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    Venice film festival 2011: the 10 key films





    The Ides of March (opening night). The festival kicks off with George Clooney's tale of political skulduggery and scuppered idealism, loosely based on the giddying, mayfly crusade of 2004 presidential hopeful Howard Dean. Clooney directs and stars alongside Marisa Tomei, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Ryan Gosling. We're hoping this is one is less Leatherheads, more Good Night and Good Luck

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    Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. I loved Tomas Alfredson's last film (2009's Let the Right One In), so I'm fascinated to see how he handles the broad, murky canvas of John Le Carre's 70s spy novel. Gary Oldman reprises Alec Guinness's indelible turn as gimlet-eyed George Smiley, navigating a supporting cast that includes the likes of Colin Firth, John Hurt and Benedict Cumberbatch



    Wuthering Heights has been a long time coming. The project was first mooted in 2008 (with Natalie Portman briefly booked to play Cathy) and was tipped to unveil at the Cannes film festival in May. But the Croisette's loss could be the Lido's gain. Andrea Arnold (Red Road, Fish Tank) directs newcomers Kaya Scodelario and James Howson in the latest stab at Emily Brontė's wind-blown Gothic melodrama

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    A Dangerous Method. David Cronenberg shifts back into dank, cerebral mode to adapt the Christopher Hampton play about the birth of psychoanalysis and the rivalry between Freud and Jung. This casts Viggo Mortensen as Sigmund and Michael Fassbender as Carl. Keira Knightley co-stars as the anguished patient who comes between them



    Dark Horse. Wild, skittish, potentially dangerous, Todd Solondz canters back to the fray with a black comedy of inertia, spotlighting two depressed thirty-somethings still living with their folks. The writer-director built his reputation on the back of the blisteringly misanthropic Happiness and seems a safe bet to ruffle a few more feathers here

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    Faust. Anyone who caught Russian Ark and The Sun will be itching to see what the fearsomely gifted Alexander Sokurov (pictured above) does with the legend of Faust. This, according to the film-maker, is “a very colourful, elegant picture with a lot of Strauss music and a smell of chocolate”. It is also the fourth and final part of his unofficial quartet examining the corrosive effect of power



    Carnage. Kate Winslet and John C Reilly (pictured above with Jodie Foster) play warring middle-class parents in Carnage, adapted from an award-winning stageplay (God of Carnage) by Yasmina Reza. It's the sort of claustrophobic chamber piece that seems perfectly suited to the skills of director Roman Polanski. But will he include the scene in which Winslet's character pukes across the coffee table?

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    We Can't Go Home Again. We know Nicholas Ray (pictured above) for Rebel Without a Cause, They Live By Night and Bigger than Life. But he emerged from a lengthy exile in the early 70s to shoot We Can't Go Home Again, reputedly an abstract, experimental masterpiece, lost for years and now lovingly restored. It's screening out of competition in tandem with a new Ray documentary Don't Expect Too Much. I'll try, but my hopes are high.



    Nel Nome Del Padre. Marco Bellochio made one of the all-time great debuts with Fists in the Pocket back in 1965 and his recent films (Vincere, My Mother's Smile) are sterling stuff too. He's in town to receive a lifetime achievement award, accompanied by a re-tooled “director's cut” of Nel Nome Del Padre, a film that he says has nagged and haunted him since he shot it back in 1971



    Damsels in Distress (closing night film). Whither Whit Stillman? The wry, literate American made Metropolitan, Barcelona and The Last Days of Disco and then sailed off the map, reputedly chasing his quixotic dream of shooting a movie about limbo dancers in Jamaica. But now, praise be, he's back. Damsels in Distress, an Ivy League drama starring Greta Gerwig, will bring down the curtain on this year's festival

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    The German Frigate 'Hamburg' (R) patrols after destroying two fishing boats (L) which were discovered floating keel side up in open waters off the coast of Somalia, in this undated handout photo made available to Reuters August 15, 2011



    Mennonite women view Old Faithful Geyser in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

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    A crowd uses umbrellas to avoid the rain while walking under India's national flags, which were raised during Independence Day ceremonies at the historic Red Fort in Delhi August 15, 2011.



    A man climbs a pole at the center of a pond while people try to grab a goat from the water as part of the Deopokhari festival in Khokana, Nepal August 15, 2011. During the annual festival, a live goat is thrown into a pond and the team of devotees that retrieve the animal first wins.

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    Actors Lars Eidinger (L) and Bernardo Arias Porras perform on stage during a dress rehearsal of William Shakespeare's play "Mass fuer Mass" (Measure for Measure) in Salzburg, Austria August 15, 2011. The play is directed by Thomas Ostermeier and will premiere on August 17 as part of the annual Salzburg Festival




    An anti-Mubarak demonstrator shouts anti-government slogans as riot police stand by to prevent clashes between the demonstrators, in front of the police academy where former Egyptian president Hosni Murbarak is on trial, in Cairo August 15, 2011. Street clashes broke out on Monday as Mubarak returned to court to face charges over the killing of protesters, the first Arab leader to stand trial in person since popular uprisings began sweeping the Middle East.

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    Relatives of Turkish soldier Onur Karakus cry during a funeral ceremony in Istanbul August 15, 2011. Kurdish guerrillas ambushed a military convoy in eastern Turkey late Saturday, killing three soldiers, including Karakus, security sources said. They said the clash took place in the southeastern province of Sirnak when soldiers patrolling a road were attacked by guerrillas of the Kurdistan Workers Party



    A Ugandan soldier serving with the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) carries a mortar shell that was used by the al Shabaab rebels to make improvised explosive devices in Mogadishu, Somalia in this handout photograph released by the African Union-United Nations Information Support Team to Reuters August 15, 2011.

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    Army servicemen sit on the ground as they watch a woman walk past, while waiting for instructions, during a rally near the parliament headquarters in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan August 15, 2011. "April 7" party supporters gathered to protest against the decision of local authorities to transfer former Kyrgyz defence minister Baktybek Kalyev, who is on trial due to April 2010 revolt, from jail to house arrest for medical reasons, according to local media



    Thailand's first female Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra smiles after she paid respect to a statue of god Brahma at the Government House in Bangkok August 15, 2011. Yingluck said on Friday her government would push ahead with the policies that formed the basis of her successful election campaign, with the aim of boosting consumption and spurring economic growth.

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    Once again Mr Lick - Excellent Stuff.

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    A man, that rebels said was a member of the Gaddafi army, is seen with a gunshot wound to his jaw while being carried to the Bir Muammar Hospital on the outskirts of Zawiyah, August 15, 2011. Rebels who attacked the strategic town of Zawiyah on Saturday lost at least six men on Monday as they continue to clear snipers and other pro-government forces.



    A police officer looks at the body of an unidentified man killed in Guatemala City, August 15, 2011. The man, about 45 years old, was shot from another vehicle on an avenue known as the Periferico, in Zone 7 of the city, according to the police.

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    Holding On
    A mother holds her daughter's hand at a hospital in Mogadishu, Somalia, on Tuesday. The facility has been overwhelmed by new patients, as sickness spreads through camps set up for people displaced by drought and famine.



    Wacky Weather in New Zealand
    A snowman sits on a road Tuesday in Wellington, New Zealand, as snow -- part of a freak polar blast expected to last for several days -- continues to fall across the country

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    The Tank Was Already Taken
    A rebel fighter leans on a bicycle during a patrol of Brega, an oil-rich port, as battles between anti-government forces and those loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi continue west of the city.



    Hockey's Rypien Found Dead in His Home
    Rick Rypien, seen here playing for the Vancouver Canucks in 2009, was found dead on Monday in his home in Canada, according to authorities. The 27-year-old had just signed a one-year contract with the Winnipeg Jets.

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    Locked in a Sweet Embrace
    Young people stand next to a fence decorated with so-called "Liebesschloesser" (love padlocks) at the Hohenzollernbruecke Bridge in Cologne, Germany, on Monday



    Pretty Slick
    Swimmer Sandeep Nagar Anthal of India competes at the 26th Summer Universiade games in Shenzhen, China, on Monday

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    NoW reporter's letter says hacking 'widely discussed'



    John Whittingdale and Tom Watson on why they may need to speak to James Murdoch again


    MPs have released a letter from a journalist jailed for phone hacking, alleging senior News of the World figures knew what was going on.

    Former royal editor Clive Goodman wrote the letter to News International as he appealed against his dismissal in 2007.

    Mr Goodman said hacking was "widely discussed" and he was promised his job back if he did not implicate the paper in court.

    The Commons culture select committee, which might recall James Murdoch, published the letter.

    The culture, media and sport committee's chairman John Whittingdale MP said that it might recall Mr Murdoch to give further evidence because it needed to ask more questions about what he knew about hacking.

    Other former News International executives are already expecting to be called to give evidence to MPs in September.

    Last month, the MPs voted not to recall James Murdoch to give more evidence after he and his father appeared earlier in July.

    Goodman is the only journalist so far to have been convicted of intercepting voice mail messages.

    The Editor promised on many occasions that I could come back to a job at the newspaper if I did not implicate the paper or any of its staff in my mitigation plea - Clive Goodman
    He was jailed for four months in January 2007 after pleading guilty to hacking phones.

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    Locals gather near burning oil tankers on the outskirts of Landikotal, North West Pakistanafter bombs destroyed truck carrying fuel for US led NATO forces in Afghanistan

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    Uefa boss to scrutinise Manchester City's Etihad deal




    Manchester City's sponsorship deal with Etihad Airways will be analysed by Uefa's financial fair play (FFP) boss.

    In a 10-year deal reportedly worth £400m, Etihad now sponsors both the club's shirt and the stadium.

    But with City and Etihad sharing Abu Dhabi links, critics have claimed this is an attempt to circumvent European football's strict new financial rules.

    City declined to reply, although the club have previously said speculation over the figures was "not accurate

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    German economic growth slows sharply



    Growth in the German economy slowed sharply between April and June and was weaker at the start of the year than previously thought, figures show.

    The economy grew by just 0.1% in the quarter, according to figures from the national statistics office. Growth in the eurozone as a whole also slowed.

    Germany had been driving the economic recovery in the eurozone.

    The figures come ahead of a key meeting between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

    The two leaders will discuss ways to solve the eurozone debt crisis that has threatened to engulf Italy and Spain and has sparked turmoil on global stock markets.

    Figures also released on Tuesday showed that eurozone economic growth slowed to 0.2% in the second quarter, down from 0.8% in the previous three months.

    Growth in Spain slowed to 0.2% from 0.3%, while the Italian economy picked up slightly, growing by 0.3% against 0.1% in the first quarter.

    The weak growth figures are expected to raise further questions about the strength of the eurozone economy, particularly in light of figures released last week showing that French economic growth came to a standstill between April and June.

    Growth figures for the rest of the eurozone will be released later.

    European markets fell in early trading following the growth data, with Frankfurt's Dax index down 2.4%, the Cac 40 in Paris losing 1.9% and London's FTSE 100 falling 1.2%.

    Markets had recovered slightly on Friday and Monday from high volatility last week and sharp falls the previous week.

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    Samsung European sales ban evidence questioned



    Tablet comparison submitted to German courts (left and centre). Actual Galaxy Tab 10.1 dimensions (right)


    A document that helped Apple gain an injunction against sales of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Europe, appears to misrepresent the device's similarity to the iPad.

    A side-by-side comparison of the two tablets features a 'squashed' picture of the Galaxy Tab, making it look identical in size and shape.

    Apple told the court that Samsung had "slavishly" copied its designs.

    It is unclear where the original image came from, or if it was used in error.

    When presented in the correct aspect ratio, the Samsung's screen appears longer and narrower than its American rival.

    Samsung is currently banned from importing, selling or promoting the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the majority of European countries.

    Apple is seeking to extend the injunction to the Netherlands, where many technology companies import their goods into the EU.

    It is understood that the judge involved in the German case made his ruling based on a physical examination of the two tablets, rather than relying Apple's paper submission alone.

    Patent law blogger Florian Mueller told BBC News that attempting to deliberately mislead the court would have been extremely foolish, given possible criminal penalties.

    "I cannot imagine that any sane person would take a risk and intentionally manipulate evidence in this context.

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    Theresa May tells police: We back you on tough tactics

    Whilst we also cut your forces by huge numbers, freeze your pay and reduce your allowances.




    Theresa May has told police chiefs in England and Wales they have her support to use tough tactics in riots and that they could get new curfew powers.

    The home secretary said officers had been criticised in the past for being "too tough" but had her backing if they acted "within reason and the law".

    She said new guidelines would be issued to forces about public order policing.

    Acting Met Commissioner Tim Godwin rejected claims officers had held back in London.

    Giving evidence to the Commons home affairs committee, he gave the example of the borough commander in Sutton who had led a "baton charge of everyone he could get out of the police station up Sutton high street".

    "I don't believe for one second that the men and women of the Met were timid, which is an accusation that's been levelled at us which I have refuted but more important than that the vast majority of the people that make up this city, the Londoners, refute that."


    Police morale is low, their budgets/real pay are being cut as are their numbers which means they have a greater workload per individual. At a time when increased umemployment will result in more crime. What doesn't the government understand about that?
    The Labour Party made similar errors of judgement in the mid 70's which resulted in the implementation of the Edmund-Davis report.

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    Zimbabwe ex-army chief Solomon Mujuru dies in farm fire



    Zimbabwe's ex-military chief Solomon Mujuru has died in a fire at his farm, the state security minister has said.

    Mr Mujuru, 62, was one of Zimbabwe's most senior politicians and married to Vice-President Joice Mujuru.

    Analysts say his death is likely to intensify turmoil in President Robert Mugabe's party over the question of who will succeed the 87-year-old leader.

    Under his nom de guerre, Rex Nhongo, he was the director of Mr Mugabe's forces during the 1970s' war of independence.

    State Security Minister Sydney Sekeramayi said Gen Mujuru died in a fire at his farmhouse in Beatrice, about 80km (50 miles) south of the capital, Harare, in the early hours of Tuesday.

    "We came here early in the morning after we were told what had happened. I still thought he might have been badly burnt, it was difficult to reconcile that he actually died - burnt beyond recognition," Mr Sekeramayi told state-run ZBC television.

    "Rex Nhongo, Gen Solomon Mujuru, was just a charred body - one of Zimbabwe's greatest sons," the minister said, struggling to hold back his emotion.

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    IPCC probe Cleveland Police chief and deputy



    The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is to investigate corruption claims against Cleveland's chief constable and his deputy.

    Sean Price and his deputy Derek Bonnard were arrested earlier this month on suspicion of corrupt practice, misconduct and fraud.

    The arrests are linked to a probe into a number of people with current or past links with Cleveland Police Authority.

    The IPCC will work with lead investigators from Warwickshire Police.

    An IPCC senior investigator will now work alongside the Chief Constable of Warwickshire Police, Keith Bristow, to manage the element of the investigation into potential misconduct or gross misconduct by Mr Price, DCC Bonnard, and the force's former head of legal services, Caroline Llewellyn, who was also arrested.

    Mr Bristow will remain in charge of the investigation into criminal matters.

    The three were arrested in raids at their homes on 3 August and were suspended from their posts soon afterwards.

    They have all been bailed until October.

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    'Toxic chemical link' to Thailand hotel deaths




    An investigation into the mysterious deaths of five foreign tourists and a Thai tour guide in Chiang Mai city has suggested a link to toxic chemical exposure, the Thai government says.

    A Thai woman and New Zealand woman were "probably" exposed to a "toxic chemical, pesticides or gas", it says.

    The deaths of British couple George and Eileen Everitt were "possibly related" as they occurred in the same hotel.

    The death of a US woman in another hotel is also linked to toxic exposure.

    The deaths took place in the northern city of Chiang Mai in January and February.

    Several other tourists also fell ill.

    A five-month investigation by Thai authorities with the help of the World Health Organization (WHO) followed but a report on Thailand's Department of Disease Control on Tuesday said the exact toxic agents could not be identified.

    But an investigative report by a New Zealand TV station reportedly found traces of a toxic insecticide - chlorpyrifos - used to kill bedbugs in the room where the New Zealand tourist had stayed.

    A French woman who also died in January in Chiang Mai is said to have developed fever and other symptoms before arriving in the city, and so her case is probably not related, the report says.

    Thailand is one of the world's most popular tourist destinations, attracting about 14 million visitors every year.

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    Jersey stabbings: Special Polish Mass held



    A special Mass has been held for the Polish community after six people were killed in a knife attack in Jersey.

    A 30-year-old Polish man, named locally as Damian Rzeszowski, was arrested over the deaths.

    His wife Izabela Rzeszowska, two children and father-in-law are thought to be among those killed.

    The other two people killed in the attack on Sunday are believed to be another woman and her child who were visiting Mrs Rzeszowska.

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