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Fast-food workers to launch intensified protests across U.S.

Demonstrators chant in the driveway during a protest at the McDonald's headquarters in Oak Brook The protests, announced on Twitter by organizer Fight For 15, come as cities across the nation propose minimum wage increases while Democrats seek to raise the federal minimum wage ahead of this year's mid-term congressional elections. Fast food workers have launched a series of protests over the last nearly two years to bring awareness to their demands, which include the right to unionize without retaliation. In one of the last major actions, restaurant workers launched rallies in 150 cities, including Boston, Chicago, New York and Miami in May. This time, organizers are staging walkouts in more than 100 cities and plan to use nonviolent civil disobedience tactics such as sit-ins, The New York Times reported.


U.S. forces conduct operation in Somalia: Pentagon

African Union-United Nations soldiers in Somalia stand guard in the town of Kurtunwaarey in the Lower Shabelle region of Somalia after having liberated it from Al Shabab, August 31, 2014 Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab militants in Somalia are targeted, Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby said.


Actress Jennifer Lawrence contacts authorities after nude photos hacked

Actress Jennifer Lawrence attends the "X-Men: Days of Future Past" world movie premiere in New York Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence has contacted authorities to investigate who stole and posted nude images of her online, a spokeswoman said on Monday, part of a reported mass hacking of celebrities' intimate photos. Online pictures of the actress, 24, who won an Academy Award for "Silver Linings Playbook" and stars in "The Hunger Games" movie franchise, began appearing on Sunday. The authorities have been contacted and will prosecute anyone who posts the stolen photos of Jennifer Lawrence," spokeswoman Liz Mahoney said in an emailed statement. A spokesman for the FBI said the agency "is aware of the allegations concerning computer intrusions and the unlawful release of material involving high profile individuals, and is addressing the matter." Model Kate Upton was among celebrities whose photos were posted online.


Actress Jennifer Lawrence contacts authorities after nude photos hacked

Actress Jennifer Lawrence attends the "X-Men: Days of Future Past" world movie premiere in New York Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence has contacted authorities to investigate who stole and posted nude images of her online, a spokeswoman said on Monday, part of a reported mass hacking of celebrities' intimate photos. Online pictures of the actress, 24, who won an Academy Award for "Silver Linings Playbook" and stars in "The Hunger Games" movie franchise, began appearing on Sunday. The authorities have been contacted and will prosecute anyone who posts the stolen photos of Jennifer Lawrence," spokeswoman Liz Mahoney said in an emailed statement. A spokesman for the FBI said the agency "is aware of the allegations concerning computer intrusions and the unlawful release of material involving high profile individuals, and is addressing the matter." Model Kate Upton was among celebrities whose photos were posted online.


California high school drops mascot criticized by Arab-American group

(Reuters) - A California high school has retired its Middle Eastern-themed mascot and accompanying belly dancers and redrawn its logo after criticism from Arab-Americans that they played on harmful stereotypes, a group advocating for the change said on Monday. Coachella Valley High School agreed to use a new image of a stoic-looking Arab man to represent its sports teams, dubbed "the Arabs," said Abed Ayoub, a spokesman for the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, which worked with the school to choose the new logo.

Cry for help from Americans detained in North Korea

Americans Detained In North Korea Call For US Help Three detained Americans seek diplomatic negotiations for their freedom.


'Guardians' tops Labor Day, summer box office

FILE - This undated image released by Disney - Marvel shows, from left, Zoe Saldana, the character Rocket Racoon, voiced by Bradley Cooper, Chris Pratt, the character Groot, voiced by Vin Diesel and Dave Bautista in a scene from "Guardians Of The Galaxy".(AP Photo/Disney - Marvel, File) LOS ANGELES (AP) — The intergalactic misfits of "Guardians of the Galaxy" are the summer's box-office superheroes.


Cuba's new crackdown takes effect

People put their luggage in a private taxi as they arrive from the U.S. to the Jose Marti International Airport in Havana, Cuba, Monday, Sept. 1, 2014. Cubans braced Monday for a clampdown on the flow of car tires, flat-screen televisions, blue jeans and shampoo in the bags of travelers who haul eye-popping amounts of foreign-bought merchandise to an island where consumer goods are frequently shoddy, scarce and expensive. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa) New government restrictions are upsetting travelers to the island nation.


Nigerian troops battle Boko Haram Islamists

Nigerian soldiers patrol in the north of Borno state on June 5, 2013 near Maiduguri Militants attacked Nigerian troops as they prepared retake an embattled town.


Horrors committed by Islamists in Iraq

Kurdish peshmerga forces celebrate as they take control of Sulaiman Pek from the Islamist State militants, in the northwest of Tikrit city UN officials say ISIS has carried out atrocities on "an unimaginable scale."


Gainsbourg reprises Deneuve daughter role in 'Three Hearts'

Cast member Gainsbourg poses during the photo call for the movie "Nymphomaniac II" at the 71st Venice Film Festival By Michael Roddy VENICE (Reuters) - Charlotte Gainsbourg says the most exciting thing about her role in the French romantic comedy "3 Coeurs" (Three Hearts), shown in Venice, was the chance to once again play Catherine Deneuve's daughter, a role she had in her debut film when she was 12. Director Benoit Jacquot's film is a love triangle in which a tax auditor, played by Belgian actor Benoit Poelvoorde, unwittingly falls in love with two sisters, played by Gainsbourg and Chiara Mastroianni. Playing the sister of Mastroianni, Deneuve's real-life daughter, was the role's biggest challenge, Gainsbourg told Reuters in an interview at the Venice Film Festival. Also screening, out of competition, at the festival is Lars von Trier's "Nymphomaniac Volume I and II, the Director's Cut", in which Gainsbourg is the battered woman of the title.


Paris suburb building blast death toll reaches 8

French firemen carry a victim in the rubble of a building after an explosion collapsed it, in Rosny-sous-Bois, outside Paris, Sunday, Aug. 31, 2014. French authorities say a four-story building in a northeastern Paris suburb has collapsed after an explosion, killing a child. More people are thought to underneath the rubble. Speaking on i-Tele, fire department spokesman Gabriel Plus said around 10 people were evacuated from the building in Rosny-sous-bois that occurred early Sunday morning. Plus said that around another 10 people could still be underneath the rubble, and emergency teams were working hard to rescue people who might be trapped. "We could still find living victims in the hours to come," he said. Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve has arrived at the scene, but couldn't confirm a theory that the explosion was caused by a gas leak. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena) PARIS (AP) — The death toll in the partial collapse of a four-story apartment building in a Paris suburb has risen to eight after emergency crews pulled the bodies of a man and a woman from the rubble.


Obama notifies Congress of airstrikes in Iraq

Obama delivers remarks at Laborfest 2014 at Maier Festival Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has sent official notification to Congress of his order for last week's airstrikes and humanitarian aid drops to help Iraqis threatened by Islamic State militants.


VENICE WATCH: McDormand hails female stories

Actress Frances McDormand holds the Personal Tribute to Visionary Talent Award she just received at the 71st edition of the Venice Film Festival, in Venice, Monday, Sept. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini) VENICE, Italy (AP) — The Venice Film Festival is bringing 11 days of red carpet premieres, innovative movies and Hollywood glamour to the Italian city. Here's what has been catching the eye of The Associated Press:


Florida power utilities fear return of ‘Green Governor' Crist

Former Florida Governor Charlie Crist greets supporters outside the North Miami Public Library in Miami in this file photo By David Adams MIAMI (Reuters) - When Charlie Crist last governed Florida, his green energy and climate policies made him few friends among the state's powerful electricity corporations. Now, as the Republican-turned Democrat bids to return to the governor's mansion, it may be payback time. Florida's three largest utilities have poured money into the re-election campaign of Republican incumbent Governor Rick Scott in an expensive and closely watched political battle for the nation's largest swing state. ...


Doll from 'The Conjuring' coming to toy stores

"Annabelle" is due in US theaters on October 3. In a Facebook post spotted by IGN, Mezco Toys announced it will soon market a version of Annabelle, the terrifying doll introduced in the horror movie and set to return in the sequel. Released in 2013, "The Conjuring" focused on the Warrens, a husband-and-wife paranormal detective team, and their attempt to help a family terrorized by a demon. Naturally the toy, which Mezco Toys will launch in late 2014, isn't the sort of rosy-cheeked baby doll that might make you nostalgic for playing house.


Wesley Snipes to return in 'Blade 4'

Wesley Snipes is currently in theaters in "The Expendables 3." New York Daily News reports that the actor, who is currently in theaters in "The Expendables 3," could reprise his role as the famous vampire hunter. Despite the critical and commercial flop of "Blade Trinity," the last movie in the franchise to date, and despite weak box office earnings for the third "Expendables" movie, in which the actor joined Sylvester Stallone's team of musclemen, New Line Cinema is still willing to bet on Wesley Snipes. Released from prison in April 2013 after serving two and a half years for tax evasion, the actor is "looking good," according to the New York Daily News's sources, and is set to make $3 million plus a share of profits as the star of "Blade 4."


Frances McDormand feted in Venice as HBO series premieres

Frances McDormand feted in Venice as HBO series premieres The Venice film festival feted the career of Frances McDormand Monday, the Oscar winning actress of "Fargo" fame, ahead of the premier of a new HBO mini-series she called the culmination of her life's work. McDormand, who is married to director Joel Coen and has starred in several Coen brothers films including "Fargo" and "Burn After Reading", was presented with the Visionary Talent Award for a career that began on Broadway in 1984. The 57-year-old American told journalists ahead of the ceremony that she felt developing, producing and acting in the four-part mini-series "Olive Kitteridge" was "the culmination of everything that I have attempted to do." McDormand plays a witty, acerbic maths teacher in a New England town in a story that spans 25 years, based on a Pulitzer prize-winning collection of short stories by Elizabeth Strout, and directed by Lisa Cholodenko.


Barnes, Heigl in tune in romance 'Jackie and Ryan'

Director Ami Canaan Mann poses for photographers during the photo call for the movie Jackie and Ryan at the 71st edition of the Venice Film Festival in Venice, Italy, Sunday, Aug. 31, 2014. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini) VENICE, Italy (AP) — "Jackie and Ryan" takes viewers into an America of tough times, train-hopping and old-time fiddle music.


Obama's careful election strategy

FILE - This June 17, 2014, file photo shows President Barack Obama speaking at the Democratic National Committee's (DNC) annual Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) fundraiser gala in Gotham Hall, in New York. His name won't be on the ballot, but Obama will shape the midterm elections like no other. For Republicans, he is a punch line who fires up conservatives and reaches dissatisfied independents. And some Democrats won't even mention his name. It's left Obama able to do little more than raise money ahead of an election that will define how he spends his final two years in office. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File) The president has a tricky path to walk if he wants his party to keep the Senate.


Ukraine accuses Russia of "open aggression"

Pro-Russian separatists stand in front of destroyed trains at a railway station in the eastern Ukrainian town of Ilovaysk By Pavel Polityuk and Polina Devitt KIEV/MOSCOW (Reuters) - Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko accused Russia on Monday of "direct and undisguised aggression" which he said had radically changed the battlefield balance as Kiev's forces suffered a further reverse in their war with pro-Moscow separatists. In the latest in a string of setbacks in the past week, Ukraine's military said it had pulled back from defending a vital airport in the east of the country, near the city of Luhansk, where troops had been battling a Russian tank battalion. Poroshenko said in a speech there would be high-level personnel changes in the Ukrainian armed forces, whose troops fled a new rebel advance in the south which Kiev and its Western allies say has been backed up by Russian armored columns. Russian President Vladimir Putin, who called on Sunday for immediate negotiations on the "statehood" of southern and eastern Ukraine, blamed Kiev's leadership for refusing to enter into direct political talks with the separatists.


'Escape from New York' remake could star Charlie Hunnam

Charlie Hunnam is also rumored to be Guy Ritchie's top choice for the title role in the forthcoming "King Arthur" franchise. The latest rumors place the "Sons of Anarchy" star on the shortlist to star in a remake of John Carpenter's cult action movie. Dan Stevens ("Dowton Abbey") and Jon Bernthal (The Walking Dead") are also said to be in the running for the lead role, which was originally held by Kurt Russell. Plans to revive the 1981 action movie seemed to have been placed on the back burner. According to Starlog's source, producers are targeting Charlie Hunnam -- who is also in line to play King Arthur in Guy Ritchie's forthcoming franchise -- as well as Dan Stevens and Jon Bernthal for the role of Snake Plissken, the seedy character played by Kurt Russell in John Carpenter's original feature.


China universities vow ideology clampdown on staff, students

File photo shows students studying in a building at a university in Beijing, on May 30, 2013 A wider suppression on free expression in China intensifies.


Ukrainians pull back from airport; Poroshenko slams Russia

A local resident inspects damaged APC in the village of Hrabske, eastern Ukraine, Sunday, Aug. 31, 2014. The fight for Ilovaisk and surrounding areas, including the village of Hrabske, between Ukrainian government troops and pro-Russian separatist fighters was bitter and lasted the best part of a month. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits) By Richard Balmforth and Pavel Polityuk KIEV (Reuters) - Ukraine's military said on Monday it had pulled its forces back from defending a vital airport in the east against Russian tanks, as President Petro Poroshenko accused Moscow of "direct and open aggression". The withdrawal from the civilian airport outside the city of Luhansk was the latest in a string of reverses for Ukrainian forces fighting pro-Russian separatists who Kiev says have the direct support of hundreds of Russian troops and armor. A military statement said Ukrainian paratroopers were engaging a Russian tank battalion near the airport.


Beijing faces defiance in Hong Kong on vote reform

Pro-democracy lawmaker Lee Cheuk Yan, center, is taken away by security guards after a protest against Li Fei, deputy secretary general of the National People’s Congress' Standing Committee, in Hong Kong Monday, Sept. 1, 2014. China's legislature on Sunday ruled out allowing open nominations in the inaugural election for Hong Kong's leader, saying they would create a "chaotic society." Democracy activists in the Asian financial hub responded by saying that a long-threatened mass occupation of the heart of the city "will definitely happen." (AP Photo/Kin Cheung) Pro-democracy lawmakers disrupt a Beijing official's speech on tightly limited voting reforms.


Brace yourselves: Campaign cash buying tons of ads

FILE - This Oct. 8, 2013, file photo shows Cornell Woolridge of Windsor Mill, Md., as he demonstration outside the Supreme Court in Washington, as the court heard arguments on campaign finance. The first midterm elections since both parties embraced a historic change in campaign finance, and with it a sea of campaign cash, will mean for most voters an avalanche of television ads trying to reach the few able to be swayed and willing to vote. In the nation's closest races for U.S. Senate, that translates into "price per vote" that could easily double what was spent in the 2012 presidential election. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File) DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa's airwaves are already jammed with political ads, most of them negative, in one of the Senate races nationwide that will decide which party claims the majority.


Israel's 'The Farewell Party' finds humor in death

Directors Tal Granit, left, and Sharon Maymon laugh during an interview with The Associated Press for their film The Farewell Party, during the 71st edition of the Venice Film Festival in Venice, Italy, Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014. (AP Photo/David Azia) VENICE, Italy (AP) — With dozens of films jostling for attention at the Venice Film Festival, it takes originality to make an impact. Two Israeli filmmakers have done it by refusing to accept that death is no laughing matter.


Assange slams WikiLeaks film in letter to actor Benedict Cumberbatch

Benedict Cumberbatch attends a news conference for "The Fifth Estate" at the Toronto International Film Festival LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange penned an open letter to British actor Benedict Cumberbatch, who portrays Assange in an upcoming film, praising the actor's talents but slamming his involvement with the film and turning down the actor's invitation to meet in person. Assange, who is currently holed up at the Ecuadorean embassy in London, wrote a letter to Cumberbatch dated January 15, 2013, that was published on Wednesday on the anti-secrecy website ahead of the October 18 theatrical release of Walt Disney Co's DreamWorks film "The Fifth Estate. ...


'Captain Phillips' star Abdi finds a risk worth taking in debut

Somali actor Barkhad Abdi poses for a portrait during a media publicity event for the film "Captain Phillips" in Los Angeles in this file photo By Eric Kelsey BEVERLY HILLS, California (Reuters) - Barkhad Abdi, a tall wisp of a man with a narrow face and a wide grin, sat on the sofa in his hotel suite with one eye on the television and another on a view of the Hollywood Hills. The 28-year-old Somali-American, who had worked the past year at his brother's mobile phone store in Minneapolis, could hardly have called himself an actor when he began production in British director Paul Greengrass' thriller "Captain Phillips. ...


Reality TV stars Kris and Bruce Jenner say they have separated

Jenner presents outstanding talk show host award during 40th Daytime Emmy Awards in Beverly Hills LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Kardashian reality television family matriarch Kris Jenner and Olympic gold medal athlete Bruce Jenner have separated, the couple said in a joint statement to celebrity outlet E! News on Tuesday. The couple were married in 1991 and have two teenage daughters, Kendall and Kylie, who appear on the Kardashian reality TV programs. "We are living separately and we are much happier this way," the Jenners told E! in a statement. Kris Jenner's office did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment. ...


Reality TV stars Kris and Bruce Jenner say they have separated

Jenner presents outstanding talk show host award during 40th Daytime Emmy Awards in Beverly Hills LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Kardashian reality television family matriarch Kris Jenner and Olympic gold medal athlete Bruce Jenner have separated, the couple said in a joint statement to celebrity outlet E! News on Tuesday. The couple were married in 1991 and have two teenage daughters, Kendall and Kylie, who appear on the Kardashian reality TV programs. "We are living separately and we are much happier this way," the Jenners told E! in a statement. Kris Jenner's office did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment. ...


France bows to stage director Patrice Chereau, dead at 68

French director Patrice Chereau attends a photocall in Venice. By Tom Heneghan PARIS (Reuters) - The French theatre, opera and film director Patrice Chereau, who mounted one of the most famous productions of Richard Wagner's "Ring" cycle in Bayreuth in the 1970s, has died at the age of 68. Chereau, who was preparing a production of Shakespeare's "As You Like It" when he succumbed to lung cancer, was a restless innovator who began directing at high school in Paris and never looked back. ...


Lebanon bans two films in setback for tolerant image

By Stephen Kalin BEIRUT (Reuters) - Lebanon has banned the screening of a film about homosexuality and another on short-term "pleasure marriages" practiced in some Muslim communities, in a blow to its reputation as a bastion of tolerance in a deeply conservative region. The films, which had been due to be shown at the Beirut International Film Festival that opened last week, were blocked by a government censorship committee, festival organizers said. ...

Scarlett Johansson again named 'sexiest woman alive' by Esquire

Johansson poses at the premiere of the movie "Iron Man 2" at El Capitan theatre in Hollywood (Reuters) - American actress Scarlett Johansson has been named the sexiest woman alive for the second time by Esquire, the men's lifestyle magazine said on Monday. "The Avengers" star was named sexiest woman in 2006 and is the only woman to have been given the title twice by the publication. The annual recipient of the title is chosen by Esquire editors. Husky-voiced Johansson, who rose to prominence as a teenager in the 2001 cult film "Ghost World," stars in three films this fall. ...


Lebanon bans two films in setback for tolerant image

By Stephen Kalin BEIRUT (Reuters) - Lebanon has banned the screening of a film about homosexuality and another on short-term "pleasure marriages" practiced in some Muslim communities, in a blow to its reputation as a bastion of tolerance in a deeply conservative region. The films, which had been due to be shown at the Beirut International Film Festival that opened last week, were blocked by a government censorship committee, festival organizers said. ...

Britain's 'kitchen sink' cinema finds dark new twist

By Patrick Graham LONDON (Reuters) - British director Paul Wright's new film "For Those in Peril" pans across a dour Scottish coastal town where madness, tragedy and a feared sea monster lurk close beneath the surface. It's a dark tale, typical of a new generation of filmmakers like this year's Oscar hopeful Steve McQueen, who are taking Britain's tradition of gritty "kitchen sink" cinema in a stark and sometimes strange direction. ...

'Breaking Bad' teacher-turned-druglord gets obit in Albuquerque newspaper

Actor Bryan Cranston from AMC's series "Breaking Bad" poses backstage with his award for Outstanding Drama Series By Laila Kearney (Reuters) - Fans mourning the loss of the gritty drug drama "Breaking Bad" and its main character, chemistry-teacher-turned-meth-kingpin Walter White, memorialized the fictitious druglord on Friday with a real obituary in an Albuquerque newspaper. Members of the Facebook page "Unofficial Breaking Bad Fan Tour" and local high school science teacher David Layman, who appeared as an extra in the show's pilot, purchased advertising space for the 87-word tribute in the Albuquerque Journal, the newspaper reported. ...


CBS gives 'Late Show' host David Letterman two-year extension

TV talk show host David Letterman is pictured on the balcony at the 2012 Kennedy Center Honors in Washington (Reuters) - U.S. television network CBS has extended its contract with late night talk show host David Letterman through 2015. Letterman's "Late Show with David Letterman has earned nine Emmy Awards during the 20 years it has aired on the broadcast network, a unit of CBS Corp. "There is only one Dave, and we are extremely proud that he continues to call CBS 'home,'" Leslie Moonves, CBS Corp president and chief executive, said in a statement on Friday. ...


U.S. TV networks tout video on-demand for catch-up viewing

File photo of televisions on display at a Sears store in Schaumburg, Illinois, near Chicago By Lisa Richwine LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The morning after a new episode of the drama "Sleepy Hollow" airs on the Fox broadcast network, a message on the show's Facebook page encourages viewers to catch up with the show by clicking on their cable operator's video on demand service. Fox and other networks are firing up marketing efforts to steer audiences who miss live episodes to free on-demand viewing. As the new television season gets underway, they are putting promotional spots for video on demand, or VOD, in prime time, on their web pages, and on social media. ...


NBC reality TV show to send winner to space with Virgin Galactic

Producer Mark Burnett accepts the award for Outstanding Reality - Competition Program for "The Voice" at the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles By Irene Klotz HOUSTON (Reuters) - After a decade of casting around for a space-themed show, reality TV producer Mark Burnett has finally found a way to launch his dream. On Thursday, Burnett, creator of "Survivor" and "The Voice" unveiled a partnership with Virgin Galactic, a U.S. offshoot of Richard Branson's London-based Virgin Group, for a TV series that will send someone to space. ...


Microsoft Store Camping World