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Oscars backstage: Kate Winslet hugs, Sean Penn on Mickey Rourke

While the Academy Awards ceremony was full of musical numbers, visual innovations, and new ways of presenting old categories, the backstage press room was the regular mix of foreign tongues, tears, awkward moments and long-winded behind-the-scenes winners. Here are the highlights.

Most Poised: Heath Ledger's Family

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Created by admin 44 weeks 6 days ago – Made popular 44 weeks 6 days ago
Category: Entertainment   Tags:
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Sean Penn outdoes himself to earn the Oscar

With Sean Penn, there is forever the sense that he has demons of his own to beat back before he can slip underneath the skin of whatever character is awaiting dissection on the table in front of him. The knives are always at the ready, the guns loaded, the enemy awaits.

And so it felt with "Milk" that there were wounds that he needed to suffer through first to excavate the soul of the slain San Francisco politician and gay-rights activist Harvey Milk.

It was a transformative journey, and Penn took all of us along with him, from the grit of a subway hookup to the emerging idealism of the martyr he was to become.

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Created by admin 44 weeks 6 days ago – Made popular 44 weeks 6 days ago
Category: Entertainment   Tags:
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And The Winner Is....Slumdog Millionaire

That's a surprise to nobody, Slumdog Millionaire by director Danny Boyle won 8 Oscars at the 2009 Academy Awards.

Best Achievement in Cinematography :
Anthony Dod Mantle

Best Achievement in Directing:
Danny Boyle

Best Achievement in Editing :
Chris Dickens

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score :
A.R. Rahman

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song :
A.R. Rahman (music)
Sampooran Singh Gulzar (lyrics)
For the song "Jai Ho".

Best Achievement in Sound :
Ian Tapp
Richard Pryke
Resul Pookutty

Best Motion Picture of the Year :
Christian Colson

Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published :

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Created by admin 44 weeks 6 days ago – Made popular 44 weeks 6 days ago
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Is It A Crime To Take Pictures?

From today, anyone taking a photograph of a police officer could be deemed to have committed a criminal offence.

That is because of a new law - Section 76 of the Counter Terrorism Act - which has come into force.

It permits the arrest of anyone found "eliciting, publishing or communicating information" relating to members of the armed forces, intelligence services and police officers, which is "likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism".

That means anyone taking a picture of one of those people could face a fine or a prison sentence of up to 10 years, if a link to terrorism is proved.

The law has angered photographers, both professional and amateur, who fear it could exacerbate the harassment they already sometimes face.

On Monday, a group is gathering outside New Scotland Yard for a "mass picture-taking session" in protest.

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Created by admin 45 weeks 4 days ago – Made popular 45 weeks 4 days ago
Category: World   Tags:
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Facebook Backs Down On Privacy Terms

Facing a federal complaint from a leading privacy advocacy organization and a revolt of tens of thousands of its users, Facebook on Tuesday night backed down from what many have seen as an onerous privacy policy.

Facebook informed all its users that it has, temporarily at least, reverted its terms of service to the previous version.
(Credit: Screenshot by CNET Networks)

The policy had seemed to grant Facebook perpetual rights to users' uploaded content, and the threatened complaint from the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) had demanded, essentially, that the social-networking service return to its previous terms.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a blog post late Tuesday that the company had decided to do just that:

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Created by admin 45 weeks 4 days ago – Made popular 45 weeks 4 days ago
Category: Internet   Tags:
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Rourke’s Wrestler, Winslet’s Nazi Guard Favored to Win Oscars

This year’s Oscar telecast will feature a new host (Hugh Jackman), a new format (cozier, shorter) and, almost certainly, a bunch of new winners.

None of the favorites for the five biggest individual awards on Feb. 22 has ever won an Oscar: Mickey Rourke (actor), Kate Winslet (actress), Heath Ledger (supporting actor), Penelope Cruz (supporting actress) and Danny Boyle (director). Winslet has been nominated six times, as many as the other four combined.

One other historical note: If Ledger wins, he’ll become only the second actor to win a posthumous Oscar. The first was Peter Finch, for 1976’s “Network.”

Here are my fearless, though not necessarily accurate, predictions:

Best Picture

Nominees: “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “Frost/Nixon,” “Milk,” “The Reader,” “Slumdog Millionaire.”

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Created by Laura 45 weeks 4 days ago – Made popular 45 weeks 4 days ago
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CNN: Wall Street 'Better Watch Out' for Michael Moore

"Do I wanna see Michael Moore spank Wall Street? Yeah, I wanna see Michael Moore spank Wall Street." -- Leah Rozen, People Magazine

"I, personally, am excited about the idea of Michael Moore taking on Wall Street." -- Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out Magazine

"I just think his whole mindset is very anti-American ..." -- Wall Street Stiff

If you have information that the American people need to hear, send it along to

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Created by admin 45 weeks 4 days ago – Made popular 45 weeks 4 days ago
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Michael Moore Asks Bankers to Help Prove Bailout Is ‘Swindle’

Filmmaker Michael Moore, who says the Wall Street bailout is “the biggest swindle in American history,” is asking bankers to help him make a movie proving it.

The 55-year-old Michigan native posted an open letter on his Web site yesterday seeking volunteers to “step up as an American and do your duty of shedding some light” on the almost $1.1 trillion in losses and writedowns globally. Moore also sent the letter to people on his e-mail list.

While some bankers may be tempted to get involved with the filmmaker who pilloried former President George W. Bush’s response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the U.S., they should think before they contact Moore, said Davia Temin, chief executive officer of crisis-management firm Temin & Co.

“When you’re in a firestorm, you don’t stand up,” she said. “You duck. I’m sure Moore will keep names confidential, but these things have a way of boomeranging when you tell a friend because you’re excited about being on a movie set.”

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Created by admin 45 weeks 4 days ago – Made popular 45 weeks 4 days ago
Category: Politics   Tags:
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Cambodia Begins Painful Look Back With Khmer Rouge Trials

PHNOM PENH: The first trial of a senior Khmer Rouge cadre opened Tuesday, 30 years after the end of the brutal Communist regime that took the lives of as much as one-fourth of Cambodia's population.

The first defendant is Kaing Guek Eav, 66, better known as Duch, the commandant of the Tuol Sleng prison and torture house, which sent at least 14,000 people to their deaths in a killing field.

The purpose of the hearing Tuesday was to address procedural issues before court sessions begin next month.

Duch confessed to journalists before his arrest nine years ago that he had committed atrocities but said he had been acting under orders and would himself have been killed if he had disobeyed. Known for his brutality, he is charged with crimes against humanity and war crimes, and with murder and torture in his prison, known as S-21.

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Created by Asia 45 weeks 5 days ago – Made popular 45 weeks 5 days ago
Category: World   Tags:
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What Invasive Species Are Trying to Tell Us

Walking snakeheads, carnivorous snails, and the superpredator from the reef: The invasion has begun. By Julia Whitty

Les Gibson takes me out to teach me how to hunt, which is what he calls fishing. Despite the fact that every public beach in Queensland, Australia, has been periodically closed this season due to blooms of box jellyfish, and despite the fearsome saltwater crocodiles living here, Les strides confidently into the bay with a pair of 10-foot-long bamboo spears and his wooden woomera, the multipurpose Aboriginal atlatl, or spear-thrower.

When I ask him if he worries about jellyfish, he tells me Aborigines have a cure for the venom. Do scientists know about this cure? I ask. No, he says, they never ask us anything.

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Created by Laura 45 weeks 5 days ago – Made popular 45 weeks 5 days ago
Category: Science & Nature   Tags:

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