So You Think You Can Dance."
New Delhi, Apr 5 (AP/UNB) — The planned release of a Bollywood biopic on Prime Minister Narendra Modi days before the start of Indian elections has run into trouble with a court challenge pending and the censor board yet to clear its opening in theaters.
Opposition parties are protesting that the film's release would unfairly advantage Modi's Hindu nationalist party as it seeks reelection.
The Supreme Court set a Monday hearing date for a Congress party petition demanding the movie's release be deferred until voting concludes in mid-May.
The Hindi movie couldn't be screened as planned on Friday because the censor board hasn't certified it for release.
"This is to confirm, our film 'PM Narendra Modi' is not releasing on 5th April. Will update soon," film producer Sandip Ssingh tweeted late Thursday.
Vivek Oberoi, who plays the title role, said the Congress party was trying to block the movie's release because it was scared of Modi's popularity.
Oberoi, 42, said in an interview with the New Delhi Television news channel that the screening of the movie would not violate the code of conduct for national elections.
India's autonomous Election Commission is expected to rule next week on separate complaints filed by two opposition parties protesting the launch of a NaMo (Narendra Modi) television channel named after the prime minister.
The Congress party and the Aam Admi Party said the channel was started by the BJP and it violated the code of conduct that barred political parties from starting such channels after the announcement of the election schedule.
The channel started broadcasting Modi's election campaign and a compilation of speeches highlighting his government's achievements three weeks after the voting schedule was announced by the commission on March 10.
The voting for India's elections will be staggered over seven days, beginning April 11 and concluding May 19. Counting will begin May 23.