Cannes prize for Brazilian movie sends message of hope, director says

CANNES, France (Reuters) – A Brazilian victory in Cannes has sent a message of hope at a difficult time for the country’s movie industry, director Karim Ainouz said on Friday after winning an award at one of the film festival’s prestigious side competitions. 72nd Cannes Film Festival – Un Certain Regard prize – Cannes, France, May 24, 2019. Director Karim Ainouz celebrates winning the Grand Prix Un Certain Regard Award for the film « The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmao » (A Vida Invisivel de Euridice Gusmao). REUTERS/Eric Gaillard“The Invisible…

Novartis $2 million gene therapy for rare disorder is world’s most expensive drug

ZURICH/NEW YORK – Swiss drugmaker Novartis on Friday won U.S. approval for its gene therapy Zolgensma for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), the leading genetic cause of death in infants, and priced the one-time treatment at a record $2.125 million. FILE PHOTO: Logo of Swiss drugmaker Novartis is seen at its branch in Schweizerhalle near Basel, Switzerland, March 29, 2018. REUTERS/Arnd WiegmannThe Food and Drug Administration approved Zolgensma for pediatric patients under age 2 with SMA, including those not yet showing symptoms. The approval covers babies with the deadliest Type 1…

For Anderson family, an early bet on SMA gene therapy

NEW YORK (Reuters) – When Malachi Anderson was diagnosed with a rare and often deadly disease called spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) as an infant nearly four years ago, his parents Tina and Torence had a decision to make. In years past, many of the babies born with the most severe form of SMA, like Malachi, died before their second birthday. Those who survived longer would likely not walk, eat or breathe on their own. By 2015, drugmakers were testing two experimental therapies in clinical trials: a one-time gene therapy treatment…

Uber’s first employee, Ryan Graves, is leaving the board

Ryan Graves was Uber’s first full-time CEO and employee, who was last senior vice president of global operations before announcing he would step down in August 2017. Graves said at that time he would remain on the board during the search for the replacement of his CEO successor, Travis Kalanick.UberUber said in a Friday filing that Ryan Graves, its first employee, is leaving the company’s board, effective Monday.Graves was the company’s first CEO, hired by Travis Kalanick after he responded to a Kalanick Tweet seeking a « Looking 4 entrepreneurial…

Apple bought a start-up that was working on monitoring asthma in children

Michael Nagle | Bloomberg | Getty ImagesApple has acquired Tueo Health, a small start-up that was developing a system to help parents monitor asthma symptoms in sleeping children, according to a person familiar with the deal.It’s unclear how much Apple paid for Tueo Health. The start-up raised a small seed round of $1.1 million in funding in 2017. Tueo’s CEO and co-founder Bronwyn Harris and chief operating officer Anura Patil changed their employer to Apple on LinkedIn in late 2018, which is likely around the time Apple completed its acquisition…

‘Off the scale’ excitement for fans as Spice Girls reunion opens

DUBLIN (Reuters) – Fans from near and far got what they really really really wanted on Friday night when the ultimate 1990s girl band, the Spice Girls, opened their long awaited reunion tour at last in Dublin. “We have been fans for 20 years at least…but we have only been to see impersonators. This is our first time with the real live Spice Girls,” said Erica Rozario, 32, from Toronto, in Baby Spice-esque pigtails and a Scary Spice leopard-skin top. “Are we excited? We’re off the scale!” The British pop…

On Cannes red carpet, ‘go big’ is this year’s fashion buzzword

CANNES, France (Reuters) – Enormous bouffant dresses decked out in lace or feathers ruled the red carpet at this year’s Cannes film festival, one of the of the world’s most glamorous stages for actors as well as fashion designers. 72nd Cannes Film Festival – Screening of the film « Pain and Glory » (Dolor y gloria) in competition – Red Carpet Arrivals – Cannes, France, May 17, 2019. Bella Hadid poses. REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier As well as oversized gowns, more classic monochrome looks also scored design points for some fashion critics…

U.S. Supreme Court blocks redrawing of Ohio, Michigan electoral maps

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday blocked lower court rulings that had ordered Republican legislators in Michigan and Ohio to redraw U.S. congressional maps ahead of the 2020 elections after finding that the current districts were designed to illegally diminish the power of Democratic voters. The justices granted requests from Republican lawmakers in both states to stay those decisions. The lower courts found that the electoral maps had been drawn to entrench the majority party in power, a practice known as partisan gerrymandering, in violation of the…

China accuses U.S. officials of misleading public on trade war

BEIJING (Reuters) – China on Friday accused U.S. officials of lying to the public about their trade war, as rising tensions between the world’s two largest economies kept financial markets in a state of unease. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang answers questions about a major bus accident in North Korea, during a news conference in Beijing, China April 23, 2018. REUTERS/Jason LeeTalks to end the trade dispute collapsed earlier this month, with the two sides in a stalemate over U.S. demands that China change its policies to address a…

Rocky star Stallone says he never expected to make it in movies

CANNES, France (Reuters) – Action movie superstar Sylvester Stallone told cinemagoers in Cannes on Friday that he never expected to make it in the film industry due to an accident at birth that caused him to slur his words – now one of his more celebrated trademarks. 72nd Cannes Film Festival – Masterclass Sylvester Stallone – Cannes, France, May 24, 2019. Sylvester Stallone reacts. REUTERS/Eric GaillardThe U.S. actor, 72, rocketed to fame in 1976 with his Oscar-winning boxing movie “Rocky” and went on to become one of Hollywood’s biggest action…

Ohio House committee passes bill to save nuclear power plants

(Reuters) – A committee in Ohio’s House of Representatives voted along party lines to approve a bill to save the state’s two nuclear power reactors from retirement and provide some financial support for a couple of ailing coal plants. Republicans in the House Energy and Natural Resources Committee approved the bill on Thursday after changing it earlier in the week to provide credit payments to nuclear plants only instead of all zero-carbon emission resources, like wind and solar plants. The state’s two reactors are at the Davis Besse and Perry…

ACLU, Planned Parenthood sue over Alabama abortion ban

(Reuters) – The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit on Friday challenging a law enacted by Alabama last week that bans nearly all abortions and makes performing the procedure a felony punishable by up to 99 years in prison. FILE PHOTO: The U.S. Flag and Alabama State Flag fly over the Alabama Governor’s Mansion as the state Senate votes on the strictest anti-abortion bill in the United States at the Alabama Legislature in Montgomery, Alabama, U.S. May 14, 2019. REUTERS/Chris Aluka BerryThe lawsuit is one of…

Pope names women to key Vatican department for first time

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis appointed women on Friday to a key Vatican department for the first time since it was founded more than 50 years ago, a move welcomed by Catholic women’s groups as a significant advance. Pope Francis leads the opening of the Italian Episcopal Conference at the Vatican, May 20, 2019. REUTERS/Remo CasilliThree nuns and one lay woman were appointed councillors in the office of synods, which prepares major meetings of world bishops held every few years on a different topic. Pope Paul VI founded the…

‘Few design changes’ for 2019 iPhone ahead of 2020 5G iPhone release, Barclays says

Apple chief design officer Jony Ive and Apple CEO Tim Cook inspect iPhone XR.VCG | Visual China Group | Getty ImagesIn a note to investors on Friday, Barclays semiconductor analysts said Apple’s 2019 iPhones will again offer « relatively few design changes » and that the company’s bigger update for the iPhone is planned for 2020.In September 2018, Apple launched the iPhone XR, iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, which were all fairly similar to the iPhone X that was released in 2017.Barclays said it expects Apple to begin production…

Facebook says the doctored Nancy Pelosi video used to question her mental state will stay up

Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer of Facebook Inc.Tony Avelar | Bloomberg | Getty ImagesFacebook has decided to keep an altered video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on its site that makes her speech appear slow and slurred, The Guardian reported Friday. Commenters, including President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, have used the video to call into question Pelosi’s competence and mental state.In a since-deleted tweet, Giuliani shared a link to the altered video and wrote, « What is wrong with Nancy Pelosi? Her speech pattern is bizarre. »…

Tarantino is top dog at Cannes – at least in the pooch department

CANNES, France (Reuters) – Twenty-five years after taking the festival by storm with “Pulp Fiction”, Quentin Tarantino’s latest movie has already clinched an award at Cannes – thanks to a dog in a show-stealing fight scene. FILE PHOTO: 72nd Cannes Film Festival – News conference for the film « Once Upon a Time in Hollywood » in competition – Cannes, France, May 22, 2019. Director Quentin Tarantino attends the news conference. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau“Brandy”, which was actually played by three different pitbulls, won the unofficial “Palm Dog” prize at the cinema…

‘Good luck to the girls’ says absent Posh as Spice Girls open reunion tour

DUBLIN (Reuters) – Nineties girl band the Spice Girls return to the stage as a foursome on Friday, kicking off a reunion tour in Dublin with happy wishes from their absent band mate Victoria “Posh Spice” Beckham. FILE PHOTO: Spice Girl members Melanie Brown (L-R), Geri Halliwell, Emma Bunton and Melanie Chisholm are seen arriving for the premiere of the musical « Viva Forever! », based on the music of the Spice Girls, in central London in this December 11, 2012 file photograph. REUTERS/Toby MelvilleThe British pop group, which shot…

Theresa May quits: UK set for new PM by end of July

Media playback is unsupported on your device Theresa May has said she will quit as Conservative leader on 7 June, paving the way for a contest to decide a new prime minister. In an emotional statement, she said she had done her best to deliver Brexit and it was a matter of « deep regret » that she had been unable to do so. Mrs May said she would continue to serve as PM while a Conservative leadership contest takes place. The party said it hoped a new leader could…

Sheffield ‘incident’: Two boys die in Shiregreen

Two boys have died and four other children are in hospital after an « incident » at a house in Sheffield. A man, 37, and a woman, 34, were arrested on suspicion of murder after « reports of concerns for safety » at the home in Shiregreen at 07:30 BST. The boys, aged 13 and 14, died after being taken to hospital with the other children – aged 11, 10, three and seven months. The others remain in hospital. Police said they were still trying to work out how the…

Whorlton Hall: Ten arrested over abuse allegations

Ten workers have been arrested over the alleged abuse of patients with learning difficulties at a specialist hospital. Seven men and three women were arrested at addresses in Barnard Castle, Bishop Auckland, Darlington and Stockton. Undercover filming by BBC Panorama at Whorlton Hall in County Durham appeared to show patients being mocked, intimidated and restrained. The site had at least 100 visits by official agencies in the year before the abuse was discovered. Those arrested were being questioned about offences relating to abuse and neglect at the privately-run NHS-funded unit,…

Everest: Three more die amid overcrowding near summit

Three more climbers have died on Mount Everest, taking the death toll to seven in a week – more than the total for the whole of last year. The three died of exhaustion while descending on Thursday. It comes amid traffic jams near the summit as record numbers make the ascent, despite calls to limit the number of climbing permits. Nepal has issued 381 permits at $11,000 (£8,600) each for the spring climbing season at the world’s highest peak. Two Indian climbers – Kalpana Das, 52, and Nihal Bagwan, 27…

Tearful Theresa May resigns, paving way for Brexit confrontation with EU

LONDON (Reuters) – Fighting back tears, Theresa May said on Friday she would quit, setting up a contest that will install a new British prime minister who could pursue a cleaner break with the European Union. May’s departure deepens the Brexit crisis as a new leader, who should be in place by the end of July, is likely to want a more decisive split, raising the chances of a confrontation with the EU and potentially a snap parliamentary election. Her voice cracking with emotion, May, who endured crises and humiliation…

UK’s Johnson says Britain should plan for no-deal Brexit

FILE PHOTO: Former British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson gives a speech at the JCB Headquarters in Rocester, Staffordshire, Britain, January 18, 2019. REUTERS/Andrew YatesINTERLAKEN, Switzerland (Reuters) – Britain should be prepared to walk out of the European Union without a deal if it is to negotiate a suitable exit agreement, British lawmaker and prime minister hopeful Boris Johnson said on Friday. “We will leave the EU on October 31, deal or no deal,” Johnson told an economic conference in Switzerland. “The way to get a good deal is to prepare…

Ex-Facebook privacy chief: Breaking up the social network won’t lead to better data protection

Former Facebook executive Chris Kelly told CNBC’s « Squawk Box » on Friday that the social media giant is on the right track when it comes to addressing users’ privacy and data concerns. « You have to have scale in order to address these problems, » Kelly said of the company’s large scale. Facebook can now « invest heavily in AI and machine learning. »Kelly, a Facebook shareholder, is an early leader of the social media giant. He worked at Facebook from 2004 to 2009 as Facebook’s chief privacy officer…

Pixel 3A vs. OnePlus 7 Pro: let’s talk about the camera

OnePlus has always offered high-spec devices without the flagship price tag, but now the company is upping both its prices and the quality of its cameras. Google’s Pixel phones, on the other hand, started off expensive and with amazing camera software; the company is now letting that technology trickle down to less expensive models. So which does it better: the souped-up OnePlus 7 Pro or the pared-down Pixel 3A? You can’t take a photo without opening the app, so let’s talk about specs and speed, before we get to quality.…

Soaring gasoline prices peak just in time for Memorial Day weekend

Getty Images The biggest U.S. gasoline price surge in years is running out of steam just in time for the start of the summer driving season. Heading into Memorial Day, the national average gasoline price is coming off the year’s high and sitting just above $2.80 per gallon. The national average climbed 67 cents a gallon between New Year’s Day and May 4, when pump prices peaked, according to price-tracking firm GasBuddy. That’s the second biggest rise on record for the start of a year, trailing only the 93 cents…

France’s Macron urges Brexit clarity after May resignation

EU leaders have praised Theresa May’s « courage » and « determination », but French President Emmanuel Macron also urged « swift clarification » on Brexit. Mr Macron said Mrs May had done « courageous work » on Brexit, in his response to her resignation statement. But he stressed the need to « maintain the smooth functioning of the EU, which requires swift clarification ». Earlier, EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said the EU had « failed » over the UK’s 2016 vote to exit the EU. « Here we…

Paul Whelan: Ex-US marine alleges abuse in Russia spy case

A former US marine imprisoned in Russia on suspicion of spying has complained of « abuses and harassment » and says he is a « victim of political kidnap ». Mr Whelan – a citizen of the US, UK, Canada and Ireland – was arrested in late December, accused of espionage. The 48-year-old denies the charges and told a court on Friday that he had been subjected to threats and abuse by a security service investigator. The comments came as his pre-trial custody was extended until 29 August. Mr Whelan…

UK set for new PM as Theresa May quits

Media playback is unsupported on your device Theresa May has said she will quit as Conservative leader on 7 June, paving the way for a contest to decide a new prime minister. In an emotional statement, she said she had done her best to deliver Brexit and it was a matter of « deep regret » that she had been unable to do so. Being prime minister had been the « honour of my life », she said. Mrs May said she would continue to serve as PM while a…

European elections 2019: Dutch Labour celebrate after vote

The Dutch centre-left Labour party is toasting an « unexpected comeback » in European elections held on Thursday. The results will not come out until late Sunday, in common with the rest of the EU, but the Dutch Labour party are celebrating what they claim as victory based on exit polls they have seen. These exit polls are not necessarily an accurate indication of the result. Under UK law, the BBC is barred from publishing exit polls from the European Parliament elections. UK voters also went to the polls on…