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Top Diplomats Say Media Freedom ‘Under Attack’ in Hong Kong

(Bloomberg) — A group of Western envoys to Hong Kong has condemned the erosion of media freedoms in the Asian financial hub, a situation they say has been worsened by Beijing’s imposition of a “vaguely defined” national security law.



Employees handle insert sections of the Apple Daily newspaper.


© Bloomberg
Employees handle insert sections of the Apple Daily newspaper.

In a jointly-written opinion piece in the South China Morning Post, the consuls general for the U.S., Canada, U.K. and Australia warned of the rising risks for journalists operating in Hong Kong. The city’s journalists have been working through an extended bout of political turmoil since large, sometimes-violent protests broke out in 2019, followed by China’s decision to bypass the local legislature and impose the controversial new security measures over the summer.

“Hong Kong is a vibrant international city but media freedom here is under attack,” they wrote. “The many cases of violence against media during the civil unrest

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Swift wins top prize at AMAs, says she’s re-recording music

NEW YORK (AP) — Taylor Swift won her third consecutive artist of the year prize at the American Music Awards, but she missed the show for a good reason: She said she’s busy re-recording her early music after her catalog was sold.

In a video that aired during Sunday’s awards show, the pop star said “the reason I’m not there tonight is I’m actually re-recording all of my old music in the studio where we originally recorded it. So it’s been amazing. And I can’t wait for you to hear it.”

Last year music manager Scooter Braun — who manages Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande — announced that his Ithaca Holdings company had acquired Big Machine Label Group, the home to Swift’s first six albums. This month Braun said he has sold the master rights to Swift’s first six albums to an investment company; Swift acknowledged the sale on social

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Sophia Loren’s Return To Movies In ‘The Life Ahead’ Lands In Top 10 Of All Netflix Offerings In First Week Of Release In 37 Countries

EXCLUSIVE: Theatres may be closing again at a rapid pace, but the power of being on Netflix during this worldwide pandemic  certainly appears to be good news for those whose awards hopeful films have been debuting on the streaming service at virtually a weekly pace.

Loren and Ponti on set of Qualcose Di Biondo, 1984

For cinema legend  Sophia Loren that means the biggest opening of her seven decade career.  Returning to feature films for the first time since a supporting turn in Nine a decade ago, and her first leading role in much longer than that, her new movie The Life Ahead directed by her son Edoardo Ponti has hit the top ten of all Netflix offerings  over its first week in 37 countries  including the U.S. , Italy, Spain,  Romania, Portugal, Mexico, Colombia, Poland,  Greece,  France, and Brazil among others. The Italian language film has won critical acclaim

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At Long Last, Queen’s ‘Greatest Hits’ Reaches the Top 10 on the Billboard 200 Chart

The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week in the U.S. based on multi-metric consumption as measured in equivalent album units. Units comprise album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). Each unit equals one album sale, or 10 individual tracks sold from an album, or 3,750 ad-supported or 1,250 paid/subscription on-demand official audio and video streams generated by songs from an album. The new Nov. 28-dated chart (where Greatest Hits reaches the top 10) will be posted in full on Billboard‘s website on Nov. 24. For all chart news, follow @billboard and @billboardcharts on both Twitter and Instagram.

The vinyl sales were so big for Greatest Hits, it’s the top selling vinyl album in the U.S. for the week (and jumps 20-1 on Billboard’s Vinyl Albums chart) and has the second-largest sales week of 2020 for any vinyl release.

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Zurich, Paris and Hong Kong top the most expensive cities list

  • The COVID-19 pandemic has reordered the world’s most expensive cities list, putting Hong Kong, Zurich, and Paris in the top three spots.
  • Singapore and Osaka, which were joint first in 2019, have slid down the rankings to fourth and fifth place respectively, according to the Worldwide Cost of Living (WCOL).
  • Upasana Dutt, the head of the WCOL report, told Business Insider that this year has been “unusual” as COVID-19 has “impacted spending habits all over the world.”
  • Cities in the Americas, Africa and eastern Europe have become less expensive since 2019, whilst western European cities have become pricier, the report said.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The coronavirus pandemic has revamped the list of world’s most expensive cities, putting Hong Kong, Zurich, and Paris in the top three spots.

The Worldwide Cost of Living (WCOL) annual report from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) revealed Wednesday that Singapore and

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Top Biden adviser seen as making tech regulation more likely

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – President-elect Joe Biden’s top technology adviser helped craft California’s landmark online privacy law and recently condemned a controversial federal statute that protects internet companies from liability, indicators of how the Biden administration may come down on two key tech policy issues.

Bruce Reed, a former Biden chief of staff who is expected to take a major role in the new administration, helped negotiate with the tech industry and legislators on behalf of backers of a ballot initiative that led to the 2018 California Consumer Privacy Act. Privacy advocates see that law as a possible model for a national law.

Reed also co-authored a chapter in a book published last month denouncing the federal law known as Section 230, which makes it impossible to sue internet companies over the content of user postings. Both Republicans and Democrats have called for reforming or abolishing 230, which critics say

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The Latin Grammys, Still Over the Top in the Shadow of the Pandemic

Even in a pandemic, the 21st annual Latin Grammys didn’t stint on spectacle. On Thursday night, the most consistently over-the-top American music awards show stayed that way, with luxuriant fashion, bustling dance routines, a full salsa big band, arena-scale smoke and lights and mostly real-time performances that reached for emotional peaks.

Yes, there were some remote and low-fi acceptance speeches, and the musical numbers from far-flung locations — Madrid, Buenos Aires, Guadalajara, Rio de Janeiro, Puerto Rico — weren’t necessarily live. There was no visible audience for the event, broadcast by Univision, but at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, where most of the show took place, enthusiastic onlookers supplied some applause. The Miami stage was large enough for social distancing among the musicians in the house band, though dancers and musical collaborators didn’t always practice it.

But unlike at the Country Music Association Awards, which were held last week

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Top WHO official in Europe says face masks could prevent COVID lockdowns, and school closures don’t work

The World Health Organization’s senior official in Europe said Thursday that blanket national lockdowns to curb the spread of COVID-19 wouldn’t be necessary if governments could convince their citizens to wear masks. Dr. Hans Kluge also said that closing schools was not an effective way to prevent the coronavirus spreading, and that it should be avoided.

Many European nations have made masks mandatory in public places, or at least in places where it’s not possible to keep a reasonable distance. England and France, suffering two of the worst COVID epidemics in Europe, have been put back under nationwide lockdowns, but schools are still open in both countries. Other major EU nations have more tailored restrictions.

Kluge said 95% of a country’s population would have to wear masks when out and about to render lockdowns unnecessary, and he admitted that was a tall order.


Doctor on the CDC’s new mask guidelines

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‘Palm Springs’, ‘Lovecraft Country’ Top Movie And Series Nominations For Inaugural Critics Choice Super Awards; Netflix Lands 35 Nods

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After creating the Critics Choice Awards for both movies and television achievements, plus spinoff shows for the best in documentaries and reality TV, the Critics Choice Association on Thursday announced nominees for its latest awards-show venture, the Critics Choice Super Awards. Designed to honor popular forms of entertainment for both movies and series, the virtual pre-recorded television presentation honoring superhero, science fiction/fantasy, horror, action and animation will air Sunday, January 10, 2021 on the CW as a two-hour special at 8 pm ET/PT.

Leading the pack for movies is Hulu and Neon’s Palm Springs, a time-loop comedy that scored five nominations including for stars Andy Samberg, Cristin Milioti and J.K.Simmons, as well as Best Science Fiction/Fantasy movie. A host of films followed close behind with four nominations including Birds of Prey (Warner Bros), Freaky (Universal), Onward (Disney+), Sonic the Hedgehog (Paramount), The Hunt

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Tomorrow X Together Leads Album Sales Chart, Kylie Minogue & NAV Debut in Top 10

Tomorrow X Together arrives at No. 1 on Billboard’s Album Sales chart, as the group’s Minisode1: Blue Hour EP bows atop the chart dated Nov. 21. The effort sold 18,000 copies in the U.S. in the week ending Nov. 12, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data — the best sales week yet for the South Korean pop quintet. Blue Hour is the group’s fourth charting title on Album Sales, and first to reach the top 10.

Elsewhere in the top 10, Kylie Minogue lands her best sales week in a decade with the No. 2 debut of Disco, a pair of Christmas albums from Carrie Underwood and Dolly Parton see big gains, Taylor Swift and Harry Styles jump back into the top 10 and NAV’s new mixtape Emergency Tsunami starts at No. 9.

Billboard’s Album Sales chart ranks the top-selling albums of the week based

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