Jewellery and precious items owned by the late British King Edward VIII and his American wife Wallis Simpson sold for more than 620,000 pounds ($1.01 million) at auction on Thursday, significantly more than expected. The chairman of Sotheby's jewellery division in Europe and the Middle East, David Bennett, said the collection owned by the Duke and Duchess of Windsor shed light on "the greatest love story of the 20th century". Edward abdicated after 11 months on the throne in 1936 to marry Simpson, a twice-divorced American socialite, for whom he publicly declared his love. More »Treasures owned by Edward VIII, Wallis Simpson sell for $1 million
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By Alissa de Carbonnel MOSCOW (Reuters) - A Ukrainian Eurovision song contest winner is pushing her voice to the limit belting out songs nightly to keep up the morale of protesters camped out a snowy Kiev square - the unlikely figurehead of movement to oust President Viktor Yanukovich. Ruslana Lyzhychko won with a song "Wild Dances" in 2004, becoming Ukraine's only Eurovision winner. "Last night was a record for me - eight hours on stage," Lyzhychko told Reuters. Lyzhychko, her petite form belying a powerful deep voice, has been on stage virtually all night, every night in more than two weeks since protesters occupied the main square, enraged by Yanukovich's decision to scrap an EU trade deal and move the former Soviet republic closer to Moscow. More »Ukrainian Eurovision pop star becomes voice of protest
(Reuters) - Satellite TV provider DirecTV said on Thursday it expects compound annual growth of more than 15 percent in earnings per share by 2016, while also flagging slower than expected revenue growth in the important Latin American region. DirectTV said strong subscriber additions would help it reach earnings per share of $8 by 2016, slightly ahead of Wall Street forecasts. The company's projections exclude results from Venezuela due to the country's huge currency devaluation. At the same time, the DirecTV acknowledged that Latin America, long seen as a big potential growth area, would remain troubled, depressed by currency weakness in Brazil and Argentina as well as Venezuela, as well as costs related to the soccer World Cup and capacity expansion. More »DirecTV forecasts strong growth, Latam to lag
American Hustle and 12 Years A Slave lead the way with seven nominations for the Golden Globe Awards. British hopes are led by Dame Judi Dench, Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet, all nominated in the best actress category. The nominees in the coveted best motion picture (drama) category are Captain Phillips, starring Tom Hanks, 3D space movie Gravity, Philomena, 12 Years A Slave, and Formula One biopic Rush. British actors Idris Elba and Chiwetel Ejiofor also go head-to-head in the best actor (motion picture drama) category. More »Golden Globes Nominations Revealed
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced nominations for the 71st Golden Globe Awards on Thursday. ** "Thank you very much to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for acknowledging our efforts in making '12 Years a Slave.' I am delighted for my cast and crew who worked so hard on this film to shine a light on a forgotten American hero, Solomon Northup." - Steve McQueen, nominee best director, "12 Years a Slave." ** "It is such a huge honour to be nominated for two Golden Globes and I would like to thank the members of the HFPA for this incredible recognition. To have been a part of these amazing projects was a gift in itself, that the HFPA have responded in this way, truly means so much." - Chiwetel Ejiofor, best actor nominee/drama "12 Years a Slave" and best actor nominee/mini-series or TV movie "Dancing on the Edge." ** "I'm excited and honoured that the HFPA has recognized my performance in 'Dallas Buyers Club.' Ron Woodroof was a revolutionary for the human spirit, and I was blessed to tell his story. More »Reactions from leading Golden Globe nominees
By Mary Milliken and Piya Sinha-Roy BEVERLY HILLS, California (Reuters) - Slavery drama "12 Years a Slave" and 1970s con-artist caper "American Hustle" led the Golden Globe Awards nominations announced on Thursday with seven nods each, fortifying their frontrunner positions in a crowded field ahead of the Oscars. In the coveted best drama category, "12 Years a Slave" will compete against piracy tale "Captain Phillips," space thriller "Gravity," adoption drama "Philomena," and race-car rivalry "Rush. "American Hustle," was nominated for best comedy or musical, alongside computer-age romance "Her," folk singer tale "Inside Llewyn Davis," heartland ode "Nebraska" and financial tale "The Wolf of Wall Street." Best acting nominations favoured acclaimed actors with long careers, like 79-year-old Judi Dench for her role as a mother looking for the son she was forced to give up in "Philomena" or Robert Redford, 77, the sole cast member as a sailor in "All Is Lost." The Golden Globe nominations voted by members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) are a leading indicator for the awards season and underscored the strong year for film, with many critically acclaimed movies and performances jostling for prominence. More »'12 Years a Slave, 'American Hustle' take lead for Golden Globes
By Steve Gutterman MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Russian Supreme Court has ordered a review of the case against two women from punk band Pussy Riot, saying lower courts failed to provide full evidence of their guilt and overlooked mitigating factors in sentencing them to two years in prison. The ruling could potentially lead to shorter sentences for Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina or even to a reversal of their convictions, although the latter is far less likely. Tolokonnikova, 24, and Alyokhina, 25, were convicted of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred for performing a crude "punk prayer" in a Russian Orthodox cathedral in protest at President Vladimir Putin and his ties with the church. The Supreme Court, in an order posted on its website on Thursday and dated December 10, said the trial court did not provide evidence of a portion of the verdict that says they were motivated by "hatred of a certain social group". More »Top Russian court orders review of Pussy Riot case
Chart-topping singer Sam Smith has won the Brits Critics’ Choice award ahead of next year's event. The 21-year-old singer-songwriter joins the likes of Adele, Jessie J and Emeli Sande - all past winners of the award, which recognises up-and-coming artists. Smith recently signed a deal with Capitol records but he has already had a UK number one hit after his vocals featured on Naughty Boy's track La La La earlier this year. Smith beat Ella Eyre and Chloe Howl to claim the prize, making him only the second male winner after Tom Odell since the inaugural award in 2008. More »Sam Smith Wins Brits Critics' Choice Award
By Jennifer Saba and Alexei Oreskovic NEW YORK/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Photo-sharing service Instagram unveiled a new feature on Thursday to let people send images and messages privately, as the Facebook-owned company seeks to bolster its appeal among younger consumers who are increasingly using mobile messaging applications. Facebook Inc, the world's No. 1 Internet social network bought Instagram for $1 billion in 2012. The new features comes as Facebook and Instagram face increasing competition from a new crop of mobile messaging services, including WhatsApp and Snapchat. In October, Facebook said it was seeing a decline in daily use by younger teenagers in the United States, although it said overall use by teenagers was stable. More »Instagram unveils private photo-sharing, messaging feature
BEVERLY HILLS, California (Reuters) - The Hollywood Foreign Press Association on Thursday announced nominations for the 71st Golden Globe Awards. Following is a list of key television nominees. Winners will be announced on January 12 in Beverly Hills. ... More »Factbox - Key Golden Globe Award television nominations
Ryan O'Neal has told a court he talks to a painting of his ex-lover Farah Fawcett as a way of keeping "her presence" in his life. The actor was giving evidence in a hearing to determine who owns the Andy Warhol picture that used to hang in Fawcett's home. The University of Texas claims it owns the portrait, which is a monochrome and neon-colour image of Fawcett, typical of the artist's style. The picture, which was created from a photo of Fawcett in 1980, is now valued at between $1m (£650,000) by O'Neal's lawyer and $12m (£7m) by the university. More »Ryan O'Neal 'Talks To Farrah Fawcett Painting'
The sign language interpreter at Nelson Mandela's memorial ceremony denied he was a fraud Thursday, claiming he gesticulated nonsense during the service because he was suffering a schizophrenic episode and hallucinating. More »'Fake' deaf Mandela signer had 'schizophrenic episode'
By Patricia Reaney NEW YORK (Reuters) - When actress Rebecca Hall first read "Machinal," the 1920s play in which she will make her Broadway debut early next year, her reaction was so strong she felt her throat tightening. Hall's response, and the fact that it was being directed by Briton Lyndsey Turner, convinced the British actress she had to play the young murderess in the drama that hasn't been staged on Broadway in 85 years. "I don't think I've ever had a more physical response to a piece of writing," said Hall, the star of films such as Woody Allen's 2008 romance "Vicky, Cristina, Barcelona" and this year's Disney-Marvel blockbuster superhero sequel "Iron Man 3." "I think it is extraordinarily powerful. "Machinal," a stylized drama that begins previews on December 20 and opens January 16. More »Rebecca Hall to debut on 1920s Broadway play 'Machinal'