‘Roma,’ ‘The Favourite’ lead Oscar nomination with 10 nods

NEW YORK — Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma” and Yorgos Lanthimos’ “The Favourite” have led all films with 10 nominations each heading to the 91st Academy Awards. The nominees for best picture are: “A Star Is Born,” ”Roma,” ”Green Book,” ”The Favourite,” ”Black Panther,” ”BlacKkKlansman,” ”Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Vice.” With “Roma,” Netflix has scored its first best picture nomination, something the streaming giant has dearly sought. Marvel, too, joined the club with “Black Panther,” the first superhero movie ever nominated for best picture. Spike Lee has been nominated for his first directing Oscar 40 years after a writing nod for 1989’s “Do the Right Thing.” The Oscars are Feb. 24. Following Kevin… Read More

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Political shifts, sales slump cast shadow over gun industry

When gunmakers and dealers gather this week in Las Vegas for the industry’s largest annual conference, they will be grappling with slumping sales and a shift in politics that many didn’t envision two years ago when gun-friendly Donald Trump and a GOP-controlled Congress took office. Some of the top priorities for the industry — expanding the reach of concealed carry permits and easing restrictions on so-called “silencers” — remain in limbo, and prospects for expanding gun rights are nil for the foreseeable future. Instead, fueled by the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, the federal government banned bump stocks and newly in-charge U.S. House Democrats introduced legislation that would… Read More

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US singer Chris Brown detained in Paris after rape complaint

PARIS — U.S. singer Chris Brown and two other people are in custody in Paris after a woman filed a rape complaint, French officials said Tuesday. The Grammy Award-winning singer was detained Monday on potential charges of aggravated rape and drug infractions and remained in custody Tuesday, a judicial official said. Investigators have another two days to decide whether to let him go or file preliminary charges. Brown’s publicists at Sony Music would not immediately comment on the complaint or say what Brown, 29, was doing in Paris. Brown has been in repeated legal trouble since pleading guilty to the felony assault in 2009 of his then-girlfriend, Rihanna. He completed… Read More

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King events draw potential Democratic presidential hopefuls

COLUMBIA, S.C. — As Americans commemorated Martin Luther King Jr., Democratic presidential hopefuls fanned out across the country to honor the civil rights leader and make themselves heard on the national stage. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., used the holiday to launch a presidential campaign that, if successful, would make her the first woman and the second black candidate to become president. Former Vice President Joe Biden accepted responsibility for his part in the passage of 1980s legislation that toughened sentences for crack cocaine possession, “a big mistake” because of its damage to the black community. In a fiery speech in Harlem, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand lashed out at President… Read More

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Frigid air, high winds sweep the Northeast; at least 7 dead

CONCORD, N.H. — Falling temperatures replaced the weekend’s falling snow Monday as bitter cold and gusty winds swept across the eastern United States. The National Weather Service had forecast that temperatures would be more than 20 degrees below normal across the Northeast, with wind gusts up to 30 mph (48 kph) and wind chills approaching minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 40 degrees Celsius) in northern New York and Vermont. Those wind gusts caused flight disruptions at LaGuardia Airport in New York City on Monday and FlightAware reported hundreds of delayed flights. And after a few weather-related delays Sunday, Amtrak restored all scheduled service Monday. Atop the Northeast’s highest mountain, the… Read More

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Notre Dame to cover up murals of Columbus in the New World

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — The University of Notre Dame will cover murals in a campus building that depict Christopher Columbus in America, the school’s president said, following criticism that the images depict Native Americans in stereotypical submissive poses before white European explorers. The 12 murals created in the 1880s by Luis Gregori were intended to encourage immigrants who had come to the U.S. during a period of anti-Catholic sentiment. But they conceal another side of Columbus: the exploitation and repression of Native Americans , said the Rev. John Jenkins, president of Notre Dame. It is a “darker side of this story, a side we must acknowledge,” Jenkins said in a… Read More

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3 groups; many videos; many interpretations of DC encounter

A group of five black men shouting vulgar insults while protesting centuries of oppression. Dozens of white Catholic high school students visiting Washington for a rally to end abortion. And Native Americans marching to end injustice for indigenous peoples across the globe who have seen their lands overrun by outside settlers. The three groups met for just a few minutes Friday at the base of the Lincoln Memorial, an encounter captured in videos that went viral over the weekend — and again cast a spotlight on a polarized nation that doesn’t appear to agree on anything. At first the focus was on a short video showing one of the high… Read More

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China seems to confirm scientist’s gene-edited babies claim

Chinese authorities appear to have confirmed a scientist’s unpublished claim that he helped make the world’s first gene-edited babies and that a second pregnancy is underway, and say he could face consequences for his work. China’s official Xinhua News Agency said Monday that investigators in Guangdong province determined that the scientist, He Jiankui (HUH JEEN-qway), evaded supervision of his work and violated research norms because he wanted to be famous. The report said He acted alone and will be punished for any violations of the law, although it didn’t say which regulations he may have broken. The scientist stunned the world in November by claiming that he had altered the… Read More

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President Donald Trump’s shutdown solution hangs in limbo

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s proposal to break through the budget deadlock appeared to be gaining little traction Monday, as another missed paycheck loomed for hundreds of thousands of workers and the partial federal shutdown stretched into its fifth week. Despite the fanfare of the president’s announcement, voting in Congress was not expected to unfold until later in the week. Even then it seemed doubtful that legislation based on Trump’s plan had any chance of swiftly passing the Senate. Republicans hold a 53-47 majority but would need Democrats to reach the usual 60-vote threshold for bills to advance. Not a single Democrat publicly expressed support for the deal in the… Read More

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Venezuela quells soldiers’ revolt, top court blasts congress

CARACAS, Venezuela — Venezuela plunged deeper into turmoil Monday as security forces put down a pre-dawn uprising by national guardsmen that triggered violent street protests, and the Supreme Court moved to undercut the opposition-controlled congress’ defiant new leadership. Socialist party chief Diosdado Cabello said 27 guardsmen were arrested and more could be detained as the investigation unfolds. The mutiny struck at a time when opposition leaders have regained momentum in their efforts to oust President Nicolas Maduro. They have called for a nationwide demonstration Wednesday, urging Venezuelans — especially members of the armed forces — to abandon Maduro. The uprising triggered protests in a poor neighborhood just a few miles… Read More

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