Lady Gaga SXSW show features vomit, snags

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Lady Gaga kicked off 24 hours in the spotlight at South By Southwest in a typically memorable fashion.

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The pop provocateur began her appearance at Stubb’s BBQ on Thursday night during the annual music festival and conference by roasting herself on a spit like a gutted pig as her dancers basted her with barbecue brushes – and then things got really weird.

The show sponsored by Doritos to benefit her Born This Way Foundation included moments meant to provoke and others meant to inspire

Gaga began the evening by taping a Jimmy Kimmel Live segment, in which she wore a puffy white dress complete with a huge hat that mostly obscured her face. By the time she hit Stubb’s a little after 10pm, she had stripped down to a black bikini on an unusually chilly night at the outdoor venue and had long blonde dreadlock extensions.

Gaga’s set included a scene of an attractive woman eating barbecued sausages in a provocative manner, and “vomit painter” Millie Brown throwing up on the singer as she played drums.

There was also a scene of Gaga straddling Brown atop a mechanical pig and playing the keyboard. Brown also painted Gaga with a black liquid that stained the singer’s skin throughout the performance.

The entire show wasn’t meant to titillate, however. There were moments that were meant to inspire the crowd.

“I love my fans because they always let me be myself and they don’t care what anybody says,” Gaga told the crowd.

A little while later she set up her sombre song Dope with a self-reflective moment.

“It’s so much easier to be yourself than it is to be somebody else,” she told the crowd as she played melancholy notes on the piano. “Because then you have to pretend to be someone else and like things that you don’t like and do stuff that you don’t want to do.”

Gaga is set to wrap up her time at SXSW by giving the conference’s keynote speech on Friday morning.

Prison ‘a trap’ for people with disability

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There are calls for an urgent end to the practice of sending intellectually disabled people to jail if they have not been found guilty of a crime.

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(Transcript from World News Radio)

Australia’s Disability Discrimination Commissioner, Graeme Innes says up to 30 people are currently in jail despite being unfit to make a plea.

Mr Innes says prison is not the appropriate place for someone with a disability.

(Click on audio tab to listen to this item)

Rosie Anne Fulton, who was born with foetal alcohol syndrome, has spent the past 18 months in a Western Australian jail for driving offences.

This is despite the fact she did not enter a plea because of her intellectual impairment.

Her situation is not an isolated one.

Graeme Innes the Disability Commissioner with the Human Rights Commission, says he’s aware of many similar cases.

He’s calling for an urgent audit of people with intellectual disabilities who are in jail.

“We were informally advised that there are 20 to 30 people, mainly Aboriginal people, with a disability, who have not been convicted of a crime yet who spend time in prison in Australia. Rosie Anne Fulton is the second of those that we’re specifically aware of. Marlin Noble is the first in WA and he spent ten years in prison without being convicted of a crime so we think this is a very serious situation.”

The Aboriginal Disability Justice Campaign’s Patrick McGee says people with an intellectual disability often end up in jail because laws are structured to allow it to happen.

“We have legislation: it’s called Mental Impairment Legislation. When a person with a cognitive impairment comes before court, and the court is aware that there’s something amiss with their cognitive status, that triggers an assessment. If the assessment finds that they in fact have an intellectual disability or an acquired brain injury or foetal alcohol syndrome, what happens then is that there is a court definition that they cannot plead; that is, they do not understand whether they are guilty or innocent, and an alternative pathway is provided. That’s what happened to Rosie Anne in Western Australia when she was charged with those minor offences. And unfortunately Western Australia, like the Northern Territory, does not have any resources, that is accommodation, where treatment or significant benefit is provided, and so she had to go to prison.”

Mr McGee says often judges are placed in a situation where they have to send someone to jail because there are no other options.

“For many Indigenous people with cognitive impairment, there is no opportunity or option for them to either return to the community or return to their family for very many complex reasons or they may not have family or community to return to. So they are not able to live independently in the community, safely, and so there is nowhere for them to exit to, and so they get stuck in jail.”

Most of the people with intellectual disabilities who are in jail are in Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

Western Australia’s Chief Justice has said he wants the laws changed so that people who are unfit to plead cannot be held indefinitely.

He says they should not stay in jail any longer than if they’d been convicted.

But Commissioner Innes says that is not a satisfactory answer.

“That’s not a view I share. If a person has been determined unfit to plead, then by definition they have not been found guilty of a crime. We only lock people up in jails when they are guilty of crimes unless they are on remand whilst that’s been determined. But once that determination is made either that a person is unfit to plead or that a person is guilty, we release them and we support them in the community if that’s required. And that’s what we should do for people with a disability. There’s no basis for leaving people in jail if they have not been convicted of a crime.”

Final Tiwi community to sign 99-year lease

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The community of Pirlangimpi in the Northern Territory has signed an agreement to recommence negotiations for a 99-year township lease, which will make it the fourth and final community in the Tiwi Islands to sign up.

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In 2007, Wurrumiyanga on Bathurst Island, about 80km north of Darwin, signed the first ever 99-year township lease with the government, getting a $5 million initial payment and funding for a community wellness centre and upgrades to the football ovals.

Ranku and Milikapiti have both signed up as well, and, following an abandoned attempt to negotiate with the Rudd/Gillard government over the past six years, Pirlangimpi on neighbouring Melville Island has joined in.

The voluntary leases, which grew out of compulsory five-year leases over Aboriginal communities and towns as a measure of the Intervention, are now in place in the Tiwi Islands, Groot Eyelandt, and Gunbalunya in Eastern Arnhem Land.

They provide long-term secure land tenure from the Land Trust that open up economic opportunities for Aboriginal people, such as borrowing money to start up their own businesses or to buy their own homes, while still retaining underlying ownership of their land.

“The most precious thing, and sometimes the only thing, our First Australians have that is theirs to hold is their land,” said Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Senator Nigel Scullion, at the signing of the Pirlangimpi agreement on Friday.

“Every decision they make around their land, we need to give them proper time to think and consider.”

The community has until the end of November to finalise a deal with the Commonwealth.

Traditional owners quizzed the minister on how transparent the process would be and how much say they would have.

“We would like to know we can make any decision regarding ourselves without any pressure from outside people telling us what to do,” said elder Pirrawayingi.

“It’s up to us at the end of the day to take that advice based on our own values, beliefs, and whether we think it’s right or wrong.”

He said the community did not want to be suffocated by red tape.

Senator Scullion said the leasing process had been streamlined through negotiations with other communities that have already signed up.

“‘What’s in it for us?’ That should absolutely be the question you keep in your minds,” he told the community.

Elder Cyril Kalippa wanted an assurance that if Pirlangimpi signed up, it would be easier to obtain bank loans.

“We have got a problem getting a loan from the banks, we are still having trouble,” he said.

“The banks don’t trust Aboriginal people to get a loan.”

But Senator Scullion said bottom-line profits would motivate lenders.

“They are mercenary – they are looking for successful businesses that will make them money and repay the interest.”

He pointed to the success in Wurrumiyanga, where a supermarket and four small retail outlets have opened, and 15 people have bought their own homes.

Also on Friday, that community reviewed the first five years of its 99-year lease.

2007 was the first time local ownership of businesses and homes had been seen on this scale in a remote Aboriginal community, Senator Scullion said.

Since Wurrumiyanga first signed a township lease, the system has been refined, said Greg Roach, executive director of township leasing for the federal government.

He says it took a while to convince the Catholic Church, the Tiwi Land Council and government organisations in the community to pay rent in recognition of the fact they were on Aboriginal land.

“(The community) suffered financially, so the lease has been varied to recognise the loss,” he told AAP.

“What we’ve done is now developed a systematic process where everyone on Aboriginal land in our communities pays rent.”

In 2007, $2000 was collected in rent, while last year, $642,000 was collected, Mr Roach said.

“That’s the difference we can make to their future.”

Jennifer Ullungura Clancy, a traditional owner at Wurrumiyanga, said the community has been very happy with the township lease.

“Township leasing is good for our people so we can support our families and kids; no one has complained at all,” she said.

“All the money coming in from rent, we’re putting it aside to support this community.”

The review demonstrates how a township lease can adapt and evolve over time, Senator Scullion said, and gives Aboriginal people the same opportunity as other Australians to leverage their assets to generate wealth for themselves, their families and their communities.

“They have a responsibility handed down for generations to ensure that they can maintain their hold and control on land, that’s why it’s such an important decision,” he said.

Tech slump leads US stocks lower

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US stocks have finished lower with technology names tumbling the most after the market snubbed a Facebook acquisition announcement and King Digital’s first day of trade as a public company.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 98.89 (0.60 per cent) to 16,268.99.

The broad-based S&P 500 declined 13.06 (0.70 per cent) to 1,852.56, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index sank 60.69 (1.43 per cent) to 4,173.58.

Michael James, managing director of equity trading at Wedbush Securities, said some tech investors were sceptical after Facebook announced a $US2 billion ($A2.19 billion) deal to buy virtual reality company Oculus so soon after it announced a deal to buy WhatsApp for $US19 billion.

Facebook shares fell 6.9 per cent.

Investors also frowned on Candy Crush creator King Digital, which slumped 15.6 per cent on its first day of trade after raising $US500 million in an IPO. Shares closed at $US19, well below the IPO price of $US22.50.

King’s decline also depressed other videogame developers, including Zynga (-4.1 per cent) and Electronic Arts (-2.5 per cent).

“It’s been an ugly time for tech stocks over the last week or so,” James said.

The decline in tech names was fairly broad-based and included Google (-2.3 per cent), Amazon (-3.2 per cent) and Tesla Motors (-3.4 per cent.) An exception was software company Oracle, which rose 1.8 per cent.

Most of the companies in the Dow dropped. Exceptions were pharmaceuticals Merck (+1.5 per cent) and Pfizer (+1.1 per cent).

News Corp fell 1.9 per cent while 21st Century Fox dipped 1.1 per cent after global media titan Rupert Murdoch named his son Lachlan Murdoch as vice president of both firms, a possible sign of who will lead them when the father, 83, retires.

A report that Dish Network and DIRECTV could merge lifted both companies. Dish jumped 6.3 per cent, while DIRECTV rose 5.7 per cent.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury fell to 2.70 per cent from 2.73 per cent on Tuesday, while the 30-year declined to 3.55 per cent from 3.57 per cent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.

Iraq reports first polio case since 2000

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Iraq’s health ministry says it has found its first suspected polio case in 14 years, which could have originated in neighbouring Syria where confirmed cases have sparked a region-wide alert.

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The suspected case was found in a young boy in Bab al-Sham near Baghdad, ministry spokesman Ziad Tariq said.

He said the case was not yet confirmed and that samples had been sent to the United States for further testing, with results expected on Sunday.

If confirmed, it would be Iraq’s first case of polio since 2000.

“We suspect the case originated in Syria,” Tariq said.

“We are afraid of that, we have thousands of refugees from Syria, and the health situation is complicated because Anbar is bordering Syria.”

Anbar, a predominantly Sunni province in western Iraq, has been long been a source of unrest in Iraq.

In early January, anti-government fighters took control of all of the Anbar city of Fallujah, and parts of the provincial capital Ramadi, some of which they still hold.

Late last year, the UN confirmed that at least 17 children in war-wracked Syria had been paralysed by polio, in the country’s first cases of the disease since 1999.

Fifteen of the cases were in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor, large swathes of which are under rebel control.

The outbreak in the midst of Syria’s three-year-old conflict prompted the World Health Organisation and UN childrens’ agency UNICEF to launch a vaccination campaign for 23 million children across the Middle East, which started in earnest this month.

Tariq said a vaccination campaign was already under way in Iraq and would run until April 6, over and above routine childhood vaccinations.

Scientists release first-ever ‘map’ of gene activity in humans

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It’s taken three years and more than 250 researchers around the world, but scientists have finally mapped out gene activity and regulation in the human body.

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The FANTOM5 project (which stands for Functional Annonation of the Mammilian Genome) involved more than 250 scientists across 20 countries and regions including Australia, Japan, Denmark, the U.S., the U.K. and Switzerland. It was headed up by Japanese research institute RIKEN.

“Our DNA can be described as a book or dictionary that catalogues all the genes that we know are in humans,” said University of Queensland researcher Dr Kelly Hitchens. Led by Professor Christine Wells, Dr Hitchens was part of the team at UQ that contributed to the project.

“The FANTOM5 project has taken us from having one book to a massive library full of information about how we use our DNA.

“We’re complex organisms and different cells are used in different ways in order to build us and make up different organs, and help us interact with the environment,” Dr Hitchens told SBS. 

The three-year project mapped the network of ‘switches’ in our DNA that control how certain genes are turned on and off – a complex process known as gene regulation.

These switches, known as promoters and enhancers, regulate how our genes are expressed. It’s this process that ensures a muscle cell is different to a skin cell or liver cell, for example.

 

Building on the Human Genome Project

Dr Hitchens said FANTOM5 built on the information already uncovered by the Human Genome Project over ten years ago in 2003.

If the Human Genome Project gave the world a ‘blueprint’ of our DNA, FANTOM5 seeks to explain how and why genes are regulated and expressed; why some cells ‘know’ to turn into liver cells and not something else.

“What we got from the Human Genome Project was a blueprint. We had no idea how it would be interpreted and used,” Dr Hitchens said.

“This project [FANTOM5] is the most comprehensive so far in describing how we use those genes in order to build a human. So all the different cells in our body use the DNA blueprint in a different way – this project describes how they use that.”The future of medicine?

Ms Hitchens said she was excited by the implications of this research, especially in terms of finding cures for diseases.

“Essentially it’s a resource that we can use to build new technologies for the life sciences. But also, within this library, there may be hidden information that could be used to find cures for different diseases. At the moment, we’re in the process of working out how to extract that information.”

Professor Yoshihide Hayashizaki, the general Director of FANTOM, said in a statement that the research could lead to the development of regenerative and personalised medicine.

“The basic library of cell definition that was produced during FANTOM5 is a remarkable step to manipulating cells,” he said.

“The library will be an essential resource for developing a wide range of technologies for the life sciences that will lead to the development of regenerative and personalized medicine in the near future.”

When asked whether scientists could potentially manipulate gene expression as per Professor Hayashizaki’s comments, Dr Hitchens said it was not the focus of the project at the University of Queensland.

“That’s a little out of the scope of what we’ve done here and what the aims of the project is. Essentially we’re just trying to understand how the DNA is being used.”

However, she does believe in the potential of personalised medicine in curing diseases that are DNA-specific.

“What we’ve done is create a resource where we’ve collected lots of information about how humans use DNA,” she said.

“There’s a potential to find, in certain disease contexts in people, how they might not be using that DNA in the appropriate manner – and that leads to personalised medicine.

“What this project essentially has done is build this resource and now we need to tap into this resource and understand what it’s in there.”

Two studies describing the findings of FANTOM5 have been published in Nature.

What do you think about the FANTOM5 project and its implications, in terms of health, medicine and future technologies?

 

Lagerfeld slams selfies

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Karl Lagerfeld has likened the selfie trend to “electronic masturbation”.

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The Chanel creative director has no problem speaking his mind, with his latest target the current craze for posting self-taken pictures online.

He cannot understand what drives people to do this, insisting they very rarely look good.

“They are this horrible thing where you are distorted,” he told British newspaper The Guardian. “The chin is too big, the head is too small. No, this is electronic masturbation.”

Lagerfield flung out many of his infamous soundbites during the interview, including slamming people who have tattoos as they “will never get clean again”.

He also warned women to take extra care of themselves once they turn 25, as after that age it is easy to become “sloppy”.

The Chanel designer is renowned for pushing the boundaries of fashion. His recent autumn/winter 14 collection was presented against a supermarket backdrop, with models such as Cara Delevingne pushing shopping carts around as they showed off the pieces.

Once the show had ended, many in the audience scrambled to take a piece from the Chanel store’s shelves, leaving Lagerfield unimpressed.

“I saw it on film later and the bodyguards were removing things from people’s bags. I didn’t expect that of people who normally come to my shows,” he stated, adding the food items were due to be sent to homeless shelters.

As well as his work with Chanel, Lagerfield designs for Fendi and has his own label too. It means he creates around 17 collections annually, but he doesn’t view himself as busy.

He says he loves his job so it doesn’t feel like work, and he still worries about achieving all he wants to.

“I’m never happy and pleased with what I’m doing,” he said. “I always think I’m lazy, maybe I could do better, I could make more effort and I always have the feeling that there is a glass wall that I cannot get through. But maybe when I get through, then it’s over.”

Lagerfield is also clear about the distinctions between his brands. His label tends to be less expensive than the others, and he’s explained why.

“You cannot dance at three parties on the same evening. I always said to my investors to put it on another level and make it affordable. I think that’s a modern attitude,” he said.

Gwyneth Paltrow’s website mocked

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A statement on Gwyneth Paltrow’s website announcing her split from Chris Martin included a 2,000-word essay.

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Titled `Conscious Uncoupling’, the essay explained the concept which revolves around identifying “a negative internal object that needed healing”.

It is not the first time visitors to the Hollywood star’s website – called Goop – have been left scratching their heads at its mixture of diet tips and celebrity New Age lifestyle advice.

The site, which is split into different subject areas headlined Make, Go, Get, Do, Be and See, was set up by Paltrow in 2008 to “share all of life’s positives” and “nourish the inner aspect”.

Typical entries include a review of a book by a Buddhist monk praised for its “ability to demystify mindfulness” and detox recipes which recommend starting the day with a glass of “room-temperature lemon water”.

She also uses the website to keep fans up to date with the latest twists of her celebrity lifestyle, whether recommending a brand of “non-toxic” nappies made by fellow star Jessica Alba or discussing her depression following the birth of her son, Moses, in 2006.

The site has been mocked by critics with one website even compiling a top 10 “most absurd products” advertised on it which included a silk “peasant” dress costing hundreds of pounds.

Paltrow admitted she considered pulling the plug on the site, but told Harper’s Bazaar UK she had changed her mind.

“There were a couple of times when I thought ‘I’m just gonna stop doing it. People are so mean to me. I don’t want to do it’.

“But then I was like ‘Who cares what some lame person out there says?’

“I was in Italy once, and this old man came up to me and said ‘I had the best time in Nashville because of Goop.’ And that is so worth it to me.”

Damon Albarn: Heroin changed me

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British rocker Damon Albarn has opened up about his heroin use, insisting taking the drug aided his songwriting and was “incredibly productive” for his career.

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The Blur frontman has previously confessed to taking the heavily addictive narcotic over a period of time during his 1990s heyday, and he has detailed his use of the drug for the first time in an interview with rock magazine Q.

He recalls how he would take it five days a week but ensured he always stayed clean at weekends in a bid to regulate his intake, and he is adamant it was a mainly positive experience.

“You know I hate talking about this because of my daughter, my family. But, for me, it was incredibly creative. It freed me up. If you’re talking about odysseys, then that was definitely an odyssey.

“A combination of that and playing really simple, beautiful, repetitive s**t in Africa changed me completely as a musician. I found a sense of rhythm. I somehow managed to break out of something with my voice.” he said.

“I can only say (heroin) was incredibly productive for me. Hand on heart. But it does turn you into a very isolated person and ultimately anything that you are truly dependent on is not good.”

The Parklife star says he eventually weaned himself off the drug and used only painkillers to ease the withdrawal symptoms, adding, “I wouldn’t recommend that and I was incredibly lucky, but I did manage it. I mean, five days on and two days off is kind of mad, isn’t it?

“It was mad… I can move forward now without all the nudge nudge, wink wink innuendo I’ve had in the background for years. It was a long time ago.”

New challenge to Australia’s plain packaging laws

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A battle against Australia’s plain tobacco packaging rules has gained pace at the World Trade Organisation, as Indonesia won the right to seek a ruling by the global body.

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Trade sources said that the WTO’s disputes settlement body had agreed to set up an independent panel of trade and legal experts in order to assess whether Australia is breaching the rules of global commerce.

Canberra has faced a raft of challenges to its tobacco legislation, passed in 2011 and in force since December 2012, which politicians hope will curb the numbers of people smoking.

Under the rules, all tobacco products have to be sold in drab green boxes, use the same typeface and contain graphic images of diseased smokers.

Indonesia, which exports more than $US670 million ($A733 million) worth of tobacco a year, is the fifth country to take Australia to the WTO, after cases brought last year by Ukraine, Honduras, the Dominican Republic and Cuba.

The Latin American trio, who are all cigar-producers, have cited concerns that the legislation covers all tobacco products, not just cigarettes.

All four countries argue that Australia’s law breaches international trade rules and the intellectual property rights of brands – arguments rejected by the government and which also failed to convince Australia’s High Court in a case brought by tobacco firms.

The Geneva-based WTO ensures that its 159 members respect the rules of global commerce. Its dispute settlement process can last for years, amid appeals, counter-appeals and assessments of compliance.

If its settlement body finds against Australia, the WTO has the power to authorise retaliatory trade measures.

Expert panels have already been given permission to hear the Ukrainian and Honduran cases, although Cuba has not moved beyond filing an initial complaint, and the Dominican Republic still needs to make a second request for a panel hearing.

This was Indonesia’s first request for a hearing in the tobacco dispute and Australia would have been able to block its move under WTO rules.

Observers said the fact Australia did not force Indonesia to lodge a second, unblockable request was a sign that Canberra wanted a ruling as soon as possible.

Egypt readies new mass trials of Islamists

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Egypt is to hold two new mass trials of Islamists just days after a judge sparked an international outcry by handing down 529 death sentences.

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Both trials are to be held in Minya province, south of Cairo, the same province where the judge handed down the death sentences against supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi on Monday after a mass trial lasting just two days.

The detained head of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed Badie, is a defendant in both new trials.

In the first, he stands accused with 714 others of murdering six people and attempted murder of 51 others in the Minya province town of Samalot, the official MENA news agency reported on Wednesday.

The defendants, only 160 of whom are in custody, are also accused of storming a police station, a court and the city council building.

In the second trial, Badie is accused along with 203 others of assaulting policemen, disturbing public order, and damaging public and private property in another Minya province town.

Just two of Badie’s co-defendants in that case are in custody, MENA said.

The violence which the defendants are accused of participating in erupted after the security forces dispersed two Cairo protest camps set up by Morsi supporters on August 14, killing hundreds.

The mass trials are part of a crackdown by the military-installed authorities targeting Morsi’s supporters, in which some 15,000 suspects have been detained.

Monday’s mass death sentences drew fire from human rights groups, the United Nations, the United States and the European Union, which questioned the fairness of proceedings against so many defendants lasting just two days.

Fatal Attraction falls foul of critics

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A new West End adaptation of Hollywood thriller Fatal Attraction has received a frosty reception from critics.

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Reviewers have branded the production “horrible”, “pointless” and “amateurish”.

The 1987 movie has been transformed into a play with Mark Bazeley in the role of the adulterous husband originally played by Michael Douglas and Natascha McElhone taking on Glenn Close’s part as his bunny-boiling lover.

Kristin Davis plays the betrayed wife.

The show opened at the Theatre Royal Haymarket in the British capital on Tuesday night but it failed to win over critics, who attacked the plot changes, the script and the concept.

Quentin Letts of the Daily Mail newspaper described the production as “horrible”.

“Though I give Fatal Attraction three stars – this new stage version is decently acted and coolly staged – I hated almost every minute of it.

“What a horrible, heartless story.”

The Daily Telegraph’s Charles Spencer branded the show “pointless”.

“Though some of the changes to the film may intrigue or infuriate Fatal Attraction obsessives, and the new final twist is undoubtedly ingenious, they are hardly ground-breaking and hardly justify the trouble and expense of a trip to the West End.”

Michael Billington of The Guardian was also unimpressed with the show.

“There is something pathetic about the commercial theatre’s increasing reliance on movies for source material,” he said.

“It puzzles me why people should be expected to cough up to see a transplanted screenplay; and, even though (writer) James Dearden has made some adjustments to his 1987 script for Fatal Attraction, it remains an essentially hollow experience.”

The Times critic Dominic Maxwell gave the play a lowly one star out of five, and branded the show, “a bad idea, poorly executed”.

“It’s amateurish, it’s risible.”

Maxwell also criticised producers over the iconic ‘bunny boiling’ scene, revealing he could “see the bunny still alive and well in its cage” when it was purported to be in a saucepan onstage.

Son nets as Leverkusen end winless run

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South Korea’s Son Heung-Min hit a superb late goal to help Sami Hyypia’s Bayer Leverkusen claim their first win in 10 games with a 3-1 German league victory at Augsburg.

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Having previously tasted victory at the start of February, Leverkusen’s miserable run of results saw them slip from second to fourth in the table, crashing out of both the Champions League and German Cup in the process.

Victory at Augsburg broke a streak of eight defeats in their last nine games in all competitions and eased the pressure on Hyypia, 40, who is in his first season as head coach.

Leverkusen took an early lead through former Germany striker Stefan Kiessling before the hosts equalised when prolific midfielder Tobias Werner scored his fourth in consecutive matches.

But Son restored their lead when he fired home from a near-impossible angle after Kiessling’s final pass before ex-Bayern Munich midfielder Emre Can netted their third exactly 100 seconds later.

The win keeps Leverkusen fourth in the league, which carries a Champions League play-off place, and three points clear of fifth-placed Wolfsburg.

VfB Stuttgart remain second from bottom after they crashed to a 2-0 defeat at fellow relegation-candidates Nuremberg.

Fellow former German league giants Hamburg, who are fighting to avoid a historic first relegation from Germany’s top-flight, drew 1-1 with Freiburg to stay 16th of 18 teams.

Borussia Moenchengladbach drop to sixth, amongst the Europa League berths, after a 1-0 defeat at Eintracht Frankfurt, who are up to 11th after their second consecutive win.

Mid-table Hoffenheim won 3-1 at home to ten-man Hanover 96, who had midfielder Manuel Schmiedebach sent off for a foul on Anthony Modeste.

On Tuesday, Bayern Munich claimed their 24th German league title with a 3-1 win at Hertha Berlin as Pep Guardiola’s side secured the title with a record seven games to spare.