21st Century Fox Raises Offer for Sky, Topping Comcast Bid

Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox significantly lifted its offer price to consolidate ownership of Sky, heating up a bidding war with Comcast for the British broadcaster.
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Pfizer Raises Prices for Dozens of Drugs

Pfizer raised the list prices for more than 40 of its prescription drugs this week, issuing a second round of price increases this year despite mounting public scrutiny.
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Hellboy Board Game Raises $1 Million in 2 Days

Hellboy: The Board Game has smashed its Kickstarter goal and raised over $ 1 million in just two days.

The Kickstarter campaign went live last week with a goal of £100,000 (around $ 140,000 USD). The campaign reached its goal just 18 minutes later, and surpassed the million dollar mark just under 48 hours later.

The current total is sitting at almost £860,000 at the time of writing, approximately $ 1,178,000, with 25 days to go. A new stretch goal was unveiled yesterday with the addition of a Ragna Rok Rasputin miniature and a new scenario, if the campaign reaches £880,000.

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Review: ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ Raises the Bar for Broadway Magic

J.K. Rowling’s ever-popular boy wizard is all grown up in this enthralling two-part play, directed with seamless magic by John Tiffany.
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Humboldt GoFundMe page raises over $15M

The GoFundMe account collecting funds for the Humboldt Broncos closed Wednesday after raising more than $ 15 million in less than two weeks.
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Broadcom Raises Offer for Qualcomm to Over $121 Billion

Broadcom has sweetened its takeover offer of Qualcomm in a deal that would be worth more than $ 121 billion, turning up the pressure on the takeover target in what would be the largest-ever technology deal.
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Broadcom Raises Offer for Qualcomm to Over $121 Billion

Broadcom has sweetened its takeover offer of Qualcomm in a deal that would be worth more than $ 121 billion, turning up the pressure on the takeover target in what would be the largest-ever technology deal.
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‘Father Figures’ Premiere Raises Funds for Southern California Wildfire Victims

The real world intruded a bit on the world premiere of “Father Figures” at the TCL Chinese in Hollywood on Wednesday. On the red carpet, producer Ivan Reitman made a pitch for funds to help victims of the Thomas Fire. Earlier in the week, he and his family were forced to evacuate their Montecito home. “I’m […]

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Suitsupply Raises $360 Million in Financing

Suitsupply has secured some financing to spur its expansion.
On Monday, the Amsterdam-based company said it has raised $ 360 million in capital from NPM Capital as well as a consortium of banks including ABN Amro, BNP Paribas, ING and Rabobank.
Suitsupply will use the funds to refinance its existing debt as well as for further international expansion, investments in technology and retrofitting some of its older stores.
“We are using the current competitive financing climate to optimally position the company for further growth at attractive conditions,” said chief financial officer David Dijkhuis.
Suitsupply operates a total of 91 stores around the world, including 32 in North America, a market it entered in 2011.
In the U.S., the company will open four more stores this year in Kansas City, Newport Beach and San Jose, Calif., and Bellevue, Wash. In 2018, Suitsupply will add units in Williamsburg, N.Y., Boston, St. Louis, Detroit and San Diego in the first six months.
Last month it launched a women’s chain called Suistudio with stores in Amsterdam and Shanghai as well as two in New York. The funds will also be used to expand that concept into new markets, a spokesman said.
The privately held Suitsupply was founded by Fokke de Jong who

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Victoria Beckham Raises $40 Million in Private Equity Investment

The Spice Girl turned fashion designer, who introduced her brand in 2008, will use the cash to enter new product categories and expand retail operations.
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Tidal X Concert, Starring Jay-Z and Jennifer Lopez, Raises $3.7 Million for Natural Disaster Relief

Tidal X: Brooklyn, the third annual charity concert from the Jay-Z-owned streaming platform, raised $ 3.7 million in support of those affected by recent natural disasters, including Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, Hurricane Maria and the earthquakes that took place in Mexico. Funds will be distributed among organizations including Empire State Relief and Recovery Effort for Puerto […]

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Aussie Fashion Rental Site GlamCorner Raises $3.3 Million

HONG KONG — Fashion rental website GlamCorner has raised $ 3.3 million, aimed at cementing its status as the market leader in the Australian apparel-sharing economy. 
The investment of 4.2 million Australian dollars was led by AirTree Ventures, bringing the total amount of capital invested in the business to date to 5.5 million Australian dollars.
The company was founded by husband-and-wife duo Dean and Audrey Jones in 2012. The site stocks more than 3,000 designer dresses from more than 150 labels, averaging about 90 Australian dollars to 130 Australian dollars, and is equipped to offer next-day delivery across the country and three-hour delivery in Sydney.

Over the last year, the business has grown over 500 percent, transacting the retail equivalent of over 20 million Australian dollars, the company said.
“We are renting to 16-year-olds for their Year 10 formal to someone over 60 going to their daughter’s wedding. The problem [of finding an outfit] is quite universal,” Dean Jones said.
RELATED: E-commerce Start-Up Brauz Lands $ 1.8 Million >> 

“We’re going to stay Australian-focused for the time being because we have a real formula that’s working,” Jones continued, adding the firm would “scale up their inventory base significantly.” 

GlamCorner founders Dean and Audrey Jones 
Courtesy

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Twitter Crackdown on Abuse Raises Question: Do the Rules Apply to Trump?

Twitter said it has clamped down on harassment on its service, a campaign that is forcing the company to confront tricky questions about how it applies its standards.
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Hawaii Five-0 Boss Speaks Out on Controversial Exits: Daniel Dae Kim, Grace Park Were Offered “Unprecedented Raises”

Hawaii Five-0The chatter surrounding Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park’s surprise exits from Hawaii Five-0 isn’t dying down just yet.
Shortly after CBS issued a statement explaining their side of…

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Snapchat map update raises child safety worries

An update to Snapchat lets people search for schools and see pictures posted by children inside.
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‘Big Bang Theory’ Leads Taking Pay Cuts So Female Co-Stars Can Get Raises

The five leading stars of CBS’s “The Big Bang Theory” are apparently taking pay cuts so that two of their longtime castmates can get raises.

Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco, Kunal Nayyar and Simon Helberg ― who have all been on the show since Season 1’s premiere in 2007 ― reportedly agreed to take $ 100,000 pay cuts from their $ 1 million per episode salaries for upcoming Seasons 11 and 12 to increase the salaries of Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch, Variety reported, citing multiple sources.

Bialik ― who earned four Emmy nominations for her role as Sheldon’s girlfriend, Amy ― and Rauch have become key characters in the show since joining in Season 3. The two currently make around $ 200,000 per episode, according to Variety, and are gearing up for contract negotiations this week.

With the money from their co-stars, the two could each bump up to around $ 450,000 per episode for a 48-episode deal. However, Deadline reported they may be seeking parity with their co-stars.

Last month, The Hollywood Reporter revealed the original five actors will each be earning $ 1 million per episode for the final two seasons of the CBS series, which is television’s No. 1 comedy for the key demographic of 18-to-49-year-olds.

Parsons, Galecki and Cuoco first inked their $ 1 million per episode contracts with Warner Bros. Television back in 2014, making them TV’s current highest-paid comedy actors. In its ninth season, the show averaged 20 million viewers per episode.

Reps for Parsons, Galecki, Cuoco, Nayyar and Helberg were not immediately available to comment.

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China Video Streaming Firm iQIYI Raises $1.5 Billion

Chinese online video firm iQIYI has raised $ 1.53 billion through the sale of convertible debt. The new finance will allow it to keep investing in content and services as the streaming sector develops. The company is a majority owned subsidiary of Baidu, the group that dominates online search in China. Baidu revealed that it had put… Read more »

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Edinburgh’s Housing Market Raises Hopes in Scotland

The outlook is bright in the city center, where prices of prime real estate have returned to prerecession levels.
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Madonna raises $7.5M for Malawi, slams Trump in Miami show

Madonna performs during Art Basel Miami Beach, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016, in Miami Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Kelli Kennedy)MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Madonna kissed Ariana Grande, repeatedly criticized President elect Donald Trump and said she was ashamed to be an American in a magnetic performance in Miami on Friday night where she raised more than $ 7.5 million for the African nation of Malawi.



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London Label Me+Em Raises Investment

LONDON — Me+Em, a London-based contemporary label that’s a favorite of the Duchess of Cambridge, has received funding from a consortium of investors to fuel its expansion.
Pembroke Venture Capital Trust said Thursday said that together with Venrex Fund, Sir Charles Dunstone and a number of other private investors, it has taken a “co-investment” in Me+Em. Pemroke didn’t disclose the size of the investment the group have made in the label.
Pembroke said the funding would allow Me+Em to acquire new customers, broaden its product offering, introduce wholesale and increase customer engagement with the brand, through investing in digital, social and public relations activity.
Andrew Wolfson, chief executive officer of Pembroke Venture Capital Trust commented: “We were impressed by the way the [Me+Em] product resonates with their target demographic and the team’s intelligent approach to marketing and data management,” he said.
Clare Hornby, founder and creative director of Me+Em added: “Me+Em has doubled in size over the last 18 months. I am excited about the future and working with Venrex and Pembroke, who both provide the expertise and financial support to take the brand to the next level.”
Hornby founded Me+Em in 2009, and it’s primarily sold through the label’s e-commerce site and brochures, and from

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Scottish Ballet’s Erotic Streetcar Named Desire Raises Temperatures in Chicago

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Sophie Martin as Stella and Tama Barry as Stanley in Scottish Ballet’s A Streetcar Named Desire. Photograph by Andrew Ross.

They almost had to hose down the audience at intermission of Scottish Ballet’s A Streetcar Named Desire at the Harris Theater in Chicago on Thursday night. Erik Cavallari’s Stanley had just had make-up sex with Sophie Martin’s Stella, and choreographer Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s imaginative way with the erotic pas de deux had everyone hot and bothered.

In a welcome departure from the one-note depictions of sex in the male-dominated world of ballet, the tiny, sinewy Martin calls the shots in this scene. The balance of power has shifted – after her husband struck her in a drunken rage, and she fled their claustrophobic New Orleans tenement apartment. Sober and whimpering upon her return, he spins and drags and upends her, at her hungry command; she flings herself at him repeatedly, in a flying half-twist, challenging him to catch her at the peak of her jump.

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Sophie Martin as Stella and Tama Barry as Stanley in A Streetcar Named Desire. Photograph by Andrew Ross.

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Erik Cavallari as Stanley and Sophie Laplane as Stella in A Streetcar Named Desire. Photograph by Andrew Ross.

This is not a relationship that is likely to end well but, for now, Stella is in control, as she is at the mournful end of this Southern gothic tragedy, when she makes the anguished decision to commit her sister Blanche to a mental asylum. The sensual Martin is magnificent throughout, a firecracker. Cavallari, stocky and ripped, plays the sexual predator with attention to the small but explosive details of body language, wisely avoiding caricature – not an easy feat when you must swagger in the footsteps of Marlon Brando.

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The Company in A Streetcar Named Desire. Photograph by Andrew Ross.

Having decided, in tandem with stage director Nancy Meckler, to flesh out Blanche DuBois’ backstory, to unravel the narrative and present it in chronological fashion, Lopez Ochoa rose to the challenge of portraying the assorted sex acts that, in Tennessee Williams’ 1947 classic, take place offstage, or are mentioned only in passing in the dialogue. She draws expertly and seamlessly from a range of dance styles, never straying far from classical ballet, in a manner that flaunts the dramatic and technical flair of this handsome company.

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Victor Zarallo as Alan and Luke Ahmet as the Lover in A Streetcar Named Desire. Photograph by Andrew Ross.

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Eve Mutso as Blanche, Victor Zarallo as Alan and Luke Ahmet as the Lover in A Streetcar Named Desire. Photograph by Andrew Ross.

Sexual exploits start with the homosexual encounter between Blanche’s boyish husband Alan and a man whom he meets at their wedding dance – a variation on the Romeo and Juliet meet cute at the Capulets’ ball, that here manifests as an unaffected and moving duet. This leads to a brief threesome, full of intertwining arms and confused glances, until Blanche’s revulsion – or jealousy, or both – drives Alan to suicide. Throughout the evening, the figures of Alan, in bloodstained shirt, and his lover reappear to dance with Blanche whenever she slips into an alcoholic haze – a striking choreographic gambit that embodies her frequent hallucinations.

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Luke Ahmet as the Lover, Victor Zarallo as Alan and Kara McLaughlin as Young Blanche in A Streetcar Named Desire. Photograph by Andrew Ross.

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Eve Mutso as Blanche with the Company in A Streetcar Named Desire. Photograph by Andrew Ross.

The DuBois family estate crumbles – literally, in a triumph of scenic design in which a massive backdrop, emblazoned with a hazy photographic image of a stately Southern plantation home, explodes into a mass of wooden packing crates – driving the destitute Blanche to prostitute herself in a seedy hotel. The hotel sex is impersonal, mechanistic, efficient.

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Eve Mutso as Blanche and Erik Cavallari in A Streetcar Named Desire. Photograph by Andrew Ross.

The lonely Blanche seeks comfort in seducing a young boy. In another twist on Romeo and Juliet (MacMillan’s version), the boy lies on his back as she perches on his raised shins, arching her spine into a crescent.

In the rape scene, movement and score are stripped to a stark minimum. After taunting Blanche (danced on Thursday and Friday evenings by the statuesque, mesmerizing Eve Mutso), stripping her and kicking her to the floor, Cavallari props her against the bed (assembled, like the rest of the set, from packing crates) and smashes her against it, accompanied only by what sounds like the repeated slamming of metal doors that won’t stay shut.

Even crumpled in stillness, Mutso conveys a mix of fragility and willpower. In motion, she calibrates her movement to suggest a constant sense of being slightly off-balance, on the brink of collapse, the elegant sweep of her preternaturally long arms and legs swiftly fractured by bent elbows and knees.

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Eve Mutso as Blanche with the Company in A Streetcar Named Desire. Photograph by Andrew Ross.

Lopez Ochoa’s command of the ensemble is no less compelling than her portrayals of intimacy and domestic violence. She gives the crackerjack corps de ballet a stern Graham-based vocabulary with which to drive Blanche out of her home town. Maneuvering packing crates into two tight columns, they become a seething mass of humanity on the crowded streetcar named Desire. They form two rival teams in a bowling alley, their high-octane swing routine fired up by a jukebox. In the final scene, as the doctor in a lab coat arrives to take Blanche away, the men and women of the corps appear as a menacing crowd in identical black dresses, crimson carnations sprouting from their mouths – a surreal mushrooming of the scene in the play in which a blind Mexican flower seller offers Blanche a garish bouquet of “flores para los muertos” (flowers for the dead).

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Eve Mutso as Blanche with the Company in A Streetcar Named Desire. Photograph by Andrew Ross.

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Bethany Kingsley-Garner and the Company as the Mexican Flower Sellers in A Streetcar Named Desire. Photograph by Andrew Ross.

The ballet opens and closes with the same image of Blanche reaching for a naked light bulb that descends from the ceiling. With gently fluttering hands and skittering feet, her spine arching and twisting, her head thrown back in hope and trepidation, the layered skirt of her white dress floating as she pivots indecisively, she seems to hover delicately over the floor. The gossamery manner in which she steps on and off pointe and makes swift, fine-grained changes between quarter-pointe and full pointe, belies the wondrous plasticity of her insteps, and remarkable control.

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Eve Mutso as Blanche in A Streetcar Named Desire. Photograph by Andrew Ross.

Program notes tell us that Meckler and Lopez Ochoa were drawn to the image of a moth: Williams originally intended to title his play The Moth and makes reference in the play itself to Blanche’s “uncertain manner… that suggests a moth.”

Beyond the inventive uniting of drama, dance, score and set design to illuminate Williams’ psychological melodrama and caustic social commentary, this Streetcar brilliantly evokes the 19th century Romantic classic Giselle, in which a good-hearted peasant girl is driven to madness by the betrayal of a deceitful, two-timing aristocrat.

Ivor Guest could have had Blanche DuBois in mind when he recapped the first Act of Giselle, focusing on “the fragility of the heroine, her mind balanced between reason and madness.” Though Blanche is the aristocrat in Williams’ tale, she is twice betrayed – first by her secretly gay husband, and then by the working class Stanley, who resents her highfalutin ways, offended by the reminder that his wife comes from the same stock. The droit du seigneur exercised by the duplicitous Count Albrecht is here remodeled into the hypocrisy very much alive in 1940’s America, that allowed men to sow their wild oats and to treat their wives like possessions, while branding women who had sex outside marriage as damaged goods, outcasts, even insane.

There are thousands of papers stretching back over hundreds of years, affecting Belle Reve as, piece by piece, our improvident grandfathers and father and uncles and brothers exchanged the land for their epic fornications – to put it plainly!
– Blanche in Scene 2 of A Streetcar Named Desire remarks on the dissolution of the DuBois family estate

Upon Giselle’s death (or suicide), she is drawn into a gang of ghostly, moth-like maidens, draped in layers of white gauze, who have been similarly jilted and are bent on revenge against all men. The Wilis and their icy, shimmering, relentless choreography in the second and final Act of Giselle reflected a 19th century anxiety about growing numbers of unmarried, unmoored women whose sexual appetites could not be contained.

In the second Act of Streetcar, as Blanche’s hold on reality becomes increasingly tenuous, the ensemble women join her in her moth-like fluttering under a score of naked lightbulbs that descend from the rafters; the stage dims to resemble the eerie nights in the forest policed by the vigilante Wilis.

19th century nerves were calmed when the dead Giselle saved Albrecht from death at the hands of the Wilis – a female self-sacrifice to ensure male survival.

In Streetcar, Stella sacrifices her sister in order to uphold the patriarchy.

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Eve Mutso as Blanche and Adam Blyde as Mitch in A Streetcar Named Desire. Photograph by Andrew Ross.

The image of an irresistible but unattainable, and sometimes cruel, light is further cemented by the repeated deployment of Ella Fitzgerald’s recording of Harold Arlen’s ‘It’s Only a Paper Moon,’ that at strategic moments serves to highlight Blanche’s retreat into fantasies and fictions that make life more bearable (“it wouldn’t be make-believe/ if you believed in me.”)

Peter Salem’s heady score veers from lush, decorous waltzes to a hypnotic minimalist brume, fragments of New Orleans jazz and jukebox, occasionally shattered by the shrapnel of industrial sounds.

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Adam Blyde as Mitch and Eve Mutso as Blanche in A Streetcar Named Desire. Photograph by Andrew Ross.

Only one element seemed lacking in the ingenious and austere set design: a lighting scheme to indicate the curtains which divide the cramped space in the Kowalskis’ flat – a crucial device in the play that underscored how lack of privacy stoked tensions between its inhabitants.

The only gratuitous detail in the marvelously inventive staging was Cavallari’s roaring of “STELL-LAHHHH!” after she escaped his drunken assault. Lopez Ochoa should have trusted her choreography – and the wailing solo saxophone that accompanied it – to convey Stanley’s brutish needs. After his poker buddies shove him into the bath to cool down, Cavallari rips off his water-logged T-shirt and chews up the stage in a desperate quest to track Stella down. There was no need to translate his magnificent body language into a verbal howl. Tennessee Williams would likely have edited that out.

Catch Scottish Ballet on the rest of its American tour, through May 30th: check tour dates for San Antonio, Houston, Pittsburgh, Charleston and Washington, DC on their website.

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