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The One Director Who Hired Anne Hathaway When Everyone Seemed To Hate Her

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The Anne Hathaway backlash coalesced prior to her winning the Oscar for “Les Miserables,” but ramped up afterward. Twitter was quick to ridicule her acceptance speech at the Academy Awards for supposedly being histrionic and cementing her reputation for radiating a certain unctuous theater kid energy. Among the #hathahaters was Howard Stern, who happily stated his opinion that the actor came across as “so affected” and “actressy,” adding that it was “just fun to sort of hate her.”

At this stage, as the New York Times noted in 2013, the “Hathahating” had “moved beyond garden-variety snarkiness […] and become a meme with unlikely stickiness.” That stickiness affected the actor’s reputation not only in the warped, distorted version of reality known as the Twittersphere but in the real world, too. As Hathaway told Vanity Fair in a new 2024 profile, “A lot of people wouldn’t give me roles because they were so concerned about how toxic my identity had become online.”

According to the “Princess Diaries” star, however, she was embraced by none other than her “Dark Knight Rises” director Christopher Nolan, who rather than seeing through the hate for Hathway, seemed entirely unconcerned and perhaps even unaware of it. The actor continued, “I had an angel in Christopher Nolan, who did not care about that and gave me one of the most beautiful roles I’ve had in one of the best films that I’ve been a part of.”

That role was NASA scientist Dr. Amelia Brand in the 2014 sci-fi epic “Interstellar” — a film notable for being one of Nolan’s most heartfelt projects and championing love as not only an important emotion but as an impetus for technological progression and human evolution. That’s not insignificant in relation to the hate Hathaway was enduring at the time.



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Fury at the UK’s ‘feeble’ rebuke to China after Beijing is revealed to have hacked the details of 40 million voters and spied on MPs – with the government’s response compared to ‘taking a wooden spoon to a gunfight’

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Rishi Sunak was last night under mounting pressure to finally get tough with China.

The calls came after Britain and the US revealed the scale of Beijing‘s efforts to subvert Western democracy.

In a highly unusual move, London and Washington publicly identified China as the source of a wave of cyber attacks directed both at politicians and institutions.

But China hawks were furious at a muted response that saw Britain sanction just two hackers and a small firm in Wuhan.

An MP targeted by Beijing for criticising China on human rights claimed ministers had ‘turned up to a gunfight with a wooden spoon’.

Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden said the attacks had failed to undermine the democratic system despite Beijing being responsible for hacking the personal data of up to 40million voters in an attack on the Electoral Commission. He said that Britain ‘will not tolerate’ similar activity in the future.

Rishi Sunak was last night under mounting pressure to finally get tough with China

Rishi Sunak was last night under mounting pressure to finally get tough with China

The Chinese ambassador has been summoned for a dressing-down and Whitehall sources said that staff at Chinese firms and organisations across the UK could be forced to register with the security services.

Beijing denied claims it had carried out, supported or encouraged cyber attacks on the UK, describing them as ‘completely fabricated and malicious slanders’.

A Chinese embassy spokesman urged London to ‘stop spreading false information and stop their self-staged, anti-China political farce’.

The US State Department said it was charging seven suspected Chinese hackers with a series of cyber offences. These relate to a 14-year campaign of disruption involving more than 10,000 malicious emails targeting thousands of politicians, journalists, businesses and officials.

The seven were all named as being members of the shadowy APT31 hacking group which the US said is used by China’s ruling communist party to ‘repress critics of the Chinese regime, compromise government institutions and steal trade secrets’. The State Department also said dozens of British parliamentary accounts had been targeted by Beijing.

Sir Iain Duncan Smith, one of 43 British MPs and peers targeted by China, last night savaged the UK response, likening it to ‘an elephant giving birth to a mouse’. 

Beijing denied claims it had carried out, supported or encouraged cyber attacks on the UK, describing them as 'completely fabricated and malicious slanders' (Pictured: Chinese President Xi Jinping)

Beijing denied claims it had carried out, supported or encouraged cyber attacks on the UK, describing them as ‘completely fabricated and malicious slanders’ (Pictured: Chinese President Xi Jinping)

Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden said the attacks had failed to undermine the democratic system despite Beijing being responsible for hacking the personal data of up to 40million voters

Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden said the attacks had failed to undermine the democratic system despite Beijing being responsible for hacking the personal data of up to 40million voters

He said the attacks should be seen as a ‘watershed moment where the UK takes a stand for values of human rights and the international rules-based system on which we all depend’.

He warned it was time to formally designate China as a ‘threat’ to Britain, rather than its current status as an ‘epoch-defining challenge’.

‘We need to be tough – appeasement never works,’ he told a press conference in Westminster. ‘If you’re tough with people, the lessons you learn from the 1930s appeasement never works. 

‘If you’re strong and you tell them what’s wrong, and you tell them that eventually they will probably back down but if you don’t they just keep taking advantage of you. That’s our biggest problem.’

Former home secretary Suella Braverman said that it was now ‘absolutely clear that China is a hostile threat’.

Former immigration minister Robert Jenrick said: ‘The Government clearly is not holding China to account for their attack on our democracy. 

The US State Department said it was charging seven suspected Chinese hackers with a series of cyber offences

The US State Department said it was charging seven suspected Chinese hackers with a series of cyber offences

Sir Iain Duncan Smith, one of 43 British MPs and peers targeted by China, last night savaged the UK response, likening it to ‘an elephant giving birth to a mouse’

Sir Iain Duncan Smith, one of 43 British MPs and peers targeted by China, last night savaged the UK response, likening it to ‘an elephant giving birth to a mouse’

Former home secretary Suella Braverman said that it was now ‘absolutely clear that China is a hostile threat’

Former home secretary Suella Braverman said that it was now ‘absolutely clear that China is a hostile threat’

‘Taking three years to sanction two individuals and a small company is derisory. This feeble response will only embolden China to continue its aggression towards the UK.’

Stewart McDonald, the SNP’s defence spokesman and one of the MPs sanctioned by China, said: ‘The Deputy Prime Minister has turned up at a gunfight with a wooden spoon.

‘If we do not take more robust action and see a proper sea change in government thinking, rather than this tinkering around the edges, will this not happen more and more and get worse and worse?’ 

Mr Dowden told MPs that Beijing was responsible for hacking the personal data of up to 40million voters in an attack on the Electoral Commission. China was also blamed for using cyber attacks against a string of UK critics of its regime.

Mr Dowden said Britain was stepping up its cyber defences ahead of the next election, when experts fear there will be a surge in attacks by hostile states wanting to interfere with the result.

Whitehall sources said that staff at Chinese firms and organisations across the UK could be forced to register with the security services

Whitehall sources said that staff at Chinese firms and organisations across the UK could be forced to register with the security services

Downing Street insisted the Government had its ‘eyes wide open when it comes to China’.

Zhao Guangzong and Ni Gaobin, along with the Wuhan Xiaoruizhi Science and Technology Company Limited were those sanctioned.

Foreign Secretary David Cameron described China’s conduct as ‘completely unacceptable’. 

But the peer, who pioneered a ‘golden era’ of closer relations with Beijing a decade ago, was challenged over his own dealings with the country during a meeting with Tory MPs last night. One security source described him as the ‘great panda hugger’.

The Electoral Commission attack was first identified in October 2022 but the hackers had been able to access its systems for more than a year.

The registers held at the time of the cyber attack include the name and address of anyone in the UK who was registered to vote between 2014 and 2022.

The National Cyber Security Centre, part of GCHQ, said it was likely that Chinese state-affiliated hackers stole emails and data from the electoral register.

This was ‘highly likely’ to have been used by Beijing’s agents for large-scale espionage and transnational repression of perceived dissidents and critics based in the UK.



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Scarlett Johansson Will Run Away From Dinosaurs In New Jurassic World Movie

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David Koepp, who penned the script for the original “Jurassic Park” for director Steven Spielberg, is returning to write the latest “Jurassic” installment. It will be the seventh film in the franchise overall, which began in 1993 when Spielberg adapted Michael Crichton’s best-selling novel for the big screen. Koepp has not been involved in the franchise for a long time, so his inclusion has raised some eyebrows.

As for Johansson, she is one of the biggest, most in-demand stars in the world. She played the role of Black Widow in the Marvel Cinematic Universe for over a decade from “Iron Man 2” all the way up through “Avengers: Endgame” (which is one of the biggest movies of all time) and 2021’s “Black Widow” solo film. She also has two Oscar nominations to her name for her work in “Marriage Story” and “Jojo Rabbit,” respectively. So getting her for this film is a big get, and one has to assume that other big stars will be brought in to help fill out the human cast around her.

The new “Jurassic World” movie is currently set to hit theaters on July 2, 2025.



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Sydney Sweeney Nailed Immaculate’s Most Shocking Scene On The First Take

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After discovering that she’s been forcibly impregnated with a baby made from DNA extracted from the dried blood on a nail that was supposedly used to crucify Jesus of Nazareth, Sweeney’s Sister Cecilia goes on a rampage throughout the convent and kills anyone who gets in her way toward freedom, all while being in active labor. Sweeney told the crowd that she was waiting in the wings for the movie to end, listening to the audience react. There were gasps, there were cheers, and in the final few seconds, there was a roaring applause. Sister Cecilia successfully escapes the convent but is covered in the blood of the priest responsible for her pregnancy after she stabbed him in the throat with the crucifixion nail.

Once she exits the convent’s catacombs, she stares down the camera and delivers the baby without any assistance. She rips the umbilical cord connecting her to what sounds like a monstrous creation with her own teeth, before grabbing a gigantic rock and obliterating the beast. It’s one of the best horror movie endings in years, and Sweeney’s performance is nothing short of masterful. “What you saw was the first take,” Sweeney told the audience. “We set up for that last scene and we just blocked where the cameras would be. And then Mike [Mohan, director] was like, ‘Do you want to rehearse?’ And I said, ‘I don’t know, let’s just go for it,’ And then that’s what you saw.” Go for it she did, and Sydney Sweeney forever solidified her place in horror history in the process.



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PICTURED: Houston girl, eight, who died after being sucked into 1ft-long pipe in Hilton hotel swimming pool

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The eight-year-old girl who drowned at a Houston chain hotel after being sucked into a one-foot-wide pipe in the swimming pool has been identified.

Aliyah Jaico, eight, vanished Saturday while swimming with her family at the DoubleTree by Hilton Houston Brookhollow on the city’s northwest side. She was reported missing at 9:45 pm.

Search and rescue teams determined that the little girl went underwater and never resurfaced. Her body was found wedged in a narrow pipe hours later.

According to the Harris County Institute of Forensic Science, the girl’s preliminary cause of death was ‘drowning and mechanical asphyxia’ and appeared to be an accident.

Aliyah’s devastated mother, Daniela Jaico, shared a heartbreaking selfie taken at the pool to Facebook, captioning it ‘our last photo.’

Aliyah Jaico is pictured posing by a pool. The girl's 'little hand and part of her body' were the first to appear, having been 'wedged' deep inside the pipe, authorities said

Aliyah Jaico is pictured posing by a pool. The girl’s ‘little hand and part of her body’ were the first to appear, having been ‘wedged’ deep inside the pipe, authorities said

Their last photo: Aliyah Jaico, eight, is pictured with her mother Daniela Jaico in a final photo believed to have been taken at the pool where she died

Their last photo: Aliyah Jaico, eight, is pictured with her mother Daniela Jaico in a final photo believed to have been taken at the pool where she died 

‘They say we all have our destiny marked…but I can’t understand why yours was like this,’ Jaico wrote in Spanish.

‘Thank you, my love, for the eight years you gave me by your side. Thank you, my girl, for teaching me what love is and a noble heart.’

In a press release, Houston police described the pool at the hotel as a ‘lazy river style swimming pool.’

Among the first to respond to the scene was Tim Miller, the founder of Texas EquuSearch, a search and rescue nonprofit.

‘We mobilized a lot of people. We had people actually searching outside and in different rooms and everything,’ Miller told ABC13 Houston

Officers combed the hotel while the nonprofit reviewed security footage alongside the Houston Police Department. They discovered that Aliyah had disappeared underwater.

The pool was drained, and a small remote camera from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice was attached to a pole and sent nearly 20 feet inside the pipes.

Equipped with the camera and a scent tracking bloodhound, rescuers made the gruesome discovery around 11:30 pm.

Little Aliyah Jaico's cause of death was 'drowning and mechanical asphyxia' and appeared to be an accident

Little Aliyah Jaico’s cause of death was ‘drowning and mechanical asphyxia’ and appeared to be an accident

An eight-year-old girl died after being sucked into a swimming pool pipe (pictured) at the DoubleTree by Hilton Houston Brookhollow

An eight-year-old girl died after being sucked into a swimming pool pipe (pictured) at the DoubleTree by Hilton Houston Brookhollow

Tributes poured in for the little girl, who is pictured in her earlier years

In a press release, Houston police described the pool as a 'lazy river style swimming pool.' The little girl is pictured on a different holiday

Tributes poured in for the little girl, who is pictured in her earlier years

The Houston Fire Department retrieved the eight-year-old's body after a 13-hour effort

The Houston Fire Department retrieved the eight-year-old’s body after a 13-hour effort

The girl's devastated mother wrote: 'Thank you, my love, for the eight years you gave me by your side. Thank you, my girl, for teaching me what love is and a noble heart'

The girl’s devastated mother wrote: ‘Thank you, my love, for the eight years you gave me by your side. Thank you, my girl, for teaching me what love is and a noble heart’

The swimming pool at DoubleTree by Hilton Houston Brookhollow

The swimming pool at DoubleTree by Hilton Houston Brookhollow 

The girl’s ‘little hand and part of her body’ were the first to appear, having been ‘wedged’ deep inside the pipe, Miller said.

He explained that the pipe had malfunctioned and was sucking water in rather than pumping it out. 

Responders from the Houston Fire Department retrieved Aliyah’s body. The effort took around 13 hours.

Shortly after, Aliyah’s mother posted a series of baby photos to Facebook. 

‘I hope to see you again one day and you’ll keep looking at me and you’ll get that big smile that was contagious with joy,’ she wrote.

‘You gave yourself to love always with your heart so noble. I will love you for all eternity. 

‘You are the most beautiful thing God has given me and after every battle we went through together we didn’t win this one.’ 

Aliyah Jaico (right) is pictured playing in the water on a separate vacation

Aliyah Jaico (right) is pictured playing in the water on a separate vacation 

The girl was initially reported missing, but rescue teams reviewed security footage and determined  that she had gone underwater and never resurfaced

The girl was initially reported missing, but rescue teams reviewed security footage and determined  that she had gone underwater and never resurfaced

This is not the first time such an accident has happened.

In June 2007, six-year-old Abigail Taylor was playing in a public wading pool at Minneapolis Golf Club when she sat on a poorly maintained drain.

The sucking force ripped the little girl’s small intestine from her body.

Despite nine months of medical care including 16 surgeries and multiple organ transplants, Abigail died with her family by her side in March of the following year.

Most recently, in 2021, 10-year-old Danika Ross was sucked into an irrigation pipe inside a man-made pond at a Washington state winery.

According to a wrongful death lawsuit filed by her family, Danika was swimming with her siblings when she was pulled into the pipe, described as ‘not grated’ and ‘larger than necessary.’

Her body was ‘thrust down into a 90-degree bend’ and ‘transported nearly 70 feet up the hill via the mechanical pump mechanism.’

The Grant County Coroner determined that Danika died by asphyxiation from drowning and compression of the torso due to pressure in the pipe. 

The trial was postponed after an appeal was filed in December 2022 and is slated to begin this year.



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Immaculate And Late Night With The Devil Both Set Indie Horror Records At The Box Office

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“Immaculate” centers on Cecilia (Sweeney), a devout American nun who embarks on a journey to a remote convent in the Italian countryside. The trip quickly devolves into a nightmare as her new home harbors a sinister secret. The film has been met with a mixed reception (you can read /Film’s review here), but that has seemingly fed into the curiosity that has driven moviegoers to seek it out. It certainly doesn’t hurt that Sweeney has asserted herself as a bonafide A-list star, coming off of her hit rom-com “Anyone But You.” It would be unfair to pin the shortcomings of “Madame Web” on her, as that was very much an ensemble piece. It’s tough to get people out to theaters for original films, but Sweeney did just that here — and with some challenging subject matter, too.

Meanwhile, “Late Night With the Devil” focuses on a talk show host named Jack Delroy (David Dastmalchian). But with ratings for his show plummeting since the death of Jack’s wife, he plans a Halloween special in 1977, unaware he is about to unleash evil into the living rooms of America. Until very recently, the film held a perfect score on Rotten Tomatoes, so to say that it has been well received would be a bit of an understatement. Whereas Sweeney’s star power pushed “Immaculate” to success, this movie has earned the type of “too good to miss” buzz that simply can’t be manufactured. In the end, there is often no substitute for a great movie.

Looking at the bigger picture, it’s very good to see both NEON and IFC find such success with modestly budgeted genre films (both cost just several million to make). As more and more big media companies consolidate, the more smaller companies we have out there delivering original movies into the theatrical marketplace, the better.

We spoke about this on today’s episode of the /Film Daily podcast, which you can listen to below:

“Immaculate” and “Late Night with the Devil” are in theaters now.



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Philadelphia’s ‘billion-dollar drug market’ is home to a third of all drug-law violations with 376 arrests per square mile compared to just 16 in other parts of city

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A single Philadelphia neighborhood known for its open-air drug use accounts for more than a third of the city’s drug-law violations, statistics show.

Cops in Kensington recorded 921 narcotics and drug-law violations in 2023 – an alarming rate considering the 1,630 offenses that took place elsewhere.

Those crimes were recorded across roughly 150 distinct neighborhoods – none of which even came close to boasting a rate like the notorious nabe known widely to locals and beyond as ‘The Badlands.’

Kensington earned that moniker back in 1992, from fed-up narcotic cops peeved by the area’s then-bustling drug economy. Back then, the $250million market was mostly underground – a dynamic that’s since shifted as enforcement laws have eased.

This has resulted in people shooting up and ingesting drugs like fentanyl in the streets, leading to some 376 violations per square mile – compared with a rate of 16 for the rest of the city.

Kensington last year accounted for more than a third of Philadelphia's drug-law violations, statistics show.

Kensington last year accounted for more than a third of Philadelphia’s drug-law violations, statistics show.

Cops in the notorious neighborhood known for its open drug use recorded 921 narcotics and drug-law violations in 2023 - an alarming rate considering the 1,630 offenses that took place across the city. A Kensington crime scene where a homicide occurred this month is seen here

Cops in the notorious neighborhood known for its open drug use recorded 921 narcotics and drug-law violations in 2023 – an alarming rate considering the 1,630 offenses that took place across the city. A Kensington crime scene where a homicide occurred this month is seen here

The concentration of drug crime in the neighborhood has since surfaced as a talking point, with many mortified by the sight of people nodding out on the streets and openly injecting drugs.

Other footage from neighborhood regularly shows users passed out on the sidewalks, often in front of shuttered stores.

Others show people picking at open wounds in plain view of the public, in scenes that appear to be straight out of San Francisco.

But the crimes are – and for years have been – happening in the municipality named for its ‘Brotherly Love’,  and whose government is finally taking notice of the state of its streets, Kensington in particular.

In comments to The Philadelphia Inquirer, residents, leaders, and current and ex-city officials alike outlined how politicians are to blame for Kensington’s downfall, which, if the year-end statistics are to be taken seriously, is now at a breaking point.

Citing other startling statistics such as Kensington housing more than a-third of the city’s known homeless population, the CEO of Impact Services, one of Kensington’s three large community development nonprofits, offered her take.

‘Kensington has brought both international embarrassment and a sense of urgency to deal with what’s happening,’ said Casey O’Donnell, as clips showing drug use in the neighborhood continues to gain traction online. 

Those crimes were recorded across roughly 150 distinct neighborhoods - none of which even came close to boasting a rate like the notorious nabe known widely as 'The Badlands'

Those crimes were recorded across roughly 150 distinct neighborhoods – none of which even came close to boasting a rate like the notorious nabe known widely as ‘The Badlands’

Kensington earned that moniker back in 1992, from fed-up narcotic cops peeved by the area's then-bustling drug economy

Kensington earned that moniker back in 1992, from fed-up narcotic cops peeved by the area’s then-bustling drug economy

Back then, the $250million market was mostly underground - a dynamic that's shifted as enforcement laws have eased

Back then, the $250million market was mostly underground – a dynamic that’s shifted as enforcement laws have eased

This has resulted in people shooting up and ingesting drugs like fentanyl in the streets, leading to some 376 violations per square mile - compared with a rate of 16 for the rest of the city

This has resulted in people shooting up and ingesting drugs like fentanyl in the streets, leading to some 376 violations per square mile – compared with a rate of 16 for the rest of the city

The issues, residents and city officials have said, stem from local legislation - laws that saw Philadelphia become so overwhelmed by drug-fueled crime under Democratic DA Larry Krasner (pictured) that failure to crack down on crime led to his impeachment in 2022

The issues, residents and city officials have said, stem from local legislation – laws that saw Philadelphia become so overwhelmed by drug-fueled crime under Democratic DA Larry Krasner (pictured) that failure to crack down on crime led to his impeachment in 2022

However, as of writing, he remains in office - as certain pockets of the city remain overrun

However, as of writing, he remains in office – as certain pockets of the city remain overrun

‘But that urgency and embarrassment does not translate to effective problem solving,’ she said, as the city’s new police commissioner, Kevin Bethel, declared last month that Kensington could soon see stricter enforcement of drug crimes, as early as April. 

But, as executive director of the economic development nonprofit HACE Maria Gonzalez put it to The Inquirer Monday, ‘The problems are so deep’, that one course of action cannot hope to provide a solution.

The issues, she and others said, stem from local legislation – laws that saw Philadelphia become so overwhelmed by drug-fueled crime under Democratic DA Larry Krasner that failure to crack down on crime led to his impeachment in 2022. 

However, more than a year later, he remains in office after his trial was indefinitely postponed – after previously billing himself to voters as a ‘progressive prosecutor.’

In January, officials appeared to pivot from the two-term politician’s lax laws – which included the dropping drug possession charges at a frightening pace.

That happened with the appointment of Bethel, who was named to the post by the city’s equally green mayor, Cherelle Parker.

In January, officials appeared to pivot from the two-term politician's lax laws, with new Police Commissioner Kevin Bethel promising a crackdown just a few weeks ago

In January, officials appeared to pivot from the two-term politician’s lax laws, with new Police Commissioner Kevin Bethel promising a crackdown just a few weeks ago

New mayor Cherelle Parker has also said it will be her mission to address neighborhoods like Kensington's woes, which have worsened over the decades due to reforms surrounding drug-related offenses

New mayor Cherelle Parker has also said it will be her mission to address neighborhoods like Kensington’s woes, which have worsened over the decades due to reforms surrounding drug-related offenses

Both have made promises to address Kensington's rapidly diminishing state, with Bethel hinting at an in-the-works plan to address what he referred to as 'open-air drug market[s]' in Kensington. Seen here is one of many encampment busts in the city, this one back in 2018

Both have made promises to address Kensington’s rapidly diminishing state, with Bethel hinting at an in-the-works plan to address what he referred to as ‘open-air drug market[s]’ in Kensington. Seen here is one of many encampment busts in the city, this one back in 2018

Police block off roads and gather evidence as they investigate a shooting near the Kensington area in Philadelphia on St. Patrick's Day Weekend

Police block off roads and gather evidence as they investigate a shooting near the Kensington area in Philadelphia on St. Patrick’s Day Weekend

First, though, Bethel said community groups would work to spread awareness of the new enforcement plan, and undertaking that he said would merely consist of people warning those who use or sell drugs on the street that they need to leave and seek treatment

First, though, Bethel said community groups would work to spread awareness of the new enforcement plan, and undertaking that he said would merely consist of people warning those who use or sell drugs on the street that they need to leave and seek treatment

That, or they could soon face arrest, the top cop declared. Pictured, a person walking through the Kensington neighborhood in 2021

That, or they could soon face arrest, the top cop declared. Pictured, a person walking through the Kensington neighborhood in 2021

'They will now be able to say... "There is going to be a heightened level of enforcement, and things that you have previously been able to do on the streets - openly using drugs, defecating on properties, threatening, stealing, those things that have historically been not addressed - will be addressed,"' he said - before optimistically adding, 'I'm hopeful'

‘They will now be able to say… “There is going to be a heightened level of enforcement, and things that you have previously been able to do on the streets – openly using drugs, defecating on properties, threatening, stealing, those things that have historically been not addressed – will be addressed,”‘ he said – before optimistically adding, ‘I’m hopeful’

Both have made promises to address Kensington’s rapidly diminishing state, with Bethel hinting at an in-the-works plan to address what he referred to as ‘open-air drug market[s]’ in Kensington back in February. 

‘It would be a natural progression of getting back to just enforcing the laws that have not been,’ he said at the time, a little more than a month after he was appointed.

First, though, he said community groups would work to spread awareness of the new enforcement plan, and undertaking that he said would merely consist of people warning those who use or sell drugs on the street that they need to leave and seek treatment. 

That, or they could soon face arrest, the top cop declared.

‘They will now be able to say… “There is going to be a heightened level of enforcement, and things that you have previously been able to do on the streets – openly using drugs, defecating on properties, threatening, stealing, those things that have historically been not addressed – will be addressed,”‘ he said – before optimistically adding, ‘I’m hopeful.’

Bethel went on to add how Parker’s administration, along with the department, is unwavering in its resolve to make sure the people currently taking to Kensington’s streets don’t just disperse to other, nearby neighborhoods.

He would not, however, say how he and other officers would go about that, or what services would be offered.

He did state that drug encampments – like the ones that currently litter Kensington Avenue – will not be tolerated, despite the department carrying out busts on such sites for the past six or so years. 

‘We’re not going to move this to another area. We’re not going to allow, you know, open-air drug market two, three, four, or five. That is not happening,’ he said.

Kensington's streets are littered with syringes, garbage and homeless encampments, with addicts dealing and using drugs in broad daylight. One addict holds a syringe in his mouth in December

Kensington’s streets are littered with syringes, garbage and homeless encampments, with addicts dealing and using drugs in broad daylight. One addict holds a syringe in his mouth in December

The concentration of drug crime in the neighborhood has since surfaced as a talking point, with many mortified by the sight of people nodding out on the streets and openly injecting drugs

The concentration of drug crime in the neighborhood has since surfaced as a talking point, with many mortified by the sight of people nodding out on the streets and openly injecting drugs 

Drug users are pictured sprawled in the park, waiting for their next fix. The city of Philadelphia is struggling to cope with the surge in use of new drugs like xylazine, colloquially known as 'tranq'. The injectable drug often leaves sores and wounds on users' skin

Drug users are pictured sprawled in the park, waiting for their next fix. The city of Philadelphia is struggling to cope with the surge in use of new drugs like xylazine, colloquially known as ‘tranq’. The injectable drug often leaves sores and wounds on users’ skin

Drugs are openly used and passed round with many bent over in a trance-like state. Pictured, the problem area in December

Drugs are openly used and passed round with many bent over in a trance-like state. Pictured, the problem area in December

Kensington's streets are littered with syringes, garbage and homeless encampments, with addicts dealing and using drugs in broad daylight

Kensington’s streets are littered with syringes, garbage and homeless encampments, with addicts dealing and using drugs in broad daylight

A man is resuscitated by emergency workers on Kensington Avenue

A man is resuscitated by emergency workers on Kensington Avenue

There, use of drugs like fentanyl, heroin, and new creation xylazine persists, to the point where even longtime residents told the Inquirer that the state of the neighborhood is even worse than it was in the 90s

There, use of drugs like fentanyl, heroin, and new creation xylazine persists, to the point where even longtime residents told the Inquirer that the state of the neighborhood is even worse than it was in the 90s 

Users are seen shooting up in the middle of the day

Users are seen shooting up in the middle of the day 

'We’ve empathized. We’ve given food. We’ve given water - only to get back that we can’t walk outside any more with open-toed shoes,' said one resident of policies implemented by people like Kasner that's gotten to them to this point. 'This is not a community. This is a public crisis'

‘We’ve empathized. We’ve given food. We’ve given water – only to get back that we can’t walk outside any more with open-toed shoes,’ said one resident of policies implemented by people like Kasner that’s gotten to them to this point. ‘This is not a community. This is a public crisis’

He would not commit to a specific timeline for when the new strategy will begin, but said the first phase will start shortly after Mayor Parker’s 100th day in office.

That’s not until early April – but the communication phase, he said, ‘will not be a long-term process.

‘All I can say is that we will give it enough time for people to make an informed decision as to what they want to do,’ he told onlookers, day before a shooting in Kensington left one person dead after more than 30 shots were fired.

As part of the plan, Bethe; said police will not ‘occupy’ Kensington, but instead work alongside community members and business owners to begin enforcing laws.

Meanwhile, use of drugs like fentanyl, heroin, and new creation xylazine persists, to the point where even longtime residents told the Inquirer that the state of the neighborhood is even worse than it was in the 90s.

‘We’ve empathized. We’ve given food. We’ve given water – only to get back that we can’t walk outside any more with open-toed shoes,’ said Kiara Lynn Garcia of policies implemented by people like Kasner that’s gotten to them to this point.

Claiming that the time for empathy has passed and that what’s needed now is action, she concluded: ‘This is not a community. This is a public crisis.’



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Why Netflix’s 3 Body Problem Is Facing International Controversy

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Look away now, “No politics in my art!” crowd. In one of the clearest demonstrations yet of how storytelling is inherently tied together with socio-political concerns, writer Liu Cixin had no recourse but to design “The Three-Body Problem” with censorship in mind. That required a little cat-and-mouse game in sneaking one of his most incendiary concepts past cultural gatekeepers in his native China: an unflinching depiction of the country’s “Cultural Revolution.”

Much like in English translations of the book, Netflix’s “3 Body Problem” begins in 1966 Beijing amid a so-called “struggle session.” Whipped into a frenzy by revolutionary leader Mao Zedong, students and other impressionable people sought to forcibly uproot established scholars, scientists, and other “bourgeois” intellectuals from positions of governmental influence. As accurately captured by Cixin, this involved harrowing anti-science demonstrations at universities and other cultural centers in which those accused of being capitalist sympathizers were dragged in front of angry mobs and forced to denounce their views. In an inspired choice, the author grounded the entire cosmic story of “The Three-Body Problem” in the fallout of one especially bloody rally, wherein main character Ye Wenjie (portrayed in the series by Zine Tseng for the younger version of the character and Rosalind Chao for the older) witnesses her father’s brutal murder that would eventually motivate the most decisive act in (fictionalized) human history.

In its original publication, however, Cixin essentially had to hide this crucial chapter much later on in the hopes that it would slip past government censors. Historically, China has sought to downplay (at best) or outright deny (at worst) the facts behind this decade of violent upheaval. Pointedly setting a seminal work of literature during this historical event was itself a political statement … and, unsurprisingly, put any future adaptation in the crosshairs.



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The tragic moment that changed Russell Manser’s life forever – sending him on a journey of suffering and resilience

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Russell Manser turned his life around after being sexually abused at a juvenile home and again in prison and going into a destructive downward spiral of crime and violence.

Tributes have poured in for the former bad boy and outlaw turned good after Manser, 56, died unexpectedly on Saturday night. 

There were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the 56-year-old’s death and a report was being prepared for the coroner. 

He had a history of using drugs including heroin, a habit he picked up in jail as a young man after being sexually assaulted by other inmates.

Manser was open about his stints in rehab and ongoing battle with addiction and recovery and would often share updates about his life on social media.

Tragic story of abuse  

Manser’s history of incarceration began at 15 when he was out with friends on an ordinary Saturday night and made the drug-fuelled decision to steal a ute in Parramatta, in Sydney‘s west. 

What ensued was a dramatic police chase in which the teenager could barely even reach the pedals, ultimately crashing the stolen car.

‘It was often you’d be driving cars on phone books. I’ve seen some kids, one doing the pedals and one doing the driving,’ he told Daily Mail Australia.

Manser was sent to Daruk Boys Home at Windsor, a town northwest of Sydney, for six months and within days had been sexually abused by wardens. 

Former criminal Russell Mansell (pictured with his girlfriend Liliana Gagic) died suddenly on the weekend after turning his life around

Former criminal Russell Mansell (pictured with his girlfriend Liliana Gagic) died suddenly on the weekend after turning his life around

‘The first night I seen staff grabbing kids out of beds and taking them to the ablutions block,’ he told the ABC’s Australian Story

‘The second or third night I could smell one of the staff members breathing on me, and he had breath like a sewer. 

‘He marched me into the ablutions block and sexually abused me.’

Authorities have since urged any male who attended the school between 1965 and 1985 to come forward. In 2018, it was reported at least 80 alleged victims had opened up about instances of sexual and physical abuse at the home. 

Manser, the youngest of six children, grew up in Mount Druitt in Sydney’s west.

His parents were ‘ten pound poms’ who emigrated from Liverpool and supported their large family with factory work, his mother working in a plastics factory.

‘There was no dysfunction, there was no domestic violence or alcoholism in my family growing up in Mount Druitt,’ Manser said. 

However Manser couldn’t help but notice the special treatment dished out to returning inmates who were lauded like ‘servicemen’ in his suburb.  

These men had new cars, nice clothes and pretty girlfriends, which appealed to a teenager desperately seeking a distraction from what he saw as a life of misery. 

‘I would always see people really busting their a*ses. The only people who showed any sort of opulence were the criminals,’ he said. 

‘Waking up at five o’clock in the morning in the middle of winter to walk to the bus stop to go and work in a factory for 10 hours.  

‘They looked miserable and it really didn’t appeal to me.’ 

By the age of 23, Russell Manser (pictured in his early 20s) had robbed five banks

By the age of 23, Russell Manser (pictured in his early 20s) had robbed five banks

Manser had just turned 17 when when he stole a Porsche from the wealthy suburb of Whale Beach on Sydney’s northern beaches. 

He was given an adult sentence of 12 months in Long Bay Correctional Centre to send a stern warning to other aspiring criminals in Mount Druitt. 

He detailed a prison guard saying ‘have fun, boys’ as his mattress was thrown to the floor of a cell he shared with two men in a protection wing of Long Bay jail used to house convicted paedophiles. 

Manser admitted he felt resentful of the sentence and said in comparison to some of the other kids in jail his criminal history was minimal. 

‘It was illegal for any of us to be there, the way they did it was illegal because they had to go through the Attorney-General,’ he said. 

‘The courts had no power or jurisdiction to be able to do that directly. The lawyers should have said “this kid has been illegally placed in prison”.

‘That failure to contact family services, child safety and say these kids are in serious danger. There’s a duty of care there and they failed to do it.’ 

Manser was sexually abused by two men within hours of arriving at One Wing, a notorious protection unit used to house convicted pedophiles.

He remembers the prison guard saying ‘have, fun boys’ as his mattress was thrown to the floor of their cramped cell. 

The teenager was abused a few nights later by a third inmate, who offered him his first shot of heroin in return for his silence. 

Russell Manser (right) was in his mid-teens when he was sexually abused by wardens at Daruk Boys Home. It would be three decades before he opened up about harrowing ordeal

Russell Manser (right) was in his mid-teens when he was sexually abused by wardens at Daruk Boys Home. It would be three decades before he opened up about harrowing ordeal

Russell Manser was a notorious bank robber who spent 23 years behind bars. Pictured is CCTV of one of the bank robberies

Russell Manser was a notorious bank robber who spent 23 years behind bars. Pictured is CCTV of one of the bank robberies

In an assessment done four weeks after he arrived, a psychologist stated there was a high probability he was being sexually abused at Long Bay. 

Manser left prison a shell of his former self and nursing an addiction to heroin. 

He went on to rob five banks in the early 1990s, on one occasion stealing $90,000 from the Commonwealth Bank in Lane Cove in Sydney’s north. 

Manser committed five robberies within a few months, never stopping to consider the impact he was having on the terrified clerks and witnesses.

Russell Manser (pictured) turned his life around in his final years where he helped fellow survivors of abuse, inmates and former prisoners

Russell Manser (pictured) turned his life around in his final years where he helped fellow survivors of abuse, inmates and former prisoners

By the age of 23, the career criminal had been sentenced to 15 years behind bars, with a non-parole period of seven-and-a-half years. 

On his release, Manser started his own business as a fitness instructor, got married and welcomed two boys into the world. 

However the short-lived period of peace was disrupted by memories of his abuse, which were becoming harder to ignore. 

His marriage broke down and Manser numbed the pain with drugs and alcohol, returning to his hallmark of robbing banks – this time leaving fingerprints. 

Back behind bars, he realised ‘a lot’ needed to change. 

Russell Manser's sudden death has sparked outpouring of tributes

Russell Manser’s sudden death has sparked outpouring of tributes 

After seeing the announcement of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Manser got the boost he needed. 

He wrote to the commission and was visited by a representative, before finally receiving an apology from the NSW government and compensation, three decades after he was abused at Daruk Boys Home.

When asked about the possibility of confronting his abusers at Long Bay, who he says are dead, Manser asks what purpose it would serve. 

‘It doesn’t give me any closure, I’ve done a lot of work on that stuff in regards to holding on to resentments and what that’s achieving and you know, really worked hard to sort of let that stuff go. It’s hard some days,’ he said.

Manser said he received closure when he accepted that what had happened to him in Daruk and Long Bay hadn’t been his fault.

‘It takes a lot of practice, it takes a long time. I want a sense of peace,’ he said.

Manser hen went on to run an advocacy group that helps connected survivors of abuse, prisoners, and former prisoners with legal advice, treatment and rehabilitation. 

It began when other inmates started suspecting he was ratting to police when in reality he was on the phone with the Royal Commission. 

After he announced this to the prison yard, several inmates asked how they could share their own stories of abuse.

‘That’s basically where the Voice of the Survivor was formed. I just had this way of people telling me their stories and feeling at ease,’ he said.

He was forced to wind up the charity last July.

‘It’s been really tough going of late,’ Manser told Daily Mail Australia at the time 

‘The directors have decided to put it in voluntary liquidation because we’re not having the same volume of clients because of the response to these claims.

‘It’s just not viable for us to continue on.’

When asked what advice he would give his teenage self before he lost control of his life, his response was simple: ‘Believe in yourself’.

‘Now I sit in boardrooms with these barrister types and my young bloke asked me how I can even talk to these people,’ he said.

‘I told him I just believe in myself, and it was one of the first times I said it openly.’



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Mark Wahlberg Had Some Beef With The Departed Director Martin Scorsese

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At the time, Wahlberg was deeply devoted to his craft, often preparing for roles by visiting weird, seedy locations. He also liked staying in character when the cameras stopped rolling, which posed a problem with a mean character like Dignam. Staying in character off-camera, by the way, is not one of the tenets of Method Acting, but certain actors have affected the practice nonetheless. Walhberg was one of them. 

Walhberg doesn’t elucidate which role he auditioned for, but one might assume it was one of the two lead roles occupied by Damon or DiCaprio. He also did indeed get paid, so his comment about not getting paid was likely slang for not getting paid a larger amount. Wahlberg said: 

“I was a little pissed about a couple of things but look it all worked out in the end, I think. Originally I was supposed to play another part. Originally I was supposed to get paid. Originally, I was supposed to be … you know. And then we agreed that I would play Dignam, when I saw the advantages of playing that part and how I would approach the situation with everybody else playing opposite me.” 

It certainly sounds like Wahlberg was gunning for a larger role, and that he was only briefly angry that he was relegated to a supporting player. Luckily, being a supporting player in a Scorsese movie about Boston gangsters was no small feat in itself. 

But then issues arose over Wahlberg’s hair. He revealed that the shoot for “The Departed” was interspersed between the actor’s filming of “Four Brothers” and “Invincible,” and he was required to get hair extensions that he refused to remove for Scorsese. Some assumed he wore a wig.



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