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Saturday, 22 July 2017

Ben Affleck Out as Batman? Warner Bros. Eyes Replacing Him

With Matt Reeves replacing Ben Affleck as director of The Batman, and recently revealing he’d tossed out Affleck and Geoff Johns’ script, many fans were wondering when Affleck himself might jump ship from the role. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros. Pictures is mulling over that very thing, with an eye towards replacing Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman in an upcoming DC Extended Universe movie, very likely The Batman.




While Affleck will reprise the role in the upcoming Justice League, his third time at bat after Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad, either the studio or the actor himself (or both) are not happy with the way the DC movies are shaping up. It could also be a simple case of ageism, with the nearly 45-year-old Affleck far older than any of his fellow Justice Leaguers. Zack Snyder envisioned this iteration of the Dark Knight as an older, battle-hardened Batman who’d been beating up criminals in Gotham City for years by the time we catch up to him. Snyder has now exited the DC universe, with Joss Whedon taking over extensive reshoots on Justice League before filming his own Batgirl within the next year or two. The Batman is being eyed as the first in a potential trilogy, so if Affleck was getting cold feet about the role, it would definitely be a good idea for him to step out before the first one shoots.



However, the studio’s current line is Affleck is still all-in, with studio chief Toby Emmerich saying, “Ben is our Batman. We love him as Batman. We want to keep him in the cowl as long as we can.”

In the upcoming Justice League, fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to find and recruit a team of metahumans to stand against this newly awakened threat. But despite the formation of this unprecedented league of heroes—Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash—it may already be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions.

Justice League stars Ben Affleck as Batman, Henry Cavill as Superman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Jason Momoa as Aquaman, Ezra Miller as The Flash, Ray Fisher as Cyborg, Willem Dafoe as Nuidis Vulko, Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth, Diane Lane as Martha Kent, Connie Nielsen as Queen Hippolyta, Amber Heard as Mera, Kiersey Clemons as Iris West, J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon, with Ciarán Hinds as Steppenwolf and Amy Adams as Lois Lane.

Justice League is set to hit the big screen November 10.














Game of Thrones Comic-Con Trailer Teases Season 7

HBO has released the Comic-Con trailer for Game of Thrones Season 7, teasing upcoming episodes and bringing back fan-favorite characters including Carice van Houten’s Melisandre. Check out the Game of Thrones Comic-Con trailer below!

The next episode, titled “Stormborn,” is set to air Sunday, July 23 at 9 PM on HBO. Here’s the synopsis: “Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) receives an unexpected visitor. Jon (Kit Harington) faces a revolt. Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) plans the conquest of Westeros.”




At the end of last season, Daenerys’ (Emilia Clarke) dragons and her immense army were finally on the way to Westeros, where Cersei (Lena Headey) has now become Queen after the death of her children. The Night King’s (Vladimir Furdik in season 6) army is heading south, and a battle appears to be imminent.

The show is based on the novel series “A Song of Ice and Fire” by George R.R. Martin. Last season, however, the TV series moved past the point where the books have stalled.

Returning series regulars on Game of Thrones this season also include: Emmy and Golden Globe winner Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister), Aidan Gillen (Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish), Kit Harington (Jon Snow), Diana Rigg (Lady Olenna Tyrell), Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark) and Maisie Williams (Arya Stark).

Additional returning series regulars this season include: Alfie Allen (Theon Greyjoy), John Bradley (Samwell Tarly), Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth), Liam Cunningham (Davos Seaworth), Nathalie Emmanuel (Missandei), Jerome Flynn (Bronn), Iain Glen (Jorah Mormont), Isaac Hempstead Wright (Bran Stark), Conleth Hill (Varys), Kristofer Hivju (Tormund Giantsbane), Hannah Murray (Gilly), Carice van Houten (Melisandre), Indira Varma (Ellaria Sand), Pilou Asbaek (Euron Greyjoy), Rory McCann (Sandor “The Hound” Clegane) and Richard Dormer (Beric Dondarrion).

New cast members for the seventh season include: Jim Broadbent, Tom Hopper, Megan Parkinson and Ed Sheeran.

The executive producers of Game of Thrones Season 7 are David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, Carolyn Strauss, Frank Doelger and Bernadette Caulfield; co-executive producers are Guymon Casady, Vince Gerardis, George R.R. Martin and Bryan Cogman; and producers are Chris Newman, Greg Spence and Lisa McAtackney.














Linkin Park Tour Cancelled After Chester Bennington's Death

Linkin Park officially canceled their upcoming tour in the wake of the death of their singer Chester Bennington.

"We are incredibly saddened to hear about the passing of Chester Bennington," Live Nation, the tour's promoter, said in a statement Friday. "The Linkin Park One More Light North American Tour has been canceled and refunds are available at point of purchase. Our thoughts go out to all those affected."



The band has not released an official statement following Bennington's death by suicide Thursday.




Linkin Park, who recently wrapped a European tour, were scheduled to begin a North American leg in support of their chart-topping new LP One More Lightstarting June 27th in Mansfield, Massachusetts. The North American trek was scheduled to conclude October 22nd with a concert at Los Angeles' Staples Center.

Along the way, Linkin Park were set to perform two more dates on their co-headlining tour with Blink-182, the "Welcome to Blinkin Park" tour, on July 28th in Flushing, New York and July 30th in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Those two shows appear to remain on schedule but without Linkin Park.




On Twitter, Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker paid tribute to Bennington in a pair of tweets.

"Absolutely heartbroken. I'll cherish every time we hung out or rocked a stage together. Condolences & prayers to all. So sad," Barker wrote.














U.S. Congress Democrat Senators Urge Review of Amazon's Whole Foods Deal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A group of Democrats in Congress urged the U.S. Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission in a letter this week to conduct a more in-depth review of online retailer Amazon.com Inc's plan to buy grocer Whole Foods Market Inc.






The lawmakers asked that the review include consideration of what effect the $13.7 billion deal could have on access to healthy foods in so-called food deserts where residents may have limited access to fresh groceries.
"While we do not oppose the merger at this time, we are concerned about what this merger could mean for African-American communities across the country already suffering from a lack of affordable healthy food choices from grocers," the letter said on Thursday.




The letter was signed by U.S. Representative Marcia Fudge and 11 other Democrats, including Senator Cory Booker.


Amazon and Whole Foods hope to expand access to fresh food, said Brian Huseman, Amazon's vice president of policy, in a letter to Fudge, also on Thursday.
"We agree with you that access to food is an important issue for the country, and we share your goal of improving that access," Huseman said in the letter.
Amazon has lobbied to be able to accept food stamps online and is participating in a pilot program.
"We deliver low-cost, healthy food to zip codes across the country that before Amazon had limited access to a large selection of high quality foods," Huseman wrote to Fudge.
Fudge's letter was made public by the United Food and Commercial Workers union (UFCW), which represents many of the unionized grocery workers in the United States. Fudge's office confirmed she had sent the letter.
Amazon's plan announced in June to buy premium grocer Whole Foods roiled the grocery industry and sparked worries the deal could raise prices, reduce the quality of products and hurt employment.
Still, most antitrust experts expect the Federal Trade Commission to approve the planned merger.
The letter asking for more scrutiny was praised by the UFCW union.
“Political concerns about Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods are growing for good reason,” UFCW President Marc Perrone said on Friday. “Amazon’s monopolistic desire to control the retail market and replace good jobs with automation is not only a direct threat to the hard-working men and women at Whole Foods, it’s also a direct threat to our economy and consumers."
Amazon has sought to dispute that it would monopolize the grocery industry. Wal-Mart Stores Inc currently controls the largest market share.
"We also do not plan job reductions as part of the acquisition, which if approved would result in a company with a combined less than 3 percent of national grocery sales,” Huseman wrote.













Senators Who Once Felt McCain's Wrath Talk of Their Admonition For Him

News of Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) brain cancer elicited expressions of sympathy across the government, even from fellow senators and public officials who have been the targets of his famous temper.

One of the most heartfelt expressions of sympathy on Wednesday night, when news broke of his diagnosis of brain cancer, came from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).

Senators Who Once Felt McCain's Wrath Talk of Their Admonition For Him


Cruz has been one of McCain’s chief antagonists in recent years. McCain famously called Cruz a “wacko bird” in March of 2013 and clashed fiercely with him over Cruz’s demand that a government funding bill be blocked to stop the implementation of ObamaCare.

McCain scolded Cruz on the Senate floor for comparing Republicans who were unwilling to risk a government shutdown to former British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, who appeased Adolf Hitler at the 1938 Munich Conference in an effort to avert war.

McCain thundered on the Senate floor at the time that Cruz’s comparison did “a great disservice” to Americans who stood up against Hitler because he implied U.S. politicians lack backbone.




Two years ago, McCain mocked Cruz for claiming that he pressed McCain, who had recently become chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, on the issue of allowing people to carry concealed firearms on military bases.

McCain insisted that nothing of the sort happened.

“Maybe it was through some medium that I’m not familiar with,” McCain joked. “Maybe bouncing it off the ozone layer, for all I know.”

Yet Cruz praised McCain after the Texas senator stepped out of a healthcare meeting Wednesday night at which lawmakers first learned of his diagnosis.

“Our prayers tonight are very much with John McCain. He is a friend, he is a patriot, he is a man who fought and bled and served our nation,” Cruz said.

Cruz reminded reporters that McCain had a chance to win early release from captivity while serving as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam because his father served at the time as commander of U.S. naval forces in the Pacific. McCain refused to leap ahead of his fellow American prisoners.





“It’s an extraordinary privilege for 99 of us to serve with an American hero like John McCain,” Cruz said.

McCain is known to lash out at both colleagues and reporters in moments of frustration.

In 2007, during the immigration reform debate, McCain butted heads with Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) after the latter criticized McCain for parachuting into the negotiation while he was also campaigning for president ahead of the 2008 election.

“F--- you! I know more about this than anyone else in the room,” McCain shouted at Cornyn, according to a Washington Post report at the time.

Yet Cornyn was one of the first to express his affection Wednesday evening, tweeting, “John McCain has been a fighter all his life and this is just his latest challenge. We are praying for his speedy recovery.”


Despite his frequent dust-ups, McCain remains one of the most loved and respected members of the Senate.

"I worked on immigration reform with him for months,” Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (Ill.) said. “One day he would explode like Mount Vesuvius and the next day smother you with kindness. So it's just typical John, and once you get used to that style, he's great to work with."

Colleagues and even former adversaries appreciate McCain’s dedication to public service, as well as his willingness to stand against his own party and public opinion.

They also admire a work ethic that has remained consistent after 30 years in the upper chamber.

“He’s earned the right to be contrary, and he’s only contrary when he really believes in something. Sometimes he gets very excited about his causes and he engages and sometimes he says things that he wishes he hadn’t said,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), McCain’s closest friend in the Senate.

“People understand that the motivation of Sen. McCain is to do what’s best for the country as he sees it and it’s hard to hold a grudge against a guy you think is really trying his best,” Graham added.

Colleagues also appreciate his keen sense of humor, often deployed at his own expense.

The 80-year-old senator frequently jokes about his age, calling himself “older than dirt.” He is known to joke about his friendship with Graham, sometimes dubbing him his “illegitimate son.”

One of McCain’s favorite gallows-humor quips is to proclaim during moments of intense political strife: “Remember the words of Chairman Mao: It’s always darkest before it’s totally black.”

McCain’s fondness for the joke persists even though there’s no evidence that Mao Zedong, the founder of modern-day China, ever uttered those words.

McCain’s home-state colleague, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), said McCain has served as a “kind” partner and “mentor” since Flake was first elected to the upper chamber in 2012.

Flake knew when he served in the House from 2001 to the end of 2012 that McCain occasionally clashed with other members of the Arizona delegation. He was careful to stay out of the senator’s line of fire.

That ended after Flake won election to the Senate, when they split for the first time over a vote — a disagreement that McCain did not let pass without comment.

“He was really letting me have it on the Senate floor and the other senators were sitting there and nodding and saying, ‘Now you’ve gotten it over with,’” Flake recalled.

For many newly elected Republican senators, earning McCain’s fury serves as a sort of hazing or baptism by fire.

But it makes them feel closer to McCain in the end.

“I’m proud to be Arizona’s other senator,” Flake said.

Former conservative Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), who fought frequently with McCain over social policy while serving in the chamber, said he recently had one of his warmest interactions with McCain after running into him on the Hill.

“That’s a beautiful thing because John and I have not gotten along well over the years, in many respects,” he said. “I give John credit. He was always able to look past those things.

“In spite of the tough moments we had, we had the best conversation we ever had,” Santorum recalled. “He just came up and we were talking about healthcare — he knew I was working on it. He engaged me on it and asked a lot of questions and thanked me for being engaged.”

Santorum said a bystander would have never known they didn’t have “the best history” and once had “several disagreements on Armed Services that got heated.”

The camaraderie McCain has developed even with his bitterest rivals makes him a unique figure in Washington.

On Thursday, former President George W. Bush, McCain’s rival in the 2000 Republican presidential primary, also showed his affection for the senator.

The 2000 race left a bitter taste with McCain after Bush won South Carolina thanks in part to a push poll that spread the false rumor that McCain had fathered an illegitimate black child.

McCain emerged as one of Bush’s chief Republican antagonists after the election. He was one of only two GOP senators who voted against Bush’s signature 2001 tax cut, and one of only three Republicans who voted against Bush’s follow-up 2003 tax package.

His relationship with the president grew to be so adversarial that former Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) asked McCain to serve as his running mate after he won the Democratic nomination to challenge Bush’s reelection.

Yet even Bush feels a strong bond to McCain years later.

He wasted no time in calling his former rival to express his sympathy and support.

He was surprised when McCain wound up encouraging the former president, who has kept out of the public eye since leaving office with a low approval rating.

“I was impressed by his spirit and determination,” Bush said after the call.













3 Israelis Dead In West Bank Stabbing Attack

Two Israelis were reportedly killed and one wounded in a stabbing attack in a West Bank settlement north of Ramallah.

Two men, in their 40s and 60s, and a woman in her 40s reportedly died of their wounds, while a woman in her 60s was seriously injured in the stabbing attack in the Halamish settlement, according to The Times of Israel.

3 Israelis Dead In West Bank Stabbing Attack


The attacker was reportedly shot, according to Israeli media reports.




The attack follows clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces over the Israeli government’s decision to keep in place indefinitely metal detectors at the entrance to the Temple Mount.

Three Palestinians were reportedly killed Friday in clashes between rioters and police in Jerusalem and the West Bank. Some 42 people were wounded in clashes Thursday night between security forces and Palestinian protesters, who rioted during rallies against the introduction of metal detectors last week, Army Radio reported.

The metal detectors were placed at the entrance to the Temple Mount compound, which contains the Haram al Sharif area that is holy to Muslims, after three Arab-Israeli terrorists killed two police officers near the mosque on July 14. The gunmen were shot dead by troops who pursued them.














Thursday, 13 July 2017

'Game of Thrones': The Forces of House Stark, Ranked

With the stakes as high as they are on Game of Thrones, at least Jon Snow has one thing going for him: good company.
The King in the North takes on his new responsibility in season seven alongside some incredibly capable allies, some who are more warrior-minded than others. With House Bolton officially purged from Winterfell (not to mention the earth), Jon has the right home base and the right group of confidants to start making preparations for the coming war with the White Walkers.

While he lacks the sheer firepower that Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) is bringing to bear upon season seven, Jon more than makes up for numbers with quality of characters. Really, the list of people who are either currently in Winterfell or are on their way is an impressive one indeed, a veritable who's who of your favorite people on Game of Thrones. 
Here's the lineup, ranked in order of their utility in the great war to come.
10. Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen)
Chaotic times call for chaotic measures, and nobody thrives in chaos quite like Petyr Baelish. The smirking Lord of the Vale currently walks the halls of Winterfell, presumably plotting moves against Jon Snow. Not exactly a trusted person to lean on when the going gets tough, and "tough" is about to become a severe understatement as the White Walkers march toward the Wall. Littlefinger might not be an asset in that conflict, but given his self-preservation instincts, he might be the best bet to get out of the North before the snow hits the fan. 
9. Arya Stark (Maisie Williams)
Only on this list would Arya rank so low. And frankly, we don't even know if she will make it to Winterfell this season at all. It's entirely possible that her thirst for vengeance will take her elsewhere, like King's Landing. But it's that very bloodlust that raises red flags. Will she be focused enough on the White Walker war when the time comes? Will her thirst for revenge get in the way? Arya's abilities learned from the House of Black and White could be useful in the conflict, though something suggests the Night King isn't going to be so easily fooled by a veritable mask.
8. Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie) and Podrick Payne (Daniel Portman)
Honor, loyalty and integrity aren't often rewarded on Game of Thrones. In fact, those things often lead to terrible punishment: see Ned Stark for more. In the case of Brienne and Pod, however, these two soldiers have committed themselves to vows more sacred than their mortal forms. That kind of loyalty, backed up with actual skill, will go a long way toward navigating the Great War, and protecting the people who are ranked higher on this list.
7. The Brotherhood Without Banners
At the moment, Beric Dondarrion (Richard Dormer) is already the MVP of season seven, based solely on his flaming sword moment in the trailer. Whether or not his ragtag band of fighters can live up beyond that billing is anyone's guess. In any case, we're bound to get at least one breathtaking Brotherhood battle, an even more exciting prospect now that The Hound (Rory McCann) is traveling with the pack.
6. The Wildlings
Tormund Giantsbane (Kristofer Hivju) leads the Free Folk, whether he wants to or not, and he did so very effectively during the Battle of the Bastards. While they needed some assistance from the Knights of the Vale in the end, the Wildlings put up a hell of a fight against House Bolton's forces. Plus, they know firsthand just how rough it's going to get when the White Walkers finally arrive. Nobody has skin in the game quite like the Wildlings. Expect their grit to be tested even further in the episodes ahead.
5. The Night's Watch
Dolorous Edd (Ben Crompton) has command over Castle Black, leading the last line of defense standing between Westeros and the White Walkers. Sadly, their numbers have diminished greatly over the years, not that they were ever really impressive at the start of Thrones. Even so, without the Wall, there's no barrier against the army of the undead. If the Watch falls, Westeros won't be far behind — and sadly, we think we'll be looking at that very outcome before season seven ends.
4. The Great Northern Houses
Two words: Lyanna Mormont. The Lady of Bear Islands was the breakout character of season six, and with any luck, the trend will continue as season seven unfolds. More than any one individual, the Northern alliance is absolutely instrumental in the fight against the White Walkers; a divided North is the last thing Jon Snow needs if he's going to stand any kind of chance against the greatest threat humanity has ever seen.
3. Davos Seaworth (Liam Cunningham)
A leader is nothing without at least one airtight ally in his corner. Davos is that man for Jon Snow. He's unfailing in his loyalty, as seen through his dedication to Stannis all the way until the man's dying day. He's the one who convinced Melisandre (Carice van Houten) to bring Jon back to life. He knows better than just about anyone how much is at stake if the White Walkers invade Westeros. No one is going to have Jon's back quite like Davos, and no one is going to match him for level-headedness and empathy — crucial qualities that must endure in the coming conflict.
2. Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner)
Sure, how much damage can Sansa do against a White Walker, directly? Don't scoff: Samwell Tarly (John Bradley) would laugh right back in your face. That said, Sansa isn't this high on the list because she's going to drive dragonglass into anyone's backs anytime soon. Instead, she's the person who will hold the North together when the time comes, the person who has accumulated the necessary political acumen to keep the realm together when the dust settles on the war ahead. She might even be the person who can broker the necessary deals with Daenerys' contingent. After all, Sansa is the one who has the Knights of the Vale on speed dial. How hard can it be to get a dragon's phone number?
1. Jon Snow (Kit Harington)
He fought the White Walkers, and walked away with his life intact. He died at the hands of traitors, and somehow walked away again with his life intact — more or less, anyway. Now, he's in charge of the entire North, the one man in a position of power who is willing to call out the true threat facing Westeros for what it is. There's a reason Lord Snow survived death, and it's because he's needed in the battle that's yet to come. He is the prince who was promised, and his is the song of ice and fire. It is known.
WILDCARD: Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright)
When Bran makes it back to Winterfell (something that both photos and trailer strongly suggest), he's going to be the most powerful person in the room, full stop. He's already arguably the most powerful person on the show, what with his ability to warg into other creatures and witness events across time — even interact with those events, based on the Hodor incident. Bran spent an entire season away from the screen because his power levels were growing at a faster level than any other character, faster even than Isaac Hempstead Wright himself. Now that we're in firm end game territory, there's no one with more destructive power than Bran — something that could be a huge boon in the war for mankind, but also has the complete opposite potential to backfire severely. After all, Bran still boasts the Night King's mark on his forearm; is it possible that his return to Westeros will allow for the White Walkers' arrival as well? Because his powers have so much potential for good and ill alike, Bran has to be considered the biggest wildcard in the mix by far.













'Stranger Things,' 'Westworld' among top Emmy nominees

No golden crowns for "Game of Thrones" at this year's Emmys. The HBO fantasy hit, which returns Sunday, was ineligible for consideration because its new season airs too late. But that left plenty of prizes for other sci-fi and fantasy-themed shows when the Television Academy announced its nominations Thursday.
Don't feel sad for the folks at HBO. "Westworld," their sci-fi drama set in a technologically advanced Wild West theme park full of eerily realistic host characters, earned 22 nominations, tying it with "Saturday Night Live" for the most of any show this year.

Nominations for "Westworld" included Evan Rachel Wood as lead actress in a drama for her role as Dolores, the rancher's daughter host who discovers her whole life is a lie, and Anthony Hopkins as lead actor in a drama for his role as the park's founder. Jeffrey Wright and Thandie Newton also received supporting-role nominations.
"Stranger Things," the Netflix '80s-set drama about Indiana kids confronting the unknown, landed 18 nominations, including outstanding drama. David Harbour, who plays the town's police chief, was nominated for best supporting actor, and 13-year-old Millie Bobby Brown, who plays test subject Eleven, for best supporting actress.
And in a "Stranger" surprise, actress Shannon Purser, whose put-upon Barb character became a fan favorite, earned a nomination for outstanding guest actress. Purser appeared in four of the show's eight episodes.


Another fan-favorite nod came when "Star Wars" legend Carrie Fisher, who died suddenly in December at age 60, was nominated for her guest role in the Amazon comedy "Catastrophe."
Hulu, while not yet in Netflix's class, had a good morning thanks to "The Handmaid's Tale." The story about a dystopian future where some women are kept only to serve as breeders for wealthy infertile couples was nominated for outstanding drama and 12 other awards. Elisabeth Moss was nominated for outstanding lead actress and her co-stars Ann Dowd and Samira Wiley received supporting nominations.
With last year's winner, "Game of Thrones," out of the outstanding drama category, competitors now are "Better Call Saul," "The Crown," "The Handmaid's Tale," "House of Cards," "Stranger Things," "This is Us," and "Westworld."
Among the first-time Emmy nominees is Claire Foy, who plays Queen Elizabeth II in the critically acclaimed Netflix series "The Crown," about the life of Britain's longest-living monarch.
full list of nominations is available on the Emmys website.
If you've already moved much of your television watching over to streaming services like Netflix, Thursday morning's Emmy nominations were of no surprise to you. While HBO earned the most nominations with 110, Netflix followed closely with 91.
Naturally, there were choices that fans saw as snubs. Carrie Coon, who was indeed nominated for her role in "Fargo," did not receive a nod for her role in HBO's "The Leftovers," which surprised some.


Another surprise came when "The Tonight Show," "The Daily Show" and "Late Night With Seth Meyers" didn't make the list of nominees for variety talk series, but "Real Time With Bill Maher" did.


Stephen Colbert will host this year's Emmys Sept. 17 on CBS. 













8 SNUBS AND SURPRISES FROM THE 2017 EMMY NOMINATIONS

This year’s Emmy nominations are out, so let’s dig into this. In a post-Peak TV world, it’s harder than ever for individual shows to capture the attention of an audience, never mind an awards body, which inevitably means that a lot of very good television will be snubbed.

In his introductory remarks, Television Academy Chairman and CEO Hayma Washington acknowledged an “across-the-board increase in entries”, otherwise known as Too Much Damn Television, before introducing the nominees.
Here are eight of this year’s biggest snubs and surprises.

The Leftovers

HOW? HOW THOUGH? How can you watch the final season of HBO’s stunning semi-apocalyptic drama and not think it’s one of the best things on television this year? This is easily the most critically beloved show not to receive even a single nomination—not for the show itself, not for Justin Theroux, and perhaps most shockingly, not for Carrie Coon’s revelatory performance. Coon and HBO both got nominations elsewhere, so the mind just boggles on this one.

Michael McKean, Better Call Saul

McKean’s meticulous work as Jimmy McGill’s beloved brother-turned-arch-nemesis Chuck has never been more impressive than it was this season, which culminated in a devastating arc for his troubled, troubling character. It’s especially wild that McKean was snubbed in favor of his co-star Jonathan Banks, who is consistently great but had a much slower season.

This Is Us

This doesn’t entirely qualify as a surprise—NBC’s tear-jerking, time-hopping family drama has been a remarkable breakout success story and was widely predicted to get plenty of Emmy love. But in an era where network television has been all but eliminated from the awards conversation as cable and streaming shows monopolize most major categories, it’s striking to see a new network drama sweep up 11 nominations, appearing in almost every category where it was eligible.

Mandy Moore, This Is Us

And yet, no love for Mandy Moore, a surprise since she has some of the most challenging emotional work out of the entire cast, and certainly deserves to be nominated alongside her co-star Milo Ventimiglia. Jack Pearson wouldn’t be half as powerful if he didn’t have Moore’s Rebecca to play off—the pair’s devastating fight in the finale alone should have been enough to get them both a nod.

Girls

It’s been a while since Lena Dunham’s endlessly divisive millennial comedy was truly buzzy, but it bowed out this year with a strong and occasionally exceptional final run of episodes. Even taking into account its jarring, time-jumping finale, this was one of the show’s more confident and surprising seasons, and the lack of any farewell nominations (aside from guest nods for Becky Ann Baker and Riz Ahmed) is unexpected.

Modern Family

But really though, who is still watching this show? Who? Even if people are still watching, does anyone genuinely think it’s one of the best comedies on television? Modern Family had a historic winning streak when it first began, winning five consecutive Best Comedy Emmys in a row (2010-2014), and though that reign is now over, it’s still clinging onto nominations, while more deserving contenders like Fresh Off The BoatSpeechlessInsecure, and The Good Place go unloved.

Insecure

While it's true Issa Rae's hilarious webseries-turned-HBO comedy offers a first-person perspective—a young Black woman navigating adulthood on her own terms—too-little represented in media, that's beside the point. Insecure is simply one of the funniest, most relatable shows on television right now, and its absence in the Outstanding Comedy Series, Lead Actress in a Comedy (for Rae), and Supporting Actress in a Comedy (for Yvonne Orji) categories is glaring. —Julie Kosin

Fleabag

Another example of an unapologetic woman trying (and occasionally failing) to get her life together, Fleabag, a magnetic six-part Amazon adaptation of Phoebe Waller-Bridge's one-woman stage show, guaranteed you'd be crying laughing one minute and sobbing for real the next. The Emmys missed its shot at awarding this rising talent, so hopefully that can be rectified for Season 2. —JK













Republicans Block Move To Revoke Jared Kushner’s Security Clearance

WASHINGTON ― House Republicans voted Thursday to block an effort aimed at revoking the security clearance of White House senior adviser Jared Kushner.

Several members of Congress have questioned the appropriateness of Kushner maintaining a security clearance following bombshell reports that he met with a Kremlin-linked lawyer who promised incriminating information about 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton during last year’s campaign. The president’s son-in-law failed to disclose the meeting, as well as several other meetings with Russian officials, on the security clearance form he submitted before the Trump administration took office.



Knowingly omitting such information is a crime. Kushner’s lawyers, however, maintain the omissions were an error and have amended the form.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), who chaired the Democratic National Committee during much of last year’s campaign cycle, proposed an amendment targeting Kushner during a House Appropriations Committee markup session Thursday. It was voted down, 22-30, along party lines.


The measure would have barred the government from issuing or maintaining a security clearance for any White House individual “under a criminal investigation by a Federal law enforcement agency for aiding a foreign government.”

In addition to the revelations from the past week, The New York Times reported in May that federal and congressional investigators are looking into a December meeting between Kushner and a Russian banker with ties to Russian intelligence. McClatchy also reported this week that investigators in Congress and the Justice Department are looking into whether the Trump campaign’s digital team, which was led by Kushner, directed Russian operatives to key U.S. states.

“This amendment is an important step in protecting the American people from the threat of hostile foreign interference. That is not a controversial or a political goal,” Wasserman Schultz said during the hearing.

“Revoking Jared Kushner’s security clearance would send a clear signal to anyone who would consider aiding and abetting a foreign enemy state to affect the outcome of a U.S. presidential election that they will not be entrusted with our nation’s most sensitive information,” she added.

Republicans called the move a stunt, arguing that it is unnecessary and unproductive under current federal regulations.

“This is already the law,” Rep. John Culberson (R-Texas) said. “The use of funding prohibitions to deny or remove security clearances is simply a political stunt and utterly unnecessary because security clearances can already be revoked because of criminal conduct.”

A spokesman for Wasserman Schultz said the congresswoman also intends to introduce an amendment in the future that would bar the government from issuing or maintaining a security clearance for White House staff who “deliberately fail” to disclose meetings with foreign nationals.

Reports of Kushner’s failure to disclose meetings with Russian officials also drew the ire of Democrats in the Senate this week.

“There is a crisis of trust that the White House has to deal with,” Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) said Wednesday, adding that Kushner ought to resign.














Man trapped in ATM slips notes to customers begging for help

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (AP) — A Texas man who became trapped inside an ATM slipped notes to customers via the receipt slot pleading for them to help him escape, police said Thursday.

The contractor became stuck Wednesday when he was changing a lock to a Bank of America room that leads to the back of the ATM, Corpus Christi police Lt. Chris Hooper said. He couldn’t let himself out of the room because he didn’t have a keycard on him and was unable to notify bank employees for help.


“Apparently he left his cellphone and the swipe card he needed to get out of the room outside in his truck,” Hooper said.

When he realized customers were retrieving cash from the machine, he passed notes to them through the ATMreceipt slot. One read, “Please help. I’m stuck in here and I don’t have my phone. Please call my boss …”

Some customers appeared to dismiss the notes as a gag, Hooper said. But one called police, who detected a faint voice coming from inside the ATM. An officer kicked in the door to the room and freed the man, whose name has not been released.

“Everyone is OK, but you will never see this in your life, that somebody was stuck in the ATM. It was just crazy,” Richard Olden, a police senior officer, told KRIS-TV.













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