Canadian musician Steven Page is shown in a handout from the film “Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas.” THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO TORONTO – Canadian musician Steven Page grew up Jewish with Christian relatives on his father’s side, so when the holidays rolled around, they’d celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas — a.k.a. Chrismukkah.“We never had a tree. That was like a dividing line in our family,” the former Barenaked Ladies frontman said in a recent phone interview from his home in Upstate New York.“There was never a tree, but there were still stockings. We didn’t do the Chinese restaurant thing that a lot of other Jewish families do, because we always had somewhere to go for Christmas dinner.”Page also recalls singing Christmas carols in choirs in elementary school.“When you can go, ‘Oh, that song was written by a Jewish guy,’ it was always kind of a point of pride for us,” said the singer, who is set to resume a tour in the new year and is working on a new album.“Then you realize that so many of these great American standards, holiday or otherwise, were written by Jewish composers.”The new film “Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas,” debuting Dec. 3 on Documentary Channel, looks at how Jewish songwriters came to pen such Christmas standards as “Have a Holly Jolly Christmas,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “White Christmas.”The film, which also airs Dec. 7 on CBC, is centred around a Jewish family gathering in a Chinese restaurant on Christmas Day — a tradition for many Jewish families.Page is among the Canadian performers who drop in to the restaurant to give their own renditions of holiday standards. Experts including a musicologist, a priest and a rabbi explain the history of Jewish involvement in Christmas.The Chinese restaurant in the film is Sea-Hi, said Oscar-nominated Toronto filmmaker Larry Weinstein, who directed the documentary. It’s where his Jewish family went on Christmas Day when he was growing up in Toronto. Like Page, Weinstein’s family also had Christmas stockings and he admits he believed in Santa Claus until he was about 11.In many ways, the Jewish songwriters of the 1920s through the 1950s were perfect for penning yuletide tunes because they understood the holiday family sentiment and the Christmas story of being an outsider, said Weinstein.“And an outsider who maybe idealizes what Christmas is all about,” he said. “They don’t know about families being together and arguing or having a fight to the death over a wishbone.“They see it as this very beautiful family time, and family meant so much to these people, especially the ones who had emigrated or their parents had been emigres…. Then of course very few of the songs do refer to the religious aspect.”As the film explains, many Jewish composers wrote Christmas classics during or after the Second World War in New York, at a time when there were few opportunities for immigrants but songwriting was open to all. They wrote the tunes in a secular way that included everyone in the holiday.Weinstein said he wasn’t able to get the rights to all the songs he wanted for the film.“Sometimes there was a bit of a sinister reason why we couldn’t,” he said. “Not the composers, because they had passed away, not their families.“But the lawyers that held on to these estates simply were not interested in a film that brought up the fact that these Christian songs were written by Jewish composers. They thought that that couldn’t be good for the image of the song, that that might hurt the song. At least that’s the impression that we got.”Page said Christmas songs help musicians find a common ground with their audience, yet writing a contemporary holiday tune is a challenge for many.“I think because there’s so little irony that can be put into Christmas songs, so for something to be purely sentimental or joyful is harder for people to feel comfortable with,” said Page, who put out the 2004 Christmas album “Barenaked for the Holidays” with his former band.These days the holidays also don’t seem to have the same “wide-eyed, naive innocence” of yore, said Weinstein.“Certainly anything post-9/11, we’re just not the same. We’re not innocent and sweet, which is very sad to think about.”“Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas” also repeats on Documentary Channel on Dec. 4, Dec. 24 and Dec. 25. Doc ‘Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas’ looks at composers behind holiday songs by Victoria Ahearn, The Canadian Press Posted Nov 30, 2017 12:50 pm PDT Last Updated Dec 1, 2017 at 5:40 am PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email
Cosby lawyers: Jury shouldn’t hear what Constand told mom FILE – In this Aug. 22, 2017, file photo, Bill Cosby departs after a pretrial hearing in his sexual assault case at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa. Cosby’s lawyers don’t want jurors hearing about a January 2005 phone call in which accuser Andrea Constand says she first told her mom that the comedian had drugged and molested her about a year earlier. Cosby’s legal team argued in court papers on Tuesday, March 27, 2018, that what was said during the call is hearsay and shouldn’t be mentioned at his retrial. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File) by The Associated Press Posted Mar 27, 2018 3:40 pm PDT Last Updated Mar 29, 2018 at 8:00 pm PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email PHILADELPHIA – Bill Cosby’s lawyers don’t want jurors hearing about a January 2005 phone call in which accuser Andrea Constand says she first told her mom that the comedian had drugged and molested her about a year earlier.Cosby’s legal team argued in court papers on Tuesday that what was said during the call is hearsay and shouldn’t be mentioned at his retrial. Jury selection starts April 2. Final pretrial hearings are Thursday and Friday.Constand and her mother, Gianna, testified about the call at Cosby’s first trial. Constand said she told her mother that Cosby had given her three blue pills before touching her without consent at his suburban Philadelphia home.The 80-year-old Cosby has pleaded not guilty. His first trial ended in a hung jury.The Associated Press does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they grant permission, which Constand has done.
by Peter Kanjere, The Associated Press Posted Aug 16, 2018 7:00 am PDT Last Updated Aug 16, 2018 at 7:40 am PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email BLANTYRE, Malawi – The Queen of Pop is also a soccer mom, and she’s getting ever more involved in the beautiful game.Madonna has plans to open a soccer academy in Malawi, a move inspired by her adopted son David Banda, who has ambitions to be a professional player and is at Portuguese club Benfica’s youth academy .Madonna follows 12-year-old David’s progress in Portugal closely, living in Lisbon and often posting photos and videos from the sidelines of his games.“It is actually David’s idea that we should build a football academy,” Madonna said on a recent visit to Malawi, where she adopted four of her six children, including David, and where she’s done extensive charity work.Madonna, who turned 60 on Thursday, floated the soccer academy idea in the southern African country last month, prompting the national association to respond enthusiastically.“We are very excited with this window of opportunity that has arisen,” Malawi Football Association president Walter Nyamilandu told The Associated Press. “It will complement our efforts to establish football academies in the country.”The association has already offered Madonna a piece of land next to the national soccer stadium in the capital, Lilongwe, Nyamilandu said.“We presented our proposal of the academy to Madonna and they are satisfied with it,” he said.Madonna’s work in Malawi, through the Raising Malawi charity, focuses on helping orphaned and vulnerable children. The charity has built orphanages, schools and a specialist pediatric hospital unit. It’s given some attention to the little-known and impoverished nation.David hopes the academy helps raise the soccer profile of his country of birth, too. Malawi currently has no soccer academies.“We will start slow and grow bigger, enter African Cups and hopefully grow as big as we can be,” David said.It’s an ambitious plan. Malawi only has one player in a European League, midfielder Tawonga Chimodzi plays for a second-division team in Cyprus.But then there’s David, cheered on by soccer mom Madonna.___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/tag/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports FILE- In this April 19, 2007 file photo, U.S. singer Madonna carries her Malawian adopted son David Banda in the village of Masekese, Malawi. The Queen of Pop is also a soccer mom and she’s getting ever more involved in the beautiful game. Madonna has plans to open a soccer academy in Malawi, inspired by her adopted son David Banda who has ambitions to be a professional player and is at Portuguese club Benfica’s youth academy. (AP Photo/Karel Prinsloo, file) Madonna is the Queen of Pop and a soccer mom, too
Beyond ‘The Walking Dead,’ Lauren Cohan is ready for change by Alicia Rancilio, The Associated Press Posted Aug 16, 2018 10:46 am PDT Last Updated Aug 16, 2018 at 2:00 pm PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email In this July 26, 2018 photo, actress Lauren Cohan poses for a portrait in New York to promote her film “Mile 22.” (Photo by Brian Ach/Invision/AP) NEW YORK, N.Y. – Even battling zombies day in and day out can get repetitive.After eight seasons of fighting for her life on AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” Lauren Cohan knew she needed a change when she felt a little too comfortable with the job. That’s why she’s saying goodbye to the role, though producers are leaving the door open should she change her mind.“Eight years is a really long time to be in those emotional depths and it’s really fun for me because I never thought about drama as much when I started this career and I always kind of assumed I’d do like light fare,” she told The Associated Press in a recent interview.She has always fought against the idea of being too comfortable, in work and life overall. There was a time she scratched that itch by moving into new houses.“This is a much better way of doing it,” Cohan laughed.Cohan, 36, will appear in the first half of season nine, premiering in October. She considers the offer to return “a gift.”“There’s a chance for me to still explore the Maggie character and it’s going to be fun to see if that can be done,” she said.She gave the show lots of props (“‘Walking Dead’ is responsible for more than I can say”) but is looking forward to new film and TV projects.The first is “Mile 22,” starring Mark Wahlberg and directed by Peter Berg with the hope of becoming a film franchise. It follows a secret CIA task force that must retrieve and transport an intelligence asset through 22 miles of hostile territory. It’s fast-paced and intense, but also funny.Cohan said the cast was encouraged to improvise in some scenes.“It’s fun to play the witty dialogue and I always love in Pete’s movies how there are a lot of normal people with interesting conversations,” she said. “It always feels like you’re opening a window into real life.”Next, Cohan will act opposite Scott Foley in ABC’S “Whiskey Cavalier,” debuting in 2019.“The hardest part is not laughing,” she said. In the dramedy, Cohan plays another CIA operative but one who gets matched with Foley’s superstar FBI agent to solve cases.“They have this wonderful ‘Moonlighting’ vibe,” she said. “I’m an emotional character with a steely exterior and the guys are much more in touch with their feelings. It’s funny! It’s great. It’s a really fun departure for me.”___Online:https://abc.go.com/shows/abc-new-shows/news/shows/whiskey-cavalier-coming-soon-to-abc___Follow Alicia Rancilio online at http://www.twitter.com/aliciar
‘Our miracle’: Dwyane Wade, Gabrielle Union-Wade have a baby FILE – In this Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018 file photo, Miami Heat player Dwyane Wade and his wife Gabrielle Union-Wade acknowledge the cheers from the crowd during the second half of an NFL football game between the Miami Dolphins and the Chicago Bears in Miami Gardens, Fla. Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade and his wife Gabrielle Union-Wade have a baby. The couple on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018 announced they’ve welcomed a baby girl into the world. (AP Photo/Joel Auerbach, File) by The Associated Press Posted Nov 8, 2018 2:27 pm PDT Last Updated Nov 11, 2018 at 2:20 pm PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email MIAMI – Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade and his actress wife Gabrielle Union-Wade have a baby.The couple on Thursday announced they’ve welcomed a baby girl into the world. The baby was born via a surrogate on Wednesday. It’s the first child the couple has had together; the NBA guard has three sons and the couple is also raising one of his nephews.Wade announced the birth on his social media channels, calling her “our miracle baby.” The Wades did not immediately reveal the baby’s name.Union-Wade has been very open about her struggle to have a child, and previously revealed that she has endured several miscarriages. The couple says Wednesday “will forever be etched in our hearts as the most loveliest of all the lovely days.”___More AP NBA: www.apnews.com/NBA and www.twitter.com/AP_Sports
LOS ANGELES — Katy Perry’s fashion line has pulled two types of shoes after some people compared them to blackface.The Ora Face Block Heel and Rue Face Slip-On Loafers were released last summer in nine different colours. They included protruding eyes, nose and red lips.In a statement released Tuesday by the singer and company, they said the shoes were “envisioned as a nod to modern art and surrealism.” The singer says she was saddened when she learned they were being compared to blackface and were “immediately removed” from the company’s website.Perry’s is the latest company to withdraw products after they were compared to blackface. Gucci took a sweater off the market last week and Prada removed a series of accessories that resembled black monkeys with red lips in December.The Associated Press Shoes pulled from Katy Perry line after blackface criticism AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by The Associated Press Posted Feb 12, 2019 7:54 am PDT
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by The Associated Press Posted Mar 5, 2019 9:04 am PDT SeaWorld removes foam bowls, plates from parks ORLANDO, Fla. — SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment is removing products made of polystyrene foam from its 12 parks.Officials at the Florida-based theme park company said Tuesday the removal of bowls, plates and trays made of the material will prevent an estimated 14 million pieces of polystyrene foam products from entering the environment each year.Although the material is good for keeping food warm and is comparatively inexpensive, SeaWorld officials say it’s resistant to decomposition and difficult to recycle.SeaWorld vice-president Andrew Ngo says in a statement that reducing the company’s environmental footprint is an important part of the company’s mission.SeaWorld has previously removed plastic straws and plastic coffee stirrers from its parks.In recent years, Baltimore, San Francisco and Portland, Oregon have banned businesses from using foam food containers.The Associated Press
NEW YORK — The Latest on a trial centred on a cult-like group based in upstate New York (all times local):12:50 p.m.TV actress Allison Mack has pleaded guilty in a case involving a cult-like group based in upstate New York.Mack entered her plea to racketeering charges on Monday, shortly before federal jury selection was scheduled to start in Brooklyn federal court.The trial is expected to detail sensational allegations that the group, called NXIVM (NEHK’-see-uhm), recruited sex slaves for its spiritual leader, Keith Raniere.Prosecutors accused Mack of helping Raniere recruit women to a secret sub-society within the group.Authorities say the women were branded by a surgical tool with a symbol that resembled Raniere’s initials. Mack has said in an interview that the group emphasized self-discipline and self-empowerment and she likened the branding to getting a tattoo, but cooler.The defence says the women were never abused.___6 a.m.Jury selection is set to begin for a trial featuring sensational allegations that a cult-like group based in upstate New York turned women into sex slaves who were branded with the initials of its spiritual leader.Potential jurors will be asked to fill out questionnaires Monday in federal court in Brooklyn.Prosecutors say the purported self-help group called NXIVM formed a secret society of women who had unwanted sex with guru Keith Raniere.Raniere and three co-defendants including heiress Clare Bronfman and TV actress Allison Mack have pleaded not guilty to conspiracy and other charges in the sex-trafficking case.A judge hasn’t ruled yet on requests by the co-defendants to get trials separate from Raniere.Opening statements are scheduled for April 29.The Associated Press by The Associated Press Posted Apr 8, 2019 9:52 am PDT FILE – In this Dec. 6, 2018, file photo, television actress Allison Mack leaves federal court in New York. Jury selection is set to begin for a trial featuring sensational allegations that a cult-like group based in upstate New York turned women into sex slaves who were branded with the initials of its spiritual leader. Prosecutors say the purported self-help group called NXIVM formed a secret society of women who had unwanted sex with guru Keith Raniere. Raniere and three co-defendants including heiress Clare Bronfman and TV actress Allison Mack have pleaded not guilty to conspiracy and other charges in the sex-trafficking case. Potential jurors will be asked to fill out questionnaires Monday, April 8, 2019, in federal court in Brooklyn. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File) The Latest: Actress Allison Mack pleads guilty AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email
Oliver Stone writing memoir, scheduled for 2020 FILE – In this Aug. 15, 2017, file photo, Oliver Stone is shown during interview with Associated Press in Sarajevo, Bosnia. Oliver Stone has some memories to share, not all of them happy. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt announced Monday, July 15, 2019, that it had acquired a memoir by the Oscar-winning filmmaker. The book, currently untitled, is scheduled for Fall 2020. (AP Photo/Amel Emric, File) NEW YORK — Oliver Stone has some memories to share, not all of them happy.Houghton Mifflin Harcourt announced Monday that it had acquired a memoir by the Oscar-winning filmmaker. The book, currently untitled, is scheduled for Fall 2020. Stone is known for such provocative films as “Platoon,” ”JFK” and “Born On the Fourth of July.” According to the publisher, he will centre on his early years, including his time in Vietnam. Winner of an Academy Award before age 35, he will also recount his “overindulgences borne of youthful success.” Stone has an acknowledged history of drugs and alcohol and has been married three times.Stone, 72, said in a statement that he has been reassessing his life and decided that all memories are to be cherished, “pleasant or not.”The Associated Press by The Associated Press Posted Jul 15, 2019 6:01 am PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email
July 29, 1997Forms for more walls in the Heat Tunnel.