Cast look to silence critics
The four lead actresses of the new Ghostbusters movie are out to prove that women can fight supernatural entities just as well as their male predecessors. The new film is due in theaters on Friday. Eccentric parapsychologists battle ghosts wreaking havoc on Manhattan, this time with Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones. When the new Ghostbusters was announced, it garnered strong positive and negative reactions for its all-female cast, a point subtly referenced throughout the film. The film’s first trailer released in March divided audiences and garnered more than 900,000 dislikes, YouTube’s most-disliked movie trailer. “There’s nothing worse than trying to slam a woman into a part that was written for a man,” director Paul Feig said, adding that instead he wanted to provide a platform for the film’s cast to showcase their skills.
First Zika death reported
A Utah resident infected with the Zika virus has died, becoming the first Zika-related fatality in the continental US, officials said on Friday. The elderly victim, who had an underlying health condition, died late last month after traveling to a nation where the mosquito-transmitted virus is active, the Salt Lake County Health Department said. “While this individual did test positive for Zika virus, the exact cause of death has not been determined and it may not be possible to determine how the Zika infection... contributed to the death,” the health department said in a statement.
Former beer boss to be PM
Peruvian president-elect Pedro Pablo Kuczynski is to appoint Fernando Zavala, the outgoing chief executive of a beer company, to be his prime minister when he takes office on July 28, a source said on Friday. Zavala, a 45-year-old trained economist, has headed Peru’s biggest brewery, Union de Cervecerias Peruanas Backus Y Johnston SAA, for the past three years. He was finance minister for a year starting in 2005 when Kuczynski served as prime minister under then-Peruvian president Alejandro Toledo.
IS Twitter traffic plunges
The Islamic State (IS) group’s Twitter traffic has plunged 45 percent in the past two years, the government said, as the US and its allies have countered messages of jihadi glorification with a flood of online images and statements about suffering and enslavement at the hands of the extremist organization. The images include a teddy bear with Arabic writing and messages saying IS “slaughters childhood,” “kills innocence,” “lashes purity” or “humiliates children,” and a male hand covering a female’s mouth, saying IS “deprives a woman her voice.” Officials cite the drop in Twitter traffic as a sign of progress toward eliminating propaganda they blame for inspiring attacks around the world.
C/DC bassist to retire
AC/DC bassist Cliff Williams said he plans to retire after the current tour, becoming the latest member of the band to bow out and cloud its future. “It’s been what I’ve known for the past 40 years, but after this tour I’m backing off of touring and recording,” Williams told Gulfshore Life. The Australian-born band plans to close a year and a half of touring on Sept. 30 in Philadelphia with Guns N’ Roses’ Axl Rose as the frontman. Rose joined for the European leg of the tour after singer Brian Johnson was told by doctors he risked permanent hearing damage if he kept performing.
An Australian university student who has never visited China and has only a modest social media following would seem an unlikely target for the Chinese government. However, when a Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman personally denounced Drew Pavlou at a news conference, it was just the next phase in an extraordinary campaign against the 21-year-old that has fueled concerns over China’s targeting of critics overseas. Pavlou first placed himself in the superpower’s sights when in July last year he organized a small sit-in at the University of Queensland, where he studies, to protest against various Chinese government policies. Since then, the Global
BEFORE WINTER COMES: Snow cuts off roads into Ladakh for four months or more each year, so the crunch is on to get food, tents and high-altitude equipment to Leh From deploying mules to large transport aircraft, the Indian military has activated its entire logistics network to transport supplies to thousands of troops for a harsh winter along a bitterly disputed Himalayan border with China. In the past few months, one of India’s biggest military logistics exercises in years has brought vast quantities of ammunition, equipment, fuel, winter supplies and food into Ladakh, a region bordering Tibet that India administers as a union territory, officials said. The move was triggered by a border standoff with China in the snow deserts of Ladakh that began in May and escalated in June into hand-to-hand
Since her personal telephone number was posted online, Hong Kong democracy advocate and Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions chairperson Carol Ng has received menacing calls from strangers and been bombarded with messages calling her a “cockroach.” She is not alone. A sophisticated and shady Web site called HK Leaks has ramped up its “doxxing” — where people’s personal details are published online — of Hong Kong democracy advocates, targeting those it says have broken Hong Kong’s National Security Law. Promoted by groups linked to the Chinese Chinese Communist Party and hosted on Russia-based servers, HK Leaks has become the most prominent “doxxing”
A Malaysian student whose cellphone was stolen while he was sleeping has tracked down the culprit: a monkey who took photo and video selfies with the device before abandoning it. Zackrydz Rodzi, 20, on Wednesday said that his mobile phone was missing from his bedroom when he woke up on Saturday. He found the phone’s casing under his bed, but there was no sign of robbery in his house in Johor state. JUNGLE When his father saw a monkey the next day, he searched in the jungle behind his house. Using his brother’s cellphone to call his own device, he found it covered