SIMON COWELL INJURES BACK WHILE TESTING ELECTRIC BICYCLE
MALIBU, Calif. (AP) – Simon Cowell is recovering after having surgery to repair a broken back. His injuries were the result of a weekend electric bicycle accident. A spokesperson says Cowell was testing the new bike at his Malibu home in California when he took a fall. The spokesperson says the entertainment mogul is “doing fine” after the surgery. Cowell’s injuries required placement of a metal rod in his back. Cowell created “America’s Got Talent” and serves as a judge on the show. He has also been the judge on “Britain’s Got Talent,” “The X Factor” and “American Idol.” This season’s first live episodes of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” will air Tuesday and Wednesday without Cowell.
REIMAGINING ‘THE SECRET GARDEN’ FOR A NEW GENERATION
UNDATED (AP) – Frances Hodgson Burnett’s children’s classic “The Secret Garden” has been adapted into several films, television series and even a Broadway musical. But it had been 27 years since Mary Lennox had last been committed to film and the producers of the “Paddington” films felt the time seemed ripe for another visit to Misselthwaite Manor. Colin Firth, Julie Walters and Dixie Egerickx star in the film from director Marc Mundun, which pushes the narrative forward a few decades from Edwardian England, to a post World War II setting. Producer Rosie Alison says that the film, currently available on demand in the U.S., holds an undeniable appeal for modern children.
‘STOCKTON ON MY MIND’ SHOWS MAYOR’S HOPES FOR AILING CITY
A new HBO documentary dives into the dreams of an unlikely mayor who defied odds to lead his impoverished, Central California city. “Stockton on My Mind” follows Michael Tubbs, the mayor of Stockton, California, who became the community’s youngest and first Black mayor in 2016. Soon after taking office, Tubbs attracted private funds to experiment with a basic income plan and used former prison inmates to keep peace among gangs. He also worked to strengthen ties with his father who is serving time in prison. The new HBO film joins other films on race streaming for free on HBO from August 7 to September 21.
‘DON’T SHUT UP!’ FILM SPOTLIGHTS FILIPINO JOURNALIST
LOS ANGELES (AP) – A new documentary tracks award-winning Filipino journalist Maria Ressa’s dual life in recent years. She’s seen smiling while accepting international honors and praise from the likes of George Clooney, then grimly facing down online harassment, legal action and real-world threats for her news site Rappler, reporting on the drug war waged by President Rodrigo Duterte (doo-TEHR’-tay). Ressa and “A Thousand Cuts” filmmaker Ramona S. Diaz say Americans should learn from the recent history of the Philippines, where social media has helped to divide the country and critical press outlets are regularly lambasted by the president.
LORENZO SORIA, PRESIDENT OF GOLDEN GLOBES GROUP, DIES AT 68
LOS ANGELES (AP) – The Hollywood Foreign Press Association says its president, Lorenzo Soria, has died. The group that awards the Golden Globes says that Soria died peacefully at his Los Angeles home Friday. He was 68. Soria was born in Argentina but grew up in Italy, where he was editor of the news weekly L’Espresso. As a journalist in Los Angeles since 1982, he covered politics and technology as well as Hollywood. A member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association since 1989, he served twice as its president before his current tenure began last year. A cause of death was not announced.