One of the world’s better known fans of mystery novels, Hillary Rodham Clinton, is now writing one.
Clinton is teaming up with her friend, the novelist Louise Penny, on “State of Terror,” which has a plot that might occur to someone of Clinton’s background: A “novice” secretary of state, working in the administration of a rival politician, tries to solve a wave of terrorist attacks. The novel comes out Oct. 12, and will be jointly released by Clinton’s publisher, Simon & Schuster, and Penny’s, St. Martin’s Press.
“Writing a thriller with Louise is a dream come true,” Clinton, who has expressed admiration for Penny and other mystery writers in the past, said in a statement Tuesday. “I’ve relished every one of her books and their characters as well as her friendship. Now we’re joining our experiences to explore the complex world of high stakes diplomacy and treachery. All is not as it first appears.”
Penny, an award-winning author from Canada whose novels include “The Cruelest Month” and “The Brutal Telling,” said in a statement that she could not “say yes fast enough” to the chance of working with Clinton.
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“What an incredible experience, to get inside the State Department. Inside the White House. Inside the mind of the Secretary of State as high stake crises explode,” she said. “Before we started, we talked about her time as Secretary of State. What was her worst nightmare? ‘State of Terror’ is the answer.”
Fiction writing and worst-case scenarios have become a favorite pastime for Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton. He collaborated with James Patterson on the million-selling cyber thriller “The President is Missing,” and on a new novel, “The President’s Daughter,” which comes out in June.
Hillary Clinton, secretary of state during Barack Obama’s first term, has written a handful of nonfiction works. They include the memoir “Living History”; “Hard Choices,” which covered her time with Obama, who defeated her in the 2008 Democratic presidential primary; and “What Happened,” which focuses on her stunning loss to Donald Trump in the 2016 election.
“State of Terror” appears to draw not just on her years as secretary of state, but on her thoughts about the Trump administration’s “America First” foreign policy. According to Simon & Schuster and St. Martin’s, the main character is “tasked with assembling a team to unravel the deadly conspiracy, a scheme carefully designed to take advantage of an American government dangerously out of touch and out of power in the places where it counts the most.”
Financial terms were not disclosed. Clinton was represented by the Washington attorney Robert Barnett, whose other clients include Obama and Bill Clinton. Penny was represented by David Gernert, whose New York-based Gernert Company has worked with, among others, John Grisham, Stewart O’Nan and Chasten Buttigieg, husband of Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg.
Grammy-winning electronic music pioneers Daft Punk have announced that they are breaking up after 28 years.
The helmet-wearing French duo shared the news Monday in an 8-minute video called “Epilogue." Kathryn Frazier, the band's longtime publicist, confirmed the break up for The Associated Press.
Daft Punk, comprised of Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, have had major success over the years, winning six Grammy Awards and launching international hits with “One More Time," “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” and “Get Lucky."
Bangalter and de Homem-Christo met at a Paris school in 1987. Prior to Daft Punk, they formed an indie rock band named Darling.
They officially formed Daft Punk in 1993, and the helmeted, mute and mysterious musicians released their debut album, “Homework," in 1997. They first found success with the international hit “Da Funk," which topped the Billboard dance charts and earned them their first Grammy nomination. A second No. 1 hit and Grammy nomination followed with “Around the World."
Daft Punk spent time touring around the world and reached greater heights with their sophomore album, 2001's “Discovery." It included the infectious smash “One More Time” and “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger," which Kanye West famously flipped into his own hit “Stronger," released in 2007. It won West the best rap solo performance Grammy at the 2008 show, where West and Daft Punk performed together onstage.
A year later, a live version of “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” won Daft Punk the best dance recording Grammy — their first win — and their “Alive 2007" album picked up best electronic/dance album.
But it was the 2014 Grammys where Daft Punk really took the spotlight, winning album of the year for “Random Access Memories" and making history as the first electronic act to win the highest honor at the Grammys. The duo won four awards that night, including record of the year for their bombshell hit “Get Lucky," featuring Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers.
“Random Access Memories” was regarded as a genre-bending album highlighted by its mix of live instrumentation, disco sounds, funk, rock, R&B and more. Rolling Stone ranked it No. 295 on their list of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time” last year.
Marking the International Mother Language Day and Language Martyrs Day, different cultural organizations in the country arranged various programmes on Sunday.
Organizations including Bangla Academy, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Liberation War Museum, Chhayanaut, Bangladesh Udichi Shilpigosthi, Bangladesh Abritti Samannay Parishad organized various programmes throughout the day.
Featuring discussions by noted personalities and cultural performances including songs, dance recitals and recitations, these events were joined by both Bangladeshi audiences as well as the expatriates in Bangladesh from other countries.
Several of the aforementioned cultural organizations placed floral wreaths at the Central Shaheed Minar in the morning, paying homage to the martyrs.
Bangla Academy organised a special seminar at its Abdul Karim Sahitya Bisharad (AKSB) Hall at 11 am, followed by a ceremony conferring the poet Jasimuddin Literary Award 2021 to veteran language activist, writer and researcher Ahmed Rafiq.
State Minister for Cultural Affairs KM Khalid joined the event as the chief guest, while former Vice-Chancellor of Dhaka University AAMS Arefin Siddique spoke as the main discussant at the seminar.
Presided over by Bangla Academy President Shamsuzzaman Khan, director general Habibullah Siraji delivered the welcome speech. The programme was broadcast live on the Facebook page of the Academy.
Chhayanaut, country's renowned cultural institutions, arranged a live cultural event titled "Opomane Tumi Jole Uthechile" on its Facebook group and YouTube channel at 7 pm. Artistes of Chhayanaut performed songs and recitations at the event.
Liberation War Museum (LWM) also held a virtual programme titled "Maayer Vashay Praaner Ucchar" at 8 pm, from the Facebook pages of LWM and Radio Shadin 92.4 fm.
Country's first all-female indigenous band F-Minor performed songs, journalist and writer Anisul Hoque delivered an insightful lecture on the historical timeline of the language movement, several indigenous groups showcased multiple different dance performances and a special musical presentation on late playwright Munier Chowdhury's play 'Kobor' was presented by singer Alfaz Ahmed and Anannya Nishi at the virtual event, to name a few.
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Bangladesh Abritti Samannay Parishad also broadcast a live programme titled "Ekusher Prothom Prohor" on its Facebook page marking the day at 7:30 pm, featuring discussion and recitations.
Eminent actor former Cultural Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Noor and current State Minister for Cultural Affairs KM Khalid virtually joined the special programme as its special guests, among others.
Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) organized a seminar and cultural programme titled "Bishwer Shob Desher Matrivasha Rokkha Korbe Bangladesh" at its National Theatre Hall at 5 pm, featuring special performances by noted expatriates and foreign officials in Bangladesh, including the Nepalese Ambassador in Bangladesh Dr Banshidhar Mishra, Australian High Commissioner in Bangladesh Jeremy Bruer and more.
State Minister for Cultural Affairs KM Khalid joined the event as the Chief Guest, while the Cultural Affairs Ministry Secretary Md Badrul Arefin joined as special guest at the programme, presided over by BSA Director-General Liaquat Ali Lucky.
Bangladesh Udichi Shilpigosthi arranged a special cultural programme titled "Darun Krodher Agune Abar Jwalbo February" in front of the National Museum at Shahbag at 5 pm, featuring musical performances of Udichi artistes.
Alongside these events, all television and radio channels broadcast special programmes marking the International Mother Language Day and Language Martyrs Day.
Bollywood actors Kareena Kapoor Khan and Saif Ali Khan have been blessed with a baby boy, their second son, her father has announced.
40-year-old Kareena, the daughter of Bollywood actors Randhir Kapoor and Babita, was admitted to Breach Candy Hospital, a leading private hospital in Mumbai, on Saturday night and gave birth to the baby boy on Sunday morning.
"Yes, Kareena gave birth to a baby boy today morning. We are overjoyed. Both the mother and baby are doing well," Kareena's father Randhir told the media.
The couple -- dubbed Saifeena by the paparazzi -- announced the pregnancy on social media in August last year. "We are very pleased to announce that we are expecting an addition to our family!! Thank you to all our well-wishers for all their love and support."
Kareena and Saif tied the knot in 2012. They welcomed their first son, Taimur, in December 2016. Saif also has two children -- actor Sara Ali Khan and Ibrahim Ali Khan with former wife Amrita Singh, also a Bollywood actress.
Born to the Kapoor family, known as the 'First Family of Bollywood', Kareena -- the granddaughter of legendary actor-director Raj Kapoor, made her acting debut opposite another legendary actor Amitabh Bachchan's son Abhishek with the 2000 drama Refugee.
Her real success came in 2004 when she played a sex worker in the drama Chameli. She subsequently earned critical recognition for her role in the 2006 crime flick Omkara, a character based on William Shakespeare's heroine Desdemona.
Recipient of several awards, Kareena is one of Bollywood's highest-paid actresses. She will be next seen in Advait Chandan's Laal Singh Chaddha and Karan Johar's Takht. Kareena is also all set to publish her first pregnancy book later this year.
Saif, on the other hand, is the son of former Indian cricket captain Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi and former Bollywood's yesteryear heroine Sharmila Tagore.
A tentative settlement has been reached in a lawsuit that alleged James Franco intimidated students at an acting and film school he founded into gratuitous and exploitative sexual situations, attorneys for the plaintiffs said Saturday.
The two sides filed a joint status report in Los Angeles Superior Court telling a judge a settlement had been reached in the class-action lawsuit brought by former students at the now-defunct school, Studio 4, though elements of the lawsuit may live on.
The document was filed on Feb. 11, but the settlement has not previously been reported.
Actresses and ex-students Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Toni Gaal, who first filed the lawsuit in 2019, have agreed to drop their individual claims under the agreement, according to the court filing. Their lawsuit said Franco pushed his students into performing in increasingly explicit sex scenes on camera in an “orgy type setting” that went far beyond those acceptable on Hollywood film sets.
It alleged that Franco “sought to create a pipeline of young women who were subjected to his personal and professional sexual exploitation in the name of education,” and that students were led to believe roles in Franco’s films would be available to those who went along.
The lawsuit said the incidents occurred in a master class on sex scenes that Franco taught at Studio 4, which opened in 2014 and closed in 2017.
The two sides had been in discussions on a settlement for several months, and the lawsuit’s progress had been paused while they talked.
Plaintiffs’ attorneys from the firm of Valli Kane & Vagnini, LLP, confirmed the agreement in a statement to The Associated Press on Saturday night, adding that it will be “further memorialized in a Joint Stipulation of Settlement to be filed with the Court at a later date,” but giving no further comment or details.
After-hours emails seeking comment from attorneys for the defendants were not immediately returned.
In a previous court filing, Franco’s attorneys, while praising the #MeToo movement that helped inspire the lawsuit, called its claims “false and inflammatory, legally baseless and brought as a class action with the obvious goal of grabbing as much publicity as possible for attention-hungry Plaintiffs.” They pointed out that Tither-Kaplan had previously expressed gratitude for the opportunity to work with Franco.
The lawsuit also names Franco’s production company Rabbit Bandini and his partners including Vince Jolivette and Jay Davis as defendants.
The sexual exploitation allegations of other plaintiffs in the class action will be dismissed without prejudice, meaning they may be re-filed, the joint status report said.
Fraud allegations brought by those plaintiffs will be “subjected to limited release,” the document says, without further details or explanation.
The document does not reveal how much money may be involved in the deal.
Before filing the lawsuit, Tither-Kaplan aired her allegations of sexual misconduct against Franco along with other women in the Los Angeles Times after Franco won a Golden Globe Award for “The Disaster Artist” in early 2018, when the wave of the #MeToo movement was sweeping across Hollywood.
In a subsequent interview on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” Franco called the sexual misconduct stories about him inaccurate, but said, “If I’ve done something wrong, I will fix it. I have to.”
Franco, 42, best known for starring in comedies with Seth Rogen, has generally kept a low-profile since the allegations arose in what had been a highly productive period that culminated in the acclaimed “Disaster Artist.”