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Hollywood actress Charlize Theron has penned an article to highlight violence in the Central African Republic.
The Monster star, who hails from South Africa, wrote the piece for The Wall Street Journal to document her recent trip to the poverty-stricken country, where a United Nations peacekeeping force was deployed this week (beg15Sep15). She discusses the horrific stories she heard while working with groups such as Doctors Without Borders, including the case of a 16-year-old boy who was shot in the back and hacked with machetes by rebels.
She writes, "I met a 16-year-old boy named Prince Matidi. On Dec. 25 last year - Christmas Day - he and three friends found themselves in the middle of the violence... Prince was shot in the back, paralyzing him from the waist down. As he lay in the dirt unable to move, he said, Seleka rebels hacked at him with machetes. Both of his friends died that night... I couldn't stop thinking about this young boy lying in the dirt, left for dead on a night when back home millions of children were opening Christmas presents, safe and happy."
The actress, who runs the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project, hopes to highlight the plight of citizens in the country, which has been marred by civil war and violence over the last few years. She adds, "We have a responsibility to not forget the people of the Central African Republic, and to press the international community to do more... International efforts to address the crisis in CAR have remained woefully inadequate. Political solutions need to be found to stop the violence, protect civilians and reconcile communities."
Veteran singer Leonard Cohen has vowed to celebrate turning 80 by taking up smoking again. The Hallelujah singer, who gave up cigarettes after years of heavy smoking, celebrates the milestone birthday on Sunday (21Sept14) and will ring it in with a cigarette.
Speaking at a press event in New York City on Thursday (16Sept14), the singer told reporters, "Quite seriously, does anyone know where you can buy a Turkish or Greek cigarette? I'm looking forward to that first smoke. I've been thinking about that for 30 years. It's one of the few consistent strings of thoughts I've been able to locate."
Cohen will also celebrate his birthday by releasing his new album Popular Problems on Tuesday (23Sept14).
Magnolia Pictures via Everett Collection
Kirsten Dunst is using humor to cope with the embarrassing Hollywood hacking scandal.
The Spider-Man actress was among the female stars targeted by a hacker who leaked hundreds of nude personal pictures of high-profile women including Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton and Teresa Palmer last month (14). After a number of snaps of Dunst emerged online, she posted a sarcastic tweet saying "Thank you iCloud" along with an emoticon of a slice of pizza and a pile of excrement, slamming Apple over their iCloud storage system.
Speaking to E! Online, Dunst now reveals she has been using comedy to help move on from the embarrassing leak, saying, "I try to have a sense of humour about a really unfortunate situation. The FBI is investigating, so they're handling it right now."
An Apple representative previously said of the case, "None of the cases we have investigated has resulted from any breach in any of Apple's systems including iCloud... We are continuing to work with law enforcement to help identify the criminals involved."
Actress Jennifer Connelly refused to use a fake syringe for a grisly scene in new drama Shelter and insisted on injecting herself for real. The Wimbledon star was working alongside her husband Paul Bettany in the movie about a homeless couple on the streets of New York, and she decided not to hold back when depicting her character's drug use.
Connelly joined a New York needle exchange program to research the role, and she kept hold of some working syringes to use in the scene.
When it came time to shoot the moment, Connelly refused a retractable needle provided by the props department and plunged the real syringe into her hand, drawing blood.
Bettany tells British newspaper the Daily Mail, "She's a card-carrying member of the New York needle exchange program... There's no one I have ever worked with who's as fastidious as my wife. The contract between us seemed to be that she would give me absolutely everything and I would protect her."
Bettany, who directed the movie, originally starred alongside his wife, but he decided to remove himself from the cast to concentrate on his work behind the camera.
Stars including J.K. Rowling, Geri Halliwell, Laurence Fox, and Richard E. Grant are celebrating after Scotland voted to reject independence from the U.K.
Scots went to the polls on Thursday (18Sep14) for a ballot on whether to break away from the rest of Britain to become a self-governing nation. More than 55 per cent of voters chose to stay in the union, defeating the independence bid, and celebrities who had previously voiced their support for a 'No' vote took to Twitter.com on Friday (19Sep14) to share their delight after the result was announced.
Harry Potter author Rowling writes, "Been up all night watching Scotland make history. A huge turnout, a peaceful democratic process: we should be proud", Gosford Park star Fox writes, "Morning Scotland. Love you very much", and singer/songwriter Billy Bragg adds, "Referendum result: a new constitutional settlement for U.K. Big thank you to people of Scotland for putting devo (devolution) for England on the agenda."
Former Spice Girls star Halliwell writes, "Thank you Scotland - together we are Great Britain. X", actor Grant tweets, "Huge relief that we continue to be the United Kingdom", and True Blood star Robert Kazinsky adds, "Thank you Scotland, would be sad if one of (my) favorite places on earth was no longer part of my home. Back to the highlands I can go!"
Many of those who supported the 'Yes' campaign are trying to take some positives from the result - actor Alan Cumming writes, "Yes still means something. Please try to remember that. My YES friends", and Simon Pegg adds, "Feel sad for those who campaigned hard for a yes vote. Hopefully some meaningful change will come of this. It was by no means a landslide."
Other stars tweeting their surprise at how the campaign galvanised Scots into voting include Duran Duran singer Simon Le Bon, Muse frontman Matt Bellamy, and Harry Potter actor Matthew Lewis. However, one celebrity was left red-faced by the election result - Fast & Furious actress Michelle Rodriguez thought the country had voted for independence, tweeting, "And the Scot's vote... Was a Yes!!!"
Australian rapper Iggy Azalea paid tribute to her loyal fans at a gig in London on Wednesday (17Sep14) and thanked them for supporting her following "an awful, terrible week".
The Fancy hitmaker took to the stage at London's Shepherd's Bush Empire amid a raging scandal over reports porn bosses have obtained a sex tape featuring her and an ex-boyfriend. Azalea, who denied the existence of the tape, has now spoken out to thank her fans for standing by her, telling the crowd in the U.K. capital, "I've had a hell of a week," and later adding, "London, seeing all your beautiful faces, it's an amazing end to an awful, terrible week."
During the show, Azalea was joined on stage by pop star Rita Ora for a surprise performance of their hit collaboration Black Widow.
The hip-hop star is currently embroiled in a legal battle with her former lover Maurice Williams, aka rapper Jefe Wine, amid the sex tape scandal. She is suing him for allegedly copying files and footage from her computer while they were dating.
Actor Anthony Daniels told Star Wars producers he would only return as character C3P0 if he could get back in the robot's famous golden suit. Daniels, who played the character in the original 1970s and 1980s films, was approached by director J.J. Abrams who offered him a role in the new installment, Star Wars: Episode VII.
However, Abrams originally offered Daniels a voice only part, which he turned down.
Daniels tells Entertainment Weekly, "When J.J. Abrams rang me to ask about filming Episode VII, one of the first things he said was 'Would you be interested being in the film just doing the voice?' I said, 'No.' And he said, 'Right!' He knew I'd say that. There's no way I'd just do the voice."
Daniels was quick to criticise the computer-generated version of C3P0 which appeared in the prequel films released between 1999 and 2005, and insists he would rather step into the suit himself, adding, "It wasn't very good. In fact, I'm going to say it was awful. One of the difficulties is with a character that you know and love so well is that as a member of the audience you go, 'Oh no, that's not right. No he doesn't move like that'. With me, he's always going to move the same way and have the same reactions. With CGI, you're working with some brilliant person on the keyboard who is trying to pretend to be me."
Daniels will be seen in the golden suit when the movie hits screens next December (15) "with changes that you will never notice that made my life easier."
Veteran indie rockers Guided By Voices have split a decade after frontman Robert Pollard and his bandmates first decided to go their separate ways. The band announced the news on its website on Thursday (18Sep14), cancelling all upcoming tour dates, which were scheduled to begin next week (26Sep14).
The statement read: "Guided by Voices has come to an end. With four years of great shows and six killer albums, it was a hell of a comeback run... Thanks to everyone who has supported GBV."
Originally formed in 1983 by Pollard, the group found success throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, before splitting in 2004.
The group's classic early-to-mid-1990s line-up reunited in 2010 for Matador Records' 21st anniversary concert.
No reason for the latest split has been given.
"My favorite part about my anniversary dinner was the girl who came to our table who john used to bone (have sex with) and also the sea bass." Model Chrissy Teigen reveals an unwanted guest joined her and husband John Legend as they celebrated their first wedding anniversary on Sunday (14Sep14).
Gwyneth Paltrow has given her baking skills a boost by taking private lessons with top chef Zoe Loeb. The actress jumped at the chance to work with her longtime friend Josh Loeb's wife when she heard the "serious baker" was working on a book based around the recipes for dishes she serves at her Huckleberry Cafe in California.
Detailing the first of many hook-ups with Zoe in her new goop.com newsletter, Paltrow, who has penned her own cookbooks, writes, "When I heard Zoe had compiled the sweet and savory breakfasts from Huckleberry into a book, I leapt at the chance for a baking lesson with her (I am a good cook, and a s**t baker).
"These recipes are gorgeous, and the techniques were not hard to pick up. I’ve even made scones on my own since then. Take that."