“CALL TO UNITE” EVENT SET FOR FRIDAY
LOS ANGELES (AP) – More than 200 stars over a 24-hour period. That’s what’s in store for people online this Friday when organizers launch what they call a “Call to Unite.” The global livestream will feature performances and discussions about how to overcome the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic. Among those taking part are Oprah Winfrey, Julia Roberts and former President George W. Bush. Organizers say they hope the event will inspire viewers to emerge from the COVID-19 crisis better than they were when it began. The event will stream on most major online portals, including Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
ASIAN CELEBRITIES RESPOND TO ATTACKS IN COVID-19 CRISIS
NEW YORK (AP) – Celebrities of Asian descent say they’re stepping up to speak out against racist attacks stemming from the coronavirus pandemic. Olivia Cheng says the extent of anti-Asian bias hit home for her recently, when she was in Vancouver. The actress says she saw a man drive up to an elderly Chinese woman, roll down his window and yell, “This is your fault!” before throwing trash at her. Cheng says she and other celebrities of Asian descent can no longer afford to “pretend that this isn’t happening.” The FBI reports a rise in hate crimes and harassment against Asian Americans since the COVID-19 outbreak began. The virus first appeared in Wuhan, China, late last year.
FILM FESTIVALS ADAPT TO LIFE DURING CORONAVIRUS AGE
NEW YORK (AP) – One by one, film festivals have fallen victim to the COVID-19 outbreak, with many postponed and some canceled altogether. But now, the festivals are joining forces to find a way to get people to see their offerings. The festivals are uniting for something they call “We Are One: A Global Film Festival.” It will begin May 29, run for 10 days – and be available free on YouTube. Among the festivals submitting films to be curated for the event include the Tribeca Film Festival, along with the Cannes and Sundance fests – and film events in Venice, Berlin and Tokyo.
PROSECUTORS DENY ENTRAPPING LOUGHLIN, OTHERS IN COLLEGE SCAM
UNDATED (AP) – Federal prosecutors in Boston were told to present evidence to combat charges they entrapped the wealthy parents accused of cheating the college admissions process. And in a legal filing, prosecutors have done just that. The filing says the man who helped investigators build their case recently told the FBI there was no misconduct involved. Attorneys for “Full House” actress Lori Loughlin and others charged in the scheme claim FBI investigators bullied a witness to help them bring the case to trial. The upper-crust parents are accused of paying a middleman to help their kids get into colleges they couldn’t get into on their own merit.
MICHELLE OBAMA DOCUMENTARY TO HIT NETFLIX
NEW YORK (AP) – She wrote the book, did the book tour – and is now doing a documentary on the whole thing. Former first lady Michelle Obama is the subject of a video project called “Becoming.” It chronicles her 34-city tour in support of her best-selling memoir by the same title. It premieres on Netflix next week. “Becoming” is the latest release from Higher Ground Productions, the production house created by Barack and Michelle Obama, which has a distribution deal with Netflix.
PRINCE HARRY CELEBRATES THOMAS THE TANK ENGINE
LONDON (AP) – It’s one of those children’s stories that has captivated many a child and their parents over the decades. And it’s being celebrated by Prince Harry. The Duke of Sussex has recorded a special message to help mark the 75th anniversary of Thomas the Tank Engine. The intro is for a new show called “Thomas and Friends: The Royal Engine.” The story line includes Harry’s dad and grandma, Prince Charles and Queen Elizabeth II, as animated characters. The show will air on Netflix in the U.S. on Friday.
by Oscar Wells Gabriel II
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