Ewan McGregor to return as Obi-Wan in new ‘Star Wars’ streaming TV series

ANAHEIM, Calif. (Reuters) – Ewan McGregor will reprise his “Star Wars” role as Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi in a series for the upcoming Disney+ streaming service, the actor announced to fans of the beloved movie franchise on Friday. FILE PHOTO: Actor Ewan McGregor poses at the world premiere of Disney’s « Christopher Robin, » in Burbank, California, U.S., July 30, 2018. REUTERS/Danny MoloshokMcGregor surprised the crowd at Walt Disney Co’s D23 Expo fan convention, walking on stage to loud cheers and applause. The Scottish actor said he was relieved that…

Amazon fires: Brazil sends army to help tackle blazes

Media playback is unsupported on your device Brazil’s president has ordered the armed forces to help fight a record number of forest fires in the Amazon. A decree issued by President Jair Bolsonaro authorises the deployment of soldiers in nature reserves, indigenous lands and border areas in the region. The announcement comes after intense pressure from European leaders. France and Ireland say they will not ratify a huge trade deal with South American nations unless Brazil does more to tackle blazes in the Amazon. Finland’s finance minister has also called…

Amazon rainforest fires: Ten readers’ questions answered

Swathes of the Amazon rainforest in Brazil are burning at a record rate. On Monday, the sky in São Paulo blackened due to smoke drifting from the fires 2,700 km (1,700 miles) away. Politicians and environmental activists are taking a stand against Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, blaming the fires on his policies. But it’s a complex story, and online discussion of it has been riddled with misinformation, misleading photos and errors. To fill in the gaps and bust some common myths, we asked you to send us your questions on…

Brazil sends army to tackle Amazon fires

Media playback is unsupported on your device Brazil’s president has ordered the armed forces to help fight a record number of forest fires in the Amazon. A decree issued by President Jair Bolsonaro authorises the deployment of soldiers in nature reserves, indigenous lands and border areas in the region. The announcement comes after intense pressure from European leaders. France and Ireland say they will not ratify a huge trade deal with South American nations unless Brazil does more to tackle blazes in the Amazon. Finland’s finance minister has also called…

Bury owner Steve Dale says club has been sold with EFL deadline approaching

Owner Steve Dale has told BBC Radio Manchester he has agreed a deal to sell Bury, as a deadline for their possible expulsion from the EFL approaches. Dale says the League One club has been sold to football analytics company C&N Sporting Risk, headed by Henry Newman and Rory Campbell. Bury have been given until 23:59 BST to prove it can pay off creditors and has funding to complete the season. BBC Radio Manchester has contacted the English Football League for comment. A statement given to PA Media, Newman and…

Trump says US firms ‘hereby ordered’ to quit China

Media playback is unsupported on your device President Donald Trump says he has « hereby ordered » American companies to leave China, after Beijing announced plans to slap new tariffs on US goods. The White House did not immediately say what authority the president had to compel private firms to quit a country. President Trump announced a 5% increase on tariffs on Chinese imports, after China unveiled plans for duties of 10% on $75bn (£61bn) of US goods. The latest salvos in the trade war sent global financial markets tumbling.…

Boris Johnson and Donald Trump speak ahead of G7 meeting

Boris Johnson has spoken to US President Donald Trump ahead of meeting him on Sunday for the first time since becoming prime minister. The leaders, who will meet at the G7 summit in France, discussed « foreign policy issues and global trade ». No 10 said they « looked forward to speaking further » at the summit. Mr Trump has praised Mr Johnson, calling him « Britain Trump », and predicted a speedy US-UK trade deal after Brexit. A UK government spokesman said: « Of course we want to move…

Amazon fires: Brazil threatened over EU trade deal

Media playback is unsupported on your device France and Ireland say they will not ratify a huge trade deal with South American nations unless Brazil does more to fight fires in the Amazon. French leader Emmanuel Macron said President Jair Bolsonaro had lied to him about his stance on climate change. There are currently a record number of fires in the Amazon rainforest – a major source of oxygen for the world. Environmental groups say the fires are linked to Mr Bolsonaro’s policies, which he denies. European leaders have also…

Special prosecutor to review actor Jussie Smollett’s case: judge

FILE PHOTO: Actor Jussie Smollett leaves court after charges against him were dropped by state prosecutors in Chicago, Illinois, U.S. March 26, 2019. REUTERS/Kamil Krzaczynski/File PhotoCHICAGO (Reuters) – A Chicago judge on Friday named a special prosecutor to investigate the case involving ex-“Empire” actor Jussie Smollett’s allegation that he was the victim of a racist attack, which authorities have ruled a hoax. Cook County Judge Michael Toomin appointed former U.S. Attorney Dan Webb to probe the case of the actor, who is black and gay, and who told police on…

Amazon fires: France and Ireland threaten to block EU trade deal

Media playback is unsupported on your device France and Ireland say they will not ratify a huge trade deal with South American nations unless Brazil does more to fight fires in the Amazon. French leader Emmanuel Macron said President Jair Bolsonaro had lied to him about his stance on climate change. There are currently a record number of fires in the Amazon rainforest – a major source of oxygen for the world. Environmental groups say the fires are linked to Mr Bolsonaro’s policies, which he denies. European leaders have also…

Rockin ‘n’ rollin on Mars: Rolling Stones have space rock named after them

The Rolling Stones perform during their No Filter U.S. Tour at Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, California, U.S., August 22, 2019. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni(Reuters) – The Rolling Stones have rocked stages around the world in their more than 50-year career. But now their influence has gone into space after NASA’s Mars InSight Mission named a rock on the planet after the band. Slightly larger than a golf ball, the “Rolling Stones Rock” is said to have rolled some 3 feet (1 meter), spurred by the InSight spacecraft’s thrusters during touchdown on…

Chicago judge may tap special prosecutor to review actor Jussie Smollett’s case

CHICAGO (Reuters) – The case of ex-“Empire” actor Jussie Smollett, who sparked a firestorm in Chicago by reporting a racist attack authorities have ruled a hoax, returns to court on Friday, when local media say a judge may tap a special prosecutor to review the case. FILE PHOTO: Actor Jussie Smollett leaves court after charges against him were dropped by state prosecutors in Chicago, Illinois, U.S. March 26, 2019. REUTERS/Kamil Krzaczynski/File PhotoThe actor, who is black and gay, stunned the city when he told police on Jan. 29 that two…

Amazon fires: Merkel and Macron urge G7 to debate ’emergency’

Media playback is unsupported on your device The French and German leaders say the record number of fires in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest is an international crisis which must be discussed at this weekend’s G7 summit. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the « acute emergency » belonged on the agenda, agreeing with French President Emmanuel Macron’s earlier rallying cry. « Our house is burning, » he tweeted. Environmental groups say the fires are linked to Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s policies, which he denies. Mr Bolsonaro has also accused Mr Macron of…

PC Andrew Harper: Family tribute to ‘hero’ officer

The family of a police officer killed while investigating a burglary have paid tribute to him as forces across the country held a minute’s silence. PC Andrew Harper, 28, died after he was dragged along the road by a vehicle in Sulhamstead, Berkshire, on 15 August. Thames Valley Police led the silence, which was observed by forces across the country, at 11:00 BST. PC Harper’s mother Debbie said she was moved by the « outpouring of love » since her son’s death. « We are devastated and bereft but as…

The Amazon in Brazil is on fire – how bad is it?

Thousands of fires are ravaging the Amazon rainforest in Brazil – the most intense blazes for almost a decade. The northern states of Roraima, Acre, Rondônia and Amazonas have been particularly badly affected. However, images purported to be of the fires – including some shared under the hashtag #PrayforAmazonas – have been shown to be decades old or not even in Brazil. So what’s actually happening and how bad are the fires? There have been a lot of fires this year Brazil has seen a record number of fires in…

Center Parcs Longleat: Boy dies after becoming ill at resort

A boy has died after becoming ill at a Center Parcs resort. He is reported to have collapsed by the side of a swimming pool at the holiday chain’s « village » in Longleat, Wiltshire. The boy’s mother was heard « screaming » for her son to wake up amid desperate attempts to revive him, according to one eyewitness. Emergency services were called to the park on Saturday afternoon but were unable to resuscitate the boy. A spokesperson for Center Parcs said it was « deeply saddened by the tragic…

First day at school: Mum’s before-and-after photos of daughter go viral

Before-and-after photos of a five-year-old’s first day back at school have been shared thousands of times online after her mother posted the « really funny » images on Facebook. Lucie, from East Renfrewshire, « likes to be clean » and looked immaculate before she left home, mother Jill said. But by the end of a day of playing with her friends, her clothes were « a mess ». The photos were liked more than 10,000 times after Jill agreed to let a local newspaper put them on their page. «…

Five people killed in stampede at Algiers rap concert

ALGIERS (Reuters) – At least five people were killed in a stampede at a packed rap concert in the Algerian capital on Thursday night, a hospital source said. Thousands had gathered at the concert of local rap star Abderraouf Derradji, known as “Soolking”, in a stadium in Algiers. No further details were immediately available Reporting by Lamine Chikhi; Editing by Sandra MalerOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles. Source: Reuters

Amazon fires: ‘Our house is burning’, Macron warns ahead of G7

Media playback is unsupported on your device French President Emmanuel Macron has said the record number of fires in the Amazon rainforest is an « international crisis » that needs to be on the top of the agenda at the G7 summit. « Our house is burning, » he tweeted. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said his government was « open to dialogue » about the surge in fires. But he said calls to discuss the issue at the G7 summit, which Brazil is not participating in, evoke « a misplaced…

Twerking hillbilly? Yes. Cheater and liar? No, says Miley Cyrus

FILE PHOTO: 91st Academy Awards – Vanity Fair – Beverly Hills, California, U.S., February 24, 2019 – Liam Hemsworth and Miley Cyrus. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok/File PhotoLOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Pop star Miley Cyrus on Thursday said she was no angel, but angrily denied rumors she had cheated on her estranged husband, actor Liam Hemsworth. In a series of postings on Twitter a day after Hemsworth filed for divorce after just seven months of marriage, the 26-year-old singer said she had nothing to hide. “You can say I am a twerking, pot…

Bosnian-Dutch film wins top award at 25th Sarajevo Film Festival

SARAJEVO (Reuters) – A Bosnian-Dutch film about a girl leaving the Netherlands and returning to her native Bosnia to visit the sick father she has never met was chosen on Thursday as the best movie at the Sarajevo Film Festival (SFF), celebrating its silver jubilee. The jury chaired by Swedish film-maker Ruben Ostlund, whose film “The Square” won Cannes’ Palme d’Or in 2017, awarded “Take Me Somewhere Nice” by Bosnian director Ena Sendijarevic with the 16,000 euros ($17,736) Heart of Sarajevo award. The film was selected from nine features competing…

Harvey Weinstein to be arraigned again ahead of criminal trial

FILE PHOTO: Film producer Harvey Weinstein exits New York State Supreme Court after a hearing in his rape case in New York, U.S., July 11, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Segar/File PhotoNEW YORK (Reuters) – Former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein is scheduled to be arraigned on Monday morning on an indictment in connection with his upcoming criminal trial, a spokesman for the Manhattan district attorney said on Thursday. The contents of the indictment could not immediately be determined. The spokesman for Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance declined to comment on the substance of…

Michael Jackson’s ex-publicist touts foundation to ‘protect’ legacy

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A former publicist for Michael Jackson on Thursday announced plans for a charitable foundation not affiliated with the late pop singer’s family or estate, intended to defend and promote the legacy of the controversial entertainer. Raymone Bain, Michael Jackson’s former spokesperson, addresses a news conference at a hotel in Washington, U.S., August 22, 2019. REUTERS/Jim BourgRaymone Bain, who represented Jackson in 2005 and 2006, said the Michael Jackson Legacy Foundation would seek to raise money for the charitable causes Jackson supported during his life, including the advancement…

Bosnia-born Matrix co-writer foresees partition of America

SARAJEVO (Reuters) – Novelist and Matrix co-writer Aleksandar Hemon worries that growing U.S. social divisions could bring about the partition of the United States, saying present-day America reminds him of his native Bosnia, ethnically divided after war in the 1990s. Writer Aleksandar Hemon speaks during interview for Reuters in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina August 21, 2019. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic“I am in the business of imagination – I can perfectly imagine the situation in which a part of the United States effectively becomes independent,” Hemon said on the sidelines of the Sarajevo…

GCSE results: Pass rates and top grades edge upwards

There has been a slight increase in the GCSE pass rate and the percentage of top grades this year, despite concerns about the difficulty of exams. The pass rate edged up to 67.3% in England, Wales and Northern Ireland – up 0.4 percentage points on last year. The percentage of papers given a top grade (7 or A and above) rose 0.3 percentage points to 20.8% on 2018. The rise comes as head teachers in England warned toughened GCSEs were demoralising some candidates. More than 700,000 teenagers are receiving their…

Brexit: Macron tells PM renegotiating deal ‘not an option’

Boris Johnson is to meet Emmanuel Macron later, hours after the French president insisted reopening negotiations is « not an option ». Mr Macron said: « We have to help the British deal with this internal democratic crisis but we mustn’t be hostage to it nor export it. » On Wednesday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the onus was on the UK to find a workable plan. Mr Johnson said a deal could be achieved with « sufficient patience ». The UK prime minister has said that the backstop –…

GCSE results: Nail-biting wait for grades

More than 700,000 teenagers are receiving their GCSE results, in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, amid claims some exams were too hard. GCSEs in England have been overhauled in recent years to make them tougher. And a new numerical 9-to-1 grading system has been introduced. Head teachers say some lower-attaining pupils have been so demoralised they refused to sit the exams. England’s exams regulator insists it is keeping standards the same over time. Exam boards do this during the marking process by making adjustments to grade boundaries, having married the…

Amazon’s ‘Carnival Row’ mixes crime thriller, love story, fantasy

Cast member Orlando Bloom attends the premiere for the television series « Carnival Row » in Los Angeles, California, U.S., August 21, 2019. REUTERS/Mario AnzuoniLOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Amazon.com Inc’s next original series will take viewers to “Carnival Row,” a lavish Victorian-era fantasy world where mythical creatures are forced from their homeland and must live uneasily alongside humans. The eight-episode drama stars Cara Delevingne as a refugee fairy opposite Orlando Bloom, who plays a human detective trying to solve a string of gruesome killings in the area. The pair have…

Johnson to meet Macron as French president downplays backstop hopes

Boris Johnson is to meet Emmanuel Macron later, hours after the French president seemed to downplay hopes of solving the Irish backstop problem. On Wednesday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel suggested a solution to the backstop – a key Brexit sticking point – might be achievable within 30 days. The PM said he was « more than happy » with that « blistering timetable ». But later on Wednesday, Mr Macron insisted reopening negotiations on the issue was « not an option ». Mr Johnson has said that the backstop –…

Ditch cars to meet climate change targets, say MPs

People will have to get out of their cars if the UK is to meet its climate change targets, MPs say. The Science and Technology Select Committee says technology alone cannot solve the problem of greenhouse gas emissions from transport. It says the government cannot achieve sufficient emissions cuts by swapping existing vehicles for cleaner versions. The government said it would consider the committee’s findings. In its report, the committee said: “In the long-term, widespread personal vehicle ownership does not appear to be compatible with significant decarbonisation.” It echoes a…