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TV and Movies

'Law & Order: SVU': Mariska Hargitay Reveals How She Prepared for Her Role as Olivia Benson

It’s safe to say that Law & Order: SVU is a super successful television series. With season 22 around the corner, it’s hard to imagine the show without Mariska Hargitay at the helm. She plays the incredibly passionate Olivia Benson, who now finds herself as the Captain of the Special Victims Unit.

As can be expected, a lot of preparation went into learning everything she could about her role as a detective.

Mariska Hargitay reveals how she prepared for her role on ‘Law & Order: SVU’

Hargitay spoke on Inside the Actors Studio in season 20, episode 3 of the series. In a preview of the episode on Bravo’s website, the host, James Lipton, mentions that SVU is a “police procedural” show. Hargitay is asked how she prepared for her role as Benson. It turns out, Hargitay spent time with cops, and even watched an autopsy being performed.

“I went on ride-alongs, and I spent time with cops,” Hargitay reveals. “And one in particular named Detective Tania Colly, who I was blown away by. This woman, she was so strong, and if you met her, she’s like a bad a**, and so you’re sort of intimidated by her because she does not play. And she has this face,” Hargitay says as she puts on her best interpretation of a serious cop. “But, the other side of her, was again, so compassionate, and not cut off, and open, and I admired that so much.”

She’s then asked by Lipton if she hung out in the subways, and she reveals that she did, and she was with cops as she tried to spot criminals. She also mentions that she practiced shooting in preparation for the series.

“I did, I hung out in subways, with the cops, and I would try to find pervs and pickpockets,” she says. “I could spot them too after a while. I went shooting a lot. I’m a good aim too. Now I’m just bragging.”

Lipton also asked Hargitay if she ever saw an autopsy, and it turns out she has. “I did,” she explains. “That was rough. But uh, necessary, and helped me, you know, breathe, push through. Push through the demons, make peace with it, because that’s what you’re going to be. And I had to develop different kinds of muscles.”

When Hargitay first read the script, she felt the series was ‘a truly pioneering show’

Now more than 20 years later, fans are still getting to watch Captain Olivia Benson on their screens at home. Hargitay spoke with TV Insider in 2018 about the last 20 years, and she discussed the series, including if she was initially “concerned” when it comes to the topics the show touches on. However, Hargitay read the script, and thought “it was such a truly pioneering show.”

“My agent called to say, ‘I don’t know if you’ll be interested in this because it’s very dark subject matter,’” Hargitay recalls. “When I read the script, however, I felt it was such a truly pioneering show. I was shocked at first. I had to ground myself and be brave.”

Luckily, Hargitay found her niche with SVU, and she’s never left. Fans can see her in season 22 when it premieres on Thursday, November 12 at 9 p.m. E.S.T.

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World News

Crowds gather in Wuhan amusement park to celebrate Halloween

Wuhan’s streets are packed with Halloween revellers ten months after the coronavirus pandemic started there – while the rest of the world is crippled by pandemic

  • Crowds poured into the Happy Valley Wuhan amusement park on Thursday night to attend a Halloween event
  • Revellers dressed up to watch a Halloween parade and other spooky spectacles without any social distancing 
  • Wuhan – the epicentre of the pandemic – has had no community transmissions since May, figures show
  • While Europe is grappling with a second wave of infections, China seems to have largely tamed Covid-19 and life is beginning to return to normal for many of the country’s residents as the economy rebounds

Crowds have poured into an amusement park in Wuhan to attend a Halloween event less than a year after the Chinese city became infamous as the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic.

Photos show large numbers of people gathering to watch a parade at the Happy Valley Wuhan amusement park on Thursday night.  

Some revellers swapped face masks for spookier options and there was no sign of social distancing as people posed for photos together and queued to see a Halloween show. 

As several European countries mull lockdown measures amid a rising second wave of infections, life is gradually returning to normal in Wuhan, the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Revellers posed for a group photo with ghostly pirate performers at the Happy Valley Wuhan theme park on Thursday night

The Halloween event drew large crowds in the city which just ten months ago became infamous around the world as the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic

Some swapped face masks for superhero masks at the event, where large crowds mingled without social distancing measures

France imposed a second national lockdown starting on Friday as the country’s daily deaths from coronavirus reached their highest level since April.

President Emmanuel Macron said that people would only be permitted to leave home for essential work or medical reasons. 

Meanwhile China reported only 47 new cases on Thursday, the majority of which reportedly came from abroad. 

There have been no new cases of community transmission in Wuhan since May, according to Chinese government figures. 

In recent months, domestic tourism has began slowly trickling back into the city, which is home to more than 11 million people. 

As several European countries mull lockdown measures amid a rising second wave of infections, life is gradually returning to normal in Wuhan, the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic. Pictured: Revellers watch a Halloween parade in Wuhan on Thursday night

Aside from the vigilant wearing of face masks, life seemed to have largely returned to normal at the Halloween event in Wuhan

The Happy Valley Wuhan amusement park hosts an annual Halloween event that has hosted daily events well into November in past years

Fearsome floats like the one pictured were a big feature of the Halloween parade at the Happy Valley Wuhan amusement park

Visitors and performers were decked out in their best spooky attire with superheroes, geishas and zombies proving popular costume choices.

Meanwhile a parade of floats included a demonic Chinese dragon and a ghostly pirate ship.

Halloween is not traditionally celebrated as a holiday in China but it has gained popularity in the last two decades as an opportunity to dress up and have fun as China has opened up to Western cultural influence. 

The Halloween events at the Happy Valley amusement park included a number of spooky shows, as well as the float parade 

Visitors and performers were decked out in their best spooky attire with superheroes, geishas and zombies proving popular costume choices

Halloween is not traditionally celebrated as a holiday in China but it has gained popularity in the last two decades as an opportunity to dress up and have fun

Always a popular costume, nurses were out in force among the crowds in Wuhan on Thursday night, with many young women opting to adapt the look to become a zombie nurse.

The costumes may have a risked causing offence this year after at least 23 Chinese healthcare workers died from coronavirus, according to figures released in June by China’s National Health Commission.

But many seemed pleased to pose for pictures with the ghoulish girls. 

Always a popular costume, nurses were out in force among the crowds in Wuhan on Thursday night, with many young women opting to adapt the look to become a zombie nurse

The costumes may have a risked causing offence this year after at least 23 Chinese healthcare workers died from coronavirus, according to figures released in June by China’s National Health Commission but many seemed happy to pose for photos with the ghoulish girls

Visitors and performers posed for photos without social distancing in Wuhan. China appears to have largely tamed Covid-19, with the country announcing only 47 new cases on Thursday, the majority of which it said came from abroad

The event at the Happy Valley Wuhan amusement park, which reopened in May, featured a parade of fearsome floats through the park.

Last year, the Happy Valley chain, which has eight parks around China, held Halloween-themed events every night until from late October until mid November. 

The spectacles in 2019 included haunted houses, various performances and a survival horror game. It’s not clear if the same array of events were on offer this year. 

Outside of Halloween season, the popular park has rollercoasters, spinning teacups and swing rides, among other attractions.

When the Wuhan site reopened in May, guests were temperature checked on arrival and required to book online in advance as only limited numbers were allowed in but it’s not clear if these measures are still in place.  

In previous years, the Happy Valley Wuhan’s amusement park’s Halloween offerings have included haunted houses, various performances and a survival horror game. It’s not clear if the same array of events were on offer this year

Outside of Halloween season, the popular park has rollercoasters, spinning teacups and swing rides, among other attractions. Pictured: A guest sporting a different kind of a face mask at the Halloween celebration

Fearsome floats in the Halloween paraded included a demonic version of the traditional Chinese dragon seen in many of the country’s festivals

The Halloween event was likely a welcome opportunity for Wuhan’s residents to celebrate after a dramatic and gruelling year. Pictured: A Halloween attraction at the Happy Valley Wuhan amusement park

Aside from the vigilant wearing of face masks, Wuhan, along with other Chinese metropolises including Shanghai and Beijing, appears to be returning to normal after Covid-19 first emerged there in late December 2019.

Cinemas are open, restaurants are packed and concerts are going ahead, helping China’s economy to recover from the strains of combating the virus.  

Thursday’s scenes are in stark contrast to images of Wuhan’s deserted streets and overcrowded hospitals that filled media reports in the first months of the year as the world scrambled to understand the new virus and its effects. 

Wuhan endured a gruelling 76-day lockdown at the height of the pandemic during which the city became a ghost town with tight restrictions on people coming in or out and residents largely barred from leaving their homes.

China continues to restrict travel between certain regions, with some cities requiring visitors to quarantine for 14 days. 

Foreign visitors are subject to more restrictions and there have also been reports of xenophobia and racism towards foreigners in China amid fears of outsiders importing the disease back into China.

Thursday’s scenes are in stark contrast to images of Wuhan’s deserted streets and overcrowded hospitals that filled media reports in the first months of the year as the world scrambled to understand the new virus and its effects

Visitors queue to attend a Halloween show at the Happy Valley amusement park in Wuhan, China, as part of the site’s spooky seasonal offering

Wuhan residents got creative with their costumes. Halloween has grown in popularity in China as the country has opened up to Western cultural influences

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World News

Taunts from Labour members that were detailed in anti-Semitism report

A toxic cesspit: Here, in their own words, are some of the utterly appalling taunts from some Labour party members that were detailed in the shocking anti-Semitism report

Here, Policy Editor Daniel Martin details some of the most shocking examples of Labour anti-Semitism that were contained in the EHRC report – as well as those that weren’t.

Detailed in the report 

Pam Bromley, councillor in Rossendale, Lancashire, denied anti-Semitism was an issue in Labour and used tropes such as calling Jews a ‘fifth column’. 

She wrote: ‘Had Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party pulled up the drawbridge and nipped the bogus anti-Semitism accusations in the bud in the first place, we would not be where we are now and the fifth column in the Labour Party would not have managed to get such a foothold… the Lobby has miscalculated… the witchhunt has created brand new fightback networks… the Lobby will then melt back into its own cesspit.’ She was eventualy expelled.

Jeremy Corbyn visited the cemetery where terror leaders linked to the Munich massacre are buried. The Mail obtained a photograph of Mr Corbyn holding a wreath just feet away from the graves of leaders linked to the 1972 killings of Israeli athletes

A raft of examples of anti-Semitic conduct by party members included diminishing the scale or significance of the Holocaust, comparing Israelis to Hitler or the Nazis, and using ‘Zio’ as an anti-Semitic term 

It emerged that Jeremy Corbyn had, as a backbencher, praised an anti-Semitic mural in East London on Facebook. 

He supported the artist Mear One who had painted the image of hook-nosed bankers playing Monopoly on the backs of the world’s poor. 

But the Labour leader’s staff intervened to say ‘the complaint itself seems to fall well below the threshold required for investigation and if so surely the decision to dismiss it can be taken now’.

He later said ‘a wreath was indeed laid’ for ‘some of those who were killed in Paris in 1992’ and added: ‘I was present at that wreath-laying, I don’t think I was actually involved in it

Christine Shawcroft, head of Labour’s National Exective Committee’s disputes panel which investigated complaints of anti-Semitism, intervened to reinstate a member suspended for anti-Semitic social media posts so he could stand in local elections. 

Alan Bull had posted a link on Facebook to a fake news article titled: ‘International Red Cross Report Confirms the Holocaust of Six Million Jews is a Hoax.’ 

It was accompanied with a picture of the gates of Auschwitz, with the phrase ‘Arbeit Macht Frei’ replaced with ‘Muh Holocaust’. Following the Daily Mail’s disclosure of the intervention, she resigned.

A member tweeted: ‘How can we not have empathy with the Palestinians when they are up against these murdering, Zionest [sic] bastards. Their NAZI masters taught them well.’ He was let off with a warning 

In 2016 a Labour councillor shared an image of Jewish banker Jacob Rothschild on their Facebook page along with a caption claiming that the Rothschild family and other institutions, including the City of London and the Vatican, ‘own our news, our media, our oil and even our governments’. It does not appear that this was investigated at all.

It emerged that Jeremy Corbyn had, as a backbencher, praised an anti-Semitic mural in East London on Facebook. He supported the artist Mear One who had painted the image of hook-nosed bankers playing Monopoly on the backs of the world’s poor

A member was not suspended even though he was reported for saying Jewish MPs ‘can’t rein in your killers in the Middle East’, referred to the ‘Jewish brigade’ and said ‘Jews desire the Labour Party to comply with their demands’ 

Chris Williamson MP made public comments about anti-Semitism smears, supported members expelled for anti-Semitism, and shared social media posts relating to others accused of Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism. 

The disciplinary panel concluded he had ‘engaged in conduct online and offline that, due to its reckless and needlessly provocative nature, was grossly detrimental to the party’ and ‘may reasonably be seen to involve anti-Semitic sentiments, stereotypes and actions’. Despite this, he was initially given only a formal warning.

…And ones that weren’t

Activist Kayla Bibby shared a picture of an alien bearing the Star of David choking the Statue of Liberty, but escaped suspension from the party because the image was not ‘anti-Jewish’.

Jeremy Corbyn visited the cemetery where terror leaders linked to the Munich massacre are buried. The Mail obtained a photograph of Mr Corbyn holding a wreath just feet away from the graves of leaders linked to the 1972 killings of Israeli athletes. 

He later said ‘a wreath was indeed laid’ for ‘some of those who were killed in Paris in 1992’ and added: ‘I was present at that wreath-laying, I don’t think I was actually involved in it.’

Activist Kayla Bibby shared a picture of an alien bearing the Star of David choking the Statue of Liberty, but escaped suspension from the party because the image was not ‘anti-Jewish’

Alan Bull had posted a link on Facebook to a fake news article titled: ‘International Red Cross Report Confirms the Holocaust of Six Million Jews is a Hoax’

A Labour member shared a post accusing Jewish people of ‘eating the organs of their enemies’ and accused Jews of inventing modern terrorism by saying: ‘IRA murderers who took their cue from Jews.’ But the party sought to delay his suspension until it was found whether his disability had left him vulnerable.

The party let off a branch secretary for using offensive word ‘zio’ despite it being a second offence – and instead sought to reprimand the person who complained.

A Labour activist reported last April for writing on former Labour MP Luciana Berger’s Facebook page that ‘There are Zionist infiltrators in the Labour Party stirring trouble that doesn’t exist’ was let off without reprimand and was able to stand in local elections.

A member of Momentum’s steering committee shared a message accusing Saudi Arabia of being in thrall to ‘Zionist paymasters’. Apsana Begum – now an MP – later apologised for her comment.

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TV and Movies

David Beckham tells wife Victoria to 'stop lying' as they tease each other over homemade Halloween treats

DAVID Beckham told his wife Victoria to "stop lying" as they playfully teased each other over homemade Halloween treats.

The pair competed for kudos as they both bragged about making toffee apples for the kids – with 46-year-old Victoria pretending that she'd made them.

However, David, 45, was already onto her plan – and posted his photo two hours before her.

Sharing a snap of the delicious-looking apples on his Instagram Story, the sportsman wrote: "I'm posting now so my wife doesn't claim to have made these.

"Hahaha @VictoriaBeckham".

Clearly impressed with his hard work, he shared another photo and added: "I mean, come on – even I'm impressed with my first try.


"Kids won't sleep tonight!"

Victoria posted a picture to her own story, teasing her husband as she wrote: "Look what I made!", adding a cheeky wink emoji for effect.

But Becks was having none of it, reposting and adding a gif that read: "Stop lying".

He also shared his excitement at discovering edible glitter, quipping: "Toffee apple game just got a little more interesting…"

Proving himself to be the capable cook of the family, David went on to document his hard work making a vegan casserole – complete with knives recommended by his close pal Gordon Ramsay.

The former footballer has always been a keen cook, regularly sharing sneak peeks at his culinary creations on social media – and even setting up his own bee hive to ensure fresh honey.


Meanwhile, Victoria has been treating fans to a deeper insight into her and David's 21-year marriage with frequent Instagram posts of her own.

Yesterday, the fashion designer posted a candid snap of David relaxing in a pair of silky pink pyjamas – complete with his trademark flat cap.

She previously shared a sweet photo of herself resting her head on her sleeping husband's chest.

The pair tied the knot in 1999 and are mum and dad to 21-year-old Brooklyn, 18-year-old Romeo, 15-year-old Cruz, and nine-year-old Harper.

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World News

Ivanka Trump says she is ‘unapologetically pro-life’ after famously refusing to take a public stand in 2016

IVANKA Trump said that she is “unapologetically” supports the “pro-life” movement when it comes to stripping reproductive rights to women.

When asked about her views on abortion during an interview with Real Clear Politics, Trump said, “I respect all sides of a very personal and sensitive discussion, but I am also a mother of three children.

“And parenthood affected me in a profound way in terms of how I think about these things,” she added.

“I am pro-life, and unapologetically so.”

Her pro-life stance comes after famously refusing to take a public stand on the issue in 2016.

During her days as an elegant Manhattan billionaire’s daughter, Trump and her husband Jared Kushner donated money to a group known to back abortion rights, Democrats in New York and socialized with progressives.


However, there was never any records that she openly supported Planned Parenthood or even the right of women to choose safe and legal abortions across the US.

In her 2018 book, former Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards said that Trump and Kushner had offered what she described as a “bribe.”

According to Richards, the “bribe” was so the organization would stop performing abortions.

“If Planned Parenthood wanted to keep our federal funding we would have to stop providing abortions,” she wrote in her book.

In the book, Make Trouble: Standing Up, Speaking Out, and Finding the Courage to Lead, Richards wrote that Kushner told her to “move fast” and ultimately declining Kushner’s proposal – which she said “felt almost like a bribe.”

In 2017, President Donald Trump pitched the organization a plan allowing the them to retain its federal payments if it stopped providing abortions.

In her interview with Gayle King in 2017, Trump defended her position, arguing that she is playing a long game and wouldn’t speak out on the issue because it won’t help her be effective in the White House.

“I’ll take hits from some critics who say that I should take to the street. And then other people will, in the long term, respect where I get to,” she said.

“But I think most of the impact I have, over time, most people will not actually know about.”

Of the more than 900,000 abortions performed in the country every year, a third are done at Planned Parenthood.

The organization receives more than $500million in federal funding for non-abortion services.

Republicans have threaten to cut federal funds for the organization.

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Lifestyle

Inside Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's brand new luxury bespoke mansion with a pool, Jacuzzi, steam room, bar, sauna and gym

PIERRE-EMERICK AUBAMEYANG has spent some of his £350,000-a-week wages on building a luxury new mansion for his family in North London.

The Arsenal captain, 31, tore down an old 1930s house and built an incredible home on the land.





It seems Aubameyang spared no expense having finally committed his future to the Gunners in the summer.

The Gabon star's new pad comes complete with an incredible fitness suite in the basement.

As well as a gym, Aubameyang has commissioned a new pool, Jacuzzi, steam room AND sauna.

And if that wasn't enough, there is also a bar and wine cellar built-in.

ARSENAL NEWS LIVE: Click here for the latest Gunners news

 

Upstairs, there are seven bedrooms in the luxury pad, a safe room and 'extensive entertaining and living spaces'.

The property backs on to an empty field, ensuring Aubameyang, wife Alysha and his two sons – Pierre Jr, four, and Curtys, nine – don't have their views spoiled.

One of the biggest features in the new home will be the garage.

The ex-Borussia Dortmund star – who is going through a bit of a slump since signing his monster new Arsenal deal in September – is famous for his impressive car collection.




His garage is now worth around £3million and includes a rare £2m Ferrari LaFerrari, a stunning £150k Range Rover Sport and a £250k Aston Martin DB9 Volante 2.

And to keep them safe, Aubameyang has installed an underground car-park.

Better still, the parking area is accessed via CAR-LIFT.

According to the architects, Lees Munday, the home is 'inspired by Cotswold stone manor houses of Cider With Rosie country and the simple white rendered forms of contemporary New England houses in the USA.

The description continues: "Our design seeks to combine the desire for a pitched roofed and columned silhouette that symbolises 'home'.

"[It also adds] the growing trend for more contemporary features, particularly larger areas of glass to give more light and closer contact with the garden and views.

"The pillared two-storey bays and double height entrance facade create a grand impression down a discrete private driveway approach.

"[It] passes through four small landscaped 'external rooms', each containing a gigantic antique cast iron urn.

"The basement leisure suite provides a luxurious pool, Jacuzzi, bar, sauna, steam room and gym, opening out onto a landscaped lightwell."


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Lifestyle

Why Angelina Jolie’s Lawyer Shuffle May Be Good News For Brad Pitt, Say Top Divorce Attorneys

Angelina Jolie parting ways with one of her attorneys in her child custody battle with Brad Pitt could be a positive sign for the actor’s case. Two top lawyers explain what her legal change-up might signal.

One of Angelina Jolie’s lawyers in her child custody case against Brad Pitt has withdrawn from representing the Maleficent actress in papers filed with a Los Angeles court. On Oct. 9, attorney Priya Sopori filed a “Notice of Withdrawal of Attorney of Record” with the Los Angeles Superior Court. She had been working alongside Angie’s primary attorney Samantha Bley DeJean, as Angie continues to battle Brad’s request for a 50-50 custody split with their five minor children, Pax, 16, Zahara, 15, Shiloh, 14, and 12-year-old twins Knox and Vivienne. Two top lawyers have differing opinions on what Priya’s departure from Angie’s team means.

Top divorce attorney Raoul Felder of Stutman Stutman Lichtenstein & Felder says Priya leaving the case is good news for Brad. “It tells me if I were Mr. Pitt I’d be very happy based on these court documents because there are not many things worse than this that could happen. It’s basically saying that something bad is happening in the petitioners’ case,” Felder explains. “Either she is simply not following the lawyer’s advice or there is some reason the lawyer just wants to get off the case.”

“So, I’d be very happy if I was Brad Pitt. He can say listen she couldn’t get along with her own lawyer, look at this. It is a very reputable firm and lawyers think very carefully before they say enough is enough and they want to get out. This lawyer has said ‘enough is enough and I want to get out.’ There’s no part of this that reflects well on Angelina,” Felder continues.

“It just sends out a completely negative message, that’s why lawyers don’t do it unless it becomes impossible. I suspect there must be more to the story. But we really can’t tell anything from this document except that the lawyer is saying, ‘Hey judge I want to get out and I don’t want to defend this woman anymore,’” Felder explains, adding “Lawyers are not in the business of walking away from their clients, particularly a reputable firm like this, so there is a sub story here somewhere and it isn’t good for Angelina.”

As for why Sopori’s withdrawal could have come about, Raoul says that “It usually happens with very difficult people that don’t want to follow a lawyer’s instruction. Lawyers are in the business of representing people.” He goes on to explain, “You have a responsibility to continue until either the client discharges you or you work out a consent. But otherwise this is the last resort you have to submit this withdrawal to the judge. This is a highly reputable firm, I can’t imagine why they would want to leave a case except for everything I imagine is not a helpful thing for Angelina.”

L.A. family lawyer Kelly Chang Rickert, who has been practicing for 20 years, tells HollywoodLife.com that she interprets Sopori’s departure document as being an either incorrectly filed form, or a sign that her work on the case was finished. “This form is usually filed after the judgment has been entered, and the attorney’s job is complete and done, so they can withdraw. This is a weird thing for them to file because the judgment has not been entered, and the document even says N/A. I think probably what happened is this firm was hired to consult on a limited scope basis and has finished their job. But it’s not really the proper form to file,” she tells us of the withdrawal notice.

“It’s exclusively used when case is over and lawyer’s job is done. So it’s in my opinion, an improperly filed form and they probably consulted in a limited scope, and they should have filed a notice to withdraw after limited scope. They were co-counsel. but I still maintain it was the wrong form,” Kelly claims.

Rickert says that the form doesn’t really say anything about how the case is going and it doesn’t make Angelina look bad, as she still has her primary attorney Samantha representing her in the case. It is also different from when Angelina suddenly parted ways with top divorce attorney Laura Wasser in 2018. “It doesn’t mean anything. Samantha Bley is still the primary counsel and she didn’t quit. I think Samantha hired this firm on a limited basis, maybe co-counsel on something, and either the work was done or maybe they weren’t paid. But it’s not as if her primary counsel is withdrawing. And with Laura Wasser, a substitution of attorney was filed.”

 

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TV and Movies

‘Deutschland 89’ Review: Spy Trilogy Wraps by Asking If It’s Worth Trying to Save a Crumbling World

For a season filled with espionage and hallucinations, stuffed animals and imminent computer technology, secret photographs and veiled assassination attempts, the lasting moment of “Deutschland 89” might just be someone reacting to something on TV.

After two full seasons (2015’s “Deutschland 83” and 2018’s “Deutschland 86”) tracking its individual players in a logistical and ideological struggle for the heart of Berlin, this latest opening episode tracks the events of early November 1989, culminating in the free movement of East German residents into West Germany and the dismantling of the wall dividing the two halves of the city.

Beginning “Deutschland 89” at this ending is an early signal that much like “Deutschland 86,” this is a season that won’t simply continue in the vein of its predecessors. Many of the central players may be the same, but this third collection of episodes sees them all vying for a different kind of power: the ability to choose how your world ends.

Martin (Jonas Nay), who began “Deutschland 83” as a reluctant agent embedded within West German forces, has become even more a man without a country. After trying to lay low in Angola before getting drawn back into the fray, he’s closer to where he started. Physically, he’s back within the former East Germany boundaries he used to call home. And once again, he’s being courted to act as an informant.


“Deutschland 89”

Anika Molnar/SundanceTV/UFA FICTION/Amazon Prime

Martin (Sylvester Groth) is grasping for a lifeline from the dissolving intelligence apparatus he’s served for so long, while Lenora (newly-minted Emmy-winning director for “Unorthodox” Maria Schrader) bides her time in prison, waiting for an opening to reignite regional tensions once again.

Having Martin, Lenora, and Walter as the three cross-season pillars is a choice that pays off in wildly different ways. The strength of these three characters — through their wits, their desperation, and their pervasive sense of distrust — makes it so that getting them all to this drawn-out finale doesn’t feel like a contrivance. There have definitely been some lucky breaks along the way, but they’re each still alive for a reason.

In their own way, they all bear the weight of what we’ve seen them take on before the events of “Deutschland 89.” With Lenora opening this season behind bars, Schrader effectively gets across how physically taxing that time has been since 1986. Groth continues to play Walter as a master compartmentalizer, who can exemplify the terror at seeing his life’s work crumble in one second, then slip effortlessly into a new life and a new assignment armed with all his old tricks.

Nay is shouldered with the hardest task of all: wrapping up all of Martin’s failures and transgressions and his reasons for survival in someone who has a nominal chance at something close to a new, unassuming life. There’s hope at various points of the season, as he grows closer with both his son Max (Ari Kurecki) and Max’s new teacher Nicole (Svenja Jung). Yet the Martin of 1989 still sees conniving, controlling interests around every corner, even  in the actions and choices of those closest to him. On a personal and national level, “Deutschland 89” asks if there’s even a chance at reinvention if the turmoil that led to it created rifts that can never fully heal.

With an ensemble drama like this, any viewer’s mileage may come down to who gets valuable screen time in this story’s waning hours. At its heart, “Deutschland 89” does try it best to track the different ways that high-ranking and high-value officers and agents try to move on from what we’ve already seen them endure. Some cling to hope that this massive geopolitical shift is more of a blip than a permanent change. Others angle for a chance to test their wares in a new private sector.


“Deutschland 89”

Anika Molnar/SundanceTV/UFA FICTION/Amazon Prime

Where “Deutschland 89” falters is in replacing some of the pieces already taken off the board. Here, there’s a certain bit of continuity tracking where former double agent Brigitte Winkelmann (Lavinia Wilson) ends up after last season’s close. The introduction of her American intelligence counterpart Hector Valdez (Raul Casso) strives to rekindle a certain blend of emotional and political complications that permeated “83” and “86.” Still, there’s not enough strength in these sections to hold their own against tracking the myriad ways that HVA alums and their past associates are trying to find their place in a post-reunification existence.

As the season hinges more and more on Brigitte and Valdez’s involvement, it goes from being a balanced thread in the show’s overall tapestry to a plot-connecting portion that sucks air from the season’s more potent parts. Some previous series mainstays get relegated to the background. There’s a coldness to how some of them are removed from the story entirely that feels true to the ruthlessness of their situation. Jettisoned with a rushed acknowledgment, some of those swift exits so also belie the careful, meticulous way that past “Deutschland” installments laid its story groundwork.

Those shortcuts and shortcomings are partly due to the demands of a continuing series like this, to capitalize on the people that viewers already know. But it’s also a representation of how all-encompassing Martin’s entanglements have become over a seven-year stretch. Everyone he cares about automatically becomes a pawn in a battle that’s splintered from a two-sided proxy war into a bloody free-for-all. There was always a sense that no one in this web was safe. Everyone now having the opportunity to exert some control over the next stage of their life is a fascinating core for “Deutschland 89,” even if not all of these narrative possibilities get the breathing room they need.

At this season’s close, the “Deutschland” trilogy ends up being a fascinating case study. If “83” found a certain sense of direction and order in the face of an impending disaster, “86” followed those ripples to battles in other parts of the world. In their wake, “89” often feels as chaotic as the historical flashpoint that sets it off, with people scrambling to take advantage of newfound possibility. Like those often caught in the crosshairs, not every choice is a successful one, but there’s always something intriguing in seeing someone trying to navigate the impossible.

Grade: B

“Deutschland 89” airs Thursdays at 11 p.m. on SundanceTV.

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Categories
Lifestyle

10 Things You Need Before Bringing Home Your First Dog

Whether you’re adopting your first dog or adding another one to the family, there are essential items you should have on hand before bringing your dog home. If you’re not sure where to start, we’ve curated a list of everything you need at affordable prices. The best part? You can get it all on Amazon, and some items can arrive as soon as tomorrow.

Of course your dog will need the basics, like feeding dishes, a collar, and leash, but little things like training treats, waste bags, and car seat covers can easily be overlooked until the moment you need them. Since your pet deserves nothing but the best, you’ll find that every item on our list has thousands of rave reviews from Amazon customers.

Pet Supplies for New Dogs on Amazon:

  • Midwest Home for Pets Collapsible Dog Crate, from $16.99
  • Tianyao No-Pull Dog Harness Vest Set for Medium Dogs, $22.98
  • YY Foreyy Raised Pet Bowls with Bamboo Stand, $19.99–$49.99 (orig. $34.99–$55.99)
  • Bedsure Orthopedic Memory Foam Dog Bed, $39.99–$79.99
  • Earth Rated Leash Dispenser for Dog Waste and Bags, $34.99 (orig. $45)
  • DActive Pets Dog Back Seat Car Cover Protector, $33.96–$41.96
  • Pet Botanics Training Reward Treats, Regular, Bacon, 20 oz., $12.74
  • Pet Mate Booda Fresh N Floss Tug Rope Toy, $7.87–$9.99
  • Kong Classic Dog Toy, $7.49–$23.99
  • Slson Collapsible Dog Bowl 2 Pack with Carabiners, $4.99–$14.99

One satisfied shopper says that “all pet owners should have one of these poop bag dispensers” from Earth Rated not only for convenience, but also because the bags are biodegradable and better for the environment than traditional plastic bags. Nearly 90 percent of customers who’ve left a rating gave it five stars.

Buy It! Earth Rated Leash Dispenser for Dog Waste and Bags, $34.99 (orig. $45); amazon.com

Meanwhile, another Amazon reviewer claims that a collapsible crate is a “must-have” for anyone bringing home a new puppy “because of the ability to adjust the amount of space inside, and the ease of folding it up.” This crate from Midwest Home for Pets is available in a variety of sizes and has a whopping 60,000 reviews.

Buy It! Midwest Home for Pets Collapsible Dog Crate, from $16.99; amazon.com

A crate can be made more comfortable for your dog by adding an orthopedic memory foam bed inside. This one, which bears the Amazon’s Choice label, has a waterproof liner and removable cover that’s machine-washable so it’s easy to clean after an inevitable accident.

Buy It! Bedsure Orthopedic Memory Foam Dog Bed, $39.99–$79.99; amazon.com

Having the right necessities can make the adjustment period easier for you and your dog, but it’s important to note that every dog is different and can take more or less time to adjust. The average adjustment period for a new animal can last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months depending on their background.

See the rest of the things Amazon shoppers love to help adjust dog to their new forever home below.

Buy It! Tianyao No-Pull Dog Harness Vest Set for Medium Dogs, $22.98; amazon.com

Buy It! YY Foreyy Raised Pet Bowls with Bamboo Stand, $19.99–$49.99 (orig. $34.99–$55.99); amazon.com

Buy It! DActive Pets Dog Back Seat Car Cover Protector, $33.96–$41.96; amazon.com

Buy It! Pet Botanics Training Reward Treats, Regular, Bacon, 20 oz., $12.74; amazon.com

Buy It! Pet Mate Booda Fresh N Floss Tug Rope Toy, $7.87–$9.99; amazon.com

Buy It! Kong Classic Dog Toy, $7.49–$23.99; amazon.com

Buy It! Slson Collapsible Dog Bowl 2 Pack with Carabiners, $4.99–$14.99; amazon.com

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TV and Movies

Claire Foy Horror-Thriller ‘Dust’ Bought by Searchlight

Disney’s Searchlight arm has bought rights to Claire Foy’s horror-thriller “Dust,” four months after the project was unveiled at the Cannes Virtual Market.

Foy will portray a woman who becomes increasingly traumatized in 1930s Oklahoma amid the region’s horrific dust storms and convinces herself that a mysterious presence is threatening her family. She then takes extraordinary measures to protect them.

Variety reported at the Cannes market in June that the film would be set around a remote farmhouse and would be fairly self-contained, with just a small number of starring roles and a minimalist aesthetic.

Will Joines and Karrie Crouse are set to direct from a script that Crouse wrote. The screenplay was developed at the Sundance Writer’s Lab.

“Winter’s Bone” producer Alexi Madigan and her Mad Dog Films are producing with Lucas Joaquin of Secret Engine. CAA Media Finance and UTA Independent Film Group are co-representing North American rights. Mad River International is handling international sales and introduced the project at the Cannes market.

Foy won an Emmy and Golden Globe for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II in Netflix’s “The Crown.” She is developing an adaptation of the Charlotte McConaghy novel “Migrations” and will star and exec produce. Variety reported on Oct. 5 that Foy and James McAvoy were attached to star in the upcoming English-language remake of the French thriller “Mr Son” for STXfirms. She will next star opposite Benedict Cumberbatch in the biopic “Louis Wain.”

Foy is repped by UTA and Independent Talent Group. Joines and Crouse are repped by CAA.

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