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Salman Rushdie's agent says the author is “on the road to recovery” two days after suffering serious injuries in a stabbing at a lecture in upstate New York. The announcement followed news that the lauded writer was removed from a ventilator Saturday and able to talk and joke. Andrew Wylie continued to caution that although Rushdie’s “condition is headed in the right direction,” his recovery would be a long process. The 75-year-old suffered a damaged liver and severed nerves in an arm and an eye, Wylie had previously said, and was likely to lose the injured eye. Twenty-four-year-old Hadi Matar pleaded not guilty in the attack.

Saturday, August 13, 2022
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Author Salman Rushdie has been taken off a ventilator and is able to talk, a day after being stabbed as he prepared to give a lecture. Rushdie's agent confirmed information contained in a tweet by another author Saturday. Earlier in the day, the man accused in the attack in upstate New York pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and assault charges. A judge ordered Hadi Matar held without bail after the district attorney told her Matar took steps to purposely put himself in position to harm Rushdie. Rushdie, the renowned author of “The Satanic Verses” remains hospitalized with serious injuries.

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R. Kelly’s federal trial that starts Monday in Chicago is in many ways a do-over of his child pornography trial in 2008 in state court. At that trial 14 years ago, jurors acquitted the singer on charges that he produced a video of himself having sex with a girl no older than 14. But a big difference between that trial and the one starting in a federal courthouse in Chicago is that prosecutors say the female in the video will testify this time. Among the charges Kelly faces is that he rigged the 2008 trial by paying off and threatening the girl to ensure she didn't testify. The woman is now in her 30s. Four other accusers are also slated to testify.

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Salman Rushdie's agent says the writer is on a ventilator after being stabbed in the neck and abdomen on a western New York stage where he was about to give a lecture. The 75-year-old Rushdie was flown to a hospital and underwent surgery after Friday's stabbing at the Chautauqua Institution. His agent, Andrew Wylie, said the writer had a damaged liver, severed nerves in an arm and an eye he was likely to lose. Rushdie's novel “The Satanic Verses” drew death threats from Iran’s leader in the 1980s, Police arrested the man who attacked the writer and identified him as 24-year-old Hadi Matar of Fairview, New Jersey. Matar's lawyer declined to comment.

Friday, August 12, 2022
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The family of country singer Naomi Judd filed an amended court petition to seal police reports and recordings made during the investigation into her death. The family said Friday the records contain video and audio interviews with relatives in the immediate aftermath of her death and releasing such details would inflict "significant trauma and irreparable harm.” Judd died at the age of 76 on April 30 at her home in Tennessee. The court filing also included details about how Ashley Judd found her mother alive after she shot herself. Ashley stayed by her mother’s side for 30 minutes until help arrived.

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The family of country singer Naomi Judd filed an amended court petition to seal police reports and recordings made during the investigation into her death. The family said Friday the records contain video and audio interviews with relatives in the immediate aftermath of her death and releasing such details would inflict "significant trauma and irreparable harm.” Judd died at the age of 76 on April 30 at her home in Tennessee. The court filing also included details about how Ashley Judd found her mother alive after she shot herself. Ashley stayed by her mother’s side for 30 minutes until help arrived.

By chance, Associated Press reporter Joshua Goodman was at the venue in western New York when author Salman Rushdie was attacked on Friday. The Latin America correspondent based in Miami was vacationing with his family at the Chautauqua Institution, a renowned location for spiritual reflection and education. Equipped only with his mobile phone, he quickly went to work after Rushdie was stabbed. Goodman took pictures, video and told the story of an author who has been the subject of threats since the 1980s. Goodman has covered violent protests in Latin America for the AP, but said this was one of the worst things he's ever seen.

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Amazon-owned companies Ring and Hollywood studio MGM are partnering to create a TV show in the mold of “America’s Funniest Home Videos." MGM says the half-hour “Ring Nation” program will showcase viral footage from Ring’s doorbell and smart-home cameras. The series is the latest example of Amazon’s fusion of its various business arms. It also presents a branding and marketing opportunity for Amazon, which bought Ring in 2018. Since then, the company has dealt with rounds of privacy concerns around Ring and its relationship with police departments across the country. The show will be hosted by comedian Wanda Sykes and premier in syndication on September 26.

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Nashville-based musician Mary Gauthier has used songwriting to help her through the tough times in her life. Now she's using those skills to help others work through trauma. She's worked with groups of veterans and health care workers who've gone through the COVID-19 pandemic, helping them process difficult experiences by writing a song together. Gauthier says she can see the impact she's having in the faces of those she works with, and “who wouldn’t want to do that.” She writes for herself, too, and her latest album reflects the satisfaction of new love and the sadness in losing some people close to her.

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Anne Heche remains on life support and under evaluation for organ donation. A representative for the actor says injuries suffered in a car crash a week ago led to her brain death. Under California law, a person who has lost all brain function can be ruled dead. Spokeswoman Holly Baird said Friday that the actor's heart is still beating while a nonprofit organization determines if she is a match as a donor. Heche was driving when her car crashed into a Los Angeles area home Aug. 5. Heche, who is 53, first came to prominence with her Emmy-winning role on “Another World."

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Documentarian Ed Perkins' new Diana film “The Princess” has no talking heads and no traditional narrator. Instead, it tells the story of her public life using only archival footage, news broadcasts, talk shows and radio programs from the time of her earliest moments being trailed by cameras at the news of her royal courtship to the aftermath of her death. Perkins hopes that the film offers a new perspective by turning the lens back on us, the media and the onlookers, and offers insights into things that are happening today. “The Princess” premieres Saturday on HBO at 8 p.m. Eastern.

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A spokesperson for Anne Heche says the actor is on life support after suffering a brain injury in a fiery crash a week ago and isn't expected to survive. The statement released on behalf of her family said she is being kept on life support to determine if she is a viable organ donor. Earlier Thursday, police said they are investigating Heche for driving under the influence of drugs. Heche crashed her car into a Los Angeles area house on Aug. 5. A police spokesman said Thursday that detectives with a search warrant took a blood sample from Heche, and it showed narcotics in her system. A spokeswoman for Heche declined comment on the investigation.

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Jon Batiste, his career soaring after winning multiple Grammys, is leaving his perch as bandleader of “The Late Show” after a seven-year run backing up host Stephen Colbert. Louis Cato, who has served as interim bandleader this summer, will take over on a permanent basis when the show returns for its eighth season. He has been with the show since its launch. Colbert announced the exit Thursday during his show. The mutual respect Colbert and Batiste shared was obvious. The bandleader often cheered the comedian’s nightly monologue from the piano, appeared in segments and accompanied the musical guests. The multi-instrumentalist won five Grammys this year.

The movie “Mack & Rita” — which adds grandma chic to two things no one needs on screen like lazy filmmaking and a tired old concept — can be distilled into one word: cringe. Associated Press critic Mark Kennedy says virtually no one associated with this film should be congratulated in any way, having ruptured any bridges between Hollywood and senior citizens or for the shocking misuse of Diane Keaton’s considerable skills. “Mack & Rita,” which opens Friday in cinemas, takes the traditional body-swap concept — think “Big,” “Freaky Friday,” “13 Going on 30” and even “Jumanji” — and makes it worse, much worse.

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Some of the world’s most prized works of contemporary Western art have been unveiled for the first time in decades — in Tehran. Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, a hard-line cleric, rails against the influence of the West. And the Islamic Republic has plunged further into confrontation with the United States and Europe as it rapidly accelerates its nuclear program and diplomatic efforts stall. But contradictions abound in the Iranian capital, where thousands of well-heeled men and hijab-clad women marveled at 19th- and 20th-century American and European minimalist and conceptual masterpieces. They're on display this summer for the first time at the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art.

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The cancellation of a major music festival in Atlanta has ignited a new fight over Georgia gun laws. Live Nation has refused to say why it abruptly called off September’s Music Midtown festival last week. But news outlets ascribed the decision to state gun laws that could have prevented organizers from enforcing a ban on firearms. Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams and other Democrats have blasted Republican Gov. Brian Kemp for the cancellation, though the gun law cited in news reports preceded his administration. Kemp has accused Democrats of pushing critical narratives of Georgia’s firearms landscape to distract from inflation.

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Indian actor Aamir Khan enjoyed “Forrest Gump” so much that he’s starring in a Hindi remake of the iconic film. Nearly 30 years after the original's release, Khan is taking on the role of the titular character “Laal Singh Chaddha.” Khan says he's been a longtime fan of ”Forrest Gump." It took a decade for him to get the movie rights, and big changes were made to root “Laal Singh Chaddha” in Indian history and culture. “Forrest Gump″ was released in 1994 and went on to sweep the Oscars, taking six trophies including best picture and best actor for Tom Hanks.

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Artists in a small Mexican town are using their talents to revive muralism, a movement that put the country at the vanguard of art a century ago. Just as their famous predecessors did shortly after the Mexican Revolution, teachers and students at the Siqueiros School of Muralism in the central state of Hidalgo are decorating walls with images that encapsulate themes such as social injustice and workers' rights. Their pieces also reflect current global issues of concern, including climate change and violence against transgender people and women. Their goal is to keep alive the practice of using visual imagery to share messages of social and political importance.

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A 22-year-old Palestinian woman who had retreated into her artistic pursuits during Gaza's past wars was among the first people killed by Israeli strikes in the latest round of violence. Shrapnel tore through her bedroom during Israel’s surprise opening salvo last Friday, hours before militants fired any rockets. Her drawings, mostly black and white portraits of relatives, some killed in previous rounds of fighting in Gaza, can be seen in the room where she died. The Palestinian Health Ministry says at least 47 Palestinians were killed, including 16 children, during the three days of heavy fighting between Israel and the Islamic Jihad militant group. Israel says it made every effort to spare civilians.

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There are legions of fans of Spider-Man, who this month marks 60 years in the vast, imaginative world of comic books, movies and merch. The fans say Spider-Man character’s classic costume, complete with wide-eyed and web-patterned mask, is a key ingredient to the character’s appeal across race, gender and nationality. Almost anyone can imagine themselves behind it as this everyman — an underestimated smartypants who, after a quick change into head-to-toe spandex, becomes a force for good. Because of this appeal, says Angélique Roché, an author and host of the “Marvel’s Voices” podcast, “we should be open to the possibilities” of diverse representations of the beloved superhero.

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Actor Anne Heche remains hospitalized and on a ventilator to help her breathe, four days after she was injured in a fiery car crash. A spokeswoman for the actor says she slipped into a coma and is in critical condition. Heche has what the spokeswoman called “a significant” lung injury, and burns requiring surgery. Last Friday in Los Angeles, Heche’s car smashed into a house. Flames erupted, and Heche was pulled by firefighters from the vehicle embedded in the house. Heche, who has appeared on TV and in films, was alone in the car when it crashed. No one else was reported injured.

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Issey Miyake, who built one of Japan’s biggest fashion brands and was known for his boldly sculpted pleated pieces as well as Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ black turtlenecks, has died. He was 84, and his design office said he died last Friday of liver cancer. Miyake defined an era in Japan’s modern history starting in the 1970s by defining a Japanese vision that was unique from the West. Miyake’s origami-like pleats transformed usually crass polyester into chic. He also used computer technology in weaving to create apparel. His clothing was meant to celebrate the human body, regardless of race, build, size or age.

The New York Film Festival will celebrate its 60th anniversary with a robust 32-film main slate and a number of hometown tales, including James Gray’s Queens coming-of-age drama “Armageddon Time” and Laura Poitras’ documentary “All the Beauty and the Bloodshed,” about artist Nan Goldin’s battle against the Sackler family. Film at Lincoln Center, which puts on the annual festival, announced this year’s lineup Tuesday. The gala screenings are notably New York-centric, beginning with the previously announced opening night film, from longtime New Yorker and New York Film Festival regular Noah Baumbach. He’ll debut his Don DeLillo adaption “White Noise” shortly after it also opens the Venice Film Festival. The New York Film Festival runs Sept. 30-Oct. 16.

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Motown songwriter-producer Lamont Dozier has died at age 81. Dozier was the middle name of the celebrated Holland-Dozier-Holland team that wrote and produced “You Can’t Hurry Love,” “Heat Wave” and dozens of other hits and helped make Motown a definitive record company of the 1960s and beyond. From 1963-67, Dozier and brothers Brian and Eddie Holland created more than 25 top 10 songs and perfected the blend of pop and rhythm and blues that allowed the Detroit label to defy boundaries between Black and white music.

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Veteran “Saturday Night Live” cast member Kenan Thompson will host next month’s Emmy Awards. Thompson calls it “ridiculously exciting” to be part of the ceremony honoring TV's best. Thompson has been with NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” since 2003, earning a trio of Emmy supporting acting nods. He won a trophy in 2018 as co-writer of the lyrics for “Come Back, Barack,” featured on “SNL.” Last year, Thompson earned a lead acting nomination for his sitcom “Kenan,” which NBC canceled in May after two seasons. The Emmy ceremony will air live on NBC on Sept. 12.  Top nominees include “Succession,” “Squid Game” and “Ted Lasso.”