Tesla could do with some acceleration.

On April 3, the electric carmaker reported an epic miss on vehicle production and deliveries for the first quarter of 2019. Tesla said it delivered roughly 63,000 cars—50,900 Model 3 and 12,100 Model S and X in the quarter. That was up year-over-year, but down 31% from deliveries in the fourth quarter of 2018. Analysts had expected deliveries of 76,000. The company said it produced 77,100 vehicles in the first quarter, compared to 86,555 in the fourth quarter of 2018, with production of the high-end Model S and X suffering most acutely. Tesla attributed low delivery numbers partly to a “massive increase” in deliveries in Europe and China, and the “many challenges encountered for the first time” in fulfilling them.

If the numbers themselves weren’t bad enough, Tesla also said the miss would hit its bottom line. “Because of the lower than expected delivery volumes and several pricing adjustments, we expect Q1 net income to be negatively impacted,” the company said in a statement. “Even so, we ended the quarter with sufficient cash on hand.”

Tesla’s stock dropped 8% the day after it reported those first-quarter numbers. Analysts have not been kind to the company in the week since.

“Tesla continues to struggle as a ‘real car company,’ with demand collapsing for the tired Model S/X platforms and higher priced versions of the Model 3,” Jeff Osborn, an analyst at Cowen, wrote in a research note April 4.

Morgan Stanley autos analyst Adam Jonas yesterday cut his price target on Tesla from $260 to $240. “We are increasingly concerned about the impact that investor concerns over Tesla’s financial strength and forward-looking liquidity position could potentially have on employee morale, customer perceptions and standing with key stakeholders and suppliers,” he wrote in a note to clients.

Investment bank Baird’s equity research team maintained their “outperform” rating on the stock but noted the miss on deliveries and its potential impact on cash flow. The team also said Tesla’s cash flow could be hurt by the first quarter having ended on a Sunday, making it harder for the company to collect cash from banks financing loans to customers. Baird research analyst Ben Kallo said in late March—before Tesla reported first quarter deliveries—that he felt weak deliveries were already “priced into the stock,” and the quarterly results could help to temper expectations going forward.

The slowed production and deliveries aren’t necessarily specific to Tesla. Auto sales broadly are skidding to to their slowest pace in more than four years, according to industry research firm J.D. Power.

Tesla’s April 3 report also failed to provide an update on the $35,000 Model 3 that its most ardent fans have spent years waiting for. In late March, customers complained online that Tesla had contacted them about delays to their Model 3 orders, and offered to sell them a more expensive version of the car that it said could arrive sooner instead. These “upselling” tactics are typical of traditional auto dealers, but left a bad taste in the mouths of consumers who expected more from Tesla and the luxury brand it has cultivated.

Ask a group of five year olds what they want to be when they grow up, and they have all kinds of ideas. They can be anything: an astronaut violinist? Sure. A mermaid doctor? You bet.

But by age 10, many of those ideas have disappeared. Their window of curiosity narrows. They’ve been told by teachers, parents, or society at large that what they love isn’t valued, that what they imagine isn’t real, that they don’t excel, or any one of a range of disheartening (and all too often downright untrue) comments. As they grow up, these original aspirations often vanish. It’s easy to see why.

One big reason is that, in much of the world, we’re stuck in an education system that was designed for the first industrial revolution, training workers for factory jobs and soldiers for war. This system prioritized, indeed it systematized, obeying orders and not questioning. This may have worked well for an era of mass production, but it is a very poor fit for the fourth industrial revolution, which is now upon us. It also does an extraordinarily good job of stamping out curiosity, which we’ve never needed more than today.

From deficit to superpower

If there is one skill we might think of as the “killer” app for success and well-being today, it’s curiosity. The World Economic Forum and Pew Research Center, among others, have found that curiosity consistently ranks as one of the most essential capacities to have, and that’s across sectors, roles, geography, and demographics. Yet few people seem to know what curiosity really means, how to cultivate it, or how to celebrate it as five-year-olds do.

Historically, being curious wasn’t necessarily a positive trait. The Merriam-Webster dictionary tells us that curiosity has several meanings. Three of the most common are:

A desire to know: inquisitive interest in others’ concerns : nosiness

One that arouses interest especially for uncommon or exotic characteristics

An unusual knickknack (The antique shop was full of curiosities)

How times have changed. Indeed, what may have been deemed a deficit in the old economy (curiosity often meant labeling as a “class disruptor” or dilettante) is actually a superpower in the new one.

In the 21st century, we need skills to solve complex problems and address challenges that do not have one answer and cannot be distilled into mathematical equations or contained by traditional borders. Moreover, with the rise of automation, skills that machines and robots simply can’t do—skills that are “unautomatable”—become all the more important. Curiosity and imagination meet these criteria perfectly.

To learn, or just not forget?

Go back to the five-year-olds. They are innately, inherently curious. Figuratively speaking, their minds are on fire with questions, as they learn and wonder about the world. But by the age of 10, many have shifted from asking questions—often unabashedly—to being more concerned about getting the right answer. Educational systems that rely on standardized tests and prioritize grades not only contribute to this; they ultimately keep many people from reaching their full potential.

Children are born curious. Curiosity is not something that must be “taught.” Rather, it is a trait, a skill, a superpower that we must learn not to stamp out.

Keep in mind, it matters far less what a child (or any person) is curious about than that she is curious, period. Perhaps one day it’s mermaids, the next it’s music, and the next it’s metaphysics, math, or meteorology. The crucial skill is to be able to identify what fascinates you, follow it through, and nurture your curiosity over time. This is how we will make new discoveries and create new solutions.

Curious people ask better questions

One easy way to begin this quest is to rethink our conversations. Curiosity is about questioning, investigating, and learning. The pursuit of curiosity—how we nurture our inquisitiveness—may lead to answers. But prioritizing answers above all? This gets the equation backwards.

Instead, focus on asking better questions. Organizations like the Right Question Institute help people do exactly this, with clear guidance and details. But it’s easier than that; there are simple exercises you can do to get started. For example, pick a topic and ask as many questions as you can about it in five minutes. Don’t judge; just ask. Chances are great that this will help to not only organize your thinking, but also to spur new ideas, connections … and even answers.

Speaking of helpful inquiries, asking five-year-olds “what they want to be when they grow up” isn’t the right question. The future of work isn’t about “jobs” or lifetime careers (plus, we can’t even imagine many of the livelihoods that may exist by the time today’s five-year-olds are adults). Rather, start with why (why something is important to learn, why they enjoy doing a given activity) and be curious from there.

The pace of change in our economy and in our workplaces similarly requires changes in our educational systems as well. As parents, teachers, and members of society, we must keep curiosity alive and thriving—at all ages.

A fitting tribute.

Nipsey Hussle

Nipsey Hussle will have an intersection in Los Angeles named after him, following the rapper’s tragic death last month.

The Grammy nominated rapper will be immortalised in a small section of the city after he was shot dead outside his clothing store.

The intersection of Slauson Avenue and Crenshaw Boulevard, close to where the star was shot, will now be named Ermias ‘Nipsey Hussle’ Asghedom Square, referencing his birth name.

Confirming the decision,  Los Angeles City Council’s Marqueece Harris-Dawson hailed Nipsey as a “West Coast hero”.

“Ermias Asghedom, known as Nipsey Hussle, was an icon and West Coast hero,’ Harris-Dawson said in a statement. “Nipsey’s genuine nature allowed him to be a light to everyone he interacted with, from family, friends, fans and his larger community. As a father, brother and son, Nipsey was a rock helping to build an empire that will continue through generations.”

  • The NME Obituary: Nipsey Hussle, 1985-2019: a musician who gave a voice to the voiceless and changed the face of indie rap

“Nipsey will always be remembered for delivering a pure, authentic Los Angeles sound; his numerous philanthropic efforts; his innovative, community-focused business mindset; and his humble heart.”

Nipsey Hussle

The decision comes days ahead of a memorial service for the late star, where tickets are thought to be changing hands online for in excess of $500.

Last weekend, Kanye West paid tribute to Nipsey by playing a speech by the late rapper at his latest Sunday Service performance. It came after the likes of Rihanna, Beyonce and Kendrick Lamar all hailed Nipsey’s talent in the wake of his death. Drake also paid tribute on the first night of his London residency, urging Nipsey to “rest easy”.

It transpired last week that Crips, Bloods, and other gangs in LA have gathered for a “unity meeting” in the wake of his death.

Kodak Black was also forced to apologise after disrespecting Nipsey’s girlfriend Lauren London. In an Instagram Live broadcast, Black made remarks that suggested he would give London a year to grieve for Hussle before romantically pursuing her.

Last week (April 4), a suspect was charged in Hussle’s killing. Eric Holder, 29, was charged with one count of murder and two counts of attempted murder. He has pled not guilty and has been placed in custody on a $5 million (£3.8 million) bail.

The post Nipsey Hussle to have Los Angeles intersection named in tribute to late rapper appeared first on NME.

Emerging from the grey areas of Indian anti-gambling laws, fantasy sports gaming platform Dream11 has become the country’s newest unicorn.

It announced yesterday (April 09) that Hong Kong-based asset manager Steadview Capital has bought an undisclosed stake in the startup, valuing it at over $1 billion. Last year, Dream11 had also received investment from Chinese online gaming giant Tencent, along with others, in a $100 million funding round.

With over 60 million users, the Mumbai-based firm calls itself India’s biggest fantasy sports-gaming platform. Its rise to the top, though, has been anything but smooth.

What is it, exactly?

In 2008, University of Pennsylvania alumnus Harsh Jain co-founded Dream11 with his friend Bhavit Sheth after they felt a lack of fantasy gaming platforms catering to fans of the Indian Premier League (IPL), a wildly popular cricket tournament launched the same year.

Though cricket remains its main attraction, the platform has today expanded its reach beyond cricket to football, kabaddi, basketball, and hockey.

On Dream11, sports fans can create their own fantasy team that consists of real-life players from an upcoming match. Each of these teams must contain players from both sides playing in the real match. The teams gain or lose points based on the individual performance of players during the course of the real match.

One can play for free or bet money. The user behind the team whose players perform the best in the real match wins the entire amount wagered in a pool. The company charges a 15% commission on this figure.

While only around 15% of Dream11’s users bet money on their fantasy teams, it is also the firm’s only revenue source since it stopped running advertisements on its platform.

And it’s doing well?

Dream11 has the first-mover advantage—its only predecessor, Super Selector, shut shop before the IPL even launched.

In a country obsessed with cricket, IPL has emerged as a multi-billion dollar brand. And Dream11 has carved out a piece of the pie. Last month, the firm clinched a 4-year deal to be the official fantasy gaming platform for the summer tournament. It has also signed former Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni as its brand ambassador.

These moves have helped Dream11’s user base grow by several times over the past few years.

However, that hasn’t brought an end to its legal hurdles.

How legit is this?

India bans any wagering activity, including several card games, that depends more on chance than skill.

Courts in the country have, however, interpreted the law to allow betting in horse races on grounds that these involve deep knowledge of the horses’ and jockeys’ pedigree and past performance, not merely luck.

In 2017, when a user lost money on Dream11 and filed a case against it, the court agreed with the firm’s stance that betting on the platform depends predominantly on skill, as users build their own team based on knowledge of players’ abilities and performance.

Yet, since sports betting remains illegal across India, Dream11 cannot allow users to bet on the real teams.

Further, the various states in India can and do enact strict anti-gambling laws of their own. Dream 11, hence, does not allow users from states like Telangana, Assam, Odisha, Nagaland, and Sikkim to play for money.

In its 2018 report on whether gambling should be legalised, the law commission of India cited a ruling by the European Court of Justice which cautions against online fantasy sports:

Apart from the lack of direct contact between the consumer and the operator… the particular ease and the permanence of access to games offered over the internet and the potentially high volume and frequency of such an international offer, in an environment which is moreover characterised by isolation of the player, anonymity and an absence of social control, constitute so many factors likely to foster the development of gambling addiction and the related squandering of money, and thus (is) likely to increase the negative social and moral consequences…

How’s the future looking?

The number of fantasy sport buffs is growing rapidly in India, particularly as internet penetration rises and people get more comfortable with e-payments.

Most enthusiasts access such platforms via apps on their smartphones, according to a joint report by KPMG and a Dream11-led industry body. This is despite the Google Play Store not hosting apps that offer cash contests—Dream11 users are forced to download the app from its website.

CEO Jain has said that the firm plans to reach 100 million users by the end of 2019. As is usually the case with startups, though, growth has come at a cost for Dream11, data from business intelligence firm Tracxn show.

Then again, flush with new money and the coveted unicorn status, Dream11 is free to dream some more.

PSY had huge plans before releasing his career-defining hit"Gangnam Style" -- he was planning to retire following its launch.

Gillibrand was grilled about her past stances on key issues at a CNN town hall.

During a Tuesday night CNN town hall, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) tried to tackle her biggest campaign problem — name recognition.

Gillibrand, who is running as a resistance candidate, is trailing far behind the frontrunners in national polls of the 2020 Democratic field. She took direct aim at President Donald Trump on Tuesday, even calling him “weak and a coward.”

But voters wanted Gillibrand to talk more about her own record. The senator from New York spent a lot of time saying she was wrong for taking moderate-to-conservative stances on issues like guns and immigration earlier in her political career, and explaining how her positions evolved.

She also won the crowd over several times, after answering a number of potentially tough questions.

Before becoming a senator, Gillibrand served in the House, where she represented a moderate district from upstate New York. She took more conservative stances on issues like immigration. She opposed “amnesty for illegal immigrants” and advocated closing the border, according to documents obtained by CNN. But last year, Gillibrand went so far as to call for the abolishment of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, during the height of Trump’s family separation crisis at the border.

“I was always for comprehensive immigration reform but I didn’t lead on the issue,” Gillibrand said on Tuesday, adding, “We are a better country when we care about one another, when we believe in the golden rule, when we treat others the way we want to be treated. And because I did not do that as a House member, I was ashamed.”

That wasn’t all. Gillibrand was asked a pointed question on her past A rating from the NRA by one audience member. Another wanted her to square taking money from a pharmaceutical executive with her current support for Medicare-for-All.

On the issue of gun violence, Gillibrand again said she had been wrong as a House member, and said her position on guns changed when she started meeting with the families of gun violence victims.

“What I recognized pretty quickly when I became a senator was that I didn’t spend enough time thinking about other people around the state and other families who were really suffering,” she said. “When you talk to a mom and a dad who lost their teenage daughter because she was at a party with friend and a stray bullet hit her and killed her, and you meet her whole class, not only do you immediately know that you were wrong, but you know you have to do something about it.”

Even though the CNN town hall audience started out seemingly skeptical of Gillibrand, they applauded her story about how she changed her position on guns. It was a sign that voters might be willing to listen to a candidate who has evolved — as long as they believe that evolution is genuine.

Gillibrand could use a breakout moment

Gillibrand was one of the first Democratic candidates to get into the race for president. But as the field has ballooned to 18 candidates, she’s struggled to break through. She is currently polling at just one percent in national polls, far behind frontrunners Sen. Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden (who hasn’t yet declared), and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA).

Political town halls have been platforms to launch other candidates in the 2020 race. South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg went from being a relative unknown to the latest rising star of the presidential race after his CNN town hall a few weeks ago.

Gillibrand is using this national stage to introduce herself to voters — many of whom may not know who she is. Lack of name recognition is perhaps her biggest challenge in 2020, according to two national pollsters who spoke with Vox. To illustrate how big that problem is, it’s not just national voters who aren’t aware of Gillibrand — it’s voters in her home state as well.

“One thing with Sen. Gillibrand that has become a recurring theme when we’ve done polls in New York state, there’s a high number of people who don’t know enough about her to form an opinion,” said Mary Snow, polling analyst for Quinnipiac University.

A full 35 percent of New York residents said they didn’t know enough about Gillibrand to form an opinion of her, according to a March 21 Quinnipiac poll. And Gillibrand was far from their first choice; Biden (still undeclared) led the pack, followed by Sanders.

“She’s been a senator for a decade, and this is in New York,” Snow said.

Gillibrand’s name recognition issue isn’t relegated to her home state. Although she’s been a frequent face in early voting states like Iowa and New Hampshire, national polls have her closer to lower-tier candidates like Andrew Yang and John Hickenlooper than to the frontrunners.

Some of Gillibrand’s low name recognition may have to do with the issues she has focused on, according to Patrick Murray, director of polling at Monmouth University Polling Institute. Beyond her shifting stances on issues like immigration and guns, the New York senator made her name as a leader of the #MeToo movement, and has been an integral part of the resistance movement on Capitol Hill. Gillibrand was one of the main figures who pushed for the ouster of Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), after numerous women came forward accusing him of sexual misconduct.

But even though the 2018 midterms were known as the year of the woman, #MeToo isn’t as prominent of an issue to voters as health care and the environment, Murray said.

“When voters boil down what they really want in a nominees, they want someone that can beat Donald Trump, but the two issues that keep cropping up are health care and the environment,” said Murray told Vox. “She’s considered to be a moderate but has made her name on the #MeToo movement, and quite frankly, that’s not the main issue that’s driving Democratic voters.”

Graphic artist Jurian Moller created a flipbook that lets you watch 550 million years of human evolution unfold in a matter of seconds. He writes: "This flipbook goes back in time and shows you the evolution of the generations in both a personal and scientific way. The differences between the generations on each page are very difficult to see, but the long, continuous ancestral line goes right back to our very origins."

The action is on full display above. Below, watch the same flipbook in an animated form. Purchase the book in various formats at Moller's site here.

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Related Content:

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Landmark Theatres confirmed to IndieWire that, as of Monday, it is now booking the four-screen Quad Theater in lower Manhattan. Owned by real estate magnate Charles S. Cohen, The Quad was previously booked by in-house programmer Chris Wells. As of last week, Wells is now head of sales at specialized distributor Kino Lorber.

Cohen said the fourplex theater will be known as the Landmark Quad Cinema. Landmark, which Coen purchased last December, is the nation’s largest theater chain dedicated to exhibiting independent film.

“I’m thrilled that Landmark’s professional and experienced staff will guide the Quad in providing the very best in entertainment for this unique and historic Greenwich Village location,” he said. “Their expertise and commitment to the movie-going experience is in line with the founding ethos of the Quad, and I’m looking forward to the next phase in this theater’s long lifespan.”

It’s a logical move, given the common ownership. Landmark’s direct booking will be vital for the identity and the future of the West Village theater, which became Manhattan’s first multiplex when it opened in 1972. It’s played specialized films for most of its existence, but never with the clout and expertise of Landmark. Still, it’s unlikely to vault ahead of its Lower Manhattan competition.

The IFC Center

The Angelika, IFC Center, and Film Forum, all nearby, are well-established specialized locations. Regal’s Union Square location sometimes serves as the sole downtown initial run for films from companies like Fox Searchlight and Focus. However, Union Square will temporarily lose six screens this summer to renovation, potentially to the benefit all other theaters in the zone.

Also, while the Quad underwent a glamorous makeover in 2017, seating is still limited; the largest of the four theaters has only 100 seats. This is especially challenging when calculating the all-important per-theater averages, which are critical when positioning for initial box-office analysis.

Previously, Landmark operated the now-shuttered Sunshine Cinema on the Lower East Side. It had more screens and more seats, but never earned preferred status. Landmark also owns the plush 57th Street theater, which became a go-to location after the revered Lincoln Plaza closed down. Distributors have their habits, but with Landmark in charge, expect the Quad to become more competitive.

Under Landmark, it remains to be seen whether the Quad will continue to provide a haven for viable titles that don’t conform to 90-day theatrical windows and don’t want to four-wall screens to play them. In New York City, reportedly the IFC Center is the only other theater willing to provide this opportunity to select distributors.


“Ash Is Purest White”

Consistent with Cohen Releasing’s acquisition of primarily foreign-language titles, the Quad has played many first-run subtitled films. One question to be confirmed is the continuation of repertory programming, which has previously been a priority for Cohen. In an interview with IndieWire in December, Cohen said he has already suggested devoting some Landmark screens, particularly on weekdays, to repertory presentations. According to Cohen, the Landmark Quad Cinema will continue to showcase restored and classic films.

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The 1937 Nazi Degenerate Art Exhibition displayed the art of Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky, Georg Grosz, and many more internationally famous modernists with maximum prejudice. Ripped from the walls of German museums, the 740 paintings and sculptures were thrown together in disarray and surrounded by derogatory graffiti and hell-house effects. Right down the street was the respectable Great German Art Exhibition, designed as counterprogramming “to show the works that Hitler approved of—depicting statuesque blonde nudes along with idealized soldiers and landscapes,” writes Lucy Burns at the BBC.

Viewers were supposed to sneer and recoil at the modern art, and most did, but whether they were gawkers, Nazi sympathizers, or art fans in mourning, the exhibit drew massive crowds. Over a million people first attended, three times more than saw the exhibition of state-sanctioned art—or more specifically, art sanctioned by Hitler the failed artist, who had endured watching “the realistic paintings of buildings and landscapes,” of sturdy peasants and suffering poets, “dismissed by the art establishment in favour of abstract and modern styles.” The Degenerate Art Exhibition “was his moment to get his revenge,” and he had it. Over a hundred artists were denounced as Bolsheviks and Jews bent on corrupting German purity.

Afterwards, thousands of works of art were destroyed or disappeared, as did many of their creators. Many artists fled, many could not. Enraged by the eclipse of sentimental academic styles and by his own ignorance, Hitler railed against “works of art which cannot be understood in themselves,” as he put it in a speech that summer. These “will never again find their way to the German people.” Many such quotations surrounded the offending art. The 1993 documentary above, written, produced, and directed by David Grubin, tells the story of the exhibition, which has in time proven Hitler’s greatest culture war folly. It accomplished its immediate purpose, but as Jonathan Petropoulos, professor of European History at Claremont McKenna College points out, “this artwork became more attractive abroad…. I think that over the longer run it was good for modern art to be viewed as something that the Nazis detested and hated.”

Not every anti-Nazi critic saw modern art as subverting fascism. Ten years after the Degenerate Art Exhibition, philosopher Theodor Adorno, himself a refugee from Nazism, called Expressionism “a naïve aspect of liberal trustfulness,” on a continuum between fascist tools like Futurism and “the ideology of the cinema.” Nonetheless, it was Hitler who most bore out Adorno’s general observation: “Taste is the most accurate seismograph of historical experience…. Reacting against itself, it recognizes its own lack of taste.” The hysterical performance of disgust surrounding so-called “degenerate art” turned the exhibit into a sensation, a blockbuster that, if it did not prove the virtues of modernism, showed many around the world that the Nazis were as crude, dim, and vicious as they alleged their supposed enemies to be.

In the documentary, you’ll see actual footage of the theatrical exhibition, juxtaposed with film of a 1992 Berlin exhibition of much of that formerly degenerate art. Restaged Degenerate Art Exhibitions have become very popular in the art word, bringing together artists who need no further exposure, in order to historically reenact, in some fashion, the experience of seeing them all together for the first time. From a recent historical review at New York’s Neue Gallerie to the digital exhibit at MoMA.org, degenerate art retrospectives show, as Adorno wrote, that indeed "taste is the most accurate seismograph of historical experience."

The original exhibition “went on tour all over Germany,” writes Burns, “where it was seen by a million more people.” Thousands of ordinary Germans who went to jeer at it were exposed to modern art for the first time. Millions more people have learned the names and styles of these artists by learning about the history of Nazism and its cult of pettiness and personal revenge. Learn much more in the excellent documentary above and at our previous post on the Degenerate Art Exhibition.

Degenerate Art - 1993, The Nazis vs. Expressionism will be added to our list of Free Documentaries, a subset of our collection, 1,150 Free Movies Online: Great Classics, Indies, Noir, Westerns, etc.

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The Nazi’s Philistine Grudge Against Abstract Art and The “Degenerate Art Exhibition” of 1937

Titanic: The Nazis Create a Mega-Budget Propaganda Film About the Ill-Fated Ship … and Then Banned It (1943)

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Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness

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Rosdely Ciprian and Thursday Williams talk about the Broadway hit What the Constitution Means to Me, and what Congress could learn from them.

Near the end of the hit show What the Constitution Means to Me, which recently transferred to Broadway, writer-performer Heidi Schreck is joined onstage by a teenage girl for a full-throated, parliamentary-style debate on a proposition: Should the Constitution be abolished and replaced by a new, positive-rights constitution?

It’s an unusual ending for a Broadway show situated in a Great White Way populated by revivals and movie adaptations. (Constitution is running next door to the Frozen show.) But then, What the Constitution Means to Me is far from a traditional production, as Schreck jumps forward and back in time to assume different versions of herself, real and fictional. It’s as much a treatise on politics as it is a memoir.

At What the Constitution Means to Me, the audience receives little booklets of the Constitution as Schreck’s debate partner comes onstage and flip a coin, then prepares to argue her side of the debate. Depending on the night, her partner is either high school senior Thursday Williams or high school freshman Rosdely Ciprian, both New York natives and avid competitive debaters.

Schreck’s performance is consistently engaging throughout the show, but once Ciprian or Williams shows up, it turns electric. Cast member Mike Iverson encourages the audience to stomp and clap, hoot and holler, and participate in the debate themselves. Though they know what the proposition will be, Schreck and either Williams or Ciprian debate extemporaneously, depending on the coin toss, though they often hit the same points from performance to performance. By the end, an audience member is chosen at random to decide who won the debate.

I’ve seen the show twice, once off Broadway with Williams debating, and once on Broadway with Ciprian taking the stage. Both girls are astoundingly composed, commanding the stage and debating in a way few in the audience would venture to do over a dinner table or a crowded bar, let alone on a Broadway stage. The debate, which injects levity into the show while remaining absolutely serious, lasts for about 15 minutes of the show’s 100-minute run time. It’s a welcome evolution of the story Schreck has been telling of her own time as a teenage competitor in speech competitions several decades ago. The work of arguing about the Constitution continues into the future.

I became interested in what it might be like for them to perform in this show, debating for the good of the world, their perspectives informed by the country and political climate they’re growing up in. So just days after the show’s Broadway opening, I met the teens backstage at the show to talk about it. We chatted about how they got involved, why they think adults need to actually learn principles from debate, and what they take away from being possibly the first true debaters on the Broadway stage. (Also, I think Thursday announced her congressional run.)

Our conversation has been lightly edited for clarity.

Alissa Wilkinson

What was it like for you both to get involved with the show? Being on Broadway probably wasn’t what you thought you’d be doing when you took up debate.

Thursday Williams

Definitely not.

Rosdely Ciprian

I got started with the show when I was in the learning lounge, which is like debate central at my old middle school. Everybody would go down to debate and eat snacks and stuff. The room was used for everything; it was a multipurpose thing. But the main thing was debate.

So [debate teacher] Mr. Beatty was sitting in his occasional judging chair that we would all fight for. Other girls were saying, “They’re looking for, like, teenage girls, I think, for a debate.” And he was like, “I think some of you should audition.” I was just like, “Yeah, okay, it’s going to be cool.” I didn’t think he was serious.

Two days later, they were like, “Oh, yeah, this is like an actual thing. We have an audition date now.”

Alissa Wilkinson

And then you auditioned?

Rosdely Ciprian

Yeah, I got called back. This is two years ago. I got called back. And it’s taken off since then.

Alissa Wilkinson

[laughs] Here we are! Was it the same for you, Thursday?

Thursday Williams

No. So, I debate at Brooklyn Law School, at NYU Law School, and it’s funny because a teacher who I’ve never had as a real teacher actually recommended me for this position.

I was president of my school my junior year. One of my goals was to get as close as I possibly could with as many teachers as possible in my school. So I happened to get close with this teacher. I helped her with the Black History Month assembly and the Women’s History Month assembly.

One day she told me, “You need to come downstairs, I have something for you to read.” I read the email: “They’re looking for a debater.” We started working on it, and then I auditioned, and I got called back, and I auditioned again. And then I got the part.

Alissa Wilkinson

So what was the audition like? What did they have you do?

Thursday Williams

I was sent two excerpts from the big script. We were to familiarize ourself with one of these and be able to present it. It was weird for me, first of all. Because when I read the first, I was like, why are we talking about “swimming fairies”?

[...] It was funny, because I’ve never auditioned for anything in my life before. And so I thought I was going to be in front of people who were going be like, “Cut!”

Then I went in there. They’re like, “We’re not looking for an actress — we’re just looking for a debater.” I’m like, “I can do that. I can debate.” And that’s what I did.

Rosdely Ciprian

I had that same excerpt about swimming fairies. And I’m just like, “Wait, I don’t know. I don’t know.”

Alissa Wilkinson

So they just gave you kind of a nonsense proposition to debate?

Rosdely Ciprian

I think they chose something that could relate to us. It’s kind of magical. I liked it. Then they had me perform a debate about one of the topics I’d done, about “ban the burqa.” Oliver [Butler, the director] was, like, really deeply staring at me. I was like, I don’t know if he likes me. I don’t know if he wants me to stop talking. Then I had a callback, and I had to do that same excerpt again, except read it in different ways, like in a grandma voice or a tired voice. I was like, I don’t know what’s going on. I hope I’m doing a good job. And my mom would give me a death glare if I did something wrong. [laughs]

Rosdely Ciprian debating as Mike Iverson and Holly Schreck look on. Joan Marcus
Rosdely Ciprian debating as Mike Iverson and Holly Schreck look on.

Alissa Wilkinson

So that sounds like a different kind of audition, and you both have different kind of jobs, too — you might be the first people to ever do debate on a Broadway stage, maybe in history. But it’s extemporaneous to a degree, right? The debates aren’t exactly the same every night. Do you find that the Broadway stage context is a lot different from the other places where you debate?

Thursday Williams

In the show, we do parliamentary debate. That is the style that Rosdely was more familiar with; I do constitutional. That has to do with getting a fact pattern, arguing an amendment or exceptions to an amendment, and using case laws and case precedents to think about what’s binding, what’s not binding — to prove your point.

So it’s very different from the debate we do here. That’s a debate that’s supposed to inform people. It’s a debate that’s supposed to get the audience rowdy. But it’s also supposed to be entertaining and a little bit funny, right? To keep them engaged.

But in constitutional debate, our debates as lawyers and judges shouldn’t be entertaining at all. You can cut the room with scissors. That’s how intense it gets.

Rosdely Ciprian

Oh, the debate that I do — the one I do with Heidi is familiar, since I do parliamentary debate. But it’s really intense, because when I do debate and practice with Mr. Beatty and my teammates, it was just cool. But when we got to city championships, there would be various judges, and a whole room of kids, parents, and stuff, just watching the championships, and I’m like, “Oh, my god. This is intense. I’m freaking out.”

I don’t really feel that way onstage. It’s different onstage, where there’s a new dynamic and a new environment, which I happen to like.

Alissa Wilkinson

I saw the show twice, once with Thursday and once with Rosdely. It was interesting to see how much it feels like you’re interacting with the audience, feeding off their energy, when you get onstage for a show. Your appearance onstage, which happens near the end of the show, brings its own new energy, since most of the show is Heidi.

But what I want to know is this: Do you find yourself feeding off the crowd’s energy? Is it different for you each night?

Rosdely Ciprian

Yes, definitely.

Thursday Williams

Yeah. It’s funny that you asked that question, because last night I had a show, and I just didn’t feel like I did a good job because the audience was so quiet.

But there are points in my debate where I go harder because people are yelling and screaming. They’re acknowledging that, you know, we’re hearing you and we agree with you. So that energy, yeah. I take that in and I just go harder and harder.

Rosdely Ciprian

For me, when the audience is kind of quiet, I feel like I have to be more intense, like I really have to smack Heidi down, because I want these people to listen to what I’m actually saying. I don’t know if you had a bad day; I don’t know if you’re just not having it. But I’m going to get you.

And it usually works! Sometimes the audience just doesn’t budge, but there’s just different points in the debate that you know are going to get a reaction. And then it’s kind of weird when you don’t get a reaction.

Thursday Williams debating as Mike Iverson and Heidi Schreck look on. Joan Marcus
Thursday Williams debating as Mike Iverson and Heidi Schreck look on.

Alissa Wilkinson

I imagine the part where you accuse Heidi of “pandering” usually gets laughs.

Thursday Williams

Sometimes there are people that actually don’t laugh!

Rosdely Ciprian

Some people who don’t know what pandering is.

Alissa Wilkinson

I hear a lot of people talking about whether debate is good for politics and for our society. They look at the political situation in our country and say that debate teaches people to argue, but not to think about the issues themselves. If someone was to say that to you, how would you counter them?

Thursday Williams

So I’m a little confused. Their argument is that when you argue, you’re arguing whatever side, rather than just focusing on the actual thing. ...

Alissa Wilkinson

They think you get hooked on the feeling of winning, instead of standing up for something you believe in.

Thursday Williams

I think that’s — that’s nonsense.

Thursday Williams

As a lawyer, you get a client. You have to defend the client to the best of your ability.

But I think it’s okay to admit to certain parts that are ... I partly agree with what you said. I do think that this is wrong with society. But a better debater is someone who can agree with somebody, but also have more points to refute and rebut and go against.

Rosdely Ciprian

I do admit that you like the feeling of winning. But if you’re arguing a side that you wouldn’t normally go for, in debate, you always make it your own. It’s not always, Oh, you’ve got to go against your will about what you’re saying. You’re always going to find something in that argument, in that topic, that is going to connect and relate to you. You find something that will make it your own.

In parliamentary debate, before you go to a tournament, you have to know both sides of the argument, and you’ll always have something that’s going to make it your own. Even if you don’t agree with this issue, we have an idea of what the argument is on the other side.

Alissa Wilkinson

So maybe one of the benefits is that you have to really understand where the other person is coming from, even if you don’t agree?

Rosdely Ciprian

[nods]

Alissa Wilkinson

Are there skills that you feel like you’re taking away from learning to debate, especially in middle school and high school, that you’ll bring into life — maybe some that you weren’t expecting when you started doing debate?

Thursday Williams

Yes. Because I actually will be — I changed from want to be, I will be — running for Congress after grad school, at the age of 25, or maybe 26.

Alissa Wilkinson

Good.

Thursday Williams

I will be running for the House, of course, because I cannot be in the Senate until I’m 30. But I’ll wait.

I think one major characteristic of congresswomen is public speaking, having that persuasive tone. I’m probably going to have to lobby for a lot of things.

I actually never thought that I would get that from debate. I started doing mock trials first, and I started at St. John’s Law School through the Legal Outreach Program. And when I did my first competition, I — believe it or not — hardly spoke. I was really shy, believe it or not. [Note: It is hard to believe.] Then I went to the championships, and I thought, you know, maybe I didn’t do that bad after all.

It gave me public speaking skills. I’m able to look people directly in their eyes and make my point and articulate myself. And I think that is one skill that I’m definitely going to need, and will have, in the future.

Rosdely Ciprian

I was always an outspoken child. When I joined debate, I was outspoken, but now it’s with logic. So if somebody is trying to argue with me about something, or I’m saying something that they don’t agree with, I can fight back with logic. Debate taught me about logic. It taught me about thinking on your feet. It taught me how to connect with people better. Before, I was just like, “Eh, leave me and my facts and my debate alone,” even though I was outspoken.

So I want to be an actress. Or, I don’t know, maybe a psychologist. And I feel like the speaking skills are really going to help me in whatever career I decide to do. Debate has really impacted my life.

Thursday Williams

And not only that — as much as it helped me with public speaking skills, it also helped me with listening skills, right? I just realized this, actually. Even when I debate, I have to — well we set it up in a way where you have no choice but to listen to your opponent, because you’re going to have to do a rebuttal. You have to have a point to talk about and elaborate on. That’s a skill that I’m going to need and I’m going to have to use as a congresswoman or as a lawyer or as a judge. Because I have to listen to the people and do according to the people.

Alissa Wilkinson

So, then, I know you’re paying a lot of attention to what’s going on in our country today. What do you think politicians and policymakers could learn from debate?

Thursday Williams

Well, for one, Congress could learn how to better communicate with each other and actually have debates. And actually talk about real issues and actually make decisions accordingly.

Rosdely Ciprian

I honestly think debate makes people more insightful. Before, I was not paying attention to issues. Then, when I got into debate, I noticed, like, Oh, my god, there is a whole other world in front of you. Go explore it. Go learn more about it. So I feel like that’s how debate can help people become more insightful.

It can also help people be more outspoken. It can definitely help with confidence, and quick thinking and planning, because anything can go wrong and you always have to just plan ahead, plan ahead, plan ahead. And you have to think right then and there, what are you going to do. Because there’s nobody else to help you.

Thursday Williams

And one last thing: I think when you debate — like what Rosdely said — it builds your confidence, your speaking skills. I think it makes leaders. I think debate can help people advocate for real issues, and actually standing up for things, when we, say, debate an issue like immigration or something. Having people who can understand what the argument is from all sides of the spectrum and debate it. I think it’s better that way.

Alissa Wilkinson

Yeah. Airing out the issue can kind of let us all really see what’s inside of it.

Thursday Williams

Progress will happen that way.

Rosdely Ciprian and Thursday Williams alternate nights debating during the Broadway run of What the Constitution Means to Me, which runs at the Helen Hayes Theater in New York City through July 21.

The Crown” has yet to air its third season, but the Netflix series has added another key piece to the puzzle for its future Season 4. Emma Corrin is set to play Lady Diana Spencer, the iconic royal figure who went on to become Princess and one of the world’s most famous figures in the process. Netflix confirmed the casting on Tuesday with a statement from Corrin in which she says of her new role, “I will strive to do her justice!”

Princess Diana will be Corrin’s first major role. She can next be seen in Philippa Lowthorpe’s film “Misbehaviour,” a behind-the-scenes chronicle of the 1970 Miss World competition. Gillian Anderson is reportedly in line for the role of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Both of these castings would indicate that Season 4 would be moving well into the 1980s. Regardless of what ground the season eventually covers, production is slated to start later this year.

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The historical Netflix drama’s upcoming season will feature newly-minted Oscar winner Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth II, a role previously played by Claire Foy through the show’s first twenty episodes. The time jump will bring Elizabeth’s life to the 1960s, a move that also sees other performers stepping into major roles. Tobias Menzies will take over for Matt Smith as Elizabeth’s husband Prince Phillip, while Helena Bonham Carter will assume playing Elizabeth’s sister Margaret after Vanessa Kirby originated the part.

Departing “Killing Eve” showrunner Emerald Fennell will also be playing Camilla Parker Bowles in Season 3, presumably as part of setting up Diana’s involvement in the following season.

The Peter Morgan-written series has become one of Netflix’s largest awards season players, having previously garnered Drama Series nominations for each of its first two seasons and wins for Foy as well as John Lithgow, who played Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

Full title: The Myth of the Nice Girl: Achieve a Career You Love Without Becoming the Person You Hate Year first published: 2018 Number of…

Gomez, Morticia, Wednesday, Pugsley, Uncle Fester, and Grandmama are back and ready for the big screen once again in the first trailer for MGM’s “The Addams Family.” The computer-animated movie, based on the famous comic strip by cartoonist Charles Addams, comes from “Sausage Party” directors Conrad Vernon and Greg Tiernan and features an all-star voice cast that includes Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron, Chloe Grace Moretz, Finn Wolfhard, Nick Kroll, Allison Janney, Bette Midler, and “Eighth Grade” favorite Elsie Fisher.

“The Addams Family” follows America’s most macabre family as they figure out a way to evade a greedy television host who is hellbent on turning their lives into a reality television series. The host shows up in the midst of the family’s preparations for a huge celebration with extended relatives. Isaac is voicing Gomez, while Theron is taking on the role of Morticia.

The upcoming animated movie will be the first time the “Addams Family” characters have been in movie theaters since 1993’s “Addams Family Values,” directed by Barry Sonnenfeld and starring Raúl Juliá and Anjelica Huston as Gomez and Morticia. The duo first played the characters in the 1991 version of “The Addams Family,” which was a big financial win for Paramount and MGM with over $130 million worldwide. The live-action movies also starred Christina Ricci as Wednesday. “Addams Family Reunion” was a third live-action movie released straight to home video in 1998.

For Isaac, “The Addams Family” marks his biggest voice role yet. Theron has experience with the animation genre having voiced monkey Sariatu in Laika Animation’s acclaimed “Kubo and the Two Strings.” Theron also served as the narrator of the 2009 animated film “Astro Boy.” Isaac’s previous voice roles include the starring role on the “Homecoming” podcast, which was later adapted into the Amazon series starring Julia Roberts.

MGM will open “The Addams Family” in theaters nationwide October 11. Watch the first official trailer below.

For years China’s white-collar tech workers have been some of the most privileged in the country—and were prepared to put in any number of working hours in return. Now, as the economy slows and tech giants announce layoffs, pent-up anger over working hours is bubbling over.

The most prominent protest over work hours is the 996.ICU project launched at the end of March on Microsoft’s GitHub code-sharing community. In days, the attempt to catalog companies who demand a 996 schedule—9 am to 9 pm, six days a week—became the site’s most book-marked or “starred” project, racking up more than 190,000 stars.

“By following the “996” work schedule, you are risking yourself getting into the ICU (Intensive Care Unit),” says the “996.ICU” project description, whose creators aren’t known. It calls on tech workers to add names and evidence of excessive hours to a “blacklist,” proposes requiring companies to agree to an “anti-996 license” as a condition for using open-source software, and urges people to “go home at 6 pm without feeling sorry.”

Media reports on deaths of young tech workers from heart attacks have also raised concern about the deep-seated culture of overwork, even though it’s unclear whether they were related to work stress.

“The overwork culture is rooted in China’s tech industry. I worked 996 for nine months. During that time, I had serious insomnia due to the high pressure. So, I quit, ” said GitHub member Zhang, a former software developer who put a star on the project to show his support.

Zhang, who asked to be identified only by his last name, said putting the anti-996 complaints on GitHub made sense for tech workers—it’s a place they naturally gather, and more importantly, it’s not blocked in China given its usefulness to developers and tech firms alike. “If you protest on Weibo or WeChat, more likely it will be controlled by either tech companies or the government,” he said.

Work 996, end up in the ICU, Chinese engineers like to joke.

The page has been widely shared in China—on messaging app WeChat, the microblog Weibo, and the Quora-like Zhihu site (link in Chinese), as well as on professional networking sites. Anonymous workers from nearly 90 companies have posted about how much they work in the name of “flexible working hours.” The names of tech majors like Tencent, parent of the ubiquitous WeChat app, and e-commerce giant Alibaba, appeared on the list. The companies didn’t immediately reply to requests for comment.

Outside of China, too, the developer community has taken note.

More than 90 projects on GitHub have adopted the “anti-996” license template, which was drafted by Katt Gu, a lawyer focused on advanced technologies who works with Shanghai-based digital privacy start-up Dimension, and Suji Yan, the startup’s CEO. (Gu and Yan say they weren’t involved in the creation of the 996.ICU project itself.) The license requires companies who wants to use open-source software from those projects to commit to complying with local labor laws and International Labour Organization standards.

“Most people aren’t brave enough to use their own strength to fight with the whole company. But if they have a license as a back-up, it will be much easier,” Gu told Quartz. It’s unclear right now how developers would track or restrict use of their software by companies that don’t respect the license conditions.

Given the fate of recent activism over factory workers’ rights, the project has been careful to distance itself from politics—and put the focus on Chinese law.

“This is not a political movement. We firmly uphold labor law and request employers to respect the legitimate rights and interests of their employees,” says the 996.ICU page.

There are some signals the government is listening—in a Weibo post (link in Chinese) on Friday (April 5), state-run newspaper People’s Daily urged authorities to review working hours in the industry: “The legitimacy of the 996 work system is clearly questionable, and it is almost impossible for individuals to say ‘no,’ to this mechanism.”

But it’s unclear how much tech firms will or can respond, especially as they face a challenging economic climate (paywall).

A group of people from Shachiku, a Beijing-based WeChat account that’s a forum for people with complaints of unfair workplace treatment, went to nine companies on the blacklist at the start of this month in order to submit petitions against illegal overtime, and asked the companies to respond publicly.

Five companies accepted the petition—Alibaba, ride-hailing giant Didi, search engine Sogou, streaming site iQiyi (a subsidiary of Baidu), and online games company NetEase. At Sina, parent company of Weibo, and Bytedance, parent of the TikTok mini-video app, they were unable to get past security. Tencent and search giant Baidu, rejected the effort to submit the petition.

Several tech companies have sent the message that they need more from their workers right now. In a January WeChat post, the founder of e-commerce firm Youzan called on workers to embrace 996 culture. “If you feel no pressure working at a company, you should leave, for your employer is dying,” said Zhu Ning, writing under a pen name.

And over the past weekend, logistics and e-commerce giant JD.com, whose name also appeared on the 996.ICU list, said in an internal email it would weed out workers who weren’t “fighting hard” regardless of their personal circumstances. “JD.com is a competitive workplace that rewards initiative and hard work, which is consistent with our entrepreneurial roots. We’re getting back to those roots as we seek, develop and reward staff who share the same hunger and values,” a JD representative told Quartz yesterday (April 8).

In recent days, users have said Chinese domestic browsers, including Tencent’s QQ browser, Alibaba’s UC browser and Qihoo’s 360 browser, have restricted access to the 996.ICU repository, telling users the website contains illegal or malicious information.

“Programmers who demanded work and life balance had to work overtime to block the website,” joked a Chinese programmer surnamed Pan.

Echo Huang contributed reporting to this story.

Organizers say Grammy-winning folk singer Patty Griffin will headline the Red Ants Pants Music Festival in central Montana this summer. The Great...

Yet another defeat for a Department of Homeland Security stuck between the judiciary and an enraged and impatient president.

A federal judge in California ruled that the Trump administration can no longer return Central American asylum seekers to wait in Mexico before (and between) hearings in their asylum cases.

The policy, known as the “Migrant Protection Protocols” or the “Remain in Mexico” policy, has resulted in more than 600 asylum seekers being sent back to Mexico since late January — with more than 250 of those coming in the last two weeks, as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) aggressively expanded its use along the US-Mexico border at the direction of former department Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.

The new ruling by Judge Richard Seeborg of the Northern District of California, in the lawsuit Innovation Law Lab v. Nielsen, requires the administration to allow people who have already been returned to stay in the US after their next court hearings, and to stop returning new people to Mexico under the policy.

The ruling maintains that the Immigration and Nationality Act’s provision allowing the government to return migrants to a “contiguous country” while their cases are pending does not apply to asylum seekers, and that the way the Trump administration was implementing the policy — returning asylum seekers until they met an unusually high standard of proving they would be persecuted in Mexico — failed to protect migrants from danger.

Seeborg’s ruling comes as the department is already in upheaval. Nielsen resigned under pressure from President Donald Trump on Sunday night; Customs and Border Protection Kevin McAleenan (who helped oversee the implementation of the “Remain in Mexico” policy) has been named her acting replacement, apparently in contradiction of federal vacancies law.

The other DHS official responsible for overseeing the implementation of the return-to-Mexico policy, US Customs and Immigration Services Director Francis Cissna — whose agency included the asylum officers that engaged in infrequent and unusual screenings of asylum seekers who claimed to be afraid of being returned to Mexico — is reportedly under pressure from Stephen Miller, a Trump aide and immigration hawk, to leave as well.

The new ruling is yet another setback for all of them to deal with. Nearly every major Trump immigration initiative has been put on hold by the courts — giving the administration a dwindling array of options as it tries to address the needs of the unprecedented number of families entering the United States and the ongoing temper tantrums of a president who appears to believe they can be prevented from entering.

Ironically, Nielsen introduced the “Remain in Mexico” policy the last time it looked like she might lose her job, in December, as Trump was openly contemplating replacing her in a post-midterms shakeup.

When she presented the plan at a House Judiciary Committee hearing, she made it seem like a central solution to the problem of asylum seekers — one that prevented them from being able to abscond into the United States before their hearings because it didn’t really allow them into the US at all.

The government will almost certainly appeal Seeborg’s ruling — adding it to a long line of Trump immigration policies stuck between a West Coast judge’s injunction and the Supreme Court. It’s plausible that if the administration wanted to fight the case aggressively, they could get the conservative Court to uphold the policy eventually. But it would take months or years. Trump has shown repeatedly — not least over the past few days — that he is not willing to wait that long.

J"oin Us for the Celebration of the Life & Legacy of Nipsey Hussle."

Nipsey Hussle

Nipsey Hussle’s family have confirmed that the late rapper’s memory will be honoured with a memorial service at Los Angeles’ Staples Centre.

The venue will play host to a massive public service on April 11 after the rapper was gunned down outside his own clothing store last month.

Details of the service were confirmed on Nipsey’s Instagram page, alongside an angelic photo that shows him donning angel wings while wearing a white suit.

The post encouraged fans to pay their respects to the late star by obtaining free tickets to the event.

“Join Us for the Celebration of the Life & Legacy of Nipsey Hussle. Thursday, April 11th 2019 – Staples Center,” the post read.

It is the same venue where Michael Jackson’s family held a public memorial in 2009 – and fans based in California will be able to obtain four tickets per household. However, camera and recording equipment will not be allowed into the venue at the request of the late rapper’s family.

Last weekend, Kanye West paid tribute to Nipsey by playing a speech by the late rapper at his latest Sunday Service performance. It came after the likes of Rihanna, Beyonce and Kendrick Lamar all hailed Nipsey’s talent in the wake of his death. Drake also paid tribute on the first night of his London residency, urging Nipsey to “rest easy”.

It transpired last week that Crips, Bloods, and other gangs in LA have gathered for a “unity meeting” in the wake of his death.

Kodak Black was also forced to apologise after disrespecting Nipsey’s girlfriend Lauren London. In an Instagram Live broadcast, Black made remarks that suggested he would give London a year to grieve for Hussle before romantically pursuing her.

Last week (April 4), a suspect was charged in Hussle’s killing. Eric Holder, 29, was charged with one count of murder and two counts of attempted murder. He has pled not guilty and has been placed in custody on a $5 million (£3.8 million) bail.

The post Nipsey Hussle’s family confirm details of massive public memorial in Los Angeles appeared first on NME.

Aspen Shortsfest played a feature for the first time in more than a decade last night, and it had good reason: “Short Term 12,” the movie in question, was writer-director Destin Daniel Cretton’s expansion of his short film of the same name. Cretton was on hand to mark the occasion, speaking for 30 minutes after the screening about his early years as a filmmaker, his admiration of garbage men, and why he went to college for filmmaking in the first place.

“I was not a cinephile, but I was addicted to going to the theater,” he said of his formative years. “I grew up on Maui, and in a small island in the middle of the Pacific you don’t really get a lot of independent cinema coming out there, so it was mainly big blockbuster movies that I grew up on. It wasn’t until I went to college in San Diego that I was first introduced to Lars Von Trier. One of the first independent movies I saw was ‘Breaking the Waves,’ and I was depressed for, like two weeks after that movie; I had no idea that a movie could affect you in that way.”

Not long after that, Cretton made his first real short, which he described as “a little black-and-white thing that I shot on Super 8.” Sharing that with other filmmaking students, he said, was a special experience — as was presenting “Short Term 12” last night. “It kind of weirdly makes me feel like there’s a little hope in the world, that humans can connect on this level,” Cretton said. “There’s something that is just very moving for me, so I appreciate all you guys.”

He then spoke of his love of garbage men, as they used to throw tennis balls to him and his friends as a kid. “We would just wait for them to come and throw tennis balls at us,” he recalled fondly.

Last month, Cretton was hired by Marvel Studios to direct “Shang-Chi,” based on the Kung Fu comic-book character of the same name. Watch the full conversation below.

Next month will mark the release of Echo in the Canyon. Directed by Andrew Slater, the new documentary revisits the 60s music scene that emerged in L.A.'s Laurel Canyon--a fertile period when folk went brilliantly electric. Find the brand new trailer above, and a short summary below:

Echo In The Canyon celebrates the explosion of popular music that came out of LA’s Laurel Canyon in the mid-60s as folk went electric and The Byrds, The Beach Boys, Buffalo Springfield and The Mamas and the Papas gave birth to the California Sound. It was a moment (1965 to 1967) when bands came to LA to emulate The Beatles and Laurel Canyon emerged as a hotbed of creativity and collaboration for a new generation of musicians who would soon put an indelible stamp on the history of American popular music.

Featuring Jakob Dylan, the film explores the beginnings of the Laurel Canyon music scene. Dylan uncovers never-before-heard personal details behind the bands and their songs and how that music continues to inspire today. Echo in the Canyon contains candid conversations and performances with Brian Wilson, Ringo Starr, Michelle Phillips, Eric Clapton, Stephen Stills, David Crosby, Graham Nash, Roger McGuinn and Jackson Browne as well as contemporary musicians they influenced such as Tom Petty (in his very last film interview), Beck, Fiona Apple, Cat Power, Regina Spektor and Norah Jones.

The film will be released in LA on May 24th and in NYC on May 31st.

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Last Thursday, a bunch of cops got together for a routine Michigan State Police training. When an instructor asked someone to help them test out a breathalyzer, one officer happily volunteered—and then allegedly blew a goddamn 0.08, ABC affiliate WXYZ reports.

Apparently, the whole thing happened during a class on blood alcohol concentration levels and a brand of breathalyzer called the DataMaster. "During that class he volunteered to give a sample and it was determined he had alcohol in his system," Michigan State Police Lt. Mike Shaw told the Detroit Free Press.

It's unclear why, exactly, the unidentified cop wanted to take the test in the first place, seeing as how he was allegedly secretly drunk on the job, but since he hadn't driven to the training and didn't have his gun at the time, he wasn't immediately arrested. Instead, according to Shaw, the State Police sergeant on duty "dismissed him from the class and sent him to his department," where he presumably got chewed the fuck out, sobered up a bit, and pondered the string of severely stupid choices that landed him there.

"The bottom line is that he showed up to work under the influence of alcohol," Detroit Police Chief James Craig told WXYZ in an interview. "Certainly, that’s a problem. It’s a problem for me, and it may be a problem on how it was handled after that."

The Detroit Police Department hasn't commented on how it might reprimand the unidentified officer, but a spokesperson confirmed to the Free Press that they've opened an internal affairs investigation into how this whole mess happened.

And what a goddamn mess it is. First and foremost, obviously, cops shouldn't be shit-faced on duty, regardless of if that duty involves killing time at some day-long training or whatever. But this whole story brings up a second, potentially even more explosive issue: How dumb do you have to be to voluntarily take a breathalyzer test when you're supposed to be hiding the fact that you're drunk at work? Any high school freshman who's gotten weird before class could tell you to just sink down in your seat, bury your head in your arms, and avoid raising your hand at all costs.

Between this and those officers who called 911 on themselves after getting too blazed, it seems like cops could maybe use a workshop on, uh, not getting turnt on the job instead of another refresher on breathalyzers. What a world!

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It took nearly 50 years for “Amazing Grace” to land in theaters, but one aspect of its journey appears unfinished. Variety reports that Chiemi Karasawa has filed an arbitration case against Alan Elliott for what she says is unpaid work on the Aretha Franklin documentary. “I have not been paid a dime of my Producer Fee or the amounts that I am entitled to contractually,” she told Variety. “I’m saddened that it’s come to this point, but thrilled that the film is being released for a public audience where it belongs.”

Aspects of her account are backed up by several collaborators. “Chiemi really made everything happen,” Charles Hobson, who produces documentaries and introduced Karasawa to Elliott, said. “I know she got the production house in L.A. She deserves a lot of the credit.” Stephanie Apt, president of Final Cut in New York, confirmed that Karasawa hired Jeff Buchanan to edit the film and was present for much of his work. “She was here (at Final Cut) throughout the edit,” Apt said. “She was most definitely heavily involved in supervising the editing of the film.”

And then there’s Thom Powers, artistic director of DOC NYC, where “Amazing Grace” finally premiered last fall: “Chiemi Karasawa is a producer I’ve had a long-time professional relationship with and I have the highest respect for her integrity and commitment to all the projects she’s worked on,” he said.

Franklin sued Elliott to block the release of the film in 2011 for using her likeness without her permission and prevented it from screening at the Telluride Film Festival four years later. It wasn’t until after her death last August that “Amazing Grace” finally debuted.

Vincent Cox, Elliott’s attorney, said of this latest suit that “the dispute is going to be resolved through arbitration.”

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Democrats may take President Trump to court over his tax returns; the US pulls troops from Libya as the country edges to the brink of civil war.


The legal battle for Trump’s tax returns

 Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images
  • The fight over releasing President Trump’s tax returns will likely end up in court. The chair of the House Ways and Means Committee formally asked the IRS for Trump’s tax returns last week. Over the weekend, acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney made it clear the administration has no plans to comply. [Vox / Emily Stewart]
  • Though Democrats have targeted Trump’s tax returns since the 2016 election, this is the first time they have made a formal request to obtain them. With Democratic Rep. Richard Neal now in charge of the committee, they are bringing back an obscure law that gives the chair the power to seek anyone’s tax records. [WSJ / Richard Rubin]
  • Although the law has existed for almost 100 years, this is the first time it has been enacted, and there is no precedent for what will happen next. While the due date for the tax returns is Wednesday, the chance is slim that the Treasury will oblige, potentially leading to a lengthy legal battle. [ABC News / Jordyn Phelps]
  • Meanwhile, New York lawmakers are trying to pass a bill that would give them access to Trump’s state tax returns, which will likely contain similar information as their federal counterparts. [NYT / Jesse McKinley]
  • In response to the request, Trump’s lawyers wrote a letter to the Department of the Treasury’s counsel on Friday asking them to dismiss Democrats’ request, calling it “unconstitutional retaliation against the President.” [USA Today / Christal Hayes]
  • Trump says he can’t release his returns because he’s being audited, a claim he’s made since the 2016 campaign. (No such prohibition exists.) Mulvaney is now saying Democrats will “never” see the tax returns and that the issue was already addressed during his campaign. [Vox / Aaron Rupar]
  • As much as Trump’s administration is trying to downplay the situation, people want to see the president’s tax returns — 60 percent of Americans, to be exact. [Washington Post / Colby Itkowitz]

The US pulls troops from Libya

  • The US has removed troops from Libya amid unrest in the capital of Tripoli as Gen. Khalifa Haftar pushed to expand his domain from eastern Libya to the rest of the country. [Vox / Amanda Sakuma]
  • Libya has been in a state of unrest since its 2011 uprising. Haftar is trying to seize military control before the United Nations convenes discussions next week about elections in the country. [AP / Rami Musa and Samy Magdy]
  • Haftar’s strike led to 21 deaths and 90 injuries. The UN called for a temporary ceasefire to evacuate the injured as the fight neared the capital. Those calls were ignored. [Guardian / Patrick Wintour and Chris Stephen]
  • Since Muammar Qaddafi was ousted, Libya has lacked a central government. Instead, different regions have their own militias. The US backs a UN attempt to create a unified government, but France and the United Arab Emirates, among others, support aspiring strongman Haftar. [NYT / David D. Kirkpatrick]

Miscellaneous

  • Amid rising rents, Berliners are protesting in the streets. They want landlords who have more than 3,000 properties to hand the holdings over to the government to be turned into affordable housing. [Euronews / Shafi Musaddique]
  • Homecoming, about Beyoncé’s iconic performance at Coachella in 2018, is coming to Netflix on April 17. Be ready. [Wired / Angela Watercutter]
  • The small Italian town of Sutera was revitalized after it began welcoming immigrants. But Italy’s anti-immigrant policies may threaten this progress. [Vice / Cosimo Bizzarri]
  • Three years ago, a British woman called her ex-husband’s new wife a “horse” on Facebook. Now she’s facing possible jail time in Dubai. [Time / Hillary Leung]
  • A woman who died at age 99 was found to have had her organs in the wrong places her whole life. [CNN / Sandee LaMotte]

Verbatim

“The law is crystal clear and brokers no exceptions. We are prepared legally and morally to get the #TrumpTaxReturns If they want a fight, they’ll get a fight.” [Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) on House Democrats’ decision to request Trump’s taxes]


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He joins a crowded presidential primary, potentially bolstered by his role on the House Intelligence Committee investigating Trump.

Avid followers of cable news Trump-Russia coverage are probably at least acquainted with Rep. Eric Swalwell, the California Democrat on one of the House’s leading investigatory panels.

Now Swalwell, who sits on the House Intelligence Committee, is running for president.

He announced his candidacy on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert with a message about the forgotten men and women.

“I talk to teachers and truckers and nurses, and they feel as if they’re just running in place,” Swalwell said, adding, without much specificity, that he would offer “bold” leadership.

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Swalwell is one of several lesser-known House Democrats eying the White House; Rep. John Delaney was the first Democrat to declare a run for the presidency, Rep. Tim Ryan announced his bid for the Democratic nomination in early April, and Rep. Seth Moulton is also considering a run. Swalwell will join a packed field of Democrats, including high-profile senators like Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Kamala Harris; ex-lawmakers like Beto O’Rourke; and a mayor, Pete Buttigieg.

It’s well documented that Swalwell, a 38-year-old Iowa native who represents a safely Democratic San Francisco Bay Area district, has political ambitions beyond his current position. He came to Congress in 2013 by unseating a 20-term incumbent Pete Stark, who at the time was one of the most powerful California House Democrats. He did it by painting Stark as too out of touch with the district.

He’s since gotten himself on the House Democratic leadership team, as well as a spot on two high-profile committees; the House Judiciary Committee, which has been charged with investigating Trump’s immigration policy, and the intelligence committee.

But even the most generous readings of a path forward for Swalwell seem tenuous. He’s not the only Californian in the race; Harris, a much more well-known statewide office holder with a more robust fundraising structure in place, is already running. He’s not even the most well-known young guy in the race; Buttigieg has increasingly taken up that mantle. Swalwell has made several trips to Iowa, as well as Kansas, Nevada, and Texas, but still isn’t registering any support in early Iowa polls.

That said, Swalwell has told the San Francisco Chronicle that he is aiming to “win” — he’s “not trying to sell a book or get a leadership position anywhere else,” he said.

Eric Swalwell is your average House Democrat

Swalwell is a liberal, and were it not for his presidential ambitions, he would largely blend in as one in the sea of liberal white men that still make up the majority of House Democrats.

Though there’s been some debate about what kind of liberal he is — progressive California Rep. Ro Khanna, who once considered running for Swalwell’s seat and is now one of Bernie Sanders’s top advisers, will argue Swalwell won his seat by challenging Stark well from the right — Swalwell’s record is pretty generic.

A former City Council member in Dublin, California, who became a county prosecutor, Swalwell is a law-and-order Democrat (the son of a police officer) who champions the “green economy” and a “health care guarantee.” He’s said he supports the broad principles of the Green New Deal, saying it’s important to reorient jobs away from fossil fuels, and he thinks gun violence prevention should be a more prominent issue.

Swalwell has suggested a federal buyback and ban of semi-automatic weapons. He holds the almost-expected progressive beliefs around same-sex marriage and abortion rights. In the House, he established a group of young Democrats dedicated to debating issues relevant to millennials. It’s called the “Future Forum.”

All of that aside, however, in Congress, Swalwell is probably best known for his investigatory role as a member of both the intelligence and judiciary committees, which have been looking into Trump’s foreign relations and immigration policy respectively.

Notably, that aspect of his experience has also gained a reputation among Republicans, who openly chastise him for using his committee positions to raise a national presence, whether on TV or at the hearings. At one hearing with Attorney General Matthew Whittaker, Georgia Republican Rep. Doug Collins publicly critiqued Swalwell, telling him to “ask questions that are actually part of this [hearing] instead of running for president.”

Obviously, Swalwell doesn’t see it that way.

“I think I will be in the top tier of a field of candidates with national security experience,’’ Swalwell told Politico.

Jenny Wong has been named IFPI's new Asia regional director, overseeing legal and policy engagement, licensing operations, content protection, market...

The Democratic hopeful Pete Buttigieg explains a career that has included Navy service, two terms as a small-city mayor, a Navy officer, and coming out as gay.

When US Homeland Security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen pushed back on implementing a new, draconian White House directive on immigration, presidential aide Stephen Miller relied on a special trick to force her to relent, former agency officials told Quartz.

Miller would leak the latest numbers on apprehensions or asylum seekers at the border to reporters at the right-leaning Washington Examiner. The Washington Examiner would write a story, with an alarming headline about the growing number of people crossing into the US, sometimes criticizing Nielsen. Then Miller would print the story out, and get a paper copy to Trump.

Trump, ever sensitive to bad press, particularly from conservative outlets, would read the report, then pick up the phone and blast Nielsen, they said, and she’d capitulate on the issue at hand. White House and DHS spokespeople would not comment on the anecdote.

With Nielsen’s departure (April 7), Miller, a one-time aide to Jeff Sessions with close ties to the Center for Immigration Studies, an-anti immigrant group founded by a white supremacist, has emerged triumphant once again. Nielsen isn’t the only scalp Miller, 33, is going after—he pushing a wholesale purge at the agency of over 200,000 employees that’s tasked with keeping US borders safe, detecting terrorism, monitoring transportation, and fighting cyber attacks, according to officials and other news reports.

Miller is agitating to remove Francis Cissna, a long-time DHS official who heads US Citizenship and Immigration, and he was also behind the push last week to bump nominee Ron Vitiello from the top job at Immigration and Customs Enforcement, former DHS officials tell Quartz. Randolph “Tex” Alles, the head of the Secret Service, another DHS agency, has just stepped down, and Homeland Security’s general counsel John Mitnick is expected to depart soon, at Miller’s urging, CNN reports.

An understaffed agency

The purge of top DHS officials is likely to leave the already understaffed agency reeling, and potentially unable to handle a natural or man-made disaster. If Cissna departs, the DHS will be without a permanent leader in most of its top jobs, including Secretary, deputy Secretary, head of FEMA, head of ICE, head of USCIS, Customs and Border Protection, and the Secret Service.

“It’s bad for morale, disruptive of departmental operations, and comes as the US is facing a variety of significant cyber and physical threats,” John D. Cohen, former DHS acting undersecretary for intelligence and analysis told Quartz. The staffing decisions aren’t being made by “an individual who has an extensive understanding of the threats facing the country,” added the former counter-terrorism coordinator, they’re based “primarily on implementing a political agenda.”

“What’s to gain here?” said one former DHS official who worked with the Trump administration until very recently. “What’s plan B? Who do they have lined up to fill these jobs?”

Miller’s immigration overreach

“Without a doubt it is clear that [Miller] is in charge of immigration policy under the Trump administration,” said Philip Wolgin, the executive director of the Center for American Progress, a public policy research group. “From the beginning, when he was the architect of the Muslim ban, it is is amazing how singular a focus he has been on this.”

Miller has a “tremendous hold on this administration,” said Ur Jaddou, a former US immigration official. That’s thanks in part to the hard-line anti-immigrant people he’s helped to install inside the administration, like Gene Hamilton, another former Sessions aide, and Julie Kirchner, the former executive director to a fringe anti-immigrant group. Miller has a proven ability to destroy bipartisan efforts to get things done, Jaddou said, and “at every step of the way he just keeps doing it.”

In the early months of the Trump presidency, Miller rolled out immigration proposals that would ban non-English speakers and the poor, while declaring that the Statue of Liberty is not a symbol of welcome for refugees. In February of 2018 he torched a bipartisan Congressional deal that would have given Trump $25 billion to build a wall, in exchange for giving millions of “Dreamers” brought to the US as children a pathway to citizenship. In August of 2018, he proposed denying citizenship to anyone whose family had used US social services, including American citizen children. One White House aide’s tell-all book describes Miller as saying “I would be happy if not a single refugee foot ever again touched American soil.”

Before she was forced out of the agency in February of 2018, Elaine Duke, a long-time civil servant who briefly served as acting head of DHS, “would get in screaming matches with Miller in the White House,” over issues like how many refugees the agency would take, a former DHS official recalls. Duke would be yelling “That’s not who we are,” at Miller, the former official said, meaning his ideas were not in line with American values.

Even Trump immigration officials who support the president’s general policies on immigration, including limiting the number of people who can apply for asylum or who qualify for work visas, see Miller as a disruptive and dangerous presence. The most intractable problems that the US immigration system faces need to be fixed by Congress passing new laws, explained one ex-DHS immigration official who recently left the agency. But Miller’s hardline approach has made that more impossible, she said.

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There’s not much that’s subtle about the first image of Roxann Dawson’s “Breakthrough,” which opens with a shot of one of the film’s central characters peacefully sinking through a large body of water, arms outstretched, approximating Jesus so closely that the film may as well be called “Resurrection.” But Dawson, a former actress with a substantial body of television directing and producing gigs under her belt, eschews further overt imagery for a modern story of faith designed to appeal to the devout and the secular alike.

While the film arrives in theaters stamped with the Walt Disney Pictures logo, it’s also one of the last productions to come out of the forward-thinking Fox 2000 label, pre-studio merger. It’s a strange pick for an imprint best known for films like “Life of Pi” and “Hidden Figures” — “Breakthrough” is an unabashedly faith-based film that relies more on emotion rather than substance to propel it forward. And despite its valiant attempts to reach out to all kinds of audiences, much of “Breakthrough” tests how much audiences are willing to believe of a scenario that, though based on a true story, seems too undercooked for any kind of movie treatment.

That Jesus kid? That’s John Smith (Marcel Ruiz), and when he’s not having strange dreams about bodies of water and Christ-like contortions, he’s a regular teen, albeit one who is partially defined by his uneasy relationship with his faith and family. That tension is delivered via a particularly off-kilter opening scene, in which the young basketball star jams out to Bruno Mars’ upbeat “Uptown Funk” (with each occurrence of “hot damn” in the lyrics awkwardly snipped out to meet the expectations of this faith-based film) while his loving and overly attentive mother Joyce (Chrissy Metz) attempts to break through his teenage fog.

John’s avoidance of his mother seems relatable enough: He’s a cool youngster who has zero time for his family, preferring to spend time with his best pals (both named Josh), crushing on a local girl, and dealing with a vicious bully. And the overbearing Joyce is certainly too involved in her son’s life, much as he resists her intrusions. But while John and Joyce’s relationship initially looks as if it’s rooted in everyday issues, Grant Nieporte’s script eventually reaches the bigger problem: John was adopted as a baby, and he’s never quite gotten over the sense of rejection he felt from his birth mother.

For Joyce, a forceful and godly woman, that’s just one more thing to pray on. But even that isn’t going so well, as she’s recently been forced to contend with a hip new pastor (Topher Grace) who insists that everyone just calls him Jason and act as if it’s normal for Sunday sermons to be delivered in rolled-up light-wash denim jeans. He is, of course, “from California,” and Joyce can’t stand him.

Soon, however, she’s going to need him, as John and the Joshs spend a wintry morning playing on a local Missouri lake, when it suddenly cracks and swallows the trio up. Only John, who attempts to help one of his pals and is sent sinking even further into the icy lake, doesn’t make it out within the crucial first few minutes, kicking off a rescue mission that seems doomed to turn into one dedicated to recovery. That’s when the movie’s pro-faith message kicks into high gear: When a non-believing firefighter named Tommy (Mike Colter) goes looking for John, he hears a voice that tells him to examine another spot one more time, the exact spot where John’s frozen body just happens to be floating.

Though it draws on a real rescue mission, there’s plenty in “Breakthrough” that all but begs for a suspension of disbelief: when John suddenly starts breathing after nearly an hour without a pulse, it’s a miracle; and when he lives through his first night, it’s simply unprecedented. Faced with an honest assessment from staid Dr. Garrett (Dennis Haysbert), Joyce and her husband Brian (Josh Lucas, tasked with a role that relegates him to the background) can’t accept that their beloved son will likely not live for long, and if he does, it will be in a state of “catastrophic” brain damage.

What Joyce does to save her son will feel familiar to anyone who’s ever watched a faith-based film: She prays on it. A lot. She prays hard enough to get him to breathe again, and enough to help him live through the night, and the next one, and the one after that. She prays enough that even call-me-Jason suddenly seems like a serviceable enough friend and pastor. She prays so hard that John’s entire school turns out to sing to him via an incredibly well-produced outdoor jam session. She prays so deeply that even Metz’s bizarrely rude performance suddenly seems like a mother just doing her best. She prays enough to save him.

At least, that’s the lesson imparted from the true story of the Smiths’ and the Joyce-penned book that inspired the film, but through an often hammy haze of God-talk and some remarkably chintzy setpieces (the accident itself looks as it if was filmed in someone’s backyard), there’s also a fortifying message for nonbelievers like Tommy. Maybe it was the prayers that saved John, or maybe it was the overwhelming goodwill of his community, his mother’s refusal to leave his side, or the basic decency of a whole slew of professionals doing their jobs and doing them well. From the first responders to the nurses, all the way up to Pastor Jason, “Breakthrough” breaks through its own genre-specific worldview to offer something that’s in just as short supply as steadfast faith: nice people doing good work.

That’s something that can appeal to everyone, and while it’s compelling to see such an obviously faith-based story reaching across the divide to secular moviegoers, it doesn’t always work in the film’s favor. Even the film’s brief forays into exploring the deeper effects of John’s supposed miracle — first depicted during a truly odd exchange with a beloved teacher who asks the shellshocked kid to explain why he lived and her husband died from his own recent accident — only quickly move into richer territory. There are bigger questions to ask here, but when it’s easier to roll out some simple images and wrapped-up answers, “Breakthrough” breaks down, happy to just explain away everything good as a divine act that no one could possibly control. Movies, however, require a bit more than just faith.

Grade: C-

Disney and Fox will release “Breakthrough” in theaters on Friday, April 12.

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[Editor’s note: The following post contains spoilers for “Pet Sematary.”]

Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer’s “Pet Sematary” made headlines before its release for making one huge change to the Stephen King novel upon which it’s based. King’s “Pet Sematary” finds the Creed family’s toddler son being killed and resurrected, while the 2019 film adaptation keeps the toddler alive and kills the family’s young daughter. It turns out that might not have been the only big change, as King himself pitched a new ending for the movie after getting an early look at the adaptation on a digital screener.

“Producers and filmmakers always get really nervous when it gets down to the ending of the movie, because they understand, and I understand, that how people go out is going to affect what the word of mouth is,” King recently told Entertainment Weekly.

“Pet Sematary” includes one of King’s bleakest endings, which is one reason he was willing to offer up a more hopeful final moment for the new movie. As King explained, “I talked about an ending where [toddler] Gage is walking up the middle of the road. We see dawn, and we hear a truck coming, and think, ‘Oh my God, he’s gonna get greased in the road. That’s how this is gonna end!’ Then at the last second, this woman pulls him out of the road and rescues him, and says, ‘Where’s your mommy and daddy?’ And that’s how you end the thing.”

King’s proposed ending leaves Gage surviving the events of the film, which is something that did not happen in his book. The ending also nods to the original novel, in which Gage is the one who is killed by a truck and sets the plot in motion.

The directors and producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura ultimately decided to remain closer to King’s original vision for “Pet Sematary,” reordering some of the events of his climax but ending the film on the similarly bleak note. The film ends with Gage unlocking a car because he sees his family approaching, although unbeknownst to him his father, mother, and sister have all been killed and resurrected. The ending does not show Gage’s death and resurrection (which happens in the book), but it heavily implies that’s what comes next.

“Pet Sematary” is now playing in theaters nationwide.

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The singer was set to perform next Saturday...

Solange

Solange has announced that she’s cancelled her Coachella performance after experiencing “major production delays”.

The R&B star was set to perform across two Saturday performances at the festival – on April 13 and 20 – but organisers confirmed on  Sunday that both appearances would be cancelled.

A statement posted on Twitter confirmed: “Due to major production delays, Solange will unfortunately no longer be performing at this year’s festival. She sends her sincerest apologies, and looks forward to performing at Coachella in the future.”

It’s yet to be confirmed if the production delays will be ironed out in time for her other festival slots – including a headline appearance at Primavera Sound later this year.

Yesterday, it was confirmed that a stagehand died whilst working on some rigging for Coachella.

According to TMZ, the tragedy took place Saturday morning (April 6) while the stagehand was working on a stage at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California. The victim was climbing the stage scaffolding before falling 60 feet to his death, eyewitnesses have said.

Goldenvoice, the production company behind Coachella, released a statement Saturday afternoon, confirming the death and expressing its grief over the loss, describing the worker as “a friend, a family member.”

“Today, Goldenvoice lost a colleague, a friend, a family member,” the statement read. “Our friend fell while working on a festival stage. It is with heavy hearts and tremendous difficulty that we confirm his passing. He has been with our team for 20 years in the desert and was doing what he loved. He was a hard-working and loving person that cared deeply about his team. As our lead rigger, he was responsible for the countless incredible shows that have been put on at the festival. We will miss him dearly.”

Coachella 2019 kicks off next weekend (April 12-14), and will feature appearances by Childish Gambino, Ariana Grande, Tame Impala, Janelle Monae, The 1975, BLACKPINK, Pusha-T, KiD CuDi, Juice WRLD, Khalid, Kanye West, and more.

The post Solange cancels Coachella performance after “major production delays” appeared first on NME.

Bernard Avishai writes on the upcoming election in Israel and examines the obstacles that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the challenger Benny Gantz must overcome to form a government.