Kiev, Jul 20 (AP/UNB) — A Darth Vader costume, playground equipment, pastries and boxes of food all are part of an exhibit at Ukraine's National History Museum displaying the colorful behavior and sometime-questionable practices that characterize the country's elections.
The exhibition, called "The Museum of Election Trash" was put together ahead of Sunday's snap parliamentary elections.
Unlike elections in neighboring Russia, campaigns in Ukraine tend to be lively, and the seriousness of some candidates is open to question.
One of those in this year's election is Darth Viktorovich Vader, who is running for a seat in Odessa. This is only the latest appearance of the Star Wars villain — another Darth Vader ran for president in 2014.
The Star Wars theme continues this year with the election being widely called "Battle of the Clones," a reference to the fact that many candidates are mimicking the still-popular recently elected President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and his Servant of the People party.
At least 86 candidates have listed in their bios that they are a "Servant of the People" though they have nothing to do with the president's party. And eight Zelenskiys are running — admittedly it is a fairly common name.
Though Zelenskiy, a former TV comic who won by a landslide in April to become president, is expected to win handsomely, he has recorded a video statement, urging voters to be careful not to vote for the copycats.
Election officials just shrug their shoulders.
"The law unfortunately has no restrictions for those who are trying to confuse the voters," says Volodymyr Vyrva, spokesman for the Central Election Commission. "There's nothing we can do."
The "electoral trash" exhibit also highlights candidates' efforts to influence voters through gifts. The items include colorful equipment for a town playground that one candidate provided before an election, along with pastries and boxes of foodstuffs handed out to voters.
Museum employee Yulia Reshitko says such bribery will remain a feature of Ukrainian elections so long as millions of people struggle to make ends meet. The latest trend is providing free tickets to pop gigs or classical music concerts.
"People were happy with the food boxes before," she said.
Zelenskiy's successful transformation has encouraged others. Svyatoslav Vakarchuk, for example, is the leader of the new Golos party — and arguably the nation's most beloved rock star.
"Political extravaganza is part of the Ukrainian tradition where politicians have often resorted to various attention-grabbing antics," says Kiev-based political analyst Volodymyr Fesenko. "But the extravaganza does not always produce good results."
In 2010, a western Ukrainian man who changed his last name to "Protyvsikh" which translates into English as "Against Everyone" ran for president and won just 0.2 percent of the vote.
Beijing, Jul 20 (AP/UNB) — Veteran Hong Kong actor Simon Yam was stabbed in the stomach Saturday while attending an event in southern China, with police saying his injuries were not life-threatening. The motive was unclear.
A suspect was detained following the attack in the Zhongshan Huoju Development Zone in Guangdong province, police said.
The 64-year-old actor underwent a minor operation at a hospital in Zhongshan city, his manager Lester Mo said.
"He was stabbed in the tummy area and also got a cut on his right hand," Mo said.
He was still being treated for injuries to the four fingers of his right hand.
Yam, who is also known by his Chinese name Yam Tat-wah, has appeared in more than 125 movies and 40 television series. He played the villain Chen Lo in the 2003 Hollywood film "Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life."
Los Angeles, July 19 (AP/UNB) — Universal says it will release two new "Halloween" films, including one with the ominous title "Halloween Ends."
The studio said Friday that the first of the films, "Halloween Kills," will be released in 2020 and the second film will come in 2021.
A teaser video includes the voice of Jamie Lee Curtis, who starred in the original 1978 film and last year's blockbuster sequel, "Halloween." The video states the saga of Curtis' character, Laurie Strode, and villain Michael Myers "isn't over."
Universal says "Halloween Kills" will be released on Oct. 16, 2020, and "Halloween Ends" will arrive Oct. 15, 2021.
Last year's film set records and earned $253.5 million worldwide.
Curtis is also serving as a producer on the films, which are being overseen by Blumhouse Productions.
Dhaka, July 19 (UNB)- Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy organized Sadhu Sangha, an organisation of bauls (mystic devotees), here on Friday evening commemorating Fakir Lalon Shah.
Sadhu Sangha is a special arrangement of the academy to spread the philosophy and teachings of the mystic poet.
Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy Director General Liaquat Ali Lucky, Prof Dr Abu Md Delwar Hossain, Prof Kristi Hefaz and Prof Soaib Jibran among others were present while Lalon researcher Abdel Manna and Syed Jahid Hasan talked about the theory and philosophy of the spiritual poet.
Freedom Fighter Nohir Shah, Baul Tuntun Fakir, Samir Baul, Roksana Akhter Rupsa and a Shilpakala Academy’s group of Baul (mystic singers) performed in the program.
Artiste Sardar Hirok Raja anchored the Sadhu Sangha programme.
Beverly Hills, Jul 19 (AP/UNB) — Jerry Seinfeld would rather cruise in classic cars and sip coffee with comedy's best than reboot his uber-successful "Seinfeld" television series.
"No, and do what? Make it worse?" Seinfeld said in an interview Wednesday night about his eponymous NBC sitcom, which celebrated its 30-year anniversary this month. "I'm very fortunate to be in the position to make that show with those people at that time. I wouldn't be arrogant enough to think I could do it again. That's egomaniacal. I'm happy with what I have now."
These days, Seinfeld is focused on learning more about the "sharpest minds in comedy" through his Netflix series "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee." The 11th season of the series premieres Friday on the streaming service featuring Eddie Murphy, who talked about his career and shared stories with Seinfeld about them coming up in comedy together in New York in the 1970s.
The new season also includes an array of other comedians including Martin Short, Rick Gervais, Seth Rogan, Bridget Everett, Barry Marder, Melissa Villaseño and Mario Joyner. Jamie Foxx appears in an episode to talk about him wanting to return to standup and his impersonation of Dave Chappelle.
"It's kind of a music video to me. It's just kind of visual. The words are interesting and sometimes it's funny, but I like it to have a rhythm and flow and then it's over," Seinfeld said. "It's just very quick. I always like when people go 'I wish that was a little longer.'"
Seinfeld launched "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee" on Sony's Crackle in 2012. The series was moved to Netflix two years ago after the comedian signed a massive deal with the streaming service.
This season, Seinfeld continues to pick up each guest in a different vintage car, from a Maserati Mistral to a Rolls-Royce convertible to a beat-up Dodge Monaco. He takes them to a cafe or restaurant for coffee where they have an easy-flowing conversation about their career and life experiences as comedians.
Seinfeld said he learns something new from each guest. He was surprised when Murphy spoke about not being as confident as most thought during his rise in comedy. He also didn't know that Rogen first heard about Bill Cosby's sexual misconduct history from Hannibal Buress in 2014, a month before Buress accused Cosby in a viral stand-up routine.
For Seinfeld, he feels somewhat like a news reporter in an effort to create a comfortable environment for guests to open up.
"People like to tell me stuff, and I don't know why," said Seinfeld, who has featured former President Barack Obama and Kevin Hart in previous seasons. "It's happened to me my whole life, because I think I really listen. But I would never put anything in the show I think the person might not want in there. I want the show to be fun like a little cappuccino foam, just light and pleasant."