A famous cinema gown that was missing in 1981 in the movie Diva

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If you’ve never had the pleasure, & I mean pleasure , of seen the movie “Diva” you will find the story of the lost gown recreated in a movie that took place decades ago. You have to like French cinema but if you do Diva and its score by Vladimir Cosma, is in my opinion one of the best scores in the late 20th century. The coincidence of the stolen gowns well maybe lead you to see a movie it is well worth watching.
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The following is an excerpt from Wikipedia:
Diva is a 1981 French thriller film directed by Jean-Jacques Beineix, adapted from the novel Diva by Daniel Odier (under the pseudonym Delacorta). It is one of the first French films to let go of the realist mood of 1970s French cinema and return to a colourful, melodic style, later described as cinéma du look.

The film made a successful debut in France in 1981 with 2,281,569 admissions, and had success in the US the next year grossing $2,678,103.[4] The film became a cult classic and was internationally acclaimed.

Young postman Jules is obsessed with Cynthia Hawkins, a beautiful and celebrated opera singer who has never had a performance of hers recorded. He attends her performance, secretly and illegally records it. He also steals the gown she wore from her dressing room.

Jules also comes into possession of a tape that contains the testimony of a prostitute which exposes Saporta, a high-ranking policeman, as the boss of various rackets. The prostitute, Nadia, drops the recording in the bag of the postman’s moped moments before she is murdered.

In danger from Saporta’s enforcers as well as from Taiwanese gangsters seeking the Hawkins tape, Jules seeks refuge with his new friends, a young Vietnamese-French woman named Alba who is muse to the mysterious bohemian Serge Gorodish, to whom she introduces Jules.

Meanwhile, feeling guilty, Jules returns Hawkins’ dress. She is initially angry, but eventually, forgives him. Cynthia is intrigued by the young Jules’ adoration and a kind of romantic relationship develops, expressed by the background of the piano instrumental, “Promenade Sentimentale” of Vladimir Cosma, as they walk around Paris in the Jardin des Tuileries early one morning. The Taiwanese try to blackmail Cynthia into recording for them as they claim that they have a copy of her performance.

Meanwhile Saporta has sent his henchmen to take care of Jules and the other tape. After a chase through the Parisian subway system Jules is rescued from them by Gorodish. Later Jules returns to his home where Saporta tries to kill him. Once again Gorodish saves the day by making Saporta fall down an elevator shaft.

In the film’s final scene Jules plays his tape of Cynthia’s performance for her and she expresses her nervousness over hearing it, as she “never heard [herself] sing.”

To me this is not breaking news, but rather heart breaking news.Monkey Cage: Leonard Nimoy, who helped bring politics to ‘Star Trek,’ has died

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The Washington Post
February 27 2015

Leonard Nimoy, best known for his portrayal of “Star Trek’s” Spock, has died aged 83. “Star Trek” was a highly political show, and Nimoy, through his acting and writing, was at the heart of it.Spock believed in logic, or what social scientists call rational choice. He tried to set aside emotion in favor of cost-benefit calculations. Decision-making aboard the USS Enterprise would set Spock’s cool reserve in opposition to the fiery passion of his antithesis, the ship’s surgeon Leonard McCoy. Captain James T. Kirk would integrate both reason and emotion and take action. It was a neat way to dramatize the conflicting impulses of human choice.

In landmark decision, US plan bans two-speed Internet

The Internet as we have it today is saved. The only people that were against this or large corporations who wanted to make more money by selling their products at a higher speed than other people. These Express Lanes would have been nice those or of lesser means the same service as the rich. The internet was built by people and should remain a tool of the people. DSCC said they had received millions of emails and letters requesting this outcome.
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Yahoo News
February 26 2015
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler (L), Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, and Commissioner Michael ORielly voting on Net Neutrality at the FCC headquarters February 26, 2015, in Washington, DCUS regulators on Thursday approved landmark Internet rules that would prevent broadband providers from separating online traffic into slow and fast lanes. The Federal Communications Commission’s 3-2 vote in favor of so-called “net neutrality” followed an intense debate in Washington pitting backers of online services like Netflix, Twitter and Yelp against big Internet service providers like AT&T and Verizon. The ruling, climaxing a years-long regulatory battle, sets a new standard that treats all Internet traffic as equal, preventing Internet firms from charging fees for better access. FCC chairman Tom Wheeler said the plan would foster a free and open Internet where broadband services cannot be “gatekeepers” for what is available online.

Boehner Blows Kisses At Reporters

First the Speaker of the House made some incoherent references to candy, then he blew a kiss to the press corps. I’m not a fan of the name of the agency, Homeland Security, but I am a great fan of what they do in protecting us. John Boehner said most people will have to go to work with no pay and will be paid once this is all settled. Poor man who takes five months vacation a year that seems pretty flippant. It is so obvious that the Republican Party is so divided that any hope in seeing them to anything constructive is slowly slipping away.
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The House speaker is apparently fed up with the grilling over a stalemate to fund the Department of Homeland Security.

US News
By Gabrielle Levy
Feb 26, 2015

The atmosphere on Capitol Hill turned surreal Thursday, when House Speaker John Boehner must have tired of giving the identical response to reporters’ repeated questions.

So with less than 36 hours left until the deadline for funding the Department of Homeland Security, as House Republicans scramble to find a way out of a political lose-lose scenario, the Ohio lawmaker responded to the sixth-straight question on the subject with kisses instead of words.

The exchange must be seen to be believed:
Click to watch video
Even though Boehner has earned something of a reputation for antics at his weekly briefings, those present, including this reporter, were stunned.

“What does that mean?” one asked.

“That was just a kiss, that’s all,” Boehner said.

It was the only thing of note to come out of a press conference in which he refused to deviate from his favorite line – “The House has done its job. Now it’s time for the Senate to act” – even after the Senate did vote on Wednesday to move a clean funding bill forward.

If Boehner’s goal was to distract members of the press with a shiny object in the form of awkward air kisses, he may have succeeded for the moment. But with a partial shutdown of the government just hours away, the speaker is running out of time to come up with real answers.

Boehner says he hasn’t spoken to McConnell in 2 weeks!

In my view, it was not OK when Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell did not speak for weeks at a time. They were from separate and different parties and had different agendas. Now we’re told, that’s the Speaker of the House Republicans and the majority leader of the Senate a Republican are not speaking. I thought that the Republicans wanted to govern. Perhaps they need to go back to high school and take civics 101.
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By Rebecca Shabad –
02/25/15 12:46 PM EST
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) haven’t spoken to each other in two weeks despite the shutdown fight gripping the Capitol, House Republicans said Wednesday.
During a closed-door House GOP conference meeting Wednesday morning, Boehner told Republicans that he hadn’t spoken to McConnell recently despite the looming deadline at midnight Friday to fund the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
“He said he hadn’t spoken to Mitch McConnell in a few weeks. We gave them a good bill. It funds the stuff we’re supposed to do, secure the borders,” Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas) said after a morning conference meeting.
Another Republican said Boehner planned to talk to McConnell later Wednesday.
ust a day earlier, McConnell spokesman Don Stewart suggested the two GOP leaders are in constant contact. Stewart was asked whether McConnell warned Boehner about his latest decision to bring a clean DHS funding bill with no immigration provisions to the Senate floor.
“I don’t have any readouts about their meetings,” Stewart said. “They update each other all the time.”
“I was a little surprised,” Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) said of Boehner’s statement about the lack of communication with McConnell.
Their silence points to the friction between the two chambers when it comes to DHS funding, with Senate Republicans preparing to move the bill that does not overturn President Obama’s executive actions on immigration.
House conservatives are lining up against that plan, and Boehner declined to take a position on it.
“Until the Senate does something, we’re in a wait-and-see mode,” Boehner said.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has reached out to Boehner about the importance of preventing a DHS shutdown Saturday, Rep. Xavier Becerra (Calif.), chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, said Wednesday.
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Tuesday warned that Senate Democrats wouldn’t agree to McConnell’s new plan until Boehner promises to pass a clean spending bill too. As part of the approach, McConnell also promised to bring a bill to the Senate floor that would defund Obama’s immigration orders from last November.
House GOP leaders early Wednesday emerged from their conference meeting with no decision on next steps yet. Boehner repeated that he’s waiting for the Senate to act before determining what the House will do.
Many House conservatives bashed McConnell’s plan while some Republicans expressed support for a clean bill.
Congress needs to fund the DHS by the end of Friday or it will shut down.
Updated at 1:15 p.m.

Hillary’s “Warm Purple Place”

#ReadyForHilary
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Clinton hints she’s still most comfortable as a centrist.

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Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivered the keynote address at the Watermark Silicon Valley Conference for Women on Tuesday.

By David Catanese
Feb 24, 2015

Hillary Clinton says if she were to become president, she’d strive to fuse red and blue America into “a nice warm purple space where we’re trying to solve problems.”

Clinton’s comments at a women’s conference in Silicon Valley on Tuesday afternoon are a slight indication that the former secretary of state already has one eye trained on the 2016 general election before she’s even announced a campaign to seek the Democratic nomination.

How Clinton will position herself ideologically in a likely White House bid is one of the largest questions she’s confronting as she seeks counsel before an official announcement.

Even without the threat of a formidable primary opponent, liberals are hoping to pressure Clinton to gravitate toward the left as she builds a governing agenda. But the embrace of “purple” America suggests she remains most comfortable in the center, embracing common sense, collaborative ideas that aren’t polarizing. With a 45-point lead over the primary field in the latest CNN survey, Clinton must be tempted to forego any genuflecting to progressives.

She ticked off the minimum wage, paid family leave, wage disparity and energy efficiency as issues around which she’d form a hypothetical campaign. When asked about the debate over the National Security Agency spying, she again struck a balance, speaking about the importance of valuing both liberty and security.

A supporter of Dr. Ben Carson waves a banner at the South Carolina Tea Party Coalition convention on Jan.18, 2015, in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

At one point, the moderator interjected, floating a hypothetical President Elizabeth Warren.

Clinton barely flinched and couched her answer around “whoever it is.”

Later during the discussion, she yearned for a political dialogue, “if we could get back to working together cooperatively again.”

That’s not even a whiff of the rhetoric of Warren, or Sen. Bernie Sanders, the ornery independent from Vermont who is contemplating a challenge to Clinton.

But Clinton appeared to feel little pressure to move from a political sweet spot that’s more salable to a broader electorate.

When asked to come up with her favorite hashtag to close the program, she replied blandly but safely, #Leadon.

McConnell takes steps to avoid Homeland Security shutdown

Maybe this will lead to more compromise politics, they are acting like children with the fate of our country in their hands.
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Amy R. Connolly
WASHINGTON, Feb. 24 (UPI) — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell proposed legislation that will separate a bill that blocks Obama’s immigration orders from Homeland Security funding.

DOJ to Announce No Charges in Trayvon Martin’s Death

To be honest, it would be very difficult to find a more unbiased Attorney General and Justice Department then the one we currently have in office . Unfortunately, I don’t think that that’s going to resonate with those involved. I pray for peace.
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By PIERRE THOMAS (@PierreTABC) , MIKE LEVINE (@mlevinereports) , SENI TIENABESO (@seniABC) and JACK DATE (@JackDate)
Feb 24, 2015, 12:35 PM
While the public waits for a Justice Department announcement over two separate investigations spurred by the summer shooting of an unarmed teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, the department is going to first announce its findings in the killing of Trayvon Martin.

AP
ABC News has learned Martin’s family will soon be notified that the Justice Department will not be filing charges against George Zimmerman, who shot the 17-year-old after a confrontation in 2012. Thursday marks three years to the day since Martin was killed.

Federal prosecutors concluded there is not sufficient evidence to prove Zimmerman, a neighborhood watchman in Sanford, Fla., intentionally violated Martin’s civil rights, sources told ABC News.

The case sparked intense discussions over race in America because Martin was walking to his home with only Skittles and an iced tea in his hands.

Florida prosecutors tried to convict Zimmerman of state-level murder and manslaughter charges, but in July 2013 a jury acquitted him, saying prosecutors didn’t have enough evidence to prove their case.

One juror -– the only minority on the all-female jury –- later told ABC News that “as the law was read to me, if you have no proof that he killed him intentionally, you can’t say he’s guilty.”

“You can’t put the man in jail even though in our hearts we felt he was guilty,” she said. “But we had to grab our hearts and put it aside and look at the evidence.”

In Sanford, race-related tensions had been simmering for nearly a century, but Martin’s death “was the proverbial ‘straw that broke the camel’s back,’” bringing “those issues to the surface,” the new Sanford police chief, Cecil Smith, recently told federal officials.

After Martin was killed, Holder sat down his own teenage son to explain that -– as unfair as it may be -– young black men must often interact with police in a different way than others, he told an NAACP convention in July 2013. It was “a conversation I hoped I’d never have to have,” Holder added.

As media attention mounted over Martin’s death, protests grew across the country calling for justice. The city of Sanford now says a police department had not been scrutinized like that by the press, religious organizations, social activists and the broader public since Los Angeles police beat Rodney King in 1991.

Zimmerman was not a police officer and the neighborhood watch program he was a part of was independent from local police.

Many accused Zimmerman of discriminating against Martin –- essentially taking action against the teenager and ultimately killing him because Martin was black. Zimmerman is Hispanic.

The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and FBI opened an investigation into the case, noting “experienced federal prosecutors” would determine “whether the evidence reveals a prosecutable violation” of federal law. In a statement, the department noted there are “limited federal criminal civil rights statutes within our jurisdiction.”

Privately and publicly, Justice Department officials have been telegraphing all along that they were unlikely to file charges against Zimmerman. And in November 2013, Holder said the case against Zimmerman “in substantial part was resolved” with his acquittal months earlier.

Nevertheless, federal officials have insisted their civil-rights probe would be thorough and complete. Several months ago –- nearly two years into the Justice Department’s investigation –- Holder said federal investigators were still seeking to interview certain witnesses “as a result of some recent developments.”

More recently, Holder has said he hoped to announce the findings of the Zimmerman and Ferguson-related probes before he leaves office, which could happen in a matter of weeks, depending on when the U.S. Senate confirms his successor.

Holder has said then when a decision is announced in the Zimmerman case, it will be accompanied by “as much information” as possible detailing the Justice Department’s findings.

In the Ferguson case, the department is currently conducting two probes into the matter.

A criminal investigation will try to determine whether then-officer Darren Wilson used unreasonable force and intentionally violated Michael Brown’s civil rights when he shot the unarmed teenager in August. The second probe – though not criminal in nature –- will look more broadly into whether the Ferguson police department has routinely engaged in a “pattern or practice” of unlawful and discriminatory policing.

A state grand jury in Ferguson, Missouri, declined to indict Wilson in Novembe4 2014. Many expect the Justice Department will not be able to bring federal charges against Wilson, but will take action against the local police department.

Chuck Todd Calls Rudy Giuliani Media Frenzy A ‘Race To The Bottom’ For Politicians, Press

I was wondering when someone would mention how upset Chuck Todd looked on Sunday morning. It was pointed out by his panel that Rudy Giuliani only get airtime when he makes outrageous statements. I guess he’s learning a few things from Donald Trump.
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The Huffington Post
February 23 2015

NEW YORK -– “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd spent the first quarter of Sunday’s show covering the fallout from former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s claim four days earlier that President Barack Obama doesn’t love America.

While giving the controversy more oxygen, Todd seemed conflicted. He began Sunday’s segment by describing the frenzy over Giuliani’s recent comments at a private dinner for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) as a “race to the bottom” for all involved, showing “why Americans are learning how to hate politics and the media.”

When discussing the outrage of the week with former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R), Todd asked if anyone should care what Giuliani, who isn’t in office or running for one, thinks about the president. Todd later asked Barbour about Walker’s response to a question of whether Obama is Christian, yet acknowledged there’s debate over whether that question — posed Saturday by The Washington Post — was appropriate to ask. Before turning to the panelists to weigh in on all this, Todd lamented, “I’ve hated this story in so many ways.”

Todd’s ambivalence is likely felt by other political journalists who, after days of covering partisan volleys on cable news and social media, may get existential about how much of this — from Giuliani’s inflammatory comments to Walker not identifying Obama as Christian — actually matters to the public.

Such questions, even if far removed from public policy, could be said to help vet candidates by showing voters who can handle the pressure of the national spotlight. Such lines of inquiry may also indicate which candidates, in the case of Republicans, seem more willing to pander to the conservative base than to simply acknowledge that, yes, the president is Christian and surely loves America.

But the firestorm over Giuliani’s comments and Walker’s non-answers also highlight the media’s tendency to inflate any campaign utterance to the level of a scandal. It also poses a challenge to journalists who may be hesitant to promote a story, but don’t want to appear out of the loop. So they end up reporting, tweeting or asking Sunday show panelists about the latest comment or unwillingness to comment about someone else’s comment.

That’s because the Giuliani mess didn’t stop with Walker, but includes other potential 2016 contenders weighing in. On Monday, White House press secretary Josh Earnest was asked if Walker and Obama discussed faith during a meeting with governors.

It’s understandable that Walker faced questions after Giuliani’s swipes at the president, given that he was within earshot and the dinner’s guest of honor. Walker also had the ability to squash the burgeoning controversy by quickly distancing himself from Giuliani’s comments in interviews with CNBC (Thursday), the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel (Friday), and The Associated Press (Saturday). Instead, Walker wouldn’t say if he believed Obama loved his country.

It was after the AP interview on Saturday afternoon that The Washington Post’s Dan Balz and Robert Costa posed a different question for Walker: Does he think Obama is a Christian? “I don’t know,” Walker said.

The answer would seem clear to anyone awake for the 2008 election, complete with coverage of Obama’s former fiery pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

All of which made it unclear and agitating for conservatives as to why Balz and Costa asked Walker for a take on Obama’s Christian views in the first place. Balz declined to comment and Costa did not respond to requests for comment.

Walker did tell the Post reporters that the question didn’t reflect the public’s interest and is “a classic example of why people hate Washington and, increasingly, they dislike the press.”

By Sunday night, Friends of Scott Walker kept up the press critique and began trying to raise money to fight back against the “Liberal Media” and its brand of “gotcha journalism.”

Not all conservatives thought attacking the messenger was a good idea. The Daily Beast’s Matt Lewis said Walker gave a “terrible, horrible, no good, very bad answer” to the Christianity question, and it didn’t matter if it was relevant.

Campaign operatives on both sides of the aisle echoed Lewis’s point. Whether one considers such questions unredeemable “gotcha journalism” or a useful way to to vet candidates, the savvy politician must answer.

Hogan Gidley, who served as an adviser on the presidential campaigns of Mike Huckabee in 2008, and Rick Santorum in 2012, told The Huffington Post that such questions are “par for the course.”

“This is the process. These are the questions,” Gidley said. “They’re not all going to be in-depth questions about foreign policy or domestic economic policy. You’re going to get some odd questions.

“If Governor Walker thinks that’s out of bounds, or that’s a tough question, wait until he gets in a living room in Iowa or a coffee shop in New Hampshire or pier in South Carolina,” said Gidley, who isn’t currently aligned with any candidate, but could be in 2016.

Gidley recalled how voters asked candidates he worked for about votes cast more than a decade earlier, and how such exchanges with the public may also be covered by the media. “You’ve just got to be able to be a little more nimble than these candidates are showing so far,” he added.

Former top Obama adviser Robert Gibbs similarly pointed out on “Meet the Press” Sunday that “there are trap doors every day running for president, and if you want to run and talk about policy, you have to answer the very easy questions easily.”

Gibbs said that if Walker had just said he thought Obama is a Christian, then “there wouldn’t be a story in The Washington Post today.”

US names first envoy for gay rights

In another first for the Obama administration in its effort to give the LGBT community a voice. Congratulations to Randy Barry for this first of its kind appointment.
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Secretary of State John Kerry said. He named Randy Berry, the current consul-general in Amsterdam, as the new LGBT envoy

The Huffington Post
January 23rd 2015
5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time

In a ground-breaking move the United States on Monday appointed the first US special envoy for gay and lesbian rights in a bid to help eradicate discrimination around the world. “Defending and promoting the human rights of LGBT persons is at the core of our commitment to advancing human rights globally -– the heart and conscience of our diplomacy,” US Secretary of State John Kerry said. He named Randy Berry, the current consul-general in Amsterdam, as the new envoy, saying he believed Berry would “significantly advance efforts under way to move towards a world free from violence and discrimination” against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. “Too often, in too many countries, LGBT persons are threatened, jailed, and prosecuted because of who they are or who they love,” Kerry said in a statement.