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PVR to open first screen in Sri Lanka in 2 years

Leading multiplex operator PVR is scouting overseas destinations for expansion and plans to open its first project in Sri Lanka in next two years, a top company official has said.

Besides Sri Lanka, the Gurgaon-based firm is also looking for other neighbouring countries like Myanmar and other emerging markets for its overseas expansion.

"We are opening in Sri Lanka, its not a massive foray but its still outside the shores of India. We are opening there in 24 months. Two properties are there in Colombo," said PVR Chairman and Managing Director Ajay Bijli.


PVR, which currently operates 600 screens in 51 cities in the domestic market, is aiming to have an annual foot fall of 100 million in next two years and to have around 1,000 screens by 2022.


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'Game of Thrones' Season 8 premiere date teased

It seems “Game of Thrones” fans’ worst fears have been confirmed. A key cast member on the long-running series has revealed that the final six episodes won’t debut until 2019.

“Thrones” is a series that’s notorious for large wait times between seasons, so when Season 7 took its bow in August, fans far and wide were hoping that the reduced order of six episodes for Season 8 would mean that they wouldn’t have to wait too long to see how the series wraps up.

Speaking in an interview with Variety, Sansa Stark actress Sophie Turner seems to have let it slip that the release date isn’t going to come in the upcoming New Year. When the star was asked about her excitement level for the premiere as well as her upcoming role as Jean Grey in “X-Men: Dark Phoenix,” she almost offhandedly noted that “Thrones” won’t be out until 2019.

As Entertainment Weekly notes, savvy enough fans likely saw the delay coming. The outlet reports that Season 8 is still filming and is expected to continue into the summer of 2018. Given the vast amount of post-production needed, as well as showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss’ propensity for taking their time for the sake of quality, 2019 isn’t that far-fetched.

The outlet also notes that the 2019 release date would allow HBO to spend its time campaigning for an Emmy run for Season 7 in 2018 rather than promoting Season 8. While the star had bad news for those that wanted to see the new season sooner rather than later, she was able to share some minor details about what her character will go through in the final six episodes of the show.

“This season, there’s a new threat, and all of a sudden she finds herself somewhat back in the deep end. And without Littlefinger, it’s a test for her of whether she can get through it,” she told Variety. “It’s a big challenge for her, without this master manipulator having her back. This season is more a passionate fight for her than a political, manipulative kind of fight.”

It's worth noting that Turner's words aren't final and that an official release date from HBO has yet to be announced.

 Tyler McCarthy



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Dwayne Johnson honoured with a star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

Football-player-turned-professional wrestler-turned-actor Dwayne Johnson received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame Wednesday, one week before the release of his latest film, "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle."

"I came into this business -- 2018 will mark 18 years in Hollywood, and that is a very long time of blood, sweat and earning respect and doing the things that we do that we like saying on social media," he said.

"... The only thing I knew when I got into this business ... was I was going to be committed to putting in the work, and I was going to put in the work (with) my own two hands,'' he said. "That was what I was gonna do. So for me, years later, to be here and celebrate this and get this star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame signifies things coming full circle."

Tom Rothman, chairman of Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group, which is distributing "Jumanji," was among those joining Johnson at the ceremony in front of the Hollywood & Highland complex.

The star is the 2,624th since the completion of the Walk of Fame in 1961 with the first 1,558 stars.

Johnson's recent films include Disney mega-hit "Moana," in which he portrays and sings as demigod Maui, "Baywatch," "The Fate of The Furious," "Central Intelligence" and "San Andreas."

His other film credits include three other instalments of the "Fast and Furious" franchise, "Fast Five," "Fast and Furious 6" and "Furious 7"; "Hercules"; "Snitch"; "G.I. Joe: Retaliation"; "Empire State"; "Pain & Gain"; "Race to Witch Mountain"; "Get Smart"; "The Game Plan"; and "Be Cool."


Source: NBC News

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‘Kurulu-Kaiya Birdfair 2017’ on December 16

The Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka (FOGSL) based at the University of Colombo will hold ‘Kurulu Kaiya 2017’ on December 16-17 at the Diyasaru Park, Thalawathugoda. The event is being held with the aim of promoting bird watching and also to create a dialogue on the need to conserve their habitats.

The event is set to be held at the ‘Diyasaru Park’ at Thalawathugoda which spreads over 60 acres on the Kotte marshes near Parliament. Over 50 species of birds including a number of migratory birds, about 25 butterflies, dragonflies, reptiles and fish are among the interesting wetland biodiversity are said to be found at the ‘Diyasaru Park’. The site is even the hideout of the elusive Fishing cat. Special guided nature walks around the trails of the Diyasaru Park have been organised during the event along with other guided tours and fun activities for children as well.
A session titled ‘40 years of bird research in Sri Lanka’ will also be held in collaboration with researchers from different universities of Sri Lanka in
order to promote research on the subject matter.


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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's official wedding date announced

Mark your calendars: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have officially set a wedding date.

Kensington Palace has announced May 19, 2018, as the big day. “Today’s announcement follows earlier confirmation of the month of the wedding and its location at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle,” the royal Twitter account declared.

His Royal Highness Prince Henry of Wales and Ms. Meghan Markle will marry on 19th May 2018.

Prince Harry announced his engagement to the Suits actress on Nov. 27. They followed the announcement with a photocall and sit-down interview filled with smiles and laughs as they described their courtship.

“It was just a typical night for us,” Prince Harry said of the night he proposed.

“What were we doing?” Markle asked her fiancé. “Just roasting chicken? Trying to roast a chicken and it was just an amazing surprise. It was so sweet and natural and romantic. He got on one knee.”

The pair has since made an official appearance meeting the people of Nottingham, where they attended the Terrence Higgins Trust World AIDS Day charity fair and met with staff and mentors at Nottingham Academy.

Source : Entertainment Weekly
Pic: Getty

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Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma ties the knot in Italy

Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli and Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma have tied the knot in Italy, after weeks of speculation that they were getting hitched.

"Today we have promised each other to be bound in love forever. We are truly blessed to share the news with you," the couple said in a statement.

The Hindu ceremony was attended by close family and a few friends.

The couple said they wanted "their wedding to be a very private affair".

The two stars were said to have married at a resort in Tuscany.

They will host a reception in Delhi for relatives on 21 December, followed by a celebration in Mumbai on 26 December to be attended by Bollywood stars and cricketers, they said.

After the celebrations in India, the couple will travel to South Africa where Kohli will prepare for India's forthcoming tour there which is taking place early next year.

In the new year, Sharma will return to Mumbai, where the couple will live, to resume her acting commitments.

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The Star Wars 'Porg Invasion' Facebook game is here

In the new Facebook game "Star Wars: The Last Jedi -- Porg Invasion," you are lovable droid BB-8 tasked with removing lovable alien porgs from the Millennium Falcon.

The retro arcade-style game features lovely, simple animation and repetitive but satisfying actions. It's the kind of addictive mobile game built for riding the bus or sitting through boring meetings.

Porgs are one of the breakout stars of "Star Wars: The Last Jedi." The beakless space-puffins are more Tribble than Ewok (apologies for mixing space franchises), and they like to reproduce.

Porgs live on the Ireland-like planet Ahch-To, where Luke Skywalker has gone to brood and avoid shaving. On a damp green island populated by lactating elephant-seal-like creatures, porgs nest on hillsides, by the sea, and eventually inside the Millennium Falcon.

It's a peaceful existence until Chewbacca and Rey make a hasty departure without clearing out the infestation.

"Porg Invasion" takes place in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon. Tap the screen and BB-8 shoots a claw into the air to capture a porg, racking up points. You can also tap to help Chewie fix parts of the ship that have been damaged by the creatures.

Lucasfilm assures me the porgs are not killed, though there is no evidence of an effective catch-and-release program in the game.

"Porg Invasion" launched Friday. It is free and available on Facebook Messenger's Instant Games tab. You can play it on a smartphone or PC. Facebook (FB) added games to the stand-alone Messenger product in 2016.

There are serious Star Wars games that will no doubt rake in piles of money for Lucasfilm, like "Star Wars Battlefront II: The Last Jedi Season" and "Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes." "Porg Invasion" is just free, fun advertising for the film.

Star Wars is a massive empire, of which actual film sales are only one segment. Porgs aren't just comic relief. They're stuff-able, huggable, meme-able cash cows built for licensing and viral marketing.

Source : CNN

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Donald Trump reportedly watches up to 8 hours of TV every day

According to a lengthy The New York Times report about President Donald Trump’s “hour-by-hour battle for self-preservation” as leader of the free world, the former host of The Apprentice spends a minimum of four hours watching television every day … and up to eight hours total, or what amounts to a standard workday for 40-hours per week employees.

The report cites people close to the president familiar with his daily routine.

As you might expect, Trump isn’t binging Stranger Things 2 or catching up on This Is Us, but rather watching cable news, with Fox News’ Fox & Friends being a particular favorite. He also occasionally “hate-watches” CNN “to get worked up,” according to the Times.

Trump reportedly had a 60-inch TV installed in his White House dining room to consume more shows. And like sitcom dads of yore, the president has a rule about nobody else touching the remote control — unless they’re “technical support staff” (the need for which is left unexplained).

Trump has previously stated he doesn’t watch as much TV as people think he does. “I do not watch much television,” he said last month. “I know they like to say — people that don’t know me — they like to say I watch television. People with fake sources — you know, fake reporters, fake sources. But I don’t get to watch much television, primarily because of documents. I’m reading documents a lot.”

By James Hibberd (EW)


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Miss Iraq's Family Forced To Flee Country After Selfie With Miss Israel

Miss Iraq Sarah Idan's family was forced to flee the country after receiving death threats over a selfie the beauty queen took with Miss Israel during the Miss Universe pageant last month. Iraq does not recognise Israel and the two countries have no formal diplomatic relations.

 Speaking to the Hadashot News channel, Miss Israel Adar Gandelsman, 20, revealed that Ms Idan's family was being harassed over the viral photo as well as the fact that she had posed in a bikini during the Miss Universe pageant.

 "People made threats against her (Ms Idan) and her family that if she didn't return home and take down the photos, they would remove her title, (and) that they would kill her... Out of fear, they left Iraq at least until the situation calms down," The Jewish Chronicle quoted Ms Gandelsman as saying.

 Ms Gandelsman added that the two women had remained in touch after meeting at the pageant in Las Vegas, Nevada. Ms Idan, 27, lives in the United States.

 She also quoted Ms Idan as saying she had "no regrets" about posting the photo on Instagram. The caption of Ms Idan's selfie read "Peace and Love from Miss Iraq and Miss Israel."

"She did that to inform people that it's possible to live in peace," Ms Gandelsman said, adding that's why she did not delete the photo despite the all the trolling.

Ms Gandelsman too had posted a picture with Ms Idan on her own Instagram account.

Ms Idan appeared to confirm the danger her family was facing in a tweet on Friday.

Last month, Ms Idan apologised to those who took her posing with Miss Israel to suggest she was expressing support for the Israeli government.

"This picture doesn't mean I support the Israeli government or its policies towards Arab countries. I apologise to everyone who saw it as an insult to the Palestinian cause - this was not its purpose," she clarified in a statement in Arabic.

Ms Idan was born and raised in Baghdad, Iraq. Following the US-led invasion in 2003, she worked with the American military from 2008. She later moved to the US.

Source : NDTV

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TweetupSL on December 16

The largest meet up of the Twitter community in Sri Lanka will happen on December 16. Held annually it is one of the most awaited events for the Twitter community which has been growing at a rapid pace in recent times.

This year's event is set to take place at Trace Expert City where the community invites ‘Online friends to meet offline’. A Twitter user has to have the prerequisites of 500 followers, 1000 tweets with an account which has been in operation for over 6 months in order to be eligible to attend the event.

However, despite the growing numbers Twitter in Sri Lanka is yet to catch up to other social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook. While Instagram, the visual communication platform of Facebook seemed to be making headway among Sri Lankan social media users with its numbers taking a major jump from a 120,000 in October to a 160,000 in December; Twitter still fails to identify the Sri Lankan tweeps as a force to reckon with, mostly due to their still small numbers.

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Dustin Hoffman accused of sexual assault

Dustin Hoffman is facing more allegations of sexual misconduct.Variety reported accusations from three women against the legendary actor.

Cori Thomas says the actor exposed himself to her in a hotel room in 1980 when she was 16 and a friend of his daughter.

Melissa Kester told Variety that Hoffman sexually assaulted her at a recording studio. She says he was tracking audio for the 1987 film "Ishtar," and that she was a recent college graduate at the time.

A third unnamed woman says Hoffman assaulted her in the back of a station wagon and later pressured her into a sexual encounter she says left her feeling traumatized.

She told CNN she had spent that day in 1980 with Hoffman and his daughter in New York City, visiting Central Park and having dinner.

Thomas said that Hoffman's daughter lived with her mother at the time, who was divorced from Hoffman, and the actor was staying in a hotel near both his ex-wife's home and where he and the girls had dined.

Her parents were supposed to pick her up at the restaurant, Thomas said, so she left a note for them explaining the trio was headed back to Hoffman's hotel room.

Thomas said that soon after they arrived at the hotel, the actor sent his daughter home to finish her homework, leaving her alone with him.

She says he then took a shower, later emerging to stand in front of her wearing only a towel.

"He dropped the towel, and I didn't know what to do," Thomas told CNN.

Thomas said that Hoffman stood before her naked for awhile before putting on a robe and asking her to massage his feet, which she did.

"At one point while I was massaging his feet, he was on the phone in the bed in the hotel, and said he was on the phone and said, 'I've got a pretty girl massaging my feet,'" Thomas said. "He kept mentioning that he was naked to me."

According to Thomas, the incident ended when her mother arrived to pick her daughter up. She said she did not tell her mother or anyone else about the incident for some time. Thomas remained friends with Hoffman's daughter and included her in her wedding party when she married in 1984.

In a letter to the parent company of Variety, the 80-year-old actor's attorney, Mark A. Neubauer, called the allegations "defamatory falsehoods."

They are the latest accusations against the Oscar winner.

Last month, Anna Graham Hunter wrote an essay in which she accused Hoffman of sexually harassing her when she was a 17-year-old production assistant on the set of his film "The Death of a Salesman" in 1985.

Following the publication, Hoffman released a statement apologizing.

"I have the utmost respect for women and feel terrible that anything I might have done could have put her in an uncomfortable situation," Hoffman said in the statement. "I am sorry. It is not reflective of who I am."


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Johnny Hallyday, Singer Known as the ‘French Elvis,’ Dies at 74

French rock star and actor Johnny Hallyday, who became the first Gallic singer to popularize rock ’n’ roll in France and sold over 110 million records during a music career spanning over half a century, has died, according to Agence France Presse. He was 74 and had been fighting cancer for several months.

Widely known as the “French Elvis,” Hallyday began his singing career at the end of the 1950s specializing in French-language cover versions of famous songs by artists like Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochrane and Elvis Presley — whose example inspired him to become a singer.

At the beginning of 1960, Hallyday released his first album, “Hello! Johnny.” The following year he performed at France’s first rock festival at the Palais des Sports in Paris, setting off a near-riot that led to a ban on rock ’n’ roll shows for several months.

Hallyday’s covers instantly proved a successful way for American rock ’n’ roll to infiltrate its way into France. He even gave the Jimi Hendrix Experience their very first gig as his opening act at the Paris Olympia in October 1966.

In later years he was clever enough to sustain his popularity and increase his cross-generational appeal by moving into emotive balladry in a career trajectory similar to that of Presley.

Hallyday also became an accomplished film actor. He made his first screen appearance in 1955 as an extra in Georges-Henri Clouzot’s classic thriller “Les Diaboliques.” He broke through in France in “Where Are You From Johnny?” playing a thinly disguised version of himself: a young rocker on the make. His co-star was first wife Sylvie Vartan, also a chart-topping singer, with whom he has sung several popular duets.

Hallyday is survived by his wife, Laeticia, and their two adopted children, Jade and Joy; son David Hallyday from his first marriage with Vartan; and daughter Laura Smet from his relationship with actress Nathalie Baye.

Source: variety.com

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