Los Angeles, Mar 30 (AP/UNB) — George Clooney is calling for the boycott of nine hotels in the U.S. and Europe with ties to the sultan of Brunei, which next month will implement Islamic criminal laws to punish gay sex by stoning offenders to death.
The Hollywood actor wrote Thursday in Deadline Hollywood: "Are we really going to help fund the murder of innocent citizens?"
He writes that you can't shame "murderous regimes," but you can shame "the banks, the financiers and the institutions that do business with them."
Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah rules the oil-rich monarchy with full executive authority, and the hotels are owned by the Brunei Investment Agency. An email seeking comment was sent to the agency Friday.
The hotels are The Dorchester and Coworth Park in the U.K.; Beverly Hills Hotel and Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles; Le Meurice and Hotel Plaza Athenee in Paris; Hotel Eden in Rome; and Hotel Principe di Savoia in Milan.
The new laws take effect April 3.
Dhaka, Mar 26 (UNB) - A 15-day-long group art exhibition featuring artworks of women artists began at Gallery Cosmos in the city’s Mohakhali New DOHS area on Tuesday.
Dedicated to all women of the world, the exhibition titled ‘Life 2019’ is showcasing artworks created by 39 women artists at Villa de Anjuman, Road-6, House-115, New DOHS, Mohakhali.
Australian High Commissioner in Bangladesh Julia Niblett inaugurated the exhibition hosted by Gallery Cosmos as the chief guest.
Speaking on the occasion, the Austrian envoy highlighted the role of women during Bangladesh’s Liberation War.
She also said Bangladeshi women are progressing in different sectors.
Julia Niblett said although women artists are producing good artworks, their contributions are often overlooked.
She, however, lauded Gallery Cosmos for hosting the all-women art exhibition to remove such discrimination.
Speaking on the occasion as a special guest, Cornelia Gautschi Holenstein expressed the hope that women artists will continue to overcome barriers that stand in their way.
Artist and freedom fighter Professor Abul Barq Alvi hoped that more women artists will emerge and excel at their creations.
Gallery Cosmos Director Tehmina Enayet, artists Farida Zaman and Kanak Chanpa Chakma and freedom fighter artist Biren Som also spoke at the opening ceremony alongside fashion designer Mahin Khan.
The participating artists are Afrozaa Jamil Konka, Antara Mehrukh Azad, Asma Akber, Atia Islam Anne, Bipasha Hayat, Dilara Begum Jolly, Dilruba Latif, Elham Huq (Khuku), Fahmida Enam Kakoli, Fahmida Khatun, Fareha Zeba, Farida Zaman, Farzana Rahman Bobby, Ferdowsi Priobhashini, Halide Salam, Hazvineyi Bridget Mutasa, Ivy Zaman, Kanak Chanpa Chakma, Kuhu Plamandan, Maksuda Iqbal Nipa, Mini Karim, Nargis Poly, Nasima Haque Quenee, Nasreen Begum, Preema Nazia Andaleeb, Rahima Afroz, Rebeka Sultana, Rokeya Sultana, Rubina Akhter, Samina Nafies, Shantwana Shahrin, Shameem Subrana, Sharbari Roy Choudhury, Shulekha Chaudhury, Sohana Shahreen, Soma Surovi Jannat, Shruti Gupta Kasana, Surovi Akhter and Vinita Karim.
The exhibition will remain open from 12 noon to 8 pm every day till April 9.
New York, Mar 23 (AP/UNB) — In their early days, the Beatles were called Johnny and the Moondogs and Coldplay went by Pectoralz. The rock band Wallows is no different.
Over the years, the trio has had a number of names, from the Feaver to The Narwhals. Now they're taking a big step to help people remember the band: A full-length album.
Wallows is made up of "13 Reasons Why" star Dylan Minnette, 22, fellow actor Braeden Lemasters, 23 (his credits include Amazon's "The Romanoffs"), and Cole Preston, 22. They've released singles independently, toured, and recorded an EP in 2018, but their debut, 11-track studio album, called "Nothing Happens," is out Friday.
They're launching a tour through North America and parts of Europe beginning in April at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. It's been a long time coming for the trio but they agree the timing is right.
"Had we been doing well when we were kids, it would've been a completely different thing," said Preston.
The trio talked to The Associated Press about their intro to music, choosing an album cover and finally releasing their album. Answers have been edited for clarity and brevity.
AP: You've been together since you were kids. When you think back to those early days, do you feel like you were good from the start?
Minnette: Oh, we've definitely gotten better over time but I'd say we were pretty badass when we were 13.
Preston: We were way more confident then.
AP: What does it feel like to have what you've been working toward finally come out?
Minnette: We've always known, we're going to be an album band. We wanted our records to be cohesive, make a lot of sense and be projects that stand on their own. And I feel like we definitely reveal a lot more than we ever have in our songs.
AP: How did you get this knowledge of music as kids to even start a band?
Lemasters: For me, it was my dad. He was in bands when I was growing up and I would go to his gigs. And he showed me the Beatles when I was like 9 and it blew my mind. It just kind of happened. I started playing guitar for eight hours a day in my room at around 10 and then formed (this) band. That was it.
Preston: I remember when "Guitar Hero" and "Rock Band" were really big and I became obsessed. I decided I wanted to play a real instrument so started playing the drums. But I was like a nerd for "Guitar Hero" and posted my high scores online.
Minnette: You did?
Preston: Scorehero.com. I'm sure they're still up there. Drumbum1096 was my handle.
Minnette: My dad was also a musician so we'd sit at dinner and he'd be like, "Who's this again, Dylan?" ''Stevie Wonder." Then I started discovering my own music like Kings of Leon. Also from streaming music. I know a lot of people can say a lot about the digital age of music, but I feel like it's so easy, in the best way, to discover music now. You can discover incredible artists all day long.
AP: Your album cover looks like a simple piece of fabric. Talk about that.
Lemasters: Album covers and band names are the hardest thing to think of. We reached out to a lot of artists and they sent us really good stuff but it didn't connect. And our manager was texting us like, "Guys, where's the album cover? This is two days late. You're not going to have a vinyl for the release." And I took out my phone and took a picture of the back of Dylan's shirt jokingly.
Minnette: I was walking. Minding my own business.
Lemasters: And I looked at it and was like, "That's actually really cool."
Minnette: It looks like a cool design with these wavy lines. If you don't know it's a shirt it's kind of a trippy cover. But there's also something about a striped T-shirt that's very youthful and the album is also about loss of innocence and leaving it behind.
Chicago, Mar 23 (AP/UNB) — R. Kelly yelled through tears in a recent TV interview before an audience numbering in the millions, saying he's in a fight for his life to disprove sexual abuse charges. That fight will ultimately be waged in court, with the only audience that matters numbering just 12 jurors.
While the day lawyers deliver opening statements to jurors inside a Cook County courtroom is still many months or even years away, court filings as well as comments by the R&B star himself and his attorney after charges in February provide clues about an emerging legal strategy.
Signs are they intend to question the veracity of his accusers and argue that, if he had sex with them, it was consensual and he thought they were of age. His attorney has also signaled he'll push to have some counts tossed on grounds statutes of limitation ran out or because some are too closely related to crimes for which Kelly was acquitted at his 2008 child pornography trial.
Kelly, 52, was right in more ways than one when he cursed during the interview with Gayle King of "CBS This Morning," saying: "I'm fighting for my ... life." If convicted on all ten counts of aggravated sexual abuse of three underage girls and one adult, the Grammy winner faces an effective life sentence of up to 70 years in prison.
The defense is expected to fine tune their argument over coming months that Kelly's accusers are misrepresenting the facts. For now, there's not much finesse.
"All of them are lying," Kelly told King in his only full interview since being charged. "I have been assassinated," he said. Kelly's lead attorney, Steve Greenberg, also told reporters the day of Kelly's arrest, "I think all the women are lying, yes."
At a Friday pretrial hearing, prosecutors said they weren't immediately providing the defense with a copy of a video they say shows Kelly having sex with one of the minors because it's considered child pornography and shouldn't be distributed to anyone.
"The state's going to have to give it to us. They can't play hide the ball," Greenberg told reporters outside court later. "We're entitled to see the tape."
He said the prosecutor's office has handed over some evidence but still holds the bulk of it.
"I was expecting everything by this point," he said. "You should be in a position when you indict somebody the next day to turn over all the (evidence)."
Greenberg is best known for representing the accused in several high-profile murder cases, including of former suburban Chicago police officer Drew Peterson. He was convicted in 2012 of killing his third wife in a case reopened after his fourth wife disappeared.
Greenberg is regarded as a savvy, experienced lawyer prone to quips that have sometimes raised eyebrows. In arguing that any sex was consensual, Greenberg told reporters last month about Kelly: "He's a rock star. He doesn't need to have nonconsensual sex."
Greenberg and attorney Michael Avenatti have regularly clashed via Twitter, both questioning the lawyerly skills of the other. Avenatti, who represented porn star Stormy Daniels in a civil case against President Donald Trump, gave video evidence to prosecutors that he says helped them charge Kelly.
Prosecutors say they won't have to depend only on the word of the accusers.
The video Avenatti turned over purportedly shows Kelly having sex with an underage girl 20 years ago while Kelly and the girl say aloud more than 10 times that she's 14, which could help prove Kelly knew she was a minor.
And another accuser, a hairdresser, says Kelly forced her to perform oral sex on him in 2003 when she was 24. Prosecutors say a police lab found Kelly's DNA in semen on a shirt she was wearing that day.
In a defense filing Wednesday, Greenberg questioned the motives of Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx, accusing her of bringing a flimsy criminal case based on old allegations "to thrust herself into the spotlight" of the #MeToo movement, which aims to highlight sexual abuse against women.
A Foxx spokeswoman declined comment.
Greenberg has also criticized Foxx for public statements in January calling allegations against Kelly in a Lifetime documentary "sickening." He said characterizing the allegations before charges were even brought illustrated bias and may have tainted the pool of potential jurors, rendering a fair trial impossible. He could revive those arguments in motions to dismiss or in appeals if Kelly is convicted.
The girl in two videos that Avenatti provided to prosecutors — one of which he turned over after Kelly was charged — is the same girl in a similar video at the heart of the 2008 trial.
Greenberg says that means charges related to her violate constitutional protections called "double jeopardy," designed to thwart overzealous prosecutors from charging people for the same crime for which they've already been acquitted.
"Double jeopardy," Greenberg said last month, "should bar that case." Kelly appeared to be making a similar point when he told King, "When you beat your case, you beat your case."
But legal experts say it's not that simple.
Double jeopardy shouldn't apply if it's not exactly the same incident being charged, said Monu Bedi, a professor at DePaul University College of Law. He said it also doesn't necessarily apply if it's the same incident but a different charge. All the 14 counts Kelly faced in 2008 were child pornography, while all 10 this time are sexual abuse, Bedi said.
But Illinois law extends protections against double jeopardy further than the protections provided under the U.S. Constitution. That could help Kelly's legal team make the case that — when it comes to the girl in the video — prosecutors are unlawfully charging him with the same crime for which he has been acquitted.
Greenberg has said the legal window on bringing at least some of the charges filed against Kelly shut years ago, though he hasn't fully explained how. Calculating when statutes of limitations run out are complex, relying on variables that are sometimes open to interpretation.
Illinois legislators in 2017 did erase all time limits for charging sexual assault of children and it unambiguously applies to such crimes that happened anytime since 2017. It can't apply retroactively to older crimes.
But that doesn't mean any sex abuse by Kelly in the late 1990s can't be charged now, Bedi said. That's because older sexual assaults are governed by the statute of limitations as it existed before 2017, when prosecutors had 20 years to charge abuse of children. So, if Kelly sexually abused a minor as far back as the late 1990s, prosecutors should still be within the 20-year charging window.
Jahangirnagar University, Mar 22 (UNB) – A three-day film festival was concluded at the Zahir Raihan auditorium on Jahangirnagar University (JU) campus on Friday.
With the slogan ‘Alada Chithi Tobu Ek Khame, Alada Shobai Shudhu Ek Name’, the convening committee of education ending celebration programme of students of session 2011-12, organised the festival.
Convener of the committee Abdur Rahim Jewel said every batch organises various cultural events to mark the end of their studies.
“We’ll organise the main event of our Rag Festival by the end of April,” he added.
Nine movies, including Dahan, KGF, Taitanic, Palabi Kothay, Tere Nam, Post Master 71, Badhai Ho and Deadpool 2, were shown at the festival.