Eisenberg makes 'nerve-racking' UK stage debut with 'The Spoils'

2016-06-03 03:17:53

LONDON Oscar-nominated actor Jesse Eisenberg brings his self-penned play "The Spoils" to London audiences, making "a nerve-racking" stage debut in Britain which he regards as a theater mecca.The tragicomedy, in which Eisenberg also stars, showed off-Broadway last year and the production has transferred to the West End for a limited season.The 32-year old actor, known for "The Social Network" and more recently "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice", plays Ben, a callous wannabe filmmaker, living in a comfortable apartment bought by his father. Staying with him is his friend Kalyan, a hard-working, earnest Nepalese immigrant studying business at New York University, who is played by "The Big Bang Theory" actor Kunal Nayyar.     When Ben's former school crush Sarah comes over for dinner with her partner Ted, tensions soon arise in the flat with Kalyan watching as his friend sets off on a path of self-destruction."What the play does discuss is kind of generational strife. My character is third generation American and I think he feels the kind of laziness of assimilation," Eisenberg told Reuters in an interview. "Kunal's character is a new immigrant from Nepal and struggling to make it in an exclusive world of ... privilege that he is not a part of. The play discusses those themes and how my character, in a way, has lost his meaning because he doesn't have to struggle."    Although no stranger to theater -- this is the third play the actor has written -- Eisenberg said he was worried about performing in the British capital.     "It is ... nerve-racking. I, very much, am in awe of the theater that's performed in London and actually all around the UK. It's really a kind of a mecca for theater, I would say more so than New York," he said.    "The Spoils" runs at Trafalgar Studios till August 13. (Reporting By Sara Hemrajani; Editing by Marie-Louise Gumuchian and Richard Balmforth)

Turning 90, Winnie-the-Pooh meets Britain's queen in new story

2016-05-27 02:13:08

LONDON Winnie-the-Pooh turns 90 this year and the much-loved children's character returns for a new adventure in which he meets someone else celebrating the same significant birthday -- Britain's Queen Elizabeth. "Winnie-the-Pooh and the Royal Birthday" sees the popular bear from A.A. Milne's children's stories travel to London with friends Christopher Robin, Piglet and Eeyore, where they take in the famous sites and arrive at Buckingham Palace.The short illustrated and audio story, which can be downloaded for free, has been released to celebrate both birthdays. Elizabeth turned 90 last month while Milne's first Winnie-the-Pooh book came out in October 1926. It was written by Jane Riordan and illustrated by Mark Burgess in the style used by E.H. Shepard for Milne's stories. "There's such a wit and a style to the stories that adults enjoy reading them to children," British actor Jim Broadbent, who narrates the audio story, said in a video release. "... The children love them and they then love them and want to pass them on to the next generation and they carry on." (Reporting By Marie-Louise Gumuchian Editing by Jeremy Gaunt)

Apple wins dismissal of lawsuit over MacBook logic boards

2016-05-19 07:13:04

Apple Inc won the dismissal on Thursday of a lawsuit accusing it of defrauding consumers by selling MacBook laptop computers that contained "logic boards" it knew were defective, and which routinely failed within two years.U.S. District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco said the plaintiffs, Uriel Marcus and Benedict Verceles, failed to show that Apple made "affirmative misrepresentations," despite citing online complaints and Apple marketing statements calling the laptops "state of the art" or the "most advanced" on the market."Plaintiffs have failed to allege that Apple's logic boards were unfit for their ordinary purposes or lacked a minimal level of quality," Alsup wrote. "Both plaintiffs were able to adequately use their computers for approximately 18 months and two years, respectively."Alsup gave the plaintiffs until Jan. 22 to amend their lawsuit, which sought class-action status, against the Cupertino, California-based company. Omar Rosales, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Apple did not immediately respond to a similar request.The plaintiffs claimed that Apple's sale of MacBooks since May 20, 2010, violated consumer protection laws in California and Texas, where the lawsuit began last May before being moved.They also contended that Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook was told about the defective logic boards in 2011, but did nothing. Logic boards contain computer circuitry and are sometimes known as motherboards.A separate and still pending lawsuit in California accuses Apple of defrauding consumers by selling MacBook Pro laptops in 2011 that contained defective graphic cards, causing screen distortions and system failures. MacBooks are part of Apple's Mac line of desktop and laptop computers. The company reported unit sales in that business of 18.91 million in its latest fiscal year.The case is Marcus et al v. Apple Inc, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, No. 14-03824. (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York. Editing by Andre Grenon)

Canadian oil producers warn of supply shortfalls after wildfire

2016-05-13 05:13:05

WANDERING RIVER, Alberta CNOOC Ltd's Nexen is the latest Canadian oil sands company to warn customers it may not be able to fulfill supply contracts in the wake of a massive wildfire, as producers scramble to get facilities back online.Nexen has issued a force majeure for all of its May production of Canadian heavy crude, two sources said on Thursday. Four major oil firms have now declared force majeure, a contract clause to remove liability for unavoidable catastrophes.The fire that blazed through oil sands hub Fort McMurray, forcing the evacuation of about 90,000 people last week, has moved into sparsely populated woodlands further east. It spans 241,000 hectares (596,000 acres), growing much more slowly than before, but still posing a threat. Cool temperatures are helping contain it, but hot, dry weather is expected starting Saturday, said Chad Morrison, Alberta's senior wildlife manager."We're long from over in this fight," he said on a conference call with other officials.Nexen's Long Lake facility, located south of the community known as Fort Mac, sustained minor damage from the fire, Alberta officials said this week.Three major oil firms warned last week they will not be able to deliver on some contracts for Canadian crude.BP Plc and Phillips 66 alerted customers some grades of Canadian crude would not be available, while Suncor Energy, Canada's largest producer, warned clients that some supplies from the region would be disrupted by the fires.While downtime has crimped supplies, Enbridge Inc said late Wednesday it had restarted its 550,000 bpd Line 18 pipeline, and Royal Dutch Shell Plc has also partly resumed operations in the area. Roughly 1 million barrels per day (bpd) of output were shut down during the fire, about half the oil sands' usual daily production. Alberta holds the world's third-largest crude reserves and is the No. 1 exporter of crude to the United States. No oil sands sites are under immediate threat from the fire, which is burning about 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) from the neighboring province of Saskatchewan, Morrison said.U.S. oil prices dipped on Thursday after jumping to six-month highs, when buying on a forecast for tighter global supplies gave way to selling. [O/R]Travel to Fort McMurray is restricted to essential services, including workers, supplies and equipment for oil sands operations. Suncor workers are expected to begin returning to shuttered facilities on Thursday. DEBIT CARD LINESHundreds of people lined up around the evacuee center in Lac La Biche, Alberta, on Thursday to collect provincial government debit cards loaded with C$1,250 per adult and C$500 per dependent."I just think for government, this could have been organized better," said Wanda Anderson of Fort McMurray, about the debit card distribution, standing in line wrapped in a purple blanket as morning temperatures hovered just above freezing. Even so, Anderson, who is staying in a trailer park with her family, said they have been well cared for with meals, and her kids are enrolled in local schools. Alberta Municipal Affairs Minister Danielle Larivee said the idea behind the debit cards was to give residents immediate access to cash.The Canadian Red Cross is also distributing C$50 million ($38.93 million) in donated funds, or C$600 for each adult and C$300 for each child.Evacuees who had been sleeping on cots in a hockey rink in Lac La Biche were moved late Wednesday to longer-term housing in the towns of Bonnyville and St. Paul, Alberta, about 120 to 130 km (72 to 78 miles) to the southeast. A plan to allow residents to return, either permanently or to view their homes, is about 10 days away, Larivee said. In the meantime, government officials said there is much work to do to restore the community's only hospital, after it was damaged by smoke and water, as well as natural gas, water and other infrastructure.While the community rebuilds, providers of temporary housing, such Civeo Corp and Target Logistics [AGSCS.UL], have seen demand spike.In another sign of life returning to normal in the oil sands, Syncrude Canada Ltd reported its herd of 300 bison, which grazes on a reclaimed area of the oil sands mine site, was doing well after being left behind during the evacuation. (Additional reporting by Nia Williams in Calgary and Catherine Ngai in New York; Writing by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg, Manitoba; Editing by James Dalgleish and Cynthia Osterman)

Curry returns as Warriors take 3-1 lead over Trail Blazers

2016-05-10 16:27:06

(The Sports Xchange) - Stephen Curry scored 17 of his 40 points in overtime as the Golden State Warriors rallied for a 132-125 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday at the Moda Center.The Warriors grabbed a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven Western Conference semi-final series.Curry, coming back after missing the previous four games with a sprained right knee, came off the bench to score 27 of his points in the fourth quarter and extra session. Curry also had nine rebounds and eight assists.The Warriors trailed 16-2 before the reigning league MVP came off the bench midway through the first quarter.Klay Thompson scored 23 points and Draymond Green collected 21 points, nine rebounds, seven blocked shots and five assists for the Warriors.Damian Lillard scored 36 points and handed out 10 assists, CJ McCollum added 24 points, and Al-Farouq Aminu chipped in 18 points and 13 rebounds for the Blazers, who will attempt to extend the series by winning Game 5 is Wednesday night at Oracle Arena.Curry scored the Warriors' first 12 points of overtime for a 123-118 lead with 1:51 to go. Harrison Barnes' fastbreak layup extended the lead to 125-118 with 1:23 to play.Lillard made a pair at the line to cut the difference to 125-120 with 1:18 to go, but Curry buried another 3-pointer, and it was 128-120 with 1:05 remaining. The Blazers got no closer than seven points the rest of the way. Lillard scored 17 first-half points despite making only three of 14 shots from the field, and McCollum added 16 to stake Portland to a 67-57 halftime lead. Curry came off the bench for 11 points for Golden State. Both teams shots poorly -- Portland 39.6 percent and Golden State 39.1 percent.The Blazers finished at 40.6 percent, while the Warriors improved to close at 46.3 percent.It was 71-59 when Thompson got hot, sinking four straight 3-pointers as the Warriors went on a 23-7 run to go in front 82-78. They carried an 86-85 edge into the final period. Golden State led 92-87 with nine minutes left, but McCollum knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers, Aminu buried one from the corner, and suddenly Portland was back on top 96-95. After Lillard and Thompson exchanged treys, Aminu made one of two at the line and it was tied 100-100 with 4:53 remaining.Curry rained in a trey for a 103-100 Golden State lead, but Lillard converted a driving layup to make it 103-102. Lillard's 30-foot 3-pointer gave Portland back the lead at 105-103 with 2:40 to play.Lillard sank a pair of free throws to increase the Blazers' advantage to 107-103 with 2:12 to go.Curry buried another one from beyond the arc, and it was 107-106 with 2:01 to go. Lillard answered with a jumper to make it 109-106 with 1:47 remaining. Green scored on a dunk to close the gap to 109-108, but Mason Plumlee's layup pushed Portland in front 101-98 with 58.6 seconds left. Harrison Barnes evened the count at 101-101 on a 3-point shot with 51.7 seconds to go.Lillard missed a fadeaway jumper. The Warriors rebounded and didn't call for a timeout. Curry missed a running bank shot, and Green's tip-in failed to drop as time expired, forcing an extra session.Portland got out to a 16-2 lead, with Lillard providing nine of the points, as the Warriors started 1-for-12 from the field. (Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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