New York, Aug 7 (AP/UNB) — Taylor Swift is set to perform at the MTV Video Music Awards.
MTV announced Wednesday that the pop star will hit the stage on Aug. 26 at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.
Swift and Ariana Grande are the most nominated acts, competing for 10 awards each. Swift's nominations include video of the year, song of the year, best visual effects and more.
The VMAs will be three days after Swift releases her seventh album, "Lover." Her gay pride anthem, "You Need to Calm Down," is nominated for video of the year along with Grande's "thank u, next," Billie Eilish's "Bad Guy," Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus' "Old Town Road," 21 Savage and J. Cole's "A Lot," and Jonas Brothers' "Sucker."
Comedian-actor Sebastian Maniscalco will be host.
Dhaka, 08th August (UNB) – Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy arranged an inauguration ceremony of ‘Bangabandhu Memorial Lectures’ - an initiative to discuss the life and works of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, on Wednesday at its National Art Gallery.
Prime Minister’s political advisor H T Imam was present in the ceremony as its Chief Guest. The programme was inaugurated by Cultural Affairs Minister K M Khalid.
Chaired by BSA director Liaquat Ali Lucky, the event featured the first lecture by National Professor Dr Rafiqul Islam titled as ‘Political Leadership in Bengal and Bangabandhu’.
BSA will continue arranging such programmes with a total of hundred lectures, and this was the first among the hundred- Liaquat Ali Lucky announced in the ceremony.
The ceremony commenced with one minute of silence as homage to all the martyrs of the tragic 15th August. Shilpakala’s children troupe then performed two songs- “Dhannya Mujib Dhannya” and “Shono Ekti Mujiborer Theke”, dedicated to Bangabandhu. Academy’s dance performers also staged a dance performance with the song “Dukhini Bangla Janani Bangla”.
The event was a part of BSA’s month long remembrance programme schedule regarding the National Mourning Day and the 44th Death Anniversary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Dhaka, Aug 7 (UNB) – Bemoaning that people these days are not that much willing to read books, State Minister for Youth and Sports Zahid Ahsan Russel on Wednesday urged all to develop book-reading habit.
He made the call while unveiling the cover of a short story book titled ‘Kalo Meyer Kalo Choshma’ authored by Dr Nargis Akhter Kanak at the Jatiya Press Club.
The state minister also said he has the habit of reading at least a few pages of the book his choice every day.
UNB Editor Mahfuzur Rahman spoke at the event as the chief discussant held with Poet Rezauddin Stalin in the chair.
Eliza Binte Elahi, an assistant professor at the University of South Asia; Mahamdudul Hasan, an assistant professor at Begum Rokeya University; Humayun Kabir Dhali, a child litterateur, and Advocate Amran Ali, among others, spoke at the event.
Writer Dr Nargis Akhter Kanak is the daughter of Nazrul Islam and Akhtara Begum who were killed in the tragic US-Bangla aircraft crash in Nepal on March 12 last year.
Los Angeles, Aug 7 (AP/UNB) — Casting director David Rubin has been elected the new president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the organization that bestows the Oscars.
He is the first casting director to ascend to the film academy's presidency. He succeeds cinematographer John Bailey, who has served as the academy's president since August 2017.
Rubin has more than 100 credits, including films such as "The English Patient," ''Men in Black, "Four Weddings and a Funeral" and the hit HBO series "Big Little Lies."
He assumes the film academy's presidency as the organization continues its efforts to diversify its membership and improve viewership for the Academy Awards, which has the last two years dipped below 30 million viewers.
The film academy in 2016 pledged to double the number of female and minority ranks of its members by 2020. Then, just 25 percent of its members were female and 8 percent were non-white.
The Oscars will be presented Feb. 9 and broadcast on ABC.
Beijing, Aug 7 (AP/UNB) — China said Wednesday that it was banning Chinese movies and actors from participating in Taiwan's Golden Horse Awards, one of the Asian film industry's most prestigious honors, as Beijing ramps up economic and political pressure on the island it claims as its own territory.
The one-sentence announcement on the microblog of China Film News, a newspaper affiliated with the government film regulator, gave no reason for the suspension, but it comes amid rising tensions over Taiwan's refusal to recognize being part of Chinese territory to eventually be brought under Beijing's rule.
Even without the ban, Chinese artists might have found it difficult to make it to the Nov. 23 ceremony. Beijing recently issued a ban on solo travel to the island beginning Sept. 1 as part of measures to inflict an economic cost for its failure to obey.
Chinese participation was already in doubt following last year's ceremony, which was marked by Chinese displeasure over remarks in an acceptance speech by documentary director Fu Yue calling on the world to recognize Taiwan as an independent country, something only a handful of nations currently do.
Chinese participants refused to appear on stage, made pointed remarks about Taiwan and China being members of the same family, and then declined to attend the banquet reception following the show.
Asked about the announcement, the organizing committee said it was disappointed but the show would go on as scheduled.
"The Committee regrets to be informed of the news, if it is confirmed," it said in an emailed statement. "The jury process of Golden Horse Awards is ongoing and will continue as planned, and all Golden Horse events will take place as usual."
Chinese entrants have been big winners at the show since they were first invited to attend in 1996, with China's Xu Zheng winning best actor last year for his work in "Dying to Survive." Taiwan's Central News Agency said the festival was still in the process of choosing films and it wasn't immediately clear if any from China had already been withdrawn.
Presidential office spokesman Ernesto Ting Yun-kung said China's move "not only harmed exceptional members of the Chinese film industry but also positive exchanges between the sides."
"Culture has no borders and art especially should not face political barriers. No matter what the reason, it's not a smart move to prevent those in arts and culture from participating in this sort of a film industry event that encourages free creation and welcomes multiple viewpoints," Ting said.
Fu set off a firestorm of criticism in China last year after she said during her acceptance speech that her biggest hope was for "our country" to be regarded as an "independent entity." Her film "Our Youth in Taiwan" won best documentary at the awards.
Taiwan split from mainland China amid civil war in 1949, but Beijing considers the self-ruled island part of its territory.
Chinese lambasted Fu on China's Twitter-like Weibo platform following her win, sharing posts under the hashtag "Not one speck of China can go missing" and a map of China that includes Taiwan and territories it claims in the South China Sea.
Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, who is loathed by Beijing for her pro-independence stance, expressed her support for Fu, saying in a Facebook post that the annual awards highlight the freedoms that set Taiwan apart from China.
"Here (in Taiwan) there aren't people who will disappear or be silenced for expressing differing viewpoints," she wrote, "and we also don't have sensitive terms that are censored on the internet."
Academy Award-winning Taiwanese director Ang Lee, whose films include "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" and "Brokeback Mountain" and who chaired the awards committee, appeared to anticipate the backlash to Fu's speech, telling reporters after the ceremony, "I hope that no one will come to interfere (with the awards)."
Entertainment industry figures in Taiwan and Hong Kong have routinely been blacklisted and had their work banned from mainland China after they expressed pro-independence or pro-democracy views.
Along with cutting numbers of Chinese visitors to Taiwan, China has been luring away the island's remaining diplomatic allies and preventing its representatives from participating in international gatherings. Culture and sports events have also become targets, with Taiwan last year losing the right to hold the East Asian Youth Games under reported pressure from China.
China holds its own film awards, known as the Golden Rooster, but their influence is constrained by the strong ideological controls on the arts exerted by the ruling Communist Party that largely bar darker or alternative lifestyle themes.