Friday, May 26, 2017

"Red Nose Day Actually" - The Love Actually Reunion

Christmas in May?

Fans of the 2003 rom-com Love Actually got a special gift this year for Red Nose Day - a short film
reunion of the original cast members!

The short film was created for the Red Nose Day charity broadcast, which aired in the UK back in March, and finally aired for US audiences on Thursday.

The clip begins with Keira Knightley opening her front door to Andrew Lincoln and his cue cards (“How do you like the beard?”

Lots of familiar faces from the original film abound: Liam Neeson, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Rowan Atkinson, Bill Nighy, Colin Firth, Lucia Moniz, Laura Linney, and cameos by Patrick Dempsey and Kate Moss.

Hugh Grant, returning as the UK prime minister, wraps up the film speaking to reporters about the state of things in the world: “Usain Bolt has run his last Olympics, the Harry Potter films are finished, Piers Morgan is still alive.”

But he shifts the topic to more a more positive view bringing the story around to giving, “Metallica’s album is an absolute cracker. And on a deeper level, I’m optimistic. Wherever you see tragedy, you see bravery, too. Wherever you see ordinary people in need, you see extraordinary people come to their aid.”

The film’s original writer-director Richard Curtis made the reunion happen for Comic Relief, the charity that organized Red Nose Day, to raise money and awareness to help children living in poverty in America and around the world. The effort has brought in more than $1 billion in donations worldwide.

You can still donate to Red Nose Day by clicking here.

News Round-Up: May 26, 2017

(via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

• Memorial Day weekend means we head into the dog days of summer. I'm not complaining ;)

• During a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos told lawmakers she had no problem with private schools receiving publicly-funded vouchers denying admission to students from LGBTQ families.

• United Airlines wrongly accused a gay dad of having his hand "too close" to his son's genitals during a flight. United has since apologized but asked the man to "keep it low key" due to the airline's recent bad press.

• In high school, Wyatt Pertuset was homecoming king, prom king, student body president and an out football player. Check out his terrific coming out story over at OutSports.

• Speaking of out athletes, the former CEO of the Cleveland Browns thinks Michael Sam's short foray into the NFL could prevent other closeted football players from coming out.

• The White House may have a team of lawyers vet President Trump's tweets before the Donald sends them out into the interwebs.

• Check out hottie Rob Gronkowski get soaking wet washing his car, serve sushi from his bare bod and literally flip out in a pillow fight in the new “On My Mind” video from dance music DJ/producer 3LAU. I like the song, btw.

Jared Kushner Discussed Setting Up White House/Kremlin Secret Channel Of Communication With Russian Officials

The Washington Post is reporting Donald Trump's closest adviser, son-in-law Jared Kushner, spoke to high level Russian officials regarding setting up a secret line of communication with the Kremlin.

Jared Kushner and Russia’s ambassador to Washington discussed the possibility of setting up a secret and secure communications channel between Trump’s transition team and the Kremlin, using Russian diplomatic facilities in an apparent move to shield their pre-inauguration discussions from monitoring, according to U.S. officials briefed on intelligence reports.

Ambassador Sergei Kislyak reported to his superiors in Moscow that Kushner, son-in-law and confidant to then-President-elect Trump, made the proposal during a meeting on Dec. 1 or 2 at Trump Tower, according to intercepts of Russian communications that were reviewed by U.S. officials. Kislyak said Kushner suggested using Russian diplomatic facilities in the United States for the communications.

The meeting also was attended by Michael Flynn, Trump’s first national security adviser.

The White House disclosed the fact of the meeting only in March, playing down its significance. But people familiar with the matter say the FBI now considers the encounter, as well as another meeting Kushner had with a Russian banker, to be of investigative interest.

Now, why would you want to hide your communications with Russia unless you were doing something you shouldn't?

World OutGames Cancelled 24 Hours Before Opening Ceremony

Less than 24 hours before the opening ceremonies in Miami, the organizers of the 2017 OutGames cancelled most events including the opening and closing ceremonies.

From the Miami Herald:

The long-planned sporting and cultural event known as the World OutGames, a 10-day LGBT-themed event advertised as a spectacular gathering of athletes from around the world, unraveled Friday about 24 hours before the opening ceremonies.

Organizers announced that the opening and closing ceremonies, along with nearly all of its sports events, were canceled due to financial issues. The bombshell revelation came via a short Facebook post from the event’s board of directors Friday.

“It is with deep regret that due to financial burdens, World OutGames must cancel its sports programming and Opening and Closing Ceremony with the exception of soccer, aquatics and country western dance,” reads the text. “The Human Rights Conference and cultural programs will continue as planned. We thank everyone who has supported the effort and apologize to those who will be impacted by this difficult decision.”

And with that, the high hopes for the 10-day event were dashed as athletes from around the world streamed into Miami, ready to compete only to learn the games were canceled. Some arrived before the announcement, and others found out mid-air.

How very disappointing for the athletes. According to reports, many participants found out in mid-air on their way to Miami.

New Music: Sia "To Be Human" feat. Labrinth

In anticipation of the premiere of the upcoming Wonder Woman flick on June 2nd, check out "To Be Human" by Randy Report favorite, Sia, from the film's soundtrack.

And, in truth, who better to voice a track from Wonder Woman than Sia?

The film, starring Gal Gadot and Chris Pine, marks the first superhero film ever to be directed by a woman (Patty Jenkins) with a leading female protagonist in the storyline.

No stranger to film soundtracks, Queen Sia has contributed songs to 50 Shades Darker, The Hunger Games, Twilight, The Neon Demon, and San Andreas.

U.K. artist Labrinth guests on the sweeping, anthemic track.

Listen below.

Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" Turned Into Dark Movie Scene

Love this video from Corridor Digital that turns the iconic "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen into a dark movie scene.

Any way the wind blows...

First Gentleman Of Luxembourg Proudly Joins Spouses Of World Leaders At NATO Conference

People Magazine reports that Gauthier Destenay, the First Gentleman of Luxembourg, joined the female partners of world leaders for dinner at the current conference of NATO leaders in Belgium.

The gathering took place at the Royal Castle in Brussels.

Prime Minister Bettel, 44, and Belgian architect Destenay entered a civil partnership in 2010 and married in 2015 after Luxembourg’s legislators approved gay marriage. Bettel became the first openly gay Prime Minister of Luxembourg in December 2013, after an election campaign in which his sexuality was not a secret nor an issue.

Bettel is the world’s only gay head of government since Iceland’s former Prime Minister Johanna Sigurðardóttir, a lesbian, and Belgium’s Elio Di Rupo finished their mandates in 2013 and 2015 respectively.

#FBF - The Electric Company

A friend on Facebook just shared this and it took me back. Waaaay back.

Oh yes, I grew up on PBS shows like The Electric Company, Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood and Zoom :)

Good times.

And how about that cast for The Electric Company? Academy Award winners Rita Moreno and Morgan Freeman? Plus Irene Cara, Mel Brooks and Zero Mostel? Dang, we had it good.

The show ran for 780 episodes from 1971 - 1977.

Watch the zippy show intro below.

Out Music: Eli Lieb "Hollywood"

I was thinking earlier this week that we need more music from the uber-talented Eli Lieb.

And here it is.

Eli shares on his Facebook page,"I've made a lot of life changes - You can hear about them in my new single, 'Hollywood'. On to the next phase..."

The new song, "Hollywood," paints a plaintive portrait of "broken angels," "tired halos" and "the ghosts of Hollywood" in the City of Angels.

"So I'm leaving for a life that's good, and I'm so fucking sick of Hollywood"

Journey on, Eli.

I'm a big fan of the singer/songwriter - you can find more of his music on The Randy Report here.

The new song is available on iTunes here, and you can watch the video below.

Human Rights Watch Reports On Beatings & Electrocution Of Gay Men In Chechnya

President Ramzan Kadyrov of Chechen Republic

Human Rights Watch has published a report detailing the horrific treatment and torture of gay men in Chechnya.

According to the report, the speaker of Chechnya’s parliament, Magomed Daudov, was involved in authorizing the violence.

Radio Free Europe details the torture ranging from beatings to electrocution devices.

"All of the victims suffered repeated beatings," the report said. "Security officials kicked them with booted feet, beat them with polypropylene pipes and sticks, and made other inmates beat them" -- mostly on the men’s buttocks and legs.

"They put you face down on the floor and beat you with pipes," one victim told Human Rights Watch. "Then they force other prisoners [held for allegedly supporting insurgents or for alleged drug offenses] to carry on with the beating. Each man gets some 70 to 80 blows. And so it goes.... And you literally turn black and blue from waist to toes."

The rights group says local Chechen authorities also used electrocution devices to torture the victims.

Former detainees described those devices as machines with a knob on one side and wires sticking out of it with metal clips at the ends -- clips which were attached to the victims' fingers, toes, and earlobes.

"They turn the knob, electric current hits you, and you start shaking," a former detainee told Human Rights Watch. "And they keep turning the hellish machine, and the pain is just insane. You scream and scream and you no longer know who you are."

"Finally, you faint," the former detainee continued. "It all goes dark. But when you come to your senses, they start all over again. And once they’re done with you and you get your bearings, you hear other inmates screaming. The sounds of torture are just there all day, and at some point you start losing your mind."

Many of the victims were returned to their families where authorities suggested the relatives perform "honor killings"

Human Rights Watch urges the European Union and the United States to intervene and offer sanctuary to the victims.

Former Vice President Joe Biden has called on President Trump to address the human rights violations. Trump has not spoken publicly to date about the ongoing atrocities.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

The Trumps Cover MAD Magazine

It's kinda perfect, right? 

Washington Post: Jared Kushner Is Now A Focus In Russian Investigation

The Washington Post is reporting that President Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, has become a focus in the current investigation into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Kushner, who held meetings in December with the Russian ambassador and a banker from Moscow, is being investigated because of the extent and nature of his interactions with the Russians, the people said.

The Washington Post reported last week that a senior White House official close to the president was a significant focus of the high-stakes investigation, though it did not name Kushner.

FBI agents also remain keenly interested in former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn and former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, but Kushner is the only current White House official known to be considered a key person in the probe.

The Post has not been told that Kushner is a target — or the central focus — of the investigation, and he has not been accused of any wrongdoing. Target is a word that generally refers to someone who is the main suspect of investigators’ attention, though prosecutors can and do bring charges against people who are not marked with that distinction.

According to reports, Kushner did not include December meetings with Russian officials on his security clearance forms.

Today Is #RedNoseDay

Instastud Alex Abramov
Hey, hey, hey - it's Red Nose Day!

Launched in 2015, this campaign is all about helping kids and working to end child poverty.

And from now until June 15, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will match every dollar raised through Facebook up to $1 million. That means your dollars will do double the good.

Here's some official info about the campaign.

Red Nose Day is a fundraising campaign run by the non-profit organization Comic Relief Inc., a registered U.S. 501(c)(3) public charity.

Red Nose Day brings people together to have fun, raise money and change the lives of kids who need our help the most.

Red Nose Day launched in the US in 2015, dedicated to ending child poverty, both in the US and in some of the poorest communities in the world. The money raised by Red Nose Day in the US has benefited programs for children and young people in all 50 states and in 25 countries internationally.

Globally, Red Nose Day has raised over $1 billion since its launch in the UK in 1988.

The money raised by Red Nose Day benefits children in some of the neediest communities in the US and some of the poorest communities in the world. Partner charities include Boys & Girls Clubs of America; charity: water; Children’s Health Fund; Covenant House; Feeding America; Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance; National Council of La Raza; Save the Children and The Global Fund.

All of Red Nose Day’s grant money supports projects to keep children and young people safe, healthy, educated and empowered.

Here's a link to the official Red Nose website for more info, and click here to donate on Alex Abramov's Facebook page (since I'm sharing his Red Nose Day pic) where your dollars get doubled.

Tyson Beckford Coaches ET's Cameron Mathison On "How To Be A Chippendale"

Super model Tyson Beckford, currently headlining as the Celebrity Guest Host at Chippendales in Las Vegas, issued a challenge to Entertainment Tonight host Cameron Mathison to come take “the Beckford boot camp” to see if the TV host could cut it as a Chippendale.

Aided by Chipps cast mates, Tyson taught Mathison through secrets of being a Chippendale.

Apparently, “the shirt rip" is not quite as easy as it looks. Fortunately, Mathison had expert backup with Beckford and the men of Chippendales.

Then there's the pre-show workout before Tyson brought Mathison onstage before a live audience to show-off a bit of what he'd learned.

And the crowd goes wild...

Tyson Beckford's run at Chippendales has been extended due to popular demand, so head out to Vegas and check him and the Chipps out at the Rio Hotel and Casino.

Donald Trump Attends NATO Summit

Speaking to fellow heads of state in front of NATO's new headquarters, President Trump called out those countries who he feels do not contribute their fair share.

From CNN:

“Twenty-three of the 28 member nations are still not paying what they should be paying and what they are supposed to be paying for their defense,” Trump said, delivering these remarks as heads of state of the other NATO countries looked on. “This is not fair to the people and taxpayers of the United States,” Trump said.

“2% is the bare minimum for confronting today’s very real and very vicious threats,” Trump said. “If NATO countries made their full and complete contributions, then NATO would be even stronger than it is today, especially from the threat of terrorism.”

You can see the reaction of some of those countries' leaders below. They look quite enchanted, no?

And then there was this winning moment when Trump pushed Montenegro Prime Minister Dusko Markovic aside so that he could stand in front of the group.

I guess this is what Trump means by "America first."

Watch below.

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