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White House: President Trump ‘Condemns’ Violent Video Played at Free Speech Conference at His Miami Resort

14 October, by JILL COLVIN / AP[ —]

(WASHINGTON) — The White House says President Donald Trump has yet to watch a graphically violent parody video that depicts a likeness of him shooting and stabbing opponents and members of the news media, but based on what he’s heard, he “strongly condemns” it.

The parody was shown at a meeting of Trump supporters at his Miami resort.

The video portrays Trump’s critics and media members as parishioners in a church fleeing his gruesome rampage. The fake Trump strikes the late Sen. John McCain in the neck, hits and stabs TV personality Rosie O’Donnell in the face, lights Sen. Bernie Sanders’ head on fire and shoots or otherwise assaults people whose faces are replaced with news organization logos.

Trump’s face is superimposed on a killer’s body. Among the targets: former President Barack Obama, Black Lives Matter, Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters, Bill and Hillary Clinton and Rep. Adam Schiff, who as Democratic chairman of the House Intelligence Committee is leading the impeachment inquiry of Trump.

White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham says in a tweet that Trump will see the video shortly and that, “based upon everything he has heard, he strongly condemns this video.”

The video and its screening were first reported by The New York Times.

The “unauthorized video” was shown last week “in a side room” at an American Priority conference at Trump’s Doral Miami resort, the event’s organizer, Alex Phillips, said in a statement. Trump was not present for the event. “This video was not approved, seen, or sanctioned” by the event’s organizers, Phillips said.

The setting for the massacre depicted is the video is the “Church of Fake News,” echoing Trump’s familiar refrain about news stories and organizations that he deems unfair. CNN, The Washington Post, BBC, PBS, NBC and Politico are among the news organizations depicted as victims of the fake Trump’s violent fury.

The video also includes the logo for Trump’s 2020 campaign, but spokesman Tim Murtaugh said the “video was not produced by the campaign, and we do not condone violence.”

The White House Correspondents Association, which represents journalists covering the president, had issued a statement late Sunday saying it was “horrified” by the content and calling on Trump to offer his condemnation.

“All Americans should condemn this depiction of violence directed toward journalists and the President’s political opponents,” said Jonathan Karl, WHCA president. “We have previously told the President his rhetoric could incite violence. Now we call on him and everybody associated with this conference to denounce this video and affirm that violence has no place in our society.”

The video appears to have first been posted to a YouTube channel in July 2018, where it has been viewed more than 100,000 times since. The YouTube video uses a violent clip from the 2014 spy thriller Kingsman: The Secret Service. In the original scene, actor Colin Firth is depicted shooting a crowd of churchgoers.

The channel frequently posts violent parody videos of Trump playing popular movie superheroes or assassins. An email account listed for the channel did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Phillips told the Times the video was played as part of a “meme exhibit” and was not associated with or endorsed by the conference “in any official capacity.” “American Priority rejects all political violence,” he told the paper.


Ohio’s Reputation As a Must-Win State May No Longer Be True

14 October, by Philip Elliott / Columbus, Ohio[ —]

Conventional political wisdom has long held that a candidate cannot win the Presidency without first winning Ohio. Barring only a handful of exceptions, it’s born out every election cycle since 1860: whoever has bagged the heartland state has gone to the White House.

But as the presidential campaigns gear up for 2020, national political strategists are betting that’s no longer the case. Ohio, they argue, simply isn’t the electoral predictor it once was.

The shift is the result of changing demographics. Ohio voters in 2019 look a lot less like the rest of the country than they once did: they are whiter, older, and less schooled. Meanwhile, populations in other states like Arizona, Georgia and North Carolina are trending the opposite direction—becoming more diverse and younger, and more well-educated. As that shift intensifies, Ohio is on track to become solidly Republican, while other states are more likely to swing Democratic—forever changing that predictable national electoral map.

Top national Republican and Democratic strategists are urging party leadership this time around to put less emphasis on Ohio’s 18 electoral votes as a once-indispensable stepping stone to the 270 required to win the Presidency. National Republicans say the famously swingy state threatens to consume a disproportionate share of party resources, while National Democrats, argue there are simply more efficient places to route resources and ad buys.

The most prominent Democratic super PAC, Priorities USA, has lumped Ohio in with Iowa and Texas as second-tier goals while putting a premium on changing states like Georgia. “It’s not that Ohio isn’t winnable, because it is,” says Josh Schwerin, a Priorities USA strategist and spokesman. “Ohio has been moving away from us in recent years. It’s less a question of the past and more a question about what states are likely to decide the election.”

Meanwhile, Ohio-based political operatives of both parties are pushing back. Ohio Republican Party Chair Jane Timken says that the reason Republicans have done well in Ohio in recent elections is not because of demographic inevitabilities, but because the GOP has invested heavily in the state. “We are not going to let up. We are going to treat Ohio as a swing state. Because we need to makes sure the President wins Ohio and its 18 Electoral College votes,” Timken tells TIME. “I think Ohio is trending red, but I think it’s in part because of the work we’ve done.”

In 2018, Timken successfully leveraged Trump’s popularity among activists, amassing more than 5 million voter contacts. Bucking national trends, Ohio Democrats failed to pick up a single U.S. House seat. (Democrats did, however, net six state House seats and two Supreme Court seats.) She argues that Ohio is culturally Republican. “We care about things like football on Friday nights, going out to restaurants once in a while, going to church on Sunday,” Timken says. “The messaging that we’re getting from the Democrats, quite frankly, is so far away from the priorities of the average Ohio voter.”

Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper also disagrees with national strategists’ assessment of Ohio’s declining importance. He makes the case instead for the strategic value of forcing Trump to play defense in a state he won in 2016 by 8 percentage points.

Ohio, he adds, is less red than it was in 2006 and 2008, and Democrats are making inroads among female voters. Quinnipiac’s July poll of Ohio voters found 54% of women had an unfavorable view of the President’s handling of the job and just 41% approved of it. In 2016, Trump carried 46% of the female vote, which was more than half of all votes in Ohio. He has scant room for eroding support. Among independents, the same poll found trouble for the President’s re-election: 58% of them disapprove of Trump’s job performance.

Pepper also looks to Democratic gains in Ohio’s wealthy suburbs, which were once GOP safeguards against its deep-blue cities. He points for example at Westerville, Ohio, the site of the Oct. 15 Democratic debate, where Democrats have enjoyed a seven-percentage point swing since 2010, and Hudson, a similar suburban enclave near Cleveland, which has seen a nine-point swing toward Dems.

“The margins they used to run in the suburbs were very important to their overall coalition. It really changes the path,” Pepper tells TIME. “They’re really only relying on rural Ohio. At some point you run out of runways. They need the suburbs to offset our margins in the cities.”

Pepper also cites ever-larger Democratic vote totals. Although victories haven’t followed the numbers, the Democratic turnout is there. In 2018, Democrats carried 48% of congressional votes and 49% of the vote in state legislative races. This would suggest the state is very much in play, he says—especially if Trump continues to be dogged by impeachment inquiries. “We are more blue than we were in a year Obama won, if you look at 2012,” Pepper says.

Timken, the Ohio Republican chair, acknowledges that President Trump’s declining popularity, but argues that the Republican base will continue to support him when faced with a tangible alternative. “They may not love the President but he’s delivering for them,” she says. “It’s a binary choice.”

If anything, Trump’s foundering popularity among voters has supercharged his focus on his base—including Trump-loyalists in Ohio. The President’s re-election advisers says he will focus on re-creating the fervor of 2016, visit Ohio regularly and spend campaign cash securing the state. Among states without a Trump golf club, Ohio is the top destination for Air Force One. Ohio is the fourth highest digital spend for the President’s re-election campaign.

Pepper, the Democratic state chair, says the President’s strategy could go either way. “His digital stuff worries me,” Pepper acknowledges, but adds that the spending is a major drain on Trump’s resources. “If we have him fully engaged here, we just won Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan. We just did the hard work making Trump fight here,” he says.

For some Ohio Democrats, Hillary Clinton’s last race is something of a cautionary tale. In 2016, she largely wrote off the state, going more than a month without a visit after Labor Day. She instead emphasized growing demographics in North Carolina, Colorado and Florida.

But for now, national campaigns continue to view the state as less vital than it once was. It’s perhaps telling that on Oct. 12, when the Ohio Democratic Party hosted its major fundraising dinner—a typical draw for all of the contenders to pitch donors and activists—none of the top-three polling Democrats showed up. Former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Bernie Sanders all skipped the dinner.

Ohio Democrats were not crushed. They’re betting the trio will be back to court them ahead of the state’s March primary. Ohio’s true believers are counting on the long-held norms to take over and the state to again be the first agenda item in strategy sessions. After all, both parties have spent decades preaching to donors that Ohio is a proxy for political fortunes.


Disney Unveiled an Extensive List of Throwback Movies and Shows Coming to Disney+. The Internet Did Its Thing.

14 October, by Megan McCluskey[ —]

In a lengthy Twitter thread Monday morning, Disney unveiled the extremely extensive list of movies and shows coming to Disney+ when the streaming service launches on Nov. 12.

In addition to a number of highly-anticipated original releases that Disney had previously announced, including the Star Wars TV series The Mandalorian, the Disney+ roster will feature top titles from Marvel, Pixar, Lucasfilm and more.

The catalog was revealed in chronological order of release, beginning with 1937’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and ranges from fan-favorite classics like 1965’s The Sound of Music to obscure selections like 1986’s Fuzzball.

As the list was being made public on Monday, some Twitter users took it upon themselves to poke fun at Disney’s uber-expansive inventory of content.

See some of the best reactions below.


The Turkish Invasion of Syria Shows the U.N. Is Struggling to Keep Up with Humanitarian Crises

14 October, by Joseph Hincks / Gaziantep[ —]

Turkey’s ongoing incursion into northeast Syria, which began Wednesday after President Donald Trump announced the surprise withdrawal of U.S. troops from the northern border area, has already become a humanitarian crisis.

The fighting has forced more than 130,000 people to flee their homes, according to the U.N.’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, who in a statement on Sunday estimated that up to 400,000 civilians in the Syrian conflict zone may require aid and protection in the coming period, Reuters reports. Over the weekend, video footage circulated showing Turkish-backed proxies summarily executing nine civilians, including a female Kurdish politician.

Turkey claims its objective is to sweep the Kurdish militia group leading the formerly U.S.-allied Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) —which it regards as indistinguishable from the militant Turkey-based Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)—from its southern border. But U.S. lawmakers have accused Trump of leaving America’s Kurdish allies to the “slaughter.”

Trump has denied greenlighting any operation and has threatened Ankara with “very powerful” sanctions. U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper told CBS’ Face the Nation program on Sunday that Turkey “appears to be” committing war crimes, adding that all American troops would withdraw from northern Syria because of the danger of getting caught in crossfire.

On Friday evening, TIME met with U.N. Undersecretary General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock in Gaziantep, near Turkey’s southwestern border with Syria where he had been inspecting a cross border aid operation.

In an interview edited for length and clarity, Lowcock discussed how the new front in Syria’s complex war is exacerbating an already dire humanitarian situation, and urged Turkey to “live up to assurances” made to the U.N. to protect civilians in harm’s way.

TIME: How many people are at risk of being displaced in northeast Syria? Where are those who have already fled going? And what is the U.N. doing to assist them as they seek safety?

Mark Lowcock: Our assessment, which I have corroborated with the Turks, is that there are about 800,000 people in the 32-km zone along the border. Those that are moving are mostly moving from the towns in the middle of the zone, and they are mostly moving south. They are largely going to friends and family, in many cases to Hasekah [in Syria’s far northeast] and some other towns. We had already developed contingency plans to, for example, provide food for up to 650,000 people for a month or two. We’ve been operating across the northeast for quite a while and we are used to situations evolving.

Turkey’s Foreign Minister has made assurances the operation will be restricted to the so-called safe zone. Are you confident Turkey will stick to its stated objective?

We’ve listened to what Turkey has said about its intent. We’ve called for restraint and de-escalation and for people to recognize Syria’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, for people to comply with international humanitarian law. I have assurances from the Turkish authorities on their intention, in their words, to give maximum importance to the protection of civilians and humanitarian concerns. So, it’s up to them to live up to those assurances.

[On Sunday officials in Ankara signaled that Turkey’s offensive may go beyond the 20-mile zone]

There are fears that ISIS prisoners and sympathizers could be freed as a result of the offensive. Are you seeing evidence of that on the ground?

We’ve been concerned about residual Daesh [ISIS] elements for a while and we’ve expressed concern about the position of both civilians and former fighters held in camps at the UN Security Council. Obviously, the current operation raises questions about the security of those camps, which have been essentially under the management of Kurdish authorities.

One thing we would like to see is for those countries whose nationals are for example in Al Hol [a prison camp in Northeast Syria that holds nearly 70,000 people, including thousands of ISIS family members]—and the people in Al Hol are women and children, mostly under 12 years old—to take responsibility for their citizens. We understand that’s difficult, but the world needs to think about its legal responsibilities, its moral responsibilities and the long-term implications of leaving those people where they are.

[Over the weekend, hundreds of ISIS families and supporters escaped from a holding camp in northern Syria]

Even before this offensive commenced, Syria was in a dire situation. There are 1.8 million people in need of assistance and protection in northeast Syria and 2.8 million in North West. How did this perception the war is over come about?

How the perception came about, I don’t know. We’re seeing not just problems in the northwest and northeast, we’re seeing residual problems from Daesh in various parts of the Euphrates valley, we’re seeing signs of disturbances in the south. We’re seeing lots of challenges.

The truth is that Syria has been less in the news in 2019 than some earlier years. For two reasons: First, existing crises—Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, northeast Nigeria—are getting worse. Second, there are new crises, so the world’s attention has been on some other things.

The U.N.’s cross-border operations may not be renewed at the end of the year, what would that mean for the millions of people in need of humanitarian assistance?

A failure to renew the mandate for the U.N. cross-border operation, which reaches all those millions of people in the northwest, would create an immense humanitarian problem. Those people are essentially entirely reliant for secure access to food, medical consumables, books that appear in schools, spare parts for water cisterns, for everything basically, on the cross-border operation. It’s a very high priority to sustain that operation; it requires an agreement by the U.N. Security Council, which means nine votes in favour and no vetoes.

Are you able to get aid to Syrians in areas controlled by Bashar al-Assad’s government?

Most people we’re reaching every month are in government-controlled parts of Syria. A lot that works well but there are places under government control we’d like better access to. They’re especially places that have more recently come under government control, for example in northern rural Hama and Eastern Ghouta.

Do you think Assad is restricting humanitarian aid in these places, to punish people who resisted the regime?

It’s certainly easier for us to get to places that have been under government control for a long time. As for why it’s more difficult for us to get to other places, I think is a question you need to pose in Damascus.

There are ongoing humanitarian crises in Syria, Yemen, Xinjiang, Myanmar and elsewhere. Is the international community losing its ability to check gross humanitarian abuses?

There is a paradox: for most people on the planet, life is still getting a little bit better, year-on-year. But if you’re in the two percent of the world’s population, 150 million that it’s my job to worry about, caught up in these humanitarian crises, life is not getting better. And that number is growing. It grew by about 15% this year.

Why is that? Firstly, it’s a commentary on the state of global geopolitics. Some of the issues that we’re dealing with, 10 or 15 or 20 years ago would have been calmed down before they’d got out of control by more effective collaboration.

Secondly it is to do with the impact of climate change. A lot of the new issues that we are dealing with are droughts, like the ones in southern Africa and the horn of Africa. Or huge storms, like the Bahamas and Mozambique.

So, there are some underlying reasons why humanitarian needs are growing. They are all amenable to being addressed by human action. Human beings can deal with these problems and it will be a good idea for them to do so.

 


Yes, President Trump Wants You to Vote for Sean Spicer on Dancing With the Stars

14 October, by Associated Press[ —]

(LOS ANGELES) — President Donald Trump is trying to influence votes on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars.”

Trump on Monday tweeted that viewers should vote for former White House press secretary Sean Spicer. The president called Spicer a “good guy” and wrote “he has always been there for us!”

Spicer tweeted his thanks with instructions on how viewers can cast votes.

Read more: Sean Spicer Was an Extremely Good Sport on “Dancing With the Stars.” That’s Exactly the Problem

Spicer has been paired with professional dancer Lindsay Arnold as they compete for the mirror ball trophy. He says he’s doing it “to have fun and make it a really good experience.” Spicer told USA Today there’s no question a “huge” amount of his votes come from Trump supporters.

“Dancing with the Stars” airs Monday night.


Here’s Everything We Know So Far About Elena Ferrante’s New Novel

14 October, by Ciara Nugent[ —]

Mysterious Italian author Elena Ferrante will soon release a new novel — her first since 2014, when she published the last instalment of the four Neapolitan novels that made her a global literary star.

That quartet, which followed two girls growing up in a poor neighbourhood of Naples during the 20th century, was praised by critics for its striking insights into female friendship and for its artful weaving of personal stories with national political histories. The books won a devoted following, selling some 2 million copies in North America alone and helping to spark a vogue for translated fiction in English-speaking countries.

Just as the author keeps her identity a secret by writing under a pseudonym, Ferrante’s publishers are keeping all but a few details about her latest work under wraps. Here’s what we know so far about Ferrante’s new novel.

When is Elena Ferrante’s new book coming out?

Ferrante’s Italian publishers announced the new book in September, giving it a Nov. 7 release date for the Italian edition — though Anglophone audiences will have to wait a bit longer.

When will the book be available in the U.S.?

Europa Editions haven’t given a release date for the English-language version of the new novel, but they did confirm that it will translated by Ann Goldstein, a New Yorker editor who has worked on translations of Ferrante’s work since 2004.

The English-language versions of Ferrante’s recent works have tended to come out almost a year after the Italian originals. The Story of the Lost Child, for example, came out in September 2015, eleven months after its Italian release in October 2014. We can probably expect the translated novel’s release at some point in 2020.

What is the book called?

We have no title for Ferrante’s new novel. According to Italian booksellers, we’ll have to wait until Nov. 7 to find out.

What do we know about the plot of the book?

We have a few clues about the novel’s content. Soon after the book was announced in Italy, Ferrante’s U.S. publisher Europa Editions shared what appears to be the novel’s opening passage on Twitter.

The excerpt suggests the novel, like its smash-hit predecessors, will be set, at least in part, in Naples. The narrator refers to her parents’ apartment in the Rione Alto, a district on the north-west side of the Italian city (the protagonists in the Neapolitan novels lived on the eastern edge of town). Rione Alto was incorporated into Naples during the 1960s and 1970s. It’s unclear from the excerpt when Ferrante’s new novel is set.

The excerpt also shares similar themes to the rest of Ferrante’s work, focusing on fraught family relationships and the difficulty of communicating one’s own story.

Who is Elena Ferrante?

We still don’t know for sure. Ferrante adopted her pseudonym before publishing her 1992 debut novel L’amore molesto (Troubling Love). She used it for several more works — all focusing on complex female protagonists — before starting the Neapolitan quartet in 2011 with L’amica geniale (My Brilliant Friend). Though some of Ferrante’s back catalog has been newly translated into English since the series ended in 2014, the new novel will be Ferrante’s first in five years.

Ferrante doesn’t do book tours and gives all her interviews via email. She says the absence of her identity is key to her creative vision. “I wanted to detach myself from the finished story. I wanted the books to assert themselves without my patronage,” she told The New York Times in 2014.

In 2016, Italian investigative journalist Claudio Gatti controversially claimed to have discovered Ferrante’s real identity, having looked through financial records to unmask her as a Rome-based retired librarian and translator, originally from Germany and married to a prominent Italian writer. Fans, fellow authors and the literary world condemned the attempted unmasking as a breach of privacy. “We just think that this kind of journalism is disgusting,” her publisher told The Guardian. Ferrante did not comment on Gatti’s claim.

After the unmasking scandal, some expressed fear that Ferrante might never return to the literary world. But her publishers announced a year later that she was writing again.

Is Elena Ferrante releasing anything else soon?

There’s plenty going on in the Ferrante universe to keep fans interested ahead of the new novel’s release. On November 19, Europa will publish Incidental Inventions, a collection of the short essays Ferrante wrote as columns for Guardian for a year until January 2019.

HBO released the first image from the second season of its adaptation of the Neapolitan novels in July. The first miniseries debuted last year and is co-produced with Italian production company RAI Fiction. Italian media report that filming for the second season, is over and that a fragment of a trailer is already circulating on social media.

 

In October 2018 Ferrante confirmed that actor Maggie Gyllenhaal is adapting the fourth novel, The Story of the Lost Child, into a film — Gyllenhaal’s directorial debut. Ferrante has said she doesn’t mind if Gyllenhaal, as a female director, strays from her vision in the novel. “In the great warehouse of the arts, set up mainly by men, women have for a relatively short time been seeking the means and opportunities to give a form of their own to what they have learned from life,” she wrote in an essay for The Guardian.So I don’t want to say: you have to stay inside the cage that I constructed.”


People Wore White Gloves to Look Through Rihanna’s New 15-Pound Book at Her Party and Other Things We Saw Inside the Event

https://www.instagram.com/mdollas11/?hl=enplay episode download
14 October, by Raisa Bruner[ —]

Don’t get stuck next to the photographers when Rihanna makes an entrance, as you may get nearly trampled; it’s an experience this reporter can attest to firsthand.

Book launches, like the one Rihanna showed up for on Friday night at New York City’s Guggenheim Museum, aren’t always buzzy affairs filled with paparazzi. But when it’s a Rihanna bookThe Rihanna Book, officially — all bets are off. The megastar’s new coffee table book is a hefty self-titled tome published with Phaidon and filled with over 1,000 behind-the-scenes photos of the artist and her entourage, retailing for a cool $150 for the most minimal version. To celebrate its upcoming release, Rihanna shut down the stately Guggenheim, packing the nautilus-shaped gallery with a crowd dressed to the nines, sipping champagne served from golden bottles as they awaited the arrival of the Queen of the hour.

Driving up a cool forty minutes late — that’s fashion, friends — in a flowing one-shouldered leopard print dress and loose curls, Rih soaked up the spotlight as she posed for photos outside. It had been a good week for Rihanna: she just landed the cover of American Vogue, and was still basking in the afterglow of a successful Savage X Fenty lingerie fashion show, which premiered on Amazon at the end of September. Her high fashion house, Fenty, was earning praise. And her dedicated fandom, the Navy, seemed momentarily appeased from applying constant pressure for new music, thanks to the interview and continued public appearances.

Still, why a coffee table book — or, as they’re marketing it, a “visual autobiography”? “They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and I believe that,” she told reporters on the red carpet. When Rihanna says stuff like this — stuff that you’ve heard a thousand times before — it suddenly sounds fresh and absolutely true. As for the process of narrowing down her many thousands of photos to the printed selection? “I tried to pick the ones I looked cute in first,” she quipped. Then she got serious: “I worked so hard and so much, consistently, when I was young,” she said. “Now it’s even crazier. I’m like, wow, there was a day I only did music?”

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Dimitrios Kambouris—Getty Images for RihannaRihanna attends the launch of Rihanna’s first Visual Autobiography, Rihanna, at The Guggenheim Museum on October 11, 2019 in New York City.

Inside, the main floor was packed body-to-body around the large central champagne bar, mostly with paying guests; tickets retailed for $175. When Rihanna finally entered, screams echoed from a crowd who hadn’t, perhaps, dared to believe she would actually be there. The crush tightened as she circulated the room, doling out hugs. Less eager spectators lined the curved ramps, lounging against the low banisters. From above, you could pinpoint where Rihanna was at any moment purely from the concentration of people around her, a flock attuned to her motions like flowers to the sun. Women in thigh-high snakeskin boots perched atop the rim of the museum’s interior fountain. On the outskirts of the scrum, musician Mark Ronson mingled unbothered.

Off to one side, a special golden pedestal hosted a super-sized version of the coffee table book. Guests were invited to slip on white gloves and turn the pages delicately, onlookers offering murmurs of reverential appreciation as the photos revealed themselves, each new image eliciting hushed coos and nods of understanding. There was Rihanna boarding a private jet; Rihanna kissing an elephant’s trunk; Rihanna, in close-up, slurping up a cup of noodles; Rihanna playing dress-up with her friends, striking a playful pose. All told, the book is 504 pages, and the trade edition weighs a hefty 15 lbs. There are fold-out sections and a removable poster. There are three special editions, too, for the Rihanna superfans; the simplest one comes with a custom stand “inspired by Rihanna’s hands,” and the most extravagant includes a hand-carved marble pedestal; Cardi B is the proud owner of one of these, bidding on it at Rihanna’s recent charity gala for over $100,000.

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Dimitrios Kambouris—Getty Images for RihannaInside the Guggenheim during the launch of Rihanna’s first Visual Autobiography, Rihanna, at Guggenheim Museum on October 11, 2019 in New York City.

When Rihanna finally ascended to a spot on the circular hall ramp to say her thanks, she sounded relaxed and jubilant, a royal bestowing some grace on her subjects. Behind me, a young woman started to hiccup and cry.

“People that know me… understand how important this is for me because of my fans,” she said, noting that the project had been “five plus years” in the works. “What an honor it is to be here… respecting our art as something that’s at the rankings of art that is here and has been here over the years since 1959,” she continued, referencing the Guggenheim’s storied collection. She thanked her designers, photographers, collaborators and the Haas brothers, the sculptors responsible for the special editions. Plus she gave special kudos to her “bestie” Melissa Forde, who got an extended cheer from the crowd; she’s well-known to avid fans.

Then she relinquished the mic, the music turned up and the bartenders emptied their remaining magnums of champagne into waiting flutes. The stated end time of the party was 10:00 p.m., but guests lingered for an extra hour, perhaps waiting for something more to happen — or likely just basking in Rihanna’s afterglow, and making good use of their fashion-forward outfits. She may be withholding music, but she does know how to keep feeding her fans.

Rihanna Launch Event
Roy Rochlin—Getty ImagesSinger Rihanna attends the launch of her first visual autobiography, “Rihanna” at Guggenheim Museum on October 11, 2019 in New York City.

At Least People Staring Into Fortnite’s Black Hole Can Soften the Blow With Excellent Memes

14 October, by Rachel E. Greenspan[ —]

Perhaps nobody on Earth or space was ever so frustrated as Fortnite players were when the video game became un-playable.

Millions of players worldwide logged onto YouTube, Twitch and Twitter to watch their favorite gaming stars play “The End,” an event to mark the end of the game’s tenth season, on Sunday afternoon. But at 2 p.m. E.T., the entire setting of the game “exploded,” leaving only a black hole in outerspace for the rest of the day.

While we’re still not sure what Fortnite is brewing up, gamers at least had memes to help soften the blow.

Eventually, some goofy games appeared in front of the black hole, but players couldn’t believe that their favorite activity was off.

As of Monday morning, the game remains paused.

“Hour 6 of the Fortnite black hole… we’re losing our minds,” wrote one popular Fortnite player, @Nicks, on Twitter.

Other video game streamers and Fortnite fans were just sad to be missing out on their beloved game.

One player was pleased with the break because he was able to fall in love with his dog all over again.

Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, a TIME 100 alumnus and one of the most visible faces of the gaming community, had to get in on the fun, too.


One State’s Solution to Food Waste in Schools? Pigs

14 October, by PATRICK WHITTLE / AP[ —]

(PORTLAND, Maine) — Maine has decided that eating like a pig could be a good thing, especially for schools looking to cut down on food waste. A law saying schools can give food scraps away to pig farmers is now on the books in the state.

The practice of feeding human food waste to pigs goes back millennia, but some school districts in Maine have expressed confusion in recent years about the rules around the practice. So the Maine Legislature passed a clarifying bill that took effect Sept. 19.

The new standards will help school districts find a use for spoiled food that might otherwise end up in landfills, say supporters, including Republican sponsor state Sen. Stacey Guerin, of Glenburn.

“In Maine, that was a common practice when I was growing up. Hog farmers would come to the back door and take the waste at the end of the day,” Guerin said. “I’m glad school administrators can do that with confidence now, without fear of breaking the law.”

The new rules state that any individual or institution, including a school, can donate garbage to a swine producer for use as feed even if they’re unaware of the producer’s licensure status. Guerin said the rule change made sense because the schools aren’t responsible for monitoring the license status of hog farms.

Donations to hog farmers will also help school districts reduce the cost of waste disposal, said Ryan Parker, a Newport resident and farmer who advocated for the bill. Parker has raised pigs of his own and said his hogs were happy to indulge on old milk. “It’s one less thing they have to pay for — get the food waste out of the trash. And if you don’t have food waste in your trash, it doesn’t smell,” Parker said.

Unlike most kinds of livestock, pigs can digest human food waste fairly easily, said Bobby Acord, a consultant with the National Pork Producers Council. “And pigs have a voracious appetite,” he said. “They eat whatever you put in front of them.”

The National Conference of State Legislatures said it’s unclear how many other states have laws like the one in Maine. The rules about feeding refuse to swine vary by jurisdiction. More than half the states allow garbage feeding, Acord said.

Hog farmers in Maine are required to have a license to feed pigs food waste, and the waste has to be cooked. Those rules, which exist to prevent the spread of diseases such as salmonella poisoning, remain in effect, state officials said.

Not all hog farmers in the state would be able to use the food waste because of the difficulty of collecting and cooking it, but it could still become a way for schools to reduce the amount of unused food they throw out, said Clark Souther, the president of Maine Pork Producers Association.

“Schools have an awful lot of scrap waste from the kitchen and from the tables. So it would add up,” Souther said.


10 Upcoming Movies Based on Books

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14 October, by Annabel Gutterman[ —]

Several movies hitting theaters in the last months of 2019 have stories that may feel a little familiar. While some are buzzy big-budget films and others are highly anticipated sequels, all of the films below draw inspiration from a variety of novels, nonfiction books, plays and even a collection of poetry. From the star-studded Little Women to the terrifying Doctor Sleep, here are 10 upcoming movies based on books.

It: Chapter Two (in theaters now)

The kids of Derry, Maine are all grown up in the sequel to the 2017 box-office hit It: Chapter One. Like the first movie, the follow-up is based on the best-selling Stephen King novel about a murderous clown named Pennywise who rises out of the sewer to terrorize a group of young outcasts. In the new film, 27 years have passed and those children are now adults — played by Jessica Chastain and Bill Hader, among others — who are dealing with Pennywise’s return and the havoc he’s wreaking on all of their lives.

The Goldfinch (in theaters now)

Ansel Elgort, Oakes Fegley, Nicole Kidman and Jeffrey Wright star in the film adaptation of Donna Tartt’s 2013 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. The Goldfinch focuses on protagonist Theo, whose life is upended after an explosion at the Metropolitan Museum of Art leaves his mother dead. The film, which hasn’t been received warmly by critics (and was a massive flop at the box office), attempts to replicate the trajectory of its rich source material, delving into Theo’s life as he moves in and out of New York City, haunted by his childhood trauma.

The King (Oct. 11)

Shakespeare fans, consider yourselves warned: though The King is an adaptation of the playwright’s Henriad, it reassembles much of the plot from the original texts. The film traces the embattled and bloody journey of Prince Hal (Timothée Chalamet) as he becomes Henry V. Also starring Robert Pattinson, Joel Edgerton and Ben Mendelsohn, The King, which hits Netflix on Nov. 1 after a limited theatrical release, delves into the power of corruption and the costs of war.

Jojo Rabbit (Oct. 18)

Though director Taika Waititi’s latest film is satirical, the book from which he drew inspiration strikes a slightly different tone. Caging Skies by Christine Leunens follows the relationship that develops between a young member of the Hitler Youth in 1940s Germany and the Jewish girl his family has been hiding in their house. The plot is more reminiscent of a straightforward Holocaust drama, which the New Zealand filmmaker said he wasn’t interested in recreating. In Jojo Rabbit, which also stars Scarlett Johansson and Sam Rockwell, a new character is added into the mix: the boy’s imaginary friend, a 10-year-old’s cartoonish version of Adolph Hitler (played by Waititi).

Motherless Brooklyn (Nov. 1)

The second directorial project from actor Edward Norton (the last one, Keeping the Faith, was released almost two decades ago) is an adaptation of Jonathan Lethem’s 1999 award-winning novel of the same name. Motherless Brooklyn is a crime story that revolves around a lonely detective with Tourette’s syndrome (Norton) who is looking for answers after his boss (Bruce Willis) is murdered. Set against the backdrop of 1950s New York City (unlike the book, which takes place in the ’90s), the movie also stars Willem Dafoe, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Alec Baldwin.

The Irishman (Nov. 1)

Director Martin Scorsese’s ninth collaboration with Robert De Niro investigates the potency of organized crime in the United States after World War II, as well as the moral aftermath of those crimes for the people who commit them. The Irishman is based on Charles Brandt’s nonfiction book I Heard You Paint Houses, a deep dive into the mysteries surrounding the murder of union leader Jimmy Hoffa and the hitman who confessed to the killing, Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran. In the film, De Niro stars as Sheeran and Al Pacino as Hoffa. The movie also reunites Scorsese and De Niro with frequent collaborator Joe Pesci.

Doctor Sleep (Nov. 8)

In The Shining, Danny Torrance was a young child when he came face to face with the infamous (and terrifying) Grady twins. Nearly 40 years later, director Mike Flanagan is revisiting Danny’s story in the new movie Doctor Sleep, an adaptation of Stephen King’s 2013 sequel to his classic horror novel. The movie finds an adult Danny, played by Ewan McGregor, on a new mission to help protect a teenage girl with powers similar to his own.

The Good Liar (Nov. 15)

Ian McKellen and Helen Mirren share the big screen for the first time in this adaptation of the eponymous novel by Nicholas Searle. In The Good Liar, conman Roy Courtnay (McKellen) thinks he’s about to win big after meeting wealthy widow Betty McLeish (Mirren) online, but things quickly spiral out of control when Courtnay realizes he has feelings for the woman he had planned to scam.

Cats (Dec. 20)

Though it’s easy to assume that the origins of Cats can be traced back to the stage, composer Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical actually draws inspiration from a book of poetry. Old Possum’s Book of Practice Cats by T.S. Eliot is a whimsical collection of poems featuring the names of several familiar felines like Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer. The new movie, which features a star-studded cast including Taylor Swift, Jennifer Hudson and James Corden, is centered around the Jellicle cats as they prepare to choose one among them to be reborn.

Little Women (Dec. 25)

Joining a long list of big- and small-screen adaptations of Louisa May Alcott’s timeless novel is Greta Gerwig’s new film, a Lady Bird reunion both behind and in front of the camera. Gerwig directs the story of the March sisters — played by Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh and Eliza Scanlen — as they come to understand love, loss and the resilience of familial bonds. The cast is rounded out by Timothée Chalamet as Laurie, Meryl Streep as Aunt March and Laura Dern as Marmee.










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