Businessman close to Maduro was DEA informant, records show
Newly unsealed court records show that a Colombian businessman linked to Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro was secretly signed up by the Drug Enforcement Administration as a cooperating source in 2018 and gave agents information about bribes he paid to Venezuelan officials.
Maduro ally appears in court to face corruption charges
A businessman who prosecutors say was a major conduit for corruption by Nicolás Maduro’s inner circle has appeared for the first time in Miami federal court after an extradition that has further strained relations between the U.S. and Venezuela’s socialist government.
William, Harry condemn BBC over 'deceitful' Diana interview
Prince William and his brother Prince Harry have issued strongly-worded statements criticizing the BBC and British media for unethical practices after an investigation found that one of the broadcaster’s journalists used “deceitful behavior” to secure Princess Diana’s most explosive TV interview in 1995.
Greek Independence Day events culminate in military parade
Military helicopters fly over Acropolis Hill during a military parade in Athens, Thursday, March 25, 2021. Greece celebrates the bicentenary of the start of the country's war of independence against the Ottoman Empire. Unable to watch the parade in person, many Athenians came out onto balconies in the center of the city to watch the flyby, snapping pictures with cameras and mobile phones. AdThis crucial blow enabled the Greeks to fight on and eventually gain independence in 1830. “Two centuries ago, a handful of determined fighters within and outside Greece, raised the banner of independence.
Greece kicks off events for bicentenary of independence war
A worker places a Greek flag at a tribune, ahead of a military parade, in Athens, Tuesday, March 23, 2021. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)ATHENS – Greece on Wednesday kicked off two days of celebrations to mark the bicentenary of the start of the country’s war of independence, although events are far more muted than originally planned due to the pandemic. Celebrations are to culminate in a military parade, accompanied by air force overflights, in central Athens on Thursday, Greece’s Independence Day. The 200th anniversary of the start of Greece’s war of independence comes at a time of frosty relations with neighbor and NATO ally Turkey. The Greek independence revolt started in the Mani region of the southern Peloponnese peninsula in 1821 and continued for years without official foreign support, with the Greeks gradually becoming riven by dissent and infighting.
Royalty TV: UK monarchy and television have complex ties
Britains royal family and television have a complicated relationship. The medium has helped define the modern monarchy: The 1953 coronation of Queen Elizabeth II was Britains first mass TV spectacle. (AP Photo/File)LONDON – Britain’s royal family and television have a complicated relationship. The medium has helped define the modern monarchy: The 1953 coronation of Queen Elizabeth II was Britain’s first mass TV spectacle. The fictionalized take of Netflix hit “The Crown” has molded views of the monarchy for a new generation, though in ways the powerful, image-conscious royal family can’t control.
UK police won't probe journalist over 1995 Diana interview
FILE - This Jan. 22, 2013 file photo shows Martin Bashir at the EA SimCity Learn. British police said Thursday March 4, 2021, that they will not launch a criminal investigation into the journalist Martin Bashir over his 1995 interview with the late Princess Diana. (Photo by Nick Wass/Invision/AP, File)LONDON – British police said Thursday that they will not launch a criminal investigation into the journalist Martin Bashir over his 1995 interview with Princess Diana. The Metropolitan Police force said “no further action will be taken” over allegations Bashir used illegal subterfuge to get the interview. Charles Spencer, has alleged that Bashir used false documents, including fake bank statements, and other dishonest tactics to convince Diana to agree to the interview.
Camilla says hospitalized Prince Philip is 'slightly' better
A policeman carries a well wisher's card and ballon outside St Bartholomew's Hospital where Britain's Prince Philip is being treated, in London, Wednesday, March 3, 2021. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)LONDON – Prince Philip is “slightly improving” and the royal family is keeping its fingers crossed for the hospitalized royal's recovery, his daughter-in-law Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, said Wednesday. Philip, 99, has been hospitalized since being admitted Feb. 16 to King Edward VII’s Hospital in London, where he was treated for an infection. On Monday, he was transferred to a specialized cardiac care hospital, St. Bartholomew’s, to undergo further treatment alongside testing and observation for a pre-existing heart condition. "We’ll keep our fingers crossed.”The duchess is married to Prince Charles, eldest son of Philip and Queen Elizabeth II.
Despite bleak 2020, celebrities make effort to brighten year
(AP Photo)LOS ANGELES – Yes, 2020 may seem like a complete fail with all the constant bad news and tragic moments. It’s been filled with gloom and doom(scrolling), but some celebrities and those inspired by them have tried to brighten a bleak year. He reassigned his 10 seamstresses in New York to produce thousands daily for health care workers on the frontlines. The singer and husband Emilio Estefan's restaurant Estefan Kitchen served up homemade meals for health care workers in Miami. The challenge coordinated offers by celebrities and athletes to raise funds to feed those in need during the pandemic.
'First Cow,' 'Nomadland' top AP's best films of 2020
This image released by Searchlight Pictures shows Frances McDormand in a scene from the film "Nomadland" by Chloe Zhao. Here are our picks for the best movies of 2020:JAKE COYLE1. “David Byrne’s American Utopia”: Spike Lee’s fiction films make more noise but he’s quietly one of the best documentary filmmakers we have. He may have made the best film of the year in his short film “New York, New York,” a tribute to an undefeatable pandemic-stricken city. It's also, with a glorious rendering of Harlem, one of the best New York movies in years.
'Shuggie Bain' writer Douglas Stuart wins Booker Prize
LONDON – Scottish writer Douglas Stuart won the Booker Prize for fiction Thursday for “Shuggie Bain,” a novel about a boy’s turbulent coming of age in hardscrabble 1980s Glasgow that was turned down by 32 publishers before being picked up. Stuart, 44, won the prestigious 50,000 pound ($66,000) award for his first published novel, the product of a decade of work. Stuart dedicated the book to own mother, who died when he was 16. Though there have been many British winners of the Booker Prize, most of them English, Stuart is the first Scottish victor since James Kelman took the 1994 prize with “How Late it Was, How Late” — a book Stuart has called an inspiration. Mantel won the Booker for both its predecessors, “Wolf Hall” and “Bring up the Bodies,” and had been widely tipped for the hat trick.
Prince William welcomes new probe into 1995 Diana interview
LONDON – Prince William has “tentatively welcomed” an independent investigation into the circumstances surrounding a BBC interview in 1995 with his mother, Princess Diana, royal officials said Thursday. William, who is second in line to the throne, said in a statement that the probe is “a step in the right direction." The investigation will consider if the steps taken by the broadcaster and Bashir were appropriate, and whether those actions influenced Diana’s decision to give the interview. The 1995 interview, in which Diana famously said “there were three of us in this marriage” — referring to Prince Charles’ relationship with Camilla Parker-Bowles — was watched by millions of people and sent shockwaves through the monarchy. Diana divorced from Charles in 1996 and died in a Paris car crash in 1997 as she was pursued by paparazzi.
BBC names ex-judge to lead probe into 1995 Diana interview
LONDON – The BBC’s board of directors has approved the appointment of a retired senior judge to lead an independent investigation into the circumstances around a controversial 1995 TV interview with Princess Diana. Wednesday’s announcement came after Diana’s brother, Charles Spencer, made renewed claims this month that BBC journalist Martin Bashir used forged statements and false claims to convince the late royal to agree to the interview. The BBC has apologized for faked bank statements purporting to show that two senior aides were being paid for information on Diana. But the corporation has said that the documents played no part in her decision to take part in the interview. The broadcaster said John Dyson, a former Supreme Court judge, is “an eminent and highly respected figure who will lead a thorough process.”
Bound despite Brexit: Prince Charles hails UK-Germany ties
Britain's Prince Charles arrives for a meeting with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier at Bellevue Palace in Berlin, Germany, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2020. Prince Charles attends Germany's national memorial day and will held a speech at the parliament building. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)BERLIN – Prince Charles called Sunday for Britain and Germany to remember their long and close ties, reaffirmed by the nations' reconciliation after two world wars, as the U.K. tries to find its place outside — but also alongside — the European Union. The palace was built in the late 18th century by Prince Augustus Ferdinand of Prussia, to whom Charles is distantly related through his family's German line. Charles, 72, was exempt due to the diplomatic nature of his trip from Germany's rules requiring him to go into quarantine on arrival from Britain.
Britain's Prince Charles celebrates 72nd birthday
LONDON – Britain’s Prince Charles celebrated his 72nd birthday Saturday following an eventful year that saw him contract the coronavirus and his son Prince Harry step down from official royal duties. Charles’ eldest son, Prince William, and his wife, Kate, were among those wishing him a happy birthday on social media. But like the rest of the royal family, Charles has had to adapt his many official engagements by moving them online during the pandemic. The year also saw Charles’ son Harry and his wife, the former Meghan Markle, move abroad after quitting royal duties. Charles, known as the Prince of Wales, is the queen’s eldest son.
Show goes on for Olivier Awards, even with UK theaters shut
Scott and Ian McKellen were among acting winners as Britains Laurence Olivier Awards celebrated the best of the London stage in bittersweet fashion Sunday night, Oct. 25, 2020 - most U.K. theaters remain closed because of the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)LONDON – Andrew Scott and Ian McKellen were among acting winners as Britain’s Laurence Olivier Awards celebrated the best of the London stage in bittersweet fashion Sunday night — most U.K. theaters remain closed because of the coronavirus pandemic. McKellen won a special Olivier — his seventh — for his one-man 80th birthday tour of the U.K., staged before the pandemic as a fundraiser for regional theaters. A handful of theaters have reopened to reduced, socially distanced audiences, but many are still shut and relying on emergency funding from the government to stay afloat. Olivier organizers say the next awards ceremony will likely not be until 2022, because so little work has been staged this year.
Donated bikes help ease difficulties through pandemic
A recipient of a bicycle from the Benjamin Canlas Courage to be Kind Foundation pushes her bicycle outside a building at the financial district of Manila, Philippines, Saturday, July 11, 2020. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)MANILA A year after he passed away at age 17, Benjamin Canlas is still making the world a better place -- one bike at a time. There is so much need out there, said Dr. Glennda Canlas, co-founder with her husband Dr. George Canlas of the private Benjamin Canlas Courage to be Kind Foundation. It is working on launching more sustainable projects that will help more while also inspiring others to pay it forward. We live in a world where it still takes courage to be kind, said Dr. Glennda Canlas.
Scottish grandmother climbs a mountain, one step at a time
The feat took her 73 days and kept her busy for 10 weeks while the nation sheltered in lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Payne Family via AP)LONDON In the end, Margaret Payne scaled her mountain, one step at a time. The 90-year-old grandmother who launched an epic climb to raise money for charity completed her fundraiser Tuesday. Payne, who is from Ardvar in the Scottish Highlands, calculated that climbing 282 flights of her staircase would get her to the top of a mountain she climbed only once, when she was 15. Three other charities, NHS Highlands, Highlands Hospice and RNL will also benefit.