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Maine poet wins international prize for work about dementia

A Maine poet's endearing piece about her husband's dementia has won an international poetry award.

The Press Herald reports (http://bit.ly/2pF07pR ) that Lee Sharkey was presented with the Ballymaloe International Poetry Prize for her poem, "Letter to Al", at an award ceremony in Dublin, Ireland, on Thursday. The Moth magazine sponsors the contest.

Sharkey and three other finalists were selected from thousands of entries. The Maine native was awarded 10,000 euros, or about $10,725.

Sharkey's piece details the effects of dementia on her husband, Al Bersbach, and their marriage.

The contest's lone judge describes the poem as "spellbinding".

Sharkey says that she was hesitant about writing the poem because she knew it would be painful. However, she says that it is an important narrative to share.

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Information from: Portland Press Herald, http://www.pressherald.com

'Purple Rain' re-issue to feature unreleased Prince songs

A remastered version of Prince's landmark album "Purple Rain" will be released this summer with several previously unreleased songs.

NPG Records and Warner Bros. Records announced Friday that two remastered versions of the 1984 album will be released June 23. The labels said Prince himself oversaw the remastering process in 2015 and the two-disc "Purple Rain Deluxe" set will include six unreleased tracks.

Among the unreleased tracks are a solo version of the song "Possessed" and a studio version of "Electric Intercourse."

An expanded edition will include a third disc of B-sides and a DVD of a 1985 performance by Prince and the Revolution in Syracuse, New York. Both releases are available for pre-order on Friday.

Prince died a year ago, leaving behind a trove of unreleased music at Paisley Park estate in Minnesota.

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Online: https://prince.lnk.to/PurpleRainDeluxe

Comedian Bill Cosby reveals he is totally blind

Comedian Bill Cosby said he is completely blind, USA Today reported.

>> Read more trending news

In his first interview in two years, Cosby told the National Newspaper Publishers Association news service that he woke up one morning two years ago and told his wife, Camille, “I can't see.”

Cosby was later told by doctors that nothing could be done to restore his vision. That meant the comedian was forced to improvise when he appeared on stage, USA reported.

“When he would perform, we’d draw a wide straight yellow line from backstage to the chair on the stage and he’d rehearse the walk, hours before the show,” his longtime publicist, Andrew Wyatt, told the NNPA.

Cosby’s disclosure comes less than one month before jury selection is scheduled to begin for his June criminal sexual assault trial in Pennsylvania. He is accused of drugging and molesting Temple University employee Andrea Constand at his home more than a decade ago. He has denied the charge, maintaining their encounter was consensual.

 

Beatles’ rare outtake from ‘Sgt. Pepper’ sessions released

It was 50 years ago today …

Well, almost. As the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album draws near, Capitol Records is sharing an unreleased outtake from the band’s recording sessions.

>> Read more trending news

The disc, ranked No. 1 in Rolling Stone’s survey of its top 500 albums of all time, was originally released on June 1, 1967. The outtake is part of several bonus tracks that will be part of a four-disc, 50th anniversary edition of the album, outtake is just one of many, many bonus tracks coming out on a four-disc, 50th anniversary edition of the album, NPR reported. The original record has been remixed by Giles Martin, son of the late Beatles producer, George Martin, and has a May 26 release date. 

The outtake includes some chat by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. The clip, which was first premiered by The Guardian, is a bare-bones version of the album’s opening — and title — track. It lacks the overdubbing of the horns, crowd noises and laughter that punctuated the track. Some of the guitar riffs are missing too, NPR reported.

 

About 2:08 into the track, McCartney can be heard repeating the phrase, “I feel it,” while Harrison mentions that “what you can do with the bits” is insert some brass. The horn section inserted during the album’s mixing gave the song a distinctive sound.

 

It’s a just another day in the life of how rock ’n’ roll’s greatest band created its music. 

 

Rebel Wilson sues Australian publisher for defamation

Rebel Wilson is suing an Australian publisher for defamation over a series of magazine articles the actress says cost her movie roles by painting her as a serial liar.

Wilson's lawyer, Renee Enbom, said during a court hearing on Friday that the Australian-born actress would present evidence that the articles published by Bauer Media in 2015 led to her film contracts being terminated.

Wilson's lawsuit, filed last year, accuses Bauer of damaging her reputation by printing articles that alleged she had used a fake name and lied about her age and upbringing in Australia. The articles appeared online and in print in several Australian magazines including Woman's Day and The Australian Women's Weekly.

The lawsuit claims that Wilson was humiliated and lost out on roles because of the stories. On Friday, her lawyer told the Victoria state Supreme Court in Melbourne that the articles tarnished Wilson's reputation in Hollywood as a fair and honest person.

Justice John Dixon ordered Wilson to provide the court with her film contracts and evidence of all her earnings since 2011.

The actress, known for her roles in comedies such as "Pitch Perfect" and "Bridesmaids," is seeking unspecified damages from the publisher. She did not appear in court on Friday but is expected to give evidence at the trial, which is scheduled to begin on May 22.

Bauer Media did not immediately respond to a request seeking comment.

Rebel Wilson sues Australian publisher for defamation

Rebel Wilson is suing an Australian publisher for defamation over a series of magazine articles the actress says cost her movie roles by painting her as a serial liar.

Wilson's lawyer, Renee Enbom, said during a court hearing on Friday that the Australian-born actress would present evidence that the articles published by Bauer Media in 2015 led to her film contracts being terminated.

Wilson's lawsuit, filed last year, accuses Bauer of damaging her reputation by printing articles that alleged she had used a fake name and lied about her age and upbringing in Australia. The articles appeared online and in print in several Australian magazines including Woman's Day and The Australian Women's Weekly.

The lawsuit claims that Wilson was humiliated and lost out on roles because of the stories. On Friday, her lawyer told the Victoria state Supreme Court in Melbourne that the articles tarnished Wilson's reputation in Hollywood as a fair and honest person.

Justice John Dixon ordered Wilson to provide the court with her film contracts and evidence of all her earnings since 2011.

The actress, known for her roles in comedies such as "Pitch Perfect" and "Bridesmaids," is seeking unspecified damages from the publisher. She did not appear in court on Friday but is expected to give evidence at the trial, which is scheduled to begin on May 22.

Bauer Media did not immediately respond to a request seeking comment.

Ann Coulter a no-show at raucous but peaceful Berkeley rally

Ann Coulter did not turn up in Berkeley where hundreds held a raucous but largely peaceful demonstration in her absence and lamented what they called the latest blow to free speech in the home of America's free speech movement.

The conservative pundit's canceled appearance at the University of California, Berkeley drew hundreds of her supporters to a downtown park Thursday, many of them dressed in flak jackets, ballistic helmets adorned with pro-Donald Trump stickers and other protective gear in anticipation of violence.

But there were no major confrontations between Coulter's supporters and opponents, largely because of a significant police presence and the fact that members of an extremist left-wing group did not show up to provoke clashes.

Coulter had publicly floated the idea of making a controversial visit to Berkeley despite the cancellation, but did not show.

Her supporters and students on the UC Berkeley campus, many of whom expressed distaste for Coulter's political views, voiced frustration that she didn't get to speak and that the university's reputation as a bastion of tolerance was suffering. Coulter planned to give a speech on illegal immigration.

"I don't like Ann Coulter's views but I don't think in this case the right move was to shut her down," said 24-year-old grad student Yevgeniy Melguy, who held a sign earlier in the day saying "Immigrants Are Welcome Here."

Anthropology major Christina Katkic, 21, worried that the university was getting increasingly stuck in the middle of the country's political divide.

"Berkeley has become a platform and a lot of people want to come here and use it," said Katkic, who had joined other students on campus blowing bubbles near a message scrawled on the ground in chalk that read: "If only bubbles actually made our campus safe."

"I think Ann Coulter has a right to speak here. Berkeley students are interested in political discourse," she said.

University police erected barricades and refused to let any protesters enter the campus. Six people were arrested, including one for obstructing an officer and wearing a mask to evade police, and another for possessing a knife.

Hundreds of Coulter's supporters gathered about a mile (1.6 kilometers) from the university's main Sproul Plaza at the Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park in downtown Berkeley.

"It's a shame that someone can't speak in the home of the free speech movement," said Wilson Grafstrom, an 18-year-old high school student from Menlo Park, California.

He wore a helmet with a "Make America Great Again" sticker across the back, goggles, a gas mask and knee pads. He blamed people opposed to Coulter and President Donald Trump for forcing him to gear up for problems.

Gavin McInnes, co-founder of Vice Media and founder of the pro-Trump "Proud Boys," was one of several speakers at the gathering. He delivered the speech Coulter had planned to give on illegal immigration, on her behalf, to the crowd's raucous applause.

"They tried to ban her and we can't allow that. It's unacceptable," McInnes said as he left the gathering surrounded by private security. "Free speech is about uncomfortable speech. Yes, it's often about hate speech and it's about speech that's banned."

On its Facebook page, McInnes' group calls itself a fraternal organization aimed at "reinstating a spirit of Western chauvinism during an age of globalism and multiculturalism."

While the afternoon rally ended without serious conflict, police at one point formed a human wall in the street separating anti-Trump protesters from the park where pro-Trump groups were gathered.

Anti-Coulter and anti-Trump protesters at the park held a banner that read: "It's not about 'free speech,' it's about bigots trying to normalize hate."

Earlier this month, a bloody brawl broke out in downtown Berkeley at a pro-Trump protest that featured speeches by members of the white nationalist right. They clashed with a group of Trump critics who called themselves anti-fascists.

In February, violent protesters forced the cancellation of a speech by right-wing writer Milo Yiannopoulos, who like Coulter was invited by campus Republicans.

Officials at UC Berkeley said they feared renewed violence on campus if Coulter followed through with plans to speak, citing "very specific intelligence" of threats that could endanger Coulter and students, which Coulter said was motivated by a university bias against conservative speakers.

Police had faced criticism after the earlier clashes for failing to stop the violence.

UC Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogulof credited the peacefulness of Thursday's rallies partly to an increased police presence. He declined to specify how many police were deployed but said there were a "wide range" of local and regional agencies present.

"I think it's clear that having a strong visible police presence was important both in terms of deterrence and law enforcement," he said, noting that even in Coulter's absence hundreds descended on Berkeley. "This points to the challenges we face in the climate we're living in."

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Associated Press writers Janie Har and Kristin J. Bender contributed to this report from San Francisco.

Actor Diane Guerrero meets immigrant taking refuge in church

Actor Diane Guerrero has met with a woman who is seeking refuge from deportation in the basement of a Denver church.

Guerrero, who stars in the Netflix series Orange Is the New Black, met with Jeanette Vizguerra on Thursday and told the woman and her daughters not to make the same mistake she did as a child by remaining silent.

Guerrero was 14 when her parents and her older brother were deported to their native Colombia. She decided to stay behind and live with friends.

Guerrero was in Denver for a gathering of immigrant rights activists.

Vizquerra has been living in the basement of the First Unitarian Church since February out of fear of being deported. She was recently named one of Time Magazine's 100 most influential people of the year.

The Fate Of Secret JFK Files Will Be Decided By President Trump

President Trump has until October to decide whether to release files from the investigation of President Kennedy's assassination.

Protesters Overrun Parliament In Macedonia

Nationalist protesters occupied the parliament building before being driven out by police with flash grenades.
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