Kim and Kanye Home Buyer Spends $2 Million on The Beatles’ Recording Console

Kim & Kanye Home Buyer

Drops $2 Mil On Historic Beatles Recording Console

1/24/2018 12:20 AM PST


The woman who plunked down $17.8 million on Kim and Kanye‘s Bel-Air mansion just shelled out another $2 million for some Beatles music history.

Sources tell us Marina Acton — a Ukrainian billionaire — just bought the Abbey Road REDD .37 recording console. If the Abbey Road part of that stands out to you, it should — the recording console is the same one used by The Beatles and Oasis, and was most recently owned by Lenny Kravitz.

The device didn’t come cheap … Acton paid $1.9 million for it. As for why, sources tell us Acton — an aspiring singer — plans to launch a single in March … and the console will be used to record future songs. 

Talk about some creative inspiration.

Hindu groups call for all-India protest ahead of controversial movie release

(Reuters) – Indian right wing Hindu groups intensified protests against the release of a controversial Bollywood film “Padmaavat” amid heightened police presence in various states on Wednesday, a day after the Supreme Court refused to allow some states to ban the film.

Protests against the film turned increasingly violent late on Tuesday with vandalism around a number of multiplexes in the Western state of Gujarat and dozens of motorcycles being set on fire around malls that house theaters.

Groups critical of the project have accused its director, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, of distorting history by portraying a Muslim ruler as the “lover” of Queen Padmavati of the Hindu Rajput warrior clan. The filmmakers deny the accusation.

The police had to open fire to disperse crowds on Tuesday night and protests are expected to continue in various parts of the country ahead of the release of the film on Jan. 25.

In the central state of Chhattisgarh, dozens of members of Rajput community staged protests and burned an effigy of Bhansali on Tuesday evening, Rakesh Singh Bais of the community group Sarwa Kshatriya Mahasabha told Reuters.

Police stand guard outside a multiplex during a protest against the release of the upcoming Bollywood movie “Padmaavat” in Ahmedabad, India, January 23, 2018. REUTERS/Amit Dave

The members of the communities and from Hindu organizations will form a human chain on Wednesday and stage a motorcycle rally to give cinema hall owners final warnings, Bais said.

O. P. Galhotra, the director general of police for Rajasthan, said they have information that members of the Karni Sena and other Rajput groups were planning a protest in various parts of the state against the movie.

Demonstrators shout slogans outside a multiplex during a protest against the release of the upcoming Bollywood movie “Padmaavat” in Ahmedabad, India, January 23, 2018. REUTERS/Amit Dave

“We have been talking to the leaders of the Karni Sena and they don’t want to end their protest…we have decided to allow them to hold small protests, and have made adequate arrangements to maintain law and order,” Galhotra said.

Rajvansh Singh, the district secretary of the Karni Sena in the city of Chittorgarh in Rajasthan, said he is the custodian of the respect of Hindu Rajput women and anyone trying to depict history as fiction will have to pay a price for their mistake.

“We will not allow the movie to be released, the director thinks he can change the name and release his film this makes no sense. Queen Padmini is like our goddess, no one will be allowed to insult our goddess and our Hindu pride.”

Reporting by Jatindra Dash and Rupam Jain; Writing by Swati Bhat; Editing by Euan Rocha and Michael Perry

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

J. Michael Prince Named CEO of USPA Global Licensing Inc.

J. Michael Prince has been named chief executive officer of USPA Global Licensing Inc., the official licensing arm and national broadcaster of the U.S. Polo Association. He succeeds W. David Cummings, president and ceo, who moves up to chairman of the board, effective immediately.
USPAGL manages the U.S. Polo Assn. brand, the $1.5 billion global sport-inspired apparel label.
“I am honored and humbled by this amazing opportunity to work with a brand and sport that have unlimited potential,” said Prince, who joined USPAGL in May 2017 as chief operating officer. He was brought in as part of a long-term succession plan for Cummings, who has served as president and ceo since 2004.
As chairman, Cummings will continue to work with the USPAGL and USPA on strategic opportunities and collaborative measures intended to bring broader awareness to the sport and drive consumer desire for USPA official licensed product.
Prior to joining USPAGL, Prince was president and chief operating officer and a board member of Cole Haan. He also has served as chief operating officer of Guess; chief financial officer of Nike Affiliates, and earlier, cfo of Converse, a Nike subsidiary.
Prince believes that the U.S. Polo Assn. brand’s authenticity to the sport of polo creates an

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Sustainability and Natural Fibers to Take Center Stage at Pitti Filati

MILAN — Sustainability is here to stay.
What was once considered a trend or a marketing tool to appeal to customers has proved to be a crucial path to follow for the fashion industry, starting from the top of its production chain — the yarn makers.
Textile houses increasingly spotlighted eco-friendly features in the collections they presented over the recent editions of Pitti Filati, and the upcoming one is set to make no exception.
Running Jan. 24-26, the Florence-based textile trade show will count 112 exhibitors, 16 of which come from abroad, over a 215,278-square-foot surface at the Fortezza da Basso venue.
Many spinners talked about heightened attention to the environment and a renovated sensibility toward the planet, including the return of the use of natural fibers, as key features in conceiving their spring 2019 textile collections. In addition, multiseasonality emerged as a necessary asset to adapt to ongoing climatic changes and to customers’ demands.
“We will present 10 new yarns, created respecting sustainable principles,” said Filpucci’s president Federico Gualtieri. Among these, the company will introduce the Cera yarn, 100 percent made of Cupro, a natural, biodegradable fiber obtained from cotton scraps and converted into a quality derivative through technological processes. The color palette will reflect the

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CFDA, Variety and WWD Join Forces for Runway to Red Carpet Initiative – WWD

In time for the height of red carpet season, the triumvirate of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, Variety and Women’s Wear Daily are joining forces for the “Runway to Red Carpet” initiative.

WWD and Variety are both owned by Penske Media Corp.

Starting on Feb. 20, American designers, including up-and-comers, will be spotlighted in a by-appointment showcase in the Fred Segal Sunset store in Los Angeles. That same day, “Runway to Red Carpet” will be celebrated at a celebrity-heavy luncheon at Chateau Marmont, where CFDA board member Vera Wang will serve as guest host. The designer will also share the stage with WWD West Coast bureau chief Marcy Medina to give a behind-the-scenes view of all sorts of red-carpet subjects. Wang has dressed numerous VIPs over the years for both red carpet events and weddings, including Meryl Streep at last month’s Golden Globes and Diane Kruger at the Critics’ Choice awards.

A host committee of stylists including Law Roach, Elizabeth Stewart, Cristina Ehrlich and Karla Welch will also attend.

Running through March 3, the day before the Academy Awards, stylists and members of the entertainment industry will be able to schedule appointments in the showroom space. Those looking to dress their clients will find items from Christian Siriano, Cushnie et Ochs, Fleur du Mal, Tome, Juan Carlos Obando, Brock Collection, Chloe Gosselin, Sachin & Babi and Jennifer Fisher in the newly opened expanded store. The Gathery and KCD will assist with production and public relations, respectively.

The nominees aren’t the only ones who have a lot to gain at the upcoming Oscars on March 4. While the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements prompted questions at the Golden Globes, SAG awards and other recent events beyond “Who are you wearing?” the Oscars can still have a Cinderella effect for designers. Last year, 32.9 million viewers tuned into the Academy Awards, according to Statista. Jimmy Kimmel will again host this year’s event.

“The red carpet continues to present a powerful way to show one’s designs to a worldwide audience,” said Steven Kolb, president and chief executive officer of the CFDA. “The partnership with WWD and Variety on an awards showcase featuring CFDA talent introduces stylists to exciting emerging American designers and builds on our mission to strengthen the impact of American fashion globally.”

Just as the CFDA brings the design talent, Variety will provide its own insiders. Variety Group publisher and chief revenue officer Michelle Sobrino-Stearns said, “Variety’s unique position in the entertainment industry allows us unprecedented access to the talent, producers and executives who frequent Hollywood award shows. We are excited to partner with WWD and the CFDA to shine a light on American designers who will without a doubt influence this year’s red carpet.”

WWD editorial director James Fallon said, “WWD has given a platform to countless emerging designers and top American talent over the past century. To be able to partner with both the CFDA and Variety allows us to not only spotlight new talent in the epicenter of awards season, but also celebrate American fashion amongst the celebrities, stylists and influencers we regularly depict in the pages of WWD.”

Remembering Ursula Le Guin, Imaginer of Difficult Worlds

Ursula Le Guin imagined the future for a living, but her most prescient statement may have come in a speech. “I think hard times are coming,” the writer said at the National Book Awards in November 2014, “when we will be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now, and can see through our fear-stricken society and its obsessive technologies to other ways of being, and even imagine some real grounds for hope.”

Three years and change. That’s maybe not so long ago, counting the calendar pages, but counting the cultural shifts? The technological advancements? The political upheavals? Eons. That’s how you know Le Guin’s a genius. In a moment of calm, when the mood was complacent, she paused, looked out of her crystal-ball eyes, and saw, just there on the horizon, the gathering storm.

That was always her gift. Le Guin, who died Tuesday at the age of 88, had The Sight. Perhaps you know her Earthsea books. The first one, A Wizard of Earthsea, was published in 1968. It’s the story of a boy-wizard who trains at a school for magic and vanquishes an evil—an evil he helped create—that threatens the land. Thirty years later, when J. K. Rowling wouldn’t name Le Guin as an influence, fans filled in the blank. Le Guin did it first! we yelled. She created the tropes.

It wasn’t just the proto-Potters. Le Guin played with gender; her heroes weren’t always white. She lived, as great fantasists do, up to the promise of the genre. The fiction we now call “speculative” derives its power from freedom: freedom from the present, from its norms, its oppressions. Le Guin exploited that freedom and made it her ultimate theme.

Listen to the full speech, if you haven’t already. It’s about the most viral thing to ever come out of a literary ceremony. She talks about integrity. She makes jokes. In my favorite moment, she invokes a cliche: “I really don’t want to watch American literature get sold down the river.” Watch how she says it, punctuating each word. It’s not a cliche anymore. It’s like she’s invented the phrase. Hey, maybe she did. With Ursula Le Guin, you only ever got true, startling originality.

Ex-Obama administration official in exclusive talks with Weinstein Co: source

(Reuters) – The Weinstein Company has entered into exclusive negotiations to sell the studio with a group of investors led by former Obama administration official Maria Contreras-Sweet, a source familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

The offer would assume all liabilities related to the business operations, inject new cash and pay down liabilities on the balance sheet, according to the source, who added that the new company would be led by a majority-female board of directors and team of investors. The company has $375 million in debt.

The Wall Street Journal first reported the talks on Tuesday and that the company could be sold for around $500 million, citing people close to the negotiations. (

The Weinstein Company has been looking for a buyer or rescue financing since late last year after accusations of sexual harassment against its former co-chairman, Harvey Weinstein. The company fired him in October following the allegations.

In November, Contreras-Sweet assembled a consortium of investors who offered $275 million for company.

Another source familiar with the talks told Reuters on Tuesday that the offer had been improved from the earlier one.

Earlier in January, Killer Content Inc, the movie producer that has partnered with philanthropist Abigail Disney in a consortium vying to acquire the Weinstein Company, said a bankruptcy may be the best way forward for the company.

Lions Gate Entertainment Corp (LGFa.N) has also made an offer for some of the company’s assets, as has Qatar-owned film company Miramax, originally founded by Harvey Weinstein and his brother Bob Weinstein.

Reporting by Jessica DiNapoli in New York and Arunima Banerjee in Bengaluru

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Radio host Keillor fired over ‘dozens’ of incidents: network

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Minnesota Public Radio ended its contracts with “Prairie Home Companion” host Garrison Keillor over multiple accusations of sexual misconduct by a woman who had worked on the show and not a single incident, the network’s president said on Tuesday.

In a posting to members and listeners on MPR’s website, network president Jon McTaggart said that an October 22, 2017, letter to MPR from the woman’s attorney “described dozens of sexually inappropriate incidents directed at her client over a period of years.”

“In fact, the woman’s attorney presented us with a 12-page letter detailing many of the alleged incidents,” he said.

McTaggart said MPR had chosen to preserve the woman’s privacy by not identifying her or making the letter public.

An assistant for Keillor did not respond to a request from Reuters seeking comment. Reuters has not independently verified any of the allegations.

MPR fired Keillor, 75, in November. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported at the time that Keillor told it in an email that the behavior involved him inadvertently putting his hand on a woman’s bare back, for which he said he apologized.

The station issued a statement in November saying, “Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) is terminating its contracts with Garrison Keillor and his private media companies after learning of allegations of his inappropriate behavior with an individual who worked with him.” It gave no details.

The humorist and author created the folksy “Prairie Home” variety show and hosted it for more than four decades.

Dozens of high-profile men have been fired or have resigned from jobs in politics, media, entertainment and business in recent months after facing accusations of sexual misconduct.

Reporting by Dan Whitcomb

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

U.S. author Ursula K. Le Guin dies at 88: family

(Reuters) – Science fiction and fantasy author Ursula K. Le Guin, author of “The Left Hand of Darkness” and the Earthsea series, died in her home in Portland, Oregon, her son said on Tuesday. She was 88.

Her son, Theo Downes-Le Guin, said by telephone that the cause of his mother’s death on Monday afternoon is not clear, but she likely had a heart attack. She had been having health issues related to her heart in recent months, he said.

“Her mind was as sharp as a tack until the last moment,” he said.

Le Guin was the author of 20 novels, six volumes of poetry, 13 books for children, many short stories as well as literary criticism, according to her website.

Her 1969 novel, “The Left Hand of Darkness” won the Hugo and Nebula awards, which are given to recognize the best works of science fiction and fantasy. Her 1974 novel, “The Dispossessed” also won both awards.

Le Guin continued writing well after she told her family she did not think she had the stamina to write even blog entries, her son said.

“She was more or less never not writing,” Theo Downes-Le Guin told Reuters. “She surprised even herself writing stories until about two months ago.”

“She told me a few days ago she felt a little guilty because she was just writing for her own pleasure now,” he said.

Le Guin’s Earthsea books began in 1968 with the publication of “A Wizard of Earthsea,” and included three novels by 1972, followed by one in 1990 and another in 2001, the last called “The Other Wind.”

“The Earthsea series was clearly influenced by J. R. R. Tolkien’s ‘The Lord of the Rings’ trilogy,” according to The New York Times. “But instead of a holy war between Good and Evil, Ms. Le Guin’s stories are organized around a search for ‘balance’ among competing forces.”

Born in Berkeley, California in 1929, Le Guin graduated from Radcliffe College in 1951, then earned a master’s degree from Columbia University the following year.

She is survived by her husband, Charles Le Guin, her son Theo, and two daughters, Caroline and Elisabeth Le Guin. A private service will be held in Portland where she lived since 1958. A public celebration of her life, also in Portland, will be announced later, her son said.

Reporting by Bernie Woodall in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; editing by Grant McCool

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Gut instinct makes animals appear clever

Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Animals, including humans, can make surprisingly good decisions just based on the food in their stomach, new research suggests.

The study, led by the University of Exeter and published in Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B, shows that surviving in difficult and dangerous conditions does not necessarily require high brain power.

Instead, animals should be sensitive to their body condition, such as how hungry they are.

Hunger acts as a sort of memory of past food availability, which tells them what conditions are probably like now.

A team led by Dr Andrew Higginson, from the University of Exeter, used computer modelling to predict how animals should behave to maximise their survival when the food supply is unpredictable and the environment contains predators.

According to the model, an animal that bases its decisions only on its current energy reserves can survive almost as long as one that uses its brain to calculate the best thing to do.

Dr Higginson said: “Many of us sometimes get ‘hangry’: when hunger makes us emotional and changes our behaviour. Our model explains why there is link between our gut and our decisions: hunger can act as a memory telling us there’s not been much food around, which it’s important to respond to in the wild.”The usefulness of such memory means that animals, including humans, may appear to be processing a great deal of information in the brain when in fact they are just following their gut.”

An animal’s body condition tells it how successful it has been in the past, which is a useful guide to how it should behave tomorrow.

This simple, physiological form of memory may have allowed animals to avoid investing in brain tissue, which requires a large amount of energy.

Professor John McNamara, from the University of Bristol’s School of Mathematics and a member of the team, said: “If it costs a lot of resources to be so clever, then natural selection will have found a cheaper way to make decisions.

The ability to use internal states such as hunger as a memory will have reduced the need to evolve big brains.”

The findings raise the possibility that simple memories may also be encoded in other physiological states, such as emotions.

This might be why it takes a long time to calm down after feeling threatened. Since the threat may come back, the emotion keeps the body ready to fight or flee.

The researchers say it is possible that their usefulness as a ‘memory’ is the reason humans and other animals have emotions.

The research has implications for conservation too.

“By using their body condition as a cue, the animals in our model can still perform well when the environmental conditions change suddenly,” said Dr Higginson.

“This suggests that some species might be able to cope with the effects of climate change better than expected.”

Explore further:
Animals balance threat of starvation with threat of predators to stay alive

More information:
Trust your gut: using physiological states as a source of information is almost as effective as optimal Bayesian learning, Proceedings of the Royal Society B, rspb.royalsocietypublishing.or … .1098/rspb.2017.2411

Journal reference:
Proceedings of the Royal Society B

Provided by:
University of Exeter