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Entertainment

Ryan Reynolds Says Ben Mendelsohn Deserves as Oscar for “Mississippi Grind” Performance

Patti Perret/Sundance Institute(NEW YORK) — Ryan Reynolds is used to getting a lot of media attention every time he stars in a film, but he says his Mississippi Grind co-star, Ben Mendelsohn, stole the show this time.

“It’s just one of the most beautiful, touching, incredible performances,” Reynolds said on Monday’s Live with Kelly and Michael. “They’re gonna throw all kinds of jewelry, Oscars, all kinds of stuff on him. He’s truly remarkable.”

Reynolds said Mississippi Grind is “about two sort of degenerate gamblers, working their way south down the Mississippi, like Huck[leberry] Finn. …on gambling boats and riverboat casinos.”

The actor said he loved working in the Southern U.S. “I loved Mobile, Alabama. I mean, that’s a beautiful place, just a gorgeous city,” he said. “And my wife [Blake Lively] and I, we’ve gone to New Orleans for years and years.”

Mississippi Grind, which is available now via video on demand, hits theaters Sept. 25.

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Politics

Muslim Group CAIR Slams Ben Carson as ‘Unfit to Lead’

Bill Pugliano/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — A prominent U.S. Islamic group Monday said there’s no place in the presidential campaign for Ben Carson after the retired neurosurgeon said he would not support a Muslim for president.

“He’s unfit to lead,” Nihad Awad, executive director and founder of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), said of Carson at a news conference Monday.

Besides saying he would not support a Muslim as president, the GOP candidate also said Islam, as a religion, was inconsistent with the Constitution. Carson told NBC’s Meet the Press he believed a president’s faith should matter “depending on what that faith is.”

“I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that,” Carson said. “If it’s [a president’s faith] inconsistent with the values and principles of America, then of course it should matter.”

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Politics

Why the White House Social Secretary Is Going to Have a Tough Week

Raymond Boyd/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Pope Francis will be in the nation’s capital this week, causing headaches for thousands of commuters. One Obama administration official will certainly be feeling the pressure too.

White House Social Secretary Deesha Dyer, 37, will be coordinating Pope Francis’ visit to the White House, an event that will bring nearly 15,000 people to see the pope. Dyer is also organizing Chinese President Xi Jinping’s arrival on Thursday and overseeing the state dinner for Mr. Xi on Friday.

While Pope Francis is known for his common touch, the first Chinese couple are not. Dyer and her staff must follow strict social protocol because the Chinese delegation is highly sensitive to any kind of protocol violation.

Dyer has been on the job for just five months. She previously was a hip-hop reporter for the Philadelphia City Paper and a White House intern.

First Lady Michelle Obama has used the role of social secretary to break traditions, first by selecting socialite Desiree Rogers (the first African-American to hold the job) and then Jeremy Bernard (the first male and openly gay social secretary).

“There are all sorts of places where offense could be taken, so you have to work closely with the State Department,” former Social Secretary Gahl Hodges Burt told The New York Times. “I’m sure Deesha has them on speed dial.”

And all eyes will be on what the first ladies will be wearing. China’s glamorous first lady, Peng Liyuan, a former opera singer, will be the one to watch when it comes to dress choices.

“The Chinese pay a lot of attention to state visits,” Cheng Li, director of the John L. Thornton China Center at the Brookings Institution, told the Washington Post. “Every detail could resonate negatively.”

What the Obamas serve for dinner will be under the microscope too. At the last state dinner in honor of China, the Obamas served former president Hu Jintao an all-American meal of steak and potatoes. Friday’s menu is still a state secret, but vegetables from the White House garden are expected to be part of the First Feast.

The guest list has not been unveiled yet. No word if the Chinese leader’s daughter Xi Mingze, a Harvard graduate, will be attending.

China’s protocol officers also reportedly requested that protesters from groups such as Falun Gong are kept out of earshot from Mr. Xi. The Chinese do not want a repeat of 10 years ago, when a Falun Gong protester disrupted a reception for President Hu on the White House grounds.

Potshots are coming from within the U.S. too — Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said he would offer Mr. Xi a hamburger rather than a state dinner.

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Business / Financial

Why This Jacket Made Almost $10 Million Before It Was Ever Made

BauBax(NEW YORK) — How did a jacket that hadn’t even been manufactured yet make almost $10 million?

It’s one of the most successful Kickstarter campaigns of all time — one its creators started out with a goal of $20,000.

The “ninja jacket,” as it’s been dubbed, is the brainchild of Hiral Sanghavi, CEO of BauBax — the actual name of the ninja jacket.

“We were secretly hoping to raise over a million in final funding,” he said. “We had never imagined we would end up crossing $9 million.”

The project launched July 7 and closed with a total of $9,192,055.

With 15 features — including a neck pillow, drink pocket and eye mask — the jacket was designed with travelers in mind.

“I do long weekly airline commutes from Chicago where I’m completing my MBA at the Kellogg School of Management to see my wife in San Francisco,” said Sanghavi. “From this experience, we set out to solve all of the problems travelers encounter by designing travel jackets, blazers, bombers and hoodies/sweatshirts with everything a traveler wants and needs.”

Sanghavi said the two-second inflatable neck pillow is a favorite feature of backers — 44,949 backers from 81 countries have ordered 72,000 jackets on the Kickstarter campaign.

The campaign is closed, but BauBax is available for pre-order on Indiegogo’s InDemand ranging between $149 to $189.

“It’s exciting to have your product resonate with so many customers from around the world. And it’s a great opportunity to have found such a huge customer base for our first product under BauBax. It’s a very humbling experience,” Sanghavi said.

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Business / Financial

Michelle Williams to Offer Sneak Peek at New Home Collection

Jason Merritt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Michelle Williams is scheduled to premiere her collection of home products on EVINE Live.

The digital commerce company announced that the singer will provide a sneak peek at her “Believe at Home” by Michelle Williams on Sept. 23, ahead of the full collection debut in the spring of 2016. The line, which was inspired by her grandmother and mother, includes a duvet set and embroidered sheet set.

“I’m so excited to come to EVINE Live and share my passion for design with viewers,” said Williams in a statement. “Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve been intrigued by home décor. I remember watching my mother and grandmother hand-stitch quilts and sew their own curtains and bedding. That’s really where the inspiration for this collection began.”

Michelle will give fans a sneak peek of her collection during EVINE Live’s “I Heart My Home” event at 9 p.m. ET.

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Politics

Today on the Trail — 9/21/15

ABC News (WASHINGTON) — Where will the 2016 presidential candidates be on Monday? Read below to find out their campaign schedules:

Hillary Clinton has events in both Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Little Rock, Arkansas on Monday.

Meanwhile, many of the 2016 candidates will be active in the late night talk show circuit this week.

On Monday night, Carly Fiorina will appear on the Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon,” Ted Cruz is on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and Bernie Sanders is on “The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore” on Comedy Central.

Jeb Bush is in Texas and Iowa. He will speak at the United States Hispanic Chamber of commerce Monday afternoon in Houston and later that evening hold a town hall in Mason City, Iowa.

Marco Rubio is in Georgia and North Carolina, holding an event in Atlanta Monday morning and another in Charlotte later in the day.

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Entertainment

New “Daily Show” Host Talks Nerves, and ‘Jewish Yoda’ Jon Stewart

Comedy Central(NEW YORK) — Trevor Noah, the man about to step into Jon Stewart’s shoes at The Daily Show, appeared alongside another alum of that Emmy winning program Thursday night, on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

“How are you feeling,” Colbert asked, before David Letterman’s late night successor added ironically, “I mean, stepping into the seat of a legend of talk shows — that’s crazy! Who on earth would ever want to do that?!”

“Every day I go, ‘What have I done,” Noah admitted. “You can’t live up to Jon Stewart, it’s insane.”

Noah explained he sought guidance from Stewart, even if he didn’t understand it — much like the lessons from a very wise — but occasionally puzzling — teacher from a galaxy far, far away.

“Jon is like a Jewish Yoda,” the South African comic said. “I go, ‘What’s the Daily Show?’ And he said, ‘TheDaily Show is what the Daily Show should be for you to be the best show that you can make.’ And then I don’t want to seem stupid, so I go, ‘Yeah, yeah.’ And then I walk away, and I don’t know what that meant.”

“The main thing Jon said to me is ‘Trust your discomfort,’ so if you feel uncomfortable, that’s the way you should be going.”

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah debuts on September 28 on Comedy Central.

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National News

‘Baby Doe’ Case: Mother, Boyfriend Expected to Appear in Court

Suffolk County District Attorney(BOSTON) — The mother of the young girl found dead inside a trash bag in Massachusetts earlier this summer and her boyfriend are expected to appear at an arraignment Monday in connection with the child’s death.

The girl found dead on Deer Island in June and nicknamed “Baby Doe” by authorities was a girl named Bella Bond, authorities said. Her case captivated the country, and computer composites used in an attempt to identify her were viewed by millions.

A man named Michael McCarthy, 35, was arrested and charged with Bella’s murder, authorities said Friday. The girl’s mother, Rachelle Bond, 40, was charged as an accessory after the fact, authorities said.

McCarthy allegedly caused Bella’s death intentionally and he and Bond are also accused of keeping her death a secret to avoid prosecution, authorities said.

McCarthy is Bond’s boyfriend, according to ABC News affiliate WCVB-TV in Boston. McCarthy’s relationship to Bella is not clear, authorities said. The identity of Bella’s father was not released and he was not accused of wrongdoing.

Bella Bond was about 2 1/2 years old when she died, authorities said. She lived in Dorchester, Massachusetts, a Boston neighborhood about 14 miles from Deer Island where her body was found.

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Entertainment

How Ariana Grande Ended Up on “Scream Queens”

Jill Greenbeerg/FOX(LOS ANGELES) — The much-anticipated new Fox horror/comedy series Scream Queens debuts on Tuesday, and the cast includes Ariana Grande and Nick Jonas. So, how did creator Ryan Murphy land two of pop’s hottest stars for their roles on the show? In the case of Ariana, Ryan says, it’s because she wanted some spoilers.

He tells E! Online that he asked Ariana to meet with him, and it turns out that “She was just obsessed withAmerican Horror Story, like she was obsessed. So I think she just met me to ask questions about the new season, to be honest!!”

But, Murphy adds, “I didn’t tell her a damn thing! She was mad about it later.” Eventually, Murphy says, he was able to pitch Ariana — a big horror fan in general — on the idea of the show, and, he says, “She was instantly on board.”

“Initially she was just going to do one episode, but she loved the process so much that she wanted to do more,” he adds. “When you go after people like her and Nick, their schedules are so insane between touring and music. And that’s like a whole other world, the world of being a pop rock star, which they both are.”

“But in both their cases, one episode led to another episode, which led to another episode and I think Nick ended up giving us five episodes, something insane,” he laughs. “But it all just came from a place of, ‘Hey, let’s do something and have fun.'”

Scream Queens is about a sorority house ruled by Chanel, played by Emma Roberts, and her devoted followers. When the college’s new dean, played by horror movie icon Jamie Lee Curtis, decrees that sorority pledging must open to all students, a killer starts murdering people across the campus. Ariana plays Chanel #2, one of Chanel’s minions, while Nick plays Boone, a preppy member of a golfing fraternity called the Dollar Scholars.

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Politics

Joe Biden Says He Can’t ‘Rush’ His 2016 Decision

Earl Gibson III/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Vice President Joe Biden will not “rush” his 2016 decision as he weighs whether another presidential run would be in the best interest of his family, he said in an interview with America Media, a leading Catholic news organization.

“You have no right as an individual to decide to run. Your whole family is implicated, your whole family is engaged, and so for us it’s a family decision, and I just have to be comfortable that this will be good for the family,” the vice president said in an interview with the Rev. Matt Malone, president and editor in chief of America Media, an ABC News partner.

“In the past, all our political efforts have actually strengthened the family,” Biden said in his first interview with a news organization since his son Beau’s death in May. “It’s not quite there yet and it may not get there in time to make it feasible to be able to run and succeed because there are certain windows that will close, but if that’s it, that’s it. But it’s not like I can rush it.”

The comments are the vice president’s latest explanation into his thought process as he weighs another presidential run at a time when he and his family are still grappling with the death Beau, who died following a battle with brain cancer.

Biden, 72, said his family is now committed to focusing on the inspiration Beau provided, instead of talking about his loss.

“We don’t want to talk so much anymore about publicly or privately about the loss,” the vice president said. “We all decided that we should focus on the inspiration he [Beau] provided…Regardless of what I do in public or private life, we are not going to walk away from the things that were, that made Beau’s life, in his mind beyond his family, worthwhile.”

Biden recounted an expression his father shared throughout his life — “Just get up pal, get up,” adding, “That’s what Beau wants us to do. That’s what Beau expects his father to do, so we’re just getting up and moving on and we’re going to do good things in his name.”

The vice president’s 30-minute interview with Malone comes just before Pope Francis’ visit to the United States.

“He’s the embodiment of Catholic social doctrine that I was raised with. The idea that everyone’s entitled to dignity,” Biden said. “I’m excited, quite frankly, as a practicing Catholic. I am really excited by the whole world is getting to see what are the basic essential elements of what constitutes Catholicism.”

Biden, who is the first Roman Catholic to become vice president, reflected on own how he balances his own faith with his political life.

“All the principles of my faith I make no excuse for attempting to live up to. I don’t all the time, but I’m not prepared to impose doctrine that I’m prepared to accept on the rest of them,” he said.

Biden used abortion as an example of an issue where he agrees with the Catholic …read more […]