Mom of S.C. Teacher Killed by Alligator Speaks Out: ‘I Keep Thinking About Her Being Dragged Away’

The mother of a 45-year-old kindergarten teacher from South Carolina who was killed by an alligator while walking her dog on Monday says she’s still struggling to come to terms with her daughter’s death.

“I cannot make any sense of what’s happened. None at all,” Julia Meza said through tears during an interview with Today on Tuesday. “She would never go near an alligator, she would never irritate an alligator.”

Meza’s daughter, Cassandra Cline, was walking with her dog near a lagoon around 9:30 a.m. on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, when an 8-foot alligator attacked the dog.

Cline struggled to save her dog, but was attacked and pulled underwater by the alligator, according to the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office.

“I just keep thinking about her being dragged away by that,” Meza said. “I just, I just can’t imagine it.”

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Hilton Head Island Fire Rescue and Sea Pines Security personnel arrived at the scene and found Cline, a resident of Sea Pines Living, in the water.

David Lucas, of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, told ABC News that Cline was still alive when she was pulled from the water, but died at the scene.

Sam Chapplear, with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, told ABC that Cline had gotten into a tug-of-war with the animal to save her dog before being attacked herself.

The alligator was later found and euthanized, according to the site. The dog survived the incident.

The Beaufort County Coroner, Edward Allen, scheduled an autopsy to be performed at the Medical University of South Carolina to determine Cline’s cause death, according to the sheriff’s office.

Now, Cline’s family and friends are remembering the woman they nicknamed “Sassy.”

“She was a wonderful, giving person,” Meza told Today, noting that her daughter was a kindergarten teacher. “She’s been one for years and she loved her students.”

RELATED: Woman Killed by 8-Foot Alligator While Walking Dog in Gated Golf Community in Hilton Head, S.C.

Sea Pines Living officials wrote in a statement on Facebook that they are “shocked and heartbroken” after hearing the news.

“It is with heavy hearts that we mourn the tragic loss of one of our Sea Pines property owners Cassandra Cline,” they wrote.

“The Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office issued a statement earlier today stating that Ms.Cline was killed by an alligator in a lagoon in the Club Course area of Sea Pines. An alligator—believed responsible for the attack—was located and removed from the scene.”


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The Man Behind Winnie the Pooh Speaks Up, Gently

Jim Cummings has spoken for more than 400 animated characters on such movies as “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” “Aladdin” and “The Princess and the Frog.” For him, however, Winnie the Pooh and Tigger have proved to be the roles of a lifetime.
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Musician Speaks Out After Winning Lawsuit Against Ex Who Sabotaged Prestigious Scholarship

A Canadian clarinet player who was awarded more than $ 265,000 in a lawsuit against his ex-girlfriend after she sabotaged his prestigious music scholarship is speaking out, calling her actions “the ultimate betrayal.”

Eric Abramovitz, a gifted clarinetist, got the chance of a lifetime in 2014 when he was accepted to a two-year scholarship program at the Colburn Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles. The scholarship would have included tuition, room and board as well as money for food and expenses, and was worth about $ 50,000, according to the Montreal Gazette.

“I wanted it so badly,” Abramovitz, now 24, said during a recent interview with Today. “I was really thinking of it constantly.”

He had been hand-picked to study under famed clarinetist Yehuda Gilad, which would open many doors for Abramovitz in his career. But he never attended the program, thanks to his now-former girlfriend, Jennifer Lee.

Concerned that Abramovitz’s acceptance to the program would cause him to leave, Lee created a phony email and posed as her boyfriend to turn down the conservatory’s offer, according to court documents obtained by CNN. She even sent Abramovitz a fake rejection letter.

“I was numb when I read the email. I had to read it a few more times,” Abramovitz told BuzzFeed News. “When I found out I didn’t get it, it was really hard to deal with. I went through some really dark, sad, angry days.

RELATED: Man Sues Girlfriend After She Posed as Him and Sabotaged His Prestigious Music Scholarship

He accepted the defeat, and remained at McGill University in Canada with Lee. However, two years later (after he had broken up with Lee), Abramovitz applied to a two-year extension program at the University of Southern California, where Gilad taught part-time, according to the Montreal Gazette.

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There, he had an awkward exchange with the esteemed musician.

“He asked me, ‘What are you doing here? You rejected me,’ ” Abramovitz recalled to Today. “I was obviously very confused and I said, ‘With all due respect, I think you rejected me.’ ”

Abramovitz spent months trying to figure out what happened. Soon, his friends suggested that Lee may have had something to do with the mix-up.

“It was a very ugly thought to even think,” he said. But Abramovitz found Lee’s phony email account and learned the truth. “Confirmation of the ultimate betrayal,” he told Today.

The judge last week called the situation “despicable” as he granted Abramovitz $ 350,000 Canadian dollars (more than $ 265,000 USD) in damages, according to NPR.

Abramovitz is now a member of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Today said.


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Laci Peterson’s Mom Speaks Out in Documentary: It Was ‘Very Hard to Even Begin to Suspect’ Scott as Killer

In a new ABC documentary about her pregnant daughter’s 2002 murder, Laci Peterson’s mother recalls her own mental anguish over the realization that Laci’s husband, Scott Peterson, might have been involved in her disappearance.

“It was very, very hard to even begin to suspect him, because in the back of my mind I kept thinking, what if he didn’t have anything to do with it?,” says Sharon Rocha in Truth and Lies: The Murder of Laci Peterson, which airs Thursday, September 14 (9 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET) on ABC. (An exclusive clip of the trailer is posted above.)

“I mean, it’s not like this is a total stranger that you might be suspecting,” she says. “This is somebody that’s been a member of your family for several years now, and it’s really, you know, the back and forth and the guilt about feeling this way, and how it may have an effect on the relationship with my daughter if I’m wrong.”

“That’s the last person you want to think had anything to do with the disappearance of your daughter — her husband,” says Rocha. “The person that was a member of your family, somebody that you loved and cared about, and thought he felt the same way about your daughter. And knowing how she felt about him.”

The eight-months pregnant Laci, 27, vanished from the couple’s Modesto, California, home on the morning of December 24, 2002. Her body and the fetus of the unborn son they had named Conner washed ashore in San Francisco Bay four months later.

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The mystery and Scott’s headline-grabbing 2004 trial eventually exposed him as a killer with a mistress, Amber Frey. Frey’s emergence punctured Scott’s claim that his wife must have been taken and killed as she walked their dog while he was out that day on a solo fishing trip in the Bay.

Scott Seeking Retrial

The two-hour ABC special — which also includes new interviews with investigators and those who covered the case — arrives as Scott Peterson continues to appeal the guilty verdict and death sentence he received 12 years ago. He currently is serving his time at San Quentin prison.

In his latest request for a new trial, Scott’s current lawyers raise doubts about the defense mounted by his then-attorney, Mark Geragos, and allege that a juror who voted to convict him lied in order to be picked for the panel, reports The Modesto Bee.

• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.

In its 150-page response filed in court last month, according to the Bee, the California Attorney General’s Office counters that Peterson’s conviction resulted from “overwhelming evidence,” including:

“is expressed wanderlust and desire to to be responsibility-free, which he conveyed to his mistress as the birth of his son neared; buying a boat mere weeks before Laci’s appearance; ‘fishing’ with the wrong gear on Christmas Eve morning in inclement weather; surreptitious trips to the marina in various rented vehicles after Laci’s disappearance; lies to friends and family concerning his whereabouts; the sale of Laci’s car and inquiry into selling their home, including furnishings; subscribing to pornography channels while the search was ongoing; Laci’s and Conner’s bodies washing ashore not far from Peterson’s location on the bay; condition of the bodies correlat(ing) with the timing of Laci’s disappearance; and (Scott) Peterson’s disguised appearance and possession of survival gear and copious amounts of cash at the time of his arrest.”

Mom Recounts Last Memory of Laci

In the ABC documentary, Laci’s mother describes the last time she saw her.

“She I and I were sitting side-by-side and Scott was sitting on the floor, and we were watching TV and she said the baby was kicking, so I put my hand on her stomach, because I’d never felt him kick,” says Rocha.

“I still didn’t feel him kick even when she said that,” she says. “But she leaned over to me and she said, ‘Mom,’ she said ‘Scott doesn’t like to do this.’ She said, ‘I’ve asked him about, you know, feel my stomach when the baby kicks, and he never wants to touch my stomach.’”

“That really, really bothered me,” she says, “and that was the last time I saw her.”

The special also promises never-before-seen home video of Laci, excerpts from Scott’s pre-arrest interview with Diane Sawyer, and anchor Barbara Walters’ pre-conviction interview with Scott’s parents.

Truth and Lies: The Murder of Laci Peterson airs Thursday, September 14 (9 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET) on ABC.


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Wife of American Barcelona Victim Speaks Out: ‘I Don’t Want to Wake Up Without Him Next to Me

The wife of the California man who died after a van attack in Barcelona, Spain, on Thursday said she feels “empty” without him.

In a sit-down with NBC News, Heidi Nunes-Tucker, 40, opened up about losing husband Jared Tucker, 42, during their first wedding anniversary trip through Italy, France and Spain.

“I’d found my person: truly the love of my life. That was obvious to anybody that knew us or saw us,” she said. “And I don’t know that you find that again, and I don’t know that I want to.”

Nunes-Tucker shared that she is struggling to cope with the fact that she won’t have her husband beside her for the everyday events.

“I don’t want to wake up without him next to me, and I don’t want to watch TV without him,” she explained. “All of it is just going to be a lot more empty.”

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Nunes-Tucker said that the duo were stopping for sangria at a café on the popular street of La Rambla on their way to the beach. They separated when Tucker went to find a bathroom.

“No more than … 30 seconds to a minute after he left, all mayhem broke out and people were screaming and crying and running,” Nunes-Tucker said.

A van had begun plowing through pedestrians, ultimately killing 13 and injuring scores more.

She was pushed inside the souvenir kiosk and stayed there hiding until the chaos was over. Afterwards, she was unable to find Tucker.

Nunes-Tucker felt a sense of hope when she saw a photo of her husband after the attack appearing to receive helped by someone. However, that optimism shattered when she went to a police station and cops revealed Tucker had died in the attack.

“It’s hard not to be angry,” she said. “It’s confusing why anybody would want to hurt anybody like that. Why would you want to hurt strangers? Why would you want to hurt anybody?”

RELATED VIDEO: Missing California Man Was Killed In Barcelona Attack, Says Dad

Tucker, who was excited to share this special anniversary trip with his soul mate, never mentioned any hesitation about visiting Europe, despite it being the target of a series of deadly terror attacks in recent years, according to a close friend.

“He didn’t live a life afraid, he didn’t have fear of anything,” Billy Claraty told PEOPLE. “He took things head on all the time and thought he would get through it. They were just out to celebrate one year and have a great time and see some friends.”

In September of 2012 at an art and wine festival in Lafayette, California, Tucker opened his heart to Nunes, a teacher and the mother of a teenage son.

“When he met her, it was immediate, they both knew,” says Claraty. “Heidi was his total life, they had a great, amazing relationship. He had a bumpy road for awhile with past relationships and once he met Heidi that turned around for him.”

A website set up for his wedding to Nunes shows they were married on Aug. 6, 2016, after becoming engaged on Sept. 10, 2015.

A GoFundMe page has been set up by Tucker’s family to cover funeral costs and help raise money to go towards his daughters’ education.


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Survivor of the ‘Son of Sam’ Speaks Out 41 Years Later: ‘I’m One of the Luckiest Guys in the World’

On the evening of Oct. 23, 1976, David Berkowitz — the self-proclaimed “Son of Sam,” who killed six people in eight shootings in New York City over nearly two years — was in Flushing, Queens, and he was on the prowl.

That same evening, 20-year-old Carl Denaro was sitting in a car with Rosemary Keenan, 18. The two were kissing when, all of a sudden, the car’s windows shattered.

Berkowitz had struck again.

Keenan sustained only cuts from the broken glass, but Denaro was shot five times and doctors had to use a metal plate to replace a part of his skull, which was shattered by the bullets.

On the 40th anniversary of the end of Berkowitz’s spree, Denaro, now 61, tells PEOPLE he is doing fine physically — and he understands how rare that is to say as one of the Son of Sam’s victims.

“I have some limited vision but no other negative effects from being shot that night,” he says. “I’m one of the luckiest guys in the world. I didn’t realize how lucky I was until my 30s. When you’re 20, you’re invincible. It took 10 years before I understood the severity of what had happened.”

• For more on the Son of Sam case then and now, subscribe now to PEOPLE or pick up this week’s issue, on newsstands Friday. 

Denaro’s story will be part of a new documentary special on Berkowitz airing Aug. 5 on Investigation Discovery, Son of Sam: The Hunt For a Killer, which is exclusively previewed above.

Speaking to PEOPLE about his brush with the notorious murderer decades ago, Denaro says that early reports about being attacked tarnished his reputation — and he says he doesn’t actually believe Berkowitz pulled the trigger.

“The cops thought I was shot during a drug deal,” Denaro explains. “I smoked weed, but I never sold drugs. They accused me of being a drug-dealer, so I was victimized twice: by the cops and when I was shot.”

All these years later, Denaro says he’s done extensive research on Berkowitz and the shooting that changed his life forever. From what he has read and heard, he says, he thinks it was a woman who shot him that night.

“I believe other people were involved,” Denaro says. “He had help, and I am not alone in thinking this. Berkowitz in an interview comes right out and says he did not shoot Carl Denaro and claims that it was woman.”

Now 64, Berkowitz is serving six consecutive terms of 25 years-to-life after pleading guilty to the shootings in 1978.

N.Y.C. investigators tell PEOPLE they are sure it was him — and him alone — who carried out the attacks to which he confessed and which terrorized the city through the scorching summer of ’77.

“There was never any doubt in anybody’s mind that he was the killer,” says retired N.Y.C. police Capt. Joe Borrelli.

Denaro reached out to Berkowitz himself, he says, writing him letters in prison. A meeting had been arranged several years ago, but Berkowitz backed out at the last moment. Denaro says he’s fine living the rest of his life without that conversation.

“I don’t have a need to talk to him, and I don’t see any upside to meeting with him,” he says. “An apology from him would be a hollow apology, anyway.”


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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.
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Chris Harrison Speaks Out on Bachelor in Paradise Allegations of Misconduct

Chris Harrison, Bachelor in ParadiseChris Harrison has broken his silence on the news of Bachelor in Paradise shutting down production due to “allegations of misconduct.”
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Chris Harrison Speaks Out Amid ‘Bachelor In Paradise’ Investigation

As reports about the “allegations of misconduct” that halted production of “Bachelor in Paradise” Season 4 slowly come to light, the show’s host Chris Harrison is attempting to set the record straight. 

In a lengthy statement obtained by People, Harrison explained that there are “rumors and misinformation” out there regarding the alleged incident that reportedly happened between two contestants and that the truth will come out following Warner Bros.’ investigation. The longtime ABC host wants viewers to be patient and hopes all can “respect the privacy of the parties involved.”

The full statement reads:

By now, no doubt, you have heard that we have suspended production on this season’s “Bachelor in Paradise.” I can confirm to you that this is sadly the case. Out of respect to all involved, there’s only so much I can and will say at this time. Normally with a situation like this I would not say anything until the incident is fully resolved, but with all the rumors and misinformation being put out there, I don’t find that to be possible anymore. 

Let me start by saying the safety and care of the cast and crew of our show is of the utmost importance to us. It is with this thought in mind that we made the decision to suspend filming. An investigation into the situation was started immediately. Warner Bros. is handling the details of that investigation. They’re moving quickly to gather all the facts, and once that’s done, a clear, concise decision can be made about where we go from here.

There are a lot of competing details in the various press accounts of the incident. And there’s a lot of misinformation out there too. We urge everyone to be patient until the investigation is complete.

I know in this day and age we want — and even expect — immediate answers, but in this case, it’s just not possible. So again, I urge you to please be patient and respect the privacy of the parties involved. I will keep you as informed and up to date as I possibly can. We’re sorry for any inconvenience and disappointment this may have caused the cast, the crew and our loyal fans. It is my sincere hope that we can come to a quick resolution on this and get back to work very soon.

News of the incident hit Sunday after Warner Bros. announced that ABC was suspending production on the new season due to “misconduct” on set. The cast, which includes Raven Gates, Robby Hayes and Amanda Stanton, was sent back to the U.S. from Mexico. 

“We have suspended production and we are conducting a thorough investigation of these allegations,” Warner Bros. said in a statement. “Once the investigation is complete, we will take appropriate responsive action.” 

Following the reveal, reports started emerging detailing an alleged sexual encounter that happened between contestants DeMario Jackson and Corinne Olympios in a swimming pool. Although neither has spoken out, sources close to each have shared information. But as Harrison said, right now, we don’t know the facts.

Bachelor in Paradise” brings together former “Bachelor” and “Bachelorette” contestants in Mexico and gives them another shot at finding love on television. Season 4 was set to premiere Aug. 8. 

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Jeweler Wallace Chan Speaks at Central Saint Martins

WALLACE’S WORLD: The artist-jeweler Wallace Chan revealed details of his hardscrabble childhood and lifelong obsessions during a discussion with Anne Smith, dean of Central Saint Martins, in London this week.
The self-taught, Hong Kong-based Chan is known for his intricate designs and craftsmanship, his one-off pieces that sell for millions of dollars, and for the Wallace Cut, or intricate 3-D engravings inside transparent gemstones. The original idea, he said, came from photography.
In the Eighties, he became intrigued with the technique of double exposure after seeing a photography exhibition, which led him to develop the Wallace Cut. He also spoke about jade, and his methods of refining and brightening it, and his work with white jade, which he said Chinese people prefer.
“Traditionally, jade has always been a symbol of virtue and rare jade pieces can be passed through generations within families.” Chan said he was inspired in particular by the tradition of parents giving jade pendants to their children, and began working on sets of jade gems, polished and reinforced with titanium.
Although he may create precious works meant to pass through generations, his own childhood was one of deprivation and isolation. At age five, he moved to Hong Kong from Fuzhou province

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Prince William speaks of ‘anger’ when his mother Diana died

Britain's Prince William speaks with Aoife, 9, during his visit to a Child Bereavement UK Centre in Stratford in east London, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017. Prince William has been the royal patron of the Child Bereavement UK organisation since 2009. It supports families and educates professionals when a baby or child of any age dies or is dying, or when a child is facing bereavement. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, Pool)LONDON (AP) — Britain's Prince William has comforted a young girl who lost a parent and spoken out about his feelings when his mother, Princess Diana, died two decades ago.



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Parents of Toddler Trapped Under Fallen Dresser Speaks Out Against Claims Video Was a Hoax

The Shoff family is setting the record straight after some have questioned the authenticity of a video showing their toddler pinned under a fallen dresser.

Little Brock and Bowdy Shoff made headlines earlier this week after their mother, Kayli, uploaded nanny cam footage showing the harrowing moments in which 2-year-old Bowdy pushed a fallen dresser off of his twin brother in the nursery of their Orem, Utah, home.

However, some skeptics have called the video a hoax, noting that the dresser was empty and the camera appeared to be focused on the furniture. But the boys’ father, Rick, said both were simple coincidences.

“They would get into the drawers, pull all the clothes that we had in the drawer and put them out and just throw them all over the room during naptime or whatever,” Rick explained during a Thursday appearance on Good Morning America. “So we just decided the easiest thing was to empty the drawers and put all their clothes in, like, the closet.”

He added: are pretty active so we do what ever we can to … make sure we can keep clean.”

Kayli previously explained that she and her husband didn’t know what happened until they checked their security footage and saw the scary ordeal unfold. However, some have claimed that the couple staged the incident, noting that Rick works for a camera company.

“I’m just an employee. I’m in sales for them and there’s thousands of sales reps for the company,” Rick explained. “We have cameras throughout our whole house and that camera’s just positioned in the best angle to see the entire room. So, it wasn’t positioned just to have just the dresser.”

He added that the cameras in the family’s home are attached to the walls and are not adjustable.

The boys were uninjured and the parents have since bolted the IKEA dresser to the wall, Kayli previously told GMA.


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Jim Jarmusch Speaks at Lisbon Estoril Film Festival: « Trump is a Tragedy for the World »

“The election of Trump is not only a tragedy for the United States,” film director Jim Jarmusch announced to a small group of film aficionados at the Lisbon & Estoril Film Festival. “It is a tragedy for the world.”

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Jarmusch was here at the festival to speak about his two recently released films, Gimmee Shelter and Paterson, both of which celebrate the power of the individual to choose the way he lives his life. His arrival in Lisbon coincided with the US presidential election.

Sitting calmly, with the Atlantic ocean shimmering behind him, he continued: “I think people should be vigilant about things that have fascistic tendencies, vigilant about people like Le Pen in France, Trump in the US. It is a tragic moment that this clown has been elected. The essence of fascism is coming across and that is not a good thing.”

Nothing could be farther from the insular spirit of Trump’s political platform than Jarmusch’s humanist poetics. Paterson tells the story of a bus driver who leads a humble routine life, enjoying his daily interactions with his beloved wife his friends, the local barman and his dog. The film is structured in seven parts according to the days of the week, and each day is pretty much the same. Throughout, our contented peaceful protagonist writes poetry.

The early Jarmusch films also give witness to deeply interior characters who face existence with deadpan wonder and persistence. I personally enter a meditative trance when watching them.

I asked Jarmusch how his meditative poetics have evolved since his earlier films, such as Deadman (1995).

“Both Deadman and Paterson are circular and cyclical in form,” the director said decisively. “[They take up] the metaphor of life as a cycle. It’s all about acceptance, beginnings and ends, the journey.”

Jarmusch, who began his artistic career as a poet, elaborated:

” Mine are minimalist forms, not dramatic, In Paterson, incidents and details are simplified in the form. There is an accumulative effect. One is to be looking at the details, not at the story-line. I avoid drama and conflict. Paterson is a simple depiction of seven days and a strict routine. It is this routine that allows the character to be free. He drives a bus, he gets up a the same time in the same place.”

The director noted with a laugh that he knows he is going against the screenwriting cardinal rule to have “conflict” at the center of a film.

“My films are closer to those of Ozu and Bresson. The essence of their films is not darkness or drama, but balance. There are lots of films being made about problems, about people not getting along, about women being abused, and these films are valuable. Mine aren’t like that.”

The balanced approach extends to the making of the film. “On my film set, there was not one negative moment,” Jarmusch noted with appreciation. “It was pleasurable to collaborate.”

The Lisbon & Estoril film festival is renowned for inviting celebrated filmmakers, intellectuals, artists and cinephiles from all parts of the globe to enjoy low-key intimate exchanges about art in a relaxed environment, where one is just as likely to attend a dinner with Monica Bellucci as chat with Jonathan Demme over breakfast. I was not surprised to see Jim Jarmusch here. I had had a lively conversation last year with Jarmusch’s wife, director/producer Sara Driver, who had come to present her work-in-progress, and she had told me how she and Jim had loved the similarly warm intimate atmosphere of a film festival they had attended in Portugal, many years ago, in Figueira da Foz.

It too had been a genuine exchange between passionate artists.

She had added with a smile: “That’s the way film festivals were back then. That’s the way the Lisbon & Estoril Film Festival still is.”

Jarmusch commented on the Lisbon & Estoril festival, his second time back to Portugal:

“My films are an antidote to drama. This festival is an antidote to festivals as a business: to film as a business. Already in a couple days, I have talked and sat down twice with Jean Pierre Leaud. Wow! Then there are the retrospectives of the films of Godard, Kusturica…. The whole atmosphere is celebrating the joy and beauty of film. What a relief, what an amazing place to be.”

An enclave far from the Trump maddened world.

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Joe Biden Speaks Candidly About Grief, Loss And Faith In Revealing Stephen Colbert Interview

In an emotional interview, Vice President Joe Biden spoke candidly on Thursday about the recent death of his son Beau, extensively discussing his grief and how it has made it difficult for him to commit to a potential presidential bid in 2016 despite growing calls for him to run.

“I don’t think any man or woman should run for president unless, number one, they know exactly why they would want to be president; and two, they can look at folks out there and say, ‘I promise you have my whole heart, my whole soul, my energy and my passion,'” he told comedian Stephen Colbert in an interview that will air Thursday night on CBS’ “The Late Show.” 

“I’d be lying if I said that I knew I was there. I’m being completely honest,” Biden continued. “Nobody has a right in my view to seek that office unless they are willing to give it 110 percent of who they are.”

Biden has repeatedly indicated that his family is the primary factor in his decision whether or not to run and has said that he is unsure if he possesses the “emotional energy” to run.

He spoke at length about his grief on Thursday, recounting memories of Beau and frequently appearing close to tears.

“I was a hell of a success. My son was better than me. He was better than me in every way,” he said of Beau, who died in May after battling brain cancer.

The vice president also spoke about how his Catholic faith has helped him cope with Beau’s death, saying that religion gives him “enormous sense of solace.”

“I go to mass and I’m able to be just alone, even in a crowd,” he said. “It’s just a place you can go.” 

He revealed that he feels “self-conscious” about the outpouring of support he received, noting that “so many people who have losses as severe or maybe worse than mine and don’t have the support I have.”

“No one owes you anything,” he said. “You gotta get up. And I feel like I was letting down Beau, letting down my parents, letting down my family if I didn’t just get up. I marvel at the ability of people who absorb hurt and just get back up.”

 

Colbert eventually asked Biden about the mounting rumors that he may pursue a presidential bid.

“I want to talk about the elephant in the room, which in this case is a donkey. Do you have anything to tell us about your plans?” he asked.

“I think you should run for president again, and I’ll be your vice president,” Biden quipped, referencing the time Colbert briefly was a presidential candidate in 2008.

Biden also joked about his tendency to speak out of turn as vice president when his microphone suddenly shut off at the beginning of the interview.

“By the way, they do this to me at the White House all the time — shut my mic off,” Biden said.

But most of the interview covered serious matters. Colbert, who himself has experienced immense loss, losing his father and two brothers in plane crash when he was just 10 years old, seemed to support a Biden candidacy, arguing that Biden’s experiences would give him a unique perspective.

“It’s going to be emotional for a lot of people if you don’t run,” he told Biden. “Your example of suffering and service is something that would be sorely missed in the race.”

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Brother Ali, Hip-Hop’s Truth-Teller, Speaks

Brother Ali is one of hip-hop’s most honest and outspoken cultural critics of this generation. The Minneapolis MC has released five studio albums and four EP’s all under the Rhymesayers banner. This is a small segment of our hour-long conversation in which Brother Ali took time out of his schedule to speak about some of the current challenges he sees in the community and the legacy of his label Rhymesayers as they celebrate 20 years in hip-hop.

Giving the current relationship between law enforcement and the community, is there a path forward to co-exist?

People are very afraid of the term “radical.” And for the people who know a change needs to happen, for people of good conscience and intentions, who know that things are not right — those divide into two approaches, not that a person has to believe completely in one; they are not necessarily mutually exclusive. On one hand, you have progressives who say that this is a good system, that is just not operating properly and we need to make progress within this system. We can work within the system and do better. Part of Martin Luther King’s life in 1963 when he made the “I Have a Dream” speech, he would have been considered a progressive. Whereas, contrasted with Malcolm X, who was saying that the system never had poor people in mind, never had black people in mind, it never had women in mind, and so Malcolm would be considered a radical. There are people who are radical, like Malcolm, who would say the system is fundamentally flawed and there needs to be radical changes. Radical doesn’t necessarily mean violent. The conservatives have conflated these issues to imply that radical means that somebody wants to kill people, and to be violent. That’s what they said about Malcolm, they said Malcolm is the violent one, Martin Luther King is the non-violent one and it’s much more complicated than that. Malcolm never committed any violence and never told anyone to commit violence. Malcolm may have asked the question, why is America violent in all of her disputes?

This idea that is pervaded by people of power that being a radical means that you’re violent. I would say that my philosophy is that there are some very flawed things in the make-up of our civilization, and that those things ought to be addressed. Does that mean that I don’t believe in progress action? I think short-term, progressive things are good. Is that the ultimate solution? No, it’s definitely not.

Because you speak honestly, the media gravitates to your criticisms of society as oppose to some of the more compassionate lyrics in your music. Are you optimistic about the future?

I’m not necessarily optimistic. I have a degree of hope that is related to my faith. I do believe in a creator. I do believe that there is a cause and a meaning behind the universe; and behind life. And I believe that that creator is always in complete control. That’s on a very personal level. Now, that doesn’t mean that we’re not supposed to speak out and fight injustice. It doesn’t mean that we’re not supposed to be building community. And honestly, that has become more and more of my focus — rather than fighting injustices, watering the good plants. I did a lot of organizing and activism around fighting institutions like banks and the police department — trying to hold them accountable — and I feel great about all of that, but what I’ve really found lately to be more worthy of my time and energy is just trying to build the things that I want to see more of. And that is trying to really foster and nurture community.

When I look at hip-hop culture, there are so many artists worried about technology; is that something that concerns you within hip-hop?

Yeah, I keep using the term global “monoculture,” but I think that’s what the modern age is about. I really feel the modern age is about separating us from meaning, separating us from each other, separating information from poetry, separating information from beauty, separating the heart from the mind, instead of holistic living. And that’s what we really should be promoting and talking about; and that’s what we should really be trying to get right; how do we live together. I do talk a lot about what’s wrong, both in my personal life and also in society, but I also try to always be inviting. Ultimately, I’m not condemning for the sake of condemning. This music is here for everyone. I’m here for everybody. My heart — and I hope I’m not making a false claim — but my heart field includes everybody.

I saw you perform last year, headlining the Home Away From Home Tour. After the show, I saw you greet every fan and they left with an overwhelming feeling of love.

I appreciate you saying that. On an ego level — which is a dangerous level to really exist on, because our ego will always destroy us — but on an ego level, as artists we want to be understood, and we think we deserve to be understood. And for me, when I’m at my most base level, when I’ve experienced being the most bitter or despair, it’s because I don’t feel like I’m being understood. There are two dimensions at the same time; on the one hand, there is open-embrace, love, and hope. And on the other side, because I love us so much — if you love a person, you hate when they are hurt. If someone you know is being treated unjustly, then you hate that injustice. So the songs in which I’m angry, I’m extraordinarily angry, and the songs that I’m loving, I’m extraordinarily loving, and they are tied to each other, but I agree that people tend to focus on whichever side serves them best.

Looking back, what do you think the Rhymesayers legacy has been over the last 20 years?

What I think Rhymesayers had a role in bringing to the table was that their fans did not have to be traditional hip-hop fans. Artists can make an entire career touring in cities where major hip-hop artists never went before. And also, you don’t have to have what is seen as the typical hip-hop story, or content, or delivery, or presentation. It’s only been very recently that’s been normal. That’s Rhymesayers, but we’re not the only ones to do that. Living Legends had a hand in that, Def Jux had a hand in that, Tech N9ne had a hand in that. But when you look at the label, Rhymesayers has stood the test of time. And we’ve done it in a way that is very legitimate and respectful to the culture.

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Your Body Speaks Your Mind

Your Body Speaks Your Mind


Author Name: Deb Shapiro, No. Of Pages: 360 Pages, Publisher: Sounds True, Publishing Date: April 1, 2005, Language: English, ISBN -10: 1591794188, ISBN -13: 978-1591794189
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One Direction Speaks Out About Zayn Malik’s Departure for the First Time: “We Were Angry”

We've heard freak-outs, screams, sobs (so.many.sobs), and even conspiracy theories about Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction, but one thing we didn't hear were comments from the four remaining band members. Save for a few…




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Vêtements Speaks Volumes in Berlin

BERLIN — Now it its third season, Vêtements prefers to let its clothes speak for themselves — literally. The Paris-based fashion collective, made up of alumni of brands including Margiela and Louis Vuitton, is on a retail launch tour through Europe that features mini speakers on the hangers of each garment which tell a recorded story about the piece’s design, production, or inspiration.
On hand for last week’s launch event at Berlin’s The Store, although he’d largely lost his voice, Vêtements’ Guram Gvasalia provided a few enthusiastic words for the shop, which opened this winter on the ground floor of the city’s Soho House.
“I think these guys are building a new definition of retail, that very is important. And we’re kind of working with a new definition of clothing,” he said.
That definition includes wardrobe classics refracted through a lens of extreme proportions, finished with a sense of humor and off-kilter cool. The design team is headed by Gvasalia ’s brother, Demna.
Due to demand for the brand’s spring 2015 collection, the event in Berlin showed samples of Vêtements’ LVMH Prize shortlisted fall women’s wear line. Guests tried on a sage green gargantuan bomber jacket and an over-oversized black leather jacket that trailed floor-length fringe from

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Wendell Speaks Openly: “You Don’t Have to Go Through This Alone” | Raising Whitley | OWN

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MEXICAN DIRECTOR AMAT ESCALANTE SPEAKS ABOUT BEING ON MARTIN SCORSESE’S JURY IN MARRAKECH

“I came because of Martin Scorsese,” Mexican director Amat Escalante said, explaining his reason for accepting a position as member of the jury at the Marrakesh International Film Festival, which will choose the winning Competition film this evening.

Escalante, the winner of the Best Director award at Cannes last season, was delighted that Martin Scorsese, president of the jury, had seen and liked two of his films, and moreover, seemed to know them “in photographic detail,” discussing them shot for shot with the younger director here in Marrakech. It was an honor to receive such enthusiastic appraisal from an esteemed veteran like Scorsese, Escalante told us.

“Being on the jury with Scorsese is great,” he added. “He is a good listener. He listens openly to our opinions. Listening to him discuss the films, I learn a lot too.”

It was also interesting to be on this jury for Escalante because everyone has “their own opinion, their own criteria. A film will touch one jury member for personal reasons, but not another.”

2013-12-07-bamat1.JPG

What were Escalante’s own criteria for choosing a good film?

“I like a film that will take me forwards and keep my interest, make me curious about what will happens next. I like a film with suspense.”

In his own films, he noted, he makes an effort “to make exceptional things happen—like people dying”—since “reality can be pretty boring.” Escalante’s own favorite movies are genre films, like Westerns and horror flicks.

Does it ever get stressful, trying to come up with a consensus with ten people?

“No,” laughed Escalante. “It’s after all just a movie.”

As for trends that Escalante–who has been on five juries in the last couple years—sees in contemporary films, he joked: “Well, there is a lot of vomit. Yellow vomit even.”

But on a more serious note, Escalante pointed out that social issues were at the forefront of the films he has seen.

His own masterful film Heli, which earned him Best Director award at Cannes, is the story of vulnerable bystanders getting in the way of a drug cartel in Mexico, with a much discussed graphic torture scene at the climax, including a penis burnt to a crisp. The film, he told us now, has been very appreciated in Mexico, as Mexicans know the reality of which the film speaks.

“Are you as hopeless about the future as your film?” a journalist asked.

“No,” Escalante leaned forward. ” Everything can change. It can change in Mexico. What is frustrating is that change is not allowed. The media has numbed and stupefied everybody so they will follow governmental orders. Two channels in Mexico basically control the country: control who will run for president, what people are going to buy. Even soap operas deliver messages. For example, now the president wants to privatize gas. So we have a soap opera star talking about how it would be good to sell petrol. If Mexico could be liberated from this media control, that would be a revolution.”
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“The Stuffing Speaks”

Cast: American One, American Two, and Stuffing

Time: Now

Setting:
Anywhere and everywhere in America

AMERICAN ONE, AMERICAN TWO, and STUFFING, anywhere and everywhere in America.

AMERICAN ONE: Christmas is starting earlier and earlier. Pretty soon we’re going to have one big Holiday Season.

AMERICAN TWO: Looks that way.

AMERICAN ONE: These stores and malls. They don’t even care about people sitting down with their families on Thanksgiving.

AMERICAN TWO: Since when did corporations care?

AMERICAN ONE: Since the Supreme Court said that they’re people.

AMERICAN TWO: No one is making people shop.

AMERICAN ONE: That’s true. You won’t get an argument from me.

STUFFING: Me either.

AMERICAN ONE: Just think about those poor salespeople at work in the middle of the night.

AMERICAN TWO: Just think about indigenous people: beaten, raped, massacred, starved, murdered, libeled, and tossed aside for centuries.

AMERICAN ONE: It’s not like that for me.

STUFFING: You have your own national holiday?

AMERICAN ONE: I don’t like crass commercialism. It doesn’t have to be like this.

AMERICAN TWO: But the shopping rush and 24 hour buying frenzy is more honest than people sitting down and gorging themselves on denial and and myths.

STUFFING: And me.

AMERICAN ONE: Thanksgiving’s not like that, not anymore.

STUFFING: It is.

AMERICAN ONE: That’s not what I think when I sit down with my family. We talk about what we’re thankful for. Don’t you think Thanksgiving has been turned into an American family holiday?

STUFFING: No.

AMERICAN TWO: Neither do I.

AMERICAN ONE: It’s a secular American holiday.

STUFFING: So when you give thanks, whom are you thanking?

AMERICA ONE: Now you’re formal?

STUFFING: Grammar always counts.

AMERICAN ONE: We’re making progress. At least we’re starting to acknowledge what was done to Native Americans.

AMERICAN TWO: And that’s why we still have a professional football team named the ‘Redskins.’

STUFFING: Don’t forget reservations. We have so many reservations.

AMERICAN TWO: Indeed!

AMERICAN ONE: I think you’re both cynical.

AMERICAN TWO: I think we’re both honest.

STUFFING: I think you’re both naïve.

AMERICAN ONE: You’re not celebrating Thanksgiving this year?

AMERICAN TWO: Probably not.

STUFFING: Pass me along, and risk karmic indigestion.

The End and The End and The End and The End and The End and The End…

Arts – The Huffington Post
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