Actor Rhys Ifans has written a letter to World Trade Organisation (WTO) bosses urging them to keep their pledge to ban fur imports to end Canada's annual seal slaughter. The Notting Hill star is backing a European Union-wide curb on seal pelts, which was agreed by officials in 2009 and came into force the following year (10).
Officials in Canada are challenging the decision and the case goes before the WTO's appeals board later this month (Mar14), and Ifans has now penned a note to the panel urging them to stand firm and stick to the ban.
In the letter, sent via People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the actor writes, "I was relieved to hear that the WTO had ruled to uphold the EU's ban on seal-fur imports. This is a huge victory for Europeans like me, who for decades have wanted no part in Canada's commercial seal slaughter. The whole world is turning its back on seal products - not just EU countries but also Mexico, Taiwan, the U.S. and even Russia, which had been importing 95 per cent of Canada's seal fur. In light of Canada's decision to appeal the ruling, I'm writing to urge the Appellate Body to uphold the ban...
"EU nations have made it clear that they want no part in the seal slaughter, which is merely an off-season cash grab for the Canadian fishing industry and accounts for less than 1 per cent of Newfoundland's economy. Since Canada is challenging the EU ban merely for political reasons back home, I hope the Appellate Body will uphold it."
British singer Lily Allen has blamed record label executives for choosing only radio-friendly pop songs from her upcoming album as singles after a fan complained about the new tracks on Twitter.com. The devotee, named Reg Wilding, voiced his disappointment in a post on Monday (10Mar14) after hearing tunes like Our Time, Air Balloon and Hard Out Here on the airwaves.
He wrote, "@lilyallen's new music is actually docile pop rubbish. So disappointing. She properly just wrote some rubbish to cash some cheques (sic)."
The tweet caught the eye of the outspoken Smile hitmaker and she took the unexpected move of replying directly to Wilding, admitting she hasn't been happy with the single selection either.
However, Allen urged her fan not to give up hope, insisting the rest of her forthcoming third album, Sheezus, will impress.
She responded, "What you've heard so far yes. All I can do is do my best, the labels and the radio stations won't play the better stuff."
Irish actor Chris O'dowd raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for animal welfare while working in a call centre by inventing endangered species to save. The Bridesmaids star took a job cold-calling before he found fame, and his main duties included encouraging donations of cash to help protect the planet's wildlife.
Most targets would refuse to agree to contribute any money, so prankster O'Dowd began making up exotic-sounding animals such as a 'Tiger Swan' or 'Dolphinwhale' to baffle his listeners - and the money came pouring in.
He tells British GQ magazine, "More often than not, it was a bat in New Zealand or something. I'd tell people about them, and they'd be like, 'F**king shoot it. You want bullets? Is that what you want?'... (The Tiger Swan) made me the most money. I raised more than £300,000 on that day, just by myself. A swan with the stripes of a tiger. Very rare. Lives in Mali. People would say, 'I've never heard of it!' and I'd be like, 'Well, it's f**king rare! If they were everywhere, we'd be fine! I wouldn't have called!'
"The Dolphinwhale was the size of a whale, but it loved humans. Loved swimming with people, so would always get beached. Very sad."
A man who is believed to be Michael Jackson's illegitimate son has tested 99.9 per cent positive as a DNA match to the King of Pop. Brandon Howard, who bares a striking resemblance to a young Michael, is the 31-year-old son of singer Miki Howard, who was managed by the Thriller hitmaker's father Joe Jackson back in the 1980s.
He underwent a paternity test some time ago to prove the Thriller hitmaker was his dad, but reportedly kept the results between himself and a few friends and family members.
FilmOn.com boss Alki David uncovered the scandal and set out to make the information public after obtaining the superstar's DNA from an old dental impression he bought at auction from a Beverly Hills doctor.
He had lab technicians compare the genetics from the orthodontic device to that of Howard's, which he had also discovered, and had the results read out during a livestream on FilmOn.com on Thursday (06Mar14).
Jackson's longtime pal, actor Corey Feldman, was present for the big reveal, as a doctor confirmed, "The probability of parenthood is 99.9 per cent."
Howard was not in attendance at the event and has since posted a video online distancing himself from the whole controversy.
In the footage, the singer, who goes by the name B. Howard, says, "Number one, I did not call TMZ or anything like that, didn't put out a story, nothing. Number two, I have never self-proclaimed to be Michael Jackson's son. Number three, I am definitely not suing the (Jackson) estate, I've been taken care of very well, and also I make my own cash.
"Number four, it is true I did a DNA test but it had nothing to do with any of this, I swear on my life..."
Meanwhile, Feldman has defended Howard in a series of posts on his Twitter.com blog, in which he suggests he was aware of Howard's existence all along.
In messages posted before the DNA results were announced, he wrote, "PLEASE UNDERSTAND: (Howard) didn't talk 2 (sic) the press! He never asked 4 (sic) $ (money)! And he has STILL NOT CLAIMED he is MJs kid (sic)!
"SOME SLEEZBALL FOUND OUT ABOUT THE TEST AND MADE UP A STORY AND SOLD IT 2 (sic) TMZ! That's the WHOLE STORY!!! It was meant 2 B (sic)PRIVATE INFO!"
Jackson died in 2009.
Troubled actress Lindsay Lohan is heading back to the small screen with a cameo role on U.S. sitcom 2 Broke Girls. The Mean Girls actress will appear on the comedy opposite Beth Behrs and Kat Dennings, who play cash-strapped roommates.
Lohan announced the new gig on Twitter.com on Wednesday (05Mar14) night, writing, "2BROKEGIRLS & A ‘MEAN’ ONE: It's true!! Excited to be back on set and work w these chicks officialkat and bethbehrs!"
The 27 year old is set to play an indecisive soon-to-be bride who asks Max (Dennings) and Caroline (Behrs) to make her wedding cake.
The episode is slated to air in America on 14 April (14), but fans can catch Lohan on the premiere of her new docu-series, Lindsay, which airs on Oprah Winfrey's OWN Network on Sunday (09Mar14).
Reality TV star Kourtney Kardashian contacted cops after $50,000 (£31,250) in cash was allegedly stolen from her home, weeks before her sister Khloe discovered a haul of jewellery was missing from her own house. Police have launched an investigation after Khloe Kardashian discovered an estimated $250,000 (£156,000) worth of jewellery had been taken from her California home while cleaning out the property on Monday (03Mar14) following its sale.
Now editors at TMZ.com suggest the theft came just weeks after her elder sibling also reported a burglary. The haul of cash is said to have disappeared from Kourtney's California property last month (Feb14).
Police are reportedly investigating the missing money along with the alleged jewellery theft.
The late Michael Jackson was plagued with debt before his death in 2009, but almost five years later, his estate has earned $600 million (£359 million) in revenue. The King of Pop reportedly owed around $400 million (£239 million) prior to his death, and executors have been making amends for his excessive spending by generating funds for his three children's inheritance by striking various publishing and licencing deals.
According to new documents filed in a California court, Jackson's estate now holds $18 million (£10.8 million) cash and has earned $600 million (£358 million) in revenue.
Jackson's kids, Prince, Paris and Blanket, are the main beneficiaries of the haul, receiving $8 million (£4.8 million) per year, which includes $3 million (£1.8 million) for education, $300,000 (£179,318) for vacations and $15,000 (£8,966) in pocket money.
Warner Bros via Everett Collection
A great hue and cry went up in certain quarters when indie darling Greta Gerwig was cast in the "female Ted" role for the How I Met Your Mother spinoff, How I Met Your Dad. She was soon being called a "sell out" by fans on social media, prompting Forbes, of all places, to post an article defending her right to cash in on her low-budget success. Largely left unasked, however, was the basic question of how well does Gerwig's persona translate into the established HIMYM format.
If mainstream audiences are aware of Gerwig at all, it's most likely as the flighty tour guide that steals Russell Brand's heart in his Arthur remake. Independent film aficionados know her far better for her work in mumblecore films by directors like Joe Swanberg and Noah Baumbach (who is also her boyfriend), as well as indie film god Whit Stillman. It seems safe to say that her profile will jump considerably with a role in a much publicized television project.
While it's easy to think that her work in the big budget studio-produced Arthur provides the clearest insight into how she'll come across in a network sitcom, the fact that Gerwig has a measure of creative power as one of the new show's producers means that her indie work should come into play as well. After all, Gerwig co-wrote four of the films that she starred in, including the acclaimed Frances Ha, and co-directed another (Nights and Weekends). She's established that she knows what works for her as an actress.
In HIMYM, Josh Radnor's Ted continually longed for the simpler days of college when he could sit around and discuss arcane topics to his heart's content. While there are sure to be clear differences with Gerwig's character, her film roles often have a collegial bent, whether she is playing a recent graduate in Hannah Takes the Stairs or as the Type-A clique leader in Stillman's Damsels in Distress. Making the new character hyper literate seems like a safe way to appease both Gerwig and HIMYM fans.
Of course, the main thrust of the sitcom just by definition has to be the love life of the lead character, since if she were adept at picking a mate there would be no show. In her film career, Gerwig has shown that she can play to any romantic situation just fine. In Frances Ha, she is largely unattached, focusing more on her career and finding someplace to live. In Damsels, she has rules for the type of men that she'll date. In Hannah, she's in a love triangle, and in Nights and Weekends it's a long-distance relationship. In Greenberg, she falls in love with a self-involved jerk. If any of these scenarios sound familiar to HIMYM fans, it's because the show has explored almost every one of thems.
It's still a long way until How I Met Your Dad could hit the airwaves, which should give the uninitiated plenty of time to catch up on Gerwig's film catalog and learn why indie audiences grew to love the actress. It will be at least as much fun as trying to figure out if the new show will have a female Barney.
Country veteran Loretta Lynn has assured fans she is fine after suffering minor burns in a small house fire as she prepares to return to the stage on Friday (28Feb14). The Coal Miner's Daughter icon, 81, hurt her hands as she tried to put out a blaze that had been sparked by an overturned candle at her Hurricane Mills, Tennessee ranch on Tuesday (25Feb14), but she is refusing to let the incident get in the way of her concert plans.
She took to her Twitter.com blog on Wednesday (26Feb14) to express her gratitude for their well wishes, writing, "Thanks to my sweet fans for worrying about me. The fire was small and no one was hurt. Love you".
Representatives from her management have confirmed Lynn will perform as scheduled in Greenville, Texas on Friday (28Feb14).
Meanwhile, Lynn has also signed up to headline the 2014 Johnny Cash Music Festival this August (14), alongside Reba McEntire and Bobby Bare.
Shia Labeouf's uncle has been ordered to repay the $800,000 (£533,330) he borrowed from his actor nephew in full. The 27 year old and his mother sued Barry Saide last year (13), accusing him of reneging on a deal to pay back the loan in instalments beginning in January, 2011.
Saide hit back at the legal action with a countersuit, insisting his famous nephew was trying to bankrupt him, despite allegedly lending the pair money before the actor made it big.
According to the New York Daily News, LaBeouf even offered to take a 25 per cent stake in Saide's employment companies instead of cash repayments, but his uncle was accused of failing to honour that agreement as well.
The two sides were unable to reach a private settlement and the case was heard in Manhattan Supreme Court in New York on Wednesday (26Feb14), when the judge ruled in LaBeouf's favour.
Saide must now repay the entire lump sum plus interest and attorney fees, which will be determined at a later date.
The news will give the Transformers star a reason to celebrate after a troubled few weeks, in which he hit headlines with his increasingly bizarre antics, ranging from donning a paper bag over his head for the German premiere of his film Nymphomaniac to launching himself as part of a live art show in Los Angeles.