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Watch Hall and Oates Tear Through 'Private Eyes' Live in Ireland

"Let's put it this way," John Oates says, discussing how his approach to touring has changed over the past 40 years. "I still play music for free, but now you've gotta pay me to leave my house, sleep in a hotel and go on an airplane."

Last summer, the singer flew Ireland to play Hall and Oates' first-ever concert in the country, and tomorrow, that performance – a nearly two-hour set for a packed Olympia Theatre – will be released on DVD and CD. Oates says that they decided to film this particular gig because the circumstances surrounding it seemed to promise "the witch's brew of a great show." "I think our level is always consistently high," he explains. "But the audience and the chemistry of the evening is what makes it go over the top. The show sold out in an hour, so we knew there was going to be an amazing demand of hardcore fans, and we knew the Irish audience is really into music."

Hall and Oates met in 1967 and released their first album together, Whole Oats, in 1972. They scored their first hit with 1976's "Sara Smile" and their first Number One with "Rich Girl" the following year. In 2002, their "Do It for Love" spent two weeks atop the Billboard Adult Contemporary charts, and in 2014 they were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Oates credits their continued success to consistent vocal training and long-term planning. "We were born singers," he says. "We were trained singers, and we know how to preserve our pipes. We never really abused ourselves back in the abusive Seventies and Eighties."
Their secret? "Trying to have common sense and trying to make decisions that were predicated on things like 'How can we continue to make music for the rest of our lives if we never have another hit record?' That's what we care about, and all our decisions are always based on that: What will allow us to keep doing the thing that we love to do?"
He admits that being logical isn't necessarily the sexiest strategy for success. "I know it's maybe a little too practical for the average rock fan," he says. "But hey, it's 2015 and we're still here."

Daryl Hall & John Oates: Recorded Live From Dublin can be pre-ordered here.

Superhighway: Russian official proposes road that could connect London to NYC

Road trip!
One of Russia's most powerful tycoons and a close pal of President Vladimir Putin has proposed a long and winding road that theoretically could connect Great Britain to Alaska, via Mother Russia. 

And while a nearly 13,000-mile highway sounds like a stretch – a really long stretch – the major roadblock is likely money, not feasibility.

“This is an inter-state, inter-civilization, project,” Russian Railways boss Vladimir Yakunin told the Russian Academy of Science, where he presented his plan for the Trans-Eurasian belt Development, which he acknowledged would cost “trillions” of dollars.

The road would link thousands of miles of existing byways and bridges across Russia, a span of more than 6,000 miles. From the west, it could then connect to roads in Europe, including the Chunnel Tunnel, which connects Great Britain and France.
“This is an inter-state, inter-civilization, project.”- Vladimir Yakunin, head of Russian Railways
From it eastern terminus in Siberia’s Chukotka region, the road would be just 55 miles across the Bering Sea from the isolated Alaskan city of Nome, a major obstacle except in the context of Yakunin’s massive proposed undertaking. If a connection to Nome was followed by a U.S.-built road to Fairbanks, the global triptik would be possible.

Yakunin didn’t directly address the Bering Sea issue, but a ferry system might be the least expensive method.

The thoroughfare would share its easement with a high-speed rail and oil and gas pipelines that Yakunin said could help spur development in such remote zones as Siberia.

The Siberian Times reported March 23 that Yakunin has been working on the ambitious project with Viktor Sadovnichy, the president of Moscow State University.

The project would span the entire length of Russia, linking existing networks in Europe and Asia and creating the first-ever modern route from the Pacific Ocean in the east to the Atlantic Ocean in the west. Yakunin said it could generate an immense number of jobs, sprout new cities and spur development of Siberia and the Far East.

Vladimir Fortov, head of the Russian Academy of Science, said the project is “very ambitious and expensive,” but added that it would “solve many problems in the development of the vast region.”

“The idea is that basing on the new technology of high-speed rail transport we can build a new railway near the Trans-Siberian Railway with the opportunity to go to Chukotka and Bering Strait and then to the American continent,” Fortov said.

If anyone has the juice to make the humongous highway happen, it could be the 66-year-old Yakunin. Not only is he a close friend of Putin, he has even been rumored to be Putin's handpicked successor.

Fox Sues to Keep 'Empire' as Title of Hit Series

Empire S01E12 Still - H 2015

The broadcaster takes preemptive action after being sent multimillion-dollar demands from Empire Distribution Inc.

Chuck Hodes/FOX
In response to a demand that it pay $5 million and cast several artists in the hit TV series Empire, Fox filed a trademark lawsuit on Monday seeking a declaration that it has every right to use the show's title.

A preemptive lawsuit holds risks, as the "Blurred Lines" verdict demonstrates, but on the other hand, Fox might wish to avoid another Glee, which ran into trademark trouble in the U.K. with a judge there basically allowing the owner of a comedy club to assert dominion.

In this instance, Fox is suing Empire Distribution, Inc., which is identified as a California corporation that has not only come forward asserting rights to "Empire," "Empire Distribution" and "Empire Recordings" but has also in a demand letter claimed trademark dilution by tarnishment via a series that features "a label run by a homophobic drug dealer prone to murdering his friends."

Fox, of course, sees its Lee Daniels-created show about a feuding entertainment-industry family differently, especially now that it's a massive success, attracting 16.7 million same-day viewers for its season finale. The show has also spawned a soundtrack album that debuted on top of the Billboard 200 chart.

The defendant might be in the music business, but Fox portrays Empire Distribution as commercially weak, with a Google search for "empire record label" not resulting in defendant's website until the seventh page. To get there, Google users will be flipping past others who have used the mark. "There is even a film called Empire Records," remarks the complaint, filed on behalf of Fox by attorney Marvin Putnam in California federal court.

Empire Distribution's website lists many prominent artists on its roster. They include Kendrick Lamar, N.O.R.E., and Sean Paul. (Some of the artists appear to have released early or side work on Empire before moving on to bigger labels.)

Fox also says that the defendant never applied for a federal trademark registration on "Empire," and after applying for "Empire Distribution" for non-electronic music recordings in January 2014, the defendant was initially denied out of a likelihood of confusion. A separate trademark registration covering electronic delivery of music recordings is pending.

Empire Distribution has hired a lawyer and sent demands.

The first claim is said to have come on Feb. 16, with an $8 million demand to resolve potential trademark infringement and dilution claims.

The second came on March 6.

"This letter, again authored by outside counsel, reiterated defendant’s trademark claims, asserted a new claim for unfair competition, and gave Fox three 'options' to settle the claims made against it," states the complaint. "(1) Fox could pay $5 million and include artists that defendant represents as 'regular guest stars' on the fictional television series Empire; (2) Fox could pay defendant $8 million; or (3) Fox could stop using the word 'Empire.'”

Fox won't pay up. Instead, it's suing to protect itself upon "a cloud over Fox’s intellectual property rights in the fictional television series Empire and the Soundtrack Music."

“Unfortunately, success today can often make creators a target for a myriad of baseless legal claims,” says Putnam, of O'Melveny & Myers. “They hope you will just pay a little something from that success to make them go away. As underscored by today’s complaint, Fox has no intention of allowing anyone to leverage Empire’s success for their own unwarranted financial gain.”

Empire says it has partnerships with Atlantic Records, Republic Records, eOne, and Kobalt Publishing. CEO Ghazi Shami says Empire "isn’t just a fictional show; they are functioning as a record label in the real world."

The company has retained Michael Hobbs, a partner with Troutman Sanders, who says he is confident this is a textbook trademark infringement case. "Empire was started over five years before the first broadcast of the show, the marks are identical, and they sell the same products to the same customers. The significant number of incidents of actual public confusion is disturbing.”

Email: Eriq.Gardner@THR.com

Australia: Rescue Attempt is Underway to Save 23 Long-Finned Pilot Whales

A rescue attempt is underway to save 23 long-finned pilot whales that are washed up against a breakwater wall in Western Australia.

The Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPAW) sent out a team to the Bunbury harbour breakwater wall after the whales congregated against it this morning.

ABC reporter Katrin Long is at the breakwater and said seven whales had died while some calves were fighting for their lives.

She said the whales were jammed in at the groyne and it was almost impossible to free them.

"Every time it looks like one is away from rocks a waves smashes it back into the groyne. One [is] just a bub," she said.

Volunteers from the Dolphin Centre have moved into the water to help the whales.

One volunteer, Bob, said it was hard to get to the whales.

"There were 60 or more on a beach," he said.

"Here we've got a small number but it's on rocks and it's ... hard to get down there in amongst the rocks."

Desperate attempts to save a struggling calf failed, but it has been towed out in an attempt to try and coax its mother away from the rocks.

Another calf has been rescued while the DPAW team and volunteers continue with their attempts to save the other whales.

Earlier the DPAW team managed to tow a whale away from the rocks but, as they are pod animals, it is likely it will wait for the others to be freed so they can leave together.

A plane has been sent to monitor the area to find out if there are any more whales in the area.


Picasso's electrician ordered to return 271 stolen paintings

French court gives a former electrician and his wife a two-year suspended sentence for stealing artworks worth over £40 million

By - Paris

A French court has convicted a retired electrician and his wife of concealing 271 stolen artworks by Picasso, and ordered the couple to give them back to the artist's family.

The verdict on Friday in the southern city of Grasse wraps up an unusual case centering around works that were unknown to the public for decades and have an estimated worth 60-100 million euros (£43-72 million).

Pierre Le Guennec and his wife, Danielle, say Picasso or his wife gave them paintings, drawings, lithographs and collages around 1970 when Le Guennec worked for the renowned Spanish artist. The family says Picasso never did.

Picasso family lawyer Jean-Jacques Neuer says the Le Guennecs were each given a two-year suspended sentence and accused shady art dealers of seeking to profit from the long-secret artworks.


Bruce Willis Celebrates 60th Birthday with guest list including Tony Bennett and Keith Richards

Milestone: Bruce Willis celebrated his 60th birthday with a bash at Harlow in New York City on Saturday night

By Justin Enriquez

He has starred in some of the biggest action flicks of the past 30 years.
So it was only natural that Bruce Willis would have a star-studded celebration as he celebrated turning the big 6-0.

Star-studded: Legendary musicians Tony Bennett and Keith Richards were just two of the stars in attendanceThe Die Hard star rang in his Sixties with a birthday bash at Harlow in New York City on Saturday night featuring an impressive guest list including Tony Bennett and Keith Richards.

Star-studded: Legendary musicians Tony Bennett and Keith Richards were just two of the stars in attendance.

Bruce looked grateful that the two legendary musicians from different genres came out to the celebration as he made sure to spend time with the both of them throughout the night.

Who knew they were friends? Bruce seemed grateful that the 88-year-old crooner could attend as he knelt down next to him for a chatAt one point during the bash, The Sixth Sense actor knelt down next to the 88-year-old Cheek To Cheek hitmaker Tony as they shared a friendly conversation with one another. He later was spotted sitting in a booth next to the 71-year-old Keith.

Bruce looked dapper for the celebration as he wore a black three-piece suit and unbuttoned smart white shirt.

Who knew they were friends? Bruce seemed grateful that the 88-year-old crooner could attend as he knelt down next to him for a chat.
Dynamic duo: The Die Hard star and 71-year-old Rolling Stones member sat in booths next to each other as they posed for a photo together 
Dynamic duo: The Die Hard star and 71-year-old Rolling Stones member sat in booths next to each other as they posed for a photo together

Tremendous trio: The pair were joined by Keith's actress and model wife Patti Hansen
Tremendous trio: The pair were joined by Keith's actress and model wife Patti Hansen

Tony and the member of the Rolling Stones were not the only famous guests at the party as Bruce's daughters Tallulah and Scout partied with their father. 

The actor shares the two girls and other daughter Rumer, who is currently busy practicing for Dancing With The Stars, with actress Demi Moore.

Proud papa: The Armageddon star gave his 21-year-old daughter a kiss on the back of her buzzed headPerhaps the most important attendee to the Armageddon star was his wife Emma Heming Willis who looked lovely in a clinging black maxi dress.

Showing their support: Bruce's daughters Tallulah and Scout came to celebrate with their father

Proud papa: The Armageddon star gave his 21-year-old daughter a kiss on the back of her buzzed head

Loved up: Perhaps the most important attendee to Bruce at the event was his wife Emma Heming WillisThe 36-year-old British Model and actress also led the applause as Bruce blew out the candles on his cake.

Not only was the day special as the actor was celebrating his 60th birthday, but the couple also commemorated their wedding anniversary on the same day.

Emma showed she is still smitten with her husband as she posted a cute picture of the two of them kissing on her Instagram,

She wrote: 'Happy 6th Anniversary to the man that still makes me feel like a newlywed #MyTrueLove.'

Standing by her man: The 36-year-old British model and actress led the applause as Bruce raised a glassLoved up: Perhaps the most important attendee to Bruce at the event was his wife Emma Heming Willis

Standing by her man: The 36-year-old British model and actress led the applause as Bruce raised a glass

In the picture, Emma and Bruce appear to have paused for a smooch while taking a sunny stroll in a park.

While locking lips, the pair closed their eyes and appeared to be holding a bouquet of daisies between them.

Emma and Bruce have been married since 2009 and have two daughters together, Mabel and Evelyn.
Bruce is also father to daughters Rumer, Tallulah, and Stout from his previous married from Demi Moore. The two were married from 1987 to 2000.

Wrestling Star Dealt Fatal Blow in the Ring in Front of Thousands of People

Mexican wrestling star dealt fatal blow in the ring in front of thousands of people... and the show kept going as he remained motionless on the mat for two minutes


  • El Hijo Del Perro Aguayo, 35, was dueling former WWE star Rey Mysterio Jr. in Tijuana, Mexico, when a kick he received caused a grave injury 
  • Television images show the wrestler known as Hijo del Perro Aguayo going limp on the ropes after the blow from Mysterio 
  • The match continued for almost two minutes before the other wrestlers and the referee realized what had happened 
  • Star wrestler was taken to the hospital and died around 1.30am Saturday 
  • Aguayo, 35, had wrested for 20 years and was a decorated AAA star
  • He was the son of legendary lucha libre wrestler Pedro 'Perro' Aguayo 
    A Mexican wrestling star suffered a fatal blow in the ring on Friday night in front of the thousands of fans in attendance - and the fight continued for nearly two minutes as he lay motionless on the mat.

    Pedro Aguayo Ramirez, known as Hijo del Perro Aguayo, went limp on the ropes after a flying kick from one of his opponents, Oscar Gutierrez, known as Rey Misterio, Jr., hit his neck. 

    The team match continued for almost two minutes before the other participants and the referee realized Aguayo was seriously injured and tended to him, according to video shot in a municipal auditorium in Tijuana, Mexico.

    The wrestler lost consciousness and never recovered, reports San Diego Red.  

    The Baja, California, state prosecutor's office said he was taken to a hospital a block away and died about 1:30am on Saturday morning. 

    The prosecutor's office said it has opened an investigation into possible manslaughter.

    Aguayo, 35, had wrestled for 20 years and was the son of the legendary Pedro 'Perro' Aguayo, now retired and a member of the Aztec lucha hall of fame.

    Joaquin Roldan, the director of the AAA wrestling federation, said on Twitter: 'I have no words for this terrible news.

    'My sincerest condolences for the Aguayo Ramirez family.' 

    Aguayo was one of the most decorated and popular stars in the AAA.

    He was a three-time Mexican National Tag Team champion, a former Mexican National Light Heavyweight champion, and a Mexican National Atomicos champion.

    Didn't go without a fight: Before his untimely death El Hijo Del Perro Aguayo gave a spectacular performance 
    Didn't go without a fight: Before his untimely death El Hijo Del Perro Aguayo gave a spectacular performance 
    Crowd favorite: Fans cheered as El Hijo Del Perro Aguayo took his opponent to the ground 
    Crowd favorite: Fans cheered as El Hijo Del Perro Aguayo took his opponent to the ground 
    Celebration turned tragedy: Friday's match (not pictured) was supposed to be a celebration and it was Mysterio's first time fighting for the AAA since 1997 after leaving the WWE
    Celebration turned tragedy: Friday's match (not pictured) was supposed to be a celebration and it was Mysterio's first time fighting for the AAA since 1997 after leaving the WWE
    Decorated wrestler: El Hijo del Perro Aguayo was a three-time Mexican National Tag Team champion, a former Mexican National Light Heavyweight champion, and a Mexican National Atomicos champion
    Decorated wrestler: El Hijo del Perro Aguayo was a three-time Mexican National Tag Team champion, a former Mexican National Light Heavyweight champion, and a Mexican National Atomicos champion

    Mexico is famous for its colorful characters and costumes in professional wrestling, popularly known as lucha libre. 

    The elder Aguayo was a lucha libre sensation from the 1970s to 1990s.

    A star: El Hijo del Perro Aguayo was the son of retired wrestler Pedro 'Perro' Aguayo, a lucha libre sensation from the 1970s to 1990s and was one of the most popular wrestlers in Mexico The younger Aguayo began wrestling in his teens and also was very popular, leading a group called 'Los Perros de Mal,' or the bad dogs.

    Bleacher Report writes that Friday's match was supposed to be a celebration and it was Mysterio's first time fighting for the AAA since 1997 after leaving the WWE. 

    Wrestler Hijo del Santo said: 'It makes me very sad because he was a professional colleague and I have great affection for his father.

    'I think the fans in Japan, the US and Mexico, of course, where he was very popular, must be in mourning, especially because of his youth. 

    'He had much ahead of him.'
    A star: El Hijo del Perro Aguayo was the son of retired wrestler Pedro 'Perro' Aguayo, a lucha libre sensation from the 1970s to 1990s and was one of the most popular wrestlers in Mexico

Land speed record: British-built hybrid rocket car aims to be the fastest on Earth

by Jamie Merrill / The Independent
It sounds like a record attempt from another era of British history. This October, with a confident RAF wing commander at the wheel, a futuristic Bristol-built rocket car will attempt to break the land speed record.


The attempt will take place on a specially cleared 12-mile stretch of the Hakskeen Pan in South Africa’s Kalahari desert, where it is hoped the speed reached will be a staggering 1,000mph.

It will cost close to £40m and has attracted big business backing, but despite the talk of thrust, power and speed, the engineers and scientists behind Bloodhound SSC (supersonic car) say it isn’t just about going fast. “Going fast is not our number one job in this project,” said Wing Commander Andy Green. “In fact our number one job is inspiring the next generation of engineers, scientists and mathematicians.”

The RAF officer, 53, will be trying to break his own record of 763mph set in Richard Noble’s Thrust SSC. He set that record in 1997. Nearly 20 years later the world has changed so much that even a Cold War-era fast jet pilot knows he has to be environmentally and socially aware.

Andy Green will drive the £40m car (Tom Pilston)  
Andy Green will drive the £40m car (Tom Pilston)

He added: “It’s the young people we inspire who are going to go on and build the new green technologies of the future. It’s just that you won’t get a 10-year-old excited about a wind turbine: you will get them excited about a land speed record.”

Of course Bloodhound isn’t really green – it produces as much pollution per 60-second run as a 747 travelling 17 miles – but its designers say its hybrid jet and rocket propulsion system is the “greenest way possible” to break the sound barrier on land. 

Last week that ambition came closer at the project’s workshop with the first matching of the rocket section to the car chassis and the announcement that the vehicle would be tested at Newbury airport in August, hopefully reaching up to 200mph in what the team describes as a “low speed” test run.

Land speed racing might be the oldest form of motorsport, but Wing Commander Green and chief engineer Mark Chapman know that speed isn’t everything. That’s why, they stress, the project aims to visit 6,000 schools, provide learning materials, run a model rocket car competition and reach as many as 8.5 million children by 2018.

“We know this project, which was launched in 2008 as Lehman Brothers was collapsing, would have never got off the ground and attracted sponsors, if it had just been about speed. It has to be about inspiring the boys and girls of today to become the engineers of the future,” said Mr Chapman.

In engineering terms, keeping the Bloodhound on the ground is an enormous challenge, as it will hit 1,000 mph in 55 seconds thanks to its unique combination of a Eurofighter jet engine and a cluster of Nammo hybrid space rockets. This hybrid engine (it uses a cleaner form of rocket oxidiser and rubber than most space craft) will produce in the region of 135,000 brake horsepower, which is 11 times the power output of the entire F1 starting grid. There’s even a 550bhp Jaguar engine just to run the rocket’s fuel pump.

Andy Green hopes to break his own record of 763mph set in Richard Noble’s Thrust SSC  
Andy Green hopes to break his own record of 763mph set in Richard Noble’s Thrust SSC (Tom Pilston)

“More people have driven on the surface of the Moon than have driven at supersonic speed on Earth,” said Mr Chapman. “Travelling beyond 800mph is really the ‘here be dragons’ part of the map.”

Later this year the team will establish themselves in South Africa for three months. It’s here that for five years 300 local workers have been removing 18,500 tonnes of stone by hand from the dried-up lake-bed track. It’s now ready, but at first the team will “only” be aiming for 800mph and a new record. They will then return in 2016 to push on to 1,000mph by adding two extra rocket engines to the car.

Thousands sign petition to cancel Kanye West's Glastonbury performance

By Jessica Derschowitz
Kanye West was announced earlier this week as one of the headliners at this summer's Glastonbury music festival, but some music fans aren't happy about it.

One festival-goer started a petition calling on organizers to "prevent this musical injustice" by canceling the rapper's performance.

"Kanye West is an insult to music fans all over the world," Neil Lonsdale wrote in the Change.org petition. "We spend hundreds of pounds to attend glasto, and by doing so, expect a certain level of entertainment. Kanye has been very outspoken on his views on music....he should listen to his own advice and pass his headline slot on to someone deserving!

Others apparently agreed with him. As of Thursday afternoon, the petition has gotten more than 60,000 signatures.

In an interview with NME.com, Lonsdale -- an education worker and self-described "rock kid" from Norfolk, England -- called it an "outrage" that West got the headliner slot over a rock band: "Two years ago we had The Rolling Stones playing the Saturday night, and this year we get Kanye West?"

He also said he initially started a petition as a joke following the announcement of West as Glastonbury's Saturday-night headliner, and that he's got no issue with hip-hop or rap artists.

"My beef is not with the genre. My beef is with the stage and the fact it's a headline slot," he said, adding that West does not "represent anything. His songs are lyrically appalling," he "totally disrespected Beck" at the Grammy Awards in February and "his [BRIT Awards] performance was just threatening."

"Glastonbury needs upbeat major artists. Glastonbury is an institution. It is expected that it has the biggest names," Lonsdale argued. "The biggest performers. Kanye does not represent that."

Glastonbury runs from June 24-28. More on this year's lineup can be found here.

'New' 1964 1/2 Ford Mustangs revved up and ready for sale

The original Ford Mustang is a half-century old, but now you can buy a brand new one.

Florida startup Revology is selling a picture perfect clone of the first-generation pony car that’s been updated with modern mechanicals. The company was started by Tom Scarpello, former marketing chief for Ford’s Special Vehicle Team, the skunkworks responsible for high-performance products like the Mustang Cobra R, F-150 Lightning and GT.

revology-front-876.jpgRevology starts with licensed replica bodies built by Dynacorn, then fills them with a collection of curated parts intended to improve on the ride and performance of the classic while maintaining its old-school style.

Look closely, and you’ll notice the LED head and taillights, and the keyhole missing from the passenger door. It doesn’t have one because the car’s been fitted with remote electronic locks, along with a hidden antenna, power seats, and power windows that are operated by switches disguised as wind-up cranks.

The engine is a remanufactured 1990’s-era 302 V8 supplied by Ford, which was chosen because it’s the same size as the original 289 V8 and fits perfectly in the chassis without requiring modifications. The fuel injected motor puts out about 265 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque, and is mated to either a 5-speed manual, or 4-speed automatic transmission that sends power to a 9-inch, 3.70 ratio limited slip rear end. The whole kit and caboodle comes with a 100,000-mile warranty.

A new suspension design featuring MacPherson struts up front and a three-link coil sprung set up in the rear is a big change from the 1960s Mustangs, and was developed by Australia’s RRS for Revology. Power rack and pinion steering is standard and has a collapsible column for improved safety, enhanced further by three-point seatbelts and door-intrusion beams.

Four-wheel disc brakes do the stopping, and Revology offers a selection of 15 to 17-inch heritage style rims. Feel free to smoke the tires on them, but if you open the ashtray you’ll find USB and Aux ports for the Bluetooth-equipped 2-speaker AM/FM retro audio system.

revology-seats-876.jpgScarpello says his team developed the car using the same kind of process SVT employed modifying Ford’s mainstream products, building several prototypes with volume production in mind, rather than simple one-off customs.

 Revology has low volume manufacturer status, and sells its cars with new VINs and titles.

As you might imagine, they cost a fair bit more than the 1964 1/2 Mustang’s $2,368 base price. A fastback starts at $ 119,500.00, while a convertible with power top is listed at $122,000, with deliveries on new orders starting next year.

Swedish artist Vilks gets free speech award after attack

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Swedish artist Lars Vilks, the main speaker at a seminar in Copenhagen targeted by a gunman a month ago, has received a freedom of speech prize.

Denmark's Free Press Society said Vilks received its annual award on Saturday for his "staunch fearlessness."

The 68-year-old has received numerous threats for drawing the Prophet Muhammad with a dog's body in 2007 and was likely the intended target of the Feb. 14 attack by Omar El-Hussein.

El-Hussein killed a bystander outside the building housing the seminar before spraying the entrance with 27 bullets, wounding three police officers. Hours later, he fatally shot a Jewish guard outside Copenhagen's main synagogue.

Separately Saturday, thousands of people formed a human ring outside Copenhagen's synagogue in a sign of solidarity with Denmark's small Jewish community.

Ski resorts from Maine to California could hit market

Article by: DAVID SHARP , Associated Press
NEWRY, Maine — A real estate investment trust that's considering getting out of the snow business could sell more than dozen ski resorts from Maine to California that are worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

CNL Lifestyle Properties owns 16 resorts including Sunday River and Sugarloaf in Maine, Bretton Woods, Loon Mountain and Mount Sunapee in New Hampshire, Okemo Mountain in Vermont, Crested Butte in Montana, Brighton in Utah, and Northstar-at-Tahoe and Sierra-at-Tahoe in California.

If CNL sells them all to one buyer, industry officials say it would be the largest single ski resort transaction in the history of the sport — though skiers might not notice the sale at all.

CNL will evaluate options for its remaining properties including ski resorts, theme parks and marinas "in the near future," said Steve Rice, senior managing director of CNL Financial Group. Besides selling them, alternatives include a private buyout or listing on a publicly traded exchange.

"We're taking a studied and careful approach," Rice said.

REITs are an investment vehicle for a variety of properties including hotels, office buildings and malls, but they're new to the ski industry in the last 15 or so years. There's only one other REIT that's a big player in the ski industry, Missouri-based EPR, said Michael Berry, president of the National Ski Areas Association.

CNL Lifestyle Properties was valued at as much as $3 billion in 2012 with ownership of more than 100 water parks, ski resorts, marinas and senior housing developments before the value dropped in the aftermath of a real estate downturn.

The REIT is nearing the end of its projected lifespan and anticipates having an "exit strategy" in place by Dec. 31. In June, CNL agreed to sell 48 golf properties for $320 million. In December, it announced an agreement to sell its senior housing for $790 million.

Ideally, the remaining ski properties, theme parks and marinas would be sold, and the company enlisted Jefferies LLC, an investment bank, to evaluate options.

Any sale wouldn't have any significant impact on skiers because the resort operators' long-term leases will remain in place even if the properties change hands.

"At the end of the day, from a customer standpoint, it's not going to alter reality that much," Berry said.

Ski resorts, which are at the mercy of weather and the economy, can be good investments as long the owners have a long investment horizon, said Michael Krongel from Mirus Resort Capital in Burlington, Massachusetts, who's been involved in buying, selling and developing ski resorts for 45 years.

REITs like Florida-based CNL bring in revenue through rent paid by ski resort operators like Michigan-based Boyne Resorts, which holds long-term leases for Sunday River, Sugarloaf and Loon Mountain.

A Boyne official said skiers needn't worry about the potential sale of their beloved ski mountains.

"For the skier, it's a nonevent," said Steve Kircher, president of eastern operations for Boyne, which will remain the lease holder, regardless of ski resort ownership, for several more decades.

Bob Rogowsky, who skies 70 to 80 days a year at Sunday River, said most skiers are pleased with the investments that have been made since CNL bought the resort and Boyne began running it in 2007.

He's confident enough in the stability of the resort that he recently bought a retirement home in the area.

"I wouldn't have made that kind of financial commitment and lifetime commitment if didn't believe there was stability and a good future," Rogowsky said.

Hot water flows on Enceladus, which could harbor life

First photographs emerge of new Pacific island off Tonga

New volcanic island at Hunga area of Tonga, Pacific Islands Photo: GP Orbassano

Three men scale peak of new one-mile island off Tonga which is believed to have formed after a volcano exploded underwater and then expanded

The first photographs have emerged of a newly formed volcanic island in the Pacific Ocean after three men climbed to the peak of the land mass off the coast of Tonga.

The pre-eruption satellite view before the island on the left became fused with the volcanic crater created by Hunga Tonga (Pleiades © CNES 2015)

The post-eruption satellite view after the island on the left became joined to the crater which created a larger land mass (Pleiades © CNES 2015)

The new volcanic island (centre) forms a trio with the older Hunga Tonga and Hunga Ha'apai volcanic islets, Tonga (All pictures taken by GP Orbassano)
The three locals from Tonga visited the island on Saturday, landing on a black beach and climbing to the rim of the crater.

They said the surface was still hot and the green lake in the crater smelt strongly of sulphur.

"It was a perfect day, with fantastic views – bright blue sky and the sea was the same colour as the sky," GP Orbassano, one of the locals, told Tonga's Matangi Online.

The one-mile long cone-shaped island began forming last month, about forty miles from the nation's capital, and is now safe to walk on.

Experts believe a volcano exploded underwater and then expanded until an island formed. The island is expected to erode back into the ocean in a matter of months.

Mr Orbassano said he believed the island was high enough for it to remain for some time – and potentially attract tourists.

Gianpiero Orbassano and Branko Sugar on top of the crater rim

"There are thousands of seabirds – all kinds, laying eggs on the island," he said.

Tonga's lands and natural resources ministry said last month the island was half a mile wide and just under a mile long. It is believed to be about 820 feet high.

(All pictures taken by GP Orbassano)

Mr Orbassano, 63, an Italian who moved to Tonga more than 20 years ago, previously had a career in photography and took a series of photos of the new island.




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Madonna: New Album “Rebel Heart” Opens Soft on iTunes, Amazon with No Hit Single

Madonna has not sold a lot of records in a long time. “American Life,” “Hard Candy,” and “MDNA” were stiffs on the charts, even though the Material Middle Aged Lady continued to sell concert tickets by the truckload.

Alas, her new album, “Rebel Heart,” buoyed by very positive reviews, is not taking off like a rocket. “Rebel Heart” dropped today to a luke warm greeting. Amazon has it at number 4, but that audience skews older and wants the physical CD. Over at iTunes, Madonna is at number 8.

Those rankings aren’t bad considering she’s the oldest pop star in the top 40. But so far “Rebel Heart” has no radio hit, and no one single track on the iTunes top 100. She doesn’t really have a record label, which is part of the problem. Madonna is signed to Live Nation, which leases the album to Interscope. I don’t think anyone’s focused on radio, figuring instead that “Rebel Heart” is an adjunct to Madonna’s coming tour this fall. But if someone worked “Addicted” they might get a radio hit. 

And that would help.

“MDNA,” Madonna’s last album, premiered at number 1 with 359,000 copies. But that was a canard because most of the albums were deep discounted or given away with concert tickets (185,000 copies were sold that way). In the end, “MDNA” sold a total 539,000 copies. In its second week, “MDNA” had the biggest single drop from number 1 in history. Madonna’s team is playing it safe this time. But it may mean brutally low numbers next Monday.