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Trump blasts best-picture Oscar for South Korean film ‘Parasite’

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The U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday ridiculed the historic best-picture Oscar win for South Korean film “Parasite,” telling a campaign rally he wished for the return of Hollywood classics such as  1939’s “Gone with the Wind.”


“Parasite,” a dark social satire about the gap between rich and poor in modern Seoul, earlier this month, became the first non-English Language film to take Hollywood’s top prize.

It also won three other Oscars – best director and original screenplay for Bong Joon Ho and best international feature film.

“How bad were the Academy Awards this year?” asked Trump at the rally in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Imitating an Academy Awards presenter, he said: “And the winner is a movie from South Korea.

“What the hell was that all about? We’ve got enough problems with South Korea, with trade. And after all that, they give them best movie of the year?” Trump asked.

“Can we get ‘Gone With the Wind’ back, please?” he said to  thousands of supporters, referring to the film about the Civil War-era South that won the best-picture Oscar 80 years ago.

Trump also dismissed actor Brad Pitt, who won an Oscar for best supporting actor for “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.”

Pitt said in accepting the award that he got more time to speak, 45 seconds, than former national security adviser John Bolton received at Trump’s Senate impeachment trial.

“I was never a big fan of his. He’s a little wise guy,” Trump said of Pitt.

Trump, who is on a four-day Western U.S. swing, gave a harsh review as well of Wednesday night’s Democratic presidential debate, particularly the performance of former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who the president said had a ragged night.

“I was going to send him a note saying: ‘It’s not easy doing what I do, is it?’

“It’s not easy, Mike. It’s not easy for any of them,” he said of the contenders for the Democratic nomination to face him in November’s election.

Trump is set to return to Washington after speaking at a rally in Las Vegas on Friday.

Edited By: Emmanuel Okara/Ijeoma Popoola

 



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Emmanuel Okara: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]nnn.com.ng

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Nigerians berate Funke Akindele for organising party amidst COVID-19 stay- at -home order 

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Scores of Nigerians on twitter, berated Funke Akindele, an actress, for organising a house party amidst stay -at –home order by the Federal Government over COVID-19 pandemic.


Akindele on Saturday organised a house party to celebrate her husband JJC’s birthday  at her residence in Amen Estate Ibeju-Lekki in Lagos

JJC and wife, Funke Akindele Photo Credit: IG

Some of the dignitaries that attended the party included; Naira Marley, Rasheed Gbadamosi, a former Lagos state governorship aspirant among others.

Nigeria News Agency recalls  that the Federal Government last week, ordered a total lockdown for residents of Lagos, Abuja and Ogun States to curb the spread of COVID-19.

However, Akindele, an Ambassador of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) one of the agencies in the fore front of the battle to stop the spread of the  virus, was seen holding house party with friends and families.

One of the twitter user, Mazi Olisaemeka with twtiter handle @olisasage said:  “What Funke Akindele and the husband did was highly irresponsible, adding that the duo were expected to know better.

“How can you organise a house party with so many people in attendance at this time when social distancing is very important, it is really disappointing,” he said.

Also WalkingHumanJollofRice with twitter handle @n60oflife6 called on NCDC to immediately quarantine everybody that attended the house party.

According to him, dear @NCDCgov your Ambassador Funke Akindele, her husband JJC, Eniola Badmus, Naira Marley and the entire family threw a packed house party  yesterday

” I love Funke and have nothing against her but everyone in that house should be forcefully quarantined, please treat as urgent,” he stated.

Another twitter user,  OurfavOnlineDoc with twitter handle @Drolufunmilayo called on NCDC to immediately punish Funke for such act of misdemeanour and violation of government’s order.

According to him, dear @NCDCgov, please I hope there is a clause in the contract that Funke Akindele signed that spells punishment for the kind of idiocy she displayed yesterday.

He said that Akindele’s action was a total slap on the NCDC for hosting a house party despite being an NCDC ambassador, stressing that her excuse was stupid, silly and shameful lie.

Danny Walter with twitter handle @Danny_Walter, said “see the crowd at Funke Akindele’s party with Naira Marley in attendance, Eniola Badmus and people who just barely returned from the United Kingdom.”

Walter said such act was the height of irresponsibility and must come with commensurate punishment for the actor

Mr Ayekooto Akindele with twitter handle @DeeOneAyekooto said to think Funke Akindele, a Dettol Ambassador, who is leading campaign against COVID-19 and  on the advert but still went ahead to host party was height of irresponsibility.

According to him, y”are a Lagos State Government Ambassador, you held a party in the midst of COVID-19 lockdown, shame on you, you are not a worthy ambassador.”

Tife  with twitter handle @Tife_fabunmi said, “you people will confidently and passionately drag our politicians for not doing the right thing but all of a sudden,  you do not want people to drag Funke Akindele.

“You do not know it is her responsibility as a citizen of Nigeria to abide by the rules set by the federal government,” he said.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Ekemini Ladejobi
(NAN)



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COVID-19: NFVCB urges Nollywood to promote precautionary measures

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The National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB)  has called on Nollywood stakeholders  to  promote government’s precautionary measures  against the spread of coronavirus pandemic.


The Executive Director of NFVCB, Mr Adebayo Thomas, made  the call in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency on Sunday  in Abuja.

According to Thomas, there is an urgent need to sensitise more Nigerians to observe precautionary measures prescribed  by health authorities against coronavirus pandemic.

He said  that actors had strong influence on the public, especially their fans, and should use social media platforms  to lend their voices to the call for citizens’ adherence to the safety guidelines.

“Although, I do not encourage actors to come out in groups, individually they should be able to educate Nigerians, especially their fans, because they are role models.

“They should support and promote the government’s sit-at-home order for all to live and build a stronger industry after the pandemic.

“Every Nollywood stakeholder should  support government directives in  the collective fight against coronavirus pandemic and use  his influence to  educate the public in the right direction.

“We must all obey the lockdown instruction, wash our hands always  and use sanitisers regularly, even as the government is doing everything possible to prevent the spread of the COVID-19,” he said.

The NFVCB chief regretted the harsh realities of the disease on global economy, including  the  creative sector and the motion picture industry in particular.

He, however, expressed hope that the tough time would pass in all aspects of national life.

He extolled the Federal Government, health institutions and  governments of affected states, especially  Lagos, for  being proactive and steadfast in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We must be hopeful and prayerful and at the same time be thankful   to all the medical teams and other stakeholders  battling the pandemic for the safety of all.

“We should always remember and support them in our prayers, especially the medical teams, the police and other security agents keeping the peace,” Thomas said.

NAN reports that the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control has advised  that frequent washing of hands with soap under running water or using alcohol-based sanitisers is expedient  in preventing the COVID-19 pandemic.

Other measures include covering of mouth and nose properly with a tissue paper when sneezing and/or coughing and disposal of the paperly properly immediately after use.

Members of the public are also advised to avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.

Recall that President Muhammadu  Buhari  on March 29 ordered lockdown of the Federal Capital Territory and Lagos and Ogun states to check the spread of COVID-19.

According to Buhari, the lockdown, which took effect from 11 p.m. on March 30, would be for an initial period of 14 days.

Some state governments have also declared lockdown to prevent  the spread of coronavirus.

JOSH/

Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Ijeoma Popoola
(NAN)



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Flash actor Logan Williams dies at age of 16

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Actor Logan Williams, who appeared in CW’s “The Flash” as the young Barry Allen, has died at  the age of 16.


Williams’ agent, Michelle Gauvin, said he died on Thursday. Gauvin did not give the cause of his death, but she said his sudden death came as a “shock.”

“The Flash” star Grant Gustin posted a photoof him with Williams and actor Jesse L. Martin on Instagram that was taken during the filming of a series pilot in 2014.

Gustin called the news of Williams’ death “devastating” then spoke highly about his talent and professionalism.

John Wesley Shipp, who played Barry Allen in the CBS version of “The Flash,” posted photos with Williams on Twitter.

Shipp said he was “heartsick” after hearing the news.

Williams started acting at the age of 10.

He appeared in other television shows, including “When Calls the Heart” and “The Whispers.”

Edited By: Emmanuel Okara/Ali Baba-Inuwa
(NAN)



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Funke Akindele celebrates husband’s birthday

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Movie star, Funke Akindele has celebrated her husband, JJC Skillz’s birthday as he became a year older on Saturday.


Akindele, the AMVCA award winner who emerged the Best Actress in a comedy (Movie/TV series) for her performance in “Mom’s at War” at the 7th edition of the glamorous award, took to her Instagram handle to pen down loving message to her husband.

She wrote:” Happy birthday my darling husband. The Lord will grant you longer life and good health. Thank you for being a sweetheart!

” Our home will always be peaceful and the Lord will continue to bless us. Enjoy your day my king,” she wrote.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Ali Baba-Inuwa
(NAN)



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Artistes celebrate Ebenezer Obey @78

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Some Nigerian celebrities took to their instagram handles on Friday to celebrate Nigerian legendary Juju musician, Ebenezer Obey, who clocked 78 on April 3.


Some of the artistes who celebrated the legendary musician were; Nigerian Gospel singer, Tope Alabi; Bimbo Esho, Managing Director, Evergreen Musical Company and Actress Joke Muyiwa.

Tope Alabi wrote on her instagram handle: “Happy birthday to our father, Baba Ebenezer Obey Fabiyi, more years in good and sound health in Jesus name. More grace sir.”

Also Actress Joke Muyiwa had this on her page: “Happy birthday to you legendary Ebenezer Obey, Commander. Thanks for everything sir.”

Bimbo Esho celebrated the musician on her Facebook page: “Happy birthday to you on this 78th occasion of yours. Happy birthday to you Chief Commander. Many happy returns. Bless you Dad.”

Edited By: Tayo Ikujuni/Wale Ojetimi
(NAN)



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‘Lean on Me’, ‘Lovely Day’ singer Bill Withers dies at 81

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Bill Withers who wrote and sang a string of soulful songs in the 1970s that have stood the test of time, including “ Lean on Me, ” “Lovely Day” and “Ain’t No Sunshine,” has died from heart complications, his family said in a statement to The Associated Press.


He was 81.

The three-time Grammy Award winner, who withdrew from making music in the mid-1980s, died on Monday in Los Angeles, the statement said.

His death comes as the public has drawn inspiration from his music during the coronavirus pandemic, with health care workers, choirs, artists and more posting their own renditions on “Lean on Me” to help get through the difficult times.

“We are devastated by the loss of our beloved, devoted husband and father.

“A solitary man with a heart driven to connect to the world at large, with his poetry and music, he spoke honestly to people and connected them to each other,” the family statement read.

“As private a life as he lived close to intimate family and friends, his music forever belongs to the world. In this difficult time, we pray his music offers comfort and entertainment as fans hold tight to loved ones.”

Withers’ songs during his brief career have become the soundtracks of countless engagements, weddings and backyard parties.

They have powerful melodies and perfect grooves melded with a smooth voice that conveys honesty and complex emotions without vocal acrobatics.

“Lean on Me,” a paean to friendship, was performed at the inaugurations of both Barack Obama and Bill Clinton. “Ain’t No Sunshine” and “Lean on Me” are among Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

“He’s the last African-American Everyman,” musician and band leader Questlove told Rolling Stone in 2015. “Bill Withers is the closest thing black people have to a Bruce Springsteen.”

Withers in 2015 at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

His death caused a torrent of appreciation on social media, including from former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett, who said Withers’ music has been a cherished part of her life.

“It added to my joy in the good times, and also gave me comfort and inspiration when I needed it most,” she tweeted.

Singer José James said “we need his message of unity now more than ever” and Billy Dee Williams tweeted “your music cheered my heart and soothed my soul.”

“We lost a giant of songwriting today,” ASCAP President and Chairman Paul Williams said in a statement.

“Bill Withers’ songs are among the most treasured and profound in the American songbook — universal in the way they touch people all over the world, transcending genre and generation.

“He was a beautiful man with a stunning sense of humor and a gift for truth.”

Withers, who overcame a childhood stutter, was born the last of six children in the coal mining town of Slab Fork, West Virginia.

After his parents divorced when he was 3, Withers was raised by his mother’s family in nearby Beckley.

He joined the Navy at 17 and spent nine years in the service as an aircraft mechanic installing toilets.

After his discharge, he moved to Los Angeles, worked at an aircraft parts factory, bought a guitar at a pawn shop and recorded demos of his tunes in hopes of landing a recording contract.

In 1971, signed to Sussex Records, he put out his first album, “Just As I Am,” with the legendary Booker T. Jones at the helm.

It had the hits “Grandma’s Hands” and “Ain’t No Sunshine,” which was inspired by the Jack Lemmon film “Days of Wine and Roses.” He was photographed on the cover, smiling and holding his lunch pail.

“Ain’t No Sunshine” was originally released as the B-side of his debut single, “Harlem.” But radio DJs flipped the disc and the song climbed to No. 3 on the Billboard charts and spent a total of 16 weeks in the top 40.

Withers went on to generate more hits a year later with the inspirational “Lean on Me,” the menacing “Who Is He (and What Is He to You)” and the slinky “Use Me” on his second album, “Still Bill.”

Later would come the striking “ Lovely Day,” co-written with Skip Scarborough and featuring Withers holding the word “day” for almost 19 seconds, and “Just the Two Of Us,” co-written with Ralph MacDonald and William Salter. His “Live at Carnegie Hall” in 1973 made Rolling Stone’s 50 Greatest Live Albums of All Time.

“The hardest thing in songwriting is to be simple and yet profound. And Bill seemed to understand, intrinsically and instinctively, how to do that,” Sting said in “Still Bill,” a 2010 documentary of Withers.

But Withers’ career stalled when Sussex Records went bankrupt and he was scooped up by Columbia Records.

He no longer had complete control over his music and chafed when it was suggested he do an Elvis cover. His new executives found Withers difficult.

None of his Columbia albums reached the Top 40 except for 1977’s “Menagerie,” which produced “Lovely Day.” (His hit duet with Grover Washington Jr. “Just the Two of Us” was on Washington’s label). Withers’ last album was 1985′s “Watching You Watching Me.”

Though his songs often dealt with relationships, Withers also wrote ones with social commentary, including “Better Off Dead” about an alcoholic’s suicide, and “I Can’t Write Left-Handed,” about an injured Vietnam War veteran.

He was awarded Grammys as a songwriter for “Ain’t No Sunshine” in 1971 and for “Just the Two Of Us” in 1981. In 1987, Bill received his ninth Grammy nomination and third Grammy as a songwriter for the re-recording of the 1972 hit “ Lean on Me” by Club Nouveau.

He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015 by Stevie Wonder.

Withers thanked his wife as well as the R&B pioneers who helped his career like Ray Jackson, Al Bell and Booker T. Jones.

He also got in a few jabs at the record industry, saying A&R stood for “antagonistic and redundant.” Withers also was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2005.

His music has been covered by such artists as Barbra Streisand, Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Tom Jones, Linda Ronstadt, Paul McCartney, Sting, Johnny Mathis, Aaron Neville, Al Jarreau, Mick Jagger, Nancy Wilson, Diana Ross. His music has been sampled for BlackStreet’s “No Diggity,” Will Smith’s version of “ Just the Two Of Us, ” Black Eyed Peas’ “Bridging the Gap” and Twista’s “Sunshine.”

The song “Lean on Me” was the title theme of a 1989 movie starring Morgan Freeman.

His songs are often used on the big screen, including “The Hangover,” “28 Days,” “American Beauty,” “Jerry Maguire,” “Crooklyn,” “Flight,” “Beauty Shop,” “The Secret Life of Pets” and “Flight.”

“I’m not a virtuoso, but I was able to write songs that people could identify with. I don’t think I’ve done bad for a guy from Slab Fork, West Virginia,” Withers told Rolling Stone in 2015.

He is survived by his wife, Marcia, and children, Todd and Kori.

Edited By: Emmanuel Okara/Wale Ojetimi
(NAN)



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Actor Ernest Asuzu recovers, thanks Mrs Obiano, wife of Anambra state governor

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Nollywood actor, Earnest Asuzu who has been out of scene as a result of prolonged ill-health said he is much better now and have been discharged from hospital


 

Asuzu in an interview with Nigeria News Agency on Friday in Lagos said he received thorough treatment in Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu Teaching Hospital, Amaku, Awka in Anambra state.

 

The actor said that he was presently in his house in Lagos although still on medications but could move around freely and can talk which he wasn’t doing before the treatment.

 

“I am happy to be back in my house in a better health condition which is as a result of the adequate treatment I received through a God-sent woman in Anambra State.

 

“At least I can grant interview as you can hear me clearly, the challenges I had with moving around or doing things on my own have become a thing of the past.

 

“Although I am still on medication but I feel much much better and I really thank God for my life because it’s been years of big challenge for me,” he said.

He added that the hospital bill was taken care of by Mrs Ebelechukwu Obiano, the wife of Anambra State Governor and commended her for her passionate assistance to him at that critical stage of his condition.

Actor Earnest Asuzu  with Mrs Ebelechukwu Obiano, wife of Anambra State Governor

 

Asuzu said Mrs Obiano’s intervention came in handy and rescued him as it got to a stage that he took to the street to seek assistance from the general public.

 

“God really used Mrs Obiano to save my life, I cannot thank her enough for coming to my rescue at the peak of my health challenge and conditions, God bless her good heart.

 

“It got to a stage that I managed myself out of the house where I was spotted at ShopRite, Surulere, here in Lagos and that attracted public attention, but I am fine now,” Asuzu added.

 

Asuzu said that Mrs Obiano who runs Caring Family Enhancement Initiative, an NGO in February intervened in his deteriorated health condition, and sustained his medical bills until his discharge.

 

NAN reports that the Imo State-born Asuzu started his acting career in the 90s and rose to prominence after he stared in ‘Another Campus Queen, Royal War, Burning Desire, Ogidan, Broad Day Light, Ugomma, Last Wedding, Labista and host of other movies.

Benson Iziama/Ekemini Ladejobi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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Entertainment: Warner Media to partner Nigeria’s Trending Media Africa

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Warner Media, a leading media and entertainment company on Friday announced partnership with Nigeria’s Trending Media (TMA) to diversify both company’s stream.


Trending Media Africa (TMA) is one of Nigeria’s leading media sales representatives for satellite TV, radio and other related media platforms with a cumulative experience spanning over 50 years.

According to a statement made available to the Nigeria News Agency , this partnership would diversify Warner Media’s business streams and offer TMA clients, access to advertising solutions on several American blockbuster movie channels.

NAN reports that Warner Media is an American entertainment company that creates and distributes premium and popular content through its consumer brands including; HBO, Warner Bros, TNT, TBS, CNN, DC Entertainment, New Line, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and others.

Guillaume Coffin, VP Head of Commercial and Business Development Turner France, Africa & Israel while commending the partnership said it would offer clients more value.

“Our wide portfolio allows us to target a large array of segments from young adults to families, kids. We can, therefore, offer clients a fully integrated advertising offering on our channels.

“We know that clients are looking for fully integrated advertising packages which Warner Media is now able to do in Nigeria through our TMA partnership.

“With TMA’s expertise and its ability to bringing game-changing innovation coupled with trade marketing flair, we are convinced that with this new partnership, we will bring more value to clients.” he said.

Julius Osumah, Managing Partner, Operations at TMA also expressed the company’s excitement on the partnership, adding that it would help deliver best returns.

“We are excited to partner with the world’s leading media and entertainment giant.

“Nigeria is a vibrant market that holds a lot of growth potential for the brand, and, we will work closely with Warner Media to deliver the best returns.” he said.

“TMA is now representing Warner Media’s channels in Nigeria, giving clients access to a broader distribution with its kids’ channels and movie destination TNT, being available across DStv’s Family and Premium offerings.

“At the same time, Cartoon Network and TNT are accessible to GOtv subscribers on GOtv MAX and TNT also featuring on the GOtv Jolli package.

“Following the new partnership, Cartoon Network and Boomerang will be bringing more fresh content to their channels as well as exciting line-up with great blockbusters.” it read.

Edited By: Abiodun Esan/Ekemini Ladejobi
(NAN)



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The show can’t go on: Virus halts circus in Netherlands

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Circus Renz Berlin’s fleet of blue, red and yellow trucks have had a fresh lick of paint over the winter.


But now, as coronavirus measures shut down the entertainment industry across Europe, they have no place to go.

“It’s catastrophic for everybody,” said Sarina Renz, of the family circus that has been in existence since 1842.

For the foreseeable future, the circus is parked up behind an equestrian center in a northern Dutch town, waiting and hoping for an end to the crisis.

The German circus’ animals, including eight Siberian steppe camels, 15 horses and a llama, are spending their time in sandy fields munching their way through the circus’ supply of food and supplies donated by local authorities.

“We have food, but not for long. We’re already nearly through our reserves.

“Now other people have helped by bringing things for the coming weeks. We’ve got supplies from people, that’s really fantastic.”

There are 18 members of the extended Renz family on hand to look after the animals, other performers have already been sent home, Sarina said.

Children from the family pass the time playing around the trucks and animals and get home schooling — that’s new for most children in the Netherlands but not for the Renz family, who usually are moving from one show location to the next too often to attend a regular school.

For now, the family has to get used to a more stationary way of life, but one without the lifeblood of the circus: The public.

“We’re just used to performing our shows. That’s our life,” says Sarina. “We live to make other people happy with our shows, our attractions.”

Edited By: Emmanuel Okara/Ekemini Ladejobi
(NAN)



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