Famous Scots including Annie Lennox, Alan Cumming and Kevin Mckidd have spoken out on the day of the country's crunch referendum to urge fans to vote on the country's future. Scotland goes to the polls on Thursday (18Sep14) to decide whether to break away from the United Kingdom, and a slew of high-profile stars have spoken out in a last-ditch bid to sway the votes.
Eurythmics star Lennox, who was born in Aberdeen, insists she does not have a personal preference which way the vote goes, but she has urged her fellow Scots to think carefully before casting their ballot.
In a post on her Facebook.com page, she writes, "I am 'agnostic' in this matter... Once the die is cast... It will be what it will be. As a Scot who has lived beyond the border for over two thirds of my lifetime, I have no right to vote, therefore my view is practically irrelevant. However - I would like to say this... Whichever way you cast your vote, please think long term. A pro independence vote will be absolutely irreversible... Be wise Scotia... The future is in your hands."
Grey's Anatomy star McKidd, who is backing the 'Yes' campaign, tells Britain's Daily Record newspaper, "I've always been a supporter of independence for Scotland... I don't live in Scotland so don't get a vote, but all my family are still here... Everybody is going to be relieved when Friday comes no matter what happens."
Social networking website Twitter.com has also been flooded with debate over the vote, and another 'Yes' campaigner, The Good Wife star Cumming, writes, "Scotland! Please! Dare to dream," while Icelandic singer Bjork adds, "Declare independence... Go Scotland go!!!!!!!!"
Actor/funnyman Russell Brand writes, "Scotland, be brave. Vote with your hearts. You can strike the first blow for us against Westminster," while Simon Pegg adds, "Thinking of you Scotland. Give it all you've got," before joking, "Apparently a number of impatient 'Yes' campaigners have unbuckled Scotland and are currently towing it into the North Sea."
Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling writes on Wednesday night (17Sep14), "Big day in Scotland tomorrow #indyref (sic). My head says no and my heart shouts it - but whatever happens, I hope we're all friends by Saturday."
Others stars campaigning online on Thursday included actors Ashley Judd, Luke Treadaway, and David Morrissey, filmmaker Michael Moore, rocker Tim Burgess, singer Alison Moyet and tennis ace Andy Murray.
Irish rocker Bob Geldof led a rally in London on Monday (15Sep14) in a last-ditch effort to keep Scotland in the U.K. ahead of a crunch vote this week (beg14Sep14). Scots will go to the polls on Thursday (18Sep14) to decide on the issue of independence, and Geldof waded into the debate by addressing a large crowd in the British capital's Trafalgar Square.
The Boomtown Rats star gave an emotional speech urging Scotland to stay in the union, telling the crowd, "Before there was a United States, before there was a United Nations... there was a United Kingdom... The United Kingdom is one of the greatest ideas for the modern age. Between the native genius of the Scots and the pure pragmatic drive of the English we made a world beater. The pity of this is that we are the closest of cousins - when one of our blood spills then it all spills. There is such thing as a big glorious no. No is not always a negative."
Comedian Eddie Izzard also spoke at the rally and urged Scotland to vote 'No', saying, "We thought it was important for (people) in Scotland to know what people outside feel about independence. It just seems too sad... to break up our family and build a border. It's Scotland's choice. We cannot say anything to you other than that we do care. You are part of the United Kingdom family and we'd love you to stay."
Actress Sofia Vergara and her new beau Joe Manganiello brought their romance South of the Border and spent America's Labor Day weekend (29Aug-01Sep14) together in Mexico. The Colombian beauty and the Magic Mike hunk have been dating for nearly three months, and decided to get some rest and relaxation with a romantic getaway.
Vergara posted a photo on Twitter.com on Sunday (31Aug14) showing off her and Manganiello's suntanned legs while lounging on the beach. She added the caption, "Heaven #Mexico".
The pair was also photographed enjoying time by the ocean, as Manganiello smoked a cigar and Vergara looked on with a giant smile on her face.
Their holiday in the sun coincided with the launch in the U.S. of the sequel to Manganiello's stripper movie, Magic Mike XXL.
Non-fiction writer and journalist Charles Bowden has died, aged 69. Bowden was found dead at his home in Las Cruces, New Mexico on Saturday (30Aug14). His close friend Ray Carroll says he had been battling an undisclosed illness and died in his sleep.
The writer penned a number of non-fiction books including Murder City, Down by the River, and Blues for the Cannibals. He was awarded the Lannan Literary Award for Nonfiction in 1996, and also received a United States Artists Fellowship Grant for Artistic Excellence in 2010 in recognition of his work.
Bowden was also an investigative journalist who contributed to magazines including GQ, Esquire, and Mother Jones. He spent a decade writing about drug wars in the Mexican border city of Juarez.
An autopsy will be carried out at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.
Justin Bieber's entourage has cost a Niagra Falls border patrol guard her job after she allegedly accepted a $10,000 (GBP5,900) bribe to let members with criminal records enter his native Canada from the U.S. last year (13). The official reportedly grabbed cash and backstage passes and agreed to let the entire entourage pass through customs prior to Bieber's Toronto shows.
According to TMZ.com, the accusations surfaced after more of Bieber's friends allegedly showed up at the border looking for the same special treatment.
The Canada Border Services agency reportedly circulated an internal memo reminding officers not to take bribes - and to report anyone who does.
Bieber and his representatives have yet to comment on the story.
Country music legend Willie Nelson has urged lawmakers and customs officials in his native Texas to "take care" of the kids who have illegally crossed the state's border with Mexico. Reports suggest some 60,000 youngsters fleeing violence in Central America have crossed the Texas border in the past year. They are being held in makeshift holding cells while the authorities decide what to do with them.
Many have arrived without parents or guardians and Nelson has called on those responsible for the kids to remember they're just scared children.
He tells Rolling Stone magazine, "I've been watching and the only thing we can do is take care of those kids, whatever it takes. Take them in, give them some medical attention. I'm sure there are homes all over the country that would be glad to take care of one or two kids.
"They're scared. They're being mistreated, and it's not a good way to start off your life. But it's a good opportunity for us to show a little bit of humanitarianism and take care of those kids. I know a lot of people want to send them back. I guess the closer you are to the situation, the more extreme emotions you have about it, but it seems to me the old golden rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you... Treat those kids like they were your kids."
And Nelson has criticised President Barack Obama for not visiting the border during his recent visit to Austin, Texas, where the U.S. leader partied with stars at moviemaker Robert Rodriguez's home.
The singer adds, "To be that close (to the border) and not go is kind of crazy, I think. But I'm sure he had all kinds of advisers, and he quit listening to me a long time ago."
Universal Pictures via Everett Collection
Actor Michael Cera unexpectedly released his first full-length album on Tuesday night (12Aug14).
The Juno star surprised fans with his unannounced debut, titled True That, by posting it on music streaming site BandCamp.com. The record is a mix of cover songs, original pieces and short instrumentals, with track titles such as 2048, Gershey's Kiss and Sexy Danger.
Cera's friend and Superbad co-star Jonah Hill took to his Twitter.com account to promote his pal's new project, and wrote, "My great friend Michael Cera not only is a brilliant actor, he also makes great music. Check it out."
true that by Michael Cera
This isn't Cera's first foray into music - he has provided instrumentals and background vocals for songs on the soundtracks to his films Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, and even served as the touring bass player for indie rock band Mister Heavenly.
Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan has defended his dance with a uniformed policewoman at a gala event in India over the weekend (09-10Aug14) following a backlash from politicians. The actor showed off his moves onstage with the female officer at a police gala in Calcutta, India attended by a number of local authority leaders including West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
Several Indian politicians were outraged by the performance, accusing the minister of undermining respect for the police by letting the dance go ahead.
Khan has now hit back at the reports, insisting the backlash is due to the dancer being female, not because she is a uniformed police officer.
He says, "It is strange, some years back when I was shooting for (film) Veer-Zaara, I had danced and had fun with the jawans (constables) who were in uniform... I had entertained them. In 60s-70s, actors and performers used to go on (the) border and dance and perform for them just to encourage as those were the times of war...
"I don't think it is about uniform, but just because it is a lady in uniform one should talk like this. So, it is a distinction being made between men and women which I think is completely rubbish and silly. I think it should not be talked about also."
Legendary Hollywood ladykillers Warren Beatty, Jack Nicholson, and Michael Douglas held a contest to see who could be the first to bed Kathleen Turner - and they all failed.
20th Century Fox via Everett Collection
The actress shot to fame with her role in 1984 comedy adventure movie Romancing the Stone, and she soon attracted the attention of Tinseltown's leading Lotharios. Her co-star Douglas was determined to charm her into bed but he faced tough competition from Beatty and Nicholson, who also tried to woo her.
20th Century Fox via Everett Collection
However, Turner refused the advances of all three men, and admits 30 years on that she is glad she avoided becoming their plaything.
She tells British magazine Style, "I knew I became a target instantly. Suddenly, there was this competition between Warren Beatty and Michael Douglas and Jack Nicholson... None of them (won). I just got on a plane and went back to New York. Honestly, living in New York probably saved me from a whole lot of rubbish."
Columbia Pictures via Everett Collection
Asked if she was not even tempted to get involved with Beatty, she adds, "Somebody who's more beautiful than me - or thinks they are? No. I don't need that c**p."
Looks like prisons and politics are a lot more profitable than they first appeared. After spending the last few years battling to see whether Netflix or HBO was truly the superior subscription TV network, the Internet has finally triumphed in terms of subscriber revenue. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings revealed in a Facebook post on Thursday that the online streaming service made $1.146 billion dollars in the last quarter, finishing just ahead of HBO's $1.141 billion earnings. Though he acknowledged that Netflix still had a long way to go before it could surpass the cable giant in terms of overall profits and awards recognition, it was still an important victory for the little guy... if the little guy is also a billion dollar business. In order to determine just how close this David is to overtaking the prestige drama Goliath, we decided to pit the two networks against each other to determine once and for all, whether HBO really is better than Netflix.
Number of Subscribers: Netflix has been coming out on top in this category for some time now, having reached 50 million subscribers from the United States in July of 2014. The latest numbers for HBO, which were released back in January of this year, revealed a smaller total of 29 million. Of course, the large discrepancies in the numbers could be because all of those people “borrowing” HBOGO aren't actually eligible be counted. Winner: Netflix
Original Programming: Despite breaking into the field of original programming only recently, Netflix has amassed a library of 31 titles that are currently available to stream, including original series, documentaries, specials and one-off seasons of hit shows like Arrested Development and The Killing. And though HBO only has 24 original series currently airing, it does have an incredible back-catalog of 111 programs, including specials and miniseries that were created specifically for the channel. Granted, they started producing original content in the ‘90s and Netflix was only founded in 2007, so it wasn’t really a fair fight. Winner: HBO
2014 Emmy Nominations: With two of the most talked about series in recent years – House of Cards and Orange is the New Black – both eligible for awards this year, Netflix came away with a respectable 31 nods, which was more than many established cable and network channels got. Still, it couldn’t come close to the whopping 99 nominations that HBO pulled in, likely due to one-two punch of Game of Thrones and True Detective. And Veep. And Girls. And… well, basically everything it’s currently airing. Winner: HBO
Movies Offered On Demand: In addition the many films and TV show scheduled to run during the day on its various channels, HBO offers over 70 films available to watch anytime, On Demand. However, since Netflix was built for that exact purpose, they have a library of over 6,000 films to choose from on Netflix Instant. Sure, for every Oscar winner of cult favorite there are six more crappy, B-movies in which a random household object some to life and goes on a murderous rampage, but that’s what you get with over 85 times as many options. Winner: Netflix
Subscription Costs: Because it comes as a cable package that depends on what options you choose and how much your service provider charges, it’s hard to get a proper reading on the cost of HBO, although for just the channel, with no extras or Internet, it’s generally somewhere between $15 and $20 a month. That is, if you can actually get the channel by itself. Though Netflix has recently raised their prices, it only costs $8.99 for a streaming subscription, plus an additional $8.99 if you’d like DVDs delivered to your house as well. Let’s be real, though: neither one costs you anything because you’re just going to use the log in information of your one friend who actually pays for them. Winner: Nobody, really. They're equally frustrating processes.
Buffering and Connection Problems: Thanks to the millions of people who are just “borrowing” HBOGO from a friend, the service tends to have a lot of problems, specifically during major premieres or finales or any time a major character gets killed on Game of Thrones. On the plus side, your Twitter timeline likely explodes, dude to the combination of people posting about the shows and complaining about the streams being down, and those people who like to post spoilers just ruin things for everyone. Netflix has had its share of problems as well, and the increased traffic around the premieres of House of Cards and Orange is the New Black tends to increase buffering time and made things load slowly, but generally, as long as your internet connection is good, so’s Netflix. So it’s all your fault, really. Winner: Netflix
So who comes out on top? Despite the Emmys and revenue headed towards HBO, it seems to be Netflix that wins in the end. Throw Amazon Prime into the ring, however, and things might change. They have every season of The Wire on demand!