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Uber Offers On-Demand Dogs in 10 Cities for 'Puppy Bowl XI' Promo

Fifteen minutes of playtime is $30 (donated to the participating organization of the city), and all dogs are eligible for on-the-spot adoption.

'American Idol' Swings From the Chandelier in San Francisco

Auditions came to an end in San Francisco, but Harry Connick Jr. saved his best for last.

Serena Williams wins 6th Australian, 19th major title

Serena Williams of the U.S. reacts as she plays Maria Sharapova of Russia during the women's singles final at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Saturday, Jan. 31, 2015. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith) MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Serena Williams won her 19th Grand Slam title and continued her unbeaten run in six Australian Open finals by extending her decade-long domination of Maria Sharapova.


Germany's Merkel says she doesn't see another Greek debt cut

German Chancellor Angela Merkel smiles at the beginning of the weekly cabinet meeting of her government at the chancellery in Berlin, Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber) BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel has underlined the refusal of Greece's European creditors to consider forgiving part of the debt-ridden country's rescue loans, though she stressed in an interview published Saturday that Berlin's aim is to keep Greece in the eurozone.


Ode to the range: Cowboys take to prose to celebrate U.S. West

Doug Groves teaches a rawhide braiding workshop at the 31st National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada By Mary Papenfuss ELKO, Nev. (Reuters) - When long-time bronc rider Paul Zarzyski needed to rest his aching bones after an adrenaline-charged stint on torquing horseflesh, he often turned to the last thing most people would associate with cowboy life: writing poetry. The ramshackle town with casinos, the Stampede Motel and coffee shops that play Hank Williams Jr., is sprouting an unusually large number of raw-boned guys in ten-gallon hats who call women “ma’am.” Both veteran poets as well as newbie rhymers are welcome at the festival, which features open mike nights, live music, and workshops on Western crafts and skills, including silver-smithing, ranch cooking, and making pulled-wool saddle blankets. Doug Groves, who sports a large handle-bar mustache, is teaching a four-day workshop on rawhide braiding, a beautiful macramé-like treatment of equine rigging introduced to the West by the Spanish. Groves learned his skill from fellow cowboys in bunkhouses while working for area “cow outfits.” Student Bobbie Yokum, who is married to a one-time team rodeo roper, has traveled to the workshop from California for the last 12 years.


Japan says hostage negotiations 'deadlocked'

In this Jan. 28, 2015 photo, a man walks by a screen showing TV news reports of a YouTube posted by a militant group on Jan. 27, purportedly showing a still photo of Japanese hostage Kenji Goto holding what appears to be a photo of Jordanian pilot Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh, in Tokyo. Images or mentions of knives, ransom or blood - or anything else that can be seen alluding to the hostage crisis involving two Japanese in Syria - have been cut out. Some anime and other entertainment programs are altering, canceling or postponing episodes violating those sensitivities - typical of the kind of self-restraint shown here to avoid controversy. The fates of a Japanese journalist and Jordanian military pilot were still unknown Saturday, Jan. 31 after the latest purported deadline for a possible prisoner swap lapsed with no further messages from the Islamic State group holding them captive. A second Japanese hostage has reportedly been killed. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko) Japan's deputy foreign minister told reporters there had been no progress in trying to secure the release of Japanese journalist Kenji Goto and airman Maaz al-Kassasbeh.


Islamic State hostage drama reveals 'chink in the armor'

FILE - In this Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015 file photo, a passerby is silhouetted against a large TV screen broadcasting a news program in Tokyo reporting on a video posted on YouTube by jihadists on Tuesday, Jan. 27, that purports to show a still photo of Japanese hostage Kenji Goto holding what appears to be a photo of Jordanian pilot 1st Lt. Mu'ath al-Kaseasbeh. Far from the high-tech, slickly edited videos involving beheaded Western hostages through which the group impressed supporters and terrorized opponents, recent messages purporting to be from Japanese hostage Kenji Goto have been through digitized, audio dispatches featuring either still photos or text. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, File) Experts say there is a change in the extremist group's propaganda technique.


San Francisco police detain two over body parts in suitcase

San Francisco police said on Friday night they had detained two people in connection with a case involving a suitcase full of body parts discovered on a downtown street earlier this week. An anonymous tip offered around 7:30 p.m. local time led officers to the Tenderloin neighborhood where they found the individuals, one of whom was identified earlier on Friday as a person of interest in the homicide case, San Francisco Police spokeswoman Grace Gatpandan said. The San Francisco Chronicle said the city medical examiner determined that the remains belonged to a "light-skinned male," but neither an identity nor cause of death could be immediately established.

Texas Governor to declare 'Chris Kyle Day' in honor of sniper

Texas Attorney General Abbott speaks during an anti-abortion rally at the State Capitol in Austin (Reuters) - Texas Governor Greg Abbott said on Friday he would officially declare Feb. 2 "Chris Kyle Day" in the state, in honor of the late Navy Seal sharpshooter portrayed in the film "American Sniper." The movie, starring Bradley Cooper as Kyle who was killed by a disgruntled U.S. veteran on a Texas gun range in 2013, has been a box office hit as well as a flashpoint of debate between liberals and conservatives. Abbott, a Republican, made the announcement during a speech at the Texans Veterans of Foreign Affairs Mid-Winter Convention in Austin, according to a statement from the governor's office. "In honor of a Texas son, a Navy SEAL and an American hero – a man who defended his brothers and sisters in arms on and off the battlefield – I am declaring February 2nd Chris Kyle Day in Texas," Abbott said during the speech, according to the statement.


Box Office: 'American Sniper' Targets Super Bowl Record, Heads for $250M

A trio of new films — 'Project Almanac,' 'Black or White' and 'The Loft' — are braving opening against the big game with decidedly mixed results.

Samuel Goldwyn: Remembering the Movie Mogul on the Anniversary of His Death

The film pioneer died 41 years ago today.

Santa Barbara Film Fest: Jennifer Aniston Gets to Accept an Award for 'Cake,' After All

Aniston, who was famously "snubbed" by the Academy, still showed up to collect the fest's Montecito Award that she had agreed to accept before the disappointing news — and received a hero's welcome.

Pharrell Williams Camp Ridicules "Desperate" Appeal Bid in 'Blurred Lines' Lawsuit

Is the future of the copyright at stake? One side plays up the stakes; the other scoffs.

'Voice' Runner-Up Michelle Chamuel Talks Reality TV Arcs and Usher's Best Lessons

The season-four singer will release her debut album "Face the Fire" on Feb. 10.

First lady defends 'American Sniper' at veterans event

Actor Bradley Cooper speaks on a panel during the launch event for "Got Your 6," a multifaceted program that includes encouraging film and television to include characters who are veterans, Friday, Jan. 30, 2015, at the National Geographic Society in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) NEW YORK (AP) — First lady Michelle Obama urged Hollywood to give a more accurate portrayal of veterans and defended the Oscar-nominated "American Sniper," which has received criticism for its depiction of war.


Hagel: U.S. ground troops could be needed in Iraq

U.S. President Barack Obama hugs outgoing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel during a farewell ceremony at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Virginia, Outgoing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says all options must be considered in Iraq.


Newtown debate: Was Adam Lanza's mom a victim?

A sign is pictured in the Sandy Hook area of Newtown, Connecticut HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A Connecticut panel developing a report on the Newtown massacre debated Friday whether the victims counted in the dedication should include the shooter's mother, a woman who has been faulted for contributing to the tragedy by fostering her son's fascination with guns.


Hezbollah: we don't want war with Israel but do not fear it

Lebanon's Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah addresses supporters at an Ashoura ceremony in Beirut Hezbollah says it has the right to respond to Israeli attacks any time, anywhere.


Ukraine rebels vow to push offensive if talks fail

A pro-Russian separatist stands in front of a tank at a checkpoint in Enakieve, 25 kilometers from the eastern Ukrainian city of Debaltseve, on January 29, 2015 Pro-Russian separatists say they will push their latest offensive in eastern Ukraine further.


Florida prosecutor drops case against Zimmerman

George Zimmerman listens to judge during a first-appearance hearing in Sanford, Florida By Barbara Liston ORLANDO, Fla. (Reuters) - A Florida prosecutor announced on Friday he will not pursue an aggravated assault charge against former neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman stemming from a domestic incident earlier this month after the alleged victim recanted. Zimmerman, who was acquitted in 2013 in a fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager, has had several brushes with the law since his trial. His latest arrest on Jan. 9 in central Florida was in connection with a domestic disturbance involving his then-girlfriend who had accused him of throwing a wine bottle at her and smashing her cell phone during an argument. Zimmerman claimed he acted in self-defense when he shot and killed Trayvon Martin, 17, in February 2012, when he was patrolling as a neighborhood watch volunteer.


Qaeda group launches assault on Western-backed Syria rebels

Jihadists with the Al-Nusra Front take part in a 2013 rally at the Bustan al-Qasr neighbourhood of Aleppo Al-Qaeda's affiliate in Syria battled Western-backed rebels Friday as the jihadists pressed their bid to seize control of northern areas, a monitoring group and rebels said. The fighting comes nearly three months after Al-Nusra Front expelled another group of Western-backed opposition fighters from Idlib province. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the jihadists launched their offensive against the Western-armed Hazem movement on Thursday in Aleppo province. "The jihadists expelled the rebels from Regiment 111, once a regime army base that Hazem had taken over," Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.


Mitt Romney says he will not make 2016 White House bid

In this Jan. 28, 2015 file photo, former GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks at Mississippi State University in Starkville, Miss. Closing in on a decision about whether to again run for president, Mitt Romney is finding that several past major fundraisers and donors in key states have defected to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. The donors, in interviews with The Associated Press, said they see in Bush what they liked about Romney in 2012, namely what they believe it takes to serve successfully as president, but also something he could not muster in his two previous campaigns: what it takes, both in personality as a candidate and in a supporting staff, to win the White House for the GOP. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis) The 2012 GOP nominee announced he won't make a third bid for the presidency.


Grammys: Sia Set to Perform

The "Elastic Heart" singer and "Annie" collaborator is nominated in four categories.

Watch NBC's Souped-Up Super Bowl Spots for 'The Blacklist,' 'Undateable,' 'The Voice'

The game's broadcaster is capitalizing on capturing the year's biggest viewership with a vital 'Odyssey' preview and a post-apocalyptic return for Christina Aguilera.

Cannes: Sony Pictures Classics Acquires 'Wild Tales' for North America

Argentinean director Damian Szifron's competition film is comprised of six separate stories.

Dartmouth College bans hard liquor

On Thursday, school President Philip Hanlon announced that starting March 30, all students, regardless of age, will be prohibited from possessing hard alcohol on campus. The school’s Greek societies have also been warned that they need to improve their behavior or risk being banned. The White House says the behavior has led to an “epidemic” of sexual assault on school campuses. According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 1,825 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die each year from alcohol-related unintentional injuries and 97,000 students are victims of alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape.

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. ...


ESPN to drop International X Games competitions, cut jobs

By Liana B. Baker (Reuters) - ESPN said on Thursday it will end the international versions of its X Games extreme sports competitions because it could not make money on the events, which feature skateboarding and other sports. The sports cable network owned by Walt Disney Co will be cutting an unspecified number of jobs related to the International X Games, which took place in cities including Barcelona, Munich, Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil and Tignes, France. The International X Games had been broadcast on ESPN's flagship U.S. channel and its sister network, ESPN 2. ...
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